A Free Gift for Participants in the Ambitious Woman Summit
#1 – Ensure the Ambition You’re Honoring is Your Own
Social Media is welcome mat for unfair comparison. Whatever your aspirations or profession, chances are you are Following someone on Social Media who constantly posts about their achievements. Just this week, I had to have a conversation with myself after seeing two posts on Facebook, one by another coach and one by another author. Both were sharing successes that left me wondering, “Am I doing enough to grow my business, market my products, sell my books…?” One thought led to another and all the thoughts were related to somehow, some way, not measuring up. I had been hijacked, taking their highlights, completely out of context and using them against myself. It took a few minutes for me to realize that they aren’t me, their goals aren’t mine and their resources to achieve their goals may be entirely different from the resources I currently have to achieve mine. After thinking about it, my “Am I enough” thoughts turned into a Credit Tour of all the things I had done that week that made a difference for someone, be it a client, a former student, current student, a family member or a friend. And got me thinking about what truly matters to me. Yes, I want to grow my business, market my products and sell my books — yet what I want most is to honor why I want to do all that, the purpose behind it all. So the next time you see someone else sharing their successes, welcome it as an invitation to look at and celebrate your own.
#2 – Create a Little Wiggle Room
One of the students in a university class that I teach taught me something I will never forget, “Starting Dates”. He shared that when assigned a new project, instead of adding the deadline to his calendar, he adds the date he anticipates starting the project. And then as that date arrives, he is faced with the decision to start or re-prioritize, but always well in advance of the deadline. This strategy provides welcome Wiggle Room, so that as you move forward, you have the flexibility needed to assess if you have the time, skills, resources, and support required to complete the task, or if something more will be needed to help you meet the deadline. It takes some getting used to, yet I found it inspires me to do something when the Start Date rolled around to at least get the ball rolling. And in doing so that usually helped me see the project in more doable chunks, making tending to it less overwhelming and more manageable.
#3 – Find Yourself Some Quality Thinking Places
There are several places I visit in Los Angeles when I need to think that you can likely replicate in some way where you live. Three favorites include: A local Japanese Garden, the 94th Aero Squadron and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, and each offers a little something different. The local Japanese Garden creates a sense of calm and order that helps me relax my thoughts and gain clarity about whatever it is that I am working on. The 94th Aero Squadron, a restaurant with an amazing outdoor patio that borders a private airport, inspires me to solve problems in innovative ways as I watch new pilots practice their take offs and landings. And the 45 minute drive from my house to the ocean taking Topanga Canyon, allows my thoughts to wander in ways that simply don’t happen when I am working in my office or driving around town in traffic. Finding places that support the different kinds of thinking you need to be able to do, is a worthy investment that get us out of our typical routines and into settings that differently support us in doing what is ours to do in the world.
#4 – Build in Unstructured Time
A Unity Minister once shared with me that ideally we would all be able to take a two year sabbatical to renew ourselves personally and professionally, but given that’s not realistic for most people, perhaps two months would do. And if that’s not realistic, perhaps two weeks. She went on, all the way down to two minutes. And how even as short a time frame as two minutes can make a huge difference in our attitude and our ability to maintain (or regain) perspective on whatever it is that we’re up to. One of the ways I take two minute breaks is by building Photo Albums on my smart phone using saved images I’ve searched for. Two minutes of scrolling through chosen images can completely reset me. And I can build new albums depending on whatever quality or state of being I am wanting to align with. For larger blocks of time, I am reminded of a decade ago, when I was an Executive Manager and had a hard time getting my tasks and projects done amidst a steady stream of meetings and managing the people, programs and budgets. Overwhelmed, I approached my boss and asked for her support in not scheduling meetings before noon Mondays and after noon on Fridays, unless she or someone above her in the organization requested it. I explained that these blocks of unstructured time would allow me to get organized and prioritize at the start of the week and tend to follow up tasks generated at meetings at the end of the week. She agreed to let me try it and it worked! Batching tasks in this way allowed me to focus my time, energy and attention on meetings when I was in meeting mode and on organization, prioritization and follow up when I was in those modes — and it allowed for far fewer late nights trying to tend to related tasks after days of back to back meetings. Take a look at your typical weekly schedule and what needs to get done on a regular basis and see if building in some unscheduled time might actually save you time.
#5 – Invest in Affordable Luxury
I just applied my lip balm. It costs $12. You might be wondering why I pay $12 for lip balm, given there are countless varieties on the market for around a dollar. I pay $12 because every time I apply it, it makes me happy — it smells great, it’s made of all natural ingredients, and it feels like a splurge. I apply lip balm A LOT and those are feelings I get to feel each time I do so. Feeling good matters to me. And the better I feel, the greater my capacities when it comes to all I am up to in the world. While $12 may seem like a lot for lip balm, I imagine if I amortized the price per use, it would be a fraction of a cent. Totally worth it for how it makes me feel. Another example of Affordable Luxury is getting my hair washed and styled at the local Beauty School. Something that would cost $50 in Los Angeles at a Blow Dry Bar costs just $10 at a Beauty School. So at times when I need to build in some extra self care, this is one of my go to strategies for carving out a little inexpensive me time, while also getting my hair (semi) professionally styled. So be it splurging a little on something you use a lot, or skimping on something you’d love to do more often, there are ways to make experiencing luxury affordable, and in doing so, invest in your best asset — you!
So there you have it, five of my favorite resources for honoring your ambition, especially when you don’t feel like it. I would love to hear what you do honor your ambition, especially when you don’t feel like it. To stay connected, you can opt in for my monthly newsletter at www.moreisavailable.com, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Follow me on the Social Media Platforms below.
Thanks so much for participating in the Ambitious Woman Summit!
Wendy L. Yost, More is Available Coaching & Consulting
Bridging the practical and spiritual to help people reconfigure their lives so more of their time, energy and attention is available for what they love most.
FaceBook: Wendy L. Yost and More is Available with Wendy L. Yost
Blog Posts: http://simplereminders.com/guestauthors/wendy-l-yost/
TEDxTalk: The Benefits of Learning to Listen to Your Life
Book: Marketing Your Services to Local Colleges & Universities