Monday, August 31, 2009

Other People's Opinions (Read Time: 3 min.)

Terry Cole Whitaker wrote an amazing book called What You Think of Me is None of My Business. It's a very powerful point that must be considered in full.

What YOU think of ME is NONE of my business.

On the journey of extraordinary success, there are going to be LOTS of opinions. You're going to get unasked-for advice. You're going to receive both positive and negative feedback. You're even going to get negative feedback masquerading as "suggestions" (you know what I'm talking about).

At the end of the day, the extraordinarily successful know how to deal with these elements of the process.
There are 5 things you need to know when dealing with "other people's opinions":
#1- If the opinion is good, don't take it personally.
That person could be having a fabulous day and they're telling you how amazing you are is simply a result of how they are now, in this moment, choosing to view the world.
#2- If the opinion is bad, don't take it personally.
A person who tells you (either in a nice, subtle way or a brash, rude way) what you're doing isn't up to snuff is someone who's coming from a negative place. Maybe this person had a bad day. Maybe this person is having a bad decade. That's not your problem. Understand that whatever this person is saying is about them, not you.
#3- Take criticism with an open mind.
Even when people are totally wrong in their criticism, there's an opportunity to learn and grow that you will COMPLETELY MISS if you take what they're saying personally and use their words as ammunition to go into victim mode. When someone has taken the time to observe you enough to make a comment about you, this is YOUR opportunity to learn from it, whether that was their intention or not.
#4- Trust yourself.
If someone told you you were a purple walrus, would you believe them? Of course not! Why? Because you know you're a human being. You have to cultivate the same level of faith and trust in what you're doing as you already have in the fact that you're a human being. When you get to the place of knowing that you know that you know that what you are doing is right for you, people can talk. They can bicker, fight, fume; they can throw a tantrum if they want but YOUR mind hasn't changed. When you trust yourself, you do what's right for you always.
#5- Go by what people do and not what people say.
I have to quote Wallace D. Wattles on this point. In The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace D. Wattles says the following: "Do not boast or brag of your success, or talk about it unnecessarily; true faith is never boastful. Wherever you find a boastful person, you find one who is secretly doubtful and afraid." It's easy to get sucked into the hype of people who talk a really good game, who boast of their major successes, all the millions they're making, and what not but don't allow the boasting of others to make you feel like less than who you are. Remember that "Wherever you find a boastful person, you find one who is secretly doubtful and afraid." Just because someone tells you they have a superstar who has everything they could possibly want in life doesn't make it so. Go by what people do, not by what they say.
I spend a great deal of time talking to clients and teaching this exact point but it bares being repeated over and over again:
What 'they' think of YOU is NONE of your business.
Have you signed up for The Power of a Comeback?
Don't miss this amazing teleseminar on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stop, Retreat, Ask, & Say... (Read Time: 2 min.)

Ever have an "Oh no you didn't!" moment? You know what I mean. Someone says something that hits a sore spot in your psyche and, as harmless as it might have been coming out of his or her mouth, it's hit a key target spot within you that makes you want to run to defend and attack. It's called "taking things personally" and far too many of us take things personally ALL the time.

If you've taken things personally at any point in the last fourteen days, here's some good news:
You can end the "taking things personally" habit right now.


Here's a simple 4 step process you can use when you feel a defensive response building up in you:
1) Stop
2) Retreat to think (you can physically or mentally check out for a minute or two)
3) Ask and answer one question, "What's the gift in this?"
4) Say 10 times "I am willing to change" (out loud or quietly)

At this point, you can now return to the conversation or consider your options of response from a place of peace and objectivity. To do anything else is foolish. The words you speak have power. Talk too soon and you might say things you can't ever take back.

Remember the words of Maya Angelou:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Halves Do Not Make a Whole (Read Time: 3 min.)

There's a big difference between romance and love. Romance is exhilarating, mysterious, and exciting. It's the coming attractions of love but romance, in and of itself, is NOT love.

Love is who we are.

It's not limited to one specific person or a particular set of feelings. As we are, so love is. In this, who you love is who you CHOOSE to love. Where people get caught up is by confusing how romance makes you feel with who love asks you to be and they are night and day when you compare and contrast the two.

When two people get together, romance says "Here's my better half! Let us join together and become one!" Last time I checked, two halves don't always make a whole. When two broken people get together (believing the romance of two becoming one), they unite through their wounds but cannot heal completely in them.


Because brokenness cannot be healed by brokenness. Wholeness is the cure and if you find yourself in the arms of someone who's as broken as you are, unity is not possible until each of you reclaims the perfection of who you really are apart from anyone else.

Romance also longs for the fairy tale side of love. When things start to get dull, stale, boring or "hard", romance says "This isn't my Prince Charming. She's not the princess I thought she was" and, before you know it, lines like "I love you but I'm not IN love with you" start to come out.


That's a scapegoat way of saying "I'm really not that into you." Romance requires a blowtorch and an endless amount of wood to keep up with it and if there's no love in the mix, who's really going to invest the time to do it? No one...

Love (real love) that's unconditional takes a completely different take on relationships. Love says "I desire you but I don't require you. I see you, the real you and I love the adventure of who that is. That doesn't mean I'm always going to like you but you're worth the effort. I'm worth the effort. I'm putting on the bungee chords and I'm jumping in and so are you. This is going to be one big adventure and no matter what happens, even on the days when I don't like you, I promise to always see you, the real you."

Sounds poetic, doesn't it? Try the everyday work of really doing it and you'll find two things:
1) You have to really choose that person AND they have to choose you.
2) The choice is made daily so commitment is key.

In the long run, love will get you much farther than romance. In the short run, love never has to be devoid of romance.
How does this relate to extraordinary success?

People who choose and stay in relationships filled with unconditional love have more focus, direction and less tress (i.e. energy leaks) than those who don't. They're able to succeed farther faster because they are whole by themselves and complemented (not contradicted) by the person at their side. Do divorced people experience extraordinary success? Of course they do! But if you're divorced (like me), here's one BIG extraordinary success tip:

Choose your next partner wisely.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You are Not Your Parents (Read Time: 2 min.)

Our parents set a precedent of what our lives "should" look like. They are the first individuals we ever hear from the womb, the first we ever see out of it, and the first individuals we define our lives and dreams by. Given that, it's easy to play the victim and blame them for everything.

Blame doesn't work. Blame keeps you stuck in your problems. Blame makes our parents monsters capable of creating our lives in a way that we can't. Does that sound like power? It's not.

The key to dealing with how you were raised is not in pretending that your childhood was rosy and pink if it wasn't. The power of your childhood comes in looking at it and saying to yourself, "I was raised by people who did the best they could with what they had and they were raised by people who did the best they could with what they had and I don't have to live up to my parents expectations for me. I CAN go beyond them!"

That's the truth: You CAN go beyond your parents' expectations (limitations).

You can transform your life in ways they couldn't have ever imagined. In the same way that people who lived in the 1800s couldn't imagine a time when there would be cell phones, laptops and MP3 players, our parents are people who live in a certain space and time. They have their own limiting beliefs to deal with. Their limiting beliefs don't have to become yours UNLESS you choose it...

At the end of the day, you are not your parents. What they taught you can be unlearned. At any moment, you can clean out your mental house and let all that old programming go. Why do so many refuse to do it? Truth be told, they'd rather be stuck and play victim. Blame has its own rewards when you're doing it. By the time people realize that blame offers no long term benefits, years have passed.

Get the lesson now: you are NOT your parents.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It Is Your Movie! (Read Time: 2 min.)

"I know that you see the world with different eyes, with your eyes. You create an entire picture or movie in your mind, and in that picture you are the director, you are the producer, you are the main actor or actress. Everyone else is a secondary actor or actress. It is your movie. The way you see that movie is according to the agreements you have made with life. Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one's truth but yours. Then, if you get mad at me, I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get mad. And you get made because you are afraid, because you are dealing with fear. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will get mad at me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will hate me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will be jealous or sad. If you live without fear, if you love, there is no place for any of those emotions."

- Don Miguel Ruiz, "The Four Agreements"

Everyone is living in a life called "my movie." Our experiences are paved by our perception and our perception is based on what we choose to see. Not taking things personally is key to extraordinary success. Why?

What other people do is up to them, not you. What good is it to take another person's actions or words personally when you can't control or decide how they respond to ANYTHING? Your best effort at making them who you'd like them to be is absolutely fruitless and, in many cases, will result in you becoming the villain in their movie.

On other hand, if you love who you are and you accept people for who they are, you won't feel the compulsion to change them or expect them to be any different than who they are showing themselves to be. In fact, you'll embrace whatever they send your way because you'll be confident that, if it's negative, you'll deflect it and if it's positive, you'll accept it. The choice, in this way of living life, is always yours.

When we begin to believe that what other people say and do to us has power OVER us, we begin to live as supporting actors in THEIR movie and not the stars of our own show. You don't have to choose that. In fact, you never have to take on a role you didn't initially accept. All you have to do is love and embrace who you are and live fearlessly from that place. Your life is still YOUR movie. Claim it!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Do First, Speak Last (Read Time: 3 min.)

What drives you to success?

What drove much of my early success in life was a deep desire to prove people wrong. Growing up, I had many people who looked at my circumstances and didn't believe in me. They didn't believe that someone who was pregnant at 18 could finish college... So I graduated with a bachelor's degree by 20. They didn't believe that someone with a child could complete an MBA... So I had my MBA by 22. They thought it a joke that someone could be 22, a young mother and be a college professor... So I did that too. They didn't think that a woman who couldn't get pregnant for 4 years could ever have a second child... So I got pregnant and had two more miracle babies. I was driven by the deep desire to prove people wrong, especially those closest to me who were supposed to be supportive but, in many ways, were anything but.

It seems like a good enough reason, doesn't it? But the fuse of ambition, when striving to prove people wrong, is being lit by the wrong lighter... and that ember never lasts.

When your motivation is driven by the desire to make someone (or a group of people) eat their words, make no mistake about it: this is a revenge issue, not an achievement cause. While it may seem like serious motivation for a while, what will eventually happen is 2 things:
1) You'll get to the goal and
2) You'll still feel the emptiness and pain of people not believing in you.

To work so hard for so long at something because of what anyone else said is madness. Why? Because by doing so, you've made their opinion of you MORE important than your opinion of yourself.

I've learned, over time, to shift out of that mentality. While it rears its' ugly head every now and again, there are three things that get me very clear on why I do ALL that I do:

1) I don't tell people what I plan to do anymore; I SHOW them.
Napolean Hill has a great quote, "Tell the world what you plan to do but first show them." That's it! It's not about what you say; it's about what you do. Don't waste time trying to convince people of where you're going. They'll figure it out as soon as you actually get there and, trust me, the sweet victory is always in the arriving at that point because, once there, you don't have to say a word; the experience speaks volumes!

2) I remind myself that my life is about me.
No one is ever going to care about my successes or failures as much as me. In fact, no one could ever want more for me in my life than I want for myself so making my goals and objectives about anyone else BUT me is absolutely craziness. I make my goals about me and no one else. That keeps me in the creative mindframe and not the competitive one.

3) Victories happen daily. No one has to "see" my success for me to celebrate it. Victories happen daily. I AM WHO I SAY I AM. It's not other people's recognitions that make me a winner. I make me a winner.

Winning feels good; being a winner feels even better. If you leave the victories of your life up to someone else's approval (and your vindication), you'll forever be a hamster on the wheel called "approval-seeking." Get off the wheel forever.

Do first, speak last...

Friday, August 7, 2009

What Does Transformation Really Require? (Read Time: 2 min.)

I hear so many people theorize and theologize about transformation to the point where, for many, transformation comes across as some sort of ascension into the unreal. That sort of theorizing will not help you get through the daily grind of what it means to transform.

Transformation is growth and growth can be painful. There are moments on the journey to extraordinary success where you feel stunted, stuck, stagnant or some wierd combination of all three. What do you do when that happens?

Here are three things you CAN do when change feels like its too little, too much and, at the same time, too hard:

1) Remind yourself that nothing stays the same. Everything is a constant state of change. Seasons pass, people age, jobs change, lives change, everything changes. Whatever is going on right now will pass. Before you know it, it'll be a memory. Why linger on the negative of your change when the positive that's resulting is SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL?

2) Feel what you feel. Whether it's fear, sadness, pain, anger, frustration, or disappointment, allow yourself to feel it. Only by allowing it to be will you give those feelings the permission to move through you. The more you fight those feelings, the tighter you cling to them. The best way to let go is to allow them to move through you and, once out, refill your mind with thoughts of love.

3) Breathe. When we feel tension, distress, or worry, the first thing we stop doing is breathing. Breath is the key to life; it's at the heart of peace. When you're in a worry episode or when you feel like you're not as far along as you'd like to be, stop and breathe. Take 12 deep breaths and, with each exhalation, let it all go...

There are many roads to extraordinary success. Rather than talking about it, I want you to BE about it. Do the daily work. It WILL pay off:)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Full Time Love Affair (Read Time: 3 min.)

You're having an affair.

Maybe you call it something different because it feels, looks and seems different. Perhaps you rationalize your indulgence in it because, to you, "It is what it is" but make no mistake. You are involveed in a full blow, 24/7, 365 day a year love affair and the object of your affection is in your arms even now: your dream.

The journey of extraordinary success is a full time love affair with the vision of the life you are now creating. All the hours of work, months of planning, years of executing, all of it has been dedicated to the fulfillment of your dreams.

At times, it has asked for all of you and you've willingly said yes. At every turn of the road, when you had the option to let go, you hung on for dear life. You've done all you can, been all you can be and you're still doing it now. You are filled with the ecstasy of pursuing your heart's desire and here are three things, in the midst of passionate pursuit, you must remember:

1) Put in the effort necessary to secure the results you seek without complaining about it.
2) Rome wasn't built in a day; your secret weapon is patience.
3) No dream will require you to jeopardize the life you have to get the life you want. If this dream is costing you that, find a new one.