Want to Get to the Next Level?

Do you know how to get to the next level?  No, I am not talking about an online or video game.  I mean if you are striving to reach another level in your business or in life…. Can you guess what it is?

If you said “tell yourself the truth“, you are right!  The funny thing is, most people don’t take the first step.  Why?  Because it is hard.  But the truth is the only thing which will empower you to breakthrough to your highest potential.  Whether the truth is about a bad habit, or the truth about a relationship, or the truth about your circumstances, acknowledging it is freeing.

The next step after facing the truth takes Courage.

I want you to think about the last time you said the phrase

I hate to admit, but _________________________.

We have all said it at some point.  Perhaps you are okay in your career or business, but there is a nagging feeling it is time for a change.  Been there, done that!  Maybe a relationship looks great from the outside, but you know something isn’t quite right.  Or maybe someone has pointed out a problem with your child, and you are defensive because you did your best to teach them,  but if you’re honest, you’ve noticed the same problem.

The reality is this little a phrase allows you to notice the smallest grain of truth just might be surrounded by many positives. It is time to embrace the truth.  It is a chance to address what needs to be addressed.  It is the chance to be open enough to ask for help, find a creative solution, and let go of perfectionism in favor of true happiness.  Remember it is progress NOT perfection we are aiming for.

In order for us to move to the next level, we have to be willing to face the challenges before us instead of ignoring them.  We need to step out of our comfort zone so we can stretch and grow. In the process, we will develop courage and wisdom which will take you to a new a new level.

So what is the grain of truth holding you back in an area where you want to thrive and grow?

For me, it is the lack of confidence combined with the brain fog which keeps me from stepping out of my comfort zone.  For me, the sentence would be:

I hate to admit it, but I still play the comparison game.

UGH!  An ugly truth but I am so ready to take the step to change it.  So, how did you complete the sentence?  Once, you have stated the truth, have the courage to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What next step could you take to address this challenge?
  2. How can you be the bravest version of yourself today in your creative work and life?

For me, it is to stop doing what everyone else is doing and do what works for me.

Maybe for you, it’s showing up to your laptop, sitting down, doing work, and sticking with it even when it feels scary and tough.

Maybe for you, it’s saying no to distracting things which keep you from building the impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable life you’re yearning for.

Maybe for you, it’s finally getting started on a new project, podcast, book, or product but you’ve been too afraid to pursue.  For me it is putting myself out there with videos.

Maybe for you, it’s replying to an email, returning a phone call, or saying yes to a coffee date which may lead to an exciting new opportunity.

Maybe for you, it’s reaching out to a friend, coach, or mentor, asking them for help, giving yourself permission to not walk this journey alone anymore.

Fear!  It isn’t going to disappear overnight. Fear will always be part of the journey.  The challenge (one of the biggest for me) isn’t to become fearless.  The challenge is to live taking action towards our goals even when fear is along for the ride.  It is stomping on those inner gremlins letting them know who is boss.

I challenge you to join me, in asking yourself every morning how you can be the bravest version of yourself today?   And when the “day” seems to overwhelming and fear, and self-doubt, creep in ask yourself – how can you be the bravest version of yourself in this moment? What small courageous step can you take in the direction of the work and life you are longing for?

Share your “statement” with us.  I would love to celebrate and encourage you along the way!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Are You Paralyzed by Perfection?

How many of you are paralyzed by perfection?  The perfect weight?  The perfect size? The perfect business?  The perfect house?  Being the perfect mom?  I have been there and some days still am….

Here is a post I saw which made me realize on most days despite my best efforts, I am “stuck” worrying about perfection….

I would tell you I wasn’t staring at him, but I’d be lying. He immediately caught my attention as he wheeled himself down the aisle. Stopping beside me, he said, “Hello.” I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

He lifted himself up in his wheelchair. Unabashed, he balanced on his knees where his lower legs used to be. Unable to move, I watched him stretch, reaching for something on the store’s upper shelf.

What if he fell?

He wobbled as he grabbed his item, and then sat back down in his chair. Before I could offer to help, he’d completed his task. He nodded at me and continued his shopping.

I stood there immobilized by my thoughts. What empowered him to be so, whole?

His exterior shell broken, but inside—something beautifully different.

WOW!  This made me realize just how crippled I am on a daily basis.  I battle the inner gremlins of perfection which are often paired with the comparison game gremlins.  Yes, they love to tag team me until I am left battered and bruised.  On the outside, things look great because I have reached some milestones in my life….

  • Almost 26 years clean from my drug addiction
  • Lost 120 pounds
  • CEO of my own business which pays my bills
  • A loving husband and supportive family

Yes, I could go on but the gremlins are having a field day today.  What about you, could you list some major milestones in your life?  Do you focus on them or do you focus on your failed attempts at perfection?

Does your idea of perfection cripple you into believing everything you do has to be impeccable?  Does your worth ride on your success?  Think about the gentleman described above…. He elevated his viewpoint, lived outside the lines, and appeared content—all signs of living imperfectly.  Definitely not someone who is handicapped, right?

Here are three ways to become unparalyzed by perfection:

#1 Straighten Up

Believe it or not, standing up straight and changing our body alignment, can make a difference.  How often when we fail at perfectionism do we feel unworthy? As a result, we walk hunched over or eyes cast to the ground, not enjoying the world around us.

How long have you been bound by perfectionism? It’s time to straighten up!  It is time to  change your perspective.  For some, it may be with positive mantras which will change your mindset while for others it may be seek their Higher Power to bless and release those fears.

#2 Live Outside the Lines

Now, you are standing up straight, it is time to do step out of your comfort zone—live outside the lines. I know this one can be tough especially when those gremlins are in the midst of a battle.  It doesn’t have to be something HUGE, just something simple.  How about:

~Driving with the windows down and let your hair get incredibly messy.  Toss the hair tie which will keep your hair neat.

~Get a cake and take a spoonful right from the center. Go ahead, eat from the middle.

~Color outside the lines in a coloring book—make the tree trunk bright orange, the leaves purple, and paint the sky green instead of blue.

“You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make it…”      Albert Einstein 

Just do something to push yourself outside the lines of perfection which keep you restrained.

#3 Love your life

Make a choice to love your life.  Despite whatever challenges you may have, proclaim contentment.  Remember the man I shared the story about, despite being a differently-abled person, he oozed contentment, even though he had every right to feel otherwise. You could tell he made a choice to love his life.

Perfection doesn’t validate us, it makes us invalid.

Will you challenge yourself in a new way?  Will you claim to love your life so you are unconfined from the handicap of perfectionism?  Share your story with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Weight Loss Myths BUSTED!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day after a week of cruising and enjoying.  Did I walk a lot?  YES!  Did I eat way more than normal? YES!  But it is all okay. Life happens.  I have been back on track since I got home and hopefully this won’t be me….

I have been reviewing some of my past Weight Watcher weeklies to help me get back on track.  Somehow I seemed to have missed the one on “myths”.  I was amazed at how many of these myths are still floating around the internet (Facebook, specifically).

#1 MYTH: Some foods can boost your metabolism.

The truth is there is no evidence any food or drink can do this in the long run.  I have heard all about the benefits of green tea and even hot peppers BUT you would have to eat oodles to get a tiny spark.  I was happy to hear eating breakfast doesn’t boost it either.  I am not a big breakfast person, more like brunch… what food have you heard would boost your metabolism?

#2 MYTH: You shouldn’t eat after 8PM.

Your body is a 24/7 machine.  It doesn’t “close” after 8PM and it is working even while you are sleeping.  As long as you are eating within your SmartPoints (a WW thing) and getting in your FitPoints – you will have weight loss.  It doesn’t mean eat all of the leftover points at 10PM and then go to bed because if you do this too often, it could limit your loss.  Also, don’t go too long without eating because it will lead to overeating when you finally do sit down to eat.

#3 MYTH: Eat certain foods to flatten your belly.

WRONG!  There is no scientific evidence any food can do this.

#4 MYTH: You should cut out carbs.

Okay, I will admit I struggle with this one.  I have heard doctor’s talk about “limiting carbs” but not totally cutting them out.  Specifically carbs in processed foods so is it really the carbs or the processed foods we are eliminating.  Okay, back to the myth….When we avoid any one food category for a long period of time, chances are you will overdo it when you do “allow” yourself to have them.  Eat a balanced meal and allow yourself some of your favorites (in moderation) while you are losing weight.  Are you on a diet or are you changing your lifestyle to a more healthy one?

#5 MYTH: Losing weigh will wreck my metabolism.

WHAT????? I know this is crazy, right?  Now it is possible if you starve yourself and lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time because when you do this, the body goes into starvation mode.  When you have a safe rate of weight loss, your body can adjust to the reduced amount of food and increased activity.

#6 MYTH:  Muscle weighs more than fat.

I have heard this a million times so I know you have too.  The truth is, muscle doesn’t weigh more.  How can 5 pounds of muscle weigh more than 5 pounds of fat?  5 pounds is 5 pounds right?  The truth is muscle is more dense than fat so it seems to weigh more.  I know it is hard to wrap our heads around – I still struggle after all of these years (and 120 pounds lost).

What myth have you heard as you travel your weightless journey?  Is there something you have always heard but aren’t sure it is a myth – ask!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Conquering Your Challenges

Happy HUMP DAY!  It is a challenge in itself when it comes to getting through the work/school week, right?  Every day we have challenges – large or small – and all day long we ask ourself questions to determine what action we will take to overcome the challenge.

We all want to overcome our challenges.  For some it may be business related for others it may be in their personal life.  There are many with health challenges including loosing weight.  Challenges look different to everyone.

When we are faced with a challenge, the most important thing we can do is to open our mind to wisdom, strength and our powerful mind.  The first step is to be positive, not letting the ANTs creep in.  I don’t mean the little annoying bugs which raid our picnics, I mean “automatic negative thoughts”.  Many times when we are faced with disappointment or frustration, whether we mean to or not, the questions we ask ourselves will lead up down the black hole of negativity.

Think about the last challenge you were faced with or maybe you are facing right now. Did one of these questions enter your mind (or worse yet, come out of your mouth)?

  • Why does this kind of stuff always happen to me?
  • Why can’t I get a break?
  • What the heck is wrong with me?

What if you were to change those “negative questions” to something more productive? I know it isn’t easy, I have been there (more times than I want to count). For some, we have said those negative questions for so long, we can’t imagine any others.

What if you considered asking these productive questions:

  • What opportunity does this challenge give me to grow?
  • Looking back, what can I do differently the next time to prevent this outcome?
  • What part of this is beyond my control so I need to let go of trying to change/fix it?
  • How do I want to show up in this situation?

The difference in the questions you ask yourself, will produce different thoughts which will produce different reactions to the challenge.  Your thoughts produce your reactions (how you feel, what you say, and what you do). Remember “The Secret“.. we want to bring more positive into our lives instead of bringing in the negative.

When you approach a challenge with these questions, you are able to build an action plan to move forward.  You drawing in the positive energy of the universe in an effort to move forward.  Believe me, I know how easy it is to let the ANTs creep in.  I know how easy it is to be blinded by the negative unable to see the opportunity.  It takes practice.  It takes time.  Each time you catch yourself with a negative thought, STOP!  Change the mindset and get ready to move forward with “good” thoughts.

When faced with an adversity I challenge you to ask productive (action producing) questions.  What challenge have you faced and learned from?  What challenge are you currently facing and now see a way to change the outcome?

Share your struggles with us.  You are not alone – we have either been through or are currently going through it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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!