Fear And Your Non-Negotiable Dream You Will Make Happen Even If It Takes A Lifetime

photo-35Sometimes, dreams really can take a lifetime.

After a few waves of *what the heck was that?!* of the recent past…

…one thing has become crystal clear:

No more waiting (for any of us!) before claiming and creating our next *it*. 

If you’re waiting until you’re, you know, just a bit further along… or a little more experienced… just that much more *ready*… before you go for it and make your next move… or if you’re holding off on moving forward until the time is finally just right… ask yourself:

Is FEAR holding you back from leading and living the work and/or life you crave?

Life is too precious to waste one moment by not exhaling out of fear.

Try this instead: Risk falling on your face – or stubbing your toe trying – by moving forward one step at a time directly into whatever you’re most afraid of… so you can stop that slowly-sinking-in-quicksand feeling called fear… and start breathing life into your life again… coming ALIVE again!

I hope this favorite quote inspires you as it inspires me, everyday:

“It’s no longer about asking what our world needs. Ask what makes you come Alive and go do that. Our world needs people who come ALIVE!”  Thurman/Ulrich

Put yourself out there and make something happen.

Claim your dream and make it non-negotiable.

Let us know so we can cheer you on!

What’s your non-negotiable dream you will make happen… even if it takes a lifetime?

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© 1993-2013  Ann Ulrich Inc.    THE BOLD! FACTOR®      AnnUlrich.com

Photo: I love noticing dreamy light fixtures. This lights up a favorite downtown Minneapolis restaurant, Zelo.

Overwhelmed? Stop For 2 Minutes. Read This.

IMAGINE YOURSELF… on a seaside vacation in Sri Lanka, with your husband, your young sons and your parents. It’s the day after Christmas, and life is rich and good, you and your husband are still in love, your parents still healthy, your boys bright, interested, loved by all. And then imagine, out the window, a wave where no wave should be and the dawning realization that you must run, must leap with your family into a Jeep, which speeds toward safety until the wave swamps it, tumbles it, tearing from you your husband, your boys, leveling the hotel where your parents wait, leaving you clinging to a branch, alive when the wave recedes but stripped of everything. How do you, left utterly alone, go on? Sonali Deraniyagala’s unmitigatedly honest, immeasurably potent memoir recounts the eight dark years since the 2004 tsunami erased her life, and her reluctant progress toward rejoining the living. Relentless in its explication of grief, this massively courageous, tenaciously unsentimental chronicle of unthinkable loss and incremental recovery explodes – and then expands – our notion of what love really means.

Pam Houston on the mesmerizing memoir, WAVE.

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IMG_1621Feeling Sad?  Stressed?

Overwhelmed with YOUR life?

Exhale…

In Gratitude.

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© 1993-2013 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   AnnUlrich.com

Open Heart, Open Mind

photo-11A few years back, Seth Godin challenged me to prove him wrong related to one of my business concepts.

Hard as I tried, I could not prove him wrong.

He is Brilliant.

He’s willing to say the unsayable.

In a positive impact kind of way. And somehow his wisdom seems perfectly timed. Another thank you email headed his way today… his wisdom is always worth sharing:

With An Open Heart And An Open Mind – by Seth Godin

It might not be warranted, but you won’t get far without it.

Don’t bother going to that meeting or reading that book (and I’ll add: or re-thinking that conversation) unless you can momentarily assume the message comes from a place of goodwill and generosity.

Skepticism doesn’t help you hear.

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  I love capturing pictures as simple parts of a whole. This is a favorite vase.

Swing Like A Kid Again

Next time you’re starting a new project, meeting a new client, building a new dream, blossoming a new relationship, creating a new strategy, putting a fresh new spin on a tired old program, or re-imagining a confident new YOU…

Swing Like A Kid Again!

Free yourself from old expectations you know are holding you back.

Stop caring what other people think.

Toss the instruction manual … pick the beginning, middle, or end … and simply START.

Let yourself Swing Like A Kid Again! Remember the feeling?! Push me higher! Run under my swing Daddy! Let me Soar till my feet touch the clouds!

Let’s free ourselves to Swing Like Kids Again.

Why did we ever stop?!

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© 1993-2012. Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

The Antidote To Your Rat-Race-Rush Life? Social Generosity.

photo-7So where in this Rat Race are we all Rushing to?

And when we eventually get there… then what?!

An unintended consequence of our choice to live a Rat-Race-Rush Life (and yes, it is our choice!)

We risk misusing our personal power to get ahead of each other

instead of helping each other get ahead.

The antidote?  Practice Social Generosity.

The beauty of practicing Social Generosity lies in its simplicity:

Do One BOLD Thing Today… To Help One Person Get Ahead.

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© 1993-2013 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  This wire art just looked like a rat race rush(!) to me when I wrote this post. It’s a wire bowl hanging in our kitchen – where it looks much calmer ;)

Guilty Pleasure

photo-12On a recent flight home, I broke the golden rule of being a good seatmate:

I interrupted the reading-immersed woman sitting next to me.

Noticing she had not come up for air since firing up her ereader, I asked if she always preferred reading digital books.

I mentioned still loving to curl up with my ink-doodled piles of books vs holding my hard metal iPad.

Her comment will forever crack me up:

*If I were reading a business book like you, I’d have no problem holding that book in my lap for all the world to see…*

She continued, *I’m reading the 3rd book in the 50 Shades of Grey series… I’m traveling with my team and believe me I don’t need anyone to know what book I’m devouring… it’s my secret guilty pleasure.*

The look in her eyes told me she sure hoped I didn’t know anyone on her team! 

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  Ahhhh what better to signify Guilty Pleasure than one of my favorite cuddle-up blankets. This living room blanket is always nearby when I immerse in hours of reading.

Earn The Relationship First

photo-13Years ago, I was brought in to lead a turnaround.

My directive was to win back revenue lost amidst a volatile marketplace.

I rolled up my sleeves and focused on meeting with the right people to get an understanding what, in their minds, the real issue was.

As is often the case, the real issue was buried deep beneath the façade of perception.

My big takeaway in that career-defining project?

Winning back lost revenue is not only about revenue…

It’s about Relationships.

When you reach out to build trust – and grant trust – you begin re-building 2-way relationships…

…and from that point forward you never need to chase the money again.

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo: Love the metallic focus-inducing center of this simple silvery coaster I’ve had for over 20 years.

Body Confidence: Perspective Or Excuse?

photo-22Struggles with Body Confidence come in all shapes and sizes, ages and stages, business and life.

There, whew, relax… it’s not just you.

As a national speaker, consultant and trusted advisor, and former national Plus Size runway and fit model (former because as my business grew I chose to retire from my own modeling, and former because I chose to work hard to return to my naturally fit size – another story for another day ;) people confided in me… poured out their hearts in ways that will forever touch mine…

I was blown away one day when, as people gathered to share personal thoughts after The BOLD! Factor presentation, I heard these polarizing points of view:

*Ann, OMG, I consider myself your same size and I could NEVER get up in front of an audience and present like you do!*

And then a few minutes later, same group, different person, shared this:

*I’ve been thinking how it’s no wonder you can get up in front of so many people… and present in a way people actually want to hear what you have to say… if I was tall and had such passion… such a commanding powerful presence as you… well then I could too. I couldn’t tho, because people don’t notice me.*

These comments and these women FASCINATED me.

I kept quiet and listened as each privately shared from the heart, trusting me with their thoughts:

The first woman – who made a point of being larger sized – was friendly, passionate, beautiful – said she could never be in front of a group, and never be on stage, because she’d be worried everyone would be focused on well, you know, everything BUT her message. I’ll spare you the details…

Her gist? How could I get up in front of people as my work… when I was her same size. (Interesting how we view ourselves as similar to or different from each other.)

Later that day, a conversation unrelated to the first, came from a quieter, so-intensely-searching petite, obviously fit, shy, beautiful woman. She said she feels invisible being her size, and that a person of my size is, of course(?!), naturally magnetic and someone people want to listen to and want to be around.

I was blown away. Look at these messages!!

How we view ourselves in comparison to others?? How we see gaining/losing our own cutting-edge advantage based on our size??

Or is this really about our perceived vision of how others see us?? And the perception that being *invisible* might be anything other than the choice it is, as each person makes for him/her self??

You know I have much more to say on this subject… and some proven strategies I know without a doubt can cause the shift that’s needed in our thoughts, actions, outcomes related to this topic… altho my goal is not to turn this blog into a BOLD Body Confidence podium.

I’ll share more on this topic as we go. I have to. God doesn’t put people in front of us just so we can forget and move on with our life, unaffected.

Creating The BOLD! Factor provides me the platform – I feel and respect the pressure of the gifts I’ve been given – as I hope you in turn feel compelled to use the gifts you are given, too.

Body Confidence struggles can be the self-sabotageur that in itself can become the all-safe-here comfort zone we might never ever have to leave if no one makes us.

After all, some things are just too hard to face, much less accomplish, on our own.

So what’s your take on these profound thoughts shared by these two women:

Powerful Perspective… or Simply Another Excuse?!

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:   Captured this while strolling thru Neiman Marcus downtown. Ever since owning my fit model agency, fit forms make me smile… I have so many stories. I must add that I am not about perfect form – or perfect bodies. And REAL people please. Not fake. Thank you.

BOLDest Of All

IMG_1621When it comes to BOLD leadership,

whether you lead from the top, middle or front line…

in your family, business or life…

Your quiet inner strength

can be

BOLDest of all.

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  There was never a doubt in my mind as to what my logo would be when I launched my own business. Having been forever marked-down by my teachers – in probably every grade – for overly-enthusiastic overuse of the !!! in my writing, reports, art… I colored one BOLD RED in 1993… and ever since use it to my heart’s content! (!!)

Excellence: How Contagious Are You?

photo-30When it comes to Excellence…

How are you positively impacting people, situations, outcomes and lives…

…by sharing your Excellence, passing it on, spreading it generously among others?

IMAGINE: What if your Excellence became Contagious…

A HANDFUL OF BOLD: 7 WAYS TO SPREAD CONTAGIOUS EXCELLENCE!

1. When you can articulate success… you can replicate success!  (Discover, develop and deliver your BOLD! Exclamation Point.)

2. Take one inspired thought… apply courageous action… and move your own mountains! (You’ll inspire others around you to move their own, too.)

3. Build respect, relationships and results internally first… to build the rock-solid foundation you need before reaching out externally!  (Get strong inside before taking it outside.)

4. Create room for serendipity, whitespace and downtime!  (Your refreshed energy will translate into your next success.)

5. Hold yourself accountable by making *I Own This* your new self-leadership mantra! (Your mirror message reads: Success is up to ME. Own this.)

6. Social Generosity is the antidote to your rat race rush life!  (Stop long enough to help someone else get ahead.)

7. Your genuine SMILE shared early and often breeds optimism!  (Your Beautiful BOLD S.M.I.L.E. = Your Sincere Means of Igniting Leadership and Excellence!)

Go ahead… make our day…

BE CONTAGIOUS!

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:   A favorite fabric, and now every time I see it, I think: Contagious!