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!

 

Bounce Back from Rejection

 Do you hate hearing the word NO?  I know I do whether it is in my business or in my personal life.  No matter what, I usually take it personally.  Crazy, right?  I mean when I ask someone to join my team or host a party and they say NO, does it really mean they don’t like me?  Probably not.  They just aren’t interested in the “offer”.

I love this analogy…. Do you think a waiter/waitress gets upset or takes it personal when they offer you desert and you say no?  Do you think they stop offering?  No, they just keep asking and eventually someone will say YES!

How often does the fear of hearing the word “no” stop you in your tracks?  As a result you keep your ideas to yourself.  Or maybe you hold back from asking for what you want (or need)? Or maybe you never step out of your comfort zone?  Whatever the fear keeps you from doing, it has definitely led you into living a life of regret.

Do you know someone who is resilient?  Do you know someone who no matter what keeps moving forward to reach their goal?  Do you long to be the person who doesn’t take NO personally?

Here are four ways to change the way you see the word “no” so you keep moving forward, don’t get your feelings hurt, and get up the courage to try again:

1. Other’s rejection can be heaven-sent protection.

  Yes, sometimes a “no” deserves a happy dance. Believe it or not, the Universe might have just saved you.  Think of it as if you just dodged a bullet you didn’t even know was coming. Rejoice! You’ve just been saved from a boatload of problems.  I know it is tough to do but with practice, it gets easier.

2. Don’t take things personally.

Okay, so I won’t lie this is so hard for me – the proverbial people pleaser.  I have to remind myself (more often then I want to admit) what others say and do is not about me; it is about them.  Every once in a while I need the gentle kick in the butt as a reminder “the world does not revolve around me”!  I don’t intentionally think like this but it happens or at least my actions seem as if I think this way.  Admit it, I am not alone!   When we understand everything truly is not about us – it takes away the personal aspect, it frees us up to accept you can get caught in the path of other people’s battles and issues which have nothing to do with YOU – your abilities, or your worth.

3. You deserve to be in relationship with people who want to be in relationship with you.

So true for personal and professional relationships. If you have to chase a someone, there is an imbalance.  As a result, your contribution to the relationship is valued as less than what someone else brings to the relationship. This is when feelings of rejection and unworthiness are repeatedly reinforced throughout the relationship. Value relationships with people who want to be in relationship with you – who see your worth, who respect and value you, your time, your strengths. When you decide you deserve this, you won’t see “no” as rejection.  No will be a sign the relationship will not offer you the balance you desire.

4. “No” today doesn’t mean “no” forever.

Timing is key. I tell my team this all of the time.  After 6 plus years in direct sales, if I stopped asking everyone who said no to me if they wanted to have a party; I would be out of business!  This is how we start to build relationships with potential customers, hostesses and team members.  You need to keep the doors of communication open. When they say “no”, I usually ask a few more questions to understand why they said no. Then I ask them if I can reach out again and ask.  They will usually respond with a “yes”.  The door is still open allowing you to figure out how to get to a “yes” the next time.

Situations are different with everyone – someone struggle with hearing the word no in their business but keep moving forward when it is in their personal life.  For others, the reverse is true.  There are even those who can’t handle the word “no” in any part of their life.  The key is to not take it personally.

I challenge you this week to not let a “rejection” leave you feeling bad about yourself. Change the “no” into something which will empower you to keep moving forward to reach your goal.

What is a “no” you haven’t been able to bounce back from?  Can you use any of these tips to help you move forward?  Change the negative to a positive….Share it with us

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Let Go of the Need to Please

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” ~Brene Brown

It is Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day and Woohoo Wednesday.  It is the day we focus on US!  The things we like, the things we don’t like and the things we want to do better.

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How many times have you longed to hear the words “you’re so nice”? Or maybe you wait patiently (okay, impatiently) to see how many likes you will get on a post on Facebook or Instagram.  Admit it, we have all been there some time in our life.

I remember moving to a new neighborhood when I was younger.  The same town but a totally different part where I had to make new friends.  I always felt like I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough or smart enough for the popular crowd.  Sadly, those people pleasing characteristics carried over into adulthood.  Crazy, right?270910819fbd9cf830e3b735a08b7b8eI still have a habit of unconsciously putting a great deal of my energy into people pleasing. I keep the boat steady, navigating carefully so as to not make too many waves.  I dislike conflicts of any kind – mainly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s in my bones to be a peacekeeper. My comfort zone is melting into the background of things, being an observer.  I don’t want to make waves, cause trouble, or upset anyone.

All of these traits have left most people seeing me as a “nice” person. Have you ever wondered if this is really a compliment.  Is “nice” the legacy I want to leave on this world? Is it what I want to be remembered for someday? That I was “nice”? Actually – No.  Nice is sweet, accommodating and agreeable. Nice is polite. But nice does not describe what I or you believe in. It doesnn’t indicate where our boundaries are.

So what about YOU?  Is “nice” the legacy you want to leave behind?

Or do you want to be remembered as a strong and confident woman. A woman with a sense of grace and integrity.  A woman who is straightforward, authentic and very clear about her boundaries. A women who stands firmly in her own truth. A woman who has little concern about receiving approval or validation from others.  A woman who knows who she is and is completely at ease in her own skin. WOW!  I want to be her, what about you?

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We need to be “authentic” and for some it is “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.”  We need to release our  need to please, and replace it with the courage to reveal our real and vulnerable selves.  YIKES!

#1 Reclaim your own authenticity.   To do this, we have to figure out when we are losing sight of it.  Resentment creeps in when I am playing the “people pleaser” role. It’s the first sign I am using too much energy worrying about disappointing others.

#2 What is causing the resentment?  Were you unclear about a boundary? Are you uncomfortable with a situation and you haven’t expressed your feelings to someone? Are you holding back you own feelings to avoid hurting another’s?

I have always loved to write – it is my release when it comes to stomping on the people pleasing characteristics, I tend to write a dialogue with myself. Try finishing these sentences and be specific.

1. I feel resentful because….

2. This means I haven’t been clear about something bothering me. Here is the blurred boundary…….

3. Here’s what’s okay with me….

4. Here’s what is not okay with me….

Believe it or no, when all is said and done my feelings of resentment and anger are not actually directed at another person. They are toward me. I am disappointed in myself for not staying loyal to my own values, for not giving myself the respect I so freely give out to others.

Being authentic takes courage. Learning to wade through the discomfort of setting boundaries takes risk. We risk disapproval. We risk being disliked. But I think the risk is worth it if we ultimately find respect for ourselves.

Are you ready to reclaim your authenticity. Let’s be brave, real and imperfect. Let’s be compassionate, kind and honest. Because really, aren’t these so much better than being “nice”?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Boost Your Confidence

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Do you know what day it is????  It is WOOHOO WEDNESDAY… a day to celebrate YOU because you are AWESOME!

Alright, it may be a little over the top.  Maybe today is not a day your feel awesome.  Health struggles.  Family issues.  Financial issues.  I know the list goes on and it is th0se negative feelings which eat away at our confidence.  I have been there (and on some days still am).  We are going to change your thinking today.  We are going to boost your confidence.  The results are going to be an amazing kick butt day.

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Do you know confidence is what turns your thoughts into action? It is impossible to be successful without it.  When you are confident, you believe you can, you believe you are worthy, and you believe you will ultimately succeed.  When those inner gremlins get in and create insecurities, your confidence waivers.   There are just a few shifts you can make to immediately boost your confidence:

#1 Open your arms. Sit up straight.

A simple step but it works!  Before we dive into shifting your thinking which will boost your confidence, let’s start with this: Change your body position.  The position of your body sends a signal to your brain about your state of mind. When you slump your shoulders or cross your arms, you are  protecting your heart and shrinking with a goal of being invisible. So right NOW, roll your shoulders back and lift your chin – this is a signal of your courage to be seen and be bold.

#2 Get a small win.

Self-efficacy – your belief you can accomplish your goal – can be built.  When your confidence waivers, set a small goal you know you can achieve and do it.  A small win boosts your confidence to go for bigger wins.  Instead of focusing on the weight you need to lose, focus on taking a walk or moving for 30 minutes.  Credit card debt overwhelming?  Set a small goal of paying off $250 in the next 2 months.

#3 Own your flaws.

We all have them because we are human.  We all make mistakes.  We have all been embarrassed about a choice or two we have made.  But here’s what matters: You’re still here and you’ve made a decision to keep moving towards your dreams despite your imperfections.  Think of it like this: “Yeah, I messed up and I’ve learned from it.” “No, I don’t have a lot of money in the bank, but I’m done beating myself up, and I’ve saving now. A little bit at a time.”  It’s not easy, but it’s honest. It’s freedom. Own your flaws. Don’t hide them. Get comfortable with your own imperfections. When you do, there’s no reason to hide. And people can’t use them against you. It’s a bold move freeing you to show up fully – just as you are.

#4 Drop the belief you need to know all the answers.

This was probably the hardest thing for me to learn.  Did you know one of the biggest thieves of confidence is the fear we’ll be found out – simply we won’t know the answer, won’t know how to “do” whatever it is we need to do.  The fear leaves you constantly anxious about messing up. What if you simply dropped the belief confidence is about knowing everything? What if instead confidence was about your ability to find the answer if you don’t already know it? With this new belief, the pressure to know everything instantly diminishes. Go into meetings and conversations with the attitude, “you won’t fake it till you make it”.  Be authentic. “I don’t know, but let me find out.”

What area of your life do you feel insecure?  When are you most likely to lose your confidence? Share your struggles and your tips with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Makes You Special?

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Today is WOOHOO Wednesday and we are going to CELEBRATE your uniqueness or those qualities that make you special.   I was inspired today to talk about this after reading a blog post by Lynette Barbieri.

If I asked you to tell me “what makes you special?“, could you do it?

It would be a struggle for me – shocking for some, I am sure.   Growing up, I didn’t want to be unique – I just wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “special” because that meant that I wasn’t popular.  I didn’t know what was special about me.  I didn’t have that feeling in my gut that told me how great I was.  I wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.  I lived that way for many years.  Then I started to squash those inner gremlins and embrace the positives qualities that are deep in my core.

In direct sales, I  often hear that you want to stand out from the pack.  I mean with thousands of consultants in your company, why would someone pick you above anyone else.  Why would they stay faithful to you?  I honestly didn’t know.  I always knew that I had a special purpose but I never knew how to express it.  Was being a good listener special?  How about helping others? Or giving to others even when you don’t have it?  I am crafty but is that special?  I can play (or used to) the piano, what is so special about that?

I am learning that all of those things are the qualities that draw people to me.  I am resourceful able to connect people with resources.  I get along with people from all different backgrounds.  I am passionate, and caring.  I want to make people smile.  I have lots of “stuff” (information) in my head but I don’t always know how to share it – just ask and I will share all I know.

The truth is that I may not believe that I have greatness inside of me BUT I DO believe that you have greatness in YOU!

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So, what about you?  What are your strengths?  I know I keep going back to that but when we lock into what those are, it will help us know where we are going.  We have to be willing to take risks to discover our purpose and to achieve greatness.  A life without risk is boring, right?

Maybe you know what your greatness is and you are afraid to share it?  You don’t have to hide it.  You don’t have to deny it.  You don’t have to worry about what other people say or think.  You need to OWN IT!

At a Leadership retreat, my mantra became “Own My Journey“.  Because the truth was that I was trying to follow everyone else’s journey.  I need and so do you to “own your journey” so that we can grow into the people sharing our gifts along with the way.  We all have our own journey.  What other people think is none of our business.

keep calm and sparkle on

As Vanessa Coppes, refers to it “your shining  light”!  By working with both of these ladies, I started to see my shining light and I learned that I need to let it shine more!

So, ladies, never let anyone dim that light.  Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint.

What makes you special? I would love to hear it! Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!