My goal with this series is to give you clarity before you have to make decisions (last week’s blog), make decision-making easier in the moment (this blog), and after you make the decision you will stay strong and confident in it (next week).
In the Moment of Making a Decision
When you are in that moment of decision-making, you’re probably asking yourself…
I've got you covered with these three questions. Even if you haven't done the “In advance” work from the last blog of having that ideal life designed, your life purpose and knowing your goals, you can still use these three techniques.
1. How do you feel?
If someone asks you…
Or you have to make a decision on whether to apply for a certain job… you have to ask yourself…
It's either going to be a strong, “Yes” or “meh”. A lot of times if it's a strong “Yes”, I say go for it. This is definitely in alignment with what you're wanting.
But if you get an email, and you're like, “Man, I don't know…” A lot of times that “meh feeling” means you're not really excited about it, so your decision is probably a no.
Now, this is not to be confused with that feeling of “Oh my gosh, I'm so nervous. I don't think I can do this. That's out of my comfort zone.” That's a very different feeling. That's like anxiety, worry or a little fear about “Can I do this?” Which is based on your limiting beliefs.
Not every decision is a clear “yes” or “no”. Instead, there could be two or more options.
It could be a fun decision, for example, “Should we go to Bali or Egypt for our trip?”
Or something more permanent, it could be, “Do I want to have another child or not? We've got a couple of children, and our life is really in a good place, but now's the time to make a decision if we have another one”.
It might be a decision of, “Do we move to this new place because we can have a slower lifestyle or do we stay here because this is where the work is?”
You might have two options that are really good, but it's going to change your life. So this is where we go to the next two techniques.
2. Connecting to your values
This is an activity you would do with a coach. It’s one I take clients through and they get a lot of insight from it.
Knowing what your values are and being able to connect to your values in decision-making is so powerful. Because when you look at your values and you ask yourself, “Does this decision put me in alignment with my values?” and that's the case, then you're going to have more energy or a more soul-connected feeling that it’s the right decision.
But if you look at your values and that decision is going to have you dishonor your values, then it's going to be pretty obvious that the decision is a no.
Let's look at one of the decisions that you could make in life. It could be to take on a project or take on a new role in a company. After some further discussion, you realize the company cares more about the bottom line than it does its customers. You've heard and read on the internet about times where the company has really screwed over the customer or client in order to take more profit.
If your value is respect for others or fairness, then you see that in working with this company (especially if that would be part of your role) would mean you would strongly be going against your values. That would be so horrible. You'd be in dissonance (void of energy, or negative)most of your job. It's easy in that case to see “Wow, I don't want to take this role because it would be going against my values.”
This can also help you in choosing a relationship like a partnership, employee, collaboration, etc. When you look at your values and their values, you have to make sure they're in alignment. Because you saying “Yes” to an opportunity, might stop you from being able to honor your own values.
If you are very strong in your values with leadership or creativity and you know that in this new project you're not going to be able to do either of those then it might be better to say no. If it’s short-term, you could be OK with it, but if it’s going to go on for years, then it’s not going to be a good fit for you.
3. Take the decision and cross-check it with your goals
You can ask yourself a very simple question: Does this move me toward my goals or away from my goals?
I've had clients come to me with a really amazing opportunity. For example, to have a radio show. If they came to me with that type of opportunity, then I'd ask them…
If the answer is “Yes” and you gave a reason like…
Then it could be a great opportunity for you. But if your goal this year is to write a book, or to spend more time with your family, or focus on your health, and this was just going to be one more thing on your plate, then it's not going to move you towards your goals so it should be a no.
Next year, it might be a great choice because your goals have changed. But for right now you have to check any decision-making against your current goals. I often have to go back to my goals when I'm presented with a fabulous opportunity or one that I feel like, “Oh, I've got some obligation here. I should probably do it.”
When I go to my goals and I know what I'm trying to accomplish and the amount of time energy and money I need to do it, it helps me to respond with, “As amazing as it is, I have to say ‘No’ because I need to say ‘Yes’ to my current goals.”
Those are the three things that you can do in the moment of making decisions. In my next blog, I will share with you what you can do AFTER you make the decision so you can stay strong and confident in it.
P.S. Get your FREE copy of my ebook “Key 2 Success” so you can stop facing 3 dangerous trends that keep professional women overworked, overwhelmed, and pulled in a million directions.
Are you focusing on the right things to bring you fulfillment and happiness?
We’re in the fifth month of 2022. Time has really flown so fast!
How has it been for you? Good? Rushed? Hard?
Let me share with you FIVE steps that will help make the rest of your 2022 happy and successful. These are the same steps that I share with my clients and I also follow in my own life. These are what have worked for me and I see working for female business leaders.
What will actually make you happy in 2022?
Did what you did in 2021 make you happy, feel fulfilled, and satisfied? This is a decision that you need to make for yourself.
What I often see happening is that people are choosing what society is marketing to them.
What are the things you feel society is marketing to you that will make you successful?
With my clients, we look at all 10 areas of life. This is something you can do, too. By doing this, we can really start to figure out what it is that YOU want? It's not what everyone else is forcing you to like.
We have a choice. But the sad thing is, so many people just go with the flow. So many people don't put an actual intention into… “What do I want for 2022?”
Maybe they pick a resolution. Maybe they pick some outrageous goal. That's great! However, it's not going to bring you fulfillment. I've worked with a client who with two other people built and sold a company for $75 million. His cut was $25 million. He was not satisfied. He was not happy at the end of that time.
It's sad. He could have bought anything. He could have had anything, but the true contentment and fulfillment, he couldn't buy. The sad thing is he didn't know what he needed.
This is the five-step process that I take my clients through that can really help you to know that for the rest of 2022, you're going to be focused on the things that will make you happy and feel content.
Step 1: Evaluate where you've been
It’s an evaluation of:
Most of the time, the mistake is that people only focus on the TOP milestones or achievements rather than looking really deep into:
The other mistake is not looking at both sides, the being and the doing, because if we only look at the doing (only the achievements and outward success), and not who we’re being then we miss the shifts in mindset, perspectives, and habits.
Acknowledging that will help you to be more successful in 2022.
Step 2: Have clarity on all 10 areas of life.
Many times people just set goals in life and business. But the thing is, business/work/career is only one of 10 areas. So if you're trying to balance work and life, life is always going to be heavier, but we so often put more time, energy, money, stress and focus on the work area.
You need to have clarity on what you want in all areas of life. Not just what you want, but what's ideal. If you do this process by yourself, you will succumb to limiting beliefs to saboteurs. You need to have someone go through this process with you so you get clarity on what you actually want in a way that's ideal, rather than just a way that's:
Step 3: Start creating a plan
Once you've evaluated where you've come from and you've taken the golden nuggets from that, and you have clarity on what you want in all 10 areas, the next piece is to start creating a plan.
Also, what I love to do with my clients is to look at which goals are dynamic goals, meaning you focus on one goal, and it helps your other goals to happen as well.
Why do we do that? Less stress, less energy, and less money needed. You can have many goals happen at the same time.
Step 4: You need to get into action
How is getting into action helping you to actually be happy in 2022? Because when we are in action on our plan, our goals, our desires, whose agenda are we fulfilling? OUR own agenda. YOUR agenda.
The problem is you're probably a very kind, generous, giving person who likes helping others. If you are not in action on your own plan, guess whose plan ends up in your calendar? Guess whose goals end up in your schedule book? Guess whose tasks end up being done by you? Other people’s!
Plus perfectionism, procrastination, saboteurs, they all come in. They can all stop you.
Part of step four is helping you to break down your goals into bite-sized pieces that are super easy for you to 150% attain. If you know no matter what, you're going to be able to achieve these things, it's going to be so much easier and so much more beneficial to you being happy and reaching your success in 2022.
Step 5: Accountability
This is the one that people forget. This is the one that people don't put into place and this is why women come to me and say, “I'm just not achieving my goal.” Or I meet people and year after year after year, they have the same exact goal they're just not reaching.
It’s not just simple accountability, like telling your friend you’re committing to do something. It’s being accountable to someone who's actually willing…
How will these steps actually make you happy?
Because when you're focused on the things you want to do, you have accountability for it, and you have someone cheering you on, you're more likely to achieve your goals.
That's my five-step process to get you happier in 2022 because you're actually going to be going after the goals that YOU want. You're going to be achieving things you internally desire, and not in just a realistic way, but in an ideal way, in that bigger way of what you want things to be like.
Please, please, please, please. Don't just let 2022 roll on because no matter what, time will go by. No matter what, you will be influenced by society and by others. Please do these five steps to be able to focus on what makes you the happiest and helps you to be able to move forward.
If you want to learn more about how to do this faster and easier together, schedule an initial consultation with me here.
In my last blog, I talked about how you’ll know if your mental health is suffering.
Now, I’m going to share three main things you can do when you know your mental health is suffering.
Number 1: Prioritize Yourself
Prioritizing yourself is the first of nine Pillars of being a Dynamic Woman from my program Dynamic You. It’s the first because it’s crucial you do this before you do any of the other pillars. There's no point in pushing yourself in your career, business, or connecting with others if this first pillar isn't in place.
You have to prioritize yourself especially if you're in a space of not feeling like yourself or feeling like you can’t handle the world. It can be self-care with journaling, meditating, praying, exercising, going into nature, showering, massages, sleep, and quiet time.
It’s crucial to unplug and have times of no stimulus: this means no phone, no TV, no social media, no people, and spending a bit more time by yourself. This way you don't have these external factors making you feel bad and stressing you out.
Also part of self-care and prioritizing yourself is seeing a doctor. This is one thing that I find has been so influential in my clients’ and my own development. I personally prefer a naturopath to be able to run my blood work and see chemically and hormonally how I'm doing. For instance, we can have low iron which can make you really tired and you can't function and deal with life when you have a mineral deficiency. Again, you need to go to a doctor to figure this out. I was speaking with a client about how it’s not fair to expect yourself to be running on full cylinders, like a car, if you don't have enough gas in the tank or if you have the wrong gas. Imagine you put diesel in a gas engine, you're not going to do very well.
As soon as you can figure out if you’re off hormonally, chemically, or minerally, then you can put a plan in place to get better. It could mean you take supplements or medicine. It might mean you have to change your diet and cut out sugar, alcohol, wheat, dairy, caffeine, and other things that can cause inflammation, brain fog, irritability, and spikes in your day.
Number 2: Get Support
There are two main pieces to support. You can get support through paid professionals like counselors, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, and many more. That's the clinical piece and the other piece is support from those around you.
It's great that you talk to someone professionally, but you also need to have those around you, family, friends, and connections who see you all the time to know what's going on. It's about getting support from others and designing how your relationship will now be. You and your circle can collaborate to improve your health and your mental well-being.
If you have the Dynamic You book or if you have the program, you can go into the Collaborate Pillar and look at designing and redesigning relationships so that you can redesign how things are.
To give you an example of this, I’ll share about when my Dad was in palliative care and then when he passed. It was such a sad and confusing time and it was stressful caring for my kids. I could do it, but it was overwhelming because my husband was still in BC and I was in Ontario. I did some designing with my in-laws, having them take the kids and allowing myself space to sort out things, support my Mom and be in my grief. I also talked with friends and let them know, “I don’t feel like hanging out or even chatting on the phone, but text is ok.” They understood and were thankful that I shared this with them so they knew how to best support me.
I also said to my husband, “Hey, I am not myself right now. I need your support and help.” We discussed how he needed to do more around the house, take the kids out more and not expect a lot from me. You have permission to ask for help. You have permission to get the support that you need, especially from those around you.
A lot of the high-achieving leaders that I work with are probably doing 80% of the work in a relationship. It is okay to take it back to 50% or to even get the other person to put in 80% and you recharge for a bit.
Number 3: Go into Maintenance Mode
The last action is a concept that I came up with in the past decade working with my clients who needed it. Many people have asked me, “You have so much going on, how do you juggle everything?” The key thing for me is I don't always do everything. I can’t. I delegate well to my team, and most importantly when life is crazy I go into maintenance mode. I focus on my priorities.
When life gets hard, there are too many balls to juggle. You need to take a quick look at what you're juggling, and ask yourself, which are glass balls and which are rubber balls.
Here are some examples of glass balls you can’t drop and come up with some of your own as well:
These are the glass balls. These are the things you can’t drop or they’ll break.
Then what does it mean for the rubber balls? You can let them go and they just bounce. No harm done. This allows you to go into “maintenance mode”. Maintenance mode is an amazing opportunity for you to drop the rubber balls and only focus on the glass ones, and let everything else slide from your plate or delegate it if it's important.
Finally, after a summer of the kids being off, it was the 1st day back to school for my daughter, but my son jumped off our bed and broke his femur. Imagine, you have a two and a half year old, who is now at home with you with almost a full-body cast on. You need to be there to get everything for him. You need to bathe him in the big cast. You actually need to change diapers in this contraption as well. It was really hard for me.
I was used to dropping him off at daycare, dropping my daughter off at school, and then I'd have time to work my business. All of a sudden, I'm dropping balls left, right, and center and they were glass ones too!
What did I decide to do? I asked for support, but mainly I focused on my priorities: my clients and my son. Then what were the rubber balls I let bounce? My house got a bit messier. I was a little bit more lax in what I ate and said yes to support with a meal train, which was such a blessing. I think I cried when each person came to the door to give me a meal, not because I was getting a meal but because of the love I felt from them.
In maintenance mode, my husband and I also didn’t have date nights, so we could care for our son. I put my personal development on the back burner, but I kept my self-care up because it was a stressful time and I needed it.
Maintenance mode is meant for a short period of time. This is not for all year. This might be a few weeks where you have a major project, you're moving, there is a death in the family, someone's having surgery, there's something major happening, and rather than completely losing all control, you let the rubber balls fall (the areas of life that don't matter as much) so that you can focus on the priorities and delegate the other pieces out.
So what will you do when your mental health is suffering? You can bring in one of these actions: make yourself a priority, get support from professionals and your circle, and go into maintenance mode.
So what will you do when your mental health is suffering? You can bring in one of these actions: make yourself a priority, get support from professionals and your circle, and go into maintenance mode.
Mental health can be a challenge. It is debilitating for so many people, and it can happen to the most successful high achieving, intelligent, put-together people. I encourage you today, don't worry about being vulnerable. Don't worry about looking bad. It’s ok to share that you have anxiety or stress or you’re not feeling good about something. It can only get better when you talk with others you trust.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me. Maybe it's time we had a session. We can coach on a topic of your choice. Just email me at email@example.com to set one up.
I'm also offering 6 complimentary audits for either, “What do you need to be more balanced in life?” and “What do you need to be a more valuable leader?” By the end of our time together, you're going to have a checklist that tells you exactly what you need to do in order to be more balanced in life or be a more valuable leader if that's what is more of a priority for you. If you’d like one, email my team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read my other blogs here:
1. Stop Dropping the Balls and Instead Find Balance
2. Stop Juggling everything! Tips to help you avoid overwhelm
3. The Power of Baby Steps
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions…
These are questions I received from a client.
Maybe this is a topic that you don’t think you need to listen to. But I'll tell you, it definitely will help you, especially if you have people around you that are suffering.
How do I know when my mental health is suffering?
The answer is: YOU KNOW. You just know. If you're asking the question, you know.
Here are some clues that your mental health is suffering that I see from my clients:
Those have a lot to do with your mood and personality. Another has to do with food. You're reaching for junk food, alcohol, or more comfort foods. This is very common for my clients as they start eating their emotions. This also happened to me when my father passed away. For many people with COVID, we're calling it the COVID 19, like the freshman 15, the COVID-19, meaning you're putting on about 19 pounds.
It happens a lot because our mental health isn't as solid as we need it to be. We’re then not able to be disciplined and consistent in the type of eating that we want to have.
I do have to state I'm not a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. I'm a coach, and I'm speaking from experience of what I've seen in my clients and the work that I've done in process coaching with my clients. I'm also speaking from a place of personal experience where I haven't had the emotional bandwidth. I haven't had the emotional stamina. I have dealt with postpartum depression, not once. But twice. I have dealt with anxiety where I have no idea where it came from. My hormones have been completely off balance. I've also dealt with stress and mental health suffering because of over-exertion and stress in the amount of things I do in my life. I have also experienced this with grief.
I've got a lot of personal experience around this, but full disclosure, I have never had to get to a point of strongly medicating. So if you are at that place where your mental health is suffering, and you are suicidal, you are violent, or you are doing any other addictive or abusive behavior, or you are in a situation that is unsafe, please seek medical attention ASAP. Please tell a loved one that you trust. Please get the help that you need. That's so crucial.
BACK TO… How else could you know that you're suffering mentally?
If your priorities are things that are important to you like emailing people back on time, getting projects completed, hanging out, or being committed to a group that you're a part of or a board that you're on, or people that you're volunteering with, those can be times when you're not honoring these things anymore. That's very strange for you.
For ladies, maybe you don't care about doing your hair and makeup anymore, and that was important to you. Maybe you're not showering, doing other forms of hygiene that are important or you're not changing your clothes as often as you should.
You should be picking up the kids, but you totally forgot. You're not able to get certain things done. Maybe you're at the point where you don't care. That's showing that you're mentally starting to suffer.
In my first year of grief after my Dad passed, this was definitely something that I was having to deal with. I was short-tempered. I would raise my voice with my family. I was very quick to be frustrated. I didn't like that.
I was also quick to cry as soon as somebody showed that they cared. I also wasn’t able to have emotional stamina — the emotional stamina to be able to get through the day, to handle other people, to be around other people, or get through something that's hard.
For your situation, you have to ask yourself:
Now, let’s go back to answer that first question that my client had, “how do you know when your mental health is starting to suffer?”
You might feel like:
After speaking events, or when I’m leading one of my own events, sometimes women come up to me and share where they are at. It sounds like they’re living in black and white.
If you see the start of Wizard of Oz, it's all in black and white. It has this almost dead feeling to it. We can feel that way in life. If you are not in the right mental state, it's like you're living in black and white. It's like the color, the spirit, the joy, and the energy left you.
Later, when the movie switches to color, there's vibrancy, life, and energy that comes out - it’s the same when these women get themselves back.
In my next blog, I’ll share with you some answers on what to do when your mental health is suffering.
If you want to be around like-minded people, please join the free Dynamic Women Online Group on Facebook.
Do you need a proven method to boost your confidence?
Confidence is one of those things some people think either you're born with or you're not, but the truth is it’s something you can build in yourself.
You’ll love this one simple and easy action that you can do to boost your confidence in any area of life and also at any time in your life.
The problem with confidence is that we feel like we need to be confident with everything, right from the very beginning. This is almost never the case, especially with something that's new.
I look back now after publishing four of my own books and being published in three others. I can remember that first time, that idea of “Oh my gosh, I'm going to put a book together. I’ve never done this before. How am I going to do this? I'm freaking out!”
Then, my saboteurs were coming in and saying a whole bunch of stuff like:
Have you heard those voices before, the limiting beliefs can hold you back?
Well, the easiest way to shut them up and the fastest way to boost your confidence is to say you're going to do something and then do it.
Let me illustrate
If you say, “I'm going to write a book” it might feel like a big leap. It’s a big thing to be taking on and in saying it, you could be thinking, “I'm not going to feel confident if I say that I'm going to be an author.”
Instead, could you just do that first step? Now, what would be the first step to writing a book? Sit with that question for a minute. What would be the first step to writing a book?
Do you think that you could figure out that one first step and then do it? So let's say that you were going to write a book and that first step was to come up with what you would write about. How long do you think it would take you to figure that out? Maybe just a half hour asking yourself some questions and brainstorming. Who knows you might already have it off the top of your head.
So let’s say the first task towards writing your own book was choosing a topic/message, or deciding whether it's fiction or nonfiction.
Just make sure the step is something you 150% believe you can do. Then when you say you'll do it, you commit to doing it, and you actually do it - this is how you build confidence.
If you don't know how to do the step, how could you figure that out? You break it down even smaller than that. For example, to figure out the topic for your book here’s how you could get it done.
See, these are all easy first steps. What seems to be “a hard first step'' can be broken down even smaller.
Then the next step of committing could be, “I'm going to have a conversation with a coach, a book publisher, a friend, or a client. I'm going to book that call. I'm going to have that call.” What if that was your first step? Are you 150% sure that you could do that? If the answer is yes. Then you do it.
When you commit to something that you 150% know that you can do, that you have the ability to do, and that you will do, then you go do it. That is you proving you can do the things you say you'll do. That you can be committed and follow through. This is the easiest way to build confidence.
Here’s another example, if your goal is to increase your confidence in working out or going to the gym, the first step can be to call a gym and ask about membership? It could be buying that new pair of running shoes!
Though calling the gym is not working out, just doing this first step, this small first step, saying you'll do it, actually following through and doing it and having the result, this will build your confidence.
Then when you get a whole bunch of these “150% I can do this” sort of steps, you build confidence with each step, and you get closer and closer and closer to the goal.
This is how I originally started with putting together the Dynamic You book. What's it about you ask? Well, since I was leading a group called Dynamic Women, everyone kept asking me, “So Diane, what's a dynamic woman?” I thought maybe it was time to actually share the answer. Then I had a conversation with a friend who walked me through what else would be in it. We talked about it and she was able to pull the information out of me.
The first thing I committed to was the same as my example, what do I want it to be about? I 150% knew that I could come up with one topic. Then I 150% knew I could have a conversation with a friend and talk through it. By then talking it through, I committed to figuring out what the chapters would be by coming up with a framework. The framework was having the Nine Pillars of being a Dynamic Woman. I committed to defining the Nine Pillars, and then I committed to fleshing out each chapter.
I’ll admit I was freaked out when I thought, ‘I'm going to write a book.’ The funny thing is I also had to do it in 90 days because it was being purchased for a women’s convention that I was being flown in to present at. But that's what ended up happening because all I did was commit to the next step that I could 150% do.
Then Your Confidence Grows More!
Then not only do you build confidence by doing those small steps, but then you feel more confident to take on bigger goals and opportunities. Ones that push your boundaries, different steps, different tasks that you never would have thought of doing before. I would have never thought of formatting my own book, and publishing it on Amazon. I never would have thought to do a collaborative book and welcome other women to share their story not once but I did it twice. If you told me all that on day one, I wouldn't have believed it. I would have been freaked out. I would have thought, how can I ever do that?
Now the cool thing is, I'm so confident about putting out books that I have also shown my team how to publish a Journal and helped clients to put together their own books! But I never started that way.
Taking off the pressure of knowing every single step, and having to be ready for each of those steps on day one, helps to build your confidence because all you have to do is know what the next step and be 150% confident that you can do it, and then follow through.
I ask you now what area of life do you need to boost your confidence in?
So what do you do now? Figure out something that you want to accomplish and ask yourself, what is the smallest first step that you could possibly take, that you 150% believe, that you can achieve. Then go do it. You'll start to see what you can accomplish and your confidence increases.
I know you can figure out that 1st simple step and get it done!
The next step will increase in its level of difficulty. But you got this. You can do it. When you apply this, let me know how it goes. Comment below. Share in a post and tag me. Or shoot me an email at email@example.com
Have you ever felt that you had so many things vying for your attention that you wondered, “where should I focus my energy and attention?”
Probably. I’ll help you answer this.
Maybe in the past 20 months, you’ve had to keep checking with regulations, restrictions, and with ways of keeping everyone safe.
These are common thoughts:
And now it’s the start of 2022. Where you put your time, energy and attention is important for your success.
I’m going to ask you some powerful questions (because questions are always the things that move us forward).
The First Question
In 2021 and in past years, where have you invested your time, energy and money?
If I was to take your calendar I could probably see where you focused your energy and attention.
But what else didn’t make it in your planned schedule?
I hope you've got some idea of where you did focus. Moving forward, is that still where you want to focus your attention? Is that the best place to invest your time, energy and money?
Well, I'll tell you, the best places to choose are the ones that give you the biggest return on investment. You need to know that. What is going to be giving you the best ROI?
What area could you focus on that would actually give you a 10x return?
You know the area. It's you. You are where you should invest your time. You are where you should invest your energy. You are where you should invest your money.
Because you're going to have the biggest return, not just in your work or in your business, but in all 10 areas of life.
Sadly, as women, we tend to focus on other people’s needs. We forget about ourselves. We need to focus on ourselves and not feel guilty about it. And I find a lot of people invest in outward things. But why don't we invest in ourselves first? It could be that you grew up in a place or a time when you spend money on the things you needed like in the traditional sense like Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. You need shelter, so you’re paying your rent or you’re paying your mortgage. You need food so you’re paying for groceries. Same with medicine and also clothes.
All these different examples are items you really have to buy to be able to stay safe and secure.
Then there's the wants. Those cute shoes or handbag. Maybe some special spa services. The things that you think are the extras or that you still buy, but you're not getting as much of an investment back.
We've maybe been taught to go without it. You could feel like if you’re going to have any money to invest, it's going to be in marketing your business or in paying for services for your business. That's all great, but your yearly budget should also include personal development.
Some people wouldn't even think twice about putting 20, 40, or 100 grand down for university, but they wouldn't invest in:
What's the difference?
Answering these questions is going to bring some things into light and help you decide what you want to focus on.
You do get excited about stuff, right? What do you like? What excites you? What gets you all fired up? Do you get excited about watching your kids play sports? Do you get excited about playing the piano? Or maybe about cooking? Or your favorite TV show? Or a certain type of car? What gets you all fired up? What gets you all excited?
2. How excited do you get about your own potential?
Do you even get excited about your potential? Have you even thought about your potential? You're maybe like, “Oh, not really. I just kind of make goals and go for it.” But if you can get excited about your own personal potential and set goals around that, where could you be at the end of the year? Have you figured that out?
You may be thinking about goals, and you've written them down, and maybe written down a business plan or a strategy for the next 12 months. But have you planned about where you want to be and how you want to grow personally by the end of the year?
Imagine if you were just 1% better every single day. So you worked on your potential, and you stepped into that 1% every day. You did something to better yourself, whatever it may be:
Now, if you do that 1% every single day, by the end of the next 12 months, you'd be 365% better. That's all you really need to do.
How excited do you now get about your own potential? Have you thought about what your own potential is? Or do you feel like you're in the fixed mindset of “This is how I am and I'm just not good at that or not good at this or I've capped out where I can get promotions or I've kind of hit the level of my business success.”
We talk to kids about their potential:
We talk to kids about where they should go and what they need to do to get there. But are we doing that for adults still? I don't think so. Do you have a plan on what you need to do to be able to reach that full potential?
Probably not. Most of the people I speak with and the audiences I'm giving keynotes to or doing workshops for, they don't even know what they want. They don't know enough about themselves. And when they do well, they don't even celebrate their successes.
How can you step into your potential, if you don't even celebrate who you already are? I’m not talking about like potential to have this much in sales. I mean, your human potential.
Yes, we can get excited about business. We can get excited about goals, but not to be a downer,the only constant is you!
Jobs come and go. Some marriages come and go. People come and go. Health comes and goes. You are the only constant. You are the only one who will stay the same in your life, meaning you're the only one that will be there.
By staying the same, I don't mean that you're always going to be the same person. But you will be the only one or the only constant in your own story.
Where you should focus your attention then does come down to one question…
What do you want the end of your year to look like?
Now is the time to invest some time, energy and money into yourself. A great option is the Dynamic Year program where we will create a dynamic one page plan that you can use as a compass to tell you where to focus your resources. It’s all about making the achievement of your success easier and to increase your confidence while doing it. My clients do this program year after year and swear that it has increased their success not just that year but every following year. Check it out here.
In my next blog, I will share with you the second question that you need to answer.
One of my clients, Paula Kent, once asked the question, “Why do the destructive patterns emerge so quickly when situations or life gets stressful?” In simple words, why do we go back to our old patterns of old bad habits?
First, think about the bad habits that you have.
I know for me that as soon as I get busy:
All of those things go away, and I lose my balance. This is where Paula was and where so many of my clients get.
The Wheel of Life
Your first tool or first way to really battle this is with the wheel of life.
The Wheel of Life is a professional coaching tool. What it does is it really shows you a bird's eye view of what life balance is like for you at the current moment. Not three weeks from now or three weeks ago.
So today, how is it? How is your balance? How satisfied are you in each area of life?
It's going to quickly tell you where you're not satisfied. It's going to quickly tell you where you're off balance. When you have these destructive patterns that emerge so quickly, it's going to give you the answers right in your face to the question: Where am I really losing it?
Making New Goals or Habits
Now that you know the areas to focus on:
Then you get to make a decision. Do I want to do more in that area to make that better?
If yes, you’re going to make some goals or some new habits around those areas. This is one option.
Get into Maintenance Mode
Another option you have is to pull back and go into maintenance mode when life gets stressful or when major things happen.
Those are all things that happen quickly and can be unexpected. Even if you knew it was going to happen because a big project, renovation or surgery was planned, it is still something that can make you feel overwhelmed.
Life gets stressful, but you need to know what you have to do to get into maintenance mode. What do you do when life gets crazy? Here are some examples:
In maintenance mode, you can also think of doing/not doing these things:
You need to know which areas of your life you can dial back on: which solutions you can bring in to make that area easier. Maybe get a house cleaner that week just to help you out. Maybe you bring on someone to help you in your business that week.
When life is crazy, ask yourself, “What are the basics of what I need right now?”
I call that maintenance mode. Rather than you trying to fulfill all 10 areas and be perfect and amazing in all of your life, you really get to dial back in those certain areas. You could focus on just the top 4 priorities.
When my son broke his femur, there were definitely a lot of things that I had to do in order to go into maintenance mode. I've seen this in clients when they were on a leave of absence or mat leave, then the company wants them to come back to work full time. The problem is if they didn’t they would lose their job. All of a sudden, they're back in a full time career, but also trying to manage everything they managed before.
Just go into maintenance mode. Use the tool of the Wheel of Life to really see where things are at, and then have a little grace with yourself. We fall back into patterns because they were easy or for some reason, they supported us before. But you have now either leveled up your life and who you are, and you don't want to undo the good work you have done.
If you already have a really great morning routine, you already have a really great health routine, or you already have really great relationships, you don't want to undo those by going back to those bad habits.
Use your self-awareness. Go into maintenance mode so you can stay on track and figure out an easy plan. Write down all the things you are not satisfied with. Then once you are feeling less overwhelmed, put a plan in place where one by one, you can start to get back into the swing of things.
If you’d like to go through the Wheel of Life you have 2 options:
Read my other blogs here:
1. Using GOOD Habits to Achieve Your Goals
2. How successful women replace BAD habits with GOOD Ones
3. 10 Honestly GOOD habits to have
Are you feeling a little out of control of your life right now?
Michael Altshuler once said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
It got me thinking, how many people are really the pilot of the course of their lives?
Who is really choosing the destination that you’re going to? And how are you going to get there?
What does it mean to be the pilot of your life? It means:
Do you feel that you are in control of your life right now? That you are really the one in the pilot's seat to get you there?
There are many times in our lives when we feel a little out of control. We feel like we are not the ones who are really charting the course for where we're going. You may be in one of these situations:
Are you in any of these situations?
I want to give you full kudos. You are such a loving person to be able to give up what you want to do for others. But it's hard to not be in the pilot's seat if you want to be. It's hard to let life or others make your decisions for you when you have your own desires.
If you have had to make a really hard, selfless decision to support a partner, a family member, or a parent, I applaud you. Reading this might not be the right step for you, but it gives you an idea of what you can do to feel in control of the other areas of your life.
You may just be feeling out of control for some reason (like COVID-19) and it’s making you feel like you can't chart your own course. What if you're in the midst of trying to gain back control, but until you complete something, do something, or a certain time comes, you're held back?
Getting back into your pilot’s seat
I've got a few tips, tricks, and a few philosophies around how you can get back into being in the pilot's seat. As a coach, I find that one of the hardest questions that I ask people is, “What do you want?"
That simple question, though, of “What do you want?” isn't so simple.
We then go through the process of looking at all 10 areas of life and figuring out what would make you feel the most fulfilled and happy.
If you want to be the pilot of your life, you need to be able to answer the question, “What do you want?” And not just answer it but answer it with confidence and with passion.
What do you want in each of those 10 areas? With your:
Then, we determine what are your top three goals that you want to be focusing on right now.
“What do you want?” and “What are the top things that you want to be focusing on?” will really get you to where your destination is. If you want to be the pilot of your life, you need to know where you're going. That's how you get back in control.
A lot of times, we are living our lives according to other people's agendas. The agenda of your boss, spouse, family, kids, and maybe even of society.
With Michael's quote, “the bad news is time flies.” Therefore, if you want to gain back control, today is the day. Figure out what you want, and then you need to make a plan to get there.
It could be time to have some difficult conversations with others:
You have permission to take back the pilot's seat… to be the pilot of your plane.
It doesn't mean you don't honor anybody else or their wants. It means that you get to fly your course, too. You have permission to have clarity on what you want, the confidence to go for your goals and to get into action.
The next piece is, who do you need to be in order to get there. Do you have to be organized, creative, confident, outspoken, determined, persistent, resilient? There are so many different ways of being. It's not just the “doing” that's important. It's the “being” side that helps you to get there.
What type of pilot do you want to be?
There have been times in my life where I looked around, and I thought, “Wow, I didn't necessarily pick this job. It just kind of found me. It was offered to me. I knew someone who knew someone who was offering a job, and now I have the job.”
Then I look around and I think, “Wow, I'm hanging out with these people. I'm friends with these people.” But again, I didn't necessarily choose them. They were connected to a job, my kids, or they were in a club I was in.
I wonder, in your life, how much of your life is by your own design? Or how much is just based on circumstance, convenience, or settling?
I'm not saying just because you happen to get a job or you happen to meet people and hang out with them, that you're settling. But it's a question to ask yourself. If you want to be in the pilot's seat and if you want to be able to chart the course of where you're going, you need to be honest about where you're at. If you could, Would you choose your career again? Your friends again? Your situation again?
So once you know where you're going, you know your top three goals. You know how you need to redesign with other people and you know who you need to be. It's time to take action. Make a full plan.
What's the first step? And then after that? And then what comes next? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to bring on board to help you to get where you're going?
Are you now thinking, “Oh, man, I don't want to be the pilot. I want to be the passenger. I just want someone to take me through this.”
Whether you want to be the pilot or a passenger or not. If you don't feel like you're getting the right answers, or you have the clarity but you’re not getting into action or you lack the confidence around it, let's have a conversation.
Reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I really want you to be able to be in the pilot's seat of your life because, as Michael says, time flies. Can you really miss another day?
Read my other blogs here:
1. How is Overthinking Affecting you?
2. 4 crucial questions about your life path
3. The Power of Baby Steps
I have a confession, and it has to do with being an impostor.
Michelle Obama felt like an impostor. It all comes down to a psychological condition called “Imposter Syndrome.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one's abilities, or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one's ongoing success.
It's the truth. There are so many people who are feeling like impostors. So many powerful women have felt like impostors or currently feel like an impostor.
Do you feel like an impostor?
Let me share my personal experience.
Many times in my career and in my life, I have felt like I didn't belong. I have felt that I wasn’t good enough. It often came from me and the worst was when other people told me that I didn’t belong.
When I was a young girl, about 11, I was really succeeding and leading the way in soccer. I was noticed for my ability by an indoor soccer boys team that invited me to come and play with them. I was excited because this was going to be a higher level of challenge for me. I was honored to be invited.
When I showed up there, I worried, “Oh, my goodness, I have to step up to this level. Can I?”
*insert imposter syndrome*
I see a gym full of boys and soccer balls and we start practicing. When we get into pair work, no one wants to do the drills with me! I really started to feel like I didn't belong. That I wasn’t wanted there.
Maybe you felt this way at some point in your life. You weren't allowed to be there. People didn't want you there or maybe you just weren't good enough to be there, so you self-sabotage your way out of being there.
Because I was young and I still had a little bit of naive confidence, even though they didn't want to pair with me, I thought, “Okay, well, I'm still here, so I'm still gonna practice.” In the end, the coach had to put his son with me because no one would pair up with me.
I heard the murmurs. Maybe you have heard them too. Maybe it was the truth. Maybe it wasn't the truth.
Sadly, we murmur to ourselves the most, judging ourselves, doubting ourselves THE MOST.
Have you heard these? Have you felt these?
What happened for me was a lesson and maybe a lesson for the boys, who knows. The coach sat everyone down and said, “The reason why Diane is here is because she's a really good player.”
Nothing. No reaction. They didn't care. Then, the next comment was, “You should be glad she is here because she's going to help us do well.” Again, for their benefit. They didn't care. But the last comment was a little bit of a poke to them. He said, “And to be honest, she’s probably better than most of you here.”
Well, saying to a group that you’re better than them is a way to not belong. But hey, at least I knew that the coach wanted me to be there.
How many times in your life and in your business have you got to that place of these questions?
Women and Imposter Syndrome
The sad thing is imposter syndrome is probably holding you back. It has held me back. Now, where does Michelle Obama come in here? Well, former US First Lady Michelle Obama was speaking to some girls and she urged them to resist imposter syndrome.
Why did she say that? Because she felt it on the way up the ladder, as Barack was going up, what happened? She felt like she had to fight men for power. She had to prove herself all the time.
Until we as women step up into who we were meant to be, until we are unapologetically ourselves, until we really take ownership of the amazing things that we have done, we can suffer from impostor syndrome.
There are many negative problems that come from imposter syndrome:
The Stark difference between Men and Women
A Business Insider study said that men and women view success differently. Men believe that success comes from their innate skills and talents. Women believe that their success comes from luck and help from others. If our success comes from luck and help from others, no wonder we feel like impostors because we are saying that the only reason why we succeed is because someone helped us. So we aren’t the lead of our own success.
I don't know how many times the clients I work with reach a level of success, win an award, and they still think that they only got there because of other people. Maybe they got there with some help from other people, but not completely.
If you run a team yourself, you are the one to lead them to greatness. Yes, you could have great people on your team to take ownership and celebrate the things that you did.
The other thing that is going to happen is how are we ever going to be paid equally to men if we don't own that we actually belong at that level. There was another study that I read. It said something like, a woman feels she needs 80% and above qualifications for a role or a position before she'll apply.
Sometimes it even takes the urging of a mentor or someone else in the company in order to get her to go for it. This also includes my clients who were speakers. They don't go for certain projects, engagements, keynotes, and conferences because they feel like they're not good enough.
So not getting paid the same, not going for opportunities that are the same.
The other thing is, how are we ever going to have more women in high-up leadership positions if we continue to feel like we're an imposter. Now, it's one thing to think, “Oh, I'm slightly under where I need to be” and that's fine, but it's another to limit yourself.
In that same study that I read where a woman feels she needs 80% and above qualifications for a role or a position before she'll apply, it's only 20% for men. If a man has 20% of the qualifications for that role, that position, that engagement, that board spot, whatever it may be, he only needs 20% of the skills to say to himself, “I'm going to step into that.”
Now, this is a complete blanket generalization. I get that. But it was a fact that I read. And I see it play out over and over and over and over and over in my female clients, in the women in my Dynamic Women® Community, even in the successful women that I interview on my Dynamic Women® Podcast, the women in my collaborative books, they still feel like impostors.
It often comes from a limiting belief.
The number one limiting belief according to the research Brene Brown is, “I am not enough.” This is basically feeling like you are an impostor.
Thai happens no matter your level of success because every time you push yourself to the next limit, you move yourself out of your comfort zone. I do this all the time, maybe you do too. Then I have that second... that moment of “Am I really meant to be here? Have I really deserved this position?”
Do you know what I changed it to? Absolute immense gratitude.
I'm constantly presented with the option of choosing impostor syndrome every time I push you out of my boundaries, and the same goes for you. When you level up, you have that moment where you’re going to feel like an impostor. But you also have the chance to choose gratitude. You also have the chance to create the most magnificent plan to step into that next level and to feel more confident there. BUT:
So if you ever feel like an impostor or if you feel like you're an impostor in one or more areas of your life, I'm telling you, it's okay. It's totally okay. It's about boosting your confidence so that you can own that position. That you can be there and be your most brilliant self.
You and I are not really impostors. We're just holding ourselves back, but not anymore...
P.S. You can still get the Confidence Fast Start! It’s a box full of experiential items that can help you build confidence!
“How are you?”
We always say it, but did you know that you could be using this simple greeting in the wrong way?
It may seem simple, but the question “How are you?” “How you doin’?” “How you goin’?” can be taken the wrong way. It can be used in the wrong fashion.
I didn't really put too much weight on this in the past. I know that people ask this question and use it as a greeting. Our common answers to this question are:
Then, we ask the other person the same question and they give a quick response. After that, it’s over and done with.
But how often have you actually asked other people the deeper question of “How are you really doing?” or “How are you actually doing?”
So often, we just use it as a greeting, and then we're on our way. We don't actually stand there and wait for the FULL response. We don't notice when there are inconsistencies with how someone is appearing: how they’re acting, their voice, their tone, the inflection, and the way their body language is speaking something completely different.
Have you ever noticed the time when you've said to someone, “How are you doing?” And they answer, “Oh, okay.” Then, you feel there's something deeper here. “I'm okay or “I'm good” isn't actually how they're feeling, but you don’t ask for more.
Why don’t you? We’ve all been there. Maybe you don't have time to find out how they really feel, or you don’t want to pry or it makes you feel uncomfortable or you’re just not that close to them.
How many times have you been asked this simple question, and you've given a quick “Good” or “Okay” but really deep down, you were hurting or there was more to that “I'm okay.” But you weren't ready to stop them from just being a greeting and to say more about how you're actually feeling.
This came to light when I was in an “after convention hangout”, and some of my colleagues were having a lot of light conversations. There were a lot of jokes, reminiscing, talking about what we learned, and sharing our goals.
Then there was a pause and someone asked one of the attendees, “How are you?” She opened up and shared that she’s actually not doing okay and she’s not doing fine, the truth came out. The truth of how:
We welcomed her honesty. It gave her the space to share. I know I could relate. At the time, I was dealing with my father's death, and I didn't feel like myself.
If you were to ask me right now how I am doing, I'm going to give you the real answer. I'd say I'm starting to feel more like myself. But if you'd asked me a few months ago, I probably would have said, “Well, I'm okay. I'm fine.”
But if you asked me how I'm really doing, and paused to hear, I would have told you, “I'm struggling.” I would have told you grief sucks. This colleague of ours had the courage to share more and had the courage to go into the truth of how she really was feeling.
It was nice for her to have that space for us to listen to her. Do you know what flowed after that? The truth. The truth of how everyone else was doing. No one had to keep up appearances anymore.
More people shared about
We had the ultimate sharing. What it came down to was someone asking her, “How are you really?” and being there to hear the answer.
It makes me wonder how many of the people around you or me are not doing well. But we don't ask them in a way that's not a greeting.
I wonder if hundreds of thousands of years ago people used the expression, “How are you?”
Maybe people used it to find out how others are doing rather than just to spark a conversation with your neighbor. Maybe as you were cutting down a tree, or plowing a field, or bartering and exchanging goods, you actually had a conversation. You knew each other so well that you would share more.
But in today's world, the way things are, we're Zooming with people across the world. We're jumping into networking events and conferences online. We're rushing from here to there. And the greeting of “How are you” just stays at that. It becomes a rhetorical question. It doesn't really even matter what people say because are we really listening?
This is what my colleague brought forward. She said people ask her all the time how she's doing, but do they really want to know the full answer? She didn’t think so.
I wonder how long this colleague of mine felt unheard, but also how much of it is our responsibility to be able to say, “Hey, I really want to tell you how I'm doing. I'm ready to tell you now.”
A little while later in true Canadian style, she apologized to the group for dumping it on them. I private messaged her, “Don't ever apologize for speaking the truth of where you're at.”
If we encourage people to keep their true feelings inside, imagine what will happen. This is when it becomes too much, unbearable. If people are struggling, if they are having negative feelings or a hard time in life, then they need to not walk the journey alone. But how do they know who they can talk to if we don't ask them in a way where we stand there and we wait for the response?
I'm not judging because I constantly do a quick “Hey, how's it going?” to people as I catch them in the mall or walking down the street or at the school playground, especially now in the days where we have to stay so separated by 2 metres or when we're on Zoom meetings and everybody's listening. That's using the quick “Hey, how's it going?” as a greeting because there are too many people in the room to get an actual response.
But how about if we just took a little bit more notice… lingered a little bit longer after asking the question… checked for consistency, congruence between what their body and their look, their appearance, their tone, their intonation is telling you compared to the words they actually used.
If they say “I'm fine” or “I'm good,” then don't be afraid to follow up with them with:
Sometimes we just need that door to open to be able to share more of our feelings and of what is going on in our lives. How many times have we opened the door for others? I get that you're not going to do this with the waitress or a cashier. You're going to say your greeting, and maybe when they say they're good, you're going to say, “Well, I hope you continue to have a good day.” Maybe we extend the conversation a little bit beyond.
If you haven't seen a friend for a while, why not reach out and ask how they are really doing. Rather than just a text, an email, or a message in some other capacity, why don't you get on the phone and really ask? Have a conversation.
If you yourself feel like people are just asking you this rhetorical question, and they don't really care about the answer then take responsibility for it. Tell people you need them to listen. Say, “Thank you for asking. I'm actually not doing really well” if that's the truth about where you are. Choose the right people you want to do that with so that you have a safe space to share more and so they can then support you.
If we remain quiet and we don’t share with others how it's going, no one will be able to step up and help. You don’t have to walk this alone. There are many people out there who can help. Maybe not people in your current life, maybe not people you know, but there are people on call lines. There are people at churches. There are people who are trained to support you like counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and coaches. There are people out there that can support you beyond “How are you?”
As you go into the world, I encourage you, if you're going to do a greeting of “How are you?” that's fine. Just look for those inconsistencies. When you have the time or create the time, linger a little longer to look for the true answer and if you sense that the person is not fine or not good, and there's a little bit more underneath:
Or remind them that you're there to support them if they ever need it. If everyone did this, COVID would be a little bit easier to deal with. Life would be a little bit easier to get through. We'd all know that we weren't alone in this crazy world.
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