Earlier this week, I blogged about the power of our perception.
We tend to be really hard on ourselves. But, if we take a moment to step back, we can see all of the progress we have made and the things we have accomplished where we may have only previously highlighted the failures.
The problem is that we have a tendency to listen to our inner critic entirely too much.
You know, that voice in your head that's always telling you what you *should* have done, said, worn, eaten... Or, how you're not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, tough enough (the list goes on and on)...
But, the good news is that your inner critic doesn't have to be your enemy!
In fact, in this brief, 6-minute video, I use Jack Canfield's success principle to show you how to transform your inner critic into your inner coach.
I hope you'll give this exercise a try!
Here's To OUR Success,
Every weekday morning, my kids and I wake up, get dressed, and walk a half-mile to their school. It’s a routine that makes me feel an incredible sense of gratitude.
The kids and I talk about the amazing day ahead. We observe different things like animals, flowers, and the sun rising, and then we get to the end of our quiet neighborhood.
The same crosswalk assistant stands at that corner every day. The individual’s in these positions are volunteers and they really love kids.
This particular man is very kind, always has a smile on his face, and we chat for a few minutes each day. Every once in a while, we talk about the past because he loves hearing my stories of New Orleans, while I love hearing his stories of Chicago. I like talking to him because I always feel like he has a deep sense of intuition and empathy.
Today, as my kids crossed their path to school, he turned to me and said, “I love seeing you every morning because you have a very natural state of joy that surrounds you. When I see your kids and you, and I see hundreds of family’s each day, I sense a true feeling of completion.”
It was such a kind observation from a near-stranger.
But, as I walked away, my mind started racing.
It was an ironic word to choose.
I don’t do New Years resolutions. I do “word of the year.” If you are not familiar with this practice, it’s essentially one word that you choose to guide your decisions and actions for the year.
For 2017, my word is “completion.”
I have an unfortunate tendency to get 90% of a project complete. From work to new program ideas, from crafts to laundry, I get right up to the point of completion (success) and then walk away and start something new.
It’s a TERRIBLE trait and this year I vowed to end it.
So imagine when a near-stranger casually observed a different aspect of my life (family) and complimented the level of completion he sensed there.
In reality, this is not very unusual.
Most of us are very hard on ourselves. Some of us, incredibly so.
We can highlight all the ways that we fell short, but are unlikely to point out all of the positive things we accomplished along the way.
The fact is there’s a balance in life. A yin & a yang to everything. The challenge is for you to find it.
In every success, there is something you can still improve upon further. In every failure, there is some positive step of progress made.
As you may know, I am a runner. I have many playlists for my runs. One of them includes Dierks Bientley’s song “Every Mile A Memory.” In it, he sings:
“Funny how no matter where I run, around every bend I only see just how far I haven’t come”
How many of us can say the same in our lives??
I know I can.
This past August, I reached out to a life coach to help me deal with the end of my relationship. Ultimately, she ended up being the one who helped empower me to work through my fear of success. (After all, allowing ourselves to remain stuck in toxic relationships is really just another way of sabotaging ourselves from being truly successful.)
After she listened to me “dive deep” and rattle off a list of all of my failures, the phone line fell silent for a bit.
Finally, she said, “I don’t know, Ali. All I heard was a long list of huge victories and successes.”
This experience was an eye-opening one.
Today, I challenge you to question yourself when your inner critic starts telling you how you fell short, what you messed up, where you need to improve, what you should have done better and differently.
Instead, look at all of the progress that you made in that area of your life and feel a sense of pride in yourself. I guarantee you that you will discover you have come a long way!
Here's To OUR Success,
Right before going to bed last night, I sent a text message to a close friend and let her know that I was thinking of not attending an event I had committed to this upcoming weekend.
I woke up to a string of texts.
"No, you have to!"
"I told everyone you are coming."
"You have to be there. You're local royalty now!"
That last line.
I thought to myself, "I must still be dreaming."
Me? "Local royalty" No.
But, it's the third time I have heard these words attached to my name in the past two weeks.
Is it because of my love of my tiara?? Just kidding. Kinda ;)
So how would you feel in this situation?
I think it's fair to say that there's a sliding scale of incredibly excited to incredibly terrified.
Here is something you would't know about me if you haven't followed my Facebook videos -- I am a social introvert.
And, here is something that only my inner circle knows.... I had to work with coaches from a variety of backgrounds due to a major fear that held me back in my life and in my business BIG TIME! In some ways, it was related to my status as a social introvert.
These days, I spend a lot of time working with my 1-on-1 clients showing them that lots of people are afraid of failure. We all know that. But, there's a much bigger fear that many people don't realize they even have or how large of an impact it is having on their life -- the fear of SUCCESS.
A lot of times you can "hide" your failures. Success is "out there."
Success, notoriety, positive impact -- these are external. They can be very visible.
The words played again in my mind. "You're local royalty now."
A social introvert with a deep-seated fear of success's worst nightmare.
I panicked a bit. I felt my heart start to race. Could I plan an impromptu trip and go out of town this weekend??
But, then I remembered all of the work I have done with my coaches. The training I did under Chalene Johnson in her Courageous Confidence Club (she's also a social introvert!).
I thought about how hard I have worked to get to where I am now. And, how one of my biggest goals in 2017 is having a big, positive impact in the local community through my life transformations coaching work.
So, I took a few deep breaths and remembered this quote:
If "local royalty" means that I am out there every day inspiring other people to live their lives to the fullest, place their fears behind them and step forward into the present with courageous confidence, then I will gladly own and accept the title.
But, I'd like to bring my tiara. ;)
Here's To OUR Success,
I did 18 assisted chin-ups today.
That’s pretty amazing since I was starting from ZERO.
But, as always, the transformation is in the lesson here…
By profession, I am a researcher.
I can read hundred of books, articles, and websites, analyze and synthesize the information, and then summarize it for you in a paper the length of your choosing.
But, it turns out that’s how I have been approaching much of my personal life, too.
Want to do pushups, pullups, and yoga handstands??? (That’s my physical fitness goal!)
Well, you can research it.
You can scientifically determine the weight lifting techniques and exercises you should do to strengthen the muscles that you need to do a pull-up.
That’s basically my approach. Research. Research. A little more research. Slow steps. Painfully slow steps.
But, this time I decided to take a different approach, shake up my typical system, and hire an amazing personal trainer. And, I told her my new fitness goals. (I’ve previously been a cardio badass!)
And, guess what??
We are doing plenty of lifting techniques and exercises to increase my upper body and core strength…
But, on Day 2, we were also on the assisted pull-up machine.
And, today, on Day 4, I did 18 assisted free hang chin-ups. (And, yes, the last 6 were SUPER assisted! No shame here lol.)
But, that’s the thing. We can take all of the small, carefully crafted, well-researched steps we would like.
And, that’s not necessarily bad. We need solid information. We don't want to be reckless.
But, most of the time you also have to JUST DIVE IN!
See what happens. Re-evaluate. Feel proud of ourselves for taking massive action!
So, today I ask you this question: What is the “pull-up” in your life?
Whatever it is in your personal situation, why not take that first step today??
Here's To OUR Success!
Back in early August 2016, I woke up one morning, packed up my car, and headed up the coast on an impromptu road trip with my kids.
I had an instinctive "pull". I knew I needed to go.
We spent some time on St. Augustine Beach. One afternoon, while walking around downtown -- an historical area known for its spiritual presence -- I had another "pull" and we headed down a random side street.
Sitting outside was a young woman reading cards. I hadn't had my cards read in about 10 years. The first (and only) time I had previously done this was in New Orleans in Jackson Square. I had found the whole process fascinating. But, I pushed my interest away the same way I pushed away most of my intuitive feelings at the time.
My card reading that day on a sunny coastal afternoon was amazing. After the reading, I immediately contacted a coach that I had recently started working with who is an empath, a reader, and who is connected deeply to the spiritual realm. I ended up working with her several times after that August trip as I deepened my own spiritual practice.
I also started to read up on and do research involving the chakras, crystals, stones, healing & light work, reiki, cards, and the Universe. I talked to coaches and healers specializing in these areas. I joined their private groups and took in everything they could teach me. I stopped pushing my intuitive feelings and hunches aside and began to learn how to embrace them.
Upon my return from our coastal road trip, I also went to my favorite local healing store and bought a card deck that resonated with me. Stevie Nicks is my favorite singer and the creator of the deck cited her as the inspiration behind her artistry. Crystal visions is a from a line in her song "Dreams" where Stevie Nicks sings, "Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions."
From that point on, one of my daily rituals became a single card pull in the morning upon rising to help guide my day. I also pull a card at any point during the day when I feel like I could use some assistance from the Universe.
It may seem like a small step, but this paired with my stones and crystals, as well as a daily chakra meditation, has been truly life altering.
After returning from my trip, things started to come together very quickly for me in a positive direction. I started doing a ton of healing work and shadow work.
But, then, suddenly there seemed to be a "disturbance" around me. I felt confused. Bogged down. Like I needed to retreat and find some space.
I pulled a card.
"The Four of Swords indicates recuperation, reflection, and withdrawal. The woman affected in the card is resting and recharging both her body and mind so that she can move forward on her journey. She has done battle and needs time to heal. Taking a step back from the situation is necessary in order to review the next course of action."
Many different things occurred during those few months and most people would have viewed them as trying and difficult. I felt a heavy weight on me at times.
The truth is that I had deep-dived into my healing. Perhaps I had pulled back one layer "too many" too quickly.
But, the fact is that sometimes we need something to come through and shake it all up -- destroy things a bit so we can put it all back together a new way and develop a different perspective. See the world in a new light.
And, that's what happened to me.
This shakeup -- and withdrawal -- allowed me to approach my life and my business from a new direction. The solitude and the time alone thinking, examining, and creating gave me the opportunity to re-conceptualize my business and my style.
Ultimately, we can choose our path.
We can choose our niche.
We can pick our direction.
We can try to have a stranglehold on it all.
But, the Universe will guide us if we open our hearts and minds and allow it to do so. All of the manipulation and controlling in the world can't do that for us.
When I really took a step back and examined it all, I discovered that people continued to turn to me for one thing more than any other -- the authentic and vulnerable way that I delivered my own personal story and journey into my life transformations coaching work.
People wanted more of the parts that I was only letting show through a little. The pieces that I was still somewhat hiding were the parts they loved, connected with, and were finding their own healing path through. They wanted to hear more.
As I began to recognize this, I began to think of ways to deliver it. I started getting crystal clear. When that happened, I finally began to feel the passion well up in me again -- the passion that seemingly dwindled for a little while there.
I pulled a card.
"When the Four of Swords appears reversed, a period of recuperation and recovery is complete. The card can signify increasing strength and vitality and a feeling of renewal."
I got chills!
So this year, I am committed to using this blog space on a weekly basis to demonstrate through the power of story in a step-by-step way how you can own, love, and appreciate *YOUR* story and use it to grow and transform.
If you let it, I know that this will empower you to design the most fulfilling, courageous, joy-filled life imaginable.
So here's to all of our success on this amazing journey. I look forward to blogging with you this year!