“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change”
This week there’s been a focus on love, friendship and relationships, including the relationship with ourselves. It can be bittersweet for some as we remember relationships which are no longer part of our lives; people who are no longer with us. It can also highlight when we’re feeling alone in a situation or our life.
However busy you are, or how big your circle of friends, or networking groups online or offline, you can still feel alone. It can be a very dark place for some that sense of being by themselves. It can also be very reassuring. That you don’t need to rely on others to deal with life, business, challenges. You have everything you need to work things out for yourself. You may need to ask others for help or for particular skills, but you can work it out for yourself.
You cannot change a situation, but you can change your reaction and perception of it. That takes courage! Believe me, it can take a long time to believe enough in yourself to make a decision about something that is very important to you. You can work yourself up into all sorts of states about one thing, (and in my personal experience it’s a small thing that I blow up into something massive), when it really doesn’t deserve that energy or attention.
When you listen to yourself what do you usually hear? Are the mind monkeys shouting loudly that you can’t do something, that it’s all wrong, or doom is just round the corner? Or can you hear that little voice in a whisper, saying “it’s OK! We are where we are, it’s only x, and it’s just one part of my life/business. There’s a way to sort it”. If you allow yourself, I bet the whisper is there 😉
Letting go of things we cannot change
We all love to look back with the benefit of hindsight don’t we? “If only I’d…”, “if this hadn’t happened then…” and so many other phrases we use, and hear others using. But we can’t go back. We can’t change things that have already happened. We can change how we view them, and we can certainly change how we move forward.
It does take courage to let go of what we can’t change, which includes people in our lives. Taking the brave step to listen to yourself, rather than rely on other people’s ideas and solutions, is very liberating. Just like with time – you only have 24 hours a day, you can only do what you can do. You can take action on some things, but have to allow those which others are responsible for to take their course.
You can make plans and contingency plans for situations which may happen. They’re yours to put in place. Whilst we love to put the blame, guilt and shame on someone else, or a situation that’s happened, until we have the courage to say, “I let go of what I cannot change”, we will feel lonely. We’ll feel stuck.
Being stuck in a rut can be very lonely can’t it? You feel that no-one understands you, your situation and certainly no-one can help you. I know, I’ve been there lots of times. Even these last few weeks I’ve felt a bit stuck. There’s been some things which weren’t working for me, yet I wasn’t listening to myself or allowing myself to move from my little rut. In some ways being in a rut is comforting. You know where you are! It took a few conversations with some good friends who reminded me to listen to myself. It was that simple. Hard, but simple.
I’ve no idea why listening to yourself is so hard. Maybe we don’t trust ourselves? Or if we only ever listen to other people we have the fall guy already set up to take the blame when something doesn’t go to plan. It doesn’t matter does it?
So as you start a new week, 8 weeks into the new year, I encourage you to let go of things you can’t change & focus your attention on the things you can. It doesn’t matter that you’re not on track, or haven’t quite done “that thing” you’d wanted to. You can do it now, this week, or sometime in the future.
In life and business, listen to yourself. Trust your instinct and intuition and take the action which you hear whispered in your ear. It may not be easy at first, but once you trust yourself to listen, the whispers get louder and the mind monkeys start to get a bit quieter.
If you feel lonely in your business, remember that you’re not alone. I started the Business Cheerleading Club to support people like you. Please don’t be alone with worries, concerns and your mind monkeys. Let others help you to listen to yourself and move forward in your life and business.
“Building a business can be lonely, isolating and frustrating. Being in a group where you cheer others and receive their support changes everything.” Laura, Dancing with Ease.
I’d welcome your thoughts on courage, listening and moving forward. Leave a comment below, or get in touch
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela
I spent last week educating people, one by one, about how to fit and wear a bra. It was definitely powerful, and I even had people using the words “life changing“, in what they’d learnt from me, and the Bra Lady team.
Sometimes we don’t think what we’re doing is important. Or that if we’re “only” helping one person that it’s not enough, so we won’t bother. Why do we do that? If you’ve had children, you’ll know that you can spend hours helping a child to learn one small thing. Or watching them learn – to walk, to use a crayon, learn to read, ride a bike. We wouldn’t NOT spend time with them to help them with that development step would we? We want them to learn.
The bra fitters from Bra Lady team felt exhilarated with each person they educated. They talked about the ripple effect – if we educate one person, they’ll talk to someone else, who’ll tell another person what they’ve learnt. We will never quite know the impact of our work last week. All we know is that we’ve affected the individual lives of 100’s of women, which we know will in turn ripple out to 1000’s more in time.
Remember the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? Each person you educate, or share some of your knowledge with will be impacted in some way to make a difference in their life and possibly the lives of others.
It can be hard when you’re running a business to see the impact you’re having on other people. They may buy a product or service from you. They may tell other people about your product or service. They may never tell you how much they’ve benefited from you. But they have. We usually hear from disgruntled people, rather than happy ones!
So if you’re struggling to see the impact you’re making, remember that you are – one person at a time. Keep educating your target customers, and be consistently available to talk to them about the benefits of your product or service, and they’ll come to you when they’re ready. Sometimes it’s that consistency which will have the biggest impact on others. Just by “being there” is the support that some people need in their lives.
How do you educate others day by day? Do you think of what you do as educating? Could you share more knowledge so people can learn more from you and understand you, your product and/or service more? Customers are usually those who know, like and trust you and the brand, and the product. How are you helping them to know, like and trust you each week?
If you need help with this aspect of growing your business, book a free 20 minute explore call and let’s work it out together.
“No one but you sees your dreams. No one can sue you for libel for writing them down. No one can fact-check you or object to a fanciful turn of events” Graeme Greene
I had an interesting week last week. How was yours? I felt I was walking through treacle, and everything was so slow. It was frustrating in one way, but I allowed myself to take one, slow, step at a time. I was following a plan to get some things done.
Then at the end of the week, as I was putting the final touches to a piece of work, I was reminded that what I was trying to do wasn’t what I really wanted to do. It had the wrong slant. It wasn’t for my customer. I needed to change what I’d planned to fit with my long term vision of supporting business owners to listen to themselves and serve your customers better.
Mmm. Another lesson! At the start of January when I wrote my plans out, I felt that what I wanted to create was a good fit for me. Looking back, I’ve no idea why I felt that was right. It doesn’t matter now. I’ve shelved that piece of work, and will be starting the “real” one that fits into my business for my clients, and the one thing that people have been asking for. NOT creating something which I think they want or need.
The other lesson I learnt last week, was that life is all about tweaking, and ensuring our structure is right. I learnt this from a visit to a chiropractor with my son. He’s been unwell and having a few injury problems for a few months, which is totally unlike him. I decided that we needed to do something different, as what we’ve been trying hasn’t been working.
The chiropractor started identifying if he was having the right nutrition to fuel his body. He was deficient in one area, which is impossible to fuel from daily food intake. Luckily for our household food bill, it’s an easy one to fix with a high dose of vitamin C every day.
Then he started tweaking his structure. He’d identified by looking at him that he was off balance in his body. The lower back pain was being caused by his neck being out of alignment, (this is very common, and I’ve had this adjustment done in the past too). So he tweaked his neck back into place and his posture immediately altered. Even his smile returned after a few more adjustments and a conversation which went along the lines of “getting your structure in the right place for you, will make you strong. From this you can train and get your technique better, and you’ll be in the best physical condition to develop your ambition”. No wonder his smile returned!
I’m sharing this story with you, not to help you with any physical adjustments you may need to make yourself, so you’re strong in yourself. Simply as a reminder that your core values and core structure are important to growing your business. Go a little bit off and it won’t feel right. You’ll feel wonky, or like you’re walking through treacle just like I was last week. Once I’d realised, I felt much better. I was no longer trying to do something that was part of someone else’s “formula” for success. I’m back on track understanding my own clients and my own business, and doing what’s right for me.
Are you following your dreams or someone elses?
Whilst I love hearing about your dreams and ambitions, they are just that – your dreams. For you to plan to bring to life when the time is right for you. No-one is going to tell you that you’ve done it wrong as your dream is different from their dream. Being clear what your dreams are will help you achieve them. Keep them in mind as you plan what you want to achieve this week.
In the 13 week planner for busy people, there’s a page for your monthly focus which has at the centre of the page a place for you to write your focus. However you do your planning, keep your dream and your focus at the heart of what you do. If something’s not working at the moment you may just need a slight tweak to your structure, or how you do something to make it work better for you.
It’s worth taking the time to adjust. Once you’ve re-adjusted yourself, you’ll find that you’re back on an easier smoother path to achieve what you want.
If you need help working out what your deepest dreams are that you want to pursue, book a Find your Why session. You’ll get a long way in our 3 hours together to understanding what’s at the heart of you.
Let me know what your dreams are, or if you’ve had similar situations where you’ve realised you’re not on the right track. What have you done? Leave a comment below.
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” Michelle Obama
There’s been a lot about courage this month in my inbox, social media streams, and even in some of the books and blogs I’ve been reading and the programmes I’ve been watching. [Includes Dare to Lead by Brene Brown; Return to the Little Coffee House in Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez ; Brand Sashka; Gran Hotel series ]You’ll have heard “there’s no growth unless you step outside your comfort zone”, and it’s true. But taking that step requires courage. You may not think of yourself as courageous, but you are. Others around you know you are. It takes courage to start a business. Any business. It takes courage to be different. To follow your passion.
I also believe it takes courage to be yourself sometimes, however uncomfortable that makes you feel. It comes back to that comfort zone doesn’t it?
Some of my clients have taken massive steps forward this month, as they’ve found the courage to step forward and do something new. Despite the big deep breath they took, and the fear of what that step would do, they didn’t fall flat on their face in the mud. One client said, “thank you for encouraging me to take that step. I feel fantastic for having started and no idea now why I hadn’t done it before”.
It’s amazing what we stop ourselves from doing isn’t it? From being scared we’ll fail, to worrying about what others think, I’ve been there. I sometimes go to those places now and again myself. Infrequently now, but they still appear from time to time.
So I’ll ask you this: “What if you felt you had everything you needed to take the next step. which you knew was right for you?” How would you feel then? Would you take the next step?
How will you work out what your next step is then, if this is what’s holding you back? You have the courage, and the skills and the determination to succeed. What’s missing for you to take that step?
If you need help exploring what your next step is, please book a free 20 minute explore session. Or, if you’re ready for group support, join the Business Cheerleading Club and have a whole team of business owners cheering you on.
” If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton
Rainbows and colour and light are something I think we take for granted. I could be wrong, but I know that I’ve had periods of my life when I’ve felt I “had” to use a certain colour pen when I was writing. I used to be a turquoise ink girl as a teenager. Why did I stop using colour when I started work?
I’ve no idea. I guess there’s something about feeling that we “should” conform to what others are doing. Doesn’t that mean we lose ourself the more we do the same as others? I know that when I bought myself some coloured pens a few years ago and started choosing which colour I’d use for that meeting, or some notes, I started to feel happier. I found it strange at the time, but as it was true, I’ve kept my colourful pens, in my colourful pencil case. I realised that no-one was judging me for what colour pen I chose to write in. I could make that choice.
I was reminded about conforming when I was with a 1-1 client on Friday. A super intelligent lady who’s had some life challenges, and is so focused on other people and doing what others want her to do, she feels like she’s lost herself. She knows she needs to change something, but doesn’t know what. We’re still exploring this. However, something came out of our session which made her face and eyes light up like the bright moon we’re just experiencing. She realised that she could choose what she did with her time. If she wanted to read she could. If she wanted to write she could. If she wanted to go for a walk she could. Whilst she’s still caring for others in her life, she does have time in which she can choose to do things which make her happy. Her action which she committed to, was to explore in 10 minutes a day what she wanted to do more of. What brought colour back into her life. I’m looking forward to hearing what she discovers this week.
There’s more synchronicity today too. I’m following Dale Darley’s 101 days of me journaling challenge. Spending 10 minutes each day exploring a prompt Dale sends by writing what comes into my head. Yesterday it was this quote. And what was I reading yesterday? The first chapter of a book called, “Joyful” by Ingrid Fetell Lee, which is all about the energy of colour and light. It’s making me smile just thinking about it!
So at the start of a new week, as you set your intention for the week ahead, what colour and light can you add to bring you more joy this week? What can you remember that you used to do because you had no fear of what others would say that would bring you joy? You may think I’ve gone totally bonkers talking about joy when you’re running your own business and juggling a 101 things this week as well. What if you could do all those 101 things with a bigger smile on your face? How would that make you feel?
I love to smile at other people when walking down the street. I don’t always get a smile back, but that’s not important. What’s important for me, is that I’m sharing my smile with others, hoping that others can remember that they can find something to smile about too. One of my clients told me she’s bought a yellow coat because it made her smile. It matches her yellow car and her sunny positive disposition. She wasn’t always so positive, but the difference adding colour back into her life has made is incredible.
I’d love to hear your colour stories, and what brings you joy at the moment. Is there one thing you can change this week to make you smile more? Please do let me know. Leave a comment below.
If you need help exploring what’s important to you, please book a free 20 minute explore session. Or, if you know you’re ready to dive deeper, you may be ready for the 3 hour Find your Why session, which is what has sparked both of my client’s to search for more joy in their lives.
” Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”Walter Elliot
You may still be in planning phase of the year, or exploring what your options are to achieve your goals. Or you may be like me, and the more I do the more I realise I need to do as everything is interlinked. Phew! It’s been a busy week, and there’s no let up in sight.Where ever you’re at right now, you’ll know that it’s your consistency which will bring you closer to the goals you’ve set yourself. The cycle of planning – action – learn – review
is ever present in our lives. If we skip one part we won’t grow in our learning, or we’ll continue to do things which don’t work for us, or our business.
I’ll tell you about my week. I think it may make you smile. I’m sharing because I’m learning all the time, and if I can help you learn too, then you’ll get to your destination quicker than I have!
Learning by taking small steps
I’ve been setting up new systems this week, and creating new resources for business owners. Yes, I know, so what? Everything I’ve done, or created has links with other parts of the business, so I’ve either had to update another website, or a link in an automated email, or a payment link or a blog post…..and I keep coming across things which need updating.
It’s not that the pace of change is particularly large, but my learning of new systems and tools has been huge this week. It’s also reminded me that I need to be very clear about what I’m aiming for (long term goal), to understand where each little piece of the jigsaw fits in. IF I don’t change this bit of X now, then it’ll have the effect of Y, either now, or in a few months time.
See what I mean? Some days it’s felt like I’m going around in circles. Where I’d allocated 5 minutes for a task, when I did that task, I found I needed to change X, Y and Z, so it turned into an hour long job! So, each “short race” I’ve been doing, is turning into a longer one which I hadn’t planned for. But, if I don’t complete the long race, I can’t move a step closer to my goal.
Phew! No wonder it’s been an exhausting week! So much thinking, and planning, and doing. And yes, going around in circles can be energy zapping too! But it’s been a lesson for me to keep clear notes about what links with what, so that next time I can change things more quickly.
Staying focused on your long term vision will help you with each “small race” you need to do. Being consistent, and sticking with a task or project until it’s complete may be hard going sometimes, but it’s worth it. Your business is putting in systems and structures to help it grow. Being clear about what’s right for you will mean you’re staying on track.
Have you been struggling to maintain your motivation during this current phase of your business growth? Let me know. Share and let’s work out some next steps.
I’m looking forward to this week’s monthly workshop. This month Alice Bromage from Empowering Success will be helping us with our motivation, which can wane when our energy gets low, or we can’t see results. You can join me here, if you’re not already a business club member:
What’s your challenge this week? Leave a comment below.