Stress Relief

Posted July 18, 2009 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement


Okay. I said I’d talk about internal stress. I don’t know about you, but I used to automatically think of stress as external. I had too much to do in too short a time period and I was really stressed because of it.

Over time, I learned about internal stress and it’s the point where we need to start. Many of us women have conflicts going on inside and that creates incredible stress. One of the biggest is living in conflict with our values.

I work with a lot of women and I can safely say that about two-thirds have never stopped to do an evaluation of what they value. “It takes too much time.” “I have too much to do to spend time trying to figure those out.” “Will you tell me what my values are?”

Here’s a starter for you: Family, Children, Financial Security, Security, Spirituality, Education, Self-Development, Self-Improvement, Work, Professional Growth, Interdependence, Health etc.

Our Core Values are so important, they’re like anchors. We would not be who we are without them.

However, society and the media often has a different picture of what we should be and we ignore our own Core Values to “be with it” or keep up with everyone else.

Is that what you’ve done? Then much of the stress you’re feeling may be because you’re not following your internal compass and NOTHING causes more stress than that.

Here’s a good question to ask yourself. How would your behavior change if you prioritized your Core Values and started living with them as a Guide?

Stress Relief

Posted July 18, 2009 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement, stress relief, too independent, women's issues


I can’t think of a better stress relief than being aware of the fact that you’re too self-sufficient, doing everything all by yourself and unable to ask for help!

When my audiences can see clearly all the stress that is heaped on with this behavior, someone invariably says, “I had no idea this is the problem. Now I can see how I’m paying a lot just for being proud of doing everything.”

I started having panic attacks. It was the investigation that led me to write Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Why Doing It All Is Doing You In in 2007.

In my book, I devoted a whole section to stress relief. You’ve heard that saying “the teacher teaches what the teacher needs to learn”? I have been teaching a course entitled De-Stress Your Distress: 21 Days to a New You
for over 15 years. These days I employ all the techniques.

Stress relief starts inside ourselves and in coming posts, I’ll write more about that.

Back From Savannah

Posted July 11, 2009 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement, too independent, women's issues, workplace

I can’t tell you when I’ve had such a fabulous time participating in a conference! The Women’s Leadership Conference of PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) members was outstanding and enlightening.

Last Tuesday I drove to Savannah, did two workshops on Wednesday on Marketing Yourself Inside and Out.

Then Thursday AM, I opened the day with my keynote Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word. That audience was one of the very best I have ever spoken to. Open, responsive, laughing easily and having a good time while they learned.

Afterwards I had so many come up and say “it was like you were talking just to me.” It was an exhilerating experience.

I am so proud to be a woman at this particular time in history where we have so many choices to utilize our talents. And rather than the cut-throat “there is just enough for me” attitude, we can approach making a living using our God-given natural tendency to collaborate where everyone wins.

And of course the first step is to put away the old cultural value that has held us back – the inability to ask for help. Those women were listening and I know they will.

I loved it! Thank you PPAI!

Off to Savannah

Posted July 6, 2009 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement

I’m getting ready to go to Savannah, GA for the PPAI Conference Women’s Leadership Summit.

On Wednesday I’ll do two workshops Marketing Yourself Inside and Out and then on Thursday AM, I’ll present my keynote Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word. I’m excited because I LOVE presenting to sales women. I’ve been in sales so long myself, I always feel like I’ve come home.

When I get back I’ll go to Asheville to present to Sub Station II, a south-east coast franchise, in Asheville, NC . Giving them some creative ideas for how to leverage this market will be my mission. Wish me luck.

Last but not least, when I finally pull into the garage and limp to my office, I’ll focus for a few weeks on my Internet business which I’m really excited about building. I’ve even got a coach who knows a whole lot more about html’s and venture partners than I do at this point.

I’m learning to ask for help! Yes, it’s taken years but I see the wisdom of shortening my learning curve, making fewer mistakes (even if I hide them well) and positioning myself faster.

The trade-off? Letting others know where I’m vulnerable. For years, I just couldn’t let anyone know where those areas were. Today, I’ve finally grown into myself and realize that I’m human. And when I share that humanness, all sorts of great things happen. At last, I feel like I belong.

Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Posted June 27, 2009 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement

I’m back! In the last two years, speaking at conferences all over the country, including Puerto Rico, I’ve learned that Self-Sufficiency Syndrome is an EPIDEMIC! There are many, many of us that can’t ask for help, do everything all by ourselves, can’t delegate because no one else can do it as well, help others all the time but can’t ask to have the favor returned and we’re on our way to burnout.

In the coming weeks, I’ll tell you all about the stories I’ve heard. Today, here’s a couple about Self-Sufficients (that’s what I call the person like myself who lives this extreme behavior) who have driven themselves to the emergency room. Hope you’ll comment about your own experiences.

In a large women’s audience I asked “who would admit, like me, that you have driven yourself to the emergency room?” Twenty or thirty pairs of hands went up. And……the woman close to me said, “with Clorox in one eye.” Think about it.  And most recently in Tampa, Fl a man called to me as I left the room. He wanted to tell me that he had been in pain, called his wife to meet him at the emergency room, drove himself and the minute he got inside the emergency room door, fainted from the pain. He had a kidney stone.

What are we doing to ourselves? More next week about that.

Asking for Help in a Job Search II

Posted April 13, 2010 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement

Tags: ,

Are you looking for a job? Perhaps you’re just reading up so you’ll know the “in’s and out’s” if you HAVE to have them? There is only one Job Insurance Policy. It’s knowing HOW to find one!

 In my twenty plus years of coaching job search, I’ve seen it all. What do I see too often? People attending multiple workshops I offer, completing an Action Plan and  understanding all the integral pieces. Then, they go to their computers, check every job search data base, fill out countless applications and …….wait……..wait for someone to contact them.

 Why wouldn’t they apply all they just learned? Because much of it is out of their Comfort Zones and sitting at the computer allows them to stay snuggly and warmly in what they know. Will they get a job this way?  Maybe, eventually. If their application fits a job description perfectly. Might that take a long time? Will they feel reactive and out of control? Absolutely!

 So what’s the answer? To mix many tactics in such a way that you’re building momentum. It’s a numbers game. And the very highest percentage tactic – networking – says you’re going to HAVE to ask for help.

 That’s the most difficult for many job searchers. We were raised in a culture that says it’s a weakness to ask for help. Perhaps your role models reinforced that value every day. It’s such an epidemic in our country, I wrote a book about it – Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Why Doing It All Is Doing You In published by McGraw Hill.

 So, you not only have to learn all the strategies for your search, you also have to come face-to-face with this entrenched value and make sense out of abandoning it so that you can ask for help.

 Does it really make sense to continue to believe that asking for help is a weakness? Can each of us really exist as an island and find fulfillment cutting ourselves off from everyone around us? I don’t think so.

 Is it such a stretch to believe that you’ve been thrown into a search to help you break that old rule and teach you the real value of involving others? We’re never so open to new ways to look at things as we are when we’re in crisis and believe me, a job search CAN feel like a crisis if you let it.

 How can you ask for help in a search? Do you just stand on the corner with a box full of resumes and ask everyone who passes to help you? Of course not. The first thing you do is take control of your search by deciding what you want. That may surprise you in a bad economy. Are there really choices? Of course there are. Employees are still moving, being terminated, getting sick etc. Those places have to be filled. Even when companies downsize or merge, new positions are created.

 The second step is to do a thorough evaluation of what you are selling. What skills and experience do you have? Can you talk intelligently about them and how they can benefit a prospective employer?

 Then make a list of everyone you know and decide what they can do to help you get there. Do they know employees in companies doing what you want to do? Do they know vendors who service companies where you want to be? Do they know consultants or accountants that work with target companies?

Asking for that information is not lying prostate on the ground in hopelessness but taking control of your search and utilizing relationships to help you get there. Make sense? Of course!

Seventeen Tips for a Successful Job Search

Posted April 5, 2010 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement

1. Go inside and get to really know yourself – what are your skills, strengths and experience? Your greatest accomplishment? Your  weakness?  Determine WHAT you’re selling. 

2. Work on your delivery for presenting yourself in an enthusiastic way.

3. Put together an Infomercial to answer “tell me about yourself”.

4. Target your best fits in terms of industry and organizations.

5. Select the desired driving distance and target organizations who could employ you; 70% of the jobs aren’t advertised.

6. Do Information Interviews to find out what’s happening.

7. Start networking, directing your network where they can help

8. Study the ads. Who is expanding and hiring, regardless whether it’s your particular job or not.

9. Answer ads while networking and collecting data

10. If you’re not on Unemployment Insurance, go on interviews for the experience.

11. Identify a problem in the market where you could fill a need, design a job and sell it.

12.  Conduct your search six-eight hours a day. It’s a job with deferred pay.

13. Take some time to refocus on something else. A job search is 24/7.

14. Remember the Law of Attraction. What you throw out there comes back.

15. Study the most often asked questions for interviewing. Make sure you’re ready.

16. Dress professionally no matter what the job.

17. Ask for the job!

Five Keys to Asking For Help

Posted April 2, 2010 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Ask for Help, Self-Improvement, Self-Sufficiency Syndrome, women's issues

Tags: ,

1. Understand what’s behind your reluctance to ask

Most of us were taught as children that it’s a weakness to ask for help. “Don’t bother the neighbors”, “If you want it done right, do it yourself”. Those old tapes keep us from asking because if we do – we feel like we’ve failed! And we don’t delegate either, because no one else can do it as well. Before we know it, we’ve isolated ourselves with these actions and we’re headed for burnout. I call this The Self-Sufficiency Syndrome.

2. Know why control is a big part of the problem

We all want to be in control, don’t we? Some even more than others. The truth of the matter is, however, when you ask for help, you have handed over a bit of control to someone else and that can be frightening. What if they reject you? They might think you are stupid or should have figured it out yourself? Who wants to chance that? It’s easier to just do it all, all by yourself. Or is it?

3. Be able to visualize that you’re STUCK!

If you are a Self-Sufficient (one with Self-Sufficiency Syndrome), you’ve taken the strength of self-sufficiency too far and it’s become a weakness – isolating you, stressing you out, making you responsible for everyone and everything without any back-up or support. You’ve made self-sufficiency an art form and you can’t free yourself to move to the third stage of human development – interdependence.

4. Make a decision that enough is enough!

How would you act if you believed that asking for help is a strength? That asking is “giving”, giving someone else the dignity of helping you. That maybe there is something more important than every accomplishment being over the top. Perhaps you COULD start to evaluate each situation in terms of asking for help if it strengthened a relationship? Maybe even do something just “averagely” if it means feeling a part of a group?

5. Just do it!

You might be afraid. Ambrose Redmon said that “courage is not the absence of fear; it’s deciding something else is more important than the fear”. Start by asking a close friend that you trust. Or ask someone for help in an area where you excel. It’s easier. Or include the person you ask in the planning of how and when the “help” will take place. That way you don’t lose as much control. “When would be a good time for you to show me how you put that spreadsheet together?” It also lowers the chance of rejection. With repetition and practice, after a time, you’ll wonder how you ever lived any other way. It’s balanced. It’s freeing, more productive, and a lot more fun!


Posted April 1, 2010 by Peggy Collins
Categories: Self-Improvement

Tags: , ,

As a professional speaker, I can honestly say that I don’t know how ANYONE can learn all it takes by themselves. Maybe that’s what professional speaking did for me – it forced me to reach out and ask for help!

These days I’m having so much fun conducting teleseminar classes for those who want to gain more visibility for a business, attract more clients or go into the new career of professional speaking. I’ve met so many great coaches who have found they can help many at once from the platform. And in signing up – they’re admitting they need HELP.

On April 15th, I’ll begin an actual Virtual Hands-On Practice I’m calling Practice Your Professional Speaking.If you’re interested just go to and read all about it. I can hardly wait!

My asking for help generated a nucleus of women I have come to call my Mastermind Group. Anytime I’m stuck, can’t see the trees for the forest, need feedback on an opening or story, I know my expert answers are as close as my email. They have saved me countless times from looking foolish in front of an important audience.

Here’s the HUGE lesson I’ve learned. If you have trouble asking for help and most of us do, being passionate about a career or subject that you just can’t figure out all by yourself, will be the impetus you need to reach out and say, “I need your help!”

Asking for Help in a Job Search!

Posted March 2, 2010 by Peggy Collins
Categories: job search, job search coach, job search tactics, workplace

Tags: ,

I’ve been remiss about updating my Blog and I’m making a new commitment to change that. I have an important message to share!

In addition to being a professional speaker and marketing my McGraw Hill published book Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Why Doing It All Is Doing You In, I do some Job Search Workshops and Coaching.

What are the primary problems I see job searchers making? That’s easy! First, it’s spending most days sitting in front of a computer checking out all the online job banks. While that’s a legitimate tactic, it’s only ONE.

Why do some choose that as their ONLY tactic? Because it’s part of their Comfort Zone. Anything else is way too scary.

Here’s the other HUGE mistake. Many job searchers are reactive. They send resumes out, fill out applications and wait for something to happen. Feeling out of control, they often become discouraged, anxious and depressed.

In order to do a highly effective search, it’s absolutely necessary to take charge of your search. What do YOU want? What are your targets? How many tactics are you utilizing to get lots of balls in the air? The more the better. As a coach, I learned a long time ago that I don’t know WHERE the lead will come from. Synchronicity is alive and well.

Next time, I’ll discuss how “asking for help” enters this important picture. Hope to “see” you.