Hope Floats … Temporarily

Hope sometimes gets a bad rap in self-development circles.

Our culture is way too heavily influenced by parental programming, cautioning us not to get our hopes up.

I think that hope is an essential prerequisite for all new business creators.

Despair, disbelief, discouragement and pessimism are all antonyms for hope. Could you even consider starting a new business from that mindset? I know I couldn’t.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… Sandra Bullock as Birdee Pruitt in the movie Hope Floats.

How glorious it would have been to have such an encouraging mom.

Her momma knew that hope provides a necessary lift of positive expectancy.

Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.

Hope is the bridge between authenticity and prosperity. In the early days of new business development there is little else to hold onto when actual results are scarce.

Yet you’ll starve if hope is the only staple in your encouragement diet. Hope by nature is fleeting and provides only temporary sustenance. At some point you must act in order to experience actual, not just imagined, movement.

Yes hope floats! Hope works because it stimulates our original inspiration. This gift is our natural desire of authentic expression within.

But inspiration must be harnessed within a certain period of time, before your “realistic” mind, begins over-thinking your lack of results and your dominant thought becomes self-doubt.

In my career and new business development coaching, this realization is missing for those folks who always feel as though they have too many interests to select one idea.

So they remain suffering within the safety of an endless loop of temporary inspiration and non-action, while hoping that the next idea will have enough lift to be their one true calling.

I’ve also seen this fruitless cycle perpetuated by long time self-help book readers, who mistake end of the book anxiety as the tension-relieving call to get lost within the next book.

But that anxiety is really your call to action. End-of-the-book anxiety is the same anxiety that calls you when your hope is about to expire. Right there, at that point of raw potential, you must act. It’s the only way to get what you want.

Everything in your mind and body is screaming run but right then only a charge will work.

It reminds me of this inspirational clip from the movie Gettysburg where Joshua Chamberlin lead the charge of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Hope is wasted if it doesn’t lead to action. Action leads to gems of original realization and these enlightening treasures are only granted to those who act.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

If you’d like to find a point of original inspiration then join me on August 18, 2010, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET for this free phone class.

Life Purpose + Self-Employment = Freedom, Prosperity & Fulfillment: How to Get Your Hopes Up & Remain Inspired About Succeeding In Your Own Business

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.

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.