The Toxicity of People Pleasing

People-pleasing is sneaky. It can get you far. But ultimately results in burnout and/or discontentment. 

This is very much my story.
And a story I see played out frequently in my clients.

Typically, people-pleasing is honed in childhood to maintain connection with an inconsistently available parent. The child learns to earn love and connection by adapting themselves to the needs and standards of others. Instead of learning that they are worthy of love no matter what they say and do.


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How to stop procrastinating

When you procrastinate you aren’t avoiding work. You’re avoiding feelings. More specifically, negative emotions

I’ve been mega procrastinating writing these emails and LinkedIn Posts over the past two weeks. And I know why. 

I’m worried I’ve run out of good ideas. 

And this brings up feelings of insecurity, incompetency, fear of failure.

Definitely not my favorite feelings.

Procrastination at its core is about mood regulation. When I avoid the task that brings up negative feelin…

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Swimming the River of Misery

If you’ve ever set and then achieved an ambitious goal you’ll recognize the below journey:
  1. This is exciting! I can’t wait to achieve my goal. 
  2. I’m learning a lot, this is interesting.
  3. Wow, ok, there’s a lot I don’t know.
  4. This is so hard. / I’m so confused. / I’m not doing it right. 
  5. #$%!!!&$#@!
  6. OK, I figured out one thing but this still sucks.
  7. I figured out a couple of things, can I call it a day?
  8. I can almost see where I’m going.
  9. Nearly there.
  10. I did…

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Are you having FUN?

The night before I started my job at a big creative ad agency in London I could barely sleep I was so excited.

I'd been collecting Absolut Vodka print ads since I was 10 years old and talking about working in advertising since I was in college.

I spent five very happy years at that agency, having a lot of fun.

The week before I became a full time entrepreneur I told everyone I met.

I was so excited to get to focus on my business full time and get to finally do the projects I'd had to…

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Does work have to feel like work?


Last week was officially my first week as a full time entrepreneur.

I'm CEO of my entire life. It's awesome. 

But let me let you in on a little secret: it's still work.

There are problems I don't yet know how to solve. Some parts are less fun than others. There's always room for improvement.

Work will always be work.

The question to focus on is rather, do you like the process of doing the work? Are you motivated by improving? Are you committed to the impact you're making?

No matter where you are or …

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How to keep your standards high


"Don't ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn't." Michelle Obama

When you're building your career in a new direction, you're going to create a sketch, a compass for where you want to go. With my clients this is called your North Star and it's based on your strengths, interests, and lifestyle priorities.

But you're not going to know all the steps to get there. You're not going to know exactl…

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How to create your own luck

It’s easy to get discouraged when people tell you “I just got really lucky” in the context of starting a business or finding a unique job opportunity. 

While there are certainly cases of genuine, out of the blue, luck - winning the lottery, for example - for the most part, it is possible to create your own luck. 

You do this by creating the space and the conditions for luck to appear. 

Here’s an example. 

When I was doing my MBA I became fascinated by ’smart cities’ and the ‘internet…

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Stop trying to be The Best

Have you ever quit something because you weren't The Best? I have. 

I've thought:
There’s people who are better than me at advertising.
I’ll never win any awards as a marketer.
So… what’s a better fit for me? 

These are the wrong thoughts to focus on. 

While, developing excellence in something is important. Your ability to be successful is not determined simply by being the best amongst your peers… 

In fact, the most successful people get that way not through an innately born tale…

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Don't attach identity to institutions

One of the reasons I found it so hard to transition out of advertising is because I’d attached my identity to the agency I worked at and the London ad industry in general.

And when the industry became a place I no longer saw my future, I didn’t know what came next. 

As I moved to new roles and new cities, I found myself living in the pastconstantly comparing my current situation to my former and finding it lacking. 

Not a great place to live from.

The thing is, we aren’t defined by…

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The price of certainty

Are you waiting to make a career move until you’re certain

Are you waiting to see all the steps laid out in front of you like a set of instructions?  

Are you waiting for that bolt of lightening, that hand of god, that head-over-heels in love feeling that you’ve met THE ONE true and perfect calling in life?

Too often passion is described as something you innately know about yourself. “From a young age, Sonya loved music” 

It implies there was a certainty. 

And when you’re lookin…

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