Saturday, May 29, 2010

Face It

This has been a  very emotional week for me full of ups and downs.  I have been crying, thinking about where I am in my life right now, reflecting on where I have been, and wondering what it all really means.  And for the first time in a long time I was feeling fearful of what lay ahead of me.
And you know, nothing bad or traumatic has happened.  My business is growing.  I have the love and support of a wonderful husband, beautiful children, great friends, yet – I feel like crying a dozen times a day.   I immediately worried that maybe at 38 years old I was starting to lose it.  But I quickly realized that I was actually gaining so much.
With each new and exciting opportunity comes a matching fear that I can’t do it or that I am not worthy of the growth and success.  I have dedicated my life to helping others achieve success in their personal and professional lives and now I am wondering if I am qualified to do so!  Who would want to work with me?  Or listen to a word I have to say?  They are just being nice when they tell me how inspired they feel after spending time with me.  Really?
You understand don’t you?  How many times have you tried to convince yourself that you are not capable or worthy of success?  love?  growth? prosperity? or even a compliment?  That my friend,  is fear talking to you.
I want to share a powerful quote with you, from a wonderful book called A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.  Yesterday I came across a note that I had scribbled in a notebook full of notes from a sales conference I attended some months ago that said ”google a return to love” – funny that I would find that note this week and finally google it and this is what I found:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Once again I am shown how things will happen in my life when they are supposed to.   Truthfully, fear is toxic.  I say it all the time.  However, one of the things I learned this week is that fear – like most things that are bad for you – is OK in moderation.  I have been trying so hard to become fearless in everything that I do especially in business that I convinced myself that fear equaled weakness.  Now I understand that fear is a natural feeling to experience especially when you are working so hard toward your goals.  It can be a healthy feeling too as long as you feel it for a moment and move on.
Sometimes our fears can tell us what to do.  When you pay attention to your fears you become more aware of wanting to overcome them.  Therefore, you develop new strategies and incorporate them into your action plan sometimes without knowing it.  Your fears can become a catalyst for change.
Don’t allow fear to eat away at your confidence.  Fear comes when you least expect it and often from behind, just like a bully.  Fear is very persuasive.  But you are tougher than that.   Think back on a time in your life that you accomplished something great.  Now go back a little further.  Remember the fear you felt before you accomplished it?  See you have faced fear before and won and you will do it again

Friday, May 28, 2010

Who do you think you are?

Just who do you think you are?  Do you have a clear vision of who you are?  Who you are as an individual.  I want you to think about it for a minute.  What thoughts come to mind when you ask yourself this question?  Grab paper and a pen and write down the words and phrases that describe you.
Now take a look at the paper.  Do these words describe your true self?  or do they describe more about what you do and less about who you are?
Understanding yourself and then being yourself takes courage, commitment and faith.  It is a process of letting go of many of the false beliefs you have probably picked up along the way.  Being yourself can be scary, difficult and sometimes even lonely. 
But when you discover your authentic self that can be liberating, exciting and very fulfilling.  When you have the courage to just be who you are without apology or pretense so much of the suffering, stress and worry in life simply disappears. 
What does it mean to be authentic?  It is about enjoying a new sense of freedom to be who we really are – naturally and without a mask to conform to someone else’s view of who you should be.
Celebrate who you are!  Stop spending so much time and energy focused on what you think is “wrong” with you and start celebrating who you are!
The ultimate goal of being ourselves authentically is actually, about loving ourselves in a generous way.  If we don’t love ourselves, nothing much really matters.  No matter what we conquer, create or experience, we’re never able to appreciate it or ourselves or be fulfilled in the process.
So in order to love ourselves we need to appreciate our genuine self.  So who are you genuinely?  Who would you be without the life experiences you have had?  without your accomplishments or failures?  Without your job or its title?  Just who are you?
The famous 19th Century author and poet Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself – everyone else is already taken.”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happiness is Success

Finding the joy and happiness in what you do must be the big lesson I am meant to teach and learn myself lately.
“It” shows up everyday!  It seems no matter what I read or hear on TV or even in church over the last 2 weeks has been about finding joy and creating happiness.  The Dali Lama even talked about finding true happiness on the Today show last week.
I believe the “Secret to Success” is to find joy in what you do and allow happiness to inspire creativity to fuel your goals.  I like to define success as fulfilling or living your unique life’s purpose.  We each have a different life purpose therefore our individual definition of success is going to be different for each of us.
The opposite of happiness is worrying.  I found a great quote recently,“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it takes a lot of energy and doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Imagine taking the same energy you exhaust by worrying or even complaining about the things you don’t like in your life and applying that energy to solving the problem and using your creativity, intelligence and imagination!  Imagine!
When you feel happy and joyful those good feelings create a vibration to pull the things you want into your life.  But the feelings of happiness have to be genuine and they have to come first.  In other words, you can’t attract or draw things into your life that you thinkwill make you happy.  Being happy is what brings it all in.
How do you do it?  How do truly become Happy & Joyful?  I work on this everyday too.  It is a conscious decision to be happy and to look for joy in our lives.  It is also something we have the power to create with our thoughts and feelings.  Take ownership of your happiness.  You have to believe you can be happy.  Focus on possibilities instead of being a victim to past or present circumstances.
First with Intention.  Be clear about what you want.  Then apply Attention.  What you put your attention towards will grow stronger and show up in your life.  Then let go and relax and allow it to happen.
How amazing would your life look if you were truly happy and 80% of the things you do or were involved in (including your job) made you feel joy?
You can’t experience joy or happiness if you are stuck in the role of a victim.  So move past the thoughts that you can’t control the path you are in life.  True that we can’t always control the events that happen to us in our lives, but what we can control is our Response to them.
A success formula used by many Coaches including myself is E+R=O.
Events + Responses = Our Outcomes
Your response to any situation – even how you react to having to wait 2 hours in the doctor’s office – or how you respond to challenges at work.
Your responses allow for choices.  Choices increase or expand our possibilities.  This allows us to create more peace and well-being which will strengthen your ability to make the same positive choices in the future.
That is empowerment.