The 1 Thing You Need To Remember About Being Confident


It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

Brother David Steindl-Rast



Last month I was in in San Francisco to catch the performance of my friend Anthony in the riotously funny play “Speakeasy.”


I was early and so popped into one of Little Italy’s many cafes. I was jotting down ideas when a man walked in and went over to the owner. Because I was sitting close by I could overhear their remarkable exchange.


The man said,

I’ve not been back here in seven years but seven years ago I needed a cup of coffee. I was eleven cents short. You told me not to worry and you gave me the coffee. I never properly thanked you but I’ve never forgotten you.




This guy stunned (and I think confused) the owner. He certainly blew me away.


A week later I received a surprise via LinkedIn. I had a message from Emanuela, a UCLA Extension student from nine years ago. She thanked me for helping her learn how to set boundaries and be more confident in expressing her needs and viewpoints.


The class helped her change the way she does business and she wanted me to know that she hasn’t forgotten me. Once again I was blown away!


Emanuela and café guy reminded me that a confident person knows, remembers and acknowledges those who help them.


There can be no confidence without gratitude.


Consider this:

Denise (a former client) told me that she is hurt because Marie hasn’t thanked her for all the strategic help she’s given her at work. Denise is a colleague of Marie’s and feels taken advantage of.


Marie happens to be a current client of mine and she is struggling with what she wants to do with her career. At the core of that struggle are her flimsy and wavering feelings of self-confidence.


Marie wants to move into an executive position because she wants to feel valued and relevant.


However, she’s unable to recognize the gifts and talents she’s developed over an impressive career and so is unable to give thanks for those strengths.


Her personal lack of gratitude is crippling her confidence – and preventing her from being a gracious colleague.


Here’s the great truth – confident people know how to value others.

They know how to show appreciation.


In addition, they are willing to do the challenging work of shining a private light of recognition on their own particular talents and gifts.


Confident people are willing to answer the question, “What are my strengths?”


Not just skills but the strengths that undergird those skills.


Gratitude lets them own their powers and from the gratitude comes the confidence to put those powers to good use.


One final illustration (for why I am fixated this month on gratitude):


Last Saturday I officiated a wedding where Nick, the groom, had big tears streaming down his face as he offered his personal vows to Teresa, his bride.

I seldom see a man cry in public this way and, of course, the cliché is that a crying man is a weak man. But that wasn’t so with Nick.


There was strength to his tears because they flowed with gratitude for the love of this woman.


I have no doubt that Nick’s gratitude let him offer his vows from a place of confidence, loving what he knows of Teresa and trusting what he does not yet know.


A mindful “thank you” is the glue of all relationships – with self and others.


Gratitude is one of the hallmarks of a confident person.


You know you are in the presence of confidence when you hear an emphatic, clear-eyed, strong-voiced “thank you!”


The question I leave you with is –


Who can you thank you this day?

This week?

This month?


Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  [email protected]


Sick Enough to Go Into Work – Huh?


Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

Les Brown



Jared, a client of mine, missed his last four sessions because he had walking pneumonia.  What started out as a cold developed into bronchitis and then turned into pneumonia.


When we met yesterday he told me that he’d had a rough go of it, though he said he missed only one day of work. He sounded oddly proud about not taking care of his health.


When I expressed my confusion, he looked equally puzzled, “Why wouldn’t I be proud?  I didn’t let this thing beat me down.”


I couldn’t resist and so I asked, “If you were able to go to work, why weren’t you able to keep your sessions with me?” “Oh, I was just too sick.” “But, you went to work?” “I had to; I had no choice.”


Jared works for a financial firm that is toxic. His co-workers are back-stabbing and I suspect his boss is pathological. It was this crippling dysfunctionality that led him to seek out my help.


So here’s the old-fashioned weirdness of it all. . .


Most likely, stress from work weakened his immune system and contributed to a bad cold devolving into pneumonia.


He went into work because he believed that if he took any time off, it would put him in jeopardy, although if he died from pneumonia then he’d not be able to work!


Yet, he didn’t have the strength to come to our sessions in which I could have offered him support and clarity.


Am I simplifying things?  I don’t think so.


The mind is a wonderful thing as we all engage in various forms of mental gymnastics.


Jared first came to me seeking my help in learning how to both protect and assert himself.


Virtually every aspect of his job had beaten him down and shredded his self-respect.


Yet, here he is taking pride in not letting pneumonia keep him from going to his toxic job, even though doing so jeopardized his health. This is crazy thinking!


Jared hates his job, but he needs his job – such are the times we live in.

He was afraid that if he took time off, he’d be laid off.

And, yes, this is a possibility given the nature of his boss.


BUT, nothing good can come from a place of fear.


We explored why he felt proud that he had the stamina to punish his body and will.


His response, “If I stayed home, they think I was weak and I didn’t want them to see me weak.”  So, he went to work in a sick, weakened physical state.  Huh?


The most dangerous thing in all of this is that he surrendered his power to the fear-mongers.


Therefore, the bottom-line question for Jared and for each of us is:

If you don’t protect yourself, who will?


Jared could have chosen to stay home for more than a day. He had that right.


I’m convinced his toxic boss delighted in seeing him suffer and in making a fool out of himself. Ultimately his boss won – again.


Recognizing that you’re ill, doing what’s necessary to mend quickly, that is a real form of assertiveness.


Pneumonia is not what’s attacking Jared’s self-respect.  His toxic boss is attacking that self-respect. And Jared continues to give him permission.


Self-help and business guru Tim Ferriss maintains that –

People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty


What about YOU?

What are YOU choosing?



Want help learning how to confront the toxic people in your life?

Have you been thinking about Communication-Skills Coaching?

Let’s explore how I can help you gain massive traction on your goals!


[email protected]


30 Years Is a long Time To Be Miserable!


Be miserable. Or motivate yourself.

Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.

Wayne Dyer



I bought a condo three years ago this month and I still feel like I’m moving in. It feels so new, even though the building is thirty years old.


Although there are fewer than forty units in the building, I’ve not yet met all my neighbors.


Just last week I got into a conversation at the mailbox with Moira, an elderly resident, who’s been here since the building opened. She raised her family here.


Moira told me that she and her husband grew up in the mid-West and came to Los Angeles soon after they got married.


She wanted a house; he didn’t. He insisted they live in a condo and so they were one of the first to buy in this building.


She told me this story with disgust in her voice but when she was done, Moira asked almost boastfully:


I’ve been miserable all these thirty years – can you believe that?


I laughed and assured her that I do believe her – she never met my grandmother who was miserable for most of her ninety-eight years!


It’s so easy to be miserable and in its own way is such a delicious feeling.


Clients most often come to me because they want to become more confident, more powerful.


Confidence and power only come about when you avoid casting blame

on some one or some thing for feeling bad about your life. 


People and events only have as much power as we give to them.


You control your thinking as well as your actions stemming from that thinking.


That’s power!


As I left Moira I found myself feeling sorry for her – not because she had led a miserable life, but rather because she had surrendered her power to a condo!


What about you?

Are you miserable?!



Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  [email protected]






How to Handle Drama without Drama!


The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions

are precisely one’s life.

C.S. Lewis


When not conducting communication workshops or teaching I officiate non-denominational wedding ceremonies. Last weekend something happened before a ceremony start that I’d never seen before – and I’ve seen a lot!


It was a blustery afternoon at Pelican Hill Resort as the floral designer’s team was setting up. A glistening crystal chandelier hung from the center of the rotunda, site of the ceremony. I was reviewing last minute details with the event planner, Jeannie, when, without warning, the chandelier crashed to the ground.


It was one of those surreal moments when your brain can’t compute what your eye has witnessed.


Jeannie snapped to and asked if everyone was okay. They were and she exhaled, “Thank God no one was hurt!”  I marveled at her composure.


She turned to the head of the team and asked him to call the floral designer while she called the resort’s catering director. Within minutes, the destroyed chandelier was being swept up.


Jeannie suggested we not tell the bride until after the ceremony and she decided there was no time to attempt to replace the chandelier.

She was in charge, calm and, yes, we did manage a “what the?” laugh. Throughout this bizarre incident, her attitude was a reassuring, “I’ll handle it.  We’ll handle it.”


And so everyone went about doing what needed to be done.


What I found utterly remarkable was that in a dramatic moment, there was no drama.  Now that’s leadership!


Later, when I told Jeannie how impressed I was by how she handled the situation, she was puzzled, “How else could I have responded?”


I laughed because she could have responded in so many other ways. She could have yelled, demanding to know who screwed up; she could have debated whether to tell the bride and stir-up emotions by asking for everyone’s opinion; or she could have played the victim, lamenting, “What am I going to do?”


Jeannie reminded me what’s needed in a moment of crisis:

  • She stayed focused on her goal – having a beautiful ceremony for the couple – and she let nothing distract her.
  • She didn’t lose confidence in herself simply because something outside her control happened.
  • She trusted and relied on her team.
  • She was able to laugh.
  • She was not fixated on the original plan – and so she could improvise.


These skills are crucial not only for leaders.

They’re crucial for our own well-being and success in any crisis.


Jeannie’s company is named “Details, Details” and it’s precisely because she values details that she didn’t lose sight of the big picture – the welfare of her team, the happiness of her couple and her own sanity.


Chandeliers come crashing down in all our lives –

it’s how we handle the broken shards that make all the difference.


Do you want to learn how to handle the drama in your life without drama?

To explore how business skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence – and skill

please contact me

  [email protected]


Finding Your Voice!


There is no coming to consciousness without pain.



Last week I had an email from Michelle (name changed), a potential client who wants to learn how to speak-up in meetings and conversations. Here’s some of what she wrote:


I’ve been trying to work on “finding my voice.” Often, I don’t express my own opinion or defend my point or I simply don’t insert myself in the conversation enough, preferring to take a back seat and let other people enjoy the spotlight.


As convenient as this can be, in that I don’t have to put myself at risk of arguing with others, spending time and energy elaborating a certain point or defending my position, I realize it’s also a source of dissatisfaction and confusion. I feel better once I’ve made myself heard, but it’s still a “work-in-progress” because I tend to slip towards old patterns of passively letting other people expose themselves to the “public eye” while I remain passive and silent.


Michelle is like many of my clients who hold back in conversations and end up frustrating themselves and others.


Why are people hesitant or afraid to enter into the fray of a conversation? 


For some it’s a habit that developed in childhood.


Some are perfectionists obsessed with speaking perfectly formed and correct thoughts.


For others, they’re afraid that if they say the “wrong” thing people will judge them stupid and withhold approval.


For still others, they’re more comfortable formulating their thoughts in their heads before sharing them.


The problem with this approach is that by the time they’ve processed what they want to say, the conversation has moved on!


By holding back, you’re denying others the benefit of your perspective.


Even if your perspective is askew, it can move the conversation along in a productive way.


In addition, you’re confusing people because they don’t know if you’re uninterested or if you’re simply uninteresting!


Most disturbing, your silence gives others power over you. You let them determine what you’re thinking and feeling.


What to do? 


First, understand why you’re quiet.

What are you telling yourself that is keeping you quiet? And really, what is the worst-case scenario?


Second, commit to making one-to-three comments during a conversation.

Use phrases like, “let me jump in here” or “just to backtrack on what was said earlier” to help you ease into the conversation.


Third, don’t dismiss your ideas by beginning with, “this is probably going to sound stupid.” Just say it!


Fourth, be non-verbally active.

Look at a person when they’re speaking. Make sure your face is not blank (yes, beware of RBF!). Let your eyes be animated so that you are making a “connection” with people.


What’s the point of being at a meeting if you’re not going to contribute

to the overall tone and substance of the gathering?

You don’t have to dominate.

You don’t have to be the expert.


You can enjoy “listening” and still contribute.



Wallflowers are for the bedroom – not the meeting table!



Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  [email protected]


Practice. Practice. Practice.


You don’t just deal with adversity.

You use it to propel you forward.

Erik Weihenmayer

first blind person to summit Mt. Everest



A year ago, Claire (names changed), who works in HR, attended my UCLA Extension class on interpersonal communication. Her boss, Mike, suggested the class and Claire’s non-verbal telegraphed how much she resented having to attend.


As the weeks progressed, though, she warmed to the class dynamics and enjoyed the other participants. She stopped feeling like this was “punishment.”


At the mid-way point of this 11-week course, she told me that Mike thought she was improving her communication skills.


Claire finished the course grateful for this opportunity and feeling more confident in her social abilities.


Six months later, Mike brought me into the company for leadership training.


During this time, Claire had another “episode.” Mike thought she was falling back into old patterns and in her performance-review dinged her for communication.


Claire was distraught and convinced Mike was out to “get” her.


The three of us sat down for a conversation and Mike assured her that he was not out to get her.

Everything was “good” by meeting’s end and they agreed that every Friday they’d carve out time to review the previous week and make sure things did not build up over time.


Then, last week, it started over.


Claire and Mike had gone out to lunch with a service provider. At the lunch, Claire felt slighted, ignored. She was pissed with Mike.


In the course of conversation, it came out she felt Mike was keeping her deliberately out of the loop. She gave examples and became a puddle of tears; she didn’t know what to do.


What’s going on here?


Without looking at security footage, it’s hard for me to determine the accuracy of Claire’s perceptions.


I’ve never had the impression that Mike was manipulative or passive-aggressive; rather, I’ve thought he genuinely wants Claire to succeed.


It would be easy to say that Claire is overly sensitive and is too quick to misread others.  Whether that’s true or not, here’s what I do know. . .


Old habits die hard. 


Not even an 11-week course with me is going to permanently solve your problems!


Honing one’s skills, adopting new skills, re-aligning old relationships, all of this takes much time and much practice.


And practice implies making mistakes, taking risks, and making more mistakes.


In order to break self-sabotaging habits, a person needs to feel the fire-in-the-belly.


I think Claire has always seen her boss as the problem and that she had to find a way to deal with the problem that was her boss.


I don’t think she understood she had a role in any of this.


Claire basically has had the wrong attitude as she approached the relationship challenges with Mike.


And attitude goes a long way to producing new, healthy results.


Claire is playing the role of victim (yes, she resented my suggesting this).


Here’s the thing, though. . .


When she perceived herself being out of the loop, she pouted.


When she felt ignored at lunch, she withdrew.


When she felt frustrated with her boss, she shut down.


She didn’t claim her power.


She didn’t develop a strategy.


And this is, perhaps, the most important thing. . .


She didn’t take responsibility for her communication.


From taking responsibility comes power and from the power

comes an increased sense of self-worth.


This now is Claire’s challenge – to understand how she has contributed to this breakdown in communication and to be brave enough, self-confident enough to formulate and try out new communication strategies.


She has to commit to the practice!


Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  [email protected]



The Power of Expecting “Nothing”


If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.





At the end of my UCLA Extension course, the Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication, I ask the students simply to write a two-page paper in which they tell me what, if anything, they’ve learned.

Here’s what one of my students wrote. I share it because what he learned is what each one of us needs to learn and relearn!


The last twelve weeks have certainly been enlightening; however, I can unreservedly say that I, without a doubt, have learned nothing.

. Seriously…nothing

. Absolutely……NOTHING

. Nada


Now before you go thinking the people at the Landmark Forum have abducted me, let me explain:

Before I started this class, I had a boatload of “intentions” and “expectations” for how life was supposed to work out.

My mind, much like my life, was filled with one-liners and quips that I used to help rationalize my actions and setup frameworks that more often than not, let me down in the end.

I kept wondering why things always fell apart or at least didn’t stay glued together for very long.

I initially took this class because I had a deep conversation with my mother – the pillar of my life thus far (don’t judge – I’m Jewish). She told me I needed to examine the scope of my life and how I planned to live it a little better.

I’m glad to say she was right – but don’t tell her I said that!

You see, I’ve always been convinced that if you act a certain way, dress a certain part, do what you’re supposed to do, things will all fall into place as intended.

That is not only a naïve way of living, but also one that can be blinding. I felt, for a very long time, mislead and resentful to the fact that my life hadn’t worked out the way I was told it would.

I was always waiting for things to happen as I expected they should.

It never dawned on me that I was waiting for ten years and would continue to wait and wait if I didn’t wake up. All these expectations I had fell short of reality.

Although this class was about the dynamics of interpersonal communication, I learned something a bit more useful: how to deconstruct my thought processes and discover the reasoning behind my attitude and approach to life, loving relationships and personal fulfillment.

As a Los Angeles native, I think I can say I’ve seen it all: a fully grown man with a five o’clock shadow wearing a pleated green tutu and a wig riding a unicycle down Santa Monica Blvd., a homeless woman taking a crap on the sidewalk of Fairfax and Melrose in broad daylight (true story), a group of twelve-year-old kids who were able to spend more money in five minutes at Saks Fifth Avenue than some small countries earn in a year.

I conditioned myself to think that because I acted differently than those people that made me “better.”

As it turns out, that’s not quite true.

My own ignorance often times turned into arrogance and that was a source of many misconstrued observations.

I’ve learned that the basis of any real relationship starts with NOTHING and that the most challenging dynamic is often times the one you have with yourself.

I’ve recognized the many ways in which I am hard on myself, the areas of opportunity I can grow within myself, and most importantly – discovered the ability to be surprised again; something I thought was long gone.

I am at a phase in my life right now where everything is uncertain.

If you would have asked me three months ago what my “plan” was, I would have given you a road map I created foolishly thinking I could walk it through without falling.

Now I see that expectations can be a demise to almost anything.

At work with colleagues, at home with family, or out in the world with friends,

if you face each setting expecting nothing, you have everything to gain.



Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  [email protected]




20 Questions To Help You Figure Out What To Do When You “Grow-Up”

photo: david schap


Where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet –

there you will find your vocation.

Frederick Buechner


Since the beginning of the year I’ve had four new clients approach me with the refrain, “I need help figuring out what I want to do when I grow-up!”


Each of these folks has graduated college (one is a post graduate) and each works at an established company. And each is deeply uncomfortable where they are in life.


So how do you figure out what to do when you “grow-up”?


The first thing is to acknowledge that – You already ARE grown-up!


You are an adult – even if you may not always feel like one or act like one.


In addition, although you have a job or had a job, it’s critical to keep in mind that you are not your job – no matter what you do.


You are the sum of your relationships and your obligations to those relationships, along with your feelings and beliefs, your spirituality and psychology, your values and habits.


All of that guides and influences what you do and how you do it and why you do it.


The legendary theologian John Henry Newman believed that “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”


When someone says they want to figure out what to do when they “grow up” they are muddling the issue because the issue is not “when I grow-up.”


The issue is “given that I am today this grown-up, how will I reinvent myself?”


In the early years of my adult life I lived in a religious community and prepared for ordained ministry as a priest. When I resigned from ministry after twenty years of community life I had only a hazy notion of who I was. (And, yes, that it is a startling thing to admit)


My therapist told me that I had to find new ways of being “priest.” That required I do things that would force me to become realistically acquainted with the skills and talents I’d acquired and had taken for granted. I had to experiment, try on, risk and reevaluate.


Reinvention doesn’t necessarily require new skills. It does, though, require you to be familiar with the skills you currently have and become comfortable using them in new and possibly unfamiliar ways.


So how do you reinvent yourself – now that you are grown-up?


Cristina Nehring in her book, A Vindication of Love, writes that when she was in high school,

My English teacher told our class that the most important thing about life was to live it as if it were a good novel – as if, she said, it were a good film script. ‘Would audiences walk out during the movie of your life?’ She believes that by living deliberately, gracefully, inventively, and fearlessly any one of us can be “a piece of art.”


Here are 20 questions for you to consider as you create the “piece of art” that is YOU


  1. In your present job, what skills do you enjoy putting to use? What comes easy to you?

  2. For what skills do you get your most compliments?

  3. When you last were looking for work, what had you really wanted to do?

  4. What or who pushed you into taking this job?

  5. How do you think you’ll emotionally be if you remain in your current job for another five years? Ten years?

  6. What are the practical reasons for you remaining in your current job? How important are those needs? Are those needs really “needed”?

  7. Who else is involved in your decision to reinvent yourself?

  8. What needs do they have? What fears are attached to those needs?

  9. Is there a specific field you’re interested in? Does it require new training?

  10. Do you know anyone who is doing what you want to do? Do you know anyone who knows someone doing what you want to do?

  11. Are you most excited by the idea of a new job or by having the opportunity to use skills you currently under-use?

  12. Is there any place within your current company that would let you tap more into the skills you want to be immersed in?

  13. A dream job is just a dream without a strategy. Do you have a dream or a strategy? What does your strategy look like?

  14. How will your life be different in your new job? Is this new job crucial to making your life different in the way you imagine?

  15. What will you miss from your current job and do you think you’ll find it in your new one?

  16. How will the new job make you more “grown-up” than your current one? What “grown-up” responsibilities will you have in your new job that you don’t have in your current?

  17. How are you sabotaging yourself now and would those techniques carry over in whatever new job you take?

  18. Do you have a tolerance for ambiguity, along with a dose of patience and grit?

  19. What is one skill you have that will come in handy as you reinvent yourself? What is one skill you need to develop?

  20. What do you want to be remembered for in this life? Will your future job help you be remembered for all the right reasons?


Answer these questions and you will have more insight into your next possible job and clarity into who you want to be, doing what you’ll be doing.


If you strategize with these questions, you will not just find a new job. You will experience transformation.


Leadership guru John Maxwell calls transformation the “journey to significance.”


Significance, according to Maxwell, is all about adding value to people.


Angela Duckworth, author and expert on “grit” believes that,

“Rather than ask, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ ask, ‘In what way do I wish the world were different? What problem can I help solve?’


This puts the focus where it should be — on how you can serve other people.


Deep. Yes, I know!


Going deep, though, is what adults do. . .


I help people find their voice, showing professionals how to communicate in smart, healthy ways so as to develop successful relationships.

To explore how I can help you present you with enhanced confidence, please contact me at: [email protected]

Why Complicate Your Life?

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become



I recently received an email from Ida (name changed). She’d heard me speak at a luncheon and was hoping I might be able to help her because she hasn’t dated in ten years! Here’s a slice of what she wrote:


“I dated a guy for four years during college. We dreamed of getting married and growing old together. There was just one problem: Communication! He could never understand me. I’d try to communicate how I was feeling but it never ended well. It left me feeling inept and him frustrated. His family loved me, my family loved him, we had the same morals, the same religion, and the same aspirations in life, but in the end we just fought too much. It would take us days to resolve a fight because we wouldn’t be able to see eye to eye. I haven’t dated anyone for ten years because I honestly thought that if it didn’t work out with him it wouldn’t work out with anyone.”


I’m not a dating coach, but I think I can help Ida – at least help her see her situation from a new perspective.


Relationship is ALL about communication. 


The quality of our life is in direct proportion to the quality of the communication in our life.


I’m not able (at this point) to analyze where and how the communication broke down in her relationship BUT I can pinpoint where the communication broke down in terms of how she communicated with her own self.


Ida decided that because her relationship with her college beau didn’t work out, then, she had no chance with any other man on the face of the earth! This arbitrary decision was based on a sampling of just one man!


She convinced herself it was true and because she believed it to be true, she cut herself off from the possibility of romantic love. For ten years she has allowed herself to be held hostage by a lie.


If she wants to date again, then she can. The only thing holding her back is the lie she bought into ten years ago.


But here’s the thing – most of us, at one time or another in our lives, buy into a self-imposed lie that ends up sabotaging us.


Typical lies include:

I have to be “perfect” for people to appreciate me; I have to have everyone “love” me in order to be worthwhile, etc., etc.


Are you feeling constrained, trapped, or demotivated?

Chances are it’s because you’re believing a lie that you’ve convinced yourself is true.


Put the spotlight on the lie, bravely expose it for the nonsense it is and then do something that gives you life and doesn’t keep you locked away.


Oh, and Ida’s joining this week!


Do you complicate your life with lies that hold you hostage?

Do you want to have the confidence that will allow you

to engage others without crippling self-consciousness?


To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

please contact me

  [email protected]


About Those Voices in Your Head?!


Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets – and this is one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems.


I often turn to this poem when I need a shot of encouragement. . .


The Journey

Mary Oliver

    One day you finally knew

    what you had to do, and began,

    though the voices around you

    kept shouting

    their bad advice–

    though the whole house

    began to tremble

    and you felt the old tug

    at your ankles.

    “Mend my life!”

    each voice cried.

    But you didn’t stop.

    You knew what you had to do,

    though the wind pried

    with its stiff fingers

    at the very foundations,

    though their melancholy

    was terrible.

    It was already late

    enough, and a wild night,

    and the road full of fallen

    branches and stones.

    But little by little,

    as you left their voices behind,

    the stars began to burn

    through the sheets of clouds,

    and there was a new voice

    which you slowly

    recognized as your own,

    that kept you company

    as you strode deeper and deeper

    into the world,

    determined to do

    the only thing you could do–

    determined to save

    the only life you could save.



I especially like the lines,

You knew what you had to do. . .

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own


As with so many of us, there are “voices” that cause us to doubt our abilities and ourselves.


Voices that paralyze us.


Voices that “sound” real and yet, the fears they instill in us are remote possibilities at best, illusory at worst.


And, still, we give them power.


What is something you know you have to do, yet, haven’t mustered the courage because you’ve paid too much attention to the “voices” that say: “Don’t!” and “Why bother? What’s the use?”


Why do you give those lying voices power?


Are there voices you’re ignoring? Voices that speak of work that excites you and generates curiosity?


What would your daily life look like, if you quieted the voices that sabotage you and instead welcomed the voices that encourage you to risk?


Why not begin to do today what you know you have to do and let that be your legacy for this day. . .


and then, take it up again tomorrow. . .and tomorrow. . .



Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from

doing the work you know in your heart you want to do?

To explore how life coaching can help you gain clarity + emotional courage,

please contact me:

[email protected]