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Archive for the ‘rut’ Category

Are You Trying to Fit Into a Box?

Be True to You

In the continuing search for ways to promote my business which are actually effective, I find myself from time to time, falling into some old and ultimately unsuitable patterns. I ignore the signals from body and mind, and try to tailor my efforts to what worked for someone else…and it never ends well.

At best, I get cranky, annoyed, and frustrated with my lack of progress. At worst, I crawl into my hermit hole to sulk and fall into the dreaded victim mentality. Thankfully, the Universe has my back (sometimes whether I like its methods or not) and gives me little reminders I’m once again going down a road that isn’t right for me.

This time, not only did I get another sharp poke in the ribs, but a new guide to help me find my own way. After a couple of months’ delay on my part, I got to be a guest on Jared Warner’s podcast. One of the first things he said to me was “stop trying to do things like everyone else”. Whoa! Light bulb over my head in screaming neon pink! Now why didn’t I think of that?

Why Would I Do Anything With 5 Little Words?

My latest transgression involved trying to consolidate what I do into 5 measly words. I can see my daughter’s reaction if she’d heard I was even attempting to do anything in 5 words. I can’t even order a cup of coffee with only 5 lousy words! So how in the name of all that’s holy would I even consider such a hopeless, and for me, pointless exercise. It is the true definition of an exercise in futility, or maybe insanity.

Jared is a true expert when it comes to marketing and building business. He’s learned all the tricks the hard way, building businesses, and losing at least one pretty spectacularly, but as the phoenix rises from the ashes, so does Jared. And what’s more, he’s passionate about helping others do the same and maybe miss out on some of his more noteworthy mistakes along the way (though each of us still has to make a few of our own as part of our learning process).

Turning Things Upside Down Might Make for a Better View

Instead of trying to create some kind of buzz line or catch-phrase for what I can do for others, he challenged me to turn the whole thing upside down and consider a completely different (read: scary as hell) path which combines the two things I love the most: helping people and writing.

He rightfully pointed out that the accounting side of my skill set requires a lot more trust than the writing side, so building relationships takes much longer. Also, people typically have someone doing their taxes, so they may rely on them for the book work as well making it a tough market to break into. Better to leave it as something to transition into once clients have gotten to know me for the dependability I offer with my writing. Now why didn’t I think of that? (insert face palm emoji).

Best of all, he totally understands my aversion to anything sales-y and offered some great suggestions for getting known without the hype. Part of that is this Friday post as he recommended increasing my weekly offerings from 2, to 3 or 4. Thankfully, my response to his query about average word count was adequate. I guess some folks are still writing shorter posts, perhaps to offset their increased frequency.

Find the Tried and True for You

So I have my work cut out for me, creating 3 to 4 posts a week and with a little luck and Jared’s suggestions, adding another client or five to my current batch.

Getting back to the premise of this tale, (and touching a bit on last night’s Facebook live which you can find here), all too often, we allow ourselves to fall into a trap, trying to do things in a tried and true way. The trouble is, it’s not our tried and true, and we’re not the person it worked so well for. We lack the qualities which made it work so well for them, and perhaps a few others.

That’s not to say we lack good, strong qualities. Ours our different, and need an approach which honors those differences. How do we know we’re honoring our uniqueness instead of trying to mimic someone else’s? In the same way we recognize the right path when making a decision or choosing a new road; we listen to our bodies.

Listening to Messages From Within

While thinking about a choice we’re going to make, if we check in with ourselves, the decision will make itself, but you have to understand what you’re feeling first.

If something makes you feel tense, constricted, confined, and even severely nauseous, chances are, it’s probably not going to give you the results you seek. In fact, it’s honoring your mind’s desire to plod along the same boring, predictable road forever.

On the other hand, if you feel a bit like you’re leaping off a cliff, or crossing a ravine on a tight rope with no net, you’re probably on the right track. I know it sounds weird, but we were not meant to live our lives in a safe little box. We were meant to expand and grow, though for some that expansion happens with a lot of kicking, screaming, and digging our fingernails into the furniture to avoid being dragged away by a relentless current of change. Our minds, unfortunately, will always resent change. They would be perfectly happy if we stayed in a little hermit hole where nothing changed.

Getting Back to Adventure Mode: Leaving the Rut Behind

But our psyche lives for adventure; for zip lining across that ravine or running full tilt up a mountain with no idea what’s on the other side. It wants to feel alive, and it’s something only to be found in change and adventure.

Thanks to Jared, I kicked off my latest adventure yesterday. I don’t know how it will go or where it will take me, but that’s part of the thrill and charm. By offering to ghostwrite expert books for entrepreneurs, I get to combine my love of writing, my desire to help other people, and my talent for sharing the soft underbelly we mistakenly believe we need to hide away. I’ve learned from my own experiences that showing a little vulnerability lets people know we’re human; we’re approachable; we’ve been where they are, and learned how to navigate the rapids and arrive victorious and ready to jump on the next one.

Why Settle for Ordinary when You Deserve Extraordinary?

Life is a thrill ride. For some, it’s physical as in white water rafting, bungee jumping, or extreme skiing. For others, it’s as simple as stepping out of the tired, old comfort zone into a new experience. Ultimately, you build up a tolerance and those small steps you took become child’s play, and the next ones you take look like leaps in comparison. You learn keeping your psyche happy makes for a much more interesting life anyway.

What are you going to do to free yourself from box-like situations? Where will you take even the tiniest step towards a life suited exactly to you and not someone else? How will you find your own unique brand of success? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to see you grow!

Expressing Gratitude Every Step of the Way

Each step we take, every mistake we make, and all of our successes are enriched when we remember to be grateful for the experience. As is my wont, I’m sharing a few of mine.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for the Universal head slaps (or butt kicks, or on rare occasions, gentle prods) which wake me up to what I need to change, where I need to go, and what I need to do.
  2. I’m grateful for the helpers who appear in my life exactly when and where I need them.
  3. I’m grateful I’ve trained my mind to listen to truths even when they’re uncomfortable. I know I make more progress when I stop relying on the tried and true.
  4. I’m grateful for friendships and relationships which enrich my life, and for the experiences I’m having outside my comfort zone which bring them into my life.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; help, friendship, new ideas, inspiration, motivation, challenges, leaps of faith, expansion, health, joy, peace, harmony, prosperity, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for ghostwriting to help your business grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write your expert book with you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

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October 14, 2014 When our comfort zone becomes a rut #shericonaway #blogboost

This image or one like it has appeared on my Facebook page repeatedly, 

posted by  me or another of my friends. It always gives me pause when I see it, but today I realized that there’s more to it than meets the casual eye.

Our comfort zone was never meant to be our permanent residence.

Just as the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, a comfort zone becomes a rut when we fail to realize that it’s time to change things up, break down a wall or two, and move forward.

Most of us don’t watch the same movie or read the same book over and over. We look for something new which will entertain and maybe even surprise us a little. So why would we choose to do the exact same things, day after day, year after year? I don’t know about you, but the very thought of living like that scares the hell out of me! I’d die of boredom if my life was that predictable. I’ll even admit to this while my legs and abs are screaming in pain more than 24 hours after my last trip into the unknown. Would I do it again, knowing I’d spend the next couple of days walking like an arthritic old woman? Hell, yes! It was fun. It was different. It changed up a tired, old routine, and maybe even gave me that extra motivation I need. I’ve put it on my calendar for the next few weeks, but may still change it up by doing a yoga class or pilates with a different instructor on a different day.

It’s like these produce boxes I’m getting. Today’s is absolutely amazing as you can see. Harvest box 10-14-14
This week’s box sent me off to the web to find a recipe to make use of this wonderful array of veggies! I got three ears of multi colored corn, two leeks, the biggest head of cabbage I have ever seen, cucumbers, jalapenos, oranges, carrots, green beans, green leaf lettuce…all things I know what to do with…more or less. But I got a couple of things which are new to me as well; fennel and rainbow chard.

I searched the net for cabbage soup, read and discarded quite a few from different sites. Finally, I clicked on one which was billed as a vegetable minestrone (as my mind said “Aren’t they all?”) which used a large quantity of cabbage. I’d have never even thought of using cabbage in minestrone! But I can use the chard instead of spinach and I still have zucchini left over from last week. New, different…amazing!

Sorry, I got so excited about my vegetables that I completely jumped the track, topic-wise. Let me take a deep breath so I can get back to the topic at hand.

Actually, my topic change is the point. When we leave the old, beaten path, we find an excitement we lack when we do the same things all the time. Much as I love seeing my friends, even dancing on the same nights in the same place every week isn’t always what it used to be. Breaking it up when I miss nights to go see my daughter helps, but the feeling that I need to venture out and do some different things is getting stronger all the time.

I think I’m outgrowing my comfort zone

Have you ever watched a snake shed its skin? It wiggles and twitches, pauses for a bit, then wiggles and twitches some more. It’s a lot like trying to get out of a pair of tight jeans that are soaked with sweat after a night of dancing. But once the skin or the jeans are shed (depending on your species), the feeling of relief and freedom is indescribable.

I know that, for many people, change is scary, but I’m not saying that those steps have to be giant leaps. They can just as easily be baby steps. The trick, like everything else in our lives, is to just get moving. A body in motion stays in motion, so once you get going, moving out of your self-imposed rut we generously refer to as “The Comfort Zone”, you’ll find that a little taste, like one potato chip, isn’t nearly enough. You’ll dip your hand in that bag called “Life” over and over until, one day, you see someone living your old life and you can no longer remember why you wanted to stay there so long!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I’ve learned how much I like living where the magic happens.
2. I am grateful for opportunities to leave my safe little rut and spread my wings.
3. I am grateful for new tastes, new places, new people, new experiences and new feelings.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts, whether with a few or many, in hopes that I, like so many do for me, will inspire at least one person out there to truly live their greatness.
5. I am grateful for abundance: opportunities, flavors, people, places, surprises, friendship, love, joy, health, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Namaste

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