On Being Authentic – Let the Real You Shine Through

red_poppy_GOKeefe“Authenticity is about letting go of all the perceptions, assumptions, mind-static and other stuff that limit the greatness of who we are and who we can become.” – Denise Banks-Grasedyck

To be authentic, you must not only love yourself at a profound level, but also like yourself at a very basic level, the “daily operating level”. If either is challenging you, take a step back, and begin with just appreciating one thing about you, that makes you feel good. From good, you move to great and beyond.

You deserve to be all that you can be. What is holding you back from being your most authentic and amazing self?

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New Year’s Resolutions and How to Make Promises that You Keep

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 and dreams.

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. Didn’t things start downhill with the first time you broke that Tuesday night promise to work out?  And the more often we break our promises to ourselves the easier it gets and the less likely we are to achieve our goals and live our dreams.

So what can you do to make promises to yourself that you will keep? At the risk of vaguely sounding like your mother, the key to succeeding here is knowledge. Knowing WHAT you want to achieve is very important. Knowing WHY is even more important. And knowing HOW the why connects to your core values is absolutely essential.

Using one of THE New Year’s resolution classics as an example, here is how it works. Imagine your big 2013 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 now challenge you to connect “so I can look better” to one of your innermost values. If you have difficulty doing this, your resolution is already well down the path of defeat. Why? Because even at the most basic level, we are wired for a purpose-driven life; we want things to matter to us and make a difference in our lives (and depending on our values, in the whole world.)

Do you feel an argument, welling up inside you? Perhaps you are thinking, “Hey lady, I really DO want to lose 15 pounds. And it is really important to me, 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? 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.

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 absolutely fabulous. (This is something else that I know for sure.) 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 just for the record, you don’t need to lose 15 pounds, or any weight at all, to be accepted and appreciated. Then again,  you just may need to drop some dead weight superficial “friends”…

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Can You Feel it?

Have you ever watched a TV casting show where the mentor is telling the contestant that they will be a lot more believable if they connect with the lyrics of the song? This is a lesson for each of us in life as well; you will be a lot more believable if you connect with what you are saying.

Take the time to speak from your heart and find a connection to whatever you are presenting at the time.  By doing this you will find greater success in “selling” your ideas to others.

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Facing Criticism Head On

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.

I know them. You know them. They are the people who always seem to know everything “better.” They want to put in their “two cents worth” into every discussion, every project and everything in between. These people especially love to criticize how others are doing things. It seems, there just may be an epidemic of “I can do it better.” My question to these people is, “If you can do it better than why aren’t you?”

Many people seem to be able to quickly criticize others, but that is where it stops. Very few take the chance and make the effort to try and improve what they dislike or criticize for fear of being criticized themselves. It is much easier to simply complain and point critical fingers at the work of others than to stand up, make changes and make good things happen!

If the possibility of criticism is what is holding you back, then I say, step forward and face that criticism; when others find fault in what you are doing it will be then that you will know you are on to something!

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What Are You Capable Of?

Whenever there is enthusiasm, there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.
—Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Passion, excitement and enthusiasm are all very important parts of success and ones that are often overlooked.

Consider for a moment a time in your career when you really weren’t excited about your job or a certain project. If you are truly honest with yourself, did you put your whole self into that job or project? Did you achieve the very best results you could have? Although it is possible to achieve good results when you lack passion, amazing results and grand accomplishments are much less likely. Consider another time in your life when you were really excited and enthusiastic about a project, were the results merely good or were they beyond what you could have imagined?

When we are excited and passionate we are definitely more likely to achieve great results than when a task or activity seems boring or when we lose our passion. The next time you find yourself “dragging your heels”, ask yourself what you can do to gain excitement about the project. Finding enthusiasm is a definite way to ensure better results and enjoy the process while you are in it!

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Bringing Your “A” Game

Believing in yourself can be the toughest battle you ever face in your lifetime. Some people are just born with the natural ability to believe in themselves and for those who struggle with this, it can be frustrating to see someone who is so assured of themselves. Today I challenge you to stop doubting yourself and start believing you can do it because the belief is half the battle.

When a successful athlete looks back on their career, yes their win/loss record is important, the athlete knows that the success would not have been possible if they had not first believed they could do it. They needed to dig down deep and believe they were always bringing their “A” game to each and every game or race. Truly successful athletes don’t dwell on a loss, they simply look for ways to improve and increase their chances of a win the next time.

The same holds true for you and for all of us. Take a good hard look at your life, both business and personal. What are your wins? What was it that you brought to that success? What are your losses? What lessons did you learn from those losses that will allow you to grow and improve your win/loss record? When you make it a habit to look for the lessons learned regardless of the “score”, you create own personal “zero-loss” record.

When you bring your “A” game to each and every thing you do and strive to do your very best and know that your best is always enough, it will be then that you can begin to believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself it will be then that you will start to attract and create the success you desire in all areas of your life.

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It’s Time to Step Outside of the Box

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time and time again I encourage my clients to think outside of the box. It is those that are willing to be unique that stand out. What can you do to stop being a “face in the crowd” and truly begin to show what you can bring to the table that is uniquely you?

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Don’t Allow Others to Dishonor Your Values

Do you know what is important to you?

Do you know what you value most?

More importantly, are you willing to take a stand for it?

So many times we find ourselves in situations where others are dishonoring us and making us feel unworthy. The truly successful are the people that are willing to stand their ground and never, ever let someone dishonor their values.

For example, if family is your number one priority, do you allow your family to take a backburner to your career? If you answered yes, you have no one to blame but yourself. You have allowed others to dishonor your values. You have a choice, even if you think you don’t. Don’t be afraid to fight for what is important to you.

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Do You Know Your Creative Side?

When I say be creative, I don’t mean you should all go and become great painters and great poets. I simply mean let your life be a painting, let your life be a poem.

You may not be an artist or a poet, but you are creative! Even the analytical people who would adamantly say they are not creative have creative elements to their being. Creative people are curious, adventurous and not afraid to take a risk. It is often the people that are in touch with their creativity that are able to find the greatest successes and enjoy life to the fullest. When you begin to explore your creative side it is then that you can start to build the life you desire.

The best way to find your creative side is to stop limiting yourself to the rigidity of rules and ask yourself “if there were no rules, what would I do in this situation?” Then let your mind wander …

I am in no way saying ignore all the rules, but if you truly want success you need to open your mind to exploring what is possible!! Bring out your creative side and build the life that creative people would paint about … bring your imagination and your dreams to life!

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Is Authenticity Possible?

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” – Andre Gide, French critic, essayist, & novelist

Today so much is said about being authentic and how important it is to succeed in business. In the age of the internet and multiple platforms from which we can present ourselves, we can be and say whatever we want and is up to others to determine for themselves if we are being authentic and honest. So how can we improve our authenticity, be genuine and show others that we are genuine?

I believe that authenticity starts with truly knowing yourself  and aligning your actions to that knowledge rather than trying to be what we believe others expect us to be. How many times have you built a persona of what you believe you needed to be only to find yourself stressed at trying to keep up that persona every day? It is so much easier to just be yourself. You are unique and amazing, so stop being afraid to be your true self and I guarantee it will be easier in every aspect of your life. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be true to yourself and be completely unafraid to just be you!

If you are struggling with being authentic and stepping into who you truly are, drop me a line. I would love to chat with you on this.

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