What Matters Mondays – September 26, 2016

September 26th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Last week, I was heading to a conference. Before I got on my plane I had gone to two different stores to buy a new journal. I’m not sure if you are like me, but I love a new journal and I really love one that connects with my mindset for what I am going to learn. I have never gone to buy a new journal and not found one, but after two stores and no connection to the message on the journals, I left empty handed. I came home and decided I would have to take one of my old journals. Again, I looked for one that had lots of pages left to write on and a great message. Still nothing. So I just grabbed one with lots of space to write in. Little did I know…it was the EXACT message I was meant to have.

 

Now…

I have a confession to make.

I am a weirdo.

I am an introvert.

I don’t do well in large groups.

Especially large groups of extroverted people.

They are loud, sociable, they like hugging and dancing and they make me feel invisible.

Actually the truth is…I make myself feel invisible.

 

Now for those of you who know me well, you may be saying, “Danielle an introvert? NOT A CHANCE!”

People think I am this confident, outgoing person because I…

Get on stage and speak to large groups.

Run workshops.

Have lots of friends.

Love to make people laugh.

Love to tell stories.

 

But here’s the deal…

I prefer small gatherings of people.

I’d choose a pub over a dance bar any day.

I’m happiest at home with my family.

I like spending time alone. In fact, I need alone time.

I prefer time with 1-2 friends rather than a room full of people.

Being on stage, I get to create the energy level and the way I deliver my talk. I will always choose authenticity and storytelling over big and flashy.

In my workshops I create the atmosphere that works for me and I attract the clients who love that too. My atmosphere is calm, genuine and full of deep connection, vulnerability, stories and laughter.

I need time to decompress after I am around a lot of high energy.

Sometimes I go and sit in my car in the middle of the day just to get away.

I love silence.

 

Last week, I put myself into a really awkward situation. I attended a conference where the extrovert energy was palpable the minute I walked through the door.

 

This is where my gremlins have a blast…

You don’t belong here.

No one even notices you.

These aren’t your people.

You are too different.

You have to change to fit in here.

You have to be brave and be more like them.

You don’t belong here.

 

I learned many things that first day:

  1. The introvert in me is truly overwhelmed. Loud voices, hugging, dancing, invites to sit together while I head to a table alone are all too much for me at times.
  2. My gremlins have already convinced me I shouldn’t be here and I’m buying it!
  3. My “shoulds” are running the show.

I should love this…everyone else is.

I should stay all day…I paid for this.

I should mingle and dance and hug…everyone else is.

I should, I should, I should…and yet I can’t!

 

I went back to my room on the verge of tears after the first day and did some digging and here is what I learned…

I asked myself, “If the work I do is about helping people be brave in their lives then why can I not be brave right now?”

 

And then my AHA moment came!

 

Brave is being real and honest.

Brave is doing what I need.

Brave is listening to my heart not my head and all those “shoulds”.

Brave is embracing who I am.

 

Brave is NOT sacrificing those things to try to fit in and be someone I am not.

 

And I realized right there that the bravest thing I could do was BE MYSELF!

 

Then I asked myself what the brave me would do differently. If I was truly being brave I…

Wouldn’t go for the whole day.

I’d enjoy spending time by myself and some time at the conference.

I’d go for a run.

I’d go for a coffee.

I’d work on some business stuff I needed to get done.

I’d stay in bed a little longer.

I’d do what felt right in my heart.

 

And that’s exactly what I did. And it felt so damn good! I felt so happy!

This weirdo, introvert did what felt right and it is one of the bravest things I have ever done!

 

Now back to the journal. I wrote this blog post sitting in the hotel as I reflected on my awkward, challenging day. As I finished writing all these hard truths I felt a huge sigh of relief. I was being honest. I was being ME. So I closed my journal and the words on the front cover almost hit me in the face. BE YOU!

 

I thought I had chosen a journal with an insignificant, unrelated message on it. Little did I know….I chose the exact journal I was meant to choose!

 

What choice can you make today to allow yourself to BE YOU?

 

image

 

 

What Matters Mondays – September 19, 2016

September 20th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Parenting…no one gives you a manual. For many of us, we parent the way we were parented or maybe the opposite of how we were parented depending on our experiences. We do what we think is right, we make mistakes, we rock it, we suck at it, we are human. We, as parents, do the best we can with what we know. That I truly believe.

I have made my share of mistakes I can tell you that. I have yelled at my kids when I was frustrated. I have had moments where rather than hear them, I’ve tried to solve their problems for them. I have had times when I’ve been so busy with work that I forgot to pay attention to what they needed. I’ve made mistakes and I will continue to for my entire life because I am not perfect.

But I do know this…my kids are watching me in every moment. And consciously and unconsciously they are learning how to become adults through my example.

Realizing this truth years ago, made me stop in my tracks.

Was I being the adult I wanted my kids to become?

We want our kids to be happy! I think most parents would agree to that statement. But what if the happiness of our kids was influenced by how we, as the parents, are showing up in the world?

My belief is that it is.

We are truly the example of how to live.

By this, I don’t mean our kids need to be just like us. Not at all.

By this I mean…

If you are judging others, your child learns to judge.

If you are not living in alignment with your values, neither will your kids.

If you are continually busy and not taking time for rest and stillness, your child will follow.

If you are stuffing your emotions inside and not processing them so will your child.

If you think vulnerability is weakness so will your child.

If you are using a lot of negative self-talk…so will your kids.

If you have no boundaries neither will your child.

If you talk about people behind their backs, so will your child.

The list goes on….

That may seem really yucky and negative and the truth is…it is!

But the flip side is where it gets really awesome!

If you are being real, your kids will be real

If you are comfortable with your imperfections and flaws, your kids will be too.

If you are making mistakes and owning them, so will your kids.

If you are talking about your struggles, your kids will too.

If you are living your values, your kids will too.

If you are keeping other people’s stories in the vault and only sharing what stories are yours to share…your kids will do the same.

If you are replacing negative self-talk with self-compassion…your kids will learn that.

If you are making time for you in your days…your child will learn the importance of that.

The list goes on…

I think the key to being the example is simply stopping in each moment and asking yourself, “Is this the lesson I want my child to learn? Is this how I want to show up?”

 

image

 

What Matters Mondays – September 12, 2016

September 13th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Values…they keep teaching me the best darn lessons! So let me tell you one of my honest truths…watching my kids play sports can be one of my greatest triggers. I love it but it also triggers all the ugly stuff in me. It triggers so much from my own childhood – my need to be the best, my fear of not being the best (AKA being the bench warmer), my need to complain and get mad when I wasn’t the best, all my own crappy stuff that I struggled with growing up. But here’s the truth…my kids are not me! When I did their values with them it was very evident that achievement and being the best in sport was not their thing. This has been the greatest blessing and my kids have been my greatest teachers.

It’s something I will likely always struggle with, but thanks to the work we have all done with values, I get curious instead of mad, and I try not to pretend that they are me and that they will share my feelings and my struggles. I really try to see what matters to them.

Last weekend, my oldest son was playing fall baseball in a double header on a new team. For starters…who wants to play baseball for 7 hours? But that’s beside the point. I made an assumption that fall baseball was going to be your average ball player who wanted to have some fun. What I quickly realized was that the kids in white pants are rep players and the kids in gray pants are house league players. Well, my son was one of two kids on his team in gray pants. This seems ridiculous but I felt nervous when I realized that fact. My old self, the one that rears it’s ugly head from time to time, was nervous for him. So the game started and he was near the bottom of the batting order, and he sat on the bench for the first two innings that the boys took the field.

But rather than do what I used to do which is get mad and feel sad for him…I watched him. I got curious about how he was handling it all. And not surprisingly, he didn’t look the least bit disappointed. He was high fiving the kids, laughing, talking with the coaches…and I felt so proud of him. This was not an issue for him.

When we got in the car after the games, I told him how proud I was to be his mom. I told him that he is the best teammate anyone could have. Then I asked him what values are on his list that allow him to be so great on a team. His response was, “I have a few values that make teams awesome for me – OPTIMISM, FRIENDSHIP and INCLUSION. He said he always knows that he can get better and learn from such strong athletes – optimism. He said that it is such a great group of kids who he loves being around. He spoke volumes about how funny they all are – friendship. And most importantly, he spoke about the privilege of being included on a team no matter what role he is given – inclusion.

The rest of the car ride home we laughed and talked about other things. He had a great day!

So often as parents, we get caught up in ego. Values will bring you back to reality. Values will connect you with what matters for your child. Values will remind you that they are NOT you. Values will keep you from being triggered and staying stuck in that place.

I am doing my best every single day to stay authentic, to be imperfect, to be an example to my kids…living in alignment with my values and giving my kids permission to live in alignment with theirs is what grounds all of us.

Does your ego get caught up in your child’s life at times? Can you look at the situation through their values’ lens? You may see that it’s exactly as it’s meant to be!

If you want to do some values work with your family, check out my new What Matters values workbook. It’s a simple step by step process to finding your key values, living in alignment with them and giving your kids permission to do the same.

 

 

What Matters Mondays – September 5, 2016

September 6th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Do you ever try to convince yourself that you shouldn’t need accountability? That you should be able to achieve your goals on your own if you want them bad enough?

I’ve tried to convince myself of that for years and the truth is, for me, it doesn’t work! Accountability works for me! I have this battle in my head sometimes. It’s like the angel on one shoulder is saying you can do this, you are strong, you don’t need anyone but yourself to be accountable to, if you want it bad enough you will make it happen. On the other shoulder is the devil saying, you are never going to do this, you’ve tried a million times and it hasn’t happened, you can’t do it alone, you’re going to suck!

And here’s the thing….they are both right. I am strong, I do want to achieve my goals but sometimes I can’t do it alone. I do my best when I share what I want and I ask my people to hold me accountable. I’m most successful when I ask for what I need.

Several months back, I connected in a mastermind group with four ladies and we just clicked. We all live in different time zones, yet every other week we meet on a Zoom call and we talk business. We talk about where we are at in our individual businesses, and we share aloud the next step that each of us wants to take. The group helps us narrow down a goal or two and we commit to achieving it over the next two weeks. Well I’m going to tell you…this has transformed so much for me. What I realized is that when I speak aloud what I truly want to people I trust, when I know they want that goal for me too and that they will hold me accountable, when I feel supported…ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. I told them I wanted to write a workbook on values and two weeks later it was in rough draft form, I told them I wanted to hire a VA to help me get my work online and two weeks later I had a VA and was writing my online course, and the list goes on.

I NEED accountability. Not because I’m a slacker (well…maybe a bit) but because it works for me. It works for me to speak my truth. To share my lofty goals. To admit my fears and what is holding me back. To ask for help. To know that I have cheerleaders out there wanting these goals for me too!

A couple weeks ago, I brought this idea to one of my workshops. This is an ongoing group that meets once a month and I shared with them the power of accountability as I had been experiencing it with my mastermind ladies. I then asked them each to choose something they wanted to achieve. We sat around a table and each person shared their “thing” they wanted accountability around. We heard what the goal was, we heard why it mattered and we also heard what kept them from achieving it…it was real and vulnerable and awesome! And in the last few weeks, I have heard from several of them about the amazing steps they are taking to achieve these goals. It makes me so excited for each of them, but it also keeps me working hard to achieve mine. I have never had motivation like I have right now, and it feels so darn good. I know that I can achieve my goals, that I can face my fears…and I don’t have to do it alone! Vulnerability and accountability go hand in hand. When you can share what’s holding you back with someone you trust and let go of the need to do it alone…you can achieve anything you put your mind to! Does accountability work for you? Share below!

 

Image

 

 



Phone: 780-991-0191