Stop pleasing the teacher!

Happy Friday!

On Monday morning, my alarm went off at 4:45am. 

Now I enjoy mornings, but I wouldn’t really call myself a morning person per say. And while I have quite a few friends and colleagues who are a part of the 5am club, I am not one of them!

But I got up at that time because I’ve signed up for swim training again. And, well, it begins at 5:55am. And seeing as how the pool is about 40 minutes away, I was already cutting it close. 

On the way there, I was feeling a tad anxious. 

So I tried to ask myself where it was coming from. 

Part of it was due to the fact it had been a long time since I’d been in the pool…

But another part of it, as embarrassing as it is to admit, was me feeling worried about what the coach thinks of me! Because I was off for a large part of last season due to breaking my foot, and because I missed our first session last week, I kinda have this belief she thinks I’m not dedicated enough, not good enough, or she simply doesn’t like me!

I’m a grown woman, and I am still worried about pleasing the teacher!

Indeed it’s a bit ridiculous. 

Growing up, I was a bit of a people pleaser. And although I’ve come a long way, I still do certain things in an effort to make others happy. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, mind you. I mean, it’s nice to be nice to people. We all like nice people. And I do try my best to be a nice person. But there is a difference between wanting to be nice, and needing to please. 

Now people-pleasing, as I’ve shared before, is one of the Big Bravery Killers

And it’s one of the things that can prevent us from doing what we truly want to be doing, and what we’re truly meant to be doing with our lives. 

We like gaining approval, recognition, validation. We like being liked. 

But sometimes, we can go to great lengths to please others. And to our detriment. 

I’m sure you can think of a time you said yes to something or someone, when perhaps you should have said no. And every time you do that, you are then saying no to something, or someone else. And all too often that is you

Yes, it’s about creating strict boundaries, honouring your limits and taking care of you.

But more that that, it’s about pleasing YOU, above all. 

In the famous article, Top Five Regrets of the Dying, which I’ve expanded upon in a past blog, Bronnie Ware shares what she discovered over the years through her work in palliative care. The number one regret of the dying is wishing they had had the courage to live a life true to themselves, instead of a life others expected of them. 

And if we’re going to live a life that is truly true to who we are, we may have to do a little less pleasing of others, and a little more pleasing of ourselves. 

Now perhaps it’s worth examining the motivation behind this pleasing.

Why are we wanting to please? To make others happy, or ourselves happy? Are we doing things we don’t even really want to be doing sometimes merely to please? And are we ever going to be truly happy if we are only ever doing things thinking and hoping they will please? 

Maybe we need to focus less on pleasing, and more on serving. 

And I think there is a distinction that needs to be made between the two. 

  • Pleasing others may elicit actions we don’t actually want to do. Serving others more often elicits actions from a genuine want to do so.
  • Pleasing others elicits actions motivated by a desired outcome. Serving others elicits actions motivated by a desired behavior.
  • Pleasing others may not stem from us being our most authentic selves. Serving others requires us to be our most authentic selves. 
  • Pleasing others may not necessarily leave us, or others, feeling empowered. Serving others is all about empowerment.
  • Pleasing others may lead to exhaustion, burn-out, failure. Serving others is invigorating, energizing, inspiring.

Perhaps it’s time to switch the narrative… perhaps it’s time to trump service over pleasing. 

Because so long as we are looking for others’ approval or validation, we will never get it. Whereas if we are truly operating from a place of service, we’ll likely be operating from our most powerful, authentic, bravest selves. And moreover, wanting to serve means we’re dedicated to making a difference… both with the people around us, as well as in the world. 

Perhaps it’s time to re-think. Life is short. Better to spend energy and time with those that already get you, like you, love you. 

Maybe I’m going to have to be okay with the fact my swim coach may not like me. I think I’ll survive. 

Maybe it’s time to focus on those who get me, and those who I want to serve in my life, instead of those I want to please.

So it’s time to get honest. 

Is there a ‘teacher’ in your life that you are trying to please? Perhaps it’s a boss, a parent, a colleague, a sibling, a friend. Are you trying to get them to see you? To give you their approval? To offer validation?  

I want to hear from you in the comments below!

 

Is more, better?

Happy Friday!

You may recall the story of Oliver Twist.

And more specifically, do you remember the part where young Oliver, still ravished after his first small bowl of oatmeal gruel, innocently asks in his lovely little boy British accent:

“Please, Sir, I want some more…”


Well, he was not met with a positive response, and in fact was thrown out of the workhouse as a result!

Poor guy… (I actually had to refresh my memory with the story, and it turns out because all of the boys were starving, decided they would choose one boy to speak out and ask for seconds… and Oliver was the unlucky winner of the lottery!) 

Now in this case, he wanted more because he was truly starving. 

But why is it we almost always seem to want more?

When is anything ever going to be enough?

And is more even better?

I’m asking myself these same questions as I pose them to you.

Because the truth is, I often find myself with a feeling of wanting more. Or automatically focusing on what I don’t yet have. 

And I know I’m not alone! 

A few days ago I was having a lovely conversation with a special family friend, who is somewhat limited with what she and her husband are able to do, due to the fact he is in a wheelchair. 

And while she was sharing it’s tough not to always be able to do the things she wants to do, not even a moment later she wisely stated:

“But I’m happy with what we have.”

Yes! Gratitude and appreciation for what we actually have right here, right now. It made me smile big. 

A few nights ago I was at a fireside chat for female entrepreneurs. And I had a lovely conversation with one of the panelists – who not only has a very successful business, is also very humble and happens to be a friend and generous mentor. She was wanting to congratulate me on some of the things I’ve been up to recently, to which I replied ‘Yeah, but, I’m not ____  yet. I’m not doing _x_ yet. I haven’t figured out _y_.

She quickly responded by saying, ‘but maybe you have!’ And maybe you do!’ Then she brought up the word insatiable, and began to challenge me on it. 

In a follow up chat, she wisely said it’s okay to be insatiable, ‘just as long as you give yourself permission to live your current life just as it is, just as you are.’ 

WOW. I needed to hear those words. 

I’m aware this idea is not a new one, however it’s an important one.
And as with all important ideas, they deserve repeating in different ways. 

It’s okay to be ambitious. It’s okay to want to grow. It’s okay to have goals.

But not if you can’t also be happy with where you are now.

It’s often too easy and too tempting to look at where we want to be, or what may be missing from where we are, instead of focusing on being grateful and celebrating what we’ve got.

This week I’ve had some pretty big successes, and yet before I really gave myself an opportunity to take them all in, I’m already looking ahead to what’s next!

And how will we ever be truly fulfilled or satisfied if we live that way?!?

More is not always better. 


I think it’s time for a little shift in perspective. 

So, I have a few questions for you to answer this week:

  • When was the last time you made a gratitude list? If you can’t remember the last time, perhaps it’s about time!
  • What is one thing happening in your life right now worth celebrating? 
  • What would it mean to ‘give yourself permission to live your current life just as it is, just as you are?’

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

Perhaps in the case of oatmeal gruel, we would want more (they must have been REALLY hungry!)  

But when it comes to most other things we’re continually chasing, maybe more isn’t always better. 

Have a FAB week!


Because I am brave…

Happy Friday!

Well, it turns out I’m not the only one who wants to be braver!

Thank you for your thoughts and comments and answers to last week’s blog, ’If I Were Braver…’ 

I think we’re onto something here, folks!

I did this exercise earlier today with a leadership group within the Nanaimo Ladysmith District School Board, where I am now (such a great group and such a beautiful part of the world!)

It made for some very powerful conversation, and some even more powerful brave action commitments!

And you know what I’m learning?

It’s not a one and done kinda thing.

It’s a practice. 

It’s contagious. 

And so even though I shared my very own ‘If I Were Braver…’ list from the stage last week, speaking live in front of a group is one thing. Sharing the video online is quite another!

But because I am brave, I did it. 

I posted it for all the world to see on social media, and the response has been overwhelming. 

And so I am going to continue to get my brāv on and share it with you now. (EEK!)

Here is a mini excerpt to peak your attention:

‘What if courage isn’t an act of doing, but an act of being?

Of being brave enough to take on our lives. To declare what it is we really want, even if we’re terrified it may never happen. 

Of being brave enough to be you, and brave enough to be me. With all of our flaws, fears, and foibles. And in a world that desperately wants us to be someone else…’

Here’s what else I’m learning.

Fear ‘aint going anywhere any time soon. 

Yet if we continue to give into it, neither are we. 

The way I see it, we have two choices. 

Stay where we are, stay comfortable, and stay safe – OR – be willing to take that first step, to be uncomfortable, to be brave IN SPITE OF our fear.

If you were braver, what would you do that you’re not already doing? And who would you be that you’re not already being?

Go ahead, I DARE you. 

For those of you who already took a step of brave action last week, WAY TO GO! What did you do? And what happened as a result?

And for those of you who are still in Dr. Suess’s ‘Waiting Place,’ ~ what are you waiting for?!? It’s not too late to re-commit and start again.

Be BRĀV enough to share your comments below!

Have a FAB week!!!

P.S. Our next cohort of Brāv Leader program begins on Oct. 15th! 

If you’re interested in learning more about this powerful 6-month transformational development program, let’s hop on the phone! 

Don’t procrastinate on joy.

This morning, I had a croissant. 

Cue gasp here.

Now it’s not that croissants are all that bad – everything in moderation as my mother would say. It’s just that I unfortunately have certain food intolerances and knew I would pay for it later (which I did!) and yet I couldn’t help myself.

I had just landed in Paris and it seemed like the right thing to do. 

When in Rome, when in Paris, or even when you’re at home or perhaps sitting on a patio, porch, or balcony. 

Wherever you may be – physically or energetically – sometimes the moment calls for something. 

Give into it. 

Don’t procrastinate on joy. 

It’s summertime, after all. And I don’t know about what it’s like where you are right now, however in Toronto these Summer days are both beautiful and short lived. And so we need to ensure we are experiencing, enjoying, making the most of the moments. 

One of the things I’m working on is my ability to trust, let go, and simply go with the flow. And to be here now. And to notice all of the amazingness that exists right here, right now, instead of looking ahead to the next thing or moment. 

I spoke at a women’s conference a few months ago, and one of the other speakers was the incredible Sam Horn. And one of the lines that really stuck with me was this one:

“These are the golden days. These are the golden days.”

A friend recently introduced me to the law of diminishing returns. Now in economic terms, where it is readily used, in simple terms refers to investments you make that begin to diminish as soon as you make them. 

However when it comes to living your life, it basically means when the moment you’ve been looking forward to finally arrives, or the moment you get something you’ve really wanted for a while, or achieve something you’ve been working towards for some time, it slowly begins to lose it’s lustre. 

And this theory also explains why more often than not, as soon as you arrive at your destination or achieve what you thought you wanted, you’re already looking toward to the next thing. 

Be it the degree, the job, the car, the raise, the promotion, the man, the house, the dog, the baby. 

Don’t procrastinate your joy.

I’m writing to you from the beautiful Alsace region of France, typing on a computer sitting in a random park I came across where I spotted some shade. We’re in the middle of a heat wave. I’m staying in a beautiful old chateau where my friends’ wedding will be held on Saturday. And, there is no AC nor wifi. I walked to the nearby restaurant hoping to be able to get a little bit of work done,  only to find it was closed until dinner time. 

My initial reaction was one of frustration. But then I chose something different. I threw off my flip flops, threw in my headphones, sat in the grass and started writing. 

I’m finding it quite peaceful to be honest!

You only live once (YOLO!) and indeed these are the golden days.

Perhaps as soon as we stop looking forward towards the next thing that will bring us joy, we’ll be able to experience the joy available right here in this moment. 

So whether the moment calls for a croissant, gelato, or being barefoot in the grass, say yes. Indulge. Give into the moment. 

Don’t procrastinate joy. 

And now I want to hear from you… how are you going to make sure you do NOT procrastinate on joy this week?!? I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Conversations & Connections. Why they matter.

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

It’s been an amazingly full week. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1. Be The First

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

2. Give a Compliment

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

3.  Get Curious

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

4. Engage in Active Listening

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

5. Be Present 

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

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

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


Have a FAB week!

May you enjoy a moment of awe and wonder…

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

Awe and wonder.

That is exactly what I felt looking into the cutest, innocent, most precious eyes of baby Harris.

I’m a proud Auntie once again!

My Dad and I flew out to Calgary as soon as we caught word things were happening with my sister, landing an hour after the newest member of our family arrived into the world. 

And he is simply perfect. 

There is just something about holding and cuddling with a newborn baby…
The innocence. The softness. The scent.

I know babies are born every second in every corner in every part of the world, but that doesn’t take away from the miracle that is in each and every birth.

It is indeed magical and a miracle. 

And it got me thinking; that is exactly what this time of year is all about. 

So regardless of what you believe, what you celebrate (or not) I hope you take a moment or two to experience the magic and the miracle of the holiday season.

Amongst the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the baking;
the entertaining, the decorating and the holiday pie making…

May you experience a moment of awe and wonder. 

In fact, may you experience many special moments.

Adopting from a previous blog I shared around this time of year, instead of 12 days of Christmas, I wish you 12 moments of Christmas:

May you enjoy a moment of joy. 

Real joy… when your heart is smiling. When time stops.

May you enjoy a moment of laughter. 

Catch yourself next time mid-laughter. Milk it. Indulge in it. Laugh until your cheeks hurt. 

May you enjoy a moment of gratitude.

There is always something to be thankful for. Choose one thing you are especially grateful for. Inhale it in.

May you enjoy a moment of connection.

Allow yourself to be fully in somebody’s presence. Engage. Really see them, and let them see you.

May you enjoy a moment of peace.

Perhaps in silence, perhaps amidst the noise. Take a breath, and be still. If only for a moment.

May you enjoy a moment of love. 

Maybe in giving, maybe in receiving. Experience a moment where love exists. Allow it to make your heart sing.

May you enjoy a moment of fun.

Whether planned, or unplanned, ensure you bask in a moment of full-on fun. I dare you.  (perhaps you’ll need to borrow your friends’ or sisters’ kids like I did! Nothing is more fun than playtime with Auntie Carol!)

May you enjoy a moment of reflection. 

‘Tis also the time of year to look back on all that has transpired over this past year (or even this past week!) and look forward to all there is to come.

May you enjoy a moment of excitement.

Whether experiencing the season through the eyes of a curious child, or putting yourself back there (I still kick my legs under my sheets every Christmas morning in sheer excitement! You’re never too old!), invite yourself to feel what it’s like to get truly excited. 

May you enjoy a moment of giving.

It doesn’t have to be all about gifts at this time of year. You can give with your heart through your time, your words, your thoughtful acts, your presence.

May you enjoy a moment of presence.

Amidst all that’s going on, take a moment to just be. Notice the world around you, notice your feet planted firmly on the ground, notice your heart pumping. 

May you enjoy a moment of awe and wonder.

There really is so much to be in awe and wonder of at this time of year. Whether looking into the eyes of a newborn baby, watching the lights sparkle, or watching the world go by, take a moment to notice and appreciate just how wonderful a feeling awe and wonder is. 

No need to force any moments… I only encourage you to be open to invite some moments in, and indulge in how they make you feel.

Nothing to do, simply to be this holiday season. 

‘Tis the season for… moments. May you experience lots of special moments, enjoy lots of special moments, make the season count. 

(And then please share some of these moments in the comments below! I want to share in them with you.) 

Wishing you and yours an awe and wonder-filled season!

 

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.

Bring On The B.I.G.GEST You! Here’s how.

Happy Friday!

And greetings from Chicago, where I’m still on an inspired high after speaking at Paylocity’s ELEVATE Conference.

I was fortunate to have been participating in the action over the last few days, connecting with delegates, Paylocity team members, and fellow speakers – not to mention busily prepping my presentation – hence the reason I’m a tad delayed in getting this blog out to you today!

Today’s session was entitled ‘Bring on the BIGGEST You: How to Step Into Your Power.’  And the room was a-buzzing!

You likely know I’m all about empowering people – female leaders and professionals especially – to step up, stand out, and bring all of themselves to the table.

Too many of us are playing smaller than we know we can.

And, at our core (as with every living organism) we are wired to grow as BIG as we can and live as LONG as we can.

So why aren’t we doing it?!?

Life. Responsibilities. Limited resources and competing demands. Expectations. FEAR. ALL kinds of fear… 

You and I both know there are as many fears out there as there are ice cream flavours (maybe even more) and at one point I had to stop the audience because hands were being raised left, right and centre sharing types of fear… we simply had too much juicy content to jump into!

Here’s the thing.

Because of our fears, we tend to overcompensate.

We read MORE books, 

We listen to MORE people. 

We get MORE certifications, qualifications, letters after our name.

We want to prove ourselves good enough, capable enough, successful enough ~ when we don’t already feel ourselves good enough, capable enough, successful enough.

YET,

Success doesn’t exist so long as you’re chasing it. 

Success exists the moment you realize you’re already there.

 

It’s not about getting a raise or a promotion,

it’s about putting your name in the mix.

 

It’s not about having more letters after your name,

it’s about continuing to learn and grow.

 

It’s not about crossing the finish line.

it’s about signing up for the race.

 

So it’s time to STOP.

  • It’s time to stop listening to the experts,
  • It’s time to stop reading Success Magazine,
  • It’s time to stop doing what everyone else is doing.

It’s time to stop chasing the carrot. 

It’s time to start chewing it. 

 

What do I mean by that? 

Whether you’re seeking success, happiness, or another rung on the corporate ladder, you’ll only arrive once you realise you’re already there.

You already have all that it takes to bring the BIGGEST you to all you do.

Fear ‘aint going anywhere any time soon.

And so we may as well invite it along for the ride, and learn how to play BIG in spite of fear.

Having had the privilege of speaking to and working with thousands of women over the years, it really comes down to three things.

The biggest part of you is the part of you that is:
(I’ll even share some slides from today!)

BRAVE

 INSPIRED

GETS INTO ACTION

And this is what today’s presentation was all about.

  • We looked at what it means to be BRAVE at work, and how to be braver.

  • We explored what it means to be INSPIRED at work, and how to be more inspired.

  • We discovered what it means to GET INTO ACTION at work, and how to get into more action, one step at a time.

 

When you bring the BIGGEST you to all you do everyone, and everything, becomes BIGGER. And you’ll be able to enjoy:

Bigger risks

Bigger ideas

Bigger action

Bigger results

Bigger connection

Bigger satisfaction

Bigger fulfilment

Bigger fun

Bigger growth

Bigger experiences

Bigger joy

Bigger insights

Bigger buy-in

Bigger opportunities

Bigger influence

Bigger impact…

The list goes on. 

Life becomes, well, BIGGER.

You start to play a bigger game of life, and in return create a bigger life for yourself and all those around you.

And who doesn’t want that?!?

If you want to learn more about the content and the ideas discussed during this presentation, simply reply to this email and I’ll be happy to share!

And if you’re ready to GET INTO ACTION now, I shall leave you with these questions:

  • How are you brave? How will you be BRAVER?

  • How are you inspired? How will you be MORE INSPIRED?

  • How are you getting into action? And how will you get into more action? 

Choose ONE action to take on. 

Commit to ONE action to take on.  

Take on that ONE action. 

And then SHARE your action in the comments below; I wanna hear from you!

Because it’s time for you too, to bring the BIGGEST you to all you do.

Have a FAB week!

P.S. For all of my fellow Canadians, happy gobble gobble weekend! Be sure to be extra thankful this weekend! Wanna learn more about the power of gratitude? Read my post HERE

How to be Unflappable (7 ways to more powerfully SHOW UP and STAND OUT.)

Happy Friday!

This week I won my entire swim training group muffins.

And Nick, one of my new fave baristas, just gave me a free cup of coffee.

What?  Why?  How?

Well, the muffins was due to a challenge our instructor threw out to the group, to see if anyone could remember everyone’s name during our 3rd practice. And if anyone could do it, muffins for all!

Now there’s not a lot of interaction during our swim practice. We arrive at the pool sometime around 5:30am, get our bathers and caps on, do some stretching, and then it’s into our lanes for drills and lengths and technique practice. After an hour, we’re out, showered, and most are out the door by 7am!

Well, I like a challenge, and I also like remembering people’s names. And when I’m in a new group, I try to make sure I get to know them just a little, or at least ask their names. So I think our instructor was surprised when I volunteered, and yup, nailed it. Now some of these folks had been swimming together for 3 years; it was day 3 for me, and there are 30 of us.

I think the ladies from #WeWorkingWomen where I delivered a presentation last night were equally as impressed when I cited everyone’s name before we began, having met them just a few minutes earlier (Now I have my limits, too! Certainly didn’t so this on Monday evening at Graydon Hall Nursery Schools! You were a FAB group, but anything over 100 in one shot and I’m out!) 

I’m not trying to boast, as anyone can learn how to do it (in fact I have a video where I share my 7 steps to remembering people’s names here). And it’s actually not just about remembering people’s names. It’s caring about people, acknowledging people, and creating space for them to show up and be seen.

I tend to talk a lot to strangers ~ I’ve been known to get into deep conversations at coffee shops, grocery lines, on the elevator or subway… and yes, it often means I’m delayed in getting my own work done. But I have to say it makes life so much more enjoyable! (And I do think certain perks like free coffee, flight upgrades, comp tickets, muffins… may be related to this attitude!)

You’re busy, I’m busy. We’re all busy. I get it.

And yet, if we could take a few moments to think about how we’re showing up, and how we want to show up, it can make all the difference in how we stand out. You only get 7 seconds to make a first impression, after all.

Want to show up and stand out more powerfully both at work and in life?

Here are 7 ideas to do just that.

  • Be the First. Instead of waiting for someone else to say hello to you, ask your name or how you are, let it start with YOU. Be the first to smile, to say hello, or to engage in conversation. Not sure where to start? Try a compliment, question, or comment.
  • Be Curious. Remember what you were like you were on a first date? For some that may be decades ago, for others it may have been last week! But I bet you were interested and engaged, and also wanted to appear interesting and engaging to the other. I bet you asked curious questions. Do more of that in your life. Ask more interesting questions, and be a great conversationalist. 
  • Be Intentional. Take a few minutes to think about how you want to show up before an important event or meeting. Do your research if necessary, and alleviate any fear or hesitation by preparing in advance. Set an intention before an important conversation. Think about your ideal outcome, but do not be attached to how you get there.
  • Be Consistent. Who you are here is who you are everywhere. Don’t claim to be a positive person, and then when you get in your car allow the road rage to come on! Don’t engage in behaviours like gossip. I know we wear lots of different hats. AND you are still you, regardless of whether you are at work, at home, or at play.
  • Be Generous. Be generous with your presence. Put away your devices when you are talking to someone. Be generous with your time, your sharing, your listening ear, your words, your gifts, your expertise, your encouragement.
  • Be Unflappable. I love this word! Are you able to maintain your cool, regardless of the chaos that may be happening around you? Are you able to stay in control when you find yourself in difficult, unpredictable situations? Are you always rushed and scattered? Slow down, take a breath, get grounded. Be unflappable.
  • Be Yourself. Above all else, to thine ownself be true. Be you. Be unapologetically you. Don’t be afraid to self disclose, wear clothing that makes you comfortable, or engage in behaviours that make you more of who you already are. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’, and start bringing ALL of you to all you do.

So I dare you to this week to be the first. To be intentional. To be curious. To be consistent. To be generous. To be unflappable. And to be yourself.

And when you do, you’ll certainly be bringing the biggest you to all you do.

Which of these 7 ideas are you going to try on this week?

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

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!