“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.

“If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins

What important task are you dragging your feet about doing right now because you just don’t “feel” like it?

I have to be honest, for me today, Number One is writing this blog. I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d prefer to do on a beautiful Spring day, rather than sit in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic that can inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

No matter how much you value keeping your word to yourself and others, I am sure you, too, know exactly what it’s like to want to avoid doing something that you know will benefit you or someone else.

The human Ego much prefers sitting on the couch, safe and comfy, avoiding anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

Of course, Life Coach Mel Robbins is 100% right. Instead of sharpening pencils, cleaning out the junk drawer, procrastisnacking, re-arranging your lists, perusing (and envying) others’ Facebook posts and binge-watching just one more episode of your favorite show –  consider where you could be if you had just plunged in and finished the very task you DON’T want to do: Make the call, go to the gym, update your resume, apply for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your loved one and apologize for the fight you had?

What would your life look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh the when she blurted out, “I didn’t read your blog this week.  I HATE reading blogs.”

Really?  You “hate” getting tips that can help you succeed?  Being challenged and inspired?  Developing your character?  Learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? Stretching your belief in what is possible for you?

I was tempted to reply, “Well, sometimes I hate WRITING the blog!”  But that’s not true.  I actually love writing – or I would not have put in the thousands of hours of effort over my lifetime in order to develop that skill.

But do I love being 100% accountable for producing a blog that consumes half of my Saturday three times a month?  Heck NO! I would much prefer to be in my backyard right now, stretched out on the chaise lounge with an iced tea and a good book.  That would be nice for ME, but what about my readers, who read the blog and write comments such as, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”  Or “I felt so relieved to read that – Now I know I’m not alone.” They are what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else’s benefit, of course.  Many of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do but which we know will bring us the results we say we want to have.

In her wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is book, Get Over Your Damn Self, direct sales Superstar Romi Neustadt admits that even SHE doesn’t want to be accountable for doing the daily activities that have made her a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

According to Romi, “You’ve got to figure out what it is you really want that you don’t already have.  Whatever it is, it’s got to be important enough to get you to do something with commitment and consistency.  It’s got to be important enough to get you up, to make one more phone call, to reach out to one more person….even when you are bone-ass weary.  Because if we want something bad enough in this life, we make it happen.  It’s just that simple.”

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s natural preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the start of her business, she wrote down her WHY in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things having a successful direct sales business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she didn’t do the things necessary to succeed.

She kept that piece of paper by her bed and read it first thing every morning before her feet hit the floor. She used it as leverage to make herself get up every day and do the tasks she didn’t want to do, but knew she must do, in order to get her WHY.

Mel Robbins has her own simple, foolproof method to counteract the Ego’s desire for inertia. She calls it “The Five Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short TED Talk about this.

I urge you to spend 20 memorable minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you wait longer than five seconds, like a skilled courtroom litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out the task.

Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that voice inside your head instead of keeping your promise and taking action right NOW?

That’s right. You will never get your WHY. Instead, you will earn a comfortable seat on the sidelines, watching as others get their WHYs.

So what’s it going to be for YOU?  You have five seconds to decide.

Here’s Mel Robbins TED talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off so that I can spend Easter with my family.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, April 23.

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.   

 

 

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

Last week’s blog drew a BIG response from my readers!  It seems just about everyone recognized that they can use some “lightening up” in their life.  Several commented that they crave more time each week to enjoy family activities or just some relaxing “me” time.  But the challenge is HOW to carve out more free time in an already packed schedule? So I decided to share this lightly-edited blog from one year ago that answers that question:

When one of my clients didn’t call at our appointed time this week, I texted her, thinking she might be absorbed in some task and had lost track of the time. Instead, her reply text confessed that she was sitting in the doctor’s office and had completely forgotten our appointment.

Just the day before, much to my chagrin, I double-booked a coaching slot.  Fortunately, I discovered my mistake well in advance and one client was gracious enough to switch times. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed because I take pride in being well-organized and detail-oriented.  (My husband and friends have less-flattering terms for this tendency, I’m sure!)

When I notice a recurring pattern among several clients, it’s a signal to me that the issue they are dealing with should be the theme of my blog.  This week, it was not only my clients’ behavior, but also my OWN that clearly signaled what I need to discuss.

Living an “abundant” life doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the bank, although money is certainly a good resource to have.  Abundant living depends on how much you are enjoying your life.  All of my clients are very busy people.  Some run a full-time business from home, while juggling a full-time family life.  Others have a day job AND are working hard to build a thriving business on the side, often with families to look after, as well.

It’s understandable that they sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed, so I share tips and techniques I have learned to help them take control of their schedules. Here are seven keys to mastering your own busy schedule and living an abundant, easeful life:

  • Write it down. The only way you can remember all of the “To Dos” that come up daily is to write them down in ONE place. You can break the list into categories if you like, under the headings “Work” “Family” and “Personal.”  Keep ONE list in a notepad that you carry with you and review it at least weekly. Trying to keep the list in your head will tax your brain and make you feel stressed.  Once it is written down, your mind can relax and focus on what needs doing NOW.
  • Schedule it. The items on your To Do list are not going to get done unless you transfer them onto your scheduling calendar. You must keep ONE scheduling calendar that has EVERY appointment and action item from all categories on it – work, family and personal. If you keep multiple calendars for your work and family events, you are inevitably going to double-book yourself or miss some important meeting.  The reason I double-booked my two clients was that I noted the appointment change in one client’s file, but must have gotten distracted and forgot to change it on my actual appointment calendar.  You MUST write appointments on your calendar the minute you make them.  Don’t rely on scraps of paper or sticky notes to remind you.
  • Plan your week. I recommend taking a quiet 30 minutes each weekend to sit with your To Do list and appointment calendar and plan the upcoming week. Schedule up to THREE of your To Dos each day AROUND the appointments you already have.  Recurring appointments include your morning personal development time, exercise time, kids’ sports schedules, etc.  If you don’t write all of these down, you will think you have time for your three To Dos, but will quickly discover that your day is actually already full of unwritten items that you can overlook until you have to do them. If you have blocked time in advance for them, you will accomplish at least 15 important To Dos each week.
  • Think ahead. Years ago, one of my dear friends had to wait by the side of the road for AAA to rescue him when his car ran out of gas on several occasions. When I asked him why this kept happening, he said, “I was late for work and didn’t have time to stop at the gas station. I thought I could make it.”Haste truly does make waste, so instead of flying by the seat of your pants, practice looking ahead 24 hours on your calendar to see what you are going to be doing TOMORROW. Make sure you have everything you will need: Gas in the car, clean clothes, cash, meeting supplies, etc. This habit will de-stress your life tremendously.
  • Focus. Men are designed to be single-focused, while women are born multi-taskers.  I know how easy it is to go into a room for one thing, and end up doing three other things while I’m there.  Many of my clients use social media as a vital tool to market their business and make new connections. Most of them confess that they plan to spend just 10 minutes posting something, and they end up mesmerized reading others’ posts for hours.
  • Discipline yourself. If you have your schedule blocked out in detail each week, you should know how much time you plan to spend on a particular task.  Set a timer for doing the task and when it goes off, STOP and proceed to the next item on your schedule, even if you didn’t finish the first task.  That “stick” will teach your brain to FOCUS next time so you can have the “carrot” of proudly accomplishing everything you planned for the day.
  • Do it NOW. Most of us are born procrastinators.  If we don’t want to do something we must do, we often postpone it until the last minute. But more often than not, our well-laid plans for tomorrow get interrupted by unexpected “fires” to put out that may cause us to miss the deadline.  One of my clients declared her New Year’s Resolution to be “Don’t delay; do it NOW.”  She has stuck with it and it has made her days much more calm and productive.  One of my favorite quotes from life coach Mel Robbins’ great book, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.”   

Here’s a final piece of hard-won wisdom from this recovering People-Pleaser: If you can easily fulfill another’s request, by all means, do so. But if it will suck up your time or resources so that your own dreams, family or personal well-being are likely to suffer, just say “NO!”  Many things we are invited to attend, join, buy or facilitate aren’t something we truly want and keep us from our own purposeful pursuits. If you respectfully decline, the requestor/inviter will appreciate your honesty and will ask someone else for whom it will be a purposeful opportunity.

If you will implement one or more of these tips, I am confident that you will soon experience more ease, productivity and time freedom in your life!

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.   

“We do not remember days; we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese, Italian Poet 

As I pondered what to write about this week, I realized that what I REALLY wanted to do instead of writing the blog was to play hooky! I guess it’s a case of Spring Fever, but I felt myself daydreaming about what it would be like to have an entire day completely OFF.  I know that a lot of my coaching clients also feel they have to work constantly to make their Big Goals happen. I advise them that they need to relax and recharge for at least ONE day a week, if they are going to have the right attitude and energy to be productive.

So, I decided to take my own advice: I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from early 2016. It’s a great reminder that we ALL must take it easier, both mentally and physically, if we want the Law of Attraction to work for us.  I’m going outside now to savor life’s little moments. I hope you enjoy your day!

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 the 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 plans.

I understand, believe me.  For five years during the Great Recession and its aftermath, I had to focus every single day on releasing 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 feel gratitude 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 express frustration that their dreams are not manifesting as fast as they would like, I tell my clients that they must lighten up – let go of all heavy energy produced by worry, frustration and discouragement and rev 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 NOW attracts even MORE good things to us.

Next, you must create a genuinely positive, light energy that will be a magnet for the serendipitous people and resources that can 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 truly 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 own positive energy: If you aren’t currently taking at least ONE 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 to reach your goals faster.  It’s time to shake off the winter doldrums and lighten up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 awhile 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.

 

 

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

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – Napoleon Hill

The process for manifesting anything we want in life is SO simple that we just can’t seem to believe it, so we unintentionally muck it up by interfering in the process and thus derail our own dreams.  This week, I witnessed a delightful example of the good that can come to us when we resist the urge to micro-manage God/The Universe’s own perfect manifesting techniques.

But before I share the story, let’s recap the elegantly simple and efficient three-step process for manifesting your dreams via the Law of Attraction (which states that “energy attracts like energy.”)

STEP ONE:  ASK for what you want. Make it specific, measurable and unambiguous. Don’t ask God/The Universe to “Make me a good leader” for your business team.  How will you know when you are “good” enough?  How do you measure  that?  Instead, ask for something specific: “I will recruit, train and support my new business partner to produce $600 OR MORE in sales in her first month in the business.”

Don’t try to figure out in advance HOW you will do this.  You don’t need to know the HOW to set the process in motion for manifesting your desire. Just ASK for the outcome you want and leave the plan for the How to God/The Universe, which can direct you to the best answer more quickly and easily than you would ever be able to figure out.

These Divine directions will be picked up by the receiving dish of your subconscious mind, which will guide your conscious mind in the form of ideas, inspiration or perhaps an inner urge to be somewhere at the precise moment to bump into the perfect person or resource to help you manifest your intention.

STEP TWO: Believe it’s possible.  That’s all that’s really required — and it’s the hardest step for most of us. It is your unwavering BELIEF that what you are seeking is also seeking you that sets the Law of Attraction in motion to attract the ideal opportunities to fulfill your dreams.

If you instead listen to your Ego, as we often do, you can count on it to share the many reasons it thinks you don’t have the plan, resources or time you need to succeed, and it will certainly remind you of all the times have failed at it the past.

Your subconscious mind, on the other hand, is completely open to all the wonderful new, creative ideas that are constantly being channeled to it by God/The Universe. It is completely receptive and willing to think outside the little “box” that your Ego is locked into.

Happily, YOUR only job is to rev up your belief that this mystical process really IS going on ….That something much bigger and smarter than you wants you to succeed and is working behind the scenes to make it happen.

STEP THREE: Receive.  If you allow your Ego to run the show, it will assess all the “What ifs?” it can imagine and come up with a few, limited scenarios it thinks could possibly be the means and method for fulfilling your dream.  It is often wrong.

The Divine How often appears in “mysterious ways,” as they say.  In my 12-plus years as a professional coach, hundreds of my clients have shared jaw-dropping stories of the amazing ways God/The Universe chose to fulfill their dreams.  They invariably say things like, “I never would have thought of THAT!” or “I never imagined it would have come from HER!”

That’s why I say it and you must believe it: The How is not your problem!  Stay committed to your Goal, interested but unattached to your Ego’s ideas, and prepared to pounce when the Ideal Plan appears, so you can then take the appropriate ACTIONS that are required to fulfill your dream.

This week, a client shared with me the delightfully unexpected way the How happened for him: At the beginning of February, he asked me to hold him accountable for saving $300 a month toward the down payment he would need to lease a new car in November.  (Specific, measurable ASK, check!)

His finances have been tight lately, and he knew it was going to be a challenge, but he was COMMITTED to his goal. Then mid-month, he discovered his current car needed $700 worth of tires.  To his Ego, it looked like he would have to skip February’s $300 deposit into savings and somehow make it up in March.

But I suggested that he instead remain open and receptive to seeing HOW God/The Universe would direct him to meet his goal.  I knew from experience that lots of amazing things can happen in the final hours before a goal deadline.  He agreed that even if he didn’t have the entire amount, he would deposit whatever he could in savings by the end of the month, to prove that he was truly COMMITTED to his Big Goal. (BELIEVE, check!)

On February 26, I received this email from him:

“You are not going to believe this.  My friend gave me six tickets to see Stevie Nicks….I am unable to attend (and not interested in going anyway)….so I decided to sell them online.  The tickets are worth $150 a pair. 

I thought since I got them for free, I will sell them for $100 a pair – hopefully, being a blessing to the three couples that buy them. I have all three pairs already sold…Everyone is so happy and shocked at the price I am selling them for.

Without even thinking about it, I realized that the three sets of tickets (at $100 a pair) total $300 – The exact amount of money I want to put aside each month for my car! I made my goal of putting away $300 this month.  God is GREAT.” 

(RECEIVE, Check!)

No, we can’t just sit on the couch, OM-ing or praying and expect whatever we want to fall through the ceiling into our lap. We must take ACTION to manifest our dreams into our material world.

But instead of just blindly following your Ego’s limited advice, first try asking God/The Universe to show you the BEST way to reach your goal.  I promise, if you believe that it will come, God/The Universe WILL deliver the How to you, expedited rush delivery, via the Law of Attraction.

PLEASE NOTE:  The blog will take next Sunday off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday March 19.

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 awhile 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.

“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.