Coming Soon
November 10–December 15, 2020

Next Level You

6-week online program
November 10–December 15, 2020
Next Level You

The "Next Level You" program is for you if you are feeling overwhelmed and want someone to kindly hand you step-by-step instructions of ways to be happier and less stressed. The strain of the pandemic, working from home, missing your friends (and social hours!) have added even more to your already full plate. You're doing your best to juggle work and home, with little to no capacity for your wellbeing needs. You don't feel you have the time or mind space to add yet another thing to your to-do list, but you know "nothing is going to change if nothing changes."

Mental health research shows you have to take care of YOU.

Everything you know has gotten you this far; I'm inviting you to add to your toolkit new ways to increase happiness, resilience, confidence and wellbeing. As a previous attendee said, "Your sessions are a gift!" Put yourself at the top of your priority list; you deserve to invest in you.

In our six weeks together we'll discuss three pillars of a fulfilling life: happiness, resilience and worthiness. We'll cover research on what really makes us happy (it's often not what you think), and then practice together in individual and group exercises.

You will:

  • Learn about the common Imposter Syndrome experience and how to overcome it
  • Practice ways to stop overthinking
  • Uncover core beliefs that are holding you back from achieving goals
  • Dig into your values and practice how to feel worthy beyond external validation
  • Walk away with (so many) tools that can change your life
  • Have the support of a community of like-minded, open-hearted womxn

You deserve practical solutions to use in everyday life: ways to be happier in one minute, as well as how to build happiness long-term. I ask for trust and vulnerability and promise a safe space for us to build connection and increase your wellbeing.

Schedule: Meeting weekly for 6 weeks, 2 hours each session

  • November 10, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT
  • November 17, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT
  • November 24, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT
  • December 1, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT
  • December 8, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT
  • December 15, 2020: 4:00–6:00pm PT

Sample week:

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Group exercise: Raising your happiness in one minute
  • Presentation: Happiness myths
  • Individual exercise: Past moment
  • 5–minute break
  • Presentation: 12 ways to increase your happiness
  • Individual exercise: Future you
  • Sharing in pairs
  • Presentation: Neuroplasticity, an Amygdala Hijack and accessible mindfulness
  • Individual exercise: Send love
  • Sharing in pairs: MVEs and accountability
  • Close
"If you're feeling overwhelmed with no time for yourself (like I was), you're going to benefit even more by signing up for Next Level You. The workbook is still something I pull out. It’s been helpful to look at the things I was trying as part of the workshop homework and realizing six weeks later I’m naturally doing some of these things week-over-week. I want to say it’s been life-changing, and I know that sounds silly, but it brings me immeasurable joy to practice some of the things I learned. I now write gratitude letters every single week!"
–Victoria Kroll, Product Support Manager at Google, mother, wife and Non-profit President for The Junior League of San Jose

I'm in! What's next?

  1. After you register via the button below, I will send you a confirmation email (typically within 24 hours) and calendar invitations for the workshop.
  2. We'll schedule a 20-minute, 1:1 call for us to connect.
  3. We'll meet as a group weekly, starting on Tuesday, November 10th at 4:00pm PT.
  4. You'll have a connection call each week with a fellow participant.
  5. After the final session we'll have another 1:1 to talk about your experience and how I can support you with the tools you want to incorporate in your life.

Next Level You is a way to connect with other people, learning how to take on life's challenges, or even your own, personal, internal challenges, and from a research perspective hear, 'This is why this may work for you,' or 'This is why THIS one might work for you,' so it's really a course that is grounded in facts and research but also has the community aspect because you're not in a 1:1 session.
–Ashley Mills, Management Consultant in technology specializing in healthcare, Atlanta

Who is this program for?

Next Level You is for you if:

  • You are feeling overwhelmed, stressed-out, and know something needs to give.
  • You are ready to put your wellbeing at the top of your list.
  • You want to build your community of like-minded people.
  • You will commit to showing up each week on time, present and engaged the full two hours.
  • You are open-minded, open-hearted and excited to try a new experiment each week to increase your wellbeing. (YOU choose your experiment based on what sounds the most fun and most doable. Most participants choose an experiment that takes 5 minutes a day, or a one-time experiment for the week that takes 20 minutes. It's always your choice!)

This program is NOT for:

  • Someone who wants to go very deep on one tool. Next Level you is a "tasting menu" of many wellbeing resources. You'll learn about several tools each week; we'll practice a few together, and you'll choose one to experiment with on your own that week.
  • Someone looking for a spiritual program. Next Level You offers a practical framework with actionable tools.
  • Someone who wants to "multi-task" with the camera off, so they can attend the program AND get work done. (Multi-tasking is a myth!) All participants agree to join with cameras on and to be fully present during each session.
  • Someone who wants to watch the recordings on 1.5x the speed to get the information, but "be efficient." In order to promote psychological safety, the sessions will not be recorded.
  • Someone looking for a magic pill. The tools you'll learn are not complex; anyone can do them; the "magic" is doing them.

“I’ve picked up so many tools to level up my self-confidence! I loved being a part of this. This couldn't have come at a better time. Also learned different practices on how to stay calm—which I need because school starts next week!”
–June Caloroso, Founder of Build with June, Speaker, Career Coach, Linkedin Strategist

FAQs

This program sounds like exactly what I need! BUT, I don't have the time right now. When will you be offering this again?

  • When will you have the time to invest in yourself? Will you hit mid-December and wish you had exercises in your back pocket to help you hit the pause button and take care of your own needs? Will it be once the kids are back in school? Or once your work project is done? Or once the holidays are over?
  • There are times in life where I truly had too much on my plate to have the mind space for a program like Next Level You, and there are times in my life where I *felt* I didn't have the time, but really I could have shifted priorities and (rightly) put my wellbeing first.
  • I'd recommend asking yourself which one of the above is truly true. If it's the former, send me an email with days and times that work for you, and I'll do my best to shape future offerings around requests. If it's the latter, consider this quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one." Although we won't be practicing meditation, the overall theme resonates.

"I am a senior program manager for a large Bay Area tech company. That means that I live in meetings and finding time to dedicate to this workshop (without checking email or slack or texts) felt impossible. I took the leap, moved meetings, and made the commitment and although I had some busy days while taking the training, the reward was worth the time investment for sure!"
–Erin Watson, Senior Program Manager in the Bay Area, mother of two

How many people will be in our group?

  • Next Level You is intentionally a small group of 5–15 to create more community and connection.
"Next Level You is an intimate workshop with Nicole and a very small group of soon-to-be friends where you learn about why your brain does some of the things it does and how to stop it from doing some of the things that make it harder to enjoy yourself, your job, and your loved ones."
–Erin Watson, Senior Program Manager in the Bay Area, mother of two

I'm not comfortable sharing in groups. Is there an option to just observe?

  • At this time there is no option to just observe. You're on this page because you're looking for ways to increase your wellbeing. Happiness and wellbeing are skills you can grow, but like any skill, you have to practice. I respect your boundaries, and there might be times I urge you to lean into the discomfort and to experiment with tools and sharing. You will never be pushed to share something you are not comfortable sharing, but I may ask you to practice in another way. In order to promote psychological safety and community I ask for everyone's confidentiality, trust and experimentation.
  • I may be creating a video course in the future with this content; please shoot me an email if this is something that interests you. I believe the live interaction with other participants adds a rich layer to your learning; however, I know this is not possible for everyone.

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend your sessions. The information, practical tools, and connection with the other ladies was exactly what I needed at this point in my life. Thank you!"
–Michelle Kandah, Single Mom, Fierce Friend, and IT Program Manager at Cisco

What is the refund policy?

  • Due to the interactive, live component, a refund will not be offered once you have attended a session.
  • A transfer to a future program is allowed if you let me know three weeks before the first session. (Example: If you have an emergency and can no longer attend the session starting November 10, you would need to let me know by October 20, and I will hold your payment to put toward a future program.)
  • If you have hesitations about joining, please email me, and we'll video chat for 15 minutes to get to know each other a bit. If we're not a match, I'll do my best to share other resources to help support you.

How is this different from therapy or coaching?

From my experience, therapy is a very personalized approach where a licensed therapist works with you to examine and work through your past events in order to have a positive path forward.

  • Example: "Tell me about a moment from childhood that changed you. How was your relationship with your mother growing up?"

Coaching may briefly acknowledge your past story, but it's predominantly about looking at your present state, your desired future and asking you pointed questions whereby you create your own next steps and path forward.

  • Example: "What is a goal you have for yourself? What strengths do you have that will help you get there? What step would you like to take forward this week?"

In Next Level You you'll learn about many (many!) tools and exercises, backed by research, so you have a variety of items to choose from, experiment with and incorporate into your life for mental and emotional wellbeing. It can partner well with both therapy and coaching, or stand alone.

  • Example: "Here are 12 ways to increase your happiness this week. Which one sounds like the most fun to you? Try that one, and next week we'll talk about how everyone's experiments went; then we'll learn about ways to overcome Imposter Syndrome."
  • Example: "Here are 15 common cognitive distortions–filters we might unconsciously use as we view the world. Do you recognize any you have used? Let's go through the STAR worksheet together to help you examine and challenge those thoughts."
"The most valuable thing you presented for me today was actually the thing you said about, if ruminating/over-thinking was actually working, you would have solved the problem by now. That was such a simple concept, but my mind was blown. The overall value I think your program offers is showing how, as humans, we are very much alike. We are biologically wired and have evolved to perceive certain things as a danger to us even if it really is not something life threatening. And that even the highest achieving people can feel like frauds and make mistakes. So much good stuff that your program puts out."
-Sabrina Porter-Parees, mother of twins, College Analyst, College of Health and Human Sciences at San Jose State University

What makes Next Level You special?

You'll connect with a small group (5–15) of people at a similar place in life, and go through a "choose-your-own-adventure" style of learning together. During the program you will be handed a multitude of tools, and YOU have the power to choose which one to try that week.

Participants have raved about the number of options and have loved the freedom to choose. You know yourself, your motivations and your life the best, and I want you to choose the tool that sounds fun, easy and exciting.

The program works if YOU do the work, and you're more likely to do the work if it's something you'll enjoy. If writing in a gratitude journal isn't your thing, maybe taking a walk in the woods is. You might choose to spend 5 minutes once, 5 minutes a day or 1 hour once during the week; again, it's all your choice. I'm here to be your guide, to give you the choices and the research, and to support you in getting happier, more resilient, confident and calm.

"Nicole is amazing. She is well-researched and experienced and besides being an absolute delight of a human being, she really offers so much. Treat yourself to some long-term strategies. One of the most notable impacts is my ability to break out of spirals. I am a chronic overthinker and over-analyzer. The workshop helped me to stop the spiral and move out of it with several different methods—I’ve used a bunch of them at different times. I fall asleep easier by shutting these spirals down!"
–Erin Watson, Senior Program Manager in the Bay Area, mother of two


So, who are you, Nicole?

Nicole Bensen

I am a happiness and wellbeing ambassador, a lifelong learner, and a creator of experiences. I’m bringing my expertise as someone who worked for nearly a decade at a fast-paced, tech giant in Silicon Valley who knows what it's like to spend all day in strategy and planning meetings, to put out fires, to go through performance reviews, to hire the right people, to manage a team, then play email catch-up (addicted to inbox zero) and do a fair share of my core work at night. My last corporate role was managing a wellbeing program for executives, while I juggled life with two school-aged kids—and I ended up experiencing burn-out myself (and I loved my job!). Ironic, no? 

I'm taking my lived experiences, my corporate knowledge, my research, my training background, my passion for positive psychology, and I'm sharing the tools I personally used to get to a healthier mental and emotional place, so you can have my blueprint to living a more meaningful, connected and happy life too. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband, two daughters and three cats. I love red lipstick, the sound of rain, redwood trees, baking macarons, and rocking a themed circle skirt (bring on the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas prints!).

I would be delighted to welcome you to this small-group, live, 6-week program. Please reach out if you want to schedule a chat to learn more.

Total investment: $1497


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