S*%t's About to Get Real

Did you know that people post things on Instagram and if they don’t have an immediate amount of likes, they delete the whole post? A friend told me this, and all I could think was, What the H-E -Double Hockeysticks??? Like, the entire point for them is to get fame from Insta. I mean, deep down I’ve known that this type of thing is a thing - it’s what’s created Influencers, obvs. But, how misaligned are we getting that we don’t even put stuff out into the world if a certain number of people won’t like it?

Are we aware of just how manipulated these ‘real life’ images are? We’re talking beyond photoshop and filters, my friend. We are talking full on makeup in tropical heat, wardrobe changes, paid photo shoots to take you to the Most Instagrammable Spots in [insert beautiful location here]... and then DELETING THE PICTURE because not enough people liked it. Just let that sink in, especially when you are comparing your gorgeous amazing self to the beauties in those IG feeds and stories you follow.

Think about this one: Every email you get after you sign up for someone’s mailing list [like a freebie or a download follows a certain pattern and formula. Here you are, thinking that they think you are special because that random person you signed up to hear from just used your name in the subject line. First, you get a welcome email, and then I bet the likelihood is you get about 6 more emails. Most are not selling to you [at least they don’t seem to be] and in between those lovely messages checking that you are ok and offering some words of wisdom are a couple that extol the virtues of signing up for their online class or buying something amazing. This is a thing. [Also, you ARE special, just because you are. Not because MailChimp inserts first names into emails.]

The more I get into expanding my business and wanting to share my story honestly and genuinely, the more I am torn between using these ‘formulas’ to reach the most people and staying true to myself.

I guarantee that if I put something out there, it’s me. I may have taken a couple of pictures to make sure an eye wasn’t closed and picked the best one to post, but what you see with me is what you get. I won’t look the same as that stick-thin influencer who is in the jungles of Bali with a waterfall behind her, nary a hair out of place and a full face of makeup. I will be the woman who is telling it like it is, muddy from slipping on the way up, with a cute bead of sweat that makes me look like I have a moustache, grateful my strong ass clambered over the boulders.

And, most of the time my eyes will be open; but I’ll always be laughing because I’m enjoying the journey.

PS - Thanks MOM for joining me in this pic! ❤ You are always Insta ready!

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Drop me a line at info@YourCompassWithin.co and book a 45-minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Work in Progress

Don't you just love those reminders that come up on Facebook? You know the ones: See your memories and all the awesome stuff you were doing this time last year! they shout. For a while, I did actually dislike them massively. They were supposed to be reminders of all the fab things that had happened in my life. But in reality, I'd been through a few less than pleasant years, and having reminders in the midst of that time wasn't always welcomed.

The other day, I had a reminder from three years ago come up. It's a picture of a piece of street art in mid-creation. The image was made entirely of brown packing tape, layered strategically against a backlit white background to create depth. The artist had clearly taken a break as he was nowhere to be seen.

When I posted it to Facebook three years ago, I commented: Work in progress. When I saw it, I thought it was a perfect representation of where I was in my life at the time: on the cusp of being completed. I was a work in progress that would soon be finished.

Three years later, I realise that, rather than being on the cusp of completion, I am fully embracing the journey.

Truth is, I had to go through all that shit all those years ago to get to this point today. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Did I want to go through the lowest feelings of why I wasn't good enough for someone else, that totally wrecked my confidence? At the time, no. Am I stronger now because of it? Hell yes.

My journey is far from complete. Yesterday was a pretty crappy day. I worked out [which lately sets me up for a great day!] and it was pretty grey and rainy. When I got back to my guesthouse after coffee and a coconut, I cried. I had all the sad emotions, and I didn't know why. I still don't really, I just know that I embraced the crappy feeling, stayed in and took care of myself with cups of tea and binge-watching Queer Eye.

And, rather than beat myself up for having an off day, I accepted it. The me that thought she would be ‘complete’ one day would have been frustrated and angry for feeling a bit sad [especially without having any clue what brought on the sadness!]. The me on this journey is embracing it all, knowing that every emotion adds to the layers and depth, and knows that all the steps that have gotten me here have given me the skills, outlook and mindset to be the best me.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

3 Truths, no lies.

I have to be honest… I’ve found it a bit difficult to write a big life-changing post this week.

That’s because I’ve been doing less stuff that seems big. I’ve been much more focused on the daily - my routine, my training, my food choices, my being. Although I suppose all that is kinda big. But it’s all been showing up in little ways.

So, this week, I’m sharing a few of my favourite resources with you. These are things I’ve come back to this week to keep me on track.

Why

I first came across Simon Sinek when I was a corporate leader. We used his "Start With Why" methodology to get to the reasons someone had done something the way they did so that we could coach on the best way forward. We used it to ensure we explained they why behind what we were doing to ensure our teams were bought in and inspired to do what the business wanted. And we used it as a sales technique - explain why the customer needs the item and they’ll be more likely to buy.

But now, I go back to Start With Why - and am reviewing Find Your Why - not with a business lens, but with a personal development and growth lens.

Simon Sinek - Start With Why

How

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been super mindful of how I’m spending my time. When I left Dubai, I had a massive clear out and ruthlessly got rid of stuff. I had a lot of it, hidden away in all my wardrobes and closets. I did the same when I left Malaysia, for practical reasons. Without a job at the time, there was no sense in paying for storage for ‘stuff’ that didn’t have value to me. I freely gave stuff away - to people that were shocked at some of the fairly new stuff I was getting rid of. While some of it may have had a moderate monetary value, none of it held any value to me. It was freeing. I’ve been applying that to how I’m spending my time. Is it valuable for me to do? Great! I’m all in! [Sweating profusely 3 times a week costs me a small fortune, yet I look forward to it because it's valuable.]

Sarah Knight talks about how we spend our time. Note that her language is NSFW. Maybe that’s part of why I like it so much. [I also swear a lot while I’m sweating.]

Sarah Knight - The Magic of Not Giving a F***

What

JFDI! What I’m doing is just fucking doing it. I’ve done a lot of the big things, and now I’m doing the small things. I’m doing All The Things. Just this second, I agreed to do something super scary that I was finding an excuse not to do. There’s a women’s event just down the road, and you have to speak in front of the group. And say what you do. Ack! Hello, limiting beliefs! I have a call the same day, which will finish an hour before the event starts. 2 people asked if I was going to the event, and to both, I replied, Well… It depends on when my call finishes. I KNOW what time my call finishes, and the event is literally 5 minutes away. So, the exchange went like this:

Me: Maybe we can meet for lunch if I don’t make it to the speed networking event?

V: Oooh! Are you definitely going? I’ll go if you go!

Me: Hmmm… I’m 50/50. Depends when my call finishes.

Me: Wait! No! That’s an excuse! I’m going. Would you like to join?

Hurrah! JFDI.

If you’re unhappy with your life path, take any turn possible.

Do The Thing.

Ok, so I did another Thing. This Thing has been bugging me for a while, and I decided I needed to take my own advice and JFDI.

You see, when I stopped working, I started gaining weight. It was pretty slow at first, and this made sense since I was so much less active. My job had required me to travel just about every other week - and this often meant mad dashes through the airport in Kuala Lumpur, which is surprisingly long, no matter which terminal you are in. It also required a lot of time on my feet, walking through malls. [This was often at pace because my flights were delayed and I had 2 more stores to get to that day, or I was pacing as I took another stressful call that lasted for what seemed forever from my boss.] When I stopped working, I still walked places, but the stress was gone, the pacing was gone, and I had a lot of time to get where I needed to be.

Then I went home to the States for Christmas. And ate all the cheese. I'd be surprised if I didn't create a shortage. You can blame me if your local food store is out of your favourite aged farmhouse cheddar; I probably ate it.

And I got back to Bali and nothing fit. Even my 'comfy' shorts that were actually a little too big. No chance of buttoning them.

So, I decided I would do something about it. I walked on the beach every morning. It's hot in Bali, though, so it was just as easy to find an excuse NOT to go as it was to go. I settled into a routine, and walked on the beach about 4 times in 2 weeks, telling myself I was on the right path.

Even though I knew I wasn't. I was telling myself a story to make me feel less bad, but I wasn't doing anything about The Thing: the exercise with conviction.

So, I reached out through one of my girls' groups [they're the best!] and got a recommendation for a personal trainer. Rather than think about it and wonder if I should really do this, I just did it. I sent a message. We met the next morning for coffee and talked for about an hour and a half, and I hired him. What I know is that I need some accountability, at least until I'm started. So, why hadn't I just done it before? I did exactly what I talked about last week. I worked out all the worst case scenarios: I wouldn't like him; he'd push me too hard; it wouldn't be fun; I'd have to get up too early in the morning... Heard any of these before?

I hadn't asked myself what could be the BEST thing that could happen. [Let's not get ahead of ourselves, here... The BEST thing would be magically getting healthy overnight, but we all know that's not realistic.] What happened instead? He's fab and we get along well; he's pushing me, but within limits and not too much; I laughed all the way through my workout; he's not a morning person either! 9:15 AM starts with the instructions to not set an alarm? BINGO! Best trainer in the world!

After today's session, we walked along the beach back to my street and went for coffee. Did I mention he's the best trainer in the world? Coffee!

It was there, sipping our coffees that he asked me an interesting question: What do I think is the link between deciding not to take action and fear? I know that fear has a major impact on our lives. But, consider this: Fear impacts our indecision more significantly than our decisions to not act.

It's the fear of all the possible worst case scenarios that keep us from making any decision, leaving us in a state of indecision. Rather than decide, we take no decision and no action. We find ourselves stuck and hoping for something to change, rather than taking action to make the changes we so desperately need.

We relinquish control.

Deciding to take action means that we are taking back that control of our lives, even if it's just one small step to start with. [Like me searching a group on Facebook for recommendations.] It means that we have already recognised our fears, and are making a conscious decision to face them head on and make an educated decision about how we want to move forward, rather than letting our lives control us through indecision.

Fear impacts our indecision more than it impacts our actions. Once we can recognise what we may be afraid of, making a decision and subsequently taking action is the next logical step.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45-minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

The One Where I Felt Stuck

I’ve written about FEAR before. And, I say capital FEAR, because it was largely about overcoming or facing our big FEARs in life. Once you realise that all the best things in life are on the other side of FEAR, it’s easier to act.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t still face lowercase fear each and every day. This can show up as not taking action, not making decisions. Our brains are wired to keep us safe, and safe means doing things that are comfortable, easy, and don’t require any challenge. The problem with this is that we get stuck on autopilot, and get stuck in our routines and habits. It also means, that, sometimes, even if we know we need to do The Thing, we don’t do The Thing.

And then we get into a cycle of frustration, knowing we want The Thing, and annoyed with ourselves for not doing anything about it.

My recent Thing has been email automation. I’ve known I need to get this sorted for months. This isn’t a big Thing, but I made it big because I couldn’t figure it out. I’m no means technically minded. I am teaching myself and have learned lots, but I am not an expert. So, I’ve researched and researched and read and read, and everyone says programs like MailChimp are easy. Let me tell you, MailChimp is not my friend. The more I tried to get started, the more confused I got. And the more this whole project seemed to be a daunting and intimidating task. So, I didn’t do anything about it. Except continue to worry and stress that I didn’t have it done.

Sound familiar?

The longer I stewed over it, the bigger it became and the more afraid I was. I was afraid I’d get it wrong, that my email wouldn’t be good enough and that I’d send some crazy email to the wrong person.

Until I decided to JFDI: Just Fucking Do It. Rather than continue to stew and stress, I figured out a way to get it done. I reached out for help and got the answers I needed. It wasn’t so scary after all. But I had built the fear up to be monumental and so hadn't done anything at all. Taking that first step felt awesome! A weight was lifted and I immediately felt more in control.

Taking action isn't usually the scary part - it's the fear of what happens when we do something new. And usually, we've built up all sorts of worst case scenarios in our heads while we're thinking about it. This leaves us paralysed, stuck.

In my case, I thought the worst thing that could happen was that I wouldn't get my email right, it wouldn't be perfect on my first try. In reality, the worst thing that was happening was that I wasn't doing anything to reach people and share my message.

So, what happens when we ask ourselves instead, What's the BEST thing that will happen when [not if] I do this? And, then, Just Fucking Do It.

What happens is this: We change the negative habit loop in our brains and start seeing results. Once we act, and take that first step, no matter how small, we feel better. And that propels us to take the next action, and the next. We create a positive habit loop, and momentum propels us to continue taking action.

Mel Robbins explains it like this when talking about the 5 Second Rule:

"And, the more action that you take, the better your life will become. This is a concept in psychology called “Do Good, Be Good.” It actually dates back to Aristotle. It’s the idea that you can’t just think yourself to change. You need to actually take action."

What is The Thing for you? Ask yourself what is the best thing that can happen when you do it. And, Just Fucking Do It.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Que Será, Será?

I randomly heard this song, most famously recorded by Doris Day, and it took me back to my childhood. My mom used to sing it to me. And, while the lyrics in their simplicity are among the few my brain has retained, the message was for the first time loud and clear.

What ever happens, happens.

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here's what she said to me

Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be

And, while technically true [very few of us have crystal balls, and I never did put my faith in my Magic 8 Ball], it’s also quite defeatist. The message I hear? Everything is out of our control - it’s out of our hands - whatever happens, will happen. If we take this attitude to heart, we’ll probably ask ourselves, Why bother?

·       I’m bored and stuck in a rut. The future will be whatever it is. Things will change.

·       I feel stuck in my career, but, why bother taking positive action to make my situation better?

·       I’m not sure I’m spending my time and energy on what matters most, but I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so why bother figuring it out?

Whatever will happen, will happen.

What if you turn that thinking on its head? 

One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a vision for the life you want.  It may seem silly, and it will take some time, but having a clear vision helps keep us on the path we want to be on.  As life happens, it can be easy to let all the little distractions and new priorities get in the way of where we see our life going.  Without an idea of your destination, how can you possibly choose all the right paths?

But, imagining our ideal life – 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years from now – ensures we stay on course, that our inner compass helps guide us.  No, we can’t imagine every obstacle, but we can know where we want to go.  Imagine this.  You set out to go to work Monday morning.  Of course, you know your destination.  You can probably even picture the route in your mind.  But, you take a left turn, only to find the road is closed.  An obstacle.  But you still know your destination, so you choose a new route.  You adapt and flex to the obstacle. 

Now, imagine you have a meeting.  You set out from your house only to realise you have no idea where the meeting is.  Literally, it could be anywhere in town.  You don’t have an email detailing your destination, your boss or your PA aren’t answering their phone, and all you know is the meeting is not at the office.  Where do you start?  How do you plan your route?

You need a vision of the destination before you can set out. 

And the same is true for life. 

Royale Scuderi writes, “Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.”

How do you create your ideal vision?  Well, that’s up to you, really.  It’s important to give yourself time and space to do so.  Rarely do we take the time to dedicate to ourselves this way and it can feel a little uncomfortable at first. 

I’ve found the best way is to think of the timeframe I’m creating my vision for.  Is it 6 months or 5 years down the line?  And start from there.

Ask yourself:

-       What do I want?

-       What is important to me? Like, super duper deep down important to me, not what other people think should be important to me.

-       If money didn’t matter, what would I be doing with my time?

-       What does success look like to me?

Then create an image of what your life looks like in the future.  Write it, record it, or make a fancy pants vision board.  It’s yours, so make it your own.

-       Where do I live? Be specific.  Maybe it’s a modern penthouse overlooking the skyline.  Maybe it’s a chic beach house, where you can hear the sound of the waves lulling you awake.

-       What does my ideal day look like?

-       Who do I live with? Who are the people around me?

-       What do I look like? Am I happy with that?

-       Am I in love, like super duper deep down in love, with this vision?  If not, dig deeper. 

Dream big.

Keep asking yourself questions until you have a precise and specific vision.  The next step is to start to take action, to start on the path of making this vision for yourself a reality.  Every journey starts with a small step.

And the most crucial step is to know where you’re going. 

The future IS ours to see.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Kristen Franey
The Principle of Attraction

So, I took some time off. I’d been back to the States for the first holiday season in god knows how many years, and, to be honest, I found it difficult to be present with both my business and my family and friends. I chose to be present with family and friends - who knows when I’ll have that luxury again!

But, when I returned again to Bali, I expected all the excitement, energy, and good vibes to come flooding back. And, they didn’t. At least not at first. I realised that, when I took time off, I also stopped thinking of my direction. I literally STOPPED in my tracks, and expected my attention to automatically go back to where it needed to be.

I was a little lost for a few days. And I thought of what had given me that energy before. I’ve never been a spiritual or ‘woo-woo’ person. But I do know that our thoughts and actions and focus guide us. ‘That which we manifest is before us, we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves ” is one of my favourite quotes. It comes from Enzo the Dog in a book called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. He’s describing [sounds weird, I know, for a dog to have a voice, but bear with me…] his owner’s experience of driving his race car where his eyes go. If he focuses on the car next to him, he’ll ultimately hit that car.

I know this to be true. When I was in Vietnam, I took a bike tour outside of Hoi An. We traveled through rice paddies on tiny paths, passed rice drying in the sun and uniformed boys racing home from school. The local kids were all very curious and excited to see us, and as I passed a group I boldly went for High Fives. [Cool, huh?] Then I saw the wall, about 30 feet in front of me at the T junction at the end of the road. Oh! There’s a wall! I need to turn to avoid the wall. Huh, the wall is getting closer. I hope I don’t crash into the wall. And, you know what happened. I ran straight into the wall. Now, I could easily have turned. I’d navigated tiny paths all day! But, I didn’t turn. And I smacked into the wall. If I wasn’t cool for the High Fives, certainly this sealed my fate.

Now, I didn’t manifest the wall. But, my thoughts and actions guided me to it. Do I believe in the Law of Attraction? Not entirely. I certainly don’t think that if I just think of having a million dollars in the bank, I’ll wake up one day and find it magically there. But I do believe that our outlook has a direct impact on our success, happiness and well-being.

As Neil Farber writes on Psychology today, it’s better to consider a Principle of Attraction, rather than a Law. “The Principle of Attraction is not magic and is not a universal law. It is a social scientific phenomenon, which implies that you have an active role in this process, your positive attitude, beliefs, and behavior will most likely bring you more of the same.” Scientifically, “Positive people tend to have greater success in their career, higher salaries, better jobs, better relationships, improved health, and more altruism.”

So, I know the energy I had the last time I was in Bali was down to me, my thoughts and focus and outlook. And the same goes for when I’ve felt I’ve lost that energy: it’s down to me.

I know which state I’d rather be in. How about you?

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Kristen Franey
Get Your Shit Together...?

Today, I read a Facebook post by another coach asking, “To be a great coach, do you agree that you need to have all your shit together?”

Most responses agreed. Yes! You need to have your life sorted, be an expert, in order to coach other people. You can’t be successful if you’ve not got it all figured out.

At first, I agreed when I read it. But then, reality set in. And, No. You don’t have to have all your shit together to be a good coach.

What makes a good coach is empathy and understanding, helping someone else to discover the answers they already have but maybe have a block in their mindset that gets in their way.

Empathy is a key to this. Yes, a coach needs to come from a point of understanding, but do we ever have to have been in the same situation to feel true empathy? Empathy is the ability to go beyond just understanding what another person is feeling. Showing empathy involves feeling things from another person's perspective so that you can fully and truly and deeply feel their feelings, not just understand them.

As a coach, I don’t have to have been in the same situation as my client in order to be empathetic to how they’re feeling.

But, yes, I do have to have lived some life and had some similar experiences in order to truly KNOW what they are going through.

Having your shit together implies that you are done, complete, have it all figured out. In some ways this goes against my coaching ethics. I work with people to help them get beyond their limitations. To achieve their potential and beyond, to exceed their own expectations. If I have all my shit together, this seems to say that I have reached the pinnacle of my potential.

And, I have not.

I was having a conversation with a fellow coach a few weeks ago, and she was hesitant to start promoting her website. I think she’d told me and her parents about it, because she was worried she wasn’t enough of an expert as there are things in her life she’s still figuring out. I’d come across exactly this feeling when I started - and still know that I am a damn good coach without being an expert! - and sent her some information I’d found helpful. I titled my email, You don’t have to have all your shit together. :-)

Daily, I continue to grow, to see things from new perspectives, to learn from what went well [or didn’t] and to do better every day. Don’t get me wrong; I have figured out a lot of stuff. I’ve learned to not always be so hard on myself, that introspection and taking action are key, and that I don’t need so many things. I’ve learned that I like red wine, and that I love to travel on my own, and that I don’t need to do everything by myself, that it’s OK to say I need help.

If I’ve figured everything out, I stop growing. I’m not ready or prepared for that, so I am proud to say, I don’t have all my shit together.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

A Listicle. Or, 9 things I am grateful for.

This week, we celebrated Thanksgiving in the States. Traditionally, families come together, eat too much food, and share what they’re thankful or grateful for with each other. Gratitude has been at the forefront of what I’ve been thinking about. It’s unavoidable! But, why do so many of us need a major holiday to remind us of what we’re grateful for?

I’ve got to admit, I’ve not always taken time to think of what I’m grateful for. I mean I am grateful for the life I have, but there have been times where I haven’t practiced gratitude. It’s more natural for me to think of what could be better, rather than all the amazing things I have or experience. So, I’m making a mental shift - toward gratitude.

I read another listicle. Actually, there are a lot of listicles about gratitude. 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. The 31 Benefits of Gratitude. 6 Ways Gratitude Rewires Your Brain. 10 Benefits of Gratitude. To be fair, I have no idea how many actual real life benefits there are [can we really measure it that specifically?] but there seems to be a lot of benefits.

9 things I am grateful for:

  1. My job finishing earlier than I expected. Who would be happy to lose their job?!? ME! It gave me the push I needed to step out of my comfort zone and start this journey to help others get unstuck.

  2. Sunsets. I haven’t met a sunset I don’t like. I’m grateful I have the opportunity to sip coconuts and watch the sun set almost every day while I’m in Bali. It recharges me.

  3. An amazingly supportive family. I’m not sure they all fully understand what it is that I do, or why I would want to spend time half way around the world. But they know that it makes me happy and they have been supportive every step of the way.

  4. I’m grateful my sister-in-law loaned me boots to wear in New York [my clothes are still being shipped from Malaysia, including pretty much all my shoes that are not flip flops!] Oh, and she let me borrow an umbrella. She’s the best!

  5. I’m grateful for the inspiring women I’ve met, especially in Bali. Many of my friends there are also on entrepreneurial journeys, and we challenge and hold each other accountable, sharing resources and general awesomeness.

  6. Warm pyjamas on cold winter nights.

  7. Long-lost friends and new friends.

  8. Nieces and nephews, especially when they’re not crying.

  9. A glass of good red wine, especially after babysitting the nieces and nephews.

What I do know, from my experience of 2 weeks of practicing gratitude, is that I feel less stressed when something goes ‘awry’ as there’s also a positive somewhere in the same situation that I can be grateful for. We forgot the corn at Thanksgiving dinner? No worries, I’m grateful we didn’t have too much food that was wasted and didn’t over eat [that much…] I feel a little more energised. I’m not going to sleep thinking of all the stuff I need to get done, or what I didn’t achieve. Instead, I’m happily drifting off thinking of all the positive things that happened in the day, like my feet stayed dry thanks to Claire’s boots. So, I’m going to keep at it, and continue to practice gratitude. Every day.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

The Short One

This week, I left Bali to go home to the States. I have been filled with a crazy mix of emotions: excitement to see my family, especially for the holidays; dread of cold weather; frustration that my stuff that is being shipped from Malaysia [including all my winter clothes except one pair of jeans and 2 sweaters] is still on a boat; a little sadness at saying goodbye to friends I’ve made in Bali that I may not see again; fear that my routine would be disrupted and I’d lose all productivity.

I realised this one was actually holding me back for quite some time. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a growing to-do list, but lacked the motivation to get started on achieving any of it. And I realised about 10 days into November that I hadn’t even determined my November goals. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to continue growing my brand, that I stopped growing myself. Leaving Bali felt like an end, and I found it difficult to get started on new things.

I was sinking back into my old ways. I’ve been busy, but not productive, feeling as if I should be ‘working’ rather than enjoying connecting with new people and growing my business.  I was so worried about not being resilient, that I wasn’t resilient.  With the help of my coach, I realized it was my own headspace that was keeping me from getting shit done.

I’ve read articles and listened to podcasts and read some more.  I’ve Googled and searched and did I mention I read shit?  I’ve been busy!  But I haven’t gotten much done.  I can, however, recommend a podcast that helped me come to my senses. It had been open in my browser for about a week, and I kept putting it off because I was so … busy. Amy Porterfield’s podcast with Brooke Castillo was perfect this week. If only I’d listened last week instead!

Last week, I wrote about FEAR, and overcoming fears and the freedom that comes along with it.  And so many of my friends have posted about their fears and embracing or overcoming them in the past week, that I know how I’m feeling isn’t uncommon or weird or abnormal.  But thinking about it any longer isn’t going to help me or anyone else.

So, this week’s post is short.  Because I’m off to get shit done.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Listen to Amy Porterfield and Brooke Castillo here: https://www.amyporterfield.com/2018/06/217/

F.E.A.R.

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.

A couple of years ago i decided to skydive on Leap Day. I figured, we were given an extra day and I wanted to do something crazy and make the most out of it! I should tell you I don’t like small craft. Small boats? Don’t like ‘em! Small planes? I like them even less. Yet, here I was, making a conscious decision to launch myself out of one. At least I’d be getting out!

The day of the jump was cloudy - in Dubai, where it’s never cloudy. I waited and waited until finally, blue skies, and my name was called over the loud speaker. My safety briefing consisted of crazy Rob with the crazier red hair telling me, Just remember: Banana, knees together, legs up. And a few minutes later I was walking toward the smallest plane I’d ever been in.

I sat next to Rob, and he checked that my seat belt was securely fastened, and chatted endlessly to keep me distracted from the fact I was about to jump. About halfway up, they opened the door. Holy shit! I’ve never been in a plane with the door open! On a bench seat. Rob then unfastened my seat belt. What the actual fuck? I was on a bench heat, with no seat belt, and an open door a few feet away. Don’t worry, Rob said. You’re clipped into me now. Oh, great. That’s reassuring. And then I came un-clipped. Rob? Rob? ROB?!? I’M NOT CLIPPED! I imagined being sucked out. Because what else would you think? And then, Rob clipped back in and we were ready to jump.

In fairness, I was ready to get out of the blasted plane. But I was not really ready for the moment of stepping to the edge. And seeing everything so tiny down below. Fuck, we were high!

And then we went. I’m not sure I actually jumped myself, or how much of it was Rob. But I was jumping. And swearing. A lot. i have never said Fuck so many times in a row. Or so loud. Or with so many word combos. I made shit up. Loudly. Damn, girl! What would your mother say if she could hear you? She’d be even more creative, I assured him.

And then, I settled a bit and it was magical. Will Smith describes it as Bliss. And he’s right. And the lesson he has taken? All the best things in life are on the other side of fear. And, again, he’s right.

For so long in my life I was frozen by fear. Afraid to make a change, afraid to walk into new places by myself, afraid, afraid, afraid. I put on a brave face, but behind it was overriding fear in so many situations.

When my job finished, the fear was immense, but conflicting. On one hand, was fear of going back to doing the same thing I had done for 20+ years, in a new unknown company. What if it wasn’t any better or more secure? And on the other hand, what if I fail at starting my own business? Fear. I was literally crippled and unable to make any decision because I was afraid of both outcomes.

And then I asked myself, what’s the worst that can happen?

Since then, I’ve been working on facing my fears. And appreciating that fear in itself isn’t bad. It’s indecision, inactivity, failing to take action, failing to face my fears that is bad.

F.E.A.R by Ian Brown is on playing on repeat. I’m using it as a reminder to reframe my fears. Fear can also be:

Fantastic Expectations Amazing Revelations

Finding Everything And Realising

Fear challenges us to grow. Who would have thought that the Fresh Prince would turn out to be so wise. Because, as he says, fear tells us lies. It leads us to believe we can’t or we’ll fail. Instead, I’m reminding myself that the best things in life are on the other side of fear.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

If you haven’t yet, check out Will Smith on Fear here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsTBCQ2MnRM

And listen to Ian Brown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f8wAXDZ9D0

The One With The Broken Laptop

After feeling a little under the weather last week, I was excited to get started and get shit done this week.

Until my laptop’s hard drive died. I tried everything. I channeled my inner IT department and switched it off and then back on. I entered the BIOS. I don’t even know what that is, but I did it, at once pretty proud and also terrified I’d somehow mess something up even more. I met a friend for lunch and co-working and hoped that his IT skills would magically communicate through the ether to my laptop and it would suddenly work. I looked into shipping it to Jakarta - too risky and too long! I rode on the back of a motorbike for an hour looking for a laptop shop that was open, passing what felt like 350 mobile phone shops and 2 laptop shops, both closed.

In the past I would have had mounting frustration and anger and annoyance and all sorts of negative thoughts. This experience was different. I was action oriented - let’s find a solution! What’s the worst that can happen? And, this, while my laptop has possibly never been more important to me as I expand my business. The worst, I was out of pocket and partly out of action for a couple of days.

When my driver and I finally found the computer market in Denpasar, I was hopeful that all I needed was a new cable. When the technician opened my laptop, we discovered I have some newfangled type of hard drive that doesn’t have a cable. While the tech guy trundled off to the neighboring shop to see if he could recover anything from the hard drive, I was optimistic he would return with a giant yes, there’s nothing wrong with your hard drive, and plug it back in so that my laptop magically restarted. Nope. Instead, he said, We tried a few times, and we can’t read anything on the hard drive. Can you say that again in some way that means I haven’t lost all my work, I asked him? He laughed.

So, I found myself in the middle of busy Denpasar with 2 hours to kill while he installed a new hard drive and all the software I needed. I know my old self would have been annoyed, frustrated and angry. Why meeee???? Seriously???? I mean, what the fuck? All my shit is gone???

Not this time.

I went to a little shop to buy water, and had a lovely conversation with the little old couple running it. They were excited to see a buleh, a foreigner. They complimented me on my Bahasa Indonesia. Sedikit, I said. I speak it a little only. I went to the Art Gallery and Restaurant up the road, which I learned is only a restaurant now. Rather than be annoyed at the false advertising [I mean, the art gallery sign was HUGE!] I ordered a beautiful cold beer. And was something of a novelty to all the staff as a foreigner.

My driver waited for me, and let me know that my laptop was ready an hour earlier than expected. So, I hurried back for the privilege of paying a small fortune for the repair. And, I thought, It’ll be like getting a brand new laptop. And I’ll be able to do my work all over again! Yay! A little I was frustrated. But mostly, I recognise that I have been on such a journey and grown so much over the last few months, that the work I produce now will be of much better quality and detail, and more aligned to my values and just cause. I am genuinely excited to work on it all again! Mental!

Riding home on the back of the scooter, I had a crazy sense of calm and appreciation. I am so in love with the place I live in it’s unreal. I mean, my driver was genuinely concerned with making sure we got my laptop fixed once he knew it was totally kaput. Yes, he was going to make money from taking me around, but he could easily have dropped me at a shady place, rather than driving me for another 30 minutes to make sure we got to a reputable shop and then waiting to take me home. Yes, the traffic was crazy. So many motorbikes! But, somehow it all just works like a ballet, kids smile and wave at the buleh on the bike.

And then I had an article pop into my inbox - If You Want To Achieve Long-Term Happiness, Embrace The Growth Mindset. Old Kristen? Fixed mindset. New Kristen has moved into Growth Mindset. Although if you had asked old Kristen, she would have argued that she had a growth mindset. ‘Happiness doesn’t come from achieving a goal; it comes from the act of making progress towards a goal. In other words, happiness is a function of personal growth.’ Long term happiness doesn’t just magically happen. It’s a by-product of how we approach and handle each and every situation that arises.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at info@YourCompassWithin.co to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Spinning Plates

Last week, I launched my website. I was uber excited! The launch came after many weeks of frustration, joy, personal introspection, and lots of learning [I now have terms like DNS servers and GDPR compliant cookie protocol in my regular vocabulary!]

In the past, when I met a challenge, my natural inclination was to give up, to step aside and move onto something else. If I couldn’t be the best at something, I didn’t want to do it at all. Gymnastics? I was pretty good, but couldn’t do handsprings so moved on. Swimming? I was pretty good, but early starts were too much of an obstacle. And, this wasn’t reserved only for sport.

So, designing my own website and launching it was a massive challenge for me. In the past, I was able to call one of the IT guys with any of my myriad questions relating to anything IT. Setting up my brand and my business, I don’t have an IT department to call. I am the IT department, and this is a scary idea!

So, when my website was launched and I had amazingly positive reaction, I excitedly thought, Nailed it! And moved on to thinking about the the next best thing to do!

Boy, do I have a list of ideas! My diary was quickly filled with tons of things to do: course creation, more and new market research, beta tests, starting a new course, new IT systems to learn, and on and on. Remember those guys that spun the plates on top of long poles, getting each one going to the right speed before moving onto getting another started and in between checking to make sure none that were already spinning were about to go out of control till they had bunches of plates spinning?

I barely had one plate going.

And I had overwhelm.

I quickly realised, though, that just because my website was launched, didn’t mean I had achieved success in one area and that I could move my focus on to something else. I’ve been launched for 1 week. I still need to focus my energy and attention on building this exciting aspect of my business, before I can move on to the next. I need to get one friggin’ plate going before I move to the next.

I’m not the best at it. Yet. I’m still learning and building my craft, as well as figuring out social media marketing and all those other things that come along with setting up a new business.

So, I refocused. I went back to my October objectives, and realigned them to my original mission: Build my business as a bad-ass coach helping other people get unstuck and live a life they love.

I found a resilience that has not always been easy for me to come by.

But, it’s like cooking: somethings take more time to marinate or stew, and not everything can be on high heat all the time. A little simmering on the back burner is fine, as long as your attention is where it should be to get each element right.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at info@YourCompassWithin.co to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Kristen Unplugged, Volume 2

So, my digital detox officially finished about 2 weeks ago, and unofficially finished last week, when I reinstalled the apps on my phone.  Since then, I've been thinking of how the detox has affected me, and what 'detoxing' means to me.

Although I have installed the apps again, I am now in control of the time I spend looking at Facebook or Instagram.  To put things into perspective, I used to easily spend an hour or two each morning, mindlessly scrolling through.  Checking Facebook was my go-to activity - at the table when my friends got up, smoking a cigarette with my morning coffee, on the beach as soon as I heard a notification ping in.  I felt connected to my family and friends back home, as if I wasn't really missing anything.

I now spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day, and only checking the specific things I am looking for.  I'd like to think that people have missed my FB presence, but I know this isn't the case.  And deep down, I realise I actually prefer it that way - people are living their own lives.

When it's quiet or I'm alone, I walk to the beach and actually watch the sunset, paying attention to the changes and the colours of the sky.  When a friend leaves the table, I watch the farmers in the rice paddies, manipulating their complex system of strings tied to tin sheets and glass bottles used to scare the birds away.  And, I no longer feel the need to reach for a cigarette with my morning coffee.  Instead, I plan my route to the beach and where I'll walk.

I've also become much more aware of how people use FB and Instagram, and how ubiquitous they have become in our daily lives.  I hear people mention they are going to the most Instagrammable spots in Bali, or watch them queue up to replicate Instagram pics that have attracted the most likes.  I can't help but think there is something being missed here.  

When I was in Cambodia, during my dream trip to Angkor Wat, my tour guide kept positioning me for the 'best photos' and I would queue with all the other tourists to make sure I had the identical photo on my phone.  After shuffling along with hundreds of others in the sweltering heat, I asked my guide to take me to a less crowded temple.  He was confused.  Didn't I want to see the next most popular one?  No, I said, I want to appreciate the beauty and discover an uncrowded gem, the essence of what made the discovery of Angkor Wat so unique.  

Eventually we made our way to a temple with about 4 tourists, and I was one of them.  I spent the rest of my day in quiet contemplation, took my time to see the detail and appreciate the carvings, walk the same paths that countless others had thousands of years ago.  I experienced Angkor Wat; I didn't photograph it.  I didn't filter and edit my photos, hoping for more likes than ever before.  And I felt more connected to that nearly forgotten temple with a name I can't remember, than the ones made popular in tour books and movies starring Angelina Jolie.

And, it's that joy and wonder that I am finding time for in my day to day life, now that I am no longer reliant on social media.

Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at info@YourCompassWithin.co to book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co

Kristen Unplugged, Volume 1

Last week, I started a social media detox.  I'd been feeling a bit dull, distracted, less than productive, and I realised I'd go hours scrolling through the latest on my feeds whenever a notification pinged in.

Each morning, I wanted to walk on the beach, and instead would sit with a coffee, and say to myself, I'll go in a minute, Let me just check Facebook.  An hour would go by, and I'd rationalise that it was too late for a walk and head to a café to do some work, telling myself I'd get up an hour earlier the next day.

Of course, I didn't get up an hour earlier.  Ever.

How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation?  You want to clean out the fridge [well, in fairness that's not very fun, but it's important!] and instead you find yourself watching cat videos sent by your Aunt Gertrude?

That same week I had a conversation with a friend about distractions and reduced attention spans.  I sometimes find it difficult to sit through an hour long television show, or read a full length article in a newspaper, easily getting distracted by a notification, or something else on the screen, or something I forgot to Google earlier in the day.  I've always been an avid book reader, and I'd never ever put down a book without finishing it, no matter how much I disliked it.  Now I've got 3 books I've started within the past few months and not finished.

According to a study conducted by Microsoft, multi-tasking and social media have reduced our attention span so dramatically, that it is apparently worse than a goldfish.  When the 'mobile age' began around 2000, our attention span was a whopping 12 seconds.  By 2013 [5years ago!] it had dropped to 8 seconds.  The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.  Let that sink in.  

I decided to step away from social media for a few days and see what happened.  My friend and I agreed Tuesday - Thursday, a massive 3 days! I notified friends and family, with cute pictures I found on the internet that I would be on a Digital Detox. I posted on FB and Insta, as how else would I communicate such ground breaking news?

And then I deleted the apps.  

And sat anticipating my boredom and anxiety at being distanced from EVERYONE and EVERYTHING!!! 

And, ya know what happened?  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flew by.  

I got shit done, I went to the beach, I talked to people.   

I didn't even realise that my detox was about to end.  And then on Friday morning, I decided  to carry on.  

It's been a week, and I'm not at all anxious about what I've 'missed.'  

And my brother actually reached out to me, sending me a message to check in on what's going on.  He asked me questions, instead of the other way around.  Since I'd not put any updates of any sort on social media, we were forced to have a one to one conversation if he wanted to know his favourite sister is doing well.  I can't remember the last time he reached out to me.  

Going forward, I've decided to take control of my social media use, instead of letting it control me.  I'm reinstalling the apps, and setting specific days and times to look at what I find important, rather than relying on my feed to tell me what it thinks I want to know.  I'll send actual birthday messages to my friends and family, not post a generic Happy Birthday message on their walls.  

I'll finish my books, be more connected to the here and now, and get even more shit done.

Imagine what you can do when you disconnect and unplug!  When will you digital detox?

Makasih. 



Grit. True Grit.

So, I've set out on my entrepreneurial journey, and let me tell you, it's all about grit. Actually, it's about a lot of other shit, too, but we'll get there in a bit.

Research. It's about research, too. Reading, connecting, building a network, learning.

When I set out on this journey, I thought, Aha! Coaching! I'm fucking ACE at coaching! It's what I do, it's what I love, it's what kept me in corporate retail for over 25 years. An easily transferable skill! I just need to learn the language of one-to-one coaching and the intricacies outside the corporate setting, and Bob's your uncle, I'm good to go.

Today, I find myself navigating a minefield to become an expert marketer, social media manager, accountant, writer, photo editor, tax expert, course creator, international banker, web designer, copy editor... the list is endless. All while finding time to do what I love, which is help people discover their best selves by connecting in a genuine way.

No word of a lie, it's exhausting. And I love it.

Tonight, I came across an article. Actually, it's a listicle. No, I did not make that word up. Yes, it's a real thing. Who the fuck knew? [They're the articles that say, 5 ways to make your life better than you knew it could be!!! With slick headlines, followed by some words or something that give you all the details. Sometimes, we read what they actually say. Most of the time we read the headlines, and decide if it's worth our time. Most of the time, we don't go further than the headlines. It's an article! It's a list! Ah, the listicle.]

Today's is about: The 4 Cognitive Biases Entrepreneurs Should Avoid. Yay! I'm a few months in and it's telling me that more than half of all startups fail! Whoop whoop! This on a day when I've been mired in payment options, course creation, and finding someone to finish my blasted website.

Here are the headlines, followed by my translations, after a few months in.

1. Optimism Bias "That Won't Happen To Me." FFS. Let me tell you, it will. You'll need to dig deep to get whatever it is you're doing even launched. It happened to lots of other people. Expect that it will happen to you. Also, expect that shit will happen and come up that you never even knew existed! You'll hear about a great new app or service that will make your life so much easier, except you can't sign up for it, or it doesn't apply to you and so, you go back to the drawing board.

2. Planning Fallacy "I can probably do this faster than the average person." No fucking chance. Maybe, you will have a skill or some knowledge about one of the myriad things that are now thrown your way. Most likely, you will never have expected that something seemingly simple will take so...fucking...long.

Let's build a website! Great! There's ads on FB and comments and even ads on TV for what is the best. So you look into it, and then you talk to someone who mentions something so you look again and you realise you need to figure out what works best for you. One is great at SEO! Perfect! Except no one knows me and is unlikely to find me before page 4862 on Google anyway. Another is really easy to use! Hurrah! But is limited in what you can add in future once you've set up and you know your brand / venture is going to be AMAZING! and will need more capability in the future. And its SEO sucks; and when you have reached the AMAZING! heights you know you're capable of, this just won't cut it. So, option 3 is in the middle for both these things - user friendly [I'm not sure what user they're talking about because it certainly ain't me, but this is what the reviews say]. You will discover that when you finally figure out how to do something 'on your own' without constant toggling between user guides or YouTube videos, that you undo 2 weeks of work and then you have no clue how to fix it. You will then think, I need an intern. 25 years in retail, I can fucking delegate.

3. Cost Fallacy "I've already come this far." I think the rest of this says something to the effect of, ...So I may as well keep going on this path since I've invested so much. But, this is a listicle so why read everything? Who has time for that shit? All I can say, is I think maybe don't do this. Entrepreneurship is a learning journey. Take what you've learned and cut your losses. What you've done so far is valuable and if you discover a new opportunity that you know is stronger than the first, don't be stubborn. On the other hand, grit is where it's at, so don't quit too soon. At least, not until you've managed to get some shit done. Clear?

4. Confirmation Bias "All signs point to YES!" Trust me, they don't. Unless you've produced your own signs, and then fair play to you for finding your niche market. All signs point to, someone else has done this before [and they're probably the people you are following in your newly researched FB group], so you really need to find your USP [again, trust me... it's a thing... Unique Selling Proposition] that sets you apart from everyone else. All signs point to, This has been done before.

The trick is being badass, having grit, and knowing the world will be vexing. Some days, it all comes together, and some days you realise it's trickier than you thought.