what is more important ~ your résumé or your eulogy?

Carol Schulte happy friday April 18th

A very special person sent me a TED talk yesterday given by David Brooks called ‘Should you live for your résumé or your Eulogy?’ And after watching the State Funeral for Jim Flaherty this week, and then holding the most precious new-born baby, I couldn’t help but think about the circle of life and what it’s all about.

In the talk, Brooks discusses the difference between your résumé virtues versus your eulogy virtues. He references a philosophical essay called ‘The Lonely Man of Faith,’ written by Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, which talks about the two sides of our nature. The first side, or Adam 1 as it is referred to, is the outward, worldly, ambitious side. The side wants to build and conquer, and savours achievement, innovation, and success. Adam 2, on the other hand, represents our humble side. The side that wants to both do good and to be good, the side that asks why we’re here, the side that savours inner strength, possibilities and love.

Soloveitchik contends these two sides live in continual conflict with one another. And part of the problem, Brooks believes, is the fact they follow two different logics: an economic logic (external success is achieved in thinking input leads to output, and risk leads to reward) and a moral logic (internal value is achieved in thinking you must give in order to receive, to fulfill yourself you have to forget yourself, and to find yourself you first have to lose yourself.)

Hmm. It certainly got me thinking. Which side wins? Which side should win? Does one side even have to win over the other?!?

Our society seems to favour the economic logic, the values of Adam 1, over the moral logic and values of Adam 2. However, perhaps we need both. And at the end of the day, it’s your life, your choice.

What do you want to be known for at the end of your life? Your success in business? Or the difference you’ve made in the lives of others? And even if you would argue your eulogy virtues are indeed more important than your résumé virtues, are you spending enough of your time and energy in this way?

Have you ever put off a conversation or tea date with a friend because you had ‘work’ to do? When was the last time you had dinner with your parents or a family members without feeling like you could or should be getting caught up on emails instead? I know I’m guilty of it!

Although at times I can be quite driven towards success, I also really try to experience the moments in life that make it all matter.

So maybe the conflict of this external success versus internal value ain’t going anywhere any time soon, but even just spending a few minutes contemplating is good nourishment for the soul I say.

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Happy Easter, and have a hoppin’ weekend!

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Just say NO! Why it’s okay, and how to do it…

Just Say No - Carol Schulte's Blog post image

Do you remember the ‘Just Say No’ campaign from the late 80’s?!? I may be dating myself here (although I’m not sure I was even in grade school yet at the time it began?!?) but I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers these advertisements, commercials, slogans, etc.

This campaign was originally aimed at saying no to drugs. Well, I certainly agree with the sentiment. However, today I would like to bring it back to life ~ albeit with a new focus. I would like to campaign and encourage you to Just say NO! today. And not necessarily to drugs, not necessarily to alcohol, but to anything or anyone that is simply not serving you right now. To whatever or whomever is asking something of you ~ your time, energy, or expertise ~ that is simply not what or where you should be focusing on right now.

For almost as long as I can remember (or at least a while now!), I’ve been a bit of a ‘yes’ girl. I want to say yes, I enjoy saying yes, I feel good when I say yes. WHY? Well, good reasons abound. Perhaps you can relate to one or more of the following.

  • I want to please others (or whomever is asking)
  • I don’t want to let anyone down
  • I don’t want to have to experience FOMO (fear of missing out!)
  • l like being positive and open to whatever life may have to offer
  • I love saying yes to new opportunities
  • I’m afraid to say no! Afraid of looking bad, afraid of conflict, afraid of hurting someone’s feelings…

Any of these reasons sound familiar?!?

Well, as much as I enjoy saying yes, I have come to realize this last little while more than ever that sometimes you simply gotta JUST SAY NO!

And it doesn’t make you a mean person, a selfish person, or a bad person. It just means you are listening to what it is you need to be doing right now. It means you’re being realistic about what is possible and what makes sense. And it means you’re taking care of yourself and your needs.

If you don’t take the time to fill up your own cup every once in a while, you’re not going to have much left to offer anyone else.

And guess what, people are not going to ex-friend you if say no! In fact, by you saying no, you are giving them permission to also do the same for themselves.

Now you may be wondering ~ well this all sounds fine and dandy ~ but just how do you say no?!? Sometimes keeping it as simple, diplomatic, and direct as possible is key. Sometimes it’s not even the fact that you’re even saying now, but how you are doing it.

Here are 7 tips you may find helpful:

  1. Be honest. Just tell it like it is. For example: “I would love to have coffee with you, but right now things are a little hairy.”
  2. Offer an alternative solution. “Things are a little hectic right now, but can you reach out to me again next month?’
  3. Be true to yourself. If someone is asking you to join their team, volunteer, or get involved with something you’re just not feeling, tell them. People value the truth. “Although that is not a fit for me, I wish you all of the success you deserve.”
  4. Buy yourself some time. I recently heard about the ’24-hour rule’ ~ where you should think about any request for 24 hours before giving any decision. “Can I take a day to think about this and get back to you?”
  5. Consider your priorities. Really look at all you have going on in your life, and see if this is something deserving of your time and energy right now.
  6. Don’t feel obliged to apologize. There is no need to say sorry, justify, or go into some lengthy excuse or further discussion.
  7. Keep it simple. ‘nuff said.

How much more productive could you be if you learned to say ‘yes’ to the things you needed to do, and ‘no’ to the things that didn’t serve you?

How much less stress might you have in your life if you learned it was okay to say no?

Saying no sometimes means saying yes to yourself and your needs. And, you will be respected for that! Moreover, when people start to see you saying no on occasion, you give them to the permission to say no, too.

Sometimes you need to say ‘no’ to others in order to say ‘yes’ to yourself… (TWEEET IT OUT!) and that’s not being selfish!

Have a FAB week,  everyone!

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actions speak louder than words… the truth behind how we communicate

Communicating beyond the words...

So I may be a little biased here, as I did study the subject matter and all, but I really do think that success in so many areas of life can be traced back to communication. I mean think about it. If you don’t connect – and I mean genuinely connect – with your family, friends, work colleagues, customers, even baristas and grocery store clerks, you would have a hard time achieving whatever it is you set out to do. Not to mention life would be pretty dull! Communication, moreover effective communication, is so ridiculously important. And yet how often do we actually take the time to properly dissect and observe and learn more about how to optimize our daily communication habits?!?

Talking all about talk today certainly made me think. Now it’s a huge subject, and so I am not about to attempt to touch on it all, let alone even a big chunk of it. However, I feel a few nuggets are in order.

Did you know that when it comes to face-to-face communication, the actual words being spoken only equate to 7% of the total communication taking place?!? 38% is attributed to the tone, and a whopping 55% belongs to our body language! Crazy, right? This research is thanks to the brilliance of Dr. Albert Mehrabian, currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA.

Well, if you think about it, it makes total sense. How many times have you had a conversation with someone and you know right away when they are just not into it? And I’ll bet there have also been times when you’ve been speaking with someone and you’re totally zoned out and not really listening to a word being said. And even if you think your responses —  ‘ah-ha’, ‘really?’ ‘hmm…’ ‘interesting!’ — are showing you’re listening and still a part of the conversation, your tone of voice and body language are probably saying otherwise.

Now there is both good news and bad news here, folks.

Good news? You don’t have to obsess so much about getting your words perfect! How many times have you been in the middle of a conversation and instead of intently listening, you were more worried about what you were going to say next? Well, it actually doesn’t matter so much, as long as your face and your body are expressing you’re truly interested in what is being said.

Bad news? If you’re speaking with someone and you’re trying desperately to come across as though you’re really digging the conversation but you’re so not, they can probably tell! So, either try to get into it, or use an exit strategy (‘I really don’t want to monopolize all of your time, but it’s been great chatting with you…’ ‘there is someone I’ve been trying to connect with all night, perhaps we could continue this conversation later?’) and get the heck outta dodge!

So, next time you’re out networking or meeting new people (and for all you guys out there next time you want to talk to that cute girl), think back to your favorite game from kindergarten: Show and Tell. You’re showing way more through your facial expressions and tone and body language than you’re telling with your words. So get excited! Be confident! Smile! Lean in… When you speak and listen with your whole being you’ll be surprised at just how powerful the connection can be.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

p.s. I have decided to launch a monthly ‘living BIG’ challenge… and April’s inaugural video is up! It’s all about practicing gratitude :-). Click HERE to watch the video ~ I’d love for you to come on board!!! Carol Schulte's monthly living BIG challenge

p.p.s. What are YOUR experiences with in-person communication? Do you agree our non-verbals speak louder than our words? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

too much; too many… the paradox of choice

too much; too many… the paradox of choice

So I’m going to be honest (and perhaps vulnerable once again) right now and share my current thoughts, feelings, stream of consciousness: overwhelm. running around like a crazy chicken. want more coffee. perhaps I’ve had too much coffee. Is using a microwave really as bad as they say? why can’t I just stick to a schedule! where did the sun go? Boo on my car (which I still love) that just got serviced and now won’t start. frustration. staying up until 2am may no longer be serving me. getting old. kids are walking home from school and I have not nearly done enough for a whole day’s worth. Is music with lyrics too distracting in the background? Why do I always have so many windows open? (10 on my screen minimized right now, and numerous tabs even within some of those windows…) I need to do yoga. I need to actually check something off of my list first before I can justify yoga. if I can’t even handle my own schedule, how will I ever be able to handle a family?!? my bulbs are blooming… flowers are always such a nice gift. is that really snow? I’ve broken off all of my nails. I should paint them. are people actually reading this right now? am I the only one that thinks random thoughts all of the time? maybe the woman I met at the networking event last week was right ~ maybe I should get tested for ADD! okay I need a system. I actually used a calendar, scheduled in all I needed to get done this week on Sunday and have failed miserably. discouraged. why do we (or at least I) allow myself to break commitments with myself all of the time? how can one day I feel on top of the clouds, and on the next feel I am dragging my heels? where did the whole pulling up your bootstraps phrase come from anyway? maybe I should relook at that wordpress theme… way too many to choose from that’s my excuse for not getting my new website up yet. Barry Schwartz with the whole Paradox of Choice was onto something. less is more. I really need to simplify. perhaps take feng shui. declutter. spring cleaning time. hmmm… will I be able to make that happen in time for my move April 10th? need to book the elevator. grateful for my amazing friend who is going to help me purge tomorrow (now today.) I need to be ruthless.

Too much stuff. Too many choices. Too much to do. Too many thoughts!!!

Too much; too many. Hmm… perhaps better than not enough or not any? Or is it?!?

Okay clearly I had no idea where I was going with my happy friday this week. I had been reading posts and quotes throughout the week about this idea of not being ready and how really we never think we’re ready, so to simply go for it anyway. But, I’ve sort of touched on that before. And then twice I heard a quote that is already in my ‘love it’ file, so thought it was a sign I should talk about that.

(here’s that quote anyhow: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Apparently I hadn’t made a decision as to what I was going to write about today because I needed to let my consciousness ramble (I hope I didn’t embarrass myself and I’m not the only one that does that?!? And if I am, SO WHAT!). And in my ramblings, what came out was the whole notion around decisions and choices… and the fact I have issues making them!

Too much; too many.

See that’s my problem. I can’t make decisions because there are simply too many options! And I’m talking all sorts ~ from decisions about my business and my logo and my homepage copy to what I should eat for dinner or do on Saturday night. And so I ponder and ponder and eventually fall victim to analysis paralysis. Then I often don’t make any decision at all and end up staying stuck (or staying in on Saturday night 🙂 )

So, if that’s the problem, I need to find the solution. Allow me to indulge as I try to give myself some advice. And if you, too, may get some helpful nuggets, all the better!

  • Stop trying to pick the best option… best is subjective anyhow. And it’s impossible to know the answer before you pick one.
  • Listen to your gut. What feels right deep inside? What will make your heart sing?
  • Who are you trying to please? Be honest.
  • Don’t be afraid of going down the wrong path… there will be a fork in the road soon enough, and you can always turn back
  • Stop asking everyone else’s opinion!
  • Stop caring about everyone else’s opinion!
  • Take a step back… isn’t there more important things to be spending your energy on?!?
  • Think about how
  • So do yoga. or go for a run. or take a bubble bath. or a glass of wine. or all of the above.
  • Stay calm. (hence the reason for yoga and/or wine.) making a decision when emotions are running high is not always a good thing!
  • Have confidence in yourself as a decision-maker
  • There are no such thing as mistakes… only learning experiences.
  • Stop analyzing and weighing and humming and hawing… just choose something already!
  • Remember; nothing is permanent, nothing has to be forever.

Sorry folks, my rambling made for a pretty long post this week! Kudos to those who are still with me.

AND, if you are still with me, what advice do YOU have for me ~ and anyone else ~ who suffers from the paradox of choice?!? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, advice, feedback in the comments below :-).

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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Are you trying to be super(wo)man?!?

Stop trying to be super(wo)man! #1.jpg

I may be dating myself here, but who remembers She-ra (Princess of Power!)? and He-man (and the Masters of the Universe!)? I can still sing the theme songs in my head… And if you have no idea what I’m talking about ~ Superman or Wonder Woman?

So what do all of these characters have in common (besides being seriously ripped and wearing ridiculously tight tights for clothing?) they all have SUPERPOWERS. They are fictional, not human. They are NOT real!

And yet, so many of us think we are – and often strive to be – superhuman.

I’ll admit it, I’ve wanted to prove on more than one occasion that I can manage it all. Say ‘yes’ to this, ‘yes’ to that ~ what’s one more thing on the list, right? And teach that class? No worries. Squeeze in a run? You betcha. And have the dishes all clean? Of course! Respond to all emails in a timely manner? Get that card out? Buy that present? Call that person back? Meet with so-and-so? And then there’s the big to-do projects, too. And the goals?!? The list goes on and on and on…

As much as I would love to think I am the energizer bunny, I am NOT. Perhaps you can relate?

We are human. We cannot do it all, be all things to all people, say yes to everything and everyone, and still expect to stay sane!

Today I am going to give myself permission to admit I am nowhere near She-Ra nor Superwoman nor the energizer bunny. And I encourage you to do the same.

Here are some tips and thoughts to keep in mind when you ever feel yourself feeling the need to throw on your cape:

It’s okay to say no! I know it’s hard to feel as though you may be letting someone down. But perhaps you’re letting down yourself down by saying yes. I actually practiced this for the first time in while last week… a woman I had just met at an event asked to meet me for coffee. I simply didn’t have the time, but I didn’t want her not to like me, either! Well, I said no, and although I felt a bite bad, I felt even more empowered.

Slow down. It may be simple, but it’s profound. Take a step back, take a deep breath, take a nap, take a walk. Life shouldn’t be inhaled ~ it should be tasted and enjoyed.

Learn to listen to the signs. Listen to your instincts. If you feel burn-out coming on, it probably is! So do something about it while you still can. Don’t push it off or ignore… or it’ll only get worse and may be too late!

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you have to. Sure, maybe you can fix your car, clean your house, and do your taxes all on your own. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Perhaps you’d rather choose to spend your time doing something else for meaningful?!?

Embrace imperfection. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is perfect. And those that appear perfect in all of their facebook posts and instagram pics? Merely a highlight reel.

Create some boundaries. Maybe it’s boundaries around your schedule, around your cleaning and tidying, around your email inbox, around what you say yes to. And stick to them.

Ask yourself: ‘What am I doing in my life to prove that I am enough?’ This is a tough question to ask, but it may shed a whole lotta light on the matter for you…

Be okay with asking for help! It really is okay to call for reinforcement every once in a while… I know you super power types want to be independent ~ which is a great quality ~ but people do want to help. They want to be needed. And when you constantly say you can manage all on your own, consider you may even be pushing people away. And consider that sometimes our want to be superhuman may come from a place under it all which longs to be cared for… I mean it’s human nature. Be honest with yourself.

So there you have it. Go hang up that cape of yours, and embrace the amazing human that you are ~ imperfections, dirty dishes, and all.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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So now I want to hear from you! Do you ever feel as though you are trying to be Superhuman? How do you work through it? Any tips to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :-). 

 

 

‘what if…’ it’s okay NOT to know?!?

what if and i don't know

So, as promised after celebrating fabulous women everywhere last week, a discussion on why it’s okay to be in a place of ‘what if’ and ‘I don’t know.’

I’ve been noticing recently more and more just how many fabulous women (and brilliant men, too!) are not really putting themselves out there, not taking that first step, not committing to their deepest goals and desires. And when I ask them why, often what I get is ‘what if…‘ and ‘I don’t know!’ Now for some it may be fear, which I speak all about here, (and which I can certainly relate to!) However, for others I think it’s being in this place of not knowing and yet needing to know.

Not knowing how to start, not knowing what it will look like, not knowing if it will even work. “What if…?!?”

All valid points, my friends! Because just how can you know how something is going to look before you even begin it?!? You can’t! So why do we need to know? Why do we need to have the plan all figured out? Whether we are baking a casserole, or going out on a date, we seem to have a vision in our minds as to how it is supposed to end up. Why?

Here’s the thing ~ it’s okay NOT TO KNOW!

And not only is it okay not to know, but only if you admit to not knowing exactly what’s going to happen, do you remove yourself from any expectation. And that is key. As the only time we experience disappointment is when our expectations are thwarted. So, it’s time to drop them! (easier said than done, I know…)

and yet Only if we detach from expectation can we start to truly live in the here and now. And that’s where happiness lies.

Guilt comes from worrying about the past; anxiety comes from worrying about the future. And how much control do we have over either? Not a whole heck of a lot! Now is all there is.

What if it doesn’t work? Well what if it DOES?

If I may be so bold, I’m going to offer a list of questions, thoughts, tips, and phrases I find useful when sitting in a place of ‘what if’ and ‘I don’t know’.  (I’m the queen of being in a place of perfectionist paralysis!!!)

  • what’s the worst that can happen? really?
  • everything is figureoutable
  • you cannot make a mistake
  • imperfect action is far better than perfect inaction
  • so what?
  • a ‘no’ you already have, but a ‘yes’ you can get (no ticky no washy as they say!)
  • the only constant in life is change; impermanence is the only permanence
  • faith is more powerful than proof. belief in yourself…
  • DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE COMPARISON TRAP!!! Only YOU can create your life your way
  • get comfortable in the uncomfortable (the comfort zone is for rookies, says Fay Chapple!)
  • all experiences are opportunities for growth
  • no day but today!

And some fun quotes for your reading pleasure:

“Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing” ~ Helen Keller

“I don’t know where I am going but I’m on my way.” ~ Carl Sandburg

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” ~ Forrest Gump

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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So now I want to hear from you! What do you ask or tell yourself when you’re sitting in a place of ‘what if’ and ‘I don’t know?’ I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Happy International Women’s Day – you FABULOUS woman, you!

Fabulous women

Happy Friday!

And happy day before International Women’s Day!

So I’ve had a few d&m’s (deep and meaningfuls!) this week, and one in particular where I was speaking with one amazing woman about how women in general seem to show up and play. So often so many of us fabulous females seem to play small, shy away from what makes us each special, and get stuck in a place of perfectionist paralysis.

In honour of International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate just how fabulous women are, remind you of all of the incredible gifts you bring the world, and spread some pink, fuzzy love. (we’ll get into more of the ‘how’ to step into your fabulousness next week…)

Okay, so before I get into why I think women are simply fab, I want to share the definition of FABULOUS to prove just how perfect a word it is to use…

According to the dictionary (a mish-mash of regular and urban here):

fabulous

 

 

 

  • incredible, amazing, spectacular
  • beyond all description of wonder, delight, desire, love, sunrise, ice cream, music, dancing, anger awe, adoration. change cycles, sensationalism, scandal, inspiration. optimism, colour, hunger, satisfaction, silence, noise, sleep, holding, letting go, breaking down, passion, hope, transformation, breath, breakfast, closing your eyes, touching, tasting, feeling, being
  • almost impossible to believe; astonishing
  • extremely pleasing or successful
  • the ultimate expression of style with class
  • synonyms: tremendous, stupendous, prodigious, phenomenal, remarkable, exceptional, astounding, amazing, fantastic, breathtaking, exceptional, astounding, amazing, fantastic, breathtaking, staggering, unthinkable, unimaginable, incredible, unbelievable, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping…

A certain quality that exudes all others. Someone who is truly fabulous has confidence, kindness, sexiness, and a good wardrobe.

          Carrie: Do I look okay?

         Samantha: Oh darling you look FABULOUS!

(couldn’t help it… I just love ‘Sex in the City’!!!) Now I don’t know about you, but reading that list TOTALLY lights me up.

Okay, so just what does make you women out there so darn fabulous?!?

Here are some of my own thoughts, as well as from numerous other fabulous women who so generously shared their ideas…

women (she, you, we…) can give birth and create new life. they are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, girlfriends, powerful professionals, caregivers… and sometimes all at the same time. we women can rock it in anything from leather pants to short cocktail dresses. they have big hearts. we nurture. from suffragettes to style icons, women inspire others to fights for their rights and go after their dreams. they have vision. they come from a place of love, compassion, and caring. they put others before themselves. they have spirit. they are exciting and beautiful. they have a special love for life. we bond. we take care of each other. if someone was crying out in the hall, one of us would go and sit with her. their natural ability to nurture those needing comfort, support, love, friendship. we care. we are strong and capable while being gentle, kind and humble. we come together and help each other. women fill up each other’s buckets. we roar. she is brave and vulnerable at the same time. she raises society up to a higher level by making value-based choices. women empower other fabulous women to step into their fabulousness.

You woman, we women ~ what makes us powerful is we know we’re in this together.

If only all of the women out there knew just how fabulous they truly were!!!

I challenge each and every one of you ~ both the women AND the men out there ~ to tell a fabulous female this weekend just how fab she really are. Tell them why. And really mean it.

(And then please tell me all about it in the comments below! I love hearing from you…and I respond to everyone!)

Have a FABULOUS day, and happy International Women’s Day.

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moving beyond your fear… because that’s where the magic happens!

where the magic happens

It appears we opened up Pandora’s box with the discussion on fears last week. And then perhaps did you feel I left you a little high and dry with the ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ quote right at the end? Any of you wondering, yeah, great, but HOW?!?

Not to worry, as today I am going to try to offer some insights and potential tips and steps on how to do exactly that.

Synchroniciously (I don’t think that’s a word but it will be today!) I was listening to a Brendon Burchard podcast a few days ago, and it was all about fear! Seems it’s the topic du jour. But it is a good one. He spoke about how fear as it exists in our society today is not based on any physical reality (like getting chased down my a lion or something) but rather manifested only in our minds. Now I know they can seem pretty real, and stifling, but if you really think about it, fear only exists because we cause it to exist. Perhaps a tough one to swallow.

Have you ever asked yourself what fear really is?!? Hard to describe, right?

Now I believe there are many different types of fears (my biggest culprits are fear of rejection, fear of looking bad, fear or failure, fear of the unknown…) but Brendon broke them down into 3 categories:

Fear of loss. Say you wanted to leave your job and start your own venture. There may very well be fear associated with losing the steady paycheck, your colleagues, your cafeteria, your comfortable little cubicle.

Fear of process. Perhaps you want to get fit, or train for a half marathon. You may fear what that will actually entail. What challenges you’ll be faced with along the way, such as having to get up early, stick to specific diets, run in the rain, blisters (!)…

Fear of outcome. Okay so what if you do give up what you must to go on that diet… you give up the foods that you love, go through the scary process, and you don’t even lose weight?!?

In each of these cases, you are focusing on the ‘what if…’ followed by something negative. What if I don’t make money? What if it gets too hard? What if I go through it all and the grass isn’t even greener on the other side?

Now, what would happen if you were to complete the ‘what if’ statement followed by something positive? What if your new business is a total success? What if you find out you love running at 5am? What if you discover you actually adore green smoothies?!?

In thinking about how I am beginning to push through my own fear, I am going to use some of these ideas and identify the steps I’m trying to take (and am very much figuring it out as I go!!!)

1. Identify the fear. What am I really afraid of? Is it a real fear? Is it even warranted? Is it only in my head? What is the worst that can happen?

2. Educate yourself. There is a phrase from psychology called the ‘competency confidence cycle’ which describes the idea that the more competent you are about something, the more confident you become. Learning what you can may alleviate some of the fear.

3. Shift your mindset. Instead of asking ‘What if… (it doesn’t work, I fail, I miss hamburgers too much) begin to ask ‘What if… it does work, I do succeed, I end up loving tofu!)

4. See change and challenge as good. I know they can be scary, but change and challenge keep you growing, expanding, and it’s where the magic happens!

5. One step at a time. And don’t forget to breath! Be gentle with yourself. First dip your toe into the water, and get used to the temperature, before diving in and going into shock from the frigid water!

Example time perhaps?!? So although I want to do more speaking, there is also a lot of fear there. Let’s go through the steps:

Identify the fear. I don’t feel ready. Am I good enough? Will I fail? How will I even do it? Educate. Reached out and connected with other speakers. Asked questions, learned more about the process. Shift my thinking. What if I actually could be a good enough speaker?!? Rise to the challenge. I am going outside of my comfort zone and growing!
One step at a time. I reached out to some contacts, offered to give free talks to get my feet wet. And now I have 2 next week – one at a highschool and one at a women’s networking event (details below!)

So there you have it folks! Now here’s the challenge, what is one small step you can take to move through one of your current fears? Where does the magic lie for you?

Have a FAB, fearless week, everyone!

 

p.s. My first keynote is coming up at the ‘Women Who Excel’ breakfast event on Tuesday, March 4th. Let me know if you want in! Contact me here. 

And as usual, I’d LOVE to hear from you! What is one of your current fears? What is one small step you can take to begin to move through it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

And, if you liked this article, PLEASE SHARE and spread the love!

I confess I’m afraid… and I choose it.

FEAR

A friend and colleague gave me some feedback a few weeks ego on my writing. He said I was ‘too clean’. Apparently I came across as too put together (if only he knew!), and perhaps wasn’t sharing enough of what was going on under the surface. Ironically it was just after I had admitted to the world I was turning 33… and so I was quite impressed at how brave and open I was being! But it did make me think. And, well, today I’m going to share a little more vulnerability. No time like the present, right?!?

So yesterday I went to see my Mum. It wasn’t part of the plan, I was rushing from a yoga event to a business meeting, and yet I felt I needed to go. I wanted to go. I wanted her help, guidance… The snow walking up to her grave was so high I almost fell in! I was laughing and crying all at the same time. Now I know it may have been 9 years, but I still miss her like crazy. She was the only person who really ‘got me’ ~ and I’m so afraid no one will ever get me in that same way. She believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.

I remember in theatre school when doing these emotional exercises, we used to have to trigger our greatest fear. Mine was always the same. How would I ever live without my Mum?

Losing her wasn’t part of the plan. And yet it happened. And I survived. I’m still here, and although I so wish she was too, I’m okay. In fact I’m more than okay. I’m happy… I’m happy and I actually love my life (still lots to figure out of course, but I’m getting closer!)

So it got me thinking. If I have already survived my greatest fear, why the heck do I so often let all of these other fears get in the way of me going after what I really want? And boy do I have a lot of them…

I’m afraid I won’t get accepted into the Advanced Speaking Club after my audition tomorrow. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to make a 7am rise and shine my routine. I’m afraid of what people think of me. I’m afraid of looking bad. I’m afraid of looking good. I’m afraid I’ll never find my perfect man. I’m afraid I’ll never have kids. I’m afraid I may be ready to have kids and then find out I won’t be able to. I’m afraid I’ll never get my business really up and thriving. I’m afraid I’ll never qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’m afraid I’ll never lose my reputation of always being five minutes late. I’m afraid my family will never quite understand me. I’m afraid I’ll never kick my desire for late-night binging in the butt. I’m afraid I’ll never properly learn to play guitar. I’m afraid I’ll forever be slave to my inbox. I’m afraid I’ll never catch up with technology. And perhaps most of all, I’m afraid I’m going to be that girl from high school so full of promise and potential that never quite made it happen. 

Wow. As it turns out I have a lot of fears! And I know I could keep going, too… And you know what, I’m okay with that. Because I own them. I choose them. And choosing my fears reinstates my power over them.

We all have fears. I mean, we’re human after all. So the question is, what do we do with, and despite of, all of these fears?

You have the choice. Do you allow them to paralyze you and keep you where you are? Or do you acknowledge your fear and push through it anyway?

I’m pretty sure even the big movers and shakers of the world still had their fair share of fear… they just chose to trod on regardless.

And so, as Dr. Susan Jeffers book states, ‘Feel the Fear… and DO IT ANYWAY.”

Have a FAB week, everyone.

Carol

p.s. In moving through one of my own fears, I have my first keynote speech coming up at the ‘Women Who Excel’ breakfast event on Tuesday, March 4th. Let me know if you want in! You can reply to this email or write me here. And if you’d be up for taping me I’ll buy you breakfast!!!

Now I’d love to hear from you! What are your greatest fears? Are you letting them hold you back? How are you pushing through them? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…

today, celebrate love

Valentine's Day

So perhaps it’s a little predictable, but I feel it’s only right to touch on the subject of love today. I know, I know, Valentine’s Day has become a bit of a Hallmark holiday, and yet it’s a good excuse to talk about it (not that we should ever need an excuse to talk about love, mind you!)

And I’m not just talking about sweetheart love, butterflies in your stomach love, secret crush on the boy who sits next to you in math class love. I’m talking about the love that we can feel and experience every day – the kind that makes the world go around. Besides, some of us unattached folk can still appreciate love today even if we don’t have a secret valentine!

So, today I want to discuss this thing called love, share some thoughts from others, and offer you all a special love challenge.

When brainstorming myself, here was my free association stream of consciousness:

love is… happy. hearts. hersheys kisses. candy. sweet. sweetpea. pet names. lovey dovey. cheesy. good cheese. wine. bubbly. sparkles. sprinkles. ice cream. melting. head over heels. fairytales. romance. special occasions. any occasions. smiles. laughter, play. fun. together. celebration. others. caring. sharing. adventure.

It’s kind of fun actually to see where it takes you! Perhaps you may want to play too?!?

And now at the risk of sounding uber cheesy (even for me!) I created an Valentine’s Day acronym for you.

love is…

Living to enrich the lives of others

Observing life’s magical moments

Valuing and cherishing real connection with others

Embracing those feelings that make your heart smile

Time to hear from you. A big thank you to all who were willing to partake in sharing your own thoughts about what love is…

  • unconditional
  • peace and contentment
  • sacrifice, selflessness, and grace
  • family members getting together to celebrate anything at the dinner table
  • treasuring moments
  • making a difference in people’s lives
  • being able to sit comfortable and peacefully in silence
  • patience, forgiveness, commitment
  • my favorite person
  • connection to the people in your life that bring you joy
  • loving someone even when you don’t like them
  • loyalty, trust
  • compassion and caring
  • wholesome
  • sex
  • uncompromising
  • patience
  • safety
  • beautiful

Now for my love challenge…

Tell someone you love them today, and really mean it.

Show someone you love them today, without saying it.

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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As per usual, I’d love to hear from you! What comes to mind when you think of love? Please share your loving comments below.