Archive for Relationships

H is for HEALTH

H is for HEALTH_26 top tips to change your life

Never take it for granted!

Poor health limits your options whilst great health opens many more doors.

Don’t wait till it’s too late.

Make time every day to nurture the health of all 10 parts of your life.

The Great Life Redesign shows you how to nurture your health, every day.

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron

If Only I’d Known That Back Then…

Top 12 Life Lessons to replace struggle with ease

Life Lessons_If Only I'd Known THAT Back When...

Ahhh, hindsight – it’s a beautiful thing!  One of the best parts of growing older is the wisdom that comes with life experience. Like many wide-eyed 18 year olds, I launched into my adult life full of expectation, enthusiasm, energy and more than a little naivety.

10 major career and countless life changes later, only the naivety has gone and curiously, I learn much more quickly these days!

Whenever I gain a blinding new insight or learn a new skill, I find myself thinking, ‘if only I’d known that back when I was …[insert life struggle]’.

So here are my Top 12 Life Lessons shared to make your life easier:

  1. Every question has an answer and every problem a solution

Once you believe this, you’ll never be stuck again!  Even ‘do nothing’ or ‘do it later’ are solutions.  If you don’t know, someone else will – it’s just a matter of reaching out and asking.

  1. You can’t hang your star of happiness on someone else’s tree

In the same way we hang decorations on a Christmas Tree, we often abdicate the responsibility for our happiness to someone else. If you’re waiting for someone else to make you happy, you could be waiting a long time.  Be happy with and for people, not because of them.

  1. The best lessons come from the toughest stuff

While I’d not have chosen some of the challenges life has sent my way, I am grateful for what I learnt from them.  We never really know what we’re capable of until we’re tested.  Remember, when you’re going through a rough patch, you’re quietly building courage, resilience and confidence – inner resources you can call on anytime.

  1. This too will pass

The best thing about tough times is that they don’t last forever.  When the clouds part to let the sunshine in, leave the pain behind and take the lessons with you.  The greatest of times are often momentary too so embrace them for all they give you and cherish the memories.

  1. You always have a choice

Wow!  This is so simple and yet I only figured it out a few years back.  Once you adopt this one, you can wipe out self doubt.  We may not be able to control the events in our lives but we always have a choice about what meaning to put on them.

  1. Other people aren’t right or wrong – they’re just different

When someone annoys or disappoints us, chances are they’re pressing one of our core value buttons. Even though they may claim to hold the same values as you (eg integrity, respect, loyalty or achievement), their actions and words may appear to be incongruent. All that’s happening is they’re putting a different meaning on that value.  Neither right or wrong, it just is.

Respecting others beliefs and values doesn’t mean you have to compromise your own so there’s nothing to fear or protect.

  1. Everyone’s doing the best they can with what they’ve got – save judgement for something that needs it

No one sets out to do the wrong thing intentionally. The action or words may not be right by your personal principles but judgement won’t change them.  It merely leaves you frustrated, angry, drained and helpless.

Focusing on the behaviour rather than the person (play the ball, rather than the man) fosters acceptance, maintains perspective and keeps your emotional energy and powder dry for something that really does matter.

  1. Do something good for someone else every day, expecting nothing in return

The world and everyone in it owe you nothing!  Doing something selfless feels great because you know you’ve made a difference without expecting it to be reciprocated.  Being generous in all you say and do costs very little and has the potential to be profound.

It costs nothing to smile, appreciate and deliver a random act of kindness. Life is karmic and one day someone will do something incredibly generous for you.

  1. History never repeats and the past is never the future

Thank goodness!  Historical scars and baggage can hold us back from trying something new.  Circumstances and you have changed.  As you attempt something you’ve failed at in the past, remember you are now wiser and better prepared.

  1. Regret, guilt and self-doubt are futile

Seriously, if I had a dollar for all the time, head space and energy I’ve invested in negative emotions in the past, I’d be rich!  There is nothing to be gained for anyone, least of all you, by rehashing the past and beating yourself up.

Accept that you did the best you could under the circumstances and let it go.

  1. Every day is a brand new sheet of paper – write on it whatever you like!

No matter how bad yesterday was or how uncertain tomorrow looks, today is a brand new one. Only take with you that which is useful and decide how you want to live this one day.

Isn’t it great that we get to start over every 24 hours?

  1. Be the best version of yourself you can be, always.

Trying to be someone you’re not to live up to others’ expectations, is exhausting! Living your best life means being you to the best of your ability. You know when you’re being truly authentic when there’s no internal conflict going on, no matter what.  Rather than wrestling your demons, make peace with them and accept yourself for who you are.

After all, there’s only one amazing, talented, beautiful, wonderful you!

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

PS. The Great Life Redesign has more Pearls of Wisdom to help you replace struggle with ease.

Is Your Child a Mini Me?

What your children are really learning from you – it may not be what you think!
What's your child really learning from you?

We all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy, successful and good people.  Yet, every now and again they do something that surprises us – sometimes delightful, occasionally disappointing.

Have you ever stepped back, shaken your head and wondered, ‘Where did that come from?’

As the mother of a gorgeous, healthy, successful and fun-loving 23 year old (yes, of course I’m biased!), I’m pondering with the wonderful benefit of hindsight.

If I’m really honest, there are some things I’d do differently if I’d realised what my beautiful daughter was actually learning from me as she grew up.

I’m insanely proud of her and like the parent of an Olympic champion, when she achieves something she’s worked hard for, I cheer loudly.  When life deals her a hard blow or she’s really struggling, my heart breaks.

Regardless, much of how she deals with life’s ups and downs comes from a healthy dose of my great and not so great traits!

Children learn far more from watching what we do than hearing what we say

For every positive our children learn from us there’s a potential down side and many of us simply aren’t aware of it while we’re busy raising them.

With positives and negatives, the life lessons parents teach are like flipping a coin with heads and tails.

I’m no parenting expert, simply a mum with many friends who are parents, and here are the flipsides of what I’ve learnt:

On Being Goal Oriented

Heads:  Whether it’s juggling two jobs to pay off your mortgage, working 60+ hours a week to climb a career ladder, running a marathon or keeping your house tidy, your children learn that focus, action and persistence get things done and achieve success.

Tails:  There’s a fine line between achievement and obsession.  It’s easy to lose perspective as you focus on what needs to be done, often to the exclusion of all else. Your children may actually be learning how to over-think, over-prepare and invest far more than is actually required to get the job done.

Anxiety and worry are the constant companions of over achievers.

On Being Popular

Heads:  There’s always someone popping in, the phone’s always ringing and invitations to weekends away, sporting and social events crowd your calendar.  Life is buzzing and it feels great to be validated, needed and connected.

Tails:  Spreading yourself thin across many friends may be teaching your children how to create somewhat superficial relationships.

The reality is that most of us have only a few really close friendships that are truly important and need to be carefully nurtured.

On Being Constantly Busy

Heads:  In today’s fast paced world it’s great to have so much to do!  There’s a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you’ve got lots of ticks on your list and survived another busy day.  Your children are learning to multi-task, be flexible and highly organised and cram as much into their one short life as they possibly can.

Tails:  With precious little down time, your over scheduled children may also be hard wiring high stress and hyperactivity at the cost of learning how to relax, unwind and simply ‘be’.

When the focus is on doing more rather than only doing what’s important, overload and overwhelm are constant.

If you’re reading this thinking it’s a ‘no win’ damned if you do / damned if you don’t conundrum, relax – there is an easy solution.

Simply be aware and consciously choose what you want them to learn

There’s no absolute right or wrong way to raise children and the truth is we all do the best we can with what we’ve got, based on our values, beliefs and own experience of growing up.  Thankfully, as your children grow up they get to choose what to keep, what to modify and what to ditch based on who they want to be.

In the meantime, be an intentional role model.  Use your inner resources of wisdom, hindsight, insight and forsight to do a quick, honest stock-take of your behaviours and actions.

Decide which admirable qualities you do want your children to learn.  Consciously choose what you’d rather they didn’t and give yourself permission to let it go. Then act consistently and intentionally every day.

Writing this blog, I bravely asked the ‘apple of my eye and bain of my life’ for one important thing she’s actually learnt from me.  Here’s what my ‘mini me’ emailed back!

Nothing just gets handed to you.
If you really want it, you have to put in the effort.
At the end of the day the outcome doesn’t even matter, because you’ll be able to say you did the absolute best that you could.

Regardless of how old they are, It’s never too early or late to ask your child/ren, “What’s one important lesson you’ve learnt from me?”  You may be surprised!

Please share – I’d love to know what your child has learnt from you.

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

The Easy Way to Beat Procrastination, Banish Excuses and Live Your Dream

A simple, no cost way to ‘bite the bullet’

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepHave you ever noticed how easy it is to err on the side of caution?  Major life redesigns often come weighed down with endless research, heavy decisions and bucket loads of fear.  Before long, you’re over-thinking your idea, losing sleep and worrying about everything that could go wrong.

While caution is admirable and keeps us from making rash decisions, it’s often fuelled by procrastination and excuses.  We quickly come up with a thousand reasons not to make the change rather than focusing on the one really good reason to do it!

Here’s what I often hear from those contemplating changing jobs, finishing a long relationship, beginning a new one, moving to a new location, traveling the world or simply starting a project that will realize a dream:

  • I can’t afford it…
  • We have to wait until…
  • What if something terrible happens…
  • What if it fails…
  • I don’t have time…
  • I don’t know how…
  • I’m too old/not old enough…
  • I’d feel guilty if I …

If any of these strike a chord, don’t despair!  You can get moving right now and feel the freedom and fulfillment of achieving your goal.  Here’s the quick fix:

7 Simple Steps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Moving

  1. Take the first step

Overwhelm is often the very thing that stops change dead in its tracks.  Acknowledge that ‘eating the whole elephant in a single bite’ is a sure-fire way to fail and simply take one step.  What’s the one thing you can do right now that will bring you closer to your goal?

  1. Pick up the phone

Lack of knowledge, information and resources will halt progress on the smallest of goals.  It’s so easy to crawl around the internet for hours and still be none the wiser.  Decide what you need to know and pick up the phone to someone who can help you.  If they can’t, they’ll probably know someone who can.

  1. Choose what not to do

Whilst ‘fluffing’ (filling your days with lots of insignificant tasks) creates an air of importance and busyness, it also provides a smokescreen of avoidance.  Major life changes require time to think, as well as create and do.  What could you stop doing right now to free up your time and headspace?

  1. Set a procrastination time limit

This tip came from a friend who noticed my occasional writer’s block frustration whilst writing The Great Life Redesign.  In spite of the publisher’s looming manuscript completion deadline, whenever I got ‘stuck’ on a particular chapter, I distracted myself by doing other seemingly important things.

“Oh,” she said, “that’s easy! Set yourself a procrastination time limit.”  Sure enough, I set the microwave timer, revelled in the delicious, guilt free bliss of doing nothing and as soon as the buzzer went off, got straight back to work.

  1. Engage a buddy

It’s too easy to back away from a big dream or important goal when you haven’t told anyone about it.  Amongst your friends and family, who’s the one person who will support you best – encouraging you through the challenges and celebrating your achievements?

Tell them what you’re doing and ask them to help you hold yourself accountable by checking in regularly.  Offer to help them achieve an important goal and double the success as you both get the important things done more quickly and easily.

  1. Dump the guilt and regret

Guilt and regret are the most wasted and futile of emotions that serve little purpose beyond making you feel bad.  Both are often driven by something you did or didn’t do in the past.  Given that the past is gone and you can’t change it, let them go.  Honor the reasons they existed by learning from them and do things differently moving forward.

  1. Call on your secret weapons – Courage, Commitment and Faith

Free of regret and guilt, you now have space to fill with the powerful inner resources that make good things happen. Think of a time they’ve come to your aid in the past and call on them again.

Access Courage to face your fears; draw on unshakeable Commitment to do whatever it takes and have Faith that it will all work out exactly as it’s meant to.  (The Great Life Redesign explains ‘inner resources’and other essential tools to pack in your Thrival Kit).

Tthere are plenty of other great ways to get moving and it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. What are your best tips for beating procrastination?

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

Calling all Mothers… do you know how to fly a kite?

Why Mothering is like Kite FlyingMy mother is a wise woman who has taught me many things.  As Mother’s Day approaches I’ve been thinking about her most valuable ‘pearls of wisdom’. The one that stands out most is that mothering has a lot in common with the art, skill and joy of flying a kite.

Like many, when I became a mother I was overwhelmed by the responsibility.  In spite of all the experiences and advice readily shared those who had been there before me, I was bewildered.  There was no definitive guidebook and besides, like all children, my daughter was unique. The book on how to raise her had yet to be written and I was floundering.

After patiently listening to my anguished account of one particularly gruelling day, my Mum shared this insight and suddenly it all made sense.

Mothering is like flying a kite.

To prepare we ensure the kite is sound; the string is firmly attached; the handle is strong and our feet are planted firmly on the ground.

When our babies take their first steps, we let the string out a little. As it whips and turns we hold on tight and keep it close.  Invariably in those early days, it comes crashing to the ground whilst occasionally floating for a few precious minutes.

As our children grow and set out to explore the world, the kite becomes more confident.  The string tenses and we let it out a little further.  Magically, it stays afloat a little longer – catching the breeze, sometimes dipping and turning before it returns safely to us.

Through the teenage years the kite seeks to fly higher and the string tightens, straining to be free.  Cautiously, we let the string out a little further.  Sometimes it becomes tangled in the trees and we carefully climb up to retrieve it.  Winding it back in a little, we firm our grip until it feels safe and secure again.

Some days the kite won’t want to go out flying, preferring to curl up on the couch in its PJs, safe and secure in the comfort of home.  Brought in for running repairs, all the kite needs is a bowl of hot soup and a cuddle.  It doesn’t need a mother to tell it how to fly, it simply needs a mother to stay attached on the other end of the string.

Over time we become more adept and the kite stretches further into the sky as our children soar towards independence and freedom.  While it reaches great heights, swooping and arcing until it becomes a dot in the distance, it’s always attached.  With pride we watch it achieve great things, catching the currents of life and weathering occasional strong winds.

The art of mothering is all about knowing when to let the string out; when to reel it back in and when to simply leave it be.

Now my daughter is a young adult, we’ve learnt how to fly the kite together.  These days we venture out to fly alongside each other, sharing flights and experiences whenever we can.  More often we fly solo, always knowing that the string is attached.  I know that when the time comes, I'll be there gently guiding my daughter as she learns how to fly rather than be the kite.

Thank you to my mother for teaching this valuable lesson, to my daughter for allowing me to make mistakes and to both of them for helping me master the art of kite flying.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those Mums out there who are learning how to let their children soar. 

What 'pearl of wisdom' has your mother shared that's made your role as a mother that bit easier?

Carpe Diem
Caroline Cameron

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Scene from Waiting for GodotHave you ever noticed how many people are waiting for xxxx before they do yyyy?  It almost seems like they’re 'on hold' until their children are older, they have more money, they’ve paid off the mortgage, their health is better….

Whatever the rationale, they’ve invented a perfectly good reason to defer what they truly desire.  Resigned to the belief that they can’t have what they want, they sit back and let life pass by. It’s kind of like Samuel Beckett's famous play Waiting for Godot, where the entire plot centres around Estragon, Pozzo and Vladimir who are waiting for someone who never arrives and something that never happens.

Sure you may need to be patient and bide your time but only for so long.  Success never came to anyone who was merely wishing, waiting and hoping for it to land in their lap.

What’s waiting really costing you?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an advocate of instant gratification!  This isn’t about seeing something you want and getting it now.  It is about having a dream and doing whatever you can to make it happen without excuses.  Challenge yourself and be honest.  Maybe the rational reasons you’re deferring your dream are really fear of failure excuses for not stepping up and making it happen.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you have any regrets right now? On the other hand, if you knew you couldn't fail, how different would that be?

Perhaps the true wake-up call comes when those you love tell you that your 'play it safe' risk aversion is dragging them down and holding them back.  Many relationships fail when one partner stays stuck while the other wants to spread their wings.

You do deserve it!

For over 20 years a friend of mine gave his beloved grandmother a beautiful cake of expensive French soap for Christmas.  A gentle and humble person, she opened her gift each year with genuine delight.  Although she knew what the gift was, her eyes lit up and she smiled as she deeply inhaled the soap’s beautiful perfume.  Every Christmas it was as if it was the first time she’d received such a lovely gift.  My friend smugly declared himself the ‘favourite grandson’.

This wonderful woman died peacefully at 82.  When my friend was helping his father pack up her belongings he opened a drawer in her dressing table and was stunned to find 25 cakes of carefully placed, unused French soap.  Slowly and sadly it dawned on him – his grandmother had never felt she deserved the beautiful soap enough to use it.

Many people deny themselves happiness because they feel they don’t deserve it.  So focused on feeling unworthy or where they’ve fallen short, they totally overlook the successes they've achieved and positive differences they’ve made to others along the way.   We all make mistakes and trip up from time to time but that’s no reason to not create a positive future.  Perhaps it's all the greater motivation to make the most of the life you have left.

Defining moments are great catalysts for change

You’ll always remember the moments that shape your life, taking it off on a new course.  For some it may be the birth of their first child; for others it could be divorce, a health scare, the death of a loved one or redundancy.  Whatever it is for you, a defining moment is one where you know without a shadow of doubt, that life from here on will be different.  Everything happens for a reason – you just might not realise what the reason is at the time. 

Zero birthdays (30, 40, 50 etc) are often times when we reflect on what we’ve achieved and try to create a crystal ball to determine what lies ahead. Even if it doesn’t smack you in the face, a gently dawning defining moment could also be the perfect excuse to redesign your life and take action now. 

The Great Life Redesign shares the true story of Steve’s chance meeting with a stranger at a railway station and how it set him off on an adventure that would see him walking the Kokoda Trail and many other exciting adventures. The message behind Steve’s story is that rather than looking for reasons not to do something, find just one reason to do it!

Whatever your defining moment, use it as a springboard to take a giant leap towards how you want life to be.  Your goals don’t need to be ambitious and grandiose – they simply need to be meaningful and compelling.

In the immortal words of Alfred De Souza who believed that happiness is a journey not a destination,

Work like you don't need money

Love like you've never been hurt

And dance like no one's watching.

So, when would now be a good time to stop waiting and step intentionally towards your dreams?  Go on, there's really nothing stopping you.

Carpe Diem

Caroline Cameron

 

 

Be Careful What You Wish For

What’s your job really costing you and is it worth it?

Work Trap37 year old Mary had everything she could wish for or… did she?

Always ambitious, she’d finally scored her dream job heading up a $75m, international project for a construction company. The luring package included a generous, multiple six-figure salary, all expenses paid business class travel, ipad, iphone and a number of other glittering perks.

But it came at a cost.

Whilst taking a short break with her family over Christmas, her days were constantly interrupted by streams of urgent phone calls from her manager, anywhere between 7am and 10pm. Emails couldn’t wait so she logged on down at the beach while her beautiful, eight year old daughter Ellie played in the waves and built sandcastles on her own. Her demanding client didn’t ‘get’ the time zone difference and the sound of incoming text messages echoed through the darkness while her family slept on.

Yes, she could have turned the phone off and refused to log in – after all, she was on annual leave. However, Mary’s company had an unwritten rule and unspoken expectation that senior executives would be on call and contactable 24/7. Besides she didn’t want to let her client, manager or team down and was committed to being ‘on top of it all’.

Her husband Dave was resigned to but unhappy about the constant interruptions and their arguments were becoming more frequent. Even when she was with her family, she wasn’t really. Totally conflicted, by the time she returned to work Mary was stressed and exhausted.  If nothing changes, she’ll pay the ultimate price losing her health, closest relationships and happiness.

It seems as though we’ve spent the last 10 years striving to become more efficient, mobile, contactable and indispensable – but at what cost? Latest figures from the Race Against Time Report, (National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and AMP Financial Services) show that balancing work and family remains a big issue for working men and women, with around 40% of women and 30% of men feeling often or always rushed or pressed for time. Worse still, you probably won’t be paid or adequately compensated for ‘out of hours’ work.

It’s your life – hop into the driver’s seat and take control

If Mary’s story sounds familiar to you or someone you’re close to, maybe it’s time to take stock. Ask yourself:

  • What are the real expectations of the job (rather than the assumptions)?
  • What price am I really paying and is it worth it?
  • What am I prepared to do to get the job done and have a life?
  • What boundaries do I need to keep my job in perspective and priorities in focus?
  • Who can I call on to share the workload and how else could we get the job done?

Set up a meeting with your manager and team, go prepared with creative solutions and be open to new ways of working. Remember, your colleagues have a life outside work too. While work demands are ever-increasing, the pressure on companies to reduce stress and foster wellbeing is growing too. But the ultimate responsibility for yours rests with you.

Get clear about what’s important, decide what you are prepared to do (or not) and take deliberate action to make it happen.

Life’s short – it’s time to get moving and create the life you really wish for.

Carpe diem.

Caroline

 

 

If you’re wanting simple ways to reclaim your life, my new book, The Great Life Redesign will show you how.  It’s now available in all good bookstores and here.

How to Love the Festive Season, no matter what!

A Thrival Kit – your secret weapon against festive season gremlins

Have you ever noticed how quickly the festive season can turn pear-shaped? In spite of meticulous planning, great expectation and fever pitched excitement, it only takes a poorly chosen gift or misplaced, thoughtless comment for ‘peace on earth’ to be shattered! Before you know it the kids are grumpy, the adults have declared war and what you hoped would be a happy family time has disintegrated into bitter arguments that could last a lifetime.

If this is your worst Christmas nightmare, relax – help is at hand. A well-packed Thrival Kit is the secret to sailing through this time of year with your goodwill to all men, sanity and happiness intact.

The Thrival Kit – this year's 'must have' gift

A Thrival Kit is a small but powerful set of tools that are easy to access and use, whenever you need them. Consisting of keys, questions, symbols and pearls, your Thrival Kit is free of charge and light to carry. Once packed with the right tools, it becomes your constant companion through the good and not-so-good times. Whilst being particularly handy for beating holiday season stress, once you’ve packed one, you’ll want it beside you all year round.

The contents of a Thrival Kit are like multi-vitamins. Taken daily, they become new habits and a new way of being that will ensure you thrive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Let’s take a look inside a typical Thrival Kit, see what these tools are and learn how to use them.

Three essential thrival keys:  your purpose, values and inner resources

Your purpose, values and inner resources are the most powerful keys available to you. They provide direction, the ability to prioritise and achieve whatever you set your mind to and heart on. Even better, you already have them! These are already inherently within you, you just may not be aware of them. Consciously accessing these ‘thrival keys’ will unlock previously shut doors, open up new possibilities and ensure you have everything you need to choose how you want things to be.

Whilst your purpose (reason for being here) and values (core principles, standards and ideals) guide your decisions and actions, it’s your inner resources that will help you thrive, regardless of what’s happening at your place this holidays.

Engage your inner resources

Limitless and super powerful, your resources are inner states of being that you can call on at any time, in any situation. Whether you are feeling sad, happy, doubtful or certain, inner resources reside in everyone. Once identified, you’ll soon master the art of recognising which you need in any situation. From here you can effortlessly call on the best inner resources to achieve your desired outcome.

Your inner resources provide instant light when it is dark and energy to take action. They are the power source for your purpose and values. Engaging them means you never need feel disempowered, angry or stressed ever again. Whether you are confronting a challenge, keeping the peace or determined to make the most of a magical moment, there’s a resource for every situation.

The 12 most powerful inner resources to keep close at hand over the festive season include:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Caring
  3. Calm
  4. Caution
  5. Contentment
  6. Flexibility
  7. Fun
  8. Joy
  9. Maturity
  10. Peace
  11. Perspective
  12. Spontaneity

What else can go in a Thrival Kit?

Basically anything that will help you sail through potentially stressful moments and take on new challenges. Thinkg about adding:

  • Powerful questions to help you make the best decision in the heat of the moment – eg How do I want this to be and what can I do to create it?
  • Strength symbols provide a physical stress reducer – these include special items such as a piece of jewellry that create instant calm when you touch them.
  • Pearls of wisdom – a phrase or saying to adopt as a calming mantra (one of my favourites, accompanied by a deep breath, is 'Keep Calm and Carry On').

Be Prepared for Anything

Holidays are a time when family legends are often written! Events good and bad are remembered and recalled by everyone for years. How you choose to be will determine whether you buckle under the pressure and ‘lose it’ or love every moment, regardless of what happens. A well-packed Thrival Kit will ensure you’re armed and ready for anything.

What else will you be packing and pulling out of your Thrival Kit this festive season?

Carpe diem

 

 

P.S.  To find out how to create more empowering tools for your Thrival Kit, grab a copy of The Great Life Redesign – change how you work, live how you dream and make it happen TODAY!  Available here and in all good bookstores.

Is your personal brand shooting you in the foot?

How you're perceived can make or break your success

Is your personal brand shooting you in the foot?Whether you’re a senior executive, working mum, public servant, small business owner or large corporation, your personal brand matters.

As Qantas grapples with the daunting task of rebuilding its credibility, it’s a great time to do a reality check on your brand.

When you think of successful, reputable companies such as Google, Apple, Disney, BMW and Lego (Top 5 place holders in the Global RepTrak 2011 consumer study into the reputations of the world's most prominent companies), what comes to mind? Each does what it claims to do consistently, predictably and exceptionally well.

Likewise, Oprah has created a strong brand that is so trustworthy, relatable and credible that when she endorses a book or individual, success is almost guaranteed.

Why your personal brand is so important

What you do and the way that you do it tells clients, employers, colleagues, friends and family everything they need to know about you.  Getting your brand wrong is the quickest way to kill your reputation, credibility, career and relationships. Your brand is what makes people to decide whether they want to work, socialize and spend time with you, or not…

Having a clear and consistent brand:

  • improves your ability to influence and make a positive difference
  • makes it easier and quicker to get things done
  • leads to greater fulfillment and wellbeing as you achieve what’s important to you in a way that feels right.

Define your personal brand

The 3 vital and interconnected keys to your brand are Image, Integrity, and Trust.
The following questions will help you define your brand and identify what you need to change to make it even stronger.

Image

Image is all about aligning your intention with how people perceive you.  It
includes how you look, what you say and how you behave.  Ask yourself:

  • How do I want to be perceived? I want to be perceived as someone who …
  • How am I actually perceived and how do I know this?
  • How do those who are successful in this field project themselves?
  • What do I need to project for people to have confidence in me?

Integrity

Closely linked to honesty, Integrity encapsulates your personal values and how well you ‘walk your talk’.  Those whose actions consistently align with their values and beliefs make a point of always doing what they say they’ll do.  They are highly regarded and always in demand.  Ask yourself:

  • What does integrity mean to me?
  • What do I stand for and what am I 100% committed to?
  • How do I demonstrate integrity in everything I do?
  • Where do I struggle to do what I’ve committed to do every time, without fail?

Trust

Your credibility (how believable you are) is based on the degree to which people trust you.  To trust you people first need to know and then like you.  Not to be confused with
being the ‘same’, we all like people ‘like’ us. This includes the degree to which you demonstrate respect for others.  Ask yourself:

  • What do I share and how do I share it to enable others to get to know me?
  • How do others predict what I am going to say and do?
  • What can I best be relied upon for?
  • How do others know, with absolute certainty, that they can trust me?

If you had to summarise your answers to these questions in a short, pithy, compelling sentence to articulate your personal brand, what would it be?  Weave this into your resume, LinkedIn and other profiles to help others get to know you better.

Your answers to these questions will help you communicate who you are, your strengths, abilities and priorities.  Consciously strengthen your brand based on the responses you get and notice what happens. Opportunities more closely linked to your passions and who you are will increase.  It will also become easier to  synchronise your work and life with your values and beliefs.

If you need help to develop and strengthen your brand to achieve your personal and professional goals, contact Possibility to Reality today.  It’s much easier than you think!

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron