Procrastinating Your Way to Productivity 

I like getting things done.  I love the feeling of accomplishment and crossing things off my to-do list.  As a child, no one needed to remind me to practice or do my homework.  Granted, I was an OVER-achiever with some issues, but even now, as an adult who's addressed those overwork mindsets and habits in order to overcome overwhelm and burnout, I just like to work.

So when I feel a pull to procrastinate, I know there's something that needs my attention.  Allowing myself to procrastinate the thing I think I

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Redefining Resilience 

When I ran track in school, the team was divided into distance runners and sprinters.  A study recently came out suggesting that we have a default individual speed, and it's at the point at which we "burn the most energy without burning excess calories."  That would mean that pushing ourselves past a certain speed is counter-intuitive to our bodies' welfare.

This lesson, if true, may transfer well to the general human condition of the past few pandemic years.  You should only go as fast as is productive to…

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Strategies to Encourage Inspiration and Creativity 

Writing my dissertation was a constant push and pull of energy, inspiration, anxiety, and overwhelm.  "A certain amount of anxiety is natural and to be expected," said one of my dissertation guide books.  The sheer amount of work to be done was the culprit, and there was a timeline to consider.  The pressure was on to just get it done (one of my professors had told me that the best dissertation is a finished dissertation).  Sometimes my determination and discipline failed me, so I discovered ways to…

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Getting Back to Busy - How to Manage Post-Pandemic Overwhelm 

For my creative colleagues, the ease in restrictions is glorious, but now calendars are filling up.  I imagine it's not just the arts industry that's experiencing a sudden boom.  

Add to that the family and friends who are making summer plans to see you and the exhilaration of the season making you want to say yes to everyone and everything, and you may be finding yourself pretty exhausted.

You're brain just isn't used to that much stimulus anymore.  It's like a small-town girl's first day in the city.  Even…

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How the Arts Take DEI to the Next Level 

This past weekend, I attended a statewide arts conference. Like most creatives, I spent the majority of the past two years in professional isolation, trying to make the best of the situation but ultimately falling short because the arts are collaborative. We collaborate with each other, we make music with each other, and we share that creative energy with the audience during performances.

Needless to say, being a part of the conference was cathartic and meaningful for many, including myself. That feeling of…

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When Tension Gets Out of Control - 3 Ways to DeStress 

When personalities collide or the latest disaster hits the news-cycle, 
the physical tension can be almost unbearable. 

All the self care in the world can't seem to stop the emotional response of some trauma.  It doesn't mean you're not taking care of yourself.  It doesn't mean you're crazy.  These times are intense.

Here are my favorite go-to ways to ground myself and manage the tension:
  1. Breathe.
    Slow, deep breaths calm the Vagus nerve and stop the fight-or-flight symptoms of your parasympathetic…
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Accepting Feedback - 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Criticism 

We've all been there...our egos get bruised from feedback (solicited or unsolicited) and we feel the need to either defend ourselves or hide away and lick our wounds.  In fact, a recent study by Tasha Eurich showed that even those of use who are great at learning from feedback still feel the same emotional pain initially. 

That emotional pain lights up the same areas of the brain as physical pain, according to neurological studies, so of course we don't like the immediate, and apparently universally human…

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Why a Predictable Character Matters – 3 Reasons for Consistency in Leadership 

In a pedagogy class, the professor told us it was good to keep students off balance, that it was a positive if they didn't know where they stood with you. This was the opposite of what I found to be true in my leadership experience. If people know where they stand with you, they're not wasting energy trying to prove themselves. They don't to manage the anxiety caused by working for someone who is a "loose cannon," someone who's actions and reactions are unpredictable.

While my professor may have thought this…

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Self-Care: Four Ways in Which Mindset Matters 

Being an overachiever was my M.O. in my early adult years.  Graves disease and back problems forced me to prioritize self-care in my thirties, but it wasn't easy.  I was devastated that I wasn't able to work full-time and do everything I wanted to do.  I had mindsets I had to change in order to embrace a life that didn't require me to always be achieving to matter.

Here are the four main mindset changes I had to make:

  • You are more than your job.

However you define your job (by your ability to make…

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Five Life Lessons I've Learned Through Managing Chronic Pain  

I've been managing chronic pain for over twelve years.  Although I've found strategies and a health support team to increase my mobility and decrease the pain over this time, I'd given up on finding any answers as to why.

I recently found a physical therapist who was able to put the pieces together in a way in which all of my symptoms made sense.  I was hit by a car when I was a young child and had emergency surgery for a lacerated liver, after which my neuromuscular system recovered in some not-so-healthy…

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I would definitely recommend working with Nancy to help anyone feeling stuck and unable to move forward in their goals.


Working with Nancy helped me overcome a significant block in my career concerning success.


I felt a shift in my thinking from a limited mindset, always focusing on what things I had to be before considering myself a success, to a new space of accepting my successes as they appear and feeling more grateful for those.


Elissa Nesheim

Elissa Sue Watercolors

Are you an overachiever who hates to say no?
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