Category: Success

When are you going to get started?

By , June 26, 2013 6:31 pm

someday word in wood type“Everything huge that I’ve ever achieved I started before I thought I was ready. I just did it scared and grew into it along the way!”

~ Elaine Bailey, Coach-Mentor, Author, International Speaker

In my role as a career strategist, I meet a lot of people who are settling and surviving in their current career while they are waiting and hoping for THAT DAY when they will get to do what they REALLY want to do.

I call this: “The Someday Syndrome!”

It looks like this:

“Someday…

…I’ll get my act together and start my own business.”

…I’ll do that course and get my qualification.”

…I’ll sign up for that Mastermind program because I know it will make all the difference to my success.”

…I’ll write that book.”

…I’ll change job and become a ……. I’ve always wanted to.”

SOMEDAY… Doesn’t exist.

It’s not real – It’s just an excuse you use to give yourself permission to stay stuck and settle where you are.

Someday is like an untethered kite blowing out of control in the wind. It holds your dream in suspended animation.

Someday has no deadline – it is infinite. Before you know it your life is over and that someday never came.

Here’s my question to you:

Instead of someday…Why not NOW?

Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not ready, perhaps this feels true? I know that if I’d waited to be ready, I’d still be working 9 to 5 in a Bank in  East Yorkshire, UK. It was safe and secure!

Are you waiting to be ready?

…You might be waiting your entire lifetime for the right time and you’ll never do it.

Most people aren’t prepared to invest in their someday.  So what they really want stays a dream. Someday comes at a price.

How much does someday cost?

This was a great question that one of my coaching clients asked me recently. I helped him break it down.

Doing what you want to do and living your dream involves personal investment.

It’s not just about gathering information, the hardest part is often implementation: taking the steps necessary to bring it to life. This will cost you time, commitment , attitude, and energy (even when you don’t feel like it). It can be hard work and yes, there may be a few sacrifices along the way.

One of the biggest obstacles of success is that we get in our own way. We lose the mental fight with our own laziness and ignorance when things feel too hard or difficult. We slip back to our comfort zone because it’s easier settle for what we already have.

For most people the price of success is too high. They prefer to settle for an easier life. They aren’t prepared to reach through their fears to find the courage to keep going and keep growing through change or take a few risks.

Here’s how I see it…

  • I only get one life. I owe it to myself to make the most of my days here and make each one count.
  • I dare to dream BIG and go deeper than I’ve ever gone.
  • I don’t always know how to do it, but I’ll do it anyway.
  • There will be days where I’ll challenge myself because I want to quit.
  • There will be days where I never knew that my life could be so beautiful.
  • I’m here to make a difference and I’m following my heart.
  • I’m committed to keep learning and growing and leading.
  • I’m honored to do what I do and blessed to notice that the work I’m doing affects the lives of those I serve in such a positive way.

Doing what you want to do has its ups and downs like everything in life. It may take more time and effort than you anticipated.

But the pay off is huge…

It changes your life from deep within. You feel more alive and the returns on you, your family and the people you serve are even bigger than you would even begin to imagine.

“Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.”
~
John Maxwell.

 

How are you getting ready?

 

Are You Worth Your Own Effort?

By , May 8, 2013 8:51 pm

iStock_000010454461Small“If you put small value on yourself, rest assured the world will not raise the price.”

~ John C Maxwell

Not believing in yourself is one of the main reasons that holds people back from being successful.

Most people struggle to recognize and articulate their own value. They feel uncomfortable communicating and creating leverage with others. (Such as a potential client or your boss.)

To be successful you need to recognize that you have value and continually add value to yourself by investing time and effort into you. This isn’t about being arrogant or egotistical – it’s about knowing your strengths and seeing the possibilities.

Here’s the thing…

So many people stop growing and fail to reach their potential because they don’t believe in themselves.

It’s a self-esteem issue.

If you don’t know your own self worth, you limit your potential because you’re not able to recognize the possibilities that are available to you.

As Zig Ziglar once said:

“It’s impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves.”

How do you see yourself? Are you worthy?

  • If you don’t believe that you have any value what you’re saying is that you’re not worth investing in.
  • If you believe you are worthless, then you’re not going to put the time or effort in or look for opportunities to add value to yourself. You unconsciously relegate YOU to the bottom of the list.

Our own self-image is often a reflection of the value that others project on to us. Most of us set our expectations based on other people’s opinions or beliefs of us.  This is okay if we have supportive and encouraging people around us. If not, then you’ll start listening to the negative influences of others. You stop believing in yourself and listen to the voices of others instead.

Here’s what the naysayers might be saying around you:

  • ‘You’ll never account for much!’
  • ‘You’ll not get anywhere with running a business’
  • ‘No one in our family has ever amounted to much!’
  • ‘You’ll fail in six months and wish you’d kept your old job!’
  • ‘It’s not going to happen so don’t waste your time.’

These statements are not true…

I believe your potential is unlimited. Explore and cultivate the possibilities of what could be.

Here’s how to start:

1. Stop worrying about what other people think of you – It’s what YOU think of YOU that matters! I’ve coached many people who have been living their lives according to what other people believe about them. My family was skeptical that I’d run my own business. Do it anyway! Create your own solution. You get to choose who you become – Not other people!

2. Listen to your language You are what you think through the constant conversations that you have in your head. Are these positive or negative? Change the way you think of yourself by improving the quality of your inner dialogue.  Stop being your worst critic and become your coach instead. Have positive conversations rather than negative ones. Tune in to how you talk to yourself.

3. List your strengths – Get to know yourself. Increase your self-awareness by understanding what you’re good at:

  • What feedback do you get from others about what you are good at?
  • What are your strengths (Strengths Finder 2.0 is a great starting point)?
  • What are your talents and skills?
  • What are you doing when you’re helping other people?
  • What do you enjoy doing?

4. STOP comparing yourself to others – Being successful is about your relationship with YOU. Comparing is an unnecessary distraction that takes your attention away from your intention and is harmful to your self-esteem. It’s all perception and it will either discourage you or feed your ego! None of which serves you or help you grow. Stay in your business of YOU. What do you need in order to grow today?

5. Identify and reframe your limiting beliefs – Most limiting beliefs are self-Imposed. Reframing enables us to find new and different ways of thinking about a situation to open up new possibilities that were previously closed off. Reframing can transform our understanding of a situation and lead to new thinking, feeling, action and better outcomes.

Here are some questions to help you to reframe a limiting belief:

  • What are you thinking that’s getting in the way of your success right now?
  • How does this make you feel?
  • How do you want to think, feel and act instead?
  • Write a turnaround statement for yourself.
  • Give yourself permission to think, feel and act in this new way.
  • Practice it daily so it becomes a habit

5. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your value to others – Share your gifts with others. Be in service to others by helping them with your expertise and experience. Let them know how you can help them. You might have information to share that saves someone time and helps them become more effective. Look for opportunities to reach out. This will create positive experiences.

Take a small step each day to uncovering and sharing your value – Forward motion.

You ARE WORTH IT!

 

How To Create Lift-Off…

By , April 3, 2013 6:40 pm

They say it takes up to 65% of an airplane’s fuel just to lift it off the ground.

Do you think that the pilots ever get to the point where they’ve used 55% of their fuel and they look at each other and say, ‘This thing’s not lifting yet, let’s just give up!’

Is there a point where you’ve given it all, the end of the runway is getting closer but you’re still not getting any lift? You just want to give up and walk away from what you’re trying to achieve.

I’ve felt this many times in my life when trying to shift negative patterns and habits that no longer serve me, or when I was putting all my time and effort into starting a new business but still not seeing any of the benefits from all my hard work.

Isn’t it just easier to give up, return to the gate, park up and go get a Starbucks?!

“Sorry folks your flight’s been cancelled, we’re not changing our lives today.”

Pilots know that during take-off there is a point of no return. This comes after a certain amount of throttle and speed has been engaged. You can no longer abort the take off. This is known as the critical point.

This point of no return is also true in our lives when returning to the gate is no longer an option.

Sometimes I feel like I’m tearing down the run way. My intention is clear, and I know that this change is important. I’m uncertain of what’s in front of me, yet I know I don’t want to go back to the old place I’m moving away from. I want to take off and fly; I’m just a little scared of the unknown. Like that pilot, I’ve reached my critical point and take off is my only option if I want to Live On Purpose.

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”

H.Ross Perot
American billionaire and former U.S presidential candidate

Persistence is a common quality of successful people. Sometimes it’s not going to be easy. You face obstacles and criticism that you may not have been able to predict. Sometimes you may feel that the Universe is testing you to the limit about your commitment to this goal.

It’s going to take a lot of energy to get lift off in your life.

I have learned the practice of persistence. Even when the going gets tough I refuse to give up. Instead I choose to learn and grow from each obstacle as I hang in there. I make my decisions from where I want to be and no matter how hard it seems, I eventually break through and create lift off.

As you are in the process of creating lift off in your own life, allow me to give you a five step safety demonstration.

1.    Fasten Your Seat Belt – Your seat belt is your Intention. It holds you in my seat. It keeps you grounded and secure in knowing your destination. It holds your attention, despite any turbulence (distraction). You can always adjust the strap, hone your focus and return to your intention.

2.    The Life Vest –Your life vest is there in case of the unlikely event of a water landing. It’s about having faith in yourself. Only you can know exactly what your life vest is, but mine are my supportive friends and my coach. What is your life vest?

3.    Read the Safety Card – Here’s a thing about that safety card. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the systems and processes that work. Even though we think we know them all too well. Use these systems and processes regularly by being persistent and not giving up after the first attempt because it was hard. It’s working through any obstacles, hanging in there, trusting the process, following the system despite not feeling like it.

4.    Put on Your Own Safety Mask First – The greatest gift that you can bestow on the world is a happy and healthy you. This is all about looking after yourself on many levels: physically, mentally and spiritually. One thing I’ve learned about me is that when things get so bad I forget about self-care. I then make bad decisions and I can’t get lift off. So I have to remember to go back and put on my own safety mask. Place a high value on your own Self-Care, and take good care of yourself.

5.    Enjoy the Flight – People think it’s all about the destination. It’s who you become on the destination. That’s what is so important. In fact who you become as you are creating lift off is more important than getting there.

So ladies and gentlemen…

“Fasten your seatbelts. Seatbacks in the upright position, and tray tables stowed…”

Let’s get this baby in the air!

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Success Needs a System – Here’s How to Create Yours!

By , February 20, 2013 5:01 pm

We all have ideas right?

Some of us have LOADS of them!

You may see yourself as an Ideas Person. Ideas just pop out of your mind all the time and it’s hard to keep track of them all. You feel like you might burst with excitement! But how many ideas actually leave your mind and make it into the real world?

Many of our ideas float around like untethered kites and never crystallize into anything tangible. The latest idea just becomes another distraction as you continue generating more and more of them. They stack up in a holding pattern waiting to come in to land. This stack can become exhausting and overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or what to do with them all.

I often coach creative clients who have loads of ideas. Every coaching session, they arrive with another one (yes… I’m guilty of this sometimes too – you ask my mentor!). And of course, this latest idea is the best one yet! …Until, the next idea comes along a few days later! Months can be wasted dreaming but nothing ever gets done. There’s no action, there’s just the next idea coming along…

 

IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          Another IDEA

 

If this sounds like you, then you need a formula to create some momentum…

Without a having a system it’s difficult to take an idea and make it happen (even the good ones).

I’ve learned that there are three elements to taking an idea an making it real:

Your idea needs to become grounded if you want to give it a chance of becoming reality.   Creating a system or process helps you to take your idea and plan HOW to create some momentum. You then need to take specific action to make it real.

Here are a few tips around each of these elements:

IDEA

I’ve sat in daylong leadership strategy meetings where loads of ideas are shared and everyone is very excited and enthusiastic. A year later the same ideas are still being talked about, because nothing happened in between.

We often see the IDEA as the sexy exciting bit because it’s fun being creative. There’s nothing quite like that adrenalin rush when you think you’re on to something new and great!

Get clear about your idea understand WHY you want to make it real.

Sometimes we stop at the idea stage because we’re frightened to take the next step and make it happen. If you don’t start then it can’t fail, because you didn’t have to try. Your idea needs your energy and belief if it’s going to germinate into reality. You have to take a few risks and step out of your comfort zone and do some things scared.

SYSTEM

For an Ideas Person, the SYSTEM bit is the painful process of planning and working out how it’s all going to happen.

For some of us planning, thinking it through and then creating a stepped process to make it work is the tedious bit… YAWN!

Why?

Because it involves sitting down and working it out a step at a time. THIS STAGE is hugely important because it’s the difference between your idea staying just a dream or becoming real…

Creating a system/process for implementing your idea will save you a lot of time and energy. Get some help from someone who can help you create a framework for what you need to do if this is not your GENIUS work!

Here are a few tips:

  • Create an Ideas Book if you’re always having loads of ideas. Write each one down in a paragraph as you think it.
  • Re-visit your book every one-two weeks to re-read each idea and cross out any that no longer feel like they are do-able or ‘have legs’.
  • Schedule time to take your idea and break it down into doable steps.
  • See your idea as the vision and the system as your tactical plan:
    • What tactics you will employ to make it happen?
    • What’s specifically involved in making this become real?
    • What individual steps need to be taken?
    • Who else needs to be involved?
    • When to you need to do it?
    • Where will it happen?

Work backwards on a timeline to identify some milestone dates and will help you to break down what needs to be done. Remember, big things are done in small chunks! Breaking it down will make it doable.

Creating a framework and then working through a process gives you clarity and direction. It helps you to feel more confident and in control.

ACTION

This is where the rubber hits the road. You have to actually show up and do the work! Just talking about it doesn’t make things happen – You have to DO it!

  • Schedule small pockets of time in your calendar and take one step at a time.
  • Commit to making it happen
  • If you decide to delegate or outsource part of the work then you’ll need to commit being responsible for leading them to do a great job. There is a difference between delegation and abdication!

Take conscious, deliberate action regularly and this will help you to create momentum towards your outcome. Building momentum will encourage you to keep taking action, as you move towards your goal. You’ll also start to feel a sense of completion.

Review your progress regularly, so you can tweak and modify your plan if necessary.

If you have an idea that you want to bring into the world, always create a system for it and plan ahead for its arrival!

Success needs a system – EVERY TIME!

 

Stop Hoping to be Successful and DECIDE to BE Successful

By , January 2, 2013 9:16 pm

Here’s something I have observed in others and myself…

Sometimes we can get in the way of our own success and block the flow.

We race after success without really knowing what it means for us; as a result, we are rarely successful because we are trying to live someone else’s dream of what success looks like. Instead, we contort ourselves in an attempt to align to their vision. This takes loads of effort and energy and the results are often disappointing.

A maze of social pressures pulls us off course and distracts us from our true direction.

The organization I used to work for defined success as: The harder and longer hours you work, the more successful you will be.

Success = Effort

I bought into it and this became my unconscious belief. Unwittingly it also became my work ethic for at least three years!

I regularly threw myself on the altar of personal sacrifice for work. I worked extremely long hours in the belief that my superiors would recognize my sacrifice. They would value my effort and promote me. It didn’t happen; instead I became exhausted and unhappy. The harder I tried – the further I pushed success away.

Looking back, I am so grateful for this happening because I realized I had been running around trying to GET promoted, but I had no idea why. It was something that I thought successful people supposed to want, and I wanted to be successful!

In this crazy, reactive world, people run around grabbing at a chance of success: ‘Yes, success… I want that! What do I need to do… How can I be like them?!’Sometimes, when we try to get something, we don’t consider why we want it, and therefore, we only work on external factors to make it happen.

I believe that success is a very personal thing.

Everyone defines success a little differently.

We are too busy comparing and competing with other people’s versions of success rather than carving and defining it for ourselves: ‘Why am I not as successful as them? I must try harder!’ It’s easy to become frustrated and disappointed when you perceive that THEY can do it much better than you!

But here’s the thing…Of course they can! It’s THEIR definition…not yours!

Once I realized this, my life changed completely.

I was done constantly comparing and competing with EVERYONE ELSE around me. I got down to the serious business of defining success for myself. This was such a liberating moment because everyone else’s story that I’d been carrying around just fell away.

The truth is that I started to become successful once I let go of following other people’s dreams of success and started to create and mold my dream for myself.

Remember, success is very personal – it comes from the inside-out. Following someone else’s definition is like starving your soul of light.

Here’s how to claim success for you:

1. Define YOUR OWN definition of success – Screw everyone else’s definition – we’re talking about you! You are a unique being on this planet. Stop trying to wear someone else’s shoes and ‘make them fit.’ What does success… look like, sound like and feel like for you? Maybe it’s flying 1st class to business meetings! Maybe it’s having a better balance of home and work life.

2. Claim success for yourself – Be the pioneer in your life. No one else does it like you. Become the leader. You can only do this by following your intuition and stepping out of the footprints of someone else, to create your own in the virgin snow. Intuition NEVER goes away – it’s always there guiding you to your higher self – if you’re prepared to listen to it. Be the role model for others.

3. Identify what you need – You grow into your success… (trust me on this one!) You don’t just walk around the corner and it is there, waiting for you. You have to nurture it. This requires self-awareness, vulnerability, openness, and a willingness to do things imperfectly. Also you need to stay true to you!

4. Stop being so scared! Being frightened is a natural reaction when you’re stepping up and trying something new. Recognize your fear and decide not to be paralyzed by it (life is too short!). Work through it by reaching through to find your courage instead. The most amazing things I have ever achieved have scared the crap out of me! But, here’s the thing about being scared: It’s when:

  • I feel the most alive – it’s exhilarating!
  • I grow to a whole new level of transformation.
  • I get awesome results.

5. Find someone to support and challenge you – There are so many coaches out there that are just focused on being supportive and helpful. While this is good, it doesn’t stretch you and help you to become the best you possibly can be. You want someone on your side that can support and challenge you… To claim your success – you need both!

STOP racing after someone else’s definition of success and give yourself permission to create your own!

Your successful life is waiting for you – Go deeper and start claiming it for yourself.

Who’s definition of success are you working to right now?!

 

 

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