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10 Top Tips to Stay Motivated and Focused this week…

Ever seem a little scattered? Do your business goals seem elusive and just out of reach? Are you frustrated at the end of the day because you never completed what you needed to? Are you so scattered that you don’t even have time to read this post? If so, then here are the Top Ten Tips to stay focused this week…

10. Answer the question, “What is the specific result I am focused on achieving this week?”

Without a clear destination you can’t get where you want to go. Imagine getting in a plane and just taking off to “go somewhere.” Use the SMART goals format to define your destination. Simple & Specific, Measurable & Meaningful, As if Now & Action oriented, Reasonable & Realistic, and Timed Towards what you desire. Specific is Success!

9. Get Motivated by Listing all the emotional reasons “WHY” you want to get to your destination.

When a goal is set in place…so are the obstacles that will be needed to be overcome. This will take energy and energy lies in generating the emotional “WHY” we want it. For ourselves, our kids, our spouse; dig down deep into that well of emotion and let it all gush forth. For extra credit, link up your life purpose to the goal and your identity to really get some power.

8. Find New People:

You are where you are, in part, due to the peer group you have around you. My workout buddy in the morning is the best. We both push each other. We are doing the Insanity workout and just this morning as we were completing our workout, he asked if I wanted to get in an additional 15 minute “pump” on the weights. He pushes me even when I’m tired and am ready to be done. I reciprocate by making sure I am at the gym every morning before he is. That way, he knows he has to bring the DVD’s or he will let me down by not showing up. We both add value to each other in different ways.

7. Clear Your Clutter

Get rid of anything that isn’t supporting your success. There needs to be emptiness in order for something new to come into your life. If a woman wants a man in her life but is sleeping at night with extra pillows and her pets…there’s no room for a man in her bed. If a guy doesn’t clean out 3/4 of his closet, get an extra toothbrush, have his/hers towels, and cleans out two dresser drawers, how will there be space for a woman to come into his life? Clear out your junk and make room!

6. Define & Master a Single Core Skill

Focus on changing one specific behavior that will move you towards your goal. You can prepare to walk/run all day with the right shoes, the music, playlists, weather, timing, treadmill or outside, determining your routes, estimating your time; but in the end all you have to master is putting one foot in front of the other for an extended period of time. Master taking one 8-10 inch step at a time with good form and posture.

5. Get comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Let’s say a person wants to reduce their weight. They will need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. When they “FEEL” uncomfortable because their stomach grumbles and they would normally go for some food, how can they start to feel comfortable with that moment and appreciate it instead of dread it? (This leads to #4)

4. Find a new, more empowering belief

Using the example above, when the stomach rumbles and they start to “FEEL” uncomfortable, insert a new belief for the old one. If the normal process is: stomach rumbles, the person says, “I’m starving to death and gotta eat” interrupt that self talk with, “excellent, that means that I must be thirsty” and then take a new action and drink water. (Sounds silly but I did that when I lost 60 lbs over 20 years ago and it still serves me to this day!)

3. Create Small Reminders

If you have a bigger goal of a trip, weight loss, business goals, etc. remember that where your focus goes your energy flows. Change your passwords to reflect your goals: ToughMudderNov2018, StBarth2017, CollegePaidinFull, Beachretirement2035, and BE CREATIVE. Put pictures on your mirror, in the shower, above your bed, in the bathroom, dash of the car, create reminders everywhere. These small reminders will help you stay focused and on track.

2. Create Quiet time to Focus

I recently read an article stating the main reason most small businesses fail is because of lack of planning. Strategic, purposeful thinking can only be done in a quiet setting and it should be done consistently (preferably a block of time weekly and even daily!) In order to create this space…find somewhere outside of your normal office, etc. (I have a client who uses a study room at his local library, no one finds him there) This will avoid the trap of the business running the person instead of the person running the business. During this scheduled quiet time see point #1.

1. Master Fear Management

I don’t care if you are the CEO of a Fortune 50 or a small solopreneur. In today’s competitive market the need to be innovative, creative and flexible creates HUGE uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds FEAR. Fear can be present due to change happening in the negative, ie going bankrupt and also the positive, ie problems that arise from rapid growth and expansion. Master Your Fears. Embrace them everyday because if you succumb to FEAR it will only lead to low self confidence, being motivated by necessity instead of possibility and worst of all, create a scarcity mentality. MASTER FEAR by doing at least one specific task everyday that you fear the most in your business. Eat Uncertainty and Fear for Breakfast to earn your dessert after dinner.

BONUS TIP:

Get an unconditional form of support to keep you on track…like an Executive Business Coach. (You know I had to plug that in!) Regardless of whether it’s me or not, no one earns a Grammy, an Emmy or an Oscar and stands on the stage during the acceptance speech and says, “I DID IT ALL MYSELF!” They all have people to thank…people who believed in them, provided support in those troubled moments of doubt, uncertainty and FEAR and pushed them to stay focused on their dreams and goals.

FOCUS!

To your continued success,

James

Venice: From Pain to Possibility to Prosperity…

Where is there PAIN in your life Right Now?

Most people will do almost anything to avoid it. How many times have you swept those deep feelings back under the rug. However, Pain can lead to Possibility which can lead to Prosperity. Venice, once the wealthiest city in the world is a testament to that ideology.

As Attila’s huns surged through Northern Italy raping and pillaging the Roman Empire, many refugees sought protection on the 118 deserted and desolate swampy islands of the Adriatic Sea. Even though the land was over 2.5 miles from shore and not able to support trades like agriculture; creativity and human ingenuity eventually took over.

Fast forward a few generation and Venice was born. With a newly develop transportation system of over 200 canals and 400 bridges it was a hub for world trade, power, and riches from all over the globe.

Pain in life is not something to be avoided, there is power and energy in it. The key is to take that power and energy and convert it to good use. Use that energy to build and create something better for yourself and others. There is true POWER in that ability.

Every great person in history, every movie ever made, begins in pain. Look at every Disney movie made, the opening scene usually has a parent dying or some tragedy. Pain is not to be shoved away into the dark recesses of our mind and body never to see the light of day. It is to be harnessed to build, create, inspire and give back to others in some way shape or form. You too, can move from Pain to Possibility to Prosperity and make a difference in the world!

If you need support with the transitioning Pain to Possibility to Prosperity in your business, Evolution for Success Executive Coaching can help. Call today for your personal one-on-one “Success Now” session.
(919) 792-0085

Or, if you know someone in Pain, a referral is the greatest gift you can every give.

You have problems, compared to what…?

Bad Monday

Are you having a bad day? I thought I was one day last week. I was going to be late for an appointment and I was really frustrated since being late is one of my pet peeves. My frustration level grew as I turned off the highway and my forward progress came to a screeching halt. In front of me was an accident and a long line of backed up cars. As I took the detour in front of me, I snapped the picture you see in the post above. An interesting thing happened as I drove past this accident. Somehow, seeing the plight of this truck driver, putting myself in his shoes, and thinking about the phone call he was going to have to make to his boss put my problem (frustrated by being 10 minutes late) into perspective.

One of the greatest questions I ask clients when they are frustrated and angry at a problem in life is, “OK, its bad, but compared to what?” As human beings, it is easy to get wrapped up in OUR life, OUR problems, OUR perspectives, and OUR beliefs. To jumpstart the process of getting a person out of their OWN way so they can work to a solution, just ask, “Compared to what?” When we shift our attention to the plight of others, the challenges of others, the life circumstances of others (that we can relate too) it helps to put things into a different perspective. When you can shift your “referential index,” how you are referring to something, with a different perspective, it lessens the emotional impact so you can think more clear and see the opportunities to think or do something different.

It is not to be used as a justification for NOT doing something different but a means of getting unstuckk so you can find a new solution and take action to achieve a different outcome. Next time you are stuck and think something in your life really stinks…just state the problem and then ask yourself, “Ok, this stinks but compared to what?” So you thought you were having a bad day, compared to what?

In the end, my ten minutes late was nothing compared to the delays this driver faced, his boss faced, and their clients and their customers may have faced. It’s good to keep life in perspective.

If you are feeling stuck and frustrated with your job, career, relationships or finances…CALL today to schedule your Introductory Strategy Session to start moving forward again. (919) 792-0085

To your continued success,

James

Use NLP To Take Control of Your Bad Days

Having a Tough Day?  If you are, chances are you are acting in one of these different behavior patterns. The science of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), holds that a person is not their behavior. However, if you’re having a tough day — and even the best of us has been there at one point or another–, it is time to change your behavior to get some different results.

See if your bad day is a result of one of the following behavioral patterns, take responsibility for where you are and create a Powerful Change!

1-  Victim: the victim plays the blame game, noticeable by a very low tolerance for handling the problems and challenges in life.  He or she is reluctant to take responsibility, pushing it off instead on others. Often, feeling that they are a “victim of circumstance”, they don’t believe they have any control  over the circumstances they find themselves in.

SOLUTION: Ask, “What do I want to have? And, what do I have direct control/influence over in order to make that happen?”  Take any small action now and make sure to appreciate the action taken, no matter how small.

2-  Quitter: quitters tend to be out of touch with self and others around them. Quitters hide out in the shadows away from the group. They are easily distracted, do not commit, believe the effort is not worth the reward, and talk themselves out of what they most desire.

SOLUTION: Confront yourself with a detailed plan and get in touch with your emotions around following through with it

3-  Wizard of Oz: The Wizard of Oz’s believe that there is reward without action. They believe in the “Secret” and the “Law of Attraction”  If they just believe with enough will power, things will happen. They believe in shaping the future but they just “hope” it will become so. They believe the answer is out there, somewhere over the rainbow, somehow, some way it is going to happen.

SOLUTION: Get grounded in the reality of the situation now and add Action to the optimism and hope that good things will come. Engage in the pursuit of the worthy goal along with the beliefs that somewhere, somehow, your dreams will come true.

4-  Worry Wart: Fear takes over the worry wart. They focus most of their energy on what may happen, instead of looking at what they want to make happen. Fear means a person is not prepared for something they perceive may happen in the future. Many times there is too much focus on what they “don’t” want to happen.

SOLUTION: Say it the way you want the future to be.  Engage in a little more of the “over the rainbow” traits.  Take action and engage some faith and hope that your actions will bring you the results you most desire and if needed, build a back-up plan to deal with what you fear might happen in the future.

5-  Run-a-Way: the Run-a-way is stuck in a place of Busy-ness instead of taking the time to focus on what is most important in the Busi-ness of their life. They take massive action without a clear focus on the long term outcomes. They engage in what they know they can do easily and effortlessly in the short term and never take on the real problems they are facing.

SOLUTION: build a vision so you know your long term outcome.  Brain dump everything in your mind that you should do, could do, need to do and ought to do. Focus on the top 10% of those items that will bring you 90% of your success. Hint: What you are fearing and procrastinating the most, or what seems the hardest, is the action you should be working towards achieving.

6-  Actor: the actor works to show that everything is always perfect in their world. For them, it is a challenge to face the truth and live in a way that others may not approve. Actors do not have their own opinions and are always agreeable to what others do. They have to keep up with Jones’ and will do anything to put on a good show for others.

SOLUTION: Stop believing what others think you should be, do and have and define it for yourself.  Be brave and bold within yourself.  Find and reconnect with your own truth, your personal mission or purpose in life.  Forget what everyone else thinks of you and your public persona.  Engage and act your personal truth. If you are effective with that, you will be causing some talk and speculation.

7-  Bull in a China Shop: The bull keeps on looking for breakthroughs but is never truly transformed because they are not celebrating their own results and what is precious in their life now! Bulls have a hard time being satisfied with themselves. They think being the strongest and showing it off is the only way to win. They also seek approval from being the top dog and will do anything to get there.

SOLUTION: become satisfied with yourself for who you are and where you are on your path of life right now…stop, enjoy, and smell the roses like Ferdinand the Bull!

 

If you are having a bad day, chances are, one of these NLP personas will hold the key to getting you to a better day! Remember that you are not your behavior. If you don’t like your results, you have a choice!

Failure, anger, and frustration most often signal the opportunity to stop and ask, “which one of these traits am I stuck in?”  You probably already know which of these you tend to gravitate to.  I encourage you to not have the goal or intention of never being there again, instead, just find quicker and quicker ways to move through the disempowering states you do encounter. Flip those bad days around!  Chose to move through these behavior patterns and come out the other side, better, stronger and more successful!

 

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Dealing With Negative Emotions: 3 Solutions to Keep Your Word

Dealing with negative emotions is a universal experience.  In last week’s blog post, I wrote that,

“…you will always have to overcome some combination of the following challenging emotional states to keep your word: fatigue, discouragement, loneliness, overwhelm, doubt, nervousness, humiliation, frustration, resentment, powerlessness, anger,  feeling inadequate or imcompetent, and even jealousy of others.

The power of self-confidence and keeping your word is learning to embrace these emotional states as they come up, and accept them as appropriate and warranted given the goal that you are pursuing. If you stop trying to run away from these negative emotions,  you are already half way towards the successful completion of your goal. The power comes through pushing through those disempowering states. Even better, get excited about them! Anticipate these emotions and welcome them as part of a natural component on your path to victory.”

Here are three powerful ways to learn to embrace these negative emotions and use them to your advantage.

1-  Learn to love them.

My wife and I both love to spend time together and feel grateful that I work from home. When she goes to Paris to see her family or on her yearly girls beach trip, I go into single parent mode. One way I have been able to deal with the frustration, overwhelm and tiredness when she is away to adopt the belief that, “I love missing her.” Focusing on the positive side of missing her reminds me of why I love being with her on a day to day basis. This leads me to positive thoughts and memories and my mood changes for the better.  Very often you can take a disempowering emotion, and turn it upside down by giving it a new meaning.  That new association can then help you move past the moment and discomfort.

2-  Journal the answer to this question,

“what is there to learn from this feeling of ___________, the learning of which, will allow me to let go of it, easily and effortlessly?”

There is a reason “why” we feel disempowering emotional states but most of the time we don’t stop to ask ourselves “why.” I like to say that disempowering emotional states are indicators of where we are incongruent between our head and heart. Clearing up the conflict between what we think and how we feel, allows us to find a new belief and action to take that are more congruent.

3-  Focus on what you want to create.

Shifting your focus to “creating what you want to have” will often times push disempowering emotional states away. If you shift your focus to what you want to create by taking an action, your focus will shift to a more empowering place. If you have a hard time exercising, shift your focus to what you want to create by exercising; an energetic, healthy, vibrant body where you feel good about yourself. If you are pushing back on your taxes, shift your focus to what you want to create by completing them; a new financial future where you manage your money responsibly and reap the rewards for it. Shifting your thoughts away from what you’re feeling in the moment towards what you want to create in the future will help you work through disempowering emotions.

What are some of your strategies for dealing with negative emotions and moving forward through adversity?  Please comment below!

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And Confusion is a Good Thing because….?

Have you ever been confused? At a seminar once upon a time, a larger than life character told me that being confused is definitely cause for celebration. The idea being that when someone is confused, that’s the precursor to learning something new.

Simply said, nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning we attach to it.  If you can change or start a belief in a heartbeat, how does it work?  The answer is simple: We naturally learn by taking a new experience and linking it up to a previous experience.  The brain cells that fire together, wire together. And they wire together with emotion and feeling.

So, if we want to stop a pattern of unhealthy thinking, putting ourselves in a new highly emotional state of confusion is healthy, IF in those moments we consciously attach a new meaning to an old pattern.

For instance, in 1999 when I went through my coaches training with Mr. Larger than Life, we showed up one morning all expecting to have a day of classroom instruction. Instead we were directed to a van and told we were off to an “experience”!

Thirty minutes later, as we pulled into the skydiving place, people got confused. Thoughts ran through everyone’s mind: This was not the training day we were supposed to have; OMG we have to jump out of a plane?!?; OMG the fear; OMG the panic; OMG the anxiety; OMG the CONFUSION and OMG I AM GOING TO DIE!! People were frantically trying to reason out the situation and decipher what it meant for them because they did not automatically have a past frame of reference to link it to!

While most were in a state of confusion, I was feeling something different! You see, I had a past frame of reference from being in the US Army. I had already experienced their moment of panic, fear and confusion when I went through US Army Airborne School.  And in my moment of panic, fear and confusion jumping out the door at only 1,200 feet, I anchored in the new belief that, if I live through this, I can do anything! And, I had those brain cells fire together and wire together over the next 4 jumps. So, when we had to jump out of the plane in tandem with a 12,000 foot free fall and plenty of time to react to any issues, I was not fearful, but positively excited! I knew, “I could handle anything!”

The great thing was, at the day’s end, everyone wanted to go up again and experience skydiving without a tandem instructor and go solo! And, we had all bonded and participated in a life event that brought us all closer together!

Ultimately, skydiving a second time was not to be. Mr. Larger than Life had something better in store for us. At the end of the next day of training, at about 10pm, instead of going home, we were stretched again.

The instructions were simple: empty all of your pockets and give us everything except your drivers’ license. Take this small bag that contains fifty cents, an emergency number to call, pocket camera for proof, a small pack of almonds as our gift to you. Men have to go alone, women in groups of two and you have 15 hours to get from San Diego to Los Angeles and back again using nothing but your coaching skills and your ability to add value to others. “If you are not back by 5pm Sunday, you fail the course!”

Let me just say, while some were excited, I was not.  This was my moment of  “OMG to LA and back on a Sunday night, alone?, OMG the fear, OMG the panic, OMG the anxiety, OMG the CONFUSION and OMG I AM GOING TO DIE!!

How do you think it ended? That’s a Thought of the Week for another time. Or, do you know the ending already?  Successful people thrive on OMG moments!

What are your OMG moments that have shaped your success…I would LOVE to know them! Comment below!

 

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Feeling Negative? Give It Everything You’ve Got!



Whether it’s in your business, your personal life or your relationships, are you choosing to play at a 100%?Are you focusing on the positive or are you filled with negative thoughts

Sometimes I get a client on the phone who is so set on being negative, that no matter how many strategies you work with them to implement, none really hold water. It seems that at every twist and turn they are there to shoot the horse before the gates open and gets a chance to run the race.

These are great moments to play a little exercise with them. I tell them, “I don’t care whether you complain all day or are optimistic all day, just play life at 100%.”

At first they like the idea, then I get down to really explaining it.

  • If they are thinking down on themselves, then they ought to really get excited about it and tell everyone how they are such a loser; they should be happy to share that fact with the world, and really play full out!
  • If they are a complainer, then I tell them to really get serious about complaining. I mean, tell the whole office they are the best complainer in the business, prove it to everyone, and get that approval for being the biggest voice of dissent in the office. Tell the customers too, because after all, they have to go for it at 100% emotional involvement.
  • If they are going to be the last person promoted because of their bad attitude, then they better walk around the office like the proudest peacock in the pen, strutting their stuff and playing at 100%.

As you have guessed by now, by the end of the exercise most people just choose to step up, find a different, more empowering perspective and be more positive in their approach to things.

When you approach life promising to play full out, and do so consciously, very few people take the strategy of making a fool of themselves with 100% negativity. It puts things into perspective when life is at 100%.

Play and consciously live a full life at 100% in all that you do. When at work, work hard. When at home with the family and spouse, live and love hard! When tuckered out on the weekend and you need a little down time watching the football game or going to get a manicure/pedicure/massage; relax, enjoy and play at 100%.

Life is much more fulfilling when you strive to live in a “peak state” in all you do. If you have any doubt, check out this clip of Tony Robbins. He’s perfected the art of putting himself in a peak state!

And, next time you see the office grouch coming along, suggest that they do it “correctly”. Tell them, “If you are going to have that attitude, at least play life full out, at 100% and be proud of who you are!” Help them to really be conscious of their attitude and not be half-way about it! Celebrate the fact they are the biggest whiner in the office, tell everyone about it, have a party for them! See how long they stay that way and how hard they work to prove you wrong!

 

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Are Ants invading your personal space???

Our thoughts are just like ANTS. Those Automatic Negative ThoughtS (A.N.T.S.) are constantly on the move looking for something sweet to feed on. A person’s brain is always thinking and creating new thoughts and beliefs, even while we sleep.
 
Learning to direct our thoughts to those healthy food sources will lead to a more productive, fruitful, and positive mindset. Listen now to my latest podcast to learn how to deal with the ANTS that may be invading your personal space!

Until next time,
James