Three Cheers For Your Freedom!

Time to read: 30 seconds because you have BBQ to eat and fireworks to watch!

unnamed.jpg

Even though the 4th of July is a distinctly American holiday, around the globe, nations mark their independence from tyranny and external control in celebrations of all sorts. Keep reading to see what this holiday has to do with your life and work.

In those idealized stories of nationhood, bands of ill-equipped, untrained and determined rebels threw off the shackles of domination and colonization by much bigger powers. Passion, tenacity and the desire for self-determination led citizens to take a stand for their freedom.

They did not wait for someone to give them freedom. They believed that independence was their birthright. They believed they had the power to create their own reality. They put those beliefs into action that ultimately led to their independence.

These stories are idealized. Hypocrisy and oppression are baked into the reality of these independence stories. We can't and shouldn't ignore the complexity. Both the passion and the hypocrisy are part of the narrative.

And this brings me to you on this festive 4th of July. Freedom from tyranny is your birthright, even when that tyranny is your own beliefs and choices. The path to liberation is complicated, messy and far from ideal. Don't let the complexity and messiness become an excuse for inaction. You have the power of self-determination. It's simply (HA!) a matter of clearing the clutter from your mind so you can see the path forward.

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

I raise a glass to your freedom!

Christina

P.S. If you know someone who wants to be liberated from the tyranny of their own beliefs and choices, simply forward this email to them. They can join us here.

P.P.S. Very soon, my BFF, Anne Lippin, MD and I are launching a cool weeklong challenge that will help you quiet the noise. I don't know about you, but our lives can get very noisy. We've created this challenge to help you clear the path to your freedom. Stay tuned. Coming soon!

 

Find the Good People

Time to read: Less than one minute.

The stolen bike

The stolen bike

Hello Corporate Rebels,

Sometimes bad things happen.

A project you love gets taken away. One of your work friends gets laid off. You lose all the data you spent the past 5 hours working on. It's discouraging when stuff like this happens.

Last week, my son's bike was stolen from our fenced yard. Thus ensued frustration, disappointment, and sadness that someone would do such a thing.

Then an amazing thing happened. I posted the above photo to a local Facebook page devoted to finding stolen bikes. Through this page, I discovered a whole team of folks who track stolen bikes, link them to bikes for sale online and uncover data to help the police catch the ring of thieves who ransacked our neighborhood (and many others) for bikes last weekend. Individuals have contacted me with tips. I have connected them to the investigating officer. These folks are doing incredible work simply because they have the skills, interest, and will.

It has been uplifting to meet the "Robin Hoods" as I have started calling them. They don't have to do this work and have no personal stake in my son's bike. Interacting with them reminds me to have faith in the goodness of human beings and our power to make a difference when we care and take action.

When you look around your workplace, where do you see the Robin Hoods? When things feel hard or discouraging, look for the folks who do what they do simply because they have the skills, they care, and they're willing to take action to change things. Then hang out with those folks a lot.

It makes the things that suck a whole lot better.

I hope this helps.

Christina

P.S. Do you have a friend or colleague who needs a little help to see the bright side today? Forward this newsletter to them. They can join us here.

P.P.S. My BFF, Anne Lippin and I are cooking up something fun to rev some momentum in the lazy month of August. Stay tuned!

 

How To Get Stuff Done, Fast

Time to read: less than one minute because you have s*$% to do!

Imperfection at its finest.

Imperfection at its finest.

Hello rebels!

To say that the past couple of weeks have been slammed would be an understatement. See if any of this sounds familiar to you...

  • My children are off for the summer. Bye-bye routine. Hello daily unpredictability and chaos.
  • I have daily client calls and meetings and have to take some of them from my bedroom because of see #1.
  • We're taking a trip next week so everything has gotten crammed into this week.
  • My BFF and I are launching a project for y'all in August and spent yesterday shooting videos.
  • A volunteer job requires hours of emails and organizing.
  • There's always a dose of interpersonal drama that sucks time and energy when you work with other people.
  • Then there's just regular life: showering, walking the dog, making food, cleaning.

Can you relate?

In weeks like this, the name of the game is "get s#*$ done."

So, how do you get your s*@# done with quality, efficiency and speed?

Keep this one simple moto in mind:

Completion over perfection.

In shooting the videos, Anne and I stumbled over our words sometimes. Did we shoot each video 10 times to get it perfect? NO! We declared our stumbling charming and human and moved to the next video.

I usually have this newsletter written by Tuesday afternoon. Here it is, Thursday morning, and I'm slamming it out before my children wake up. Am I beating myself up for not making my internal deadline or considering letting it go this once? NO. I woke up, chose a topic, and started writing.

Be thoughtful. Do good work. Meet your deadlines (or communicate well if you won't). Don't spend hours dotting every "i" and crossing every "t." Your 80% is good enough. Otherwise, perfection will make you insane. We're not fans of insanity here at the Corporate Rebel.

Get 'er done and move on.

I hope this helps.

Christina

P.S. Do you know someone who gets stuck in perfection and doesn't complete stuff efficiently, or at all? Share this article with them and they can sign up to join us here.

 

3 Surprising Steps to Create Opportunity

Time to read: Less than 2 minutes

This created professional opportunity.

This created professional opportunity.

Many moons ago, I moved to a new city. Starting with grit and my husband's 10 friends, I started a networking campaign to find a job in Human Resources. I had no direct qualifications for an HR role, and a job search coach told me plainly that I had a snowball's chance in hell of getting a job in HR.

Six months later, I had two HR job offers in hand. (And I sent that job search coach a nice "thank you"/"I told you so" note.) The process of creating those opportunities was predictable and surprising. I was discouraged and elated during those 6 months.

Many of y'all have reached out recently in order to create opportunities for yourself. Using my story as a backdrop, here are the 3 surprising steps to create opportunity:

  1. Get started: Don't subscribe to the false belief that you have to have all your ducks in a row and your story 100% straight in order to start. When I was looking for a job, I met with anyone and everyone. Each conversation gave me a chance to hone the story of what I wanted. The early conversations were awkward. By the time I finally met people with actual jobs, I was crystal clear. Consistent action set me up to be ready for #3.

  2. Be patient: Creating opportunity takes time. Don't subscribe to the false belief that if you don't meet some artificial deadline, you're failing. Feeling like a failure is a sure-fire way to stall your efforts. There were times during my job hunt when I didn't want to go to parties. I was tired of feeling like the drag with nothing to talk about but job hunting. The truth is, six months is not a long time when you're creating something new. Keep your eye on the prize and take one step forward at a time.

  3. Wait for serendipity: Don't subscribe to the false belief that your effort alone will create opportunity. Ultimately, the dream job that launched my career in Human Resources didn't come from strategically networking my way to the right person. My job came through a new neighbor when we bought our house. Over the proverbial fence, he told me he was a recruiter for an HR department and offered to take in my resume.

The recipe for creating opportunity is one part effort + three parts serendipity. When you put in the work, the stars eventually align for something magic and unexpected to happen. That you can believe.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Know someone who wants to create opportunity for themselves? Forward this email to them. They can join us here.

P.P.S. I'm working on something exciting that will come out later this summer. It's been a while since I've offered anything to all of you and your friends. Stay tuned. The little elves are working on it.

 

How to Transform Terror Into Triumph!

Time to read: one minute, five seconds

When you google "triumph image," you get a thousand images of this motorcycle.  I have no idea what it is, and the googles clearly wanted you to see it.

When you google "triumph image," you get a thousand images of this motorcycle.

I have no idea what it is, and the googles clearly wanted you to see it.

When I posted my story about the Moth to Facebook, I was struck by something a high school friend said. She posted, "I’m envious of your courage, I do not have any."

That got me thinking. Is it true that some people have courage and some don't?

I don't believe that for one minute.

Everyone has fear, and everyone is courageous. Many of you have told me about being laid off and then finding a job. Or learning to live with a chronic illness. Or jumping out of an airplane. Or saying no to a project for the first time because it doesn't align with your personal goals. That is courage.

Although the Moth event is very much about the content and telling my story, the deeper narrative is the triumph of joy over fear. I thought I'd pull back the curtain so you can see how the process worked.

1. Terror: I spent years dreaming of telling a story on the radio. Then I spent two years actively not clicking the "Tell a story" link on the Moth website.

Triumph: Finally clicking the button.

The lesson? No step is too small and no step forward is insignificant. Just take one tiny step.

2. Terror: A week before the Moth event, I tripped over my own feet and fell on my a** on the sidewalk while walking my dog.

Triumph: Once I recovered from the embarrassment and frustration of falling, I could see the wake-up call. I was indulging my fear. I decided to approach this event with joy and excitement rather than fear and anxiety. That decision changed everything.

The lesson? You can choose to indulge your fear or you can choose to embrace joy, excitement and ease.

3. Terror: Before the Moth event, I worried about all the other awesome story tellers and what everyone would think of me, especially if I told my story badly.

Triumph: I let go of the need to prove something, and all the pressure was released.

The lesson? You have nothing to prove. When you let go of that fact, you take a huge monkey off your back. You become liberated to step into your gifts.

And finally, when you move through the fear, you open the door for amazing things to happen.

What is the fear to triumph you wish for yourself? Write to me and tell me all about it. I love hearing from you.

With rebel love,

Christina

The Biggest Lie You've Been Told

Time to read: Less than one minute

unnamed (1).jpg

Dear Rebels,

When you were young, did you dream of your future? Maybe a job that earned a good living. A family. Time to pursue your passions and interests. Travel. Then, once you got that job, you poured yourself into it with gusto (or not). You played volleyball after work. You took painting classes or sang in a choir. You slept in on weekends and had dinner regularly with friends.

Then maybe you committed to a partner. Perhaps you built a family. You got promoted or changed jobs or went back to school. Your parents got older. Maybe you bought a house. Life got more complex and even though it happened over years, it seems like overnight you became exhausted, overwhelmed, and focused on life as a checklist of transactions. You used to feel like you had it all together and now balls are dropping, friends are a distant memory, exercise was first to go, and the "few tips" you've tried to regain control lasted all of a minute before everything snapped back to the relentless new "normal."

Does some version of this sound familiar?

I grew up in the 1980s when young people were fed the biggest lie of all time.

The lie?

You can have it all.

It's total crap.

Also total crap is the feeling that there is something wrong with you if you can't manage it all.

A wise mentor once said to me, "You can have anything. You just can't have everything."

Cue one of my favorite themes: Choices.

You get to choose your priorities. When you're trying to stuff 15 pounds of life into a 5 pound bag, you get to choose what to let go, what is non-negotiable, what can wait, and what you'll prioritize.

Stop beating yourself up for not being able to manage it all. No one can. It's a lie.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Know someone who needs to let go of the lie? Send them here to find relief.

 
 

OMG! I Did It!

Time to read: Less than 1 minute.

unnamed.jpg

Hi Rebels,

The Moth Story Slam was last night. It was one of the most amazing nights of my life.

Here's how it works: You put your name in a hat and then before each story teller leaves the stage, they draw the name of the next story teller. So, you don't know if you will get to tell your story until it's your turn. Then each story is rated by a panel of audience judges like the Olympics - 9.5, 8.4, 7.9. (Don't even get me started on how much I hate to be judged. Thank you negative ego.)

I was #7 of 10 story tellers, which is a good strategic spot. You don't want to be first when the judges haven't calibrated a good story yet. And last is not great, because the audience is tired.

When they called my name, I floated to the stage. The lights blinded my ability to see the audience, which was good. The story was ready through diligent feedback (thanks, Anne!) and practicing (thanks to my dog for listening over and over). Telling the story was like being in a state of conscious unconsciousness - deeply present, completely immersed, and separated from the reality that there were 200 people in that bar. They laughed. They clapped. They cheered. It was incredible.

The moment was a triumph over terror into joy. And as always, I think about what this experience means to you. Here it is:

  • Do that thing that you've always wanted to do. Even if it terrifies you.
  • Find your negative ego boring. In the week leading up to last night, I started to fixate on my fear and anxiety (courtesy of my negative ego). What if I freeze on stage? What if no one likes my story? After a couple of days of this, I decided not to indulge my addiction to worry and simply replaced it with visions of getting on that stage and having fun.
  • It takes discipline to push past fear. The fear and anxiety lurked around the edges regularly. Living free from fear takes a thousand small reminders and choices. You have to choose it.
  • Living free is worth the work. Doing the work to push past your fear and live big is worth it. I'm higher than a kite today. It's amazing.

To top off the night, I won.

It was a victory to muster the courage to walk into that bar. (Remember when I couldn't even click the link on The Moth website?) It was enough that I got on that stage. Now I get to move on to tell another story from the Guthrie Theater stage in October among the 10 winners of the other slams.

Many of you have emailed to ask how it went. A couple of Corporate Rebels surprised me by coming last night. (Thank you, Adam and Cheryl - You're the best!) I'll post the recording from the Moth in a few weeks.

Thanks to everyone who as emailed and held space and cheered. It means a lot to me.

I can't wait to hear about your triumph!

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you know someone with a dream (and the subsequent paralysis from fear)? Send them this newsletter. I hope my journey from terror to victory will inspire them to take the first step. They can join here.