Let It Go!

This post is NOT all about the movie “Frozen“.  Although, I did see the movie and loved it.  This phrase has been coming up a lot lately for me.  It was the topic at a recent Weight Watcher meeting which of course sent me into emotional tailspin.  WHY? Because “letting go” is not something I do easily.  Then it came up in conversations with friends about business and personal lives.  Do you think God is trying to send me a message?

Do your emotions lead to food?  Whether we are happy, sad, stressed or angry – food seems to be solace for many of us.  We probably aren’t physically hungry but we find ourselves eating mindlessly and then wondering why the scale is not moving.  GUILTY!

Did you know between 35-60 percent of people who struggle with their weight claim to be emotional eaters.  It becomes a habit.  The two become so closely linked, we have a hard time separating them.  Yes, eating can provide temporary relief but then we never learn how to handle the emotion without eating.  Lately, it has become just the opposite for me – I don’t eat at all when I am upset.  Not good either since my body then goes into starvation mode and the end result is the scale doesn’t move.  Learning how to “let it go” is key to having balance in life (or at least in mine).  

Here are some steps to use when emotions trigger an urge to eat or when you need to let go of things in your life:

  1. Sit comfortably with feet on the floor and back straight but not rigid.  Let your gaze fall onto a spot which won’t distract you or gently close your eyes
  2. Settle yourself and focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.
  3. Imagine a blue sky with fluffy clouds lightly drifting across it (or actually watch them enjoying God’s beauty). Imagine each cloud passing by is a thought, image or feeling.
  4. Mentally step back to observe and label each cloud.  Maybe it’s a thought about work, a feeling of frustration, an urge to eat, or feeling alone.  You are not trying to change or stop the clouds, just watching, describing and letting feelings and thoughts pass by.
  5. Continue for two minutes.  Gently bring your attention back to your breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling three times and back to the present.

You can apply this same technique to other parts of your life as well.  Anger at a friend or family member.  Frustration with your business.  Feeling alone.  Hurt by someone’s unkind words.  Letting go of emotions is not easy but when we hold on to them, we feed those nasty inner gremlins.  As a result, the negative feelings build up and the inner gremlins grow causing a downward spiral which effects all aspects of your life, including the scale.

What unhelpful (or negative) thought have you had when emotions trigger the urge to eat?  Do a reality check?  You do not have to own those feelings, you can let them go and STOMP out those inner gremlins.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Be the Change

Every where you turn, people are looking to make a difference.  Some are doing it on a worldwide scale while others are reaching out on a smaller level, in their own neighborhoods or amongst their friends and family.  In this crazy busy life we lead, it is  important to reflect and access what we add to our world, in our day-to-day lives, with our loved ones, with our work associates, with our neighbors, and with those who we meet along the way.

Every moment of every day, we have the ability to make the world a better place through the choices we choose to make.

No matter what you do, you are aware of the importance of first impressions but particularly in direct sales.  The people you meet are trying to decide if you’re trying to get something from them, or if you truly want to share your heart.  What kind of impression do you give?

When you reach out to a stranger, what is your purpose?  If it all about you, you are missing out on the connection you could have with them. If you are joy-filled, they will see your heart and know your purpose is to “be the change.” in their lives.  By sharing a smile, a heartfelt compliment, or a sincere comment, you can make their day; more importantly, you can change their day.

If you are in direct sales and have a team, think about the people on your team – the ones who have chosen to connect with you. They believed (and hopefully still do) in you, and for whatever reason, decided to follow you.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you continue to share your heart with them – the good, the bad and the ugly?
  • Are they still engaged, or do you see them disengaging?
  • Do they participate by attending meetings, getting on calls, and attending events?
  • Are you connecting with them ONLY to talk about numbers and what you need?
  • Have they pulled back because they don’t feel connected anymore?
  • Are they confused, unsure, or just don’t believe their dreams can be achieved?

Reconnecting takes some work on your part.  On a recent coaching call, someone pointed out they saw a difference in the way I was connecting with my team and the impact it was having.  What was the difference?  I have been gut honest – the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  I have been sharing my struggles as well as the highlights with them.  I have done Facebook LIVE and shared my tears and struggles.  I have encouraged them and cried with them.

Are you looking to reconnect with your team (or maybe even a friend), here are some tips:

  • Send a heartfelt handwritten postcard, letting them know why they are special.
  • Invite them to a fun event. Something they would enjoy doing, if you aren’t sure – ASK!
  • Take them out for coffee, a snack or a meal. Take time to reconnect.
  • Listen to find out where they are in their life and find out if anything has changed.
  • Send a thank–you note to them. Let them know you appreciate the time they took to reconnect with you.

These kinds of connections in direct sales are being called “pulse checks”.  Checking the pulse of your team (or friends) to see how their life is going.  I am always surprised when I ask my team “how are things going”, they immediately respond with things related to their business.  When they do, it makes me sad to think they believe I am only interested in their business and not in sincerely wanting to connect with them

Re-framing their perception can be tough.  It takes action on our part, follow-through and sincerely wanting to be the change.

Like in life, there’s one thing every direct seller can count on, and it’s change. We are in the midst of those dreaded “J” months.  Maybe you had a couple of really great months, then it feels like the bottom falls out. We have all been there.  It is the ebb and flow of the business we are in – or any business really.  The excitement and early success of a new business can often be met by the reality and emotional roller coaster which frustrates so many.

Will you make a difference in the life of others?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Judgment Becomes Curiosity

Judgement is defined as the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, from circumstances presented to the mind”.  How many times have you judged or been judged by someone – no matter what the reason?  I know we try our best NOT to judge but isn’t it human nature to judge others.  

Think about it, isn’t it natural to form an opinion about information we receive.  The problem arises when we proclaim our opinion as the truth, even when we don’t have enough information to come to a definite conclusion.

We judge people for the way they look.  We judge people for the way they dress, where they live, what we “think” their life is like, what they eat, how they act……….you get the picture, right?  In direct sales, we judge those who may be potential customers and/or recruits.  We have already decided they may or may not buy or join based on what we think or what we perceive.  BUT have we talked to them?  Have we asked them any questions?

The first step in changing this habit is to be aware of your tendency to do it AND admitting it.  When you stop judging others, you will notice yourself connecting with people more authentically and learning valuable information about them. When others feel like they are being heard, they are more open to hearing you.

I challenge you to try this: The next time you are tempted to be judgmental, instead, be curious. Instead of deciding you know their motives, intentions or backstory, withhold those judgments and listen. The only way to build bridges is to refuse to jump to conclusions, and instead be curious.

1. Be curious by asking questions of yourself.

  • Why do you suppose they did/said/feel that?
  • How does it affect me, if at all?
  • Why does it bother me?
  • What could I learn from this person or situation?

2. Be curious by asking questions of others.

What if we asked them to tell us more about (fill in the blank)?  Or maybe you have been in their shoes, so you can share with them, or ask how they are feeling.  Better yet, say nothing at all. Let them talk and just listen.

We can learn so much about people by turning away from judgment and towards curiosity. When you ask those two questions – of yourself and others – you will gain a new unexpected perspective or a new piece of information providing insight you might not have had before.  It will help you build trust which will  open the door to greater connection.

Who have you been (tempted to be) judgmental towards recently? At work? On social media? With a friend or family member?

Think about your business…. have you heard those cues about needing more time, or money?  Have you hesitated because you had already decided they wouldn’t be interested or couldn’t afford the enrollment kit?  Have you missed an opportunity to connect with someone new?  Maybe you have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because you pre-judged them and their situation.

I recently heard another leader with Thirty One talk about how she offers the opportunity to everyone.  Not who she thinks would be interested but everyone.  What is the worse thing that could happen?  They say NO!  Imagine if they said yes!  She believes EVERYONE will be on her team at some point in time, it is all a matter of time.  Do you know what has happened to her business?  It has grown by leaps and bounds.  She has gone from judgemental to curious.

What would happen if you were curious instead of judgement? Share your AHA moment with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Gaining Confidence Is An Ongoing Process

I have been having one of those weeks…. yup, fear and doubt has crept in.  My confidence has been shaken and I am wondering what my purpose is in life.  What happened?  I’m not sure except I have had some weird health days.  Days of feeling unsure.  Most days I can shake it then there are some when I need a confidence booster.  Surrounding myself with supportive  friends and family is part of it BUT sometimes I need to work on me.

Here are some things I do to help shake those nasty inner gremlins:

1.  Share Your Gifts & Passion with Others

Everyone has gifts and talents even when our confidence is lacking.  When I have days like this, I start writing.  Because I know sharing my struggles with others is one of my gifts.  You have accomplished great things – don’t downplay what you have achieved.  I know I am guilty of this all of the time.  The truth is, we are all good at something and there is always someone who wants to learn.

2. Forgive Yourself for Your Mistakes

When I have days like this, I tend to focus on all of the mistakes I made in life. Remember negative thoughts brings more negative thoughts.  When we hold ourselves or others to high standards expecting perfection, we are usually left feeling less than, a failure, and unworthy. Give yourself a break!  Self-forgiveness is an important step towards building your self esteem and confidence.  Everyone make mistakes, you are no exception and you deserve to be forgiven.

3. Pay it Forward or Pay Yourself

Are you looking to right your wrongs or make a change due to mistakes from your past which may be holding you back?  We can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away BUT we can change the outcome.  Didn’t make school a priority in your life?  Go back and take some classes.  Maybe you weren’t there for friends and family – make amends.  As a recovering addict, my mission is to help those who are struggling because others helped m.  What mistake can you forgive yourself for so you can move on?

4. Be Solution Focused

I always say negative thoughts brings more negative – positive brings more positive, it is the way of the Universe.  So, when you are always complaining about not having enough (of anything), nothing gets accomplished. Look for solutions when things aren’t going as planned. This will take some practice before it becomes natural.  In the end, you will be able to approach a problem from a mindset of how to solve it instead of WHY ME victim mindset.

5. Smile

I know it is hard to smile when you are feeling less than BUT a little smile goes a long way. You would be surprised how it can actually change your mindset. It makes me feel good to smile, and it can also brighten someone else’s day.  In some cases this is where I advocate, fake it till you make it.   I don’t mean being fake to others, it is about learning to pick your head up and feel good along the way. The more you do it, before long, you will forget you were “faking it” and actually feed better, maybe even GOOD or GREAT!

6. Fear is Your Friend

FEAR is huge when we are not feeling confident (at least for me).  I am trying hard to use fear to my advantage! Think about it – fear shows up when you are about to step out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself and build your confidence. This is your secret weapon to growing.  When you recognize it is about to get scary, you are about to expand yourself which is HUGE confidence builder.

Despite popular belief (and my constant writing about it) I do struggle with confidence.  I am always amazed how I am more confident around people I don’t know then I am around friends or business colleagues.  Those nasty inner gremlins love to play the comparison game.

Share your struggles and your successes with us.  Let’s BUILD each other up so we are all successful in our business (and our lives).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Your Life Purpose

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  Could be in this house? Or this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  We have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Some have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last week or so since my birthday.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  What about you?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  If not, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is to “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special and worthy”.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life.  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

I think about my success as a Social Work…. it was the answer to the question, how is this person’s life better because I met them?  In my family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m here?  Some may think this means I am self-absorbed or conceited.  I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question. Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!