Last week as I was walking to my office, I ran into an old friend.

“Are you offering any group coaching programs yet?” she asked.

This is something people have been asking me for months now. And for the first time when asked that question, I was able to say yes.

I am thrilled to offer a small group coaching program that provides the same content I deliver to my private clients – but in a fun group environment.

Are you crazy?

I know what you’re thinking.

You really expect me the shed my shoulds during the busiest time of year?

I intentionally set these coaching dates during this stretch. I want to support you in having the best possible holiday season. And I want to help launch you into the new year feeling strong, vibrant and happy.

The total investment is $750. Early registration (through Oct. 13) is $600.

Spaces are limited. Email me at regan@reganwalsh.com to reserve your spot today.

 

executive and life coach offers a dose of optimism

On a recent afternoon, I was watching my 2-year-old, Dorothy, play with a neighbor outside.

The boy climbed up onto a little wall we have on our patio and raced back and forth. Dorothy observed him with admiration and tried to do the same.

“You can’t do it, Dorothy!” I heard him say to her as she gripped the edge.

She struggled, and he doubled down.

“I told you you couldn’t do it!”

After explaining to her friend that we don’t speak to each other like that in our house, I ensured Dorothy that she could, in fact, do it.

She tried again and reached the top.

We all have that little boy in our lives, don’t we? Someone who, for whatever reason, fills us with doubt and uncertainty, leaving us depleted and weary. These are bucket-spillers.

Bucket-fillers, however, do the opposite. With genuine words of encouragement, they fill us with confidence and energy. We are suddenly able to accomplish goals we never thought possible. We become strong, capable and self-assured. For this reason, I keep a steadfast group of bucket-fillers in my life.

They didn’t come easy, however. I’ve spent many years intentionally trying to surround myself with voices of positivity. Here’s how I did it.

I set boundaries with bucket-spillers.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know it’s not always possible to phase out all of the people who expend our energy. We have to identify what would make us feel successful in our interactions with those who drain us and set boundaries to achieve that.

Whenever I feel depleted and unbalanced, I very purposefully surround myself with the right people and set appropriate boundaries with bucket spillers until I’m back to full.

I seek out bucket-fillers (even when it’s not convenient).  

You may have to sacrifice convenience to be around those who fill you up, but you likely won’t regret that.

I recently took up Orangetheory, a fitness program that leaves me feeling exhausted and accomplished after each workout. One of the coaches at the studio is particularly motivating—I’ve successfully rowed more meters than I ever thought possible with his help—so I make a point to sign up for his classes, even when they aren’t convenient, knowing I’ll leave with energy and momentum to carry me through the day.

You know who your bucket-fillers are. Make sure they’re a consistent part of your life, whether it means scheduling a lunch once a month or simply making a point to drop by the right person’s desk more often.

I try to be a bucket-filler, too!

If you aren’t a bucket-filler, you’re likely a spiller. Be supportive and encouraging in your relationships to perpetuate positivity. Identify when others might need encouragement and optimism and be intentional about offering that.

As Dorothy gripped the wall that afternoon, I knew all she needed was a few cheerful words from a bucket-filler. Once she got them, she reached her goal.

Want a dose of optimism in your email twice a month? Sign up for my  blog here.

If you’re struggling to surround yourself with people who fill your bucket, I’m an executive coach who works with clients nationwide. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com.

 

Executive and life coach talks about navigating change in life and how coaching can help

 

I had just flown home from a getaway weekend with friends. It marked the first time my husband, Nick, was alone with our girls for three full days. I asked about his weekend as a single dad.

“Moments of transition,” he said, “are the hardest.”

Our daughters are 1 and 2. So truth be told, a lot is tough. But transitioning from, say, nap time to packing up and getting out of the house, he noted, can be frustratingly tricky.

As soon as the words left his mouth, I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote it down.

Moments of transition are the hardest.

Indeed.

For my friend Kelly, transitioning from pre-cancer to “You have cancer” was and will continue to be hard.

For my client, transitioning from job security to “Your role has been eliminated” is a source of undeniable stress.

For the new moms in my network, transitioning from life before children to life with children change can feel incredibly isolating.

Reflecting on the many transitions I’ve experienced in my life, I realize there are three steps I follow to cope with both good and bad transitions. I’m hopeful one or more of these ideas will help you navigate your own transitions.

1: Don’t be afraid to celebrate and mourn. I celebrate and mourn every one of my life transitions. (This is something my husband learned the hard way. He couldn’t understand why I sobbed when we moved out of our condo into our house. Didn’t I want this dream house? Yes, I did. But I sure did love that condo and all the memories I made there.) Celebrate what was so special about your experience before the transition occurred, and mourn the fact that life is different now. For me, when I bury my feelings, I stall. Allow yourself to deeply feel all of the emotions you’re wrestling with. It is incredibly helpful when it comes to taking that first step in a new direction.

2: Ask for help.These three simple words hold an incredible amount of power: I need help. Admitting you can’t do it all can lift the sense of paralysis we often feel when faced with a situation we haven’t encountered before. Some people may have been down a similar road and could provide answers, while others may simply agree to drive down the road sitting beside you, lifting the load. (As I write this, a memory floods my brain of a time I had paralysis: I was in the middle of a huge life transition, and every extra task seemed insurmountable. A giant backyard full of leaves was too much for me to manage. I mentioned this to a colleague, and would you believe he showed up unannounced with a leaf blower and dozens of bags—and  cleaned up my yard in a matter of minutes? I think of that moment often, for many reasons, and wonder if I could have experienced a better transition if I would have spoken up and admitted I needed help instead of waiting for my breakdown to occur.)

3: Get your business in order. It’s important to feel a sense of security during in-between periods. The saying “knowledge is power” exists for a reason. When you are informed, you are able to weigh the options in front of you and make intelligent choices about what’s next. When I transitioned from working for an organization to starting my own business, I knew I had a solid business plan, savings in my bank account, and a supportive partner. That knowledge gave me the discipline to keep moving forward even when things didn’t go as planned. Ask yourself what information or knowledge you need to gather in order to make the transition you’re experiencing more comfortable.

Nick is right. Moments of transition are the hardest—and not just for toddlers. But we can manage them—and know that whatever awaits us out that door after nap is an opportunity for adventure.

 

Are you struggling to navigate one of life’s biggest transitions?  I am an executive and life coach who helps clients nationwide with personal and professional transitions. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com

To get posts delivered to your inbox, sign up here.

Executive and life coach, Regan Walsh, talks about moments that matter

What moments matter to you?

Is it when you’re gathered with family, sharing a meal and conversation? Or maybe it’s at work, when you’re knee-deep in a project you’re excited about.

On a recent Monday, I found myself with some rare downtime. I put the baby down for a nap and took Dorothy, my 2-year-old, out on the porch. We sat in the morning sun, singing songs and playing together. It was calm and peaceful. These are the kinds of moments that matter to me, so I do my very best to step into them, to work toward them and be fully present when they come along.

I recently read a phrase—step into the moments that matter—and it’s stuck with me. So often I hear from those who, for whatever reason, are motionless to move toward theirs. They know what matters to them. They’ve identified what would make them happier, but they’re struggling to step into it.

If that’s you, worry not. You’re just three steps from getting there.

Acknowledge fear and ego.

Fear and ego are generally our biggest, self-built roadblocks when it comes to stepping into our moments. For example, one of my clients set a goal for herself earlier this year: to quit her job before summer arrived. She thrives when she’s home with her son, and she wanted to spend the warmer months together.

Summer came, and she stayed put. She had plenty of valid excuses: There were crises at work. Her son was at camp. She wouldn’t even see him much anyway. But it all came back to her fear and ego. How would her coworkers fare without her? How would it look to others if she gave up her job? Could she free herself from the golden handcuffs?

The answers to these questions rarely matter, but when you examine why you’re asking them in the first place, you can start to make progress.

Develop a plan.

When you’re aware of what’s holding you back, you can start planning ways to break free. A newer client of mine is at a particularly tricky crossroads. Her job, one she’s had for 16 years, is stealing her joy. She feels tired and irritable, with little time to enjoy life. She’s being pushed to relocate, a move she doesn’t want to make, but she’s the breadwinner and has a responsibility to financially care for her family.

We’ve talked through her fear barriers and identified a few paths she’s comfortable with that will help her step into her moment. Now she’s examining her options and laying the groundwork for what she’ll do next—a crucial stage of the process.

Use your fear to light your fire. 

You’ve identified the moments you want more of, acknowledged the fears keeping you from them and put plans in place to move forward. But you’re still scared.

Guess what? That’s normal, even healthy. The healthy kind of fear—the kind that doesn’t keep you frozen—is a weapon you can use to propel you forward.

Another acquaintance of mine is on the cusp of starting her own business as a health coach. It’s been a side hustle for years, and she’s earned all of the necessary credentials, plus worked full time at an accounting firm to support it. She’s nervous about taking that last step and officially walking away from her 9-to-5, but her nerves are secondary to her excitement.

It’s never easy to make a life-altering decision. But when you’ve worked through each phase, you can confidently position yourself to be exactly where you want to be, so that you can create moments worth living for—and then really step into them.

Do you struggle to step into moments that matter to you? I’m an executive coach who helps clients nationwide with personal and professional development. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com.

Executive and life coach regan walsh discusses meaningful relationships

 

Whitney Johnson, a management coach I admire, recently sent a message out to her network, inviting us to a dinner party in New York City doubling as a mastermind group. I immediately said yes.

The idea was to gather people with diverse backgrounds so we could mingle, share advice, and build community. The lure of meeting Whitney and others in her circle was electrifying to me, but I found myself strangely anxious on the way to dinner. As traffic inched along, I felt self-doubt weasel its way in. Would I be enough? Did I have something worthwhile to contribute?

I let myself feel uncomfortable and powered through. We played a business version of a speed dating game, sharing fast facts and asking for advice as we went around the room. We talked about life balance, cancer diagnoses, starting a business, and so much more. I left energized, with a full heart—and with a few promising professional leads, too.

Building meaningful connections like these has been an important theme throughout my 2017. I’ve been intentional about when and how I reach out to others in an effort to ask for or offer professional help, and that’s produced some wonderful results. But it’s required me to overcome a good dose of anxiety, discomfort, and uncertainty—and it may for you, too.

So here are a few hard and fast rules I abide by when building meaningful relationships:

I take a sincere interest in what matters to them. I remember details, follow up and help them if I can. I hold them accountable and ask them to do the same for me. We all appreciate feeling heard.

I show up for myself and am vulnerable. Though it often requires a dose of courage, I ask for help if I want it. I admit failure, and I share successes, which is often surprisingly more difficult than the former. Vulnerability makes us relatable.

I make time. There will always be an excuse not to do something if you need it. (Did you read that New York Times article about bailing?) Life is busy. But when I’m committed to building a deeper relationship with someone, I consciously set aside time for them. We can’t build a thing if we aren’t present to do it.

Build a community that electrifies you. Go to the dinner party. Make time. And reap the benefits. Click To Tweet

 

Do you need to be more intentional in your life and work? I’m an executive coach who helps clients nationwide with personal and professional development. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com.

Executive Coach Regan Walsh encourages you to love what you do

On a recent family vacation, I was sitting around with my brother-in-law, Mike, enjoying the quiet after we had all put our kids to bed.

I’d noticed that he’d been wearing a t-shirt with his company logo on it all week. The shirt is dark gray, with five Post-It notes on the front. Each one is a play on silly conversations and ideas had around his office.

“Research how astronauts pee,” one says. “Storyline: Fairies vs. yeti” another reads. The company logo is on the back. Underneath it instructs you to “Love what you do.”

“Tell me what you’re excited about at work,” I said.

Mike is the CEO of PGAV Destinations, a design and planning firm specializing in worldwide attractions. (They designed the Space Shuttle Atlantis experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, for instance.) And he, without a doubt, loves what he does.

He passionately rattled off several PGAV projects on his docket, never failing to credit everyone involved.

“This isn’t me,” he said. “This is the people.”

Isn’t it so wonderfully uplifting to be around someone who’s energized by their work and the people they do it with? I talked to Mike for hours about his company, culling his brain about the importance of culture, empathy, and creativity.

As he talked, I felt myself being reminded of why I love what I do. What gets me jazzed to head to my office each week? What am I currently working on that I can’t help but talk about? I was inspired—and grateful to Mike for loving what he does so much that it overflowed to me.

I’m currently working with a few clients who are struggling to remove their golden handcuffs. They don’t enjoy what they do, but they feel beholden because of retirement packages, benefits, etc. I get that, but after talking to Mike, I’m placing so much value in passion.

If you don’t love what you’re doing today, if you aren’t finding at least some moments of true joy in your work, I encourage you to talk with someone who does.

Maybe, like Mike did for me, that person will remind you of what makes you tick—or inspire you to look for something that does.

 

Struggling to love what you do? I’m an executive coach who works with clients nationwide. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com.

 

Executive and life coach shares personal advice on how to thrive

 

I just turned 40, a milestone I’m celebrating in many ways.

One of those ways is by reflecting on advice and opinions offered to me in my 30s. Much of it was good—and I’ve shared that with you before. However, I can remember with clarity and confusion a bit of the bad.

I’m reflecting on that today because, as you likely know, bad advice can be just as transformative as good. Whether you listen to it and later discover that it was bad, or you use it as motivation to keep pressing forward, it can, at the very least, put you somewhere new.

I appreciate each of these examples because I believe they all reflect one simple truth: You don’t have to be a certain age to do anything. Stop asking for permission or affirmation. Follow your genius. Click To Tweet

Here’s why.

“You can’t do it until you’re 40.”

I was 37 when I heard this. I was on a call with a woman who worked for a coaching company, hoping to get on their list of consultants as I was starting my own coaching business.

The first question she asked me—“How old are you?”—caught me off guard. Why did it matter? She believed, with confidence, that I needed three more years of work experience before I could coach.

I was indignant when I got off the phone, but wow, did I feel motivated. At 37, I had already acquired experience in several arenas, from nonprofits to creative agencies to corporations and entrepreneurship. I was hungry to coach. My gut told me three more years wouldn’t matter when it came to being a successful coach. At 40, I can assuredly say my gut was right.

“Focus on your baby now—and your business later.”

I ran into an old high school friend around the same time. I was pregnant and tired, telling her I was trying to figure out how to start a business AND have a baby all at once. Her answer, while well intentioned, annoyed me: Baby now, business later.

What worked for her—pausing her career to raise a family—is a great choice. There’s no question that motherhood and entrepreneurship are tiresome by themselves. Put the two together and you’re likely to have some testing moments.

But I didn’t want to press pause on my dream. I was, and am, energized by this work. Luckily, I was sound enough to understand where my old friend was coming from—and that I had to choose for myself what would work for me. I pressed forward, and I’m so glad I did.

“Did you have help with that?”

When I was in the nonprofit world, I worked for a young organization, so my job as chief storyteller was to build the brand from the ground up. As it took shape, positive feedback started to roll in, and the nonprofit’s founder noticed. She approached the CEO, asking if I had heavily relied on my board counterpart to produce the work, assuming I was too young and inexperienced to do so on my own.

At the time, this was discouraging. I’ve always felt that one of my strengths is connecting and corralling talented people to produce a product, and I felt frustrated by her suggestion that I might need help doing that. Our whole creative team deserved credit for its work.

But in the end, I became incredibly conscious of talented youth—and I still am today. I love meeting young, smart people who know what they want. I’m so eager to lift them up and help them achieve big goals, and I have the founder’s comments to thank for that.

As I continue pursuing my own passions, I’m sure I’ll keep receiving both good and bad advice. If there’s a useful lesson somewhere, I promise to share.

If you’re looking for GOOD advice on pursuing your passions, I can help. I’m an executive coach who works with clients nationwide. You can reach me at regan@reganwalsh.com.

 

At a recent talk with a group of executive women, I asked them to tell me what they thought my number one priority is.

“Your family!” they replied with conviction.

“Actually, no,” I told them.

I shared that right now, my number one priority is personal growth—setting intentional goals for myself and spending laser-focused time on work and betterment. I’m married to a wonderful man, and I’m the mother of two incredible girls. I’ve had chapters in my life where they certainly were my number one priority, but right now, that’s just not the case.

There was a buzz in the room as the words left my mouth, a did-she-really-just-say-that vibe. Before I left, one of the women approached me and thanked me for my honesty.

“I think what you said is so bold,” she said.

I get this response quite a bit when I share my priorities, goals, and failures—a little surprise, gratitude, and ultimately, relief.

Raw honesty, when it comes to owning what matters most to you, is a powerful thing. So I’m here to encourage more of it.

Here are three tips to getting there.

1. Assess whether your repeat button is stuck.

Your repeat button is stuck. I stole this phrase from my old boss, Colleen, who used it to alert someone when they seemed incapable of progress.

When it comes to being raw and honest, you have to start with yourself, and if you keep falling back on the same fears and excuses time and again, then I’ll tell you the same: push that button off.

Don’t allow yourself to keep thinking, feeling, and vocalizing the things that are keeping you from growth. We all have hurdles to jump when it comes to making headway in life, and you may stumble over a few of them. But each time you do, you’ll be closer to the finish than when you started.

2. Say it out loud.

Most of the steps I take with clients are small but intentional, so I encourage you to do the same.

If you have a desire you’ve been repressing, it’s time to set it free by speaking it aloud.

You can do this a few ways: Try taking a walk alone and speaking it to yourself. Or try looking in the mirror and saying it. Then, try telling someone else—maybe a spouse, close friend, or coworker.

I want to go back to school. I want a promotion. I want to quit my job and start a business. I want to run a marathon.

Each time you say it, it’ll become little less scary.

3. Know you’re not alone.

One of the reasons we find raw honesty so scary is because we think we’re alone in our desires and dreams.

Will others judge me for saying personal growth is a higher priority than my family?

But the more likely scenario is that not only will you NOT be judged for your honesty, you’ll be thanked for it.

When I told that group of women that I was prioritizing personal growth over family, I gave them permission to feel the same—or simply permission to reevaluate what matters most to them.

We’ve all felt similar relief and gratitude when someone speaks truth to us that we’ve been too afraid to speak ourselves. It feels good to know we’re not alone.

If you’d like to be more honest about your life goals, I can help. I’m an executive coach and speaker who works with clients nationwide. You can reach me atregan@reganwalsh.com.