Prepping For Battle

It’s late.

Around 12:30am in the morning to be exact. You spent the last 12 hours lamenting at how your colleague has not responded to your email about the pending deadline for a very important project. You’re upset at his lack of response and how he does  not understand how important this is. For him to just blatantly not respond to YOUR email about this very important question, he must not care. He doesn’t care about you, he doesn’t care about the team, and he just doesn’t get it. How dare he, you think to yourself.  You resolve that when you see him tomorrow morning, you’re going to give him a piece of your mind. You know that he will be full of excuses as to why he never responded but you’re so sick and tired of it, you don’t want to hear it. You begin rehearsing all of the things you’re going to say to him like calling him selfish, not a team player, and caught up in his own world. You even begin thinking about how maybe you don’t want to work with him any more and that you should even tell him that.  You go to bed that night with all of this on your mind.

You find yourself prepping for battle.

Image Credit: Warrior Woman

The next morning you see your colleague as you storm up to him ready to give him a piece of your mind. You notice he has a solemn look on his face that stops you dead in your tracks. Before you could even ask him what’s wrong, he tells you his wife is in the hospital. You suddenly forget every razor sharp word you were going to say to him and give him a long compassionate hug instead.

What happens when we prep for battle? Our mind is consumed with distracting thoughts that cause us to get angry, frustrated, and blame others for things not going the way we want. We concoct stories of how the other person is at fault as we position ourselves to be “right” and win whatever the conflict is.  We lose our sense of the big picture because we are only focused on one version of the truth: our own. I am right and they are wrong. In this mindset, we are not open to other possibilities of what else may truly be going on, just the stories in our heads. And based on that truth, we’re willing to engage in battle with the world and ourselves.

When you find yourself falling into blaming others for something gone wrong and that you need to prove yourself right, recognize that the battle is all in your mind.  Challenge yourself by asking, “what else may be going on here? What am I not seeing?” By just asking yourself these 2 simple questions puts some space between your reactive thoughts and the resulting action. Be willing to see other possibilities as you expand your thinking outside of yourself.

What situation lately has gotten you so riled up and ready to go to battle?  What if the battle in your mind didn’t have to translate to a war with your colleague? Be willing to see the bigger picture.

Keep me posted on how it goes….ariane@arianehunter.com.

Commit To Your Calling

They say that starting your own business can be one of the most spiritual journey’s you’ll ever take. I have to agree with them on this one. For those of you who may not know, before I became a career coach, I ran my own photography business. From my days of wielding a camera at weddings near and far to today having launched a full scale coaching service I recognize how the layers of my career path worked to reveal who I am today.  It has been quite literally like a mirror showing me reflections of myself from then to now. 

As with any path you walk down, sometimes you won’t like what you encounter. Such was the case for me as I was reminded of all the changes I had to make in order to overcome career and business challenges. I had been stretched far and wide outside of my comfort zone as I learned to stare down the face of fear. I was excited at what I discovered about who I am and who I was becoming. I knew each day I got out of bed to face the day, I would never be the same by the time I went to bed at night.  The quest to stay open to all that life and my career was teaching me and keeping a resilient willingness to step into roles I didn’t think I could fill oftentimes surprised me. And most of all, it was the people, clients, friends, business network that I have come across in my career. Some of them triggered my insecurities, some made me want to pull my hair out, and some just plain made me want to walk away from it all. But each and every one of them has played a pivotal role to the successes and failures I’ve had to date. None of which I would trade for the world.  This is what you encounter when you decide to Commit to Your Calling.

Commit to your calling

Expansion by Paige Bradley

There is an overwhelming desire for each of us to feel connected to something greater than ourselves. Call it God. Call it a dream. Call it a calling. They are all one in the same. There is a unique aspect of yourself that is expressed whenever you become immersed in an activity where all time seems to stop and you find yourself laser focused with clarity and brilliant understanding.

There is also a unique aspect of yourself that becomes triggered and even stifled at the very thought of rising beyond our inadequacies. Your callings are meant to satisfy you and challenge you.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson 

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What do you want?
  2. How will you get there?
  3. How will you battle the challenges along the way?

Hearing that last question often creates pause when we stop to think about all of the challenges we will encounter while on the path towards our callings. Will there be challenges that make us want to cringe and go back to the old ways when things are uncomplicated? Yes. Does it take work to pursue your calling? Yes.

Will there be joy in waking up every morning? Yes.  Will you feel rewarded by the sense of alignment and fulfillment you get from your work? Yes. Can you make a living and a life from pursuing your calling? A resounding, YES!

A calling remains a calling until it is answered. After that, it becomes your purpose.

Keep me posted on how it goes….ariane@arianehunter.com.

The One You Feed

From a well-known Cherokee legend:

"There are two wolves that live inside each heart, and they fight each other all our lives. One is full of turmoil and anger and jealousy and hatred because it feeds on fear. The other is full of peace and hope and compassion and joy because it lives on love."

The evening passed, and the fire burned down. "So, which one wins?" the boy whispered.

The grandfather's eyebrows rose as he replied:

"The one you feed."

Image Credit

This old legend caught my attention the other day as it so adequately describes the battle between fear and fulfillment we struggle with every day. I’ve been there; we’ve all been there. When it feels like an internal fight and you don’t know who is going to win. You know that the day job you begrudgingly take yourself to each day is not how you’d like to spend the rest of your life but what is the alternative? The question mark brings on feelings of stress, anger, doubt, and even sadness. This feeds your wolf even more. And even though it feels like on most days the wolf of fear seems to be growing stronger, the tiniest bit of passion can refuel the wolf that lives on love. Maybe that day you feed that wolf with inspiration or by spending 10 minutes researching careers in environmental sustainability because you would love a job in that field. Or you might even feed that wolf by launching that kickstarter campaign to fund your new project idea.

There are many ways to feed your wolf. Which wolf are you feeding? 

Keep me posted on how it goes...ariane@arianehunter.com.

The 4 Blind Spots

Picture for a moment, you’re driving along on a highway. You’re by yourself in your car and you are the only one on the road. It is a bright and sunny day. There isn’t a cloud in the sky. It’s just you and a million miles of an endless stretch of road.  The road you’re on is leading you to absolute passion and fulfillment in your career. You’re on the right path, all you have to do is stay the course.

Photo Credit: Road to the river | Christina prat Mases

While driving you glance up in your rearview and see a swarm of cars aggressively gaining on you as you realize you now have company along your journey.

The road gets crowded and it starts to get to you as you realize you now have competition in achieving your dream career. You start to wonder, if everyone wants to get to the same place, how is it possible for you to get where you want to go. You think to yourself, this road is not big enough for all of us, I should pull off. This is an example of blind spot #1: Limiting Beliefs.

As you’re driving along, a red Mercedes pulls along the driver side. You glance over at the driver and notice the she looks over at your car, seems unimpressed, and quickly speeds up ahead of you. You immediately begin to think she is a jerk and that maybe your car is not nice enough. You have just experienced blind spot #2: Interpretations.

After miles and miles of smooth driving you notice the same convertible from a few miles back that cut you off.  You think to yourself, that’s the jerk that cut me off.  You begin to recall how frightful it was for you to veer out of your lane to avoid hitting the convertible. So rather than going your normal pace, you slow down to avoid catching up to the convertible. You believe that nothings changed and he will cut you off again so you stay behind. Welcome to blind spot #3: Assumptions.

Finally, you’re nearing towards your destination and you can see the long journey to having higher career fulfillment is almost over. After driving for so long you notice the road is nearly empty, just like when you started out on your journey. But behind you notice a black Hummer who’s presence seems to take up the entire road. The Hummer is big and intimidating with tinted windows so that you can’t even see the person driving it.  The Hummer drives uncomfortably close to you and you find yourself switching lanes, slowing down, and avoiding eye contact as you try to ignore his presence. Only you can’t. His presence makes you feel small, insignificant, not good enough. You’ve driven all this way but you question whether or not you’re ready to arrive at your destination. Surely, the other cars, especially the Hummer are better suited to reach their goal and have a rewarding career. The feeling makes you want to stop in your journey and turn around. You have entered the deepest and most troubling blind spot of all, #4: Inner Critic.

These are the 4 Blind Spots that stop you from attaining greater success and happiness in your career and within your life. I call them blind spots because we are not always aware of them and they work against us from creating greater fulfillment in your career and within your life. As with all things worth going for, the path towards your calling is a journey and process that is ripe with challenges that were designed for you to overcome. Starting this week, make an effort to catch yourself and see your own ‘blind spots’ and how they hold you back. Creating awareness around your blind spots will help lead you to your desired destination.

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

 

The Value of Rock Bottom

When we hit rock bottom, we feel like it’s quite possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to us. For instance, we lose our job and money is in short supply. The bills are rolling in and companies are not hiring. Rock bottom brings with it feelings of being powerless and imprisoned to your circumstances. Along with it comes shame, embarrassment, and vulnerability like you’ve never felt before.

It’s like the earth swallowed us whole and spit us back out battered and bruised without the slightest understanding of why it’s happening and where to go from here. 

We have two choices when we hit rock bottom: Stay there or climb out.

 

What happens when we’re in pain? We find ways to remove it. And what happens when we remove the pain? We transform. Not only do we transform ourselves, but we transform the situation as well.

Your Eyes Make Me Dance Photo Credit: Chris is masiva

Something happens when we hit rock bottom. We decide that the pain is enough and we decide to do something about it. Actions that we have been avoiding suddenly become priority and almost by force, we start to confront our fears and do something about it. Maybe we start to realize that job we’ve just lost was the best thing to happen to us. Maybe we start to take a look at the numbers of our financial situation a little closer because we were scared to do so before. We start to take risks and explore other career paths that are more interesting to us that we were too afraid to even consider in the past. And maybe we even start to re-evaluate what is important to us in our lives. Maybe it really wasn’t that job in Accounting.

Think about a rock bottom experience that you or someone you know had. Perhaps you're feel like you're at rock bottom right now. How could you turn it around? If this experience was a miracle sent from the Universe, what could it be showing you?

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

 

 

Change The Script

We all land roles in our lives. Some of them we like, most of them we don’t like. But we stick with them hoping that the casting director will re-assign us. Now, I’m no film director and I have zero experience creating movies, BUT imagine for a moment that your life were a movie.  Who’s your cast of characters? Scan your life of family and friends and see what role they play in your life. Now shift over to your j-o-b. The place you spend most of your waking hours. What role do you play there? Who is your character? Describe him or her. If you were viewing your character on a movie screen on the screenplay of your life what would you notice about your role? What would you tell your character? How closely does your character play to role of a victim? Victor? Or the villain? There’s no right or wrong answer here, just a simple observation.
 
In creating the movie of your life, it is important to understand that you are in charge of the script. Every scene that you’re in, the characters that enter/exit into your movie, and even what type of movie you want your life to be. Adventure? Romantic? Comedy? Documentary?
 
You have the power to write your own movie. What would your starring role be in your career? What would you be doing? Who would support you? What challenges would you overcome?


Image Credit: Leroy1965  
This is your movie. If you don’t like it, rather than idly waiting for your story to change on it's own or for someone else to give you another role, how about stepping into the role of Writer/Director. You write the script of your own life movie. If you don’t like the way your movie is playing out, change it. The beginning, middle, and end are all up to you. You own the story.

Don’t like your movie? Change the script.

 
Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

The Greatest Act of Fulfillment

Sharing.

One of the greatest things that happens when you connect with your calling and do personally fulfilling work, is being able to share it with others. Think about it. What is the first thing we do when we have a great idea, receive good news, or create something new? We tell somebody and we share it with the world.

This goes for whether you have a gift or an idea worthy of sharing or even when you experience a bad day. Something happens when you share with others. You open yourself up, you form a connection, and you shift from ‘me’ to ‘we’. There is tremendous power in sharing what we know and what we can do that shapes the world in a transformative way.  You, as a result also experience deep transformation as you realize the power you have to impact positive change through who you are and the work you do.

We are no good to anybody or to ourselves when we hold it in and hold ourselves back.  Suppose Thomas Edison never told the world about the light bulb and kept it to himself.  What if Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl shot by the Taliban, kept her experience to herself and never decided to speak out about her campaign for girls education in Pakistan? Or how about the guy pictured below who travels around the world with his piano simply to share his message to do something remarkable with your life.

 

Think about something in your life that you love to share.  Vegan Baking recipes, your knowledge of food nutrition, business consulting for eco-friendly companies. How can you bring your gifts to more people? How can you begin sharing your work with others that helps them improve their lives? This marks the beginning of connecting with your calling and doing fulfilling work that can shape your career in a meaningful way. Spend some time this week reflecting on what you’d like to share more of in the world.

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.