stepping out of comfort zone

The Power of Play

I was talking with a friend recently and we fell into a discussion about how perfectionism and wanting things “just so” often slowed us down, or kept us from moving forward altogether.

He then told me a beautiful story about how he had been building with blocks with his young daughter. He was so focused on creating a solid structure that he found himself constructing a perfect pyramid. This was incredibly annoying to his daughter who seemed to be far more interested in playing with the blocks and having fun. Finally, my friend succumbed as his daughter convinced him to build something “her” way.

What they ended up constructing swayed back and forth and teetered on the edge of collapse but ironically reached far greater heights than any of his previous efforts had.block tower

We laughed as he shared this story because it illustrated the “power” of play and the importance of having the freedom to be creative and ‘color outside the lines.’ It made me contemplate the new heights I could reach if I threw the rule book aside once in a while and gave myself permission to play just for play’s sake.

I’ve decided it’s way more important than I had imagined and I’m determined to incorporate more of the spirit of play into both my professional AND personal arenas.

How often do YOU play?

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Some of the topics of focus in her practice as a professional life coach are assisting and supporting individuals that are stay at home parents (stay at home moms and dads are constantly forced to adapt to their current circumstances as their children grow and change) as well as those returning to work. Laurie works with people reentering the workforce who are unsure of their direction and interested in cultivating professional development skills and support.

Laurie also provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no and setting boundaries.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.  Laurie is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the New Jersey Professional Coaches Association (ICF-NJ).

What are YOU worth?

I just returned from my second 2-day trip to San Francisco. These trips are for the purpose of developing my business. It is there that I met a supportive group of people and my own coach, who holds a vision for me and my business even when I have my moments of doubt.

small invest in yourself

These trips are a big expense in terms of time, money and energy. It takes me a full day to get to these seminars. I fly home on the red-eye so as not to “lose” an extra day but I just can’t seem to sleep on the flights home because I’m so pumped up from the meetings and feel so ready to move on my new and improved initiatives. However, I usually pay the price the following day when lack of sleep and not knowing what day it is begins to mess with me.

Flights are expensive and so are hotels and, of course, there is the cost of the program itself. But it’s worth it. And here’s why –

This is time set aside solely for me and my business. There are no distractions. Because I’ve made this financial investment in myself and my progress, you’d better believe I’m going to follow through on what I need to do to ensure I have every opportunity to succeed in manifesting my vision.  And, once again, I’ve determined that things are far more difficult (and don’t have to be) when I operate in isolation.

Support of others keeps us honest, real, accountable and moving forward. This is why I’ve chosen to go to the effort that I do.

The alternative is to endure a much longer learning curve and possibly succumb to the moments of self-doubt.  I don’t want that to be an option for me.

  • What do you do to invest in yourself?
  • Do you question the value of investing in yourself?
  • What leaps might you make if you enlisted support?

Secure some support for yourself, invest in YOU, and watch what happens!

You’re worth it, aren’t you?! It’s time to put YOUR ideas into action.

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. If you think I might be the right person to support you, let’s set aside time to talk about that possibility. I have several offerings and we can discuss what might be the best fit for you.  Click here to schedule an appointment. Let’s talk soon.

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Reaching the Finish Line

Are you one of those people that start out on a mission full throttle and as you near the finish line your energy wanes, and that end result you’ve been working so hard for perpetually feels just beyond your reach?

Then what happens? Do you give up? Do you allow yourself to become distracted (or SEEK distraction)? Do you tell yourself it wasn’t meant to be?

I posted a quote on Facebook earlier this week that said, “If we did all the things we were capable of doing we would literally astonish ourselves.” Isn’t it true?! What amazing things we could accomplish if we didn’t stall just before completion!

So how do you follow through? How do you give yourself the opportunity to astonish on a regular basis?

There are a few things that might be happening as you near the completion of a goal.

1)   You meet with greater resistance. – Things suddenly get harder and require more effort.  You start to wonder if it’s “worth it” to go to all that trouble. You discount the importance of the original goal and modify it to meet your needs at the moment.

2)   You are uncertain about what comes next. – The journey toward obtaining the goal has taken up lots of time and energy, and has dictated how you’ve operated the last long while. What do you do after completion?  That “not-knowing” can be enough to cause you to slooooow the process down, take a step backward, or even unknowingly thwart it.

3)   You fear maintaining the new normal. – Maintenance means subscribing to a new set of rules, which means there’s a limit to just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying. A different kind of effort has to be put forth, and if it isn’t, that new level of achievement is at risk of fading away. You sometimes sidestep your goals in order to avoid the loss you might feel if you are unable to maintain your results.

4)   You are intimidated by having to meet a higher standard. – You can hesitate if you know that you’ll have to work even harder next time as you raise the bar once again.

5)   You challenge your current view of yourself. – Astonishing yourself results in your being further defined by new accomplishments. This may feel at odds with how you’ve viewed yourself prior to that point.

So what do you do to combat these challenges?crossing the finish line

  • Go back to the beginning. – Take some time to reaffirm your commitment to your goal and why it was so important to you to begin with.  Keep the completion of that goal and what it means to you in the forefront of your mind.  You may want to post something (a picture representing its completion or an inspirational quote) in a place where you will see it on a regular basis so that you are constantly reminded to see it through and of the rewards that are in store for you.
  • Surrender to the possibility that awaits you. – You might not know what comes next.  However, chances are that the skills and determination that saw you through to this new destination are enough to take you even farther.  Trust that you can handle what is around the bend.
  • Enlist support in maintaining the new normal. – Chances are others will be excited about your progress and may very well want to be a part of it.  Ask for, and invest in, help in keeping the momentum going.
  • Be open to being astonished once again. – Take the opportunity to enjoy.  You have a choice to keep reaching higher, or not, and you set the time frame for that.
  • Imagine what it will be like to have already achieved your goal. – Try it on for size.  Envision it in a way that is in alignment with the values that are most important to you.  Reaching new levels of success does not need to challenge your view of yourself; allow it to enhance it.

You CAN reach what you now see as your finish line!  And I bet you can surpass it in ways you may never have imagined!

Go ASTONISH yourself!

Warmly, Laurie

P.S.  If you need some assistance with this, I encourage you to go here and sign up for a complimentary 30 minute strategy session with me so we can finally propel you toward your finish line in a powerful way.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Laurie Leinwand is a Certified Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Spring is (Almost) Here!

It’s technically spring though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it here in NJ.  But there’s definitely something in the air.

I love the change of seasons.  It’s a way to mark the passage of time and keeps things interesting.  Things are never the same for too long.  My favorite transition is from winter to spring – I’m not really a fan of cold weather.  I love noticing buds beginning to emerge on plants and trees, and how the air smells so good, and how days over 50 degrees feel like such a treat initially.  I love being able to opt for a sweatshirt instead of a coat.  I adore how the color green begins to fill in the gray-brown spaces and how sometimes, when I’m driving, the sun hits my window at a certain angle and I feel like I might actually be getting a tan in my car.

But the spring is when I begin to sneeze, and my skin itches and I start to feel a little “funky” overall.  My body seems to say, “Here comes change and I’m not so sure about all this.”  I become more sensitive to certain foods.  My energy ebbs and flows seemingly without reason.

I’ve learned to welcome this process and liken it to change in general.  It’s uncomfortable.  My body reacts viscerally, rejecting it at first.  And then it slowly begins to familiarize itself with what is new.  Prior to change, or growth or emerging, I can feel upended, less grounded, and uncomfortable in my own skin.  But I know what beauty and excitement are in store if I simply give myself the freedom to move through this phase, rather than resist.

So now, instead of necessarily bemoaning a few of weeks of sneezy, itchy discomfort, I welcome them, knowing that warmer weather, gorgeous blooms and longer days are to follow.  And when I work toward my goals and experience something similar, professionally OR personally, I remind myself that my spring, a new phase of my own blossoming is what will come next.

Can you remember a time in your life when something fantastic happened for you?  Do you recall how you felt right before that time?  I would imagine you probably didn’t coast into those benevolent circumstances.  Chances are you experienced some sense of struggle beforehand.

Don’t fear or shy away from discomfort.  It might be signaling something amazing is right around the bend.  Happy Spring!

Warmly, Laurie

P.S.  I’d love to hear about YOUR experiences prior to a welcome change.  Was there discomfort?  Did you find any part of you resisting the newness of it, despite truly wanting it?

Laurie Leinwand, founder of  Ideas 2 Action, is a Certified Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor.  She works primarily with women in transitional phases of their lives, specializing in inspiring moms to rediscover who they are so they can successfully build lives for themselves outside of parenting according to THEIR needs, goals and desires.  Working with Laurie, her clients go from stuck, stressed, overwhelmed and confused to focused, empowered, motivated and fulfilled.  She helps her clients find clarity around what it is they really want, identify true obstacles, develop strategies for overcoming them, and ultimately reach their goals due to increased accountability and always knowing their next steps.

Laurie also provides workshops on topics such as Jump Starting Your Life and Strategies for Saying NO, and is a co-author of an upcoming book on personal development called Catch Your Star.

If you are ready to move YOUR life forward, call Laurie at (973) 343-6287 to inquire about her coaching programs.  Her coaching is done by phone is accessible to all.

Is there a Cap on your Success?

I was coaching a client recently who had worked really hard to achieve something spectacular in her life.  She was feeling euphoric as a result of her accomplishment when she heard that someone close to her had suffered an extremely upsetting disappointment.  Her euphoria quickly began to fade.  She questioned if she was somehow responsible for her family member’s difficulties, whether she had so much favor bestowed upon her that there was none left for those around her.

This was a limiting belief of hers that needed to be challenged in order for her to continue to progress.  Otherwise, she was destined to hold herself back from her true potential, shying away from the success for which she had strived so hard.

Do you have limiting beliefs of your own?  You may not even be aware of them.  When things begin to take shape for you, when you find yourself moving substantially closer to your goals, do you ever notice yourself hesitating, putting off success or fulfillment for just a little longer?

Tune into the thought process linked to this behavior.  These are some examples of limiting beliefs:

  • I question whether I truly deserve success.
  • I am unsure I will be able to handle the next step.
  • I do not know if I can live up to new/increased expectations or responsibilities.
  • I am concerned about how others might perceive my success.
  • I question whether I have worked hard enough to earn a positive outcome.
  • Once I have achieved this goal, I will have reached my success ceiling.
  • If this is my personal pinnacle, I have nowhere to go but down.
  • If I succeed, others will fail.

If you notice that YOU have limiting beliefs that hold YOU back, be deliberate in challenging them.  Develop ‘encouraging beliefs’ that combat them.

Examples of encouraging beliefs are:

  • I deserve success as much as anybody.
  • I can handle anything as long as I am determined to do so.
  • I have the ability to learn from, and embrace, new challenges.
  • I have worked hard to achieve my goals.
  • When I succeed, I can serve as a model to others to do the same.
  • There is plenty success to go around.
  • There will always be new goals I can choose to pursue.

Do not put a cap on your own success.  Take ownership of all that is good in your life and all the good you have yet to receive.  Put the cap on your limiting beliefs and step fully into your success.

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. Which encouraging belief will you use to keep moving forward?  Is there one you would like to share that is not listed above?

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Where the Magic Happens

This year I decided I’m really going to challenge myself.  My new mantra is “step into the discomfort.”  I don’t want to find myself avoiding the things I don’t want to do (but need to do) in order to be my best self.

I’ll give you an example.  For a long time I wasn’t happy with my weight, and perhaps more importantly, my fitness level.  I was tired, out of shape and feeling yucky overall.  I’d exercise once in a while, but never regularly and I’d never push myself or take it to the next level.  I’d just do it to get it over with.  My eating habits weren’t great either.  I’d “enjoy” certain foods like bread and sweets, only to crash later and crave them even more, leading to energy ups and downs that I knew weren’t serving me well.  To be honest, I was disappointed in myself.  I knew better, and I was upset that I wasn’t honoring the body I’d been given.  I had the potential to be in shape and energetic and I wasn’t reaching it.  What a waste!  And I wasn’t doing the best job in terms of modeling for my children.

I decided in December that it was time to finally do something!  I knew that I needed help.  I needed to be held accountable and needed someone to push me to prove to myself that I COULD do it.  I signed up with a personal trainer that I work with twice a week.  I try to do some cardio on the other days but I don’t punish myself if I don’t.  Those 2 training sessions each week serve as my anchor.  The trainer increases weights or the number of reps or changes the exercises on a regular basis so my body has to reach beyond what it knows and enter the realm of discomfort.  When I finish those workouts, I feel strong and powerful and I carry those feelings with me for the remainder of my day.

I’ve also changed the way I eat.  No point in working out ambitiously only to sabotage myself with what I put in my mouth.  I’ve drastically reduced the amount of sugar I consume and hardly ever eat bread.  I’m not gonna lie, I miss fresh hot bagels on Sunday mornings, but I feel SO much better physically as a result.  And thankfully I’ve lost a few pounds to boot.

It wasn’t easy for me to call the trainer and schedule that first appointment.  I had to get past wishing I could get in shape on my own.  I had to be willing to ask for help.  I had to be willing to invest in myself and put some of my earnings toward my physical (and emotional) well-being.  And I had to push past my doubt to make it happen.

The trainer actually didn’t show for our first training session.  Another client named Laurie had texted him to cancel and he confused her with me.  I could have decided not to go back at all then and there.  I could have asked for my money back and decided based on that one event that he couldn’t be any good having made a mistake like that.  I could have used his no-show as MY excuse to not get fit, blaming him all the while.  But I didn’t.  He apologized, we rescheduled, and my journey to fitness began a couple of days later than I anticipated, but the point is, it began.  I followed through, and continue to.

I’ve chosen to step into the discomfort in others area of my life as well, confronting my fears, proving to myself what I really am capable of.  It’s scary, for sure, but also incredibly exciting.

Have you seen this picture?

where-the-magic-happens

I imagine this picture every time I’m faced with fear.  I consider whether I am keeping myself “stuck” or simply status quo, and missing out on all the magic, the possibility, that lies beyond my comfort zone.

I want the magic.

In order to get the magic, I have to lose the excuses, do what might be difficult, confront my fears, be willing to make mistakes or even make a fool of myself, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I have to step into the discomfort.

WILL YOU?

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

What do you do When the Going Gets Tough?

We’ve all been through it.  Days, months, sometimes even years when it seemed as though nothing would go our way, or we felt like the odds were stacked against us, or we were just destined to stay on a path where things remained the same, despite our best efforts to make it better.

How do you approach these rough times?

People have different strategies for dealing with adversity.

Here’s what doesn’t work:

  • Hiding your head in the sand and playing the game of denial – Once you lift your head up, the situation typically remains the same.  The same obstacles that impeded your progress haven’t moved because you haven’t offered any resistance.  This is a passive approach that often leaves you feeling helpless.
  • Blaming others – This approach puts the power in other people’s hands.  Yes, sometimes, there are things that are out of your control.  The key is in figuring out what YOU can do to affect the situation and offer the greatest likelihood that you will impact things in the way that you hope to.  Blaming others promotes negativity, not often a force that moves things forward.

Here’s what works SOMETIMES:

  • Changing course – If you change course to the path of least resistance, you may not end up where you intended to be.  However, if you change course because you are learning from mistakes and gathering information that reveals another road to your goals might be more effective, than changing course might be the very thing that’s necessary to see you through.

Here’s what Sets People Apart:

  • Connecting with your community and asking for help – Other people have been through challenging times as well.  Ask those you trust to share what strategies have worked for them.  Ask people if they have resources that might be of value to you.  If you have a support system, don’t be shy about accessing it.  Chances are if YOU knew you could help someone, you would.  Why would the people you are closest to behave any differently toward you?
  • Rolling up your sleeves – Perseverance, your determination and your ability to push through what’s difficult, disappointing and what tempts you to give up, will determine the level of success you’ll ultimately enjoy.  To be successful, and make it through the rough patches to the other side, you need to not only be willing to do the things that others aren’t willing to do, you need to actually DO them!

In your journey, I guaranty the going will get tough.

How will you respond next time?

Please share your thoughts with me through the Contact Page, or by leaving your comments on my Facebook page.

Warm Regards,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Certified Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

What Can Kids Teach Us?

At the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, I’m going to share a story about my son.  He did something these last few days that really impressed me.

My son is in the 5th grade.  It’s his second year at his current school.  He recently came home from school with instructions for an essay he was to write if he was interested in running for the student council.  He was a bit bummed that it was due just a couple of days later.  When I asked him about it, he stated he wasn’t sure what he was going to do and that he’d see if he even had time to write the essay.  The next evening I returned home from work to discover that he had, in fact, composed the essay on his own and had chosen to run.

He handed it in and waited to see what would happen next.  A few days later, he found out that he was selected to be one of the council representatives.  These students were then informed that if they wanted to run for President or Vice President of the student council, they would then have to read their essays in front of the entire 5th grade (90 students) during the lunch period of that day.

My son said that when he heard he’d have to read his essay publicly (and so soon), he was really scared.  He decided again, however, to go for it, despite being nervous, and delivered his speech first (“to get it over with”).  He told me that once he got rolling, he was fine.

As I write this, I don’t yet know if he was elected to either of the positions he sought.

This is what I DO know:

  • He made his own decisions. – No checking in with peers, siblings or parents.  He zeroed in on what HE wanted and didn’t allow any outside “noise” to enter into that decision-making process.  He understood that this was a decision he COULD make by himself.
  • He didn’t hesitate. – How often do we want things and ‘overthink’ how to go about getting them, procrastinate, or convince ourselves it’s too much trouble and not worth the effort?  I love that he simply went for it!
  • He forged ahead despite the discomfort. – He said he was scared and yet he knew he was safe.  He pushed himself to step outside of his comfort zone with no guarantee of what the results might be.

What stops US from going after what WE want?

What if we made choices (that obviously don’t impact others tremendously) without consulting the masses?

If we reduced the volume of the voices of others in our heads, would our choices and actions be more in line with our own desires and values?

What if we didn’t hesitate?  How much closer to our goals would we be?

Asking myself these questions, and watching the actions of my son, makes me realize that HE is sometimes a role model for ME.

How incredibly freeing to simply aim to go for it more often, trust my instincts (as opposed to looking for confirmation from others), and let go of second guessing and waiting!!

What could YOU do if you did the same?

Lessons learned from a 10 year old…

What have children taught you?

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Catch Your Star
Laurie's chapter in Catch Your Star will inspire you to see CHANGE as a tool to vastly improve your life. She and 19 other experts share definitive strategies for identifying personal values and belief patterns, changing a stuck mindset and tapping into dreams and intuition. Order your autographed copy today!
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