Marcella Kowalchuk Consulting Inc ~ We provide expert human resources advice to enable you go Into the World
and do great things in Business, Career and School.
Inspiring you to go Into the World and do great things in Business, Career at School.
|Posted on June 23, 2019 at 1:15 PM||comments (8)|
When you have options before you, and both of them are good. Not spectacular but good. You put yourself out there, took a chance, bet on yourself, and you won. Now it is time to decide. Do you stay where you are comfortable, settled and all is going well? Or do you step out into the new? How do you choose?
It’s not easy. Take a breath. Seek some quiet time and go back to the point where you began; the point where you decided that you wanted another vision for your life; the point where you decided to choose a different path.
Consider the risks, consider the rewards and how good it can be if you decide to follow through on that original decision. Push, kick and silence the fear that may be welling up in your mind. This is the time when anxiety shows up, disguised as reasonable doubt. But if you recall, you already went through the phase of reasonable doubt. You gave due consideration to the pros and cons when you were deciding if you should make this move and you chose to pursue this dream.
Now the dream is before you, take the chance. You can do this. You can handle what comes your way. Go ahead take the next step...
Be strong, Loving, Fearless.
|Posted on February 2, 2019 at 9:30 AM||comments (4)|
This morning I was reflecting on the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Specifically, their hiding from God in the garden of Eden after consuming the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
I recall that the story tells of them hiding from God because they were afraid. Interestingly, in hiding they were unable to see God, and were ashamed of themselves. This is what caused their fear. God knew where they were, was aware of their feelings of shame, and encouraged them to come out of hiding and face what they feared.
So often, we are the ones hiding and existing in fear. At work, some fear an interaction with a colleague who makes them feel small. At school, students fear getting bad grades. In business, we fear taking on a new opportunity. This fear is a result of an identity crisis. Not knowing who we are at our core, leads us to develop a fragile sense of self, rather than wholeness.
For 2019, I encourage you not to hide or fear anyone. Let us spend time learning how to see ourselves as we truly are; not measured against the opinion of colleagues, grades or numbers on a balance sheet. Let’s pursue our goals, sharing what we know, learning from our experiences and seeing ourselves as we were created absolutely perfect.
Inspired by Curley, Marie Paul “See Yourself Through God’s Eyes”. 2009
Be Strong. Loving, Fearless
|Posted on December 2, 2018 at 3:20 PM||comments (11)|
There is a knowing deep inside of us, of who we truly are and what it is we are here to do. This knowledge, does not seek approval of others, it does not fear, and it does not doubt. This part of ourselves calls to us, to seek stillness in order for us to hear what it wants to tell us.
In this world, which distracts us from seeking stillness, this knowing beckons us to "listen".
Make time to hear. Your magnificence is calling.
Be strong. Loving. Fearless
|Posted on July 21, 2018 at 2:55 PM||comments (10)|
"I’m a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I’m no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won’t hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat". - Muhammad Ali
"Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore". - Anonymous
Do you ever spend a great deal of mental energy debating whether you should defend yourself against the actions of others? The two quotes above represent interesting perspectives on how to address a situation where we believe we have been treated wrongly by the actions of others. Now I recognize that Muhammad Ali may have changed his perspective over the years. The point here is to think about which one is your “go to” response? (After reading the blog, please share your go to response.)
I have been thinking about how we decide when to defend our self and when to let things go. Often I am quick to stand up for family, friends or a stranger, yet, when I have been treated unfairly I say nothing to that person and instead ruminate about it in my head. This leaves me feeling like I am betraying myself and I wonder why I fall into this pattern.
Unlike the young Ali, I am not a fighter. Oh, I may wish to do something but I don’t. Perhaps you respond in the same manner. I think for some of us we want to avoid conflict, or are concerned about the various stereotypes and labels placed on women who respond when unfairly criticized.
Some of us may have been taught to be quiet, not to rock the boat. Others may be concerned about the stereotype that gets attached to them if they display anger; whether that is the “angry black woman” or being called the “b-word”.
So how do we decide when to defend our self, forgive or ignore the whole matter all together?
Let’s consider for a moment the difference between a colleague speaking poorly of us and not receiving a well-deserved promotion. How do you defend yourself in this scenario? Do you go about speaking poorly of your colleague to anyone who will listen? Do you complain about the missed promotion? Neither of these reactions gets you any further to your goals.
In fact, these actions move you away from your goals since they are retaliatory and are based on a fear that the comments may be seen as truthful, but they are not. Responding in accordance with your truth, knowing that you are valuable, may be difficult at the moment, yet this is the best course of action. You may have to walk away, end the phone call or calmly notify the individual that you will be leaving the meeting, but this is the right action to take.
Remember you are intentionally working towards your goals. The best type of self-defence is to move the energy in a constructive way and not get caught up in the negative energy of others.
Be Strong. Loving. Fearless
|Posted on June 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM||comments (7)|
Imagine a day when you wake up, open your eyes and begin with acknowledging your blessings and being grateful.
You rise and when you look in the mirror and instead of criticizing what you see you actually smile. You head into the bathroom and are pleased at the wrinkles, or freckles, the type of hair you have and the body which has brought you to this point in your life.
As you head out the door and into the world you feel different because the fear that was holding you back, has been quieted. You know longer sense a yoke on your shoulders. Instead there is a lightness to your step, anxiety has been replaced by something else, tangible and very powerful. It is more than confidence, or self-esteem…. It can be hard to articulate but you know that it is now a part of every breath you take. There is a deep knowing within that you are more than how others’ have defined you.
You are, free. Free to express yourself fully and honestly, free to say yes, to what you like and no to what you do not. Free to put in the hours to work on your dreams and free to say no to activities that are of no interest to you and are unfulfilling. This is the day when you look around you and recognize that you can handle whatever comes your way. You have chosen not to hide who you are or what you believe. You know deep within and very clearly that you are good enough. In fact, you are absolutely fantastic.
When you become thankful for all that you have and realize that you are one of the most beautiful and unique beings ever created you are ready. Ready to live, create, serve, laugh, teach, cry, learn and thrive. Let nothing hold you back and may every day be like this day.
Be Strong, Loving. Fearless.
|Posted on April 16, 2018 at 8:35 PM||comments (8)|
I was recently listening to a podcast by Dear HBR by Harvard Business Review entitled, Career Transitions. One individual who wrote in to the show, writes of wanting to leave her chosen field after years of school and spending thousands of dollars for her education. She speaks about no longer enjoying her profession and wants to get out.
This had me thinking about the choices that we make about our career trajectory. I wonder how much of the decision-making is based on what others want rather than what we want to pursue. So often, we give the opinion of parents, friends and society greater power than our own.
If you are considering whether to go to college, take the job in the family business or saying yes to entrepreneurial endeavour, figure out first if this is what you really want for your life at this time. After all, you are the one who will have the experience of whatever you choose.
Be Strong, Loving, Fearless
|Posted on March 16, 2018 at 11:15 AM||comments (4)|
Growing up our parents and older relatives often warned us about staying out of harm’s way. Examples of harm included substances such as drugs and alcohol, to situational environments like hanging out with the wrong crowd in school.
As adults, we should consider the harm that can come to us based on our decision not to be selective with whom we spend our time. On campus, in the workplace and during times of leisure we need to think about whether we are putting ourselves in harm’s way.
Consider your acquaintances/colleagues at work, classmates, or a boss. Are they harmful to you or helpful? We may not be aware of the damage that can be caused to our well-being by listening to colleagues who gossip or constantly complain or a boss who speaks to us disrespectfully.
In these circumstances, we are passive participants in activities that do not add to our knowledge or joy; and what does not add to us, can actually take something away.
When we leave these environments, if we take time to reflect, we will realize that we gained nothing from the experience and leave feeling irritated, unsatisfied, and de-valued. I also remember my mom telling me that I do not have to stay and let anyone yell at me.
We need to be very selective and disciplined about how we spend our time, with whom and in what capacity. Life is a gift. Placing our creative spirit and ingenuity in harm’s way by not being deliberate about our well-being is irresponsible. In his book “Success Principles,” Jack Canfield tells readers that one of the most important principles is to “take 100% responsibility for your life.”
We are on this earth to share our gifts by completing specific tasks over our lifetime. So let us invest our time, moving towards that which brings us knowledge, joy and contentment and staying out of harm’s way.
Be strong, Loving, and Fearless
Below a picture of my mom and me. (She always reminds me of my worth and value.)
|Posted on February 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (7)|
There is a parable about a widow who goes to a judge for vindication. The widow represents, the poor, unprotected and powerless in society. The Judge had a reputation for being confident, self-assured and not afraid of anyone; in society, he represented one with great authority, who commanded respect and wealth.
The widow, though quiet and subtle acts in a persistent manner, seeking fairness and justice. She is clear in what she wants, is not intimidated and goes after what she knows is her right in the society. After some time the Judge decides that even though he fears no one, he will grant the widow justice.
I always wondered why the Judge bothered with the widow. Why did he decide to give her his time and grant her justice? He could have easily kept on dismissing her or being a man of great means, have someone else do it for him. But he didn’t.
Is it possible that the widow knew of her own power despite what society thought of her? To outsiders she may have appeared as poor and powerless; but what if this is not how she felt on the inside.
Her actions demonstrated that she had an inner power and strength not known to others or fully understood by the Judge. The judge could not understand it, but there was something about that widow that despite outward appearance caused him to grant her justice.
I once read where Cicely Tyson remarked, "nobody would bother to beat you down if you were not a threat.” This statement speaks to a great truth. In the same way that the Judge knew not to ignore the Widow, the one who is treating you unfairly must have also recognized that there is within you a great inner strength and determination that cannot be defeated.
Your talents, skills and capabilities have already been recognized. It might seem like the opposite is happening, the unfair criticism is a mere distraction. Keep shining. Do not hold back your efforts. Boldly demonstrate your gifts with humility and grace. As the Widow received what was rightfully hers through her persistent efforts, so will you if you do not give up.
Be strong. Loving. Fearless
|Posted on January 29, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (9)|
What’s going on with you?
If we were asked this question, a lot of us may hesitate initially on how to respond. We may first consider who was asking the question, the environment we were in or who else might be listening in on the conversation. Based on any of those factors we may respond with a focus on our accomplishments the latest item we have purchased, or a self-deprecating response to divert the focus of the conversation.
Why is this the case? What are we trying to prove or to hide? Due to how we are looked upon in society we are often constantly scrutinizing ourselves. This makes it challenging for us to have authentic conversations with people we come into contact with, including friends, colleagues, and those of differing levels of position or “authority".
Living this way can be exhausting. In the world of work, this can place lots of pressure on each and every one of us because we may be trying so desperately to put on a particular “face”. To exude, a “brand” of confidence, self-assurance and strength many of us may be missing a very important opportunity—an opportunity to have authentic conversations and support one another.
Sometimes at work, because of the perception that we must have it together, we fail to come to a colleague and ask about her experience for an issue that we are currently struggling with ourselves.
Take for example the Manager, with an elderly parent at home who is doing really well at work and the opportunity comes for a possible promotion. The Manager is fearful of taking on a new opportunity and does not apply for the chance to participate. Senior leaders encourage her to consider applying, however she decides against it. In the mind of the Manager, there is no way that she is able to handle a new opportunity and family obligations. She convinces herself that the priority must be her family, and she is right. There is also another option that she has not yet considered before declining the opportunity however it takes courage.
This same Manager could choose to share her challenge with other managers or senior leaders whom she trusts. In doing so the Manager may find that there is a way to take on the project and still care for her elderly relative. It may not be easy but there is a way.
Let’s consider being more authentic at work, sharing our experiences, asking for help, and offering help to others. When we are able to collaborate on both professional and personal matters we may find that we are better at integrating work and life. The balancing act of managing our “brand” changes to responding authentically about what we say about who we are, no matter who is asking.
Be strong, Loving, Fearless
|Posted on January 10, 2018 at 9:05 PM||comments (8)|
A few months ago I was inspired to go to the pool. I really love swimming and it had been quite some time since I had put on my suit. In my head, I was going to do laps in great form and then get into tip-top, stealth-like shape.
Get to the recreation centre. Pay the fee. Change, shower, stretch, get in the water. Before I get even halfway, I am out of breath and have to take a rest. I go back and forth doing, poorly formed strokes and gasping for air.
I check out the other swimmers in the lanes (while I am resting between laps). I am thoroughly impressed by their form. I do a few more laps,taking a rest at each end of the pool. A lifeguard with short grey hair and an athletic frame asks if I am okay. “Sure, I am doing okay” I reply. At the end of my first session by 8:00 a.m, I head to the change room, still breathing deeply. I barely feel strong enough but manage to take a shower and get dressed.
Similar to Day 1 only difference is that I feel my back hurting and I am catching a cold. End of swimming.
A few weeks later I decided to head back to the pool.
The grey-haired lifeguard is there again. We chat for a while and she is really friendly. I get into the pool and start doing my laps. It’s like déjà vu. I am struggling to breathe and resting at each end of the pool. After about the 5th lap the lifeguard asks me how I am feeling. I say okay. She gives me a few suggestions about my breathing.
- Stay relaxed in the water, while doing my strokes.
- Take a deep inhale from my diaphragm breathing in through my mouth, turning my head to the side.
- With my head underwater, breathe out through my nose. Fully exhale.
- While exhaling underwater through my nose, tilt my chin towards my chest. This will prevent the air bubbles from blurring my vision under water.
- I repeat what she says to confirm I understand and then I try what she suggested.
Result: I complete a full length of the pool. I don’t feel tired. In fact, I feel exhilarated. I did it. At the other end, she asks how I feel. Without gasping for air I say awesome. She also tells me that when I get to the end of the lap if I feel tired take a deep breath in then submerge my body down underwater while breathing out through my nose. I try it and again I am feeling great. The rest of the session goes really well. I feel Olympic good. (It does not take much for my imagination to go wild.)
At 8:00a.m I get out of the pool and thank the lifeguard profusely for her wisdom and kindness. What a difference her encouragement and insight had on my performance in the water. In a short time, I improved so quickly. This has implications for other areas of my life. Here is why;
- The right coach has a sincere desire to share her expertise and help you improve.
- Through active listening and paying attention, she is able to decipher where assistance is needed
- The information and guidance from a coach can save time and unnecessary struggle.
- The objective perspective of a coach gives her the ability to identify where improvement is required, though this may not be obvious to us.
- A coach is willing to address the fact that with some instruction I could perform at a higher level
- A coach can lead us to acknowledge what we may not be willing to acknowledge and guide us to see for ourselves where change is required.
- Reflecting on the information from a coach, applying the instruction and taking immediate action helps you to learn faster and become better in a short period of time.
Sometimes we feel like we have to go it alone in our pursuit to learn new skills and develop our talents. We don’t! There are always individuals who have already mastered what we want to become good at and they are willing to help us grow. Sure there is a price to pay to improve, and we are worth the time, effort and money it costs to help us build a life which makes us proud.
Is there an area that you would like to improve your level of performance? Consider a coach and take action.
Be strong. Loving. Fearless.