How to Stop That Devil On Your Shoulder

Time to read: 39 little seconds

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I was talking to a new client recently, and he told me that every time he goes to networking events, a voice in his head tells him he has nothing to say, no one is interested, and that everyone else is a better networker.

No wonder networking seems hard and discouraging.

Networking is a popular place for this negative talk track to appear. Perhaps, for you, the voice appears in public presentations, in conversations with your boss, during job interviews or project meetings, dating, in-laws or college reunions. Choose your favorite situation.

You can't succeed in networking, interviews or conversations when you treat yourself negatively.

To dilute the negative voice, try this:

Think about someone you love - a friend, a sibling, or one of your children. Now imagine them at the networking event with you following them around whispering in their ear that they aren't good enough and will never succeed.

Ridiculous!

You'd never do that to them, right?

And yet, you do it to yourself.

Again, imagine the person you love. If you were a bug in their ear, how would you encourage them? What would you say?

See where this is going?! At the risk of connecting obvious dots...

Say those things to yourself.

Networking (and presentations and conversations with your boss and interviews) just got a whole lot easier.

Write to me and tell me all about it!

Rebel love to you!

Christina

P.S. Know someone who could use a weekly dose of positivity and tips for being happy in corporate life? They can join here.

 

Are You Bored?

Time to read: 50 seconds of pure excitement!

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I called a friend of mine a few minutes ago. "I'm bored," I told her (despite a long to-do list). After she observed that boredom is an unusual state of being for me, she suggested I take my dog for a walk and let my brain be still.

Stillness... also an unusual state of being for me.

I tried it and am happy to report that although I still feel bored, I am moving forward. Do you know what to do when you feel bored?

Boredom is a transitional emotion. It can either take you up into optimism, joy, and contentment or down into frustration, self-judgment, and despair. You have a choice.

Here are your options:

To go down: Judge your boredom. Judge yourself for being bored. You have a long to-do list and a great life. How could you possibly be bored? Decide there is something wrong with you for being bored. You've just gotten on the fast train down. Expect to spend a good amount of time down there.

To go up: Pause and notice the normal human experience of being bored. Take a break. Simply be bored. If you're at home, watch TV (without judgment). If you're at work, take a walk or strike up a conversation. Decide on one thing you can do (clean out your email, practice a speech, make a phone call). Doing the one thing might start the engine for more things. Or it might not. Get motivated or stump along. Either is fine. Some days are like this, and it will pass.

I practiced my story for the Moth, which got my blood pumping with fear and excitement. (Remember that commitment? I'll be at the Story Slam on May 22nd.) Now I'm writing. I'm not sure if I feel motivated today or if I'm stumping along. It doesn't matter.

Either way, you're moving forward.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Know someone who needs a jolt out of boredom? Forward this newsletter to them. They can sign up to be catapulted out of boredom for 1-2 minutes a week by signing up here.

 

Do You Like Where You Are Heading?

Time to read: 55 seconds (So you can get out in your garden. It's spring!)

Frank's holiday cards

Frank's holiday cards

A hundred years ago, I worked with an amazing man. Frank worked hard during the school year then adventured all summer in his car and on his bike. Each Christmas, he mailed a card with a photo from his travels and the exact same quote. The quote was:

"If we don't change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are heading." ~ Chinese proverb

This quote has been rattling around in my head as I've talked to friends and clients this week.

Consider this: You're on a path in your career. Although that path is not controllable or predictable (e.g. layoffs, health issues, babies, and winning the lottery to name a few possible interruptions), you can visualize the path ahead of you. Look at the people who are 10 or 20 years older than you. Look at the leaders who are a few steps above you on the food chain.

Do you like what you see? Do you like the way they live? Do you share their personal and professional priorities and values?

Now, take a look at your own thoughts and choices. Do you feel in integrity with yourself? Are your work and life in balance in the way you want them to be? Are you taking care of your body, mind and spirit? Do you tell yourself, "When I retire, I'll ____(fill in the blank with your dream for the future)?

I offer you a slightly modified version of the quote I received every December for many years. "If you don't change your direction, you are likely to end up where you are heading."

How do you like where you are heading?

If you love it, great! Keeping going.

If you don't, now is the time to change your direction.

As always, I love to hear from you. If these thoughts struck a chord, email me and tell me all about it!

With all kinds of rebel love,

Christina

P.S. If one of your friends or colleagues needs a nudge to consider a change of direction, share this newsletter with them. They can join our merry band of rebels here.

 
 

I Can't Stop Talking About Decision Making!

Time to read: 1:12.56 min

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Hi Rebels!

Friends and clients are making big decisions this spring. I can't stop talking about decision-making, because it's a place where you can make your life so much easier. I'm going to share with you another nuance for efficient and effective decision-making, because as I witness the various processes, I'm reminded of one thing.

Life wasn't meant to be this hard.

I wrote a few weeks ago about gathering information and feeling your feelings. (If you want the full set of hot tips about decision-making, you can get them here.)

Today, I want to show you how to tune your antenna to open versus closed energy.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

You walk into an interview and things feel off. You don't connect with the interviewers. You don't like the building. Do you take the job or not?

You visit a house in a great neighborhood. The price is right. The location is good. It's new and pretty, and a good investment. Something feels funny. Logic says you should buy it. Should you?

In each of these situations, you are probably tempted to decide using your smart brain and logic. You are strong and can make anything work by motoring through.

OMG. No!

Stop the madness.

The truth is, you have an astute antenna for picking up energy. When something feels hard and stagnant, it might be that it isn't meant to be or you're stepping over something important. If you look back over times when you pushed past your antenna, you will probably see intolerable jobs, costly mistakes, and time wasted.

Let's relook at the situations above through the lens of energy and ease:

If you are making a choice like a job or getting a dog, feel into whether the options feel open or closed. Is the energy moving forward or feeling like a closed door? If the energy feels constricted, stale or random, don't take that job or get that dog. Go where the energy feels open and flowing, even if logically it seems like you should take that job.

Logic isn't the only driver in a decision. With something like a house, visit it again and ask yourself, "Is this my house?" Give the decision time. Then, be honest with yourself, even if your choice sounds illogical to your brain.

Your decisions will become much easier when you are honest with yourself about the energy in your options. You've got sharp antenna. Use them. Pay attention.

I hope this helps.

Christina

P.S. Are your friends and colleagues struggling with decisions like mine are? Help them out by forwarding this email to them. They can join us here.

 

The Secret to Effective, Efficient Decision-Making

Time to read: a wee bit over one minute

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I've been hearing from lots of people about big decisions they are making this week. Decision making can be daunting. It can produce anxiety and fear. You feel the risk of making the wrong decision and then facing the consequences forever.

See what you think of this common decision-making process:

  1. Gather all the information.
  2. Think about the information.
  3. Make a list of pros and cons to assess each option and determine which one is the best choice.
  4. Think more.
  5. Organize the information.
  6. Try to get more information.
  7. Look for more pros and cons, hoping to find the one that will make everything clear.
  8. Feel muddled and foggy and not sure what to do.
  9. Repeat steps 4 - 8 until you can't sleep.

Sound familiar? You go round and round, stressing out, and getting no closer to clarity until you make the decision through force or exhaustion.

This process is not effective and doesn't produce better results.

Gathering information is fine. The thinking bit is fine. Making a pros and cons list is fine too, but in many cases, it isn't actually going to help you make your decision. There's a point where no additional information is going to make the choice.

So, what's the secret to easier, more effective decision-making?

Here is everything you need to know to move you from muddled to clarity:

The secret: Leverage other ways of knowing. (I put this in bold in case you scrolled right to it.)

You have wisdom that goes beyond the facts and data, and here's how to access that wisdom:

  • Feel your feelings. Do you feel excited or defeated? Do you feel happy or trapped? Are you bored or full of possibility?
  • Listen to your intuition. Are you getting messages that say go or messages that scream "stop!" Does the door feel open or closed? Where do things feel ease-ful or hard?

This requires you to be very honest with yourself and sometimes to make decisions that don't make logical sense. (Remember when I told you I didn't publish a book even though a publisher went out of their way to talk to me? The decision to not publish didn't make logical sense from the standpoint of what I should do. And everything in me screamed, "no!")

You can use this tip for big decisions like which job to take or for small ones like what to do for dinner. The more you practice, the faster and clearer your decisions will become.

I hope this helps!

Christina

Do you know someone who is struggling with a decision? Hit forward on this email and share it with them. If they want more rebel-y tips and tricks for doing this thing called life and work, they can join us here.

 

How to Get Out of Exhaustion and Overwhelm

Time to read: Less than one minute and fifteen seconds

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Hello Rebels,

It's 6:00 am. Your feet are barely on the floor, and you're already behind. You stayed up after your children's bedtime to empty your stuffed inbox and get ahead on that presentation you couldn't finish during your back-to-back day. Then there is summer scheduling, end of school activities, and picking up the slack while your colleagues take spring vacation. Remember exercise? Ha!

You're exhausted before you've started, and although some days are more packed than others, they all mush together in one long string of busy-ness.

Feel familiar?

You think that if you find the right productivity strategy, you'll be able to fix this. You get creative with your company's insistence that you "do more with less." You only check email once or twice a day. You focus on the three most important things you need to get done. These strategies work to some extent, and nothing seems to change.

I love productivity tips as much as the next busy person. And, organizing your desk differently or making prioritized lists is only going to get you so far.

What will actually get you out of exhaustion and overwhelm, is a change in you.

To help you experiment with this idea, I turned to a process I use in my own life. I have this amazing set of cards full of empowering choices and beliefs. I pull one every day to anchor how I will be with whatever is happening that day.

Today, I pulled three cards for you. (See the photo above.) Your three cards are:

Willingness: This is one of my favorites. You have to be willing to do things differently today. To slow down. To stop worrying. To get into action. Even when things suck, we're often not actually willing to change it.

I am creative: Where can you lean into your wild creativity to bring more joy, new solutions, or less stress to your work?

I choose trust: I pull a card everyday, and I seriously trust 4 out of 5 times. Seems like this one might be kind of important. Where do you not trust yourself? Or others? Where can you lean into more trust to bring ease to your work and relationships?

Pick one of these cards and use it to navigate your day. Then hit reply to this email and tell me what happens.

I always love to hear from you.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Please share these cards with a friend or colleague who needs a little more trust, creativity or willingness. They can join our merry band of rebels here.

 

This Is What Easy Looks Like!

Time to read: 45 seconds

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Hello rebels,

A client of mine is looking for work and has decided to use this opportunity to craft his career in his area of passion and life purpose. It feels risky and exciting and scary and wonderful all at once.

He was recently accepted into and attended an exclusive international training program in his area of passion. This training included luminaries in his field, people with gobs of experience, amazing possibility for connection, and the potential for tapping into the unpublished job market. He was simultaneously excited and terrified.

For the event, we set some tactical goals: 1. to get a photo with the biggest star at the conference; 2. come away with at least 5 new connections.

On our call this week, we reviewed his progress toward these goals. Photo with star - check! And the 5 connections... "well," he said, "the conference organizers sat us at tables according to our region so the 5 connections happened easily. I guess I didn't really do the assignment."

What?! Didn't do the assignment? He wanted 5 connections and got 5 connections. In fact, more than 5 connections fell into his lap easily. Something seemed wrong because he hadn't "worked" for the connections. He hadn't struggled.

And, this is how life and work happens when you are on the right track. This is how opportunities flow when you are following your purpose. Opportunities come easily. Connections happen naturally. The universe just seats you at a table with exactly the people you need to meet.

All that energy spent struggling and worrying about making the right connections at the conference? He got to use it to talk about the things he actually cares about and take the next steps toward what he wants.

What would it be like to let go of the struggle and achieve your goals this easily?

You can.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you know someone who feels they have to struggle to achieve their goals? Share this newsletter with them. They can join the fun here.