The Freedom of Big Self-Employment Ideas

freedom of self-employmentOur country’s forefathers claimed our independence from oppression by declaring our rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. When it comes to work, we exercise these rights by engaging in activities that bring us alive and inspire us to joyfully be who we are. So why settle for less? If you’re working for someone else and feel miserable about it, what has stopped you from pursuing the happiness of working your own big self-employment ideas?

Self-employment is the most direct route to uniquely expressing what you’ve been put on this earth to do. Bold self-expression, aligned with your core values, represents your best shot at fulfillment and happiness. Many of us faultily look to a job or a relationship to make us feel complete. But wholeness can’t be found by looking to another, and it most certainly isn’t found by being miserably employed.

Yes, some of us find contentment and fulfillment working for someone else, but what if you’re the type of person whose greatness can only be unleashed through the boldness of bringing about the self-employment idea that only you can? What if you knew beyond any doubt that you have what it takes to succeed with your own big ideas, in your own way? If you knew these things to be absolute, what changes might you make today?

Admit it, the freedom of being your own boss has always intrigued you. Deep within, you know that you have what it takes; you’re creative and big ideas come easily to you. So what stops you from starting an ideal business or growing your existing business into the profitable and fulfilling enterprise you’ve dreamed of?

I’m going to help you answer the above questions but what will you do with these answers? By the end of this article, if you understand more clearly what stops you, are you willing to take action so it stops you no more? As a life and business coach, I work with clients who want to align their innermost values and desires with their outer actions. Yet information alone doesn’t guarantee success. How many times have you known what to do and still not done it?

The following suggestions will guide you a little closer toward your optimum path. Together we’ll go within, yank out the root of what’s holding you back then build a solid foundation for sustainable, authentic growth.

Excuses that Stop Us Short of True Freedom

The basis of most everything that stops us can be found in not trusting our intuition, which causes us to search for answers outside ourselves. Not trusting your intuition deters you from completing big self-employment ideas that are given to you directly by… of course, your inner voice. Looking for truth on the outside leads you to care too much about what others think of you, and possibly accepting their personally disparaging opinions of your ideas as gospel.

We all doubt ourselves. Yet fresh ideas come from straight from God’s heart to ours. Your recognition of an inspired 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, but the fact that you even see the idea proves that you’re already in the midst of manifesting it.

My friend, your happiness is a choice. It’s calling out to you and your first step in is to stop doing what stops you from claiming it. See if you can find your favorite excuse below.

“I’m waiting for the right time to make my move.” Yes, timing is relevant, but more so than not, waiting amounts to nothing more than putting your life on hold. The fact that you’ve read this far is confirmation that your time is now. Really, what are you waiting for? Trust your inner voice; then whatever you’re telling yourself won’t carry as much weight.

“What if I make a mistake and fail?” There’s no “what if” about it. You will make mistakes and even fail along the way, perhaps repeatedly. Stumbling and rising again is natural; fearing failure is pathological. If it’s going to happen regardless, why not get on with it?

“I’m going to build up my finances then go for it.” This feeds the illusion that employment = money = security = freedom = happiness. If happiness is the goal, why not go directly for it right now? How many years of uninspired slavery will it take to make you feel secure? Money movement expert Egbert Sukop says, “Quit seeing money as a means to an end, and suddenly you’ll gain the independence that you attributed to it.” Goethe said, “He only earns his freedom and his life who takes them every day by storm.”

“I love what I do, I just don’t love marketing.” Actually, this excuse has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with a hesitance to boldly self-express. Are you sure you’re not compromising by holding back and going for a second-place dream? The only way you’ll be able to naturally and shamelessly flaunt yourself is to live a first-place dream-then others’ reactions won’t affect you.

“I’m just not sure I have what it takes.” You are enough, my friend, more than enough. That’s not you talking; it’s just your conditioning. You aren’t your past and you surely aren’t the twisted opinion of anyone else. If you allow the opinion of another to dictate your choices then whose life are you really living?

Turning Excuses into Inspired Action

Now that you know what justifications you’ve using on yourself, let’s chuck them and rebuild a structure for sustainable support, working from the inside out. Here are five powerful concepts that work for my clients. Find a way to joyfully employ all five and your stated intentions will no longer conflict with your inner voice.

  1. Expand your awarenss of what’s possible by asking really big questions.  When we live with big questions and don’t rush into answer them right away we become conscious of big ideas. Ask these: What is the thing only I can do? What was I meant to do? What if by fully being me I can step into might greatness? What might happen then?
  2. Feel your feelings fully-all of them. When we ignore our intuition, we resist feeling emotions that arise when someone is upset with us for choosing our own rightful path. As social beings, we always want to please; thus we avoid genuine feelings so as to avoid upsetting others. It doesn’t work. What does work well is to just be with all your feelings as they come up.
  3. Embrace boldness! Don’t hold back. The marketplace rewards confident, authentic boldness in every business function. If you aren’t on the edge of your comfort zone, you aren’t in a position to thrive.
  4. Support can be manufactured. Since we are products of our environments, we can systematically create ones that stimulate our progress. Following through to completion with our best intentions is a challenge for most of us. Why not create environments that naturally pull us to accomplishment?
  5. Engage in massive joyful action. Cause and effect is not a sure thing. Many of our actions produce desired results but often we can’t foretell which ones will work. Joyfully engaging many different methods and directions increases your probability of success.

Freedom is one of the truths that our forefathers found to be self-evident, yet some of you are still miserably working for someone else and cheating yourself out of the happiness of pursuing what you’re really meant to do. There is no ‘on hold’ in our Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights. It is your unalienable right to express yourself through the freedom of seizing your own self-employment ideas, and your time to do so is now.

I’m inspired to get you there much sooner than you think is possible.  Request a Confidently Make the Leap free strategy session here.

Five Disturbing Ways To Make More Money

If you want to make more money you must radically disturb your current money making methods and disrupt your money earning patterns.  istock_000007398707xsmall

To earn more money you must vigorously shake things up.

In this post I talked about doubling your income.  By March I had increased my income but I was falling short of doubling it. I knew that I’d have to adjust to achieve my annual objective.

The thing I love about being a one-man conglomerate is, I am the company. The self-employed can turn things around on a dime, try more stuff, fail faster and adjust.

Earning money is such a wonderfully twisted, emotionally laden experience.  Perhaps you’ve recognized the futility of trying to figure it all out.  Even those who earn a ton of the stuff are still in fear of it, or more accurately in fear of losing it.

When it comes to making money about the only thing we can count on is confidence.  Somehow income increases along with confidence.

But the part that most folks miss is the brilliance of individuality in creating confidence.  Moneymaking methods that universally work well are more hype than fact.  What works for someone else is most likely will not work for you.

So how can you confidently express your individuality to earn more money?

Shake things up.  Disturb the hell out of what’s not working.

From a state of being shaken you’ll be more likely to take frequent action, embrace mistake making and choose again.  That doesn’t happen from a state of certainty.  Certainty encourages us want to stand pat.

Trial and error are crucial to unearth your freedom.  As long as you are willing to fail again you are as close to freedom as you’ll ever be.  Egbert Sukop

Here are five agitators that have seemed to work for me.  I can’t tell you what combination will work best for you – that’s the beauty of individuality.  But if you want to make more money, begin by engaging the strategy that scares you the most.

1). Triple your service and double your fee. Step up and play a bigger game.  Increase the value of your service by increasing your commitment to your client.  Increase the value of your service by increasing your consciousness about your client’s business.  Increase the value of your service by coming up with ways to make your client’s clients more prosperous.  People pay you what YOU think you’re worth.

2). Flaunt your individuality. Really how are you different?  What quirks define you that you can bring forth in service to the world?  Our world is half-empty without the expression of your sweet spot.  Our world is half-full when you have the balls to even consider coming all the way out.  Being your wild self is liberating as hell and others want to encourage your liberation by supporting you.

3). Carry a flag that rallies your niche. Understand what that flag represents to those who are drawn to rally round it.   I carry two flags.   I carry the flag of self-employment because self-employment offers the most supportive structure for freedom and individuality.

I also carry the flag of coaching because the essence of coaching is insight discovery.  Coaching accelerates realizations and demands living an examined life.  At least the way I do it.

I absolutely love coaching the self-employed who want to earn more money and freedom by flaunting their individuality.  I also love coaching courageous first time entrepreneurs through the process of business discovery, launch and startup.

I carry the flag by challenging first timers to leave the slavery of employment and by challenging the already self-employed to express themselves even more boldly.

That is my sweet spot and the world is a better place because I’m fully engaged and fiercely serving there.  If you can’t boldly make a statement like that – then you are playing too small.

To make more money – play a bigger game.

4). Ruthlessly simplify. Simplification encourages clarity.   Clarity empowers focus.  Quit trying to be all things to all people.  Start saying no thank you more often.  Cut down on everything.  Become a missile of destruction to everything that does not serve you well.  Constantly question your activities by asking these questions.  “Will this increase my earnings?  Does this directly increase the value of my service?”

The more simple and focused your life is, the more wealth will be created.  Steve Chandler


5). Increase your willingness to choose.
Then see what happens, adjust and choose anew.  Delay is always costly.  Delay almost always signifies the victory of fear over choice.  What would increase your willingness to choose?  Do that.

Make your decisions more valuable by seeking out many more options before deciding.  Anything you can see in hindsight was there in foresight; so keep looking and expanding your options.

After deciding then commit with every fiber in your being.  Really go for it.  Come alive by backing your own choices until it’s clear that they aren’t working and then swiftly repeat the process.

Commitment without attachment to results is empowerment in action.

Quit standing pat.

Shake things up.

Be your bad ass self and earn more money.

Ready to make your courageously leap to the prosperity and freedom of self-employment? Then enroll in this free coaching expereince to identify your next best step.

Stand Up For Individuality

Do you champion individuality?  Do you routinely encourage unique individuals to express themselves?  Do you listen to your authentic individuality or your fears?  It’s fun and freeing to boldly flaunt your wild, uninhibited individuality.

As a coach, I listen to client fears and prescribe tools and strategies to move  forward in spite of them.  This process is a big part of foundational life coaching before clients are confidently ready to apply business coaching.

Listening to the core fears of hundreds of courageous people has honored me.  These individuals are courageous because they are willing to fully express their fears.

The similarity of their fears is very telling.

You may believe that your fears are unique to you but they aren’t.

You either have fears of success or of failure.  You may have fears of not being capable in one area or another.  Or you have fears of not having enough time or enough money.  That’s it.

A vast majority of the fears fall into one of those five categories.

Individuals are brilliantly unique but their fears are strikingly common.

The marketplace rewards authentic differentiation and devalues what’s common.

Conformity is common.  The fearful conform.  Conformity is common obedience.  Conformity dilutes individual power and dulls authentic brilliance.

What do you think stops you from living fearlessly as the unique individual that you are?  Overtime fears become solidified as powerful limiting beliefs.

You only believe in your fears because you’ve lived with them for so long.  Your fears have crafted the frightening story that you keep retelling.

Yet your fearful story is just who you thought you were.  There’s nothing authentic about that story – it’s just an illusion created by years of over-thinking.   It’s not who you really are.  But you do have a choice.

The longer it takes for you to choose bold authentic expression – the longer it will take you to get what you want.

Taking a stand for your own unique individuality is a courageous and necessary component of evolution.

Buried beneath all of you fears may be an even deeper fear of your own brilliant individuality.

They have come to understand that – no punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict upon themselves, by conspiring in their own diminishment.  Parker Palmer

I rally round the freedom flag of self-employment because working as an employee automatically makes you smaller.

Working as an employee is a consciously chosen path of personal diminishment.

What if your greatness can only be unleashed through the boldness of self-employment?

What if your fulfillment can only come by being your own man or woman, in every way?

What if the one true key to lasting business success is authentic expression?

If you are good at being you, products resulting from your ideas and character will have excellence built into them. Egbert Sukop

Others suffer by paying for inferior products and services when you settle for a job just to pay the bills.  But when you are unfaithful to your true self – you suffer the most.

If you are here unfaithfully with us – you are causing terrible damage.  Rumi

It’s time to quit telling lies about your own capabilities.

It’s time to quit repeating your fears.  Instead it’s time to embrace your wonderfully quirky individuality.

I’m looking for those who are ready right now to shed their cowardly skins and stand tall in their authentic brilliance.

You must make the decision to go for it, in your own way or your authentic brilliance will starve from a lack of self-respect.

I seek to work with the bold.

I seek to inspire and to encourage the bold.

Is it you?  It’s my honor to coach you to your greatness. Can you imagine laughing in the face of your fears?  Using the right tools you can free yourself.

There is a radiating enthusiasm building within you right now.

Free it.  Ask these questions of yourself.

“What magnificence is seeking to awaken within me?”

“What bolder, freer life is calling me forth?”

“How could I engage my individuality to astonish myself?”

Everything Counts So Make It Count

In a creative Universe every thought, word, feeling and deed is somehow combined and coalesced to return to us the predominant focus of our attention.

There’s been a lot written both for and against the Law of Attraction. Yet most folks don’t disagree that somehow the predominance of what we think about, feel, talk about and take action on, all coalesces and comes about.

Random happens only when we are unaware of our power to influence outcomes.

Since every thought, feeling, word and deed combines to create the life we experience, it’s wise to increase our awareness in order to observe what we are thinking, feeling, saying and doing. This increased consciousness has been called deliberate creation or intentional manifestation. It’s important not to let this debate about the law of Attraction get in the way of using what works. Our thoughts, feelings and words do attract like experiences and so do our actions.

This could be why many disagree with attraction presented as if it’s a law or a principle. It appears to over-emphasize less actionable capabilities like thinking, feeling and speaking without giving appropriate credit to doing. All four count, all the time, even the stalwart doer will tell you he’s more effective when he’s enthused and speaks more confidently.

Everything counts, nothing is missed; all four creatively imprint our experience and the wild card is our spiritual alignment (meaning how close we are to the work we were meant to).

Each of us operates in four realms of power, and the choice is ours to do so deliberately – or be less than aware and create unintentionally. It’s obvious that unintentional creation is more hit and miss. Conscious creation is simply choosing how you use your power in all four realms, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Let’s look at how an employee could deliberately increase the probability of success in making the move to the freedom of self-employment.

Intentional four realms creators:

Dig to discover the work they were meant to do. An aligned calling exists for each of us and the closer we get to it, the more creatively effective and efficient we are.

Deliberately choose thoughts that most matched their deepest desires and boldly express those thoughts. If you really want the freedom of self-employment then you’ll be well served to cease thinking how miserable you are in your job. Instead think and express how your job likely holds the key to your freedom.

Deliberately feel as though those desires were already a reality. Imagine how grand you’ll feel calling your own shots and what a wonderful boss you’ll soon be to yourself.

Strategically take actions that are most likely to accelerate their progress towards those chosen desires. There is always a small step you can take that will get you closer to what you want. Take it with every confidence that it is coalescing with your thoughts, feelings and words to move you closer to seizing the opportunity that’s right for you.

Everything’s connected. People come into our sphere of influence for mutual learning experiences. Situations are drawn to us to give us the opportunity to respond to them in new and different ways. Something or someone in your job is there to show you how to grow beyond it.

Everything counts, it’s all connected, we’re all connected, how could it be any other way?

Everything counts. So wise up and make it count.

The Prize Is the Pursuit

Many who claim that they want the freedom, fulfillment and prosperity of being their own boss, actually don’t believe that it’s possible for them. If they did they’d at least be in pursuit of self-employment happiness. Our United States forefathers, in our Declaration of Independence wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

They understood that happiness is something to be pursued. The truly valuable prize is found in the decision to pursue and is the pursuit itself. Many feel that the greater value and joy is the pursuit, is the journey, than the destination.

Why is the prize the pursuit?

1). When in pursuit of something you have already made the decision to go for it and thus you believe that it’s possible for you.

2). While focused in the pursuit you are fully in the present moment, which is your only point of creative power.

Waiting is a state of mind. Basically it means that you want the future; you don’t want the present. —- Eckhart Tolle

3). In the movement of pursuit our perspective changes and we can see opportunities that we were previously blind to. It’s called the corridor theory. In 1998 I was speaking at the downtown Pittsburgh Business Library. After the talk, a guy came out of the audience and asked me if I’d ever done any coaching. At that time I hadn’t, yet if I had not walked down the corridor of professional speaking, the door to greater delightful work would not have opened.

4). In pursuit we often stumble, but our mistakes hold rich meaning because we now have an understanding from which we can adjust. Before pursuit, at best, our effort is a mind game of untested theories and assumptions.

In this post I discussed how to get beyond the excuses that stop us from pursuing the liberty of self-employment.

Of course we can apply this wisdom to more than declaring our freedom from the tyranny of employment.

It can be applied to anything we say we want that we are not yet actively pursuing.

I believe that 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 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 up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 knew neither victory nor defeat. Teddy Roosevelt

Are you in the arena or still watching from the sidelines?

Have you experienced the value of being in pursuit of your happiness?

Seize the Freedom of Self-Employment

Fear around the lack of money keeps many stuck within the slavery of employment. I believe more would seize the freedom of self-employment if they truly understood the value of the freedoms they have willingly given up. Most seasoned self-employed individuals joyously place a higher value on their continued freedom and would not give it up even for much more money.

What do we, as free workers, know that employees do not? We intimately understand and are invigorated by the value of the freedoms that come from doing work that we love in our own way. We believe that it’s our sacred responsibility to safeguard this freedom.

I believe that we enjoy three essential freedoms that employees do not.

1). The freedom of autonomy is our independence. It’s our ability to exercise self-government. Answering to the whims and rules of another is akin to slavery.

2). The freedom of self-determination could also be called the freedom of unlimited decisiveness. By enjoying this freedom we get to decide and choose both our day-to-day work projects and over all strategies and objectives.

3). The freedom of self-expression is simply what we are able to say without hesitation or restriction. This freedom is at the core of our well-being and the freedom I want to discuss today.

The ability to speak our minds on any issue, in any setting, to anyone is invaluable because it’s directly tied to the magnificence of our own authentic identity. When you knowingly restrict your identity you have assumed an identity that is less than your core being. This pretense wounds you deeply at a soul level. Identity restriction is a slow deadening process where the individual hides his true feelings and ultimately settles for less of a life then he or she may have lived.

Many employees complain about their work but throw up the money or security excuse as reasons why their hands are tied. These employees know they have settled for something less than they could be enjoying but they have yet to find the courage to make their move.

How can we, the joyfully self-employed help them to seize their freedom? We can help by talking about how wonderful our freedom feels. We can help by replacing money with freedom as the new standard of success. We can encourage them to be bold and let their freedom ring as an example to their children.

If you are happily employed and can honestly accept the accompanying restrictions, please stay where you are. But if you are among the majority of unhappy employees, know this: the freedoms of self-employment can lead you into a life of unlimited prosperity.

Prosperity comes through enhanced awareness so we can see and seize the right opportunities at the right time.

By working on what you want to work on and dearly value you’ll end up producing work of higher value that will make you prosperous. Please trust that everyone wants to support individuals who put their heart and soul into their work. Trust your internal yearnings to be the man or woman you can here to be. Seize your freedom now!

If you are employed but want to seize your freedom – tell us how we can help.

If you are self-employed and would like to encourage others to make their move – please comment on how freeing self-employment feels to you.

What’s Really Possible?

If you read this blog, you probably believe that most anything is possible. If that’s your belief system, how often do you act as if it’s true? How often do you act on the basis that most anything is possible? Have you ever considered how your life and work might change if you more frequently accepted the possibility of creation without limitation? For those of us who are self-employed a change in perspective is often an essential adjustment.

Earlier in The Missing Key to Success I introduced a former client Joe, who very much needed to expand his perspective of what was possible. Joe was amazed at what he saw by simply keeping the agreement to change his perspective.

Too often we see what we expect to see and what we expect to see is limited by our beliefs of what we think is likely to occur. Thus we often remain within a cycle of manifestation that’s limited by our past.

As a self-employed entrepreneur Joe was concerned about sustaining his momentum.
What Joe didn’t understand before coaching is the incredible power of accountability. Accountability is a built-in benefit of coaching that increases the probability of the client trying out new and different perspectives and actions. Encouraged by the coach’s confidence and enthusiasm, the client will often make and honor agreements that he would not complete on his own. It’s this professional leverage that makes all the difference.

The use of agreements helps to encourage the client to see and do things differently. Life is really not as difficult as we tend to make it. My coaching experience proves that if you believe in and use some very simple concepts, they can make all the difference.

“Any movement works” is one such concept. You need to understand it to believe in it -and you need to believe in it to apply it intentionally. Yet the quickest route to understanding is to actually practice it. That’s where agreements come in.

Getting back to Joe. By seeing things differently and following through with actions, he was able to come to some startling, new found realizations. His most powerful were:
1). My opportunities expand in direct proportion to my expanding awareness and my willingness to look for the good in all situations.
2). Often I would do things because they had worked for others without taking into account how aligned these actions were with who I am.
3). Because some of these traditionally successful actions didn’t fit me, I resisted taking them and that resistance lead to greater self-doubt.

Joe would waste more energy trying to fit a mold that was laid out by others and when it didn’t work he would wonder what was wrong with him. But he wasn’t lacking anything, he just need to take a more authentic approach to building his business.

These realizations came for Joe over a month’s time and we kept adjusting his action and perspective agreements to follow his realizations. As a result, Joe is happier, more prosperous and works fewer hours than he previously did. What’s different? Joe now runs every major work decision past his deepest desires and values. If the new opportunity isn’t a fit he chooses something else. Making right-aligned decisions is the first step in authentic business building.

Joe needed to continue to complete agreements so he could continue to produce different results and come to fresh realizations.

Previously, Joe often sabotaged his progress because he exercised little personal authority. He wasn’t fully conscious of this, but his actions proved that he placed a higher value on methods created by others than on his own understanding. Joe simply needed to get in the habit of asking what new realizations he’d come to, as a result of his different actions. Realizations cement our understanding of new concepts and methods. Observing and noting personal realizations is the second step in authentic business building.

Joe’s newfound authority means he’s actually authoring his own life more often. Now he is following up his realizations with actions that fit. Many times I’ve asked him this simple question that has made a huge difference. What’s one small action step you could complete this week to exploit this realization? The third step in authentic business building is to use methods that combine our personal realizations with the utilization of our inherent strengths and peculiarities.

Authentic business building is a powerful cycle of perspective, realizations and actions that are filtered through a viewpoint of genuine fit. When you are more eager and enthusiastic to take an action, then that action is a better fit for the core you. Action that is a better fit for the core you, increases your probability of success.

Joe wisely continued to make and honor custom agreements that proved that he could rely on his own authenticity. If you’d like to experiment with this authentic business building process, here are some questions to get it moving.

· What agreements can I make that will cause me to see my situation from an expanded perspective?

· What actions can I take that will support that perspective?

· Then after the actions ask: What realizations can I now see that represent new understandings for me?

· Keeping in mind my inherent strengths and values, what action steps could I take that would leverage these new realizations?

As your coach from afar I’m asking you to actually answer that first question and take that action. When we expect to see more opportunities they wondrously appear. Why not give it a shot and amaze yoursel

No Thank You

This post is about being totally above board and honest when turning down an invitation. If you aren’t always truthful when you say no, are you aware of the significance of what you’re saying yes to?

Here’s an example. On Monday, I was tagged. Mags at Woo-Woo Wisdom asked me to write a post on, 10 things that make me happy. I like Mags, I enjoy her writing and I’m honored that she thought of me. But I wasn’t eager to write that specific post. I have nothing against one blogger tagging another and at first I told myself I’d do it later, but I never did.

I did want to understand why I was resisting this honorable invitation. It would be an easy post to write. I’m generally a happy guy and I could easily write 20 things that make me happy.

But one thing that definitely makes me unhappy is doing anything that feels like an obligation.

As much as possible, I’ve pledged to live an obligation-free life and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it for the last ten years. That means I make as few promises as possible and I follow-through on each and every one of them. How’s my record so far? Very close to 99% on promises I make to others. I’m not doing near as well on self-made promises but much better since I raised my awareness of them.

But it’s not really important to you, why this felt like an obligation to me. What might be important is that you examine how frequently you offer a less than forthright reason when you say, “no thank you.”

Thomas Leonard felt that no explanation at all is necessary.

No is a complete sentence. Thomas Leonard

Sometimes when invited to a social event, that I really don’t want to attend, I’ll just smile and say, “no thank you.” If I’m asked (this seldom happens because folks generally fear the truth) I’ll be honest and tell it like it is, regardless of the imagined consequences.

This feels so freeing. The freedoms of self-determination and self-expression are two that I treasure the most as a self-employed individual. One synonym for integrity, is wholeness and that describes my feelings well. When we align our choices with what we value, we feel complete. Otherwise, by telling even a white lie, we feel a little soiled and broken.

In some ways this was challenging for me to write because I do care about what you my blogging friends and readers think of me. I hope I don’t sound like I’m riding too high of a horse when actually I was forced into becoming more truthful so that I could demand it of my coaching clients.

I’ve come to understand that every honest no means that I’m actually saying yes to something I value.

Could a dishonest excuse be proof that you care more about what another thinks of you, than you value your own freedom of self-determination?

What do you think?

What’s Good About Being Challenged?

I just read a powerfully stimulating post by Slade Roberson at Shift Your Spirits. Read his latest post, What’s Wrong with What You Want?
Slade said, “Your most challenging moments are what defines you — your senses of empowerment and spiritual development become most apparent during the tests, trials, and tribulations.”

I believe he’s suggesting that when challenged, we show our true mettle because we are called then to rise up and meet the challenge.

This caused me to wonder. Is challenge natural? We often resist challenge, or at least the struggle that comes with it. But upon further reflection, I wonder if the stimulation within the call to action is what we craved all along. I think this is what we mean when we use the old saying, “It’s all good!”

For example, take the employee who abhors the lack of autonomy in his job. Doesn’t he really love to hate it so that he’ll eventually use the energy of that hate to finally make his move to the freedom of self-employment? Or take the freelancer who wants more work that she loves to do. Doesn’t she complain about the less challenging work so much that she stops the flow of it?

If challenge is natural, perhaps we could save ourselves some stress and struggle by simply making more authentic decisions and committing to following through. Perhaps the more direct route to getting what we want is to embrace the challenging situations in our lives by inviting them, instead of avoiding them.

So how about you? What’s most natural to you? Do you feel more yourself at ease or in action?

Could this change at how we look at challenge actually get us more of what we say we want?

If health and wealth is the natural state of affairs in the universe, then why do so many of us seem to make it so difficult to allow abundance in our lives?

Could it be that we actually want to be tested so much so that we create the necessary drama to rise above it? What do you think?

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.