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This post marks my 100th blog post. I started in December 2009, and wanted to get myself into the practice of writing (I’ve joked that I’m writing my book a blog post at a time). I’ve written about a lot of things, but the themes, as best as I’ve been able to keep to them, is the listening to one’s own authentic self and then seeing how that can be manifested in the world. As my professional area is career development, I’ve also shared my philosophies about how one can best identify what is mist precious and to state your best case about doing that for others. I’ve gotten a few comments here, and many more in person or other venues, that people have appreciated what I’ve had to say and it’s helped them in their professional journey.
After having written so much, I’ve learned some things about myself and the process, and how people have reacted to my words. Some of my learnings are:
- You’d be surprised at what gets the most comments. Topics that I thought were the most benign can sometimes get the most heated debate.
- There’s always something to write about. Even if it’s what you had for lunch, if it makes you think about something bigger in life, it can be a blog post.
- You’d be surprised who is most interested in your writing. Someone random will tell me that they follow my blog every post and have gotten a lot out of it, and I didn’t think they even knew about it!
- Writing a blog is fine, but you have to get people to read it. There’s a lot of things to read, and the struggle is getting eyes on your words.
- Forcing yourself to write is a good practice, like doing many other things that you know are good for you but take effort.
- Writing about events in your life can be cathartic, in that it forces you to think through things and present them in a way that shows your reflected on things and how you want to be seen.
- Practice makes perfect. Keep doing things and you’ll get better at them.
So, what have you learned from doing something 100 times?
I think that a lot of us feel like “If people just knew the real me, they’d realize I’m a fraud”. Everyone seems to have that little voice in your head that says that you’re not good enough at (fill in the blank). I’ve definitely heard this voice too often.
It’s so surprising when I’ve talked with the most talented and creative clients and they too have this little voice. Given that reality, I’ve come to believe that it’s probably a more universal source. We’ve all got the voice, but it’s our unique version of it It’s like we’ve got a resident bodyguard whose job it is to point out to us at every step what might go wrong and protect us.
I’ve found it helpful to give this voice I name. I’ve named mine Gollum after the character in Lord of the Rings, as he seems to work out of a position if fear and secrecy. When he shows up, I can view him as another input, but one that I can easily acknowledge but not put too much faith in.
This shows up in job searchers in that many times they don’t speak well of themselves to others. This is the classic “bombing the interview” or missing the networking opportunity. They are listening and putting too much credence into their own personal Gollum that they don’t put themselves out there.
Thus is where my recommendation to ” fake it ’till you make it” comes it. I’m not talking about faking your competence at anything, but to fake your confidence. Nobody wants to be around someone who is nervous and twitching. If you just act like you’re confident, your results will probably be better, and that will lead to more confidence. Hopefully, this cycle will continue and you will get more successes, which will lead to more confidence.
So, what kind of confidence do you need to fake?
We are finally getting some warm and sunny weather in New England. And like most of us who have been wearing too many layers for too long, all I’m thinking of is summer and vacation. I’ve started to plan the days I will be away and hope for good weather.
I like to say that too often I don’t have enough “mind space”. For me, this is having the freedom to think about whatever I want to. Too often, my brain is either cluttered or bombarded with facts and information, and often both! At these times, I really don’t feel like I’ve got the capacity to actually process much of what I want, and I’m not in control of myself. I’ve found at these times that my sense of personal power and control is at its lowest. I’m always looking for the opportunity to clear my mind and get that clutter out.
As I’ve written about before, I have been a student of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, and I attended a training in May where David was the instructor. One of the things that he mentioned is that most of us are frazzled except for one time: when we’ve just wrapped everything up before going on vacation. That made me think of the relief I’ve felt when I’ve crossed everything off my list and am now ready to head off on an adventure.
I’ve decided that I want to strive to have “vacation mind” as often as possible. When I’m on vacation, I also don’t tend to let little annoyances bother me as much. If I can keep this in mind, I’ll let myself have the space for other things to happen, like create s great new idea or write something great.
So, Where do you have vacation mind? How do you get it back when you’ve lost it?
Summer is a time for fun, and I’d like to contribute to that by having a contest that will get you to take more action, think more about your life’s direction, and let your friend’s know more about the issues that I think are important to connect your career, spirit and passion.
The prizes are:
- A free weekend or week-long program at Easton Mountain (certain restrictions apply)
- Two Hours of Career Consulting with Ken in person, or via phone or Skype
- Two movie tickets for a AMC Theatres nationwide
So, how can you get these great prizes? Here are the rules.
- First, register that you are in the contest by filling your contact information on this form.
- Accrue points by subscribing, sharing, and commenting.
- 10 points each for subscribing to the Spirit-Work Connection Blog, Liking the Spirit-Work Connection on Facebook, and following me on Twitter.
- 10 additional points for any of your friends who do any of the above and mention your name when they sign up.
- 1 point each time you retweet one of my Twitter posts, comment on the Spirit-Work Connection blog, share a Spirit-Work Connection post or write on the Spirit-Work Connection page on Facebook.
Contest starts on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, and will end on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at midnight. The person with the most points will get the first choice of prizes. Second place will get choice of the two remaining prizes and third place will receive the remaining prize.
Good luck everyone! Share with your friends!
*Note: The Easton Mountain prize is only available to people who have never attended a program at Easton Mountain before.
Been thinking about hiring a career consultant (namely me!) but been putting it off? You might not want to wait any longer!
I have not gone up on the prices for my services in eight years, and I’m as affected by the whims of the economy as much as anyone else, so I’m finally adjusting my rates as of July 1, 2011.
- Single One Hour Session $130
- Bronze Package: 2 Hours $240
- Silver Package: 5 Hours plus assessments $575
- Gold Package: 10 Hours plus Assessments $1100
- MBTI Assessment $140
The good news is that my old rates will be in effect until then. If you’re ready to work with me and make a proactive change in your life, purchase a package before the rates go up!
So, what changes do you want to make in your life, and what are you waiting for?
Here are the top articles/posts that I’ve seen over the past week that interest me, and hopefully interest you!
- Change is in the Air: 7 LinkedIn Tips for Career Changers: Thinking about changing your career? Here are some ideas about using LinkedIn to help that along.
- I found this Rumi poem, Inner Sunrise very moving & appropriate for careers and spirit.
- Networking Is Still The Best Way To Find A Job, Survey Says: It’s still true. Your connections/references are what help you get jobs.
- “Biggest Loser” Marci Crozier meets with fans: I love the Biggest Loser, and Marci Crozier is really connecting her life experience into her work passion.
- Sonic Yoga Tango!: An example of someone promoting themselves when they have a portfolio career. Just like a resume, you need some way of demonstrating your skills. Here’s a great example.
- The Shortcut to the Shortcut: The 4 Key Principles of The 4-Hour Body: I haven’t read this book yet, but Tim Ferriss is demonstrating his skill and showing his value!
- Cool Slackline Stunt Competition: Really amazing feats by young people doing crazy things on a new version of tightrope walking, but this goes far ahead of that. Shows what focus and passion can accomplish!
- Straight men kissing more: Interesting cultural phenomenon that shows that when homophobia is lessened in men, it allows them more freedom to express themselves in different ways.
- Raw Faith: What looks like a very interesting documentary about a Unitarian Universalist minister at one of the largest congregations in the country. What happens when you decide to not be a minister anymore? I found this one after reading Marilyn Sewell’s great article in the Huffington Post called The Theology of Unitarian Universalists.
I’m one of those rare Americans that actually speaks a language other than English. I was a Linguistics major in college where I learned German and lived in Göttingen, Germany for a summer. For fun, I also studied Esperanto and got good enough at it to participate in a four day conference speaking only Esperanto. After graduation, I moved to T’aip’ei, Taiwan where I taught English and studied Mandarin Chinese. I also sang in a Scandinavian singing group for 11 years and I worked to pick up Swedish. Needless to say, I like languages and the different way people use words interests me.
Sometimes you find a word in another language that perfectly describes what you want to say, but there isn’t an English equivalent for it. One of those for me is the German word “aufgeregt“. As I understand it, it means off kilter, but a little more than that. For me, it embodies that uneasiness when things aren’t they way you expect them to be, you’re not sure where your grounding is, and you feel like you’re not sure of your next step.
I’ve been feeling very “aufgeregt” lately. My grounding of my rituals and what I need to do has been a bit rocked by my celiac diagnosis. I feel like I have to make all of my own food as I can’t trust that there isn’t any gluten hiding in something. I’ve been spending a lot of time making food, and it’s also messed with my head. I know that I need the grounding of getting to my routines, which is the gym, meditation, walks, and being in control of my life instead of letting other things control me. In essence, I’ve let my gluten intolerance become a big, fat hairy deal. It’s become a distraction where I’m not in charge of my direction, and letting that dictate for me what I need to do.
When I react to other input, I take away my own power, and I make poor choices for myself. I need the grounding that can only come when I realize what’s good for me and work that, instead of letting my circumstance work me.
So, how are you getting into balance and grounding yourself?