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

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.

 

Struggle vs. Ease... Which Do You Choose?

Time to read: 1 minute, 35 seconds

Let's all move into Hotel Ease!

Let's all move into Hotel Ease!

Hi Rebels!

This week, I had a fun email exchange with one of your sister rebels who asked me about the time it takes to write these newsletters. She writes a blog and said it sometimes takes her 10-12 hours to produce a blog post and that "writing is hard work." That got me thinking about all the things you do every day that feel like "hard work."

I had to really think about that before I replied.

  1. Because I wanted to say something useful.
  2. Because over the years, I have developed a very different relationship with writing and work.

For years, I was mired in a story that work was hard and required struggle. Think: No pain, no gain.

To produce a dissertation, I became unreliable to my friends, unavailable to my partner, and worked many, many hours because I believed "hard work" was the only thing that would get me that darn PhD.

In my corporate job, I believed that long hours and "hard" work made me successful and got me recognized as a top performer. Toward the end of my time at my corporate job, I was working late at night, struggling to keep up with email, and working "hard" while sacrificing time with my family and frankly, my sanity.

The truth is... this "hard" work got me a PhD and did get me recognized as a top performer. And, there were huge costs associated with my choice to see work as "hard" and as a "struggle."

A couple of years ago, I decided to change my perspective toward work, and it has made all the difference. Here's what I said (among other things, like it takes me 20-30 minutes to write a newsletter) in the email exchange. I share this because I'd love for you to be able to shift from "hard" to "ease."

"I hold writing these newsletters (like I hold most things) as fun and easy. It’s part of my personal practices to let go of struggle so I practice ease (not struggle) with things like my newsletter. Holding it with ease liberates the process to take less time and actually be easeful. Sometimes, I don’t have a clue as to what to write, and then it takes a little longer."

Think about a place in your life where you believe "hard work" and struggle are the key to your success. Where can you breathe ease into the process. (Notice, I'm not saying "easy." Even ease has elements of challenge. The question is, what would it be like to drop the struggle and do the same work with ease?)

Give it a try then write and tell me all about it. I love hearing from you.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. If you love this newsletter, please share it with your friends and colleagues. The more, the merrier. Just forward it to them. They can join us here.

 

Want to Make Powerful Decisions? Follow These 3 Steps.

Time to read: Just a little over one delicious minute!
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I was talking with a client last week who was trying to make a big career and life decision between two good but very different options. He came to our call unclear about what he wanted and muddled about conflicting priorities. He felt stuck and unable to move forward.

Have you ever been in this situation?

After listening to the list of pros and cons, his competing values around family and career advancement, and the decision points that had been keeping him up at night, I asked him to step away from the content of the decision. Meaning, for a little while, let go of the details of location, job particulars and possible futures for his family.

Instead, I asked him to look at the energy of each option. The key question was: Which option had the energy of expansion and which felt like selling out? Which felt exciting and enticing and which felt limited and constricting? What felt like an energetic BMW and what felt like a go-cart? What was important was the energy of each option as either one could be terrific.

When making a career decision (or any big decision), here are 3 tips:

  1. Feel free to do the age-old model of listing your pros and cons. This info is useful. And it isn't the whole picture. For example, sometimes the job with the most money isn't the right choice.
  2. Step out of the details. Tune into how you feel about each option. If you feel meh or sick to your stomach with any of the options, run! and choose something else, even if that means starting over.
  3. Focus on the energy of each choice. Choose the one that feels expansive and optimistic, even if the details don't make complete sense. You can trust your gut to steer you in the right direction even if your head doesn't understand why.

By looking through the lens of the energy, my client quickly became clear about which choice he wanted and left our call to immediately put the pieces in place to make it happen.

If you have been lying awake at night over a decision in your life, I'm happy to help. Email me at christina@boydsmithcoaching.com and we can set up a time to chat.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. If you have friends and colleagues who are trying to make big decisions, please share this with them. And invite them to join our merry little band of rebels right here.

 

Circumstances Don't Equal Happiness. Lessons From the Volcano.

Time to read: Another one clocks in at 1.5 minutes. I'm on a roll!

Lava photo courtesy of Bruce Omori

Lava photo courtesy of Bruce Omori

I was listening to a radio report about the volcano eruption in Hawaii. First, let me say that my heart goes out to the many people who have lost homes and farms. The destruction is devastating.

As I was listening to the report, I was struck by one particular story.

A retired school teacher (let's call her Sally) reported feeling heat under her home and receiving an "evacuate immediately" notice from the emergency response team. Sally grabbed her two dogs and a bag of dog food and left thinking she would come back in the morning to retrieve her laptop and other important possessions.

When Sally went back the next morning, her entire home was covered in a wall of lava. All her worldly possessions were gone. I expected tears. I expected anger. She explained her circumstances something like this, "When you choose to live in a volcanically active place, you take the risk of this happening. It's a good thing I do a lot of yoga. I have insurance and instead of staying here, I'm going to use this as an excuse to move closer to my children in California." She even laughed. Wow.

As the story ended, I realized this woman gave me (and you) a tremendous gift. She serves as a reminder that your circumstances do not dictate your level of contentment or happiness. I'll break down the lessons:

  • Life is a choice. Sally chose to live in Hawaii and therefore chose the risk. You choose to go to your job every day, whether you love it or hate it. You choose where you live. You choose who you spend your time with.
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  • Your reactions are a choice. It would be pretty natural for Sally to be devastated and angry. Instead she was optimistic and cheerful. Even in the midst of grief and loss, you can choose to fill your reaction with blame or with the pure experience of your human emotions including grief and anger.
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  • Take care of yourself. Sally does yoga. Taking care of your mind and body enables you to be resilient when things go awry, in little daily ways or in big ways like a lava wall.
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  • Look for the opportunity. When stuff happens, even bad stuff, you are being pointed to learn something, change something, or pivot in some way. Listen for the pivot. Where are you being pointed? Sally is planning to use this significant upset to make a move. (And you don't have to rush to the lesson. Have your emotions first, let things settle, then pivot as needed.)
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  • Focus on what's important. Sally grabbed her dogs. Hard circumstances are clarifying and point you swiftly and with precision toward what is important and what is not.
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  • Guard your sense of humor. Sally was laughing at her belief that she would return the following morning. She laughed that she saved a bag of dog food rather than her expensive new laptop. This is not to say that you must laugh or always look for the silver lining in tragedy. Levity, though, enables you to carry hard things lightly.

You are never as stuck as you sometimes believe you are.

With rebel freedom,

Christina

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