My Word for 2016

As a society we seem to have turned away from New Year’s resolutions and turned toward a single word to sum up our intentions for the clean slate of a new year. A Word which could and would bring us back to center in moments of uncertainty, moments when a decision mandates we consider the bigger picture of our why and how.

As I embraced the search for my own why and how I paused to take a look deep inside, to see what was important to me. Really, I was searching for a word that summed up my goals and aspirations – but what are they? Some aspirations like prioritizing my marriage, regaining a higher level of fitness and shedding the final forty pounds of baby weight have been with me for a while. Other goals like ignoring comparisons to other mothers are newer, but no less compelling. These goals required a word that was action oriented and contemplative.  A word that wouldn’t shrink under the sheer volume and momentum of a mompreneur’s to do list.

I’m not entirely sure if I found my word or my word found me. Either way it is concise, compact and oddly liberating.

My word for 2016 is Me.

That’s Me with a deliberately capitalized M – the Me of my higher, enlightened Self.

What does Me mean? It means a year of radical self-love and radical self-care, which ensures I show up as the best version of Me possible.

Me: connecting deliberately with my husband. Sharing my joy, my strength, my passion and my compassion.

Me: connecting consciously with my child.  Focusing when we are together kicking the ‘must multitask’ monkey mind to the curb and reveling in the joy of raising a competent, independent thinker.

Me: shrugging off unsolicited advice and comparisons. I’m the Wife, Mother and Woman I’m meant to be. I am enough as I am and I chose to grow stronger and more fearless each day.

Me: eating healthy foods 85-90% of the time. Me and My Family are worth the time and cost associated with proper, healthy meals, nutritious foods and luscious desserts. Oh and drinking more water because I’m worth the potty break time-outs.

Me: Running. Lifting. Coming back to my badass self who could once out lift every other chick in the gym.

Me: Splurging on new running shoes, seamless socks and a weekly yoga class.

Me: growing into my professional role. Working during office hours with clients and on programs that bring passion, purpose and empowerment.

Me: caring about those who care about me. Friendship is built on trust, loyalty and laughter.

Me: laughing long and loud with those friends I value who force me to level up my game.

That’s Me for 2016. What’s your word?


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

Turning Let Go into Let’s GO!

I have a secret I want to share with you.

Outside of my wife and a few close friends, I’ve kept this little secret to myself and away from others, including my parents. 

But recently, I realized what I’ve been holding-in has actually been holding me back. 

I’ve spent the past several months spinning a narrative that said I retired from my last executive position. But, the reality is, I was let go.

After 18 years, the company’s new leadership notified me, in their right, that they were “changing directions.”

I’ve had jobs from paperboy to short-order cook, to sales representative to executive leader, but this was a first. 

I was shocked and embarrassed.

What did this say about me as a business leader?

What did this mean as a provider to my family?

What were my future career possibilities?

It was fertile soil for my little annoying gremlin.

What’s a gremlin, you ask?

Some call it an inner critic and others use more biting language. Regardless of the label, gremlins plant seeds of doubt and worry in your mind that show up before and/or after big events such as presentations, interviews, career changes — and even when you asked someone to prom.   

Yes, our gremlins loved our high school years because the seeds they planted can last a lifetime.  We all have them. They get you close and whisper: You are not bold enough, not smart enough, or cool enough.  

Or, in my case, they whispered: You are not competent enough.  Our inner, self-inflicted taunts think they are protecting us from judgment. But the truth is, they limit us and keep us stuck in the status quo.

It seemed like a safe play to call it  “retirement.” Although my age and lack of independent wealth confused people in my circle, calling my dismissal a retirement was a “good enough” description. But, it wasn’t true.

During my recovery from my cycling accident, I began to understand that “good enough” was no longer good enough. To reach my potential, I had to quiet that gremlin. I knew then, as I do now, that I always have choices.  

We all have choices. We can choose to listen to our gremlins and limit our potential, or we can breakaway and believe in our unlimited potential.  

I chose to believe that I was strong enough and tough enough to handle my physical rehabilitation, get back on that bike, and race again.

And eventually, I did.

Today, I’m choosing to breakaway, again, by sharing my truth with you.

Being let go doesn’t make me less of a leader. It just makes me human.

That pivotal moment in my life became my “jump-in moment.” It helped me to leap out of my comfort zone toward the unknown. It encouraged me to trust my values and to embrace the things that make me a unique leader, coach, speaker, and consultant.

Now, I harness those qualities to continue to build my own business and to serve my clients.

It feels good to be open and transparent. I probably should call my parents now, before they read this online.

Do you have a secret you have been holding in that holds you back?

Do you want to tell your gremlin to take a hike?

Do you want more than just “good enough” at work? 

If you’ve read this far, I believe you could answer yes to every one of those questions.

I can help you. Let’s connect today.  I have a special offer for all those gremlin slayers out there that I believe will help you make your own leap forward.

Click contact to set up a time for us to chat.


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net

3 essentials for a successful workout (career workout, that is)

Last year, I made a decision to workout with a trainer.  It was a long time coming.  Let’s be honest - I’ve tried every type of workout scheme known to man and can’t seem to keep a consistent routine.  

I start out strong and then other things take priority ...

the kids, laundry, chocolate … This time was going to be different.  

I bought new sneakers, cute exercise clothes and researched trainers.  I selected one that had a great personality and seemed in tune with my personal goals.  

At the end of three months, I was a beast.  My arms looked like something out of one of those superhero movies, my legs were defined and I could do 300 sit-ups without breaking a sweat.  But I didn’t start here … they call it a workout for a reason … it’s WORK!

I practiced six days a week, whether it was weight lifting, cardio or yoga.  Every day I was building muscle and gaining strength.  If I hadn’t kept up the work, I would have gone right back to where I started - out of shape.

I realized that my success was dependent upon my willingness to practice, practice, practice.

How about your corporate workout?  Just like a physical workout, your corporate workout should include strength training and plenty of practice.  

While your physical workout leads to more energy, toned muscles and overall strength, your corporate workout can lead to confidence, self awareness and success.  Why wouldn’t you want to get started today?!

Three muscles to flex in your corporate workout

1.                How to flex your public speaking muscles

  • Actively seek out opportunities to practice and grow your public speaking skills.  
  • Check out your local Toastmaster group (www.toastmasters.org) or speakers bureau.
  • Find people who do it well - and copy them!  Julian Treasure is one of my favorite TedTalks around how to speak so that people want to listen (http://bit.ly/1vOD73z).

2.                How to flex your networking muscles

  • Join an industry association.  If you’re not sure, check with your colleagues about the groups they attend and ask if you can attend as a visitor before joining.
  • If you’re already a member of a club or association … GO TO THE MEETINGS!!  Don’t sit in the back and leave the minute the gavel hits the podium.
  • Create a goal to introduce yourself to one or two new people each week.  (If you work in a small office, this could be tough, but give it a try).  

3.                How to flex your writing muscles

  • Journal every day.  Make it a point to write for 5 minutes each day (come on, you can do it!).  If you’re not sure what to write about, try this free ebook to get the ideas flowing - A Year of Blogging and Journaling Ideas by Cynthia Louden.
  • Start a blog.  Many websites provide a free option that allows you to try before you buy (www.wordpress.com).  I use Google’s Blogger (www.blogger.com) that easily links to my website.  Don’t think you have anything to say?  Simply write about things you know - food, exercise or relationships.
  • Write a fairy tale.  If none of these other options appeal to you and all else fails, write a whimsical story with yourself as the hero / heroine.

By training and strengthening your corporate body AND mind, you’ll become a force to be reckoned with!  You’ll develop skills that will create confidence, demonstrate leadership and your ability to stretch (pardon the pun) outside of your comfort zone.


Kim Black is a Certified Professional Coach that focuses on career advancement and life coaching for women.  She has more than 20 years of corporate experience and is passionate about helping her clients build their skills, achieve their goals and celebrate their successes.  She is the author of "Navigating the Corporate Jungle with Kim Black" and hosts a radio show on the Life Coach Radio Network.

Website:  www.kimblackcoaching.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/coachkimblack

Twitter:  @coachkimblack

Jump In & Move Beyond Good Enough

“Jump in OB. The water’s great,” they shouted up to me from the quarry.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be there in a minute,” I shouted back.

But secretly I was thinking: Umm, there’s no way I am jumping in that quarry. My little buddy, Fear, and I will just hang out and watch everyone else have a great time.

Sitting on the edge watching everyone else leap forward is good enough.

That was the scene about 15 years ago during the Tyler Place Resort Mountain-Bike Ride, the capstone to our family vacation. Each Friday at Tyler Place, guests head out for a mountain-bike ride through Vermont’s single track, which hugs Lake Champlain. It’s great fun.

And the piece de resistance of the ride is throwing caution to the wind and jumping into the quarry. It’s a 34-foot drop (see video) from the edge to the water below.

The easy part, at least for me, was the mountain-bike ride. The jump? Not so much. 

I’m a strong believer of Sheryl Sandberg’s lean in message. I love it because as a business leadership coach and motivational speaker, I witness many people who  just sit on the sidelines and settle for good enough rather than choosing to lean in and take action. 

The truth is, sometimes, to really breakthrough to the next level of success, you need to jump in with both feet.

I was doing plenty of leaning in at the quarry. I would gingerly walk to the edge, look down, gulp, and scurry back. I did this about three times until I finally asked myself: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

The answer: I would jump in.

In that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could listen to my little buddy Fear, or I could leap forward into the unknown and jump in. 

I ended up jumping in four times that day.

That literal leap of faith gave me the confidence I needed to make the decision to jump from executive leadership to starting my own coaching and consulting firm.

As I was making my decision on my career jump, my reliable little buddy Fear showed up again to harass me and stir up limiting beliefs.   

Michael, what if you can’t provide for your family?

What if you embarrass yourself?

What if you can’t run your own business?

Just like at the quarry, I had to take a leap of faith. Neither leap was easy. But, I realized I had a choice: I could let Fear drive my decision or I could trust my talents, instincts, and enthusiasm and jump in. 

And again, I jumped.

I’m so thankful I did.

Whether you’re jumping into a quarry, voicing your opinion, changing careers, or going for that big promotion, Fear has a way of making you doubt yourself. It does everything it can to hold you back.  

Your job is to name the Fear and jump in in spite of it.

So, let me ask you: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? 

How would your work be different? 

Are you tired of settling for “good enough?” 

If you answered yes, that’s terrific because you know that good enough isn’t really good enough if you want to maximize success in your career and life.   

If you are looking for a partner who can help you move beyond good enough, I encourage you to contact me today. Reference this blog post, in our call, and I’ll give you a special offer to help you leverage your belief system and maximize your career and life.  

Go ahead. What are you waiting for?  Jump in. The water is great. 


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net

"Put Away the Milk, Please” – The Importance of the Basics in Growing Your Business

I’ve taken plenty of workshops and training classes, but some of the best lessons I’ve learned are from my family and home life.

Today I’m sharing two of my favorites:  

“Put Away the Milk, Please” – The Importance of the Basics

When my youngest daughter was 4, she became self-sufficient when it came to making breakfast. Every morning, she’d get out the cereal box, the orange juice, and the milk.

Like most 4 year olds, she was great at getting things out; however, putting them back was not one of her strong suits.

The cereal and orange juice were easily forgiven. But the milk—oh, the milk. That was a different story. 

My favorite post-workout treat is a glass of cold chocolate milk. As an avid cyclist, I’ve used it as my post-workout recovery drink long before it was considered a “recovery drink.”

In the mornings, after I returned from my ride, I did some stretches, and pretended to do some core exercises as my thoughts drifted towards my anticipated glass of cold chocolate milk.

But, when my daughter forgot to return the milk to the refrigerator…Yep, you got it, the milk would be luke-warm.

Have you ever tried drinking luke-warm milk after a workout?

Not so great.

So, instead of downing my favorite treat, I would have to pause to patiently remind her of the importance of putting things away, especially the milk. After a while she got it, and order was restored in the world—at least where chocolate milk was concerned.

There’s a lesson in there for all of us. Regardless of whether you are a leader or individual contributor, your organization counts on you to “put away the milk.” It’s a basic responsibility. 

When the basics are done well, you have time for other meaningful work like selling your vision, evaluating your strategy, strengthening your culture, and developing your people.  

So, how much time do you spend asking others “to put away the milk?” What’s it costing you and your organization?

Take it Upstairs - A Leader at Work and Home

In my home, anytime something needs to go up to the 2nd floor, my wife and I place it on the stairs. There’s no email, no vmail, no memo attached; it’s simply understood that if something is on the stairs, it needs to go up.

When our kids were young, we were pleasantly surprised when they took the initiative to carry something upstairs. It was unexpected, and clearly one of those “we-got-this-parenting-thing-down” moments, and it balanced out some of our “milk challenges.”

As the other adult in the house, it was expected that I’d carry things upstairs. When I did there were no gold stars, no perk-points, no attaboy-memos from the CEO. However, it was valued as it was a basic task that helped the household run smoothly.

Here’s the lesson: If you see something on the stairs, take it up. You may not have put it there, and it may not belong to you. That’s not the point.

Regardless of whether it’s a broken process or helping a short-staffed team, your job, as a leader, is to pitch in and help solve the problem. Don’t walk past it and declare it someone else’s job. When you take action, you send a powerful leadership message about the culture you wish to create.

The basics aren’t sexy. But the truth is, they never go out of style. 

So how much time do you spend on the reinforcing the basics? What are those constant reminders to fill out expense reports correctly, see the opportunities within the challenges, and behave like the competition is outside and not within costing you and your company? 

If you took time to add it up, it would probably be significant. It may be costing you stress, engagement, effectiveness, efficiency, and, most likely, top and bottom-line maximization.  For a moment, imagine what would be possible if the basics were second nature, the milk was always put away and things were matter-of-factly taken upstairs.

If you are interested in sharing a glass of chocolate milk, I’m game. Just contact me at Michael@pelotoncc.net


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.


Source: www.pelotoncc.net

What is the worst possible scenario that could be? It’s not always our truth!

Don’t let the title of this article lead you to a negative mindset, it’s not meant to. It is all about shifting to a more positive and realistic frame of mind. In coaching we call this “safety net” coaching and we use it to let clients explore what the worst possible outcome in a situation might be, because most of the time it isn’t the truth and just a story or a flurry of thoughts that we create in our minds that only serves us by holding us back and keep us stuck in non-movement and in a place of fear. It came to mind for me earlier today as fear came up for me. It was then that I realized that I had unknowingly used safety net coaching in my own life challenges and I thought I would share some examples of what that looks like. Fear can be a very real feeling, yet it can also be a debilitating one and in that sense not real and it holds us back from what we truly want.

So for me in certain life challenges and to get to the next level I had to ask myself the question: “What is the worst possible thing that could happen?” When I thought about the worst and wrapped my mind around that, I think it lead me to: “Ok, so what is the best possible outcome?” and it allowed me to process things in a more realistic and present mindset.

When I was deciding if I wanted to end a marriage in my late 20’s, I was terrified to leave the relationship for many reasons and I thought of what the worst possible outcome could be, and there really was none. In fact, the worst possible scenario would have been if I stayed in the relationship and remained unhappy and looked back in the same place years later with regret.

In my 30’s I experienced the traumatic event of my mother’s passing and giving birth to my daughter within days. I was in a very dark place called a “grief induced post-partum depression.” For me simply being in that state was the worst possible scenario, so I finally managed to shift out of it (with much support in many areas) to a place of turning all of my negative life experiences into positive ones.

In my 40’s I was diagnosed with breast cancer and that was definitely a game changer for me because I was consciously aware at that time and the thoughts and emotions kept flowing around my mortality, around where my life was going, around my career, my relationship and my children. I remember thinking at that time also: “What is the worst possible thing that could happen?” The answer there was that I could not control this diagnosis and that yes, the worst case scenario would be I could die. Being a religious person and one with a very deep connection to faith, I was willing to accept that if it was, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about what could be and what would be and that was the best possible scenario. So when I got passed the place of what the worst could be, I was able to get to what the best possible outcome could be and although it would be a painful and emotional experience, I could walk through what I had to face, get the care and treatment that I needed and then get back to managing my relationships, my career, the care of my children and of myself.

More recently I experienced this with a career change. After 30 years in one field, I decided to start two new businesses. My initial reaction was to immediately revert to safety and took a very well-paying job where someone else would employ me. This didn’t sit well in me for long in my gut and I decided to nix that choice and go with opening up both businesses. Again, I asked myself: “What’s the worst case scenario?” The answer was simple: “If I failed I could always go back to safe, but if I didn’t explore the fear the regret would be even worse!” So here’s the thing, by exploring the worst possible scenario came the birth of the best case scenario and what exists now for me, the opening and sustaining of both businesses and the flexibility to pursue my passion.

So you see, most of the time we go on automatic pilot and think the only thing that can happen is the worst possible scenario, when in reality that is so far from the truth because we have so many options open and available to us.

Even if we do have to face the “worst possible scenario” we can do it in a place where we live in the moment and we make choices on how we want to move forward. I am seeing it via a colleague who is facing a “worst case scenario” in terms of an illness that is very real and she still walks and lives in a space of her best possible scenario every day. I have to say I am truly amazed and inspired and so happy to know her and be taught by her. We are forever all teachers and students and we were put on this earth to explore and make choices. 


Gina Costa, CPC, ELI-MP is the founder of New Beginnings Coaching Services, LLC, which helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. To learn more about Gina and her coaching practice, visit http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/

Source: http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com

The Greatness of Optimal: Ending the Work-Life Balance Myth

Can 2015 mark the year we end our Sisyphean work-life balance pursuit? It seems that we’ve been looking for this magical firewall between work and life for most of my working career, and we can’t seem to find it. 

So what’s up?

It’s a myth. During the halcyon days of the mid-80s, when work-life balance was first referenced, we didn’t have to contend with today’s ubiquitous connectivity.  With the innovation of email, smart phones, and social media, the line between work and life is blurred at best.  So let’s stop searching for the comprise of work life and personal life balance. Rather, let’s take action to maximize our fulfillment, happiness, and mindfulness in our one life.

Based on my experience as an executive, business leadership coach, and motivational speaker, the genesis of our work-life drama usually starts at work even as we carve out personal time for exercise, downtime, etc. As a result, if work is less than ideal, then it’s hard to live a full life. Here are 3 steps to gain more fulfillment at work.

Alignment

Get clear on your values and take action that aligns with them.  Determine what gets you jazzed and ensure that your daily choices align to your values.

Beliefs

What gives you that “I got this and here’s how” confidence? It’s your inner greatness.  You know it.  It’s led to your success.  However, we also have moments when that inner critic steps in, plants doubt, and stirs up fear.  An optimal life isn’t possible when we listen to that inner critic. It sucks the potential out of us.  Learn how to lead with your inner greatness.

Calendar Choices

Own your time! Stop sacrificing your joy and success by settling for ineffective meetings.  You get to choose how you meet and connect with your co-workers.

Here are some easy steps to get more out of your meetings:

  1.  Start and end on time
  2. Shorten your meetings by at least 15 minutes. Get focused and use your extra time for planning, reflecting, or biology
  3. Stop multitasking
  4. Set up more “Walk and Talk” meetings
  5. Accept/send meeting requests with a set agenda and objectives
  6. Decline meetings without a clear purpose
  7. Increase the laughter factor
  8. Agree on clear action steps and ownership

Living these A, B, Cs can help you gain more happiness at work.  Make 2015 the year you trade the compromise of balance for the greatness of optimal. To learn more contact me at Michael@pelotoncc.net.


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net