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Written by Jenne Todd, SHIFT Collective, Nov 12, 2019
You know that goal you have always had? The one that gently taps you on the shoulder when you least expect it, or the one that speaks loudly when you’re frustrated or you’ve had a bad day at work?
Why aren’t you in hot pursuit of that goal?
For most of us it comes down to fear…but not just fear, fear of what others will think if we do take action and fail. It’s hard to allow others to see us fail, especially if they have expressed doubt in our ability in the first place.
I want you to position yourself at the end of your life, you’re surrounded by the people you love.
What are you thinking about? Are you running through the motion picture that is your life, reveling in the successes that were once things you had to muster up the courage to take a chance on or are you saddened with the feeling of regret, for not taking the chances when you could? Are you disappointed that you worried about what others might have thought of you? Were you a dreamer or a doer? Did you love those closest to you well or spend your days disconnected and busy?
Don’t let this happen.
We all fear what others will think, even those of us who say we don’t – I believe we all do on some level. That’s a normal part of the human experience. But do we let that fear stop us from pursing our goals and dreams?
The only difference between you and someone you look up to, someone who is following their call, is the fact that you both make mistakes (daily), but they keep getting back up, keep on pushing, keep on trying. They keep on accepting the mistakes & pursing the journey rather than throwing in the towel. That’s it. They keep on failing…until one day, they get it right.
I know you likely already know the “formula” to setting great goals…make them “SMART” (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & timely)…so I’m not going to go there. We can know all the formulas in the world, but that doesn’t get you any closer to your goals.
I believe goals start with our ability to get out of our own way.
I said it. YOU are the problem…the reason you’re not attaining your goals.
But….great news! You are also the SOLUTION! (yay!)
Here is my take on goal-setting:
1. Acknowledge (OUT LOUD) to the people closest to you, what you want more than anything (shout your goals from the rooftop).
Tell your favourite aunt, your partner, bff, mom, dad, kids, the PTA, your son’s soccer coach, your restaurant server…tell them all. Blast it out on social media. Make a poster for your front door, write it on your mirror in lipstick…okay perhaps a bit overboard but you get the gist….TELL PEOPLE, say it out loud and OWN your goal! I promise, everything will change.
2. Make a plan on how you’re going to achieve it.
Do you need more time…more resources…help? You’ve already got it if you take inventory of your life.
Cancel Netflix, stop eating out, no more impulse shopping. Start saving your precious, hard-earned cash. Money is AMAZING, especially when you have a purpose for it. Need more time? Easy. Stop scrolling social media, watching tv and saying yes to everything that comes your way. Start monitoring the time you spend on your phone each day using an App, stop numbing a hard day with hours of tv/video games after work and stop assuming you are the only one who can run the fundraiser at the kids’ school…just because you’ve always done it doesn’t mean you are the only person capable.
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Ask your kids/spouse for more help around the house, let go of tendencies of perfectionism. You get the idea…brainstorm all of this out and you’ll come up with so many solutions you won’t know where to start (lucky you!).
3. Don’t let failure stop you.
GET. BACK. UP. Every time you fail. And expect that you WILL fail. A lot.
Every time someone says you can’t do it remind yourself that THEY may not be able to do it – but YOU CAN! Can I get an Amen?! You CAN do the thing. You CAN learn new skills. You are be different than other people. You CAN make a massive difference. It’s all about mindset. Develop daily affirmations just like these to help get you to your goals.
Your family needs to see you succeed, even if that means spending time away from them to work on your mission. This is a healthy example to set and you’ll influence more people than you know.
You have got this and I know it.
Written by Jenne Todd, SHIFT Collective, Oct 17, 2019
Pre-judging other people – is it an inevitable part of doing life in community? A product of our internal make-up…part of our deep need for a sense of security? Is it a choice we make from one new interaction to the next? To be honest, I’m not sure…but one thing I do know to be certain is that it’s the kiss of death when it comes to opening ourselves up to possibility. Judgement severely limits our ability to expand into our gifts and God-given potential. Although the attraction towards engaging in sub-conscious pre-judgement of other people has strong pull, like a moth to a flame (unfortunately), there is something you can do to better equip yourself to resist the temptation.
Increase your self-awareness.
Often, we pre-judge other people based on our own past experiences…without some conscious effort. We tend to see others as WE are, rather than how they are. When we have a limited outlook around the inherent goodness of other people or around such things as abundance, gratitude, the potential of relationships, etc., we are more likely to see others that very same way. We hook onto something they say, some aspect of their appearance, even a poor first impression and with our heads down, we extrapolate…to our detriment.
We are all human. We get caught up in the moment. We forget to look inward for answers to our most difficult questions and sometimes seek information from the limited aspect of others lives with which we engage, forgetting that we don’t know their whole story.
When we are strongly tethered to an abundance mindset, we view others as inherently giving, kind, receptive and respectful and tend to believe more often, that things happen for us rather than to us.
Whenever that spirit of judgement arises within our psyche, it is a clue as to where we have unfinished business to pursue within our own personal development and healing journey. Our belief systems and any unhealed wounds of our past affects our interpretation of the world more than we think, making it a top priority to pursue. We must live into alignment with who we are and the mission we support.
So, you ask…what can I do? My number one tip is to be patient, kind and loving toward yourself, the way you would be to someone you love. Hold space for yourself to learn and heal. Pursue growth through a counselor, therapist or coach, read books pertaining to your situation, seek out mentors, attend events, listen to Podcasts, read blogs…do whatever it takes to start moving in the direction you want to go! Finally, know that your work is supported…and needed. The world needs more of you. Not the perfect you, the work in progress you.
Jenne, Shift Collective
Written by Philip Wright, SHIFT Collective, Oct 1, 2019
Listen to this quote by Scott Peck from his book, The Road Less Traveled: “Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult”.
Did you get that? You have to chew on his words for a moment to get the weight of what he is saying.
Let me explain.
I think that for most of us, the difficulties of life are a surprise. We are surprised that the event, or disappointment, responsibility, or need for adjustment would come our way. The fact that we are continually shocked and broadsided emotionally when difficulties hit us like a rogue wave reveals that our view of life is incorrect. Where did we get the idea that life is supposed to be free of obstacles or butt-jarring speed bumps?
What this error of thinking produces in us is resistance.It’s not the actual difficulty in life that wears us out. It’sour resistance and push back that does us in. As long as you are saying; “why is this happening to me?” you are resisting. You can’t move forward until you first accept where your feet are. Denial of the reality of the fact prolongs the difficulty and makes it impossible to move forward.
A few weeks ago I was looking at a picture of one of my nephews in an amusement park, riding a roller-coaster. In the picture his face was tense and his arms were tight as he white knuckle gripped the bar in front of him. You could tell that he wasn’t enjoying the ride and was trying by sheer will and brute strength to slow it down but of course to no avail. The lady next to him was laughing and wailing like a banshee giving into her fate which was to ride this beast until it flamed out on its own. Who do you think was more exhausted when the ride ended? You guessed it – it was my nephew who was trying to resist every move made by that metal monster.
We are guilty of resisting when we should be riding. We are told over and over that life isn’t fair and that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. That’s not true. In reality it’s; “Sometime we win … sometime we learn”. I love that spin on the phrase and I believe it with all my heart! Not winning shouldn’t mean losing -it should mean learning. Learning in a situation like that is simply “tuition”. You had to emotionally spend a little bit but it brought understanding to you in a way that nothing else could.
Once you truly understand and accept that life is difficult a magical thing will happen – it will no longer be difficult. You will accept that its part of the ride we are on called life. I’m not talking about a fatalistic view of life where you just say; “The heck with it, life sucks. What’s the use of trying”? Not at all! I’m saying embrace life, don’t resist life. Learn from it, become wise in it, grow stronger because of it, don’t be surprised by it, don’t back off but lean into it.
History is being written and your story is a part of it!
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.
Written by Philip Wright, SHIFT Collective, Aug 28, 2019
Conflict is the answer to healthy relationships and a healthy team.
Putting the words “conflict” and “health” together sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Aren’t these two words completely opposed to each other? Well, in some cases the answer is yes but if conflict is handled properly it can absolutely transform relationships and transform a team. I’m talking about productive conflict.
The growth of all great relationships has required productive conflict. Teams who are successful and flourish over the shortest period of time all engage in productive conflict when discussing strategies and ideas. Most of us have a natural inclination to avoid conflict but that avoidance encourages dangerous tension to build. Most people don’t quit their job; they quit their boss and it’s usually because this tension is allowed to build and build until it finally blows.
Unproductive conflict happens when people feel they aren’t being heard and problems aren’t being resolved leaving these individuals feeling frustrated and even angry. So how do we channel conflict in a healthy way that encourages harmony and growth? Let’s look at five ways.
1. Listen … a lot! The average person listens for a grand total of 17 seconds before the urge to speak overtakes them. Make it your moto to “seek first to understand then to be understood”. Set the rules that everyone has the opportunity to speak and everyone else listens. Using reflective listening, repeat what the individual has just said. This approach will engender a feeling of being heard. The person can also clarify any information you may be missing or misunderstanding.
2. Debating vs. Attacking. Create an atmosphere that encourages discussion that does not include pointing fingers at someone else. When an individual is feeling they are being attacked, defenses immediately go up. Any hope of transparency and honesty is lost in that type of environment. A healthy debate is absolutely fine but it is off-limits to question a person’s character or motives.
3. Show a genuine interest in what you are hearing. When people feel they are being heard and that you are truly interested in their view point it’s amazing the wealth of information they have to share. In many cases, the first comments made will be surface comments meaning they are testing the water to see how safe the environment is. You have to be patient and give some time for people to feel they can wade a little deeper into the water and express how they truly feel.
4. Keep the common goal front and center. Though the expression of differing ideas and strategies is encouraged, keep a continual reminder before everyone that you are a team. The desired outcome is not simply venting in a safe environment, which is important, but the focus is a collaborative working together to reach a shared goal.
5. You don’t need 100% agreement. An absolute agreement from everyone may be too much to ask for. Keep as a goal a general agreement. Thank everyone for their contribution and that every opinion, comment and suggestion is greatly appreciated and vital to the purpose of the discussion. An “agree to disagree” for the sake of the forward movement of the team should be commended.
Make the choice right now to use productive conflict to your advantage. Let these five steps turn what was once your foe into one of your favourites!
Written by Jenne Todd, SHIFT Collective, Aug 24, 2019
You know, the one you’ve been telling yourself for years? The one about how you grew up poor, how you didn’t get into college, how you were abused, that you have an illness controlling your life…the story about how you lacked good parents or that you’re too old to start pursuing your lifelong passion or that you’re not as good at dancing as everyone else!
What impact does your story have on you? Does it inspire and engage you or does it disempower you?
We all have a story. Don’t let yours bury you.
Most of us have been telling ourselves the same story for far too long and unfortunately, we tend to focus on the negative implications our story has on our lives rather than how we can use it and the lessons that come with it in a meaningful way. We blame the things that have happened to us for holding us back and slowly become caged and complacent. We forget that we have the power to own our story. We dismiss the fact that we can CHOOSE the meaning we assign and get out from underneath our story. Finally.
We can’t control what has happened to us in our past but we can control our responses and reactions to those events with a little practice:
*Next time you feel discouraged by or victimized by your story, pause and try to identify what specific pain points trigger you to react. Write them down.
*Once you know your triggers, plan in advance, how you will respond (rather than react) next time they show up.
*Evaluate how you feel after choosing your response over being controlled by your knee jerk retaliations. Make adjustments as needed.
*Look for something positive/teachable to take away from your trials to change the way your story affects you.
Transform the way you view your story to live a more empowered, purposeful life.
You’ve got this!
Written by Jenne Todd, SHIFT Collective, Aug 10, 2019
I bet you’d never guess how I paid for my own apartment while I finished high school and saved for University at the age of 16..
While this isn’t everyone’s dream when it comes to getting through the teen years, it was my reality.
By the time I was 16 years old, the trauma of my childhood ran deep. I was often suicidal and felt like an outcast. I felt that no one would notice if I wasn’t around and realized that I had to stop placing my worth on what other people thought, even my parents. Most people never knew that I carried his much pain.
I decided that the only way for me to survive was to move out of my home and get away from the chaos in order to *try* to find my path in life. So I did. It was a last-ditch effort.
I rented a small house from my grandparents and paid full rent, even though they tried to give me a break – no way was I taking it. I worked full time at a grocery store while I attended high school full time, which didn’t give me much time to get into trouble…good thing.
I started in the seafood department and ran it like it was my own business…until I could no longer ignore the smell – on me, In my hair, on my clothing, which at the time was a super sexy pair of coveralls, and eventually in my little home. I knew I couldn’t quit, so I decided to get creative.
I approached the bakery, knowing that I would welcome the delicious aromas of freshly baked bread. I could handle taking that smell home…and I thought it would be a boyfriend magnet!
I told the manager that I could be an awesome cake decorator for them and she promptly hired me! I finished out my scheduled shifts in the fish zone and showed up on my first day as a bakery girl, ready to go! I was all-in, except for the fact that I had never held a piping bag in my life. I had been around them, I had eaten a perfectly decorated cake or two, but never created one myself (unless easy-bake oven cakes count).
The manager was away the first week I started and in her place, was he most experienced, absolute Saint of a cake decorator that ever did live. I told her about my predicament but that I was a quick learner and that I’d stay late for as long as it took for me to be the best decorator there. She laughed and said “come on” as she filled a piping bag with icing and positioned it in my hand just so…and it began. I was SO grateful for her. I’ll never forget her because she believed in me – even though I totally fudged my way in.
By week two, cake decorating became my craft. I was obsessed with what I could do and with how many cakes I could make in a shift – almost doubling others’ numbers. I LOVED IT and the bakery manager loved me. I did end up coming clean about my start because that’s just how I roll…things worked out.
I have taken the underlying thread of this initiative and applied it many times since. I was able to get leadership positions with way above average pay for a student to put myself through university and graduated with a $10,000 debt compared with the $40,000 debt of my peers.
Upon completion of University, I landed my dream job immediately and even negotiated a few months to back pack Europe on my own before formally starting my awesome new position. I have never been the top of any class, I most certainly have an undiagnosed learning disability which causes me to learn at an extremely slow speed and exams were a nightmare for me, despite studying circles around my friends. But I still was one of the 15% of the class to land a job in my field right out of the gate.
The pearl is that I’ve never acknowledged the idea of “can’t”. I don’t even see it as an option. I keep myself just a little naive to what others do or expect or think so that I don’t adopt their limiting beliefs. I have a high level of self awareness (now), I connect with others easily for the most part and I have a servant’s heart. That’s it. Nothing groundbreaking. Just believe in what you’re capable of and take action.
The sky is actually NOT the limit.
Written by Philip Wright,SHIFT Collective, Aug 02, 2019
Robin Roberts, a television personality, in an interview a few years ago made this statement; “Are you the star of your own life?” She emphasized that many people are not the star of their own life but are only at best a “supporting actor”.
Of course, she was using movies as a metaphor for our lives. Supporting actors play a role in the story but it is the Star that controls the direction and outcome of the plot. Consider your own life for a moment. Are you taking control of the direction in which it’s moving or are you allowing others to make that decision for you?
For example, well-meaning people may have pushed you out of that starring role by convincing you that their idea is what is best for you. This may have gone on for so long that you have lost confidence and are afraid to make any major decisions for yourself. It is important to have input and dialogue with others we trust when making a major decision but be assured; the final analysis in the decision is yours and yours alone.
Or perhaps a major event or some type of trauma has t-boned you in such a way that it changed your narrative and is forcing you to live life through the haze of your past instead of the clarity of a future that has not been marred. All of our tomorrows are pristine. They only become clouded by what we drag into it.
Choosing what is simply acceptable, or adequate for your life instead of what is “best” for your life can also knock you out of that starring role. A life of mediocrity is not why you are here. Mediocrity and a supporting role are married to one another. Many times impatience or fear will seduce us into accepting the adequate instead of waiting a little longer for that which is the “best” to arrive.
You can’t put a price on your life. It is that valuable. Recently a scientific calculation was made of the odds of any of us being born (Dr. Ali Binazir). Included in the calculation were natural disasters, major events, our parents meeting one another, the location of our birth, our DNA, etc.
The number spit out was…wait for it…“1 in 400 trillion.” In comparison the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 700,000. That number is so astronomical that it means basically zero chance of you being here. Go ahead and put a value on how unique you are. It’s impossible. Your life is priceless. The fact that each one of us have made it against such odds and are walking upright on terra firma is a pretty solid argument that each one of us is meant to be here, don’t you think? What a waste of impossible odds if you choose to only play a supporting role in your life when it was created specifically for you.
You are destined to be here. Give a hip check to whatever it is that has crowded you out and take back your podium. Reclaim your title as the “Star” of your life. Ferociously accept nothing less!