The Power of Pessimism

My coach, Susan, once told me that you need two types of supporters: those who are optimistic cheerleaders and fans and those who are (as I would call them) picky pessimists.

The key is all about the timing. When your goal / idea is in the nascent stage, you need individuals who will guide, nurture, and encourage you so you can create a vision, develop resolve, and sink in roots of commitment. Once you have those things, you want to drive to excellence – and the only way to do that is to have people who will challenge, critique, and “force” you and your idea to get even better.

So there is power in pessimism if you bring it in at the right stage and time – and you don’t let the criticism discourage, dissuade, or freak you out.


Winning in the End

I had been working on a program for new MBAs with little work experience on how to build enduring relationships. It’s based on research I’ve been doing for years – really since I was crushed by an out of control elevator.

That said, because I feel so strongly about the subject matter I want to get it right, make it useful for the students, and have fun in the process. Last week (especially on Friday before I delivered the program that evening), I was more than a bit nervous and feeling (shall we say) insecure. I really battled the negativity within myself to not let doubt get the better of me.

I am happy to report two things: first the Friday evening and Sunday morning programs (with two different groups of students) went well and I learned some things to make it even better the next time.

Thank you to those who encouraged me, provided guidance, and helped me grow! I am very grateful to have  you in my life.

Have a great day,

Know Your Value

I’ve had a number of people call me this week in a high state of stress. After we spoke for awhile, it became clear that the people weren’t appreciating their own value. In that state (and believe me, I have been there), comments, questions, and critical feedback can create doubt, insecurity, and even inaction.

Here’s what I recommend:once a week, write down at least 5 things that you value about yourself – and while you’re at it, make the same list about at least 1 person in your life and let that individual know how you feel.


It’s Okay to Dream

I was meeting with someone today who is really good at implementing  – with great savvy, excellence, and leadership. Yet, she feels less comfortable dreaming. Well, I am happy to report that my friend is off on an exploration to find what she truly wants, where she can provide the most value, and where she can live and work authentically.

This takes courage.

Congrats, my friend.

Have a good day,

Give Up or Stand Up

When faced with a goal that seems daunting, people I work with go in one of two ways – they either give up or they stand up. Clearly the first option isn’t good and leaves the person defeated, disappointed, and stalled. On the other hand, those who stand up and decide to take an action – no matter how small – expand their courage, confidence, and capacity. A much better option.