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!


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!


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!


Drawing Lines in the Sand

Every once in awhile I get stuck, okay maybe more often then I care to admit.  Stuck on what to write about, stuck in my weightless journey, stuck in the comparison game – you get the picture, right?  What about you, are you stuck?

I was on a roll, the scale was steadily going down then something happened it STOPPED. When it stops (or creeps up), I get obsessed with getting on the scale every morning.  When the scale doesn’t move at home, the inner gremlins have a field day.

My business was on a roll (still is just not as crazy busy) and the inner gremlins started to creep in then the comparison game started.

So, for all of you who are with me, today is the day we draw a line in the sand… This is the day we SERIOUSLY hit the reset button and move forward.  

I often talk about setting the RESET button but truth be told, it tends to be just words. Am I committing to it or am I just going through the motions?  OUCH!  I have been going to weekly Weight Watcher meetings (I love my Thursday morning family) because it has been a BIG part of my weight loss journey and hitting goal.  Lately, I have been there in body but not in mind.  Focused on the number on the scale and missing the message.  Letting the inner gremlins talk about “wasting the money” since I am not at goal (just 8 pounds to go). You know what I mean, right?  You are there, half listening but the message doesn’t really sink in.  Or, you are listening and at the same time checking emails or scrolling through Facebook?  I have been a meeting person in some form since NA and found  it has always been my mental health therapy for the week when I am present!

So, let’s turn this around – whether you are stuck in your business, in your weightless journey, your job or_______________(you fill in the blank).  Join me in drawing a line in the sand and moving forward.  Step over the line and out of your comfort zone

Here are some inspirational thoughts which might help you:

  • “I’m not perfect, I am HUMAN”.  A cliche saying for some but it is a reminder I need – a dim light bulb moment.  It may not rock your world but it may remind you how often you compare yourself to others.  Time to get rid of the ANTs!  No, I don’t mean the little annoying critters, I mean the “automatic negative thinking”.  Did your light bulb go from DIM to BRIGHT.  I have ANTS!  I am not perfect but no one is.
  • This is a journey without a finish line!  Thank you Lynn for reminding me of this fact every week.  I am always looking for the finish line and it keeps moving.  My weight loss has been a LONG journey.  Losing 120 pounds took an eternity but it is okay because I did it.  The journey will continue even after I reach my goal weight.  A light at the end of the tunnel – NO!  It will just mean no more monthly payments to Weight Watchers but this time, I will not stop going to meetings.  Once I reach my goal weight, my goal will change to MAINTAINing it.
  • OWN your journey!  This means squashing all of those inner gremlins who like to play games.  This is your journey, not anyone else’s.  You need to focus on what matter’s most to you.  When we play the comparison game, we lose perspective on what is important to us and try to live in someone else’s shoes.  The woulda, shoulda, and coulda becomes a way of life instead of being present in YOUR moment.  Be present in your journey.
  • Lastly, Enjoy the journey – thank you AnneMarie.   You always inspire me.  Your positive attitude helps me to put things in perspective.  I need to slow down and enjoy this journey.   It is a roller coaster ride and I am NOT a fan of roller coasters but I need to enjoy it.  We are always rushing to something or somewhere when we need to “stop and smell the roses”.

I am again drawing a line in the sand.  I have again found the strength I sometimes think is not there.  Thank you to my Weight Watcher family for these weekly reminders and lessons.  I have been applying them to my business as well as working my weightless journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Confidence is Within Your Reach

Confident by definition is “feeling or showing self-assured; and feeling or showing certainty about something.”  Have you ever felt your confidence slipping?  Fear and doubt creeps in?  Those nasty inner gremlins play with your emotions?

I have a choice – it is time to make a decision and take action.  Time to stop wallowing in self-pity.  Time to find the independent confident woman I was.  Time to STOMP on those inner gremlins.  Yes, there may be tears.  Yes, there may be angry moments.  But in the end, all will be well.  God has a plan for me and I need to have faith.

I looked back at an article I read on the Direct Sales Education Foundation‘s website about “Finding Confidence“.  Yes, I need to hit “RESET” periodically because those nasty gremlins find their way past the closed (or what I thought was sealed) doors.

Has “self confidence” been a struggle for you?  I know I am always talking about it but I but I am often surprised by the people who share they lack confidence.  On the outside they appear strong, capable of overcoming anything while on the inside they are fighting the same inner gremlins many of us do.   Here are some of the tips which might help:

  • Practice makes perfect.   We have all heard this a million times growing up – from sports to school to musical instruments.  As I got older, practicing seemed silly.  I was a fan of winging it but have found when I do, my confidence is sometimes shaken.  “My mission is to bring a smiles and paychecks to those who are struggling and love #ThirtyOneGifts as much as I do!” Something simple but definitely worth practicing.  My party scripts are becoming a little bit more natural too since I have been practicing.  Practice may not make me perfect but it will help to build confidence.
  • Find a mentor.  I have an amazing upline, Hope Shortt has been supportive and knows just when to challenge me.  Find someone who you want to be like, ask them if you can shadow them.  Find someone who you can trust and respect and build a relationship.  I also am blessed to have Desiree Wolfe in my corner.  Her kick in the butt is what I need sometimes.
  • Find a partner.  Find a close friend, family member or even your spouse who can share in your accomplishments and help to bolster your confidence.
  • Dress for success.  This is something else I have heard since my college days.  Wear something which makes you feel good when you go to a presentation or a meeting.  It should fit well and be put together with accessories and hair style.  Someone asked me the other day if I had a makeover.  I was THRILLED.  No, not a formal one but I did in my head.  How?  Hair style instead of just hair hanging straight.  Out of my jeans for meetings and into a pair of khakis (capris right now) with a nice shirt and jewelry.  Makeup.  I never leave the house without some.  You never know who you will run into on the trip to the grocery store to grab a gallon of milk.
Simple tips but for those of us who have a small comfort zone, this is a BIG deal.  Things I have heard for years but thought I was “too old”.  You can teach an old dog new tricks – really!  Are you ready to challenge yourself?  Try one of these tips, if not all of them.  DREAM BIG!  The sky is the limit.
Time to accept your strengths and weaknesses. Challenges will come but it is how we deal with them which makes the difference in the end.  Time to be confident in myself and how I want my life to be.
How do you find your confidence?  Please share, I would love to hear and at the same time, you may help someone else.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!