Category Archives: Personal development

5 Ways to Use Fear to Fuel Your Financial Freedom

Comfort-squareMost humans resist the idea of stepping directly into the things that frighten them. Of course, there are  some things that warrant fear and deserve avoidance action (crime, fire, hurricanes, etc). But those are things we don’t tend to encounter regularly in our daily lives (hopefully).

Fear, none-the-less, is often present and yet not always warranted. If you are reaching beyond your comfort zone, you’ll likely feel afraid. That does NOT mean, you shouldn’t reach. You should always reach.

Here are some specific strategies you can use to take that fear and turn it into freedom, financial freedom or personal freedom.

1. Do the scariest thing on your to-do list the first thing in the morning

This will free you up immediately. Even if you don’t get the result you wanted, just the fact that you confronted your fear and took action will build your confidence and allow you to tackle other things on your list that will now feel easy and breezy.

2. Ask your inner guidance what the fear is trying to protect you from.
Then figure out a different way to salve yourself that allows you to take the action you need to take. For example, if you’re planning a conversation with someone that you’re a bit nervous about, sit quietly with yourself and determine what action or reaction you’re anticipating with worry. If it’s a reaction from the other party, start your conversation with “I need to share something important with you but I’m afraid that (insert the thing you’re afraid they’ll feel or do) “your feelings will be hurt” or “you’ll get angry”. This will do two things 1) empower you to speak your truth and 2) disempower the likelihood of reaction you were afraid of.

3. Know that when you’re about to step off a ‘virtual’ cliff that you’ll either land on solid ground or you’ll learn to fly.
This action just takes faith. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” If the idea weren’t possible for you, the idea wouldn’t have come to you. The Universe is now just waiting for you to take action on it.

Goethe said “What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

There is some controversy that Goethe actually said this (www.goethesociety.org/pages/quotescom.html) but whoever said it, let it set you free.

4. Design strategies or tactics that will minimize the potential for the thing you’re scared of to manifest.
In the corporate world, this is called Anticipatory Planning, Scenario Planning. Attempt to foresee potential problems and develop solutions to them before they become real, current problems. Once you work your way through what might happen and what you’ll do next or what you might do to reduce the likelihood that the thing will happen (as in point 2), your confidence will improve and you’ll handle the situation with more grace, ease and confidence.

5. Ask for help.
You are not alone in this world and you don’t need to face every fear by yourself. As your friends, colleagues, boss, family, spirit guides, God etc. for assistance, support, courage…whatever you need.

Be specific. Ask for what you want.

These tips will work asking for a raise, having a difficult conversation with a friend, stepping onto a larger ‘platform’ in life, confronting a vendor or client, going after a promotion or big prospect. They just require that you take some forward-moving action rather than retreating into your fear or comfort zone and letting your freedom, financial or otherwise, slip between your fingers.

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

Be aware of your fears, but not beholden to them. Use them as stepping stones to your future and a brave new world. Loretta Love Huff

 

5 Top Tips for Getting What You Want

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-large570At the beginning of the year, many people make New Year’s resolutions, vowing to bring some new quality into their lives.

Progress is always a good thing. And the DECISION to make progress is the first step.

Unfortunately, if not done properly, setting goals doesn’t always get you to your destination. Whether it’s a promise made at the stroke of midnight or a commitment made at some other time, there are important aspects to those desires that help ensure they will be made manifest.
Here are my 5 tips for getting what you want:

1. Be clear
Know what you want. When you know where you’re heading, the path to get there becomes more apparent. Desire is one of the key secret ingredients to a better live. Avoid focusing on where you DON’T want to be and keep your attention on your desired outcome.

2. Be explicit
In addition to being clear, be explicit, meaning make that picture crystal clear. If you can put a number with it (15 pounds), all the better. Articulate in as much detail as you can muster. The Universe may reward you with something slightly different, but the process of you getting so clear that you CAN be explicit will help you ferret out what’s really important to you.

3. Be expressive
Expressiveness has two aspects. One reflects a deep emotion related to the object of your desire like joy, accomplishment, security. It’s important to FEEL the way you’ll feel once the goal is in hand BEFORE it’s in your hand. That feeling attracts the thing to you.

The second aspect is an outward expression of your desire. Go public with your goal. It’s amazing how much more likely you’ll be to take action if the world knows what you’re up to than if you’re dealing with it in secrecy. Ask for support and help. Tell people why it’s important to you and even how it’s realization will benefit THEM. That What’s-in-it-for-me? aspect will really get them in your corner.

4. Be persistent
While the goal may get reached quickly, it’s likely to take some time. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble or lack of progress. Persist. Believe in yourself. Belief in your goal. If you need the help of others, believe in them. If they seem to have lost interest, re-engage them. It’s YOUR goal, not theirs necessarily. They may have forgotten. Remind them why it’s important. Be polite but relentlessly persistent.

5. Be-lieve
The number one factor that makes the prior four possible is to believe. When you believe, you can be clear, explicit, expressive and persistent. Goals do not always get completely quickly. Sometimes when goals/dreams are first born, the circumstances surrounding the beholder might make the goal seem completely unrealistic. Never look to your circumstances to validate your dreams. Clearly, you need to be aware of your circumstances and the point from which you are starting. But belief has overcome many a hurdle while lack of it has stopped many dead in their tracks.

See it. Say it. Believe it. Be it!

 

7 Key Steps to Achieving Mastery

balance-masteryAccording to Merriam-Webster, “mastery” is defined as: 1) knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well, 2) complete control of something, 3) possession or display of great skill or technique.
Here a 7 key steps to achieving mastery…

1. Decide.
I’m becoming more and more aware of the power of the decisions we make in our lives. Without a decision to do something, life moves on somewhat aimlessly, resigned to dealing with the outside incidents and internal states through at us.
Decisions however, alter the course of your future. Once you make a decision to do something, to master something, the path to achieving it becomes more clear. You may not know all of the steps, but deciding is the first one.

2. Focus.
You have to concentrate your energy in the direction of the area you want to master. This might start with taking a class or practicing, but the key component is the focus. You may need to re-prioritize your activities and how you spend your time. Mastery, unless you’re already, naturally, extremely gifted in that area, doesn’t happen overnight.

3. Delegate
Get rid of the other things that steal your time, drain your energy and suck your soul right out of you. Life must continue, but for you to focus, you’ll likely need other people taking care of some of the tasks that don’t require your talents or that have slipped to a lower priority status now that you’ve decide to master something.

4. Take risks.
Mastery won’t happen inside your comfort zone. You’ll need to press the edges of what you know and step outside of them frequently. You won’t discover new horizons if you stay in territory you’re already familiar with.

5. Evaluate.
As you progress, regularly take time to step back and ask questions like
“What can I do better?”
“Is there a more efficient way to get this done?”
“If I weren’t attached to doing it the way I currently am, what else might I try?”
“If I were a master at this already, what would I do?”

6. Improve.
Incorporate the insights gained from your consistent questioning of your process, progress, skill level, mindset shifts about what’s possible. Do it one more time. Do it a different way. Do it more quickly. Reach for your goal.

7. “Rinse and repeat”.
Mastery is a continuous process. Even once you think you’ve achieved mastery, you’ll see there is farther to go. I’m reminded of the process of cleaning or weeding. You get started and work to remove what shouldn’t be there. You think you’re almost done, but now that the area is more ‘clean’ you notice dirt and weeds that had previously been obscured by the massive about of dirt and weeks that were there when you first started.

Mastery is like that. The better you get, the more you’ll see how you can improve. Rejoice in that process.

Enhanced by ZemantaIn case you want to see mastery in action, watch this YouTube video

9 Communication Skills to Master for Leadership Effectiveness

WEBCS

Whether you are a parent, spouse, friend, manager or coach, there are skills that, once mastered, are exceedingly helpful in building constructive relationships, leading more effective lives and helping others do the same.

Nine ‘masteries’ have been defined by the International Association of Coaching that, when woven together help you guide others through challenges and make progress in their lives.

1.    Establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust.
Trust is at the foundation of human relationships. Trust arises when the following things are present: candid communication, support in the form of help, advice, coaching or endorsement, respect, fairness, reliability and technical, professional or personal competence. When these items are missing, the people around you may feel like they’re walking on eggshells or are ‘on their own’ to make things happen.

2.    Perceiving, affirming and expanding the person’s potential.
People grow when they feel that someone else believes in them. So often in life, people are criticized. When you take the time to notice what someone is good at and tell them, they will not only feel appreciated but will grow in confidence and become better in other areas. Everyone has a gift. Notice them. Mention them and watch the person blossom.

3.    Engaged listening
Think of a time when you were talking about an important project at work or baring your soul to someone close to you and it seemed like they weren’t paying attention. How frustrating was that? Did it ‘take the wind out of your sail’? Did you get mad or feel like ending the conversation?

Engaged listening involves eye contact, verbal confirmations, occasional questions, demonstrated empathy for what they might be feeling. Giving your full attention to them allows an amazing thing to occur. When someone is listened to, they often talk themselves through to their own solution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened intently to someone with an issue who in the middle of the ‘conversation’ declares, “Oh! That’s it! That’s what I’ll do. Thanks for listening!”

4.    Processing in the present
When you’re talking with someone who is in the middle of a crisis, it’s possible that you may experience emotions that arise out of the conversation. Be aware of your own thoughts and body sensations. Silently name and observe them.

5.    Expressing
Be clear that your reactions are yours. Don’t blame the other person for them. Having said that, putting words to your thoughts, feelings and sensations can provide valuable feedback to the other person, particularly if they are struggling with how to communicate a tough message to another person. Your response can help them strategize on other ways to deliver their message.

6.    Clarifying
Part of your role in this process is helping the other person think through their issue and potential solutions. Their initial thought process may not be clear. Reflect back what you hear from them. Ask questions to help them explore alternatives and potential consequences.

7.    Helping the person set and keep clear intentions
There are two aspects to this mastery. One, clarifying the intention for the conversation you’re having with them and two, uncovering the ultimate outcome they want from the actual issue they’re discussing.

8.    Inviting possibility
People in a conundrum are often blinded from seeing all of the options that exist. They may be feeling trapped and helpless or angry and resentful. Those emotions arise from a set of beliefs and perceptions that may not be true. By respectfully challenging their perceptions, beliefs, and motives they may have ascribed to others, new options and possibilities can arise.

9.    Create and use supportive systems and structures
Decision-making tools can be helpful in these situations. A simple pros/cons list is a good start. Supportive systems might include daily check-in conversations. Group brainstorming sessions can generate creative ideas and potential solutions. The important thing here is to provide support for the person dealing with the situation so they can unleash their inner creativity.

Master these skills and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an empowering force for the people in your life.

 

 

5 More Facets of Being Extraordinary

extraordinary2My last article on being extraordinary received such rave reviews, I thought I would continue with a few more simple ideas.

1. Bring people together. Don’t separate them.
The world is filled with real and potential conflict. Conflict is a way of life. It won’t be avoided so long as people have different values, motivations, wants, goals, thought patterns and desires (the list goes on).

Conflict is inevitable. However, an extraordinary person seeks not just to fan the flames but to bring resolution to the issue. (As the ‘revolutionaries’ of the 70s used to say, ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’)

Complaining and protesting have their place but true progress is made with people collaborate and create solutions that meet the needs of the parties in conflict. Positions are hard to meld. Interests, on the other hand, once thoroughly uncovered can be addressed. When groups or individuals are at odds over something, strive to discover their underlying interests and needs. Focus on them, not the ‘solution’ each of them is arguing for.

2. Respect people’s partners.
The last article spoke about the importance of respecting people’s property and not taking what isn’t yours. This idea builds on that one. While people aren’t property, respecting existing relationships will deter a whole lot of ‘mess’ and drama.

A colleague of mine found herself on the verge of a triangle – 2 triangles really. She and her attraction were both married, neither happily. But before they ‘jumped in’, they both ended their relationships so they could start with a clean slate. It was still hard, but at least they didn’t muddy their existing relationships with an extra person. Realizing how unhappy they individually were, they courageous decisions, untangled their commitments and then moved forward together.

3. Don’t waste other people’s time.
One of the bullets in the last article had to do with making the world a better place. It seems that the way some people feel empowered is by usurping the energy and time of those around them. If you ask people for things you don’t need or create processes that are unnecessary, just because you can, you’re doing damage. You’re wasting valuable resources, time and energy just to build yourself up. Don’t do that.

4. Avoid fascination with other people’s problems.
Unfortunately, an entire genre of ‘reality’ shows are dedicated to telecasting people’s troubled lives. People who watch have said that seeing the issues others face make them feel better about their own lives. I know that’s possible, but here’s another alternative.

Do proactive, positive things in your own life and feel good about that rather than measuring yourself as ‘superior’ to people who can’t get it together. Shape your life the way you want. Set the bar high and get to work. Living vicariously while judging others poorly isn’t a good way to move forward.

5.  When someone else is happy or successful, celebrate and enjoy it.
The ‘cheap’ approach is to be envious and diminish their success. It’s the counterpoint to the bullet above. If they’re ‘all that’, they must have cheated or they must be bad humans.

When people accomplish great things, especially things you’d like to have, you must appreciate it, even if you don’t like the person. Doing otherwise tells the Universe you don’t like success, you don’t value having a lot of money, you don’t want to get promoted.  Don’t be a hater! Celebrate the success of others and keep doing what it takes to create that success for yourself.

I heard this great line at my conference last week, “If you’re not getting recognized as fast as you believe you should, make sure you’re doing everything you can to be WORTHY of recognition.”