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Replacing two little words can change your life

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When I teach dance, there is a strict rule in my class – never say “I can’t”.

At 3 or 4 years of age, little ones will explore and imitate movements and actions. They giggle happily, and if they don’t do it perfectly they giggle some more. Somewhere around 5 or 6, the dreaded “I can’t” begins to creep its way into their vocabulary. It hasn’t taken over yet, but it gives them some pause. At 8, “I can’t” is a dooming force that precedes almost everything new. As soon as something seems challenging, a child will exclaim “I can’t”. In my classes this is always met with a chorus of kids saying “oooooohhhhh” as if a bad word has been spoken, because it has. At this age, I have to offer coaching to get the child to truly give it a try. We replace “I can’t” with “I can do my best”, and remember that learning a new skill requires practice, so perfection is not expected.

Recently I taught a kids conditioning class where two teams of kids raced through an obstacle course to get to the soccer ball first and kick it through the cones. Sounded easy until I told them they had to do the whole course while balancing a bean bag on their heads. The 5-7 year old group was a little taken aback, but they went for it, and did a great job. The 8 and up age group immediately shut down, they didn’t think they could do it, and didn’t want to try. Some kids actually sat down and refused to participate. We went through with the activity as planned. The kids were dropping their bean bags constantly, and getting more and more frustrated. They were reinforcing their initial belief of “I can’t”. By the time everyone had their turn, most of the group was very upset and complaining about the activity. Once again, this age group required some coaching. We talked about replacing “I can’t” with “I can do my best”. Then we discussed the worst case scenario.

What is the worst thing that can happen? i-can

The bean bag will fall off my head.

What happens then?

Pick it up, and keep going.

Is this a big deal?

No.

Lastly, we talked about not taking ourselves so seriously. This is supposed to be fun, so let go, and have some fun. They decided to give it another chance. This time they really tried. The difference was amazing. They did such a better job, and they actually had fun.

We are programmed to avoid failure. It ensures the survival of our species. However, if we are not planning to out run a lion then this fear factor generally doesn’t serve our best interest, and actually prevents us from reaching our true potential.

Have you ever stopped yourself from giving it all before you even started? I know I have; many times. By breaking down blocks and beliefs buried deep down in my subconscious, I have been able to open myself to so many more opportunities. This summer when we had the opportunity to move our family to a new state, leave our community of 20 years, and start all over again my knee jerk reaction was a bit of a pull back – we can’t do that. Why can’t we do that? It will probably be hard. So? What worth having isn’t hard? So we went for it, and are so happy we did. Was it easy? No, but what worth having is? It took a lot of work to reset my mindset and subconscious beliefs to get to this point, but it sure is exciting and gratifying to fully live life.

Be on the lookout for your “I can’ts”. They come in many disguises “it’s not possible”, “I don’t know enough”, “limited resources”, and so on. Then begin to imagine what it would be like to be those kids with the bean bags. Replace “I can’t” with “I can do my best”. Conquer perfection paralysis by picking up that dropped bean bag, and keep going. Enjoy yourself and the moments, and don’t take yourself so seriously.

One of the kids in the class decided that she would dance around like a fluffy, pink unicorn on a rainbow cloud so that she didn’t take herself so seriously. That seems like sound advice to me, give it a try 🙂

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Who Says Women Can’t Have It All?

A Google search for “women CAN have it all” reveals a  multitude of results staring back at you that say “women CAN’T have it all”.

This is the message we have been given, often from a very early age along with other limiting messages that have prevented us from becoming our authentic selves. While these statements seem harmless, they shape our subconscious beliefs. Then when we try to accomplish the so-called impossible, that subconscious belief sabotages success, and provides you with a life experience that further fuels that negative subconscious belief. It becomes a vicious circle, and very difficult to break.

Once upon a time I received a new table. It had leaves that extended the size of the table, and I was told that both leaves had to be extended at the same time, that it was not possible to extend only one side. For years I used the table, and countless times I wished that I could extend only one side for the perfect size, but I tolerated the table either too big or too small until one day I extended only one leaf, and it worked. I couldn’t believe I had never even tried for all that time.

I realize the table is a pretty simple matter, but for me it represented so much more. How many times had I just accepted what I was told, and gave up? What other things had I not even tried?

You can’t do the work you love, otherwise it would be called play.

Having your own business means endless work hours with little rewards.

Dancing is a hobby, not employment.

You’re not cut-throat enough to be successful in business.

Life is hard.

I always had a tendency to speak my mind, yet I was very obedient. In my quest to constantly “do the right thing” I found myself not achieving the results I wanted. I thought for sure that I must need to work harder, and so I did. Yet still not getting those rewards. In fact now I was sacrificing my family time, which sort of defeated the purpose. I pursued training and coaching to be told that I was doing everything I should, and I should expect my success, but still it didn’t come. That’s when I started The Have It All Method ™. Of course, then it wasn’t wrapped up in a neat little package. Through exploration, I was able to identify very specific and effective techniques that allowed me to improve my health holistically, tackle fears and subconscious beliefs, and gain clarity on what I actually wanted instead of fulfilling expectations.

Since that time, I have accomplished things I never believed that I would. I fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a dance instructor, I left the comfort of regular paychecks and benefits to have my own business, and I began a new chapter of my life by picking up and moving with my family to a new place that we had quietly yearned to go to for some time. At one time, I never would have grasped these opportunities when they presented themselves. I would have let them go, telling myself things like I don’t know enough, or it would be too difficult. Not to mention, I would not have realized how important these things were for me, yet I found myself fulfilling my dreams, having a family life, and dare I say doing well. I’m not suggesting that everyone run out to become a dance teacher, but lets find out what your true passion is and how to support it mind, body, and spirit.

success

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Feeling Authentic In Your Gratitude Practice

Happy Gratitude Month

I love November when we seem to give all of our blessings some extra attention no matter where we are in our journey. However, some days everything is breaking down including your family members, and it’s more of a struggle to feel authentic being grateful. That’s when I like to use “even if” statements or intention statements. These statements directly address that little negative voice in the back of your head, and neutralize it. So on a particular day your intention statement may be “I am grateful for the ability to provide safe transportation for my family, even if it just took a major bite out of my budget” or “I am grateful for my beautiful children, even if they drive me crazy sometimes”. Experiment with your own intention statements to see if they feel more genuine to you. Remember that with any practice the more you do, the better it becomes.Hope