SPEAKING, SPEECHES & WORKSHOPS

 

Tracey Cleantis is the ONLY expert who has made the vitally important distinction between giving up what isn’t working as the key to finding real happiness. Her ideas and insights on dreaming, quitting, and grieving have experts talking, including Lee Woodruff, Cal Newport, Laura Munson, Jamie Cat Callan, and Melanie Notkin. Tracey is not just another dry expert, she is the ultimate cheerleader and friend who helps you figure out what dreams will make you happy and which need to be grieved and let go. Business tanking? Promotion not happening? Relationship going nowhere? Career in ruins? It may be time to pull the plug and move on. Tracey’s deep understanding of the field is derived not only from her clinical experience as a therapist and writer but also from her own difficult personal journey to her next happy. Using personal story, clinical insights and understandable actions steps, Tracey can help any audience understand how their dreams may be holding them back from their true happiness. If the dream is costing you your health, wealth, relationships and sanity, then it may be time to say goodbye and move on to another, better, attainable dream — and to be not just okay with that decision, but ultimately thrilled with it. Tracey approaches her topic with the kind of straight talk that’s counterintuitive in this “never ever give up” culture. No one else is talking like this on the national stage.

We think we know what will make up happy. We have a list, a dream, and a vision board. So why is it that when we get the job, the house or the promotion, we feel so empty? And what happens if we don’t get those things we set out to achieve? Is there no hope for us? Are we doomed to feel like losers? Cleantis asks audiences to consider what they really want from their dreams so that you can get the essence of those things right here and now, and enjoy the dreams that do come true even more than they thought possible.

 Tracey combines her humor and expertise in helping people in desperate pain get to the other side of impossible, and she does so with the kind of straight talk that’s counterintuitive in this “never ever give up” culture. Her programs provide a practical roadmap through loss and grief of all kinds — including infertility, divorce, death of a loved one, career loss, and even loss of a dream like being an astronaut, an actor, or a player in the NBA.

 

SPEECHES

The Next Happy: Letting Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward

Life, not surprisingly, doesn’t always work out the way we planned. In this funny, wise, and insightful presentation, Tracey Cleantis highlights the major points of her groundbreaking book,The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward, outlining the roadmap for the journey from disappointment and loss to your next happy. Through down-to-earth wisdom and humor, Cleantis offers an enlightening counterpoint to the popular but erroneous idea that “you can do anything if you just put your mind to it.” She discusses the importance of letting go of a dream that isn’t working, shows you how to grieve the dream, and teaches you how to get to a real and meaningful happy ending. Tracey shares her clinical expertise and her personal and candid story of how she is a recovering “never-give-upper.” She walks audiences through the steps to get from the despair of believing that life isn’t working out as your planned to the job of knowing that life can give you exactly what you need. This presentation is for leadership groups, women’s empowerment conferences, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, writers, actors, divorcees, sufferers of infertility and chronic illness, and general audiences.

Benefits & Takeaways:

  • Learn the dangers of the “never-ever-give up” mindset
  • Learn the costs to mind, body, spirit, and relationship of tenaciously sticking to a dream that is not working
  • Learn the downside of living a life on “layaway” and delaying gratification to “someday”
  • Learn what to expect when you are grieving a dream that didn’t come true
  • Discover what you actually really-really-really wanted that you didn’t even know you wanted
  • Learn how the unlived life is very much worth examining
  • Discover how if you let yourself let go and grieve, unexpected happiness can start to sneak in.

 

The Next Happy for Business

 Business people and entrepreneurs are not just engaged in dollars and sense, they are also in the profession of dreaming. They know what they want to achieve and how they are going to achieve it. These are people with a plan. They know how to get from step one to step ten in order to make things happen. So what happens when they don’t? After all, the mantra for startups is “fail fast and fail often” – and 49% of new businesses do, in fact, fail. The result is that people feel guilt, shame, and grief, but in our “never ever give up” culture, they are not likely to admit it or to really feel it. After all, who wants to say they are ashamed, embarrassed, or depressed by what happened at work? In this presentation, Cleantis looks at the costs of not admitting all the anger, sadness, and shame that can come with a dream that didn’t pan out – not only economic costs, but emotional, psychological and relational costs. She explains that grief applies as much to a business loss as it does to actual death, and shows audiences who have decided to let go of a business dream how to get to the next happy in their work. Based on the groundbreaking ideas in her book, The Next Happy (2015 Hazelden), Cleantis demonstrates the importance of understanding what we really wanted from a dream in the first place in order to find immediate avenues for success and happiness. This presentation is for business leadership groups, women’s empowerment conferences and entrepreneurs.

Benefits and takeaways:

  • Learn the dangers to holding onto a business dream that isn’t happening
  • Learn how sunk costs can keep you stuck
  • Learn how the conflicting advice about when to quit and how to quit could be keeping you holding onto what isn’t working
  • Discover how quitting can be the best thing for your bottom line and your happiness
  • Learning how shame and guilt can block your creativity
  • Learn the unexpected importance of grief for businesses
  • Learn the value of trying versus forcing.
  • Discover how to make room for unexpected happiness 

 

How To Know When To Quit

 What if pulling the plug on your dream is the most compassionate thing you can do.? This keynote speech turns “just do it” thinking on its head, offering a much needed counterpoint to the endless “yes you can” sentiment that pervades our culture. Tracey gives her audiences insight into the reality that sometimes quitting, letting go and standing down is the best possible course of action. She explains how to gauge when it’s time to give up on a dream, how to grieve the loss, and how to get to the other side of impossible. In an unexpected twist, she shows that by letting go of what isn’t working, you make room for real happiness. This is an inspiring, unexpected talk that will leave your audiences feeling that true happiness is within reach. A dynamic, interactive, surprisingly upbeat alternative to the “you can do it” message pounded into us at every turn, this speech is appropriate for leadership groups, women’s empowerment conferences, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, writers, actors, divorcees, sufferers of infertility and chronic illness, and general audiences.

 Benefits & Takeaways:

  • Learn how to understand how much your dream is costing you mentally, spiritually, psychologically, financially, and relationally.
  • Go through an inventory of discovering how much you have already spent on your dream and what the return has been. Is your dream a bad investment?
  • Understand what else you might do in the here and now to get what you hoped your dream would give you.
  • Learn why it is so damn hard to let go of what isn’t working
  • Come away with the confidence to either keep striving…or not…and the deep belief that either way, happiness is nearer than you thought possible.

 

The Dream Audit: What Your Dream is Costing You, What It’s Getting you and Is It Still Worth It?

This keynote speech offers audiences the opportunity to do a cost-benefit analysis of their dream. A dynamic, interactive, surprisingly upbeat alternative to the “you can do it” message pounded into us at every turn. This speech is appropriate for leadership groups, women’s empowerment conferences, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, writers, actors, divorcees, sufferers of infertility and chronic illness, and general audiences. Maybe pulling the plug on your dream is the most compassionate thing you can do.

Benefits & Takeaways:

  • Learn how to understand how much your dream is costing you: mentally, spiritually, psychologically, financially, and relationally.
  • Go through an inventory of discovering how much you have already invested and what the return has been.
  • Discover if your dream is a bad investment.
  • Take stock of your emotional energy and see if you want to start investing it elsewhere.
  • Come away with the confidence to either keep striving…or not…and the deep belief that either way, happiness is nearer than you thought possible.

 

WORKSHOPS

Pulling the Plug on a Toxic Dream so Happiness Can Sneak In
This workshop can be adapted for a two-hour breakout session, an all-day event, or a two-day intensive workshop. It takes the basic idea of letting go of a dream and drills down into it, step by step. The target audience would be other therapists, counselors, educators, coaches (so they know how to deal with this when they encounter it), parents (I’m thinking of the “You will go to Harvard” parents), women on self empowerment retreats, divorcees, athletes, actors, writers, entrepreneurs, suffers of infertility and chronic illness.

Benefits & Takeaways:

  • Learn how the culture, our families, and our self-help aisle teach us a pernicious myth of never give up.
  • Learn how death anxiety impacts our desire to never, never, never give up and discover the psychological tricks we employ to protect ourselves from the pain of a lost dream.
  • Learn what you might have in common with Sisyphus — endlessly pushing that dream uphill and never actually getting to the other side where dream fulfillment happens — and hear the cautionary tales from those who didn’t give up on dreams: Lance Armstrong, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Nixon.
  • Meet the Ugly Step Sisters of Emotions –Anger, Rage, Sadness, Envy, and Shame — and learn how inviting them in and accepting them works better than denying them.
  • Learn to understand how much your dream is costing you: mentally, spiritually, psychologically, financially, and relationally.
  • Learn how to compassionately call the time of death.
  • Discover why the unlived life is worth examining (i.e. learn what you imagined getting the dream would give you).
  • Come to understand how happiness starts sneaking in when you aren’t expecting it and how to deal with the surprising consequences of finding a new dream.

A Roadmap Through the City of Broken Dreams: A Practical Guide To Letting Go and Moving On

This no B.S workshop will give audiences a practical, useable roadmap for getting from grief to the other side of impossible, where happiness awaits. Less theoretical and wide-sweeping than Workshop #1, more hands-on and practical, it is appropriate for mid-career executives, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, writers, divorcees, people suffering from and chronic illness, and infertility.

Benefits & Takeaways:

  • Gain an understanding the stages of grief and discover where you are on the map.
  • Learm how denial keeps you stuck and how getting the emotional Spanx (rationalizing, minimizing, and obfuscating) off helps you accept what is and start to move on.
  • Learn the danger of playing “Let’s Make a Deal” and how this can keep us from real happiness.
  • Discover why anger, shame, jealousy and envy are your friends and how they can help move you out of grief and into happiness.
  • Learn the importance of support, and why this is not the time to take advantage of your hermits-cave timeshare in Tibet.
  • Learn why it is so important to tell your story.
  • Hear stories from others who have been just where you are and who have gotten to the other side of their grief.

Audiences:

Tracey is available for speaking engagements for groups of all sizes, including book clubs.