Perfect Isn’t Required

Hello Beautiful.

I woke this morning agitated with myself. Because I missed my 5 am deadline to get today's post completed.

If you know me well, you know how much this bothers me, because you know my lifelong struggle with perfectionism. Perhaps you struggle with this same affliction. So as I am beating myself up, this came to me:

Hold yourself to a standard of GRACE, not a standard of perfection.

Beautiful isn't it? When the wisdom came to me, I forgave myself and got into action.

So what does it mean to hold oneself to a standard of grace and not perfection?

It means to go through life with thoughtfulness, thankfulness, kindness, contribution, helpful attitude, poise, dignity, and forgiveness. It means do your best, and come from a good place.

It means give more than you take. It means stay strong, stay sure, and stay composed when you stumble.

And it also means, recover to the best of your ability. And get into motion, not into regret.

Do you know what? That is a beautiful standard for life. No one could ask for anything more from you.

To your amazing success, xx


Go Where You Know You Must Go

Hello Beautiful.

You may not realize it, but every person who has ever lived has been driven by the same purpose: to evolve. For you that means learning, growing, achieving, acquiring,expanding, pursuing, and achieving. Coded in your DNA is a "goal fulfillment mechanism" which drives you to expand your horizons. It's innate. It's why dissatisfaction creeps in whenever we find ourselves "stuck" or stagnant. Ruts do not serve us and run counter to our natural inclination.

But here's the rub - every goal you have ever wanted, including the goals you have set for this new year, exist outside of your comfort zone. They are close enough for you to imagine and claim, but far enough out of reach to make you stretch. Your comfort zone will have to expand in order to include this "new thing" you want.

Comfort zones are only expanded through discomfort. You can't get there comfortably. That means you gotta learn to tolerate discomfort! The higher your tolerance the greater your chances of success.

To be frank, the reason most people do not reach their goals is because they object to the discomfort. And I get it, I've been there. Discomfort like FEAR. Sacrificing free time. Changing habits. Saying no. Saying yes. Leaps of faith. Risk. Rejection. There is a lot of unpleasantness. But you know what? Your goal is TOTALLY worth it. And so are you.

There was a time that I thought I would NEVER have the courage to stand and speak publicly. I mean NEVER EVER EVER NEVER would I have thought that was possible for me. And my first experiences with it were brutal ... embarrassingly so. There were times following a performance that I cried because I was so disappointed. There were times that I had overwhelming stage fright and had to force myself to follow through. And do you know why I persevered? It wasn't because I had a goal of being a speaker ... it's because I had a goal of reaching people. And I was prepared to put myself through hell to get there. Well guess what? I got there. And now it is one of the greatest privileges of my life.

Push yourself this year. Do what you KNOW you must do. Go where you know you must go.

To your amazing success, xx

Never Step Back

Hello Beautiful.

You've heard the expression: Two steps forward, one step back. The inference being that progress is not always a steady advance, and one must expect setbacks as part of the journey. I don't disagree. However, I'm going to change the script for you this year to this: NEVER STEP BACK.

When you step out into faith - when you take action - and you get a response which unsettles you (because fear or self-doubt surfaces for you), RESIST the urge to retreat to safety. Do NOT pull back. Hold the line if you must, but whatever you do, do NOT withdraw.

Stand still, take a deep breath, seek wisdom, get advice, re-strategize, pause for a moment, and re-work your plan. But do not let fear or a lack of know-how cause you to retreat. That is a mistake. This is the moment that your faith is tested. And this is exactly when you KEEP THE FAITH.

This start - stop - retreat cycle is simply a lack of confidence. Lack of confidence is okay, because when you are doing something you have never done before, confidence is never going to be your fuel - DESIRE is your fuel. Confidence does not come until AFTER you have made progress, so don't expect it in advance. When you are experiencing high self-doubt, let your conviction, commitment, and burning desire pull you through. Figure it out!

Someone wise once said, the purpose of obstacles was to show you how bad you want something. Truth. You will be tested, so expect it.

An obstacle can appear in the form of bad news, a lack of response (crickets), a closed door, a "no", a blocked path, and very often it shows up as CRITICISM. Well guess what? Your dream belongs to YOU, no one else, and conforming to the expectations of every person who has something to say will kill your dream. Don't allow that to happen.

What you want is available to you. But you must prove it by how you respond to setbacks. When that happens, simply remind yourself of WHY you are doing what you are doing - and WHY this is so important to you. Adjust the sails and KEEP GOING.

2018 Strong, xx

Disappointing Others

Hello Beautiful.

There is a certain degree of selfishness which happens on the way to "dreams come true". Because there is a single-mindedness about creating a life of meaning, which is solely centered around one's own passion and calling.

On this road of fulfillment, as we anticipate obstacles like fear, self-doubt, and l'il ol' me syndrome, we rarely stop to anticipate the NUMBER ONE obstacle for everyone. Namely ... the wants and needs of every person who matters to you.

Which by the way, are most certainly going to be in opposition to your own. Enter: inner turmoil, angst, restless nights.

What do you do when your personal desires conflict with those you hold dearest? Do you risk disappointment? Them? Or you?

It's amazing what some people will do to avoid hurting and disappointing others. But I want you to understand that the only way to make a difference in the lives of others, is to first make a difference in your own.

Read that again.

Don't be surprised when others try to reel you back in. Or make more demands or you. Or test you with guilt. People have difficulty letting go of "how they like you". The worst thing you can do is give in. Because it creates mixed messages and teaches others to doubt you.

Instead, be honest and direct and hold steadfast to your highest needs. You have the right to want what you want. Especially if what you want holds your happiness.
Today be true to you. And let everyone else who doesn't get it, "get over it". If they love you, they will.

To your amazing success, xx

When to Walk Away

Hello Beautiful.

There is this common misconception that loyalty means sacrificing oneself to the bitter end. That serving others (employers, clients, spouses, loved ones) means attending ALWAYS to their needs and only to your own if there was time left over. And only if your needs did not contradict.

While I will always espouse the virtue of commitment and persistence, it is never intended to mean "at all costs", especially when YOU are counted in that cost. Sacrifices are okay. but sacrificing yourself should never be part of a winning relationship. Relationships (including employment/client relationships) are only worthy when both parties are benefiting more than they are losing.

There comes a point when banging your head against a wall becomes fruitless, and there just simply will not be a mutually satisfying resolution. Give yourself permission to walk away.

That does not mean walk away bitter. It means walk away better.

Never be afraid to let something go that is not serving your greater good. Because the moment you start honoring yourself you set the standard for others to do the same. This isn't about getting angry and ugly, this is about getting clear and decisive. Make all your exits graceful.

To Your Amazing Success, xx


Things Get Worse Before They Get Better

Hello Beautiful.

There is a truism in life: things always get worse before they get better. Whenever you make a stand for your life and decide to let something go that not longer fits you (a failed relationship, an ill-fitting job or business, a geographical change), you enter the place between where you were and where you want to be. And in this place of transition, things are unsettled. Routines are disturbed. Familiarity is gone. And life as you knew it disappears.

There is a certain panic that sets in as you realize that you cannot go back to your comfort (even in misery there is a certain level of comfort), and the new realm you are entering does not yet fit you since you have not yet grown completely into it. So things are bumpy and challenging and difficult and ... well... sucky.

So what typically happens in the phase is that we get emotionally off kilter. We breakdown, we cry, we scream, we lament, we fight, we blame, we panic, and we lash out. All of this is symptomatic of the transition we are in. What's worse is that this is when ALL the bad news of your life surfaces. Why? Because this is the process of "break down" (meaning you are breaking down one level of your life to prepare for the next).

Nobody goes from comfort to breakthrough. The process is comfort - breakdown - breakthrough. Always. For everyone.

The key to navigating this with success is very simple ... JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD. These transitional periods do not last long. And on the other side of this chaos, is exactly what you hope to find. Standing on the other side of this experience you will absolutely declare "that was so worth it". Because it is.

To Your Amazing Success, xx


When Life Gets the Better of You

Hello Beautiful.

There are days on the way to ... wherever it is you are determined to go ... that you just don't feel like journeying. Despite the promise of what lies ahead.

It's okay. Stop and rest. Forcing is not the answer.

There are days on the way to doing ... whatever it is you are determined to do ... that you just don't feel appreciated. Despite knowing the impact you have.

It's okay. Do it anyway. For yourself. And feel good keeping your word.

There are days on the way to discovery ... that you discover ... the path you are on just doesn't do it for you anymore. Because your heart has left.

It's okay. Not every road is forever. But every road has served you.

There are days on the path to freedom ... that you realize ... despite your striving, loving, caring, beautiful effort, your freedom was there all along. 

The freedom,

  • to dream your own dreams
  • to choose your own actions
  • to rest when you are weary
  • and play when you want to play
  • to change course if it pleases you
  • and follow your own path, your way.

And on that day, you whisper "thank you".

2018 Strong, xx