The Four Agreements – Don’t Take Things Personally

The second of the Four Agreements states “Don’t take things personally.” That’s really hard to do. For me, it’s the hardest of the Four Agreements. I have always taken things personally. However, I understand how it has caused me pain.

The truth of the matter is that when someone is doing something harmful or ‘attacking’ you verbally, it usually has more to do with something going on for them, than it does with you. It’s them spewing their shit verbally. Don’t let it stick to you.

You know who you are and what your intent is in any given moment. Sometimes, it’s hard to realize that others may not see or understand you. However, you must be strong and understand and see yourself for the amazing creature you are.

  • You are amazing.
  • You are wonderful.
  • You are enough.

As Don Miguel Ruiz, the creator of the Four Agreements says about not taking things personally:

  1. Nothing others do is because of you.
  2. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
  3. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Nothing Others Do Is Because of You

This is a hard concept to grasp, but it is so very true. When a person is spewing venom on you, they are coming from a very negative place in their own personality. They may be ‘attacking’ you, but it is not about you. They are hurting. They are upset. They are in their own negative space. You are not to blame for their words of their actions. This is on them. Let it remain there. This will help you put things into perspective and not feel their pain as your own. It’s not up to you to fix them or blame yourself for what’s going on. Let it be their issue because you don’t own this. They do.

What Others Say and Do Is A Projection of Their Own Reality, Their Own Dream

We all have our own realities. They are carefully constructed by the experiences we have in our lives. Your reality will be very different from someone else’s. The way a person chooses to react or act within their reality is not your concern or problem. If they are not being skillful or choosing their words carefully to neither harm not hurt, that is not your fault. That is their issue and their choice. You make different choices and can take comfort in the fact that you are doing the best you can while also seeing that they are doing the best they can in their given circumstance. There’s no judgment, just acceptance, but DO NOT ACCEPT that you deserve mistreatment. You can walk away or tell the person that you are not willing to listen to or take on their issues or concerns.

When You Are Immune to the Opinions and Actions of Others, You Won’t Be the Victim of Needless Suffering

When you can learn to not take things personally, you will feel free to be yourself and love yourself. You will not be the subject of others’ whims and actions. You will be able to stand your own ground in difficult situations. You will be empowered, not victimized. Standing in your own power, you will be unstoppable. Next week, we will go onto the Third Agreement. I look forward to continuing this process with you. If you’d like to learn more about the Four Agreements, feel free to visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/deannacgoodson/

The Four Agreements – Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements many years ago. Many people in my industry love The Four Agreements. I try to live them. They are not so simple. Over the next four weeks, we will delve into each of the Four Agreements. The first one is to be impeccable with your word.

What does be impeccable with your word mean?

Being impeccable with your word can mean different things to different people. For me, it is simply to mean what you say and say what you mean. We often speak before we think. It’s probably wise to do the opposite. Words can heal or harm. We should always try to choose ours carefully and intentionally. We want to lift others up, not tear them apart.

Verbal Abuse Hurts

As someone who has been through the pain of verbal abuse, I can tell you it’s rather painful. Words can be like weapons. Remember the children’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s an outright fallacy. I have been called many names throughout my life. I’ve also had broken bones. I know what sticks with me more today. It’s those hurtful words that cut me to the quick. It’s not the broken bones.

When we wield words as weapons, we do ourselves and others a disservice. We hurt people and we hurt ourselves. Karma exists and when we are practicing right speech, we are being intentional about what we say. We are allowing ourselves to think about what we say and to mean it. We are being impeccable with your word.

The Concept of Impeccability

I first heard this concept when I was reading the works of Carlos Castaneda. Truthfully, I didn’t understand it immediately. I was a college student at the time studying History and Latin American Studies at Tufts University. I thought it was a cool concept, but it would take me years to grasp. Impeccability is a way of living. It’s the ‘warrior’s way.’ As an impeccable person, you strive not to be flawless, but to be striving for it. You do and say the things that you are meant to and mean to. You are your word. It’s inherent in you. There is no separation of the two.

How can you practice the First Agreement?

This week try hard to say only what you mean. Think before you speak. Tell people things that are uplifting even if you must pause and take a few minutes to think of something kind. You can find it. You can choose your words to heal and not harm. You can take a minute to find something uplifting to say to someone else. You’ll find yourself feeling lighter as a result and better.

If you want to read, The Four Agreements, I would encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful book. Next week, we’ll focus on the Second Agreement – don’t take things personally.

The Three Principles – Transformative Coaching

I provide a service known as ‘transformative coaching.’ I want you to know that yes, I do coach people who are looking to transform their health and their lives. However, ‘transformative coaching’ refers to a specific modality called The Three Principles.

What are The Three Principles?

The three principles refer to a self-help movement started by Sydney Banks. Sydney Banks is just a run of the mill Scotsman, who moved to Canada. He’s not a therapist or a guru of any kind. He’s a welder with a 9th grade education. While attending a marriage seminar in British Columbia, Banks discovered the three principles.

Banks discovered that “there’s no such thing as insecurity – it’s only thought.”

From that discovery, grew the three principles, which are Mind, Consciousness and Thought.

What is Mind?

Mind is the energy and intelligence of all life, whether in the form or the formless. The Universal Mind, also known as the impersonal mind, is constant and unchangeable. We all share in it. The personal mind, which is ours alone, is in a perpetual state of change. Sometimes, it’s referred to as the river.

What is Consciousness?

Consciousness is the gift of awareness. When we are aware of something, we are conscious of it. Consciousness allows the recognition of form. Form is just an expression of thought.

What is Thought?

Thought is a little more tenuous to grasp. The power of thought is not self-created. It is, in fact, a divine gift. It serves you immediately after you are born. It is the creative agent that we use to direct us through our lives. Thoughts can be changed and so can our experiences. There is great power in thought.

How Do We Use the Three Principles in Transformative Coaching?

Well, the three principles are a guide to help you look at your life in a different way. If you can remember that your natural state is whole and healthy then you will do everything you can to return to that state. Your body and mind want to feel well and whole. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

There is so much potential in us and the possibilities are endless. When we tap into those concepts, we can find so much joy in re-creating and re-fashioning our lives. I’ve had my awakening to the Three Principles and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. How can I not want to share that with you.

If you are ready to look at the world and your life in a completely different way, please contact me for a transformative coaching session. The first session is free and we will take it at your pace. You are the architect of your life. I will hold space for you and allow you to create.

Discomfort and Personal Growth

I’ve recently learned that getting comfortable with discomfort is an important skill. We all need to cultivate it. Life is not always pretty or simple, or, let’s face it, easy. Life can be hard and it can be ugly. It can be downright uncomfortable.

Popular psychology will tell you that you should never feel anything but good and happy and comfortable. It really does us a disserve. There are great learning lessons in every emotion or feeling we face. We should not be afraid to feel and definitely not afraid to feel discomfort.

Right now, I’m uncomfortable as all heck. My life has not been going easy. I am having difficulties I did not imagine or anticipate. I am also learning a lot about myself as a result and learning that life still goes on even if everything is not perfect.

We need to lean into discomfort and discover what it has to teach us. Yes, we can learn a lot from discomfort. We can become better as people. I want to be the best version of myself. Lately, I haven’t been and it’s come back to bite me.

Yes, even life coaches don’t get it perfectly. We struggle. We’re human. We make mistakes. However, as a life coach, I feel obligated to learn from my mistakes. I try not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I’m not saying it never happens. That would be a life. However, I’m getting better at it and I’ve uncovered a whole bunch of new messes to get myself into.

Life is messy. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. In those moments and experiences, we can learn so much about who we really are and what we are capable of handling. We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. If we are okay with being uncomfortable and living with discomfort, we will see just how much we can accomplish.

We are amazing creatures and meant to do so much. So, feel your discomfort and get comfortable with it. If you need help getting there, I’m available for sessions. I’d love to work with you on this process. I’ve been there. Heck, I am there. I know what you’re going through.

Contact me at 512-484-7634 today.

How do you handle grief?

Grief is something that touches us all. In life, we lose people we love whether through death or other types of loss. We mourn the loss of relationships, the loss of love and the loss of life. We are saddened by the fact that someone is taken from us too soon because their time on Earth is never long enough. We wish we could’ve reached out to them sooner, to let them know how much we cared. Then, when it’s too late, we are left with sadness, regret, pain and a myriad of other feelings that are just hard to manage.

My recent loss

I have recently lost a treasured family member. I hadn’t seen her in years, but my Aunt Bev was responsible for some of my favorite childhood memories. She was always smiling and joking. She had the most beautiful laugh and she was the kind of mom you wished you had. She was a genuinely good person who had a difficult lot in life, but she was always there to offer a kind word or a hug to someone else in need.

She was the salt of the Earth. She had faced tragedy in her life but she never let it get her down. She lost two of her children before their time. It was heart-breaking for her, but she carried on. I hope that now she is gone, she is able to be with them. I want them to be reunited in heaven. I want to believe that is what happens, but I don’t know and that upsets me too.

How do I handle grief?

I allow the grief to enter into my spirit. I let it live there as long as it needs to. I cry and a I get angry. I go through the Kubler Ross stages of grief. Some stages are quicker than others. I know I feel powerless and this time I feel as though I’m losing ties to my family in the northeast. I have lost countless family members since I moved to Texas in 2001 and I haven’t been able to go home to say good-bye. My spirit has been there, but my body has not.

I feel immense guilt over this. I feel like I’m losing my entire family and a part of myself. My heritage means so much to me. As an Italian-Portuguese woman, my family is everything. I had to move away for a variety of reasons and I can’t afford to move back. Nor would I, but sometimes, I miss being there.

I really do.

The real guilt

As my parents age and are ill, I feel as though I won’t be able to be there for them when they need me. This hurts me deeply. I don’t know how to reconcile it. I don’t know if I can, or if I really want to.

You see, when I was younger, I took on a responsibility role that I was not ready or prepared for. I helped parent my parents and my younger siblings. When I left Massachusetts, I left that behind and am glad of that. I didn’t want the responsibility and sometimes resented it. Now, I find that there are times I miss it, but I don’t miss it enough to take the mantle back up.

It’s not my burden to bear.

What does this mean for grief in the larger sense?

Grief wraps itself up in a plethora of other emotions. We need to isolate them out and separate them. We need to honor each emotion, feel them and let them go as they need to. It takes time to recover from grief. We need to be compassionate and kind to ourselves, to let ourselves take the time to heal. Grief is a tough life lesson, but we can learn from it and become stronger and more resilient.

Final thoughts on grief

I know I am not alone in my grief. Many people feel grief every day and for some, it can be debilitating. If you struggle, know that you are not alone. You are loved and accepted. I love and accept you. Thank you for letting me share my grief with you here. It helps.

What is Mindset?

So many people toss around the term mindset. It has almost lost its meaning. To me, mindset is when you set your mind on doing something. Yeah, I’m pretty literal. In so doing, you decide that you will achieve a goal that you have set forth. You will do anything you need to do to get there. You are determined, you are willful, you are powerful, you are strong.

I set out to lose weight and I did. I set out to conquer my cravings and I did. I wanted to achieve these goals so badly that I knew I would. There was NO other option for me. Failure didn’t even enter into the equation.

As I take on the goal of losing my last 66 pounds this year, I know that I will achieve it. I believe in what I’m doing. It’s at the top of my to-do list. Every day I’m making choices that are pushing my goal forward. I exercise. I eat healthy food. I drink my water.

You can apply mindset to any goal you have. Put yourself in achiever mode. You have to believe in yourself. Other people may doubt you, but that’s not important. What matters is what is in your mind and in your heart.

You are a champion. You can achieve great things. Yesterday, I saw the movie “On the Basis of Sex” about a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. RBG is a real badass girl. Why? She doesn’t let anyone stand in her way. She goes after what she wants and trusts her gut even when other people in her life tell her to quit. She will not give up or give in. She holds fast to her ideals and she achieves the nearly unthinkable.

Mindset is powerful. Master your mind and you can master yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to. If you need help getting your mind right, I’m happy to help. I can provide a safe space for you, a container where you can talk through your issues and your doubts so you can put them to rest.

I will be here with you every step of the way. Contact me today for more information. I’m here. Let’s set your mind right in 2019 and accomplish your goals no matter what they may be.

Can’t Hurt Me – A True Testament to the Iron Will

Can't Hurt Me

David Goggins is a badass. He’s a warrior. The former Navy Seal and extreme athlete is a personal hero of mine. I love how he pushes himself to be better. He’s on a constant mission of self-improvement and I strive to be like him as much as I can.

In his first book, Can’t Hurt Me, Goggins gets real and personal. He talks in depth about his life and how he overcame a difficult childhood, learning disabilities, obesity, health challenges, failed marriages and more. He ends each chapter with an action plan for the reader so that we can callous our minds the way he has.

Goggins believes that most people operate at 40% of their full potential. He calls it the 40 percent rule. He feels that we can access more of ourselves. We can do more and be more by just pushing ourselves a bit more. I’ve been trying it in my personal life with my exercise routine and it really makes sense to me.

I enjoyed reading this book immensely. Goggins really pours his soul into the book. He bares himself for all to see and doesn’t hold anything back. His honesty is refreshing and welcomed. He understands what it takes to be a warrior because he is one.

He went through Hell Week not once, not twice but three times. Each time, he faced some severe physical challenges, but he didn’t let them hold him back. As an extreme athlete, he discusses some significant health challenges. He always finds a way around them and never lets anything keep him down. I love his intestinal fortitude.

I personally have some health challenges and I love Goggins’ refusal to let them define him. I won’t let my limitations break me. I love this book for inspiration and insights. I learned a lot about David Goggins and how I can callous my mind to make me into the best version of myself.

I recommend this book highly. Please read it and do the chapter exercises to the best of your ability. I am currently going through the book a second time because there’s so much to learn.

The Parker Principles – 10 Leadership Force Multipliers

The Parker PrinciplesI have to say that Mel Parker is an impressive man. The self-proclaimed ‘farm boy’ from North Carolina is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger. He has gone on to have a successful career in corporate America and is now working as a consultant, coach and public speaker. Mel is also someone I consider to be a friend albeit a new one.

He smiles easily and is always eager to learn new things. He’s a sponge. He’s also one heck of a leader. Mel knows leadership and his book, the Parker Principles, will teach you a great deal about leadership in the 21st Century.

For Mel, leadership is serious business. He stakes his reputation on it. His 10 principles are unlike those found in other business leadership books. I found them very interesting and vital to the solopreneur and even the individual who wants to lead a better life.

They are no-nonsense, practical skills that anyone can apply to their lives to make it better.

So, what are they?

  1. Leadership is learning. If you’re willing to learn, you’re able to lead. Leaders who constantly learn stay ahead of the rest and show they are coachable as well as willing to coach and guide their teams. Learning will help them optimize their leadership savvy.
  2. Build trust by leading with authenticity. Authenticity is my core value. It’s not an easy value to live by because it requires that you be truly genuine all the time. Some leaders have trouble being genuine, but the truth is that you have to be to earn people’s trust and their respect. People follow people they trust and like. It’s that simple.
  3. Courageous Leadership – Dare to Dream and Dare to Fail. Great leaders dream big. They also aim high. When they don’t meet their goals, they take ownership and responsibility for the failing, but they also move forward and learn from it. A leader can’t live in fear. You must dream and have courage. Without those three things, a leader can never succeed.
  4. Leadership is Relationships. So many people forget this but relationships are everything in business and in life. The more a leader gets to know the people around him or her, the better off the leader will be and the leader’s team too. A leader should care about the people they come into contact with including clients or customers, teammates or contacts, potential or otherwise. Mel gives tips on how to take notes to show people you care and to remember the big days in their lives. They will reward you for your consideration and you’ll deepen relationships personally and professionally.
  5. Be a Great Listener. For those of us in helping professions, we know that it can be hard work to really listen to people. However, if you show them this kindness, they will repay it tenfold with friendship or business assistance. When you show someone you care enough about them to really pay attention to them, it’s a beautiful thing. Learn to listen and listen well. It could make or break your business or career.
  6. Own Your Power: No Excuses. Mel wants you to take responsibility for your own actions. You shouldn’t make excuses when something goes wrong. You don’t do it when something goes right so just accept what happened, admit to any mistakes and move along. You should also realize that you have the power to make things happen and can move the goal post forward. You are enough as you are.
  7. Embrace Humility. Humility is a quality that we don’t often associate with leaders, but perhaps we should. A good leader can admit that they don’t know everything. They need help to run their team or business. They require assistance from their team and rely on their team to have their back. They also have their team’s backs. Humble leaders are not leaders without backbone. They are leaders with heart.
  8. Believe in Something. Everyone needs to believe in something. If you don’t, you’ll fall for anything. A good leader has values and sticks to them. Leaders have integrity. They are authentic and genuine. Yes, you can be a good person and a leader. You don’t check your values at the door the minute you become a leader. You bring them with you and they are a part of your success.
  9. Be Strong, Fit, and Confident. A leader is strong inside and out. They take care of their bodies, their minds and their spirits. Yes, physical fitness is important. It’s not that you look like a supermodel, but rather that you have enough energy and fortitude to carry out your tasks. This will help you be more confident in yourself and make better decisions and a better overall impression on others, including the members of your own team.
  10. Be Enthusiastic and Optimistic. You can be both. You should be both. Leaders need to be optimistic but not blind to the situation. It’s an informed optimism that you should carry in leadership. Enthusiasm is hard to hide. A leader should ooze enthusiasm for their work and their life. It should shine through in everything they do. Why? Enthusiasm is infectious and carries over into team performance. An enthusiastic and optimistic team will perform better, giving you better results overall.

In the end, The Parker Principles – 10 Leadership Force Multipliers are very no-nonsense and full of common sense just like Mel Parker himself. If you haven’t read them yet, I suggest you do. It’s a great book for anyone, not just captains of industry.

For more information on Mel Parker, visit https://takethelimitsoff.com/.

What’s a Badass

badassAs a badass coach, I only like to coach badass people. What does that even mean? What’s a badass? Well, I, for one, am a badass. I have conquered so many things in my life. I won’t get into them here, but know that I’ve been through some significant shit and I’ve survived it all.

That’s badass.

So many people think that being a badass is a negative thing. It’s not, not if you look at in the right way. Some define a badass as a bully. Well, I know that bullying is not what being a badass is. It’s the opposite. A badass would never bully someone because they understand that life is full of challenges and people all face their challenges in their own way.

A badass owns his or her shit and lets other people own theirs. They respect people who take responsibility for their actions. A badass is an honorable person. They have high character and take integrity seriously. A badass is authentic and kind but they are tough as nails.

I am able to handle anything life throws at me. I have the quiet confidence that comes with that knowledge. I can help you get that in your life. I love to help people find their inner badass. I believe everyone is a badass. Everyone has shit to get through in this life. No one goes unscathed through the hellfire and damnation that we face day to day.

Life is hard but you don’t have to be. A badass can remain tender during the most difficult times in life. They can remember that life is worth living and the things that make life worth living for are worth fighting for. What are those things? Family, relationships, children and self-respect. They are the great intangibles that people really get jazzed about.

Are you ready to find your inner badass? Great! I’m ready and willing to help you. It will be hard work, but it will be so fulfilling. Call me today to set up a consultation or discovery call. I’m ready for you.

Self-Care – What It Is and Why We Should Do It

self-careSelf-care is a big phrase that’s being bandied about in the world of self-help these days. I hear life coaches, therapists and many other self-help professionals use it, but it seems like they don’t fully understand what it means. Self-care is a concept that is seemingly easy to define but very difficult to master.

What is self-care?

Self-care is basically taking good care of yourself. When you practice caring for yourself, you are treating yourself like the precious creature that you are. We are all special and important. However, we often don’t treat ourselves as if we were that way. We give all of our love, care and compassion to others. There’s not enough left over for ourselves.

Fill your cup up first

You know when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant says to you that you should put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to put it on anyone else. Well, that’s what self-care is about. You need to fill your cup up first. You have to make sure that you’re doing well and that you’re feeling healthy. It’s not selfish. It’s self-protective. So many people think that they don’t have the time or the right to engage in caring for themselves, but that’s not true. Taking care of yourself is vitally important.

What kinds of activities can be labeled as self-care?

Truthfully, there are so many activities that can be labeled as self-care.  You don’t need a lot of money or any  money to engage in them at all. It can be as simple as eating when you’re hungry or drinking water when it’s warm out. Caring for yourself can be taking an Epsom salt bath or a nap when you’re tired or cranky.

Exercise is a great form of self-care. Do what gives you joy. There’s no wrong way to do this, but you should do it every day. Make time for yourself. You’re worth it.

A final word on self-care

Self-care is not selfish. Let me reiterate that. Women especially think that taking time out for themselves is a selfish act. It is not. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others. We have more left in the fuel tank for them. If we don’t practice good self-care routines and methods, then we will NOT burn out. Burn out is a terrible condition to live in but so many of us accept it as necessary. If you feel burnt out, practice extreme self-care. Sleep, eat, rest, relax, and read.  Just do whatever it takes to get to feeling better. I consider it an emergency situation and one that you need to pay attention to.

Good luck on your self-care journey. It’s yours and you own it. Make it your own. If you need help on learning how to practice self-care, just contact me at 512-484-7634. I am happy to teach you how to care for yourself.