The Positive Realist

On today’s episode, we’re taking a close look at mental contrast – a method that uses both positive and still realistic visioning to create desired results. We’re still working on processing constraint but understanding this method will help us create motivation for that process. Today you’ll learn the WOOP method to pursue your goals and be sure to pick up a WOOP worksheet at under this episode. 


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Boss Yourself First –


BYF Season 2 Episode 6

Hello friends. I hope you are well. If you’re here in the US, chances are you’ve had some pretty intense weather situations of late. So, I hope you are all safe and warm. We’re on episode 6 of our season talking about constraint which we’re defining as a limitation or parameter imposed by outside circumstances or ourselves that inspire innovation and creativity to accomplish a desired result. And like I said, we’re 6 weeks in so far, we’ve talked about what a constraint is and the freedom to focus it can provide, we’ve discussed the stages of processing constraint and worked on our question thinking to move through those stages, we’ve talked about the propelling question and the power of the can-if statements as a framework for innovation and last week we talked about building an abundance mentality as we look at resources to leverage constraint. It has been a great journey so far, because these episodes build on each other, I would encourage you to go back if you missed one, so you get the whole picture. Today we’re bringing back a familiar topic because we spent our first season exploring emotions. And then we were specifically looking at how to build emotional agility. Today though, we are looking at bringing in the motivating power of emotions into the process of leveraging constraint

I shared with you all that my youngest daughter has recently completed the college application process and in talking through questions from application, I asked her to describe herself. She said that she is a realistic optimist. And I think my young padawan may have articulated a key viewpoint for today’s work here on the podcast. Where we’re looking at the power of positivity linked to the realistic view of obstacles as we process constraint.

This shows up in a practice called mental contrasting. Before we dive into this explanation of mental contrasting, you might be asking how this practice ties into processing constraint. Well, I’m so glad you asked. The authors of our book for this season, a beautiful constraint built upon the technique of mental contrasting to build sustaining emotional motivation to the process of making constraint beautiful in pursuit of a goal or result. So I promise it fits but I want you to understand what mental contrasting and discover how to use it for yourselves. We go for practical self-leadership application here on Boss yourself first so let’s learn about mental contrasting. This technique was created by Gabriele Oettingen in 1999 as positive psychology was really building momentum. She decided to put positive thinking to the test. The basic framework of her many experiments around this were to have a group focus on their goal and really imagine what it would be like to achieve that goal. They really captured a vision for getting the desired results and when they felt motivation fading, they refocused on their vision. She compared that group to another group who really spent time visioning obstacles that could stop them from getting their goal, one more group was entered into the comparison, a group that did both positive visioning and realistic visioning of obstacles. Both the wholly positive and the wholly negative groups were much less likely to stay the course and achieve their goals. The group that succeeded most was the hybrid group that did both. Like my daughter, positive realists.  When they lost motivation around their goal, they revisited this vision of facing obstacles. Dr. Oettingen was surprised when the process of comparing and contrasting these positive and negative aspects of future desired results is what is known as mental contrasting

In an article for the NY Times Oettingen says, “Positive thinking is pleasurable, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Like so much in life, attaining goals requires a balanced and moderate approach, neither dwelling on the downsides nor a forced jumping for joy.”

Now we’ll talk in our next episode about how Barden and Morgen, the authors of A beautiful Constraint use mental contrasting in processing constraint. I want to spend the rest of our time today on how you can use mental contrasting with our goals.

Dr. Oettingen created a method called WOOP that I’m going to walk through with you here and I’ll have a downloadable worksheet for you on my website that can help you give it a try. Also. Dr. Oettingen’s website offers some fantastic resources if you want to explore a little further.

I really like this method, it’s basically self-coaching, this is a lot of what a coach does with her clients. We look at desired results, we look at what needs to happen to get the results, we plan for obstacles yes, it’s great to have a coach with you through this process and a coach can bring their own observations to help you explore but you my friends as self-leaders can take on this work on your own. I would recommend you add some support resources and accountability but the WOOP method is a great starting point.

What is your wish? Is it professional, relational, self-leadership? You may come up with several, pick the one that feels the most important. The one that would have the greatest impact on multiple areas of your life. Your wish needs to meet three criteria – is it important to you? Is it a challenge? Is it something you can accomplish? Choose a wish that is within your power to fulfill in a relatively short time – meaning two or three months. If your wish is bigger than try to break it into smaller wishes. Capture your wish in just a few words and record them on the next page.

What is the best outcome of that wish being fulfilled?

Really take time to imagine the outcome. What would it accomplish? How would you feel having that wish fulfilled? Capture those outcome feelings in just a few words and record them on the next page.

What is the obstacle within you that keeps you from fulfilling that wish?

This may take a couple of layers to get down to the real obstacle. The key here is “within you” because first you’re going to say I’m busy or lack of time, but you know that we make the time for the things that are important. How we use our time tells us what our real priorities are. So dig deeper. What is the obstacle within you that keeps you from fulfilling the wish?

Now really imagine that obstacle showing up. What do you feel when that obstacle shows up? Capture the obstacle in just a few words and record them on the next page.

Now we plan. With if then statements.

What can you do to overcome the obstacle you’ve visioned?

What is one thing you can tell yourself to overcome it?

What is one action to help yourself overcome it?

Put those strategies into “IF-Then” Statements

If (obstacles) show up then I will tell myself (strategy 1).

If (obstacles) show up then I will (strategy 2).

Generate your “if-then” statements and record them on the next page. These are not to be confused with the Can if statements of processing constraint although I bet Barden and Morgan were inspired by the if can statements in WOOP. These are your tools that you can whip out if obstacles show up.

When you feel your energy flagging toward fulfilling your wish circle back to the words in your visions. When you encounter obstacles, Work your plan.

Let’s work through a scenario to see how this plays out.

Frequently, the most dear wish, especially as shorts and swimsuit season approaches is to get more fit maybe lose some inches and have more energy.

Let’s say the wish is to get more fit.

Outcome – I would have more energy to do things with my family, I would feel better in my clothes, I would be stronger. I would feel confident and graceful. I picture myself leaving the house because hopefully 2021 will hold more of the leaving the house. So, I’m leaving the house and going for a long walk with my dog along the river near my home. I’m smiling, feeling good.

Obstacles within me – letting myself be distracted from my workouts and eating non-nutritive food, what is it really? Lack of belief that I can really get there and be more fit.

Plan – When I feel a lack of belief that shows up as being distracted and not eating well, I will tell myself, it’s okay, I still believe in you.

When I feel my obstacles show up, I will prove my belief by getting a brief two minutes of movement and a glass of water.

I hope you try it, remember I have a WOOP Worksheet for you at boss yourself under the resources for this episode. Try it and tell me about it at the website, on Facebook in the boss yourself first Facebook group or DM me on Instagram. In fact, I host a Facebook live for the Boss Yourself First Facebook Group every Monday at 8:00am Mountain time and next Monday I’m going to lead a WOOP session. It will only take about five minutes, but you’ll get to work through your WOOP worksheet with me. So, join the group and I’ll get to see you there.

I’m going to close us out today with a couple of quotes.

“Mental contrasting is a reality-bound and solution-focused practice that may help you and your clients reach new heights with unwavering motivation, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges. We strongly encourage you to give the practice a try.Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we’ve already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it. “Gabriele Oettingen

And the last quote is from Viktor Frankl, we tapped into his wisdom in season one and here he is again as one of my favorite thought leaders. He says, “Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

In other words, my friends, get out there and take action, use the WOOP method make a plan, get going and boss yourself first.

Talk to you next week, take care everyone.

Constraint and Abundance

On today’s episode, we work on approaching our “Can-If” statements with an abundance mentality. Self-leaders who process constraint from a place of abundance tap into fresh creativity and innovative energy. Learn to expand your abundance mentality and focus on four resource areas with new perspectives that can move you forward in leveraging your constraints.  


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Boss Yourself First –


BYF Season 2 Episode 5

Hey friends,

I hope you are having a great week and I hope you took the challenge from our last episode and created you can if questions. This week we are focusing on creating abundance to leverage our constraint. You remember how we’ve been developing our question thinking. Now we’re turning our attention to abundance thinking.

Abundance thinking enables us to approach our can if statements with openness and creativity. Processing constraints in the victim stage means giving way to feelings and thoughts of scarcity.

Stephen Covey, author of the Seven habits of highly effective people says “Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time-sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.”

And then Covey contrast that with an abundance mentality, he says,

“The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

As we try out our can if questions that we explored in our last episode, an abundance mindset enables us to tap into creative and innovative solutions.

So let’s pause leveraging constraint for just a minute and talk about how self-leaders improve their abundance mentality. First, remember awareness is the beginning of all work, so let’s notice when we slip into scarcity thinking. Remember that scarcity believes that if one person wins, another loses. I really want to camp here because it feels like scarcity thinking is running rampant in our culture right now. At least here in the US we only have to look as far as our political leaders to find a powerful example. People on one side of the political aisle feel that if the other side gains then their side loses. And I get it, our leaders are constantly barraged with scarcity messages about not having enough money to do make every idea happen. But it feels like if the mindset shifted to we are more and have more when we work together, we could actually move forward creating a stronger country and an better planet. Scarcity thinking is self-destructive thinking. Okay, off my soap box and back to next steps, so notice when you are participating in scarcity thinking. And I say participating because it is contagious, sometimes we’re catch it and sometimes we spread it. Remember the start of the pandemic and the toilet paper shortage? We created that with scarcity thinking. I’m not judging, I felt that way too. And I’m ashamed to admit that I felt smug with two four packs of toilet paper in my basket as a guy ranted behind me that the store had sold out. Please don’t think that because I talk about it, I’ve mastered it. We all slip into it from time to time but for some of us it’s become a habit. A habit that is not serving us. I’ve learned from my selfish actions with the toilet paper and worked hard to share our supply as the pandemic wore on. But it started with awareness in the grocery store. So notice these times. And then start to shift them.

Practice generosity. Generosity proves the belief that we have plenty. Generosity of time, of love, of money.

Practice genuine celebration of other’s success. By celebrating others, we prove out the belief that someone else’s gain just adds to the good energy of life well lived that we all benefit from.

John Maxwell says, “Give more of what you want. Although it may sound counterintuitive, one of the best ways to increase your abundance is to give. Don’t feel like you have enough time? Slip away from your obligations, even if just for an hour, to help someone in need. Don’t feel like you have enough money? Give to someone less fortunate. In other words, be a river, not a reservoir. Giving is sure to put you in a more abundant and appreciative frame of mind.”

Practice genuine celebration of other’ success. By celebrating others, we prove out the belief that someone else’s gain just adds to the good energy of life well lived that we all benefit from.

Express appreciation frequently and lavishly – verbally let others know that you’ve noticed their contributions to your life and work. They are part of the abundance.

Reflect and be grateful – it’s hard to feel scarcity when you are expressing thanks for what you have.

All right, now that we’ve got some tools to increase our abundance thinking let’s funnel that thinking toward leveraging constraint.

Usually when facing a constraint there is an element of scarcity, a lack of time, money, skill, knowledge which we can combat by recognizing abundance in

What we have – really looking at our assets from multiple perspectives

What we need – what we’ve identified could help us leverage a constraint

What we have that other’s need – think experience, workforce, audience, money, time, technology, skills

What other’s have that we need – again experience, workforce, knowledge, money, time, technology skills

How can we trade what we have that other’s want in a way that provides us with what we need to leverage our constraint?

When we start asking this question, we open up to literally a whole world of possibilities. What relationships can we foster that can create abundance for both parties? What could we do together that we can’t do apart or could create greater impact if we tried it alone? How can we combine our resources to create abundance?

Barden and Morgan, authors of our book for this season put it this way, “finding new ways to articulate the power of what we have, gives us many potential ways to approach new kinds of partners with new kinds of value.

Can you feel it? The possibilities that are coming to mind as we go through this? What kind of partners, maybe even competitors or resource owners are out there waiting to join with you?

Depending on what you’re doing right now, you can just pause the podcast and go list all the ideas that are coming to mind. You have my blessing but if you’d like to hang on for just a few more minutes, I want to share another story from A beautiful constraint. And there are so many wonderful examples in this book, I would really encourage you to read it. This story is called “how to feed a blue chicken” and I really love it because it shows the process of leveraging constraint – how dealing with one constraint often reveals another constraint and another. But when you have your system of leveraging constraint combined with abundance mentality, you will get where you want to go.

Okay so the story is about raising chickens in Kenya. Apparently, there are two major worries when trying to raise young chicks in that environment, one is disease and one is predators. A man named Paul Seward who directs Farm Input Promotions Africa, has devoted his work to increasing the productivity of smallholder farms in Africa. So, he went to work, trying to overcome the constraints of raising these vulnerable chicks. The disease could be dealt with by vaccination but because of the high likelihood that chicks would be eaten by flying predators, most farmers did not want to invest in vaccinating their chicks. I would really love to know how Seward figured this out, but he discovered that if the chicks were painted blue, the flying hawks and eagles didn’t recognize them and therefore did not eat them. He found an inexpensive and safe paint for the chicks and then the farmers began inoculating their chicks because they had a better chance of surviving predators. In fact, with the paint and the shots, the survival rate went from 20 percent to almost 85 percent.

So super! Now that the survival rate is up more farmer are seeing that chicken farming is profitable. Additionally, chicken painting jobs were created for the broader economy. But because of the rise in chicken farming, there were more demands on the terrain for feeding these growing flocks. Most small family farms in Kenya are very small just as they sound some as small as a third of an acre and all of the chickens are free range. Farmers can’t afford chicken feed so new constraints were revealed – lack of money and scarcity of range land. Additionally, even if the farmers have land, it’s not safe for the chickens to roam too far because of ground predators like the mongoose that are not fooled by the blue color. In trying to leverage the new constraints Seward realized that since the birds eat insects, there were actually an abundance of termites available, but the termites are inaccessible for the chickens. When figuring how to tap into this abundance, Seward looked to people groups who eat termites as a mainstay of their diets. They shared their knowledge of how to harvest the termites and now the chicken farmers can provide for their chickens. I love this story! What fun it is to watch Seward leverage the constraints to promote small family farms in Africa. It may feel a little less fun and a lot more daunting to face your own constraints but please be inspired, you can do it, when you recognize the abundance of resources available to you.  My challenge for you this week is to work on abundance mentality, and work through the questions to help you identify some new resources or even current resources in a new way. If you want some help with that process, I’ve made an info graphic with some resource awareness questions that you can download. It can be found at under resources on the page for this episode. Take the challenge, I’m excited to hear about your journey to abundance mentality. Also, if you could take a minute to leave a review of this podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, I’d really appreciate it and it helps more people find us. In the meantime, lead yourself in abundance and take care!




Self-Leaders and the Can-If Statement

Remember the Little Engine that Could? Today we’re talking about the little engine of processing constraint – the Can-If statement. Self-leaders learn to power their creativity and innovation around constraint processing with a simple (but not always easy) flip from seeing obstacles to finding solutions. Learn how on today’s episode.  


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Boss Yourself First –


BYF Season 2 Episode 4

Hello, Hello everyone! How are you doing right now? I like to picture you all listening as you go about your busy lives. Thanks so much for hanging out here with me as you go for a walk or load the dishwasher or commute to work. We’re doing well here. Waiting for our vaccine time, so far it looks like sometime this summer. But hey, time is flying by, at the time you’re hearing this it’s around Valentine’s Day, so summer is just around the corner. This season we’re talking about transforming constraint. And in our last episode I challenged you to start working on your question thinking when you encounter a challenge by asking yourselves – what assumptions am I making and how else can I think about this? We’re working on questions because it is questions that enable us to move through the process of leveraging constraint to build momentum toward reaching our goals. So today, we get into the questions that will actually get us to solutions. Are you ready to move forward? First step is to frame the constraint and our goal into what the authors of A beautiful constraint call a propelling question? Before I give examples of a propelling question, I want to recount a story told by Morgan and Barden in their book. The story is about Audi trying to win a race in Les Mans, France. Remember that race portrayed in Ford Vs Ferrari? That 24-hour endurance race. So, their goal was to win the Les Mans race and the obvious solution would be to build a faster car. However, they believed they had maxed out the speed capabilities of their designs and that became the constraint. So their propelling question was born. “How could they win the race if their car could not go faster than the other cars? They figured out that they could win the race if they took fewer pit stops and so their focus turned to fuel efficiency. They used diesel fuel for the first time in their race cars and won the Les Mans Race, not just in 2006, but for three years in a row.  They believed they didn’t have the resources to build a faster car. So, did you catch the structure of the propelling question? An ambition goal plus a major constraint. How can I choose a college without ever visiting campus? How can I run a restaurant without having diners in my café? How can I create a cohesive team that is never physically together? How can I launch a business without capital?


I want to stop just for a minute here in our propelling question and refocus on the goal. Don’t just breeze over the goal to identify the constraint and jump into solutions. Really look at that goal. What does success here really look like? How would it feel to achieve it? What will happen because you achieve it? What if it’s better than you can even imagine?

Take the time to really vision out the result of leveraging this constraint.


Okay back to our next step:

I’m hoping the propelling question came pretty easily, especially as we are becoming such skilled question thinkers.


Once you feel you’ve captured your propelling question. (Oh also, you may go back and adjust your propelling question if it becomes apparent that you’ve misidentified the constraint. But once you have your propelling question, it’s time to get solution focused.


To really answer our propelling questions, we must turn can’t because statements into can if statements.

For example,

I can’t win the Les Mans race because I can’t create a faster car to

I can win the Les Mans race if I have fewer pitstops for refueling.

I can’t run a restaurant because I can’t have inside dining. To I can run a restaurant if I use my staff to take online orders and execute curbside pickup.


Barden and Morgan emphasize the power of the Can If Statement –

A can if statement keeps the conversation productively focused. They say, “It keeps the conversation about how something could be possible, rather than whether it would be possible

A can if statement fuels optimism and curiosity

A can if statement keeps everyone looking for solutions instead of identifying barriers

It boosts our sense of self as transformers, problem solvers instead of victims

According to Barden and Morgan and this is maybe my favorite is “It is a method that maintains a mindset. The failure to generate an answer with one line of enquiry simply leads to another ca-if, another how.” That’s my favorite because you just keep producing can if statements. Meaning if you find a solution with one can-if statement that ends without the desired result, failure, you simply use the data from that failure to iterate a new can-if statement and try again. It’s a method that supports leveraging constraint because be ready, Barden and Morgan warn that often dealing with one constraint often reveals another constraint or more before the desired end result. Again, it’s a process!


Remember that we are aiming for the transformer state where we don’t lower our goals to fit the constraint, but we actually view the constraint as a gift or tool to improve creativity and accelerate innovation. The other night, my husband asked me on a date, in our basement. He fixed dinner and let our daughters handle the clean-up. While we ate we watched a show we frequently watched back when we were newlyweds called “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It’s an improv show where the actors are given different games to play that require them to improvise taking on different character roles, emotions, making up songs with different rules each time. Watch that show, and you’ll see how they treat the constraint of the rules. When doing improv every participant has to have a “Yes, And mentality. If you’re partner starts a scene where they are an alien in a car wash you take that as a gift and build your story on that premise. If you go the other way the “No, but” way  –  you kill the momentum of the scene, disengage your audience and handcuff your fellow actors. This is what a transformer does with constraint when they formulate the “Can-if” questions.


So, you know how this works, it’s your turn. My challenge for you this week is to formulate a propelling question around a constraint you are experiencing or even imposing. Then get your “Can-if” statements rolling. Now if the can if list is too difficult at first, then start with the list of “can’t because’s” and then one by one, turn those statements into “can- if’s”.


I hope you take this challenge, if you want help, join the Boss Yourself First Facebook group and we’ll hash it out together. Also, keep tuning in, I will be announcing a new self-leadership opportunity in just a few weeks. I’m really excited about it and I’m looking forward to sharing here with you. Next week we’re talking about creating abundance in constraint. Until then, take care everyone.

The Currency of Beautifying Constraint

In this episode, we’re learning to become affluent in the currency of beautifying constraint with question thinking. We are breaking free of path dependency (habit thinking), which keeps us from working through the stages of processing constraint. Listen in to start building open and flexible thinking that characterizes self-leaders who know how to leverage constraint, to their own and their organizations’ success. 


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Boss Yourself First –


Have you ever been relying on your maps app to get someplace and there is a turn immediately followed by another turn? Have you ever not made the second turn and suddenly you’re lost? Of course, your maps app will start recalculating but the few seconds or sometimes moments we’re a bit disoriented, heading who knows where? That is a little like being confronted with a constraint suddenly your regular route is disrupted, and you have to figure out a new path to get where you want to go. You have to be really clear on where you want to go, and you have to really want to get there and you have to be willing to work harder than you originally intended to figure out a new path to get your desired result.  This season we’re talking about constraint which we’re defining as a limitation or defining parameter imposed by outside circumstances or by ourselves that can stimulate creativity and innovation. We talked about the stages of processing constraint in Episode Two and today we’re talking about the currency for processing constraint.


Before we get there though, I think we need to talk about what keeps us in the victim stage. And what keeps us there is habitual thinking or as the book a beautiful constraint says – path dependence.


Now I want to preface this with saying any time a constraint is encountered we have a period of disorientation. Things have changed and depending on the severity of the constraint, we a little shocked, Once the shock lessens, we stay in the victim stage because our ways of thinking and doing no longer yield the results we want. In the book Barden and Morgan tell a story to explain path dependence. The story begins with the required dimensions for the fuel engines for the original Space Shuttle. The engine dimensions couldn’t exceed 4 feet 8.5 inches not because that is what the designers’ believed would be the best sized for fuel burn or efficiency or aerodynamically but because that is the width of the rail line that would transport the engines from Utah to Florida. Here’s where the story gets really fun. Why is the rail line 4 feet 8.5 inches? Because the workers who built the railroad largely came from England and their predecessors had built the rail lines in England along paths made by horses pulling carts that fit those dimensions. The carts were made to fit those dimensions because that was a suitable size to fit the width of the roads first built by the Romans on which the paths were based. So the modern technology was built to suit a path designed and built over 2000 years earlier.  – Path Dependence. I love the story because it’s such a great example of having created a habit based on past constraint and desires but not current ones. If you’ve ever tried to break a habit you know how entrenched they can be. When explaining Path Dependence, Barden and Morgan say that “Today’s approaches are in effect yesterday’s approaches, based on what was appropriate then, not necessarily now. They are not simply processes, but paths made up of self-reinforcing bundles of beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors, whose nature a- and underlying rationally – may no longer be visible, and rarely questioned.

Here’s is an example that I’m still working on, my children range in ages over a span of 9 years so we all spent a significant amount of time in the car, traveling from one siblings activity or another. My constraint was that all the kids had to go with me is any of their siblings had an activity. Another constraint was there was often the matter of picking up from one activity and heading straight for the next one. How could I work with theses constraints and still keep the kids energized, healthy and happy? I made a habit of packing a plastic box of snacks. I would restock it once a week. We needed them for quick turn arounds or long waits in the car, Additionally, I also made sure to have fruit snacks, beef jerky or chocolate in my purse. It’s just handy if you wind up someplace with a fussy kid but don’t be deceived, I would snack right along with them after all they didn’t want to hang out with a fussy mom either.  And there’s the rub. My children are pretty much grown and no longer rely on me to get them from place to place, but for some reason, I still take snacks with me if I’m going somewhere. And I’m not talking road trips, I want to break the habit of the car snack. I had a helpful and legitimate reason to be armed with food at all times but that constraint of keeping my kids energized, healthy and happy is no longer there but the habit remains.


Barden and Morgan say, “The most significant and disabling constraint we face may not be the external ones but the internal ones that determine how open-minded and flexible we are in our problem-solving ability.”


So, if being open minded and flexible is what enables us to process constraint, how do we get open-minded and flexible?  Remember I told you we were going to focus on the currency of processing constraint. Let me ask you this,

Do you ever stop and ask yourself what’s going right? Isn’t that a crazy thought? Now I realize that some of you may already have that as a practice but more often than not, I find myself laying my head on the pillow and thinking either about what went wrong in the day or what I need to do to avoid things going wrong tomorrow. I get it, that our brains are wired to perceive and focus on threats – things that are wrong or could be wrong. But what if we changed the question to what’s going right? It changes the things we’re noticing, to the things we did well, the things worth celebrating. It’s amazing the difference a question can make and questions are the currency we must build up to move from victim, to neutralizer to transformer and make constraint beautiful.


Questions are a coaches’ foundational tool, we use them to create awareness and as a self-leadership coach, I support my clients in cultivating questions into their self-talk. Not self-doubting kinds of questions but learning and exploring kinds of questions. The kind that creates open and flexible thinking. Marilee Adams, in one of my favorite books, called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life its one I often send to clients, Marilee writes about one of her characters’ mentors, Joseph S. Edwards, she says, “(Joseph) introduced me to Question Thinking, or QT, as he called the skills he taught me. QT opened up a part of my mind that otherwise, I might never have discovered. Like everyone ese, I believed the way to fix a problem was to look for the right answers. Instead, Joseph showed me that the best way to solve a problem is to first come up with better questions. Let that sink in and apply it to processing constraint. We need to first focus on asking a better question that takes into account our constraint.



First, I’d like to speak to that first experience of a new constraint. Depending on the constraint, some of us breeze right onto the questioning phase but some of us may get a little stuck. I think I shared this in season one but here are a few ideas to help deal with that first wave of a new constraint. Change your focus, change your face, change your physiology, change your space.

When you’re still in the first shockwave of constraint, be aware of your input, seek inspiration for your focus – other people who have leveraged constraint, A beautiful constraint is full of examples, change your face, smile, laugh, it releases good chemicals in your body, change how you’re sitting or standing or moving, change your location or just rearrange elements in your space.  These can be small things that give you momentum and energy to start of your question thinking.

So once you’re through the initial shock of a new constraint, how do you start asking questions that can move you through the process. I’m giving you my translation of the four areas that Barden and Morgan recommend.


Question your assumptions: What assumptions cause me to take my current approach, which of them are no longer valid with the new constraint?

Question your routines and systems: What routines or systems do I currently have in place, that may no longer be needed or could be adjusted with the new constraint?

Question your resources: What do I already have that could be used differently? What resources could I create access to, that could help me function with the new constraint?

Question what does success looks like: What will let me know if I am successful?



Think about your normal approach to getting your desired results. Let’s take my friend who owns a Café in the town where I live. Normally, her café is busy from open to close. They have a lovely and large dining area and a small patio and usually have lines out the door for breakfast. They normally have people dine in and some who stop by for take out. The questions here are what are the assumptions that support my current approach? For my friend, it could have been I assume that people will come to eat in my café if I have great food, great space and great service.

Next, what about my assumptions may no longer be valid based on new constraints? How do they need to change? For my friend, her new assumptions needed to be something like people need supplies like eggs, milk and veggies. People want coffee and tea. People will drive up curbside to get what they want. People want goods delivered to them.


Then look at normal routines and systems:

What routines do I currently have in place that are no longer needed or could be adjusted to work within the new constraint? For my friend she employed people to bake, mix drinks, clear tables, wash up and serve clients. She still needed people baking, but the cleaning and serving customers was adjusted because of no indoor dining. Those employees could shift to delivering food to locals and local businesses. Some of her employees instead of taking in person orders could help develop and implement online ordering.


What do I already have that could be used differently? What resources could I create access to, that could help me function with the new constraint?

My friend had suppliers bringing produce but no diners to eat it. She decided to sell grocery packs. Instead of selling baked goods in her store she created online menus with curbside pickup and delivery options. She had her staff develop kits for coffee and cocktails. She developed cookie kits for families to decorate cookies at home.


What will let me know if I am successful? My friend decided that she would consider her café a success if she could keep her employees and make the payments on her space.



The solutions may not present themselves with these questions but remember, we’re not looking for solutions yet. We’re trying to create open-minded and flexible thinking. And we’re just warming up our question thinking because next week we’re going to bring out the heavy artillery of questions. So my challenge for you this week is to practice open minded and flexible thinking.



I want to turn back for just a few minutes to fully inspire you and equip you to work on question thinking. Remember I mentioned Marilee Adams work. Merilee writes that with our question we make the world. Questions open our minds, our eyes and our hearts. With our questions we learn, connect and create. And in case the four questions are too much to take on right now, try this when you face a challenge this week ask yourself, what assumptions am I making? How else can I think about this? These are questions Merilee recommends and I think they are a great place to practice opening our minds and creating flexibility. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.





The Self-Leader Way to Process Constraint

In this episode, we are jumping into the process of leveraging constraint. We explore each stage and I share a bit of my journey with constraint. Where are you in the process? Once you find out, you can take specific steps to move forward to get where you want to go with new perspectives and new energy. 


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Hello! I hope you’re having a fantastic week. What is your “normal” right now? Have you settled into a pandemic rhythm? We have for the most part.  My youngest was in school with a hybrid model and then it switched to all on line and now she goes back to the hybrid model again next week. The other three of us in the house are working at home full time. my youngest is just finishing up college applications. Then it’s just waiting to see where she will wind up next fall. And IB tests to wrap up her senior year. My husband’s busy season is wrapping up while mine is winding up but that’s okay. He’s pretty great and We shift the household responsibilities around according to our work schedules. My youngest grandson is teething, so my oldest daughter has her hands full.But  You know, life is chugging along. Sometimes that’s just perfect, we can rest a bit, restock our energy reserves. But sometimes when that regular rhythm of life has been steady for a while, we get comfortable and we lose energy on our goals., we need a little something to wake us up, engage us and help us move towards our objectives. That is part of self-leadership recognizing when to reenergize and when to get up and get going on those goals.  I think this is a great time .to talk about this as we’re fully into the first quarter of the year, whether you set resolutions or if you’re like me, I set out yearly vision and break that into quarterly check points, we start strong but as we get into the rhythms of the new year, we lose motivation and interest. Well, this season we’re talking about something that can help. That something is constraint. Yes, you heard me, constraint can help wake you up and when you connect it to strong motivation – you can slingshot forward toward your goals with new perspective, creative thinking and bold actions. Now I’m getting a little ahead of myself because we’re only on the second episode of the season, but I want you to grab hold of the rewards of doing this work with constraints. On episode 1 we talked about how we’re defining constraint and looked at examples of how constraint can be leveraged. We even started playing with constraint with our very own constraint challenge. So this week, i want to focus in on the cycle of processing constraint. We talked about it last week but as a reminder, our book for this season is A Beautiful Constraint by Mark Barden and Adam Morgan and if you want the BYF reading schedule you can visit the Boss Yourself First Facebook page and we’ll be talking about our reading inside the Boss Yourself Facebook Group which is completely free to join and we’d love to have you.  So remember last week we combined a couple of definition including one from our A Beautiful constraint to define constraint as a limitation or defining parameter imposed by outside circumstances or by ourselves that can stimulate creativity and innovation. I want to talk to you about the cycle of processing constraint and I want each of us today to figure out where we are in the process of dealing with a constraint. In Morgan and Barden’s book they identify three stages of processing constraint. I love this because it removes the idea that we do this work, and we will automatically feel great about working with constraint. The stages of processing constraint are victim, neutralizer and transformer and they break that down into actually two kinds of transformers that we’ll get into in a minute. It kind of reminds me of the stages of grief but as I thought it over it’s a little more like using a sling shot. Stage one the rock is placed in the sling and the sling is pulled back tighter and tighter creating tension and then you have Stage two that time while you’re aiming that you’re not adding or taking away tension and then stage three the release creates so much energy and momentum shooting that rock towards the target. So let’s talk about the victim stage Now Cambridge dictionary defines a victim as someone or something that has been hurtdamaged, or killed or has suffered, either because of the actions of someone or something else, or because of illness or chance:


The key to identifying as a victim according to this definition is being hurt or held back by something other than yourself. A victim is someone who believes that their circumstance is not due to their choice. Beyond their control. I don’t want to give a negative connotation to victim, victims are for real, blameless people get caught in damaging circumstances every day. However, no matter what the circumstance aside from catastrophic circumstances that result in immediate death, we get to choose how we respond. Back to our friend Victor Frankl from Season 1 that space between stimulus and response is where we choose to stay a victim or choose to move forward which in this conversation is the next stage of neutralizer.

Before we jump into defining the next stage, let’s define what Adam and Morgan mean as a victim in the context of constraint. I’ve already mentioned the stages are Victim, Neutralizer and transformer and each definition is a progression of how a person or company adjusts their ambition when confronted with a constraint. And it’s a process because depending on the severity of the constraint. For example, how many of you when the pandemic first started shutting things down, and schools closed paused most activities and watched the news, for me, I soon realized that the news perpetuated my victim feelings and I moved on to comfort food and binge-watching The Great British Baking show, that could only go so long because that behavior was not paying my bills or educating my children or serving my client. I moved to figuring out new ways to accomplish my priorities. And here we are with a podcast. But it was a necessary for me to work through the process and I found with myself and my clients that we each have our own rate of working through the process.

Okay back to Adam and Morgan’s definition of victim as person who when confronted with a constraint lowers their ambition. So referring back to my example, when things shut down, I lowered my ambition to watching the television and eating whatever I craved. It was a pretty low bar. The next stage is Neutralizer so for this stage when a person is confronted with constraint, they keep their original ambition but look for a different approach to fulfill that ambition. For me that meant team trainings on Zoom instead of in person. Rearranging the rooms in our home to accommodate learning and working for four people. We joked about having a university in the dining room, a coaching company in the office, a high school in an upstairs bedroom and a consulting firm in another bedroom we converted into an office. 

That takes us to the third stage of processing constraint and that is a Transformer which Morgan and Barden define as a person who when dealing with constraint sees it as an opportunity, even increasing their original ambition. I’m going to break with my dealing with the pandemic illustration to a different constraint that I dealt with in 2019. This was a health constraint, in early May of that year I contracted a serious respiratory virus, with violent coughing that lasted well into July, tearing rib and abdominal muscles. In June this manifested in a way that caused my airways to suddenly close where I couldn’t breathe or talk to explain what was going on. It did open as I was seeing spots and on the verge of passing out, but we followed that experience up with a trip to the ER in case it happened again. Well, that began a series of steroid, misdiagnosis and medications that continued through to September. And during that time, Iost my voice. It would work intermittently but I had to suspend my clients work. Eventually we got to a diagnosis that seemed to capture what was going on, called Paradoxical vocal-chord dysfunction which can be triggered by a vicious virus. The treatment was vocal therapy so finally in November of 2019, I was on the mend and my voice was becoming more stable. I bring this up because not speaking was a constraint I had never considered facing. I had been a singer and performer and of course a coach. Part of my recovery involved not trying to talk or whisper for a few weeks just to let my throat heal and we quickly found out that I am most often the instigator or conversations in our household. However, during this quiet time, I began writing my book. I refused to believe that I couldn’t support others with my work and so I wrote it out. In working on the book, I realized that I wanted to play with the concepts more and so I started this podcast. To continue to grow and explore self-leadership. My ambition actually expanded because of my voice constraints.

Remember I told you that Barden and Morgan actually divided the transformer stage into two categories and those are Responsive transformers – where a person or company is responding to a constraint as an opportunity for new solutions and the Proactive transformers who actually impose constraints to catalyze a better approach or solution.

So now my challenge for you, to think about a constraint you’ve faced or are currently facing. Can you see these stages in the process? There is no judgement here. We each deal with different ambition and different constraints at different speeds.

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Morgan and Barden in their book, A Beautiful Constraint “Moving from victim to transformer will require strength in mindset, (do you believe it’s possible?), method (do we know how to start doing this?) and motivation (how much does it matter to us)”

I think those are great questions to consider this week. First, do you believe constraint can be leveraged for advantage so much so that you welcome it and consider it beautiful? Second, Does it matter to you? Do you care enough to do the work of learning to leverage constraint for advantage? Is the cost worth the reward? And lastly, do you know how to do it? How to move forward with the power of constraint? That’s what we’re here learning, that’s why Barden and Morgan wrote the book. So that if we don’t know, we can figure it out.

I hope you are enjoying our second season of the self-leadership podcast. We learn and reflect and challenge ourselves to become the next better version of ourselves – not just to serve ourselves but to make the world a better place one leader at a time. If you are enjoying this and getting value from the work, please take a few minutes and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you haven’t already done so, you are invited to subscribe to the Mind Your Monday newsletter to be the first to know all of the BYF happenings and to expand on the work we’re doing on the podcast. Also, I’d love to hear about your self-leadership journey and your wresting with constraints. You can find me on the boss yourself Facebook page, Instagram or LinkedIn. I hope you reach out and connect and I hope you have a great rest of your week, until next time, take care.


The Freedom of Constraint

Today we’re introducing our topic for Season 2. This season we’re exploring constraint. While freedom and constraint may seem like opposing forces, we’re going to spend the next couple of months exploring the way self-leaders can leverage constraint to increase creativity and innovation. We’ll learn to use the power of constraint to free up and even accelerate forward movement. Today we define constraint, introduce this season’s book club read and challenge ourselves to start playing with the power of constraint.  Join us, it’s going to be a great season and we’re just getting started!


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Welcome to season two of the Boss Yourself First podcast! I hope you had an amazing holiday season. I know it was probably different, I know it was for us but we got creative about how to connect with family and still take precautions to protect everyone from Covid. And that creativity to work around limits leads me right into this season’s topic. This season we are talking about constraint and how self-leaders can leverage constraint to move forward. As I just mentioned, most of us encountered or imposed constraints on our holiday celebrations so it feels like a timely pursuit. I’m so excited to jump into this season’s topic! I have a long history with constraint and I find the mindset and the process of leveraging constraint really freeing. Which sounds a little paradoxical – constraint and freedom but I think they are a powerful pairing. My constraints have generally come as physiological conditions. But I have had three major constraints I mean I have some of the normal ones of finance and busyness, but the health constraints felt the most impactful.  In fact, the first one showed up in my early 20’s the next in my 40’s and the most recent one in 2019. I’ll unpack these a bit more later in the season but I can track my self-leadership skill development by my exposure to these constraints and how deftly I processed constraints to leverage them for forward movement. Also, my relationship with constraint has really informed my client work in ways that my training and certifications never could. And I hope to bring the forward here this season as we explore and learn about constraints together.

As we do for each topic we explore, I want to get really clear on how we’re defining constraint. So Today we’re going to unpack our definition of constraint, explore why it is helpful and then share a challenge with you at the end of the episode. The first definition I found when I began to prepare for this is a limitation imposed by outside circumstances or by ourselves that materially affects our ability to do something. Well circle back to that definition soon,

But before we do, I want to tell you a couple of stories that can help focus our ideas about constraint.

I want to take you back to 1930 in Uruguay where a young teacher named Juan Carlos Ceriani devised a game similar to soccer but that could be played inside for his students. He named the game “futsal” The most noticeable difference between futsal and soccer is the size of the field. Futsal happens in a much smaller space. Ceriani’s game caught on and in the 30’s and 40’s became really popular in Brazil. Interestingly, today more people in Brazil play futsal than soccer and there are a number of speculations about why this is. A dominate one is that because of space limitations, futsal is easier to accommodate in Brazil but there was an intriguing side effect of Brazil’s love affair with futsal. Because many Brazilian children start playing futsal and later transition to soccer they develop extraordinary agility in ball handling along with quick reflexes and game decision making skills. The smaller playing area of futsal requires the athletes to speed up in their reactions, decision and movements. Check this out, during the 12-year span from 1958 to 1970, Brazil won three of the four World Cup Championships. The constraint of futsal brought innovation to the athletic training of Brazilian Soccer players.

You may already be familiar with the next story but a writer was challenged by his publisher, to create a children’s book limiting himself to 225 words chosen for him from  6-7 year-olds vocabulary lists. His goal was to make something more interesting and challenging than the current Dick and Jane books used in education at that time. The writer grew frustrated with this list and gave himself a further constraint. He would choose the first two words on the list that rhymed for the foundation of his story. Those two words? Cat and Hat. Yes, the writer was Theodor Geisel also known as Dr. Seuss. He leveraged constraint to focus his creativity. If that wasn’t enough, Geisel’s publisher then challenged him to create a children’s book using 50 words –they bet $50 and Geisel once again gave himself another constraint and utilized 49 one syllable words and 1 three syllable word at the end – 9 months later, (no one said it was quick or easy leveraging constraint) Geisel presented his publisher with what became Green Eggs and Ham.

So constraint! Now you know that I choose a book to go along with our season and I’m not choosing Dr. Seuss but that’s always a fun read, so maybe we’ll have to add it in. If you want to read with our group you can join the BYF Face Book group where I will post a reading schedule and we will discuss what we’ve read during the season. This season’s book is A Beautiful Constraint, by Adam Morgen and Mark Barden. And you’ll hear me refer to it throughout our season but one reason I chose it, is I really appreciate it’s approach to constraint is the recognition of the cycle we work through when dealing with constraint. Which we will jump into in episode two. Right now, I want to bring us back to our definition of constraint which is is a limitation imposed by outside circumstances or by ourselves that materially affects our ability to do something. Now Morgen and Barden want to amend that definition just a bit they would like to define constraint as “’A limitation or defining parameter, often the stimulus to find a better way of doing something.”

I like this focus on the effects of constraint so for our season we’ll be defining constraint as a limitation or defining parameter imposed by outside circumstances or by ourselves that can stimulate creativity and innovation.

As our definition states, there are two kinds of constraints external – limitations imposed by outside forces or circumstances – like the weather Ceriani encountered motivating him to design inside activity for his students, or the space restrictions that motivated Brazilians to embrace the smaller, inside game. The other kind of constraint is internal – a limitation you impose on yourself to focus and inspire your thoughts like Geisel did with choosing the first two rhyming words and then later limiting himself to one syllable words. I find it really interesting that most external constraints have a negative connotation while most internal constraints have a negative connotation. I’m sure you’ve already noticed what might be contributing to that difference. Choice. We feel empowered by choice and disempowered by the lack of it and who wants to feel disempowered? There are so many different facets to explore and variety of skills we can develop around constraint. I hope you feel empowered and use that power to choose to tune in for our whole second season. The best way to ensure you don’t miss an episode is to subscribe where ever you listen to podcasts and I would be so grateful if you would take the time to leave a review. It helps others find the podcast and it really encourages me. On our next episode, we’re talking about the cycle of processing constraint and the self- leadership principles to move through that process. Now before you go, I want to give you a challenge that I gave myself so we can start playing with choosing constraint. And there is a bit of a story behind the challenge. And it is really a myth, the origins of the story are questionable but it sets up our challenge well. Once again we’re traveling back in time this time to the 1920’s to a crowded restaurant at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City where Ernest Hemingway made a $10 dollar bet with some other writers that he could write a six-word short story. After composing the story on to a napkin, he passed it around the table and collected his winnings. His story read, “For sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” My love for this story is not really diminished by it’s debatable veracity. The constraint of those 6 words allows Every reader to bring their own context to the story. So my challenge for you is to answer two questions using only 6 words in each answer. The questions are: How would you describe 2020? How do you hope to describe 2021? I’m no Hemingway but here are mine. In answering How I describe 2020 in 6 words I wrote “And the whole planet stayed home.” In how I hope to describe 2021. Gratefully, I left my mask behind.  I hope you accept the challenge and I would love to hear your answers. You can email them to me at or post them on the Boss Yourself First Facebook Page or comment on a boss yourself first post on Instagram. C’mon take the challenge! And until next time, take care!












Covid Christmas Celebration Q&A

Hey friends, I’ve had so many questions around our Covid Christmas Celebration, that I’m taking this bonus episode to address a couple of them. You’ll get some mindset and motivations support around holiday gift giving and dealing with the emotional ups and downs of celebrating Christmas in a pandemic. Stay tuned all the way to the end to learn one of my favorite techniques of borrowing energy from your future self. If you find the work that we’re doing on the Boss Yourself First Podcast interesting and valuable, please leave a review where ever you listen to podcasts. Thanks!


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Hey friends!

I’ve gotten so many comments and questions recently from listeners and clients around self-leadership in a Covid Christmas or the holiday season in general that I thought I would use this bonus episode to answer a couple of them

Q and A – I’ve changed the names on these questions but if you reached out to me, I’ve probably already connected with you but you’ll know who you are. And if any of you listening have a question or struggle you’d like my support with, reach out! You can email me at, Facebook message me or DM on Instagram. We could also connect on LinkedIn. So many ways to get in touch. You don’t have to go it alone


So the first question today is from Karen. “I’ve been super conservative during the pandemic because I live with a high risk person. I’m really struggling with the upcoming holidays. I love to give gifts, but I don’t want to go to the stores as our metro area is really spiking with Covid. I hate online shopping, it’s so hard to really know if you’re getting something quality and the technology frustrates me. “


I’m sorry Karen, I feel your pain this season. I’ve mentioned before how gifts are my love language and that means I love finding just the right gift for my people.


Well, it sounds like your feeling frustrated because part of your seasonal joy comes from finding great gifts for people you care about. I’m guessing it’s not just the gift but the process of treasure hunting that gives you energy. And I’m thinking there might be a few extrovert tendencies in your make up as well. This is a hard season when we feel blocked from doing something we love doing for people we love. First, I recommend checking to make sure you’re managing yourself. Good self-care, monitoring those thoughts to see if they are serving you, processing your emotions as they show up. Things we’ve talked about on the podcast, then ask yourself why you give gifts, what do gifts communicate to the people you love? How can you communicate that in a different way or are you willing to deal with shopping online to communicate your love and care for the people in your life? By asking yourself these questions you open up to different approaches and extra energy resources to do things outside your comfort zone.


If you are going to slay the dragon of online shopping, get going to make sure you have time to ship your gifts. At this point, I recommend just shipping straight to the recipient instead of being the middleman in the process. Something else to consider is where your shopping. Pick places that reduce your stress. One example is of course Amazon, I know it’s not as fun but you could have your beloved family and friends create an amazon gift list so they do the work of finding exactly what they want on Amazon and all you do is click the link, make sure your shipping to the right address and pay. Done. No, this takes a lot of your fun of finding the unexpected gift for them, but this might be the year to take a new approach. Another way you can reduce online shopping stress, if you still want to pick something out for your family and friends choose someplace with a generous and easy return policy. My favorite is Nordstroms, there is not really a time limit on returns, they offer free shipping, you can return through the mail or in-person and if you call to talk with them you will find a kind and courteous person on the other end of the line.


 Another option ,for things you can deliver personally, is shopping online for curbside pick-up. So you don’t have shipping deadline stress.


One thing you might find helpful is constraint basically a self-imposed limit. Constraint is going to be the focus of our second season of the podcast but this is a great example of how helpful they can be. You could focus on small things instead of trying to make big purchases online. You could limit all your gifts to food items. However you’ve been getting your food, either in person shopping or ordering for delivery. Add food gifts to your shopping, if you like to cook, you could make food gifts for those you love, or you could buy a subscription to a food gift like fruit, cheese or coffee, so your people get gifts all year round. But choosing a constraint can help with the overwhelm of Christmas this year. I hope that helps, Karen, and  I’d love to hear how it’s going.


Jennifer says “I’m really struggling with my emotions this season. I love the holidays and our big family gatherings, going to concerts and going to the Nutcracker is one of our traditions. I find myself teary every time I think about not seeing my family this year. I also fly off the handle so easily these days. This is supposed to be a season of hope. I’m just not feeling it this year.”


Jennifer, I’m so sorry your struggling. We are all facing challenges like we have never experienced due to the pandemic and some challenges we face all the time that we just can’t seem to overcome. First, know that struggling with emotions can be difficult any time but especially at times where we have a lot of connection or even trauma which means around the holidays. I want to be really clear that if you are having thoughts of harming yourself, you need to reach out for more immediate support than I can give right here. I’ll put a link to the national help line in the show notes but you could also consider letting someone who lives with or near you know that you are having self-harming considerations. Think of those thoughts as getting a serious cramp while swimming. They won’t last forever, get the help of a life preserver know and then you can learn strategies to handle those thoughts or swimming cramps if you play out this analogy. Holidays during a pandemic are bound to increase our human vulnerability to overwhelming emotions, get immediate help, no shame in that. However, Jennifer if you are just feeling unusually weepy and easily angered or you find your frustration tolerance is low, well, I first want to say welcome to the club. Anytime something we hold dear, like family members, or longstanding traditions or like with Karen, gift-giving  – anytime those things are blocked or threatened, we get emotionally triggered. As I said with Karen, first make sure your self-care is operating at a high level, good sleep, good food, exercise but here is another area you might not have considered – your input – Are you watching a ton of Christmas movies with big family gatherings and lots of traditions? I’m a huge movie fan don’t get me wrong but I’m just wondering if watching those might be continually focusing you on what you can’t have this year. What if you take in some books or movies or shows or podcasts – that change your focus – help you connect with times and stories where people have come through hard times even though they were separated for a time.  Or tune into some sitcoms and get some laughter flowing. It doesn’t mean you have to give up Christmas movies but consider white Christmas, it shows life after war that good times and tradition can return. I’ll put a couple of ideas in the resources section on the website with this podcast episode. But consider your input as part of your self-care for the season, and remember to exercise that input self-care for mental, emotional and spiritual self-care.

 Get intentional about connecting in traditional and non traditional ways. You mentioned that the nutcracker is part of your annual tradition, I’m assuming since you said we that you go to the ballet with family or friends. What if you stream the PBS performance on a zoom watch party? Everyone bring their own snacks or everyone make the same recipe and eat and watch together then when it’s over, talk about your favorite parts and what you’re looking forward to the next time you get to physically attend the nutcracker.


The last thought I have for you is to borrow some emotional energy from your future self. This is a strategy I use and frequently work through variations of it with my clients.  Spend some time visioning a little out in the future – now you can decide how far forward to go in your vision but connect with your future self. At least at first, don’t go too far forward that it feels unattainable. Let’s say for example, you look to your future self in February. Chances are, the pandemic will still be with us as the vaccines will not yet be fully distributed but more and more people you know are getting the vaccine and the Covid hospitalizations are dropping. The number of new cases are dropping and more vaccines are coming. Christmas decorations are put away, and you are feeling so good about the connections you’ve deepened during the pandemic. You think about Christmas and it was different but good. In fact, you got creative and established a new tradition during the pandemic that you’re going to keep up in the years to come. You smile and send a message back to you December self – What would that message be? You’ll have your own message but for me, my future self is telling me to relax, shake the tension out of my shoulders and lean into connecting with my family and friends, I’ll get to be with them in person soon. Remember and record my feelings during this historic time so I can tell my grandchildren what it was like, just as my granny told me about living though the dust bowl and the great depression. My future self also tells me that she’s proud of me for doing the best I can in a difficult situation. She tells me I’m stronger than I think I am.


Once you’ve got the message from your future-self clear. Write it down and post that note where you’ll see it often. In that way, you’re borrowing some energy and strength from your future self.


I hope you’ve found some support in sharing a couple of questions from listeners. If you’d like some support from me this season, be sure to connect on the BYF Facebook page or Instagram or email me at Take care of yourselves and you loved ones this season. Talk to you soon!

We talked a little in our last episode about reframing connection – getting to the real foundation of connection and getting creative about how to achieve connection in a new way that fit’s with everyone’s idea of Covid safety.

Covid Christmas Celebration Part 2

Want help creating a safe and celebratory Christmas? This episode finishes our exploration of Covid Christmas Core Values and gets your creativity flowing with practical and fun ideas for a great celebration, even during a pandemic. Be sure to get the resources from  at on the podcast page for this episode. Happy Holidays, friends!


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Hey friends! Welcome to the second bonus episode of the Boss Yourself First Podcast. We’re taking this “between seasons” time to talk about a Covid Christmas Celebration. If you missed our last episode, go back and have a listen to hear the first part of our discussion on the core values of a Covid Christmas – they are – Connection, Clarity, Courage, Kindness, Creativity and Celebration.  Last episode we discussed connection, clarity, courage and kindness,  while today we’re focusing on creativity and celebration.

I’m dropping these two episodes together so that you can take them on all at one go if you wish, or you can choose to separate them. Also because today’s episode has a gift for you listeners, that I couldn’t wait to give you. It is my Christmas present to each of you who take the time to hang out here with me. I think of you all the time and am so grateful for you!

Remember our core values are beliefs that guide our thoughts and behaviors so that we show up in life the way we want to show up and create  impact that feels authentic. In this extraordinary season, where our pandemic concerns are in conflict with our deep desire for the comfort of family and traditions, we are leaning into the core values of connection, clarity, courage, kindness, creativity and celebration. The most important aspect of learning to lean into core values is to keep them front of mind. So, I hope you are embracing them, posting them in a way you’ll see them regularly, and talking about them to make them yours – really appropriate them and apply them.

We talked a little in our last episode about reframing connection – getting to the real foundation of connection and getting creative about how to achieve connection in a new way that fit’s with everyone’s idea of Covid safety.

Technology (Video Calls) It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway – use technology. Even without a pandemic, technology is an integral part of our daily lives so of course, let’s leverage that to build connection in new ways. Video calls – most of us have experienced an abundance of video calls over the last months whether it’s for work or school so much so that we become a bit weary of them. So yes, let’s use them but let’s use them creatively to build connection and create an experience that feels different than our ordinary work or school calls. First, keep in mind that while many of us have become seasoned with the technology of video calls, some members of our family or friend groups may not be so comfortable with them,  so a few practice runs with your less experienced members can set everyone up for success on the actual calls. And not everyone may have access to a computer with a camera and wifi but most people have phones and Zoom invites can include a dial in number for calls. It’s not the same as video but it’s still connection.

(Ideas)Ideas to make your calls different? Host a Christmas Zoom scavenger hunt with each participant on the call racing around their houses to find different Christmas related items and share their photo of it or the item itself first. Then move on to the next item or members could win by producing the most items on a scavenger hunt list. Items like cookie cutters, Christmas socks, candy cane, hot cocoa mix, Christmas mug, favorite ornament, a wrapped gift, a Christmas card. You get the idea. You could have everyone make their favorite beverage and share it on the call then everyone drinks while you take turns reading favorite holiday stories. You could have an ugly sweater contest and everyone votes on a poll for favorites in different categories. Sweater with most lights, ugliest sweater, I might actually wear that sweater – different categories are fun. If you have a lot of young children in your family, they could have an art show of something that shows their favorite thing about the holiday. You could have older members share about Christmas in other historic times – during a war, during the great depression, after 9/11 or just a personal past time that necessitated being away from home for Christmas. Another great way to work with this historic situation is to ask each family member to create a contribution for a  Covid Christmas time capsule. Give them some advance notice and let them choose an item they would like to include, then set up a call to explain to your current and  future family members why each item was and what you’ve each  learned from living through a global pandemic. Be sure to record this call, then download a copy to a flash drive to include in your time capsule. You can take the role of capsule coordinator and have everyone mail you their item and set a couple of times when you’ll open the capsule. Maybe next year, when the pandemic has lifted or maybe a few years down the road and then seal it back up to be opened maybe 10 years in the future when those who young now will not remember much about a Covid Christmas. You could host a round of online Christmas trivia. Honestly when you embrace creativity and connection, options are endless.

(Pass the Tin)Another great idea, I’m taking from the show The Kitchen on Food Network. They suggested that if you’re usually a part of a Christmas Cookie Exchange, consider a Covid Christmas variation. Make a batch of cookies, pack them in a tin with the recipe and send it to someone who would normally attend your exchange or just a cookie loving family member. Then that person, empties the tin, refills it with another batch of cookie and sends it to someone else. Great idea!

Since, for some of us, gathering to exchange gifts may not be a part of this Covid Christmas, so consider a few options –  remember we can get creative to build new approaches for old traditions or we can get creative and pause our traditions and go opposite in this upsided-down time – or some hybrid of the two approaches. What I’m asking you to do is lean into the Covid Christmas Core Values, which ever approach you take. When you do that, you will open up to new possibilities instead of being stuck in what you’re not experiencing this season.

(Money Options) If you’re not gathering to exchange gifts, think creatively about what to do with the money you would usually invest in the gifts. Options might be to pool your resources and support a charity during what can be a very lean season for some. Agree to each open a savings account with your gift money to finance a trip together and plan a Christmas day Zoom call to brainstorm where to go, and what to see and do. Spend you gift money sending each other small gifts throughout the season. Then plan a Christmas day call to express gratitude and explain why you chose the gifts. You could add a weekly theme to the small gifts to give everyone an extra challenge.

(Christmas Full House) I’m going to share what my family is doing for a Covid Christmas Celebration and  here is where my gift to you comes in. My family is doing a Christmas Full House. Now normally full house would imply we are gathering together. Everyone spends the night at my home, my parents all the way down to my grandchildren. And we spend most of Christmas day in pajamas eating, opening presents, playing games and laughing. Most of us dress and reconvene in the dining room for a big meal around 4pm. Where we eat and then play more games, some of the family goes home that evening and some stay through the next day. This year, because we have several high-risk members and a couple of strongly risk-averse members, we are choosing to not gather. It took me a while to get my head around that and the result of my own processing and helping my clients process through their Covid celebrations is the content of these bonus episodes and the Christmas Full House plan that I’m gifting to my family and to you.

Christmas Full house is similar to Bingo but you fill the whole page not just five in a row. We’re choosing to allocate some of our gifting money to support this family season-long activity. The game card is made up of a grid with different celebration related activities. The goal is to be the first to complete the page, we’re competing for an outrageously decked out trophy. But you can make your’s a competition or just a group activity. You can also send this out and invest a bit in sending supplies for activities or let each individual come up with their own supplies, so no real investment is neaded from you. I’ll share a few of the activites on the full house card. The added bonus of doing this is you can build a  few video calls around the activities and do them together. On two of the squares, the activity is making ornaments. I have sent each family the supplies to make a couple of different ornaments and we will zoom together while we’re making them. I’ll include the instructions for those ornaments in a download as well as the Christmas Full House game card for you on our website in the podcast section under this episode. Probably one of my favorite activities and this is one you don’t even have to do the Christmas Full House card to add it to your family celebration, is contributing to a family Christmas playlist. You create a playlist on Spotify, share it with family members and ask them to add a couple of songs that mean Christmas to them or is meaningful to  whatever holiday you’re celebrating. Then set up a call to talk about why they added those songs. You will share things and connect in ways that you wouldn’t have without Covid.

(Resources) Be sure to grab your resources on the Boss Yourself First website in the podcast section under this episode and join the Boss Yourself First Facebook Group for live chats with me about celebrating a Covid Christmas. I’d love to connect with you!

This season will be different. Relax and let that settle into you brain, then stop fighting it, and lean into the Covid Christmas Core Values to help you navigate the changes and create amazing experience for yourself and your families. May you each have a joyful and blessed holiday season. So much love and good thoughts are coming your way, I’ll talk with you soon!

Covid Christmas Celebration Part 1

Struggling about how to celebrate in a pandemic? This bonus episode is exploring the obstacles to and strategies for planning a Covid Christmas  (or the holiday of your choice) celebration. We lean on core values to manage our holiday mindset and focus our planning. Listen and get help for the holidays!


Episode Resources

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Episode Transcript

Hey Friends, Welcome to a bonus episode of the Boss Yourself First Podcast. I know we’re between seasons but the next few bonus episodes will be short explorations on how to celebrate a Covid Christmas. At the time of this recording we’re just past Thanksgiving in the US and moving into the holiday season. No matter what you’re celebrating this season, I bet your tradition involves gathering with others to celebrate. I know our family gathers in fact we talked a little about the frustration and even depression I was dealing with earlier in season While in planning mode for the upcoming holidays. Yeah I start early like in late September.  

As I said we just celebrated Thanksgiving here in the US and already doctors and hospitals are warning of a Covid rise because of our family gatherings. I want to take a few minutes to explore how we can process the frustration, anger, grief and still enter into a season of celebration. Now I’m going to use Covid Christmas because that is what my family celebrates and you know how I love alliteration but you can apply these principles to whatever holiday you and your family celebrate. Also, one thing before we get started. I’m presenting these ideas briefly and simply but that doesn’t mean I think this is easy work. I have wrestled and continue to wrestle through the same issues you and my clients are working through. So please forgive me if this sounds like I think this season in a pandemic is no big deal. It’s a very big deal and that’s why I want to have this conversation.


First – remember that we can hold many emotions about the same issue. This helps because while we don’t distract or numb out from difficult emotions we can lean into powerful and more desirable emotions to motivate and maintains thoughts and actions that help us celebrate. For more on this technique, check out Season 1 Episode 9 of the podcast. But I put this out there as an encouragement that a Covid Christmas is not an all or nothing proposition. We have the capacity to feel both the ups and downs of this season and yet choose our actions based on supportive emotions.


This is first because I want you to give yourself permission to feel all the feelings about your upcoming holidays. I want to keep this episode brief and practical. So right now, say it out loud if our in a situation that permits it, I am allowed to feel all the feelings. Repeat this as needed.


Super, now that we have permission to feel the feelings. Let’s explore our approach to a covid Christmas celebration. I do a lot of work with individuals and teams on core values. These are beliefs that guide your decisions and behavior to keep you showing up the way you want to show up and living your life or doing your work in a way that feels authentic. In these bonus episodes we are focusing on what I believe are the Core Values of a Covid Christmas Celebration. These values that can get us through and even help us thrive in a Covid Christmas. I’m going to tell you the values and then we’re going to break them down over two episodes. Here are the values  – Connection, Clarity, Courage, Kindness, Creativity and Celebration. Also, I’ve laid these our linearly but in reality they overlap, which you’ll see as we go along.



Think about the main reasons we celebrate – connection to each other, to our beliefs, to our past and our future as we pass traditions on to next generation. Traditions by the way are behaviors we repeat at certain times based on our beliefs that build connections in an almost unconscious way.

Because connection is a main component of our traditions. Our drive is really strong to continue our traditions and right now that runs smack into our restrictions around Covid and that powerful and sneaky opponent of caution fatigue.

There is a kafauffle locally, I live just west of Denver and the buzz in the news the last few days is because Denver Mayor Michael Hancock traveled to Mississippi to be with his wife and daughter for thanksgiving after urging almost begging all of us living in the Denver Area not to travel or mix households for our celebration. Okay, this is a great example of the pull of our desire for connection overcoming our rational thoughts. Mayor Hancock said he didn’t want to let his daughter down. He’d already committed to the trip a month earlier, his wife was already there,  having helped his daughter recently relocate to Mississippi. When we get some context we can sympathize. His connection with his family was so important, he didn’t take his own advise.

The urge for connection is strong, it’s one of our core Covid Christmas values and we need to reframe what connection means and how it shows up. But before we do that, let’s take on a force that makes us want to connect in traditional ways more than ever before and that force is caution fatigue. Our first step to reframing what connection means and how it shows up is to reckon with what is blocking a new mindset around connection and that is caution fatigue. How do we deal with it? First, recognize that it is a real thing.

Recognize that caution fatigue is real – there is a reason the expression familiarity breeds contempt has staked a claim in the cliché hall of fame. We’ve kept company with Covid for the last 8-11 months depending on where you live. We’re no longer shocked by the numbers of cases, or hospitalizations. We get that testing takes a while and lines are long. We get that chapped hands are to be expected to be protected. We get that staying home is the best protection. But we’re tired of it. We haven’t forgotten the freedom to gather at an amazing concert or theater, we’re starving for connection and collective energy. We’re weary of fighting an enemy we can’t see or really predict. We’re exhausted with trying to figure out the right thing to do and even if we decide what right looks like? Hundreds of others are loudly proclaiming that we’re wrong and their opinions are actually the right thing to do. What do we, in non-Covid times do to unpack and reenergize when life is hard and confusing? We lean into the familiar and family. So, no wonder we are longing to connect and honor our traditions. How do we deal with this wearing down of our energy to deal with Covid, especially in the face of our desire to connect during the holidays?

Remember this is temporary – we have hope, vaccines are coming and until then we can choose to use the tools we have to fight, I think about Lord of the Rings when Gandolf has promised to come and bring help at dawn. Those who are fighting are keeping track of the time, knowing if they can hold on until dawn, the battle will turn in their favor. Notice that we are beating this enemy and that precautions taken now are an investment in Celebration 2021. Remember this is temporal, this hard season will end – not in time for this Christmas but it will end.

Not only is this temporary, this is historic – we’ll explore  itno this a little more next time but this is a moment in history that will always be remembered. How will you rise to the occasion? What do you want to be your legacy from this historic experience? It has helped me wrap my mind around this historic time to look at examples of other historic times that have required sacrifice and separation.

Okay, now that we’ve addressed the obstacle of caution fatigue, let’s dive into what living out the core value of connection could look like in Covid.

(Connection) (Clarity)  Keep connection front of mind. Think of every encounter and conversation being filtered by the value of connection? This includes those you live with and those you are currently living distanced from. Keep the idea of connection top of mind, and I’m focusing on conversation because communicating is a foundation of connection.  As you speak think do these words enhance connection or make it vulnerable? Now to be clear, this doesn’t mean we shy away from tough conversations but we choose our language based on the desired outcome of connection. Not only is communication foundational but genuine connecting communication must be clear to be effective Now add clarity to the mix. As Brene’ Brown says, clear is kind. Which also supports our kindness core value. Really try to understand what risk means to the person you are engaging. Then help them understand what risk means to you. Think about an incident from a client of mine. She is a young mom with two small children. She has a health compromised member in her household and has been really cautious through the whole pandemic. Yet she has a three year old who needs socialization and she herself holds relationships as a super high value. A friend with a young son invites her over for a playdate. She her little one has been especially restless the last few days, she missed gathering with her extended family for thanksgiving, it will just be a couple of extra people and she trusts her friend to have been careful. She goes to the playdate only to find out after they had been there for about 30 minutes that her friends’ son had been with young cousins over thanksgiving and now has a stopped up nose and sore throat. My client is appalled that her friend invited her to come over when her child is sick. When she expressed concern to her friend, the mom said, well, I’m not too worried and I’m not going to rush out to get him tested. Even if it’s covid, for his age, it’s not likely to be a big deal. For some of us, like my client we feel outraged over this story. Just so you know, my client packed up her son, went home and is currently quarantining she and her three year old in the upstairs of her home away from her vulnerable family member. She’s also communicated with her friend how betrayed she feels and has effectively ended the relationship.This whole scenario could have been avoided with clear, kind, courageous conversation that was based on keeping connection without compromising each individual’s understanding of safety. Covid is providing many opportunities to practice these skills that serve us well whether there is a pandemic or not.

With connection and clarity in mind get really specific in these conversations, get clear on the precautions that everyone in your family is comfortable with. Will we wear masks, will we eat together, will we be outside, can we open windows, how many will be there – Clear is kind. One caution, a quick short circuit to connection is judgement. Stay out of judgement by seeking to understand and as we started this episode with giving ourselves permission to feel all the feelings, give that same permission to everyone else. That doesn’t mean condoning bad behavior, we all choose whether or not to act on our emotions but we are allowed to feel them and others are too. Watch out for judgement – a quick way to avoid judgement is to ask yourself “ I wonder what experiences and circumstances are feeding this other person’s feelings and thoughts? Let empathy and seeking to understand others keep judgement at bay.” And connection front of mind

Connection trumps being proven right – because you’re valuing connection you must let it take the lead over your need to be right. This doesn’t mean compromising on your beliefs or safety but it does mean that you don’t have to take on the role of enforcer or make a case for your point of view that could be proven in a court of law. It is enough to know that you are making the best decision that you cam at the time and allow others to make the best decision they can as well. This means breathing through those family triggers that involve guilt, shame, politics and pandemics. Base your actions on what you believe and let others do the same without judging them. This is also connected with being offended. We get offended when our sense of right and wrong feels threatened. I’m not saying let go of right and wrong but I am saying let go of the need to be proven right and if you find yourself feeling offended, let that be a beacon that you need to prioritize connection and stay out of judgement.  Remember connection trumps being proven right.

Reframe connection Think about what connection looks like traditionally and look at the roots of that connection. If you are choosing not to gather or to gather differently, how can you create the essence of connection. Now because this is probably not your traditional way of connecting, it will take more intention and energy. And now we’re folding in the core value of creativity here as well. But creativity also brings Fresh energy and intention to investing in those you love and it’s those you love is empowering. We’re choosing new ways to connect that covid can’t take away.  Is it being in the kitchen together preparing family favorites? Get close or go opposite with your actions. Meaning, set up a zoom call and make sure everyone has the family recipes. Set call so that you’re in your individual kitchens at the same time. You can catch up while you cook or ask questions about the recipes in real time. Going opposite? This means opposite in traditional behavior while embracing the core value of connecting. Maybe you each prepare a new Covid Christmas dish, review it and share the recipe.

(Connection) (Kindness)Look at who you’re protecting by reframing connection. Who will benefit from this work you are doing this work of adding new energy and intention to connection.  and this may be yourself if you are vulnerable because of health issues, or anxiety or wired to be risk averse or certain that strict adherence to your own set of guidelines is right. That’s fine, because how much connection would you feel if you gather with a large family group but are constantly tense and the only one trying to maintain social distance, open windows or masked?

(Courage) Share the Despair – Don’t struggle alone because we all hit the wall at different times. As a mother of adult children, I forgot that I don’t have to carry this on my own. Two of my girls are weathering this storm at home and one is weathering it with her husband and two kids about an hour and 45 minutes from me. Talking with all of them about my longing to have our normal celebrations and what they might actually look like helped me tremendously. Our catch phrase for this season sounds like a downer but actually it is really freeing. “Share the despair” we are all disappointed not to be together, but we are all committed to getting through this with mutual commitment to communicating and connecting creatively. My oldest daughter said, “This is hard, Mom, but we can do it and next year we’re going full Hallmark for Christmas.” I found this so reassuring, that our old traditions are not forgotten or devalued by pausing them this year – in fact we’ll have greater appreciation for them into future. Courage to try something different.  Courage to present new ways to connect and at least temporarily, face the discomfort of letting go of traditions. Courage to miss others to protect them. Sometimes it takes so much more courage to try something new with people you love.

(Kindness) Lean into otherness – I remember when my girls were little and I gleaning parenting advise from any credible source, someone said to model Otherness for my children so they would learn to be accepting and caring adults. They talked about otherness actions like returning the shopping cart to a cart corral to prevent peoples’ cars being scratched, or blocking parking spaces and making easier work for those gathering up carts. Not only was I to model otherness, I was to explain to my young children why my actions were considerate of others, so I looked for ways to practice otherness and while I think it was beneficial for my children, I know it was and still is beneficial to me. There are many ways to practice otherness but I bring up the grocery cart example because in that practice, someone showed otherness to me. There was a day like many parents have had when my oldest had a melt-down in the grocery store and my infant was fussy. You know a day when the other shoppers either avoided eye contact and moves away from you or gave you a sympathetic glance and then moved away from you. When I came out of the store with screaming children, carrying one who’d gone boneless, pushing a too full cart and trying to find the pacifier for the cranky baby, I realized it was snowing. I wrestled my kids into the car and was just finishing unloading the cart into the back of my car when I turned to take the cart to the corral that seemed very far away at the time when I locked eyes with one of those sympathetic strangers I’d seen in the store. It was an older gentleman, who was about to get in his car and he said you leave that cart, I’m sure you’d like to scoot on home. I’ll see to it. And he did. It was an unexpected connection and kindness from someone who was no longer in that life season – who expressed concern and understanding with his words and actions. We can often get a lot more energy to be cautious when we lean into otherness. Otherness makes room in our minds for different context. For acting out of kindness even when we don’t understand everyone else’s situation.

Here’s why otherness can help with our Covid Christmas – I’ve learned in working with my clients that some of us are hard-wired to take risks, while some of us are hard-wired to be strongly risk-averse and some of us are in the middle – taking risks in some areas but not in others. The space created by practicing otherness allows us to remove judgement from those who are wired differently. If we operate in otherness, then we can entertain the idea that hey, maybe that mask wearer is wired to be really risk averse while I thrive on the challenge that risk creates. I’m going to show up in a way that they do not feel like my presence creates risk for them. That’s otherness.

When you lean into otherness, you plan your celebration according to the most vulnerable and most risk-averse people in your friend and family group. Keep your eye on connection and celebration as you plan. That means staying away from shaming or just pursuing “normal” celebrations and saying that it’s their choice as to whether they are involved. That just creates tension and disconnection and remember that is the opposite of our values for this Covid Christmas.

As you contemplate what your Covid Christmas looks like, operate out of otherness. After all what better way to celebrate the season of giving but to sacrifice your own desires for the wellbeing of others.

If you want to apply the principles we’ve talked about today, I really encourage you to support these thoughts with your input so that your output matches your core values. You’re really just steeping yourselves in the Covid Christmas Core Values.


 O’Henry’s Gift of the Magi – a Christmas story of self-sacrifice.

The Greatest Generation – a great one to read aloud or on your own and ponder those whose lives were shaped by otherness.

Rosamind Pilcher’s Coming Home  – This is a gentle read yet a great depiction of a young girl learning about self-sacrifice through the years of World War 2.

It’s a Wonderful Life

The Bells of St. Mary’s

Cinderella – The new one – emphasizes courage and kindness


These are some resources that I’ve come up with, but I bet some have come to mind for you over the course of our conversation. I’d love to hear about them. Jump inside the Boss Yourself First Face Book Group and let’s share our resources. We’re also going to have a FB Live discussion about all things Covid Christmas.

The last thing I have for you dear listeners, to support your Covid Christmas Core Values, is a graphic with the values and supporting ideas depicted. Make this a screen saver you’ll see when you email your family and friends, or when you do that online Christmas shopping.  You can print and post it on your bathroom mirror or at your desk. Keep them front of mind and they will serve you well.

Next time we’re focusing on creativity and celebration. I’d love to hear from you about your Covid Christmas or other holiday celebration. What’s working for you? Are you embracing these core values? Also, it would be a real gift if you would take time to leave a podcast review wherever you listen to this podcast, it helps others find the podcast and it encourages your host

Until next time,

Take Care


The Emotional Agile Team 

In this final episode of our season on emotional agility, we’re talking about the emotionally agile team. Learn why emotional agility is crucial for success in the workplace. Also, ideas for how to build emotional agility with your team.  Listen in for these important to ways to cap off the season and apply the principles and practices of emotional agility. 


Episode Resources

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Episode Highlights

  • 0:36 – On the Podcast Today

  • 1:35 – Applying Emotional Agility to a Team
  • 4:25 – What An Emotionally Agile Team Looks Like
  • 7:07 – What Causes Rigidity in a Team?
  • 9:03 – Building Emotionally Agile Teams
  • 10:30 – Building Emotional Agility at Work
  • 15:19 – Wrapping Up Season One