The Secret To Loving Work & Life: Nothingness

photo-123Funny thing, when I’m asked how I stay energized… what keeps me inspired to champion the best in others… what drives me forward after a disappointment, a speed bump or yes, now and then, even a flat-out-face-plant fail…

I stop to think, never quite sure what the one-thing answer would be.

Until now.

Now I know exactly what keeps me inspired, energized and loving my work and life – and it can work for you too – yes, even with trip-ups amidst triumphs along our way. 

It’s not what I expected – and maybe you expected it would be these, too?

For me it’s not only about eating well (ok, eating well 80% of the time ) it’s not only about getting enough sleep (at least more nights than not), or consistent exercise (if I’m dancing thru the commercials, at least that’s something!) it’s not only about fresh air (whether freezing or frying), and not only about doing rewarding work, connecting with close friends, date time with my husband, and fun family time…

It’s really not about any of those.

What keeps me on top of my game – and can keep you on top of yours?

Self-induced breaks to immerse in *purely blissful nothingness*.

Ahhh…. can’t you just feel the exhale in that?

My kind of *nothingness* is sometimes carefully – or creatively – scheduled, other times randomly enjoyed. Sometimes announced, other times quiet. Sometimes blocked out, other times welcomed in.

The beauty of choosing *purely blissful nothingness*?

It doesn’t require budgeting time or money as vacation does – it’s not about needing to hang on until the weekend – and it doesn’t require managing time differently because it’s actually time-freeing!

Passionately or fiercely protected, committed, and coveted moments of *purely blissful nothingness* make my heart sing.

Start by capturing moment-size doses of nothingness.

We can all grab a moment.

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  1. noth·ing·ness
    ˈnəTHiNGnəs/
    noun
    the absence or cessation of life or existence.
    “the fear of the total nothingness of death”
    • worthlessness; insignificance; unimportance.
      “the nothingness of it all overwhelmed him”

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I would love to have coined the word *Nothingness*. It is however, already here and already burdened with quicksandish descriptions (ugh!) as in absence or insignificance – and yes, it’s even been scientifically proven.

Guess I’m late to the party for starting a movement toward immersing in *nothingness*…

Ah, but *purely blissful nothingness* that’s entirely fresh, unoccupied territory, right? (she hopes as she zips over to Google and comes up with pages of already-out-there’s…)

So the idea of *nothingness* is not a new idea. And that’s OK.

There really are no new ideas – what is new and innovative is how we apply what we already know, in our own fresh new delightful or unexpected ways.

So in branding it to BOLD (you knew this was coming!) here I go:

DO ONE BOLD THING™:

IMMERSE IN PRACTICING THE PURE BLISS OF NOTHINGNESS. 

AND I WILL, TOO.

You in?

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©1993-2015  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Consultant | Success Confidence & Empowerment Keynote Speaker For Rising Stars & Motivated Professionals Leading Our Best Bold Future!

If you’d like your own now-and-then jolts of BOLD *!* inspiration like these, subscribe today at: AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  A favorite vase I love as much in Winter as in Summer.

3 BOLD Ways To Bring Your Best With Zest In Everyday Work & Life!

photo-120Have you ever thought about how the energy you bring impacts everyday situations in your Work and Life?

When it comes to success and happiness, bringing your best – with Zest – can become THE key differentiator – the One BOLD Thing – that sets you apart!

Do you ever think of the value of the energy you bring as, you know, where’s the *expertise* in that?

I used to. Not any more!

A very cool thing happened for me while speaking to inspire The BOLD! Factor®: Branding Your Best *!* With Confidence leading a client’s group to discover, develop and deliver exactly what you bring that sets you apart – so you can create more success:

I discovered the one thing that has set me apart my entire career (and it can set YOU apart, too!)  yet I’m not sure I ever realized the massive value of this ONE attribute: 

Energy.

Authentic. Real. Positive. Zestful Energy

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Here are a few ways I hold myself accountable for keeping my own brand of positive energy alive to set myself apart – and YES, these can work for you, and no doubt they already do!

3 BOLD WAYS TO BRING YOUR BEST WITH ZEST IN EVERYDAY WORK & LIFE!

1.  OWN IT. 

Success? It’s Up To You. Happiness? It’s Up To You. Bringing Your Best With Zest? It’s Up To YOU!

Want to build, maximize and sustain positive energy?

Hold yourself accountable for how you show up. Not just for the big stuff in life – and not just for the big meetings at work. Show Up in everyday work and life owning the energy you bring – taking responsibility for your impact – and you’ll never need to make another excuse when things don’t go your way.

Keeping it real: No one is on top of their game in every situation, every day. Relax. This is not about standing out in an obnoxious way. This is about bringing your best attitude, your own high expectation, and holding yourself accountable for what happens as a result. 

Not feeling your best? There are times rescheduling is smarter than dragging yourself thru it. And there will be times you’ll need to look in the mirror and remind yourself; Success? It’s Up To ME. And on that down day you pick an outfit that looks a whole lot better than you feel and get out there…

Show Up & Own It. And just like that you’re back on track, on top of your game!

2.  JETTISON WHAT YOU KNOW NO LONGER WORKS.

Ouch. I know. Jettisoning. It’s tough.

What exactly does it mean to jettison?

At The BOLD! Factor, I describe jettisoning as “eliminating what you already know no longer works”.

And yes, it’s tough.

And you know what’s tougher?

Living a life filled with commitments, situations, and/or people that no longer fit. UGH. I feel like I gained a few pounds of dead weight just thinking of carrying around all that non-essential baggage.

Keeping it real: There will always be work you must do, commitments you must keep, situations you must deal with, and people you must interact with. Get over it. That’s Life! Change what you can and the rest? That’s another discussion for another day.

It takes courage to jettison.

It take confidence to jettison with compassion.

You already know what works – it’s up to you to take action and let the rest go.

3.  BE A ROOKIE AGAIN.

Early in my career, I rose from Rookie to Executive in an industry where at first glance I didn’t seem to belong. It didn’t happen overnight – it took me 13 years to accomplish.

What kept my energy high and my success alive? Continually challenging myself in new situations. Yes, fear and all.

When it comes to Success & Happiness, experiencing a powerful jolt of Rookie-ism is good for us all!

Rookie has become one of my favorite words. And favorite roles.

Keeping it real: When it comes to sustaining positive energy, not everything we’re passionate about needs to become the work we do. In fact, I’m becoming more a *LOVE YOUR WORK* rather than *DO WORK YOU LOVE* because turning your passion into your work can render your passion, well, Poof! Evaporated! Has that ever happened to you? I digress… I get emails inviting me to pay big bucks for Rookie.com related domain names. No thank you, altho I do own a serious-hobby-level collection of domain names, TheBOLDFactor.com and AnnUlrich.com work for me ;)

Feeling accomplished?

The more accomplished we feel, the more we need to find or create a way to be a Rookie at something again – starting right where you’re at.

The Zest of being a Rookie again soon outweighs the angst of all that suddenly-unfamiliar territory.

When becoming a Rookie again is *their* choice for you (job loss, etc) and not your choice, what to do? Own it! See it as an opportunity to create success in a whole new way.

Let being a Rookie again help you be a better individual and a better leader – as you learn new, gain fresh perspective, build curiosity, embrace new situations and navigate unchartered territory in unfamiliar environments… with courage and confidence.

Being a Rookie again keeps us mindful, with empathy for others who face new, unexpected and challenging situations in everyday work and life.

Facing a Rookie challenge? Don’t get stressed out! Stress makes you old. What if being a Rookie again became YOUR secret weapon for feeling forever young

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photo-84YOUR TURN: 

How will you / How did you bring your best energy today?

And when you did…

What happened as a result?!

DO ONE BOLD THING.™  Bring Your Best With Zest & Set Yourself Apart!

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©1993-2015  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLDFACTOR®

Want more BOLD *!* inspiration like this?  Subscribe: AnnUlrich.com & Let’s Connect:  LinkedIn.com/in/AnnUlrich  Twitter.com/AnnUlrichBOLD  

PHOTO: GLASS SCULPTURE ARTIST CREDIT: Dale Chihuly. I loved taking pictures to capture scenes I come across in everyday life that in some way inspire me, and I love sharing them here with you. I came across this STUNNING floor to ceiling glass sculpture in the art museum when David and I took a weekend trip to Milwaukee. Oh my, this colorful ZEST-filled art surely inspires!

3 Last-Minute Confidence-Building Gifts For Kids: Positively Influence For A Lifetime!

photo-75MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPYHOLLYJOLLYHOLIDAYRUSHRUSH!

Before you head out for last-minute holiday gifts for the kids on your list…

Consider these confidence-building gifts that could positively influence kids of any age… for a lifetime. 

OK, so they may not be asking Santa for these – and no, you won’t find these on any Hot Gifts list. And they likely won’t be featured by brands positioning for your holiday dollars or purchasing power – at least not for these reasons.

I created The BOLD! Factor® to inspire success with self-leadership, ownership & confidence – self-empowerment for emerging leaders and motivated professionals.

For adults. Not for kids. So…

Why Suggest Confidence-Building Gifts For Kids? 

We all know where self-confidence can begin and flourish… yes, right there… early on… in quiet moments when kids still have a chance to dream their own dreams… before adults try to decide their future for them.

Whether you’re in that favorite category of retail marketers everywhere: professional aunts or uncles buying for nieces and nephews… or a wise grandparent or holiday-crazed Mom or Dad tired of tracking down top-selling toys as they become burnt out and the toys become sold out.

Here’s my favorite solution or two – ok, three – which kids on your list just might eventually love…

photo-833 LAST-MINUTE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING GIFTS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE KIDS… FOR A LIFETIME!

…along with few DO ONE BOLD THING action steps to eliminate the guess-work… and hopefully positively impact YOU. 

! 1.  THEIR OWN FULL-LENGTH MIRROR

The greatest gift we give ourselves, when it comes to happiness and success, leading and living the life we want? CONFIDENCE.

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

Give A Gift To Build Self-Confidence. Their Own Full-Length Mirror.

With ever-decreasing privacy, and ever-increasing parading of kids through social media as magical mini-me’s living up to our mega vision of what success and happiness could look like in their amazing life… (oh, the pressure!)

Take a step back, and let the real gift in this gift be whatever reflects in THEIR view.

The simple gift of a Full-Length Mirror gives kids the gift of quietly discovering, play-acting, pretending, creating, wondering,  dreaming, dancing, making faces, smiling, crying…

… learning to love themselves just as they are… as they start learning to feel comfortable in their own skin now… building their own confidence for whatever comes later.

In mirrored self-reflection, simple smiles transform as bigger questions:

How will I ask her to prom? Will I get married on a tropical island? What kind of business will I own someday? What do I really want to do when I grow up?

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Buy a full-length mirror. Simple or decorative. Hang it on the back of their bedroom door. So they can close out the world, eliminate distractions (yes, even closing out you ;) as they immerse in their own little dreamland…

Where they can learn to create their own happiness, believe in their own greatness, build their own self-confidence, love who they see reflecting back…

And they just might have a greater chance to become adults who are comfortable in their own skin, staying true to who they are, while also seeing the greatness in others.

(I could say more on this but you get it, and I didn’t intend this to become a lesson in self-leadership… only in positive-influence gift giving ;).

Quiet time for you. Dream time for them. 

!! 2.  THEIR OWN VOICE RECORDER

As adults we know the importance of trusting our own voice, developing our own point of view, and the confidence it takes to speak up for ourselves in both everyday and challenging situations in our work and life:

Give A Gift To Build Voice Confidence. Their Own Voice Recorder.

So often we learn this on the go, in action, in front of others, which is when fear and impostor syndrome threaten to set in, to overwhelm, stifling our best efforts as we struggle in self-doubt, self-sabotage… often silencing our own voice, in some cases, before we’ve even had a chance to develop our own point of view.

What if kids had an opportunity to build their confident voice naturally, individually, getting use to that not-at-first-familiar tone, adjusting for whatever emphasis they want, becoming their own ME in their own special way, thru play?

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Gift a Voice Recorder. One they can operate on their own. I’m not writing to promote any brands – only sharing from experience: when our kids were growing up the Fischer Price recorder was exactly the gift that inspired this idea – way back then – some of the best strategies are exactly that: timeless!

Get ready to smile as you start hearing singing and crazy-fun voices and new characters coming to life in your own home… inspiring new personaes, new possibilities… 

*Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen!* or *Introducing The Star Of The Show!* or *And The Winner Is…* or *Everyone find their seats, quiet please, shhhh, it’s time for class…*

A much safer way to build confidence… trying out new voices as kids… rather than getting to our stage of life when it can feel like too big a risk to test a new voice, or voice a new idea, or share our own fresh perspective

And so we don’t… because it’s too risky… and because it’s just easier not to.

!!! 3.  SHOES THEY WANT TO MOVE IN

As adults we know the best way to get unstuck when we’re struggling – Get Moving! DO Something! Take Action!

Sure, at times introspection calls for stopping, getting quiet, thinking, reflecting… and then at some point you’ll need to get moving again… !

Give A Gift To Build Confidence In Action! Shoes They Want To Move In.

I do believe in giving in to brand-passion when it’s justified (and hopefully when it’s on sale!) If the shoes they really want are the ones that will inspire them to get outside and get moving, playing, trying out new sports at least long enough to experience being part of an action-focused team…

Investing in favorite shoes they can play in and want to move in can be money well spent!

Teach kids early on the importance of choosing outfits they want to move in… starting with shoes they can move fast in!

DO ONE BOLD THING:  Buy whatever favorite shoes they want to move in – shoes they LOVE – shoes they’ll want to walk in, run in, play hard in.

Oh and let them get dirty!

Great minds and active bodies are not built by stepping around mud puddles, staying off wet grass, or walking inside the cracks on finally-dry sidewalks.

Do gifts of Full-Length Mirrors, Voice Recorders and Shoes They Want To Move In actually play a role in helping to build and reinforce kids’ Self-Confidence? Passion? Success? Happiness? 

Discover the positive impact for yourself… 

I’d love to hear what happens when you do!

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Strategist, Leader, Keynote Speaker & Mentor: “Navigating Success With Confidence! Self-Empowerment For Emerging Leaders & Motivated Professionals.” Subscribe to receive blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

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

photo-22

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®.

I APPRECIATE YOU!

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich,  Subscribe to receive BOLD blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

In My BOLD Opinion: The Unintended Consequences of Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce & Girl Scouts “Ban Bossy” Campaign: More Bullying?

photo-28In response to these powerful Leading Ladies, including Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce, Girl Scouts, and more… on their latest *Lean In* bandwagon inspiring Women and Girls to ban the word Bossy and claim they are not being bossy… they are *leading*…

STOP. EXIT THIS TRAIN.

(Per my comment posted on Mashable today, sharing my BOLD opinion as Counterpoint. As always, interested in your thoughts, please comment below, as you wish!)

Before YOU consider whether you want to be part of *Ban Bossy*… please consider the potential impact of Unintended Consequences of this Campaign: 

How many YOUNG GIRLS will misunderstand this complex leadership message… if they’re being told to see themselves not as bossy, rather as: I am a Leader! This is what it means to be a Leader!

How many MID-LEVEL WOMEN will start seeing Kindness as Weakness?

AND how many BOOMER WOMEN (my age, and yes, I’m shouting us out here!) will use this campaign as yet another force, another excuse, for blaming MEN for somehow holding back their own Confidence, Success & Happiness?

How soon before THIS Unintended Consequence becomes reality:  Bullying At ALL Ages INCREASING(!) as otherwise-wonderful Girls & Women start trying their best to practice what they’re now being advised by these influential women role models… believing, for example, *this is not being bossy – this is what being a Leader is all about – Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce and Girl Scouts KNOW!*

YIKES. Respected leaders? For sure. Mis-directed message? You decide.

How will YOU respond to this newest wave of supposed Women’s Leadership?

Men, interested in your thoughts, too – as you know I believe any change requires us ALL being in this game of business and life together!

I’m going to keep encouraging, inspiring and championing as I have been since 1993:  BOLD Confidence & Success & Happiness… thru Self-Leadership & Ownership.

Instead, try this:

DO ONE BOLD THING.™

CLAIM YOUR CONFIDENCE WITH CALM & CLASS. 

It’s YOUR Success, YOUR Happiness, YOUR Life… And It’s Up To YOU.

OWN IT With Calm, Classy, Courageous, Contagious, Calibrated(!) CONFIDENCE.

BRING YOUR BEST. BOLD. YOU!

Your Turn! Are you onboard their campaign? If so… If not… Which & Why?

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Strategist, Leader, Keynote Speaker & Mentor: “Navigating Success With Confidence! Self-Empowerment For Emerging Leaders & Motivated Professionals.” Subscribe to receive blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  I like to take my own photos for my website and blog – professional or not it’s a passion of mine. I took this photo in a hotel last year, and wondered when will be the first time I use it to signify to readers: EXIT THIS GAME NOW. This is the Topic & Today is the day!

Favorite Gifts For Building Kids’ Confidence For A Lifetime!

photo-75In BEST BOLD U™ I inspire self-leadership, ownership & confidence in motivated Men & Women who create their own success. Not in kids. And yet think about where our confidence begins… yes, it can begin right there… in quiet moments of kids at play.

Whether you’re in that favorite-of-the-moment buyer category of retail marketers everywhere: professional aunts or uncles buying for nieces and nephews… or a wise grandparent uninspired by today’s toys… or a holiday-crazed Mom or Dad tired of tracking down top-selling toys only to discover they’re sold out…

Here’s an inspired solution:

3 FAVORITE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING GIFTS TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE KIDS… FOR A LIFETIME!

…along with few BOLD Nuggets to eliminate the guess-work & make life easier for YOU: 

! 1.  THEIR OWN FULL-LENGTH MIRROR

The greatest gift we give ourselves, when it comes to happiness and success, leading and living the life we want? Self-Confidence. 

With ever-decreasing privacy, and ever-increasing parading of kids through social media as magical mini-me’s living up to our mega vision of what success and happiness could look like in their amazing life… (oh, the pressure!) Take a step back, and let the real gift in this gift be whatever reflects in THEIR view.

The simple gift of a Full-Length Mirror gives kids the gift of quietly discovering, play-acting, pretending, creating, wondering,  dreaming, dancing, making faces, smiling, crying, learning to love themselves just as they are… getting comfortable in their own skin now… to build their own confidence for whatever comes later… and eventually these little dreams turn to bigger questions: how will I ask her to prom, what will my wedding dress look like… 

BOLD Nugget:  Hang the full length mirror on the back of their bedroom door. So they can close out the world, eliminate distractions (yes, even you ;) and get into their own little dreamland, where they can learn to create their own happiness, believe in their own greatness, build their own self-confidence, love who they see reflecting back… and they just might have a greater chance to become adults who are comfortable in their own skin. (I could say much more, but you get it, and I didn’t intend this to become a lesson in self-leadership… only in gift giving ;).

Quiet time for you. Dream time for them. 

!! 2.  THEIR OWN VOICE RECORDER

As adults we know the importance of trusting our own voice, developing our own point of view, the confidence to speak up in our work and life: Voice Confidence.

And yet so often we’re learning this in action, in front of others, which is when fear and impostor syndrome threaten to stifle our best efforts as we struggle in self-doubt, self-sabotage, silencing our own voice, in some cases, before we’ve even had a chance to develop our own voice.

What if kids built their confident voice naturally, individually, getting use to that not-at-first-familiar tone, adjusting for whatever emphasis they want, becoming their own ME in their own special way, thru play?

BOLD Nugget:  The Voice Recorder needs to be one they can operate on their own. So no, the one on your smartphone isn’t what this is about. While I’m not writing to promote any brands, when our kids were growing up the Fischer Price recorder was exactly the gift that inspired this idea – way back then – some of the best strategies are exactly that: timeless!

Get ready to smile as you start hearing singing and crazy-fun voices and new characters coming to life in your own home… *Welcome Ladies & Gentlemen!* or *Everyone in their seats, quiet please, shhhh, it’s time for class…*

!!! 3.  FAVORITE SHOES THEY CAN MOVE IN

As adults we know the best way to get unstuck when we’re struggling is to Do Something: Get Moving! And when a more introspective response is called for – those times you need to stop, get quiet and reflect – well, at some point you do need to get moving again:  Confidence In Action!

I believe in giving in to brand-passion when it’s justified (and hopefully on sale!) If the athletic shoes they really want, they ones that will inspire them to get outside and get moving, playing, trying out new sports at least long enough to experience being part of an action-focused team… investing in their favorite athletic shoes can be money well spent.

Teach kids early on the importance of wearing clothes they can move in… starting with shoes they can move fast in.

BOLD Nugget:  This might be the time to pull out the stops… buying whatever Favorite Shoes They Can Move In – shoes they LOVE – that they’ll move in, run in, play hard in. Oh and let them get dirty. Great minds and active bodies are not built by staying out of muddy puddles, off wet grass, or walking on dry sidewalks.

Ah, memories! Without embarrassing our two now-grown kids… they’ve each followed their own life dreams and work in careers they love: one a sales pro & business owner, one a passionate teacher. Did mirrors, voice recorders, and athletic shoes they loved play a role in any of that? I have no doubt that in some way, they absolutely did!

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR® Catalyst, Strategist, Leader, Keynote Speaker & Mentor: “Navigating Success With Confidence! Self-Empowerment For Emerging Leaders & Motivated Professionals.” Subscribe to receive blog posts at:  AnnUlrich.com

 

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.