Okay, phew! I just said it. I feel like I just jumped off the symbolic cliff with you. I just put it out there. And now I feel a bit vulnerable and free all at the same time.
I’ve been “thinking” about writing a book for a long time. People say that it’s good for business, great for credibility, and will open many doors. And while that’s true I assume, that isn’t my driving motivation.
Nearly six months ago I attended a women’s retreat and during a meditation by the ocean I had a divine, sacred experience where I felt called to share what’s in my heart. It’s as if a seed was then planted that has been gestating and it’s now beginning to come forth. It’s about me answering a call from my Divine, my heart and willing to walk in this path, even though it’s scares me and brings up lots of my unpretty stuff.
Last weekend I participated in a virtual workshop retreat to write a book in a weekend – it was awesome – great coaching, collaboration, and passion and I made significant progress. And then I hit the wall.
I’m aware that when we approach change and growth that our stuff or limiting beliefs can come up. I coach that everyday. So I was very logical about going into this weekend, yet then I hit my own wall. I was stuck, I was overwhelmed, feeling like I wanted to just check out and shut down.
As I got curious about what was up for me and gave voice to it, I became aware that my stuff sounded like this, “Who am I to write this book? I’m just a regular girl. What will others think of me?” And then the big one surfaced – “what if I can’t live up to my content (core success principles) all the time? I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. And I feel incredibly vulnerable putting myself out there.”
I cried. Hot tears cried. And then breathed. And then received some love and support from dear friends who “just happened” to reach out when the meltdown was happening, including my workshop partner & dear friend, Michelle. God is really so cool with how He puts people on our path in the moment we need them. And none of them “fixed” it for me – that’s my work with myself and my Maker. Yet held the love and space to say, “Tiff, it’s okay to be vulnerable. You’re writing this to honor a calling, honoring God. You’re writing this for those who are seeking it.” And then I breathed some more and felt a sense of peaceful calm. And went on to knock it out of the park.
Being vulnerable is the path of the courageous, the path of greatness.
Whether that be in the form of writing a book, taking a stand for a cause or beliefs we have, asking for a sale, communicating our needs to our partner, or any other form where we tell our own truth or take a real or perceived risk.
There are reactions we receive in putting ourselves out there – we could experience judgment, criticism, or rejection. We could also experience love, sales, connection, and fulfillment by willing to risk and be vulnerable.
It often appears that hiding our vulnerability – acting as if we’re tough, know it all, are perfectly put together, and stuffing or distracting our vulnerability – will protect us, yet in reality it limits us from living a more expressed life.
Last Spring I was introduced to a great thought leader, Brene Brown and her TED talk video. It moved me to the core. She now has a best selling book, “Daring Greatly” and has recently been featured on the popular Oprah program, Super Soul Sunday. This topic is trending big time. Take a watch and see why:
So I’m sharing with you what is up for me and creating my own path of vulnerability… so you can get the most out of the time you’ve invested in reading this article, take a breath of courage and consider for yourselves…
Where in my life or what in my life am I avoiding or putting off?
What one goal – greater connection, intimacy, writing your book, asking for that sale – do you know in your gut that you need to ask for or go for?
Are you willing to ask for what you want, to put yourself out there?
Yes, your work may be judged, like mine will be. Yes, your work will be praised, like mine will be. Yes, you may get a no, get turned down, told no, or have to make uncomfortable decisions. Yes, you may get a yes, get accepted, and get exactly what you wanted. We never know unless we’re willing to be vulnerable.
I have learned for myself that the more I am authentic and allow myself to share all of me, especially the vulnerable sides, that I experience life and connections at a fuller expression of living. Vulnerability makes life more beautiful…more real, deep, and alive! And that’s a choice I’m choosing to make.
It was nearly 12 years ago when I heard that phrase for the first time. I was a new sales rep in a training class and at the time I first heard that phrase, I thought it was a bit of “psychobabble” talk. I didn’t think too much of it until months later I was living out what my trainer was talking about.
I had ramped up pretty quickly selling coaching for Franklin Covey Coaching and what I used to make in a month, I was now making in a week!! Awesome, right? Yes, except for the fact that I wasn’t used to making that kind of money ….and because that was outside of my comfort zone as well as my identity, I started to struggle…and it started to show up in my sales. Not good.
I hired my first “life coach” and I was introduced for the first time that year to classic books like As a Man Thinketh and Think & Grow Rich. I began to become aware of the power of my thoughts and how I was a shaping my life’s experiences.
And I went to work on the one thing I have control over – Me.
Jim Rohn has said, “your net worth will likely never outperform your self worth.”
Now, you may also think this sounds a bit woo-woo, right? Yet, I’m here to tell you that in my own experience as well as every client I’ve ever coached, we have lived out this truth.
Your self esteem is like your set of fingerprints – they’re on everything you touch: your bank account, your relationships, your health, you name it. It has a direct influence to how we show up in life and the results we’re creating – or sabotaging.
The good news? You can build your confidence & self esteem like any other muscle to make it stronger and healthier in your life. You also can go to work on you, which in turn will go to work on your sales.
Consider this – do you treat yourself like a top priority in your life? Do you cheer yourself on or tear yourself down? Do you put everyone else first and yourself last, or not at all?
Quick Inventory: Where would you rate your current level of self esteem?
Now, ask yourself, what’s one thing I can do to improve it? Begin doing it immediately! Part of building great self esteem is trusting ourselves and taking action on what our heart or intuition guides us to do.
This topic is deep and broad and we could literally do a 3 day workshop just on self esteem together. To help you get started on a path to enhancing your self esteem and therefore your results, consider these few insights to support you:
1. Trust. Self confidence comes from having a deep sense of trust within ourselves. Do you trust yourself? If no, can you forgive yourself and commit to repairing trust within you? Stephen Covey teaches that the fastest way to build trust with ourselves and others is “to make and keep commitments”…whereas the opposite is also true. Every time we make and break commitments, we erode trust. Tighten up your word with yourself so you feel confident that you’re in integrity with the boss – you!
2. Self Care. Do you take time to exercise, get good sleep, pray or meditate – or any other activity that helps your physical and emotional well being? Do you make time for you? If not, begin with 15 minutes per day to start investing in you. This simple practice will add up to a big deal.
3. Date Yourself. (I loved typing that by the way!) What I call a “Joy List”, choose to do at least one thing a week that is just for you – a massage, a game of golf, hiking, baking your favorite treat – whatever brings you joy on any level, free to expensive, that brings you a sense of joy to your life. Ideally you do something daily or multiple times a week, but at least begin with one a week. You are responsible for your happiness – so go create it!
When our BEHAVIOR backs up the BELIEF that we’re valuable and deserving, amazing things happen. Affirmations without action are simply “make believe.” If your behavior doesn’t align with the belief that you’re fabulous, worthy, valuable, etc then you’ll struggle to really believe it and live it.
Create your own joy list whether on a note pad, your laptop, or smart phone – begin adding things to it as you go that bring you joy – and then do them! Begin this week with doing at least one thing for yourself that brings you joy.
Whether you start small or go big, make yourself and your self esteem a top priority in your life. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll also attract better results to you.
Get ready from some serious inspiration, from newly published author, Jeff Olsen of www.atonenow.com. His book “I Knew Their Hearts” shares his experience with his own near death experience and the heart warming lessons in his healing journey.
This summer for me has held a lot of time in what I’d classify as “soul searching.” I don’t know if it’s the slower, lazy days of summer that help invites it or the world events taking place, or perhaps a combination of things, yet I find myself really looking at my life purpose, my work, ultimately my legacy. Is this just me or is this up for you too?
I had the grand pleasure of working for and learning from Franklin Covey Coaching for a number of years in my corporate days. I was daily involved with selling and teaching from the classic work of Stephen Covey, famously known, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I believe for many of us this book, this work had a profound effect upon our lives, our thinking, our relationships, and our legacy. As you likely know, Stephen Covey passed away this July. His passing prompted me to leaf through my own 7 Habits well worn copy and found myself smiling at the many truths I first learned from him. He has left a profound effect upon my life and upon the planet.
At the time of his passing, my mind, heart, and soul had already begun the dance of really doing a life introspection – am I happy? Am I progressing? Is my work meaningful? Am I contributing to the planet in a positive way? All of these thoughts combined with a few tear jearker episodes of ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”, I was primed and ready, already seeking after these thoughts of leaving a legacy. One of the things that Covey so eloquently teaches is to be living our legacy NOW. Not when we die and leave behind money or possessions. But to have our lives be a living legacy of goodness, of service in this present moment.
So consider this – what is your legacy? What do you want it to be? What do I want it to be for me? How do I/we want to contribute to the planet?
These are deep questions and we may not know the answers right now. Yet, I do believe they are so very valuable to ponder and consider for ourselves. We often hear that life is short. We are reminded of that as we read or hear of someone’s passing. It’s that little reminder each time that there will be a day for all of us to leave this life and begin a new adventure known as death. When we are in the daily grind, just keeping up with all the life stuff – laundry, school work, television, our careers – it’s easy to forget the preciousness of life. But indeed it is precious – YOU are precious – and there will never be another YOU on this planet ever.
So what will you choose to contribute while you’re here? What makes your heart sing? What brings you joy? Those are great starting points to being on purpose and therefore, contributing to a living legacy.
Here are two thoughts that I especially love and believe in my heart to be true guiding principles in discovering your life purpose and ultimately your legacy:
“Your life purpose will be found in service.” – Wayne Dyer
“When what brings you joy meets the need of humanity is where you will find your calling.” – Parker Palmer
I do believe that our purpose and our legacy will bring us joy – this is tip #1.
I do believe that our purpose and ultimately our joy will be rooted in service of others – this is tip #2.
Think about it.
Your list of what you’re drawn to, truly passionate about is bigger than making the bills, keeping up with the laundry, or losing those last stubborn 10 pounds. I would guess that as a fellow spiritual traveler on this path in a skin suit, I know that under the distractions and stressors of life, your heart and your soul know this to be true.
I believe Tagore was so divinely inspired when he penned,
“I dreamt and I saw that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted, and behold, service was joy.”
I personally love this quote also found in the 7 Habits,
“Service is the rent we pay for living upon the earth.” – N. Eldon Tanner
I too have seen that service is joy in my own life. I know that when I’m stressed out or in challenging times that when I focus on serving someone else, it always brings me higher too. I know that when I show up in sales conversation focused on serving the prospect or client, that I have joy in that process – when I don’t and it’s all about the sale, it’s stressful and lacking joy.
Service is a way of living our legacy in all that we do. And I also know that it shows up in a variety of shapes and forms. It may be that your service is working at a soup kitchen once a week. It may be a humanitarian trip to Africa or abroad. It’s also in many simple things like praying or sending kind thoughts to someone we know or a complete stranger. It may be buying someone’s coffee in the car line behind you. It could be opening a door for someone with full hands. It may be choosing to offer a compliment. It could also be choosing to give someone else the benefit of the doubt within our own home or office team when they show up grumpy, late, or seemed to be “thoughtless” of us. When I speak to service, there isn’t one particular way of what that means. For some of you, you are called to serve in medicine. For others, you are meant to teach children. And for others, you have the gift of making others laugh, or have hope, or confidence or whatever it may be. It’s the same principle manifested in different ways. All are of great value.
My point in writing this post to you today is because first of all, it’s been on my brain for three weeks straight and it hasn’t gone away until now when I’ve sat down to write it. Funny how that intuition just keeps knocking until you answer the call! And secondly, I think that for myself I’ve learned it’s valuable to our lives and our happiness to do the life inventory from time to time and ask of ourselves really good questions. These questions create discovery, insight, and importantly to our highest self, our soul, connecting us to our purpose – the juicy of the juicy that gives life meaning, value, courage, strength, and HOPE.
You have a purpose.
You have great value.
You are the only you on this planet equipped with thoughts, and skills, and experiences that are solely yours.
You have gifts to contribute. Please do so.
So what brings you joy?
What lights up your heart and soul?
In what ways does service speak to you?
How do you want to contribute in your life?
Let us be about the call to be a living legacy in the here and now.