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!

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.

What If You Really Are Amazing…

… just the way you are.

Aaaaand what about when you’re NOT?

photo-27David and I just spent a few days *Up North in God’s Country* Ely MN, where his company has a brilliant team, great community and beautiful office.

I went along for the fresh perspective a change of scenery brings in researching, thinking about, and writing my book.

(With morning temperatures of -25 and -35 degrees… Whoa! That air was pure Caffeine!)

I knew we would have a great time. What I didn’t expect in working on my book was this:

1.  I called BS on myself where I was NOT amazing.

2.  I tossed massive content where my voice has changed and am no longer about *that*.

3.  I thought about YOU – and all the Noise – and all the Should’s – and all the NOT GOOD ENOUGH’s – all the DODODO BEBEBE MOREMOREMORE – and those times when we own our greatness (BRAVO!) and yet what about those times we may need a fresh jolt, a wake-up call… yes, self-included. (see #1 above)

I came away from all that with this thought for you:

WHAT IF YOU REALLY ARE AMAZING… JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

WHAT IF YOU CLAIMED IT AS YOURS.

AND OWNED IT.

AND WHAT IF YOU ALSO CLAIMED & OWNED THE TIMES YOU ARE WELL, LESS THAN AMAZING…

This is where the gut-check reality comes in. BEING AMAZING INCLUDES TIMES WE ARE NOT ALL THAT AMAZING…

THOSE are the times that present the opportunities head-on: to grow, change, disrupt, re-invent… to be what you know you crave.

Reality check: Nothing shifts or changes or happens with any inspired thought until you apply courageous action.

So go ahead. Jolt your BOLD.  Bring your Amazing … to one situation, conversation, opportunity, presentation, challenge, relationship, work or life. Today

IMG_1621Believe It. 

Own It.

Lead & Live It. 

Deny Substitutions!

OK, it’s Monday. Just not feeling it?

Relax… there’s someone in your life who’d cherish your word of encouragement, your nod of *keep going!* or simply your smile.

Find one way to champion THEIR Amazing today. 

See what happens.

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

Photo:  Apparently lots of hot chocolate with marshmellow drinkers at the Ely Lodge!

Everyday Extraordinary

photoSTOP.  Just long enough to take in these 10 phrases extraordinary people say every day… as shared in this Inc.com article written by Inc. contributing author Jeff Haden.

BEAUTIFUL. POWERFUL. WE CAN ALL BE THE ONE TO POSITIVELY IMPACT OTHERS IN THIS SIMPLE YET PROFOUND WAY…. EVERYDAY! 

GO.  BE EXTRAORDINARY!  

PS: Thank you for being here. WordPress sent a virtual trophy this week to celebrate my One Year Anniversary blogging with them (in my 20th year owning my business). <SMILE> Time flies… so don’t sleepwalk one minute through your precious life! (Naps are NOT sleepwalking) I appreciate you and love championing you to Lead YOUR Bigger, Bolder Life!  Ann

______Here’s Jeff’s article: _________

Want to make a huge difference in someone’s life? Here are things you should say every day to your employees, colleagues, family members, friends, and everyone you care about:

“Here’s what I’m thinking.”

You’re in charge, but that doesn’t mean you’re smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else. Back up your statements and decisions. Give reasons. Justify with logic, not with position or authority.

Though taking the time to explain your decisions opens those decisions up to discussion or criticism, it also opens up your decisions to improvement.

Authority can make you “right,” but collaboration makes everyone right–and makes everyone pull together.

“I was wrong.”

I once came up with what I thought was an awesome plan to improve overall productivity by moving a crew to a different shift on an open production line. The inconvenience to the crew was considerable, but the payoff seemed worth it. On paper, it was perfect.

In practice, it wasn’t.

So, a few weeks later, I met with the crew and said, “I know you didn’t think this would work, and you were right. I was wrong. Let’s move you back to your original shift.”

I felt terrible. I felt stupid. I was sure I’d lost any respect they had for me.

It turns out I was wrong about that, too. Later one employee said, “I didn’t really know you, but the fact you were willing to admit you were wrong told me everything I needed to know.”

When you’re wrong, say you’re wrong. You won’t lose respect–you’ll gain it.

“That was awesome.”

No one gets enough praise. No one. Pick someone–pick anyone–who does or did something well and say, “Wow, that was great how you…”

And feel free to go back in time. Saying “Earlier, I was thinking about how you handled that employee issue last month…” can make just as positive an impact today as it would have then. (It could even make a bigger impact, because it shows you still remember what happened last month, and you still think about it.)

Praise is a gift that costs the giver nothing but is priceless to the recipient. Start praising. The people around you will love you for it–and you’ll like yourself a little better, too.

“You’re welcome.”

Think about a time you gave a gift and the recipient seemed uncomfortable or awkward. Their reaction took away a little of the fun for you, right?

The same thing can happen when you are thanked or complimented or praised. Don’t spoil the moment or the fun for the other person. The spotlight may make you feel uneasy or insecure, but all you have to do is make eye contact and say, “Thank you.” Or make eye contact and say, “You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.”

Don’t let thanks, congratulations, or praise be all about you. Make it about the other person, too.

“Can you help me?”

When you need help, regardless of the type of help you need or the person you need it from, just say, sincerely and humbly, “Can you help me?”

I promise you’ll get help. And in the process you’ll show vulnerability, respect, and a willingness to listen–which, by the way, are all qualities of a great leader.

And are all qualities of a great friend.

“I’m sorry.”

We all make mistakes, so we all have things we need to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, show support…

Say you’re sorry.

But never follow an apology with a disclaimer like “But I was really mad, because…” or “But I did think you were…” or any statement that in any way places even the smallest amount of blame back on the other person.

Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame. No less. No more.

Then you both get to make the freshest of fresh starts.

“Can you show me?”

Advice is temporary; knowledge is forever. Knowing what to do helps, but knowing how or why to do it means everything.

When you ask to be taught or shown, several things happen: You implicitly show you respect the person giving the advice; you show you trust his or her experience, skill, and insight; and you get to better assess the value of the advice.

Don’t just ask for input. Ask to be taught or trained or shown.

Then you both win.

“Let me give you a hand.”

Many people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. So, many people hesitate to ask for help.

But everyone needs help.

Don’t just say, “Is there anything I can help you with?” Most people will give you a version of the reflexive “No, I’m just looking” reply to sales clerks and say, “No, I’m all right.”

Be specific. Find something you can help with. Say “I’ve got a few minutes. Can I help you finish that?” Offer in a way that feels collaborative, not patronizing or gratuitous. Model the behavior you want your employees to display.

Then actually roll up your sleeves and help.

“I love you.”

No, not at work, but everywhere you mean it–and every time you feel it.

Nothing.

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. If you’re upset, frustrated, or angry, stay quiet. You may think venting will make you feel better, but it never does.

That’s especially true where your employees are concerned. Results come and go, but feelings are forever. Criticize an employee in a group setting and it will seem like he eventually got over it, but inside, he never will.

Before you speak, spend more time considering how employees will think and feel than you do evaluating whether the decision makes objective sense. You can easily recover from a mistake made because of faulty data or inaccurate projections.

You’ll never recover from the damage you inflict on an employee’s self-esteem.

Be quiet until you know exactly what to say–and exactly what affect your words will have.

– Article written by Jeff Haden, posted on Inc.com 1/9/13. I pizzazz’d it up a bit with my BOLD red and italics – then visited Jeff’s Blackbirdinc.com and smiled to see same colors!

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

Photo:  LOVE my bracelet purchase at Zonta Int’l event. Handmade by women of Breaking Free, a global org investing profits from jewelry sales to fund women’s business dreams.

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 ;)

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! (!!)