by Cortney McDermott | Featured Contributor
A few years ago, I was busy packing for a business trip to Brussels. My then 2-year-old daughter was jumping in and out of my suitcase. When that didn’t get mamma’s attention, she grabbed my Blackberry. Somehow, within less than a minute, she managed to lock it. I freaked out. Here I was racing behind schedule and I couldn’t access my phone. I frantically thought of my options. It was a public holiday in Italy, where I live, so the IT department was not available. (Crazy, right? Most Italians are actually “off” when they’re off.) Many frantic and failed attempts at access later, I arrived at the airport. In honesty, even if I am ashamed to admit it, it wasn’t until I’d boarded a corporate jet a half hour later that I realized how ridiculous the whole situation was: Here I was leaving for 4 days and I was worried about my emails, not about how much I would miss my daughter.
Watching the majestic islands of Venice roll out and disappear behind me, pampered in a thick leather chair with fresh fruit, a warm croissant, and a newspaper by my side,
I decided it was time for a change.
Now don’t get me wrong – all those perks were wonderful. But at that rate nothing was ever going to be enough. I’d just keep chasing the next best thing. And chasing wasn’t making me happy. I needed to kick the habit. I needed to find a better way – a way that mirrored my core desires, like pampered travel, AND my core values, like playing with my daughter in the snow. It was time to take a step back and reconnect with what I really wanted and needed to lead a happy and fulfilling personal and professional life. And that’s what this series is about. How one gal continues to redefine success by kicking some perfectionist habits and reconnecting to what’s important.
Each month I will confess a good old overachiever habit and introduce a new, more sustainable life and business practice. Welcome to the first ever Recovering Overachievers Society! Please chime in below with your own confessions and let’s support each other in our recovery!
Cortney McDermott is an internationally sought after sustainability and communications expert. After nearly a decade in the Fortune 500 world, Cortney decided to turn her passions into her profession. “The real crisis humanity faces is not planetary. It’s personal. At the heart of every poor decision, flawed system, or unhappy person is wrong thinking. We may not realize it, but we shape our world. It’s up to us whether we do so intentionally or not.”
An award-winning author and official blogger for The Huffington Post, Cortney helps others understand how to shape their reality with intention. Her 7-Step process to personal and professional transformation starts with what she calls simplicating: cutting away the unnecessary so we can hone in on the strategies and actions that spark success, enhance value, and create a better world. “It’s amazing the opportunities that open up when you build a discipline around doing the right thing.” Cortney has advised global corporate leaders on sustainability, corporate communications, and business strategy. She has also served as an executive at Vanity Fair Corporation, Vice President at Sustainability Partners, professor of graduate studies for Top Ten universities, and chair of multiple global business organizations.
She’s done all this without sacrificing her life as a wife, mother, marathon runner and yogi in a small mountain village in the North of Italy. Join her and thousands around the world chiming in to Work Life Harmony. Follow Worldwide Who’s Who honoree Cortney on Instagram and Twitter.