From Fearful to Fearless!

 

In my last blog, I discussed the importance of acknowledging and understanding your fears if you want to create your amazing dream life. These fears often mask themselves as excuses but if we take an honest and deep look under the covers we will likely find the true culprit. Hidden fears. These fears cripple our ability to dream big and achieve bigger. It is like an eagle who is ready to soar but has one wing tied down. Start first by taking the critical step of writing down each surface excuse for why you are not actively pursuing your dream life and then dig deep to identify the true fear behind it.

Go from fearful to fearless

When you have a list of about three excuses or reasons as we like to say when we are being kind to ourselves, start by focusing on the top reason. In your mind, what is that number one reason you are not creating your dream life? By creating I mean establishing the vision, laying the foundation and taking deliberate action.

Now, let’s really focus on that one top reason. List the top 5 things you fear could happen based on this excuse. For instance, maybe I would love to start a business. If my number one reason for not proceeding is I don’t have enough money. My list of top five would be 1) I would probably fail because I don’t have the money to get started 2) I might not be able to pay my bills and start a business 3) my spouse would never go for it taking extra money 4) it is going to cost too much 5) I don’t want to get a loan.

So now that we understand some of our underlying fears, we can take a very clinical approach to dealing with them one by one.

  1. I would probably fail because I don’t have the money to get started
    1. This might happen. But just as this is possible, it is also possible that you might succeed. There is no dream gate agent who is going to slam the door on you. Not having the money is simply a current state that has no bearing on your future state unless you allow it to.
  2. I might not be able to pay my bills and start a business
    1. Again, possibly. But have you actually done the math? Have you looked at options to manage finances to determine what would be needed for the business vs household expenses? Have you considered additional or alternate sources of income to keep things going while you establish your business?
  3. My spouse would never go for it taking extra money from the family
    1. Have you discussed it with your spouse? Did you approach it in a way that sounds half-baked and incredulous or did you lay out a plan that helps your spouse see the big picture? The vision you share should also help your spouse feel secure that the family’s basic needs will still be met. If you are committed you will need to work through this in a very deliberate way.
  4. It is going to cost too much
    1. How much would it cost to get started? Exactly how much is too much? Is there an option to start small and build as you grow?
  5. I don’t want to get a loan
    1. Are you relying on common misconceptions and stereotypical ideas that loans are bad things? What if you could get a loan for $20,000 that will ultimately provide the structure and marketing need to generate $200,000 of income? Would it be worth it? Remember, everything is about perspective.

What I see in all of these concerns is the fear of taking risks and fear of failure. The best way to manage fear of risk is to ensure you have properly vetting the path and the process so that the risk is not reckless. The risk will always be there but it is a necessary challenge if you truly want to excel. While you cannot eliminate risk, you can certainly manage it.

You see sometimes fear is not based on reality. It is simply a result of preconceived ideas we have in our head. To deal with them, leave the feelings behind and focus on logically addressing each concern to prove to yourself that although the concern is real, it is not insurmountable and should not be used as an excuse stifles our progress. Your subconscious brain will take these fears and turn them into reality because it does not know the difference, after all that is what it has been fed. If you provide your brain with a different source of food and energy, it will respond in kind and think differently; it will think in a way more congruent with your goals.

To start creating your amazing dream life, manage the risks and fears you face and keep on moving. Move from fearful to fearless!

Rhonda Y. Williams, The Dream Life Coach

Originally posted on Quora

Fear: The Number One Dream Killer

The Dream Journey

When we are young and fearless we are filled with boundless dreams. I want to be a doctor, a nurse, an astronaut, and the list goes on. We likely push back on anyone who say we can’t with the response “why not?” It is a beautiful thing to watch as all the adults smile and revel in the passions of a child. “Isn’t that just adorable?”

As we grow and begin to experience the world, those dreams tend to become more inhibited. At first, healthy doubts as we begin considering the path forward. Now, it doesn’t seem so easy. The complex series of tasks required to accomplish the goal unfolds and you start to look at them with sobering reality. So much to do.

Let’s move further along in our journey and somewhere along the way these dreams that you were once so passionate about have been placed on the shelf and are now dull and dusty. After all, life happens and you find yourself entrenched in a way that feels like it would take the jaws of life to change direction. So at this point the dream may not be completely dead, but it is certainly on life support.

The Problem

So, what’s the problem? At first glance it seems pretty simple. There is no way I can pursue my dream with my current full-time job. My family life is too demanding and I simply don’t have the time. I would like to but I don’t have the skills or the knowledge I need to get started. I don’t have the money to make it happen. These may be just the tip of the iceberg. And while all of these may be real obstacles, I challenge you to look a little deeper and you may be surprised by the real culprit. Hidden fears.

At first mention of the word fear, you may scoff. I’m not afraid. But think about it. Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Fear lurks in deep dark places and masquerades as something else on the surface. Let’s take the first excuse… there is no way I can pursue my dream with my current full-time job. In this example, fear of loss of stability or financial income is in the driver’s seat. As you can image, this can be a pretty powerful inhibitor.

The Solution

Step 1: Most of the excuses we use for not moving forward are based on hidden fears. Like an onion, we need to peel away the many external layers. This may not be easy but it is necessary. Take a long open and honest look at what’s really holding you back. Be unapologetic in your quest to get into those deep dark areas and shine light on the fears lurking in the darkness.

Step 2: Next I want you write down each surface excuse and the true fear behind it. This will give you a sense of what you are dealing with and will also serve to provide you with a path forward. In my next article, I’ll discuss how to begin tackling these fears to create forward momentum.

Step 3: Share your number one fear below. Let’s open up the conversation to get you moving!

So you see, if you are going to design and live the life you deserve, I encourage you to start by identifying those deep dark fears. When you do, you will find the true barriers you need to deal with allowing you to move one step closer to creating your most amazing life!

 

Rhonda Y. Williams, The Dream Life Coach

Originally posted on Quora

Are We Really Free?

Thinking of freedom and smiling proudly

For all those who fought for us, so courageous

I wonder if they knew

Holding each other hostage would become contagious

 

Technology has evolved and

It helps further the everyday cause

All while emboldening hate to the point

Where it should cause each of us to pause

 

How is it that our words no longer matter?

That political correctness is now the villain?

Does this mean that being disrespectful and uncaring

Is now what we teach our children?

 

We should never devalue the power of thought

For it drives our words and actions

And those who say “I didn’t mean it”

Are often simply responding to the reaction

 

I read social media posts regularly

Some are posted so positively

But I also see hate posted boldly

At the end of the day

Am I the devil because we disagree?

 

What is freedom without responsibility?

It gives comfort in pointing to you instead of looking at me.

Doesn’t being free come with a cost?

And without payment do we all risk becoming lost?

 

My hope for our country is one of caring

Where my position of tolerance doesn’t feel daring

Where we can learn to respect each other

Because even in our differences, you are still my sister or my brother

 

Only then can we truly embody the greatness of our country

And the promise of what could be…

For now…

Ask yourself this question

Black, white, red or brown,

Today, are we really free?

 

Author: Rhonda Y. Williams

August 2016

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Dream Life

When I talk with people, I explain that as an Executive Life Strategist I help people pursue their dream life. What follows is often classic and predictable. A look of curiosity and disbelief often emerges.

When I see this reaction, I understand the look is conveying one of several beliefs: 1) wow, wish I could live a dream life, 2) this isn’t Hollywood, it’s reality 3) yeah, right or something else along these lines. Once this happens, time permitting, I’m ready to engage in an honest and passionate conversation.

Creating your dream life is not about living in fantasy land. It is simply about you getting crystal clear about the life you want to live. Your dream life is unique to you and we all aspire to different dreams. For instance, I can’t sing as much as I would love to. Nope, can’t carry a tune! So, including being a singer in my dream life would be fantasy. Instead, my dream life is based in reality and yours should be too.

A primary problem that often exists is that we are so busily caught up in the daily grind, we don’t ever stop to consider what we really want. I mean think about it. When was the last time you articulated a clear vision for your dream life? It is essential to get this clarity because without it, your mind will have difficulty grasping the true concept of a dream life leaving you with the believe that it is not possible. In effect, you create your own reality that your dreams are not possible.

Here is the great news… living a dream life is absolutely possible! The bad news… there is no magic bullet, no quick fix and no instant pill. If you truly want to live your dream life you must begin to create and live the process each and every day that will get you there. What you did yesterday does not have to define what you do tomorrow.

So, what is the process for creating your dream life? We don’t have time to go into each element in this blog but I want you to start with this. Create the vision. If you don’t have a dream life statement, I strongly encourage you to create one. Think of your dream life statement as your roadmap. It is the destination resort if you will of where you are going. This is step one. Once we know where you are going, it is a lot easier for us to being planning out the steps to get you there.

I look forward to hearing some of your dream life statements if you are willing to share! Leave comments below.

Until next time… begin taking steps to live your most amazing life!

Rhonda

When Should You Take the Leap to Create Your Dream Life?

I was having a discussion with someone about life transitions and it really got me thinking. Most of us really want to pivot to a dream life… a life we really enjoy living. But how and when are the difficult questions that can keep us trapped.

In fact, it can be downright scary to think that you would leave your safety net behind and really go for what you want; to put it all aside to create your dream life. After all, you’ve invested quite a bit into building the comfort and security you have today.

Determining the right time to make the transition will depend on your answers to a few questions (for starters):

  1. How will you eat?  This sounds silly right? Almost common sense. But not really. The “right time” will mean you have defined a plan that will still provide for basic life needs such as those defined in Maslow’s Hierarchy. The physiological and safety tiers are of critical importance and foundational pieces for creating your dream life.
  2. What’s the end goal?  Your vision needs to be clear. It’s difficult to reach a destination you have not yet defined.
  3. What resources do you need?  In order to get from point A to point B, what resources to I need? I like to break these down into financial, human and technical resources.
  4. Do you have the family stability and support for this transition? If you have family members close to you, this will be their transition as well. It’s important to elicit their feedback and support prior to making changes that will affect everyone. A likely benefit is their ability to help raise issues you may not have considered…
  5. Are you emotionally prepared? Have a very honest conversation with yourself. Are you really ready for this? Are you willing to commit to this? This type of transition often results in multiple hurdles being thrown your way. Are you prepared to leap over them and keep on moving? Recently, the link between emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial success has gained more traction as researchers have started defining a very concrete relationship between the two.

 

So, are you ready to begin creating your dream life? Start by asking yourself these questions. Then, consider your ability to provide positive answers as your guiding light… a beacon of sorts. And while there is definitely more to the equation, this gets you into a good starting position before making the serious life-changing decisions that will help you begin your transition.

 

Remember the ultimate goal is to move from a life you live… to a life you love. And when you plan and prepare, you move one step closer.

 

All the best,

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Is Your Life Like A NY City Taxi Ride?

On a recent visit to NY City, I found myself happily relying on the convenient taxi service available in the city. And, thank goodness for it! Although each trip was memorable in its own right, there were a few things consistent in each ride.

 

  1. Swaying this way and that way
  2. Not so graceful starts and stops
  3. The friendly blaring of horns

 

It struck me that as I help professionals transition to living a life they love… a true dream life, there are definite parallels to my NY City taxi rides. On the surface, this may sound a bit crazy but indulge me for a minute as I explain.

 

The first step in our journey is to understand the current state of things. And here is where the similarities can be seen. You’ve worked so hard to get to a certain point in your career only to feel like you are spinning a bit trying to maintain control of all that’s happening around you.

Trying desperately to reach a balance where you can feel a sense of happiness; a state of inner peace. You’ve been trying to tackle this beast one obstacle at a time:

Running from task to task trying to stay on top of things                                               

>>>    Swaying this way and that way

Constantly reacting to events to by making adjustments that seem necessary           

>>>    Not so graceful starts and stops

The occasional meltdown caused by frustration at the lack of progress                        

>>>   The friendly blaring of horns

 

Instead, I want you to take a step back and take a deep breath.

Then, make a conscious decision to get out of the taxi and get off the merry-go-round. How? By creating a well-defined vision of where you want to be and what you want your life to look like.

 

Then take the tactical approach of outlining a series of steps that will help you get there. Only when you are able to create the big picture and commit to taking the tough but necessarily actions will you ever truly achieve the life you want… a life you love living.

 

I believe you can do it!

 

Until next time…all the best!

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What Service Recovery and Your Dream Life Have in Common

Service recovery and your dream life have more in common than you might think…

As I sit here in a restaurant, the waiter has taken 13 minutes to take my order. So long that I finally requested he come to my table. He finally made it over to my table and failed to acknowledge his error. Just casually proceeds on which caused me to be just a bit annoyed.

However, as I go through this experience, it dawns on me how much service recovery and achieving your dream life have in common.

Let me draw a few parallels for you:

  1. Acknowledge shortcomings – These are not necessarily failures but simply an acknowledgment that we are all human. We are not perfect and therefore we make mistakes. The key is to fess up. Owning it can be a very freeing experience allowing you to move forward without all the baggage.
  2. Turn things around –  There is a famous quote (by author unknown) that says no matter how far you travel down the wrong road it’s never too late to turn around and go back. The beautiful thing about life is each new day is an opportunity to begin reshaping the future. The same can be said for each interaction we have with each other.
  3. Define the path forward – Don’t leave the results you are hoping for to chance. You are much more likely to get your desired results if you consciously plot the course and then strategically move ahead. 

All three of these are common factors in both effective service recovery and in building the dream life you want and deserve.

While no one can turn back the clock, you can change the future. I can almost promise it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Until next time!

All the best,

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Live Management vs The Accidental Life

Are you living an accidental life? Do you ever feel like you are being swept away? Like life events are happening so quickly that you have very little control and no choice but to just roll with it?

While clearly…as the saying goes “life happens”, effective life management is a common denominator seen in many people who are happy and successful. I find it fascinating to talk with them and listen as they describe how they approach life.

It is not luck or coincidence that gets them through the challenges and back on track. It is a very deliberate and effective action and re-action that takes place. On a very simplified scale, it is as simple as 1) what is the challenge I’m facing and 2) what is the best course of action that deals with the problem while allowing me to stay focused on my big picture goals. They don’t drag it out or ignore it and hope it goes away.

For many of us, the process of getting swept away by life throws us a bit off balance. As life events continue to happen, it keeps us in this state of imbalance and before we realize it this becomes the norm.

But you can change this by developing and sharpening your action and re-action skills. Begin by making a list of the challenges you are facing. Apply a little tough love and come up with solutions to help you begin to move past these obstacles. For each new problem that emerges, come up with a plan to move past it. It may not be easy or quick, but baby steps is much better than stagnation. If you need assistance, there are many wonderful and qualified coaches or counselors that can help you achieve your goals.

The importance of life management cannot be understated. Don’t live your life by accident. It is the surest way to kill the dreams you desire and you deserve.

All the best,

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Using Fears for Success

I like to think of fear as a catalyst. What it is a catalyst to, however, depends. It depends on you and how you react in the face of fear. I like to coach clients on using fears for success. It’s not always the obvious way to deal with fears but can be very useful.

When fear presents, there are a variety of outcomes that could result.

  1. Fear could compel you to action
  2. Fear could lead you to failure
  3. Fear could contribute to your success

Let’s briefly discuss each of these.

Action – at times the status quo seems comfortable. You don’t see the need to change things because all is going well. Then a triggering event happens and you become fearful of the potential outcomes of inaction. A basic example here might be you have received a final warning at work. The tone of the last meeting with your manager suggests your employment here is coming to an end. You consider an immediate job search because not doing so risks becoming unemployed and impacting family finances.

Failure – there are times when fear can be crushing to the point where it immobilizes you or prevents you from processing and executing in the best possible manner. If you are not able to execute, there is a real danger that failure may result. For instance, a new opportunity is available at work. You consider applying but you hesitate. You are not sure if you have the right education, experience and qualifications. What will others think if you apply? Will you get the support you need? While you continue your internal battle, a co-worker applies and is awarded the position.

Success – another possibility when facing fears is for the flight-or-fight response to kick in. Instead of running away, you can choose to stand firm. Dealing with the fear forces you to focus and tap into new skills in order to move past it. Every new skill you add to your toolbox helps you make progress that can contribute to your success. Let’s say for example you have a goal of becoming a public speaker. Yet, you have difficult speaking in front of large crowds. You have received an offer to speak in front of a large group. Instead of declining the offer, you decide to take on this challenge. It scares you to death. But, you spend the next 4 months doing everything in your power to prepare. At the event, you start off a little nervous but soon start to settle down drawing a sense of comfort from all of your preparation. The event is a hit!

As you can see fear is a powerful emotion. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Make the choice to embrace your fears, overcome them and apply your new skills to your arsenal to help propel you to success. Make using fears for success a habit that becomes second nature.
Let’s move from the life you live, to the life you love!

All the best,

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What is Your Life Vision?

I work with executives and professionals every day who create powerful mission and vision statements.

Often using a variety of strategies and methods to create a well-rounded and impactful message that motivates the organization. These mission and vision statements are posted in prominent places and may even be operationalized by playing a role in meetings.

But when it comes to creating a life vision, sometimes we stumble. Many I talk do simply do not think of their life in terms of needing a defining vision. It’s just something you do on a regular basis.

Well, I want to help you achieve the life that you absolutely love! In order to do that, I want you to approach your life in the way that you run your business. I want you to define a life vision.

What does the life look like that will make you happy? What does it mean to live the life you love!

I want you to take 30 minutes to ponder this question. Then I want you to write it down and set a reminder on your calendar so you can see it in front of you several times a week.

When you define it, you can start to live it. And when you start to live it, you will be one step closer to creating the life you love!

All the best,

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