It’s None Of Your Business!

Happy Friday!

It’s true, it’s none of your business. 

Not everything of course, but only your business is your business. It’s not everyone else’s business, nor is anyone else’s business your business. 

Allow me to expand. 

So my most recent video was picked up by Power of Positivity and went ‘viral’ – whatever that means. (Well, I guess it means it’s been seen by a lot of people, almost 600,000 so far, and getting lots of shares and comments.) 

Now, many of the messages coming in are lovely. And I have to say after sharing my story pretty darn vulnerably, and then disclosing a few items on my own ‘If I Were Braver…’ list and being very nervous about it to boot, it’s good to know the talk is inspiring others to also be braver. 

And then there are some of the messages that are not so nice.

One of the most recent read: “Wow, she looks a lot older than that, life must’ve been rough on her!” (after I admit in the talk being worried about being single at my age and still wanting to find my match and have babies… so not really what I needed to hear!) 

Now luckily, it only made me laugh when I read it, however nasty comments don’t always float off my back so easily.

And for whatever reason, our human brain is wired to focus on the negative, even if it’s one small negative comment to way more positive!

Why is that?!?

In his best-selling book ‘The Four Agreements’ (great read, by the way…) Don Miguel Ruiz proposes four beneficial agreements that if made for yourself, will have a significant and positive impact on your overall state of well-being. 

While expanding on argument two, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally,’ he goes on to say what other people think of you is simply none of your business.

And he’s right!

Often easier said than done, of course. 

Yet this is exactly what causes us so much pain!

This week I was listening to an interview with Oprah and Byron Katie, who is the author of a book and philosophy called ‘The Work.’ And one of the topics they were discussing, which really resonated with me at the time, was this whole idea of whose business is whose anyway. 

Katie talks about the three kinds of ‘business’ that exist:

  1. Your business
  2. Other people’s business
  3. God’s business (or the Universe, or a higher power, or whatever you believe…)

She goes on to say your own business is a full time job! And there is no room, and no need, to get into anyone else’s business. And God – is doing what they need to do, and it’s out of your control. 

The idea is that if we only concern ourselves with our own business, we can control what we can control, and change what is no longer working for us. 

All too often the problem lies in wanting to change something that is out of our control. And that is what causes suffering. Yet, we’re bringing it on ourselves.

So, it’s time to stop it!

Here’s the situation that immediately came up for me. 

Sometimes I can be pretty hard on my Dad. 

I want him to eat healthier, be a bit more active, and have commented on more than one occasion on some of his habits. 

It always comes from a place of love, of course, because selfishly I want him around for a long time to come! However, it’s not my job to tell him what he should or shouldn’t be doing. Moreover, whenever I do pipe in, we all lose. He gets frustrated, I get frustrated, and nothing changes anyhow!

And then it dawned on me. 

The choices my Dad makes for himself are simply none of my business!

And suddenly, I felt a wave of relief come over me. 

It’s true, simply taking care of our own business is hard enough! So I am going to stick to that ~ do the best I can to be the best version of me for me ~ and then not worry about anyone else. (Well, at least not too much, anyway!)

I mean, let’s be honest, I’m human and so are you – so it may be a tad more difficult to simply stop caring all together. But perhaps we can start by caring just a little bit less. 

Stop caring about what other people think of you, because it’s actually none of your business. 

And stop trying to change the behaviours of others around you, as again it’s none of your business.

Imagine how freeing it would be to stop caring so much!

So this week, I dare you to get your brāv on, and start caring a whole lot less. 

Let me know in the comments below, one area of your life, or one person in your life, you are going to apply this idea to! I can’t wait to hear all about it. 

Have a FAB week!

Conversations & Connections. Why they matter.

Happy Friday! (And Happy Friday before the long weekend!) 

It’s been an amazingly full week. 

And by full I mean my bucket is full, my mind is full, and my heart is full.

I started the week off in Las Vegas, as I had the honour of speaking at the SHRM 2019 International Conference.

Sunday had a lovely evening with the inspiring HoF speaker Barbara Glanz, followed by a gondola ride in our beautiful Venetian Hotel with another fellow speaker friend. 

Monday morning began by listening to – and learning a ton from – Brené Brown. Pretty darn amazing. And that afternoon had the privilege of delivering my session to an incredible audience. Now I love speaking to all crowds of all sizes, but when there is standing room only in your room with over 1000 chairs (we even filled the overflow room bringing us to 1250 in all!)there is an energy exchange that is pretty powerful. 

That evening, I was in awe as I watched Le Rêve, an incredible show in water put on by one of Cirque du Soleil’s directors. It was truly breathtaking and magical. 

Tuesday was travel day – which I surprisingly love – and was met at the airport back in Toronto by a friend and whisked off to see Hugh Jackman live for his AH-MAZING musical show.

Wednesday enjoyed an intimate dinner party with some other special speaking colleagues – and friends – and then went home to visit my Dad and his best friend who just arrived from Wales. 

And finally last night was invited to attend a very special Mess Dinner at The Canadian Forces College and met some extremely fascinating and inspiring individuals. 

Now I’m not sharing to brag or boast. First of all, this week was a bit of an anomaly ~ my weeks are certainly not always as full! (And it looked very different than last week I assure you!)

The reason I’m sharing is because as amazing as some of those events were, what actually made my week so full were the people, the connections, and the conversations I enjoyed. 

An experience isn’t truly an experience unless shared. Even if you take part in an experience on your own – which I often do – what makes it meaningful is sharing about it through conversation after the fact.

The dinners, the shows, the traveling, even the speaking was made so much more meaningful through the conversations I enjoyed with the women after the talk. And plane rides wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I didn’t engage in conversation with the people sitting next to me. 

A lot of my learning and ideas and ahas take place while in conversation with others. In fact, I was taking notes about what I wanted to say in today’s blog while sitting on my hair stylist’s chair, as we were ironically in conversation about the importance of conversation!

Think about it. It’s only through connection and conversation that we can truly make meaning about what is happening to us and all around us. 

For me, that is how I define whether my days are full.

As I’ve mentioned before, most mornings I write in my five-minute journal. One of the questions in the morning is ‘What would make today great?’ and one of the questions at night is ‘3 amazing things that happened today…’ 

And almost everyday, both answers have something to do with a connection or conversation with another I hope to experience or was able to experience.

So this week I invite you to be brave enough to engage in more connection and more conversations.

Courageous conversations. Meaningful conversations. Deep conversations. Curious conversations. New conversations. Transparent conversations. Generous conversations. Spontaneous conversations. Real conversations. 

Here are some tips to engage in more conversations that matter.


1. Be The First

Be the first to say hello to a stranger, to ask someone’s name, to ask how someone is, to begin the conversation at all. 

2. Give a Compliment

Not sure how to begin a conversation? Who doesn’t love a compliment? It’s a great way to break the ice and build instant connection. 

3.  Get Curious

Ask good questions. In order to be a great conversationalist, it’s actually less about how up to date you are with current affairs, and more about your willingness to ask good questions and to be curious enough to listen to the answer. 

4. Engage in Active Listening

Listening does not always mean hearing. Active listening means you are really in the conversation, and by using both verbal and non-verbal cues you show that indeed you are right there with the other person. 

5. Be Present 

It’s hard to turn our minds off, I get it. Work hard to be present in your conversations, avoid distracting thoughts or making your grocery list in your head, and choose to be all in. Only then will truly meaningful connection take place. 

I hope you engage in some meaningful conversations this week, and enjoy some meaningful connection as a result! Let me know which tip came in handy and what happened…

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.


Have a FAB week!

Done Is Better Than Perfect

I want to be clear for a second here. 

Simply because I preach about the idea of being braver, doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. 

I preach what I am practicing myself. 

And being brave enough to move beyond perfection is one of those things I’m still working on. 

On Monday, it was #wethenorth day. Well over two million people attended the parade and the celebrations that ensued at our famous Nathan Phillips Square downtown Toronto in honour of the NBA Champions our amazing Raptors! (I still have FOMO as I write these words!) 

Instead of being a part of the festivities, I was at Starbucks working on my powerpoint presentation for a talk I’m giving in Las Vegas at the annual SHRM convention next week. 

Now the deck was almost complete, and yet I was making tweaks here and there, changing the sizes of fonts, switching some of the graphics. Really, I was fiddling unnecessarily.

Why? 


In that moment I allowed my inner recovering perfectionist to come out. I didn’t feel it was ‘perfect’ enough.

As a result, I missed out on a day to go down in history.

And ummm, I LOVE parades! 

Here’s the thing, I am STILL making changes to that presentation, and likely will up until the day before I present.

Is it going to get closer to being perfect the more I work on it?

What does perfection even mean, anyway?

Funny you should ask. 

Here is the definition:

per·fec·tion

/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/

Noun
the condition, state, or quality of being entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings

How is that even possible?!?

I don’t know about you, but it seems a pretty tall order to be entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Especially when it comes to something we want to create, the job we are hoping to land, the regular workout routine we want to stick to, the loving relationship we are striving for. How can anything when it comes to real people’s actions and behaviours be without any flaws… I mean we’re human after all, right?

And yet, unfortunately perfectionism is what prevents far too many women from starting the thing before they feel ready, going after the job they really want, doing the thing that really scares them. 

What’s more, far too many women take pride in being perfectionists! They wear it as a badge of honour. And if we’re talking about being braver, as I’ve written and spoken about before, perfectionism is one of the biggest bravery killers! 

Of course we are going to make mistakes every now and again. It’s how we learn. And quite frankly, life would be pretty boring if everyone had everything figured out all of the time!

And so, instead of aiming for perfection – which is an ideal that doesn’t even exist and therefore will inevitably evoke disappointment anyhow – let’s instead be okay with a little bit of imperfection.

Fellow speaker and friend Jessica Pettit is in town from California right now and staying with me. Her company is called ‘Good Enough Now’ (Now if perfection did exist, that name would be it!) Over the past few days we’ve had some very interesting conversations on this very subject. 

Maybe along our journey to be perfect we’ve forgotten to be real, to be human, and to recognise we are good enough now, exactly as we are. 

My presentation is good enough now.

The project you are working on right now is good enough now.

YOU are good enough now. 

Moreover, imperfect action is better than no action at all. 

And done is better than perfect!

Have you been putting off taking that first step for fear of it not being perfect, or you not being perfect?

Have you been procrastinating completing that project or thing in case it is not perfect? 

Have you been stuck in perfectionist paralysis instead of trying the something you’ve been thinking about and might end up really loving, or sharing the thing with the world that may really make a difference?

I just did a once over of my presentation, and I’ve decided I will not be making any more changes to it. 

It is good enough now.

And indeed done is better than perfect. 

What is something you are currently working on that is also good enough now? How are you going to apply ‘done is better than perfect’ to something this week? I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!


It’s time to get outside!

Happy Friday!

And greetings from where I write to you on board flight AC 181, seat 14K. Yup, in the air again. First to Vancouver for a night, then tomorrow off to beautiful Tofino on Vancouver Island where I’m pumped to be a part of the Dovetail Retreat for female entrepreneurs (think hiking, kayaking, surfing...) And then next week I jet off to the UK again where I’ll be speaking for Unilever. 

Thank goodness I love traveling!

I have to say the highlight of this week was delivering the closing keynote for the first annual #AdminsRock conference – such a fun group and an amazing day! – closely followed by the splash of sunshine we enjoyed yesterday. I even saw some folks on patios. 

Being outside in the sun always brings a brighter smile to my face. 

And so, it made sense I was all set to talk about how important it is to get outside (also in honour of Earth Day!) and then typical, this morning as I left Toronto it was absolutely POURING with rain! 

Well, even despite the rain, even in the rain, it’s still fun and important to get outside.

I think dogs have the right idea. 

I used to babysit one of my neighbour’s dogs on occasion. Every time I walked in the door he’d be waiting to loyally meet and greet me with the biggest tail wag and some kisses, and one of his paws would already be practically out the door. I mean, he was just desperate to get outside! And who can blame him? Besides likely having to burst, there was a big, bright, beautiful world out there just waiting to be seen, sniffed, run around in and yes, peed on.

There really is a lot going on outside. So many sights and sounds and smells… it’s like a giganic playground. Everywhere you turn there is something new to discover, and even scenes or routes that have been trod on before will never appear exactly the same again. 

I don’t care how impressive your 52-inch LED or LCD or whatever diode-type flat screen complete with surround-sound and other fancy features you can boast about – there is no way you’ll ever be able to see the crispness and depth and the multitude of color tones you can experience in real life – from a pixilated image.

Being outside offers lots of perks and benefits, too.

You can breathe in fresh air. It exposes you to Vitamin D, which we all need. It allows you to be active. To feel the sunshine on your skin. To smell nature – and the roses. To see green.

It creates space in your mind. It helps to breed fresh ideas. Make friends out of strangers. Grow. Explore. Discover. Play. It gets the creative juices flowing and stimulates your seratonin levels.

It makes you feel happy!

And beyond getting outside in the literal sense, there is also something to be said about getting outside of ourselves… out of our comfort zones, out of our heads, out of our routines, and out of our expectations and ideas of how things are supposed to go, what should or shouldn’t be, what is and isn’t possible. 

All of the amazing inventions we simply cannot live without, wouldn’t have been invented if it weren’t for people who were willing to think outside of the box, the norm, the easy, the expected.

Innovation cannot exist if you are not first willing to take a risk.

SO, depending on where you are in the world and what the weather may be like – get your brave on and go grab your wellies or your flip flops, lace up your runners or dust off your bike – and get outside and into that wonderful, wide world out there. Something magical happens when you allow yourself to be out and fully present in nature. And it’s yours to discover.

(And once you do get outside, let me know what you did and how you felt afterwards!) I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol

Anxious or excited? You get to choose.

Are you anxious, or perhaps just excited? 

Did you know that feeling nervous and feeling excited are actually the same thing?

Well, at least according to our brain they are. 

You see, psychologically they bring on the same chemical release within our brains. So the only real difference lies within our interpretation of what is happening. We label one as a negative experience (anxiety) and the other as a positive experience (excitement.)

Seriously?!? The only difference between the two is the label and interpretation we give it?

Yup.

The choice is yours. 

Last week when in Calgary, I’ll admit I was a little nervous going into that talk. (Speaking to fellow speakers can be a little intimidating!) However, I decided to tell myself I wasn’t feeling nervous, I was simply feeling excited instead. 

Did it work? Well, sorta.

I mean, just knowing I could choose to feel more excited was empowering. And it did help a little. I was pumped!

And, I was still a tad nervous. 

Well, luckily we have our whole lives to be a work in progress!

(On another note, I will likely always still get a little anxious/excited before my talks. The moment I’m no longer nervous is the moment I’m no longer fully present or eager to give it my all…)

And, it’s actually not bad to feel this way.

Feeling anxious or nervous or uncomfortable means you’re growing. And if you want to grow, you better get used to feeling uncomfortable.

Comfort and growth cannot co-exist. 

So, we gotta be willing to get out of our comfort zones – be willing to get our brave on – and push through the nervousness (or excitement!) and do the thing anyway. 

Because that is the only way you’re going to grow. 

We can either be willing to get uncomfortable, or we can stay stagnant, play it safe, and play it small.

Again, the choice is yours. 

Hmmm… I wonder if I can change my feelings of anxiety to excitement over other things in my life. Say, taxes? 

Am I the only one who gets a little anxious when it comes to my accounting? And tax time of year can be overly, well taxing (pun intended!)

Okay, maybe there are some things I will never be ‘excited’ about! 

That’s life. 

It’s not always going to be fun. It ain’t always going to be easy. And if we want to grow, we gotta be willing to get uncomfortable and get our brave on!

Are you up for it?!?

I hope the answer is yes. Because you’re worth it. 

Short and sweet this week… it’s Easter after all!

So ‘HOP-py’ Easter, and even if you’re not celebrating, it’s still a great excuse to eat some extra chocolate this weekend!

Have a hoppin’ week!

Carol    

Introducing The Growth Mindset. Game Changer!

I’m a fan of audible. Books on tape (or rather, digital books, same idea!)

While driving, running, or pottering around the house cooking, doing laundry, tending to the dust bunnies, it’s an amazing way to ‘read.’ 

If you haven’t heard about it, or ever tried it, I highly recommend it! 

My most recent download – and it’s HIGH time as it’s been recommended to me numerous times, and been sitting on my Wishlist for a while now! – is Carol Dweck’s Mindset. 

Although I’ve come across her work numerous times in my research, it’s explained so much more powerfully in this book. And I’m only halfway through!

I have a feeling it just may be a game changer for me.

And it may be for you, too.

In fact, I’m definitely choosing to adopt what she calls the growth mindset (more to come on that – read on!) to the talk I’m delivering tomorrow. 

You see, by the time you read this blog, I’ll likely be boarding or already in the air on board another flight, this time to Calgary. 

I have the honour and privilege of speaking to the Calgary chapter of CAPS – the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. 

Now I mean it when I say it’s an honour and a privilege… AND, it’s also going to be pretty freakin’ scary speaking in front of fellow speakers!

Luckily all CAPS members are lovely and supportive. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel a tad bit of pressure speaking vulnerably in front of my peers.

So of course I want to give a kick-ass presentation, and deliver a ton of value. And, instead of looking at it as a potential success or a potential failure, I’m choosing to look at it as an experience, and a learning one at that. 

The premise of Carol Dweck’s work and this book Mindset, is centred around the idea there are only two mindsets out there:

  1. Fixed Mindset
  2. Growth Mindset

A person with the Fixed Mindset believes the skills, talents, and abilities they have today are the same they will have tomorrow, and cannot be changed or improved upon. 

A person with the Growth Mindset, on the other hand, believe the skills, talents, and abilities they have today by no means determine what they can turn into tomorrow, and can absolutely be improved upon. 

Those who hold a fixed mindset are often afraid to try new things, in case they don’t display innate talent. They are afraid to look bad, to get it wrong, to fail. 

Those who hold a growth mindset love trying new things, look at it as a learning opportunity, and welcome a challenge. They are not afraid of failure, as they see it as a necessary step on the road to success. 

As much as it pains me to admit, as I read (or listen!) to this book, there are areas of my life in which I can relate to having more of a fixed mindset than a growth mindset.

And I’m realising it’s got to stop!

In full transparency, 

I like to know I’m going to be good at something.

I enjoy positive feedback when I’m good at something. 

And I tend to be more hesitant to try something if I’m not sure how it’s going to go (except when it comes to cooking…  I never know how it’s going to go, and I’ve given up any and all expectations to ever create something à la Julia Childs!)

You’ve heard me speak about ‘Confidence Killerspreviously ~ and how perfectionism is right up there. Well, people who have more of a fixed mindset tend to be perfectionists… they want things to be perfect right out of the gates. And yet that is near impossible – especially if you are doing something for the first time!

And unfortunately perfectionism is what prevents far too many women from speaking up and standing out more powerfully, starting the thing they really want to start, bringing their big dreams into reality. 

What’s more, far too many women take pride in being perfectionists! 

And yet what I’m finding so fascinating in Dweck’s book is the vast research that exists proving those with a growth mindset, who are anything but perfectionists, get further, and faster, than their counterparts.

People who demonstrate the growth mindset love the personal challenge of the thing, are willing to put in the work, don’t rely on their natural talents, and don’t judge their performance or abilities based on grades, feedback or external validation. 

Sounds pretty freeing, right?

And the good news is, it’s available to ALL of us. 

We’re very quick to look at the ‘Greats’ – whether it be the incredible athletes, scientists, or business moguls of our time and assume they were born with it. Well, 9 times out of 10 they were not!

Success doesn’t necessarily come to the folks who are born with some incredible talent. It comes to the ones who simply STICK TO IT. 

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. His mother encouraged him to keep practicing. And so he did. Every morning ridiculously early before school. For YEARS. And so it continued long after he became the basketball star he was and still is.

Thomas Edison experienced thousands of ‘failed’ attempts when trying to invent the lightbulb. And yet when his friend and confidant asked “Isn’t it a shame with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?” He replied with a smile “Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!” He never saw his attempts as failures at all!

The famous ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book series full of inspiration stories was rejected by 144 publishers before it was picked up. And Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times, and J. K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job.”

If any of the above were you, would you have kept going? To be honest, I’m not so sure that I would have!

The moral of the story here folks, is that ‘failure’ is a part of the process. Persistence, perseverance and consistent hard work pay off, and so long as you’re growing, you’re winning. 

So, I’m going to go into my presentation eager to give it my all, but without wanting it to be a success, nor afraid it will be a flop! 

I’m going to be eager to learn from the experience. I’m choosing to look at the experience as the win, and moreover a great opportunity for growth. 

Can you recognise areas in your life where you perhaps hold the fixed mindset, and would benefit from adopting a growth mindset instead?

It’s scary to put yourself out there and not know how it’s going to go. 

I get it. Trust me. 

But the alternative is you never try, avoiding the potential of ‘failure’ at all costs, only to still fail simply for lack of trying!

And then there’s the potential of regret. And no one wants to make it to the end of their life full of regret. 

You’re better than that. You deserve more than that. Your ideas are worth more than that. 

So, it’s time to get your brave on, and get your growth mindset on!

(And if you’re not quite ready yet, perhaps your first step is to look into audible and Dweck’s amazing book Mindset!)

Try the growth mindset on for size this week, and then let me know how it goes! I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol 

Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Happy Friday!

Confession time. 

This morning, I pressed snooze. Twice!

And I didn’t even have a good excuse to do so. 

Sure, I may still be suffering from the tail end of jet lag after my trip to London, but I was in bed well before midnight, didn’t have a glass of wine, and should have been ready to jump out of bed when my alarm went off. 

But I didn’t. 

And instead, my mind began to wander. 

It started to go through everything I needed to do today. It started thinking about the workout I needed to get up for and the fact I’m behind in my ironman training. It started thinking about how I’m behind on my emails. It started thinking about how I was behind on numerous things! And then it started making me wrong. It started to judge me. It started to send my mind and my thoughts into a vicious negative tailspin!

Oh man when my mind begins to wander it’s game over!

Perhaps you can relate?

The trick is, you gotta get up before your mind has a chance to catch up!

But the truth is, some days I wake up even before my alarm, ready to start the day, excited about what’s to come. While on other days, it’s a challenge I tell ya! And I don’t always feel like getting up (especially when it’s grey outside!) 

And such as it is with many things we’re facing. 

We’re not always going to feel like it. Especially when it’s a habit we want to break or a thing we want to change.  

In fact -— NEWS FLASH—- you are NEVER going to feel like doing the thing you need to do in order to change the thing you want to change. 

It’s just never going to happen!

And so more times than not, we don’t do it. 

And that is exactly why the majority of folks spend the majority of their lives living in their comfort zones. 

And instead of choosing to be brave enough to take the first step, we come up with some pretty darn good excuses. 

We are very good at letting ourselves off the hook.
We are very good at being right in making ourselves wrong. 
We are very good at convincing ourselves and others why we’re just not capable.

And we are very good at self-sabotaging. 

And it’s got to STOP!

Because the truth is, we are FAR more capable than we give ourselves credit for. 

And when we REALLY want something we can, and we will, find a way to make it happen.

Here’s the harsh truth:

We will never feel ready. 
We will continue to be right by making ourselves wrong. 
We will always be able to find a justifiable excuse if we want to. 

And we can change all that!

Inspired by a conversation I had with one of my most fave people in the world last night, we have the power to do just the opposite.

Because here’s the good news:

We can choose our desires over our excuses. 
We can connect to how important that thing is, and how good we’re going to feel afterwards.
And we can start setting ourselves up for success, instead of self-sabotaging.  

So here’s your challenge. 

Identify one small habit or pattern or behaviour you want to change. 

Something that, if changed, would make a big difference. (and here’s another news flash – it really is the small things that always make the biggest difference!

For me, it’s going to be getting to bed by 11pm Sunday to Thursday. And getting up when my alarm goes off. (Publicly declaring it… making it real!)

What’s it going to be for you? And when are you going to start?

Stop with the excuses. Stop making yourself wrong. Stop self-sabotaging. 

Start believing in yourself. Start setting yourself up for success. Start getting your /brāv/ on!

Change will never happen overnight. But if you started today, imagine where you’ll be one week, one month, one year from now? 

You deserve it. Your dreams are worth it. And I believe in you. 

So now, what’s that one action or one habit going to be? 
I want to hear from you in the comments below – once you publicly declare, it becomes REAL!

Have a FAB week!

Carol

Mind The Gap, Mind YOUR Gap!

Happy Friday!

And greetings from London, UK, where I’m excited to be speaking at Executive Secretary LIVE this week!

London is an exciting city to say the least, and it is MASSIVE! 

And as I’ve been riding the ‘tube’ quite a bit to get around, I’m going to take inspiration for this week’s post from London’s transit system. 

Mind the gap!’ is the famous phrase that a woman with a delightful English accent announces on repeat as you’re waiting for tubes and trains or the underground and the overground (tubes = subways; overground = subways above ground, not to be confused with the regular trains that also travel over ground… it may sound very confusing, however I have to say it is an extremely efficiently run system. And I just did some interesting research – they service 1.35 billion passengers annually!)

The gap, in the context of London’s transit system, is the space in between the platform and the train. And if you’re not careful, you could potentially slip or fall in that dangerous gap, which would not be pretty!

But there is another type of gap – a few actually – that I would l to talk about today. And arguably equally as detrimental. 

Last week you heard me speak about the gap between our thoughts and our actions. And it’s where a lot of people live… overanalysing, looking for clarity to come, waiting for the perfect moment to magically arrive, waiting to feel confident enough. 

And what all too often happens, is we end up spending a whole lotta of time waiting, and not a whole lotta time taking steps towards where we want to go.

According to John C. Maxwell, the gap has to do with our growth. The more we’re willing to grow, the smaller the gap becomes.

In his 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth 

https://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/dont-trip-over-these-growth-gaps/) Maxwell speaks about 8 different specific types of gaps that could be preventing us from growth, and preventing us from taking action:

The Assumption Gap (I assume I will automatically grow)

Especially when it comes to your personal growth, you can’t assume it will simply happen by default. You have to be proactive and choose to take responsibility for your own growth process. 

The Knowledge Gap (I don’t know how to grow)

Even if you don’t know where to start, don’t let that stop you. Ask around. Find resources. Don’t give up and a way will present itself. 

The Timing Gap (It’s not the right time to begin)

You may never feel it’s the right time to grow, or the right time to begin. And yet ask any parent and they will admit they didn’t feel ready before they had kids, but they had no choice when they arrived! 

You will never start the thing you want to start if you’re waiting to feel ready before you begin. And there will never be a better time to start than now!

The Mistake Gap (I’m afraid of making mistakes)

Too many people are worried about getting it wrong, or worried about looking foolish. And so they don’t want to begin the process. If you want to grow and improve, making mistakes are simply par for the course. 

The Perfection Gap (I have to find the best way before I start)

Again, this goes back to so many people wanting it all to be perfect right out of the gates. And that is simply never going to happen! How can anything be perfect the first time you are trying it?!? And how are you going to find the best way before you start? You have to start somewhere, and the best way will present itself.

The Inspiration Gap (I don’t feel like doing it) 

You may want to wait for that ‘aha’ moment to strike. And, you may be waiting a long time for it! Inspiration and clarity do not come from waiting, they come in the doing. And there will always be reasons or excuses we can find, if we so choose, as to why it’s not a good time. Simply start, and inspiration will come along at some point in the ride. 

The Comparison Gap (Others are better than I am)

This gap can be pretty detrimental. Because the truth is, there will always be people ahead of you, or closer to where you want to go, or already there. And, nine times out of ten we are comparing our beginning or middle with someone else’s middle or end game. And that’s not fair! Every single person is at a different stage… and so it simply doesn’t make sense to compare. You are where you are for a reason. And, you don’t have to live there forever!

The Expectation Gap (I thought it would be easier than this)

Not only do we take on expectations other people in our life have for us, we often have big expectations for our own lives. And then we have all kinds of expectations based on how we think things should be versus how they actually are.

Enough with the expectations already!

Things are likely going to be harder, and take longer, than expected. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start. Because even though you may not arrive overnight, if you start today, you’ll be further ahead than you were by tomorrow. 

Now these are only 8 types of gaps that another person – as brilliant as he is, especially when it comes to leadership and growth – has discovered on his own journey. The truth is, some may resonate with you, some may not, and others that are true for you may not have even made the list.

The point is, only YOU know where your gap is, and what is really going on in that gap.

Whether it be fear (and that becomes a whole other list in and of itself!) busyness, comparison, excuseville, self-sabotage, expectation, procrastination, lack of clarity, people-pleasing, over-analysis… figure out what’s really going on in your gap. And then MIND THAT GAP!

But instead of minding it in the way the London Underground suggests, which is to ensure you step OVER it, you AVOID it, I want you to do the opposite. 

I want you to face it head on. Get honest with yourself. Know your gap, own your gap, and then take the first step THROUGH your gap, so it no longer exists at all. 

It’s time to take your power back over the gaps that exist in your life. 

It’s time to get your /brāv/ on!

And then just wait and see what opens up for you… (and please let me know what you discover in the comments below!!!)

Have a FAB week!

Carol 

Why you might want to start taking cold showers…

Happy Friday!

This morning, my shower was cold. 

But you don’t have to feel sorry for me – it was actually on purpose. 

In fact, I take a cold shower every morning. (Well, if I’m honest, I first take a lovely warm shower…) And then when I’m about ready to get out, I turn the dial all the way to freezing and proceed to force myself to stand under there for a minimum of 60 seconds. And let me tell you, some days it is BRUTAL! (especially during our crazy Toronto Winters!)

Now I do this for two reasons: 

1. It’s good for the body, mind and soul.

(So I was told it was good for you, however wasn’t entirely sure on the actual benefits it provided… until a friend very kindly sent me this article…who knew?Worth the quick read!)  

2. It forces me to be brave right out of the gates!

While I do think it’s important to do things for your health (hence the reason I’m currently drinking hot water with lemon and apple cider vinegar, and was pretty excited to read that article,) I’m actually more excited by reason #2.  

You see, just before I go to turn that dial to the right, I have a moment of hesitation. It’s the exact same feeling you and I get before we do something that scares us a little, or will take us out of our comfort zones. It’s called the ‘The Hesitation Trap’ – and it’s a legit thing! (And if you’re interested in learning the science behind it all, watch this video with Mel Robbins explain in more detail!)

But then I say to myself, if I am brave enough to get under freezing cold water, where else in my day could I get my brave on? 

And so I do it. 

And even though I’ve been doing this now for years, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve gotten more used to it! (Although I will say once you’ve gotten into the habit of doing something, it does get a little easier – which speaks to the power of habits!) That being said, it never ceases to make me feel more awake, more refreshed, more alive. 

It’s a small action, and yet it can have a big impact on my day. 

And isn’t that always the case.

You see, too many of us are waiting to feel confident enough, or competent enough, or ready enough to go after what we truly want or to do the thing we really want to do. 

The truth is, we may never ‘feel’ confident, competent, or ready enough to start anything. 

And so we don’t.

We don’t do the thing, sign up for the race, apply for the position. We don’t take the first step. 

And yet here’s the thing:

You don’t need to feel confident before you choose to be brave. 

Being brave means you take action before you feel ready, even when you’re full of fear… especially when you’re full of fear. 

And the interesting thing is, once you take that action, the confidence comes!

Don’t wait to feel. Simply do. 

In the amazing book ‘The Confidence Code’ by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, they define confidence as shortening the gap between your thoughts and your actions. 

Totally makes sense. 

But instead of shortening the gap, you could choose to ignore it all together and just DO IT!

Because in the end, it’s the action that is going to build the momentum you need to feel more confident, competent, ready. 

And all it takes is one small brave act. 

Like taking a freezing cold shower. 

So, if you’re ready to get your brave on this week, I invite you to do one small thing that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable, scares you just a little bit, brings on just a little bit of the butterflies.

Here are some examples:

  • Say hello to someone in the elevator. 
  • Be the first to smile at that cute person in the cafe.
  • Have that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off.
  • Try something new – be it an activity, sport, instrument or dish.
  • Shake up your daily routine, try decaf instead. 
  • Dare to try a new flavour of tuna.
  • Send that email.
  • Apply for that position.
  • Share your big idea. 
  • Volunteer to help with that project. 
  • Say no to something you would normally say yes to.
  • Say yes to something that freaks you out. 
  • Take a cold shower!

Have fun getting your brave on this week.

And then I want to hear from you in the comments below… let me know what you choose to do, and how it makes you feel afterwards!

Have a FAB week!

Carol

Reflections on The Regrets of the Dying…

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Do you know the most common regret of the dying?  “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Bronnie Ware spent years working in palliative care, caring for patients at the end of their lives. She wrote an incredibly moving article – which has now become a best-selling memoir – entitled ‘Regrets of The Dying.’ And her experiences and findings are moving, thought provoking, powerful.

If you haven’t already read this article, you need to. And even if you haven’t yet, I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve read or heard or thought about the shift in perspective that takes place when people are facing the end of their lives. (And if you really want to be moved, check out The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch, it’s also pretty darn powerful…)

Not to go all morbid on you or anything, but one day you and I will be in this exact situation, looking back on our life and reflecting on how we chose to spend it. 

And I really hope neither one of us will have any of the following most common regrets that came up:

  1. I wish I had lived a life true to myself, instead of one others expected of me.
  2. I wish I had worked less.
  3. I wish I had allowed myself to be fully self-expressed.
  4. I wish I had stayed better in touch with my friends. 
  5. I wish I had allowed myself to be happier.

Sharing vulnerably here, one of my own biggest challenges is living my life true to me. Not only because of others’ expectations, or others’ expectations I have chosen to take on, but also because of the expectations I have placed on myself. 

Yup, I thought I would be in a very different place in my life right now. 

I thought I’d be married. Have a couple of kids. A dog. Maybe even a house with a white picket fence. (Actually, I’ve never really wanted a white picket fence, but I did want a front porch with a swing… still do!) 

And yet, I have very few regrets with how I have chosen to live my life up to now. 

And I hope it remains that way for the rest of my life.

But in order for that to happen, I have to live my life my way. I have to be me, and attempt to be even more me every single day. 

I had a conversation with my female entrepreneurial mastermind recently, and one of the wise women shared with us her daily goal that sits on a sticky note on her bedside table:

To be authentically me in a world that is constantly wanting me to be something else. 

YES.

It may sound simple, but it’s definitely not easy. 

And yet, to me, that is what being brave is all about. 

Brave enough to be YOU.

To show up in the fullest expression of YOU. 

Boldly, bravely, unapologetically YOU.

Not trying to be anything other than you, for anyone. No pleasing. No pretending. No pretence. 

What would that look like?

What would you be doing that you’re not doing now?

What would you not be doing that you’re doing right now?

How would you be feeling?

How would you be spending your time?

Who would you be spending your time with?

What fears would you be facing?

What dreams would you be dreaming? 

What dreams would you be fulfilling?

What one action would you be taking today to move the dial forward in the direction of your dreams? 

And if you can identify that one piece of action – why are you not doing it now? Will you do it?

The harsh truth is, tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

And tomorrow never comes, anyhow.

All we have is today. 

And today is the first day of the rest of your life. 

How will you choose to be even more you, to live your life even truer to you, today? How will you be even braver today?

Big questions. Big life. 

Have a FAB week!

Carol