Do you know how fabulous you are?

Happy Friday!

And Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, and every day, I celebrate YOU.

Even though I hope we don’t need a special day to realise how fabulous we are.

(And you know what, I don’t necessarily want to exclude the men today. I really don’t think today should be about a battle of the sexes. There are so many incredible men who have supported, encouraged, been our cheerleaders on the sidelines, and continue to be.)

But it is a day to recognise the incredible achievements of women, and to empower each and every one of us to continue to go after our dreams, to help us see and believe that anything and everything is possible.

There have been some incredibly brave and extraordinary women in our history that paved the way. Women who believed in the power of their dreams. Women who didn’t take no for an answer. Women who were prepared to fight for what they truly wanted. Women who really did make things happen, despite their circumstances, their age, their sex, their naysayers, their sometimes extreme battles.

We’ve come so far.

And maybe we still have a long way to go.

But I think it’s time to focus less on what we don’t have, and more on what we do have.

And moreover, less about seeking external validation, and more about realising we have all the power to achieve whatever we want within.

It’s about being brave enough to be ourselves in a world that all too often wants us to be something else.

In past blogs around this time of year, I’ve spoken about how fabulous women are. And let’s be honest, we ARE!

If we’re lucky enough, we can give birth and create new life. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, girlfriends, powerful professionals, caregivers… and sometimes all at the same time. We can rock it in anything from leather pants to yoga pants, from short cocktail dresses to jeans and a tee. We have big hearts. We nurture. From suffragettes to style icons, women inspire others to fight for their rights and go after their dreams. We have vision. We come from a place of love, compassion, and caring. We put others before ourselves. We have spirit. We have grit. We are beautiful. We have the power to bond pretty profoundly with one another. We take care of each other. When we see someone crying, we sit with her and find out what’s wrong and we comfort her. We have a natural ability to look after those needing comfort, support, love, friendship. We care. We are strong and capable yet gentle and kind. We come together and help each other. We are each other’s cheerleaders. Women fill up each other’s buckets. We can roar. We are brave and vulnerable and real. We can raise society up to a higher level by making value-based choices. And we women empower other fabulous women to step into their fabulousness.

Now you may not resonate with each and every idea above, but chances are you’re feeling you deserve a good ol’ pat on the back right about now.

And you DO! So go ahead, I’ll wait.

You really are pretty amazeballs. I hope you take a moment to realise it.

But you don’t need me to tell you that, your boss to tell you that, or the world to tell you that.

And we don’t need a special day to remind us of that.

You need to KNOW that. And believe it.

However, it is International Women’s Day. So take a moment to celebrate YOU today. And take a moment to celebrate the other special women in your life today, too. Reach out and tell them what they mean to you, and express how fabulous they truly are. And then reach out to the special men in your life, and let them know what their support means to you also.

I shall leave you with some inspirational quotes from some pretty inspirational ladies.

I shall leave you with some inspirational quotes:

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn

 

Have a FAB week, you fabulous woman (or man!) you!

 

Is it time to lift the instagram filter from your life?

Happy Friday!

Happy March 1st! 

Happy new month, and happy spring-is-just-around-the-corner (at least here’s hoping!)

This week I attended Speaker Slam, a monthly event where 10 brave speakers share their story around a particular theme. This month’s theme was overcoming adversity – and each and every story was deeply moving, super inspiring, and required some real vulnerability. Moreover, they spoke from their hearts and touched mine. I may have even shed a few tears. 

It certainly shifted my perspective on some of the so-called challenges in my life. 

Yet these brave individuals stood strong, shared from their scars and not their wounds, and are making a bigger impact in the world as a result.

One of the speakers included this line: it’s time to remove the instagram filter from our lives.   

Oh so true!

And it got me thinking.

We are currently living in a crazy epidemic of filters, false pretenses, and faux lashes, tans, breasts – you name it. 

But even worse than the fact a friend recently suggested I use some filters and editing to up my online dating profile (yup, being brave here and admitting to the fact I finally got online!) is the fact we’re hiding something even bigger behind those filters. 

I’ve had quite a few deep conversations recently about what is really going on behind those perfectly posed and primped photos… and it’s never what it seems. 

Now I’ll be the first to admit I use filters, too. 

I answer ‘fine’ when I don’t really feel like getting into everything. 

And I look at others’ lives and make assumptions and judgements about how they must have it all figured out. 

Here’s the thing. 

Filters may change how things look on the outside, but they do not negate what is actually going on behind the scenes. 

And when we compare our reality to everyone else’s highlight reel, we can end up feeling pretty awful about our life.

It’s time to have braver conversations. It’s time to get real with ourselves, get real with each other, and get real with what’s actually going on. 

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 
~ Brené Brown

And when you are brave enough, vulnerable enough to be seen exactly where you are, as you are – the authentic, imperfect, beautiful being that you are – only then will you truly connect with another. Only then will you truly show up in your power. And only then will the world truly benefit from all you have to offer. 

 

Putting it into action:

If you’re ready to let your guard down, and allow your real self – your whole self – to be seen and to shine, try on one or more of these ideas this week:

Be the first.

Be the first to share something a bit more uncomfortable, a bit more vulnerable, a bit more real. When you self disclose, you give permission to the other person to do the same. And self disclosure is the birthplace of true connection.

Take a selfie.

Take a selfie, don’t use a filter, and share with someone you know. Or, take it up a notch and share on social media. Feeling even more daring? Post without any make-up. You are beautiful exactly as you are. Remember that.

Answer honestly.

Next time someone asks you how you are, answer a little more honestly. I know, I know, ‘you’re fine’ ~ but more than likely there’s something you’re struggling with, or something you’re celebrating! Big or small. It’s all relative. Let them in. Don’t be ashamed to share the bad stuff and the good stuff. 

Use your voice, share your story.

You have one. We all do. Perhaps it’s time to come out of hiding. Because every time we use our voice to share a little bit more about who we are and the journey that got us here, we have the power to help another. And likely it’s someone who is only a few steps behind. Maybe it’s with a colleague at work, a sibling, a neighbour. Start small, and you’ll see how liberating it is. 

Don’t get caught in the trap!

If you find yourself getting caught in the social media vortex, comparing your reality to someone else’s highlight reel, or getting down on yourself, STOP THE INSANITY! Turn it off, breathe, shift your perspective. Remind yourself there’s more than likely one or more filters on that stuff! 

 

This morning I put this idea into practice. I gently, but intentionally, opened up and shared one of my current struggles with a colleague. And then BOOM! out came the tears! EEK! I wasn’t expecting that to happen! I immediately turned around and went for the door. But instead I stayed. He held the space, and we’re now closer as a result. Plus, he ended up sharing an extremely helpful tip that may actually be a gamechanger.  

Be brave enough to lift the Instagram filter from your life this week. Open up a little more vulnerably, share a little more honestly, connect a little more deeply. 

Life is way more rich when we get real with one another. 

Have a FAB week!

 

 

 

 

P.S.  My interview for The Confident Woman interview series goes live TOMORROW! It’s not too late to sign up so you can listen in! REGISTER for your complimentary spot HERE!

What a Stranger On The Beach Taught Me About Love

Happy Friday! 

So I was running along the beach yesterday, (yes, indeed I’m very blessed, and currently enjoying a lovely beach holiday with my family…) and said good morning as I passed by this same gentleman I’ve seen walking most mornings this week.

On my way back, he stopped me. “I just have to tell you, you are the most beautiful woman on this beach!

I smiled awkwardly, very aware of the perspiration now dripping down my face. And then I said thank you, and what a lovely thing to say, especially being Valentine’s Day.

He proceeded to comment on my positive energy, and said I looked like I could be right out of University. HA! We had a brief little chat, and it turns out he’s a sculptor on the island. He was jokingly trying to convince me to move here.

Now I have to say, it’s nice to receive a compliment. 

And seeing as how it was Valentine’s Day, it was all the more welcome. 

Because even though I tend to believe it’s a bit of a Hallmark Holiday, it can still be a little tough for single women (I gave a special ‘Shout Out To All The Single Ladies’ yesterday with an important message you can check out HERE.)

But at the same time, I realised I was allowing another’s opinion to affect my own feelings about myself. 

I shouldn’t need a compliment from a random stranger to feel better on Valentine’s Day! 

And moreover, we don’t need a special holiday to experience, feel, and celebrate the love that is all around us, and available whenever we want. 

So whether yesterday included chocolates or flowers, a romantic dinner out, or staying in to watch reruns of Sex In The City with popcorn and ice cream by yourself, it doesn’t matter. And here are some other ways you can show the love to yourself, and others, any day of the week. 

Because regardless of your situation, we could all do with a little more love in our lives. 

“Love doesn’t make the world go around. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~ Franklin P. Jones

 

1. Write yourself a love letter. 

When was the last time you wrote yourself a love letter? Have you ever written one?

No doubt you’ve written some in your time (I actually have an antique trunk where I keep old love letters and special cards from folks over the years…), however as important as it is to spread and share the love with others, it’s arguably even more important to show the love for yourself. 

So go on, get out a piece of paper or a card – or splurge on a fancy piece of stationary – and start waxing poetic to yourself, about yourself…

You can write it to yourself today, to your younger self, or to your future self. 

2. Write a love letter to someone else

Everyone loves a good love letter. And now that we’re older, or gotten too ‘busy’ – we’re not making time to express our love for other important people in our lives. And I’m not just talking about lovers or significant others. Love notes can be shared with friends, family members, colleagues, neighbours…

Share some of the reasons you love and/or appreciate someone. You’ll make their day, and yours too. You can do it spontaneously, or anonymously, or even pretend to be a secret admirer.

3. Take yourself out on a date

I used to take myself out on dates all of the time. I’d even get dressed up, and choose a nice place to treat myself to. 

Far too many women are too afraid to take themselves out… to put a fancy outfit on, to sit at the bar, and to simply enjoy her own company. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to go out on dates with other people, too – but it can be just as special to show yourself enough love to take yourself out.

Don’t want to go out? Order in and watch some Netflix in your pajamas. You may just find out you’re pretty good company!

4. Do a random act of love 

We’ve all heard of random acts of kindness… but what about random acts of love? Perhaps similar in nature, however random acts of kindness often have to do with strangers (or friends you haven’t yet met.) Whereas random acts of love could be considered random acts you do for people you already know. Put a love note into your child’s lunchbox. Send your sibling tickets to their favourite concert. Or say yes to watching a movie of your friend or significant other’s choice, even though it wasn’t first on your list. Love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic love. You can show small acts of love to anyone who means something in your life. And no doubt they will be open to receiving the love. 

5. Buy yourself flowers

There is something about having a fresh bouquet of flowers. It freshens the air. It freshens your home. It freshens your soul. And it’s almost like you’re giving yourself a special treat. We do it for our guests, but how often do we do it for ourselves? Well, you’re worth it.

6. Give up something you love

This may appear counterintuitive, so hear me out. Sometimes we do things that aren’t good for us, because we are very good at rationalising or justifying why we deserve it. A Netflix marathon until 2am in the morning. A second bowl of ice cream. A 3rd glass of wine. Maybe it’s time to love yourself enough to give something up. 

So next time you have a craving for a little extra indulgence, when you know it’s not going to be good for you in long run, say no. Because deep down you know even though in the moment you may think you’re showing yourself some love, ultimately, saying no may show you actually love yourself even more.

7. Donate to a Charity in honour of someone you love

It could be in memory of someone who has passed, or someone still living. It could be in their name, or given anonymously. Although it is nice to have our love received, arguably it’s even more important for YOU, as the sender to know you are expressing it. And it’s not always about what you may get in return.

So, which of these are you going to take on this week?

I wanna hear from you in the comments below.

Don’t wait for a compliment from a stranger in order to feel good about yourself. Be brave enough to be the first to show some love to yourself and to others, and watch it grow.

Have a FAB week!

It’s time to get your brave on.

Happy Friday!

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

That was a big theme in the conversation I had yesterday with one of my brave coaching clients.

There are numerous things you could do… today, this week, this lifetime.

But that doesn’t mean you should.

Now there are some things you absolutely should do. And, there are likely a whole lot more things you shouldn’t do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about saying yes. Saying yes to opportunities, yes to things that scare you, and yes to life. It takes a brave person to say yes, especially when it’s something that’s going to make you uncomfortable. And, it also takes a brave person to say no.

And when there is something you could do, but know you shouldn’t do, it requires you to dig a little deeper and be a little braver, speak a little louder and stand a little taller, and say NO.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be brave.

Having just been to Africa with an incredible group of women to spend time volunteering with the Dare Women’s Foundation, and then a week climbing Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, I have to say these 12 ladies were absolutely displaying what it means to be brave. (Read more about our epic night to the Summit HERE!)

But you don’t have to go to Africa, or even go any further than your front door for that matter, in order to be brave.

I’m pretty sure there are lots of areas in your life where you are braver than you give yourself credit for. I also bet your bottom dollar there are areas in your life where you could be braver.

Today, I’m more interested in the latter.

Could you be braver in your work? In your relationships? In your commitments?

Where have you been playing small, and where could you be playing a little bigger, a little braver, this week?

Here are some ideas: 

  • Get in touch with that person you’ve been avoiding
  • Have that difficult conversation you don’t want to have
  • Apply for a position or an opportunity you might not get
  • Tell that person you find them cute
  • Start that thing even if you don’t feel ready
  • Say yes to something that scares you
  • Say no to something that you could do, but know you shouldn’t do

When was the last time you got your brave on? Perhaps it’s time to get your big girl pants on, and your big girl brave face on.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out my friend Jana Stanfield’s song, ‘If I Were Brave.’

Cheers to you getting your brave on this week!

And then tell me how it went! I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB, brave-filled week!

25 Easy Ways to Make More Merry This Holiday Season!

Happy Friday!

Still on a high from an incredible CAPS convention in beautiful Vancouver, BC, learning and connecting with fellow speakers from all over the world… however there is no rest for the wicked, especially at this time of year!

After a serious leak from the condo above, I’ve had all new floors and baseboards put in, and the whole place repainted. So I’ve had no home for a few weeks (thank goodness I do love hotels!) and was finally able to move back in. Just in time, too, as I’m co-hosting a Christmas party tonight for the amazing Dovetail community of female entrepreneurs, and throwing a tacky Christmas sweater party for other friends and colleagues tomorrow night… because, well, why not?!?

I do love this exciting season, however perhaps you can relate to the to-do lists taking on a life of their own?

So I’m reminding myself, and you, to take a moment to slow down, and connect with what this season is really about.

And as I’m all about small, do-able, fun activities that can make a BIG difference both for you and for others, and we’re now knee deep into this festive season, I have some ideas for you!

Here are 25 easy ways to add a little extra merry and joy to you and yours and others this holiday season:

  1. Make a snow angel ❄👼❄ (ideally right on the sidewalk for all to see!
  2. Donate to your local food bank or fill a Shoebox for The Shoebox Project
  3. Send yourself a Christmas Card 📭 (why not?!?) and then give your postman (or postwoman!) a card while you’re at it 
  4. Buy yourself a poinsettia
  5. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk
  6. Invent a Christmas Cocktail
  7. Spend a day in your robe and just do nothing 
  8. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line ☕ 
  9. Get a sparkly festive manicure 💅
  10. Go to the movies to watch a vintage holiday classic 📽 (or stay in your jammies and watch Love Actually!)
  11. Learn a Christmas tune on the ukulele or the nose flute (talk to me if you’ve never heard of the nose flute, and I’ll introduce you to my good friend David Gouthro, who also happens to be the founder of the Vancouver Nose Flute Ensemble!)
  12. Treat yourself to a comfy onesie… be it a cheesy Christmas themed one or a snuggie!  
  13. Go to a fancy store, and try on a ridiculously expensive fuzzy, furry item… just ‘cause! (Or go to Value Village and buy a tacky Christmas sweater!)
  14. Build a Snowman ☃
  15. Visit your local Children’s hospital or hospice and enjoy some meaningful moments
  16. Buy chocolates for an old teacher, a mentor, or yourself
  17.  Go ice skating ⛸ or tobogganing 🛷 !
  18. Put on a pair of reindeer antlers and walk around town as if all is normal.(Maybe even make some ‘neeeiiigghh’ sounds!)
  19. Indulge in an obnoxiously large and fancy hot chocolate or other holiday beverage (I’m talking like Venti Gingerbread Latte styles!) 
  20. Bond with a stranger and turn them into a friend
  21. Spend some time out in nature. Go for a walk and if you’re lucky to have snow where you are, listen to the crunch sound under your feet as you walk
  22.  Bake cookies 🍪
  23.  Make an easy holiday craft (I always found reindeer candy canes the easiest!)
  24. Get a few friends or neighbours together and go Christmas Caroling 🔔
  25.  Crank up the 🎶 Christmas tunes 🎵 while driving, while cooking, or whenever… and get your belt on! 

 

Lots of ideas there… I hope you take on just ONE this week!

And then please do share your stories  below ~ and also feel free to add your ideas to the list! Always on the lookout for new fun things to do.

Remember, it’s not about simply adding more to your to-do list, rather to offer a fun respite of sorts, and get re-connected with what this holiday season is really about.

Have a FAB time making merry this week!

 

 

 

 

P.S. My friend Warren Leppik at Cognition Productions made a holiday card on my behalf for y’all… check it out HERE!

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!

3 Ways to Deal With Rejection.

Photo by Rhendi Rukmana on Unsplash

 

This week, I got rejected. Like, I’m talking FULL ON rejection. By a guy.

Walking off the stage at MoMondays, I was on a bit of a high, as I normally am after giving a talk. And after the final words of the night were spoken, and the applause and the dancing died down, my friend and I walked towards the bar for a glass of wine.

(Yes, it was a Monday evening, however I do like to celebrate after my speaking engagements, and it sometimes involves a glass of vino!)

On our way, I got stopped by a nice looking gentleman, who paid me a lovely compliment about my performance. 

‘Thank you!’ I responded politely.

Shortly thereafter he walked over and joined my friend and I, and soon the three of us found ourselves in a pretty interesting discussion. He was also with a friend, who mine ironically recognized, as the two of them had briefly dated. Small world! Eventually the 4 of us began chatting, and then the two of them, and the two of us. 

And while it was far from ‘love at first sight…’ I was enjoying the conversation, he seemed to have really good values, and maybe in part due to the glass of wine, I thought, ‘hmm… he’s actually pretty cute!’ (I will admit he did have beautiful blue eyes!) He was pretty engaged, or so it appeared, and I kinda thought maybe he thought I was kinda cute, too. And so, I found myself jumping way ahead of the game, and decided  that should he ask me out, I’d more than likely say yes. 

Now I did give him some push back when it came to his ideas on balance, and some grief when he ‘cheers-ed’ without looking me in the eye (that’s a big thing for me… luckily my friends and family all oblige this interesting idiosyncrasy of mine!), but I was also being kinda flirty.

Well, before we knew it we were closing down the place, although it was barely 11, and my friend announced she was going home. It was about that time, even though I almost assumed we’d be continuing the conversation. 

He then asked if she’d be alright, and if he could walk her home. Now at first I thought it was a tad weird, but quickly replaced that thought with the idea he must simply be a gentleman as he appeared to be. So I figured we’d all leave together, and even offered to drive her home. So we all squeeze into my mini and off we go. And then as she gets out, so does he, as he begins to say ‘I was actually hoping to ask for your…’ as my passenger side door gets slammed shut. 

My initial reaction? ‘Did that really just happen?!?’

I guess he was into her the whole time! And in that moment, I not only felt stupid, I also felt FULL ON rejected. 

Clearly I read the signs all wrong! Maybe he had been talking to me because he was more scared to talk to her. Maybe he wanted to get in good with me as her friend so I could put in a good word. Maybe he was only talking to me because I was talking to him. 

At first I kinda chuckled, but even though it was a guy I just met, and I knew there wouldn’t be any wedding bells in our future, in that moment, my ego and my pride were totally crushed.

And so, I did the healthy thing to do! I came home, I made popcorn, I had a little ‘woe is me’ Netflix binge-watching session.

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Carol, totally justified! Why didn’t you throw a little ice cream into the mix?!?’

And you know what, I can’t even remember the last time I watched Netflix, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

But it also got me thinking. How do I handle rejection in other areas of my life? And the truth is, not always very well!

And I know I’m not alone. 

Did you know that fear of rejection is one of the BIGGEST fears experienced by humans? 

And this fear is often what prevents us from raising our hand, sharing our big idea, or putting our name out there for a new position, a promotion, or a raise. 

And so, we often don’t even put our name into the mix at all.

If we don’t try, we can’t get rejected, right?!? 

Well yes, that’s true. And, it also means we’re likely not taking the risks required to go after what we truly want. 

And that’s not what living BIG is all about, and not what you’re all about!

So seeing as how bringing on the biggest you is going to sometimes mean rejection, let’s look at 3 ways to face it, combat it, and win over it.

1. Feel all the feels

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid of the discomfort. You have to sit in it, in order to work through it. So, find your coping mechanisms. Be it ice cream, Netflix, calling up a friend, going for a run, putting on some loud music and dancing in the kitchen, taking a bath, retail therapy, journaling. And, I might also suggest putting a timeline of sorts on it! You can wallow for a while, heck even throw yourself a little pity party, but after a few hours, it’s time to move on!

2. Get REAL, dig deeper

Ask yourself what’s really going on. Beneath the rejection there is almost always a thought or a believe that is being triggered. Is it your pride, is it an old story coming up, is it an expectation being thwarted? Get honest. Name it, and bring it to the surface. You gotta first get clear on what’s happening at the core before you can be ready to move on. 

3.  Reframe

Take the thought or belief that’s creeped its way into your head, and choose a more powerful one. Instead of ‘No,’ choose to look at it as ‘Not right now!’  It may also be beneficial to reframe how you look at the entire event. Instead of living in a binary world where there’s either success or failure, right or wrong, good or bad, look at every action you take as an EXPERIENCE (check out a previous post where I explain all about the power of getting into the EXPERIENCE ZONE) Because when you look at it as an experience, you’ve already won. And there’s no chance for failure or rejection! 

When you take the time to go through these steps, you’ll be ready to jump back onto the horse in no time!

And because you’re all about playing bigger, living bigger (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now!) you gotta be willing to put in the work. 

It’s not always going to be easy. Rejection, and the fear of it, ‘aint going anywhere any time soon. So you gotta be willing to put yourself out there in spite of it.

And if you think about it, the alternative is you failing by default by your lack of trying. 

As my wise father used to say: “A no you already have, a yes you can get. 

So go for it. Take the action. Ask for the number, apply for the opportunity, share the big idea. 

You never know what could happen!

(And then share what action you’re going to take this week In SPITE of the fear of rejection 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.

Wanna DEFY GRAVITY? It’s time to celebrate and go indoor skydiving!

 

It’s time to CELEBRATE! 🎉

WOMEN LIVING BIG IS TURNING 3! 
And so it only makes to plan a celebration, right?!?

But first, I have a question for you.

When was the last time you woke up feeling excited about your life?

Here’s the thing.

After having the honour of working with hundreds of women and speaking to thousands over the years, I know all too well women are VERY good at:

… putting everyone else before themselves,
… playing smaller than they know they could,
….forgetting how important it is to bring the JOY!


And one of the best ways I’ve found to remedy all 3?!?

Get OUT of your comfort zone and into your ‘B.I.G. Zone!’

And that is exactly what we’re going to do on Saturday, Oct. 27th at our ‘Take The Leap‘ event!

To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary, we’re delivering our most popular ‘IGNITE‘ workshop, and then learning how to DEFY GRAVITY, and go indoor skydiving!

Watch this video to learn more about what’s happening, and hopefully get you pretty excited!
(AND, I address you men as well as those outside of the Greater Toronto Area, too! Don’t you worry!)

In this powerful, hands-on workshop, you will:

  • LEARN the 3 areas that make up your ‘B.I.G. Zone’ ~ and get clear on what’s missing
  • DISCOVER how to break free from the ‘not enough-inaction’ trap
  • IDENTIFYyour unique values, drivers, and gifts
  • CREATE your B.I.G. Vision Board (we’re getting messy here!)
  • CRAFT your personal B.I.G. Life Action Plan (with 1 30-Day Goal in your calendar!)

PLUS, you’ll be able to put it into practice RIGHT AWAY, with an option to DEFY GRAVITY and go indoor skydiving!!!

(***skydiving is OPTIONAL… you can also join us for the workshop portion only!) 

More information can be found HERE.

JOIN US on Saturday, Oct. 27th to Take the LEAP out of our your comfort zone and IGNITE your B.I.G. Life! 

I  look forward to seeing you there!

How do you say, and DO, thank you?

Perhaps I’m riding of the coattails of Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend, but I’ve definitely been aboard the thanks and gratitude train this week.

I’ve been feeling pretty grateful, expressing lots of thanks and gratitude, and also seem to have received a whole lot in return. 

And so, I felt it a good time to talk about the power of giving thanks.

Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Danke schön. Bedankt. Grazie. Hvala. Spasiba. Khup kun kah. Obrigado. Takk. Mahalo. Xie xie.

However you say it, thank you means thank you in every language. 

(**prize in store for anyone who can name each language above without looking any up!!! Simply COMMENT below!)

Whenever I have the opportunity to visit a new country, the first words and phrases I immediately learn are hello, goodbye, please and thank you (and then ‘cheers’ too!) And you can actually get a LONG way on these alone.

Although I’ve come to realize it’s not just about knowing how to say thank you, it’s about how you actually show it and express it. 

AND, finding some fun and unique ways to do it!

Watch this week’s video to learn not only WHY it’s so important to feel and express gratitude, but also get some unique ideas as to how to do it!

What are your ideas for some different and meaningful ways you’ve either sent or received a thank you?

And which one are you going to put into practice this week?

I’d love to hear from you below!