in medias res
or in a nutshell

Money thoughts

Some time ago I was asked why I didn’t specialize in mentoring around wealth issues as part of my coaching activities, in order to take into account my many years of professional experience in the banking sector. As has since become clear, this does not necessarily only have to concern specific questions about a person’s financial plans and risk tolerance at a certain stage in their life. Rather, it seems to be about how I support someone in making decisions about money, by examining together previous unproductive behavior patterns and exploring different new avenues until the best possible solution is found and the appropriate action can be taken to optimize decision-taking. This process contains a whole range of different coaching topics.

The idea got me thinking: How do we behave when it comes to money, and why do we do it the way we do and not another way? What relationship toward money was set as an example when we were children? Was it rather modesty and thrift? Or were wealth accumulation, commerce and investment encouraged? Were we allowed to show wealth and treat ourselves to something nice or was it frowned upon? How was it discussed at home if we couldn’t afford to buy something? Was there a strict household budget? Was other people’s wealth more of an incentive to emulate or a source of envy or wasn’t it talked about at all? What was the view on debt, e.g. taking out a loan? What emotions do you experience today when you think about money and what value do you give to financial prosperity?

Whatever we witnessed or heard in connection with money in our families and cultures, some of it still resonates with us influencing more or less our financial decisions, including our risk appetite, spending habits and salary expectations.

As we know nowadays, more than 95% of our behavior (movements, gestures, facial expressions, thought processes, actions, reactions, etc.) happens unconsciously. Consequently, the way we behave at any given moment in relation to money is part of a coherent individual spectrum of values and behavior patterns that make up our personality. That’s why thoughts and actions related to money are not random or arbitrary, but largely the result of those values and behavior patterns that are embedded in our subconscious. However, even small changes in behavior that we consciously bring about can have a major effect on our overall perspective, because suddenly we experience a situation and ourselves in it in a completely different way.

It never occurs to most people that there is something to be discussed here. As long as you don’t worry about your own money thoughts and financial decisions, that’s perfectly fine too. Only when you start asking yourself the question “How come I can’t bring myself to do this or that differently?” does it make sense to dig deeper. Let me know if there is anything you wish to explore and change.

Yours, Tatjana Gaspar

Old resources = New resources

Perhaps you too know the feeling when suddenly nothing in our life works anymore and our own carefully acquired routines seem pointless because something has thrown us off course. We feel drained without being sick. We don’t get anywhere, we can’t pull ourselves together, we just put everything off. It feels like life revolves around us and we no longer fit in. If it persists beyond a day or two, a guilty conscience may creep in and our inner voice whispers to us: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Give yourself a push and get going! Why are you throwing those good resolutions overboard? Bring structure into your chaos!” That doesn’t make it any easier.

Trying to distract ourselves from the low mood with anything that has the potential for addiction is not very beneficial. A day later, the emptiness is still there. Looking desperately for the reason why we feel so weak, will not change anything except that we might find an excuse or someone to blame.

The most important thing to remember is that we have an inner database where our resources are kept. They are fundamental building blocks that give us information about our values, character traits, knowledge, skills, competencies and so much more. By using these resources regularly, we support our mental health.

To help us climb out of the motivational low, there are some purposeful methods that we can try alone or with external help. They include asking ourselves e.g. the following questions:

1. What am I dreaming of? What am I passionate about? What have I really wanted for a long time? How is that compatible with the life I lead now? What do I have to change in what way to be able to realize my ideas?

2. What am I good at? What am I proud of? What do I usually accomplish and why? What do others appreciate about me?

3. Which people have I allowed to affect me emotionally with their negative attitudes or derogatory comments? What measures do I have to take to keep these energy thieves at bay in the future? Which bright, positive people do I want to surround myself with instead?

4. When was the last time I did something lastingly good for myself? How long did the positive feeling last afterwards? Where in my daily schedule can I build time slots for regular mindful me-moments?

We may feel reluctant to focus on ourselves, but this method is an eyeopener and guaranteed to be useful. Perhaps you have developed other methods that have proven effective to mobilize your resources. In any case, I am at your disposal should you or someone you know need initial help and target-oriented support.

Best wishes,

Tatjana Gaspar

With gratitude to a higher quality of life

Have you ever thought about how the feeling of gratitude arises? Is it something we are born with, or do we learn to be thankful at some point in our lives? What is gratitude made of? In what moments do we feel grateful? Do you find a reason to be thankful every day, or only when good things are happening in your life?

I have observed that people for whom the state of gratitude is an integral part every day have a higher quality of life. They see themselves as successful and always find opportunities to celebrate their successes. They appreciate other people around them for their qualities and they let them know. They are conscious of the fact that they always have the choice of a positive attitude, and they consistently live by it.

Being grateful costs nothing and yet brings us emotional wealth like a spiritual gift that we give ourselves. With gratitude, our life is fulfilled, without gratitude it is only filled. That’s why gratitude is a valuable resource that increases our quality of life.

The nice thing about it is that gratitude can be activated again and again, and no special occasion or particular event is necessary for it. Even when something bad happens to us that threatens to throw us off course for a moment, or when we feel discouraged and afraid, we always find reasons to be thankful for something or someone.

For the upcoming festive season, I hope that you will savor this feeling and that it will carry you into the coming year as if on wings.

Best wishes,

Tatjana Gaspar

The feeling of shame – a valuable barometer or an almost insurmountable hurdle?

Most people have known the feeling of shame since childhood. It is something very human, deeply rooted in each one of us. Shame normally creates great discomfort and is accompanied by unpleasant physical symptoms that we reveal in our facial expressions and our posture and cannot control. But where does shame come from and what is it for? Why does our sense of shame so often slow us down? How can we deal with this?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that makes us extremely uncomfortable because it does not correspond to our value system and to our concept of decency. We would then prefer to flee and hide, either because we are ashamed of being part of it or because we as viewers are ashamed of someone else’s behaviour and do not want to be associated with them.

However, there is a feeling of shame that has a more serious impact. For example, if something is forced upon us or we are made to believe something about us over an extended period of time, it is difficult to break free from this counterproductive self-image later in life. If, on the other hand someone insults, embarrasses or humiliates us, it is possible that the shame we feel as a result of this bullying resonates deep inside and becomes a constant burden or handicap. It often makes it impossible for us to reach our full potential and lead a fulfilling life.

Shame is a kind of barometer for our dignity and vulnerability within our own value system. Too much shame, however, is a barrier on the path to more self-confidence.

We can tear down this barrier and allow ourselves to fully and vigorously affirm our personality and abilities. Life is constantly evolving and opening up opportunities for a new beginning every day.

Strengthening and motivating people, showing them step by step their own hidden resources, is a matter close to my heart. Because when we are strong and self-confident, we trust ourselves more and feel more comfortable in our skin. Then, there are no more half-empty glasses!

With warm regards,

Tatjana Gaspar

Toxic relationships – get rid of them!

When was the last time you took a closer look at your network of relationships? Do you do it regularly or do you take things as they come? Can you tell exactly how each relationship works and if there is a kind of balance?

At the beginning of any relationship, be it personal or professional, most of us are positive and all of our senses are in alert mode. We expect the relationship to be happy, joyful or productive with bright future prospects. In a relationship, whether in our family, at work or within our circle of friends, we are embedded in a field of mutual expectations. It would not be possible otherwise.

But what happens if this field of positive tension gets out of balance and degenerates, e.g., into abuse of power? What happens if one side is driven by excessive dominance and the other side sinks into complete dependency? How do we react when our gut feeling tells us for the first time that a relationship is toxic, not good for us? Assuming you were affected yourself (victim) and it was your partner or boss, how would you react? What would happen in case it is an entire social environment that creates a toxic group dynamic, which degenerates in severe bullying, for example?

Toxic relationships often develop insidiously, perhaps they explode unexpectedly. One cannot always pinpoint what sets them in motion, what exactly triggers the bully. There are cases in all social classes and age groups. In the wrong place at the wrong time – and suddenly you find yourself in a spiral of abuse of power, your back against the wall, exposed to constant psychological stress, hostility or even physical violence.

No case is like the other. But each is potentially serious because one is in an emotional state of war, and abuse of power tends to increase rather than decrease.

Fighting back begins when you start to talk about it. Disclosing the abuse means overcoming your own fear, standing by yourself.

There is always a way through or a way out and a solution, I know that from my own experience.

I hope that you and your loved ones are not exposed to toxic relationships. If so, I strongly recommend that you confide in someone you trust. I am also available at any time, should you need to talk.

Meanwhile, may you find leisure to enjoy the lightness of summer.

Best wishes,

Tatjana Gaspar

The culture of recognition in the daily life of leadership

How often in your job do you get the recognition you expect for your work? How often do you give someone else the recognition he or she deserves? In what way does this happen? Rather in a one-to-one discussion or openly in front of other teammates and superiors? There are numerous moments in the everyday life of every manager or leader when recognition has a place, this wonderful social competence, thanks to which you can score points across the board and influence the entire corporate culture!

For all those who receive it, recognition is a true motivational booster, the unmistakable sign: “I’m on the right path, where I’m moving forward!” “I’m with the right person who appreciates and encourages me!” “I’m in the right environment where I’m seen and trusted, where I can become better!”

Although in any company, motivating employees by recognizing good performance is an essential piece of the mosaic on the way to the best possible outcome of a project and the highest possible achievement of goals, I witness again and again that recognition from leadership is almost completely missing. From this I conclude that it must be a very heavy piece of the mosaic for many managers, which they can hardly lift. Or the synapses in their brain, which link theoretical knowledge about employee motivation with practical experience are permanently in deep sleep. High time to shake them up!

Recognition is defined along many different lines. Big gestures are not always necessary, life consists of many small gestures.

Here is an example of how you, as a leader, can show appreciation in everyday work life, e.g. when you comment on a team member’s presentation about a certain topic:

You express your appreciation through positive formulations. You appreciate e.g. the detailed background research, the clever choice of words, the unique illustration or the convincing “stage presence” that made the presentation a success. Then you conclude by thanking the presenter and invite the others to join in a team applause. It doesn’t even have to take a minute, but it leaves the presenter feeling great. At the same time, your image as a leader who has shown true appreciation will shine. In this way you can set a precedent and consolidate your leadership style in a simple and memorable way. Should anything in the presentation not have met your expectations, it is preferable then to take it up bilaterally.

By the way, remember to stay authentic, appropriate and down-to-earth in the way you show your appreciation. The recipe is: Less is more, but more often is better!

Recognition can also be used as an effective team building tool to increase the motivation of the whole team. Would you like to know how? Then contact me so that we can put together a plan according to your needs. I look forward to meeting you!

With appreciation,

Tatjana Gaspar


From sensory overload back to focus

Keeping the focus on your life goals is sometimes quite difficult. Wouldn’t you say so? The past years have demanded everything from us emotionally and mentally: be it the ever-accelerating pace of digitization, growing existential vulnerability at all social and professional levels, the restructuring of our life plans caused by the pandemic, or now the palpable fear of the far-reaching consequences of the war that is raging at the gates of Europe. These are just a few aspects that our brain has to deal with all at once and that pose great challenges. And in addition, we must continue to function perfectly in our family and business environment, make plans and pursue goals as if nothing could shake us.

Those who endure this sensory overload unfiltered and in the long term without allowing themselves occasional breaks risk ending up in a spiral where neither motivation nor inspiration can exist anymore. Instead of going forward, you are pulled deeper and deeper. A scary and painful experience! But the crux of the matter is that many people put up with it or don’t even recognize the signs. How about you? Are there time windows in your everyday life when you can take a deep breath and just be there for yourself? Are you then able to let go of worries and sorrow? Or do stress and guilty conscience set in at the slightest moment of rest, enjoyment and fun?

World events happen without our intervention. They don’t care about our well-being. So we have to care about ourselves, mindfully and consciously. Why not right away!

Before it gets to the point where you or your loved one stare into the spiral, exhausted and discouraged, we can work with patience and gentle, but effective methods toward finding your focus (again). This is a structured and profoundly healing process. I am happy to guide and accompany you through it.

In the meantime, may you try and enjoy each little break to the fullest.

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar

Resilience against Numbness and Fear of the Future

The American writer Henri David Thoreau, who lived in the age of the Industrial Revolution, wrote: “Most people live a life of quiet desperation.” The sentence is highly dramatic and unfortunately has lost none of its explosiveness even after two hundred years. Fear and despair are omnipresent in the world. Today we live in the age of the digital revolution – this holds prospects of freedom and prosperity and the potential of unimagined opportunities for everyone. But it seems to me that this revolution is far from exhausting its potential. What do you think?

Many people never leave their comfort zone. They experience change as torture and rather stick to old habits and homespun philosophies. It would not occur to them to leave their safe cocoon to look for a new spark beyond usual boundaries, off the beaten track of life. Be it out of laziness, a feeling of powerlessness or quiet desperation, they never ask themselves questions like “What else is inside me?”, “What have I always wanted to try and never did?”, “How can I give my life deeper meaning?”, “How can I bring someone else benefit or joy and thus increase my own satisfaction?”

When the present changes, we witness how our future unfolds. From time to time, we are almost overwhelmed by the speed. Sometimes, however, this happens as if in slow motion, then we experience every moment very consciously. We cannot fight against it, but in such moments, we can try to positively influence and help shape with ideas, words and deeds the future that is about to emerge and our role in it. To our last breath, we can all draw strength and motivation from doing good in our own universe! This is a powerful discovery that contributes to our resilience.

Being resilient is more important than ever, precisely because the unpredictability of the future can sometimes scare us. Resilience is more than a buzzword, it is the mental and psychological fitness that protects us from “falling into the abyss”.

Resilient people are those who trust that they can cope with change; who can handle heavy pressure over long periods of time; who know and use their resources in a way that mental recovery can take place after the stress; who never lose sight of the fact that positive things are always possible and will happen again.

You are not suddenly resilient from one day to the next. It is work in progress. You can gradually build and strengthen your resilience and ensure that it becomes part of you like healthy eating, exercise, discipline, balance, sleep or other important components of your life. Over the years, I have developed a set of measures to strengthen my own resilience. If you or your loved ones would like to benefit from it, then don’t be shy and get in touch. I look forward to our meeting.

Till then, may positive things always prevail in your life.

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar

Dealing with the fear of loss

The past two corona years have shaken our world. Everything we thought we knew for sure about ourselves and our environment was put to the test. We felt more vulnerable than ever. There is no one who lost nothing during the past two years. Each one of us had to sacrifice something – even if it was just the feeling of lightheartedness.

It makes me think more often than usual: What do I fear losing most? And at the same time, the other question arises: If I lose it, how will I cope afterwards? How do I “replace” the irreplaceable? How do I keep my optimism?

What do you fear losing most? Beloved people? Relationships or status? Your health or independence? Your memory or orientation? Possessions? Your freedom? Your job? Control?

It makes no sense to judge whose fear is more valid, acute or serious than someone else’s. Fear sometimes comes insidiously, paralyzes us and affects every moment of our day and night. Even well-intentioned advice what one should do is out of place.

Fear of something happening is always fear of losing a part of ourselves. That’s why we must counter the fear of loss with something positive and powerful.

It can only be tackled with a targeted method, cautiously and radically, in a resource-oriented and purposeful way, with a strong will and self-confidence. You can build that up or find it again.

Don’t let anything paralyze and hinder you on your life’s path. Take a first step and talk to someone you trust. Or just give me a call. I am always happy to help.

Meanwhile, I wish you courage, confidence and positive energy every day.

Sincerely, Tatjana Gaspar


When the year is coming to an end, I always feel the need to take a closer look at my trust level. I look back at the past months and start analyzing: Who was a new recipient of my trust? Who has proven again that one can trust him/her unconditionally? What breach of trust did I experience and how did I deal with it? Whom have I met with suspicion and has it turned out to be justified? Whose trust did I perhaps unconsciously violate and what did I learn from it?

It is not easy to answer these questions honestly when it is about you. Whenever our trust is shaken, we become aware of our own vulnerability. When we ourselves have broken someone’s trust, we have to face the feeling of shame. Building trust and wanting to maintain it can be a character trait or a consciously chosen life task.

Some of us are naturally more trusting, some are more suspicious of other people. This is best revealed in a situation when something new begins, e.g. a new job or a new leadership task: Do I assume that I will be met with goodwill, or do I listen to that inner voice that warns me of the risks at every step and urges caution? To what extent is my trust linked to a sense of achievement or failure? Do I feel that I have to fight for trust and how difficult is it for me? Or do others trust me spontaneously and what may be the reason for it? If I have basic trust in my inner resources, does it automatically mean that I also trust other people more quickly? Is it important for me to be seen by others as trustworthy and why (not)?

What do you think? Do you believe that being trusting is inherited or learned? Is it always absolute or should one adapt the dosage depending on the circumstances? Is the trust in your own strengths and in those around you the same now as it was before the last family drama, the last job change or before the pandemic?

Who we trust depends on how high our expectations are that we will not to be disappointed by others. It’s ok not to take someone along into the New Year when you do not trust that person (anymore). But you cannot leave yourself behind!

Wanting to talk about it means to recognize that an analysis of your current situation, carefully setting your objectives and developing measures could be beneficial and constructive for you. I am at your disposal to guide you through this process when you are ready.

In the meantime, may you spend blessed holidays and look with confidence to the New Year!

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar