Make A Choice In 2016 To Create Your Attitude And Thrive!

The last day of 2015 is here and as I think about my life this past year, my lessons of 2015, my living of 2015 and my experiences of 2015, this quote seemed to speak to my heart.

Attitude & perspective is important because we all have a journey, and circumstances, and struggles, and experiences that shape us.

I strongly believe that a great attitude becomes a great mood, which becomes a great day, which becomes and great year, which becomes a great life.

We choose our attitude and that determines our perspective which then narrates the story of our life.

2016 is going to be a great year because I’m making a choice to create the attitude to make it that way, regardless of how I’m treated or of my experiences. I choose to thrive and not merely survive.

May your New Year begin to shape the attitude and perspective, which defines the 'Lens" you will choose to view your upcoming year through. We can’t rewrite our past but we can become the author of our future. Make the choice for a great attitude, because attitude is a skill, and a skill is something that we can learn and develop.

It's The Difference We Make In People's Lives That Determines Success.

"Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives." ~Michelle Obama

There is such truth in the simplicity of that quote. It's really not about us at all. It's easy to get caught up in what we achieve and to believe it is about us. But not on any level is our success about us. "Making a difference in people's lives" transforms us and creates ripples that then begins to transform the world. 

The Girl Who Was Afraid To Be.

I remember that girl who was afraid to be,

a girl with no voice,

a girl who was afraid to be,

always apologizing for who she was.

A distant memory now as I stopped living on life-support when I woke up on life-support.

God captured my heart and faithfully & lovingly showed me that my voice mattered and He was going to use it. He transformed me from the girl who was afraid to be to a woman who is brave to be.

Christ has my heart and my soul.

I am His.

Freedom To Be Authentically You

Remember when we had the freedom to not care if our authentic personalities were shown to the world. Opinions of others didn't seem to matter, especially if they understood us or not. This spirit of grit, adventure and authenticity is so important for true success in our lives. Here's to remembering who we were as little girls!

Ego Driven Success No Matter How "Nice" It Is Disguised Is Temporary Gain: It's Still A Duck!

madeleine albright

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” ~Madeleine Albright, Former US Secretary of State.

This quote from Madeleine Albright has been on my mind a lot lately. As I process and think about some conversations I have had with people in my life, both personally and professionally, it has become evident to me that people are in it to win it at all costs. Not everybody, but the few that interact with you and cross your path seem to become the next lesson for learning. The irony is that we need these lessons to grow, gain experience and move to the next level. Success doesn’t come easy. It’s hard, grueling work and putting in your dues is an understatement. It’s about commitment, ethics, always doing what is right AND helping someone else in their success even if it means they may or will become more successful than you in the world’s eyes! That’s the very point where ego seems to be our downfall.

As humans we all have an ego. It is the “I” or self of any person. A person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. Well thats what the dictionary tells us. From a psychoanalyst or clinical point of view, the ego is the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world. That reaction to the outside world is internal and is driven by our beliefs of not only the outside world but about ourselves. They can be conscious or unconscious.

My graduate degree from Syracuse University in Social Work, with a focus in mental health, has been the best training for me as I navigate in the business and entrepreneurial world as a woman, and as a business owner. I have learned that we carry ourselves and our beliefs everywhere we go. Our beliefs don’t change when we are with our families or with our colleagues. All our relationship spheres allow our beliefs to impact our success and our lives. My training as a clinician has enabled me to understand success from a very different perspective of what the traditional business definition of success would define it to be.

As professionals we are very aware of that ego-driven, type-A, success-monger. We tend to stay away from them. They are in it to win it no matter who they knock down and trample across. These type of people may seem to be more a thing of the past as it isn’t “politically’ correct to behave this way. All you need to do is look at the latest publications of success to see that the climate has change and people are understanding that true success is other focused. That social entrepreneurialism and helping others is the trend. Servant leadership is one of the business buzz words now.

The problem is, that for some people their ‘beliefs’ haven’t changed and perhaps their ego’s aren’t in check, but they can disguise themselves by wearing the mask of this new definition of success. They seem other focused. I’m not even saying that it is ill-driven with an intent to hurt someone, well at least I would like to think not. It’s like that quote about the duck. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.

When your ego is driven by a scarcity mindset, and deep inside you don’t like to see anyone succeed more than you, and you may feel a twinge of envy and dislike as that someone moves ahead, a real opportunity for growth develops. At that moment, you can choose to create a learning & growth point to really get your ego in check. Our insecurities and opinions of others don’t impact the other person in their success and what they can accomplish, they only limit our own lasting success. It like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

We can choose the culture we create around our definition of success and forge new beliefs that allow us to help people as they cross our path. Keeping our ego in-check allows us to be aware of those twinges of insecurity, address them for ourselves and realize that they only limit ourselves and not the other person. Tough stuff really and it’s easier said then done, especially when you find yourself around people who are ungrateful or self-centered. You see, just because we may understand this concept and work on applying it in our lives, it doesn’t mean that the people we are serving or helping understand and apply it in their lives. That also goes for the people who may seem to be an ally in your life, but who take your conversations, ideas and thoughts that you may have decided to work together and create something that only promotes their success. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. It may be hurtful and just tick you off, but again it’s a learning opportunity. Conversations that include accountability, honesty, respect and authenticity with a spirit of love can make sure you are heard. But the way we continue to keep our own ego’s in check will determine the strength of our own success, because someone working from the ego-driven vantage point is only building paper walls. Their success is temporary.

Here’s to building a strong foundation of success through honesty, authenticity, love and helping others.

The Fourth Watch: Beginning early to build a foundation for the day.

I'm so #thankful that I made the decision to go to last night’s Bible study. My day yesterday was incredibly busy and my last meeting was unplanned and went late. I was exhausted and brain “fried” and I started telling myself that I was too tired, my brain too overwhelmed and traffic would be too hard to fight to get to Wednesday night Bible study at my church. I'd be late anyways so why bother?

As I headed home, I was convicted to turn around and go to Bible study. I'm glad I did. It was the last study until after the holidays, and last night it was all women and the pastor. As I raced in, I felt the busyness leave and a peacefulness overcome me. My Wednesday night Bible study always centers me on a peace that you can only know when you slow down and focus on the Lord. It was just what I needed. It's always what I need. God is the only one who can truly slow down the busyness of my life and keep me centered on what truly is important. I was able to just sit there and listen to the others share and I was able to share the overwhelmingness of my day. As my life has become scheduled, busy and successful with work, I mentioned that I wake up between 3 -3:30 am so that I'm able to stay focused on God. Some people think I’m crazy starting my day so early, I hear it from friends and colleagues all the time. I hear it enough that I start to think I may be a bit crazy, but there is a quietness and peace to that time of day, or night depending on your perspective. Waking up that early allows me to read the Bible, pray and focus on Christ. It keeps me humble as I see the mercy and grace that God extends as I live through my day. I’m able to humbly ask for forgiveness and repent. I see how pride can slowly and easily sneak into my life. Pride that doesn’t look like a sin because it is recognized as success by the world. A simple pride that can easily be explained as something beneficial. That earliness of the morning, the peacefulness, the quietness, the focus I’m able to obtain allows me to pray and be centered on the Lord which then allows me to set a strong foundation for my day. One of the women at study mentioned that 3am to 6 am is the 4th watch in the Bible as talked about in the Book of Matthew. So this morning I read some commentaries on the 4th watch and I thanked God because it's no coincidence that I'm up during this watch praying and focusing on Him. I’m #grateful & #humbled by His mercy and grace.

During the study we continued through Genesis and focused on learning more about Abram. There were lessons on family, relationships, money and faith. Just what I needed to hear. God is always faithful. Thankful for the 4th watch and for Christ’s love and mercy in my life. He is always by my side and all I need to do, even in the most busyness of times, is stay in relationship with Him and always make Him my first love.


Rewrite Your Success Rhetoric

"Just Do It" are three words that we have come to know because of the brilliant branding & marketing efforts of Nike to engage women on a more personal level. Brilliant campaign. But I think it's more than a campaign for running shoes. It's a mantra to not let fear stop us. Fear of success as an example per say. But you can substitute any "fear" in there.

In my executive coaching and consulting experience, woman as leaders, who are "more than" capable of so much, often unconsciously stop themselves from going to that next level because of hidden rhetoric that plays all too often in their minds. That rhetoric often times makes sense as we speak it to ourselves because our learned behavior & cultural experience has branded it as reasonable & acceptable "excuses". It all makes sense, and because of the normalcy of "making sense" it sounds reasonable in our own minds. And it's our choice to "stay there" and focus on making it through our very busy and chaotic day of responsibilities and obligations. We may strive for excellence but are stopped by our own "invisible ceilings". Glass ceilings can only be broken when we become very aware of our own "invisible limitations or ceiling."

Just Do It is a belief that you can. It's an action. It's a behavior that is supported by an attitude of "No Fear." So for today, what are you holding back from? What is something that you wanted to do for your success that hasn't happened because you keep coming up with excuses? Those excuses begin to reveal your hidden rhetoric. The great and empowering thing is that you can change the hidden agenda that inhibits your life and begin to break your invisible ceiling. Here is to your success. Just Do It.

By: Leisha Doherty, MSW