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Got Purpose? What can you do with your time that is important?

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Empowerment
Got Purpose? What can you do with your time that is important?

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By age 6, both of my daughters knew they wanted to do with their life. This was shocking to me. My eldest is now almost 16 and my youngest is 11. At this point, both daughters are walking steadily along their life’s path and truly have a clear sense of purpose. I watch them both with awe and wonder as having this knowledge has shaped every choice they’ve made in school and how they spend a good part of their waking hours.

To be clear, I don’t think this scenario is the norm. In fact, I think it quite rare and I also think I won the parent lottery. It took me until age 40 to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and it wasn’t until the spring of 2014 that I finally had the courage to quit a secure corporate job to finally become a full-time entrepreneur. I talked about it, and dreamed about it, and even had a TV show for two seasons that focused on people who did it. I, on the other hand, dallied with the concept for THREE full years before taking that final next step.

All this to say that the idea of finding your purpose is a huge one. It takes time and a commitment to digging deep by asking yourself some hard-core questions — questions that strike at the heart of who you are and exposure your soft pink underbelly. Dare I say it…they reveal your…vulnerability.

On my January 7th episode of Your Authentic Life, I have the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Visca. Gerry is regarded internationally as Canada’s Creative Coach. He has a gift for unleashing WHY power within Fortune 500 leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs. He has impacted over 100,000 people across 10 countries and through his World WHY tour.

On my show, Gerry and I are going to dig deep and explore the WHY questions to help you examine or reconnect with how you’re spending your days. The critical point is that I think it is more about how we spend our time on important things each day that adds up. Ask yourself: Are you doing things that are important to you or are you just doing things?

You can go through life with comfort and complacency or you can lean into your life and bring your best game every day. No one said it would be easy. In fact, Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, said, “What is to give light must endure burning.”

To supplement my interview with Gerry, here are a five questions I ask my clients to answer when they are looking for direction and purpose:

1)”Imagine money was no object, how would you spend your day?” Or put in another way, “If you were given the gift of the perfect day, how would you spend it and why?”

2) “What gets you so lost in something that you forget to eat and sleep?” Or “What do you do that gets you in a state of flow so that time seems to fly by and you could keep doing what you’re doing forever?”

3) Knowing that even engaging in what we love has some more challenging or not fun aspects to it, “What could you do that even if it felt like work, you could still do it knowing that there were so many upsides to all the other aspects of it?” (I call this eating a poo-sandwich.) Insert your own profanity…my girls don’t let me swear.

4) Doing what you love creates a sense of vulnerability and that may prevent you from pursuing it. Fear can hold power if you feed it. So, the question is, “What could you do that even if you were exposed to embarrassment repeatedly in order to get better at it, you would still want to do it?” No one starts off doing what they love without running into road blocks or making mistakes. Examine if you are holding yourself back because you’re afraid of what others will think of you or if you are afraid of your own success. If you are not doing what you want because of what others will think of you, you’re robbing yourself of your own happiness. “If you were age 6 and you asked yourself same question, would your answer be different?”

5) This is the corny question, but it is important so please stay with me. “You’ve been told you have one year to live. Fast forward one year from today. You are on your deathbed and are writing your own obituary. What would you want to write about yourself?” Purpose is about how you sent time on important things that made a difference for you but also helped others through your efforts. Do you want to write, Here lies me, the person who watched every episode of the Gilmore Girls 5 times?

The bottomline is that purpose comes down to making choices that are right for you and taking time for daily self reflection. Do what you love and you won’t be driven by the fear of embarrassment or what others think of you. You’ve got incredible gifts that the world is waiting to see. Don’t rob us of your talents. Take the leap. Connect with what lights you up and do things that are important to you, every day. Then you’ll be living your authentic life.

Ways to Leverage Social Media

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Empowerment
Ways to Leverage Social Media

iStock_000025436857Small

By age 6, both of my daughters knew what they wanted to do with their life. This was shocking to me. My eldest is now almost 16 and my youngest is 11. At this point, both daughters are walking steadily along their life’s path and truly have a clear sense of purpose. I watch them both with awe and wonder as having this knowledge has shaped every choice they’ve made in school and how they spend a good part of their waking hours.

To be clear, I don’t think this scenario is the norm. In fact, I think it quite rare and I also think I won the parent lottery. It took me until age 40 to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and it wasn’t until the spring of 2014 that I finally had the courage to quit a secure corporate job to finally become a full-time entrepreneur. I talked about it, and dreamed about it, and even had a TV show for two seasons that focused on people who did it. I, on the other hand, dallied with the concept for THREE full years before taking that final next step.

All this to say that the idea of finding your purpose is a huge one. It takes time and a commitment to digging deep by asking yourself some hard-core questions — questions that strike at the heart of who you are and expose your soft pink underbelly. Dare I say it…they reveal your…vulnerability.

On my January 7th episode of Your Authentic Life, I have the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Visca. Gerry is regarded internationally as Canada’s Creative Coach. He has a gift for unleashing WHY power within Fortune 500 leaders and inspiring entrepreneurs. He has impacted over 100,000 people across 10 countries and through his World WHY tour.

On my show, Gerry and I are going to dig deep and explore the WHY questions to help you examine or reconnect with how you’re spending your days. The critical point is that I think it is more about how we spend our time on important things each day that adds up. Ask yourself: Are you doing things that are important to you or are you just doing things?

You can go through life with comfort and complacency or you can lean into your life and bring your best game every day. No one said it would be easy. In fact, Victor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, said, “What is to give light must endure burning.”

To supplement my interview with Gerry, here are five questions I ask my clients to answer when they are looking for direction and purpose:

1)“Imagine money was no object, how would you spend your day?” Or put in another way, “If you were given the gift of the perfect day, how would you spend it and why?”

2) “What gets you so lost in something that you forget to eat and sleep?” Or “What do you do that gets you in a state of flow so that time seems to fly by and you could keep doing what you’re doing forever?”

3) Knowing that even engaging in what we love has some more challenging or not fun aspects to it, “What could you do that even if it felt like work, you could still do it knowing that there were so many upsides to all the other aspects of it?” (I call this eating a poo-sandwich.) Insert your own profanity…my girls don’t let me swear.

4) Doing what you love creates a sense of vulnerability and that may prevent you from pursuing it. Fear can hold power if you feed it. So, the question is, “What could you do that even if you were exposed to embarrassment repeatedly in order to get better at it, you would still want to do it?” No one starts off doing what they love without running into road blocks or making mistakes. Examine if you are holding yourself back because you’re afraid of what others will think of you or if you are afraid of your own success. If you are not doing what you want because of what others will think of you, you’re robbing yourself of your own happiness. “If you were age 6 and you asked yourself same question, would your answer be different?” 

5) This is the corny question, but it is important so please stay with me. “You’ve been told you have one year to live. Fast forward one year from today. You are on your deathbed and are writing your own obituary. What would you want to write about yourself?” Purpose is about how you spent time on important things that made a difference for you but also helped others through your efforts. Do you want to write, Here lies me, the person who watched every episode of the Gilmore Girls 5 times?

The bottomline is that purpose comes down to making choices that are right for you and taking time for daily self reflection. Do what you love and you won’t be driven by the fear of embarrassment or what others think of you. You’ve got incredible gifts that the world is waiting to see. Don’t rob us of your talents. Take the leap. Connect with what lights you up and do things that are important to you, every day. Then you’ll be living your authentic life.

How to Fail Intelligently

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Empowerment
How to Fail Intelligently

Believe

It happens to us all. We make mistakes. Even when we feel we’ve made the best decision based on the information we have at the time. Sometimes failure comes with little to no negative consequences and other times, it comes with a much higher price. In many situations, we stop ourselves short because of the fear of failure. We thwart our ability to proceed based on the crippling regrets of past failures.

Fortunately, a recent concept known as intelligent failure has shed some much needed light on the notion that one can learn, maximize, and even accelerate through the act of trial and error. Note the emphasis on the term, error. If we are able to emphasize the idea that innovation can be made possible by accepting a certain risk of failure that is inherent in new ideas and approaches, we can grow our risk tolerance and comfort with failure in healthy ways.

The reality is that no matter how hard we try to avoid failure, it will happen. Intelligent failure is the intentional practice of reacting to these situations more productively and less defensively. This is a skill that anyone can learn. It is the hope anyone fearful of decision-making welcomes.

So how does one learn the skill of intelligent failure? Well, Commander Chris Hadfield sets a pretty amazing example. I’ve blogged about it back in August when I was speaking at a conference where Chris was the keynote. His message was about hope and how planning for failure builds greater confidence and successful outcomes.

Often people are afraid to talk about their failures. Perhaps is is the fear of ridicule or simply dredging up the painful memories. When we talk about failure, we help others gain a different perspective and learn to avoid making the same mistakes.

Like squeezing the juice from a lemon to make lemonade, when we fail intelligently, we look at the experience for the opportunity to extract as many lessons as we can as part of our journey to success. Failure can teach us a lot.

On this week’s episode of Your Authentic Life, I interview Heather Clarke, an executive coach who will share tips about intelligent failure. Tune in to VoiceAmerica’s Empowerment Channel, Wednesday at 2:00pm ET or 11am PT, to hear this interview live.

The biggest tip I can share with you is to push through feelings about failure. It is human nature to be staunchly averse to feeling the embarrassment or shame that is linked to talking about mistakes. It can pull down your self esteem if there isn’t a trusting environment to explore the learning that comes from these experiences. When you don’t talk about it or deal with it early, there can be a tendency to pretend it didn’t happen or that you didn’t have a part in it. No one has the ability to learn or draft a new course for success as quickly or successfully as could have been possible. As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

I’m excited about this episode to liberate the stigma related to failure and hope you’ll give us a listen on Wednesday. Remember, it isn’t about celebrating failure, but rather staying curious and open to learning about what it can teach you when it occurs.

How to get what you want out of life and work

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Empowerment
How to get what you want out of life and work

Article 1

American astronomer Carl Sagan said, “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.”

How many of us take time for self-reflection and to really dive into the deep areas of our life that help define us? I believe that we tend to spend more time researching the type of car or the juicer we’ll buy than thinking about our future or what we want out of life.

Perhaps it is the fear of what we’ll uncover that stops us short. It could also be the anxiety created at the thought of digging up the mistakes we’ve made or perhaps even resurfacing painful regrets. Whatever the reason, when we make time on a regular basis to look inward in an attempt to become more self aware, we stop the harmful cycle of self-deception that creates the repetition of non-nurturing choices.

Here are three questions I like to ask myself on a regular basis:

1. Why don’t I do the activities I know are best for me and that would serve me well? Asking this question helps you get right to the point. When you answer this question honestly, you’ll see the barriers you allow to get in your way. The tricker part is actually addressing what is stopping you and then taking steps to remove the barriers so you can get started with things you really want to do.

2. Am I being true to my innermost needs and values? If you feel trapped in a job that doesn’t align with your values, or you’re friends with people who do things that you don’t support, your mind and body will send you signals to advise you of the conflict you’re feeling. The more you suppress those toxic feelings, the more stress, anxiety and pain you’ll create internally. Depending on how you answer this question, go back to Question 1.

3. Are “shoulds” and “need to” getting in the way of my happiness? Life is about choices. When you replace the word “should” or “need to” with “I choose to” it helps to change the way you look at the actions and activities you engage in every day. Everything you do comes down to decisions you make either consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes you might feel trapped into doing something – as if you have no choice. When you feel this way, I invite you to explore what expectations you think others have of you, or the expectations you have placed on yourself. When you allow past conditioning and the fear of other’s perception of you to dominate your choices, you unintentionally keep happiness at bay. When you release these expectations, a world of possibility and choice suddenly becomes available.

On this week’s episode of Your Authentic Life, I have the great privilege of interviewing Dr. Alan Zimmerman. Dr. Zimmerman is a best-selling author, an internationally recognized motivational speaker and a brilliant teacher. He started selling door-to-door in second grade, everything from greeting cards to operating a small international import business by age 14. He worked his way through college and graduate school as a retail salesperson, radio broadcaster, recreation manager, and prison therapist.

During my live interview with Dr. Zimmerman, I’ll ask him about his new book, The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets For Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work.” Tune in to find out more about the three elements that are the cornerstone of his book — purpose, passion, and process. We’ll discuss each of these elements in detail. This is an episode you won’t want to miss!

Please check out this broadcast on the Empowerment Channel of VoiceAmerica at 11am PT or 2pm ET on Wednesday, December 10. I can’t wait to talk to Dr. Zimmerman — the man who inspired my Wise Wednesday Tips.

I also invite you to subscribe to Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip. His words and stories have inspired me for years and I hope they will do the same for you.

How to Create a Ripple Effect

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Empowerment
How to Create a Ripple Effect

plant and water

A ripple effect is something we often don’t know we have created, nor do we truly have a sense of its potential reach. Occasionally, we get a glimpse of it through the words or actions that come back to us through the echo of an event’s enormity or through the expanding awareness of a cause.

Can you change the world? Yes, you can, but it first starts with you and looking inside to what motivates, inspires, and fuels your passion. What is the burning ‘yes’ inside you? Are you ready to wow the world and create a massive ripple effect?

Many of us look to make our world a better place, but don’t know where or how to start. It can feel overwhelming to balance work, family, volunteer efforts, as well as personal goals.

My guest on this week’s episode of Your Authentic Life is Amanda Knapp, Vice-President, Wealth Advisor & Financial Planner at RBC Wealth Management – Dominion Securities, who shares her inspiring story of overcoming major life challenges while seeking ways to find balance, manage boundaries, and bring her dream to life.

Though our interview, we discuss methods and suggestions for ensuring that you allow your dreams to have a place in your daily life. This means creating time for them and scheduling opportunities to dream, create, engage, and implement.

Amanda provides a host of practical tips for learning to say ‘no’ to experiences that don’t drive your goals forward and don’t provide ways to make the most of your day in healthy and positive ways. To hear all of the my interview with Amanda, please listen to Your Authentic Life on VoiceAmerica’s Empowerment Channel. My show airs every Wednesday at 2pm ET or 11am PT.

To supplement Amanda’s suggestions, here are my top tips for creating your own ripple effect.

1) Let it start withIN you. The 12th century Sufi poet Rumi wrote, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself first.” Look within through quiet reflection and mindful awareness to explore your actions and why you want to make a difference. When your motivation comes authentically from your inner Self, you’ll find an easier path to creating a lasting ripple effect.

2) Focus on your top goals and create specific milestones. Make time to map out what you want to do what the key steps are to getting there. No matter how lofty, every goal starts with a mental creation before its physical creation.

3) Plan daily and learn to say ‘no’ compassionately. Once you have mapped out your goals with specific timelines, place the associated tasks in your daily schedule. This way you’ll ensure they get center stage and have a better chance of being accomplished. Learning to say no isn’t easy, but if you find a way to do so compassionately and with clarity, you’ll find that others will be more apt to readily accept your answer with greater understanding and less push back.

4) Continually engage with positive people and share your dream. Nay sayers and negative influencers may rob you of energy you need to harness to move your goals and dreams forward. The more you surround yourself with positive influencers, the greater your potential to enhance the size of your ripple effect.

5) Be consistent with your message and your personal brand. Are your actions consistent or is there room for misinterpretation. By going back to point 1) and looking within, you’ll become more aware of your motivation and if you are authentically and purposefully engaging in activities that reflect your intended message.

6) Be open to feedback and ready to embrace change when needed. Sometimes what you want changes. By staying curiously detached from the outcome, you may find that something bigger and better lies in store.

This last point holds a significant relevance for Amanda and the work she has done as the founder of Women of Waterloo Region (WOW). WOW started in 2009 as an annual event recognizing outstanding contributions women made to society. This platform grew to attendance of over 400 in 2014 donating thousands to the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo. It has evolved into WOWtheworld™ launching in 2015 spotlighting stories of men, women and youth. During our interview, Amanda discusses why the change happened.

I invite you to watch Emma Watson’s speech on Feminism for the United Nations. Watson pushes back against recent campaigns like Women Against Feminism in favour of promoting both genders in the HeForShe campaign.

Great ideas can be made better when you stay open, curious, and courageously detached thereby allowing for the size of your ripple effect to expand exponentially.

On Self Compassion and Positive Next Steps

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Empowerment
On Self Compassion and Positive Next Steps

Stock

It happens to all of us. There comes a time when we all make whopper-sized mistakes. Real doozies. Maybe it is a poor choice that resulted in the worst possible outcome. Perhaps it was something you said from a place of anger, fear, or frustration. Even in the moment right after the words left your lips, you felt the flush of regret. You wish you could swallow up your words and have a ‘do-over’.

Your worst fear came true. Thinking about it is causes you to feel all of the initial emotion as if the situation just happened.

So what do you do? Do you beat yourself up and relive the moment in a perpetual cycle of shame and regret?

No.

It is time to dial up self compassion, focus on present moment awareness and ways to build positive momentum. Letting the pain, embarrassment, or shame of regret dwell in your heart allows emotional toxicity to pollute you mentally and physically. When you allow these and harmful thoughts to stay inside you, you drain your energy reserves and further the cycle of self doubt and uncertainty.

This isn’t a place you want to call home. It would be far more comforting to have a cozy, soft place to rest your weary heart and mind.

Here are some tips to help you build a stronger foundation based on self compassion:

1) Practice mindful awareness. Stay present and acknowledge what you are feeling. You may be frustrated, sad, hurt, disappointed, or embarrassed. Recognize the feeling and take responsibility for the emotions. Allow yourself to be in the space you need to be as a curious detached observer. From here, if you need to apologize, do so. Hoping that the situation will fade from your memory or from others is unlikely. Take the time to do as the Chinese proverb says, “If you must bow at all, bow low.” From here, you will create space for healthier thoughts and more nourishing actions.

2) Practice emotional release. Journal your emotions and the situation that triggered them. Then release what you journaled by burning the paper or shredding and discarding it. Next, recognize this important step in a ceremony of celebration by doing something nurturing for yourself.

3) Use your top 3 phrases. What phrases can you verbalize to yourself when you are suffering. Think of three statements you can say out loud to plant better thoughts in your subconscious. Here are a few suggestions: “I allow myself time to feel these emotions.” “I am worthy and deserving of self love and compassion.” “Suffering happens and it is in this moment, but won’t last forever.”

As the 12th century Sufi poet Rumi wrote, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

4) Consider your community. You are not the only person who suffers. Imagine a friend shared her suffering with you. How would you comfort her? Most likely, you would use words of caring, support, and compassion. Can you do the same for yourself?

5) Remember you are the director. You are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts and the director of your life’s movie. You can’t change what has been written, but you can write a more nurturing and healthy script for your main character going forward.

For more tips on self compassion and building positive momentum, please tune into my radio show, Your Authentic Life on VoiceAmerica’s Empowerment Channel. My guest on the November 19 show is Amanda Weber. Call in to 1.888. 246.9141 or email your questions to authentikaconsulting@gmail.com. The show airs live Wednesdays at 11:00am PST and 2:00pm EST.

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