Compared to what?!?!

Why do people do this »» COMPARE?

What I’ve realized, as I ‘ve been working with my clients — and when I fall into comparison, is it brings feelings of inadequacy, depression, anxiety, fear, and self-pity. «« those are NOT lovely feelings! YUK!

Can YOU relate?

A lot of times comparison rears its ugly head when we try to “stack up against” character traits, roles, circumstances, and experiences – NOT necessarily material possessions. Some people think these things, let me explain by giving a couple examples:

  • MOM = I should volunteer more compared to some of the other moms at the school. It seems that other moms are more creative and crafty, scrap-booking, and doing little projects with their kids. We could compare ourselves with other moms wishing we were more creative or thoughtful that way. I should dress my kids cuter compared to how some of the other moms dress their kids or I wish I liked to shop like other moms. Other kids are involved with more activities than mine so I compare myself – should I sign the kids up to do more? Are they not experiencing enough at this age?
  • SPOUSE = I wish I was a better cook and more domestic compared to other spouses. I’m not as “handy” as that person! Why don’t I enjoy cooking and decorating my home? I wish I was more like others who planned meals and knew how to make their homes feel more “homey”. My home is not clean enough, organized enough, run as well as that persons.
  • FRIENDS = We see others’ circle of friends and think, “I want that!” We compare our life with theirs and wish we were invited more often to social events, parties, concerts, dinners. “They” seem to be having so much fun and doing great things. We think, “I want that too! Why don’t I get invitations?” We compare ourselves and ask ourselves questions like: Is there something wrong with me? Am I not good enough? Do others not enjoy being with me?
  • ME = I’m not passionate enough about what I’m doing compared to others. I don’t make as much money as that person. My thighs are bigger compared to that girls. I can’t do my hair well compared to that person’s — I wish I knew how to style my hair better. I’ve got no style with my clothes compared to others, I wish I could put together outfits like her. That woman is smarter compared to me – I wish I knew it like she did.

Do you ever find yourself thinking some of those thoughts?

Do you ever compare yourself, experiences, situations, to others and feel inadequate, depressed, anxiety, fear, or self-pity?

I could list many more “comparing thoughts” that race through my mind from time to time. And because I work with SO many clients, personally + professionally — I know we are NOT alone!

Our minds just go there sometime.

BUT — the question is »» COMPARED TO WHAT?!?! «« who holds the measuring stick?

We have the ability to CHANGE OUR FOCUS!

We can start shining the light on what God has blessed us with!

We can appreciate the gifts and talents in others, BUT not lose focus on our strengths and what we have been given!

I was reminded the other day of the story in the Bible about the 3 servants who were given talents. One was given 5, one 2, and the other 1. May we NEVER be like the servant who was given 1 talent. What did he do? NOTHING. Out of fear, he did nothing – he was comparing himself and as a result paralyzed.

Step OUT of the comparison trap and ALL of the icky feelings that come with it and step INTO shining the light on our blessings and talents, learning to appreciate our uniqueness and our many gifts — instead of comparing and wishing we had or were something we ‘re not.

What do you say? Are you with me? Hit reply and let me know your feedback!


Make the days count!

Next Sunday is October 1. That means we are entering Q4 of 2017!

Why does that matter?

Well, if you're a goal setter and/or an entrepreneur or business owner -- it's VERY important and you most likely care A LOT!

We've got 3 months remaining to hit the goals + revenue projections we set in place, and finish strong!

92 opportunities to make the days count!

What 's your plan?

In July -- I realized I was "behind" on one of my personal goals, WAY behind! I made the decision I was NOT going to enter the first day of 2018 with the same health & wellness goal I've had since 2015! YIKES! Yep. I 've had this "annual" goal for over 2 years!

I decided to take action.

I mapped out my strategy, hired a coach for accountability + to kick my butt, and I'm proud to say I 'm close to reaching my goal! If I continue to make the days count, by December 31st -- I will be doing a happy dance! WHOOT!

Do YOU have any lingering goals, like me?

Are you on track to reach or exceed your personal + professional 2017 goals?

  • IF YES » GREAT! What does it look like for you to finish the year strong and make the days count?
  • IF NO » What is YOUR plan to finish the year strong and make the days count?

What I know to be true is, "If we fail to plan -- we plan to fail." You've heard that quote before right?

Take a minute to do a quick assessment on your 6 areas of personal perspective: emotional. spiritual. health & wellness. financial. professional. relationships. «« where would you like to be in each of these areas when you're enjoying your New Year's Eve celebration?

Do you need to do a reset to restart? That's ok! Do it!

Maybe you 've realized the bar was set too high and you need to re-adjust your strategy, that's ok! Break it down.

What's realistic for you to accomplish in Q4?

Figure it out and take action!

Need help with THIS? I've got you covered! On Friday, October 27th I'm hosting a 1-Day event for WOMEN Entrepreneurs + Business Owners + Sales Professionals! You will develop a plan to finish the year STRONG + jump start on 2018 with a strategic plan and goals! That's what we will focus on at this event! Get crystal clear and know EXACTLY what you need to start doing, stop doing, and continue doing to GROW YOUR BUSINESS + PERSONALLY + MAKE AN IMPACT!

JOIN ME and other amazing like-minded women! You will NOT be disappointed, promise. Take advantage of this 1-Day event focused on YOU! For ALL the details and to get registered, CLICK HERE!

Got QUESTIONS? Hit reply and let me know! I 'd LOVE to hear from you!


Who's watching you?

Have you ever had a freak-out moment where you were possibly showing your #bside (you know, that side of you that's not pretty) and then realize when it's over more people than you thought, were watching you or listening in??

I have.

At the grocery store when my kids were younger, I can remember that happening several times! YIKES!

On the flip side -- there have been times where others have noticed kind things I've done when I didn't realize anyone was watching.

The point is, you NEVER know »» WHO'S WATCHING YOU!

Everyday we have the opportunity to teach, lead, and inspire those around us with our actions, our words, and just how we do life interacting with others -- responding to whatever life brings »» The good. bad. ugly. beautiful.

Our life is our message!

What is yours saying to those who are watching you?

What character traits would people around you use to describe you?

Chew on these questions. Are there any areas that could use some attention, personally or professionally? (A couple are coming to mind for ME as I write this email! *sigh*)

Let's focus on being the best version of ourselves, so no matter who may be watching us here on earth, they are better off because of it!


Communication KILLS assumptions!

I admit it, I'm GUILTY. At times, of making assumptions.

It happens for all of us. RIGHT?

Some nights I lay awake in bed with my mind racing. Thoughts are going crazy playing out certain scenarios. I create outcomes and stories making my best guess about how others will respond, or decide what they are thinking.

Most of the time, when this is taking place -- I'm not thinking of the best case scenario. NOPE. I'm not. I'm thinking of the worst.

WHY is this a problem?

Because our judgements of people and events are based on emotions, beliefs, expectations, and wishes -- instead of facts and what is actually observed.

Assumptions are "things" accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. The the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he says this about assumptions:

"We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The true problem with making these assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking-we take it personally-then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we're asking for problems. We make assumptions, we misunderstand, and end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.

All of the sadness and drama you have in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally. Once we do these two things, we start gossiping about our assumptions. Because we are often fearful of asking for clarification, we make assumptions, and then believe that we are correct in these assumptions. Then, we defend these assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. It is always better to ask questions for clarification because assumptions set us up for suffering."

SO much time and energy is wasted when we make them, plus anxiety and worry can build up which leads to no where and keeps us stuck.

Lets STOP the madness »» COMMUNICATION KILLS ASSUMPTIONS!

Kick fear to the curb and in ALL areas of our lives, personally + professionally:

  • ASK questions and gather facts.
  • FACE people and situations head on.
  • CONNECT with others to gain clarity.
  • SEE things for what they really are.
  • MOVE forward with what is true.

How is "making assumptions" impacting your life? What can you do different to get different results? Leave a comment and let me know! I'd love to hear from YOU!


The Words I Would Say...

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Do you ever feel empty? Like your "cup" is dry and you've got nothing to give?

That's how I felt this past week. empty + BLAH!

If you really want to know, there were a couple of days that I didn't want to get out of bed! BUT...that wasn't my reality. I had places to go, people to see, phone calls to make, laundry to fold, family to care for, and the list was LONG...

...just like yours, right?

While I was doing life on empty, driving home from my son's hockey game (I LOVE watching my boys play hockey!) I listened to a song that FILLED MY CUP! The words brought encouragement to me + a smile to may face and my heart.

The song, The words I would say, by Sidewalk Prophets, lit me UP, gave me hope, and energized me. It was like getting a hand written letter in the mail from a good friend. I thought, maybe, just maybe you could be encouraged by the message too, wherever you are today, these are the words I would say:

Three in the morning and I'm still awake
so I picked up a pen and a page.
And I started writing just what I'd say
if we were face to face

I'd tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
and I felt your pain in my heart
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
Love will find you where you are

I know 'cause I've already been there
So please hear these simple truths

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

From one simple life to another
I will say
Come find peace in the Father

Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got his hand on you so
don't live life in fear
forgive and forget
but don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
Thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say.


Are you a "right fighter"?

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Let's talk quick about relationships. Sound good?

Are you a "right fighter" in your relationships? OR...maybe not in ALL your relationships, just a certain few, or perhaps a certain one?

CONFESSION »» I used to be. (still am at times, I'm a work in progress)

I'm typically not one to back down, especially when I "think" I'm right. I like to prove my point, get others to see my perspective and acknowledge that they have! In some strange way, that felt like "winning" -- BUT, at a very high price.

What I've learned is, being a "right fighter" doesn't build bridges in relationships, it builds walls.

When we look to be the one to say, "I told you so, I knew I was right!" OR our mindset is fixed on "It's my way or the highway" we lose opportunities to accept and love others.

Now, I do understand there are fundamental truths that are RIGHT and worth fighting for. Globally, in our communities, and behind closed doors. Yes. there. are.

But, in our everyday relationships and interactions, when conflict arises -- is it more important to be RIGHT? OR, to find resolution and a common ground?

My desire to be a "right fighter" started to slip away in 2009 after I read this prayer by St. Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

WOW! What a way to live, don't you think? Seeking to console, understand, love? With this approach I don't see fighting, I see peace.

I see "win-win"! «« THIS is what I'm striving for!

What do you think? Hit reply and let me know »» What's the biggest challenge or problem you're facing personally, professionally, or in your faith?


For it is by Grace

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…” Ephesians 2:8

The envelope was unmarked and addressed to me. I hesitated to open it, thinking it was probably junk mail or some unwarranted solicitation. It nearly went into the trash pile without a second glance.

But, something told me to go ahead and peek inside. When I did, I was amazed. It contained a touching note and a check for a significant amount. Anonymously. The person’s note spoke of being blessed. God had used something in my writing to touch her intimately. She knew of struggles my family was facing and wanted to help. Somehow, she found my address and acted upon that nudging...

...I was overwhelmed.

She gave a gift. A gift I could not repay or even personally thank her for giving. A gift I simply had to receive.

As I think about Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in all the mayhem of the season. Presents, decorating, baking, parties, cards, shopping and everything else. It seems everywhere we turn there are distractions the world is throwing at us. But the best gift is the one we cannot give. The one we don’t deserve. The one we can’t repay. The one we simply receive.

Jesus.

He chose to come to be the Way. Without Him, we have no hope. Without Him, or future is dark. But, if we choose to accept and receive His gift of salvation, we are secure. There is hope.

Every year about this time, I try to steal away and relax with Him. Even if it’s just for an hour or so, stepping out of the hustle and bustle of the commercialized Christmas activities keeps me focused on the true meaning: His unbelievable gift of salvation for all eternity. His choice to humble himself to a life of poverty and scorn, only to die a death He didn’t deserve and pay the price for all sins past, present and future. In order that we might spend all of eternity with Him...

...He loves us that much!

No store gift could ever compare.

And, He knows that there is nothing I say or do could earn His gift. I simply have to receive. Lay down my pride, my fears, my doubts, my control and anything else that my hands might be grasping on to hold. Empty them, so that I might receive the best gift ever.

Jesus.


God Don’t Make No Junk

Remember the t-shirts in the 80’s that said, “I’m perfect, ‘cause God don’t make no junk?” Bad grammar aside, the saying was brilliant and I am proud to say I rocked that shirt much longer than was cool, especially since mine was an iron-on appliqué. I had an inordinate amount of self-esteem as a kid, and…

…wanted the world to know it.

Yet somewhere along my way, I lost that confidence and began to question myself. In my head I heard “who do you think you are?” over and over.  Eventually I listened to that voice so much that I forgot the answer.

When it comes to the topic of self-esteem and feelings of inadequacies, women seem to have the market cornered, or so I thought until I heard Marianne Williamson words.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

Like Paul the Apostle, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. He was a beacon of hope for many and a bane to a few. In the last twenty-something years Mandela emerged from prison a freed man and has worked tirelessly to free others from their hate, from their pre-conceived ideas, and from their own self-doubt. He has worked to unify a nation that was steeped in tradition and prejudice, and in many ways {small and large}…

…he has succeeded.

I may not be called to do all Nelson has done. My life may never have a movie made about it. But I have a purpose nonetheless.

I am a child of God.

I am called to be light. I am called to love. I am called to use my brilliance, my beauty, my talent, and my ‘fabulosity’ and change the world around me.

Me.

Anything less would be missing the mark. Anything less would be a lie!

I value myself because I was designed by a Master Maker: a brilliant Craftsman. I was made for a purpose. I was made for a dream.

And God don’t make no junk!

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Today’s Post is shared by: Dayna Bickham.  She is a writer and speaker from the Houston, Texas. A wife and mom of two teen girls she loves to cook, garden, and spend time with her family.  Her blog, A Year in the Spiritual Life is about discovering your purpose in Christ. Follow her on Twitter: @DaynaBickham.


Today Is A New Day

Last week I had the opportunity to meet my "on-line" friend and fellow Keeping it Personal blog contributor, Carey Scott -- in real life!  She picked me up from the Denver airport and we road tripped it to Breckenridge...

...it was a beautiful day!

 We talked, and talked, and talked.  We laughed, sipped our coffee, and browsed the village shops.  We fell in love with phrases -- the words, so beautifully put together and framed in this piece of art -- we both bought it... 

TODAY IS A NEW DAY!

you can start fresh wipe the slate clean

BEGIN AGAIN

Today you can EMBRACE kindness

practice COMPASSION

STAND UP FOR justice

talk to strangers

ASK FOR HELP

LISTEN with your whole heart

OFFER HOPE

work for the common good

LOVE well

be the change you wish to see in the world

I'm anxious to hang this on a wall where I can read it frequently.  These powerful statements are encouraging and they remind me of who I desire to be and the mindset I strive to embrace and sow into others.

I've had several people ask me where they can get one of these.  The cute little shop we purchased ours from is Marigolds Farmhouse Funk & Junk, Breckenridge, CO.  They don't have a website, but they do have a Facebook page with all their contact information here --> http://www.facebook.com/marigoldsfarmhousefunkandjunk

Be ENCOURAGED...TODAY is a NEW day!

Question:  Which one of the phrases in the picture stands out to you most?  Why?  Share your comment by clicking here.


Gratitude Turns What We Have Into Enough

I don't know who first said this:

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough."

But, what I do know is --  I should paint this on all the walls of my home and tatoo it to my forehead...

...maybe then I will remember.

Gratitude... being thankful... showing appreciation... saying thank you

It seems so simple. And, yet, as some other things, gratitude can be deeply profound. When I begin to be grateful for what I have, when I show appreciation for what someone has done, and when I say "thank you" often, my outlook changes. Instead of dwelling on the few things I don't have, I become overwhelmed at the multitude that I've been given...

...and what I have becomes enough.

Gratitude turns my stuff into enough. Like many Americans, I have stuff. I have lots of stuff. I have stuff I have forgotten about and stuff that collects dust. I have stuff hidden in my closet and buried in my basement. Still... there is stuff that I don't have that I want. When I become thankful for the stuff that has collected, I seem to want less stuff.

My stuff becomes enough.

Gratitude turns my checkbook balance into enough. Not only do I want more in my budget... so do the four I love the most. We all want more than our family budget can support. We all want to go places, see things, buy stuff {...more stuff}. Gratitude turns that diminishing checkbook balance into enough.  Enough to buy our basic needs...

...and live with less.

Gratitude turns my marriage into enough. Let's face it, my man did a lousy job picking the perfect wife. And, honestly, the opposite is equally true. Neither of us are perfect and after all these years together, we still get on each other's nerves. Gratitude for who he is, appreciation for his gifts and abilities, and a daily dose of "thank you" makes our marriage more than enough.

The simple act of gratitude turns what I have into more than enough. I simply need to remember.

Question:  Do you see that gratitude turns what you have in your life into enough?  Share your comment by clicking here.

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Today’s Post is shared by: Heidi Kreider.  She is wife of 18 years, mom to 3 Es, and Jesus lover. She is the author of The Secret of Counting Gifts and The Secret of Counting Gifts Gratitude Journal and blogs about unwrapping God's presence at www.heidikreider.com.