Day 5 of the Power of Baby Steps: Baby Steps to Success!

All week we’ve been looking at little steps and actions that over time can dramatically improve our lives. We’ve looked at our health, our financial fitness, and our households. Today, we’re talking about those little steps we can take that add up to success in our careers and business. It’s really not a big mystery and none of these actions are out of any average person’s reach. I’m so grateful to the many researchers who have studied highly successful people because they discovered many similarities. These discoveries are very encouraging IF we’re willing to take just a little action and take it consistently. Of course, most people don’t take these actions or don’t take them consistently. Could be that we don’t know what they are or we don’t know how important they are to our success.

So let’s take a look at some of the things that highly successful people do. We’re not going to rank them. Let’s find some that we can incorporate into our own lives.

Unwind with Light Exercise Before Bed.

We talked yesterday about a daily walk and making it a transition in your day — a way to unwind. Well it appears this daily walk may have another benefit. Actually any light exercise before bed, even just stretching is beneficial for sleep and is one of the little activities successful people do. Well that one sounds pretty pleasant and easy enough for just about anyone.

Wake up Early.

Since we got a good night’s sleep we can adopt another habit of successful people. Wake up early. I read a lot about the 5:30 am risers but some people wake even earlier. Successful people manage their mornings. They give themselves time to start the day by taking care of themselves with exercise and routines that prepare them for all the day will bring. This is certainly not out of our reach. We might not be morning people. If we believe it’s important, we can become morning people a little at a time.  Wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow and keep setting the alarm a little earlier till there is enough extra time in the morning for a success routine.

Dream and See Yourself Living the Dream.

Apparently successful people are dreamers.  A lot of people dream but successful people SEE themselves living their dream. They dream big and imagine big possibilities but they don’t stop there. They flesh out the dreams and see themselves living them. They imagine themselves doing the things necessary to achieve them and they see themselves enjoying the fruits of their labor. That doesn’t seem too difficult but it takes practice to really see ourselves living the lives we imagine.

Spend time with Successful People.

Successful people hang out with other successful people. They form relationships. They bounce ideas off of each other, learn from each other, and celebrate each other. They mentor each other. You may have heard the saying… “If you want to know what your life will be like in 5 years, look at your friends.” or this one… “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I don’t think we need to or want to give up our friends but we should be able to find a mentor or better yet a bunch of them. We can find ways to spend time with them, learn from them and see first-hand how they make their lives work. Even if we don’t know many really successful people, we can find a group to join or events to attend. We can make a plan today to attend one of them in the next 7 days.

Get Uncomfortable.

Successful people are willing to be uncomfortable! They are willing try and fail and get messy. They learn from their mistakes and either clean up the mess or make it in to something valuable. They are willing to take a risk. They are willing to spend time, apparently the more the better, outside of their comfort zones. They are willing to push themselves into areas that are new or foreign to them. I once heard someone say, “We live inside this big circle called the comfort zone but all the magic happens in the tiny little circle just outside the comfort zone.”

Read.

Successful people read daily. They are constantly learning and working on improving themselves. They read books on any number of things and not just non-fiction. They read for enjoyment and for a well-rounded life. Last year I did a whole week on the benefits of reading and interviewed Dr. Teri Lawton a neuro scientist who helps people read better. You can go back and listen to that interview if you want hear how she does it.

Write Down Your Goals and Track Your Progress

Successful people have goals, specific goals. They write them down and they track their progress. There are many different methods for goal setting and goal tracking but I haven’t read of a successful person who is not doing it. We need to know our destination so we can map our way to it. I recently discovered John Lee Dumas’s Freedom Journal and have really enjoyed it and really found very useful. I was actually surprised how much it helped me map out my plan to set and reach a specific goal. I’ll include a link to it in my show notes.

Take Action. 

Successful people are just planning though. They take action. Yes, Successful people are always reading and growing and learning but they don’t stay stuck in the study. They take action. They don’t sit around perfecting every aspect of the plan. They make a plan consider some risks they can foresee then they act. There are no guarantees their plan will work but they move forward and start the ball rolling. I had to say there is a most important difference in successful people and people who never quite seem to reach their potential but this may be it. Countless people dream elaborate dreams and make detailed plans but never take the first step. Action does not have to be big it just has to be active. Put one foot in front of the other and start toward the goal. Make a call. Write a paragraph. Send an email. Take action.

Do the Hardest or Most Important Tasks First.

Do the hard stuff or most important stuff first. If we’re used to getting the easy stuff out of the way first, we might want to flip our to-do list upside down. Most successful people get the hard stuff out of the way first while they have the best energy. The hardest thing might be writing that first email or making those uncomfortable phone calls. Successful people get those things done first.

Reflect Every Day.

Successful people also take time to just relax and think. This is not planning time. It’s just reflecting time. We may already be doing this. Don’t stop. It’s important. I discuss my day with God. He already knows all about my day anyway and He loves me unconditionally – no matter my success or my failure.

None of these actions are beyond any of us to do. If they work for others they can work for us. Try them and let me know how they work for you. You can reach me at rockinlife.co or on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for spending time with me today. If you found value in today’s show, please share it with a friend.  Have a great weekend. We’ll talk again.

Click Here to See John Lee Dumas’s The Freedom Journal

Day 4 of the Power of Baby Steps: Baby Steps to a Healthier Life

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We started the week thinking about all the little things we do every day and how those things make up our lives. It’s not the big events or sweeping changes. It’s those every day, in the moment choices we make and actions we take that are our lives. For the most part, the same can be said about our health. It’s not the big plans to suddenly overhaul our exercise habits or our resolve to never consume refined sugar or flour again that transforms us into fit, healthy, energetic people. It’s actually much easier and at the same time much harder to become a healthier, more fit, more energetic person. It’s easier because it’s about the little things we can easily do every day. It’s harder because those little daily choices and actions don’t seem all that significant in the moment but they are. So let’s talk about some little actions we can take, that over time will transform us — slowly but probably faster than you might imagine. Start with one or two new habits at a time then add others over time.

Let’s first look at our food choices and how we make them. A simple and painless but effective dietary habit you can start today is meal planning. It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Just thinking about the foods we’re putting into our bodies makes us more likely to actually put healthier foods into them. Most of us already know what healthy food choices are. That knowledge is often ignored when we’ve waited till we’re ravenous and ready to grab the handiest and probably most processed food around. So what if every day we decided what we would enjoy that day — prepared for it. We don’t have to become a person who schedules a month’s worth of meals in advance. Just think about the choices. Plan the night before. Just decide and maybe take something out of the freezer or make a plan to stop by the store for a missing ingredient. If you like to plan farther ahead – that’s great too.

It’s pretty widely accepted that most people need about 8 glasses of water per day but honestly most of us aren’t getting it. We can make it easier for ourselves by keeping a glass near or deciding to have a glass each time we do some repetitive task. When I was expecting my daughter, I wanted to make sure to drink all of my daily water. I did it by measuring and pouring water into a container every morning then filling my glass from that container and sipping it throughout the day making sure to finish all of it.

When we’re making choices about what we’ll consume, we want to think about what we’ll enjoy and enjoy. Rather than focusing on removing less healthy choices, focus on adding more healthy choices leaving less room in the day for the less healthy options. Make water more appealing by adding a few slices of something like orange, lemon, lime or even cucumber or strawberry.

To increase our fitness levels we all know it’s necessary to increase movement so we want to think about making active choices. All those little daily choices probably won’t give us the body of a sports illustrated swimsuit model but they can help maintain or gain a better level of fitness. Everywhere and every time we can make an active choice, make it. Take the stairs. Take the distant parking space if it’s safe. If we only have a couple of bags of groceries and can safely carry them rather than push them in a cart, carry them.  We can pick a few activities and incorporate into our days and commit to do them. If we make a habit of doing a few stretches every morning as part of our routine, soon we’ll be more flexible.  If we decide to take a walk first thing every day when you get home from work, we’ll see a difference. We can treat it as a pleasant transition in the day — enjoying the sights and unwinding. In a book I’ve mentioned many times, The Compound Effect, there is a comparison of two men.  One decides to take a daily walk and the other decides to have a few drinks every day.  For a long time no difference is noticed but those daily choices begin to show in the energy and weight loss of one and the sluggishness and weight gain of the other.  By the way, if you want to listen to Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect, it’s available through our sponsor Audible. And as I’ve mentioned, Audible is offering a free audio book download to Rockin’ Life listeners. All you have to do is go to rockinbook.com and sign up for a trial membership.  If you like it great! I do. If you don’t want to continue your membership just be sure to cancel but keep your book.

 

So Choose to add a little healthy active habit and choose it every day.

 

Choose a good night’s sleep over the background noise of a television show that might not be that good anyway. Enjoy those you enjoy and turn the others off. Choose to read. Choose to write. Choose to play a game with a family member or call a friend. Choose your life in the little healthy actions you take countless times every single day. Oh and if you make a less healthy choice, guess what, you’re human. Let it go and make a healthier one next time. Remember it’s not that one choice one time. It’s the everyday every moment choices that make us.

Thank you for making the choice to spend time with me today. Tomorrow we’re going to look at baby steps for successful careers and business.   When you join me tomorrow, please bring a friend along. Don’t forget to look for the Rockin’ Life Newsletter in your inbox tomorrow. If haven’t signed up to receive it, you still can at rockinlife.co. Look just under the big logo on the home page and the first of the three boxes there. The other boxes hold cool stuff too where you can visit our Facebook page or explore sharing your story of triumph on Rockin’ Life. Thanks again for being here. Have a wonderful day and we’ll talk again.

Day 3 of The Power of Baby Steps! Baby Steps to Financial Freedom

 

Financial Coach, Chris Rosendahl

We’re talking Baby Steps to Financial Freedom with the Help of my Friend Chris Rosendahl, Financial Coach.

The steps to financial freedom that we are going to discuss are designed for anyone. It’s possible for a person with an average income to achieve financial freedom and it can be done using baby steps. People who have been in dire financial circumstances have used them successfully. You may remember my interview the Iron Jen and how she and her family conquered over 200,000 in debt in 4 years while experiencing job loss, surgeries, serious illness and an unexpected new baby.  Jen and her family used these very steps. Chris Rosendahl of Rosendahl Financial Coaching generously shares an overview of the baby steps that have worked for countless people.

Step 1 Pull together $1000.00 and put it in the bank for emergencies – emergencies only

Step 2 Cut up the credit cards and pay off all debt using a debt snowball.

Step 3 Expand your emergency fund to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses

Step 4 Invest 15% of income in Roth IRA’s and pre-tax retirement savings (after All Debts except mortgage paid off and emergency fund in place)

Step 5 Establish a college fund for your children

Step 6 Pay off mortgage early (you now have more money available since you have no other debt)

Step 7 Continue to build wealth so you can give to others

Financial issues are the source of so many stress related problems but they don’t have to be. If you would like more detailed information and ideas about making these baby steps work, visit rosendahlfinancialcoaching.com.  You can also read Chris’s story and listen to his short conversation with Dave Ramsey. I will have a link to Chris’s website on my website rockinlife.co. I will also include a list of the baby steps in the show notes. Don’t miss Chris’s resources page there’s a wealth of information there. You know Dave Ramsey’s books are available in audio version. If you have not yet taken advantage of your Free Audio Book offer from our sponsor Audible, that might be a great place to start. To get yours just go to rockinbook.com and sign up. Tomorrow we will talk about baby steps to a more healthy body.  Hope you join us and bring a friend. If you found value in today’s show please share it.  Have a great day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Day 2 of the Power of Baby Steps: Get Your Home Organized and In Order with Baby Steps

Just curious, was getting your house organized and in order one of your new year’s resolutions? Maybe not this year but at some point many of us made a vow to finally get things in order.  We went out and bought a bunch of pretty organizing tools, maybe some baskets and bins or some great home organizing system.  We were determined to make a grand change, get all of our belongings organized once and for all.  Then life would be easier. Ah then the reality of sweeping change sets in. We either got overwhelmed and didn’t finish the task at all or we made it beautiful for about a month or a week and somehow all of the disorder found its way back out of place.

A few months ago, I interviewed an amazing lady who came up with a way to dig her way out of what she calls stacks of stuff that filled her house so that she had to walk through paths in her house. You may have guessed (since we’re talking the power of baby steps) that her transformation was not one big grand gesture but came about in baby steps. Not only did Marla Ciley aka the FlyLady permanently transform her own home but she has now helped countless others do the same. She started with one simple commitment – that she would keep her sink shiny.  Every day she made sure that her sink was empty, clean and shining! During our interview, she talked about why her previous attempts to get her house in order had failed. Like many of us, she would make all of these plans and begin to implement them. She might even keep going for a few weeks but then it would all fall apart. She would miss a day or a step and she would give up. That’s what led her to adapt her own set of baby steps.

So how can we adopt and adapt our own baby steps to get and keep ourselves organized?  We can start with a commitment to master one baby step at a time. In fact that’s what the Flylady teaches her new student referred to as flybabies to do. By the way, if you want to hear her story and learn more about her and her excellent methods, I’ll include the link to her interview and website in my show notes.

We want to remember to keep things as simple as possible and strive for progress not perfection.  We can start with a shiny sink as Marla recommends or start with decluttering just 5 to 15 minutes a day. We can organize all day but organized junk is still junk in our way. So decluttering can be so freeing and can be much easier than we think if we keep it to a manageable baby step. So first, bring a couple of containers (maybe just bags – don’t make it complicated) into a room. Set a timer for 5 to 15 minutes, pick a closet or a desk or a room and start releasing things you don’t use. Put the things no one can use in one container and in the other container, place usable things that you no longer use. Keep going until the timer goes off. Then stop and take the container of usable things immediately to your car so that it can be dropped off at Salvation Army or the St. Vincent De Paul society or other charity as soon as the next drive. The other container needs to go out of the house too – straight into the garbage can. Let it go and take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back, you’re done for the day. We can begin to tackle all of our jobs this way in small chunks of time. We want to give ourselves time to establish the new habit before trying to implement another one though. We’re making progress in baby steps. One thing at a time. Mastering one and building on it.  Our houses didn’t become cluttered overnight. We want to give ourselves time to make decluttering second nature. Before we know it keeping our homes ordered will be no big deal. We could even welcome Martha Stewart for a visit. Our sinks will be shiny. Our homes decluttered and our bathrooms always company ready. We haven’t talked about the bathroom yet. The best for last I guess.  Well the Flylady has a fantastic recommendation for bathrooms too and it only takes a minute or two. She calls it swish and swipe. After you finish your morning grooming and put your toothbrush, hairbrush, and toiletries away. Before you leave the bathroom, you swipe all the surfaces clean and give the toilet a quick swish with a toilet brush. And well, we’re in the bathroom more than once per day, so the next time we’re in there swipe a little section of the floor. The bathroom just stays clean almost effortlessly.

Tomorrow, we continue the power of baby steps. Still to come this week: baby steps to financial freedom, baby steps to a healthy lifestyle, and baby steps to success in careers and business. Tomorrow we also talk to Ellen McDowell, social media expert known as the Social Butterfly. Ellen did all of the steps she was told would save her job yet she was one of the first to go. But all of those steps and learning from all of the little things she observed growing with business owner parents prepared well. She created a thriving business almost without skipping a beat. You don’t want to miss her story and especially the tips, tools, and wisdom she shares with us.

Hope you are enjoying the power of baby steps. I’d love to know what you think, leave me a comment on rockinlife.co or a rating and review in iTunes.  And I love to get email at colleen@rockinlife.co. Thank you for joining me today and I hope you’ll be back tomorrow and bring a friend. Have a great day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

My Interview with The FlyLady

The Fly Lady’s website

From Job Loss to Metamorphosis: An Interview with Ellen McDowell, Your Social Butterfly

Ellen McDowell, the founder of Ellen McDowell – Your Social Butterfly, shares her journey from job loss to becoming Your Social Butterfly. She is a Master Certified Constant Contact Solution Provider and Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact, Board member of the LaCapitale Chapter ABWA, a Certified Professional Speaker, and proud Chapter Co-Leader for the Baton Rouge Women’s Prosperity Network and author.

Click Here for Ellen’s website

Click Here for the Women’s Prosperity Network

 

Click Here to order Journey to the Stage

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Baby Steps. Day 1

You’ve probably heard sayings like Life is what happens while we’re busy making plans or life is what happens when we’re waiting for life to happen. Life is made up of our moments and days. We might wait to win the lottery. We might wait for that big break, that perfect diet, the one answer that will solve all of our problems and make us healthy, wealthy, wise, and happy. That big break may come but it won’t be the real source of our change or success. It will just be an event in our lives. Our lives whether they are what we want them to be or not are the little things we do every day or every week. It’s those little baby steps that build upon themselves that make all of the difference in who we are, what we accomplish and how we live.

I remember sitting in orientation for nursing school. A panel of professors took turns explaining what we would learn and accomplish during our first semester – what we would be expected to know and those things for which we were to be responsible. I found myself feeling a little anxious and slightly overwhelmed by what I was expected to know in such a short time.  I had to stop and remember that I wasn’t expected to have the knowledge and skills they were describing, that day or even the next.  I would gain this knowledge and these skills just like I had learned everything else – one step at a time – one day at a time – one lesson at a time. By the time I graduated I realized that like most things – It was all about doing the little things, mastering them and then building on them. I realized that it actually hadn’t been that hard BUT it would have been so easy to fail.

I’ve found that to be true a many things. If we do the little things consistently and build upon them then what we want to gain is not that hard to gain.  It will be hard if we try to grab it all at one time – that’s an easy way to fail. If we try to lose a bunch of weight too fast, or try to rush a relationship, or get rich quick – we’re probably cooking up a recipe for pain. If on the other hand we realize that by doing those little baby steps consistently, we can accomplish our goals and probably faster in the long run. In fact we probably never will get what we’re looking for if we try to take the path of giant steps and short cuts.

This week we’re going to look at the baby steps necessary for financial freedom, getting our homes in order, getting physically fit, and succeeding in our jobs, careers, or businesses. Today, we can search ourselves and think of the one thing we can do today and every day to make our lives what we what it to be. It could be something like reading 5 or ten pages of something we want to master every day, or drinking an extra glass of water, or showing up for work 5 to 15 minutes earlier.  Just one little thing. We might be surprised where find ourselves a year from now.

Today, I sure am glad you were here. Thank you for joining me. If you want to help other people find us, and not miss an episode then subscribe to Rockin’ Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes. Your subscriptions and your ratings and reviews make it easier for other people to find us. Thank you so much for being a part of this show. I love it when you send me emails and comments. You can reach me at rockinlife.co or on facebook and twitter. Have a great day! Thanks again for listening! We’ll talk again tomorrow.

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Day 4 of the Week of Empowerment: Rephrase Your Life!

1scene1forwebsiteSomeone recently said to me that she’s no longer trying to LOSE weight. She had decided to release it instead. That way her mind wouldn’t go looking for the lost weight and try to gain it back.  I think that’s a great idea. I’m really curious to see how this works out for her. I don’t know if it will work but I do know the things we say to ourselves over and over again have a profound impact. We’ve been talking this week about the stories we tell ourselves and how they shape us. Often we are completely unaware of what we’re telling ourselves. We may not even notice how often we utter things like. I’m just a bad money manager. I’m no good with money. For the life of me, I can’t figure out relationships. I just can’t make a relationship work. I’m too shy. I can’t talk to people. It’s impossible for me to express myself to other people. I’m doomed to be fat. I can’t run. I’m no good at swimming. I have zero self- discipline. I’m not smart enough for that. How could I be so stupid? I always have trouble figuring out anything that has to do with math. I burn everything. I can’t even boil water right.

Those statements and many others like them reinforce a hopeless view of ourselves, a defeated view at least in some areas of our lives. You’ve probably heard the saying, “a lie told often enough becomes truth.” Those statements we make about ourselves become truth too, even if we don’t realize how often we repeat them. We’re telling ourselves that we are incapable of certain things when in reality that is rarely true.  We may struggle to master certain skills or to become comfortable in certain situations but we are rarely doomed to the complete inability to improve these things. Just look at one my previous guests, professional drummer, Dan Caro who has played with people like Carlos Santana. But He has no hands. He lost them when he was 2. He could have told himself that playing the drums was just impossible and eventually he would have believed it and stopped trying. Every time the sticks flew across the room because his new method to attach them didn’t work, he could have said this is impossible – no one would have blamed him. The words we tell ourselves are the words we will come to believe.

If we believe what we tell ourselves then how can we change the message? Like, changing anything else, we first have to be aware. We have to start to notice the words we say about ourselves. If there is an area of struggle in our lives, we want to be especially aware of what we say about it. Listen to how often we doom ourselves to where you are. First, we want to just listen to what we’re saying.

We could take a cue from a lady I know. She made an offer to pay a dollar to any person who heard her say “I should” for every time she said it. And rather than seeing the exercise as a negative costing her every time she was caught using the phrase. She explained that she was paying her teachers for helping her change. I think her sons gained as much teaching experience as they could.

So first become aware and then begin to rephrase. Instead of words that doom try some like these. I’m working on expressing myself to others. I’m learning to let people in. I’m making an effort to keep track of my spending or I’m beginning to track my spending. I ran a 2 blocks today, I’ll run again tomorrow. Find a way to turn those identified statements to something positive – something growth oriented.  I challenged myself one time to utter no complaints for 7 days.  I had to get creative. Like when offered tea. I would either say a simple no thank you or I prefer coffee. I’ve been known to say tea? ewww I don’t like tea. You can do the same thing when asked about yourself. Be creative – stop and think about how you can rephrase your statements.  Give it a try – a real try. Pick one thing in your life. Pay attention to what you tell yourself about how you handle it then rephrase it. Try to do this exercise for 30 days or just 7 days and see what happens.  Then please share your results with me!  When you share your successes no matter how small you think they are – they encourage others. Thanks for joining me today. I hope when you come back, you’ll bring a friend to listen. If you want to be sure you never miss an episode be sure to subscribe to Rockin Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes Click here then click on the word subscribe under the Rockin’ Life logo or subscribe to my newsletter and every Saturday, I’ll send you a link to the week’s episodes. You can subscribe by clicking here. Have a great weekend!  We’ll talk again!

Day 3 of the Week of Empowerment: You Are Not Your Story

We hear it all the time. Everybody has a story and it’s true. Everybody does have a story. But what we must realize is that we are not our stories. We are not the things that happen to us or around us. In yesterday’s interview, Monique Moliere Piper talked about this.  For most of her childhood, she grew up in poverty in the middle of a dangerous and violent neighborhood and those dangers touched her family and caused injury and pain. But Monique said “Where I am is NOT who I am.”

Just because the voices around us or more importantly inside of us seem to say that we are in our circumstances because of who we are doesn’t make it true.  Yes it can be hard to separate ourselves from our stories or circumstances.  If we tell ourselves that we were rejected because we are unlovable or incapable, then every rejection becomes about our perception of ourselves as unlovable or incapable. Really, that rejection is just a rejection. Maybe it was for a job and someone from within the organization was hired prior to the interview.  Maybe, plans just changed. Maybe it has nothing to do with us.  We are not our stories or the things that happen to or around us. But we may put ourselves in situations because of what we believe about ourselves. We may reinforce the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and then act in ways consistent with those beliefs. We may overeat because we believe we’re an overeater and always will be. We may have been in a relationship with someone who was unreliable or treated us poorly and now believe that’s our lot. We torture ourselves with wild stories consistent with that belief when a new significant other shows up 15 minutes late because of traffic or other legitimate delay. It may have nothing to do with our value to the other person.

In just a minute I’m going to talk some more about how we can change our limiting beliefs and tell ourselves a new story. First I want to take just a minute to offer another kind of value. You may have heard me talk about our sponsor, Audible but what you may not know is that I only partnered with Audible because I’m one of their very happy customers and they promised to offer something valuable to you. I’m very aware that you choose to listen to Rockin’ Life because you trust me to offer some value here and I don’t want to do anything to break that trust. So I will only accept sponsor I believe are consistent with what we’re about. I love listening to audio books while I work around the house or walk, workout or drive around. I get at least one book per month. Audible is offering Rockin Life listeners one free audio book. You just go to www.rockinbook.com That’s a special link for Rockin’ Life listeners – and sign up for a trial membership If you don’t like it don’t forget to cancel it but you still get to keep the free audio book you downloaded. Right now I’m listening to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They make it easy just go to rockinbook.com.  Now, back to our week of empowerment.

We may not be aware of beliefs about ourselves or when they first appeared or how we came to believe them. A couple of days ago, I told you about my limiting beliefs. I knew the my limitations and anxiety in certain situations were connected to a childhood trauma but I didn’t know they were connected to what I told myself – what I believed about myself. I was actually unaware of the story beneath the story for most of my life.  It never even occurred to me to look for my beliefs or to question them.  It took the growing discomfort with my lifelong fear of being trapped that was finding its way in to more and more of my life to push me to examine and question.

It’s amazing how when we shine a light on something, we see it for what it is and it begins to lose its power.  So to change our limiting beliefs the first thing we need to do is be aware of what we’re telling ourselves – the story we’re telling ourselves. Examine that story. Question it. Separate ourselves from it.

Then we can begin to change the habit of responding to the world and experiencing life from a false perspective that limits us.  We can know that we are valuable, capable, lovable and worthy.  We can begin to see other people as other valuable, capable, lovable, and worthy – no better – no worse.  We can separate behavior (both acceptable and unacceptable) from who we are and who the people in our lives are. We can then believe that we are not our circumstances and we’re not doomed to those circumstances nor to repeat past patterns. We are free to form new habits. We can write any story we want.

My hope is that you know your worth and value as a precious child of God. I hope you also know how much I appreciate you showing up and hearing what I and my guests share. If you would like to share your thoughts with me or with all of us, please let me know either in the comments on rockinlife.co or in an email to colleen@rockinlife.co.  I’d love to hear from you. And I hope your day is wonderful and that you come back for more tomorrow and bring a friend with you.  Have a great day!

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From Life in “The Murder Capital” to Life as “The Thrive Specialist”. The Story of Monique Moliere Piper

 Monique Moliere Piper is a Certified Professional Coach Speaker and has been nicknamed the Thrive Specialist. She has taught women across the United States how to achieve greater success by getting their lives out of default and into divine design.

Monique is the author of “Dance in the Sun: Being the Authentic You” and CEO of On Purpose Coaching, providing Life and Business Coaching services to women. Helping ladies create lives they love is her life’s calling. She understands the unique challenges women face when wanting to gain clarity to create and accomplish “big girl” goals. Monique helps women to get clear, strategic, and most importantly execute. Her clients learn to stop talking about ideas and manifest idids. The oldest of eight, and raised by a single mother, she knows first hand that mindset + on purpose action= results. Her inspirational speeches ignite an instant “get it done” fire under her audiences.

Monique’s Fab 5

  1. Success is a formula — Not a puzzle.
  2. You can make life happy or sad.  The work is the same.
  3. Be your own rescue
  4. Borrow Belief
  5. Progression over Perfection

Monique’s website

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Day 2 of the Week of Empowerment. Overcoming My Story by Becoming Aware of It

ILiketheDreams

I allowed a childhood trauma to keep me in fear, even terror at times but I’m rewriting my story to focus on my miraculous survival and God’s constant loving and empowering presence in my life. For most of my life I didn’t even realize I was telling myself a story except the narrative of what happened but I was unaware of the messages within my narrative

I think I felt safe for the first five years of my life or at least protected until 4 months after my 5th birthday.  I was watching tv in my room while the rest of the kids watched another show in the den. I looked out of my door to see fire rolling across the ceiling and I just sat there on my bed not reacting at all.

A little later I could see people outside my window trying to break it but they couldn’t. As the fire got closer to me and filled my room I finally climbed up onto my bed and stood in a little spot in the corner of it. It was the only place that wasn’t yet burning. I was just standing there opening my eyes as wide as I could even though they were stinging and I couldn’t really see anything because of all of the smoke. I was sure that I had swallowed some of the fire because I could feel it burning inside my chest.

I remember that day very well – most of it.  But I don’t remember getting out of the house. I’m told that the door that previously wouldn’t open and had flames shooting out around it was just then no longer hot. It opened when my 9 year old sister tried it. I don’t remember her screaming for me to come out. Seconds later the roof and the entire section of the house where I had been collapsed and fell to the ground. I don’t know how I got out. I’ve always been convinced it was a miracle from God but I don’t remember. I just remember being outside unable to see and sure that I was dying because the fire inside my chest was burning me from the inside out. I don’t think I cried until someone mentioned the doctor – I didn’t want to go. I just knew that if I let go of whoever was holding me – my mom or my grandmother – I’m not sure. I just knew that if I let them go that would be it. The fire would take me and I would die.  I now know it was the smoke I inhaled.

I recovered and I was able to see again in about a week. That smoke also damaged the surface of my eyes – thankfully it was only temporary – no lasting damage. But the fear and the terror – I took that with me. Really until very recently, I carried that fear and distrust of myself – actually I wore it like a big coat that couldn’t fit or comfortably fit into the places I went or experiences I had.

For most of my life I couldn’t figure out why I just sat there when I saw that fire rolling across the ceiling. Why didn’t I get up and get out of the house? Was I crazy? What was wrong with me? It took me 40 something years to realize that No, I wasn’t crazy – I was 5 – I froze – I was afraid. But all those years I thought something was wrong with me because when I was 5 I behaved the way a 5 year old behaves. The message I gave myself – the story I told myself was that I couldn’t trust myself and I was unsafe in the world.

I struggled a little with how I would tell you about the story I had been telling myself and how I’m now changing that story.  I questioned whether I really was changing it – whether I still really even knew what it was – whether I b­­­­­­­­­elieved my new story – whether my behavior was consistent with the old messages I was telling myself or the new realistic ones that I now choose. Well, truth be told I’m still learning to live not as I defined myself for most of my life but as a capable grown up. Do I do that perfectly every day? No way. Most of my life I didn’t even know what I believed about myself or how consistently my behavior and anxiety lined up with that belief.

I first had to face the story I wasn’t even aware that I was telling myself. I talked a lot about what happened to me. I wrote about it.  I described it in detail. I talked about how I felt at the time. I talked about the thoughts I was thinking at the time.  I could recall the smells and sounds and physical sensations and how I interpreted them but I never even considered what I believed about myself.

Without realizing it I was telling myself — You can’t trust yourself to know that you’re in a dangerous situation. You’ll freeze and you won’t know what to do when you’re threatened. You won’t ever be able to find your way out. It’s not safe for you to be closed in because no one will see you or notice that you’re in danger and you’ll be stuck forever – separated from the rest of the world and the people who are important to you. Those messages terrified me especially when I even thought about taking an elevator, driving through a car wash, or anyplace I didn’t think I could easily walk out of. There are lots of places you can’t easily walk out of.  Disney World supposed to be the happiest place on earth was one of the scariest.  Even riding in a car was sometimes uncomfortable.

But I wasn’t aware of what I was telling myself. It never occurred to me to examine it. Once I realized what I was telling myself. I could then see that yes when I was 5 I was incapable of protecting myself and I acted like a 5 year old but I grew up and gained knowledge, skills and strength and became very capable of taking care of myself. I didn’t have to face the world with only the skills and experience of a preschooler. It’s interesting that in certain areas of my life I was always courageous and confident IF I could visualize my escape or if I felt I couldn’t be trapped.  As long as I could see a way out of a situation or circumstance, I could excel.

The real truth is I do know what to do. I know how to take care of myself. I know how to ask for help if I need it. I know how to act in my best interest even when the action is new or scary.

I’m not doing this perfectly and I’m not wild about elevators but I remind myself If I find myself in a situation and can’t see the way to safety that’s ok because I’m strong and resourceful. I can find a way. I can’t say that I love elevators or anytime I go into the unknown but I choose to focus on the abilities I’m sure of and how God has prepared and empowered me. I choose to remember that He prepared me even then when I was a little girl. A couple of weeks before the fire, I was obsessed with a little blind girl I saw on tv.  I would close my eyes to see if I could find my way without looking – just in case I ever needed to.  I choose to believe that was God preparing me for what was to come. I choose to trust Him. I choose to trust me too. The fear and distrust I wore for so long is a habit I’m replacing with trust. It gets easier to trust my ability rather than being weighed down and limited by the belief that in certain situations I was no more capable than a 5 year old who wasn’t ready to ride an elevator by herself.

To change the stories we tell ourselves or the beliefs that limit us and maybe even terrify us, we first have to be aware of the stories and messages we’re already telling ourselves. We have to recognize the messages we’re sending ourselves about ourselves. Many falsely believe that we’re not good enough, unlovable, incapable, untrustworthy, unable to find a way out of circumstances, have no creativity, always wrong? When we discover those beliefs we can begin to tell ourselves a new story with a true message.

Tomorrow, We’ll share the incredible story of Monique Moliere Piper, author of Dance in the Sun. She talks about growing up in a very dangerous neighborhood, experiencing tremendous loss, and setbacks but still becoming the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. She talks about the importance of choosing the story she tells herself and she gives us her formula for success.  We’ll also continue our week of empowerment and learn more about the stories we choose for ourselves.