DO ONE BOLD THING™: The Non-Negotiable First Step To Owning Your CONFIDENCE.

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On a quick dash thru Neiman Marcus in downtown Minneapolis a few years ago, I stopped just long enough to snap this picture.

What caught my eye was not the cashmere sweater collection it promoted.

Instead, it flashed me back to exciting memories of my former career as professional plus-size runway model, garment fit model and agency owner – when I amassed a smile-inducing collection of mannequins and fashion fit forms.

I smiled, snapped this photo, and then it struck me:

What stopped me in my tracks was how this display portrayed SO many aspects of the business of life we each lead as professional women…

The rich, colorful tapestry we each weave in creating what becomes our life story – as we lead and live our work and life – in our own special way. Every stage. Every day.

The layers that complicate us – confine us – comfort us – challenge us – complete us?

Our many shades beyond grey.

In that complexity, I want to help bring clarity to the often-exciting, often-overwhelming realities of achieving Success. And Happiness. As you define each for yourself.

The key to Success? (and Happiness?)

Owning It… With CONFIDENCE.

Where to begin? Start here:

photo-84DO ONE BOLD THING™: THE NON-NEGOTIABLE FIRST STEP TO OWNING YOUR SUCCESS… WITH CONFIDENCE:

1.  SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS!

That’s it! THE often-overlooked first non-negotiable step: Achieving the Success & Happiness you crave begins with Selecting Yourself!

The tough thing about Success? It’s up to you.

The GREAT thing about Success? It’s Up To YOU!

SUCCESS? IT’S UP TO YOU.

Know What You Want. Laser-focus it. Name it. Courageously commit by making it non-negotiable. Grab a quick break and get in front of a mirror and self-talk-it if you need to.

Realize goals worth reaching – the goals you value – are rarely achieved in one-fell-swoop of BOLD Success. Success happens in a series of baby BOLD steps along the way – some forward, and yes, some back. Sometimes more back then forward.

Success is a choice you make. As is Happiness.

What matters is that YOU believe in YOU.

CONFIDENCE IS Believing In Yourself(!) even in that moment – especially in that moment – when it’s easier not to.

(Or why would anyone else believe in you, if you don’t believe in fabulous you? When YOU believe in you, others believe in you, too!)

Thinking this advice applies only for young professionals, early in our careers? Think again.

At every age and every stage of your work and life, to GET what you want you need to KNOW what you want.

Achieving what you want begins when you commit, when you OWN IT with CONFIDENCE … by Selecting Yourself For Success!

DO ONE BOLD THING:

Select Yourself For Success! 

OWN IT… WITH CONFIDENCE.

Achieve The Success (& Happiness) You Crave.

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLD! FACTOR® Award-Winning Leader, Trusted Advisor & Women’s Empowerment Conference Speaker, Encouraging & Inspiring Women To Lead With CONFIDENCE.  AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  I snapped this shot at Neiman Marcus, downtown Minneapolis (before NM left Mpls) as an inspiring reminder of the fit form collection I owned in my former career as professional plus-size model and agency owner – and how it applies in so many ways to the business of life for professional women… whose success & happiness I passionately champion at THE BOLD! FACTOR®.

Owning Your Success Amidst The Ultimate Success Stifling, Confidence Crushing, Fear Fueling, Influence Immobilizing Impact Of Impostor Syndrome

photo-46Years ago, when I first learned of Impostor Syndrome, I knew I too had (gulp!) experienced the lockjaw impact of its unrelenting grip.

Sound familiar?

Yes, Impostor Syndrome is real.

And yes, you are imminently capable of the Success you imagine for yourself …and yes, you deserve to own the SUCCESS YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED!

Herein lies your challenge and your opportunity:

Owning It. With Confidence.

Owning Your Success… With Confidence! 

I am writing this post to introduce you to what has become one of my favorites among many great business-and-life-influencing books I’ve read: *THE SECRET THOUGHTS OF SUCCESSFUL WOMEN: Why Capable People Suffer From The Impostor Syndrome And How To Thrive In Spite Of It.* by Valerie Young, Ed.D.

First things first: Impostor Syndrome is NOT a Women-only derailer. 

It’s an equal opportunity success crusher for Men and Women – a potentially devastating confidence destroyer – knowing no bounds related to stage of work or life. 

In fact, I’m realizing now the concepts and realities of Impostor Syndrome may in fact be a subliminal driver behind everything I’ve created in my own business since 1993, including THE BOLD! FACTOR® CONFIDENCE and in work I’ll continue to create in this now-and-next stage of my business – inspiring, encouraging, championing and guiding inspired people like you to Own Your Success… With Confidence! The heart and soul of The BOLD! Factor all along.

BOLD Truth: You can create phenomenal success when you own your success.

These qualifiers (expressions you may be unknowingly crediting your hard-earned success to!) drive my passion for helping people claim their confidence and own their success… 

Valerie Young points out in her book the fascinating way Impostor Syndrome reveals: “in denying the existence of evidence of success in your own life… the problem is your compulsion to explain your success away with qualifiers:

photo-34*It was only because they like me… I was in the right place at the right time… It was luck… I don’t deserve this… Someone made a terrible mistake… I had a lot of connections… If I can do this, anyone can… It is only a matter of time before I am found out… I am a fraud… A fake… Phew, I fooled them again!*”

In her book, Young (who refers to herself as a recovering impostor and invites you to Join The Club!) notes the co-discoverers of Impostor Syndrome, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, identified four coping and protecting mechanisms: diligence and hard work, holding back, charm, and procrastination. In her work, Valerie has observed three more: maintaining a low or ever-changing profile, never finishing, and self-sabotage.

OUCH.

Any of those ring true for you? A few sure do for me. My work is and will continue to be better for this discovery. I hope the same for you, too.

Last night I picked up the phone and called author, now friend, Valerie Young.

It was a wonderful call, as she referred to it: “meeting a kindred spirit!” Valerie had some good advice for me on how to tackle writing my book, and what worked for her. We agreed it’s the hardest work either of us have done. We talked about where we’re at and our visions of what’s next.

A few more expressions – this time from accomplished people tossing their success to the wind – with powerful feelings of impostor-induced self-doubt. Sound familiar?

Who would think Meryl Streep would ever get cold feet at the beginning of every project, telling a reporter: “Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”

Or Mike Myers expecting the no-talent police: “At any time I still expect that the no-talent police will come and arrest me.”

Yes, even our beloved Maya Angelou: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh-Oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'”

If you know someone who might benefit from knowing about Valerie Young’s book, I hope you will share this post with them. It’s the reason I paused my own book writing this morning, to spread the word – with, for, and through you – on how you can create massive Success & Happiness when you learn to release the grip of Impostor Syndrome… by owning your success with confidence.

Your Success is NOT about Luck. YOU earned it!

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing any Aha’s with us in the comments below… or not… as you wish. This is one uber-personal subject, that’s for sure. Till we meet again:

IMG_1621Do One BOLD Thing.

Own Your Success… With Confidence.

IT’S UP TO YOU!

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© 1993-2017 Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  MASK: David and I found this glass mask during the fun week of our daughter Natalie’s and Dan’s wedding in Playa Del Carmen. And once we pick up a fabulous leather mask like one we found in Italy, we’ll have started a new collection. Masks – as art – can be fascinating!  RAZZLE DAZZLE FORTUNE COOKIE: A favorite blingy gift I’m inspired by everyday, sharing it with you here as a reminder that your Success is not about Luck. Own Your Success With Confidence.™ YOU earned it!

5 Ways To Friend Your Fear & Create Your Next Success!

cropped-background-boldstripes.jpgWhether the fear you’re facing is your next presentation, client meeting or difficult conversation… no matter how accomplished an executive or how rookie a rising star you are… whether you’re navigating unchartered territory or familiar ground… start here:

1.   Breathe. Exhale. Smile.

Smile?! Yes. Trust that you’ll get through this. It isn’t the first time fear held you in its vice-like grip, right? And it won’t be the last. So why not take a little pressure off! Smile to yourself – as a powerful positive nod to believing in yourself – trusting that soon you will be looking back on this whole thing with a smile at how fear could have incapacitated you – rendering your impact nothing more than a past al dente spaghetti noodle. Picture yourself looking back and realizing sure, it could have been worse, and yet, it wasn’t. Smile.

2.   Re-Think *Immobilized* To Stop The Quicksand Feeling Of Fear.

We all have times we’re stopped in our tracks – immobilized – in fear. When no matter how strong we are, how experienced in business and life we are, the time comes when we simply cannot take a single. step. forward. Worse yet, the downward spiral of sinking in quicksand, engulfed in fear. In the moment it can all feel like eternity. It’s not. Being immobilized is real, for sure. It’s also temporary. You will get through this! And right about now you may want to repeat #1 above and focus on believing in yourself again.

3.   Friend Your Fear.

Trying to slay that dragon called fear? Friend your fear! Let fear be the fuel that helps you find the strength and energy to soar, back on top of your game again. Fear is a sign of vulnerability; your honest vulnerability helps keep you real. Fear helps guide your decisions, interactions and actions, and helps you consider how you might approach, prepare or execute differently next time. Fear teaches. Fear inspires. Fear reminds you how much you care. There’s a lot to friend in fear!

4.   See Fear As Getting Caught In The Rain. OK, A Downpour.

Both fear and downpours can take your breath away. Both can startle you with unexpected timing and intensity! Both can feel relentless, inescapable… yet both are often fleeting. Both can render your moment, your day, your life… wrecked. STOP. Shift your thoughts, actions and outcomes from Old to BOLD! Even when caught in a downpour, drenched to the bone, you didn’t melt, right?!

5.   Don’t Buy Into Fearless.

When someone claims to be forever fearless – or advises you to be – don’t buy it. Work with your fear. Accept fear as a natural and necessary reality of your work, your life, your growth. Let fear fuel your next success!

Next time you find yourself facing, creeping into, or fully immersed in, fear…

Do One BOLD Thing. 

Own It Like You Own It. 

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017   Ann Ulrich    AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Like a warning sign, fear can alert you to be aware. I prefer to think of my own fear as stopping me in my tracks momentarily, alerting me to new possibilities. It took me years of being afraid of the dark to realize it’s much more fun to friend my fear, than fear my fear.