Do You Hate It When People Tell You How You Feel?

Time to read: 1 little minute and 15 tiny seconds

My corporate campsite this week.

My corporate campsite this week.

Do you hate it when people tell you how you feel?

Let me begin with a little story then tell you what to do when someone inaccurately insists you must be feeling something you are not.

I'm at a client site this week doing 2 intense days of back to back private coaching for a big corporation followed by a third day of team building sessions. When I return home, I head to another big corporation to coach all day in their women's leadership program. When I tell people about my week, they say, "that must be exhausting!",

When I hear that, I'm like, "hmmmmm….," or I'm annoyed. I'm annoyed because other people's opinions can muddy the water and make it hard to listen to your own feelings and trust your own experience. With their suggestion, you might start to wonder, "Am I exhausted? Maybe I should be."

By becoming aware when other people are imposing how you should feel, you can commit to listen to and trust how you actually feel.

Here's how to do that:

  1. Check in with yourself. When you hear a suggestion for how you should feel, use it as a reminder to pause and check in. How are you feeling? Is there something you need to express, process alone, or adjust? What will get you on track with where you want to be?
  2. Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself. Are you telling stories that are empowering or disempowering? Is telling yourself that you are exhausted or overwhelmed enabling you to be your best self and do your best work or is it sapping your energy?
  3. Choose your feelings. You get to decide if you are exhausted, overwhelmed or frustrated. The circumstances don't dictate your feelings, and other people's suggestions certainly don't. It is true that I may be tired when I get on the plane to go home, and while doing the work, I choose to be energized and inspired by my clients.
  4. Clarify. If you want to, you can clarify how you really feel to the person who is asking. Assume they care about you and had the best of intentions when they made their comment. Something like, "actually, I love these clients and get in the zone when I do back-to-back coaching."
  5. Get curious. If you notice yourself "suggesting" feelings to others, get curious. Instead of telling them how they feel, ask, "How do you feel about that?" You might be surprised by what you learn and amused to see the assumptions you make, too.

I hope this helps!


P.S. Are there people to whom you'd like to give a big, fat hint? Use this email to tell them to stop suggesting how you should feel! They can join to receive this newsletter right here.

This Is For All the Overachievers!

Time to read: A reasonable, not-overachieving one minute and thirty-six seconds

(No photo this week because I'm not overachieving today!)

Hi, my name is Christina, and I'm an overachiever. It's been 2 months since my last overachievement, and it's been going ok. Well, if I'm honest I've been jonesing for another overachievement and fighting the weak parts of myself to not fall off the wagon into overwork and stress.

It's nice to meet you. Can you relate?

Over-acheiving is an addiction because your brain gets a delicious hit of dopamine every time you check one more to-do off the list. Ahhh… good.

So, in the absence of over-working, I've been uncomfortable. I don't mean the pillow-on-the-couch-is-squished-in-a-weird-way uncomfortable. I mean a deep down in my gut uncomfortable. I feel antsy and discombobulated. I have more than enough work right now, and I'm learning a ton about myself and my emotions in an advanced coach training course. There's a lot going on at home, too, so it's not like I'm sitting around eating bonbons and watching Oprah all day (and, hey, no judgment if you eat bonbons and watch Oprah). My plate is full, and I'm uncomfortable because it is not over-full, and I'm not ploughing ahead on a big project.

If you are a chronic overachiever and cycle through burnout and exhaustion, here are some thoughts:

  1. The messages around you state that more is always better. Bigger portions. More with less. Faster results. Higher salaries. More responsibility. You find yourself on a constant hamster wheel in pursuit of "more." I'll tell you this, it will never be enough. There is no "ahhh…I made it" at the end of that game.
  2. Notice if you use work to avoid discomfort. A friend of mine once observed, "Christina, you work to manage your anxiety." You may be using work to numb uncomfortable feelings (like fear, doubt, or uncertainty).
  3. Notice how your sense of self-worth and value is wrapped up in what you produce. Overachieving has made me successful. It got me a PhD, corporate promotions and a successful coaching business. And each time, there has been a price to pay to my relationships, wellbeing, and happiness. The price isn't worth it anymore (and probably never was), and I'm determined to learn how to be successful without the overworking.
  4. See what it happens when you give yourself permission to stop overachieving and just be with the discomfort, even if it's only for 2 seconds. Start small and work up from there. I have a feeling the secret to peace, flow, and ease is weirdly in the discomfort.
  5. Ask yourself, "for the sake of what?" What's the purpose behind the achievement? Is it joy and learning or is it the outcome and recognition? Align your work to your values and align your daily choices to what you want for your entire life, including family, self-care, hobbies, and relationships.

I don't have the answer to this one yet as I'm on this journey with you. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

For now, you are enough. You have enough. You're doing enough.

More soon!


P.S. Think of 2-3 friends who need to hear the message that they are enough and are doing enough. Send them this newsletter with your love and this link so they can sign up to hear more!


The way you spend your day….

Estimated read time: 1 minute

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I want to check in with you about how things are going in your job.

I know you struggle with burn-out, overwhelm, and what to do next. You keep thinking things will change if you just work harder, take on more responsibility or give the changes in your company more time. Being stuck is a total drag.

These struggles have me thinking about a funeral I attended for a colleague from my corporate days. He worked hard, sometimes staying at the office on Christmas Eve, traveling internationally, sacrificing for the company and putting many things off “until retirement.” The church was simultaneously crying and laughing hysterically at the stories his children told of the things their dad was finally doing in his retirement. He was just beginning to enjoy all the things he had worked for when he died 2 years in.

When I hear you say, “I’ll wait until next year. Maybe things will get better on their own,” or “I can put up with anything until my kids are out of college,” it breaks my heart. Time is short. Your life is valuable. The time to bring back joy, balance, health, and meaning is NOW. Retirement is too far away. Even next year is too far away.

This quote makes me think of you everyday:

How you spend your days is how you spend your life. ~Annie Dilliard

You are the one with the power to make things better for yourself. Waiting for your company to make things better for you is only going to make you another year older.

If you are:

  • waiting to see if things will get better on their own;
  • procrastinating on making a change because you’re scared of the financial consequences;
  • skeptical that things can ever be better in your job;
  • wishing you had the roadmap to professional fulfillment,

Let’s hop on the phone. Email me at to schedule a session with me.

I promise you they can be better. Don’t wait another year to create your life and work on your terms. The time to be happy at work is now.

We’ll spend 30 minutes creating an inspiring and empowering plan for things to be better NOW.

Whether we end up working together or not, I can't wait to connect.

Happy Halloween!


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