Leading with lollipops

How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourselves a leader?

Drew Dudley asks this question to begin one of my most favorite TED talks. If you have 6 minutes just go watch it now.

If you feel like reading – let me highlight some of his thoughts to you. Yep, it’s pretty much a transcript of his TED talk and I can’t emphasize enough how much this resonates with me and how it profoundly changed the way I interact with people around me. Continue reading “Leading with lollipops”

Embrace the failure

Failures are stepping stones, there is no win or lose, only win or learn.

This is how my favorite podcast host Kevin Kruse breaks the ice when he asks his guests to share a time when they failed. They all have a compelling, insightful story to tell. What would I say? I didn’t have much experience with failure and practically none in my professional career. All of that changed when I lost my job. Continue reading “Embrace the failure”

Come On, Little Soul

“I am pregnant!” … three words that have the power to change one’s life like nothing else. That Friday morning when I said them to my husband was beautiful, exciting and scary at the same time. For it came at the worst possible timing ever. I was soon to be unemployed, interviewing for new job opportunities. One of them was looking very promising but required a lot of traveling – especially at the beginning. So now what? I knew that first trimester is tricky and things are very uncertain but I decided to be honest and tell the truth even though I was only 6 or 7 weeks in.

Don’t get me wrong, we have both wanted kids and there was a plan; The Plan with The Perfect Timing. And The Plan failed, of course… Continue reading “Come On, Little Soul”

Jsem polomáma, zatím…

(This blog post is available in Czech language only. For a shorter version in English, click here.)


jmenuji se Iva a jsem autorkou blogu BitterMe.blog, který mapuje můj životní boj s mým “zahořklým já” (BitterMe) a hledání cesty k mému “lepšímu já” (BetterMe). Vycházím z principů učení všímavosti (mindfulness), koučovacích technik, pozitivní psychologie, TED talků, podcastů a hlavně vlastních pozorování – jak mi vědomá změna přístupu pomohla vyrovnat se s obtížnými životními situacemi.

Tenhle článek píšu česky, protože je zároveň poděkováním úžasnému personálu brněnské porodnice Obilní trh, kde jsem přivedla na svět naše první dítě – syna Patrika ♥ Continue reading “Jsem polomáma, zatím…”

Shift from ‘Them’ to ‘Me’

Here I was – full of energy and feeling confident again. But I was also feeling pretty angry, battling with emotions of unfairness over losing my job. My commitment to fulfill all required job duties until the end was solid but I was acting resentfully.

I wanted to prove them wrong, provide evidence that they made an error in judgment and underestimated my capabilities. I worked as hard as I could but since it was coming from a place of anger and resentment it cost me a lot of energy and I felt exhausted. Then a friend (thank you Carl ♥) asked me a simple question: “Why are you doing it?” And I answered with my serenade that I want to show everyone that letting me go was a mistake…

His second question made me think much longer:

Why are you giving others so much power over yourself?

Continue reading “Shift from ‘Them’ to ‘Me’”

Get Some Perspective

Once I learned I would soon be jobless my professional confidence came down like a shooting star and I got into a vicious circle of never-ending series of questions:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • When did it happen?
  • Did I mess up something I don’t know about?
  • Should I have focused on ‘this’ rather than on ‘that’?
  • If I did ‘this’ differently would it have changed the situation?

I was heading straight down the rabbit hole, beating myself up. This attitude wasn’t helpful for me, and even much less for those around me. But unlike them I didn’t see it – I was obsessed with finding the real reason, pinpointing that one defining moment when things have changed… Continue reading “Get Some Perspective”

When I Got Fired

In some aspects I am a typical millennial: eager to make an impact and open to change. This entails a fair amount of job-hopping. There was always a reason to leave, a new challenge to pursue. But only once it wasn’t my decision to quit. I wasn’t literally fired but I was let go, replaced, and at that time it left me feeling devastated.

Your contract will not be renewed. We will be hiring someone else.

Continue reading “When I Got Fired”

The Elephant in the Room

Ever since I launched this blog my mailbox has been flooded with one particular question asked in various forms:

What happened to you?

I guess that a radical change in mindset doesn’t come without an impulse very often. You can call it epiphany, a-ha moment or a wake up call. In my case I felt like I literally woke up from a strange state of uncertainty and mental numbness. Awake, in this new reality I had to face the hard news:

I lost my job. Continue reading “The Elephant in the Room”

21 days of happiness

5 years ago, around this time, I was finishing my university studies. The goal was clear – finalize my Master’s diploma thesis and spend a month studying for my final exams. I was not satisfied with the progress, had low levels of energy and my default setting was grumpy and easily irritated. As I couldn’t focus at home I spent my days in a computer study room where you couldn’t tell if it’s day or night and I was surrounded by dozens of frowning “zombies”.

One day, as I snapped at a friend sitting next to me because he was laughing, he looked back at me and said “I don’t recognize you anymore, you have always been so much fun, but lately?! You keep on complaining how slowly you progress, you don’t even smile anymore and now you tell me to shut up because I laughed at a funny video? Give me a break!” I got offended, stood up and went to a different room thinking that he was a complete jerk as he was not getting how seriously I was taking my studies. Later that day he emailed me a video saying “I think you should watch this, it might help you”. Continue reading “21 days of happiness”