It’s Rebellion Time
Rebellion…another approach to goal setting
“When we harness our rebellious energy, we reject what most may accept, and focus on creating what we believe to be possible…we do not dwell on what has already been proven. Instead we create the future we already know is possible.”
- Tara Bliss
There has been a recurring theme going on these days with not only my clients, but my friends as well:
We’re tired, burnt out, and want to go hide in a cave. The last thing on our mind is goal setting for our future.
Personally, this year has been one of the most emotionally challenging years in a long, long time. We’ve seen people’s personal lives politicized to the point of causing families to be ripped apart. Death threats, hateful tweets, and offensive behaviors have become what feels like the norm for many of us. And most of us are still mired in cultural expectations that we’re not only blind to, but don’t even agree with in the first place.
But hiding in a cave isn’t the answer.
We do have a say in how we create our lives and the world around us.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
Yeah, yeah, yeah… but are we actually doing what he’s suggesting? Are you BEING what you want to see? Are you acting on the belief that you can co-create your future? Or, are you hanging onto the belief that it’s too late or you’re just not up for the challenge?
No, it’s not too late and yes, you can handle the challenge. I think where we get stuck when confronting change, is when we assume the future will unfold the same way the past did. But if you bring a more rebellious energy to your goals, you can reshape the trajectory of your life and the world around you. Rebellion has both destructive and creative energy behind it. That is the road to change. And a way more fun way to approach our goals.
If you’ve already set some goals for the new year, revisit them now. And if you haven’t set any goals yet, think about something that you would like to see change. This could be personal or cultural…just pick something for the sake of this exercise.
What are my friend’s, family’s, and/or cultural expectations around this?
Do I agree with these expectations?
Which expectations can I get behind?
How would I behave? What would I say? Who would I spend time with and who wouldn’t I spend time with?
What would I watch or listen to in terms of the news, Netflix, Facebook, etc?
What would I say “no” to and what could I say “yes” to instead?
Asking these questions stokes our inner dormant fire. If you were genuinely honest in your answers to the above questions, you will likely feel your energy perk up. This is where rebellion starts. And, good news… you have just gained more clarity about why you want this change/goal to happen in your future.
And I guarantee you will be more successful if you include collaboration. Collaborate leadership is about dropping the pecking order and refusing to blindly follow orders. It’s all about expressing and empowering not only your talents but also the talents of others. It is inclusive, decisive, and powerful. It is the opposite of oppressive power (which is divisive, destructive, and erratic). And, no, it’s not about dropping our boundaries to be ‘nice’ either. Collaborative leadership is every bit as much about owning our sovereignty. In fact, it is when we have clear boundaries, we can freely share, grow, and co-create our lives.
I believe it is time to pivot away from the single handed, oppressive hierarchy. Instead, it is time to birth a new approach that holds collaboration and belief in our future as its’ new expectations.
Are you with me?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. And share your rebellion with me if you feel moved to do so.
And if you want to dig deeper into your own rebellion/goal setting, get in touch and we’ll strategize together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and share with friends.
The Games we Play
Today’s newsletter is not about the big goals, the big decisions, the big changes we create in our lives. No, today I’m talking about the stupid shit that we waste our energy on…on a daily basis.
One could argue that our little pet peeves and minor irritations are not a big deal.
But, science is proving that stress, ANY stress, is a major cause of disease. And the little stresses that we put up with every day, add up.
A helpful way to examine what you are wasting energy on is to ask the question:
“What game am I playing that I am no longer willing to play?”
For example, feeling irked when:
The dish is in the sink instead of in the dishwasher.
The laundry is yet to be removed from the dryer.
The neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.
You get the point. These are small irritations that can cause stress despite not being a very big deal. Consciously choosing to no longer put your energy behind these types of things frees up your energy and lowers your stress level immediately.
You can ask this same question for the bigger ‘games’ you are playing as well.
The game of being envious of your friend’s success.
The game of playing victim to your mother’s criticism.
The game of staying quiet when someone is saying something offensive.
Framing it as a ‘game’ rather than a big issue can sometimes make it easier to adjust your behavior. It also opens you up to seeing the issue from a more objective point of view rather than a personal one.
Seeing your envy as a ‘game’ allows to to decide if you want to opt out of the game entirely. Is the game of taking criticism personally worth your energy? And if you refuse to play the game of staying silent, what new actions can you take that weren’t available to you before?
Whether it’s the little pet peeves or the bigger issues, lightening up your attitude will undoubtedly allow you to have a more honest look at where you are adding unnecessary stress to your days.
I’d love to hear from you on this! What games are you opting out of? (Me? I’m quitting the game of shaming people for not stopping at stop signs! Wish me luck with that!)
As always, retweet, repost and share with your friends.
Overcoming Fear of Failure and Uncertainty – knowing your Fundamentals
“If the path before us is clear, we’re probably on someone else’s” – Joseph Campell
Your life did not come with an instructional manual. Which is great because you get to decide how you want to live your life and what you want to accomplish. But, that also means that the minute you decide to take action towards any of your goals, you have to get jump into the world of uncertainty.
Not knowing the outcome of our actions can bring up a good amount of anxiety. But in order to create anything meaningful, you HAVE to be willing to take risks.
Successful people are not immune to being afraid. Fear of failure is a normal fear that everyone feels. But successful people don’t allow their fear to be an excuse for not doing their work. They feel the resistance, and keeping going anyway.
So how do we learn to manage our fear of uncertainty and failure?
…By sticking to our fundamentals.
“The minute you walk away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation, – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing” – Michael Jordon
Your fundamentals, be it your morning workout, meditation practices, list making, getting to bed at a certain time…whatever constants you have in your life will help you feel the confidence and willingness to charter unknown territory.
The problem is, most of us take those behaviors for granted because now they’ve become consistent. What we have to do is notice and name what those consistent behaviors are, and then change our approach to them when in the midst of fear and uncertainty.
For example. When my father got sick a few years ago, I had just started teaching Pilates at a Physical Therapist’s office. But I wanted to be there for my dad (who lived in Vancouver). That required me to work as much as I could at the office for 3 days, fly to Vancouver midweek, return on Sunday and start the whole thing again the following week.
How could I maintain my sanity with this ridiculous schedule and incredible pressure? By sticking to my fundamentals. For me? That meant a cardio workout every morning (even if just for 15 minutes). And, I ended every day adding a few more stitches to my knitting project. And my knitting was the first thing I packed! For me, it was a crucial stress reducer. The rest of my life could be in total chaos provided I did those two things every day.
What are your fundamentals? What do you do that brings you a sense of stability? Morning workouts? Journaling? Meditating? Working in your garden? Green drinks? To-do lists? Specific classes? Hobbies? Podcasts?
Write them out.
Now decide which actions are the most important for you to take on a daily basis when your fear is up and running. Then, when you actually do these things, be present for your experience of them. Don’t just put on your running shoes and go for a run. Remind yourself that you are in fact practicing something that will help you stomach the uncertainty of your day. You’re daily run is not just for your heart…it’s for your spirit too. By being consistent with your fundamentals, you are creating a safe place to land in the midst of chaos.
Remember, living with passion means taking risks. And taking risks requires us to live with fear of uncertainty and failure. The fear my never completely go away. But with your fundamentals in place, you can look it in the eye and move forward anyway. Because although our paths are not always clear to us, they are still ours to experience.
You were meant to do something special in this world that only YOU can do. Discovering it and sharing it is your path.
If you need help with this, get in touch. We can figure this out together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and forward this to your friends.
Give yourself the Gift of Support in 2018
Okay, the New Year is almost here.
This is the perfect time to have a little face to face reality check with yourself, and…set up next year to be the best one yet.
What worked for you this year? When were you awesome? What did you manage to pull off despite the odds? Kudos to you…you rock!
And now, look back and ask yourself, what didn’t happen this year? Where did I stumble and fail to get back up?
Most likely, none of us accomplished all we had hoped to achieve. We all fell short of something this past year. I’m yet to meet a perfect person. (except for my cat)
But the fact is, you are more likely to overcome those set backs by asking for help from the right people.
No addict ever got sober alone. No book was ever published without being edited by at least one other person. No house was built single handedly. No community was created in a bubble.
We ALL need support.
So looking back at this past year, where could you have asked for help but didn’t? We’re all guilty of this! Don’t beat yourself up about it…just be honest.
Where could you have used some extra support?
Go get it. Now. Be generous with yourself and get the support you need.
Book the therapy appointment. Buy a series of workouts with a trainer. Book your first session of the year with your health coach, writing coach, life coach, spiritual coach. Sign up now for that meditation class or painting class or college class.
Not having the money is no excuse. Sign yourself up NOW. The minute you step up by signing up, the funds show up. I’ve seen this more times than I can tell you. When you take a stand for yourself, the universe supports you…always.
And, by committing right away, you will feel both relaxed and excited about next year. Why? Because you will hit the ground running with your support system already in place. Any resistance you have to getting help will already be muted. And, the likelihood of next year being the year you kick ass is far more likely now that you already have the support of others.
Give this gift of support to yourself…Now.
You deserve it!
And, that includes reserving time with me! Get in touch and let’s get a date on the books for 2018…let’s make 2018 the year we make it happen!
Here’s to a wonderful New Year.
As always, retweet, repost and share with everyone
Are you truly ready for your dreams to come true?
‘If there is something you really want, you are going to have to work really hard, take advantage of opportunity, make some mistakes, be patient, and above all never give up.’ – Jane Goodall
And I would add to that, are you prepared for the life you say you want?
If your dreams actually came true…would you be ready for what your life would look like?
Who doesn’t want to win power ball? Think of what those millions could get you. But, what do you know about managing millions of dollars?
A lot of people wish they were famous. But, I suspect when the reality of fame came along, they wouldn’t be prepared for the life fame brings.
Success comes to those who are prepared. Which often means a lot of hard work with little pay off…for quite some time.
I’m not talking about the “struggle” mentality meaning, where ‘everything is a struggle’. No, nobody wants that!
But ask any successful entrepreneur or artist if was easy getting to where they are today? I guarantee they will tell you it took a LOT of work. I mean a LOT of work. But they will also say it was worth it, now that they are living their dream.
Let me share a personal story about working hard and succeeding in the end.
I’m originally from Canada and when I was in my 20’s I wanted further my acting career by moving to the US. But I had no working papers so even if I booked a job, I couldn’t do it.
So, on one of my trips to LA I met with an attorney who told me exactly what I would need to do to get a green card. I did what she told me and eventually, yes, I got my green card! Unbeknownst to me though, I was actually following Jane Goodall’s advice from the above quote.
Hard work? I asked every PR person from every show I’d done, for a copy of all the press they had on their shows. That included international press from Europe, etc. (this was before the internet so that meant snail mail) It took about six months of constant work to collect all the press I needed.
Whenever my friend (the Producer from a show I was on at the time in Canada) met with anyone in LA, I asked him if I could also meet with them and convince them I was worthy of a letter of recommendation. I almost always walked away with a “yes”. So, I was looking for opportunities to beef up my case for my attorney.
Mistakes? Sure, I made mistakes. I ran out of money for a while (had to work as a janitor in a children’s acting school) because I didn’t calculate the exchange rate from Canadian to American money. I also didn’t ask about other fees I would need to pay for down the road as the approval precess began. But, this mistake helped too because then when I DID move to LA, I could more easily calculate my real costs of living in the states. I was preparing for the life I was intending to live.
Patience? Well, I was dealing with the government…which moves at the pace of molasses so yes, I had to wait a long time for my hearing.
And…I didn’t give up.
In hindsight I’m amazed at how determined and absolutely ballsy I was! And I can cite many more times I’ve approached my goals with this same mindset…starting my own business, co-producing a movie, getting my Pilates certification, setting up my own etsy shop…etc, etc.
Anything worthwhile that I have accomplished has been through this same formula.
So in terms of achieving our desires, we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to put in the work it will require? Are we willing to risk making mistakes while creating opportunities? Are we in it for the long haul?
If you need help refining your plans, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out. And remember to share, retweet, repost…and don’t give up!
What the world needs is people who have come alive!
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive…and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” – Howard Thurman
This is a common problem for many people…”what am I going to do with my life?”. That’s a big question! Holy big responsibilities, Bat Man!
Many of us are pressured by our parents to go to school and study (fill in the blank) so we can have a career. Artists and entrepreneurs are almost always encouraged to get a ‘back up’ career…just in case their dreams don’t come true. And some of us look at our friends who seem to be moving along easily in their work life, and we feel like we’ve somehow missed the boat.
Here’s the thing, our world is not the same world as it was for our parents. There are very few ‘back up careers’ left anymore. And most of us won’t stick with the same career for our entire lifetime anyway. Most of us will have several careers over the span of our lives.
So let’s drop the notion of figuring out ‘what to do with our lives’.
Instead, ask yourself what lights you up? When do you feel like you are in the zone? What are you doing when you feel like you are running on all cylinders? What are your favorite things to do?
From there you can start to investigate what work might interest you.
For example, let’s say you love horses. Well, you could teach riding lessons, invest in a barn and lease space to horse owners, work at the racetrack. You could sculpt horses or draw paintings of horses and sell your work in a gallery or on etsy…
I, and many of the people I work with, don’t have just one job. Yes, I teach Pilates and Life Coach but I also teach crafting workshops and have a store on etsy. I’m utilizing as many of my passions as I can to make money and feel fulfilled. So even when I was offered a job to manage a Pilates studio at a gym (a ‘real’, full time job) I turned it down. Managing people sounds like a big drag to me (…even though I’d probably be good at it.) But I know I need to be independent and work for myself. That means risking that I might have less work from time to time. But, it’s worth it…to me.
There are plenty of opportunities to work at doing what we love but we first have to know what that is!
So, pay attention to when you are most alive, most enthusiastic, most passionate. What truly turns you on?
Hint: when you are in the ‘zone’ and time flies by without you noticing, that’s usually a signal that you are doing something you love.
There are no guarantees in life so don’t ‘settle’ for a career because you think you are supposed to have a 9 to 5 job. Pursue your passions instead. The world needs that special aliveness that is unique to you!
I work with many people dealing with this issue. If you are having trouble with this, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out.
Remember to retweet, repost, and forward this to a friend.
What is your social media feed saying about you?
What are you putting out in the world?
I’ve said previously that although you may have no control over a situation, you do have 100% control over your response. How you react to whatever is happening is totally in your control.
And, is your responsibility.
Everything we do is either contributing to joy or adding to suffering. Everything. And how you show up to your work, your relationships, your art, and even your yoga classes, has an effect on the energy of others. You always have the option to add to the joy in this world…it’s a choice.
And never has that been more important than now.
Social media can be absolutely inspiring and thought provoking. I’ve read posts that were so heartfelt I’ve cried real tears for a person I didn’t even know.
And some of the most hideous and hateful things I’ve ever read have been on social media too.
Remember, social media never goes away. So my suggestion is to not just manage what you post…curate it as if it was a display of who you are. Because in many ways, what your Facebook page says about you, matters. Your Instagram feed is constantly putting out energy from the pictures you post. And others can see what you pin on Pintrest so even if you think you’re just screwing around on the internet, people are watching you. Remember, employers actually look at the Facebook pages of potential employees before hiring them. (thank God there was no internet when I was a kid!!!)
I’m not for a second suggesting that everything be cherry blossoms and fairy dust. But sincere comments add more depth to communications than attack tweets. We can be disturbed by the injustices of the world without shutting down the other side with a shaming post. Social media has the power to create positive change if we bring our humanity to it rather then our knee jerk reactions. And although bringing our truth to the world might be scary, our bravery and honesty will have a greater impact on more people.
So how can you avoid lashing out when you see something disturbing and unacceptable? Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself if you can at all relate or at least be compassionate about what this person has said or done. Then choose your language wisely. Avoid adding more fuel to the fire…and that might very well mean saying nothing at this time. If you’re really fired up, sleep on it. We always see things more clearly once we put a little space between us and the problem.
This is what taking responsibility for ourselves really means: Choosing the energy we are putting out into the world. You have the capacity to add to the sum total of joy in every moment of the day. You also have the power to increase the level of anger and hate in the world. How you REACT is YOUR responsibility. So, think before you tweet. Take a deep breath and reread what you are about to post. Are you being true to who you are or shaming someone for their opinion? What exactly are you contributing if you press “post”?
You always have a choice…especially on social media.
feel like you don’t have enough time, part two
Why some people seem to have more time than others…
In my last newsletter I went over setting healthy boundaries, playing to your strengths, and finding other people to do the rest.
If you missed it, let me know and I’ll send it to you. Or, go to brigittadau.com where all my newsletters are published.
Today, I’m talking about prioritizing the most effective actions to take, how to build momentum, and how to avoid our personal “time sucks”.
Successful people don’t just willy nilly start taking actions. They discern which task, when completed, with give them the most benefit. Remember when McDonald’s was ‘super sizing’ things? That was because they knew which items sold the most. Fries? Who doesn’t want to super size that?
And as much as they tried to introduce salads, what still sold the most? Burgers. Now, they are being more “artesian” with their burgers but you will see they are not going that route with the healthier choices. Their big money comes from burgers and fries. They focus on THOSE products because that is where they make the most profits.
The Gap also tried to expand into other fashions but lost money on all those fads. They came back to the products that earned them the most…jeans and t-shirts.
So, when you take a look at your list of actions, there are likely a few tasks that will reap you the most rewards…those are the actions to take first. And it should only take a minute or two to figure those actions out because your past experiences will point you in the right direction…just like it did in the above examples.
The other thing successful and motivated people do is take advantage of their momentum and avoid their pitfalls. They don’t wait to take action…they just do it. (I wrote a newsletter about that too…go check it out.) And, more importantly, they are honest about their weaknesses when it comes to getting distracted or thrown off course. If social media is a threat, they don’t go on Facebook on their break. Instead, they may grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk. If they are trying to avoid sugar, they likely don’t have candy in the house or at the office. If they know Netflix is addicting, they won’t go near the TV until they are finished everything for the day. (Notice how many people write at Starbucks…likely they have too many distractions at home. They know they’ll get more done if they are away from those temptations.)
This philosophy is now being utilized when patients are recovering from surgeries as well. They plan ahead for that moment they will want to bail on physical therapy, etc. That way when their resistance comes up, they are prepared and can more easily stick to their recovery plan. And, studies have shown that people who plan ahead to avoid their excuses, are more likely to have a faster and easier recovery.
The key then is to “know thyself” and honor your strengths and weaknesses. Then, prioritize your daily tasks based on the biggest rewards for the least amount of effort.
So, look at your list of things to do today and ask, ‘which of these actions will reap the biggest rewards?’ And remember my previous newsletter?… Do those actions play to you strengths? (Hint: your strengths are usually the things you feel confident doing.) If not, who can help you get them done? What can you do RIGHT NOW to get the ball rolling and build some momentum? And where are you likely to slip up? (social media is the #1 time suck in my opinion…! Turn off those notifications!…unless you are actually utilizing social media to improve your business.) How can you take your distractions away?
This is a lot to tackle! After all, it’s an entirely new mindset for a lot of us. If this feels overwhelming and you want help with it, get in touch and together we’ll figure out your best game plan.
And pass this on to your friends, retweet, repost…share the momentum!
Feel like you don’t have enough time?
“You have exactly the same amount of hours in the day as Mother Theresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Albert Einstein.” – H Jackson Brown Jr.
Why some people seem to have more time than others…
24 hours in the day. That’s what we all get. Time does not discriminate. But why is it that some people manage to get more done than others?
Likely, they have mastered not only time management but also learned to prioritize their actions, set healthy boundaries, and delegate the things they aren’t good at. They know what builds momentum and what sabotages their energies. And, they spend the most time doing the most effective things to achieve their goals.
That’s a lot! So today I’m only focussing on setting healthy boundaries, playing to your strengths, and getting help with the rest.
Here is the truth…You will never be great at something you have to work hard just to be good at. Focussing too much energy on things other than your strengths will not only waste a lot of time but leave you feeling frustrated as well. But, if you put that time and energy into your natural talents, you will more quickly succeed. You should always cultivate your strengths.
I’m not giving you the “get out of jail free” card and saying self improvement is a waste of time! Nor am I suggesting to blow off paying your bills because you are better at lifting weights than balancing your checkbook! Some of our weaknesses do indeed need to be addressed before we can more effectively move forward in our lives. But usually, to successfully navigate those challenges we require help…this is why therapists, coaches, trainers etc exist! I’m not saying to go into denial. If you have issues that need to be resolved, for example procrastination issues, anxiety issues, health issues, you may want to hire a life coach or a therapist or a Doctor. Just like if you are an actor and learning your lines is tough for you, you may need to enlist a friend or an acting coach to run material with you.
However, not all of our obstacles are “issues”. Some of our self sabotage falls under the heading of plain old bad time management. And you’re not alone. Most of us were never taught how to effectively manage our time.
Having said that, approaching things from a place of strength is always more effective.
Delegating tasks and setting boundaries can help you get more done as well. One of my most successful friends designs amazing sets that have earned her 8 Emmy nominations. She’s clearly pretty good at designing! But that’s primarily all she focusses on…she doesn’t paint, build or decorate the sets. She has excellent shoppers who are great at getting good deals. She has people working for her who are talented painters and carpenters thus freeing up her time to stay focussed on what she does best.
She also is very clear about her boundaries. The prop master does not get to borrow from her art department, and visa versa. Having clear boundaries actually aids in keeping confusion to a minimum. Everybody know where they stand which is why nobody’s feelings get hurt when she says ‘no’. And despite working crazy hours, she also is managing to renovate a friends condo and redo some else’s office! Talk about getting lots done!
So notice those people around you who get so much done. Are they sticking to a specific and concise plan? I bet they are. Likely they have delegated a few things to other people so they can focus on what they do best. Thus, being wildly efficient and getting tons done! Also, they likely aren’t agreeing to do a bunch of things that will steer them away from their goals, either. They can say ‘no’ and set clear boundaries.
Where are you in terms of your time management? Are you wasting time doing something that is not contributing to your strengths? Are you agreeing to do too many things that kill your bliss? Is it a challenge for you to ask for help? Do you feel like you “don’t have enough time” yet seem to have time for Facebook and Netflix?
This is a tall order for a lot of people. After all, it’s an entirely new way of looking at your days. If this feels overwhelming and you want help with it, get in touch and together we’ll figure out your best game plan.
And pass this on to your friends, retweet, repost…share the knowledge!