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Weigh Your Words

Weigh Your Words

Remember that children’s song, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? That song has it wrong — words can wound. The wound from words could scar for a lifetime. It’s important to weigh your words whether you’re talking with a friend, family member or child and it’s important to think before you speak with a client.

You also want to think before you speak about one person to another person. It will ultimately be you that the harm comes back to, so just don’t do it.

Words carry weight. They can uplift or they can lead to upset. Think about the next time you say, “I had an awfully good day.” Sure, it sounds great, but why say “awfully?” Why didn’t you just have a good day? How about saying to a client, “I am anxious to get started working with you.” You may mean you’re really looking forward to starting BUT a client who doesn’t know you may think you’re desperate or nervous and they may not want to place their trust in you. Say, “I am looking forward to, or eager to, or excited to… work with you.”

Weigh Your Words

The words you speak to yourself can color your day and your interactions. Start your day with the mindset that, “this is going to be a great day!” Don’t think, “I have a few meetings today I hope they go well or I hope I won’t be too tired by the time the day is over.” In one instance you’re setting yourself up for a great day, in the other you are plodding toward your day like you’re walking into a firing squad.

What message do you want to tell yourself? Your clients?

How can you reframe your words? When you reframe your words, you reframe your thoughts and your day takes a turn toward the better!

I’ve been told that I uplift and encourage people. I love hearing that and I love doing that. What words do people say about you? What words do you want them to say?

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Reduce Stress

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Reduce Stress

Stress happens. In the time of coronavirus and even the looming election, entrepreneurs could be feeling more stress and that can impact the way they work. We have put together this list of 5 ways entrepreneurs can reduce stress and be healthier and happier.

There are many ways you can reduce stress and as an entrepreneur, you need to reduce stress to keep yourself healthy and you also need to stay healthy to keep your business running. Many solopreneurs cannot afford to take time off.

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Reduce Stress

We have some ways to help you reduce your stress. There is no one-size-fits all, but these may help.

  1. Write down what’s bothering you. Sometimes the simple act of writing it down will take away the power the stressful situation had over you. You can take time every day to write down what is stressing you out. You can write down ways in which you could address that situation. Writing it down may also help you brainstorm ways to eradicate it.
  2. Talk with someone. Talk with a friend, family member, colleague or a mental health professional. Stress can lead to suicidal thoughts and the isolation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to more stress and higher suicide rates. When you talk with someone you are also taking away the power the stressful situation had over you and an outside opinion might help you see a solution you didn’t see on your own.
  3. Get moving. When you’re having emotional or mental stress, taking a walk or meditating or walking the dog can help alleviate it. You may not find a solution to your stress, but moving will help release endorphins and a 15-minute run (or walk) will clear your head and help you sleep better at night.
  4. Find comedy in your life. What is your favorite funny movie or sit com? When is the last time you indulged in it? Take time to simply laugh. Laughing also releases endorphins and tension.
  5. Celebrate the small wins. You don’t need to conquer the highest mountain to celebrate. Walking up a small hill or completing a small task is reason for celebration. Clear your desk. Clean up your computer desktop. Any small win is cause for celebration and that can help you feel more accomplished and this is a great feeling when you feel you’re simply spinning your wheels. Take the wins where you can.

What do you do when the stress becomes too much? Reach out to a friend. Don’t go it alone.

Are You Truly Pushing Yourself To Greater Heights?

Are You Truly Pushing Yourself To Greater Heights?

You’ve gone as high as you possibly can, right? Have you truly pushed yourself as far as you can go? Do you have it in you to push just a little bit farther or harder? Are you giving up now that you feel you’ve reached the pinnacle of success in either business or in life — or both?

Could it be that you’ve reached a point at which you’re just going to give up? That brass ring is just this far out of reach and you simply can’t push yourself any further? Well, you should push forward. Striving, pushing yourself to greater heights fuels even more activity and even more success. I truly believe that.

What can you do? Here are my three suggestions:

  1. Make sure you have proper perspective. There are times when it feels that all the walls are caving in, but when this happens you need to take a deep breath and step back so you can get a new perspective. You may need to talk to a friend or family member or trusted business colleague to help you regain perspective.
  2. Dream big. Live large. No one says you can’t dream big. If you don’t put out big dreams for yourself, who will? Push your limits to achieve big dreams. If you have a long term goal that is HUGE, break it into smaller bite-sized chunks then go for it!
  3. Attitude matters. If you’re positive you will draw in positive energy and positive people. Negativity feeds negativity and so a positive attitude will feed a positive attitude. See what you can do to gain a more positive attitude then push forward.
 What can you do to achieve a dream?

Life Teaches Lessons In Leadership

Life Teaches Lessons In Leadership

There are times in both life and business when you will get thrown a curve ball. How you handle it reflects on both your resiliency and your attitude. A positive attitude and a tendency toward resiliency will help you roll with it and get back on your feet.

Here are some lessons to keep in mind when things simply aren’t going your way:

  • Be bold. Take a chance. Put yourself out there and see what the world sends back. It may not always be the boon you’d hoped for but you will never know until you try, right?
  • Remember, life goes on. Yes, there are times when you’re dealt a devastating blow but once you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take stock — even if it takes a couple of days — you can get back on course. In business, rarely is failing fatal.
  • Know when to simply let go. There are times in business and in life when you have to know when to walk away — whether from a personal relationship or a business client that is draining your energies and not appreciating your efforts.

How do you face challenges? What do you do to come out the other side?

Overcoming Discouragement

Overcoming Discouragement

When Things Get Dark – Turn On The Lights…

Have you ever felt a little discouraged, a little down, maybe even a little hopeless?  We all have and it’s what you do when this feeling begins to creep in that makes all the difference.

I was sitting this morning writing in preparation for an upcoming “Keynote” presentation when my mind drifted… (does yours ever do that?).  I thought back to a time not that long ago, when a series of events, one right after the other, left me exhausted, and I felt discouragement slipping into the recesses on my mind.

It all begins so innocent, so subtle.  A little thought enters… “you could have done it better”, or “you should have been more prepared”.  We can be quite harsh on ourselves at times.  But as soon as I realized these thoughts were taking over, driving me down, I paused to take a different view of the thoughts.

You see, unless you interfere with the pattern, break the flow of self-condemnation and abasement; you will rapidly lose the strength to combat the problem.  Before long, you become overwhelmed, with your focused shifted to a direction where solutions seem too far away to reach.

Before I go on, I want you to know, that no matter what has happened, it’s never too late to turn it around, and turn it around in a big way…, but first you have to “turn it on”.

“Turning it on” refers to the release of an endless source of energy, ideas, and creativity that lies within all of us.  It never goes away, but we can allow it to become hidden, buried, and disguised so that we do not recognize it any longer.  In fact, in time we can completely forget it is even there.

Let’s first take a closer look at discouragement so we can better understand the challenge.

Discouragement is:

  • Universal.  Almost everyone has been discouraged at one time or another.
  • Recurring. You may overcome discouragement one week, only to face it again the next.
  • Contagious Watch out for those who want to pull you down by indulging in negativity and self-pity.
  • Unpredictable. You never know when it will strike you or a loved one.
  • Temporary. It will pass if you respond correctly.

 Discouragement differs from disappointment. When our expectations aren’t met, we feel disappointed. But discouragement, a feeling of despair and despondency, is a choice. We can choose to remain dejected or determine to work through our feelings and overcome them.  So we may ask, “what are the causes of discouragement”?

The causes of discouragement are…

  • Inability to please others
  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • Unanswered prayer
  • Lack of proper recognition
  • Financial pressure
  • Health problems
  • Unexplained adversity
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Fatigue

We may also ask, “what will happen to me if I allow discouragement to remain”?

The consequences of discouragement are…

  • Divided attention—If you are discouraged, you may not be able to work wholeheartedly.
  • Placing blame—When you feel down, be careful not to dwell on the wrongs of others.
  • Anger and depression—Unless you address the inner roots of discouragement, you will never overcome negative feelings.
  • Estrangement—People push others away by constantly grumbling.
  • Loss of confidence—Every aspect of your life will suffer when you feel unsure of yourself.
  • Negative spirit—Remembering and rehashing painful events.
  • Unwise decisions—Discouragement can cloud your judgment.

H. Spiritual drift—Depression is fertile ground for seeds of doubt.

So how do you find the inner strength, remove the mask that hides the assets required to depart from the discouragement and “turn it on”.  Let’s take a look at the cure!

The cure…

  • Look within yourself. Ask, Why am I discouraged?
  • Look up. Faith has the ability to rescue you from harmful attitudes.
  • Look back. Don’t dwell on hurtful things in the past. Instead, think about God’s faithfulness to deliver you.
  • Look ahead. Focus on what God is doing now in your life. Realize the fact that you are special, designed with a purpose and part of a much larger “strategic plan”. Then, be encouraged by what He has planned for your future.

Then, once we have mentally and spiritually dealt with the challenge, there are some specific steps we can take.

  • Rest. Physical and emotional exhaustion often lead to discouragement.
  • Nourish. When your body is depleted from the healthy foods it needs and the water it craves, your resistance to discouragement is weakened.
  • Reorganize your life. In other words, evaluate your use of time, energy, and other resources. Make sure you’re doing the right things in the right way. Clean house, organize your desk and make ready for a new flow of energy.
  • Resolve to trust God. Believe that He is in control (Ps. 103:19), loves you, and will never leave you (Heb. 13:5). He can turn any adversity into something beautiful, something good.
  • Resist discouragement. Ask God to reveal the best response to your difficulty. You will be amazed at the difference a positive attitude makes.

Are you tired of being discouraged? You don’t have to stay that way. Whether or not the situations around you change, you can experience joy, peace, and contentment. Circumstances don’t have to dictate emotions. Read the Bible and allow Scripture to permeate your mind and heart. Discouragement will lose its foothold, and joy will return.

Then there’s one last step…, the step that can make all the difference.

Take action!

You see at the root of the problem was some thought, plan, or responsibility that you did not act upon, or that you acted incorrectly upon.  Now with renewed energy and cleared thinking, take action to resolve the challenge, do the work, and make the most of your newfound clarity and direction.

There are countless examples of discouragement in the lives of famous and accomplished people.  In fact it is almost without exception found in the lives of those we respect as the greatest leaders of all time.  But though discouraged, they did not allow it to take their lives from them.  They “took action” and turned the darkness into light.

You, as I, as many others, can do the same thing.  The best time to start, is always…, now!

Counting Your Blessings At Holidays And Year Round

Attitude is everything — at the holidays and year round. Consider the phrase,  “A person is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.” If you think about it, it’s true. If you’re unhappy, your negativity will follow you and impact those around you. If you project a positive attitude that will surround those around you and feed on itself.

Adopting an “attitude of gratitude” is about more than counting your blessings on the holidays, it is about starting the day with a round up of your blessings and stopping to count them during the day. Embracing an attitude of gratitude means that you recognize your blessings as they occur throughout the day, week, month and year. Keep your mind and heart open to those blessings and expect them to come to you as you go about your day.

Remember, your attitude is the spyglass through which you view your day and your world. Your attitude is something over which you have the power to choose — good or bad — it is no one’s choice but your own. Is the glass through which you view the world clean and shiny or streaky and dirty?

Take a few minutes now, when you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed at night to write down the blessings with which you’ve been favored. Your blessings and your attitude define your character and help you become the person that you are and the attitude through which you view the world.