How to get back up when you’re down.

Photo by Andrii Podilnyk on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

I have to say I’m feeling pretty grateful right now.  While it’s true, thanks to a little bike 🚴‍♀️ mishap on Sunday, I’ve torn my AC joint and so sporting a sling for the next few weeks (fingers crossed she heals properly and no surgery will be needed!), it really could have been a lot worse. And it got me thinking. As frustrated and annoyed as I was with myself in the moment (well, once the tears disappeared and the pain subsided!) playing the ‘if only’ or ‘what if’ or trying to re-write in my mind how it all could’ve gone down differently aren’t very helpful.

 

So instead, I tried to look for the lessons, the learnings, and the signs from the Universe.

Now I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s ever fallen down – whether literally off a bike, or figuratively off a plan, a project, a pursuit – and there are perspectives worthy of sharing.

1.  S-L-O-W down.

Never be in too much of a rush you don’t properly look for both cars AND bikers before dropping off the sidewalk… (especially as they may be hiding behind film trucks and suddenly ‘appear’ out of nowhere and ram right into you – which yes, may have happened to me 😳!)

Business and life get busy. And while I’ll admit I tend to enjoy keeping a fast pace, it’s not sustainable, it’s not always healthy, and it’s not always worth it.

In me wanting to save a few seconds and not double check before popping out amidst the film trucks, I’m now forced to slow way down.

Moreover, we have to be in it for the long hall. Skipping steps, rushing through steps, accelerating the process doesn’t always save time in the end. And it’s likely not as enjoyable, either!

If you don’t slow down every once in a while, take a breath, be here now… chances are something will happen to remind you of how important it is.

2. Swallow your pride. 

Never be too proud to call your Mommy or Daddy, or any friend or family member for that matter, when you fall or when you’re down. You don’t have to face it alone. And you’re never too old to be taken care of. (At least that’s what I told myself when my father, without skipping a beat, offered to come into town to take me to the hospital… and then proceeded to sit with me throughout the whole process…) It’s funny that regardless of your age, when you’re sick or in pain there’s nothing like being home 🏠 receiving some extra tender loving care. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

3. Accept, and acknowledge help. 

Along the same lines as swallowing your pride, this idea is taking it a step further.

When perfect strangers (who also happen to run the film set craft food truck!) invite you in to feed you Kleenex, coffee, and loving kindness while you’re bleeding and crying, say yes. There are good people in this world, and they want to help. And then be sure to somehow acknowledge them! Get their names, write a thank you card 💌, send Starbucks gift cards, flowers… 💐 (Shout out to Chris, Romaine, and especially Leora… you truly are the Craft Food Angels!!!)

And then pass it on. When it’s your turn to lend a helping hand, do it. It may make more than just someone’s day.

4. Call in for reinforcement.

Even if help isn’t offered at first, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for it. We ALL need support at one time or another. And no doubt there are people in your life ready and willing to offer it.

Although I’m grateful each and every day for the incredible people 🙌 in my life, it’s times like these that remind me of just how lucky I am to have the friends and amazing people I do around me… who will drop whatever they’re doing for a phone call ☎️, share words of encouragement, offer to get me groceries or bring over food, even had some amazing chauffeurs (although Dad takes the cake on that one!) over the past few days who’ve driven me here and there and everywhere without batting an eyelash.

5. Shift your perspective. 

When you’ve fallen or gotten off track, or everything seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to get caught in the ‘woe is me.’ Take a moment or two by all means, it’s important to feel all the feels. But don’t stay in the pity party 😢 too long. Instead, shift your perspective.

Choose to look at all that is going right. No doubt it could have been a lot worse. In my case, that is certainly the truth. I could have seriously injured the other cyclist, (luckily he was fine and biked away with no harm done to him or his fancy bike) I could have broken bones, it could have been a car, I could be totally out of commission right now. In the grand scheme of things, a shoulder injury and a sling is REALLY nothing to complain about.

(Find it challenging to make the shift? Spend some time an an emergency ward! It’s enlightening to say the least, and made the pain in my shoulder dissipate very quickly.)

6. Make the most of the moment. 

Look for the silver lining, and choose to make the most of any tough situation you’re in. My Dad and I enjoyed a special Tim Hortons ☕️ breakfast while sitting in the emergency ward together, video chatted with my other sisters and the family out in Calgary, and watched in tears the Remembrance Day🎖service huddled over the tiny screen of his phone. We wouldn’t have been able to share such a special moment had the mishap not happened.

If you look for it closely, there is always a gift within your grief.

7. Count your blessings.

🙏 HUGE GRATITUDE 🙏 for all you amazing peeps in my life, Tim Hortons, and for our Canadian health care system! Yes, there was some waiting, but I was given a sling within 10 minutes, in and out of X-rays within 2 hours, and given a diagnosis by the nicest doctor about half an hour later! And NO BILLS!

Find at least something, or someone, you can be grateful for today, in this moment, and especially when you fall down in life.

Only when we realise all that we have right here, right now, will we be ready to face whatever life throws our way.

When you fall down in life, remember these lessons:

S-L-O-W down. Swallow your pride. Accept, and acknowledge help. Call in for reinforcement. Shift Your Perspective. Make the most of the moment. Count your blessings.

We’re all going to have moments in life when we get hit, when we fall down, when we get hurt – whether literally, figuratively, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially… you name it.

It’s less about trying to prevent them, or push past them, and more about learning how to grow and thrive in spite of them.

And now I want to hear from you… which of these lessons most resonate? Or what lessons have you learned as a result of going through your own challenging situation or mishap in your life?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙌 !

Have a FAB week!

The power of spontaneity.

Photo by Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash

As much as I try to deny it, I tend to sway closer to last minute planner than I do uber organised advanced planner. I wonder if I’ll ever change! 

However, I could look at it as being a bad thing, or I could simply reframe, and choose to say I enjoy being SPONTANEOUS.

And I do! 

And actually, there is power in spontaneity. 

Don’t get me wrong… it’s nice to have plans. To have something to look forward to, something to work toward. (And if you’re a Mom, running a household, or have certain responsibilities at work, you kinda HAVE to be on top of your planning game!)

At the same time, natural planner or not, sometimes it’s okay – and necessary – to be able and wiling to throw your plans to the wayside.

As great as plans may be, they don’t always happen ‘as planned‘. Sometimes plans change. Sometimes plans fall through. 

Back in the day when I was young and innocent, (of course I’m still both, let’s be honest!) I had big plans for my life. I thought I’d be married at 21 and have 8 kids by now. I’m not even kidding! I also thought I would be living on a farm and have a veterinarian clinic across the street. HA!

Alas, someone had other plans for my life… (funny as the weekly quote on my wall reads “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell)

So while it’s good to have plans, sometimes it’s equally as important, and powerful, to allow yourself to be spontaneous. To go with the flow.

To say yes to something that scares you, to say yes to something that appeared totally out of the blue, to say yes to something you never in a million years could have imagined for yourself or your life.

Looking back, some of the moments I’ve been most spontaneous in my life have also brought me the most joy, the best adventures, the biggest growth. 

For example…

Being spontaneous had me applying to Remote Year while in the same conversation I was first learning about it. I mean, within minutes. 

Being spontaneous led me to resigning from a good job in Toronto over email to accept a job offer while traveling in Australia… only to meet an amazing man and move into his van and go apple picking in New Zealand a few days later.

Being spontaneous meant some pretty cool work opportunities locally and beyond ~ from serving tables in fancy bars and restaurants (even facilitated an engagement!) , to playing a bartender in Space on TV (because why not?!?), to working in ski rentals (ie dancing on the ski and board adjustment tables and having the time of my life in Queenstown), to working at Club Med Crested Butte in the Kids Club, (I was visiting my best friend who was working there… and had an offer, a visa, and a return plane ticket within a week!) to selling yoga apparel and soon managing people (I was simply looking for a fun job just after my Mum passed… and to this day credit lululemon with the start of both my personal and professional development journey), to teaching French to kindergarten kids at a Russian school (boy did I learn a lot!), to working as a Communications Instructor at The University of Illinois while completing my Masters degree (will forever be grateful to my Springfield and Communications Department family!), to creating a yoga community in Wrexham, Wales… and I could go on!

Being spontaneous meant saying yes to a dare to go bungee jumping in Greece (if you wanna hear this crazy story, I’ll actually be sharing it from the stage at MoMondays Toronto in a few days!)

Being spontaneous led me to meeting some pretty amazing people all over the world, hearing some pretty inspiring stories, and experiencing some pretty amazing cultural experiences… like living in Ashrams and riding on camels and throwing both buckets of water and dump trucks of tomatoes all over thousands of strangers.

Being spontaneous has led me to numerous random events on random occasions, not knowing anyone, where I would end of meeting some of my now closest friends and entrepreneurial sisters… Oh, and my partners for our upcoming program and trip to Tanzania!

So although structure and planning is certainly an ‘area of opportunity’ for me, I will also say my ability to be spontaneous has led to some pretty amazing events and happenings and current joy in my life. 

Okay enough about me!

Wanna be more spontaneous and not sure where to start? 

 

 

1. Say ‘YES’ to something you would normally say ‘NO’ to.

 

And vice versa. Saying ‘NO’ to something you would have normally said ‘NO’ to may be equally as powerful. Dare to throw your norm out the window!

 

2. Quiet down, or better yet, turn OFF the ‘SHOULDS’ in your head.

One of my friends and colleagues runs an extremely successful pole dancing for fitness studio, and all because she ignored the voice that said ‘But good mamas don’t do pole!’ When she was first invited to attend a class. There is no one way you SHOULD be… as a Mom, a professional, or as any part of you for that matter.

3. Ask yourself honestly, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?

Sometimes we jump to conclusions or make assumptions or run down the rabbit hole of worse case scenarios WAY too quickly, or way too unrealistically. Take a moment to explore all possibilities, and then trust. You regret the things your DON’T DO way more than the things you DO do. 

AND, if you’re TRULY ready to be spontaneous, SAY YES to coming to our   ‘TAKE THE LEAP!’ event happening tomorrow at iFLY Toronto! Women Living Big is turning 3 ~ and without giving too much away, I’m just about to go and pick up the rose gold balloons!

YES, there will be a little bubbly… (of all sorts…), and YES we’re also going Indoor Skydiving!

And, if you’re not ready to physically take the leap (at least not yet!) you can still come to the IGNITE! Workshop portion of the event, and learn how to get OUT of your comfort zone and into your ‘B.I.G. Zone!’ 

(As a loyal Happy Friday reader and member of our community, I have a special offer… you’ll come as my guest for less than 50% … because EVERYONE loves a celebration, right?!? Use Promo Code HAPPYFRIDAY!)

Even if you’re not able to come out tomorrow, I would still LOVE to hear of you doing something a little spontaneous this weekend. What do you have to lose?!?

Test out a new restaurant or sample a new flavour of ice cream.
Get into the spirit of Halloween and buy yourself a crazy costume.
Try out a new activity or hobby (I hear crocheting is pretty amazing for the mind!)

And then TELL me all about it in the comments below. 

Have a FAB week!

 

 

 

 

P.S. I’ve had fun interviewing some of the members of the WLB Members of our community on what it means to ‘Take The Leap!’ Check out my interview with Jill Valentine, founder of UGO Travel for Change HERE, and Ashley-Ann Pereira, author, speaker, creator of The Key To Happiness HERE.

7 Secret Benefits To Being Outdoors!

I’m still on a nature high.

This past weekend, I attended Dovetail Summit ~ an incredible experience for female entrepreneurs and business owners from all around the world. We were in beautiful Fernie, BC and spent time white water rafting, hiking, ropes coursing, mountain biking… we even took a surprise helicopter ride through the Rockies! The views were stunning.

And then the adventure continued, when a friend and I decided to go for some epic hiking to Kananaskis Country, about 1.5hrs outside of Calgary.

When we finally arrived at Rawson Lake (pictured above) it was one of those moments you wish you could freeze in time forever… the views were breathtaking, the sights and smells glorious, and with no reception you weren’t even tempted to connect to your devices.

I love spending time outdoors and in nature, and I wanted to dig deeper to discover what other benefits below the surface existed.

Well, I certainly discovered a lot!

In this digital age where our brains are easily overwhelmed and overworked with modern multi-tasking and the multitude of stimuli and distractions at any given moment, we could do with some time outdoors.

Watch this week’s video to learn 7 secret benefits to being outdoors! They will make you want to sign off pronto and head to the park stat. 

So, which of the 7 secret benefits surprised you the most?

And what are you going to do to ensure you get into nature this week?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

 

 

No risk, no reward.

Boy was I glad I wasn’t a judge at this week’s Speaker Slam! 

It’s an honour I’ve had the privilege of holding previously, and love cheering on excited speakers take the stage to give it their all, hoping to be crowned one of the coveted top finishers and take home one of the big prizes.

It’s always tough as a judge – but this week was truly stiff competition!

The theme?

No risk, no reward. 

The speakers shared some amazing stories and experiences about taking big risks, which sometimes lead to big rewards, and other times lead to pretty big flops! And yet none of them ever regretted the risks they took. Because there was always learning, growth, and new opportunities that arose they never would have expected.

It got me thinking about when I’ve taken some big risks in my life, and realised there are two types of risks. As it turns out, I’m pretty good at one type, and not so good at the other!

Watch this week’s video to learn about these types of risks, and why it’s worth learning how to take them.

Taking a risk looks different to everyone. And if you’re not ready to move into a van with a man and go apple picking in New Zealand, that’s okay!

But if you have a big dream to start something new, write a book, or climb a mountain (Tanzania anyone?!?) it may be worth the risk of saying yes and taking that chance.

Share a risk YOU are willing to take this week, and then share this video with someone in your life you think could benefit.

As I say in the video, sharing is caring after all!

Have a FAB week!

 

 

 

 

P.S. Are you liking these vlogs? Do you prefer written articles? Have any ideas or topics you’s like me to cover? Share in the comments below or shoot me an email hello@carolschulte.com. I want to know!!! 

This ‘C’ word may be scary, but it’s also a game changer.

This past weekend, while huddling under our club tent from the rain, despite the fact I was dripping and shivering, I also couldn’t help but be inspired. 

Athletes from all walks of life – all shapes and sizes and ages (there was an impressive  78-year-old in the mix!) were competing at the Toronto Triathlon Festival. 

Watching many of them cross the finish line was pretty magical.

It was fun to be a part of it as a volunteer, and, it also made me realize I’m ready to up my game. 

And in order to do that, I need to bring the big scary ‘C’ word into my vocabulary. Because when you do, it becomes real. 

Check out this week’s video to see what word I’m talking about! And find out why this single word is truly a game changer. 

So now I’m curious. What is something in your life you are no longer willing to put off? And what are you going to do NOW to change that? 

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

Have a FAB day!

Looking Beyond The Selfie…

I tend to get a bit of flak on occasion for the fact I take my fair share of selfies. 

I’ve gotten the eye roll on more than one occasion with friends and colleagues when I deem it ‘selfie time!

And when people call me the selfie queen, I’m not always sure it’s intended as a compliment!

It’s true, I do enjoy taking selfies. 

But I want to make one thing clear.

I am not about taking selfies of myself in front of a bathroom mirror!

To me, selfies are not about selfies at all.

To me, selfies are all about connection. 

I’ve been fortunate to have travelled extensively and lived in various parts of the world. And I’ve snapped selfies with individuals and groups in all kinds of interesting situations.

With strangers while on motorbikes in Colombia, with food vendors in Croatia, and with a whole lotta airline representatives and ground traffic controllers from goodness knows where! And I’m pretty sure I’m over  1,000 folks in one selfie captured from the stage. 

And you know what I’ve found to be true in every occasion?

People may not always like having their picture taken, but they love being a part of something. 

Ultimately, you and I want to be seen, we want to belong.

And if only for a brief instant in time, selfies can be a way to do just that. They connect people together.

And ideally, conversation is then sparked which goes deeper than the apparent surface level selfie. 

And that’s where the real fun begins!

You see, I genuinely love people. 

I love talking to people, connecting with people, and hearing their stories. 

Whether in an elevator, in an airplane, or in line at the grocery store, it’s not uncommon to find myself in deep conversations about someone’s story, their philosophy, or life in general. 

And this week, while having the honour of speaking at the SHRM conference in Chicago, I met some incredible people and had some incredible below-the-surface conversations. 

With Richard, one of my uber drivers, whose agency of 500 almost folded after the market crashed in 2008, and hasn’t shaved his beard since the day he was forced to sell his beloved sailboat. 

With Deborah, the cashier at Hudson News, who has done her hair in the same impressive princess braid for over 30 years and whose pride and joy are her grandchildren.

With Ryan, who was sitting next to me on the airplane, and with whom we got into a deep discussion on life, love, and the state of the world today, and before I knew it we were landing!

Connection – true connection – is powerful, and it doesn’t take too much effort to get there. 

I know life gets busy. Yet I have never engaged in a conversation, even when I had intentions to be ‘more productive,’ that I later regretted. 

People want to be seen, to be heard, to belong, to matter. 

Today and this week, I challenge you to go out of your way to connect. Whether with people you already know, perhaps on a deeper level, or with people you have yet to meet. 

You never know who you may bump into, or how you may make someone’s day. 

So take the time to smile. To say hello to a stranger. To give a compliment to someone you cross paths with. Or, dare I say it, get some folks together for a selfie!

And be open to the beautiful connections that may unfold as a result. 

Have a FAB week!

Don’t Let These Bravery Killers Get You!

They (whoever ‘they’ are!) say confidence is one of the most attractive things you can wear. And it’s true. 

Some people just seem to have ‘it’ naturally. 

The X factor, the gravitas, the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes them stand out in any room. The thing that makes them unafraid to take risks and make things happen. 

It’s not competence, folks. It’s confidence. 

AND, even more than that, it’s about being BRAVE. And it’s available to all of us.

In preparation for my upcoming talk at SHRM next week (I’m delivering a mega session to 2000 people… EEK!) I’ve been doing more research recently about confidence and bravery ~ what it is, what it isn’t, what kills it, and what builds it. 

I came across an amazing book, The Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, who share some incredible insights. 

It turns out both nature AND nurture affect our confidence. 

Some fascinating research exists on the fact women and men’s brains are actually wired differently, we produce different hormones, and we each have an individual genetic make-up – and all of these play a role in terms of how confident we are naturally.

And, there are also thoughts and behaviours that are learned through our experiences, upbringing, and society. (Did you know that in a Harvard study looking at gender effects on performance, girls who had to write out their gender on a math test before completing it, performed more poorly than those who did not have to write it out?!? Crazy!)

There are also ‘bravery killers.’ And that’s where I want to dive into today. Because, as it turns out, I’m noticing some of my own bravery killers that I admittedly employ on perhaps too regular of a basis.

Perfectionism 


A study showed that women want to have approximately 85-95% of the qualifications on a job requirement before submitting an application. Versus men, who apply when they identify as having 15-25%!

We wait until there is very little likelihood of failure before taking action. 

We also tend to over-prepare, if anything… in wanting to ensure we get things right, we look good, and we avoid looking bad. 

We want to be perfect, appear perfect, and perform perfectly, all too often. And because it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist, we often feel bad about ourselves when we fall short.

Or, we live in perfectionist paralysis, and don’t put ourselves out there at all.

People-Pleasing

Ah-yes, people-pleasing. 

Yup, I still do that, too. 

Now in my defence, women have a more active hippocampus in our brains than men do, and so are more wired for connection and empathy. While this can be looked at as a good thing, we also have to be careful.  It’s a proven fact women are more interested in being liked than being respected, and as a result we often care too much about what people think.

At times our behaviours are more motivated by not wanting to ruffle any feathers, or by wanting to be liked, instead of doing what is right for us. 

Procrastination and/or P-a-u-s-i-n-g (and over-analysing!)  

Sometimes tied to perfectionism, the idea here is we tend to spend FAR too much time thinking and analysing. Waiting to feel ready or good enough or for the perfect moment to arrive before taking that first or next step. 

We hesitate. We pause. We ruminate. We procrastinate. 

And when we get too caught up in our heads, we tend to imagine worse-case scenarios, listen to the negative voices in our heads that tell us we can’t, we’re crazy, or our idea will never work. 

And as a result, we often don’t take any action at all. 

Okay, so how do we move past these bravery killers?

Awareness, Insight, Action. 

First, you need to identify what killer is coming up for you in the moment.

Gain awareness, and get real. Are you taking on a behaviour or an action because it feels right to YOU? Or because you are trying to get someone to like you? 

Are you finding an excuse as to why you’re not taking on a behaviour or an action because you’re stuck in your head? Are you listening to those negative voices? Are you wanting to be PERFECT before you even begin?

Notice what is happening. And examine why it may be happening for you. Look inside yourself. Insight brings clarity. 

And finally, it’s time to take ACTION! 

The only way to build bravery is through action. PERIOD. 

You’re not going to think your way into feeling more confident. Instead, you have to choose to get into actin before you feel ready. That’s what it means to be brave.

Action builds your bravery muscle, even if the action isn’t related to the area you may be lacking it.

And action is contagious. That first, small brave move is all you need to take!

If you were even braver than you are right now, if you were even more confident than you are right now, what one small action would you take? 

And WHEN are you going to take it?!?

Today seems like a pretty good day to me! Go ahead, I DARE you!

You don’t need to learn any more, get any more qualifications, do any more prep work.

I truly believe each and every one of us is here for a greater purpose. And when we are holding back or letting our confidence killers get the better of us, we’re not showing up in the biggest version of ourselves. And we’re not going to make the biggest impact we can make. 

Which bravery killer holds YOU back the most? And what is that one small action you are going to take (maybe even today?!?) to move you forward?

I want to hear from you in the comments below. 

Have a FAB day!

The ONLY question you need to ask yourself.

Is all you’re doing right now, all you have going on in your life – making you happy?

In her brilliant book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,‘ Marie Kondo shares the single most important question to ask when de-cluttering your space (and your life!) is this one: DOES IT BRING YOU JOY?’ 

Simple, yet POWERFUL.

And I think we can use this very same idea when looking at all  we want to create in our lives – this year and beyond! Continue reading “The ONLY question you need to ask yourself.”

How to Achieve ALL Your Dreams in 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“New Year, New YOU!”

“Let’s make this your BEST YEAR YET!”

“Achieve ALL your dreams in 2018!”

No doubt you are bombarded with messages like these at this time of year. (and my apologies, as that last one came from ME!)

While it makes sense – as we have a blank slate, a fresh page in front of us – it can also be pretty overwhelming!

And even though I love setting goals and making resolutions, I don’t always stick to them, and there is a scary stat that states 90% of people who set resolutions fall off the bandwagon by February. EEK! Continue reading “How to Achieve ALL Your Dreams in 2018”

The ONLY Message You’ll Ever Need to Hear.

MY WEEK IN PICS: Connecting with friends (and making new ones!) and learning a ton at the CAPS (Canadian Ass. of Professional Speakers) Annual Convention… and honoured to sit on a panel following a talk with the amazing Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Executive Director for UN Women, and the founder of HeForShe movement; Christmas lunching with friends…

There are some pretty important messages out there, however there is only ONE big message you’ll really ever need to hear. 

It may sound like a pretty bold statement, and it’s true.  Continue reading “The ONLY Message You’ll Ever Need to Hear.”