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?

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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.

Change Brings All Of Us To A Crossroads

Foggy-Fall-RoadHave you ever found yourself enjoying “where you are” so much that you ignore a big change that’s coming up in your life—even if it’s a change you welcome? Change brings all of us to a crossroads. Sometimes we’re ready for it and embrace it—and sometimes it’s upon us before we realize what’s happening. To make it even more mystifying, we may discover that we’re not quite ready to give up what we’ve grown accustomed to, even when we’re excited about what the future holds.

When you remember the big events in your life—like graduations, new jobs, moves, marriages, or children—did you experience a variety of feelings that were some combination of melancholy, reflection and excitement? That’s the paradox of recognizing that you’re losing something in order to gain something more.

Those transitions that can be the toughest to navigate occur when we become so wrapped up in “the way things are now” that we refuse to see—or prepare for—the inevitable change that’s coming. For example, the depth of the emotion we feel when our children go off to college, or when our life partner retires, can catch us off guard. We can take our emotions to an even deeper level if we feel guilty about any negative feelings we experience. After all, our kids leaving home is what we’ve worked toward for their whole lives, isn’t it? If we follow that logic, then we shouldn’t feel unhappy, scared, left out, or resentful… should we?

The reason we do is because our emotions are telling us to pay attention—and that’s what makes them perfect for us in every moment. Our emotions signal the chance for us to take a breath, so we can take stock of how we feel and what it means for us. That simple shift can make all the difference.

Once we realize that we can’t regain the past and we can’t stop the future, we can decide to look at the bigger picture and what we want right now. The next time you get caught up in the emotion of a life-changing event, why not take a moment to breathe and think about what you want—without emotion.

Even if you don’t have a clear answer, taking the time to think about your situation objectively opens up possibilities you might never have considered before. When you choose it—being at a crossroads can be one the most exciting times of your life…

…where a simple shift changes everything.

Why not try making a simple shift for yourself? You’ll find everything you need to begin on our practice page on our online course website—Move Into Your Power.

The Simple Shift

Mortgage and credit concept.Isn’t it funny how different the world seems the moment the clock marks the end of December 31st? Such a simple shift, really, from one minute to the next, as our previous year ends at 11:59 and the new one emerges at the stroke of midnight.

That simple shift from one minute to the next opens up all the opportunities of the coming year—where everything feels new and our resolutions signal our desire to create something different from here on out.

What if this year you could make a simple shift that would open up your year for you?

THE SIMPLE SHIFT

Lots of us find the physical shift from one year to the next so promising that we reach to create something amazing in the new year. Yet, when we make our resolutions it’s challenging to keep them for longer than a few weeks (at best!). Why is that? It’s not because our hearts aren’t in it.

It’s because most of us don’t have the tools and strategies we need to accomplish the big things we promise ourselves as the New Year dawns at midnight. Now add the possibility of feelings of fear and self-doubt that may surface and even the most stout-hearted of us eventually gives up. And, we’re lucky if we make it to February before that happens.

So what if we could accomplish everything we wanted—no matter how immense or how big of a stretch for us—by starting with one simple shift and then building on it?

Think about the simple shifts you’ve made at other times in your life that really made a difference for you. Odds are high that you made a decision in a crucial moment to do something different. Maybe you started to argue with someone you care about, and then chose instead to simply listen to him or her. That simple shift on your part opened up the conversation and in some circumstances, it might have completely changed your relationship.

This year, instead of holding yourself to whatever big resolution you may have made on New Year’s Eve, why not choose to make a simple shift that will change everything?

Check out this month’s practice on moveintoyourpower.com to try it out. And if you like what you see there, click here to see how you can accomplish anything you want this year by making a series of simple shifts, with Move Into Your Power.

Ice covered evergreen branch

The Best Gift Ever

Ice covered evergreen branchWhy not take a moment sometime in the next 24 hours to make yourself a cup of your favorite hot winter beverage, curl up in a cozy spot with a pen and pad, consider the qualities of your favorite gift and make some notes.

•  What feelings did it evoke?

•  Did it make you smile?
•  Did it surprise you?
•  Had you wanted it for a long time?
•  Did it make you feel understood and/or cherished by the giver?
•  Is it precious to you because of your relationship with the giver?

Once you’ve listed everything that made your favorite gift–well, your favorite–what did you discover? You may be surprised to learn that what most of us treasure holds a meaning for us that far exceeds the gift itself.

Making this holiday season special for those on your gift-giving list becomes so much easier when you stop to consider what they will treasure most.

Jumpstart Your 2016

Blue-Hen-FallsWhy wait until January to dive into 2016

Now you might be thinking, “Why would I want to think about next year already? I’ve got too much to do this year before I can even begin to make plans for the new year.”

As true as that feels right now, I invite you to consider several reasons why now is the perfect time to Jumpstart Your 2016:

1. The busyness of the holidays is still a few weeks away, which means you have some time and space to think and plan. Did you know that time and space allows your brain to work better?

2. Now that projects are winding down and budgets are being assessed, you have the chance to see the opportunities that the successes (and failures) of 2015 have opened for you.

3. Future success takes planning. You have to give yourself time–without pressure–to visualize what you want for your personal and professional life. Amazing opportunities will remain invisible to you until you choose to look for them.

With your goals for 2016 set, you get the added bonus of being able to relax and enjoy the holidays. The great thing about that is your Reticular Activating System (RAS) will start working immediately to achieve what you want. Here’s even better news: as the first work-week of January dawns, you will have jumpstarted your success!

2016 can be full of possibilities for you! I hope you will join me in taking the time to enjoy the experience of discovering them amidst all the beauty and peace that Autumn offers you.

Get started now using this simple practice.

Consider A New Way Of Seeing

Crying Asian baby on white background

Have you ever been driving somewhere–on a road that you’ve driven many times–and noticed a building that you’ve never seen before? The building isn’t new–it’s been there all along–but today you saw it for the first time.

How can that happen? Is it possible that you’re seeing your surroundings in a different way? Do you think it’s likely that you will ever not see that building again?

What if you could find a way to see the more important and personal things that have been invisible to you until now? For example, would it be useful to see why you react to certain stressful situations the way you do? Imagine how that knowledge could help you change the outcome. What remarkable results might you achieve?

Looking Beyond the Obvious

Take a look at the photos below. Can you determine what their subjects have in common? At first they don’t seem to have anything in common. Now ask yourself, “What if they did and it’s simply invisible to me right now?”

Give yourself a few moments and try looking beyond the obvious. What would happen if you entertained the possibility that something you want or need is right in front of you?

patterns small

That’s how you open the door to creating remarkable results that have never been possible for you before.

These three photos really do have something in common. Now that you’ve taken the time to consider what it could be, go to the free trial of Move Into Your Power to learn the answer.

It will change the way you experience your world.