Monday, December 30, 2013

Perfect is so UN-Perfect

Perfect is so UN-Perfect

The beauty of perfection. It’s a lovely thing. Perfect body, perfect family, perfect job, perfect mate…perfect DREAM! Wake up!
You know why they say be nice to everyone you meet, that is because everyone is fighting their own battle that you do not know about, because no one is perfect. Because perfection does not exist, this is why it important to not compare yourself to others as you work toward creating and managing your own life.

As you set goals to make it through the day, week, month or 2014, set goals based on the reality of your own life, not the assumed reality of another’s. If you are mother, wife and career woman working toward going back to school for an MBA, do not base the journey and time frame it takes to complete your MBA on someone who has no job and no children. The more realistic you are in setting goals and managing your life, the more self-actualized you will become.

Since being perfect is only in our dreams, what is the next best thing? Self-Actualization. The concept of Self- Actualization stems from a theory created by Abraham Maslow. Maslow created a hierarchy of needs that people work to fulfill: Biological and physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs and self-actualization. Many of us are trying to become better all the time. And, although we can always be better, you can reach self-fulfillment as you become more self-aware and understanding of your potential and what you can(t) control.

Since 2014 is here, I challenge you to take a moment and step back to look at the various aspects of your life. Perfectionists get beat up and wore down. They not only feel that they have to focus on their regular routine of being perfect, but the added weight of hiding what they might be failing at disrupts any inner peace that was holding them on by a string. This loss of peace causes anxiety and a sense of being overwhelmed.

Being perfect is subjective, what I think is perfect is, is not what you think is perfect. Thus, no matter how hard you try to be perfect, you are spinning your wheels and will never “catch a break.” Continue to work toward self-actualization, and as you are doing so, do not be afraid to delegate responsibilities out in 2014. Often we take on many life roles and even take over other people’s responsibilities because, “if we do it ourselves then it will get done ‘the right way’.” Striving for perfectionism and taking on extra, unnecessary roles, wears down our bodies physically and psychologically, creating a more “un-perfect” person.

Once you accept that perfection exists but only in our dreams and that working toward self-actualization exists in reality, you will find a life of fulfillment and “perfection.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas- Be in the Moment, Don't Over-Indulge

Your tip of the week is much simpler, but yet could be more challenging than most weeks.

This week I want you to enjoy Christmas with your family. Be present in the moment with them. Watch every single moment of the kids opening gifts and reflect your successes this holiday season. This is not the time to dwell on the fact that you bought Aunt Gladice, whom you have not seen in 30 years, a $200 watch. Focus on the beauty around you. Guilt, anger, financial issues, they are not welcome on this day.

Also, do not over indulge. Maybe you are thinking, “oh, wonderful, now you tell me, Jaime. The holiday season is almost over, and now you tell me not to over indulge?!”

Just because you over indulged on other things this season, doesn’t mean for the next two weeks you have to continue to do that. People get this faulty assumption that things will change at the New Year. Nope, stop the cycle today, before Jan. 1. Do not let Jan 1 be an excuse for over indulging today. Don’t dig a deeper hole.

Now, stop reading this and go enjoy the next couple days off- and take them off.

Merry Christmas- Happy Holidays- and we will talk 2014 resolutions next Monday.

Monday, December 16, 2013



1.      A SuperWoman is authentic with herself.

2.      A SuperWoman has identified her top five life roles.

3.      A SuperWoman focuses on giving 100% to her top five roles.

4.      A SuperWoman understands that she can do anything she wants, but she can’t do everything.

5.      A SuperWoman understands the differences between “kindness” and “doormat.”

6.      A SuperWoman is not guilty saying NO to people that have mistaken her for a doormat.

7.      A SuperWoman sets boundaries with people who are negative that she cannot rid of.

8.      A SuperWoman sets boundaries with all people, even spouses, children and co-workers.

9.      A SuperWoman is aware and can catch her own negative or self-sabotaging thoughts.

10.  A SuperWoman is able to reframe her own negative thoughts.

11.  A SuperWoman is aware and understands what barriers she frequently encounters.

12.  A SuperWoman has a plan to work through her barriers.

13.  A SuperWoman controls her actions and reactions.

14.  A SuperWoman accepts the fact that she can’t change the past, but that she is control of her future. This goes for her childhood, grudges and regret.

15.  A SuperWoman is aware that she cannot control others, she can guide them, but she can’t drive their car for them.

16.  A SuperWoman can separate or compartmentalize her frustrations.

17.  A SuperWoman does not hold someone at fault for long because she knows she is only hurting herself at that point.

18.  A SuperWoman admits when she is wrong.

19.  A SuperWoman works toward fulfilling HER bucket list.

20.  A SuperWoman can be simple and enjoy the moment.

21.  A SuperWoman rewards herself every day. Little successes and being helpful toward others deserve a reward every time.

22.  A SuperWoman acknowledges that she is not “lucky,” she has earned her status.

23.  A SuperWoman does not make decisions at low or angry points.

24.  A SuperWoman has healthy support systems.

25.  A SuperWoman rids of her toxic “friends.”

26.  A SuperWoman stays away from negative people.

27.  A SuperWoman asks for help when she is ill.

28.  A SuperWoman asks for help when she is not ill.

29.  A SuperWoman has identified and embraces her story.

30.  A SuperWoman doesn’t ask people to bring balloons to her pity party.

31.  A SuperWoman tells her story in a manner that reflects strength and resilience.

32.  A SuperWoman uses the negativity from her past to help others by giving, supporting or teaching them.

33.  A SuperWoman consciously focuses on recreating new and healthier habits.

34.  A SuperWoman is not Type A or Type B, she is Type S.
I encourage you to add to this list in the comments section!



This week’s tip is about distractions. We have talked a lot about being present in the moment, especially with our top life roles. This is something that I cannot reiterate enough. It is easy to be in the moment with yourself, a loved one, or even doing work, but to do this every time we engage in an activity, that takes focus and some serious good habits.

We live in an age of distractions. Remember “back in the day” when you had to pull over and use a 7-11 phone booth outside the gas station if you wanted to check in or reach out to someone. Remember, writing directions down on paper in order to get to your destination. Oh, and dare we forget when we felt big time with our “pagers.” Even the easy of texting has evolved from the day when, if we wanted to type the letter “C” we had to hit the number one key three times, A, B, C.

Not only is technology a major distraction, but we are even subliminally encouraged to lose focus just as we drive to work. There are hundreds of billboards in just a small radius that cause us to lose track of the “in the moment” driving. When we see a billboard for Saturday Nights Wine Fest we immediately focus on our weekend plans, who we are going to ask to come with us, etc. And, if you try to avoid the billboard that says $500 million lotto, and you decide to look down, you will be looking at a billboard BENCH!  

No matter how hard you try, distractions will always be there. It is a matter of how you acknowledge the distraction and immediately go back to what you are doing. If you acknowledge that distractions will surround you at all times, you can plan to minimize some and others that you can’t control, you can focus on ways to better manage those.

Common distractions:

When you are working on something in which you have to focus, put your phone in another room- even if it is only for 15, 20, or 30 minutes increments. You will be surprised how much you can get done in 15 minutes when you have no distractions.

When you are driving, don’t text while driving and minimize phone conversation. Sometimes the car ride is the only 30 minutes a day you get alone. Be with yourself.

Finish one thing at a time. Typically we have 4 screens open on our computer, the phone next to us, the kids asking for chocolate milk and someone needing us for something, all while we are realizing we now can’t make it to Yoga on time. Have one tab open on the screen, set the phone aside, and let people know you want to be alone for 15 minutes. Have someone else help with the kids or get the kids set up before you begin a task. Pick one thing, finish it, or complete it in increments and then take a break.

This week’s challenge- Remember that when your mind leaves a situation, so do you, even though your body is still technically in that room. Whenever, you owe someone or something your time, be present with them and don’t let the things around you distract you, because when your mind leaves, so do you, and don’t think people don’t notice.

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Seven Year Old- to Me

So last night was my book signing for the new Superwoman Book at Cheese Please in South Tampa

Things went well and I was pretty happy. But, it was afterwards where I realized this was all worth it...

Wesley age 7- mom, so did you sign books tonight?

Mom- yep

Wesley-Mom, did you write a chapter book?

Mom- I did.

Wesley- like how many pages

Mom- maybe 150

Wesley- mom, wow, you are really great.

Heart melted

Monday, December 9, 2013

Taking Feedback as a Learning Lesson and Not to heart


This week’s tip of the week is on Feedback. Women tend to take feedback more as an attack than a lesson that can help them grow. Feedback often puts women on the defensive making them feel like they need to explain why they did what they did, even if they were not wrong (i.e. end of year review). Feedback is often a good thing, but because women take feedback personally it triggers defensiveness and makes us more emotional than objective about the situation. It also triggers us to ruminate (check out last week’s tip on rumination).

Asking for feedback or putting yourself in a situation where you know you will be provided with feedback sometimes creates an uncomfortable feeling. My suggestion is to compose some pre made statements that you are comfortable with for when someone does critique you. For example, “what can I do to develop/improve that characteristic?”

If you do find yourself in a situation where you are emotional or feel attacked, go ahead and step back as a third party to the situation. Open your journal (if you don’t have one, get one, they work) and list out all potential outcomes to the situation. Then, estimate the probability of each outcome actually happening. When you quantify something, it puts a more realistic tone to the situation. For example, if you break your husband’s Rolex watch his father passed down to him, your mind might go right to, “he is going to divorce me!” or “He is going to kill me!” or “he is going to yell at me!.” You make the mind go into a panicked state when you focus on such extremes. The probability of him divorcing you is probably 1%, the probability of him actually killing you is probably 0% and the probability of him yelling at you is probably 50%. You can deal with him yelling at you. Now prepare to manage and handle him yelling at you. Maybe focus on how you will empathize with him or replace the watch.

When you see things in a less emotional state you can see things more clearly and in a better perspective. Use this technique in a variety of situations. Maybe your project at work isn’t going as planned; maybe you are having issues with family or friends. Whatever the problem is, review your outcomes and see which one has the highest probability and begin to attack that outcome with a positive attitude, solutions and goals.

I also suggest that when you receive feedback on major issues that could make you very emotional, do not fixate only on yourself (I am being attacked, I am on defense, I am emotional, how can I get out of this), rather, be sure that you look at the perspectives of others and how they might feel about an event that took place. When you can put yourself in another person’s shoes (this is empathy and a very high level of understanding), you can once again see the same situation, but in as a third party, opening the doors to more outcomes, options and understanding.

This week’s challenge: when people provide you with feedback on anything, take it as a growth lesson and not an attack.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fight or flight. You know, the whole theory where, when we get stressed, we fight in the situation or flee (flight). In prehistoric times, fight or flight was a survival mechanism and only those who were finely tuned passed this innate capability to their children. Without doing so, people became victims to predators. Survival of the fittest one might say. This innate behavior has been since passed down over the centuries. Even now, the ethological viewpoint assumes attachment behaviors, such as crying, have become genetically programmed in humans. The physiological functions of the mother and infant attachment are for protection from danger. Infants are biologically programmed to cry so that if they are in danger, are hungry or want comfort, they have a method to call for their mothers.  


As we discuss hardwiring of the brain, it is interesting to note that some studies have shown that women are more prone to rumination. Rumination is that thinking we have where we spend hours going over the same thing, again and again.

Sorry guys, just like your selective hearing is biological, now, so is our rumination!

Over the centuries, our brains have gotten really good at speeding up the fight and flight response. Now, when we face stressors, our brain immediately has memories of when we were in similar situations. The issue with women is that we tend to remember events of where we were wrong or where we messed up. We then spiral our brains down into this self-defeating, self-bashing event where we then “ruminate” for hours on what went wrong. This rumination of “things we have done bad,” becomes a pattern. Patterns get stronger and quicker over time. You literally begin to brain wash yourself into thinking negativity about yourself. A slow self-sabotage.

This week’s challenge, become aware of your self-defeating thoughts and rumination. Catch the negativity before you spending hours ruminating. When you begin to think poorly about yourself or decisions, try to find support for your faulty assumption, usually there is not support for self-defeating thoughts. The evidence you have about how “bad” you are, is usually faulty. Then, begin to reframe your negative thinking and challenge these thoughts.

There might be times when things just stink, and that is that. Maybe you did make a bad decision. But, don’t turn one bad decision into a lifetime of bad choices and do not think that one bad decision means that you are bad at “everything,” learn from it and march on. And, in the meantime, distract yourself with something you both enjoy and that is healthy for your body: exercise, journaling, finding ways to beef up your energy.

This week: Just get yourself into a stronger mental place.