Adversity


“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.”  — Malcom Bane

Even for me, a seasoned Life Coach with many tools at my fingertips to help me maintain a positive mindset and optimistic expectation for the BEST outcomes, 2017 has been one helluva challenging year.

I honestly cannot remember one single year of my 64 so far that has been packed with such a steady stream of dispiriting calamities – devastating natural disasters like fires, floods and hurricanes; man-made tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting massacre of innocents; terrorism and wars around the globe; and a dysfunctional government in Washington filled with politicians who seem far more focused on enriching themselves and getting good press than on actually helping the people who elected them.

As I was pondering what a crazy and depressing year it’s been, my subconscious mind suddenly began running through the lyrics to the catchy little song called “We Need a Little Christmas” by Shane Harper. In case you don’t remember it, here are a few of the verses:

“Haul out the holly;

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.

Fill up the stocking,

I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now.

 For we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute,

Candles by the window,

Carols at the spinet.

Yes, we need a little Christmas

Right this very minute….

 

For I’ve grown a little leaner,

Grown a little colder,

Grown a little sadder,

Grown a little older,

And I need a little angel

Sitting on my shoulder,

Need a little Christmas now.”

 I am usually the first to complain that store displays, commercials and non-stop Christmas songs blaring from the radio start before Halloween nowadays.  But this year, I am looking forward to a little Christmas atmosphere just as soon as we can get it…Not the commercial “buy everything you can get your hands on” kind of atmosphere — But the REAL “Spirit of the Holidays” (which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa — every tradition that is celebrated around the end of each year).

That Spirit reflects our BEST human impulses — Gratitude, Giving, Caring and Sharing.  It’s the one season when we all seem willing to set aside our many differences and come together. We are ready to take a breath and just be kinder and more loving toward our fellow human beings. And I say that we are ready for a little of that Christmas Spirit right about NOW!

So I am going to start the ball rolling early this year!  For the past several years, this blog has had a holiday tradition called the “Pay-It-Forward Challenge” that invites YOU to participate.  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

I got the idea for the Pay It Forward Challenge when I was at Starbucks during Thanksgiving week a couple of years ago. A stranger ahead of me paid $5.00 toward my purchase, which turned my frazzled, grumpy day around and put a smile on my face that never went away through the rest of the year.  That simple generous kindness inspired me to buy a bunch of $5.00 gift cards and begin giving them out every few days to the baristas at the register to bestow on random people in the line behind me.

I can’t wait to repeat that joyful practice again from this month through the end of the year!  I trust that each of those surprised strangers who receive my gift will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Last year, the baristas told me that there were a number of people doing the same thing, creating a big old warm chain of joy and gratitude, one cup at a time!

You can experience the joy of spreading around some “Holiday Spirit” in your own creative ways.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness doesn’t have to cost anything.  Here are few examples my readers came up with in years past:

  • Let someone who appears to be in a hurry go ahead of you in the checkout line. I promise they will beam at you!
  • Help a harried friend or colleague run an errand, or babysit their kids while they do.
  • Surprise your friends, family and clients with a snail-mailed or emailed Thanksgiving card this year! Few people think to send them, but this gesture says, “I am so grateful for you!” to friends and customers like nothing else can.
  • Use your musical, baking or crafting talents to spread cheer and delight to children, neighbors, elderly folks and the sick.
  • Help an older person or someone who is under the weather put up their holiday decorations or haul home their Christmas tree.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless.
  • Donate food or pet supplies to an organization that helps loving pets that are patiently waiting for their forever homes.
  • Surprise someone with a tin of tea and a plate of homemade holiday treats. Better yet, sit down and listen to them while you enjoy the goodies together.

If you are able, pay your own financial blessings forward by spreading the prosperity around a bit.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • At the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a tank of gas.
  • Astonish a homeless person by handing them $5 or $10 instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support local animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • This year, more than any other in recent memory, we have the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended from so many back-to-back natural disasters.

It’s easy to fall into despair and think “What difference can I make in the face of all that seems so wrong and tragic in the world?”  But as this week’s quote reminds us, any little thing we do for someone else to pay forward all the many blessings we have received in our own lives is BIG to that person.  And if each of us makes it our mission to touch just ONE life this way, we can start a tidal way of Gratitude, Kindness and Giving that just might spread “a little Christmas” cheer far beyond the end of the year.

Please email me your own Pay It Forward Challenge story!  I will collect them and share them in a future blog to inspire others to do more of the same.

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 *************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

October 29, 2017

 “When we set out to do the best we can do, it is inevitable that great opportunity finds us because we are doing what truly makes us happy.  We’re in alignment and ready for the opportunities that life puts in our path.” – Josh Hinds

Having a ton of Fall fun with my wonderful husband Rick and others this past week, I found myself short on time to write a new blog this weekend.

Fortunately, while combing through the blog archives for ideas, I came across a post that reflects exactly what has been happening with several of my clients this very week, so the lesson is as timely today as it was two years ago!

In these especially uncertain times, I believe it is a comforting reminder we ALL can use whenever anxiety takes hold of us about the current status of our careers, relationships, goals or projects. So please enjoy this lightly-edited re-post!

October 31, 2015

 I am writing this on Halloween, just a few hours before the doorbell begins to chime and little Ghosts and Goblins appear on the doorstep to scare us into handing over the chocolate.

Halloween got me thinking about the emotion of fear and how pervasive it is in our lives.  One of the things the human Ego seems to be hardwired to fear most is loss.  Whether it’s a personal relationship, our health, a job, or a financial loss, our first reaction is likely to be fear that we won’t ever be able to replace what has been taken from us with something equally good.

(I should clarify here that I am not talking about the death of someone dear to you as being simply a “loss” to be replaced.  No individual can ever be replaced because we are each unique and special and priceless. And while a breakup or divorce can be as traumatic as a death, we still must believe that when our grieving process is complete, we will one day experience love and joy again, with another unique and special person.)

What I have discovered over many years spent studying the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) is that our attitude about a loss has everything to do with whether it eventually opens up the space for a new blessing or becomes a slippery slope to further loss.

If you can come to accept that your loss is simply what’s so right now, you can turn your thoughts and emotions to what you WANT to have happen next, instead of expending precious energy on useless denial.  I personally find that my greatest ally in this is my faith.  Like most of my clients, I believe in a Higher Power (I call it God, but you may call it The Universe, Life Force, Infinite Spirit or something else) that has my back and wants me to succeed.  My faith and past experience always remind me that a loss is a temporary condition and is not going to doom me.

I choose to believe that something just as good or even better is on its way to me right now.  I choose to believe that God/the Universe always knows what I am going to need even before I know it, and is always looking for ways to match me up with others who need what I have to offer, so we can create a Win-Win together. All I have to do to receive my Good is to let go of trying to force my own solutions, and instead listen quietly for the perfect “How” that God/The Universe is trying to guide me to. When I follow the prompting of that “still, small voice” inside me, I inevitably end up in the right place at the right time to receive my Highest Good.

I had a delightful experience of this phenomenon just this week. Well, it didn’t start out as delightful, as I got an unexpected loss.  One of my favorite clients texted that she was not going to continue our coaching for the foreseeable future, due to dealing with serious personal matters that had her too distracted to focus on the Big Goal we were working on.

At first, I was taken aback.  Texting?  Really? Why wouldn’t she choose to tell me this on the upcoming call we had scheduled that she had already paid for? It was hard not to take it personally.  I felt like the heroine in an old television show whose boyfriend broke up with her via a Post It note stuck to her computer screen!

But, honestly, I wasn’t upset with my client.  When I examined my emotional reaction to this loss more closely, I discovered an old fear coming up for me.

Even though my coaching practice has been quite full for some time, around Halloween, the past still comes back to haunt me. My husband is a Realtor, and the fall and winter months tend to be quieter times for his business. For several years during the Great Recession, his real estate income was very sporadic, so my coaching income paid most of the bills. Every Holiday season, I was terrified that all my clients would go on an extended vacation and we wouldn’t have a turkey on the table or presents under the tree.

Although our REALITY may change, our Ego’s old Limiting Beliefs are hard to shake.  Remembering a few challenging Holiday seasons from the past was enough to set my fearful Ego off because it is still on guard, searching for ANY sign that we could once again be financially insecure.  Thankfully, I recognized the old Limiting Belief resurfacing and reminded my fearful Ego that Rick and I are both prospering in our careers, have plenty of savings in the bank, and our past is not in our future.

One of my favorite tools to help my Ego relax so I can listen for the divine “How” is this affirmation: “I hereby give up my Old, Limiting Belief that there is never enough and life is a constant struggle.  My New, Empowering Belief is that I am prosperous, with never-ending abundance to spare and to share!” So, after reading my client’s text, I repeated it aloud and went on with my day.

Just two hours later, I had a free coaching session with someone I had never met who was referred to me by a colleague.  Our session was originally scheduled for a few weeks ago, but she had to reschedule for the same afternoon that I received the “Dear Jane” text from my client.

Our free session went great.  There was comfortable rapport and immediate trust between us, and I was delighted to learn that she embraces the Law of Attraction and many of the LOA tools I use to help my clients turbo-charge their results.  Without hesitation, she signed up for coaching.

When I gave her a choice among my open time slots, she chose the one that my former client had graciously made available that very day. Thus, what looked like a loss just a couple of hours earlier was transformed into a Win-Win-Win for my new client, my former client and me!

And once again, I was reminded that if we steadfastly BELIEVE in our dreams, RELEASE our Ego’s fear of loss, and EXPECT something good to take its place, we can turn our pain into wonderful gain.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go here and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top of the page: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

 

October 15, 2017

“Leap, and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs

I saw a very good movie last night that demonstrates how a courageous individual’s strong belief in herself and her values, coupled with an unshakable commitment to a Big Goal enabled her to triumph over seemingly daunting odds.

“Battle of the Sexes” is the very entertaining and dramatic story of what went on behind the scenes in the lives of the principal players in the legendary 1973 tennis match between the reigning women’s champ, Billie Jean King, and retired hall of famer, compulsive gambler and showman, Bobby Riggs.

I was in college at the time, and all I was aware of then were the circus sideshow aspects of the match up, which was billed as “Libbers versus Lobbers” because the Women’s Liberation movement was just beginning to take hold. Women were speaking up for themselves and demanding equal rights and equal pay in every area of life, while the men in power at the time didn’t seem to get what all the fuss was about, believing the “fairer sex” should be content to tend to their family duties and “hobbies,” and let men continue to be the breadwinners and sports heroes.

Billie Jean was not known as a boat-rocker at the time.  She was liked and respected by other players and single-focused on improving her own game. So, when Bobby Riggs first approached her with the idea of putting on a purely money-making stunt match to determine whether a 55-year-old has-been male athlete could beat a 28-year-old woman the peak of her powers, Billie Jean initially turned him down because she didn’t want to demean the game she loved and had devoted her life to.

But she reached her breaking point when she protested the gross inequality of the women’s and men’s tournament prizes to former tennis great Jack Kramer, head of the “Old Boy’s Club” of rich white men who ran US tennis, and he responded that no woman was as good a player or as much of a draw as a male player, despite the fact that just as many tickets were sold for women’s matches as men’s. Then he proclaimed with a condescending smirk that the women should be satisfied with money that was one-eighth of the men’s purse because “men have families to support.”  She calmly answered, “I’m the breadwinner in my family” and took all the women players with her to start their own tour, underwritten by Virginia Slims cigarettes.

When Riggs finally cajoled Australian powerhouse Margaret Court into a smaller “battle of the sexes” match and won by mentally rattling her, Billie Jean realized it was up to her alone to take him on and she agreed to an epic match.

Most men in the tennis world and male celebrities of the time supported Riggs, and smugly predicted he would win.  Overconfident after beating Court, Riggs didn’t do much practicing, but devoted himself to relentlessly promoting the spectacle and stoking the flames of “war” between men and women.

What had started out as a little sexist joke bet quickly grew into a high-stakes contest that played out before a sell-out crowd of over 30,000 in the Houston Astrodome and millions of viewers in 36 countries around the world.   As the movie beautifully portrays, the match created a sense of tremendous personal responsibility for Billie Jean to “prove” that women are equally talented, competitive, entertaining and worthy of being society’s role models and heroes.

So what did Billie Jean do in the face of this immense pressure?  According to the movie, she took nothing for granted, stayed single-focused on her Big Goal and worked harder than ever at honing her game and strengthening her stamina.  She developed a strategy of not trying to match his male muscle power, but instead, keeping him running all over the court and gradually wearing him down. Most importantly, she believed in herself and never doubted for a single minute that right was on her side.

Her strategy and belief worked, and Bobby Riggs lost the epic Battle of the Sexes he had created in three straight sets. Today, Billie Jean King’s accomplishment still stands as a major milestone in the ongoing fight for women’s equality and empowerment.

But the even bigger personal lesson I see in this story for ALL human beings is summed up in a recent daily inspirational passage from my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen:

“God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny….That means you are well able to do what He has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals.  You can fulfill your dreams!  You have the ideas, the creativity and talent to be successful. You can overcome any obstacle. You have been armed with strength for every battle.

Not only has God equipped you, but He is also working on your behalf.  He has already gone before you and lined up the right people and the right opportunities.  You have everything you need to live a victorious life – you were created to excel!

You may not have seen it in the past, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s just a matter of time; victory is on its way.”

So remember, no matter what the outer circumstances or odds you may face, no matter what the pundits’ opinions or predictions, no matter how much or how little you know about the HOW, your own Big Goals truly ARE attainable… IF you believe in yourself…. IF you believe that what you are doing is right and good…. IF you believe that God is on your side…. And IF you never, ever give up!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday October 29.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

October 8, 2017

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

When I wrote the last blog on September 24 (See Let Go of Guilt Blog #282), little did I know what was coming.

I had been talking to a number of my coaching clients who felt paralyzed in their business pursuits by the seemingly-endless stream of hurricanes, fires and earthquakes that have occurred over the past several months. I wrote then about their feelings of “Striver’s Guilt,” which is much like the Survivor’s Guilt that paralyzes some people who have survived a horrific event where others perished.

Some of my clients felt so depressed over watching the 24/7 news stories about thousands of strangers who had suffered unimaginable losses of homes and even loved ones, they couldn’t muster the positive energy for daily outreach to grow their network marketing businesses. A few who know individuals directly affected by these natural disasters even felt it was disrespectful of their friends’ losses to pursue their own personal success.

Then this past weekend, the news focused on all the gruesome details of something even more horrific – the mass murder and wounding of hundreds of innocent people whose only crime was to enjoy themselves at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas that was within range of a madman with an automatic weapon perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Several of my clients also had some harrowing personal experiences with this awful event:  One was extremely grateful because she was supposed to go to that concert, but her babysitter cancelled at the last minute. Another said her BFF was at the concert and was in terrible emotional shape because, although unharmed herself, she had witnessed someone being shot a few feet from her. Still another told me her young relative’s best friend was one of the people who were murdered.

Incredibly, most of my coaching clients, who are all independent consultants with the same network marketing company, were preparing to depart for their company’s annual convention in Las Vegas this week.  Wow.  How do you process something that awful happening so close by when you are supposed to be celebrating your business success?

It is well above my “pay grade” to make sense of such a tragedy.  For me personally, life’s number one question that I hope God will be kind enough to answer when I make my transition is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” How we each continue to live our daily lives with faith, hope and optimism after such events is up to each of us to figure out, according to our own personal beliefs.

I am sure of one thing, however: Our succumbing to paralyzing Survivor’s Guilt or Striver’s Guilt and despair will NOT help those affected by tragedies and disasters in any way. As the wise old saying goes, you can “light a candle or curse the darkness.” The choice is yours.

If you choose to light a candle, you will honor the memory of those who didn’t survive accidents, illness, natural disaster or unfathomably evil human deeds by providing a beacon of hope and comfort to those who most need your support, even as you help yourself.

What we must focus on in all of these disasters and tragedies are the numerous acts of selfless kindness, generosity and heroism performed by strangers in service to their fellow human beings.  First Responders and ordinary citizens alike put their own lives in danger to save others, while medical professionals acted with calm heads and skilled hands to save many lives that otherwise would have been lost.

If you want to strengthen the much greater force of Good in the world, instead of just cursing the darkness of human evil and natural disasters, ask yourself: What can I do today, with the resources I have, to light my own candle?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Donate as much financial help as you can to relief providers. Human and animal relief organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Humane Society, SPCA International and many others have the know-how and resources to get the right kinds of aid to victims as quickly as possible. They just need the funds.
  • If you can, donate blood. Even if it stays in your community, your blood will help someone you don’t know who is in trouble right where you are. Sign up to be an organ donor when you renew your driver’s license, too!
  • If you can spare a few hours, volunteer in your community. Food banks, literacy programs, Meals on Wheels, addiction and at-risk youth programs and animal welfare organizations, to name a few, all rely on hometown heroes to help them do their good work.
  • Lend an ear or a hand to someone who needs it. People all around you are suffering quietly in big and small ways right now. Visit an elderly, single or ill neighbor with tea and cookies. Just be good company for them or offer to help with chores and errands once in awhile.
  • If you don’t like how things are going in local, state or national politics, don’t just complain — DO something about it! At the very least, VOTE.  Attend town hall meetings or write your representatives. And if you can, donate or volunteer to help candidates you believe in get elected.  If, like the majority of Americans, you think our gun safety laws need some common-sense improvement, political change is the most effective way to make tragedies like Newtown, San Bernardino and Las Vegas become far less frequent.

And for goodness sakes, put your own oxygen mask on first!  You can’t help anyone else if you are glued to your television, laptop or smart phone, watching the news and feeling paralyzed and hopeless. My BFF Lisa says she is “on a news fast,” listening to audio books instead of watching troubling news reports and social media, and she feels much lighter for it.

It is critical that you get up each morning and put on your mental armor by spending just 15 to 30 minutes on your own personal and spiritual development in order to direct your mindset and your energy in a positive, can-do direction.  Then go out and get after your own Big Dreams, just as you support many others in pursuing theirs.

Creating your OWN financial and personal success will make your candle burn even brighter for those who are searching the darkness for a ray of light to help them find their own Path.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.  

September 24, 2017

“What’s interesting is that most of us intuitively already know what we should let go of.  The challenge is to take action to end negative patterns, habits, or relationships that are getting in our way.” – found in the book Keep It Simple by Joe Calloway

A surprising number of my coaching clients confess to holding the Limiting Belief “I am not worthy” or “I don’t deserve” success.  I’m not a trained therapist so I don’t know exactly where this belief stems from in each of their pasts, but I have come to believe it’s related to a type of guilt that many people share.

If you have any degree of financial security, good health, loved ones, reliable food and shelter – in short, a good life — the tragic circumstances so many others are suffering under today can make you feel some degree of guilt that you have been spared. When you recognize how much good you have been blessed with, it’s easy to think “Why me?” and feel undeserving.

My job as a Personal Success Coach is pretty straightforward: to help my clients achieve their Big Goals with maximum speed and ease.  That would seem to require just making a good action plan and sticking to it until the race is won. Ah, but there is so much going on between their ears that gets in the way!  What has been coming up lately for some is akin to “Survivor’s Guilt.”

Survivor’s Guilt is a very real, crippling psychological condition that arises in some people who have somehow survived a traumatic incident in which others perished, such as a plane or car crash or war.  Intellectually, survivors recognize that they didn’t cause the horrible circumstance that killed their comrades, and there was nothing they could have done to save them, but they still hold deep guilt about the unanswerable question “Why me? Why did I survive?” It can paralyze them emotionally and ruin the rest of their lives if they cannot get past it.

Given that the daily news feed is filled with non-stop natural disasters and man-made atrocities, I see more clients than ever who are suffering from a lesser but still paralyzing condition I call “Striver’s Guilt.” They feel guilty for pursuing their personal dreams while others are suffering.  Or they feel guilty if they are making faster progress in creating a successful business than other seemingly nice, deserving people who are not having the same degree of success for their efforts. “Why me?” they wonder.

I recently talked with someone during a free coaching session who was suffering from “Striver’s Guilt” that had kept her from taking action on her Big Goals for her network marketing business for several weeks.   She said it felt selfish and petty to call potential customers about buying her company’s products or joining her in the business amidst all the terrible news of people losing everything to hurricanes or earthquakes.

I told her that I completely understand that feeling.  I, too, have been feeling helpless and sad and frustrated lately because it is very hard to see people suffer and not be able to help them, aside from donating to relief organizations.

But I also offered her a chance to view the situation from a different perspective than the Limiting Belief she was holding that “If others are suffering, it’s wrong to pursue my own success and happiness.” 

First and foremost, foregoing pursuing her own personal goals will not help even one other person who is suffering.  If you have personally done something that hurt someone else — intentionally or unintentionally — you should, of course, sincerely apologize and do everything in your power to make it right.

But if you are simply feeling guilty because you cannot do anything directly to rectify their situation, your guilt is not going to alleviate their suffering.  (It’s as illogical as when your parents used to tell you to clean your plate because there are starving children in other countries!)

And if you are succeeding in your business and someone else is falling short in theirs, feeling guilty about your own success is not going to make them successful. You can offer your suggestions and support, but ultimately, it’s up to them to succeed with the same tools you have been given.

When tragedies or social ills are widespread, it can make us feel helpless.  The solution is not guilt, which is a truly useless emotion because it never spurs you to take effective action. Quite the opposite: Guilt paralyzes your creative brain by making you feel hopeless and depressed, which makes you truly useless to help others.

Instead, we can recognize that, even if we can only do a little by ourselves – like donating or volunteering to a cause – that action sets up the right energy to draw others to the cause. And many people united CAN create big results. So, instead of giving off guilty energy, making you and others feel lethargic and hopeless, you can choose to embody “I will do what I can” energy that makes you and everyone who comes in contact with you feel uplifted, hopeful and motivated to create change.

Finally, it is important to know that feelings of guilt or unworthiness are a tool the “Inner Protector” part of your Ego uses to protect you from taking any “risks” it fears will threaten your mental, emotional or physical well-being.  Guilt provides a plausible “reason” for you to stay stuck on the sofa, which your Inner Protector thinks is the safest place for you, rather than out in the world pursuing your goals.

My intelligent free session client quickly grasped that her feelings of guilt that were threatening to derail her Big Goals could not provide one iota of help to any of the earthquake or flood or hurricane victims, but they did risk turning her into a kind of victim too.  Because our beliefs, thoughts and emotions either move us in the direction of our dreams, or hold us back, guilt is NOT going to put the Law of Attraction (which says that “energy attracts like energy”) to work for you, attracting the people, resources and opportunities you need to succeed.

She brightened up considerably when I pointed out that the increased financial abundance that would come from creating a successful business would allow her to contribute MORE to the causes she cares about. And that will make a difference for others, while crying on the sofa and avoiding picking up the phone won’t.

So, the next time you are tempted to ask the heavens the unanswerable question “Why me?” I hope you will instead ask yourself, “Why NOT me?” and “What can I do right NOW to make a difference for myself and others?”  Now, that is a question worth asking!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off. Look for a brand new Cup of Caroll on Sunday October 8.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity.  Don’t fight them.  Just find a different way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey

Are you struggling with a challenge — Something that isn’t going the way you thought it would or wanted it to? Are you feeling disappointed, frustrated, defeated and wondering what YOU must have done wrong to attract such a negative result into your life?

I want to assure you that what looks like “bad news” in your life today can turn out to be “good news” in the long run.  IF you maintain the right attitude in the face of a negative present, in the not-too-distant future, you will look back at your present challenge as the necessary catalyst for a result that is ultimately very GOOD for you.

My personal belief is that it’s a Divine Plan for your highest good, working itself out in ways we cannot entirely understand because we have a very limited view of the Universal Big Picture. But it is a phenomenon that I have seen too many times in my life and the lives of many, many coaching clients to believe it’s due to luck or coincidence.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy,” meaning that the “energy” (your thoughts plus your emotions) with which you respond to a person or circumstance will attract MORE of the same to you.  It’s not what initially happens to you which determines the ultimate outcome; it’s how you respond to what happens that either keeps things snowballing in a negative direction OR halts the negativity in its tracks and begins attracting positive people, resources and serendipitous events that will work in your favor.

One of my clients recently experienced this phenomenon in a big way.  In April, she and her Team of dedicated business partners had a very challenging and frustrating month in their network marketing business. Her company is expanding rapidly across the globe and wanted to install a new online platform to allow all the countries that will soon be coming on board to use the same seamlessly-integrated system to sell products, sign up new business partners and provide ongoing training, support and communications world-wide.

But, as often seems to happen in the wonderful world of computer technology, things did not go as planned during the switchover to the new system in early April.  There were many frustrating glitches that prevented customers from placing orders or charged them twice, kept new consultants from signing up, or prevented them from tracking their sales numbers. It was a tangled mess that the company’s technical experts struggled for weeks to fix, as many Teams’ productivity slowed to a crawl.

Experienced Team Leaders like my client had some balanced perspective.  She knew the company was ethical and believed the staff were doing their very best to make things right, and trusted that everything would ultimately work out.  But many of her Team’s newer members were stymied and upset and sent frantic messages to her almost hourly, causing her emotional stress.  She felt terrible for them and helpless to do anything to change the situation.

I worked closely with this Leader client to help her maintain a positive mindset, reminding her frequently that she could only do her personal best, and must let go of all feelings of guilt or concern about things she couldn’t control.  She could either be a positive mindset role model for her Team, or allow their fear and negativity drag her down with them.  To her great credit, she worked diligently every day to be patient, maintain her poise and keep expecting The Best outcome to emerge from this apparently very bad situation.

Near the end of the month, it was clear that the computer glitches could not be fixed anytime soon, so the company reverted to its old system and made things as fair to everyone as they could.  Basically, they gave each consultant the benefit of the doubt. Thus, anyone who had entered the month of April striving for a particular sales goal would get credit for having attained it, based on their numbers from March.

What this meant for my client and her Team was very positive!  In March, they had been closing in on the volume needed for April to be the first month of her three-month “Lexus Run.” This meant that if the whole Team sold a certain dollar amount of products, and maintained that level for three months in a row, my client would earn a free lease on the Lexus model of her choice.  Once a Leader achieves her Lexus, every member of her Team sees the evidence that they can do it too – They are going to the TOP together!

Even though my client’s Team didn’t come anywhere close to the required sales volume in April, largely due to the computer system SNAFU, the company still gave them credit for achieving “Month One” of the three month Lexus contest.  This windfall gave them all such an emotional boost after their frustrating April struggle, they sailed right past the minimum required sales number in May for a solid “Month Two” triumph.  June is now my client’s third and final qualification month to earn her Lexus, and everyone on the Team is fired up and working like crazy to reach the goal that nobody doubts is going to happen.

In retrospect, my client can see that, if things had gone normally for her Team in April, it isn’t certain whether they actually would have sold the required amount to begin their “Lexus Run.”  But because of her steadfast positive response to what initially looked like a very BAD situation, things turned in their favor in a BIG way.

I give all the credit to my client for maintaining her own positive energy, and being a great role model for her Team to do the same.  Way to allow God/The Universe to control the “How” and turn her Bad News into Great News!

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking next week off so that I can begin preparing for my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar.  ALL my readers who subscribe to this blog will get the first information/registration email very soon.  The six-week course begins on Tuesday evening July 18. I promise you that it going to be interactive, fun and will create LOTS of new prosperity for those who join me! Your friends, family and teammates are welcome to join the course. Please pass my informational emails along to them and encourage them to sign up too!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 

 

“I have never met a single human being that has made a lifelong, meaningful change that came from shame or guilt….I have seen so much positive change that results from self-care, self-love, self-esteem and self-respect.” – Taryn Brumfitt, body-image activist

If your own personal goals have nothing to do with your weight or physical shape, please don’t stop reading today’s topic.  I believe it applies to any Big Goal, and I hope it will inspire you to adopt the right mindset that will enable you to succeed at reaching your own goals, be they health, financial, career, creative, romantic – whatever is most important to you.

My wonderful husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary on May 5th – Cinco de Champagne, as Rick likes to call it.  We want to celebrate in style, so we are going to Hawaii for eight days and nights.  We have both been before, but never as a couple.

The first four nights, including our anniversary, will be spent on Oahu at the Aulani, a Disney resort I have dreamed of since it was built several years ago.  (If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that Rick and I love all things Disney, AND the resort itself is fabulous.)  The second four days/nights will be spent on Kauai, the Garden Isle, which is the loveliest of the Hawaiian Islands.

When New Year’s Day 2017 rolled around, we already had our reservations and all the details taken care of.  The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was getting into my bathing suit.  Yeah.  The usual Holiday weight gain had piled on top of the Holiday weight from the year before and the year before that.  I was feeling pretty resigned about it, to tell you the truth.  I just tried to avoid full length mirrors as much as possible.

My husband thinks I’m hot, no matter what.  So my self-esteem wasn’t really suffering.  But I didn’t feel good in my clothes, and I knew my energy level had taken a nose dive.

I have struggled with trying to lose 10 or 15 pounds just about all my life.  I had some success with keeping it off for a few years, but whenever I hit a rough patch in life, I often turned to food for comfort and stress relief.  During the Great Recession and its aftermath, I pretty much gave in to the chips and cookies for good.

When I thought back to our wedding 10 years ago, I remembered how proud and happy I felt that day about everything – the event itself, finding the Man of My Dreams, and working my butt off (literally) to fit into my wedding dress!

Fittingly, I found my one-of-a-kind Dress of My Dreams on sale on a solo trip I took to Hawaii to attend a workshop about six months before our wedding.  It was exactly what I wanted, but it was a size smaller than I was at the time.  So, I took on the project like my life depended on it.  I hired a personal trainer, worked out consistently, ate carefully and voila! A critical short-term Big Goal got me to my ideal weight for the dress.  (OK, Spanx helped a little, too!)

This January, facing a similar Big Goal of fitting into my bathing suit again and not feeling old and tired on my second honeymoon, I wondered, “How can I find some of that drive and commitment that carried me to my Big Goal 10 years ago?” I was just not feeling I had it in me to do it again.

That’s when I had two key insights about what was REALLY holding me back from finally achieving a healthy weight that I could maintain permanently.   

First, with my wedding dress Big Goal, I had to admit that what truly motivated me then was FEAR.  I was terrified of risking public humiliation by having to buy another dress, after showing off my Dream Dress to my closest friends, who were also my Bridesmaids! This time, I definitely wanted to look good for Rick and to feel good in my own body, but I didn’t have the same compelling OUTER-directed fear of “What will others think if I fail?” about looking good on the beach!

I realized that what Taryn says in her quote is absolutely true.  I was able to make a short-term change for the wedding, but when that temporary goal was reached, I began to undo it almost immediately.  I ate and drank like there was no tomorrow at our reception and fell so far off the wagon that within a month, I had regained 10 pounds, which kept compounding over the next ten years.

TAKE-AWAY #1: If you want long-term success, you need a substantial, POSITIVE “Why” for pursuing your Big Goal.

My second insight was that I remembered my earlier journey to weight loss success as being really HARD.  Ten years older, I just didn’t feel physically or mentally up to “suffering” through deprivation and hard workouts for months on end. And since my temporary triumph had all come undone very quickly, my Inner Doubter kept whispering, “You know it’s just going to fall apart again! So why bother?”

That’s when I saw clearly that I had been living the last 10 years of my life out of these two powerful  Limiting Beliefs – That only FEAR can motivate me, and that I just don’t have the self-discipline to make lasting changes.

TAKE –AWAY #2:  I created a new Empowering Belief possibility for myself: Positive change can be EASY and PERMANENT.  

Very soon, the most amazing solution to my weight loss dilemma appeared.  As often happens, when you are truly ready to RECEIVE a better How, God/the Universe directs you to fulfill your desire in a way that is easier and more satisfying than anything your own Ego could come up with.

Last year, Rick was diagnosed as being on the cusp of developing Type II diabetes, which his doctor tried to treat with conventional medicine and conventional nutrition, with little success.  Rick had several relatives suffer and die from this disease and he was determined to beat it.  Unbeknownst to me, he went to a presentation by a wellness clinic that uses cutting-edge nutrition and supplements to control blood sugar and reverse the effects of Type II diabetes.  Before I knew it, he had embarked on a radical lifestyle change.

I am a lucky woman because Rick does ALL of the shopping and cooking.  He began following his new program to a T, buying only organic, drinking more water than ever before, and taking a lot of supplements. We both learned a lot of eye-opening information about common foods that have a bad effect on blood sugar, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, the mold in coffee and peanut butter and the inflammatory properties of tomatoes, dairy and some kinds of cooking oil.

As Rick stuck to a strict list of healthy fruits, salads, vegetables, chicken and seafood, I just ate whatever he prepared for dinner because I wanted to support him. It was no hardship, because the food was really delicious and we both learned to be satisfied with smaller portions. In a few weeks, I had effortlessly dropped 10 pounds.

After I realized what was happening, I decided to be a little more focused in my own habits, keeping up my daily one hour walks and cutting out desserts, except for grapes and strawberries.  The “raging” sweet tooth I had always claimed to have seemed to disappear on its own.  So much for fear and hardship!

As of today, I have lost 15 pounds and Rick has lost 23. Most importantly, his blood work is excellent and he looks and feels amazing. And, one week before our trip, I am happy to say that my bathing suit fits just fine.  In fact, I had to buy some smaller-size clothes for the trip.

Now, I am truly committed to my Big Goal of reaching and maintaining my ideal healthy weight. (Just 10 more pounds to go!)  Yes, I know that I will enjoy a few Mai Tais and some great food in Hawaii, but I have an internal knowing that I won’t fall off the wagon again because for the first time, I am doing it for the RIGHT reasons: Self-love, Self-care, Self-esteem and Self-respect!

The blog will be taking the next two Sundays off to prepare for and enjoy our trip to Hawaii.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, May 14.  Aloha!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

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