life coach

3 Steps for Dealing with Holiday Overwhelm

Celebrate 2015With just about one week left of 2015, most of us are rushing around finishing last minute holiday shopping, making plans to be at this party and that party, or scurrying to make preparations to host family and friends. Some people say it's a wonderful season and while that may be true, I'm often more present to how overwhelming it can be for me and other people.

The prevailing experience that I come to at this time of year is overwhelm. That's a word we often use, but let's define that experience.

The dictionary offers these definitions:

  1. bury or drown beneath a huge mass
  2. defeat completely
  3. give too much of a thing to (someone)

As a coach, I define overwhelm as the experience of being committed to a number of things and feeling that you don't have enough time/resources to be good enough at the things that you are committed to being good enough at. Kind of liking wanting to win multiple games, but feeling like no matter what you do, you will lose.

It feels like losing at all the things you care about and it's especially present during the holidays. There is never enough time to see all the people you "should" see, not enough time to prepare the meal the way you want to, not enough money to buy the gifts you want to give, not enough money you could spend to get the love and connection you yearn for, not enough you can do at work because you are consumed with all of these other things, not a good enough brother, sister, mother, cousin, and on, and on.

Not to mention of course, as we complete our year, we recount all the things that we didn't do this year, all the things we hoped would happen and hasn't, the resolutions we made that we didn't stay with and the goals we'd hoped for that didn't pan out.

That's the perfect formula for a big ole pile of overwhelm.

And, I don't know about you, but when I'm overwhelmed, all I want to do is check out: drink more, eat more, sleep more, anything to avoid being with the feeling of not being good enough at everything I care about.

So, here are three steps you can take to kick holiday overwhelm in the face and create a launching pad for 2016.

1. Make a list of all the things you think you could have done better in 2015.

Make it an exhaustive list. As many things as you can think of, both tangible and intangible.

Then, I want you read the list out loud and declare to yourself and whatever you believe in that you are willing to forgive yourself for all the things that you could have done better in 2015. Next, I want you to rip that paper to shreds and throw it away, light it on fire or dissolve with an industrial chemical.



2. Make a list of all the things you accomplished in 2015.

I'm talking obvious things (promotions, marriage, babies, raises, quitting your job, etc.) and I'm talking the more obscure things (learned to love yourself more, improved your leadership, made a difference for a friend, gave money to someone who inspired you, forgave someone, etc.)

Your job is to see who you really were this year. To take a real accounting of the great things that you did this year, the great person you were, the growth you had and the ground you took in 2015. It's sort of like your own personal highlight reel for the year. You might be resisting here, but you tell me, are you more likely to have a great end of 2015 and a powerful 2016 if you are relating to your greatness and seeing your accomplishments, or if you are beating yourself up and criticizing yourself?

3. CELEBRATE 2015!

The best piece of advice I could give you to have the best 2016 of your life, is to do step 1 and 2 so diligently that all you are left with is being present to your own greatness. So present in fact, that you are bursting with celebration for the rest of the year. Even if it feels weird, celebrate yourself. Toast yourself and your friends. Enroll them in taking this on with you so all of you are present to the special year that 2015 was for you.

As you celebrate, you will notice that some subtle urgings begin to arise for where you want to be at the end of 2016. Write those little nudges of inspiration down, let your dreams arise and take form as you ring in the new year.

Take on these 3 steps to kick holiday overwhelm out of your space and create a launching pad for an amazing 2016.

This is your year, your time and place. You laid the groundwork in 2015, now is the time to bring all of you to 2016.

Go Get It. Happy New Year! Congratulations on 2015!



Radio Interview with Pete Saunders on Absent Father Issues

I sat down with Pete Saunders, host of Braveheart Radio and a fellow fatherless son on August 13thto discuss Father Absence issues.

In the interview, I share some of  my personal story and how I have worked to overcome the impacts of growing up with an absent father.

We also discuss what defines an absent father, the top 3 impacts of growing up with an absent father and some steps to take if you are dealing with some of those impacts.

I hope this helps you or someone you know.

Click the link below to access the link to the show.

Braveheart Radio Interview with Pete Saunders

Why Achieving More Won't Always Make You Happy

achievementIn 1990, at age 11, I sold 106 items in a school fundraiser to win a Super Nintendo.

In 1998, at age 17, I joined the Army, at 19, I had been promoted 4 times and by 21 I became one of the youngest in the entire United States Army to be promoted to the rank of E6, Staff Sergeant. Less than four years later, I became one of the youngest drill sergeants in the Army and innovated training methods that one prestigious awards.

Between the ages of 18-27, I ran nine 26.2 mile marathons.

In 2004, I completed a bachelors degree in business and in 2013 I graduate with an MBA.

In 2008, at age 27, I made over a $100,000.

In 2011, I married my best friend and soul mate in a beautiful wedding in Mexico and we bought a beautiful home.

In 2012, I successfully launched my own full time coaching business and have successfully operated for three years.

You might say I have achieved an incredible amount in my life so far, and yet, after all those achievements the pervasive feeling in my life is this:


I could point to every single one of those accomplishments and give you ten reasons why it wasn’t good enough and how I could have done better. I bet you could do the same for yourself.

The toxic and persistent thoughts in my head tell me if I just achieve that next thing, make a little bit more money, do a little bit better, then finally I will be enough.

When I'm enough, I'll be able to relax and enjoy myself.

The only problem of course is that each time I achieve enough in a day or accomplish the next thing, I'm inherently left with the same pervasive feeling:


So, if it's not about achieving more, what is it about?

How do you find a sense of peace, calm and satisfaction

It starts with repairing the mistaken belief that our value, our worthiness and our lovability comes from what we do.

That may sound lofty, but I am proof that you can reinvent your relationship to yourself and build a foundation of self-love and respect in order to unlock your own personal joy and contentment.

As four year olds, we didn't obsess over what we did each day, we didn't take a daily accounting of how productive we were in order to determine how we felt about ourselves. We played, we slept, we pooped and we cried. Moment to moment, we didn't question our lovability or our worth and neither did I parents or any other sane human being.

At some point this relationship to ourselves changed, we came to believe that we were fundamentally not good enough and we needed to prove that we were each day by doing enough to earn our value, worthiness or lovability. 

You know how this goes on a daily basis. You wake up, start thinking about your day and the things you need to do. You check your email right away and start replying so you can get a quick does of feeling good enough and ahead of the game. You get stressed out when you meet with a client because you want to make sure you did good enough, you try hard before and during and then agonize over what you said or didn't say. You do this at work, you do this with your spouse, you do this with your friends and potential friends.

It's maddening. The best it gets is moments of feeling good usually when you are satisfactorily exhausted and get some good feedback Then you spend the rest of your days chasing that same elusive sense of feeling good.

Your challenge now is to relearn to see yourself the way you see others. The way your four year old self would see you.

Practice loving yourself for who you are not what you do. 

It’s an easy concept to say, but certainly much harder to master in my experience.

The most important thing I’ve done for myself and for my business over the last few years it to learn to see myself the way others do. To learn to value myself, my ideas, my insights and my gifts.

The degree to which I can value myself is the degree to which I can make a difference in the world.

Here are three actions you can take to build a better relationship with yourself which I guarantee will impact your ability to achieve your goals and live the life you want.

  1. Celebrate your successes, small and large. Even if it feels like you are faking it, go and celebrate yourself when you accomplish something. Some ideas: Take yourself to a great dinner. Buy yourself that cool new toy you’ve been dreaming about. Do your touchdown dance in your living room.
  1. As a daily practice, practice caring for yourself the way you would care for sick child or puppy you were responsible for. Make sure you get adequate food, water, play and rest.
  1. Write a list of your best accomplishments, one for every year you have been alive. Then, I want you to share that list with the you that was half your current age. For example, if you’re 50 years old, I want you to list out 50 of your best accomplishments and then I want you to share it with the 25 year old version of you. What would that 25 year old say to you about the things you have accomplished? Write this down and post it somewhere you can see on a daily basis. Practice relating to yourself everyday the way this younger self would relate to you.

I consider this principle the absolute key to creating fulfilling careers and relationships. As a direct result of practicing these things, I now lead a life where I get to enjoy my work and trust that I'm enough. I perform better because I'm encouraging and empowering to myself. And, I've found true balance with my work and life, because I'm no longer trying to find my worth and value by over working.