Maureen Scanlon: “Strive to find the best feeling thoughts”

Strive to find the best feeling thoughts. When I am faced with a situation that seems overwhelming, I find a way to distract myself with something that makes me feel happy. Search to find a nugget of positivity, however small it may be. In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful […]

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Strive to find the best feeling thoughts. When I am faced with a situation that seems overwhelming, I find a way to distract myself with something that makes me feel happy. Search to find a nugget of positivity, however small it may be.


In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Maureen Scanlon.

Maureen Scanlon is the founder and CEO of Maureen Scanlon Life Coaching. She is an Author, Relationship expert, Motivational Speaker, Positive Change Integrator, and Spiritual Coach. Author of “My Dog is More Enlightened Than I am,” she is passionate about teaching and guiding others to nurture the relationships in our lives, taking the lead from the animals in our life and the unconditional love they give.


Thank you so much for joining us Maureen! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

I am the CEO and founder of a Life Coaching business. After years of struggle in marriages, being a single parent, and feeling like I never had any say in my life, I finally started a journey to becoming who I really am.

I married the man of my dreams, started a new business, and wrote a book — all within a three year period. It was as if I pushed the fast forward button after years of never knowing what I was capable of!

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I worked in the medical field for 25 years. The first night working graveyard shift in an ER and trauma center, a young woman ran in holding her shirt to her chest and said her boss had just sexually abused her. Although we were there to medically examine her, the emotional and empathetic impact it had on me was an awakening: I realized my purpose was to help people in a mental and emotional capacity. That’s when I knew I needed to pursue a career that would fulfill my dreams, and my Life Coaching business was brought to life.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Passion makes my company stand out! I was recently thinking, you should have a passion that you can create a business from, but not the other way around.

I have quite a few coaching clients that were brought to me by a call from their mothers. As a dedicated, single mother for most of my adult life, of course I would draw in moms! I’m able to sooth and sympathize with wanting the best for their children, as I have my own. I don’t think this is a coincidence (I don’t believe in those anyway), but it really drives home the point that you will attract what you are.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I believe to achieve greatness in anything, you must have a strong team beside you. For me, that team includes my husband, Dennis, and my daughter, Jordania. They have consistently believed and cheered me on in everything I set out to do.

I remember a time just starting the business, I was doing everything and anything to promote my life coaching services. My husband was with me at an expo, waiting for passersby to show interest. I believe a total of 5 people came to our table — ouch! I was obviously discouraged, and Dennis says, “It’s not about money or numbers, it’s about why you are here and the message you touch others with.” He helps put everything in perspective and never focuses on anything I “can’t” do.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is the ability to adapt and refocus on a purpose — to keep moving forward. Resilient people have a solution-mindset rather than a problem-focused one.

Imagine ants heading out for food then heading back to their colony. They weave around obstacles in the way and stay focused on their destination. They are determined and resilient to keep on their path, knowing they have a duty and purpose to fulfill. Resilient people are similar in this way.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

I think about historical figures like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr who chose to focus solely on the greater good of everyone. The willingness to endure suffering while encouraging peace is difficult and requires resilience. To continue with determination for the purpose and impact they leave for others takes amazing amounts of courage.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

To be honest, my entire life has been this exact scenario! From family members who were very critical to abusive relationships, I was told more often than not what I wasn’t able to do.

I remember a time when the financial crisis was happening in 2008. I was a single parent trying to make a large house payment, food, and utility bills. Homeowners were going into foreclosure and even encouraged to do so with promises it wouldn’t hurt their credit, etc. I was determined to not lose my home that I had struggled to maintain for my children so I decided to get another job. In addition to my corporate day job, I became a waitress in the evenings.

I then hired a lawyer to assist with refinancing my home. I was casually dating someone at the time who stated, “just give it up.” But I didn’t and you know what happened? I received the call stating my mortgage loan was decreased and I could afford to stay in my home! It felt amazing to show my children and everyone else that you can achieve the impossible if you’re set on it.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

I had never fully understood psychological abuse, narcissism, or even sociopathic personalities until I welcomed a relationship into my home with said disorders. I had no conscious awareness of what I was allowing. I missed all of the signs. My mental and physical health suffered. I was diagnosed with cervical and skin cancer, along with debilitating arthritis and began walking with a cane at 38 years old.

A few years later, I finally realized it was time to make changes. I released the toxic relationship I had found myself in, stopped all medication, and worked on creating a better life. Although tough to heal from, recognizing the behavior and my own part in allowing this dysfunction set me on a new path of discovering my worth and what I would allow for myself.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

I always felt different from the members in my family. I recognized words and actions that I would mull over and question at a young age. I knew that I would need to stay true to myself going through life but I was surrounded by naysayers and negativity.

I married young and experienced abuse, both mentally and physically. My determination to survive and protect my children contributed to the resilience I have today. When I finally knew I had choices and I was responsible for allowing the treatment I received, I was able to move to a better path of understanding about the life I wanted.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

The 5 steps to resilience fall in the same practices of mindfulness. Resilience is staying a place of knowing what you desire.

Recognize How You Feel

Strive to find the best feeling thoughts. When I am faced with a situation that seems overwhelming, I find a way to distract myself with something that makes me feel happy. Search to find a nugget of positivity, however small it may be.

Bulk Up and Trim Down

I use this method with clients that feel they are stuck in a situation that may seem hopeless. The “bulk up” part entails imagining the worst-case scenario. The “trim down” step is to view the problem in the least serious way possible. By doing this, you can see that your situation falls somewhere in the middle and you are able to find a solution from a more neutral zone and as more achievable.

Disassociate

Use this method as a way to remove the emotional attachment you have to your current problem or roadblock. As a visualization technique, view the situation from both your perspective and an outsider’s. This way, you can view the matter from an objective place rather than being subjective.

Focus on the Past

This is not an exercise of reliving failures or painful past experiences, in fact, it’s quite those opposite. Make a list of accomplishments, both large and small, to insert the affirmation that you have made it through previous tough challenges and you can overcome anything.

Focus on the Future

I once practiced a guided meditation where I was guided down a beach to meet my future self, and was instructed to hug my current self. I have kept that imagery with me since and practice it when needed. I now say, “my future self will thank me,” in challenges I face.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I love this question! I would inspire the “We Are All The Same” campaign. Diversity is essential and by joining people with different ideas and perspectives, we can understand that underneath all of these differences we may have — whether racial, religious or political — we are all saying the same thing: We want unity and peace with kindness and compassion for one another.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Everyone who knows me has heard me say, “Next stop: Oprah’s couch!” As I grow in my joy for helping others, I see the good things Oprah Winfrey does with the platform she has achieved. In my view, success is about how many others you can touch and inspire.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifecoachmaureens

Twitter: @scanlonlife

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lifecoachmaureen/

Instagram: @maureen.scanlon.lifecoach

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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