20 May 2015

In your Loudest Voice, Say "NO"

Do you ever look back on choices that you have made in the past and ask, “How did I end up here?” I know you may not want to hear it, but the truth is that we end up in places where we don’t want to be because we made choices.

Do you look back sometimes and think that if you had to do it again, you would run? Maybe ditched him at the altar, said “Not a chance” and hightailed it out of Dodge. Sometimes when we are so far along a road, we struggle to say no - even when we know we should. What will others think? How will I explain my change of heart?

Here’s what I think: say no when you know that you ought to say no. I did that this week when I made a decision to walk away from a lease negotiation that really wasn’t working in my favour. When I first thought, “I can’t say yes to this,” I got the 'cringe'. Oh no, what will everyone think? What will the other party think? But then a newer, stronger voice boomed inside my head, “What is in Debbie’s best interest?” And I walked away from the negotiation. It was in my best interest to do so.

What a relief. Out a few bucks, no big deal. It could have been a lot worse to make a decision that wasn’t working for me. I wish I had the same amount of courage back in the day. What are you saying yes to when a no would be the best response?

Grateful for This? Really?

Has anyone ever said that one day you will look back on this and be grateful? I’ve been there. No matter how true it might be, there is nothing worse than hearing those words when we are in the middle of turmoil.

As the movers loaded the last box onto the truck when I was moving from a house that I had hung onto far too long, the last thing I was thinking about was how grateful I would be for this lesson. After all, the real issue was that I couldn’t afford to live in this home, but I hated change more. I should have sold it earlier, but the reality was that I didn’t. And then I was forced to sell quickly because the gig was up with Peter and Paul. Most of us have been there and those who won’t admit it are likely in denial.

Gratitude is definitely part of a healthy creative process. Keeping a Gratitude Journal has become a staple in my life. In the early days it was almost painful to take the journal out. Sure I was grateful that we had running water and that the cat made it to the litter box. But I would give up running water just to drive a car again, and turn in the litter box for a chance to make a decent living.

In spite of the process, I stuck to it because my wise friend who is an expert in this area told me it was necessary. The more I dug deep to find things to be grateful for, the more blessings I uncovered. I have so much to be grateful for. I still miss the losses, but I’ve changed focus – the big things have lost their power over me. There is joy in my life.

No matter where you are today, take a moment, sit and write one page about what you are grateful for. Do it for 30 days and watch how it impacts your life in a good way.

5 May 2015

Women Lead

Did you ever find yourself in a position at work where you're working for a great boss who really appreciates your work ethic and generally treats you well. Do you sometimes feed him nuggets of information that make him a better leader? Do you silently lead but never get the credit? If any of this sounds familiar - maybe it's time for you to get out there and take on a leadership role.

Think about it, you're doing it anyway without any of the risk. Women make awesome leaders but for some reason, we often struggle with that internal urge to put ourselves out there.Maybe it's time in every organization for women to step out and take on those roles.