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Archive for the Success Category

Our Own Limits

Sometimes we do hit the wall of our own limits, and some excuses do count. I want to sell ten million copies of this book, but I can’t make ten million people buy it. All I can do is write the best book I can, and work like heck to promote it. I may have wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize when I was a reporter, but all I could control was that I would do Pulitzer-quality work. I got four nominations, but never the prize.

If you want to act, you can’t assure yourself that you will win an Academy Award. All you can do study, practice, and prepare yourself to perform at an Oscar-quality level. If you want to be CEO of General Motors, you can only control that you have the knowledge, finesse and ability of someone who would ascend to that position.

You might want to do an Ironman Triathlon, but your knees won’t let you run at all. Some excuses count. But again, not many.

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For almost every challenge we encounter, there are a multitude of excuses that give us a pass to walk away. Maybe they make us feel better, but excuses are just cop-outs for choosing that which appears easy of something that poses difficulty. Deep inside, we know that. But we use them anyhow.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. download her alibi free

Change Your Life

If you are going to change your life, really look at what you are up against and split the challenges into stages that you can knock off one or two at a time. I know. How can you dream huge dreams while still grounding yourself with your own human limits? Sounds like quite a contradiction, but it’s not. What I am suggesting is that you dream huge dreams, but pace yourself.

Make the decision – really make the decision, and make those goals become reality. Once you have some momentum, add to your list. Do more. And more. The more you do, the more you will be able to do at one time.

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Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have such superhuman stamina, willpower and determination that you can accomplish everything, all at once. But, don’t use that reality to talk you out of striving for goals that seem out of reach. Again, it’s pacing. Set a course for you that will push you and make you stretch, but don’t set one that will kill you.

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Connect Carefully: Friendship and Betrayal in the Workplace

I once asked my now ex-husband if he wanted to go out for dinner with the girls. “No thanks,” he said. “You all get together and talk about things like … growth.”

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Well, yeah. That’s the beauty of being a woman. We connect. We get to know each other deeply and we support each other in our personal and professional networks. Is there anything more validating than glancing at a friend and seeing that she has picked up on your sudden feeling of frustration or anger doubt – without you having to even say a word? cytoxan abana realty

I would never have had the courage to conquer my obstacles without my friends cheering and pushing me from the sidelines. But, I have to admit I have trusted a few women who never deserved that trust. This is a stumbling block for many, many women in professional environments.

Sometimes our willingness to so freely connect makes us vulnerable. If I stand in front of an audience and ask, “How many of you have been stabbed in the back by another woman?” almost every hand will go up. I usually follow-up by asking, “How many of you confronted the woman?” Only a few hands will rise. seroquel

That is the downside to our connections. Some of us trust too easily and reveal too much, which can put us in extremely vulnerable positions – especially if we award our trust in a competitive work environment. We expect more from women because we feel like we give more. When we are hurt by another woman, we are often too hurt or afraid to look her in the eye and ask for an explanation or say that we didn’t like it.

It seems easier to grouse about it with other co-workers than it does to go directly to the source of the conflict and say, “Why did you do that?” But, when we say nothing, we condone the betrayal. Confrontation is tricky business and should be handled as diplomatically as possible. The person must know you are watching so it doesn’t happen again. You don’t want to be messed with. You aren’t a victim.

Network and connect freely, but be careful who you count as your friend. The friends you have are priceless. Just know who they really are and learn to connect carefully.

Put on your shoes, take two steps and change your life.

A few years ago, I interviewed Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. Her story became legend because she registered with her initials and race officials did not know a woman was on the course until they saw her. One race official was so determined to get her out of the race that he lunged at her and tried to pull her out. Switzer’s burly then-boyfriend pushed the guy away and she kept running. The whole thing was photographed by the media and the photos came to symbolize the obstacles women face when going where they aren’t wanted.

I asked her what she tells people to do to break the inertia that keeps them from starting their fitness programs.

“Put on your shoes,” she said.

It’s so simple.

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You just take the first step.

Now, as someone who has learned over the years how much better life is when the day begins with a workout, I have another suggestion to help you stick to something once you start it. Let’s stay with the fitness analogy.

1. Put on your shoes.

2. Walk out to the street.

On the mornings when I just don’t feel like working out, I put on my shoes and walk out to the curb in front of my house. I can decide not to walk or go cycling, but I must get to the curb – prepared to act – before I can make that call. That way, I am not giving power to excuses. If I don’t work out, I have to own it. It is a decision. buy ventolin rogue dvdrip download

The beauty of this is, if I am standing out there all ready to go, I’m going to go. I might just say, “I’ll only go for twenty minutes,” but after twenty minutes, I am in motion and I don’t want to stop.

This is exactly what we have to do when we continue on difficult paths, particularly with career or academic challenges. Just get dressed, get started, get in position, figure out where you are headed and start working.

Make up your mind

Whether you are going on a diet, training for a marathon, heading back for your MBA or changing jobs, the most wrenching part of a challenge is making the decision to really do it. I don’t mean the “It’s Monday so I am going to go on a diet” decision, but rather, the “I am going on the diet” decision.

You can decide to do something, but if you or others are able to easily dissuade you from carrying through to your goal, you haven’t made the decision to do it. You have instead made the decision to try to do it, and that is something entirely different.

The decision to “try” is the decision that greatly minimizes your chances of success. You begin by giving yourself an out. You are saying, right up front, that you might not be successful. That doesn’t mean you will fail. I just means that your success will likely come by happenstance, not pure determination.

A decision to “try” is always better than doing nothing, but make that kind of decision consciously. Don’t let it serve as an invisible wedge between you and a goal that could be achieved if only you’d thought it through and made the proper commitment.

The way to achieve seemingly impossible challenges is to only focus on the possibility they present. You may face obstacle after obstacle, but those are just part of the challenge. Embrace possibility. Believe in it. Truly commit to making it happen, and possibility has a way of becoming reality. lisinopril half life drug

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Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. lisinopril titration protocol

Persevere — regardless.

One of my closest friends is a former welfare mother who drove a cab to put herself through law school while caring for her two small children as a single parent. She eventually became a well-known judge, then shifted careers to pursue her dream of writing. She just finished writing one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

Another of my best friends was offended when, as a secretary, a client came in and told her she had an “idiot’s job.” That indignity inspired her to go to medical school and eventually become one of the nation’s first forensic pathologists. She was such a trailblazer that she soon was elected coroner in a major metropolitan area, then decided she wanted to next hit the road and travel. She used her skills and passions as she unearthed the mass graves left behind in Bosnia. Not much of an idiot.

All of us have our dreams. Some people talk themselves into them, some talk themselves out of them. But, the dreams are there.

Since you only get one shot at living, I suggest you live large. Don’t hunker down in that safe zone of settling for the known when you can find true greatness by being a little bold and having a little fun. foals premarin

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There are plenty of excuses for inaction, but the most common one is fear. No one wants to fail, so most people won’t even try. We lack the confidence to charge into change and enjoy the ride for all of its mystery and potential. So, we keep on keeping on, as boring or unchallenging as the circumstances are.

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And, that’s okay. I guess.

It is okay if you are truly happy with your decisions and are living a life without regrets. But, if there is even a twinge of regret nagging you for your abandoned dreams, stop making excuses and start seeking results.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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New Thoughts

I’ve been gone for two weeks, even though my automatically-updating blog made it look like I was really cranking out the copy. It started with an event in Dallas, then Anchorage. Then, I went on a much-needed cruise. The Dallas event was for the Network of Executive women. I’m still high from it. So, now that I’m back, I am thinking new thoughts that I want to share with you.

If you know me at all, you know I am a rabid cheerleader for the Network of Executive Women, a collection of powerful women who are set on advancing each other — and the rest of us. The group represents the retail and consumer packaged goods industries, but I’ve made myself a stowaway in its ranks because it has given me more energy, validation and purpose than any other group around. NEW is not just about networking and making contacts that will propel a career. It’s about connecting, heart and soul, and sharing this historic moment for women as we ascend to levels we once only dared to dream we could achieve.

The visionary at the helm of NEW is a whirlwind named Helanye Angelus. Helayne just retired as a VP for Procter and Gamble, but she’s still quite young. I have never met anyone like her, and if I could share anyone with all of you, it would be her. I call her “Hurricane,” because there is no stopping her when she gets moving. She is a brilliant believer who dares to think big thoughts and devise a strategy that will make her ideas a fast reality. Helayne is the reason The NEW Woman Rules exists. We had an idea, she got the fire, fought the fight, gave me the green light and, because of her, I was able to write a book that I know will track other women faster and higher.

I should note that NEW’s executive director, Joan Toth, does a lot of the heavy lifting for Helayne’s ideas. They really deliver a great one-two punch and I’ve never seen anything like it. Both of them are my teachers. They’re in the photo with me — Helayne in green, Joanie in black. And, of course, Helayne leading the conga line with some of the most accomplished women in America following.

Helayne understands that women leaders today are creating a legacy that will foster success for women long after we clock out. That’s why I love her. She’s not on this mission for some self-serving agenda. She’s doing it because it matters to her soul. And that makes it matter to mine.

There are so many women who make the group rock, and I think of all of them as my sisters. Helayne and Joan make it roll.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. download vanguard the online

Recommit to your vision and your success

If you are going to do something hard, you will encounter moments when you wonder why you are bothering. Why choose a difficult path when you can choose an easier route? That less stressful approach will always call to you if you haven’t truly made up your mind, committed and continued to recommit on a daily basis.

Every day, remind yourself of what you are after and why you want it. Write these reasons down so that you can refer to them whenever you start thinking about letting go of your dream. It is so hard to maintain momentum when you encounter hurdles that you must get past, or even when you become bored. happens what when snort lexapro you

There are often moments when we encounter shortcuts as we try to accomplish our goals. I have learned the hard way that shortcuts often prove to be the long way around an obstacle.

When I wrote my first book profiling great women trailblazers, I gave each woman her own chapter, which meant doing the interview, writing it up and moving on to the next person. It was a format that was very comfortable to me, and it was faster than a traditional journalistic approach. A few agents asked me to integrate the quotes from those great women into thematic chapters, but I knew that would be five times the work. I’d have to come up with common themes from the interviews, then pull together ten or more women’s comments into each chapter. So, instead of committing to do that extra work, I just chose an agent who liked it the easy way.

It was my vision, right?

Well, that vision didn’t sell. I lost a year to trying to pitch what I’d written the easy way. At the end of that year, I had a book that wouldn’t sell and was way deep in a financial hole.

I turned to a friend of mine, whose son was an editor for a major publisher in New York. I asked if he could review the proposal and tell me what I needed to do to sell the book.

“The women you have interviewed are spectacular,” he told me. “But, you have to rewrite your book. It has to be thematic if you are going to get a major publisher to buy it because, as it is, it is an anthology. Anthologies don’t make money.”

So there I was, having lost a year and facing the same daunting writing challenge I’d been asked to confront in the first place. If only I’d chosen the hard path!

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I dove into that rewrite and soon had my choice of publishers. The book was a best-seller. But, I have to admit that my search for ease had been costly to me on so many levels.

After that, I started noticing situations where I had an easy or a hard choice. Every time I chose easy, I wasted time and effort. Every time I chose hard, I just had to buck up, be tough and get it done.

The only way to get through those tough moments is to continually remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish – and why. It takes a firm commitment bolstered by a consistent recommitment.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of eight books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Don’t look for ease, look for strength

I went to a concert last night with a friend who has been having one of those year-from-hell-good-God-I-can’t-take-it-anymore moments. With good reason, too, because it really has been the year when everything that could possibly go wrong professionally has gone wrong for her. One thing after another. There was a frivolous professional grievance filed by a spiteful former client. Legal bills that escalated from outrageous to astronomical. A settlement that should have ended things but instead made the problem mushroom to other parts of her professional practice.

Last night, she showed up at the concert with more bad news: Someone had gotten hurt in the parking lot of her office building, and the building manager was able to force her out of her shared office arrangement since there was no lease.

She’s had enough. She wants to quit her practice and get a job. There wouldn’t be so many problems, one on top of another, each one getting bigger and bigger, if it weren’t some sort of sign that she should be doing something else. She’s exhausted and depressed and can’t stand the thought of anything else happening. There’s been so much bad news – way too much bad news – and she just wants it to stop.

“I just think this may be telling me it is time to leave the profession,” she said.

If she does, it is a real shame for the people she serves – and for herself — because she is gifted in her work and deserves great success. But, she’s lost faith in herself. Her reserves are depleted and she doesn’t think she has the energy to deal with another disappointment or setback. If she does abandon her work, she will do it because she is surrendering to a merciless run of horrible luck, not because she doesn’t want to do the work and not because she can’t succeed with it. It’s a decision made out of frustration and exhaustion.

Don’t look for ease, look for strength. Like all of us, you will go through difficult times, and how you emerge depends entirely on your approach adversity. You either give power to your obstacles, or build strength to deal with them. You can’t know when a run of bad luck is going to end, but have faith that it will end.

I have been taught something profound from every one of those old, unpleasant test points I have experienced in life, and my difficulties have ultimately led me to far greater personal or professional success than any of the accomplishments that came with ease.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

The negative tapes in your head

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We are always talking to ourselves. We wake up in the morning and get ready for the day and decide quickly if it is a good hair day or a bad hair day. If we look fat or thin. For some reason, we are very eager and receptive to self-criticism. We do it all the time. Why? What possible good can come from that? Yet, we invite self-negativity and give it unlimited air time in our brains. We will freely subject ourselves to a powerful barrage of nastiness, yet we’d never be so cruel to a stranger — or someone we don’t like. We are mean to ourselves, and we don’t even see it for what it is.

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Think about the negative things you have said to yourself in the last 24 hours. Just think of them! If someone said those things to your child, you’d want to rip that person apart. Yet, you find viagra free sites edinburgh computer cymbalta and fibromyalgia are saying these things to yourself, the one person you must love before all others! Why do you stand for it? Do you realize that the tapes are rolling when you do this? That those negative thoughts and feelings get stored on your internal hard drive?

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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