Communication


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!

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 15, 2019

“Think of one person in your world you’ve been meaning to connect with: to get to know better or to actually make time for.  Surprise them: write them a note, find time to talk, or tell them about something that made you think of them.  Ask them about something they enjoy, and find out why they like it….” – From the book The Happiness Hack

Honest, thoughtful, clear communication creates the foundation for fulfilling, lasting personal and business relationships.  Those bonds, in turn, become the foundation for our success in life. And whether you realize it or not, people really DO notice how you behave when you communicate (or don’t) and judge you by your words AND actions.

Over my fifteen years of coaching, I have witnessed a number of less-than-optimal communication “manners” among my clients that I know can limit their success. So want to share with you, too, a few practical tips for making your own communication habits more effective, successful and enjoyable:

  • Give them your undivided attention. When I coach, I sit at my desk, listening intently and taking notes about what my clients are saying, occasionally taking a sip of water (as quietly as possible) when my throat gets dry. Most of them give me their undivided attention, too.  But over the years, I have heard some clients banging pots and pans, running water, dragging furniture, chewing gum (or food) and slurping beverages. I often wonder if they do the same things while talking to their customers, colleagues and loved ones. The message this sends to your conversation partner is that “You are not important enough to me to give you my undivided attention.”  So please don’t multi-task while you are on the phone. (And PLEASE don’t be looking at or on your phone in the presence of someone you are supposed to be paying attention to – including your kids!)
  • Don’t avoid a conversation. Many of my clients are used to texting or messaging their friends, customers and prospects. Rarely do they pick up the phone, even if the conversation is likely to have extended back and forth questions and answers. If you want to speak to someone, CALL them and leave a voice mail if they don’t pick up.  In this text-happy world, leaving a voice message conveys to your listener that they matter SO much to you that you actually wanted to have a real conversation them! One of my clients who took my advice to CALL her prospects reported that the ratio of replies she got was triple what her texts had always garnered.  REMINDER: texting is to be avoided at all costs when you have a complicated or difficult situation to work through with someone.  One of my clients had a minor issue blow up into a huge dramatic to-do because she tried to handle it via text instead of talking it out with the other party.  Your positive energy rubs off on others when you use your VOICE, not typed words on a screen.
  • Answer messages promptly. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you want your teammates, customers, prospects and loved ones to return YOUR messages, ask yourself how promptly YOU respond to emails, texts and voice mails. Many of my clients complain about lack of response from others, but when I send them an urgent or critical email, I have learned to put PLEASE RESPOND in capital letters in the subject line – and some of them still never answer. Causing other people to wonder and worry about whether you got their message or something is wrong between you will not make them enjoy communicating with you.  Is your voice mailbox full?  Do you have a week’s worth of emails or 20 texts you haven’t looked at?  If you don’t respond to others in a timely manner, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) dictates that others will not respond to YOU.
  • Keep your word. This is the #1 MUST for effective communication.  If you made an appointment to meet someone at Starbucks and then just didn’t show up, you can imagine how they will react!  Is it any less of an affront if you stand them up for a phone appointment they planned on and made time for?  As soon as you realize that you are running late or can’t make it, CALL or at least text them.  They will forgive you if you apologize and give a BRIEF explanation (not a rambling, self-serving excuse). But if they call and you are just not there, they will get the message loud and clear that they don’t matter much to you.
  • Be clear and concise. Don’t beat around the bush with a long preamble or let yourself wander off on tangents containing lots of details that are not important to your central message.  Trying to follow your meandering thoughts, waiting for you to get to the point, wears out your listener and assures they will tune you out and just pretend to be listening.  A tell-tale sign that you are inserting too many inconsequential details into your speaking is if you regularly interrupt yourself with “Well, anyway….” Or “Long story short….”  My favorite reminder to stick to the point comes from my friend and mentor Leslie Zann, a talented speaker and ace trainer for the network marketing/direct sales industry.  Leslie always teaches, “If it’s not necessary to say, it’s necessary NOT to say it.”

I hope these communication tips will help you to create relationships built on mutual trust, honesty and respect. Those are bonds that last and will bring you rich rewards!

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

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

September 8, 2019

“Next time someone comes into your life…try accepting them unconditionally, with absolutely no judgment.  Expect nothing from them.  Take 100% responsibility for the relationship.  Act as if your life depends on it.  You’ll give them the gift of acceptance and who knows what you’ll receive in return.” – Found in The 100/0 Principle: The Secrete of Great Relationships

Today’s is not the topic I was planning to write about. This blog is raw and straight from the heart.

It may make you uncomfortable.  I don’t know how you will react.  But it’s been on my mind for a while now, and the message keeps coming up over and over from my clients and friends: PLEASE don’t wait another day to reconnect, to forgive or clear the air and be forgiven by someone you care about.  Say what you need to say to them.  Make amends if it is called for.  Ask them to forgive some transgression of yours or tell them why you need to forgive them and work it out with them until the air is clear.

Do not believe they could never exit your life forever, leaving you with a heavy burden of guilt and sadness. Don’t think you have plenty of time ahead of you to put off the uncomfortable or awkward conversation until tomorrow.  Tomorrow may not be there for them.

Here’s what precipitated this urgent message from me to you: Two people I know recently passed away unexpectedly, leaving some who were once close to them feeling shattered by remorse, regret or the emotional pain of knowing they didn’t reach out to the deceased to have a final reconciliation with them before it was too late.

One of the two who passed away was someone I haven’t seen in probably 15 years.  At one time, he was my brother-in-law.  I had known him as a friend since college. He was cute, smart and funny and I liked him a lot.  When I divorced his brother, I lost touch with him.  We simply became geographically distant and busy with very different lifestyles and there was no reason to stay in touch.

I recently got the word through my ex-husband that his brother passed away after a fairly prolonged illness.  I was shocked and sad, of course.  I remembered a lot of laughter and good times with my former brother-in-law over the years.  But I don’t have any regrets.  There was nothing unsaid between us that keeps me from being at peace.

But the story is much different for another friend from our youth who had been close friends with my former BIL.  He had lost touch with him too, but the fallout from that was much different for him.  He was apparently hurt that my former BIL wasn’t making more of an effort to keep their friendship alive after they moved apart geographically and created much different lifestyles, and so he basically (purposely) gave my former BIL the cold shoulder.

When he heard the shocking news, and realized he hadn’t even known of his friend’s illness, he was filled with guilt and remorse.    He knows that he could have been kinder, more gracious, more understanding and forgiving of any shortcomings his friend had.  Now it’s too late to reconcile and tell him how much he loved him.  He is almost inconsolable about it, even though the two of them hadn’t spoken in a decade.

I also attended a funeral today for a woman who passed very suddenly.  I didn’t know her well personally, but she was the sister of our good friends and we had socialized with her a bit at family gatherings.  Most of what I knew about her was through what they told us about her lifestyle.  It wasn’t usually very complimentary.  In the past decade or so, she led a troubled life in many respects, and her family was often exasperated with her behavior and regular need for their help. They couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just be a functioning adult like them.

But today at the funeral, they were all crying and clearly missing her very much.  With her remains in front of them in an urn, they focused solely on the many good things about her life. They reminisced about the adventurous, talented and amazing things she had accomplished in her youth and how giving and responsible she had been toward them as their older sister.  They were remembering a different person than the one they had been judging harshly in the last years of her life.

I know they would give anything to have her back for just one more day, to kiss and hug her and tell her how much they love her.  I couldn’t help but wish they could have done more of that when she was alive.

I am not trying to judge them either. I know it can feel frustrating when someone just can’t seem to live up to our minimal standards and expectations.  But that’s the problem – they are OUR expectations.

Wouldn’t it be a different, better world if we could ALL love each other for exactly who we ARE (and who we’re NOT)?  Wouldn’t we all be happier if we could strive to accept each other unconditionally and do our best to be kind and compassionate toward each other… and especially to listen, really LISTEN to each other and get to know the REAL souls inside us?

Each and every one of us is talented, amazing, giving and responsible.  And we are also selfish and immature, thoughtless and petty.  If we acknowledge that about ourselves, then we can acknowledge it about others, too.  And maybe, just maybe, we can relate to them and treat them the way we would like to be seen and treated – as PRICELESS.

And if we did, I bet we would feel a lot less regret when we get the shocking news that someone we knew (and probably loved) is suddenly gone, and there’s no second chance to put things right between us.

I say, DON’T WAIT for that sad day.  Reach out to them NOW.  I promise that they miss you as much as you miss them.  They’re just waiting to hear your voice.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. 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 to enter your name and email.

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

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

July 28, 2019

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s powerful quote is one of my all-time favorites – a constant reminder to be kind, to be an encourager, to lift people up instead of putting them in their place or trying to prove that you are right and they are wrong.

When I saw it again this past week, I decided to share this updated blog from three years ago with my cherished readers.  I hope it spurs you to make a difference in another’s life, just when they may need it the most.

July 31, 2016

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

One of my favorite free daily quote services is WalkTheTalk.com. I highly recommend subscribing to this F*R*E*E daily dose of good news and inspiration. Today’s post contained a link to a beautiful, inspiring short video about the power of acknowledgment, which I provide at the end of this blog.

A startling statistic is that 25% of good employees who voluntarily leave their jobs cite lack of appreciation as the reason they quit.  Can you imagine? What were their bosses thinking?!

I learned the secret a long time ago, which this video reinforces, that every human being craves appreciation. We all want to be seen, known and validated for who we are.  If you want to experience the great feeling of rapport, affinity and harmony with another human being – a Team member, boss, spouse, co-worker, in-law, etc. — give them a sincere acknowledgment, expressing appreciation for what they have done or simply who they are being.  You will make an instant friend.

Today, I got a lovely acknowledgment from someone who told me exactly how my coaching had made a difference for her and it touched me deeply.  I had done a complimentary coaching session with her over a year ago.  Now, even the greatest coach can’t turn someone’s life around in just one hour, but ALL of us can listen closely to someone, validate them, encourage them, and leave them loving themselves and believing in themselves just a little bit more.

During our long-ago hour together, I listened closely to what she shared about her difficult circumstances, and acknowledged her for her will to triumph in the face of the adversity she had been through – for never giving up. I also suggested she read The Power by Rhonda Byrne and check out professional therapy to help her begin to turn around a bad situation and create the life she deserved.  Lastly, I told her the door was always open to call me again anytime.

I didn’t hear from her for another year and a half.  Today, we had a follow-up session and to my absolute delight, I discovered that her life has completely transformed since we last spoke.  She is now ready to take her life to another level, and we are going to partner in coaching to do just that.

While I am thrilled to have her as a client, that wasn’t the best part of the call for me.  The best part was at the end, when she said, “I want to acknowledge YOU, Caroll.  My life has come so far since our session over a year ago.  What you recommended worked great for me.  My new career, my health, strength and my happy family all have come out of that!  Things are really falling into place for me and I know I’m on my way.  You are a blessing in my life!”

Do you think that made my day?  Heck it made my MONTH!  It was amazing to think that I had made such a big difference for another human being, simply by listening to her, acknowledging her, and telling her I believed in her. That’s what we coaches live for!

 And that’s why at the start of every coaching call, I always ask my clients to tell me what they are most proud of and want to be acknowledged for at that moment.  At first, it can be embarrassing, even painful, for some people to claim their worth out loud.  But, after a few more sessions, if we ever get too far into the call before I ask, even those who always squirm the most will interrupt me with, “Hey, aren’t you going to ask me what I want to be acknowledged for?”

I urge you to make at least one other human being’s day EVERY day by acknowledging and appreciating them. It will make them – and you — feel wonderful! (For extra credit, try it on someone who is usually negative or grumpy and see what happens!)

I will leave you with this wonderful post from my favorite positive-thought preacher, Joel Osteen, who is known for encouraging people to believe that more GOOD is on its way to them and their BEST days are still ahead:

“When you see someone who is struggling, a coworker who is discouraged, a friend who is not up to par, how do you respond?  Our words can be what keep a person going; our compliments can put a spring back in their step.  Now more than ever, we need to automatically let the encouragement flow.  We need to tell others how much we love them, how we value them, and tell them that they are talented and creative.  Always remember, with your words you carry life-giving water.  You carry hope, healing, encouragement and new beginnings, and you can pour it out everywhere you go.  Today, choose to speak encouragement.  Choose to speak victory and faith into others’ lives.  Instead of telling people what they’re doing wrong, instead of pointing out all their faults, find what they are doing right.  Focus on the good.  There are already enough critical, judgmental people in the world.  Let’s be people who lift others up and restore them.”

P.S. Watch this four-minute video on the importance of acknowledging and appreciating others. Click or copy and paste it into your browser and I hope it makes YOUR day: http://www.flickspire.com/m/WalkTheTalk/WhileYouCan

NOTE: If you would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, just go to my website at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.  Your name and email will be kept 100% confidential and will not be used by anyone else for any other purpose.

****************** You Can Fulfill Your Dreams! ********************

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

 

July 14, 2019

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah

In my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar series, we just finished a lesson on asking for help. For the week’s homework, all the “prosperity campers” must ask a Big Fish for help with the Big Goal they are working on manifesting by July 31.

My definition of a “Big Fish” is someone who is respected and well connected. They don’t have to be a titan of industry or celebrity; they just have to be successful at whatever they are up to in life.

Fourteen years ago, at the beginning of my career as a life coach, my first certification specialty was Dream Coaching ™, through a course designed and taught by Marcia Wieder, who has been helping people make their Big Dreams a reality for over 30 years.  One of the first things she taught us was that the #1 shortcut to making any dream come true is to tell someone about it. That’s because of the “Six Degrees of Separation” rule of life – everyone is just six connections away from a resource they need or a person they want to meet.  If you tell the RIGHT people about your Big Goal, you will be amazed how often they will say, “Oh, I know someone who can help you with that” or “I know just where to find that.”

One caveat, though: Don’t share your Big Goals with known “dream stealers” – those people who love to tell you all the reasons why your dream is impossible or not a good idea. (You may have some of those among your friends or family.)  Only share with and ask for help from “Big Fish” that you respect. Yes, they are usually busy people!  So your request must be 1) Clear and specific and 2) Simple for them to carry out. If you confuse them about what you want of them, you are likely to get a “No.”

For example, if you are finishing up writing your first book and want to get it published, don’t ask a published author, “Can you help me with my book?”  They may think you want them to edit it or send it to their publisher for you!  Instead, ask for the specific help you know they can easily grant you: “I am finishing editing my first book. Can you give me some advice on how to find a good agent?”  Or “Would you be willing to write a short endorsement for the cover when it’s done?”

If your ask is clear and straightforward and doesn’t require a tremendous investment of time on their part, most Big Fish will be happy to help you. They know that they didn’t get to the top by themselves; they had mentors who supported them along the way with advice and connections and resources.  So, Big Fish are actually the MOST likely people to be generous about helping you whenever you make a clear, specific request because they admire your courage and chutzpah for asking them!

And it really makes all of us feel GOOD when we get to help someone out, doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t you gladly support someone if they asked you for something you could easily do?  Of course you would!  Generosity feels great. So realize that if you try to do everything by yourself, you are depriving others of the joy of contributing to you!

One of my coaching clients is a single woman with a busy career.  She told me that she has a lot of projects she wants to finish around her home and yard, but is short on energy after a long work week and doesn’t look forward to spending her precious weekends on chores.

So I suggested that she ask a friend or neighbor (if it’s a small task that they are already expert at) or hire someone to do the drudge work or heavy lifting she doesn’t want to do. She confessed that she had simply never thought about the possibility of asking for help!

The next time we talked, she sounded much happier and more relaxed.  She said she had quickly located some young men to hire for many of the things she needed done, and they were relatively inexpensive. It was a Win-Win because they were very happy to be her heroes and grateful for the extra money, and she was very happy to have her leisure time back.

There are all kinds of personal and professional help, advice, and guidance available to you — much of it is free for the asking, and most of the rest of it is inexpensive. No matter what you were told growing up, it is NOT a sign of weakness or an imposition on others  to ask the RIGHT people for help with the RIGHT things!

It’s smart. And it’s also generous to allow others the joy of feeling good about themselves when they give you a little helping hand. Their “psychic paycheck” is your smile and heartfelt thanks.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off so I can play with my girlfriends.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday July 28.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

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

SUMMER SPECIAL!  New clients who begin coaching in either July or August will receive 50% OFF your first month’s fee!  This offer won’t be repeated, so HURRY! If you have a Big Goal you want to pursue – either business or personal — I urge you to schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching with me that will help you clarify your Big Goals and explore how we can get you into action to make them a reality: Email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY! 

April 7, 2019

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” – Jim Carrey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about adopting our newest four-footed family member, Cagney.  After our beloved little rescue Chihuahua, Diamond, died unexpectedly in February, we knew immediately that we wanted to provide a home for another deserving rescue and Cagney came to us quickly and easily through the Nextdoor neighborhood website.

Cagney had a neglectful owner who kept him chained on a backyard patio for about two years, with only a lawnmower grass-catcher for a bed.  Eventually, his rescuer Sue was able to get custody of him and her friend Atissa took on the task of acclimating him to indoor life and finding him a good home, as these two wonderful women have done for many other dogs.

My husband Rick and I fell in love with Cagney at first meeting and the feeling was mutual.  He is adorable and loving and cuddly.  We are amazed at his loving, playful disposition, given that he had so little contact with people or other animals for most of his young life.  (Our vet estimates his age as 2-3 years old.)

He’s a smart little guy – part Border Collie and part Dachshund, from the looks of him — and Atissa was able to housebreak him and teach him to sit on command in a short time.  But soon after we took him into our home, we realized that his manners still needed “polishing” in a few areas.  He’s young and energetic and needs a lot of exercise and attention.  No problem.  Rick and I both work from home and he gets a lot of affection and attention from both of us all day.

The exercise part was a little trickier because he was not fully acclimated to walking on a leash.  I started walking him each morning with a harness, but soon found two major problems with that. He is small but very strong, and he would strain on the leash to go faster, dragging me along behind him.  And, more importantly, he is skittish around strangers and other dogs.  Whenever he sees another human of any age, he barks ferociously, and when he sees another dog – even at a distance – he barks, growls and snarls like a deranged hound from hell.

It was humiliating to have Cagney snarling at my neighbors and all the other placid, well-behaved dogs walking around us.  So we decided to get expert help on the proper way to train him, and hired a great trainer who came highly recommended on the same website where we originally found Cagney.

Dr. Eric Liss (chiropractor by day, dog whisperer by night) gave us just one hour of expert training and Cagney became a new dog.  It seemed like magic to us, but to Dr. Eric, it was simple: Understand how a dog thinks and then approach him with tools and techniques that make sense to HIM.  (As my BFF Lisa likes to say, “Dogs are not people in fur suits.”)

I want to share with you now the three lessons I learned from Dr. Eric’s simple and effective training techniques that can be applied to ANY goal you want to achieve or ANY challenge you must overcome:

LESSON ONE: Most of our fears are unfounded. This is really Cagney’s lesson. Without normal early socialization with other dogs or daily interactions with people who loved on him, Cagney probably came to view strangers and other dogs as threats.  He’s not really mean at all — just scared. He masks his fear by being loud and ferocious-sounding, hoping his bluff will scare them off.  But they aren’t really threats.  His fears are unfounded.

Isn’t this true of most of our fears when we pursue a Big Goal or face a challenge?  We immediately imagine a Worst Case Scenario outcome (failure, overwhelm, public humiliation, disappointed loved ones, etc. etc. etc.) and paint it in vivid detail in our imagination.  We get ourselves all worked up over something that almost never comes to pass or, if it does, turns out to be a lot less dire than our imagination cooked up.  We waste time and energy “barking” at nothing.

The mind (canine or human) can only hold one thought at a time.  Dr. Eric showed us how to redirect Cagney from focusing on the perceived threat, enabling him to calm down very quickly.  Now, when we encounter another person or dog on our walks, I know how to calmly reassure him and re-focus him to move on, and he is soon happily sniffing the bushes once again. You can also break the fear cycle by re-focusing your thoughts on the outcome you WANT, instead of imagining what you DON’T want.

LESSON TWO: Use the right tools. The harness was not the right equipment for Cagney’s walks. He was able to pull against the leash as hard as he could without discomfort, and there was nothing I could do to redirect him from barking at dogs and people. Dr. Eric brought a small prong collar for Cagney, which I had always imagined was a sharp, cruel instrument of torture.  But when I saw it up close, I realized the prongs are not sharp at all and it won’t choke him.  If he pulls against the chain with any force, it’s going to make him uncomfortable, but it’s not going to hurt him.  With a prong collar, it’s easy to redirect him with a light flick of the leash, instead of trying to pull against the cloth harness with all my might, which only gets him more agitated.

Whenever we pursue a goal, or face a challenge, we must use the right tools.  Sometimes they are obvious to us, but we avoid them because they make us emotionally “uncomfortable.” Many of my network marketing clients admit they have a “phone phobia” of speaking to a prospective customer or business partner.  They feel more comfortable texting.  And their prospect is also very comfortable ignoring their texts, just the way Cagney ignored me pulling on the harness.

But when they pick up the phone and CALL, even if they end up leaving a voice mail, my clients are always amazed at how quickly most people respond.  That’s because your energy is transmitted through your voice much more effectively than through flat words on a screen.  There’s no warm, friendly and inviting tone conveyed in a text.

So if you find that you are avoiding whatever tools you know you need to get the job done, ask yourself if you are really COMMITTED to reaching your goal.  If you are, you will find that a small amount of discomfort is worth it, if it leads to a great amount of success and pleasure.  Cagney’s walks are now a pleasure for both of us, thanks to one simple tool and knowing how to use it properly.

LESSON THREE: Energy is everything. This is the biggest lesson I got from Dr. Eric’s instructions. Whenever I panicked and tried to correct Cagney by yelling “NO!” it only escalated his anxiety and got us both more upset.  Rick and I learned that dogs don’t really understand words like “sit” and “stay.”  They respond to the tone and body language we use when we give those commands. Dogs are masterful at reading our energy and responding to it.  My own self-conscious anxiety over “What will the neighbors think of his behavior?” was actually getting him more worked up and causing more bad behavior.  Once I learned to relax, give a light flick of his chain, use a reassuring tone with “It’s OK,” and walk on, Cagney soon stopped barking, forgot about the “threat” that wasn’t real and followed my lead.

Humans are biological creatures too, and we respond to subtle energy cues from other people, just as dogs do.  The energy you bring to an interaction is going to have a big impact on the other person’s response.  As the Law of Attraction states, energy attracts like energy.”  You can decide what energy you want to embody and then direct your subconscious mind to put it into action by stating aloud to yourself how YOU want to show up in the situation. For example, “I am calm.  I am relaxed.  I am in control.” The positive energy you consciously choose to embody will affect the other people you are interacting with. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy, so when I decided to feel confident, adopt a cheerful, reassuring tone of voice and take control of my physical manner, Cagney’s negative energy quickly dissipated and reflected my own calm.  

There you have it!  It’s not rocket science, as Dr. Eric can attest.  You can make any Big Goal a reality or overcome any problem situation, if you will remember these three basic principles and put them into play….Did someone say “PLAY”?!  Cagney’s got a ball in his mouth right now. Guess we gotta go play!

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