Tag Archives: empower

I Get It

It has taken me a while, but now I get it.

Tears are streaming down my face but I’m not sad, or hurt, or upset. I’m so overwhelmed and uplifted that emotion has taken over, in a good way.

For some time now, I have been dealing with all manner of change, stress, grief, expectation (some mine, some that belongs to others), and fear. Not a great combination to propel me to happiness, joy, success and fulfillment.

The fear has been the most influential in my recent journey. I just couldn’t figure out what it was all about? What do I fear? Is it fear of failure? No. Fear of success, then? No. Fear of change? An emphatic NO, given that I am a strong proponent of change. I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t get it.

Then, this evening, I finally watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.

It’s a phenomenal movie that I recommend highly. I’ve been meaning to watch it for some time. Many of my friends have been giving it rave reviews, and yet it took me until tonight to watch it. And it turned out to be less of a watching experience than one in which I watched and learned. It’s so true what they say: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Tonight I realized what it is I fear. The resonance of the realization was so strong, I felt its force as I sat there and heard the following words:

    “ All we know about the future is that it will be different.
    But perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same.”

There it is.

I get it now.

And now that I know what it is I fear, I have greater clarity of what I must do to conquer the fear, to get on with making my life want I want it to be, and find the joy that is waiting to be found.

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Life Rx from Everyone’s Favourite Doctor

Lately, I’ve been researching and reading a lot, preparing to establish a consulting practice as a management consultant/coach specializing in building capacity for change and changing the common-heard refrain, “Oh no, what now?!?” to “Bring it on!”

While most material on being the best “you” is very informative and applicable, it can also get a bit dry. And the stuff written for grown-ups by grown-ups is hardly ever light and fun.

So here’s a little change of pace.

I’ve always been a big Dr Seuss fan, so I think the infographic below is awesome! Lots of great lessons, presented in an easy-to-relate-to format.

(BTW: my favourite Dr. Seuss when I was younger was… wait for it… “If I Ran the Zoo”. I know, big surprise! More on this to come…)

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BE the Fish

One of my brilliant nephews led me to a few amazing sites that I thought you might like.

In the last hour that I’ve been exploring them, I’ve come across a treasure trove of inspiration, templates to do thing differently, and ways to see things from a new perspective and get that “aha!!” that we all look for. (I know, I just ended a sentence with a preposition — I’m exploring my wild side again! 🙂 Woo hoo! )

The first stop on our tour is at http://zenhabits.net/control/. Here you’ll see how letting go of the illusion of control and learning from fish how to live in and embrace the chaos that surrounds us. You’ll want to BE the fish. Honestly, it’s an amazing little piece. (It also made me think of Dorrie’s sage advice from “Finding Nemo” fame: “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming.”)

I absolutely loved it and hope you do, too. It’s a quick read, with a light and bouncy, energizing flavour that leaves a slow, contemplative aftertaste.

Like the girl at the end of the recent Disneyworld TV advert, I’m jumping up and down just a little as I squeal, “I’m SO excited!!”

Happy Friday!

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Today’s Lesson: Keep Your Eyes Fixed on the Road Ahead

So, I did it. I crashed into The Big Scary Wall of Self-Doubt instead of vaulting over it or crashing through it.

I’m in recovery now.

I’ve met with a few people who have given me some perspective and some ideas on how to get up, dust myself off, and keep working through my transformational journey.

Some of you may know that during my career, I’ve been a full-time employee and a consultant operating her own business. Both are very fine and noble ways to make a living and, obviously, the full-time route is a bit more stable and secure. But my passion for being a change broker and making a difference is what fuels me. So that’s the road I’ve been on in this current journey.

I want very much to take the entrepreneurial route again — I loved it, it fed my desire for challenges, it provided me a way to pursue my passion and it opened my eyes to all kinds of perspectives I didn’t have before. But, as Robert Herjavec of TV’s Dragon’s Den fame will tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart. In addition to having the drive, you need to be at ease with taking risks, willing to make tough decisions, put in all kinds of time and effort when needed, and stay focused.

I recently read Herjavec’s book Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life. As with many self-made successful entrepreneurs, he learned some very valuable (and sometimes tough) lessons throughout his life, starting when he was a 12-year-old immigrant from Croatia, to enjoying the life he has built for himself and his family and growing more businesses.

One thing his wealth has been able to do is satisfy his craving for fast cars. Herjavec raced his Ferrari in the Formula Vee (a class of racing for young and older non-professional drivers). In his book, he draws a compelling analogy between focus in business and focus on the racetrack:

Competitive racing teaches you one thing above all, and that’s the complex power of your mind. When it comes to survival instincts, the mind proves more powerful than the body. Here’s an example: you enter a corner at two hundred kilometres an hour and the car begins to spin. Ahead of you, as the car slides along the track, is a wall. You don’t want to hit the wall for a dozen reasons, ranging from losing the race to potentially losing your life. The normal human reaction is to look at the wall; the wall is a threat to be avoided at all costs. In racing, you are taught never to look at the wall, because if you do you will surely hit it, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. That’s because during the few milliseconds it takes to absorb the message – Omigod, I’m going to hit the wall! – your hands will freeze on the steering wheel.

Experienced drivers learn to avoid looking at the wall and fix their eyes instead on where they want to go, which is down the track ahead of them. In other words, you train your mind on where you want to go and not where you appear to be going. This sounds to me like a pretty good analogy for doing business in a competitive climate – look away from the danger and towards the opportunity. Or, if you prefer, keep your eye on your objective and avoid staring at the wall.

I read this passage a few times and realized that I’ve been staring at the wall with fear, worrying about crashing, instead of focusing on the road ahead. I have an arsenal of experience and expertise, I’ve run a consulting business before, and I’m told I’m pretty smart. So why am I letting worries, fears and silly reasons keep me from succeeding?

I’m focusing on the road ahead where I can do what I love, brake when I need to, take the curves as they come, and when I’m ready, open up and go full throttle towards the finish line.

Image: Pete Keen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Brick Wall

A few months ago, I read a book that resonated with me in a big way. It’s called The Last Lecture and was written by Randy Pausch, a professor, researcher and mentor at Carnegie Mellon University.

The book is based on Randy’s last lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. Sadly, Randy lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2008. In his short life, however, he achieved many of his childhood dreams and has inspired millions to strive to achieve theirs.

Randy came to mind today as I sat pondering what I’ve achieved so far, some next steps, and what it will take to make my dreams come true. I’ve mapped out some pretty significant goals, worked with a great NLP-based coach to make progress in eliminating my limiting beliefs and negative emotions, and as I put everything into practice, the enormity of everything I want to do has suddenly stopped me in my tracks.

Because there it is. Right in front of me: The Big Scary Wall of Self-Doubt.

And on the other side: my heart’s desires.

That’s when Randy came to mind. In his book, he says:
“The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something… The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

When I’ve reached this point of self-doubt in the past, there were times when I summoned my strength, ignored the possibility of not succeeding, faced my fears and did it anyway.

Then there were the other times – when I threw my hands up, waved the white flag and closed the chapter on what might have been.

Why the difference – why do we sometimes give up and other times give it all we’ve got?

Does it really come down to how badly we want something? Looks like it. There are so many examples of accomplished people who faced the odds and through sheer determination and desire made things happen.

So here I am, facing the brick wall again.

Am I driven enough to silence the questioning self-talk? Can I get past the doubt? What will it take to get what I want and either break through that wall or vault over it, Navy Seal-style, to the other side?

I’m putting on my helmet and elbow pads. I’m armed with clear, vivid, Technicolor images of what I will see, hear, feel and do when I reach my goals. And I’m taking a run at it.

How badly do you want to achieve something? Will the brick wall keep you out?

Or will I see you on the other side?

Photo courtesy of: Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Upside of Quitting


“They” say winners never quit and quitters never win. BUT it depends on what you’re quitting, and why. Here’s something to consider:

“Employ the power of positive quitting. Most of us view quitting as something negative, but it’s not. ‘Winners never quit,’ we’re told, when, in reality, winners quit all the time: choosing to stop doing things that aren’t creating the results they desire. When you quit all the things that aren’t working for you, when you quit tolerating all the negative things that hold you back, you’ll create a positive ‘charge’ in your life as well as create the space in your life for more positive experiences.” – Jim Allen, coach

So, I guess I’m a quitter. I’ve quit doing things that haven’t given me the results I want and have started doing things that are moving me closer to my goals. We have only so much time and energy — I’m choosing to spend mine aiming for that happy face. And I’m thrilled to report that these days I find myself smiling more, “just because”.

Be a quitter. Ditch the stuff that’s holding you back. Focus on what you want. It’s right there ahead of you — you just have to see it and reach for it.

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Monday

I’m not a morning person. It’s hard for me to get inspired and motivated, especially on a Monday that follows a sunny, active weekend.

Just now I was about to dig into my career transition “to do” list, when I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful my new scarf looked, casually draped over my purse and briefcase the way it landed when I put my stuff down on the desk. I bought my new favourite accessory on Friday — it was a cheap and cheerful impulse buy (yes, TR, I am still an active impulse buyer!). I was walking by a tiny store in the underground concourse at Bloor and Yonge and my eyes went directly to it. I felt happy just looking at it.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

When we recognize moments of inspiration, it opens up possibilities that lead to options, that lead to baby steps, that inevitably add up and lead to achievement.

Just like Mama said, “Lille bit by lille bit.”

Happy Monday!

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