Optimism is Great, but it Won’t Get Your Work Done

I’m an unapologetic optimist. I can find the bright side of just about anything, even a growing to-do list. But no matter how high I turn up my optimism, that isn’t going to get my work done. Sure, typically speaking, I can thrive under pressure. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take a few seconds to kick myself in the ass for waiting until the last minute. There’s a better way. And while I can bring optimism along with me, it’s realism I have to put behind the wheel.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Stockdale Paradox. Named after Jim Stockdale, a United States military officer held captive for eight years during the Vietnam War. As he tells it, he never lost faith that he would survive his ordeal. Yes, he had optimism, as did many of his prison-mates. However, some of these fellow captives relied only on optimism. And as year after year of disappointment stacked on each other, they did not survive. Optimism offers great short-term benefits, but without the mutual acceptance of reality, it can burn out quickly. That’s where Stockdale differed. He was optimistic while remaining aware of his realities. The paradox is stated as:

You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties WHILE confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

So how can you apply this to your growing number of responsibilities? You have to stare those responsibilities square in the eye. What is your current reality? Do you have 4 projects that all require immediate attention? This may be at work, in your personal life, or some combination of both. What tasks have a fast-approaching deadline? Once you know what you’re up against, without the rose-colored glasses of optimism skewing your view, you can make a plan. Once you’ve done that, then go ahead and put those rose-colored glasses back on and get to work.

How did Admiral Stockdale do it? He worked with others. He devised a tap code to be used with his fellow captives. This communication was essential to them, if only to offer comfort and encouragement. Who, in your life, can serve this role for you? Surround yourself with people you can communicate with to help you get through the tough moments. They likely have some ideas on how you can forge ahead and meet your responsibilities. If you’re an A-type who has to do everything yourself, work on delegating even small tasks to others or asking for help. There are friends, family, and co-workers who would be happy to offer their support.

Facing our realities while trusting that we will overcome the challenges will give us the best chance of living the life we so desire. Would you like to learn more techniques about balancing your priorities and meeting your responsibilities without burning out? Then I invite you to sign up for Michael Hyatt’s FREE webinar, The 7 Deadly Sins of Productivity – The Hidden Habits Undermining Your Performance  (And How to Change Them). He will be holding several this week only. Click the link to find the day and time that would work best for you.

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments, so let me know how well you balance optimism with realism.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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You’re Busy, But Are You Productive?

Life moves fast, and so do we. It seems we are always doing something. When’s the last time you remember just doing nothing (sleep doesn’t count)? I bet you’re hard pressed to think of a time. But just because we are busy, does not mean we are productive. When we procrastinate, we find something else to do, instead of the project we’re avoiding. Or, we may be always doing something, but is it the right something? Productivity relies on a lot of moving parts to actually be successful. Let’s talk about the 5 most common:

  • Systems – What routine do you have to process responsibilities? How do you track and schedule everything on your to-do list? Do you use any strategy to attack your workload? Systems get things done because they are reliable, consistent, and proven. Do you have such a system in place for yourself, or are you like a batter in a batting cage just swinging at everything that comes your way and hoping you hit most of them?
  • Technology – There are a lot of apps out there to keep us organized, but these can slow us down just as easily (yeah, I’m talking to you Facebook Birthday notifications! I go on to wish someone a happy, and the next thing I know, I’m mindlessly scrolling through my feed!). Are you using technology, and if so, are you using it in a way that benefits you?
  • Time – How are you spending your time? Is it balanced? Are you putting your time in the right places – the places that are important to you? There’s always work to be done, but are you making time for play? Do you “plan” on doing some activities after your work gets done, and then realize there’s no time left? Are you putting the right things first? Stephen Covey had a great example of this using rocks, but I like how Brett from the Art of Manliness shows this. See the video HERE (you can actually increase the play speed to 1.5 without losing the point).
  • People – There are important people in your life that rely on you to be productive. Spouses, kids, parents, bosses, teachers, etc. If these people (or what they represent) are important to you, there’s a good chance you would like to be productive with these people. Are you prioritizing them? Are you accomplishing what you know you need to with them? And what about people that can help you? Others that could assist, direct, suggest, or just make your life easier? Are you reaching out to them?
  • You – Yup, you can be your own worst enemy (procrastination, failure to prioritize, lack of delegation, etc.) or your own best friend. But you have to know WHY productivity is important to you. You have to have a compelling reason to BE productive instead of just busy.

If you watched the Art of Manliness video above, you saw that by simply rearranging the order of things, you could get more accomplished, get the right things accomplished, and ultimately be more productive. Of course, this is an over-simplification, but it could work, don’t you think?

How do you fare in those five areas? Are you a Productivity Pro or not so much? Are you not really sure where you fall on the Productivity Spectrum? Wouldn’t it be great to find out? One of the most respected (and productive) professionals I know, Michael Hyatt, designed a free assessment to help us identify our strengths and areas of opportunity when it comes to our productivity. It’s quick and easy to fill out and the results are VERY eye-opening and helpful (I scored a 57. I’m in the batting cage, I’m hitting most of the balls, but I’m frustrated by the constant pressure). Click the link to take your assessment and get your score: TOTAL PRODUCTIVITY ASSESSMENT.

You will also be given the opportunity to attend one of Michael’s free webinars on the topic, too. This is sure to be filled with great tips & techniques to help you to be more productive. You can sign up for the webinar once you get your productivity results (I did, so maybe I’ll “see” you there). The point to being productive is so that we have time for all the things important to us WITHOUT being stressed out all the time. You deserve that, don’t ya think?

Your turn! What’s a productivity hack that you rely on? Or, which of the 5 areas above are you BEST at? Share in the comments.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Reaching Your Potential

You know what I love about angel cards, tarot cards, fortune cookie messages, and horoscopes? They all give me a unique glimpse at my potential. I’m not saying that the messages these bring are coming from some higher power. I have no idea. But just seeing the potential is enough to get me excited.

The Free Dictionary defines potential as: capable of being, but not yet in existence1. That’s how I feel about it too, which makes it pretty exciting when some message of potential comes my way. But there are numerous ways to consider our own individual potential. Whether you are trying to build your own business, be the best parent you can be, climb the ranks in your chosen field, find the depth of your spirituality, or any number of other potentialities, there are a few best practices (besides fortune cookies and astrology) to consider.

  • Know Thyself – In order to reach your potential in any area of your life, you have to be aware of your greatest strengths and greatest areas of opportunity. These are the current “cards” you’ve been dealt. Knowing these helps you determine how to play your hand to your greatest advantage. If you struggle to pinpoint your weaknesses, you best start talking to those who spend time with you the most. Asked correctly, this could be the most valuable information you ever receive.
  • Know What You Love – Desire is a huge step towards potential. You have to love what it is you’re striving for. If the Universal Law of Gravitation makes you want to run in the other direction, being a physics professor is probably not on your short list of potential careers. On the other hand, if you love crafting, there are countless ways for you to reach your highest potential in this aspect of your life.
  • Clarity on the Important Skills – Whether you’re trying to reach the highest potential in your marriage or at work, you need to know the most important skills that will help you achieve that. Patience is a top one in relationships & parenting. How high on the patience scale are you? If you’re not high enough, figure out how to improve in this area. This is true for any skill that is required to reach your potential.
  • Talk with Others Who Have Succeeded – As much as we may convince ourselves that our journey to potential is different than someone else’s, that’s likely not true. Or rather, not as true as we think. Sure, some details may be different, but generally speaking, if you’re looking for career success in a particular industry, talking with someone who has met success in that industry will likely provide you with some useful insight. The same is true, no matter what area of life you’re focused on. Talk to someone who is ahead of you on this path.
  • Taking Action – No matter how glowing an angel card reading may be, if you aren’t willing to take action and make that prediction come to life, it just isn’t going to happen. As lovely as it would be to just sit on the couch and wait for the delivery of our highest potential, it just doesn’t work like that.

I love a good angel card reading as much as the next gal, but potential is only a possibility. It’s up to you to bring it into existence! Following these 5 best practices is a sure way to get on the fast-track to reaching your highest potential in any area of your life. Of course, once you reach one level of high potential, there’s always another level waiting for you. This means it’s never too late to seek out your highest potential. Your “cards” may change as you reach different stages of life, but there is always an opportunity to reach our highest imaginable level of potential.

Now it’s your turn! Which of these five (or another best practice altogether) has helped you reach higher levels of your potential? Share in the comments!

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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1 - Potential. (n.d.). Retrieved September 09, 2017, from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/potential

11 Things to Do Instead of Watching TV

I know, the fall lineup is just around the corner and there are so many great shows just waiting to be DVR’d. But, I’d like to offer an alternative. I don’t think many would argue that prolonged TV watching is not good for us. Getting lost in TV shows causes us to be physically inactive, not counting the hand-to-mouth exercise of snacking that often accompanies TV watching. Also, excessive watching can lead to gathering knowledge and opinions based on what others are saying. We aren’t using our own critical thinking with a mix of sources and facts to determine our own viewpoints. These are just a few of the reasons this inactive activity is not very good for us.

So, what can you do instead?  Here are some entertaining options to consider instead:

  • Read a book – This can include listening to an audio book as well. Both fiction and non-fiction have benefits. How is this different from watching a story told in my favorite series? For one, it improves your vocabulary. You are much more likely to slow down and process a word you are unfamiliar with when reading compared to when watching TV. Also, as there are no actors or directors creating every image for you, you engage your imagination and develop your own images and ideas.
  • Do a puzzle – Puzzles are FUN! The whole family can participate and they are a fantastic stress reliever. This activity forces both sides of our brain to communicate. The left side focuses on the individual pieces are tries to sort them into a logical order. The right brain focuses on the bigger picture. This activity helps to improve our short-term memory, and releases a nice dose of dopamine each time we properly place a piece.
  • Organize something – This could be a junk drawer, a stack of photos, or that basket of junk mail on the counter. This will make you feel accomplished and productive and will no doubt remind you to take care of something you’ve long forgotten about.
  • Play a game – Cards, board games, even memorization games related to kids’ homework creates a group activity that engages everyone. Using memory, strategy, and imagination are more cognitively stimulating than TV. These also tend to keep our hands too busy to munch on goodies.
  • Set goals – Whether creating a to-do list for tomorrow or giving thought to what you’d like to accomplish in the next five years, spend time setting goals. Start with a goal, then break it down into smaller pieces and milestones that you can start working on immediately.
  • Personal Development – While the internet can be as much of a mind-suck as TV, if you discipline yourself to stay focused, it can be a great benefit. Search up classes or blogs that address an area of personal development you’d like to work on. This will help you surround yourself with tips and techniques to get working on that area.
  • Professional Development – Deep dive into articles that can sharpen your skills professionally. You can also connect with others in the same field through LinkedIn or local networking groups. It can be difficult to find time during working hours to do this, but this can set you apart from your peers and make you more valuable. It also allows you the opportunity to share articles of interest with others you’d like to stay professionally connected with.
  • Get physical – You knew this was coming. A spin class, yoga dvd, or a walk after dinner are much more beneficial to you than the latest episode of your favorite show.
  • Catch up with a friend or relative – Life can get away from us, causing us to lose touch with those we care about. A nice chat over the phone or Skype will feel much better than that TV program.
  • Take a class – This can be an adult education class, a class at your local craft store, or any other interesting way to learn something new. There are so many options out there. You can meet new people and have fun learning.
  • Join a group – You know I’m a lover of Toastmasters, but there are plenty of other organizations that would love to have you. Church groups, reading groups, hiking groups. The list goes on and on. Again, you’ll meet new people and expose yourself to new ideas and activities.

To be clear, sometimes watching TV is great way to relax and unwind. It can also be a great form of entertainment. But several hours of just TV watching most nights, is doing more harm than good. You deserve more goodness in your life, so stretch yourself and try one of these other activities instead.

I KNOW there are more than 11 things to do instead of watching TV, so won’t you share one? Tell us in the comments section something else you think would be a great replacement, or share why one of the 11 listed is a favorite of yours!

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Why Little Things Matter

I just finished reading the book, 13 Reasons Why. I know I’m a little late to the party as the book was published several years ago and Netflix has since come out with a very popular series based on it, but I’m beginning to see what all the hype was about it. For those who aren’t familiar with this story, it’s based on a teen girl who commits suicide and sends a set of recordings to the people who contributed to her decision to end her life. In addition to the acclaim this fictional story has received, there’s been plenty of backlash from people feeling that the story glamorizes teen suicide. I understand this perspective, but have found deep value in one of the core messages of the book – little things matter.

In the tapes, the victim shares how little actions led to bigger repercussions for her. One example is how a “typical” high school joke snowballed into a bad reputation for this new-to-town girl. I’m not here to provide a detailed book review, nor will I be delving into the deep-rooted issues that face our youth today. The aspect of the book that I think we all can relate to is how impactful small things can be. An unkind word, a cold shoulder, inconsiderate behavior that may be small in the scheme of things, but can have a lasting impact on us.

We are in such a divisive state as a country right now. We are focused on so many big, important happenings, and that’s good. But these can often leave us feeling small, powerless, and overwhelmed. That’s not to say, of course, that we shouldn’t try to work on the big issues, but we also shouldn’t lose sight of the little, seemingly less important issues of human interaction. A smile, a kind word, a hug. These little actions can make a lasting impact.

In reading 13 Reasons Why, I felt for the victim, but I also felt for some of those people she called out in her recordings. Many of the behaviors were inconsiderate, and, most of the time, unintentionally hurtful.  I have unintentionally hurt people many times throughout my life, many occasions I’m sure I’m not aware of to this day. That’s the unintentional part. But just because I didn’t mean to hurt someone, doesn’t mean I’m totally off the hook. Last week I talked about living more fully in the present, and this is a perfect example. If we can focus on getting out of our head’s and being present with our interactions, we are less likely to miss the cues others are sending us.

As lovely as it would be to donate hundreds of dollars to important causes, donate hours every week to worthy events, or attend rallies to support a view we believe in, those aren’t the only ways to make a difference. Offering a smile to someone who you expect usually doesn’t get one, complimenting a service worker, thanking a vet, leaving a message for someone to let them know you’re thinking of them and they matter to you – these are all small ripples that may become exactly what someone clings to in order to get through a tough day.  These little things matter.

So, the next time you think you aren’t making a difference, think about what little actions you could take to brighten someone’s day. You may never know what that small, kind gesture means to someone, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made a very powerful impact.

What’s a small action someone took that really made a difference to you or one that you know had the potential to impact someone else’s? Share in the comments.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Past, Present & Future – How to Make Time for All Three

Goal-setting is exciting business to me. So is looking back and reflecting on my actions and behaviors. Both of these involve focusing on either my future, or my past, neither of which is bad, but if I’m not careful, I may forget to give my now, appropriate attention. All three of these work together, and spending too much time outside our Present can get us into trouble.

The Past – Each bit of time we spend reliving or replaying something from our past is Present time we’ve lost. Some past puzzles will never be figured out, and only you can determine when it’s time to put a puzzle away. Ask yourself if your reflection on the past is bringing you joy or helping you to understand a situation better. If it isn’t doing either of these, you should probably consider letting it go. Often, reflections on the past help us to keep a memory alive. This is great if it’s a positive memory, but less so if it’s a negative one, like when someone did us wrong, or we screwed up or missed an opportunity. Replaying these do little to nothing to improve our Present or our Future, so consider moving on. Time in our Past is best spent on things that bring us joy, or situations we can learn from to improve our Present or Future.

The Present – This period of time is so often taken for granted until it’s gone. There is so much goodness to be found in the Present. It can also be very peaceful when we force ourselves to focus on it. This is often precisely what I have to do when I’m walking. When I’m on a walk, I often replay things from the past, or envision my future. However, then I’m missing my beautiful surroundings. Recently, while walking, I was thinking of a situation that really irked me. As I was walking, I was both replaying this situation (Past) and imagining the different ways it could turn out (Future). When I pulled my attention back to the present, I realized I had walked by beautiful flowers and trees without even noticing them. I tuned out the sound of the birds chirping and the light wind on my face – I was completely ignoring all of these gifts from Mother Nature while playing in my Past and Future. Moments, I’ll never get back. Focus on finding the good in your Present. It’s there – just look. Being grateful for what is in your Present life is a great way to prepare yourself for good things in your Future life.

The Future – I geek out over goal-setting! That feeling of progress and accomplishment provides its own high. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large goal – it’s fun to be reaching for something. The Future is important because it gives us something to work towards and strive for. Life may throw curve balls our way, but we can deal with those in our Present. The future is all about what we desire and making every effort to make it happen. This, too, requires reflecting on both our Past, and taking action in our Present.

Making time for reflection on our Past, appreciation for our Present, and goals for our Future is important. Check-in with yourself each day to ensure you are spending quality time in each area, while striving to spend the majority of your time in the Present.

Share in the comments how you make time for each of the three – Past, Present & Future.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

 

The Art of a Well-Delivered Apology

We all screw up. It’s part of the human condition. But skipping or flubbing an apology can cause more damage than the original offense. However, delivering one well, can not only redeem you from a slip-up, but can elevate you in the eyes of the recipient. There are a few necessary components to a great apology, so if you owe one to someone, or you expect to screw up again at some point in your life, you may want to take note of these.

  • It’s not about you – I know many people who need to commit a federal offense in order to give an apology, and even that’s not guaranteed. These people often think apologizing lowers them in some way. They confuse apologizing with groveling (which is sometimes necessary, depending on the “crime”). A well-delivered apology, however, considers how the other person feels, and has little to do with you. The recipient is not thinking less of you for apologizing if it’s necessary.
  • Show you understand – While “I’m sorry” is a good start, a top-notch apology takes it a step further. It demonstrates that you understand why an apology is necessary in the first place. Let’s say you had to cancel last-minute on an outing with your girlfriends (again). Sure, “I’m sorry” may soothe some irritation, however, “I’m sorry, girls, I know how frustrating it must be to have be bail out last minute (again). It may not seem like it, but I do respect your time and our relationship, and I’m so sorry to have to do this again. I promise to explain everything when we get together again.” This lengthier apology shows that you understand how the other party must feel, and you’re sorry for that.
  • Apologize for the result, not the intent – This is the piece that can get people tangled up. In the example above, the friend that had to cancel again may be caring for a sick parent or child, and isn’t about to apologize for that. They are apologizing that the last-minute cancellation resulted in their friends potentially feeling unvalued and disrespected.
  • Make a peace offering if necessary – If you know words just aren’t enough, offer something to help show you are sincerely sorry. This could be buying the first round of drinks at the next get-together, or some other gesture that would benefit the recipient. This is important, also, because you don’t want to give someone license to keep holding a small transgression over your head.
  • Big mistakes take time to forgive – even with the most heartfelt, genuine apology, big mistakes will require time to forgive. Respect this if you find yourself in this situation. Giving an apology is like giving a gift to another person. They may or may not accept it, but the simple act of giving one should, at the very least, ensure you can sleep easy knowing you did what you could.
  • Don’t be a professional automaton – If you owe someone an apology, even in business settings, don’t be hyper-professional and offer a cold “please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.” This does not come off as genuine or sincere. Be human, speak human. If you promised a salesperson an hour to share their proposal with you, and after driving 3 hours to see you, the meeting is cut to 15-minutes, sincerely apologize, acknowledging their 3-hour drive, and offer to connect via a phone conference, webinar, or by inviting them to return for another meeting in the future, with lunch on you.

I have both given and received really crappy apologies, and they tend to only exacerbate an already awkward situation. I hope these help you to avoid that. Mistakes happen, it’s how we handle them that shows what we’re made of!

Your turn, which of these tips have helped smooth over a screw-up you, or someone else, made? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Accomplishing Big Things One Step at a Time

You may have heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That’s typically used as a metaphor for achieving goals. Looking at the journey to the end result (a huge elephant in this case) can be overwhelming and cause us to quit before we even start. It’s the baby steps we take along that way that eventually get us where we’re trying to go. I have finally accomplished a goal I’ve been working on for 28 years. Granted, I took some breaks along the way, but I finally finished. I began going to college at eighteen, and after some stops and starts to have kids, change majors (several times), build my career, start a business, and start over again, I have finally earned my degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies. The past seventeen months, in particular, have been grueling at times, but I did it. There have been some key steps along that way that I’d like to share with you:

  • It has to be YOUR goal – One of the most important components to a goal, is that in order to truly enjoy achieving it, it has to be YOUR goal. I was asked so many times why I decided to return to school. My answer was because I wanted to finish something I started so long ago. Obtaining the degree, in and of itself, wouldn’t change anything significantly in my life, accept the personal pride I felt in achieving a goal that was personally important to me.
  • The struggles make you stronger – The beauty of accomplishing such a long-term goal is the sense of pride you feel for sticking it out. The trials and struggles become so worth it. Of course, it’s only after you’ve pushed through the tough times that you realize you’re stronger for it, but you WILL be stronger for it and likely thankful for the challenge.
  • Focus on one step at a time – I knew if I focused too intently on all I would need to accomplish and sacrifice over this time, I likely would have quit or taken a break again, prolonging my time to the finish line. By focusing on one step at a time helped me to stay the course. I focused on each daily step – each homework assignment, project, and test became my focus. Each class became my goal post.
  • Build a support team – Only my inner circle of people knew about this at first. But I couldn’t have achieved the goal without their support and encouragement.
  • Be proud of your journey – I shared this goal of mine with very few people actually.  It was only as I got closer to my goal, or needed to explain why I couldn’t go out, meet for drinks, or take on an additional project, that I began sharing the goal with others. Initially, I think I felt a bit ashamed that it had taken me this long to achieve my goal. A goal most of my peers had accomplished over 20 years ago. But as time went on and I built my confidence, I became proud of this personal journey I was on and how each day brought me closer to achieving my goal.

Maybe obtaining a degree is not your goal, and that’s fine. But you HAVE a goal. You have something you’ve desired that may seem just outside your reach. It’s just like the old Alcoholics Anonymous adage, “one day at a time.” Whether you are striving for a particular level of profitability for your business, a high-ranking position in your career, impacting a certain number of people in your volunteer work, or running a marathon, I want you to know you can do it. Maybe not quickly, in fact, probably not quickly, but you can get there. Focus on the baby steps, the small “bites” you need to take. Keep the goal in site, but focus on the now. I guarantee you will underestimate what you’re capable of, which will only make it feel sweeter when you accomplish your goal.

Whatever that goal is for you, no matter how much dust it’s collected in your mind, I want to encourage you to pursue it. Today. Do one small thing today that will get you closer to achieving that goal. For me, it was researching degree programs. That was my first small step. It was getting excited about committing to taking a step. Just one. It was getting excited about becoming the version I wanted to be. You deserve that, too.

Your turn! What is something you did that took many, many baby steps to accomplish? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for your goal, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Don’t Give Up

When I think back on all the tough times in my life, it was always so much easier to give up. But when we press on, wonderful things happen. Nowhere is this more true than in our own personal development. No matter what area of our life we are trying to improve, our confidence, health, communication skills, or any other area, it will always be easier to give up. But don’t confuse “taking a break” with giving up.

Sometimes we are not quite ready to take action on the information we have. Don’t beat yourself up over these moments. They happen. I quit smoking multiple times before finally giving it up for good 15 years ago. I knew it was bad for me, but it wasn’t until I was fully ready to take action and tough out the days, weeks, and months ahead that I finally met with success. That’s true for virtually every challenge I’ve faced. Sometimes I needed to hear the message multiple times before it clicked. But it always eventually clicked, and each time I went back at, it I was more prepared and ready to accomplish it.

I’ve seen far too many people see the challenge and immediately think it would be too hard to overcome, so they quit trying. Yet how many success stories have you read that at some point say, “if I can do it, you can do it”?  We know in our hearts this is true. It doesn’t matter how many times you feel you failed. You will get a clue each time that will make you a little more likely to succeed next time. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Practice makes perfect, and isn’t that precisely what we are all doing with our lives? We are practicing every day. There is no shame in that game.

Try a new approach, a new technique. Take a break and rest, but do not quit. Don’t give up on yourself. You will get where you’re going AS LONG AS you keep getting up, dusting yourself off, and getting back in the ring. You are worth the effort. Don’t let the stops and starts discourage you. Keep growing that seed until you are ready to bloom.

Okay, time for you to share some inspiration. What’s something you FINALLY accomplished because you didn’t quit? Share in the comments section below.

The first round of my free online course, All About You – Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself is wrapping up today, but it’s not too late to join. This course is self-paced, so you move through it as you see fit. It’s two weeks worth of content to help you plant the seed and bloom within. Click HERE to join.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for your goal, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Letting Go of Your Past Mistakes and Forgiving Yourself

Why is it that mistakes we’ve made just seem to haunt us? Like we just can’t leave them behind. Those who are taking my FREE 14-day online course are at the half-way point. But one topic has been particularly “sticky” for participants – Self-Forgiveness. This topic has invoked tears, released pent up guilt, and started a healing process for many of the participants. While I won’t give away what’s in the course (it’s not too late to hop on, just click HERE) I do think it’s worth sharing the importance of forgiving ourselves our sins.

We have all screwed up. We know that it’s human, but there are productive ways to handle mistakes, and unproductive ways to handle them. Let’s look at both:

When Thinking of Our Mistakes is GOOD:

  • Reflection – When we reflect on our actions and consider how we could handle future situations better, this is beneficial. This is planning for better choices in the future.
  • Lessons Learned – The lesson learned is the only (internal) price we need to pay for our mistakes. If we can see where we went wrong, and how we could have handled it better, our emotional debt has been paid.
  • Making Amends – Sometimes we hurt others, and would like their forgiveness as well. We can’t control if we are forgiven, but we always have the ability to make amends in some way. Saying “I’m sorry,” can go a long way when delivered sincerely. When this isn’t possible, there are still ways to make the world a better place. This is one reason so many speak of their wrongs publicly.  They may not be able to undo the damage they did in the past, but they can spread a positive message to try to prevent others from making the same mistake.

When Thinking of Our Mistakes is NOT GOOD:

  • Mental Beat Down – Walking around thinking how much we suck is not healthy and not even remotely productive. Okay, you screwed up, maybe in a pretty big way. Mentally berating yourself repeatedly isn’t going to change the fact that you screwed up. Pull yourself together, stop wasting time beating yourself up, and go do something good.
  • When Our Mistakes Become Our Identity – This happens. People replay their mistakes over and over on loop in their minds. This then becomes their identity. They are officially a screw-up who deserves nothing good. Then, the Power of Suggestion shows up and proves just how “right” they are in their thinking. Again, this is wholly unproductive. You are NOT your mistakes!
  • Impacted Health – I don’t think it’s news to anyone that our mental health (or unhealth) often manifest into our physical health (or unhealth). Guilt and regret take a toll on our physical health over time. The stress hormone, cortisol, courses through your veins each time you replay your transgression. Long-term effects of cortisol are dire. Stress like guilt and regret can also raise our blood pressure and put unnecessary stress on our hearts and central nervous system. All of this equals more fun visits to the doctor for you.

If you’ve done all the Good listed above and reflected on your actions, learned your lesson and will do your best to not make the same mistake again, and have made every effort to make amends, and/or make good come from it, it’s time to let it go. Seriously. Let it go. Do something productive and make the world, or your part in it, a little better. It’s time to forgive yourself and move along your journey to a better you.

In the comments section, share your thoughts on the topic and tell me which of the “GOOD” or “BAD” ways resonate most with you.

Like I said, it’s NOT TOO LATE to sign up for the FREE 14-day online course All About You – Rebuilding a Relationship with Yourself.  You’ll enjoy two weeks of daily recordings (about 15-minutes each) to start your day on topics like Toxic Relationships, Quieting Your Inner Critic, Comparing Yourself to Others, Dealing with Criticism, and more!! Click the image below to enroll!