I have to admit I often ignore my own needs for the sake of others and I’ve definitely been neglectful in the past, and sadly, those around me suffered. But I am happy to say those days of blindly and aimlessly going about life is over.
As I march on to a purposeful life. One where I know my purpose, my strengths and even my weaknesses I have become brutally aware of untapped potential that lays hidden in the dark shadows of my unexplored psyche. Can there be anything more wasteful, and sorrowful, than natural ability unexplored, undeveloped, and unexpressed?
When my life became suddenly “re-organized” the pain of where I was soon became so great I was forced to face some hard truths. I was forced to explore the reasons behind the results and I discovered the gift of enlightenment - thanks to those coaches who didn’t hold back. Who helped me expose long buried experiences that had created the faulty thinking that had led to my life collapse.
I have worked hard over the last 7 years and even reached out to coaches to help me, and the reward of enlightenment has been my rich reward. Better results in my business and those of others have been the extra amazing bonus that overflows my cup.
The greatest privilege of all is the opportunity to live life in order to enlighten oneself.
The second greatest privilege of all is to be gifted with the awareness to see that truth.
The third greatest privilege of all is to be given the opportunity to be a source of enlightenment in others, so they too can self-actualize and lead far more successful lives.
Such is the abundance of my privileges.
Privilege comes with significant responsibility. As a highly conscious teacher shared many moons ago:
“To everyone whom much has been given, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked".
My primary responsibility is to my Self - to choose who I want to be, to be who I choose to be, and be the best version of that I can be.
My second responsibility is to be the best version of who I choose to be to those closest to me.
My third responsibility is to be the best version of who I chose to be to those I serve professionally.
If I'm not bringing light to my own darkness, how I can I expect to ask it of others?
If I'm not elevating my own consciousness, how am I qualified to help others do the same?
If I'm not improving who I am, what gives me the right to challenge others to do the same?
This is why I’ve chosen to get the kind of therapy that will help me dig deep; to uncover areas I’ve not yet exposed. I was so resistant in the past it took a life crash to shake me up. How ridiculous!
I know it will not be easy. Those long buried patterns of thought -that no longer serves me- will resist exposure no doubt. It will take work and patience, but I know that once exposed I will be free. Free to become who I was made to be because once the unconscious becomes conscious, once those faulty patterns of thought are exposed, they will never control me again.
And the best reward of all… I’ll be becoming a better version of myself so I can give more to others.
To be continued...
Angela Decoteau (Deck-uh-toe)
When I came back from traveling I had great intentions on getting work done and accomplishing great things. As usual the thinking about success clashed with the accomplishing success in my life. After a week of being busy I looked back to evaluate the week to see what had been accomplished. I noticed that most of my time was filled with activities that had nothing to do with my goals.
My calendar was a mess of scribbled in schedule breakers. A random phone call or a text slipped in unexpected, or was it two or three, I got distracted from the task at hand. I found myself gazing at Facebook and becoming generally distracted.
It was time to clean up the mess I was becoming.
It wasn’t that I was bored. I was busy every day all day. But busy doing what? A closer look at the activities of the week revealed I had fallen into the trap of allowing others to fill my calendar. You see when other people are allowed to fill your calendar, they fill it with what’s important to them. They fill it with their priority not your priority. They made their agenda my agenda. Working from home has its advantages for sure but work from home means “she’s available” to others.
I needed to take control of the situation and fill my calendar with the activities that were important to me. If not, my life would become a passive life. One that others would control. One that drifted with the tide of other’s emergencies.
Success is a result of an active life. One in which you are the driver. You are the controller of what you do each day. Other people have their place but their place is controlled by you. You chose when to spend time with them and for how long.
One thing is certain, mediocrity doesn’t take much effort. It just happens. It was happening to me. It crept up on me like a thief and before I knew it I was drifting quickly toward it.
But I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I know you don’t either.
Success takes planning and effort. Determined to take control again I took Sunday afternoon and prioritized my calendar in such a way that this week I am doing the things that are important to accomplish. The things that are important to me. So far much better. I’m still a little slow with this email but that’s because another force keeps tugging at me called procrastination. That’s a whole other email….
Bottom line is I’m better than last week and I’ll be even better next week.
Who’s planning your life? Take time to reflect back on your day and your week. What went right and what can you do better? If you strive for mediocrity you’ll arrive at average and ordinary. The world is over run with average and ordinary. If you want more from life it will take effort on your part. Even if you can’t make leaps and bounds in the direction of your goals and dreams you can take a tiny step. If each tiny step is in the right direction, over time you will get there.
Fear runs deep. Fear is what keeps us alive. Fear of the unknown balances childish curiosity and keeps us safe.
The thing is, even though most of us are no longer children.... fear still runs deep.
We still feel the same feelings when we face possible failure, but now those feelings revolve around shame. Losing a video game in private is fine, but asking a stupid question in a meeting is not.
Shame is the dream killer, because shame (or the possibility of shame) amplifies our fear of fear, keeps us from contributing and short circuits our willingness to explore. It’s one of the underlying drivers that hijack business success.
As soon as we give it a name, though, as soon as we call it out, we can begin to move forward. Fear of shame unspoken is fear of shame amplified.
Look at the results you are getting in your life. Could it be that the real culprit, the driving force behind the average and mediocre results, is fear of shame?
Average and mediocre happens without effort. All you need to do is... nothing. That's why the world is over run with average. But extraordinary success will take effort on your part. Big achievers know this. They don't sit on the side lines and wait. They take action; because they know that a business will never outgrow the quality of thinking the leader brings to it.
Be afraid of significant failure if you can quantify the downsides. But call out fear of shame because it is a waste and a trap.
If I were to name the number one thing that business owners struggle with I would say it is stress. Stress at work, stress at home, stress with leadership, stress with workers, stress with money... you get the picture.
The greater the success the greater the stress level. My friend John Maxwell says, "Success is uphill."
Yet the most successful individuals seem to deal with a plethora of obstacles on a day by day.... and even moment by moment basis. How do they do it?
I've identified three simple steps anyone can take to greatly reduce the stress load. These three steps can help you create dramatic shifts in your productivity and stress level. Here they are:
Some people believe life isn't fair.
On the contrary, quite the opposite is true; life is perfectly fair. It asserts itself through specific, unwavering natural laws - universal principles that never deviate in their expression.
Natural laws are either working in your favor, or they are not, but understand this: the laws themselves do not discriminate. Whichever way they're showing up in your life, it's not because of any deviation in the expression of the law - it's because your awareness of the laws, and your ability to put those laws to work in your favor.
Of all the activities you engage in on a day-to-day basis, what do you think is the most valuable in regard to return on investment?
Laws are inescapable truths. You can escape knowledge of them, in other words you can be ignorant, but you'll never escape the consequences.
Take cause and effect for example. Every cause has an effect, and every effect has a cause. Whether the effects are what you'd like or not is irrelevant to the law, the point is cause and effect asserts itself, right on schedule, every time, regardless.
It can do nothing else.
And here's another inescapable truth you'd be wise to give your undivided attention to:
A small number of causes have a vastly disproportionate influence on effects.
In other words, the most effective things we do are vastly more worthwhile than the rest because we get the highest amount of results from a small amount of activities.
Because make no mistake, unless you get this particular inescapable truth fixed firmly in your mind - and start to live by it on a day-to-day basis - you'll condemn yourself to the all too common path of constant struggle, frustration, underachievement and mediocrity.
I don't want that for you anymore than you do.
But I can do nothing if you choose to be willfully ignorant (which is exactly what you'll be guilty of if you choose to do nothing with the knowledge this message brings you).
If you are reading this message it means that, at some level, you aspire for greater things. You want more out of life.
If that's not true for you, go right now to the bottom of this message, click on the " unsubscribe" link, and unsubscribe immediately with my best wishes.
If it does describe you, and you are serious about enjoying a level of success most business owners only dream of, then you need to understand this: if you want more out of life, you need to put more in...
...BUT that does NOT mean you get busy getting busier.
It means you start applying a lot more intelligence - awareness if you will - to become acutely aware of the activities that drive the biggest returns on investment in your business and your personal life.
This is a long-observed, long-established reality of life in general, not just business. It's tried, tested and proven.
And the bottom line is, the more you align your thinking with it, the more successful you'll be.
That’s a fact.
The results businesses owners get prove that the problem is, the activities most business owners think bring the greatest returns, don't...
Which is why you'd be very wise to pay close attention to my next message.
If there could ever be such a thing as work/life balance I'm quite off balance lately. As you may have noticed, my weekly email didn't go out on Thursday. That's because my balance scale shifted to family. I am spending time with Megan, my youngest daughter who is in town for her baby shower. I tried, but writing the email just wasn’t going to happen. (For photos of the shower, see below.)
Work/life balance seems to be the buzz word these days, but seriously—can we really achieve it? As my dear friend and speaker Bruce Wilkinson says, "Whoever said they had work life balance must have been drunk or high."
I wonder if any parent of a newborn ever thought about taking a break from the intense parenting stage to go to work more often because they are spending too much time on family? Or would an Executive who needs to meet a tight deadline to land a high paying client say, “I can't spend time on this because it would put me out of balance”? Of course not.
I would like to propose another term for work/life balance. I prefer the term work/life seasons. This is truly how life is. There are seasons when the kids are small and evenings and weekends are filled with activities, seasons when work requires our evenings and weekends and there are seasons when we’re sandwiched between aging parents and growing children. Life happens and we suddenly have to adjust our priorities.
In reality, we only have one life, not two. Forget balance and just enjoy the season, being present in the moment.
Click here for photos of our current season. Note the Jr. photographer (that's our 8 year old Granddaughter Aubreigh)
The Now to Wow guide is a great way to re-focus and make some positive adjustments. Download the FREE Now to Wow Guide and start 2018 off right. The guide will help you get focused for the new year so you can take advantage of opportunities that lead to your success.
Watch for more emails coming your way in 2018 with tips to help you grow your business and become the best version of you possible.
(pronounced Deck uh toe)
Do you know anyone who ISN’T stressed? My goal in this 2-part series is to open your eyes to the cause and effects of all those stressors that sometimes make our work environment feel like a roller coaster. Some of those stressors are: fear of being laid off, pressure to perform, long hours, lack of control over workload and/or salary, or harassment.
Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. And not all stress is bad: it can motivate you to work harder and better. But even "good stress" can become overwhelming and lead to burnout. If you’ve noticed any of the following, it’s probably time to take a step back:
· Trouble concentrating, sleeping, communicating
· Using alcohol or drugs to cope
· Feeling apathetic, irritable, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed
· Home life and relationships suffering
According to the 2017 American Psychological Association Stress in America Report, stress levels have increased for the first time in ten years. When stress exceeds our ability to cope, it becomes harmful to our mind and body, as well as our job performance.
Chronic stress produces high levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol, which can disrupt nearly all of your body’s processes. It can alter immune system responses and suppress the digestive system, reproductive system and growth process. Studies have also linked stress to obesity, Alzheimer’s, depression, memory impairment and more.
Don’t get stuck there! Stay tuned for my follow-up article on suggestions for coping in a stressful work environment.
(pronounced Deck uh toe)