December 2013
Vol 6, Issue 12    
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

Yup! That's me, in downtown Minneapolis, imitating the ever-so-perky Mary Tyler Moore as she tosses her hat in the air in exuberant optimism for the life that lies ahead. Seems to be a fitting theme for the final month of 2013, as we look ahead to our 2014 possibilities. What's your approach as you look ahead?  Is it one of excitement and optimism or pessimism and worry?   Read the feature article below to find good reasons to approach your new year with sunny Mary Tyler Moore optimism.
My best wishes to you and yours for a most positive and joyous holiday season and new year.

 Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC  

Professional Certified Executive Coach   

Creative Coaching Group 

Feature Article: Cultivating Optimism (Channeling Mary Tyler Moore)

A more optimistic and authentically perky TV character than Mary Tyler Moore was never invented.  We would all benefit from channeling some of Mary's positive nature and weaving optimism through our lives.     

The power of positivity is a favorite theme of mine, and in fact, a chapter in my book, Harmony from the Inside Out is entitled  Pollyanna Lives - the Power of Positive Thinking. The greatest misunderstanding that I routinely encounter as I espouse the benefits of optimism and positivity in my coaching work is the thinking that being positive means one has to walk around in some sort of bubble, be happy all the time, and ignore all of the bad happening. The idea that one can't ever say "well, that felt rotten" even if that's how one really feels.  I am pretty certain all of us would be driven crazy by constant inauthentic perkiness.   


There is a difference between being positive and optimistic and being delusional. And yes, there is even a difference between being positive and optimistic and being happy.   


Life is a matter of attitude.  You can be positive even when lousy things are happening to you and conspire to put you in a less than happy state.  Although the conditions present might make you distressed, how you frame those conditions doesn't have to.  Even in the face of adversity you have a choice to be either mentally and emotionally positive or negative.


Your internal world - the reality that you encounter within your mind and emotions - is a world that only you can control and create.  Your experience is up to you.


Optimism breeds resilience. In The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor,  studies are cited that show optimists set more goals (and more difficult goals) than pessimists, put more effort into attaining those goals, stay more engaged in the face of difficulty and rise above obstacles more easily. Optimists also cope better in high stress situations and are better able to maintain high levels of well-being during times of hardship.


Positivity breeds possibility and broadens the scope of our world. Achor says "Positive emotions flood our brains with dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that not only make us feel good, but also dial up the learning centers of our brains to higher levels.  They help us organize new information, keep that information in the brain longer, and retrieve it faster later on - and they enable us to make and sustain new neural connections. "  


5 Keys to Cultivating an Optimistic, Positive Attitude


1/Narrow the scope of adversity - When #)$% hits the fan, think of the adversity as being temporary and isolated rather than turning that bad event into a sweeping condemnation of the entire world. Put some walls around it and examine it for what it is. See the bad times as phases or events instead of lifetimes.    


2/ Develop perspective - Take your perspective outside yourself and think about the relative place your problems sit in the world. I am not suggesting that you invalidate how you feel or the struggles that you are having, only suggesting that  you think broadly and see where your problems fall in the global picture.  Perspective can greatly lessen your feeling of hardship. Author Marianne Williamson said "Acknowledge...but don't dwell.  There is a difference between denial and transcendence."  


3/ Manage your negativity - Check in to see what negative messaging you are giving yourself.  Awareness of what you are thinking is the first step, so learn to listen to your words, whether spoken or unspoken.  Once you notice the dialogue you are having with yourself, think about the choice you can then make - either to stay with the debilitating thoughts, or to choose a different thought. It is your choice. Inspirational author Louise Hay said, "You are the only thinker in your own mind."  Choose your thoughts carefully.  Manage your negativity by taking control of your thoughts.


4/Focus on that which you can change or shift - Focus on what you can do to contribute to a better world and not what you expect others to do, nor what you think others expect you to do. Throw out the shoulds and focus on the coulds instead. As you focus on positive possibilities, you'll find that positive energy follows.


5/ Continuously nurture a positive mental state  - The world conspires to take us out of a positive mental state. We must be diligent about using techniques like setting daily intentions, developing a gratitude attitude, and developing strategies to support mindful self-care.   Click here to download my Ten Strategies to Nurture a Positive Mental State pdf to give you some easy, actionable techniques to add a little more Mary Tyler Moore to your world!


 When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it

-from Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter



The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Harmony from the Inside Out by Jan Carley 


Lightbulb of the Month

blue lightbulb


 "Human beings, by changing the inner attitude of their minds, can change the outer aspect of their lives."  

- William James, American psychologist and author 1842-1910  

FREE Holiday Coaching Gifts for You! (from me)
Jan in Santa Hat
I am feelin' the Christmas spirit and want to offer my fabulous readers two special gifts:

1/ FREE COACHING! - For the first TEN people that say YES a complimentary 30 minute telephone coaching strategy session with me is YOURS! This session will set you up for a rockin' 2014. (value $150 per session)  Email me to book your session at

2/ For everyone - I offer a resource to help you close out 2013 so that you can enter 2014 feeling light, uncumbered and with the space to create your best year ever. Click here to download your pdf 2013 Personal Reflection Guide.
About Jan Carley

Jan is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She specializes in coaching high-achieving individuals and teams to focus and clarify their vision and leverage their signature strengths to maximize their performance potential. Jan is committed to inspiring leaders and teams to create and follow-through on the strategies that will achieve transformative and sustainable results. 

3rd edition of Jan's book  

The 3rd edition of Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out, includes a bonus 50-page Action Guide download.  Purchase the book online at


Jan is Associate Faculty of the renowned Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Program and is a certified facilitator of the Strength Deployment Inventory TM.  Jan lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is available for individual & team coaching, workshops and speaking engagements worldwide. PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763 



Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog or newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities and leverages peak performance by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up to receive her free 15 page report, 5 Ways to Instantly Focus for Harmony and Success, and receive a free subscription to Jan's monthly coaching e-newsletter, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT.
Creative Coaching Group
copyright 2013. All rights reserved