Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘personal growth’

How to Recognize when you’re Bringing your Inner 9-year-old to Work

In ages in the workforce, conflict resolution, coping with pressure at work, Emotional Intelligence, emotions management, generations at work, growth mindset, Imposter Syndrome, managing conflict, managing emotions at work, negativity at work, personal development, personal growth, personal life at work, professional behavior, professional development, Professional Reputation, self-awareness, work-related problems, work-related stress on February 4, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Corporate life is the perfect laboratory for inner development. For every negative thing that the workplace triggers in us — aggression, low self-confidence, avoidance, the “imposter syndrome”, procrastination, hate, fear, inability to learn, the need to please, — you name it — the dynamics of a competitive, results-oriented, shared environment can become the springboard for deep personal growth. 

Corporate life, by nature, creates a family-like dynamic: managers may inadvertently play parental figures (whom we wish to please or rebel against) and colleagues might show up as jealous siblings. When adults move into careers with an unhealed emotional life, work can become pretty dysfunctional. This is because grown-ups can drag their inner 9-year-olds into the present. Signs of this can be a lack of self-awareness, unchecked emotions and behavior, and overall poor Emotional Intelligence. 

For all you know, you are unknowingly triggering the 9-year-old in a coworker. Or, your boss is bringing your 9-year-old to the surface. The key to help you see if this is happening is to watch for patterns. Here are some:

*Do you have the same kind of struggle with a boss no matter the job?

*Do your performance reviews routinely disappoint you?

*Are you at times called out for behavior that offends others?

*Have you been overlooked for a promotion multiple times?

*Do you tend to have conflicts with colleagues?

*Do you fear asking for what you want and wish your boss would just acknowledge your value?

When I worked in advertising sales, it took me over 20 years to realize that my 9-year-old had been holding me back; causing me to act out aggressively to overcome the fear of being annihilated by the power of a boss’s authority. This eventually led to a wonderful healing, but not until I was good and ready.

One day at work, I called a dear friend, because I was in the middle of a rage about having to deal with a manager whom I disliked intensely. At that time, I was a VP for a growing internet company, and became infuriated when my boss made a decision that I felt would cause a major problem for my sales team.

So, I called my friend asking her how to deal with this, because I was maxed out. By that point in my sales career, I had had many managers whom I disliked, mistrusted, fought with, thought little of and here it was again, in my face. I spewed all of my frustrations to my friend, asking her, “Why do I always have to deal with managers who are so stupid and thoughtless and who undermine me? 

She asked, simply, “Can you surrender?” “Surrender!” I shouted. “Why should I do that?” 

Several years later, in a new job, with a similar manager, the pattern emerged yet again. He was someone with whom I fought constantly and I finally reached a breaking point. One day, battle-fatigued, I complained to the head of HR that he had cut my team’s summer Fridays down to 4 days while other sales groups in the company could enjoy 6 days. I knew my complaint would get back to him. So, the next day, when he called me into his office, I was prepared for a fight. 

“You don’t support me,” I said. “Really?” he sneered. “You don’t support me!” he barked. 

Now I was 23 years into my career and it finally dawned on me that he was right. He was my boss, he had hired me, and I wasn’t letting him manage me. I had been shutting him out of everything I could for two years. In that moment, I flashed on my friend’s advice about surrendering. My rebellious 9-year-old, had always needed to be right; to feel in control and to keep a distance between myself and my managers. Regardless of my managers’ limitations, I was responsible for the disregard for their authority and responsibility. All because I could not surrender. 

“From here on in you will feel my support 100%,” I said in earnest. “We’ll see,” he said.

I then ran to my desk and wrote on two different colored post-its, the words, DETACH and BREATHE. I was determined to let him manage me even if I disagreed. I owed this to myself and I knew it. I wanted to be free from this pattern.

I posted my notes onto my computer, at home on my refrigerator, my bathroom mirror, and I repeated them over and over.  I wanted to change.

During this time, I realized that I didn’t actually own anything at work, everything was the property of my employer; I was there to get a job done to the best of my ability, with the hierarchy intact.

Within two months, my boss and I relaxed around each other. He allowed me to make unilateral decisions. He rarely told me what to do or how he wanted it done. Trust had been built. By 44-years-old, I had finally learned my lesson. I didn’t have to be right and I didn’t have to feel in control.

It was soon thereafter that I felt the urge to pursue my next career, the one I have now. I believe that my freedom allowed me to move on. It’s been 18 years and I think back to those times now, with gratitude, for all of the managers I had, who were my mirrors, reflecting back to me exactly what I needed to see, so I could grow.

Your journey may look very different from mine. But, if you are reliving the same pain at work – over and over again – you may have the opportunity to look in the mirror to members of your work-family to see who the 9-year-old is and if it’s you, congratulations! You are on your way!

Happy journeying!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Your Personal Growth Opportunity in the Time of Coronavirus

In anxiety, coronavirus, growth mindset, insight, job loss, jobs, mindfulness, mindset, opportunity, opportunity for change, optimism, personal growth, resilience, self-awareness, self-discovery, self-esteem, self-help, self-improvement, self-preservation, the future, Uncategorized on April 3, 2020 at 6:23 pm

As I sit here at home, and in speaking with many people during this period, it seems that the fear about protecting oneself financially, emotionally, socially, etc., is creeping into the ability to stay motivated, connected, creative and optimistic. We really don’t know when life will return to a semblance of normalcy and when we will be safe being out in the world again.

Fear can block all the good that the mind has to offer. Although there’s no perfect answer that fits everyone, one way that is helping me, as I sit home like most of you, is to view this situation as an opportunity for personal growth.

To ask oneself, “How can I move myself forward in the stillness of this time?” Is really a profound question that can yield some really surprising answers. It might be the time to explore the business idea you have for the company you really want to launch. It might be getting closer to your loved ones. It might be to finally begin writing that book you’ve been pondering for years. It might be changing your eating habits or having the difficult conversations with your partner to remove barriers to your relationship. It might be overcoming fear of technology. It might be the opportunity to look at the fear of stillness itself (as so many of us can’t keep still).

I firmly believe that there’s something good in all of us to emerge; an awareness, an awakening, an initiative — and that is in our control, when so much isn’t. Resilience comes from the acknowledgment that we have an opportunity before us. What does that look like? Self-reflection is a powerful way to move forward in the face of forced stillness. Once we are beyond this time, our insights and mindset shifts, ideas and changes will have transformed us permanently, and will lead us down new paths that might not have otherwise emerged without the benefits of this opportunity.

I recommend a personal growth “to do” list. Here’s an example:

  1. What things have I been meaning to do because I’ve been too busy?
  2. What have I been avoiding that I know would only yield good if I focused on healing it?
  3. Who have I meant to reach out to?
  4. With whom do I have old issues that we need to resolve?
  5. What does this time mean to me – how can I move myself forward?
  6. Why must I always be running around? Why can’t I sit still?
  7. What innovation in my industry (or another industry) do I wish to explore?
  8. What have I always wanted to write about? To learn?

The brain doesn’t like a void and is always searching for a problem to solve. So to both nurture the brain’s need, give it something hearty and positive to chew on. And, if you can, see this time as an opportunity to discover what is accessible in you, yet to be known by you.

Moving forward,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are you a Prisoner of your Mind?

In Accedemia Gallery, Angel in the Marble, Belief Systems, brain-based coach, Clear Thinking, freedom, Hall of Prisoners, Michelangelo, mindfulness, personal growth, Prisoner of the Mind, psychology, seeking the truth, Statue of David, Uncategorized on January 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Standing in the Hall of Prisoners, at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy, just feet from the very famous Statue of David, are unfinished masterpieces by Michelangelo that, in their state, appear to be slaves, prisoners or captives of the marble from which they are emerging.  As one approaches the glorious, free, angelic David, these sculptures, against the walls of a long hallway, seem to be telling the story of the human mind. Are these tortured souls in various stages of enslavement, or depending on perspective, of setting themselves free?

The images of these frozen captives, in juxtaposition with the gloriously free David, makes one think:  Am I a slave to my baggage?  Am I waiting to be free?

  Prisoner - Michelangelo

As lore has it, when people asked Michelangelo how he accessed David from a slab of marble, he said, “It was easy.  I perceived the Angel in the marble and carved to set it free.”  If we put a psychological spin to this, the idea is of chipping away at the parts of ourselves that no longer fit, or are wasteful; baggage we lug around, like slabs of marble.  And, as we let the chips fall away, we access our true selves; the pure beings we were born to be.

If Michelangelo was our maker, we would all start out as a slab of marble.  Then it would be our energy, our force, our will to reveal ourselves to him so that he could see the being lodged in there.  It would be the clarity of who we are, our demand to be seen, our mindfulness, our fierceness to rise that would trigger him to see how far he must carve to set us free. We would demand and get our freedom.

And so with this powerful metaphor in mind, I ask:

1. Are you a prisoner of your beliefs and thoughts?  How do they keep you stuck and walking in circles?

2. Do you take risks that challenge you beyond your comfort zone?

3. Do you surround yourself with people who want to see you win; who promote your growth and see your potential? If not, who or what are you allowing to keep you down?

4. What parts of your life keep you captive – whether the people, the job, extra weight, emotional pain, etc?  What rock are you hiding behind?

6. Have you felt unhappy, unsatisfied and unchallenged as of late? Are you searching for something more?

Your answers may surprise you, and I know first hand that seeking the truth can wreak havoc: it can cause you to make difficult decisions, make changes that require courage, leave you feeling a huge void, make you feel like you’re in a free fall.  But, as I have been on a very active journey to my truth, I can say that it was this very metaphor, given to me by a wise person years ago (with my best interests at heart) that launched me to completely change the direction of my thoughts and beliefs about myself, my relationships, my career, my health, and discover my purpose in life: to help others do the same.

I’m only a stone’s throw away!  Please share this article with others, whom you support, and feel free to reach out to me directly. I am a brain-based coach who helps people step out of the marble and into the light.

Shine on,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Secret Lives of Risk-Takers

In authentic power, career shift, Gary Zukav, inner-guidance, out-of-the-box, personal power, personality, risk-taking, Seat of the Soul, secret life, taking risks on October 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

This topic reminds me about the Rabbi who leaves his town, and goes to a restaurant where no one will know him so he can secretly taste pork.  He goes to a very remote location — a five-star restaurant, sits in the darkest corner, and orders the house specialty.  Eventually, the chef and a waiter come out of the kitchen carrying a large silver-plated dish with a dome covered over it, loudly singing praises about this glorious meal.  Everyone in the dining room is captivated by the presentation and the aroma. Oohs and aahs from other patrons can be heard as the chef walks towards the Rabbi. The Rabbi is panicking; sweat dripping down his face.  The chef carefully puts the plate down in front of the Rabbi, while the waiter places a napkin into the Rabbi’s collar. Suddenly, a couple sitting at the next table yells out, “Rabbi, it’s us, Sidney and Sheila Goldberg!  We are in your congregation!  What are you doing so far out of town?  As the Rabbi thinks about his response, the waiter lifts the cover off the plate. The Rabbi looks down and sees an entire roasted, suckling pig with a large apple stuffed in its mouth. Humiliated, mortified, he turns to the Goldbergs and says, “All this fuss for a baked apple?”

Sometimes taking risks turn out to be hellish, and sometimes we are misunderstood for taking action that is bold, unexpected, out-of-the-box, and ones that could alter others’ perceptions of us.

The secret life of a risk-taker is to constantly live with the acceptance of consequences and an unknown outcome.  For me, playing it safe is a lesser choice, simply because I have lofty goals of reaching my greatest potential, and I am a firm believer in the teachings of Gary Zukav and his book, “The Seat of the Soul.”

In his book, Zukav refers to Authentic Power as the alignment of the personality with the desires of the soul.  When this happens we end up living the life our true selves are here to experience. Authentic Power is an internal state; one that never leaves us (once we achieve it) unlike external things like jobs, relationships, money, cars, etc…which can so easily come and go.  So, instead of having a goal to make a billion dollars, the soul (not the ego) is reaching for expansion of who we are and asking us to take risks to build our character, to serve our highest purpose, to do what we feel is our mission in life, to reach for our highest human potential.

To achieve this forever state of personal power, we must live the secret life of a real risk-taker.  Here are some guidelines:

1. Think of the risks you’ve taken when the outcome was awful.  You won’t find one. As an example, I once leapt from my bed to my brother’s bed when I was 7 thinking I was Superman and fell, broke a toe. That was bad.  Or was it?  I never tried that again, so I learned a valuable lesson! Ask yourself the dangers of not taking risks.  How can taking a leap ever really prevent you from growing?

2. Set boundaries you can live with that are outside your norm. Evaluate the pros and the cons.  For example, when I decided to leave ad sales, I made sure to have money in the bank to carry me for a few years before I could formulate my new career and start earning. For a huge risk that has financial implications, don’t leap without a plan and preparation!

3. Know that taking the risk is a reason to celebrate, regardless of the outcome! Showing yourself that you have the fortitude to endure risk is a major confidence booster! (I’m still on a major learning curve 10 years into my career shift and every day presents risks. The ebbs of freelancing are painful.  And even when I don’t produce the results I had hoped for, I am still proud of my ability to endure, to learn and to keep moving forward.)

4. Listen to the longing of your soul. This cannot be ignored because the more you avoid its message, the louder it will get. Avoiding this will create a state of emotional pain and suffering, which leads to lowered effectiveness. What are you avoiding?  What risk is screaming at you to take? Inner-guidance always pushes us to fulfill our longing, and change always requires a level of risk.

So in summary, what are the secret lives of risk-takers? Well, they cultivate their characters.  They trust in themselves. They push the boundaries into the unknown.  They see everything as beneficial learning experiences and they act with purpose – to strive towards their highest potential.  They pay attention to their longing, and finally, they know that their authentic personal power will never leave them.

Bravely yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How To Get Out of Your Own Way

In brain-based coaching, coaching, empowerment, get out of your own way, life skills, personal development, personal growth, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, spiritual awakening, spiritual growth, transformation, Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

You’ve heard the expression.  It means blocking ourselves from promotions, financial independence, loving relationships, good health, etc., and is creating personal chaos, conflict and unhappiness.  Gary Zukov, author of best-selling book, “Seat of The Soul,” might say, and I paraphrase, getting out of one’s way means to align one’s personality with one’s spirit.

The question is, how?  Think of this metaphor:  just as Michelangelo had to carve into a slab of marble to access his famous David, we must chip away at those parts of ourselves — thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions — self-made layers that over time have blocked access to our spirits.

Stuff to chip away:  low self-esteem, lack of fulfillment and/or purpose, anxiety, fear, living only in the comfort zone, addiction, isolation, inferiority or superiority complex, aggression, passivity…a host of reactions to life and personal myths (about who we really are) that diminish the spirit.

The trouble is, we believe these myths and don’t typically question their validity. There has been much written to help us out get of trouble. Byron Katie has written, The Work. In it she probes us to ask ourselves if our thoughts are based in fact or fiction. Albert Ellis’ methodology called, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, helps us become cerebral and learn now to rephrase our thoughts and emotions instead of being prisoner to them. Daniel Goleman has written many books on what he calls, Emotional Intelligence, and how our self-awareness and awareness of others launches inner change and teaches us how to evolve out of old patterns.  David Rock, founder of The NeuroLeadership Institute, teaches about the brain, and how when triggered into threat (real or perceived) we react in predictable ‘hard-wired’ ways that undermine our ability to be as highly functional as we can be.

Even with the highest level of motivation, this ‘chipping away’ takes focus and time, but is thankfully something within our control: our ability to stop our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions from blocking us.

1. Make it a priority to align your personality and spirit.

2. Journal about the thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions that are non-you and need to be chipped away.

3. Take a hard and objective look at what stays and what goes, based on your goals.

4. Allow yourself to be motivated by people who are ”walking the walk”.

5. Have the courage to let go of what you don’t need anymore.

6. Observe how others are getting in their own way.

7. As you see it falling away, thank the old stuff for protecting you in the past.

8. Enjoy the opportunity to make positive impact on others.

9. Look for relationships that are supportive to this strengthened yet vulnerable you.

10. Become transparent – let others know you are actively transforming yourself.

Getting out of your own way is a very powerful, life-affirming, self-loving act.  It brings meaning and depth to our lives and brings us closer to fulfilling our life’s purpose.  In the words of Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, “Our own life has to be our message.”

Onwards and upwards,

Jackie

You may also find a reprint of this article on Find the Masters blog:  http://blog.findthemasters.com/how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.