Mission North Star might be your answer! January is a natural time for reflection. A shiny new year is upon us, ripe with possibilities and the opportunity to set fresh new goals. It’s also time to look back at the previous year and assess what worked and what didn’t. Perhaps you were working with a professional coach but the results were less than you expected. You may have had lofty goals for 2017 and yet, you find yourself wondering where the last year went. If you did not achieve long-term objectives, it may be time to change coaches.
You do not shrink from a challenge. You are determined to do the work, invest in yourself and take a leap forward in 2018. But it can be difficult to know where to start. I know the feeling and I can tell you that the coach you choose can make a huge difference. After years of working in Corporate America, I decided to take the plunge and pursue my own dream of becoming a certified executive leadership coach. By working with many professional women over the years, I understand the challenges and opportunities women face in today’s business environment and the steps necessary to make real and meaningful change. Executive coaching is an investment in yourself – and your future.
As a result of my experience working with professional women, I’ve developed a signature program designed to accelerate results! If you’ve been less than thrilled with the coaching you’ve had thus far, consider signing up for Mission North Star. This program is designed for YOU – a high achieving woman with an executive role in an organization. Mission North Star gives you the unique opportunity to work through some of the toughest challenges you face – and do so in a safe, comfortable environment.
What do you have to gain? Successful leaders know that they can benefit from outside insight. A fresh, new perspective and a shift in mindset are just a few of the benefits you’ll see when you work with me. Here’s what else you can expect:
As a professional, you know that change doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time and commitment. Mission North Star is your map to the highest levels of success. It’s a six month program that works. We’ll travel this journey together.
Like any relationship, finding a person you can trust takes a leap of faith. If you’ve worked with a coach before and didn’t experience the results you wanted, you weren’t working with the right coach. When you’re working with me, the future should seem brighter and the path to realize your dreams should be clear and compelling. Let’s make 2018 the year where you accomplish your goals and redefine your story.
I look forward to working with you.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” -Oscar Wilde
“One of the surprises that comes when you catch glimpses of your authentic self is the discovery that she’s such a positive, upbeat woman. She’s always smiling. She’s always calm. She’s always reassuring. She exudes confidence. Who is this woman, you might ask, and does she bear any resemblance to you?
Yes and no. This is who you are on the inside. The real you. If you don’t act this way all the time, it’s simply because you haven’t evolved to a higher plane of existence yet”
This is the opening paragraph from “Discovering Your Authentic Self” in the book Simple Abundance- A Daybook of Comfort & Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
What is life like for us on this higher plane?
I believe it shows up in moments, when we’re feeling free, when we’ve had good sleep, when we excel at an important project, when we get an offer from a job we really want, when we nail the presentation, when we look in the mirror and love who we see, when we meet someone for the first time and sparks fly, when our hearts are open, and we are not afraid to be vulnerable.
When these moments occur, we feel powerful and strong. As if, we can accomplish anything we want. Our tank is full, and we are unstoppable.
It is in these moments that we are completely centered, and the path ahead is clear.
How do we find more of these delicious moments that put us into the flow of life and loving?
Embracing change and being open to possibility helps. So do long walks, quiet moments, prayer, meditation, journaling, reading and learning to love yourself unconditionally.
I believe we are our best selves, when we trust our decisions without allowing self-doubt to creep in and when we are afraid, but move forward anyway.
When are you at your best self?
Don’t be afraid to CHANGE, you may lose something good, but you may gain something better.
I left my corporate job sixteen months ago, and the positive changes in my life that have taken place, have been much more impactful than the last several years, I spent in corporate.
What I’ve learned, is that the experience of reinventing yourself is one of the most intense forms of personal development you can go through. When you take risks, you can become vulnerable and begin to question your decisions and the moves you make. It’s so important to not let saboteurs, like skepticism and self-doubt get in the way, of forward movement.
Expressing gratitude is one of the great ways to crush your inner-critic.
A ritual, I developed over time is to express my gratitude daily. I start my morning by writing down a few things that I am grateful for and I do the same thing in the evening.
This practice of gratitude has provided clarity for me on what’s important and helps me to bring joy to life everyday
It’s opened up the small and insular world I had been managing my life in.
I’m thankful for the now toned muscles of tenacity and resiliency I am frequently using. I understand the need for compassion and connection with others, and the importance of having an open mind, especially now, when things around us, are in flux. I’m grateful for possibility and the freedom to start my day by asking myself “What if…”
Sixteen months ago, I made a big, hairy and audacious decision and walked away from all that I knew to be certain. And fear, was by my side, the entire time. I did it anyway. I summoned up all my courage and took the leap.
Now, I live my life with intention, listening with my heart and making choices with no regrets.
I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and when I make a mistake, I learn from it, and start over again, without judgement or criticism.
I’ve learned how important it is to keep learning, and to stay curious, because if you don’t pour back into yourself, you won’t have anything to give to others. I’ve learned that what I give my attention to grows and prospers.
It’s not that being grateful is a skill or something that you have to learn to do, but what I know, is that not practicing gratitude is like riding a bike with only one wheel. It can be done, but it takes so much longer to find your balance.
“If you aren’t in the moment you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret”
Like many of you, I am often left wondering about the state of affairs of our country, our communities and our lives. In today’s world, we’re constantly exposed to attacks, shootings, major tragedies and political conflict. It’s almost impossible to ignore what’s going on. It’s everywhere- in the newspaper, on TV, and social media.
We are all living and breathing human beings, experiencing change and uncertainty every single day of our lives. We live with fear, self-doubt and judgement, and those emotions are often compounded by who and what we see, around us.
Yet, what we know for sure is that there are 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year. What we know is that we have the ability to make choices in our lives and decisions that affect us right now, and in our future. We can choose kindness over indifference, good instead of evil and love over hate.
As former President Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”
We can choose to be angry, resentful and hurt over things and actions that we have no control over, or we can live our lives, embracing the beauty that surrounds us, and the possibilities ahead of us. We can take matters in to our own hands, and do our part to make the world a better place.
A question I often ask myself is “what can I do to make a difference today?”
We know that bad things will continue to happen in this world, in this country and in our communities.
We can react to these situations with the first impulse that comes to mind, or we can choose to live intentionally, embracing our differences, sending love to those who need it, and practicing compassion instead of judgement.
Simply put, what we need isn’t more division but instead greater connection to each other. Open the windows of your soul and let your curiosity flow. Practice replacing judgment with empathy.
And as Gandhi so eloquently said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…..We need not wait to see what others do”
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
It wasn’t that long ago, when you felt you had it going on. You loved your career, spent quality time with loved ones and truly felt as though you were making a difference. You felt unstoppable, and you were moving through life with a purpose.
But something happened.
Life. It started throwing you all sorts of unexpected curve balls. Death. Divorce. Firings. Betrayal. Bad Bosses. Toxic relationships. Unhealthy work environments. An endless list of personal defeats. The kind of stuff that immerses you and knocks all the wind out of your sail.
It’s the stuff that, makes you feel like keeping the blinds closed, staying in bed and turning off your phone.
Have you ever felt that way? Tired, indecisive and ready to quit?
Over the next few weeks, I am going to share with you real stories of several women, who like many of my clients, have stared into the face of adversity but chose not to let their circumstances define them.
Instead, they made a choice to use infelicity to shape lives that created unlimited opportunities for them and their families. And it wasn’t easy. These stories demonstrate women who found courage, when they didn’t think they had any left. Women who persevered through immense struggles and came out the other end shining brighter than before.
These are Mission North Star Women. And they are just like you and me. Women who are holding it down every day and showing up, despite feeling like the rug has been pulled from underneath them.
You will undoubtedly recognize yourself in these North Star Women. You will see their fierce vulnerability, feel their disappointments and experience their triumphs. You will read about how they pushed through their fears, shut down their inner critic and kicked closed doors open. Most importantly, you will learn lessons on how to find the courage you need to make bold moves in your own life, how to build up your resiliency and how to move past limited beliefs so you can live life on your own terms.
These are the very same lessons that you will learn in my signature program Mission North Star.
Stay with me over the next few weeks and be sure to check your inbox, beginning this Friday, August 11th, when I introduce you to our very first Mission North Star Woman.
Until then, when you think you can’t, tell yourself you can and keep going.
In support of your success!
Denise Harris works with professional women who find themselves at the crossroads of a “personal crisis”. That critical moment , either personally or professionally, where the rug has unexpectedly been pulled from out underneath their feet and they need a lifeline of support. Denise’s strategic knowledge as a certified executive coach, professional insight, approachability and refreshing candor allow her to equip + empower her clients with the tools to not only “successfully walk through the fire”, but to emerge on the other side as the best and highest version of themselves.
Who will I be if I stay? This was the heart wrenching question Diana (Wonder Woman) had to ask herself before going off to war. That moment, when she knew in her insides, that she was much stronger than she ever thought. The moment she knew there was so much more for her to do, than just staying where it was safe and comfortable. (Sound familiar?) Diana was torn (like many of us have been) by the pleas of her family and inner circle to stay where it’s protected and predictable. However, she knew she was destined to do more.
This was the most pivotal moment of the movie for me. It was at that moment, that I remembered I felt the exact same way while I worked in corporate America. I knew that I could be doing something that brought me more satisfaction, and allowed me to offer my superpowers to a target audience, and have a greater impact on others. That gravitational pull between leaving what I knew for sure, and doing what I was passionate about.
Have you ever stayed in a job, a relationship or career knowing that you should have left long ago?
According to a new study at Gallup, 51% of Americans aren’t engaged at work, meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs and thus they tend to do the bare minimum. Similar stats are accurate for the number of marriages that end in divorce. Why do we stay, when we know it’s time to go?
FEAR. Most people would rather stay in their situation because while they might not like it, there’s a sense of security and familiarity that trumps doing anything differently.
Jim Rohn once said “Don’t be afraid to CHANGE, you may lose something good, but you may gain something better”
Back in February, Tamron Hall a broadcast journalist, made a tough decision to follow her heart, and walk away from the Today show unexpectedly. Five months later, she is working with Weinstein Television to develop her own daytime talk show. Her IBS (inner belief system) was strong enough to guide her to do what was right for her.
JK Rowling who invented Harry Potter was once a secretary, until she lost her job for writing fiction on company time. Who would she have been if she stayed?
The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside, to fight with everything you’ve got – to be willing to leave everything you’ve got out there on the battlefield- without knowing, until that do-or-die moment, if your heroic effort will be enough.
“To achieve any worthy goal, you must take risks.” says writer and speaker John C. Maxwell
So, if the answer to the question “Who will I be if stay” is, a happy and fulfilled human being, then you’re in the right place. If the answer to that question is something different, then check in with your IBS (inner belief system) and don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
Being fired or laid off never feels like a good thing for anyone yet, the day you get fired is the day you get your power back.
Before you read any further, know that this post is not about how to find you next job, there’s a ton of information out there if you’re looking for that. This is about shifting your mindset, and getting your head and heart aligned so you’re ready to embrace whatever possibility awaits you.
Firing isn’t about getting fired, it’s about transition, and the new opportunity ahead of you. It’s sort of like the dating game, in the end, it doesn’t matter who broke up with whom, what matters is your next move. Getting fired can be the kick in the pants you needed to get out and find a better career, job, company or opportunity. So, when you get released from the golden handcuffs, know that a breakthrough is just around the corner.
I get that it’s unrealistic for anyone to tell you to cheer up immediately after being fired, it can be a piercing experience. Feelings of rejection, confusion and disappointment are normal, and allowing yourself time to feel those emotions is an important part of the healing process. Once you’ve given yourself time to get past that feeling of having the rug pulled from underneath you, it’s time to move forward.
There’s something compelling about embracing adversity, accepting that stuff happens to everyone, and moving on. It’s part of life, and when we choose to sit around and dwell on the bad things, change can be slow and difficult. When we recognize that storms don’t last, hurricanes end and eventually the sun does shine again, motivation and the readiness to move forward moves closer. We begin to realize we are resilient and much stronger than we think we are.
Here’s My Four Point Plan for Bouncing Forward and Taking Your Power Back Quickly:
1. Optimism is Golden
Readjust priorities, begin finding your purpose and find the joy in positive action. Optimism is critical to good health. Keep an open mind, and become intentional about learning who you are through inquiry, yoga, meditation and exercise. Look at your strengths and take time to find out what you are passionate about. There’s nothing to stop you from beginning today, and no reason to wait any longer to pursue your goals.
Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. -Steven Pressfield
2. Determine What Value You Bring to the Table
Start by knowing your own worth. Now is a good time, to take inventory on your talents and skills. Surround yourself with positive people who share ideas, and are making things happen. Make a conscious decision to keep negative people at bay. It matters whom you spend time with. When you’re moving through challenges, feed your soul, with people who you care about, and who care about you.
Look for opportunities to get engaged in activities that bring you joy and satisfaction. Now is a great time to get active in your community, join an organization, volunteer or learn something new. Get to know who you are and what you want in your next job vs what you don’t want. Use this opportunity to recharge and reset.
Oprah once said “Often we don’t even realize who we are meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out, someone else’s ideas”
3. Be Determined to Emerge Through Adversity as the Best and Highest Version of Yourself.
Every successful person you know has found a way to embrace possibility and they come to understand there is no substitute for hard work. There’s no formula for success other than staying the course, and realizing that obstacles are inevitable. Bravery and courage are emotional partners for us. You’ll need both as you move through your transition.
4. Invite Positivity Into Your Life.
Love, joy, hope, gratitude and inspiration are just a few positive emotions that will help you bounce forward. Invite positivity into your life in whatever form it takes for you. Spend time with friends, take up running, grab your cell phone (or your camera) and start taking pictures of anything that makes you feel good. Get clear on how you want to feel, and then do the stuff that makes you feel that way. I have a friend that learned deep-sea diving, something she always wanted to do, but never had the time, when she got laid off from her job, she seized the moment and now credits it with helping her to land on her feet.
Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets into them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you, and weigh you down. – Unknown
Denise Harris is a certified Executive & Leadership Coach who specializes in helping her clients navigate the cross-roads of a personal or professional crisis. Denise’s strategic knowledge, professional insight, approachability and refreshing candor allow her to equip + empower her clients with the tools to not only “successfully walk through the fire,” but to emerge on the other side as the best and highest version of themselves.
Denise can be reached at Denise@deniseharrisonline.com
What if you had a voice of perfect wisdom inside of you? A voice that could drive the waves of self doubt away, help you make tough decisions and offer you the courage to face whatever adversity may come your way. Inner guidance, you could turn to, no matter what time of day, no matter where you were and no matter what the circumstances were. Imagine an inner mentor, who totally had your back.
Recently, one of the participants in my Mission North Star coaching program, shared with me her desire to get reacquainted with herself and connect with that voice in her head, she once trusted and who she knew had no agenda other than to see her succeed. As her coach, I relished in her readiness to stay curious and her desire to push forward and find her inner mentor. Through her work in the MNS program, my client was ready to use her tools and learn to trust herself again, and be true to the woman who she knew herself to be, without fear of judgment or criticism.
As Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big, puts it “Your inner mentor is a North Star that can serve as your compass. She’s not a destination at which you ever fully arrive.”
I began thinking about ways to rediscover my own inner mentor, and tap into that wealth of knowledge and sage wisdom that we all have within us. I realized that along the way, some of my life experiences both, professionally and personally, had left me feeling uncertain, drained and questioning my own judgement. And as a result, over time, I pushed my inner mentor somewhere deep down inside of me and allowed my inner critic to own a larger space in my head.
Having a sense of an older, wiser and more authentic version of myself, cleared the way for me to recognize my own inner mentor still existed as a voice within me right now. All I needed to do was practice getting quiet, go deep and get comfortable trusting myself again. I’m grateful for the reassurance I received in that experience, and want to share with you five ways to develop your own inner mentor. If you’re patient with yourself and trust the process, you’ll learn how to find your inner mentor, access her regularly and find the answers that are right for you at every turn.
Here are five ways to grow into your inner mentor:
1- Journal about your inner mentor. What is she like? What are her daily habits? What do you admire the most about her? What are her thoughts on resiliency?
2- Visualize yourself meeting her and spending time together in a quiet place. What do you want to share with her about your life? What questions do you want to ask her? What fears do you want to get out on the table?
3- Listen to her messages and trust her encouraging words.
4- Take your time with this practice and embrace having an inner mentor. Cultivate this practice and trust in yourself. Know that your inner mentor exists for you, and there are absolutely no competing elements.
5- Know that the same way, your inner critic attempts to hold you back by instilling self doubt, your inner mentor is stronger, and works to help you move forward. Empower your inner mentor and let her guide you towards peace and light.
Please share with me ways that you have discovered your own inner mentor, or let me know if you have tried a few of the ways mentioned above, and how it’s going for you. I appreciate your comments and am always happy to connect with you.
You can email me at email@example.com.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Knowing how to deliberately surround yourself with great people can help catapult you to creating the life you want. Developing rewarding relationships that go beyond social media or random networking and mutually enrich lives, is a key to living the life you choose and accomplishing what you want. I’m talking about the kinds of personal connections that draw two or more people to each other and form great partnerships and relationships that can last a lifetime. A winners circle links friends, mentors, coaches, trusted advisors and anyone who genuinely cares about you, and wants to see you accomplish great things.
You May Already Have an Existing Winners Circle.
A winners circle is identified as a group of people who you click with, and who are your “go-to’s” for sound advice, inspiration, ideas, creative stimulation and truth. This is your cabinet, advisory board and source of energy. Developing a powerful winners circle can introduce you to new ideas, resources, skill sets and experiences. Take a look at the people who you spend the most time with. It shouldn’t matter whether these are people who you live with, work with or go to the gym with. Just know that you are influenced by these people, just as much as they may be influenced by you. Think about the important people who are in your life, and the relationship you share with each one. Think about how you feel when you are with them. Are you inspired by the conversations you have with each other? Do you encourage each other? Do you trust each other? Are you growing together?
Building Your Winners Circle
Powerful winners circles can help to introduce you to “how”, when you know your “why”.
Building a winners circle isn’t about pulling together a group of smart people to help you get what you want. Instead, it’s about being intentional with the people whom you surround yourself. Connect with people through sharing common ground, values and goals. Focus on matters of the heart and what has meaning for both of you. The relationship that you cultivate should be win-win, where both people bring something to help each other. Associate with people who you can get to know over time, and who you enjoy being around. Focus on what you can learn from each other, and build on what you have in common. All important relationships in your life require commitment and are worth investing the time in cultivating happiness and trust.
“When you stop worrying so much about yourself and start looking at others and what they desire, you build a bridge to other people, and you become the kind of person, others want to be around. These are the keys to connecting”. – John Maxwell, author of Connecting with People.
Connections with people undoubtedly affect the quality of our lives. As you pursue your passions, stay open and let your positive energy attract good people into your life.
1. Thou shall embrace perfectionism, for without it, you are a failure.
2. Thou shall not make any mistakes, lest you will be banned from all board room meetings.
3. Always remember, there are no dress rehearsals, only the main performance.
4. Thou shall never be out sick, otherwise, others will rush to judgment and think you are enjoying a stroll in the park, or watching day-time TV.
5. You must exceed all metrics, even the ones that are deemed unobtainable but good for business.
6. Thou shall love the workplace, more than you love yourself and your family.
7. Sacrifice, sacrifice and then sacrifice more. It is the only way you will make it close to the C-Suite.
8. Thou shall only be permitted to wear navy, black or brown suits and stilettos in the same variety of color.
9. Thou shall not look for or expect any praise or recognition for a job well done. In other words, no news is good news.
10.Thou shall always play big enough to remain in the game, but small enough to never win.
While the 10 Commandments of a Professional Woman is satirical in nature, there may be a nugget or two that strikes reality for you. The question is “How much of myself do I have to give up to be successful?” and “What do I need or want right now, in this moment, that I don’t have?”
Being your true self is the most effective formula for success, and while that sounds simple, many of us struggle with understanding who we really are, and what makes us happy.
As we age, and become more centered, we find that happiness and joy come from intrinsic goals, such as spending more time with family and friends, becoming active in causes that we believe in and practicing gratitude.
When you focus on your values rather than chasing achievement, you will ultimately discover personal fulfillment.