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Oh that’s B.S., and you know it!” my friend exclaimed.

Her lips were tight. Her voice tense. And there was a fierceness in her eyes that startled me.

I have a lot of friends who speak their minds, and I’m used to them coming from the blunt end of the interpersonal spectrum.

But this was different. I knew she was speaking from love – but for a second, I thought she was mad.

She wasn’t.

She was frustrated – and determined; determined to get me to see something I just couldn’t see.
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How to Turn Your Fear into Fierce

Katie Perry Roar

Hey there, Wonder Woman!!

So – how’s it going with your newly recognized superpower?

Have you been watching your thoughts this week? Your language?

How often have you caught yourself saying, “I can’t….” or “I’ll never…”?

I hope you’ve NOTICED these powerful little phrases. And I hope you’ve stopped yourself right smack dab in the middle of them – and CHANGED them. Because, as I explained last week, your words, thoughts, and beliefs create your reality.

So why not create the reality you want?

Now – let’s move on!

First – I want you to notice something:

  • When I just say the word “fear”, what comes up for you?
  • What do you feel – right now – in your body?
  • Is there a tingling or some tension somewhere?
  • Do you hold your breath just a second?
  • Perhaps you feel a little chilly, or just a hint of a stomach ache. :(

I feel myself turning away, or shrinking a little – as if I want to move away from (run from) something uncomfortable. It’s a feeling of contracting, of pulling within.

Ugh. 

Some fear is protective. It’s a healthy part of ourselves that sounds the alarms when we need them, to alert us to dangers or troubles we need to avoid.

And some fear is preventative. It keeps us from the learning, growth, mistakes and success we need as well – like a well-meaning but over-protective parent.

The trick is to listen to the first kind, and sneak past the second. :) 

So here’s how to do that, so you can turn your fear into fierce.

(As any Wonder Woman would do!)

 

#1. NAME IT.

If I asked you what you’re afraid of, half the time you wouldn’t be able to tell me.

I see this with my clients all the time. Especially when we’re about to step up in the world in some important way, we have a sense of fear, but it’s vague, abstract, undefined.

Naming that fear, figuring out what it is that you are really afraid of, shrinks it back down to size. Often, those fears fall into some common categories.

Here are 3 of the biggies.

 

a. RISK

Sometimes we get what I call the “What If’s, Uh Oh’s & Oh No’s”.  If there are risks involved, what are they? How realistic are those risks? 

“If you see ten troubles coming down the road,
you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch
before they reach you.”  
-Calvin Coolidge

 

b. MISTAKES

Sophia Loren said: “Mistakes are the price we pay for living a full life.” If the name of your fear is “I might make a mistake” – then I say, Wonderful! Celebrate that! Hold on to your sense of humor. Integrate mistakes into your life as part of your wisdom work.

Heck, I try to make at least one mistake a day whether I need it or not!

 

c. SUCCESS

“Oh my gosh what if I really can do this… what if I am truly capable of doing what I really want to do?”

Half that time this is the Real Deal. And we could talk about this all day. For now, let me simply challenge you to OWN your success, even if it’s scary.

Because the world needs you
to bring your best to the table, girlfriend.

 

#2. FACE IT.

So much of fear is about avoiding a decision.
And avoiding a decision feeds the Fear Monster.

So ask yourself these 4 questions.

           – What’s the WORST thing that could happen?
           – What’s the BEST thing that could happen?
           – What’s most LIKELY to happen?
           – And can I handle it either way?

Now — knowing you’ve thought this through…

Make your Decision.

Then Act.

 And don’t look back.

 

#3. BEAT IT.

As I often say, “Sometimes you just gotta hold your nose and jump!”   As a life and business coach, I help women turn the Courage they already have (you have it too, you know) into the Confidence they’ve always wanted.

And the Number One Way they do that
is by doing the very thing that scares them the most.

In fact, that’s why women love coming on my Secret Adventures, where we head out to try things many of us might never try on our own. It doesn’t even matter what we’re doing half the time.

It’s the simple power of stepping into the unknown that does it.

DOING what you (think you) can’t.
Builds confidence. Beats fear. 

Every time.  :))

 

 #4. EMBRACE IT.

And then sometimes, fear is a gift that we need to accept. 

It may be that your fear is doing its job, warning you about something important. By all means, if your internal guidance system is all lit up with flashing red alerts, then proceed with caution!

But sometimes, the most powerful thing you can do is to simply recognize it, honor it and respect it. 

“I see you sittin’ over there, Fear. I’m know you’re trying to protect me, and I appreciate it, but I’m going to be fine this time. Really. So relax a little, okay? Get some rest – and try not to work so hard. I got this. :)” 

 _________________________________________________________

I once watched a 14 year old boy standing
with his back to the edge of a cliff.
Shivering.

He was completely, properly and safely tied in to a climbing harness, listening intently to the tall, soft-spoken man inches in front of him, who gently talked him through what to do. One tear slipped down the left side of his boyish face, and I could see his legs trembling through his baggy, bad-boy jeans.

It took a long time before he reached deep enough to find the Courage to back up – trusting the man in front of him, leaning, working the ropes the way he was taught. Holding his feet just so, he eased himself backwards – out, over and down, the wall of rock. 

Several tense moments passed, as he dropped from sight, and the rope fed slowly out the man’s hands. And then….it came. 

A deep-bellied, full-throated, all-powerful teen-boy YELL that danced across the tops of the trees and echoed back up to us. 

“WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Did you SEE me? Did you SEE that? Did you SEE what I did??? YeeeeeHAAA, my friends!!! LOOK at what I DID!!! WHOOOOHOOO!!!”

He was off the rope and at the bottom of the canyon in under three minutes.

I don’t think his feet touched the ground for days. 

THAT’s how it works. :))

_________________________________________________________

Whether it’s easing down a cliff, volunteering to lead a project, or asking your boss for a raise.

Name it. Face it. 

Beat It. Embrace it.

 And you’ll build your personal power every step of the way.

 

You Are What You Think (So Watch It!!)

 

Happiness -- Thoughts

 

  “Whether you think you can,

     or think you can’t, you’re right.”

                                                                                                                                            -Henry Ford

Think about that sentence.
Read it again. S-l-o-w-l-y.

Whether you think you CAN…

Or think you CAN’T…

You’re right.

There’s your truest power – right there. This is the beginning point for everything; the starting place for creating a foundation on which you will stand as you step into your own personal power.

There is nothing simpler – nor more complex – than the power of your thoughts. Nothing.

Imagine this.

Imagine that you have your very own superhero power. Remember the Fantastic 4?  Well – you’ve joined them. Now it’s the Fantastic 5! Yay you!

And your unique superhero power is this: you have the power to Speak Words into Being.

Everything you say comes true. Literally. Everything.

Which is really cool – because you can say to your friend:

“Sandy, I just know that the perfect, perfect guy is going to walk into your life this year. I just know it! He’s going to be exactly what you need – smart, kind, confident – employed…. and great looking too…”  :)

You’ve suddenly made Sandy’s day – because THAT guy walks into the office at that exact moment. And their connection is – well – magic.

But as is the case with all superpowers, you also have to really watch it.

Because – for example – if you say:

“Goodness! It’s raining cats and dogs out there!”

Suddenly furry four-leggeds of all shapes and sizes are falling from the sky. I won’t paint the picture for you, but let’s just say there’s lots of unintended consequences right there.

Or if you say to your friend, Christy, at the front desk:

“Wow! You look like a million bucks today!” 

She vanishes completely and a big messy pile of a million green, crisp dollar bills falls all over the reception area where she was once sitting.  Aack! Christy!!

Or suddenly you’re squished in the middle of a million antlered deer restlessly pushing and shoving against each other, the walls of the building, and you. Oops.

So when you also say:

“Who am I kidding – I can’t do this. I’m just not meant to….” (Get that promotion, learn how to speak French, “ever have any money”.) Well, you’ve just created that reality too.

So, as with any hero who wakes up one day with a surprise superpower, you have to learn to manage it.

You must protect your thoughts with conscious intention. You must make sure you’re thinking what you really mean to be thinking, so you can create the reality that you really mean to be creating.

This takes a while to learn how to do. It requires a kind of self-awareness that most of us do not typically practice. And yet, it is critical to learn this as you begin this journey.

It is the first step to creating personal power.

And here are three things to learn as you practice your newly realized superpower.

1. WATCH WHAT YOU THINK.

Thoughts have power of their own, so make sure yours are using their power wisely. Quantum physics has proven that we can move molecules, effect the behavior of energy, just with the power of thought.

If this is so, then our thoughts have the power to effect our lives, our bodies, our experience – at the cellular level.

Limiting beliefs that stem from childhood or past experience become our reality today. Learning to recognize those beliefs, and working to consciously replace them with new beliefs isn’t easy – but it is possible.

To begin to create personal power, you must consciously create the thought that you are power-full. “I am a powerful and creative woman. I am a competent adult. I know what I’m doing here, and if I don’t, I am perfectly capable of figuring it out.”

Or as I used to say to my kids when they were little:

Can’t never could.
Can always will.

 

 2. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Language is power. What you say in your head matters. That casual comment you toss off to a friend matters.

A sharp, silver too-cool convertible zooms past you on the interstate, flying down the highway with an ease that is beautiful to watch.

Your first thought is, “Boy I’d love to have a car like that some day….”

And then, “Yeah right! I’ll never be able to afford anything like that!”

STOP that. CHANGE it.

“Man-o-man do I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to afford a car like that. It’s gonna be great!”

You’ve launched your business with all the hope and excitement that this new adventure deserves. It is SO exciting to hang out a shingle and declare to the world who you are and how you’re ready to serve them. You get your first client. And maybe your second. But they’re few and too-far between, and your optimism fades.

“Who am I kidding? Maybe I’m not cut out for this business stuff after all.”

STOP that. CHANGE it.

“Hey look! I got my first clients! Now I just need to learn to market myself better so I can attract even more…”

Watch your language. Decide what you want, and speak as if it were already true.

Focus on what you CAN do,
not on what you CAN’T.

 

3. …AND WATCH OUT FOR EEYORE. 

 When I first started Secret Adventures for Courageous Women, I was so excited, and nervous, by the whole idea that I didn’t even mention it to one of my best friends. He was a bit of a worrier, and I was worrying enough on my own. I didn’t need any help. :)

But then, thanks to Courageous Woman, Renee Hunter,  I discovered kayaking.

Suddenly, I was planning a trip that required me to have nine kayaks ready and waiting as a surprise at the perfect launch in a perfect spot in my beautiful perfect Smoky Mountains.

I was beside myself with excitement – and couldn’t hide it any more. It was kind of hard not to notice that something was up. So, he finally asked, “What IS this thing you’re doing?”

“Well,” I said, “I’m taking this wonderful group of women out for an Adventure and they don’t know what it is – and I’m taking them kayaking!”  I wish you could have heard the sheer glee in my voice. I’ll never forget what that moment felt like.

His reaction? “Wow! I hope you have good insurance!”

Yeah. I know.

You’d think there would at least be a “Wow! What a cool idea!” first.
But – uhm – no.

Watch out for the Eeyores in your life. Negative people will drain your energy faster than air leaves an untied balloon. Protect your energy. Stay away from people like this as much as possible, and when you can’t avoid them, limit what you share with them.

Don’t give them a chance to deflate your dreams, or positive Intentions.

Over the next week:

Pay attention to words like “can’t, not, didn’t, won’t” in your daily speech. Watch yourself when you’re complaining, whining or making a negative joke. Catch it. Fix it. Turn it around. See what happens.

And tell me about it in the comments below. :)

Image Source: Flickr

How many of these do you already have?

mammoths

 

Bet it’s more than you think. :)

I’ll explain what I mean in a minute…

And then I’m going to give you some homework. :)

 

FIRST of all: Not all power is the same.

And SECOND: You already have more of it than you think you do.

 

When we take a closer look at those we think of as “powerful”, we’ll see that there are different kinds of power held by each.

In fact, there are a variety of ways that power is earned by or granted to individuals by the rest of us. 

Think about people you already think of as “powerful”.

What is it that sets them apart?

Odds are, it depends. For instance…

If you’re talking about your state’s Governor, you may mean one thing.

If you’re talking about your internist, you may mean something else.

And if you talking about your supervisor, your mom, or your favorite actor,
you may mean something completely different yet again.

And yet each could be considered ‘powerful’ in their own right, couldn’t they?


Because power comes in a lot of different ways.

Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

The Power of Position

This kind of power comes with a title.

No matter what part of the world you’re from, certain people in your community will be granted more power by the rest of us simply by the position they hold or the title they carry.

The title may be “Dr. _____”, or “Chief ______” or simply, “The Honorable ______.”  The position may come with a job (CEO, COO, CFO) or with a role (Executive Director, Board Chair, or Reverend.)

Or perhaps, if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, it’s “Lord” and “Lady”. :)

And yet, this kind of power doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with that individual’s talents, abilities, or skill set. Nor does it necessarily prove what kind of impact they do or do NOT have on the world.

This is the power of prestige, and it’s true that some titles carry a certain weight – but only to a point. Because position does not always correlate with a high degree of personal power. You can have a title and still have very little real power to effect change, influence people, impact events.

Just ask the minority representatives in your local government. :)

 

The Power of Knowledge

I know you’ve heard the saying, “knowledge is power.

And it’s true.

There is power that comes with any kind of expertise, skills or specialized knowledge.

If you know how to repair a broken washer, sew your own clothes, create and analyze a spread sheet – you have a kind of power.

If I know how to code HTML and you don’t, or you know how to cook gourmet and I don’t….each of us has a kind of power the other doesn’t.

And yet.

Specialized knowledge doesn’t necessarily make one

a power-full person, either.

For example, I once worked with a clinician who was absolutely brilliant in his assessment of the psychological needs of children and adolescents. He could read them like a book, nailing their underlying emotional issues with an accuracy that was amazing to watch.

And yet he was a caustic and fairly disagreeable fellow, who had few close friends or even supportive colleagues.

In spite of having the power of position and specialized knowledge, I wouldn’t say he was a powerful person.

Because knowledge IS power, but it’s not necessarily personal power.

 

The Power of Personality

And then, there’s the power of personality.

This kind of power can make headlines (think Oprah). It shows up in those who have the kind of magnetic personalities that draw us in, catch our interest, compel us to listen…

…and often, to follow.

But sometimes it’s considerably quieter.

Think about the older gentleman at your church that everyone seems to deeply respect. 

Or the woman on your board who’s generally quiet – but when she speaks, others lean in. They pay attention, because what she says is always something important, clarifying.

Valuable.

These people have personal power.

 

So which one do you need the most?

Ideally, you need all three to be as effective as possible. 

A woman with personal power will have a greater platform, a broader impact, if her title is CEO of the company or Mayor of her city.

A woman who’s the company CEO, or the city Mayor, will earn greater respect if she has the knowledge to back up her title.

 

But personal power, the power to lead with your Self

and be heard, valued, and respected by others

is the foundation to it all.

 

What if I could tell you what this kind of power looks like, and what it doesn’t?

What if I could give you the keys to personal power of your own?

Teach you how to practice it, build it, claim it.

Have it. :)

 

Well that’s what I’m going to do.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll teach you how to establish (feel, OWN) your true personal power anywhere you need it, in any situation that calls for it.

Including those times where you might…

  • feel intimidated by someone you have to address
  • need to make something happen
  • must be taken seriously
  • want to avoid being taken advantage of
  • could use a confidence boost to do something a little scary
  • want to be heard, trusted or followed. 

Following the steps I’ll teach you in the coming weeks will help you do exactly that.

Isn’t that cool? :))

But first: YOUR HOMEWORK.

(What? You thought I was kidding?)

 

Take some time today to do your own Personal Power Assessment.

1. Get out a sheet of paper and draw three columns down the middle.

2. Label each one with these words: Title/Position, Knowledge/Expertise, Personal Impact.

3. Then, under each, make a list of all the ways that YOU already have power in each of these areas.

Are you a mom? That’s a position of power. Do your friends always want you to pick out the movie? That’s personal power. Are you a great cook? or a whiz at Excel? That’s expertise.

List as MANY as you CAN under each.

NOW – go back and add TWO more to each column.

Discover anything interesting? Tell me about it in the comments below.

 

And if this resonates with you, I really encourage you
to think about joining us for the
2014 Spring Courageous Women’s Weekend.

REGISTER by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (3/15/14)
to save $100 off registration!

 Isn’t YOUR life worth it?

 

Image Source and Credit: Paul Bica on Flickr

Flying Through (Our) Fear

In the Tree Tops

We were standing on the 3rd platform when I saw them…

…A tiny, clear line of tears in the eyes of the woman huddled beside me. She was smiling. From a distance she looked just fine, like she was having as much fun as the rest of us.

But she wasn’t.

Oh honey!” I said, “Are you ok?” She nodded her head.

Smiling. Mute. Frightened. Brave.

You’re terrified, aren’t you?” Another small nod. I wrapped my arms all the way around her and squeezed, hard – holding her tightly between my own body and the trunk of the tall solid pine whose soft top branches surrounded us.

IMG_0194

We were standing on a platform at the top of a tree, at the top of a mountain, just getting started on our Secret Adventure. The (truly) Courageous Women who’d joined me for the weekend knew there’d be a surprise somewhere along the way. That’s the “Secret”. 

And this was it.

The CLIMB Works Canopy Tour, located roughly ten miles northeast of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a top-of-the-line experience offered by a top-notch company that’s not quite like anything else you’ll find around here.

Outside the noise that sometimes crowds the borders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, their’s is an oasis of uncluttered calm. With respect for the land and their participants, they are building a professional, sustainable, challenging and safe outdoor adventure center. I’d known for over a year that I’d lead a trip there sooner or later.

And here we were. :)

Their Canopy Tour is in fact a series of 9 (count ’em), NINE zip lines zig zagging their way down the mountain. They stretch anywhere from 400 to roughly 1200 feet in length, allowing you to zoom-ZOOM-zoom from the top of one tree to the top of the next with the panorama of the National Park as your companion for the day.

Pretty cool, unless you’re afraid of heights. And being afraid of heights, you know, just means you’ve got some (common) sense. It would be a couple of hours before we were on the ground again – which is a lifetime when you’re terrified.

I instructed her to keep her hands and her eyes on the trunk of the tree in front of us and to do that at each platform. “Don’t look down,” I said, “or out, just keep your eyes straight ahead. Feel how solid that tree is. Hold on to it. Draw strength from it. Notice how solid your harness is, too, and how you’re hooked in so completely. Remember that.”

I promised to stay right with her all day, and that I would help her get through this. WE would help her get through this.

When it was her turn to zip, I encouraged her to keep her eyes on the platform she was moving towards….“Don’t look anywhere but at Justin,” I said. He was the young man on the other end and one of our guides for the day. “Keep your eyes on your target, on where you’re heading.” She said she would.

Then she asked me a question.

“If I do this, does that mean I won’t be afraid of heights any more?”

No,” I told her, “you’ll still be afraid of heights…But that won’t matter any more, because you’ll know you can do this anyway.” :)

So with that, she gathered up her nerve. We rechecked her harness. Ciara, the young woman helping us on the sending-side of the zips helped her get hooked in and gave her a few last minute words of encouragement. And she was off.

And then she did it again. And again.

It wasn’t too long before I started seeing the transformation that I KNEW would come. :))

As she came zooming in to landing somewhere around the 5th zip, she said, “I think I could get good at this.”

About the 7th, I heard her saying, “I’m gonna bring my husband up here for his birthday…. It’s in March.”

Soon after that it was, “I think I’d like to bring my class up here…This would be good for the students.” Followed by a sheepish, “Wait ’til they hear what I did this weekend…” :)

And then we reached the tree they called “Walk the Plank”. Justin told each woman that she had to get a running start on a short platform extension, LEAP (!), and yell like a pirate with Carolyn takes a flying leap!everything she had.

Let me tell you, this was a highlight of the day.

Funny.

Powerful.

Exhilarating.

Affirming.

Because sometimes a mountain-shaking yell does a body good, you know?

And then her turn came. She gathered herself and took hold of the handle bars. She gave me a grin and, with almost no hesitation, she launched.

And when she did, THUNDER came from her (tiny) frame.

She yelled for herself. She yelled for us. She yelled from her Soul.

 

“SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE!!!”

 

We all cracked up, laughing with joy. A rallying cry for Courageous Women was born, and her Transformation was complete.

Courageous Women All :)

Later, there were a lot of tears. A lot of laughter. A lot of pride. Exactly as I’d hoped there would be.

We’d flown through fear.

Together.

The moral of the story? 


When you’ve got to do something that scares you to death,
remember this.

Surround yourself with support.

Hold on to something solid.

Keep your eyes on the target.

And YELL like… well… you know. :)

Turn your FEAR into FIERCE.

And you, too, will find your (own) Courageous Woman.

 

*****

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Photo Credits: by Wendy Pitts Reeves