With permission from one of my clients, I'd like to share her story with you. She had been upset and really struggling. Basically, she thought she was going to be fired. There had been rumors and rumblings going on around the office for months. She didn’t just fear for her job, but that of her entire team as well.
The company has been suffering financially, and like many before, they were considering restructure. No matter what the reason for job loss, I can tell you from experience, it is not easy. I too had felt it coming. In fact, I had cleared out my office of my personal items about two months’ prior to the fateful day.
I just knew.
This type of situation can really play on your mind, your heart, and your self-confidence, draining your energy every day that you have to walk into that office. In critical and unsettling times, it is even more important to practice self-care. Be kind to yourself.
When I was going through this very challenge, I developed a routine for myself. It looked like this:
Tapping on courage and gratitude.
Tapping on fear and gratitude.
When things are topsy-turvy, it is helpful to have a routine that you can count on and that supports you. Don’t be too rigid. That just creates more stress.
I introduced tapping to my friend, and she thought it was amazing. She said that what it did for her was to allow her to stop being a victim. Wow! That’s power. You may not be able to change what others do, but you can change what you do and how you see things.
Here’s a simple tapping script for taking back your power (use the photo above to help locate the tapping points):
TH: I feel powerless.
EB: I can’t control what will happen!
OE: It is so overwhelming to me to feel like a victim.
UE: I can’t control what others are going to do.
UN: That’s very frightening to me.
CH: It brings back all sorts of feelings from when I was a kid.
CB: Kids never have control.
TH: What if I do have control?
EB: What if I can control my thoughts?
OE: I don’t have to give them power.
UE: I can acknowledge them and send them on their way!
UN: That sounds like control to me.
CH: I am willing to consider that I can control my thoughts.
CB: I am willing to try it.
TH: It feels hard right now.
EB: But that’s o.k.
OE: I can always begin again.
UE: Just call a do-over.
UN: I can find my power and my voice every time I try again.
CH: I have choice.
CB: I have power.
Hope the tapping helps! I’ve found that it’s not just my routine when things are rough, but I use it for everything!
GIVE ME A NAME!
By the way, the picture above is my brand new tapping model! Don’t you just love her energy? But she needs a name. So, I am asking for input from you. Send me your suggestions, and if yours is chosen, I will gift you with a set of my inspiration cards. Just email me at email@example.com. I will post the winner in my newsletter and celebrate the naming!
Fighting comes in many forms. There is the rough and tumble, don’t-let-them-get-you-down kind of fighting. And then there is the keep the dream, stay focused, and take action kind of fighting.
The 1993 classic movie, Rudy, had a little bit of both. This is a true story about a young boy with a dream to play football for Notre Dame, who against many odds had the tenacity to stay the course, no matter what. He had family who didn’t believe in him, and in fact, did whatever they could to douse his dream with the reality of “things like that don’t happen to people like us.”
With barely any money to his name, he left home when he was supposed to work at the family steel mill and follow in the footsteps of all the men in his family. He left behind a fiancé and the memories of a best friend – the only person who ever believed he could achieve his dream -- who had just died in a tragic accident.
He knew it was now or never.
(Have you ever felt like it was now or never? Ever gotten the inner jolt that you knew you had to make a move that would save your soul and the trajectory of your life?)
When he arrived at Notre Dame, no one took Rudy very seriously. He had no money, poor grades, and he was barely 5’8”. Even with all he “didn’t have,” he not only kept alive his dream of playing football for Notre Dame, but he ignited that dream with inspired actions.
What does inspired action look like? It is an action that is directed by your higher self and puts you one step closer to your dream. Physically, it feels like a great rising in the belly and may even take your breath away. But once you exhale, you are full of energy. It may be an action that doesn’t make sense, intellectually, but you know in your gut that you have to do it and at the same time remain unattached to the outcome.
After four years of working as an assistant to maintain the grounds of the Notre Dame Football field, sleeping on a cot in the maintenance office because he couldn’t afford a place to stay, getting tutoring and help with his dyslexia, preparing the uniforms and locker rooms for the team, he finally achieved his dream!
Do you have a dream? Here are some steps that may help you create your trajectory along the way:
1. Act As If. If you want to be a singer, sing. If you want to be a teacher, find ways to teach. You need to feed your passion through action. When Rudy was a child, he practiced a Notre Dame Football coach’s speech every day, which included the words “Fight, fight, fight!”
2. Stay Focused. There will be twists and turns. Stay focused on what your dream will feel like, look like, smell like, etc.
3. Be of Service. There is no action too small for you to take to get you closer to your dream. If you want to be a designer, take the job as the showroom receptionist. If you want to run your own specialty boutique, find a job stocking the back room of a specialty boutique. Be willing to do anything to be in the environment that will feed your dream. Being of service to those around you will get you noticed and quite possibly take you many steps further toward your dream.
4. Be a Sponge. When you are in the environment that is feeding your dream, be a sponge and soak up any and all information that will help massage your dream into reality. Emulate the greatness around you. Become that which you want to be.
5. Celebrate. Celebrate the wins and celebrate the apparent losses. The losses are never really losses. Losses are just showing you the direction you don’t want to be headed in! In which case, turn around and get back on course!
Today, Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger is a motivational speaker inspiring others to go after their dreams with three simple words on his website: Yes You Can!
Do you do more, work harder, or feel better when you are appreciated or recognized? Are you driven by outer stimuli or by an inner message? Does it matter to you if you get a pat on the back or not?
Certainly, it feels great to have someone notice and compliment you on a job well done. But, after an eye-opening encounter, I began to wonder if the rewarded attention we sometimes crave is all it is cracked up to be.
I started asking myself these questions after I had a magical experience in the ladies room in Penn Station. (Yes, the ladies room!) There was a line, of course. As I waited, I couldn’t help but notice someone singing. As I got closer to my much-needed reprieve, the song became louder and more joyous. When I was able to get a glimpse of who was singing, it was the bathroom attendant. She was greeting each person with a smile and handed each one of us a paper towel with care. She buzzed around like she was the queen of her palace, making everyone feel as welcome as possible. It really struck me because, well, we were in Penn Station after all, and her job was “just” that of a bathroom attendant. As I left, I noticed how I felt (other than totally relieved for having used the facilities!). I felt happier. Her good vibes had worn off on me, and I’m sure off on everyone else she came into contact with.
On the train ride home, I thought more about this woman. She made being a bathroom attendant the most revered, important, and glamorous job around. She brought so much of her personal energy and joy to her job. If she felt badly about not having a "better" job or about not being recognized or appreciated, it certainly was not visible to anyone. What was evident for all to experience was her light, her pride in herself, and her positivity and the fact that she was going to be the best darn bathroom attendant anyone had ever experienced!
I carried this with me for many months as I was going through a difficult stretch at my job. And when I was having a rough day, not feeling like what I was doing mattered or that anyone was recognizing my contributions, the light of that bathroom attendant came to my mind. And I decided that no matter the circumstances – appreciated or not -- I was going to be the best darn worker I knew how to be… because she had showed me how.
We all get stuck in ruts, so the next time you are feeling just ho-hum about what you are doing in your work or even your contribution to your family, try this:
Good ole Albert Einstein said it best: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Has this ever happened to you? If it has, then you know what comes next! That thought when you finally (and I do mean FINALLY) realize that there IS a better way (other than hitting your head against the same proverbial wall)... when you wonder why you hadn’t done things differently much, much sooner!
One of the times this rang true for me was when I was working in the concrete jungle of Manhattan. I was returning from a business trip and the airport taxi service pulled up in front of my house, dumped my luggage in the driveway, and sped off. I dragged my belongings in the side door, took a deep breath to smell the sweet smell of being home again, and promptly (I don’t even think I gave myself time for a potty break) left again to go get my kids from the babysitter’s house.
I was so anxious to see them and hug and kiss them. And there they were! My three year-old son had other ideas on how to greet me. He wouldn’t look at me, much less hug and kiss me! And my daughter was just holding it all together after a tough day at school. As you might have guessed, the 5-minute car ride turned into one rolling rauchus event.
My son was screaming because he didn’t want to go home; my daughter spilled her pent up emotions, and I... well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty! While this day was the perfect storm, there were certainly many other end-of-the-day pick-ups that resulted in exhaustion and tears for all.
It took me a while, but I finally realized I needed to do something different to get different results!
Here’s what I did:
So, as most homeowners know, there is much upkeep and maintenance that needs to be done on one's home. Well, guess who was in the throes of this task this weekend?
One of those pesky jobs was cleaning the brick patio and then covering it with a layer of sand to fill the crevices. With a power washer in one hand and a weed-puller in the other, I proceeded to do this task that took me three hours. You see, when I start a project like this, my perfect gene perks up and says, "Oh, no, you’re not done yet... it isn’t perfect.” (We’ll talk about the perfect genes another day).
As I labored to make sure that every bit of moss that had begun to grow between the bricks was gone and every weed was properly ousted from residence, a woman who I met many years ago came to mind.
As I toiled away on my patio, I had a vision of her home. She was born in Europe, and her home had a very special old-world charm, including her patio. I remember enjoying the company of her family as we lunched at a wrought iron table which sat atop a lovely stone patio. And guess what? Her patio had beautiful “weeds” and natural moss growing between the stones... and it looked wonderful!
As I remembered this vision, I thought to myself, "Why am I working against nature pulling weeds, furrowing moss when they wanted to be there AND could also be enjoyed there?"
I declared – out loud -- at that moment (I really did and to my husband who was toiling at his own tasks in the backyard) that I wanted a European patio! He sort of looked at me like I was crazy at first, as I stood there covered from head to toe in the dirt that splattered up at me from the power washer.
But then I reminded him of the beauty of the patio where we once shared lunch. He did remember. And then I thought to myself, "Who said a patio had to be a certain way – free of weeds and moss?" And then the kicker: In what other ways do I “follow along” with the norm? What areas in my life deserve more reflection and more of my own voice?
Here are some questions that may stir up your desire for a bit more freedom in your life:
Can you think of one time in your life when you felt exhilarated, energized, and full of freedom? If you can, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Paula G. Rosario
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Laura West, President & Chief Creative Officer, www.centerforjoyfulbusiness.com