Specializing in helping you successfully navigate major life transitions
Author: Carrie Mead, MS, LCPC
I have passion for guiding people towards success. Success may be defined differently for each of us but as we become curious about our lives, our passions, our desires and our needs, we will build a picture of what success looks like for you. Then, we can began taking steps towards your goals. Curiosity Life Coaching is a partnership built to help you discover and fulfill your dreams!
I hold a Masters in Counseling from McDaniel College and a Bachelors from Gettysburg College. In addition to my years as a professional counselor, I have been trained in providing TeleMental Health services, Reiki (Levels I and II), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Dowsing and Energy Psychology (Levels I and II).
I look forward to partnering with you when the time is right.
We all go through periods of time when we could benefit from some wise, objective, and thoughtful support to reach our goals. Friends and family can be great for offering advice, but life coaching isn’t about advice-giving. Life coaching is about empowering you to identify your desires, set your intentions and then, of course, achieve your goals.
Life coaching is for everyone
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a working mother, a college student, a highly respected expert in your professional arena or just starting your adult life, life coaching can be beneficial to your personal and professional development. Although many niches exist within the realm of life coaching, all coaches have one common goal and that is to help you, the client, set and achieve your goals. This is why I feel so strongly that everyone can benefit from professional life coaching.
I bet you came across this blog as you were scrolling LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. I am also assuming that I only have a tiny bit of your attention. You are probably also eating, listening to a meeting or podcast, and your kids or pets are also begging for your attention. Am I right?
We really want to be efficient multitaskers. We want to do it all and do it well. We truly believe that our colleagues, bosses, friends and spouses are doing a great job of handling multiple tasks at once. And, truth be told, they go to great lengths to make it appear that way. But, the truth is, our brains were not designed to multitask. You are working against mother nature when you attempt this and in reality, you will take longer to complete your tasks, they will contain more errors, you will retain less information about the tasks you performed and your stress levels will increase. So, really, what is the advantage?
There is no advantage to multitasking. That is clear from decades of research. One study showed that efficiency dropped as much as 40% when multitasking efforts were performed! Another study showed the prolonged multitasking actually lowered IQ of study participants to the level that researchers might have expected had they just smoked a joint. The same study also indicated that multitasking lowers EQ levels in the areas of social-awareness and self-awareness. Emotional intelligence is a predictor of workplace and leadership success. So, please, stop it if you want to get ahead!
The reason why so many of us attempt multiple (often contradictory) tasks at once is under the guise of speed and efficiency. Your thought process might go something like this, “If I can just type this email, while finishing this podcast and getting in my 50 squats at my standing desk, I have achieved three minor tasks at once and I will be ahead of the game before that 8am meeting.”
It’s an understandable mindset and it is logical but, unfortunately, it is biologically incorrect. What actually happens in this situation is that your brain oscillates back and forth between the three tasks and so you slow down as you move between each task and your brain takes extra time to re-orient to the new task each time you make the slight shift between listening to the podcast and constructing a sentence. But let us just say you did all three of these things at once and it felt good. That’s possible. But according to research, if we were to go back and check your accuracy or retention of information, the flaws would become apparent.
Your email would likely have typos and you would not be able to share what you learned from the end of the podcast. You may also have sore muscles from rushing through your squats and therefor your form might be off. So, yes, you may feel good about your accomplishments, but they would not be your best work. And, if this is how you always operate, your performance will be less than stellar, and you will not be impressing anyone!
So, now what? As with all habits it will take time to re-train your brain. It will also take effort, intention, grit and focus. All of these things will feel out of reach, at least initially. You will wonder if you can do it. Here is the thing… You can do it and you should do it.
Once you are more intentional and mindful in your endeavors, you will see why it was worth it. Your colleagues, superiors and friends will notice the change in your vibe, mood and energy. Instead of the distracted and always irritable version of you that they have become accustomed to, they will notice that you are calm and present rather than ungrounded and absentminded. They will also notice that you are more accurate with your tasks and more approachable in your mood. All of these positive changes will likely help you achieve those goals that had you multi-tasking in the first place.
If you are seeking a promotion or a lateral move in your company, being known as grounded and focused will stand you in good stead against your disorganized, overwhelmed or moody co-workers. While you and your competitors may have similar work experience and training, your mood and overall pleasant vibe will be attractive to leaders in your industry or company. It’s well known that formal training and skill set are only one small part of making a hire. Leaders and recruiters are also assessing personality and non-verbal cues to see if you would be a good fit for their specific team, company culture and industry. Once you start slowing down and becoming more efficient with your energy, everything you do becomes more effective.
It is easy to see how slowing down and being intentional with your time will also work well at home. Whether you are living the single life or balancing a family with small children or an empty-nester, everyone benefits when you let go of multi-tasking. When you are with your spouse, try to be just in that moment. Put down the phone or the mental to do list or laundry basket and just be present in that one conversation. If you are with your baby or dog, just play with them- making good eye contact, smiling and laughing. Even babies and pets know when they are missing your full attention. When you are planning a vacation or filing tax returns with your life partner, just stay there in that one conversation without interruption. Turn off your phone notifications and email pop-ups, you will not need them if you are making an effort to complete one task at a time.
Notice how your relationships improve with this intentional act of being present, mindful and focused on one person at a time. Implore your loved ones to try this with you. Pay attention to how it feels when your partner is focused just on you rather than when they are multitasking. And pay attention to how it feels to know you are giving your family 100% of your attention rather than 1/10 of it!
With the start of a new year upon us, it is traditional to review the year we’ve had and set goals for the year ahead. It’s a good time to think about what is working in your life and what’s not. It’s also a good idea to see if the things you are doing are influencing your life the way you had hoped they would. As I said at the beginning of this article, we multitask because we want to be effective and efficient. But, despite our wishes, multitasking makes us slow, inaccurate and forgetful. So, if you want a different result, try a different tactic. Give it 60 days and see how it feels after a few months. Assess, reorient, work through the challenges and let me know how it goes.
If you want help with organization, mindset shifts or living with the consequences of adult ADHD, working with a life coach and psychotherapist, like me, can help. Life is challenging and seeking expert guidance is a wise decision for many people like you. Whether you are working through a major life transition, changing careers or simply want a change of pace in your life, I can help. Complimentary consultations can be booked at: https://marylandtherapycarrie.com/contact or by calling me at 443.951.3986.
Each of us are unique in so many ways. Some qualities are concrete and noticeable like having a bright red hair or a boisterous laugh or an innate fondness for astrology. But some qualities are hidden, mysterious and less easy to quantify. Our value system falls into this latter category. Our core values are a huge part of who we are. They also affect how we operate in the world and how others relate to us. It’s important to know that your core values are influencing your everyday life, whether you know it or not. Because your values impact your decision making, it is wise to give some conscious attention to your core values.
Perhaps you have never considered how you make decisions. I had not given this topic much thought before I began studying psychology years ago. But think about it honestly. You make choices all day long – at work, at home, and all the hours in between. Some decisions are big such deciding whether to accept a marriage proposal or to move across the country for a new job. But most decisions are small, and they may seem inconsequential. Throughout each day, you determine between spending or saving money; being honest or telling a lie; exercising daily or giving into your cravings for TV and popcorn.
Decisions are made both consciously and subconsciously and they are often guided by past experiences, your mood-state and your values. You may think that your decisions are simply made by following sound advice and a little bit of intuition but that is not the whole truth. In reality, we operate under our own ethical and moral codes and these are formed by our core values.
Core values and beliefs are formed in childhood. We often learn them from the language, behaviors, and attitudes that we observed in our caregivers, culture and our community at large. In addition to helping us make important decisions, core values also help us to determine what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior from ourselves or others.
Maybe your parents made charitable giving a regular part of their weekly routine and therefore service and faith are important to you. Or maybe your mom was a marathon runner and she spoke frequently about the benefits of exercise. Or, perhaps, your grandfather was Chief of Police and so honesty, integrity, and commitment lay the foundation of your inner-being. These examples give you glimpses of how your values are formed.
Although our values are formed in childhood, they often change as we mature and have more life experiences. It is, therefore, helpful to revisit core value exercises several times throughout your lifetime to measure growth and stability. I like to do this exercise yearly and I venture to say that everyone can benefit from reevaluating their priorities and life goals following the health pandemic and lingering trauma caused by COVID19.
You will have many values, morals and ethics that guide you through life, but you will only have about three top values. Top values are ‘non-negotiable’. In other words, if you can live without this value, it is not a top value.
For example, if you love to exercise and consider yourself health- conscious but find that you are often making excuses to do something else with your time, then it is likely that health is not a top value. You value it, but it does not make the cut in real terms. Likewise, if you believe in God but rarely attend your place of worship, read faith-based books or pray to your God, faith is unlikely to score as a top value.
However, if after completing the exercises below, you discover a discrepancy such as this – that is, that you highly value something which is not showing up in your life in a meaningful way- than you need to readjust yourself to create a value-aligned life.
Discovering your Core Values
Perhaps you have been lucky enough to have taken a core values assessment online, or you have discovered your values through a team building exercise at work, or you addressed them in a therapy session. If so, consider this a review. However, most people have not looked deeply at their value systems before. Either way, our values can change over time depending on our age, experiences in life and the knowledge we gain along the way.
So, if you are curious about your values, take a minute to think about the last time someone ‘wronged’ you or think about the last time you felt a strong emotion (either negative or positive). Maybe someone blatantly lied to you and cut them out of your life as a result; or you saw an emotional news story and then you decided to make an anonymous donation to their cause; or you witnessed a random act of kindness that sincerely touched your heart and inspired a change in your life. These types of experiences can give us clues about our core values.
There are many more ways to uncover your core values and below I have provided some ideas to get you started on this self-discovery journey.
Contemplate, journal, and reflect on your answers to the questions below. This will give you some clarity on what values are important to you today… remember, these might have changed since your college days or pre-COVID19 life.
Recall 2-3 transformative experiences that you have had in your life. Write down the details of what led you to the experience, your thoughts, and feelings during and after the experience and what you learned or felt as a result. Think deeply about what makes this a transformative experience in your life.
For example, you may recall delivering a key -note speech at your company’s annual symposium and from that experience you may conclude that personal growth, adventure and career prosperity are important to you. Likewise, you may be drawn to the experience of watching your baby learn to talk and walk in which case compassion, autonomy and family connections may emerge as top values. Or, you may recall the first time you fully understood and believed in your faith.
Whatever experiences resonate as memorable and life-changing will provide you with personal insight about your value system.
Think of people you admire or with whom you feel deeply connected. These can be famous historians like Abraham Lincoln or Rosa Parks, or they can be teachers, bosses or family members. Identify what you admire about these people. Is it their careers, their compassion, or the way in which you felt validated and loved by them? Again, you will glean self-awareness and insight about your core beliefs by noticing who you admire.
Identify people or events that were negative influences on you or your life. Through our most difficult interactions we can often identify what is most important to us. For example, if your business partner conned you out of money during a major business transaction, you may learn that honesty, integrity, and loyalty are your top values. If you witnessed domestic violence in your childhood home, you may identify with the values of peace and safety.
In this exercise, you will start by reading a list of common core values. From there you will start to highlight those values which most resonate with you. Bear in mind, that there are as many different core values available to us as there are stars in the sky. Below is just a small sample core values. For a more complete list, follow this link.
Step 1: Read this full list once or twice. Just read the words and contemplate each word with its meaning to you.
Step 2: Highlight any words that resonate with you. Do not overthink it, just tune into your intuition and highlight values that stand out to you. The next step is to group your values together into a few sub-categories. For example, from the list I provided, your groups might look like this:
Step 3: Identify what does not resonate. As you parse your list into sub-categories, you will notice that some topics do not resonate at all. In this example the subset regarding money (i.e. Wealth, Abundance, and Financial Health) did not make the cut.
Step 4: With your parsed list, identify one word from each sub-category that most represents your beliefs. Your final list of core values should include 3-4 top values as below.
Step 5: Take time to define each of these values for yourself. Write a definition that makes sense to you.
You are now aware of your top core values, but now what do you do with this information? My suggestions are to assess how your values are influencing your current decisions, behaviors and attitudes. Are you practicing your top values daily or are they just an after-thought? If you are misaligned with your values, you notice that your mood is anxious or unstable, that you are experiencing difficulties with relationships or even physical health issues such as migraines, insomnia, or back pain.
If you are unsure how aligned your life is with your values, try this simple exercise:
Assume your top value is Health. Now, review your past month. Have you been attending to and prioritizing your health? Have you been going to the gym regularly, getting enough sleep, eating your vegetables, and reducing your alcohol consumption?
If you answer yes- you are living a valued-aligned life.
If you answer no- you are out of alignment.
Self-awareness is the first step to any change. Next, identify what obstacles and challenges you face in this area. Once you have identified the challenges, fine some solutions to these issues. For example, if you are only averaging 5 hours of sleep per night, why is this? Too much screen time? A newborn? Overeating? Then strategize to overcome these challenges. Maybe that means cutting off screens by 9.30pm or eliminating alcohol 5 days per week. You decide. Then commit to change.
Why bother going through all this effort if there is no return on investment? Rest assured, there is a great ROI if you choose to live a value-aligned life. Just try it for yourself. I find this is always the best option!
What you will notice is that your overall stress level reduces. Your life will feel more at ease and the little hurdles and set-backs will be more easily overcome. You will feel more inner-peace, more motivation and your relationship with yourself and others will improve.
I also notice that my own opportunities in life increase when I am living in my values. The more aligned you are, the more people (think employment opportunities, potential mates, new friends) will be attracted to you simply because of your presence. Again, you need to try this for yourself.
Curious? Just ask. As a professional life coach and psychotherapist, I love helping people, just like you, learn to live a value-aligned life.
Carrie Mead, MS is a Professional Life Coach, Psychotherapist, and Reiki practitioner based in Maryland. Carrie provides guidance, support and empowering exercises to help her clients redefine and enact on their life’s mission following a major life transition. Connecting authentically and compassionately forms the basis of all of Carrie’s personal and professional relationships. Carrie holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from McDaniel College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Gettysburg College. Carrie is a licensed mental health therapist in the state of Maryland and Certified Seasons of Change Coach. Learn more at www.curiositylifecoaching.com .
As a psychotherapist and certified life coach I have accompanied many people on their journey’s through the messiness of life. Some people reach out to me in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy while others wait decades to seek healing from the grief of childhood atrocities. I always aim to be present, empathetic, and supportive to my clients no matter what they are facing. Like many helpers and healers, I am a wounded healer, so relating to people in the depths of despair is quite natural for me. However, as I observe the events around racial and social injustices in America unfold, I find myself at a loss for words and understanding. I wonder how we will heal from this grief.
By now we all know the stories of people like Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Their combined hashtags on Instagram alone reach almost 3,000,000 and growing by the hour. I observe in horror, like most Americans, the disgrace and injustices betrayed upon these black men, and countless others, at the hands of a merciless few and yet I have no idea how to proceed. I have no idea how to make a sustainable impact on our society, our leaders, our communities, or our collective unconscious in these turbulent and unjust times.
Welcome to spring 2020. Pollen, bluebirds and…. change is in air. We are muddling through unprecedented, scary, times together. We would rather be enjoying the extra daylight and warmer temperatures, but instead, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID19 outbreak a world health pandemic. Thus, our anxiety heightened to intolerable levels. Collectively, we began to imagine worst-case- scenarios as our retirement funds plummeted, schools closed, and jobs were lost. Our worst fears started to unfold before our eyes and we seemed powerless to stop the destructive path carved out by a tiny virus. Creating a healthy mindset in the midst of chaos is pivotal because COVID19-anxiety is real.
Discernment is defined as the ability to judge well. This is a beautiful and simple definition of an elegant term. It is clear and precise. It is impossible to be confused about what it means to use discernment with a definition like this. However, when your marriage or partnership is on the rocks, you will feel anything but clear and precise about the unspoken decisions you need to make. Divorce is emotionally, spiritually, and financially painful and, like most people, you will want to avoid this all costs.
“Do I need a life coach or psychotherapist” is question that I hear often. As a licensed psychotherapist and certified life coach, people always ask me the difference between my two roles. People are always curious about what I do and they also want to know how to discern what they need. Basically, they want to know if their problem is coachable or therapeutic? Let’s dive into how we work through this dilemma.
FAQs for coaches and therapists
I want to address frequently asked questions about the differences between psychotherapy and life coaching. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse these two professions and to be sure, similarities do exist. However, these professions are not interchangeable. These waters can become even murkier as many counselors, like me, are practicing as both licensed counselors and life coaches. However, when you hire a coach with a Masters in Counseling, like me, you can rest assured that the foundation of our work together is rooted in my innate understanding of the human psyche.
either way, hire a professional
It is important to note that as a potential client, you are not expected to know exactly what you need. As a trained professional, I am here to guide you to the right service based on your needs, capabilities, and desires. That is where my expertise comes in. In any event, it’s still important to be an informed consumer so I have laid out these simple bullet points to help guide you through the decision making process.
Differences between counseling and life coaching
life coaching is:
focuses on the agenda set by the client
action-oriented and results-driven
takes place in the here and now, not in the past
assumes that you are resilient, strong, capable and healthy
focuses on aligning your strengths with your stated goals
knows that you are the expert of your own life purpose
credentialed in many different ways by many governing bodies, therefore, coaching is, some-what, self-regulated.
available by phone, video or in-person across the USA or worldwide
while therapy is:
focuses on emotions, behaviors and thoughts and the root of these feelings
helps the client relate current situations to past traumas or learned experiences
assesses for and diagnoses mental health disorders
provides treatment for mental health disorders
therapists are trained at the Masters Level and are required to be licensed by their state in almost every state in the USA. Each state has its own regulation and requirements, all are rigorous to ensure client safety
considered “medically necessary”, is covered by health insurance and is governed by the laws of HIPAA
can only take place in the states where the psychotherapist is licensed
the therapist is often considered the expert within the relationship
Similarities between counseling and coaching
Both professions require specialized training, certifications, course work, internships, and in-vivo field practice
Both professions have the same inherent goal of assisting clients create fulfilling lives
Both coaches and therapists are highly trained, empathetic, and intelligent
Both professions recognize and honor that each person is different and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ recipe for healing and success
Both professions adhere to ethical guidelines which foster safety within the relationship
ask questions before signing an agreement
The job of the coach is to help you, the client, understand these differences so that you choose the appropriate service for your needs. As the consumer, you are entitled to understand what coaching is, and is not so that you can knowledgeably enter the coaching contract. In traditional psychotherapy, we would make this part of the informed consent process. A thorough initial phone call or video call should include: establishing rapport, assessing your readiness for coaching and explaining the limitations of coaching.
how can I help you?
It’s my belief that both coaching and therapy are vital and helpful services for many people. There is no ‘better’ or ‘less than’ helping profession. It is actually this diversity that allows us to have access to the services we need most at a particular time in life.
If you would like to explore the possibility of life coaching or counseling with me, please set up an appointment here. I provide mental health therapy in the state of Maryland only and you can find out more about my counseling philosophy here.
Carrie Mead, MS is a Professional Life Coach, Psychotherapist, and Reiki practitioner based in Maryland. Carrie created Curiosity Life Coaching to help men and women successfully navigate major life transitions such as retirement, divorce, career changes, and loss. Carrie provides guidance, support and empowering exercises to help her clients redefine and enact on their life’s mission following a major life transition. Connecting authentically and compassionately forms the basis of all of Carrie’s personal and professional relationships. Carrie holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from McDaniel College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Gettysburg College. Learn more by visiting http://www.curiositylifecoaching.com
“Just as the boat is guided to shore by careful planning, following the map and visualizing the light house, we too must have these tools to reach our goals. Without preparation, planning and a vision of the future we are just afloat in the sea at the mercy of the winds”
As a psychotherapist and life coach, people always ask me the difference between my two roles. People are always curious about what I do. They are also want to know how to discern what they need. Basically, is their problem coachable or therapeutic in nature?
So, with this blog, I want to address frequently asked questions about the differences between psychotherapy and life coaching. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse these two professions and to be sure, similarities do exist. However, these professions are not interchangeable. These waters can become even murkier as many counselors, like me, are practicing as both licensed counselors and life coaches. However, when you a hire a coach with a Masters in Counseling, like me, you can rest assured that the foundation of our work together is rooted in my innate understanding of the…
I have been wanting to write about Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT Tapping for a long time now. The 12th annual Tapping World Summit inspired me to get started. For 10 days, thought leaders in the world of psychology, medicine, science, and holistic healing came together to share insights and strategies for reducing stress using Emotional Freedom Technique.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I am not paid or rewarded for plugging this tapping event, I just love it and my clients love it too! The summit is free, completely online, packed full of amazing in-vivo EFT tapping experiences, and it will be attended by over 600,000 people annually. You can find out more at www.thetappingsolution.com You also watch my quick YouTube tutorial on the EFT basics.
Using the seasons as a guide when you are in the midst of a major life transition
the seasons of life
At times, life is tough and at times, it is absolutely perfect. Have you ever noticed the ebb and flow of the seasons of your own life? There are times the stars align and everything you desire comes into fruition- a pay increase, a new romance, the perfect puppy… all at once. You sit back and wonder how you got so lucky. You bask in the sunlight and abundance that life has afforded you. You keep working hard and enjoying the ride. You have a great work ethic and your friends know that they can count on you. Life is good. But we all know that’s not the whole story. Stress and anxiety are part of life too. But for now, let’s bask in the glory of the summer sun.
If you are currently in a troubled marriage, you may have typed the term “divorce” into your internet browser recently. If so, you are not alone. According to media outlets like the New York Times and the London Evening Standard , search terms such as “how do I get divorced” peak and trend at various points throughout the year. It is no surprise that early January, or the first Monday back to work in January to be exact, is one of the most popular days to search for answers about the legalities and formalities of getting divorced. This term also peaks in March. Most experts surmise that by March, people have gathered their information and made their decisions on whether or not to begin a divorce proceeding. So, will you be part of Divorce Day 2020?