June 16, 2019

 Happy Father’s Day in the USA!  I gratefully acknowledge everyone who is a father or who acts as a role model/mentor for someone else. The influence of a strong, positive role model on a young child is one of life’s most precious gifts, and those heroes don’t always get the credit they deserve for fulfilling this challenging role.

 I was originally planning to take this week off from writing the blog, to give me time to celebrate my upcoming birthday and prepare for this week’s training in the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar series. But since today is Father’s Day, I decided to re-post a tribute to fathers everywhere that I last published in 2016 and share with my many new readers the invaluable life lessons that my own wonderful father taught me.

(I dedicate this blog to my own Big Bro, who is the father of six wonderful men and women and grandfather to five amazing grandchildren – Much love from your Lil Sis!)

 June 19, 2016

 “Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got.  Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” – Maya Angelou

This quote from the late, great Maya Angelou perfectly describes the way my Dad lived his life.  Although his years on earth were far too short, he lived each of them with maximum gusto and I am quite sure he had no regrets when he died suddenly at age 57, right at the beginning of my senior year of high school.

My mother was my source of unconditional love, whatever minor discipline I needed, and the usual “always wear clean underwear for the ambulance” practical advice.

My father was my playmate, teacher, walking thesaurus/dictionary/encyclopedia, and my #1 Role Model.  I don’t remember him talking to me directly about rules to live by. Instead, he just lived his life on his own terms and I learned how I wanted to live mine by observing how he did it.

Here are the key Rules for Abundant Living that I got from observing the happiness and fulfillment my Dad derived from living by them himself:

  • Be happy – Other than the day President Kennedy was assassinated, when I saw him cry for the first time, my Dad was invariably optimistic, cheerful and humorous. He loved to laugh at and tell jokes (especially bad puns), watched all the 60s comedy TV shows with me, and could find the hidden humor or irony in any problem. From him, I decided that hanging out with happy, positive people is the only way to go!  While I got my inclination to worry from my mother, I got my sense of humor from my father.  Guess which trait has helped me more in life?
  • Be curious – My Dad was the most insatiable life-long learner I’ve ever known. He never passed by a used bookstore without buying something.  He left behind boxes of notebooks and reading materials on everything from Elizabethan poetry to paranormal science.  It’s too bad he didn’t live into the Internet Age because he would have spent hours Googling everything.  He taught me how great it could be to know a little bit about a lot of things (which led a high school English teacher to dub me a “Renaissance Woman”). Dad never pontificated about his own views, but sought to learn from others’ opinions. His attitude set me up for career success because coaching requires more listening than talking, being curious instead of judgmental, and having a wide variety of resources at my fingertips to support my clients’ needs.
  • Be creative – My Dad was one of the most creative problem-solvers I’ve ever known. He was an amateur inventor who came up with what he believed was a breakthrough system for teaching reading that was better than phonics. Unfortunately, he died before he got to finish it. My Dad taught me to stretch my imagination and ingenuity with his homemade inventions, like a teeter-totter I could play on all by myself, consisting of a long board balanced on an old oil drum and weighted on the other side with bricks that were equal to my weight. (This was in the days before “helicopter parenting” and Cal OSHA, you understand.)
  • Be of service – By Dad’s example, I learned that while life can be enjoyable when we meet our own needs, it can be truly fulfilling only when we help others meet their needs. He voluntarily gave up a lucrative professorship at the University of California to teach at a community college where he felt he could make a bigger difference teaching remedial English to working adults striving to improve their lives.

Dad took a personal interest in Mrs. Edwards, an elderly widow in his night school class who wanted to improve her English. One day he hitched a trailer to our station wagon and filled it with boxes of hand-me-down clothes and a used refrigerator. Then my parents, Mrs. Edwards and I drove from Orange County to Tecate, Mexico to give her extended family these precious gifts.  I was just eight, but I still remember what the dirt-floored, one-room adobe shack smelled like, with all the flies buzzing about. I am certain those strangers never forgot my Dad’s generosity.

Looking back, our relationship reminds me a lot of the bond between Atticus Finch and his young daughter, Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Like Atticus, my Dad was older when I was born, so we didn’t do much physical play together; our father-daughter bond was more spiritual and mental. And luckily for me, like Atticus, my father demonstrated by his daily life exactly how to be self-confident and stand up for one’s principles, while remaining respectful of the different abilities, lifestyles and opinions of others.

In short, Prof. Harbison Parker was my #1 Role Model for how to “love life, engage in it and give it all you’ve got.” And I feel blessed to be his daughter.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  It’s my birthday!  A Cup of Caroll will return with a new blog on Sunday June 30.

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 http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

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

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

 

 

May 19, 2019

Hard to believe, but Memorial Day is just one week away and Summer is almost here! I am very busy preparing for the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar, so I am re-publishing a lightly-edited fan favorite post from two years ago that is as relevant today as it was then. I hope it inspires you to get moving on your Action Plans so that you can have the success you deserve!

April 9, 2017

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

What critical tasks 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, it’s writing this blog.  I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d rather doing on a beautiful Spring day besides sitting in front of my computer, trying to come up with words that might 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 that you sit on the couch, safe and comfy, not doing 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 keeping “busy” 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 tasks you DON’T want to do: Make the calls, go to the gym, update your resume and go for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your friend and apologize for the fight you had? What would your life would look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh 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?  You hate being challenged and inspired?  You hate developing yourself as a person?  You hate learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? You hate stretching your belief about what is possible for you?

I was tempted to shoot back, “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 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 it 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.” THAT is what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else, of course.  Most of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do that will bring us what we say WE want.

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 preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the beginning of her business, she wrote down her WHY for pursuing it in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things a successful business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she DIDN’T succeed.

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

Mel Robbins has her own simple, powerful method to counteract the Ego’s preference for safe inertia. She calls it “The 5 Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short presentation about this.

I share the link to her TEDx talk with you below and urge you to spend 20 important 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 stall longer than five seconds, like a skilled legal litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out your task.  Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that compelling little voice inside your head instead of getting into 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 TEDx talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

PLEASE NOTE: Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off for Memorial Day Weekend.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, June 2.

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  to schedule their session.   

April 28, 2019

“What seems to be an obstacle can often be an opportunity to go in a better and more rewarding direction.  We only need to stop complaining and start looking at things with fresh eyes.  At the very worst, problems require us to become smarter, more resourceful and more determined.” – From the book How Successful People Think

Indomitable: (adj.) “Brave, determined, and impossible to defeat or frighten.”

A number of my coaching clients recently have faced some very big challenges in their lives: the death of a parent or close loved one, depression, anxiety, cancer, a parent’s stroke, serious financial hardship, a doubled work load when a colleague quit, sexual harassment, an ex-spouse trying to make their life a living hell, debilitating health challenges, an emotionally devastating court case, miscarriage, the serious illness or death of a beloved pet, and trying to find an affordable place to live closer to their work.

And yet, all of them have remained steadfast in their commitment to their personal Big Goals. How do they do it?  How do they remain strong and continue to carry on in the face of such daunting obstacles?

First and foremost, all of them have a strong faith. Whether they call it God, the Universe, Higher Power, etc. – they all believe that a force for good that is bigger than themselves wants to help them triumph.  Faith has sustained me in some of the darkest times when I could not see a light at the end of what seemed to be an endless tunnel.  I went to bed praying for strength and guidance and got up the next day and exactly what I needed was always there for me….One step at a time.

Second, they have a friend or family or support group they can lean on. It is easy to feel alone and isolated, believing you are the only one going through hell, especially when you spend time on social media reading about your peers, who seem to all be doing fine.  But you have to be willing to open up with someone you trust and ask for support.  The human Ego resists being vulnerable because it thinks showing weakness will get you killed. In truth, pretending to be OK when you are not will NOT help you overcome a challenge…. Asking for support from those you can trust WILL.

Third, they take it one day at a time.  The journey to overcoming all obstacles and reaching a Big Goal often lasts longer than you think it should, but you will eventually get there if you don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit.

My friend and I are on a mutual-support journey together right now to losing weight and getting fit.  It’s not easy, believe me.  For me, it’s a matter of wanting to look good and have more energy. The stakes are even higher for my friend’s health and physical comfort. We each broke our weight goal down into specific ACTIVITIES we promised to do each day, and we keep track of them and report in to each other each morning about what we did and didn’t do.  Having a daily accountability partner is one of the best forms of support you can use to help you persevere when the going gets tough.

When the scale doesn’t seem to budge after a long time of staying on track, we remind each other not to fixate on the outcome, but to focus on what we can control – our activities.  We know it is inevitable that doing the right activities MUST produce a result.  The timing isn’t in our control, but having the right mindset and doing what we said we would do IS.

Finally, you must expect the BEST.  When you are in the pit and you can’t see the way out, you can turn away from focusing on your problem and re-focus on your Big Goal. Spend time each day closing your eyes and VISUALIZING in vivid detail what life will be like when you reach it.  Remain unattached to the HOW, the WHO and the WHEN. Allow God/The Universe to do the planning and provide the guidance you need in the form of brainstorms, new insights, sudden memories, resources and people you encounter at just the right moment.  Your job is to BELIEVE and EXPECT it will happen, even when you have no idea HOW.

My husband and I suffered a huge financial setback in the Great Recession. We lost our clients, our incomes, two homes and a car.  We had to file bankruptcy and focus on just keeping a roof over our family’s heads and simply getting from one end of the month to the other. My daily focus for five solid years was putting one foot in front of the other, talking it out with friends when I felt down, and asking for specific help when I needed it. With a lot of faith and support, we survived the toughest time either of us had ever faced.  There were days I wanted to give up, but that notion never lasted.  I had too much indomitable spirit to allow any outer circumstances to defeat me.  With the support of friends and our unshakable faith that God would direct our steps, little by little, we found our footing.

After five years of steadily-growing inner strength, faith and hanging on, suddenly, everything turned around for us out of the blue.  Rick’s real estate business rebounded into one of the best years of his long career. At the same time, a single referral from a coaching colleague led me to several clients in same network marketing company, which began a string of hundreds of referrals and the greatest financial abundance I have known in my 15 years as a Personal Success Coach.

If you have an indomitable mindset, faith that your Higher Power will actively assist you, a willingness to be vulnerable and ask others for help, and the integrity to do everything you know how to do right now, I promise you, no matter how big the obstacles you face, you WILL overcome them and reach your biggest dreams.

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 yourself, 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.  (Feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

April 14, 2019

“Change is unavoidable.  Change sometimes feels uncomfortable, at least at first.  Change is often messy.  Change takes time, patience and commitment.  Change requires planning, perspective and an investment of time and energy.  Change opens the door to valuable new possibilities, discoveries and adventures.” – From the book Getting Unstuck: 10 Simple Secrets to Embracing Change and Celebrating Your Life.

From time to time, I like to share the advice and wisdom of other coaches and Master Manifesters with my readers.  One is my former personal trainer, Rose Zahn, who owns the Healthy Habits workout studio in Sacramento, California, where I lived in the 1990’s. Rose helped me get into great shape, both physically, mentally and spiritually. In a recent blog, she shared the unvarnished truth about the mindset you must adopt in order to reach ANY Big Goal:

“We are living in a have-it-all, have-it-now world. Access to anything you desire is literally a key stroke away.

There’s one-click ordering. There’s food delivery in 30 minutes or less. There’s credit available with the swipe of a card.

More so than any time in history, we have forgotten the art of sacrifice.

Can you blame us? Mainstream marketing tells us hundreds of times each day that we should have it all, and that we should have it right now.

The problem with this have-it-all-right-now mindset is that real accomplishments require sacrifice and delayed gratification. And these real accomplishments are where true satisfaction is found.

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time that you felt proud of something that you’ve done? I doubt that it was for the shoe purchase that you just one-click ordered online 🙂 More likely it was for a big project that you tackled at work, or a meal that you cooked for your family, or an 5K (or marathon!) that you worked hard for and finished.

Those proud moments have one thing in common: they all required sacrifice and delayed gratification. You gave up your time, you invested your attention and efforts, you put in the miles and the effort for a considerable period of time…

And then you achieved your goal and experienced that sweet satisfaction.

Learning how to sacrifice and delay gratification, rather than getting something right now, is a skill set. This skill set can grow as you use it more often. Just like a muscle that becomes stronger under resistance, your ability to sacrifice your immediate needs in favor of a larger accomplishment will improve the more you use it.

Sacrifice and delayed gratification are the name of the game when it comes to getting into great shape. Get comfortable with sacrifice and you’ll achieve any goal.

I know that’s not what any of us want to hear. We’d prefer the one-click-to-dream-body button over months of a controlled diet plan and challenging workouts. But by embracing and enhancing your ability to sacrifice you’ll gain traction on all of your big life goals, including getting that dream body.

I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. Yes, it’s going to require that you put in hard work and sacrifice, and I’ll be there with you every step of the way. Call or email me today to get started.”

Rose Zahn www.healthyhabitsstudio.com

I am working on my own personal fitness goal right now, and I can admit that delaying the gratification of yummy foods and adult beverages is the hardest part for me.  But I know that it will be SO worth it when I am looking good in my swimsuit this summer!  And more importantly, I will feel great about myself because I know that I worked for it and proved to myself that I had the willpower to stick to it until I reached my Big Goal.

I hope you are working on your own Big Goal right now, and that you will “embrace and enhance your ability to sacrifice” so you can have the unparalleled satisfaction of achieving it, however long it takes.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off for Easter Sunday.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, April 28

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 yourself, 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.  (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

  

February 3, 2019

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  I am spending the day relaxing and enjoying the game (and commercials) with loved ones, just as you probably are. So here is a lightly-edited blog from four years ago that is still a Fan Favorite. Enjoy!

“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it.  I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles Kettering 

I believe that any Big Goal is possible to achieve, no matter what anyone else says or how improbably short the time frame may seem.  However, if you want to harness the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to help you reach your goals with greater speed and ease, you must learn to distinguish empowering “Possibility Thinking” from mere “Pie in the Sky” wishful daydreaming.

Are Your Beliefs Limiting You?

A vital aspect of Personal Success Coaching is helping my clients to recognize when they are holding unconscious Limiting Beliefs about their Big Goal. A Limiting Belief is a limitation we unconsciously place on what we think is possible to achieve.  We must remember that our beliefs are not the “Truth,” but simply our interpretation of the facts, based on our own past experience or someone else’s. A Limiting Belief holds you back from pursuing a Big Goal, while an Empowering Belief encourages you to go after it with gusto.

Working daily with the Law of Attraction over the past 14 + years to manifest my own Big Goals and help over 750 clients manifest theirs, I have come to believe that virtually all Big Goals are possible to achieve, with one important caveat: You must be willing to do three things in order to put the Law of Attraction into action to make the seemingly “impossible” possible.  Unless you are willing to follow these three “Keys to Success, you are simply fantasizing that your Big Goal is going to magically drop from the heavens into your lap. Believe me, it won’t.

Don’t Buy Others’ Limiting Beliefs about Your Goal

One of my past clients demonstrated in textbook fashion how following these three Keys to Success can help you manifest any Big Goal in record time.  “Dorothy” was a young professional with a high-paying day job who dreamed of turning her part-time business into a full-time career.  Her compelling “Why” for pursuing this Big Goal was a strong desire to spend more time with her new husband than her intense day job allowed, while still maintaining a good income.

After analyzing her direct sales company’s pay plan, she determined that reaching the Director Level would enable her to quit her day job and start living the life she dreamed of.  When we began coaching, she had just 30 days left to reach Director by the fastest, easiest route. After that, the requirements would be much tougher, so she decided to go for it that month with everything she had.

Her well-meaning upline Leaders told her that “statistically” she would have to talk to 100 people about the products and/or the business opportunity in order to reach her Big Goal.  She knew she could not realistically expect to do her 50-60 hour a week job AND talk to 100 prospects in 30 days.

So, I asked her to challenge the Limiting Belief that she absolutely MUST talk to 100 people in order to get the business partners and product sales volume required to reach Director. I reminded her that this statistic was simply an “average” of what it had taken other consultants to reach this goal.  I asked her whether she thought it was possible for one individual to do better than “average” and she said, “Yes.”  Then if it is possible, did she believe that she could actually do it?  “Of course!” she replied.  Supported by her new Empowering Belief that she was capable of producing results that were far above “average,” she set out to fulfill each of the three Keys to Success for reaching a Big Goal.

The Three Keys to Success in Manifesting

Success Key #1:  Use ALL available tools to their full advantage. We created her personalized Daily Success Script ™ and she began repeating it aloud twice a day for about 10 minutes each.  She understood that the purpose of the Success Script was to build her belief that she could do it, give her the right energy to attract the right prospects to her, and open her subconscious mind to come up with inspired new shortcuts to lead her to her goal.  She did her Success Script twice each day like clockwork, never making an excuse that she had forgotten or fallen asleep or didn’t have it with her when she needed it. She recognized that success requires Integrity and she kept her word that she would use every tool I provided to help her reach her Big Goal.

Success Key #2: Be Strategic.  You do not need to know HOW you are going to reach your Big Goal before you can begin to pursue it.  You simply must take EVERY Action Step that you know about now, and trust that more pinpointed guidance will be provided as you move forward.  Being in ACTION demonstrates to God/The Universe and your own subconscious mind that you really ARE committed to manifesting your Big Goal. That commitment energy attracts the ideal resources, people and serendipitous opportunities that will guide you to it.

I asked Dorothy which people on her prospect list she thought had the best chance of saying “Yes” quickly.  She said, “The ones I’ve already talked to at least once. The time wasn’t right for them before, but it might be NOW.” She decided to call them again and simply ask, “Is NOW a good time for you to try the products risk-free and/or to join me in the business?”

This strategy worked very well. When she told her friends about her Big Goal, quite a few were willing to help her by placing an order right then.  A few even decided to finally  jump into the business.  She got through her “Follow Up” list much faster than she would have making initial calls and having to explain the products or the business. She strategically went after the “low hanging fruit” and it paid off.

Success Key #3: Use your available time wisely.  Especially when pursuing a goal with a tight time frame, it’s critical to get into action quickly and work smart throughout.  Dorothy didn’t have a lot of hours available, so she made every minute count.  She talked to coworkers and made calls on her lunch hour, made more calls in the evenings, and asked several friends to host two or three events on the weekends and invite their friends to come. And when she did those presentations, she was amazed at the ABOVE-AVERAGE ratio of guests who approached her afterward to ask how they could get into the business.

Just before midnight on the last day of the month, Dorothy signed up her final business partner, placed her final order and was promoted to Director. When she ran her stats, she discovered that her personal success ratio for prospecting that month turned out to be much higher than either the company average or her own past experience.

At her company’s annual convention, Dorothy received a special award for reaching Director Level faster than anyone else in her entire region that year. Soon, she quit her day job and continues to enjoy building her business and spending lots of time with her husband.

So what approach will YOU take to pursue your own Big Goals — Pie or Possibility?

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

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

This 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.  

 

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.