Is work your default? Are you realizing you don't really have a lot of free time or you're not prioritizing it?
In this blog, we’ll talk about how you can spend time doing the things you love.
When you can’t do what you love
I love playing soccer. I have played soccer since my parents put me in as a little kid. I'm 43 now, and I still play. However, there have been times over the past couple of years when I haven't been able to play. On separate occasions, I…
The pain from those injuries also came back a few times which hindered me from playing. It wasn't until I wasn't able to do it that I realized how much I love playing soccer. There are times I can't play because I'm away or I'm doing work stuff, but that's understandable. But it's when I want to play and I can't play that I realize the sadness of not doing what I love.
Why doing what you love matters
Doing what you love gives you energy. It puts you in a resonant state where you're driven, you're pulled forward, and you're excited. It also gives you joy. But when we just work all the time we miss out on these benefits. Even if your work gives you joy, that's not the only area of life meant to satisfy you - there are nine others!
What I see so often in successful, high-achieving, driven women is we give up or we reduce the amount of attention certain areas of life get because we are working so much and we are driven by our work. The top areas I see get dropped are health, fun and recreation, and friends.
The Hardest Questions to Bring Clarity
The hardest question sometimes to answer is, “What do you like to do?"
When I used to be an ESL teacher and I was living and working in Japan, one of the first questions my students learned and the 1st question when socializing was, “What are your hobbies?”
It was so weird to hear because I thought native English speakers never ask each other that question. Instead, we might say, “What do you like to do?”
So what do you like to do? You might answer, “I like to clean”. Definitely not true about me. You might say, “I like to help my clients”, but I'm encouraging you to go to something else that will bring you joy from other areas.
Something that grows you and brings you energy. It might be:
Now we're getting into the realm of hobbies and personal activities that bring us joy. Then think about what are the things you LOVE to do:
Those are the things I love to do.
But so often our time gets put into the things we don't love or the things we don't even realize we're choosing to spend our time doing. By “spend”, I mean, it's gone.
I remember complaining to myself, “I just don't have time to read.” Then I thought, if I added up all the minutes of scrolling on my phone or how many TV shows I watched, I could have read many books. I do love reading. I'm currently listening to Les Brown, Simon Sinek, and Power of Why. I love these different types of books. I yearn for more of it. But the problem is, when we're away from it, we forget what it's like. We forget what we love to do.
Another question is “What is something you’d like to do?” Something you haven’t done before. When I asked myself this question a couple of years ago before COVID, I answered African drumming. I also answered dancing. I also answered pottery. These are the things I'd like to do. And the most recent is a Stand Up Comedy Class.
Now, get a pen and paper or use your notes app on your phone. Answer the following:
The 3 Ways to Spend More Time Doing What You Love
Now how do you find time to do these things? answer these questions:
#1: Plan these things into your schedule
If it's not already innate for you to read every day, and you like reading and work is your default or watching TV or scrolling or whatever it may be, then you actually need to write it into your schedule between 7:30 and 8AM or between 8 and 9PM I will read.
If you don't, it just gets pushed and pushed and pushed and forgotten. For myself, when I see that plan in my schedule book at a specific time and I’m busy with other things, I then have to make a conscious decision to skip it.
But how many times do we write in our schedule or have our calendar:
Now, I'm not saying these are bad things. I'm just saying if you're not doing the things you love because you're doing these other things, maybe it's time to put a plan in your schedule.
#2: Make it special
Think about how you can make it special and how you can elevate what you're doing so you start to look forward to it.
If you were to write that in your planner it makes it more enticing. You shouldn't have to make it enticing, but the problem is we've moved so far away from fun that it feels foreign or like a guilty pleasure, and we shouldn't do it. But if we plan it, and we make it special, then maybe we will be more persuaded to do it.
#3: Commit to others.
You will not find me practicing my soccer skills at the local park. However, you will find me training at practice with the team in order to get better at the thing I love. When I did the drumming class, sometimes I didn't want to go because, in the beginning, it was hard. I thought it would be easy and super cool. It was cool, but it was not easy. So I had to commit to being there by paying and also saying I would show up so that I would actually go to get through that first learning hump.
Have you heard your inner voice say:
When you commit to others, you won't back out. When you commit to others, you commit to yourself too.
Now it doesn't mean you have to do it with others, just tell people what you're going to do. Maybe you commit to an accountability buddy or to your coach.
Again, it seems funny you need to commit to something that you love. But time and time again, work is the default for people. They're not spending their downtime doing what they love which will also bring the passion back and refill their bucket.
There are so many holes in our buckets that we can be constantly depleted. Self-care, resting and vacation time can help. But doing things you love is an investment in yourself in really building that foundation of joy and excitement. It's a way for you to stretch and grow yourself as well.
In saying this, I'm probably also speaking to myself, right? I need to put the clicker down and not watch so much TV. I need to be more intentional with what I am spending my time on so that I can be investing my time in the things I love.
I encourage you to do the same thing. Let me know which of these three steps is going to be the piece that really helps you to invest more time in doing the things you love.
Also, let me know in the comments, what are the things you love to do? Because maybe in you sharing it will inspire me or someone else to take up the hobby you have or your favorite activity.
Over the past few years, I have lost a few close connections way too early. It just breaks my heart to think of how they or someone else you know worked really really hard and didn't have enough time to enjoy life. Be present, take care of others, and go out and do those things you love.
Read my other blogs here:
1. The Six Levels of Shining
2. How You Can Prepare to Make Better Decisions
3. What if We Didn’t Need International Women’s Day? 5 Ways to Raise Women Up
How do you feel when you first meet someone? Do you hope they like you?
In this blog, I’ll talk about how to be liked when you first meet someone. I'm going to give you some tips, tricks, and things I do that can be really helpful.
Why does it matter about being liked?
We all want to be liked. Let's look at different situations:
Three ways you to have people like you
Here are three ways you can encourage other people or help persuade them to like you when you first meet them. These three tactics can be used in any situation, even maybe in a job interview.
1. Be Curious
Be curious. Ask questions so they get to talk about themselves. But don't make it an interrogation and don’t ask questions that are a bit too intense.
If you say to someone, “What do you do?” and they tell you, ask a follow-up question. You know that! Probably your mom, someone older or even your dating coach taught you to ask a follow up question.
When we’re in that curious mode, it shows we care about the person. When we ask two follow-up questions, it shows we are giving that person time, giving them space, and respecting them. People love to talk about themselves because we're in this time when people are too busy to listen, we text rather than call, and we don’t feel heard.
When you allow someone to talk about themselves, it feels so good for them because they're starved for it.
It's funny. I've had some conversations where I don't think I talked at all about myself. I just asked questions and let the person talk, talk, talk. At the end, they were like, “It’s so lovely to meet you. You're such a great person. I really enjoyed our conversation.” Then we went away and I thought, they don't know anything about me because they didn't ask me anything. But that's okay. We had a good conversation. Then the next time, they asked me more.
When someone tells you a story, look for a quality they had. For example, if someone says, “Oh, I was just so excited. The other day, my friend invited me to come over and I noticed that her rosebush was a little bit crazy. I was able to help her trim it in a way that her roses will flourish now and she was so grateful for that.”
When you respond, you don't need to ask a question like, “What kind of rose bush” or “How did you trim it?” You can acknowledge something about them by saying something like, “Wow, you're such a kind friend” or “Oh, you must be great at gardening.” Give them a compliment or acknowledge something about them so they feel you have really seen them or even find a value you heard, “Oh, it sounds like helping others is really important to you.”
The statement, “It sounds like ______ is important to you” is a really great way for the person to say to themselves, “Whoa, they just saw me. They just heard me. They were paying attention. They get me.”
People want others to get them. They like you when you can connect that way.
People will often try to one-up them or tell a story that they had, but instead try to reflect back to them what you see in them.
2. Share something that will help them
Once you find out what they love, what they're passionate about, or even what problems they face, share something that will help them.
It might naturally come to that place. If the person talked about their crazy rosebush and didn't know what to do with it, and you know something about that, then you can say, “Oh, let me send you a video explaining how to do that because I actually know how” or “I'm happy to give you a few tips if you send me a photo of it”. Or maybe you have no clue what to do, but maybe you know someone who does, then you can connect them.
Sidenote: I shared that story because I have a crazy rosebush that is actually like a really, really tall tree. If anyone out there knows what I should be doing, please message me because I have no clue. I think it's reaching over the fence trying to get the sun.
Share some information to help them. Now if it doesn't get to that point in the conversation, maybe you just offer to share something with them. You might say something like, “I read this really good book the other day, and there was this cool diagram in it.” Then they're like, “Oh, wow, that's really interesting” or “That sounds cool”. You're like, “I'd be happy to share that with you.” Or if it was an article you could share the website link, or if there was an online tool that you know about, you could share that with them. Sharing something with them helps them to like you because not only are you understanding them now, but you're showing how you care enough to help them, especially if you can solve a problem for them. They will like you and remember you.
No matter the situation one thing you can do to have someone like you is to smile. Now, I don't mean a creepy smile. I don't mean staring and smiling at someone across the room and making it seem really weird.
Most days I walk on the trail by my house and I always smile and say “Hi” or “Good morning”. I noticed that the people I feel like I don't like are the ones who didn't smile back and/or didn't say anything.
It's so easy to smile because a lot of times when we meet people for the first time, they feel nervous, or we feel nervous or shy, or we don't know what to say. Even if English is your second language, or you're in a country where you don't speak their language, a smile at least shows that you're friendly. It shows that you're confident. It shows that you're not stuck up and you're approachable.
So smile. Obviously, if it's appropriate, right? If it's a really hard moment, and the person actually was crying or angry, let's not smile at them.
These are the three things that you can do: be curious, offer help, and smile. This topic was sparked by my last blog, where I shared 3 tips to appear confident.
Which of these three do you think will be most helpful for you? Which of these three do you do already? And which one do you want to do better at? Share them with me in the comments!
Read my other blogs:
3 Tips to Appear Confident
Have you been dreading going back to live in-person events and feeling that you are not confident?
We were in isolation for such a long time, and now that things are going back to normal - or we’re going into a NEW normal, in-person events are also going back.
You might be in one of these two places: either not feeling confident to go back to attending in-person events or you were never confident going to in-person events. (Maybe the same thing happens to you when you’re online and attending virtual events.)
Let me share with you three different techniques that I use when I need to feel confident at events when I’m not already feeling it:
Technique #1: Stand Tall
This may seem simple, and you may think you know this one. But how many times at an event, do you have…
Now, these are all things NOT to do because they're giving that unconscious command to others that you're protecting yourself, you're vulnerable, or you're timid.
You may be feeling that way. That's totally fine! But you want to be able to appear confident because I'm guessing these in-person events that you're going to are for networking, to collaborate or connect, or it's just your group of friends that you're around.
So how do you do it? Well, you throw your back straight. You put your shoulders up and roll them back. That's going to put you in a great posture. If you're super tall, that's fine that you're tall. Wear high shoes if you want. You need to own your height if you're tall. If you're not tall, this can help you to stand more confidently.
Your height doesn't make you confident. It's more about how you hold yourself. When you have your hands at your side, rather than your back, you're also showing a more confident, powerful pose, but still approachable when your body is opened up.
Special Trick 1: When you are feeling a little bit like you're slipping back into your old way of feeling more timid, jump into the bathroom to reset. I recently went to a coaching community event. I wasn’t feeling so confident before going into the event because I didn't know anybody. But I stood up straight, shoulders up, rolled them back and told myself, “I'm going to walk in there like I own the place”.
Later on, I was feeling a little bit awkward and I felt hesitant walking up to people in conversations. So I jumped into the bathroom, I kind of gave myself a moment. Then before I stepped out again, I reset my posture again. At any point, you can reset your posture when you stand up, when you move to a new group of people and even in the same moment and situation.
Special Trick 2: Do not stand behind a chair when you’re introducing yourself. A lot of people do this, they go right behind the chair and hold the chair as they speak. If anything, just push your chair back and then take up space or step further away from your chair so that everyone can see you. Ideally in a space so people don't have their backs to you.
Taking up space shows confidence. Standing tall shows confidence. Putting your hands at your side shows confidence. All of these things are your physical appearance in how you're holding yourself.
Technique #2: Think about how you can show up in your best self by having your outfit put together.
Whatever that means to you, but the way I see it is:
These can be seen as basic ideas, but are you actually putting intentional thought into your outfit? Is there a way you can take it one step further by putting on some matching accessories?
Special Trick: Wear a bright color or a bold pattern jacket. If you're not a color person, then wear a bold pattern or print. You can wear a black and white polka dot dress. What this does is helps you stand out from everyone else. (That is if you want to stand out.)
It also makes you memorable because they'll be like, “Oh, that's the person in the polka dot dress or in the yellow jacket.” It's something that people can open up with. When I went to that coaching event, I wore a bright yellow jacket. It forced me to step into my confidence. AND so many times people said, “I love your bright yellow jacket” or “The yellow looks really good on you.” I do the same with pink and blue and bold patterns.
It's that opening line for people to say, “I love the color.” Then we start talking. Or they came up to me and said, “I've been noticing your nice bright jacket.” Since you seem like you're someone who stands out and doesn't blend in, they are drawn to come and talk to you because you exude confidence by just being able to wear that bold pattern, bold print or that bright color.
That's exactly what happened when I was at that event. Sooooo many people came to talk to me because of my jacket, it gave them an opening line. I knew because they told me, “Wow, you're jacket is so dynamic” or “You're so bright and friendly like the yellow of your jacket.” It was funny how there was such a play on what I was wearing.
The key thing is, you don't want to just be your outfit. You don't want to have your outfit get more attention than you and what you're saying. Your words matter more. Who you are matters more. But if it's a way of opening things up and having you be confident, isn’t that a good thing?
Technique #3: Choosing positive or upbeat topics to talk about.
At the same event I failed miserably on this one. I totally dropped the ball. The reason being, I hit so much traffic on the way over to the event and it stressed me out. The event was actually on a boat, so I was worried I was going to miss them sailing off. I then couldn't find the parking lot they suggested because the parking lot changed names. I then had to download the parking app on my phone as I was running to the boat. It was raining. Oh my goodness, so many things!
Plus I was nervous. I hadn't been to this type of event before. Or at least in many years. I didn't know anyone. So when I showed up, one of the first things I said to the people at the reception desk was, “I couldn't figure out parking. I'm trying to figure out this app.” Blah blah blah!
Then when I started chatting with someone I knew and a new connection, the first things out of my mouth were complaints about the traffic, the rain and all the things that happened.
Now, what does that say about me? It's setting me up for failure in the very beginning of the conversation:
This is not how I want to start a conversation. I failed in that regard. I'd planned on leaving so much earlier so that I could show up in a positive calm way.
What I should have done right before arriving is given myself a head check and helped myself calm down and get over the frustration I was feeling. People often remember the first and last thing you shared, so your first words are important.
Special Trick: Know what you're going to say by preparing in advance. Here are some things that you can say.
1. You know that they're going to ask you, “What do you do?” Even if you're at a social event, people ask you that. Know how you're going to answer and have a prepared answer. Think about that as you're driving or going to the event every single time because you have a different audience, different people, or different intentions at that time.
2. You can think about achievements you’ve recently had. Things like:
When people ask you, “How are you doing?” “What's going on with you?” or “What's new?” You can say, “I'm great. I actually was just chatting with someone about this really great opportunity.” This way you can plant seeds into the conversation for things that you're working on and passionate about - rather than complaining about traffic, the rain or missing an opportunity by just saying, “I’m good.”
3. You can also think about a good book that you're reading, or if you're not reading a book currently, open up a book and read a couple of pages, so that you can say, “I've just started reading XYZ book.”
4. Another option is to go online and watch a very interesting TEDTalk or podcast. Not just YouTube, Facebook video, or a cat video, but pick something that is in alignment with your interests or something you want to talk about. Then you can share some of the tidbits that the speaker talked about in order to engage the other person in conversation.
5. Another opportunity is to share a favorite quote. Now that might be a little bit more awkward. But when you're talking about something and say, “Oh, that reminds me of one my favorite quotes, which is Jim Rohn’s quote, “You're the sum of the five people you spend the most time with”.
I like to throw these different quotes out with different meanings from different authors or experts in order to connect with what people are saying, and to give them a nugget of information.
Which technique are you going to use? Hopefully, all three.
Are you going to…
If you do any of them, let me know by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear which one you’ve done or will do and if you got good results. If you have other ideas, share them as well.
P.S. Join the Dynamic Women Global Community on Facebook, a community for female business leaders to come together to connect, share, grow, and be inspired. Be up to date with our virtual and live events, networking, coaching, and more.
Read my other blogs:
Are you wondering how leaders do it all? How do they balance their lives, businesses, and priorities, but haven't lost their cool?
In this blog, I’ll talk about what the top 6% of leaders are focusing on for a balanced life.
What I'm seeing in the world right now is that as female business leaders, either you own your own business or you're in corporate, life is a little bit different than before COVID.
As we kind of come out, it's taking a lot more for us to be able to handle the emotional bandwidth. We’re feeling a little bit more anxious and having more stress.
In comparison to what we used to be able to do, we can’t handle as much. This is definitely true for me because I used to be at an event every night of the week or hosting multiple events during the week. I was booked back to back to back and I was handling it. I was actually thriving on it. There were so many things I could pack into my schedule. Then I got to this place of “Whoa, I can't handle as much as I used to.”
Is this also true for you? Do you feel like you don't have as much capacity to handle as many events, bookings, or meetings as you used to before COVID?
We don't have that emotional stamina to make it happen and you're in this place of feeling the stress of it all:
Then it can also affect your relationships in these ways:
Then when you're with your family or your loved ones, you're not present. Have you ever experienced that? You're with them physically, but you're not with them mentally because you're thinking about the 10, 20, or 30 other things you have to be doing at that moment.
Then this can drastically reduce your income and your profits.
If you work for a company, it can influence how well you negotiate your pay or a promotion. This may mean you earn less compared to others in your field. Also, it can inhibit your ability to close some of the deals and land clients.
On the flip side, if you have a business, then maybe you end up being busy but not productive, you're not doing as well in sales, you're not selling as many products or services and your goals take longer to accomplish.
This is why focusing on rebalancing really matters because what I've noticed is a lot of leaders who know where to focus their time, energy and money…
But not everyone is. It's not your fault if you're in this place. It's not your fault because when you’re a really successful woman or smart woman people ask us to take on more. Isn’t the expression, “If you want something done, give it to a busy woman”?
We've been pushed to take on a lot of responsibilities.
We've been pushed to be superwomen… and now even more… superheroes. We’re not just expected to do our job, business, or career well, but we're expected to do every single other role well. That's a Superwoman.
Being a Superhero means you’re not only doing extremely well in your career, and in every other area of life, but you're also saving everyone else in those places, too. It's overwhelming and sets us up for failure.
What I’m Seeing
I'm seeing that most women feel overwhelmed with all of the leadership podcasts, books, programs, and courses. You name it. There's so much out there. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly where to start or even worse, it’s not clear what's actually going to give you real leverage or a return on investment. I don't know, there are too many things to choose from.
Not only are you stressed and busy with what you have in life, but then when you go to solve it you hit the obstacle of “I can't even choose what the solution might be.”
I have a simple solution I will give you today. You can go check it out and use it to help you know where to focus your time, energy, and money so you can be a leader who feels a bit more balanced.
Those top 6% of women, they're clear on what they prioritize so they can actually invest their time, energy, and money on the things that really matter to them, and are going to give them the best ROI (Return on Investment).
The problem is if you aren't clear on exactly what your priorities are, then you'll be swayed by shiny objects. You'll be swayed by all of the different offerings put out by different companies. It will leave you feeling stuck in indecision.
Sometimes you feel like the duck on the water where you look all calm, but really you’re paddling a lot under the surface. You're working so hard. Or maybe you’re a hamster on a wheel going over and over and over and over again.
You're trying to be better for yourself, for your family, and for those around you while also trying to be productive. But you could be like a spinning top, right? You just feel like, “Oh, I'm looking at everything, and I'm doing everything.”
I put together this tool by using many different pieces of research. I took what I found in coaching my clients over the past decade. I've done surveys with a lot of successful leaders. I also did some really deep reflection of what had me be balanced before kids, and what had me be balanced after kids. Then with the pandemic, and the extra stress of it all, how we can be balanced now.
What I did was I took all of this information on how and where you focus, and I made the balanced leader cheat sheet.
The Balanced Leader Cheat Sheet
What is this cheat sheet? It's a really simple and easy way to see how to be balanced. With this tool you just check off the boxes when it applies to you and you’ll love how it helps you to identify your specific priorities and areas where you will get the biggest ROI.
Rather than focusing on all 21 areas that are on this cheat sheet, or focusing on everything that everyone else says you need to be doing, you can get a really specific, clear picture of what you need to focus on. Specific to you in who you are right now, at this time in your life with the responsibilities that you have.
I encourage you that when you do grab it, you also pay attention very strongly to the “Thank you” page because we will have a chance to do it together.
You can totally do it yourself; however, Les Brown says, “When you're in the frame, you can't see the picture”. So it’s better to go through it with me by doing the Balance Leader Blueprint Session. This is where we actually will go through the cheat sheet together so I can help you to understand the 21 areas that are on this cheat sheet. Then you can easily pick the top three or four that are important to you, that would be really good for you to do, that would be your next clear step so that you know where to focus.
These 21 items are what top leaders are focusing on and of those 21 you're going to receive a one-page blueprint, when we go through this session together, you're going to be able to know what it is that you need to focus on 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Grab the cheat sheet and share it with a friend, especially if you see that they're a leader, or you see they need to be more balanced. It is such a gift to give them just forward the link and say, “Hey, check this out” or “Go do use this tool.”
Those who have gone through this cheat sheet have been so relieved to be able to know “Just these 3 things are the ones I need to focus on now.” It takes away the pressure of all the other things that are weighing on you.
So if you want to get off the hamster wheel, stop being a spinning top, know exactly where to focus your energy, so you can have the best return and be a more balanced leader then I encourage you to get the balance leader cheat sheet.
Read my other blogs:
Get Goaled! Coaching Mastermind
Connect with me