Stuck with What’s Safe?

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Holding on to a false sense of security often lures women away from the challenge of embracing their fears. Traditionally, men are the risk takers—they’re encouraged to play hard, get dirty, and try new things. Women, on the other hand, typically grow up with messages about the importance of being safe and secure. When I was on the verge of leaving my marriage, for example, my father was very afraid for me. “You’re giving up your security!” he warned. Even though I knew I had to leave, I was terrified. My own fear made it nearly impossible to take the next, right step.

At that moment, I needed a reality check. Maybe you need one now, too. We women take care of our households, our families, our friends, our careers, our health, our looks, and our finances. If we can handle all that (and more), we can handle anything! We wouldn’t have come so far in life if we weren’t capable.

So the first step to embracing fear is to give it a good dose of reality. Remind yourself of everything that you are already successfully managing in your life. Do you see that you’re stronger than you might think?

What no one else may tell you is that the sense of safety you’re used to isn’t as safe as you think. “Sure things” can always fall through, and here’s a perfect example: Recently, a friend approached me with a dilemma. She was stuck in a job she hated but made good money. Then she was offered her dream job, but there were some unknowns and risk factors. Agonizing, she asked, “Do I go for my dream and give up my security or should I stay with this job?”

As we discussed her situation, it became clear that she should go for it, but in the end she chose to let the opportunity pass her by. “I decided to stay where I am—it’s just safer,” she explained. Several months later, though, her “safe” job was eliminated, and she found herself without her sure thing or her dream job. If my friend had eliminated her excuses and embraced her fears, she might have noticed some red flags in her current job and realized that her magic-wand dream perhaps wasn’t as risky as it seemed.

Remember, don’t get stuck with what’s safe because nothing is set in stone.
You’ve heard the story about the frog in a pot of warm water, right? The frog becomes complacent and doesn’t realize that the heat is slowly increasing until it’s too late. Perhaps it was afraid to leap into the unknown despite its growing discomfort, which leads me to the point I want you to understand: Anything can eventually become acceptable, if you let it.

Why do we live in circumstances we dislike? Why do we tolerate the intolerable? Excuses. We all have them: “What will others think?” “I’m not good enough.” “It doesn’t matter.” “I don’t have the time [or money].” “My family needs me too much right now.” “I don’t know how/I don’t know the right people.” This is the voice of fear, and it sabotages our chances for a beautiful life. Those little words debilitate us and shut us down.

I tell my clients that once you eliminate your excuses, you can make better choices and have a much greater chance for achieving real, lasting security. When you do, you will be aligned with your foundation values and start to live your best life!

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/

A Case of the What-Ifs

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After years of coaching woman on how to make positive changes in their lives, I have noticed that some women jump right in to action while others need a little extra help. This is especially true if they have a bad case of the what-ifs: What if I lose my job? What if I make people mad? What if I fail?

For those of you that fall in the later category, overcoming your negative, fear-based thoughts and feelings, including your own what-ifs may take a little work. Here are a few ideas I have shared with clients that have proved to be powerful tools to help the process.

First, think about all of the things that will be positive about the changes you want to make in your life. Write them down. Then ask your self these few questions: What if it does create everything you’ve always wanted? What if your journey takes you in a different direction than anticipated, and it’s much better than what you could have hoped for? What if your new experiences create positive energy and enthusiasm despite the difficulties that come with change? What if you find that you’re an even more incredible person than you ever thought you were capable of becoming? What if you realize that you do have the strength to handle anything that comes your way? What if people notice how incredible your life has become because you took a risk and believed in yourself? What if you inspire your friends and family to improve their own lives?

Well, I can tell you that most likely the positive things I’ve just mentioned will occur. That’s what makes me so excited about leading you on this journey. I know there are some amazing, unexpected realizations that are waiting around the corner for you. I can also guarantee that dealing with a temporary case of the what-ifs is a lot better than a lifetime of “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” hanging over your head. So live without regrets!
Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/

Money can come and go, but emotional bankruptcy is a killer.

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Just a short time ago, I was driving my daughter’s friend, Jordan, home after a fun day at the beach. I noticed that as we were getting closer to the young girl’s home she was becoming quite upset. I asked her if she was okay and she replied “my mom, sister and I had to move this week because we were evicted from our home”. Jordan went on to share that her mom’s second husband was abusive, had left them and she was trying her best on a small salary. My heart sank as I immediately felt her mother’s pain of trying to make it as a single mom with young children. As we approached her new home I realized we were in the worst part of town.

Jordan went into her house and quickly came back out running to my car-crying hysterically. She begged to stay with us for the night. She said she didn’t want to go into that awful place. It was the “slums” in her eyes and she was upset at her mother for moving her there. Jordan’s mom quickly followed, tears in her eyes holding her six month old baby, and assured me it was okay and best to take her daughter for the night.

My heart broke for her as we drove away. What she didn’t know is that our stories are the same. Yes, stories.

Many years ago, I left an abusive marriage and ended up on food stamps to support my kids. The lack of money was not as much what took me down, it was more about pulling myself up from the damage that was done from the words and threats that I endured on top of feeling as if I was a failure. Little by little, I was able to pick my self up and do the work to build a solid foundation of self-love.

When we are emotionally bankrupt it can be a danger zone. Not taking the time to fully heal and regain our sense self-worth can often times put us right back in a relationship with someone else who doesn’t value us. When we are hurt and feel down about ourselves, quite often the first person that comes along and tells us we are beautiful and fabulous wins our heart. We begin to find our sense of worth in someone else’s arms only to find ourselves back in the same cycle over and over again.

I got my daughter and Jordan back to my house and settled for bed so that I could make a very important call. I picked up the phone and reached out to the troubled and heartbroken mom. I wanted her to know that I’d been there too and she didn’t do anything wrong. She’s not broken… she’s beautiful, loveable, and capable. I wanted her to know she’s not alone… If she needed anything, I am here. My home is her home. We cried together and talked about how life throws us curve balls and when we pick ourselves up and remember who we are, shower ourselves with love, and surround ourselves with love (ask for help), we can and will survive and thrive in the end.

I dedicate this to all women who have felt or do feel broken. You are not. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are capable of anything. I am here to remind you that you are not alone and you are love…pure love inside. Don’t let someone else break your spirit. Break free and let your spirit soar. Fly beautiful girl, fly!

Love,
Michelle

Schedule Time to Take Action

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It’s important to schedule your Master Action steps just as you would a trip to the dentist or an oil change for your car. Not many people can “quit” their current life to work on inventing a new one, but everyone can find 30 minutes every day to journal, make a phone call, or meditate. You can begin living your dream right here, right now. Remember, if you want to supercharge your success, don’t just write down your goals and action steps. Share them with a friend or members of your coaching circle, and check in weekly.

Although your intentions can guide you toward your dreams, you still have to get out there and make things happen. This may feel uncomfortable or even risky, but I’ve watched all my clients experience similar feelings as they move through the process. When you understand the steps of transformation and what each step entails, you can move faster toward your ultimate goal, with less chance of getting stuck or hung up somewhere along the way.
For some of my clients, taking action and asking for help also involves facing certain fears they’ve been avoiding. If that sounds familiar, be encouraged! I’ve been in your shoes, and I have some wonderful tips in the next step to help you shake your fears and walk confidently into the light.

Affirmation: I make time to nurture my spirit and honor my life’s purpose. I ask for and accept help when I need it.

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/