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Success & Career

Build Your Courage If You Want To Be Successful



build your courage to be successful

It’s the summer of 2016.  The world is becoming an increasingly scary place in a very short period of time.  We are experiencing national and global threats politically, economically, and socially. We now live in what some refer to as a “fear-based environment”.    Having said that, we don’t have to be paralyzed by fear.  In fact, not only can you survive in this environment, but history has proven that you can actually thrive in it!

Build Your Courage If You Want To Be Successful

At this prescient moment in our history, Tony Robbins just published his most recent book, “Money: Master The Game”.  As part of his preparation for this book, he interviewed 50 of the world’s most brilliant business leaders.  We’re talking Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Carl Icahn, Mary Callahan Erdoes, Charles Schwab, Sir John Templeton…well, you get the picture.  We’re talking the best of the best.


The best are afraid

And guess what virtually all of them confided to him:  that despite their cumulative successes in business, each of them were scared at once time and often more than once throughout their illustrious careers.  Some were scared when they started or became scared along the way.  And even now, at the pinnacles of their success, they’re still scared.  That’s right.  Scared.


Even the brash Steve Jobs was scared when he was first starting out and, as it turned out, very scared just before he and Apple literally changed the world. He was terrified of being in the public eye, even as early as 1978.


In preparation for this blog, I was reminded of an old video of Jobs.  I went on YouTube and watched his first televised interview.  He was obviously scared.  He said as much.  What impressed me about him was that he didn’t hide his fear.  Instead, he consciously acknowledged his fear.  He even made fun of himself while preparing for the interview.


Most importantly, he also refused to be paralyzed by it.  In fact, he actually seemed to relish the fear.  I thought to myself, “What guts he had!”.  “That guy is one courageous SOB!”I couldn’t help but admire him.


Hands down, the biggest determinate of success is Courage.  Courage is what allows us to drive forward and excel in life.  Courage sets us up grow. You can have all the ideas, education, training, and experience in the world but without courage, it’s a much tougher road.


Here are some practical and proven real world tips that can help you deal with the fear all of us experience when breaking new ground:



1. Admit you’re afriad

Don’t pretend you’re not scared.  Fear is primal. Fear is human.  Own it.  You’re certainly not alone.  As a matter of fact, if you’re in a position of leadership, recognizing and understanding fear is pretty much a requirement.


It turns out that we actually need fear to help us assess risk. Fear is your friend…so long as you have the courage to compliment it.  Knowing you are afraid is a great advantage.  It tells you something, as in this quote:


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”–  Ambrose Redmoon


2. Make fear and courage your friends

I encourage my clients to make fear their friend. I know that this may seem counterintuitive. I get it.  I’m former military and sometimes saw people die.  In almost all instances, they were performing some act of courage.  Just being there was an act of courage.  You needed a healthy dose of fear to increase your chances of survival.


3. Get a “Battle Buddy”

One thing you absolutely have to do is realize that there are going to be the inevitable ups and downs in business…or any other aspect of life for that matter. There are going to be storms in your business.


You need a trusted confidant to help shoulder some of the load.  Trust me on this.  I’ve seen many try to do this alone.  Rare is the individual who goes it completely alone who enjoys sustained success in life.  You’re going to need someone, and maybe more than one, to help you tap into your courage.  And, no, it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.  It’s a sign of real strength and intelligence.  Not a bad combination


That’s one of the many reasons, I admire former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  He became “America’s Mayor” in the wake of September 11th.  He was also smart enough to surround himself with incredibly smart people and several “battle buddies” that he routinely confided in. Your battle buddy can be your partner, a colleague at work, a trusted friend.


4. Look for heroes

They’re probably around you right now. You just may not see them as heroes because sometimes they tend to be quiet and unassuming.  Or not!


Either way, look around you and see if you have any one or even several people you look up to and say, “I really admire their courage.”  It helps to have role models.  We all need people to mentor and inspire us.  Find courageous people and get to know them.  It will rub off and definitely enhance your ability to be successful in all areas of life.


5. Invite people to challenge you

Actually, demand that they challenge you! I know this may seem counterintuitive for some but you must absolutely be courageous enough to invite feedback, and I don’t mean “tolerate” feedback, or listen to others begrudgingly.  I am saying that you need to sincerely invite feedback – even pushback on your ideas.


There’s three important reasons you need to do this:


(1) You’re human and as humans we all have blind spots. You have to be courageous enough to acknowledge this.


(2) Displaying your own courage also does something else that is vital for any business:  your courage can be contagious.  It can help your team.  Why?  Simple.  Your courage helps your team be more involved in the process.


(3) The value of getting them involved is that once you get to your decision point, they will now have “ownership” for the decision.  This is vital because it is likely that you and your team are going to be the ones who will implement the decision.


Smart leaders are courageous.  Be smart.


6. Pull the trigger

On the flip side of asking for feedback, is getting to the point in the process when it’s time to pull the trigger: you need to make a decision.  In the face of a pressing issue, it is likely that some decision needs to be made – including not making a decision.  That comes with its own potential consequences, positive and/or negative. If you trust your people and your process, pull the trigger.  Whatever the consequences, you can stand proud.


7. Own the consequences

So you’ve made your decision. That took guts.  Now you have to be courageous enough to implement your decision and live with the outcome.


Whatever the consequences are, simply own it.  If you screwed up, own it and hold yourself accountable.  Hold your team accountable as well.  Share in the glory.  Share in the pain.


8. Celebrate your courage

No matter the consequences make it a lifelong habit to always, always celebrate your courage and your team’s! Doing so is a great advantage because it makes for great team morale and cohesion.


9. Keep your courage close

I’d like to offer one more tip for you. In addition to making fear and courage your friends, you need to keep your courage close to you.  Very close.


Many find this simple tip helpful.  Imagine that your courage is in your hand.  Now take your courage that is in your hand and place it in your pocket.   Keep it there and you’ll always be ready to pull it out whenever you need it.

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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