Recently, I found myself talking with a good friend of mine and former colleague from my corporate days and I was adamantly reminded of the stigma presented around “vulnerability” that still seems to be so prevalent in business today.
There exists this powerful notion and implication that vulnerability is to be avoided, that by being vulnerable one is weak. This depicts, that rather, a leader must be, and should be, formidable, unemotional and unaffected in order to be successful.
But, that belief could not be further from the truth …
You see, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but, on the converse, it marks the distinction of the very strength within a leader.
Vulnerability is the greatest tool in a leader’s arsenal.
For it illustrates the depth of a leader’s authenticity, genuineness, compassion, and humility. Vulnerability is the very thing that makes a leader approachable, relatable, transparent, and … well, human.
Leaders so often get caught up in only being focused on the bottom line, and the return on that investment from a purely financial perspective, that they lose sight of miss opportunities to connect, engage, and grow a fish culture in their organization.
By which, many “untapped returns” are left on the table.
As we continue to dig further into all the aspects of ROI and where the returns for an organization really come from, you will find that a leader’s ability to walk further into their own vulnerability is an opportunity to capture greater returns.
Being vulnerable means a leader is willing to demonstrate the “walk” for others.
Employee engagement and retention increase as a result. For people don’t leave jobs, they leave cultures and management (or lack thereof). Many times employees seek other opportunities for lack of feeling heard, not being seen, or feeling disconnected from something that truly matters for them.
When leaders detach from the emotion and soul of their organization’s culture, the employees and the clients are the ones that suffer. Business is lost, the culture becomes very reactive in nature, and employees find themselves going through the motions, where they are not being fully present and engaged.
This detachment from the bigger picture yields ineffectiveness and inefficiencies, as a result. All that equates to poor performance, lost revenue, and missed opportunities. Now, it becomes just a job that pays the bills versus an environment in which they feel they bring value. And, your clients feel this, too.
So, what is the investment a leader can make?
In order to be a high-performing, thought leader, vulnerability becomes the most critical muscle to build and flex. And, it is a muscle … one, that in many cases has not been used in a very long time.
The investment in personal development, a coach or formal mentor, different accountability systems and measures all are examples of ways to help leaders connect and step into their own vulnerability.
Visible transparency, creating space to be human and make mistakes, and owning those mistakes also are required to bring vulnerability to the forefront.
From there, it becomes a trickle down effect and a way to enhance and lift the existing culture.
I know this from personal experience as I lead several high-performing teams over my career. I had mentor who told me once, “you are a powerful leader, but you would be even more effective if you would let others see your vulnerability.” At first I balked at this, she was asking me to do what??? …
But, soon I realized she was right. For if I was going to choose to show up and to serve at my highest and best level, then I also recognized that meant stepping into my own vulnerability.
My choices and my actions helped to give my team permission to do that same simply by the example I chose to set.
Trust was deepened, relationships were strengthened, and the need for perfection was released. My teams, though already high performing, rose to an entirely new level of performance. And, they were happier, more engaged, and less stressed.
They began to take greater risks, to challenge themselves and others on the team more, and they took greater personal responsibility and pride in the work they did.
Accountability was no longer simply a buzz word, but something my team fully embraced.
Lines of communication opened and grew, and individuals stepped up as leaders themselves. I asked my team to push themselves in away that really scared them, to push beyond their existing comfort zone …
For if it doesn’t scare you, it is not big enough to grow you.
I ask them to find ways to fail.
This is critical in opening up a space of vulnerability, and trust. Mind you, this freak out upper management a little (and, my team at first). But, with the established trust I earned, they gave me room to conduct my “test.”
And, man, did we get bloody in the beginning. Not only did we fall, but our newfound transparency and vulnerability had us feeling pretty uncomfortable and unsure But, we held the course and we grew tremendously together and as individuals. It was thrilling and amazing to watch every person on my team reached a new best level.
To see them stretch, to see them be fully present and engaged, to see them purposely seek out new challenges. And each person was ultimately promoted within less than 24 months from when we started.
Now, that felt like leadership to me!
Because when we choose to invest in our people, it starts with the investment we make in ourselves as leaders to demonstrate what’s truly possible, to walk the talk first. If we are not willing to take that first step, to actually walk the big talk, then how can we expect our employees and teams to do the same? How will they ever see their power and gifts, to tap into their full potential, capacity and capabilities?
Being vulnerable starts with the power of choice and is a leader’s ability to take that first step on that walk.
This is a game-changing investment with a high rate of return!
When we choose to invite vulnerability into the workplace, people feel emotionally connected to their work, to their passion and to their own WHY.
When people are clear about the WHY, engagement is high!
As a leader you then can help your employees and your teams function as high-performers playing at their highest and best levels. And, it all starts with making an investment in YOU as a leader first.
Because, remember … leadership IS a choice!
Are you making time work for you:
People often ask me how it is that I am able to read so many books in one year ... when they see how "busy" I am. You see, I strive to read one a week on average. Last year, I read 45 books in total.
First, I want to address the notion and perception that I am "busy" ... which denotes that I am managing my time vs. managing my focus.
I hold a firm belief that time can and is created, or the idea of time is created, when we are focused on the things we truly are meant to focus on, the inspired action that fully aligns with our What, Why and Who. (Coming from an Einsteinian mentality vs. a Newtonian one)
Busy is nothing more than a lack of prioritization, focus, and preparation. Sure, my plate is full, but it is filled with intentional, inspired action and discipline helping me grow and move to my next level.
Now time is simply time, and we all have the same bucket to play in ... each of us has the same 24 hours each day with which to draw from. How you choose to use that time is paramount.
Leaders choose to use their time wisely to learn, to grow, to challenge themselves, to give, to receive, to be still, to meditate, to recharge, to nourish their mind, bodies and spirits, to witness, to think strategically and creativity, to play, and to feed their souls.
Each of these things are done with great focus and purpose. Leaders recognize that these choices determine the quality of their lives, their level of abundance and wealth, and their overall state of health.
As Robin Sharma would say, "I was honored to have a conversation" with Michael Singer, the author of "The Untethered Soul" today on my flight. Was he sitting next to me? No.
So, how was that possible? I opened his book. I read page after page and engaged with his thoughts, his words, and his ideas. I was able to go inside and ask myself deeper questions about "who I am," as a result.
In a few hours, sitting on a plane, I emerge different, more open and with a new perspective. It's really that simple. And, I even took a little nap to provide my body with the blessing of rest and recharge. Oh, and I wrote this blog.
I was able to accomplish all those things with intention. I emerged from my flight feeling refreshed and energized.
Now, as opposed to the two gentlemen who sat on either side of me both chose to spend their time the entire flying playing cards (solitaire) on their iPods. The difference in choices made is how I am able to read a book a week, this is how I continue to feed and expand my own horizons.
Now, I am not saying this to judge, but merely as an observation. We all have choices, and their is a responsibility that exists for all of us inside those choices. How and what are you choosing? Is it aligned with who you are, who you are growing to be, and what fills and feeds your soul?
If you want to expand your horizons and knowledge, are you embracing those opportunities and possibilities that are gifted to you to do just that? I choose to use planes and car rides (thank god for Audible) to expand my own development. Windshield time is a blessing for me.
As I recently saw quoted by Robin Sharma (one of my true gurus): "Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus."
And, my focus is to grow, to expand, to evolve, to become more awakened every day, to give more fully of myself and to stay open to possibilities. Essentially, to live my life on purpose full out, with great passion and intention for how I choose to show up and serve. This is my choice and how I manage my focus.
And, what better way to feed my soul than to have conversations with some of the greats: Wayne Dyer, Brendon Burchard, Robin Sharma, Paulo Cuelo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Tim Ferris, Gabby Bernstein, Deepak’s Chopra, Richard Bach, Earl Nightingale, Gay Hendricks, Napoleon Hill, Don Miguel Ruiz Viktor Frankl ... just to name a few of my favorite people to engage with!
And, the list is endless! The giants and titans who I am ever so grateful to stand on the shoulders of in this lifetime.
So, the questions you get to ask yourself are threefold:
1) Who am I and who am I choosing to become?
2) What is it I really want for my life?
3) How will I choose to manage my focus and spend my time?
Sending heart-to-heart hugs,
So, I'm curious ... how's your hustle working? What are the things you have to do every day, every week in order to stay in the game?
Have you ever wondered what you are hustling for? And, are you even hustling for the right thing? So, many times we get so caught up in the momentum, and the day-to-day grind, and being busy for the sake of being busy, that we forget to hit the pause to check in and make sure all the work we are doing really is with purpose.
We have developed a culture of wind-and-grind, burn-and-churn, no-pain-no-gain, and being busy just to be busy. We are creating more work for ourselves and getting further and further away from living a life with great meaning, purpose, passion and intention.
My question to you: Are you playing full out at your highest and best level? Or, do you find yourself going through motions each day, only to be exhausted by the time the day ends? What if it didn't have to be that way?
What if ... you could having a more vibrant, energizing and impactful life. And, what if you could do that simply by changing your hustle? My hustle, you might ask ... YES, your hustle!
OK, so in order to start working your hustle, the right hustle ... one that is going to serve you to get the life of your dreams ... then, you must first take a beat and determine your What, Why and Who.
You see your hustle is all about being really clear, being really focused, and being really disciplined and intentional about living your life on purpose; living your life on YOUR terms; and living your life as you dare to create it.
That means you got to get clear on what you are driving towards. The way to start is to really understand and get clear on your What, Why and Who. Let's hit the pause button for a moment and create space for you to figure what each of those three elements really mean:
Once you understand those elements, then you can determine your 3 big rocks for the year. What are the big swings ... those things that really are going to challenge you, push you, force you to grow? How big do you dare to dream? Is it big enough to scare you?
If you are truly honest with yourself, what do you really want in this life? What are the 3 things this year that would create AWESOME momentum for you to get closer to that dream? Are you willing to go BIG to grow even BIGGER?
Because the truth is: you can't work your hustle if you are not clear about your focus, your top priorities and the inspired action and discipline aligned to make your dreams a reality. Once you do that, then assess your calendar. Does 80% of your calendar represent the big rocks? If not, then you are not working the right hustle for you!
Think of the 80/20 rule: If your big 3 are you top priorities and most impactful pieces to move you to expanded greatness, then 80% of the time you spend should be aligned to taking inspired action on those 3 things.
This is how you create effective and powerful discipline. Also, make sure you don't forget about your rest and recharge space after, in between, and throughout your hustle. For the only way you can keep hustling is to make sure you are filling your cup back up regularly. Remember, don't forget to "put your oxygen mask on first."
So, how's your hustle really working? Are you ready to level up? Are you ready to say YES to yourself and destroy the NOISE so you can truly go BIG to grow BIGGER. Leadership is a choice, and you are the creator of your own play book. Time to get YOUR hustle on!!!
Last question: How will YOU work your hustle starting now?
Take the Say YES Quiz for your personal assessment to see how well you are working your hustle today @ http://sayyesquiz.com. For more information, please check our out newly updated website at: http://www.candybaroneinternational.com
As always, I am here, I am listening and I am holding you in my heart!
Sending you huge heart-to-heart hugs,
March Madness is in full swing, which means it's time for high wagers and laying down your bets. So, what bets are you laying down? Are you betting on YOUR success? Are you ready to up the ante? Or, are you using "Spring Fever" as your current cop-out and excuse from upping your game?
Time to destroy the N.O.I.S.E. and get rid of those excuses so you can play your best game! So, what do I mean when I say N.O.I.S.E., you ask? Well, I break it down like this:
So, let's talk about FEAR for a moment ... fear, in and of itself, is not necessarily bad. It only becomes an anchor when you choose to become paralyzed by it. You see, when fear, anxiety, or the scary unknown shows its face, we tend to suck in our breath and hold it, rather than breathing into it.
When we hold our breath, we begin to manifest more energy in the fear itself. You see fear is simply a trigger. A trigger that says: this is important, or I really care about how I show up in this space, or I have a strong desire to serve others, or this is big and I have never dared to go here before.
The only way to truly break the cycle of fear (aka, the NOISE and nonsense) is to realize you have power to change your thoughts, your beliefs and your reality.
Worry is a belief (and, an extension or derivative of fear) and requires energy to make up the stories that are required to go along with it (what if this and that) in order for it to have life ... and, did you know that it actually takes more energy to create those fabricated lies we keep feeding ourselves than exploring and letting flourish the dreams and passions already in you. You can CHANGE your what-ifs!
Because if you choose to release the fear, step into in actually, and destroy the NOISE and tap into the whispers in your soul, and choose to put your energy there ... that is when your true creativity flows and MAGIC happens!
Are you ready to create some real MAGIC? To learn more strategies on how to effectively destroy the N.O.I.S.E., please check out my online training program designed to do just that HERE: Destroy the NOISE Modules
As always, sending you heart-to heart hugs!
As we all still are recovering from Super Bowl Sunday, both the game (congratulations to the Denver Broncos) and the commercials (were you are disappointed as I was that Budweiser didn't have a puppy commercial? What was up with that???), I wanted to take a minute to shine a light on the power of leadership, and how it shows up on the field (in the game itself and in life).
To be honest, I really wasn't emotionally attached to either team playing (those who know me know I am a die-hard Chicago fan). However, that being said, I definitely was pulling for Denver this year.
The idea that this could be Peyton Manning's last game was one I knew would go down in the books. Something about knowing you are witnessing a part of history in the making definitely has great appeal.
You see, to me, Manning exemplifies what being a leader is all about. He has always played from a place of love, with tremendous love for his craft, his team, and the game.
Once again in Super Bowl 50, he demonstrated the importance of finishing the game strong, with class, grace and humility. Sure the Broncos defense was the real star in the match-up against the Carolina Panthers, but there is no denying the imprint Manning's leadership has left on the organization.
So, what truly makes a guy like Manning stand out? I mean ... aside from his God-given talents and gifts, and that bullet-precision arm of his?
These are the traits of a great leader. And, Manning has figure out how to truly play in that space. Why, you might asked ... because he knows the secret many people are too scared to face:
Leadership is all about how you CHOOSE to SHOW UP, how you CHOOSE to SERVE OTHERS, and how you
CHOOSE to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the decisions you make in between the two.
Manning is a leader. He masters this art and walks his talk, consistently showing up and being present for his team, his coaches, his fans ... but, mostly for himself.
He is, and always has been, unapologetically himself. He is the same guy who shows up on the field, in interviews, in commercials, or even on SNL (some of my favorite skits were those Manning delivered). He is authentic and creates daily discipline to play at his highest and best level in every moment.
He leads by example.
So, how does me talking about Manning relate to you in your business, in life? Well, for starters, it all comes down to choice.
How do you chose to lead? For leadership is not something born or created, it is simply a choice. YOU get to decide ... so, what are you deciding to put out there?
How do you wish to be remembered? What is imprint you wish to leave from the work you do and how you serve others? What are you trying to influence, affect or change in this world? What are the gifts you have been given, and are you using them?
The question is never "what is the meaning of life?" We waste a lot of time pondering that one. For the answer to that question actually is quite simple: The meaning of life is that we were all given gifts that are distinctly ours; we were given a song to sing that is all ours and ours alone. Plain and simple. Nothing more complicated than that.
The real question on the table, and the one that challenges and paralyzes most people is "do you have the courage to step into your gift and sing your song for the world to hear?" Do you have the courage to step up, step out and be unapologetically YOU?
Whether it's the way Manning CHOSE to show up to practice, to games, and to the Super Bowl, or the way you CHOOSE to show up in your own life, using YOUR gifts and talent ... the outcome is the same. It's all about leadership. And, it's all a choice.
So, as we put Super Bowl 50 down in the books, and we possibly say farewell to one of the greatest players to play the game as he considers retirement ... my question for you is this:
How will YOU choose to show up in the game you are playing, called life?
Will you show up to practice and give it your all? Will you train smarter and harder, create the discipline, the effort, and the accountability required to hone your skills?
Will you show up with passion, purpose, and intention, playing at your highest and best level? Will you show up with heart and a determination to win?
Or, will you cop out once again and keep doing the same things you've always been doing, complaining because the coach never puts you in, riding the bench, watching life from the sidelines?
Are you ready to be a starter, to be the quarterback for YOUR team, and take the critical shot in the end zone for the touchdown?
It's your choice ... for the game is happening NOW! And, it's up to you as to whether you CHOOSE to be a player and contributor, or simply someone with splinters in their butt!
As always, I am hear, I am listening and sending you heart-to-heart hugs.
"Decided my 2016 starts again on February 1st ... this was a trial month"
I saw a great quote today on Facebook that inspired my desire to write this particular blog. You see, too many times already I have heard you grumbling about how quickly January flew by, and that you still feel like you are trying to catch their breath and get over the holiday hangover. You already feel the grind happening TO you all over again, and are starting to feel overwhelmed by all the things you HAVE to do. Priorities and commitments continue to build, and you are right back doing the same things you did in 2015.
Which means, you are going to get the SAME results!
So, I am here to tell you to STOP the nonsense! You ARE better than that! YOU DESERVE MORE! And, not more "to-do"s, "got to"s, "need to"s or "have to"s -- enough already! When are you going to truly give yourself permission to say YES to YOU? Because, YOU matter! The only "should" in your life is that one saying you "should" be living the life you desire. You "should" be happy, which by the way, is a choice only you can make.
But, here's the best part ... you don't have to go at it alone! Consider enlisting an accountability partner, coach or mentor to help you create a plan for you to take the action required to get the traction you really want most. It's almost impossible for any of us to see the forest for the tress, myself included. Which is why I invest in a business coach for myself, as well as being part of a mastermind and accountability group. I struggle like you to see beyond what's right in front of me. I tend to be very myopic when it comes to ME. Things I can see as opportunities and barriers for others, I am often blinded by for myself. It's human nature. And, I accept that.
What I don't accept is sitting idle, allowing that to be my reality. I desire so much more, and I know that I am worthy of creating the lifestyle I dream of. I also know that if God gave it to me to carry in my dreams, then He also gave it to me to step fully into. And, in order to do that, I need help.
Like you, I get in my own way repeatedly. And though, I had a really great year in 2015 ... I know there is more I can achieve, more I can impact, and more people I can serve with my gifts. As such, I choose to step fully into my potential, doing so more and more every day, as it is a journey, an evolution, and not a destination.
As I share my own vulnerability with you, I understand how scary it can be. Trust me, my coach hears my fears often and we discuss ways for me to break through them. Sometimes, just in talking them out loud, I can see the very things preventing my greatness and ways to take immediate action. Other times, it is a bit more challenging to step out of my comfort zone. having her to help me assess those barriers, being a sounding board, and truthfully the kick in the ass I need at times, I am able to move forward with leaps and bounds. And, I am able to help my clients BECAUSE I CHOOSE to walk the same walk myself. I invest in ME.
So, my question to you: What will it take for you to invest in YOU? What are you waiting for?
Every moment that goes by is another moment you are choosing not to serve those who need you most. It is our biggest roadblock as individuals. As a result, I have my clients ask themselves three questions when they find they are playing too small:
So, are YOU tired of playing small? If so, then message me and reach out if you are serious about taking your life and business to the next level and making 2016 the year YOU #goBIGtogrowBIGGER ... and, if not me, then find the right accountability resource(s) to help you take the action you need in order to life the live you desire. No more dragging your feet. It's time to say YES to YOU!
Now, it might "hurt" a little. Lol ... I say this because I'm going to be tough with you and push you OUT of YOUR comfort zone, and I want you to come to the table ready. For "if it isn't big enough to scare you, it isn't big enough to grow you!" Regardless of how tough and uncomfortable it might be at times, I promise I will love you through it and be with you every step of the way!
Together, we can create a plan to help YOU achieve explosive growth, fulfillment in your life and great capacity for you to shine you light and serve others. The question that remains is: Are you ready?
As always, I am here, and I am listening.
Sending lots of love and heart-to-heart hugs.
Happy New Year! Hard to believe we already are well on our way into 2016! It feels as if we were only just celebrating the 4th of July … last year! And, I know you are off to the races, pounding the pavement, and getting things done! Or, are you?
Do you have what you need to up your game and take your business and life to the next level? Are you surrounding yourself with the people who are going to challenge you and help you grow? I ask this as I am coming off a 3-day mastermind with my business coach and accountability group … and, let me tell you, it was beyond POWERFUL and eye-opening!
You see, to be surrounded by people who think BIG like you, without judgement or competition, only love and support, is one of the MOST EMPOWERING things you can do for yourself and your business! Because, you simply cannot go at it alone! Well, I suppose you can, if you want lots of frustration, headaches and the feeling of being isolated from the rest of the world.
But, why, on earth, would you want that?
When, instead, you can purposefully and intentionally surround yourself with people who shine a light on your strengths, who keep you motivated when things get tough (and, trust me, they will and do, repeatedly), who will pick you up when you lose a big deal and find your confidence slipping, who will be a sounding board to the ideas and vision you desire to continue to grow, and who bring an abundant sense of what is possible to the table.
There is this incredible power and energy in being part of something bigger than yourself. Being part of a community where you can “just be” and allow yourself to be vulnerable as an executive, an entrepreneur, or as an emerging leader.
For me, the pace was fast, the content was rich, and the camaraderie was electric! As a result, I walked away with a full marketing strategy for 2016, along with so many nuggets to help me streamline, segment, and sequence my business so I truly can move into a place where I am only playing at my highest and best level. I NOW get to position myself fully as a CEO within my business and build a team around me. All that from tapping into the experience, the knowledge, and the strategies shared within my coach and with my mastermind.
So, are you REALLY ready to go to the next level your business? Are you READY for 2016 to be the year for you to #goBIGtogrowBIGGER? Then, who are you choosing to surround yourself with? Do you have a business coach, and/or an accountability group to push you, to support you, to challenge you, and to lift you up?
I invite you to explore the possibilities of bringing both into your business.
To start, I encourage you to take my FREE assessment: http://sayyesquiz.com to gain a better understanding of where your current gaps and opportunities are.
And to build community, I invite you to check out the Empowerment League, an accountability group designed especially for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners.
This is a community of like-minded individuals designed to bring YOU a monthly virtual training call and monthly Q&A call to help you think bigger, execute bigger, and grow bigger, as a result. Check it out: http://www.candybaroneinternational.com/empowerment-league.html
Now, as you reach for the stars in 2016 (for they are yours for the taking), may you truly have a blessed and prosperous year! Make this YOUR year to #sayYEStoyourself and know that you ARE empowered strong!
Sending you much love and heart-to-heart hugs!
Happy New Year!! Wow, can you believe it is already a new year, and 2015 at that! Now, before we talk about how to create this next year as the best one yet, I first hope you took some time to reflect on this past year and officially closed out 2014 with grace, humility, and peace. Take the lessons learned, the tears shed, the laughs shared, and the memories gained all as the gifts there are and honor them, give gratitude for them, and acknowledge how blessed you truly are. For every trial, every tribulation, every challenge made you stronger, wiser, and more aware of love you possess.
So, now let's talk about the incoming year ... are you ready to "Go BIG to Grow BIG" and set both your life and business on fire with passion, purpose, and intention? Have you put the right strategies and tools in place to create tangible and attainable goals, aligned them with your compelling why, and created a plan to hold yourself accountable? If not, then what are you waiting for? It already is the first full week of 2015 and NOW is the time!!! Now, is the time for you to "Go BIG or Go BIGGER, and Forget Going Home" -- to stop making excuses, making resolutions you won't keep, or letting fear hold you back. It's time for you to "Say YES to Yourself" and "Destroy the N.O.I.S.E." getting in your way so the you can "Unlock Your Inner Superhero" and live the life you were destined to live. Remember, the meaning of life is quite simple: "You were given a song to sing that is yours to sing, and yours alone. The only question is whether you have the courage to step up and sing your song loudly and proudly for the world to hear." So, let me ask you one more question, "Do you have the courage to step into your most magnificent light and sing YOUR song?"
If you ARE ready, and find your saying YES with passion, conviction, and hope, then NOW is YOUR time! Let's get started! I am here, as your resource to do just that! Every road to success starts with a single step, that first step ... and, then each consecutive step after that. It starts by taking the first step ... the choice is yours to make.
May you have a truly blessed and prosperous New Year! For, you ARE empowered strong!!
All my love and blessings to you,
Did you have a really creative and active imagination as a kid? Did you invent stories and pretend you were invincible, or maybe that you were some kind of superhero? Me too!!! How about now? Do you still dream up make-believe places in your mind, or pretend you have superpowers? Why not?
Somewhere between being a child and now you lost your sense of freedom, or creativity, or permission to dream and play make believe. But, do you realize that your actions and intentions are ruled by your dreams? That the things you think most about become your energy, thus becoming who you are? Wow, I think I want to be a kid again ....
WAIT, you can be!!!! You can choose right now to start using your imagination again! You can choose to give yourself permission to say Y.E.S. right now!!!
Do you realize you were given the most incredible and powerful gift? You were given a song that is only yours to sing!!! No one else can sing your song!!! No one else can shine the light that is uniquely yours! No one has your exact combination of super powers.
By giving yourself permission, and creating a definitive YES for YOU means you say NO to all the noise, all the naysayers, all the repetitive cycles we continue to embrace without ever stopping to ask ourselves, “Is this my truth? And, if this is my truth today ... do I want it to be my truth tomorrow? Do I even believe this?”
Y.E.S. is a complete sentence! And, it is OK for you to say Y.E.S. to yourself first!!! You need to be able to fill your cup, and put on your oxygen mask first, before you can give anything to someone else. That is what You Empowered Strong was built to do ... to help you learn HOW to give yourself THAT permission. To learn how to say Y.E.S. (You Empowered Strong) to yourself.
So, are you ready to say Y.E.S.? Make a commitment to YOU, for YOU today!!!
As I reflect back on one of the most impactful weeks of my life, I truly sit here in amazement at the blessings around me. And, what I find to be the most astonishing is that those blessings truly are out there in the Universe for each of us to reach out and embrace. I am no different than anyone else, no more gifted, or special, and luck has nothing to do with it. You see, I simply have been able to open the channels to receive God's glory around me (and, still continue to open even more channels every day).
I heard so many women this past week who have never given themselves permission to believe they are worth God's grace and the gifts given to them. They are playing small, or in a place where fear is the driver, and I found myself recognizing some of the same in my myself. Yes, I am playing bigger on some scale and living my life with intention and passion (or, at least, I am trying) ... yet, I still had a breakthrough moment in my own vulnerability and fear. My conscious choice in that given moment opened up even more opportunity around playing big and living my life with greater purpose.
I realized that so many can connect and relate to my ("mess to success") story, my authenticity, and my light ... and, to not play as big as I can serves no one, including myself. That I, like everyone of you, was given a song in my heart that is a gift that can impact and affect others, and to not put it out there in every capacity I can, is arrogant and selfish on my part. For if I have the power to impact even one, then I have a responsibility to do that as big and as bold as I possibly can.
All this is to say, there is so much more coming. I want to help others give themselves the same permission to be more, do more, believe more, and lift others up more. I want to work with those who hold the future of our next generation in their hands, in their hearts, and in their leadership to help them create their best living legacy to empower everyone around them. It's about saying Y.E.S. to YOURSELF first, and then saying Y.E.S. to empowering others. For when you say Y.E.S. in your life and make that commitment to live big, you automatically say no to all the noise, the doubt, and the fear.
You have great power within ... do you dare to stand up and say Y.E.S. I will embrace that, own that, and let that shine for the entire world to see?
Do you ever wonder how the energy of others, people you don't even know could affect you? I had that thought today after talking with a coach of mine about the shift in my mindset between last week and this week, and how it felt almost as if a cloud of something I couldn't quite put my finger on rolled through and hit me hard.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am feeling very positive about my life and my purpose. I mean amazing things are happening in my life and with my business ... yet, somehow I am feeling a bit detached from it. I questioned my coach about this, as he is man who has had a lot of experience in understanding energy and balance, and how the Laws of Attraction really work. When I mentioned that something felt off and I couldn't figure out what it was or where it was coming from, he very easily put things into perspective for me ...
He simply said that I was attracting the energy of the Universe and what was happening on a more global scale. That the world, right now, was full of doubt and fear, with so many issues going on and uncertainties present. He said it's as if the excitement from the New Year faded and people are left wondering what if such-and-such happens, how will I, and what if I can't. This doubt has overtaken the energy moving around us this week.
I almost allowed myself to feel defeated for just a quick moment after he said that. I mean I spend so much time being present and intentional about my own energy and being purposeful about what I attract to me and my space. Now, here is my coach telling me that there is all this energy I have no control over and that it is sucking some of my own focus away and perpetuating my own uneasiness. What??? How I am supposed to accept that and change inside of it of that reality?
Then, we continued talking and I realized that again I need to remember there is so much I cannot control. For in truth, there is very little, in the grand scheme of things, that I truly have control over. For as my coach shared with me, there are only 4 things I can control in any given moment: how I think, what I feel, what I believe, and what I expect.
So, where did that leave me? Well, exactly in a position to make up my own mind about how I would let the energy around me affect me. I may not be able to change the shift in the Universe, or the doubt of many, but I could take action to make sure I am spending my time in the most productive space possible. That I can continue to stay present and focused on my goals and the life I am trying to create. That I can continue to inspire, influence, and impact those who are willing to receive what I have to offer. And, that I can pray for those who are letting doubt and fear paralyze them.
For I choose to take responsibility for how I think, what I feel, what I believe, and what I expect. As my amazing coach quoted Confucius to me, "He who masters oneself is the mightiest warrior.” And, I for one, am a strong and beautiful warrior!
As a mighty warrior I have decided that I will continue to keep myself in a place of gratitude, for my blessings are overflowing. I will keep myself in a place of generosity, as my gift and passion is to lift up others so they might see their own light. And, I will keep myself in a place of curiosity, for the world holds many wonders and I am always learning and growing.
I am empowered strong! I am a mighty warrior!
OK, the first full week of 2014 has come and gone!!! How many of you came out of the gates fired up and ready to go? For those of you who have hit the ground running ... woo hoo!!! Keep going!!! Keep fueling the fire that has you But, let me ask you: Do you have an accountability plan to keep your momentum going?
What about those of you who are still a little shaky as to what your goals are for 2014? Or, maybe you haven't quite been able to get the mojo flowing and the car driving in the right direction? Are you feeling lost, maybe a bit overwhelmed? Let me ask you: Do you have an accountability plan to help you get on course?
If not, that's where I can help! Not only can I help you get crystal clear on the goals you want for this year, I can help you identify the barriers getting in your way, and create a measurable accountability plan to "destroy the noise" and get you moving in the right direction. Now, I assure you there will be some work you will need to do, but if you are ready ... I am here armed and prepared to take you to your next level.
I don't know if it's the magic of the New Year, or the new moon that came with it, but I have been on fire this week!! It is truly incredible all that I have been able to accomplish and organize, the break-throughs and growth I have experienced with clients, and the unbelievable opportunities that are coming my way. As my business grows, I find I am growing with it -- places where I still held onto some fear and doubt are melting away, leaving no trace of what held me back for so long.
For those who don't believe in the Law of Attraction, let me assure you it is very real and very powerful. By creating an intentional mindset and staying focused to the goals and outcomes I desire, I find the actions I need exist directly in front of me and I no longer seem to be waffling on what my next step will be.
How many times do we fight with ourselves to figure out how to or where to start, where the next step will come from, or how we will figure out the pieces to help us get to where we want to go? Too many times, I assure you. What if, instead, you let go of the "how" and simply focus on the "what" ... that is, the what attached to your compelling "why"?
For what happens when we do is magical. Once we destroy the noise and release the fear and doubt holding us back, the answers become crystal clear. The only "how" you need to know is how to let your faith fuel you. For faith is all you need. We make our journey difficult but trying to control how the path unwinds -- rather, we should embrace the journey and let the path guide us. For sometimes in the curves and winds of the road, we find the most amazing and unexpected gifts.
Think about how many times your GPS has given you the shortest route to get you from one point to another ... then, you find yourself stuck in traffic or caught up in construction, or better, that the highway has been renovated and the GPS isn't synced with new route properly. How many times in those instances have you found yourself taking an alternate route only to find the most incredible treasure, maybe it was a hidden hideaway, or one of those whole-in-the-wall, best-place-in-the-world kind of restaurants? Either way, that becomes your new route, or at minimum, a great memory, when you have the destination in mind.
The same is true about your personal GPS. What if you stopped trying to take the shortest route and try alternate routes provided to you? Maybe, try taking a more scenic, or off-the-beaten path route and see where it leads you? What would happen?
But, before you can even do that, you need faith. For faith will give you the promise of something wonderful. Faith tells you that whatever path you take, you eventually will get to the destination you want (or, maybe an even better place you never would have consider otherwise). Dare to take a risk, dare to believe, dare to stretch out of your comfort zone and trust your own internal navigational system. I am!!! ... and, the results have been phenomenal!
I continue to be extremely grateful for all the blessings in my life, and for the love that keeps spilling out of my heart!! I believe in letting my faith be the fuel, letting go of controlling the "how," and giving God the steering wheel. For the outcome is sure to be everything (and, usually more) than I ever dreamed.
Here's to a truly tremendous and powerfully uplifting 2014!!! Happy New Year everyone! #youempoweredstrong
Candy Barone is a leadership development expert, trainer & executive coach. She also is an international speaker, author, and the CEO & Founder of You Empowered Strong, LLC.