Your LinkedIn Profile is a way to get your “resume” in front of your superiors and peers, so that they can see what you’re capable of, and what experience you have.
Part of being an effective leader is managing meetings well to ensure your team’s time is used wisely and that meetings have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Take a proactive role in understanding what is expected of you by your new boss, who will likely have different expectations, views, and priorities than your previous boss.
Most of us spend a lot of time and energy avoiding things we fear, but fear actually makes life fun and interesting. And if you only do what’s easy or familiar, you’ll miss out on a lot.
This last year I’ve been on a quest to understand, overcome, and embrace my fear. I believe that if I find greater command over my own fear I will be a better coach and better at running my business and life.
On our trip to Thailand, at Tiger Kingdom, I got the chance to face some real fear: getting into a cage with five baby tigers. Petting tigers is definitely out of my comfort zone! My close friends know that up until 3 years ago, I would run screaming from a barking Chihuahua.
It was a challenge to live by my rule: “Don’t just do what’s easy, do what’s interesting in life,” but I was determined.
I gulped when they warned, “don’t turn your back on the tigers,” “don’t forget they have sharp teeth and claws” and “don’t pet their head.” I didn’t need to be reminded about the teeth and claws and I kept wondering how I was going to avoid turning my back on five tigers at once.
In the cage, I was keenly aware of the tigers’ power and speed. Their deep throated growling made my hair stand on end. I could tell they weren’t looking at me as prey, but as I edged forward my anxiety intensified. “Face your fear, reach for what life has to offer, embrace the experience,” I chanted to myself.
I forced my hand out to pet the tiger’s belly. It’s black and auburn fur was silky soft. It’s breathing fast, as it cooled itself in the humidity. “This isn’t so hard” I thought. But then it’s tail swatted the air and I nearly jumped into the air. Luckily I caught myself and remembered not to startle the tigers.
I calmed my breathing. It was thrilling to be near the tiger’s majestic, powerful, energy and to see the absolute beauty of these animals. I felt vibrantly alive and watched them play with each other with great fascination.
I can attest that the fear intensified this experience as I was hyperaware. And I’m so glad I overcame it!
Whether we know it or not, we often let fear rob us of exciting experiences (we distract ourselves, make excuses, and avoid opportunities). It could be small things like going to a party or concert, or trying a new recipe or restaurant. Or it could be big things like interviewing for a new job, starting a new business, taking a trip to an exotic land. We may tell ourselves we’re too tired or busy or that it’s too risky, but really we’re letting fear keep us from the thrill of petting tigers.
Here’s my New Year’s challenge for you:
- Set three stretch goals
- Do three fun things you’ve never done before
Remember, there’s nothing like a coach to get you thinking outside the box and moving out of your comfort zone. I’m here to help!
My mission in life is to inspire others to be happier and take risks to get what they want in life. I am telling you my story to show that there are possibilities for how to live your life in ways you may not have thought of before.
There are three reasons that I become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur 15 years ago:
1. I was in a serious car accident and lived with chronic pain.
2. I wanted to follow my passion, help people, and make a difference.
3. I wanted to live: “An extraordinary life!”
For the first three years after the accident, I was in agony every day. Luckily, a few years after the accident my back got a little better, so my husband and I decided to do what we called “reverse retirement.”
There were a few things that pushed us forward into this risky endeavor: we knew that in my later years I would become more limited in what I could do physically (when arthritis set into the joints that were injured in the car accident), we wanted to see the world, and I had always said I wanted to live an extraordinary life. I also think the fact that I had faced death pushed both of us to take more risks to get what we wanted in life.
So we quit our jobs and became Business Consultants. For five years we traveled five months a year and worked 7 months a year. We had a wonderful time on two to three month trips to: Slovakia, Paris, China, Australia & New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam & Laos, The Netherlands, Greece & Turkey, to name a few.
We slept in beach huts, taught English in China, floated down the Mekong, climbed a glacier, swam with sting rays and sharks, and kayaked over a city under the sea (it had been banished underwater by an earthquake). And, we made friends all over the world.
A strange and wonderful phenomenon occurred during this time: We made more money than we had made while we were working full time.
From then on I knew I wanted to inspire others to stop living a 9 to 5, 2-weeks of vacation-a-year existence. I wanted to let people know that you can break out of the box and live a richer life.
Being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur has let me create an extraordinary life and follow my passion, and it has given me the flexibility to deal with my chronic pain.
Because I don’t have to report into an office, I don’t drive to work every day (which hurts my back) and I work at home most of the time (which allows me to lay down or rest when I need to).
It hasn’t been easy being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur. I may have worked more hours than I would have had I stayed in my Corporate job. I’ve worked hard on learning to sell and market myself. And the amount of money I have coming in, definitely ebbs and flows. But I love my path and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I hope my story inspires you to break out of the box, even in a small way.
Sometimes we think a situation is unchangeable because we are trapped by our assumptions.
I have a client who was stuck in a belief: “I have to tolerate this job that is overwhelming because the other jobs out there require a degree and I don’t have one.”
I often work with clients to dispute their assumptions so that they can take action to change their lives. In this case I used a three step process to help her identify the assumption and dispute it.
Make it personal:
How do you define a good job?
It pays $80,000
It is near my house
It is 45 hours per week
It is a manager position
Make it specific:
What are specific jobs with those characteristics?
We came up with an action item for the client to work on.
She looked online for jobs that fit her requirements
Dispute the assumption:
Did every job listed in the paper require a degree?
Is it possible that even some of the jobs that listed a degree as a requirement might accept someone with experience instead of a degree?
The answer was: “Yes.”
After we disputed the assumption that was holding her back, she was able to move forward and find a great job in a very short time, for even more money!!!!
Suddenly a situation that seemed unchangeable, was changeable.
As you know, I often work with my clients to help them break through the fear that holds them back in life. You also know that I’ve been on a quest to understand my own fear, so that I can better support my clients.
Early in 2008, on a trip to Costa Rica, I thought a Zip Line Canopy Tour would be a great place for me to explore my fear.
Boy was I right!
Not only did I grow up with an intense fear of barking Chihuahuas, but I also grew up with an intense fear of heights. Maybe it stems from the time when my best friend Brenda taunted me with, “you’re a big chicken!” until I jumped off the jungle gym and landed face-first on a rock. Or the time I jumped off a kindergarten model of a spaceship and sprained my ankle so bad that it swelled up to three times its normal size.
It doesn’t really matter where the fear started. What matters is how it sometimes stands in the way of my experiencing joy and accomplishing what I want to accomplish.
Years ago I was standing on the Eiffel Tower, only able to keep my back plastered to the mesh wall, struggling to wrench myself to the edge, and straining to see the amazing view of the buildings, gardens, and boulevards of Paris. I finally forced myself to move to the edge for a few moments, but my ability to feel the full joy of the moment was blocked by the fear coursing through my veins.
So strapping myself to a Zip Line in Costa Rica to fly through the air, 30 feet above the jungle was a bit of a challenge. But I’m determined not to let fear stand in my way.
It was higher than I thought it would be, and once I got up there I clung to the tree supporting the platform. I didn’t want to move. I literally thought, “I could just live here forever clinging to this tree. That way I won’t risk falling to the ground. But the nights would be freezing and I’d miss my husband.”
Once again, my darn life motto kicked in, “Don’t just do what’s easy, do what’s interesting.”
So I jumped off the platform and soared high above the forest canopy, with my brain screaming, “Why did you leave that perfectly good platform!!! Is the cable going to hold? Am I going to collide with that tree?”
Then I hit the platform, the guide steadied me, and I wrapped myself around the platform tree again. My brain raced, “Wow, it’s a long way down there.” My hands were shaking and my mouth was dry.
“OK, I didn’t do a great job of managing my fear that time. So let’s try again. Remember, accept the fear, be in the moment, focus on your senses. Feel the wind on your face, and see the beautiful trees.”
Then it was my turn to jump again.
This time I did better. I thought “hey, I’m flying through the jungle, it’s a little scary, but it’s also fun! I feel free and alive. Who’d have thought! Fear is fun!”
Fear is fun. What a radical concept! I learned that day in Costa Rica that no matter how big or small your fear is, these strategies help:
- Remember, Fear is fun!
- Practice makes facing fear easier.
- Accept the fear, don’t fight it.
- Be in the moment.
- Use your senses to focus outside yourself.
- The reward is almost always worth facing your fear.
So go out there and face your fear and get what you want!
Fear can stop you from making a call, requesting help, applying for a job, trying something new, or letting someone know how you feel. But it doesn’t have to.
A big part of how we support our Coaching clients is by helping them break through the fears that keep them from taking action. Often, just by acknowledging what type of fear is getting in the way, the client can move forward.
- Afraid of rejection
- Afraid of being perceived as not a nice or likable person
- Afraid of finding out you’re not worth what you thought you were worth
Let me refute these fears for you:
Rejection: If they say “no” to your price, you’re no worse off than you were before and you know you didn’t leave any money on the table.
Likeability: In business, wouldn’t you rather be respected than be liked? People don’t respect you as much if they pay you less for your product or service.
In the Current Market, You’re Not Worth What You Thought: At least now you know and you can look at ways to increase your worth in the market place.
The next step is to embrace your worth:
- List your positive characteristics that support the great service or products you provide.
- Focus on the characteristics that make you different from your competition.
- List your accomplishments.
- List your contributions to your customers or the company you work for.
- List the benefit your customers or your company receive from you.
- Arm yourself with data, by researching the price the market will bear.
The next step is to believe the data you’ve collected and own your worth. Review all the data until you truly embrace it and share it with colleagues and friends.
You can use affirmations if needed to enhance this shift to new, more positive thought patterns:
- I will ask for what I’m worth.
- I make a great contribution to my customers/organization.
- I am worth ___ because I ____.
Next, if you have your own business, share the information with your customers in your marketing materials. If you are employed, present the data to your boss as a backup for your salary increase request.
Then it’s time to ask for what you’re worth, look them in the eye, stay silent, and let the buyer/employer speak first.
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