Tag Archives: visualization

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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Virtual Teleporting

I took this photo at the Burrowing Owl winery in the Okanagan Valley, B.C. to help me remember the moment.

The moment was special for two reasons:
1) I was spending precious time with one of my nieces and her husband who live on the coast; and,
2) the scene was so simple, yet so complex — it was a lot to take in, and every bit was as interesting as the whole “big picture”.

This is my screensaver. It visually teleports me back to this moment so that I can revel in the calm and contentment that I felt at the time.

When you’d rather be somewhere else than where you are right now, get out a favourite photo that takes you to where you were content, cozy, happy, calm, or all of the above. Or, if you’re really good at visualizing, you can virtually teleport without needing a picture. Close your eyes and replay a memorable scene in your mind.

You’ll be surprised (and thrilled!) at how your body and mind will feel the therapeutic benefits of this virtual trip through time and space.

And remember to take a deep breath! It’ll add to the experience.

Then when you come back to the here and now, your shoulders will be down where they’re supposed to be and you’ll not only feel refreshed –you’ll feel like you’ve just been hugged!

Enjoy!

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