Value


“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

[Continuing our “Best of A Cup of Caroll” summer series, this slightly-edited blog first ran in 2013. I hope you enjoy it and the short inspirational video at the end.]

One of my favorite free daily quote services is WalkTheTalk.com. I highly recommend subscribing to this daily dose of good news and inspiration. Today’s post contains a link to a beautiful, inspiring short video about the power of acknowledgment, which I hope you will watch at the end of the blog.

A startling statistic in the video 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 boss, spouse, co-worker, sibling, store clerk, etc. — simply 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 I CAN listen closely to someone, validate them and leave them loving themselves and believing in themselves just a little bit more.

During our long-ago hour together, I listened to her and recreated what she shared about her difficult circumstances, so she knew I truly “got” what she was going through.  I 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 the long journey to turning around a bad situation and creating 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 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.  Invariably, after a few more sessions, if we get too far into the call before I ask, even those who squirm the most will interrupt me with, “Hey, aren’t you going to ask me what I want to be acknowledged for?” I get to recreate their self-acknowledgment aloud, and even amplify it a bit, as they listen and really GET that they are great…They are worthy…They matter.  And that is the foundation for all personal transformation.

By the way, acknowledging and complimenting aren’t the same thing.  A compliment is when you draw attention to something observable about the other person, such as their hair or their clothes or their smile. While “You’ve lost weight!” or “You look good in that color” is always nice to hear, true acknowledgment is much more powerful because it’s about who the person IS or what they DID that makes a difference for the world, such as, “You did great work on that project.  I appreciate that you really went above and beyond!”  or “Thank you for sending the get-well card when I was sick.  It really made my day!”

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 pessimistic or grumpy and see what happens!)

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

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.

****************** 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 email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.

 

 

“Your success depends mainly upon what you think of yourself and whether you believe in yourself.” – William Boetcker

I didn’t have to look far for the topic for this week’s blog.  It kept recurring among my clients last week and it is the subject of a collection of articles published by the Unity church entitled You Are Enough.

Two of my clients had their phones die for a time this week.  Both admitted to feeling a secret sense of relief because they could not be held responsible for not working their businesses.  One of them was at the beach for a week with her family and was able to spend some guilt-free time playing with her kids and just relaxing, while the other, with a few precious days off from her day job, had time to play with her daughter and just “float in the pool.” The latter confessed that she had actually contemplated not coming to her coaching call because she didn’t want to admit to me that she had been “unproductive” this week.

I told them both that they shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what they really wanted to do.  Their worth was not defined by how productive they were being.  Their self-worth should come from knowing that they are unique and special and valuable because of WHO THEY ARE, not what they DO.

As a Personal Success Coach, my job is to help my clients get whatever they want in life.  The Big Goal they choose to pursue is up to them – greater prosperity, a fitter body, a loving relationship or a successful business.  Nobody, including me, can tell them what their heartfelt goals should be.  Nor should they put undue pressure on themselves to reach those goals at the expense of having life balance, fun and fulfillment.  If they become so driven to succeed that pursuing their goal feels like a burden, I recommend taking a step back to examine their true motivation.

Many people have a strong “Why” for pursuing a goal, especially a financial goal.  One of my clients wants to succeed at her business so her mother can retire from her job.  Several want their spouses to be able to quit their jobs to pursue their dreams or spend more time with their family.  Some are motivated to financially support a cause they care deeply about. Those are all great reasons for consistently doing activities that will get them closer to their goals with a sense of joy and enthusiasm.

But I have seen some people approach their daily tasks with a teeth-gritted, “this is hard, but I MUST do it” mindset and energy. I believe they are actually driven by the idea that they must prove their value through their achievements.  Their sense of self-worth depends on outer successes and the approval of others.

One of my clients recently shared a journaling she had done to explore her Limiting Belief that “If I give it my all and fail, my life has been a waste.”  This was her Ego’s internal Worst Case Scenario about not reaching the level of success in her business that she wanted.  In the course of her self-exploration, she had the Ah-Ha Moment, as Oprah calls it, that she doesn’t remember her father saying “I love you” very often when she was growing up.  But she does remember him frequently saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Thus, her father’s pride in her accomplishments became her Ego’s path to “earning” the unconditional love she truly craved. She wrote, “I think this has sort of made me think that if I can’t do something that makes a splash, it’s not worth doing and certainly not worth talking about.  So I find myself striving for that over-achiever status.  I feel like anything less is pointless and even something to feel shameful about, so I just don’t talk about it.”

Being human, I am sure each of us feels or has felt at some time that we are not good enough. For some, it’s about appearance:  “I’m not…young enough, pretty enough, thin enough…” to be worthy of receiving unconditional love and acceptance from those I care about.

For others, like me, it’s about our performance: “I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t get an A.  I didn’t win the competition.  I didn’t put on the perfect birthday party for my child.”  Therefore, I suck.

The truth is, your inherent value doesn’t increase or decrease with age, beauty, fitness level, accomplishments, job productivity or salary.

As minister Joel Osteen puts it, “You are the apple of God’s eye” simply because you exist. If you are alive on Planet Earth, you are enough.  In fact, you are PRICELESS.  Otherwise, you are claiming that only the pretty, thin, A students, celebrities and sports stars are worthy of God’s love, their own self-love and the love of people whose opinion matters. Then what about the rest of us?

I believe there is no swimsuit competition in Heaven – or here on Earth, for that matter. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said, we should not be judged by the color of our skin (or any other external factor), but by the content of our character.

So if you long to take a few hours or days to just “float in the pool,” you should do it.  Do what your heart calls you to do.  When you are working, give it your BEST.  And when you want to play or relax, enjoy and be fully present to it, without guilt or shame.

I urge you to make this your daily mantra: I am not my job title or accomplishments.  I am whole, complete and perfect, just as I am. I am the apple of God’s eye and I am ENOUGH.

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

 

 

 

“If given a choice do what is right.  Do what may push you along.  Choose that thing that is outside your grasp and then work hard for it….’Or’ don’t and live to whine another day.” – Bob Perks

Welcome back  —  I’ve missed you! As you know, I took two weeks off from writing the blog to prepare for and then enjoy a one-week vacation to Oregon over the Fourth of July weekend with my wonderful husband, Rick. We had a perfect trip.

The weather was perfect – in the mid-seventies with blue skies the whole time.

The food was perfect. Portland, where we spent half the time, is a Foodie’s paradise.  We followed recommendations from friends and clients and enjoyed several wonderful restaurants and wineries. We also had some great food during the second half of our trip to Cottage Grove, in southern Oregon, to visit my only sibling’s family.  My nephew smoked four whole chickens, and we had one of the best lasagnas ever, courtesy of my nephew-in-law, Don. He even made one pan with turkey sausage, since I don’t eat anything with four feet.

The scenery was perfect.  While staying in Portland, we spent the better part of a day driving through the nearby Columbia Gorge, which is nature on steroids.  The winding road through the tall pine trees reminded me of Yosemite, but with many more waterfalls (although smaller), which were all an easy walk from the road.

Aside from all the food, fun and scenery, the MOST significant thing about the trip for me was seeing my extended family again.  All but one of my older brother’s kids and grand kids reside in Oregon or Washington, so we all congregated at the home of my niece Ann and her husband Don, an acre-plus spread right next to the Row River. My brother and sister-in-law, four of my six nieces and nephews and four of my five great-nieces and great nephews joined us, as well as my brother’s ex-wife (the mother of three of his children) and her husband. It is truly one BIG, happy family, who all get along great.

We spent time looking at old photo albums and marveling that 10 years had passed since we last got together for a Parker Family Reunion.  It seemed to all except the youngest ones that those 10 years had zoomed by in the blink of an eye. Some of the memories were still vivid, while others made us shake our heads, not believing the photographic evidence that we really DID wear that hairdo or clothing back then. And the more “seasoned” among us could count new wrinkles and grey hairs (and maybe a couple of new belt notches) that weren’t there last time.

That made me realize that life truly does go by SO fast.  I am sad to admit that I have made the choice year after year not to make the effort to get us all together again…Not a conscious choice, but a choice of omission. Rick and I simply chose to do other things with the little time off we took from making a living.

That may end up being one of my few life regrets because this reunion made me realize that as far as I am concerned, there are really only TWO important questions to ask ourselves when we come to the end of our earthly life:

  • Did I SHOW the people I love how much I love them?
  • What Big Dreams did I pursue (or let die without ever being born)?

Our lives are built on a series of many little decisions made day by day in each of these two categories.  Each day is a new chance to take time to pay attention to those we love and demonstrate to them that we really do value them.  And each day is a chance to pursue our heartfelt dreams with everything we’ve got, or let them slide in favor of what is easier, more comfortable, less scary.

Within a day of arriving home, I received yet another amazing, thought-provoking post from my friend and fellow-coach/writer/speaker/workshop leader, Bob Perks. (See blog #230 “Listen with Your Heart” if you missed his earlier post that I re-published.)

Bob perfectly expresses that it is all the little daily choices we make to be loving, to be generous, to be in integrity, to stand up for our beliefs and values, and to either pursue our dreams or sell out that REALLY matter.  It’s not the few big life choices we make, but the many little ones that steadily add up day by day, year by year to create the picture that our life ultimately ends up looking like.

Here, with permission, are Bob’s own thoughts.  I hope they make as big an impression on you as they did on me. And I hope they move you to take ACTION and make the right daily choices for YOU, so that the next decade of YOUR life fulfills and empowers you. Because one thing I can guarantee: It’s going to feel like it zoomed by in the blink of an eye.

P.S. If you find Bob’s words inspiring and the spirit moves you, you can make a small or large donation at the end, as I did, to help him keep on sharing his love and wisdom with the world.

Perks Pearl of Wisdom

“I have lived to see another day for nearly 66 years.  I have been given more second chances than I deserved.  Still, I often feel unfulfilled.  Why?  Because there are greater things for me to accomplish.  Things I can’t even imagine at this moment.  For He has plans.”  Bob Perks

“Today’s message:

“Or”

By Bob Perks

Life is full of choices.  The truth is every choice we make ripples like a stone dropped in a still pond.

Even not choosing is a choice.

I could start writing that book or I could go back and edit a few older projects I once started.

I could call my friend or wait until she calls me.  Why should I be the one?

I could look for some healthy recipes and then go shopping for the food I’ll need or I could finish all the junk food up instead of wasting it.

I could update my resume and start looking for a better job or I could wait until after vacation.

I could study more for that test on Monday or go celebrate with the girls. I’ll pass it I’m sure.

I could save this extra money I got or maybe double it at the casino.

I could or I couldn’t.

I should join that civic club and get involved or stay at home and mind my own business.

I should go for a walk after dinner or at least sit on the porch for a while.

I should tell him now how much he means to me, how much I love him, how blessed my life has been having him in it.

Or wait until morning when he has rested awhile.

I should or I shouldn’t

I could have, I should have.

I didn’t and I regret it deeply.

I could tell you that I really care about you, my friend.

I should say thanks for always being there for me.

I will…”I love you, my friend.  I depend on you being there.  Thanks.”

Bob Perks

My messages are sent free. 

The services I use to send them aren’t.

Thanks for any support you can provide.”

www.PayPal.me/GiftBobPerks

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

“You get the best efforts from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” – Bob Nelson

I had an extraordinary experience this past week, attending the annual “Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” at my alma mater, Newport Harbor High School. (Go, Sailors!)

The purpose of this annual ceremony is to honor past graduates and faculty members of the renowned secondary school (founded in 1930) who have found outstanding success in their own lives and made a big difference in the lives of others.  A few of the honorees were deceased or incapacitated, and were represented by family members who spoke for and about them.

All of them are amazing citizens, leaders and teachers who have made a profound and lasting impact in a variety of fields.  The graduate honorees included two respected actors (Stuart Cooper and Ted McGinley), Greg Laurie, pastor and founder of one of the largest Christian churches in the USA, David Thompson, a respected California Court of Appeals Judge, Dr. Sandi Smith, a lauded Communications Professor at Michigan State, Marshall Duffield, inventor of the beloved little “Duffy” electric boats that now number 14,000 and counting, and Dr. Mahlon DeLong, a noted scientist whose work has bettered the lives of thousands of people suffering from neurological diseases. The latter couldn’t be with us that night because he was giving a lecture at the Harvard Medical School!

The theme that was consistently repeated by all of these accomplished, humble and witty honorees was this: Most were lucky to be called “mediocre” during their high school years.   None of them imagined they were destined for greatness.  The spark that took hold inside of them and enabled them to excel was lit when one of their teachers focused attention on them and expressed belief in them, even when they didn’t yet believe in themselves.

This stayed with me as I finished my coaching week, listening to a number of my clients complain about their family members, team members and friends not behaving the way they wanted them to – in other words, “under-performing” according to their standards.

What if, I wondered, instead of focusing on their shortcomings, my clients focused on their potential for greatness, just as the wise faculty members had focused on these honorees’ potential, even when the honorees themselves were behaving in less than stellar ways and had no clue as to the spark of greatness that lay within them?

One of my clients lamented in a text that “[My teammate] will take zero coaching/help/suggestions from me.” Meaning, I guess, that her teammate wouldn’t do what SHE wanted her to do in the way SHE wanted it done.  My client said she felt exhausted and overwhelmed with the responsibility for her growing team, and just wanted them to step up and “be Leaders.”  But her message suggested that she wasn’t really viewing them as “Leaders” who could be trusted to lead, but more like “staff” who needed to be supervised and told what to do.

Contrast her approach of trying to push someone to be their BEST with the way the late Robert Wentz, a noted actor and Newport Harbor High’s revered longtime drama teacher, chose to gently inspire someone in whom he recognized potential greatness.  Popular TV and movie actor Ted McGinley (Class of ‘76), shared how Mr. Wentz craftily lured him into taking his first taste of acting.

Mr. Wentz had asked him to try out many times, but being a “jock,” Ted thought that acting in school plays would make him a laughingstock with his teammates, and adamantly refused.  So one day, just before English class, Mr. Wentz pulled Ted aside and told him, “Here’s what we’re going to do.  I am going to pretend to bate you and disrespect you. You are going to pretend to get angry. We’re going to have a heated argument in front of the class. Then you are going to storm out of the room.  Make it real. Ok, let’s go.”

Not having a clue what it was all about, but wanting to please the teacher he loved and respected, Ted did as instructed.  A convincing mock fight ensued and Ted gave it his all to make it “real.” Finally, he stormed out of the room and waited outside. Through the door, he heard Mr. Wentz tell the stunned class to write an essay about what they had just witnessed.  “And I didn’t have to write one! I was hooked on acting from that moment,” Ted laughed.

That small incident changed the course of Ted’s life and gave millions of viewers (including me) of hit TV shows like Happy Days, Married with Children, The West Wing, and Mad Men, as well as many movies, the pleasure of watching him do what he loves for a living.

Who do YOU know who is not performing up to their capability?  Who has untapped potential for greatness that YOU can see?

What are you doing about it? Are you nagging them, criticizing them and letting them know they are falling short of YOUR expectations? Or are you encouraging them with, “I see greatness in you.  I believe in you!”

Psychological studies have proven time and again that people usually live up to or down to our expectations of them.  We have to EXPECT THE BEST if we want them to be able to bring out the best in themselves.

One graduate honoree shared a memorable quote from a favorite teacher: “Everyone on earth has a gift. They just open their gifts at different times.” 

Be patient. Hang in there with them as they struggle to find their footing. Help them pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they have a defeat. Cheer them on when they have a small victory.  Allow them to build a fire from within and share their special gift with the world whenever they are ready. Then stand back and prepare to be amazed!

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

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” – Patanjali

Today, Spring officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere.  As life blooms anew around us, we get “Spring Fever” — the urge to shake off the winter doldrums and begin pursuing our dreams with renewed energy and passion.

So it’s fitting that we have spent the month examining the common Limiting Beliefs that “It’s too late” or “You’re too old” to reach your Big Goals. Because the ultimate effects on your life are unknown, even positive changes can look like potential threats to your mental, emotional or physical well-being. While these Limiting Beliefs are generally far from the truth, the Inner Protector part of your Ego plants them in your consciousness to dissuade you from taking steps to reach your goals, believing it is keeping you safe by keeping you stuck.

Last week, I shared with you the inspiring story of how one of my clients refused to let the “Your Too Old” story and the long odds of success stop her from winning a coveted place in the New York Marathon, which she will run this November to celebrate a milestone birthday and open the next chapter of her life. Now, I want to share with you two equally inspiring stories of women who also overcame these two insidious Limiting Beliefs.

A full-time wife and mother for over twenty years, “Elsie” escaped her emotionally-abusive marriage as soon as her children were grown. When she came to me for coaching, she had a part-time job and lived with a female roommate in order to make ends meet. But Elsie dreamed of finding a rewarding career to pursue that would eventually provide retirement security via a pension. And, dreaming even bigger, she also wanted to find true love and remarry one day.

At age 66, it would be tempting for Elsie to buy that it was “too late” to begin a new career and that she is “too old” to find the love she knew she deserved. But Elsie was undaunted.

We focused first on her most critical Big Goal: finding a rewarding career.  At first, she pursued government jobs, since those are among the last that offer real “pensions” besides Social Security.  Then one day, it came to her that she could pursue a teaching career.  She already had a part-time job teaching English as a second language (ESL) to adults and she had a California credential to teach elementary school, but she hadn’t taught children in many years. Still, the idea kept getting stronger and we both thought it could be the “How” for fulfilling her Big Goal that God/The Universe was guiding her to.

She lacked one certification that was a new requirement since she last taught. She thought it was going to take a number of months to complete via an online course. But then she learned of an intensive summer school course that was being offered about 90 minutes from her home. She found housing close to the university, and went home on the weekends.  In just eight weeks, she passed the course and was free to apply for teaching positions in her area.

Unfortunately, the school year had just started, and all full-time positions were filled. While she waited to be called for substitute teaching, she discovered another part-time opening for an ESL adult ed position near her home, and was immediately hired.

As she worked purposefully toward fulfilling her career dream, we turned our attention to her relationship dream. She decided to try online dating and I recommended eHarmony, the site where I met my own wonderful husband, Rick, ten years ago.  I reviewed the profile she created and gave her a few tips to make it more appealing.

In the first few weeks, nothing much came of the matches she received.  Some men didn’t respond to her, while others didn’t appeal to her because of their photos.  I told her my own story of how Rick and I almost missed our date with destiny because neither of us cared for the other’s online photo.  Thankfully, we overcame those hasty prejudgments!

In December, Elsie decided to take a break from coaching for a few months, wanting to finish up her ESL semester before resuming coaching to help her land the perfect full-time teaching job.  Busy with my full slate of clients, I lost track of her until last month. When I emailed to check on how she was doing, I received this amazing reply:

“Hi, Caroll.  I am engaged to John from Oregon.  We met on eHarmony and have spent several long weekends together. After school ends May 19, I will move up to his lovely home. We are getting married in his church on June 18 and have had 2 meetings with the minister. I will have to work in Oregon and have applied for my Oregon teaching credential.”

I’d say Elsie didn’t just overcome those two Old, Limiting Beliefs; she decimated them!

The second inspiring story is from my client “Dee,” who wanted to create more prosperity in her life.  The company where she worked full-time for many years was steadily going downhill, following the death of the main partner. The remaining partners didn’t value or treat her well, giving her less and less responsibility, which resulted in a smaller and smaller paycheck.  Besides the financial strain on her family, this treatment took a toll on her confidence, which dampened her ability to grow her own bookkeeping business.

Middle-aged and divorced, Dee is the sole support of a multi-generational extended family. She is a caring, selfless person who gives much to others and demands little in return.  The one thing she has consistently done for herself is to take night classes to earn her MBA, in hopes of building a more secure financial future. Our coaching focused on strengthening her belief in herself.  I told her that nobody was going to value her any more than she valued herself.  She knew that was true, but the more her bosses belittled and disrespected her, the less valuable she felt.

One day, a stranger struck up a conversation and asked her what she did for a living.  She told him about her bookkeeping business and mentioned that she was going to complete her MBA this June.   She was taken aback when this total stranger pronounced, “Don’t you know that you will be competing for jobs with sharp young grads in their twenties? There are people with PhDs working at MacDonald’s right now. Why are you wasting your time on that at your age? “

That’s when something deep inside her shifted and she finally took a stand for her own value, stating, “God approves of me. I don’t need the approval of anyone else.  How it’s all going to work out is up to God. I am OK with my choices and I am going to finish my MBA.”

Just weeks after her bold declaration, things completely shifted for Dee.  Although her old job is now half the hours it originally was, several new clients have come to her “out of nowhere,” for free-lance bookkeeping jobs — BIG jobs.  One company is headquartered in another state, where she will periodically travel to oversee five employees.  She has even hired a part-time helper to handle some of the work. “I am finally doing what I have always dreamed of,” Dee told me, excitedly.  “I am actually my own boss! Dee Consulting is legit!”

Too old?  Too late?  Not for Dee.  Not for Elsie.  How about YOU?  Why are you still sitting on the couch?  It’s Spring Fever time….Time to go out and pursue your Big Dreams with gusto!

PLEASE NOTE: A Cup of Caroll will be taking Easter Sunday off.  I look forward to connecting with you again on April 3!

****************** 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 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

 

“The line between failure and success is so fine that we are often on the line and do not even know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.  A little more effort, and what seemed to be a hopeless failure may turn into glorified success.” – From the book 212° the extra degree by Sam Parker

Last week’s blog about The Comparison Trap really struck a chord with many readers!  One of the biggest pitfalls in business and in life is comparing yourself to someone else’s (apparent) success – especially to how quickly they achieve it.

Now, I want to shine a light on another insidious pitfall that can make you lose heart and give up on your dreams too soon. By understanding how normal it is, you can keep your belief strong and keep pursuing your heartfelt desires. If you do, you will eventually break through the final barrier and reach your goal.

A client came to me two months ago, looking to have a breakthrough in sponsoring strong new business partners into her network marketing business – people who share her vision of success and want to join her Team.  But after a few weeks of faithfully using the tools I gave her and working her daily Action Plan with enthusiasm, confidence and high hopes, she sent me this dejected email:

“I hit a roadblock.  I am trying to pull myself out of it.  A girl about to sign keeps pushing back. I am trying to be nonchalant about her and keep moving.  Then an email comes in critiquing a class I teach. Then my therapist just basically diagnosed me as having ADHD.  I just want to cry. Why is the Universe having it all crash down?  How do I look at the brighter side and stay strong?”

In my eleven-plus years of coaching, I have seen this phenomenon many, many times.  In fact, I would say it’s more the norm than the exception for my clients — and for me!  Years ago, when I was taking a series of personal development and leadership courses with Landmark Education, the instructors used to describe it this way: When you declare a new Possibility for your life, the first thing that shows up is everything that is NOT that.

Nobody can say for sure what causes this phenomenon. Many people with a religious background are convinced it is a sign that the forces of Darkness are opposing God and anyone who is trying to pursue the Light. Here’s what my favorite Christian minister, Joel Osteen, says about it:

“Sometimes, people have problems because they are making poor choices or doing something wrong.  But other times, people are having difficulties because they are doing something right.

When you’re determined to fulfill your God-given destiny, and you’re taking steps to improve your life to make a difference in your family or community, don’t be surprised if you face opposition. The enemy is not going to just roll out the red carpet and watch you fulfill your God-given destiny.

He’ll do whatever he can to keep you from moving forward….I’ve found that anytime you try to go forward in life, anytime you try to make progress, there will be opposition. But with God on your side, you can stand your ground! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. If you’re facing opposition today, keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping.  Keep fighting the good fight of faith until you see the victory He has in store for you!”

Another plausible explanation is that God/The Universe is simply testing your COMMITMENT to your Big Goal.  Will you stand in your faith when things get hard, or will you simply fold?  Words alone can’t prove you truly believe you are worthy to have what your heart desires and that God/The Universe is on your side.  You must demonstrate your BELIEF by continuing to take action in the face of all opposition, and then God/the Universe will show you how to break through all barriers to your success.

A third explanation is one that students of human psychology have long known: Whenever you begin to change your life — even if it is a healthy, positive change – your Ego gets scared.  As far as the “Inner Protector” part of your psyche is concerned, ALL change is potentially dangerous, because the consequences are unknown.  Because your Ego’s primary job is to keep you safe and make sure that your physical, emotional and mental needs are met, any change to the status quo of your life is potentially risky. What feels like “stuck” to you feels “safe” to your Ego.

I tried to sum all this up in a brief response to my client’s email:

“One of the things that happens when you try to change is that your Ego rebels a bit. And I think the Universe may also test us to see how committed we really are to our goals.

It is not at all unusual that things seem to get WORSE before they get better. The only remedy is faith. You have to BELIEVE in your dream and in yourself. You have to believe that God/The Universe wants you to have what your heart desires. You have to just persevere and keep moving forward. Then things will shift and turn around for you.  If you quit in the face of roadblocks, you will never grow as a person and learn to move through them and see just how strong you can be.

Ultimately, you will get far more than just the goal you are after – you get to see that NOTHING and NOBODY can stop you in life.  Only YOU can stop you by throwing in the towel too soon.

So show your fearful Ego that everything is going to be fine and show God/The Universe that you really, really ARE committed to having your goal.  Keep talking to new people and ignoring the nay-sayers and criticizers and dream stealers. Then you will get what you want AND become a stronger, better, more faith-filled person in the end — which is the REAL prize in life.”

To her great credit, my client instantly got the message, restored her positive mindset, and continues to pursue her goal with gusto. By demonstrating her commitment to her Big Goal through her daily actions and belief, she is tapping into the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to draw like-minded people to her Team. I firmly believe she is going to reach her Big Goal much more smoothly and quickly from here on out.

****************** 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.

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