Personal Development

The Match of Self-Talk: How Inner Dialogue Matters for Endurance

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Self-talk is a thing. For better or worse. Your inner dialogue matters.

I was reminded of this when I was on the tennis court for the first time after 13+ year hiatus of match play. Prior to this break, tennis WAS LIFE. In the past on the court, I beat myself up with words when I missed a point or was down.

Coming back last week, I was determined not to fall into those negative mental traps, but just like years before, with the swing of my racquet, I was bullied by my thoughts. I was both physically and mentally out of shape!

But something happened. I needed the focus to move forward. Out of breath and tired, I had to reframe my self-talk for SURVIVAL - I had to talk myself into playing the very next point!

Job seeker, where do you need to talk yourself into taking the next step? Language matters so much that researchers in a 2014 study found talking to yourself in third-person is more effective than referring to yourself as 'me' or "I".

When you need endurance, train yourself with positive thoughts.

Instead of: I can't do this another day.

Say: You can take the very next step, Meg. One foot in front of the other.

Just a Monday morning PSA: Be kind to yourself.

Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? How has it helped or hurt you in your career success?

Avoid Morning Disasters: 3 Morning Routine Tips

I've been there.

Yelling at kids to put on their shoes. Spilled cereal and milk. Working parents, what kind of morning routine helps you get out the door?

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Monday mornings are hard. After the hurricane of gathering small backpacks, clothed children and dropping them off at designated places, many of times I found myself crying in the preschool parking lot in my minivan after the natural disaster of the morning.

Can it be better? Most days, yes, I think so. While my office environment has changed and my kids have gotten older, there are few things I uncovered that worked for me:

☀️ Prep the night before. Pack lunches, bags and set out clothes. Prep breakfast - by that, I mean milk in a closed cup for kids to grab and cereal in a to-go bag.

☀️ Make ‘me’ time. Even if it is just 5 minutes! Whether it's drinking a cup of coffee, looking over your schedule or reading a daily devotional. Make time to wake up and hear your own thoughts.

☀️ Go tech-free. Avoid the distraction of email and social media until after drop off.

April Open Door Interview: Dr. Camie Wright

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It's April’s Open Door Interview release day! As one of Indianapolis’ Monthly’s “Top Docs” and 14-year board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Cameual Wright took her patient’s career advice to pivot from full-time clinical practice to managed care after graduating with her MBA. 

Camie shares how words spoken over her by mentors came to pass and how her skills evolved to further her passion for health equity as Indiana's Market Medical Director at CareSource.

Listen in here.

Separate Work from Who are Are: An Introduction Change

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You don't have to be defined by your work. When you introduce yourself to someone new replace what you do with who you are.

Our identity tie to work is strong. I realized this when I decided to quit my job to stay home with my third child. It never occurred to me how I relied on my achievements at work to define who I am. I found there are no performance reviews for a stay-at-home parent.

Does who you are change because of work? Most definitely, but WHO you are is separate from what you DO.

So instead of: Hi! My name is Meg Applegate. I'm a resume writer.

Let's replace the formality with: Hi! I'm Meg. A woman of faith, driven by even the littlest of goals. I'm lit up by connections with people and prone to giggling at the cheesiest of jokes.

It's your turn. Who are you outside of what you do?

Need help discerning what makes you unique? Check out Meg’s DIY branded resume statement mini-workbook to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Work is Stressful: Five ways to combat the Daily Grind

No matter your gender, seniority or generation, stress at work leaves no one untouched. According to LinkedIn, the number one stressor is workload (as it relates to work-life balance) followed by future job security and career direction/purpose.

This report found executive Gen-Xer's are the most stressed followed by Baby Boomers and then Millennials.

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How can you combat work stress to ENJOY your life and work?

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✔︎ Learn to say no. Know and understand your own priorities in both your work and personal life. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else.

✔︎ Upskill. Own your own professional development as an eager student to add to your skill set.

✔︎ Own your life (and work) as a journey. There is always time to pivot or recalibrate your career trajectory.

✔︎ Laugh! Find humor in small things.

✔︎ Do something you love. Whether during work or personal time, make time to do what you enjoy. Running? Re-decorating? Reading? Just do it!

What are your keys to less stress?

Better Trumps Perfect: Continue with your Goals

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The tyranny of perfect.
Perfect closes the door. It asserts that we’re done, that this is the best we can do. Worse, perfect forbids us to try. To seek perfection and not reach it is failure.

The possibility of better.
Better opens the door. Better challenges us to see what’s there and begs us to imagine how we could improve...Better invites us in and gives us a chance to seek dramatic improvement.
— Seth Godin

It’s hard for me to be satisfied when anything is less than perfect. In fact, my life feels pretty out of control and in disarray when <fill in the blank> is incomplete or not my best.

It could be my home, a project, my career, you name it. I’m sure you have your own areas you could place in the blank.

No one told me that ‘perfect’ is impossible to attain. I’ve been under the tyranny of perfect in the words of Seth Godin.

This new year I am opening the door to better instead of closing the door in the failure of perfection by:

+ Celebrating small wins amidst setbacks when making progress toward my long term goals.

+ Prioritizing people over projects.

+Giving myself grace in my limitations and failures.

What goals have you set for 2019 that you’ve already missed the mark on? I had a bunch of goals to reach in anticipation of the new year and many of them I didn’t reach. I am choosing to move forward in the “better.”

So don’t worry if you messed up your new work out plan or had a misstep in your job search. Imagine the possibilities when moving forward instead of shutting the door on progress.

I plan on choosing “better” over perfection this year. In what areas of your life will you do the same?

Flip the Script: 3 Ways to Create a New Narrative

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We tell ourselves stories. Are you familiar with yours?

Stories are powerful. They affect our day: how we engage with daily happenings, our relationships, how we approach our work and even our self-confidence. The stories we tell ourselves affect our behavior and decisions. What have you been telling yourself lately?

Perhaps work feels like a battlefield or you wake up thinking, “I can’t manage all of the things again today.” The stories we tell ourselves become truth in our brains even if it isn’t truth at all.

How can you flip the script for deeper fulfillment and energy to pursue your professional goals?

According to Monique Valcour and John McNulty, in their Harvard Business Review Article, “To Make a Change at Work, Tell Yourself a Different Story”, there a few simple action steps you can take to use your stories for your good:

Identify the stories you tell yourself. What thoughts are consistently on loop in your brain? It may take a few days to figure it out. What common phrases do you catch yourself saying in your head?

Examine how the story affects you. Do you feel free or limited by these phrases? Confident or the lack thereof? How do these stories affect your personal and professional relationships?

Flip the script with a new narrative. Once you identify the need for a different story - make new choices. Course correct! Tell yourself the truth over and over again.

Hayley Morgan, author of Preach to Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth, identifies these bad news loops and explains that we can actually make new pathways in our brains, removing the old train of thought with the new. Therefore, choose to take a different path with new stories and beliefs.

Walk the pathway of freedom through daily course correction from limiting beliefs to liberating stories.

The Ordinary Overflow: Thanksgiving

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Let’s reflect on the significant and seemingly ordinary gifts in life today. Cultivating thankfulness for the multitude gifts in every day, as author Ann Voskamp describes the “life in between:”

My short list:

Messy rooms + fingerprints on the windows [kids at play]

Beard hairs in the sink [a loving husband]

An untidy kitchen [sharing a meal with friends and family]

May we overflow with thankfulness for the big events in our life but also for the ordinary in-between.

Happy Thanksgiving!

New Perspective + Current Adventure

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This morning we took crocodile and lizard in the hands of my two-year-old to register Hinge Resume Collaborative as a sole proprietorship downtown Indianapolis.

Our little field trip was filled with unexpected wonder observing the tall buildings, busy traffic and pedestrians through his eyes. I saw the cloudy circle city from his 3-foot point of view.

His wonder and delight inspired child-like hope within me for the Hinge Resume adventure.

What can you see anew today by shifting your perspective?

It’s the Little Things

It’s the little things.

They can bring serious havoc or reap hope.

Last month, I was reminded of the impact of the little things. One little louse (lice) shared from my daughter’s school imposed on our home and heads. Then, one small part of my watch broke making my watch unwearable. But also…

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How one baby giggle can bring a whole family that is grumpy to laughter.

A word of praise brings a smile.

A “thank you” leads to greater appreciation.

An “I’m thinking of you” diminishes loneliness.

A manicure adds to one’s confidence.

A morning workout energizes your day.

What little things encourage you? How can you be intentional to bring hope with the little things this week for yourself and others?