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Hope you’re having a great week.

So, the last post was a really extensive question/request with lots of information and details. This one? Check it out.

I’m burned out.

Yes. That’s the whole question via email. In the subject line. I wrote back asking if the person wanted to add a bit more information so I could make some specific suggestions.

*Crickets* in response.

So, I’m going to make a leap here and figure someone is super super super burned out, and respond to that.

Dear Burned Out,

I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. Not only do I hear it from clients of all ages, in so many different work and life situations, but I’ve be been there myself. Who hasn’t?

No, really — who hasn’t felt burned out at some point?

(Aside) Dear Very Lucky Person, If you haven’t ever felt burned out by a situation, please write to me and let me know. I want to hear all about it!!

Now — Burned Out, do you even have the energy to read a whole long answer? (What to do…what to do…) I’m guessing not-so-much so I’ll answer in a few points.

Important Note: I’m not addressing depression or any mental health issue here. I’m speaking to regular ol’ burn out. The kind most of us face at some point.

Coaching Tips:

  • Find something you enjoy. Anything. Spend some time involved with it. It will hopefully give you a tiny bit of energy to put one foot in front of the other to take one tiny step.
  • Doing something you enjoy will remind you that there’s something you enjoy, will hopefully take some of that “everything sucks” off of you, and lift your mood — even if it’s for a little while.
  • Now, clear off the cobwebs of same-old-same-old thinking and start thinking about what it is that you’re feeling burned out by.
  • Send yourself an email with that thought in the subject line.
  • Create a new email folder so you can keep track of what you’ve sent yourself — and also hopefully so you can track the great progress you’ll be making.
  • Think about something new you might want to do. (I know, I know, I know, — who has the energy to do that while feeling so burned out? Burn out takes the energy right out of you.
  • Send yourself that thought in the subject of an email.
  • Do you have a friend or coach you can throw the thought around with? Just saying it.
  • If that feels like it’s way too much right now — do some online searches about the topic.

Coaching Thoughts + Emotional Life Lessons:

I know from working with clients, that even tiny steps like the above can feel like way too much to try when you’re feeling burned out. I get it. The way to get out of feeling burned out, though, is to envision something different, and start working toward it.

“Working toward it” doesn’t mean doing it all in one day, changing everything in one day, or one week, or even a month.

It took you a while to get to this state, it will take a bit of time to get out of it.

You can do it though.

Picturing a different reality is one step, that you can do on your own, wherever you are.

I can’t give you too much direction without more information, but I did want to tell you there IS hope. There is a way to get out of a burned out state. There are ways to feel good again.

Excited. Energized. Enjoying life. Really. I’ve seen it happen to many people, and have worked with many, many people to help them get there.

It’s possible.

Take the first few steps.

One at a time.

When the weight of burnout is off you a bit, take a few more.

If you have the energy to write more, I’m happy to hear from you.

Remember….

Your life is like no other℠

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Hi — how’s it going? Hope you’re having a great summer, and enjoying every minute.

‘At a loss’ is a busy executive, with a hectic schedule, two children, and a new divorce. She wants to know how to help her children — but she has no time to help herself. She doesn’t have the time for self improvement, but wants to know how she can jump right in to help her son who is getting into trouble at school.

She asks me for some help with dealing with her son’s experience at school. I give her some suggestions, but also suggest she take some time to help herself and develop her inner core. Do some core work, and get the same kind of personal care internally that she gets externally. Read on for more.

Hello Rebecca,

I’ve never written something like this, I was raised not to discuss problems, not even to acknowledge them. I saw you in an article I read and liked your response to the issue discussed, and quite frankly I have no idea why I’m writing to you, but I am. I’ve done a lot of things this year that I never dreamed I’d be doing, so I guess this fits right in there. Please keep my information private. Thank you.

I have a very intense position in a very intense industry. I have attained professional success in any way that anyone describes it. I got divorced about a year ago after an almost 20 year marriage, and am raising my two children (10 and 15) mostly on my own. I am lucky to have excellent household help. My ex husband has the children every other weekend, which causes more disruption than not for all of us, but he’s their father so I allow it. While we were married I was the primary breadwinner in the family.

Most days including weekends I work 14- 18 hours. It is necessary for my industry and position. The only time I take for myself is to work out most mornings, and get personal care which I’m able to have done in my home. My external image is very important to my work position. I meet many people, and travel often.

I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy. Mostly because I’m not even sure what that would feel like. As I mentioned above, we didn’t discuss feelings, emotions, or anything like that when I was growing up in my home. I did whatever I may have done in college, and got married at 22. I did all the things I was supposed to do, personally and professionally.

The reason I’m writing you is that I’m concerned about my children. If I must be honest, I believe some of their issues are related to my not being home much while they’re growing up. My older one almost got suspended from school. Their father reported to me that at the meeting with school officials, his teachers and guidance counselors at school they said he’s been acting out. We discovered that he’s been drinking, and possibly more, and getting into trouble online.

I don’t want this to affect his younger sister, or for him to be a bad influence on her. They’re very close, which surprises me as I wouldn’t imagine a 15 year old boy and a 10 year old girl would have much in common.

I want to help them any way I can. I don’t know where to begin. My son has been sent for counseling to a private counselor since I would not allow him to get counseling at school. I don’t want it on his record.

I don’t have time for self improvement at this time, as I mentioned I work many hours, but I do want to help my son. How can I help my son? What should I be saying and doing? Is it the divorce that has caused this? I’m at a loss. None of this is anything I’ve ever been prepared to deal with. Put me in a meeting and I know what to do. This has me completely at a loss as to what to do next.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and any help you could provide would be very helpful and appreciated.

Best,

At a loss

Here are some thoughts in response.

Hi ‘At A Loss’,

Wow, You’ve got lots going on! And it sounds like while you’ve been well prepared to deal with your work and professional life, you weren’t provided with the same preparation and guidance for dealing with your family life.

Your questions here deal with helping your son. It does sound like he’s going through a lot and acting out because of it. I’d love to give you specific guidance and direction about what to do with him, but since I don’t have more specifics, I hesitate to go deep with my responses about the situation.

Some general coaching tips on first steps to take:

  1. Keep open lines of communication between you and your son’s father. Communicate about issues your son is experiencing at school and at home. The positive things as well as the negatives.
  2. Meet with your son’s teachers and the administration if necessary. Your son should understand that you’re all working together and that there is accountability. You’re all in contact about his progress, and are there to step in if/when there are problems.
  3. Set up a system of accountability/consequences. In simple terms that means he needs to know that he can’t ‘get away’ with all of his negative behavior. Match the consequence to the actions. Remember to be as fair as possible. In some cases you can even ask him what he thinks should happen if he does x, y, or z. (Sometimes kids are tougher on themselves than you would be on them, so ask him — and discuss a fair follow-up.)
  4. Get him any, and all, of the help he needs. If the school counselors/therapists are not an option, get him the help he needs via private therapy or counseling. I know many people who bypass their insurance companies in order to keep the work confidential.
  5. Listen to him.
  6. Spend time with him.
  7. Discover, and uncover, his great qualities, skills and strengths. Focus on them.
  8. Encourage him to spend quality OFFLINE time with friends. Whether that’s through sports, crafts, arts, or anything else he might be interested in.
  9. Keep your daughter in the conversation as well. What’s going on with her? Use any of the above suggestions with her as well.
  10. Do things as a unit. Create a new family dynamic among the three of you, and encourage your husband to do the same with them. They have new family situations now. That’s their new reality. Make it as positive and unified as possible.

Emotional Life Lessons for you:

My suggestion to you would be to get some assistance for yourself as well in order to be the best, strongest, most capable person you can be — in order to help yourself — and in that way, to help your children.

I always use the example of the oxygen masks on planes. The flight attendants always say that if you’re traveling with children to put your own oxygen mask before you put theirs on them. Why? Because if you can’t breathe or function, you won’t be able to help them.

You mention that you “don’t have time for self improvement”. I believe you, really.

It sounds like you’re busybusybusybusy.

But — you have time for external self improvement. You say that you take time to take care of yourself for work, and other things.Okay, so there’s some time there. Now —

  • Make some time for internal self improvement.
  • Make some time for self-development.
  • Take some time to figure out who you are right now, and who you want to be moving forward.
  • Work your inner core. Strengthen your great qualities.
  • Develop new qualities that you never took the time to do before.

I’m not suggesting it’s easy to do. Working out is hard to do, and you do it.

Self care is time consuming, and you do it.

Working OUT is hard. Working IN can be tough too — but so worth it!

Great good luck to you, your children, and your new family unit. If you’d like more specific suggestions please feel free to ask.

Remember….

Your life is like no other℠

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Hope you’re enjoying July! If you’re on vacation — have a great one! If you’re going on vacation soon — have fun! If you aren’t taking vacation — have fun any which way you can! I’m on a quasi-vacation, so I figured I’d share some posts I wrote a couple of years ago that work any time. Enjoy!

During the summer I have clients who begin creative writing projects. Maybe it’s the long days. The lazy days. The inspiration of being outdoors more, and seeing the world differently. Maybe it’s a trip that inspired them.

I’m reposting a post I first put up in August of 2013. It got a great response, and I put it up from time to time, as well as send it to clients in the arts. It refers to two of the areas I’m involved in. It’s about writers, but it can definitely apply to many different creative areas. Enjoy!

Writers & analysts? What do they have in common?

I began a study on the similarities between writers and analysts with a mentor/professor/writing partner/student/friend of mine a number of years ago.

At the age of 92, this mentor was a scientist, psychoanalyst and writer. She had lived the most amazing life and we were discussing working together to write her memoir. She decided against it because “my story isn’t that interesting.” Believe me, it was more than interesting. Way more than just “interesting”. Fascinating & riveting are only a few of the words that come to mind. To her, the stories she heard from students & patients were far more interesting. She focused on those and her scientific and psychoanalytic papers.

During our “Wednesdays With Mentor”  we talked much about writing and psychoanalysis and the connections between the two, and I wrote a paper with some beginning thoughts on the topic for a class I took with her. I’ve often thought of her since she died a few years ago. During the last few months of study, writing and new experiences & projects, I realized a number of things I wish I could share with her now. So, I’m going to write them here and hope that the thoughts are helpful to others out there somewhere. Who knows? Maybe somewhere out there in the universe she’s reading & nodding.

A great analyst and a great writer of characters have much in common when it comes to their patients & characters. Great analysts can “hold” and accept their patients feelings and thoughts. ALL of them. The good, the bad the ugly, the terrifying, the revolting, repugnant, hateful, murderous, loving, sexual, erotic, happy, euphoric, sad, suicidal, dangerous, destructive, enraged, fun and funny.

A great analyst can hear them, know them, feel them, accept them and tolerate their discomfort of being with the feelings, as well as her own. They can have all their own feelings and tolerate all of their patients’ feelings.

To write great characters you must be able to do the same. Your characters can’t keep any secrets from you. You must know them better than you know yourself (counter intuitive perhaps, but true.) You must be able to know your characters deepest, darkest secrets and fears – and not recoil from them.

You must accept your characters,  along with their thoughts and feelings, so they may truly live. Only then will they be real, on the page, in the imagination, on the screen.

Those characters that leave you cold? Indifferent? Who fade from memory as soon as you close the book, the device, leave the theater? They had secrets from themselves and from the people who created them. Their secrets render them invisible in your psyche and memory.

“Say everything” is what an analyst will tell you in your sessions, from the very beginning. Allow and assist your characters to say everything to you. Know them. Only then will your audience know them.

The truth will set them free. Be able to accept, and tolerate, their truth. In return,  the process can, and often will, set you free. 

Remember….

Your life is like no other℠ (and your creative works won’t be either…)

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Happy early summer!

Every year about this time I start thinking about possible lessons or interpretations of Independence Day. In that vein, I’ve been thinking of the spirit of independence from old ways and things that aren’t right for you anymore… which makes me think about how important it is to find what you want in life and find ways to turn your dream to a reality…

To that end, I bring you — A real-time question-comment from a long term client — let’s call him G.

Along with that,

  • A quick thought about why G is the perfect person to learn from
  • Coaching questions in response to think about over the holiday weekend
  • Takeaways to make your life more interesting

G’s Question-Comment:

“I talk to people all the time, and I ask them how things are going, and they say ‘same sh*t different day’ and my reaction is, WHY??? There’s so much out there, it’s a great world, it’s a great life, why would it be ‘same sh*t, different day’??”

I stopped him right there, and asked if I could use that as the next Dear Coach Kiki.

Why G is the Perfect Person to have said/asked this:

Now, I could spend this entire response on describing G and how motivational, inspiring, energetic, energizing, great attitude-y, hard worker, devoted to the people in his life, (and the new people he meets in life) and go on and on and on about what an amazing person G is, but in the interest of his privacy, I’ll stop right here.

Okay, okay, okay, one quick thing about why we should be listening to G’s question, and how he talks his talk so you understand that it’s possible to have different things and different days, and enjoy your life your way.

G? He learned how to swim in his 40s — uh…and… became an IronMan! (a triathlete)

Really. And not just one IronMan, so he could say he did it — which would be fine (I should only be able to say I did an IronMan). He’s done many IronMan races.

Like I said, there’s so much more I could say about G as far as life, work, family, passion + meaning elements — but to protect his privacy I’ll stop here. I’ll focus on the question, and some general direction through questions for getting going to make shifts in your life so you too can enjoy more of your days in different ways.

I’m going to throw out some questions that can get you started thinking about how your days can be different in positive ways.

Coaching Tip: Be honest with yourself — don’t think about what will look good on social media, or what you think people expect you to say. Jot down the first thing that comes to mind.

Personal Development via Coaching Questions:

  1. What are your priorities? What’s important to you in your life.
  2. What would you need to become open to exploring new (really new) options in your life, work, passion projects, meaning projects, hobbies and more?
  3. What attitude shifts do you need to become more open to trying new things?
  4. If you try something, and it’s not right for your life, how can you become okay saying, and acting on, “I gave it a shot, it’s not right for me, let’s explore the next thing in order to find a good fit?”
  5. What do you need in order to persevere?
  6. Do you need to strengthen your internal motivation? An external support system? What kind of support system?
  7. What’s going right in your life? Maybe it’s time to focus on that for a change.
  8. How motivated are you? What’s behind your motivation?
  9. How can you motivate yourself to continue working on having the new, different things in your life when the process isn’t simple, and when it isn’t easy to do?

Coaching and Emotional Life Lessons:

  • Asking yourself these questions, and answering as best as you can, is the beginning of the process.
  • You might surprise yourself. (Really!)
  • Don’t think about the “how will I _________” while answering the questions. That comes later.
  • Chances are if you ask yourself these questions in 6 months (and you’ve done some work on yourself between now and then) some of  your answers might be different.
  • Be patient with yourself. The answers might take some digging.
  • If you get stuck with a question, stop, go on to the next one, and then go back to the one you haven’t answered.
  • Why shouldn’t your life include Amazing Stuff Every Day?   

Happy Independence Day!

Remember….

Your life is like no other℠

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Hope the week has been great so far — the weekend is fast approaching! Is it your first week of the summer? Whatever it is, have fun. Then again, have fun today. Don’t wait for the weekend, or special occasions — make every day special. Appreciate it.

This is a post I’m recycling for #ThrowBackThursday. It’s a theory I began working on well over a decade ago while working with individual coaching clients, and it’s been proving to be true. I’m proud to say that instructors are teaching it in their classes in the USA as well as internationally.

It’s about how different people make changes in different ways. How they get ready to make a change. What that readiness might look like.

If you’d like to teach it in your class/es, please let me know, and let’s talk about how you’ll be presenting it. This is a very brief version. If you’d like materials to go with it, we can discuss that too.

How do you make a change? Do any of these readiness styles fit your style, or do you have a different style that’s uniquely yours? Please let me know — always happy to get more information and feedback.

Weingarten’s Theory of Readiness (sm)- When? How? Best Way To?

One of the things I love about the work I do is exploring and developing new theories in order to assist people and groups to understand, articulate and achieve their goals.

One interesting phenomenon I’ve been studying & developing as a theory for learning and change is something I call “The Readiness Theory”.

In its simplest form, different people get ready & become acclimated to changes in their lives in different ways.

  1. Some people dive right in and get used to the experience while they’re muddling through it.
  2. Some people need to have all the elements in place before they can make a change or move.
  3. Some people make a change and then take a few steps back before they jump right in again.
  4. Some people make a change before they’re ready to live it and then act that out in different ways.

Readiness will show up in many ways and will also impact the process of change, as well as the psychological & emotional adaptations.

Emotional Education Questions:

  • What’s your readiness style and how has it impacted your decisions?
  • How has it helped or impeded your ability to make changes in your life?

Making a Change

Many issues and questions come up when people think about making a change in their lives.

  • Professional changes can include changes to different areas of your life as well. Your financial situation can change in the short term.
  • You may begin to question your professional identity “if I’m not a _____ than what am I?
  • Lifestyle, leisure and geographical locations may change.
  • In the short term you might feel disconnected from yourself and a bit confused, but in the interest of your long-term change you persevere.

The great news is that change is possible

It can mean redefining yourself and your place in your career, profession and world.

It means beginning with the person you are today.

Coaching questions for making a change:

  1. What is working? (besides you…)
  2. What isn’t working? (besides everything else…)
  3. What do you see as obstacles to making changes?
  4. How badly do you want to make a change?
  5. What are you willing to do in order to make the change?

Change takes time. Everything takes time.

People don’t move at superhuman or technological speed.

Making a new plan for yourself, incorporating new elements into your life, contemplating change and making it a reality takes time.

Begin by asking yourself how you’ll fit all that into your already busy day/week/schedule.

Create your own plan based on your own readiness style.

Good luck!

Have a great weekend!

Remember…

Your life is like no other. sm

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Hi again — hope you’re having a great week.

I got a great question last week from Man of a Few Words who Needs To Be Offline on Vacation (MFWNOV), but I needed some more information in order to answer it in more detail.

So I asked.

Here’s how the email exchange went. The first one was 12 words. Really.

Question from (MFWNOV): I need to be offline on vacation how can I do it?

My response: Do you want to be?

(MFWNOV): NO

Me: Why do you have to be?

(MFWNOV): my wife said she’ll divorce me

Me: For being online.

(MFWNOV): i’m online a lot

Me: How much?

(MFWNOV): all the time for work and to relax.

Me: Work?

(MFWNOV): tech

Me: Relax?

(MFWNOV): gaming poker reading watching

Me: Age?

(MFWNOV): 37

Me: Wife?

(MFWNOV): 38 fitness professional

Me: Anything else?

(MFWNOV): she says this vacation is a test. she wants to start a family. doesn’t think I’ll be ‘available’ as a father or partner

Note: I asked (MFWNOV) questions in very few words since I understood from Man of Few Words question that he is — uh — a man of few words . I wanted to communicate with him in a way that he’d find comfortable.

Coaching Tip: If you’re in a leadership position, be it as a manager, employer, teacher, trainer, or anything else — pay attention to the communication style of the people you’re working with.

Your best bet for getting more information, and keeping the conversation going, is to speak in their ‘language’. The style they’re most comfortable with.

Thanks (MFWNOV) for your great question. Here are a few thoughts.

Dear (MFWNOV),

There’s a lot more information I’d love to know about your situation in order to give a detailed answer, but this is great. Thanks for asking, and I’ll answer based on information I do have.

First of all, you’re not alone in having an issue like this with your wife. I’m hearing from more and more (and more and more) clients of all ages, relationship status, family status, work status, all the statuses that there are conflicts around screen time, online-offline time, and all the issues that go along with that. So, there’s that.

In your case, I did notice that you don’t speak much — although that might be a function of email and texting.

Which would lead me to ask, if you were my client, “what came first?”

  • Did you speak less and therefore find refuge online where speaking/communicating isn’t as necessary?
  • Or, did you used to speak and communicate more and somehow do less of it once you spent more and more time online?

Why the questions? Because it would help knowing how to assist you in spending less time online during the vacation.

I do see some resistance here though. You do NOT want to be offline, buuuuuut you have to be or else…

Some Questions I’d Ask You:

Do you want to go on vacation with your wife?

How much do you care about starting a family?

Because if you don’t care, or don’t want either of those things — you’ll probably find that you’ll be spending time online while you’re on vacation.

Now. Your original question is “I need to be offline on vacation. how do I do that?”

Need. You didn’t say ‘want’, or ‘I’d like to be’ so any tips I suggest to you will either go out the window — or — will be really hard for you to accomplish if you’re feeling resentful about needing to do it.

Emotional and Life Coaching Suggestions for some hard thinking:

Spend some time thinking about

  1. What you want as far as your relationship with your wife.
  2. How you really feel about  having a family.

Coaching Tips About the Thinking:

  1. This is the time to do it.
  2. Be honest with yourself.
  3. Be honest with your wife.

I’m not suggesting that it’s easy. You might need some coaching or therapy to really go deep with this, but you’d be doing yourself, your wife, your relationship, and any future children you might have, a real favor thinking this through now.

I make these suggestions before getting to your answer since if you come to the conclusion that you don’t want the same things, or you’re at a crossroads with each other that won’t be resolved before vacation…well, it’s up to both of you to decide what to do with that.

Having said that, here are a couple of ideas I’d suggest to clients who are online all the time to help them ease into being offline for an extended period of time.

Coaching Suggestion:

  1. Would it be possible for you and your wife to agree on some short online times for you while you’re on vacation? If she’s okay with that, it might help you knowing that at some agreed on point, you’d be able to go online even if it’s only for a short while.

Because…This is who you are right now.

Being online is important to you, and something you need, so explaining to her that you’d like some online time might help her understand.

Explain that you’re not doing it to avoid her, or to disappear into the ether, but it’s something you need to do, even if it’s only for short amounts of time.

That doesn’t mean you won’t ever change, but right this minute, in the immediate short term, this is how you operate.

Vacation Coaching Tip: You didn’t mention where you’re going, or what kind of vacation it is, so I’ll use a beach vacation as an example here.

Sounds like you’re someone who gets very involved when you’re interested in something.

  • So, doing some advance work for the trip, can you find something/s that you’ll be seeing/doing while you’re away that you could really really get into?
  • Are you interested in oceanography?
  • Animals?
  • Sailing?
  • Surfing?

If you’re not —

  • Can you become interested in one or more of them for a short time?
  • What might you be able to become interested in that would be available where you’re going?

What I’m suggesting is finding alternate focuses that you can engage in while you’re away. Different things that will keep you interested. Really interested.

  • Choose things that need a lot of attention and focus.
  • I’ve worked with clients who’ve taken up card games, crafting, new exercising & workouts, studying geography, oceanography, skydiving, reading, audiobooks, meditation….and on and on.

It’s hard for me to make specific suggestions since I don’t know more about you — feel free to send a follow up email with thoughts about how/if any of these can help you, or to ask for more/different suggestions.

Coaching Suggestions:

  1. Begin weaning yourself off your tech before you go on vacation. You can begin today by setting a timer (a simple watch or egg timer) for one minute. Tomorrow move it up to a minute and a half. The next day shoot for 2 minutes.
  2. Monitor your reactions. Are you getting anxious when you’re offline? Are you feeling sleepy or disinterested in what’s around you?
  3. There are ways to minimize some of the anxious, sleepy, or depressed feelings you’re having. (They’re beyond the scope of this response, but feel free to email and I can point you in the right direction/s.)

Emotional + Psychological Life Lesson:

Remember: This is a way of life that you’re very, very, very used to — it would make perfect sense if you have an emotional, psychological, and even physical reaction to it.

Coaching Suggestion:

  1. Discuss with your wife what you’ll be doing while on vacation. Plan ahead.
  2. What you’re attempting to do is to make sure there’s no vacuum.
  3. Deciding to shut-everything-off with no plan for what to do with all that time instead, will leave a huge black hole where your online time was. Prepare for that time.

Suggested Reading:

The Dangers of Distracted Parenting. When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time—and more about their own. The Atlantic  https://theatln.tc/2t3BIue

Video Game Addiction Tries to Move From Basement to Doctor’s Office. NY Times https://nyti.ms/2t4w5Mu

Great good luck! I admire your guts in asking the question, that indicates some real interest in making this change during vacation. And for a Man of Few Words — you did a great job communicating some of the very important aspects of the issue.

Have a great time on vacation!

and keep in mind…

Your life is like no other. sm

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Hope you’re having a great week!

And now, for the 4th and final part of the series on Imposter Syndrome.

In part 1, In A Panic had gotten the job of her dreams — and it sent her into a tailspin.

In Part 2 I talked about something that comes up with many/most individual & group clients, that I call Situational Imposter Syndrome.

In Part 3 I described how sometimes it makes perfect sense to experience Imposter Syndrome.

In this final installment of the series on Imposter Syndrome, I’ll share some thoughts on

Can Career Change, Promotion or even Passion/Meaning Projects Trigger Imposter Syndrome?

Many of my clients often miss the fact that their career changes can, and often do cause feelings of Imposter Syndrome.

Here are some coaching tips that I put together for employers and managers to help with the process:

Employers and managers can (and should) help new employees, or people in new positions by assisting them in the transition process.

This may include offering:

  • Clear information about the new job/role
  • Information about the chain of command  including who they work with and report to
  • Performance expectations
  • Performance review requirements
  • A website with information about each role
  • Short scheduled meetings or consultations with management, HR, internal or external coaches on personal process and how that might mesh with company/business expectations.
  • Consultation with management or internal/external coaches on skills that need to be learned, maximized, or improved for the specific job

Coaching Tips to help you through the beginning phases of the change:

  • Think of previous success
  • Prepare
  • Transferable skills
  • Prepare
  • Positive self talk
  • Prepare
  • Take notes on what you need to improve — and —
  • Improve it
  • Prepare

That can mean preparing before you get the job, or while you’re at the beginning stages of any new role.

Sometimes nothing a person does, or as much as they prepare, helps. There are many reasons for that. Some you’re not even aware of consciously.

Emotional Life Lesson Note:

These can happen at any stage, age, or change in life — including work, school, project based, career change, or life change.

  • Feelings of low self esteem
  • Old tapes you’ve incorporated from important (to you) people in your life. Like the messages you hear in your head telling you negative things about yourself.
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Disinterest in what you’re doing
  • Doing something for someone else — it’s not what you wanted to do at all

This can lead to depressed, or anxious- or both feelings. Which can lead to a different kind of disconnect where everyone out there thinks, or perceives, of you in one way and you feel completely different inside…deep down you’re feeling like an imposter since you don’t feel anything like what everyone else thinks you are.

Emotional and Psychological Experiences:

Even in the midst of outward success you’re experiencing a sense of —

  • Feeling as if people don’t know the ‘real you’
  • Feeling invisible
  • Not being understood
  • Not being heard
  • Not fitting in
  • Not being the ‘real you’
  • Not being genuine, authentic even with those closest to you

If you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome occasionally, know that it’s normal and happens to many (most!) people at some points in their lives.

Coaching Tip + Emotional Life Lesson:

  • Discover the areas of your life where you feel the most authentic.
  • Explore the facets of those experiences that encourage the feelings of authenticity.
  • Strategize ways to include more of those kinds of experiences into your life.

Wishing you a great day, and remember —

Your life is like no other. sm

Have a great one,

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Happy June! I’ll be continuing the series on Imposter Syndrome — & including some new tips & thoughts on questions I’ve gotten about it since I started this series.  

Imposter Syndrome…let’s be honest, who hasn’t experienced it at one time or another?

In part 1, In A Panic had gotten the job of her dreams — and it sent her into a tailspin.

In Part 2 I talked about something that comes up with many/most individual & group clients, that I call Situational Imposter Syndrome.

Today I’ll talk about why it makes perfect sense to experience Imposter Syndrome sometimes.

Coaching Tip: It’s pretty rare for someone starting something new in a career, passion or purpose project not to experience imposter syndrome.

When you look at the list in Part 2, it makes perfect sense that those situations would make a person feel & think —

  • “Who am I to __________ (fill in the blank)”
  • ” I don’t know what I’m doing”
  • “I’m out of my league”
  • “I made a huge mistake”
  • “I’m not qualified to take on”  (fill in the new experience here)
  • They know what they’re doing…they have it all together…I have no idea…I have a little bit of an idea but they really know…”

Of course! if you’re starting something new you’re a beginner again. You’re in the equivalent of 1st grade in that thing. You’re starting something new and the feelings of performance anxiety, insecurity, low self confidence, questioning your abilities and knowledge can come up again.

If it’s been a while since you started something new, those feelings can feel like a shock to your system, but think back to the day before your very first job…scary stuff. That same old feeling can be coming up again in a new situation — no matter how much your rational brain tells you this situation is different. No matter how many people are telling you “you’ve got this…”

Coaching Tips for new situations:

  1. Truth be told, there’s a whole slew of new skills, talents, responsibilities that you have to learn.
  2. You can learn them.
  3. You (usually) don’t have to learn them all in one day.

Emotional Life Lessons when in new situations:

  1. In our showy-look-at-me-don’t-I-look-amazing-watch-me-being-spectacular Instagram, Facebook, social media world where people might be expecting a pic or update about how your first day is so perfect and everything is running smoothly immediately… there’s real life. There’s the reality of how things work.
  2. There’s also your specific internal pressure.
  3. Add to that  external pressures from the workplace, project, and friends & colleagues.

Of course you’re experiencing anxiety. Of course you might be feeling like an imposter.

So…of course you can cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to have it all together the first day — and guess what? That doesn’t make you an imposter.

Coaching Tip: Quick mindset shifts & gifts for you.

  1. You’ll be a beginner many times over in life — if you’re lucky. Embrace that fact and move forward from there.
  2. Think about the excitement of starting something new.
  3. By the way, nervousness & excitement create the same chemical reaction in your body, so when you’re feeling anxious ask yourself what’s exciting about the situation and focus on those aspects.

Coming up in the series:

  • Are you feeling like an imposter because you actually are a bit of an imposter? Did you pretend to be something you aren’t? Did you say you know how to do things you don’t know how to do? Thoughts & tips for dealing with those situations.
  • How to help your employees, students, or children work through some general issues around Imposter Syndrome.
  • How unconscious, long forgotten feelings of imposter-ness can be affecting your career achievements & trajectory, and your career change goals.
  • How expectations of yourself, the expectations of others, and your perceptions can trigger imposter syndrome.

Wishing you a great June, and remember —

Your life is like no other. sm

Have a great one,

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Have a question you’d like answered? Or an issue you’d like some thoughts on? Ask away.

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching & Rebecca K. Weingarten Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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In part 1, In A Panic had gotten the job of her dreams — and it sent her into a tailspin.

That actually makes a lot of sense, and happens quite often.

The question for her, and anyone who’s ever experienced these feelings of imposter syndrome is,  what’s causing them?

If you aren’t an imposter, what’s causing the feelings of imposter syndrome?

If you aren’t an imposter, and you’re feeling imposter-y are you doomed to feeling that way forever? (No.)

Are there things you can do to feel real? (Yes.)

If you are an imposter — what can you do to change that situation? (A lot of things. One at a time.)

Read on for more.

Emotional Life Lessons:

  1. Good situations can make you anxious.
  2. Exciting and new situations can cause you to doubt yourself.
  3. Getting a new job, starting a new career, beginning a passion or purpose project, changing careers, or new, positive life circumstance, can bring up lots of the old baggage you’ve been hiding in your figurative attic or basement.

That could mean lots of old feelings;

  • Feelings you thought you worked through
  • Feelings you thought you’d gotten rid of
  • Feelings you thought weren’t relevant anymore
  • All of those feelings, and more, can spring up causing feelings of anxiety, loss of self confidence, thoughts of “why me?” along with a sense of unworthiness, feelings of surpassing your wildest dreams — and what does that mean — what’s left?

Huge Coaching Tip: If you’re an imposter and you’re okay with it — carry on. Move right along. Nothing here for you to see.

Making a Change Coaching Tip:  If you’re an imposter, and you’re not okay with it — get going & change being an imposter for being the real you.

Reality Tip: The coaching tip above takes some work, but you can do it.

Making a Change: First, you need to identify what’s causing you to feel like an imposter–

There’s something I call situational imposter syndrome which is exactly as it sounds. A situation that’s causing you to feel like an imposter. Some of those situations can include —

  • New job
  • New life situation
  • New position in your field
  • New career
  • New passion project
  • New purpose project

Right? Seriously? Good things, great things, things you’ve worked toward and were excited about? Those thing can cause you to feel like an imposter?

In a word — yes.

More on this in Part 3 of the series.

Have a meaningful Memorial Day — a fun weekend, and remember —

Your life is like no other. sm

Have a great one,

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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Happy Wednesday! (Why shouldn’t Wednesday get a special salutation?)

Quick Intro:

I’ve gotten a lot of great questions so far, and while I’ll be focusing on different topics, the topic of Imposter Syndrome comes up a lot with people. In their professional lives, their personal lives, as partners, parents, experts in their field, sports, hobbies, career and life changes….even vacations. (Really).

I picked one question that touches on a lot of the issues, and as I started answering it grew and grew and grew. This will be a few parts.

Someone calling herself In A Panic is in a really tough spot. She’s landed the job of her dreams, only to have it cause her nightmares. Is she suffering from Imposter Syndrome, or is there something else going on beneath the surface? Because it’s an issue I get asked about all the time, I’ll answer In A Panic’s question and then add some general thoughts.

Dear Coach Kiki,

I just got an amazing new job — yay! More responsibilities, more autonomy, more leadership responsibilities, more of an opportunity to use my skills and talents, and more money and vacation time. That’s all so great, isn’t it?

I was so tense during the application & interview process — and the waiting — I don’t know which part was worse.

When I found out I got the job I was THRILLED beyond belief. I celebrated with my husband, my friends, my family, my colleagues — and I couldn’t wait to start.

I had two weeks between jobs and I’m not sure what happened, but I completely fell apart. We’d been planning a week long getaway for one week, but I don’t think I can go (my husband is super annoyed, we haven’t been on vacation in ages).

It started as soon as I got the good news, to be honest, but in the rush of finishing up and training my replacement, and getting the paperwork in order for the new job, and celebrating this amazing opportunity I’d dreamed about and worked hard for for so long,  I managed to push the negative thoughts out of the way.

But wow, when they hit, all those thoughts, and fears hit me like a ton of bricks.The second I got into the elevator to leave on my last day — well, let’s just say I didn’t even think I’d make it down to the street (I did) without pulling the emergency alarm. I don’t know if it was a panic attack, but I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and all the feelings hit at once.

I got nervous, insecure, terrified that I wouldn’t really be able to do the job. Everyone would find out I’m a complete phony, that I don’t have the skills, I can’t lead, I can’t manage, I don’t know my stuff, I’m a failure, and I’ll be the laughing stock. I was this close to running back to my old office and begging for my old job back. Seriously.

The two weeks are up next Monday, and I’m going into work at the new job (if I can drag myself in). HELP!!!! I’m suffering from massive imposter syndrome — and I’m this close to — to — I don’t know what because I’ve got to get myself in there on Monday, and I’ve got to stay there for the immediate future.

This should have been the happiest time for me, and the new job should be so exciting and rewarding, and all I feel is terror that I’ll be found out. That somehow everyone will find out I’m not up for the job, I’m not qualified for it, and I was aiming too high. Not to mention that my boss will think I’m a failure, I won’t be able to keep up and I’ll get fired.

Wow. Did I just say all that? Thanks for listening, or reading actually. Oh, and HEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLPPPPP.

Imposter In A Panic

Dear In A Panic,

Oh the stress! A new job. New people. New responsibilities. For every one new thing you were excited about there are exponential things to be anxious about. There’s so much in your question to address, but let’s take it one thing at a time.

Before we even get to the imposter syndrome issues you’ve got to get through the first few weeks and months so you have a job to (possibly) feel imposter-ish in, and then un-imposter yourself from.

So. First of all — can you still take the vacation? You need it and deserve it for landing the job, and hey it sounds like you and your husband have been waiting for this opportunity for quite a while. Have fun. Rest up. Energize. All that anxiety can drain you before you’ve even begun — and you need all your energy for the days and weeks ahead.

Career Change Tip: It will take you a couple of days, weeks, and/or months, to get acclimated to your new job, environment, corporate culture, people, schedule. You didn’t ask about time management, work flow management, or project management here so I won’t spend time on those, beyond saying that getting some of those in order will help you get through the beginning weeks, months, and projects.

Emotional Life Lesson 1: Most people I’ve worked with, at some point or another suffer from Imposter Syndrome.

(I can hear the collective groan — but I can also see you all nodding.)

It’s a big world out there, and the more people you meet, the more experiences you have, the more you take on, the more opportunities you have to feel like an imposter in.

Lots of people out there are telling you “go for it, you’ve got this” “no!! you’re not an imposter, just give yourself some great self-talk and it’ll all go away”. All those things can be helpful.

They can be especially helpful if it’s a situational Imposter Syndrome episode. A blip on your screen. In that case, no biggie and it doesn’t need anything more than for it to pass and a lot of positive feelings, self-talk, & support. Not a biggie. But that doesn’t work for everyone — at all. As a matter of fact it doesn’t work for most people.

Emotional Life Lesson Question 1: The question is why are you experiencing Imposter Syndrome?

I usually ask clients what’s causing the Imposter Syndrome feelings — and as part of that exploration and a question no one wants to hear, but is important to address, I’ll ask you too —

Emotional Life Lesson Question 2: Are you an imposter? Are you an imposter in this situation?

Before you stop reading, or before it sends you into a panic, let’s look at it — because even if it’s true (a little or a lot) you can work to get rid of it, but you can’t get rid of something you aren’t aware of, are denying, or don’t want to deal with.

Next up in this series

Some answers whether you answered yes, or no, to the above question.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Your life is like no other. sm

Have a great one,

Kiki aka Coach Kiki

aka Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA

© 2018 TradeCraft Coaching Please note that all posts are for entertainment purposes. It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of medical or psychological care. You are always encouraged to check and confirm the information with other sources and through direct professional contact.

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