Monthly Archives: November 2014

Getting nitty-gritty about gratitude

In honour of US Thanksgiving, I am trying out a new gratitude practise today (via Marie Forleo).  Turns out the more specific and detailed we are about what we are grateful for, the more impact it has on us and contributes to our well-being.

I am truly grateful for all of the people who put themselves and their experiences out there so the rest of us can learn from them.  It could be in any field: health, emotional well-being, success… whatever.  They overcame their personal hurdles and told us about it so we wouldn’t have to feel alone or figure out the same stuff all by ourselves.

In fact, that is exactly why I write about success on my website – not because I know it all, it is because majority of success comes from the six inches or so between our ears.

“Ninety percent of the game is half mental.”
-Yogi Berra, American baseball legend

Despite my book-smart big brain, I have had a LOT of beliefs and behaviours that were not serving my quest to be successful, to make a difference in this world.  I had to get the frick out of my own way (many, many times).

I share my journey so that if you’re stuck where I’ve been stuck, you can unequivocally say to yourself “if she can do it, I can do it!”.  So that if you’ve been there and got the t-shirt, you’ve got company.

Specifically, here are a few of the teachers I am grateful to (and for):

T. Harv Eker.  I am grateful to him (and his team) for really opening my eyes and having such a direct, in your face approach.  It was what I needed to wake up and start understanding the meaning of self-responsibility (as in I create my life, life doesn’t happen to me).  I still use many of the tools he teaches in his free seminar the Millionaire Mind.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Marie Forleo.  Marie really supports and encourages entrepreneurs in her B-school program and her free videos on YouTube.  While the course is fantastic and definitely helped me, I love quotes and she gives a few doozies in B-school that really had some immediate shifts for me.  This one by Martha Graham rocked my world and helped me deal with my terror of putting myself out there as a clothing designer.

Jack Canfield. I thought of myself as a big thinker until I read his book The Aladdin Factor and undertook the task of writing 101 wishes of the things I wanted to be, to do and to have.  The first time around it was hard to get past twenty!  It was absolutely the antidote for thinking small.

Tim Ferriss.  I laughed my way through the Four Hour Work Week.  He presents such great tools and ways of reframing what is possible in all of his books.  I am so grateful for the clarity I got around my hidden desire to be full-out and engaged in projects and then take mini-retirements, instead of toiling away for someday.  I love how he is all about results, and getting results fast.  My impatient self is very appreciative.

My grandfather.  While he didn’t always practise what he taught, there isn’t very much that I’ve put into practise that he didn’t tell me about first.  He definitely primed the pump so I was ready for all of my later teachers and tried to give me the foundation to fulfill the greatness he saw inside me.

Do you have a favorite person, book or course that really shaped your path to success or helped you overcome a personal issue?  I’d be honoured if you’d share in the comments below.

To your success,
Melanie
CEO & Founder, Front Room
More than clothes, confidence.™

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Perfectionist? I know your dirty little secret.

If you call yourself a perfectionist, you’re not alone.  I am a recovering perfectionist myself.

Oh, perfectionism has its perks:  high standards and expectations of quality, attention to detail, a striving to always be better.  You’re the go-to person to get things done because people know you’ll get it done right the first time.

As a result, many perfectionists wear this trait as a badge of pride.  I know I did.

The switch got flipped for me when I heard this:

 “If you consider yourself a perfectionist, listen up.  You aren’t really a perfectionist, you’re an imperfectionist.  You don’t go around looking for everything that is right and perfect, you go around looking for the flaws and how things are falling short of your expectations.”  (paraphrasing mine, via T. Harv Eker)

That statement stopped me in my tracks.

After all, I thought of myself as a positive person.  Positive people don’t go around looking for what’s wrong with everything.  And yet it was true.  I did look for flaws and ways things could be improved, mostly in myself but inevitably in others too.  Oh, and things too.  Did you notice that picture is a tad crooked?

It got me to thinking about the dark side of perfectionism, how it might not be so key to my success.  After all, focusing on the negative is the exact opposite of what successful people are supposed to do.

Some of the bad habits that go along with perfectionism:

  • Procrastination and its cousin paralysis by analysis come into effect a lot when everything needs to be just so.  Often guilty as charged.
  • Failure to launch.  Younger me would get so overwhelmed by the all of the grand ideas I had for a project that I would start and stall out or worse, I wouldn’t even try for fear of disappointing someone or fear of it not being good enough.
  • Inability to internalize the ‘attagirl, unless the execution was flawless.  They loved it but I’m still thinking about the font mistake on page 6.   Saying thank you without qualification and owning it is still one of my biggest challenges.

If you’re thinking that this sounds pretty closely related to the impostor syndrome, you’d be right.  According to Ms. Young, perfectionism is one of the coping strategies to help us impostors to avoid being found out.

In my next post, I’ll let you in on some of the strategies I use to get out of my own imperfectionist way.

To your success,
Melanie
CEO & Founder, Front Room
More than clothes, confidence.™

New to Front Room?  Want more content like this?  Want early access to our sales, pre-buy opportunities for upcoming styles and *free return shipping? Get on the list here for your all-access pass.