Using Your Inside Voice

One of my dear friends, let’s call her Sarah, told me this story a couple months back and I haven’t been able to get it out of my thoughts. It stopped me in my tracks, really. Grab a seat and let me share what happened…

So, there she was, Sarah was working hard at her desk when one of her coworkers made her laugh. Now something you need to know about Sarah is that she has the best laugh! Literally it’s the best. Her laugh is loud, joyful and, honestly, it fills the room and makes you smile just listening to it.

That’s when it happened… Another one of Sarah’s coworkers turned to her and said, “Gosh, Sarah, do you ever use your indoor voice?” Youch! It’s probably not a surprise to hear she quieted up and stayed to herself for the rest of the day.

When Sarah shared this story, my first reaction was shock which moved right over to some anger. How dare they try to silence Sarah’s incredible laughter! Her laughter is a gift! And then I thought, what kind of an impact does someone have when they tell someone to silence a part of them, or use their indoor voice?

So, after telling Sarah to absolutely ignore this coworker and that she shouldn’t DARE to use any less than her full voice, I couldn’t get this story out of my mind. It stayed in my thoughts for days.

That’s when I started thinking about this idea on a larger level. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a similar experience: you were out there doing you and someone told you that you were too much, too loud, too real, too smart, too quiet, too tall, too anything… but an experience like this can stop you in your tracks.

And I’d like to have the honor of dispelling that myth or limitation for you right now. <3 You are an incredibly smart, lovable, capable and heart-centered person. So, don’t ever let anyone tell you to use your indoor voice! The world desperately needs the full you in it to make it a better place. The world desperately needs you to step into who you are, step into your genius zone, and own your voice, own your story and own your impact (even if another person labels it too much, too loud, too real, too smart, too quiet, too tall, too anything). It is much more of a reflection of their own personal limitations, even if it’s said from a place of love.

So, as you get out there today, doing what you do, use your full voice (which I’ll admit can be intimidating/scary/terrifying… but totally worth it AND needed), remember that your world will only benefit from hearing your voice. And, I want to share one of my favorite quotes from that sums up my thoughts on the matter perfectly:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

PS - Now, before I sign off, I feel like I should quickly speak to those who identify with the other coworker who asked her to be quiet. I say this lovingly because I’ve felt this way too, if you feel more closely aligned with this character in the story, I encourage you to explore your voice. I’ve found that when I’m most annoyed by the voice of other’s, I’m usually not paying attention to my own. So, this is a heart-filled, grab-a-glass-of-wine-and-let’s-talk invitation to take a look at your unique voice and take a moment to be in awe of all you have to offer. <3 Still not convinced? This is not a guilt trip or a ride on the shame train. So, you do you and I encourage you to throw on those headphones, listen to what speaks to you now and come back to this if your view shifts.  

XOXO,
Ginny

The Two Main Culprits of Self-Sabotage

As I’ve gone after this UnSabotage work in my own life with ferocity these past few years, I’ve observed that there are two really common culprits of self-sabotage: Limiting Beliefs and Habits.

The sneaky thing about these culprits (and what’s makes them villains in my mind) is that neither walk around in our minds like a bull in a china shop. They are quiet and they stay below the radar. 

  • Limiting Beliefs: are like soundtracks that play in the back of your mind. They're not so loud that they attract attention which might question their legitimacy. But they're also not so quiet that they don't influence us. These beliefs might sound something like “oh, that’s not for people like me,” or “I don't deserve something that good," or "that's just my luck." 
  • Old Habits: the interesting thing about habits is they can be so helpful when they’re developed but after a few years they just might not serve you well any more. Just think back to high school. The habits you formed then probably didn't serve you well in college. And your college habits probably didn't serve you well in your first job. New seasons and new challenges require us to take stock of our habits, ditch the old and develop a new habit that fits better with the goals, dreams and responsibilities you have today. But when seasons aren't as clearly marked as moving from high school to college, or if the roadmap isn't as clear as "take these classes and you'll get a degree," spotting habits that no longer serve you well can be a bit more murky.

Here’s an example of mine on the old habit side. A few years ago, I would check my email first thing in the morning… like when I was brushing my teeth first thing in the morning. I would do the morning email purge, you know, going through mass-deleting all the junk and newsletters I don’t read any more but haven’t unsubscribed to yet, and then plan my day around the rest of the emails, those from clients and coworkers. 

And this old habit served me well in that role. I was able to make sure things were staying as close to schedule as possible, try to anticipate questions our clients had and make sure the team had the answers to any questions they had around what needed to be done that day or week.

But when I stepped out to build my own dream, that habit still persisted. I would wake up, grab my phone, brush my teeth, do the morning email purge and then see what was left. And, I’m embarrassed to admit, it took me by surprise when I realized my day was no longer driven by others’ emails. I had to take a fresh look at my morning habits and define my priorities and tasks based on the plans and the roadmap I'd developed for my business. And I absolutely knew I needed to exchange this habit I'd carried over to a new one that better suited this season. Ultimately, I changed my morning email habit to later in the day. I would NOT open email until I had already accomplished at least one important thing on my list for the day. 

Interestingly, in this specific example, I also found a limiting belief tucked in there. I uncovered the mindset I'd carried over that my schedule and priorities were dictated by others. In this season and with this project, this is not the case! I needed to shift my way of thinking about this to be confident enough in what I was working on and prioritize my day accordingly... and say no to things that no longer aligned.

The limiting belief piece was actually more tricky to redefine than I thought it would be, and I'd be lying if I said I've totally moved away from this belief. But because I'm aware of that thought pattern, I recognize it MUCH faster than I used to and can focus my thoughts on what I need to get done much easier.

And, the same thing still happens with my old email habit. Some days I slip and, without even thinking about it, I’ll catch myself with my phone in hand while brushing my teeth! But just like with the limiting belief side of this example, the awareness of the old habit (and the knowledge that it no longer serves me well!) gives me more than enough determination and motivation to stop reading mid-email and move toward that new habit that makes much more sense these days!

As with anything important, it can take time to permanently eliminate these well worn paths in our mind, but the awareness piece is gold you can touch and react to today.

So, I encourage to ask your lovely self, "are there any old habits that served me well once that I need to revisit? Or are there any limiting beliefs that I've never questioned that need to be questioned?

Trust me, your freedom and your best self are both worth it.

XOXO,
Ginny

What Does the Word "Journal" Say About Its Meaning?

As you may know, I have always had a fascination with words. I love knowing the story behind them, their country's of origin and how the definitions have changed over the years. I think knowing these things add a real richness and depth to the words we say when we're either talking with other people or writing to them. So, I guess it makes great sense that the words we write to ourselves are really important, too.

Here at UnSabotage, journaling plays a critical role in all the way from discovery (or UnCover) through to implementation (UnLeash). What I love so much about journaling is we may not even know we think or believe something until we see it written in our own hand on paper. You'd be surprised to know how many times that's happened to me! 

Recently I've had a number of people ask me why start with a journal? It's a great question and I thought I'd answer it by taking a look at the root meaning of the word.

JOURNAL [jur-nl] (noun): A daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations

At its root is the French word "jour" or daily or day. A common use of this in our culture is soup du jour or soup of the day, right?

Isn’t that interesting. By definition and at its core, a journal is something that we interact with daily. It has an element of habit or consistency in its very nature. By the way, there’s no guilt or shame here! I've had seasons of being very consistent with my daily journaling practice and I’ve had times where I was absolutely not.

So, a journal is like a daily appointment with your own best interests. #love 

Let's take that thought a little further. I also love to know the words that are related to a given word I'm researching and in this case, that related word is journey. Journey's root word is also jour, so a journey is something, again by definition and at its core, that we work on daily! The ground that we gain today may be a few inches. And tomorrow it may be a few miles. The journey we’re on right now may be braving a mountain range or a more relaxing trek across rolling plains, but it's something that we embark in daily. Interestingly, the only antonym listed for journey is inaction.

So it’s the consistent steps, no matter how large or small, we take that actually get us through the journey to the destination.

Today, what kind of a journey are you on? Is it a journey of starting a business or growing a business? Is it a journey of raising a child or a few children? Is it a journey of volunteering or maybe even running for political office? What does your current journey look like?

It's Time to Lift: Why Your Biggest Obstacle is Actually Your Best Friend

Married to a pilot for 12+ years, I’ve had an extended lesson in the laws of aviation and aeronautical history. Drew, my husband, is a gem. He is a pilot to the core and he often leaves me in the dust when he shares all sorts of complicated aeronautical… stuff.

But, of all the technical and physiological principles Drew has shared with me through the years, one concept continues to resonate with me on many levels.

The concept is lift.

Lift is the force of air that pushes against a plane’s wing and helps the plane to climb. Without it, no plane can fly. With it, countless aircraft criss-cross the globe everyday.

What really struck me about lift is how it’s achieved. For an airplane to take off, the pilot does something interesting. He doesn’t let the wind propel the plane down the runway, like you may think. He points the airplane’s nose into the wind. That’s right; the pilot seeks out the headwind and he goes straight toward it because he knows that wings use this resistance as a ramp. An airplane can’t take off going downwind. A tailwind doesn’t provide lift; it just pushes a plane in the direction its already going.

I’ve thought about this in several situations in my life, but I most consistently apply it to my creative work. When I’m trying to build or shape something big, there is always a moment when the winds pick up and I’m reminded that what I’m working on is bigger than myself. As I feel a headwind coming, I’ve learned to trust there is some good to be found, some personal growth to experience, or some genuinely innovative idea in the works—if I point my focus and attention toward the wind.

To me:

Lift is how we climb from our current station. Lift is how we see things from a new and bigger perspective. Lift is how we get from here to there.

Now don’t think I go looking for trouble. This isn’t the case at all. It’s simply my approach to the wind. 

Wind can be big and scary. So, if I stand facing the wind I have two choices. I can either be blown down the runway by the very large resistance coming at me or I can choose to let this wind be my ramp and use it to climb.

First published on bamboocreative.com