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Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Four Myths Women Believe about Self-Promotion

I just read a terrific article on Forbes.com regarding “The Four Myths of Self-Promotion,” by Kelly Watson.  Here’s the link:

 http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/29/marketing-promotion-small-business-owners-forbes-woman-entrepreneurs-careers-passion.html

 I couldn’t agree more with Kelly.  Further, I’ve unwittingly held myself back over the years because of my own adherence to these myths – namely:

 1) Self-promotion will make me look like I’m bragging

 2) If I’m good enough, people will hear about it (The ole “Build It and They Will Come” falsehood)

 3) Others should talk about my achievements and my value, not me

 4) It won’t make a difference anyway – people have made up their minds already

 None of the above is true, and overcoming these myths will move you forward in your professional life exponentially. 

 If any of the above resonate with you, take another read of Kelly’s article, and do the following:

 1) Make a list of the reasons why you stand out in your field – your talents, skills, background, expertise, training, and vision.  Understand how you are special and the unique ways you are of tremendous service to your workplace, community, and customers or clients, because of who you are.

 2) Go on LinkedIn and complete your profile to the 100% level.  Then send a LinkedIn request for a recommendation to 20 people you know well and trust.  You’ll be amazed at what they say, and it will empower you to hear their praise, and to have had the courage to ask.  Then incorporate their praise into your bio, social media profiles and resume, and in how you talk about yourself.

 3) Examine your marketing strategies – you can ramp up your success significantly when you 1) get clear about how you stand apart from the competition, 2) identify in specific terms the next level of success you want in your career, and 3) create a S.M.A.R.T plan to get out there and articulate your special accomplishments and abilities to your work community, peers, colleagues, etc. 

 Which of the above myths holds you back the most and what can you do to release it?  I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.  Thanks as always for sharing!

 As Kelly states, it’s definitely time to toot your own horn!

12 Blocks to a Joyful Life: What to Let Go of to Reach Your Happiest Life

As I deliver my coaching and professional development programs to women around the country, I continue to observe a fascinating phenomenon: thousands of women are in emotional pain about their lives and careers, but the vast majority will only make change when the pain becomes intolerable

We seem to cognitively understand that we want so much more from our lives and careers, but don’t muster the courage and commitment necessary to create a breakthrough, or a “paradigm shift” (as I like to call it), until we experience a true “breakdown” moment or a resounding wake-up call. 

But we don’t need a wake-up call to tell us change is required!  There are signs all along the way.

Please…take action earlier than your breakdown moment– make continual adjustments when you get a sign that change is necessary.  And make minor modifications each and every day, as an integrated process of living.

If you could decide earlier rather than later that, “Today’s is the day I want change,” then joy and fulfillment will be within your reach much sooner, with a lot less struggle.

What blocks you from saying, “OK, I’m ready for change and for full-out joy!” 

My research with Women Succeeding Abundantly has taught me that there are 12 common blocks to great joy and success, and until we’re ready to address and overcome these blocks, we remain stuck in a life situation that is definitely less than our best and happiest life – and much less than our full potential.

The 12 common blocks to joy and success are as follows: (listed below are the blocks, and how we rationalize them to ourselves):

1.         Fear of the unknown – “What’s out there if I leave this behind?”

2.         Insecurity – “I can’t do this!”

3.         Pessimism – “It won’t work out for me.”

4.         Self-reproach – “I’m a failure.”

5.         Energy leaks – “I don’t have the energy (or time, money, support, etc.) for this.”

6.         Connection to struggle – “I don’t feel joy very often, so why should I try to achieve it?”

7.         Diminished self-worth – “I don’t deserve great things.”

 8.         Faulty conditioning – “Life is supposed to be unfulfilling and hard.”

9.         Diffuse boundaries – “I need to please everyone else before myself.”

10.        Confusion paralysis – “Where do I start?”

11.        Commitment fatigue – “I tried, but it didn’t work.”

12.        Higher-Self Disconnect – “This is all there is – there is no greater purpose or meaning to life.”

Read through this list again.  Do any of these blocks resonate with you?  If so, today is your lucky day!  You’ve just averted a breakdown experience because you realize that you want to embrace positive change in your life, and you understand that today is the best day to start.

If any of these sound familiar, take this step today – Call a friend you love and trust and tell him/her that you’ve just realized that you may have a real block to experiencing more joy and success, and you want to do something about it.  Ask them to help you become accountable to overcome this block starting today, and ask if they could be your mentor to do it.  Then brainstorm together one action you can take to move away from being blocked in this area. 

For instance, if you want a new career direction but are afraid of the unknown, do some online research and interview people who are in this new field you’re interested in, and get more familiar with what’s involved to pursue it. 

Or if you feel you don’t have the energy for change, commit to bringing forward one new activity in your life that will give you great joy and energy, and in turn, say “no” to doing that something you do that always drains you.

Overcoming blocks like the ones above takes: 1) awareness, 2) commitment, and 3) empowered action.   You can do it!

Please share your feedback – I’d love to hear which of the blocks above resonates with you most, and what one step you brainstormed with your friend to take to get you moving towards joy.

Thanks SO much for sharing!

5 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work and What to Do about It

Last week, I held a free teleclass for women on the “5 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work and What To Do About It,” based on key findings from my national research with scores of working women across the country and my book Breakdown, Breakthrough.  More than 90 women signed up for the call, and they confirmed yet again what so many women have been unable able to say out loud until now, which is, “I’m unhappy at work, but I’m not sure exactly why or what to do about it!”

Whether you are a corporate professional, self-employed or in transition, if you need to find a different way to work, don’t worry. Help is on the way!  And you’re definitely not alone.

Below are what I’ve found to be the top five reasons so many women are dissatisfied and unfulfilled at work, along with concrete tips to revise your situation and change course today.

The top 5 reasons many women are miserable at work are –

They find it impossible to balance work and family

  1. They suffer from chronic financial distress
  2. They struggle using skills and talents that aren’t “natural” to them
  3. They feel chronically undervalued and disrespected
  4. They experience little joy or positive meaning in their work

If the above describes your experience, here are some tips to help you create an internal shift away from feeling trapped and disempowered, to feeling more confident, courageous and committed to making positive career change today (and feel free to write me at kathy@kathycaprino.com if you’d like a download of the recording of the call).

Tips for Positive Career Change:

1) Gain More Work-Life Balance

Balance is not going to just fall in your lap.  You have to claim it, and commit to getting it.  How?  First, determine the three most important priorities you are committed to achieving in your personal and in your professional life.  What are the three things that are vital to you to bring about — that matter more than anything else?  Formulate these in terms of “to be” statements such as “to be a loving mother or “to be a successful entrepreneur” or “to be a helper of others.”

Uncover the three top achievements that you are longing to bring about in your life and work and that you will not compromise on.  Then commit yourself to these.  Discover where you are over-functioning (doing more than is necessary, more than is healthy, and more than is appropriate) in your life, your family, and work, and let go of doing too much and being perfect in the areas that don’t matter as much to you.  Once you take these steps, you’ll find that balance comes more easily to you, because you are being guided each day by the knowledge of what you want to create, and knowing you are 1000% committed to doing it.

2) Get Healthy with Your Money

To get out of chronic financial distress, you must become intimately connected with your money and begin to recognize your real intrinsic worth.  First, create a solid budget with strong financial goals, and stick to it.  Examine your spending – are you buying things in order to soothe your soul?  If so, stop over-spending.  Look at your beliefs around money that you learned as a child from living with your family.  Are your beliefs about money positive or negative, expansive or constricting? Do you believe you deserve wealth and abundance, or are you ashamed of the money you have or don’t have?  Overall, the key to overcoming chronic financial distress is to heal your relationship with money through positive and healthy beliefs, actions, and choices.  Once you create a supportive money relationship, you will no longer stay in jobs that create financial distress or drain you of joy and energy.  You’ll know your worth, and begin claiming it, on your professional path and otherwise.

3) Use Skills that Are Fun and Natural – 

It’s vitally important to understand exactly what talents and skills are easy and fun for you to use, and then find a way (either in your existing job or in a new field or job) to tap these talents more frequently at work.  To get more in touch with what you love to do and what comes easily, take my free Career Path Assessment.  Figure out what you want to do more of, less of, and never again!  Often, what you love to do and what comes easily to you were apparent in your childhood, so start there.  What did you thoroughly enjoy as a kid that people noticed, admired and praised?  You might also realize in doing this exercise that just because you’re great at a task or endeavor at work doesn’t mean you like to do it!  The key to an easier and happier work-life is to use talents that come naturally and are fun to you, so that each day feels like a joy, not a struggle.

4) Claim Your Self-Respect

If you’re chronically undervalued or mistreated at work and want people to change their treatment of you, you must start with SELF-respect.  How do you gain self-respect?  Through courageous action that inspires your own self-esteem – action that you know you should be taking, but haven’t found the nerve to take.  Now’s the time to become more authentic and real in your work. Speak up about who you are and what’s important to you.  Make yourself right, not wrong.  If you know something needs to be communicated, figure out a way to do it as soon as possible.  Find an advocate or mentor at work to help you speak up in the right way so that you will be heard and respected for your viewpoint.  Start enforcing your boundaries so that you know exactly what you will tolerate and accept from others, and what you won’t. 

5) Find Work that Gives Your Life Joy and Meaning

It’s a myth in our culture that we can’t make good money doing what we love.  However, it takes grit, determination, and courage to pursue a path that you love and to make it work for you financially.  If you want more joy and meaning — and financial success at the same time — determine what endeavors and activities make you joyful in your life, and begin today to bringing these forward.  The key is to understand 1) the essence of what you want, and then 2) find the right form of it. For instance, you might love to sing (as I do), and wonder if singing to earn money would make you happy.  To find out if a new path is right for you, research, research, research – interview people in the field, read all about the art and craft of singing professionally, take classes, find a mentor, and determine a way to “try it on’ before you leap.  You might discover that earning money singing as a full-time living isn’t for you, but you love to do on a part-time or hobby basis.  If that’s the case, join a volunteer or community singing group each week, and honor this as a heart-aligned endeavor. 

If you discover that you want a different line of work from your current job, create a plan that allows you to 1) research thoroughly what you want to do, 2) “try it on” as a volunteer or on part-time basis, then 3) commit to moving toward this new path with a solid financial plan, support of family and friends (and a coach if you’d like one), along with a step-by-step blueprint for what it will take to reinvent your career.

The Ultimate Outcome – Joy!

It’s up to you to create a career that you love, and you can do it!  Start today.  Let the top five reasons you’re miserable at work be the catalyst you need to change your career and change your life.  Trust me on this one…when you step up to a path of building a career you love, you’ll expand to new heights you never thought possible.

The Bitter and the Sweet of 50

Today, I’m 50.

While I certainly saw it coming – for months and years, of course – there’s nothing quite like waking up to the fact.  (Those of you who are 50 know what I mean – those who aren’t, you’ll see!).  50 may be the new 30, but there is no denying that there are 50 years of experience – joys, pain, disappointments, triumphs and hard-earned living — behind these eyeballs, ya know?

For my private celebration, I went to the beach (my favorite place on earth) and plunked down on the freshly-combed sand to spend a little “me-time.”  I pulled out my shiny new iPhone (thanks, honey!) to listen to some tunes, and this is what I heard delicately wafting through my ear buds:

“I tasted, tasted love so sweet…

I kept falling over

I kept looking backward

I went broke believing

That the simple should be hard

All we are we are

All we are we are

And every day’s the start of something

beautiful

And in the end words won’t matter

‘cause in the end nothing stays the same

And in the end dreams just scatter and

fall like rain…”

(from All We Are, Matt Nathanson)

I really like that.  Sums it up well, don’t you think? 

I’ve found that the dreams of our lives do scatter – blowing in the wind like the gossamer seeds of fading dandelions.  But that doesn’t mean we should stop having our dreams.  Never.  (Why? Because our dreams catapult us forward to where the stretching is – so we can truly become all we long to be.) 

For me, 50 is bittersweet.  It’s brought with it: 

  • A deep, soul-felt gratitude for the blessings that are my family and friends
  • An acceptance that where I am is exactly right, even though it’s certainly not where I thought I’d be 
  • A multitude of dreams born and dashed, then born again.
  • A feeling of being comforted, loved and seen, even when I’m all alone 
  • A continual opportunity to forgive and accept myself in the face of my gigantic blunders and missteps 
  • Knowing that treasuring the very small things in life makes the very big difference between joy and suffering 
  • Recognizing that life is perfect imperfection – a cleverly-designed journey that inspires, pushes, stretches, dash hopes, build dreams, and dangles the Carrot – only to offer a shiny new one to tempt, the minute the previous one is snatched
  • And – finally, 50 has unlocked in me a readiness to be who I really am.

So, Happy Birthday to me – and to you.  Bring on the bitterness and the sweet!  I’m already noticing that 50 brings with it new visions and startling revelations.  I’m ready.  And may there be many, many happy returns for all of us.

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