The lesson is in the journey

“You can visit pity city but you can’t stay…” This was advice I received from a doctor years ago when I was faced with a medical issue that would require surgery. She told me to go home, eat cookies, binge watch movies, feel sad for myself and then tomorrow, start preparing for my surgery. Her advice was simple, yet so powerful.

How often had I let bad news or challenges weigh me down for what seemed like forever? I have shared this advice many times over the years to people in my life-friends, family, my children and even clients.  The lessons aren’t in the challenges but rather how we pick ourselves back up to continue pushing forward.

Have you experienced a situation or circumstance, where things didn’t go the way you wanted or threw you for a loop? How did you get through it? Did you have support or a plan. Those are the things to remember when another challenge comes you way.

I remember being laid off, twice in 13 months to be exact, from Best Buy. The first time, I wasn’t surprised but it still rocked me. I remember crying in the meeting where they told me, grabbing drinks with my other friends in the same situation and heading home where I went into the ‘why me’ stage. Somewhere in the night, I was reminded of the quote my doctor told me (probably because it was fresh in my mind as my surgery was only a year prior). The next day, I set up meetings to find my next home within the company and I moved forward. That didn’t mean I still didn’t feel the emotions, because I did. I was angry and disappointed. I wondered what I could have done differently to prevent this from happening. But I knew that type of thinking wasn’t going to help. I knew I had to keep pushing on. And I remember the lessons to this day.

Fast forward 13 months and I was in the situation again. This time, I didn’t bounce back right away. In fact, it took me almost 3 months to start putting a plan together to move forward, but I did. Slowly, but surely, I started to climb out of my sorrow and began to bring my plan to life. I needed my support team. My husband. Friends. Parents. There are many people in my life who could help me see my value when I couldn’t.  This very challenging time in my life happens to be one I look at most fondly. I call it the best gift from Best Buy. It took a long time and didn’t happen overnight, but over time I found myself making progress.

For those that know me well, they know that music is at the center of my life. I find joy and inspiration in songs. Sometimes they speak to my soul, like this song by Miley Cyrus- The Climb. I love it because it reminds me to keep trying and pushing forward. The lyrics are powerful. This is a song you can pull up when you need some motivation to move forward. Maybe you didn’t get a job/role you really wanted. Maybe the presentation you were giving didn’t deliver. Maybe your faced with a personal situation that throws you for a loop.  Or possibly just remembering the quote from my doctor will help.   anthony-delanoix-18803 (1)

Do you have strategies that you leverage when you are faced with a challenge, both professionally and personally? I would love to hear them-leave me a note in the comments.  

By the way, after receiving the advice from my doctor, I did in fact go home and ate an entire package of cookie dough, curled up on the couch, watched a romantic comedy and mourned what was never going to be again-the ability to have children. And the next day, I started the process of moving forward.

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To your growth, development and amazing potential,

LisaH-9.jpg
Lisa Hayes
Leadership Development Coach
http://www.through-the-hayes.com

Remember The Excitement?

It’s the season for graduations. Are there are smiling faces of recent graduates filling up your news feeds on social media? Or maybe, like me, you have someone in your family graduating. My nephew just graduated a few weeks ago and I it seems like just yesterday he and my daughter were crawling around outside in the grass.  I am not sure how he has graduated when I have not aged in 18 years.

As I look at the smiling faces on Facebook or the graduation party invites that fill my kitchen, I can’t help but be filled with many emotions as I think about the next steps each of them will take going forward-excitement, joy, fear, happiness and curiosity. I am curious if the path they start on will be the one they look at when they are 40? What does their journey look like? Often, it’s not a linear journey but one of twists and turns and I can’t wait to see where theirs leads.baim-hanif-89800 (1)

 

 

This last week I have found myself deep in thought of my own journey.  Reflecting on my own high school graduation. What were my hopes and dreams? Where did I expect my life to go? I clearly remember the feeling of anticipation and excitement. I didn’t know what the future would hold, but I was ready and thrilled to be setting out on my own journey.

 

 

 

I entered college and focused on a degree in marketing. Looking back can’t believe how much I learned over those years. Fast forward 20 years (yikes!) and I sit here blessed. Reflecting on my journey brings a smile to my face. The anticipation. The trials. The failures. The successes. All of it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wonder if the excited 18 year old would have guessed where life took me.

If you know about my journey, I was gifted with the opportunity of a lifetime 5 years ago. A lay off pushed me to do something I have wanted to do for a long time but never really talked about. I could pursue my dream of coaching and developing others. This was a time when I was stressed-a family, mortgage, no job and two young children.  Unsure of where my future would take me, I took time to pause and think through what would give me the excitement and curiosity. Just like years ago.

 

 

Do you remember the excitement and thrill you felt as a young graduate? Is it missing or still there? Maybe like me, its lurking under the surface and you need to let it rise. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at the world like you did back then?  What would that feel like? Or look like?

I hope you can look back fondly on your journey. And maybe even approach your future with the wonder, excitement and curiosity of a high school graduate.

To Your Growth, Development and Amazing Potential,

 

Lisa Hayes
www.through-the-hayes.com

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The Power Of Your ‘Squad’

There comes a time where you find yourself needing advice or guidance. Maybe even someone you can vent to or you need someone to celebrate your success.

Have you heard these words before-” tribe”, “squad” or “crew”? I hadn’t until recently. These are the go-to person(s) in your life. This could be an informal group of individuals professional contacts or close friends.

Recently, I was asked who was in my squad. I had never been asked this before. Instantly, I blurted out a few names, with my husband being the first one. But it got me thinking-did I have a bigger squad that I wasn’t aware of. So I started paying attention and noticing who I relied upon for certain things.

There was the group of coaches I talk with to share leanings, best practices and get advice from when I am stuck. Then there is my best friend who knows me best and I need to talk with when I am lonely and need a pick me up. There is the business contact I rely on to get insight into how business development continues to evolve.  The group isn’t limited to just a few people but also isn’t so large that I get overwhelmed. Without knowing, I have built a solid squad over the years. Some of these relationships evolved because of a business reason or we have a personal connection. No matter how our relationship started, these are people who I trust. I share with. Who I need to know will give me advice, guidance and sometimes laughter!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to sit at my house for almost 3 hours with someone from my squad (if you are reading this…you know who you are!). It was unexpected. In fact, she stopped by for a totally separate reason, but we started talking about life and our businesses. She and I both are entrepreneurs and have leveraged each other for certain things over the years but this time it was to brainstorm the future of our businesses. It was a conversation and discussion my soul needed. To have someone in my life who gets it. Gets what its like to want more yet struggles to do it alone. I felt rejuvenated after our time together.

Later that same day, I was outside doing yard work when a friend stopped over to tell me to grab my purse and get in her car, we were going to get a drink with some other friends. Normally, I would have said ‘no way’ as I was sweaty, dirty and still had lots of work to do. But I didn’t. Its like my soul knew I needed something more. So off we went and for a few hours, the four of us chatted, laughed and caught up. These are friends I have known for years and no matter how long its been since we hung out, its like no time had passed.0h_posg0dlo-eddy-lackmann

Who’s in your squad? Your squad does not need to be the same people day in and day out. There will be people you leverage for many different things. Some personal. Some professional. Some frequently. Some only periodically. No matter what you rely upon them for, its probably a relationship you hold dearly. A person you know is always there for you, whatever it is you need, even if its just to lend an ear so you can vent or share your fears or frustrations with and nothing more. The power of a squad is they are there for you when you need them most.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach and Facilitator
www.through-the-hayes.com

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What Would Your Rock Say?

Last week I had the honor to spend the day with an amazing group of women with a local corporation. We participated in a larger event for the company’s Women’s Networking Program. After the main presentation, our small group gets together to debrief the topic, support and mentor each other.

It’s been an honor to be with these women for the last four months. We have built relationships, dove into development and helped each other solve problems. This last friday was our last day together for the year. While bittersweet, I know I will get to watch these women grow in their development over the years.

During our small group, I provided an activity. The goal- to create statements or words on rocks that meant something to them-whether to remind them to be courageous, keep family a priority, etc. I told them they could share these with others. Keep them in a place only they knew about or display them proudly on their desks-whatever they desired.
I shared a story with them for the intention of this activity. When I first became an entrepreneur, I knew I needed courage. This was not something I planned, but after being let go from my corporate job, it was a path I felt I was meant to take. At that same time, I received a stone with the word Courage written on it. From that day forward, that stone has been in my purse. Always there as a reminder to have courage in all I do. Even after numerous purse changes, that stone is still with me.

I also purchased another stone in the last few years with the word Inspiration inscripted.  Again, another reminder that my goal as a coach is to inspire others. These two stones are ones I reach for and touch before I walk into an event I am leading. I touch them before any big meeting or any time I walk into a coaching session. To remind me to be courageous and inspiring. It’s been powerful for me. Spending just a moment touching or seeing these rocks brings forth my intention for the moment, something that can easily be forgotten or pushed aside when the stress or excitement for the moment can take over. I wanted this group of women to have their own rock(s) for whatever they needed them for. Great reminders for each of them.

This turned out to be such a fun and freeing activity. We talked and laughed while creating our rocks. Some got very creative (wish I could say that was me)! No matter what we wrote, the message meant something to each of us. I even received one – DREAM BIG. And you better believe I am keeping that with me in my purse! See our final results below!

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If you had to define the words that would inspire or remind you of your priorities, dreams or goals, what would your rock say?

I would love you to share your words with me by commenting on this post.

To your growth, development and amazing potential, 

Lisa Hayes
Leadership Coach

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http://www.through-the-hayes.com/

Finding ‘Something More’

For the last few weekends I had the pleasure of watching a group
of talented high schoolers put on a production of singing, dancing and jazz music. During this production was a song that has been an inspiring song in my professional and personal journey over the last few years.

It’s a song called ‘Something More’ from a country band called Sugarland. I have always loved the song but after being laid off from my corporate job the words hit home. You see, I was trying to figure out what to do with my career. There was a moment after being out of work for a few weeks when I realized that for the first time since setting off on my corporate journey, that my soul was calm. I was able to think clearly and it became clear to me that in order to live my life fully and be present with my husband, Vgu1RUfKT3WN1ZYxSWaR_14672519443_13d8873062_kchildren, friends and family, I needed to do something different. Something more.

Then I heard the song again as it popped up when I was listening to a playlist. It spoke to me in a different way than before. It was as if the universe was reminding me that there was more to my life than climbing the corporate ladder. Playing the games that didn’t feel authentic to me. I began planning a career that allowed me to feel fulfilled professionally but allowed me to be present and happy in my life. I knew there’s only one shot at this life and I wanted to be present in mine.

Starting a business has been a long journey. One filled with bumps, challenges, learnings and blessings. I am thankful for a husband who has supported and believed in me. In fact, he has been my biggest cheerleader, especially when I have wanted to throw in the towel. It hasn’t been easy for us financially but he is there to remind me that I am doing great work. He knows that the work I do is not only inspirational to my clients but important to me. Because of him, I feel fulfilled-as a coach but more importantly as a wife and mother.

So, when I heard the song being sung during this high school production by a talented young lady, I teared up. Not just because she sang it beautifully but because I had been toying with the idea of throwing in the towel recently (remember when I said it was journey….its always up and down and this wasn’t and wont be the last time I think about this!) and hearing that song was sign to me. A sign to keep going and remember exactly why I am doing this. Because there is something more. Something more for me to do in this life.

Here are the lyrics that specifically spoke to me:

“I could work my life away but why, I got things to do before I die.There’s gotta be something more. Gotta be more than this. I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss. I want to take my chances. Taking the chance I might find what I am looking for…there’s gotta be something more.”

Watch and listen to Sugarland’s Something More here.

We all have one life to live. I hope yours is being lived to the fullest with those that are most important to you.

To your growth, development and amazing potential,

Lisa Hayes

Leadership Coach

http://www.through-the-hayes.com

 

 

Coloring. Slowing Down The Mind

You know the feeling-the one where you feel like you are spinning out of control? Time is moving fast and you can’t keep up. That’s how the last few months have been for me. I recognized the feelings as soon as they happened and knew that the best medicine for me was to slow down a bit.  I needed some time to refocus on my goals, my life and where I want my business to go. Its a story I know all to often. Seems to happen each year, starting in the fall.  At first I was worried that I wasn’t fulfilling my commitments. What commitments you may wonder? The commitment I made to myself  in the beginning of 2016. The ones that meant, this was going to be MY year to finally prove to myself I could do what I set my mind to. I put some serious unrealistic expectations on myself sometimes. Can you relate?

I had to have a real frank discussion with myself and give myself a swift kick to realize that I was driving myself crazy trying to concur the world.

December started with lots of excitement. Excited to get ton done for my business before the New Year. What I failed to take into consideration was that December is a busy month personally for me. My youngest has a birthday at the beginning. And of course, getting things ready for the holidays. Planning meals my family would enjoy and fill their bellies and memories until next year. It takes a lot of time to plan for the holidays. This was my families last Christmas before some major changes come to us and I wanted it to be perfect. So I went above and beyond. Yikes….I am tired rethinking all of it.

When the holiday planning came into play, all my excitement for my business was lost. I didn’t want dive into my big plans. I was so proud to finally get my 2017 business plan together but I definitely did not (and haven’t finished) my marketing plan. There are plenty of days when I just wanted to throw it all away. Be done. Go back to Corporate America. Surely it would be easier than this. Running a business, or trying to.  Trying to be successful and make an impact. Its hard work. Harder than I ever thought it would be.  I realized I needed to refocus on my professional direction. I had to tell myself what I tell my clients-it’s important to pause and reflect on where we are and if the road we are on is the right one. And envision where we want to go. 

So I did that. I stopped. And refocused my mind. Became one
 in the moment with my family. Made memories. Read
professional articles to better myself. Started knitting aga1zr3wnstnvy-aaron-burdenin and colored.  Yes, I colored. Like I did when I was 9. I love to color and why in the world did I stop because I got older? Its funny, they say the adult color books help you focus because
the pictures are so intricate. I find so much truth in that-do you?  

You know what happened while I was coloring? My mind slowed down. I started thinking about my business. What was important and who was important in it. I forgave myself for the wrong turns I have taken this far. And I started getting excited for the upcoming year. I started believing I am making a difference in people’s lives. That the work I do matters. My heart started feeling full again and most importantly I believed in myself and my purpose. I am back on the road towards MY goals. Not anyone else’s version of my goals. Mine. And it feels great!

My hope for you is to take time to pause and reflect-its important to our mental health, but also helps us visualize where we want to be. Do you want to be more fulfilled at work, find a new job, become an entrepreneur, go back to school, or be more involved in your community? What does your heart desire? No matter what it is- don’t be afraid to quiet down once in a while and see what unfolds. What things can you do to slow your mind down to hear what its saying? 

Maybe finding a new job or growing professionally is on your list? If so, contact me to learn about new client discounts to kick off 2017!

To your development, growth and amazing potential,

Lisa

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