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Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Why make waves?

I just got an e-mail from a reader who wonders why it is even worth it to stick her neck out there if the pushback is so forceful.

If you are a mustang, you are a mustang.

I spent half of my career trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Was there some sort of playbook that I didn’t get the day I was filling out forms in human resources? Some sort of behavioral code that would have told me how to blend in? I can see the codebook now: “A-team employees are sure to abide, acquiesce, accommodate, and agree. Be a team player by believing, blending, bending, bowing, and buying in. See how you might comply, confer, conform, and concur.” No, I never did get my obedience training. What I got was some natural instinct for going boldly
where a lot of people wouldn’t go, for shaking things up and wondering why the status quo wasn’t more appreciative of all my good ideas and honest efforts. I spent a lot of years wallowing in low self-esteem and feeling like an outsider. A misfit. But, I wasn’t a misfit. I was a mustang!If the math doesn’t add up, mustang women don’t pretend it does.

If the emperor has no clothes, we are the ones who mention that he’s naked. We blow whistles when we see injustice. A teacher is mean to your child, and you aren’t going to stand for it. Your insurance company rejects a claim, and you appeal it because you know they are banking that you’ll get frustrated and quit. You get lousy service from a
salesperson, and you dare to say something. We all have lapses when we feel intruded upon and say nothing, but at least we are aware of it and try to honor ourselves enough to push for what is just when we’ve been pushed too far. We are strong, bold women who behave like wild mustang horses who join and leave their herds at will as they roam free on the range. We’ll run with the herd when it takes us where we think we should be going, but we’ll split off and travel in another direction if it calls us.

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

The power of affirmations

Countless studies have proven the connection between positive affirmations (either through self-talk or hypnosis) and positive results. The concept is this: If you tell yourself you are attractive and fun to be around enough times, your brain will overwrite your negative tapes that say you are ugly and unpopular. You will actually believe it if you say it enough times.

It works. Let’s just say I am in one of my disorganized spells. I might say to myself, “I’m a mess. I can’t get anything done, my desk is out of control and I can’t focus.” Well, what is the result? I can’t get anything done and I can’t focus. But, I launch into affirmation where I repeat, “I am more organized every minute. I am on task and producing better than ever.” I might say it fifty times the first day, thirty times the second day, and so on. It doesn’t take long for me to shift into high gear and start focusing hard and doing my work. If you want proof that it works, you’re reading it. I had to get this blog going, and I talked my way into it.

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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.

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Achieving the big reward

I just had a meeting with a woman who is starting her own business — slowly. She saved money, then quit her job to start her own company. She’s distracted by her freedom, making time to do errands, clean the house and work-out.

And that’s fine. If she’s just taking a vacation.

But, if her success vision is not the most important priority she’s got, she will fail. She’ll fail knowing that success wasn’t important enough for her to make the commitment that comes only with hard, difficult work and sometimes torturous learning.

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I am surprised that I so easily found the self-discipline to work at home and be self-employed. I quit my job as a journalist to write my first book and encountered every possible obstacle that delayed my success for years and made me wonder what would become of me. There were so many obstacles that, upon driving through the toll booth on a local bridge, I wondered if I could find employment as a toll-taker.

The one thing I knew was that I was doing everything I possibly could to ensure my success. I worked so hard. I bounced back every time my book was rejected, every time something else told me to just give up and find a job. It was the hardest challenge of my life, and the most valuable learning experience.

What I learned is that you have to run strong and hard and with so much determination that you believe you will combat your obstacles and win — regardless. There is no room for self-doubt. There is also no room for distraction, procrastination or laziness. From the time you start your own business, the clock is ticking until you either succeed or run out of resources. You can’t waste a single minute.

I was able to make it work by starting every Monday knowing exactly what I would accomplish that week that would push me closer to achieving my goal. I knew what I’d have to accomplish every single day. If I had to work a 20-hour day, I had to work it.

I walked away with the big prize. Freedom. My reward is the ability set my own hours and be in charge of my own destiny doing work that is meaningful and challenging for me.

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But, freedom is a privilege. It is absolutely earned. Success will not come to you. You won’t achieve anything significant or lasting if there is the tiniest crack in your commitment. You can’t be in this challenge part-way, because if you are, you will fail.

If you are in it to win, make yourself win. If you are just taking a temporary powder from your career, that’s fine. Book a cruise, enjoy the heck out of it,  then go find a job.

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

Labor Pains

My 70-year-old chosen sister-in-life is about to deliver a baby, and the labor pains are a killer. Her “baby” is her first book and the labor pains are especially horrid because she has to upload everything electronically to a behemoth publisher that doesn’t have time for hand-holding its first-time authors. It is a insanity-inducing process that is taking its toll.

She sent me an e-mail last night asking me for technical advice, which I didn’t have the expertise to give. Instead, I wrote back, “Calm down. This will not kill you if you lose a few days. There have been many times when I’ve had to just let things go to the wind. Your book will be ready when it is supposed to be ready, men in black movie not one minute sooner. So, just go through the motions and enjoy the process!”

It was probably not the most sensitive way to handle my loyal friend’s feelings, because she’s so close to what she is doing and is really striving to push this thing through right now. She wrote back and reminded me of the chaos I faced when my first book, Hard Won Wisdom, was released the day before 9/11. “I doubt if you relaxed and enjoyed that. True, there is no comparison, at all, with my little technical speedbump, but it just shows how anything, at any time, can throw a curved ball.”

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The truth is, I didn’t enjoy 9/11 any more than any other American, nor did I like having to figure a way to make my book succeed in that difficult environment. But, once the shock of the unthinkable tragedy set in, I did regroup, figure out a strategy and enjoy my moment. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve got so many photos of going on the road, catching up with old friends, promoting my book, speaking, doing television and pushing for my dream. It was an incredibly chaotic time and I had no control over what happened with my book. I could only control one thing: My enjoyment of the moment. I laughed through it. I lived it out loud. I had so much fun, because that was the only first book experience I would ever have.

I want my friend to have fun with her moment. She has earned that. She’s worked so hard on this book and she should be able to soak that up at every turn, even when it gets a bit gnarly. If publishing were easy, everybody would have a book out there. I just hope she embraces this huge achievement for what it is, enjoying it in all its magnificence. So what if the computer is giving her trouble. Look what she’s doing!

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Yes, life throws lots of curve balls. That’s what makes it so interesting.

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

Stop hating your body and hating yourself!

And when it comes to body image? Hey, in my books, I interviewed world renown leaders who acknowledged their horrible self-esteem problems that were rooted in what they weighed or how they looked. Few even pretended their self-esteem was rock solid because this is the disease of our generation: We beat ourselves up.

If we’ve failed at something, we remind ourselves of it long after we should have moved on. We tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough or fast enough or credentialed enough to try something especially hard or new.

This is how we have programmed nonoxinol 9 our thinking. We have put all those dark thoughts in our head and repeated them so many times that they are the first thoughts we have when it comes to our performance, our place in the world and our self-worth. Write down ten negative things you have told yourself this week, and really look at them. Are they grounded in reality? Would other people say those things – to that degree? Besides, you are a flawed individual – just like everybody else. Why harp on gloomy and pessimistic views of yourself?

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

The Slump

I am about to admit something embarrassing. It goes back a couple of decades, to my first years as a reporter out of college. My old boss at The Florida Times-Union got himself one of those Commodore computers in the early days of the home PC and figured out a way to categorize and calculate how reporters were performing. We’d get points for the number of stories we produced and the placement of the stories. If the stories were scoops or blockbusters, we got bonus points.

At the end of the month, good ol’ Nick Bournias (still one of my favorite bosses) would publish his “Nicky Points,” ranking us from first to worst.

We’d all commiserate about his stupid rating system, griping that we weren’t manufacturing shoes but rather, performing an immeasurable public service as journalists.

When I finally left the paper, Nick published a special edition of his newsletter, praising me for all the times I was on the very top of that list and teasing me for the times I was on the very bottom.

It was so true.

What was it they used to say? “When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, you’re not.”

Well, I’ll admit it.

I’ve been through plenty of spells when I was not hot. Or warm. Or even lukewarm. My performance was excruciatingly cold.

And, I wish I could write this in past tense, as though my slumps were all a thing of the past, but there are weeks when, as a writer, I am on fire and weeks when I am in recharge mode.

Sometimes my brain needs a break.

Remember that. Brains need breaks.

Bosses label those spells when we shut down or slide from excellence into mediocrity as slumps, but, I see those moments as crucial brain vacations that let me recharge my batteries so I can perform again. It took a lot of years for me to learn that I can’t drive in fifth gear every day without completely burning out my internal shifters. I remembered that when I became a manager and saw my people go through the same experience.

We need those down periods so we have the energy to perform when the time comes. We do not have an inexhaustible supply of energy; we have limits. Success comes in cycles. It is never a straight shot from earth into the stratosphere, so when you catch yourself sliding a little, don’t panic. It has happened to everyone.

What the negativity does

Don’t be so skeptical of the value of positive self-talk until you really look at the wonders of all the negative self-talk with which you’ve filled your brain. Yes, isn’t it a wonder how some of us voluntarily build ourselves up to be worthless, unattractive failures?

If you look in the mirror and see “fat,” you will be fat. If you look at your career track and think “average,” you will be average. If you look at possibility and see impossibility, you will encounter impossibility. You know it’s true that when you say you can’t, you can’t.

So this blog will, in part, teach you how to believe you can, because you can.

The beauty of it is, it is not hard at all to erase those negative tapes and overwrite them with positive ones that will drive you to a less stressful, more productive and happier life.

You’ll Fall Down

Ski instructors will tell you a very true fact about the sport: If you look at the dangerous route below you and try to figure out how the heck you will be able to maneuver it, you’ll fall down.

Just ski.

Do it, don’t overthink or over analyze it. Move forward.

We don’t do that with our lives, do we? We see what looks like a treacherous path ahead of us and talk ourselves out of trying it before we even start. We are so afraid to trust ourselves that we choose instead to limit ourselves.

free gunfight at the o k corral movie download Some of us think we are “average” or “middle class” or “worker bees” or “mid-level managers.” As we label ourselves, we limit ourselves. We set ourselves apart from those who succeed at the highest levels. It’s almost like we are mentally delineating the career “haves” and the career “have nots,” and are literally choosing to place ourselves with the “have nots” because we don’t see ourselves with the same potential and possibility that the superstars exhibit.

Why?

The power of repetition

The tapes inside your head are powerful. If you repeat a negative remark enough times, it will load itself into the permanent memory on your personal internal hard drive. I don’t believe you have the power to completely erase those tapes because it does seem like they are ready to play themselves again, as soon as you stop repeating your revised versions through affirmations. But, you have great control over the tapes and possess the ability to write over the bad ones, recording positive, constructive and productive affirmations that your psyche will absorb and use if you repeat them enough.

Like I said, I am no different from anyone else. I have had good times and bad in this life. When I am in a bad spell, I have to remind myself how easy it is to fix things by saying the right words to myself. It’s so easy, but it can be so hard to get started.

So, make up your mind. You want an easier way? You can have it.

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

Unstick yourself. Your rut is your prison.

The last day at my job in Denver was especially memorable because one of my colleagues confided, “You are so lucky to be getting out of this place. I’ve been so miserable for the last ten years here that I can’t stand to come in. I feel sick every time I walk in the door.”

“You’ve got to get out of here,” I urged.

But she never did. More than ten years later, she is still working at the same job for the same abusive boss — and it is tragic. Another decade and she can retire with what has to be the worst pension in employment history. What a sad way to waste a life.

She lacks the confidence to take charge of her destiny and instead sacrifices all the possibility her life holds in hopes that she can hang in there long enough to get a sheet cake and pension check. Plenty of people live like that.

Extended misery is a choice from which you are always free to liberate yourself. Just cure yourself of your inaction.

Most of us fear change, but change is the one thing that leads to greater opportunity and success. Make the decision over what you want, then figure out the steps you need to take. Check them off, one at a time, and don’t psyche yourself out of the unpleasant tasks because, if you just buck up, they don’t take much time. Think of how often you have put off doing your resume because it is such a pain. Well, how long does it really take? A couple of hours? A day? Just do it.

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Whether it is a resume or any other first step, just commit to the idea, then carry through one step at a time. Once you walk a little, you’ll be ready to run. But, you won’t go anywhere if you won’t put on your shoes.

shelter online 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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