Monthly Archives: November 2015

Dreaming of a Perfect Holiday?

Dreaming of a Perfect HOliday

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to get sucked into the quicksand of “perfect” at this time of year. As a recovering perfectionist I have to be vigilant about superwoman syndrome* at the holidays.

Whether it is the near-constant media pressure to pick out the perfect gift, have the picture-perfect family holiday or setting our intentions for a flawless 2016, expectations of ourselves and others are high.

We also compare ourselves to our past and to others while taking stock of the year. This process can degrade from constructive evaluation to beating ourselves up pretty quickly, increasing the pressure to up our game.

It is easy to get derailed in doing more and more to quell the fears that we’re falling short or worse, failing entirely.

Here’s how I get a grip:

Stop. Comparing. It is a well-documented fact that happiness is relative – we’re happy with what we have until we see that somebody has more, then somehow we’re less happy. One of the best cures is gratitude. When I get nitty-gritty about gratitude and my stress melts like snowflakes on my tongue.

Play by my own rules, not what society dictates I “should” do. Come back to your core priorities, the ways you want to feel most of the time (great tool : the Desire Map workbook by Danielle LaPorte, free in December). If what you’re stressing about acing isn’t one of those 3-5 things and doesn’t serve you in getting there, ditch it. If you can’t bail, do it justice and move on.

Practice the art of saying no, politely and with integrity (no white lies). Thanks to Marie Forleo for this gem from Bob Burg who dishes on how NOT to say no, along with his script for declining with class.

I hope you can pause during the holidays to gently redirect, recharge and fully absorb how much you accomplished this year.

All the best for a wonderful holiday, whatever your wonderful is.
To your success,
Melanie
Founder & CEO
Front Room

*You know… the superwoman who can do it all without breaking a sweat! Make the from-scratch allergy-free** four-course meal plus allergy-free cookies, treats and snacks; evaluate the business and get the upcoming years’ strategic plan done; find the just-right hostess gifts to go to the parties with the great hair, makeup, manicure, outfit and shoes; remember my networking tips because at heart I’m an introvert and homebody; make sure the wrapping paper doesn’t clash with the tree décor because I’m a bit neurotic that way; read  and apply all those books I’ve been meaning to read to grow my business… on and on.

** I’m trying to figure out if I have food allergies or possibly an auto-immune condition.  I am allergic to corn for sure and currently avoiding gluten and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc.)  Turns out corn is in pretty much everything, including gluten-free foods (corn is gluten free) and baked goods (most baking powder has cornstarch in it).

Myth-Busting & Mentors

Melanie Love & Sandra Sing Fernandes

Melanie Love & Sandra Sing Fernandes

I grew up believing the myth of the self-made (wo)man.

One part of how this myth shaped me focused on the “self-made” part. I truly believed that to succeed and to have actually earned that success, you had to do it all yourself. This came with a sidecar: that asking for help was absolutely verboten .

I was lucky enough to work for some very successful men in my early 20’s. I saw that if they had a problem, they picked up the phone and call someone for help. They didn’t ruminate or get stuck trying to figure it out themselves – their only thought was who they would call first.

The first time I saw this my ill-informed younger self thought “Geez, this guy doesn’t do anything himself, he’s always calling for help. What an impostor!” Thankfully the Universe was persistent in providing examples for me and I worked for other successful men who did the SAME thing.

It dawned on me that this wasn’t a failure – it was the key to their success! There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. It takes all kinds of help to be successful in life. Unfortunately, a lot of us aren’t great at asking for help. We don’t want to look dumb, weak or incompetent.

It takes a village: a team working with us towards our goals, advisors to keep us out of trouble, been-there-done-that mentors to show us the way, accountability partners to hold our feet to the fire, friends and family to cheer us on and dust us off when we’ve hit the dirt.

So when I put my hand up (via a social media contact) and got the opportunity to have lunch with an Alberta business icon, I chose Sandra Sing Fernandes – named one of Alberta Venture magazine’s Top 50 Most Influential People for 2015.

A former model and graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Sandra worked her way up in the fashion and art worlds. She is the founder and Creative Director of Western Canada Fashion Week and the Editor-in-Chief of Phabrik Magazine.

A free hour with an industry mentor? Sign me up!

I resisted the urge to try and impress her, instead laying my problems and obstacles at her feet along with my vision for the future. It worked – one hour turned to three. I got all sorts of feedback and even better, an open door to ask her about my future issues.

Who do you call for help? Do you have all the cast required for your epic production? Where else do you need support?  Leave a comment below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

To your success,
Melanie & Front Room HQ

To read the full interview, click here.

For more on mentorship and success check out the article links we’ve gathered on our Movin’ On Up Pinterest board here.  We’ve also got outfit suggestions that are corner-office ready and the handbags to go with it.