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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Open To Your Possibilities?

Someone once called me Mariposa… which means Butterfly and sounds beautiful in Spanish.

I thought about that… and it fits, yet I realized I hadn’t been using my wings. A part of me forgot that I am no longer a caterpillar and instead of my wings being these beautiful things to lift me and take me to my next destination with ease and beauty… gliding along… they were weighing me down. Like a caterpillar with luggage and the wrong legs to carry it.caterpillar

Sometimes, when something happens we get off track. Whether that something is personal or professional or something outside of us like the economy or getting laid off, we forget how amazing and beautiful we are, we forget the tools that we have, and we forget how capable and able we are to create the life and experience we want.

Open Up To Your Possibilities!

The first step in my “What Piece of the Puzzle Are You? Five Steps to Your Right Livelihood!” workshop is “Open Up To Possibilities”. I put that step in because people kept telling me their dreams like this… “I’d love to do this job or that, work with this client or that, have this business or that… but…”  I’m too old, too young, don’t have this or that skill, etc. (you fill in the rest. What’s your but?) And what I know from working with clients over the years is that those “but”s are not true, they are just fear and resistance… forgetting how much choice and power we have to create our destiny.

So… know you are your amazing self.  Now… what is really possible for you. Start that “I’d love to…” leave off the “but” put in an “and… today I will_____(your action step here)_____ because I know I can do it, I do have what it takes, I deserve to have what my heart desires, and the Universe will support me.”

Just like the Mariposa… how must that first flight feel? To have been a caterpillar all ones life, afraid of falling… and then have wings and need to fly. You cannot fly unless you trust your wings, that inner tug inside that says “You are so much more… fly!” That tug within you, that dream of who and how you want to be, is the truth of you. Your wings are already there… use them.freedom butterfly

Affirmation: Today I recognize what’s good in me. I know my good and my talent. I take my next bold step knowing that I will be supported… that God and the Universe are on my side. (Vision the ease and joy of flying.)

Go, take your place in the world and be all you are meant to be…

xo xo,
Lisa

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You Have What It Takes… Will You Use It?

Recently I met a new friend for dinner. After hours of amazing conversation we finally left. As we were leaving the restaurant, he mentioned that he’d parked really far away. I laughed and shared that I had too. As we walked toward our cars, we joked about how funny it would be if we’d parked next to each other. As we got closer to our cars that “wouldn’t it be funny” became… an eerie, “that’s weird”. We’d parked one car space apart.

The Space BetweenThis parking lot is at a very big mall (South Center, for those of you in Seattle.) and this was the first time we’d hung out. It was weird.
(And, did you know that Duke’s is non-GMO? Sorry, had to put that in.)

We’re both pretty spiritual and have had our own miracles so we looked for the deeper meaning in the midst of feeling odd about the whole thing. Today he sent me a message with questions and ideas to ponder about the fact that we’d parked one spot away from each other.

“…If one assumes Divine intervention, then the fact that there was a parking space between us could indicate that there is “nothing between us” or “something between us”… the space could indicate an obstacle or lack of an obstacle. It could mean a space or time is needed. It could just be funny and weird. I just thought it would be fun to leave you something to ponder!”

I got that email right before a walk. The walk was an afternoon… out on the beach… in the rain… talking with God about my Calling.

The walk was so amazing and spiritual I’d forgotten the question of the parking spaces until the end of my walk and then it came back to me… the parking space question, thoughts about my calling… and I came to this: That space between us in the parking lot… God brought us that far, the rest was up to us.

We all have a calling, a possibility of who we can be and what we can do. We’re born with it… we are amazing and unique and we all have “something”. And that gap, that parking space between, it was choice. God brought us that close… and the rest is up to us. We have everything it takes… but will we use it?

You have gifts, talents, scars that create wisdom… and in this vast Universe is a place just for you, your Calling. No one else can fill it. No one else knows just what it is or how to do it… only you do. You are that important.

Puzzle Pieces

You have everything… the only question is, will you step into that space and be who and how you are mean to be?

Coaching –

That next step, to create the life we want… We usually know what the next indicated step is, if we pay attention. The steps don’t always look like we expect them too; an odd idea, a person to call, something that sparks your soul and feels exciting or scary (in that life-giving way), a thought that keeps poking, that book you’re staring at, a nudge, a kindness, an “everyone should have this!”… if you stop and tune in, you’ll know.

Take a couple deep breaths. Open to what you really want. Think about what it could be like if you just trusted and took your next step today.

What is your next indicated step?_______________________

Take that step. When you’re ready for another, check in again, and keep following that path. Before you know it, you will be clearly on your way!

Live your life… have the experience of being your magnificent self.

I adore you.
Lisa

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Feeling Stuck? Start Moving.

Sometimes it seems difficult to move forward in our businesses, to make a new start, to get out of ruts, or learn something new.  Then later looking back we can wonder how or why we were stuck.  Yet in the midst of it, it can feel like nothing is working.  So what’s the trick?  As impossible as it feels, as simple as it sounds… just move forward.

If you’re stuck, take a couple deep breaths, and move.  Do that next thing in front of you to do,  even if you’re not sure if it’s right.  When we start moving we get information and clarity.  When we aren’t moving there’s no way to know what’s right or wrong, no matter how much we try to figure it out but we can really get caught in that figuring.  And the longer we sit, that figuring leads to fear and it all seems harder.

Once I was in a store and the lights went out.  It was completely black and I didn’t have my bearings.  For a moment I felt paralyzed in the dark.  Then, after holding my hand up in front of my eyes so I didn’t run into anything and poke them out (a little self care is always good), I started slowly moving.  Soon I had enough information to walk down the aisle.  As I got close to the front of the store moonlight came in and I could better find my way, but if I wouldn’t have started moving that way would not have become clear.

When we get moving, when we bump into things, we might get bruised but we get clear on where we are.  We get information.  And it’s the only way to find our way.

Making mistakes or doing things poorly in business is sometimes the only we can get moving forward.  So, what is that big, bold, outrageous dream you have?  Take a step… pay attention,  learn… and take another step.

I know it sounds too easy but sometimes it is that easy… and feels that hard.  Just take a step… and keep stepping until it you see the light.

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Time Management That Works

It’s so easy as an entrepreneur to end up with a “to do” list a mile long.  And if we’re not strategic with our tasks it can feel overwhelming and never ending.  Even though we are working, we may not be building our self, our business, or our income, which is incredibly frustrating.  We end up working and feel like were getting nowhere.

“Burnout doesn’t occur because we’re solving problems; it occurs because we’ve been trying to solve the same problem over and over.”  Susan Scott

There are complete books on time management; complicated tools, one more thing to learn, and sometimes they work.  Often times those end up being one more thing to do and just because something worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for you.  So, what’s the solution?  It’s really simple.  Try this… then play with it and make it your own.

Step 1 – What is it that you are creating, the desired result?  A big reason one’s actions feel jumbled or we aren’t sure what to do is we don’t know where we’re headed.  You have to decide.  It doesn’t have to be a forever destination but decide something and stay focused on it for 30 days.

If you’re goal is to get 5 clients or pay the bills and you’re focused on that or just acting without a focus, your actions will be much different than if you’re goal is to make $250,000 and build a multi-million dollar business.  Stop for a minute and strategize steps for either of those and see how different they are.  (Really, take a minute to do that on paper).  See the difference?  Aha!  See, you’re already getting the hang of it.

With the unclear goal, you’ll float around, not really know what to do.  You’ll try and fail but your failures won’t help you learn because you don’t have a big picture that you’re moving toward, you don’t know what you are trying to learn.

The second, you’re goal is clear.  You’ll know if you’re working toward it or not.  It’s big enough that you’ll need to come up with strategy and leveraging, growing your skills… all of which will help you see you’re goal is happening, you’ll feel alive and inspired.  Even mistakes, when looked at as a step toward your goal, can feel like wins.

Step 2 – Keep your Vision/Result in front of you every day.  Focus on what you are building.  Come up with a word or two, or an image as a reminder.  Keep it simple.  It doesn’t have to mean anything to anyone else; it just needs to be powerful and easy to focus on for you.  Then look at it every day, think on it, imagine it… that end result you are creating.

Step 3 – This is the time management step… on your daily to do list, only put your top 3 musts.  Those highest priority items that will support you today and take you were you’re going.  List their priority level… 1, 2, 3 and do them.

Remember, this is an idea and a framework.  The most powerful way to use it is to try it, check-in with your self and see how it’s working, and change it around a bit to make it work for you.  If anyone tells you there is only one way to do things, run.  We all have a way… trust yours.  The more you do, the more powerful you will become in and through your business.

First just give this a try.  Again…  The Power of Three:

Step 1 – Decide Where You’re Going

Step 2 – Keep Your Vision Alive and In Your Mind

Step 3 – Do Your 3 Highest Priority Steps Daily

Extra Credit – Give your self credit for what you’ve done, feel good about it.

Keep it simple and find things that work for you.  Often, the most simple tools are the most powerful, and used by the smartest people… like you.

Remember… go for your dream, make your difference, live an Extraordinary Life!

If you have any questions or comments, please ask below.  And I’d love to hear how it goes… Lisa

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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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A New Year’s Eve Practice for an Extraordinary New Year!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The end of an old year and the start of the new.  It feels so powerful and magical… like anything is possible. It’s a new beginning.

Here is a14 -12 - New Year's Eve Image practice I learned, to powerfully end a year and make way for the new. I hope you enjoy it.

Years ago I was lucky enough to get invited to spend New Years Eve with a Shaman. It was an amazing night. Along with a potluck dinner, a jigsaw puzzle and the Twilight Zone playing in the background we did some rituals. It was a powerful experience and since that night, I do my own version of it every year, creating a sacred experience of the end of the year. It can take hours or moments; you can do it alone or with friends. The trick is to make it something that is powerful for you.

First, Celebrate the Good – we often go from one year to the next without really looking and celebrating our good. It can be very empowering and motivating to put your attention on your good. Pullout a piece of paper, think about and write down the good that happened in your life, your successes, and what you’re really grateful for. Then spend a bit of time being grateful and re-enjoying the items on your list and see what you’ve done. Remembering these will help you next year as you step into creating the new. If you’re with others, share what’s on your list…you’re successes and what you’re grateful for.

Next, Let go of the Bad – the end of a year is a great time to decide to let go of things that are no longer serving you. It is us, our habitual thoughts and beliefs, that hold on to things. We can let them go when we choose. You can decide this time is sacred and powerful. Pullout a new piece of paper. What do you want to let go of? Write down resentments, things that feel like failures, hurts, a habit, belief or way of being that’s not serving you, whatever you want to let go of and release yourself from.

After you’ve finished writing, look at your list and decide if you are willing to let go. If you are, burn the paper. Decide that you are letting go and free. Watch the paper burn. I like to put the ashes into my garden to remind myself that challenges often are just what is needed to move into something greater.

That’s it. Now CELEBRATE! You are free to move powerfully into the New Year. Congratulations! It may seem too simple but it is the meaning we give something that makes it powerful and sacred. Give it meaning and power.

If you choose, you can start on your desires for next year. I like to give it some time. Allowing myself to just be in that spacious and exciting place of possibilities and potential before stepping forward on New Year’s Day to create my vision for the New Year.

Congratulations for who you’ve become. May 2015 be your best year yet!

To Your Success!
Lisa

p.s. If you’d like help creating a powerful vision for 2015 for you and your business , join us for January’s Mastermind with a Mission™ “Creating Your Compelling Vision for 2015” January 7th at 2:00 pm in Seattle. I’ve extended the early bird special until January 1st at 11:59 pm just in case. Click here to sign-up. It would be great to have you and to support you in having an Extraordinary 2015!

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Beyond Goals… the Power of a Compelling Vision

Beyond Goals… the Power of a Compelling Vision

Have you set goals this year that you’re excited about, goals that are worthy of you and how great you are, that give you something exciting to strive for… something that is worth a year of your life?

Written Jan 19, 2010, read 2672 times since then.
 
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The New Year has started, the dust has settled and if you’re that type of successful person that chooses their destiny, you’ve probably taken time to set your goals for the year.  If you’re a winner, you’re probably already acting on them…  Let me ask you, are your goals really worthy of you?  Are they what you really want out of your life?

Let’s say your goal is… I will make $250,000.00 this year, loose 30 pounds, I’ll get that promotion, that new house, work on my marriage, and be a better parent.  So maybe that’s not in your ball park but let’s pretend… 

Is that really a worthy goal for you?  Isn’t there a call in you to do something more, to be something more… to be who you are capable of being, to build a life that is meaningful, fulfilling, doing what matters to you and gives your life a sense of purpose?

Do you get how amazing you are?  You are magnificent.  You have the power within you to make a difference in the world, to do something with your life that is really worth doing.  Are you going to do it this year?

Whether we set goals or not, we often go through life accomplishing but is what we accomplish really what we want?  Is it what we want to spend our life on, or is it the shoulds and doing what our peers do? 

Have you had the experience of reaching that level of success you so longed for, got there and thought, “Is this it?”  Maybe you didn’t even reach your goal because it wasn’t exciting or compelling; it wasn’t what you really wanted to do with your life, and you end up not feeling great about your self or your life. 

We want more.  We want our lives to have meaning and purpose.  We want work that really values who we are and stretches us to fulfill our potential.  We want to make a difference in the world, to do something that really matters.  We want goals and a vision that show us that we believe in our selves and in what we can do.  Right? 

Imagine… believing in your self so much that you set big goals, goals that include you making a difference in the world.  You creating a compelling vision that inspired you to go for it because it sounded so exciting and filled you with so much passion, sense of purpose and gave your life meaning. 

Whatever industry you’re in, you could be a leader in changing that industry for the better.  You could run your business on your values, and even show how values-driven businesses are more profitable.  You could raise awareness and create change in how things are done – any industry, you name it.  You could express and lead in powerful social, environmental or even spiritual* practices through your business.  (*which could mean religious or could mean practices and ways of being in business that build someone’s spirit, for your employees and customers, and even bigger by your choice in the messages you send through your ads and commercials, etc.)

Maybe there’s a book in you, something that will inspire and empower others or raise awareness or consciousness.  If you work for a non-profit, maybe figure out how to make it more profitable, a healthier organization that empowers those you serve better – more social entrepreneurism.  The list goes on and on.

We all have something, whether you’re in a job or have your own business, there is a way that you could make a difference in the world though it.  Yes, you could be Gandhi, Mother Theresa… or think of the impact Bill Gates has had on all our lives, or the person who invented post-it notes.  Think of the impact all those people who didn’t stand up and say, “this isn’t right” that went along with things at Enron.

We are so amazing and living such small lives.  Most of us are living the status quo, even if successful.  Was being a CEO at Enron something to be proud of?  (Sorry I’m picking on Enron but the other companies I’d like to poke at are still around, and I don’t want to do that.  I’d rather have us change the way business is done so those businesses that don’t practice good social and environmental values go under.  Imagine that world.  Let’s build that world!  It’s up to us.)

Also, don’t get me wrong, I think we should make lots of money while positively changing the world – it needs to be sustainable, fun would be good too.  Making a profit should and can be done with values, with our humanity and consciousness intact.  A combination of The 3 P’s – Passion, Purpose & Profit ©.

Businesses are leading the direction of the world… why fight it.  Let’s just change the direction of business and do something worth doing though our work and be very successful at it.  On the cover of “values-driven business” by Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick is the line “how to change the world, make money, and have fun”.  That line is a great food for thought and I highly recommend the book.

So, how about you?  How about goals really worth your time, your life, and your talents?  Goals that excite and inspire you, that fill you with passion… something to do that gives your life meaning and purpose.  Goals and accomplishments that make you feel great about who you are, and how you are being in the world…proud of your self.  How would that change your life, your relationships?  How would that change your world… and our world?

Isn’t it time we really started being who we can be and living lives true to how amazing we are…and true to who we are in our hearts and souls?  We don’t have to sell out or play small.

What do you really want to do, not just this year but with your life?  And beyond business goals, what do you want to do through your business?  What impact do you want to have in the world?

 “Your willingness to create a new dream or vision for your life is a statement of belief in your own potential” – David McNally’s book “I Believe In You”

We can change the course of our destiny by setting a new direction for our lives.  Think of two planes leaving an airport… just a small difference in their direction will take them to two totally different destinations. 

Go back to your goals… what do you really want to do with your life this year?  Go for it!  You can make a difference!

 

 

Comment on this article from biznik

  •  
    Visual Goal  Setting Coach and Artist<br /><br />
Seattle, Washington<br /><br />
Brittany Faulkner
    Posted by Brittany Faulkner, Seattle, Washington | May 04, 2011  Flag_post

    Here’s to a life lived with purpose!

     
  •  
    Photo Booth Specialist<br /><br />
Seattle, Washington<br /><br />
Ben Resnick
    Posted by Ben Resnick, Seattle, Washington | May 04, 2011  Flag_post

    Excellent article Lisa, I agree completely! One of the biggest problems in the world is people just don’t think big enough. As of this week, I decided that my ultimate goal is to be the ultimate success catalyst; to completely transform the world in all areas. I’m not afraid to say it, because I am 100% confident in my thorough and specific action plan and ability to take massive action to follow through.

    Another problem is that many of the people who do think big just don’t follow through on their goals. The biggest difficulty in influencing others through information products is there is a tendency to be temporarily inspired but let it wear off without taking action. This is where a coach or accountabilibuddy is so important and valuable.

 

 

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Harvest Your Successes, for an Extraordinary New Year!

Harvest Your Successes, for an Extraordinary New Year!

It’s the end of the year. Have you thought about your year, successes, accomplishments, failures? How will you clearly plan the next if you haven’t? Before setting goals for a powerful and successful future… Harvest!

Written Dec 27, 2010, read 1405 times since then.
Greatly helpful
8.6 out of 10
5 votes

It’s the end of another year.  Was it successful?  Have you thought about 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 acknowledge 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!

p.s.  If this was helpful for you, please share it with other who will benefit from it… we can all use help right now.  Thank you!

 

Comment on this article

    • Employment Associate 
Renton, Washington 
Sergey Dunayev
      Posted by Sergey Dunayev, Renton, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

      Interesting point of view, helps to deal with year-end results analysis; good points regarding planning goals next year.

    • Entrepreneur Coach, Business Consultant & Motivational Speaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Lisa Bradley, CPC
      Posted by Lisa Bradley, CPC, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

      Hey Sergey!

      Thank you for your comment.

      It’s funny, while I was writing it up I did it myself, which I do every year, and every year I forget how great it is to look at my year with this perspective. It helps me to look at my year clearly when I’ve just acknowledged my successes.

      We did this in the last Mastermind Monday and it was great. It’s great to do in a group – we acknowledge our biggest success to each other. Very powerful. Next Mastermind, which I’m changing a bit is “Creating a Compelling Vision”, and February is “Strategizing for Greater Success”. I hope to see you at another one soon!

      Go For Extraordinary!
      Lisa

    • Career Counselor 
Seattle, Washington 
Laila Atallah
      Posted by Laila Atallah, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

      Lovely, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing this. Like you, my husband and I go through this reflecting and dreaming process almost every year. I’m going to enjoy incorporating some of your insights and interesting questions and takes on things. You’ve added more richness to an already enriching process. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

      Laila

      www.CareerCounselingWithaTwist.com

  • Copywriter and Editor, Specializing in Website Content 
Seattle, Washington 
Russell Smith
    Posted by Russell Smith, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

    Powerful article, Lisa.

    You’ve put in clear steps so anyone can use this assessment tool.

    I think all of us are planting new seeds throughout the year, so harvesting at the end completely resonates with me.

  • Accounting Resource CEO 
Seattle, Washington 
Linda  Paffel
    Posted by Linda Paffel, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

    Thanks Lisa- This is a wonderful recap, it would be a great help to review with this article several times a year.

  • Creative Entrepreneur Coach, Artist's Way Facilitator 
Seattle, Washington 
Victoria Dzenis
    Posted by Victoria Dzenis, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

    Thank you Lisa!

    What a well-thought-out process for completing the year and preparing for the next!

  • Personal Wardrobe Stylist/Style & Beauty Coach/Image Consultant 
Seattle, Washington 
Debby Sutherland
    Posted by Debby Sutherland, Seattle, Washington | Dec 29, 2010  Flag_post

    Lisa,

    Thank you for your article! I love the “farming/harvesting” analogy. It’s easy to relate to.

    Assessing 2010 by focusing on successes definitely puts you in a better place to move forward in planning and setting goals for 2011. Evaluating what worked & didn’t work, celebrating what we’ve done and become will definitely lead to a more powerful and successful future. Appreciate your 5 steps to help you do the above.

    Wishing you an extraordinary 2011!

    Debby

  • Career Catalyst & Business Coach 
Phoenix, Arizona 
Richard Baum
    Posted by Richard Baum, Phoenix, Arizona | Dec 31, 2010  Flag_post

    How true, especially when we have loftier goals and expectations for ourselves than we might have for others. Very easy to focus on how far we are from our destination and dismiss how far we have come.

    This is very timely as we begin a new year by setting goals and developing a strategic plan for achieving them. Taking a look back at our accomplishments encourages and motivates us to continue the journey.

    Thank you for this wonderful template for ourselves and our clients. All the best for a truly wondrous and adventuresome New Year!

  • Entrepreneur Coach, Business Consultant & Motivational Speaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Lisa Bradley, CPC
    Posted by Lisa Bradley, CPC, Seattle, Washington | Jan 06, 2011  Flag_post

    First, I want to say how fabulous it is that I’ve met all of you… I love my mastermind groups for so many reasons, right now I feel so grateful that I’ve met all of you and supported you and your success! What a great year it’s been. That is FABULOUS! Obviously I did the Harvest too.

    Lovely Laila… You are so welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reminding me of years past when I did this exercise with friends. It’s so powerful.
    – I wish you a wonderful year too!

    Russell… Thank you. We do plant seeds and then often go on to the next without checking to see, and feel good about, what we’ve grown. And we so need that. It’s a good practice for our selves and it’s good to point our friend’s successes out to them, to remind each other of our wins and accomplishments.

    Linda & Victoria… I am so glad you were at my December Mastermind and got to do this in the group and celebrate your wonderful selves… and acknowledge your selves in front of all of us to celebrate you! Yea! That was fabulous. Thank you for coming and yes, this is a great tool to use throughout the year. It’s very useful after completing a project, or to do quarterly.

    Debby, Hi! Yes, what most don’t know is that I’m a farm girl at heart. I love the earth and grew up near farms. I’m glad the steps help and that you’re choosing to give your self the gift of them… I hope they support you in building an extraordinary year!

    And Richard, we miss you! Thanks for popping your head and your comments in. Yes, it is a great tool for clients. My clients work so hard, and often don’t recognize it until I point it out… I bet you experience that with your clients too. I hope you’re having a wonderful time in Phoenix, and that your business is growing in leaps and bounds.

    Happy 2011! Thank you again for your comments and your rating me… I do want to know what you think, and what I can do to support you.

    Make it Extraordinary!
    Lisa

 

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