Boundaries are Good. Limitations are Bad.

I’ve been a corporate mentor/ coach for over a decade. While every person and situation can be different, they have common themes. One of the highest reoccurring issues is the feeling of being overwhelmed.

A new project manager is afraid to delegate and tries to do everything herself.

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The job asks an employee to travel for the third week in a row. Despite being exhausted and getting grief from his family, he says “yes.”

Sometimes this horrible feeling of being overwhelmed lands my mentees in what I call a “five-week rest in breakdown town.”

The folks I coach are smart and talented individuals. They understand you can’t keep pushing your body and mind to the point of breaking. Such behavior has consequences. They come to me for advice and I remind them about Healthy Boundaries.

What Are Healthy Boundaries?

  • Imagine a force field around your body – You control what gets in (negative remarks, job demands, needy people)
  • Keep your force field strong – Find that “One Thing” that matters most to you. Use your passion to feed the boundary
  • Remember: IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO! Don’t want to go to a contentious family holiday? Don’t go! Work wants you to travel, but you’ll miss your kid’s birthday? Say you aren’t available that day!

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What’s the Deal with Limitations?

We talked about Boundary walls being useful. Limitations are also walls, but rather than keeping unhealthy things out…they keep you and your potential in a little box.

  • Face those barbed impenetrable walls. Take a hard look at how and why you are limiting yourself
  • Be absolutely honest. Is your wall made up of fear or bad memories? Failure can hurt, but it shouldn’t keep you from trying again
  • Make a list of positive and encouraging goals you could achieve if you get past your self-imposed limitation
  • Take the Hammer of Courage and smash that wall down!

Final Thoughts: You must take care of YOU! Corporations and selfish people will try to drain every ounce of energy from you if given the chance. Build up your boundaries to stay healthy. Knock down your limitations to stay passionate.

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Celebrating the Season of Renewal

Spring is beginning to um, spring in my little corner of the world. Tiny green leaves are reaching up to the sun. Crocuses and hyacinths are blooming in bold colors. And me? Well, I am entering into my time of renewal.

My Spring Mantra:

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Positive change is beginning to bud inside my heart.

I will throw out the old dead negative notions.

I will help the new bud to grow by feeding my dreams with positive thoughts.

 

What about you? Are you ready to throw away the outdated thoughts that no longer stimulate your growth? My best wishes and positive thoughts headed your way!

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Risky Business: Breaking Away from The Trends

Conventional wisdom tells us to “write for the market” or “chase the trends of films.” Sure. You can do that if you’d like. Everybody’s gotta eat, right? Market trends can be safer than making your own trail through the creative wilderness. But what about THE creative project? You know the one I mean. It churns and burns deep in your soul. The process of creation is the only way to silence its voice.

Beware! Resist the critical voices in your head. They want you to take that unique creative project and force it into a safe market trend.

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DON’T:

Publish a forgettable book you hated writing.

Ignore your passion and make that shallow film about nothing.

Give Up!

DO:

Chase your passion and risk creating the unique.

Study unique art and learn. Think: the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowlings or The Producers by Mel Brooks. Both were huge risks that paid off.

Your unique art is special, but not everyone will see its potential. It’s at this point you must utilize an entrepreneurial mindset. Put on that creative hat and look for ways to introduce your art to a new audience. Find a good fit and make friends – Maybe you spent a year photographing ducks on the lake by your house. You created a coffee table photography book highlighting your best duck photos. Would you try to sell the book at a coin show? No. Find people with common interests who would love to buy your books. Introduce them to your work by displaying it at a show or join a social media site with people who love ducks.

Final Thought:

Someone is waiting to be inspired or entertained by your unique creative project. Have faith and don’t give up!

Looking Back While Springing Forward

Transitions are exciting. Wrapping up a successful creative project and moving forward with something new. Is there any better feeling? It even beats the “I’m finished” rush.

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I’m at this stage in my “Heart of the Warrior” book series. The Obsidian Gates (Book Two) is out in the world. I’ve spent the last few months doing book signings, podcasts, guest blogs and radio shows to celebrate my latest book baby. Now I’m ready to focus on the next project – Book Three!  Look for it in 2019.

In this season of Shamrocks and Blarney Stones, I’m sending you Irish Blessings for your new creative projects. Keep Calm and Create On!

The Trials and Tribulations of a Change Agent

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Change happens. It’s the nature of all things. Sometimes change is quick and unexpected. Other times it is agonizingly long in coming. Drag your feet to resist the change, it will be stressful. You might even experience a bit of pain. Embrace the change with acceptance and perhaps a bit of excitement – things will go easier.

I’m a Change Agent. My job, or calling if you will, is helping others to adapt, plan and take steps toward positive change. It can be difficult for individuals to see a path out of their rut. They feel stuck. They know they need a change, but don’t know how to climb out of their situation. That’s where I come in. I, and other folks like me, can see a path to positive growth and happiness. Then we help you see it too.

What happens when a Change Agent gets stuck in a muddy rut? Yep. My clothes are covered in the stuff! Here are a few things I’m doing to climb out of the mud and advance to my next opportunity:

Read a Classic againWho Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Get Inspired – Read or watch pieces about innovators and other inspiring people who have achieved the goals you dream about

Dream – Listen to yourself. What do you want? What don’t you want?

Take Action – Make a plan and see it through

I’ve been a mentor for ten plus years. 98% of my mentees have gone on to be successful in their business goals. The other 2% refused to either work hard for their dream or couldn’t conquer their fear of change. Moving out of a negative, but comfortable situation can be scary. Find a good mentor or coach to help you on your path. I guarantee happiness is worth the hard work!

Takeaways from the 2018 Winter Olympics

I’m one of those exuberant Olympics fans who puts everything on hold when the wonderful days of electric competition arrive. Winter or Summer. Doesn’t matter. I have my favorite sports in both seasons. The Olympics are more than competition. They remind us that everyone has the chance to be something great if we Dream Big Enough and Work Hard.

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What I took away this year:

  • Failure is not only an option, it is an absolute necessity in order to galvanize the commitment to your goals
  • Age is just a number. Older athletes ignored the “you can’t compete anymore if you’re over this arbitrary age” rule
  • Keep trying no matter how many times you fall down. The reward is worth it!

Things that made me scratch my head:

  • Why is Curling a thing?
  • Why have we allowed our current snarky and negative world views into the Olympics. They are out of place in this positive and life affirming environment
  • Why can’t we have more commentators like Scott Hamilton? The man has gone through cancer and other scary health issues, yet he remains one of the most positive and encouraging people on the planet. Yes – more of Scott Hamilton please.

I’m going to try to hold onto the Olympic Spirit for as long as I can. Limiting my evening social media and phone usage has helped me remain focused on enjoying the games. I’ve gotten back into the habit of listening to positive music rather than negative programming during the day. These are small changes, but they work for me. What about you? How will you keep the Olympic Spirit alive in your heart?

Books, Banter and Booze

The Book Bar Denver is an indie bookstore offering wine, killer coffee and books. Three of my favorite things in one place! They also host amazing local author events. Visit during one of the happy hours and talk books with the authors who wrote them.  Fun, right? I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s fun for the author too. We love meeting readers like you.

I’ll be joining two other Colorado authors on February 10th from 5pm to 6pm at the Book Bar. Stop by for a glass of happy juice. Let’s talk books!

Support Your Local Indie Bookstore!