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Getting Out Of Rock Middle

Here’s the thing – do you feel like you’re living up to your greatest potential? What I mean is – that feeling you have inside yourself that says, I’m meant for more than this – are you listening and taking action on it? Or are you simply trying to quiet that voice down? Staying still and not listening to it is what I call staying stuck in Rock Middle. It’s the place where your confidence wanes but your dreams never do. You believe less and less in the possibility of your dream but it’s always still there nagging at you. It’s still there because that’s your potential nagging at you saying, you’re meant for more than this! 

Let’s do something about it! Once and for all! Let’s get you out of Rock Middle and started on the path to living that big potential you have inside! How do you do that? There are loads of ways.  You can do it on your own or you can do it with others. You can choose to be quiet about pursuing your potential or you can shout it from the rooftops to hold yourself accountable. You can do the research yourself about how to get started or you can hire a coach to walk you through every step of the process. Whatever you do, don’t waste another minute in Rock Middle. You deserve more. 

If you choose to pursue your potential on your own, I want you to be as armed as possible. My intention is to serve you and help you reach your potential above all else, so if free is what works for your budget right now, I get it, and you can get started too! Don’t let that hold you back. Email me sallie@sallieholder.com and I’ll share my “Begin to Dream Again” Workbook with you for FREE. I created it to help people get started on their journey & to begin thinking through some of the habits, fears & beliefs that have been holding them back. After you go through the Workbook, I’d suggest you read the following few books, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, Big Potential by Shawn Achor, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Each of the principles in these books are highlighted and taught as part of my course and reading them will get you on your way to living your potential. 

If you can invest in yourself to reach your potential faster, then do it. Don’t hesitate! A small investment in your future is worth it and will help you get to your potential twice as fast. Join my brand new 8 week Group Coaching Course where I’ll coach you through every part of the process and show you everything I know and have learned about how achieve your greatest potential. Each week I’ll walk you through one of the 8 steps of the “Be Bolder” Framework I created that addresses each step you need to take to get to your potential. It pulls in the principles in each of the above mentioned books and more. We’ll share experiences, successes, challenges with each other weekly in our Zoom calls.  We’ll celebrate all of your successes together as a group and I’ll coach you through the challenges.  I’ll answer questions between our weekly calls in the Facebook group that we will have specific for the 15 women in the course. We’ll do what’s necessary to get you past anything holding you back and into action toward your higher potential. Once and for all you’re going to listen to “The Tug” – that voice inside you that says you’re meant for more – and get the support and accountability you deserve to reach the next level of your potential. 

There are many people who can take the Workbook and books and do it on their own. If you can do that, I applaud you and want you to go for it.  However, I want you to be honest with yourself before you decide what’s right for you. Think about how many times you’ve said you’re going to get started but never did or you got started and stopped shortly thereafter because you needed more help and support in the process! Exactly! I did that for years! I get it. I’ve been where you are & I’ve spent my career studying how to get to the place where you’re achieving the potential you’re capable of reaching. Now I’m going to share all I’ve learned with you in the 8 week group coaching course. If you’re not sure you can get where you want to go all on your own, then this course is PERFECT for you. 

Now is the time to take action. When you finish the steps I suggested or you finish our group course, you’ll be right at the start of the 4th Quarter. For most people, Q4 is the busiest season of the year. It’s the time when many companies do more than two thirds of their business. Now imagine how you’d feel in October performing at your highest potential and how much more lucrative your business could be when you’re doing that. 

So stop questioning if you’re worth it or if you belong in the group or if this is the “right” answer to what you need – those are just more excuses to keep you stuck in Rock Middle. Just take action. I can tell you from experience – you’ll never regret taking the chance and investing more in yourself! It will always lead you to a better place than you’re in right now! So go for it & join us! 

There’s only room for 15 people, so hurry & just take the first step and fill out the application. That’s all you have to do to get started! Download the application & apply right now! You deserve to be happy making that potential inside yourself a reality!

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The Most Important Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Have you ever felt so frustrated you could scream? Of course you have, most of you are entrepreneurs. During the process of writing my book, I’ve felt that way a bit more often than I’d like to admit – whew. I didn’t want to lean on the usual numbing mechanisms like TV, scrolling through social media, or shopping. I knew those wouldn’t get the job done – not this time. Plus, I didn’t simply want a break from the frustration, I wanted it to be gone. This frustration has been the thing standing between myself and the greatest possibilities of my life and it had to go. 

That’s when I was reminded of my greatest and most critical tool I must lean on in times like these – Meditation! Yes! If you haven’t jumped on the meditation band wagon, I’m going to convince you now. 

Think of your brain like an old PC. You begin work and the screen is empty. You open a few tabs on internet explorer (ha!) and after a while the screen is filled with pop ups. You’re fighting off pop ups left and right like you’re fighting off an army of soldiers coming at you. As soon as you close one, another one opens, and you begin to feel overwhelmed. You begin to feel frustrated. In real life these pop ups are the things on your “to do” list. You remember them in the midst of other projects, when you’re trying to concentrate on the blog post or the email you’re drafting. You make a mental note of it and move back to your work when you remember another thing you need to do that’s not on your list. You’re constantly interrupted and distracted by all of the things (the tabs open) in your head. You’re getting the idea. 

Meditation is like closing all of those tabs on the computer and giving the computer entirely new processing power. Suddenly the same computer that couldn’t handle one more thing can attack far more than expected and it does so with ease. That’s what we’re all looking for in our lives, a little more ease. Meditation has been the way I’ve achieved that ease.  The good news is you can do it 5 to 10 minutes too. You’ll be shocked at how quickly your brain can download some new processing power and be able to handle more than you ever expected 10 minutes earlier. All you have to do is turn to the tool of meditation the next time your frustrated to get the same chance to create ease and close some of those open tabs. It’s amazing how you’ll be able to attack the same project, the one sitting in front of you staring at you for hours, with greater enthusiasm and far less distractions after you’ve spent 10 minutes meditating.  

My personal favorite guided meditation is Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Experience. However, you find which one’s right for you. There are plenty of free resources on Youtube.  Apps such as Headspace, Calm & Aura are all wonderful ways to begin your meditation practice. It is a practice you’ll get used to, so give yourself some grace if you get a little antsy when you start.  It will always be there for you, so start and stop as you need. 

But try to remember the next time you get frustrated at work that meditation is there for you. So, if when you find yourself in a position where you don’t like your current reality, then upgrade your software by trying a few minutes of meditation. I bet you’ll love it! After you’ve tried it, let me know how it went. Email me back and let me know if it made as much of a difference for you as it has for me.

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5 Steps to Achieving Your Goals By the End of the Year!

We’re halfway through the year. I know I cannot believe it myself. Where has the year gone? You may be saying to yourself, “Wait, I had so many plans for 2019! How am I going to get back on track?” I’ve got you covered. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your year back on track and accomplishing what you want by the end of 2019. 

Step 1 – Get out a piece of paper right now. Write down the top 10 goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Dream big. Allow yourself to believe anything is possible because it is. They can be business goals, life goals, marriage goals, incorporate them all into this list. My philosophy has always been that they’re all integrated anyway, so why not have them all in the same place. 

Step 2 – Select 3 of these that you are dedicated to making happen by the end of the year. Yes – you can possibly get more done, but these are the ones you’re going to prioritize. These are the ones that come hell or high water you are going to make happen! How do you choose? They should be the ones that scare you a little bit. They make you nervous enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or your voice cracks when saying them out loud. These are the ones that are going to create the type of growth you really want. These are the ones that will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning because you know you are moving toward a real purpose. Shawn Achor says that “happiness is the joy we feel striving after our potential.” Go for your true potential. Try not to choose something that would simply be an item on your “to do” list because you won’t get the same rewards from it. 

Step 3 – Now turn these 3 into S.M.A.R.T. goals. Make them “specific,” “measurable,” “achievable,” “realistic,” and “time-based.” Taking this step of turning them into S.M.A.R.T. goals forces you to be specific about when you intend to accomplish these goals. It forces you to understand if these are the right 3 goals to prioritize (which is half the battle, making sure you’re spending time on actions that will lead to the results you value). 

Step 4 – Integrate these 3 goals as significant priorities in your calendar NOW. You’re going to redo your calendar from this point forward to ensure you lead each day with an action that moves you closer to one of these 3 goals. If your goal is to produce more artwork to generate more revenue, you are going to start the day painting rather than responding to emails. This allows you to ensure you reach those “high priority” activities rather than believing you’ll get to them “once you’re done with the other items on your to-do list.” Guess what, that never happens, so we tend to never get to these “high priority” goals. Reengineering your day this way will ensure your goals, and likely a lot faster than you anticipate. 

Step 5 – Share your 3 “high priority” goals with others. Yep! This part is scary. I get it. You’re scared to put it out there to others. What if you don’t make it happen? Ask yourself though if you’re more likely to make it happen if no one knows about those goals or if everyone knows you’re reaching for those goals. Right?! You’re more likely to grow and strive for those goals if others know about them and are asking about your progress. You don’t have to tell the world on social media (if you don’t want to). Just share it with those you love so they can give you the support you will undoubtedly need to continue to push past your comfort zone. This is a way of anticipating the tough times and creating the support system you need to get through them. Create that community for yourself now, and when you feel the desire to slink back into the box we tend to create for ourselves, you’ll have people right by your side to pull you back out of it. 

NOW GO FOR IT! One of my favorite poems is by Mary Oliver (read it below), and in it, she asks, “what are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?” I remember that our time on this Earth is finite, and I constantly challenge myself to do more because I remember that I only get one shot at this thing, so I might as well. I think you should too! Feel free to share your 3 “high priority” goals with me too! I want to hear them, so I can cheer you on too! 

The Summer Day

 

Who made the world? 
Who made the swan, and the black bear? 
Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- 
the one who has flung herself out of the grass, 
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, 
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down – 
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. 
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. 
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. 
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down 
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, 
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, 
which is what I have been doing all day. 
Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? 
Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?

 

—Mary Oliver



Much love, 

– Sallie

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The Muscle of Optimism

Ever had a total crap day? I know. Of course you have. We’ve all had them. They’re terrible to even think about, but they’re a fact of life. They happen. In fact, I’m actually having one of those today. Ha! The car breaks down. The kids get sick. The trip out of town doesn’t happen. Then, the straw breaks the proverbial camel’s back when you figure out you have no more toilet paper in the house. Of course, these is all purely hypothetical things (or real for me today).

So, I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world would I talk about something so negative in this mostly positive newsletter? It’s because despite the events of the day, I’m currently laughing at all that has transpired. Years ago I would have assumed all of these things were happening “to” me rather than “for” me. I would have shed a tear or two and been unproductive the rest of the  day. Ever been there?

I now look at these incidents in an entirely new way, with some humor and a positive perspective. See – over the last few years I’ve been building the muscles of optimism and perspective in the same way others do their crow pose (I still can’t do one of those). You might be now asking, “how in the world did you do that?”

Simple, repetitive shifts in my thinking.

I learned the law of attraction is a real thing. Read anything by Eckhart Tolle to learn more. Once one thing goes wrong in our day we begin to look for evidence that confirms the rest of the day will be bad and we attract more of the wrong kind of events. Our subconscious that takes over and it often happens unbeknownst to us. We slightly shift our perspective and begin to see and focus only on the bad things happening. What I realized is that I needed to pay more attention to my thoughts and actions to prevent that shift from happening.

Each time a possibly “negative” event occurred I made the decision to repeat to myself, “this is happening for my benefit.” I started making the assumption the event was a gift given to me to shift my day in a positive way (instead of in a negative). I made a new choice and guess what happened? I got a new result! I knew where the negative perspective led me, to the same lethargic, unproductive place. Where could this shift really lead me? I knew it had to be better than the alternative.

What happened is that I began to attract the type of positive events I wanted to happen. This small shift of how I perceived “negative” events had started to produce more & more positive results. In fact, it started keeping me in a more optimistic frame of mind for longer periods of time. I felt like less negative things were happening in my life. Was that a fact? Likely not. It was simply my willingness to shift my perspective, make a new assumption, and I started to see my life in a new way.

For example, today I chose to assume the car breaking down happened for my benefit rather than my detriment. Instead of wasting time and energy worried or frustrated, I let go of the negative and chose to be excited about what I GET to experience today that I would have otherwise missed. Inevitably there’s always good in every situation. I looked for evidence that the good was on the way. I got to see my kids all afternoon. I get to have dinner at home. I don’t have to drive anywhere.

This simple, repetitive shift took time to make. It didn’t happen overnight. But I can honestly say it has made the biggest difference in my daily life. And isn’t that what it’s all about? The day in and day out journey to our final destination. I hope this shift will be a positive one for you too & that your “crap” days become just as infrequent.

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Find and Accept Support

As driven, self-motivated entrepreneurs it’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of trying to do it all ourselves! Starting or running your own business takes a lot of guts and a ton of energy. So, it’s really important that we protect our energy by not wasting it on things that suck the life out of us — even if they’re really important to our business. Because there’s probably somebody else out there that can help!

While I’m a firm believer in the need to set aside everyone else’s expectations and find your own inner truth to guide you, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own! Not at all. While you need to cultivate your own inner compass, you also need to learn and accept your own limitations.

There are so many things that you are inherently good at! Maybe you are awesome at client relations or at seeing the big picture. Maybe you rock at putting together clear and compelling presentations! But none of us can do it all. For every thing that we kick ass at, there will always be a couple of things that just aren’t our strong suit. And it’s so important to recognize what those areas are and then find someone who can help!

Yes, it’s important for us to grow and learn and lean into the stuff that scares us! But we can’t fall into the trap of thinking we have to be awesome at EVERYTHING. That’s just not realistic. And it will lead straight to burn out.

If you hate bookkeeping, hire an accountant! If writing those blog posts or newsletters sucks the life out of you, hire a copywriter! If you are constantly scrambling to answer emails and schedule appointments, hire a part-time admin! Or get an intern! There are so many available options out there to help you run your business more smoothly — and I promise, even if it might seem painful to spend money on these things, your time and energy are worth more. When you’re not letting those tasks drain your cup, you’ll have more of your inspired energy to devote to the aspects of your business that you rock at! And THAT is what will help you and your company thrive!

So, what areas of your business do you find yourself putting off or avoiding? Who do you know that might be able to help — either by taking on the task or providing you a referral? How can you make your life easier and help your business by letting someone else take the reins?

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Get out of Analysis Paralysis

So many business owners and entrepreneurs get stuck in analysis paralysis because they’re focusing on the external world to guide their decisions. Analysis paralysis happens when you’re constantly asking other people (other experts) what you should do in YOUR business. Believing that others hold the answers to your questions or the keys to your success. But what we seem to forget is that the business is OURS! Not somebody else’s! And what works for them won’t work for us — not if we’re really offering something that’s uniquely ours!

That’s why it’s so important to start your decision making process with a clear sense of your big vision. Once you get clear on why you do what you do and can communicate that to yourself and to your customers, decision making (about your to-do list, about your revenue streams, about your growth strategy) all becomes so much easier! And you’ll finally stop feeling like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall.

When you’ve got a clear vision to guide you, it will take you less time to get everything done. You’ll be able to make decisions faster and KNOW when you’re making the right ones for your business. You’ll save hours and hours that you once wasted in indecision and “research.” Having a clear vision is the most important decision making tool you can pick up because it allows you to quickly be able to say yes or no to things based on whether they’re in alignment with your vision.

If you aren’t yet clear on your vision, now is the time to fix that! Not next week. Not next month. Now. And I’ve got the tools to help you get there. Start with my workbook, “Planning Your Vision” — it will help you take a huge step forward in creating your internal compass. Then, with my webinar, “The Essential Shift For a Prosperous Mindset,” you can dive deeper and break down the mental blocks that have been keeping you stuck!

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Feeling Good NOW

It’s fascinating to me that one thing we can all agree that we want is to feel good, and everything we do is all about chasing those good feelings. We buy the big house to feel proud of it, to look good and therefore feel good. We tell ourselves, “oh, when I reach a certain level of success, then I will feel satisfied or fulfilled!” I can’t tell you how many times I say to myself, “when I finish this project, I’m going to feel so good!” It’s a habit that so many of us fall into, and it’s actually what’s holding us back…

Because I pretend that once I’ve hit that bar of success or accomplishment, then I will feel good & then, since I feel good, I’ll take time to do other things that continue to make me feel good. I’ll do yoga. Then I will meditate. Because when I’ll be successful, I’ll just magically feel so much  better, so I’ll have more energy to do the things that make me feel good!

But the reality is, when I feel good, then and only then will the good stuff follow. It’s the exact opposite of how most of us go through our days: chasing success instead of cultivating feeling good first.

It’s like the science experiment we did when we were kids. They gave us a jar and some rocks and some sand. They told us somehow all of these things fit into the small jar. We immediately put the sand in first, then added the rocks, but it didn’t all fit! We learned then and there, in elementary school, that if you put the rocks in first, the sand goes all around the rocks and both fit!

The sand is our work stuff, the external success we’re always chasing. The rocks are the things we can do every day to make ourselves feel good. Those HAVE to be the foundation. And there IS a way to make it all work — success and feeling good at the same time. It feels counterintuitive, but you have to cultivate the feeling good BEFORE the success. The success comes BECAUSE you feel good. Because you’re magnetizing things to you. When you feel good, your choices become different, better.

I need to feel good about who I am and what I am, and THEN I’ll be able to show up the right way to my life! My rocks are exercise and meditation and cultivating learning by taking time to read new information that inspires me. When I take the time to do those things, the other things become easier because I already have the inspiration behind them to get them done!

What are your rocks? And are you putting those rocks in the jar first? Or are you hoping you’ll find ways to fit them in after you put all your energy into the sand? What can you do today to feel good and set yourself up for success?

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Growing Through the Fear

It doesn’t ever feel like it, but fear is actually a good thing. It’s a sign that we’re growing! That we’re leaning into the person we’re truly meant to be! We can’t get away from fear. It inevitably comes back even after we get through the big amazing thing we never thought we could do. But being afraid just means we’re getting another step closer to our potential. In fact, it could be that you’re excited about the next step since fear and excitement can mimic each other.

What we have to watch out for is falling into the trap of assuming that we should be satisfied, since at one point we thought we couldn’t even do the thing we’re now doing! If we’re working hard and growing, we will inevitably cultivate an expertise. And there’s a voice in our head (the voice of society) that tells us, “I’m good at this now. Maybe I should just stay here.” That voice gets really loud, especially when you can see the next level of growth. Even more so when the next level of growth requires another massive change instead of a minimal change.

I’m going through that right now — I’ve built up my coaching business, the thing I dreamed of doing! And now, the next level of growth is in speaking and moving into a bigger arena, because that’s the direction I truly feel pulled. I want to help even more women achieve their greatest potential. But that next level of growth is scary as hell! I have to contend with all the fear and negative self talk that came up the first time I took a big leap. I also have to contend with the outside voices, all the people wondering why I would upset the apple cart that I worked so hard to create. Those that say, “but you just started this, why don’t you just stay here for a while and then try changing things up.”

But I don’t want to stay in the middle. The “middle” is not meant to be THE stopping place. It’s meant to be part of the story, but not the entire story. I know that because I feel that tug inside me that says “there’s more out there for you.” Do you feel that for yourself too?

It’s easy to settle in after that initial level of growth. To say, “I’m all good.” To conquer it and stay there. To say, “I’m good at this, so why venture back into the unknown.” Other people encourage you to stay there because they fear the next level of growth too. But can you really achieve your GREATEST potential, not your “middle” potential, if you don’t grow again?

I know that there’s another level of growth for me. And there probably is for you, too! When you feel that tug, deep down in who you are, then you have to go for it! You have to be willing to upset the apple cart. It’s not crazy. It’s courageous!

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Why the Fear Comes Back Again and Again

 

I am surprised how much we (myself included) expect that once we get over fear the first time that it’s never supposed to come back. That once we’ve walked through making a huge change or tackling a major new area of growth that we won’t be afraid anymore. We say to ourselves, “okay, I did it!” and we expect that we won’t have to feel afraid when we take on the next big things.

But really, each stage of growth is going to come with fear again because it’s new and it’s different. And when we move into unfamiliar areas, we’re inevitably going to have to face all those things again- all the bad habits that you thought you were past will come back up! All the “I’m not good enough,” and “I don’t know what I’m doing,” and “maybe I shouldn’t be doing this” thoughts that are trying to keep us small! And it feels very scary.

When we’re pushing ourselves to expand into new areas and grow into the best version of ourselves, the fear is always going to come back! But it doesn’t have to get so loud that it stops us. We just have to remember that the fear means we’re challenging ourselves to grow. And that’s a good thing! It’s how we get good at all the things we never thought we could do in the first place!

We see kids do this all the time. They don’t think they can play soccer, then they take it up, get good at it… and then suddenly they’re bored with it. Right!?We’re the same! We get used to “the thing” that once challenged us and then before you know it, it doesn’t challenge us anymore. Then we start looking around for excitement and challenge, and we go out and try to find our joy! And when you do that, all the old fears come back into play, which feels really confusing. It feels like, “WHAT?!?! Why am I feeling like this again?! I thought I was past this!” But knowledge and awareness of fear doesn’t mean I get out of experiencing it.

The critical thing at this point is the ability to cultivate trust. To reflect back on all the things you’ve done that you never thought you could do, and trust that you’re going to be able to do this one, too! Whatever it is! And that you’re not crazy for feeling the fear. It’s totally normal, and it means you’re growing into who you’re meant to be! So my conclusion is that the best we can do for ourselves is to feel the fear & do it anyway.

 

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We Are More Than Our Expertise!

One of the most frustrating things I see in my coaching is the way people are limiting themselves and what they’re capable of doing because of the trap of expertise. We spend however many years working toward a particular career or job title and then think that’s all we’re capable of doing! And that’s such a broken system.

You go to college and somehow decide when you’re 22 what expertise you’re going to acquire and that then dictates the rest of your life?! How crazy is that?? You don’t know who you are or what you’re going to pursue at that age. But that’s how it works — and you get trapped in this expertise. You gain the relevant information and get a career. Then what’s offered to you next is another advancement of that initial expertise, and so on and so on! But what if that’s not what you want to do anymore at 42?! I don’t know how it would be after 20 years in the same box of expertise.

If I could give one gift to everyone I talk to it would be to free them to dream outside the box of the expertise that they begin their career with. Society wants to use your career and expertise to define who you are — so that it’s easy for them to say, “oh, meet Sallie, she’s a lawyer” rather than who you really are or want to be or could be. We so often end up limiting ourselves because society needs to know where we fit in! And we adopt that model and stay within that box because we’ve allowed ourselves to be identified as that title. We can’t see beyond it!

But I want everyone to ask themselves: who would I be without this thing? Who could I be? Who would I WANT to be if I stepped out of this box of expertise and let myself dream bigger? Even if the question is scary, the answers will come if you let them!

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