November 2014


“Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” – Frederick Koenig

I hope my American readers have had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday this week. This is a special time when our entire country expresses gratitude to God and to each other for the many blessings we enjoy (and often take for granted) in our daily lives. So this seems a perfect time to share with you a specific aspect of gratitude that has made an immense difference in my own life.

Gratitude is said to be the MOST powerful positive emotion we can feel. Master Manifesters like Rhonda Byrne and Dr. Wayne Dyer, not to mention just about every religion on the planet, teach that expressing sincere appreciation for what we have in our lives right now creates a positive energy that attracts even MORE good to us. That is Basic Gratitude 101.

But if you really want to master the art of manifesting a continuous flow of good into your life, you need to understand that beyond your thoughts, words and feelings of gratitude, what actually attracts more prosperity, abundance, joy and fulfillment to you is your ACTIONS. That is because the actions we take are the outer demonstration of what we are truly committed to – it’s what “putting your money where your mouth is” really means.

My family and I are feeling SO grateful this particular holiday season because over the past year we have received “avalanches of abundance” simply by following the precept that “Generosity is Gratitude in Action.” I have always been a giver, but this year it really hit home for me that my giving to others comes back to me directly to bless me in very concrete, practical ways.

If you have followed this blog for some time, you will remember the miraculous impact that a reading from the ancient book of Chinese wisdom, the I Ching had on my family’s ability to wipe out a large tax debt for 25 cents on the dollar.   (If you haven’t read them yet, I urge you to read Blogs #153-155 about the specific lessons the I Ching taught me that turned things around.)

Until now, I have not told you that there was also a second reading from the I Ching that my dear friend and colleague, Leslie Zann, gave me that fateful morning last December when I was visiting her home. I must confess that at the time I almost turned down doing both the readings because I was skeptical that tossing some coins to direct me to some ancient “Eastern philosophy” could have a practical application in my life. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

In addition to the first reading that helped me get out of debt, the second reading of personal advice I received from the I Ching that day concerned “Increase.” I will quote the highlights from it here. If you would like the entire one-page document, just email me and I will be happy to send it to you.

“[You are entering] a period of increase when the power of heaven descends to surround and invigorate our lives. Like all phases, this too will come to an end, but if we ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ tremendous progress can be made at this time…

Our first task is to make sacrifices for others. In all of your interactions now, embody generosity in thought and action.   Forgive what is inferior in others and seek out the good. By giving, encouraging and assisting, you will draw the superior person in everyone into devoted action.

Your second task in this time of increase is to go on strengthening yourself ‘as thunder and wind strengthen each other.’ This means that if you see something good in another, you imitate it, and when you discover something inferior in yourself, you eliminate it.

These simple practices, if continued conscientiously over time, will improve your character and fortunes immeasurably. Through service and self-improvement you assure yourself of great progress in the days ahead.”

On the day Leslie gave me this reading, I had no idea that I was entering a “period of increase.” In fact, my husband and I had less than $100 total in our bank accounts at the time. But when the first I Ching reading quickly produced the amazing result of having the IRS Appeals Agent say “yes” to our appeal of the former “no” the IRS had given to our tax settlement request, I took notice! That’s when I began each day re-reading the “Increase” meditation, to remind myself to be of service that day in every way I could. I also worked on seeing the best — “drawing out the superior person” – in others and in myself. I took an inventory of all my traits and habits that needed changing (especially impatience, attachment to being right and fear of lack) and worked on emulating the traits I admire in those who are positive role models for me.

Very soon, Rick’s and my incomes took a dramatic turn for the better in both his real estate business and my coaching practice. Seemingly out of the blue, each of us got one new referral client after another from happy past and current clients. By mid -year, we actually had a healthy savings account for the first time in six years, while our maxed-out credit card balances dropped to zero.

As I read this I Ching meditation daily, I am reminded that it is not enough to simply express verbal gratitude to God and to our supportive friends and clients for the incredible abundance that has blessed our family this year. We must show our gratitude through our ACTIONS of helping others and improving ourselves: “If we desire the fullest blessings of the beneficial hour…our rewards are multiplied if we increase our conscientiousness in auspicious times, rather than decrease it.” As we consciously give to others, we continue to receive more and more good into our own lives and 2014 has turned out to be a “period of increase” indeed!

I hope this year has been a prosperous time for you and yours as well – not just financially but also in terms of health, happiness and having fulfilling, purposeful work to do. If so, then you have undoubtedly been paying it forward to others and working on being the BEST person you can be as well.

And if you desire even MORE abundance than you are currently experiencing, NOW is the perfect time to put your gratitude into ACTION by making a generous financial donation and/or volunteering your time to one of your favorite causes or to anyone you personally know who is in need of help, love or comfort right now.

Have faith that, as it promises in the book of Proverbs in the Bible, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed. Those who help others are helped.” That is truly the Law of Attraction in action!

********************************************************************

What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your Big Goals and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

“Many of us are afraid to follow our passions, to pursue what we want most because it means taking risks and even facing failure. But to pursue your passion with all your heart and soul is success in itself.   The greatest failure is to have never really tried.” – Robyn Allen 

In the first three installments of this four-part series, we examined the reason for the disheartening phenomenon we have all experienced at some time: You really, really wanted something, but for some reason you couldn’t fathom, you just could NOT take the actions you needed to take to reach your goal. Or, worse, the actions you DID take produced the opposite result of what you wanted.

The culprit behind this phenomenon is your Inner Protector – the part of your psyche whose essential job is to keep you safe and get your material, physical, psychological and emotional needs met. As it tries to protect you from the dire outcomes it imagines will happen if you go after your goal, your well-meaning Protector unintentionally sabotages your success.

In order to have the necessary internal “clearance” to pursue your goal, you must persuade your Inner Protector that its long-held Limiting Belief about your chances of success is actively hurting, rather than helping you.   Then you must give it a new Empowering Belief to install in place of the old Limiting Belief that will support you in pursuing your goal.

There are many different coaching approaches to uncovering and changing Limiting Beliefs and I promised to give you the details of one of my favorites: The Change Belief Exercise has proven to be a simple and effective one for hundreds of my clients over the years.

As I explained, the first step is the only challenging part of this exercise: identifying the CORE Limiting Belief that your Protector holds about what will happen to you if you pursue a specific goal. It’s easiest for a trained coach to ask the most effective questions and know how to drill down deeper. However, a trusted and objective third party could also help you with the questioning until you both feel you have gotten down to the deepest, most significant Core Limiting Belief that your Protector is convinced is the “Truth.” The telltale sign that you have reached bottom is that you will feel a strong negative emotional reaction when you state the belief aloud. Typical reactions include anger, annoyance, frustration, sadness or resignation. You could get queasy, teary or want to punch someone.

Here are some real examples of Core Limiting Beliefs my clients have identified:

The price of success is losing my family.

It’s impossible to be rich AND carefree.

No matter what I do, it’s never enough.

I’m never going to be able to impress them, so why bother?

If I don’t work really hard for it, I don’t deserve to have it.

I am not supported by anyone; I have to do it ALL by myself.

If I ask for help, they will think I’m using them.

If I share my truth with passion, they will reject me.

When you believe you have found your CORE Limiting Belief, the next step is for you to write out your answers to the following 12 questions that are designed to prove to your Inner Protector that this belief – which it thinks is protecting you — is actually going to HURT you if you continue to operate according to it:

How do I change my Limiting Beliefs? 

PLEASE ANSWER EACH OF THESE 12 QUESTIONS thoughtfully and thoroughly. Type your answer in below each question. (Stop only when you can’t think of ANYTHING more to say.)

MY LIMITING BELIEF IS(Ex: “If I make a lot of money something bad will happen.”)

Create doubt about the old belief. Question it constantly and you will begin to doubt it:

1) How is this belief ridiculous or absurd?

2) Where did this belief start? Am I buying someone else’s belief – if so, whose?

3) What will it ultimately cost me in this area if I don’t let go of this belief? 

Link pain to the Limiting Belief. Do this by asking questions of consequences:

4) What will believing this cost me in the future? What will I miss out on?

5) What tragedy could arise if I continue to believe this?

6) What will I lose?

7) How will I FEEL if the above answers become true?

Find replacements for your Limiting Beliefs. If you don’t find an empowering alternative to the old belief, you will always go back to the old belief:

8) What do I NEED to believe in order to succeed here?

9) Who do I know who is succeeding in this area, and what do they (seem to) believe differently?

 Link pleasure to the new belief by asking these questions:

10) What will I achieve in the future believing this? What will I gain?

11) How will that make me FEEL?

12) What negative consequences will I avoid in the future believing this?

Here are some examples of the replacement Empowering Beliefs my clients have created (with my editing assistance):

I give great value to others and I deserve a fair return.

Having money is a great tool for doing what I enjoy AND helping others.

People are open and receptive to what I have to say.

Success comes from effort, not elegance.

People like me and I am great at what I do.

I can be successful AND happy being who I truly am.

God wants me to thrive, not just survive.

Remember, NONE of our beliefs is the “Truth.”  Beliefs are just our interpretation of the Truth, based on limited experience. The good news is that because we make them up, we can also CHANGE our beliefs if we choose to!

NASA’s astronaut training experiments have demonstrated that it takes the average brain 25 to 30 days of REGULAR repetition of some physical activity or thought pattern to create a new neural pathway for a new “Go-To” action or thought. That’s how you learn to type, play an instrument or drive a car automatically without having to consciously think about every keystroke or where your foot is on the pedals.

Therefore, for it to become your new “Go-To” thought that unconsciously guides your actions, you must PRACTICE saying your New, Empowering Belief very regularly for at least one month. I have my clients say it ALOUD with feeling, at least twice a day. It’s especially important to do it before you venture out into the world in the morning and last thing before sleep, in order to embed it firmly in your subconscious.

Once you begin to see yourself responding to familiar “fear” triggers from the perspective of your new Empowering Belief instead of your old Limiting Belief, you will know that your Inner Protector is adopting its new “reality.” Once it does, you will have more freedom to take actions that your Protector once thought too “risky” – the very actions that are most likely to help you reach your Big Goals!

If you have any questions or would like help with identifying and changing your own Core Limiting Belief about a Big Goal you are pursuing, I invite you to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to explore how coaching might assist you!

********************************************************************

What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your Big Goals and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

“In order to succeed, we must first believe we can.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

Apparently your Inner Protector resonates with you! I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers of the first two blogs in this four-part series, who are grateful that they now understand where their fears come from and exactly what their Inner Protector is trying to accomplish by raising them.

I wanted to share this information with you so that you could understand and appreciate your Inner Protector and then give you two simple, practical ways to recruit your Protector as a valuable ally to help you reach your Big Goals.

 What we’ve learned so far

Let’s begin Part III with a brief recap of what we learned in the first two installments:

First, we examined the critical role that the Inner Protector part of your perfectly normal psyche plays in keeping you safe. Your Protector’s job is to warn you of potential risks in the decisions you are about to make and the actions you are about to take in your life.

I taught you the first method for dealing with your Inner Protector’s wide-ranging fears in the Worst Case Scenario exercise (see Blog 172).   This takes your imagination to the very bottom of each of the fears your Protector can conjure up to warn you about what MIGHT happen if you pursue your goals. It then has you collaborate with your Protector to plan out strategies for how to recognize and avoid real trouble at the first sign, thus keeping you from ever reaching those most dire outcomes that your Protector fears.

Then we made the distinction between a FEAR and a LIMITING BELIEF. A fear is something your Inner Protector is worried might possibly happen to you if you pursue your Big Goal. A fear solidifies into a BELIEF when your Protector feels there is sufficient “evidence” – either in your own experience or someone else’s – to “prove” that the fear is founded. (Remember, a belief is NOT the “Truth” but just our Inner Protector’s interpretation of the “truth” — what actually occurred.) Because your Protector’s goal is to keep you safe, if it holds a BELIEF that you are not going to reach your Big Goal it will manufacture all kinds of distractions and obstacles to keep you from even attempting to reach your goal.   We call these “Limiting” Beliefs because they hold you back from reaching your goals.

How to Change a Limiting Belief

Now, I want to share with you a simple method to help you transform your Inner Protector’s old Limiting Beliefs into new Empowering Beliefs that will support you in going after your goals. This method does not create a strategy for avoiding failure as the Worst Case Scenario does. Instead, it allows your Protector to recognize and release any unconscious Limiting Beliefs it holds that could potentially block you from taking the actions you must take in order to reach your Big Goals. I learned this method during my training to become a certified Strategy and Accountability Coach with JTS Advisors. When I use it with my clients, I just call it The Change Beliefs Exercise.

As I mentioned in Part II, to use this method, you must first be able to identify a Core Limiting Belief you hold about the Big Goal you want to go after. This is pretty hard to do all by yourself because our beliefs are largely unconscious. Your Inner Protector is telling you that it’s the “Truth” because it “happened before” or someone you respect told you it happened to them — but the belief is really just your Protector’s interpretation of the facts. What happened once or even twice or three times is not what is INEVITABLY going to happen again. And the reasons it happened before may have nothing to do with your current goal.

It’s easiest to do this exercise if you have a trained coach or at least a smart, objective friend who can ask you questions to help you uncover the MOST deep-seated belief you hold about why you WON’T reach your Big Goal. Here’s an example of how I did this with one of my recent clients:

How to Identify A Core Limiting Belief

Coach: What is the specific, measurable Intention (Big Goal) that you would like to reach in the next 90 days?

Client “Sally”: By December 31, 2014, I want to earn $20,000 in commissions in my real estate career.

Coach: What are ALL the reasons you can think of that you likely WON’T reach that goal?

Sally: This is a busy time of year for my family and I won’t have the time to prospect. (This is a red herring provided by her Inner Protector. “Time” and “money” are universal excuses and are almost never the REAL reasons.)

Sally: I won’t be able to find the people who are looking to buy or sell right now. (This has a germ of truth to it because it IS a rather short timeframe. But what I am looking for is WHY she feels she won’t be able to find them. There are lots of methods of getting leads to prospects, so I dug deeper to get her to explore those.)

Coach: Why can’t you get leads to talk to?

Sally: I don’t like to make prospecting calls.

Coach: Why don’t you like to make prospecting calls?

Sally: I’m not sure.

Coach: Well, what was a recent example you can recall where you had a list of prospects to contact and you didn’t do it?

Sally: I had a list of 60 people and their phone numbers from the sign-in sheets at two open houses I held. I just never called them.

Coach: Why didn’t you call them?

Sally: It felt like I would be pestering them.

Coach: They came to look at a house for sale. Why would they think a Realtor calling them to see if you could help them would be pestering them?

Sally: I don’t know, I’ve always hated to feel like I’m a pest. My mother treated me like I was always in her way and underfoot when I was a kid. My sister always tried to ditch me. Even in high school, I was really careful to stay under the radar and not try to force my way into social circles because I didn’t want them to reject me.

(Now we are homing in on a Core Limiting Belief, which usually starts when we are young, in response to some “wounding” from a parent, teacher or friend. Our Protector tries to save us from ever getting wounded like that again, so it “warns” us emotionally when it thinks we are getting close to that behavior that got us into trouble before.)

Coach: So what are you really afraid will happen when you call these prospects?

Sally: They will act like I’m annoying them. I can hear it in their voice sometimes. I just can’t stand to feel like I’m annoying someone.

Coach: Would you please try saying aloud, “I am annoying.”

Sally: “I am annoying.” Wow, I HATE that.   Saying it makes me feel queasy!

Bingo! How can she find prospective clients if she won’t contact them because she thinks they will find her annoying? This is her Core Limiting Belief that will stop her from going after her Big Goal of earning $20,000 in commissions in just 90 days. You know you have found the Core Limiting Belief about your goal when you have a strong negative emotional reaction when you say it aloud.

Now, we have identified the Core, Limiting Belief that her Inner Protector holds that needs to change or she will never take the actions necessary to reach the outcome she wants.

The way to have your Inner Protector release a Limiting Belief it thinks has been keeping you safe for a long time is to make it see that the old belief is actually going to hurt you if you keep holding onto it. In this case, my client’s Protector needed to realize and accept that her old Limiting Belief “I am annoying” is actually having the opposite effect of what it wants for her, which is to keep her safe and get all her material, physical and psychological needs met.

Next, week I will share with you the 12 journaling questions I gave to “Sally” that helped her Inner Protector question, doubt, and ultimately dismantle its long-held Limiting Belief about what would inevitably happen to her if she “annoyed” people while pursuing her Big Goal. You will learn how we created a new, Empowering Belief to support her in pursuing her Big Goal and the results she has been getting with it. Stay tuned! 

********************************************************************

What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!