Unclutter Your Life

What If?

This two word question may not seem like a lot to you but the impact it could have on your life and your business is HUGE!

At the beginning of this year, I identified a one-word theme for the year: Accountable. For some being accountable is easy.  For others, it depends on the subject matter whether or not we can be accountable.  It is easy to be accountable in my Weight Watchers program but it is WAY more difficult to be accountable in my life – business and personal.  

It may not sound like an exciting word, but I sensed in my spirit it was a word which could transform my life.  Talking about stepping out of my comfort zone!!!

It is not necessarily the word “accountable” in itself as it is what each line stands for…

Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is “it is okay to ask for help and not assume others will know you need help”.  Miss Independent thought everyone was on my page so they knew what I needed when I needed it.  SMACK!  So not the truth.  Another big AHA was “consistency will lead to success”.  As a result, I will be cruising to the Bahamas in September courtesy of Thirty One Gifts.

So where does “what if” come in, right?  I know you all think I squirreled.  Well maybe but the truth is those two words can help you to dream what the future can hold for you.

I want you to consider a persistent challenge you face – one you’d be willing to make a major life change in order to resolve it once and for all.

Here’s the process proposed by Valerie Burton to help you reach for those dreams:

1. Identify the challenge.  What is your challenge?  Is your calendar to hectic? Are you miserable in your career or hate your job? Have you stretched yourself too thin financially as a result of too many credit cards?

2. Ask yourself a “What if?” question to force yourself to imagine a solution which will radically change your circumstance and eliminate the problem, not just pacify it? “What if you didn’t schedule anything on your weekends and gave yourself room to relax and be spontaneous?” “What if you phased out your current career and finally pursued the career you really want?” “What if you dramatically cut your expenses so you have the freedom to work less or do something different?” Write down as many “What if?” scenarios as you can. Make them bold. Make them authentic. Write scenarios which excite you.

This may be a little different for you.  We usually let fear control our “what ifs” like…”What if I fail?:,  “What if I’m not good enough?”.  It is those what if questions which leave your paralyzed in fear and keep you from  moving forward.  If they are that powerful, what if you used those same questions to see radically new positive possibilities.

3. What choices or shifts would move you in the direction of your most compelling “What if?” possibility?

Now you have a list of questions, which one is most compelling? Start there. Then begin to ponder the types of choices and decisions which would move you towards the possibility. When your dreams come from “What if?” scenarios are the real desires of your heart. Maybe they are the possibilities you simply need to give yourself permission to pursue. They may be short or long term goals but chances are they are more long-term goals. Don’t let it discourage you.  Brainstorm and get a game plan in place. Talk to others and if it feels like the right goal, set it then make a timeline to start moving towards it.

I challenge you to explore your possibilities by creating and answering at least three “What if?” questions to help you see your possibilities for resolving your most persistent problem. Scary, right?  You can do this, I believe in you!

Can’t come up with your own questions?  Try one or all of these:

  1. What if you were entirely debt free – no credit card debt, no loans, no mortgage? What choices could you put in place to lead you to this reality?
  2. What if you stopped trying to prove a point in your most difficult relationship(s)? How would things shift for you if you simply refused to spend your energy debating?
  3. What if your schedule was entirely up to you to determine? What would change for you? What opportunity could bring this reality to life? What choices would position you for such an opportunity?

Let us hear from you… what is your “what if” question or questions?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Mid-Year Check Up

 

OMG!  The minute you look at the calendar and realize we are half way through the year? I love my “passion planner“!  Each month it helps me to reflect on the past 30 days and plan for the next based on my goals.  When I turn the page on Saturday, it is going to have me look at the last 6 months and honestly, I’m not sure what it will reveal.

The year is half over and it is a great time to check in with yourself (and your goals) – a chance to celebrate your accomplishments or get back on track.  Here are four questions to ask yourself as you head into the second half of the year, courtesy of Valerie Burton:

1. What accomplishment are you most proud of so far this year?

I usually breeze through my accomplishments without acknowledging what it took to achieve them.  I looked back on the las six months and realized, I have done A LOT  personally and professionally.  It can be as small as a shift in your thinking (slamming the door on Negative Nellie) or reaching a major goal, either way, take a minute and answer this question: What are you most proud of in the last six months?

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing it but for me, the biggest accomplishment was earning the Leadership Incentive Trip from Thirty One.  The second accomplishment was earning a spot in the 2K group based on consistent sales.  My mantra has been “I am a successful CEO” and I am speaking it into the Universe every day!

2. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far this year?

It isn’t always the goal you achieve but the journey on the way to the goal which is the most valuable.  As we work towards goals, we learn lessons we might not have learned otherwise. The lessons help to shape you for the rest of your journey which helps you to set and reach meaningful goals.

My biggest lesson has been “embrace the season I am in”.  Health issues have made for some interesting days and resulted in some days of depression.  I am grateful for an amazing upline and friend who gave me permission to “be where I am” without judgement.  Yes, I needed permission.

3. What is the most meaningful milestone you could accomplish by the end of this year?

We set lots of goals, but it’s important to understand the goal which will be most meaningful and gratifying to you. Maybe it is about your business: the numbers, or a earning a trip, or growing your team or making a difference in the lives of others.  Maybe it is something personal (confidence, declutter, losing weight, etc.).  It is not just looking at the resolutions (or goals) you wrote down on New Year’s Day, it is about digging deeper. It is when you ask yourself, ‘if I could accomplish just one thing the remainder of this year, the one which holds the most meaning for me, what would it be’?  Understand totally why it matters so much to you. The deeper the meaning, the more likely you are to push through no matter what to reach it. So, why is it so meaningful?  What will it mean to accomplish this particular milestone?  How will it feel?

Honestly, I’m not sure what it is.  I need to do some deep digging but I am leaning towards  hitting my goal weight.  My weight issues are linked to so many other things for me – personally and professionally.

4. What would make it easier for you to reach this milestone?

You have set a goal – one which matters the most to you, right?  The reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they haven’t set themselves up for success.  What are the things holding you back from reaching this goal?  Did you know your chances will decrease in reaching your goal unless you remove or reduce obstacles which are in your way?  So ask yourself: What can I move out of the way? Who can I invite into the process? Or what can I drop from my schedule to free up some space, energy and time.

Can I move ME out of the way?  I went back to Weight Watchers because I know I can’t do it on my own – Step 1.  The problem is ME!  Old habits linked to fear, doubt and lack of confidence keep me in the yo-yo game of reaching goal.  OUCH!

So, here is my challenge to you:  Do a quick mid-year review of your progress and establish your focus for the second half of the year.  Think about the four questions and write the responses down.  Be honest with yourself.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Judgment Becomes Curiosity

Judgement is defined as the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, from circumstances presented to the mind”.  How many times have you judged or been judged by someone – no matter what the reason?  I know we try our best NOT to judge but isn’t it human nature to judge others.  

Think about it, isn’t it natural to form an opinion about information we receive.  The problem arises when we proclaim our opinion as the truth, even when we don’t have enough information to come to a definite conclusion.

We judge people for the way they look.  We judge people for the way they dress, where they live, what we “think” their life is like, what they eat, how they act……….you get the picture, right?  In direct sales, we judge those who may be potential customers and/or recruits.  We have already decided they may or may not buy or join based on what we think or what we perceive.  BUT have we talked to them?  Have we asked them any questions?

The first step in changing this habit is to be aware of your tendency to do it AND admitting it.  When you stop judging others, you will notice yourself connecting with people more authentically and learning valuable information about them. When others feel like they are being heard, they are more open to hearing you.

I challenge you to try this: The next time you are tempted to be judgmental, instead, be curious. Instead of deciding you know their motives, intentions or backstory, withhold those judgments and listen. The only way to build bridges is to refuse to jump to conclusions, and instead be curious.

1. Be curious by asking questions of yourself.

  • Why do you suppose they did/said/feel that?
  • How does it affect me, if at all?
  • Why does it bother me?
  • What could I learn from this person or situation?

2. Be curious by asking questions of others.

What if we asked them to tell us more about (fill in the blank)?  Or maybe you have been in their shoes, so you can share with them, or ask how they are feeling.  Better yet, say nothing at all. Let them talk and just listen.

We can learn so much about people by turning away from judgment and towards curiosity. When you ask those two questions – of yourself and others – you will gain a new unexpected perspective or a new piece of information providing insight you might not have had before.  It will help you build trust which will  open the door to greater connection.

Who have you been (tempted to be) judgmental towards recently? At work? On social media? With a friend or family member?

Think about your business…. have you heard those cues about needing more time, or money?  Have you hesitated because you had already decided they wouldn’t be interested or couldn’t afford the enrollment kit?  Have you missed an opportunity to connect with someone new?  Maybe you have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because you pre-judged them and their situation.

I recently heard another leader with Thirty One talk about how she offers the opportunity to everyone.  Not who she thinks would be interested but everyone.  What is the worse thing that could happen?  They say NO!  Imagine if they said yes!  She believes EVERYONE will be on her team at some point in time, it is all a matter of time.  Do you know what has happened to her business?  It has grown by leaps and bounds.  She has gone from judgemental to curious.

What would happen if you were curious instead of judgement? Share your AHA moment with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

Want to Sound More Confident?

I don’t read a lot of books, since I have a hard time remembering BUT I do love the core principles Valerie Burton outlined in her book, Successful Women Think Differently.  

Your thoughts create your actions.  I have said it a million times, think negative thoughts and more negative things happen.  Think positive thoughts and more positive things happen.  For me, sometimes I don’t realize I am thinking negative thoughts.  Crazy, right?  How many times have the words “don’t” or “need” or “won’t” been in your thoughts?  The Universe seldom hears things after these words.  I never really understood it until I started a list of positive mantras and read them every morning.  I claim the things I want and I am getting them – slowly but they are coming.

When you become aware of what you are saying to yourself about things, you can consciously decide if the thought is moving you toward your goals or farther away. Thoughts don’t just lead you to take actions,  your thoughts also shape the sound of your voice. Yes, the tone of our internal voices will reflect on the outside and others will see it.

Our voice is an expression of our internal state. If our internal state is anxious and you think danger is imminent, our voice will reflect anxiety. I have seen this play out so many times.  On the inside, I am stressing about money, relationships, business or whatever – on the outside, I am snappy and tense.  Our body responds to our thoughts.  No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to hide it.

Here is the “technical reason”: The sound of your voice is regulated by the vagus nerve, which is central to the parasympathetic nervous system. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, which can happen as a fight-or-flight response to anxiety-producing thoughts, the vocal cord muscle spasms. This can cause your voice to quiver or ‘sound nervous’. Additionally, when stressed or nervous, you typically don’t breathe deeply. As a result, you don’t have the air which creates the pressure needed for a strong, consistent voice quality.

How can you change things to sound more confident?

1. Become aware of your thoughts and redirect counterproductive ones. Basically, go from a negative thought to a positive one.  Instead of “No one wants to book parties” or “It is taking so long to pay off my debt”, intentionally change the thought.  If you can, change your environment – go for a walk, a ride or just sit out in the sunshine and watch the clouds.  Choose a new thought – like “I am a booking machine” or “I have enough money to pay off my debt”.  Do something (anything) to get your mind moving in a new direction.

2. Exercise. Exercise purges negative energy.  It is true.  I don’t mean you have to go to the gym to exercise, unless you want to.  For me, it means a walk around the block or some housecleaning or turn on the music and dance.

3. Practice. We have heard most of our lives “practice makes perfect”.  While we aren’t looking for perfection, we are looking to feel confident.  Need to do a presentation in from of a group and you feel uncomfortable or anxious – practice what you are going to say in advance. Some will say you should even record it and listen to find the areas where you want to improve. Take a video on your phone or have someone else film you.  Then watch it back.  Don’t be overly hard on yourself, just look for ways to improve.  You don’t need to be PERFECT but you want to get rid of the nervous energy.

4. Hydrate. Hydration alleviates dry mouth. Drink water before or during important conversations.  In the beginning of talking to a group of any size, I am nervous.  I usually ask for a glass of water or keep a bottle of water handy.  When I feel like I am talking too fast or my nervousness is showing, I stop, take a sip of water, breathe and move on.  It really does make a difference.  It is like the water washes away the nervousness.

5. Talk it out. This one is tough for me because when I have the negative thoughts and I try to share them, I get emotional.  I have been blessed with friends, old and new, who help me to put my negative thinking into perspective.  Be careful and choose wisely.  Be sure you pick someone to share with who will help put the negative thoughts into perspective restoring a sense of confidence and calm.

These are some basic steps which will help, I know because I continue to practice all of them at some point in my life.  As you become more aware of the negative thoughts, you will be able to convert them to  positive thoughts and actions to help you move forward.

What thoughts make you anxious and chip away at your confidence?

Hope Wissel

Your Life Purpose

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  Could be in this house? Or this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  We have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Some have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last week or so since my birthday.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  What about you?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  If not, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is to “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special and worthy”.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life.  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

I think about my success as a Social Work…. it was the answer to the question, how is this person’s life better because I met them?  In my family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m here?  Some may think this means I am self-absorbed or conceited.  I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question. Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!