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It’s been a busy month, but I’ll admit I love the hustle and bustle and holiday cheer that often comes this time of the year.
This is officially my first monthly newsletter (Woot! Woot!)
I was going to wait until January, which feels like a much more “natural” time to start - January is the month of new beginnings after all!
But I have really been trying to “walk my talk”.
As a mindset and change coach, I often tell my clients that your only power is in the present.
Whenever you are trying to make changes of any sort, the only power you have is now. There is nothing you can do about the past and the future will always be out of reach. Our brains love to reward us for “good intentions” but it is also a bit of a trap (more on that later). We can easily get sucked into “Monday thinking”... being absolutely certain that you will do it then.
But as your grandma may have said, “why put off until tomorrow something that can be done today!”
That was a long-winded way to simply say HI! I’m here… and I’m so glad you are too!!!
This month I wanted to share with you 4 Things I Don’t Believe Anymore.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have recently become an empty-nester. It has certainly been a bit of an adjustment. I had one person reach out to me and give me some good advice. “Go into creation mode.”
As I have delved into creating my new Coaching Program (launching in January), it has been the best place for my brain to go.
And while I have been in “creation mode”, I have both learned quite a bit and also had a few enlightening thoughts. Some of which I’ll share here :)
☝️This phrase, along with this 👉 “Something worth doing is worth doing well”, were both ingrained in me somewhere in my childhood.
And truthfully, I’m not sure I believe them anymore.
At least not in the blanket-statement-all-or-nothing sort of way that I'm guessing they were intended for.
I love the idea behind them.
The notion that to really play big you need to have all your chips on the table.
There’s a time and a place for that.
But that doesn’t always work.
At least not for me.
Because there are times and seasons and sometimes they overlap… a lot.
It makes going “All-In” fall somewhere between overwhelming to totally unrealistic.
That tends to the thinking that if you can’t give it your all, then giving it “just a little” isn’t worth the effort. So we revert to what we were doing before.
Leading to no change and no growth.
Versus recognizing that some effort leads to some progress… and some progress is always better than no progress at all.
In the business world, the question “Is it scalable?” seems to be the litmus test for the greenlight. If the answer is no, you should pull the plug.
And it feels like everything these days is asking the same metaphorical question.
Is it scalable? Can you be the best? Are you ready to level-up in every way?
I’ll admit that at times it can feel like the universe is shouting, “If you can’t go ‘BIG’ then you’re wasting your time.”
But then comes that small voice from deep inside that says, “No, that’s not right for me. I’m going to take a different approach.”
I’ve learned that I can focus on the things that are the most important and still carve out time to work towards dreams and goals. Somedays that includes incredible hours of brainstorming and creating and some days it’s a quick glance at my computer knowing that it will be right there when I can get to it.
I’ve learned that success looks different for everyone but I do wish I could sit down with a young entrepreneur and tell her that she can build a life where her work is something she loves, provides a little income, AND gives her the freedom to devote her time to things that are required for the season she is in… THAT is what success feels like to me.
Sometimes it's the baby steps and not the giant leaps that make the biggest difference.
There’s something magical and almost Disney-like by being able to cheerfully exclaim, “I’ve found my purpose in life.”
But there’s something about it that just doesn’t sit right with me anymore.
For years I felt like I was falling short, or missing the boat because I couldn’t pinpoint ‘my purpose’. I would do all the things, and take the courses, read the books, listen to the podcasts, but still walk away feeling a little defeated.
I would read how “vitally important” it was to find my purpose in life, and yet still couldn’t narrow it down.
Maybe it was because it felt so definitive or confining. Like it had to be the “one thing”, and certainly the “right thing.”
My life didn’t really seem to fit that mold.
I felt like I was wearing a myriad of different hats (and still do), and each one of those roles were important to me, but couldn’t be circumscribed into one “purpose”.
And then I decided to just let it go.
I decided that it was perfectly fine that my time was divided in lots of different directions, and that even though I wasn’t working for a particular “purpose”, that each of my different avenues contributed to my overall feelings of meaning and happiness.
I now feel like it is the singularity implied with “purpose” that maybe I was struggling with.
Because the journey I have been on has taken me down so many different paths.
I think at the time I felt like they were somewhat mismatched and disconnected (for example, getting a degree in accounting and then later on doing my graduate work in science.)
But I look back now and can see the continuity and the “reason”. I can look back on where I have been and I can see the “purpose”, and this brings me such comfort and peace.
So my advice to you is this:
Listen to your own music. It will be different for everyone.
Just keep growing (more on that next month).
Don’t wait for the right time… it’s never the right time.
Follow what you are drawn to - God will never give you a vision that you are unable to fulfill.
This one was a little trickier for me.
Because I want to believe it.
I like the way it feels, and I like the way it rolls off the tongue with ease.
Especially when confronted with a hard scenario that doesn’t make sense. It’s easy to reach for this one when other explanations aren’t adequate.
But I don’t believe this anymore.
I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.
There is too much darkness and too much evil to give it a simple pass with this phrase. (Child trafficking, rape, reckless murder, and even senseless tragedy just don’t have reason behind them.)
Instead, I choose to believe that we can find meaning in suffering.
I choose to believe that even when things don’t make sense, we can decide how we want to think and feel. When we can’t control anything else, we can always control that.
We are only ever one thought away from changing our reality… even if that reality is really, really hard. There is power in perspective.
I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason.
However, I have replaced it with something I like better.
Something that I believe with all my heart.
“Everything will be right in the end.
If it’s not right, it’s likely not the end.”
I’m an early-riser, list-maker, Type-A personality, over-achiever and I love to learn.
This is not me tooting my own horn - I’m also super impatient, geographically challenged, boring at parties, way too prideful, and a little naive.
But there are 2 things that I put a pretty high priority on and that’s learning and being productive. The former I get from my Dad and the latter I get from my German-mother who is an absolute workhorse and drilled it into all 6 of her children (she’s amazing).
But here’s the lesson I have discovered.
Learning is not the same as being productive.
Don’t get wrong, learning is incredibly valuable, but it’s NOT the same as actually producing something.
A lot of time, energy, and money can go into learning (trust me, I’ll tell you how much I’ve spent the next time I see you :)
But learning is not the same thing as being productive. It just feels productive.
For years I convinced myself that it was. Because it felt good (stroke of the ego), was easier than actually being “productive”, and was a lot less vulnerable than putting myself out there by creating something.
But you will never make any changes, or reach any of your goals and dreams without ACTION.
Without actually taking the steps to DO SOMETHING.
And often we judge ourselves based on our intentions rather than on our actual results.
You can read all the books you want on being organized, eating healthy, or networking. But until you actually clean the room, choose the nutritious option, or make the phone calls… nothing really changes!
Our brain tends to give us credit for our “desire” to change, or our “plan” to do something different. It pats us on the back for wanting to try something new. But it’s a sneaky trap if we don’t actually DO something with it.
It’s an unproductive pattern that makes us feel good. And I’ve been there way too many times.
So now I structure my time a little differently.
I still love learning, and schedule time to do that. Books, courses, and personal development will always be a part of my life.
But I now schedule “productivity time” and my tasks are now linked to a clear objective. (I’m a big fan of time-blocking.)
I try to make sure I have measurable items that I need to “produce”.
When you are trying to create change, it is about prioritizing action over information. I have also learned that effort and progress are not the same thing.
Just because I am putting “energy” into something doesn’t mean I am making progress. So I have to pause often and ask “is it working?” And if the answer is no, I need to be willing to pivot and try something different… regardless of how much effort I exerted.
To quote a favorite author:
“Piling on more information is not the path to transformation. You don’t need to take notes; you need to take action.” -Elizabeth Benton
Ahh so so true!
If you’re still here, you’re probably hungry by now haha!
So how about a little recipe? I still like to create in the kitchen now and then, so I’ll include a recipe each month to keep things exciting :)
This has been my go-to soup all fall and is still holding strong all winter. I like to make it a little healthier by using chicken sausage instead of pork sausage, lowering the cream amount, and by adding cauliflower (either right to the soup or filling my bowl with cauliflower rice and then pouring the soup over top.)
And if you’re stillllll reading … you really do deserve a little reward!
So I would like to invite you to my Free 4-Day Morning Momentum Challenge that you can register for HERE.) I would love you to experience the power of starting your day with a clear mindset and powerful intentions. It begins January 3rd at 6 am (I’ll send you the playbacks if you accidentally sleep in :)
lots of love,
P.S. - A little fun fact. I’m a huge Survivor fan. It first aired on May 31st, 22 years ago. May 31st also happened to be the day that my youngest graduated from high school… and so I sent in my audition tape for the show that day! I’ll keep you posted on the adventure!
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