Lisa Kaplin of Smart Women Inspired Lives is a new addition to my fab people circles, she caught my eye as her tagline is ‘Helping Women Step out of Stepford’! I spent a wonderful 2 hours on Skype to her last week. She lives in Chicago, and yet again I’m so grateful to technology for creating such wonderful opportunities to mix with like minds.
Lisa is a psychologist and had a busy therapy practice for 10 years before training to be a coach and use her undeniably wonderful skills in a new way. A way she’s found much less exhausting and liberating! She’s now on Facebook, Twitter and her blog is underway, I think you’ll enjoy her post on Mothers and Daughters.
What do you love most about being you?
I love my ability to bounce back and to never give up. I am an optimist so when things go wrong (and don’t they always) I have a few bad moments but then I get up and push forward. I don’t give up on people or relationships either. You’d be hard pressed to get me out of your life once I’m in it. I’m like Bob from the movie, “What about Bob?”
What do you least like?
What I least like about myself is my people pleasing nature. It’s got me into a lot of trouble over the years because I’ve done things to please others that haven’t been true to who I am. Then I get resentful and cranky and nothing much good comes from that. Pleasing others over myself is a bad idea that never works out well in the long run. I’m still trying to learn this lesson.
Was there a time when you really didn’t like being you?
There have been times in my life when I haven’t liked being me and they all stem from behavior that I’m ashamed of. When I’ve been caddy or gossipy, when I’ve been jealous and poorly behaved, and most especially when I’ve felt sorry for myself. Also, when I’ve done or said things out of an emotional reaction or in defensiveness. I’m trying to learn from those behaviors so that I don’t repeat them.
What was your biggest hang up?
My biggest hang up has always been fear; Fear of failing, succeeding, the unknown, hurting others, not being a good wife, mother, daughter, friend. I’m afraid of being vulnerable and of having people think poorly of me. This hang up has held me back from trying lots of interesting and exciting things.
How have you overcome it?
I’ve overcome it by pushing forward but by pushing forward in connection with others. I’m done trying to do everything on my own without the support of people who want to help me. In connection with others (particularly women) I’ve pushed through my fears to take ownership of my life, career, and future. No more excuses for me. The minute I hear myself using some lame excuse I know that I’m afraid and that I need to push forward right now.
What have you learned?
I’ve learned that most of our fears are pretty useless and irrational. We waste precious time being afraid and that most of what we fear isn’t actually all that bad. So what if people periodically think poorly of you, or if you fail at something that you thought would go well, or we succeed and we lose some people because of our success. Guess what, those people really weren’t with us anyway!
How has it affected your relationships?
7) It’s affected the majority of my relationships in an extremely positive way. If I’m not afraid for myself then I’m not afraid for those I love. I’ve stopped worrying so much and started being present in my relationships. I want to help and nurture the people I love not possess them. I’ve been a far better mother and friend since letting go of so much fear and control. I’ve also come to realize that when I work with my clients, I don’t have all the answers, they do! This has been extremely freeing for me and them because I don’t have to be responsible for them and they take ownership of their own lives. It’s incredibly empowering all the way around.
If you have any, what are your stumbling blocks?
My stumbling blocks are still tied to my own fears that periodically get in my way. I’m less angry with those blocks now because I understand that they are there for me to learn something about myself. I stop and look at them now and see how they will help me grow. I don’t, however, let them stop me for too long!
What advice would you give others who don’t yet like themselves?
My advice for those who don’t yet like themselves is to get some help. A therapist, coach, support group, group of friends, anything to help you figure this out. Also, surround yourself with people who think the world of you! It’s contagious and you may start to believe them. Dump the toxic people in your life and do it right this minute. Life is too short to be with people who don’t love you, don’t respect you, and don’t want what’s best for you. You will never be the person you want to be if you don’t first love yourself. You can’t be a healthy partner, parent, employee, employer, etc. if you don’t have compassion and trust in you. One of my favorite quotes is, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” If you don’t have a dog, fill in the blank in a way that is applicable to you.
Lisa Kaplin is a life coach at Smartwomeninspiredlives.com. She has a master’s and doctorate degree in psychology, she is a wife, mother of three, friend, daughter, sister, and an annoying dog lover. She helps women Step out of Stepford and step into real lives of joy, fulfillment, and productivity. Connect on Twitter … @lisakaplin