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Archive for the ‘dealing with emotions’ Category

Whenever I try something new, it’s a bit uncomfortable. When I do something really different, it’s really uncomfortable. Who wants that?

Like, speaking in front of large groups. Now, “large” is subjective. You might view large as 10, or 100. (For me, it’s over 1000… see below for my April event!)

However, being uncomfortable is how we grow. When we are too comfortable for too long, we’re not growing. We’re stagnant.

For speakers, learning new skills, like expanding the dynamics of your voice (e.g., pitch, tone, tempo, the resonance of your voice, and even pausing) may feel uncomfortable at first. So many people don’t even realize they can have a more dynamic voice and presence – it’s unfathomable to realize that your voice can be that amazing! And yet, for most people, finding those new dimensions is scary and uncomfortable.

You see, our comfort zone is where you’re safe. When you’re uncomfortable and choosing new actions, it means your growing. So, it’s essential to establish a new relationship with discomfort.

Sure, I talk about this with my clients all the time… and I also love what my own coach says: that in order to grow our businesses, we must expand our capacity to be uncomfortable.

And oh boy, I know what it’s like. When I first held my Authentic Entrepreneur Speaker Series a year ago, I was really uncomfortable. 3000 people tuning in, and partnering with incredible experts in the field with email lists up to 100,000? Yowza! Creating new offerings and implementing new marketing techniques? Scary. At times, I certainly didn’t have confidence, and I procrastinated as much as my time frame allowed. Yet, I still did it. Could it have been better? Certainly. And it is, each time – as I get more comfortable.

And today? Well, I’m a professional speaker, and enjoy new opportunities. And yet, there’s a great opportunity to expand my comfort zone. On April 27th, I’ll be a featured speaker at the National Entrepreneurs and Small Business Expo in Los Angeles. And I’ll be speaking live to at least 2500 people. It’ll be my biggest speaking engagement to date. Wahooooo!

So I encourage you to ask: what are avoiding because it’s uncomfortable? The more you can give yourself permission to make mistakes, and to grow, the better. Whether that’s to become more confident at speaking, to get more clients, or simply to have a difficult conversation with someone, here are some specific tips on how to be okay with being uncomfortable:

1)   Let yourself be in the unknown. Be okay not knowing all the answers.

2)   Take a lot of deep breaths. Stretch. Get in your body, so that you don’t get stuck in your fears.

3)   Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Face it: “perfect” is a utopian fantasy. It’s not reality.

4)   Have fun! Don’t take things so seriously. Incorporate play into your day. Even make the new growth into a game. (Yes, this might be easier when expanding your vocal dynamics, but it can work with other areas too!)

5)   Stop beating yourself up! This is so important: as long as you are self-critical you’re blocking yourself.

Below in the comments section, you have a chance to be lovingly witnessed. Please share your own experiences, or write in what action you’re willing to take to expand your comfort zone – and to step into even more of who you truly are.

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Happy Self-Love Day!

Valentine’s Day brings up so much baggage. It was created by Hallmark to sell greeting cards. And it leaves single people feeling alone and insufficient, and often causes couples to try to measure up to a mythical standard.

So how about we recontextualize this day… as a time when we learn to have more compassion and acceptance of ourselves? Even… self-love?

It breaks my heart when I hear people say that they can have some more compassion toward themselves, but that loving themselves is almost out of the question.

This is also really important professionally: in my opinion, half of what makes a confident, effective speaker is self-love. And it’s most of what makes a genuinely happy person, too.

A few tips:

Know that there’s no such thing as being perfect.

People will love you more when you give yourself permission to be ALL of you.

When you embrace yourself as an ever-evolving, imperfect human, you give others permission to be themselves, too.

So give yourself a break. Today, my wish is that we each spend time to appreciate ourselves, our foibles, our humanity, and our gifts. May we all be gentle and sweet with ourselves.

 

Have you been feeling a little… wacky… as of late? Lots of change is afoot now. I’ve noticed a lot of wild energy and mood swings happening everywhere – often very positive, and at other times just bizarre. Sometimes I’m feeling just incredible, and at other times I feel all over the place. Really weird! I wanted to get a sense of who else was going through this, so I just took a poll on Facebook, and almost unanimously found that people currently feel like they’re switching back and forth between being really centered and pretty off-kilter. Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of the following?

  • Vacillating feelings and moods (like, sudden bursts of fear or hope), or changing your mind repeatedly
  • Intense interactions; those around you negotiating dramatic issues, or even family members facing life-threatening illnesses
  • Increased feelings of doubt about your work, relationships or other important matters

Yes, it’s not just you. I’m here to tell you: you’re not crazy. And you’re not alone. (And if you’re not experiencing this at all, be aware that others might be.) This is the 2012 change energy at its peak. It’s here. So… what do we do with this??

Here are some exercises. These are great to help transform nervousness around public speaking into confidence – and also help us maintain our center in the rest of life.

  1. Get in your body. Stretch, exercise, jump up and down… you get the picture.
  2. Ground your energy. Send roots or cords into the center of the earth. Often. And, if it’s your cup of tea, upon Divine Source or the Universe from above, so you’re centered between heaven and earth.
  3. Witness the ride. If you use any sort of awareness techniques, like Vipassana, this a good time! Don’t be attached to huge fluctuations. Know it may keep changing for a while. If nothing else, just take a lot of deep breaths and focus your attention there.
  4. Postpone making big decisions. Since a lot is moving all over the planet right now, and it’s affecting everyone, you may want to wait until things have felt consistent for some time.
  5. Smile. Get some perspective, laugh a little, and know we’re on a roller coaster. Have a little fun with it, if possible. 🙂

Hopefully these will help. If you’re dealing with this too, keep breathing. And stay compassionate for your friends and family. We’re all in it together.

…Been experiencing this? Please share, and leave a comment below.

Recently my focus has simply been on self-love. Loving myself during my mistakes. Loving myself while I continue on this interesting human journey, with all its aspects. Loving myself, with compassion and care, as much as I do my clients, friends and colleagues.

Why is it so much easier to love others than ourselves? Although, anger and other negative emotions toward others are often a reflection of how we feel toward our own person. Interestingly, we often have the hardest time with those we know the best – spouses, coworkers, great friends… often can be the ones we’re also frustrated with. And, the one we know best of all (and, sometimes, understand the least) is ourselves. We judge ourselves, punish ourselves, and worse, for actions that we might have much more easily forgiven in others. Or, at least, in a small child who obviously would have known no better.

The step toward self-love can begin with witnessing and curiosity. Rather than just judging something you did, view it as if an aspect, or part, of you, was responsible for that. Imagine if the part who did an action you judge, or had a feeling with which you struggle, was a child. Would the most loving treatment be to yell at her or him? Would that help your inner sweet, innocent one feel safe?

Action: Write down a list of how you’d like others to treat you. Then, take an inventory of how you’re actually treating yourself. Begin to notice any gaps. And when you have a strong feeling, notice where you feel it in your body… and imagine as if that is part of you that needs to be heard and wants honoring and expression. Send a message to yourself, like…

“I hear you.”

“I care about you… and about what you’re experiencing.”

“I love you.”

After trying this, please note any experiences below.

Let’s face it: the holidays are never exactly what we wished for. Whether you grew up with Leave it to Beaver, The Cosby Show, or other sitcoms, that’s just not what life is really like. People disappoint us, we frustrate ourselves, and it all shows up in neon colors over the holidays.

Yet, we often forget that we play an important role here. We can choose to consciously change our lives and our relationships. It takes both time and courage to approach friends and family that have difficult patterns, and state our needs and vision for what we want. Whatever has happened during the holidays that doesn’t match up with what you wished for, use this as fuel for creating intentions for the upcoming year. How would you like to consciously shape your participation in 2012?

Action: If you are having a hard time with a relative, friend, or even yourself, approach with kindness. Focus on what you want, rather than on the pain of the past, and move forward together.

How can we be both powerful and humble? Where does humility play a role within empowerment?

Some perspective: 

If we are in our power, and fully stand in the truth of what we are here to do on this planet and in our own communities, we simply need to do our work. When we try to be powerful, we effort from the ego. That is not true power. Real powerful is effortless.

In the Law of Attraction, it’s essential to know you are deserving of what you visualize – that you are worthy. Don’t confuse worthiness with being humble.

Humility comes more around receiving what we have visualized – and, in my book, the bigger the gift, the more humble we should be. To know that we are truly worthy of something wonderful is to let go of the ego.

And… don’t try so much. 

Trying hard to create results means trying to force results. And that’s just not how the world works – or, not without repercussions. If you try to force someone to do something, they may do it, but it’ll fly back in your face sooner or later.

Action: Relax into your power. Be thankful for all you have received, and all that is coming your way… whether or not you can see it.

Next: 3 ways to stay humble.

I more often talk about empowerment, and how we need to step into our power. What goes along with it as its important sidekick is humility.

It’s too easy for power to bring hubris. Many amazing people are so afraid to really be powerful – because so may strong figures in current and past world history have also been dominating and abusive. And many people suffered through difficult childhood experiences – and then have walked in the world as the mild-mannered counterpart of their true self, which is waiting to be powerful and strong.

Yes, we must be powerful – to live our soul’s purpose in the world is to live our full truth.

The secret? Don’t try to be powerful. Just be true to yourself.

Part 2: Don’t try so hard – and keep perspective.


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