By Laura Berger
Executive Coach and Principal,
The Berdéo Group
I was introduced to Martha Beck years ago by a dear friend in a moment when I felt like I was blowing in the wind. (Yes, even executive coaches lose it from time to time.)
I madly paged my way through her first book, Finding Your Own North Star, and diligently worked the exercises to find my “essential self.”
I found the activities very rewarding and insightful during a time when things in my life seemed quite blurry.
As I write this, I am reviewing my notes from Beck’s book—and smiling!
That is because I experienced great value in understanding a good deal more about Laura Berger. As the executive coach columnist, why I would be so open to revealing that time in my life when I needed direction?
The truth is that we all are in constant need of self-reflection, which helps us grow and develop into our better selves.
I appreciate the gift that Beck gave me. Identifying my essential self has been a key for both my personal and professional satisfaction. It is from this space that I am able to assist others, as Beck assisted me, to dive deeper into their essential selves and unleash their hidden potential for deep transformation.
In fact, this deep transformation often results from a life-changing experience—the loss of a loved one, a life-changing health condition, or a divorce, for example. For better or worse, these transformations are not by choice.
Why not take the initiative to move towards deep transformation that you drive yourself, and create the life you want?
Grief and loss are powerhouses for change. So is taking that life leap and launching your true desires. You are the creator of your deep transformation. And be wary of the pitfalls in the process:
- Peer criticism. This is the single greatest governor to your true potential—second only to fear. Can you find a single person who has made their mark on the world who has done it without criticism? View criticism as positive. If you are being criticized, then it’s because you’re changing something!
- Squash those ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). You know what I am talking about, right? Those thoughts that come into your mind when you are frustrated, depressed, disappointed (e.g., “This is pointless”, “I won’t ever be able to do this”). Sound familiar? Scientific evidence shows every negative thought must be combated by four positive thoughts to be offset, so this is a tall order but it is your imperative if you are to break away from that which shackles you.
- Reconnect with nature. Sounds simple, maybe even silly. But it’s more powerful than you think. In her latest book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, Beck speaks about spirituality, inspired by some of her experiences in Africa. Having spent an extended period in the jungles of Costa Rica, a month in Africa, and time in other far-off lands such as India, I understand the power that seeing new cultures, customs, and religions can have in breaking our personal molds. Being one with nature and spirituality through a new lens creates an overwhelming sense of connection. I urge everyone to explore a different part of their own spirituality or even new doctrines to get your own idea machine firing up with confidence.
The Bottom Line
Martha Beck is a woman of great courage and transparency. Her teachings and direct personal contact have helped countless others do what we, as coaches, try to do every day—to get people to move toward the future with confidence and to regard the past with compassion and gratitude.
About Laura Berger
An executive advisor and founder of The Berdéo Group, Laura Berger has 15 years of experience as a consultant advising leadership in the areas of global operations management and strategy, project and change management, and solution development and implementation. She is a confidant of CEOs and senior executives who consistently realize their potential as leaders by seeing their companies flourish.
Having worked with many Fortune 500 companies, she counts among her clients leaders at JPMorgan Chase, State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, General Motors, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, McDonald’s Corporation, American Hospital Association, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Walt Disney World.
Her ease and zeal for building lasting relationships, acquaintances, and productive introductions between people is her personal trademark. She has stretched her own spirit and will to combine her passions with her professional pursuits, and she shows others how to live true to their core.
Berger exemplifies this commitment to the life path in Fall in Love Again, Every Day, a book she co-authored with her husband, Glen Tibaldeo. The book chronicles the humorous side of the successes and challenges they experienced living in the remote jungles of Costa Rica.
For more information, visit www.berdeogroup.com.