Home » Gratitude

Moving Beyond Uncertainty and Fear

What stories do you tell yourself when you’re staring down your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and you’re feeling overwhelmed, nauseated, and afraid? I don’t have enough information. I don’t have enough skill. I am not ready. I’m not good enough. I’m okay where I am, I can live without ____.

It’s our body’s natural defenses designed to keep us safe that hold us back unnecessarily in our lives and our businesses. What was meant to protect us from taking risks that would leave us as food for the lions, tigers, and bears of our ancestors, is the same thing that keeps us planted in status quo, even though the thread of death does not exist.

What doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger…but only if we face it and move past it.

This is an awesome video I saw today that gave a process for reframing those stories we tell personally so that we can move beyond being paralyzed by uncertainty and fear.

  1. Identify one thing in your life where there’s lots of uncertainty as to what actions you should take.
  2. Identify the story-line you’re telling yourself that is allowing you not to move past your uncertainty. i.e. I’m not ready, I don’t have enough information, etc.
  3. Identify the opportunity that lays beyond the uncertainty and fear should you move past it.
  4. Ask yourself “how” questions and rewrite the story so that focuses on the opportunity, not the anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.

Come on! Let’s do it together. 1–2–3 JUMP!

Happy leaping!

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5:15 am is just too early to get up on a Sunday. Or any day in my opinion. Sure, maybe you get up early to train for a triathlon or nurse a baby or go to the airport, but none of those apply to me right now. My 2-year old daughter does not seem to comprehend. What she does understand though is the grumpiness that kicks in around 3:00pm when the early start begins to affect Mommy’s mood.

For me this weekend, it was more than cranky, and it lingered into the evening hours. I spent too much time indoors and specifically in our home (a lovely home mind you) surrounded by the laundry, the toys, the dishwasher awaiting an Emptier, a backpack filled with work screaming to be opened, two kids, and my husband. Granted, I love my kids and my husband, but hours inside can blur your perspective and then layer in guilt too while you’re already feeling down. Finally, after nearly falling asleep putting my daughter to bed, I announced that I needed to take a 15-minute walk before it was Round Two with my son’s bedtime routine.

With the onset of summer, the sun was still in the sky even though it was after 8:00pm. Living in San Francisco, I am able to walk out the door and down to the Bay. I do enjoy being only a few blocks from the water, yet I had not walked down there by myself for quite a while.

When I saw the sun just starting to tuck behind the headlands, and the light reflecting beautifully off the water and the sailboats, I lit up inside. My worries faded and I began to connect to that energetic aspiration feeling you get when you start focusing on Your Big Picture (you know that one — it is THE BEST). When you give yourself permission to dream. When you get out of your daily monotony and lift your head and look around. When you see and appreciate the beauty.

Yes, this is age-old wisdom. If you have a toddler, you know its power — if you change the scenery, you can circumvent the imminent meltdown. You can do the same thing with your finances. If you have not glanced at your Big Picture in a while, take a look. What do you want? What do you aspire to for your family? What needs to change?

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Debt Free in 60 Seconds

Imagine it, you being debt-free. No more annoying calls from the credit card companies, “reminding” you that your bill is past due (as if you’d forgotten) and no more giving your entire paycheck over to debt that you accumulated last semester.

Does it seem like a dream? It doesn’t have to be. You can make it your reality! Here’s how to do it – in just about a minute.

0:60 It’s simple – spend less than you make

OK, I know it’s simple, even if it’s not always so easy to do. But following this rule could have a serious impact on your financial health and peace of mind. The truth is if you can’t pay for it today then you probably won’t be able to afford it tomorrow either. So don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself to come up with money in the future that you can’t guarantee you’ll have today.

0:50 Bad Debt vs. “Good” Debt – know the difference

Good debt generally has an interest rate of 10% or less and will appreciate in value. Home mortgages and student loans are examples of money borrowed that will be well worth the investment in the future. Car loans are somewhat on the fence, true, they meet the low-rate rule, but cars almost never go up in value. Bad Debt (also known as consumer debt) is everything else – yup, that even includes your platinum-all-star-VIP-rewards card that you’re paying 29% interest on.

0:40 Pick a card & stick with it

I know that “settling” down is probably far from your mind with all the dating choices that you have, but when it comes to credit, you’re better off going “steady” with just one major credit card. Choose one with the lowest annual interest rate possible (check out your options at www.choosecreditwisely.com) Cancel and cut up any other cards, including all department store cards – you can even use the little pieces of plastic to make some cool wall art. Now that you’re exclusive to just one card treat it with respect, and you’ll have a great and long-term relationship.

0:30 It’s time to face the music

This won’t be fun at first, but it’s necessary to get you closer to not being afraid that “someone is after you” every time the phone rings. You’ve gotta pay to play, so pull out all of your credit card bills and line ‘em up on the floor. Find the minimum monthly payment for each one and then total them all up to get an overall monthly minimum payment amount. Make a commitment to pay the total minimum due PLUS $100 more to the highest outstanding balance every month (or at least enough to make a dent in it) If you can’t pull this off right away, then come up with a plan that will make it possible within the next three months. It might not be fun, but it’ll be worth it.

0:20 Ready. Set. Attack.

Get angry; I mean fighting mad. Your future is on the line, and it’ll be a bright one as long as you’re not strapped with debt. So the next step is to identify which of your credit cards has the highest annual interest rate and apply the $100 more (above the minimum amount due) to the highest interest rate account(s) first. Repeat this process monthly until the last Bad Debt account is paid in full.

0:10 Pretty pleeze?!

Grab a bill from any creditor that’s charging you more than 15% interest. Call them up, and with all the Academy Award winning acting skills you can muster ask that your rate lowered to 11%. Tell them that you’d really like to keep your account open with them, but that you’ve gotten “offers” for much-much-lower-rate cards (at this point let your voice trail off for dramatic effect). They’re gonna try to break you, but don’t let ‘em see you sweat, because to them, you’re not just a customer you’re a cash register (they hear cha-ching every time you charge something and don’t pay your balance in full). What do you have to loose? Just try it. It’ll be fun, and you stand to save a bunch of money.

0:01 Go ahead…Get your dance on

When the Bad Debt is 100% exorcised go ahead celebrate – heck, when you’re halfway there start doing the “happy dance” – life is meant to be enjoyed, and you’ll feel more carefree today when you’ve paid off your bar tab from spring break two years ago. Now that’s something to cheer about!

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“Thank You, Turkey, for Letting Us Eat Your Legs”

It’s Thanksgiving weekend and the highlight of my weekend (by far) will be my almost 4 year old son contributing to the family prayer, “Thank you, Turkey, for letting us eat your legs.”

It will be something I laugh about forever, I’m sure, but what I loved most was seeing how easily he found something to be thankful for in the moment.

It’s natural this time of year to reflect on what we’re grateful for, but I find myself being thankful for the things of another time; an experience from the past or an opportunity in the future.  I’m grateful for my family, friends, job, and home.  I’m grateful for my challenges and opportunities to grow.  I have never focused on finding gratitude in the moment.

I’m Giving up Typical Gratitude:

In the past I’ve kept a gratitude journal where I wrote down a few things each day that I was thankful for, but I’ve gotten lazy with it.  I’ve been as inconsistent with it as I’ve been with the laundry lately.

Sometimes, I will write down things I’m thankful for about in the gratitude area of my day planner, but this week, in the crunch of Black Friday–the busiest time of the year for my job–the real estate in my day planner has been used as an extension of my to-do list.

Challenging Myself to Find Unexpected Moments of Thankfulness:

So as I write my first post on my brand new blog I am setting a challenge for myself to find one thing of gratitude, in the moment, each day this week.  I am setting a gratitude alarm on my phone to go off at random times each day this week to remind me to stop and find something, in the moment that I’m thankful for.

So I don’t let the moments or my gratitude slip by, I will email them to myself, post them on my Facebook status, jot them in my day planner, or leave them on my voice mail.  At the end of the week, I’ll share them here on the blog in a gratitude section.

Will you join me this week?

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