Are You Brave Enough?

Happy Friday!

What does it mean to be BRAVE?

I don’t know about you, but watching people getting their brave on gets me pretty jazzed.

And that’s why I was on such a high last weekend, after witnessing first hand 4 incredibly brave women cross the finish line after their first Give-It-A-Tri triathlon (saying yes to a challenge I put out there less than 2 weeks previously!) It was pretty darn exciting.

There’s something about watching people being BRAVE.

Growing up, I wished I was braver.

Or just brave enough. 

Brave enough to be ME. 

Brave enough to say yes to the things I wanted to do and no to the things I didn’t, brave enough to stop trying to please everyone, brave enough to stand up for myself (I’ll share a personal story in the video about boarding school!)

Having the honour and privilege to have worked with and spoken to thousands of women over the years, I’ve come to discover what I call The Brave Zone. The place you can access when you want to be even braver.

Watch this week’s video to learn how to get into your Brave Zone!

If you and I were to live in our brave zone, just imagine what would be possible… 

If you were even BRAVER than you are today, what action would you be taking that you are not taking right now?

And when are you going to DO IT?!?

I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

P.S.  Ready to get your BRAVE ON? 

Come and join us at IGNITE! on  Sept. 26th,  Live B.I.G.GER + Pole Fit Nation Dance & Mingle  on Sept. 28th, and IGNITE! : Take The Leap (we’re going to iFly!) on Oct. 27th!

How to Start (& Stick to) a 30-Day Challenge

Over a celebratory beverage with the two best cheerleaders in the world (I mean really, whose friends are willing to drive over two hours – IN THE RAIN – to come and watch you cross the finish line at your second ever triathlon?!? YUP, enjoyed it so much last week I did another. Even made the podium coming in 3rd!) we got talking about goals, challenges, and habits.

Setting a big goal can be scary, forming a brand new habit can be formidable, but committing to a 30-day challenge can be, well, at least a little less daunting!

Studies show 30-day challenges are easier to commit to, as the time restriction makes it more appealing and accessible. AND, they are proven more successful!

They also allow you to take on a little experiment – to try something on for size, to see how it feels, and to test out how it fits, alters, or affects your current lifestyle.

And, if you begin to reap the benefits, you’re more than halfway there to forming a new habit (they say it takes 30-60 days to build a new one…)

I find the Fall a perfect time to to make some small shifts in your life.

Maybe you want to START doing something, or perhaps you’d like to STOP doing something. Ideally, you choose something that is somehow going to have a positive effect on your life.

Watch this week’s video to learn why 30-day challenges are so powerful, as well at the 6 C’s you need to help you start, and stick to, your next challenge!

Seems pretty do-able, no?!?

Okay, so it’s time for me to challenge YOU! What 30-day challenge are you going to take on?

Share in the comments below! Not only will this make your commitment REAL, it will also help us keep you accountable!

Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

And don’t forget to also share this video with someone you think could benefit. Sharing is caring after all!

GOOD luck with the challenge!

YOU GOT THIS.

I believe in you.

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!

Is it time to cheat on your job?

Happy Friday!

This week I had the privilege of speaking in Ottawa as part of the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals (DPI) Professional Development Week.

I have to say they were an AWESOME group… engaged, present, and ready to play full out. And considering it was a beautiful sunny day, the fact they chose to stay indoors, and to learn and grow, tells me how dedicated they truly are to their work. 

It’s important to be dedicated to the work you do. 

It’s important to be engaged in the work you do. 

It’s important to care about the work you do.

(Although a scary stat ~ according to a Gallop study conducted last year, only 32% of the U.S. workforce were actively engaged in their work. EEK!)

That being said, it’s also important not to be too dedicated or care too care much about the work you do, that it ends up being ALL you do!

When was the last time, you had time, for a fun activity outside of work and personal obligations?

Well, it may just be about time!

It may be time to cheat on your work.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not encouraging you to cheat while on the job, get extra friendly with your co-workers, or look for something new. I’m merely suggesting it may be time you got something going on outside of work. 

Here are some ideas to do just that. 

1.   Reconnect, or connect, with your hobbies

Do you like to knit? Ever had a card, coin, or comic collection? Perhaps you get a kick out of bridge?

Perhaps it’s time to dig out those knitting needles, dust off those old comic books,  or plan an afternoon for tea and bridge! Or maybe you want to create a whole new hobby… 

When you’re making sure you make time for some of your personal interests outside of work, chances are you’ll be more engaged when you’re at work. 

2.   Learn a New Sport or Activity 

For the past few years, I’ve committed to learning a new sport every Summer. I’ve tried ultimate frisbee, golf, rowing… This year, I’m going to tri (spelled that way on purpose!) my hand at triathlons (pardon the pun!) and signed up for a newbie training skills day on Sunday. Wish me luck!

When we learn something new, we put ourselves out there, allow ourselves to get in that beginner mindset, and challenge ourselves mentally, physically, or both. And according to studies it also helps keep us young!

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar, how to speak Italian, or how to ride a unicycle. Maybe now is the time to make it happen!

3. Volunteer 

Volunteering can appear in many different ways. Maybe it means volunteering for the community bake sale, serving food at a soup kitchen, or sitting on a board. Maybe it means spending an afternoon picking up garbage at your local park, being there for a friend who needs you, or offering to mow your neighbour’s lawn. 

Whether you are sharing your time or your talents or a listening ear, when you give something of yourself to someone else, everybody wins. 

 

There you have it. Three easy ideas to start cheating on your work!

Now be careful here, and don’t jump too far in too quickly! Start with something small, before committing to five new evening events on your schedule!

The point here is not to add more stress to your life, it’s to add more fun and greater fulfilment! And when you do take on one of these ideas above, chances are you’ll be more engaged in ALL areas of your life. 

So spend some time brainstorming what you may like to take on this weekend. It could be as simple as planning a night out bowling! And then GET IT ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Let me know what you choose to take on, and how it goes! Leave me a comment below.

Not sure where to start? Perhaps it’s been so long since you’ve thought about your hobbies you’ve forgotten what they are? I’m happy to gift you my ‘Spark Your G.E.N.I.U.S.’ workbook ~ it will be sure to get the wheels turning! Message me HERE. 

 

Have a FAB week!

 

Bad Day? 3 Ways to Shift Your Perspective

Hospitals are never fun.

And so spending the day in the emergency yesterday was tough. (I was with one of the special people in my life ~ and luckily nothing too serious and all okay now!) Add in the fact it was a downtown Toronto hospital, under construction, with no green space anywhere in sight, and it made it even that much more, um, less than stellar to say the least!

And, it also made me realize a few things about what really matters.

Sometimes life presents us with challenges, events, circumstances that are scary or hard to deal with.

Sometimes they are out of our control.

But how we show up, react, and deal… is very much in our control.

Instead of looking only at the negative, it helps to look for the learning, and to perhaps put things back into perspective.

While sitting in that overcrowded, overheated, overstimulating waiting area, I looked for the learning and couldn’t help but shift my perspective.

Here is what I realized:

Gratitude is Everything.

Although it wasn’t necessarily fun to spend the day (and for those in Toronto, it was a beautiful and sunny one!) in the hospital, it was fun to spend quality time with this special friend and person in my life. And seeing and hearing and somewhat experiencing some of the stories and traumas happening all around us, comparatively, we said numerous times to each other how lucky we were.

Choose to focus on all of the good stuff you have to be grateful for (and there will ALWAYS be something!), instead of choosing to only focus on the bad stuff. Gratitude breeds happiness. Every time.

People are paramount. 

It truly is the people around us and our relationships that make the world go around. Seeing some of the people there in the emergency, completely on their own, broke my heart.

Our work and our careers are important, yes – and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few moments of guilt throughout the day for not working, or for not having a more ‘productive’ day.  And yet if I really think about it, I had a very productive day, as I chose to focus on the people that matter most. Work will still be there, promise. Make your people a priority.

Little things become BIG things. 

When things are tough, or you’re feeling down, little things are actually BIG things. Smiles, gestures, and kind words go a LONG way.

On a normal day, I try to smile at everyone I pass by. And when I have any sort of  interaction with someone, I make sure I ask their name. And I have to say, smiles yesterday were felt and appreciated – both given and received – amongst everyone. And learning some of the nurses and admin staff’s names throughout the day came in handy. When asking how much longer before the next test, or getting the results, or if we could escape outside for a bit… well, being personal made a big difference.

We can’t always choose what happens to us in life, but we can choose how we show up, who we want to be, and what we’re going to do about it. 

Next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, a tough environment, or in a bit of a funk, do one of these things.

1.  Make a mental list of all you’re grateful for. 

2.  Reach out to someone important in your life. Let them know you appreciate them and why 

3. Take on a small gesture for another and watch the ripple effect.

 

There is power in shifting your perspective. And sometimes the smallest action truly can make the biggest difference.

 

And now I’d love to hear from YOU. Think back on a recent sticky situation or challenge you were in. What worked for you? Share your comments below… you never know who you may touch or inspire with your story!

Have a FAB week!

That dreaded 4-lettered ‘F’ word…

Oh, that dreaded 4-letter ‘F’ word!

And NO, I’m not talking about that one ~ get your head out of the gutter!

I’m talking about FEAR.

Fear seems to be all around these days.

While presenting at Achievers this week (we had so much fun!), during a partner breakout on powerful conversations, what came up most often as to what holds us back is fear. Fear of failure, fear of looking bad, fear of getting it wrong.

In a recent yoga class, the instructor was talking about the power of leaning into, and eventually letting go of, our fears.

And while having the pleasure of watching ‘A conversation with Ellen’ the week before last while in Calgary, one of the points of conversation that stuck out the most was the one on fear.

‘It isn’t even REAL!’ she shared. And then began to share the acronym, saying fear is simply:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

 

And on the contrary, the only thing that IS real, she said, is LOVE. 

The problem is, the majority of us out there – myself included – still experience fear.

It’s what holds so many of us back from playing bigger in our work (going after that promotion, raising our hand in that meeting), and playing bigger in our lives (learning that sport we’ve always wanted to try, committing to saving for that dream vacation)

Yes, I have fears. Boy oh boy do I have fears!

I’ll jump right to the biggest ones…

I’m afraid I’ll never get married. I’m afraid I won’t be able to have children. And I’m afraid I will die with too much potential still in me.

But here’s the thing I’m starting to realize. NONE of those are real ~ and as long as I focus on them, who’s to say they won’t become reality?

So if fear isn’t going anywhere any time soon (because it isn’t!), it’s time to use our fears and learn some new strategies to take on in spite of them.

1.  Look at your fear as an indicator of where you need to spend your energy and attention

Now I don’t mean I want you to spend your energy on the fear itself, instead I‘m inviting you to focus on what IS in your control. If you’re afraid something is going to happen, it likely means you want the opposite to happen. And if one is possible, the other is also equally as possible! If you’re afraid of never reaching your potential, have you defined what that potential is? Have you set a small goal that is in alignment with your bigger vision? Whatever we focus on, expands. So let’s do all we can to ensure our biggest fears do NOT become a reality.

2. Look at your fear as your friend

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ she speaks about ‘our dear friend fear.’  She calls it her friend because in her world she’s recognised whenever she’s about to embark on a new creative journey, her friend fear is there, whether she wants it there or not. So, she’s taken to inviting it along for the ride. She even gives it the seat in the car, but ensures she NEVER allows it to sit in the driver’s seat.

3. Look at your fear as way to measure your growth 

If you’re feeling the fear, chances are you’re thinking about taking action, or are already in action, towards something that makes you uncomfortable. How exciting is that! After all, the magic always happens outside of our comfort zones. And nothing big ever happens without first pushing through the discomfort. So if you’re feeling the fear, chances are you’re growing!

‘Anything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.’ ~ George Addair. 

And it’s true.

So, what do you REALLY want?

And how can you take one small step today, in spite of your fears, to get closer to making that one thing a reality?

I’m committed to helping individuals and organisations push past fear in order to live their biggest lives, both at work and at play. If you’re curious to see how I may be able to support you or your organisation, let’s set up a time to chat!

Happy Friday, and have a FAB weekend!

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.”

It’s not about buying presents, it’s about being present…

My week in pics: Family wedding, catching up with girlfriends and amazing members of the women living big – Tribe community, attending the CAPS Christmas party, and taking in the magic of this time of year… 

Happy Friday!

If you’re anything like me, you love this time of year. However as exciting as the hustle and the bustle and the lights and the Christmas Carols can be, it can also be a tad stressful!

This week I’m keeping it short and sweet, simply wanting to share some important reminders as to what this time of year is really about.  Continue reading “It’s not about buying presents, it’s about being present…”