How Commitment Makes Your Dreams Come True

commitment

Every day, I get to talk to the most amazing women.

Hard-working. Smart. Devoted. Funny. Accomplished. Generous Women.

Who each have a desire to do big things in their lives.

They can’t wait to tell me about what they really want. They talk about their dreams in full detail. And how much happier they will be on the other side of achieving these dreams.

As they talk, their energy and excitement amplify. They have rehearsed this exact conversation about their dreams so many times.

And despite all their differences in age, marital status, professions, income, geographic location – we often arrive at the exact same place in our conversation.

I say – “Are you ready to commit to making this happen?”

They say – “Well, I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit right now…but I’m definitely really interested in pursuing it someday.”

Interested.

Oh…ok. Great.

Another dream bites the dust.

Here’s what “being interested” really means.

It means a slow surrender and the painful death of a dream.

“Interested” sounds really good. But it requires no real effort or action.

It’s like dipping your big toe in the water and never jumping in.

It’s like taking one baby step and then stopping in that place and staying there forever.

“Interested” is the same as “hoping” – and you know how I feel about “hoping”. It’s Passive. Safe. Risk-free.

Default Living.

Waiting for someday.

Keep the status quo.

At this point in our conversation, I often encourage my clients to just say no to their dream now. I explain how it is much better, in the long run, to kill it quickly and move on, then to stay “interested” and 1/2 committed forever.

Wait. What?

I know that “interested” pretends to feel like positive momentum in creating the dream, but it’s actually just a stall tactic.

We stall out when we anticipate fear, failure, risk, and change.

And yet, real dreams are born out of fear, failure, risk, and change. It’s part of the deal.

“Interested” saps energy. Creates distraction. It keeps all the options open. Nothing ever gets accomplished. Someday gets pushed out further and further into the future.

Got a big dream? I say, throw everything you’ve got at it, now.

Go all in. Move from interested to committed.

Take those baby steps towards what you want and don’t stop until you have it.

Dip all your toes in the water, then both feet, both legs, your whole body and start swimming until you reach your destination.

Yes, there will be fear and some failures – setbacks, and changes. And there is a high likelihood that you will achieve that dream. That dream will become your future reality.

Commitment makes it possible. Interest will not.

Are you a woman with an amazing dream?

Then, go get it!

Do you want to go from interested to committed? Why not, schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can talk about what’s getting in your way and holding you back. This no-obligation conversation could be just what you need to set yourself free. Book your session today!

Hope Is Not The GPS For Your Life.

hope

Hope.
It feels good.
It’s optimistic.
It can bring a smile to our faces.
It feels promising.

When we hope, we are on to something.
The thing that we want comes into our sight lines.
It’s out there.
It’s exciting.
It feels possible.

Perhaps.

Maybe it will come true. Fingers crossed. Hope. Hope. Hope.

But sadly and likely, it will not.

Here’s why…

Hope is passive.
It is non-committal.
It is seeing something we want out in our future and observing, waiting, wishing, fingers crossed.

More waiting.
It is watching our lives and feeling good (hoping) versus, rolling up our sleeves and committing to creating our lives, no matter what.

Hope is choosing to ride in the passenger seat of a stranger’s car with your fingers crossed that you will arrive at your desired destination.

Hope is NOT a GPS.

Here’s what else is true…
Hope doesn’t stir up any fear or doubt.
And that’s a problem.
If you want something, the best way to approach having it is to fully commit, even if that commitment scares you to death.
Seriously.

Committing is the opposite of hope.
And it requires making a decision to have what you want, even when you have no idea how to get it.
Committing will trigger fear and doubt. YES!!!!
Committing will mean that you will take massive action to overcome the fear and doubt.
It will likely mean that you will fail (more than once) on your way to achieving that thing that you want.

Failure is good. Lessons learned. An opportunity to take your commitment in a new direction. To keep learning new things. To grow. To evolve.

Committing is driving YOUR car in the direction that you want in – and then consulting your GPS to course-correct your route along the way to get to the desired destination no matter what.

It’s intentioned.
It’s purposeful.
It’s directed.
It’s planned.

Reaching your desired destination is inevitable.
Achieving what you want is inevitable.

Committing feels scary and creates dreams coming true.
Hoping feels good and withholds dreams coming true.

I know which one I choose. Do you?

Explore these questions below to find your answer!

Can you think of a recent example of something that you passively hoped for?
Describe what happened?
Can you think of a recent example of something that you massively committed to?
Exactly what happened?
What was different between these two experiences?
What is something that you are hoping for right now?
Can you turn this hoping into commitment?

If your answer is yes, write down your new commitment.
What is the decision that you need to make to begin working towards your commitment? Now, give yourself no more than 24 hours to make the decision.
Next, write down the action steps that you need to take to start working towards this commitment. What you know right now is perfect. You don’t have to know ‘how’.

Just start here. Jump in the driver’s seat. Turn on your GPS. Start taking action and course-correct as needed.

hope

One action you could take that could be extremely beneficial is to book a FREE Breakthrough Session with me. We can put our two heads together to help you get clear about the commitment you want to make and why. This is a great {no obligation} way to see how coaching can help you solve your toughest challenges and get you heading in the right direction. Book your session today!

Decision + Commitment = Success

success

Last week, I gave you the assignment to look back on 2016 and really take ownership of your year. To review the calendar for success, big milestones, and accomplishments. Here’s the link to that post: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2016/12/30/reflection/

We know that you achieved a great deal and it is important to own it and celebrate it!

Then I asked you to spend time reflecting on what you were feeling most of the year.
I asked if you experienced any of these emotions on a regular basis during 2016.

Happy, Motivated, Excited, Confident, Focused, Content?
Or
Afraid, Worried, Detached, Sad, Guilty, Confused, Shame?

How do you feel?

This is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves.

Here’s why.

Our feelings tell us exactly what is going on in our minds and what we are thinking about. And all of our feelings inspire the action we take towards the results that we achieve. Everything we do in life is based on how we feel.
And everything we feel is based on our thoughts.
Our feelings tell us EVERYTHING!

When we feel happy and motivated, we take very different action than when we feel afraid and worried. If you are like me, then I am sure you can think of many specific examples in your life where this has been true.

Often when we are dealing with negative feelings, we take no action or worse, we indulge in pleasure-seeking activities to help us feel better. This is can be a very slippery slope because our strong desire to push away negative feelings and to replace them with more positive feelings can become so strong, that we can create a pattern of over-indulgence and self-sabotage. The results of over-indulgence and self-sabotage are always negative and require even more effort to get us back on track.

So what does all this mean as we head into 2017?

New Year. Fresh Start. Goals. Resolutions.

We are filled with such hope at this time of year. We see what is possible as we write down our resolutions. We tell ourselves that this is the year that we will really make a change. We can feel it. Or can we?

Most of us will struggle to follow-thru on the changes that we want to make or to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves.

And here’s why.

There is a big difference between “noticing” what we want and deciding what we want.
“Noticing” what we want is basically like saying….”I am going to try to achieve this goal in 2017 and let’s see how it works out.”

Hmmmm.

Being “interested” in a goal is like keeping the option to not follow-through, open. We let ourselves off the hook (ahead of time) before we try to accomplish it. We go only 1/2 in.

I know the results of this kind of goal-setting all too well because I see it in my new clients all the time. They are “interested” in making a change and start out with all kinds of conviction about it and then when any negative feelings surface (which they always do), they have a pattern of turning to an indulgence behavior to “feel better”, which ultimately sabotages their original goal.

Regardless of the client or the situation, the problem is always the same.
The problem is that there was never a decision to achieve the goal.
A decision to achieve the goal, no matter what.
Making a decision is absolutely critical to the goal-setting process.
A decision seals commitment.
Commitment is what produces success.

Here are some real client examples of what it looks like to be “interested” in a goal vs. deciding to achieve the goal.

Goal 1. To get in better shape / lose weight
Then indulge in over-eating and over-drinking when discomfort, boredom or loneliness show up.

Goal 2. To get out of debt
Then to indulge in over-spending and over-purchasing when fear and worry show up.

Goal 3. To get more organized
Then to indulge in clutter and being too busy to hide behind unhappiness.

Goal 4. To be more empowered
Then to indulge in being the victim, blaming others, gossiping and creating drama when we need attention from others.

Goal 5. To improve relationship with spouse
Then to indulge in trying to manipulate and change him to feel appreciated and valued.

Most of us know how to make decisions.
Where we struggle, is how to manage the negative emotions that come up for us.
And because we do not know how to sit with negative emotions and accept their presence in our lives, we do everything in our power to avoid them – even if that means sabotaging our own goals.

  • So as you think about what you want to accomplish in 2017, can you decide to go all in?
  • Can you make a decision to achieve your goal, no matter what?
  • Can you seal your commitment level with a decision to succeed?
  • Can you decide that you will manage all your emotions as they come up because you have committed to your goal?
  • Can you make your success inevitable, because you are not willing to sabotage your goal with other competing interests?

Yes, you can. I know you can.

And, if you’re thinking that you want some support in creating a commitment to support your big decision this year, why not schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session? It’s a 30-minute conversation that may just be exactly what you need to inspire commitment and bring you closer to the success you’re wanting this year!

The Busy Syndrome.

people-pleasing

How many times do you hear people use the excuse that they are too busy?

Do yourself a HUGE favor and don’t use that as a reason for not doing anything ever again.

Your future will thank you. I promise!

“Busy” is the generalized excuse we use for not going after our dreams.

It’s the ultimate dream stealer.

It is important to remember that we define our busy.

We are the ones who choose what we will do with our time and our day. We create this state for ourselves.

It is important to look at it regularly, question it, and decide if it is in line with how we truly want to be living.

Instead of saying that I was too busy to work out, say, “I chose to lie on the couch and watch TV instead of working out.” Or, “I chose to see my daughter’s play instead of going for a walk.”

Everything you do in your life is a choice even if it doesn’t feel like it.

You choose to go to work, you choose to take care of your family and you can choose to take care of yourself.

“Busy” is a dark hole of vagueness that will never help you get a handle on anything. Be specific so you can identify what it is in your life that is and isn’t working.

Kick “busy” to the curb.

One of my clients was a high-level executive who was too busy to do anything she really wanted. I asked her to define busy. She went on to describe her day of running errands, going to meetings, picking up her kids, going to the store, making dinner, doing laundry, and answering clients’ calls. She had lumped these activities into a seemingly unchangeable busy.

Busy was living her life, but it was at the expense of what she really wanted.

I suggested she change her plan by writing down everything important to her, putting these priorities at the top of the list and then shifting activities from the busy pile to the bottom. At first, she thought it would be impossible to add even one more thing to her day. By evaluating how she was spending her time, she saw ways she could delegate and eliminate some of her busy.

It really worked. She had the mantra, “Me first, busy second.”

The ultimate result was that she was able to fulfill her own needs and actually handle the rest with much more peace because she saw it as a choice, not a forced reality of life.

Don’t confuse being busy with living your life.

One of the best secrets to eliminating busy from your life is to learn how to say no. Many times we say yes when we really want to say no. We go to parties and functions we don’t want to attend, we buy things that we do not need and we eat food we don’t want to eat.

When should you say no? Whenever it’s the truth.

Living a life that is based on truth is freeing and wonderful.

You eat when you are truly hungry, you spend time with people you truly like and you live a life you truly want. When you begin to tell the truth about your real desires and real emotions, you can begin to live your truth.

The truth really does set you free and allows you to get the right perspective on how you spend your time. “Busy” will stop becoming an automatic excuse.

And you will instead experience the joy of creating the life you want to live.

Do you want some help kicking “busy” to the curb in your life? Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can recreate your priority, so you are spending more time choosing to do exactly what you want and less time using your”busyness” as an excuse.

on the fence.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Do you spend a lot of your time “on the fence”?

The place where we like to hang out when we have a decision to make. We like this place because it’s neutral and protected. It’s a safety zone, of sorts. It buys us all the space and time we need as we prepare to make a decision.

We consider all our options.
We ask for insights, inputs and information.
We weigh all the pros and the cons.
We think. We imagine. We worry.
We go get more information.

We are prudent and responsible, thoughtful and considerate, in taking the time to make the decision. It is imperative to gather all the information and to consult with the people in our lives who might be impacted by our decision. We look at our money. We consider our time availability. We question our commitment and investment. We ask for support and buy-in where we need it.

These are all necessary and very important steps. These steps are what allow up to climb up to that place where we are sitting on the fence, checking out the view on the other side. With each piece of information, we climb higher. We get more of a perspective of what life would be like on the other side of the decision.

We see opportunity. We see possibility. We see transformation.

It’s exciting. We climb higher.
It’s scary. We hang out right where we are.
It’s exciting. We take another step.
It’s scary. We stop moving. We focus on fear we are feeling.
And then we wait.
And wait.
And wait.

And for many of us – this is as far as we get. We never get to the other side of the fence. We never make the decision. We stall out right before we have to make the commitment and decide. We freeze. We get stuck.

Stuck in the indecision. 1/2 in where we are now and 1/2 in where we would like to be. We argue with ourselves about the comfort and stability of where we are now versus the discomfort and unpredictability that change could bring. We are tempted by what is on the other side of our decision and the fence, yet we love the safety of where we are right now.

Staying “on the fence” for too long is exhausting – it depletes us, drains us and distracts us. We prolong having what we really want and then we begin to make up excuses for why we can’t have it. It becomes a vicious cycle and the sad part is that we look for reasons to justify it. We use excuses like we are afraid of making “the wrong decision” or we blame someone for not supporting us.

Yes, making big decisions is hard. Sometimes very hard. But I truly believe that nothing is harder that wanting something and not giving yourself the chance to have it because you are afraid of making a decision. Not ever knowing what it is like to get over the fence and experience what it is like on the other side – seeing the opportunity, the possibility, the transformation and never having it – that is a million times harder than the process of deciding.

A decision often creates short-term discomfort and some level of inconvenience.

Know that going in. Are you willing to experience the discomfort and inconvenience, in order to have want you ultimately want? If so, then find people in your life who will support you. Find the people that will cheer you on and hold you accountable to your decision. Surround yourself with friends, family, mentors, coaches, advisors that see your “other side of the fence” and will help you get there, no matter what. Once you get “off the fence” and over to the other side, you will find everything you need to make the decision “right” and to move your life in the direction that you have always wanted.

The Downside of Indecision.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

I can absolutely relate when someone says to me, “I have a decision to make but I’m just not making it and it’s driving me crazy!”

I know this so well because when I avoid making a decision or taking action – it constantly weighs on my thoughts, disrupts my sleep, depletes my energy and disconnects me from my personal power. I feel distracted and overwhelmed by the fact that I have a decision to make or action to take. I feel detached from the present moment, like I am just going through the motions and everything feels a little unsettled. The state of indecision or inaction does begin to drive me crazy.
A client of mine recently put off a decision about creating her dream career because she was afraid to make the wrong decision. This kept her blocked from doing what she really wanted and prevented her from spending time doing what she loves to do, all because she was afraid of making the wrong decision. Another client stayed in a relationship with someone she knew she was not right for her. She was focused on thoughts of, “I need to tell him” and then constantly worried about how and when to do it – all of which blocked her from pursuing other aspects of her life that she was really passionate about. Both of these clients referred to “driving themselves crazy” with the constant distraction of indecision and inaction.
In both of these cases, my clients allowed fear to create indecisiveness and it kept them from taking positive steps toward their goals. They both knew with 100% certainty that simply making their decision would make them feel better, but they didn’t trust that the correct answers were within them. If they had fully decided and responded, they would have been less stressed; less distracted and felt a whole lot better. A decision, followed by action would have allowed both of these women to spend more time doing what they love and less time worrying.
Being indecisive leads to procrastination, self-doubt and distraction.
The constant thinking about making a decision, drains and depletes your energy and only drives you further away from the success you want. Decision-making always feels better, creates empowerment, clears the way for new opportunities, and propels you towards everything that you want in your life.
Being an empowered woman means being the leader in your life. One of the most empowering skills a leader has is the ability to make a good decision.

So how do you move away from the fear of making the wrong decision?

Know that it is absolutely impossible to make a wrong decision. Ever. For every decision you make, you gain experience and knowledge for the future and you open up new opportunities. There is always something positive to be gained from the result of a decision, even it is not what you hoped for.
Step into your BEST SELF. When you are in a feel-good place, you will be more decisive and make quicker decisions. Connect to your best self through meditating, journaling, exercise, etc. Visualize your best self-making decisions that need to be made. Imagine exactly how your best self feels and what she thinks. Then, when it’s time to make decisions in life, ask how your best self would handle the situation. Would she procrastinate or take action?
Trust your intuition. Go with it, without question, otherwise things get confusing and unnecessarily complicated. Your answer on what to do, is already within you, it’s just a matter of connecting to what is true. Believe that your first choice is always the best. If you feel a little unsure about a specific decision, put a time frame on it. Tell yourself that within 24 hours you will make a decision and then do it.
One thing I know for sure is that avoiding decisions only brings you more of what you don’t want. Making choices can become easy and lead to more freedom when you do it from a place of calm and connection. You will experience some degree of fear in the process of making a decision or taking action – that is to be expected. Fear is just an uncomfortable emotion, not proof that things won’t work out.
As you look at your life this week, think about where you are stuck in indecision or inaction. What can you do today, to make a shift? Commit to making a decision or taking action within the next 24 hours and see how good you feel when you honor that commitment. Feel free to email me, if you want support in this process. I would love to help you stay committed and accountable during this process.

Protect Your Yes

Saying yes…

So simple and easy to say.
And it often obligates us. And it can complicate things.

How often do you say yes, when you would actually prefer to say no?

A friend needs a favor and the timing is actually terrible for you, but you don’t want to let them down.
Someone serves you a second helping and you eat it when you are not hungry because you don’t want to be rude.
You purchase something that you don’t actually need and can’t afford, because you are uncomfortable saying no.

Saying yes is too often our default answer and it has the potential to do damage and harm. This simple word can compel us to turn our back on ourselves, because we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings or disappoint them. Essentially we would rather hurt our own feelings when we answer with yes, but are thinking no. We give away our precious time, put food into our body that we actually don’t need, or spend money instead saving it for what we really want.

It is possible to protect your yes.

It means slowing down, giving yourself time to consider your answer carefully.

It means having an understanding that saying no may let someone down, but their experience of disappointment is all about them and that they are entitled to feel anything they want to.

It means being willing to be a little uncomfortable with someone’s reaction in exchange for not disappointing yourself.

It means keeping your commitment to yourself in regards to your time, your money or how much you eat.

It means honoring your truth and standing up for yourself.

It means being genuine.

It means not complicating your life with external obligation to others.

Protecting your yes means you are protecting you.

Commitment & Discipline

Welcome to February – the month of commitment and discipline! Many of you created (or tried to create) new routines and rituals in January, either through my 30 Day Self Care Challenge or through your own resolutions for the New Year. February is the time when you will be tested. It is the month when you will consider how committed you are to follow through on what you’ve started. The month when you will evaluate your level of discipline. It’s natural and normal, and believe me, we are all pondering these very same things right now. Here is how I am making sense of it all for myself, as I reflect back to last month and then also look ahead.

What goal did I accomplish in January?
Why did I accomplish it?
How did I feel when I accomplished it?
Am I willing to honor this commitment for another month based on how I felt when I accomplished it?
Is there opportunity to create deeper commitment or discipline?

Where did I struggle to accomplish a goal that I had set in January?
Why did I struggle?
Was I really committed to the goal in the first place?
What would my life be like if I continue to choose to not accomplish this goal?
What do I need to think and feel in order to get back on track with this goal?

As I think through the questions and formulate my answers, I do so without judgement about myself and let go of any old negative stories about my lack of follow-thru, because I know they won’t help me. If I fell short in goal-setting in the past, I become curious about why, and I don’t beat myself up about it. What good would that do? Beating myself up never motivates me to take different action going forward. So, I keep asking myself curiosity questions while withholding judgement, so that I can learn about myself and most importantly, why, when and how I get the results I want. How do I then apply those learnings to commitments where I did not meet my own expectations? The answers to those questions, become the motivation that drives my focus for February, because I am committed to understand how and why I do what I do, and I am disciplined in following through on the commitments that I am truly invested in. In February, I am choosing compassion and curiosity for myself over judgement and mis-aligned expectation.

What will you choose?

What does commitment and discipline in February look like for you?

Why I stopped believing in Plan B

For the longest time I thought that I always needed a backup plan. Otherwise known as Plan B. You know, the thing that you will do when the thing that you really want doesn’t work out.

I thought that having a Plan B was….

being smart

being careful

being prepared

having options

creating a safety net

The problem was that having a Plan B always led to having a Plan C which eventually led to a Plan D and so on….

I woke up one day to realize that I had veered really far off-course. I was living the backup plan to the backup plan. What the?

I have come to understand that when you constantly think about Plan B, then you are robbing your Plan A of the energy, commitment and focus that it requires to come true. Your Plan A never stands a chance when it is competing for your attention with Plan B. Plan A get sabotaged with fear and worry when we believe that we need a Plan B waiting in the wings.

I have made the decision that now there is only Plan A. There is no other option. Only Plan A gets the spotlight and all my attention.

I eat Plan A for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plan A is the song that is stuck in my head. It’s the first thing that I think of when I wake up and the last thing that I think of before I go to sleep. I tell those closest to me about my Plan A, so they will help hold me accountable to my dream. I never invite Plan B to the party.

Identifying Plan A takes tremendous work, focus and effort.

It means risking and revealing who we really are.

It takes courage and total commitment.

It means being ‘all in’.

When we go ‘all in’, we are fully aligned with what we desire. From that place of desire, we will take deliberate and intentional action towards realizing our dream.

The result? Plan A every time.