Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning in December - Dissolve your resolve!

Each year I make a New Year’s resolution to be my best at all times and in every situation, and each year that resolution is tested like you can’t believe, and I end up exhausted from the effort. But am I wiser for the effort? Often, I’m not so sure.

As a performance coach I endeavor to walk my talk and lead an honorable, honest life of integrity and wisdom. As a perfectionist I constantly monitor my behavior to see if I’m living up to my near impossible high standards. As a husband and father, friend and fellow human I am constantly reminded that even my best efforts are often misunderstood or missed entirely.

For the last 25 years I have kept a mental list of those I felt I had harmed in some way through hurtful words or deeds, misgivings, callous remarks, or ignorance. It’s a pretty hefty list and I’ve worn it like a hair shirt reminding me of the guilty feelings I chose to carry year after year.

So this year (2011) I decided to make a new resolution, I decided to let myself off the hook. I wrote down the list of the people who I felt I may have slighted in the past and I reviewed each one. In many cases I scratched them off, realizing that perhaps there was no harm or foul. In several cases I determined that while my actions may not have been up to snuff, what I received from them cancelled out any egregious behavior on my part. And in a very few cases I decided to reach out to the people I felt I had harmed in some way and apologize. In all of those cases I was met with reactions like “What? I don’t remember that” or “Shut up, I never took offense.” One of my closest friends told me simply “Of all the people I know, you could say anything you wanted to me and I know it was coming from a good place, you’re just not a jerk.”

That comment created a shift for me. All this time I was trying so hard not to be a jerk, I never actually considered that I never was one in the first place.

An unexpected byproduct resulted from this understanding… I began to take very good care of myself, learning and setting my own personal boundaries, releasing the need to take care of everyone’s feelings, not worrying every moment if what I was saying was offensive, or tactless. And as a result I realized that I didn’t have to resent others’ successes in life despite their less-than-perfect behavior. Resentment for me has been my kryptonite – a glowing green chain around my neck blocking my strength, limiting my power. No more. I’ve learned at 45 years old that life is one giant messy question mark, and we don’t have to have all the answers, or do the right things. It’s okay to not be perfect as long as you understand that being imperfect is actually… perfect.

Now, for 2012, I resolve to love my flaws and forgive all my past mistakes. Because after all it has been said that good judgment comes from experience... experience comes from poor judgment.

Here are 3 easy tips toward having the best year of your life:

1. Focus on what you’ve got. How often do you concentrate on what you’re not getting, not accomplishing, or losing out on, and miss the wonderfully positive things that surround you daily? Play your game, not someone else’s and you’ll be much happier on a day to day basis.
2. Follow the Yes’s. You have that plan in your head of what your life is supposed to look like, but often find yourself saying ‘this isn’t it.’ Let go of the plan and allow the opportunities before you to be your guide – follow them and they will lead you to new adventures and a new you.
3. Forgive. Start with yourself. I know for me personally the resentment I carry for my own reactions, thoughts, excuses, misgivings, missed steps, and misguided actions only serves to keep me in a place far from discovery and wonder. I don’t need to forgive anyone in my life because I am loved – what I need to do is forgive myself for not seeing that clearly.

You’ve got some time left before ringing in the new year. Why don’t climb up in the attic of your mind, or down to the basement of your heart, flip on the lights and toss out the old junk that’s taking up too much space, and gathering dust.

Now’s the time to do it. Next year is going to be your best yet.

-Know yourself, don’t NO yourself.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quoted in US News and World Report

Thrilled to be quoted in US News and World Report on surviving getting fired...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Failure is not an option?

"There is no failure," my NLP coach once told me, "only feedback."

Penicillin was invented by mistake. The Lightbulb was the result of nearly 10,000 unusable versions before Edison was able to see the light. Neil Armstrong crashed the lunar lander in the simulator hundreds of times before sticking the perfect landing 250-thousand miles away from Earth on the surface of the moon with 6 seconds of fuel left.

Mistakes are important, necessary, helpful. As humans we instinctively reach further than our grasp in order to test how far we can go, often stumbling along the way, and learning valuable lessons that help guide us toward a more successful endeavor in the future.

Americans have become especially fearful of failure, trying desperately to avoid any bump in the road, hoping to make a perfect attempt on the first go. But that is exactly what gets us into trouble. By avoiding mistakes, you have nothing to learn from - nothing to help direct you toward the most perfect solution for you. We've scared ourselves out of being the best we can be by trying to be it before we're ready.

Here are three simple steps to making your life free of 'failure-fear' :

1. Don't talk yourself out of risk - especially before you start. Often the first no you might hear when taking on a bold new step is from yourself. Recognize that fear of falling on your face plays a huge part in just getting started. Many people have ideas, few see them through.

2. Visualize success. There's a great quote from Henry Ford: "If I listened to only what my customers wanted I would have built them a faster horse." Ford understood that risk, and belief in the outcome was key to his success. Set your goal in front of you like an oasis in the desert and start walking toward it. This is how you will accomplish your goal.

3. Celebrate the mistakes. See your failure as feedback, an opportunity to learn and move on, and value it. Once you remove the stigma of failure from the bumps along the way, you'll begin to see that your destination will be worth the journey it took to get there.

Be your best!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Hone for the Holidays

Oh boy, this is it... the mad dash to the end of the year - how did we get here so fast? Wasn't it just July 4th? Okay, so I've got lists to make, packages to send, presents to buy, lines to stand in, bargains to shop, tree to decorate, house to decorate, other's decorations to envy... And don't forget about spending time with the family! What are you gonna do? It's the holidays!

So how is it that the season of celebration, joy, giving and family gatherings has become the time of the year that is most stressful? Because of the pressure we put on ourselves to have such a magical wonderful time, when things don't always feel that magical.

Visiting the family can be especially tough. As family members, we know each other better than anyone else – foibles, flaws, failures and more. And the hope that maybe this year things will be different turns to anger, distance and resentment when that one button gets pushed and nothing has changed at all. Even in the closest of families – the least dysfunctional – expectations of unity, peace and holiday spirit can be instantly dashed at the moment a family member’s annoying habit poisons our perfect holiday scenario.

Here are the three things you can do this holiday season to hone your family relationship skills and make your holiday gatherings a more positive experience:

1. Limit your exposure: If you know that a certain amount of time spent with a family member gets your blood boiling, then simply plan to spend less time with them. Get in, get out and get on with your life.

2. Practice forgiveness: If you’re carrying any unresolved resentment into a particular situation, you’re planning to have a fight. You’re not going to fix or change this person – especially not during the holiday. So let it go, forgive their past offenses – and suspend your own judgment of them – and see if you can remember what you love about them. Focus on their good attributes. Let’s face it – who among us is perfect?

3. Visualize a great time: Before you spend time with your friends or relatives, take five minutes and visualize yourself driving or flying home from the visit feeling good about it and happy that you spent time with them. Take that peaceful energy into the situation and you will look for ways to create it while you’re there.

We can’t choose our families, but we can choose to accept them for who they are, and allow ourselves to be who we are at the same time. Your holiday is yours to create -- any way you choose. This year choose to be the change you want to see in the family. Be forgiveness, be joy… BE MERRY!

-Be your best!


Saturday, November 26, 2011


I forgive you.

I forgive you for being harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be.
I forgive you for the lies you felt you had to tell to keep yourself safe from scrutiny.
I forgive you for being your own worst enemy.
I forgive you for fighting to be right, especially when you weren't sure if you were.
I forgive you for playing into the fear, and backing out of great opportunities.
I forgive you for the rage which consumed you, clouding your judgement and fueling the abuse to yourself and others.
I forgive you for hurting people, pushing them away, breaking their hearts.
I forgive you for doing your very best and still falling short of your goals.
I forgive you for the judgement you opposed on others who themselves struggle with their own shortcomings.
I forgive you for not saying anything or defending yourself when you were abused by others.
I forgive you for crying wolf when you weren't.
I forgive you for pushing away love while campaigning for it at the same time.
I forgive you for the mis-steps, the wrong turns, the dead ends, the misunderstandings, and the questionable choices.
I forgive you for falling down. Again and again and again and again and again.

And I thank you for getting back up every time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Coaching Video

Just posted a new video. Take a gander... Thanks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Blame Game - "I get to be right!"

Blame. It's an easy thing to assign, but takes a lot of work to avoid. And yet, placing blame or ignoring culpability is what we do best, isn't it?

Not too long ago I found myself living in the past. I was recalling a life transition I had made years earlier: leaving television completely and focusing fully on my coaching services (which ironically is Transitional Strategies!) I caught myself putting aside the excitement of my new path in favor of dwelling on choices I had made in the past which may have steered me away from a growing career as TV host and news personality. And I was reconnecting with the anger I felt years earlier.

As a younger man I loved my TV career. When I started in the business, I was determined to be the top host in the world - landing the best show on TV and giving it my all every week. I landed several big shows on big networks like HGTV, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Channel, and to keep stability and make more money along the way I worked for a local TV news station doing traffic and weather. I had my goals firmly set, I had a plan for my life and my career, and I saw my finish line.

But all of that changed several years ago when an unusual set of circumstances came together in the perfect storm and I lost all 3 television projects I was working on within weeks of each other. In that one month span my entire plan was wiped out, and I was faced with a blank slate, and no other viable plan to replace it.

But I actually did have a back up plan, and I was already working it, I just didn't give it the credit it was due.

Since childhood I have been a student of enlightenment, motivation and serving others. When I was 10 I helped my grandfather deliver meals on wheels to his friends who were house-bound prompting one of our recipients to remark about me: "That kid has the heart of a volunteer." In grade school I found myself advising all my friends about their home lives, love lives, personal struggles and more. I just came naturally to me, and I had great results with it. I attended my first open AA meeting with my mother at the age of 13, and continued to go on my own for years after.

In college I studied the workshops and teachings of Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, Leo Buscaglia, and many others. In my early 30's I completed the Landmark Education Curriculum for excellence, eventually becoming a head coach for Landmark programs in Los Angeles. In my late 30's, after hiring a coach to help me remove a serious personality block, I was so impressed with the techniques he used, I earned my own certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy and Timeline Therapy. All this work I treated as a hobby as I built my TV career.

But with my chosen career at a sudden standstill, I was faced with a choice - one that I had not considered previously because of my earlier success: Do I continue to pursue the elusive TV deal, or do I do what I've always done so well... help others? I chose the later and never looked back.

Until recently. Which brings me back to my point: Blame.

At the time of my great transition, I was filled with anger and blame for the people I held responsible for my circumstances. I blamed my parents, my brother, the TV executives, the business itself, and anyone else I could think of to fuel my anger and ultimately be right! By being angry at others, I got to be right about my position, and not focus any of the culpability where it belonged. With me.

And that's what blame does - it gives you the freedom to avoid personal responsibility, and be right about your anger. But hanging on to your anger and justifying it with blame only perpetuates the issue and its resolution can remain painfully at bay.

Take my example: As my TV career ended I was absolutely sure that the business and everyone in it was out to stop me from having what I wanted. I blamed everyone for the downfall I experienced and cursed the ones who were successful. I lived in that blame, being right, and staying stuck with no direction to turn.

Then one day, not too long after, I got an email from someone that I had helped when going through my NLP certification. As training, I took on someone (at no charge) who wanted to quit drinking. I had plenty of experience with alcoholism, and with my new NLP tools was able to get her to stop drinking completely. She had just reached her 1 year sobriety milestone and was writing to thank me for changing her life.

The letter floored me.

I realized by the time I was done reading it that from early on in my life I was a major success. My volunteer heart, my love for enlightenment, motivation, and helping others along with my personal experiences all added up to who I have become now. But to get here, I needed to stop blaming others for what were ultimately my choices.

It was my choice to pursue a life in television where very few people achieve lasting success. It was my choice to stay in a career which was so dramatically up and down. It was my choice to try to prove to myself and others that I could achieve the goals I set despite the odds. I chose the life, but I didn't choose it powerfully - which means the bad with the good - and ultimately discovered we just weren't meant for each other. At least not right now.

Accountability set me free from the trap of blind persistence and I, my clients, and you are all the beneficiaries of that change. I am living my destiny and its effortless.

So what does accountability mean for you? When was the last time you challenged yourself to release blame and take responsibility for your own choices? Pick one time in your life where you blamed others for something that could have been easily your responsibility and revisit the issue. Close your eyes, focus on the whole issue, and see if you can see your part in it.

Look at something differently, and that thing changes.

Be your best,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My 'Life as a House'

In 2001, Kevin Kline starred in a movie about George, a divorced father in the final stages of his losing battle with cancer, trying to reconnect with his estranged 16-year-old son, while also rebuilding the broken pieces of his own past by tearing down the dilapidated house left to him by his abusive father, and building a new one in its place. If you haven't seen this amazing movie its worth a watch - mainly for the poignant final words spoken in the film as it fades to black.

The thrust of the tome serves as a window into the core of our struggle as humans - we're all doing our best with what we've been given, despite often appearing to be doing much less in the eyes of those who love and need us the most.

When George demands that his son join him for the summer to help finish building the house, he is met with huge resistance. George's son spends most of the summer trying to get out of the sun-up to sun-down work his father asks of him. By the end of the film, however, George reveals he is battling cancer and he needs his son to finish the house he won't be able to complete on his own. His son, struck by opposing feelings of rage, concern, and needful love, releases his final anger towards his father and becomes the caretaker his father could never be. The two reunite in a final effort to end the cycle of misunderstanding, rage, and abuse, and George's son comes to love his father in a way George's father never earned.

For me the film was the catalyst for my improved relationship with my dad; I was able to see my father as George, the tormented workaholic who was harder on himself than any member of his family, and as a result nearly lost everyone close to him because of his behavior. But my dad, like George, is really a good guy - talented and smart, funny and loving. It was his circumstances (demanding job, impossible home life growing up, demons of his own past behavior haunting him constantly) that kept him from enjoying a life free from the scorn of others he may have hurt. I came to know my father as a person, not an unreachable entity, and I realized that he - like all of us - is doing his best with what he was given to make it in this world.

He's a good man and a really good grandfather, and I'm so happy to have him in my life and in the lives of my children.

For my own story, I was determined to tear away the rotting wood, weak foundations, and leaky plumbing in my 'house' before it became an expensive tear-down. Part of that personal remodel for me was the understanding that while doing my best I am going to stumble, make mistakes with my children and wife, and not always be perfect... and that's okay. I'm doing my best with what I've been given, while seeking wisdom and growth - and that's enough.

What parts of your house need remodeling? Is your foundation strong enough to take on some renovations? Who will benefit from the new you? Wouldn't it be wonderful if at the end of your movie, when your house is complete, you've left a warm hearth in which your loved ones can find comfort?

Be your best!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crisis Management

Are you grateful for the bad as well as the good? To live life fully, understanding that a crisis can often turn into an opportunity for growth, is what will allow you to truly accept your life and find peace and joy despite obstacles. There is a great saying: We are never as happy or unhappy as we think we are. Wise words, and if you think about it, you'll see it's really true.

With a huge pit in my stomach I share with you that my wife and I found out that yet another family we are close to has a child who has been diagnosed with cancer. That makes 5 close friends of ours with kids who are going through some kind of treatment for cancer - none of them older than 8 years old.

When we heard the latest news, we were devastated for our friends. We collected our two beautiful children and hugged them tight, giving them every ounce of love, health, and abundance we could. But the parents of these children all have one thing in common my wife and I are certain we may not be able to possess: Resolve. None of them - NOT ONE OF THE PARENTS - has ever said to us "Why me? Why my child? This isn't fair!" Instead they have become advocates, leaders, experts at things called hydrocephalus and multiple myeloma. They research, investigate, probe, question, get 9 opinions, and demand the best from every doctor - all while remaining poised and positive for their stricken child. These ordinary folks have become leaders of their cause, advocates for their children, heroes to the rest of us. It's an incredible thing to witness.

I have learned so much about strength from people I would never judge for falling apart due to their circumstances. Instead I have seen these brave parents (and their brave children) rise to the challenges in front of them and I am humbled. And I am grateful for what I have.

The Chinese symbol for crisis is also the symbol for opportunity. Who are you in times of great challenge? What lemon in your life will you turn to lemonade today? And what are you grateful for right now? I wish all of you the best of health.

Be your best!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Apple of Your i

Apple just unveiled the new iPhone 4S today. It's faster, has better graphics, a better camera, and a voice activation feature that made one engineer in the Artificial Intelligence field stand up and clap.

Here's the link if you want to check it out:

So here we are - just a few short years from integrating machine and man to the point where we will be inseparable and I can't help but wonder... "is this a good thing, or not a good thing?"

No matter what, the technology will continue and generations after us will look at us as primitive monkeys with sticks fighting the future, afraid of change - just like we tend to do with those who came before us, so wondering if its right or not is simply a waste of spirit.

What we should be thinking about is what will be lost in the process of acquiring so much technology. What part of ourselves may soon disappear much like a vast percentage of our vocabulary has in the last 100 years. And not just what we say, but whether we say it or not is in jeopardy. As we connect more than ever before humans are standing back from each other socially, and that's, well, disappointing to me. It seems easier to text someone when you're breaking up with them than to do it face to face.

Human face-to-face interaction is still the best way to connect with someone. After all 93% of all communication is non-verbal, and by texting and typing and emailing everybody, we're only getting 7% of the messages intended, and that can lead to a kind of loss you may not have even been aware of feeling.

Next time you see a neighbor on the street, or a friend, or have the opportunity to get out of your house and see someone - do it. The heart can't be warmed by "LOL" and there's nothing that can replace a smile - certainly not ":-)"

Know yourself, don't NO yourself
-Coach Steve

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The NO Zone

Who are you stumbling for? Who are you failing for? Who are you drinking / drugging for?

Tough question, although not really. Often the very people you blame for your problems in your life are the ones you may be hanging your disfunction on as a reason to stay dysfunctional. After all pain, rejection, disappointment - these are simple, expected emotions. Victory, achievement, joy - these are emotions you may not always expect on a consistent basis, but pine for nonetheless.

This is what I call living in The NO Zone; a place we desperately wish we could get out of, but one that is too familiar, certain, and consistent to leave because at least you know what to expect from it. It's safer to stay here and live a life of want, than to venture out and risk losing everything. And so you stay in your corner and develop elaborate schemes to blame outside forces for your immobilization. This blame game is simple: you have a person or event in your life which you wear like a coat, protecting you from risking a more powerful future, a more positive life. Perhaps you have your whole story set up: "He did this, so therefore I am like this..." you'll say to yourself and anyone else who listens. "I'm like this because of this..." you might continue.


Today is the day you release your 'reasons' for failure and take on a new story of success - a story you can begin writing right now with these simple phrases...

"Today is the day. I am the person."
"I make the choice, God makes the change."

You already know what you need to let go of to move forward. Jealousy of another, hatred, blame, resentment, and on and on. You already know, but hanging on to these negative emotions let you have one aspect of control over your life - being RIGHT. You get to be right about your anger by making the other person / thing wrong.

And so you stay in The NO Zone getting to be right, and never moving forward.

Are you ready to release this negative aspect and begin anew? Today? NOW?

If so, you have one thing to do - you already know what it is. Do it and the results will astound you.

Today is the day. You are the person. You make the choice, God will make the change.

Choose wisely, powerfully, lovingly... and see what happens.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being Of Service - Creating a More Productive, Happier YOU

What is your gift? What are you better at than anyone you know? Are you sharing that talent with the world?

I can tell you in my own life that discovering my true calling; coaching people through transitions in their lives, was only the beginning of my journey toward so called ‘success.’ Once I had a clear picture of who I was as a coach, I was still left with that nagging question: “Now what?”

If you’re stuck in a “Now What?” phase situation, the best move to take is toward knowing yourself and your skills better. Below are my 4 Players of Productivity. Each character represents a part of the brain that we all access from time to time. You will no doubt relate to one or two of these players.

1. She’s the Boss – The leader, the person in charge who has a final vision in mind and gets the best people around her to accomplish the task at hand. She is demanding, but acknowledging, tough, but fair. She rules the roost. Her no-nonsense approach takes no prisoners, but leaves none behind.

2. The Idea Guy. He takes the boss’s vision and conceptualizes a big picture plan of what the outcome can look like. He sees the project from start to finish without sweating the details. He gets excited about the plan, rallies the group, and explains the vision with gusto. His creativity and spirit motivates the group.

3. Room Mom. The nurturer of the group. She makes sure that everyone is happy, working together, and has everything they need to work effectively. Not concerned with outcomes, details, or the big picture, the HRC simply wants everyone to have the best experience possible working together to create the best possible outcome.

4. The Accountant – You’ll find him in the back room with his head down, focused intensely on the details of the project: budget; contracts; specific wording; and all the other details that must be attended to in order to make sure the project is done right the first time. Without the Accountant, too many things would be left to chance, increasing risk, and minimizing results.

You may have a combination of two or three of these key players. A rare few possess all four equally. If you’re stuck in the “Now What?” phase and need a boost, get out and let your strongest trait shine to the world. Be the Boss and lead the PTA at your kids’ school. Take on the VP role and conceptualize a neighborhood block party, getting others on the block to work out the details and invitations. If you’re the HRC type, step up at work where you can utilize your caring, nurturing style to increase happiness and productivity. And if you’re the accountant type, see if there’s someone in your life who needs a detail-oriented person like you to help them sort through a mess.

The answer to the “Now What?” questions may be out of your control. But if you’re not happy, you’re not utilizing your talents to their fullest. Don’t worry about getting paid right now – there’s more in the joy of doing what you do best (and doing it for others) than any paycheck can bring. Serve, and see what comes back to you.

Know yourself, don’t know yourself

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3 Tips to keep you in the "Yes" column in your life

I recently published a post in Maria Shriver's blog section of her website. Hope this helps you keep yourself away from the "No's" and flirty with the "Yes's"! Enjoy:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fear Itself

Fear is in the mind. So it stands to reason that if the mind can create the fear, then it can cure the fear as well, right?

As reported in the Sept 7th issue of Science Daily...

"When healthy people are faced with threatening situations, they react with a suitable behavioural response and do not descend into a state of either panic or indifference, as is the case, for example, with patients who suffer from anxiety."

The study goes on to show how scientists have identified the stress-causing circuits which can cause anxiety and increase unwanted fear, hoping to create a more specific drug to treat the symptoms of fear and anxiety.

The shame here is that you and I both know what causes the anxiety which increases the fear. Anxiety is fear of the future turning out badly. If we project a bad outcome, based on previous bad outcomes, we will focus on that unreal, but projected outcome and assume its going to happen - opening up a flood gate of emotions, fears, and behaviors which will steer us right into the outcome we so fear. This is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's like driving on a snowy road; conditions are slick and dangerous. All of a sudden we see a light pole ahead and we want to avoid it, but because it is something we fear, it becomes the one thing we focus on and eventually we smash right into it! This is what anxiety does to our lives - it steers us right into the very thing we fear, because it is the very thing we're focusing on.

Try this simple exercise to reduce anxiety...

Pick something in your future that scares you: A job interview; a blind date; public speaking; paying your property taxes! Now close your eyes and imagine yourself 15 minutes after the event feeling amazing, everything went off without a hitch, you nailed it, nothing went wrong! Now take that emotion and put yourself 15 minutes before the event. Where's the fear? Is it still there, or is it gone?

Remember... fear is created by our own minds, so we can stop it and reverse it. Understand that the reason you fear something is because you don't have a relationship with its positive outcome. So create one, and the anxiety will melt away.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ted Pink shares his wisdom for 21st Century management

Hello friends.  A very passionate speaker teaches us about how our ever-changing and evolving lives in business as well as in life can often be right in front of us, but not be seen.  Enjoy this clip: Know yourself, don't NO yourself.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Joy - chosen

Happiness is a choice.  Like when we chose our favorite peanut butter, the color of our new car, the college we want to go to, which bill to pay this month.  Choice is all around us, and is the only thing we have control over, yet we seem to think we have no control - no choice.  Why?

How many times have you said out loud... "I have no choice."  Are you sure you didn't?  Are you sure you don't?

There's a wonderful distinction between choice and decision.  Decide, roughly dissected, translates to the murder of the alternative:  De (the other) Cide (murder).  When we decide, we automatically remove the other options and find we have to defend our decision... "I did this because..."  Decisions are therefore not powerful in the scheme of things.  Choice, however, is a powerful entity which requires no defense.  "I chose this because I chose this."

Living in choice makes us strong, resolute, complete.  Choosing allows us to have what we want without explanation, without apology, without a story to back it up.  We choose because we choose.  End of story.

So... today I choose joy.  Do I have issues?  Yes.  Do I have problems?  Yes.  Do I have setbacks?  Yes.  I have all those things, but THEY DON'T HAVE ME.  And that is where the power comes.  You can't stop life from coming at you, but you certainly can choose to not be affected by it.  Life will always present challenges, disappointments, despair, and so forth.  But you don't have to be given by those outside circumstances... you can CHOOSE to overcome them.  All of them.

Choose joy today.  It's the same as choosing sadness - same energy - it's just directed in the direction of your most powerful destiny.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nice Guy's Finish

There was a study released today which determined that "Mean People Make More Money."  It's an interesting study, but one that shows a dangerous trend: To have the American dream, you have to be a jerk.  The study - like most others - doesn't attempt to preach the benefits of a life lived doing good deeds for others, it only states the results of an investigation.  In fact, most information from studies are only meant to deliver facts about trends and human behavior.

In the same news cycle was a story about a police officer who was shot outside of a McDonalds by a suicidal drug addict just minutes after the cop bought cookies for a 13-year-old boy and delivered sage advice encouraging the boy to work hard and follow his dream of being an NBA star.

The slain police officer in this story wasn't trying to get ahead by stepping over the weaker people in his way to achieve the goal of more, more more -  he was risking his life every day to protect and serve those who needed him.  It was his dedication to betterment of his fellow man that drove him on his path to success, and success for him was a life in service of others.

There is no difference between the jerk who leaves nice guys in his wake to have more things, and the police officer who lost his life doing good for others - each man will one day be underground and all they will have left will be what others say about them.

List of nice rich guys:  Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard.

Anger and mean behavior comes from fear.  There is no shame in being a nice guy, no reason to succumb to anger and mean behavior just because you fear being poor.  You want to make money?  good... you can be assertive and go for what you want, that's the American way!  But mean behavior, treating others poorly, or looking down on others who have less is not American, it's not anything - it's just not necessary.

Good deeds, like the one the slain officer did moments before his senseless death, define us long after our money, toys, and greed get snatched up by our ungrateful, spoiled kids!

Know yourself, don't NO yourself

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Steve Truitt Coaching Page on Facebook

Hello all,

Please follow this link and 'like' my Facebook coaching page.  It's good karma!

My Facebook Coaching Page:
You can also follow me on Twitter @stevetruitt

Know yourself, don't NO yourself!


Friday, August 5, 2011

On The Court

What stops you?  Most times it’s the discomfort we feel when confronted with a challenge that we’d rather not face.  Often those challenges are really very good things, there to shake us up and make us grow, but we may not see it that way, and so we get uncomfortable and back away.  One of my favorite quotes about stepping out of your comfort zone and living life in the open is this:  To the world, you may only be one person, but to one person, you may be the world. There's a very funny thing that happens when we decide to get out of the viewing stands of life and get on the court to play ball; people already in the game want to play with us, and those still stuck behind have the choice to stay behind or get inspired.

As a person who spent most of my youth perfectly content to sit on the sidelines and watch the game of life play out in front of me, it was just as easy to resent the players, and make them wrong for playing the way they did.  But after my transformation to a person at cause in my life, not always on the 'effect' side of life, I began to take risks with personal interaction – getting out of my shy box, and actually starting a conversation (something I always dreaded). Small moves socially at first led to larger, more bold interactions, follow ups, and eventually networking, and before I knew it, I was on the court, playing with the big boys (and big girls!)

Here’s the key:  There's only one difference between you and someone just like you who may have more success in the same area where you struggle:  The successful person believes they have a right to achieve their goals no matter what – this is what gives them that competitive edge, that passion.  

I want you think of someone in your life, or that you are aware of, that is successful.  Now answer these questions:  Do they have a firm grasp of their own abilities? Do they ignore the fear of what others think?  Do they always seem to know in their heart that they belong where they are?   If you answered “Yes” to those questions, then you’re thinking of someone who has the edge on knowing themselves and their power.  Now… ask yourself the same questions.  Do you answer “Yes” each time?  If not, what will it take to get you there?

Here are 3 tips to get you in the “Yes” column in your life:

1.  Find your passion.  We all have something we’re great at.  If you haven’t found your thing yet, ask your best friend, ask your family members, They know you probably better than you know yourself.  Interview them on your strengths, what they love about you, and where they see you acting at your best.  Chances are you already know what you were meant to do, but haven’t found the strength to pursue it.  I was lost in my career until I realized that helping others is what I do best – I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, helping my grandfather deliver Meals On Wheels. It took me a while to realize that I could do it on a grand scale with massive results, and I’ve never been happier.

2.  Believe.  Believe.  Believe.  I know it can be hard to be led if it is you that you're following, but you have to believe that you are worth the successful outcome, or you will always end up back in the stands. When you’re talking with your friends and family about how they see you and your strengths, listen for the compliments as well.  Friends and family are the perfect mirror for us to see where we shine and where we can improve.  A mentor or coach would be a great help in this area as well.

3. Take Action.   Take all that pent up fear that holds you back and use positive actions to point yourself in the right direction.  If you can imagine what might go wrong if you take a risk, then you can also imagine what can go right!  Remember, courage is acting in the face of fear.  For me as a shy person, I had to simply begin talking to people at parties, in crowds, at games, etc.  I knew if I was going to up my game, then I had to make the first move and get uncomfortable! Now I can engage with anyone and not fear that first contact.

At the end of the day, the only thing that stops us is ourselves.  But ask yourself what’s worse; the discomfort of stretching ourselves to see how far and fast we can improve, or the more comfortable, but non-rewarding inaction?  I think you already know the answer to that one.

"Know yourself, don't NO yourself" 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SportyGirl Fitness ads Life Coach Steve Truitt to their Transformation Team

ATLANTA, GA (July 26, 2011) – SportyGirl Fitness (SGF), in conjunction with World Class Entertainment Production, has added Los Angeles Life Coach Steve Truitt to their transformational team.  The show is conducting a casting call at 8:00a.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel on 75 Fourteenth Street in Atlanta, Georgia. SGF staff will be selecting thirty women to compete in the 90‐day Transformation Challenge and Reality TV Show. “While trying to balance family, a career, health, and spirit, women can easily lose sight of their purpose. Fitness is not just about losing weight...that can occur with any program. SportyGirl Fitness recognizes that every woman is unique and so is her health. Our objective is to meet women where they are, giving them the support and utilities they need to bring about a transformational life‐style change – from the inside out,” said SportyGirl Fitness co‐founders, Basheerah Ahmad and Cheryl‐Cobb Debrosse. Designed as a revolutionary movement, SportyGirl Fitness motivates and assists women in coping with the extraordinary challenges of health, spiritual, financial, physical, and emotional trials in everyday life. Spearheaded by Co‐Founders Basheerah Ahmad, Celebrity Fitness Expert, and Cheryl Cobb‐Debrosse, noted Entertainment Producer and Artist Manager – SGF was created to usher balance and empowerment into the lives of women, through physical training, nutrition consulting and life coaching. During the July 30th casting call, SGF will host a free boot camp in search of applicants who are truly ready to make a serious change and transform their lives...mind, body and spirit. Upon selection, the women will breakout into teams to begin a three‐month race to reach the highest weight loss goal ‐ suggested by Celebrity Fitness Expert, Basheerah Ahmad. Team members will meet 5 times a week for one‐hour training sessions with frequent weight assessments conducted throughout the three‐month process.  Celebrity involvement will include Chante’ Moore as host for the TV project, Vivica A. Fox for the mid‐ contest Boot Camp, and Broadway Star and American Idol finalist, Tamyra Gray. Michael Jai White, a black belt in several karate styles and Film actor appearing in Tyson, Spawn, and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too, will also participate by preparing the women for a self‐defense challenge. The SGF team for the 90‐day Transformation Challenge and Reality TV Show includes, Co‐Founders, Basheerah Ahmad and Cheryl Cobb‐Debrosse along with Life Coach – Steve Truitt, Celebrity Nutritionist‐ Christine Avanti, Celebrity Chef – Sam Bell, international Fitness Star‐ Obi Obadike, Chante’ Moore, Michael Jai White, Vivica A. Fox and a host of other celebrity participants and judges.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself

Monday, July 18, 2011

Your Second Act

Welcome to the world, post 40-year-olds... how you liking it?  Not what you expected?  More?  Less?Different? 

This post is for all of you out there who are feeling cheated by life - those of you who feel that your wishes for success have not been granted.  Okay, so maybe things aren't perfect.  So be it.  What are you going to do about it?

Seriously... what are you going to do?

Because what you may not know is that in many ways you have more power over the rest of your life than you ever did.  You've lived, you've loved, you've stumbled, you've gotten back up, you've stumbled again and gotten back up again.  And through it all, hopefully, you've learned a little something, and with lessons in had you've got a great opportunity to make this second act of your life a life of purpose.

Okay, so it may not have turned out the way you wanted.  You had dreams, plans, ideas, visions.  And for some reason or another, they simply didn't come to fruition - and you worked really hard to make them happen only to be disappointed. 

Here are the three ways to let it go and move on:

1.  Bless it and let it go.  The past is the past.  You took your best shot, you missed the mark, and now other aspects of life have found their way into your daily routine.  You can't move forward until you let go of the past - like an anchor holding you in place.  Say goodbye and move forward.

2.  Take stock.  Look in your life and find where you are successful.  Where do you shine?  Where do you excel?  This is key to creating the second act of your life.  In the creation of the rest of your life you have the wonderful advantage of having made mistakes!

3.  Believe.  This is key.  You - unlike anyone else in the world - are built for something special, something that you possess.  People know you for this trait and love you for it.  If you have any doubt about where you're going, look where you've been happy and made a difference, this is where you have the opportunity to truly create success from the inside out.

Know yourself don't NO yourself

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Give Up

Do you believe in God?

Believer, Atheist and Agnostic alike all use the term 'give up' when they have reached the end of their rope with a difficult situation over which they seem to have no control.

'I give up' they say and move on.

So why those words to describe ending the process of banging your head against the wall?

My own personal theory is it comes from taking your issue and giving it up to God.  'Here God, you take it' which any faithful person will tell you its exactly what God wants you to do - give it up to him.

So what if you don't believe in God, or you 're just not sure?  The result of 'giving up' can still be the same - you're finally letting go of your grip on something that you really have no control over and allowing it to flow back into the universe where it belongs.

Sure, you can work harder, try harder, expect more, try to direct your life in such a way that it will all work out to your grand design and then you'll get hit by a bus 3 days before it all works out!  See, life happens - and what we make of it is how you will see that life.

Look at your life as a plane trip across the country.  You take off from NY and steer your nose toward California and hit auto pilot.  After that, you're almost never on target, in fact, 98% of the time you're off track, needing to make subtle - sometimes major - adjustments to keep you going.  There will be turbulence and smooth times.  All the time your auto pilot is making tiny course corrections keeping you largely on track to your goal, and above the weather.  But in trusting the auto pilot, you're allowing yourself to look out the window and enjoy the ride - to see the sights and marvel at the world around you.  Is that what you do, or do you watch the auto pilot, getting angry every time it has to make a minor course correction?

Bottom line:  there is is great power in understanding that which you have no control over and letting it go.  To know the extent of your persuasion over a situation is true power.  Because ultimately, the only thing you truly have control over is your reaction to life.  So how are you reacting to life?  Are you mad, trying to change the inevitable, or are you calm, resolute, and faithful that life will balance out and what is supposed to happen will?

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans" sang John Lennon.  Plan all you want, but understand that life, like the weather, is going to roll through and all you can do is try to get above it.

And in the end, understand that if you feel yourself completely frustrated by life and asking yourself 'why does this always happen to me?' then its time to try something different: give up.  Just try it.  take the thing that frustrates you the most and just 'give it up.'  You'll see that trying to control something over which you have no control was a waste of spirit, and you now have the freedom to sit back, recline your seat and enjoy the ride - the autopilot has got it.

Know yourself don't NO yourself

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"We Tried..."

Several years ago my sister and I were taking a walk at night.  The sun had just gone down and the starts were shining bright.  As I was looking into the sky (as I always do) I caught a shooting star.  "I missed it," she complained.  "That's because..." I reminded her "You were looking down."

The last shuttle flight is set to take place this Friday, and as the era of NASA's great shuttle flights comes to a close, I want to share my thoughts about the last 30 years and reflect on a culture which has learned to settle for much less while paying for and expecting much more.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a NASA historian and enthusiast.  Since I watched Apollo ll launch into the sky in 1969 and turned to ask my mom "Where are they going?" and she replied "They're flying to the moon, they're going to walk on it" I was hooked!  That was the beginning - and indeed the beginning of the end in my opinion - of America's dominance, and our species' greatest achievement of the spirit.  Because when we sent men to the moon it was the culmination of a million or more years of dreaming of it.  In April of 1981 I sat in my father's New York apartment and watched that first launch live, cheering, jumping up and down, and saluting America's great leap forward in technology and spirit.  I watched the landing 3 days later.

In the early 1970's when we had grown tired of the awesome and near impossible task of moon landings, NASA proposed a new vision:  Mars.  To get to Mars, we would need to launch from orbit, thus we would need a space station.  To create a space station, we would need a shuttle to build it.  And the Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was born.  Intended to be as regular as airplane flight, just as safe, and cheap to operate, the shuttle turned out to be none of those, and this horse designed by committee became a funnel for money, initiative, and imagination from which no inspiration would flow.

Indeed the shuttle was a distraction from what is possible for human beings - progress.  Yes it built the space station, yes it launched and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope, yes it kept the space program going after an extremely successful series of Apollo missions.  But it didn't do the one thing it was supposed to do aside from it's function:  Inspire.

Anyone who has seen a launch of the shuttle (like I have) will tell you it is truly an awesome thing to witness.  The sound alone is massive, sending shock waves through your chest.  The astronauts who have flown aboard any one of the five shuttles put in service will tell you that it is the most complex, amazing vehicle ever built - "A smooth ride" as John Glenn put it.  The countless employees, engineers, and crews who designed, built, serviced, and refurbished the fleet will tell you that each shuttle was a thrill to work with.  All of that it true.  But at the end of the day - 30 years after the first launch - we are going back to the original designs we used 40 years ago, the capsule, to usher us into our next phase of space travel.

So why am I trashing something that has held my attention for 30 years?  Why am I criticizing the very vehicle I support year after year?  Because we could have done better and we didn't.

In my opinion America (and to a certain extent our species) pinnacled with the moon landings.  The greatest achievement in the history of history was realized within 8 years of its mandate.  John F. Kennedy pointed up and we all looked.  No one questioned the decision, no one fought it, we all stood together and made it happen.  When one of the moon walkers returned from his experience he said "Now what?"  He, like his other 11 fellow astronauts who stood up there, realized that after walking on the moon, there really was nothing that could possibly top it ever!  And perhaps they were right.

And so President Nixon approved the space shuttle program to put us on a heading for Mars - a much riskier, much more difficult goal to accomplish.  But after the moon... now what, right?

But Mars - if we ever even get there - will not hold the same fascination.  Its too far away and there's really nothing for us to do there, other than say we're here!

So why did we go to the moon?  Why did we build the space shuttle?  Why the space station and the Hubble telescope?  Why do we continue to pour countless billions into a program that sees humans simply orbiting the earth over and over and over?

Because without them we would be lost.  One NASA engineer, when asked what he thought of the shuttle program, responded: "We tried."

And this is why I love NASA - with all its faults, cost over runs, misguided policies, and a vision that changes with every fickle administration - NASA continues to represent the best humans can be.  While wars rage on Earth, petty differences divide us, doubt, fear and ignorance consume us, NASA continues to look skyward - daring to try, propelling our species forward.  This is why I continue to watch every launch and landing of the shuttle.  This is why I support the Planetary Society, the National Space Society, and countless other programs (and private space initiative too, by the way) whose main goal is to move the chains down the field and keep us dreaming of a better future.  After all, America has spent more in one year of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than on the entire accumulated budget of NASA over the last 50 years.

They say when you look up at the sky at night you're looking back in time.  For me, I see the future.  That's why I always choose to look up.

Godspeed Atlantis on your final journey, and here's to NASA - may the sky never be your limit.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself.

Friday, July 1, 2011


What do you believe?  Do you believe you are worth the sweat, the tears and sometimes the blood it takes to create an extraordinary life for yourself... or are you not sure? 

Belief requires faith.  Faith requires trust.  Trust requires risk.  And risk requires belief - belief that you are worth the risk.  To risk failure is to understand that failure is a teacher, not a persecutor. 

This is a scary time for us, we're weary from decade's-long wars, a three-year recession that doesn't seem to have any ending right now, tense friends and neighbors - some without a job - maybe it's you?  Never in our recent history has the future seemed to be less of something to look forward to, and more of something to fear.  And on top of it, we're still just trying to figure out who we all really are and where we fit in all of this.

But the one thing you do have control over is your belief in yourself.  It's true.  Remember what I always say: "You are not your circumstances" and therefore you can rise above the challenges and road blocks and remember that the person who has gotten you through tough times before is still there with you, keeping you going.  I know that it's hard to be led when it is you that you are following, but you can find that one piece of gold inside you that keeps you going, getting up in the morning, trying day after day against seemingly impossible odds, that one feature that your closest friends and loved ones will say is what they love most about you.  Connect with that part of you again, and you will find a way back to belief.  Belief in yourself.

And when in doubt, take a walk.  The world will wait 15 minutes while you clear your head.  You deserve it.

Know yourself, don't NO Yourself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Each day I take a walk with my dog or children or both through my neighborhood in our beach community of Southern California.  Usually I take the same path - a tight circle around my block - but occasionally I try something new.  Today was a new day

 As I walked through the neighborhood on my new path, I came across a house I had probably seen a thousand times from my car driving by, but never really paid attention to.  It is a small, unassuming home, light brown and set back from the street.  In front of it are a vast array of tropical looking plants and trees.  It's hard to see the house through the 'jungle' in front, but once you arrive at the gate there is a beautiful walkway to the front door (which was wide open by the way).  Looking down I noticed that the bubbling noise I kept hearing was a coy pond with a small water feature sending fresh recycled water back into the pond.  Lilly pads and pond fronds completed the scene.  And even though there was no music playing, I could almost hear the sound of Tibetan bowls chiming in the very light breeze from the sea.

I stood there for maybe 10 minutes, just appreciating the scene, and all the time I was intrigued that the front door remained open, but no person seemed to be around.  The beauty of it... in the middle of a busy street in a busy neighborhood, a mile from a busy freeway, stood an oasis unto itself.  Clearly the resident of the house - having taken so much time and care to create such a peaceful and serene environment - felt no need to protect it by closing or locking the doors.

At the beginning of this year I made a New Year's resolution that I would be 'fine with what happens.'  Well this year has been extraordinarily challenging for me in many ways and being with what is so - a mantra I always teach to my clients and students - has been hard medicine for the doctor to swallow.  And yet, by finding that small oasis in the middle of my walk reminded me that no matter what happens outside of us, we still have the ability and choice to make our own little corner of the world as peaceful and complete as we want.  And when we keep our door open, instead of locking out the rest of the world, we invite prosperity to come in as well.

Know yourself, don't NO yourself.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Being In The Game

I’m a New England Patriots fan – have been since the year they first went to the Superbowl against the Chicago Bears in 1986.  My very first game was their opening game of that season.  My buddy Chris Braga – a Pats fan since birth – invited me to the game because he knew I had a car.  It was the very first football game I ever saw in person.  The Patriots beat their fierce divisional rivals, the New York Jets, and I turned to Chris at the end of the game and said “Wouldn’t it be great if they went to the Suberbowl this year?”  He laughed and pointed out that the Pats had never been to the big game, and this season would be no different.  Chris had long suffered through 2-14 seasons, losing all hope that his team would one day be great. 

But the Patriots did end up going to the Superbowl for the first time that year, and I have been a tried and true fan ever since, dreaming that perhaps my attendance on the first game of that special season played a small part in their success. 

Years later I became friends with a very powerful motivational speaker and business coach (and former New England Patriot!) by the name of Jeff Hoffman. Jeff now lives in Brentwood, California and is a successful entrepreneur and speaker.  At one of his seminars, I heard him tell a fantastic but true story of a friend of his, a football player by the name of Paul Hofer. 

In 1982, Hofer had a chance to try out for the position of running back on the San Francisco 49ers.  It was a tough training camp, and Hofer did his best to earn a spot on the team.  He had stiff competition, however, from another RB who already had the spot the year before.  Paul Hofer showed up every day, sometimes twice a day, and worked his hardest to earn the respect of the other players and coaches.  And he got it.  Many of the coaches told him that they thought he was the hardest working player on the squad.  But it wasn’t enough to earn him the spot, and when the final cuts for the season came down, and it was down to Hofer and the other player. The coaches chose the player with the experience over Hofer the rookie.

Paul Hofer found out about his cut the day before the last pre-season match-up.  That night he went back to his hotel room and decided not to go sit on the bench the next day.  Filled with disappointment, he packed his bags and called a cab to go home. 

But something stopped him.  He realized that he had played all spring with the other players – some of whom he would call friends – and he didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye.  He decided that he would end on a strong, high note and suit up for the final pre-season game anyway, even if he was just going to sit on the bench the whole game.

The next day, Hofer showed up, suited up, and as usual sat on the bench during the game.  The 49ers were losing, and by the end of the first half, it seem that they were going to go down to defeat and start the season with a negative (even though most people think that pre-season doesn’t mean much).  At the start of the second half, the 49ers coaches decided that in order to shake things up, they wanted to adjust from an air attack to a running game and began to call for the running back who beat Hofer out for the position.  The coaches were yelling and yelling his name, but he wasn’t there.  Turns out that player was off in a corner talking with a cheerleader.  Hofer saw this and knew it was his chance.   He ran up to the coaches and without letting them think about it, he simply yelled, “I’m here, coach, I’m going in!”

By the time Hofer got to the huddle, the coaches had called a passing play because they thought they didn’t have their running back, but upon seeing Hofer enter the huddle, the quarterback changed the play, and at the snap of the ball, handed the ball off to Hofer.  In one amazing run, Hofer not only got the first down, but he managed to elude several tacklers, get free, and get to the end zone. 


After the score, Hofer came back to the sidelines.  The head coach grabbed his facemask; Hofer thought for sure he was in trouble.  But the coach smiled and said, “Whatever you just did, please do a lot more!”   And he did.  Hofer played the rest of the game, scored two more touchdowns, and the 49ers won their final pre-season game. 

Paul Hofer not only helped the team win the game, but he also earned the spot on the roster as running back.  He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, helping them win many games, including Superbowl XVl.  As for the other player… no one I’ve spoken with about this story can remember his name.

You’ll never need a better example of how that can work for you than Paul Hofer.  He worked his butt off, knew he belonged there, stayed even when he was cut, and made sure he was in the right place at the right time. 

What if Hofer had just gone home that night?   I still get the chills when I think about that story.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Memory Training - The Three Ways We Deal with the Past

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen~Edward de Bono

Memories - the gift our creator gave to humanity - have allowed us to thrive as the dominant species on the planet.  Thanks to our memories we have communication, cities, infrastructure, faith, medicine, science, entertainment, joy and sorrow.  Our memories are what set us apart from the rest of the animals, and yet it is our memories which have also plagued us with doubt, guilt, remorse, regret, fear, trepidation, and more.

Our memories are what give us the filter through which we process life as it comes, and often that filter can work against us.   The filter works to serve the idea we have created about life and our place in it, so that when any contradictory information appears - good or bad - we process it through our filter and reach the same conclusion we held previously.

The Guard at the Wall
A client once told me he felt as if he lived behind a high wall which extended into infinity to the right and left.  On the other side of the wall stood his father as a kind of sentry, guarding the wall so that no information could get to my client without passing through the father first.  When someone would approach the wall, they would often compliment my client: "You're terrific"; "You're funny"; "You are so sweet" and so on.  After the person left, my client would shout over the wall to his sentry father figure and ask "What did they say?" to which his father shouted back "You're still a loser!"

Experiences in life do not have to define us.  YOU ARE NOT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.  What happened in the past didn't happen TO YOU, it just happened, and you made it mean something based on your emotional filter.

The Three Ways We Deal with the Past
For most of us, we deal with painful memories (or experiences which become memories) in one of three ways:

Feel it
Force it Down
Face it

For those of us who FEEL the experience, we can carry the pain of a perceived memory for years, allowing it to fuel our reasons for playing small in our lives, and not taking on the risks, challenges, or possibilities which could define us as being more than our pain.

Some of us FORCE DOWN our experiences. Resisting emotions that surround painful memories is like what the Ghostbusters did with the ghosts once they caught them - they locked them away in a specialized containment facility in their basement.  Although the door may have always been closed and they didn't see the goblins, they knew they were there... and the energy required to keep that door closed and locked was alarming, causing the city to intervene (much like a coach would with a client who was stuffing down too many bad memories and emotions).  They shut down the containment field and once the ghosts were freed, they could be dealt with .

And then there are those of us who FACE our demons head on.  There is a great saying: "What you resist persists, but what you look at disappears."  Stuffed down or not, once you face the feelings and acknowledge they are there, work through them and let them go, they go away and a feeling of freedom is left in its place.  That freedom is possibility - the possibility to take on something new - something that serves the person you choose to be now.

There are a billion moments in life, each one holds the possibility to create within us joy or sorrow.  If the sorrowful memories are only serving to continue the sorrow, then you are hanging on to them for the wrong reason and you have to release them.  If you want a painful memory to 'unhappen' then you have to face it and let it go.  Otherwise you will be like that man behind the wall, always waiting for word from the outside that life is going to get better - and yet that message never comes because you left the wrong person at the gate in charge of your happiness.

Know yourself, Don't NO Yourself

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kicking The Habit

Today I read something that gave me hope.  A young, attractive, destined-for-greatness news anchor, 28-year-old Laura Diaz, Orlando’s WKMG morning news anchor since 2007, announced this week that she’s leaving television, claiming the emotional toll was too much for her to continue.

Read Laura's story here

“I don’t think I can do television anymore,” Diaz admitted in the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just a lot of pressure. I got into it young. I moved up quickly. It’s really a tough job to do. You have to have a certain thick skin.”

Diaz has been living the dream of many young people for a very short time, having started just a few years ago in the business, rising quickly to KTVE-KARD in Monroe, LA, where she served as the evening news anchor before returning to her hometown of Orlando and WKMG.  It's a meteoric rise which could make any young person's head spin.  Some could handle it, some could not, some would sabotage the opportunity, others would relish it and thrive.  But very few would ever take the moment to reflect on weather they actually belonged there or not.  This is what Diaz has done, and done so boldly.

I'm sure everyone remembers Brian Dunkleman, the co-host of the original season of "American Idol" who left the show citing 'creative differences' and claiming he didn't want to be a part of that scene - who later admitted it was the dumbest thing he'd ever done.  Other famous quitters include Jackie Martling of the Howard Stern Show, Andy Richter of The Conan O'Brian Show, Mclean Stevenson of M*A*S*H fame and David Caruso who left after the first season of NYPD Blue to pursue a movie career.  All of the above examples believed that - based on their perceived self-importance - they could do better.

What Ms. Diaz is saying is that she has done the best she can and it doesn't fit with who she is as a person. She is - at 28 years old - knowing herself enough to put down the microphone and focus on what is most important to her, understanding her true place in the world.

“I’m too down-to-earth to be an on-air personality,"  Diaz explained,  "There’s a lot of wondering in my mind and heart. I don’t want to wait another 10 years and be too far in my career to make a switch.”

Trust me - being on television is like smoking crack (although I've never smoked crack, you get it).  The more you have the more you want.  As you get more attention, and people begin to respond to you in new and exciting ways, the lure of the job becomes intense.  Like any career you want to do your best and rise through the ranks, but with a television career that rise is intensified by fan clubs, people stopping you on the street to say they love you, and all the the other trappings fame (even local news personalities - type fame) can bring you.  Who would give that up?

Laura Diaz.  She took a long hard look at herself and realized that the person she is does not fit the person she's being and she made a change.

The reaction I've been reading has been mixed.  Some hungry news people incredulous at the thought of her leaving, some others praising her wisdom.  But the bottom line is when you can look at yourself in the mirror and realize that the addiction you harbor no longer serves who you truly are inside, and you can kick that habit with no regrets or remorse, but instead be at peace with yourself, you are truly knowing yourself, and not being a no to your possibilities.

Bravo, Ms. Diaz.  Thank you for setting an example for the rest of us.

Know yourself, Don't NO Yourself