July 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website 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 gift 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 for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.  

 

 

January 27, 2019

“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” – Barbara De Angelis

 I hope you have been enjoying creating your 2019 the way YOU want it to be, using the guidelines I gave you in the last blog (Your Time to Shine – Blog 326).  If not, the time is NOW to get it done because it will truly set the stage for your Big Dreams to manifest sooner, rather than later!

No matter how distant your Big Dreams seem from your current reality, it is possible to reach them. Manifesting your dreams requires that you demonstrate both a real PASSION for them and a BELIEF that it is possible to achieve them. It’s not your job to know HOW you are going to get there – that is up to God/the Universe.

Your job is simply to say “YES” to your dreams.  Saying “YES” with every fiber of your being sets in motion the Law of Attraction, which states that “energy attracts like energy.”  Your “YES” energy (your thoughts plus the emotions your thoughts create in you) will attract the perfect opportunities, people and resources you will need to reach your Big Dreams.

But there is also a time for you to say “NO.” In order to make the time and space for YOUR dreams and live YOUR life with integrity and authenticity, you must sometimes say “NO” to other people’s requests.

“Having the courage to say ‘no’ to requests that are unnecessary could be your most effective time-management tool!  Never say ‘yes’ without considering the time investment you are committing to. Ask yourself, ‘What is the potential consequence of saying ‘no’?  Then make a good decision on what you commit to.  Be incredibly selective about your commitments.” – From the book 175 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time by David Cottrell and Mark Layton

This can be emotionally hard to do, especially for recovering “people-pleasers” like me.

For much of my life, my knee-jerk reaction to just about every request made of me was always “YES!”  Even if it was something I wouldn’t have chosen to pursue for my own happiness or fulfillment, I generally agreed to the assignment in a misguided attempt to “help” the nice person asking me to perform the task.  My thought was, “If I don’t help them, who will?” (If you say that same thing to yourself, NOW is the time to stop!)

Most of the time, I was saying “Yes” to other people’s requests strictly out of guilt.  And guilt is a negative emotional energy that will NOT engage the Law of Attraction to help you perform a task with ease and efficiency!  Thus, at the end of such a “self-coerced” project, I often felt emotionally and physically drained and resentful of both the good work I had done and the good person who had innocently made the request.

In the early 2000s, I was asked to volunteer my time with a worthy organization that relied heavily on unpaid volunteers to do much of the work.  Were it not for an army of volunteers, the organization couldn’t have offered their services at low rates to the people who needed them most.

Since I had personally benefited from their services and believed in their work — and had skills they could use — they naturally approached me and asked me to “give back.” At first, it was just a few hours a week, which didn’t seem like much to ask in return for all that I had received.  But as my skills grew and the workload increased, the requests for my time grew as well.

For the first year, volunteering was a fun, challenging and personally enriching experience, even though I was beginning to struggle to find the time, as my fledgling coaching practice was just beginning to grow.

By the beginning of year two, I found myself performing 15-20 hours a week of unpaid work for a cause whose time had passed for me. I had gotten all there was to get out of the work I was doing there, and it had become simply a repetitive chore for me.  I was not one of the “Yes, we can!” people who came there eagerly each week, happy to be contributing to the cause.  The work was still purposeful for them, but it no longer was for me.  I felt more and more resentment. I knew in my heart that I was done.  Yet, I lacked the courage to simply say “NO” every time the volunteer coordinator called me.

Finally, tired and depressed, I was forced to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” The honest answer turned out to be my guilt-ridden belief that “If I don’t help them, who will?” When I forced myself to think about it, the answer to that well-meaning question was very clear: The people who will help are those for whom this work is purposeful!

My Ah-Ha Moment was realizing that, by “contributing” my time out of guilt instead of genuine passion, I was doing an uninspired job that neither forwarded the work nor reflected the spirit of the organization.  I was occupying space that could have been an opportunity for the RIGHT person to contribute their skills, to grow and develop and experience fulfillment, just as I once had.  By lacking the integrity to say “NO,” I was not only depriving myself of the opportunity to pursue purposeful activity, but I was also selfishly depriving someone else of their opportunity to contribute their priceless gifts.

After this self-revelation, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I called organization’s volunteer coordinator to resign after giving three years of weekly service. I didn’t beat around the bush, explain myself or make excuses. I knew from studying the Law of Attraction that defensive, “guilty” energy would only attract similar negative energy.

Recovering People-Pleasers take note: Well-meaning people who attempt to cajole you into participating in their projects will view your attempted “explanation” as a sign that you are wavering and will try to pressure you further.  I recommend stating firmly and simply, without a hint of guilt, “Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity, but I am going to say No.  I wish you all the best with your project.”  You will be amazed at their reaction!

The volunteer coordinator replied that he understood and thanked me for my service. It was that simple to free myself from the time and emotional bondage that was preventing me from pursuing my OWN Big Dreams!

So, if you are still saying a guilt-induced “Yes” to hobbies, committees, politics, a dead-end career or personal relationship which no longer serves you, please know that you are preventing another soul from bestowing his or her priceless gifts on the world.  And, you are depriving yourself of the joy, prosperity and fulfillment that will come from living a life of authentic, purposeful self-expression.

So what are you waiting for?  Pick up the phone right now and “Just say No!” Then you will be free to pursue your own authentic Big Dreams — the ones you are passionate about and truly believe in….the ones that make you say, “YES, I can!”

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** 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 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 for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  to schedule their session.  

 

 

 

 

November 11, 2018

“How often do you tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them? God wants you to be joyful and enlighten others with His joy by being kind and patient and showing your appreciation and love.  Make a list of your loved ones and make a commitment to let them know how much you care.  When you tell someone how much they mean to you, you receive an unexpected boost of love and joy yourself!” – Guideposts magazine’s 60 Days of Prayer

What a week.  I am feeling somewhat emotionally wrung out amidst a jumble of tough news: Flooding and severe weather in the Midwest and East, deadly firestorms and yet another senseless mass shooting here in California. Oh, and a divisive mid-term election that refuses to end, with continuing recounts and threatened lawsuits in several states.

With Christmas and Hanukkah still weeks away, where can we turn for some comfort and joy? I say we need to “Make Thanksgiving Great Again” — Not that Thanksgiving (or America for that matter), ever really stopped being GREAT.  It’s just that we have taken both of them too much for granted lately.

Instead of allowing this unique holiday to become simply a day to watch football, stuff ourselves, suffer through annoying dinner conversations with relatives who get on our nerves, while anxiously awaiting the opening bell to buy more stuff we don’t really  need, what if we truly put the THANKS back into Thanksgiving by showing our GRATITUDE to the people we too often take for granted?

Here are some ways my clients have done it this year. I hope they may inspire you to do it, too:

  • Send someone a heartfelt message of thanks. This year, instead of getting lost amidst the avalanche of Holiday greeting cards and annual newsletters from friends, relatives and vendors, my coaching clients are sending out Thanksgiving cards. Their purpose is simply to express heartfelt gratitude to the customers and Team members who have supported them throughout the year.  There is no motive except to say “Thank You. You are special and I am grateful to have you in my life.”  You can do this with your friends and family too. I promise you they will be surprised and delighted to be acknowledged at Thanksgiving.
  • Apologize, even if you don’t believe you are wrong. After a long-distance argument, one of my clients sent a loving apology text to her husband, who is working on an extended job assignment in another state. She gave up being “right” and simply thanked him for the sacrifice she knew he was making by being away from his family to help build a great future for them. In response, he surprised her by getting his boss to pay for renting them a beach house, so they can all be together as a family at the Holidays.
  • Extend an olive branch to heal a rift. One of my clients hadn’t spoken to her sister for several years. After hearing a reconciliation message in church, she spontaneously called her sister and simply told her that she missed her. A few days later, she drove several hours for an afternoon visit, where they laughed and enjoyed each other’s company, just as they used to. Now, my client plans to invite her sister to spend Thanksgiving with their family, who are all relieved that their estrangement is over.
  • Change a relationship by upgrading your own mindset. One of my clients  dreads her family’s Thanksgiving gathering because one of her in-laws is always cold and rude to her, for no apparent reason. We discussed what she could do to improve their relationship through changing her own energy and expectations.  Now, she is mentally prepping by expecting The Best and focusing on bringing only positive, healing energy to the gathering, so that everyone there (including herself) will feel loved and appreciated.
  • Another client was dreading attending a business function where she must interact with a talented, but insecure, colleague who is prone to creating drama-filled confrontations. Instead of fearing her worst behavior, my client created a whole new mindset for herself. She vows to proactively express her sincere gratitude for the colleague’s contributions and speak only kind, acknowledging and empowering words when they meet. And she is truly expecting the BEST from her colleague in return.

The Law of Attraction, which states that “energy attracts like energy,” dictates that our own thoughts, words and emotions will inevitably attract to us people and circumstances that match our energy.  Gratitude, which is a form of love, is one of the most powerful positive emotions we can send out into the world to attract back to us MORE good things to be grateful for.

So let’s do our part to spread kindness and express love and gratitude to others, especially in this month that focuses on giving thanks.  What more precious gift could we possibly be thankful for than all the wonderful people God has brought into our lives?

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

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

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

October 7, 2018

“Attitudes truly are contagious.  So decide today to make yours worthy catching.” – Mac Anderson

Last week, we examined ways to protect yourself from others’ “toxic energy” that can do real harm to you mentally and emotionally and may even keep you from realizing your full potential in life.  If you missed it, I hope you will go to the blog archives on my website and read it first (Inoculate Yourself – Blog 316).

In the last blog, I related my own experience of having to abruptly disengage from someone whose toxic energy was masquerading as something positive (at least at first).  I believe now that he was emotionally manipulating me (and probably many others) to sympathize with him — undoubtedly for the positive attention it garnered and perhaps the money people like me gave him to support his “good works” and dire personal financial problems.

Based on my own experience, I came up with the first two “Rules” for protecting yourself from people who come to you with their toxic energy – which, in addition to emotional manipulation, can include behaviors such as spreading damaging gossip, chronic complaining, and trying to sabotage your dreams, undermine your self-confidence or erode your self-worth.

Self-protection Rule Number One I gave you last time was Maya Angelou’s wonderfully wise quote: “People will show you who they are and you’d best believe them.”  Once I fully recognized what the manipulator was doing, I disengaged immediately, which so caught him off guard that he instantly revealed himself as a predator in sheep’s clothing. We all have a God-given intuition that tells us when something or someone just doesn’t add up or feel right.  We must listen to that insistent inner whisper and act on it ASAP.

Rule Number Two came from minister Joel Osteen, who reminded us that we all have “seeds” of greatness that need to be nurtured in “good soil.”  If the friends you associate with do not provide you with a nurturing environment for your personal growth through their lack of values, poor lifestyle choices or negative mindset, Joel recommends gradually disengaging by spending less and less time with them.  If they notice, you can say you are too busy pursuing your positive goals to spend as much time hanging out with them as before.

So far, so good, right?  But what if the person who exudes toxic energy in your life is someone you cannot disengage from – like your boss, a key Team member, a close relative or even a spouse or ex-spouse who shares custody of your kids?  What can you do then?

If you cannot avoid someone else’s toxic energy, I believe you must do two things to protect yourself and turn things to your advantage:

  • Be 100% relentlessly POSITIVE yourself. I have all my clients consciously prepare their own energy (defined as your thoughts PLUS your emotions) at the beginning of each day with a centering practice that includes positive affirmations, listing things you are grateful for that day in a Gratitude Journal, doing some positive visualization and a few minutes of reading in a good personal development book. My mother used to call the morning prayers and affirmations she taught me “putting on your armor” for the day.  Protecting ourselves against being affected by someone else’s negative energy starts with cultivating our own strong positive energy.
  • Adopt your own “Best” mindset and actions and expect good results. We are not here to change anyone else. But you can have a positive influence on others by consciously directing your own positive energy and entering all your interactions with a focused expectation of creating the BEST possible outcome for yourself and everyone involved.   As a wise Mentor Coach once explained to me, when two people have opposing energy, whoever has the STRONGER energy will pull the other into their energy.  You can expect the BEST outcome in a given situation because your own focused, intentional, relentlessly positive energy is always stronger than another’s negative energy.

One of my coaching clients recently faced that very conundrum. She dreaded having to deal with someone on her network marketing Team whose toxic energy she knew would likely oppose her own, because it had many times in the past.  This person had been gossiping with members of the Team about each other and stirring up emotional drama where there should be mutual support.

As my client gave me the details, I felt that what must really be driving this person is a deep insecurity about herself as a Leader. If her Team doesn’t invite her to every event or training, she imagines they don’t want or need her help.  I asked my client to imagine for a moment what it would be like to be that Leader — Wouldn’t it be scary and depressing to be so needy and have such low self-esteem? Wouldn’t it be exhausting to try to monitor all of your Team members’ every action, searching for any sign that they consider you irrelevant? She agreed it would suck to live like that.

Letting herself imagine what it would be like to hold such toxic energy allowed my client to turn her resentment for the drama this Leader stirred up on the Team into compassion for how needlessly self-punishing she was.  Then she felt that she could authentically assure her that they both have the SAME goal – for their Team to thrive.

The next step was for her to create a positive intention for the outcome of the phone call that she had first wanted to avoid but now was eager to make on HER terms: “I am creating that she will feel my good intentions and trust them. We will listen to each other with an open mind and have a healthy dialogue. We will treat each other with respect.”

The focused, positive mindset and energy she decided to embody during their upcoming call was being “fair, understanding, committed and a good listener.”

I got this excited follow-up text from my client after their conversation: “I want to thank you for giving me the words and mindset to speak with [Toxic Energy Leader]. We spoke last week and honestly that conversation has freed me from feeling responsible for so many things that aren’t mine to carry.  Things I’ve carried for way too long. I was able to not let my emotions take over and to say [my truth] and listen to what was being shared.  And the best part is I left that conversation not feeling bad about myself!”

If you cannot avoid interacting with someone in your life who often embodies toxic energy, here are some helpful guidelines to remember:

  • YOU have the power to protect yourself by putting on your mindset “armor” each day. Adopt a focused, relentlessly positive mindset and confidently expect the BEST in your interactions with them.
  • Try to imagine where their negative mindset and behaviors could stem from. Working up some compassion and understanding for what it must be like for them to live with their self-inflicted pain can allow you to control your own emotions and find ways to help them feel heard, understood and acknowledged, which is what most insecure, controlling people are really after.
  • Rather than trying to avoid whatever issues you know you eventually must confront with them, take the reins! If you embody focused, relentlessly positive energy around them, you have every reason to believe it will have a positive influence on them, rather than allowing them to have a negative influence on you.

Most importantly, you must always remember that nobody and nothing can make you FEEL any particular way. Others can say and do things you might not like, and you should absolutely stand up for yourself if someone crosses your personal boundaries. But nobody controls YOUR energy but YOU.  So recognize and make the most of your personal power!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will be taking the next Sunday off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, October 21. 

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

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

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

 

 

September 30, 2018

“What you hear repeatedly, you will eventually believe.” – Mike Murdock

This week’s topic is not one I relish dealing with at all.  But it is necessary sometimes to address the dark side of life and how to deal with it,  to enable yourself to reap the rewards of living with integrity, optimism and expectation of good things coming to you.

I often take my cues for blog topics from a pattern I notice throughout the week in my own experiences and the experiences of my clients. This week, the theme was pretty hard to miss.  Not only did several of my clients have to deal with it, I had a jarring personal experience of it, and the whole nation got a ringside seat to it via the televised Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Thursday.  The yelling and finger pointing, vitriol and personal attacks on display among the elected “leaders” who are supposed to represent us were jaw-dropping to behold. But I am not here to talk about politicians.  I want to talk about toxic energy and what we can do to protect ourselves from it in our OWN everyday lives.

What is “toxic energy”?  Your “energy” (or some people call it your “vibration”) is made up of your thoughts PLUS your emotions“Toxic,” according to the dictionary, means something that is “poisonous” and perhaps “infectious” — to the point of “causing serious harm or death.”

At some point, we all cross paths with someone who exudes “toxic energy.”  A specific promise I ask all my clients to state aloud every day is: “I avoid toxic people and surround myself with Winners who inspire me and help me to reach my Dreams.” That is a worthy goal, but as I learned for myself this week, it’s easier said than done.  So I want to share with you some insights and tips I used to help my clients and me to shield ourselves from the toxic energy we encountered from others.

First, my own story: For the past couple of years, I have been a long-distance “friend” to someone I have never met face to face.  We corresponded via email, text and Facebook and at  first, I enjoyed our interactions. He seemed like a truly good person, who talked a lot about the people around him who were lonely and needed something to cheer them up.  He found ways to do that, some of which required money (like throwing modest parties for them). In his own life, he faced serious financial challenges, being older and living on a fixed income, which he supplemented a little bit with a sporadic sideline gig.

I was inspired by the way he seemed to maintain a positive attitude in the face of all the challenges in his own life.  He was (all too) eager to share personal information with me, including that his wife had divorced him several years ago and moved to the other side of the country, and neither of his grown children had seen or spoken to him in years.  In short, he garnered my sympathy with his vulnerable candor and seemingly selfless caring for others.

I began to send him small sums of money from time to time, to help with his parties and his own dire needs (such as car problems and having his internet and cell phone shut off, and at one time, the imminent shut off of his utilities).  Each time, he protested that he had not told me about his problems to solicit money from me, but then he always accepted it with lavish thanks.

Mind you, I am not an easy mark.  I really do have a pretty good sense of when someone is lying to me, and I don’t think he was lying about the facts.  I believe he IS broke. But looking back, I can see that he never seemed to try to change his financial circumstances, other than lament them.  Being a coach, I’m hard-wired to give suggestions to help my clients solve daily problems, but every time I offered him a suggestion, he would deflect it, explaining why that wasn’t feasible. I thought maybe there just weren’t any part-time jobs available for someone his age in his area. I felt growing frustration, but ignored what my gut was telling me for a long time.

Over time, his messages focused more and more on complaints about how others treated him unfairly and “woe is me” tales of all the things that were going wrong for him, one after another.  I was the only person he had to confide in, who could understand, he said. His energy became more toxic so gradually, I didn’t consciously recognize it for a long time.  I just knew that it was beginning to wear on me emotionally, like trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.

I think what finally opened my eyes is that last Sunday I watched on YouTube a sermon by my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen, in which he talked about planting our “seeds” in good soil.  He cited a familiar parable from the Bible about how three different farmers sowed their seeds in rocky soil, weedy soil and good soil.  Those seeds planted in the rocky and weedy soil died out, while those planted in the good soil flourished and became a rich harvest.

Joel said the parable means we have to carefully CHOOSE the people we hang out with because they are the “soil” in our lives.  If we plant our own “seeds” – our special gifts and dreams that can blossom with the right nurturing – in a toxic environment filled with poor role models and those who do not support us, we are bound to have a meager harvest.

Later that day, I saw a Facebook post by Mr. Woe is Me with a big photo of his sad-eyed four-footed friend who, he said, clearly needed to go to the vet.  He said he was calculating how to get the money and whether cutting himself back to one meal a day would help. Soon, he began to get comments from several of his many Facebook friends offering to send a donation.  He replied, “Thank you, but I’ll be all right.”

I commented, “What if these kind offers are God’s HOW to help you get your dog taken care of?”  He replied “What if they aren’t?”  Then he immediately switched to private messaging, saying “I love you” and anxiously asking if I was mad at him or something was wrong.

I wrote back that he seemed to be acting like a “professional victim” by telling everyone about his dog’s plight and then refusing offers of help. I suspected some of his friends were planning to send him money anyway, despite his protestations, as I would have done in the past. He said that he hadn’t intended for his post to come across as a plea for money and immediately took it down. Then he messaged me again, saying, “Why are you doing this to me – making me feel like crap?”

In that instant, I knew it was time to permanently disengage from his toxic energy that was now on full display, so I wrote back, “I am done. Please don’t write me anymore.  I truly wish you and your dog the best.  I won’t read your posts or comment ever again. Goodbye.”

Afterward, I felt somewhat shaken at the unexpected abruptness of my recognition of and disengagement from his specific form of toxic energy (emotional manipulation masquerading as selflessness suffering). At the same time, I recognized that I instantly felt happier and lighter to be free of it.

Just before I blocked him, he sent me a long, vitriolic diatribe about everything he felt was wrong with me, including that I was trying to “control” him with my money.  The nicest thing he said was “You are NOT a godly woman.”  (I don’t remember every claiming to be one.)  His final salvo was this: “You will now answer to god for this.  I’m sure. I’m wealthy hear me roar.  I’m praying to god I never become you.  I’d really kill myself…If you don’t cause it tonight.”

Well, I am glad I climbed off that crazy train.  I am grateful that my God-given inner wisdom was right and that I instinctively followed it. Because I had blinded myself to the truth over a long period, I now realize how easy it is to do with the people in our own lives. And I see that someone’s toxic energy involves more than just chronic complaining, negativity, damaging gossip or constantly undermining your self-worth. Toxic energy comes in many forms and some of them are well-disguised as something positive.

OK, so Rule Number One in protecting yourself from toxic energy is to always remember Maya Angelou’s wonderful quote, “People will show you who they are and you’d best believe them.” Give everyone a chance to prove themselves to you, but as soon as your intuition starts to notice red flags about someone, don’t ignore those warning signs!

Rule Number Two: Don’t hang out with people whose energy provides “poor soil” for your gifts, character, habits and dreams.  If you hang out with them long enough, your own Seeds of Greatness will die and you will become like them.  Instead, seek out friends and mentors who will support you, nurture you and inspire you – people you want to emulate. Joel Osteen recommends disengaging from the poor soil gradually by just spending less and less time with them over a period of time.  If they notice, you can just say that you are busy with lots of good stuff and you don’t have as much time to hang out as you used to.

NEXT WEEK: Unfortunately, with some people who exude toxic energy, you do not have the option to just walk away. They are your boss, Team member, close relative — maybe even your spouse (or the co-parent of your children). Next time, we will discuss how to deal with others’ toxic energy when you can’t leave. Stay tuned!

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

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

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

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like receiving a gift and not opening it.” – William Arthur Ward

Welcome back!  I have missed you.  I missed writing the blog, but it was good to have a bit of time to myself, after a very busy summer. Over the past two weeks, while my coaching load was considerably lighter, with many of my networking marketing clients away at their annual convention in New Orleans, I got a chance to enjoy some good food, fun times and friendship with my dear friends Lisa and Peggy and of course, with my wonderful husband Rick.

The blog re-post before my hiatus (Back to School—Blog 314) was a fan favorite about showing appreciation for the people in our lives who serve as our teachers, mentors, role models and encouragers.  If you missed it, I hope you will look it up in the blog archives on my website.

I wanted to pass along to you some of the wonderful stories my readers shared with me about what happened when they took action and put their gratitude for the supporters in their lives into words of thanks and appreciation:

  • One client told me that when she returned from the convention, she sent a message to each of her Team members who had attended, acknowledging them for some specific special gift they have that blesses the whole Team. One is tech savvy and teaches others how to rock social media, one builds up and encourages others, one shares her knowledge and know-how with everyone, etc. It meant a lot to each of them, I’m sure, to be seen, acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions.
  • Another said she makes a point of telling her kids each day how proud she is of them for what they accomplished and who they were being. She also makes one short phone call each day to a member of her Team and acknowledges them for their special qualities and/or accomplishments.
  • One of the participants in my Prosperity Summer Camp 2018 webinar sent me a follow up note telling me that when she and her family were on vacation, she made it a point to thank her husband for making dinner and telling him sincerely, “I am so grateful for you.” It surprised him, and his first embarrassed reaction was “What’s up with that?” And her puzzled children chimed in, “Yeah, what’s up with that?” When she told them that she was learning about the power of expressing gratitude from the course, they thought it was a great idea.  “Before you knew it, the kids were saying, ‘Dad, thank you for dinner and I’m so grateful.’ It became part of our vacation and it felt so good!”
  • One of my clients told me how she got a real surprise when she asked her ex-husband if he would be willing to forego attending his wife’s family reunion to stay with their special needs son so my client could attend her company’s convention in New Orleans. In the past, he has not always stepped up to do his share with helping their children, so she was amazed and delighted when he readily agreed. Then I asked her if she had FULLY expressed her gratitude to him for making that sacrifice.

She took it to heart and texted him a heart-felt thank you note:  “Hi, B, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and I’m so grateful to you that you are willing to forego your trip so you could help out with our son when I am in New Orleans.”

Her Ex’s response to her text surprised and delighted her: “You’re welcome. My wife and I both thought it was the right thing to do without hesitation….I am coming over this morning to watch the game with him.  Bringing donuts.  Do you want some?”

  • That same client is a grade school teacher and she says that noticing and complimenting her students always makes them visibly happy to be seen and appreciated. Because of that, she went out of her way to acknowledge a fellow participant at Weight Watchers. She knew the woman had been struggling for awhile to reach her goal weight. When she finally did, my client asked the whole group to applaud her achievement. Later, the woman posted on Facebook, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear that today.”

In the last post, I quoted my favorite positive-thought preacher, Joel Osteen, who frequently reminds us how our words can build others up and make all the difference in helping them succeed in life.  Here is another great passage from his daily inspirational note:

Be a People Builder by Joel Osteen

“God designed us to live in relationship with others.  He wants us to help each other grow.  None of us will reach our highest potential by ourselves.  We need people in our lives to encourage us, and we need to encourage the people in our lives and help them reach their potential.  The word ‘encourage’ means to ‘urge forward.’  Many times, you can see things in other people that they don’t see in themselves.  You can see their strengths and talents.  You can see that God has a special plan for them, even though they may be going through a difficult time.  Don’t assume that people see what you see in them.

“Take a moment and encourage them, either with a kind word or simple note.  There might be a special gift you can give them that will remind them of their goal or dream.  In whatever way you can, urge the people in your life to keep moving forward.  If you’ll be a people builder and help others fulfill their dreams, God will fulfill your dreams, and you’ll live in blessing all the days of your life.” 

He’s absolutely right.  None of us got where we are alone.  We all had one or more special parents, friends, teachers, coaches, mentors or role models who took the time to encourage us and build up our belief in ourselves and our ability to reach our dreams.  If you pay it forward by doing the same for someone else, you will have the incomparable satisfaction of knowing that you made the same kind of impact on another life.

And who knows?  You just might get a surprise “Thank you” note one of these days, like I did recently.  One of my past clients sent me a greeting card out of the blue.  The printed part said, “I am so thankful for your mentorship.”  Then she added by hand, “You were the first to come to my mind….Thank you for what you taught me.  You are truly amazing.  You are an Everyday Mentor, and that’s something to be grateful for.”

I can tell you that, even though I have I have been a Personal Success Coach for 14 years this month and had the privilege of helping over 700 individuals reach their Big Goals, their acknowledgment never gets old!

And I have to admit that it gave me goose bumps because it arrived the very next day after my last blog was published, so it had to have already been on its way to me before I ever mentioned the idea of sending a message of gratitude to someone who has been a teacher, mentor or role model for you!  If that isn’t an example of listening to Divine Direction, I don’t know what is!

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

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

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