Rise & Shine Interview: Jac McNeil

Since I have been blogging about being more honest and vulnerable in my life, I thought today was the perfect chance to showcase a woman who encourages others to do just that. I’m so excited that Jac McNeil is sharing her thoughts on perseverance with us. I was introduced to Jac's work electronically last Fall.  After listening to her wise words, I got really excited that there are authentic mentors out there for women. Jac is farther along in the coaching journey than I am, and she is honest about her journey. She really encouraged me to dig deep. As we both have so much in common, including being Canadian and having athletic backgrounds, I had to ask Jac to be part of the “Profiles of Perseverance” interview series. If you haven’t checked out her work – here is your introduction to her Thanks, Jac, for being such an awesome mentor to so many people and for taking part in this interview. You rock!

Jac McNeil is a certified professional coach and a self-leadership expert for women solopreneurs. She completed her training and earned her credentials through The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and International Coach Federation (PCC). Her work helps women unearth their own powerful business truths so they can do more of the work they love and feel called to do. Through the lens of self-leadership, she helps women bring their unique strengths, gifts and powerful potential more fully to their work and create thriving, integrity-based businesses. She created the transformational business-building program In Your Element and the digital program Your Personal Business Retreat Kit (to be released in April 2013). She lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia, with her husband Matt, little girls Sophie and Emilie, and their Bernese Mountain Dog Guinness. Check out her interview below as Jac opens up and speaks from her heart.

(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts
(c) Arianna's Random Thoughts

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?

It comes in the form of a quote by Thomas Carlyle: “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further.” I absolutely adore this perspective in life, in relationships and in my business. It reminds me that I don’t need to have all of the answers figured out to move forward. I just need to take the next step and then the next one after that; more will become available when I get there.

How important is mentorship in terms of your success?

Mentorship is really important for me, but it actually doesn’t always look like receiving help or advice from someone who is ahead of me on the path. For me, it means going inward, cultivating a strong relationship of trust with my inner, wiser self—that intuitive voice that resides within me. I learn a lot from others, but I always come back to that inner mentor to make my decisions, to know what is truly resonant for me.

Check out my interview with Jac McNeil!

What has been the best moment in your life so far?

There have been many best moments –finding out that I was pregnant, birthing both of my babies, discovering how gifted I was as a coach, quitting my job to become self-employed, jumping out of an airplane, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks . . . I have had such a full and exciting life. I have so much gratitude for all of those “best” moments.

What tips would you have for living a healthy life?

I really believe that a healthy life means a healthy relationship with oneself. Self-talk is a critical piece for me and for the women I work with in regards to health. It doesn’t matter how much green juice and yoga you do if you don’t believe in your own value and worthiness.

How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?

I am definitely a skilled diffuser; you can read about how I regularly talk women down from the ledge of chuck it/f*ck it. I encourage women to fully experience the grief, disappointment, rage, sadness. Deep sobbing actually declutters the nervous system. It releases resistance and allows us to re-set, get back into our power seat and realign with what we really want. What we resist persists, so we need to make room for what we’re feeling, feel it fully, and then we naturally move into a different perspective of “ok, what’s next? I’m ready to move forward from this.”

What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?

It’s interesting because when I’m in a set-back; it feels massive, and my inner critic creates so much drama around what it means and how it’s the worst thing ever. But once I have allowed all of the emotion to come out and shift into a more centred place, I often see the gift in it—pretty much every time. So I’m not trying to dodge this question but for me everything has felt like a learning opportunity, a stepping stone.

How do you deal with critics?

The only critic I concern myself with is my inner critic—the inner saboteur who wants me to believe I’m in a competition with others (and they’re winning); or that I’m not ready; or questions who do I think I am to even be thinking about such an idea? It’s a sneaky and slippery voice, and it’s the only one that has ever stopped me from doing or having what I really want.

How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?

I have several circles of support. I have my two best friends, who I can call in the middle of the night anytime, for anything. I have my 4-woman mastermind group who sees my brilliance as a coach and calls me forth into greater leadership in my business. And, I have several close friendships with peers who all push, encourage, and stretch me. Social support-- especially the female kind --have been instrumental in my life and my business.

What advice would you give others about goal setting?

I love visioning and dreaming and then taking inspired action from a place of deep resonance. We can stall out if we spend too much time focused on the “how”. Sometimes we just don’t know the how yet. So when it comes to goal setting I encourage woman to articulate their vision in pictures and words and then draw out a map of resonance (a mind map of sorts) that includes all of the ideas they have to achieve their dream or goal. From here, they get clear on their first steps and time frames and devise a way to stay accountable for what they say they really want. Accountability check-ins are critical.

What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?

Know thyself well.

Thank you, Jac, for sharing your lessons with us and for truly speaking from your heart.  Keep writing, inspiring, and empowering others!

The support and encouragement of others helps you shine on!  Photo Credit: Arianna's Random Thoughts
The support and encouragement of others helps you shine on! Photo Credit: Arianna's Random Thoughts

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!