Doubt


“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.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Spring is around the corner, at last!  I know for many parts of the USA, it may seem like it’s still a long way off.  But the early signs are definitely here in Southern California.

We have had our share of the wettest winter in the state’s history, although my friends in Northern California have been drenched far more than we have.  Our unexpected record rainfall has been a mixed blessing. It pulled California out of a five-year drought, for which we are very grateful.  But, at the same time, it has caused considerable destruction and loss of life, especially up north.

A sign of Spring I always love to see is the tiny green buds on the trees and bushes. New plant life is a reassuring sign that Earth’s cycle of life continues, no matter what.  A few weeks ago, our gardeners pruned all the rose bushes back to what looked like dead stumps — so dry and sad, it was hard to remember the lovely blooms we had enjoyed right through Christmas.  But gardeners know that it is essential to prune rose bushes before Spring comes. The temporary pain of cutting back the branches spurs the plant to put out new green twigs, followed by lush leaves and finally some lovely red and pink buds.

Our lives are full of “pruning times,” too.  We never find them pleasant, and we often resist and struggle against them, but they are just as necessary for our growth and development as for the roses.

Facing a major health challenge is a type of radical life pruning.  People suddenly faced with the possibility of death or permanent disability and their loved ones quickly discover what REALLY matters in life.  All the “small stuff” they were sweating on a daily basis suddenly feels ridiculously unimportant.  They become laser-focused on a single goal — recovery.  Although it is certainly a painful lesson to endure, many survivors see their health challenge as a blessing that taught them how strong they really are and what truly matters in life. They are grateful for  their newfound faith, inner peace and strength that can never be taken away.

Severe financial challenges can also be seen as a kind of strengthening pruning. I can tell you from experience that when keeping a roof over your head becomes your primary focus, petty obsessions like keeping up with the Joneses and worrying what others think of you become laughable.  Before the Great Recession took two homes and a car from us, I would have spent $100 on some silly luxury item without a second thought. During that time, having $5.00 left in the checking account at the end of the month was cause for celebration.

But five years of struggle to regain our financial health, while painful, also brought my family many blessings. Now, I am more grateful for every dollar that comes to us than I could have ever imagined.  And I am much more aware of the plight of others around me.  When I see a homeless person, I always give them some money and a blessing.  When we learn that someone is struggling to make ends meet, we share what we have with them.  It is second nature to us now to be Go-Givers, and as a result, more prosperity has flowed to our family in the past three years than ever before.  Most importantly, our faith in God/The Universe as the Source of all our good is unshakable.

I am particularly inspired and gratified when I see one of my coaching clients make a positive mental shift after they have been tested by a life pruning such as a serious illness, job loss, divorce or discouragingly slow progress toward a Big Goal.

At the beginning of this month, one of my newer clients told me that she was feeling distressed about the lack of progress she felt she was making in building her networking marketing business.  She had been working diligently and trying to stay positive, but was getting the door slammed in her face at every turn.  She felt stuck and disappointed that “Nothing is coming to fruition.”  (Interesting choice of words, huh?)

I reminded her to use the mindset tools I had taught her to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work connecting her to the right people who will appreciate the opportunity she has to offer. I reminded her that declaring aloud the specific qualities or attributes she needs to embody in order to give her BEST in a given situation will direct her subconscious mind to help her produce the outcomes she desires.

So she chose to state aloud, “I am a patient, unattached, committed Leader.  I am PRICELESS!” That declaration gave her subconscious mind a blueprint for creating the ideal words and right actions that a patient, unattached, committed and priceless Leader would use. Those ideal words and right actions, in turn, will become a bright beacon of positive energy to attract individuals whose energy and desires are a match for hers.

Does that mean it will happen the minute she declares it, or that she won’t have any further setbacks or disappointments during her quest?  Nope.  “Pruning” was still taking place in her belief system, which was necessary in order for her to blossom into the kind of Leader who will attract the quality people she wants on her Team.

A few weeks later, she told me she had been reading more about the Law of Attraction and was doing mental “experiments” to test it out in small ways. She was amazed at what she felt were clear signs that specific, unusual things she focused her mind on were showing up in her life.  Her belief in her ability to attract to her exactly what she wanted was becoming much stronger.  Instead of skeptical, discouraged energy, she was now giving off excited, positive, expecting-the-Best energy. I could see that her internal Belief Switch was about to be thrown, and once it was, I knew she would start to make real progress toward her Big Goals. That’s how it works – first she must BELIEVE it is going to happen for her, and only then will she SEE it become real.

The following day, she sent me this email:

“Just wanted to share something that happened today! This morning I prayed for a new customer to reach out to ME!  This afternoon, someone did!  She was not exactly new; she was one of my very first customers who felt as if the products were way too expensive and she ended up cancelling her account. 

She called me out of the blue and I have to confess that I didn’t recognize her number….I just kept listening to her speak and finally figured out who she was!

Everything that you said to me yesterday hit me. Today, I started to read The Power [by Rhonda Byrne].  Not even 5 minutes into it [the customer called me].

So my conclusion is, I finally Believe what you are telling me, and I am so incredibly happy that I am recognizing it!”

Looks like the pruning phase of her business development may be nearing completion…. I can’t wait to see the wonderful fruit it is going to produce for her!

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.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in a while and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens….not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.” – Anonymous

Yesterday, my wonderful husband Rick and I spent our monthly “Big Kids’ Play Day” at the Happiest Place on Earth. The sun was shining, lovely flowers and trees were blooming, birds were chirping and Spring was in the air.  My soul felt a renewed lightness in these joyful surroundings and I felt more grateful than ever that we live so close to Disneyland that we can go whenever we want to “lighten up.”

You don’t have to remind little kids to lighten up. They are all about play, fun and using their imaginations to find adventure everywhere they go.  As we stood in line for the Storybook Land canal boats, Rick chatted with a small boy whose shirt was covered with  buttons proclaiming that he was celebrating both his first visit to Disneyland AND his birthday.  It didn’t take much coaxing for him to excitedly relate all the rides he had been on and the ones he was still looking forward to.  Some of the adults in line looked tired and frazzled, but there was not one iota of resignation, worry or negative energy in that little boy.

This got me thinking about some of my clients who seem to struggle with how to lighten up.  They take their Big Goals very seriously, and sometimes feel frustrated when things don’t seem to be progressing fast enough or according to their own plan.

I understand, believe me.  For five years during the Great Recession and its aftermath, I had to work hard every single day to release heavy feelings of fear, worry, disappointment and frustration that my coaching practice was just barely surviving and Rick’s real estate business seemed dead in the water.

When I couldn’t see any visible progress being made, what enabled me to face each day in a positive frame of mind was my faith that God/the Universe was on my side and that if I just kept doing my BEST, the solutions would come at the right time and in the perfect way.  Even when we can’t see it with our eyes, we have to keep the faith that there is progress being made  behind the scenes.  I kept reminding myself that the “How” is up to God/the Universe and MY job was simply to stay positive, stay alert  for Divine direction, and be grateful for every good thing in my life.

Despite our shoestring budget, Rick and I made it a priority during those tough years to keep up the monthly payments on our Annual Passes and take at least one day each month to play at Disneyland and to regularly do other things that made us happy. We knew that by “lightening up” – focusing only on the positive and choosing to be happy, no matter what our circumstances were — we would attract the people and resources we needed to turn our financial situation around. Eventually, that’s just what happened. One friend’s referral led to another and another, and without warning or build-up, both my coaching practice and Rick’s real estate business took off at the same time and haven’t stopped growing since.

If they feel a sense of frustration that their dreams are not manifesting as fast as they would like, I tell my clients that they must lighten up — letting go of all heavy energy produced by worry, frustration and discouragement and revving up the light energy of joy and gratitude.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” If you are pursuing your goals with grim determination, attachment and clenched teeth, what kind of people and situations do you think you are going to attract into your life?

If you want to attract what and who you want more quickly and easily, the first step is to express sincere GRATITUDE for all the wonderful things God/the Universe has put in your life thus far.  Expressing gratitude for all the good we have attracts even MORE of those things to us.

Next, you must create a genuine positive, light energy that will make you a magnet for the people and serendipitous resources that will help you reach your goals.  One of my former clients recently discovered how well this approach works.

Before our coaching, she struggled with feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration about the pace at which she was building her network marketing business. She didn’t enjoy her business the way she did her day job. I encouraged her to stop pushing to try to make things happen and instead to go with the flow and allow God/the Universe to bring the “How” to her.  I suggested she approach her network marketing business the same way she did her day job – with a feeling of relaxed confidence in her own skills and true joy at being of service to others.

We completed our coaching and I didn’t hear from her for a couple of months. Recently, I got this email, proving to me that she has mastered the art of reaching her goals with grace and ease:

“Hi, Caroll:  I’m really excited and had to share.  I feel things are really shifting for me: my attitude is positive and non-attached to the outcome.  I’m getting things done quickly. I’m getting things done with ease.  I’m contacting more people, talking to more people, scheduling more appointments and I’m headed toward month-end without my usual anxiety….

I’m continuing to read my [Daily Success] Script two times daily and listening to The Power [by Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret.]   Is this how it normally goes for your clients? That it just kind of ‘kicks in’? It feels very different this time and I’m feeling momentum in my team, too.”

Here’s one simple but powerful way you can rev up YOUR positive energy: If you aren’t currently taking at least one full day off from ALL work each week, I highly recommend you begin doing so. Taking regular breaks to engage in self-care, play and activities you enjoy with people you enjoy will actually make you MORE productive and help you reach your goals faster.  It’s time to shake off the winter doldrums and lighten up!

****************** 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 awhile, 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 email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

“See your differences as strengths rather than handicaps. And, instead of comparing  yourself to others…be inspired by them!” – Kathy Davis in Simple Secrets: 7 Principles to Inspire Success

This week, several of my coaching clients admitted they suffer from “Facebook Envy.” Their friends and colleagues’ posts on social media appear to indicate they are enjoying more rapid success and leading more exciting, happy and fulfilling lives. One client asked me, “How do I stop comparing myself to others? It’s making me feel depressed and discouraged!”

The innate drive to compare ourselves to our peers is a survival mechanism that’s hardwired into the human Ego from caveman days. If we see another pulling ahead of us, our Ego prods us to measure ourselves against their success as a way to motivate us to try harder.

“Healthy” competition is a good thing because it gets us off the couch and makes us strive for our personal best. The “carrot” the Ego uses is the universal desire to gain recognition and tangible rewards in return for working hard and excelling at something we care about. That’s why we enter competitions and watch sports contests and awards shows. The Ego tells us that being labeled The Best at something guarantees we will be considered valuable and worthy by our peers and authority figures.

While it is certainly nice to be admired and rewarded, the truth is, you aren’t going to be cut from the herd and left to die on the savanna if you don’t come in first, or get promoted as quickly as someone else. Your placement in the social hierarchy isn’t a true measure of your value.  There is nobody else on the planet with the exact same personality, character, gifts and life purpose that YOU have. Therefore, nobody can compare to or replace you.  And because you are unique and irreplaceable, you are MORE than just “valuable” – you are PRICELESS.

Your Ego needs to understand that pushing you to compare yourself to others in order to motivate you to succeed is a “Limiting Belief” that will likely have the opposite effect of demotivating you.  Let’s examine three underlying myths about the Comparison Game:

MYTH #1: You have the FULL picture of someone else’s life. One of my clients recently admitted, “Looking at my life from the outside, everyone thinks I’m wildly successful and have it all together. The reality is that I’m a bundle of insecurities and have a mountain of debt to pay off that nobody knows about. I feel under constant pressure to succeed.”

So I asked her, “If you keep part of the truth about your life hidden from others, why would you think that you know the whole truth about THEIR life? Your colleagues post only the GOOD stuff on social media in order to motivate their Team to want to be successful too. But their lives must contain good and bad elements, just like yours. When you compare your accomplishments to theirs, based only on what they choose to let you see, aren’t you buying THEIR façade too?” Yep, she had to admit that was probably true.

MYTH #2:  It’s a level playing field. We are extremely fortunate to live in a society where if you are willing to work hard enough and steadfastly believe in your dreams, you WILL eventually succeed. Comparing how long it takes you to reach the same goal as someone else is useless because no two individuals have identical backgrounds, talents, education, experience, financial resources or contacts.

We are all inspired by individuals who overcome great disabilities, challenges or hardships to reach their dreams because we ALL have some type of handicap – including self-doubt and lack of support from loved ones. It’s never as easy as it looks from the outside. But that doesn’t mean you won’t win your game if you will just keep on playing.

Does it really matter if reaching the goal takes someone else a shorter amount of time than you?  Maybe they have some advantages you don’t, but think of the inner strength and character you will develop because your quest requires you to persevere! Imagine what our world would look like today if Edison, Disney and Jobs had given up on their dreams in the face of all the setbacks and criticism they faced? The only way you can lose your game is to quit.

MYTH #3: The Ego’s goals are the real prize. You can’t stay positive and motivated if you are in the game just for personal accolades or material rewards.  Those are great but they have a short shelf life. The Oscar ends up gathering dust on the shelf and it’s really hard to remember who won Best Actor two years ago.  Rather than allowing your Ego to fixate on the goodies you will get when you reach your goal, you must stay focused on your real WHY. What difference do you want to make for others and the world?  You won’t waste precious time on envy or pity parties if you are striving to reach a goal that is bigger than yourself.

One client told me that she originally started her network marketing business because she wanted to be able to afford a luxury vacation for her family each year. But after seeing how her leadership has empowered others on her Team, she now has a much bigger motivation for succeeding at her business. She plans to use a large portion of her earnings to support a worthy cause that helps others reach THEIR dreams.

Now, that is something her Ego can really get inspired about!

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

This New Year, 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 awhile, 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 for the New Year and get into ACTION on making it their best year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The price of success is losing my family.

It’s impossible to be rich AND carefree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I change my Limiting Beliefs? 

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

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

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

1) How is this belief ridiculous or absurd?

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

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

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

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

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

6) What will I lose?

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

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

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

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

 Link pleasure to the new belief by asking these questions:

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

11) How will that make me FEEL?

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

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

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

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

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

Success comes from effort, not elegance.

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

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

God wants me to thrive, not just survive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 What we’ve learned so far

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

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

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

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

How to Change a Limiting Belief

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

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

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

How to Identify A Core Limiting Belief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sally: I’m not sure.

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

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

Coach: Why didn’t you call them?

Sally: It felt like I would be pestering them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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