personal development

DO WHAT KEEPS BUBBLING UP

For the last year or so, I’ve been pretty annoyed. Well, really annoyed actually.

I can’t stop thinking about writing personal development/coaching content and I can’t get words and phrases out of my head. All. Day. Long.

THE GIFT OF CONTRAST

Dear Brave Ones,

Sometimes the best gift of all is the gift you don’t want.

If you have been through a phase of your life when you keep getting crappy jobs, weirdo stress-inducing clients or projects that completely drain you, you have reason to celebrate.

Because you have received a gift.

The gift of contrast.

FAVE BOOKS - PART 1

Switching things up this week with a rundown of 3 of my fave personal development books of all time. Yes, of all time. And I read a LOT (I also devour audio books via the Overdrive app and Toronto Public Library).

All of these books have had a major positive impact on how I think, feel, and operate. I have grown tremendously because of them and refer to their content frequently.

I will do additional posts like this moving forward as one of the questions I get most often is ‘What are you reading right now?’ or, ‘What are the books that really helped you work through stuff?’

Know your VALUE

Some years I tend to be a HUGE reader, and some years I tend to only get through a handful of books. This year, I am on an official reading binge. I cannot seem to get enough words into me - via reading actual books and also by listening to audiobooks. And whoa, have I have stumbled across some good ones.

One of the best in my 2018 pile is Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski. It was excellent. LOVED it. Not only does she share her own harrowing story of moving up the ranks in the television business, but she covers the stories of other business mavens such as Sheryl Sandberg and Susie Orman. This book does not serve up fluffy, happy-go-lucky, just ‘put-your-mind-to-it’ stories. No, this book goes into the nitty gritty of negotiation, career strategy and rising up to your potential even when everyone else is trying desperately to bring you down. It is meaty goodness served up with a side of brass tactics.

Nothing is Expensive

Full disclaimer - I am not a financial guru.

But I do consider myself a mindset maven.

I believe your thoughts become your feelings, which create your reality.

I believe what you you think about all the time shows up in your life. Especially when you add an emotional charge to it.

You know more than you think you know

A few weeks ago I wrote the story of The Chicken Sticker where I shared a funny story about getting over the fear of charging potentially 'too much' for your services. I hope it inspires you to let that self-sabotaging story go because, as the story explains, someone, somewhere paid thousands of dollars for me to design a stupid sticker for $1 off a pack of chicken.

Another important self-sabotaging story to let go of is, "I don't know enough".

TAKE THE FIRST STEP

ust a few more days of 2017 left!

As we prepare for the New Year, I found myself gravitating to this quote from the Suitcase Entrepreneur. I keep a notebook with scribbles and quotes in it, and about every week - usually on a Sunday eve - I go through it to see what resonates. As someone who has really thought a lot about the word 'failure', I have decided that this is the best definition. 

We only fail if we don't take at least one step.

HELLO, GOAL SETTING. I DON'T HATE YOU ANYMORE. OR MY LIFE.

As we come to the end of 2017, many of us are planning our 2018 and wondering how we can make it an awesome year.

While I do not obsess over New Year's resolutions, I do indeed set goals at the beginning of each year. I write down a list of realistic but challenging, attainable goals.

And this year, while it had some serious challenges (our rescue dog endured a health crisis that rocked me and my husband to the core, and my mom is now officially with a form of dementia), I am definitely TEAM 2017.

Why?

SAY SOMETHING

When I began this blog about a year ago, I made the very deliberate decision to disable comments on the posts. I had listened to a podcast interview with Danielle Laporte - a formidable, warm tiger of a leader - and she boldly spoke about refusing others to comment on her blog because it was getting too intense. I am not sure if she still disables comments, but I remember hearing that and alarm bells went off in my head and thoughts like "OH M G I better also disable comments because I do NOT need that negativity in my life". Shutting them down.

Deflated but in the game

Last week, On Tuesday, October 24th, I did an FB live with the title Why I Believe Fortune Favours the Brave. It was intended to let people know exactly why that saying is so important to me, and why it is the inspiration for my business.

Well, about five minutes after the video was posted, I wanted to take it down. I was overcome with complete certainty that a) it sucked and b) I didn’t really say anything of value and c) what was the point of doing any of this? I mean, no one was even watching it live! And top it off, I had what Brené Brown calls a ‘vulnerability hangover’ - though I am not sure why as I really didn’t reveal that much about myself, contrary to my original intention of the video.

LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY

We hear many sayings or idioms over and over again, but ever had one of those moments when you hear one for the millionth time and they suddenly, you just get it? Like the words sink it to your pores and it resonates to your core?

That has happened to me twice in recent memory. In both cases, it almost felt like a cartoon lightning bolt striking my head, or the bop to the head like in those old V8 commercials.

Today I’m going to write about the time my friend Annie was trying to help me navigate a family situation I was wrapped up in. I was waist-deep in a scenario full of drama, stress and tough decisions.

STUCK IN STORY TIME?

Nope, I am not talking about getting stuck into the Hunger Games trilogy for the second time (hey, I totally support that!). I am talking about those fun but oh-so-destructive stories we tell ourselves - and others - that keep us low and stuck.

A story can be something you think or say over and over such as:

I will just never be good at sales. It has been that way since I can remember. My aunt used to make me work in the stock room because I was always so terrible at closing the deal. I actually liked it there better in the back of the store anyway. It was so cozy and safe, and who wants to deal with people all day anyway??

Making space

Some people like to clean when they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Others reorganize their sock drawer. I purge. I start tossing stuff out, left, right and centre. 

Recently, with the relaunch of my business and coaching, a freelance design project, a corporate contract, and trying to facilitate moving my mom into a retirement home, things have felt really hectic, stressful and just "too much". In addition, for the last seven years, I have been working my way through my dad's estate which includes about ten galleries worth of artwork (he was an artists as well as a contractor), and a sea of other treasures not even yet accounted for. While it is a labour of love, it has been draining at times.

It was time to make things lighter.

HELLO, BOUNDARIES

Post is inspired by this interview with Brené Brown:
http://www.theworkofthepeople.com/boundaries

Boundaries.

As soon as I hear that word, I mutter a not so silent ‘fuck!’ to myself. Fuuuuuuuuck.

I don’t have the best track record of setting healthy boundaries - with personal relationships and especially with work.I know logically and rationally they are necessary, but for most of my life, I have always justified going above and beyond for anyone and everyone. I love to be generous (my husband calls it my ‘Italian generosity’), help people 24/7, and I am hard-wired to solve problems. I am Little Miss FixIt. The positive side to this is that, at least in part, these qualities allow me to be an awesome business consultant. This I can say with sincere confidence.

MA'AM, STEP AWAY FROM THE SUFFERING

Got your own business?

Then networking and getting out there is a non-negotiable part of your agenda. Knowing this, a few years ago I set out to a women’s entrepreneur event – super casual at a pub in midtown Toronto. I was all excited to get inspired. “I’m gonna put myself out there and it’s gonna be awesome!” I told myself. I didn’t know anybody in the group, just the one woman who invited me. I figured sometimes that is when you actually have the best time at an event - no expectations, no preconceived notions, just a willingness to connect with others.

At the time, I went to this event I really didn’t know what to do with my design business.