Thankfulness as a Success Practice for You and Your Business

Two ways to build your confidence and your business by being thankful.

Did you know business success is 80% mindset and only 20% business knowhow?  Think of it this way… is there something in your business you know how to do and know you should be doing but you’re not doing it?  That’s because it’s not just knowing how but having the right mindset to do what it takes.  Being thankful or grateful is a powerful tool in getting you in that right mindset, by helping you know what’s great about you and helping you feel a positive connection between you and your clients and customers, can help your business tremendously and make everything easier.

Our beliefs about our selves and about those around us
can make everything we do difficult or easy.

1. Be thankful for you, what you do and what you have.  

When we are thankful for our skills, talents and what we do and have done, we are recognizing what we have.  The more you acknowledge and appreciate what you’re capable of and will do, the greater your confidence to do the next thing in front of you.  You will feel more able.  Even if it’s something you’ve never done because you know that in the past you were successful (or at least went for it) and this helps you take on bigger goals and push forward when things get tough.

What we put our attention on grows.  If you’re putting your attention on what you haven’t done or how difficult things are, it’s easy to get stuck or to move forward very slowly.  If you put your attention on how great and capable you are, everything feels easier.

Have I sold you on this yet?  If so, here’s the exercise.
◊ Every night before you go to bed, list 5 of your days successes.  Take some time to put your attention on what you do and on what you do well.
◊ For extra credit, practice saying kind and supportive things to your self while you’re working. This may sound corny but try it… Say, “Good Job!” and “Thank you for doing that for me.” to you.

You have what it takes and the more attention you put on what you do well the more confident you feel and the more able you are to take that next step and do what needs to be done.  That’s powerful, and there is more.

2.  Be Thankful for your customers and clients (or your boss).

This time of year I think back over my year and the people I’ve worked with, and how thankful I am that they hired me, and that I got to know them.  And, I think of who they are, what they pushed through and how hard they work to make their difference in the world… to make our world better.  I am so thankful for them (for you :)!

The more I think of them and how thankful I am for them, the more I want to get out there and do things for them.

Whether you’re writing a blog post ;) or marketing your self, how you feel about others and how you believe they feel about you can make that very easy or very difficult.

When I’m working with clients it’s often fear that stops them from going for what they really want and putting themselves out there as boldly as they’d like.  That fear comes from either being afraid we’re not good enough (a belief most of us have, sadly) or being afraid that we or what we do aren’t going to be liked or well received.

Remembering who our clients are, getting into that place of thankfulness or gratitude and seeing “them” out there as friendly, makes it so much easier to put our selves and our products or services out there.  It’s not rocket science, in fact it almost seems too simple but along with having business knowhow, this is the stuff that really works.

So, here is the second exercise:
Take some time to think about or write down what you’re thankful for about your clients and about what you love about them.
Extra credit:
After thinking about it, send them thank you cards and tell them.

Imagine how much easier things could be if you are thankful for your self and for “them”.  You will feel better about you and the world, and your work should be a lot easier.

Try it and tell me how it goes below!

To Your Success!
Lisa

 

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Happy 4th of July!

Declare Your Independence In 1776 the leaders of our country took a stand and declared that they would no longer be controlled, they dissolved the bands that held them back and kept them limited, and they chose a new life.  What if you celebrated this holiday by doing the same for yourself?

The Declaration of Independence came about because a system of government wasn’t working.  That governing system was holding people back, telling them they weren’t worthy or deserving of better and that they weren’t equal.  Do you have internal governing systems; self talk, beliefs and paradigms that are holding you back?  Is it time you declared your independence from those old ways of thinking and being, and created the life, success, and world you desire?

Check out the power and wisdom of The Declaration of Independence but as you read think of that “system of governance” as the thoughts in your head that hold you back and limit you… (I took some serious liberties and shortened this but added nothing):

The Declaration of Independence“When…it becomes necessary for one…to dissolve the…bands…and to assume…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and…God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of man…”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all…are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of HappinessThat whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

“…experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But… it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security… to alter their former Systems of Government…”

Isn’t that amazing.  They were strong enough in themselves and wise enough to know that they deserved better, that the conventional known way wasn’t working and was holding them back.  And… they did something about it.

What about you?  Are you ready to declare your independence and go for the extraordinary life that awaits you?!  We are such amazing beings and yet we hold our selves back.  Like the founders of our country, what in your own life do you need to take a stand for or a stand against?

    1.  What holds you back?  What self talk, paradigms, beliefs, habits, etc. keep you playing smaller than you dream?  What keeps you “governed” and living a life that is less than you are capable of and less than you deserve?  The voices in our heads, our self-talk is our internal form of government.  It is so much louder and more powerful than anything or anyone outside of us… for bad or good.  The sad thing is we often don’t realize that it is our voice and we can change what it says, and whether it is for us or against us.  We can overthrow that form of “government” and choose to create a new one… a new experience, a new level of success, a new life, new possibilities, a new world… for our selves and in general.

 

  • Change!  Those negative thought are just habits.  It doesn’t matter where they started or how long you’ve been thinking them, you can change them… starting now. Changing our self talk from negative/non-supportive to positive/support is just like changing any habit or muscle, or any other change in life.  At first it may seem clunky and awkward… like working out for the first time after a long stretch of not.  It may even be painful and start a disagreement within us or around us (our own form of war).  But as time goes on, if we keep flexing that muscle; making conscious choices in our self talk, conscious choices in our lives, and living with the beliefs that we are worthy and deserving of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness, and we support ourselves in going for those it works and it’s totally worth it.

 

Some possible new thoughts:

–  When an opportunity comes up if you first thought is I can’t, think, “Yes, I Can!” and then look for ways that you’ve done that or something similar in the past. Affirm that new belief.

–  Appreciate you.  When you’re out living your life, give your self appreciation for what you do.  Focus on the good that are, that you have, that you give, that you know.  Appreciate you.  If you need extra help with this, at the end of the day write out, “5 of My Days Successes” and list five (no matter how big or small).

Isn’t it time we all start living based upon our own choices and our own values.  How about with this holiday.  Our holidays (Holy Days) can be as sacred as we choose.  What if you chose how to celebrate this in a way that really affirms and reflect you and the life you want?

What does the 4th of July mean to you?  How do you celebrate it?  Have you thought about it and made that conscious choice your self, or are you doing what everybody does or what you’ve always done?  And how would you feel if you went against that norm and did it your way… believing that your way was right?

If we are created equal, our voice and choice matters.  To change we must choose… before choosing, we need to be conscious and not just do what we’ve always done.  Re-define the holidays or any part of your life or belief system… it is your life.  Have you thought about how you want to celebrate that Declaration of Independence Day… is it really a choice or an old habit?

Declare your independence from what holds you back… and stand for you.  You matter, your voice matters, you have something unique and important to do in the world… start today, where you are, with what you have.  Stand for something…listen to your own voice, declare you own truth, know that you are worthy and deserving… that you have the unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, make your own choices and be all that you were meant to be.

A little extra food for thought…

Years ago I met a Veteran who’d fought in the Vietnam War and experienced horrible things.  He was an amazing, interesting and kind man.  He did his duty for this country, for us.  I learned so much from him.  On the 4th of July every year he goes way off into the woods where he doesn’t hear the sound of the fireworks because they give him flashbacks of the horrible experiences he’d gone through.  Hearing his story made me think.

Add to that my own experience of growing up on a lake, and seeing that lake on the 5th of July.  Film and garbage from the fireworks the night before, covered the lake and the ducks.  My thoughts… “Why do we celebrate this beautiful country of ours by polluting it”… and, at least for that veteran, by scaring and alienating those who have kept us safe?

There are so many better things we could do on this holiday.  It seems that everything has gotten so commercial, empty, superficial, etc.  Most celebrate this holiday, that is all about that declaration of deserving, by drinking and polluting our country.

What could we do?  What could you do on this 4th of July to make the most of this day?  How can we be like those wise leaders and make a difference in a way that appreciates all that we have?

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Own Your Gifts & Talents

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”   – Thomas Edison

Who are you really?

We are all so amazing, capable, talented, and valuable. And, we often don’t realize it because: one, we define our selves by who we were in the past or based on what someone else told us about who we are; two, we don’t take the time to see our gifts and talents; and three, many of our gifts, talents, wisdom, and insight came out of our most challenging experiences and we don’t consider them successes or take the time to see the tools we gained.

It’s time to acknowledge who you are so you can bring your Whole Self to the table, play bigger, and boldly make the difference in the world that only you can make.

~

The following questions will help you see your strengths and open up possibilities for your career, business focus/niche, and mission.

Often in life it’s a combination of our training, things that we love to do (like hobbies or interests), education, successes, and the wisdom gained through our challenges that prepare us for sharing something of great value and doing something extraordinary with our lives.

Owing what we have and bringing more of who we are into our work helps us do what we value and are interested in, and also use our unique skills, talents, and insights. It makes our work more rich, rewarding and fulfilling, and success easier because we see that we have what it takes and we’re passionate about it.

So, here are your questions:

Looking back over your life, in ten year increments…

1. What were the pivotal and valuable experiences in your life?  How did they transform you and/or your life?

2.  What were your successes (and best moments)?

3.  What were your biggest challenges and what did you learn from them (what skills, talents, insights, and values, etc. did you gain through those)?

Before you start – It’s one thing to make a list, to take it up a notch, tell the story. Sometimes the biggest success isn’t what we did, it’s that we even did it. It’s also the values we expressed in doing it, what we learned, who we had to be in order to do it, etc.

Here is an example from my life. I think of first time I really spoke in public. This was way before I became a coach. I’d done a lot of personal development work and someone asked me if I was willing to share my story. The first time she asked, I said, “no”. It was probably followed with a reason or just an, “I can’t”. Even the idea of it absolutely terrified me.

I thought about it and it poked at me all week. When I saw her the next week I asked her if she’d ask me again. She asked if I could be the speaker. My eyes got big and I said, “That’s not what you asked me last time.” She thought for a moment, laughed and asked, “Are you willing to be the next speaker?” I said, “Yes, I’m willing.” I couldn’t even say I “could” but I was “willing”.

There is a lot more to the story but the point is… my “speaking in public” was big and only a small part of my success. Did I do a good job, yes, but that’s still only part. The real successes show when I dig in. What that day showed me: I am bold and driven. I am courageous and will push through my fears and do what I don’t think I can. I’m willing to do what it takes no matter what. I care more about being of service than I do about my ego. And, after I shared my story, the next person who spoke said, “So, I guess the topic is gratitude”. Wow! That story empowers me. It helps me remember who I really am. It helps me stand up, stand out, and make my difference. And, when I speak now and fear comes up, based on my success, I know what motivates me and I focus on that (being of service).

Another place to look for our skills, strengths, and wisdom and what’s important and valuable to us is through our challenges and hardships.

My mom had a strange habit of leaving me with strangers, either at homes of people I hardly knew or she and I’d go out and she’d wander off to talk with others for very long periods of time. It was a bit challenging, to say the least. And, if you know me now, one of the things you might have noticed is that I can talk to anyone. Also, I’m very easy to talk to and make most people feel very comfortable.

The first skill, talking to anyone, was a survival skill… and I’m so grateful I have it even if they way it came about was very challenging. The second, helping people feel at ease, probably has to do with empathy. I know what it feels like to be very uncomfortable so I help that to not happen with others. It’s now a strong value of mine. Both of those benefit me greatly not only in life but in my business. So sometimes our greatest education, values, and skills come from the most challenging experiences in our lives.

One last thing before moving on to your questions, we often define our selves based on who we were told we are or based on the past and who we were. This exercise is to help you define and decide who you really are. Take some time with it. Own your good.

After writing down your answers, go through them and highlight the ones with the most meaning to you. It’ll tell you a lot about you, what’s important to you, your values, what you know, and who you really are.

And… as with any exercise I share, do it your way. There is no right or wrong. Trust your self and your wisdom. Add or change any questions or the wording in the questions to make them work for you… and enjoy your self!  Mainly, just do it.  You deserve to know how great you are and the world needs what you have.

To Your Success!
Lisa

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Finding Your Voice

Have you ever found your self searching, trying to figure out what you wanted to do with your life, your business, your career, your blog, or whatever it was.  I have.  Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to say and who I want to say it to through my blog.

I went for a walk along the beach today and it came to me… I have been trying to “find” my voice.  Like it was something outside of me and that if I could just find it…

…but my voice isn’t lost and it isn’t outside of me.  We all have a voice…the question is, are we listening and are we allowing our voice to speak?

I’ve been keeping mine quiet because I was trying to stick it in a box, putting parameters on it… trying to figure out which parts of me to share in my “business” blog.  There are a couple explatives I’d like to share now but we don’t know each other well enough yet…  I was holding back my spirit and my humanity but aren’t those just the things we need in business, to bring our whole selves?  Yes!

We can get so caught in the “shoulds” and “the way things are” or “the way it’s always been done” and put ourselves in that little box, confine our voice, dampen our passion and our Spirit.  What does that do to us and what does that do to our world?

Our voices need to be heard… and our humanity and Spirit; that bold fiery part of us that is alive and willing to do what is right and just and best for all, needs to be supported, exercised, strengthened… allowed.

What I decided is that the way to “find my voice” is to use my voice… yours too.  Let them out of the box.

Use your voice.  This is our world and this is your life…  and it is what we make of it.  We can be controlled by outside influences that say we should follow, stay in line.  We can be controlled by inside influences that tell us we “should do it right” or be perfect or that we must follow and fit in.  But it is time to speak up, speak out and stand for something… to make the world and our world as great as it can be.  Use your voice… you know what you want to say, you know what is right… if you’re not sure, start talking and listen to what you have to say.

Years ago I managed a clinic.  When I started asking the opinions and insights of my receptionist and my nurses on important business decisions they started to flourish.  They took more responsibility for their job and for their part of the whole.  Their confidence and self esteem went up.  Of course, the clinic ran great.

How do you turn that to you?  We get so caught up in following or doing what we think we should, we don’t listen to ourselves.  So, start listening… the way I listened to my employees and let them know what they had to say was valuable.

  • When you get that internal niggle that says “this isn’t right” stop and listen.
  • The next step is to act on what you know by making choices and speaking out based on that niggle.  Whether that is saying no to a second serving, not going along with business practices like Enron, or giving a compliment when the desire comes up.

It’s like an intenea.  Whatever station we’re tuned to, that’s what comes in louder.  It’s not that the other stations aren’t there, we’re just not focused on them.  If you tune into you, tune in to the powerful part of you, that message will become clearer and stronger.  This is as true for outside influences versus you personal voice, as well as listening to that powerful, positive part of you versus the negative part of you.  What we tune into gets stronger the more we listen to it.  Try it for a week, then another, see what happens and how much stronger your voice gets and how much easier it gets to do what is yours to do.

  • Also, in moments of choice, practice asking for what you want or voicing your opinion.  In little choices as well as big.  How often do we just go along with something, do something we don’t really want to just because.  “What would you like to do?”  “I don’t know, what would you like to do?”  The more we listen to and value or opinion and act on it, the stronger we become and the easier it is to hear that voice.

Listen to your self.  Listen to what you have to say.  Define your choices and your life by what comes from within.  Show your self that your voice, your opinion and choice matter… build a life that helps you to flourish.

“If you do not express your original ideas,
if you do not listen to your own being,
you will have betrayed yourself.”
Rollo May

Trust your voice and use it.  Build the kind of life and world you want to live in!

And me, what did I do about finding my voice?  One of the things I realized is that looking outside my self for what I was writing was definately not esteeming or empowering.  In doing that I was being critical of my self and I was feeling resistant to blogging.   It makes sense.  Why would I want to do something when I was being criticized, not trusted or believed in, before I even started.  So… I came to it with new thoughts and beliefs.  I’m going to do it my way and trust that.

The more I write and grow those skills, along with studying blogging, the better I’ll become at mixing my own voice with what works business wise.  And the first thing I need to do is trust me.  When I do that, it’s easier to grow and get better.   Start where I am with what I have… and get better as I go.

This is a post script, I’m thinking about facebook and using my voice there more too.  What came to me is how we question what we have to share, and how much garbage is posted.  There is so much more interesting, thought provoking, individual and community building information and conversation to share.  Listen to your voice, and your heart, and share what is true to you, what’s important to you.   Yes, it vulnerable, and it creates a better world… whether that is your world or our world.  Talk about what’s important to you, share your views… know that what you have to say is important…

Here’s a great bit of wisdom from the author Pam Grout from “Living Big”.  “Don’t we have anything better to read (talk/write) about.  If the 7 million readers of “Ladies’ Home Journal” would all wonder instead, “what can I do to imporve my own soul?” or “How could I make our schools more loving?” the big problems we’re so afraid of would be solved in a year.  Seven million people focusing on issues like that would be an unstoppable force.”

Trust your self.  Trust your voice.  We need you… and more importantly… you need you.

“Be someone amazing… be your self!”
Lisa K Bradley

Go For Extraordinary!
Lisa

For more…

If you’re thinking about blogging, check out “18 Stupid Mistakes Bloggers Make in their First Year” by Christine Kane  for some great tips and treasures.  And, for help with how to gain readers, check out  http://www.theresasheridan.com/blog/16-top-places-to-list-your-blog-and-build-your-community/

And if you want want to get inspired about speaking up and standing for what you believe… earlier today I watched the film “Flow“.  [Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis.  Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.]  I highly recommend it.

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Incompletes & Learning From Everything

What could you complete today or this week?  Or what could you just let go of because it doesn’t really need to be done?  Having things sitting unfinished takes up mental space and energy that you could use for much bigger and better things. 

Lisa's Books

This was my pile of books. I used the process from the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” to let go of so many books. It was a great process.

The beginning of this year I got rid of a bunch of books (Over 150. I read a lot.).  When I did this, I realized some of my books had started to feel like a “To Do List” or “books I should read or do something with”.  I found from talking with some of my clients, it’s the same for them. You?

One of the books I got rid of was Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. I know it’s a good book and I tried to read it many times, even bought the CDs, and just couldn’t get through it. I think it’s because it’s info I already know.  But it’s one of the best success books out there and I felt like I should read it (also true with one of my clients).  It felt great to just let that go.

Then today I was working on something and needed info from the book… so I googled “summary of….” and Voila! I found the summary and learned a few things in the process.

Powerful tips…

1. The book is great, attached is the summary version (I still didn’t finish it).

2.  If something is not right for you (or me), trust that.  You know your self best.  Let go of what doesn’t work and find something that’s right for you.

3.  Letting-go-of or taking-on one incomplete a day or week is a powerful practice and can free up your energy and creativity to do the important things that you want to do.  Having a list and checking them off as we complete them or let them go, can be very powerful.

4.  And sometimes, there is a shorter, easier way!

Enjoy!

Lisa K Bradley's Blog

Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

Summary thanks to Hubspot.com  http://www.hubspot.com/sales/habits-of-highly-effective-people-summary

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Are You Changing?

Did you set goals and resolutions, and are you keeping them?  It’s the last week of January… has anything changed for you?

We often try to change things without really changing. What? Let’s say you set a New Year’s resolution to raise your income, but you’re hanging out with people that complain about how hard it is to make money. Or, you decide to lose weight but you meet friends at the bakery you always meet at, overeat at, and talk about food at. Or, you want to go for it in your business but keep thinking the same old negative thoughts instead of choosing new thoughts.

Change rarely happens in a vacuum, but resolutions are often focused on just one area of our lives. We decide to change without looking at what’s creating and affecting why we are the way we are. Not that we can’t change, it’s just not in a vacuum.

So, to make 2015 Extraordinary, what really needs to change for you to have that goal that you want? Ready, a little coaching:

What is your goal?
_____________________________________________
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Where do you want to be in 30 days?
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________

What’s holding you back?
_____________________________________________
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What could you do to support your success (what do you need to learn, practice, grow, who do you need to be around)?
_____________________________________________
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What will you commit to (small consistent steps forward)?
_____________________________________________
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What will you do today?
_____________________________________________
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To make the changes you want; plan, choose new actions and thoughts, learn new skills and ways of being, and have a community that has or supports that new that you’re going for. Look for what will support your success and release what doesn’t, do what you can today… and of course, celebrate you and your success as you move forward. This will all increase the possibilities and height of your success exponentially!

To your wild and wonderful success!
Lisa

Go for your dream, make your difference… Live
an Extraordinary Life!

 

Additional tools for you:

And… if you enjoy this, please share it!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Steps To Success In This Economy

If you’re an entrepreneur, executive, business owner, service provider or in sales the economy right now may be affecting your business but whether or not your business succeeds or fails is up to you, not the economy.  That’s good news.

In every economy there are businesses within the same industry that fail and businesses that come out ahead. The difference is often you.  Are you feeling stuck and paralyzed by outside influences, like the economy, or have you decide that you will do what it takes and be successful, no matter what.

There are two responses to what’s going on right now, either fear or opportunity.  Either you feel overwhelmed and shrink or you see what you’re made of, what you can do and strengthen yourself to meet those outside influences (Yahoo!).  It’s all perspective and choice.  In every economy there are people that come out ahead, that make money and do great.  Why not have it be you that succeeds! 

Your Attitude.  It starts with your attitude.  It’s not just about pushing harder, it’s about coming up with good ideas, following through on them, and doing so in a way that works.  With a negative attitude, with a belief that things are bad and won’t work, none of that is possible.  So, to create a successful business and be a winner start from within and follow up with action.

Empower yourself by what you think and say and do… these tips may seem too simple but give them a try and see if they make a difference in your life and your business.  These are tools I use with my clients (and myself) to go from being stuck to excitement and success.  When I started using these with my clients I was astounded at the raves from those clients and results they were getting.  If you practice (not perfection, practice) these, and keep progressing forward using them, your life and your business will change.

Step #1 – Start Your Day by Reading Something Positive.  Before you start looking at your To Do List, take fifteen minutes or an hour to read something positive, a book on success, prosperity, spirituality, wealth, positive thinking, a book that teaches about your industry – something to get you in a positive frame of mind first thing in the morning.  Some of my current recommendations are:

  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
  • Secrets of Six Figure Woman – Barbara Stanny
  • You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
  • The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity – Catherine Ponder

Read something that inspires and empowers you, that makes you feel good, like you could conquer the world, or at least your world.  Start your day on a positive note.

Step #2 – Decide What You’ll Accomplish Each Day.  I’ve noticed with my clients that when things get challenging and they get stressed they start doing busy work instead of going for it, they start feeling overwhelmed and freeze.  So, after raising your attitude and outlook by your positive reading, decide where you want to go next with your business, what you need to do to be successful and what you’ll do today to get there.  Set goals and make a plan for your day.  Decide what you want to do, where you want to go, and how successful you want to be.

Okay, your attitude is better, the next step is the doing.

Step #3 – Take Action – Do What It Takes To Succeed.  Do what you need to do today.  You’ll feel better.  Do something that will give you a sense of accomplishment and that will make a difference in your life and for your business.  Make some sales calls, go to a networking event and network, do that thing that you’ve been putting off… Do Something.  Show yourself that you mean business, that you’re going for it, and that you are going to get it.  Be a success today!

Having a positive attitude is very important and it needs to be followed by directed action to create your good (success, prosperity, wealth, happiness).  It’s taking your power back instead of feeling controlled by outside influences.  Create what you want, not what you think is possible based on the economy or any other outside influence.  Decide what you want to create and take the action to do it.

Step #4 – Take That Action That You’ve Been Putting Off!  If you’re not at the very top of your game, leading in your industry, there are things that you could be doing that you’re not and you know it.  Pick one that inspires you, that will expect more of you than you are giving now and do it.  Choose something that you know would benefit your business.  We can feel insecure, we get scared, we don’t think we’re good enough to do that next thing, to reach to that next level, but now is the time, the economy is giving us the opportunity to be more than we thought we could.  Stretch yourself.  Go for it.

Now that you’ve created a great day for yourself, appreciate yourself and all your hard work, and take stock of all the good that is.

Step #5a – Write a Nightly Gratitude List – One of the best things to get you into a better mental space, knowing that good is possible, is to focus on the good that already is.  Think about all you have – your skills, your friends, your opportunities, all the good in your life and business… your customers/clients past, present and future.  List what you do have.  To have a quick shift write a list of “100 Things I’m Grateful For.”

Then every night before you fall asleep write a list of *10 Things I’m Grateful For* so your subconscious mind thinks of all your good while you sleep.  You’ll sleep better and wake in the morning feeling better.  (Won’t that help your business… and all of your life?)

Step #5b – Acknowledge Your Successes – Along with what your grateful for, write what you did today to build your business and make your life better?  Before you go to sleep appreciate and value yourself, write a list of *5 of My Successes Today* so you are focusing on what you have done versus the things that you didn’t do.  There will always be things we didn’t do but focusing on them breaks us down.  Focusing on what we did empowers us to do more and do it better.  And again, you’ll sleep better and you’ll start focusing on what you are doing.  You’ll see the power you have to change your world and your business, you’ll feel better and want to do more because you’re appreciating and valuing you.

In every situation we have the opportunity to build ourselves up to meet the situation or to be beaten by it.  This is a great time to build new tools and create new habits for yourself.  Try these for a week and pay attention to any differences in your business and life.  If they work and support you now, imagine how great they’ll work when the economy swings back around.

You can turn this challenging time into your adventure… don’t you want to know what you’re made of?  Don’t you want to live to your potential?  What could you do now, that you haven’t done before?  We all want to fulfill our potential, to see what we’re made of and what we’re capable of.  The economy is giving you your chance, what you do with it is up to you…

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Your Attitude and Your Success

Does your attitude really impact your success… and how much?

At a business networking event I met a man, we’ll call him Bill.  He seems like a nice, smart guy with some level of success.  And, he’s negative.  He talks only about the problem.  His response to solutions that are offered is that they won’t work and it’s just the way it is, more problems.  Life is the way it is and he just has to deal with it and it’s not working.  But that’s just the way it is.  Here’s how Bill’s attitude made a difference in his life.

Bill has a great business idea.  He has a unique and interesting marketing/advertising product that he wants to take to Bentley… but he doesn’t know how to get in touch with them.  He doesn’t know his next step or how to get started, and shoots down ideas.

Sitting across the table from him is a woman who is very connected in the car world. (Me!  I love classic cars.  I was recently driven around the countryside in a friend’s 1927 Bentley.  Sweet!  I know car guys.)  With a phone call or two I could introduce Bill to the right people.  Those people would not only be willing to talk to him, but knowing my friends, they would also help him succeed.

Bill’s success is steps away. lisa_bradley_success_coaching

But, with his negative attitude, those steps are a chasm because:  1. When I even talked about it, Bill shot me down.  He told me what wouldn’t work and why.  2. I’m not going to introduce him to my friends with that attitude… and even if I did, his response would probably be to tell them, these very successful and supportive entrepreneurs, why it wouldn’t work and to complain about all his problems, versus asking them for help and a solution to those problems.  It’s like the sales person that says to potential customers, “You don’t want to buy this, do you?” and then wanders around saying that selling their product isn’t possible.

I tried to talk to Bill about his negativity but he doesn’t believe all this positive attitude stuff.  He doesn’t “get” how it can make a difference.  He doesn’t see that his attitude is not only keeping him from the financial success of his product, it’s keeping him from meeting amazing, successful people that could help him change his life.

One of the major things I do as a professional development coach is work on attitude and the belief in possibility.  The above is an extreme case but most people think their dreams are impossible.  They aren’t.  It’s just a limiting belief.  Maybe it sounds like this… “I’d love to do _____ but I’m too ______.”  You fill in the blanks.  I hear it all the time.  Dreams are squashed before they’re even attempted.

When my clients start believing the dream they have may be possible and they start talking about it, the results are miraculous.  I thought about using a less woo-woo word but they are miraculous.  I often find myself in awe of how things can completely turn around and what they accomplish in a week… if they just believe that maybe it can, and start talking about what they want and taking the next indicated step.

If you’ve been stuck in any area of your life, let go of the being stuck, stop talking about it and thinking about it.  Focus on and talk about what you want… the solution you desire.  Start thinking about who you may know and who they know that might be able to direct and connect you.  Don’t complain, blame, criticize, minimize or maximize the problem (and don’t hang out with others that do that either).  Decide that you will win.  Do whatever it takes to get your self positive; study success, do affirmations and practice thinking positive thoughts, learn, be around positive people, do a gratitude list.  Do whatever it takes.  Decide that you will go for it and do it, whatever it takes, take action.  A change in your attitude can take you from failure to success… your attitude impacts your actions and the actions of those around you… those impact your results.

By the way… your attitude is a habit and like any muscle.  The more you use it, positively or negatively, the more it will grow and the easier it will become to use it either positively or negatively.  It’s not outside of your control… it’s a choice.

It’s not the economy… it’s your life.  Make a choice… dig in, get messy, go for what you want, decide it can be, talk to others about your dream, and take forward action… go for extraordinary because any other choice sucks!

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Using Your Adversity as Your Ally… in life and business.

What if… the adversity you’re facing in your business/life right now is not just a problem but an opportunity that holds within it all the growth and learning opportunities to take you beyond it, and help you fulfill your potential?

I’ve heard Carl Jung’s line “what you resist, persists” many times and I didn’t really get it until this week, or not to the extent that I do now.

Our challenges are not problems, per se; they are the solution to our problems.  Yes, there is something “wrong”, something that is not working.  But not something to avoid and be afraid of, not something wrong about us.  Those challenges offer us…offer you…the opportunity to grow and learn, and become what and who you need to, to move forward the next step.

If we resist that lesson or growth, we stay stuck where we are. The problem stays or comes up over and over in different ways.  We can try to do other things to fix our self… and the problem is still there because… the only way through, is through.  The only way to truly get beyond it, is to step into it and learn what it is trying to teach us.

The challenges (this economy, divorce, addiction, etc.) are something to embrace, not feel victim of.  Responding to the problem, instead of reacting to it is our next step to build our self and fulfill our personal potential (growing better financial skills & choices, building relationship and partnership tools, self power and self care versus avoidance, etc.).

It’s about knowing we are capable, that there is a solution and “using” the problem as our opportunity to grow.  Using the “bad situation” to our advantage… using it to grow our strength, our skills, our capabilities, our confidence, and our personal success and spiritual tools. Growing these one step at a time in the area most needed, the one bugging you the most, now so that we grow into all that we are meant to be.

I love using nature as a metaphor…  Imagine a flower.

First, you’re just a seed in the ground.  Hanging out in the dirt, just being.  Time goes by, and you start having this desire of wanting to be more, somewhere in you, you know you are meant to grow. You keep thinking about it.  Then one day you crack open!  What the…!

That would be seriously scary, I think.

Then things start growing out of you, roots and a stem…what the heck!  Then you pop into daylight…Whoa!  Ouch!  And then the first leaf starts…a bump, a weird growth on your side.  You don’t know what it is… is it good, is it bad?  And you keep growing and getting stronger and bigger…each step of the way, making way for the next, even fall and winter, every step preparing you for the next phase of you being what you are meant to be.

…But what if, when that first root came out, it scared you, and you spent all you energy trying to hold it in.  What if you were the first seed around to crack open and you were embarrassed because you felt different or broken, and you tried to stop growing.  What if you thought, “I don’t know how to do that” so you resisted your natural instincts and intuition of what to do.  Or that first flower started to bloom, like the other flowers around you, and you thought “I’m not good enough to do that” and you held closed, not showing your magnificenceSound familiar?  Take a deep breath.

The thing is, each step along the way, like the flower, will bring you to the next place.  Each step is necessary for your fulfillment. Every root and leaf might have felt new and wrong and frightening, and every bit was necessary for that flower to fulfill it’s potential.

No matter how big or frightening what you’re facing is, it is an opportunity for you to become all you are meant to be.

We all have areas in our life where we get stuck, where we stop our selves from fulfilling our potential.  Instead of doing the things we fear or feel less-than (not capable of) we avoid in whatever way we do (tv, booze, busyness, eating, etc.), and we don’t build that skill, talent, or muscle to get through it.  Then we can’t do the next thing.  We’re stuck.  We also break down our self confidence, our personal power, our faith, our belief in the rightness of things and that we can handle whatever comes up.

We can get stuck in any area. It can be over something like an opportunity to speak in front of 10’s of thousands of people, standing up for what we believe in at work, trying a bold new way of doing when everyone is doing something else, breaking out of our status quo.  It can be about feeling not good enough as you are (too young, old, tall, short, etc.).  It can be having a conversation we’re afraid of, doing what we long to but feel too small to or knowing it’s not “normal”.  It can be our finances.  It can be feeling stuck in our business or our relationship or our weight.  It can be just trusting that we’re great, going for what we want when it doesn’t feel feasible, or being who we want to be.  It is anywhere in life where we feel stuck or powerless, where we are complaining, blaming and reacting versus responding and feeling we have a choice and making that choice.

What’s that quote again?  “What we resist, persists.”  Whatever we don’t face, whatever we don’t learn, whatever skill we don’t acquire, whatever we don’t accept and do what we can with, it will keep us stuck, it will keep things not working.  And, the good news…

Within the challenge in front of you, is your opportunity to fulfill your potential.

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Harvest Your 2010 Successes, for an Extraordinary 2011

It’s the end of another year.  Was it successful?  Have you thought about you’re your year, your successes and what you accomplished and learned this year?  Have you thought about how you grew as a person or business person, and what new skills you have?  How will you set solid goals for next year, if you haven’t answered those questions?

There are three big reasons to stop and harvest our successes: 

1.      To acknowledging our self and our accomplishments, because who wants to work hard and have their work taken for granted?  Not many of us, but we do it to our selves all the time.  Harvesting feels good, it lets us see our growth and therefore empowers.

2.      To clearly see who we’ve become and grown into so that next years goals and vision are bigger, not our old comfortable status quo, something new and exciting to us.  Seeing how we’ve changed lets us know that we can do that next big thing.

3.      To learn what worked and what didn’t.  Harvesting is about looking at our “crop” so to speak and seeing if we’re happy with it.  Are we growing what we wanted?  It’s so easy in life to set a direction, move toward it, and not check in later to see if it’s right for us.

Harvesting is about celebrating all that you’ve done and all that you’ve become, and then clearly looking at your harvest before setting out and making next years goals and vision (which will be January’s topic).  Both will lead to a more powerful and successful future.

Think of farming… you plant your crops, you work hard at helping them thrive, and then you pick them.  You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  The Harvest is walking back through your year, your project, your…whatever.  I do it with my coaching clients at the end of their coaching program to help them see what they’ve accomplished, how much they’ve changed, what tools worked and didn’t work for them, and how to take and use all of that to build their future.

  • The value of a goal is not just the result, it’s also who you become in going for that goal or dream… in going for something extraordinary.

 

Your Harvest.  Look back on your year…

 1.  What Were Your Accomplishments and Successes? 

So often, we will have a lofty goal or something new we should be doing in our business.  Let’s say the goal is blogging.  Our first step might be to just learn about blogging, look at some different blogs and read up on them.  The second might be to learn about the different blogging tools we can use.  The next, taking a class or jumping in and trying it.  We might have done all this and still not be blogging, or not to the extent we want to.  And what happens is, that’s what we focus on.  We often don’t focus on all those steps along the way, all that we learned and accomplished.  We focus on what we haven’t done.  How we aren’t blogging every day.   

A couple problems with that, again, yes, who wants to work when their work is taken for granted… and there is another big one.  We tend to not to let our accomplishment empower us…

As a coach, as my clients learn and grow and move forward, I point out those accomplishments so that when it’s time for their next big stretch, they know they can do it… they clearly see they have in the past and that empowers their present. 

Dig in, think about your last year… what did you accomplish?  What did you learn?  What new skills do you have now?  Were you tenacious about something, showing you can stick to it no matter what?  What did you gather – friends, knowledge, social networking people and skills?  What did you create along the way?  How much money did you make?  Did you reach a goal you set?  And what about those things that that you just felt really good about and then as time went on you forgot?  What about those good things that happened, those flukes and “miracles” (often times when we put those in context we see how we had something to do with them)?  What do you feel proud of your self for? 

Just let this flow.  I like to use bullet points.  I find it’s hard to start but once I start they poor out, then I get stuck again, then it flows again.  It’s just a process.  Just trust your way of doing it.  You can’t do it wrong.  Just start listing your successes… personal and professional.

2.         What Were You’re Breakthroughs and Stretches? 

Some of these are those big bold breakthroughs, and sometimes these are those things that felt like failures at the time but now that you look back you learned a lot and grew a lot.  This is more the internal stuff or the lessons about your process.

What did you do last year that you hadn’t before?  What did you learn, maybe about your self, your life, business?  What were some of those work/life lessons you learned that knocked you down and you got back up?  What were some beliefs you had about you, business life, money, etc. that changed?

3.            What’s Changed In Your Business and Your Life? 

This is the big picture and the results.  This is the place to look at the impact all of the above had on you, your business, and your life.  It’s easy to make changes and not realize the change… not acknowledge what you’ve done or how far you’ve come.  It’s important to see how far you’ve come.  This is that opportunity to really acknowledge what you’ve done and where it’s gotten you.

Between last year and this year, what’s different?  What changed?  How is your business better?  How is your life better?  How are you a better person? 

4.         What Worked, and What Didn’t?  What’s Serving Me, and What’s Not?

Now that you’re on that solid ground of knowing what you’ve accomplished and the impact of it, it’s time to dissect a bit.  Check in and make sure you’re going in the right direction, that things are working, that the things you’re doing are working for you.

Your answers to this question will really help you when it’s time to set your goals for next year.  Think of the farming metaphor again… the farmer looking at his crop.  Did he grow as many carrots as he wanted?  Did he like the flavor?  Do they bring in the money he wanted?  Are they good for the land?  What needs to change?  What could he try?  What did he try that didn’t work?  All with thoughts of growing a better crop next year.

Now look at your “crop” closely, with the thought of being more successful next year… What were your failures, what didn’t work?   What have you been doing that isn’t serving you?  Did you put your time and energy into things that didn’t pan out?  Were there things that created the desired result but felt like more work than they were worth?  Maybe you found a new method of getting customers but found that they aren’t the type of people you want to work with – so the method worked but next year you’ll need to tweak something.  Are you trying to do something because you think you should and you just can’t get it to work?  Are you wasting your time on something?

5.            Celebrate!  Enjoy Your Harvest. 

What would you like to acknowledge yourself for?  You worked hard, I know that because a slacker would not still be reading. 

When New Year Eve and that stroke of midnight comes, say and feel a moment of gratitude for all you’ve done and all it’s created.  Building a business, being a leader, and making a difference are not easy.  You have chosen a path worth walking, acknowledge your self for it… for who you are and what you’ve done.

Congratulations!

See you in January when we Set Our Compelling Visions for 2011.

Go For Extraordinary!™
Lisa

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