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October 2022

The Power (And Benefits) Of Mental Discipline

When we work on and build up our mental self-discipline, our self-esteem and confidence become powerful. We see improvements in all areas of our lives and are able to take on more significant challenges.

We all have habits we have accumulated throughout our lives. Unfortunately, some of them are holding us back, and we need to replace them with habits to support our success. It may sound simple, but it often requires great effort. Getting rid of bad habits, such as putting off work or not taking care of ourselves physically takes time and self-discipline. Keep reading

 

September 2022

7 Techniques for Building Unshakable Self-Discipline

How is your practice habit? Are you great at practicing the piano, martial arts, or doing the right amount of studying? If you want to become good at something, you need to be strong at practicing the art of building unshakable self-discipline. If you are unsure of how to begin, take these 7 techniques and master them.

1. Do not beat yourself up when self-discipline disappears.

It happens to all of us. We all make mistakes, and we all fall out of our routines. What we do in response, is the thing that can make or break us. We need to accept we are human and not perfect. It's okay - just acknowledge the letdown and get right back into action to succeed.

2. Continue learning how best to build a self-discipline practice

We do better when we strengthen our practices and constantly develop new self-discipline habits. If we fail to do this, our brain will eventually start telling us we are comfortable and there is no need to grow. We should increase our growth mindset for as long as we live. Click here to keep reading.

August 2022

In today’s “go, go, go” society, we idealize the pink Energizer Bunny® that beats his drum non-stop. As the battery commercial says, "He keeps going and going and..."

And so do we.

What would happen if instead we chose the following as our ideal?

Go, Go, Go...on a Break!

Why? Because It's Important!

We work long hours, days and weeks without a break. Some employees don’t even take advantage of their entire vacation time! Then we pack our non-work hours with more activities, which often are still work related.

But taking breaks—whether for a short walk, taking a power nap, or a long vacation—helps you avoid burnout, improve mental health and reduce the likelihood of stress-related illnesses that sometimes accompanies the "don't stop 'til you drop" attitude. Breaks encourage the discovery of fresh perspectives and new ideas. They are a delicious reward for hard work, a pause that reinvigorates.

If you feel overwhelmed, depleted or under-energized as I did last week, chances are it’s time for you to take a break.

Click here to learn 3 practices that will help you renew, recharge and refresh!

July 2022

Making a SMART goal—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound—is just one step in making your goals a reality.

Below are 10 essential steps to take you beyond setting SMART goals.

1. Make sure your goal(s) pass(es) the SMART test. To the letter. Do not overlook this as it is important to have strong goals. Have someone review and challenge your goals. Do they make sense? Will they get you to where you want to go? Are they tied to your vision and strategy?

2. Align your goals with your values. Without values alignment, you are likely to struggle—if not fail altogether—to implement them. Subconsciously, our mind will work against us if our values are not in alignment with our goals. 

3. Share your goals with three to five key people to become more accountable. Don’t sabotage yourself: choose people who are supportive, and positive but yet give you some tough love when you need it too. 

4. Identify the resources you need to make your goal happen. For example, if your goal is to develop a website for your business, you’ll need to learn how to do this or find a designer. Even if you do know how to do this, it make not be the best utilization of your time. Keep reading

 

June 2022

Most of us have our own way of making decisions. We may carefully consider the pros and cons, consult with experts, ask our mothers...

Below are 10 more unusual methods to try. Which ones could you employ?

1. Flip a coin.

Then notice your first reaction. If it lands on the “wrong” choice, you’ll feel disappointment.

2. Role-play.

  • Let each person or thing represent a different aspect of the decision. What does each perspective have to say?

3. Meditate.

  • When you quiet your mind, the answer may bubble up easily.

Click here for more fun and creative ways to help you make those tough decisions!


26 May 2022

Since becoming a certified trainer for Marci Shimoff's Happy for No Reason program, my life is more often HAPPY than not! 😃 
Your long term happiness does not rely on another person or thing giving you happiness. It's an inside job!

10 Behaviors that BLOCK Happiness

We all seek that elusive quality of “happiness.” Here are some things you can place your awareness on and STOP so you can be happier.

1. Impressing.

  • What you have —your possessions, your accomplishments—don’t result in real relationship or lasting happiness. I've met plenty of people with very few possessions who were wonderfully happy.

2. Blaming.  

  • Your response to any situation is your choice. Try making it a learning opportunity—taking responsibility is empowering. Be curious, "what lesson can I learn from this?"

3. Controlling.

  • It doesn't help you feel good about yourself. Honor your boundaries, but make space for others' needs and choices, too.

Keep reading to find more ways to improve your happiness by stopping some negative patterns. Click here


22 April 2022

Flash the Morse Code signal SOS and help is sure to come your way.

Master these 10 Signs of Strength (SOS) and the help may be in the form of improved relationships, greater joy and connection with yourself, better self care and enhanced communication.

All in all, quite a life raft!


10 Signs of Strength (SOS)

1. Respond instead of react. When we react, we give away our personal power.

2. Identify and learn from your judgments. Judgments are often a reflection of our own inner needs and values.

3. Reach out when you need it. Asking for help is not a weakness.

Click here to keep reading

 

24 March 2022

Many of us see joy as the delightful result of being able to do work that we love. And this is certainly a great producer of joy on the job.

The real trick, however, is how to bring joy to anything you do. Doing so can transform the mundane into the enjoyable and let loose incredible energy for all you put your attention to.

The secret is CREATIVITY!
Feeling creative and playful helps us bust through resistance, fear, boredom and disbelief on our way to an engaged satisfaction.

Test your joy quotient with this Self-Quiz:
(True/False)

1. Creativity doesn’t just belong to artistic types living in loft studios. Work is a place I frequently exercise my creativity.

2. I think of myself as someone who doesn’t just want what I want, but as someone who is going to get it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how.

3. I keep blank notebooks in several places for jotting down my ideas and inspirations, and a tape recorder for recording observations.

4. No matter how “uncreative,” sensible, logical and otherwise unimpulsive I might consider myself, if I have a pressing idea—a core desire—I’m going to express it. Click here to continue the quiz


24 February 2022

Fulfillment in life is related to how well you are living in alignment with your values.

Values are not morals or principles. They are the essence of who you are—not who you think you should be. For instance, money is not a value, whereas the things that money might buy, such as free time, risk-taking, and being of service are values. When you’re aligned with your values, you feel inner harmony, your choices are more easily made, and your actions are in accord with your true self.

Take this "true or false" quiz to see how well you are living in sync with your values.

1. I have spent time clarifying my values and can easily articulate them.

2. My values are my own. I have not simply adopted them from parents, teachers or other outside influences.

3. I based my choice of occupation on my deepest values.

4. My values are in alignment with the company I work for (or own).

5. My business associates and I regularly examine how we are living up to our values and mission.

Click here to complete the quiz


27 January 2022

 Solid strategic plans, strong work relationships, high morale and improved performance are all byproducts of good questions.

This potent communication tool can help you discover important information about your work, yourself, your associates, your customers—and create insights that otherwise might have remained hidden.

Below are just a few questions that can have powerful effects on your work and life. Ask your questions without leading, prompting or interrupting, and suspend any assumptions. And then be sure to LISTEN to the answers.

1. What is it that you’d like to see accomplished and how do you see it happening? 


2. What are your thoughts? Your concerns?

3. What’s the most important priority to you with this and why?

4. What would you like to see improvedKeep reading


21 December 2021

Reflection helps us to forge ahead in life.

It helps us take action, and to gain focus. As the year is rounding off, many start looking back at what they've achieved so far in order to start planning their resolutions for the next year. But, before you start planning, I suggest you undertake the "look back" exercise using these seven core principles:

o  Be Positive

Learn to see mistakes as part of life and as a gift. They give us the necessities to grow and learn. Failures are opportunities to do better and propel us towards success. I like the adage, F.A.I.L. - First Attempt In Learning.

o  Be Present

You'll be able to see more objectively and be able to emotionally separate yourself from your past when you stay mindful and present. There's a reason why it's called the "past" - move on to the present.

o  Be Perceptive

Act like an objective investigator and scrutinize your past. Your past experiences, both good and bad, have certainly caused you to gain much wisdom, and if you look inward deeply and investigate, you will discover you have learned a lot from from them. Keep reading

4 November 2021

The person on the phone wants to go over the contract she sent you. This is THE call you’ve been waiting for!

However, looking at your cluttered desk, you have no idea where the document might be. You had printed it out and made edits so you could easily reference it when on the call. When you go to the computer, you have no idea where you stored it.

You bluff your way out of the conversation (“Can I call you right back? I was on the other line when you called.”) and then spend 30 minutes hunting for the document. When you finally find it, you notice the stickie reminding you of action you were to have taken on the document last week. Yikes.

All of this creates a lot of negative energy. The wasted time...The harsh self-criticism…The stress and embarrassment…The lost opportunities. [...]

 

For most people, the three biggest obstacles to an organized office and work life are: clutter (paper and email), planning, and follow-through, the latter two being more an issue of time management. And while a disorganized office can be much like a disorganized schedule—overly packed, haphazard, limited in space or hours—it makes sense to organize space and paper first.

Keep reading for some great tips on tackling office clutter and understanding some of the psychological obstacles to a clutter-free environment. Click here

 

21 October 2021

Quality sleep is as important to our health as food and water.

Yet, we often cut back on sleep in favor of “getting more done.” Some even take pride on "getting by" on just a few hours each night!

Chronic lack of sleep can cause a wide range of symptoms, including impaired brain function, memory loss, depression, weight gain and irritability. Long-term health issues include increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

QUIZ

Answer the following true/false questions to discover whether lack of sleep is getting in your way:

  1. Instead of feeling refreshed when I wake up, I still feel tired.
  2. I have to have coffee to get going in the morning and often depend upon other caffeine or sugar boosts to get through the day.
  3. I feel easily irritated, impatient and/or moody, and my relationships are being affected.
  4. I feel depressed sometimes, but don’t have the time to deal with it.

Click here to continue the quiz

 

7 October 2021

Have you ever noticed how GOOD it feels to be really listened to?

It’s impactful, particularly when the listening goes beyond just the words you’re speaking. That kind of artful listening conveys respect and value to the speaker, and promotes positive relationships of all kinds. And, like any art, it takes practice.

According to widely referenced statistics by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, known for his pioneering work in nonverbal communication, only 7% of communication happens through a person’s actual words (38% through tone and 55% through body language). That’s why it’s important to hone our skills to listen (and observe) at deeper levels.

Listening Levels

A good place to start is by understanding the three listening levels described in the book Co-Active Coaching, by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House and Phil Sandahl.

Level 1: Internal

  • We hear the other person’s words, but our focus is on what it means to us—our thoughts, feelings, judgments and conclusions. We may also be concerned with what the other person thinks of us. This level is useful for checking in with our feelings or to make decisions.

KEEP READING to learn about the next listening levels and potential blocks.

GO! GO! GO!

23 September 2021

In today’s “go, go, go” society, we idealize the pink Energizer Bunny® that beats his drum non-stop. As the battery commercial says, "He keeps going and going and..."

And so do we.

What would happen if instead we chose the following as our ideal?

Go, Go, Go...on a Break!

Why? Because It's Important!

We work long hours, days and weeks without a break. Some employees don’t even take advantage of their entire vacation time! Then we pack our non-work hours with more activities, which often are still work related.

But taking breaks—whether for a short walk, taking a power nap, or a long vacation—helps you avoid burnout, improve mental health and reduce the likelihood of stress-related illnesses that sometimes accompanies the "don't stop 'til you drop" attitude. Breaks encourage the discovery of fresh perspectives and new ideas. They are a delicious reward for hard work, a pause that reinvigorates.

If you feel overwhelmed, depleted or under-energized as I did last week, chances are it’s time for you to take a break.

Keep reading to learn about 3 practices help you renew, recharge and refresh!

 

A Seasonal Approach to Life

9 September 2021

Mother Nature certainly likes her routine. Global warming aside, she cycles through the same processes, in the same order, doing things the same way they always have worked. Time in, and time out. We can note time by the passing of the seasons.

Within that cycle, of course, variations do exist—a dry winter or a mild fall—but we always can rely on the rhythm. One season follows the other. It’s a comfortable predictability in a world that often seems to be wildly unpredictable.

Luckily, it is possible to tap into that natural cycle, to bring into our lives a greater sense of flow and order. We can reflect on each season’s influence on our lives and our businesses/careers.

As you read the suggestions below, keep in mind we all have our own rhythms as well. What works for one person might not work for another. Or as I mentioned about, what used to work for you, may no longer work so you may need to create a new rhythm.

Take the ideas as ways to get you thinking. If a particular suggestion won’t work for you, is there another seasonally inspired activity that might? 

🌱 Spring

In Spring, everything is glistening, green and new. There is a feeling of expansion, and a sense of renewal and reawakening. Seeds start to grow. People get outside more, becoming reacquainted with their gardens and nature. We take on spring-cleaning projects and clear out clutter.

A few activities that align with Spring:

  • Clean out the closets of old clothes, and clean out old thoughts that no longer serve you.
  • What have you always longed to do? Perhaps you want to write a book or teach a class or foster a child. Let this be the year you take action on your dream.
  • Notice, as well, if the seeds you’ve already planted (figuratively and literally) are starting to sprout. Tend them carefully, giving them ample time to grow.

Click here to keep reading

 

Giving Ourselves an A:
Looking at Possibility, Not Measurement

19 August 2021

Michelangelo said that in sculpting his masterpiece “David” he was merely chipping away from the marble everything that was not David. In other words, one needs only remove the excess stone to reveal the work of art within.

When we apply this notion to us humans, we discover we are all works of art in all our varied manifestations. Life’s true journey may be the process of uncovering and removing what’s in the way of our shining through with beauty and brilliance.

In support of helping us find the best in ourselves and others, consider the practice called "Giving an A" that comes from the book, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. This practice asks us to choose the perspective of seeing everyone (even ourselves!) as holding great potential. You can give an A to anyone—your spouse, children, employer, co-workers—even strangers.

For example, What would happen if the expectation were that the students were A students? Read more examples and learn about the value of coming from a perspective of believing in an one’s creativity and potential instead of judging them on historical results. Continue reading...

 

Accessing the Power of Meaningful Work

5 August 2021

Liebe und Arbeit

In an interview late in his life, the psychologist Sigmund Freud was asked to expound on what he felt were the most important constituents of life. His answer? “Liebe und Arbeit.” Love and work.

This is hardly a surprise: For most of human history, the meaning of work and the meaning of life intersected at survival. Work was life.

When cheap energy and mechanization started us down the path of staggering increases in productivity, some philosophers and visionaries began speculating about how we would use the extra “leisure time” we would gain from all this productivity. The reality however has proved much different than projected.

How do we spend the “extra time?” We work.

Yet for many of us, work we would call “meaningful” remains elusive. But we can’t always pinpoint what’s missing or what it is that would give our work lives meaning.

Learn about Finding Your Genius, the "Alarm Clock" test, and "Telling YOUR Story" HERE!.

 

Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers

22 July 2021

There’s one in every workplace!

He’s the colleague who is always late to work and never meets a deadline. He’s always apologetic and ready with an excuse and promises this is really the last time he’ll ask for a favor. You’ve been nice, even covering up for him, but now you’re sick of it.

Or it might be the coworker who takes credit for work you did, steals your ideas and talks about you to others. A master of double-talk and double-dealing, she’ll deny everything and try to convince you—and others—that you’re the crazy one. You’re so angry and obsessed with her behavior, sometimes you wonder if you are going crazy.

Until recently, focus has been on how to manage the difficult boss or managing employees. The issue of problem coworkers has received less attention, yet in one study, 80% of people reported a single coworker contributed significant stress to their workday.

This stress isn’t just dangerous to employees; it has a negative impact on the entire company or workplace. It can lead to poor work performance, absenteeism and health problems. Sometimes outstanding employees who see no solution to a toxic coworker look for a new job. In today’s competitive work environment where finding and retaining talented people is increasingly difficult, this is a loss few companies can afford.

Complaining to management about a problem coworker is often ineffective and can backfire, making you look like the problem.

Click here to learn about effective steps you can take to deal with this common workplace challenge. Remember, if you believe you have some control, you do.

How's your engagement at work?

8 July 2021

Employee engagement is golden.

That’s the key finding of a study from just a few years ago entitled "Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment".

According to the study, employee engagement (the willingness of an employee to go the extra mile to help their company succeed) has a positive relationship with customer satisfaction, productivity, employee retention, organizational success, and profit. [...]

Those companies with the highest percentage of engaged workers increased operating income by 19% and earnings per share by 28% year-to-year, while those with the lowest showed declines of 33% in operating income and 11% in earnings per share. Those are significant percentages!

Other research shows less than 5% of engaged workers were actively looking for another job, while more than a quarter of disengaged employees were actively looking. And I could bet that the remainder would jump, if an offer to leave happened to come to their attention. Once employees start to leave, it can cause a vicious cycle as well, as further damage is caused to the morale of those left behind.

😄 The good news is that employee engagement reaps great rewards as indicated above by those impressive percentages.

😟 The bad news is less than a quarter of workers are actually engaged with their work and more than a third of workers are partly to fully disengaged. The damage to an employer’s profitability is inevitable.

Closing the Gap... Keep reading for some suggested ways to get higher levels of employee engagement.

Starting Over: Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

24 June 2021

Death of a loved one. Pandemic. Natural disaster. Divorce. Job loss. Career change.

There's not one of us who has escaped major change in our lives. And whether you bring on major change yourself or circumstances beyond your control are thrust upon you, starting over is never easy.

In fact, major life change can bring with it extreme heartache, debilitating stress and despair.

But you can do it. You have the means within yourself to recuperate and grow from any life-altering situation. Truly.

If you or a loved one is facing an experience that requires "starting over," here are some strategies to help you get through difficult times with greater peace-of-mind and grace.  

Take time to let go: Starting over often happens due to traumatic events. Even when you initiate the change that requires starting over, grief is natural. Take the necessary time to grieve your losses. Your time frame for mourning may be different than someone else’s, so be true to your own needs. Don’t let them determine how long you need to mourn. Keep reading

How Well Do You Manage Your Emotional Reactions at Work or Home?

10 June 2021

Automatic, negative responses to people or events often indicate an emotional “trigger”, or “our buttons have been pushed”!

These “emotional” events stem from neuropathways developed prior to our birth to help us survive. They are all sourced form the left side of the brain; the fight or flight side. At work, these emotional reactions can limit your career advancement and cap the level of success you might achieve. At home, these reactions can cause excess sibling rivalry and even competition among spouses. Both at work and home, these triggers cause harm to relationships.

Our emotional triggers can be useful, just like our nerves that tell us to take our hand off a hot stove are very useful. But emotional events should be looked at only as messages telling us that something needs to change – not that we should adopt the emotion and make it a part of us. We need to take our hand off the hot stove!

Keep reading to learn more about how to manage your reactions at work and at home when your "buttons get pushed!" Be sure to take the short quiz! Click here to keep reading

Cultivating Serenity in the Workplace and Beyond

20 May 2021

The Serenity Prayer reminds us that the key to serenity is:

Accepting what you cannot change, changing what you can, and possessing the wisdom to know the difference.

The prayer is a good intention, but how do you tell the difference between what you can and cannot change?

Here are some things you do have control over...

1. Your actions. No one can “make” you do anything. If you’re unhappy with your behavior at work or at home, change it, make amends if necessary, chart a new course. Remember to make liberating choices, rather than those that trap or suffocate you. Be true to yourself. Note, this applies to everyone, so don’t try to change someone else’s behavior - only they can do that - stick to focusing on the change you would like to see for yourself. Click here to keep reading


Employing Non-defensive Communication at Work

6 May 2021

Picture this...

You’re in the break room with a colleague, when he looks over and asks, “Do you always butter your bread that way?”

Ha, ha, you laugh,
b
ut inside, your story is going like this... "Who does he think he is, Mr. Manners? What’s wrong with the way I butter my bread? Jerk! He’s always so critical!"


FREEZE FRAME!

If something as minor as buttering bread can provoke such feelings of defensiveness, imagine what can happen with more important issues at work or at home! 

What happens, says Sharon Ellison, M.S., is essentially war. Ellison, founder of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, teaches that the way we communicate with each other uses the same principles and tactics we would use in physical combat.

We believe we must protect ourselves from an “attack” by being defensive. As soon as we feel any threat, either of not getting what we want, or of being harmed or put down in some way, we choose from among the three basic defensive war maneuvers: surrender, withdrawal, or counterattack. Remember, our brain is too often in the “fight or flight” mode for us to respond in a more loving or curious manner.

Learn more about this, as well as the 6 Most Common Defensive Reactions as follows HERE

 

“Tolerations” Take a Toll

22 April 2021

What do a boss who’s always yelling at you, your mate’s over-spending habits, a cluttered house or office, tight shoulders due to a lack of income, and a ho-hum (or bad) relationship have in common?

They’re all tolerations, those little or big things we put up with—often without realizing it—that sap our energy and drain our life force. It’s our judge or inner critic trying to keep us safe and comfortable. Every time we tolerate something, we deplete the energy we could be using to make desired changes or to simply experience joy in our life. It’s like living with a low-grade fever or pain that somehow dulls our experience and zaps our full vitality. 

😞 Ughhh. He’s late again—with some made up excuse. Zap!

😞 I hate it when she treats me like that. Zap! Zap!

😞 Overdrawn again. Zap! Zap! Zap!

At the root of our tolerations are a variety of limiting beliefs and saboteurs that immobilize us. For example: “That’s just the way it is.” “I’m not worth it.” “Don’t rock the boat—play it safe.” “Don’t complain or be too demanding.” “I don’t have enough time/money/support.” “I can’t do this.” “I’m not worthy.”

If these sound familiar, keep reading for ideas on how to eliminate tolerations.


Are You In Need of an Attitude Adjustment?

8 April 2021

If you are a solopreneur, you may be feeling really tired of the slog of building your business, especially if you started it last year. You might even feel as if you are being dragged through the mud. And the thought of giving up on your dream is becoming a daily thought.

Be assured, you are not alone in these thoughts. Many struggling start-up and small business owners are right there with you. That knowledge doesn't provide you with any comfort though, does it? Entrepreneurship is hard!

Have you ever considered the results you are getting are because you are getting in your own way?

Self-doubt and negative emotions are powerful stuff!  They can sabotage you before you even get your business off the ground. But to stop the self-sabotage, you must discover those negative emotions and recognize how and when they are interfering with your life. Keep reading - Free Assessment inside!


The Importance of Play in Our Lives

18 MARCH 2021

If it feels like you have less leisure time and fewer unstructured “play” hours in your life, you’re not alone. Consider these statistics:

📎 The average married couple works 26 percent longer each year than similar working couples did thirty years ago. And that was before the pandemic, I bet it’s more than 30% now with all the home schooling and zoom meetings. Single parents and care givers are also under considerable more strain.

📎 Leisure time among children ages 12 and under has declined from 40 percent of a child’s day in 1981 to 25 percent of a child’s day in 1997, and about one in four American adults reports no leisure-time physical activity. Computers, while useful, have consumed many of us to the point we look for all our entertainment plugged in.

📎 A landmark Surgeon General’s Report identified lack of physical activity, including during leisure, as a serious health threat in the U.S. In other words, even when we are having fun, we aren’t moving our bodies. Not only are we not moving, we are likely to be eating in front of the TV while we are watching our favorite TV shoes or movies. It’s no wonder obesity statistics are rising. 

The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University and one-time commissioner of Major League Baseball said, “You can learn more about a society by observing the way they play as opposed to how they work.”

Keep reading, if you feel like you don’t have enough play time in your life... and who doesn’t?
 


Don’t Miss a Step: Take Time to Celebrate!

04 MARCH 2021

The path of a goal, whether a goal set for your personal life or in the course of your business, is generally seen as having 5 steps:

1) Determine your why and core values
2) set goals for what you want to achieve linked to your why and core values
3) create an action plan
4) implement the action plan by taking steps to achieve the goals
5) achieve the goals (completion)

After Step 5, many people return to Step 1 with the question: “OK, what’s next?” And then it’s on to Step 2, 3, 4 and 5 again. It’s what achievers do, right?

But wait, there’s more! There is actually a very important sixth step that many of us leave out – keep reading!


How to Support Your Own Happiness

18 FEB 2021

When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!”

At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. But with the economy rolling downhill, the vision of our own prosperity can seem like a tiny, inflatable raft in an ocean of fear.

In such unstable times, the pursuit of happiness can feel like a taunt rather than an inalienable right. Still, its pursuit is worth the effort.

Emerging research shows while trauma has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn how to change our neuro pathways to trigger the creative side of our brain rather than continually relying on the left side that keeps us fighting for our survival. We can learn to be happier. In fact, the most popular class at Harvard University is one in which students learn to train their brains to cultivate, what instructor Tal Ben-Shahar calls, "the ultimate currency: happiness". Keep reading

The Vulnerability of Dreams

4 FEB 2021

February is known as the Death of Dreams month, as the vast majority of people give up on their dreams and goals in the second month of the New Year. I believe it’s because they haven’t gone through the “7-layers deep” exercise mentioned above and do not have an accountability buddy. Change is hard! It’s easier to quit than it is to keep pushing forward. There is no question about it, the motivation for change and growth has to be deeply personal for you to battle the desire to quit when things get tough or you just don’t feel like it.

Setting goals for many is not too difficult; they know it should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). However, setting goals and actually seeing them come to fruition are two very different things. That is why February results in the majority of people giving up on their goals to make their dreams come true. The downfall here is that setting goals in this manner is very logical and rational. It only incorporates the left side of our brain. To greatly increase the likelihood we will achieve our dreams and goals we need to get emotional. We need to start thinking with the right side of our brain... Keep reading

 

Finding the Balance of Competing Devotions

21 JANUARY 2021

Today, many women find themselves torn: “How do I take the time to work on my business (or career) while still wanting to take care of my family?”

Some are even struggling to be the care givers to older parents while still raising their own children causing them to do “double duty”. The pandemic is magnifying these family demands for most as well. Unfortunately, research has shown in two parent households, the vast majority of the household and family needs are still left to the woman. As a result, women are left exhausted with feelings of frustration and resentment or worse, guilt and shame. 

Consequently, the ultimate question these days may not be “What is the meaning of life?”, but simply, “Where do I find the time?”

To break out of the out-of-balance cycle and achieve better balance between our competing devotions, keep reading to learn proven techniques, from the spiritual to the practical.


How to Go from...
Stuck to Action to Empowerment!

07 JANUARY 2021

If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut of inertia—in business or in life—you know the sense of helpless futility that seems to take over. You may find yourself binge watching TV, or over eating, or tricking yourself into thinking your busy by doing little stuff but not tackling the big items that will get you where you want to go.

You want your business or life to change, but you feel powerless to do anything about it. You may find yourself constantly making plans to improve these areas, but never quite get around to taking action because it seems so intimidating. Or you just don’t want to do it alone.

Though taking action might feel intimidating and frightening, it's also a secret weapon you can use to empower yourself and make you feel fierce! If you learn to use action effectively, it can provide the fuel to keep you moving toward more fulfilling circumstances.  And you can only correct your course if you are moving! If you don’t move or take action, you will remain stuck. 

Once you start taking action, you realize there was never anything to fear in the first place, and you’ll quite possibly never get stuck again!

Click here for three simple steps to get started!

 

Taking Stock

17 DECEMBER 2020

Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings. Always pictured with two faces—one looking toward the future, the other back at the past—Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year.  

As we step through the doorway at the end of this year many will want to slam it shut! Will a window open as a result? That’s up to you!

Going from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look back and ahead. I suggest that instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions, consider using the last two weeks of the year to also take stock of your life.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you believe?
  • What do you really need?

When we discover who we really are, we stop living on auto-pilot and start to live with intention, focus and purpose.

Click here for an exercise to help you get started!

 

Bounce Back: Developing Emotional Resilience

3 DECEMBER 2020

Major disruptions are a “gotcha” we all experience at one time or another in our lives. We get fired, laid off or passed over; a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled; a business fails. The list, unfortunately, can be endless. And in 2020 many of these types of events could have happened at the same time making the situation so much worse.

For some, the impact of these hard times is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these hard times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life quickly. So why is it some people struggle and fall flat, while others bounce?

Resilience — the strength required to adapt to change—acts as our internal compass to resourcefully navigate an upset. When unexpected events turn life upside down, it’s the degree to which our resiliency comes into play that makes these “make-or-break” situations an opportunity for growth. The good news is that each of us has the capacity to reorganize our life after a disruption and to achieve new levels of strength and meaningfulness.

Though it’s easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, life disruptions are not necessarily a bad thing. They help us grow and meet future challenges in our lives. It’s a lot like a bone once fragile or broken that is now strong from being repetitively used. Our challenges do make us stronger and better.

So how can you become more resilient? Click here to discover Seven Key Characteristics of people who demonstrate resilience during life’s ups and downs!


My Favorite Resources

19 NOVEMBER 2020

Here are some of my favorite apps I use to destress, relax, get into the creative mindset and focus. I hope you find them helpful, if not interesting! Click here to find these and many more resources!

Super Coloring
I love coloring mandalas. In fact, I just bought a vast collection of different colored markers and pencils to make it even more fun! When I am coloring many minutes go by without me even thinking about my problems – I’m completely captivated by the picture unfolding.  Consequently, I find it best to set a timer! Do you find coloring helps you de-stress?  Click here to get a link to a free site offering free pages of mandalas you can print!

Here's a site offering free pages of mandalas you can print. http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/arts-culture/mandala

 

ThinkUp Positive Affirmations

I love this app!
I’ve been using it at least once a day, and some times several times a day! 

The free app allows you to choose positive affirmations available in their library or to use one of your own. You record and listen to your personal affirmations frequently and consistently to train your brain to set a positive mindset, engage the laws of vibration and attraction and increase self-esteem.

Because the affirmations are played back in your voice, the brain acknowledges and implements the affirmations faster than if recorded by someone else. If you decide to upgrade (not at all expensive) you can add more than three affirmations, choose the background music, set reminders and establish a much more powerful mindset practice. This app was ranked the #1 affirmation and motivation app. Very powerful! Everyone I’ve recommended this app to loves it.

 

Mindfulness Bell

For iPhone and iPad users, this is a great free app which allows you to set a timer (either scheduled or random) to keep you focused and living in the moment throughout the day. It also allows you to take time to breathe deeply, and give thanks or celebrate your achievements.

 

The Ponder or Pursue Personal Deck Cards by my friend and fellow coach Tina Asher might be the perfect thing to help you make this Thanksgiving even more meaningful. 

How well do you really know your family? In this deck you will find 52 thought-provoking cards to stimulate conversations and suggested activities to create an environment for positive change and growth. Go to www.ponderorpursue.com to order your deck today. There is also a professional deck.  BTW, these make great stocking stuffers too!

 

Don’t Let Fear Stop You


5 NOVEMBER 2020

Fear talks to us, sometimes during the dead of the night.  We are awakened at 3 am thinking about “What ifs?” And when we listen to those fearful thoughts, we inhibit our true potential, joy and happiness. 

Do any of the following circumstances sound familiar to you?

◽️Sheila loved nothing more than to dance but she wouldn’t go out on the dance floor because she thought she’d look clumsy and ridiculous.

◽️Sanjay knew he deserved a raise, but he was so nervous about approaching his boss, he never asked for one.

◽️Noor’s fear of bears was so great she wouldn’t go on a camping trip with her friends. And their campsite wasn’t even in bear territory.

◽️And here is the one I most dislike:  Christina doesn’t take any action in getting her dream business started because she is so afraid of failing.  But yet she is miserable at her job; her talents and value are often overlooked with her very own potential loyal customers waiting for her to show up.

Fear is that nattering voice inside our heads that says, you can’t, you shouldn’t, what if…. Fear keeps us from taking risks that might enrich our life or it holds us back from doing some things we need to do. Experience new and exciting vistas? Accomplish something really great? Fear says, “Not on your life.”

Click here for strategies to help you deal with fears that might be holding you back

 

Curiosity and Results: What’s the Connection?


22 OCTOBER 2020

When we are kids, our imagination and curiosity are fully engaged. 

If you have spent any time with a four-year-old, you know what I mean with their “Why” response to almost everything!  Unfortunately, for most of us as we grow older, we are told to follow structured ways of thinking or act in a conforming way. We grow up hearing that asking so many questions is rude or shows our ignorance, or we will get into trouble if we are like Curious George (my favorite storybook as a kid and I still have it!). We might even have been warned, “Curiosity killed the cat.”  I think curiosity has a bad rap!

The truth is curiosity is one of the most vital and life-affirming qualities you can bring to your life, your relationships and even your business.

Curiosity in Life

Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all!

When you cultivate an attitude of curiosity, doors open and adventures begin; questions lead to new possibilities. For example, asking yourself, “What do I want to learn now and where might that lead me?” can set you on a journey of exciting exploration that moves you forward. If, instead, you come from the place of “I already know what I need to know,” you shut off the possibility of discovering something new that could rock your world. Read on...

How Well Do You Handle Failure?

8 OCTOBER 2020

Because we are human, we cannot help but fail. We make mistakes at work or in developing our businesses. We lose relationships. We parent in ways we later regret. We fail to win or succeed at all we do. How we handle these failures makes all the difference in the world in how we utilize our ability to learn and be effective in our work and personal lives.

Take the Self-Quiz to see how you tend to handle failure >>> Click here to take the quiz

 

Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Business

17 SEPTEMBER 2020

The objective of any business is to grow and make a profit (not necessarily in that order). For the solopreneur and small business owner, growth may be hindered by low energy levels, caused by all your other commitments. You feel pulled in several different directions.

You might find your “to-do” list is getting longer and longer and you can’t seem to find the time to focus on the “big” stuff.   If you are handling all of your daily tasks alone, growth may not be possible in the way that you’d like to see it. If you find your day is taken up mostly checking off things on your “to-do” list rather than focusing on activities that lead to income generation, there are two things you can do:

1) Take control of your time by re-configuring your daily schedule (if you book a free one-hour complimentary strategy session with me I can help you do this); and

2) Consider hiring a virtual assistant for help.

What Is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

Virtual assistants are highly skilled people who can be considered masters in their areas of expertise. These business professionals make their living by meeting the needs of other solopreneurs and small business owners through a negotiated contract. Their skill sets can comprise everything from back end tech support, administration, bookkeeping to marketing, and customer service to website design ... Virtual assistants are proving themselves to be invaluable to solopreneurs who work online, myself included. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant!

Saving Ourselves from Self-Sabotage

3 SEPTEMBER 2020

When she was a girl, Lauren vowed she’d never be like her mother—harsh, critical, and emotionally unavailable. She was constantly judging Lauren's actions and behaviors and didn’t like it when she would do something outside of the “designated path” set by her mother. Yet, 30 years later, Lauren catches herself treating her own daughter harshly and constantly judging her for not measuring up to her expectations.

Cheryl loves developing her business. The only thorn is she hates after-sales service. She doesn’t handle complaints well and she is often late in answering any queries she may receive. As a result, Cheryl isn’t able to get repeat business on a regular basis to sustain and grow her business.

What Lauren and Cheryl have in common is the all-too-common disease called self-sabotage. It eats at us, creating a cycle of self-destruction with the result being we aren’t really living the life we want for ourselves. Click here to learn more about self-sabotage and the steps to implement change!

 

How to Try On—and Actually Get—the Life of Your Dreams

20 AUGUST 2020

Many articles, books, and workshops advise dreamers to act “as if.” Act as if you already have your dream job. Act as if you’re successful. Act as if you’re confident. 

While some may see this as being “Woo Woo”, it is actually based on neuroscience. 

If we subscribe to the Law of Vibration and the Law of Attraction theories behind this “as if” action, it means if we try on the thing we've always wanted, we’re more likely to achieve it. Another version of this is: “Fake it till you make it.”, or as Amy Cudhy states, “Fake it till you become it.”

Problems arise, however, if we don’t actually want the life we say we want. For instance, we may say we want to start or grow our own business, but if we actually don’t want the added responsibility, acting “as if” will be an empty exercise.  We will not take the needed actions to get out of our comfort zones to make it happen. 

So what’s the solution?

How does a person turn what they say they want into what they actually get?

Here are some ways to begin.

Start slowly. When people decide to make a significant change in their lives they often try to do too many things at once and get overwhelmed or discouraged. Focus on one thing at a time that’ll get you closer to the “you” you’d like to become. Discuss your ideas with others to see if they think it is a good fit based on how they assess your skills, attributes, and experience.  We often underestimate our skills or take them for granted, so it takes others to point them out to us. And don’t be afraid to change directions if what you were focusing on doesn’t work. It’s all market research.

Align your goals and values. If your goals do not align with your core values and beliefs, you will meet resistance every step of the way. For example, if you think rich people are greedy and mean, you will likely be unable to grow your business, as deep in your subconscious you do not want to become “greedy and mean”! We need to reframe our mindset to align with our desired outcomes. Given the above example, a useful mantra would be, “I am running a successful and ethical business where I provide enormous value to my clients.”

Face your resistance. Change is challenging for most of us. Give yourself a leg-up by being willing to face any underlying beliefs that might be getting in your way. This can be your biggest obstacle in becoming the “new” you. We all have limiting beliefs (e.g. “I’m not good enough”, or “I can’t do that”) that can sabotage us so we stay in our comfort zones. This is where it is especially helpful to get help, as often we don’t even see the limiting belief until someone points it out to us. 

Click here to keep reading for more tips on how to turn what you say into what you actually get.

Oh, the Stories We Tell Ourselves!

9 AUGUST 2020

Every day, Melanie, a solopreneur, begins her day by telling herself her favorite story: “My potential customers do not understand the value I offer despite my existing clients providing excellent testimonials. Yet I know my competitors are getting new business all the time, even in this tough economy. It’s not fair”.

Her competitor, Alissa, has her own favorite story: “My customers value my services, even though hundreds of competitors offer similar services, because I recognize I need to understand my clients’ needs and provide more and more value to set myself apart from my competition. I know I help my customers get through these tough times."

Melanie plays the part of the victim while Alissa plays the victor. 

Every day, we tell ourselves enough of these negative kinds of stories like Melanie's to fill a library:  Why doesn’t he like me?  Why did they laugh at my question? Why is everyone is being so difficult? How am I’m such a failure?

And on, and on, and on.

We live our lives as if the stories are true. We act and react, often in pain, from our often misunderstanding of someone’s words or actions, or our assumptions about why they are saying or doing what they are doing.  And then we wonder how we should be different based on those emotions and interpretations.  We are dis-empowering ourselves.

We are the ones creating the damage.

These stories, and the emotions that come from the stories, are usually the source of the pain and/or discomfort we feel in our relationships, or about ourselves. We want to blame the other person, but in reality, it’s usually our thinking actually causing the discomfort, says Byron Katie, author of the best-selling book Loving What Is.

To experience more freedom in our lives, we need to do to ease the pain of our stories by learning how to get beyond our stories, to get under our beliefs to what’s really living there.

“The result of investigation is often a deeper appreciation of the people in our lives and a realization that it was not their words or actions that really harmed us, but our uninvestigated thoughts about their words or actions,” Katie says.

In her book, Katie outlines “The Work”, a simple path of inquiry into these horror stories we tell ourselves that revolves around four questions. Find out the four questions by clicking here.

Top 10 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
So You Can Feel Reborn

23 JULY 2020

Seldom does time pass more slowly than when insomnia hits or a new “baby” enters the home and disrupts your normal routine. The next day at your computer can go just as slowly—and just as poorly—in your sleep-deprived state!

The following are suggestions I’m implementing that might also help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

1. Structure your sleep. Try to go to bed and arise at the same time every day. Set reminders and alarms to help you keep to the schedule.  Keep in mind, science has shown that an hour of sleep we get before midnight is worth two hours of sleep after midnight. So don’t be that person who brags about how little sleep you need.  Most of us need a range of 7 – 9 hours each night. In fact, the journal Science indicated the quality of our sleep is more influential on our happiness levels than our income or marital status!

2. Create a soothing bedtime routine. Watching the news or reading your e-mail are not good sleep inducers.  I can argue watching the news at any time of day is bad for you but especially damaging before you go to bed.  Using our computer devices with blue light screens also cause our mind to stay awake.  So if you must watch tv, read on your e-reader or work on your computer before going to sleep use the “night” mode to reduce the brightness of the screen.  And turn them all off before 9pm!

Click here to discover 8 other ways to get to sleep and stay asleep!


How to Create and Use a Team as a Solopreneur

2 JULY 2020


As a solopreneur, you can still enjoy all the benefits that come from having a support team backing you up, helping you in your decision-making, and freeing you to concentrate on your passion and in those areas where you are most suited to undertake the activity.

Hiring actual employees, even part-time or temporary ones, may not be right for you or even in the budget right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get the necessary support you need. If you know where to look and how to approach potential team members, you can get help building your business. Having a support team can also make the building process more fun, more productive and even embed some accountability in the process as well!

As a solo business owner, you have several options at different price points, ranging from free to a few or several thousand dollars annually.

But where and how to begin??? Mastermind Groups, Co-working Space, Interns, Outsourcing, Coaches, Consultants...

Learn about these different options and how they might add value to YOUR business! Click here!  

 

How Do You Feel About Change?

18 JUNE 2020

In order to “Be the Change”, we have to accept change and be willing to take action to make the change.

How do you feel about change? Do you like it? Do you welcome new things and experiences into your life? Do you see change as beneficial?

Or are you more the type to like things to remain the same because it’s easy or comfortable? Are you the type that doesn’t like anything disrupting the apple cart so to speak because tension, confrontation, and change are painful? 

Many people find change difficult.  Change can bring about feelings of disorientation, being out of balance, and cause isolation. If that’s you, don’t worry. You can create a different belief system about change – a positive one filled with anticipation and hope. So, the next time you’re faced with change, instead of asking, “Why me?”, you can look for the opportunity in the change, asking how it can be helping you to grow in some new and exciting way.

More than ever, it is important for us to look at change from a different perspective, to see the possibilities change can bring. But in order to take on this new perspective, we need to get a better idea of how we see change currently.  The short activity below can provide a quick self-check on your feelings and attitude about change. Are you more inclined to see change in a positive or negative light? Only by knowing where you currently stand can you be more aware of what attitudes needs to shift.

Activity... Click here for an Activity to learn about your “Current Feelings about Change”

 

 “Action is worry’s worst enemy.” ~ Proverb

04 JUNE 2020

You’ve probably done a lot of worrying of late.  Worrying has a bad rep because of all the damage it can do. Worrying is what keeps many of us awake at night, distracts us during the day, and gives our physical systems a workout we don’t need.

But what would you think if I said, “Worrying if it’s done right, can actually be helpful”?

Effective worrying can help us anticipate problems, devise artful solutions, and expand creative possibilities. According to Dr. Edward Hollowell, of the Harvard Medical School, worry is nature’s way of helping us anticipate—and avoid— danger. Good worry leads to constructive action.

When you find yourself in bed at night, tossing and turning, plowing the same field, again and again, you’re in the midst of worry of the worst kind: self-perpetuating. The more you worry, the more stress chemicals feedback to the brain, telling it to worry more. When you find yourself mired in this worry bog, the best thing to do is to get physical. Get up, move. Action will temporarily relieve the worrying. When you come back to the problem, you may even have a better perspective on it. Taking a walk, working out, going for a bike ride or a run can help relieve worry. Exercise increases blood flow, meaning more oxygen to the brain. Exercising regularly means you will probably worry less.

Keep reading to find out how to put worry to work for you, take action, and gain a stronger sense of control.

Empower Yourself: Ask for What You Want!

21 MAY 2020

Asking for what we want is a powerful, and empowering act that can send strong ripples through our lives.

However, most of us struggle to do this for various reasons. 

To make it easier, look at the following four things needed to be in place first before you make the ask:

 

1. You know what you want.

2. You fully believe you deserve it.

3. You are prepared to accept the answer “No.”

4. You have the communication skills needed for an effective request.

What Do You Want?

Our “wants” emerge from the needs we are experiencing, for example, the need to be heard, the need for respect, the need for boundaries, expedience, beauty, and/or intimacy. Knowing our needs helps us be clear about what we are requesting. According to renowned relationship expert Chloe Madenes, there are six basic human needs we strive to meet: 1) certainty; 2) variety; 3) significance; 4) love and connection; 5) contribution; and 6) growth.  She adds, each person has 2 – 3 that are more important than the others and drive our actions and emotions. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to ask for what you want!

Journaling Your Way Through Crisis

07 MAY 2020

One of the best ways to get through a personal crisis is through journaling or writing down your thoughts. It helps bring up emotions for clearing. It can help creative solutions rise to the surface. And it serves as a record of your experience so you can turn to them again and again if and when needed.

The general notion of journaling might not be of interest to everyone. But there are multiple ways to journal, and at least one of them is likely to appeal to (and benefit) you.

Here are six techniques, each with a different application you may want to explore.

1. A Story Book: Human beings are natural story-tellers so keeping a story journal can be especially helpful if you’re depressed, struggling with a sudden crisis or unresolved tragedy, or living with a chronic ailment.

Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Write your experience as if you are telling a story. Some experts advise writing about the same episode several times; maybe each time from a different emotion you are feeling.  The retelling often gives us a new perspective.

2. A Worry Book: This format can benefit those who suffer from anxiety, stress, or insomnia.

Draw a line down the center of a page. On the left, write some of the issues upsetting you and on the right list some of the steps you’ve taken to address the problem, or some solutions you can try. Use this space to plan, organize, and strategize for the future.  By doing this, we gain control so things will likely look less worrisome.  We can’t always control the situation, but we can always control how we respond to each situation.

Click here to keep reading

How to Handle Negative Emotions and Thoughts

09 APRIL 2020

You may be facing enormous uncertainty in your life right now. 

It may even be causing you to have flashbacks to your childhood when things were not in your control or you were scared, not knowing what was going to happen next. 

As human beings we are designed to survive through the fight or flight response – both raise our stress levels to help protect us, help us survive.  When faced with continual stress, however, our minds and bodies pay the price. Emotions can run wild, heightened by exaggerated fear. The media has trained us to listen to doom and gloom rather than focusing on the positive; the vast majority of us are healthy and staying safe in our homes. 

Unless we are very careful, our health can suffer from the stress-causing us to eat continually, and not get enough exercise.  Stress also wreaks havoc with our hormones keeping us out of balance.

When unfavorable events and emotional situations occur in our lives—there’s a good chance we will face negative emotions and thoughts.

At best, these negative thoughts and emotions cause frustration and anger. At worst, they cause undue suffering, uphill struggle, and sometimes even death.

The good news: we have the power to change these negative thoughts and emotions.

Click here to learn about ways to handle them so you can start experiencing new, more positive thoughts and emotions!


Starting Over: Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

09 APRIL 2020

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” - Lee Iacocca


Disasters… divorce… the death of a loved one... a job loss for no fault of our own...


There's likely not one of us over the age of 35 who has escaped major change and/or grief in our lives. It’s a part of life.  And whether you bring on major change yourself or circumstances beyond your control are thrust upon you, starting over is never easy.

In fact, major life change can bring with it extreme heartache, debilitating stress, and despair.

But I know you can do it. You have the means within yourself to recuperate and grow from any life-altering situation. Truly. I hope you know it too!

If you, or a loved one, are facing some sort of grief or an experience that requires "starting over", keep the following points in mind. They'll help you get through difficult times with greater peace-of-mind and grace.  

Take time to let go.

  • Starting over often happens due to traumatic events in which you have little control. Even when you do initiate the change that requires starting over, grief is natural. Take the necessary time to grieve your losses. Your timeframe for mourning may be different than someone else’s, so be true to your own needs.

Be gentle with yourself.

  • If ever there is a time to love and nurture yourself, it is now! Go easy and be sweet with yourself. Show yourself massive compassion. Take rest when you need it. Say no to anything but the essential, and use that extra time to sleep, walk in nature, ask for help from supportive family and friends. Just be. Don’t resist your emotions.  Let them come, acknowledge them and just be.  What we resist persists.

Click here for more tips on how to recover emotionally in order to adapt and pivot!

From Crisis Comes Opportunity

19 MARCH 2020

 We live in a world of great uncertainty, turmoil and continuing change.  Covid-19 has everyone’s attention, and rightly so. The health aspects are frightening for those in the high-risk categories and their loved ones. The huge global economic impact is already touching each and every one of us, some more than others. I’m choosing to remain positive though, as this crisis shall pass like others we have faced before.  We will recover and life will go on. 

I’m wondering if we will use this opportunity to look at ourselves, our communities and/or our governments to learn how we can do things better.  What can we learn from this: how can we become stronger and better?

The Japanese have a tradition of creating beautiful works of art from broken pottery.  It’s called Kintsugi. Broken pieces of pottery are “glued” back together using gold to make an even more beautiful piece, stronger than it was before.  In addition, the piece now has its own unique story of how it came to be. 

So what story are you creating as you get through this troubled time?  Is it one of beauty and strength, or one of fear and worry?  For me, it’s time to be mindful of my thoughts, knowing we get what we focus on.  So I’m choosing to be grateful for my awesome online-based coaching practice helping solopreneurs and focusing on its continued development and growth – so thankful for the Internet!  

Who do you know who could use some help seeing how the Covid-19 crisis may just be the right time to stop tolerating a job they don’t love or to relieve the fear of losing their existing job?  There are things they can start doing right now and I’d love to help them.

I’m changing things up by sharing a video interview with Lynn Lambrecht who created her business out of emergencies.   I hope you can see there can be some silver linings from a crisis.  It can help to change our perspective.

During times of crisis, while we may not be impacted by it directly, problems can still arise that impact us indirectly; i.e. we are staying healthy but disruptions are occurring in our daily lives.   These problems can range from not having toilet paper, not being able to socialize, figuring out how we are going to handle our kids when not in a structured school setting or worse yet, losing our jobs. 

We have a choice to make: We can choose to be miserable, living in constant fear or worry or we can choose to find positive ways to face the situation, and make the best of it. Maybe we can even find ways to help others to solve a problem created by the same or similar predicaments. If we had the problem, you can bet others are looking for solutions too! 

Find out how Lynn Lambrecht of The Living Planner started her business to solve a common problem that arose out of working with families involved in airline crashes and 911.

Click here to watch the video and learn more!

 

Self-Acceptance is an Action

05 MARCH 2020

Imagine you are standing in front of a full-length mirror. Naked, totally exposed. You are asked to gaze at yourself for two minutes, fully accepting your body, your beauty, your imperfections, your mind and all your contributions to the world.

Now take a quick inventory of the feelings aroused by this suggestion. Did you feel curious, excited or ashamed or afraid? Interested or hesitant? Willing or unwilling? Did you discredit your awesomeness? Or did you reject the whole idea as something you would absolutely never do? Imagining the experience gives you an indication of your level of self-acceptance; actually doing it will tell you even more.

Self-acceptance is an action; it is something we do, not just something we feel. To say “I value myself” is an act of self-affirmation providing a base from which self-esteem develops.

When we practice self-acceptance we don’t have to condone or even like everything about ourselves. In fact, it’s almost certain we won’t. What it does mean is we recognize and accept our thoughts, our actions, our emotions, our bodies, our dreams — everything about us — as our own.  We can also forgive ourselves for any harm or injury we have caused.“But I don’t want to be insecure and fearful (or afraid or judgmental or angry or fat or old or alcoholic or unkind or any of a dozen other things),” someone might say. “If I accept that about myself, it means I don’t want to change. Or I won’t change.”

Here’s the paradox: without acceptance of what is, it is impossible to change.

When we deny any part of ourselves we name that part alien or outside of ourselves. To say, “I don’t want to be _________, therefore I won’t accept that I am,” is self-rejection, the opposite of self-acceptance. To say, “I don’t want to be ________, but I am and I am willing to change,” is the kind of self-acceptance that gives birth to transformation.

Forgiveness, healing, and growth can only enter when awareness and acceptance open the door. According to Nathaniel Branden, author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, “Nothing does so much for an individual’s self-esteem as becoming aware of and accepting disowned parts of the self.”

Keep reading to learn about how to be more self-accepting.

 

The Rebel Within

20 FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a human then you have at least one voice in your head that chimes in on everything you do or want to do.

Sometimes the voices are enjoyable…

“Oh yay! Chocolate!”
“I feel so GOOD right now."
“That’s a great song!”

And other times, not so much…

“I look so fat & ugly in this shirt.”
“I can’t do anything right. I should just give up.”
“Nobody wants to hear anything I have to say.”

The negative self-talk that plagues the minds of every person on the planet can be painful, and downright crippling. It can (and will) drive us crazy and rob us of our dreams if we let it, which is exactly what makes it so dangerous.

Left unchecked, this voice will throw a wrench in every endeavor we’ll ever pursue. It will try to sabotage our relationships, ruin our opportunities, and leave us miserable, wrecked and wondering what could have been.

This is why we must learn to manage the inner critic that sabotages us.

Do you have hopes and dreams that are bigger than the life you’re currently living? And yet something seems to be blocking your way.

And the bigger your dreams are, the more boldly your resistance manifests.

Wouldn’t you like to figure out how to stop that annoying pattern and make your dreams a little easier to accomplish?

Click here to find out how!

Are You Too Cautious?

20 FEBRUARY 2020

Helen Keller, a famous American blind and deaf educator said: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Sometimes it’s wise to be cautious, particularly when physical safety is at stake. However, when we play it safe simply to protect our ego or heart, or we are afraid to get out of our comfort zones, we are likely closing off possibilities that could bring us greater joy and fulfillment.

Life is shaped by our choices.
So just what are you choosing?

Answer “true” or “false” to the following statements to discover if you are likely not living life to its fullest by being too cautious.

Set 1

  1. Life doesn’t feel safe. I’m content with things as they are and prefer to stay in my “comfort zone.”
  2. I’m afraid something bad will happen if I veer off my usual course. I feel safer and more confident when I stick to what I already know.

Click here to continue the quiz!

Burnout

6 FEBRUARY 2020

Burnout affects so many aspects of an individual’s life.

It is a condition that affects us physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

One of the first physical symptoms of burnout is fatigue. Intellectually, there may be a loss of creativity and sharpness in problem-solving; cynicism may replace enthusiasm. Emotionally, the loss of dreams and expectations can result in feelings of helplessness and depression. In the social realm, isolation overtakes a feeling of involvement. Spiritually, the person experiencing burnout may feel a lack of meaning or purposelessness in his/her life.

According to a recent study, one in three Americans is expected to burn out on the job in the near future and, in the two years preceding the study, 14% of the workforce quit or changed jobs due to job stress. I imagine the statistics for entrepreneurs could be even worse given that most small businesses don’t survive the first year. 

How can you avoid becoming one of the burnout statistics? 

First, recognize the warning signs:

  • feelings of frustration because you can never catch up
  • a feeling of lack of control about how to do your job or what goes on in the workplace
  • emotional outbursts
  • withdrawal and isolation
  • the dread of going to work
  • frequent sickness or health problems
  • increased use of alcohol, drugs or food consumption
  • a desire to quit (or run away) but a fear of doing so

Click here to discover How to Avoid Burnout!


Are you sabotaging yourself?

6 FEBRUARY 2020

Habitual lateness.
Extreme disorganization.
Not following up on sales leads.

These are all signs of self-sabotage and can take on a variety of guises. It affects people of all ages, professions and economic levels.But it always leads to our not living the life we want for ourselves.

Take this Quiz to see whether you might be working against yourself in some areas.

1. It takes me at least a half-hour to locate a document I need to send to someone.

2. I can be indecisive and fearful; as a result, chances often pass me by.

3. I tend to start projects with great gusto but have great difficulty finishing them.

Click here to continue with the Quiz

 

A New Look at Selfishness

23 JANUARY 2020

Modern culture prizes selflessness and abhors selfishness, in effect setting the two against each other.  “The alternatives are either to love others, which is a virtue, or to love oneself, which is a sin,” wrote social scientist and philosopher Erich Fromm, in his essay titled “Selfishness and Self-Love.”

We are taught at an early age to give, to share and only then to receive.  Many fights ensue on the playgrounds as these lessons are learned. 

While no one would argue with the notion of considering others, it is worthwhile to re-examine our beliefs around being selfish.

  • Do we really aspire to be without concern for ourselves?
  • Or is it important to value and love ourselves, to think for ourselves, to have a life of our own and to be able to love others without losing ourselves?
  • Are we really expected to sacrifice ourselves completely for our family, our spouses and/or our children? 

But how do we differentiate between valuing ourselves and egotistically indulging ourselves?

The answers lie in self-knowledge.

Keep reading to learn more...

  
Quiz: How Well Do You Take Responsibility For Yourself?

23 JANUARY 2020

How many of you remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In in the late 60’s and early 70’s? I know, I’m dating myself! I remember it well, especially as it was the one show my family would watch together every week. 

In the show, comedian Flip Wilson created and played a character named Geraldine, who excused her outrageous behavior by claiming “the devil made me do it.” My father and I would often be heard jokingly mimicking this line whenever we were up to no good. 

Poor Geraldine, she pretended to be helpless and ineffective because she wouldn’t take responsibility for herself. In his book, "Grow Up! How Taking Responsibility Can Make You A Happy Adult", Dr. Frank Pittman wrote, “Finding the responsible thing to do is the lifelong quest for grown-ups.”   While this may sound like the death knoll for the adult who is a “kid at heart”, it is important to take responsibility for our decisions and the choices we make. Our lives and those we love are simply easier when we do, particularly when we learn from our mistakes. 

How well do you take responsibility for yourself?

Click here to take a quiz and find out!


5 Tips to Help You Stay Focused on Your Goals

09 JANUARY 2020

Setting goals can be effortless. It’s not hard to know what you want (or maybe what you don’t want), or write your goals down. Achieving them, on the other hand, can often be a bit of a challenge.

In order to reach your goals, you must maintain your focus on the end result, especially when things get rough. 


Here are some tips to help you stay focused on your goals.

TIP #1 Create a visual reminder such as a dream board or a vision board.

A vision board contains pictures, personal reflections and other not

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ARCHIVES

2022

27 October | The Power (and Benefits) of Mental Discipline

29 September | 7 Techniques for Building Unshakable Self-Discipline

25 August | Go! Go! Go... on a Break!

28 July | 10 Steps that go Beyond Smart Goals

30 June | Top Ten CREATIVE Decision-Making Techniques

26 MAY | 10 Behaviors that BLOCK Happiness

22 APRIL | Top 10 Signs of Strength

24 MARCH | How's Your Joy Level at Work?

24 FEBRUARY | Are you Living in Sync with Your Values

27 JANUARY | Top Ten Powerful Questions to Ask

2021

21 DECEMBER | Looking Back to the Future

4 NOVEMBER | Organize Yourself for Success

21 OCTOBER | Is Not Getting Enough Sleep Getting in Your Way?

7 OCTOBER | Listening Practices: TIPS & TRAPS

23 SEPTEMBER | GO! GO! GO!

9 SEPTEMBER | A Seasonal Approach to Life

19 AUGUST | Giving Ourselves an A: Looking at Possibility, Not Measurement

5 AUGUST | Accessing the Power of Meaningful Work
22 JULY | Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers

8 JULY | Engagement: Are you part of the problem or the solution?

24 JUNE | Starting Over: Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

10 JUNE | How Well Do You Manage Your Emotional Reactions at Work or Home?

20 MAY | Cultivating Serenity in the Workplace and Beyond

6 MAY | Employing Non-defensive Communication at Work

21 APRIL | Are limiting beliefs causing you to play small?

8 APRIL | Are you in need of an Attitude Adjustment?

18 MARCH | PLAY! When was the last time you did this?

04 MARCH | Are you missing the most important step?

18 FEBRUARY | How to Support Your Own Happiness

04 FEBRUARY | The Vulnerability of Dreams

21 JANUARY | Finding the Balance of Competing Devotions

07 JANUARY | Go from stuck to action to empowerment!

2020

17 DECEMBER | Taking Stock

03 DECEMBER | Bounce Back: Developing Emotional Resilience

19 NOVEMBER | My Favorite Resources

05 NOVEMBER | Don't Let Fear Stop You

22 OCTOBER | Curiosity and Results: What’s the Connection?

08 OCTOBER | How well do you handle failure?

17 SEPTEMBER | Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Business

03 SEPTEMBER | Saving Ourselves from Self-Sabotage

20 AUGUST | How to try on-and actually get-the life of your dreams

06 AUGUST | Oh, the stories we tell ourselves!

23 JULY | Top 10 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep

02 JULY | How to Create and Use a Team as a Solopreneur

18 JUNE | How do you feel about change?

04 JUNE | Action is worry’s worst enemy.

21 MAY | Empower Yourself: Ask for What You Want

07 MAY | Journaling Your Way Through Crisis

23 APRIL | How to Handle Negative Emotions and Thoughts

09 APRIL | Starting Over: Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

19 MARCH | From Crisis Comes Opportunity

05 MARCH | Self-Acceptance

20 FEBRUARY | The Rebel Within

20 FEBRUARY | Are You Too Cautious?

06 FEBRUARY | Burnout

06 FEBRUARY | Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

23 JANUARY | A New Look at Selfishness

23 JANUARY | How Well Do You Take Responsibility for Yourself?

9 JANUARY | 5 Tips to Help You Stay Focused on Your Goals

9 JANUARY | How Well Do You Manage Your Energy?

2019

21 NOVEMBER | Coping with Change

21 NOVEMBER | Top 10 Ways to Cope with Transitions

7 NOVEMBER | Scare Yourself into the Life You Want

7 NOVEMBER | Ten Fears Keeping Us from What We Want

17 OCTOBER | The Business of Purpose

17 OCTOBER | How to Fulfill Your Purpose AND Make a Living

03 OCTOBER | Overwhelm

03 OCTOBER | Are you living your life on a treadmill?

19 SEPTEMBER | Accessing the Power of Gratitude

19 SEPTEMBER | How Well Do You Maintain Balance?

05 SEPTEMBER | Are your Attitudes About Money Sabotaging You?

05 SEPTEMBER | Top 10 Ways to Clean Up Your Financial Act

22 AUGUST | Being Big in Your Life

22 AUGUST | Conquer Your Fears and Empower Yourself

08 AUGUST | Accepting the Gift of Criticism

08 AUGUST | The Perfectionist Quiz

18 JULY | The Business of Frustration

18 JULY | Top 10 Myths About Owning Your Own Business

04 JULY | How to be more productive today

04 JULY | Time to Focus

20 JUNE | Creating Systems for Success

20 JUNE | Do It Now, Do It Now, Do It Now!

06 JUNE | Tending the Fences: Setting Healthy Boundaries

06 JUNE | Badges of Honor

16 May | Are you living your own life?

16 May | Mastering Your Motivation

02 May | How to Hack into Our Own Brainpower

02 May | Sucess Step 1: Set a Goal

18 April | 7 Ways to Motivate Yourself EVERY DAY

18 April | Your real goals

04 April | How well-constructed are your boundaries?

04 April | Lend a Hand

21 March | Designing the Alliance

21 March 2019 | Look for the Passion

07 March | Making "Impossible" Thinking Possible

07 March 2019 | Don't Put Your Dreams on Hold

21 February | The Power of Intention

21 February | Your Confidence Tune-Up

07 February | Introducing The WEEKLY Leap

January/February | Just Get Started

January/February | Time for a Productivity Tune-Up

03 January 2019 | Life's choices aren't all easy, but they are all yours

03 January 2019 | Your intelligence makes you invaluable

03 January 2019 | Free Organisation Tip

2018

20 December 2018 | Are you living your own life?

20 December 2018 | Your life, Your design

06 December 2018 | Taking Action to Conquer Your Goals

06 December 2018 | Pause then Press On

15 November 2018 | Creating What You Want in Life

15 November 2018  | Brilliant Persistence

01 November 2018 | 5 Keys to Effective Communication

01 November 2018 | It's All About Them

18 October 2018 | Are You a Perfectionist?

04 October 2018 | Overwhelm-Busting Strategies

20 September 2018 | How Well Do You Manage Stress?

06 September 2018 | Playing the Inner Game to Win

2017

20 November 2017 | Meet Alika

01 November 2017 | Self Discovery

23 October 2017 | Branding

23 October 2017 | Helping Hand

04 October 2017 | Get Business Faster

12 September 2017 | Be Relentless

06 September 2017 | Celebrate 

23 August 2017 | Meet Vered

11 August 2017 | Get Unstuck

14 July 2017 | Meet Rose

03 July 2017 | Customers to Cheerleaders

07 June 2017 | Tune Your Pitch

07 June 2017 | Meet Shruti

15 May 2017 | Saving My Soul

15 May 2017 | Meet Kate

07 May 2017 | Go Social

03 April 2017 | Meet Margarita

03 April 2017 | Investment

30 March 2017 | Vulnerability Brings Growth

2016

24 December 2016 | Finally

22 December 2016 | The Secret

19 October 2016 | Rockin' That Power Pose

24 August 2016 | Leap of Faith