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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.

Making the Hard Decision

There are occasions where our greatest growth comes from making the hard decision to cut losses and move on. Let’s say you launch a business and quickly start losing money. Time passes and you lose more money. It continues like that until you realize the hemorrhage won’t stop until you either shut down or file bankruptcy. You prove nothing by sticking with an obvious loser. The boldest option is quitting before you are completely sucked under. But, get the information you need to know that your decision is made from the power of information and insight, not fear.

Or, in another case, let’s say you have a real bully of a boss who is holding you back and making you miserable. He has made it clear he isn’t going anywhere and you are stuck with him – probably for several years — if you stay. You don’t want to be pushed out, you know you didn’t deserve the ordeal and it certainly isn’t fair. You shouldn’t have to leave. But, staying just gives him the power over your psychological well being. . Does it require more confidence to stay in a bad situation, or to pack up and leave? Quitting requires more strength in this situation. But it shows you decide your destiny, not some jerk. You may feel pushed out, but leaving in this kind of circumstance really means you are “firing” your boss.

Weak people encounter test points, stop what they are doing, let themselves feel bad, then slow down or quit altogether. Strong people see those moments for what they are: tests of stamina, creativity and willpower. They may ultimately choose to leave a losing situation, not because they are weak but rather, because they are strong.

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

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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Get the Job Done

People don’t invest their support or money in people who will let them down, so if you lose confidence in yourself, others will lose confidence in you. Do you invest in someone who isn’t sure he or she can pull off the task? Do you give your trust to someone who thinks naked weapon free he or she can do it? Or, do you find the person who knows with absolute certainty that he or she will find a way to do the job – no matter what? You choose the one who is going to get the job done. Period. So, know you will get the job done, and know you have the fortitude to find a way to do it despite whatever obstacles come your way.

I learned this lesson during my lowest professional moment. My first book had been rejected by every major American publisher. My first agent wasn’t communicating. My dream of a life as a successful author was in tatters – and it seemed as if the gods were conspiring against me, giving me every sign that it was time to give up.

“It isn’t going to happen,” I said to my friend. “And I have to accept it.”

“If you lose faith in your product, no one else will have faith in it,” she told me.

And, I knew she was right.

But, how could I believe in myself when I hit a wall at every turn?

I took inventory.

I knew I had a good product. The book featured interviews with world-famous trailblazers who had learned how to succeed and lead – the hard way. It had information that could help other people. As a consumer, I would have loved that book because it had the mentoring wisdom I so desperately needed as a manger. And, their stories made for compelling reading. I had a good book. What I didn’t have was a publisher.

I had to find a way to get that book sold and on the shelves.

But, how?

The hardest challenge was revving myself up to do battle again. I had to find the strength to believe in myself when it seemed like no one else believed in me. When I hit a wall, I usually need to get more information to figure out what is going wrong. So, I did some research and found out that my initial vision for the book – where all the interview subjects got their own chapters – wasn’t marketable to big publishers because that format does not sell tons of books. What I had to do was reorganize, restructure and rewrite.

I needed an agent. Well, my first agent was a real dud, but I felt stuck with her because I’d turned down about ten others when I chose her. But, I started thinking about it. There are thousands of agents. Surely one of them was right for me. So, I started sending out query letters.

Within a week, I had another dozen agents who wanted the book. I chose the one who I thought would believe in me and my dream. Did she ever. She got me my choice of publishers.

Hard Won Wisdom wound up being a best-selling, Oprah-featured book.

But, it almost never was.

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

It all comes down to you…

If you aren’t doing what you really want to be doing, it’s because you really don’t want to do it.

Okay, stop. I know that about half of you out there are about to slide into the big snooze because you’ve tired of over-simplistic generalizations that put the responsibility for your success, mediocrity or failure squarely in your own lap.

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There is so much in life that you can’t control, right? And, maybe there is a reason that you do not fall into my over-simplistic generalization. Maybe there is something else to blame. There are a few valid excuses out there, aren’t there?

Yes. But, not many. sciatica treatment human growth hormone

I am my greatest obstacle, and you are yours.

But, we are also our greatest assets.

Once we commit to accomplishing something, we can do it. But, it takes vision and, perhaps more than anything, commitment. The commitment gets you started and keeps you moving once the obstacles pop up.

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The world is filled with success stories from visionaries who saw possibility and lived it. We hear these stories all the time, of people who started poor and wound up rich, people who couldn’t speak a word of English but wound up running major corporations…

Sometimes those examples seem so remote, like fodder for Reader’s Digest or USA Today or Forbes, but those things always happen to other people. People who seem to have some sort of special success gene that must have been implanted by aliens.

But, you know there is no secret success gene.

You want something, you can manifest it.

You dream something, you can live it.

You just have to see it, commit to it, and work like hell to make it real.

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

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

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