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Proud parent moment: Last year, my oldest daughter, Hannah, graduated from college and immediately landed a great-paying job with a huge company. On top of all that, she was promoted within a matter of months.

From the outside, you’d assume my daughter was feeling fulfilled with her job and happy as a clam, right?


Deep down, Hannah knew in her gut that she was on the wrong path. Turns out, she always wanted to do video editing for a living, but didn’t take related college courses because she didn’t feel like there would be enough money in that industry. So, she did what she thought she should do instead (graduate from college and get a well-paying job). But day after day, when she went to work, she knew in her heart that sitting at a desk all day wasn’t her thing. It just didn’t feel right. The fact was, video editing was Hannah’s thing.

Finally, my daughter decided to take matters into her own hands and make a change. So, she took a leap of faith and applied for a job at a video production company where she interned in high school.

She got the job!

As she was deliberating leaving her current job, I could tell Hannah wanted my approval for doing what she loves. Um, hell f*cking yes I approved!

Fun fact: when I graduated from college, I got a job as a copywriter at a major newspaper. My degree was in English and so I felt that it just “made sense.” Wouldn’t you know, a year later, I was miserable. And just like my daughter, I wasn’t meant to sit at a desk all day.

So, what did I do? I got a certificate as a travel agent and moved across the country from Ohio to Montana so I could fulfill one of my greatest passions: traveling the world. From there, I continued to trust my gut and took jobs that fulfilled me along the way—college English teacher, fundraiser for a nonprofit, opening a stationery and gift store, life coach.

Fact: Helping people has always been my thing.

I love watching Hannah do what she loves, because I know first-hand what it’s like to do what I love. Life shouldn’t be about doing what you think you should do, it’s about doing what feels right for you. It’s about doing what fills you up—doing what you love. People can’t decide this for you, only you know what you want deep down.

So, if you could do anything in the world, what would it be? Leave a comment below telling me your thing.

Psst…be sure to check out my daughter’s amazing video editing here!

The post Don’t Do What Makes Sense, Do What Feels Right appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Apologizing has gotten a bad rap these days—and for good reason, too. For example, if you often find yourself using apologetic language at work, this might get in the way of your assertiveness. In other words, people may see you as weak and take advantage of you.

Even worse, over-apologizing can be harmful for your relationships. Think about it this way: if all you do is say you’re sorry, it can take away the sincerity when you actually want to give the person you love a heartfelt apology.

Um, when the hell did we all start saying I’m sorry for everything? Maybe it’s because of our desire to end an argument faster. If so, I’m calling bullshit. “Sorry” isn’t a magical word you use to solve all of your problems.

On the other hand, there’s the opposite problem: never apologizing. And let me tell you, deliberately withholding all apologies is never good—period. If you’re prone to this, it could be for a number of reasons: maybe you were raised in a family or culture that didn’t apologize. Maybe your parents never apologized to each other. Maybe you were once shamed into apologizing often, and now the thought of doing so feels like you’re betraying yourself.

Or maybe we just don’t know what a healthy version of apologizing looks like.

The truth? Apologizing isn’t as black and white as everyone’s making it these days. In fact, it’s pretty murky, and it all has to do with this little thing we like to call context.

Let me explain.

By definition, an apology is a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure. But here’s where things get sticky: we don’t always use words by their definition. For example, apologies are used in a lot of different scenarios, like showing respect or empathy, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe your best friend’s aunt just passed away. “I’m so sorry about your aunt,” you say, “I’m here for you if you need anything at all.”

In this example, saying you’re sorry isn’t a sign of weakness. It shows empathy and compassion.

The bottom line? Apologizing has a time and a place, and while it’s tricky to navigate, here are a couple helpful steps you can take to avoid over apologizing, or worse, not apologizing at all.

1. Evaluate Your Apologies

For the next week, focus less time on cutting down or ramping up your apologies and, instead, focus more time on evaluating the situations surrounding them. To start, notice how you feel when you say you’re sorry. Do you feel confident? Scared? Weak? It’s better to understand why you feel compelled to apologize—or not apologize—versus changing your behaviors in a day.

Next, notice how people react once you apologize. Do they ignore you? Do they take advantage of you? Do they reprimand you? Do they reward you? Once you gauge their reactions, ask yourself if the interaction was worth it. You might find that saying sorry did nothing at all. Or, if you’re one to avoid apologizing, you might find a genuine response from your peers or significant other when you choose to say you’re sorry. Again, the point here is to focus less on changing and more on observing. No need to fix any behaviors just yet. Remember: self-awareness is half the battle.

2. Identify Your Unnecessary Apologies

For the apologists: As you’re taking notes on your apologies throughout the week, write down all the things that compel you to say you’re sorry. Do you say it when you accidentally bump into someone? Do you say it when your spouse tries to start an argument with you? Once you write these down, see which ones are necessary and which ones are not. Again, a great way to do this is to ask yourself: “Have I done anything wrong in this situation?” Obviously, if the answer is no, then there’s no need to say you’re sorry!

Here’s a fun little graphic to help you get started:

Graphic by @violetclair

If you’re feeling compelled to say you’re sorry when you’ve done nothing wrong, try to rephrase it by saying “thank you” instead. For example, if you’re a couple minutes late to a meeting, resist rushing in throwing your sorrys left and right. Instead, express gratitude: “Thank you for patiently waiting!” A couple minutes late is nothing to apologize for, however, if you’re super-duper late—aka, leaving the other person sitting for nearly an hour—you most definitely owe that person an apology.

To give you a little boost, here are just a few scenarios when you should never apologize:

– Saying no
– Asking your boss for a raise or a promotion
– Crying, or feeling any emotion
– Taking care of yourself

For the apology-averse: If you have a hard time apologizing, write down all the ways in which you think it would be acceptable to apologize. Here are some examples to get you started:

– You actually did something hurtful
– You embarrassed someone in public
– You lied
– You didn’t keep your promise

Next, I want you to repeat this to yourself at least three times or more:

“Apologizing for something I did wrong does not make me weak.”

We all know what it feels like to resist apologizing in the moments we need to most. But the key is to recognize why we’re feeling that resistance in the first place. In those moments, ask yourself this: “Why am I feeling so defensive?” Answer your question, and then own it for you and the other person to see. There’s no need to feel shame—we’re all human, after all! There’s no need to put yourself down or allow someone to take advantage of your apology. Saying you’re sorry just means you admit your mistake, and you’re making steps to not do it again. This can mean everything to the person who was wronged (psst…just make sure you actually follow through!).

Oh, and for all my apology-averse people out there, here’s a quick refresher on what a real apology actually sounds like:

Graphic by @silvykhoucasian

Whether you’re an over-apologizer or afraid to even mutter the words “I’m sorry,” the most important thing to remember is vulnerability. If you’re ever struggling to recognize if the situation calls for an apology, there’s nothing wrong with vocalizing this confusion to the other person. The next time you find yourself in a scenario like this, let the other person know you’re having trouble. This will create a much healthier environment for open communication, allowing both of you to share your feelings in a raw, honest way.

Apologies are tough, especially when it comes to relationships. If you and your loved one are struggling to take ownership (or maybe taking too much ownership), contact me and we’ll schedule a low-key, no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to to see if I’m a good fit for you and to answer any questions you might have.

The post Actually, You Do Need to Apologize (Here’s How) appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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This week on my blog, I’m thrilled to welcome a new guest contributor, Linda Clay! Linda is a business and lifestyle strategist who’s had successful careers in the for profit and non-profit sectors. She uses the tools and framework she developed to support corporate women who are ready to find their purpose so they can create more time, more income, and more impact while living life on their terms—and I felt this couldn’t be more perfect for my readers (hey, that’s you!). Enjoy!


A Plethora of Opportunities

Every day you’re bombarded by a million Shiny Objects:

“Buy This Cream! It’ll make you look 20 years younger!”

“Take this pill! You’ll lose weight 10 times faster!”

Everywhere you turn, someone is promising you the moon—for a price.

If you’re trying to build or grow a business, these distractions don’t just lighten your wallet, they take up valuable time you need to manage, learn and grow.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how many things you don’t know. There’s no lack of people willing to tell you, provided you’re willing to pay them for the privilege.

Every Day You See the Offers:

“Earn 6 figures in 6 months simply by taking my course!”

“Join our 5-day challenge and have clients knocking on your door!”

They’ll dangle freebies in front of you, offering to help you attract more clients, charge more for your services, or a million other things you’d be crazy not to want, right? But if you’re spending all your time (not to mention boatloads of money) chasing every shiny object you see, who’s minding the store? Who’s actually growing that business you’re so passionate about?

In the beginning, you sign up for dozens of courses, click on every freebie, and marvel at the wealth of information and help that’s available to you, just by opting in or punching in your credit card. But it doesn’t take long before you’re overwhelmed and discouraged.

You can’t possibly give each course or offering your full attention, and your inbox is overflowing with more offers and promises than you can handle. The more distracted you become, the faster your investments go down the drain. You’re stuck in neutral, unable to move in any direction.

Cleaning up the Excess Glitter

The temptation is to go in the opposite direction, dumping all the courses and trainings, firing coaches, and opting out of all the mailing lists you’ve gotten yourself onto.

But wait!

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Take a good, hard look at everything you’ve invested in. You’re bound to find some hidden gold; a course or two which is relevant to the business you’re building, and which will help you grow past the limitations of your own knowledge and abilities. There are at least one or two which feel good to you and make you want to continue learning what they offer.

You need to wade through all the hype that had you investing in the first place. Some may open up avenues you hadn’t considered while left to your own devices and limited resources. Your most valuable and limited resource is time and you need to maximize it NOW. How do you do that?

What works best for me is to make lists. Look at each course and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are the advantages of continuing this program right now?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • How will it enhance my business?
  • Am I ready to implement what it’s teaching me right now, or do I need to build on what I know first?

Next, look at the ones that didn’t make the cut and ask:

  • Will this program be useful to me at some point in the future?
  • Will I be able to implement its elements once I’ve built a stronger foundation or gained more knowledge?
  • Will implementation fit into my schedule for growing my business?
  • Is there a time limit on when I can use it?

This list will help you decide where to cut your losses. Face it. You get pulled in too often by people who promise you success, only to find the product isn’t what you signed up for.

Knowing When to Alter Your Course

There’s no shame in admitting you made a mistake. But continuing to follow a path that isn’t good for you just because you spent money on it will distract you from working towards your goals. Those incredible dreams you see in infinite detail and vivid color will move further and further out of reach.

That doesn’t mean you have to stay laser focused on a single goal; a single destination. Sometimes a side trip or two opens up opportunities you wouldn’t have seen if you stuck to the straight and narrow. A little adventure can be a good thing. But pay attention to what matters and make sure you’re giving it the attention it deserves.

The side trips serve a couple of purposes.

  • They keep you from falling into a rut where every day is the same, and your to-do list takes on the persona of your childhood monsters under the bed.
  • They’re like a vacation. You get to do something different for a little while and shake yourself out of any ruts you might have dug.
  • You get to learn something new that might help you see what you’re doing in a new light; the light of innovation.

Shiny objects are neither good nor bad. Like any opportunity, at best they offer a lot of value when used wisely, and at worst, they can destroy part of what you’ve worked so hard to build. Most of the time, they fall somewhere in between. It’s up to you to be discerning and choose the ones which expand your horizons, making you think outside your comfort zone. You can do that by looking past the glitz and glitter to what lies beneath the surface.

Ask questions. Do your research. Most of all, be wary of the ones that promise you the Sun, Moon, and stars. They’re the ones will drag you under long before they launch you into the stratosphere.

Need help cleaning out that box of shiny objects? CONTACT ME TODAY to schedule a no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to see if I can answer any questions you might have. Together, we can make sort through all those offers and opportunities and find the ones that are worth your time and commitment.


A huge thank you to Linda for her inspiring, encouraging words! If you’re interested in contributing to my blog just like Linda has, fill out my form here. Have any questions for Linda? Leave a comment below!

The post Shiny Objects: Opportunities or Distractions? appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Don’t get me wrong, the health benefits of child’s pose and green smoothies are undeniable. Hell, they could even play a role in loving yourself and your body—two essential components of self-care. But, sadly, the key to true self-love is greater than a magical juice or hour-long yoga session.

Let’s face it: the market is oversaturated with self-care tips and tricks. But most of the time, they don’t work. That’s because a face mask and a hot bath don’t get to the root of why you’re not making empowered choices (trust me, I wish they could).

By all means, don’t let me stop you from doing what you love! Engaging in calming activities is an excellent catalyst to getting in touch with what your body really needs. However, to achieve lasting self-love, we need to dive a little deeper.

Before we jump in, I want to make something very clear:

Self-love is not selfish or egotistical. Real self-love is caring for yourself so you can better show up for the ones you love.

Finding time for self-love and self-care is always worth it, especially once you understand what it actually looks like. Ultimately, self-love is about getting to know the real you, then honoring the real you. Here’s how to make that happen:

1. Honor Your Needs Without Judgment

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I would make sure I had plans for big events like the Super Bowl. WHY? Simply put, I didn’t want to feel left out when everybody else was getting together. I mean, seriously, is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like watching the Super Bowl? Oh yeah, me! I don’t like football, crowds OR small talk. Yet, I found myself doing all three of these things at once. Because that makes sense, right? Nope! In order to practice self-love, you need to honor your needs, not the needs of others, nor what you think your needs should be. The key to understanding your needs is giving yourself time to react. If someone asks you to do something, don’t be afraid to take some time to think about your answer. More importantly, trust that you know what you need more than anyone else (because you do).

But that’s just the beginning. Once you start honoring your needs, you must have compassion for yourself. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you tell someone “no.” But you have nothing to feel bad about. Instead, you should pat yourself on the back for having the courage to do what you want for once.

2. Practice Gratitude Daily

It has been scientifically proven that starting and ending your day with joy and happiness leads to a healthier life. When you are happy, you make better decisions for yourself. Makes sense, right? But how the heck do you go about creating a happier life? Gratitude. Try this: every morning, instead of scrolling through social media, take out a journal and write down three things you’re grateful for. Then, right before you go to bed, write down three positive things that happened to you that day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost money and takes five minutes out of your day. Five minutes! Not to mention, the health benefits are endless. Read seven of them here!

3. Forgive, Let Go and Take Back Your Power

Resentment is extremely toxic to your own self-love. And while you may have a million good reasons to direct anger towards another person, you cannot move forward with your life if you’re weighed down with resentment. It’s time to forgive yourself and others for any past wrongdoings. That doesn’t mean you have to like them. It just means you’ve washed your hands of it and are ready to move on. Also, it’s time to drop the victim mentality—it doesn’t work for anybody. Taking ownership of your life versus blaming it on everyone else lets you create the life you crave. It gives you permission to make change right now. When you let other people hold that power, nothing will get done.

Loving yourself is a magical feeling, but it takes a lot of hard work and patience. It won’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s incredibly important to show yourself compassion as you work at self-care every day.

Having trouble learning how to practice self-love? That’s where I come in! Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life. Until you know who you are (at the core) and start taking personal responsibility yourself (your feelings, beliefs, triggers, behaviors, etc.), you will never really be able to have deep, soulful connections with anyone else.

Some of the topics we might discuss in our sessions are:

– Being yourself 100% of the time
– Expressing your truth, even if it’s not popular
– Learning how to cope with feelings of jealousy, fear, and other Big Scary Feelings (BSFs)
– Setting healthy boundaries for yourself
– Prioritizing self-care and self-compassion
– Embracing change without fear
– Trusting your internal navigation system (aka your gut)

Contact me today to schedule a no-pressure phone call to see if we’re a good fit for each other!

The post No, Self-Love Isn’t Just Yoga and Kale Juice. Here’s What Self-Love Really Looks Like… appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Most of us weren’t afforded a prime example of healthy communication growing up. Instead, we’ve probably perpetuated negative patterns and habits we learned as children. And while shifting this behavior from destructive to constructive is challenging, it’s also very possible—and so worth it.

Perhaps you’re afraid to tell your significant other about something that’s bothering you. Maybe you’ve tried in the past, and all it did was result in a full-blown argument, met with defensiveness and rebuttals. That’s because when we’re head-to-head with big scary feelings such as jealousy, fear and rejection, it’s difficult to siphon these emotions into proper communication techniques. Instead of owning these feelings, we project them unnecessarily onto our partners.

For example, let’s say you’re at a party with your S.O., and you see them flirting with a friend of yours from across the room. As rational as you try to be, you can’t seem to shake those feelings of jealousy from your mind. You might start to wonder if your mate doesn’t find you attractive anymore, or if they find your friend more exciting than you—but the last thing you want to do is say how you’re feeling.

Ultimately, you mutter something passive aggressive as an attempt to downplay your feelings. It doesn’t work. Instead, you and your partner engage in a heated debate, feeling more disconnected and detached than ever before, without ever addressing the actual issue at hand: your feelings.

Let’s Get to the Bottom of This

While you were secretly trying to seek reassurance from your significant other, you were inadvertently communicating the exact opposite. The reason you were met with resistance from your mate was because you weren’t expressing your feelings at all. Instead, you made it about their behavior.

If you’ve ever been criticized by someone before, you’re familiar with wanting to protect yourself from their attacks. It’s only natural to defend yourself. Unfortunately, the other person is too busy defending themselves, too. The result? No one’s budging and no one is being heard.

If you want to be heard and experience life-long happiness with your significant other, you have to start owning your sh*t. In other words, instead of criticizing the other person, you have to make it all about you.

Nobody can argue with your feelings—they’re yours, after all. And by expressing your emotions in the truest form possible, you’re giving your significant other the opportunity to empathize. By opening up to your partner and allowing them to see your vulnerability, you’ll feel more connected, which will lead to greater intimacy.

Next time you’re experiencing those big scary feelings, resist the urge to project them on to your partner. Instead, focus on how you feel, without criticizing the other person. The key to long-term happiness lies in shedding old, toxic habits and sharing your deepest feelings with your partner—even when it feels scary. This is the only communication rule you’ll ever need.

Having Trouble Getting Started?

I totally get that. The fact is, relationships can be tricky—and sometimes require a little more than just a quick fix. That’s where I come in! In our sessions together, we’ll sort out what baggage belongs to you, what’s shared between the two of you, and how to deal with the stuff that belongs to your partner.

We can do this solo (just you and me) or with your partner in tow—it’s totally up to you. Learn more!

The post Couples with THIS Communication Rule Are Guaranteed Long-time Happiness Together appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Imagine you have a cavity. Maybe you’ve had one before, and maybe it hurt like hell. If you were a child when this happened, did your parents ignore it, throw some Ibuprofen at you and walk away? Heck no! They probably (hopefully!) took you to the dentist for a filling.

You didn’t just numb it with some painkillers, you treated the thing that was bothering you before it spread into an infection, putting you at risk for a root canal—or worse, spreading to your jaw, neck, or brain.

Similar to the physical pain of your cavity, self-criticism is a harsh symptom of an underlying issue: perfectionism. Popping a couple pills isn’t going to cure your cavity, and ignoring it will only make it worse. Same goes for your enoughness, or lack thereof. Let me explain…

Whether seeking consolation from a friend or scrolling through “empowering” feeds on Instagram, you’ve probably heard someone somewhere say something along the lines of “stop being so critical of yourself.” Oh yeah, I’ll just do that, says the perfectionist, sarcastically.

Newsflash: you can’t tell a perfectionist to stop being so self-critical.

Telling a perfectionist to stop being so self-critical is like telling a person with a pissed off, hungry lion sprinting right towards them to stop worrying so much (or, for a less dramatic example, throwing a bottle of Ibuprofen at someone with a cavity).

Simply put, it goes so much deeper than that.

For many, women especially, diagnosing themselves with perfectionistic tendencies isn’t very common. In other words, when they talk about how they’re feeling, they don’t really talk about “perfectionism.” However, many of those women know one thing for certain: they don’t feel like they’re “enough.” Not successful enough, confident enough, thin enough, attractive enough or capable enough.

These self-criticisms—these feelings of not being enough—are the key to diagnosing the bigger issue. These messages are like the pain in your tooth telling you something is wrong. And it’s time to pay attention.

Part of the problem with perfectionism is that, as a society, we’re not taking it as seriously as we should be. When we hear the word “perfectionism” being thrown around, it’s usually in a job interview: the humble brag of “I’m somewhat of a perfectionist” is met with nodding heads, smiling faces and “she’s hired” running through the minds of the HR department.

Perfectionism isn’t a resume-builder. It’s not a compliment. It’s not a skill.

At the core, perfectionism is a way of seeking security, love and self-worth. And for many, it’s working—or at least it seems that way.

At the surface, and similar to a control freak, the perfectionist gets what they want when they “perfect” the task at hand. For example, if a perfectionist is going out for a few drinks with friends, they might find themselves anxious beforehand. They want to make sure they say all the right things, speak only of their accomplishments and definitely not mention that horrible mistake they made at work last month (you know, the one that had them crying for weeks). So, the perfectionist follows all of their rules—flawlessly, I might add—and they come home feeling the high of perfecting the night.

Same goes for a clean home, a loving family, working out, eating right, nailing the interview and so on. The perfectionist can look around at all of their accomplishments and think to themselves, “Wow, I did it!” when really what they did was the equivalent of punching themselves in the face over and over again until they did it “right.”

Perfectionistic tendencies are working for them, which is why many perfectionists can’t seem to just “stop being so self-critical.” It’s already a way of life, and it’s somehow been protecting them for years.

The reality is, working your ass off to perfect yourself isn’t coming from a healthy place. And the key to finally freeing yourself from perfectionism isn’t just about being nicer to yourself—although, that’s very much a part of it. Instead, perfection must be taken seriously (see: perfectionism isn’t a resume-builder, compliment, skill line above). We must look at the way we talk to ourselves, how we react when things don’t go our way and ask ourselves the all-important question: am I afraid of being rejected and unloved if I don’t do this perfectly?

These tendencies are almost always rooted in childhood memories, ones that need to be addressed ASAP. Talking to a professional will help you discover the deeper beliefs you have about yourself, to understand how you actually think about yourself and how you’ve been using perfectionism to protect yourself all of these years.

If you’re experiencing perfectionistic tendencies or feelings of worthlessness, contact me today to schedule a no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to see if I can answer any questions you might have. Together, we can work on those BSFs (aka, big scary feelings) getting in the way of your freedom from perfectionism.

The post Enough is Enough: How To Finally Free Yourself From Perfectionism appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Here are 6 signs you might be a control freak.

Maybe you realized it after showing your husband the correct way to load the dishwasher (it’s an art form, people). Or maybe it hit you the moment you noticed you were slammed at work, but easily could’ve lightened the load with a simple “can you help me with this, please?”

Being a control freak might have its merits, but for the most part, it can cause some serious obsessive behavior. Not to mention, it could have negative effects on your relationships—who wants to be told over and over again that they’re doing something the “wrong” way?

Paying due diligence to a project, knowing exactly what you want and having a vision for your future isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the moment you charter into micromanaging territory, you’re digging yourself a hole filled with endless work to-dos, paperwork and chores you could’ve effortlessly handed off to someone else.

Simply put, you have more important things to do. Loading the dishwasher the right way isn’t one of those things, unless you’ve made a career out of it somehow (please message me directly if you have).

Jokes aside, owning the label “control freak” is a very serious matter, as it often links to obsessive compulsive disorder. Some people experience such crippling anxiety that they have no choice but to micromanage the task at hand and/or project it onto other people they know.

While some experience only low-grade tendencies resulting in “annoying” behavior, others become paralyzed by their rigidity. But many simply fall somewhere between “you’re doing it wrong” and “I’m now sobbing in a corner because you made our bed the wrong way.”

As a control freak, maybe you feel relieved, possibly even less stressed when you’re obsessing. But this is just a false pretense—like a high you get with an addiction to a drug or alcohol. The fact is, you’ll be far more content, and more free, once you let go.

But before we can let go, let’s see if you identify with these telltale control-freak signs.

1. You’re unable to delegate any tasks.

If you’re the type of person that believes no one can do a better job than you, then your to-dos have probably piled up pretty quickly. Learning to recognize this behavior not only lightens your workload, but it also fosters much healthier relationships. Sorry to say it, but people pick up on control freaks’ behavior and often take it personally (because, duh). Delegating tasks shows you trust the other person and their work ethic.

2. Everything revolves around your schedule.

Let’s say you take every Sunday to map out your week. You pencil in an hour-long session of yoga on Tuesday after work, then you plan to go straight home and cook yourself a healthy meal. But let’s say work ran a little late, or maybe you got stuck in some seriously annoying traffic. Not only were you late to yoga, you realized you didn’t have enough time to pick up those healthy groceries you wanted. Crying over stuffed crust pizza, it is. But sobbing over a snag in your plans is certainly not worth it. If something like this has happened to you, you might be a control freak.

3. You’re a textbook perfectionist.

It’s one thing to control everything around you, but it’s even worse when you’re doing it because you care too much about what other people think of you. You might fear the consequences of not doing well and think that the only way to be perfect is if you have complete control over anything and everything. The reality is that perfection is quite certainly a recipe for failure, because no one is perfect, of course!

4. Your values and work ethic feel threatened.

Remember that drug analogy I mentioned earlier? Turns out, controlling behavior feels good because it releases dopamine. Problem is, the opposite then becomes true: cortisol is released when something leads to disappointment, leaving you depressed and feeling as though your very existence is threatened. If you think you might be suffering as a control freak, you probably know this feeling better than others.

5. You criticize and judge others.

Remember when your mom and dad used to tell you that when someone judges you, it’s because they don’t like themselves? Same goes for control freaks. Judging others is a form of controlling behavior, making you feel better about yourself temporarily. If you find yourself as being judgemental, it might be because you’re hypercritical of yourself and were possibly judged by someone you held in high regard at some point in your life. If you catch yourself criticizing or judging someone else, try to turn that inward and see if it’s something you can fix within yourself.

6. Your past has hurt you in some way.

Maybe you were hurt physically as a child while riding your bike. Maybe you suffered a severe concussion on your high school football team long ago and now you refuse to let your child participate in the sport. Or maybe you were sincerely hurt from a cheating boyfriend. No matter the type of pain, control issues tend to manifest themselves from a past event. But it’s important to remember that your past doesn’t dictate your present, and that you have a life to live.

It’s Time to Let Go

Controlling behavior is not only debilitating for you, but it has the potential of ruining all of the relationships you hold close to your heart. That’s where I come in! If you’re tired of patching up your problems, looking the other way and secretly hoping they’ll disappear, I totally get that, and I’ve been there.

However, when you work with me, I’ll help you discover why your relationships aren’t thriving and what you need to do to get greater fulfillment from them. In other words, we’ll figure out the root of those controlling behaviors so they don’t wipe out everything in its path. Plus, I will equip you with the tools necessary to navigate these behaviors for the rest of your life.

Interested? Schedule a low-pressure consultation with me today! Learn more.

The post True Life: I Think I Might Be A Control Freak appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I would make sure I had plans for big events like the Super Bowl.


Simply put, I didn’t want to feel left out when everybody else was getting together. I mean, seriously, is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like watching the Super Bowl?

Oh yeah, me! I don’t like football, crowds OR small talk. Yet, I found myself doing all three of these things at once. Because that makes sense, right?

Here’s another story for you:

Early last week, I was asked to do something for someone who happens to be a colleague, client and friend of mine (and someone I adore).

The moment I read her email asking her request, I knew my answer was no. True, it was something that could have taken me 5 minutes, max. But my gut said no. So, I sent a quick response telling her I didn’t want to do it.

Her response? “Thanks for the honesty .”

Here’s the thing: we get so wrapped up in saying yes to other people because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them mad. We say yes because we worry they may not like us. But, by doing this, we are creating inauthentic relationships, not only with ourselves, but with others. We aren’t being truthful. And when that happens, our fake self is the one connecting with other people. The result? Surface relationships (duh!).

There is so much power, peace, contentment and freedom in doing your own thing. Think about it: do you sit around worrying (or even caring) what other people are doing? And honestly, do you really even want to do what everyone else is doing, anyway?

There’s truly something magical about going your own way and doing your own thing.

Self-Awareness Is The First Step

The only way to create real, truthful connections is to just be yourself and speak your truth. But how can you speak your truth when you’re not exactly sure who you are in the first place? Grab your journals, ladies and gents. Here are a few questions to get you started!

1. What are your values?

What’s important to you? Your health? Helping others? Your finances? Take a moment to think about what matters most to your wellbeing and what you ultimately stand for. Your answers might surprise you!

2. What are your interests?

This is a fun and hopefully easy one to answer! What do you like to do? Paint? Exercise? Read? Volunteer? To make things easier, ask yourself these questions: What do you pay attention to? What are you curious about?

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Do you get energy from being around people (extrovert) or do you get energy from being alone (introvert)? Knowing the answer to this question could help you understand which situations could help you flourish and which could drain you.

4. What are your strengths?

What are you good at? Strengths could include abilities, skills and talents, but they could also include things like being a great listener. Knowing where you excel gives you a greater sense of self-esteem. And having a greater sense of self-esteem means feeling confident in saying no to sh*t you hate.

Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy.

As cliché as it may sound, you only have one shot at this life. Are you really willing to spend it unhappy (i.e. saying yes to things you hate)? The good news is you don’t have to. Owning your sh*t goes way beyond relationships with other people—it starts with the relationship you have with yourself. Which means the key to your best life yet starts with YOU.

You have the power to have a more meaningful, energizing, and fulfilling life—and you get to do it right now, without anyone else’s permission but your own. What steps will you take to become more happy in life T-O-D-A-Y? Contact me today to schedule a low-key, no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to to see if I’m a good fit for you and to answer any questions you might have. If we’re a good match, we’ll select the best way to work together (individual coaching, group coaching and/or customized programs). Click here to learn more!

The post Stop Saying Yes To Sh*t You Hate appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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Fact: Effectively coping with our emotions is said to be a key leadership skill in the workplace.

Another fact? Emotions are hard.

Here’s why: it feels nearly impossible to decipher what’s considered “professional” without crossing the line into “inappropriate” territory. So, instead of chancing it, we’ve learned to suppress, suppress, suppress.

The first step in effectively dealing with your emotions is learning how to identify, or label, them. What is it you’re really feeling?

But like I said before, it’s much harder than it sounds. Most of the time, a lot of us struggle to identify what we’re actually feeling (“I’m just feeling off today”), and a lot of the times the most obvious label isn’t the true culprit (maybe underneath all that anger is a sea of sadness and embarrassment).

The two words we hear a lot when it comes to workplace drama are a) anger and b) stress. But when we say things like “Work is stressful” or “I’m angry at my boss,” we have to think of them as onions.

Bear with me here.

Ever cut open an onion before? The outside layer is filmy and tough, much like your anger and stress. But you might’ve noticed that the onion has many layers we have to peel off to get to that strong, flavorful, robust core—aka, your true emotions.

Yes, just like slicing an onion, there may be tears. But those tears might just be what you need! Because when you begin to understand, describe and get cozy with your emotions, you develop a better emotional IQ, which helps deepen the connection with yourself and your relationships.

See what I did there? It’s true; learning how to cope with your emotions isn’t just for your own sanity, but your spouse’s, too.

For example, maybe you had a rotten day at work. You decided to set up a meeting with your boss to ask her for a raise, and she unfortunately turned down your proposal. Trying to deal with the bad news, you spent all day keeping your emotions bottled up inside in fear you might explode and, in turn, lose your job. So as soon as you get home and your bottom hits the couch, you’re a total grouch—and you just know your hubby will stay with you, even if you’re acting like a jerk sometimes. So you yell, give some sass and possibly huff and puff at every little thing he does.

When he finally asks you what’s wrong, you respond, “Just a rough day at work.”

Hate to break it to you, but unfortunately, “a rough day at work” won’t cut it in the relationship world. We need a more specific vocabulary for our emotions, because incorrectly labeling how we feel makes us respond incorrectly.

Your approach might be different if you say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get the raise I wanted, and I’m worried my boss thinks I’m a terrible employee. I feel undervalued, and it makes me disappointed in myself” instead of using “I had a rough day at work.” Now we’re getting somewhere. And now you get to think clearly and find a solution to the problem—without bringing your husband down with you.

Okay, so now that we know how important it is to effectively deal with emotions, how do we do it? Here are three things to consider:


1. Understand your vocabulary.

When you’re starting to feel something, try to identify it using three different, more specific words (versus “angry” or “sad”). Here’s a list of words to get you started:

2. Give your emotions a rating.

Now, take your three words and rate them on a scale from 1-10, one being not strong at all and 10 being extremely strong. By doing this, you may find that your emotions are either much stronger than you were expecting or not as severe as you originally thought. This exercise is by no means a way to invalidate your feelings—quite the contrary! It’s a way to understand your emotions on a greater level and intentionally express them to loved ones, friends and colleagues.

3. Write it out.

Turns out, writing about your emotions, negative or positive, is great for your wellbeing. When you write in detail how you’re feeling, you’ll gain better clarity for those feelings. Another great thing about writing? Only you have to see it. That means you’re free to say anything you want. Just be sure to stay on track and identify the true emotions underneath those first few onion layers.

Work stress is inevitable, even for those who love what they do. But if every day feels like the worst day ever, it’s time to get to the bottom of it. That’s where I come in!


From imposter syndrome to controlling bosses, dealing with your own struggles while working collaboratively with your coworkers—yep, we’re talking about work life. If you want to feel happy and at peace, now’s the time to do it. Let’s do this!

Some of the topics we might discuss in our sessions are:

  • How to deal with imposter syndrome
  • Asking for what you want (raise, time off, more responsibility)
  • Communicating with coworkers/speaking your truth
  • Dealing with power struggles, controlling bosses and “office politics”
  • Working through feelings of resentment

Interested? Contact me and we’ll schedule a low-key, no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to to see if I’m a good fit for you and to answer any questions you might have. Learn More

The post Stressed out at the Office? Try These 3 Emotional Exercises appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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A few weeks ago, I sat down with Patricia Brooks, host of the Discovering Courage Podcast.

Spoiler alert: we had a great convo.

Discovering Courage tells inspiring stories from old souls who have learned what it takes to go beyond the bounds of what feels comfortable and safe so that they can live their authenticity, fulfill their purpose and experience the lives they were meant to live.

In this episode together, we talk about pivotal moments in my life that have brought me to where I am today. Think divorce (psst…you can catch up on my story here), a super-amazing Disney quote, and ways to own your sh*t.

If you’re familiar with my story, you know that I’ve learned a lot about shifting the blame from others and owning my sh*t, instead. Patricia and I discuss the tried-and-true process I’ve learned over the years that has helped me continue my journey into more fulfilling relationships (hint: your body does a lot of the talkin’). Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think!

Listen to the full episode here and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Happy listening!

P.S. In case you weren’t aware, divorce sucks.

When you un-do the I-do, things can get messy. And painful. And awful. But, there’s also a very bright light at the end of this tunnel—a light that can only be revealed after you’ve worked through some of the sh*t that often comes with divorce.
The truth? You CAN get to the other side of this. And you can count on me to walk with you, guide you, and show you the path of least resistance. Click here to schedule a low-key, no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to to see if I’m a good fit for you and to answer any questions you might have.

The post Discovering Courage Podcast: Patricia Brooks and I Talk Divorce, Disney & Big Girl Pants appeared first on Lisa Panos – Certified Life & Relationship Coach.

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