Hop Up Onto The Counter

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She had something to say. She often does. She’s not shy. But there was something unique about this time. She needed something more…urgently.

So she jumped up onto the counter, right where the two slabs of granite lengths meet in the corner.

It was a gesture that felt so teen-like in its confidence, it made me catch my breath. And the way she brushed her hair out of her eyes also gave me a glimpse into the young woman she’s becoming. Right before my eyes.

That general area by the second sink and the cutting board being the one that I typically occupy as I chop vegetables and pontificate and expound and lecture at her blessed dear heart, there was nowhere for me to go but to sit at the island, facing her. Where she normally sits enduring my lectures (mostly) patiently.

He sat down next to me. We both turned our phones off at the same moment, the same gesture. And then, we lifted our chins to watch her face, for she was at last taller than us.

Once she was assured that we were there, REALLY there, she started to tell her story…not a story I’m at liberty to share. But a story that is deeply meaningful to her, and deserving of our full and undivided attention. Which she received when she jumped up onto the counter.

It was a symbol of resoluteness. A symbol of worthiness.

Hear me. See me. Listen to me.

And we did.

And her story was good.

I mean…REALLY good. Like, this girl SEES things. KNOWS things.

As stories are when we offer our undivided attention. When there are no iPhones and agendas. When someone we love and admire and respect says: “Hear me. See me. Listen to me.”

Often times “being seen” or “being heard” is actually code for “being right”. Let’s be clear: that’s very different. (Also different? Getting noticed...NOT the same as being seen.)

In any case, in THIS case, our girl didn’t need to be right. She just needed to be heard.

And the extra few feet of counter height gave her the exact amount of leverage she needed. That act of hopping up was even better than her excellent and worthy story.

You caught the metaphor, right?

Go ahead.

When you have something to say that needs to be heard, change your delivery.

Hop up onto the counter.

Your people will hear you. See you. Listen to you. (Click to tweet)

Expect a breakthrough

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At the top of every coaching session, I will ask my client where they would like to be at the end of the call.

A powerful question that typically lands in a peculiar place for most, it generally elicits dead air for a moment. It’s rare and unusual that we are asked what we want.

Where do you want to be at the end of the call? (Its power is that it sets an intention, to be certain, but the mind can’t help but constrain it … and it sets the unconscious in motion: where do I want to be at the end of this day, at the end of this week, at the end of this year?)

I don’t prompt, and we sit in the silence for a brief time as they navigate the whirlpool of their stories about wanting and asking and expecting. But then, oh then the silence yields to a space filled with named desires and wishes and hopes.

And then we’re off.

But every once in a while, I’ll get this answer instead: Well, I certainly don’t expect a breakthrough.

Hmm. Really? And here’s what I always say: Maybe that’s been the problem. Try again.

We’ll negotiate back and forth some more until we get to them saying, finally naming the truth: I’d like to experience a breakthrough.

And then we’re off.

You know what happens then, right? Breakthroughs. Sometimes within 10 minutes, sometimes right at the end of our time, sometimes in rapid-fire succession.

But here’s what you and I both know: the assertion of the expectation IS the breakthrough.

Oh please….I KNOW expectations are hard to hold. We’ve been disappointed by people who haven’t delivered on their promises. We’ve hedged our asks, dumbed down our requests, held back our desires. Somehow protecting them. From the world, to be certain. But moreover? From activation. From seeing the light of day.

Disappointment is hard, but not as hard as the alternative. Your life keeps showing you that.

Expect a breakthrough. (Click to tweet!)

In a follow up email with my most recent client who had an unexpected breakthrough, I reminded them of their dialed down expectations that weren’t aligned with their heart’s desire. And I wrote this:

The lesson here? No more hedging for you.
Surround yourself with the best.
Ask for what you want.
Expect a breakthrough.
And then watch it show up.

And so, that is also my wish for you.

It’s a good time to start.

Right now.

Expect a breakthrough.

 

The party is on the other side of the resistance

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I have a request. Can you just give pause to think about that thing you just crossed off your list?

(I know, I know…you have more things on your list and can’t possibly pause to think back…but it was LITERALLY 10 minutes ago which is why you’ve opened your email, or clicked the link in FB and are reading this right now. So just take another minute with me and revisit that completed task.)

Maybe you:

  • hit the gym
  • wrote the shitty first draft of your pitch letter
  • sent your proposal to a literary agent
  • asked for support
  • signed a new client at your new rate

Remember that?

Stay with me now…I know you don’t think it’s a big deal. Yes, I too am looking at your massive to-do list and can see it’s but one thing.

But, let’s put down the list for a second.

Take my hand.

Look in my eyes.

And listen deeply to me when I tell you this:

There was a time when you believed what you just did was not possible.

For YOU.

Oh, you believed others could do it, would do it.

More athletic, strategic, creative people than you. Smarter, braver, luckier people than you.

But guess what? You were wrong.

It WAS possible.

You just proved it to yourself.

When it comes to the Impostor Complex, it's not about never ever feeling its sting again. It doesn't work like that.

It's about building your resilience and recognizing all the times you've stood at this very precipice of your desires. Of expansion. Of a breakthrough.

And then remembering all the times that you decided to jump anyway and discovered that the party was indeed on the other side of the resistance. (tweet this)

Where else can you prove yourself wrong?


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What would you say to nine months of sitting UP, rising UP, speaking UP, shining UP, stepping UP? The brighter, the higher, the better? The Starring Role Academy is right this way…but the door closes Friday at 11:59pm EST. If you have any burning questions, join me for a 30 minute Q+A call Friday at 3:30p EST here.

7 Reasons We Stop Short

You know that opportunity that comes along that speaks to you on a deeply visceral level? Like it was created just for you? The timing, the stars, everything is just oh so right.

And you are there, teetering on the precipice. Just about to step in.

But then you don’t.

You give up before you get going.

Why? Why do we do that?

I can think of seven reasons:

  1. We’re afraid of failing.

  2. We’re afraid of succeeding.

  3. We’re afraid of being let down.

  4. We’re afraid of letting ourselves down.

  5. We’re afraid of not being met.

  6. We’re afraid of not being seen.

  7. We’re afraid of being seen.

And so, we stop short. Real short.

We don’t claim our expertise. We don’t raise our rates. We don’t pitch our work or stand in our worth.

Which makes our Impostor Complex breathe a sigh of sweet relief.

Because if nothing changes, then nothing is risked.

(And the Impostor Complex is even more risk averse than your second high school sweetheart. The one you dated right after the wild and sexy one. The one with the pressed pleated chinos who kissed like a fish and talked about insurance at school dances. Yes. THAT risk averse.)

But here’s what I know. And I know you know it too, with every fibre of your being.

If you give up before you even get going, you’re simply never (ever) going to get to where you’ve been called to go.

It just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t happen. Your life has shown you that.

Stop stopping.
Start stepping.
Forward.


The Starring Role Academy is ready for you to step into it. And? It’s designed for you to succeed. For you to not fail. For you to be seen, heard, met. But most importantly? So that you break your stopping habit. For good.

On (almost) losing my suitcase and finding my PURPOSE: A Metaphor from Kelly Diels

Lots of years ago, I had a series on my blog of interviews with friends, colleagues and people I thought were up to really aligned THINGS called “Thing Finding Thursday”. It’s long gone, but a google search will yield sweet fruit (like this early interview w/ Danielle LaPorte and this hilarious conversation with Jen Louden).

I had co-created said series back then with Kelly Diels. (And if you don’t know Kelly already, she is a writer, marketing consultant and rampant feminist. Her current THING is writing about the online 'Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand' and developing effective and ethical marketing practices so we can transcend it. It’s good. She’s good.)

So, back to the series. I was poring over the interviews and transcripts for research in advance of a webinar I’m hosting next week called “What IS your Starring Role?” This not knowing what the Starring Role IS can be a place of suffering for so many who feel called forth...but to what, they don’t know.

Their exact words:

“I WANT to step into my Starring Role, but I don’t know WHAT my starring role IS!” 

Hence, the webinar.

And I recognized that I use the “Starring Role” language synonymously with “THING”...which is actually code for “PURPOSE”. And stepping into it, is about sovereignty, mastery, excellence. Mmm HMM.

And in my review, I came across this post from Kelly. It rang true in 2011 and it still rings true today.

Without further ado, I give you:

ON (ALMOST) LOSING MY SUITCASE AND FINDING MY PURPOSE: A METAPHOR

Prince George. As I step off the plane into the summer sunshine, I'm lit and light with anticipation. After two months apart, I'm about to spend a week with my loverloverman.

My week of wonder, however, is still a few hours away: I've got to get a shuttle to the bus station and then a bus to Smithers. But time with my man is closer than ever and that's all that's on my mind. It's everything that's on my mind. There's no need for dilly-dallying and dawdling in the airport, picking over magazines or picking up snacks and sustenance. No, I'm carrying everything I need in my laptop case, my purse, my hands, my heart. And so I head from the plane right through the airport, straight for the shuttle and step inside. I'm buoyant. Light. Travelling light.

I'm the first one in. What is taking everyone else so long?

They start trickling into the shuttle, sloooooooowly and inelegantly loading their bags and suitcases into the back, taking forever...Effing baggage. Let's go!

Oh wait. I'll be right back. That's what I exclaim to the shuttle driver as I leap out of my seat, out of the shuttle, and back into the airport.

For that one lonely suitcase rounding the carousel. My suitcase, the one I'd left behind in my enthusiasm to get where I was going...without my things.

WHO LEAVES AN AIRPORT WITHOUT HER LUGGAGE?

I almost did. And I'm not the only one. Airports and airlines have claim desks full of stray suitcases. People forget their things. If they thought about them, they'd know where they were, what they contained. Their things aren't lost, exactly. They just need to be claimed.

It was the same with My Thing. I'm a writer. I always knew I was a writer. From the age of eight I knew I could and would and should write essays, articles, books.

But I resisted being a writer because I read too much. I read Little Women: Jo scribbles in the attic and later lives in a single room in a rooming house. I read Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and was not seduced by the existential anguish of an undiscovered genius. And then I read Down and Out in London and Paris wherein George Orwell decides he's a writer, lives in a bug-infested rented room and - when he's not working hellish hours in a hellish kitchen - sells his clothes to buy bread to survive another day.

True story. And not one I care to emulate. Attics and garrets, they grow tiresome. Poverty is not my thing...and so neither was writing for a living.

And so I always knew writing was My Thing but I chose to leave it behind. I walked out of the airport and into my life without my suitcase. Without My Thing.

And that was fine(ish). I went to university, I got great jobs, I did well, I made money, I worked in the city and lived in the suburbs, I lived well. Everything was ok.

From the outside. I got up, got my girls to daycare, went to work, did it well, picked up my girls, made dinner, put them to bed, watched TV...and wondered:

Is this it? Is this what I'm living for? To collect a paycheque to pay for daycare and cable?

And that wasn't it. That wasn't my thing and I knew it and I'd always known it. Because My Thing just wasn't practical. How would I make it a career? How would I make money?

And those are the wrong questions to start with.

When you're finding your thing, start with this:

What would I do for free? What do I do even though no one pays me?

The money and career questions (and answers and plans and plots and schemes) come later. Because Your Thing doesn't have to be a full-time job, a career or even make you money. Mother Theresa had a thing. I doubt it paid very well.

(My children pay even less and I'm in that gig for life.)

So put aside the practical questions and be truly, madly, deeply impractical: what do you need to do? What would you do for free?

And then do that. You don't have to quit your job. Just start doing your thing. You and your thing will find your way together.

If you claim it from the carousel (should I? Shouldn't I? Can I? Will I? And 'round and 'round...) and carry it with you on your journey.

++++++++++

Kelly's words...so good, right?

Yep.

Here’s what I want to leave you with:

At this time, on this day, in this very moment, you may be looking around to the people you see as leaders. You may see a resounding lack of activation. Pay attention to that. That annoyance, irritation, disappointment and even disgust may very well be your Thing, your Starring Role calling you forth. Asking YOU to step into Healer. Revolutionary. Leader.

Join me next Wednesday November 30th for the “What IS your Starring Role?” webinar. Bring your questions...and your desires. Sign up here.