Archive for the ‘choice’ Category

Last week I delivered a presentations 7 Signs You Are Ready to Stretch and Actions to Take to a group of people in career transition.

The 7 signs we focused on were:

  • You are restless – feeling an “itch” to do something more or different
  • You are seeking – feeling a need for greater purpose in what you are doing
  • You are bored – seeking greater passion in your work or life
  • You are in a rut – feeling a need to change things up
  • You are feeling a pull – feeling ready to act on an idea you have
  • You have an opportunity – one that is out of the norm for you
  • You are questioning – wondering what impact you are having
Some great conversation too place around these 7 signs.  Some thoughts and ideas the audience shared:
  • Never close a door until you look through it first – when a new idea or opportunity shows up that is out of your comfort zone, take the time to review it with open eyes and an open mind
  • Take notice of what actions you do on a daily basis that are within your comfort zone – begin to take daily small steps out of your comfort zone.  This will get you out of your rut, address your restlessness and may even spark new passion
  • Volunteer – especially in an area that is out of your comfort zone – may also boost your passion, give you greater meaning and even spark an idea to pursue

What signs are you noticing that it’s time for you to stretch?

What thoughts do you have to get you out of your comfort zone?

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This month, my article focused on understanding what we want out of life and why we want it, so I thought I would share one of mine….

Several years ago I knew an important want in my life was to start painting again.  I wanted art, painting, creativity to once again become an integral part of my life.  How did that look?  At first my thoughts were to take classes, buy supplies, have a subject to paint, have a space in my home to paint with all materials at the ready

I knew what I wanted to create and the actions to make it happen.  The anchor to get me moving – was why.

For me the why is value of beauty, capturing nature, colors.  It is the need for expression of emotion and creativity.  It serves as a stress reliever for when in the flow I am calmer, more present, in another space entirely.

Do I paint every day?  No I don’t, but I have everything at the ready when inspiration or need for expression surfaces.

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Building Confidence was the topic of a seminar I delivered last week.  I thought it would be great to share some of the thoughts and comments that the audience shared during the seminar:

When I asked what Confidence sounds like they shared:

  • a strong and clear voice
  • stating ideas without second guessing yourself
  • speaking up – having a voice
When I asked what Confidence looks like they shared:
  • eye contact
  • a smile
  • standing tall and straight
When I asked what Confidence is like inside our heads/thoughts they shared:
  • focused
  • positive self talk (not the absence of negative self talk, that’s still there sometimes)
  • listening to others
Confidence is having trust and faith in yourself and others.  Confidence is having the courage to take a risk when there is a goal you are reaching for.
I left the audience with a final question:
What if you were to act AS IF you are confident in every situation?  
  • Acting ‘as if’ means you are choosing to sound confident by the words you are choosing and how you are speaking (out loud and to yourself)
  • Acting ‘as if’ means choosing to look confident by smiling and paying attention to how you carry yourself in the world
What are your thoughts on building confidence?

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Several years ago I was completing some exercises as I was embarking on career and life exploration of my own.  One of exercises asked me to write my 20 year vision.  My first reaction?  20 years?? At the time I found it easy to plan my weeks and months, even loosely knowing what I wanted to accomplish that year, but the next 20??

After a brief challenge of wrapping my head around the concept that I could plan that far ahead, I began to imagine what I wanted my life to be like 5 years from then, 10 years, 15 – and I was able to get to 20.  So I sat at the table on my deck and began to write, letting my imagination run free, thinking about my big goals and dreams – especially those that had lain dormant for a while.

It was fun, soon the ideas began to flow so much so that a giddiness took over.  Could this really happen – I asked myself?  Why not I answered.  And that marked the beginning of my life and career transformation.

Now it’s your turn.  Whether you want to focus on 1 year, 5, 10 or 20 – begin to let your imagination run free – remember the dreams of your childhood, uncover those you never dared dream and create a realm of possibility currently beyond your imagination.  Then take it to paper, letting all your thoughts form words and images.

Your vision for the future is limited only by your imagination!

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It has been quite a while since I have written a blog post.  These last few months have been a sort of “time out” for me.  I stayed focused on my clients and some other business matters, but have taken some time off to focus on my own wellness.

At first it was uncomfortable to take so much time off.  I worried about my business and my clients, wondering how I could manage everything.  But you know what, it all worked out!

I took some days off, lightened my schedule other days, and had some full days as well.  This balance allowed me to reflect, to create, to breathe and to focus on what mattered most, my health.

Did everything fall apart because I said no to some things?  No it didn’t. Were there problems in my business because I moved some appointments further forward than I prefer?  No there weren’t.

What did this experience teach me?  That it is OK to pace myself differently. That it is more than OK to take time to breathe and reflect and renew.  That  it is OK to just simplify sometimes!

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There are so many favorite moments I experience each day and each week.  I’ve been reflecting on them and realizing that moments like these are what brings a spring to my step and joy to my life.

Some of these moments are consistent, some fleeting, some very small and brief, others lingering.   How long or how large does not matter, it’s allowing myself to fully enjoy and experience the moment that does.

Some of my favorite moments?

  • The drive home from the gym in the morning.  I bask in the energy I feel having worked out and enjoy the quiet drive as the sun is coming up
  • Breakfast.  Every day of the week I give myself enough time to fully enjoy preparing and eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Snack time.  Is there a food pattern here?  Throughout my day I enjoy several (healthy) snacks.  They taste good and the experience of stepping away from my desk to stretch renews my energy.
  • Sunday mornings.  Something about a Sunday morning that feels extra special to me.

What are some of your favorite moments?

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Starting my business was a key turning point in my own  journey from comfort to possibility.

Being employed by a university was my comfort zone and it served me well for many years.  But I found myself being curious about what else was out there – in a new place, a new career.  Starting my own business was not something I had ever thought about before.  It was way out of my comfort zone to not have a steady predictable income but my curiosity soon turned to excitement once I learned more about what possibilities existed for me. 

Was there fear?  Absolutely!  So I started learning just enough to start, but not too much to get me overwhelmed.  I stayed focused on one (or three) steps at a time, not looking at the next 100.  As I completed steps, I added some new ones, all the while keeping the journey exciting, challenging, but manageable. 

This tactic kept me focused and on track whenever I questioned “what am I doing”!?  And believe me there were plenty of those moments especially that first year.

The beauty of my business journey is that it is ongoing.  Yes I am always looking a few steps ahead but very much enjoying the day to day as well as the process as it unfolds.

Where are you on your journey?

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I was watching a Christmas movie recently, The Bishops Wife with Cary Grant.  As he and the lead female character in the movie were taking a cab ride the cab driver made a comment that stayed with me:  it went something like this “the trouble with the world today is that some people don’t know where they’re going and are in a hurry to get there while others know exactly where they’re going yet take their time and enjoy the scenery on their way”.

What struck me the most about the statement is this movie was that it was uttered when the movie was created in 1947!  Not much has changed has it, despite how different the world seems today.

That statement is certainly true for many of us today isn’t it.  Some of us (and sometimes we all fall into this place) we want to move forward so quickly, even though we are not sure of the direction we are taking.  Sometimes (hopefully) we allow ourselves to savor the experience without rushing to the destination. 

Which is more true for you right now?

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