Every 4 years, as I watch the Olympic athletes pursue Gold, I am inspired by the dedication, commitment and discipline exercised to get them to the starting line.

We see the end result.  The race, the routine, the best swim of their lives and cheer wildly. We don’t see the hours logged at the gym, the early morning trainings, the sacrifices made.

We don’t see all the work it took to claim their place in the race for Gold.

Years before their Olympic moment, these athletes talked about and worked tirelessly toward their goal. They dreamed, planned, and put in the incredible effort – on bad days, good days, I don’t feel like it days, to take a step closer to achieving their dreams.

I watched and wondered, “Do I do this? Do I know where I want to be in 4 years when I sit to watch the next Summer Olympics? Do I know what my hubs wants and dreams of achieving? Do I have a plan? Do we have a plan?”

OR will I be sitting here 4 years from today, wishing I had taken action and actually had the conversations with my spouse, made the plans to move us forward, and done the work?

Success in life, work and especially relationships is about the choices we make in the daily moments of life to take actions toward achieving our ultimate goal.

Choosing to dream big, then talk about our dreams with our spouse as well as listen to theirs is the first step.  Then, once we know where we are headed – our ultimate goals both individually and as a couple – we can identify the steps needed to get us there.

This year, the hubs and I have talked a lot about our dreams and goals and are making plans together.  Sharing, risk taking, planning is exciting and scary, but the only way to ultimately achieve success.

Now it’s time for discipline and commitment in action.

When can you set aside some time to ask your spouse about their hopes, dreams, goals as well as share yours? 

When you do, I would love to hear how it went and what you are working towards achieving together.

 

Creating a Haven of Peace with Joanne Miller on The Better Relationship Podcast

brp-049-joanne miller

Being married is challenging. Add being married to an entrepreneur and the difficulties and challenges grow exponentially. With candor, honesty, and humor, my friend, Joanne Miller talks business, bankruptcy, and blessings in the midst of raising babies and growing a strong marriage, while intentionally Creating a Haven of Peace.

Joanne Miller, is an artist, speaker, blogger, author and wife of Dan Miller, founder of 48 Days. In this episode, she shares insights and wisdom, about being married to an entrepreneur, from her new book Creating a Haven of Peace: When You’re Feeling Down, Finances Are Flat, and Tempers are Rising.

Women Leaders in a Glass Ceiling World

what if women had no glass ceiling

Assertive leadership and ambition are applauded in men, but women are often called bossy or aggressive when demonstrating those same qualities.  Regardless of your politics, it is heartening to see a female presidential candidate shattering one of the toughest glass ceilings in America.  But, she is paying for it on many fronts.

As a woman, gifted with ambition and assertiveness, I’ve hit a lot of glass ceilings, and brick walls through the years – as well as fielded questions and disparaging looks for my desire to lead (especially in circles of conservative faith).

I’ve coached many women who have wrestled with navigating how to embrace their unique strengths, and effectively lead with confidence in a “good old boys club” world.  It begins with refusing to accept glass ceiling limits and archaic mindsets.

Disclaimer:  I agree – not all men, organizations, companies are guilty of these attitudes, disrespect, and discrimination. God love you guys, because I sure do!

These questions and reflections are in response to the other guys. (insert smile)

Have you ever been criticized, ostracized,  ignored or dismissed because you are an assertive woman in a leadership role? 

  • I have been negatively called everything from aggressive to unsubmissive.
  • I have been told multiple times, “If a man said or did that, it wouldn’t be a problem. He would be assertive, bold, leader, but it isn’t the same for women.”
  • I have weathered dagger looks, raised eyebrows and clucking tongues for speaking up, jumping in, disagreeing with the status quo, and/or wanting to shatter a long held glass ceiling.

Can you relate?

Shame, struggle, defensiveness, and defeat chased me every time I heard these words or felt the arrows of judgement.  For a long time, I wondered why God made me this way. I became skilled at playing mental whack-a-mole, desperately trying to be different in order to fit in.

 Massive Failure Alert!

This internal war sidelined me for years.  Through therapy, coaching, and surrounding myself with people who support and enjoy who I am as an ambitious, assertive, driven leader.  They encourage me to live and work full out from my strengths, chipping away until there is no glass ceiling.

As I have gotten older, I’ve put down the whack-a-mole bat through  and embraced the wonder of how I am wired, even in the midst of bruises to my head and heart from hitting glass ceilings and brick walls.

 At times, it has been difficult to find acceptance in a man’s world – with both men and women. Raising daughters brought this issue to the forefront.

I continue to coach women to embrace their ambitions and unique strengths.  If we want a seat at the table, we need to boldly pull up a chair and participate.

Sure it will be awkward, lonely, uncomfortable at times – but change begins outside everyone’s comfort zone.

But it is doable:

  • Join an all women mastermind (mine is called Amplify) made up of  like minded women colleagues committed to encourage and champion each other, rather than compete and criticize.
  • Have a posse of women leaders on speed dial when you take hits or are tempted to minimize your strengths.
  • Read great articles about women who are forging ahead on the less traveled path for encouragement, ideas, and confidence.

Thanks to my friend and woman leader expert,  Ann Vertel for this article and the reminder to work, live, and act as if we belong in the highest levels of leadership, because we do!

How have you handled the times you hit the glass ceiling,  banged into the brick wall of criticism, or were tempted to shy away from being a strong woman leader?

Social Wealth w/ Jason Treu on The Better Relationship Podcast #048

brp-048-jason treu

Jason Treu, of BeExtraordinary.tvbelieves that people and your relationships are your true “wealth.” Everything we accomplish in life is with or through other people, or what Jason calls, Social Wealth.  Jason shares strategies from his bestselling book, Social Wealth to equip you to maximize your relationships for greater business success and personal fulfillment in life.

True Confessions: Marriage is Hard

john and susie -bella - Copy-001

This post by Richard Paul Evans is profound and a beautiful portrayal of how hard -but oh so worth it- marriage can be.

The hubs and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage on 6/24 and we too have spent years fighting, in silence, distant and discouraged… and in the midst of them there was joy, laughter, connection.

All of it stemmed from a deep desire to know and be known, to love and be loved. Clumsy at times, downright ugly at others, juxtaposed with sweet moments of enjoying our kids, or tender glimpses of our best selves and the marrige we longed for.

My marriage is the soil for my greatest growth, my most devastating mistakes, the acute pain and wonder of hope.

Today, on this side of fighting to not just stay married – but to build a loving, initimate, transparent, safe, and deeply connected marriage – we are grateful and enjoying the fruits of our hard work, both individually and together.

The Referral of a Lifetime w/ Tim Templeton

brp-047-tim templeton

Tim Templeton, bestselling author of The Referral of a Lifetime, shares insider tips for creating powerful relationships that yield success in business and fulfillment in life.  As an experienced business coach and speaker, Tim helps others reach their goals and personal potential in business. He outlines his 5 point system for gaining referrals for a lifetime so you never have to cold call again.