The secret to making resolutions last

How To Revive Your New Year’s Resolution with This Easy Strategy

Happy New Year Readers!

Announcement: Next month, our blog will be undergoing a renovation to better provide you with timely writings, strategies and challenges to support your personal development! We’re launching over 10 new modules in addition to the expanded exercises being developed for Finding Passion. Now, how are you going to know about that unless we do some writing? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy this latest post to help you make your resolutions last. Two weeks into January, and I already know some of you are getting a little sloppy with promises made at New Year’s. Learn from these insights that can help you align your goals to make 2015 your best year yet!

How To Easily Make Your Resolutions Last

Enjoy the original post on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-easily-make-your-resolutions-last-jessica-manca


Jessica Manca is a Certified Executive Coach at Managing Mindspaces, specializing in personal transformation. Her sensible career and personal coaching programs provide mid-life professionals with strategies and accountability to design a life with “no regrets.” Jessica is the author of “Finding Passion: A Self-Discovery Approach for Navigating Career Crossroads” (2013), guiding readers through exercises to find answers, reduce overwhelm, and become ready to make the change they want. Combined with her coaching, she challenges clients to have the conversation with themselves they’ve long been avoiding. Jessica’s passion is helping hard-working professionals being awakened to the power of choice, being self-solid and being reconnected to one’s direction in life. She believes it’s never too late to live the life you want.

© Copyright 2015 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Seasons Greetings 2015

10 Ways to Keep Up Your Holiday Spirit

Here are 10 ways to hold onto your Holiday Spirit this year.

1. Be a good elf to yourself.

Tradition is a big part of the holiday, but it doesn’t work when it stresses you out. Get creative to experiment with new or modified traditions to make the holiday what you love. Adapt your traditions in new ways to make them work for you and reduce everyone’s workload.

2. My Christmas tree is no better than yours.

Watch out for comparing to others this season. Comparing invites judgment and criticism. That’s not very merry! Instead, appreciate differences and how these symbols mean something to someone.

3. Visions of sugar plums require sleep.

Getting extra Zzzs can be a great stress reliever to the extra commitment, errands and personalities you face this time of year. With some planned time off, you might even be able to catch a nap!

4. Santa doesn’t go alone.

Ask for help from others and watch out for a tendency to make the holiday super spectacular. All we really want is love. The rest of the holiday is decoration!

5. When under the mistletoe…

Take a few minutes with this holiday to express to those you love exactly what you love about them. Surprise someone you love with your appreciation.

6. Give yourself the best present of all.

Spend time with yourself in reflection. What are you most proud of this year? What’s next in 2015? Appreciate how much you’ve gained and experienced. Setting short-term milestones for the New Year can be a great way to focus your energy around goals you’re planning.

7. Accept the hustle and bustle.

Watch out for short tempers, stopped traffic and crowds in the stores. When you find yourself in these situations, and you’re frustrated, simply remind yourself “everyone here is doing their best.”

8. Treat yourself to cookies, candies, chocolates and more.

Why not have something sweet? Enjoy the goodies because the people who made them did so with love!

9. Remember it’s the season of giving.

If there’s ever a time to share what you really think and feel, it’s now. No more “I’m busy.” Connect and deepen the relationships around you! If you give a little of your true self, imagine what you’ll get in return.

10. Bring on your Christmas Cheer.

What brings out your holiday spirit? Name three things that make the holidays the best each year. Whatever comes to mind, it makes sense to do that. You have a choice to stay Grinch-like or pause and see the amazing wonder around you!

Have a Very Merry Holiday! See you in 2015!
Jessica


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, speaker, and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and personal transformational coaching services to help others live a life with “no regrets.” She is the author of “Finding Passion, A Self-Discovery Approach to Navigating Career Crossroads” and resides in Vancouver, BC with her husband and son.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

What If I Have the Career of My Dreams?

6 Coaching Questions to Begin Defining a Career that Matters

When money’s no longer the dangling carrot you’re reaching for, what can you do to seek out a career beyond “chasing the money?”

What’s the real cost to you when chasing after money?

When I remember back to the time I chased “the money” in my career, not a day went by that I didn’t think about getting promoted and how I compared to my peers. Performance bonuses each year were given based on being top of your class. Achieving that meant you earned more than your peers and may walk home with a bonus of something like an additional $8-10K.

I chose projects that were highly visible and challenging. Did they see me do that? Will that get me ahead? Is that a career-making role? I worked long hours in the office, sometimes after the central A/C was turned off and your arms start to stick to the desk. I convinced myself to work ahead on the weekends too. A part of me felt I had to work this pace, and there was no other way. It was exhausting.

And to further add pain to misery in working so hard to earn more and be on top (of what really?) was the fact that the work itself didn’t matter. It rarely motivated or inspired me. By the time I ignored the warning signs and burned out, I realized I wanted work that mattered to me. With the help of my friends, husband and coach, it was time to ask myself some tough questions.

Try asking yourself these 6 questions

If you’re in this predicament, here’s a quick way to begin articulating your new mission and goal for career success. Take a deep breath and jump into your responses. There’s no right or wrong answers here. Try these six coaching questions to create a career that matters:

  1. What personal values are most important to you?
  2. What’s the relationship between what you value and what you want in the future?
  3. What’s the cost to you to continue on a path that’s not in alignment with your desired future?
  4. What’s the lifestyle you want to create?
  5. What if you bring your future and passion forward each day?
  6. What’s the truth that you’re ready to face?

What if the answer is right in front of you?

The shortest route to defining the career you want starts with studying yourself. When these answers come easily to you and with strong emotions, maybe it’s time to listen to your inner wisdom. It’s OK if you feel upset or frustrated. What matters now is what you’re going to do with this new insight. Talk with a friend, mentor or coach who can help you see a new perspective and set new goals towards the future you want.

What if you had the career of your dreams?

I want to hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy the article?

For more strategies on managing your career, join in on a life-training webinar to help you define a career with no regrets. Registration is free >> Managing Mindspaces Event Calendar.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, speaker, and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Find-Right-Career-For-You

How to Attract the Right Career For You

You have more questions than answers right now, so these 10 tips are all about moving you forward with some ease and clarity.

What do I know about career change? Quite a bit and still learning. I have had 7 job changes and one major career change in my seventeen years of professional experience since university. In my work as a Career Coach, I see many who struggle with the finding a good fit. These tips come from what’s worked to get others over the hump and into some amazing careers.

Feel free to try any or all of these tips. You can also download my free Right Career worksheet to help you.

1. Define your personal values

Now I know this may not be the most obvious place you’d like to start, but trust me for a minute and keep reading. You want the career of your dreams, so knowing what is you value can help you get clarity on what you want.

2. Take small steps

Just because you have big ambitions doesn’t mean that the next stop on your career journey is getting featured on Forbes’ cover for the one to watch out for. The next step is moving in the same direction as your long-term ambitions. What’s the next step?

3. Redefine “right” to “right for me.”

Now that you’re warmed up, let’s revisit something, what is the “right career?” And as you answer this, you’re likely answering from a billion other viewpoints such as from what your friends would say, what your peers suggest, what society expects and so on. How does your answer change when you ask, “What’s the right career for me?”

4. Experiment outside of your comfort zones

As with any growth, the right career for you might require you to stretch. Get comfortable in the uncomfortable a bit if it means reaching your goals.

5. Have a conversation with your heart

By now, you’ve likely already starting googling and applying for jobs everywhere. You’re thinking how you can get the right job, but missing out on a key bit of information. What does your heart (and gut) really want to do? Save some energy and check-in with yourself and your dreams.

6. Continue your learning journey

Just because school is behind you, doesn’t mean the learning stops. Learn about yourself, learn how to grow, evolve and really hone in your many talents.

7. Listen to your intuition

Just the other day I was speaking to someone on this exact topic. She had applied and interviewed at this fabulous place, you know the type of place where the work is good, the salary is good and a clear career path for advancement looks promising. So while at the interview, she recalled that everything just felt wrong. Her body make her feel uneasy and signs appeared all around her that this good-on-paper job opportunity just didn’t feel to be the right fit for her. Has these ever happened to you?

8. Take a daily act of courage

This one applies to not only your career, but the life you really want. What if you did one thing for five minutes that brings your future forward? You could make a phone call, meditate, find a mentor, whatever you already know you need to do to support your career but haven’t done. Get out of your own way, and experiment with this strategy.

9. Pace yourself

Making decisions that impact your life and career require time and care. These decisions also require an eye towards the lifestyle you want to lead. Do you want a well-paying job that leaves you no time to enjoy life? What does your ideal workweek look like?

10. Find your passion

I believe that finding your passion holds the key to so many questions we have in life. When we have passion for what we do, life flows with ease. Work stops being work, and starts to feel like living and getting paid for what we do. When you have your passion, suddenly your career gets put into a new perspective that is integrated into you! No more, work over here, and my personal life over there. You can combine who you are with what you do.

11. Bonus Tip: The purpose of the resume is to get an interview

You are the one that gets the job. The resume is like a paper magnet that needs to capture your essence to attract the best-fitting employer to you. Once attracted, you do all the rest in the interview.

How helpful was this article? Please share, or send your comments here on the blog! I’d love to hear from you!

For more strategies on managing your career, free life-training tools to download and our upcoming webinar next month on Getting Unstuck, visit Managing Mindspaces.

Photo credit: Kathleen Asher Photography


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, speaker, and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Finding Passion Book by Jessica Manca

How to Find Your Passion FAQs

I had the pleasure of presenting How to Find Your Passion LIVE webinar on July 10th. It made my heart sing to share some of the coaching strategies that work for readers of Finding Passion in addition to clients making major career changes. The participants learned 6 strategies for how to get unstuck, make change last and get out of their own way – all precursors to setting up your Passion and ultimate happiness.

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to answer all of the questions in the webinar, so here for those who did not attend and have similar questions, here you go!

How do you get unstuck?

There’s many ways to get unstuck like break the pattern of your own thinking, reset your expectations, ask for help, and more. On the webinar, I shared another strategy which is to understand what change really needs – alignment. When we’re stuck, we’re not aligned and everything in our body and mind is telling us so. Like a bad cold we want to get rid of, being stuck is a heavy burden to carry.

To make change last, you need alignment of your values, beliefs and intentions. Only then can your actions really align to what you want. Being stuck, we often can’t see any path forward and tend to get distracted by just action, or just limiting beliefs.

How did I find Passion in the first place?

Luckily, I experience a long-time-in-the-making career burnout. Had the impact and tipping point not been so severe, I might not have left my well-paying job to pursue my Passion. Turns out, my Passion had been there all along and was in part, what kept me managing the really rough patches in my career where I felt stuck, unfulfilled and not recognizing myself anymore. I’m grateful every day for the low points in my career when I saw the writing on the wall and the warning signs were too great to ignore.

[At that time,] were you afraid to change careers?

Absolutely I was! It was terrifying to walk away from a good-on-paper kind of career. I was good at my job, and I loved so much of it. But in the end, my job wasn’t working for me anymore. It wasn’t the job that had changed, but I had changed…having started a family, I could no longer work 70 hours a week as a management consultant.

What I knew about myself even in the darkest of times through the guilt, embarrassment and even shame of not being able to handle my work anymore, is that I knew I would land on my feet. And trying a new career would be so much easier than continuing to force a no-win situation to work.

How many personal values are ideal to focus on?

Really, there isn’t a magic number here. I have three personal values – Truth, Inter-connectedness and Essence. Those three little words make a contract for me in almost everything I do nowadays, and especially in the decisions I made. If a decision doesn’t match these values, I know it’s not right for me.

I’d recommend that defining your personal values, you start with a working list of about 6-8 and narrow it down after a few iterations. You’ll soon see that some values are closely related, and there might be a stronger term that encapsulates both of those concepts. It’s up to you when the list feels right. I like the idea of three values as a system for what I stand for.

Did you miss How to Find Your Passion LIVE with Jessica webinar? Access an on-demand version now.

Related resources:

Personal Values are like an inner compass

Daily Acts of Courage

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take your vacation

Avoid the #1 Mistake Workaholics Make to Ruin a Vacation

unplug.

You have a choice – on your next holiday, are you working remotely or taking a vacation?

How long has it been since you had a real vacation? Do you tend to book vacation when you’re long overdue for one? And how well is that working for you?

Well, you’re not alone. Many working professionals have a love/hate relationship with holiday time.

On the one hand, you get a small break from the crazy that you call work. You get to experience life again, unrestricted by the office, the hours, the deadlines. The only deadline that suddenly matters is the one in which your flight leaves town. Ahh….so nice.

But with vacation comes the burden of being full-tilt busy preparing for your time off. You work extra hours to get things in a “good place” before you leave. You may even be required to complete work before you go. And what’s really bugging you is that if don’t do all the things you feel you should, you’ll have a storm of problems waiting for you when you return. It’s a double-edged sword. No one wants to deal with that inbox when they return.

So here’s my suggestions on how to truly take your vacation this year. You’ve earned it.

Set and manage your expectations

What’s a priority before you leave? What can wait til you return? Once you remove all the “nice to have” activities from your plate, what’s really important that gives you peace of mind before you leave town? If you don’t know the priority from your boss, find out. And also be sure to tell others you will be unplugged. If you give a wishy-washy “I’ll have occasional access to email,” you’re already setting yourself up to work remotely rather than vacation.

Wind down prior to leaving

If you’re burning the midnight oil the night before you go, you’ll be zonked the first few days of your trip. As a former management consultant, I would actually need about 3 days while on vacation to get into vacation-mode. Wind down before, get extra sleep and most of all, stop working the moment you get on that plane.

Determine what you want out of the vacation, plan accordingly

Ahead of time, really consider what the vacation means to you. What do you want to experience? What would need to happen for you to really enjoy yourself? While a detailed project plan is overkill, visualizing a few todos is a small action that can create a more meaningful experience for you. What’s the consequence of not experiencing the vacation you need?

Avoid the #1 mistake that may ruin your vacation

So you’ve following this guide for the three steps listed. Read this last one carefully – now you need to actually take the vacation. According to google’s dictionary, a vacation is “an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.” I don’t see the word “work” here at all. Do you?

So this year for your next true vacation, take these steps and be kind to yourself. Unplug from work because you can. It’s ok. I won’t tell.

I unplug for vacation at least twice a year, and each time it feels even more liberating than before. Everything can wait until I return. My process is to check email until the out of office is turned on. From that moment, I turn off the monitor and data plan on my phone. I make an agreement with myself to unplug for the duration of the trip and replug on a specific date. Just give it a try. We used to get along without being so connected…so who says you can’t have that now? (Historically, that would be you, my friend).

If you’ve struggled with taking vacations, send me your comments. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you, and what you’d like advice on!


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Choosing to be You

Debunking Ms. Perfect – Why She Gets in the Way of Your Purpose

Just a few weeks ago, I was speaking to Women in Leadership, a non-profit organization empowering women’s professional development, about the downside of pretending to be Ms. Perfect.

My previous career was Ms. Perfect, the management consultant. When I think back to the characteristics I displayed then, it looked something like this:

  • I tried so hard to make work look easy
  • I worked long hours and hid my time
  • I controlled outcomes and made decisions on what others thought rather than what I thought
  • I did it myself, and struggled with delegating or trusting others with work

Ms. Perfect requires tremendous energy to pull off

And that mask took a huge toll on me – emotionally, mentally and physically. As Ms Perfect, I relied on that mask to keep up appearances and to hide the feelings of being unfulfilled with my work, uninspired, and resentful at giving so much of myself to my company and leaving nothing for me or my family. It was so easy to be caught in this cycle and lose track of time, and my direction in life.

The day the mask stopping working was when I went back to work after maternity leave. It was at this tipping point where Ms Perfect was making me unravel. I was at war with myself to keep up the charade. The jig was up!

That’s a heavy burden to carry. How heavy is the burden of perfection for you?

It was at this tipping point that I asked for help.

Ms. Perfect can’t look at herself objectively

So maybe professional development isn’t about gaining more technical skills, credentials, and certifications. Maybe professional development in today’s workplace leads to expanding your self-awareness, ability to be vulnerable, ability to ask of help when you’re overwhelmed?

The only thing separating you from the information you need is the ask. I hope you take this away today. You have a choice – to appear Perfect or to be You. What will you choose to be?

I believe we’re all on the same journey yet at different points along the path. The help you need is much closer than you think and starts by asking yourself the tough questions like “What do I want?”

Ms. Perfect blindly follows and is reactive in life

Being Ms. Perfect left me temporarily sidetracked in my career. The more I invested in Ms Perfect, the further I strayed from myself and my own purpose in life. I’ve shed that mask now, and I love my life, career, sense of self and new freedom.

What I’ve learned is that inner peace comes from within and is beyond the rules of being perfect. Maybe I needed to be Ms. Perfect in order to truly understand that and return back to my true path. What path are you on?

Did this post resonate with you? Please comment on perfectionism below or contact me directly here. I’ve love to have this dialogue with you.


 

JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Life-Changing Leaps

Jump! 3 Tips to Launch Life-Changing Leaps

What leap have you been considering? After several big leaps, here’s three suggestions to embrace change and define your Ultimate Future.

I believe that life is full of as many chapters as we want to create. There’s a reason we turn a new leaf, make new beginnings, or take steps for a complete self makeover. Change is inevitable, yet as humans we constantly struggle to keep “things” the same. It’s an illusion since I think both of us would agree that we’re not the same as we were last week, last year, or 10 years ago.

That tension to keep things the same can result in a Popeye-wearing-a-kid-sized-shirt look. It doesn’t fit! So when you feel tension that life is not fitting, consider these tips for making life-changing leaps.

1. Dare to daydream.

Define your goals no matter how large. Lingering thoughts are a sign that you’re considering a change. Write down what you daydream about the most. What’s the vision for yourself that you’ve been considering?

2. Understand what’s important to you.

Identify activities that you’re doing for your happiness, your well-being vs. those you’re doing for other people. What do you value? What’s your passion?

3. Say yes to your greater purpose.

Often, people feel guilty about saying yes to what they want. They may feel like they’re abandoning a good job, a lifestyle, or the expected career path. When the consequence of staying put is too much to bear, isn’t it about time to say “Yes” to you?

View my full interview at BraveLeaps.com. Photo credit: Thanks to Kathleen Asher for the inspiring photography.

For anyone who currently feels lost or a part of their former self, my self-discovery workbook, “Finding Passion,” contains additional self-discovery strategies and exercises to help you with the answers you’re seeking.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Thanks to Kathleen Asher for the inspiring photography.

Reconnect with Yourself

How to Reconnect With Yourself

8 tips for beginning your self-discovery journey.

Are you feeling ready for a change in your life? Do you feel like a shadow of the person you used to be? When you look in the mirror, do you recognize yourself anymore?

Several years ago, I felt disconnected with myself. I worked long and hard hours, and ran the corporate rat race at the expense of my health, emotions and desires. It’s not easy to break the habit of putting work first, but when begin feeling ready to regain control of the life you want, the first step start with getting reacquainted with your true self.

Here’s how to begin the journey of looking inward to reduce the uncomfortable gap between the life you have and the life you want.

1. Carve out time for self-care.

With a busy schedule, it’s easy to prioritize other tasks and other people over yourself. Every day make the time to connect with your needs for much-deserved sleep, to journal, or to daydream, or you can spend time in a calming and relaxing place.

2. Identify your personal values.

It’s your life, how do you want to live it? Discover your beliefs and stand behind them; you’ll be amazed at how this helps you become centered through life and decisions you face.

3. Create at least one long-term goal.

Set targets for the future, or create a bucket list. Achieving these goals will give you something to work toward, no matter how small or grand.

4. Undertake a daily act of courage.

Every day, do something to bring the future in #3 forward. Take steps toward achieving your goals even when these steps are difficult or intimidating. Daily acts of courage help you break old patterns and habits.

5. Practice self-awareness and mindfulness.

Listen to your feelings, and take note of what gives you discomfort and inner-conflict. Is it being around a negative person? Is it doing things out of obligation instead of desire? This mindfulness will help you better understand yourself and bring you further in touch with what your emotions and intuition are trying to tell you. With time, you can remember what it’s like to trust yourself and your judgement.

6. Recognize what you don’t want.

Is it time to move on? Is it time to part with an old friendship? What are the things you need to let go of in order to bring forward the life you really want? What happens if you spend your energy on the things that you do want?

7. Admit your shortcomings, as well as your strengths.

Give yourself permission to say, “I’m human and still learning.” Name areas in which you’d like to grow, cultivate skills, or mature. Get creative with how you can take small steps to practice and improve.

8. Share your discoveries with others.

It’s important to connect with others in order to avoid feelings of isolation. Showing vulnerability allows you to build authentic connections with others and to see you’re not alone.

For anyone who currently feels lost or a part of their former self, my self-discovery workbook, “Finding Passion,” contains additional self-discovery strategies and exercises to help you with the answers you’re seeking.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Finding Passion Book by Jessica Manca

How to Find Your Passion

Three Lessons For Your Personal Journey

I always knew I would publish a book. It was on my bucket list before I had ever heard of bucket lists. I was raised with the idea that those who work hard in life get rewarded. After a lifetime of hard work, I would finally have the space in life to publish a book of my very own – say by the time I’m 70. I’d also have time to do all those other things that I didn’t get to while having a successful corporate career. Little did I know what’s possible…

Finding Passion is a very recent event for me in the last few years. Prior to what I’m about to share, I was very content with the process of going to work, earning my salary, and keeping my Passion (whatever that was) way out there in the future. My new vantage point comes from a place of harmony with who I am, what I want and finally (yes!) what I do. Here’s three insights to finding passion.

1. We learn when we stumble

Fast forward to 2010. This was the year I had burned out. I had burned out to the point that I didn’t recognize myself nor my life any more.

Stumbling is a part of life. And it happens to everyone. There are those that stumble and quickly brush it off, get angry and blame others, etc. But there’s another way to look at stumbling, and I’m telling you my experience set the plan in motion. My stumble was my tipping point that my life and career as a consultant had to change. Had I not stumbled so wonderfully, I wouldn’t have started my own business, discovered my core personal values, and found a career that really I had already been doing only now I was doing it in an authentic and inspiring way. And also, I wouldn’t have achieved a bucket list goal so soon. But more on that in a minute.

2. We must listen to our wisdom (Intuition)

As I was stumbling, my inner critic really wanted me to stay the same, unchanged, and living in fear. Many times I heard that voice say, “This is just how it is. This is just what it’s like at this level in your career and having a family.” So I sought a coach who could be objective and external to the situation to help me find the answers I had been looking for. I declared, “just because I’m good at my job doesn’t mean my job is good for me.” Feeling physically ill, stressed, not sleeping were all warning signs that I had long ignored that something was wrong.

There comes a point when you can’t not make a major change.

3. When we find Passion, life becomes simpler

On November 19th, I published Finding Passion, and it has been the best accomplishment of my professional career. This book is a snapshot of my personal transformation from burnout to rediscovering the parts of me that I had hidden. The book is about running towards the future you want, not about running away from problems. I rekindled the relationship I had with myself – to trust myself, love myself, and accept myself. Being reunited, I supported myself with permission to live the life I want. And in doing so, I recognized that my passion was helping others in the most meaningful way to bring forward their best self. Finding my passion helped me make better decisions in my life, and gave me peace of mind that I’m  aligned to who I am inside.

The best advice for finding passion is that you have to find it for yourself. No one can tell you a shortcut to this work. What I know is that my journey resembled a lot of inward focus in order to move one step forward. Knowing yourself is amazing, and that knowledge changes as we evolve and shift our perspectives in life. I hope you find what it is you’re looking for, and with a little courage to look inside yourself to discover the answer your intuition has known all along.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

I am enough

Are you enough?

If my aim is to prove I am ‘enough,’ the project goes on to infinity—because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable. – Nathaniel Branden


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Passion Makes Anything Possible

Passion Makes Anything Possible

Jessica Manca, Certified Coach, Author:

I believe that Passion is the key to our happiness and greater purpose.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Originally posted on Managing Mindspaces:

When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.

– Unknown.

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Benefits of a Mentor

How a Mentor Can Change Your Life, Now

One conversation could make the difference for you starting today.

Last month, I became a formal mentor to a young professional with the Women in Leadership Foundation, and it got me thinking. I could have really used a mentor when I was advancing my career, transitioning to management, working in a new country and more. What I know is that having a mentor is a key person in your corner, supporting you and giving you insights that you may not otherwise gain.

A mentor is a person who helps you develop, learn, discuss concerns and challenge you to reach higher. As I fill the shoes of the mentor I wish I had earlier in my career, I believe there’s many benefits to having a strong mentor in your life.

Mentorship Benefits

  1. Mentors provide a safe place to ask any questions.
  2. Mentors have been there before.
  3. Mentors share lessons learned, not just advice.
  4. Mentors sit outside your immediate work or circle of friends.
  5. Mentors are usually 5-10 years more senior than you.
  6. Mentors help you know what to expect for the future.
  7. Mentors can someone you admire from a distance.
  8. Mentors are a great sounding board for what’s weighing on your mind.
  9. Mentors can provide you helpful feedback.
  10. Mentors can expand your network, and make introductions you need.
  11. Mentors act as a personal advisory board across your career.
  12. Mentors develop your professionalism and leadership skills.
  13. Mentors can make life-long connections.
  14. Mentors help you see you’re not alone.
  15. Mentors don’t cost a thing.

My recommendation is to seek out mentors in your life regardless of what level you’re at. Keep learning and reaching towards your potential. To have a mentor, all you need to do is ask. That one question could make the biggest impact on your life now.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Life is not a Straight Path

Life’s Not A Straight Path from A to B

Life is not a Straight Path

Life is not a Straight Path from A to B

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” – Anais Nin

 


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Finding Passion, Finding Yourself

Finding Passion, Finding Yourself

Finding Passion, Finding Yourself

Choose to Spend Your Energy on What’s Most Fulfilling For You

How To Stop Wasting Valuable Energy You Need By Asking Yourself What You Want.

Notice I didn’t say, “stop wasting valuable time.”

Time management is a gimmick. That’s right. We know time is finite. It’s a constant. We count time; we watch time. We even measure our day in time. Energy, on the other hand is the limitless fuel that keeps us living. Energy is expansive and is part of the conditions for happiness and fulfilling experiences (read Positive Psychology’s Flow for more on this concept).

Our personal energy is so precious. It’s a goldmine of creativity and happiness! When our energy is high and we’re using it towards what’s important, we’re on fire. When it’s low, we’re groggy, cranky and not too excited about anything other than resting in order to get more energy.

Notice, we don’t rest to get “more time.” Time isn’t in our control.

If we could turn a person’s life around who experiences low energy or is frequently unmotivated and going through the motions, what would happen? They’d be up at the break of dawn to begin their day. They’d laugh, smile and be incredibly excited. They’d work with purpose and intensity. They would be capable of the most amazing feats.

Maybe just maybe, the secret spice to a fulfilled life isn’t more time in a day. No, no. Maybe it’s finding passion, finding yourself and managing the energy you need?

Here’s how to get started:

Listen to Your Emotions

Observe your emotions, and observe your energy level for three days. Like a warehouse manager, take inventory of where you are, and what you feel inside. What’s giving you energy, and what’s zapping your energy?

If you feel overwhelmed, angry or fearful, this is your gut telling you something. That tension is the difference between what you want and what you have now. Write this out, and build the case of what your current environment, work and ways in which you spend you day are affecting you.

Review What Gives You Energy

With the latest inventory in front of you, now ask yourself the big question, “What Do I Want?”

Here’s some helper questions to get the juices flowing:

  • What parts of you have been lost or forgotten? (the Artist? the Singer?)
  • Where should you be? (Camping? On a boat?)
  • What would make you happy? (Freedom? Working less?)
  • What is a waste of your time? (Useless meetings?)
  • How much energy does worrying about the future take from you?

With the last question, I have a challenge for you. To keep momentum and find yourself and your passion. If you’re at a crossroads, you’re already spending valuable energy wondering, wrestling with what you don’t want in your life.

Choose to Spend Your Energy Differently

Why not take a fraction of that same energy and spend it towards figuring out what you do want?

You just might find yourself again, and best of all, live the fulfilled live you’ve always wanted. Energy is within your control.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Reduce the gap between the life you have and the life you want.

How Does Your Passion Show?

Passion

Every time you’ve had a whim,

every time you’ve lost track of time,

these might just be the moments

when your Passion started to shine.

 

Dear friend, what’s your Passion?

Your Inner Light

3 Signs It’s Time To Find Your Passion

Your Inner Light

Could Passion be what you’re missing?

How to recognize inner-restlessness and your next steps

Not being able to see the warning signs that are right before your eyes can be alarming. Have you already passed the point of no return? There’s only one way to find out. Read on!

You’re bored and suddenly lost motivation

What once got you excited at work, no longer does it. Instead of enjoying what you do, you’re bored with it, almost annoyed with it. It’s either too easy, or just more of the same ol thing. Sunday comes around and you would rather clean the toilet than be excited about going back to work on Monday. What’s changed with the job you used to like, or even love? Why did your motivation change so quickly?

To combat feelings of boredom, try taking time off from work. A long weekend might just be the cure to giving you some time and distance from these feelings. You could learn to shake your routine up a bit. Commute a different way to work. Use a right-handed mouse with your left hand. Experiment with even the smallest things to keep it fun at work.

Another option is to ask yourself, what motivates you? It may have changed since you began this job.

You’re going through the motions

Going to work and doing the job is a routine that you can do very well. Even during the day, you can keep everything afloat without paying much attention to it. Maybe you’re coasting, or maybe you’re letting some things slide. You keep charging forward, but don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere as if you’re running in place.

The question I would ask you is “what’s in it for you?” What is it about your job that means something? If we take the parts that are meaningful and give them more attention, perhaps we can see the big picture of helping clients, making the world a better place or simply being satisfied with learning and adding value?

You’re procrastinating

You feel guilty, obligated and burdened by responsibilities in your job. Avoidance is a sign something larger is going on. You might even catch yourself daydreaming more frequently. If you’re experiencing the other two points above, then procrastination is soon to follow.

Listen to your instinct when procrastination begins. What are you really resisting – the work itself or something more? How could you take the same project and work with purpose? Talk with someone and at least stop going through this feeling all alone.

What does it look like to work with Passion?

Working with passion is a mindset. It’s an attitude, a love, mojo. It’s finding “flow” experiences in everything you do. Passion is learning to see things with fresh eyes, paying attention and being present in the moment. Working with passion brings you renewed energy to face the setbacks you encounter at work and further propel you towards the outcomes you desire.

I learned about a great story the other day about a team of executives in education. The team was bickering, controlling and having difficulty making improvements in operations and various programs being developed. After much frustration, one member blurted out. He caught the others’ attention with this powerful statement, “The children run to get here!” With those words out in the open, everyone relaxed and began cooperating. It was the articulation of their shared passion that held them grounded and focused on what’s really important.

Knowing your Passion could be the secret to your ultimate happiness.

Updated from Are you Searching for Passion?, November 1, 2012.

See related: 6 Reasons Why I Left A High Paying Job, 4 Steps to Saying Yes to Your Greater Purpose, 3 Parts of Making Personal Change Last.

JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

6 Reasons Why I Left a High Paying Job

Time for Change

Is It Time for Change?

Are you wrestling with a life-changing career decision? Learn how I went from contemplation to action in deciding to leave my job.

I felt like my consulting career was in hyper-drive. I was at the top of my game, and reassured with performance review feedback and bonuses that I walked on water at work. Ambitious, competitive, and keen to take on a challenge, I was eying my next promotion. Work was my identity, that is until I went back to work from maternity leave. Having ignored the warning signs that something needed to change, I got my wake up call.

1. Project role may not be setup for success

The project was a long-term program with a relentless and respected leadership team. The leadership, including three senior-level leaders, asked me to step up to a stretch role requiring me to operate at the next level. It proved such a demanding role that the previous person didn’t last long. With a big account on the line, tensions naturally were high for the leaders to fit a strong and structured consultant for the position. I recall thinking this is the kind of opportunity that will test anyone to the limits, and I gladly accepted the role.

What would you have done?

2. Experiencing feelings never felt before

Within less than two weeks that November, I started to notice a sense of overwhelm that I couldn’t shake. I thrived in high pressure, so imagine my surprise when for the first time in my career, I stopped functioning.

What does it look like when your job becomes overwhelming?

3. Confidence and ability to make decisions affected

My top performance degraded each week. I felt unsure, uneasy and continuously second-guessed myself. My energy levels and focus weakened to the point I no longer managed my time. My usual speed to complete tasks took much longer than before. I developed a short fuse, to put it nicely, and the smallest of things set me off.

What takes you off your game?

4. Covering to keep up appearances nothing’s wrong

I tried saying no to new assignments, but gave in to keep up the appearances that everything was under control. I wanted to be more proactive by delegating yet micro-managed self-sufficient members of my team to uphold expectations from the top. In my journal, I captured self-talk which demanded perfection. “No mistakes,” I wrote.

How do you manage when work is too much?

5. Judgment impaired, experiencing extreme highs and lows

My journal further confessed on a single day, “Extreme rage. ‘Susie’ volunteered me for something new…but feel really good overall. Getting on track, meeting deadlines. I like my job again.” Another entry reflected problems were still persisting. “Long day. Trying to step up. I think I’ve been to lax on myself, and it’s not working either,” I wrote. The vortex was consuming all my energy.

Do you have a love-hate relationship with your job? Why?

6. Family and health impacted

I worked with my mentor to discuss ways for finding balance, assuming this was just a passing phase. Feeling broken, the mental exhaustion turned into a physical impairment. I was sluggish, gaining weight, and no longer recognizing the person I saw in the mirror. I remember wishing I would grow purple spots so that others could see I was maxed out and silently screaming inside for help.

Performance feedback was much different that year. It was the first time that I received not only constructive feedback but with remedial implications. Mortified and devastated, I sought console in my loving husband who expressed how much this job was affecting us. I was giving so much to work and leaving nothing for my family. I remember he asked me what’s my 10-second decision what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to move West and leave the company. This conversation cemented my commitment to free myself.

How does your body or close family let you know you’re in conflict?

A wake up call for living my life

I suppose a wake up call does just that – wakes you up. I finally admitted out-loud to having a problem with my work situation, and that confession set the wheels in motion.

Giving permission to move forward without guilt and regret was the biggest shift made in my thinking. As you may already have experienced, it’s hard to leave a good job. It’s hard to leave a company, for better or worse, that you’ve been loyal to. It’s hard to leave those people, your people, who made it all worthwhile. Not only was I conflicted by those feelings, I fell into a game of working for money at the expense of all things in my life, including my own well-being.

I didn’t recognize myself, nor felt authentic about how I made a living. Just because I’m good at my job, doesn’t mean my job is good for me.

Had I not gone through these experiences so intensely, I would still be in my corporate position, feeling miserable and wondering why I was working my life away for someone else’s dream.

Are you working so hard to fulfill someone else’s dream?

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Guiding us from the inside out.

Inner Compass (Poem)

Personal Values are like an inner compass.

Navigating the ocean blue,

I have an inner compass wonderfully true.

Holding me centered in all that I do.

Letting me Be for more than a minute or two.

Helping me see with clarity and vision.

Unlocking the key to trust my intuition.

My inner compass advantage,

No matter how the winds may change.

Allowing me to be the way,

To share my truth and light each day.

This poem is an excerpt of Managing Mindspaces’ upcoming book, Finding Passion Living the Life you Want Now, a Self-Discovery Workbook for Navigating Career Transition available this Fall on Amazon.com. Book Trailer coming soon!

 

© 2013 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

Quotes

The Ultimate Emotional Intelligence Practice

“Real freedom is the ability to pause between stimulus and response and in that pause…choose.” – Rollo May

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

unplug.

12 Days Unplugged – Jessica’s Summer Vacation Experiment

unplug.

12 Days Unplugged – Jessica’s Summer Vacation Experiment

Warning: This has never been attempted before (by me). Possible side effects: system meltdown may occur or subject may experience extreme serenity and mindfulness.

THE CHALLENGE

  • Leave my laptop, email and creative projects behind and unplug for 12 days of vacation. Unplugging means not accessing work email, social media, blog and related work projects (book, research, design and evernote).

THE PROMISE

  • As I vow to be an authentic coach helping people live the live they want, I also vow to set an example of how I manage work life integration.
  • To be true to my word, I’m excited to share what happens and lessons learned. I’ll write a follow-up post to report back to you what it’s really like.
  • There will be no cheating and no exceptions. 100% unplugged. I have enlisted some helpers who will be monitoring me.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • This is like being a space explorer. This is uncharted territory. What will I discover?
  • I know this will clear my mind after reaching many milestones this year personally and professionally. Summer is a great time to be easy on yourself and renew.
  • I also hope I’ll be able to enjoy time to reflect and mindfulness while with my family.
  • I imagine my creative juices will be flowing which means I will be capturing ideas and visions in a small notebook or in my journal.

TESTING MY LIMITS

  • While visiting my family in Indiana, there will be lots of TV watching. That’s what my family does. There’s still more TVs than people that live in the house. Can anyone relate? Watching TV is great and I know that it would be more stimulating to check messages. I must resist.
  • Being on my computer is my hobby. It’s going to be hard to find other things to do when we have idle time. I’m planning on reading, doing yoga or just hanging out. I may resort to house or yard work projects if necessary.
  • This experiment is longer than just leaving technology for the weekend. When we go camping, I’m usually ok however I do check email on the drive when I’m supposed to just be checking the time. I check it because it’s there. So what this tells me is that I will need to leave the laptop at home. My data plan won’t work in the US (without high rates) so that will be off as well.

HOW IT FEELS

  • It’s feels a little uneasy. A string of “what ifs” are running through my mind. Yet I know that things will be ok, and can wait until I return.
  • Bold, especially because of my history with projects that eat my vacation and the days long gone of consulting where I was expected to work and check-in even when I was away.
  • This is a healthy experiment for me so as to make sure I’m not consumed by work (which I love) and my passion of helping others (which I love).

Want to try this challenge on your next vacation?

When’s the last time you unplugged? Stay tuned.

Quotes

Getting Out of a Rut

“This is the hard part. Knowing and admitting a problem are not the same as solving it. But executing a solution is also the fun part, because the solution save you and gets you moving again.” – Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit.

Pyramid diagram of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Top 10 Reasons Maslow Had It Right

Exploring Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how it relates to fulfillment and work life balance

Pyramid diagram of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Image source: Kevin Michaluk

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.” In studying exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, this model represents the progression of human needs with the more basic needs at the bottom. The premise is that everyone is striving for the ultimate Self-Actualization within their lifetime.  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

TOP 10 REASONS MASLOW HAD IT RIGHT

  1. You have needs. Your needs are diverse from safety, love and ego to understanding our greater purpose.
  2. The needs you have as a human being are universal. According to recent research, these same needs are shared among civilizations across the world. Every day, someone is experiencing the same feelings as you right now.
  3. Each need must be satisfied before you’re able to focus and be motivated by the next level of higher needs. It’s near impossible to have your need of love and belonging met, if you can’t breathe or lack shelter.
  4. Needs which are not satisfied completely distract from moving upwards. Ever heard of the expression “death by 1,000 cuts?” Each smaller need or challenge weighs on you, preventing you from investing your full attention on the next level of personal need.
  5. Holding self-esteem needs exclusively within your area of work may negatively impact your ability to balance. In this model, self-esteem is you as a person, not you the professional, employee or business owner. If your identity is your career, this may be a contributing factor when not reaching self-actualization.
  6. Implied in Maslow’s model is you need to satisfy your needs first  to be a stronger support for others. You must know what you want and then satisfy your needs, which better serves your loved ones and community or even your global contribution.
  7. When you attempt a higher need and ignore the lower level ones, you create inner conflict. Perhaps it’s guilt, regret or embarrassment that comes with working across these needs out of order. If you’re looking for acceptance yet lack self-confidence, what happens?
  8. To reach the self-esteem level, you must love and know yourself. Yes, self-love and knowing your personal values is like an inner compass keeping you aligned and authentic in your life.
  9. The hierarchy doesn’t separate between the work “you” and the personal “you.” Who you are in different contexts is one and the same.
  10. Only when all the lower level needs are met, can you begin to reach what Maslow called Self-Actualization. This is ultimate fulfillment and knowing your greater purpose. This is when you find happiness and living the life you want.

Where are you at on this pyramid? Send your thoughts and comments below.

Disclaimer: The insights in this article are from a personal perspective and are not a substitute for professional psychological guidance.

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

Say Yes to Me!

4 Steps to Saying ‘Yes’ to Your Greater Purpose

A Step-by-Step guide to help you say Yes to what you really want for yourself by saying No to what others want for you.

Can it really be this simple?

If I say No to what others want, I’d be really clear on what I want. What do I want?

Step 1: Figure out what I really want

If I say No to what others want, I’d need a way to do this consistently and with a defined pattern or set of rules. So if I had 1 big goal that I want to achieve, I would need to be able to recognize ways to spend my time that support my big goal, and only my big goal, not what others want. (What works for me is seeing two lists side by side. The left side is what gets in. The right side is what doesn’t).

Step 2: Identify what gets in vs. what doesn’t.

If I say No to what others want and have obligations, prior commitments and habits that return me back to old ways of doing things to please others, I would need a way to course-correct moving forward. (Glancing at my calendar, these are the events that I don’t look forward to and ask, “why did I agree to go to that?”)

Step 3: Review Calendar & Course-correct as necessary.

If I say No to what others want, and follow steps 1-3 above then I’d be confident that each day, I was making progress towards saying Yes to my greater purpose. Now, where to begin? My Inbox! That thing is filled of what others want and looking at it makes me twitchy. My new calendar on the other hand, can be filled with only good things that I want to do, things I look forward to doing. Things I put in my calendar because I want to do then, not because something thinks I should.

Step 4: Say No to what others want, so I can say Yes to my greater purpose.

If I say Yes to my greater purpose, I can see myself having all this energy and being that much closer to finding happiness! I would need to be disciplined about it, and it may take time. Yet, I know I’d be listening to my heart and pursuing my big goal every single day. If I encounter setbacks, I will recognize them as temporary and keep trying.

It’s time to say Yes to Me.

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Managing-Mindspaces-Work-Life-Balance-On-A-Tightrope

Walking the Work Life Balance Tightrope

Managing-Mindspaces-Work-Life-Balance-On-A-Tightrope

Finding your balance is not easy, but possible.

A simple analogy to help change the way you look at and maintain balance in life.


Think back to the last time you had work life balance. When was that exactly? Your first job? University? Maybe it happened while you were on extended vacation, telling yourself, “Life should be like this.”

For many, work life balance never happens or when it does, it doesn’t stay very long. We get pulled in 100 different directions. We agree to things even though we don’t want to. We feel guilty for the things we said we’d do but didn’t. It’s frustrating because we want this balance where work is a set number of hours and the rest of the time is “me time,” right?

As you think about your work life balance, is it time to get to the bottom of this?

WORK LIFE BALANCE IS LIKE WALKING A TIGHTROPE

What we can learn from an acrobat on the highwire:

  • A ladder helps you get started.
  • Only you can get across the wire.
  • You take deliberate and small steps.
  • You focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
  • Distractions don’t help you here.
  • Should you fall, there’s a net to catch you (when you plan ahead).
  • Some days, your balancing skills are better than others.
  • Once you’ve reached the other side, you can smile back at what you’ve achieved.

You’re an acrobat in your life, balancing and juggling priorities. Yet when you walk the tightrope well, all the noise of the circus goes away. I can’t help but think if you grab a net, a ladder and have courage to attempt to walk the rope instead of get distracted in the circus around you, what would be possible?

What is possible?

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

LESSON LEARNED

I used to think work life balance was this definitive state, that we all strive for. And the more I tried to control my work life balance, the more it seemed to not fit the variety within each day.  So by letting go of some ideal, or what works for Suzie and Jimmy, I’m more open to adapting to change as it happens. My balance is very personal and only needs to make sense to me. Another piece of this learning is that my most precious times each day are when I first wake up and right before I go sleep. Setting an intention for the day and reflecting at the end of it are like my net (to catch me when off-balanced) and ladder (to prepare to attempt the balance walk again tomorrow).

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Three Phrases that Hold You Back

Speech That Limits Your Potential – Avoid These Three Phrases

How does your speech hold you back?

Language is a powerful tool we use to connect the things we want with things we do, yet our words are more revealing than we realize. Let’s take a deeper look at three common phrases and the effects of them on your potential.

#1 – Someone urges you to dream bigger, you respond with “I can’t.”

  • What it really means: You are not capable of doing something or you do not want to do something.
  • What it looks like: Your reasoning appears like a knee-jerk excuse rather than understanding the situation fully. You’re telling others, “I can’t. End of story. Don’t even ask me about it.”
  • What you can say instead: “I’m not sure I have enough information to commit to that” or “I’m feeling a bit unsure. Would you help me talk it out?”

#2 – When working towards a big goal, you hesitate and say, “Well, as soon as I…”

  • What it really means: There is something you’re intentionally putting on hold because you don’t believe you can have it now.
  • What it looks like: Black and white thinking that there is a single path to reaching your goal.
  • What you can say instead: “This goal is so important to me, I’m open to bringing it forward every single day, rather than wait until after I (insert reason here)”

#3 – Anytime you say, “But…”

  • What it really means: You’re looking at the situation with a closed mind.
  • What it looks like: You don’t see opportunity and instead only see obstacles.
  • What you can say instead: “And…” (Yes, it’s that simple to replace the word “but” with the word “and.” Speak every single sentence in the positive.

With practice, you can change your speech and your thinking. What would be different if you stopped saying these three phrases? You might free yourself of these speaking shortcut which really don’t convey what you feel.  You may remove unnecessary guilt associated with each of these postures. Think about the last time you said, “as soon as.” It’s not usually connected to a “feel good” emotion, is it?

How are these phrases impacting your ability to reach your potential? How will you catch yourself using words and language that hold you back?


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. She founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

The resume - what does it really say about you?

A Stronger Way to Describe Your Work Experience

Afraid your resume is starting to look like a jar full of colored marbles? Is it complicated to tell how you got from there to here? Here’s how to look at your experience as a winding river rather than single points on a path from A to B when updating your resume.

The resume - what does it really say about you?

The resume – what does it really say about you?

As we gain knowledge, we naturally evolve in our interests and talents. Typically the jobs across our overall career reflect this growth. When there’s a gap between where we’re at personally and where we’re at professionally, that’s a pivotal time to make the bigger and more significant changes to our career. We feel tension. We feel that something’s just not working. Whatever the reason, we’re more inclined to do a little job searching and start daydreaming about other careers.

Yet even when we dream about “what if I…” scenarios, our resume still reflects the same old disjointed experiences. Right?

So if you feel alone on having the only resume that doesn’t make sense, relax. We all have a varied career journey which is uniquely ours. The job titles are just labels to what we do, and the work and skills developed might be more closely related than you realize. Maybe it’s time to refresh how you present this information? Let’s look at an example.

MY CAREER – LINEAR CAREER PATH

Take a look at my career path by job title, in reverse chronological order. With this approach to your resume, you simply update it by adding the newest position at the top, leaving all the older pieces unchanged.


Executive Coach
^
Senior Project Manager & Technology Consultant
^
Java Developer
^
Application Developer
^
Web Programmer
^
Graphic Designer
^
Graduated with a degree in Journalism, majoring in Advertising/Graphic Design and Marketing.


Of course, it makes sense to me since I know more details than you, but you may be thinking Journalism then Java then Coaching? What? How? And that’s what a resume screener would say too. Since my roles varied, this approach never fully worked for me. It simply didn’t make sense as it may for some who stay in one single industry/profession and follow the prescribed path to upper management positions.

MY CAREER – WINDING RIVER VERSION

Now, look at the same series of steps from school to coaching. In this approach, I thought about what are the key lessons or skills developed with each role I held. Each position allowed me a sort of stepping stone to the next position. Read from the bottom up. What do you notice?


Emotional intelligence, listening, action planning and goal setting, facilitating, connecting, starting a business – Executive Coach
^
Setting and managing expectations, delivering complex IT solutions, developing teams, building talent, mentoring, performance coaching, motivating, leading proposals and pursuits, knowledge management, quality control practices, account management, relationship development, accountability, offshore & large team management – Senior Project Manager & Technology Consultant
^
Learning design patterns, creating reusable code, project management, developing small proposals and prototypes, systems integration, learning best practices, liason between business and technical teams – Java Developer
^
Self-starting, self-management, leading small projects with clients – Application Developer
^
Gathering requirements, usability design, applying graphic design principles on the web, problem solving – Web programmer
^
Running magazine production management, schedule management, consistency and strong organization, teaching web design – Graphic Design
^
Detail-oriented, creativity, writing and editing, beginning team building experience and taking on committee chair roles – Journalism


In this version, my experience builds the exact foundations I need at the next level. Each skill from the individual skills developed in school and my early career only lent themselves to my ability to manage and be client-facing. My technical background quickly accelerated my knack for managing complex projects and working with clients. Finally, it’s all the account and strategic relationship experience that makes me an effective coach to identify the root cause of an issue and bring out the best in people today.

LESSON LEARNED – HIGHLIGHT YOUR “REAL” JOURNEY, NOT YOUR JOB TITLES

A resume will always need to be updated when applying for new positions or changing careers. Even when you think the resume is the best possible representation of your experience, it likely is – right now. As soon as you change where you’re headed, you may want to highlight different pieces of that experience. Use the winding river technique to see the commonalities of the true skill-sets you’ve developed across the years. Take the same list of job titles you’ve held. Rather than say what you did using the “I was responsible for” syntax, list the value, knowledge and skills gained.

It’s this winding river experience that prospective employers will want to hear. It’s more interesting. That’s your narrative, and that’s how you got from there to here.

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces. Revised July 16, 2014.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Life is like a book of chapters

Life Is Like a Book of Chapters

Could we contemplate “turning a new chapter” in our lives when we’re ready to experience a new way of being?

Remembering back when this idea came about, it must have been around 2004 when my then fiance, now husband, and I decided to move to Canada temporarily for work. It was a “new chapter” for us.  And that concept seemed to really stick.  We were going to live in a new country and city with new jobs, new friends and new immigration headaches to contend with. And as simply as we had made the decision, some cosmic hand had turned the chapter to make it happen.

When you think about turning a new chapter while reading, there’s a beautiful reset of expectations. There’s a new path, or new adventure.  Time has passed perhaps, or the focus has moved onto something new. So the next time you really want to turn a chapter in your life, I want you to think about the following tips.

6 TIPS ON HOW TO “TURN A CHAPTER” AND MAKE CHANGE

  • Anyone can “turn the chapter” at any time
  • Anyone deserves to make change when it feels right (like you have that itch to try something new and shake up your rhythm)
  • Starting a new chapter builds upon all the great experiences and lessons you already have, therefore you aren’t starting the “new” part from scratch
  • As with any chapter, the change you’re about to undergo could be temporary, equivalent to less than 10 pages.
  • The simple act of deciding it’s time for a new chapter is an action forward in and of itself.
  • It’s your life, therefore you have the power to author it however you want.

So what’s your new chapter you’re thinking about? Is it getting in shape for summer? Is it finding passion with work? Is it navigating work life integration?

My new chapter is taking one small challenge on – everyday. I want to show courage and live the life I want now. I want to build that courage so that my impossible future becomes clearer and closer each day.

See related: Live the Life you Want, Now

Updated September 30, 2013.

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.

 

 

Mindspaces Motivational Wheel

Add This Motivational Wheel to Your Toolkit

Motivation is an internally-driven force. This post focuses on the conditions that make up motivation and a simple visual tool you can use to help you find motivation.

What’s your relationship with Motivation? Are you able to motivate yourself easily, or do you struggle with it? In the support of my own learning and yours, I put together the components that build motivation. This is from my perspective to overcome the ick that comes from things where we lack motivation.

WHAT I KNOW ABOUT MOTIVATION IS

  • Motivation is personal (internal) to each of us.
  • Others can’t tell us to be motivated. That doesn’t work.
  • Our motivation hinges upon our mood, health, goals, intention, and inspirations.
  • When we are motivated, there’s a fearlessness that awakens to tackle challenges.
  • When procrastination occurs, motivation is lacking on some level.
  • If surrounded by others who are highly motivated, we often get more motivated through that excitement and synergy.

MINDSPACES MOTIVATIONAL WHEEL

It takes all of the following elements to make the wheel move forward:

  1. internal drive or my stake in it;
  2. attention and focus;
  3. time and dedication;
  4. energy and action;
  5. ability and talent (creativity, tools, methods, resources); and
  6. a vision for what’s desired.

Mindspaces Motivation Wheel © 2013 Managing Mindspaces.

Does your motivational wheel look like mine? Apply this tool to your current projects and goals to move them forward. Only you can find your motivation!

For more upcoming events, webinars and training, visit Managing Mindspaces.


JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.

© Copyright 2014 Managing Mindspaces. All rights reserved.