I CAN too throw a party!

Now that I’ve written about “limiting beliefs” they began to tumble around me like playful children. I was thinking about the “little do” that I threw last week when I had my book club in for dinner and discussion. I took the day off to prepare… I was so panicked I felt like I should have taken the whole week off! to get ready. I was so flustered I finally had to stop and ponder what was going on.

I realized that the critic in my head kept telling me that my house wasn’t big enough, clean enough or fancy enough… I live in a VERY nice

After all, what makes a misfit???

neighborhood. Then the voice started in on the food. “You haven’t created a theme. You’re not a very good cook. You don’t even know if people have food allergies!” You probably understand the “critical voice” drill. The hard I try, the louder it gets. It sure can get old.

Just for the record, the party went fine. The food was delightful, the conversation and friendship was fabulous. Mission accomplished. The limiting beliefs were wrong. HA! Even with that, I was giving the ole LB’s too much space.

Then it hit me. My limiting beliefs aren’t just about me. When I am consumed and designed by limiting beliefs, they have as big an impact on those around me as on me. Here’s where I’m going with this. Remember that I spent the hours prior to my party focused on how people were going to judge me and how hard it would be to live up to the expectations (that I was making up)! How welcoming is that? More than questioning my ability to be a hostess, I was coloring the character of my guests. From the smallness of my limiting beliefs I was seeing my friends as judgmental shrews who were simply coming to see what I had done wrong. If that were true, you’d have to question my taste in friends! And its NOT true, they are incredible women.

Oh, the power of limiting beliefs! When I look at life through the lens of limiting beliefs I play small and I see a world of scarcity.

So what’s to be done about it? This is simple – be ready for it. What’s to be done? Just notice. Notice when the energy inside you is tense, hard and unpleasant. That’s the time to stop and look inside: How am I seeing the world? What am I making up? What is showing up as a belief – a truth – that is powerful but limiting?

Here’s the caution. Limiting beliefs will try to convince you that they are true–that I’m a lousy cook,or that my house is dumpy – that I’m not good enough and no matter how hard I try I’ll probably fail.

The real truth here? Limiting beliefs are the critical voices in our heads that we can say “no” to.

I mentioned noticing the energy. Here is how it works. if you notice tension or churning – that negative energy that makes what you are doing “un-fun” that’s it. – you’ve pinpointed it.

Here’s the good news – Just noticing begins to take its power away. Follow that noticing by a deep breath or 2 and relax. Breathe the tension away so you can remember what is good – what had you busy in the first place. In the case of my party it was my friends. They weren’t coming to critique my cooking or my house. They were coming to be together, to share a meal and engage in meaningful conversation.

What are the implications in leadership? Limiting beliefs would have us play small. They would have us make assumptions and judge others. Not good as a leader. Our job is to notice, breathe and turn our attention to what is important and quit follow the energy of the critic!

This is personal – I want ABUNDANCE

Hey, after all, I am a coach – I am all about helping people change. It’s what I do and I’m good at it. I’ve found it’s different when it’s about me. Here’s the story. I work a lot with emotional intelligence. I know all about triggers and how to spot them. I know about self management and how to point people to good practices – deep breathing when you notice tension building or the surge of emotions. Why is it so hard to do in my sandbox! I guess it’s the blessing/curse of being human. It is why I work with a coach – diligently. When it’s personal, it gets harder.

My business is changing. I’ve probably mentioned that before. Here’s the deal. I’ve wanted it to change. I’ve hungered to do more of what I want and less of other’s people’s work (being a subcontractor). I want to work with companies with humane leaders – I’ve worked for some jerks and don’t want to need income so badly that I fall back into having to do that.

I want two things. FIrst is to source abundance and the second it to manage the voices of desperation in my head. Those are the late-at-night, shadow-in-the-corner voices of doom. Those two wants are tied tightly together. If I source abundance…that means finding the positive view, no matter what, then my attention is aimed at what’s possible and the voice of doom doesn’t get air time. When I expect the very best to show up, then it does. Here’s the deal. When I source what is possible, I have to let go of know what or planning what mights show up. I have to live with ambiguity…no knowing. And if I let the default voice of doom have a say, it kills abundance.

WOW that’s a little harsh. The voices of doom KILL the energy of abundance. But isn’t it true? It is for me – because the energy of “what if it doesn’t work” would have me hedge my bets. You know the hedge –a little abundance but tempered with “practical, down to earth” contingency planning. It sounds reasonable but I am here to take a stand that “practical, down to earth” will keep me from experiencing all that is possible. Jim Collins in the beginning of Good to Great says it well. “Good is the enemy of great.” Scarcity is the enemy of abundance. I am ready to take a stand for not knowing and having faith. What a life that will be!