I was on a call this morning with a gorgeous, talented business woman. Throughout our call I noticed her language. There was a lot of "I should', 'I have to' and 'I need to' language peppered throughout the conversation. I asked her to substitute the phrases with 'I choose' whenever she catches herself saying them. Let me tell you why.
When we use language that makes us feel guilt or anxiety we take our eyes and our focus on the things that will bring us the success we want. When you tell yourself what you 'should' do you feel guilt that you are not already doing it. When you say 'I have to' it's a message to your brain that you don't want to do this thing and it feels imposed on you, which can cause resentment. And when you say 'I need to..' it causes anxiety because most of us are already busy and when we have a need for something again our focus goes to that thing.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you are a start up business and are procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed by all the things you are learning and doing while you establish yourself in the marketplace. During a conversation with a friend you hear these words come out of your mouth....'I should do some marketing for my business because I have to make it work. I need to the money to come in so I can pay the bills.'
Now all of that may be true....but let me ask you this. While you are having the conversation are you taking any action? Does it make you feel good? Does it get your message, brand and product out to the world? NO, it doesn't. What it does is make you feel even more overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out about what you have not yet done. It also puts the message to your subconscious on the money rather than how your business will benefit your clients. While it's true that we live in a society that uses money as the exchange for the things we use in our own lives it is just that....currency to exchange. So, what do you choose to exchange for the money?
Let's try that conversation again with I choose in there instead.
'Today I will do some marketing for my business because I know how much my (product, service) will benefit people. I know that when I choose to put it out there that the clientele will come pay me well in exchange for what I have to offer.'
Every morning as you get ready to start your day say this or something like this to yourself. Use your words and make it personal. Please feel free to comment below.
So today I went out with a friend for a walk around out town. There are a lot of independent businesses and shops in our main street. In the near future I am going to start hosting events for women in business in this area and wanted to introduce myself and gauge interest. What was interesting was the response. In one store the young women who is the store manager could not have been nicer. She asked if she could have some info to give to some of her clients and was bubbly and happy. The rest of her staff were also cheery and the whole place had a good vibe. In some of the other stores and businesses I went into it just felt like the people did not want to be there and they couldn't wait to leave. Those businesses had an oppressive energy and weren't places you would want to stay in or spend your money in.
It got me thinking about how we are responsible for how we show up. Many years ago I worked in real estate. It's amazing how you could always tell if a home was happy or not. If a couple were going through a breakup or just had an argument you could feel it in the air. In business and at work too we can often sense when something is not right or someone has something going on in their life that they are struggling with.
Jill Bolte Taylor worked in the area of brain science and had a stroke. As a result of that stroke she lost her capacity to speak. What she gained was a heightened sense of feeling people's energy. She wrote a book called 'My Stroke of Insight' which is well worth the read otherwise find her on TED talks and have a listen to her story. We are all responsible for how we show up when we are engaging with others, whether that be at work, with children, partner or friends. Just spend a bit of time reflecting on what sort of impact you want to have and try your best to make sure that your energy matches your intention. If it doesn't then do something to change it. Dance, give yourself a pep talk, put on a smile, listen to some great music that makes you happy or go for a walk. And if you truly feel that today you can't elevate your energy then just understand that will impact on how others respond to you. You might not get the results you want from your interactions.
How good are you at clearing out your stuff before it turns into clutter? It's easy enough to accumulate too many things and not use them. Some things we collect because they are beautiful or inspiring like art and ornaments. Some things we collect because they are a perfect match with something else we have...usually this is the case with clothes. And some things we collect just in case we might need it at some time. Think kitchen utensils, appliances and garden tools. But if you don't need them, love them and use them often then it is just more things to store, clean, insure and some of them even increase your monthly living expenses in the form of electricity and cleaning.
Holding on to stuff might be a symptom of some loneliness or unhappiness in yourself. Sometimes people buy things to fill up that feeling and for a while it might work. This is called a 'spike of happiness' when we get something new and feel good for a while but it wears off then we need to get something else so we can have the feeling again. Try to find ways other than shopping to help you feel great. Exercise, meditation, dance, coffee with friends or just getting out in nature will all help you to feel better. Let's face it most people have everything they need and extra purchases are really just excess. I'm not saying never buy anything again...I'm just saying know why you are buying something. If it is to make yourself feel better chances are that it will be a short lived thing and before you know it you won't enjoy it like you did in the beginning.
Most people have some things they will never use or wear that they could get rid of. It's still spring so now is the perfect time to spring clean. Go through your drawers, wardrobe, shed and cupboards and see what you are ready to let go of. And as you do notice how it makes you feel. If you feel hesitant because you know you will never use something but just can't seem to part with it then take a breath and ponder the reason. Is it of sentimental value? You can still have the memory without having to hold on to the things. Is it because you are afraid that you are decreasing the value of the stuff you have in your life? I'm not sure about what your reasons are but I can share this with you. Every single time that I have let go of things that didn't make me feel great I received in the very near future something even better. It's just how it seems to work.
I'd love to hear your comments and stories about how you decreased the clutter in your life and what the positives are from that. Please comment below. Have a great week.
be in your flow....
the 3 A's of awesome.
The 3 A's of awesome is not my idea. I loved the concept when I heard about it in a TED talk by Neil Pasriche. I love the idea that there is a formula for leading an awesome life and thought I would share it with you. Neil has a blog called 1000 awesome things, which reminds us to be amazed and thankful for all the little things. If you want to see the original TED talk the link is here.
If you want to be awesome, you have to have a great attitude. What does that mean? Well, a great attitude means different things to different people but basically someone who takes responsibility for their life, enjoys themselves, is positive most of the time, does not get into blaming and deception. If you are feeling a bit flat, work every day to put yourself in a better mood. You can find things to be positive about if you just look for them. When things go wrong you can choose to give in to the gloom and doom or you can grieve, let go and learn.
Awesome people are very aware of the world that surrounds them. Embrace your inner child, see the world through young eyes. Kids don't miss much. They notice everything and they are amazed by it. People who are aware know when to speak up, when to shut up and when they are about to learn something very important. Awareness is reconnecting with that inner child that feels like intuition. What would you be aware of if you did that?
Awesome people are authentic. They know who they are, they are comfortable in their own skin, they don't try to pretend they are something that they are not. They live their lives proud of their achievements, proud of who they are and who they are becoming. They are busy being themselves, because they know they can't be someone else. If you are OK with being you, chances are that those around you will also be OK with that and those who aren't will leave.
I challenge you this week to be awesome.
til next time.
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.