The Solution to Any Problem Begins With One Question

Questions

Have you ever have a problem or a situation that is beyond frustrating and try as you might, you cannot get out of the funk of it? Then someone all happy comes along and tells you to relax, everything will work out ok, be positive or some other sentiment that makes you want to throat punch them?

Me too.

And I have been that happy person you want to throat punch, too, but not in a traditional sense.

I am not going to tell someone struggling with a very painful and difficult situation to ‘just be happy, it will all work out’. Blah. Yet I do want to help them get out of that mindset and be able to move forward in a positive way.

The way I help work it out is the way I learned that works best for me. I learned it the hard way and wish I would have learned it years ago.

I ask one question: “Where is the good?”

That whole personal experience thing –tragic family and career events – I can look back now and for every single one, there was a positive. They all lead me in a different or better path. I could not see it at the time because I was too focused on the negative – losing a job, being cheated on, blah, blah, blah.

It is hard asking yourself – and even harder answering – what is the good in this terrible situation. But it can be a game changer. It changes your perspective, it changes your attitude and it can change the next course.

This really works best if you have someone you trust who will help you, i.e. get in your face and not let you quit.

At first you are going to answer ‘there is nothing good about this, I just lost my job!’ or whatever the situation is, ‘how can it possibly be good?’

When you are so entrenched on the negative and want to throat punch your accountability partner, this is where they need to step it up. They need to ask you how much did you love that job? They know you, you probably hated it but are now romancing it up because it is no longer there.

Stop that. And that is what your accountability partner needs to do for you, help you stop that. Whether calling you out on it bluntly or asking sarcastic questions to make you laugh – whatever it is, they need to help you get past that initial chicken little immersion attitude. If you are not comfortable doing this with someone else, do it in the bathroom mirror and give yourself hell.

If that thought pops in your head, ‘I really hated that job’ then you might realize the good could be that you are finally free of that life-sucking monstrosity of a company.

Maybe losing your job allows you to find something you really want. Something closer to home. Something more you like to do. Something that allows you to go back to school to finish or get a degree in what you really love. Something that gives you more time with your family. Something that pays the bills and isn’t too taxing so you can figure out what you want to do. Something in another state because now you are free to go anywhere you want.

You won’t know what the good is until you ask the question and force yourself to keep giving answers beyond the “there is no good”.

Many times we cannot see the good until sometime later and it has all played out. This is not an exercise in setting a concrete path as to what is next. This is an exercise to allow your mind to be open to the possibility that something good or better will come from this. When you shift that mindset from complete negative to optimistic potentially positive, good things will be revealed to you. Because now you can see them – they have always been there, but asking what is good helps take your blinders off.

Think about something going on right now, it does not have to be a life-changing negative thing, just a problem or challenge that you are having right now. What’s the good in it? Start jotting down some ideas and by the end of the day you might just have a whole new perspective and a solution!

 

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As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.

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Saying the F-bomb in Front of Your Mother

saying the f-bombMy mother is one of those women who does not curse. Ever. In, clearing throat, forty-something years I can only remember my mom saying one word she would consider a curse word.

We were at a little league baseball tournament and there was a coach berating his team during warm ups. Now, I know sometimes motivation comes with a rough edge, but his words were sharp and cut deep; things that should not be said to young children. Things that should not be said to anyone of any age.

After hearing one of his rants I looked at my mom and she said, “Yes, he is a real prick.”

My mouth dropped open because that was the first – and last – time I ever heard her say a word that she would consider a curse word.

Me, on the other hand, well…. I will admit, I dropped a bomb or two but not, that I recall, in front of my mother.

But I am not talking about that f-bomb. I am talking about the glorious, wonderful, often-dreaded-but should-be-embraced f-bomb of FAILURE!

Yes, failure. It seems people find it more repulsive than the other f-bomb.

Failure, although difficult during the journey is the most wonderful teacher. It is from my worst failures that I have learned the most and been able to succeed with strength.

You can perform a skill 100 times to learn perfection; or you can screw it up really bad one time and get there sooner. Failure is a wonderful teacher. It reduces us to our core. It eliminates fear because there is nowhere to go but up from there.

I do not like failing at things and I am my own worst critic. I have made some doozies in my time, so there are no stones being thrown. Some of my “finer” moments were followed immediately by the “Holy crap, I’m going to get canned for this, better pack that box now to make the walk of shame less painful.” And yet, they did not.

When I fail I beat myself up for failing more than what I failed at in the first place. If you understand that, welcome to my world! However; I have learned that once I let go of the beating myself up, there are wonderful lessons in failing.

Freedom – to let go of preconceived ideas and learn from a broader perspective.
Adaptability – learning to try something a different way.
Humility – nothing will put things into perspective like a great big screw up.
Humanity – we are all human, we all screw up and we can all move on.

I was talking to an executive the other day about interviewing. He said that he immediately discounts a candidate that only talks about their successes. The ones he is really interested in is the ones that talk about their failures.

He wants to know what happened, how it affected what was going on, how they responded, how they lead others and what they learned from it. Good interviewing tip right there!

It is not always about the failure, but what you do after that counts the most. Embrace your failures, share them with your mother!

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I hope you enjoyed this article and it provided value for you. If so, please click on the follow button so I may continue to share valuable content with you or the share buttons to share with your network.

I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.

–Lisa

Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at companies, professional organizations and colleges speaking to leadership, sales and teams; transitioning or downsized employees and networking groups about career mobility, personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.

You’re a Volunteer – Not Victim – of Your Horrible Career or Job Search

volunteerHave you ever gotten ticked off after reading something that really rang true even though you did not want to hear because it called you out on something that you were doing but would not admit to doing?

Have your found yourself saying to friends, family, co-workers, contacts or anyone else that would listen that you are in a never-ending stall in your career or job search due to no fault of your own?

If you answered yes to both of those questions then, please, do not continue reading this article.

I might just tick you off. Not intentionally, of course, yet it could happen just the same.

This week I realized that I have been incorrectly using the word ‘victim’. You normally hear someone is playing the victim or being a victim when they are behaving in a poor me type of way wanting sympathy while taking no responsibility for the events in their life.

That is not a victim. My step-dad inadvertently helped clarify this for me.

My step-dad is a great guy; he inherited me as a step-daughter when I was 40 yet treats me as his own. I love him and he has no business at 70 being up on top of a ladder cutting down tree limbs.

But he did, and there was a disagreement with gravity which resulted in him being the proud owner of a new hip.

He was a victim of a fall.

The dictionary defines victim as: “Noun. A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action”

If you lost your job because the company downsized or closed, you are the victim of a downsizing or closing. Those are events. You were harmed.

On the other hand, if you are in a seemingly never-ending terrible job, career or job search and blaming events, people, the economy or any other outside factor, you are not a victim; you are a volunteer.

I am not talking about a couple weeks, months or so; I am talking about an extended, prolonged, excessive, lengthy, drawn-out, extensive, continual, long-term, very, very, very long (hence the never-ending) terrible career or stalled job search.

You are volunteering to remain in that position.

Why do people volunteer? Because it makes us feel good.

I volunteer at a woman’s program to do resume, networking and LinkedIn classes because it makes me feel good. Volunteers do not get paid; they volunteer for an intrinsic good feeling.

If you are a volunteer it is because you have come to feel good with the pain, frustration, anger or other negative emotion that you have cultivated and will not let go of it, even if it means letting go leads to a possible positive outcome.

Volunteers in these situations are quick to point out all the ways that the positive will not – cannot – happen.

Here are some common volunteer phrases that I and other coaches have heard:

My boss/coworker steals all the credit for my work
They don’t like me at my job
There is favoritism at my company
No one recognizes how hard I work
I keep getting passed over for a promotion
My boss is an idiot
The economy stinks
No one is hiring
No one will even consider me
It was their fault I got let go
The computer systems block my resume
They do not give me a chance to tell my story
You have to know someone to get ahead
I don’t have time to get that certification

These are not events or actions that cause you harm; these are situations in which you have a choice – you have options.

Leave. There is an option. Some others are: network, redo your resume, take a free class, ask for help or try something new.

I never said your options are always great ones, just that you do have choices. Don’t think you have a choice? Wrong – you are making one simply by staying. Sometimes those options make you feel like you are going backwards. Go back, go sideways, go forward – just choose to go.

I am going to throw out another option that should be considered first before all others, and this is one that many of my colleagues really, really, really, want to tell people but are much too polite to do so: stop blaming everyone else.

All the reasons above are a “them” mentality – ‘I cannot because of someone or something else’.

When an event happens, whether you got screwed by your boss, company, coworker, industry or whatever – you have a choice. You can blame them and wear the cloak of volunteer –or- you can see it for what it is, an event in a continual progression of your career and life.

It is like driving on the road and you veer off a bit and find the rumble strip. That rumble strip does not mean that you forgot to drive, can no longer drive a car or are going to go careening off into an embankment.

It is simply a rocky and very loud reminder to get yourself back on track.

Oh, I know, I am making it sound so easy. I’m not throwing stones, I am not heartless and I am not speaking from mount high. I was a volunteer.

Shortly after leaving a solid career in the financial industry and starting my company the doofas I was engaged to decided to have an affair. When I kicked him out I also kicked out the sole means of support since my company was in its infancy.

I was a volunteer. It was his fault that my career and life was in shambles. He did this to me, look what he did to me, look at the rubble that he left in his wake, blah, blah, blah.

Luckily I have a best friend who called me out. Sometimes getting called out is the shocker you need to get off the rumble strip.

She pointed out that I was completely giving up my power of choice. I was volunteering to boo-hoo.

I was volunteering to cry about business; instead I chose to work my butt off and made it successful.

I was volunteering to be alone; instead I chose to allow a true, wonderful, loving circle of family, friends and my beau into my life.

It is not easy to stop volunteering. I hated the process. I did not want to be positive, damn it, it was much easier to be miserable and blaming.

If I stopped blaming than I had to take ownership and I had to do something. There was no immediate reward for doing something, but there was an immediate reward for blaming, it made me feel better.

What got me through it was a best friend who kicked my butt with every boo-hoo and celebrated every victory, even the tiniest, as though I just won the World Series. I’m a Cubs fan so that is really saying something.

We started tracking the victories and they began to multiply. The by-product was the boo-hoos started to dissipate no longer made me feel good.

The hardest lesson and the one that made the biggest impact in my life and career was to look beyond the events. Oh, I so wanted to stay lingering in the events and milk that poor me thing for all that it was worth. I thought the events were what was making me miserable or sad.

They weren’t.

It was the fact that I was not ready for the better events that those crappy events just cleared the way for. When I decided to look at it from a perspective of no matter how painful and humiliating it was, it paved the way for something better – that is when life got better. Let’s face it, if that was the best there was than it would not have crashed and burned.

When I was able to step back and say, “thank goodness doofas did that” it allowed the most amazing, intelligent, supportive, loving, honorable man to come into my life.

“Thank goodness I was put in the position of eat what you kill” it positioned me to completely devote, nurture and love my business and create something that brings tremendous amount of value to others and myself.

Instead of “Darn it, I didn’t’ get the job” how would it feel to say “thank goodness I did not get that job, that means there is something better for me that I can now find.” Oh, it might make you gag the first time or two, but once you really try to see it that way, you get excited.

When you get excited you take action. When you take action, people notice and are drawn to you. When you widen your circle of people you increase your pool of opportunities.

Victims are survivors, volunteers are not. You survive a downsizing. You survive a layoff. You survive getting fired. I did not survive a couple of crappy events, I moved on. You do not survive a crappy job, you move on. You do not survive a stalled job search, you move on.

My step-dad survived the fall and he is surviving me hanging out with him to help out. It’s not all bad; he gets out of tree-trimming or any other house physical labor and I get to hear how to prepare pork the right way and was expertly instructed while making my first quiche.

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I hope you enjoyed this article and it provided value for you. If so, please click on the follow button so I may continue to share valuable content with you or the share buttons to share with your network.

I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.

–Lisa

Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at colleges, professional organizations and companies around the US speaking to leadership, sales and athletic teams; transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.

Reasons to You are Excuses to Your Clients

I visit a lot of doctors’ offices.  Not for me, but with a member of my family who is a cancer survivor of 13 years.

Good news, he survived cancer; bad news, the chemotherapy caused severe neuropathy in his feet and hands.  It also destroyed his intestinal track and immune system while causing major havoc with his eye sight, balance, strength and ability to walk.  We go to a lot of doctors’ offices.

We have been to Neurologists, Oncologists, Pain Management Specialists, Gastroenterologists, Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists just to name a few.

Oh, let’s not forget the Orthopedic surgeon!  A few months ago marked his ninth foot surgery – yes, nine major foot surgeries.

I now have a whole new level of emotion and passion for insurance companies, and not in a good way.

The point being, I have been to a lot of doctors’ offices, dealt with a lot of healthcare professionals and am recognized by sight at the pharmacy.  Over the past 13 years I have dealt with a lot of healthcare professionals.

Let me reiterate that this is a member of my family.  My family is my core.  I give whole new meaning to the phrase Momma Bear when it comes to my family.

One thing that brings out the Momma Bear is when someone in my family is treated with disrespect.  A few of the times Momma Bear came out due to poor customer service from healthcare staff:

When a new treatment facility ignored all the documentation that we and the original provider gave to them and double dosed him on some major meds.

Reasons:
They didn’t see the paperwork the other facility sent over.
They didn’t see the copies of the meds and dosages that we provided.
The list we provided didn’t make it into his chart.
My favorite was it was his fault, he should have known not to take what they gave him.
The woman who told me this was fired shortly thereafter, again, Momma Bear.

When the surgeons office did not contact his employer about him being on sick leave for the most recent surgery thus causing him to have his pay severely delayed.

Reasons:
They didn’t know.  (This was his 5th surgery with this group – not new)
No one told them. (I personally handed the paperwork to an assistant and it was faxed by his employer)
The nurse didn’t know (I left her three voice-mails that day)
Oh, well, she did get the voice-mails, but the information was not provided (I left detailed messages, my son explained this to her as he was with me when I made the calls).
They never got the form (confirmed sent by the employer and again, I gave it to them)
Oh, they got the form, but the woman who takes care of it is super busy doing three jobs and doesn’t have the time to go through the 2 inch stack of paperwork coming through the fax.  (ok, seriously?)

Yesterday, Momma Bear came out again.

He contacted the doctor’s office last Wednesday to tell them he was out of one of his scripts.  Friday, I left two voice-mails.  Monday I paid a visit to the office.

Reasons:
The person was out of the office, come back tomorrow (I don’t think so)
They didn’t see the original communication. (and yet had record of the two other communications)
They are going through a transition.
They are short staffed.
They wanted to look it up. (This could have been done Wednesday, Thursday or Friday).
Their staff is really overbooked.

As a person who tries to generally look at the bright side of things, give others the benefit of the doubt and in general strives to be a kind person I just have three words for the providers and their reasons:

I don’t care!

Every single reason can be valid.  It can be a true and genuine statement.

But they all turned into excuses because:

There was no ownership
There was no accountability
There was blame
There was no apology

You are accountable to your clients, not for them.  There is a line there; however, there is defiantly accountability.

There are life events that at times hamper us from fulfilling commitments. That is understandable and unavoidable. These events represent a reason, not an excuse.

An excuse is blaming for not doing the work; a reason is a delay with the work completed.

I have the best clients, they are amazing human beings.  When I had an event transpire that caused a delay, my clients were compassionate, which I appreciated deeply.  But on some level I also knew they don’t care.

They don’t care if my dog passed, my kid is sick or there is some major event going on in my life.  They may empathize and truly feel bad; but bottom line, they still want the service I promised and they deserve it.

When an event happens that makes you break your promise to your clients, it is your responsibility to take immediate action.

Communicate: let them know what is going on.  If it is going to be delayed they want to know sooner rather than later.

Apologize: do not blame, do not try to get sympathy, simply apologize.

Own it: let them know what you are doing to make it right, right now.

Follow through: thank them for their patience or understanding, deliver the goods and continue a professional relationship.

The next time you find yourself explaining a delay to a client, ask yourself, “Am I giving a reason or an excuse?”

The answer will be in what you have done since the event and what you do next.

One last thing, you may not like it when the patient/family/customer turns Momma Bear on you, they most likely do not like it either.  I hate the fact that I have to go into that mode to get proper treatment!  I do not know anyone who enjoys being mean to get what should be a given: proper service.  If the service is continually below par, your client may feel this is their only resort.  That should speak volumes to you.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

Stop Cheating Yourself by Expecting Others to Do it All for You

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn, and I still struggle with today, is not doing everything for my family.  When my son was younger, I might have done things to save time.  Some of my family is not very technically savvy so, as I am on my computer for the better part of every day, I was asked to perform certain tasks.

 

It was a matter of convenience.  It was easier if I just did the tasks.

 

It would not take me as long, I was more versed in the arena or I had more time to complete it since it would take them much longer to complete it.

 

Guess what – that is a big load of cow manure.

 

It is a huge disservice for everyone involved.

 

I received several “binkies” from my baby showers.  I don’t know what you call those little mouth plugs we give to infants but around here we call them binkies. 

 

I remember him sitting in his swing one day and being a little fussy so I thought we would give the binkie a try.  I popped it in his mouth and as soon as I sat back down he looked at me and spit it out.  So I got up and gave it to him again.  Again, he waited until I sat down and looked at me and spit it out.  We were done with the binkie.  The way I looked at it is one less bad habit I would have to break later.

 

I wish I had the same wisdom when it came to doing for others.

 

When he was younger I might have done tasks for him or completed them for him as a matter of convenience.  Let me also admit here that I am not the most patient person in the world.  But what happened was as he grew up it became an expectation.

 

I was expected to complete not just past tasks, but any tasks for him if he didn’t want to do them.  Becaue I was Mom, that is what I did.  Same for family members.  I would help out and then it became an expectation.

 

The problem with this is once you realize the expectation and the true disservice that you are doing, it is damn near impossible to break the habit. 

 

When you first deny the person you immediately get resistance.  They may think you are joking, or mad at them.  I mean, why else would you not do it?  When you put your foot down and say no, hostility can very easily crop up from them.

 

You have always done it before.  It isn’t like it is a big deal for you.  You are being selfish.  You aren’t being supportive of your family.  Nowhere in their reality do they ever see it as an imposition or using of you.  This is partially your fault – you set the stage.  I am fully responsible for the bad habits I instilled in my family.

 

I didn’t always handle this change in dynamics well.  I have very hard-headed, stubborn and sometimes short-sighted family members.  Hey, I am not judging, I can be one of them.  So when I started saying no there was a lot of resistance.  The calm talks, explanations and flat out no’s were not received well nor did they sink in.

 

I had to take quite a loud and drastic stance.  A couple yelling sessions and a couple breakdowns were involved.  It wasn’t pretty nor was it fun.  I just kept telling myself that I had accountability in this so I had to just suck it up and stick to my guns.

 

Yes, I was being selfish because here are a couple of cold hard truths:

 

– If I don’t take care of myself how can I possibly be at my best to take care of anyone else?

– What makes me think I can solve everyone else’s problems by taking them on?

 

You see, when I kept trying to do all for everyone else it was sucking the life out of me.  I was becoming distracted, short tempered, exhausted and just a lot of things I did not like.  My family noticed I was not myself, but could not connect the dots as to why.

 

I have come a long way with this, but I still have a ways to go – personally that is. 

 

Professionally, I have a hard fast rule: You have to have skin in the game or we will not be working together.  Prospects will ask me how successful I am, they want to know how many people have gotten jobs based on working with me.  My reply is simple:

 

I am 100% successful.  I provide my clients with what they need; however it is up to my clients to use this information and put it into practice to reach their goals.

 

I cannot take all credit for my clients’ successes, nor do I take all responsibility for their failures.  There are some that will have all the best tools but never take them out of the box.

 

That is the best thing I can do for my clients.  I can provide them with the most fantastic resume, LinkedIn profile, interview or network coaching but I cannot perform the actions necessary for them to succeed.  They must be involved in the process of these things in order that they can fully engage in them and take full ownership.

 

In my process I incorporate a method of teaching.  I will finalize their resume for the first position that they want to target.  For the second target I have them make the revisions and then we go through them.  I transition the process to them, giving them coaching and guidance, in order for them to take full ownership and move on without me.

 

I cut the cord, I kick them out of the nest. 

 

That is an important part of my job – not just give them the tools they need, but teach them how to use them. 

 

When you are evaluating hiring a professional to hire you in any activity for improvement do not sell yourself short and expect them to do it all for you.

 

Would you hire a personal trainer and expect that by watching them work out you will get in better shape?

Would you hire a dietitian that tells you what foods to eat and outline a change in your eating behaviors but not incorporate the changes yourself?

 

No.

 

When you take ownership of or within a project you take accountability and are more engaged in the process to ensure you reach a successful outcome.  The outcome you want.  The outcome you help create.

 

When you expect others to do the work for you then you are giving up your control and creating an opportunity for blame.  You get an outcome that is decided for and given to you.

 

I saw a quote the other day that I think applies perfectly: you can have results or excuses but not both.

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach & Brand Strategies

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Hoping vs. Wanting – What Is Your Difference?

Little Girl Fingers CrossedI am glad the NBA finals are over, not that I don’t like basketball, I do. I was just over all the things outside of the actual play of ball.

At the beginning of the series someone told me that the Spurs were going to win because that is what they wanted, and they always get what they want. Oooook….

So today the story changed to it was what he hoped for not what he wanted so his “theory” still holds true. Oooook….

When I asked what was his difference between hoping and wanting he told me that a want was something you could buy or work for but a hope is something you want to happen but have little or no control of it.

Interesting.

I am going to take it a step farther – a hope is a non-committed want. I think the difference isn’t in what you have control over, but rather your attitude.

I hear things like, “I hope I get a job soon”, “I hope I am successful”, “I hope this resume works”. Those are wasted hopes. They are like wishes on eyelashes – you are giving your power away and thinking that some external force is going to swoop in and make it all happen.

That’s like waiting for the cleaning fairies to show up and clean your house – those little buggers have yet to show up at my house, but I still hold out hope that one night they will appear and I will wake to an immaculate home.

When I hear “I want” my first thought is “what are you going to do to make it happen?” A want involved thought, action, commitment, movement and accountability.

There are many things I want personally and professionally. So in looking at these things I ask myself, “self, what are you willing to do to get them?” Because if I am not willing to work for it then it is merely a hope that I really don’t want after all.

That resume is not going to work unless you put it in play, sell it, use it, know it, learn it, utilize it as a tool as a means to an end. Sitting pretty on your computer won’t make a hope into a reality.

A want also takes internal work. Why do you want what you want? Telling someone you want to be happy is meaningless unless you also know what it will take to make you happy.

What makes me happy professionally? Working with great clients, providing the right tools for them to use in their journey, teaching them how to use the tools effectively, continuing to improve my skills, reaching as many people as I can to provide support, encouragement and professional coaching or services that make a positive difference in their life, engaging with other professionals to broaden my range, education, experiences and interactions.

What do I do to make these wants happen: continually read and research my craft, reach out as much as possible, connect with prospects to make sure it is the best fit for both of us, release the negativity and choose not to work with the angry, engage with others and always remain open to opportunities.

These are choices and I have complete control over them. I hope for wonderful things for my friends and family because the bottom line is they have the control over their life, not me.

If your situation is not what you hoped for than perhaps you need to make it a want. Your current job not fulfilling or on the verge of misery? Than want a better environment and start taking action and accountability to make it a reality. Communicate what you need, open your eyes to see what action you can take to improve the situation, receive input from others and begin with the mind set that this is what you want so this is what will be.

It is not always easy. You may get frustrated or hurt during the process of want. It is like being in a relationship. You both might be afraid of getting hurt again but if you just hope you don’t and keep those walls up nothing is going to change. It is superficial and only a half attempt. Want a fulfilling relationship, be open to the bumps and bruises in order to reach the point of fulfillment.

It may crash and burn or it may flourish and fulfill you – there are always outside obstacles you cannot control; but either way you will have grown, stretched and hones your skills and abilities by trying, working and being committed to your positive want. And if that want is not reached then the opportunity was a chance to re-evaluate yourself as to your commitment, expectations and accountability.

Maybe it prepared you for the next time, which is actually the right time.

A want is within, a commitment to yourself, a scary grown-up place that leads to an incredible journey that just might be worth more than the fulfillment of the actual want itself. But you will never know until you stop hoping and start wanting.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
http://www.CareerPolish.com

Grow Up and Get Your A Game Going

It seems that little kids are always in such a hurry to grow up, always striving for that next milestone – double digit numbers of reaching 10, then 16, then 18, then 21 and it goes on.  Then one day we realize we are now grown ups and wonder how that happened and how do we make it stop?!

The problem is, too many think that by not acting like a grown up will somehow fool Mother Nature or Father Time – uh, no, parents are much smarter than that.  I have a feeling the both of them are saying the same thing:

Grow up!

I can’t remember the exact sayings but the gist is this: a true measure of a man is not in what happens to him but how he deals with it – and – what is important is not how one behaves when they get what they want, but rather when they don’t.

Forgive me now for sounding a bit preachy or harsh today.  I’m a coach and there are times that you have to tell the team to suck it up because they are not performing at their best.  I’ve seen some underperforming stars, things have not turned out like they want or their behavior is not reflecting the team appropriately so let’s get started on the locker room pep talk.

Let’s review some elements of being a grown up to bring out your “A” game:

 

Accountability

It may look bad, you may be way down at the half but the game isn’t over yet.  Instead of blaming the refs, your teammates, the sun got in your eyes, the crowd is too loud or any other myriad of excuses try looking at yourself.  How have you contributed to your failure?

What have you don’t to contribute to the situation and what are you going to do to turn it around?

 

Attitude

Are you feeling sorry for yourself, are you ready to just quit?  Give up now and you have 100% guarantee at failure.  If you suck it up now and decide to give it everything you have then even if you don’t get your goal you can hold your head high and say “Screw it – I did my best.” Perhaps it will give you the opportunity to see that the goal wasn’t as important as you once thought.  There might even be a lesson in doing something with complete dedication and passion.

 

Action

What are you doing?  Are you sitting around blaming everyone else instead of actually giving it a real try?  Stop thinking the world is against you – the world has better things to do than to conspire against you.  Sorry, you are just not that important for the entire world to conspire against you.  Stop thinking and DO!

 

Acknowledge

We all screw up, sometimes it is just a little error and sometime times it is a major catastrophe.  Recognize that you have messed up and try to make it right.  Don’t try to hide it, don’t try to avoid it and don’t try to blame it on something else.  Suck it up and say, “I screwed up.  This is what I did and this is what I am going to do to make it right.”

 

Accept

This comes in two parts – accept yourself and accept others.  We all have faults; accept your own faults instead of beating yourself up.  If you can’t hit a three pointer than get your butt out on a court and practice, practice, practice.  If it just isn’t something that you can ever master than stop trying to take the shot in the game – accept the fact that it just isn’t going to happen and pass the damn ball.

Accept others.  If you finally accept yourself faults and all then have the same courtesy to accept others with their faults.  Remember how we all mess up – well be a grown up to listen when someone apologizes and appreciate the fact that they are grown up enough to apologize.  If you screwed up then apologize with sincerity.  Maybe a teammate screwed up and walked away, just because someone screwed up doesn’t mean that the team is doomed and forever broken.  Sometimes a team is new and it takes time to get the feel for it and some acclimate to a new environment better than others.  Don’t give up before you have had time to gel – let them back on the court.

 

Ascend

I had to stick with the A theme – by ascend I mean go with the flow and soar.  Stop trying to control everything and everyone around you.  You can’t control the refs or even your own teammates.  Let it go, get in the groove of the game and give it your best.  If you are playing the game there is somewhere in you the passion to play.  Let your passion out, stop worrying about what might happen and concentrate on right now and love it.

The texture of the ball in your hand, the sound of the squeaky shoes on the floor, the low murmur of the crowd somewhere in the background, the adrenalin coursing through your body, the heightened sense of awareness knowing where your defender is and the sweet sound of the ball flowing through the net with a gentle “swoosh”.  The moment – give it everything you have and see where it takes you.

Play hard, play fair, play with passion and at the end of the day you are going to be on a winning team.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

http://www.CareerPolish.com