Posts Tagged ‘embrace your destiny’

Sometimes you just have to trust yourself

I watched the following video by Gary Vaynerchuk the other day.

He was offering advice to a young entrepreneur who asked what she should do about the people who thinks she’s too young to start her own business. He said something that stuck with me, so I figured it was worth writing about. He said, “Spending any time debating who’s cheering for what outcome or what point of view, is a complete waste of your energy”.

I think that this is something we all need to remember. At the end of the day, it’s inevitable that there are going to be people who don’t believe in our goals or the things we want to do. We have a choice to make. We can either allow the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others stop us from pursuing our goals, or we can follow our hearts, trust our intuition and do the things we feel called to do.

I’m constantly reminded of the Wayne Dyer quote “other people’s opinions of you are none of your business”. This has been a huge part of the work I’ve had to do on myself because worrying about what other people think is something that I’ve been told I should care about for as long as I can remember. It’s also something I’ve struggled with. I’ve often wondered why I need to care about the opinions of others. As a teen I remember asking my mother who cares what other people think and often wondered if anyone really cared about what I was up to anyway.

In the same video, at one point Gary says to the young entrepreneur that either the critics are right or she is. She gets to choose what she believes. I believe that this is some of the most valuable advice to give to anyone at any age. If you’re passionate about something and there are people who don’t support you in your pursuit of it, you get to choose whether you let their lack of support stop you or not.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in my journey, it’s that there will always be those who don’t get it. The people who don’t understand why you can’t maintain the status quo will urge you to be grateful for what you have and stop looking for more. They won’t support your endeavors and you have to learn to be okay with it.

For each person who doesn’t get it, there will always be those that do. There will also be those who are inspired by your willingness to follow your heart and trust your instincts. You can allow the people who don’t believe in you to sidetrack you in the pursuit of your goals and creating the life you want for yourself. The risk you take is that you are left living an unfulfilled life or one full of regret.

If that isn’t the life you want to live, then stop worrying about what other people think. You have no control over the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others. The only thing you have control over is yourself. Listen to your heart and trust your inner guidance. Remember that no matter what, you always get to choose what you do next.

Achieving vision clarity

This isn’t a new topic for me to write about and there’s a reason for that. At the end of the day, if you don’t know where you want to go, then you won’t know what you should be going or where to get started. This lack of clarity is what leaves us with unexplained feelings of overwhelm, frustration and a lack of fulfillment.

Getting clear on the vision we have for our lives is the starting point for the identifying the action we need to take to get us there. Our vision is what determines our goals and what we need to do to make them a reality. Not having a clear vision is like going on a road trip but not having an idea of where you want to go. You might see some interesting sights along the way, but you’ll also waste a lot of time and gas as you drive around looking for somewhere to make you final stop.

A lot of us have never taken the time to figure out what it is we really want for our lives. Often, we’ve been living our lives the way we’ve been told we ought to. We go to school, pursue a post secondary education, get married and have children without consciously taking the time to ask ourselves if this is what we truly want. It’s the reason many of us suffer what’s called a “mid-life crisis”.

When we have lived our lives the way we’re “supposed to” and still don’t feel fulfilled, never mind content we start to wonder what the point is. Why didn’t we go off the beaten path? Why did we allow ourselves to get talked out of pursuing our dreams? These questions can add to our frustration, or they can be a wake up call. The good news is that it is never too late to get clear on the vision of your life you truly want and start taking action to create it.

So how do we get clear on our vision? I start off by asking my clients what they would their life be like if money and time weren’t an issue. This allows them to dream without censoring themselves by what we all perceive to be the biggest limits to living our best life. Once we remove lack of time or money as an excuse for why it will never be possible, we can dream big.

If travel is something that you want to do more of, then why not take the time to think of ways to make it possible instead of thinking it will never happen? If you’ve always wanted to learn how to do something, but can’t afford to go back to school or don’t think you have the time, are there videos you can watch online, or a one-day course you can take to get you started?

I know, from personal experience, that when you get clear on the life you want to create for yourself, the paths available to get you there start to reveal themselves. Clarity is the first step; taking decisive action is the next one. Getting clear on where you want to go and not doing anything about it isn’t going to get you anywhere. All it will do is leave you feeling even more frustrated and unfulfilled than before you gained clarity. Looking for a way to get clear on your vision? Check out a blog post I wrote a few years ago on Clarity on Your Goals where I talk about 3 different exercises I recommend to help you get started.

Overcoming self-doubt

Self-doubt can be one of the biggest saboteurs when it come to creating the life that we want for ourselves. If left unchecked, it can leave us feeling unworthy, unhappy and unfulfilled. If that’s not sounding like a place you want to visit anytime soon, then you have to do something to shift your thoughts from coming from a place of doubt and fear to one of confidence and courage.

When we suffer from self-doubt, we struggle to make decisions. I know indecisiveness well. The fear of making the wrong decision used to paralyze me in a lot of situations that truthfully didn’t need that level of caution. I had to learn how to paint a positive picture of the amazing possibilities instead of falling into the habit of worrying about the worst case scenario.

We can use our self-doubt to justify inaction which leads to procrastination. If we can’t get it done right, what’s the point in even getting started, right? Trust me, if you’re looking for an excuse not to do something, you’ll always find it! This is why it’s so important to be clear about the vision you want for your life. Without that clarity you will lack the motivation needed to do the scary stuff regardless of whether or not you’re confident it will work.

Regret is another side-effect of self-doubt. When your doubts are bigger than your desires, you live life with a lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda – but you didn’t. No one’s really interested in hearing about how you could have been living your dream, but chose not to. That’s not motivating or inspiring to anyone (unless you’re really miserable and no one wants to end up like you). Why beat yourself up about all the missed opportunities?

So how do we overcome self-doubt? We have to look at the source of many of the limiting beliefs we have and deal with them at the root. Sometimes we can do the work necessary on our own, other times we need to seek the guidance of professionals. Whatever path you choose, it’s important to do something if you feel like the doubts you have about yourself are stopping you from creating the life you want and deserve.

We have to find a way to believe that we deserve the success we want in life. We have to tell ourselves that our past does not define our present or our future. Most importantly, we have to remember that we’ve had some kind of success in the past. It doesn’t matter if that success was 2 years ago or 20. What’s important is to remember that something amazing happened to you once, and it can happen again! We need to stop worrying about what other people are thinking and focus on what’s important to us.

Doing what it takes to overcome self-doubt isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take work, but the rewards will be worth it. If you’d like some more help in overcoming self-doubt in your own life, sign up for the 10-Day e-course using the form below!

Cultivating your goals

My inspiration for this week’s post is my Peace Lily plant. I’ve had this plant for over 5 years and I can count on one had the number of times it has blossomed and still have fingers left. About a month ago, we were re-potting plants and I decided to give the plants some fertilizer. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this, and I made sure to give the Peace Lily the fertilizer for plants that flower. Here’s picture of what it looks like now.

My Peace Lily 🙂

Here is a summary of the blossoms of this Peace Lily:

  • First time: When I first bought the plant, it had blossoms
  • Second time: A few years ago, a blossom came, but it wasn’t a healthy one already turning brown by the time it came into full bloom
  • Third time: The picture above

My experience with this plant reminded me of some things when it comes to creating the life we truly want and deserve. Here’s a summary of my top 3:

1. If you want something, you have to create the environment for it to happen

For years all I did was water this plant. I figured that sunlight and water was enough for the plant to thrive. I now realize that sunlight and water is enough for the plant to survive; thriving is a different story. Giving the plant the fertilizer it needed was what provided the right opportunity for two blossoms.

It’s the same when it comes to our goals. Getting clear on your vision and creating a plan are important steps. Taking consistent action with the right mindset is where the magic starts to happen. The willingness to get uncomfortable and do things outside your comfort zone takes things to another level!

2. You have to give attention to the things you want to flourish.

Putting the fertilizer sticks in the plant was one thing. Making sure that it got the water it needed on a consistent basis in another. I’ve been negligent with my plants at times, the Peace Lily included. Thriving is a lot more challenging when you’re barely getting the bare necessities, isn’t it?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in making my goals a reality, it’s that focus is the key. It can be so easy to get distracted or lost doing things that have nothing to do with creating the life we want for ourselves. When we get clear on our priorities and set boundaries, focusing on realizing our goals becomes much easier. When we’re focused, we become aware and open to the opportunities that will get us where we want to go.

3. Patience + Releasing expectations = Pleasant surprise

When I put the fertilizer sticks in the plant pot, I didn’t have set expectations on when the plant would blossom. To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations at all. The approach was more – let’s see if this works. I did commit to making sure the plants were watered regularly and made sure I did. I was pleasantly surprised when the first blossom made its first appearance a couple of weeks ago. When I saw the second blossom, I was over the moon! I haven’t seen more than once since I first bought the plant!

We can get frustrated with our goals when we feel like we’re not getting the results we expect from our efforts. There are going to be things that don’t work out the way we want them to. Sometimes things are going to take longer than we want or expect them to. When it comes to our goals, the sooner we realize that things are going to happen when they’re supposed to, and not when we want them to, the better for our peace of mind.

I love having plants. I want to have a small vegetable garden this summer. I had a few plants last year and had some success and some let downs. I’ve learned from “failures” and will do better this year. I plan to continue to apply the lessons I’m learning in my gardening adventures to my everyday journey so stay tuned 🙂

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

I have a confession to make. I have a problem saying no. I don’t like disappointing people. My low self-esteem and self-confidence made me a chronic people-pleaser with few boundaries. I have gotten better at setting boundaries and saying not to things. The one thing that has made a huge difference is understanding that just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I have to or that I should.

I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of things that I can do pretty well. I’m pretty resourceful, a skill I credit my father with giving me. I love to problem-solve and I like to fix things. Come to me with a problem and I’m going to do my best to fix it or point you in the right direction to get the solution you’re looking for.

My ability to do lots of different things has made it difficult for me to delegate and hire help. My first few websites were done by yours truly because WordPress came easy to me. I used to do my taxes on my own before I became a business owner, because it gave me a nice sense of accomplishment and gave me a realistic idea of my finances at the end of each year. Truthfully, most of the time that I get to the point of asking for help or hiring someone, I’ve already been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated for quite some time! Needless to say my productivity suffers and I’ve lost time I could have been using doing something I could feel good about.

Entrepreneurs are told by business coaches to do what we do best and hire out the rest. The knee-jerk response is that we can’t afford it because we need to make more money in order to justify hiring someone. The business coaches’ typical response is that if you focused on what you do well and are getting paid for it, hiring for the rest shouldn’t be a problem. It makes sense logically, but our fear of the unknown is often what stops us from putting that common sense into practice.

For those of us who aren’t business owners, the concept of when you should hire for help is different but the same. Instead of doing what you do best and hiring out for the rest, the key is looking at what your priorities are and figuring out where you can get help so that you can focus on the things that are important to you. It’s about being aware of what your time is worth so that you know what it’s costing you when you spend your time doing things that aren’t in alignment with your priorities.

We all want to be of help to others. We need to be mindful that we don’t give so much that we have nothing left for ourselves. When we give until our cup is empty, we’re left exhausted, frustrated and if we’re not careful, resentful. That’s why one of my mottos for 2019 is the reminder that “just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.” If I said yes to everything that I could do, I would have not time to focus on the things I really want to do. Since I know how unhappy I am when I’m not doing things that bring me fulfillment, I have to commit to using my time wisely and being okay with disappointing others so I don’t end up disappointing myself.

Are you with me?

Stop resisting

I found a blog post that I wrote almost 8 years ago called Resistance is Futile. I was tempted to share it this week since my chosen theme was resistance, but I thought I’d go deeper with the idea instead. I felt that it was the right thing to do, since I’m still learning how to wrap my head around the concept! 😉

“What we resist, persists.” I had to do a Google search to see who I should attribute the quote to and discovered that the full quote is: “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”, and was said by Carl Jung. I’m not sure why it seems like such a difficult concept for us to remember. Especially when we can all probably point to an area in our life where the very thing we don’t want keeps making its presence known!

I think that’s why having a consistent gratitude practice is so important. Making the time to think about all the things we have to be grateful for serve us better than thinking about all the thing we don’t want or don’t have. It’s all about finding a better feeling thought than where you are right now. Focusing on what we don’t want doesn’t leave any space for the things we do want to come into our lives!

Resistance leaves us tight. When we’re in a place of resistance we are closing ourselves off in the hopes of protecting us from whatever it is we don’t want. We have to loosen ourselves up in order to find the best way to deal with what we’re resisting. We need to ask ourselves what the problem is and what we can do about it.

We have to accept that there are always going to be things that are out of our control, things that we cannot change. The good news is that there are also going to be things that are within our control, things we can change. That’s where we need to spend our time and energy. Working on the things that we can work on that will continue to bring us to a better feeling place regardless of where we are right now.

I think that the ability to surrender to the things that are out of our control leaves us open to receiving the things we do want. So often we’re doing the work and not seeing the results because there’s some kind of resistance going on. Whether it’s the fear of failure or success or holding on to resentments from experiences long past, we need to let go and have faith that it’s all going to work out the way it’s supposed to.

As long as we are doing our best and taking consistence action towards our goals, we have to believe that our persistence will pay off. We need to focus on gratitude and abundance instead of coming from a place of lack and scarcity. We have to make more time for allowing and less time for resistance if we want things good things to flow into our lives. Are you ready?

5 Challenges to achieving your goals

Goal achievement is something that we all struggle with at some point or another in our lives. Sometimes it’s a matter of feeling like there isn’t enough time to ever get it all done. Other times, we can feel like we don’t even know where to get started. Whatever the reason is, it can often feel like our goals are only meant to be dreams we think about every once and awhile.

The reality is that we can overcome the difficulties that present themselves. A couple of weeks ago I did a webinar where I spoke about 5 challenges to achieving our goals and how to overcome them. It isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Here are the 5 difficulties I spoke about:

  • Goal overwhelm

One of the biggest challenges to achieving our goals is overwhelm. It can feel like there are so many things to do and not enough time in the day to get it all done. Let’s face it; most of us don’t have the opportunity to dedicate our entire day to our goals. We’ve got responsibilities to take care that require our time and attention beyond our goals. The best way to avoid overwhelm is to break our goals down into manageable chunks that feel doable. Your goals are meant to stretch and inspire you, not overwhelm and frustrate you!

  • Poor time management

These days it can be so easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome! With social media and the ability to binge watch stuff on Netflix, there is no short supply of things we can do to get sucked down the rabbit hole of procrastination. We can also find ourselves wasting time on the minor things that our outside our expertise instead of focusing our time on the things that we do well. I know I’ve found myself caught up in figuring out things on my website instead of just asking for help! One of my mantras for this year has been just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should. It’s made quite a difference!

  • Rigid Plans

If you have control issues like I do, it can be a challenge to be open to going off script. I often have to remind myself that when I created the plan, I couldn’t possibly be aware of all of the ways that it could happen. If I can accept that fact and remain focused on the end goal, then remaining open to the opportunities to get me there becomes easier. If you’ve heard me talk about goal achievement before, you know I like to think of it like a road trip. When you’re on the road and encounter a road closure, you don’t give up on getting to your final destination. You just seek an alternate path. I thing we have to use the same approach when it comes to our goals.

  • Lack of Support

Trying to do make our goals a reality on our own can be a very isolating experience. The bigger our dreams, the more help we need to make them a reality. I’m not saying we can’t achieve our goals on our own, but it will be a lot harder and take a lot more time! Have a positive support system provides us with people who can encourage us when we need it and give us some tough love and a kick up the behind when needed as well. Sometimes we don’t have the right people in our lives to provide the support we need, so we have to be prepared to expand our circle to bring the right people in.

  • Negative Mindset

I think that this can be our biggest challenge to making our goals a reality. When we allow fear in the driver’s seat, we don’t take the action necessary to get things done. Our fear of failure can leave us stuck in analysis paralysis that we struggle to shake for days, weeks, months or even years. If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that if you’re looking for an excuse not to do something, you’ll always find one. That’s why it’s important to be aware of our beliefs, the ones that serve us and the ones that don’t. Once we know that, we can leverage the ones that help us in the pursuit of our goals and work on releasing the ones that don’t.

There are always going to be challenges that present themselves as we work towards achieving our goals. It’s an inevitable part of the journey. The good news is that there is always a way to overcome them, you just have to be patient with yourself and with the process!I’m launching my Hurdle Jumping: 101 course on Monday April 8th! In this 6-week program we’ll be working on developing tools and techniques that will allow you to stay focused regardless of what life throws at you! Learn more when you visit https://hurdlejumping101.paperform.co/ and by watching the video above.

Finding a way through the storm

My dog Lulu died last Monday. She was 13 years old and started suffering from arthritis this winter. When she collapsed and couldn’t get up, I knew her time had come. That didn’t make it any better and my partner and I were devastated. It hasn’t quite been a week yet, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss her like crazy, even though I know that it was the best thing for her.

This isn’t a tribute post to my dog. This is me sharing how I’m managing to still stay focused on my goals through my grief. I had a webinar scheduled for Thursday on 5 Challenges to Achieving Your Goals (and how to overcome them). I was tempted to postpone it because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. My fear was that I would do the presentation and be caught by a wave of grief and break down. I decided to do it because it’s important that I practice what I preach, and finding a way through this difficult time presented me with the opportunity to do just that.

If there’s one thing that I have learned in these last few days, it’s that having a goal to focus prevents the negative emotions I’m experiencing from swallowing me whole. This isn’t to say I’m ignoring my feelings of grief. I have slowed down and am taking time to process my grief. I’ve shed tears. I find myself feeling melancholy. It’s been over 20 years since I didn’t have a pet of some kind in my home. It’s very quiet here at the moment.

I’m grateful that I have goals that are important to me right now. They keep me busy and so I’m not spending too much time in my head. We hear so much about the importance of knowing our “why” and it can all seem a bit cliché. I get it. It’s not just a cliché there is value in it. When your why is big enough, you will find away through life’s challenges. Giving up is not an option. You find a way to keep going, even when it hard. You know that the feelings your currently experiencing will pass.

We all experience challenges. Their severity may vary, but the feelings that bring can be overwhelming. The key to finding our way through those difficult times is finding something else, something positive to focus our time and energy on. It is possible to do this and still honor the negative emotions we’re experiencing.

Stifling the negative emotions we experience is never a very productive way to move forward. You might be able to push them down for a while, but they always find a way to make there way back to the forefront. We have to find a way to move through those emotions without getting stuck along the way.

There are many ways to work your way through the challenges we experience. We can journal, meditate, pray, go to therapy, or confide in a trusted friend. If you need help to work through it, seek it. I think one of the most important things to remember in challenging times is that we don’t have to go through it alone.

Remember that no matter how rough things might seem right now, there is always a way through it. You just need to have tools and techniques to weather the storm. What’s in your toolkit?

If you’re looking for tools and techniques to overcome obstacles, consider joining my Hurdle Jumping: 101 course staring Monday April 8! Visit https://hurdlejumping101.paperform.co/ for more information and to register.

Being open to receive

I was at a networking event a few days ago where one of the topics discussed were the challenges we face as entrepreneurs. All the attendees were women and one of the issues identified was asking for help. I can relate to this both personally and professionally. I used to think I had to do it all on my own and I’ll admit, even when help was offered, I would often refuse it. I did this not because I didn’t need it, but because I once held the belief that accepting help was akin to admitting defeat.

I’m not sure where the belief that accepting help was a reflection of my inability to do something, and why admitting that I wasn’t the person best suited to do something was such a negative thing. Perhaps it’s from watching my parents, who did so much on their own, without hiring “experts”. I saw them doing so much and it was as if I forgot how frustrated they would be at times because they were struggling to do something that wasn’t in their wheelhouse.

The funny thing is I enjoy helping others. I do it without expecting anything in return because I love helping people get unstuck. It’s one of the reasons I was in the not-for-profit industry for over a decade and why I became a coach! Whenever I struggle with accepting help I remind myself of the gratification I get from helping others.

I’m often reminded of the Prayer of St. Francis, that says: “For it is in giving that we receive”. Not accepting the help that is offered to me is denying the giver of the opportunity to receive whatever good they get from giving. It’s something I often forget and I am constantly working on improving.

Along with asking for help, another challenge that I know I’m not alone in experiencing is receiving a compliment. I used to struggle with accepting a compliment. I would always downplay it or simply dismiss it. My go-to for any compliments about my appearance would be to make a self-deprecating joke.

I admit I’m a work in progress when it comes to being open to receiving. Whether it’s help, a compliment or an unexpected opportunity, I am committed to stopping the pattern of blocking the blessings that come my way. I realize that my old habit of not being willing to receive has sent a message to the universe that I don’t want the very things I’ve often complained about not having.

The truth is I don’t want to have to do things on my own so why not accept the help that is offered to me? I don’t like having my efforts and accomplishments dismissed so why deny the praise that is given to me? I want to be open to all of the amazing opportunities that are out there that will allow me to live a full life and make my goals a reality so why limit myself as to what’s possible?

I am committed to being open to receiving everything that is meant for my life. I will continue to do the work necessary to keep myself open to the blessings headed my way and let go of expecting them to come in a certain way. I will remind myself on a consistent basis that giving and receiving go hand in hand and without reciprocity things go stagnant. Let’s keep the cycle flowing continuously!

Spirituality isn’t a shield from negativity

I was part of a discussion a couple of weeks ago and a comment was made that someone shouldn’t worry about bad things happening to them because they’re a good person. I think that’s a misconception that a lot of people have. Whether you consider yourself spiritual or religious, I think that a lot of us believe that our faith protects us from negative experiences. I think this is a faulty assumption that can leave us feeling devastated when we are hit by the very experiences we thought we were immune from.

I remember reading an article once, where someone was criticizing Dr. Wayne Dyer. They said that clearly his teachings don’t work because he’s been divorced more than once. They believed that if he practiced what he was teaching he should have been able to prevent the dissolution of his marriages. Full disclosure – I’m a big fan of Wayne Dyer. That article made me wonder if the author thought that a therapist wasn’t allowed to have problems at home, or that a doctor can’t get sick. Clearly their reasoning was “off”.

I don’t think that our belief in a higher power protects us from negative experiences. What I do believe is that when we have a strong spiritual practice, those “bad” experiences don’t affect us in the same way. When we have a daily practice that supports mindfulness and gratitude, we are better prepared to face life’s challenges.

If we’re already feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, things only get worse when we’re faced with a negative experience. It can leave us feeling like life is beating us up and unsure about how we’ll ever get through it. If we’re not careful, depending on the magnitude of the situation, it can swallow us hole.

When we have tools that we can go to when we’re faced with life’s challenges, we can minimize their seriousness. With the right mindset, we look at the obstacles we encounter and know that it will pass and that it isn’t the end of the world. Instead of asking why me, we seek the lessons in the experience.

Have a spiritual or religious practice or belief doesn’t keep us immune from negativity. What they do is provide us with tools to manage life’s challenges in a more productive way. Rather than allowing negative experiences to leave us defeated, we know what we need to do to stay focused and motivated to do the things that are important to us.

Once we understand the purpose of building and strengthening our spiritual practice, we avoid getting blindsided by life’s inevitable struggles and have faith that we have access to the tools we need to persevere regardless of what we’re faced with. Who couldn’t benefit from that?