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Beginning to reprogram our negative thoughts

If you have your doubts about positive self-talk programming, take a minute to examine what your negative self-talk has accomplished. I am sure it is significant.

Unfortunately, we humans are really mean to ourselves. We berate ourselves for gaining weight, failing in relationships, struggling at work, getting into tussles with family, not doing enough for the kids. We fail to let go of the inevitable criticism that comes our way through the years, remembering a kind word of praise for five minutes and a passing swipe until we die. We fixate on the few people who don’t like us, rather than the many who do. The list of sour thoughts that we put in our head and keep there goes on and on and on.

And, since we are sensitive beings, we don’t just acknowledge our shortcomings, we revisit them again and again and again. We remind ourselves how we fall short – and we aren’t even consciously doing it. We cling to nasty remarks that may have been said about us years ago – even decades ago – as though they were true and permanent. We joke about ourselves to others, but while those self-deprecating put-downs may be humorous, they serve to re-enforce our negative self-image. cymbalta and migraine

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

The Rules of Journalism

One of the most decidedly decadent things I have ever done for myself is put my nonfiction on hold to write a novel. Gone were the rules of journalism, and suddenly I had the freedom to twist and turn and create and invent. Mermaid Mambo was released last year and it’s been one of the more joyful risks I have ever taken.

In my acknowledgments, I note, “Novels are scary things to writers like me, who have built careers in the nonfiction world. If your nonfiction stinks, it might be the topic. If your novel sucks, it’s all your fault.” Because of that fear, I’d been too chicken to let go of my fiction. I asked Stephen King how he got the confidence to let go of his fiction and he told me, “You just have to know you are brilliant.” It’s a hard thing, putting your work out there in full view, where it can be ridiculed. That kept me from letting go of it and receiving all the wonderful mail from people who loved my characters and story. Mambo has been out there for a year now, and it is the most joyous project I’ve had.

My central character is a 78-year-old former Weeki-Wachee mermaid who needed to get back to the 60th reunion of the mermaids at the faded Florida tourist attraction. She winds up on a crazed road trip and it’s kind of a combination of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Thelma and Louise. In doing my research, I was embraced by the former and current Weeki Wacheemermaids who have filled my world with levity and perspective.

Some people tell me they are impressed by the litany of famous people I have interviewed for my nonfiction books. They want to know what Hillary is like and what I thought of Susan Sarandon. They ask about the presidents and prime ministers and CEOs. And the movie stars and Nobel laureates.

Those icons gave me such great material for success and leadership strategies. But, the people who gave me the greater insight on life were the mermaids of Weeki Wachee. I go tubing down the Weeki Wachee River with them and I am suddenly 20 again, and so are they, even though most of them are in their 50s and 60s. I’ve often told the story of mermaid Vicki Smith climbing a tree, letting out a yell and swinging through the air from a rope before making a remarkable splash into the river. At the time, she was 67. That said everything about living. Mermaid Barbara Wynns introduced me to this world and I marvel at how she redefines herself every day with more whimsy. That’s her helping me get into the tail in the above photo.

They are mermaids. They put on fabric tails and swim through the water, performing synchronized routines in a pristine Central Florida spring that has called to them since they were paid mermaids in their teens and 20s. They have their issues and their hardships — like all of us. All of that fades when they are on that river or are together sharing the bonds of friendship that have so deepened over time. I meet many people who measure their worth by the title on their business cards or the number on their paychecks. They miss the point of living.

Life really is a big adventure where we become rich with experience — if only we open ourselves to accept all the magic the world offers. We can live closed and limited lives by focusing on things or achievements that are temporary or ultimately inconsequential, or we can find great joy in the moment, daring to take in all the energy that surrounds us — if we just let go and live.

Mermaids Susie Pennoyer, Crystal Robson and Bev Sutton continue to crack me up with their river antics because they are free-spirited women who don’t care about pretense. They care about celebrating good times — even when they have their own challenges. We have a lot we can learn from them.

That’s why they inspire me.

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


I can’t tell you how many people tell me they could never work from home and get anything accomplished. “I lack the self-discipline,” they all say.

Well, me too. But, seeing as I do work from home, it is pretty clear that if I don’t get the discipline, I won’t eat. If I don’t get the discipline, I’ll have to get a traditional job. If I get a traditional job, I will likely have to wear panty hose again. hill richmond breast augmentation grand rapids breast augmentation

I remind myself of those critical matters whenever I start slacking off. Because I realize what a privilege it is to have my own business and work at home, I have to be disciplined – whether it comes natural to me or not. This skill can be developed.

And since many of you will say “The reason I won’t try to do x, y, or z is that I am not disciplined enough,” I will tell you right now that your excuse sucks. If you want to do something badly enough, you will discipline yourself. You will get organized.

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I am not an organized person, but I know there are certain steps I have to take in order to move toward my goals. Every Monday, I come up with a list of things I need to accomplish during the week in order to stay on task and move forward. I use that list whenever I become distracted. If I lapse into one of my marathon Net surfing expeditions, I have to go to the list to pull myself back on track. That is discipline and it is organization. It all comes from one simple list.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. black book divx land before time the dvdrip


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An Extraordinary Woman

I once asked Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams what separates an ordinary woman from an extraordinary woman.

“The belief that she is ordinary,” she said.

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Simply profound and profoundly simple. The only thing that limits you – is you. Think you are average? You’ll be average. Think you can do anything? You can.

Last night, I met a 22-year-old singer/musician who blew me and about 100 other people away with her voice. Afterwards, I asked her what her plan was for becoming famous.

“Oh, I don’t want to be famous,” she said. “I just want to be able to make a living doing this.”

“Shoot for the middle and that is where you will wind up,” I told her.

People who don’t shoot for the top – the very top – often limit themselves because they fear making an enormous emotional and personal commitment, and ultimately falling short. Well, so what if you do? So what if you have big dreams and accomplish only 70 or 80 percent of what you’d hoped? You’ll still be far ahead of where you will be if you just aim for the middle and stay there. And, your experience will be so much more interesting.

Achievement comes in trying what you are afraid to try. Achievement is not the ultimate success or failure of any attempt. It’s getting out there, getting dirty, trying your hardest and enjoying every aspect of the challenge. It’s expecting obstacles and conquering them. It’s recognizing and treasuring the support you get from people who love you and believe in you. Achievement is the knowledge that you are defining who you are every day, rather than letting the circumstances of life define that for you. The reward in all of this is that you are living your life and choosing extraordinary. risperdal weight gain space cowboys download free

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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In a Rut

Years ago, the argument for my inertia  was strong: I had a secure job, decent pay, good health insurance, five weeks of vacation, the best friends I’d ever had. On top of all of that, I got to live in glorious Colorado. My argument for change was rather short: I was in a rut and was unhappy at work.

Someone wanted to hire me in Florida. The job looked good, the pay looked fine and I’d be near my family. But, I couldn’t seem to take the leap.

One of my mentors told me: “Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.” And then, she said it again. “If you aren’t doing something,” she said, “you’re doing nothing.”

I took the job and never looked back as I created a new life of challenge and adventure, quickly learning that change is nothing to fear.

Ruts are comfortable and comforting. We know what to expect of our outside world, but there isn’t much cause to challenge ourselves. Our measurement of what we accomplish tomorrow is too often based on old goals that have lost their significance.

How often do you celebrate the goals you have reached, then take a moment to dream a little larger? Don’t measure yourself against the expectations of others, and don’t focus on competing against your peers. What do you want for your life? More money, more time, more freedom, more wisdom, more credentials, more perks, more love, more adventure? Know yourself, and measure yourself against your own dreams. Don’t fear change – seek it out. Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.

The Ten Tell Tale Signs that you are in a Rut

1. You aren’t having fun

2. You aren’t challenged

3. You enjoy your job less and less

4. You don’t feel like talking about your work with your friends and family

5. You are smarter than your bosses

6. You keep reminding yourself of the good attributes of your job, and they all have to do with “golden handcuffs” – good pay, benefits and time off

7. You can predict your future and it looks exactly like your present

8. People say, “Are you still working there?”

9. You are jealous whenever someone “climbs over the wall” and quits

10. You feel stuck

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


Take Risks

Don’t be afraid to take risks. If there was ever a point in time that I said, “No, I don’t know enough, I’m not ready, I can’t,” I would have missed out on the next experience. It is all about the chain of experiences. Each one has enabled the next one. In totality, they have given me such a rich grouping of skills that I draw from every day. You can learn whatever it is you have to learn. You find the experts and the people who are going to support you.

Never give up. In those times I’ve had where I think, “There is no way that I can do this,” I step back and find the people who have lived through valuable experiences and I get the answers.

You can get past whatever barrier you have in your mind. Just step back and get the big picture to find the answers. The answers always come.

I have always had to know how to adapt to change. It starts with you. You can’t find the answers on the outside. You have to know yourself, take care of yourself and find ways to validate what you do. When you start looking for validation of who you are or of your accomplishments from people on the outside, you will always be searching for something you will never find.

I have a lot of humility in my life. A lot of things have brought me to my knees. When those things happen, I realize how much I should give back to those who have given me so much. I think how much I owe to the ones who are coming up behind me. There is accountability and responsibility with what I have today. There is a purpose, and that purpose is to give back.

Set Boundaries

I learned to set boundaries. Boundaries are really about making it clear to people that there are things that are really important to you personally—and not being afraid to say it. It is not about the quantity of hours you work, but the quality of hours you put in. It is okay to say, “I can’t do this unless we trade this out or move the deadline on this.” I used to take it all on. I used to work really late and start really early, but I
don’t think that was the most effective use of my time. I would have gotten a lot more done by setting boundaries and limits. An example is that I play tennis on Monday and Wednesday nights, and I have to be gone from the office by six-thirty—period. That is a simple example of setting limits that define a capacity for doing quality work. I am open to others doing that because of my own experience with it.

Another thing I learned is, the last 3 percent is not worth it. I used to believe that, unless something was perfect, it was flawed. That is not true. What is important is sifting through the garbage, identifying the most important elements and delivering those. Anyone who operates as if the last 3 percent matters will 100 percent fail today. The speed of decision-making and the quantity of decisions that have to be made are so vast now. There is no room for overdeliberation. Identify the most relevant actions and do them very well. Have the ability to triage a business problem. Forget about the wasteful 20 percent and go after that core 80 percent that matters the most.

As women, we are gatherers. Men are hunters. But we gather it all, we pull it all together. We spot every detail and men go for the kill. Frankly, I think we can all go for the kill instead of doing too much gathering. We can get lost looking for the herbs when we don’t have a steak to put them on.

I read somewhere that the happiest people are those who can appreciate things around them. I now appreciate my health and my friends and family and getting up every day. I have a heightened sense of why those things are important in my life. I still work hard. I thrive on working hard. But I am working a whole lot smarter and am really balancing it with a lot of fun.


It all comes down to forgiveness — forgiving others and forgiving yourself. That’s where a true reset occurs. Because once you let go, you grow.

“Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.” I heard that quote years ago, and now everyone from Suzanne Somers to Tony Robbins is claiming it. Since everyone is claiming the words, you might as well do it, too. Hang onto them, because they so succinctly sum up the “why” of forgiveness. It isn’t about the other person. It’s about you. Every anger, misgiving, or resentment you cling to hurts you, not the person who wronged you.

Once you let go of it for yourself, you can often take the step of forgiving in total. You can then forgive the other person for his or her sake.

My ex-husband and I talk almost every week, and we’ve been divorced for more than twenty years. There were some deep hurts that led to our split, but if I’d hung onto them, I would have completely lost someone I loved. My life would be emptier without him. So he has my complete forgiveness — and believe me, I’m sure he has had to do some forgiving, too.

Why choose animosity and resentment when you can let go, move on, and rebuild something new and different?

You can forgive someone that you never want to see again. I’ve done that. It comes down to a question of how much you want to let that person re-victimize you in absentia. Do you think that client’s former boss would have felt bad about having scarred that woman for so many years? Pretty doubtful. So who was she punishing?

Have you been punishing yourself by getting stuck in the past? Let go. Move on.

C. S. Lewis summed it up best: “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”


My Reset

It was pretty clear I was desperate for something, and looking back on that time, I see that the weeks preceding my reset were filled with an almost frantic search for some miracle cure.

Right after the January 4 anniversary of my mom’s death, I jetted off for Dallas, where I would keynote for Deloitte at its 800-bed hotel and state-of-the-art meeting center. Sadly, it was the same hotel where I’d keynoted a year earlier — the day after my mom died. There I was, a year later, in the same place with the same people, my heart and soul in an even darker place because I now knew the crippling dimensions of grief.

It was my darkest moment. I was lost — truly lost.

Hot coals weren’t enough. Nothing was enough. I had hit my emotional rock bottom.

I contemplated getting antidepressants, but it was there in Dallas, in my deepest moments of despair, that it hit me.

I suddenly knew exactly what I had to do.

I’d pull a Forrest Gump. On the beach.

I would put myself back together.

I made the decision at 2 a.m. that Sunday morning, and I came up with a plan. I flew home that afternoon, and I started walking the next day. I was ready for my reset.

It was the most significant thing I have ever done in my life. It was my greatest gift to myself.

Pack Up and Go to Reset

There comes a time when you pack up and go. You apply for a new job, you get it, and you start a new adventure.

But do you always have to move on in order to reset?

What if you aren’t ready?

What if you don’t know what you want to do next?

What if there are financial considerations that can’t be ignored? Or if there is so much going on at home that a job change is out of the question?

Is there any way to salvage a job or career that may be dragging you down? Maybe it’s because the company is in turmoil, or because a new boss isn’t all that great or your coworkers are nasty or negative, or because you’ve gotten bored.

You may have legitimate reasons for wanting to stay put. You’ve got too much invested. You’re too close to retirement. You like your company, but you’re getting bored with your actual job.

If your situation is not going to get better with the reset solutions in this chapter, open up to the possibility that reset, for you, may mean moving on. Sometimes you need a reset because your workplace is the problem — not your work. You are entitled to enjoy what you do, and when you realize that the bad days are outnumbering the good, you need to take action.

But for many, there is the possibility of a reset at work, where you stay put, but you change what you can change. There are things you can do when your profes­sion fills you with purpose, but your work environment doesn’t.

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