In 2010, at the very beginning of launching Well Beyond Ordinary, I wrote about change in The Change Paradox. At that time, I was in the process of walking away from a successful career as a filmmaker – one I’d invested more than 20 years and a masters degree in. Back in 1964, a time of great turmoil in America, Sam Cooke wrote about change in his iconic song, “A Change is Gonna Come.” It always does.
Lesson #1 – Change IS Going to Happen. The more we resist it, less we can see the opportunities it can provide for us. We only have two choices when circumstances beyond our control create change in our life – sit down and give up or get up and get going. The sooner you can accept change, the sooner you can create something you never imagined from it. I’m not suggesting this is easy, but for me and my clients it is easier than the alternative of living a life of giving up and giving in.
Acceptance is different than giving in. Gratitude is one of the critical factors that can help you move to acceptance. Even if change has created a loss, we can grieve that loss while being grateful for what we do have. Over time, this helps us to accept what we can’t change and move forward.
Change is Happening for Me…
And, now, it is time for me to reveal the next big change for me. When I first launched my coaching business, my primary focus was cancer survivors and caregivers. It has been an honor to serve this community as a coach, speaker, blogger, and advocate. While I will continue my advocacy role working with several high profile organizations including American Cancer Society and Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, going forward, my focus will be coaching high performance.
When I entered the coaching profession, it was early on in my grief recovery process. From early childhood, I was a high performer. I loved competition – with others and with myself. I saw it as a way to measure how close I was to my goal of improving as a skater, dancer, gymnast, and competitive rider in the horse world. I’ve worked with coaches since I was five years old, which is why becoming one made sense to me. My life was been about excellence and mastery…until grief tore it to shreds. Then, it became about trying to breathe.
Over the past seven years, my front facing coaching business was working with cancer survivors and caregivers. Behind the scenes, I’ve done much more coaching healthcare executives, nurses, surgeons, medical residents, health coaches, and other healthcare professionals. Why do I do this kind of work? It’s because of Karen, an oncology nurse angel.
Lesson #2 – Don’t let grief be the leader. Go through the grieving process that comes with change. It can be a healthy, healing process. Personally, I became stuck deep in my grief. While it took me much longer to work my way through it, I’ve helped clients rebuild their lives and avoid getting stuck by teaching them the process I finally uncovered that helped me rebuild my life. (I now offer an online self-guided course, Grief as a Pathway to Transformation, through Daily Om, a leading online personal development website. Click here for more information.) As much as I didn’t want to, I had to take the lead. Being willing to risk it all and start over again as a coach in my forties took guts. I had to stare down my fears, invest in myself, and believe in myself. My grief led me to coach cancer survivors and it has been an extraordinary experience.
But now, I’m taking what feels like a final step in my own healing process and taking the lead again by choosing to, once again, embrace my high performance self and move from being a cancer survivorship coach to high performance coaching in healthcare. This change marks a pivotal moment in my life. I have been the sole creator of designing a new, extraordinary life out of my loss. I am high performance…to my core. And I know how bringing a high performance approach into your life can make a really good life really great.
Going forward, my blog (and my website – check out the overhaul – and forgive a few places still under construction and some links we’re working on fixing) will reflect who I am now becoming as a coach. I’ll be sharing high performance tips, tools, and insights. Part of my approach to high performance includes wellbeing as you can’t perform at your best in any area if you aren’t at your best in other parts of your life that are important to you. I also bring my expertise in transforming stress, improving emotional intelligence, and expanding awareness through mindfulness and a high performance mindset. Everyone, not just healthcare professionals, will be able to benefit from these tools. I also now coach medical experts and scientific researchers on how to present powerfully and with ease, so you’ll be seeing more tools and tips on how to be an effective communicator and overcoming public speaking fears that often hold people back in their careers.
If you’re part of my amazing cancer community and you’ve been following for years, you have my thanks and appreciation – and please know you can stay tuned to this channel and continue to benefit from my articles, posts, and content.
Lesson #3 – Spend Your Moments Wisely. Just like the grains in an hourglass passing through, you only get the moments of your life to live once. Invest in yourself by taking time to be aware of your values and your priorities so you can live a life by design, not default. Who do you want to be spending time with? What do you want to invest your energy in? What actions, experiences, and relationships best support your wellbeing and your longevity so you have as many grains of sand as possible to ‘spend’ during your time here?
I’ve happily served the cancer community for the past seven years. I am grateful for every moment. There were fun times, hard times, times of witnessing amazing breakthroughs, and times of supporting challenging breakdowns. But it is time for me to spend my moments wisely and align my coaching with where I am in my personal journey in life.
After 15 years of widowhood, I am coming fully into my own life. I’ve reconnected with my high-spirited, enthusiastic, passionate, high performing self and I’m ready to help others achieve this in their lives. At heart, I am a disruptor. I invite and support others to disrupt the way they are living so they can be, do, and have more. I’m excited to be shaking things up and doing exactly what I coach others to do…disrupt where I am so I can grow into someone even greater.
Upcoming blog posts include interviews with:
- A leading cancer researcher who is a high performer living his life on purpose and with passion
- An amazing PhD candidate about the important role of public speaking for researchers and how she overcame her fears
As well as topics such as:
- Why change isn’t easy (and how to break through instead of break down)
- 3 Steps to Being Your Own Buddha
- Disrupting Mediocrity
- Rock Bottom is Not a Top 10 Destination
- Managing the Ticking Clock: Tips for Healthcare Practitioners
- Heart Centered Problem Solving
- And more!