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


Worldwide Linchpin MeetUp Day!

Did you even know there was such a thing?  Well, Seth Godin started the Linchpin Meetups about a  year ago, encouraging those who read the book Linchpin and consider themselves indispensable leaders to meet with like-minded folks and make things happen.  There’s over 1100 worldwide.  I’ve met some remarkable artists, activists and all around nice people at the meetup in Ventura, launched by Linchpins Donna Von Hoesslin and David Pu’u.

In honor of today’s festivities, I’m re-posting an article I wrote a few months back that was inspired by Seth’s writing on fear and the lizard brain.  Enjoy!

Are You Undermining Your Success? 

Taming the Lizard Brain

By Gloria Miele, Optimal Development Coaching

Have you ever thought, “I need to get out of my own way,” or “I’m my own worst enemy?”  Those kinds of thoughts are a sign that you’re having issues with self-confidence, and your fears are working against you.  In his book, The Laws of Success, Napoleon Hill outlined the six fears that can undermine self-confidence:  Poverty, Criticism, Old Age, Ill Health, Loss of Love and Death.  Which ones resonate most to you?

More recently, marketing genius Seth Godin published his latest book, Linchpin (if you don’t know Seth Godin’s work, you can get a great sample from his daily blog at  Seth argues that in today’s world, we need to be indispensable, creative artists who work from the heart – to be Linchpins.  Does this sound familiar?  Successful entrepreneurs are linchpins.  You succeed by being bold, bucking the trends, doing something unique and letting your genius emerge to set you apart in the crowded marketplace.

Seth also talks about the fears that get in the way of being the linchpin.  Certain types of thinking can hold you back from taking a risk and putting yourself on the line.  This thinking is rooted in fear and uncertainty and comes from what Seth calls “the lizard brain.”  The lizard brain is the oldest, most primitive part of the brain, driven by survival and fear.   The lizard brain wants you to be safe, not call much attention to yourself and hide from the crowd.

The lizard brain contributes to the undermining thoughts that stop you in your tracks.  They challenge you, doubt you, and question your abilities.  We all have them, and often we don’t even realized they are there – “Who do you think you are?”  “What will people think?”  “Can I really pull this off?”  “What if I embarrass myself?”  “What if I fail?”

All these questions can hold you up, make you pause, keep you from pursuing your dream.  But remember, those messages in your head are just that – in your head.  These are irrational thoughts not based in reality but generated from the lizard brain that wants you to stay safe, warm and well fed under a rock.

If you’re working from your self-confidence, you keep the lizard brain at bay.  You’ll put yourself out there, take a risk, and act in a self-assured way.  Here are a few ways to fuel your self-confidence:

1.     Use Your Strengths. If you know me at all, you know I’m a strengths zealot.  I love working with people, especially entrepreneurs, to help them identify and leverage their strengths.  Think about it – if you’re playing to your strengths and pursuing your passion, you are coming from a place of confidence, assurance and expertise.  You automatically minimize some of the fear, because you’re in your comfort zone.  It’s a great way to give yourself a self-confidence boost.

2.    Practice. Fear is fueled by the unknown.  If you’re not sure about how things are going to go, you can feel anxious and uncomfortable.  The more you practice, the better you’ll be.  Some people are terrified of public speaking, which in turn causes them to avoid it, and they never are able to practice this skill.  Even a 30-second introduction can send them into a tail spin.  By writing out your introduction and practicing in advance, you’ll be much more prepared.  The more you do it, the more confident you’ll become.

3.     Just do it.  Aside from being one of the most successful and recognizable slogans in advertising history, this directive from Nike’s ad agency applies far beyond reaching your fitness goals.  Sometimes you just need to take the plunge.  Avoid the quest for perfection – it’s unattainable and will stop you from moving forward.  Be good enough.  Let yourself feel your success.  That is what builds your self-confidence.  Here’s a great example where the wish for perfection can stop your progress – video marketing.  If you’re waiting for that “perfect” take, you may never get your video program started.  “I sounded funny.”  “My hair doesn’t look good.”  “Do I really have that many wrinkles around my eyes?”  Do a few takes and upload that video.  We’d all love to see it!

4.    Tame your lizard brain.  By now, you’ve got a good idea of some of the thoughts and motives that hold you back.  It’s important to be aware of the fear but don’t act on it.  Recognize the fear (“Oh, yeah, I’m procrastinating writing this article because I’m caught up in the perfection game.”) but then move beyond it.  No one will be as critical as you are.  Give yourself a break.  Let it go.  Do something big and exciting

Put the lizard in its place.  Start with what you do best and move forward from there.  Post that video. Write that blog post.  Make that sales call.  Be a linchpin!  The more you do, the more confident you’ll become.

gloria-miele-head-shotGloria M. Miele, Ph.D. is a Business Development and Leadership Coach and Victory Circles facilitator in Southern California.  She is passionate about helping others discover and develop their strengths to achieve greater business success.  Sign up for her newsletter at to receive a free tool to optimize your strengths.