Build Better Beliefs with Affirmations

Affirmations have been mocked and misunderstood by many through the years.  My own husband enjoys creating what he calls    “Slam-firmations” and teases me with them.  Interestingly enough, he has his own positive affirmation posted in his bathroom and on his computer monitor!  I challenge you to avoid overlooking the power of a positive affirmation to shift your thoughts and beliefs.  Here is how you can create powerful, belief-shifting affirmations:

1. Start your affirmation with the words “I am”.   “I AM” is a name for God, and you are claiming Divine power and intervention when you start your affirmation this way.  You can also start affirmations with words like “I know”, “I have”, “I love”.

2. Write your affirmation in the positive.  If you focus on a statement like “I am not angry with my abuser anymore”, your focus is on the negative (in this case the abuser).  Instead write a statement like “I have forgiven those who have harmed me and I am free from the wounds of the past.”

3. Write your affirmation in present tense.  Even if you are not yet experiencing your affirmation, write and visualize it as if it were happening in this moment.  This will shift your unconscious mind into making the statement true.

4. Use your own words and language that is comfortable for you.  You want to use words that feel right on the tongue when you say them out loud.

5. Write your affirmations with passion and feeling.  Your “I am” statements should be charged with warmth and make you feel energized, happy, and peaceful.  Your affirmations will carry more power if your mind and emotions are engaged.

6. Engage your senses as you write and repeat your affirmations.  Use rich, colorful language that creates pictures of the life you want.  Write your affirmations on special paper with appealing fonts or script.  Listen to music as you read and repeat your affirmations.  If you enjoy incense, potpourris, or other room scents, use them.

7. Focus on the “what”, not the “how”.  Let your mind examine what you want to be true, but do not let it question how it will happen.  Your mind will limit the endlessly perfect possibility of how your future will unfold.

8. Incorporate your current successes and positive traits.  As you focus on the life you want to create, recognize what you already love about yourself and your life.  For example, “I am building my life upon truth because I have faced my fears and am strong and resilient.

9. Write affirmations about your deepest desires.  Ask yourself:

• What thinking patterns or beliefs would I like to change?

• What circumstances would I like to improve or transform?

• What experiences would I like to have?

• What feelings would I like to enjoy?

• What do I want my life to be like?

 

You can write as many or as few affirmations as you like.  You might make a list of several and rotate through them over the course of a week or month.  Take time to read through each of your affirmations, letting the words and ideas sink in before moving on to the next.   Affirmations can help you rebuild and strengthen you resilience, building better beliefs that support your success.

Align Your Passions with Your Mission

One of the things I love most about sharing the Passion Test for Business with companies and non-profit boards is helping them see how every individual in the company can align their personal passions with the company mission statement.  This is easily done when the mission statement genuinely reflects the heart of the leadership.  Below is a list of required elements for a good mission statement developed by John DeMartini.  Compare this list with your own mission statement – or use it to craft yours TODAY!
• The mission statement needs to be refined and reviewed so everybody in the company is aligned to it.
• A mission statement is not meant to be an idealistic, intellectual statement designed to sound good in public. One of the most important things in building a business is a clear vision and certainty: the statement of purpose or mission of what you want to create. A mission statement is a statement from the core of the individual leader’s heart on what they are inspired to do.
• A good mission statement essentially demands the soul and spirit of the leader. In order to be a good leader you must have vision, inspiration and purpose which leads to vitality, intensity and power.
• The mission statement of a company is the inner most thoughts of the leader and it speaks to their core values.
• The inspiration of the company is directly proportionate to how vivid the vision and the statement is of what you would like to do.
• A leader must be appreciative of the opportunity they have to share the product service or idea of the company.
• A successful company is one where the following is reflected on the staff; gratitude, vision and enthusiasm. The staff must be grateful to be at work and plan for it every morning, there must be a vision they can articulate without outside help and they must be enthusiastic – this is seen in the vibe of the workplace.
• Most people think terrestrially and look out celestially; like you have the world in your hands and imagine going from a greater sphere and look inwards.
• The masses of people wait to see things before they believe; the master believes things before they see it.
• You cannot coerce people into working – you have to inspire them to work. An inspiring mission statement assists employees to know what they are working towards and aids productivity.

Need help crafting a mission statement that reflects your heart and vision for your company?  Talk out loud to a trusted friend or colleague and record the key points that come up when you answer the question “What do I want my company to be known for?  What impact do I want to have?”  Be as audacious as you want in this conversation – you are just brainstorming.  Then take what you recorded and begin to mine the gems that represent the heart of your company.

Do you like your mission statement?  Post a link here – I’d love to see yours!!

The Domino Effect

What do Bono, Charlie Sharpe (founder of Ozark National Life and Heartland Dairies), and most of my clients have in common? They are all business owners who have used their success and influence to create positive change in the lives of other people.  My husband Duke and I   attended the U2 concert in Minneapolis a week ago. It was AWESOME!! Bono, the Edge, Adam and David all performed with passion in the pouring rain. The music was outstanding. The technology (you’d have to see the Claw in person to understand just how amazing it is) was incredible. But for me the concert was even more inspiring because of the example Bono and the members of U2 demonstrate of using their platform to create change. Bono is well known for his support of Amnesty International, Project One and the Red project. He personally meets the hungry, disenfranchised and politically oppressed and does what he can to improve their lives. During the concert 58,000 fans were privileged to view a Skype message from Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman elected president of Burma. She was just recently released from prison after two years of oppression. Her crime: being elected in a democratic election. She was so thankful to U2 and their fans for her freedom. It moved my heart and made me glad to be a part of something even bigger than a rock concert.

Charlie Sharpe is not a household name, but thousands of people owe much to the lifelong commitment to service and integrity of this man. Charlie is the president of my husband’s company, Ozark National Life. Charlie had a vision for offering what he calls the Balanced Program of insurance and investments, and when the company he worked for as a young man didn’t support his ideas, he went out on his own and started Ozark. Now people around the country are saving and investing and creating wealth. But Charlie’s influence only begins there. After he had created this highly successful company, Charlie had a vision of creating a place where people could come and get free of alcohol and other addictions. He built Heartland on farmland in northern Missouri where he grew up. The men in his program needed work, so he built Heartland Dairy. The dairy needed trucks and other businesses to support the dairy, so he built those. Later a lodge, restaurants, cleaners, beauty parlor and other small businesses were added. At the center of this growing city is the church, school, and now a small college. Visiting Heartland last June was awe-inspiring as I couldn’t stop thinking about the Domino Effect of one man on so many lives.

How are you creating a Domino Effect with your time and resources? As a successful business owner, executive or entrepreneur, you have much to be thankful for and so much more than so many others. I realized not too long ago that almost every one of my clients is creating a Domino Effect of their own – transformational leaders in their work, their community and the world.

Let me know what you are up to – I’ll be highlighting transformational leaders here in the coming months and on a new radio show I’ll be launching in the fall!

Embrace Your Super Powers!

It was my first time visiting a group of women business owners and I was sitting back and taking in the conversation.  I play a game with myself when meeting new people where I try to discern personality types, strengths and what I call Kryptonite – the challenges each person faces such as perfectionism, insecurity, or distractibility.  As I identified natural leaders, strong communicators, and gentle souls, I came back to myself and wondered what these ladies might be thinking about me and my strengths and weaknesses.  Someone asked a question, another made a comment and then I chimed in.  Immediately I noticed the ladies leaning forward, watching my face, taking in what I had to offer on the subject.  They were engaged, interested, and trusting my expertise.  I had influence.  Influence is one of my superpowers and frankly it sometimes catches me by surprise.  Why would a group of people go from zero to trust so quickly?  It’s not because of anything I do consciously.  It isn’t even really because of my training or experience, although they help.  It is due to a natural, God-given strength I have for communicating with authority and for creating trust quickly.  This strength is a gift and a responsibility.  I am empowered with it for a purpose and must use it for good or answer to the One who gave it to me.

What are your Superpowers?  Do you know what they are and how they influence the world around you?  Watch yourself in a group of new acquaintances sometime.  Getting outside of yourself to monitor your behavior and its impact on strangers is a powerful way to discover Superpowers and Kryptonite.  Embrace your Superpowers and put them to work on your road to Success!

Why YOU need a Strategic Plan

I thoroughly believe in strategic planning – whether it’s for your life or your business or both!  Here’s why:

1 – Strategic planning helps you look back, look inside, and look forward.  Taking a look at your accomplishments and failures, your assets and debits, your dreams and realities is healthy and necessary for growth.

2 – Strategic planning forces you to define who you are and what you do in concise terms.  This is essential for marketing and networking.  More importantly, it helps you determine if you are really who you want to be.

3 – Strategic planning asks you to answer the big “WHY?”  Defining your purpose and passionately pursuing it will carry you through tough times.  Knowing “why” you do what you do forces your gaze outward to how you give back and who you serve.

4 – Strategic planning helps you set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-specific goals.  A dynamic strategic plan is always in front of you urging you on toward those goals.

5 – Strategic planning allows you to narrow your focus on the action items that will make you successful.  Keeping your eyes on the goal and the specific action steps needed to accomplish those goals will keep you from wasting time, money or other precious resources.

6 – Strategic planning will outline the ways you plan to measure your progress.  Nothing encourages more than steady, measurable progress.

7 – Strategic planning can be personalized so that it is YOUR plan, highlighting YOUR strengths, embracing YOUR passion and purpose.

Get your copy of my GPS for Life & Business Workbook at

Forget the Resolutions!

I hate New Year’s Resolutions!  If you are serious about making a change or changes in your life, don’t make a resolution — create a specific plan of action, build in accountability, and take action!!

Here are  Ten Questions to Start 2010

1.  What problem or seemingly overwhelming challenge did you conquer in the past year, and what is your greatest challenge or unsolved problem that exists in your life right now?

2. In what area of your personal or professional life would you consider yourself most improved, and what area will you focus on this year?

3. In which areas will you improve your personal, family, and spiritual life?

4. How are you going to maximize the use of your time? Where will you cut out the time-wasters in each day?

5. What task or projects have you been putting off that you will take care of within the next two weeks?

6. What challenge, wish or desire–that you’ve never attempted before–will you finally achieve this year and how will you do that?

7. Where are you going to write all of this down so you can review and revise your plans regularly?  When are you going to do that?

8. What will it LOOK like when you accomplish everything you’ve just been thinking about?

9. How good will it FEEL?

10. What will it SOUND like when you achieve these things?

Okay, here’s one more question…

What’s keeping you from doing all this??

Meaningful Purpose

I shouldn’t have been surprised.  There are seven traits of a “spiritual entrepreneur” identified by authors like Marsha Sinetar and Nikos Mourkogiannis or “conscious business owners” described by Fred Kofman:  inventive inclination, authentic focus, meaningful purpose, figuring out skills, risk taking effectiveness, strategic long term outlook, and spiritual intelligence.  Of the entrepreneurs taking my Spiritual Entrepreneurs survey, all of them felt they had a sense of “meaningful purpose”.   All the rest of the traits were rated in varying degrees, with risk-taking effectiveness being the lowest.  Purpose.  That sense of who you are, why you are here, what you are called to do.  It is an essential trait that, in my opinion, enables someone who is not all that comfortable with risk, to take a leap of faith and pursue the passion and vision that leads them to create a new business.

Have you found your purpose?  Are you fulfilling that calling?