Magic Cap Prevents Abuse – Forbes and Dalai Lama, “Compassion is Essential”

I look in the mirror…

Whew! No black eye, no bruised cheek, no bloody lip. No physical evidence of the abuse, abuse I have subjected myself to over the last couple of weeks, all because I took off my CAP. My Compassion. Acceptance and Presence for and with myself.

Sure, I still remembered to wear it with others, but I forgot about myself. I got busy and did not hold the space to cut myself some slack for being human, for having concerns and needs, and for experiencing emotions that interfere with my efficiency in getting things done to my own standards.

Yes, we all go through this occasionally. The clue is not to stay there too long. Fortunately, I check in with myself regularly and simply ask “How alive, connected and supported do I feel?” if the answer on a 10 point scale is less than eight, I know it is time to adjust my CAP or in this case, figure out where I had last seen it.

The Dalai Lama once said, “COMPASSION is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” I totally agree.
And Forbes magazine recently offered a great article on COMPASSION and the bottom line in business. A good read. You will find the link at the bottom of this post.

Compassion is a universal good; we need it all the time as we walk through life. Everyone we encounter needs it and we need it for ourselves. As often as it is denied, the same is true for ACCEPTANCE for others and first for ourselves.

So what is the role of PRESENCE in the magic CAP? Simple, you cannot offer compassion and acceptance if you are not present. The desire to be “somewhere” other than the space, the moment, than we are currently in, causes discord and distress in and around us. We practice various forms of absence; multi-tasking, overcommitting, busy-work and worrying are common ways in which we try to escape the present rather than be with our discomfort. In case you are wondering, this is as helpful and effective (and often as painful) as using a really hot towel on a sunburn, so why expend the energy?

Compassion. Acceptance. Presence. In life. In business. At home. At work. Everywhere. All the time. Good for you. Good for the world. Put on your CAP and carry on making the world a wonderful place because YOU are in it!

Know someone who never cuts themselves a little slack? Why not share this article with them!
And as I promised: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/03/19/the-power-of-compassion-to-drive-your-bottom-line/

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Posted in Burnout Prevention, Insights, Success Tips | 7 Comments

Debunking the “Magic Elves” Myth – Just Get It Done

Hey there!

Once again, Make It Happen Monday has arrived and with it, an epiphany for me.

Thanks for allowing me to share. (Ok, I know I didn’t ask, but you’re still reading.)

I have come to realize that despite what I’d like to think of as an empowered mindset, there are a few activities that no matter how they are framed, I will not enjoy them. In fact, I may never even get to the point of not not liking them. I won’t bore you with the details but most, if not all, of these things involve detailed administrative work, as in preparing taxes, controlling and the myriad of backend technical activities that are necessary to run a business.

Yes, at some point lots of these things can be delegated and outsourced, yet as a smart business owner, you still need to have an overview of what is going on. So that said, what do you usually do with those tasks that you don’t really enjoy? If you are like most people, you push them down to the bottom of your list and secretly hope they will be done by the “magic elves”, yes, those same magic elves that come in at night and sew your favorite jacket in by several inches, so that it suddenly becomes too tight to even think of wearing. (Oddly, this usually happens shortly after the holidays.)

Of course, after their little tailoring frenzy, the lazy little trolls never get around to the things you really want done. And well…there is no easy way to tell you this, but it’s because they are a myth. Yep, your jackets are too tight, for the same reason mine are, because you have fluffed up a little; nothing more, nothing less. Oh and the magic elves won’t ever get around to those other things you need to have done, either.

So the elves don’t do it, nor do you. Instead you busy yourself with less crucial but much more pleasant activities that create an extremely plausible illusion of you being very productive, when in fact you are just busy. You move at the speed of light – as you go nowhere really fast. Some of us get so good at this that by the end of a day, we have checked off a list of no less than 47 to-do’s, we are totally exhausted and yet that ONE thing that must be finished by the end of the week is left undone. And that is the thing that exhausts us most!

When we know that something must be done and we continually push it aside, it takes energy to repeatedly ban it from our thoughts. Energy that could be used to actually get it done. Again, trust me, those elves are useless when it comes to filing anything.

So what do you do, when even the most powerful reframing along the lines of “Billing means that money is coming in for the great services I provide…” has lost its motivational appeal?
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The magic answer is…. delegate it or do it. Yes, you knew it all along, there really is no magic to it.

What is almost magical is that wonderful lightness that comes over you, once you have “that thing” done and that surge of energy, because you are no longer channeling energy into avoiding something.

So what is THE one thing that if you got it done, it would make today feel like a raging success?

Hint, if you are not sure, look waaaay down your list for the task that despite its importance, seems to have no urgency on your part. Now, keep calm and delegate it or do it. Now.

A NOTE: It’s ok to just “buckle down” and get things done sometimes, however, if you find yourself trudging through every day and everything seems hard or you don’t feel motivated by anything, it’s time to take a closer look at what is really getting in your way. I help overcommitted professionals regain control of their lives and break free from struggle, stress and burnout.
Call me to find out how I can help you, +49 176 556 19 112 or send me an e-mail at coach[at]banks-grasedyck.com.

p.s. I’m grateful to know some pretty smart people and I am always happy when I can introduce their genius to others. Check out this great article on Create Environments That Support Your Success. It is written by one of my mentors, Ali Brown. Entrepreneur mentor, Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that makes a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at http://www.AliBrown.com”

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Denise Banks-Grasedyck(l) with Ali Brown(r) in Los Angeles

 

 

Posted in Insights, Success Tips, Take Charge of Your Life | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

You Must Be Joking – Laughing Reduces Stress

It usually happens about four minutes into the conversation. A few pleasantries are exchanged. The short bios are recited. I say that I have lived in Berlin for twenty-five years and then, they pop the question!

No, not that one. The one I have been waiting for. The one that is part of my funny-spiel.

With great anticipation, they ask, “So, how did you get from the United States to Berlin, Germany?”

And before my pubescent 12-year-old can finish rolling her eyes, I respond, with too much glee to be dignified, “On an airplane!”

Oh, if you could see inside of me, you would see the little hands of my inner child clapping with delight.
This always, always, always get a laugh- albeit sometimes only from me.

You see, I really enjoy making people laugh and unfortunately, I am not that great at telling jokes. Somewhere along the way, I decided not to let that stop me and discovered that that is perfectly fine.


People like to laugh. It makes them (and us) feel good, so they are gracious and laugh. Within seconds of laughing we relax, our shoulders sink just a little and within minutes that initial stress of assessing this stranger subsides, we feel at ease with someone we have never met before.

What some people don’t realize is how much good it does for our health when we laugh. Laughter has been proven to have both short-term and long-term benefits, including immediately reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and improving our mood. In that regard, laughing has a lot in common with aerobic sports, so you can either run a marathon or join a laugh-a-thon.

Years ago I ran the Berlin marathon; I am sure it was right after that that I discovered my passion for laughing and bringing humor into the world. So, if you see me running more than 5k, you can be fairly sure that I am either being chased, or my skirt is caught in the door of a moving car. But I digress.

So now that you know that laughing helps reduce stress, what now?

I’m so glad you asked. The obvious and probably easiest thing to do now is laugh more! Expose yourself to more humor and opportunities to laugh as often as possible.

Six suggests to bring more laughter into your day:
•Get yourself a funny calendar or a joke app for your e-devices.
•Subscribe to a funny channel on YouTube. (see resources below)
•Buy a book of one liners or funny short stories and the moment you sit down at your desk, before you start working, get your five minute funny-fix.
•Everyone has that one friend or family member, who always makes them laugh. Put your funny friend (sounds odd) on speed-dial!
•Stop hanging out with Dan and Debbie Downer! Invite people who make you laugh out to lunch and join them for those short breaks in the office kitchen.
•Play “Remember when”… whether at home or in the office, we usually have a few shared funny stories that can bring down the house with laughter, just by saying, “Hey, remember when….”.

And, if all else fails, give me a ring for some of my, let’s call it “special” humor and don’t say, you weren’t warned.

Here are some additional resources which you may find helpful or just plain funny.
*Note that I do not endorse these resources or the views they present nor do I assume liability for any of the resources listed. Use of any of the information and/or products listed is at your own risk:

An article from the Mayo Clinic on laughter and stress management*
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456?footprints=mine

Baby Micah laughs*

A Buzzfeed list of reportedly funny books – although I am NOT endorsing it, I cried big fat tears of laughter while reading “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris, just saying*
http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinchack/books-guaranteed-to-make-you-laugh-out-loud

If you like this post, leave me message and share it with your friends and colleagues!

Posted in Burnout Prevention, Insights, Stress Management | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Want to tame and train your inner critic? – You learned this in kindergarten.

Here we are at the beginning of a new week, full of new possibilities and opportunities to grow and learn and to live fully!

I woke up to beautiful, warm sunshine streaming into my bedroom, already buzzing with excitement about the things happening in my business and just generally grateful for this beautiful life. Before I even got out of bed I knew today would be awesome, and it has been thus far!

When you think about it, isn’t that how it usually works out?

When you think it will be a great day, somehow the day rises up to meet that challenge. And when you allow yourself to get caught up in that dialogue with your inner critic, you know that nagging voice that sometimes pops into your heard, you begin to focus on all the reasons that your day is going to SUCK – et voila!- it usually does.

Well, that is how it usually plays out for me anyway. And being prone to bouts of deductive reasoning, I made the decision to stop entertaining that inner critic, whom I often refer to as Deedee Doomanddont (pronounced “doom and don’t”), unless she had something constructive to say. Since Deedee is quite social and loves company, she had to play by my rules or GET OUT OF MY HEAD.

So how do you tame your inner critic? How do you get that voice of the Deedee Doomanddonts, the Debbie Downers and the Willy Whatifyoufails to stop filling your head with self-fulfilling and self-defeating doom-and-don’t thoughts?

There are lots of techniques to help you tame and train your inner critic to support you. This one is bare-bones simple – STOP LISTENING! Turn Your Back on Your Inner Critic

I literally began cutting my inner critic off in her tracks. Each time “you can’t do that”, “this is going to be a disaster” or some other “doom and don’t” statement came up, I silenced the voice with a childhood trick; simply repeating, “You are talking to me, I am not listening! Unless you can say something nice, don’t say anything!*”

Continue to repeat until you no longer hear that voice or it begins to offer encouragement and constructive, creative ideas on how you CAN make something happen. It takes some determination- and the willingness to say this aloud if necessary, but it works like a charm.

Today is a perfect day to try this out and let me know how it works for you! Have an amazing week- you already know it will be!

*NOTE: You learn lots of useful stuff growing up with seven siblings. And in case any of them are reading, I adore my brothers and sisters!

Posted in Insights, Success Tips, Take Charge of Your Life | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

When Your Life and Your Values Are Out of Sync – This is really personal

Somewhere in the capital city of Germany, an alarm clock rings; it is 6 a.m. Rise and shine you beautiful thing!

A woman pops up at the edge of her bed, stretches her arms above her head and tossing back her lovely mane of curls, squeals with delight as Katrina and the Waves belt out “Walking On Sunshine” from the iPod on her alarm clock speakers.  The woman hops out of bed and in her favorite silk pajamas, dances her way to the shower. This. Happens. Every. Morning.

Yes, I am sure this happens every morning, someplace in my city, but it definitely does not happen at my house!

Although I am definitely not a pop-n-go early riser, like the woman above, once the fog has lifted, I look forward to every new day. It’s not unusual to find me singing the minute my feet (finally) hit the floor. I look forward to every day. Everything is as it should be.  That is what it feels like when your life is in sync with your core values and who you really are.

I know, because it hasn’t always been that way for me. In fact, I have been through times of real discord in my life, when I was struggling to be all things to all people and nothing seemed to fit.  At the worst point, not only did I not know who I was, I lost sight of who I wanted to become and risked losing everyone and everything I cared about in the process. Instead of walking on sunshine, I was treading on eggshells. And that was the turning point.

So what is the big deal about values? There are different kinds of values, like the general collective values that help us  live together in a society because they inform what is considered acceptable or inacceptable, right or wrong.

There are personal values which are unique to the individual. These values represent what is most important to us at an integral level and may include the collective values of society or not.

It is fairly easy to guess what happens to us when the life we lead is out of sync with the collective values around us; we risk being excluded or cutoff from society and in many cases, there are defined repercussions. For example, if being honest and not stealing are not in your set of values, you may well find yourself arrested the next time you visit a shopping center. Yes, that is a “no brainer” example.

But what happens when you lead a life that does not honor your personal values; a life that basically denies who you truly are?  You become frayed at the core of your being, from being pulled in different directions. You get off balance and your life and your way of living no longer reflects who you are. If this sounds like a place you’d really rather not be in, you are getting the picture.  But how does a smart, successful go-getter like you, even get into such an undesirable state? Usually it happens unintentionally, and most often, one desynchronizing, self-dishonoring decision at a time.  Often it happens simply because we “get what we want.”

The trouble with getting what we want is that we often misinterpret our own needs and desires; instead substituting with ideas of what we think we want, often based on the perceived expectations of our environment. In some cases, it may be our personal environment and in others it may be our work environment.

Here is an illustration of a work environment conflict.  If your work environment is one that expects you to want to manage personnel who do the operational work and your core value craves the role and recognition of the analytical expert doing the work yourself, if the environment is not flexible,  you will have a conflict.

Let’s say, that you perceive that you are expected to want a bigger salary and an exclusive office with the trade off being more hours spent in that office. At the same time, your core value craves a balanced life in which time with your family and being an active parent in your child’s life is highly valued.  You will feel you are being pulled in different directions.

In either of the examples, if you begin to act according to the external expectations, you will slowly lose your balance and your way of living will no longer reflect your core values. It starts that easily.

If you allow this to continue, you will become frayed at the core. This is the foundation for what is often referred to as burn-out.  It does not have to get that far. We’ve heard it before; just say “no!” Say no, to whatever does not respect your core values. Say no, to actions that requires you to deny any part of yourself essential to you being authentic.

To love who you are- even the nutty parts, to love what you do – even the difficult stuff, to know that you are fulfilling your purpose- through your actions as well as in the moments of stillness – that is what it feels like when your actions and your life are in sync with your core values and who you really are.

Posted in Authenticity, Insights, Work, Life and Balance | 14 Comments

The Little Beast Called “Conference Call” – Another Foe of the Overcommitted Professional

People walk in at various stages of a meeting that has more or less begun. They are introduced by the “off-camera” voice of the virtual operator. They introduce themselves again. They talk over each other, coffee machines hiss, buzzers buzz, toilets flush, dogs bark with the vocal capacity of classically trained tenors on steroids, suggestions are made, arguments presented and questions repeated.

The scene is funny and uncannily familiar, I think, as I watch the video posted on the Huffington Post online. The video sketch depicts what it would be like if in-person meetings ran analog to many conference calls.

Ah yes, the conference call, it may appear harmless, but be forewarned, this little beast eats unsuspecting OCPs (a.k.a. overcommitted professionals) for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.Why did I agree to this?!

Yes, the “real life” conference call sketch is funny, until you think about all the time and energy expended every day in corporate offices around the globe on calls EXACTLY like the video depiction.  The time and energy wasted contributes to more overload for overcommitted professionals, like you. That’s where the fun ends.

It doesn’t have to be that way. A well-organized conference call can be a great time and money saver as well as an excellent way to support your team-building efforts amongst colleagues that work as virtual teams, sometimes thousands of miles apart.

Here are a few simple tips to help you and your team or colleagues make the most of conference calls and your time and energy, instead of being one more commitment that should have been avoided.

  • Conference calls need structure and clear rules of etiquette similar to those of a live meeting.  Before you commit to the meeting, ask for the agenda and if you are hosting the meeting, remind people in advance of what is expected and acceptable behavior on the call.
  • Just as you would not take a screaming baby, a barking dog or your hissing espresso maker into a live meeting, you should not allow them into the conference call. This is why the mute button exists; use it! Unless you are speaking,  mute your phone.
  • To avoid those annoying moments when you present your arguments for five heated minutes only to remember that you are on mute, simply pay attention!  Stop. Multi-tasking. During. Conference. Calls!Actually, do yourself a favor and just stop multi-tasking altogether. Studies show that this simple act, being fully present with the business at hand, will improve your efficiency and proficiency in almost anything you do.
  • Give each other the respect of being present and you may actually find that a conference call can be a fantastic budget-friendly time saver that actually supports and increases efficiency.
  • Follow this simple rule, if you wouldn’t do it in a conference room, don’t do it on a conference call.
  • Last and most importantly, before you commit to a conference call, do a Triple-A check:
    • ASSESS the need for you to commit.  Is there a real need for your participation? If not, don’t commit.
    • ALIGN the activity with your goals. Does this contribute to what you want to achieve today or in the long-term?  If not, don’t commit.
    • ACCEPT / APPROVE only those commitments that receive a “yes” on the assessment and alignment questions.

Every commitment is a step that is either on or off your path to freedom and your ideal life. You choose. You MAKE IT HAPPEN!

P.s. If you want an example of how not to run a conference call, see the video at the link below: http://www.huffingtonpostcom/2014/01/24/conference-call-real-life_n_4662007.html

Posted in Insights, Success Tips, Work, Life and Balance | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Are You an Overcommitted Professional? Not Sure – Check Your Résumé.

Hey there, are you an overcommitted professional?

Hmmmm. Good question, right?

Here is a tip to help you answer that question. If you woke up this morning after sleeping less than your usual five hours because you were up

  • writing that 5-page client report for this morning,
  • finalizing the presentation for your team for this afternoon,
  • baking and decorating two cakes for the school fair today (you’ll have to leave work early for that),
  • planning and sending out the invitations to the fundraising dinner next week (which you are hosting),
  • drafting the marketing communication for the afterschool program for inner-city kids that your church runs (you really want to help) AND
  • cleaning out the fridge (someone had to do it),

yes,  if this real-life scenario resembles you and your life in any way, it is highly possible and more than probable, that YOU are an overcommitted professional.

For busy professionals, because you have a natural tendency toward achievement and you love helping others as well, it isn’t always easy to recognize just how overcommitted and overextended you are until you reach the point of being completely overwhelmed, even to the point of burn-out.

By then, often not only is your career in danger, but a lot of damage has been done to your physical and mental health, your relationships and your life in general.

There are little tell-tale signs, that at first glance look harmless or even worse, smashingly positive.

Here is one little check that can be a strong indicator that you are overcommitted. Check your current résumé! Take a moment to have a look at your CV.

How many professional organizations do you list, of which you are currently an active member? More than three? More than five?

How many sporting and social clubs are you actively involved in at the moment? How many charitable or other community organizations do you actively support with your time and energy?

Chances are that what you have listed on your CV is only the tip of the iceberg. What about your children’s schools; are you still president of the PTA and Chairperson of the “Classics are Cool” Campaign, to raise funds for a grand piano for the music department of every school in your state?

Even if you checked off only one or two in each category, remember, it all adds up and then you add the responsibility and time and energy needed to manage a demanding job, an active family and the need for a little basic self-care on top of that!

Is this never ceasing state of activity, “always in motion and seldom in the moment”, really your idea of a life you love?

Maybe you are thinking, I really love all the things I do, so why should I give up what I love?

You don’t have to give up anything, unless you choose to do so. Just remember that if your hands (or your life) are filled to capacity, you can’t grasp something new, no matter how much you want it.

You can learn to sharpen your focus on what is most important to you at this time, so that you can really be present and live that now. Tomorrow, you may choose a new focus. You get to decide – in every given moment, you can choose.

An honest assessment of where you are and how satisfied you are with the life you are living, is the first step to creating the life you want. Once you are aware of the gaps between what is most important to you, your core values, and how you are actually living, it becomes easier to MAKE CHOICES that are aligned with your values and TAKE ACTION that is on course on your path to freedom and your ideal life.

If you are ready to break free from over-commitment and commit to a life you love, I am your Freedom Fighter for the overcommitted professional, here to help you MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Call me today at +49 176 556 19 122 for your no-cost consultation in English or German.

Posted in Burnout Prevention, Insights, Work, Life and Balance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

A DREAM – IF IT’S WORTH DYING FOR, SHOULDN’T IT BE WORTH LIVING FOR?

“Yeah, they punched me in the face and kicked me. I’ve been put in the hospital a few times,” he said, peering into the space in front of him. “It doesn’t matter. They know what I stand for
and I ‘m gonna keep talking about it.”

No emotion, just a strong, determined look and eyes that flickered with a flame from somewhere deep inside; you know, that place where true conviction, searing passion and our biggest dreams reside. To say the least, I was impressed, moved and fascinated. A quick shudder went up my spine causing me to tremor. The seventeen-year-old caught my involuntary spasm, stopped speaking, shifted upward and smiled almost apologetically.

This week there are celebrations around the world to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of peaceful change and his dream of a world in which fear, hate and discrimination are completely displaced and replaced, by love, peace and justice. Dr. King had a dream that he was willing to be beaten, jailed and ultimately, to die for.

MLK's dream is alive in the transatlantic dialogue!

MLK’s dream is alive in the transatlantic dialogue!

MLK celebrations are also taking place here in Berlin, Germany, where I live. I was thrilled and honored to be invited to participate in one of those events entitled, “We Have a Dream – Values in the Transatlantic Dialogue”,  where I had the opportunity to facilitate discussions, among other things, on the causes and responses to racism and discrimination with a group of 15 to 19 year olds from different regions of the country.

One of the students I had the privilege to work with was the seventeen-year-old young German, whom we will call Daniel1, who lives in one of the regions known for its right-wing affinity and who has been the target of multiple violent beatings.

Daniel has been attacked repeatedly simply because of his conviction to the dream that he shares with Dr. Martin Luther King. Daniel is committed to creating a world of peace, freedom and justice for all people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, and he refuses to let anyone or anything get in his way. He is utterly committed to his dream, his big goal based on his core values and Daniel’s words, his actions; really everything about him is aligned to making it happen. This kid is on fire!

Being in Daniel’s presence reminded me of that moment when a client tells me about that ultimate dream or the people and things that are most important in their life, for a moment they too are on fire. “Yes! Yes, more than anything, that is what I want. I would die for (insert: my dream, my family, my …. )!”

When we begin to look at how their goals and actions support and align with the dream, the fire dims to glowing embers, doused by fear. The bigger, the bolder our dreams are, the more daunting it can seem to us. The more we value something, the greater is the fear of taking the wrong action, so we take no action at all. But a dream kept in a locked closet, or sealed away inside us, is nothing more than future regret in its seedling stage.

Fortunately, most of us have dreams that do not require us to give our lives, they simply require our commitment and willingness to take action – even if we have to take some hard knocks and like Daniel, the occasional a**-whippin’ to make it happen.

Do you have a dream worth living for?

If you are ready to stop hiding behind “too much to do”, “too much stress” and “not enough…” and make that happen, call me now
at +49 176 556 19 112 or e-mail me at the address below for a free consultation.

And honestly, if you believe something is worth dying for, it surely deserves your best effort at living for!

1 The name has been changed for privacy protection.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I am Denise Banks-Grasedyck, a certified professional coach, specializing in personal and professional development. I am an entrepreneur, wife mother, burn-out prevention advocate and I am also known as Your Ideal Life Expert. I work with people around the world, especially overcommitted professionals living on the edge of burnout. I help them regain control of their lives, avoid burnout or recover from it, so they can manage a successful career and an active family and still have time and energy for themselves and the things which they are passionate about.

HOW WE MAKE IT HAPPEN: I help my clients create a clear picture of what their ideal life looks like and develop a mindset, a roadmap and an action plan to get them from where they are now to where they want to be, in as little as 12 weeks. The amazing result is that my clients feel healthier and less stressed, their job performance is top, they have more time to spend with family and friends and they love living a life that is the ideal life for them.

The best feedback (and the most heart-warming compliment) I have ever received from a client?
“This is how I imagined my life, but I never really thought I would be this happy. …I could not have done this without you. You saved my life. ”

Make It Happen!

Make It Happen!

Posted in Insights, Out of the Comfort Zone, Take Charge of Your Life | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

About Taking Action and Accountability Partners

Happy Fantastic Friday! Before you take off for the weekend, I wanted to give you something, so I wrote this for you. I hope you like it!

With the year still so young, lots of us still have our attention on defining goals and planning for the future. Some are making a single plan for 2014 and others are immersed in expansive five-year plans. It can be so exciting and motivating to envision our fantastic futures that we get lost in that space, planning, revising and optimizing tomorrow. For some it can be a little daunting or even down right frightening to see that bit of the unknown and the uncertain sprawled before us on paper or across our computer screen. Whether you are at either end of this spectrum or like me, depending on the goal, you pendulate someplace in between, it is crucial to your success to remember that even with the most empowered and abundant mindset the only impact we have on our future is through the ACTIONS WE TAKE IN THE PRESENT.
Your Future

With that said, I encourage you to cross that last “t” and dot the last “i” in your plans for this year and then take some action toward making that thing that you most want in your life happen – now.
By the way, I know that having an accountability partner can really help you keep up your motivation and your momentum so you achieve your goals at a higher rate and often at a much faster past. Your accountability partner is simply someone to share your goals with, to remind you to keep stepping and who will not let you get away with selling yourself short! Make It Happen.

Who is the accountability partner that you rely on, to simultaneously give you a back-pat of encouragement and a gentle kick in the rear? If you don’t have one and would like to have one, we should talk. Call me at +49 (0)176 556 19 112.

Wishing you a Fantastic Friday and grace for today!

Denise
http://www.banks-grasedyck.com

Posted in Insights, Out of the Comfort Zone, Take Charge of Your Life | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

You Want What You Want, But Why? How to Keep Your Promises and Reach Your Goals in 2014

Happy New YearHappy New Year!
It seems like only yesterday, corks were popping as we welcomed in the New Year and while 2014 is indeed quite young, many of the millions of resolutions made with vigorous conviction are already fading to the back of our minds. There they will remain, inactive, or so you think. The truth is our abandoned resolutions and the broken promises we make to ourselves, still have the power to drain our energy like a parasite that only looks harmless until you take it under the loop for examination.
It is when we take a closer look at the nature of broken resolutions and neglected goals that we realize that the promises that we repeatedly make and break to ourselves are harmful and left to nest at the back of our minds, they grow roots of self-defeat that can suck the life out of our hopes, dreams and visions.
Am I being too melodramatic? You tell me. What I know for sure is that the more often we break promises to ourselves, the easier it gets to break them. Think of that fitness club membership that you never use. And the more often we break our promises to ourselves, the less likely we are to achieve our goals and live our dreams. It doesn’t have to be this way.

So what can you do to make promises to yourself that you will keep? At the risk of sounding like your mother, the key to succeeding here is knowledge- and action. Knowing WHAT you want to achieve is important and knowing WHY is even more important and knowing HOW the why connects to your core values is absolutely essential. When you are fully aware of the responses to these three questioning words, the action part becomes so much easier.
Let’s look at THE New Year’s resolution classics of how this works. Imagine your big 2014 goal is to lose 15 pounds. That is your what. Now, why do you want to lose 15 pounds? If your response is something like, “so, I can look better,” I challenge you to connect “So I can look better” to one of your innermost values what you and your life are about. If you have difficulty doing this, your resolution is already well down the path of defeat. Why? Because although there is a certain high that comes with rocking that pencil skirt or flexing the pecs under that rugged Henley shirt, at the most basic level, we desire more. We are wired for a purpose-driven life; we want things to matter to us and make a difference in our lives and the world around us.
Do you feel an argument, welling up inside you? Perhaps you are thinking, “Hey lady, I really do want to lose 15 pounds and look HOT, darn it!” O.k. Then get to the bottom of “why”. Let’s go back to the goal and try to find out where “looking better” fits into what is at the core of who you are and what you value.
What would “looking better” really mean to you? Imagine you have lost the weight. Go through the whole scenario in your mind as if you are living one day in your new body. How do look now? How does that make you feel? What is now different about your day or even about your life?
Let’s say you now imagine yourself wearing a fabulous outfit as you join a group of friends or colleagues for cocktails at a really “in” place, that you didn’t feel comfortable going to before (nor did you get invited.) Perhaps, the core value that is crying out for attention is “a sense of belonging” or “the need to feel accepted”. How much more powerful is that connection than simply “looking better”? Understanding what is driving you to make resolutions and other promises to yourself and the world, will help you to address the real issues and exponentially increase your chances of reaching any goal you choose.
So here’s another challenge from me to you: drag out all those resolutions nesting at the back of your mind – I know it may be a bit scary, but you can do it! Look at the what, examine the why and connect it to a core value. If you can’t connect the why to one of your core values, you may be trying to live up to something you think you “should” be doing simply because the world says so and not because you truly want to achieve this. If you are able to connect the why to a core value, make sure that it is a positive value, anything else is just your inner critic trying to convince you that you are less than worthy and less than absolutely fabulous. (This is something else that I know for sure: You and I were made to shine and radiate the magnificent light of our creator.)
So clear out the parasites at the back of your mind, so you can put all your energy into making your dreams come true and living up to who you are meant to be.

And I have said it before and I’ll say it again – while you may want to do so for your health, you don’t need to lose 15 or even 5 pounds to be accepted and appreciated, although you may need to drop some dead weight like negative thinking and superficial “friends”…
TAKE ACTION. MAKE IT HAPPEN! You don’t have to do it alone. Send me a message or give me a ring so we can get started on making this year, your year. A twenty minute consultation will only cost you twenty minutes of your time. That is a real deal!

Make It Happen!

Make It Happen!

Posted in Authenticity, Success Tips, Take Charge of Your Life, Work, Life and Balance | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments