What To Do When Fear Of Failure Risks Your Next Success

photo-73It’s not that you can’t. (You can!)

It’s not that you’re not willing. (You are!)

It’s not that you don’t want to. (You do!)

It’s not that you don’t know what to do or who to ask for help. (You know!)

It’s not that you’re lost. (You’re here!)

It’s not any of that…

So what is it?

What’s stopping you from taking that one next step?

What’s stopping you from moving forward to create your next success?

What’s stopping you from achieving that one dream that still keeps you awake in giddy excitement at even the thought of it? 

That one thing you would do… if only you could… if only you were willing… if only you really wanted to… if only you knew what to do… if only you could find your way there…

OK, just breathe for a minute and trust me on this one.

I feel your angst. I know your pain. I hold my breath at the thought of wanting to get there so bad you feel like you will explode – or implode – if you don’t.

I know the feeling when all you can produce are tears.

I’ve been where you are.

This morning I was there. 

And then I remembered the one thing I forgot to do. 

Trust me enough to hear me out… I’ve got your back on this one.

Instead of fighting forward, it’s time to step back.

To the beginning.

And before you can step back you need to

STOP.

STOP being afraid.

STOP being so certain that you will fail. Or that you’ll fail again.

STOP being so certain that you don’t already have everything you need to get there.

STOP being so certain about everything you are so certain about.

Where from here? Ready? Here it is.

You simply missed the very first step.

Start here:

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

That’s it. THE KEY TO THE END IS HOW YOU BEGIN.

Name your Success. Claim it. Own it.

Get Going. Keep Going. Even if baby steps are all you can move forward on right now. Know, trust and believe YOU will succeed… and that it won’t be perfect… and that it will be tough and it will be exhilarating and just plain FUN to be on your way there.

Keep Going even when others insist you will fail.

You’re not doing this to please them anyway, are you?

Keep Going even when YOU insist you will fail.

Not everyone is going to buy in to what you’re doing… because what you’re doing is not going to be for everyone. It’s for the people you’re creating it for. And that’s enough.

And if you think for a moment that you don’t already have everything you need to succeed, scroll back and read the first 5 lines again.

So there you go. Watch you soar…

Send a postcard from the stratosphere of your renewed Confidence in you!

You had it in you all along!

You simply forgot to start at the beginning.

The place to start your next Success is right where you are:

Do One BOLD Thing.

SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS.

OWN YOUR SUCCESS WITH CONFIDENCE.

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich Inc.   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  Last Sunday at our cabin, I had no idea my phone camera would capture the stunning essence of the moment: sparkling water and rippling sky in effervescent shades of blue. And in that moment I realized how grateful I am to choose to live my life without dreading blues on Sundays. Ah, the gifts we gift ourselves.

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.

3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence Inspires Contagious Excellence

photo-24Your quiet confidence and quiet leadership can be BOLDest of all. 

I was blown away the first time a smart professional told me she didn’t think of herself as a leader because she was not charismatic and not extroverted. She felt those were pre-requisites for being a great leader. Or in fact, for leading at all.

Ah, I smiled. Our conversation ended with a smile on her face too, as she saw for the first time how her inner strength, her quiet confidence *can be BOLDest of all*.  

Since that conversation years ago, when speaking or leading inspired team retreats I often include a segment I created on Valuing Others’ Expressions Of BOLDness.

In reflecting inward, and ultimately broadening our peripheral view to others, we begin to see the beauty in how we each bring BOLD differently… positively impacting our own success, as we create more success (and have more fun!)… individually and together.

3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence & Leadership Can Be BOLDest Of All, Inspiring Contagious Excellence! 

1.  When you step back to shine the spotlight on others, you inspire others forward. 

Be sure you don’t step so far back as to slip under the radar or become invisible. We need to see you. In shifting the spotlight, you’re offering others the opportunity to get known for – and remember by – their positive impact. Inspired by You. You’ve just magnified the impact of your positive leadership by inspiring another to lead, and in turn, inspiring the leader in others they lead…

2.  When you listen closely as you typically and beautifully do, people know you care.

When people know you care about them, they begin to trust that you also care about what matters to them. Imagine the possibilities! Your quiet confidence in listening to others – with genuine interest – can shift the frustration, malaise or disengagement in your team by inspiring them to start tuning in to each other, creating contagious excellence – and new success – as you build a team of people who actually care. About each other as team, customers, clients, community… translating beyond work to home, families, friends…

3.  When you speak, people want to hear what you have to say.

Your quiet confidence is shared in less words. Your select messages inspire what’s needed in this situation, meeting or conversation. The example you set can inspire and build a team of people willing to share their point of view, encouraging others to share theirs, too. Allowing people the opportunity to courageously build new confidence as they practice, develop and share their own points of view… whether quiet or not so quiet… is a gift that lasts a lifetime, contagiously rippling waves of excellence as new success. 

Do you consider yourself a Quiet leader?

Do you bring your BOLD by leading Quietly?

Here’s an important last (or first?!) step for you:

Do One BOLD Thing.

OWN YOUR SUCCESS WITH CONFIDENCE. 

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:   While keynote speaking in Taiwan, after my sincere effort yet seriously-lackluster results learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, I was rendered helpless on stage if not for the calm confidence of kind Taiwanese Translators. This is when and where I envisioned creating my speaking business, back in 1990, in their year of the Horse. If you’ve been to our condo, you may think I love horses… what I really love is the vision that was born in me in that one experience of a lifetime, in the year of the Horse. And maybe being a Taurus gave me the guts to actually make it happen.

Inspired By The U.S. Open: When Under Stress, We Forget The Simple Things

photo-72Did you watch the U.S. Open on Father’s Day?

David and I enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon date on our deck cheering Phil Mickelson on to his would-be so-deserved first U.S. Open win.

Alas, Phil retains his spot as THE classiest U.S. Open second-place winner. Again. Darn.

While focused on Phil, it was actually a quick comment made on Saturday by Golf Channel host and Hall of Fame golfer, Colin Montgomerie that caught my attention and stuck:

“When under stress, we forget the simple things.”

The simple things – getting back to basics – can be a smart way to do business – an inspired way to live!

Next time you want to earn trust, get remembered, make the sale, win the win, be selected, land your next Success… or maybe just have things come a little easier when it all starts feeling more like a setback than soaring…

Get back to basics.

One Of My Favorite Ways To *Get Your BOLD On… By Getting Your BOLD Back!*™ Creating Success By Getting Back To Basics:

LET OTHERS IN.

You got where you are with the help of others who know you, learned about you or experienced you in action, and now trust you.

In the race to success, have you stopped letting others get to know the real you?

Let others in so they can discover too, just how great you are.

Next time you’re in a conversation, posting a social media update, positioning your business, or delivering a critical message… listen carefully to the conversation underway, understand what’s happening around you, and add to it by letting others know something that lets them in, to get to know you in a keep-it-real genuine way.

I’ve seen huge shifts when leaders I’ve worked with toss their piles of slides and statistics and share a personal story instead. Now what you say matters. Because you matter. You just became real. And relatable. Someone worth listening to. Tell us more.

Now we know you’re not selling us… or telling us… or repelling us.

You’re inviting us in.

When it comes to creating or re-igniting success… building your brand – building business – and building a life you love…

Let others in so they can discover too, just how great you are.

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017   Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Ah well, rather than simply sitting idle again this Summer, apparently my golf clubs (golf cubs?) struck up a new friendship at the lake!

Any Moment You Choose: Shift From Old To BOLD!

photo-1Damn these Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Clusters. 

It’s 2:00am on Monday, June 10th. I’m in the kitchen eating a handful. OK, three handfuls.

Aha! You never know what might show up in your work or life as an opportunity waiting for you to claim it and own it – the catalyst for positive change – leading to your next success! (BRAVO YOU!)

Apparently these Clusters showed up as mine.

Two years ago, I committed to lose and be forever done with the *plus size* me. It was a body shape I needed to maintain during one of my most exciting adventures as a professional runway model and national fit model, a decade-plus career which became my inspiration for launching the first exclusive fit model agency in the country. What a ride!

Fascinating and frustrating is how I’d describe the fact that, when I decided to leave modeling to focus solely on building my agency business and BOLD, my body didn’t cooperate in leaving that size behind. My vision was lb’s falling off when no longer needed… um, no, it didn’t happen that way. As that great saying goes: there are no shortcuts to anything worth achieving!

It took a focused commitment: eating right (imagine that!) and 5am workouts. I posted my 5-day/week workouts on facebook and Twitter, set my goal, made my commitment and never looked back. I shed the size and feel strong and fabulous! One of my favorite headshots is my current website photo – in my yellow sweater – at my current size.

Thank You, Costco’s Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Clusters (anyone else hearing Jimmy Fallon’s piano in that? ;) for being the catalyst I needed to take this next step in accomplishing the final leg of my goal. When I hit *Publish* on this blog post, I’m on my way to being back at my fighting weight/size at Christmas. (Join me?!)

My workouts are pretty much still in tact. I change-up/ease-up and get out of the gym to head outside in Summer. They’ve become who I am and how I roll, so I won’t be posting those. I’ll focus on clean eating instead.

The most exciting thing about change? Any moment you choose, you can change what’s no longer working. In your work and in your life.

Where to begin? Shift your thoughts, actions and outcomes… from Old To BOLD!

I’m jazzed to finish this Cluster and be done (amazing how this last one tastes like plastic). When I wake up tomorrow I am a girl with a plan. Back on top of my game. Walking My Talk. Owning It Like I Own It!

Do you have a change in your life you’re ready to pull the trigger on?

Get excited! Shift & GO BOLDly in any direction you choose! If you need a champion along the way – let me know so I can cheer you through!

Smiling that Yes, it really is true:

Your Next Success?  

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  A healthier choice: dark chocolate, cranberries, ginger and walnuts – a recipe David picked up on his recent tour of Hormel’s Spam plant – I know, seriously!

THANK YOU DEAR SUBSCRIBERS! There’s a special place in heaven for people who support and champion the work of others. Thanks so much for being here. And for commenting as you wish. Know someone who might enjoy these Jolts of BOLD Inspiration? Thank you for sharing it forward and inviting them in!

The Risk In Bringing Uncalibrated Passion

IMG_1621To live the life you want… to commit to your dreams… takes Passion.

BRAVO those who bring Passion in a positive-impact way:

Lighting up new smile-inducing possibility! inspiring Passion in others! creating new success together! while passing it on…

As one who admits in her Bio: *I wear my Passion on my sleeve and when I have no sleeve I wear my Passion on my arm* ..

In my speaking and writing, I’m sharing this lesson I’ve learned the hard way:

Your Passion Must Be Calibrated.

Uncalibrated Passion puts you and others at risk of experiencing and contagiously spreading a sudden and unexpected, potentially-devastating downward spiral, spelled:

S-U-F-F-O-C-A-T-I-O-N.

To lead and love life, don’t risk success and happiness by playing it safe. Don’t stop being Passionate – your Passion makes you come Alive!

Besides, watered-down Passion risks flatlining……..

To bring your Passion effectively: Calibrate accordingly.

So how can you keep Passion alive while Calibrating accordingly?

GO BOLDly! with your eyes, heart and mind – and your peripheral view – wide open.

Mindful of people and aware of situations… caring about what’s happening around you… seeing and feeling… helps keep you calibrating beautifully.

Bring your Passion. Light us up. Make things happen!

How will you bring your Passion?

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich  AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Ah, The BOLD Exclamation Point! All those school years, I was marked down on papers for incessantly over-using it. Years later, when I launched my own business, l claimed it as my Logo, happily over-using it ever since, as my reminder and commitment to keep leading & living passionately *!*

Saying The Unsayable On Leading, Living, Loving Lasting Married Life

photo-41I’m at our cabin on my annual BOLD REV!VAL retreat. Me, myself, and I. Along with a few loons, eagles, critters, cloudy and then sunny breezes, and at least three bears, one stuffed.

Being married 34 years, I have a lot to say on this subject.

 

 

Why now? Because I am willing to say the unsayable when it helps someone get ahead – no longer giving a rat’s asterisk about playing it safe. If you’re reading my writing you are choosing to do so. You can click away. If you’re in a conference, you can step away – altho my clients will tell you in Keynoting their conferences I take great care to understand why I was hired to speak and I respect that responsibility and bring what it takes to thoughtfully inspire your new success! And to my knowledge, over many years, no one has ever walked out of my keynote.

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photo-5What I Know About Leading, Living, Loving & Lasting Marriage:

1.  In this, my 34th year being married to David, I know for a fact that the time comes again when you are/can be as passionately crazy in love as when you first met. 

2.  In order to love your life together, you have to first love yourself, your own life. No one hands this to you. You claim it. Own it. Cherish it as your own vow to yourself. Did I mention you first need to HAVE a life as you?

3.  The whole of your marriage is going to be as strong as your two pillars, each representing each of you. Marriages of one pillar, with one counting on the other to be your life, risk either tipping over or losing your grip, sinking in unexpected quicksand.

4.  You won’t find happiness in marriage if you can’t find happiness in yourself. Be aware when grass looks greener. Sure, we all make mistakes in our careers, landing work that is not really a right fit, eventually that gets straightened out. Having been fired, I’m pretty sure it’s easier to leave or be fired from not-right-fit work than it is to chase greener grass in marriage and deal with the realities of hurting someone you so deeply loved.

5.  There will be days you can’t stand each other. Just as there are days you can’t stand yourself.

6.  There will be times you are freaked out in fear of *this is my life*? Is this all there is?! Do an honest gut check: are you blaming someone else for your happiness? Owning your part in it? Hmmm. Thought so. How do I know? I’ve been there too.

7.  Keep friends of both sexes. You didn’t come into marriage with your husband/wife as your only friend – why would you stop being friends with others now? I have never enjoyed working with, and being friends with, all women as much as I enjoy working with, and being friends with, both men and women.

8.  If you choose to have kids you will no doubt wake up one day and realize your life has become *kids*. Don’t let it be a surprise when all you talk about any more is kids, their lives, their schedules, their needs, their futures, your friends’ kids… This is all part of your rich tapestry of married life you create together when you choose to have kids. At times, your kids will need to be your utmost top priority. And they deserve to be, and need you to be there for them. Our world needs parents to be there for growing kids, and to do so, our workplaces need to honor and help make work work for young and changing families(!) (We can all help by bringing new solutions, another topic for another day.) Trust this stage is not forever. Altho sometimes we all wish these cherished times could be.

9.  For Moms, remember being scared in the delivery room and then remembering your own Mom and your girlfriends who somehow made it through labor?? You too made it through. And together you’ll make it thru things that seem much tougher than this.

10.  For Dads, remember standing at that recently-assembled crib, now holding your real-life baby, scared to death if you will be able to afford college, much less day care?? You’ll have more financial concerns ahead. Talk it through. You’re not in this alone.

11.  For Couples, remember the first time you saw your husband/wife and what that felt like… and then fast forward to never expecting – never ever expecting a day when the bottom might fall out – for whatever b’gillion reasons bottoms fall out given the realities of everyday life (sheeshta, it’s amazing any of us make it thru!) when it just might suddenly hit you that you are no longer in love?

TWO WORDS OF BOLD ADVICE FOR YOU ON THIS ONE… DON’T STOP THERE. TRUST YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS BUILT ON MORE THAN THIS ONE DAY, THIS ONE FEELING, THIS ONE SITUATION, THIS ONE FRUSTRATION, THIS ONE REALITY OF LIFE… TALK IT THROUGH. IF NOT NOW THEN SOON. COMMUNICATE TOGETHER. GO FOR A WALK. BREATHE. AND BY ALL MEANS:  …KEEP GOING!

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Life changes and life keeps changing. Stages come and stages go. I believe in leading, living and loving Life, including Married Life, in Sequenced Stages.

The Sequenced Stages in Married Life look something like this: 

Engagement. / Wedding. / Dating Each Other, Married. / Careers. / Kids. Kids. Kids. / Empty Nest – which I prefer to refer to not as empty or nest – as tho life must be only about kids – rather as: / Dating Each Other Again, Married. / Grandparenting (I have not experienced this stage, and tho I know it is claimed to be magical, I am in no hurry to leave this current stage of Dating Each Other Again, Married as our two recently-married kids enjoy their current exciting stage of Dating Each Other, Married).

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THE BOLD! FACTOR®: YOUR EXCLAMATION POINT *!* MARRIED LIFE

IMG_1621Want To Lead, Live, Love YOUR Lasting Married Life?

!  Know who YOU are. 

!  Continue to grow as an INDIVIDUAL as you TOGETHER keep growing as a couple.

!  Keep something in your life you are PASSIONATE about. My Mom used to say there needs to be one thing in your life that is only yours. It does not involve your spouse or your work or your family or your friends. What could that be for you, that is only YOURS?

!  Encourage and Allow each other to TAKE TIME OFF, alone. You can’t work without breaks and vacations, why should married life be any different? Whether minutes or hours or days or weekends or – as mine has now grown to (in this 50-something stage of life) time claimed to get away and reflect, re-energize, learn something, create something, or do absolutely nothing – work or life. Claim it early on, so together you can find a way that this can work, based on realities of this stage of life, for both of you.

!  TRUST each other. Expect trust and grant trust. Trust is possibly the underlying KEY SECRET to a happy, lasting marriage. There are others, but this is huge. You’ve earned and granted trust in choosing each other. It’s up to you to keep it.

!  Allow your head to go to that at-times unthinkable place. GO AHEAD: Make your grandiose exit plan – at some time or another most of us have! And then stop and look at what you really have in each other. And then self-check whether you are blaming someone else for your own happiness?

Whether exciting, exhilarating, or inexplicably frustrating… this stage too shall pass! And if there is any one message I used all these words to inspire you with, here it is:

Get To The NEXT Stage Together.  And Then The NEXT.  It’s Definitely NOT Easy.  It IS Absolutely Worth It. 

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photo-19As in Self-Leadership, Confidence and Success… as in Business and Life… Leading and Living and Loving Your Lasting Married Life Takes Each of You… individually and together.

Do One BOLD Thing.  Own It Like You Own It.

(You & Both Of You, Together.)

Choosing To Stay Happily Married?  

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  1) An evening glimpse of lake at our cabin… one of the places I love to come for reflection and rejuvenation. Mindful that it doesn’t take any special PLACE to do so, it simply takes an attitude and commitment to create the life we want, right where we’re at… which is up to ME. 2) This is what 34 years of marriage looks like. Some days anyway! And our red eyes? Not blaming the camera. We’re owning ’em as earned in happy tears shared on this special day of our son’s wedding ;) 3) My ever-passionate BOLD red *!* logo. 4) Minneapolis Aquatennial Fireworks exploding over the river in front of our condo.

Feeling Accomplished? Go Be A Rookie Again!

photo-49Creating success?

Flying high?

Soaring at the top of your game?

BRAVO YOU!

We all deserve that fabulous feeling of *accomplished*!

And the more Accomplished we get, the more we need to go be a Rookie again. 

Being a Rookie keeps us Real.

It builds Empathy, Compassion, Awareness and Humility.

Ah, Humility. That’s a tricky one. Brings to mind Golda Meir’s brilliant quote: *Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great.*  (Ouch!)

Can’t figure out how to actually be a Rookie again?

Go Mentor One.

When it comes to creating ripples of new Success… 

It’s Up To YOU!

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

Photo: I came across this jewel of a scene on a walk near our cabin last Fall. Leafy green trees are certainly *accomplished*. After 20+ years of cabin life, to never have seen this long-standing tree stump of mossy mushrooms formed into gorgeous peachy pinky orange bouquets, opened my eyes. I guess you could say in that moment I became a Rookie at finding new beauty in the familiar.

Your Courageous Confidence

IMG_1605On this gorgeous May morning, I’m thinking about a question I’ve been asked over the years:

“When it comes to being BOLD, what comes first: Courage or Confidence?”

A thought-provoking *chicken or egg*, isn’t it?

After researching, reflecting, and my favorite way to learn: experience and observation, I had concluded: It Depends. (Yes, the ULTIMATE NOT-SATISFYING RESPONSE TO ANYTHING!) Or, Both:

It takes Courage to be Confident.

It takes Confidence to be Courageous.

Which begs two questions: “How do I become Courageous in a situation if I’m not feeling Confident?” (and) “How do I become Confident if I’m not feeling Courageous?!”

Dr. Maya Angelou recently shed light on this in her wise and wonderful way. She says:

COURAGE is the most important of all virtues. Because without COURAGE you cannot practice the others consistently. 

So there it is.

And here is my 2-step BOLD interpretation for you:

Let your Courage (your ability to do something that frightens you) support, guide and champion your Confidence.

First: Let Courage be your WILLINGNESS to step in… the engine deep inside you that says not necessarily *I can* do this (that will come)… start with *I WILL* do this, fear and all. When you WILL do, feeling the fear and doing it anyway… that’s bravery, that’s Courage. This is where you start.

Next: Your Courage shows up and suddenly you’re ready for your Confidence to kick in… moving you into ACTION… even tiny-step action… to achieve whatever is right in front of you. Confidence is your *can do*, I DID IT! feeling. You’ll build new Confidence by taking Courageous, inspired action on whatever is stopping you.

When it comes to being BOLD… Confidence is the gift in being Courageous.

I hope you find comfort in this next time you have an unsurmountable situation of any size roadblocking you from achieving that next thing. Big or Small. Work or Life.

Trust COURAGE as your stepping stone to fire-up your CONFIDENCE… as you move forward, creating your next Success

It’s Up To YOU!

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

Photo:  I love colored glass. This vase makes us smile year-round. I move it to a spot where it catches the sun and dances little spots of sunlight across our living room. I’m smiling thinking about it. Note to self: Fill life with simple smile-inducing-ness!

PS. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. I hope writings here inspire you to take new action, to Do One BOLD Thing to create new success, as you Lead Live and Love your right-fit-for-you BOLD Exclamation Point *!* Life! Because even tho it may be dressed as Business or Work, it’s all Life.