Siberian Tiger

Your Realm—Your Reality—Your Choice

 

Siberian TigerHow are things in your Queendom today?

When you are happy and all is well in your world, there are tranquil places you go. Maybe it’s to open plains of sunshine with waving grass. Maybe you prefer lakes and streams of glistening water alongside beautiful jungles full of tall trees and exotic creatures. Perhaps it’s somewhere totally different. Wherever it is—you’re confident and content.

Meanwhile, there are other places in your realm that are not as peaceful. In the innermost recesses, the darker spaces you try to avoid, lurk those thoughts and words that bring to life your own special variety of Trash Talk. Even though it was banished from your world, Trash Talk is relentless. It’s like a tiger hungrily eyeing its prey; it’s simply in its nature to stalk you.

Your Trash Talk has been with you for so long that it’s not easy to permanently banish. It continues to cause you to second-guess your abilities and scare yourself. It’s very happy to simply lie in wait—always ready to emerge just as you are about to move forward. You know it’s tracking you when you hear yourself saying things like:

“I Can’t…”

“If only I would’ve…”

“I should’ve”

“I could’ve”

The fear you can feel in the midst of this self-doubt is physical. It’s like you’ve just sensed that the tiger is about to pounce. Fear isn’t always a bad thing—we’re hardwired to instantly respond to the physical feeling we get when we’re in real danger. When the hair on your arms—or the back of your neck—stands up, that’s your body warning you of imminent physical harm. You need to pay attention and escape!

Drawing of a paper tigerOther times you feel something stalking you and the sensation is more like heaviness in your shoulders or a sense of dread or maybe there’s a sinking feeling in your gut. That’s when you know your tiger is imaginary. It’s just your special variety of Trash Talk getting ready to pounce.

When your tiger is imaginary, you can instantly drive it away with three simple questions:

  1. Where have I seen this before?
  2. What if this is different?
  3. How does this insight change things?

Restoring your world to a state of tranquility is a Simple Shift from believing your Trash Talk is real to banishing it from your life. It’s your realm—your reality—your choice.

 Learn more Simple Shifts that will change your world at Move Into Your Power®.

 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

Do You Believe in Perfect?

Neuschwanstein Castle in GermanyTo all outward appearances, Queens are perfect. They have the perfect looks and the perfect clothes. They have perfect posture, perfect homes, perfect manners, and perfect taste. They always seem to know exactly how to say and do the right thing in any situation. It’s a natural conclusion—when you’re a Queen, not only do you have a perfect life, you are perfect.

It’s easy to paint this idyllic picture. It allows us to hold close to our hearts the idea of attainable perfection. We dream of what our life could be like if we never had to struggle.  When we do struggle, the feeling that we are somehow “less” haunts us. It stops us even when we know that perfection is only a fantasy.

It’s easy to forget that Queens have simply mastered how to look the part.

Here’s how they do it: underneath their queenly appearance, they have laser-focused mental clarity about what they want and the unshakable self-confidence to get it. They value planning. They admit their weaknesses, at least to themselves. When necessary, they enlist others who have the skills they lack to help them. They learn from their mistakes, figure out how to use what they discover to the best advantage, and then move on.

You can master these skills too! You’ll find out how in our monthly practice on Move Into Your Power.

A Queen

Say “Yes” Like A Queen

A QueenThe Queen sits regally on her throne patiently listening to the appeals of her loyal subjects. Everyone who comes to her has a compelling story and desperately needs her help. She listens attentively. Her compassion is boundless. She can’t help herself—she grants every request. She just doesn’t have the heart or the confidence to refuse.

Wait a minute!!! Does that sound like any Queen you’ve ever read about or seen in a movie?
Is she patient? Sometimes.

Is she attentive? Usually.

Is she compassionate? Often.

Does she always say yes? No.

How successful would any Queen be if she always said “yes,” even when she didn’t mean it?

How trusted would she be if she could never say “no?”

When you don’t imagine yourself to be a Queen, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying “yes” when you really want to say “no.” So may of us would rather sacrifice ourselves—our time, our money, or our comfort—than disappoint someone.

The cost is higher than you think. When you always say “yes” to everyone else—you only have “no” left for yourself. Think about it. What did it cost you the last time you agreed to do something you didn’t want to do? Did you:

  • Miss out on something else you would rather have done?
  • Waste time dreading it?
  • Begrudge doing it?
  • Feel guilty for trying to avoid doing it?
  • Feel irritated that it was asked of you?

You can avoid all of that drama when you remember that one of the hallmarks of being the Queen of Your Own Life is saying “yes” only when you mean it.

Here’s the payoff: You’re happier and you have a more positive attitude. The resentments you’ve allowed to build up toward those who “take advantage of you” dissipate. The people to whom you do say “yes” know they can count on you to be fully present and deliver on your promises. The people to whom you say “no” feel respected—they trust that when you do say “yes” you’ll mean it.

When you look at it more closely, doesn’t it look like everyone’s better off when you only say “yes” when you mean it? See how it feels to say yes like a Queen in the monthly practice on Move Into Your Power.

Three Words to Ban from Your Personal Queendom

A QueenLast time we talked about abdicating your throne in the land of ‘Trash Talkin’ Yourself’ to become the ‘Queen of My Own Life’. Now that you’ve decided to become the official ruler in your realm, why not do as queens do and banish some stuff. I mean, what’s the fun of being queen if you don’t take advantage of your true powers?

Why not make your first Act as Queen to banish three little words that are at the root of 99% of all trash talk? These words are insidious because they creep into our thoughts—and we don’t even recognize it’s happening. Here’s what makes these three words the worst kind of trash talk: each one of them has the power to instantly cause us to doubt ourselves so deeply that we cross right over into scaring ourselves. That’s the direct route to becoming stuck in the past in ways that make it almost impossible to move forward.

Forewarned is forearmed—so take a look at them: Would’ve…Should’ve…Could’ve…

How many times have you beat yourself up with these three words?

“If only I would’ve…”

“I should’ve…”

“I could’ve…”

Maybe you’ve never thought about this before, so I invite you to consider this: how does it help you to play a scenario over and over in your mind, trying to create different outcomes by asking yourself, “If only I would’ve…, should’ve… or could’ve…?” If your answer makes you feel like Cr@p—then you know from our previous conversations it’s a PowerTrap.

When you respond to your negative feeling by using any (or all!) of these three words, you just dig yourself a deeper hole. You’re mentally going around in circles, covering the same ground again and again, wringing your hands and changing…what? Pretty ineffective isn’t it? It never changes the past, and it only gives you a future guaranteed to be just like it.

And here’s the Million Dollar Question: Does that look like something a Queen would do?

Next time you hear yourself saying any of these three words, why not make a simple shift instead? You’ll find out how in the monthly practice on Move Into Your Power.

jeweled crown

The Queen of Trash Talkin’

jeweled crown

When you were a little girl, did you ever imagine that you would grow up to be a queen? I certainly did. I saw myself regally walking amongst my loyal subjects smiling and nodding my recognition of their fealty.

I knew that I was born to be the Queen of Something. I wasn’t born into a royal family. I didn’t have the money or connections that one would need to gain access to the social circles where I could meet a king—so I had to find another way.

It took me years to accomplish it. It took me even longer to remember my mother telling me that I should be careful what I wished for. One day I realized that, in my quest to be queen, I’d chosen the easiest route to a kingdom that I could absolutely rule. I’d become the Queen of Trash Talkin’ Yourself.

When you’re the Queen of Trash Talkin’ Yourself you:

•  Magnify your faults
•  Ignore your strengths
•  Deflect all compliments
•  Downplay your achievements
•  Refuse to champion yourself

I did all of those things as if I were born to it. I believed that negative voice constantly sounding off in my head and carried myself as if every word were true. I’d brought myself to the most unpleasant kingdom–one that kept me from reaching my goals, celebrating my accomplishments and enjoying my life.

Fortunately, I soon figured out that I no longer wanted to reign as Queen of Trash Talkin’ Yourself. Once I abdicated that throne-I never looked back. Now I’ve learned how to be the Queen of My Own Life and my queendom is the most nourishing place on the planet.

If you have your own little kingdom where you’re the Queen of Trash Talkin’ Yourself, why not leave it behind? It’s a simple shift that anyone can make. The Monthly Practice on Move Into Your Power will get you started.

If you like what you find there, my online course, Move Into Your Power, has even more strategies for leaving behind behaviors that hold you back. Why not try it for free now?

When You Feel Like Crap—It’s a PowerTrap

Snowy-Daffodils 300Last Saturday, when I attended an evening party in Cleveland, I was reminded again that I live in the “Snow Belt.” Now, before I left home I knew that—even though it’s April—we were expecting snow. What I didn’t know was that I would walk out of the party to more than three inches of the heavy white stuff covering my car! The roads were so slippery that even the experienced drivers of NE Ohio were having a tough time maneuvering their cars. The surprise of the treacherous roads knocked the wind right out of me…talk about feeling powerless!

As a result, I let the great time I’d just had celebrating with my friends abruptly turn into irritation and frustration as my usual 40 minute drive home turned into 90 minutes of white knuckled concentration on the road. It wasn’t until I got home safely and caught my breath that I realized what I had just learned.

Things like this can happen to us at anytime. One moment we’re completely enjoying our day and then—BAMM!—in the next moment, we allow something or someone to change the way we feel.

Here’s what I learned: although it’s understandable that the road conditions knocked the fun right out of me, irritation and frustration probably were not the most helpful emotions for me. They only made my situation worse. In my state of surprise, I didn’t remember that I always have a choice about how I feel and I let my negative emotions catch me in what I call a PowerTrap—unconscious and ineffective behavior and thought patterns that stop us. Mine certainly could have stopped me from enjoying the rest of my evening if I hadn’t been paying attention. (Choosing to focus on what I’d learned that night made me laugh out loud—and gave me the perfect article for this month’s newsletter.)

PowerTraps can stop you in all kinds of situations. Maybe a potential client cancels an important appointment at the last second, or a coworker says something hurtful in a meeting, or you’re talking with someone and you suddenly feel angry or upset and you’re not sure why you’re reacting that way. The great news is that you can always identify a PowerTrap by how you feel: When you feel like crap, it’s a PowerTrap!

PowerTraps are as varied as we are and can be triggered by any number of experiences. Perhaps you’ve had potential clients cancel appointments at the last second and you lost the business.  Maybe you’ve had coworkers say hurtful things in meetings to undermine the boss’ confidence in you and it worked. Or maybe the tone taken in a conversation with someone reminds you of a time when a parent or teacher chastised you.

Here’s how a PowerTrap works: based on experiences from your past, you get caught unawares by outdated or negative impressions that stop you. So instead of deciding how you want to respond to whatever shows up in the present moment, you unconsciously react.

The result? You feel like crap.

You’re allowing the emotion of something that happened before to dictate how you feel now…

  • You feel as if you’ve lost the business already,
  • You feel as if the coworker has already succeeded at undermining you, or
  • You feel as if you’re being judged unfairly.

Your feelings flood right back to you as if they were the truth in this moment, too.

Here’s the great news—it doesn’t have to be that way! For every PowerTrap there is a PowerTool—a simple shift you can make to stop any ineffective behavior and thought pattern right in its tracks. Then you can replace it with one that’s more effective. The payoff is this: when you change your behavior and/or your thoughts, you can change the emotion you feel in any situation—100% of the time.

In the Monthly Practice you’ll find an example of a PowerTool that you can use to make a simple shift in any situation. If you like what you find there, you’ll find even more in my online course, Move Into Your Power , where you’ll discover a series of simple shifts you can make to manage your emotions in a way that will move you forward in your career and in your life. Why not try it for free now?

Teresa-YWCA-300x

Throw Out Everything You’ve Learned About Public Speaking

Teresa-YWCA-300xAn internationally famous CEO was recently quoted as saying that ” a person’s skill in public speaking—[whether it’s] in front of a crowd of 1,000 strangers or a meeting with five close associates—is more essential than ever. You are what you say; your communication approach is your fingerprint.”

If your communication approach is your fingerprint, then it makes sense that your skill at speaking in public has just become an important measure of your professional success. So what if you’ve already “tried” speaking in public and discovered that it was such a disagreeable experience that Hades would have to freeze over before you’d ever attempt it again? You might even believe that “great speakers are born, not made,” so perhaps you’ll get lucky in your next lifetime …

Although it sounds very silly to put it that way, it’s truer than you might imagine. Over the past 18 years of teaching and coaching business professionals to excel at speaking, I’ve discovered how deep-seated that resistance to public speaking can be—from otherwise highly skilled and confident professionals who have been told that there are certain rules for great speaking that everyone must follow.

Following those rules ruined their speaking experience.

Now here’s the good news: you can throw out everything you’ve ever learned about public speaking right now—and enjoy it as much as you enjoy a conversation with your friends—

when you discover a Simple Shift™ that allows you to tap into your natural speaking ability in just one day in a PowerSpeak class.

PowerSpeak will show you how to move into your speaking power—it works whether you’re addressing an audience of 2 or 2000. Because your natural speaking ability is innately yours, you only have to discover how to tap into it. That’s the simple shift.

Since 2005, 100% of the alums of PowerSpeak have been creating remarkable results in their presentations with this simple shift. Whether they started out with fear and dread or they simply wanted to feel more confident—even with last minute presentations—each one of them left the class with a sustainable structure for their immediate speaking success.

Teresa Sanders, YWCA Greater Cleveland VP of Programs and Operations, is one of those alums. She made that shift several years ago, when she wanted to gain the confidence she needed to address over 500 women at the annual YWCA Circle of Women breakfast. Already skilled and passionate about her work with the YWCA NIA—Nurturing Independence and Aspirations—Program, the size of the crowd and her desire to champion this very worthy program challenged her to find a different approach.

Encouraged by CEO Margaret Mitchell, who had worked with me earlier that year to expand her own speaking skill for the annual YWCA Women of Achievement Luncheon’s audience of 1000, Teresa registered for PowerSpeak.

That’s where she found that she could translate her passion for her work into a powerful message as she discovered and focused on her innate strengths. She learned to use the power of silence to engage her audience—and she eliminated her anxiety about speaking to the largest audience she had ever addressed. On the morning of the breakfast she was onstage for less than nine minutes—and her powerful message helped to more than double the expected donations for the NIA Program.

Teresa’s legacy is the lasting impact she’s had on me. Since I heard her speak that morning, I’ve committed $50 of every registration to PowerSpeak to support NIA. If you want to engage your audiences the way Teresa does, register for PowerSpeak and support NIA, too, with the coupon code YWCANIA.

The next PowerSpeak class is on Wednesday, April 20 at the InterContinental Hotel. Your success is guaranteed—100% of the time.

In the meantime, why not give this month’s practice a try? You’ll find everything you need on Move Into Your Power—the website for our online course where a simple shift changes everything.