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.
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.
How good are you at 'going with the flow?' I can tell you it's the greatest place to be. I can also tell you it can be scary. It is often unpredictable, frightening and unsettling. Going with the flow is not a guarantee of peace and harmony that many people think it is. It is a place where change can be rapid and what seemed certain is suddenly not.
It is also a place where if you can maintain a curious mind and be open to the new experiences, your life will be far better than you imagined. The human condition is one that seeks security but gets bored with it too. We all at some stage have a craving for more excitement.
You can read more about this in our newsletter that went out to members here.
So be flexible, and look for the blessings and the lessons in everything. Even that which seems difficult is some of our greatest.
Recently i had the great pleasure to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon doing not much of anything. A friend and I headed east in the car, found a winery, had a cheeseboard for lunch and some great conversation. We then headed back towards home but didn't want the day to end, so ended up at a country hotel, laying in the sunshine, listening to the band. It's amazing how relaxed and recharged you feel after spending time with someone doing not much at all. And the great conversations that are had. I recently wrote about conversations in our newsletter. You can read it here.
Tony Robbins is probably the greatest coach in the world. I was listening to one of his videos recently and he was explaining the fundamentals of leadership. This is what they are.
So today, tomorrow, this week. create a better world for yourself by following theses three steps. And make a way to improve your life. A true leader will either make a way or find one to have a life they love and that serves others as well.
Happy action taking!
Til next time
The photo of the door in this blog was taken on a recent holiday in Bali. It was a large door at the front on a home.
I remember when I was much younger reading a book by W Clement Stone. He states that big doors swing on little hinges. And when i look at a door now I remember that quote. A door can be very large and heavy and yet the hinges can be small and seemingly insignificant.
I believe that we are all hinges. We can make things happens. And there are things that will never happen without us doing our bit. I would encourage you to always see yourself as a hinge. You can move things and overcome things that seem much larger than you. None of your attempts are in vain.
So this week, get out there are swing some doors.
Have a great week.
til next time
Some days i just cannot get my act together. Other days planning and organizing come much more easily. I have worked out that i can make things easier for myself if I do a few things. So here is my list of the top 5 things that help me get and stay focussed.
1. Eat well - I find if i eat food that is rubbish, I feel rubbish. I feel sluggish, tired and unable to focus. On the other hand, if I eat fresh, clean food, my brain thanks me by being clear and focussed.
2. Exercise - When I have done some excersize everything seems brighter, easier and more do-able than before. This year I made a commitment to myself to excersize more and those days I achieve more in every area.
3. Drink plenty of water - Sometimes our lack of focus is because we are dehydrated. The days when I don't drink enough water, I mentally drift off all over the place. I think the rule is 30mls of water for every kilo that you weigh. That means if you weigh 70kgs, you should be drinking a little over two litres per day.
4. Debate - If there is no-one else around and you are trying to plan and organise something, talk it out with yourself. Debate the pros and cons of decisions and changes that you want to make. You can do this verbally or on paper.
5. Know when to down tools - there may be days when the most productive thing you can do is to do nothing. This might be a bit harder if you work for someone else but keep in mind the leading cause of workplace absences is stress. If you are trying to push yourself and it just is not working, take yourself to a different environment or do something else. Your brain will still be working on the solution even while you are not focussing on it.
I would love to hear your tips for staying focused when you don't feel like it.
This is the time of year when thoughts turn to what goals we want to achieve in the coming months. While most people are off work, the festivities have ended and there is a space between all the 'busy-ness' that is life, we often reflect on what we want to improve on, what we want to leave behind and what new adventures we want to have. Looking back on my goals for last year i was suprised that the biggest one came true for me right near the end of the year. I wanted to travel overseas and did just that in late november. I did not even remember writing it at the beginning of the year. Just goes to show how life works on making things come true.
I also do a goodbye list at this time of year. It reminds me that not everything is forever and sometimes to create room for the new we must let go of the old. I write a goodbye letter to those things i am releasing, thanking them for the lessons and the time. It is for my eyes only (unless i feel like sharing).
What traditions do you have when it comes to writing out new year resolutions? Why not comment and let us know.
How often do we let that inner voice beat us up? For many people the inner voice can be a constant negative chatter. We all have inner chatter going on all the time and as we learn to master our emotions and our state of mind, we can also learn to master the voice. We can silence the critic and turn up the cheer squad.
It is often the case that the inner voice is some well meaning, long gone, friend or family member who was trying to save us from ourselves. We can start to silence the critic by asking questions of it.
Is what is being said true?
What am I learning from this experience?
How can I integrate the lesson into my life and leave the emotion behind (if it is negative)?
Working with a coach or NLP practitioner is one way to 'retrain' the voice to be supportive of your journey rather than being in the way of progress. Acknowledge, love and release those negative emotions and voices and move into a space of more tranquility and peace.
till next time
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.