Tag Archives: risk

How to Handle Criticism – and Protect Your Confidence

Photo Credit: Eugene Zemlyanskiy on Flickr

She’d been fired.

When I read my client’s update, I winced. She’d lost her biggest account, and it hurt – both her intended budget for the year, and her heart.

She was a professional, so she took it in stride. But she felt awful, and I knew it.

There could be any number of reasons why her client quit, and we reviewed several. Perhaps she wasn’t clear enough about her expectations. Perhaps she went a little too fast. Perhaps they didn’t understand the real value of what she did for them.

Perhaps she was just a little ‘too much’, a little too intense. 

Boy, could I relate.

I, too, have often been told I was “too intense”. Continue reading

How to Cope When You (Really) Screw Up

Photo Credit – greg westfall on Flickr

I never saw her again.

And although I no longer remember her name, I’ve never forgotten her.

I’d only been in private practice for a little while, though I’d worked in mental health for a long time. Back then, I did a lot of counseling around trauma, abuse and domestic violence.

I already had a ton of experience; (I thought) I knew what I was doing.

One evening, at the end of a long day, I did an initial consult with a woman who’d finally gathered her nerve to seek help. She was living with severe domestic violence, married to a man who sounded like he could kill her one day if she didn’t get out.

I was immensely proud of her for having the courage to come in, and I understood her situation immediately. After hearing her story, I felt crystal clear on the level of danger she was in. I knew what she needed to do to get out.

So I laid it all out for her.

With the kind of excitement that comes with clarity, I explained how to put a safety plan in place, what to say to him (and what not to), how to handle her employer, how to seek legal help, how to move out, all of it.

She listened politely as I gave her every idea I could think of. Then she thanked me, and left. I felt great — I knew I could help her!

But she never came back.

To this day, I don’t know what happened. It may be that she found a way out, that she went to another counselor, that she was just fine. I certainly hope so.

But I think I made a mistake that night – and it was a big one.
Continue reading

How to Tell When It’s Your Time to Grow

It may just be a growth spurt, you know.

Or the start of one.

Whatever this is that’s bugging you, this “thing” that just doesn’t feel right; it might just be that things are changing inside for you – in a good way.

It usually starts as an uncomfortable feeling, a sense that something is wrong, out of whack, not what it should be. Sometimes those feelings are a whisper, just below the surface. Sometimes they’re shouting in your face.

Either way, they get harder and harder to ignore when you are being challenged – more and more – to grow. Continue reading

One Magic Word That Will Change Your Life

magic-wordMy life turned upside down a few years ago. 

I found myself in the midst of an unexpected transition, an uncomfortable in-between time, when I knew what had been but had no idea what was to be.

Ever felt that way?

I’d just finished a term in public office where I poured everything I had into serving my community. I lived and breathed that work for four unbelievably intense years. And I loved it.

But when that ended, I was lost. It was as if I’d been pushing up a long, steep hill, eyes to the ground, carrying a weight that was worthy but so heavy… And suddenly the hill leveled out, the weight disappeared, and I looked up for the first time in days, not quite sure where I was.

I was disoriented, at loose ends, and had no idea what to do next.

And with a successful business, that I’d run for years, on life support, dying from neglect.

So I threw myself into rebuilding, and focused on doing what I knew how to do to breathe life back into it. I set up a super-simple business plan with a year’s worth of goals – then met them all within two months.

I was still restless.
Continue reading

Why You (Really) Need a Backup Plan…

I’m not doing this right.

But that’s okay. The good news is that I’m doing it at all.

Last week, my laptop danced with a cup of coffee, and the poor Macbook ended up in the Apple hospital with a bad dizzy spell. Turns out that liquids drive your keyboard to type very funny things that make no sense at all.

So much for that lovely long day I’d planned for content creation…

Still, as frustrating as that could be, there was much to celebrate.

For one, I’m lucky enough to live in a town that had the repair I need, close by and easily accessible.

For two, I had other ways of getting done what I needed to get done.

And for three, the real miracle was that this hadn’t happened already.

Like, 100 times. :)  Continue reading