“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” ~ W.L. Bateman
Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results each time is a foolproof path to feel like a failure. Some people even define that behavior as insane. I love the idea that we can constantly and endlessly develop ourselves through trying a “new behavior” via the experiences we have and the boundaries we set.
How many times in our lives do we repeat behaviors that just don’t serve us? Going to a job that we hate, committing to things we don’t want to do, hanging out with people who drain us, doing the same thing over and over because it is safe…
When people talk about finding your purpose or your calling in life, it can be really inspiring OR if you are like me, it can sound really overwhelming. We’re trying to get through everything else in life and now we need a purpose? Your “calling” really is your innate desires; the things you are continually drawn to or love to spend your time doing. If finding your life purpose sounds intimidating to you, how about doing something you love for just 15 minutes per day?
To create a new path for yourself that will lead to happiness, you need to change your behaviors that aren’t working for you. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and be the boss of your own life, because only you can designate how much control you will have over your future.
It comes down to this:
You are the boss of your life.
Only you get to live your life.
You are responsible for you.
You have the right to:
Be treated with respect.
Say “no” without feeling guilty.
Take time to develop yourself.
Take time for quiet and solitude.
Write, think and reflect.
Create a life that feels inspiring.
Write this down for yourself: “As the boss of my life, I have the right to:________________.”
When you find your calling and speak your truth, you empower someone else to speak their truth. Creating boundaries for others and for yourself will also generate time for you to change the behaviors that don’t serve you, to do what makes you happy, and to have time alone to reflect.
A month after attending the International Women’s Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, I am still reflecting on the messages, relationships and encouragement that encompassed the event. One of my favorite speakers was Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. She gave a very real talk about time management, goal setting and finding your path. She told the story of how she started out wanting to be a writer. She found a woman who’s life she idolized, and over time this woman finally asked her, “What are you willing to give up to get the life you keep pretending to want?”
This question really drew the line for her in deciding what her goals were, and how she should be spending her time to achieve them. She shared three points around time management and personal development.
Priorities: Dont diffuse your energy. Set your priorities and focus on the things that you can do now. Only do the things that are in your control.
Boundaries: Set your boundaries based on your values. Know what they are and guard them. These can be directed at the self; recognize when you are pushing yourself or beating yourself up and know when to say, “That’s enough”.
Mysticism: Know that there is something else going on other than what we see. It doesn’t have to be religious, but understand that not everything is in our control. Be willing to believe that you are being spoken to, and that it will all be alright.
Tonight set some time aside to write down your priorities, and then, write down your boundaries. These can change over time but writing them down can make you more accountable to them. Think about mysticism and what makes you feel at peace.
“You are a unique event in the history of the universe. You don’t need to get it right the first time. Have the courage to follow your joy, and love the parts of you that need it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert.
Do you ever find yourself making excuses for your choices or your current situation, whether it is the industry you are working in, why you never went back to school, why you do or don’t have kids, or why you are single? Self-defense in the form of personal justification can be toxic, and when we do it, we make ourselves sound even more guilty for no reason at all. When we are unsure of our own decisions, we tend to go into defense mode about them, because we don’t know how other people are going to view them. Sometimes we don’t even know how we feel about them ourselves, and inviting criticism from others can be nerve racking.
The defending, explaining and justifying never seems to change anything and, instead, tends to anchor us more deeply in the issue that needs to be addressed.
Whatever you are doing, whether you are working, staying home with your kids, going to school; there is a reason why you decided to make that choice. Why did you want that for yourself? Stop questioning your choice. Remember your “why“. Write it down. Stop thinking about who is judging you, or looking at you, or questioning your worth. The only thing you should worry about is if you are making the right choice for you, your family, and your goals.
I still have the hardest time with this as I am finishing up my MBA as a stay at home mom. I feel like I am stuck between two worlds and have no idea what my future is going to look like. Will I be home with the kids? Will I be working or starting my own business? Where will my regrets lie? The truth is, I have no idea. I don’t know what the ideal future looks like for me and it took several years for me to stop feeling like I had to justify staying home with my babies by going to school or by saying that it is just a temporary situation. I took a real perspective change on my life and what I am grateful for now and I finally said, “I want this, I want to be home with my kids.” I don’t care who judges me for a gap in my resume or for putting my career on hold. I needed to stop making excuses that made me feel like it was okay to be doing it. I am staying home because this is what feels right…right now. Not forever, maybe not next year, but now. This is what I want. I don’t have to pretend like it is some temporary free ride that I am taking. It is HARD work!
We can dissolve our egos by standing by our decisions and stop feeling like we are doing things for the approval of other people. Be the best working mom, stay at home mom, student, or corporate executive that you can be and OWN IT. Maybe next year or six months from now it wont be right anymore, and that’s okay. The fact that you are even worrying about it says that you are on the right path. But stop. Just enjoy where you are now. If you are working and feel like you are missing out on your kids lives, be grateful to have your expertise, and to be providing for your family. If you are staying home, stop associating your worth with a paycheck. You can always go back. Forget what people will think about you. You don’t work for them, you work for you!
Once you stop feeling sorry for your situation and realize that you don’t have to apologize or explain to anyone, you can ditch your ego and find your true path. Are you truly happy where you are? Forget what everyone thinks about you. Odds are, you are magnifying it in your mind. Everyone is too caught up in their own lives to sincerely worry about judging you 24/7. If you are worried about making a mistake; make it, and learn from it. It will help you grow.
Make your own decision that feels right to you and you might encourage someone to do the same by doing so. Next time you feel like someone is judging you or questioning your path, own it. Tell them straight up what you are doing. No need to explain anything, just be proud because that’s where you are right now because that is the decision that you made for yourself, for your own reasons, and no one else’s.
A few months ago I was invited by my mother-in-law, Jamie Metz, to attend the International Women’s Summit, which was being hosted in Phoenix, Arizona. I had no idea what it was or what we would be doing, and it sounded like something that I typically wouldn’t do or even know about, but as I would encourage other people to do, I decided to say “Yes”. I flew to Phoenix on my own, which previously would have made me a little anxious, but after my journey to Australia, it was a walk in the park. I actually enjoyed my alone time and had some time to catch up on my blogging.
When I arrived, Jamie and I received our itinerary for the weekend. Starting Thursday evening, we had back to back events which included speakers from all over the world and from every walk of life. I was feeling a little overwhelmed; how could I sit through this many speeches from all of these different women in a single weekend? I am not someone who typically has a weekend or even a day planned out for me, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this.
Thursday evening, our first speaker was Melissa Harris-Perry, who is a writer, professor, television host, and political commentator in America. She talked about the uncomfortable conversations that we avoid, but need to have in order to really see each other for what we believe in and why. She said that we have to be brave enough to engage in these conversations to not only realize, but to embrace the fact that we don’t all think the same. In a time where people are so divided for their beliefs, it was refreshing to hear someone speak to a crowd of over a thousand women and preach a message of unity and engagement. After hearing Melissa’s speech, I was humbled and so excited to see what the rest of these women had to say.
The rest of the weekend included speakers such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Collette Baron-Reid, Marianne Williamson, Sheri Salata, Lisa Ling, Glennon Doyle-Melton, Zainab Salbi, and many more. If you don’t know who these women are, seriously, look them up and read their books, or at least their stories. They are inspiring and unique and encouraging and brave. It was like TED talks for women. I left feeling so inspired and uplifted, and almost two weeks later, I am still up in the clouds thinking about this amazing event.
Here are some of the most important things that I learned from this Summit:
You only have one energy stream. Where will you choose for your energy to go? Sometimes you have to choose entitlement, and have the arrogance to do what you want to do. In creating your own path, you are going to have to start disappointing people. It is okay to say “no”. Be the boss of your life.
Before you judge or attack someone, dial down your own self-righteousness. Be humble, get real, then speak.
Don’t keep repeating behaviors that don’t serve you. Do something you love, even if it is for just 15 minutes a day. If you aren’t living with passion then you are living with resistance.
Use your voice to better someone other than yourself. This is how you will find your voice.
Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a “to-be” list. When you are being who you want to be, the “to-do’s” will come into alignment.
We must forgive people even when we are not asked for forgiveness. We all have our own shadows and our own darkness. Acknowledge it and respect it so that you can control it.
I will continue to tell the stories of each of these women in further depth, and include what I learned from their journeys, as I wish that every person, (men and women), could have the opportunity to go to an event like this. To see and hear everyone’s perspectives, stories, and heartbreak made me look deeper into my own life and realize where I should take control, as well as sit back and be immensely grateful for the life that I have. There were over a thousand women present and every single one of them was cheering each other on, supporting each other, laughing and crying together. No judgement, no competition, no bad ideas.
Celebrate Your Life Events hosted this International Women’s Summit, and their next event is for both men and women, and they are hosting a “Celebrate Your Life, Sedona Retreat” in Arizona in November. Check it out HERE. If this sounds fun, or even if it sounds like something you would never do, I encourage you to just give something like this a try. I never would have gone to an event like this on my own, and I am so happy that I just said “yes” to this experience. It is something that I never will forget. If you went to the Women’s Summit, share your own experiences in the comments section and what you took from it, or if you have any questions about events like these, feel free to ask!
How do you tell a real story about your business that lets you connect with your customers and community in a timeless way? I had the opportunity to talk with Nick and Chris Stanton, creators of Stanton Brothers, about how they got started building their dream and how they are helping others visualize and create theirs.
Chris and Nick have been making movies since they were 9 and 12 years old and have always been cinematic thinkers. When they found an opportunity to start their own company, they both left salaried jobs to pursue their passions and start their business in their hometown of Reno, Nevada. They use techniques, tools and devices of cinema, story and drama to help entrepreneurs, businesses and artists tell the stories behind the brand. “We want to know what their story is; why they do what they do, and how we can best capture that and tap into the heart and soul to tell the story behind the brand.”
Family Business and Branding Values:
One major benefit to working with a sibling is that they never had to sit down and establish their values because they know each other so well. Nick found himself drawn to directing and editing. As the Writer, Director and Editor, he brings the story-telling and big picture, concept-to-screen aspects to the production. Chris, the Director of Photography, comes from the music video scene in Nashville and has an eye for imagery. He is strongly focused on using his tech knowledge to express that imagery on screen. “We share a brain aesthetically and artistically, but we work differently. 99% of the time we are on the same page and we balance each other out.” They started their business on February 1st, 2017, and if you follow them on social media, you can get a glimpse of some of their inspiring and powerfully creative work.
“We want to link with the right people. We are not looking for clean and traditional, we want real stories and characters. Emphasizing people is timeless because business trends change, and who you are will weather the storm regardless of externalities. If we do a video on a business, and they go under, the video should be just as useful for the owner in their next endeavor.
We want to bring honesty and authenticity to how people market themselves; this is what we want to do, what we hope others will do, because that is what resonates with our generation. We use real messages to appeal to people rather than constructed commercials. We aren’t trying to have mass appeal; our brand is craft film making because each project is a custom tailored creation.”
Who is an ideal client for them?
Anyone with a story. They look for other small business owners who have a lot of challenges and a lot of passion for what they are doing. They favor businesses who are doing a lot for Reno and the community, and try to connect with people who want to expand their brand and will benefit from telling a cinematic story. “We are not in a sales field because we don’t want to convince people that this is what they need. We want them to see us and get a visual feel for what we do and say, ‘I want that’.”
The Reno Community:
To the Stanton Brothers, Reno is home. Both brothers were raised here and went to college at the University of Nevada, Reno. After living separately in Nashville and San Francisco, they found a happy medium back in Reno. “In big cities you sometimes compromise your ability to access nature, scenery and inspiring places. We lean on our visual surroundings and it would be crazy to give up that resource that Reno provides.” They found that living away made them realize how connected they were in their hometown. “Reno is a city in progress. To be a part of the opportunity as a local is a very cool and advantageous place to be.”
What’s in the future for the Stanton Brothers?
They recently started a project with Cliqvue, an on demand digital platform for short film projects, for their first series titled, “Undiscovered”. Their project will encompass a behind the scenes look at elaborate, high-concept fashion shoots, and dramatic theatrics with scenes throughout Nevada and California. Everything will be sourced by local artists and businesses. “It is sort of a love letter to creatives. Why do we create are when we aren’t getting paid or when no one else is watching? We are investing ourselves into this passion project.”
“We want meaningful work. We can feel when it is right, and if were working on a project, we’re not letting it out of our sight until it is perfect.”
How do you tell your brand story? Follow the Stanton Brothers to keep up with their latest projects and to help you create an innovative visual platform for your business.