Viewing entries in

It doesn’t matter what took you so long.

Tanya Geisler_Cue Cards _ Instagram Graphics.png

My poker face is lousy. I mean, really, REALLY lousy.

When a client or someone whose hopes and dreams I know intimately shares with me that they did something spectacular, I can’t hold my excitement in.

“How fantastic! You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”

Now, after ten years of being a professional leadership coach, you’d think that I would know better.

Can YOU spot the trigger words in: “How fantastic! You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”?

You get partial marks if you guessed: “How fantastic." Only partial credit because this is most unique for people-pleasers who think I’m just being nice as they would be. (Hint: I’m not. I no longer have time for that.)

You get FULL marks if you guessed: “You did the thing you’ve been wanting to do for such a long time!”

While I’m genuinely excited for their accomplishment and wanting to root into celebration (which is the only way to truly lock in accomplishments), they want to go ahead and bypass that and hang out in the “Damn. She’s right. It did take me too long.”

You’ve heard that too, right?

You finally get to the other side of the pivot or launch or ask or hire or creation or sale or award and, though there may be an immediate surge of dopamine, it is swiftly followed by:

“What took you so long?”

Hands down, this is THE LEAST HELPFUL of all of our Inner Critic questions and it shows up just on the other side of a breakthrough. To be clear... our breakthrough of THEM. But like death and taxes, you can count on it showing up.

And the truth is, there are a thousand reasons that it took as long as it took. I mean, of course it’s possible that you were colluding with your Impostor Complex by hanging out in procrastination or perfectionism. And you can make yourself as wrong as you want for that (you get to choose).

Or, and just hear me out on this: maybe it was something else.

Maybe on some level you knew it wasn’t safe. (I have more to say on this in this week’s Friday Finale - you can sign up for those emails below). Maybe you were subconsciously fearful of who you would piss off. Maybe you hadn’t done sufficient analysis. Maybe you took exactly as long as was needed to do this the way it needed to be done. Maybe you weren’t actually ready for reasons you may never, ever, ever know.

Any of these statements could be true. And probably another hundred.

But I’m here to tell you the bottom line:

It doesn’t matter what took you so long. It just matters that you’re here now. (tweet this)

And let us celebrate you.

You did the thing.


Ready to name your Imposter Complex and Step Into Your Starring Role?

Enter your information here to receive the (mostly) weekly Friday Finale from me in your inbox, and my gift to you, Imposter Complex 101: Four short videos to prompt you to think more deeply and clearly about how the Imposter Complex wants to keep you playing small—and how you can fight back.



Dearest L – You are twelve. You are TWELVE.

Unlike my letters to you on your eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh birthdays, I choose to start this one with an apology.

It came to me over the weekend as I tidied up the mounds of stuffed animals you hauled out for your girlfriends in advance of your slumber party (just in case they forgot theirs). I had an immediate pang that maybe next year, you wouldn’t be quite so concerned about such things as stuffies.

And I did a quick mental scan of all the places that pang was so familiar. Worrying about what next year might bring as you move into middle school. Worrying about what the summer might bring if you choose (or DON’T choose) overnight camp. Worrying about all the worrying.

And of course, in doing so, I have been trying to hang on to your youth. An exercise in futility, to be sure, on every level.

I’m sorry for that, Darling One.

I’ve been trying to bottle perfection, you see. It seems that every birthday that comes around, I am struck by just how ideal you are. Right here. Right now. How can anything be better? And yet, every single year, you manage to top yourself.

You deepen into your humour, your brilliance, your wisdom, your generosity, your bravery, your power and your creativity. You expand your capacity for love and acceptance and independence and kindness. And you challenge the ideals of perfectionism that I seem to be so hell-bent on capturing.

On this last point. Every day in my work, I see the effects on people who have spent their lives in the painful and elusive pursuit of perfectionism.

I am glad you are questioning the world around you. I am glad you are questioning me. I am glad you are finally seeing me for the flawed human being I am. That Daddy is. That (gasp!) your friends are. And, even, that YOU are.

This will serve you well.

You can be entirely wondrous and imperfect.

It’s a beautiful thing.

My Mama told me when I was around your age that I would set the world on fire. It was intended as a blessing, to be sure. How could she have known I’d spend a good part of the next two decades trying to live into a concept I didn’t fully understand?

So I will do my best to not assign you any ideals to live into. Just be you, okay? Perfectly flawed. Perfectly you.


I know I say to challenge “always” and “never” as the lazy all-or-nothings of our belief stories, but forgive me once again as I use them to underline the absolute truth as I know it in the very nuclei of my cells:

I will never withdraw my love.I will always be your soft place to land.You will never go wrong if you are always yourself.

Twelve years ago today, the moment I saw your fingers, your face, your eyes, I was wrecked with love that, still to this day, I can't put into words. I try. But I fail. And that’s just fine.

I am celebrating you today, and every day, Sweetheart.



Help me help others for my birthday?

For the last several years, I’ve done a big ol’ Board of Your Life sale on my birthday. I love birthdays, I love sales, I love Board of Your Life. It has made sense.

But in truth, this year, not much is making sense.

As I prepare to spend this delicious day with my husband enjoying yoga, some spa time, eyeing that pair of Louboutins, sipping a delightful cocktail on a patio in a gorgeous area of the city made for people-watching and later enjoying a meal lovingly prepared by my daughter, I continue to be struck by my massive good fortune. And the irreconcilable number of people’s massive misfortune.

Millions of them.

And though this thought is delivered with no small amount of shame, I will say this: feeling overwhelmed by helplessness often results in me doing little to help.

Certainly, there are places where I deepen in with my time and resources on a personal level. Volunteer work and monthly charitable contributions and the like. And so in those weakened moments of helplessness I limply go to “I’ve done my part.”

But I haven’t. Not by a long long long shot.

And then there are times I just can’t even.

And someone makes it stunningly easy for me to care, to help, to act.

This time, it’s my friend Cath who belongs to a collective of women here in Toronto raising money to sponsor a refugee family from Syria and bring them safely to Canada. And to offer them a soft place to land.

In her words:

"The East-West Refugee Collective is a small group of neighbours, friends and friends of friends, who were horrified by the photo of little Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach a few weeks ago. We've come together to sponsor a refugee family from Syria.

We can't help Alan Kurdi, but we hope to help some other child like him.

We have united with the members of Rosedale United Church's refugee committee to put in a sponsorship application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

They have 20 years of experience doing this and have kindly agreed to show us the ropes, and help us with the paperwork.

We have committed to raising $35,000 for the family's needs in its first year in Canada. And we've committed to helping them settle, both logistically and emotionally.

We will find them housing, help enroll their kids in school, fill out OHIP forms, sign up for English classes, buy coats and mattresses and take them to the CN Tower."

east west collective R5IF THIS feels like a cause YOU can deepen into, you can support these women’s efforts my emailing me here. (I will put you in touch with them. This is all kind of new and little fluid, so we’re going super low-tech here.)

If you feel like you’d like to support the Collective’s efforts AND have been wanting to work with me (on a issue of clarity, business or mindset expansion) I’m making it super easy for you.

Email me to book a deeply discounted session for $200 USD (my Spotlight Sessions are normally $400 USD) with the proceeds going to the Collective. I can only offer a small number of these (12 in total), so if feels good and right, I highly suggest you email me soonest.

You’ll receive my auto-responder saying I’m out for the day (birthday shenanigans and my VA is also away from the office), but WE PROMISE to be in touch September 29th with a PayPal invoice and the link to my calendar for a session to be booked by end of November. (Like I said, super low-tech.)

Once my birthday is over OR the 12 sessions are booked, they’re gone.

And if this doesn’t feel good and right for you, I get it. I totally get you too.

But may I make a birthday wish? That you find your own way to deepen in to what matters to you. To care, to help, to act.

All love. x/TG

You asked for this.

You asked for the interview.You asked for the opportunity. You asked for the gig. You asked for the chance. You asked for the expansion.

So why are you secretly hoping they’ll say no?

Because you don’t think you deserve it? That they’ll find out you’re an impostor once you get there?

Lean in close, Honey.

Everything you’ve done and been and said and thought and wanted and healed and built and delivered and taught and created and survived has brought you to this moment.

To this YES.

This yes is yours to receive. (Tweet this.)

Because you asked for it.

Got that? Good.

But who am I to receive this yes, you ask? Lean in closer still. So our eyes are locked. Feel me looking into your eyes? Good.

(Swapping your name with mine, say it with me now:)

I’m Tanya Effing Geisler and every hour, every second, every decision, every yes, every no, every word, every early morning, every missed family event, every fumble, every edit, every practice, every brushstroke, every risk, every win has lead me here.

This is my time.Mine.

Because I asked for this.

Pass it on. xx/TG

You asked for this
You asked for this

Plant the seed.

It was 5pm on New Years Eve. A snowy, festive scene - the bottle of prosecco had already been popped, Lisa was assembling the cheese tray like a champ, the kids were playing Lego and the fellows were getting the Spotify playlist juuuust right. Present to my current joy but with an eye on the year to come, I followed my instinct to plant a couple of seeds that were germinating in my heart.

Including reaching out to the Wonder from Down Under, Julie Parker of Beautiful You Coaching Academy. I knew we would hug in 2015. Just didn’t know how or when.

Luckily…she did.

An hour after I reached out to her, she invited me to come and deliver a keynote to a group of the most lovely, receptive and generous women I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting. In New York. In June. Of course.

Inspiration Day was a dream of hers, planted long ago and tended to with love, support, determination, perseverance, faith and hard, hard work.

Thankfully, it was all worth it.

She writes in the most recent edition of her inspired COACH online magazine:

And when on the day our divine guest speaker and former inspired COACH cover girl Tanya Geisler said… “We are all witness today to a woman’s dream coming true. That’s something I would travel across the world to see any day” – I burst into tears at the realisation she was speaking about me. It took me a moment amongst all the planning and doing and creating but I got there.

Her planted seed bore fruit. The most exquisitely refreshing fruit ever.

My seed bore fruit too. We most certainly did hug in 2015. Oh how we hugged.

(Photo by Katya Nicholas)

And sometimes, we plant seeds for one another.

I was speaking with my friend and colleague Christine Francoeur. Feeling fried, tired, and weary, I was wanting something I couldn’t name.

She said, my wish for you is to take a break. Go to the cottage. Write and make carbonara.

Seed planted.

I’ve never made carbonara before. Until last night. After a full day of writing.

And what was I writing? No big deal… just the book that I’ve been holding in my heart for years. You know…the one the border guard wished into being?


Haven’t I told you that story yet?


Last summer, on a long drive home from the coast, we were in that sweet and comfortable wordless space that comes from plenty of time spent together. Nothing needed to be said. Natalie Merchant crooned softly as we coasted through the White Mountains in Vermont on our way back to Canada. Present to my current joy but with an eye on the year to come (apparently, it’s how I roll), my mind kept playing out what's next in my business, chewing over options and vetting my excitement level. Wondering when I’d FINALLY make time to write my book.

The guard at the teensiest border I’ve ever come across asked the requisite q’s about alcohol, purchases, then looked me straight in the eye and asked me when the book would get written.

Dumbfounded, I sputtered that I hoped soon.

She said, I hope so too, Honey. The world needs it.

She then shook her head as if to break a spell, and waved us through.

Seed planted.


Not all seeds come to fruition.

But many do.

Take a moment to look around and see the growth of seeds that you’ve planted…or have been planted for you. Relish the abundance.

And take another moment. Or twelve. And plant some wishes under tonight’s new moon. For yourself. For your loved ones. For those who challenge you. For those who enlighten you. For the earth. For the moon. For the animals. For the waters. For the babies yet to be born. For peace. For love. For yourself.

Then tend the seeds of your wishes into being.(Tweet this.)