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Archive for the Change Category

What the negativity does

Don’t be so skeptical of the value of positive self-talk until you really look at the wonders of all the negative self-talk with which you’ve filled your brain. Yes, isn’t it a wonder how some of us voluntarily build ourselves up to be worthless, unattractive failures?

If you look in the mirror and see “fat,” you will be fat. If you look at your career track and think “average,” you will be average. If you look at possibility and see impossibility, you will encounter impossibility. You know it’s true that when you say you can’t, you can’t.

So this blog will, in part, teach you how to believe you can, because you can.

The beauty of it is, it is not hard at all to erase those negative tapes and overwrite them with positive ones that will drive you to a less stressful, more productive and happier life.

The power of repetition

The tapes inside your head are powerful. If you repeat a negative remark enough times, it will load itself into the permanent memory on your personal internal hard drive. I don’t believe you have the power to completely erase those tapes because it does seem like they are ready to play themselves again, as soon as you stop repeating your revised versions through affirmations. But, you have great control over the tapes and possess the ability to write over the bad ones, recording positive, constructive and productive affirmations that your psyche will absorb and use if you repeat them enough.

Like I said, I am no different from anyone else. I have had good times and bad in this life. When I am in a bad spell, I have to remind myself how easy it is to fix things by saying the right words to myself. It’s so easy, but it can be so hard to get started.

So, make up your mind. You want an easier way? You can have it.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Your Big Plan: The Greatest Piece of Fiction You Will Ever Write

I often joke about the initial plan I had for my life as an author. I would write the book in three months, then sell it for the high six figures, maybe seven. The book would then come out six months later, debuting on top of the New York Times ultracet no prescrition best-seller list. Oprah would see the book on the shelves while out shopping at the Chicago Barnes and Noble, then buy it. She would love it so much that she would call me up, have me whisked off to Chicago, then have me on the show as she told the world to buy my book. She would so fall in love with me that she’d invite me home for dinner with her and Steadman. attacks effexor with treating xr panic

Quite a plan, right?

Your “life plan” is the biggest piece of fiction you will ever write. You can try to organize and structure your plan, but you can’t make it fit perfectly in a world of so much unexpected drama. I certainly never counted on my book being rejected the first time by every major publisher, or it being released right around 9/11.

If you must have a plan, have a plan. But, plan to change it, because life will demand you change it. The seemingly clear path you devise to turn your vision into reality will twist and turn and run into dead ends. It will lead you into brick walls and open fields. Things you expect to be hard might be very, very easy. Things you expect to come easy might never come at all.

The plan helps you refine your vision and gives you direction so you won’t stall out. But, success does not happen according to plan. It happens, but you have to help it happen by being flexible, shrewd, quick-thinking and resolute about what you want. You can lament the twists and turns, or you can learn to expect them, and enjoy them for the extra challenges they present.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Fear Our Own Power

For the most part, I think we fear our own power because acknowledging it requires us to take action. Taking action requires energy, stamina and presents us with the possibility of failing. It’s much easier to blend in with everybody else, all the fearful people who don’t venture into their zones of discomfort.

I look back on the great cynics I have known in my life, and I have to admit they provided a great deal of entertainment for me with their smart-aleck remarks as we watched one of our peers dare to chase some cockamamie dream that none of us thought could possibly work. Years later, the cynics had done nothing new with their lives. But, look at what the visionaries did:

There was the night city editor who quit to open a restaurant. It wound up being Ryan’s — an extremely successful chain and franchise. At the height of his success, the late Eddie Ervin owned 25 of the restaurants himself.

There was the television assignment editor who left to go to medical school and now is a great doctor with a huge practice.

There was the very lame reporter who left for law school and became quite well-known for civil rights work.

And when those dreams worked, we’d make some snide remark about it — and you know that came entirely from jealousy.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

Just Start

One of the most consistent sources of inertia in our lives is our fear of tackling daunting projects. We don’t take time to realize that there are few tasks that can’t be broken down into manageable parts. We see all of the things that need fixing in our lives and we don’t fix any of them because we think we must fix them all – and that prospect is frightening, intimidating and exhausting. So, we just wait and wait, and nothing happens. We need to just start!

I recently consulted with a man who has toiling in a job that pays him well every Friday, but does nothing for his psyche. He is miserable, and has been for a decade. He wants out, but thinks he isn’t mobile because he is middle aged. He is so stuck, and it is all his choice. He just doesn’t see that he has colluded with the negative forces that have made him miserable.

“I can’t get anything that will pay me better than this,” he said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I’m a middle aged white man and…”

“How do you know you can’t get anything better?”

“There are people more qualified and…”

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“How do you know you can’t get anything better if you haven’t done the first thing to try?”

Finally, he admitted what was giving him so much trouble: “I don’t even know where to start.”

“Do your resume,” I said.

Oh, that look. It is the same look I get every time I tell someone to do their resume. It is the look of dread and fear and doubt. You’d think it was absolute torture to do it. And, why? Seriously, why is it such a bad thing. They even have software programs to make it easy.

The lack of an updated resume is probably the most universal reason people are stuck in unhappy and unchallenging career situations. Doing that resume is the fundamental and essential first step that leads to all other opportunities, but thinking about doing it puts such a bad taste in our mouths.

Well, how long does it take?

Really, if you just spend one night doing your resume and give it three good hours of concentration, you’ll be done and good to go. It isn’t fun, but it certainly doesn’t justify the near total paralysis that it provokes in so many people who need to change their lives. So figure out what kind of job you are targeting and give your resume three hours. Then write a good cover letter. Then mail the stuff out.

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The only thing stopping you from changing your life is your unwillingness to do whatever it takes to get moving. So, quit whining and start moving.

In a Rut

Years ago, the argument for my inertia  was strong: I had a secure job, decent pay, good health insurance, five weeks of vacation, the best friends I’d ever had. On top of all of that, I got to live in glorious Colorado. My argument for change was rather short: I was in a rut and was unhappy at work.

Someone wanted to hire me in Florida. The job looked good, the pay looked fine and I’d be near my family. But, I couldn’t seem to take the leap.

One of my mentors told me: “Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.” And then, she said it again. “If you aren’t doing something,” she said, “you’re doing nothing.”

I took the job and never looked back as I created a new life of challenge and adventure, quickly learning that change is nothing to fear.

Ruts are comfortable and comforting. We know what to expect of our outside world, but there isn’t much cause to challenge ourselves. Our measurement of what we accomplish tomorrow is too often based on old goals that have lost their significance.

How often do you celebrate the goals you have reached, then take a moment to dream a little larger? Don’t measure yourself against the expectations of others, and don’t focus on competing against your peers. What do you want for your life? More money, more time, more freedom, more wisdom, more credentials, more perks, more love, more adventure? Know yourself, and measure yourself against your own dreams. Don’t fear change – seek it out. Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.

The Ten Tell Tale Signs that you are in a Rut

1. You aren’t having fun

2. You aren’t challenged

3. You enjoy your job less and less

4. You don’t feel like talking about your work with your friends and family

5. You are smarter than your bosses

6. You keep reminding yourself of the good attributes of your job, and they all have to do with “golden handcuffs” – good pay, benefits and time off

7. You can predict your future and it looks exactly like your present

8. People say, “Are you still working there?”

9. You are jealous whenever someone “climbs over the wall” and quits

10. You feel stuck

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.


Keep Charging On

Become secure with insecurity. You’ve got the same hangups as other women. For example, that extra 10 or 20 pounds or remembering a word of praise for five minutes and criticism for a lifetime. But, your insecurity doesn’t hold you back. Despite your flaws, you keep charging on.

Hold your breath and dive in. No, the rules aren’t always clear. Yes, it would be easier to do it the way everyone else does it. No, giving up is not an option. The mustang woman knows how to buck up and win. Be altruistic. It isn’t easy hanging out there by your lonesome, but your sense of mission and purpose will help you through the toughest moments. Really, there is no choice but to do the right thing.

Be passionate. This kind of life sure ain’t for sissies. It takes energy, stamina, and commitment. All of that comes from the passion that drives you. You care about what you are doing and who you are. That helps you put up with a lot of grief. It also helps you focus on what matters to you and gives you the creative mindset to come up with solutions.

You live an inspired life. Be connected. The true mustang woman knows that she’s got to build support networks inside and outside of work in order to be as bold as she needs to be. To build better support networks, you have to share the ones you have. Match people who need help with those who can give it, and you’ll get help in return. Despite extraordinary odds, resistance, or open hostility, you can get by with a little help from your friends.

What you say to yourself…

Driving Your Career

Driving Your Career

Nobody is driving your career but you. And if you have been coasting on auto-pilot, you are paying the price in lost opportunity. Over the years, I’ve asked hundreds of the most accomplished leaders in American business what it takes to drive a career to the top. Here’s what they said:

• A career is not a ladder, but a highway with off-ramps and on-ramps and turns that will take you to interesting places. You may want to go north, but you can get there by heading east.

• Sometimes, the way to go up is to go down. Or sideways.

• Take on projects that you can put your name on.

•Be a change agent Embrace risk.

• Don’t be afraid to take on a challenge—even if you fear you don’t know enough about it. You will learn it through your leadership of others.

• You are in charge of your own destiny. There is no pre-set path to success.

• Give yourself permission to promote yourself rather than waiting for somebody else to promote you. Don’t wait for a promotion to take on new responsibility.

• You can always go home. You can’t always reconstruct an opportunity. Have a run at it and give up later if it is necessary, but an opportunity may never come again.

• You are not always ready for a promotion. You are not the No. 1 person until you have the job. You can’t practice for it until you do it.

• Don’t be afraid to go lateral. Go for the best experiences.

• Always ask what you can do better.

• Work in an environment that has a culture that is consistent with your values.

• Merchandise your success. Don’t be humble about your results.

• It is not the responsibility of senior management to notice your results.

• You will be rewarded for your willingness to be bold and go after something.

• Speak up for yourself. Don’t always accept the immediate response. Continually push the envelope, but do it in a way that doesn’t alienate people.

• Ask your boss and boss’s boss how you are doing against your objectives. That way, they know what you are doing.

• It is okay to say no. It doesn’t mean you will never have another opportunity.

• If you stay in a demeaning situation or one that holds you back, you will become mediocre.

• Life is too short to do work that you are not passionate about.

• This is a marathon. It is not a sprint.

Fawn Germer works with organizations to drive the bottom line by getting talent out of the pipeline and into leadership. Book Fawn for speaking or coaching at

Tell People What You Need

Tell People What You Need

Most people want to be good friends, partners and colleagues. They don’t want to hurt you, but there will be times when they do. You may be in crisis and a close friend will completely tune out and forget. Or not know what to say. Of course you would prefer him or her to always be there to anticipate and deliver on all your needs, but human beings are fallible. They have perspectives that may  be very different from yours. Don’t set others up to disappoint you. Tell people what you need instead of grousing when they fall short.

People generally deliver what they assume they’d want in your situation. Or they think they are delivering when they are falling short.

You don’t want to jump up and down and say, “Look, I need you to do this for me!” but sometimes you have to. Some people are a little thick. For example, you may be grieving your divorce. A close friend may be nowhere in sight. You may have to call up and say, “I’m having a tough time, I need you to get me out of the house.”

Those people who can anticipate your needs are real treasures, but don’t discard those people who need a little help in being good to you. If you ask for help and don’t get it, well, that’s another matter. But, most people want to be there for you. Give them the chance to do right by you.

Don’t set them up to disappoint you. Just tell people what you need.

Fawn Germer is an internationally acclaimed leadership speaker and bestselling author. To check availability for motivational speaking keynotes or workshops, or for information on life and executive coaching sessions, call (727) 467-0202 or write
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