And before the call, we have another wonderful guest post. Today is the so lovely and smart Nathalie Lussier, a digital strategist who helps entrepreneurs take their businesses Off The Charts online. She’s also the creator of the 30 Day List Building Challenge, a free step by step video training to help you grow your list. She’s also the co-founder of AmbitionAlly, home of the first polite popup plugin on the web. For me, Nathalie makes technology make sense. She’s a lovely person too! Welcome.
You Are The Visionary: How To Create The Life You Want, Without Upper Limits
I’m really honored to be sharing with you what I’ve learned over the past 5 years of creating the life I want, while navigating the different obstacles and upper limitations that I had to dissolve. I’m truly grateful to have built a business that’s not only thriving, but is an expression of my gifts and talents, and helps thousands of people all over the world.
It didn’t start out that way, and I’ve had to learn to adjust course many times in my life and business.
I like to think I choose my life by being very intentional, taking time out from the day-to-day stuff to reflect, and by remembering that we’re on a spiral staircase… and that nothing is ever really done.
One thing that helps anchor me and reminds me that this is my life to create is taking stock of how I’m feeling every day, and also looking at my year ahead. Because I’m wired to achieve, it’s sometimes easy for me to fall into the trap of just “doing more” and checking off even more things on my big life or business to-do list.
I need to continuously check in on what I’ve decided I want for myself. For me, that means writing down goals, both big things like how I want to grow my business or what products we’re working on next, and little things like how often I want to go swimming or read novels for fun.
I’ve done many exercises like writing down what I want my ideal day to look like and yearly goal-setting planning… and each one brings in a different dimension and helps me live my life as deeply as I can, without taking on other people’s “shoulds”.
For example, when I was in University studying software engineering, I had this nagging sense that I didn’t want to pursue a full time job in the field. I looked around at all my peers who were excited about their upcoming careers, and I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate the path I was on.
I knew that if I took the full time job I had been offered as a programmer at a big bank on Wall Street, I’d wake up in 20 years and wonder where my life had gone. It felt like a treadmill life, and I didn’t want to let myself lose that little voice inside that knew there was more than just lots of work and drinking with coworkers to forget the horrors of the day.
When I turned down that job offer to start my own business right out of college, it was risky. My friends didn’t get it. My parents were more than a little worried. But ultimately, I knew I had made the right choice.
I’ve had to make similar “nonsensical” decisions like that in my business since then, like discontinuing popular services or products, and even moving from a totally comfortable place to live to one that felt more welcoming to my ideal lifestyle.
Listening to What Calls You
Recently my husband and I decided to move to the outskirts of Dallas, Texas from our small apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I had a desire for more space, more quiet, and a slower pace of life. We’re also getting ready to have a family, and my husband and I are partnering in some new business software projects and we wanted more office space than the living room could afford.
I didn’t know where I wanted to move, but I had that yearning.
I let myself explore all the possibilities and made notes about all the places that were interesting to me.
That desire to move and expand had been simmering for awhile, and at first I had thoughts that I’d absorbed from the world around me like: moving is going to be so much work, it’s going to be expensive, can you afford a whole house, why leave NYC when it’s so perfect, or do you even know anyone where you’re moving?
But I blocked out those thoughts and kept the conversation positive with my husband, and we settled on a few top locations to visit. We loved the first one, and within 4 months we had found, visited, and bought our dream home in Texas horse country.
Shadow Comforts Can Zap Your Energy
One shadow comfort I have is to watch documentaries on Netflix while eating dark chocolate or snacking on something absentmindedly. Documentaries usually cause me to have an emotional hangover after watching, because they’re so strongly designed to change our opinions about certain topics like health, politics, business, and people.
I’m usually sad, outraged, or wanting to take action after watching and my husband usually has to walk me off the emotional ledge.
The absent minded eating is also a part of it, and it usually zaps my energy, too. One thing that helps me change or avoid these shadow comforts is to just close my eyes in a relaxing position when I feel the need to “check out” from my day to day life coming on.
I’m also a fan of the Franklin method balls, and I roll on the floor with balls to help unknot tension in my back and shoulders. I’ve recently fallen in love with essential oils, and I have a few drops of “calm” mixed with water in a spray bottle that I spray when I feel myself getting a little edgy or punchy and it works wonders.
Focusing On What You Can Affect
One thing I learned early on with goal setting is that if you set yourself up for “failure” with your goals, it can be demoralizing. So instead of focusing on things that I can’t control, I focus on the efforts that I’m making. I can’t guarantee how many clients or sales I’ll make, but I can focus on the quality of my marketing and answering people’s questions intentionally.
Another practice that helps anchor me and move through upper limits is to really focus on what I’m grateful for every day.
When you’re grateful for your current experience, it helps you remove the friction you might be experiencing while trying to create a different life or achieve new things. It also helps you relax, and act from a place of safety instead of worry or anxiety.
Plus, it rewires you to believe that you can handle the good things when they come your way. This is huge for many of us that have absorbed cultural conditioning that “you can’t have it all” or that “it all sounds too good to be true”.
I hope you’ll keep taking this practice of intentionality, gratitude, and focusing on what you can influence in your life. It’s usually more than you think.
Over to you now…
I’d love to hear which part of my story resonate the most with you. Is there one specific method or tip that you plan to try out in your life? Leave a comment and let me know!
Sweetly practical Nathalie. I especially love how you talk about listening to your desire to move. And how you practice self-care. Thank you so much.