Attitude


March 22, 2020

“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” – Jessica Howell

I don’t have to tell you what times are like right now – crazy, challenging, depressing, nerve-wracking, scary.  Not to mention, having the kids home from school indefinitely driving you to consider having a Mommy Martini for lunch.

We are all in uncharted territory.  Nobody living today (in North America or Europe, at least) has been through a pandemic like the novel corona virus. What can any of us do to help heal this overwhelming situation?

You can do a lot.  Collective consciousness is a real thing.  (Definition: “A set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society….a shared understanding of social norms.”) Right now, the collective consciousness is causing toilet paper shortages for no good reason.  But it can also produce beneficial effects, such as making most of us voluntarily obey “social distancing” for the collective good and step up to help our neighbors find toilet paper. Our collective thoughts and emotions can either create more problems or make a dire situation more bearable.

We know that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) says that the thoughts and emotions YOU individually put out into the world are going to attract similar people, situations, resources, etc. to you. That’s why selfishness, fear, anger, resentment, blame are NOT energies you want to embody, for your own sake.   Instead, as the Bible puts it in Proverbs 11:25, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed.  Those who help others are helped.” You can’t out-give God, as they say.

Still, it’s very understandable if you are feeling depressed or upset these days, because many aspects of this situation affect us and our loved ones directly, yet are beyond our control. In truth, we have more control than we think.  What we think and what we focus on will not only impact how our own situation unfolds, but as part of the collective consciousness, will impact other people we may never have any direct contact with.

The other day, I emailed a friend of mine to check on him. He is going through a really tough time right now. He just lost his job (to which he will not be rehired). He now faces the daunting task of finding a new job in the midst of the worst job market since the Great Depression. He replied that he feels dejected, numb, and wonders if he should just give up his search and hunker down alone in his apartment for the coming weeks or months.

I understood his state of mind, but as a coach, I couldn’t just commiserate.  I care about him too much not to remind him of what I absolutely KNOW to be true: He needs to take control of his own energy and start turning it toward the positive NOW, if he wants to survive this.  I reminded him that, when he was in another very difficult circumstance years ago, I challenged him to make a GRATITUDE LIST of at least 25 things he was grateful for right then.  To my amazement, he was able to list 100 things and people he was GRATEFUL for!

This time, I suggested he sit down at his kitchen table and not get up again until he listed at least 50.  He hasn’t yet sent me his list, but I fully expect it will be well over 50 again.  That’s because once you turn your thoughts from what you DON’T WANT to what is POSITIVE instead, you must quickly recognize that there is so much more GOOD than bad in your life. He has a roof over his head and unemployment insurance, which will keep it there.  He has friends and family who care about him and will help him if he just asks.  If he feels isolated, he has a phone and computer to reach out to them.

Another coaching client of mine came up with the “Three Gs” you can use to pull yourself out of negative energy quicksand. The Three Gs are:

  • Gratitude – Focusing on all the good you have in your life right now.
  • Giving – The fastest way to lift your own spirits is to lift someone else’s.
  • God – Praying, trusting, believing in a Higher Power who cares about you.

If we all focus our thoughts and our actions in those three areas, I know that we WILL turn this ship around. We will not just survive as a society, but we can come out stronger and better than before.  In fact, many social media posts are listing a lot of positives that have come out of this situation already, including a much cleaner environment and non-existent traffic, home-bound workers finally getting more exercise and more sleep, families re-connecting and a greater sense of community, as we discover the joy of helping our neighbors in ways big and small.

I also believe that our society will have some lasting beneficial changes from this awful pandemic, depending on what we decide to do after it passes. It can be the impetus to finally implement good ideas that we have kicked around for a long time now, such as an AFFORDABLE mainstream college education for all who want one that is entirely online. We are mastering using existing technology to get remote health care that keeps patients and medical staff safe from catching something in the doctor’s office.

And, hopefully, a lot of businesses that have been reluctant to let staff work remotely will finally see that they really CAN be productive at home. That could be a solution to the huge childcare problem parents face when their children are sick or too young to go to school or it is just unaffordable.  Once we have test-driven these “new normal” ideas for several months, it will be hard to go back to the old ways that don’t work for so many people.

IMPORTANT INVITATION

If you could use some real positivity in your life right now, I urge you to join me in plugging into the F.R.E.E. new Outrageous Achievement series my friend and mentor Leslie Zann is doing five days a week for the next five weeks on Facebook Live.

For those of you who don’t know her, Leslie has been an inspiring speaker and masterful trainer for over 25 years.  It was Leslie who first introduced me to the importance of having a daily personal development practice as a foundation for success, which set me on the path to becoming a Personal Success Coach.

Leslie’s Facebook Live series begins this Monday, March 23 at 7AM Pacific (times vary by day Monday – Friday).  She will offer insights – both emotional and professional – in her usual “Leslie style” (fun and candid!).  These brief 15 -30 minute segments will focus on helping you develop the Mindset, Skillset and Viewpoint necessary to maneuver through our new normal with grace and courage.

I am honored that she has invited me to speak on one of the segments!  I will keep you posted on which date that will be.

I urge you to listen to as many of these wonderful daily doses of positivity as you can.  This is for EVERYONE – we are all in this together! Check out her facebook page for all the details: www.facebook.com/lesliezannconsulting

Go here for more details and sign up for a daily email reminder: http://bit.ly/ZannLive

February 23, 2020

“Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Today’s blog is a repost of a blog from two years ago, and I think it’s a good companion piece to last week’s blog (Be Your Own True Love – Blog 363). It takes that message of loving yourself to the next level.

This is a simple, straightforward message that my clients need to hear, I need to hear, and I’m sure every one of my readers needs to hear at some point in their lives: Quit worrying about what others think of you and your Big Goal and just go after it.

Only two opinions matter – Yours and God’s.  One of those beings created you and put those desires in your heart. (The word “desire” actually means “of the Father” in Latin).  The other one is YOU, the only being who has complete free will to pursue those desires or let them die.

If you want your desires to become your reality, your only option is to “Just Do It” with everything you’ve got.  You must shut out your well-meaning friends’ and family’s opinions about how you should live your life.  They don’t have to live with the consequences of you dying with your dreams unborn….YOU do. They don’t have to take the risks….YOU do.  They won’t reap the sweet rewards of your success…. YOU will!

Here’s another great perspective from my favorite tele-minister, Joel Osteen. The remarkable success of the mega church he and his wife Victoria lead in Houston has been the focus of some armchair critics who probably have never built anything in their lives.  Yet, thousands and thousands of people flock there every week and millions more watch on television to hear his messages of faith, hope and positivity, urging them to pursue their biggest dreams.

“Beyond Critical Voices

Anytime you set out to do something great in life, there will be critics.  If you’re going to be a great business person, coach, student, leader or employee, there will be opposition.  The more success you have, the more opportunities there will be for distractions. The higher you go, the more haters will come out.  When you start stretching to a new level and pursuing what God has placed in your heart, the jealous people, the critical people, and the small-minded people come out of the woodwork and start making negative comments but you don’t have to let that distract you.

If you are under pressure today, if the critical voices are coming against you, know that it’s because you are making a difference.  Don’t let them throw you off course.  Instead, dig your heels in, set your face like a flint and say, ‘I will not get distracted.  I will not get drawn into battles that don’t matter.  It doesn’t matter what others think; it matters what God thinks!’

Today, look beyond the critics.  Stand strong in adversity.  Press forward to what lies ahead and win the prize of life that He has prepared for you!”

Scale that wall… Just. Do. It.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking the next two Sundays off so I can focus on preparing my webinar on the New Success Formula 2020 (and, of course, taxes). Look for the next brand-new edition of A Cup of Caroll on Sunday March 15.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website https://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.

February 16, 2020

“…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, NIV)

However you spent your Valentine’s Day – with your sweetheart, a four-footed pal, a BFF, or just enjoying your own company – I hope you felt LOVED.  The most important person on the planet for you to love is YOU.

If you are not being loved, respected or treated right by someone else (a boss, teacher, romantic partner, friend, upline, downline, neighbor, etc.), The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” Therefore, if you recognize that you are attracting people into your life who do not seem to be honoring and valuing you (especially if you see a pattern among several people), it’s a good idea to honestly assess how YOU are feeling about and treating yourself.

I have always loved two quotes from psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw and I often share them with clients who are dealing with someone who is behaving unkindly or disrespectfully toward them:

“No one will ever value you more than you value yourself.”

“We teach other people how to treat us.”

If we allow someone to mistreat us because we feel we somehow “deserve” it or it bothers us but we just keep quiet, trying to avoid “conflict,” their disrespectful behavior is sure to be repeated. If, however, YOU believe and behave like you are valuable, others will treat you that way. Or, if they need your polite but firm correction, they will definitely change their attitude and behavior toward you in the future.

And, if you want to love others more, you first need to love yourself, human imperfections and all.  Remember, God/The Universe couldn’t create junk – therefore, you ARE a masterpiece.

There are two things I believe all successful people have in common: Self confidence and Self-esteem.  The former is you believing that you are capable.  The latter is you believing that you are lovable.

If you were raised by well-meaning parents to believe that loving yourself displeases your Creator because it is “prideful” or “selfish,” here is a different spiritual outlook from my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen:

 “Love Yourself (By Joel Osteen)

Jesus said that if you don’t love yourself in a healthy way, you will never be able to love others in the way that you should. This is why some people don’t have good relationships. If you don’t get along with yourself, you’ll never get along with others. We all have weaknesses, shortcomings, and things that we wish were different. But if you see yourself as less than, not talented, and not valuable, you will become exactly that. If you feel unattractive on the inside, you will convey feelings of unattractiveness. That’s going to push people away. You carry yourself the way you see yourself.

People see you the way you see yourself. Perhaps if you quit focusing on your flaws and start loving yourself in a healthy way, being proud of who God made you to be, then as you send out these different messages, it’s going to bring new opportunities, new relationships, and new levels of God’s favor.”

Remember, there are only two opinions about you that TRULY matter: Yours and your Creator’s. If you steer your life by those, not only will you be happy and successful, you will be able to reflect your healthy self-love out to the rest of the world and make a positive difference in the lives of many others.  And I can promise you that you will feel loved and valued in return.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://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.

November 10, 2019

“There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next. Your life and what you do with it matters forever.” –from The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

This quote struck me as very appropriate for Veterans Day Weekend, because those who serve our country and the sacrifices that they and their loved ones voluntarily make surely have a huge impact on generations to come.  We can never adequately thank them nor repay the debt we owe them, but we must try.

And for the rest of us, this quote also applies.  Maybe you don’t think of the things you do in your daily life as having an impact on generations yet unborn, but each and every one of us makes a difference in the days we spend on this earth.

I recently read two different short excerpts about integrity from Eric Harvey’s “The Leadership Solution” published by WalkTheTalk.com, a great free daily blog you may want to subscribe to if you are interested in leadership and building a cohesive, successful team or organization.

I wanted to share them with you because they remind me of the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by the men and women who serve in uniform.

 “Here is an ETHICAL ACTION TEST for you to use from the bestseller Ethics 4 Everyone: The Handbook for Integrity-Based Business Practices by Eric Harvey and Scott Airitam

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Does it comply with our rules and guidelines?
  3. Is it in-sync with our organizational values?
  4. Will I be comfortable and guilt free if I do it?
  5. Does it match our stated commitments and guarantees?
  6. Would I do it to my family and friends?
  7. Would I be perfectly OK with someone doing it to me?
  8. Would the most ethical person I know do it?

Answering “NO” to one or more of these would suggest the need to develop an alternative strategy or seek counsel and advice from appropriate sources.  Lead well.  Lead right.”

The second excerpt is from the new Start Right…Stay Right employee handbook that you can use to remind your Team members (and yourself) of the importance of keeping their commitments:

“Trustworthy, dependable, reliable.  What do these words describe to you?  Would others say that your word is your bond?  Successful people in life and at work place a premium on keeping their promises and commitments.  If they say they’ll do something, they DO it! They count on the fact that people can count on them.  And, they understand that statements like ‘I was gonna, or I mean to, or I haven’t forgotten’ all translate the same way: I JUST DIDN’T DO IT!  Those are just lame excuses, so they are close to meaningless.

Most of the time, we DO intend to keep ‘our word’ and promises, but good intentions only take you so far. You get no ‘points’ for developing the expectation; you only get ‘points’ when you deliver.

So don’t make promises lightly.  When you do make commitments to your manager, your co-worker, or your customer [or Team members], do what it takes to make good on them. Those people are depending on you. Those people are expecting you to keep your word.  Your reputation is at stake, and your success at work and in life is on the line.” – Eric Harvey

I would add that keeping your word to your family and friends is just as critical as it is in your job or business.  You can’t create lasting success and prosperity in ANY area of life if you do not live with integrity in EVERY area of life – especially with yourself.  If you break your word to yourself (e.g. not going to the gym, breaking your diet, blowing off those prospecting calls), you will soon learn that you cannot trust yourself.  And that is the beginning of the end of your self-esteem and self-confidence.

But if we hold ourselves to living by these clear, simple integrity guidelines, we, too, can aspire to make a positive impact on the world, each of us in our own unique and priceless way.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://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 TODAY!

“Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance…that will help you achieve your goals.” – May McCarthy

I was planning to stay home today and write on a different blog topic.  I woke up this morning wrestling with myself about whether to do something fun Rick and I had planned or put my nose to the grindstone and do a fresh blog and some other paperwork.  I was leaning toward the grindstone. But it was a beautiful day and I longed to be outside for at least part of it.

My husband and I had registered weeks ago to attend a special free event in our area – a celebration in honor of the 179th anniversary of the birth of Madame Helen Modjeska, a Polish actress who came to Orange County in the late 1800s to leave the repression of her homeland for the freedom of a life of farming on the California frontier.

Once a year the Parks Department opens the Modjeska house and gardens to a free tour and special Shakespeare presentation by local talent, in honor of Madame Modjeska.  In her day, which was the late 1800s to the early 1900s, she was the Meryl Streep of live theater, and was especially famous for her Shakespeare roles.  She toured all over the USA, and was such a sensation for decades that many consumer products were named after her, from perfumes to candy.

Her beautiful home, which she called “Arden” after the forest in one of Shakespeare’s plays, is one of two National Historical Monuments in Orange County (the other being the birthplace of President Nixon.) Arden is just 20 minutes from our house, but once you are out in canyon country, among the towering live oaks and horse ranches, it feels like a world away and a different time.  The house, designed by famed architect Leland Stanford, is country chic stunning.

We really wanted to go to this event, but I was torn by guilt, knowing it would take up most of my Saturday, which is usually dedicated to writing the blog, doing a little housework, and catching up on paperwork that I don’t have time for during my coaching week.

But the first thing this morning, I opened a book I have been studying for the past month (and planning to teach a course on next spring) called The Gratitude Formula by May McCarthy, who is a highly successful entrepreneur. The book uses a special type of daily gratitude journaling to help you tap into divine guidance by using your innate intuition to co-create anything you want for your life –business success, wonderful relationships, financial abundance, a fit body, first-class travel experiences, a new dream home – literally ANYTHING you want.

The chapter I read this morning to prepare for my daily gratitude journaling exercise was about (of all things) “Recreation and Fun.”  I had never really thought about the possibility of creating more of THAT in my life, although I knew I needed it.  I had been focusing my journaling on more “practical” goals like business success and financial abundance.

Here’s what really struck me from this chapter of May’s book:

“What do you absolutely love to do?  Where can you lose hours having fun?  The answers to these questions could give you a clue to discovering your ideal recreation.  I looked up the definition of recreation: ‘The refreshment of one’s mind or body after work through activity that amuses or stimulates play; an activity that provides such refreshment.’

What do you think of and how do you feel when you hear the words ‘refreshment,’ ‘play,’ ‘amuse,’ and ‘stimulate’?  I can’t help but smile, feel happy and think of fun.

Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance.  According to researchers who have studied successful aging, participating in activities that reduce stress provides tremendous health benefits. These benefits include better immune function, less illnesses and physical complaints, more energy, feeling more relaxed, sleeping better, better digestion, a calmer mood, more focus, and more positivity.  Doesn’t that sound like a perfect state to be in to notice more intuitive and subconscious messaging that will help you achieve your goals?”

Well, that made perfect sense to me!  I knew that being in a positive state of energy made it much easier to attract positive people and outcomes to you via the Law of Attraction, since “energy attracts like energy, after all!

Then this next paragraph REALLY grabbed me:

“I’ve found it interesting over the past 30 years speaking to people who are much older than I am and asking if there was anything in life that they would do differently.  Most of the time, the answers are that they’d have more fun and not put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect.  They wouldn’t spend as much time at work, and they’d live a balanced life, so that they didn’t neglect their family and friends.”

WOW.  This was exactly what I needed to hear to help me choose whether to stay home and work or go to see Madame Modjeska’s home and enjoy Shakespeare under the towering oaks outside on a gorgeous fall day in Southern California.  I had my good reason to go have FUN.

Rick and I had a great time. During the three hours we were there, I felt my heartrate slow and my lungs fill with clean country air. I basked in the golden fall sunshine and laughed with the players who made Shakespeare FUN for everyone, even the kids who were there.

And guess what? Just as May McCarthy promised, enjoying recreation and fun did make me more productive. In my case, it gave me the content for this blog, which can take sometimes 2 or 3 hours for me to write, huddled in front of my computer screen, missing out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  This one took me just one hour to write after I returned from the Modjeska event, so I got to have my birthday cake and eat it too!

I hope you will focus on doing your BEST at your job or business when it’s the right time to WORK.  This message isn’t an excuse for you to slack off or not be accountable.

But if like me, you are prone to work TOO much and not give yourself grace to unplug and take some regular “Me Time” each week, consider that doing so could actually be the key to unlocking MORE success in all areas of your life.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://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 TODAY!

October 6, 2019

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

I got a huge reader response to the last blog (Use Your Superpower – Blog 350) about ways you can control your own MINDSET in dealing with negative people and situations that we all face from time to time.

The message essentially was: When you maintain a positive energy and do the right thing, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) will work on your behalf to produce a positive outcome for you and everyone involved, no matter how difficult a situation may appear to be.  Even people who seem permanently locked into negative patterns can change their thoughts and behavior when YOU change your thinking and expectations about them.

This past week, two coaching clients shared their personal examples of this phenomenon, which I now pass along to you, in hopes their experiences will inspire you to use YOUR Superpower too.

The first client has an ailing mother who has required a lot of care from my client and her siblings.  The sister who lives farthest away has not helped share the burden of Mom’s care, either physically, emotionally or financially, and my client was feeling resigned and resentful that there seemed to be nothing she could do about it.

But when she decided to work on her OWN attitude toward her sister, things “miraculously” changed.  My client consciously held positive thoughts towards and expressed gratitude for her sister, wishing her only the BEST.  Soon, her sister surprised the family with a visit and spent a lot of time with their mother, which delighted Mom. She also pitched in with her care, so her siblings could take a much-needed break. What amazed my client most was that there was only positive energy among all the siblings while they were under the same roof.  “They usually butt heads, but there was no conflict, only harmony, while she was here.  I was amazed,” said my client. “I put on a positive mindset and it made a difference.” 

The second client posted a picture on social media of herself with friends at a joyful gathering, which garnered many positive comments. But she was blindsided by a harshly critical message from her own mother about her choice of wardrobe.  This was typical of how her mother has criticized her since childhood about any detail of her life that wasn’t in alignment with her mother’s rigid opinions of “right” and “wrong.”

My client took some time to think before she replied.  She resisted her Ego’s first inclination to lash out after feeling attacked.  Instead of choosing to feel hurt, offended and defensive, she worked on trying to understand her mother’s motivation. Regardless of how bluntly her mother delivered her criticisms, she knew deep down that her mother only intended to help her be successful and well-regarded by society.

When she replied, my client simply thanked her mother for caring about her and always wanting what is best for her.

Then it was her mother’s turn to be caught off guard!  She wrote back that she was surprised and very pleased at how “maturely” and “graciously” her daughter had received the “feedback.” This is the hidden blessing that my client discovered wrapped inside of this negative incident: She knows that her mother may never change, but she will never again allow herself to feel “less than” when her mother shares her personal opinions with her.

As my clients so wonderfully demonstrated, your mindset and energy (your thoughts plus the emotions those thoughts conjure up) constitute a very powerful force – a SUPERPOWER, in fact!  We are all born with it….We just have to consciously choose to use it for our benefit and the benefit of everyone whose paths we cross.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off for some Fall fun in Apple Country!  A Cup of Caroll will re-appear in your inbox on Sunday October 20. 

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://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 TODAY!

 

September 22, 2019

This week’s blog is a lightly-edited re-post from two years ago.  I recognized the same theme coming up again among my clients, so I thought this would be a good time to remind ourselves that we each have our own Superpower — our MINDSET – that we can use to create success and joy that nobody and nothing can ever steal from us.

“When you see yourself as calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character, you behave with greater strength.  Other people respect you more.  You feel in control of yourself and the situation.” – Brian Tracy

This week’s coaching brought a blog theme to the forefront of my mind, as several of my clients struggled to deal with negative people without letting it destroy their own positive mindset.

One client was unsure how to respond to a Leader in her network marketing organization who was spewing negative texts to her and other members of her Team about someone who had reached a milestone reward in the company.  She felt it was unfair that someone who had been in the business for a shorter time was receiving this recognition and reward ahead of her. The Leader tried to make someone else’s triumph mean that SHE was never going to get there herself.

Another client was very hurt by a dear friend who texted her after a social event they attended together that she wished my client would “dial it back” about discussing her business with others in a social setting.

And a third client was exhausted from caring for a sick relative who seemed unwilling to take personal responsibility for her own decisions and actions that were contributing to her health problems.

At some time, we all must deal with people whose energy is negative, selfish, uncaring or even purposely hurtful.  If we allow it, their negative thoughts and actions can throw us off course in pursuing our dreams by making us doubt our own positive expectations, values and beliefs.

It’s not in their power to steal your success and joy, but it is in YOUR power — if you choose to surrender to their negativity.  That’s because the Law of Attraction says that energy attracts like energy.”  Toxic people and negative circumstances will come into your life, but it isn’t these outside forces that can harm you.  It is solely your reaction to them that either empowers or disempowers you and determines who and what is attracted into your life next.

In the first client’s case, she handled the toxic texting beautifully with a positive response of her own that said essentially, “I know you are going to reach [that same prize] soon!  Keep up the great work.”  Responding with cheerful positivity is great way to respond to someone else’s negativity.  If you respond with positivity and don’t take the bait, they will eventually stop sending gossip and negative messages your way because it’s no “fun” when others won’t join in the trash talk.  Similarly, when someone comes at you with anger, if you respond calmly and don’t fight back, their angry energy will eventually deflate because it takes two to quarrel.

This is not to say that you should be a doormat or allow someone to mistreat you.  I absolutely believe in standing up for yourself and for what you believe is right.  It’s the emotional energy behind your response that will have a positive or negative impact on YOU.  If you take it personally and allow yourself to go negative, “the terrorists win” because you have given away your power to think and behave the way YOU choose to.

In the case of the friend’s “dial it back” text that hurt my client, I tried to help her see the situation from her friend’s point of view. It takes maturity and self-confidence to consider another’s point of view, especially when it is diametrically opposed to our own.  Judging or being self-righteous toward others’ opinions, beliefs or lifestyle is a form of negative energy.

I invited my client to consider that her friend probably felt awkward in a social setting, standing on the periphery of a two-party conversation for 10 or 15 minutes, as my client politely fielded a barrage of questions from a stranger who wanted details about a product she was interested in. The friend didn’t express herself as well as she could have, for sure.  But I don’t believe she was really being unsupportive of my client’s business; she likely just felt left out and overlooked and it hurt her feelings.

I had a lot of sympathy for the client with the difficult relative.  Anyone who has ever had the responsibility for caring for a sick loved one knows how emotionally and physically stressful it can be.  And when that person is a needy, stubborn, chronic complainer who creates problems that others have to clean up, it can be extra frustrating.

In truth, though, more than the actual caregiving, it was my client’s attitude toward her recuperating relative’s lifestyle that was wearing her out.  For example, she allowed herself to feel helpless and upset that the woman struggled out to the porch multiple times a day to smoke, even though she knew it was bad for her.  I suggested that my client allow the relative to be herself, make her own decisions, and live with the consequences.  She is not required to solve all her problems for her.  She must be compassionate and give her relative whatever support she feels she can, without feeling frustrated or guilty about whatever she can’t control.  Her relative is an adult, after all.  It’s HER life and her own life lessons that she must learn.

The irony is that the recuperating relative seemed to be getting along just fine, while my client was feeling exhausted and unfocused, which was taking a toll on her OWN health, productivity and family relationships.  You cannot control anyone else, and in trying to, you can lose control of who YOU are, thinking and behaving like someone you don’t want to be. The solution is to stop trying to save others from themselves, judging them or controlling them.  Just relax, be neutral and don’t volunteer to be sucked into their life drama.

I love Brian Tracy’s powerful quote.  Let it be your guiding star in determining your own life course. You can ask yourself daily: Am I feeling calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character”?  Am I acting “strong and in control”? If not, adjust your thoughts and actions until you can answer “Yes.”  Then you will be your own Superhero!

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