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Monday, September 11, 2017

How Can You Prepare for the Unknown?

Waiting and wondering seems to be the theme lately. Depending upon where you live, you wait and wonder about different challenges. In the northwest and far west, you wonder about wildfires. In Idaho and Mexico, you wonder about earthquakes. In the Houston area, you wonder about rebuilding and how you’ll recover from Hurricane Harvey. If you’re in the Caribbean or Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, you wonder what Hurricane Irma will bring to you and/or those you love in its path. There are other challenges globally that affect millions of people. Some of them are natural disasters. Some of them are terrorist plans, or saber-rattling from countries threatening war. Others are actually engaged in war, sometimes with their own citizens.

No matter what the threat, we’re called upon to somehow, be ready. That isn’t always so easy to figure out. Do you leave your home? If so, where do you go? Are you facing something that your government will help you navigate? Or is that part of the problem?

For me, Hurricane Irma has grabbed my focus as I think about how to keep family members safe in Florida, especially my 94-year-old mother who doesn’t intend to leave The Villages in central Florida. Luckily, my brother and his son have gone down so that she won’t be alone. They are as ready as they can be. My sister and her husband in Gainesville, and my niece and her family (and their restaurant) in Gainesville have had to get as ready as they can, not being sure what Irma will be like by the time she gets to them. 

My colleagues and I who have a conference planned in the Atlanta area next week have to wait and wonder whether we can proceed or not. Irma is predicted to head north through Georgia, but we don’t know whether that will mean flooding, power outages, and/or closed roads. Actually, there have been some predictions that Irma will head north to Tennessee and bring rain, wind, and tornadoes to our area, or if it will be further west. 

Not knowing is one of the hardest things about getting ready. If you have a pretty good idea about what is likely to happen, it is easier to prepare for it. When there are a lot of unknowns, and when the timing isn’t clear, it makes it tough to prepare. 

When you don’t have the answers, you can only guess, and do what you can. For humans, anxiety tends to accompany the unknown. We worry about what will happen to us. We worry about what will happen to our communities. We worry about what will happen to those we care about. 

I find that the best way to deal with that anxiety is to do what you can to prepare. Plan for contingencies as best you can. Use your “what if” problem-solving abilities to have multiple plans and resources. Reach out to others who may not be as good at planning as you are. Remind them of what sorts of things need to be done. Ask questions to make sure they are as ready as they can be. Offer your assistance or a place to go if you can. If you have the capability to help others, reach out. If you hear of resources that may be helpful, pass them along. 

The waiting and wondering is always the hardest, I think. I always feel better when I’m taking active steps to plan or handle a situation. The waiting and wondering tends to shatter my focus. It’s funny. When I’m in a situation when I’m waiting and wondering about something I’m facing, it’s hard to understand that others may be just going through their daily life as usual. They may not be aware that your community is flooded; that your community is on fire; that you’re unable to escape a dangerous situation.

I guess we all live in our own bubble, where the things we’re facing are #1 on our list. Others may have their own catastrophes or difficult situations to deal with. Those are things we may know nothing about. They may be trying to rebuild from the last catastrophe. They may be burying a loved one. They may be fighting a terrible disease. They may have just lost their job, or no longer have a place to live. Their only transportation may have broken down for good. 

Whatever challenges you face, please be aware that there are others that are facing something different. No one has the corner of the market on the biggest disaster. We each have our individual perceptions and perspectives of what we face and how ready we are to cope with whatever hits us.
There’s a lot of pain around us these days. Whether you’re actively experiencing it or not, please be aware that there are those who are stretched beyond their limit. Give them a hand when you can. Help them in the ways that they were there to help you and yours when you were faced with pain and challenges. 

We survive bad situations best when we help each other. If you are experiencing bad times, reach out for help. If things are okay for you, reach out your hand to help others. If you need somebody to talk to about your experience, I’m here to listen, and if possible, to help you connect with the resources you need. You can contact me through email at or call me at 865-983-7544. 

Good luck waiting and wondering!

P.S. This was written over the weekend, 
and today the remnants of Irma are supposed to begin to hit us with high tropical storm winds and heavy rain. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed roads and campsites in preparation. And, in order to be timely, and make sure this gets sent, I’m sending it on Monday this week, instead of Tuesday. Be well, whatever you are dealing with.

Warmest wishes,


Monday, September 4, 2017

What Really Matters

Sometimes you’re going along, living your life the way your usually do, and then something happens that throws you off-kilter. It might be something that changes the way you think about things, something that makes you realize that your focus has been in a place that matters less than what is going on right this moment.

It may be something that stops you in your tracks and makes you realize what really matters. 

For much of my nation—the US—it has been Hurricane Harvey and its terrible aftermath during this past 10 days.  We’ve watched as torrential rains flooded our fourth largest city and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Water destroyed houses, washed away cars, and ruined all their belongings. But even worse, it killed people and animals. 
It took hundreds of thousand lives and turned them upside down for the foreseeable future. Whether you know anyone in that area or not, you can’t help but be moved by the ways that strangers reached out to help others: driving in with flat-bottom boats to help evacuate those stranded; forming a human chain to rescue someone out of a floating truck; arriving on horseback to help release other horses trapped and straining to keep their heads above water; opening homes, stores, and churches to take people in from the relentless water; arriving at shelters to volunteer; sending money and supplies.

Just as it has done at other times, this disaster focused us on what really matters. I experienced it close up last fall during the fires that killed fourteen and wiped out so much in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Or as it did when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia several years ago. Or when wildfires engulfed so many acres of land in the Western US. 

Whether the disaster gets national news or is primarily a local story, most of us are moved by the pain and suffering of others. We want to help. We hurt for them, imagining what it would be like to experience those events first hand. 

Television, the internet, and social media brings us first-hand stories and first-hand images that burn their way through our consciousness, reminding us of what is important. What is most important through it all are the LIVES.
 what is
Lives that are lost. Lives that are irrevocably changed. Lives that matter. 

All of us become changed by the experiences we have. If the experiences are positive, those changes may not be problematic. If those experiences are negative, they can be life-changing not only for the person who has the experience, but on others whose lives intersect with theirs.

I’ve spend a good portion of my professional life helping people move beyond trauma, whether caused by a natural disaster, a crime, an abusive relationship, war experiences, accidents, health issues, or any of the huge number of traumatic incidents that can change your life forever.
Trauma changes people, there’s no doubt about that. It can change brain functions, and how fully the person is able to live in the here and now. But there are ways to mediate trauma, to resolve it, to help people go from feeling as if all their resources have been damaged to putting it in its place and moving on. 

While I’m in full support of rebuilding homes, helping people restore their lives, I hope we won’t forget what really matters: helping people survive something terrible and come through it stronger, wiser, with all the inner and external resources they need to move on. Because that’s what’s really necessary to survive this or any other bad experience.

If you or someone you know needs help connecting with those resources, I hope you’ll reach out. Email me at or call me at 865-983-7544. 

While I no longer work as a psychotherapist, I can teach you the tools to move on, or I can help you find someone to work with so that you can resolve whatever trauma has taken its toll on you. What really matters is to find the resources to move on. Your history of the trauma doesn’t change, but what can change is your reaction to it.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach with nearly 40 years experience helping people uncover obstacles and resolve them in order to be able to MOVE ON. For more information, email her at

Monday, August 21, 2017

What Can You Do to Make the World Better?

Follow Your Passionate Heart

"We get by with a little help from our friends..."
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

I just got back from the three-day Inspired Fundraising Retreat 2017. To say it made an impact on me would be a gross understatement. Imagine yourself in a room of nearly 100 passionate people, each representing a small to medium-sized nonprofit. Each works with different missions and different types of clients. Some focus on helping people move beyond poverty. Some help children in the U.S. or other parts of the world. Some are faith-based. Some focus on veterans. Others focus on providing shelter and adoption for animals of all ages. Some help people learn job skills. Others focus on helping those with special needs. Some of the organizations represented were just getting started. Some had been in existence for many years.

It was a really diverse group of people and organizations. But they all had several things in common that became apparent almost immediately:

·       They all want to do good works in whatever arena they'd envisioned
·       They all are incredibly passionate and determined
·       They are all generous and cared about others (including each other)
·       They all have inspirational stories to tell about what their organization has done or is doing for their clients (humans and animals)
·       They all are determined to survive and thrive

Yes, this was a conference about fund-raising in nonprofit organizations, but it was about so much more. It awed me to see so many people who share their programs daily with their clients. People who are determined to improve some small part of our world. These are people making a difference.

Sandy Rees, a friend and colleague of mine from Get Fully Funded, put on this conference to share practical information and to give the participants opportunities to learn and practice what they learned.  They learned to improve and share everything from their "elevator speeches" about their organization, to how to take care of their donors, to how to increase their fund-raising so that they could do more good works. They learned how to plan their fund-raising, and how to evaluate its success. One organization won a $1000 grant from Sandy in a Shark Tank-like competition.

Another coach and I were there to help explain the concept of mindset and how important it is to success or failure. Most importantly, we were there to help them learn practical strategies for harnessing their mindset so that if they do have any mindset limitations getting in the way, they'd know how to do something about them.

I'll be following up with just about everybody I talked with, to help them begin the process of getting rid of the mindset limitations through a one-to-one phone call I offered anybody who was interested. For free. That's not because I'm so wonderful, but it's because I felt it was the least I could do. In the face of so much dedication, passion, and hard work, I want to help support these people and their organizations.

While you may not work in a nonprofit organization, I'll bet you give to causes you believe in. I only hope you understand just how very important your support is. No matter how much or how little you give, it makes a difference. A big difference. It may save someone's life. It may make someone's life a bit better. You contributions may be combined with others to keep supporting that organization's programs and clients. It will be put to good use. If you can't help financially, you can offer to volunteer your time. Nonprofits and their programs depend on the kindness of strangers as well as friends. What better way to go from being a stranger to becoming a friend?

In this world, which is so divided, supporting organizations that have the good of others in their mind and actions is a great way to do your small part to help a small corner of the world to heal. If we each do our part and join with others for the good of our world or small portion of it, we all can make a difference.

If you want to make a difference, but aren't sure what organization to donate your time or money to, feel free to contact me at or call me at (865) 983-7544. We can talk about what types of causes you are most drawn to, and hopefully, I can help you figure out how you can make a difference.  

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach in Maryville, TN. Nineteen years ago, she created a vision that brought her across the country to create a new business and a new chapter to her life. She has spent nearly 40 years helping people overcome their obstacles to living a satisfying and successful life, first as a psychologist, and later as a personal/business coach.  For more information go to to find resources to transform YOUR life.

Find freedom. Find joy. Find solutions.
Find YOUR resources at The Inner Resource Center, LLC

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Secret About Negativity

You've probably noticed it. It isn't exactly subtle. Whether you it hits you from the news, from social media or interactions with people you thought were friends, we seem to be almost drowning in negativity.

It isn't that people hold different opinions about what is best for their country and their lives, it is the venom with which those opinions are expressed that are concerning. People always vigorously defend their beliefs. We all do it with all beliefs. Once we decide to believe something, we work to prove ourselves "right." We ignore evidence to the contrary. We distort evidence to prove our beliefs right. And we generalize from one event so that it applies to all.

Again, we ALL do it with ALL our beliefs. What I find disturbing is the negativity which surrounds us on all sides. Whether the negativity is expressed through a focus on problems and what isn't going well, or whether it descends into name-calling, threats and violence, all the negativity has an impact. A harmful impact.

We are affected, not only by words, but by the emotions behind them. How do we know? There have been studies demonstrating it.

Studies by Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated that water molecules respond to the words that are used about them, changing their structure to respond to the message.  If the message is positive and loving, the water molecule changes into beautiful crystalline patterns; if the message is negative, the water molecule becomes deformed and ugly. 

Quantum Physics has shown us that we create our own possibilities in the universe, and that matter responds to us and changes in response to what we envision.

This is powerful.  Since we are mostly water, think about the serious implications of being around negative people who use words to put you down or surround you with that negativity. 

Mental health professionals know that people who are exposed to continual verbal abuse begin to believe what they are told, believing that they aren't worthy of being treated well, believing that they deserve to be belittled. In fact, if the cells of your body are listening in and react to what they are being told, it follows that they may create disease or at least decrease their ability to fight it off.

I am hardly a Pollyanna. I know there is ugliness in the world. I work with people every day who struggle to overcome the ugliness they've experienced so that they can move on. So that they can create a life of happiness and success.

How do you do that? It is vitally important to surround yourself with people who support you and encourage you to be your best. Quite literally, it can be a matter of life or death. While this may sound like an exaggeration, think for a moment about people you have known who have been in hostile, emotionally abusive relationships and the toll it has taken on their health.

If you have been surrounding yourself with people who belittle you and use words to attack you, consider how toxic this is for your health.  Just as you wouldn't stay in an environment where you were breathing toxic chemicals--things that could make you sick or kill you--you shouldn't stay around people who use words or their opinions in toxic ways.  

As much as possible, avoid being around people who are negative.  No matter what their excuse is for it, it isn't good for you. If you can't avoid them completely, limit your time around them, and take steps to counteract the messages they send you by focusing on positives, beauty, humor, love. Think positive thoughts. Say affirmations. Pray. Be grateful. Choose to spend time and be in situations and relationships with people who express positivity and inspiration. Find people to support you and help you realize your potential.

You may not be able to get rid of the negativity currently pervasive in the media and in election campaigns, but you CAN keep it out of your life. Turn off the television. Focus on your own life and how to make it the way you want.

As the Chinese proverb says: "You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair."

The secret about negativity is not to let it build a nest in your hair. 

 Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach and trainer. She helps people overcome the obstacles to their success and happiness--including negativity. She has spent the past 38 years helping her clients create the life of their dreams and is grateful for the opportunity. She believes that everyone can solve their life's challenges if they can only access their resources. The Inner Resource Center, LLC helps connect people to their resources again so that they can move forward to a life they love. For more information, contact her at ,

Monday, October 3, 2016

Top 5 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Mindset Limitations

"I don't know what that problem is," she told me. "I've been working really hard, but I can't ever seem to reach the success I've been chasing. There must be something wrong with me."

It's a common complaint I hear in many different forms:

  • "I'm stuck."
  • "No matter what I do, it doesn't seem to work."
  • "Maybe I'm not cut out for this."
  •  "I'm working as hard as I can, but I can't seem to get there."

All of these complaints have mindset at their core.  It isn't that you aren't working hard enough. Success doesn't have to be so elusive. At the core of all these problems is the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values that underlie everything you do.  Mindset is the voice in your head that tells you "I can't..."  It's the part that tells you "I don't deserve..."  It is at the core of your self-doubt and lack of confidence.

Usually these thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values have their foundations in events from your past. They are the reactions to events in your life that didn't turn out the way you wanted them to.  As a result you jumped to conclusions about what the problem was.  You formed beliefs that began to limit you, and you found "proof" that you were right in your conclusions by doing what we all do when we form a belief. We ignore evidence to the contrary. We distort the evidence to "prove" we were right all along.  And we generalize from situations where the belief may be true to all situations or every single time.

Then to make it even more complicated, the beliefs, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and values fall out of our awareness and become unconscious.  We don't even realize these mindset saboteurs are chugging away under the surface messing everything up. 

As amazing as it may seem, 90% of your success or failure are the result of mindset issues.  Specifically, it's those mindset limitations you've unconsciously set into motion.  It is vitally  important to address your mindset issues. If you don't you'll continue to struggle.

The top 5 reasons to address your mindset limitations are

1.       To get rid of obstacles that block your goals--especially obstacles that are self-imposed.   
Your mindset limitations stop you just as completely as if you were running head-first into a           brick wall.

2.       To get off the roller-coaster and create CONSISTENT results.
Maybe you've had some success, but you can't seem to duplicate it and your ups and downs are affecting your confidence.

3.         To conquer your fears.
No matter if your fears are of a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of being noticed, a fear of rejection, fear plays a huge role in taking the steps you need to in order to be successful. If you are fearful, you'll avoid doing the things you need to do to succeed.

4.         To get rid of self-doubt.
Self doubt often keeps you stuck. You lack the confidence to get out there and do what you need to in order to achieve your goals. Self-doubt is composed of "what if's" and most of them are catastrophic. If you can get out of your own way, you are likely to discover that you are more capable then you thought.  You really CAN do those things you didn't think you could.

5.         To get rid of limiting beliefs that hurt your confidence and self-esteem.
Those may be beliefs like "I'm not worthy," or "I have to be perfect," or "I'm not good enough." If you've been thinking there's something wrong with you, there is likely a limiting belief that is feeding it.

The good news is that mindset limitations can be resolved. The bad news is that you can't just decide to believe or think something more helpful. Because mindset issues tend to lurk in the unconscious, you can't consciously change them--you have to change them with unconscious methods.  Think about it--if you chant "There are no weeds in my garden; there are no weeds in my garden; there are no weeds in my garden," a hundred times, what happens?  The weeds still take over your garden. You have to DO something, and it has to address the weed's roots.

Want to know more? Contact me, Linda Pucci at to schedule time to talk over the phone about your mindset limitations and what you can do about it.  There are lots of techniques and methods that work. When you are ready to address your mindset, email me and we'll talk about what will work best for you.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach and an expert in helping clients resolve mindset issues that interfere with their success and happiness.  For more information go to to learn about her services.