Don’t give up.

I’ve lived long enough to experience multiple times in my life when I either gave up on something, or gave up on something at the perfectly wrong time. What I mean by the wrong time, is that I was on the verge of accomplishing something. It could have literally been within weeks. Sure, you could say I wasn’t focused or disciplined enough to follow through on a few of the projects I have in mind, but from experience, I eventually learned not to do this. 

One of the ways I learned not to give up was via having the right encouragement from others who were supporting me to pursue what I was going after. Even if the odds were clearly stacked against me to be successful. What I also learned is that I needed to figure out how to believe in myself. This factor alone would largely contribute to helping me to not give up, and to succeed.

Last week my tenacious persistence, and remaining laser focused on pursuing a project I had been working on becoming a reality for the last three years finally happened. What was even better, was that the project doubled in scope, and will allow me to work with exactly who I wanted to work with. This is despite numerous people saying what I was pursuing was unrealistic, or a pipe dream. I knew that neither of these things were true, and that the people who were saying this didn’t fully appreciate that I could make the projects come to life. 

However, in order to make the projects become a reality, I was also aware of the fact I needed to do something completely different than was expected. Leveraging my strategic, creative and communication abilities, I did this. More importantly, I can confidently say I am now on track to do even more things very few people believed was possible. Eventually I will be able to share with you more information about the projects I am referring to, but right now I am not in a position to be able to do so. 

The projects I am undertaking are literally going to pave the way, and provide new opportunities and a model for other people, and specifically for women to consider. I’m extremely excited about these facts, and the impact I will be able to have on the lives of people who would never have expected to be doing the type of project work with me they will be. 

Part of the reason the project opportunities have been granted to me, is because I have earned the right to pursue them via having just enough experience to do so. Although, more importantly, these opportunities were also offered to me because someone was willing to take a chance on me. They believe, like I believe in myself that I can have a major impact on the people I will be working with, and they are open-minded enough to say “let’s make this happen!”!

When I received the verbal commitment about these projects, I was overwhelmed with pride and happiness. I also knew that all of the extremely hard work of pursuing these projects I had put in over the last three years, was finally paying off. Now, the even harder work will begin to bring the projects to life, but knowing that I will be able to apply my expertise to the people I will be working with will be incredibly satisfying and rewarding for both me and them.  Who doesn’t love a win/win scenario?

So, if you are looking for some inspiration not to give up on something you have been either trying to pursue for a while, or potentially related to something you want to pursue, but have talked yourself out of doing so, here are some suggestions to help you get back on track.

·      Find at least one person who believes in what you are attempting to accomplish. They can either provide you with motivation, or serve as an accountability person to help you remain focused on your pursuit. 

·      If what you are attempting to do hasn’t been done before, think through, write down, and visualize what the end result of the project will look like. Refer to this information on a regular basis. Have it serve as a “script” for times when you are losing sight of your goal.

·      Take a page out of Simon Sinek’s play book, and clearly define your “why” you are pursuing what you are doing. It will make it much easier to accomplish what you are attempting to do when this simple question is clearly defined. 

·      Create a timeline for your project. Even if it might take years to accomplish what you are pursuing. Having this in place will help to serve as a way to get back on track, if this happens. 

·      Put a reminder in your calendar on a weekly basis to see where you are on your “timeline”, and be kind to yourself if you didn’t make any progress. There will be times when you might be at a standstill, or have obstacles in your way which are contributing to this. When this happens, think of them as prolonged “stop lights”. Eventually the light will turn green. 

·      If you have talked yourself out of pursuing something you want to do, but perhaps are afraid of doing, write down a list of the worst and best things that can happen when you accomplish your pursuit. Often the worst things will never happen, and imagine what it will be like when the best things do!

I’m a firm believer that everyone is capable and has the capacity of doing at least one, perhaps multiple incredible things in their lifetime. What will yours be? 

TAGS: #Motivation #Inspiration #Dontgiveup #Persistence #Business #Productivity #Empoweringothers #Believeinyourself #Makethingshappen #Pursueyourdreams #Goals #Pursueyourgoals #Leadership

Happiness is contagious. Now what?

With so much attention being placed on the Pandemic, and the negative aspects of it, I felt compelled to provide you with something to think about which spins the word contagious in a favorable light. So, let’s think about the possibility of happiness being something that was contagious. Perhaps it can be?

I guarantee you have noticed how being around others who are upbeat and generally positive in nature can impact how you think and feel. Both at that moment, and perhaps for a period of time afterwards. Of course, there isn’t a time limit on the length of how long the feeling of being happy can be sustained, but if you treated it like a battery, potentially it could be?

Using a battery as a metaphor, and if you were to wrap your mind around happiness being a battery that needs to be fueled, do you have some methods you could apply right now to increase your battery life? Don’t worry if you can’t think of something immediately, as I’ve got you covered, and will provide you with some suggestions.

The point I am trying to emphasize is that just like the feeling of being unhappy, or negative in any manner, you have complete control over how you feel. At least the majority of the time, and of course there will be some exceptions. However, the majority of the time, and for most people, they do have the power to infuse more happiness into their life than they may be currently doing.

Being intentional about anything you do in life is critical. I say this because I have seen too many people “glide” through their days and life, as if someone else is the “captain” of their life. Perhaps they do this because they think it is easier to let someone else control their personal and professional circumstances. Maybe, but I personally think this is a cop out, and I’m going to call them out on this.

Yes, taking control of your own circumstances and owning them can be hard to do. Especially if you are not practiced at doing this, and there may be numerous reasons or potentially excuses you have for this being the case. The point is to take full responsibility for how you feel and show up each day, and to stop assigning any blame to others for your circumstances. Again, I emphasize that I realize some people’s circumstances are extreme, but for the majority of people they are not.

As you might imagine, I’m not a big fan of excuses, and I learned early on in my life that when you make them, it becomes too easy to continue this negative pattern of behavior. So, one of the first things you need to do is to recognize this is a pattern, and then sincerely want to break it. Both as a habit, and to allow yourself permission to point your personal and professional circumstances in a more favorable direction. I also don’t want to hear you tell me that you may not deserve to be happy. I don’t buy into this type of thinking, and I’m telling you that everyone deserves to be happy.

Let’s think about a moment in time when you were feeling happy. Can you pinpoint either the reason or circumstances behind why you felt that way? Did you take any time to relish and embrace feeling this way? Or, was it a fleeting feeling? If your feeling was fleeting, think about what contributed to dampening your feeling.

One of the statements which I have noted before, but that is worth repeating is one I have routinely heard from my Mom. When I was struggling with extreme back pain both prior to and post-surgery, she told me that “I could choose to be happy”. She was right, and when I tried to think positively and leverage the concept of being grateful for what I had going well in my life, it was as if I could flip a switch in my brain and turn on the happy feeling. Yes, it was almost this easy, but it did take some practice to get it right.

Now, let’s tackle providing you with some suggestions on how you can benefit from happiness being a contagious element in your personal or professional life.

  • Commit to the fact you want to be happier. Especially if this isn’t something you regularly are.
  • Are there people in your daily life that are toxic? What can you do to minimize your contact with them, or ideally not have to deal with them at all?
  • Create a list of things that you know make you feel better. Refer to this list on a regular basis to fuel your “happiness battery”.
  • Turn off the news or other forms of media that deliver a steady stream of negative content. I made it a point in my life about 4 years ago to stop watching, reading or listening to the mainstream news, as it typically only reports on negative life circumstances.
  • Be intentional about what information you consume from a social media perspective.
  • Seek out, and surround yourself with more people who are optimistic. If you are not this way, you will need to be or work on being this way, as they won’t enjoy being around you if you are not. Yes, this could be hard to do, but it will be worth it, and people can change. They simply have to want to do so.
  • The power from the joy you will feel when you can fully embrace being happy for someone else.
  • Is someone else piloting your life personally or professionally? Ask yourself why this is occurring, and then put a plan together to take back control to pilot your own life.

The point of this story is that I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone has the right and ability to be happier in their lives, and to feel this way on a regular basis. I hope that if you don’t feel happy on a routine basis, that some of my suggestions will help support your intentions to feel this way. If none of the options work for you, then it might be time for you to consider talking to someone professionally, as our mental health and being happy isn’t something that only “other” people should enjoy.

TAGS: #Happiness #Howtobehappy #Seekinghappiness #Suggestionsonbeinghappy #Solutionstobehappy #Business #Success #Leadership #Motivation #Mentalhealth #Selfawareness #Contagioushappiness #Awareness #Perception #Business #Teams #Personaldevelopment

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Feeling trapped by a title or industry?

Perhaps it’s the ongoing Pandemic, but I feel like I have hit a wall with being trapped inside for too long. The more challenging part of this realization, is that I don’t see my personal situation changing any day soon. Yes, I know it will, and that plenty of others feel this way too, but patience is not one of my specialties. Results are, which makes feeling like I am trapped even tougher.

Ok, thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now, and can get on with talking about another form of feeling, or being trapped professionally and what you can do about this. For me, having a solution, even just one, makes me feel empowered and able to conquer any obstacle in my way. In terms of a person who is feeling defined by the work they do, or the industry they are in was something I was having a conversation about this morning.

The conversation was in fact energizing. It also made me consider some alternatives to how I could offer advice to others who might be feeling trapped. Either personally or professionally by the role they play in an organization.

Although you might not consider people at the top of an organization would feel trapped or isolated in their roles, I can tell you for a fact and through experience this isn’t the case. Many top executives or leaders have experienced a sense of being defined by their roles, the organization they work for, or the industry they are in. Many of them are proud of having achieved the roles they are in, but many of these same people are not experiencing the satisfaction you might imagine they would be.

I was reading an article the other day and came across an interesting title. The title was Chief Wellness Officer. The role was loosely defined, and underscored the fact this was not a human resource role. I found that to be interesting, but given the mental health crisis occurring in our society currently, and the fact it is being exacerbated by the Pandemic, I thought this newly defined role was refreshing to learn about. Also, quite timely.

Although the definition of the Chief Wellness Officer role wasn’t clearly defined, it struck me as a moment in time when reality and the needs of employees were catching up to be in synch. Now, the challenge will be to see this role better defined and implemented.

Let’s circle back to the situation you might be in where you are feeling unfairly defined by your title. If you are in a supportive role, there is a greater chance you are feeling trapped in playing a follower role, versus a leadership one. However, not everyone is meant to take on the role of a leader, but if you think you are, and you not in this role yet, I guarantee you know what I am referring to. Now, let’s imagine for a moment no one had a title. What would this type of work environment look like, and how would it exist without structure and by well-defined rules to play by? It might be completely chaotic, or it might flow well. Most would say it would be chaotic, but I would bet they have not experienced the type of work environment which would make them think differently.

If you are wondering how to do what I’ll refer to as reassemble the direction of your title or the industry you are in, one of the things you will need to do is to embody one word. That word is “pivot”. It’s become one of my favorite words. One in fact I have embraced and lived by as a guiding support the last four years as a business entrepreneur. I’ll credit a wise woman name Anita Brearton for introducing me to both this word, and the concept of it. Thank you, Anita, for sharing this with me at exactly the time I needed to hear it.

Although by definition the word pivot is clearly defined, the exact direction you go in from your pivot will depend. It will depend on how you want to leverage your skills, your knowledge and your network to help you to head you in a more preferable direction. I like the word pivot because it factors in leveraging all of your acquired experience and then taking it into the direction of your preference. Whether that be into a new role with a completely different type of title, or potentially a different industry.

Since I generally provide suggestions in each of my articles, I’ll continue with this tradition. Here are some ways you can pivot in your current title or industry.

  • Clearly define and write down why you want to change from the role or industry you are in.
  • Do you feel held back, incomplete, underutilized or invisible in the role you are playing? Consider the factors contributing to this. Are the majority of the reasons based on circumstances beyond your current control (e.g., You want to own a surf shop and you live in Oklahoma)?
  • It’s easier to cast blame on others for why you are potentially stuck or trapped in your role or industry. Honestly think about whether this may or may not be true.
  • Are you leveraging your network to help you to pivot? Have you expressed to anyone that this is something you want to do?
  • You know the old adage of “Those without a plan, are setting themselves up to fail”. Make sure you have some version of a plan to set yourself up for success.

I could add numerous other suggestions, but at some point, if you are going to seek and change a situation you are in, you have to be the one in charge of doing so. Yes, you can ask and should seek support, but ultimately only you can be the one to put your foot on the accelerator to move forward. Just make sure you have enough fuel or that your battery life is charged up enough to take you to where you ultimately want to go. I’ll see you there!

TAGS: #Leadership #Management #CareerAdvice #Motivation #ChangeManagement #PeopleDevelopment #Business #AnitaBrearton #Success #Howtopivot #Pivotingyourcareer #Pivotingyourexperience #Mindset #Professionalnetwork #Pandemic #Feelingtrapped #Feelingtrappedinyourrole

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