My wish for you

My wish for you

Before sharing my wish for you, I need to also share that I used to think progress had to be hard and involve high-pressure changes, deadlines, and intensity.

Now I strive simply because I love the feeling of betterment.

This, I believe, is how you know you have shifted from Survival Mode to what I lovingly refer to as “Thrival” Mode.

Neither mode is wrong, or bad, or less valid, or less important. 

I have certainly created from both modes.

Goals that help you SURVIVE tend to bring a sense of relief and necessity. 

Goals that help you THRIVE tend to be enriching, expansive, and leave you wondering what else you can create.

This has been my experience, at least.

Thriving can take many forms. From relationships, to health, to career, to creativity, to finances, to how you spend your time…

I’m curious: What are your thoughts about the New Year? As you reflect on your goals, are they more centered around relief and necessity, or expansive creation and enrichment?

I am an advocate of nontraditional resolutions. 

One year – 2012 to be exact – my resolution was to drink more wine. To be clear, more drinking wasn’t the goal so much as it was a symbolic antidote to my having realized that I was taking myself and my life way too seriously.

There were times that year when I would realize, “oops! It’s been weeks since I’ve had any wine!” … and then would promptly remedy that situation. 😊 My “more wine” resolution represented the larger, overarching goal, and the true intention behind my resolution: living less in Survival Mode, and more in Thrival Mode.

It was a resolution to savor the good stuff, and to loosen up for cryin’-out-loud. (It worked.)

As basic as it sounds, recognizing that ‘savoring the good stuff’ is what people who thrive do … I wanted THAT.

For many of us – and for very good reasons – thriving doesn’t come easily. 

If life has taught you to be on guard, worried, careful, self-protective, defensive, armored, alert at all times … then it makes total sense that you’d have to learn how to thrive.

And like most learning curves, the process can be awkward. What seems “basic” to others may be a significant pattern interruption for a “thrival” newbie – one that requires real effort, frequent reminders, and significant shifts in thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

It is a normal part of any learning process for there to be some flailing and fumbling before new approaches and new experiences feel truly good.

If life has taught you that THRIVING involves letting your guard down in a way that feels unsettling, then it is totally understandable to feel like a fish out of water.

Even “savoring the good stuff” can feel strange, illogical, inconvenient – at first.

Surrounding yourself with the right support as you consciously recalibrate towards thriving, helps a lot. Having frequent reminders and personalized support as you make those shifts in beliefs and behaviors – as you establish a new normal – makes an enormous difference in helping to ensure that you don’t revert back to your old familiar ways.

Many, in an effort to avoid the work of making conscious shifts, or having to endure those awkward newbie moments, choose instead to just stay where they are. They default to Survival Mode because it’s what’s familiar, because it’s what’s KNOWN.

My wish for YOU is that 2024 is a Year of Thrival.

Refreshingly unlike anything else that I know of in the coaching/author space, I have created The Brule Breakers Club, a place where you get to PRACTICE fully implementing the learnings and the implementation process required to THRIVE.

You, of course, are welcome. I’ll be sharing more in the weeks to come about how to dig into your personal psychology and how to master the art of thriving…

But for now, I’m curious – do YOU have any unconventional resolutions for yourself this year?

Love,

Tara Sage

Applied Psychology Coach & Author of The Brules of Life

Why I don’t call myself a business coach

Why I don’t call myself a business coach

I don’t call myself a Business Coach.

Even though I’ve been running my own company for nearly 20 years.

And even though I’ve coached numerous clients to create and build their businesses. 

Like Martha, who, when we first connected, felt she’d “already done the inner work to move beyond fear” and that “all she needed was nuts and bolts business development advice.” I helped Martha identify subtle beliefs that were holding her back from thinking bigger. We then rebranded the various aspects of her business into one unified message and expanded her product offerings. The result: In addition to feeling more confident as a business owner, fulfilled and aligned with her sense of purpose, Martha reported: “In my first year with Tara as my coach, my sales revenues increased by 117%. As of this writing, now in my second round of coaching with Tara, my first quarter revenues alone (during my quiet time of year) are up 46% over last year. Thanks to Tara, I’ve created a business that is unique to me and I have not had to compromise!“ 

^ From this testimonial alone, I could call myself a business coach.  

When someone is struggling in their business, it is completely understandable for them to think that a better social media marketer, or strategist, or new business coach is what is needed.

But – what my clients have found is that the real difference comes from a shift within THEM.

Another client, Cathie, dreamed of being a consultant for nonprofits, but she wasn’t clear on how to earn what she needed and attract the right clients while also maintaining the kind of work:life:family balance she wanted. Cathie and I mapped out her unique service process, packages, and plan (the 3 P’s) to create $240k in revenue, serving in a way that aligned with her “Big WHY” – all with just 7 client organizations and 4-day work weeks.

BUT – before any of this awesomeness was possible, her WHY needed to be clarified, she needed to learn how to manage her energy differently, and (perhaps most important of all) she had to self-identify as having what it takes to BE a successful business owner!

Her words: “Through Tara’s wise and focused support I have more energy than I’ve ever had, a clear plan to grow my business, more time to pursue a life outside of work, and I’ve learned to ask for and RECEIVE powerful support from other people. … Every day I wake up and am thrilled to be doing what I love! And I know there is so much MORE to come!”

Then there’s Friderike, who was able to double her income and generate her best revenue year ever! And, she added, “I didn’t kill myself in the process and had fun with it.” 

✴ Despite all of this AND the fact that people tend to be far more willing to pay top dollar for business coaching than life coaching, I still don’t call myself a Business Coach. ✴

Here’s WHY:

Because experience has taught me that you really can’t separate life coaching from business coaching, ESPECIALLY if the ultimate goal is a fulfilling and satisfying life.

And that’s certainly my goal for my clients. No matter who I’m coaching. 

But – in order for that to happen, life and business MUST work together. 

Yes, we strategize. Of course we strategize! Yes, we adapt and customize business models. And we most certainly create plans, test new approaches, and map out action steps – all to help ensure desired outcomes. 

But even more than THAT …  it’s the internal shifts, personal shifts in how you think, prioritize, and choose to spend your time and energy. This is what makes everything better, easier, bigger, and more powerful.

Businesses benefit from life coaching because business owners (like Martha, Cathie, Friderike, and numerous others), benefit from life coaching. 

Just as non-business owners benefit from life coaching.

When ‘the Business of Life’ thrives, YOU thrive.

Having the support of a skilled coach who knows how to create transformation within your personal psychology and help you live a fulfilling, impactful, joyful life creates a ripple effect, beneficial to every area of your LIFE – from your relationships, to your health, to your business, or whatever career path you may choose.  

Like Melissa, who shared that before connecting with me she’d “spent the majority of life doing things for all the wrong reasons.” Though she very much wanted success, she wasn’t sure where or how to focus her energy. Together, we uncovered a belief she had that was holding her back: that success was hard and that it meant sacrifice – none of which (understandably!) was how Melissa wanted to live. 

Upon realizing that her dream is not one particular passion but, rather, a passion for how she wanted to live (free to decide her own schedule, with autonomy and plenty of time for not just work, but for herself, her friends and her family) it became clear that real estate encompassed all the things she wanted out of a career, while also allowing her the freedom to live life the way she’d dreamed she could. In Melissa’s first year as a real estate agent, she made over $2.5 million in sales! And, to quote her, “the really amazing thing is … it felt effortless and FUN.” 

Having this kind of support on your side is invaluable and goes way beyond business!

Bottom line: None of this is unique to business owners. Whatever you’re up to, coaching together can help!

I am a coach who’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. I’m a coach who has an astutely attuned ear. I don’t let you stay on the track of old thought patterns and behavior patterns that aren’t serving you. Together, we stop, look at it, shine a light on it, name it, deconstruct it, and then implement new strategies and build new habits in those areas where a break in the old pattern is going to support you far better. (a.k.a. brule breaking)

It’s who I am. I see what goes unnoticed by most. As I learn your personal psychology, and I learn what your go-to behaviors are, and I see the default path that your thoughts and beliefs tend to follow over and over and over again, and I pinpoint the assumptions you make over and over again … opportunities for the applied psychology of change abound! 

That’s the fun part. 😊

Yes, your business may grow in the process. But that’s not ever going to be the primary measure of your success – or, frankly, mine. 

There’s one more piece to what really makes private coaching such a powerful combination: LOVE. I adore my clients. It’s why I don’t stand for them standing for their own BS. It’s why I lovingly help them see that. It’s why pattern interruption strategies are a must when what’s been happening isn’t serving. 

And, lastly, I believe it’s why my clients trust me to do the deep work. To tell me the truth, even when it’s hard or has shame attached to it. 

They know that I have their best interests at heart. They know I’m not here to judge them. In fact, in large part, what I do is help them understand how NORMAL what they are feeling shame about IS, and how wonderful it is that their bravery to share it anyway is already a break in the old pattern. 

With this shared understanding, and my decades of education, training, and tools for how to apply the psychology of change in a customized way, it then becomes easy to team up and help my clients effectively apply new practices and make new choices and see new possibilities that allow them to grow, to meet and exceed their goals, and make their dreams happen – business or otherwise. 

Are you next?

Go HERE to read the full testimonials of these clients and others, and, if you’d like, claim a complimentary Assessment Call so we can connect 1:1 and explore how I might serve YOU – and your professional goals and aspirations too. 😉

This is a silent hidden dream killer

This is a silent hidden dream killer

This is a silent hidden dream killer

My brain is ablaze with some psychological jargon from my educational background in Psychology and behavioral health. Hang in there with me for the next few paragraphs as I get you up to speed on a concept you may or may not be familiar with. I promise this’ll make a whole lot of sense and give you some perspective and juice for how to go about making the changes you want (especially the changes you want to make but aren’t actually doing anything about – yet). 😉

The American Psychological Association defines learned helplessness as “a phenomenon in which repeated exposure to uncomfortable stressors results in individuals failing to use any control options that may later become available.” 

Ok. Here’s my less-textbook-y version:

  • On an emotional level, learned helplessness boils down to the experience of becoming comfortable with managing discomfort. 
  • On a cognitive level, learned helplessness boils down to believing that you have no control. 
  • And, on a behavioral level, it looks like either no action, or, a whole lot of busyness centered around tasks that maintain current circumstances.

Understandably, if you believe you have no control and you’ve become quite skillful at managing discomfort (so much so that maybe it’s become a strength, something that gives you a strong sense of self-confidence and pride) it makes a whole lot of sense that things continue the way they are!

I mean, from that place, WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT of empowered new action when to do so would be intentionally deciding to trigger your own feelings of uncertainty and insecurity?!

Here’s why this matters:

It matters because it creates a closed loop. When something happens that creates discomfort for you… instead of feeling and thinking, “hmmm… how can I change these circumstances or shift something to eliminate this discomfort and make my life better?”… your brain is conditioned to assume that this discomfort is something that you are powerless over and therefore simply must manage and live with.

And this is something you’re often NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST BIT aware of.

Instead of determining HOW to make an empowered change, or how to eliminate the discomfort, the default mode is to manage and tolerate it, resigned to believing that there is no other option.  

This is learned helplessness. 

And left to its own devices, it’s an absolute dream killer. 

Learned helplessness creates a blind spot that MUST be seen in order for you to thrive.

It’s tricky though, because this pattern can become deeply ingrained, (hidden in what looks like logic), and is therefore very difficult – though NOT impossible – to re-pattern, to break out of this loop. 

Here’s a quick example of common things you see when people have learned helplessness. 

If, for example, as a child, you learned that you don’t get to have a say in what happens, that you don’t get to change or influence the situation, that your discomfort doesn’t matter, isn’t accommodated, or cared about … you may have learned instead to toughen up. To get thicker skin. To adapt. 

What commonly happens too is that the strength and ability to adapt that you build as a result, becomes an integral part of your identity.

“I am strong” 

“I’m a survivor.”  

“I’m tough.” 

“I can handle it.” 

No doubt, you are ALLLL of these things! (I’m all of these things too.) 

But, just check in here: Have you ever said any of those things I just mentioned?

If yes, I want to invite you in this moment to consider – even though it may not feel true — that it MIGHT be evidence of learned helplessness.

What we know is that when something really is a blind spot, it’s really really difficult to SEE that it’s there.

And here’s a friendly reminder: Just because you can handle discomfort, doesn’t mean you have to! 

To help you amp up your awareness, do this simple next step: Make a list.

Jot down at least 3 things you wish were different about your life, big or small.

To be clear, you do NOT need to see how to change them. That’s not the assignment. 

Simply write them down. Name them, for now, as a way of saying, “I see you.”

Perhaps world hunger or your lack of retirement savings tops your list, which is fine. But hear this: While nothing is off limits, do not overlook the little things. In fact, when beginning to repattern learned helplessness, the smaller the better.

Jot down a few now. Come back to it throughout your week as you notice more.

 

PS – I’ll be back next week with part 2: Unlearning helplessness.