Difficult or Burdensome?

Letting Go…. not something most of us do easily.  This time of year is filled with so many things – work, holiday shopping, visiting family/ friends, cooking, baking, wrapping presents, decorating, cleaning… What if you could LET GO of just one or two of those things?

I start MS injections tomorrow (at least give them a try), I am finding there are things I need to let go of.  Some things may fe letting go for a season, while others are for good.  I have to embrace my journey and NOT get wrapped up in the picture of the “perfect XXX” (fill in the blank).

I was struggling this morning trying to decide about an upcoming leadership training – should/could I travel, what would people think if I don’t go or does it mean I don’t care about my business if I don’t go – the comparison game inner gremlins were hard at work – actually working overtime.  This scripture popped up.  I’ve seen it many times but for some reason, today the words took on new meaning:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Maybe you are working on a project (business, job, etc), and to be blunt, you dread it.  It isn’t hard and someone else might love it BUT you don’t.  Maybe it isn’t purposeful.  Maybe is won’t lead to a better opportunity.  Maybe it is sucking up a lot of time you could better spend elsewhere.  The worst is, it  doesn’t use your strengths well. Bottom line – it has become a burden.  I have heard this lately from consultants in direct sales.  Their passion has turned to only an occasional spark and it has become more work than anything else. They are sticking with the business because of fear, need for an income, a big following… the list goes on AND none of the reasons include a passion for the work they are doing.

I know direct sales (or any job) can be “difficult”.  There are peaks and valleys in everything but when something becomes “burdensome” it may be time to let it go.  Here are the key distinctions between activities which are difficult versus ones which are burdensome:

1. You’re working hard and you’re tired, but deep down, you’re energized by the work.

When something is difficult, but you are energized by it, it can be a sign you are right in the midst of your sweet spot. There is a certain gratification which comes with your purpose. You can give everything you have and yet still have the energy to keep going.

2. You feel stretched, but not broken.

Difficult tasks and situations stretch you. They empower you to learn and grow and become more of the person you are meant to be. Growth, by its very definition, expands you into a bigger version of yourself.

3. You are at peace even in the midst of the chaos.

There are seasons of life which are very difficult and even chaotic. You look forward to getting through them, even when you feel uniquely equipped to handle them. Chaos can swirl around you and yet you are calm. You are at peace.

4. There is purpose in the pain.

Difficult tasks and situations lead to purpose. Burdensome ones distract you from your purpose. Difficult, but purposeful situations can transform you, give clarity, strengthen relationships, and mature you so you are better prepared for the future. They lead you towards your purpose.

5. It is worth the effort.

Difficult tasks and situations are purposeful. Burdensome ones are not. If you can see by persevering, the reward will be worth it, stick with it. Difficulties are about making sacrifices for a greater purpose.

So, which situations in your life are burdensome and which ones are difficult?  Will you make a change, removing the burden or persevere through a difficult time?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Does Your Dream and Faith Go Together?

Many DREAM BIG!  For some it may be their own home, others it is retirement, maybe it is owning your own business or traveling the world. For some, they don’t know how to dream. I know it may sound crazy but I was one of those people (and some days still am).  The struggles of life get in the way and you begin to limit your dreams.  Or, maybe you don’t dream at all because you can’t see the forest for all of the trees.A DREAM is defined as “contemplating the possibility of doing something”.  Being able to envision it is the first step.  I DREAM BIG (most days) in my business and my personal life but I have to admit it is with hesitation.  No hate mail, please.  I second guess things all the time which leads me to FAITH.  FAITH is believing in things you can not see.  I know I have talked about this before but I think this is a new take on an old theme.

Some days, do you feel like you are a hamster on a wheel?  Running and running, doing the same thing day after day, the same way – expecting different results.  We dream of how we would like things to be but we continue to do things the same way – getting the same results and only occasionally reaching our DREAMS!  God (or your Higher Power) has dreams for us – he has a plan and despite our best efforts to do things our way, he will prevail.  Honestly, I am not sure what direction this blog is taking but I am hoping it touches someone’s heart.

For years, my professional (business) DREAM has been to mentor women connecting them with the resources necessary to help them reach their personal, professional and financial goals.  When I look back on my professional career, there are times I feel like I have reached my dream.  When I was at South Jersey AIDS Alliance, I worked with women helping them through the struggles of living life with their HIV status while raising their kids.  When I was at Bethel, working with an underserved populations, it was a little tougher but we were able to help many women grow and prosper in the community.  When I started my Thirty One business, and my blog, I wondered if the dream had changed or was there just another path for it to take?

Health struggles created fear and doubt in me – more than the usual. I am blessed to be a part of leadership with Thirty One.  Another opportunity to work with women and DREAM BIG. My definition of mentoring has changed slightly.  It has become more about inspiring others to dream, helping to build their confidence, setting goals (large or small) and then reaching for them.

The truth is dreaming with a lack of Faith is not a good combination.  I dream but those inner gremlins like to test my faith.  Dreaming combined with Faith will allow you to reach those dreams.  I am not saying there won’t be struggles along the way but those struggles are blessings in disguise helping you to reach your dream.  I tell my team all of the time “I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself”.  Why is it so easy to believe and encourage others yet we find it so hard to do ourselves (or at least I do)?I am dreaming BIG but my Faith gets a little shaky.  I have heard if you CLAIM IT, it will be yours.  Do you struggle with this concept?  Do you feel like you “don’t deserve the dream”?  As I get ready for the next hurdle in my MS journey, I wonder where my dream will go.  

Do you have dreams?  Is your FAITH strong enough to help you reach those dreams?  TRUST and BELIEVE God’s plan will help you reach your DREAM as long as you have FAITH in what you can not see.

I hope this was blog strikes a nerve with someone and has helped you.  As for me, I am continuing to DREAM BIG, those Super Size DREAMS where my FAITH stands firm in God’s promise.

Any good words of wisdom on how to get off the hamster wheel and lean on FAITH to reach my DREAMS?

faith

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Today would have been my grandmother’s 104th (I think) birthday.  As I reflect on her life (what I can remember), I wonder what my legacy will be?  Have you ever thought about yours?

During a recent study at church, I was hoping to discover my spiritual gifts, personal style and God-given passion for serving.  I will admit, some of it was eye opening but it got me thinking about my past.  Now for those of you who follow my blog, you know memories are in short supply as a result of the MS lesions but I try to reflect often in the hopes, the gaps will one day be filled.

What will be your legacy?  

A legacy is “an amount of money or property left to someone in a will” but it is so much more.  I remember hearing once it is not the dates on a tombstone but the dash in between which people will remember.  On this Monday morning, I am wondering what my legacy will be and how it will be linked to my business.  

I want to make sure my business speaks to my passion.  Does yours?  I want to be sure “my dash” represents what matters most in my life, my passion.

When I am struggling in my business, reconnecting with my passion (or what I want my legacy to be) is a the easiest way to get back on track.

My degree is in Administration of Justice.  Yup, I bet you didn’t see that one coming, right? I wanted to be a lawyer, actually a public defender so I could help those who couldn’t afford an attorney.  I used it for a little bit when I worked for the Police Department and Security at the Claridge Casino many years ago.  During recovery from my drug addiction, I found a new way to use my degree – in Social Work.  It was the early days of HIV/AIDS so it was better known as “case management”.  It was there I found my passion.  My passion to make a difference in the lives of others.  Not sure what your passion is, here are some tips from a recent blog post I read:

  • Have kids? Ask them, “what does mommy/daddy do for work?” As you hear their answer, listen to your heart.  Do you beam with pride if they guess it right? Or do you feel pangs of disappointment when they guess things like “go shopping” when you really sit at a desk all day. For years, I’m not sure Belinda understood the work I did BUT she did get to know some aspects – Easter baskets for kids, special events, helping deliver gifts at Christmas & turkeys at Thanksgiving.
  • Once you have their answer, then ask what they think you should do for work. This could really be interesting.

Being in direct sales, I can pretty much guarantee when I am gone, my business will be gone.  No one to carry on the “purse gig”.  It wasn’t my intent to put a damper on your day!  I didn’t want to make you sad or think about things you had no desire in thinking about right now, but sometimes things come our way for a reason unknown to us.

Have you been thinking about changing jobs, starting a business or just feel there’s something bigger out there for you?  If so, know “life is short”.  You are not promised today or tomorrow, so why not live big? Why not put yourself out there and do exactly what you were meant to do?

Talk to your kids and see if they know what you should be doing!  I know it can be a little scary because you never know what they will come up.  Of course, it could depend on their age.  Put a plan in place to move towards your passion if you aren’t already living it.

When you sit back and look at your life, think about all of the lives you are touching.  I’m sure it is more lives than you know (or think)!

What will be your legacy?  Share it with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Progress Not Perfection?

Did you know….Perfectionism is mostly a women’s issue?  I can’t say I am surprised.  Think about it.  How often have you hesitated to move forward worried about everything being just right?

We want our ducks all lined up in a row…

Let’s be honest, they seldom line up in just the right way or the way we think they should be.  As a result we obsess over how we are doing at work, at home, in our relationships, with our weight, our hair, our kids. The end result is all of our JOY is gone.  There is no time to relax because we are busy putting those ducks in a row. Which means there’s always more work to do to make things just right.

Do you wear perfectionism like a badge of honor?  If you aren’t the one saying it, then I’m sure you know someone who has said it.  When you (or someone you know) want to embrace the “I’m a perfectionist.” badge, consider this:

Perfectionism is self-sabotage. It’s fear.

For many of us, perfectionism means we are motivated by hard-working, high quality and conscientiousness BUT the truth is our real motivator is FEAR!

Do you also consider yourself a procrastinator?  Do you claim to work better under pressure or you hesitate when trying to move forward? BINGO! Perfectionism is the reason why we procrastinate.  WHY?  We are trying to get all of those ducks in a row.  We keep moving forward fearing whatever we’ve done, will never be good enough.

So what is the worse thing that could happen?  Rejection. Disapproval. The disappointment of ‘failure.’  None of us like the thought of those words right?

What if you were to change the word “perfection” to “excellence”?  There is really a HUGE difference between the two words.  Excellence sets a high standard, but not so high it keeps you from moving forward. Perfectionism sets an improbable and often unobtainable standard which usually slows progress or brings it to a stop.  Excellence is a value, a way of life. Perfectionism is a judgement from a critical spirit which rarely, if ever, is satisfied.

How do you know whether you are in a  perfectionism or excellence mode?  It is an energy which you feel.  The energy of perfectionism is criticism, doubt, and discontentment. The energy of excellence is hope, possibility and growth. Excellence is about the journey to your destination – what you discover, how you grow, and who takes the journey with you.

Have you played the comparison game?  I have been there, done it and gotten (multiple) t-shirts.  So, if you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re operating in perfectionism. If you’re focused on being the best version of YOU, you’re operating in excellence.

You need to flip the switch when you feel the anxiety of perfectionism creeping in.  Flip from perfectionism to excellence with these questions:

  • What have I done well I can acknowledge and celebrate even if I feel like I’m “not ready yet” or “not done yet”?
  • What good thing could happen if I decided what I’ve done already is enough and move on to the next step?
  • What is my definition of “good enough”?
  • What would happen if instead of fearing my efforts are not good enough, I had the courage to believe I am good enough right now, today?
  • How could I have more fun while doing this?
  • How do I want to grow as a result of this task?

I challenge you this weekend to pick excellence over perfection so you can make progress.

I have found the weekends are tougher for me then during the week to flip the switch.  Crazy, right?  During the week, we have a routine (work, kids, etc) but on the weekend there is less structure.  Less structure usually means I am playing the woulda, shoulda, coulda game.  What about you?

Take a few minutes today so you can identify at least one way perfectionism has you stuck.  Flip the switch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Are You Feeling Lost or Overwhelmed?

We have all been there at some point in our lives.  The moment when you feel lost, overwhelmed, or totally out of sync in your work/business and in your life. The moment when you feel uninspired, burned out, and unsure of what to do next.  What is a girl to do?  Ask yourself these questions and answer them HONESTLY so you can get back on track.

1. What’s feeling good?

When we feel out of sorts, this can be a tough question.  I mean, how do you really know what feels good when you are feeling lost?  Take a few minutes and think about: What you really enjoy in your business? What things are you loving in your life? What do you want even more of moving forward?

These questions will help you to see what is going right for you and as a result, help you reconnect to what lights you up.  Do you know the things which light you up?  Once you get super specific about what feels good, then you MUST ask yourself – how can I get more of these things?

2. What isn’t feeling good?

Now, the positive energy is flowing.  It is time to look at what is not working.  We look at the positive first so the negative doesn’t open the door for the inner gremlins to beat us up even more.  So, what is leaving you feeling drained, unhappy, and frustrated in your business and your life? What do you want way less of moving forward?  What sucks your energy?

Once you get a handle on where those energy leaks are in your life and business, you will be able to get super clear on how you can minimize the not-so-feel good areas in your business and your life.  There are going to be some unenjoyable things in our business and life – I mean does anyone really enjoy doing laundry or cleaning the house – but they have to be done.  The key is to see how we can change things up so we can find a balance between the enjoy and the don’t enjoy.  While at the same time, start eliminating some of the things which are totally sucking the energy out of us.

3. What are my core desires in my business and my life?

This is a great time to dream a little.  Think about what you want in your business and in your life? Do you want to grow your business?  Do you want to work less?  Do you want to connect more in your relationships? Do you want more self development? Do you want more clarity and momentum?

Get super specific about your core desires. Allow yourself to want what you truly want.  Listen to what you really want. Don’t just follow the crowd or let the expectations of others drown out your core desires.  These core desires will be your anchor as you move forward.  With every step you take in your business and your life, you will ask yourself, “does this align with my core desires?”.  If the answer is NO – don’t do it.  If the answer is YES – you will move forward.

4. What are my core priorities in my business and in my life?

Fulfilling our desire is wonderful but the reality is we still have responsibilities we need to show up for thus holding ourselves accountable along the way.  Ask yourself – what are the core priorities in my business and in my life?  Are there deadlines I need to meet? Are there relationships you want to invest more time in?  Do you want to prioritize your health and wellbeing?  Do I need to improve my money management?

Whatever your priorities are, you need to get super specific about them. Your core priorities just like your core desires, will become your anchor when you start to drift.

5. What distractions do I need to let go of?

When we are feeling lost, or overwhelmed, it usually means our focus and our actions are out of alignment with our core priorities, and desires.  Since you are super specific on what your core priorities and desires are, now we can review your current routine, workload, and what the areas are you are focusing on.  Ask yourself – what do I need to let go of?  What is just a distraction and isn’t serving me in my business or in my life?  What do I need to give myself permission to say no to so I can make more space for the things which truly matter?

Have these questions help you to find some focus but more than anything, have you given yourself permission to move forward in a way which feels most true to you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!