Pomona College Magazine
Volume 45, No. 2
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Pomona College Magazine is published three times a year by Pomona College
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Online Editor: Laura Tiffany

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Editor: Mark Wood
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Expert Advice / Nancy McCabe '78
Dream Coach

By Laura Tiffany

If life is a journey, people like life coach Nancy McCabe ’78 are the tour guides—helping you decide where to go and how to get there, a task McCabe has also performed for herself throughout her eclectic career.

As a political science major at Pomona, she was on her way to a life in government when an internship in Washington D.C. left her disillusioned about politics—the agency she worked for ended up being exposed on a 60 Minutes piece on governmental fraud. McCabe turned to media. After an internship at a Los Angeles TV station, she found production work on a CBS series, did a three-year stint at an ad agency working in corporate programming, and eventually landed at Warner Brothers and Lifetime producing made-for-TV movies.

While she loved the creative process, she was more interested in the challenges confronting her colleagues than the scripts they were trying to develop. After exposure to a business coach at a retreat, she found her new calling. After completing an 18-month certification program, she started her life coaching and executive consulting business, Greatview Consulting, in Santa Monica, Calif. in 2000. Coaching, she says, is about “finding solutions for people based on what they’re really about, what motivates them and what their strengths are.”

If you’ve got a goal you dream of pursuing— whether it’s a big move, a career transition, early retirement or even simply a better quality of life—McCabe suggests that you ask yourself these questions first and pay close attention the answers to create a solid path that will get you to your goal.

Why do I want this?
Is this goal something you are truly compelled to pursue, or is it because it just seems right or you’re worried about your future? Goals are not one size fits all; notice what gets you out of bed in the morning and what gets you truly inspired. You’ll start to identify your core values—whether that’s creativity, security, adventure, recognition, helping people or another value. The best way to accomplish your essential aims is to align your values with your goals and priorities.

What’s holding you back?
By listening to your inner critics—and perhaps your outer critics— you will discover where you stop yourself and why. Perhaps you’re afraid something didn’t work for someone else or it frustrated you in the past. Review the old tapes running through your mind to find out if these criticisms are still relevant for you now.

How am I looking at this?
Your perspective has a huge impact. If you look at life from a frightened or cautious viewpoint, chances are you’ll never make a move. If there’s a good reason to be wary, pay attention to your instincts and take it slow. Conversely, if you look at your choices from a more open-minded perspective, your goal might not feel so risky. By having a more positive outlook, you’ll see more options and it’ll be easier to determine the best route to your goal.

How does this impact your entire life?
It’s admirable to pursue the big promotion, but how will the added responsibilities impact you and your family? If you save every dime for an early retirement, will you miss out on things that you’d like to enjoy now? Consider the full impact of your goals and take everything into account. If it all still adds up to the right move, you’re ready for action.

Who do I need around me to help make this happen?
People like to be helpful. Call your mentors and friends—this isn’t a time to be self-conscious or tentative. Your supporters will be pleased to help you since, by this point, your determination and clarity will be so appealing. Your commitment to your goal makes it easy to give you a hand.

How will I ever get there?
You’ll be much more satisfied with your journey if you give yourself some little victories along the way to your big goal. Distill your giant goal into defined, manageable and attainable steps. Set milestones. Measure your results. Reaching these smaller goals won’t just make you feel good, but it will give you a sense of momentum and success on the way to your ultimate destination.

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by Pomona College
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