In my hometown, the season of Fall is in full bloom. The beautiful and bold yellow, reds, and orange leaves have made their debut. The temperatures have chilled off and the wool socks and hot cocoas are being gratefully enjoyed in my home. There are pumpkins on the porch and delicious Fall flavored candles lit each day.
One of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau is this one:
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of earth.”
I love Fall and everything about this season. (Can you tell?)
Seasons changing in our own lives is just as real as the changing of the seasons of the earth. The one constant in life is change and like the thought by Thoreau suggests, embrace each season as it comes.
Although change can tend to bring up fears and discomfort, what is really at play is embracing the uncertainty of the unknown – this is true whether your fear is of failure or of success. When we are leaving behind what is familiar and heading into unknown territory it’s common and normal for fear and second guessing to come forward for you to address.
I invite you to face the fear, walk through it, and you will see that you are stronger, more capable, and simply more fantastic than you previously knew.
Now, some changes come to us that are unwelcomed, unplanned for, and simply hurt. This could be loss in any form – loved ones, job, health, relationship, you name it. Loss is a grieving process of letting go of what once was in your life and/or relationships. I honor that sacred space and there is a need for grief and healing. If you’re in a major transition, please make sure to reach out and get support around you.
I do know that even with the greatest of heartaches, there are opportunities for growth and claiming of a new chapter of life. I have learned even in my own deepest heartaches in certain seasons of my life that even those heartbreaks contained powerful lessons for me to soak in.
Whether the change you’re facing this season is of a major magnitude or the smaller, move the needle type of changes, here are a few questions to help you navigate change:
What is this here to teach me? What is the lesson of this experience?
What’s the gift of this new season?
Why am I resisting this change? What’s the fear really about? What if I could surrender versus struggle with this change?
What would I rather experience or create in my life?
What small change can I make today that with time will have the greatest influence?
I also find that activities like increased self care (exercise, rest, & nutrition) and surrounding ourselves with positive and loving people, books, or materials can help during the change process.
I would invite you to consider that change is also to be celebrated too, right? All to often we’re resisting change or in fear of it. Yet consider this, for many of you if your life was the exact same 10 years from today, you would be miserable! Change gives life a lot of juice, excitement, new adventure & discovery, and allows for even greater things, people, and opportunities to come to us. Change can get a bad rap, but it’s also that same change that gives you growth, meaning, purpose, and opportunities!
Consider this…just what if life was always working for your highest good? Hmmm….
Just what if we could trust a little more and doubt a little less?…of life, others, ourselves, etc.?
Just what if we could resign ourselves (surrender) to the season we are in, even if it’s painful and ouchy and scary and gleam the juicy gems and insights that are waiting to be seen?
Just what if change really does come bearing gifts?
I echo the classic sentiments expressed many years ago…
“To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven.”
There is purpose to the season you are in. There are many things to be grateful for no matter what swirls around us. Embrace the changes you’re facing, allow them to teach you, and celebrate that life has great things in store for you (uncertainty wrapped in excitement).
There are lots of things, events, and outcomes we cannot control –
and we can create a lot of drama, struggle, and misery in our lives trying to do so…
A few weeks ago I wrote a lengthy Facebook post (see image below) that contained my own personal aha and awareness for the life event that I was facing – competing in eWomen Network’s North America’s Next Greatest Speaker Contest in Dallas, Texas.
I had been selected as a Top Ten Finalist (thank you for voting for me!!!) amongst over 1,000 applications. Talk about humbled. And talk about the internal pressure that I felt at times to “perform”. I was definitely putting myself out there and even asking others to “judge” me and my heart so the emotions at times were ripe for the learning.
So in my preparing for this experience, early one morning I had this awareness that took my power back from the fear, the perfectionism, the outcome…I can only control how I SHOW UP – and how I choose to experience this or any experience.
In life at times, you will face heartache, struggle, and challenge.
Some times people will lie about you or betray you.
Or politics may win out.
Others may criticize you.
They may say “no” to your offer, services, or product.
Your book might be rejected 144 times before you get a yes.
Your date request denied.
You may not make the honor roll, get the lead in the play, or get into the school of your choice the first time around. Or second. Or third.
You may be passed up for the promotion.
You may not be included.
You might be ignored.
You may not hit the rank you want when you want.
__________ insert your own here.
There are many more scenarios that all lead to the same point:
You can’t control the outcome. You can only control how you SHOW UP.
How do you choose to SHOW UP regardless of the outcome?
Here is the full post written in it’s own authentic, inspired form:
For me, there is great peace in focusing on the only thing I can always control, influence, or direct in my life: how I show up.
And like I said in my post, I choose to show up and play full out.
My heart on the line.
To give my best and the best service I can, whether they say yes or no.
So that’s the thought to ponder this week…in your life and in your experiences, how will you choose to show up?
There are many things, people, and outcomes we cannot control. We can influence yes, control, no. By muddling with trying to control the outcome, we create our own misery.
Our power, attention, and energy I find is best suited to be focused where the choice is 100% ours – with ourselves and how we choose to play the game of life being served right now.
Release the outcome.
And focus on showing up powerfully present, fully engaged, and loving no matter what.
That’s a life worth living… regardless of the outcome.
You set a goal.
You tell all your friends!
You take off strong towards that goal!
And then a little time goes by.
The enthusiasm wanes.
The doubts creep in.
You take your eyes off the goal and take stock of what others are doing. Many of them are further than you! GASP!
You begin questioning.
You look ahead to see your goal beckoning you in the distance.
You know it’s possible, yet is it possible for you?
It’s for sure possible for others doing it.
You can see glimmers, but you want so much more.
You thought that BY NOW you’d be so much further than you are…
So what does all this mean?
When we begin pursuing goals, changes, or growth it often (not always) takes longer than we would like.
Whether that be losing weight, growing your business, writing a book, or increasing your income, time can take longer than we wanted or expected…
For many of you, you’re exactly where you need to be. You just need a little patience and timing to arrive at your destination.
I have the great fortune to coach many people growing their own business – and inevitably the “not fast enough” syndrome hits them all at some point or another. They want more leaders for their downline. They want to get more media attention, Twitter followers, or opt in’s for their list. They want more clients to service. They want more conversations to become actual sales.
The “not fast enough” syndrome is normal.
And it can be exhausting, overwhelming, and costly.
Let me ask you this – if you knew with 100% conviction that your goal was going to happen, yet it was say 30 days or 18 months out, how would you choose to pass the time in getting there?
With peace and confidence?
Or with stress, worry, or second guessing?
I believe strongly that what you claim as yours – your desired dreams and goals – that they in effect are also seeking for you…as Rumi, the great poet has said, “What you’re seeking, is seeking you.”
Yet, I also believe that those dreams will show up sometimes different than imagined or on a different timeline than we may have.
So how can you travel the path of peace to your goals?
Consider these suggestions.
1. Eliminate the comparison game. Oftentimes our struggles come in the awareness of comparing our progress and results to that of others. We may have felt just fine in what we were doing until we hear that someone else has done double the results we have in the same time. In comparing ourselves to others, we take out an eternal measuring stick that can evaluate everything that we’re not doing, achieving, or excelling at. Drop the comparison meter and refocus on the positive things that you are doing in your own life.
2. Daily Meditation. I find that when I’m connected to myself, that inner awareness – some call it their intuition, their heart, or the Holy Spirit – whatever you call it, when you’re connected to it, there is a greater sense of peace and purpose to your life. I find that many insights, ideas, or actions to take will come to me in my meditation that is exactly what I need to learn or do next in the path of achieving my goals. Do you have daily or even weekly quiet time? A meditation practice? Journaling? Time in nature? By getting quiet and centered we will find the answers we seek.
3. Reward yourself along the way. This is SERIOUS friends! Pay attention to the power of celebration of your progress and milestones. Two years ago I began coaching a lovely woman in a direct sales business. Upon hiring me, she was one level away from the very top rank level in her company and her goal was to become a top level leader. In our first coaching session, I asked if she had ever celebrated herself for achieving the milestone (which was incredible) that she had already ascended to which she replied, “no.” Her first assignment: celebrate herself and her current achievement. She did so and it became a habit to begin acknowledging her progress along the way. Within 45 days or less, she achieved the top rank within her business and now has a network marketing business with around 100,000 distributors in her organization. Consider this, if you’re always waiting to be “perfect” or at the self created finish line for your goal to reward yourself, you may never get there. Rewarding yourself, acknowledging your progress is POTENT FUEL for the path of achievement. I invite you to do something this week to celebrate the milestones you’ve already achieved. I’d love to hear how this goes for you.
Have faith in yourself and in your goals.
Quit comparing your life to others.
Take time to get quiet and centered on a regular basis.
Reward your milestones.
We’ve all felt those feelings at some point in our lives. It’s part of being human.
Yet, sometimes those feelings consume us where we find ourselves loathing another person, mentally rehearsing perfect one liners we could say to them, or placing judgment upon them about how they don’t deserve their success or how you’re much better than so and so.
When those feelings are present for us, they have a lot to teach us. So rather than judge them or judge yourself for having those feelings, get curious and introspective about what may really be going on with you. You’d be surprised about what may really be underneath those challenging feelings.
Recently I did a television segment on this very topic, sharing insights, questions, and tools of how to learn from and release the envy.
Here is the segment:
Often when we feel envy or jealousy, we believe that there is only so much of that success to go around and we may be missing out. Those feelings are fear or ego based, centered in scarcity versus sufficiency or abundance. And finally, many times if someone else’s success is triggering me and these negative feelings, it many times points to dreams or goals that I’d like to have, but I’m not pursuing or giving myself permission or time to entertain.
Consider a person or example that you are envious of or felt jealous of in the past. Ask yourself, “What does their success trigger in me?”
Get curious about what’s going on under these feelings – am I feeling that there is a lack of opportunity for me? Is there a goal that their success inspires in me to pursue? Is there an area or goal in life that I’m not allowing myself to go after?
Study, interview, or read about someone who’s created the results you want. You could invite them to lunch or tea. You could read their autobiography or blog online. Transform your envy to insight.
Ask yourself, “What goal would I like to pursue in a bigger way? What’s one simple action I can take this week to move it forward?”
There are many things in life we cannot control, but we are responsible for our emotions. As Eleanor Roosevelt taught:
“No one can offend you without your permission.”
As conscious creators of our own lives, when we own our emotions and get curious about them, we hold the key to our own freedom, peace of mind, and quality of our lives.
Okay, phew! I just said it. I feel like I just jumped off the symbolic cliff with you. I just put it out there. And now I feel a bit vulnerable and free all at the same time.
I’ve been “thinking” about writing a book for a long time. People say that it’s good for business, great for credibility, and will open many doors. And while that’s true I assume, that isn’t my driving motivation.
Nearly six months ago I attended a women’s retreat and during a meditation by the ocean I had a divine, sacred experience where I felt called to share what’s in my heart. It’s as if a seed was then planted that has been gestating and it’s now beginning to come forth. It’s about me answering a call from my Divine, my heart and willing to walk in this path, even though it’s scares me and brings up lots of my unpretty stuff.
Last weekend I participated in a virtual workshop retreat to write a book in a weekend – it was awesome – great coaching, collaboration, and passion and I made significant progress. And then I hit the wall.
I’m aware that when we approach change and growth that our stuff or limiting beliefs can come up. I coach that everyday. So I was very logical about going into this weekend, yet then I hit my own wall. I was stuck, I was overwhelmed, feeling like I wanted to just check out and shut down.
As I got curious about what was up for me and gave voice to it, I became aware that my stuff sounded like this, “Who am I to write this book? I’m just a regular girl. What will others think of me?” And then the big one surfaced – “what if I can’t live up to my content (core success principles) all the time? I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. And I feel incredibly vulnerable putting myself out there.”
I cried. Hot tears cried. And then breathed. And then received some love and support from dear friends who “just happened” to reach out when the meltdown was happening, including my workshop partner & dear friend, Michelle. God is really so cool with how He puts people on our path in the moment we need them. And none of them “fixed” it for me – that’s my work with myself and my Maker. Yet held the love and space to say, “Tiff, it’s okay to be vulnerable. You’re writing this to honor a calling, honoring God. You’re writing this for those who are seeking it.” And then I breathed some more and felt a sense of peaceful calm. And went on to knock it out of the park.
Being vulnerable is the path of the courageous, the path of greatness.
Whether that be in the form of writing a book, taking a stand for a cause or beliefs we have, asking for a sale, communicating our needs to our partner, or any other form where we tell our own truth or take a real or perceived risk.
There are reactions we receive in putting ourselves out there – we could experience judgment, criticism, or rejection. We could also experience love, sales, connection, and fulfillment by willing to risk and be vulnerable.
It often appears that hiding our vulnerability – acting as if we’re tough, know it all, are perfectly put together, and stuffing or distracting our vulnerability – will protect us, yet in reality it limits us from living a more expressed life.
Last Spring I was introduced to a great thought leader, Brene Brown and her TED talk video. It moved me to the core. She now has a best selling book, “Daring Greatly” and has recently been featured on the popular Oprah program, Super Soul Sunday. This topic is trending big time. Take a watch and see why:
So I’m sharing with you what is up for me and creating my own path of vulnerability… so you can get the most out of the time you’ve invested in reading this article, take a breath of courage and consider for yourselves…
Where in my life or what in my life am I avoiding or putting off?
What one goal – greater connection, intimacy, writing your book, asking for that sale – do you know in your gut that you need to ask for or go for?
Are you willing to ask for what you want, to put yourself out there?
Yes, your work may be judged, like mine will be. Yes, your work will be praised, like mine will be. Yes, you may get a no, get turned down, told no, or have to make uncomfortable decisions. Yes, you may get a yes, get accepted, and get exactly what you wanted. We never know unless we’re willing to be vulnerable.
I have learned for myself that the more I am authentic and allow myself to share all of me, especially the vulnerable sides, that I experience life and connections at a fuller expression of living. Vulnerability makes life more beautiful…more real, deep, and alive! And that’s a choice I’m choosing to make.