Are You Hijacked By BS?

Time to read: 1.5 minutes. 2.5 minutes if you read all the way to the signature.


Hey Rebels!

It’s Anne!

I'm doing a dance of joy to be here with you today. Hooray!

When Christina and I held our Quiet the Noise Challenge this summer, YOU gave us feedback and WE listened.

You said, gee, I want to work on this Fact vs. Fiction thing. To help you with that, we're hosting another 60-minute webinar! The Corporate Rebel Truthfully U: Fact vs Fiction. If you already know you want to join us, sign up here.

If you want to dig deeper into what we mean by Fact vs Fiction, step into my life for a moment. You'll quickly see how the fiction hoodwinks your mind and sucks your energy.

On a quiet Saturday, I sat at my desk preparing for the Rethinking U Webinar. Computer straightened. Papers arranged logically. Pens, pencils perfectly lined up. Then the phone rang.

We have a landline (yes, an antique contraption with wires connected to other wires) and no caller ID so every call is a mystery guessing game. I can generally fake it, “Oh hey! How’s it going?” until I have enough voice recognition data to figure out the caller.

As I said, the phone rang...

Me: “Hello?”

Friend (let’s call her Gina): “Why are you still at home?”

Me: “Uh…” (brain churning…It’s Gina. Why am I not supposed to be at home? I like being at home.)

Gina: “You were supposed to pick me up ten minutes ago!”

Me: “Oh horsefeathers!” (She was right.)

Me again: “I can be there in twelve minutes.”

Gina: “No, I’ll just go.”

Me: “Oh. Okay.”

Gina: “Bye.”

I flew into action, changed into public-appropriate attire, and shot out of the garage. My brain went crazy. Gina will never forgive me. She’ll think I’m not reliable. I made us late. I let her down. She’ll hold a grudge and tell our friends that you cannot count on Anne for anything. Nope. Unreliable Anne.

I then devised an elaborate, heartfelt apology that basically held me personally responsible for all badness everywhere.

I arrived (late) to the gathering and, lo and behold, there was no steam coming out of Gina’s ears. When a side moment presented itself, I delivered my (truncated) apology and Gina said, “That’s okay. It happens to all of us.” Or something like that. The end. Do you do this to yourself?

Get out your dissecting tools. Dig around in the first couple paragraphs and look for the FACTS of what happened.

FACT #1: I forgot I had planned to pick up Gina.

FACT #2: I didn’t pick up Gina because of Fact #1.

FACT #3: Gina forgave me and still trusts me.

After that, it's all FICTION. Gina will never trust me again. She’ll turn all our mutual friends against me. Blah. Blah. Blah. You get the point. I created a friendship catastrophe that was all in my head and a waste of time.

Notice the energy I squandered. Do you do make stuff up and create catastrophe's in your head? Are you tired of wasting energy generating all kinds of negative gobbledeemuck? And for nothing?

Join us! (Small trumpet fanfare.) We’re doing another webinar: The Corporate Rebel Truthfully U on Monday October 7 at noon Central Time. Join us here.

It's worth the 60 minutes if you...

  • Can’t keep negative thoughts out of your brain, even when you want to think positively.
  • Compare yourself with others and come up short.
  • Search for hidden meaning behind interactions.
  • Spin and lie awake at night analyzing situations leaving you muddled and tired. Your friends are seriously tired of talking about it.

In 60 minutes you will...

  • Distinguish the Facts of a situation from the Fiction
  • Clear the clutter in your brain so you feel calm, energetic, and confident
  • Dive under the emotion and confusion so you can make clearer and faster decisions
  • Take action based on what’s actually true, rather than what you think is true, which will lead to better results

Join us. We can't wait to see you there!

Christina and Anne

P.S. Invite your friends! Their minds are full of fictions, too, and some of them may be about you. :-) They can join here.


The Biggest Lie You've Been Told

Time to read: Less than one minute

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Dear Rebels,

When you were young, did you dream of your future? Maybe a job that earned a good living. A family. Time to pursue your passions and interests. Travel. Then, once you got that job, you poured yourself into it with gusto (or not). You played volleyball after work. You took painting classes or sang in a choir. You slept in on weekends and had dinner regularly with friends.

Then maybe you committed to a partner. Perhaps you built a family. You got promoted or changed jobs or went back to school. Your parents got older. Maybe you bought a house. Life got more complex and even though it happened over years, it seems like overnight you became exhausted, overwhelmed, and focused on life as a checklist of transactions. You used to feel like you had it all together and now balls are dropping, friends are a distant memory, exercise was first to go, and the "few tips" you've tried to regain control lasted all of a minute before everything snapped back to the relentless new "normal."

Does some version of this sound familiar?

I grew up in the 1980s when young people were fed the biggest lie of all time.

The lie?

You can have it all.

It's total crap.

Also total crap is the feeling that there is something wrong with you if you can't manage it all.

A wise mentor once said to me, "You can have anything. You just can't have everything."

Cue one of my favorite themes: Choices.

You get to choose your priorities. When you're trying to stuff 15 pounds of life into a 5 pound bag, you get to choose what to let go, what is non-negotiable, what can wait, and what you'll prioritize.

Stop beating yourself up for not being able to manage it all. No one can. It's a lie.

With rebel love,


P.S. Know someone who needs to let go of the lie? Send them here to find relief.


Got a Secret Dream?

Time to read: Not more than 2 minutes. Not counting the pauses to breathe.

My dream

My dream

Top of the day to you, Rebels!

When you all write to me, you say that sometimes it seems like I'm in your head. That somehow, I knew exactly what you needed to hear. Today, I actually am in your head, and here's what I see in there.

You have a dream.

It may be a quiet dream that you've never said out loud. You likely have taken no steps to make it come true. You've told no one. It sits quietly in your brain and heart, popping up in the wee hours of the morning, slipping by your consciousness while waiting at Starbucks, and maybe disappearing for months to reappear again in a quiet moment.

This dream is probably creative. Say, painting. Or writing a novel. Or learning to belly dance. You tell yourself it's ridiculous, that you don't have time, that it's terrifying, that you don't know how to do whatever it is, and that other more important priorities deserve your attention. Yet, the dream persists in its quiet nudging.

I have such a dream, and I'm stumbling awkwardly (and slowly) toward doing something about it.

My dream? To tell a story on The Moth.

Which brings me back to you. What's the process for stumbling awkwardly toward your dream? As I'm in the middle of the process, here are the steps I'm following:

Step 1: Avoid your dream. Avoid it at all cost. Check Facebook. Push it away. Ignore it. Let years pass while you do nothing. If it sticks to you through all of that, move to Step 2.

Step 2: After avoiding, notice your dream. Make it real to yourself. Bring it forward in your consciousness. Start to tip toe toward what it would be like to do this thing.

Step 3: Tell people. Start with one person. Make it more real by telling a few more people. Let's say you publish a weekly newsletter. You can out yourself there. Bringing other people into your secret dream helps to create personal accountability.

Step 4: Remind yourself that you've done terrifying things before. Like apply for jobs. Or ask for a date. When I published my first newsletter to 80 of my closest friends and relatives, I thought I might die. Now, it's just part of what I do. You can do scary things.

Step 5: Take one little step. Do one little thing that will start the ball rolling. When I hit send on this newsletter, I'm going to click the button on the Moth website that says, "Tell your story." I'm terrified. And you know you can do one thing.

Step 6: Visualize your dream. I'm starting to be able to see myself on that stage, telling a story. I can picture publishing a link to the audio for all of you. This step feels tender to me. You can take your process as slowly as you want.


As for the rest of the steps, I'm not sure yet, because I am still somewhere between Steps 4 and 5. I'll report back on the rest once I know what they are. (Whew! My daughter just called me to pick her up from school. I'm saved from Step 5 and can go back to Step 1. At least for a little while.)

What's your secret dream? I'm happy to help you with Step 3. Write to me and tell me all about it.

With Rebel love,


P.S. Just breathe and take the first step.

P.P.S. If you know someone who has a secret dream, please forward this newsletter to them. They can subscribe for a weekly dose of inspiration about work and life here.


You're the Best!

Time to read: Barely one minute. It's summer. You've got fun stuff to do.

You are a gift!

You are a gift!

One of our own Corporate Rebels inspired today's blog. Steve sent me some astute comments after a post a few months ago. His thoughts inspired some fresh ways to think about your career which put you back in the driver's seat. If you feel like your career has been pushed this way and that by the winds of your company, read on!

Steve wrote, "I’ve shifted my attitude about work and career to how to use my gifts and talents (i.e., value proposition). For me, satisfaction comes from applying my gifts and talents which meets someone’s need and who is willing to compensate me for that."

Steve makes an excellent point. Put another way, you are a gift to your employer. Your contributions are as important as the things they give you.

Blow open your thinking about your career with these ideas:

  1. Your employment is an equal energy exchange. You give your gifts and talents. Your company gives you money and benefits. They need you as much as you need them. This idea puts the power in your career back in your hands.

  2. Do what you do best. You have gifts and talents. And you have...what shall we call them?…liabilities and weaknesses. Spend your career maximizing your strengths and partnering with other people's strengths (i.e. your liabilities and weaknesses). Doing what you do best allows you to shine and partnering with others who have different strengths, allows them to shine. It's a win-win!

  3. Stop competing. Spending your career trying to outdo your competition is not a winning strategy. Instead, focus on partnership, relationship, and delivering the best darn solutions to meet your (internal and external) customer's needs. By focusing on value and solutions, you set yourself up to be a sought-after member of any team.

You're the best!


P.S. Have a colleague who needs to see themselves as a gift to your organization? Send them this newsletter and they can sign up for weekly motivation and positivity right here.


Life Advice From Your Tribe!

I've been looking for an excuse to use this picture!

I've been looking for an excuse to use this picture!

Last summer, I spent three weeks in North Carolina working at my children's summer camp. (Apropos of nothing, I was the Editor-in-Chief of the child-produced camp newspaper, The Tajar Times. So fun!)

While at camp, I offered pro bono coaching to anyone who wanted it. I spent many hours coaching people in their 20s who were angst ridden over questions like, "Should I marry the guy or dump him?" "I got a degree in a field I HATE!" "Do I take this job or travel through Europe?"

I also solicited advice from the Corporate Rebel tribe and posted the following list on the staff bulletin board. Many, many young people read it and told me the advice was astute and helpful. I came across this list recently, and your advice was soooooo good, I'm sharing it here with all of you.


From Nick:

  1. Stretch every day.
  2. Read. A lot.
  3. Make time to explore the world. It's fascinating.

From Alastair:

Your dreams remain. Keep them top of mind even when 20 years of reality hasn't quite worked as you thought. Keep them present, and they will guide you.

I didn't.

Through coaching and refocusing, things I thought were lost to career "diversions" are now more present than they ever were before. Shocking really. But it speaks volumes toward a few things.

  1. Never give up hope.
  2. Accept that the original dream is still there but may manifest differently and in ways you can't yet imagine.
  3. Embrace variety beyond what you envisioned.
  4. Listen to your inner voice and be true to it.

So forgive yourself right now for not always knowing. Who does? And pause and listen to yourself. What do you want? Truly.

Know this - life is short. So relax, lean into your life, enjoy and focus.

From Anne

It is never too early to put your self-care first. Don't get immersed in baggage piling on your head.

Deal with issues, learn new skills, add them to your toolbelt and move on. Don't be a people pleaser. Be a YOU pleaser! Build your plate your way, set boundaries and know that it is okay to say no. Set boundaries and keep them.

With rebel love,