KNOTEWORTHY: Johanna Skouras, Psychotherapist and Author

Johanna Skouras is a psychotherapist, Life Coach and author of a self-help book entitled Standing Up for Yourself. She is also a workshop leader offering Time Management/Assertiveness Training workshops to local businesses, schools and hospitals.

We asked Joanna about how she balances work life and personal life and here's what she shared... 

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

In my role as a therapist, life coach and writer, the key to motivation is nurturing hope, learning from mistakes and persevering. I’m never self-critical; I always question possible mistakes in judgment or perception and reroute strategy. I use rewards when facing uncertain outcomes because fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Self-praise keeps self-esteem up there and promotes courage and determination. I tell clients for whom the word “stupid” is often used to describe themselves NEVER say “I’m so stupid”; change it to, "what-I-did-was-stupid". Basically, it’s about faith in what I’m trying to achieve. Belief in the purpose behind the goal is what fuels motivation. That carrot keeps me going!

How do you define success?

Pretty simple: I achieved what I was running after. The simplest achievements still need to be reinforced because reinforcement strengthens determination and perseverance. Feeling satisfied is the sought-for outcome.

I row in the ocean all year aware ocean rowing is “by invitation only”. If there’s a frisky chop to the sea, I still may give it a shot. If Mother Nature, however, keeps me struggling to stay upright, I’ll concede but mutter to myself, “well, at least I gave it a shot”.

How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?

The way I live my personal life is also how I promote my values professionally. If life loses that work-life balance, there is danger of a depression silently creeping in or maybe I need a few nights with Jack Daniels, so to speak, or I start to overeat… our bodies pay a high price when we ignore signs that imbalance is taking place. I know how very difficult it can be for two working parents to balance time with their children and parents and still yearn to have time for their own personal needs. Compromise often becomes the only solution when time seems totally unavailable. For me, a half-hour row is still better than no row. It’s about being willing to take a piece of the pie even if you’d prefer the whole pie.