TODAY   |  March 29, 2013

How do I put myself first without being selfish?

Certified life coach Stefanie Ziev answers some of viewers’ most pressing questions, including how to re-enter the workforce as a stay-at-home mom and how to take care of yourself without seeming selfish.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> can." are you a mother looking to re-enter the workforce or maybe you need help balancing your career and your kids? stephanie is a certified life coach who helps their client reach their potential. stephanie, such a great pleasure having you on. love this segment. reading about it last night. i think a lot of people don't understand what a life coach is, someone standing behind you telling you, do this, don't do that with your life. what do you do in.

>> i only yell in certain scenarios.

>> when they don't get right.

>> exactly. a life coach is someone there to help you figure out what your goals, are create an action plan and get results.

>> is it like a therapist as well?

>> it's more like having a personal trainer for your life.

>> it's about let's get really clear. let's really know what you want. let's find an actionable plan that we can put into steps that you can meet, set you up for the most success possible and get you going.

>> we have some interesting questions for you. i want to start off with debby dylan, a young mom from st. louis. take a look at her questions.

>> i'm a stay-at-home mom with two young girls and i'm thinking about going back into the workforce. what advice did you give me to make sure that i can put my best foot forward and be marketable so that i can get the job i want.

>> so many women can relate to debby. what is your advice?

>> you've got to only fact that you've been the ceo of a household for a long time, and you have these transferrable skills that are awesome. you've been managing budgets. you've been managing people. you've been managing time, schedules. you are resourceful, a problem solver and all those things are transferrable.

>> when you go in for an interview, do you lay it out there?

>> i think it's about taking ownership and being confident and the fact that you've not wasted the past two years. you've become the expert.

>> shut down the notion that you've been sitting at home. you've actually been running a company which is your family.

>> 100%.

>> next up, we have a mom from virginia. she's 46 and wants to know if it is finally okay to put herself first. take a listen.

>> i feel like i'm on autopilot at home with my husband and my kids, and would i like to start thinking about things that i'd like out of life without seeming selfish.

>> that's karen collie. what advice do you have for karen?

>> we have to shift the conversation from being selfish to being caring for ourselves. you know, i think that without self-care we can't do anything. we cannot get out of autopilot, and if you are not caring for yourself, if you're being judgmental, if you're judging yourself as selfish, then you're staying stuck and that's what autopilot is so the question is how do you become a role model that you want your kids to invest in and see? you -- you have the opportunity there to say i'm going to engage in my life. i'm going to take care of myself, show my children, show my husband, show my community what it is to play this role of someone who is engaging and who is having fun and who is enjoying myself and taking a stand for myself care.

>> what's that saying, if mom is happy, everybody is happy, and you have to release that guilt and know you're doing the best that you can and really take care of yourself.

>> and it's the old you've got to put the mask on yourself on the plane before you put it on your kids.

>> yeah, yeah.

>> it's so relatable, again. next up we have kathy from huntington, new york. she's 37, and like a lot of women she's trying to balance work and a home life. take a look.

>> i'm a mom to a 4-year-old and 6-year-old. i just went back to work as a teacher in december, and i was wondering if you have any suggestions on how to juggle it all between work and home and give 100% at my job and at home.

>> is that even possible, 100% at both all the time, or are you just setting yourself up for disappointment?

>> i think women put so much pressure on themselves to do it all, have it all, be it all, give it all, and then i think we're just setting ourselves up for total failure, so i think there's two things to do. one is you can become engaged 100% with the thing that you're doing at the time. so when you're teaching, be a teacher. when you're at home, be with your kids, be with your husband, but be there presently, and the other thing is shifting the critic to the cheerleader. you know, acknowledge yourself for what you have accomplished, not what's still lingering on the to-do list.

>> also it seems that women, we get caught up in always measuring ourselves. am i giving 90%? did i do an a-plus job with my kid this day? we're always measuring or grading our actions rather than going from this is the best that i can do at this moment and i'm trying.

>> i would say don't compare and despair.

>> that's a good line, compare and despair. before you go, one more mom. went freport washington, new york. wants your help in finding her true purpose. take a listen.

>> i have a 21-year-old and a 16-year-old, and i'm starting to look to what my next purpose is, my next season of life, and so i would like to know how i go about finding that and putting myself out there so that i can connect with what i was meant to do.

>> that is a big question, not easily answered obviously, but?

>> i think for the moment, one thing you can do is keep a journal for a few weeks and real ask yourself what makes me smile? what makes me cry? what moves me to tears? what gets me angry, and what brings me joy? who motivates me and just become really aware of those things, and whatever feels like the thing that sparks the most passion, move on it, think of one thing can you do to put that into motion immediately and just pay attention to where it leads you.