The Courage Experiment Part 1

Do not be afraid to experiment - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of espresso coffee

About a month ago I got the idea for a last minute workshop.  It was one of those ideas that felt so important, so urgent, so motivating, that I knew I had to do it.

I was recovering from a very long bout of a persistent cough and general malaise.  I needed something to pull me out of my slump.

The Courage Experiment promised just what I needed.

As I mentioned, it was last minute.  I was determined to offer the workshop in April, and it turned out that the only feasible date was on a Tuesday evening, immediately following the Easter/Passover Holidays.

And just like that, I was faced with one of my persistent fears:

What if NOBODY shows up?

Ugh.  My old insecurities cringing at the sight of that one thought.

And that’s exactly when I knew I had to do it.  I had to do it because I was afraid.  This is, after all, the Courage Experiment.  And because it felt so right, I knew I had the drive to do it, no matter who showed up.

I  ended up giving the workshop to a lively group of 3 people. More had signed up, but weren’t able to come.  It was a wonderful and powerful workshop, and it felt so good to express our fears and our courage in a such a supportive group. (This too, BTW is an experiment with courage — I’m resisting the urge to tell you that my audience was larger. )

I created a handout for the workshop, full of actionable courage-boosting tips.  Here, are three of the tips I’m experimenting with now.  I’ll be back soon with Part 2, and more tips. (And, I’ll also share the results from my own experiment.)

1. Embrace Your Fear – Ahh. This one can be tricky, but very powerful.  Our fear is usually coming from a much younger place within.  Embracing this part of yourself will help you feel more supported.  So, next time you’re faced with fear, pause to acknowledge your fear and imagine sending love and compassion to your fear.  Sometimes just pausing with this intention is enough to release fear. With practice, it becomes habit.

2.  Admit to your Fears with a Friend – It can take a lot of courage to admit we’re afraid.  Fear loves to hide in secrecy.  Sharing your fears with an understanding friend or counselor will usually help dispel some of the fear.  Sometimes it just feels so damn good to get it out into the open!

3. Don’t Engage the Drama–  By-pass worst-case scenarios.  We never know what’s going to happen, so why imagine the scariest possibilities? Fear feeds on drama, and will multiply the more we engage.  Practice stepping away from the drama, and imagining better-feeling scenarios.

Remember, the idea here is to EXPERIMENT with these ideas.  Courage needs to be nourished and cultivated in order to truly shine.

Contact me if you’d like to learn how to use EFT Tapping To Boost Your Courage.

In Courage,

Marian

 

 

Overcome Procrastination

Now Or Later Signpost Shows Delay Deadlines And Urgency

Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.  ~ Mason Cooley

Procrastination just doesn’t feel good.  Period.  Right now, just think about something you’re avoiding doing.  How does it feel when you think about what you’re not doing.  If you’re like most of us, thinking about what you’re not doing, but should be doing, can trigger feelings of guilt, anxiety, and lots of self-judgement.  Problem is, when you get mired all those negative feelings, it’s difficult to get anything done!

What’s important is getting clear about the reason why you’re procrastinating in the first place.  Is it because you’re afraid of the outcome?  Or that it’s too hard? Too complicated? Are you afraid of making a mistake? Are you afraid that you won’t succeed? Or that you will succeed?

Most times, fear and uncertainty are underlying ingredients of procrastination.  We avoid what we don’t know, what feels uncomfortable or scary.

So get clear.  Get clear about what you’re avoiding doing.  Get clear about the feelings that get triggered because you are procrastinating.  And, get clear about the feelings you are trying to avoid by procrastinating.

Here are some suggestions to help you move forward:

Focus on the benefits of doing the thing you’re avoiding.  What would happen if you did it?  How good would you feel?  What else could you do as a result of taking this first step?  Set your imagination free and imagine all of the good-feeling benefits you’ll experience once you take action.

Start Small.  – One reason we procrastinate is that we tend to look at the subject of our procrastination as if it’s a great big scary monster.  It looks too hard, too complicated, too overwhelming, too impossible to tackle.  So, to counter this tendency, look instead at the one small step you can take in the direction you’ve been avoiding.  One small step, and then another and another, keeps you moving forward.  That’s all it takes.

Enrich Your Environment — Sometimes we procrastinate because we dread the experience of the task we’re avoiding.  For example, you might dread paying the bills, doing your taxes, writing a report, doing household chores, etc.  To make these tasks more enjoyable, enrich your environment with music or an interesting podcast, a special drink or treat, and even some aromatherapy.  Or, take your work to a café, or a cooperative work-space.  And be sure to get as comfortable as possible.  Enrich your environment, and you’ll enrich your experience and your chances for success.  You  might even enjoy yourself!

Let Go of Resistance —  When we resist a specific action or activity, we’re vulnerable to making it feel far more difficult than it really is.  By moving forward in non-resistance, we accept ourchallenges without making them harder.  Not everything feels pleasurable.  Some things feel uncomfortable and even painful.  When we let go of resisting the unpleasantness of an action, we’re more equipped to handle it.

Increase Your Knowledge —  We often avoid what we don’t know how to do.  So, if there’s something you’d like to do, but are avoiding, increase your knowledge about it.  Find out what you need to know to move towards desired goal.  Oftentimes, just the activity of researching your goal will peak your interest, and inspire you to take action.  ( Be sure, however, to avoid overly researching your goal, since this can lead to even more procrastination.)

Release Fear – Fear is probably one of the biggest underlying factors of procrastination.  If fear is an issue for you, first get clear about the fear you feel when it comes to your procrastination.  Once you’re clear about your fear, you can use EFT Tapping, Heart Breath, or deep breathing to help it release.   Contact me for more information on using EFT Tapping and the Heart Breath.

Click here for a complimentary Overcome Procrastination EFT Tapping Audio.

In Courage,

Marian

Conquer Self Doubt

Depositphotos_67095695_l-2015


Sylvia Plath once said, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

A lot of truth in that statement, for how can we create anything if we’re mired in self-doubt?

Self-doubt is the irritating low-vibration undercurrent that can grab ahold when you’re doing your work, or venturing into something new. It defeats us before we even start.  When given the power, self-doubt can weaken, diminish, and even attempt to extinguish our hearts desires.

What’s worse, is that most times, instead of questioning it, we believe it. We believe that we’re just not good enough, smart enough, powerful enough, diligent enough to do whatever it is our heart is longing for. 

The good news is, we CAN do something about it. We can do simple things that help us move into a place of confidence and trust.

Learning to  count on yourself is one of the most important things you’ll ever do.

Here are some suggestions:

Create a new habit which will benefit you in some way.  Start small.  For example, get up 20 minutes earlier. Meditate at the same each day. Drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. Schedule a specific time to go through your emails.  You get the drift.  Creating a new habit is about showing up for yourself with consistency. The more consistent you are with following through, the more trust and confidence you’ll have in yourself.

Expand your competence When we’re mired in self-doubt we’re often steeped in the belief that we’re incompetent in some way. For the areas in your life you’d like to improve, dive in a little deeper. Learn more, practice more, keep at it. Little by little your competence will grow. For areas where you’re already competent, dive even deeper. The more you grow your competence, the more confident and self-assured you’ll feel.  You’ll realize that it truly is within your power to make the changes you desire.

Ask for guidance. Confide in a trusted friend or mentor. Discuss what you’d like to achieve if it weren’t for your self-doubt. Gather honest input your strengths and weaknesses.  The more knowledge you have, the more power you’ll have to move yourself forward.  The more you practice reaching out for input, the freer and more confident you’ll feel in sharing your ideas.

Use your imagination to see what you want. When we’re swimming in self-doubt, we’re usually imagining exactly what we don’t want. Instead, use creative visualization to see yourself experiencing what you desire. Imagine how it feels, and what you are doing. Really get into the scene, and see it going well for you. Doing this will help you increase your sense of confidence.  It will also facilitate your creative process, and the flow of ideas.

Use EFT Tapping.  EFT Tapping can help clear negative feelings of self doubt, and it can also help you boost positive feelings of confidence. Walking around with a continual undercurrent of self-doubt will only serve to drag you down further. EFT Tapping is quick, powerful, and easy to learn.  Contact me to learn about using EFT Tapping to conquer self doubt.

In Courage,

Marian

To apply for a free 30-Minute Unleash Your Creative Genius Call, click here.

Let Go of Perfectionism

If you wait for perfect you will never get anything done - words of wisdom on a vintage slate blackboard

According to author Anne Lamott:   Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.

What does perfectionism do to you?  Does is stop you from putting yourself out there?  Does it stop you from finishing creative projects?  Does it make you feel like you’ll never be good enough?  Does it work you too hard?  Or does it make you want to give up and not even try?

I know all about perfectionism.  Lately, I’ve been recording videos for a couple of multi-media projects…and it’s taken me a lot longer (much) than I expected. One reason, is that when I started, I kept trying to get it perfect.   All of it.  The sound, the shot, my appearance, my vocal intonation, and on and on.  But alas, between the tech issues, and my mistakes, it was far from perfect.  I realized it would never BE perfect.  And, I was driving myself crazy trying.    

So I relaxed.  And I took my own advice.  I began welcoming the glitches.  Learning from each one.  And I enjoyed feeling my creative flow, untethered by the constrictions of perfection.  

Once I relaxed into the imperfection of the process, everything got easier.  I felt more productive, finding solutions that I never would have found if I had stayed in the vicious do-over cycle.  And I finally finished my most important video, and it’s not perfect.  But it’s finished and it’s perfect for me at this time.

So many of my clients tell me how perfectionism is truly the voice of the oppressor, just as Anne Lammott said.

It holds them back, forcing them to hide their work for fear that it’s not perfect.

Makes them do far more work than is necessary

Stresses them out.

Keeps them on edge.

Fills them with resentment when they see others doing what they wish they could do.

Prevents them from enjoying their work.

Keeps them pretending they are who they’re not.

Blocks intimacy

And on and on.  It’s time to let it go.  Here are some suggestions:

Notice what it’s doing to you. Observe yourself within a situation where you’re attempting perfection.  Notice how you feel. Notice what you do to attain ‘perfection’.  Notice what goes wrong when you try.  Observe, and ask yourself if this pursuit of perfection is truly how you want to spend your time and energy.

 Get clear on your personal best possible outcome. Often, we reach for someone else’s vision of perfection.  Certainly, it’s beneficial to learn from others as we improve our skills, however, it can be easy to create unreasonable expectations based on someone else’s results.  When we don’t meet these expectations it can lead us to give up, or put undue pressure on ourselves to perform.  You can always, always, do your best.  Accept your current abilities and do the best with what you have.  Create your vision of your best possible outcome with what you have right now.

Redefine what perfection means to you. Each mistake and misstep has the potential to teach you something new. When you accept your mistakes with compassion, and humor, it opens the door to perfect solutions.  Acceptance leads to relaxation, which makes it easier to get things done. Help yourself see imperfections as perfect for what you need to learn and accept about yourself.

 Notice the beauty within imperfectionGo examine the design of the wood grain in a hard wood floor.  Observe the bark of the trunk of a big old tree.  Handle a piece of hand-thrown pottery. Notice how beauty unfolds from even from chaos.  Leonard Cohen expressed this beautifully with these words:

Ring the bells that can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

Use EFT Tapping. EFT works to help clear perfection’s oppressive shell, and the underlying feelings of stress, anxiety, and self doubt.   I’m currently finalizing the Tap Into Courage Toolkit for Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, and Creatives. It’s designed to help clear the most common blocks to success.  One of the modules is all about Perfectionism, since it can be one of the biggest blocks.  If you’d like a free trial of the Perfectionism module once it’s available, contact me.

Truly, letting go of perfectionism is one of the most liberating,  joyful things you can ever do for yourself.

In Blissful Imperfection,

Marian

To apply for a free 30-Minute Unleash Your Creative Genius Call, click here.

Cultivate Love and Kindness

flower with hearts

Absolutely no question.  Our world needs LOVE more than ever right now.  Looking around it’s easy to get sucked into the seemingly endless outbursts of anger inflaming the USA and beyond.

It’s never been more important to actively cultivate Love and Kindness.

Though so much of the anger is certainly well justified, the fueling of it does nothing to ease our pain.  And, it increases the growing fire of dueling insults.  Anger alone is not an effective tool for building communication and healthy relationships.

What if, instead of fueling anger, we pause long enough to find the loving, kind, respectful way, to express what we need and want. 

My hope is that we can transform our anger into the fuel for a revolution of LOVE, KINDNESS, and RESPECT for all.

Here are some suggestions to help you increase your internal feelings of love and kindness. When you expand your own inner light, it’s easier to share it with the world.  And the extra added bonuses are endless….

Give gifts of kindness. Daily.  – Random or not, kindness is always valuable.  In sharing your gifts of kindness, you increase your own sense of well-being.  By not being attached to others’ responses to your kindness, you move into the joy of being kind just to be kind. Whether it’s opening the door for someone, stopping your car to allow someone to merge ahead of you, helping a neighbor, giving a compliment, or lending your smile…. kindness is always valuable, and most often appreciated.

Extra added bonus – When people notice others being kind, they are more likely to act kindly themselves.

Increase your love vibration.  It’s difficult to act in a loving way when you’re feeling anxious, sad, or angry. Commit to practices which help you tune into the peace and wisdom of your heart.  The Loving Kindness Meditation is one such practice which will help you increase your feelings of love for yourself and for others.  Click here for the Metta Institute’s description of this meditation.  And of course, I love the Heart Breath Meditation.  By breathing into the power of your heart, you can actually increase your heart’s resonance.  Here’s the  link to download a free meditation.

Extra added bonus —  By increasing your love vibration, you will automatically bring more love into the world.

Listen deeply to build deeper understanding — What I hear so often from my clients, is that the people around them don’t really understand them.  It’s simple — everyone wants to be heard and understood.  And, listening deeply is how we help.  It might feel difficult when the person to whom you’re listening feels angry or sad, or says something that conflicts with your own beliefs.  It’s in the listening, however, that we can move beyond assumptions, and into deeper understanding of the truth.  Listening to one another, without trying to defend our views, or fix each others problems, is what helps us find common ground.  And deeper compassion.

Extra added bonus — People who are listened to will often feel and act more kindly.

Send Loving Thoughts Send benevolent, loving thoughts wherever you are. Send them to family members, friends, animals, strangers on the street, train conductors, cab drivers, people in cars, shop keepers, the person in front of you in line.  To step it up a notch, practice sending benevolent, loving thoughts to people with whom you have differences.  Generate and share the thoughts you want more of yourself.

Extra added bonus –Sending loving thoughts will not only help you spread love, it will also help you feel it as you share it.

Let it go with EFT Tapping EFT Tapping is an excellent tool to help you release your anger, fear, sadness, disappointment, and any other feelings that might be inhibiting your desire to be kind and loving. When you’re clear of built-up emotions, you will feel freer to express kind and loving thoughts and actions.  To learn how EFT Tapping can help you clear away unloving feelings, contact me.

Extra added bonus — Clearing unwanted emotions with EFT Tapping will absolutely, positively, change your life!

 

In Love and Courage,

Marian

To apply for a free 30-Minute Unleash Your Creative Genius Call, click here.