How to recover quickly from challenges with Lisa Burchartz!
Lisa Burchartz is a Life & Leadership Coach, Mindfulness Trainer & Connect Decks® Emotional Wellness Practitioner. She is a regular contributor to “The Awaken Community” a bi-monthly group coaching forum for self-actualizing leaders dedicated to cultivating integrative awareness & deepening self-care practices. Lisa’s purpose and passion is teaching professional women how to integrate their mind, heart & body wisdom to reduce stress, find purpose and live & lead from a place of presence and deeper connection.
I got to know Lisa at SheEO, a community of radically generous women building a $1B perpetual fund to support women working on the World’s To-Do List.
Lisa, welcome to Pensatta, can you tell us about your life journey and how you became a Leadership & Wellness coach?
As a former Corporate Change Agent & Human Resources Business Partner with 20 years of experience at two of Canada’s top tier employers, I experienced how traditional boundaries between “work” and “personal” were no longer realistic nor relevant, and how they keep many ambitious women feeling overwhelmed & exhausted. COVID has blurred these boundaries even further.
For as long as I can remember I felt a “pull” to help professional women reduce stress, connect with their inner wisdom and find more purpose & fulfillment in their work and personal lives, however, it took a series of escalating personal & professional setbacks in my own life before I found the resilience and courage to leave the security of my corporate pay cheque and align my life in the direction of that dream. The “pull’ I was feeling was a deeper calling to become the leader, coach, teacher, partner, parent, and friend that I was waiting for in others.
In terms of how I became a coach:
Connecting leaders with the mindset and tools to create high performing teams and a culture of respect was always an area of passion, but over time, most of this work within my organizations was outsourced to external service providers with a coaching certification. This got me thinking. After having the opportunity to work with a coach myself, I identified growing discontent with my HR career, it felt like the “human connection & care” was missing from my human resources work.
Leaving my 12-year employer for another top tier organization only made my longing for a more fulfilled and purposeful life more apparent.
Within two years of this employment change, I had to face the fact that I’d ended up in exactly the same predicament; spending 90% of my 12+ hour day doing work that didn’t feel meaningful anymore, in an increasingly unhealthy environment. I became stressed out and discouraged and this started seriously impacting my health and personal relationships.
The catalyst for change finally came in the form of burnout, followed by a debilitating health crisis in 2016. This forced me into stillness for the very first time in my over scheduled, adrenaline filled life. As a person whose identity and sense of self-worth had been inextricably tied to my career, walking away from everything I’d worked so hard to build felt completely terrifying, but it was during this time of pain and uncertainty that I was introduced to meditation and mindfulness as a pathway to recovery. As I started to reclaim my health and vitality, I gained clarity around my core values and purpose. My love of learning was reignited, and with support from my husband and children, I started the journey of becoming a professionally trained Life & Leadership Coach.
Can you share some tips and examples of how to recover quickly after challenges?
When things happen that we didn’t see coming and couldn’t have prevented, whether it’s the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, illness, or the sting of a business failure, whatever the situation, it can do significant damage to your confidence and self-esteem. Research from Barbara Fredrickson PHD. suggests that the negative feelings that accompany difficulties and failures can interfere with the process of learning. When setbacks are emotionally painful, they are less likely to be discussed, and learning from these experiences is harder to do.
This is partly due to the fact that our fight or flight response is triggered by frightening situations and this physiological response can make us literally want to run away from the situation or sometimes, just ignore it.
It can also prompt us to fight it – meaning to rationalize it, blame someone else, or pretend it didn’t happen. When we are continually triggered by stress or negative events, we can get stuck in this system and it is bad for our mind, our nervous system and our health. Research by Leah Weiss PHD, confirms that the process of pulling apart what went wrong, needs to start with a fundamental willingness to accept responsibility, not just blame other people or chance. Then with this in place, reflecting on the scenario and possible alternatives will position you to take on future opportunities successfully.
Here are my 6 KEY STEPS to bounce back stronger than ever when life throws you a curve ball.
- Accept What You Can’t Change
The first step is to accept the situation. If it is something that you are powerless to change, then it is important to recognize the reality of the situation, so you don’t waste valuable time and energy trying to reclaim something that has been irretrievably lost. This can deplete your energy and lead you into a sea of negative emotions.
Taking a step back from the situation gives you a different perspective. Instead of viewing things from the perspective of someone being carried away in a storm, you can train your mind to view the situation as an observer. Practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help.
I’m giving Pensatta community members a link to my calming,10-minute visualization called ‘Eye of the Hurricane’.
Listening to this visualization will help you become like the eye of a hurricane; the silent part of yourself that can notice difficult or challenging experiences without getting caught up and carried away by them.
- Give Yourself Time to Grieve
Grief is a natural process that allows you to emotionally recover from an unexpected negative event. It allows you to go from the initial shock you felt when you first received the bad news to acceptance.
It takes time to grieve properly, and you should allow yourself all the time you need to go through the process. The end result is acceptance. This gives you the ability to move on with your life.
Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer whose practices for moving through loss and grief have become a cornerstone of my coaching program. You can find her practices and rituals for honoring loss and grief here.
- Trade in Self Criticism for Positive Self Talk
Self-doubt & self-criticism involves lingering thoughts about a situation that serves no purpose other than to torment you. They usually involve thoughts about what you might have done or said differently. The only problem is that it’s entirely too late to act on those thoughts. To change the pattern, start to notice the tone of voice you use with yourself when you make a mistake or experience a setback. Are you yelling at yourself?
It may seem at first glance that the language we use and the stories we tell ourselves as we move through our day don’t matter, but research shows that they make a huge difference! If we are abusing ourselves day in and day out, using hateful, biting language and an admonishing tone with ourselves, harsher than we would use with another person, then our psyche will be impacted by it. Through mindfulness we can learn to apply a compassionate mindset towards ourselves. Leah Weiss, PHD has a ground breaking book called “How We Work – Live Your Purpose – Reclaim Your Sanity – And Embrace The Daily Grind” that I recommend to anyone who struggles with negative self-talk and reframing set-backs and failures as opportunities.
- Look for the Lesson
It’s important to realize that analyzing what went wrong in a situation is not the same as second-guessing yourself. Self-doubt involves getting caught up in the past. Learning from an experience is about the future. Being able to learn from a situation gives you the ability to have better outcomes going forward. There is always a jewel of insight to be discovered in any set-back if you look at it through the lens of self- compassion and curiosity.
- Create a New Plan
There is no better time to come up with a new vision for your life than right after a life setback.
When creating a plan, be sure to consider your core values, strengths, dreams and life goals. How do you want feel? What needs are presently unmet? What are your deeper desires? I encourage my coaching clients to complete the free VIA Strengths Finder Survey. One of the main principles of coaching is to work from strengths. This tool will help you identify your signature strengths – which are your values in action.
Go to this link and select the VIA Survey of Character Strengths (note that you have to register on the site before you can complete this assessment. Please note down your username and password for future reference).
It’s important to dream big, knowing that you can always keep one foot grounded in reality.
- Connect with your Inner Wisdom and Take Aligned Action
There is a place inside each of us where ease, confidence, inspiration and answers reside, however, stress disconnects us from this part of ourselves. I’ve found Connect Decks to be the most effective pathway for my clients to restore their self-trust & intuitive connection because it strengthens the following 3 areas:
Connect Decks® help you identify your feelings easily. Naming and validating your emotional state increases emotional intelligence. This vital skill can benefit you in every area of life, especially during times of stress.
Human needs are universal. Connect Decks® help you clarify your essential needs for well-being; the ones lying beneath the surface of your feelings. This process of self-empathy provides calming reassurance and self-confidence during difficult situations.
Intuition is wisdom from higher consciousness. Connect Decks® strengthen intuitive ability with the use of symbols. Quietly focusing on these images helps to bypass negativity and overthinking providing greater access to inspiration and guidance.
My clients tell me when they use Connect Decks during coaching sessions or on their own, they feel calm and empowered even during stressful circumstances. Click here to view a short Connect Decks demonstration.
How has your life changed since you became a coach?
Since becoming a coach, my life has changed in many wonderful ways. Challenges and stressors still happen, however, I now have the mindset and tools to quickly process my emotions & take aligned action. I’ve also been effective at prioritizing time for heart centered pursuits such as: volunteering with SHEEO, singing with a Rock Choir, and completing studies in Energy Medicine.
Pensatta enables you to carry less and be more organized, how many items do you carry in your bag? Does an organized bag help you to carry less items but be more efficient from morning to evening?
As a coach, work-shop facilitator and retreat leader, I carry numerous items (often in 2 separate bags), including my laptop, purse, keys, pens/ highlighter, sticky notes, client files, makeup bag, shoes, breath freshener and a brush….but finding them quickly has been an exercise in frustration. This why I’m so excited about ordering a Pensatta Bag, I love being organized and able to retrieve my items without having to rummage for them. My husband Patrick is an airline pilot with KLM and we love to travel, so when borders open up again, my Pensatta will be coming with me.
Lisa's Gift for Pensatta Community
Lisa’s Awakening Wellness on-line course offers tools and practices that promote well-being, reduce stress and increase resilience during challenging times. This online program consists of 8 interactive modules and can be particularly helpful for people who have experienced illness, emotional injury or long-term stress.
Sessions are facilitated by Shauna Mayer, creator of the Connect Decks® emotional wellness process and include soothing, guided meditations led by Lisa.
Each session offers uncomplicated relaxation techniques, emotional/intuitive connection practices and self-awareness exercises. By increasing emotional intelligence and developing intuition, participants establish balance and self-trust; key foundations for well-being.
Lisa's Awakening Wellness Course is $27 ( regular price $97) for the Pensatta community. Use code "PENSATTA" at check-out.
with any purchase of Pensatta Bag before October 31st, book 1-hour “Confidence and Clarity” Coaching Session with Lisa Burchartz.
Thanks for your time and being part of Pensatta’s community!