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Are You Avoiding Growth?

find the courage to grow business
I’m at a point in my business where I need to grow. The hardest part is actually my personal growth. I know what I have to do and what path I have to take, but all of a sudden I find myself wanting to shift course. I have a desire to do the fun, easy stuff. I find myself getting bored with the things I need to do, and wanting to shift and do other, more enjoyable things.

I’ve realized that I’m bumping up against an area where I need to grow and that makes me afraid. Instead of recognizing the fear and facing it, my brain tells me something else and tries to turn toward more pleasurable things.

I’ve realized what I need to do is stay the course. I have to do what I need to do and push through the fear. If I want to grow my business and myself, I need to have courage.

Where in your life are you bumping up against fear that is preventing you from growing? How can you find the courage to move forward? The best of luck to both of us!

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How to Achieve Your Goals

To Achieve Business Goals, Focus and Simplify

Lately, I’ve been distracted. There’s so much going on, everything from conventions, to summer vacations, to new gadgets, and of course, interesting new things to learn. However, I’ve realized that to get where I want to go in my business and life, I have to focus and simplify.

Focus

I have to focus on what is going to help me achieve my goals. I want to be a great coach and help a lot of people find their niche in life and business. So I have to focus on what will best help me do that.

Simplify

I have to simplify. There is so much noise out there on the internet on how to run your business and coach and achieve. I have to simplify and trust the most obvious path. I can’t be distracted by shiny new ideas that won’t get me anywhere. I have to streamline my tasks and focus on what will get me toward my goals.

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What the Universe Will Show You

change niche find purpose
As I’ve been building my business recently, I’ve realized it’s a lot like life. You have to face your fears and beliefs that come up and get in your way. You have to put in the effort but also the “energy” behind building your business. For a soul-inspired business, you have to take the steps each day that bring you joy. And you need to test things out and change things up if need be.

I’ve also come to learn the unchangeable law of the universe that we are not given the final results of our plans and projects. We are only shown one or two steps down the road.

So we must take those one or two steps in the direction of joy, and trust that the final result will turn out in the end.

For my steps, I’m looking to the fact that I’ve always been fascinated with gifts and purpose. I love to coach people through this learning these beautiful truths about themselves. Earlier, I had thought to head in the direction of focusing on people at the beginning of their journey toward purpose—when they first realize they are unhappy.

 

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Your “Why”

Your Why Life Purpose
I’ve been a whirlwind of reading and ideas and thoughts this week. I’ve been perusing multiple blogs that have caught my attention, downloaded and started reading a few different books, and thought of many great ideas for my coaching practice.

All of this activity of the mind can be a great thing. But somehow I felt almost manic, like I wasn’t tethered and was headed in all different directions.

Luckily, I was speaking to my wonderful mentor, Bev Barnes (yes, even coaches need coaches) and she reminded me to look inside, where my heart is. Essentially, she reminded me to look at my “why.”

In his well-watched TED Talk, Simon Sinek stated, “Those who start with why that have the ability to inspire those around them.” In remembering to look at my why, I remembered what I love about coaching. I love to help people find their gifts, their dreams and align their lives with both of those. In remembering my “why,” I’ve inspired myself. It’s much easier for me to focus on what’s important in my work.

Do you know your why? What do you believe in that will inspire you to take action? What gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning?

If you want to be inspired take a look at Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk, which focuses on finding your why in business.

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Secret Steps To Happiness

ego vs. soul
I was sitting alone at a coffee shop the other day and two people sat down next to me. Having other people talking less than two feet away and being a bit curious (okay nosey), I started listening in. They were obviously new acquaintances trying to impress each other and started sharing with each other all of their Ivy League degrees, and name dropping places like “Cambridge.” They went on to speak of their lofty jobs out of business school and then segued into what their cool start-ups were achieving. In all ways, I must say, they seemed to be quite the captains of the universe. And I bought into it.

From the next table, with my Earl Grey in hand, I began silently and internally competing with them. Good thing they didn’t know, because I started to feel angry toward them and dislike them for bragging about their accomplishments. My wild thoughts ran on and I saw how they were surely feeling superior to me as they dropped sophisticated financial terminology. If I had been sitting at their table I would have thrown down the most impressive things on my résumé. I was a little unglued and realized I felt a bit ill.

Finally, I had enough presence of mind to stop the wild ride of my brain. I dug into my coaching toolkit and realized that I had to examine these emotions and look at what story I was telling myself.

What Crazy Thoughts Were Punching Me In The Gut?

I realized that in my fantasy conversation, I felt that my accomplishments fell short.  My story was that I could not compete and I was inferior. Even though I didn’t know these two people and they hadn’t entered my consciousness until two minutes before, I felt they would find me to be second-rate and I believed in that moment that it mattered. Yes, I realize it’s a bit crazy to have my self-worth plummet from an imaginary conversation with the people next to me in a coffee shop, but maybe you have had a similar run of thoughts. If not, please just nod your head so I feel a bit better.

My body got involved in my fantasy chat and I started feeling constricted and uncomfortable. It was an eerily familiar feeling and how I felt every day in years past when I was an attorney.

I was miserable when I was a lawyer. It was very much a world of ego. A world of needing to have degrees, titles, and accomplishments that would impress others. Making decisions based on what would bring more—more achievement, more recognition and more money. The daily tasks were about the best argument, the superior writing, and beating the other guy. Some may have found fulfillment in getting things done and helping others as an attorney, but this was not my own experience. Sitting in the coffee shop, I was propelled into that competitive place once again. Trying to excel and live according to ego had only made me miserable in the past and here I was, living it again because of the conversation of two people whose names I didn’t even know.

What Does My True Self Want?

I came back to myself in that moment and remembered that my goal now in life is to be my true self and have the freedom to follow my soul toward my happiness. And my happiness does not need degrees on the wall or a fancy job title.

I have to be aware of when I get sucked into what the ego wants and I have to be vulnerable enough to try live from my soul.

Yes, my ego often struggles with the title of “Life Coach” and thinks it is not enough. But when I go inside and check in with my soul, I am perfectly happy with it. I am joyous with all that it entails and that every day I can make choices from my soul that bring me happiness. I can’t be angry when I see people living in ego. When I have fictional conversations at coffee shops, I have to find a place of detached amusement and be happy with my own, different choices.

Finding the Courage

I know that this will be a constant struggle in my life. My ego will always want me to compete and achieve in ways it sees as safe for a good life. But I know following that direction made me desperately unhappy. So I’ll try to find the courage to step forward in my soul’s knowing, each day, and do what feels good in my body and brings my soul happiness.

Do you have imaginary competitive conversations? What does your ego want you to do based on made-up suppositions of how others might think of you? Should you listen to its advice or get a second opinion from a deeper, wiser part of yourself?

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How to Get Unlost in Nature

how to get connected in nature
I sit at the kitchen table, obsessively checking Facebook for new posts in my community. I comment in a couple of groups, and think that I’m relating. Yet I feel a sense of longing and unease. It seems that I am connecting as I type, yet I feel lost. I see the bright sunshine beckoning. My mind says I have more to do inside the house, tied to the computer sitting in front of me. I decide to listen to my body and it wants to go for a walk. I ignore my thoughts and mind, and follow my body.

At the recommendation of a friend, I’ve joined the 30×30 Nature Challenge, thirty minutes in nature for thirty days. And I’ve become “unlost.” I’ve been walking or sitting in nature, mainly not for the exercise, but for the feeling it gives me. I feel connected to the sky, the trees, the animals and the dirt and rocks under my feet. Sitting alone in my house, with so many digital distractions can sometimes feel like connection. But when I’ve gone to the real thing, to nature, I’ve realized a full, contented sense of relation to other than myself.

Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess, scientist, and mystic who lived in the 12th century wrote, “Every thing that is in the heaven, on the earth, and under the earth, is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” She touches on something we all need, a sense of connection.

Balance

We need to be aware of a balance in our lives. Our modern world is so good at masculine traits, like dissection and taking things apart. And we’ve increasingly isolated ourselves with modern conveniences. We have so much technology that brings the outside world into our homes, yet how can we feel so lost? The feminine strength of relatedness and connection can help to balance us. To start, recognize that this is something we all need in our lives. The most obvious way to connect is with other humans.

Nature Brings Connection

Another way is to spend more time in nature. Feel the wind on your face. Notice that you and the trees and the animals are all interacting with the same air. Notice that the dirt under your feet is the same dirt that is nourishing all of the trees and plants that you can see. Feel that you are connected and related to all. If your brain feels like sitting on the couch, try to lead with your body. What does it think of a walk?

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You Already Know

inner knowing soul choice
You already know inside, my dear. Whatever problem looms largest in your mind, don’t look outside. Turn within to your knowing warmth. To your inner self that has your best answers.

The fast-paced buzz and hum of the external world that seems to have all the keys will try to persuade you. It will try to seduce you with its airbrushed photos and thousands of articles touting the answer in your Facebook feed. With the incessant voices of 24 hours of news. With the loud, opinionated neighbor.

Trust Yourself

Ignore it all and trust yourself. For in your quiet moments, you know the answer. You know what is best. All of the external that seems to promise answers is causing your suffering. You try to attach yourself to something that the world sees as objective truth, yet it doesn’t feel right. Its explanations create stories that cause you pain within. It causes an interior battle.

Find a quiet spot in solitude. Nature, a fuzzy blanket, a bath or a cup of tea can enhance your knowing. Think of your problem and feel into your body. Feel the wisdom that came with you in this body. Know the simple answer. Don’t look for the complex or the unusual. Look for the answer that speaks of peace.

How Does It Feel?

Cultivate that inner knowing for all of your answers. Be guided by how your choices feel. Your body will not lie. With ideas that go against your soul’s wisdom it will contract, constrict and give you specific clues that something is not for you. Learn these signals and signs and give them your daily attention. For they are wisdom and knowing.

With confidence and trust in your inner knowing, you will start to be bold. You will begin to fly. Your choices, scary at first, will bring you more confidence. Each small step will prove to your soul that you trust it. It will then give your the next step. You will start to expand and grow in ways that line up with the life you were meant to live. Go forth and be bold with confidence in your inner knowing. It is one of the keys to feminine power.

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How to Use Anticipation to Find Your Path

anticipation-travel-path
My suitcases are lying half-packed around my bedroom. I feel energy zinging around my body and it’s hard to sit still. Tomorrow morning I leave on a plane for a coaches’ gathering. I bought my tickets months ago and have been dreaming of the great people I will meet. I’ve been curious about the kinds of conversations I will have. I can’t wait to find out what the speaker will teach us and am looking forward to her funny stories. In other words, I’ve been full of anticipation for months about this event.

Energizing

Having something to look forward to in life is one of the great energizers. Ideally, it should be something that stretches you, is a little scary and is a kind of adventure. It can be anything. It can be meeting with a new person, giving a speech, publishing something or a big trip. Your soul leans forward into the future. Each day leading up to the event is filled with an energy and excitement that spills into your regular life.

Last year for me it was another trip – to Paris with a group of women. The anticipation, the choosing out outfits, the planning, the buying French money, learning French ahead of time – all contributed to the fun. Both of these trips were something my soul yearned for. The thoughts about the upcoming adventures brought me joy.

How Does It Feel in Your Body?

When I thought about it, I realized the idea of these trips created happiness in my body. Positive sensations in your body are an indication that you’re on track to following your soul’s desires. The positive indicators in my body said that some of the elements of these trips were pointing me towards my purpose. And they have.

What Is It Showing You?

With the Paris trip, I realized that I want to spend time in deep conversation with like-minded women. I also learned that I love to be a mirror for other women and show them their gifts. I’ve realized with these experiences that I love to travel and have adventure. I love interesting cities and great dinners. I want to build more of that in my life.

Everyone needs something to anticipate in life. Think of the last thing you did that you were excited about. Didn’t it make the time leading up to it even more exciting?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to pick something to do that will bring you delicious anticipation. It could be big or small, near or far, but it should stretch you a little bit. Then commit to it and enjoy the time leading up to it as much as the event itself.

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How to Take Fearless Action Toward Your Purpose – A Lesson from the Animal Kingdom

fearless purpose find courage
My teenage sons would be the first to point out that I’m not always up on the more popular videos going around the internet. I recently discovered a video from 2011 (so I’m only five years behind) of a honey badger and let me tell you, the honey badger don’t care. The voiceover is a bit “inappropriate” as I would tell my kids, but as with such things, it’s also quite funny. The video has gone viral, and sports teams and guns have been named after this creature, because it’s so fierce.

Honey badgers look like a stocky skunk, but instead of stink they have long sharp claws and sharp teeth. They spend all day going after food like mice, scorpions, cobras and bee larva. The thing is, they are the most fearless animal in all of the animal kingdom. In the video, this honey badger climbed to the top of a tree and fought and killed a cobra. Then it went deep into a bee hive to eat the larva, getting stung a million times but aggressively go after the food anyway. It also fearlessly slept in a lion’s den.

The objective of a honey badger’s life is to catch prey and eat. I believe the reason for a human’s life is to find joy and purpose. What if we went after it like a honey badger, fearlessly, persistently and taking action?

Fearlessness

You feel that desire to live a life of purpose that won’t go away. You want more joy in your life. What if you went about it like the fearless honey badger? What if you didn’t care what the lions thought? What if you wanted your purpose so bad that you risked a million bee stings to get it?

Fear of what others think, rejection, worry about getting kicked out of the tribe can all feel like stings. But what if we take a page from the little guy’s book, and do it anyway?

Taking Action

The honey badger goes after prey, eats it, and without taking a break, goes after more food. This is continuous.

What if we put aside our fears and just take action? What if we realize our purpose is as important as eating and take daily, courageous steps toward it?

Persistance

The honey badger goes after what it wants and doesn’t let hardship set it back. It will kill a cobra, passing out from a venomous bite, and go right back to eating after it wakes up.

Finding and fulfilling our purpose takes persistence. We can’t let the venom of others who are jealous get in our way. We can’t let the poison of people who want to keep us small prevent us from taking steps to live our biggest life.

The secret is to be one who just doesn’t care. Or if you can’t manage that, work on your fears and cares that are blocking you. Be like the honey badger and go after your purpose with persistent, fearless action.

And if you want to see the video, here it is (warning – swearing): https://youtu.be/4r7wHMg5Yjg

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