From Vulnerability Comes Strength

A client recently received a thank you gift from a local board for her many years of service, a generous gift certificate to a spa. A very thoughtful gift and one she appreciated but did not want. She simply does not enjoy spas. Instead of being disappointed and resentful, her normal reaction in the past to like events, she saw it as a moment of realization. “People need to know me better and I need to allow that [to happen]. I am going to be more authentic to let people know me and really get to know others.  Yes I am risking exposure to criticism, but the rewards MORE than outweighs that risk of criticism. The joy you miss by not doing this is great.”

Can you guess what her resolution is for 2012?

Vulnerability and strength are two sides of one coin and each requires courage. From vulnerability comes strength if approached with an honest open conscious, a clear heart and the resolve to persevere when there are disappointments and when there are successes too. An authentic lasting relationship that has give and take is built from honesty, trust and support. To be honest requires a certain amount of showing your soft underbelly, to test if you and your ideas will be supported. Will you click with this person? Will your ideas resonate? Is there viability here in this notion? In this business or personal relationship?

Trust of course comes over time when you expose your soft underbelly and consistently are not injured. Like tempering steel or hardening off plants you become made of strong stuff when tested with the intention of cultivating something more something sincere and honest. It is also much more likely that no opportunity or skill is wasted or overlooked, underutilized.

These bona fide relationships are strong foundations upon which to build a sustaining business and life. They provide a foundation for us to be brave enough to make the most of rich qualities with which we have been endowed. From this community is fostered and we create possibilities to support the greater good for all parties.

Deirdre Danahar©2012

Deirdre Danahar, MSW, MPH, LICSW is a Personal Coach working with busy people with complicated lives to focus on what is most important. Reach her at or


Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Realities

A new year is a wonderful time to rekindle your fire that has been sputtering or even has gone out after the up and downs of the past few years. Moving from an idea to a reality is possible. Keep your resolutions by coupling action with attitude.  When you do you make good decisions and take more powerful actions because you focus on what most important to you. Not allowing those most important things to be swept aside by today’s to do list. Make choices that are consistent with a meaningful life, a “kick tush” career and fostering nurturing relationships. Prioritizing what to do when, and why in that order.

All of these can be easier said than done. I know. Really I know. I have been down that road too. Sometimes I still find myself on it.  You start out all gung-ho ready to jump into your resolutions and really MAKE THIS THE YEAR when (fill in the blank).  Suddenly it is March and you are not making the progress you hoped for. Then by August you’ve forgotten about those resolutions, or are feeling bad about not getting them done.

But here is what I have learned looking back (and boy that magic mirror reflecting back answers was not always a treat).

“Vision without action is a dream.

Action without vision is a nightmare.”

                                      ~Japanese proverb

Paradigm shift. Make 2012 the year to reconnect to the light inside you and live by your most deeply held truths. Focus your attention and resources on what will get from where you are and where you want to be.  Craft a structure for your life and your work that keeps you on track, but is not so rigid you can’t (or won’t) adjust as needed. A framework to make choices that aligns with what is most meaningful to you, your most deeply held dreams, your signature strengths and your most sacred values. You make good decisions when you are crystal clear about these. You don’t make heated decisions forced by limiting fears.  When you need support you ask for it because . . .

Maturity is the willingness to accept responsibility for your actions and to cooperate with others to achieve mutually desirable goals. Action, putting your passion into work, requires help from other people.” ~Nancy Anderson

So don’t just make your resolutions, make a plan for your 2012 to be extraordinary and supports your resolutions becoming realities. Create a plan that is firmly rooted in the reason behind why you do what you do and why your resolutions matter. Here are four questions to plan an extraordinary year. I use these four questions to plan my year, my answers result in a plan for making the New Year extraordinary.

  1. What are you longing for in your life? Not what you need to do, but what you are yearning for from the marrow of your bones. When you are clear about the deeper reason behind your intent, the more powerful your actions will be on the practical level.
  2. What can you reach for that will meet that longing? Not what is the pie in the sky I can’t possibly ever get there reach. Rather the stretch that if you made, to the best of your abilities would indeed meet this yen of yours.
  3. What would need to be true for me to meet that longing? Your answer might encompass any number of things from acquiring new skills or  strengthen existing ones, or  let go of patterns of thinking that no long serve you or make the best use of the resources available to you.
  4. What will give you the courage to reach for more? This about standing firm in your intent and the sense of your own value. It is what will help you find your mojo, your chutzpah, so you remain unwavering in even moments of doubt or challenge.

Feeling a little stuck in answering these 4 questions? They are big, juicy questions. Try this approach, consider what would make you look back and be able to complete this sentence “My life was honestly fulfilling because . . .

Likely your answer embraces achievements like being a great provider, and the enjoyments to be had along the way, like finally enrolling in that upholstery class. The urgency and pluck to act comes from creating a flexible structure for you life so that both achievement and enjoyment show up in your life.

I want to help you have an extraordinary 2012, and am offering a limited number of complementary discovery sessions.  So if you are:

  • Ready to stop chasing balance and start finding fulfillment
  • Ready to get of a rut
  • Want the courage to claim time for yourself
  • Longing to get in sync with what calls most deeply from your heart

Take me up on the offer for a complementary discovery session.  These twenty sessions are first come first serve.

During the 30-minute session we will do three things. First create a clear vision about what you really want. Then we will explore obstacles that are getting in your way. Finally we will outline the next steps you can take to move forward. These will be scheduled between January 4 and January 25, 2012.  To book you session go here and find the time that’s best for your schedule.

Make 2012 the year to reconnect to the light inside you and live by your most deeply held truths.

“It’s extremely gratifying to work with a coach as gifted as Deirdre and to watch the important aspects of life — areas that may have frustrated you for years — become visibly and measurably better.  Through discernment, humor, and encouragement, Deirdre helps you uncover what matters most in the midst of daily noise, then helps you build a toolkit to prioritize and improve those things that make a life fulfilling. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with Deirdre; it has been a thoroughly worthwhile experience.“
– Marketing VP, Jackson, MS, December 2011