About two weeks ago, I shared a story and video with you of James dancing at the Michigan Women’s Basketball game.
- There was a game again last night.
- And James struck again.
This time, when he rushed to the aisle to dance in his glory for the dance-cam, a younger woman decided to join the fun.
- Unknown to James, she was dancing a few steps behind him.
- She followed his dance lead.
- And made the steps look a lot more sexy! (Sorry James!)
They both had a blast – and so did the rest of us in the area.
(Here’s a direct link to the video if you don’t see it in this post.)
When is the last time you let your joy of life loose on a crowd?
What do you say when someone gives you a compliment?
- Do you own it?
- Or do you brush it off?
- Like many of us were taught to do.
I’ve been speaking at leadership conferences for more than 20 years.
- At my very first program, people came up at the end of the speech to compliment me on how I did.
- I wasn’t comfortable with all the praise, so I brushed it off as fast as they gave it to me.
- It was just me. I made a few mistakes. And so forth…
I soon noticed I was hurting people with my responses.
- They approached me excitedly.
- I told them how wrong they were for thinking I was great.
- Their energy would drop and they would slink off.
What the heck was I thinking?
- Why didn’t I own what they were saying?
- Lightening was not going to strike me down if I simply said, “Thank you.”
- Plus I worked hard to be so good and it felt great that they noticed.
So I changed my script. Here’s what I say today…
- When someone tells me I rocked my speech, I thank them and ask what they liked best.
- I am totally interested in what they have to say.
- I get additional insights, thank them for sharing – and they walk away smiling.
When you deflect compliments, you not only reinforce a lesser you, you also hurt the person giving you the compliment.
- Owning their observation shores you up – and makes them feel good.
- All you need to say is “Thank you” to benefit both of you.
- No negative follow ups to give away that little piece of power allowed!
How does it feel when you simply own a compliment?
The polar vortex is NOT my friend.
- I didn’t enjoy the minus 30 degree days earlier this year.
- The endless cold.
- Dreading bursting water pipes.
I wish the polar vortex wasn’t coming back this week to visit.
- Nothing personal.
- Just not a fan.
- The hype is seductive.
We had gorgeous weather today.
- It was sunny.
- Almost 60 degrees.
- Made me smile.
I decided to focus on enjoying the sunshine rather than wondering when the cold will arrive.
- I live in Michigan.
- The weather is always changing.
- The last few years more unpredictable.
Staying in the now I had nothing to worry about.
- (Except avoiding getting a sunburn.)
- Tonight is still warm and moon gorgeous.
- It’s a great day to be alive!
How about you? Do you stay in the now or fret on the future?
Not technically – but it does feel like it.
- My dad passed a year and a half ago.
- My mom moved to Tennessee this weekend.
- I’m left alone.
All my life I’ve been the responsible one.
- When Dad got Alzheimer’s about 12 years ago, I went in overdrive.
- I was the official problem solver.
- Helping to relieve stress on my parents as much as possible.
When my dad died, everything escalated.
- Mom needed more from me than ever.
- And I gave it best I could with love.
- I am the first born and the daughter.
Two months ago, my brother convinced my mom to finally visit him and his family in TN.
- Her first visit since they moved there a few years ago.
- I handled the details to make travel easy for her.
- Seven days later, I picked her up at the airport and she told me she was moving down there.
The last two months have been really hard on me.
- Logically, I totally get her decision to live 10 minutes from my brother.
- He’s got some kids.
- She’ll finally get a chance to know them better.
On the other hand, the emotional part of me feels sort of rejected.
- My brother called her maybe once a week and I was the giving tree for more than a decade.
- Why wasn’t I enough?
- I invested so much time in helping my parents – at a significant cost to the rest of my life.
And then reality hits – I’m free.
- My brother is now her go-to person.
- I get to live life on my terms – without endless calls.
- Celebrate holidays my way with James and the girls.
Maybe being an “orphan” won’t be that bad after all? (I can’t wait for the hurt to go away…)
In January, I’m launching the Powerful Woman Program.
- I’m signing women up now.
- To get their juices going in advance.
- And make 2015 their most powerful year.
Today I did a webinar to showcase what I am up to.
- I gave some easy-to-use ideas about women and power.
- Explained the Powerful Woman Program.
- Shared details about the 50% off really early bird discount.
I was trying the info-prenuer gurus’ recipe for securing program registrations.
- Give them three great take-aways.
- Explain the program.
- Give them a deal.
And I got hate mail!
- I NEVER get hate mail.
- It crushed me on many levels.
- She said basically, “This wasn’t what I expected from YOU.”
Reality started to sink in…
- Between us, I didn’t like how the formula felt either.
- And she was right.
- It was definitely not a Cynthia-style approach to sharing exciting information.
I returned to my laboratory.
- The Powerful Woman Program is going to help so many women.
- I need to get the word out fast- especially so they can get the early, early bird deal if they have a tight budget!
- Felt just a little (a LOT of) pressure.
Then I started to laugh…
- I realized I wasn’t following my own advice.
- To live life based on your rules.
- Rather than what others say.
Okay, I got the message.
- I am committed to being me – even in promotions.
- Still bouncing ideas around.
- Totally confident it’s going to be something that will rock.
How do you stay in alignment with yourself in your work – even if you work for someone else?
(And if you have any FUN ideas about how I can let women who want to have a voice at the table at work, be heard by their colleagues – and feel confident in their actions know about my new program, please let me know!)
I’m currently in a major growth mode.
- It’s sort of fun.
- I focus on stretching.
- And am not always sure what’s next.
Take this Halloween…
- We went to a neighbor’s house after we gave out our candy.
- There were several kids there.
- And Halloween things that go with kids.
Like tongue tattoos.
- I had never heard of a tongue tattoo.
- All the adults sitting at the table decided to do one.
- How could I refuse?
I chose the tiniest one – the bat.
- I wondered if the bat would count as going off my eating program?
- It grossed me out to think about chemicals I was going to ingest.
- And everyone else had already decorated their tongues.
So I did it.
- I laid the paper on my tongue.
- And sucked the bat to my tongue.
- (Does anyone else think it looks more like a Rorschach ink blob than bat?)
Was this a silly party trick or life-changing event?
- It was just a little game.
- But it did stretch my comfort zone just the tiniest amount.
- I looked goofy – but didn’t die.
I’m beginning to think with awareness can we grow in moments like this – rather than having to always go for the total life overhaul.
What do you think?
For most of my life I’ve been in a battle with my body.
- I wanted to weigh less.
- It wanted to weigh more.
- Up and down we go.
So I took up residence in my head.
- It was safer there.
- I love to think and analyze things.
- My body didn’t listen to me anyhow.
This year brought a lot of transition into my life.
- My mind went into hyperdrive over the summer.
- And couldn’t downshift.
- Sleep eluded me.
I decided it was time to do the adult thing.
- I could hold out no more.
- And I was desperate.
- I signed up for a meditation class.
I girded myself to have to stare at a blank screen in my mind.
- I knew I had a monkey brain that would not sit still.
- Even staring at a candle and counting my breath was useless.
- This overachiever prepared for failure.
Thankfully, I found Vipassana (insight) meditation.
- Vipassana approaches the mind like it’s a beautiful wild horse.
- My mind is allowed to run with glee.
- Periodically I take a time-out focusing on the in and out of my breath.
And the weirdest thing happened…
- I love meditating!
- At first it was like going to a blockbuster movie every day.
- You would not believe what my mind came up with.
I gave myself a challenge to do 30 days of 30 minutes of meditating.
- I’m currently on day 25.
- I wake up excited to meditate first thing.
- And find my days flowing with a lot more ease.
I have so much more I want to share with you about it.
- But will save that for another day.
- My guess is, those of you who know me well, have to get over your fit of laughter before you can hear more.
- Deal with it.
What steps have you taken to better take care of you lately?
I have been a daddy’s girl my entire life.
- From the time I was able to walk, I followed him around.
- Helped Dad with projects.
- And learned like a sponge.
My dad believed in good manners.
- Full manners, every meal.
- Etiquette books in every bathroom.
- It was his fault I almost got expelled from school for being rude when I correctly (and politely) corrected the home economics teacher on a point of manners.
My dad challenged me to write persuasively.
- He taught me to write persuasively as soon I could write paragraphs.
- We competed against each other to see who could get bigger results from the letters we would send companies.
- My best response ever was a 31% return mailing to people I did not know.
My dad trained me to be a powerful woman.
- I learned how to rule the room.
- Walk like I owned the world.
- And go toe-to-toe (respectfully) with Alpha males older than me.
He taught me how to hold my own in conversations.
- In college, I had to debate the Wall Street Journal with him before going out with my girlfriends to meet men.
- He taught me how to turn a point.
- And close a deal – with a lovely smile too.
My dad was a feminist – but probably would deny it for much of his life.
- He taught me to compete academically with the boys – and wait for them to open my door too.
- He taught me to use the language of women to be extra persuasive.
- He taught me to own my power as a woman so I could excel in a man’s world.
Tomorrow is my dad’s 87th birthday.
- He’s been gone for about a year and a half.
- And I miss him every day.
In honor of my dad and all he taught me, I’m debuting a new online program teaching women how to be more powerful.
And all that noise you’re hearing in the back of your head – it’s my dad cheering me on from heaven!