Self-care or Millennial Narcissism?


Our local university has a new president, the second in the school’s history, so this is a big deal! She has inherited an outstanding legacy left by the first president. Now it’s her turn to make it her own.

She’s a high profile leader with an exciting and demanding new job. She’s getting to know her community, and we’re getting to know her. She’s been connecting with students, faculty and staff in various ways. She clearly has a lot to attend to. Imagine the learning curve!!

The media and the university have been reporting on her first few months as everyone gets to know her. Of course the media coverage includes some personal interest stories. One was a feature article in the “Outdoors” section of the local paper that highlights people in the community and how they take advantage of the beautiful place we live. Totally appropriate.

I thought it was a great piece that told a brief story of how she makes time for her family, herself and her work by getting outside in Ventura County: hiking, surfing and even doing yoga.

I was delighted to learn how she prioritizes time to recharge and focus on self-care.

How cool!

I decided to look at the comments on the article, and I was shocked. Instead of giving kudos to this local leader, the comments were pretty harsh. “She should be doing her job, not doing yoga.” “Who cares about what she does in her free time?” “What is she doing for the students?”


Internet trolls

The criticism around self-care was staggering. Why shouldn’t she take care of herself? Enjoy her surroundings? Play with her kids? Surf with the students? I’m sure she’s working hard. This article was about how she gets outside.

I couldn’t bite my tongue. Here’s the thread:






Self-aggrandizing, millennial narcissism?  Wow.

Is this what people think about self-care?

No wonder we run ourselves into the ground.

Trolls Don’t Exist ONLY on the Internet

We can also have “internet trolls” in our heads.

I’ve heard it from my clients. I can’t take care of myself. I don’t have the time. I have too much to do. It’s selfish. I have to take care of ([PERSON] [TASK] [EVERYTHING OTHER THAN SELF]).

I do it myself. I schedule time into my day and week to regroup, recharge and take care of me. And I advise my clients to do the same.

That’s not lazy, self-absorbed, narcissism. It’s biology. The body needs down time to recover, all the way to regenerating the neurotransmitters in the brain. Ironically (or not), CSUCI faculty is studying self-care in nurses. Research shows nurses with better self-care deliver better care to others and are less apt to develop compassion fatigue and burnout.

Those are powerful results.

Because if you're taking care of body, mind and spirit, you are not bad or selfish. You are keeping your cup full.

Because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Dr. Erika Beck has a lot of pouring to do as a new university President. I’m glad to know she’s keeping her cup full.

How do you make time for self-care? How do you address the internet trolls in your head?

5 Tips to Keep on Track

 How's the New Year going for you? Here are a few tips to keep you on track this year.
1. Make SMART do
If you're familiar with goal setting, you know that SMART goals are Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. I like to switch that up and make the T Thrilling.
2. Keep giving.
Are you a community volunteer? What are your favorite causes to give your time, talent and treasure? Doing good feels good, and research shows that altruism is good for us an the people we are helping. If you are volunteering with an organization keep doing that. See where else you can give back.
3. Partner up.
You cannot succeed by yourself. Well, maybe you can, but it's a lot harder than when you have support from staff or a coach or your family. Since I've hired someone, I'm definitely more productive and accountable!  Make sure to spend time building your team.
4. Practice self-care.01c35c8b264e9b571e848a2d27581610a78a1cf601
As a busy entrepreneur and business leader, you can let our own needs be ignored. As they say, "You can't pour from an empty cup," so make sure you put some time into your schedule for you! A quick break during a hectic day can make a big difference. Get up from your desk, taking a short walk or a few breaths for a quick pick me up. How about tapping into your creativity with painting or writing? Getting more exercise? spending time with the people you love?
Keep learning5. Keep learning.
The most successful leaders are lifelong learners, so keep at it! My dad got his Ph.D. at age 62, and was always studying something. My mom was a teacher and also valued education. No matter your values, you can't be at the top of your game without continued learning. Whether it's formal CEUs or blog posts on new developments in your field, continue to challenge yourself and your mind with new learning opportunities. As a trainer, I'm always learning new things and love passing them along to others. Check our calendar for upcoming events.
What tips would you add to make 2016 a ridiculously good year?
Gloria Miele -

Too Much on Your Plate?

Have you ever felt like you've got too much on your proverbial plate? Do you ever feel over-committed, overwhelmed, over-worked or overloaded?

Yeah, me too.


Like many entrepreneurs, and especially entrepreneur moms, I tend to take on a lot. I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I have too much on my plate. 

And with so much going on, it's often hard to digest the experience, process it smoothly, avoid heartburn that comes with the stress of overdoing it.

Get where I'm going with this?

With all those food metaphors, I came up with an idea. A portion control business strategy.

Do you need to clean up your plate? Make healthier choices? Watch this 2 minute video for some ideas on how you can have better business portion control. 

Weigh in below (and that wasn't meant to be part of the metaphor-but it is now) and tell me how you might exert a little portion control for your business health.

gloria-miele-head-shotGloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, trainer and executive coach who uses a strengths-based approach to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve their goals and realize their greatest success.  She also offers training and coaching programs to develop tech-savvy leaders in health care. To learn more, visit where you can sign up to receive a free tool to optimize your strengths. 


Is It Time to Reinvent?

Financial planner turned café owner, physicist turned financial planner, marketing executive turned astrologer. psychologist turned business consultant. Stories of professional reinvention are inspiring and becoming more common.  sign pic

But reinvention doesn’t have to be dramatic. It can be subtle. Have you shifted your focus in your career, business or relationships? Taken up a new passion or past time?

Over the last few years, many people have found themselves in situations that might be outside their control and require a quick shift to get some new momentum.

Working in professional development, I hear lots of these reinvention stories from people of all ages, especially baby boomers.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been working with colleagues from the fields of law, finance, mediation, nursing and travel to present a workshop, Reinventing Your Life after 50. Each session has been a full house, another indication of the popularity of the topic. Attendees have been a range of men and women, employed, unemployed and retired, volunteers or just interested in learning more about making a change.


As the keynote speaker, I present the overview of the workshop and considerations in reinventing In the workplace,  First off, there’s good news and bad news for baby boomers (I’ve resisted being considered one for years, but I’m starting to cave). The good news: the unemployment rate is lower in those over 50 than for the general population. The bad news: when people over 50 are out of work, they are out of work for longer. When they re-enter the work force, their salaries decrease by nearly 25%.

Whether or not you’re reinventing, and no matter what your age, here are a few important points to consider. Each has to do with understanding yourself, your preferences and your behavior (I’m still a psychologist after all). In the coming weeks, we’ll look more closely at each. In the meantime, here’s my 3-part recommendation:

1. Know your strengths. Yes, it’s my favorite topic. But as long as you’re thinking of taking a different path, you might as well travel on one where you’re using your key skills and talents as well as doing what you love to do. “Find out what you do well and do more of it.” Sound advice from the founder of strengths psychology, Donald Clifton. 2. Understand your values. Values are important beliefs, attitudes and philosophies that influence the way we live our lives. When you do things that are value-driven, they are more meaningful and ultimately attainable than those that may not match your value system. 3. Consider your unique personality. Also known as your character, traits and temperament, your personality is made up of a set of characteristics that influence the way you see, feel and behave in the world. You might be outgoing, detail oriented, logical, intuitive or a combination of these and a host of others. The important thing is to know your preferences and respect them.

What’s your reinvention story? Share yours below.  Mine can be found on the Bio page of my web site.  And watch for the next blog post about reinventing yourself based on your strengths.

Gloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a business development and leadership coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She helps entrepreneurs and other business leaders develop the mind set and the skill set to achieve greater business success through coaching programs, workshops, staff training, executive coaching and keynote speeches.  Visit her website at and sign up to receive helpful business development resources, including a free Strengths-Based Goal-Setting Tool.  We can also connect at

Who Do You Love?

Ok, so that George Thorogood song is stuck in my head now.  How about yours? Forget George Thorogood.  I'm talking about who you really love.  Especially around Valentine's Day, we think about and celebrate those we love with flowers, candy, dinner and other romantic gifts.  While some people hate it, others love, love, love it.

Valentines Day Postcard with Hearts

If you think about it, we can be pretty quick to profess our love for all kinds of things.  "I love you, honey."  "I love my mom," "I love to travel." "I love those shoes!"  Love can take many forms, and we hand it out generously.

But one place we tend to skimp in the love department is with one very special person: ourselves.  Instead, we are often our own harshest critic.

And what happens when we're self-critical?  We can lose our self-confidence (not coincidentally the Victory Circles Master Mind Principle for February).  You might have heard of negative self-talk?  Well, this is a great example.

To get a handle on negative self-talk, start by making a more conscious effort to notice it.  Yes, awareness is the first step.  Then the next time you notice that inner critic coming down on you, just reply, "no thanks" and let it go.

Instead give yourself a break!  One helpful perspective is to think about what you'd say to a friend who was being so hard on herself.  Hmm.  You'd probably be pretty supportive and empathic and try to do something to make her feel better.  You'd be kind, gentle, loving and compassionate, wouldn't you?

true loveOf course you would.  And you can do that for yourself.  Be kind, gentle, loving and compassionate to yourself.  Now that's true love.

How do you make sure you're more compassionate and loving toward yourself?  Share below if you're inclined or leave other thoughts or even a Valentine's Day wish.

Back to George Thorogood.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love, Gloria