Dear Stress:

It’s time to have that talk you have been dreading. You’ve had a long relationship. You used to get a buzz from this relationship but now it makes you anxious and weary. You’ve finally had enough. 
It’s time to end your relationship with stress.
Stress will always be part of your life. However, you no longer have to let it have control over you. That’s right…you are the only one who allows stress to control you.
You see, when you constantly react to every circumstance that comes into your life, you are giving away your power and causing yourself more and more stress. Only when you plug back into your life will you ever be able to live the life you were meant to live. 
The next time you encounter a stressful situation, stop for one moment and take a deep breath. It’s taking this pause that signals to your brain that in this moment, you do not have to fall prey to what is happening around you. This is a process – it does not happen overnight. It takes time and practice but soon you will start to feel whole again.
You can do this. You are powerful and you deserve better.

thecrossbythesideoftheroad.com

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Please help get this started by sharing with friends and family on social media. I’m excited to begin this journey with you!

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How to Linger in the Present

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVzAAAAJGQ4Y2ZkNGZhLTRkOWUtNGM1MC05MTE2LTMxMTkxMGY2OGU2MAA few weeks ago, I introduced the PULSE© coaching model that I use to help clients get their lives back in balance. The following is a recap: the first letter in the acronym – “P” for paradigm and “U” for unearth.

This week is “L” for Linger. Doesn’t the word linger sound pleasant?

We linger as we leisurely stroll through a flower garden stopping to smell a beautiful rose. We linger as we kiss the soft head of a newborn baby. We linger to stop and pick up a beautiful seashell on the beach. Ahhhh…..

That’s totally real life, right? Everyday life allows us nothing but the ability to linger all day every day in all the things we enjoy and derive pleasure from.

No?

Perhaps you might more relate with words such as STRESS, BUSYNESS, ANXIETY, FRUSTRATION, OVERWHELMED?

In many situations we have no control over our circumstances. We have no control over traffic. We have no control over how strangers, our coworkers, or families act. The one thing we have control over is how we act in the face of stressors. When we constantly react to everything and everyone around us we cause ourselves more stress and frustration.

As you may have noticed, I love to list the dictionary definition of words. I love to delve into the origin of words especially in this case when I have very specifically chosen the words for this coaching model.

Linger (verb): to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave.

It is often easy to linger in the wrong things. We tend to linger in doubt, fear, or bitterness. As I wrote in my post on paradigm shift, we need to shift our thinking and linger in the present. When you begin to truly focus on living in the present beautiful things begin to happen.

Personal development blogger Steve Pavlina states,

“I was initially concerned that focusing too much on the present moment would make me shortsighted.  But my experience has been just the opposite.  I’m still able to make plans for the future and work on long-term goals.  In the past I would set goals because I believed that achieving those goals would increase my happiness.  But now the flow goes in reverse.  Today I set goals to increase my expression of the happiness I’m already enjoying.”

This perfectly explains the power of dwelling on and lingering in the present. As I coach clients through the PULSE© coaching model I focus on the concept that when you linger in the present it calms your mind, lowers stress, and allows you to move forward. Living in the present is not about NOT making plans for the future. It is making right choices in the present that lead you into the future in a more empowering way. Lingering in the present is not an easy task. It takes practice. Even as you are reading this article is your mind wandering off into the future about all the things you have to do? Maybe it’s going beyond next week into next month about all the things you need to get done… On and on…

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between perception and reality. In that moment when you are thinking about everything other than what you are doing in the present you are essentially allowing your brain to tell you that you need to do those “future” things NOW. That is a perception. Not a reality. I’m not talking about sitting cross-legged on the floor and spending hours meditating. It is simply a reigning-in of your thoughts to this moment. Take a breath. Relax your shoulders. Do the next right thing.

When you make the choice to start living in the present it is developing a new way of thinking where you stop regretting or obsessing about the past and you stop fretting about the future. You make the decision to focus on NOW. This is a simple concept yet it is very difficult to do. And it’s not something that happens just one magical time in your life and then you’re done! It is a moment-by-moment practice and a journey.

You literally have to tell your brain to STOP. Focus on the present. Focus on the sound of your breath. Focus on what is happening now and embrace it. Linger in THIS moment.

Are you ready for the next step? Message me directly or use the contact form on my page and let’s chat about this exciting coaching journey together! http://executiveexcellence.com/team/jenny-jacobs/

For over a decade Jenny Jacobs has studied the principles of healthy living, life balance, stress management, positive psychology, and self-development. Jenny is a dynamic speaker, coach, and blogger and is passionate about helping people integrate their personal and professional selves.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or message me directly on LinkedIn if you want to receive our monthly CEE News!

4 Ways to Surpass That Auto-Pilot Lifestyle & WOW Yourself

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A few weeks ago, I introduced the PULSE© coaching model that I use to help clients get their lives back in balance. The following is a recap: the first letter in the acronym – “P” for paradigm and “U” for unearth. Last week was “L” for Linger.

We have learned over the past few weeks how to shift our Paradigm, Unearth our talents and strengths, and how to Linger in the present.

Now it’s time to Surpass and take our lives to the next level.

Are you ready to move above and beyond the life that you’ve been living? Are you sick and tired of simply existing each day and living your life on auto-pilot?

Surpass toxic thoughts that have held you back. Surpass self-limiting behaviors you exhibit day after day that have kept you stuck and feeling powerless and stressed out.

Surpass:  to become better, greater, or stronger than :  exceed <surpassed her rivals> <surpassed all expectations>

:  to go beyond :  overstep

:  to transcend the reach, capacity, or powers of <a beauty that surpasses description>

When you make the choice to implement new behaviors and new ways of thinking into your life you do better because you know better. According to author Angel Chernoff,  in order to move forward we must give up the following:

1. First and foremost, give up the excuses you keep reciting to yourself.

Because all the excuses and explanations in the world won’t do you any good.  They won’t add any value to your life or improve the quality of it by even the slightest margin.  To fulfill your calling and get where you wish to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking.  These feats require focused and sustained action. You just have to choose to actually do it.

Sooner or later you will come to realize that it’s not what you lose along the way that counts; it’s what you do with what you still have.  When you let go of the past, forgive what needs forgiving, and move forward, you in no way change the past, you change the future.

2. Once you’re over the excuses, give up the idea that you don’t have what it takes.

You do have exactly what it takes.  Will it be easy?  Absolutely not!  Nobody is going to blindside you and hit you as hard as life will. But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit and continue to move forward.  That’s what true strength is.  And that’s what winning the game of life is all about.  So keep going.

In the end, all the small things make a big difference.  Every step is crucial.  Life isn’t about a single moment of great triumph and attainment.  It’s about the trials and errors that slowly get you there – the blood, the sweat, the tears, and the small, inconsequential things you do on a day-to-day basis.  It all matters in the end – every step, every regret, every decision, and every affliction.

3. Give up focusing on what’s wrong, and start noticing what’s right.

What you see often depends entirely on what you are looking for.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  The happiest and most successful people do not live with a certain set of circumstances, but rather with a certain set of attitudes.  Choosing to be positive and grateful for what you have now is going to determine how you’re going to live the rest of your life.  So look for something positive about today.  Even if you have to look a little harder than usual, it still exists.

So don’t wait until everything is just right; it will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what!  Get started now!  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger.  And no matter what happens, just do your best and appreciate what you’re learning.  You won’t enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy your challenges.

4. Give up the tendency to get too caught up in other people’s judgments and opinions.

Honestly, the biggest prison you will likely ever live in is your fear of what other people think.  You cannot let other people tell you who you are or what you want.  You have to decide that for yourself.  When you’re making big decisions, remember, what you think of yourself and your life is more important than what people think of you.  Don’t let others make you feel guilty for living YOUR life.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, live it YOUR way.

The bottom line is that when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you truly are.  So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you.

A Process & A Journey

Surpassing old thoughts and behaviors is a process and a journey. It takes patience. We often want everything to happen overnight. We want results NOW. The exciting part of this coaching model is that you can implement these tools into your life right now. But it still takes practice. It takes perseverance. No one is perfect. No one will ever be perfect. Perfection is not the goal here. Being your BEST self is the goal. Plugging back into your life is the goal.

Once you fully immerse yourself in this process you will begin to surpass – become better, greater, or stronger than you’ve ever been before.

Are you ready for the next step?
Message me directly or use the contact form on my  page and let’s chat about this exciting coaching journey together!  http://executiveexcellence.com/team/jenny-jacobs/

For over a decade Jenny Jacobs has studied the principles of healthy living, life balance, stress management, positive psychology, and self-development. Jenny is a dynamic speaker, coach, and blogger and is passionate about helping people integrate their personal and professional selves.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or message me directly on LinkedIn if you want to receive our monthly CEE News!

Unearth Your Unique Strengths

A few weeks ago, I introduced the PULSE© coaching model that I use to help clients get their lives back in balance.  Last week, I wrote about the first letter in the acronym – “P” for paradigm. This week I’m writing about the second letter in the acronym – “U” for unearth.

Imagine an archaeological dig that unearths treasures that have been buried for years. I did some research about archaeological excavation and discovered the following interesting facts:


Archaeological material would, to a very large extent, have been called rubbish when it was left on the site. It tends to accumulate in events. A gardener swept a pile of soil into a corner, laid a gravel path or planted a bush in a hole. A builder built a wall and back-filled the trench. Years later, someone built a pig sty onto it and drained the pig sty into the nettle patch. Later still, the original wall blew over and so on. Each event, which may have taken a short or long time to accomplish, leaves a context. This layer cake of events is often referred to as the archaeological sequence or record. It is by analysis of this sequence or record that excavation is intended to permit interpretation, which should lead to discussion and understanding.

Our life becomes our own archaeological sequence.

All you need to succeed already lies within you. Now it’s time to unearth it and reclaim it. You already have treasures that lie within you. You have strengths, character traits, and gifts that only you possess.

Sadly, many times these are hidden or buried. Perhaps they were visible and used at one time but due to circumstances or insecurities they got put away. Tragedy may have caused them to be buried.

Your life is a series of events that leaves a context. Each layer or event has made you who you are today. The exciting thing is that the strengths and character traits you possess are still present. The precious gifts that lie within you don’t disappear. They may become squelched or hindered but they still exist.

There was a time in my own life when I began to lose sight of my own talents and strengths. It’s often easier to believe a lie about yourself that you’re not strong enough or good enough or that you will ever succeed. It’s not enough to just push through those times. It is imperative to have a specific plan in place. We need to learn new tools and behaviors that allow us to dig deep and tap into that strength that is inside each and every one of us.

My passion is to empower clients to move past self-limiting barriers and begin to live the life they are meant to live. When you choose to live in truly active manner instead of always reacting to situations around you that’s when the real magic happens.

Are you ready for the next step? Use the contact form on my page and let’s chat about this exciting coaching journey together! http://executiveexcellence.com/team/jenny-jacobs/

For over a decade Jenny Jacobs has studied the principles of healthy living, life balance, stress management, positive psychology, and self-development. Jenny is a dynamic speaker, coach, and blogger and is passionate about helping people integrate their personal and professional selves.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or message me directly on LinkedIn if you want to receive our monthly CEE News!

Get Unstuck & Shift That Paradigm

Last week, I introduced the PULSE© coaching model that I use to help clients get their lives back in balance.  This week, I’m writing about the first letter in the acronym – “P” for paradigm.  My passion is to empower clients to move past self-limiting barriers and begin to live the life they are meant to live. When you choose to live in truly active manner instead of always reacting to situations around you that’s when the real magic happens.

And now it’s time to… get unstuck and shift that paradigm! 

What is a paradigm? The dictionary definition of paradigm is:  a typical example or pattern of something; a model.

Origin: 1475–85; < Late Latin paradīgma  < Greek parádeigma  pattern (to show side by side)

What does that mean exactly? How does this apply to my life?

Everyone has an “internal” paradigm – a set of beliefs, a particular way of looking at things, or a reason we feel a certain way about certain things. You can almost always justify your paradigm in your own mind. Perhaps you have gone through unimaginable tragedy, loss, or hurt. Perhaps you feel as if you don’t matter or that you have no control over what happens in your life. However, your paradigm can often cause you to be judgmental, jaded, or angry. An out-of-balance paradigm may cause you to become bitter or feel like you are never good enough or that you will never accomplish anything. You become stuck and unable to move forward.

That’s when it is time for a paradigm shift.

The following is my favorite illustration of a paradigm shift by Dr. Stephen R. Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly — some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.

The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. “Your wife just died? Oh, I’m so sorry! Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?” Everything changed in an instant.

How do I shift my paradigm?

Through one-on-one coaching you will learn how to shift your paradigm from being judgmental of both yourself as well as others by viewing situations through a difference lens. There are ways to hold yourself to a higher standard without beating yourself up and feeling like a failure if you’re not perfect. There are things in life we can control and things we cannot. It is imperative to differentiate between these circumstances to truly achieve a balanced paradigm.

Are you ready for the next step? Use the contact form on my page and let’s chat about this exciting coaching journey together! http://executiveexcellence.com/team/jenny-jacobs/

For over a decade Jenny Jacobs has studied the principles of healthy living, life balance, stress management, positive psychology, and self-development. Jenny is a dynamic speaker, coach, and blogger and is passionate about helping people integrate their personal and professional selves.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or message me directly on LinkedIn if you want to receive our monthly CEE News!

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What’s Your Pulse Telling You?

There’s quite a craze these days about wearable devices like FitBit, Apple Watch, and Jawbone. They allow you to constantly monitor your pulse throughout the day. Why is the pulse so important?

Your pulse tells a lot about what is going on in your physical body. If your pulse is racing or is too slow it can indicate something is amiss and needs to be addressed. It can mean that something minor is going on or something that needs more attention. Your pulse (or heart) rate is defined as the rate at which the heart beats in one minute.  As the heart pumps blood into the body, the blood vessels at the wrist, upper arm and neck start pulsating and throbbing.

While the normal pulse rate is usually between 60 to 100 beats per minute, there are certain medical conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia, which may alter the normal pulse rate of an individual.  The factors that can influence your pulse rate are your age, gender and fitness level.  So a toddler’s pulse rate is significantly higher than an adult’s.  Similarly females tend to have faster heart rates than men.  Conditioned athletes may have heart rates as low as 40 beats per minute.

My purpose in stating the definition of a pulse is to point out that everyone is different. Everyone is unique.

Although an individual’s situation is personal and unique, the principles that I’ve acquired and teach to clients are universal and can apply to everyone. Therefore, I’m thrilled to announce a new coaching model centered around the acronym PULSE.

The PULSE © coaching model is as follows:

Over the next few weeks I will be writing a blog based on this model. It is a stirring and empowering premise.


When your pulse is beating at a nice, steady pace your body feels balanced and able to function properly. When your mind practices and incorporates the PULSE © model you will experience balance and calm like never before.

This is not a magic pill or a quick-fix. This takes work. It is a process.

It is digging deep into what is already within you and drawing it out to live powerfully and in alignment with what you want to accomplish in life.

Are you ready for the next step? Use the contact form on my page and let’s chat about this exciting coaching journey together! http://executiveexcellence.com/team/jenny-jacobs/


For over a decade Jenny Jacobs has studied the principles of healthy living, life balance, stress management, positive psychology, and self-development. Jenny is a dynamic speaker, coach, and blogger and is passionate about helping people integrate their personal and professional selves.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com or message me directly on LinkedIn if you want to receive our monthly CEE News!

Are You Settling For Less?

At the self-check aisle at the grocery store, I scanned my item and a lesser price came up than I had anticipated. I assumed it was on sale, placed it in my bag, and happily went on my way. However, if the item had scanned at a higher price I would have questioned it and probably not have purchased it.

I began to ponder about how we often accept less in life and never question it. Getting a lower price on an item is fun but getting less in life is not fun and is often debilitating. When we refuse to hold ourselves to a higher standard and continuously accept less than our best, we live a life that is filled with stress, frustration, and constant anxiety. A higher standard is different for everyone. Holding yourself to a higher standard is not comparing yourself with someone else. Constantly comparing yourself to other people or situations will only cause more stress and frustration.

When you begin to feel defeated keep in mind the following:

  • Do YOUR best. Today.
  • Decide that you deserve to feel empowered and engaged.
  • Determine to not react to situations and people around you which only causes stress and feeling powerless.
  • Focus on living in this moment. Be mindful of the present.
  • Take 2 minutes (literally!) to stop and relax your shoulders and breathe.

Remember that life is a journey. If you want to stop settling for less and take your life to the next level, it begins with one small step at a time. Embrace today. Embrace the process. You will be pleasantly surprised how much more you will receive.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams, and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com.

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Are You Merely Reacting To Life?

I was playing the game of Life the other day. Yes, the good old-fashioned board game Life. I began my journey in my little yellow car and by the end of the game I had lost my job twice (I was a hair stylist, a police officer, and finally an entertainer). I owned a log cabin with a $140,000 mortgage. I did win the Nobel Peace Prize but then my opponent sued me for $100,000. I made some good investments but had to spend most of my money on taxes. Sound familiar?

It made me think about real life. Yes, there are twists and turns along the way and many things are beyond our control but for the most part we have a choice. The great thing about life is that we don’t have to move along dictated by a “spinner” or a roll of dice. We don’t have to choose a career based on a lucky draw of a card. We don’t have to stay stuck where we are. And we don’t have to live constantly reacting to our circumstances. When we live that way it only leads to more and more stress.

Only when you choose to live actively in the face of stress will you ever begin to experience true joy and a sense of calm. Stop reacting to situations and people around you. Plug back into life. Choose to focus on living in the present. It takes practice and it doesn’t happen overnight but once you make that one small step you will begin to experience victory like never before.

And that’s something you can take to the bank.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com.

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Are You Fully Engaged?

A friend told me about a type of bicycle where your feet are actually strapped to the pedals while riding. She told me about the times she fell down and about the bumps and bruises she received from trying to master the pedal straps. After I got done having a panic attack thinking about such a thing I did a little research on my own on why a person would want to experience such a thing.

Interestingly I discovered the following:

1. The pedals allow you to pull up as well as down, increasing the efficiency of your pedaling. This is something that you need to work at to get full effect from, as it is not a natural motion to most people. In Cadel Evans’ (professional road racing cyclist) book “Close to Flying” he discusses a bike he uses for training that has a “freewheel” mechanism for the cranks which forces you to practice lifting the pedals as well as pushing them.

2. It positions the pedal under the ball of the foot giving you better leverage. While you don’t need straps to do this, it does help keep your foot in the right place.

3. It helps to stop your feet coming off in rough ground while mountain biking.

4. It gives you more control over the rear of the bike allowing you to lift and shift the rear more easily. This makes it easier to bunny hop, and helps with controlling the bike on rough ground.

It made me think of the parallel in business and in life. Becoming successful doesn’t typically happen the first time you try. And even if it does it takes lots of practice and bumps and bruises to continue being successful and mastering leadership. Once you commit to increasing your efficiency, positioning yourself correctly, and learning how to maintain more control on the “rough ground” you will begin to be a true leader – not only to others but also to yourself. It takes practice and dedication. It takes falling down and then getting back up again.

Become fully engaged today. You will never know how far you can go until you begin pedaling.

Commit. Fall down. Recommit and then keep going.

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, visit us today at www.executiveexcellence.com.