Posts Tagged ‘sandra dawes’

The Power of Persistence

I think that the first time I truly grasped the concept of persistence was back in 2009. I had the opportunity to attend a full day workshop run by Bob Proctor. I learned a lot that day, but the one thing that stuck in my mind, to this day is the importance of persistence.

During that workshop, Bob Proctor gave all of the attendees a copy of the chapter on persistence from Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. He challenged us to find an accountability partner and read the chapter to each other for 30 days. He said it was something that he did once a year. My friend who attended the workshop with me agreed to accept the challenge and we took turns reading the chapter to each other every night for 30 days.

I think the purpose of the challenge was to emphasize the importance of persistence when in comes to making our goals a reality. The chapter shares real life examples of people who persisted in the pursuit of their goals despite the many challenges they encountered. In some examples it took years before they achieved their goals and there were many situations that would have cause most to give up. The common theme in all of these examples was that the people persisted and were able to make their dreams a reality.

I understand the idea of reading that chapter once a year. It serves as a reminder that regardless of the challenges we might be facing in our lives, they won’t last forever. It shows us what’s possible when we are committed to making our goals a reality no matter what kinds of difficulties we encounter along the way. Like Napoleon Hill says in the chapter, “verily, it pays to be persistent!”

I think that the key to persistence is patience and focus, which can be a challenge for most of us, myself included. We want what we want when we want it, and the goals that are important to us don’t tend to be realized when we want them to. We have to be patient with the process and ourselves in order to maintain the focus necessary to make our goals a reality.

When we want something bad enough and believe that we can make it happen (even if we don’t know how) then persistence is easy. I think that along with patience and persistence we have to have faith. We have to believe in ourselves and that what we want is possible. When we have that mindset, we open ourselves up to the opportunities that will help to get us closer to realizing our goals. That might mean being connected to the right people or being offered opportunities that you never even imagined.

I believe that persistence is a habit we have to develop to achieve success. The more we persist, the easier it becomes to do it the next time. When we persist and see that it pays off, we become more inclined to remain committed regardless of future challenges. When we realize the power of persistence, quitting no longer becomes an option. Are you mastering the art of persistence in the pursuit of your goals?

Overcoming Obstacles

What was the last thing that left you stuck? Do you remember how it felt to not know what the next move was? Did you give up on what you were working on or did you find a way through/under/over/around it?

I don’t like not having the answers, especially when what I’m working on is really important to me. Feeling stuck leaves me feeling frustrated and often angry with myself for not knowing how to get un-stuck. I might walk away from the challenge for a while, but it’s rare that I give up.

The answers don’t often come quickly or from me, but they do come. There was a time when I thought I had to figure everything out on my own. Asking for help wasn’t something that came naturally to me, talk about stepping outside my comfort zone!

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” When you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, no one wants to hear that (at least I don’t!). The good news is that it’s not just a cliché it’s the truth. We can all think of a time when we thought there was no way we were going to make it through something and we did. When we’re going through a challenging time we often forget those times. I think that it’s important that we remind ourselves that we’ve been there before and we can do it again.

I’m not quite sure why it’s so easy to forget what we’ve overcome in the past. It’s as if we don’t give ourselves enough credit for our past accomplishments. Maybe it’s that we don’t see overcoming life’s challenges as a success. If it’s a given, then we shouldn’t stress out when life presents new challenges. If we overcame those challenges because we did what we needed to in order to keep going, then we should definitely give ourselves credit. Whether we had help or not doesn’t matter. We took the steps necessary once and we can do it again 🙂

You might have heard me say this before, but I think it’s worth repeating – I believe that the difficulties we encounter aren’t a sign that what we’re working towards isn’t meant to be, it’s a test of how bad we want it. When we want something bad enough we find a way to make it happen. Giving up is not an option because what we’re working towards means that much to us.

That’s why I recommend to my clients that they make list of challenges that they’ve overcome and keep it somewhere where they can access it easily. Challenges are an inevitable part of any journey. We need to find techniques to deal with them in a way that doesn’t paralyze us. Obstacles present themselves. I don’t believe they happen as a punishment or because you’re not worthy of the life that you want.

Challenges present themselves and they provide the opportunity to see what you’re capable of. You get to see how resilient and resourceful you can be when the circumstances require it. The important thing to remember is that no matter how serious the situation is, you can get through it and you don’t have to do it alone.

I’m hosting a webinar on Thursday March 21 where I’ll be talking about 5 Challenges to Achieving Your Goals (and how to overcome them). Submit your email below to get the call details.

Getting & Staying Motivated

I don’t know about you, but when I first get the inspiration to pursue a goal, I’m on fire! It’s all I think about and that kind of laser focus can become a bit obsessive 😉 I’m talking about it with people, I’m doing things outside my comfort zone and I’m excited to make it a reality. Sometimes I can maintain that flame to the end, other times that fire peters out to no fire at all.

So what makes the difference? Why is it that there are times where I can maintain my motivation to do what needs to be done, and other times when I really can’t be bothered? For me, I think the difference lies in why I chose to go after the goal in the first place.

The idea to write a book was in my mind for years before I actually did it. In 2010 I joined a 60-Day Writer’s Challenge. I got 100+ pages in and decided that it wasn’t the book I wanted to write. I had an accountability partner, shared in the group and received positive feedback, but none of that was enough to keep me motivated to finish what I started.

Fast-forward to 2013. I was given the opportunity to write an article for a friend who was the editor of a local magazine. I said yes before I knew what I was going to write about because I was so excited about the opportunity to have something published in a magazine! I decided to write about my experience with depression after my father died and how I managed to deal with it in a positive way.

I never expected the response from complete strangers who thanked me for sharing my experience, saying that it gave them hope because they lost someone in their own family. The feedback from that 2-page article is what inspired me to get back to my book. It made me wonder how many people I could impact if I wrote a book given those that said they benefitted from the book.

Getting clear on why I wanted to write my book made the difference. It wasn’t about me sharing my story, but what I hoped to achieve in doing so. That clarity inspired me to commit to a self-publishing deal before writing a page of the book and completing the first draft in 6 weeks! I had that laser focus I mentioned earlier. I wrote practically every day in those six weeks. The goal was to write 4 pages a day. Some days it happened, and other days I stared at a blank page for most of the day. It didn’t matter though – I was committed to completing the book and didn’t get discouraged by momentary writer’s block.

We hear so much about knowing your why and there’s a reason for it. When your why is strong enough, there is nothing that will stop you from doing what needs to be done, even when you’re faced with disappointments and obstacles. You accept those negative experiences as part of the journey and not a sign that your goal isn’t meant to be.

If you are looking for help getting or staying motivated on your goals, sign up below to start my complimentary e-course!

One down, 11 to go

We’re at the end of January and it’s a great time to reflect on the progress you made this month. Whether you made significant progress or not, it’s important to take a look at what’s working and what isn’t working. That way you can adjust what isn’t working and leverage the things that are working.

If you felt like you haven’t started on your goals, the good news is that you don’t have to wait for any specific time to start! I know that I can catch myself wanting to wait for a significant date like the start of the week or the start of the month. The truth is that if I want to get started on something, the perfect time to get started is now!

I think that I have used perfection as an excuse for my procrastination. Not wanting to do the work necessary because the conditions weren’t “perfect”. Can’t do video because I need a better camera. Can’t release my e-course because I haven’t found the perfect platform. If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that if you’re looking for an excuse not to do something, you’ll always find one. Whether or not they’re based in any kind of real truth is a completely different story.

If your issue is that you don’t where to start, then it’s time to work on a plan. You know what you want to achieve, so the first step is identifying what you need to do to get you there. Once you know what you need to do, then the next step is to develop a plan to make those things happen. What resources do you need? Do you need help? Where do you need to go or who do you need to talk to? Once you get clear on those things, you can then start to do the work to make your goals happen.

If you’re not sure on what your goals are for the year, I think a great question to ask yourself is “am I living the life I want?” If your answer is yes, awesome! Think about what you can do to make it better. If your answer is no, then think about what you would need to do to create the life you want. Is it a change in career, going back to school or reconnecting with a forgotten hobby? Whatever it is, once you’ve identified it, create a plan to make it happen.

Get clear on your goals, create a plan, and execute the plan while checking your progress on a regular basis. It sounds simple, and it is. The key is to do the work and be prepared for setbacks. The challenges you encounter aren’t signs that you need to give up; they’re a test of how committed you are to seeing your goal through to its completion.

What are you going to make happen this year?

2 major lessons from Game of Thrones

I confess I am a fan of the Game of Thrones television series. I recently re-watched the entire series from the beginning because I finally convinced my significant other it was worth the watch 😉 It was cool to watch it from the start knowing what’s happened so far. I also caught some things that I missed the first time around.

I feel like there are 2 major themes in the series that I thought would be fun to share and chat about. Here they are:

  1. Trust no one.
  2. Never underestimate what a woman can do.

Trust no one

Okay, this may seem pretty pessimistic and I probably could have said the theme was Don’t take people at their word but I thought Trust no one was more succinct 😉

Seriously, how much backstabbing has happened in the past seven seasons? It’s been non-stop betrayal since the first season and it makes you suspicious of even the most unassuming characters. At this point, you can’t even trust the writers because the more you love a character; the more likely they are to die a tragic death. Though, I have to admit, the characters that you were waiting to get theirs died in pretty unkind ways as well. I would mention names, but I’m trying not to spoil it for anyone reading this who hasn’t watched the series yet and may one day decide to check it out 🙂

Never underestimate what a woman can do

I love this lesson because I feel like it’s a life lesson, but I may have a personal bias 😉

Again, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t watched. Those of you who have been watching know what I’m talking about. The female characters in this series are strong both mentally and physically yet their knowledge and strength seem to be underestimated by many of their male counterparts. By the time the guys finally catch on to what’s going on, it’s often too late for them to do anything about it.

I feel like George R.R. Martin must have had a lot of experience seeing women not get enough credit for their abilities. I love that even the characters that go through some pretty awful things manage to get through it stronger for the experience.

As much as some may not like the graphic sex, violence and language of the show, I can get past it because I see so many lessons and messages around forgiveness, shifting perspective and other life lessons. Who knows? Maybe I’m just a crazy fan justifying why I enjoy this show so much! 😮

What do you think? Are there any themes or lessons that you’ve picked up on from the series? Share them in the comments 🙂

Ignorance is a choice

I’ve had a few discussions in the last few months that have confirmed for me that ignorance is a choice. In a time where we can Google anything, read books online or have them read to us in the form of audio books, there is no lack of resources to educate ourselves. Regardless of the topic, if you want to learn more, you can. Some of us choose not to.

In one conversation I had recently, I said to the individual I was talking to that their view on a subject was coming from a place of fear and that fear comes from a lack of understanding. Their response to my comment was that they didn’t want to understand. They were quite clear in stating that they had no interest or desire to understand another perspective. As troubling as it was to hear that, it was the truth.

When we realize and accept that some people will consciously choose not to look at another perspective, we have two choices: spin our wheels in mud trying to convince someone of something they will never entertain or accept that their viewpoint is their viewpoint and keep it moving. I’ll admit that this has been a challenge for me on some subjects more than others. Racism, bigotry and prejudice are non-negotiable for me. I will always speak my mind on these topics, but I won’t argue with anyone convicted in their ignorance.

It’s one thing to not know and be open to understanding. It’s a completely different story when someone chooses not to try to be open to another viewpoint. I enjoy learning. I know I have a lot more to learn about life and I’m open to the wisdom, knowledge and experience of others.

I have gained the most knowledge from learning from the experiences of others. Having debates on topics I thought I knew about and being introduced to a different point of view has contributed to my growth. Personal growth, especially on a spiritual level, is one of my focuses for this year. I have learned a lot over the years, and I know that there is so much more to learn.

Are my viewpoints always right? Absolutely not! I am open to learning and understanding. That’s my choice. I’ve now come to understand and respect that others choose differently and now the challenge is to accept and be okay with it 😉

Creating a workable plan

I started to work on my business plan for 2019 this weekend. It might not seem like the most exciting way to spend a Saturday night, but it was for me 🙂 I’ve mapped out all that I want to do next year and it feels totally do-able!

In my Jump Start Your Year workshop last week, I spoke about the importance of setting goals that inspire and motivate you rather than leave you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. If the goal seems daunting before you even start, it will be much harder to say committed to it when your faced with challenges or obstacles along the way.

After the success I had using my 90-Day Level Up Journal, I decided to break down my goals into quarterly chunks. I’ve lined up the workshops I want to host, the webinars I want to do as well as product and program releases. I’ve got the outline on my office wall so I don’t lose focus and I’m keeping an open mind, knowing that I will connect with people and gain knowledge that will help me adjust the plan to serve me even better 🙂

Our goals are meant to challenge us to stretch. In order to successfully make them happen, we have to be willing and able to step outside our comfort zone. What we don’t want are goals that intimidate us or leave us unsure of where we would even start.

I think it’s important to set realistic benchmarks that when achieved, push us to do more to bring us closer to realizing our goals. I believe it also helps to create incentives for ourselves for when those benchmarks are reached. Celebrating our accomplishments is important to the pursuit of our goals. It allows us to recognize our progress in a tangible way, giving ourselves credit for the work done so far.

In order to make sure that we’re making the progress we want on our goals, it’s important to check in with ourselves on a consistent basis. When we don’t do this, it can be easy to fall off track or get pulled in a completely different direction that doesn’t serve you at all. Tracking our progress on at least a weekly basis can make the difference between making significant strides and spinning your wheels in mud!

If you’d like some guidance in planning your goals for 2019, I invite you to check out the workbook from my Jump Start Your Year workshop, click here to get it for just $17 with the coupon code JUMPSTART until the end of December. Let’s make 2019 our best year yet!

You own your time!

I was watching a show on the weekend where Harry Belafonte was being interviewed. He was being asked for advice on how to be a social activist today. Of course, Mr. Belafonte has had a lot of experience as a social activist from his work during the civil rights movement to fighting apartheid in South Africa. The person who was speaking with him thanked his and he said something that has stuck with me – he said the pleasure was his and that time is the only thing can give anyone since it’s the only thing he truly owns.

I believe that’s a powerful statement. Do you feel like you own your time or do you feel like someone else has control over it. I know that my greatest points of frustration were times when I felt like my time wasn’t my own. I wasn’t consciously choosing where my time was spent. I was doing things that other people wanted me to do, or things I thought they wanted me to do without considering whether it was the best use of my time. By the time I figured out it wasn’t time well spent, I had already too far gone.

When I’m at my most fulfilled, I’m doing the things that are important to me. They’re either things that bring me joy, or things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goals. The sweetest spot, is when the things that I’m doing that help me get closer to my goals are things that I enjoy J

I believe there are three things you need to do in order to really own your time:

  1. Get clear on the mission and vision for your life
  2. Know what your priorities are and why they are important to you
  3. Set boundaries based on your priorities

When you have these three points covered, you have clarity on the activities that are a good use of your time. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm which has a positive ripple effect on your relationships!

Regardless of how much control you feel you have over your time right now, the good news is that things can always change for the better. You want to take back control of your time? Get comfortable saying no. Create a plan for how you want your day to go and be mindful of interruptions and distractions. Ask for help.

Want some help getting started? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary, no obligation call with me today!

Doing things differently

Today is the 14 year anniversary of my father’s death. If you’re new to my blog this might not mean much. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I’m an unapologetic Daddy’s Girl and his death is what started the journey that I’m on today.

In the past this has been a melancholy day for me. I tend to isolate myself, thinking about the day it happened, reminiscing about good times spent with him, and feeling very sad. This year, I decided to change things up a bit.

If you knew my dad, you knew that he didn’t make excuses not to show up. Even when he was doing radiation the first time around, he went to work every day for the first 4 weeks, doing half-day shifts and then driving to the subway to go to his appointment.

So today, instead of throwing myself a mini-pity party I’ve chosen to honour my father’s memory by doing what he would do – which is do the things that make me happy and allow me to be of service to others. He’s probably watching me and wondering why it took me so long to figure it out 😉

I don’t know if there will ever be a time where I don’t miss my dad. He was such a huge part of my life for a long time. I’ve come a long way in the grieving process. I have good days and bad days. I will be forever grateful for the time I had with him, and even though I would have liked more, I have come to accept that everything happens for a reason.

A couple of week’s ago I talked about breaking cycles and I’ve decided to practice what I preach. Sitting at home, taking a day out to feel sorry for myself has stopped serving me. I’m not getting anything positive from doing it. There was a time where I felt I needed to take that day, and that time has passed.

Instead, I’m choosing to honour my dad’s memory in a different way. I’m going to dedicate everything I do today to him. I’m going to keep on truckin’ like one of his belt buckles used to say, confident that he’s cheering me on. ♥