Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 02/05/2020 – Dr. Colleen Georges, Author of the 5-time award-winning, bestselling book, RESCRIPT the Story You’re Telling Yourself: The Eight Practices to Quiet Your Inner Antagonist, Amplify Your Inner Advocate, & Author a Limitless Life
Share your journey with us.
I feel like my life was always leading me to become a coach and an author. From as far back as I can remember I loved to write and to help people. I was that kid who befriended other kids who were struggling socially, personally, or academically. I just liked to see people smile and wanted everyone to feel happy. When I went through struggles myself, I worked them out through journaling and writing poetry. When it came time to select a career path in college, I decided on the helping professions. I got my Bachelor’s in psychology and my Master’s and Doctorate in counseling.
In graduate school, I began working with college students and fell in love with it, so I pursued a career in college student affairs administration, where I worked for 13 years. While there, I started a side hustle writing resumes and also taught counseling and women’s leadership classes part-time. My son was born in 2009 and when he was 18 months old, I decided to turn my side hustle into my main hustle to have more time with him, and I’ve been running my business RESCRIPT Your Story full time ever since. It was the scariest and best decision I ever made and I’ve never looked back. It’s allowed me to do work that fulfills my purpose to help others live their best lives while getting to have the time with my son and husband that’s so important to me. RESCRIPT Your Story has evolved in the most amazing ways over the last 12 years. I’m blessed to provide my clients with positive psychology-based career and life coaching, organizational trainings and keynote speaking, and I just published my first self-help book, RESCRIPT the Story You’re Telling Yourself: The Eight Practices to Quiet Your Inner Antagonist, Amplify Your Inner Advocate, & Author a Limitless Life.
You are a Positive Psychology Coach. Tell us more.
I’ve always naturally seen the good and strengths in others. In fact, when I was in graduate school and we had to use the DSM to diagnose people’s limitations, I didn’t like it much! While I fully understand the importance of having a name for our struggles, I see equal if not greater importance in giving a name to our strengths. When I discovered Positive Psychology, which focuses on our strengths and what makes us flourish, I felt like I finally found the psychological theory and techniques that fit my life perspective. My RESCRIPT Framework is based in Positive Psychology. I work with my clients from the belief that they have everything they need within them to create greater joy, peace, and empowerment in their lives. Positive Psychology doesn’t ignore individual or life challenges, it simply acknowledges that we are bigger than them and we don’t have to allow them to define us. It doesn’t say we shouldn’t feel sadness or anger, it simply gives us the tools to process negative experiences and feelings and move through them with hope and resilience.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a Life and Career Coach?
While the field of coaching has existed since the 1980s, I first heard about it around 2005. As a counselor, I was really curious about how counseling and coaching differed. I did some online research, discovered a career coaching certification course, and decided to enroll in it in 2007. I also read a lot of books on coaching, including Thomas Leonard’s The Portable Coach, which I absolutely loved. Not long after, I enrolled in a life coaching certification course. I really resonated with coaching’s strengths, goal achievement, concrete, now and future-focused approach. It was such a perfect fit for me and my personality. At first, I just intended to use coaching techniques with my college students. However, when I started my resume writing business in 2008, I quickly realized my clients needed additional support with their career and life goals. That was when I decided to become a Life and Career Coach! Since I had more than 10 years of experience advising, counseling, and coaching college students, I began offering coaching through my business. Being a person who is goal achievement obsessed, I couldn’t find a more perfect career.
Did your upbringing influence your decision for your career?
My parents raised me to be kind and compassionate, to embrace differences, and to see the good in people and the world, so I know my upbringing influenced my career path. My first job at age 14 was a camp counselor and I really loved it, plus I loved my High School psychology class, so my parents suggested psychology as a possible college major. They definitely opened the door to the path I was meant to walk down. They’re pretty cool like that.
You are an Award-Winning Author and your book, RESCRIPT the Story You’re Telling Yourself is an International Best-Seller. Where did you derive the inspiration for your book?
While I started writing a self-help book in 2003 that I stopped writing at page 17, the inspiration for RESCRIPT came in large part from my 2016 TEDx Talk, “Re-scripting the Stories We Tell Ourselves.” I focused my talk on how changing our inner dialogue can transform the stories we live out each day. My talk was born out of my struggles with anxiety, low self-esteem, and self-criticism, in conjunction with my work with students and clients struggling with their inner critic. Right after my talk, I created the RESCRIPT Framework, with each letter of the acronym focused on re-scripting a specific area of negative self-talk. I created strategies to use with clients and a workbook for them, and suddenly realized the book I’d wanted to write for over a decade was writing itself. Then I made intentionally writing my book a non- negotiable commitment in my schedule and my dream of publishing a became a reality in March 2019. Having people tell me that my book has changed their life has been surreal. I still kind of can’t believe it when I hear that. I wrote RESCRIPT to give others tools to see their strengths, be self-compassionate, achieve their goals, and be empowered forces of good in the world. The fact that it became an international best-seller and won five book awards has been doubly surreal. I feel beyond blessed.
Can you share one “Practice to Quiet Your Inner Antagonist?”
While I talk about 100+ practices in my book, these are my favorites and the ones I personally use and recommend the most. First, begin paying closer attention to the patterns and phrases of your negative, limiting, self-critical thoughts. Jot down some of the most frequently occurring ones and then write down some more positive, affirming responses you can tell yourself instead. Keep those affirming phrases handy and use them whenever your Inner Antagonist gets loud and persistent. Additionally, in those antagonistic thinking moments, calmly say your name, and kindly and calmly tell yourself, Thinking this way is not helping you. Then ask yourself, What do you control in this situation? Then take quick action on an aspect of the situation within your control. Tell yourself that analyzing things you do not control is just harming you and wasting your important time. Tell yourself, I’m going to allow my mind to let go of what I do not control. Finally, remind yourself that you are resilient and that discomfort and difficulty do not equal danger and destruction.
What was your vision for this book?
My vision for RESCRIPT was to offer readers a guide for understanding how our self-talk becomes our story. Our internal voice is our life’s narrator. What we say to ourselves and about ourselves ultimately scripts our story of who we are, why we are or aren’t good enough, what we are or aren’t capable of, and what possibilities the future can hold for us. I created the RESCRIPT Framework to offer readers specific strategies for quieting negative self-talk and becoming our own best advocate in order to achieve their life and career goals. Knowing that different strategies resonate with different people, I created LOTS of different strategies people can try out in their lives to find ones that fit them best.
Who inspires you?
Hands down, Betty White. She is truly my idol. At 98 years old, she’s still active in her career and life. She’s quick-witted, self-assured, authentic, outspoken, compassionate, and full of positive energy. She’s lived her life on her terms and is such an empowering woman. She’s an accomplished actor, author, and activist, particularly for animal rights. And, she is always very clear about that fact that she doesn’t ever plan on retiring. I believe that’s because she lives her life with passion and purpose and knows she has so much more to contribute to the world. I aspire to live my life with the heart and soul that Betty White has and continues to live hers.
Share a pivotal moment in your life.
One of the most pivotal moments in my life came while I was in graduate school in 2000, and I realized I was having panic attacks. I’d been having them for a while and despite the fact that I was studying counseling, I didn’t realize what they were when they were happening to me. I just knew I had moments when I couldn’t breathe and it felt like a pile of bricks was sitting on my chest. Once I understood what was happening, I went to the bookstore looking for help. I came across Louise Hay’s Gratitude: A Way of Life and bought it. It was then that I began an evening gratitude practice that I’ve been doing for 20 years now. Since my son was 5, we’ve been doing bedtime thankfuls together. That gratitude practice helped me to obliterate anxiety and panic attacks and changed my whole perspective on myself and my life. I had dealt with low self-esteem, catastrophizing, and beating myself up over every little thing for many years. Focusing my life on being thankful for all of my small and big blessings has been my salvation at every turn.
What common challenges have you seen with your clients?
There are multiple common themes I find when working with my clients. One of the most common is believing that because they’ve struggled with something in the past, that struggle is somehow a permanent part of their identity. As people, we own negative patterns of behavior like they’re imprinted in our DNA and destined to be repeated. I love teaching my clients to stop telling themselves a story that they don’t want to be in anymore. We can RESCRIPT our character traits and our story.
What story are you telling yourself?
Such a great question, Jules! The stories I tell myself today are drastically different from the ones I told myself a couple of decades ago. Years ago, I scripted myself stories of loss, deprivation, struggles, and hopelessness. I narrated my life with self-criticism and impossibility. Today, I tell myself stories of accomplishment, abundance, triumphs, and optimism. I talk to myself and about myself with words that are self-compassionate and create positive future pathways. I tell myself I’ve got the best life, family, and career anyone could ever ask for. I tell myself that when I really want something, I make it happen. I tell myself I’m resilient. I tell myself I love my quirks and imperfections. I tell myself I can help my clients, readers, and students tell themselves the same stories, and live them out. We believe in the stories we tell ourselves and create our actions around them.
Do you have any additional thoughts?
Just this: offer yourself the same compassion you would a good friend. We can be so much more understanding, forgiving, and optimistic with others than we are with ourselves. Embrace your imperfections along with your strengths. You rock. Own it. Then, go use it to make your uniquely positive impact on the world.