Sylvia Becker-Hill

Back to School

August 2011

Here in Michigan late August means hot days with chilly mornings, cooler sleep-inducing nights, a touch of autumn in the air… and preparing everyone for the next school year! Personally, I live my life as if I'm always in school — with every day serving as my school "building" and the encounters with people and circumstances providing me with tasks and problems to solve. Through these situations I grow in the knowledge of who I am and what I'm here for, which are benefits of constant learning.

What does "school" mean to you? Bad memories or fun ones? Test and pressure or achievements and pleasure?

In this photo you see me my son Orlando with his German-style "Schultüte" on his first day of 1st grade last year. The gift bag is filled with German candy, chocolate and school supplies. I love the tradition of Schultüte. It's a beautiful comforter for the first day's anxieties and a reminder that learning is always a sweet thing, despite the occasional bitterness.

In this issue's main article I share with you the biggest lesson I learned this summer: Why "Being Uncomfortable" is the Key To Success, which happened during a three-day event with Pamela Bruner in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I have included a challenge for you to use as a breakthrough process and which nominates you for a drawing for a 60 minute Comfort-Zone-Challenge Coaching session with me!

Let's all go "back to school" and celebrate with a warm farewell to this gorgeous summer!

P. S. Welcome, all new followers! I am confident that you will enjoy the information and resources available to you through this newsletter and mywebsite. I encourage you to leave comments on my blog and to share my newsletter with others who you think might benefit from it. Be sure to remind them that they will get twofree e-books upon subscribing!

This Month's Featured Article

Why Being Uncomfortable Is the Key to Success

"Life starts outside your comfort zone."
Neale Donald Walsch

Because of my background in organizational development and several years' practice in Post Merger Integration Process work, one of my greatest areas of expertise is change management. In addition to giving public talks on the topic, I educate my executive clients and coaching students on change management. All of this made it incredibly embarrassing to discover a blind spot in my personal change management last month, a story that I'll share with you now.

One of my basic models in change management is The Comfort Zone Challenge™. The comfort zone in any area of our life—work, relationship, living, etc. — is defined as the area in which we feel safe, confident and comfortable because we know it deeply and don’t expect surprises, challenges or threats. Depending on your character (whether you’re a change-avoider or change-seeker) and your values, you react to extended time in your comfort zone by feeling more comfortable, relaxing and melting into known structures, habits and patterns with less and less desire to change anything, OR you react with boredom and frustration and want to change something.

When you want to change something, or you have to deal with a change that has already happened and demands a response from you, you automatically start moving from the center of your comfort zone toward the inside edge. While doing that your feelings change, and you feel increasingly excited, nervous or anxious. Again, depending on your character and values, you welcome this and judge it as positive, OR you resist it and think negatively about the process.

Moving with one foot, or both, out of your comfort zone requires a leap of faith to face the unknown outside your known circle of life. Some people experience panic and others elation, depending how much adrenalin or serotonin is produced in their brains.

One common mistake is to think that when you leave your old comfort zone, you leave everything behind. This is wrong. Instead, you take what is aligned with your new life from the past with you. Elements of your old comfort zone help you create a new comfort zone while you explore the new “unknown” and turn it into your new “known.” You never really lose what you had and what you had grown into. You just expand, and your comfort zone expands with you. Isn’t that wonderful? Eventually the next change process starts, and you grow again.

This is the model, and I know it by heart. The part I wasn’t aware of played out like this…

I change a lot in my life, and people think of me as very courageous and willing to take high risks. From their point of view that might be right. But for me, I realized that by avoiding certain things in my business that make me feel uncomfortable, like planning, marketing and selling, I stay in my comfort zone, focused on becoming a better and better coach. But if I want to fulfill my mission in life, which is to raise the level of freedom and love on this planet, I need to reach more people. If I want to reach more people, I need to become a great businesswoman and not just a great coach.

For the benefit of potential clients, I have to stop hiding behind my expertise and the clients I already have. I can’t grow by staying in the center of my comfort zone! Feeling uncomfortable means doing things I haven’t done before — doing things that make me feel stupid and double left-handed. I have to do this in order to grow myself and my business.

When this realization hit me like a lightening bolt during Pamela Bruner’s event, I knew I had to act upon it within the next 24 hours, or it would be just another forgotten insight that vanished into the back drawer of my stubborn brain. I would have to do something that would make me feel highly uncomfortable and learn to be okay with feeling this way.

So this is what I did. On the second morning of the conference, which was attended by about 200 people, I didn’t change, fix my hair or apply any makeup. I went straight to the conference looking the way I did when I got out of bed, my breathing and heart rate quickening as I felt irritated eyes upon me.

In the first part of the morning session about “7 Elements of a Transformational Entrepreneur,” when Pamela asked if anyone had something to share about “putting yourself out there like there’s no tomorrow,” I did. I stood up trembling, feeling naked and vulnerable in my thin, braless pajamas, and went to one of the microphones to share my insight with the full house. I tell you, I don’t remember if I have ever I felt soooo uncomfortable in my own skin like I did during those three to five minutes! But I got standing ovations and opened the door for other people in the room to face their resistance to feeling uncomfortable and to overcome it too.

What I now know for sure is this: My level of success in business and in life is a direct reflection of my willingness to feel uncomfortable. I’ll repeat that because I really want you to get it: Your Key to Your Success is Your Willingness to Feel Uncomfortable!

What about you? Where in your life and business do you resist feeling uncomfortable? Are you killing your potential by doing so?

Feel welcomed to my new club of “anonymous comfort zone lovers.” Become honest. Do what you normally avoid, feel uncomfortable and act despite it, reaping the wonderful fruits that are waiting for you outside your comfort zone!

If you want to get a FREE 60-minute coaching session with me (a $497 value), you have to step out of your comfort zone and do something productive that you haven’t done before—something that makes you feel uncomfortable—and share that story below!

You have until the 15th of September to do this. From all of the stories shared we will draw one and announce the winner in my next newsletter. If you want to remain anonymous, send your story via email, and we will keep your name confidential.

Sylvia Recommends (Books and More)

Are you passionate about growing personally?

Are you committed to helping others grow into their highest possibilities?

Do you want to be a better executive, manager or leader?

Have you ever considered becoming a coach?

Are you ready to step out of your old comfort zone in several areas of your life?

If one or more of your answers to these questions is "yes," then check out The Coachmakers Training™, during which I will teach you everything you need to know and do in order to transform yourself, your career and your life. The next German run starts at the end of September. Hurry, for the early-bird price ends for most on the 31st of August; but for YOU, a subscriber on my list, I will extend the lower price offer until the 5th of September.

Shorter corporate versions of this training are available upon request for groups of at least six people.

Email me so we can set up a complimentary strategy session to determine if you, your goals and my training are a perfect fit!

The Coachmakers Training™ is available in German and English. Click on the appropriate button to learn more.


What Sylvia Is Doing This Month

For a lot of people here in Michigan, September means back to school, back to routines and back to business...

For me it also means back to networking!

Come and join me at the following inspiring and open-to-the-public (paid) events:

September 13: co-organizing Breaking New Grounds in Detroit! in Franklin Town for MIPA and Michigan Travels LLC on behalf of Hostel Detroit

September 14: participating in the Executive Women International Gala in downtown Detroit

September 17: co-facilitating the PCAM Empowerment Forum with PCAM past president Milton Fletcher and hosting guest speaker Shawn Driscoll for her workshop Create Your Sellable Signature Offer at Walsh-College in Troy

September 23: attending the monthly meeting of the German Professional Women Association GPWA in Southfield

September 28: attending Extreme Change 2011: How Duggan, Gilmour and Schlichting Are Remaking Detroit's Midtown, an InForum event in downtown Detroit

I just love networking. Networking is about exchanging ideas, matching people, serving others and receiving fun, friends and clients back. Where are you networking this month?

I hope you enjoy the last warm days of summer as much as I do and have a jubilant jump into fall, a season with breathtaking colors in Michigan that you might see in my next newsletter!


In This Issue

Personal Note from Sylvia

Featured Article

Sylvia Recommends



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Sylvia Becker-Hill

© 2011 Sylvia Becker-Hill
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About Sylvia

Sylvia Becker-Hill, Dipl. Verw., MA Phil, PCC
Own Your Brain. Own Your Life.™

Under this motto Sylvia works as an Executive Change Strategist helping corporate leaders to become change champions while gaining more control, efficiency and productivity with less stress.

Combining her years of experience as a corporate coach with cutting edge techniques in change management, neuroscience, emotional intelligence and Pro-EFT Sylvia expertly guides her clients to achieve quickly deep, lasting, life changing transformations that they report as nothing short of magical.



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"Working with Sylvia is a dream! She is an extremely good listener, picking up tiny voice inflections and word choices—a skill she uses quite effectively to gently but very powerfully guide the client toward new insights. She has an amazing talent of clarifying and holding the focus on an issue in a laser-sharp way to move it forward. Suddenly you are past whatever seemed to be insurmountable, feeling empowered and ready for action. The work I've done with Sylvia is work that really sticks with me. She is the real deal."

Jean Johnson Leadership Coaching