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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 7

I’m particularly excited about our guest blogger today, because she addresses a subject I speak about, train about, and is at the foundation of my personal beliefs, which is taking responsibility of our energy. Below, Mina offers us a simple, yet very powerful practice for giving us back so much of the energy that is ours to direct toward productive and joyful tasks. I hope you accept her challenge!!

Mina refers to her Mastermind program, of which I am a member. I just love surrounding myself with like-minded women who want to create meaningful and powerful lives for themselves and for others. I was not able to take on her challenge during the Mastermind, due to my vacation, but I will take the challenge now! Please join us both in doing so!

Need to catch up on Summer of Well-Being posts? You’ll find them all here.

Here’s Mina!


MinaShahEnteC40a-A05aT04a-Z_iconAhhhhh Summer……….

When I hear the word summer I am reminded of clear skies, images of kids laying in the grass looking up at the sky, and the freedom of 3 months without school to do whatever my heart desires. At least as long as my parents agreed.

It would be safe to say that for most of us as children summer brought the feeling of being carefree and fun. Today for most adults, it doesn’t feel that way. The year-round responsibilities are still there and they have to be handled. Just because the kids have 3 months off doesn’t mean that you do, and if you don’t have children, the year-round responsibilities are still there in the summer.

So how does one experience the feeling of being carefree and having fun with all these responsibilities? How does one have a Summer of Well-Being?

If you look at the definition of Well-Being it is the state of being happy, healthy, or successful.

Happy.

Healthy.

Successful.

As a coach I have helped my clients experience happiness, health, and success. I’ve helped them do everything from lose the 35lbs they have been carrying for over 20 years to helping them hire an entirely new rock star staff and making their business more profitable. Having worked with thousands of people over the last 6 years creating happiness, health and success in their lives, there are quite a few things I could share with you today that would help you have a Summer of Well-Being.

However, I have a strong belief that less is more, so today I am going to share with you 1 Simple Thing you can do now to experience more happiness, health, and success in your life.

One thing that you may be doing without realizing. One thing that is affecting your life in a bigger way than you can possible imagine.

What is that, you ask?

It’s simple.

Stop Complaining.

What?

Yes, Stop Complaining.

Now, I don’t know you and I don’t know if you are someone who complains a little, a lot, or if you are just someone who is surrounded by complainers.

If you complain a little you will want to read further.

If you complain a lot. As in, you could land the gold in the Complaining Olympics – you definitely want to read further. You may even want to read this twice.

And if you rarely complain but are surrounded by complainers, read on and then find the share button on this page to send this over to the complainers you know with a smile and a wink. They deserve a Summer of Well-Being, right?

Now Why Stop Complaining?

Let’s go back to being a kid during the summer. Imagine you are with your best friend. You both have been playing outside and now you are laying in the grass, looking up at the sky, the breeze blowing, and you are trying to make shapes out of the clouds when all of a sudden you hear:

“The grass isn’t comfortable!”

“I think I wore the wrong shoes! These are too tight and they are hurting my feet!”

“Why is the sky so blue? It’s almost too bright!”

“Move over you are too close to me!”

Huh???

Immediately the blissful picture you have in your mind is gone. This is what happens when we complain, we prevent ourselves from enjoying all the awesomeness that is around us.

Go to any network or social gathering and you will find that complaining has become the #1 way to communicate. It can be as innocent as complaining about the weather, the traffic, the city you live in to all the way to complaining about your job, business, co-workers, spouse or a past relationship. The challenge is that this robs you from the very happiness, health, and success that you desire. Is this true? Is complaining actually that damaging? Absolutely.

Here are 3 Things that Happen when you complain.

1)  You give an inordinate amount of energy to the problem. The very thing you don’t want more of you are giving your energy to. Do you ever feel happy when you are complaining? Highly doubtful. Complaining is usually accompanied by the emotions of stress, frustration, and aggravation. You are giving your emotional energy to something you don’t want.

2)  You burn your time. Ever been cut off in traffic or have a client or vendor wrong you and then tell the story of what happened to 15 people over the next 24 hours? What could you have been doing with that time? Complaining burns your precious time and kills productivity.  Part of being successful is spending your time wisely. Where could the time spent complaining go?

3)  You lower the energy of those around you. You know those people in your life that you LOVE to be around? That light up your day? When you see their number on your phone you pick it up no matter what you are doing? Do they complain very much? Not likely.  People who lift us up are using their energy on things that are positive and uplifting, not replaying a recent horrible incident for anyone within ear shot. By complaining you become one of those people who lower others’ energy and you lower your own. Not exactly healthy.

So what happens when you Stop Complaining? What’s the upside?

SWMMMeme132I’ll share with you a real life example. Recently at a Mastermind group I lead we had 40 women from 2 groups participate in a 3 day no complaining challenge. The entire group started on a Monday and committed to not complaining for 3 days.

For some the challenge seemed daunting, and for others they thought it would be no big deal as they didn’t feel like they complained that much.  As part of the challenge they would post in our private Facebook group about their experience.

The feedback poured in.

“I think I complain more than I thought because my boyfriend was really excited when I told him I was doing a no complaining challenge!”

“I thought I never complained and after only 30 minutes of being at work I realized I had called the AC guy and been complaining the entire time on the phone!”

“I thought I was the negative one in my house and my husband was the positive one, but after not complaining for 3 days I realized he complains just as much as I do if not more!”

When the women came back at the end of the month each one had the opportunity to share what happened as a result of not complaining.

Across the board the biggest distinction was:

“When I couldn’t complain it caused me to think about what was actually bothering me and I realized the things that I have been complaining about, I complain about all the time, but I haven’t been doing anything about it!

and

I realized that I was using complaining as a way of avoiding dealing with the issue. When I couldn’t complain anymore I actually did something about it!”

I actually did something about it.

They say that for something new to come into your life, you must make space for it. A question I posed to the group in our Mastermind was, “When you are not complaining, what will you find yourself talking about instead?” By eliminating complaining these women now had the energy to solve their problems and focus on moving their life forward!

Here are the top 3 things these women experienced and the 3 Great Things that Happen when you Stop Complaining!

1)  You recognize what the actual “problem” is. Often complaining is usually a way to avoid actually dealing with a specific problem.  Most of the time people complain about the same 3 things. This could a number of things: work, their body, the diet they are on, the government, a family member, or that they “don’t have enough time”. By eliminating complaining you have the opportunity to be with the situation and see what you would like to do about it. You allow the space for a solution to come to the surface.  So let’s take a look in your own life. What would you say are the top 3 things that you complain about?

2)  You experience less stress and less tension in your body. Imagine if you were watching a 3 minute commercial where the entire time it showed the person complaining. At the end of it how would you feel? Probably tense, annoyed, and wanting to get away from it. When you complain, although you are not as annoyed as if you were watching someone else, you still experience the effects in your body. If you catch yourself complaining take a moment to check in. First, stop talking (just cut yourself off) and check in with your body. Are your shoulders scrunched up around your ears? Is your body tense? Is your face all contorted? Have you stopped breathing? If so relax your body. Your shoulders, arms, face, jaw… and then count back from 10. 10……..9……..8……..7……..6……..5……..4……..3……..2……..1……..

Then ask yourself the question: “What’s really important?” When you have the answer ask yourself. “How can I focus on that right now?”

3) You connect more deeply with those around you. This means, when people walk away from a conversation with you they feel neutral or great. Not drained. I shared with the women in the groups that eliminating complaining is one of the quickest ways to create a closer connection with your spouse. It’s important for women to know that because of the ingrained need that men have to make their woman happy and to fix things, when you complain to your man it makes him want to stab himself – in the eye – with a shrimp fork!

Seriously. If you are in a serious relationship there is nothing your man wants more than for you to be happy. If there is a problem he wants to “fix it” for you. When you are complaining there really is nothing to fix because it’s simply venting and clearly you are not happy. The man in your life feels helpless to help you and few things are more frustrating for a man. Please note, I am not saying you cannot express your day or concerns to your man. I am talking about the ongoing, non-stop complaining that is exhausting for both parties. When you stop complaining you get to have a more pleasurable experience with the people closest to you and create a greater connection. Most people have a person they dump all their problems on. What if you stopped dumping on that person? How would that change your relationship with them?

So I invite you!!!

I invite you to experience a Summer of Well-Being by starting off with a 3 Day No Complaining Challenge on Monday!

Call a few of your friends and decide to do it together. When you start to do this you will experience less stress, more connection, and solutions to what you were complaining about will finally have a chance to pop into your head.

I would love to know if you decide to do it and how it goes! Comment below and if you have any questions about how reduce complaining post them below. I am happy to answer them!

Wishing you a wonderful summer. One of sunshine, well-being, and no complaining!
Mina


Mary P
Mina Shah
Speaker, Trainer and Founder of Smart Woman Making Money
Mina Shah is motivational speaker, trainer and the Founder and CEO of Smart Women Making Money. Through Smart Women Making Money she teaches women of all ages the skill set necessary to confidently and courageously speak up for what they want and create the life they have always desired.
Website: MinaShah.com

 

 

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baby-with-lemon

Change is inevitable – after all, nothing really stays the same.  But in today’s challenging times, it seems like we’re on “uncertainty” overload, never knowing what will happen from one moment to the next. Here today, gone tomorrow – or, at the least, very different tomorrow.

Uncertainty brings stress and confusion, and while most of us would be quick to say that we want less stress and more certainty in our lives, what we really want is less of a stress reaction to what life is throwing our way.

We can’t choose what happens to us – but we can choose our responses to the situations we encounter.  Let’s take a look at five different responses that people have to stressful situations. As you read through these five responses, you may want to think of a recent stressful event or news that you have received, and see what your reaction to that event can teach you about how you habitually respond.  You may have one type of response at work, and another at home, or you may react differently depending on who else is involved.

The first, and unfortunately all too common response to stressful events is to suffer and be a victim to it. People who respond this way don’t take action. Things happen TO them – and though they may complain and be generally miserable about it, they don’t take any steps to do anything. They allow life to control them, instead of the other way around. This way of responding is certainly not recommended, and eventually, it will take its toll on one’s physical and mental health.

The second type of response is to accept it the situation, and to get some perspective on it.  Someone with this response may say “so what,” or perhaps get some perspective on the situation by asking if it will it matter in a year – or a week – or even in a day.

The third way to respond is to actually take steps to change the situation – taking action to bring it to resolution (or at least move toward resolution). This is a very powerful response, and one that many effective leaders employ.

The fourth way to respond is to avoid the situation. People responding this way make a decision not to get involved in a situation that they don’t see as concerning them, or upon which they can’t make an impact. For example, someone may choose not to get involved in a dispute going on within their office if it doesn’t directly involve them.

The fifth and final way that people generally respond to stress is to alter the experience of the situation. When we look at a situation differently, the experience itself changes. Changing perceptions is probably the most challenging of the responses, because we tend to be stuck in our own interpretations and assumptions about what’s happening, but it is also perhaps the most powerful of all.

It’s your life, and you can create it and lead it as you wish. Remember, what one person sees as stressful, another person barely notices, or sees as exciting and full of opportunity.

So, when life throws you lemons, how will you choose? 

Please comment below and keep the conversation going!

Namaste,

Monique

 

 

Power to Choose

April 23, 2012

I’ve had the pleasure recently of addressing many college students and professionals about the direct link between our energy and how happy, balanced and successful we feel in our lives. This concept of Energy Leadership places the responsibility of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and ultimately, our life’s outcomes, in our hands. It teaches us that despite what we may be experiencing, or who/what we are surrounded by, we have the power to lead our lives in a way that creates everything we want more of…great relationships, productivity, results, energy and enthusiasm, feelings of success in all areas of our life, health, wellness, balance, and more.

However, the question that I have been getting most is, How can I manage all of the negativity and conflicted individuals around me? How do I not let it affect me?”  Great question, and a great exercise in leading our energy.

I read a passage just a few days ago which nicely addresses this exact question. It said:

Negativity will bring us down if we stay around it long enough. We don’t fully grasp that being around destructive people will affect us, seep into us, and eventually pull us down. That’s why choosing our environment is so important. In truth, the only free will we have is choosing our environment, because once we are in it, it determines how we grow. It is similar to wheat which is planted in the ground. The potential is not realized without the right soil, rain and sunlight which make up the environment…once man has chosen his environment, he is in its hands, like clay in the hands of a potter. ” –Yehuda Berg.

Wise message, indeed. But, how can we fix an environment which we cannot leave in that moment (or choose not to leave)? Or, how can we help to bring about change in others knowing that in the end they must change themselves?

I’d like to suggest this process which allows us to influence change within our own power, raising our positive energetic vibrations along the way. It’s all about CHOICE.

  1. Remain a victim to it.
    This option is always a choice, but one which will continue to give you feelings of loss of control, powerlessness, grief, anger, etc.
  2. Avoid the conflict, challenge or individuals.
    Get out of the situation. Limit your involvement or time spent with the individuals. You can consciously and in an empowered way choose not to get involved in certain conversations or with certain people. If you don’t like smoke, don’t sit in the smoking section!
  3. Change or leave the situation.
    Do what you can to intervene to bring about a resolution, or offer a positive perspective to the conversation or situation. If you don’t like the music being played, suggest a new station! Or, change the channel yourself! Sometimes circumstances make it so that we cannot leave certain environments. If over time, you can’t effect change or make it better for yourself, leaving may be the only answer. It may be time to consider making the changes necessary that will allow you to exit.
  4. Alter your perspective of the experience.
    Look at the situation differently and your experience of it will change. Use techniques like changing your understanding of the significance of the situation (how urgent is this, really?), becoming curious instead of furious, visualizing yourself in a different location–one that brings you peace (like a mountain top!), understanding why the person may be doing what he or she is doing, or bringing compassion into the situation instead of judgement.
  5. Accept it.
    Accepting a situation as it is instead of fighting it. Consider saying to yourself, “So what? In the bigger scheme in life, does this problem really and truly matter?” Simply don’t assign so much value to the situation or the person. You can choose to be in the moment and see the potential learning opportunity in that moment [for you or for the other(s)]. By releasing the situation, we also release the energy of it!

We have the power to choose how we live, work, play and feel. Certainly, in our lives we are confronted with situations where we feel powerless and unable to make a change, or leave. However, we do have the power to choose how we feel about these situations, people, changes, etc. We have quite a bit of power at our disposal, we simply need the courage to access it and make those tough decisions.

If you feel you are in a negative situation currently, or are in the company of negative individuals who you feel drain you of your energy, consider the above process and answer these questions to help you influence change and to ultimately feel better and in more control:

  • Do I feel like I am powerless in this situation, or a victim to this person?
  • How can I “change the channel” or intervene to create a more solution-oriented environment?
  • How might I alter my perspective of this issue or person?
  • If I simply accepted the situation for what it is and/who the person is, how might that help me release the negativity I’m feeling?
  • What would be my ultimate outcome and what are the first steps I can take to achieve that outcome?

And, remember, small changes in actions and perceptions create HUGE shifts in our energy and in how we feel.

Finally, consider The Optimists Creed as an anchor for you today and in those tough moments:

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation — some fact of my life– unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Namaste,

Monique

As a proud Coach, I wanted to be sure to share the GOOD NEWS of coaching during International Coaching Week. Coaching has allowed me to better serve my purpose in life, which simply put is to help others see their magic and live it fully. Nothing gives me greater joy.

So, what better way to pay it forward then to give away FREE STUFF. Yay!!

My blog (yes, the one you are now reading!), Being En Pointe, provides me a mechanism to share my passion and wisdom with whomever stumbles upon it. I’d love to connect with more personal development lovers near and far, and I’d love your help. Here’s how you can help me be more En Pointe:

If you have not subscribed to my blog, do so now. Simply share your email with me via my SUBSCRIBE button to your right.

Forward this post to those friends, colleagues and/or family members who you feel would benefit from or enjoy my blog. If they subscribe, they can win too.

Here’s what I’m giving away (Contest: three lucky winners!) to those those who either are already subscribers or who subscribe THIS WEEK (deadline on Sunday, 2/13).

  • Copy of Bruce D. Schneider’s book, Energy Leadership.
  • (1) Complimentary 2-hour coaching session (Value: $300).
  • (1) Energy Leadership Assessment and 2-hour debrief (Value: $500).

What’s Energy Leadership?

Become an Ideal Leader
… and Unlock Your True Potential

The only constant is change. We all experience changes in needs, expectations, the environment, relationships, careers, economics, business, time demands, and more.  There is no one formula that will allow us to effectively manage change, and even less information about how not only to survive, but thrive, in the face of change.

Change affects us everywhere and in everything we live for.  Today, the security we seek from the various aspects of our lives is no longer guaranteed on any level.  Whether you’d like to protect your relationship, the investment you made in your key employee, your financial status, or your family, you’ve worked hard to be where you are today, and you desire and deserve to know that all of your personal and professional efforts are secure.

To create an effective personal system for thriving in our ever-changing world, while also securing all you’ve worked for, you will need to become an ideal leader. To assist you, we have created…Energy Leadership.

Energy LeadershipTM is the process that develops a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your organization as a whole.

Read details about the Energy Leadership Index Assessment HERE.

Thanks so much for helping me continue to do what I love.

Make sure to share this post and win BIG!

With gratitude,

Monique

Kick Up Some Dirt

February 2, 2011

 

As a life-long dancer the first thing I picture when I hear the words “Kick up some dirt” is a person dancing wildly, no holds barred, on the beach, or at a backyard hoedown. Yet this month (and everyday, really) it can hold another meaning, one that signifies resilience, persistence and laser focus (kinda sounds like a dancer’s life as well!).

With still so much energy behind this new year–2011–and all of the ideas, excitement and light with which we christened it still tangible, I am questioning what it truly takes to get to where we want to go… to light up and deliver results.

What does it take and why don’t we always follow through?

In coaching with others about Energy Leadership we talk quite a bit about our default tendencies–those thoughts, beliefs, actions (and non-actions!) that we have either learned over time, or created to protect ourselves, which over the years have become entrenched into our psyche. Many times, unless we really look for them we don’t know they exist and that they hold us back. However, if we are the  introspective kind and have a good idea as to what and why we do the things we do, I would dare to claim that we have the high likelihood of really creating a breakthrough if we are truly committed to making it happen.

So, how do we build this commitment?

Yes, it is true that less than half of all individuals who create a new year’s resolution break them by month six, but I’m more interested in studying the smaller percentage who are “Fireworks,”  as Katy Perry would describe them, because not only do they NOT break their resolutions, they reach them, BIG TIME!  I love it in Katie Perry’s song, Firework, when she sings “Make them go Ah, Ah, Ah as you shoot across the sky!”

When others marvel at what you’ve accomplished (Ahhh!),

and even better,when YOU marvel at what you’ve accomplished,

you’ve done something not many do often.

Perhaps a quick poll can help shed some more light.

What would you say you hear more often from yourself and others?

  1. “Gosh, I just haven’t had the time or energy to work on my goal. Maybe tomorrow!”  – OR-

  2. “You’re never going to believe what I accomplished today! It took all the energy I could find, but I’ve got a fire in my belly!”

I’d love to get your feedback on this… a quick pulse of what you’re seeing out there. Please check in.

So, back to finding that commitment, as well as resiliency, persistence and laser focus.

What does it take to master them?

Consider this 5 step plan of action to get you on your way:

  1. Dig Deep.
    If you haven’t spent much time looking within start now. Try it for one week. Simply keep a journal to track your actions or non-actions and the possible reasons behind them. What are your thoughts, beliefs, and fears related to them? What fires you up or waters you down and why? I guarantee you’ll know yourself better than you did 7 days prior.  

    Jack Canfield uses a great visual to signify all of those “default tendencies” we tend not to see. Imagine the tip of an iceberg above the ocean, now go below the ocean in your mind to uncover the larger part of the iceberg…the part we don’t see that’s at least 5 times the size of the tip. This part underwater, what we don’t see, is likened to our subconscious. Let’s begin chipping away at that massive obstruction and start living more consciously!

     

  2. Identify ONE Breakthrough Goal.
    A Breakthrough goal is something that you normally would avoid committing to. It doesn’t have to be BIG or complicated, but something that will require you to get out of your box. Pick only one; this is key. Don’t set out to change your entire life. All Breakthrough goals are made up of many smaller goals, so consider creating a mind map of your Breakthrough goal. Pick that first small step to focus on and simply keep the larger goal where you can see it daily, off in the distance.
  3. Create a NEW Default. We evolve just as time evolves. Yes, habits are hard to break, but PLEASE break them if they are not doing you any good! You have the power to create a new habit…a new default tendency, one that will move you forward and will not define you. How do you create a new habit or routine? Bring it up from your subconscious to your conscious. Acknowledge it. Speak to it. Thank it for its service. Tell it it’s time to go bye, bye! Define your NEW habit, and bring it to life by giving it your undivided attention. LOVE on it!

    My quote for the day from my Ask and it is Given card deck applies nicely to this: “Like learning to understand the basics of mathematics and then having the successful experience of understanding the results of their applications, once you have a formula for understanding your world that is always consistent, it will yield consistent results for you.
     

     

  4. Kick up some dirt! Yes, this is the hard part. You know where you want to go, you’ve dug out the unwanted from deep down and placed lots of conscious energy around your new normal. Now the work begins. Kick up some dirt every day. Would you go today without brushing your teeth or taking a shower (Ok…maybe you shouldn’t answer this. LOL!)? Your new normal needs to become a priority, just like your other routine activities. Define a way to hold yourself accountable.

    Stephen Covey helps to lead the way in this thought via Habit 3 of this 7 Habits of Highly Effective People…Put First Things First! Make this a FIRST in your life to watch it truly become a new default tendency. This new habit will take you from dependence to independence, or self-mastery.

  5. Kick up the celebration! Revel in your accomplishments daily. Share your success, even if it’s only with your pet, the best of listeners! No goal achieved is too small. Creating an environment of excitement and joy helps to expand your energy field, therefore attracting back to you more of what you want and need.

Revel in the newness. The new year, new default tendencies, new successes.

Have fun with the process,

Monique

Which Bus Are You On?

July 21, 2010

For those of you who know me well and keep up with my posts, my next Relaxed Book Club selection will come as no surprise to you. For me, ENERGY is not a buzz word; it is life.  I’ve come to learn that energy is not ethereal, but very tangible. It has everything to do with the level of personal and professional success we feel we achieve, as well as with the positive relationships and experiences that keep us motivated and IN LOVE with our lives.

I feel I am one of the lucky ones who has had the opportunity to practice, coach, and assess others on Energy Leadership–a unique system and assessment (and book!) developed by Bruce D. Schneider, Master Coach and Founder of iPEC Coaching. Essentially, when our “E-Factor” is healthy and rising, we lead our lives, not the other way around. (Yep! We can measure your Energy Factor! Cool, huh?)

Who’s driving your bus?

Are you on the LOVE bus, or the FEAR bus?

How are you leading your life?

I have not yet begun reading Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, but the reviews are stellar, and I’m really looking forward to starting on this journey, which comes just in time for my longest road trip to date. I’m ready for the ride…both of them! If you’d like to join me for this trip, pick up your copy and let’s get to more learning and teaching. I just can’t get enough of either!

Here’s some of what we have to look forward to:

“The Energy Bus takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home. Everyone faces challenges. And every person, organization, company and team will have to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success.”

I invite you to read along with me. 🙂

Vroom Vroom,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.