It’s time to get outside!

Happy Friday!

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

Thank goodness I love traveling!

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

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

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

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

I think dogs have the right idea. 

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

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

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

Being outside offers lots of perks and benefits, too.

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

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

It makes you feel happy!

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

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

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

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

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

Have a FAB week!

Carol

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!

 

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!

It’s not about the summit…

It was 11pm. And it was cold.

Although we were strongly encouraged to go to bed after dinner, knowing what lay ahead, most of us hadn’t managed to sleep. 

Perhaps it was the temperature, or the timing, or the sheer excitement. 

I had barely got my mitts on, and was still adjusting my poles to the proper length, before we were off. 

‘Duende!’ 

(‘Let’s go!’ in Swahili)

One by one, step by step, in single file line, we began our final summit night ascent up Kilimanjaro.

I looked up from the path and the carefully trodden footprints to the women in line ahead of me, and to all of the guides on either side of us – with two more than normal there were seven altogether – and I felt both proud and protected. 

‘One team, one dream!’ Hemedi, one of our main guides, had declared our first night together. And it had quickly become our slogan, our proclamation, our lifeline. 

We were one team – and a powerful force at that – with one dream… to make it to the summit.

We continued to climb, but it somehow felt more serious, more somber than before.

Six days earlier we’d begun our climb up Africa’s largest peak.

We’d conquered rain and snow, the famous Barranco wall, and even Lava Tower – our day 3 destination – who’s high altitude had affected the majority of our group leaving many ill and worried they wouldn’t be able to go on.

Although at times challenging, and despite long days of nine plus hours of hiking, I never doubted my ability to get to the top. 

And although physical fitness doesn’t guarantee one won’t be affected by altitude sickness, l was still pretty confident I’d be able to make it happen. 

Until I wasn’t. 

Just then I began to feel it. 

Not only were my hands freezing, my tummy was turning. And then came the gurgles. 

I began to feel it. The altitude. 

It was hours before our first short break. 

And not a moment too soon.

Even then, there was no time to dawdle. It was hurry up and do your business if you must, grab some water, and get back in line.

(Although I certainly felt better afterwards, having to do your business on the side of the mountain, where it was very difficult not to be exposed somehow, and in the middle of the night when the last thing you feel like doing is taking off all of your layers, is not so much fun let me tell you!)

By the time I was back, we were immediately off again in our single file line.  

There was no singing, no laughing, no bubbly conversation as there had been the days previously. 

‘This isn’t fun anymore!’ someone from our group proclaimed. 

My heart sank. I’m sure she wasn’t the only one feeling that way. In fact, I’m pretty sure we were all beginning to feel that way.

Perhaps I’m making it out to be a bit more somber than it actually was. I mean it wasn’t all that awful – at least at first – but it was also no walk in the park.

At first, I was quite enjoying the rhythm of our steps.

I was enjoying the quiet. The nature. The team we were a part of.

I was beginning to realize we were now on a mission that became bigger than any one of us.

But after a few hours, the first in line peeled off. And then the next one. And the one two behind me. 

I was also beginning to realize we may not all make it. 

As a team leader that’s tough. And when you’re not allowed to get out of line yourself to check in on your people, and when you yourself aren’t feeling so hot, it makes it even harder. 

I began to recite a mantra in my mind:

'we will summit, 
we will summit, 
and we’ll be,
warm again.’

It had a distinct rhythm and tune. And I must have recited it several hundred times before we finally made it to the crater rim of the mountain, Stella point. 

And by that point, my stomach had settled a little bit. We had been going for almost 8 hours. 

The next 45 minutes of the climb, also the last 45 minutes of the climb, although not overly physically demanding, lasted an eternity. 

However as the sun slowly began to offer its morning light, I felt hopeful. 

My fear that I may not make it, which was pretty real at some point during the ascent, subsided. It was happening. 

It was freezing, we were freezing, and a few brave members of the group – who had declared more than once they were ready to turn back, and who had been persuaded more than once to keep going – were barely hanging on. 

It was no longer about me making it to the top, and more about making sure all those still with us would make it.

I knew this sign had better show up sooner rather than later!

We began to pass fellow climbers coming in the opposite direction, big grins on their faces (or occasionally very white in their faces!) heading down the mountain.  

‘Congratulations!’ they shouted. And I knew we were close. 

And then off in the near distance I saw her. 

The sign. 

The official post that marked the summit. 

We began to quicken our steps. 

And suddenly, there we were. 

We made it. 

We had reached the peak, summited to the summit, achieved our goal. 

So we took the picture, dug deep to smile big, and then just like that, the moment was over and were already on our way down. 

Blink and you could’ve missed it. 

And if I’m honest, it was almost a bit anticlimactic. 

Now in all fairness it was snowing and very cloudy and there was no beautiful sunrise to be seen. Perhaps that would have made a difference. 

But still, this big summit reaching moment wasn’t what I thought it would be.

And as I began the descent back down, I realized although we may have made it to the summit, it wasn’t about making it to the summit at all. 

It never was. 

And it never is. 

Whether a summit, a destination, a goal… 

Here’s the thing. You’ll never get ‘there’ – yet you’ve already arrived. 

It really is about the experience, the journey, the steps you have to go through in life order to get to where you want to go, and more importantly the person you have to become in the process. 

And that was certainly the case for our climb up Kilimanjaro.

The actual moment of reaching the summit paled in comparison to all of the special moments we enjoyed leading up to it.

The singing and dancing and cheering we did with all of our guides and porters at camp. 

The deep discussions we’d get into in our dining tent on life, love and diamox (to take, or not to take?)

The sharing of our roses and thorns at the end of every evening, which ended in laughter or tears or powerful breakthroughs.

Hard to believe this epic experience of a lifetime has come to an end. But the learnings and the connections are only just beginning.

And these special moments will truly last a lifetime. 

And I am so freakin’ proud of what our ‘one team, one dream’ accomplished. 

So although I will continue to set goals and climb mountains and may even  attempt to once again reach the summit – and hope you do too – I’m going to focus on enjoying the journey (hopefully with less gurgles next time!) 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that maters, in the end.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin 

Indeed. 

Have a FAB week!

Is it time to let your hair down?

I had the honour of speaking in Ottawa last week at a Professional Development Week.

And when my schedule allows, I love being able to stay and actually take part in the event, versus simply flying in and flying out. It gives me a chance to get to know the members and staff of the organization or association, meet the delegates and ask about their challenges and what they’re looking to learn, and connect with fellow speakers. 

As it happened, I was sitting on a leadership panel on Wednesday, was giving a presentation on Friday, and was able to take part and digest much of the week’s program and activities before and after. 

But when I was invited to stay to attend the President’s Ball on the last evening… I found myself in a bit of a predicament. 

One.

I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. (I actually really liked the organisers and staff and everyone I was meeting… and want to be asked to come back next year!)

Two.

I actually had an event in Toronto I was supposed to get home for. 

Three.

I wasn’t sure how professional it would appear for a speaker to be busting a move on the dance floor (I do have some pretty good moves!)

Well, I contemplated both sides. 

I ran it by a friend.

I got clear on what I really wanted to do.

And finally someone said: ‘Why don’t you just stay and let your hair down?!?’

And in the end, I did. And I had a great time.

But it got me thinking. 

Now I can be very spontaneous, but it’s not always without analysis, over-analysis, or serious judgment. 

Is that the ‘right’ thing to do? 

Is that what I ‘should’ do?

What would others think or say if I were to do that?

How many of your actions are motivated by what you think is the right thing to do, or what you feel you should be doing, or out of comparison and/or fear of what others may think or say?

Sometimes we gotta stop caring, over-analysing, or doing the ‘right’ thing. 

Maybe it was time to let my hair down. 

Maybe it’s time to let your hair down, too.

(and for those who don’t have hair, maybe it’s time to loosen your tie a little, or take it off altogether…!!!) 

Now what does that mean?

Perhaps it means saying yes to something you would normally say no to. Perhaps it means saying no to something you would normally say yes to. Perhaps it means you try something you’ve never done before. 

Perhaps it means you… 

Share your big dream aloud. Say hello to that cute boy or girl in line or sitting next to you at Starbucks. Stop playing the game. Stop doing what you think you should be doing. Stop comparing where you think you should be to where you are. Get rid of the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary once and for all. Sleep in past your alarm. Don’t even set your alarm. Play hooky for an afternoon or even a whole day. Sign up for an open mic night. Sign up for a 5km race. Take a tap class or a salsa class or a Bollywood dance class. Dance in your kitchen. Dance in your birthday suit. Dance like nobody’s watching. Sing in the shower, in your car, or out loud somewhere, anywhere. Commit to doing something even if it scares you. Especially if it scares you. Do something a little crazy, something out of the norm, something totally unexpected. 

 

Now I’m not talking about doing anything dangerous or overly rebellious or ridiculously scary that it puts you in your panic zone. 

But I do think it may be time to let loose, just a little.  

So what would letting your hair down or loosening your tie look like to you?

And what is one small action you could take on this week to do just that? 

Go ahead. I dare you. 

(And let please let me know what you did! I wanna celebrate with you! Share in the comments below…)

Have a FAB week!

No deals, just questions…

(images taken from my hotel and last night’s run!)

Happy Friday! And Happy Black Friday to boot!

And greetings from Gatineau, Quebec, a little outside of Ottawa, where I’ve had the honour and privilege of speaking for the Financial Management Institution (fmi) Professional Development Week.

I spoke on a leadership panel a few days ago, and this afternoon was the first time I spoke in a massive theatre (with a green room and all!) and the first time I had my slides and presentation translated.

Apart from the fact my session was the last slot on the last day of a 5-day conference, and on a Friday afternoon no less, it went well!

Black Friday has been the furthest thing from my mind, however my inbox is now flooded with deals galore, not-to-be-missed-sales, one of kind ‘ACT NOW!’ opportunities.

It’s come to be expected.

Black Friday is any retailer, credit card provider, consumer’s dream.

But is it, really?

Do we really need any more STUFF?

I’m going to generalise here a little bit, but we seem to be a culture chasing stuff, things, something.  

Whether it be the dream, the job, the man (or woman,) the house, the kids, the latest gadget or gizmo that’s now on sale at Best Buy.

Well I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

NONE of those things are going to bring you the happiness that I dare say we’re all so desperately seeking.

So, I’m going to boycott Black Friday.

Instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to reflect on where I’m at, what’s real, what’s not, what’s working, what’s not, and who I need to be in order to get to where I want to go.

Care to reflect with me? Here are some questions to ponder… (and I dare you to actually answer at least a few!) 

  • How did you show up today?
  • How do you want to show up tomorrow?
  • Where in your life are you brave?
  • Where in your life could you be braver?
  • What are your unique gifts?
  • Are you bringing all of your gifts to the table?
  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • Are you sticking to them?
  • What brings you joy, really?
  • How can you bring more of the joy?
  • What words would you like others to use when describing you?
  • What are you grateful for today?
  • Who are those special peeps in your life you can’t live without?
  • When was the last time you told them so?
  • What courageous conversation, that if you had today, would make all the difference?
  • What one thing, that if you started doing (or stopped doing) today, would make all the difference?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and make one change to your current reality, what would it be?
  • What is your one big message you want to share with the world?
  • How are you sharing it? And if you’re not already sharing it, when are you going to start?
  • What does living BIG mean to you?
  • Where could you live even BIGGER?
  • What is your first next step to start you on this path?

Perhaps a little deep for a Friday evening.

But then again, is there ever going to the right time to ask the tough, reflective, important questions?!?

(And if you have any other questions to throw into the mix, I’d love to hear from you!) Please feel free to share your comments below.

Happy Black Friday!

 

 

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!