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Mindset

Is Chasing Balance Relevant?

By | Mindset | No Comments

Once upon a time, my children were young.

Yes, I was one of those moms wearing many hats. I joined the PTA. I became the field trip mom, sometimes visiting the exact location multiplies times within the same week. I was a homeroom mom and would often assist with the holiday parties. I filled the role as a girl scout troop leader for my oldest during her early school years, and we carried that out until she graduated. I did all these things with no regrets and because I wanted to be involved in my kids’ lives. But as we all know, those were not my only roles, and because our lives were busy, I found myself struggling. This blog is about my revelation while chasing balance.

It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention that my husband equally shares responsibility when it comes to parental duties, and it was no different then, but naturally, I was around the kids more often. As a result, my schedule often involved driving them to and from activities while actively running a home-based business around their schedules.

I wanted my children to have the best experiences in life, and I also wanted to be a part of those experiences. Often that meant we encountered multiples stops in one day, and as I mentioned in my book “Beat the Toughest Obstacles,” because of our schedules, we found ourselves in the fast-food lanes many days. There was little balance in our lives, and as a result, my health became compromised.

The knock on the door

As time went on, the kids grew, I grew, life evolved, and so did my priorities. But that didn’t mean we somehow found balance in our lives. In fact, we were far from it. In 2012 I was diagnosed with a rare nerve condition that turned my life upside down, but not only that, it became the starting point of a new journey in which I moved from chasing balance to chasing harmony.

Balance doesn’t exist

As much as I planned, there were never equal parts in the time I spent in my business. There was never balance in the amount of time I spent with my kids because, let’s face it, some days, they needed more from me than they did on other days. Sometimes my business required more of my attention. As much as I wanted to have balance, it didn’t exist, and it kept me frustrated in a rat race to get all the things done. How could I spend equal time with my kids and run this massive organization with my business while also keeping my health a priority?

A few years into my development journey, I realized many things. It was not an overnight realization, but one that allowed me to prioritize without having guilt and self-doubt. One that allowed having a sense of freedom and success. That realization was that while the balance was unachievable in my life, finding harmony was not only achievable but could bring happiness and calm to my world. With that, I set out on my journey to find the peace I so craved.

You are probably wondering what I did. There is no easy road on this life journey, as you can imagine. There is no simple one-step formula to finding harmony, but there are things you can do daily to help you discover it. If you want to learn more about tips to help you move from chasing balance to harmony, check out my article “Six Steps Needed to Put Harmony Into Action.

 

The Unconventional Wedding

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When I think of weddings, dresses, family, flowers, food, and venues come to my mind. At some point or another, I am guessing most of us have been part of a wedding or at the very least attended one. We have seen the extravagance of them and partaken in the festivities, but have you ever been part of a wedding that took place over the Zoom platform? Yes, it’s a thing. This past week my oldest of three became a new bride, and it was all done over the internet; the unconventional wedding.

It was a relatively short ceremony. I think it lasted no more than a couple of minutes, and I thought that was easy at the end of it. No dresses, no formality, no extra finances, no people arranging, etc., to make decisions over. My oldest shared with me previously that they were planning a trip in lieu, and I thought to myself, how brilliant is this idea. They can save their money for what matters. Her decision to go this route reminded me to ask myself if a wedding is for the bride and groom or the family and people attending? Have you ever thought about it like that? I have…..

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I also wondered if she would miss later not having a traditional wedding? That was a fleeting thought; I must admit, though. I am not one to concern myself with the ideas others have for me or my family. We sort of beat to our drums. If anything, this brought me an awareness that we don’t always have to follow the traditional path that society places upon us, and comparing ourselves to others is of no help to us. We have the right to choose the best approach for ourselves.

I have talked about this many times on the Starter Girlz podcast how we go to school to get an education and chose a career path because we think this is the direction we should go. Now hear me out. I am not at all suggesting we don’t get an education. Education is power. We need it. However, we often rely on others’ feedback to influence us because we don’t know the direction we want to go. We later realize we have no desire to pursue that path we chose. Hence why you see people later in life make career switches. They recognize no matter how diligent they are at overcoming obstacles, they can’t get ahead. They feel unfulfilled. Sometimes through personal development, they will realize they are not using their talents properly, or their priorities change. But sometimes. they don’t enjoy what they are doing, and they probably never have enjoyed it.

Why do we need to make decisions that don’t always support us? Is it out of societal expectations? Our parents? Do we feel compelled to follow societal norms? I don’t know. I think it’s different for everyone, and that is what we must figure out in life. We often play the comparison game when deciding on issues rather than considering what is important to us and how that affects those immediately around us. We work from emotion rather than logic. If I do this, what will so and so think? Am I going to measure up and follow along with what everyone else is doing?

I think it takes a certain amount of confidence to stand firm in your beliefs, ideas, and foremost the direction you choose to take for your life or any decision for that matter. No set date determines when you become more knowledgeable or better at picking and choosing the direction you go on an issue. Still, when we continually work on our well-being, we become more grounded and comfortable with our decisions. We take accountability for our choices, knowing that whatever the outcome occurs, we own it. That gives us power rather than weakens us.

When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we are free to make mistakes. We are open to trying something new. We can learn what works and what doesn’t work. We make room for people to come into our lives that can teach us valuable lessons. We can create a sense of peace in our lives and impact others when we choose things that support us. Why? Because when we are at peace, we show up differently.

As a parent, I want to think that I have played some role in helping my children form their values and have also given them the space to do what they feel is best for them. Conventional wedding or unconventional wedding, I honestly don’t care which route any of my children go. I support them regardless. More importantly, I think having the grounds to do what is right for them is more important than my desire to control them by what I think they should be doing. We all must decide what is suitable for us, and when we eradicate the worry of judgment from others, we can learn to live our best lives and choose what works best for us.

Cheers to my daughter Cara and her new groom Tom. I am proud of them both and hope they have a beautiful life together. They are a reminder that it’s okay to do things that are a bit different. #beyoudoyou

Change : An Opportunity to Make a Difference

By | Mindset | 3 Comments

Change is difficult. Wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes you are blindsided by an unexpected event, and what do you do? The car breaks down on the way to a dentist appointment, you lose your job right smack dab in the middle of planning a wedding for your daughter, or your child gets sick, and you have to miss a day of work. These events indeed weren’t in the plan for the month, much less the week or the day. Perhaps it’s a more subtle change in that you instigated it, like leaving your corporate job to start a business. Whatever the event requiring change is, you will have to alter some part of your life to accommodate it, and one of two choices is required; evolve or attempt to remain the same.

I recently partnered with a firm that does executive-level coaching for medium to large size companies. Although I have been a business owner for 21 plus years, I learned a few valuable lessons. One is that I value autonomy, and the other is that I know the importance of collaborations. The idea behind partnering up with this firm is that I  am able to expand my reach, work more in leadership, and have an opportunity to grow with an established group of people sharing a similar vision as mine.

But with all new things comes new challenges. I have to take on the task of working with others. I have to navigate how I have been conducting business differently, including the conscientious effort of communicating more openly about my likes and dislikes. I have to be responsible for my actions and how they may affect other business partners. As much I welcome the opportunity, I will not lie; these considerations were important in my decision process. Why? Because they frighten me a bit. However, I also recognize that this partnership also comes with enormous opportunities, and that excites me.

For the past couple of years, people have come into my life and presented their businesses. For one reason or another, they were not quite a fit for me. Their mission didn’t align with mine. What they were doing didn’t quite fit with my message. But I stayed committed to the process, believing that if I didn’t give up and continued to put myself in the path of opportunity, eventually, it would knock. So here we are…..

What change are you going through right now? No matter what it is, there is an opportunity to grow. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to make a difference. In life, change presents itself on a continuum. In those moments, we decide to either cling on to remaining the same or we evolve. I could easily stay where I am, but I also know that I must change something to grow. I have to let go of something to have something new. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.

Often we get hung up on the letting go. It’s a safe spot if we stay in our present situation. We don’t have to fear anything because we already know what’s going to happen. If we change something, we have no control. What could happen if we do that one thing differently? I don’t know about you, but change scares me sometimes and when I hit these crossroads, a few things I do are:

Evaluate the situation

We don’t have a lot of time to evaluate in an emergency because we have to move quickly. However, this might be a great time to consider whether the circumstance is a real emergency and then proceed accordingly.

Write a pros and cons list

Nothing works better for me than considering what’s the worst-case scenario and what the potential is. If I see massive potential in this, then it might a great time to consider evolving.

Consider who this is impacting

Is the change going to harm others or benefit others?

Work through limiting beliefs

Many times we get hung on a belief system that is keeping us trapped in one spot. For instance, if we have a limiting belief about money, we may be scared to invest when the need arises in our business.

Whether the change results from a decision or a circumstance out of our control, change is inevitable. There is always a growth opportunity present during a transition, even if we do not recognize it immediately. Our job is to allow it to transform us. Why? Because it may be an opportunity to make a difference. I am excited about my change, even if the unknown scares me. I will evolve just as you will when presented with change. We always do. Just consider, as the saying goes, this too shall pass.

Cheers!

Your Words Mean Everything

By | Mindset | 4 Comments

When It Rains, It Pours

Isn’t that how the idiom goes? Do you ever notice that things often pile on you when you are going through rough times in your life? Perhaps you have a conflict with a coworker, and while that is going on, you find out your child is struggling with their grades. The dog gets sick, and so on and so on. It can sometimes be overwhelming. How do you begin to manage what seems like another crisis when you can barely navigate the one that consumes you at the moment? Well, I don’t know that there is a quick fix, but you can try to pull your wits somehow together and push through it. However you choose to get through a crisis, it will be easier if you are mentally strong, which means doing daily practices to improve your well-being. It’s time to dust off that pen, paper and write some affirmations. Your words mean everything.

Life is Like That

I remember a church I once attended in my old town. It was a non-denomination church that we joined shortly after visiting because we liked the people and liked the energy. It was a great place, and we remained there for quite some time. However, I probably can’t tell you many sermons that the pastor talked about when we were there. I just enjoyed the music and the fellowship. However, in this one sermon in which he spoke about a crisis, he mentioned that we are either about to have a situation, are in the middle of one, or leaving one. I have not forgotten that message, and how true it is, that concept. We are either about to go through something, we are in the middle of something, or we are coming out of something. Read that again. Absorb it. Life is like that. We are not immune from it and I write this, I am exciting what I thought was a crisis.

In a beautiful world, of course, none of that would exist. Everything would maybe be perfect but then again. It wouldn’t. There would be no lessons learned, no pain, no crisis, and no victory. Unfortunately, we need problems, situations, experiences, and crises to have lessons learned, growth, and wins.

No Tinker Bell Shows Up, Sadly

So when I find myself in times of what I feel like are crises, I rely on the tools that help me navigate. It doesn’t mean the problems all go away with a brush of a magical wand. No Tinker Bell shows up, sadly. It means that I use what works to help lessen the pain, frustration, anger, and emotions consuming me. It’s not a fix-all because we know our well-being comes from many things. We have to be proactive on ourselves daily, and the more equipped we are, the better we become at making decisions, trusting gut intuition, and navigating scary situations. One of those tools that I often talk about is affirmations.

I was reminded recently of how powerful affirmations can be. My friend and inspiration, Trenell Walker, was a guest on my podcast, Starter Girlz, recently, and during his interview, he talked about the Trenell Effect. He uses an acronym to share with his audience about the seven principles for perseverance, and one of those letters is “E” for encouragement. Trenell discussed how vital it is to encourage ourselves because we have to be the most important person and our self-talk helps us persevere. He talked about getting in front of the mirror and talking positively to himself. You see, Trenell is paralyzed from the neck down. If you want to find out what that dialogue looks like, I encourage you to check out his book “The Trenell Effect.” He is truly an inspiration.

We Are Here

Encouraging ourselves through affirmations can be powerful. I describe affirmations as vitamins for our minds. We take vitamins to keep our bodies healthy, and we use affirmations to keep our minds healthy. Why are these so important? I describe it like this. Each morning when we wake up, we start at zero on the well-being scale, dependent on what is presently occurring in our lives. Let’s say, for now, we are starting at zero. It doesn’t mean we are sad or happy. I describe it as we are here. We are not negatively or positively affected. So by doing affirmations, we make deposits into our emotional state of well-being, giving us a five or ten-point advantage. Now we are moving upward in the positive mindset direction and improving our emotional state in the process.

Conversely, if we do nothing to improve our mindset and well-being, we remain at zero. As the day goes on and life begins to come at us, we have withdrawals taken from us, putting us in a deficit. Those withdrawals are all the negative experiences that deplete us and emotionally affect us. If you are improving your mindset, it is much more difficult to be affected by negative occurrences. And if you are not improving your well-being, you are setting yourself up for a sizeable emotional rollercoaster. Hence the words you choose to use to talk to yourself are essential, and affirmations are helpful.

Here Are a Few Tips for Creating Powerful Affirmations

1.) Keep the affirmations in the present tense.
Statements like “I am an influential communicator” are good examples. Hence the word “am” is present tense. You want to believe you are living this life already.
2. Start your statements with “I am.”
There is something powerful about declaring your position on a matter. You own your statement, and the conviction in that will make it much more believable.
3.) Ask yourself if nothing was holding you back; what does your future look like for you?
From there, craft your statements. In other words, you want to bring the future back to the present tense. If you see yourself as an author and tell yourself you are an author, you will naturally start behaving like an author.
4.) Put the affirmations somewhere where you will see them and recite them. The critical key here is to do it daily. You want to get it in your head, memorize them and believe them. They do no good if you just have written them down but never look at them.

In your daily practice of using affirmations, you will begin to create a healthy habit and eventually change the way you think. Now, of course, you have more work, but this is a start. You improve your mindset, well-being, and emotional intelligence, which makes navigating crises much easier. Why? Because you are focused on your vision, it becomes challenging to obsess over negativity. It doesn’t mean you never have a crisis, but it sure makes going through it a heck of a lot easier, and when you know you can rely on your tools, you always know what to do. If you want some more help crafting a fantastic affirmation, check out this article that I often refer to How to Write Affirmations That Really Work! and be sure you read my blog when “When An Affirmation Comes True.”

Are you ready to get started? Are you ready to improve your well-being? Let’s dust off that pen, paper and get writing.

Your words mean everything!

Cheers!

Splashing in the Water

By | Mindset | 2 Comments

I woke up to the sound of rain pouring outside. It would have been an ordinary morning except for the less than perfect weather. The dogs needed to walk, and since we seldom ever miss the morning trek, I put on my rain boots, rain gear, and we headed out the door. I will not lie and say I was excited because I wasn’t, but I made the most of that walk. I generally use my mornings with the dogs as a time for idea generation because it is during those walks that I often come up with some of my most incredible ideas. However, I used that time to do a little splashing in the water and some reflecting on this day.

What did I think about, you ask.

First, I had to answer why I am walking in the rain with the dogs. Many wouldn’t bother with this trek. I could have easily said forget it, or we could attempt this later. It was messy out there. I didn’t want to get wet. But my dogs don’t care that I am not excited about not walking them. We do it every day, and that is part of their routine. Besides, I wasn’t getting dolled up to go to a party. It was 6 in the morning, after all. So to answer that question, I fell back on my rationalization that they count on me to keep their routine intact, and I hate breaking their routine.

I also thought about how this would have been a perfect moment of bliss as a child. I would not have given any thought to putting my boots on and heading outside. I would have jumped over hurdles if my mom had encouraged me to play in the rain. Children are so carefree living in the moment, yet we lose sight of this concept as adults because we are so busy being task-oriented. Life forces us to do that to pay the bills and take care of our families. So we drop the carefree side of ourselves to becomes slaves to our task-oriented habits.

Then I thought about how we place our happiness on so many existential things like having bigger homes, better jobs, and the ideal relationship. Now I am not saying we shouldn’t strive for those things. We should thrive, but there is value in living in the moment and embracing the process. How can we find happiness if we wait for an object to arrive, the perfect scenario to play out, or the result to happen? We will continue to be disappointed because we are always looking for what’s next.

So my thoughts are……

Life is a journey. We heard this, and we often miss the lessons unless those lessons smack us in the face. They have to be pretty traumatic to have an impact. However, the triumph comes when we can recognize what we gain during adversity or discomfort. The magic isn’t in the result. The magic is in the process of getting to that result. It is in solving our problems. It is training that takes us to the race that makes us truly happy.

That morning walk was another reminder of that message. I didn’t want to take a walk in the rain, but I had time to play in the water, and in doing so, I had time to think about how fun this would have been as a child. I had time to think about things that perhaps I may not have taken the time to ponder if not in that situation. Had I focused solely on getting back to the house because it would make me happy, it might have been a very long and tedious walk.

When you can learn to embrace the journey, you can also embrace all that comes with it, both good and bad. You no longer put all the energy into the result. The end becomes the icing on the cake, but it doesn’t define you. It gives you the freedom to live in the moment and make mistakes. It allows you to pivot and look at experiences as growth opportunities. Sure, you set goals because you need an end but learning to enjoy the process will give you more peace of mind. Because when things don’t go as planned as they often do, you know you still gained.

How do you learn to do this?

It’s a process and, of course, a practice of being mindful. I generally suggest that my clients focus on writing down two to three things they are thankful for daily and one to two wins daily. With this activity, you train your mind to find something you are grateful for and things you can celebrate. Fear can never reside in the same place with gratitude. This continued habit over time will force you to be thankful and mindful of what you are doing, and through that process, you will become better able to enjoy your journey. You can now practice living in the moment.

For more on the topic of gratitude journals, check out “How to Start a Gratitude Journal.”

I think we all should play in the rain every once in a while.  Let’s bring out the inner child and do a little splashing in the water. Just make sure that there is no lightning.

Cheers!

My Workouts Are Nonnegotiable

By | Fitness, Mindset | 2 Comments

It’s been a hectic week

I took on some extra work projects, some of which tested me and forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Yes, believe that. There are still things that make me uncomfortable sometimes, and because of this, I have spent a few days negotiating whether I had enough time in my day to squeeze in exercise. The head war has been intense. Have you been there? Of course, you have been there. I always come back to the same conclusion, though; my workouts are nonnegotiable. So I lace up my shoes, and I hit the street for a run.

The Negotiation

When we are busy, the first we start negotiating and often let go of is self-care, including exercise. Let’s face it; we are all consumed with our schedules. Life gets in the way. We have families, and jobs, and other commitments that take up our time. Taking care of us doesn’t always seem feasible, but what I know is that my workouts help me stay sane in a crazy world. Yes, there is the science that falls behind it as it relates to buzz words like endorphins. We know exercise releases those and makes us feel better, and if you want a bit more science behind it, check out “How Your Mental Health Reaps the Benefits of Exercise.” But there is more to it than that.

The Seven Habits

More importantly, activity is one of seven habits I encourage people to do to change their lives at the very least to get physically healthy. I say one of seven habits because improving one’s life requires a series of healthy habits, and it is an ongoing process of following through on them. I happen to pin down seven that I believe are instrumental in helping you create real change. They have served me well, and I continue to practice them. Nonetheless, Much like you brush your teeth, you should approach these healthy habits, and in this case, physical activity, in the same manner. It should be part of your routine. It’s that important.

Happiness Lies on the Other Side

So what if I told you that your happiness lies on the other side of your personal growth? Sure, you have heard this but have you given it much thought? I am talking about improving your work, relationships, etc. We often get hung up on existential things. Once I find the right partner, I will be happier. If I get a better job, I will be satisfied. Let’s buy a new car or bigger house, and I will be more pleased. The reality is, no existential thing can make you happy long term if you are not satisfied with yourself—personal growth or self-care, whatever you want to call it, is key to your success and your happiness. Exercise is a piece of that puzzle.

The Solution is Quite Simple

What isn’t easy is knowing the precise moment when you recognize that you are in control of your happiness. Simple means you know what to do, and you do it. Complicated refers to the timeline by which we notice the change in our lives. So how does one know? I think it looks something like this, though. You wake up excited for the day. Why? Because you don’t know who is going to change your life or whose life you might change. You wake up and realize that every experience is an opportunity to gain some knowledge. Even though you lack the enthusiasm to exercise, you know that you are becoming a better human being and can do it. You understand that this is only one small piece of the personal development puzzle you need to do but start anyway. Lastly, you recognize that by becoming a better human being, you are better for all humankind.

My Workouts Are Nonnegotiable

Taking care of yourself is nonnegotiable, and unless you have a medical condition that keeps you from physical activity, exercise should be as well. Your success and your happiness come from within you and are dependent on you continually improving. Start small, be consistent, but start, and if you want to learn more about those other habits, keep following alongside me. You might pick up a few more tips on healthy lifestyle changes. And remember, exercise is nonnegotiable. My workouts are nonnegotiable.

Cheers!

Is Exercise All-or-Nothing? My Take

By | Fitness, Mindset | 3 Comments

We are approaching the third month of 2021, and that means summer is around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for warm weather, shorts, and late summer days. For some, it will be a reminder that bathing suit season is around the corner, and that will bring happy feelings, but for others, it is a dreaded reminder that their fitness goals may not be coming so quickly. So what is one to do? Start a fitness routine or forget any idea of wearing a bathing suit this summer? Is exercise an all-or-nothing activity?

Exercise habits is a topic I find fascinating. Some people work out every day while others work out a few days a week. Then there are those people who treat their fitness routine as if it is a relationship. It’s suitable for a short time, but then it becomes inconvenient, and they stop. Then when the new year rolls around, they are back on it. Sure we can come up with many reasons why we can not exercise. Aside from a health condition, many circumstances keeping us from committing to a fitness routine. Lack of time, resources, friends, etc., are all examples. Often I find it comes down to metrics. What are metrics? You can check out the author Mark Manson to get an idea of his definition. I’ll sum up my meaning of the word. Those are the guidelines we set for ourselves and from which we base our decisions. I will come back to this topic in a bit.

But first…..

I grew up in a house where my parents were active. From the time they woke up until they went to bed, they were busy. I remember as a child my mom bringing us to the Cosmopolitan gym. I say all this to say that being active was part of our lives, and, consequently, it positively affected my outlook on exercise as an adult. I have exercised for as long I can remember, and I even taught aerobics for several years. I don’t know that I always enjoy it, but it helped me get through some pretty rough patches in my life, and I often tell people I think of it as brushing my teeth.

For many people, just the idea of a fitness routine causes a negative emotion, much less doing it consistently. As a coach, I talk about this being essential to finding harmony in one’s life. It is one of the most challenging things for many of my clients to master. Thus, there is a need for personal trainers, instructors, gyms, nutrition experts, and coaches like me. So why do people have such a tough time when it comes to fitness? I have found that people are often hesitant or inconsistent in their fitness routines because their perceived ideas regarding their fitness goals are not necessarily feasible. We are back to the metrics again. In other words, their expectations don’t match what they are willing to do.

Think about this

If you have in your mind that you have to work out seven days a week for you to be successful at exercise, but you have never consistently exercised, then why would anything change this time? If you didn’t grow up doing this particular exercise for seven days, it’s not going to come naturally to you to do this. Why would you set yourself up for failure? Yet this is what we often do. We think of exercise in an all-or-nothing mentality. If you can’t put 100% into something, why start? Who defines a 100% activity anyway? Your 100% might not even come close to my definition of 100%. Additionally, if you didn’t spend time in the early years of your life exposed to fitness, let’s face it. It isn’t going to come easy.

So what is one supposed to do? Well, there is such a word called discipline, and thankfully we can learn discipline. Have you ever known someone that grew up in an undisciplined home and became disciplined later in life? It happens. Of course, the opposite can happen too. However, we are going to need a little more to make this fitness happen.

Discipline, Consistency, New Outlook

Besides the discipline that we need, we also need a different outlook. We need to change our metrics. Rather than getting hung up on the results, I suggest we focus on the process of being better than we were the day before by removing all the perceived ideas of how much time we should workout, how many days we should engage in it, and how hard the routine should be. I am not suggesting not setting goals, but perhaps the plan right now is to be consistent. We want to get this right so we can maintain and build from it. Rather than defining our metrics based on what we think fitness should look like, we embrace the idea of working out because we can. Rather than think of exercise as an all-or-nothing situation, we decide today that we will find something we love doing that incorporates both well-being and fitness into our lives, start small, and work to build consistency.

As with anything, maintaining a fitness routine takes both discipline and the ability to stay focused on the goal. More importantly, it takes the right mindset. You are not always going to enjoy it. Sometimes you have to put the shoes on and go. However, you will have a greater chance of succeeding if you find something you like, start small, and celebrate your successes. You want to stretch yourself but not so much that you freak yourself out. The more times you repeat the habit, the greater the odds you will build a lifestyle habit. Additionally, you may find in the process that the whole idea of wearing a bathing suit is not so threatening. If you want to find some more tips on this subject, check out “How to Start Exercising and Stick to it.”

Cheers!

When an Affirmation Comes True

By | Mindset | 29 Comments

While in a coaching session with a client back in October of 2019, I stumbled on an old affirmation written in January of 2018. January of that year was not necessarily the beginning of my exploration into personal development, but it was a defining moment. It was then I decided that I needed to make some significant changes. I hated my life. Sure my kids were successful, I survived a rare nerve disease, became an avid runner, health-conscious person, and successfully built teams in organizations, but I struggled to find happiness in my life. Little did I know at the time, nor did I believe that this affirmation I wrote would be anything more than a few statements written on a piece of paper.

Imagine my surprise when I found this piece of paper, and I am right smack in the middle of teaching the importance of affirmations and positive self-talk to a client. Many might say that affirmations are all hogwash or it’s purely coincidental that they ever come true, but I beg to differ. You see, whatever we tend to focus on, we support. Our subconscious mind does what we believe to be true. So if we get up in the morning and say we are tired, chances are, we will be tired all day long. Have you ever been tired but you are so excited about something that you don’t have time to be tired? I think you get my point. We support that which we believe about ourselves. None the less I was excited to see that paper. Why might you ask? Because three of five items I had written on that paper had come true.

There was no real magic in how I made those items on that list come true, but I will say to you that I combined that affirmation with several daily habits. I did things to increase my self-confidence and abundant thinking. I still engage in these same techniques daily, and I teach my clients them as well. More importantly, I hated where I was enough to want to improve, so I didn’t see an alternative. I read that affirmation daily, sometimes multiple times a day, until I had it memorized. I didn’t always appreciate making the time to do it, but I now know it was worth it.

So when are you looking at that big picture; you know the one where you have this great career or this beautiful beach house, or maybe it’s this idea of what your family looks like, consider creating an affirmation. Ask yourself if you could be, do, or have anything and nothing was stopping you; what would that look like for you? Take the “hows” out of the conversation. We don’t have to know all that right now. I would suggest writing the affirmation down, put it where you will see it, and recite it daily. It has to get you fired up so much that when you read it, you feel like you could scream or maybe do a cartwheel. You decide.

I found this easy but noteworthy article on how to write an affirmation. You can access it here. Give it a try and see what you think. If you need a little reassurance that the colossal goal you have insight is worth fighting for, you might read my earlier blog, “My Life, My Career, My Happiness.” 

By the way, you might be asking what those affirmations that I wrote down that came true were. My book is published; I am a speaker, a podcast creator, a host, and have a growing coaching practice. I feel like my work in self-care paid off. But it doesn’t stop here because life is a journey, and every day, we have an opportunity to improve and write another affirmation. So I continue…..

Cheers!

Life Isn’t Perfect nor Is Parenting

By | Mindset | 8 Comments

One of the most challenging things I have found in my forty-plus years of being a human is the act of raising teens and young adults. No amount of training nor experience can prepare you for what you will endure. Mix all this parenting with mood disorders, and it’s just hard. As with anything we do in life, the experiences we witness can be teachers and shape how we perceive and react in future situations. Because of this, it is so important to be emotionally intelligent when navigating the journey of parenting.

What is the Problem?

Sure, you have many great moments as a parent, but you also have not such fulfilling moments, and those often seem to be the ones we remember. You know those moments where the wannabe adults stay out late and worry you to wee hours in the morning. The talking back mixed with the attitude reminds you that you never want to be a teenager again. They are defiant and yet responsible at the same time. These kiddos often get caught between being a teen and an adult and confuse us. They want you to respect them, yet they seem to revert to a child when told they need to be accountable. Is that what they call trying to find their place in the world? Let’s just say being a parent is not for the faint at heart.

What Did I Learn?

So what I have learned in surviving one teen with a mood disorder is that I have become a much stronger advocate for mental wellness. I have become more assertive at recognizing when things are not right. It wasn’t that long ago that I went on my journey to heal myself. Sometimes those wake-up calls punch you in the gut with a hard dose of reality. For me, it was a medical condition that brought me to my knees and propelled me on that journey. It forced me to heal my body and dig deeper into why I was having success in my life but always following it up with a crisis. Through my healing, I learned that I was doing exactly what I hated. I was chasing crisis and chasing goals in my pursuit to find happiness.

What Do I Do?

Right now, my middle is struggling a bit to find herself, and once again, I find myself having to make tough decisions. It’s not easy. I am healthier this time around, which gives me an advantage. But make no mistake, it’s not easy. I work on myself daily. What do I mean by that? I mean, I have habits in place that I do every day as if they are vitamins to help support me and give me the confidence I need to make emotionally intelligent decisions. Nah, I am not perfect by no means, but I control my thoughts and recognize when they are troubling me. That work I do every day sets me up for success and has allowed me to find my happiness once and for all. It sure makes it easier for me to be grounded in my decisions and live with the consequences of those decisions.

What Can You Do?

Life isn’t perfect, and nor is parenting. Mood disorders are real and should never be ignored. Whatever route you choose to heal yourself when suffering, you should consider a long term solution. I am no doctor, but I have found that when I work on myself daily by strengthening my mindset, I am stronger, healthier, and more equipped to take on challenges even when they involve some of the most precious people in my world; my children.

Check out my blog Sneak Around Sabotaging Behaviors – Jennifer Loehding or  5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes | SUCCESS for a few tips on how you can start strengthening your mindset and improving your emotional intelligence. Whether you have a mood disorder or not, whether you are parenting or not, having the right attitude can set you up for success in all areas of your life. 

Cheers!

Grow Your Business During the 2020 Pandemic

By | Mindset | 66 Comments

I never really gave much thought to what it might feel like for my animals to be quarantined in my house until the quarantine of 2020 commenced. As a human, an American, a family in my community, and a small business owner, I am reminded every single day that we have little control over much of anything around us right now. Our freedoms are limited, and our media feeds are flooded with inaccurate information. Although we can’t change what’s happening around us, what we can control is our outlook, and how we go about improving our situation.

In business, it’s no different. As a small business owner, I have had to make several pivots in my business, as many of you have done. Some of them have been uncomfortable, and many of them have been stressful. However, some of them have led me to some opportunities for growth, and that’s exciting. The thing we need to ask ourselves is what is the one step we can take from where we are with the tools we have that will bring us closer to our goal. With that in mind, let us talk about some steps we can take to grow your business during the 2020 pandemic.

Single Step We Can Take Today

1.)Collaborate

One of the best things we can do, whether in quarantine or out of quarantine, is to collaborate with others. We all know that businesses build on relationships and that solid customers and referral partners can boost our brand immensely. But did you know that by collaborating, you can also develop ideas? Some of my latest projects have come about because someone offered me an idea that I hadn’t thought of, and I took that idea bridged it with one of my thoughts to create something new. No need to disregard the social distancing rules either. We can use a phone, zoom if we are comfortable, or we can jump on skype. Any of these methods will work, and even if we do not come up with some spectacular idea, we will leave the conversation most likely inspired to do something and we might gain a new friend.

I must throw in a small caveat, though. Just make sure you are collaborating with the right people. I always remind myself that I am like the five people I hang around with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Therefore, if they are not inspiring me to want to level up, I am letting them go, and I am going to find others that do. In the process of doing these collaborations, the birth of your next big idea may come about.

 2.) Read & Listen to Positive Material

Reading and listening to positive material, whether it’s YouTube, a podcast, an audiobook, or a good paperback is so important not only to our businesses but to our mental health. If we are continually watching the news or tuned in to the media regularly, our creativity is going to be flooded with negative images. Nothing good comes flowing out from a negative headspace. We can use this time to inspire ourselves and maybe set a new habit that we can continue once we emerge out of this quarantine. It will not only benefit us now but will help us going forward in both our personal and business lives.

3.)Take a Class or Learn Something

One of the things I decided to do was to take a social psychology class. I thought it would add to my credentials, and if it did nothing more than that, at the very least, maybe it would help me understand what is going on with the world right now. I also jumped in on a marketing class so that I could learn better how to strategize my podcast Starter Girlz and my other social media accounts. Marketing is not an area I enjoy spending my time doing. However, as a small business owner, it’s also something I recognize as essential to the growth of my business. Whatever trade you are in, indeed, there is more to be learned. Why not use the time now to brush up on your skills and hone in on your superpowers? We all know education is never out for the pro, and what better time to do it than now.

4.Hire a Coach

If you are finding it challenging to determine what single step to take, it may be a good idea to hire a coach. This person can often help you visualize the action you need to take to pivot in your business, or they may help inspire you to branch out into something else. The great thing about coaches is that they can often subjectively see a situation and offer suggestions while pushing an individual to think beyond their limitations.

Many of them are trained to take an evocative approach, which means rather than telling you what to do, they will inspire you, so the idea comes from you. Much like doing collaborations, coaches help you strategize your life, your health, and your business. There are many different types of coaches, whether you are looking for a business coach or maybe you are thinking of doing a different adventure and need a transformation coach. Two heads are always better than one when it comes to strategizing.

5.)Give Back

Helping our community is an excellent way to not only help us as an individual but also to gain exposure for our businesses. People always remember how you make them feel, and in a time where fear is dominating our culture, giving back can ease some of the hostility, frustration, and anxiety. Also, when we are helping others, not only do we become better at being task-oriented and better problem solvers, it also allows us to place focus on someone else’s problems. It gives us a sense of purpose and puts things in perspective. There is always someone that has it much worse than us, and that often can be an eye-opener.

By using our company name and logo behind a cause, we can also create brand awareness. Who doesn’t like a company that doesn’t give back to a community or an organization? The easiest thing to do would be to contact some hospitals or local organizations and see where they need assistance. Let your company be the driving force to make a change.

Final Thoughts

Wherever you find yourself right now as a small business owner, remember this too shall pass. All things do eventually. It is our time to saddle up as business owners and pivot. Think about what kind of change your company can make and what message you want to give out. We certainly cannot control everything around us, but what we can do is control our mindset, and we can go to work to make a difference in our lives, our family’s lives, and our community.

We can show others than we can rise above adversity and come out stronger than before. We can learn new skills, make new friends, birth new ideas, find mentors to help us see past our limitations, and, most importantly, we can help others in need. By helping ourselves, we can help others, and by helping others, we can help ourselves, and this ultimately helps our businesses. Lastly, take your dogs for a walk. They will love you, and it will do you all some good.

Cheers!