I judged too quickly…

Have you ever made up your mind about something or someone and then found out you were wrong?  Well, I almost made a terrible mistake by doing that.

Many of you are fans of the life coach Martha Beck or at least know of her.  Some of you are even Martha Beck-trained coaches.

Martha is a columnist for O Magazine, holds three degrees from Harvard, and is a best-selling author of several books and a sought-after speaker.  For years I skimmed her writings and didn’t feel a connection to her as a woman or as a coach.

Honestly, sadly, embarrassingly, I know now that I mostly dismissed what she had to offer.  I am not sure why.

Debbie Phillips with Martha Beck
Martha Beck is a totally captivating speaker and a very dear soul who is a true Woman on Fire!

Then, last fall I had the great fortune to meet her in person, not once but twice, including a private lunch with her, and I received the full impact of this extraordinary woman.  I totally fell in love with her, with who she is (very funny and authentic!), what she has to say (smart and practical), and how she uplifts those around her (with warmth and caring)!

I listened to her share with such love and humor her life struggles and hard-won triumphs.  If Martha can cope with three kids under age five and debilitating, chronic pain in her hands to spend 15 minutes a day for a year typing with a pencil wedged between her fingers to write a best-selling book, I have no excuses!  She’s full of that kind of inspiration.

And, strategies, too, such as my favorite piece of Martha wisdom: “Never put off until tomorrow what you can cancel today!”

I now love Martha so much that I am going to Scottsdale this week to attend a workshop she and one of her talented coaches (and a Woman on Fire!) Susan Hyatt are hosting.

Debbie Phillips with Martha Beck
Martha signed a copy of her best-selling book “Steering by Starlight” when I met her for the second time last fall at The Ladies Who Launch event in New York City.

What I learned from all of this is to slow down and make sure I fully take in what someone has to offer.  Turns out Martha is a beacon of Women on Fire-ness, and had I not opened my eyes a little wider when I did, I would have missed out on knowing someone truly extraordinary.  In this instance, someone I eagerly want to share with our Women on Fire community.

Have you ever misjudged someone as I feel I did Martha?  What happened? What would you have lost or did you lose out on?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.