3 Hot Tips for Spring Cleaning

Time to read: So you have more time to clean off your desk, this will take 1 minute and 10 seconds to read!

 Junk, er, treasures for my friend's thrift store

Junk, er, treasures for my friend's thrift store

Hello Rebels!

You may be wondering, "why the heck is she talking about spring cleaning on the Corporate Rebel?" Good question with a good answer:

  1. It's spring! Celebration time! Do you really need another reason to purge your closet?
  2. Even though I don't sell a purging and organization service, I'm a nut for the subject... like... I read books about decluttering, advise my friends on how to clean off their desks, and use the chance to clean off our stairs as a reward for doing my work. (Guess where I'm headed after writing this newsletter?)
  3. With all the new energy of spring, it's time to clean out the cobwebs and the junk that has piled up all winter. Literally and figuratively.
  4. I am a strong believer that purging out old stuff clears stale energy and invites fresh juju for inspiration and creating in your work and life. (Remember how much you want to put work and life on your terms? Don't let your crap hold you back!)

Here are my three favorite ways for getting the s&*% out:

  1. Make a game (I'm serious here) of getting rid of stuff. If you can only fit so many mugs on the shelf, some of them must go.
  2. Fundraise. Choose a cause to donate to or something you want to do with the money. Then channel your inner 12-year-old into raising the money by selling the stuff you're unloading. My son's old clothes are going to buy an apple tree.
  3. Choose a destination for your stuff. If you know your donations are going to a refugee family or to help someone learn work skills, you will dig deeper and purge more.
  4. OK, I said three tips. You get four. Purge a little at a time. Nothing kills the fun more than the urgent and stressful feeling that you have to clean out every closet this Saturday!

So, what will you purge to open space for your inspiration and creation? I'd love to see a photo of your pile of crap. As always, you can hit reply to this email to share!

Happy de-cluttering.

Christina

P.S. If you have a friend or colleague who needs to purge their junk, forward these tips to them. They can join the Corporate Rebel party right here.

 

Are You Aligned With the Future You Want?

Time to read: A little over one minute to read the newsletter. Maybe 4 minutes if you actually do the exercise.

 I am aligned with THIS future!

I am aligned with THIS future!

Before you read any further, please do a quick exercise.

For two minutes, tell a story about the thing that has been on your mind the most in the past two weeks. (You can tell the story out loud or in your head.)

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Now, take a quick inventory of the story you just told. What was the energy? What are a few key words from the story?

Got it? Great.

Now you're going to learn something cool. I heard a concept recently that completely blew my mind and of course, I immediately thought of sharing it with you!

It is this:

Your reality is not created by your past. Your reality is created by your future.

What?! Doesn't it make sense that your current reality is created by a combination of events from the past? Like your parents who told you you could be anything you wanted? Or your competition with your older brother? Or the teacher who told you you weren't smart enough for advanced math? Or that time you got fired?

Try this on instead. You have a million and one possible futures. You can probably envision a thousand potential futures. You are aligned around a potential future right now, and it may or may not be the future you actually want.

Here are examples to help this make sense:

  • Imagine you are dealing with family issues which have left you angry and exhausted. When you talk about the future you want, that future is full of connection, peace and home. However, the future you are currently aligned around is filled with judgment, blame and depletion.
  • Now imagine you are making a huge life change. It's scary, and you're excited and motivated and relishing the thrill of the mystery and discovery inherent in the unknown. You are aligned around a future full of possibility.

Do you see the difference?

Now imagine the future you want. Where are you? What are you doing? How can you dream that future to be even bigger? Bolder? More vibrant? More alive?

Think back to the story you told a minute ago. What future are you aligned around right now? Is it the future you want? If it is, great! Keep going. If it's not, what do you need to change to align yourself and your life right now around the future you do want?

This exercise will help you get closer to the future you want by creating that future starting right now.

I'd love to hear what you discover in this exercise. Email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com and tell me all about it.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you have a friend who wants to get aligned with the future they want? Forward this newsletter to them. Then invite them to join you by signing up for weekly wisdom for work and life right here.

4 Steps to Worry-Free Decision Making

Time to read: much less than two little minutes

 Which direction should you go?

Which direction should you go?

Hello rebels!

Do you have decisions to make? Do you anticipate having decisions to make in the future? Do you feel an urgency to get to the right decision and get to it quick so you can move-on-to-the-next-thing-burning-on-your-to-do-list-so-you-can-focus-on-something-else entirely-already?!

Geez. That sense of urgency is not helpful! (I know this. Let me explain.)

Big decisions were made in our house this spring.

My daughter has been choosing a high school and my son has decided to switch schools at the same time. We've been part of the same tight school community for 9 years so this change is a big deal for all of us. Many times in this decision-making process, I have felt urgency to get information fast, weigh all the options, and finalize a decision so we can feel clear and certain and move on to other priorities.

And this process has offered me a few huge lessons about decision-making, which I happily share with you.

If you have a teenager, you'll understand this next bit. Despite my sense of urgency, there was no forcing my 14-year-old into a decision until she was good and ready. This story is a metaphor (in case you didn't notice, you are the 14-year-old). You can try to force a decision. You can talk about it until your friends stop returning your calls. You can live your worries in the middle of the night. You can obsess until the decision invades your dreams.

And the truth is, the decision will not get made until it is time to make it. When the deadline was approaching, my daughter flat-out refused to talk about school choice for a week. We had no option but to put the thing down. And, we had a deadline. Over a huge piece of cake (I'm a strategic mom), I told her it was go-time. I expected hang-wringing and worry about where her friends were going. Instead, she paused for 10 seconds, and said, "I'm going to XYZ school."

Done and done. The decision was filled with ease and joy.

I was shocked and delighted, and since I'm a coach who writes a weekly newsletter, I made note of what just happened so I could share it with you. When making a decision - big or small, here's what you need to know:

  1. Gather information, but just enough. In most cases, you will not land on the one piece of information that is going to make your decision for you so don't drive yourself crazy trying to find it.
  2. Fire up your intuition. Pay attention to how you feel about your options. Watch your dreams. Feel into the energy of the way you talk about your choices. (Do you feel expansive or constricted? Joyful or worried? Excited or sick?)
  3. Know your deadline or set a deadline for yourself. When you let a decision drag on and on, you're using it as an excuse to hide from the responsibility of actually making a decision. Don't do that. It's not fun, and hiding isn't going to get you anywhere.
  4. Give the decision space. Put it down. Stop talking about it. Let it go. In the quiet, you'll find the answer.

Oh, and I recommend cake. Cake helps everything go smoothly.

Rebel love to you

Christina

P.S. Do you love the Corporate Rebel Unplugged Video Podcast and Newsletter? Share with with your friends! They can join our merry band of rebels right here.

 

Do You Wish For a Free Lunch? You Can Have It!

 Mmmmm…..lunch!

Mmmmm…..lunch!

You've heard the adage, "there's no such thing as a free lunch," right?

IMHO this is a rather cynical perspective that there is an ulterior motive behind acts of generosity and kindness, especially from a corporation. I am happy to report that there actually is a free lunch, literally. And I'm going to help you find your free lunch, even if it doesn't come in the form of food.

I am coaching and doing team development for a company that actually offers free lunch. For all their employees. Like, you walk into their cafeteria and fill your plate with fresh salad, hot soup, entrees and soft serve ice cream. As much as you want, for FREE. I've never seen anything like it in all my corporate years!

Munching on some delicious chicken salad got me thinking about you.

Sometimes it's hard to see the free lunch that is right in front of you. I know. I know. Some of you are going to write to me and say that you pay for your "free lunch" with your time and talent. (I count on hearing from you!)

Of course, you do. That is the employment contract. You work. We pay you.

Consider this: You can choose to see the benefits of that contract through a lens of scarcity and cynicism (i.e. what you don't get, what you deserve and are not getting, how you are stuck) or you can see it from generosity and gratitude (i.e. how your life is easier, "I can't believe I get _____!" How you are always free to make a different choice.)

Here are some contenders for your free lunch. See if one of these is yours or sparks your gratitude cells:

  • You can visit the doctor whenever you want because you have health insurance. Even better if the company covers your family. (As someone who was self insured for many years, I can tell you the free lunch of insurance is pretty awesome.)
  • You have the flexibility to leave the office for appointments or your child's holiday pageant.
  • You get to work out during the day.
  • You get bonuses or spot awards or cool little gifts for years of service.
  • Paid professional development.
  • Affinity groups.
  • Great colleagues.
  • Collaboration.
  • Making a contribution in your industry.
  • Selling a product and/or service that brings people pleasure and/or changes lives.

Sometimes in the bustle and stress of working life, it's easy to stop seeing the generous and kind things that happen to you every day. What free lunch is right in front of you?

Have a great week!

Christina

P.S. If you love the Corporate Rebel Unplugged Video Podcast and Newsletter, please share it with some friends. Next week you'll get an interview with a woman who will show you how easy it is to live and work from pure joy, even when things are hard. Your friends can join our merry little tribe here.

 

Life Advice From Your Tribe!

 I've been looking for an excuse to use this picture!

I've been looking for an excuse to use this picture!

Last summer, I spent three weeks in North Carolina working at my children's summer camp. (Apropos of nothing, I was the Editor-in-Chief of the child-produced camp newspaper, The Tajar Times. So fun!)

While at camp, I offered pro bono coaching to anyone who wanted it. I spent many hours coaching people in their 20s who were angst ridden over questions like, "Should I marry the guy or dump him?" "I got a degree in a field I HATE!" "Do I take this job or travel through Europe?"

I also solicited advice from the Corporate Rebel tribe and posted the following list on the staff bulletin board. Many, many young people read it and told me the advice was astute and helpful. I came across this list recently, and your advice was soooooo good, I'm sharing it here with all of you.

Enjoy!

From Nick:

  1. Stretch every day.
  2. Read. A lot.
  3. Make time to explore the world. It's fascinating.

From Alastair:

Your dreams remain. Keep them top of mind even when 20 years of reality hasn't quite worked as you thought. Keep them present, and they will guide you.

I didn't.

Through coaching and refocusing, things I thought were lost to career "diversions" are now more present than they ever were before. Shocking really. But it speaks volumes toward a few things.

  1. Never give up hope.
  2. Accept that the original dream is still there but may manifest differently and in ways you can't yet imagine.
  3. Embrace variety beyond what you envisioned.
  4. Listen to your inner voice and be true to it.

So forgive yourself right now for not always knowing. Who does? And pause and listen to yourself. What do you want? Truly.

Know this - life is short. So relax, lean into your life, enjoy and focus.

From Anne

It is never too early to put your self-care first. Don't get immersed in baggage piling on your head.

Deal with issues, learn new skills, add them to your toolbelt and move on. Don't be a people pleaser. Be a YOU pleaser! Build your plate your way, set boundaries and know that it is okay to say no. Set boundaries and keep them.

With rebel love,

Christina

 

Do You Dread Bad News?

 My little bunnies many years ago.

My little bunnies many years ago.

When you apply for a new job, go for a promotion or put your hat into the ring for something you really, really, want, do you lie awake at night worrying, "What if I get bad news?"

I'm in this exact spot, and this week I realized there may be no such thing as bad news. Wouldn't that be awesome? Here's what I mean...

My daughter is heading to high school next year, and my son has decided to consider joining her at a new school. This means they have applied to a number of places, and we have waited MONTHS to find out if they are admitted. We find out this week. (I'm doing lots of yoga and meditation to stay calm as the minutes tick by.)

Yesterday a friend commented that she hopes we don't get the "bad letter." When I heard those words, something in me clicked and my nerves calmed the heck down.

There really is no possible "bad letter" that could arrive this week. They will either be admitted or they won't. You will either get the job or you won't. Those are the simple facts. It's the story that you make up about the facts that causes the late-night worrying. Try these on:

"If I don't get the promotion, it's because I'm not respected by senior management."

"If I don't get this job, it was my last chance and my career will stall, and I'll eventually be homeless."

"If my kids don't get into this school, then…. what?….Their lives are over? They are destined for a horrible high school experience? Their future is in jeopardy?"

Can you see how ridiculous this thinking is?

The arrival of supposed "bad" news, is simply the arrival of additional information. And with that information you make your next choice. Do you stay at the company or move on? Do you do something different in your job search or try again? Do you retool your skills so you are better qualified next time?

The fact of the matter is that things always turn out. Something always results, and you are always ready to handle whatever it is, even if it's painful. My children will go to high school. You will have opportunities if you want them. They are growing into amazing people. You are an amazing person. That's what matters.

So, you (and I) can let go of the fear of the "bad" letter and know that all you have to do is be ready to make your next move.

So simple.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. I'd love it if you'd share this post with your colleagues, friends and family. Word of mouth is the best way to spread good stuff. Your friends can sign up here to get the a weekly dose of insight, wisdom, and good humor to make them happier and more fulfilled at work (and in life).

 

Do You Hate It When People Tell You How You Feel?

Time to read: 1 little minute and 15 tiny seconds

 My corporate campsite this week.

My corporate campsite this week.

Do you hate it when people tell you how you feel?

Let me begin with a little story then tell you what to do when someone inaccurately insists you must be feeling something you are not.

I'm at a client site this week doing 2 intense days of back to back private coaching for a big corporation followed by a third day of team building sessions. When I return home, I head to another big corporation to coach all day in their women's leadership program. When I tell people about my week, they say, "that must be exhausting!",

When I hear that, I'm like, "hmmmmm….," or I'm annoyed. I'm annoyed because other people's opinions can muddy the water and make it hard to listen to your own feelings and trust your own experience. With their suggestion, you might start to wonder, "Am I exhausted? Maybe I should be."

By becoming aware when other people are imposing how you should feel, you can commit to listen to and trust how you actually feel.

Here's how to do that:

  1. Check in with yourself. When you hear a suggestion for how you should feel, use it as a reminder to pause and check in. How are you feeling? Is there something you need to express, process alone, or adjust? What will get you on track with where you want to be?
  2. Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself. Are you telling stories that are empowering or disempowering? Is telling yourself that you are exhausted or overwhelmed enabling you to be your best self and do your best work or is it sapping your energy?
  3. Choose your feelings. You get to decide if you are exhausted, overwhelmed or frustrated. The circumstances don't dictate your feelings, and other people's suggestions certainly don't. It is true that I may be tired when I get on the plane to go home, and while doing the work, I choose to be energized and inspired by my clients.
  4. Clarify. If you want to, you can clarify how you really feel to the person who is asking. Assume they care about you and had the best of intentions when they made their comment. Something like, "actually, I love these clients and get in the zone when I do back-to-back coaching."
  5. Get curious. If you notice yourself "suggesting" feelings to others, get curious. Instead of telling them how they feel, ask, "How do you feel about that?" You might be surprised by what you learn and amused to see the assumptions you make, too.

I hope this helps!

Christina

P.S. Are there people to whom you'd like to give a big, fat hint? Use this email to tell them to stop suggesting how you should feel! They can join to receive this newsletter right here.