Written by Connie Reed

Do you jump out of bed energized, sing in the shower, and dance while you make your breakfast? Do you head out the door eager to face your day?  Or do you hit the snooze button repeatedly, skip shaving your legs, ironing your clothes, and eating breakfast?  Do you drag yourself out the door holding a travel mug filled with coffee and a mind filled with dread and anxiety?  Perhaps, your reality lies somewhere in between those two scenarios.  Let’s face it, even those who are making a good living doing exactly what fills their spirit with joy experience bad days, get sick, or overtired.

Lately I fall into the second category of risers.  What I am doing with my days no longer aligns with my core values professionally or personally.  I wake up exhausted because I am emotionally drained from the amount of energy it takes to be engaged positively and protect myself from the negativity that comes at me.  I have nothing left in my energy bank at the end of the day to give to the people and things that I love, enjoy, and want to nurture.  Because I have ignored my passions, I do not have alignment.

I used to be of the mindset that if I just had the right attitude, I could be happy and successful anywhere I landed.  It was just a matter of me adjusting my mindset.  I am learning that this way of thinking may not be that healthy.  So far, it has led to many days of unshaved legs, wrinkled clothes, low blood sugar, and far too many missed opportunities for things I enjoy!  Yes, attitude and mindset are so important.  What you think does have the power to change your life.  However, if you continue to put yourself in an environment that is hostile, either overtly or discretely, you will get worn out from continually waging war with the external forces.  Eventually, something breaks because there is not harmony.  You must find an environment that aligns with your core values.

At the beginning of December, Small Town Girls Play BIG in Business book contributors Jennifer Bonacorsi and Tracy St. Amant shared their stories with Small Town Girls Play Big members.   Listening to their stories energized me.  Five things I saw in common with how these women launched their successful businesses, although in vastly different industries, were:

  1. They identified a need.
  2. They have a passion for what they are doing and they created careers that are in alignment with those passions.
  3. They love the people they are serving.
  4. They know it will not be easy, but every day will be worth it.
  5. They are willing to face challenges and try alternatives because they know WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing and BELIEVE IN what they are doing to their core.

Shortly after the training with Jennifer and Tracy, I was listening to Cy Wakeman’s Podcast No Ego (S2E63).  Her guest was Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, talking about her Book Quitting by Design.  For some reason, what I heard within a week’s time from Small Town Girls Play BIG in Business and Quitting by Design culminated into an A-HA moment for me.

It is terrifying to think about making a drastic change like leaving a job that allows me to pay my bills, have health insurance, and not worry about what I would do if the refrigerator suddenly stopped working or the water heater needed to be replaced, never mind put a plan on paper for something that I really don’t know what “It” is yet.  But, at that very moment, that was what was on my heart, that was my A-HA!  My mentor Paul Martinelli has a saying, “Jump, and build your wings on the way down.”  So, now is the time to get serious about outlining the ‘Why’ and the ‘What.’ 2021 will be the year to pray, meditate, reflect on that and determine ‘When’ I will jump.  If the Why and the What are truly aligned with who I am, I know my wings will work before I hit the ground. I am going to develop my passions and align them with my career choice.

I am a student of mindset and have the resources and tools to know better and do better, but I still struggle with being mindful of my thoughts and learned beliefs.  When I get wrapped up in the craziness and stresses of life – when my spark is gone – it is because I am not surrounding myself with those who will keep me accountable and focused.  Small Town Girls Play BIG has blessed me,  it has brought me back to where I need to be – aligned and focused with others that are like-minded and supportive, keeping me accountable to and for myself and my team.

Maybe you are not contemplating a life altering change or taking your hobby from your kitchen table to a brick and mortar, but we should all be reflecting on what things are no longer serving us or aligning with our values.  Perhaps, you are volunteering your time for an organization out of obligation rather than passion.  Perhaps you are always stuck feeding, walking, and washing your child’s pet that they promised they would take care of and now you are resentful of it.  Quit it!

“You know how every once in a while, you do something, and the little voice inside says, ‘There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here.’  …and you get a warm glow in your heart because you know it’s true? Do more of that.”      – Jacob Nordby

May you all have a blessed Holiday Season and a Happy, Healthy, Successful New Year filled with Love, Laughter, and Learning!

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