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Posts tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Becoming an Overachiever for Ourselves

Time for a Mindset Reset

I’ve been, for all intents and purposes, self-employed with no other means of support for over 5 years now. Many would look at what I do, as well as my accounting records and say I’m retired. For awhile, I guess I behaved as if I was, but when the bills piled up and outflow exceeded inflow for too many months I had to face reality. If I’m going to call myself self-employed, I need to freakin’ act like it! That means doing whatever I need to to attract clients. But even more, being absolutely clear on what I do and who I want to do it for.

As a writer, that means setting myself a daily schedule for writing, and sticking to it come hell or high water. Part of that was upping the ante on how often I publish. In the last 5 years, I’ve ranged from daily (during a couple of blog challenges) to whenever I felt like it, to weekly, to twice weekly, and finally, to thrice weekly which I’ve maintained for a few months now.

Stifling Demon Procrastination

Once I got into the habit of posting three times a week, I encountered a new challenge. Too often, I’d get to a posting day and think:

Oh shit! It’s time for a post, and I’ve got nothin’! Better dash something off before the day is over!

The trouble with that methodology was I sacrificed quality for procrastination. Of late, I’ve set myself loftier goals. I’m still posting 3 times a week, but now, I insist upon having at least 2 weeks of posts scheduled. I was doing fairly well for awhile, but between tragedy, being a dancing nomad, and the holidays, I’ve slipped my schedule.

It took me a few years, but I’ve finally gotten better about keeping commitments to myself. I was my own red-headed stepchild for too long. Now, I use Trello to keep track of my posts. Every time I schedule one, I get to check it off giving me a small win. As I set them up on my board a month at a time, nothing makes me happier than to see each of my posting days at 100% with month still left over. My ultimate, yet currently unachieved goal is to see myself at 100% before the month has started.

Commitment and Determination

At the moment, I have 6 more to write for next month, and it’s the last day of the month so I’m a bit shy of that goal. But on the positive side, I’ve gotten closer this week. Since the first of the year, I’ve struggled to keep a week ahead, and at the moment, I’m finally back at two, if only for a day, assuming I don’t finish this post today (which by damn, I will!).

Which brings me to the point of this post (only took me about 450 words to get there. ADD is running amok today!). Actually, I have two points. Being self-employed, especially when you’re re-creating yourself in a heretofore non-existent image takes determination, perseverance, and a willingness to fail a few thousand times in the process of getting it right. It can also mean watching your finances dwindle at a rather frightening rate, dipping into resources, or accepting clients you’ve promised to avoid, and cutting back on things you once deemed necessities.

My second point has to do with commitment to yourself. If you’re like me, you were the over-achiever in your office, getting projects done ahead of deadline, working into the wee hours if necessary, and always coming through—for everyone else. You got so good at doing for others, you left yourself hanging on a limb time and time again. When it became only your needs at stake, you had years of bad habits to break before you could set deadlines for yourself and shut off the excuse-o-matic that got in the way of meeting those deadlines.

Entrepreneurs Put Themselves First

I’m a little slower about self-care than most, so it took me the better part of 5 years to finally learn to put myself first. Sure, I am still meeting or beating deadlines for my clients, and it will always be that way. I set high standards for myself when it comes to my clients, and have no intention of changing them. The shift came when I finally internalized the idea that I am my very best client and deserve the same high standards when it comes to completing tasks for me.

Then and only then was I able to complete, first the draft of my memoir, and within 3 months (even with the holidays and some serious traumas and travails), complete the re-write. Sure, I had to both kick and have my butt kicked pretty regularly in order to achieve it, but in the process, I’ve been learning to respect myself more as a client.

Keep Raising That Bar!

Another thing I’ve learned about both building my business and treating my own goals with respect is the bar needs to keep going up. Sure, I’m back to my 2 weeks ahead posting goal, but I want to raise it to 3 sooner than later. Meanwhile, I’ve also set an aggressive, 3 posts a week goal for sharing on Medium. this time, though, I created a spreadsheet with posting dates, date scheduled, exactly which post I’m sharing when, and whether it is coming from my blog site or website. In my past life, I kept on task by having a detailed, specific schedule for when each piece of the project was due.

And oh yes, the publication dates from the spreadsheet are now on a card on Medium as well. It helps to keep due dates in one place, at least for me. I even have a reminder on my daily calendar to check my Trello boards to ensure I stay on track.

I used to tell my staff to use their tools. Funny that it took me so long to take my own advice.

Rules To Live By

To summarize what I’ve learned in the process of reinventing myself as a writer:

  1. Treat yourself like you would your best client.
  2. Set up processes to monitor your projects and deadlines.
  3. Re-visit your deadlines daily.
  4. Accept no excuses for missing any of those deadlines.
  5. Beat all deadlines as often as possible, and it’s always possible.
  6. Never use work for other clients as an excuse to push your own deadlines.
  7. Keep raising the bar. A completed task is an opportunity to add a new one, not a time to rest on our laurels and sip mimosas.
  8. Work ahead wherever possible. Slacking off guarantees a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Murphy who love throwing a monkey wrench into the works to back the whole system up.
  9. Have a couple of butt kickers in your arsenal. Nothing makes you work faster, harder, better than being held accountable by outside sources close to you.
  10. Love yourself enough to believe, achieve, and thrive.

Your Big “Why”

On a final note, I reinvented myself because I realized I’d spent years working for people I couldn’t respect, doing work that had begun to bore me to tears with the tedium. I was a creative stuck in a fairly routine line of work, which to make things worse, was far too people-y for this introvert. I’ve never been happier, if somewhat less affluent than I am working from home on my own schedule (no more getting up before 8 AM to commute) with cats on my desk occasionally interrupting to tell me they’re feeling neglected. (Who am I kidding? What cat ever felt neglected occasionally?)

I’m free to go to the gym during the day when it’s less crowded, take a day off during the week to run errands and avoid the crowds, even meet a friend for lunch, a movie, or anything else. I am also free to work well into the night, or wee hours as the case may be. Those are my productive hours, and no “expert” is ever going to convince me to get up at the crack of dawn because “everyone” is more productive then. I know myself better than anyone, and I’ve learned I don’t hit my productive stride until at least 11AM most days.

I encourage everyone to imagine their perfect life, then go forth and get it. I don’t recommend taking the drastic approach I did, but for some of us, cold turkey is the only way. Get us hungry, and there’s no telling what we can achieve!

Gratitude Greases the Wheels

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for my butt kickers.
  2. I am grateful for the leap of faith I took and the reinvention of my life which followed. It might be taking longer than planned, but I’m learning so much along the way.
  3. I am grateful for my failures. From them I learn more than I do from my successes.
  4. I am grateful for my low-stress lifestyle. I only wish I’d realized sooner it was possible.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, opportunities, self-respect, achievements, goals met, goals set, dreams realized, world expanding, self-confidence building, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Giving Ourselves Credit for Jobs Well Done

Re-defining Work in the Context of Our Entrepreneurial Jobs

In the last few years, my perception of work has changed dramatically. As an entrepreneur, we often work more hours than we would for a steady paycheck, yet often we don’t see it as working at all. There are days I’ll look back over what I’ve accomplished and tell myself Look, you actually worked 6 hours today! In reality, I may have worked far more, but don’t take into consideration things like social media self-promotion, or making connections as part of that work.

Blog posts are another matter, especially with my aggressive posting schedule. I count the time I spend creating and formatting posts as work hours these days. But what about coaching sessions, or my morning pages where so many of my blog ideas arise? I don’t even count that as part of starting my day. In fact, I’ll often tell myself now that my morning pages are done, I can start my day.

It seems I put morning pages into the same category as sleeping. But as a writer, sitting down to write really is starting my day, isn’t it? It doesn’t really matter if it’s a blog post, an article for a client, a writing prompt, or my morning pages. Writing is writing.

Where Are You Failing to Give Yourself Credit?

How many other entrepreneurs sell themselves short when it comes to acknowledging the time they spend building and maintaining their business? How many of the necessary tasks they do are relegated to that time known as “before I start my day”.

We tend to ignore the fact that running a business involves a thousand little details we don’t think about. We just do them.

  • Organizing our work load
  • Planning out our week
  • Accumulating necessary supplies
  • Making phone calls to gather information
  • Research
  • Bookkeeping
  • Coaching sessions
  • Maintaining our scheduling system, be it manual, Trello, or some other mechanized format
  • Promotion
  • Learning new skills
  • Keeping up with changes in our market

The list goes on, but all of these are necessary parts of building and maintaining our business, yet all too often, we don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for making them all happen, and run seamlessly.

Recognizing How Much We’ve Accomplished

I’m often guilty of selling myself short, much to my coach, Linda Clay’s amusement. My latest was realizing I could answer ads on FlexJobs calling for 2-3 years of copywriting experience. Haven’t I been running my own blog and website for nearly 10 years? Haven’t I written articles for other people for at least 3-4 years now? So what if they were ghostwritten and I can’t legitimately claim authorship? I’ve done the writing, so I can claim the experience.

I know I’m not alone in overlooking the experience I’ve gained and the hours I’ve put in. We all have skills and talents we dismiss as unimportant or not valuable. Stay-at-home moms are probably the worst offenders.

Stay-At-Home Moms Have Serious Skills

Many of us know what it takes to maintain a household, take care of kids, and work a full-time job. But what about when you’re home with those kids 24/7? A full-time job gives us a break and allows us to justify a certain amount of slippage in our housewifely duties. A stay-at-home mom gets no breaks, no sick time, no vacation, and no excuses. If it doesn’t get done, it’s on her.

Whether it’s keeping track of the kids’ schedules and getting them to school, lessons, practices, and appointments on time, or keeping the weekly grocery bill within budget. It’s all on her. If something doesn’t get done, it stares her in the face like a gloating gremlin who thrives on her inadequacies. She goes to sleep at night with endless lists running through her brain, and wakes to those same lists, distorted and out of control.

She takes chaos and turns it into order while doing another load of laundry, cleaning up breakfast dishes, and packing her brood off to school. And let’s not even talk about school vacations.

Dividing Our Time Between Jobs

So when I think about doing the mom thing alone since my girls were four, working full-time, and running a part-time accounting business, I finally realize how many balls I kept in the air, and never gave myself credit for. It became such an ingrained habit, I do it still today.

The only kids still at home may be furry, but they require my attention too, even if it’s only feeding and cleaning up after them. When one is ill, I have to take extra time out of my day to administer medications, take them to vet appointments, pick up meds, and in some cases, coax them to eat. Like children, they also require attention, and if I don’t take a break during my work day to do so, they let me know in no uncertain terms it’s time to stop and focus on them. It’s really no different than trying to work with the sound of arguments which need breaking up, or an endless stream of “mom…mommy…MOM’s” interrupting my train of thought. It’s still kids who need my attention as much as my business does.

Needless to say, it’s a juggling act every day, no matter what we call our job. For most of us, the word is probably plural anyway.

Is it Work, or What?

I’ve gotten so bad about recognizing tasks as work-related I’ll actually tell myself it’s time to act like a real business-person, and work at least 8 hours a day. Even if writing isn’t like the drudgery of working for someone else, it’s still work for me. I have tasks I must complete to help promote my business, even if it’s only adding content to my own sites.

When did I get it into my head it’s only work if I hate doing it? When did business have to be a drudgery? And why would I decide to go into business for myself if that’s how I saw it?

Despite the struggles and disappointments of the last 5 years; despite the many things I’ve tried which haven’t yielded the expected results, my stress levels have dropped significantly since I left Corporate America. I suspect the same is true for most others who’ve done the same.

Living the Entrepreneurial Life

Sure, we work more hours than we did when we worked for someone else. Certainly, we take less time off, and typically work at least one day of the weekend. Yet we tell ourselves too often we’re not working enough.

How do we measure enough though? Is it dollars? Sales? Customers? Blog hits? Productivity? In a service-based business, the metrics aren’t as cut-and-dried as a product-based business, but either way, we discount so many tasks as non-work-related, when they really are.

When we’re at a social event and someone asks what we do, don’t we spend a little time talking about our business? We’re not trying to sell something, per se (or at least those of us who don’t like to be pushy about it aren’t), we’re answering the typical questions.

What do you do?

What do you write about?

Have you been published?

Do you have a website?

Promotion as Natural Social Behavior

And so on. In effect, we promote ourselves without reservation, because it’s general conversation. As someone who is self-employed, I find I naturally get more questions about what I do than someone who works for a bank or an engineering company. People are curious and frankly, I love talking about writing to a willing audience. Again, if I were working for someone else, I’d consider myself on the clock during these conversations. As an entrepreneur, I don’t.

The same is true of interactions on social media. Every time I post a tip, or get into a conversation with someone about something they wrote, or re-post one of my blogs, it’s adding value to my business.

It’s time we gave ourselves the credit we deserve, even if our sales numbers have yet to reflect our efforts. You can’t build a skyscraper without laying a firm foundation.

My Grateful Heart

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for recent epiphanies which build up my sense of self-worth.
  2. I am grateful for friends who are willing to share their stories with me.
  3. I am grateful for the kicks in the butt which are starting to make me see my own value, and the value of the tasks I perform.
  4. I am grateful for every minute more I get with my sweet girl, Munchkin. I know her days are numbered (barring a Christmas Miracle), and treasure the love she gives me now, and has given me for more than 12 years.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; friendship, love, joy, connection, inspiration, motivation, sharing, dancing, community, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward.

Embracing Our Ability To Give and Recieve the No’s

Collecting the No’s Along with the Yes’s

I saw a post today from someone who received a “no” to a recent pitch. She explained it isn’t as much a rejection as an affirmation she’s showing up and as such, is a cause for celebration. If you don’t show up, the answer is always no, but if you do, eventually, there will be yes’s mixed in with those no’s and frankly, you can’t possibly accommodate all the feelers you put out there, all the offers you make and the pitches you send. You have to expect some rejections and even embrace them as they give you more time to handle the ones who accept your offer or seek out your services.

Thinking about it, I felt the same way about rejections I received for article writing pitches. Although I was a bit disheartened at the time, I was also proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying. Not only that, the no’s we receive are confirmation someone actually paid attention. How many times do we send out queries, offers, or pitches, only to find they get lost in the void. Nobody responds to our initial pitch, and even follow-up emails and calls go unanswered. I’d much rather have a good, solid no than find myself pitched into the black hole of not-worthy-of-a-responsedom.

Each of us is Selling Something

Years ago I was in between jobs and part of a local group of professionals who were associated with the EDD (California Employment Development Department) and supported each other in their job searches with resources, community outreach programs and presentations by members and guests. One of the first things they asked was “who here is a salesperson”. Only a few hands went up, as the speaker expected. He then went on to explain we are all salespeople. In one way or another, we are selling ourselves. As salespeople, rejection is part of the game. If we aren’t receiving our fair share of rejections, we’re not engaging enough. I was going to say, “making enough offers” but realized it goes counter to what I not only believe, but try to live by: sales is all about building relationships.

The most effective salespeople I’ve ever encountered were those who spent time getting to know people without worrying about whether or not a person was a likely candidate for the product or service they sold. They showed genuine interest in everyone else’s businesses and stories, offering their own only if prompted to do so. Though I’m still learning, this is the kind of person I aspire to be.

Learning from the Best in the Business

Fortunately, I am seeing plenty of fantastic examples lately. In particular, Kevin Huhn, an absolute master of media and exposure who I met on an online meetup recently. Everyone was invited to talk about what they do, and he was incredibly supportive of each of our monologues. It wasn’t until well into the call I realized he hadn’t shared what he did, so I asked the question. He was so humble when speaking about his journey and the wealth of skills and talents he uses to help launch his clients into the spotlight. Yet, it’s only part of what his business provides. I had to actually visit his website to understand the magnitude and scope of what he and his company provide. He’s the omni-dimensional entrepreneur we’d all like to be.

One thing I’m learning by hanging out with a lot of successful entrepreneurs is we all have valuable experience and skills. Yet many of us aren’t even clear about what we know or how we can help others. Once we’re clear (or at least have more than an inkling) of our own sphere of excellence, the trick is to let people know what we can do without making them feel like we’re only seeing them as a potential revenue source. Combine that with a natural reticence to talk about ourselves, and at times it seems like an insurmountable mountain.

Learning from the experts is always an option (provided you can afford their price tag). Yet as Linda Clay of #HeartfeltEmpowerment recently pointed out it’s easy to get lost in the white noise of so many offers and opinions. Finding the right coach is a lot like finding the right therapist. First, you must have at least some idea of what you need help with. Then you need to find someone who can help you without trying to fix you; someone who has at least a little experience with the challenges you face and the obstacles to your success.

Finding the Right Fit

I’ve met many who seem to understand and offer excellent advice, but advice is only as good as our ability to act on it and make it part of our regular routine. All too often, the services I’ve purchased have been little more than money down the drain, not because the service provider wasn’t great at what they did, but because it wasn’t the right fit for me. The first thing I needed to learn was not how to do one thing or another, but that I wasn’t broken and didn’t need to be fixed.

Because we lack a certain skill or vision, many of us see it as a flaw or lack within ourselves. Nothing is further from the truth. There’s a lot to be said for the old saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. We can’t possibly master all facets of running a business plus our unique abilities and talents in a single lifetime. Instead, we need to know when to reach out and ask for help, and try to do so in an orderly fashion.

Figuring Out What Answers We Need So We’ll Know Which Questions To Ask

It’s not always an easy task when your mind jumps from idea to idea as mine tends to do. (big surprise, I know). One day, I think I need help with marketing, the next, a business plan, and who knows what I’ll feel I’m lacking by next Tuesday. The reality smacked me in the head with this week’s yet-to-be-completed homework assignment for #HeartfeltEmpowerment. I have to look first at my ultimate goal, than break it down into smaller pieces. Only then will I be able to see not only all the things I need help with, but the order in which I need to address them.

For someone who spent over 3 decades playing with numbers, spreadsheets, and contracts, it took me an inordinate amount of time to understand one simple fact; I was dealing with businesses that were already well established and had the things I don’t know already tried, tweaked, and regularly reviewed by upper management. In order to get my own balloon off the ground, I need to go through the same process, albeit on a smaller, more personal scale!

Giving and Receiving Our Share of No’s

I’ve taken the long way around, but here’s what else I’ve learned. I will continue to get offers and suggestions as to what I need to do first, how I need to determine my ideal client, branding, marketing, and a bazillion other aspects of the business I am building from the ground up, by and for myself. I need to learn when and where to focus my attention, and when it is in my best interests to offer a polite “no thank you”, or “I’ll consider your offer at a later time when I’m in a better position to fit it into my overall business plan”. Because, just as no’s are good for me and are an indication that I’m showing up, stepping out, and accepting that I’m not a good fit for everyone, so, too are the offerers  who approach me. They know a no from me isn’t personal, but simply a part of their own journey to find those who will benefit most from their expertise.

Showing My Gratitude for Lessons Learned and Lessons Still to Come

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for all of the amazing people who generously share some of their expertise so I can figure out what it is I need first.
  2. I am grateful for the #HeartfeltMovement whose members are willing to work with me, nay, pay it forward for me and so many others knowing we will do the same when we are able.
  3. I am grateful for the people who have listened to me without judgement for the last few years as I stumble and fall on my face over and over, trying to figure out the business of being in a new and different business.
  4. I am grateful for my own resilience and refusal to give up on a dream I risked everything to follow.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, amazing and talented people, generosity, brilliance, encouragement, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.

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. Her specialties are finding and expressing your unique and genuine self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

Overcoming the Urge to Over Analyze

Talking Ourselves Out of Adventure

Many of us do it. We think things to death, then wonder why we can’t seem to make any progress. Every choice we make, every idea that crosses our minds has to be looked at from every possible angle (and even a few decidedly unlikely ones) before we make a move. Do we make better decisions because of all the time we spend weighing the pros and cons? Does all this thinking hedge our bets and guarantee we’ll make the best possible choice every time?

Not even close! In fact, all our overthinking may cause us to miss the boat entirely; miss an opportunity which may have catapulted us forward into something really wonderful. But we missed the chance because we were too busy analyzing the thing to death.

There comes a time we need to know when it’s important to review all the facts with microscopic focus, and when to get off the dime and just pick something.

A Time to Think Things Through, and A Time to Trust Your Gut

Sure, if you’re making a major purchase or planning a trip to another country you want to make sure you have all the facts you can gather. But most decisions we face are just as easily made by listening to our gut. By now, we’ve had enough experience with different scenarios to know deep down whether or not one choice or another makes sense for us.

Take job interviews for example. Can you honestly say you haven’t reached the point where you know in the first 5 minutes whether or not you and the company you’re interviewing with will be a good fit? Don’t you have a healthy repertoire of red flags that tell you to get the hell out of there because the person you’re talking to is a perfect example of one of your previous bosses from hell? Can’t your gut be trusted to tell you when something feels right, no explanation needed?

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

I talk to a lot of people these days who are considering starting their own business. Most are still working a full-time job and are less likely to do what I did and quit their job before having a game plan. So they have a safety net if their endeavor doesn’t fly. Yet too often, they argue both sides of the decision with themselves, raising perfectly reasonable arguments for any and all choices they are considering. They spend days, weeks, months even, trying to decide whether they’ll take a chance on themselves. Often, they spend so much time trying to decide they talk themselves out of a perfectly good idea. Or worse, they discover that while they were ruminating, someone else took a chance on a similar idea and made a killing while they were still sitting on the fence.

It all comes down to trust. But not trusting others in this case. We have to learn to trust ourselves. We’re like the car salesman who tries to keep you in his office for hours talking about stupid crap, believing the longer he keeps you there, the more likely he’ll wear you down and convince you to take the deal he offered when you first walked in. In the case of ourselves, the longer we think about something, the more likely it is we’ll find reasons to not do it. We’ll wear down our courage, our sense of adventure, our willingness to take a risk on us. And once the moment has passed, we’ll spend another chunk of time beating ourselves up for failing to make a decision. Either way, we lose.

Taking Our Fears by the Horns

I’m here to tell you, it’s not worth all the sweat and strain. In most cases, we know right from the start whether of not we believe in ourselves enough to risk failing. So why do we put on our Actuary hat every time we need to choose?

In most cases, it’s fear. Fear stops people in their tracks more effectively than brick walls, road blocks, or a firing squad. Human nature prefers the safety of the known. The unknown is scary and hazardous, and full of obstacles we can’t even imagine. It’s also full of opportunities, and wonderful adventures which could open our life up and show us an entirely new world. Yet over and over, we’ll convince ourselves to take the safe road; the road we know; the dull, boring, already-traveled-a-million-times road where nothing changes and frankly, we could die of boredom. “It’s safer here.” Our minds will tell us. “I know how to navigate this place.” The scared child inside of us is scared to death of its own sense of adventure, and stuffs it down like a snot-encrusted handkerchief.

Meanwhile, the new person, the change of scenery, the job of our dreams passes us by because we’re too busy proving to ourselves that the timing isn’t right, or there are too many unknown variables, or we’re better off sticking with what we know.

The trouble is, you wake up one day to find you’ve been left behind with all the scaredy-cats who’ve slipped into a rut and pulled it in after them. You’re bored and discontented, but can no longer figure out why because you don’t even attract opportunities any more. You’ve moved off the road where opportunities and adventure travel, and are living in a sad, lonely no-man’s-land of sameness. You don’t even remember how you got there any more.

Change is Healthy

We can adapt to change. We have to be willing to be uncomfortable for a little while, that’s all.

I recently read something about turning your toilet paper roll the other way for 30 days. Essentially, it is something simple and unlikely to turn your world upside down. Yet it’s a change you have to adapt to. The point is to make a change that isn’t going to upset you, just to prove to yourself that you can adapt to it without any serious issues. Once you see how easily you can adapt to small changes in your world, it becomes easier to adapt to larger ones. And adapting to those larger, scarier changes is the key to trusting your gut and removing your biggest block to change; over analyzing.

Releasing Our Anal-Retentive Traits

Hidden inside the word “analyze” is the word “anal” which has come to be associated with people who are overly particular. As I see it, when you analyze the crap out of every situation and decision you encounter, you are, indeed, exhibiting an anal-retentive personality. You allow your mind to force you into a dull, boring rut of sameness while a little kernel deep inside is screaming for something new and exciting.

I won’t lie to you and say I’ve never fallen on my face by trusting my gut. Each time I do, I pick myself up, look at what went wrong, and learn from it. The experience makes my gut a little more sensitive to nuances I hadn’t considered so the next decision I make will have an even better chance of success.

Analyzing less and experiencing more won’t guarantee a smooth road. In fact, you’re likely to find the road a good deal bumpier. But bumps add character so your life won’t be boring, dull, or predictable. Is that really a bad thing?

Showing Gratitude for the Little Things

My gratitudes tonight are:

  1. I am grateful for the chances I’ve taken, the lessons I’ve learned, and the failures I’ve had to pick myself up from.
  2. I am grateful fro the people I meet when I stop taking the path of least resistance and instead, take the road less traveled.
  3. I am grateful for commitments I’ve made to myself. It isn’t always easy to honor what I set out for myself, but the rewards for doing so are immeasurable.
  4. I am grateful for my willingness to fail so I can learn. The whole process makes me stronger, smarter, and more resilient.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, change, lessons, experiences, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

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. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for 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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