Thursday, February 25, 2010

Successful Surroundings

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with (Jim Rohn)

So that’s why parents tell their children they don’t want them hanging around ‘those kids’! They know that kids (and adults) become like the people with whom they spend the most time. Herein lies the importance, my friends, to select our companions carefully, to spend time with uplifting and successful people, and to do our best to keep those psychic vampires at bay.

In order to obtain any form of success, it’s vital that we surround ourselves with those who live successfully. You may think to yourself that you don’t know anyone who could truly be considered successful, but bear in mind that success is more than a big-shot title and monetary wealth. Success comes from self-awareness, and in one’s choosing happiness over anger, in one’s choosing satisfaction rather than a feeling of longing. Successful people are certainly not members of the Woe is Me club!

As you strive toward personal development, it’s absolutely vital to avoid psychic vampires at all cost. It is better to spend time alone than to spend time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and mediocre standards. Turn off the mainstream media with its message of doom and gloom. Avoid reality television with its confusing definitions of achievement. Stop comparing yourself to others. They’ve chosen their paths; it’s time for you to choose your own.

I encourage you to make a conscious effort today to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people. Seek out those who will believe in you and support you…those who will applaud your victories. These are the possibility thinkers, the visionaries, and the dreamers who understand the power of positive reinforcement.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I once attended an awards luncheon in which a presenter, frustrated by the audience’s whispered mumbles and occasional cell phone beeps, raised her voice and curtly asked, “Could I get your respect, please?”

She didn’t receive our respect that day. She did, however, manage to silence the crowd with that question, but as far as garnering any venerability, I can safely tell you she did not.

Now, don’t get me wrong. One of my pet peeves is a noisy audience, but I’ve attended plenty of functions and know that there are better ways in which to settle a crowd.

I learned a long time ago that those who ask for respect are generally the ones who don’t deserve it. Certain people feel entitled to it because of their job, their economic status, or the art they create. They hide behind the fa├žade of particular titles, letting those titles define who they are.

I don’t respect the manager who loses his temper and belittles his employee. I respect the employee who continues to plug away at the job, pleased with the product she creates, refusing to let the manager’s harsh words affect her.

I don’t respect the group of wealthy, suburban soccer moms who allow their children to wreak havoc in restaurants following a game. I respect the busboy who cleans up after them.

I don’t respect the performer who becomes angry when the audience doesn’t “get” the message he’s trying to convey. I respect the performer who gives it his all every night and is grateful for his audience and for the opportunity to perform.

No one is entitled to respect. Everyone has the opportunity to deserve it, though.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Revelations from the Fitting Room

A friend asked me the other day how image consulting and life coaching work together. “After all, one’s pretty shallow, and the other’s quite deep,” he quipped. I laughed in spite of myself, and explained my personal philosophy (one I completely stole from What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelly): how we dress tells the world how we expect to be treated. I added the caveat: our thoughts, words, and actions tell the Universe how we expect to be treated.

Women tend to reveal deep, dark secrets in fitting rooms, and not just the type that involves lumps, bumps, scars, and sad underwear. Gals tend to purge a few things while trying on clothes and discovering new looks. “I love it, but there’s no way Bob will let me wear it.” What else does Bob dictate? I wondered. “I just don’t feel comfortable in bright colors; I’m much more comfortable in black.” Why are you afraid of getting noticed? I pondered. “I should not spend this much money on a shirt.” Why don’t you feel worthy? I mused. Anyway, by the time I leave most fitting rooms, I know far more than a woman’s age, rank, and bra size.

I really believe our style represents our authentic selves. What’s happening on the outside is a pretty good indicator of what’s going on inside, usually. I suppose once I’ve seen someone practically naked, she feels comfortable enough with me to discuss things that she won’t easily discuss with someone else.

I take a great deal of pride in my work. It’s about empowering others, really, and it’s a real kick for me to assist them in taking control of their lives. We only get one life, you know. Why not frolic through it joyfully while feeling as fabulous as we look?

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Peace Comes

Peace comes with doing the right thing. Peace comes when one knows she’s made the right decision. Peace comes with self-knowledge, self-love, and self-respect.

We feel it when we’ve successfully fought the good fight. We feel it when we when we finally become detached to an outcome and are simply content to be. We feel it when we put fears aside and follow our dreams…our passions.

Peace and abundant living go hand-in-hand. It’s a choice – we can choose to learn about and love ourselves. We can choose fulfillment over drudgery. We can choose to surround ourselves with positive people and experience their positive energy.

We have unlimited potential, and we have power. We realize that potential, we tap into that power….and peace comes.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Unhappy Hour

Cathy started a new job a couple of months ago. One Friday afternoon, she and her colleagues gathered for drinks after work. She was quite looking forward to the happy hour, for she had developed a great deal of respect for her coworkers and, in particular, her boss. The boss’s wife would join them, which made Cathy even happier as she’d never met the wife before.

One drink led to another that afternoon. Bemusement turned to genuine concern as Cathy witnessed many of colleagues behaving in a less-than-professional manner. Sure, she’d joined in happy hours at other jobs she’d worked, but she’d never seen anything like this. Raucous conversation permeated the room. Voices grew louder. Soon, Cathy felt a bit embarrassed to be seen in such company. Pub patrons gave her table dirty looks, and one gentleman even approached them to ask if they might hold it down. Cathy’s boss quite loudly – and quite explicitly, told the guy what he could do with his request.

Then the boss turned to Cathy and proceeded to tell her everything that was right – and wrong – with her body. Shock overcame her and she excused herself to the ladies’ room. There, she ran into the boss’s wife, who was barely able to stand after so many martinis. Hoping to sneak out of the pub, Cathy now felt a responsibility for getting the boss’s wife back to the table. I’ll just take her back and make a quick exit, Cathy thought. And that’s just what she did. Once the wife was more or less settled, Cathy grabbed her purse and said goodbye. No one heard her, though. They were laughing at the boss’s joke – one that poked fun at a colleague’s religion. Yes, the colleague was sitting right there with the same expression Cathy imagined she’d had earlier in the evening.

Cathy had to do some serious soul-searching that night. Could she continue to work for a man who, after a few drinks, became, in essence, a bully? Should she confront him about his derogatory comments to her? Would she have the courage to avoid colleagues on a social basis?

Cathy’s no prude, nor am I. I love social gatherings just as much as anyone, but when it comes to office ‘do’s, there are definitely some don’ts involved:

Don’t treat it as your college keg parties. You’re an adult now; behave like one.

Don’t linger longer than an hour, and keep it to one or two drinks. (Besides, leaving early lends an element of mystique about you, especially if you don’t tell your colleagues where you’re going)

Don’t allow a colleague – even your boss – to get away with inappropriate comments. A simple, “I really don’t appreciate that,” will hopefully suffice. Mentioning an attorney might do the trick, too. If not, seek employment elsewhere – immediately.

It takes years to build a good reputation, and only moments to tear one down. Never compromise your integrity. Professionally or personally.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Top 10 Ways to be Fabulous

As a longtime fan of David Letterman, I depend on him each evening to provide me with a chuckle before bedtime. His Top 10 Lists do it for me every time, so I thought I’d put my own spin on them regarding something that’s near and dear to my heart: fabulousness! Here we go…..

10. Speak less, listen more.

9. Avoid wearing crocs

8. Put on a little lipstick before heading to the store

7. Say ‘thank you’ throughout the day

6. Realize that you may, in fact, be somebody’s role model and live your life accordingly

5. Invest in quality rather than quantity in your wardrobe

4. Refuse to let the past dictate who you are. Focus on the present. Remain hopeful for the future

3. Stay away from reality TV

2. Feel grateful for what you do have rather than frustration for what you don’t have

1. Choose to live passionately rather than stagnantly

As I put this together, I realize there are many more I could have added. These will do…at least for now.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Catty Behavior

An incident occurred in the Newman house last night.

As I walked through my office, my handsome boy, Kramer, snuck in underneath me and I accidentally stepped on his paw. He yelped in that sad, angry way that cats do when these things happen. From out of nowhere our little princess, Tallulah Belle appeared, wide-eyed and ready to take some sort of action. She gave me an almost guttural mew – the one she saves for stray cats who visit our patio. Then, she lunged toward Kramer, attempting to bite him.

I assured her all was well, and eventually the three of us made up. It got me thinking, though, about how we as humans tend to resort to an almost animal-like instinct when we’re confused or frightened.

Tallulah Belle could not fully understand the situation – that’s just the way cats are wired. She was merely reacting from her gut. We’re rational beings, however, with the capacity for assessment and we have the power to choose our reactions to problematic situations. Oftentimes we don’t utilize this power. We choose to react negatively and lash out toward those we love without understanding that it’s completely within our control to handle life’s bumps with grace and dignity.

I encourage you today to really think about the challenges you face and to consider your actions carefully before striking out the way Tallulah Belle did. She can’t help her reactions, but we can surely take possession of ours.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Happy Sort of Relationship

An acquaintance recently told me that February is the ‘month of love’. I innocently asked, “Shouldn’t every month be one of love?” She glowered at me as if I’d coughed up a hair ball. It got me thinking, though, about love, relationships, significant others, and so forth, and made me realize just how easy it is for people to place extremely high expectations on their beloved, and how easy it is for them to display an incredible amount of disrespect toward him or her.

So, I’ve devised a little list of helpful hints for insuring a positive and loving relationship with your honey:

1. Look the part – It pains me to witness someone who uses marriage as an excuse to let herself go. That special someone deserves to see you at your best, even during those lovely, lazy days spent at home. Trade in those oversized sweat pants for a good pair of jeans or trousers of the yoga-variety. Wear a fitted T-shirt instead of his old work shirt. Put on a little lipstick before he gets home from work. Watch your weight (he certainly is). You might find that he’ll be less likely to let himself go if you remain hot and happening.

2. Do your thing, so long as it doesn’t become a thing – We all need outlets and hobbies away from our beloved. Do make sure that she is on board with what you like to do. Harmless cross-dressing is one thing; smoking crack is quite another. Never allow your thing to come between you and your darling. It really boils down to respect for her feelings.

3. In sickness and in health – even if your turtle-dove is a raging hypochondriac, you must take his health concerns to heart and offer support in any way you can. Never pooh-pooh his aches, pains, or moods (Side note: if he bemoans aches and pains every day, or seems to be in some sort of mental funk, realize it may be a symptom of something deeper, and talk it over with him)

4. Avoid trash-talk – I’m incredibly bothered when someone badmouths his better-half. A little kidding around about her predilections is one thing; constantly complaining about every little thing she does is not. In business, we’re taught that if we have an issue with a colleague, we should take it up with that colleague before running to management or other co-workers. Shouldn’t the same rule apply to marriage?

5. The Golden Rule – when it comes right down to it, we must focus on treating our spouse/significant other/longtime companion the way in which we’d like to be treated. Don’t expect to be treated like a queen if you treat your beloved like a commoner. What goes around comes around.

Let’s make every month/day/hour/minute/second about love, shall we?

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!