Aliveatwork's Blog


Do You Really Know How To Swim?

high_dive

Recently, a friend of mind and I were discussing the topic of commitment. I was sharing a situation where I felt that I needed to be ‘all in’ or not. Fence-sitting for too long can be uncomfortable.

Let me add here, that at times, I have been known to analyze, scrutinize, and over-think, a situation to death … and this was one of those times!

My friend Matt was telling me about a television show he watched where they asked a guy if he knew how to swim. The guy replied, “Sure, I watched videos on the internet and practiced on the kitchen floor!”

Matt was quick to follow up with, “Imagine someone thinking they could swim because they watched a video, rolled around on the floor, BUT never got in the water!”

It get worse!

He then said “So are you in … or are you out … you know you said those exact same words to me not too long ago … remember?”

One of the worst things about having a close friend is that they will remind you of things you told them when they were in a similar situation. One of the best things about having a close friend is that you can trust them to tell you the truth … even when it stings.

What’s The Point?

  1. You can’t swim … until you get in the water.
  2. You won’t realize your dreams … until you take a step to act-u-a-l-i-z-e them.
  3. You aren’t a leader …. because you read a book on leadership or have a title!
  4. You aren’t a parent … if you’ve never raised kids!
  5. You will never experience love … if you’re not willing to be open your heart, take a risk, and let it in!

If you truly want and desire something you have to be willing to take a leap of faith and jump into the deep end of the pool. And you have to do it … even if you’re afraid.

A lot of people have dreams and desires … few people are willing to risk what it takes to experience them.

Bill Cosby once said, In order to succeed, your desire for success should (must) be greater than your fear of failure.

So do you need to jump in the pool in some area of your life?

If so … my wish for you is that you choose … the deep end?

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Purpose: Are You Being Called to Play a Bigger Game?

The other day I was conversing with a colleague and fellow coach by the name of Barry Zweibel. We’ve been friends and have had a Mastermind of sorts since the day we met about 12 years ago.

We were talking about life in general when Barry, as only Barry can do, pulled out a 2 x 4 and walloped me upside the head with a question that challenged what I believed about my purpose in life. He was challenging me to embrace my purpose at a much higher level.

Now if you asked me, I would tell you that I am living my dream, I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point in my life (speaking, coaching, and consulting).

But Barry was challenging to go deeper into my purpose and look into the recesses of my heart and soul for any remnants of old beliefs, ideas, or defense mechanisms, that were holding me back.

And of course I found them. I won’t bore you with the details, I will however tell you that I had to search deep in the recesses till I discovered some leftover remnants of good old-fashioned … fear!

Now I’d like to tell you that as a Professional Speaker and Executive Coach that I have overcome all my fears and I am completely self-actualized … but the truth is I am not. I am not perfect, I bump up against things that slow me down and temporarily hold me back. I guess the key words here are slow down (not stop), and temporarily (not permanently).

Fear can cause you to drift from your purpose, it can stop you in your tracks, and it can kill your dreams. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown fear that is evident to you, it can hide in the deep pockets of your mind and actually disguise itself as reason, logic, security, or limited success.

That said I want to share with you a quick way to get out of your fear and moving forward again so you can achieve the level of success you want.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself To Put Fear Behind You:

  1. What am I afraid of losing? Fear is always associated with loss and the quickest way out of fear is to identify the loss.  I refer to these fears that can occupy your mind as Fear FILLERS ™ – Loss of  F-reedom, I-income, L-ife, L-ove, E-go, R-eputation, S-ecurity.
  2. What is the truth? Will I really lose my freedom, life, etc.? Remembering that 93% of the things we fear never happen!
  3. Now that I know the truth, what action do I need to take to move forward.

This a simple process that will take you from a fearful place (emotion) and move you into a more logical place where you can move into action.

So … got any leftover remnants of fear hiding in a corner in your head, heart, or soul?



How Do You Solve A Problem Like …

At any given time in life we are all faced with problems and challenges.

It’s a fact … you can’t navigate through life and avoid having problems.

Problems will come no matter how hard you wish them away. What you believe about problems and the actions you take as a result of your beliefs will determine your level of happiness as well as your ability to work through them towards a solution.

That said … here are 6 lessons I have learned about problems:

  1. Whatever problem you are experiencing … chances are someone else is dealing with one that would make your problem look like a sneeze in comparison.
  2. While it is our inclination to immediately try to resolve the problem, sometimes it is best to sit in it for a short spell. Why? Just to make sure you are understand and address the cause of the problem and not just the symptom(s).
  3. You can ignore a problem and bury your head in the sand. However, it is just a matter of time before it rears its ugly head  again. Only this time the head will be a little bigger and a lot uglier.
  4. At some point after sitting in a problem (for too long) and not coming up with a solution – the only way out is to take the focus off of yourself and serve others. Self-centered-ness can lead to depression.
  5. You can change your perspective on problems by asking yourself, “What can I learn from this experience? and “How can I benefit from what I am learning?”
  6. If the problem exists … the solution exists simultaneously … you just might not be able to recognize it in the moment. Step back, breathe, and walk away for awhile. When you come back there is a good chance you will see things in a different light and the solution (which may have been there all along) will be more evident.
  7. (Your turn … fill in the blank)

Obviously the list is incomplete. Maybe a great question to ask at this point would be … “So what lessons have you learned from your problems?”

Would you be willing to share your wisdom with the rest of us?

Who knows,  your wisdom might just influence someone who needs a little help today and besides we’d love to hear from you!



An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Webster defines op•por•tu•ni•ty as:

1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion:
2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.

So what might be stopping you from taking advantage of a favorable time or occasion?

Maybe you’ve heard this before …

I would … if it were only the right time.

I would if the economy, situation, recovery, timing, circumstances, or situation were … right!

When I reflect back on some of the greatest opportunities in my life,  it always seemed like at the time, it was never the perfect time to take action.

February 8, 2000. I am sitting on a beach with my mentor overlooking the Sea of Cortez, it’s a turning point in my life.

I want to be a professional speaker and yet I am afraid of unlocking the golden handcuffs that had me locked in to a highly paid job that I had outgrown.

My mentor says to me, “So when will you leave your job and follow your dream?”

“September …  I will resign in September,” I reply.

He asks again only this time louder, almost shouting, “So when will you leave your job and follow your dream?”

I was shaking, I was scared. He was challenging me to walk away from my identity, my security, and everything I had worked toward for 17 years!

23 days later I resigned and my life has never been the same!

And why am I telling you this?

Chances are you have a dream or an idea that you haven’t acted on … yet!

Maybe you hear that inner voice whispering that you are not living the life that you want to live or being the person you know you can be.

Do you find yourself saying, “I will jump when the economy turns around, the election is over, I feel more secure, the stars are aligned, or when things feel more right?”

The truth is …  there is no perfect time, right time, safe time, etc.

There is now! Right now!

Right now is the perfect time to make that move, to start that business, to play big, to take a leap of faith, knowing you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

NOW is an opportunity of a lifetime … you just have to open your eyes and let go of your fear.

So are you ready for your opportunity of a lifetime?



It’s not my Fault … it was the At – titude ….

You’ve heard them …

On television, in the news, at your office, your church, even your kid’s volleyball game!

People complaining and blaming others for their short falls and failures.

It surprises me that they actually believe their failures have nothing to do with themselves. They believe the fault lies with some – thing or some – one else.

I believe the reason many people do not succeed at the level they desire is because they have blocked their path to success with self-imposed obstacles.

Self-imposed obstacles can show up in any number of different ways, however most of them originate from our internal thoughts and beliefs.

So is it possible your path to success might be littered with a few limiting beliefs?

Below is a short list of 10 self-limiting beliefs (obstacles) that could be stopping you.

  1. Believing that your past will determine your future.
  2. Believing that everyone else has what it takes to succeed .. everyone BUT you!
  3. Believing that there is not enough abundance in the world and you must take from others to have enough for yourself.
  4. Believing those old, worn out lies that were handed to you as a child. Beliefs like … “You will never amount to anything because you are not __________ enough or your too _________ (fill-in-the-blanks).”
  5. Believing that other people knows what is best for you.
  6. Believing that you shouldn’t ruffle any one else’s feathers so it’s best to play small to keep the peace.
  7. Believing that you must play the cards you were dealt for the rest of your life (hey, if they can change decks in Vegas … you can change the deck you were dealt … you just have to change what you believe).
  8. Looking at the resources you have and seeing them as obstacles.
  9. Believing that you are responsible for someone else’s obstacles or self-limiting beliefs (thanks to my friend Richard for sharing).
  10. Forgetting that you are extraordinary and powerful beyond measure … yes you are amazing!

When we don’t succeed it is easy to point our finger at something else and say … it was the altitude, it was someone else’s fault that I … lost, looked bad, didn’t deliver, or didn’t win.

It takes a courageous person to own that the reason they are not winning is due to their own self-imposed obstacles.

Zig Ziglar once said that “it is your attitude not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”

Let me just say in the spirit of Zig …

“Your ability to fly is determined by your ability to remove the self limiting obstacles(beliefs) from your path. The fewer obstacles in your way … the higher you will go!

So what altitude are you cruising at these days?



Your Best Is Not …

Have you ever been in a situation involving another person where you thought to yourself …

“You know, if they just worked harder they would be so much better off”

Maybe you exited from the highway and at the end of the ramp was a homeless person with a sign and you thought …

“If you would stop begging and go look for a job, you wouldn’t be in this situation.”

In situations that involve others we need to remember that we don’t know the whole story.

We don’t know: what they’ve experienced in their past, what they’re experiencing now, their mental capacity, how they think, what they think, or their background … were they  abused, a veteran, or are they developmentally challenged, etc.

We really don’t know anything about them and yet we judge them for not doing their best because it’s not our best.

In times like this, I find myself needing to regroup, step back, and say: “At this exact moment in time they are doing the best they can with what they have.”

Some may disagree … and for those of you who do, please know that you will never fully know what is going on inside the mind of anyone else. You can only project your own inner thoughts and beliefs onto them.

Here’s what I know … someday (hopefully) you are going to be much older than you are today.

At that point in your life you will not hear as well, you will move slower, think slower, and forget things. You will repeat stories over and over and you will need help to do the things that you used to do by yourself from the time you were 3 years old.

You will have good days and you will have days when you feel like you can’t do anything right!

And on those not so good days you will be praying that the people around you see someone who in that exact moment in time is doing their best.

2 final thoughts:

What you put out there is what you get back … eventually

AND your best is not the same as everyone else’s.



L-O-V-E: Who You Are …

This week’s topic is love!

And before you get all mushy and start conjuring up images of Romeo and Juliet or trying to remember when Harry actually met Sally, I want you to stop and go find a mirror.

Now I want to invite you to look into the eyes of the person in the mirror and ask yourself this question:

Do I genuinely love myself … exactly the way that I am (yes this includes all of the spots, wrinkles, blemishes, lines, etc)?

We’ve all heard the saying,  you can’t give away something you don’t have.

If that’s true, then you can’t fully love someone else … until you love yourself.

I believe many of us consciously or unconsciously deep down inside struggle with the question … Am I ENOUGH?

And that question causes us to devalue our worth and the love of ourselves.

Here’s how it could be impacting you in the love department.

When  you don’t believe you’re enough, you don’t believe you’re lovable. And if you don’t believe you’re lovable … when someone tells you that they “love you” … you don’t believe them!

And it doesn’t matter how many times they say it .. you still don’t believe them! Being loved begins when you believe you are enough and that you deserve love.

So what would your life be like if you knew you were enough? How would your relationships be different if you knew you were loved … just the way you are?

As singer song writer James Taylor once said, “You have to choose whether to love yourself or not.”

Choose wisely and often …