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Ways We Hide – #1 of 6

By Rebekah Lawes

As a child, I loved playing hide and seek. While all my friends were arguing over who got to seek first, I was already hiding. I loved hiding; I could hide in plain site and my friends would walk right by me.

As an adult, I’m still hiding. There’s a lot I hide while in networking meetings, volunteering events, and  community occasions. I hide my fear that maybe I don’t belong there, that I don’t know enough for what is being asked of me, or that I am not enough.

When we hide, our core fear is that if others know the whole of who we are, we will be rejected. We will lose their love, acceptance, and belonging. So, we set up hiding places to protect the pieces of us that we don’t want others to see. Over the next 6 weeks, I will briefly share 6 ways we hide in hopes that you will notice them, appreciate the positive intentions behind them, and determine if they are keeping you from something you want.

#1 Physical Self
How do we know if we are using our physical self to hide?

  1.  Wearing clothing that is too big can be an indicator that we don’t feel good about our bodies. We may feel that if we can hide the spare tire, muffin top, or cellulite it somehow make us more lovable. Some positive intentions of wearing baggy clothing are hiding from others what we believe to be unacceptable in order to protect us from their judgment and rejection.

    2.  Feeling tired and skipping activities occasionally happens. However, regularly missing activities and conversations with the important people in our lives due to exhaustion can indicate we may be hiding. For example, if home is busy or crazy, instead of asking for support, we shut the other person out, too tired. A positive intention is to protect us from having to face something that feels scary, like asking for help or meeting new people.

3.  If we are hating our bodies to hide, we may say things like:

  • I’m not _______ enough to __________.
  • I’m not (thin enough) to (wear fashionable clothing).
  • I can’t be a ______, I don’t look the part.
  • I can’t be a (fitness trainer), I don’t look the part.
  • If I were _______, I could__________.
  • If I were (younger), I could (start a new career).

This type of hiding keeps us from new endeavors that offer us the opportunities to learn, grow, and live out our dreams. Some positive intentions are to protect us from judgment and failure.

If you feel you may be using your physical self to hide, just notice it. I invite you to be grateful for the part of you that wants to keep you protected from rejection, being judged by others, facing your fears, and failure.

Let yourself feel, just for a moment, “I am enough. There are unlimited possibilities for me.” If that feels uncomfortable (or like an outright lie) try this one: “I  just might be enough. There just might be unlimited possibilities for me.”  Just breath that in for a moment.

Next week, I will share how we use our emotional self to hide.

   Rebekah Lawes, Contributor

Rebekah is  a Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach with a degree in Marriage and Family Science, along with additional certifications in Relationship Education. Rebekah offers customized programs that use simple steps to achieve lasting changes at work and at home. 

Ways We Hide, #2 of 6

As a kid, I loved playing hide and seek. I remember the thrill that came with going undetected, especially when hiding in plain site. My heart would pound with anticipation, as I wondered if I would be seen. I can still remember the joyous laughter when I was found! I secretly wanted to be seen.

Playing hide and seek in my adult life isn’t as thrilling or joyous. When I hide in plain site, there is no thrill in being afraid to speak out in networking meetings,  fearing someone will ask me a question I can’t answer, or remaining invisible at community events. There are no childlike giggles on the way home from these events, knowing I went unseen yet again.

When we hide, our core fear is that if others know the whole of who we are we will be rejected, losing love, acceptance, and belonging. We set up hiding places to protect the pieces of us that we don’t want others to see. The fears that maybe we don’t belong, we don’t know enough, or that we are not enough leave us feeling un-valuable.

In this, the second of a 6 part series, I will briefly share another way we hide in hopes that you may notice it, appreciate the positive intentions behind it, and determine if it is keeping you from something you want.

#2 Emotional Self  – How do we know if we are using our emotional self to hide?

1. Perfectionism is one way we use our emotions to hide. We may focus on unimportant information and requisites, perpetually being in the “planning stages,” rather than beginning a project. We try to anticipate every possible problem to make things perfect, never taking action. Another indicator could be beginning a task or project and abandoning it at the first speed bump with the idea, “If no one sees me make a mistake, they will believe that I am enough.” Some positive intentions of perfectionism is to protect us from being judged and unlovable.

2. Being more comfortable with disappointment than things going well can be another indicator that we are using our emotions to hide. Rather than risking vulnerability and putting ourselves in a place to receive, we convince ourselves that rejection and humiliation are inevitable. When we disappoint ourselves before anyone else can, this feels much more comfortable than taking a chance on ourselves. Some positive intentions here are to protect us from feelings of rejection, humiliation, and wasting our time and efforts.

3. Waiting for the other shoe to drop because things are going too well is another way we may be hiding with our emotions. Rather than enjoying our successes and creating more of them, we live in fear that at any moment it could all end. This slows down our progress and steals our joy. The positive intentions are to protect us from feeling like a fraud, that someone else deserves it more, or that if we get “too big” others will cut us down in some way.

If you feel you may be using your emotional self to hide, just notice it. I invite you to be grateful for the part of you that wants to keep you protected from being judged, rejection,  humiliation, and wasted time and efforts.

Open up, release control and perfectionism and embrace faith. Let yourself feel, just for a moment, “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t control everything. But I know that I am enough and there are unlimited possibilities for me. There is something far greater than me helping me.” Just breathe that in for a moment.

Next time, I will share how we use our professional self to hide.

    Rebekah Lawes, Ideal Life Health Coaching

Why I Do This

Lately I’ve thinking a lot about the nature of work, and what work has meant to me throughout my life. I was an only child (don’t judge please!), so I grew up working alongside both my dad and my mom. I learned to build fence, drive a tractor, and knew the difference between a flathead screwdriver and a Phillip’s head when I was eight years old. But I also learned how to cook french toast and clean a bathtub around the same age. (I adored my dad, but I never saw him clean a bathtub.) My mom and dad pretty much followed the “traditional” gender-stereotypes when it came to the division of labor. I, on the other hand, learned about work on both sides of the fence.

So maybe that’s why I was, shall we say, “open-minded” and perhaps a bit naive when I left the world of the home, and entered the world of work outside the family farm. I won’t go into the details of all of my many and varied work experiences, but let’s just say I’ve had a very colorful work life. I’ve been a water skiing instructor, a waitress, a construction worker, a lifeguard, a receptionist, a court mediator, a newspaper reporter, a hospital social worker, and I’ve had my own clinical practice.

I’ve owned and sold businesses, and I’ve realized that parenting is probably the best and hardest job I’ve ever had. Throughout most of my working life and career I’ve been a single mother. And now, as I am experiencing the joys of being a grandmother (holy cow! am I really that old?), I have found myself reflecting on what working means to me, and particularly, why I have always been drawn to creating my own businesses.

Here’s what I’ve come up with: You see, contrary to what may seem obvious to most people, I have found that building my own business has presented the greatest challenges, offered the greatest opportunities, and ultimately provided the most security. That sounds crazy, right? That flies in the face of everything we’re told. You know, “Get good grades so you can get a good job.” Or, “Most people who go into business for themselves fail.” And all the rest.

But here is how I always looked at it. Where do jobs come from? (Kind of like the ‘where to babies come from’ question, only different…) And when I grew up I realized that jobs come from people who own started their own businesses! So. I can put my future in the hands of someone else who started a business (the restaurant owner, the construction company, and healthcare agency) or I can start my own. Granted, starting my own has taken a lot of work and planning, but at the end of the day I am sailing my own ship, directing my own future. And that’s how I like it.

If you have ever had the same sort of inkling – you know, that feeling of “I could do that!” Or, “Someday what I really wish I could do is open my own B and B …” or salon or coaching practice or coffee shop or whatever … Then please, please, please don’t be mislead by the naysayers who think that people who start their own businesses are crazy or irresponsible. In fact, you shouldn’t start your own business unless you are generally a responsible and well-grounded person. But you do have to be confident, you do have to be brave, and you have to be willing to do things that you haven’t done before. In other words, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable sometimes.

Okay, maybe more than sometimes. Because starting and running your own business can be crazy exciting and often scary. But really – it shouldn’t be. Somebody has to be in charge of that business you are working for. It might as well be you. True, not every business will be successful. Know anyone who’s been “down-sized” or the company they were working for went out of business? Know anyone who feels trapped in a job they can’t stand or feels stuck making just enough money to get by? How scary is that!?

As a woman, I have found that having the ability to earn an income, buy a house, go on a trip, take care of my kids – this has afforded me a tremendous sense of freedom and security that I cannot imagine living without. My prayer for you is that if you have the same dream, that you also will experience that ultimate goal of entrepreneurship: the freedom and independence that it can provide.

If I can help you in any way, just let me know!

To your massive success,
Shawn

Money Matters

To all my Sister Entrepreneurs:

Have ever privately wondered, as I have, if you have some gene or other born-this-way quality that seems to make money want to keep its distance from you? I assure you, you are not alone. And – fortunately! – if you’re convinced you were born to struggle financially, then you are dead wrong.

Here is the good news I want to share with you: It is not dumb luck or genes that ultimately separates us from our wealth. Turns out, it’s all in our heads. To be specific, it is in the tucked away little sub-conscious folds of our gray matter where early memories and beliefs were embedded early on and still dictate how we respond to the world, and to the subject of money and wealth.

Here is the even better news: Changing these sub-conscious beliefs and patterns is quite doable! The reason I know this? I could be the poster child for hidden negative money thoughts! This is an area where I have had to dig deep, in order to get out of my own way and heal my relationship with money.

I first dipped my toes in the water of dealing with my money weirdness after reading Jen Sincero’s book, You’re A Badass. What an eye-opener that was, and I love how Jen just puts it all out there. She has terrific insight and doesn’t pull any punches, and she’s funny as hell to boot.

Later on I had the privilege to meet Rebekah Lawes . Rebekah joined United Women Entrepreneurs and is a professional coach who knows how to help women make the shift that can make all the difference in our bottom line through her program, called Money Mirrors.

Here is the icing on the cake: Changing your relationship with money isn’t rocket science. It is mostly about really committing yourself to honest self-awareness about your belief systems – you know, the ones that were formed when you were just a little kid and absorbed whatever messages were intentionally or unintentionally given to you! And then your commitment to becoming intentional about changing the beliefs that aren’t accurate and don’t serve you well anyway.

It’s all about self-love, Sister.

Here’s to all of us who want to be good and do good, but sometimes get in our own way because of limiting sub-conscious beliefs. Look out, world! We’re kicking that habit and ready to claim all the good stuff the life has in store for us, including wealth and prosperity!

XOXO – Shawn

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out the free download “The Ultimate Factor” on the right for more insight about getting out of our own way.

Let’s Design Our Life

Hello everyone! Well … I am in the final stages of the Thanksgiving Holiday “process.” What is left of the turkey noodle soup has been put in the freezer, and I am digging out the Christmas decorations from the garage.

On this first day of the last month of the year, I have found myself feeling very thoughtful … looking forward to the year ahead … thinking about the lessons and highlights of 2017. One of the things I  planned to do, but never actually got around to was creating a Vision Board.

Those of you who have attended our Monday Mastermind may have heard me mention the powerful experiences I have had in the past when I have written down and visualized my goals for the future. I know this really WORKS! And wouldn’t you know it – during a recent mastermind meeting one of our members mentions that one of her many gifts is facilitating Vision Board workshops.

I just love it when God/The Universe offers just what I need, just when I need it … Sometimes all you gotta do is ask!

Pam Robinson will be facilitating our Vision Board workshop on Wednesday, December 13, at our usual meeting place: Hot Desk HQ481 N. Curtis Rd. in Boise. (This is an amazing shared office space, by the way – very affordable and also an awesome conference/meeting venue.)

This event is free for U.WE members! If you’re not a member yet, be sure to sign up – you will be able to attend our weekly Monday Mastermind, as well as our Monthly Event/Speaker series. You will also be added to our online directory, and be added to our private FB group.

If you’re not a member yet, no worries. You can drop in and attend the workshop for only $10. Bring a friend! Feel free to email me with any questions: info@unitedwomenentrepreneurs.com.

See you there! XOXO – Shawn

I am Grateful for YOU

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for being a part of our tribe of women uniting to launch businesses that make a difference in the world.

Wow, what a journey it’s been – have you felt it? If you’ve experienced the nervous excitement, the deep-down urge to bust a move, sometimes the discomfort, sometimes the elation of moving into your next business expression, you are not alone!

Growing into a successful entrepreneur takes great courage, and great effort. For some of us it’s one of the biggest transformations we’ll ever go through in our life. When you birth your business, it is exciting and scary and sometimes daunting. It is a process that we all experience, but sometimes it is difficult to trust the process…

There are new skills we are having to master all at once. We’re growing into our entrepreneurial selves… skills of coaching, healing, teaching or mentoring… along with technical, financial, marketing and business skills.

And, we’re learning to manage our schedules and our time.

Oh, and all of this is happening in a very dynamic social and political environment. (Yikes!)

The point is, you are doing something really big and really important. And no one should ever have to do something like that alone. We need each other.

You and I are on the cusp of a social and economic trend that is about to change everything. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned
firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase
among all businesses. Over the past nine years,
the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate
fully five times faster than the national average. This means we are in the midst of not only a business revolution, but also a cultural revolution.

Millions of people stay at jobs every year because they perceive a sense of the structure and safety in their job, a container they hope they can count on to hold their life. But now there is a large and growing community of women who understand that jobs exist  because some entrepreneur had an idea…

If you have made the decision or are in the process of making that transition into starting or owning your own business … then Congratulations! You’ve come to the right place. And there’s never been a better time to be a woman entrepreneur!

And again, Thank You. 

Thank you for all your contributions at our powerful Monday Mastermind meetings. Thank you for your courage, your vulnerability, and your brilliance. You help one another navigate the sometimes complicated road of entrepreneurship.

Thank you for your commitment. Your commitment to your own entrepreneurial dream and your commitment to one another. This was so profoundly evident at our First Annual U+WE=Success event this past July.

Thank you for your grit and determination. Often we find that the entrepreneurial road is not lined with cheerleaders and well-wishers. Sometimes it is downright lonely, and those we love the most fear we have lost our minds. It takes a certain kind of woman to stay the course, even when others can’t see the dream we’re about to realize.

Thank you, most of all, for helping me realize the most important take-away so far that I’ve discovered on this entrepreneurial journey. The One Thing that I’ve observed that makes the difference between reaching the destination, and getting pulled off course…

Staying Connected to Each Other 

Consistently staying connected with other women who are going for it alongside you is the One Thing I’ve observed that can make the difference between achieving the dream and giving up.

The women in our entrepreneurial membership become anchors for each other. When we are tired or confused and can’t see the forest for the trees, the women who are beside us on this journey can see see the path when we can’t. They help guide us toward our own light. They encourage and brainstorm during Mastermind meetings, attend each other’s  events,  collaborate with each other and become important sources for referrals.

There are feelings that we all have to feel on our own, but knowing you have others who are REALLY with you on this journey can be the difference between making it happen or not.

Loving you on this Thanksgiving Holiday.

Thanks for your courage and for all that you’ve said YES to.

Love,
Shawn

Power and Grace

Horses are Natural Teachers

As summer winds down, and my 12-year-old and I are getting ready to settle in to a new school year, I have been thinking about the role of teachers in our lives. I realize that I have had some wonderful teachers, both human and four-legged. And I am grateful to all of them.

I grew up as an only child on a large and somewhat remote ranch in southern Oklahoma, and also on our summer range in Homer Alaska. This may seem like an odd or lonely childhood, but to me it was almost idyllic. Animals were my friends, my companions, and some of my earliest and most influential teachers. Since I can remember, I have loved horses, and lived closely with them. Elegant, powerful, and intuitive – horses were some of my earliest teachers, and they have provided profound learning experiences throughout my lifetime.

Most girls probably go through a “horse-crazy” stage, and I was no different. I believe horses reflect to girls the power, grace and beauty that they inwardly long for, while external social forces are presenting complex, confusing, and often dis-empowering messages to girls approaching womanhood.

Horses are uniquely gifted in that they have no agenda for us: yet they instantly give us feedback regarding our inner lives and struggles. If we are frightened, distracted, excited, bored, uncomfortable, self-conscious, or joyful – this energy is instantly reflected back to us. The horse is a perfect mirror to our inner lives.

As a therapist, I have always been interested in the inner lives that we all experience – the running dialogue that is almost always churning inside our own heads. The conscious and sub-conscious stories that we tell ourselves. Often, I have observed that there is a profound “disconnect” between the narration going on in our heads, and what is the truth.

When I meet a new client, it may take weeks or even months for us to establish “rapport.” That is, for a client to feel a deep sense of trust for me, the therapist, and to truly believe that I have something to offer. It takes awhile before we can get down to honest self-observation, so we can begin re-working negative old stories (“I’m too bossy,” “My sister is the smart/pretty one,” etc.) It often takes quite a while just to learn to recognize what we’re really feeling.

But this “rapport-building” is almost instantaneous when people engage with a horse. When a person enters a space with a horse, they know that the horse has no agenda and no judgement. The horse can only be authentic. It responds automatically to a person’s energy.  It always shows us the truth. I learned that what may take months in the therapy office can happen in moments in the arena.

Horses have an incredible ability as healers, and also as mentors and teachers. As herd animals, horses are highly social, and are always relating to other horses and to us in terms of partnership – being a part of the “herd” – and leadership. Are you a competent leader? Can you keep me safe? Should I follow you? Horses are an ancient species, and their survival has depended upon their ability to accurately perceive and work out these relationships.

There is an almost magical, yet tangible connection between a human and a horse, when they are united in a common goal. It feels amazing. And once a person has experienced this, she realizes that she has tapped into her own innate power and grace. She has given the horse the very best she has to offer, and the horse is responding in kind. This is the essence of leadership.

I am so excited to be hosting the equine-assisted Women’s Leadership Weekend Oct. 7 and 8th here in McCall. To fully experience this, it is best to work in smaller groups, so the event is limited to 12 participants. Be sure to let me know right away if you are interested.

I wish you all a glorious autumn – and I am looking forward to seeing you again soon.

XOXO – Shawn

 

What Is Your Super Power?

Here’s A Confession:

When I began my entrepreneurial journey, I had no idea what I was doing. To be perfectly honest, wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do. But here is what I did know: I was a terrible employee (because I could not get happy about spending my time and effort to make someone else’s mortgage on their second home). And I had a deep, deep bent for thinking outside the box, pushing the edge of the envelope, so to speak.

Over the years, I had to “try on” different business ideas and business models, before I was able to get really clear about what was the “perfect fit.” Kind of like getting ready for a special day or occasion, and needing the perfect outfit – the one that feels just right, shows off your best features, and looks amazing. But that process for me was a bit messy, and at times my life was like my bedroom floor, littered with clothing that I tried on then discarded in the fray of getting ready to go out and be seen – the tops or skirts that seemed cute or fit fine when I acquired them, but in the moment of truth were just not the right thing.

I floundered around a bit before I figured out what was the perfect fit – what I really, really wanted to do with my short time here on the planet. What I learned, and what the most successful entrepreneurs know, is this gem: It’s absolutely essential that you are clear on what your overarching goals are and what’s most important to you. Sometimes this is referred to as your “Why,” or your mission statement. But whatever you call it, know this: You must have a clear picture of what drives you, because that deep conviction is ultimately what will make or break your business.

As a woman entrepreneur, I know that there are a gajillion other things and people pushing and pulling you – competing for your time and attention – and if you are not perfectly clear and connected to your Big Picture, your business will just dawdle along, and never be fully realized. Eventually your business will most likely fizzle. But when you have a clear purpose for your business, you can use that vision as a filter to sift all your existing tasks and activities through.

When you are clear about your Why/Big Picture/Mission and you are consciously aligned with this every day, you will find yourself in the “Zone.” You know what I mean – when you look up and realize you’ve been so totally absorbed in this activity that hours have gone by, and you didn’t even realize it. Nothing could distract you, because you were so fully attending to what you were doing that it was almost like being in a different place. That is where the magic happens, and that is where you are most effective in your business.

The trick, of course, is to marry these two: Your Business + Your Why = Happiness and Success. When I confessed to you that I didn’t know what I was doing when I started out as an entrepreneur, what I really should have told you is this: I didn’t trust myself enough to connect to passion, which is my Super Power!

My passion for writing, for creating connections and community, and for allowing my gift with horses to be a part of all that – it didn’t seem realistic somehow. So instead, I tried to do what I saw other successful people doing – following their path instead of my own. I had some success, but it was never really the right fit. I did not discover real success until I just went for it. I let myself succumb to who I really was. Thank goodness!

So what compromises have you made to try to fit into a certain mold or model of success? When you think back to yourself as a little girl, what did you do in your free time? What activities did you get “lost” in? What did you daydream about doing or becoming? What subjects did you like in school? If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do with your time and resources?

Exploring these questions will help you connect to your own, unique gifts, abilities and passion. And this connection is your Super Power! I promise, when you are clear on what motivates, moves, and inspires you, and you are connected to that inner wisdom every day, your own unique Super Power will be activated. Then look out world! There is nothing more powerful than a woman who believes in her own unique gifts and abilities and is channeling them fearlessly through her life and her work!

To Your Awesome, Super Self

Shawn

You Won’t See Results Until You Know Your “Why”

In just two days we’ll meet for our First Annual U+WE=Success Event on Tuesday, July 25th from from 10:30-4:30 at the beautiful Chateau des Fleurs in Eagle. I’m so excited! And a little giddy …

If you’ve purchased a ticket, then get ready! This is going to be like no other women’s business event you’ve ever attended. (If you’re not able to join us this year, don’t fret. We’ll be getting together throughout the year.)

One of the areas we’ll be touching on next week has to do with connecting, on a deep-down level, to your ‘Why.’ Because unless you have a clear vision of your Why, those old foes (procrastination, self-doubt, self-defeating habits …) will always win out over your efforts toward success.

But if you’ve been working on launching your business or moving your business to the next level for awhile (or you’re striving to achieve some other personal goal), you may have noticed that getting clear on your Why is easier said than done.

Here’s the problem. It seems like the Why is totally obvious. So obvious, that you don’t even need to spend time pondering it. Of course I want to have success!

Why? Because I’m tired of tumbleweeds blowing through my bank account. I’m tired of just getting by and living on cup-o-noodles at the end of every month. I want to travel. I want to put my kids through college. I want to help people. The list goes on and on.

The thing is, we actually spend more time focusing on what we’re worried about (paying the cell phone bill this month, not having anything stashed away for retirement, paying for that new set of snow tires we know we’re going to need) – than we spend thinking about, and feeling grateful for, the abundance that is there waiting for us!

In other words, our Why seems like – Duh! Of course I want to be successful! But in the meantime, the squirrels in our brains run around and around, focusing our energy and thoughts on what is lacking, and what we’re worried about.

Instead, we need to take the wheel with both hands, grab a gear, and consciously steer our thoughts in the direction we want to go. We need to intentionally, mindfully, create thoughts about having and achieving those things we want. We need to see  them in our mind’s eye, so to speak, and feel the emotions that come up when we have our heart’s desire.

These feelings and emotions are your real Why. They are powerful. You may not even have words to express them. That’s alright. The important thing is, you connect with those feelings, and you stay connected as much as you can. When you do, you will find yourself moving toward your goal, and your old foes like fear and procrastination won’t stand a chance against your powerful feelings of happiness and gratefulness.

We’ll put this idea into practice on Tuesday. But you don’t have to wait to start connecting to your Why. Spend at least 5 minutes a day in sheer bliss, visualizing and seeing all the goodness and abundance that is coming to you. Wherever you want to be, picture yourself already there. Oh, the squirrels will run around and try to distract you … just gently nudge them aside and re-focus on your Why.

When you do, you will be amazed at how things will shift. Ideas and opportunities will come your way, and you will find yourself in the flow of abundance.

To Your Massive Success – Shawn

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash