I fell in love with my life again

About the same time as the financial crisis, my personal life was going down the toilet as well.  I felt like I was being punched from all sides.  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, unhappy, frustrated and down right miserable.

I had so many fires burning, I did not know which one to put out first.  It dawned on me, that many of the challenges I was facing were outside my control.  But, there were a few things I could do to improve how I was feeling.

I started investing in myself. investing in myself

First, I went to the people I loved and that gave me emotional support.  I told them that I had things I had to do that required a positive mental outlook.  I could not be around anyone that was negative!  This did not mean if someone had an issue that I did not want to hear it and encourage them to work toward a solution.  But negativity – the for the sake of negativity – is not something I could be around.  What I had to do required positivity.

Then, I listened to the advice I was given.  I began taking some quiet time for myself; by myself.  This gave me time to regenerate and refresh.  I used this time to do something that was restful and relaxing.  By doing this weekly, I began to attach the challenges with a renewed vigor and confidence.  Little by little my energy stores were being increased.

Finally, I started exercising weekly.  Let me be clear- I HATE exercising! But what I realized in the process of doing something I hate, I became more self disciplined. My stress level was much more manageable and I looked better.  (Always a plus.)

It’s been a process for the last 4 years.  I can’t say I haven’t fallen off the wagon occasionally, but I always get back on.  I know that the results are worth it.

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Until recently, fear was not a word I associated with myself…

But truly, looking back, I did not have a good understanding of fear, especially my own!

Coming from a veeerrrrryyyyy small town, I did not let anything hold me back.  While most kids were doing what all kids did growing up, I traveled alone – went from rural small town to large city for school – sang and traveled with a musical group.  I really just wanted to get out of town and experience other things.  People were really amazed when I went back home to hear what I had done.

fearHowever, my fear did not come from being alone, trying new things, going places that I did not speak the language.  My fear came from being judged. I was afraid that someone would see my weaknesses – that I would see my  imperfections.

Perfectly dressed, educated, driven to succeed, the best employee, and later I added the perfect wife, mother, worker, friend, volunteer.  I surrounded myself with people that needed me, that way maybe they wouldn’t see my weaknesses.  I know this sounds harsh.  Even writing it makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I also had friends that were trying to live up to that perfection game as well.  As a whole, we were unfulfilled, felt unloved, felt we were not enough and judged ourselves more severely than anyone one else ever could.

At the end of the day, I was just not enough….

Then I heard Brené Brown describe perfectionism like this:

“When perfectionism is the in the driver’s seat, shame is riding shot gun and fear is in the back seat!”

WOW, did this resonate with me.  Now, to get to why I used this perfectionism as my shield, I was going to have to spend some time looking at the shame and fear.

Over the last three years, I have come to understand how fear and shame shaped me.  I had to get real with it and then allow myself to let it go. When I finally acknowledged my own fear and shame, it seemed rather silly and unrealistic.

Today when I hear the nasty voices of fear and shame, I remind myself of who I am today.  Not the person shame and fear want me to be.  I still struggle, but when it starts I make sure that I tell myself the same kind words I would say to a friend.

Do you struggle with fear?  Shame?

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Failure! One of the scariest words a person can hear…

Even just saying the words leads us right down the path of judgement.  It’s ok when it is someone else, but for goodness sake, don’t let that be me!

Zig Zigler said Fear has two meanings: “Forget everything and run or face everything and rise.”

failure, Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustThe choice is yours……

If we change how we view the word failure, then the fear we associate with it will disappear.

First, failure is inevitable! When you are learning something new, you will have to try and try again. Wonder how many times you fell down when you were learning to walk?

Failure is not permanent unless you don’t try again. Keep trying until you are successful.

The most successful people have failed more times than they have experienced success.

The most important thing to remember when you fail is what you tell yourself after the attempt.  Such as – what did you learn? – how can you improve the next attempt?

Finally, don’t let the judgement of others hold you back. They are judging you because they don’t have the courage to try themselves!

Let the word ‘failure’ symbolize just one more step on the journey to success.

Creating a buzz……..¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Brené Brown is one of my favorite speakers/authors..

I am in the process of reading another book Brené Brown has written.

This book is titled Daring Greatly.  She has quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

When you are going where no one else has gone before you in your group or family – becoming an entrepreneur, creating art or music, or taking risk on an investment, look for feedback and encouragement from someone that is in that arena.

Loved ones, friends and family, might not be the best people to seek council or advise — as much as they might have your best interest at heart – but being in the arena requires taking risks, being courageous, following your heart and most people do not do this.  They live a safe life from the bleachers.

If you are going to live YOUR life, do so from inside the arena and pay no attention to those that might judge you from the sidelines.

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Money, Money, Money – Money!

This song rings in my head as I am writing this post…

Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustRecently, I was coaching my team about how to overcome the objection, “I don’t have enough money.”  It reminded me that in my years of helping people manage the risks of everyday life, how little people understood about money.

Specifically, how money creates power, independence and security.

My first observation is personal.  With the development of debit cards, we have become a society that mindlessly swipes.  When we do this, we really don’t know how much money we are spending on things like coffee, fast food and snacks on the run.  I recently reviewed my spending for the year.  I realized that when they put the Starbucks right by my house, I was going everyday.  At the cost of $5 per day – 5 x 365 = $1825.  However, many of those days I had at least one of my kids with me.  Now we were up to $10.  I am guessing I probably spend $2400 per year on drinks…. OMG.  That pays off a credit card.

When I started talking to some of my team members, they looked at their spending and realized they were mindless spending on things that were really adding up – small things purchased everyday – and at the end of the week how little money they had left.

Now, as a team we are not going without the things we love, just going about it differently -like making our own coffee, eating home more often, and no impulse purchases.  The minimum one of us found was $2400.

Now you are wondering, how does this create power, independence and security?

*It allows us to save for things and not have to borrow the money in crisis.

  • We can shop for the best bargain
  • Having money in savings means our family is in a better position to cover things like illness, loss of job etc.
  • When we prepare for the future, we are creating a life of independence instead of always asking for help – either from banks, family of friends
  • We demonstrate to our children what fiscal responsibility looks like
  • We become better educated in how credit and interest works so that we are a smarter consumer

Look at your budget. What are you mindlessly swiping your card for?

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you!

B— S—!!!!!

Words hurt a lot, especially when they come from someone you love.  They have a lasting effect and create open wounds that may never close.  There are people in your life that you assume you are safe to be vulnerable with.  But when those are the people that use that information as a weapon against you, the effect can be lasting; if you let it.

That is what this blog post is about.  How do we put those incidents into perspective with who we know we arKim Brust, Kimberly Bruste?

I struggle with this as well.  I am not sure that I have found the right way yet. But one thing I do when plagued with these thoughts is to remind myself of the good things people have said to me.  I also remind myself of the things I know to be true about me.  Finally, I reflect on the incident that may have led up to those words. Many times these incidents reflect a high stress and worry. People don’t always act their best at this time. Then FORGIVE!

I have developed a mantra to help me move through self doubt. I tell myself this as many times as it takes.

I also remember that words matter and choose my own words carefully!

How do you heal the wounds created by words?

Creating a buzz ¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

 

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Let me dispel the myth…no one can be perfect at everything

Let me dispel the myth.  No one can be perfect at everything or, for that matter, anything.  No one can have it all….

Kim Brust, Kimberly Brust, Feel LostLooking at all my successful, motivated female friends I realize that so many of us are unhappy.  Why?  Many of us have successful careers, raised our children and they are moving to independence, in good relationships, have a lovely home and drive a nice car – so why are we so unhappy?

We lost ourselves along the way.  We made life more about gaining things and the appearance of the perfect life.

Our day began before the sun with 1 hour on the treadmill,  pack the lunches and get the kids to school, work 8 hours determined to win the next award, pick kids up and take them to the next after school activity, then home to help with homework, make dinner, clean up, tuck the kids into bed then spend the last few minutes with our husband.  We have done this everyday for so many years we stopped counting.  Don’t get me wrong, the weekends are no different. We have filled those two days to the brim as well.

As we pass the mid point of our lives, we start to question, what next?  This leads us to the next question, who am I?  What do I like?  What do I fill up my time with? Why am I so tired?

In order to move forward, some times we need to be still.  Remember what we used to be like before we filled our life with all the busy activities we thought we needed to do.  And may I say…without asking for help…even from our husbands, unless absolutely necessary.

If you feel you have lost yourself, take time to be still and let your mind wander.  Create some quiet space for you. I have done this by going out to the pool and just floating.  It lets my mind drift over ideas and thoughts that have helped me get to know myself again.  Regular time to be alone with yourself will help visualize your life and what it takes to make it a happy one.

Creating a buzz….¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

 

 

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How to find happiness in a chaotic world…

Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustI have always been a person that has a list of things to do each day. Buzzing here and there. Don’t get me wrong, crossing things off my list of things to do gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Many of my friends comment, “How do you get so much done in a day…?”  Scheduling and a reliable car!

Recently however, I was told by my coach that I needed to take time for myself.  What? I don’t have time: three kids, business, home, volunteer work, blogs to write, family …. he insisted that I incorporate time for myself into my life on a regular basis.

What I discovered was that this was like putting sugar in a pie.  Without sugar my pie was not so sweet.  Surely the fruit and the crust are good but the flavor was not what you expected.  Time with yourself allows you to add the sugar to your pie!

It is that time you get in touch with who you are, what you are passionate about and ultimately to consider your journey.

Things that won’t happen when you take time for yourself:

*kids won’t suffer –  just the opposite

*you will feel guilty – you will at first but stay the course!

*no one will think you are selfish – they will see you as an example

Things that will happen:

*your significant other will look forward to being with the new you and you will enjoy that more as well.

*you will have time to develop your passion and your dreams

*you will be more engaged in your life

*happy mom = happy kids/significant other!

*more productive at work

*greater life satisfaction

*your stress level will go down for longer periods of time – as if your mind knows it is coming

This is your daily/weekly vitamin.  Taken at regular intervals will add to your overall well being.

Creating a buzz¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

 

 

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Fitting in

Fitting inWhen did we become so obsessed with fitting in?  Being just like all of our peers? We talk about being unique and loving ourselves. We even fill up Facebook with inspirational quotes to remind us.  Yet, from my view point, we are obsessed with fitting in than standing out of the crowd.

What do I mean?  Let’s take kids, for example:

Dress like everyone else, speak the same language, have the same phone etc.  Now while fitting in, have the best grades, be the best football player, be the most popular….etc. So what happens to the kid that is trying to fit in but cannot stand out in the most acceptable areas?

Similar things happen in the work place as well:

Someone who wears the blue suit, white shirt and red tie but is not the stellar salesman but keeps the computer systems up and running day in and day out.  Fitting in but not standing out…..

Fitting in is like putting an emotional stopper on who we are.  It is a constant reminder that our differences may bring the kind of attention that scares us.  So to remain somewhat invisible, we conform.  This takes the joy out of being able to be the person we were meant to be.

How are you conforming? How has it limited your joy?

Stand out!  Be the unique person you were meant to be.

Creating a buzz ¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

 

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How have text messages changed your communication?

Communication has changed drastically in the past 15 years.  There was a day when all we had was snail mail or phone call.  Then we faxed and email came along, offering new options to contact each other.  Now we have text and instant message on our mobile devices.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This has left many of us confused about the meaning behind the words or even better how long it takes to respond.

text messagesA few years ago I started using text messages with my kids. At dinner, one of the kids asked me why are you always so mad when you respond to my text?  Then the other kids chimed in that they felt the same way.  I was totally taken aback.  I said, ” I’m not mad, why do you say that?”

They told me that my answers were so short, one word, and no extra words (and as I am sure you have figured out, I am a talker…) What I was hearing was that my text communication was very different from the way I communicated in person. By the way, I thought that was what a text was for.  They suggested that I use emojis so that they could know what I was feeling.

Ok, I sure did not want people to misunderstand my text so I started using emojis.  Then one night I sent a text to a male friend and used the winky face emoji.  OH MY GOSH,  my kids advised me that this emoji meant I wanted to have sex….. that meant I had to clarify that emoji with my friend.  You can only imagine the awkwardness of that conversation.

Then when do you respond to a text?  I think that there is a time limit on what is an appropriate response time and I think that is different based on age and lifestyle.  However, if you have the read receipt notification on and you don’t respond means “**** ***.”  Wow,  what an eye opener that was.  What if I could not respond right then? What if I needed to check something before I responded?  What if I wanted to consider it?

I have finally come down to this rule, when in doubt make a call – tone of  voice, verbal responses give you the additional information that is needed before you make an assumption.

How have text messages changed your communication?

Creating a buzz ¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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