Archives for February 2009

How To Get On The Right Track

Being on track feels flat out exhilarating!  I’m talking about those vigorously inspiring times when you know you’re on the right track.   That knowing has been gradually building within me and I want to help you find it as well.  istock_000004985695xsmall

The seeds were planted in these posts where I wrote about doubling your income and getting rich authentically.  Since then I’ve been living with this question.

What is the question that if you knew the answer, would set you free? Peter Block

A powerful question  hangs in there with you when you feed it by continuing to ask it.

By asking the right question and acting on the answers, we earn the clarity to see the right track.

Successful business building is not an exact science.  Opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways.  Discoveries and realizations often occur in the pursuit of other objectives.

There is no “one right way” to accomplish business objectives.  There is only the way that works for you.

Success in business and life is primarily an inside game, because our inner feelings and thoughts determine our decisions and actions.

Five Signposts to Find Your Right Track

1). Are you giving it your all?

Can you tell when you’re stretched to do your best?  It’s often said that given the circumstances, we are all doing the best we can.

We all do the best we can, but only to the degree that we are aware and willing to improve.

When we become aware but don’t act, we have become unwilling and afraid; willing and courageous works better.

2). Is there a more direct way to get what you want?

As a community builder, I enjoy connecting on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Yet each of us needs to determine what the hell we’re doing there!  For what purpose are we connecting?  If your aim is to get new clients, fear may be guiding you to take the long way around.

Where might fear be guiding you on offtrack?

3). Are you truly open to seeing new approaches and perspectives?

If what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time for some raw truth and fresh direction.

The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.  James Yorke

My most successful coaching clients, bounce back from disappointment sooner and look for different openings more often.  But often, we can’t see our own blind spots.

We can’t see what we’ve never considered possible.  That’s one reason why coaching works so well, because the process naturally expands possibilities and new- found considerations.

Most likely your way out, is not what you think it is.  The answer you seek could be within you and probably is.  Yet if you’re off track the answer will not be what you first think it is.

If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.  Wayne Dyer

4). Are you too much in your own head?

Life coaching clients often come looking for the cure to perfectionism, procrastination and distraction.  If you’re over-thinking a fearful future, you’re clearly avoiding the now.

But exactly what “now” are you avoiding?  You may be wiser than you think you are.

Perhaps you dance with these maladies because you know deep within that the actions you’re avoiding are fruitless endeavors.

Perhaps the knowing part of you is aware that by following-through, you’ll create something that’s not aligned with your authentic desires.

5). Have you found your personal updraft?

If you aren’t energized and eager for your work, you need all the raw truth you can handle; and believe me, you can handle a lot.

What’s the big decision you just aren’t making?  What do you need to wake up to, in order to make a fresh start?

Where in your life are you explaining away your piss poor performance and results?  Dang, can’t you see that life is meant to be a joyful glide?

If results aren’t coming easily, at least some of the time, then you’ve chosen a path that requires greater effort to push through the resistance.  There’s always a more optimum path.

Yesterday I was reading about golden eagles that winter in West Virginia and summer in Canada.  They migrate along the mountain ridges in Pennsylvania to take advantage of very distinct, airborne pathways with buoyant updrafts.

This allows them to soar and glide with little effort.  But those eagles had to find and choose the right track for them.

Either you will make your life work or your life will not work. Nathaniel Branden

Your business can also be more of a joyful glide, by getting on the right track for you.  It’s there; keep choosing until you find it.

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Ready to find the shortcut to your right track?  Contact me today for a sample coaching session that will knock your socks off!

Fearless Living

scan0003Fearless living is a choice.

I want to inspire you to do something today from the raw, unblemished core of who you are.  I want to encourage you to act for today or even for one hour, as if there were nothing wrong with you.

I want you to boldly go where no man or woman has gone because only you can walk your path.

I’m asking you to do that because you can.

Abundance is doing what you can do right now.  Kim George

What stops you from living fearlessly?

What stops you from doing what you say you want to do?

My thoughts stop me.

What if everything brave and beautiful that you’ve ever wanted to create was stopped by a fearful thought?

We have become masters of fearful thinking.  We’re experts at labeling our maladies.

We call them procrastination, perfectionism, attention deficit disorder, overwhelm.

By labeling them we invite their existence, and by doing so we sentence ourselves to an unnecessary, more permanent experience of them.

I like this about my upbringing.  We didn’t have a lot of money so we couldn’t afford to label our maladies.  We sneezed, but we didn’t know about allergies.  As a result, we grew up allergy free.

At six years old, I slid down a muddy hillside and gashed a long, deep wound in my thigh.  Spending money for a doctor just wasn’t an option.  My parents cleaned it, disinfected it and wrapped it.  I felt taken care of and my leg healed, without a stitch.

We tell these stories now and laugh.  Home healing gets passed on.  Also at six years, my daughter Leslie, (that’s her in the air) ran and slid up on an old picnic bench.  A finger length sliver of wood splintered off in her rump.  I gave her the choice of a doctor visit or a Barbie Doll, if I pulled it out.  She chose the doll.

Reflecting now, I see that our greater gift was not the medical savings but the gift of acting swiftly without needing to slow down and label experiences as something bad.

I made a wonderful discovery when my kids were toddlers.  They’d fall down and smack their heads.  But in that instant of surprise, they’d look to us before reacting.  If we laughed they were infected by our laughter.  But if we showed concern, they cried.  As a result, they learned that pain wasn’t always bad.  Often pain is only surprising, until we label it as something else, by attaching a fearful thought to it.

Like many of you, I’ve worked through the emotional wounds of a less than nurturing upbringing.  But I think we are too quick to label our conditioning as limiting.  When we look for the good, we can see it.  I now see that my upbringing also spawned my natural optimism.

I’ve often been called unrealistic.  Harsher critics have said I’m avoiding, or in denial. They’re right.  I’m denying the need to explore what’s wrong with me.

I think it’s a waste of time.  I know it’s a waste of life.

We’ve made our temporary disorders more permanent by accepting them as our fate.  We say, “I have” a cold, like we own it.  We describe colds as though they have taken up permanent residence in our bodies.  Wouldn’t it be better to tell the truth?  Wouldn’t we be better off saying?  “The experience of a cold is now leaving my body.”

We declare, “I’m overwhelmed.”  “I’m a procrastinator.”  We describe ourselves as if our core identity is flawed.  These fearful labels are not who we are, but they have become misdiagnoses because we have thought them into being.

They become excuses and even bigger personal puzzles that we think we have to solve in order to be get what we want.

But really, haven’t we made all of this up?  Yes, thoughts are creative and most of us have advanced degrees in negative thinking.  But positive thinking isn’t the best answer either.

How about simply more acting and less thinking?

When we are living, we are creating.  We aren’t thinking but doing.

We fear the idea of something more than the thing itself.  Steve Chandler

Our minds are tricky and powerful.  We can believe that we “have” anything. We can believe that we can think our way out of any problem.  But while thinking so much, are we really living?

What might you create if you didn’t “have” anything?  No malady, disorder or disease, and not a single impediment, block or fearful thought?

Choose fearless living.  Act.  Do.  Create.  Walk your own bold path today.

Fearless Creators

Steve Chandler his book, Fearless, Creating the Courage to Change the Things You Can, inspired this post.  I’ve joined his Club Fearless and you can get his book free by joining.  This isn’t an affiliate program; this recommendation is my thanks to Steve for the inspiration to live fearlessly.

Davina Haisell for having the courage to try something new and create The Quote Effect.

Marelisa Fábrega for her relentless dedication to creativity.

Building Career Confidence by Feeling Deeply

How do you see the connection between feelings and confidence? passing the baton

How about the connection between awareness and confidence?

If I bring more consciousness to what I do when I am angry or afraid — I will see that other options exist.  Nathaniel Branden

How do you view the connection between awareness, confidence, feelings and career or business success?

If we are willing to stay fully present to our emotions without denial or disowning, the result typically is not the collapse of reason but the emergence of more lucid awareness.  In other words, feel deeply to think clearly.  Nathaniel Branden

What does this quote inspire you to do differently?

I’ve written a much longer post but my intutition told me to first ask you.   There is no one right answer.  I’d like to know your answer to any of the questions above.

Off Kilter, Pissed and Real

Life speaks to us all the time.  Mine wouldn’t let me sleep last night.  I had some unexpressed anger to feel, so I got up at 4 AM and wrote it out.  My favorite anger release is to go outside and play “Little John” by smacking some dead trees with my staff, but it’s too damn cold for that. sunburst_space1

Anger is an emotion that begins first as a feeling (physical vibration) in our bodies. But if we don’t give it the space and time to be felt, it will just duck under the covers of our consciousness and come back to bite us in the ass later.  Feelings don’t morph into emotions until we attach thoughts to them. When we don’t feel a feeling and instead judge it as good or bad, it must surface in the way we’ve labeled it.

On Monday I got some disappointing feedback, not in its truth but in its delivery.  I’d shared my vulnerability with a friend and asked him to be gentle, supportive and encouraging, regardless of the quality of the work I’d submitted, for his review.  For some unknown reason, he was unnecessarily harsh.  But since I wanted the feedback, I silently listened and took notes. Interestingly I’d just written about support and speaking up.

I knew that my friend’s behavior was just a trigger for a deeper self-anger that I’d buried.  I’ve previously shared the techniques I use to feel my feelings and about the power in begin pissed.  So I’ll not cover that ground again.  But I would like to write about accepting our darker sides.

Authenticity isn’t just something that we express when every thing is coming up roses. It’s also authentic to be pissed when you feel off kilter and anger is trying to surface.  Years ago I quit wearing the mask of false happiness. While writing this I was tweeting back and forth with fellow coach Tim Brownson when he half-jokingly said.

I don’t even know what authentic is other than to be doing what I want to be doing. Tim Brownson

Thanks Tim, that seems like a pretty powerful definition to me.
But is it advisable to share ones authentic darker side, in a public forum like Twitter?

A well-known social media expert recently tweeted something like this. “Don’t share anything here that you wouldn’t put up on billboards all over town.” Even that pissed me off, because he seemed to be saying, “wear the mask – don’t be real – be careful.” Bullshit to that! I wouldn’t pay to express my anger on a billboard but I’ll not run from it either.

Perhaps people, who play it safe and cautious, end up doing business with others who also value appropriateness over authenticity. I guess playing it safe could be genuine for them. But when I see someone holding back, I question his or her integrity. I think trust comes first, from simply being real.

I’ll close with my favorite three stanzas from The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.   Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Resources:

If you’re just dipping your toes in the social media waters, here are four experts worthy of your trust: Christine Gallagher, Kathy Hendershot-Hurd, Kim Woodbridge and Suzanne Bird-Harris.

Personal Relationships and Business Support

Solo entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and if you have a non-supportive spouse or significant other, it can feel even lonelier. Lately I’ve seen a greater number of brand new small business owners, who feel as though they are all on their own, even though they are in relationship.  Conflict between the man and the woman

Even if you are not presently in a personal partnership you may feel the need to seek relationship support from close friends and family members. In either case you may be been surprised by what appears to be the lack of unconditional support.

When I was building an entrepreneurial business 14 years ago, I was married with two young teenagers. During the business development stage, I was working over 70 hours weekly and telling myself the classic workaholic’s lie. “I’m doing it for them.”

It might make you feel better to rationalize your non-supportive behavior, but if you are anything like I was, deep within, you understand that being an absentee spouse and parent is not doing anything for them. Furthermore, you are mostly doing it for you and it’s okay to admit that truth.

If you need relationship help now, you’ll still need it while building your business but then there will even more pressure on all fronts. Everyone is familiar with a couple that tried to solve their relationship problems by having a baby. Did it work for the couple you knew? No? Then why would birthing a new business improve your relationship?

Here’s another big lie.

It’s not personal, it’s only business.  Donald Trump

Everything is personal! When Trump and others use that line, they are only trying to justify less than human behavior.

You and the actions you take are the main reason why your business succeeds or fails. If your life sucks then your business results will suck.

If you have weak personal relationships that drain your energy, then your focus will be lacking. Without a strong focus, your decision-making, personal productivity and inspired actions will all suffer.

If you don’t have strong spousal support or unconditional support in your close relationships, you first need to understand them from their perspective.

When a life partner cautiously advises you not to venture out on your own, they are not questioning your ability or resolve to succeed.

They are only speaking from the perspective of their own fears.

They could fear having less time with you. Your initiative could be forcing them to face their own fears of success, of failure or of never being authentically fulfilled in their work. And of course they could be thinking about having less money and how that affects the household budget.

Good personal relationships are essential to making good business decisions. If you are fighting battles both at home and in the marketplace, you will lose on both fronts.

My first coaching  certification was in relationship building and more and more it’s my relationship coaching skills that come into play first, with my small business clients.
If you’re considering starting a small business, first repair or end non-supportive relationships.

You might enjoy these tips for a confident career change.

Remember this brilliance in the face of relationship problems.

I’m never upset for the reasons I think I am.  Eckhart Tolle

What relationship challenges do you need to understand greater, in order to build your business with less resistance?

What adjustments need to be made in your relationship with you, so that you are more grounded and your business is more supported?

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Support Resource:

Request a free Confidently Make the Leap, strategy session to get really clear on how and when to make your move.