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December 2015

[im]Perfectly Obsessed

Recently, after looking over my recent Facebook posts, my mother (the great reality therapist that she is) told me she thought I was acting a little obsessed about getting free food all the time.

If I’m not mistaken, she may have been the one to initiate and fuel my thrifty habits (obsessions), but while she may have given me the guidelines, this has been something I’ve taken and ran with over the years.

At a Leadercast talk this past year, Seth Godin said,

there is bravery in being obsessed.”

He started his talk with this example of how we all have these frogs in a bowl that keep trying to jump out and we spend so much time and energy trying to keep them in our bowl. What we don’t realize is that growth, change, and magic can come from letting some of those frogs jump out of the bowl. We need to stop trying to be perfect.

What I am realizing now is that when you are obsessed with something enough, you become brave enough to be imperfect (Tweet it!) in order to accomplish that obsessed about goal or reality. While I may not necessarily obsess about free food, there are other things that could be considered obsessions (others may call it passions) in my life that have made me forget my imperfections.

I used to be afraid of being imperfect, until I realized that I am actually NOT perfect—then I tried to make sure no one else was let in on the secret. (Actually, sometimes I am still afraid of people seeing my imperfections.)

Brenè Brown says,

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”

I’ve found something wonderful, something beautiful happens when I am doing something I love, something I’m “obsessed” with, which is not just free food by the way. I discovered that when I do these things–writing, helping another human being, listening to music–I completely forgot about how I look in the eyes of others, or whether or not a “perfect” person would do this or that—I just do it! (yeah Nike!)

So sing and dance in the rain, even if your hair goes flat, or curly, or whatever it is that you don’t want it to do. That’s kinda the point: losing yourself in the moment. “Owning it” as Seth Godin says, standing for something. Be just crazy obsessed enough about something to forget about hiding your imperfections. (Tweet it!) I think that’s when beauty happens, when we can forget about ourselves and just be. Be ourselves. It’s effortless and easy, it doesn’t take calculated thinking, or extensive planning. It may take some awkward feelings, and uncomfortable vulnerability at first. Soon, however, we can begin to see the beauty, even magic that can happen from being perfectly obsessed to forget about perfection and go for it.

We would love to hear from you! What are you obsessed about?! Are you still trying to find that thing to obsess about? We would love to hear that too 🙂 Comment below or post on our Facebook or Twitter!

Unleashing Creativity

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I love creativity. One of my favorite things to do is instruct craft workshops through my business. I originally thought workshops would be a great way to expose potential customers to the handmade gifts I make. Something unexpected happened. Over the past year, I developed into becoming a “Creativity Coach”. What started out as something fun to promote my business, became an opportunity to draw out the natural creativity in others.
It’s amazing how anxious some of my workshop attendees are when they’re first getting started. I have heard the words “I’m not creative” many times. To help with this anxiety, I give them simple ideas to work from then something extraordinary happens: they tap into a creative flow. Out of this flow I have seen unique items produced that shouldn’t come from someone who said “I’m not creative”. I love witnessing the realization that comes after seeing a project turn out better than expected.
Creativity produces something original and valuable that can either be tangible or intangible. What a phenomenon! Being creative is sometimes a matter of shifting our perspective. Here are some steps to unleashing your creativity:
1. Trust your natural ability to create. We are all creative beings. We can’t help but come up with creative ideas. If you’ve ever watched the show Shark Tank, then you’ve witnessed the countless ideas that came from everyday people.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others. You must let go of the deterring tendency to compare your brand of creativity to someone else’s. We are all different for a reason. If we were all the same, innovation would be impossible. Embrace the fact that you are unique and that there is nothing wrong with that.
3. Try something you didn’t think you could do. Creativity has more to do with thinking outside the box than anything else. There is an advantage to trying something new. You don’t have any rules to constrict your imagination. This can open the door to some jaw-dropping results.
4. See failure as opportunity. Failure is a natural by-product of innovation. It is simply a part of the creative process. If you’re not failing, it means you’re not trying anything new. Putting failure in the right perspective keeps fear at bay and propels you towards amazing results.

What are some ideas you’ve been sitting on? Has the fear of failure been holding you back? It requires some bravery but it’s essential to explore and realize our inherent ability to create. A life without creativity creates a life of mediocrity (Tweet this!). Stop holding back and finding reasons why you can’t do something. God has given you the ability to dream for a reason. You have much to offer. The world has been waiting for someone like you.

Why You Need to Give Yourself More Credit

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for caroling, ugly sweaters, never ending hot chocolate, and white elephant gift exchanges. This time of year also brings with it our beloved end of year reviews!

This week I had my year end review for my job. Before the review I had to rate myself on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories. The prep was nerve wracking!  In the pursuit of humility, I scored myself right in the middle or one point above the middle in areas where I know I could have scored higher. I went into the review with a positive attitude and high expectation that I would receive genuine feedback about my work outcomes and character. What I did not expect to receive was a shedding of the years of lies that I’ve told myself. All of this came out with one simple statement:  “You’ve got to give yourself more credit.”

For most of my life I chose to live under the radar and behind the scenes. I was so afraid to fail that I would try to minimize the risk of failure by saying no to opportunities that I was actually interested in. Whenever I did achieve something great, I would dismiss the achievement as if it was a fluke.

With enough lies you can silence even the greatest force of confidence.

When we dismiss achievements we are choosing not to acknowledge our God given gifts, strengths, talents, and abilities. You cannot be responsible for what you do not acknowledge, so that takes you off the hook of being a participant in the betterment of this world.

Every time my son (age 2) does something well, he acknowledges his achievement with two fists in the air and squeals, “I did it!” Every day and multiple times a day, we celebrate his achievements. When his little sister sees him celebrating, it inspires her to try the same thing. On the flip side, now that he has acknowledged what he is capable of, I know that I can ask him to do more. Not for the sake of doing more, but to continue unlocking the greatness within him.

As an adult it’s scary to acknowledge that, “I did it!” You don’t want to appear arrogant, but it also means you can’t back down from it. You have now shown the world that you are extraordinary and capable of creating something that will make a lasting impact. You have no more excuses; so let’s go!   Expect more opportunities for you to participate in making this world, your community, your home a better place. So go ahead and write the song, create a new process or system, say yes, and keep acknowledging the gifts you possess.
That is being confident.

That is being brave.

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