24 Lessons I’ve Learned About Success and Happiness

My business and I recently celebrated our 24-year anniversary!

Mind-boggling.

I can tell the story of the last 24 years in a way that sounds like a lovely straight line. But in reality, it’s been more like a loop-de-loop, with stretches of straight lines and periods of two steps forward, one back, and another one sideways. And every one of those steps has been a necessary part of this amazing journey.

I’m so lucky and grateful that I get to work with incredible clients and colleagues who inspire me with their courage, brilliance, compassion, willingness to be bold, and commitment to being successful and happy.

And I never imagined that my business would be one of my greatest teachers.

In celebration of 24 years in business, I’d like to share the 24 most powerful lessons I’ve learned – the ones that have had the greatest impact on my success and my happiness.

  1. Professional development is personal development.
  2. NEVER ignore your intuition.
  3. Self-care is critical to success. You operate at your highest mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacity when you take care of yourself. And that will boost your success and make you happier!
  4. Breathing makes everything better. Yeah, really.
  5. Life is too short to worry or stress about things that won’t matter in a few years, let alone a few days or weeks.
  6. If you have to pretend to be someone you’re not, you’re in the wrong place.
  7. Make friends with Eb and Flo. Life, professionally and personally, has ebbs and flows. I personified them by giving them proper names. It makes it easier to welcome each of them when they show up and to truly embrace the notion that both are necessary.
  8. When you’re clear on what you want, the universe will align with you as long as you do your fair share.
  9. Success and failure are 100% dependent on where you draw the timeline. Always.
  10. There’s learning and growth in everything. It just doesn’t always come wrapped in a pretty package!
  11. It doesn’t matter how other people do things. Figure out what works for you. It’s the best way to set yourself up for success.
  12. Cultivate extreme self-awareness.
  13. Gratitude is good for the soul and has a positive impact on success. It’s one of the few things in life where there’s no such thing as too much.
  14. Mastering the skill of saying NO is the only way to say YES to what’s important to you and stay sane.
  15. A little bit of stretch in a goal is motivating. Too much of a stretch sets you up for feeling frustrated and stuck.
  16. Be willing to ask for, and accept, help.
  17. Mindset matters. Your mindset creates your experience, not vice versa. Action follows thought. And whether through words, actions, or vibe, your mindset impacts everyone around you.
  18. You can’t grow without getting out of your comfort zone. That’s why change, whether by choice or not, takes courage. So do bold moves, getting unstuck, and anything else that requires you to stretch.
  19. Any time you tip-toe, step, or leap through fear and discomfort to reach for something you want, you’re being bold, no matter how large or small your move looks to anyone else.
  20. You are the only one who can give yourself permission to be you, to be human (which means beautifully and perfectly flawed!), and to want what you want. Don’t wait. Give yourself permission NOW.
  21. None of us can make things happen because none of us are controlling the universe. But you can create the conditions that allow things to happen.
  22. Be open to amazing things.
  23. Show up – fully. It’s often hard, and it’s so worth working through the discomfort. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you have something to offer. Allow yourself to offer it. That’s what showing up looks like.
  24. The way you live your day is the way you live your life.
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Why Practicing Courage is Essential

Growing up in Southern California, my childhood summers involved endless hours in the pool and several years on a local swim team. (My siblings and I were part fish :-).)

My last year on the team included the high dive. It was a bazillion feet high and filled me with terror. I could have opted out, but no one else did and my 12-year-old self didn’t want to be a baby.

Somehow I found the courage to climb that towering ladder week after week, but I was never brave enough to actually dive.

Sometimes I’d simply plant my butt down on the edge of the board and go feet first into the water. Just as often, though, I’d freeze, too terrified to either turn around and walk back down the ladder, or sit down and push off.

Eventually, after what would feel like an eternity, I’d manage to scooch to the back of the board and, shaking like a leaf, crawl back down the steps.

Had I been able to slowly work my way from the three-foot to the ten-foot board (it wasn’t really a bazillion feet!), I’d have been able to practice courage under less terrifying circumstances, and build up enough courage to dive from ten feet. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a series of diving boards in one foot increments.

Eventually the summer ended and with it my last year of swim team, and the high dive ceased to be relevant in my life. Phew!

Of course, that wasn’t my last brush with fear or the need to be courageous.

I’m fairly certain the same is true for you. Fear and discomfort are inevitable.

The very act of professional and personal growth means you’re going to bump into things that feel uncomfortable, scary, or downright terrifying. And for most of us, that feeling is triggered by uncertainty, by wanting to know FOR SURE what’s on the other side.

If I knew FOR SURE that …

  • I’ll be good at [fill in your blank]
  • I won’t be making a mistake
  • I’ll be a good fit
  • This will work out the way I want
  • I won’t get hurt
  • I’ll be liked
  • I won’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not
  • I’ll be successful
  • This new situation will be better than the one I’m in
  • I’ll be happy
  • This is the right decision

… then I’d absolutely go for it!

But we don’t get to know FOR SURE.

That’s why change, whether by choice or not, takes courage. So do bold moves, getting unstuck, and anything else that requires you to get out of your comfort zone.

And that means you need a strong courage muscle.

It’s essential. Fear or discomfort (fear’s quieter cousin) is almost always what stands between you and your bold move toward the change you want to make.

And there’s only one way to build muscle: through practice.

So where do you find the “courage gym”?

In your everyday life.

Practicing courage means making day-to-day choices that get you out of your comfort zone and expand your capacity for being uncomfortable.

Doing anything that feels uncomfortable, scary, unnerving, difficult, daunting, or intimidating is courageous. Doing those things regularly is practicing courage.

There’s not one iota of difference between practicing courage and being courageous.

I know you’ve practiced courage, because there’s no chance you’ve never done anything outside your comfort zone!

There will always be opportunities to be courageous – which is a good thing! It’s in the small, ongoing acts of courage that you build your capacity to make bold moves, get unstuck, and make the choices that lead to success and happiness.

“It takes courage to lead a life. Any life.” ~ Erica Jong

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The Opposite of Small is Not Big

“Don’t play small! Play Big!!”

I often hear (or read) these words in my world of professional, leadership, and personal development.

I’m all about not playing small. We do ourselves, and the world, a disservice when we hold back, shrink the space we occupy, damp down our potential, keep our thoughts, opinions, and gifts hidden, or hide our lights.

But I cringe at the idea of juxtaposing big and small when it comes to how and where you choose to play. When presented as an either/or – if you’re not playing big, you’re playing small – the underlying message is that BIGGER is BETTER.

Hogwash!

A step back in time …

Seventeen years ago, I was participating in a leadership retreat and chatting with a handful of my cohorts. I’d recently launched a new program, and shared my excitement and how much I loved working with the ten participants.

“Congratulations” and “That’s awesome!!” were quickly followed by:

You should expand this to big groups.

You should take your program to corporate.

You can reach more people, have a bigger impact, and make more money!!!

You need to play BIG!!!              

I knew they meant well, and I truly believed their intention was to support me. But when I told them that wasn’t what I had in mind, I got a chorus of, “You’re playing small! C’mon, you’re missing the opportunity to play big!”

It’s not that I’ve never played small. Fear and discomfort have won out more times than I like to remember.

This was not one of those times.

Staying in the corporate world I’d in lived for years would have been the path of least resistance. I’d have stayed firmly entrenched in my comfort zone and been much more certain of the financial outcome. But I consciously chose a different path, an alternative to the path of least resistance. I was being bold and playing big.

Seventeen years later, I believe even more deeply that being bold, going for what you want, and brightly shining your light is critically important. It makes the world a better place and boosts success and happiness.

But when scale, scope, and size become the yardstick for measuring whether or not you’re playing big, the critical element of happiness gets left out of the equation.

In my case, my happiness is inextricably linked to connection and intimacy. I’m fully capable of presenting in front of several hundred people and bringing my programs to the corporate world, but it’s working one-on-one or with small- to medium-sized groups that makes my heart sing.

Impact comes in all shapes and sizes. And so does playing big, whether that’s:

  • Having the guts to be the lone dissenting voice in a meeting
  • Throwing your hat in the ring for a promotion even when you’re worried you don’t meet every qualification
  • Leaving your executive position to start a small consulting firm in order to have more freedom and flexibility
  • Stepping back into a sole contributor role after being a manager, because that’s where you do your best work and are happiest
  • Setting your sights on becoming a CEO
  • Writing the novel you’ve dreamed about for years
  • Exiting the business you’ve built, loved, and nurtured because it no longer brings you joy

That’s a smattering of examples :-).

Any time you tip-toe, step, or leap through fear and discomfort to reach for something you want, you’re playing big, no matter how large or small your move looks to someone else.

YOU are the only one who gets to decide where and how you want to shine your beautiful, brilliant light.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” ~ Marianne Williamson

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Unapologetically You

It is never inappropriate to be who you are.

Not ever.

I rarely speak in such absolutes, but when it comes to the appropriateness of you being you, I’d shout from the rooftops if that would help you hear me.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never feel like you need to be someone you’re not. There will be people or situations that hit a button and boom! you’ll be convinced it’s necessary to be someone other than yourself.

That’s what happened to my client Kim, when she was promoted to senior vice-president of marketing.

Fifteen minutes into our first coaching session, she said, “I feel like I have to be Randy in a dress.”

In her grounded and logical moments, Kim knew her success didn’t depend on becoming Randy. If the company wanted a Randy clone, they’d have found a Randy clone.

Deep down, she knew she’d been promoted on the basis of her strengths and leadership style … because of who she is, not in spite of who she is.

Yet once she stepped into her new role, she began questioning whether the very traits that had made her successful were still appropriate. And that led to squashing her gifts, trying to be Randy in a dress, and a boatload of stress.

Plus, it wasn’t working. And that’s because …

It’s never inappropriate to be who you are. (Imagine me on the rooftop.)

It’s so easy to forget this.

It’s not unusual to get caught up in thinking you have to be someone you’re not in order to be successful, have an impact, achieve a particular goal, or any of the other things we worry about. My clients are smart, talented, amazing, successful, unique people, yet some version of this comes up with almost every one of them.

But it’s not true. In fact, what’s true is just the opposite.

You do your best work, have your greatest impact, are happiest, and are at your most extraordinary when you’re the best version of YOU.

It’s absolutely worth doing the work to become the best version of you, to become more of who you are.  Not like your boss or your best friend or Mary down the hall. And definitely not some super-human version of yourself where all your flaws have magically disappeared along with the essence of what makes you, you.

Becoming that best version of you might feel scary or daunting (it certainly did for me), but I guarantee it’s a hundred times easier and less stressful than trying to be someone you’re not.

So …

Cultivate the courage to keep working on being your best you, even when that feels uncomfortable or scary. Yes, courage. Because showing up as you, is often a bold move.

Practice self-care, because we’re always hardest on ourselves when we’re tired, hungry, or stressed.

Be kind, compassionate and loving to yourself, because the more self-accepting you are, the more comfortable you’ll be showing up as your amazing self.

Grant yourself permission to be human. You’ll be brilliant and messy and fabulous and imperfect. Some days you’ll make glorious progress and other days will feel like a series of sideways or even backwards steps.

It’s all good, because it’s all learning and growth. And that’s what being human is about.

Most of all, don’t apologize for who you are. You can apologize for your mistakes, your words, your behavior, and the red wine you spilled on your friend’s gorgeous new blouse. Just don’t apologize for who you are.

Because it’s never inappropriate to be who you are.

“Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” ~ St. Catherine of Sienna

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What Do You Believe to be Possible?

Sixty-four years ago Roger Bannister did the impossible: he became the first athlete to run a mile in under four minutes.

Okay, so it wasn’t impossible ;-).

But the prevailing belief back then, including amongst the medical community, was that a sub-four-minute mile wasn’t humanly possible.

Roger Bannister believed differently. On May 6, 1954 he ran a 3:59.4 minute mile.

His feat made headlines around the world. The New York Times declared that he’d reached “one of man’s hitherto unattainable goals.” And he did the “impossible” on a damp and blustery day with wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour.

We can talk about the physical, mental, and emotional stamina Bannister possessed, the details of his training program, or his capacity for discomfort. (London isn’t exactly known for perfect weather, and he trained in leather shoes!) But before any of that could be relevant, something else had to happen.

First, Roger Bannister had to choose to believe it was possible.

Imagine an alternative scenario in which he wants to breach the four-minute barrier but deep down inside believes, “Nah, not really gonna happen.”

There’s virtually no chance he’d have achieved that hitherto unattainable goal.

This mindset impact doesn’t only hold true for breaking world records: it’s just as applicable to making a bold move. You must believe it to be possible, or you’re defeated before you begin.

Why?

Because there’s a direct connection between your beliefs and your outcomes:​

Your beliefs connect directly to your motivation. If you don’t believe success is possible, it’s darn near impossible to push beyond your comfort zone.

Your level of motivation is directly correlated to the consistency of your actions. How easy is it for you to stay in action, day in and day out, when you’re feeling unmotivated? And when you are motivated? Yeah, me too!

Your consistency drives your performance. Progress and momentum come from consistent practice and action. Always.

Your performance is interpreted through the lens of your beliefs. This is how we’re wired and what gives us context. And when you hit obstacles and / or set-backs (progress is never a straight line!), your interpretation of the situation determines whether or not you keep going.

If you don’t believe your bold move to be possible, those obstacles offer up proof that you’re right.

And if you do believe it to be possible, you’re more likely to see the bumps as learning and growth opportunities, to tweak, refine, and / or adjust, and to keep on going.

Your interpretation reinforces your beliefs – it’s how we’re wired.

It’s an utterly predictable cycle and why your beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it starts with a choice to believe that what you want is possible.

So, what bold move do you want to believe is possible?

Throwing your hat in the ring for a promotion,

Launching a job search because you no longer want to be in a job that’s making you unhappy or is downright toxic,

Making a career change,

Running for political office,

Giving yourself permission to step up and shine in your current role,

Using your potential in service of what matters to you,

Letting go of trying to fit a mold that’s not you and showing up as the person you actually are,

Re-aligning your life to be a better fit with your values,

Doing what you know, in your heart of hearts, it’s time for you to do, or

Something else?

I’ll pause while you write down the bold move you want to make :-).

And now write this down: Today I choose to believe that [fill in your bold move] is possible.

For the next 30 days, re-up on your choice to believe. Yeah, thirty days. Same words, every day. This is how your choice to believe takes root in your mind, heart, and soul. And that’s the critical first step for making a bold move.

 

      

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The Passion Trap

  • If I knew my passion I’d take more risks, be bolder, go full throttle. 
  • If I knew my path, nothing would get in my way of walking that path.

I hear these sentiments a lot. And I get it; there was a time when I felt exactly the same way.

It’s not crazy thinking!

We’re always more likely to be bold when it’s in service of something we deeply want.

But quite often “if I knew my passion / path, then I would …” is a justification for staying in a job, business, or career that doesn’t make you happy. Maybe you’re:

  • not intellectually challenged,
  • out of alignment with your organization’s values or mismatched with its culture,
  • undervalued or not respected,
  • not feeling a sense of purpose or that the work you do matters, or
  • [fill in your blank].

It feels like a legitimate justification, but it’s actually a trap … and a recipe for staying stuck.

Why?

Passion isn’t the real desire. Certainty is. If I knew my passion / path really means “I want to be absolutely certain I’ve found my IT and only then will I be able to … “

But …

There probably isn’t one specific IT, a passion so clear and strong it’ll catapult you out of your comfort zone, propel you straight through fear and discomfort, and brightly illuminate your path.

And …

Since finding your passion is the prerequisite to making a change … you keep settling for less than what you want.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait to find your passion in order to be successful and happy.

Most of us want to feel energized and enthusiastic about our work. We want to feel like the work we do matters and that we have an impact. And we want to do it in an environment where we’re respected for who we are and what we bring to the table.

This is what sets us up to thrive!!

If you’ve been settling for less than what you truly want, please know you can make a different choice. And no, you don’t have to leap off a cliff!

Here are seven steps to help you get started:

  1. Give yourself permission to stop settling and to want what you want. This is the critical first step. It’s amazing how often we withhold that permission from ourselves.
    • This is rarely a one-time step. You might have to remind yourself multiple times a day of your newly granted permission. That’s both normal and okay :-).
  2. Begin from where you are, not from where you think you should. No judgment!
  3. Tell at least one person you trust that you’re ready to make a change: that you’re ready to do work that energizes you, to do work that matters, and to do it in an environment where you can show up and shine.
    • There’s enormous power in owning what you want and saying it out loud. Sometimes the boldest and bravest step is to take a stand for what you want AND deserve.
  4. Acknowledge what you do know and put it in writing. Maybe you don’t know your passion, but I’m confident you know plenty about what you enjoy doing; what you find interesting, fascinating, stimulating, or engaging; what matters to you; and when you feel respected and valued.
  5. Connect, connect, connect. Spend time with people who boost you up.
    • Grab lunch or coffee with friends or prior colleagues who are up to stuff you think is interesting, and learn more about the details of what they do. Surround yourself with as much positive energy as possible. It’s an awesome antidote to feeling stuck.
  6. Inch your way out of your comfort zone. Remember to breathe. It helps a great deal.
  7. Take one small step every day that moves you forward.

You deserve so much more than settling!!

“Allow the space between where you are and where you want to be to inspire you, not terrify you.” ~ Tracy Ellis Ross

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abstract-heart, Love the One You’re With (That’s You!)

Love the One You’re With (That’s You!)

In the last few days I’ve had three clients declare that they’re done with selling themselves short. While the same themes always come up with my clients, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the exact same words in such a short timeframe.

Add to the mix that exactly four years ago I wrote an article on the exact same topic, I decided the universe was sending me a message. Clearly, this is an article that bears repeating :-).

When I first sat down to write this article, Valentine’s Day wasn’t anywhere on my radar screen. Even if it had been, it wouldn’t have seemed relevant, because I’d already picked my topic: Don’t sell yourself short.

In the words of Tina Turner, what’s love got to do with it?

But then I started writing, and realized that love has everything to do with it.

In order to not sell yourself short, you have to take a stand for yourself. That’s not always easy. (An understatement, right?!) Taking a stand for yourself is an act of courage … and an act of love.

To confidently and authentically take a stand for yourself, you have to believe you deserve it. And that takes some serious self-love.

You’re up against powerful forces trying to get you to sell yourself short.

Those forces aren’t part of an evil empire. They’re the part of you that says:

  • I can’t …
  • I don’t dare …
  • What if …
  • Who am I to …
  • What will they think if …

Powerful forces indeed!

My friend Courtney just vanquished those forces with love :-).

She took a bold, courageous stand for herself over a recent job offer.

Courtney’s early in her career and between full-time jobs. So this job offer was a big deal.

The position had the potential to be a great learning opportunity and resume-builder. But it also came with long hours, compensation that felt unfair to her, and some red flags about the company’s culture.

Bold courageous stand #1: she decided to counter-offer.

And that meant believing in – and loving – herself enough to step around, through, and over “I can’t or don’t dare ask, what if they get mad, who am I to ask for more, and what will they think?

Yes, it was uncomfortable. And scary.

But saying “yes” to a job she felt was underpaid would be selling herself short.  So she showered herself with love and asked for more money.

She was blown off with a terse reply of, “Take it or leave it.”

Hmmm, that’s an inviting reply!  The red flags about corporate culture started looking a lot bigger.

Bold courageous stand #2: Courtney declined the offer.

Did I mention bold and courageous?!

She emailed me after she made the decision to turn down the job.

“I have your thought about not selling myself short ringing in my ears. I think I’d been molding the job in my mind to make it seem like a good fit, but I really don’t think it is. I feel quite confident that turning down the job is the right choice even though along the way I was full of doubt.”

Courtney is seriously committed to being successful and happy. She deserves both. And she chose to take a stand for herself.

Oh yeah!

Next time those powerful nay-saying forces show up and tempt you to sell yourself short, remember that you have something far more potent.

Love.

Here’s what the self-loving part of you knows, even in the midst of doubt:

  • Yes, you can – because you have choices.
  • Yes, you dare – because you have courage.
  • The what-ifs probably won’t happen, but if they do, you’ll be fine – because you’re resilient.
  • Who you are is worthy – because we are all worthy.
  • And what they will think is … uh, wait a second. Who the heck are “they”?!

When you take a stand for yourself, you send a message to yourself AND to the universe that you are worth it.

And that’s a fabulous way to shower yourself with love.

“If your definition of success has little or no love in it, get yourself a new definition.” ~ Dr. Robert Holden

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Dance Lessons, Life Lessons

When my friend Jennifer signed up for ballroom dance lessons in early 2017, she wasn’t expecting to end the year with a ballroom-sized life lesson.

Dance lessons had been on Jennifer’s bucket list for years. But she’d never given herself permission to take action – to find a studio, sign up for a class, and to go solo if necessary.

That changed a year ago. Fresh off a recovery from back surgery, Jennifer showed up at the Savannah Ballroom Dance Studio for her first lesson. And she quickly fell in love with the place, the people, and the dancing.

She was having a blast and discovered an innate talent for dancing.

And yeah, she wondered why she hadn’t said yes a lot sooner to something she’d wanted for so long. (Most of us have a similar story about waiting!)

Ten months in, her instructor told her she was ready to enter a competition. Jennifer told him she absolutely was not ready. And he said, “No one ever thinks they’re ready. If you wait until you think you’re ready, you’ll never do it.”

Here’s what you need to know about Jennifer: she’s a perfectionist of the highest order. Making a commitment to something this far out of her comfort zone is not her norm!

But to her surprise, she did say yes. YES to getting out of her comfort zone, YES to doing something beyond what she’d imagined, and YES to having the guts to say yes. (This is the stuff bold moves are made of.)

December arrived and so did the 4th annual 2-day North Florida Dance Challenge competition. Jennifer was petrified. And here’s what she told me about the first few moments of her first dance: “I decided to stop worrying about making a mistake and just dance and have fun.”

Words to live by.

With her eleven year-old daughter in the audience, Jennifer competed in 24 dances, including the foxtrot, waltz, swing, tango, cha-cha, and rumba.

The results: eleven first places and nine second places. None of which could have happened without three critical – and scary – choices:

  1. Showing up at the dance studio,
  2. Saying yes to the competition instead of getting ready to be ready, and
  3. Letting go of the fear of making a mistake, of being imperfect.

Showing up, saying yes, and letting go of perfection has rocked her world. And it’s spilling into other parts of her life. As one of my clients says, “When you’re bold in one part of your life, it’s easier to be bold in other ways.”

Where are you holding back because you don’t think you’re ready?

To quote a very wise dance instructor, “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it.”

It’s time to stop waiting and start moving towards what you want – step by step, choice by choice. There’s no other way to make a bold move or to find your intersection of success and happiness.

Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

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Forget Resolutions. Do This Instead.

Tis the tail end of the season of New Year’s resolutions.

I’ll come clean right up front: I’m not a fan of them.

Most New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory by the end of January. That’s because they tend to be vague, “should”-driven, unrealistic, and / or a mash-up of unrelated aspirations.

Like this:
You’re going to supercharge your productivity levels, get in amazing shape, become an organizing genius, volunteer more, start meditating, learn a new language, be more patient, and leap tall buildings in super-cute shoes.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a wee bit, at least about the super-cute shoes and tall buildings :-).

But it’s not that far out of the ballpark, right?

If New Year’s resolutions just faded from memory with no residual impact, then they could go into a year-end-party-games category. But the fading usually does have an impact. You’re left with a resolution hangover, a feeling that you’ve let yourself down or can’t get your act together, and you’re not sure why.

It’s not because you’re undisciplined or inept. None of us can be successful with vague, “should”-driven, or unrealistic goals. Add to the mix multiple, disconnected resolutions and it’s a set-up to fail.

How about doing something different this year?

Forget the resolutions and instead commit to one bold move in 2018.

(I’m pausing to give you a moment to let that land.)

A bold move is a commitment that feels bold to you and is something you genuinely want and / or feel called to do.

Examples include:

  • Throwing your hat in the ring for a promotion even when you’re worried you don’t meet every qualification.
  • Launching a job search because you’ve decided you don’t have to stay in a job that’s making you unhappy or is downright toxic.
  • Making a career change.
  • Running for political office.
  • Giving yourself permission to step up and shine in your current role.
  • Making a decision to stop being driven by people-pleasing so you can begin living a more authentic, fulfilling life.
  • Writing the novel you’ve dreamed about for years.
  • Using your potential in service of what matters to you.
  • Letting go of trying to fit a mold that’s not you and showing up as the person you actually are.
  • Re-aligning your life to be a better fit with your values, knowing it will rock the boat and not everyone will be happy with you.
  • Doing whatever it is you know, in your heart of hearts, it’s time for you to do.

You’ll have to get out of your comfort zone to make your bold move. But that’s actually the point. None of us can give full expression to our potential and our gifts without periodically feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable.

And it starts with a choice.

What bold move will you make in 2018?

You deserve to have what you want. And the world needs us all to be fully showing up and brightly shining our lights!!

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Happy New Year/Flow-Dynamix.com

Happy New Year! And a Few Questions to Lead You Into 2017

Happy New Year!!

I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that 2016 is in the rear-view mirror and it’s now 2017.

The transition from December 31st to January 1st is just a single second, as is the changeover from any day to the next, but energetically it’s far from an ordinary changeover.

For the briefest of moments, we experience a clear demarcation between an ending and a beginning.

The confluence of endings and beginnings isn’t unusual; it happens all the time. But other than birthdays and anniversaries, they don’t tend to happen on predictable, recurring dates. And that makes the changeover from one year to the next special.

So before you fully leave last year behind and bound, saunter, slink, leap, scurry, or skip into the year that’s just a few days old, take a few moments to do so intentionally and lovingly.

And yes, I did say intentionally AND lovingly!

Without an intentional transition, you miss the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all that happened in the prior year, so you can step into the New Year with focus and purpose.

And without bringing love into the equation, it’s far too easy to look back at what you didn’t accomplish and the ways in which you didn’t get your *%^$ together. And that tees you up to start the New Year thinking not-very-nice thoughts about yourself or coming up with a list of correct-my-flaws resolutions or (gasp!) both.

Here’s something different to do this year :-).

Acknowledge, celebrate, learn.
And
then set the stage for what you want to create this year.

Here are a few questions to help you create the conditions for an intentional and loving transition into 2017, setting you up for a successful and happy New Year! Spend some time reflecting on both the questions and your answers … it’s a lovely gift to give yourself!

Acknowledge, celebrate, learn

  • How did you grow in 2016?
  • What’s different today versus the start of last year? What did you let go of? What did you create space for?
  • Who did you become?

Creating what’s next

  • What do you want 2017 to be about?
  • What are you bringing into the New Year from last year? And what are you leaving behind?
  • How do you want to experience the year?
  • What do you want to create in your life this year? What do you want to learn, and how do you want to grow?
  • How will you honor all of your learning and growth this year? (Not just the pieces that come wrapped in pretty packages. All of it!)

And last, but most certainly not least …

  • Are you willing to give yourself permission to be YOU in all your glorious, messy, flawed, and perfect humanness?

From my heart to yours, wishing you a 2017 filled with success, happiness, and growth!

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