Starting Over

starting overStarting over at any age is more than possible. I get occasional emails from desperate readers who think they have totally screwed up their lives.  They think they can’t afford to hire me as their coach but they reach out, hoping for help.

I’ll often ask them to do something simple, like read a blog post and email me back what came up for them.  Or I’ll send them a couple of questions by email.  But rather than just answering the damn questions – they’ll write back telling some pathetic story about why they can’t start over.  Bull! Starting over is really your only choice.

It really doesn’t matter how far you’ve fallen or how long you’ve been down.  I know.  I’ve hit bottom and we can always wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Always.  At any notch, on the way down, I could have decided to stop there and start over.  I’ve written this post for everyone who thinks it’s too late to create the life or business you most want.

What if there was only one universal truth and all we had to do was get busy following that simple message?

Would you follow this message?

Starting Over

Be yourself.  Stay present.  Trust yourself.  Take frequent action.  Start over.

What if you didn’t need to know anymore than you know right now in order to turn your life around?

What if you are already brilliant enough and equipped enough to get what you want?

What if you already know what you need to know to make your best move?

What if you’ve repeatedly made the right decision but for some reason you’ve second-guessed yourself and needlessly stopped short of action?

You are closer than you think you are.  You’re almost over the hump.  Starting over is always a matter of being present and letting go of the past. Your desire is telling you where you need to go and most likely you just need to be bolder sooner while going for it.

Just because there appears to be a lot of folks selling you how-to and what-to-do, you don’t have to buy it.  Often they only know what’s best for them.

You are the best source of your own wisdom.

For a couple of weeks now I’ve been thinking about this commonly shared story about the gold rushes.  There is a mini series showing right now called Klondike that illustrates my point. History shows that more folks got wealthy by selling pans, lumber, shovels, sex, booze and supplies, to the seekers of riches, than those who actually struck it rich.

This story is now told to illustrate the wisdom for becoming a how-to-get-rich info marketer.  The promise is, by selling books, audios, videos and memberships sites, that teach others how to get rich, you’ll get rich.

Like many of you, I’ve been intrigued by the possibility of online riches.  In the past, I’ve shelled out my bucks for all kinds of “can’t miss” info-products and deals.

But here’s why I’ve been questioning this modern day gold rush.  I think, just like the original, it may be a business model based on illusion.  An illusion based business model is one that sells more hope than substance.  Am I nuts or is this really closer to the truth?

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We say we like connecting, expressing and media socializing, but how much of this would we be doing, if we didn’t think that it would lead us to finding online gold?

I go back and forth on how best to claim online gold.  I question the value of social media frequently, yet I’m still using it, so I’m not judging any method.  If anything I’m confused as hell as to where it’s all going?  But I’ve learned that confusion often signals opportunity.

I do know this; when I stake my own claim, in this online gold rush, I’ll only sell a how-to system that helps you to express and promote your own uniqueness. That’s the best shot we all have at riches.

Your best shot at riches is to express your authentic uniqueness.

I’ll only sell what I and my clients have proven. That’s why I’m such an advocate for life coaching. Coached people more often create the lives and businesses they want to create. Coached people take more action so they fail and succeed faster, sooner.

Those who think they can go it alone without a mentor or coach are the really crazy ones.

Coaching works because it respects and honors individuality.  Any coach worth his or her fee will help you to take action swiftly and do it your way in a way that promotes your uniqueness.

Some of what I know will work for you and some won’t.  It’s my job as coach, to create the structure and environment that will have you repeatedly choosing, acting, failing and adjusting.

Fail faster better.

Fail more often and you increase the probability of succeeding.  Get to a place of not giving a chit about the outcomes and you’ll try more things.  Try more things and you’ll increase the probability of stumbling on something that works.  How’s that for certainty?

It doesn’t’ matter how often you fail and have to start over.  What does matter is that you do start over. Starting over is your new lease on life. Jump in and enjoy.

Start over. Be yourself.   Stay present.  Trust yourself.  Take frequent action.   Start over.

Contact me here to for a free starting over session to find your aliveness.

Trusting Brevity

I trust brevity because it’s evident.

What you see is what you get.

Clarity and decisiveness inspire confidence.

Brevity doesn’t waste my time or make me work for something that may be nothing.

I trust brevity because it gives greater meaning and more time to ponder.

Less is more because I can take it or leave it.

What do you think?

Today I Simply Ran Out of Excuses

Even in Pittsburgh, it’s a beautiful sunny day with low humidity.

I have had absolutely no interruptions.

I have the time to create whatever I want to create, or not.

I realize suddenly that I am happy.

In this moment all is well.

Either I’m full of it or it really matters that all is well.

There is nothing to pursue.

I have things I could do but I feel like doing none of them.

Better yet, I choose to do nothing.

Perhaps I’ll simply be.

Yet I wrote this.

Isn’t this something?

Perhaps I’ll just sit here and glow over the remark ability of me.

I wonder since I’m now excuse-free am I obligation-free as well?

Excuses are things we say to justify not doing something we feel like we should be doing.

Obligations are those things we feel like we should be doing.

It seems like there’s a connection.

I wonder what an excuse-free, obligation-free life might feel like?

Could this be the work life freedom that I encourage the pursuit of?

How could so much of nothing feel so good?

Do you feel like simply being the remarkable human being that you are?

I am what I am. Popeye

Cash in on the Hidden Gold Beneath Your Fears

For every entrepreneur who has already seized the freedom of self-employment, there are at least 10 who want to but hesitate to take the leap. As a coach, it’s obvious to me that these folks are looking at what they fear – rather than what they want. But how can we encourage them? How can we help them to take action in spite of their fears?

Here’s one way. As a card-carrying member of the Eternal Optimists’ Club, I often ask this question when faced with an unexpected challenge. What’s good about it?

This morning I began pondering what’s good about my fears? What’s the value of fears? Fears arise for a reason. Behind every fear is a path that leads to greater freedom and fulfillment. So one could reasonably argue that fears point to a value that we cannot see until we face the fear.

In order to bring forth our pure and fearless selves, we need to face and examine the fears that are coming up for us in the present moment. We won’t find the gold by being afraid to look, and we won’t find it by looking in the wrong place.

Often a coaching client will share that he or she is in a funk and doesn’t know what it is, or what has caused it. Then the client will begin an ineffective pursuit to find out why. Why do I feel this way? When struggling, do not seek to understand why it is that you struggle. You’ll seldom be able to find the truth from that perspective.

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

Instead, try making the assumption that you are fearful of something that needs further exploration. Instead of asking the judgment-laden question: What’s wrong with me? Or: Why am I feeling this way? Ask: What do I fear? If you are the kind of person who avoids facing your fears, you may have more than one fear. No sweat, just write them all down until the most demanding culprit reveals is itself. Then inquire internally to find one or more things that are good about the specific fear.

There is hidden gold waiting to be mined just beneath the surface of your fears. You just need an approach that will help you to see the gold. Below, I’ve offered five approaches to uncover it. First read the approach and then answer the accompanying fear identifier.

Fears point to decisions that need to be made.

What decision(s) have I been putting off?

Fears show us that greater truths need to be realized.

Since fears are imagined and not real, they are there to help us to transition to what is real. What greater truth am I not seeing because I’ve been afraid to look?

Fears alert us to potential danger.

What signs am I misreading or not seeing that could cause me harm?

Fears expose our erroneous self-judgments.

Where have I been doubting and judging myself without any proof that it’s true?

Fears show us what is stopping us by revealing our excuses.

What stories have I been telling myself in the form of excuses that stop me from taking action?

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Dale Carnegie.

In order to be fearless, we need to face our fears as they arise. That way there is no build-up and nothing lying in wait that comes back to get us. Your fears are your friends. They exist to show you value that you haven’t yet seen. Don’t allow them to determine your destiny by fearing. Instead, allow them to shine a light on your optimum path by courageously facing them.

If you’ve read this far and still have fears, then you have yet to answer the questions above. Answer them and become the fearless creator you were meant to be.

Screw-ups, Fresh Starts & Comebacks

Have you ever screwed up and not followed through on a self-pledge? We all have, many times, and we are likely to continue, right? If that’s so, consider this. Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to give up on perfection and simply allow the screw-ups to occur? If we could do that without being so hard on ourselves, we’d be more fulfilled, waste less time and be far more productive.

Trust builds when agreements are honored. Thus it’s our self-trust that takes the biggest hit when we don’t follow-through as promised. So we need to trust ourselves once more to comeback from this temporary breach of reliability.

When we screw-up we can either change what occurred so that we don’t make the same mistake again or we can change how we feel about making mistakes. I find the latter to be just as effective and far easier to pull off.

Please get this. It’s not the mistake that derails you. It’s how you feel about letting yourself down. Since you admit that you are too hard on yourself, what might happen if you simply cut yourself some slack?

I’d like to introduce you to a couple of words and their definitions that you may have forgotten.

Forgive – to cease to feel resentment about.

Absolve – to free from guilt or blame or their consequences.

Have you forgotten that you have the power to self-forgive and to self-absolve? It’s often a necessary step before we can get ourselves back on track. I really want you to know a few things.

There is no limit to the number of fresh starts you can make. You can always begin again. As a coach, I often ask clients to give themselves permission to forget about past misses and begin anew. Absolve yourself. Let it go. Recognize the futility of holding onto the mistake and its accompanying guilt. Start over. Take a Mulligan.

If you take yourself too seriously, lighten up and praise your good. Most of us tend to overplay our misses and under-recognize our hits. You do a lot of things right, don’t you? Who sees those? Whose job is it to make sure they get duly noted and celebrated? Perhaps if you spent more time recognizing your progress and all the things you do well, you would no longer need to be so self-judgmental.

Know that making a mistake is not an indication that anything is wrong with you or fundamentally lacking in your makeup.
As kids, many of us had adults place the “what’s wrong with you?” curse on us. Know and act on the basis that nothing is wrong with you. You are a child of God who occasionally misses the mark. So what, who doesn’t?

Sometimes when you disappoint and do not follow through, it means nothing. It could mean that you just screwed up. Perhaps in your enthusiasm you simply over-promised. Perhaps other priorities and/or opportunities entered the picture.

Mistakes are simply attempts that missed the mark. Lighten up. Start over. Forgive yourself. Let go of the misstep. Shrug it off. Release those guilty thoughts.

Mistakes are inevitable and without them we would have no feedback for course corrections and adjustments. If you’ve made a mistake, it’s already in your past. It’s behind you, so allow it to remain there.

You can come back from anything. Clear the air. Forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break. Love yourself. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Begin anew. Life wants you to win.

Five Good Reasons to Celebrate More Often

Celebration may be the most underutilized tool in your box. Some view celebration as soft or slacking off – like we aren’t really doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate all the good that we do.

Unlike indigenous cultures, in the western world, we have forgotten many of our traditions, ceremonies and celebrations especially around the work that we do. In the name of progress, our culture has lessened rejoicing over everyday occurrences like sunrises and important seasonal events like harvest time. We need to remember that when the crops are safely in, it’s time to dance and make merry.

In an earlier post, Work Life Happiness – Stake Your Claim Now, I illustrated the Authentic Cycle of Probability.

Cycle of Authentic Probability

Look where celebration falls – right after gratitude and just before completion. That’s an extremely powerful stage of the cycle that should not be overlooked.

Gratitude is the causative energy of appreciation that blesses us with ease and greater flow. Celebration is self-acknowledgment and recognition for successfully completing every small step. Completion is the triumphant achievement of our objective and our signal to proceed forward to the freshness of discovery. Here are five good reasons to celebrate more often.

  1. Celebration helps us stay in the present where our power is. By celebrating the completion of every small step, we leverage the powerful energies of gratitude and momentum. Thomas Edison taught us that even each mistake along the way is cause for celebration. Life is all about the journey, and that means that every step, as well as reaching our destination, is part of our journey. Celebrating at every juncture is recognition of a life well lived and well worked.
  2. Celebration builds self-respect. Others treat us according to how we treat ourselves. It’s important to hold yourself in high regard. Perhaps, like me, your early caregivers did not celebrate your presence and special glow. Celebration overwrites this limited conditioning and tips the balance of your internal programming so that it’s more natural to think well of yourself.
  3. Celebration feeds our basic human need for self-love and self-acceptance. Celebration is emotional nourishment. Yet sometimes we simply don’t feel like celebrating because we’ve fallen into the habit of harshly judging ourselves. When this happens, there is a negative feeling remaining in our bodies from a challenging event in our past. A very powerful tool to remove the feeling so you feel like celebrating once more is Emotional Freedom Technique. There are many practitioners with instructional videos available online. I like this one on self-acceptance:
  4. Celebration is positive magnification. What we focus on expands. When we downplay or skip celebration, we are telling ourselves that we haven’t done enough to be proud of ourselves – so our self-doubt is what expands. The proliferation of productivity blogs on the web tells me that lots of folks don’t follow-through frequently enough to feel good about it. Want to complete more projects with less procrastination and guilt? Then do not skip this powerful stage of the process. Celebrate more often and stay on it longer. Honor your completions, both big and small, in celebration so that you expand more of what you want in your life.
  5. Shameless self-promotion and marketing is easier with celebration. We’ve got to toot our own horns in this crowded world so the right folks will hear us and gather round. “If you’re embarrassed about what you do well, you won’t be very attractive.” – Thomas J. Leonard In 1998, way before The Secret, Leonard in his groundbreaking book, The Portable Coach, shared his 28 Laws of Attraction. In number 7, Market Your Talents Shamelessly; he shares a brilliant distinction: Confidence vs. Arrogance. “Confidence is knowing exactly what you do well and don’t do well; arrogance is a way to cover up what you don’t do well.”Confidently celebrate and flaunt your bad ass self and marketing gets easier because more people will seek you out. Fear not, the phone will ring. The world needs your edge to be complete. The same people who told you not to toot your own horn also told you to be seen and not heard. They were dead wrong, both times.

Sometimes we lament our lack of progress and go on fruitless searches for the answer. But often what’s missing is as simple as a little jig of recognition or bursting out in spontaneous song.
Your very being is enough reason to celebrate. Select a project or any progress that makes you feel good and join Kool and the Gang in Celebration of your achievement!

What do you think? Are you celebrating enough? What have you accomplished recently that is reason to celebrate? What have you passed over without giving it its due recognition?

If you truly want something to celebrate right now then schedule a complimentary session with me and we will expand your greatest business asset.

Unconditional Support – Ever had it? Want it?

Is it truly unconditional?

Do you have a source of unconditional support and are you tapping into it frequently? If you aren’t receiving such powerful backing in your life, what might you do to get some? In my last post, Seizing Your Greatness, I offered a powerful exercise to discover the true path to work that you love.

But what if you’ve found it and don’t feel strong enough to go for it?
That’s where unconditional support comes in. Support in Rugby

I used to be one of those guys who seldom asked for help. That was misguided. I’ve changed my ways, how about you? Do you graciously accept all support and seek it out when needed? I’ve found that most of us need to raise our willingness to receive. Even though the intention to give first without expectation is wise, we also must be willing to ask when we need the strength of others.

Mothers and fathers sometimes provide this level of support, and even spouses and siblings are capable of it. Beyond that (especially in traditional business circles) it’s rare indeed to find folks who are willing.
(Image by murky on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Wanting to, and actually following through without a personal agenda, is rare. One of my earliest coaching clients hired me just to listen to his ideas, because everyone else in his life, including his boss and his wife, had their own agenda for him. Have you ever felt that way?

I want you to know that this isn’t just talk. I’m presently testing my theories in a real life experiment by facilitating an unconditional support experience. Thus far, the results are amazing. I’m asking the members of this experience to offer their observations and realizations by commenting below.

What about you?

What could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?

Could this be a case of not knowing what you’re missing because you’ve never realized support without limit?

Observations from the Field

As with team sports, support is more easily given when clear-cut ground rules and a shared objective are agreed upon.

Support is more prevalent when facilitated by a coach who keeps one eye on the rules and another on the big picture objective. I’m finding it to be a challenging and glorious dance.

Even though I’ve coached individuals, groups and teams, those in a group experience receive unconditional support in far greater amounts because there are multiple sources of support that synergize with one another. I wonder if unconditional support could be the key to getting any business or sports team to perform at its best?

It’s certainly making a big difference in the lives of those brave adventurers who are right now participating in this bold social experiment. I’ll let them tell the rest of the story by asking them to comment on their experience.

Well my fellow supporters? What say you?

Can you tell us how differently you now feel while realizing greater unconditional support than before the experiment?

Have you noticed anything different about your decisiveness and/or clarity?

What specific value have you received from enjoying absolute support?

Have you accomplished more or less due to the backing of others?

What would you recommend to those considering a similar experience?

Why would you encourage them to participate?

What else do you want to share about the experience of both giving and receiving unconditional support?

For the rest of you, what could you accomplish, be or understand with a steady stream of support that was absolute, unquestionable and given with no strings attached?


What’s So Overwhelming About Information Overload?

What’s so overwhelming about information overload? Why do we see it as overload at all? Why do we see too much information as overwhelming? Before the Internet we didn’t get upset because we couldn’t read every book in the library.

If anything, we ought to be overjoyed at all these opportunities to learn, grow and profit. So instead of overwhelm, how about trying on this vein of thought?

What’s really wonderful about having so much information right at our keyboards?

If overwhelmed with overload, you might be forgetting your unique mindset. You, I and everyone else can only see through our own perspective filters. What I find fascinating and inspiring may be boring as hell for you.

Perhaps we could all ask these questions instead of moaning about our inability to keep up.

What if what I’m considering is exactly the right thing for me to see right now? What do I need to see or learn in order to make the decisions that are right in front of me? If overwhelmed, what am I really afraid of?

Hint … perhaps I’m scared to death because with so much information readily available I no longer have the procrastinator’s ignorance excuse of not knowing what to do.

Once this excuse is removed, a feeling of holy cow I’ve got to do something comes up.

Let’s look at the sunny side of overload and overwhelm. Opportunities are endless and we can seize them with the proper focus.

No one can see the opportunity you’re seeing quite like you can. All you need is a feeling of go for it to seize what you see. What’s missing could be the support and encouragement to take action. I’m offering you a way to come together with real support and connection. That group is soon to start.

There is that brief point of inspiration where we need to seize our opportunities as they are illuminated by our own desires. Look out for your points of inspiration. Make note of them. Write them down so you give yourself permission to go back and add to the ideas. An opportunity journal relieves the pressure in a positive way.

What else allows this? Taking action, completing anything, positive encouragement and movement through a point of personal challenge – all will get you feeling light and easy instead of overwhelmed. Quit moaning and be the man or woman you know you can be.

Stumble It!

A Sure Way Out of the Darkest Times

When times are tough we almost always look outside to take some action. Yet it’s often an inner adjustment that’s needed first.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening within, when times are tough.

Have you ever faced circumstances, such as growing debt, demanding creditors, major life disappointments or conflicts that are so big it’s hard to see anything else? Yet that’s what we need to do. We need to look at anything other than that big scary reality that’s blocking our vision.

What we focus on expands. What we give our attention to we get more of. What we look at, whether it is pleasing or upsetting, becomes our focus point of expansion. Even what we resist persists because we are giving it our attention.

Worry, complaint, blame and doubt are powerful forces of resistance that tend to keep us stuck within the very situations we wish to be free of. Yet there is always a way out and it always comes from within first.

Here’s the most effective inner adjustments I can offer. I found it in Eckhart Tolle’s excellent book, The Power of Now.

In all situations, you only have four choices, and the first one is not a positively productive one.

  1. You can resist, complain or deny, and remain stuck within the situation.
  2. You can remove yourself from the situation.
  3. You can work with others to change it.
  4. You can accept it.

That’s it. There are no other choices.Many times when coaching a client out of very stressful circumstances, they refuse to select options 2, 3, or 4. That means that by default they have chosen to remain in a prison of their own making. Because if we choose not to accept, change or remove ourselves from a situation we are stuck solidly within resistance.

Why blame is resistance.

No matter who’s at fault, you are responsible.Blaming others is a barrier between you and your effectiveness. When we are blaming, we are not looking at our own contribution to the situation. When we are blaming, we have, in effect, become victims – powerless to improve the situation until someone else changes first. Here’s a core truth worth adopting. If you are aware of a problem, it’s at least partially yours to correct. If it’s happening to you, no matter who appears to be at fault, you are at least partially responsible (for the advanced class, try this on: holding yourself as 100% responsible gives you 100% power in the situation). Instead of finger-pointing and whining when you see a problem, always ask these questions:

  • What can I do?
  • What else can I do?
  • What else?

Write down your answers, discuss them, make a decision and take some action. And please don’t think that acceptance is a weak decision. It’s often the strongest.

Acceptance is not agreement. It is simply your recognition that for now, you just won’t fight it. There are no other choices. Opportunity comes directly from clarity of decision and action. By deciding which of the three positive choices you are making, you increase the likelihood of greater opportunity – because you have lessened resistance.

Then you can apply a relief formula that always works:

Gratitude + Less Resistance = Increased Opportunity

Recognizing and appreciating one’s blessings gives you greater strength. What you’re grateful for may be relationships, internal talents and abilities or external positive conditions. By simply focusing on a sunny day, health or any part of your life experience that feels good, you’ll begin to turn the tides in your favor.

Remember – whatever we focus on we get more of.

In all things, you have a choice as to how you’ll respond. You can resist by hoping that another person or condition will change or you can choose to work the formula on your own behalf.

The Power in Being Pissed Off

Sometimes we just need to get good and mad at ourselves. Not a judging or belittling mad, but an empowering mad. The kind of mad that reaches deep for a determination that will not easily die.

The best time to reach deep and channel your anger is when things are looking dire and could go either way. We could just curl up, cry and go to sleep – or we could reach deep for that fire that burns brightly within.

Once we find that fire, we need to follow it up with action – in the moment. Bold, bodily movement works best.

There is a lot of energy in what pisses you off at a core level. There’s a lot of power to tap within a long-standing struggle that you’re sick and tired of. This kind of power creates a “good-mad” kind of urgency that builds a strong unwavering conviction to act now!

Are you fed up enough with your current situation to act and act today?

It’s up to you, you know. Nobody is going to save you.

I may have never met you and that doesn’t matter. I can tell you this for sure. Whatever you want, you have what it takes to go out and get it. You have within you every talent and quality necessary to make your dream come alive. If you did not, the very idea of it would not have even come to you.

Emilie Cady, in her classic book, Lessons in Truth, said it well, “Desire is the thing you want in incipiency.” That means when you get a fresh idea, it has come directly from Universal Intelligence straight to your heart. Your recognition of the idea not only means that it was meant only for you, but that it’s already on its way into being. So not only can you do it, the fact that you even see the idea proves that you’re already in the midst of manifesting it.

But you’ll never know unless you reach deep and act. Can you get fired up enough? Watch this short clip all the way to the end and scream with him, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”

Because it’s that level of being pissed off that will launch your dream. Nothing short of authentic fire is guaranteed to move you from your funk. Get pissed off, will you? The world needs you to show up with all you have.