Mindvalley – Unlocking learning

Mindvalley

God, I love the world wide web!!

With it, I have been able to become an explorer, a researcher, a business owner and to make friends with people I may never actually lay eyes on! When you think about it, it’s pretty bloody amazing what the web has allowed us to do!

During one of my explorations recently, I came across an amazing new educational platform called Mindvalley University.

Mindvalley Uni has both an online cirriculum as well as live events and its all about transforming “learning from an institutionalised, linear means to an end, to a complete and conscious lifelong adventure that has no end”

Making learning FUN, well I like the sound of that!

By the time I left high school, I had very much lost my passion for learning.  Luckily, I was still a curious cat so as I moved through my 20’s I slowly developed a love of learning again.

I know that I am not unique in that experience.

Unfortunately, we have a school system that kills a lot of creativity and can turn learning into a laborious and boring pursuit.  Particularly if you don’t learn how that school teaches. This is a great tragedy in my opinion.

But back to Mindvalley….

Mindvalley holds and bi-annual event called A-Fest and it sounds super cool!

As their website explains, “These events gather an extraordinary community of change-makers and visionaries who are driven by epic ideas to impact the world – entrepreneurs, experts, artists, leaders, innovators, visionaries and more. At A-Fest you will receive powerful training, profound mind shifts, bio-hacking techniques, deep connections, incredible adventures and unique opportunities to multiply your impact and give back to humanity, so that you can play an even bigger game and significantly expand your ability to accomplish bold things”

Reading that gets me excited! I have just added it to my goal list of events I need to attend.

The reason I share this is because I recently saw a video of Tom Chi speaking at A-Fest in Mexico in 2016.  Tom is the inventor and co founder of Google X an he has been an astrophysical researcher right through to a Fortune 500 consultant.

This man is smart! And he is going to change the world.

Tom spoke on how we are all connected. Not in a mythical or religious way but in a hardcore scientific way.  There is data that shows the interconnectedness of us all and how NO ONE is indispensable.

What a beautiful and powerful thought!

This video was amazing and instead of trying to explain it, I have shared the video so you can check it out.  Now, make a cuppa, it’s not a quick one but its oh, so worth a watch.

 

 

Love Kate-3

 

The Universe only knows YES!

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Last year I employed a new coach. Her name is Alex Tripod.

I met Alex at a workshop and she was fierce! She held her space strongly and was very comfortable telling the group how things should be run. Alex was very visible in the room – both visually and energetically.

I admired her for this! In fact, as I watched her over the course of the three days, I thought “I could learn some excellent skills around presence, power and visibility from this lady!”.

Alex is a manifesting coach and during our time together she taught me many great lessons and skills, and really held the space for me to step up and shine. Because of her, I started this blog, as well as the Facebook Friday series. I actually started to let the world see me!

I didn’t realise just how invisible I had been! I was playing small so I could feel safe….

But life is not about safety, it’s about growth and expansion.

Anyway, over the weekend I was with my nieces and I found myself sharing some of Alex’s wisdom with them. The key piece that I wanted them to grasp is The Universe only knows YES!

This one belief was a game changer for me! And I didn’t really grasp it until I was 40. Imagine the impact it could have on the lives of my two fifteen year olds nieces!

I had always understood the power of my thoughts and my beliefs but I hadn’t considered that the Universe will support me in whatever I choose to focus on.

Prior to this I hadn’t seen it as a collaboration. Not just a collaboration, but the fact the Universe is so willing to support me to create the life I focus on that it will ONLY say YES to me.

The way this works is very simple. The Universe says YES to whatever you put out there.

“People are always so kind” – the Universe, “YES” and shows me more kind people.

“People are always so cruel” – the Universe, “YES” and validates my belief with more examples of cruel people.

“Things always work out for me” – the Universe, “YES” and there is my car park at the front of the shopping centre.

“It is so difficult to succeed” – The Universe, “YES”, and provides me with more blocks just so I can be right.

Whatever we believe to be the true, the Universe will support it and bring us more evidence of it. We are constantly creating our own reality in our minds and then finding it in the outside world.

There are infinite possibilities and as we put our focus on one, the others disappear and our reality is formed.

The Universe wants us to have whatever we want to have, and what we want to have is whatever we focus on the most.

So where are you putting your focus?

On what you desire or what you want to avoid?

On what is working well for you or on what is broken and no longer useful?

On what is right for you or what is wrong for you?

Never forget how powerful you are and even more importantly never forget that the Universe is constantly working to prove you right.

Something to think about……

Love Kate-3

 

 

Breakthrough to Bold

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I remember a time when I just wouldn’t make a decision for fear of getting it wrong.

I was going through a series of challenges: my marriage was in a terrible state, my health wasn’t great and I was confused about what direction to take. I felt almost paralysed and I was incredibly frustrated at life – and at myself!

I was also very scared.

Scared because I didn’t want to get it wrong, scared because what happens if what I choose to do make things worse, and scared because I had not yet learnt to back myself fully.

I knew I should have been taking some action, ANY action, but instead I was looping around the same bad habits over and over again. The rut I was making was deep!

I was stuck.

Then one day, I was reading an article about Oprah. I love Oprah, she is such an empowered and courageous woman, and she was quoted as saying “Nothing happens until you decide. Make a decision and watch your life move forward”.

Make a decision, just one, and see what happens…….

And in that moment I decided, enough was enough. I had to choose me, and so began the journey into creating a life that excites and inspires me.

My breakthrough moment had occurred.

I remember the first few months of that journey was incredibly turbulent: a sense of true power – then crashing down into total despair. Tears and fears were abundant, and it required a whole lot of trust in myself.

That was fourteen years ago.

One of the greatest learnings from that period of my life is that I need to create continual references on breaking through and stepping up. I realised that conditioning myself to make the big decisions, even in the face of fear would greatly serve me.

When I say “big decisions”, I mean those that are specific to each of us. The commonality though, is fear. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway, making the choice, stepping up, breaking through, and most importantly, in that moment having complete trust in yourself.

Since that time I have done many things that scare the bejesus out of me. I have travelled alone, jumped out of a plane, had some tough and frank conversations with people I no longer wanted in my life, walked on hot coals, swam with sharks, had colonic irrigations, shaved my mum’s head when she was dying of cancer, asked someone I don’t know on the street to buy me something (random I know!), enforced my boundaries even when I knew I would be punished for it, given my first speech to a crowd of 150 people, started a new career and loved unconditionally.

Breakthroughs are really simple, though often not easy. It all starts with you loving yourself. All the very best with your journey my lovely friend.

My gorgeous colleague Vicki Hodgson and I are conducting two workshops in Perth Western Australia called Breakthrough to Bold. If this blog resonates with you and you would like to start creating your own evidence of breaking through then come and join us for a fabulous afternoon. Click HERE to buy tickets 

Love Kate-3

 

You are 100% responsible

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This last week a prospective coaching client asked me what is one powerful belief I live my life by.

Firstly, I must say, what an outstanding question to ask someone who you are considering employing to coach and guide you!

My answer: we are 100% responsible for exactly where we are right now in our life.

Just let that one land….

If you don’t like where you are, own the fact that you created where you are.

If you love where you are, celebrate the fact that you created where you are.

It really is that simple! Even if it’s somewhat painful for some of you to hear, including for the beautiful lady who asked me the question.

This is by far one of the most valuable principles of life, in my experience. If you are committed to success of any variety then I would predict you are most probably already living by this principle.

You are 100% responsible for your life: the amount of joy in it, the amount of abundance in it, the amount of successful relationships in it and how healthy, wealthy and wise you are.

The buck stops with YOU! Yep, YOU!

Jack Canfield, the highly successful author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series says, “Most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. We blame our parents, our bosses, our co-workers, our spouse, the weather, the economy, the government, our astrological chart, our lack of money – anyone or anything we can pin the blame on. We never want to look at where the real problem is – ourselves”

Blame is a fast track to mediocrity.

Firstly, because if you are not responsible for your life, then how can you be empowered to change your life?  By choosing blame, you are actually choosing slavery. You enslave yourself to the belief that you have no control over your life and therefore you accept the status quo.

Wayne Dyer, one of my favourite spiritual teachers said “Blame is a waste a time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you”.

That means nothing will change!!

Secondly, failures and things going wrong are a key part of success but if you don’t own those failings or things going wrong then you miss the opportunity to learn and grow. If you aren’t learning and growing, then you are not moving towards success but staying in the same pool of mediocrity that pisses you off each day!

I get that things go wrong in life and plans get messed up but remember, you ALWAYS have control over how you choose to respond (I wrote a blog on this very topic), the meaning you choose to give that event and what you do with the learning.

This principle isn’t about creating the “perfect” life where nothing ever goes wrong, this principle is about being empowered. When we take 100% responsibility for our choices, our results, our actions and our responses we are able to create a life that is truly fulfilling.

We become the Captains of our own ship and we can sail into the sunset of our choosing.

Love Kate-3

 

 

Braving the Wilderness

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Have you ever read a book that leads you to aha moment after aha moment? A book that is so clear and feels so incredibly right that you just want to ring up the author and invite her over for a cuppa and a damn good chat? Well, Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown is that book for me.

I was in Cairns and I saw that my friend had a copy. Being a book fiend, I asked her if I could flick through it and she suggested I read it as she had just finished it. She had found the book very insightful and – knowing that I was a Brene Brown fan – thought I would enjoy it too.

Enjoy it? I LOVED it! If this book was a chocolate cake I would have devoured it in one sitting!!

Brene Brown PhD, LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has dedicated her working life to studying those emotions that make many of us feel uncomfortable – like courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She did a TED Talk on vulnerability in 2010 and it has been viewed almost 35 million times. This puts it in the top five most watched TED talks ever. This lady understands human emotions on the level of mastery!

Braving the Wilderness is about belonging, in fact it’s about true belonging and yes, there is a distinction. Brene’s definition of true belonging is:

“True belonging is the spiritual practise of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are”.

Wow! True belonging requires you to be who you are! How powerful is that?

In the world where there is constant comparison and many people feeling inadequate, the idea of just being our authentic selves seems like a bold suggestion. Brene’s analogy of that as being in the wilderness is incredibly beautiful.

I mean the wilderness IS beautiful, it can just be damn scary though – especially when you are on your own out there. The wilderness can feel dangerous, there are bears (or in this country snakes and spiders) but the reality is the beauty of the wilderness always wins if we are prepared to just “be” in it.

When I reflect back on the times I have been in the great outdoors, far away from the city lights and enjoying the silence that space like that offers, I feel a profound level of connection. This connection, I had always thought, was connection to something higher, God or the Universe, yet as I read this book, I came to realise that the connection was to myself (who is a part of God and the Universe anyway).

The wilderness is really where freedom lives.

Just like when I have been in the “wilderness” of standing in my beliefs in the face of criticism or ridicule. The times where I have left the relationship that was hurting me even though I was scared. This wilderness can seem far more terrifying yet, like the outdoors wilderness, this is where freedom lives. Freedom to be me and therefore truly and deeply belong to myself and to the greater world simultaneously.

The thing about true belonging though is it is a combination of being in the wilderness, being you – even if it means you are alone out there, as well showing up, participating, sharing yourself and allowing yourself to be seen by the world around you.

My experience is that we don’t really see each other anymore. People fleetingly glance in another person’s eyes but do they truly see them? I don’t think so.

In fact there was a show on SBS called Look Me In The Eye that was about two people in an estranged relationship coming together. All they did was look into each other’s eyes for five minutes and then make the decision of whether or not they wanted to heal the relationship. Most of them did!

People are hard to hate close up, so move in!

Brene talks about the four elements of True Belonging, and this is the first element.

This is exactly what the SBS show was about. It is extremely difficult to look into the eyes of someone you hate/dislike/have anger towards, for five minutes and there not be a shift. We are kinaesthetic beings, we feel other people’s pain if we connect to them.

I am not going to share the other three elements. I want you to read the book. I hope that everyone reads the book, not only so you have a greater understanding of what the human spirit is craving but to appreciate your wholeness, even when you are out there in the wilderness all alone.

 

 

 

Reclaiming your voice

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It seems like one of those easy things, speaking up.

I mean, all you have to do is open your mouth and let the words flow out. Yet for some reason, this is an incredibly challenging task for many people.

Why?

Well, there is a whole plethora of reasons but speaking from personal experience, I was encouraged to be a “good girl” growing up. This often meant not speaking up, not disagreeing with what the people around me said and often it meant going with the flow even if I didn’t want to.

By the time I was 18 years old, I was heavily conditioned to be a people-pleaser. One of the greatest challenges of being a people-pleaser is to speak loudly and clearly. To use the word NO at will used to be particularly difficult for me.

I spent my 20’s and 30’s rewiring myself around this, finding my voice and really connecting with who I am and what I want. Learning to say no has been one of the greatest skills I have ever acquired!

As Oprah Winfrey says “No is a complete sentence”. I love that statement!

Working with my coaching clients and generally observing others, the five main reasons that I have identified about why people don’t speak up are because:

1.Your identity is very tied up with being the “go-to person”: if you are the solver of everyone else’s challenges, you take on things even when you don’t want to. It is who you are, so it becomes challenging to say no. Often what happens is this person eventually wakes up and says “why am doing all this stuff when I don’t really want to be?”

2. Saying YES is easier than saying NO: many of us have been conditioned to please other people. What that often means is you “go with the flow”, even if the flow isn’t where you want to go. Saying no can often prompt feelings of guilt, fear and even shame.

3.You want to avoid conflict: there are few people on the planet who relish conflict, then there are those who would do ANYTHING to avoid it! I mean, nice people don’t fight with others! Conflict can seem very scary and often is unpredictable. If we lack confidence or are not self-assured, then speaking up can seem too challenging if the possible result is conflict.

4. Your Inner Critic has a VERY loud voice: a person who has conditioned themselves not to speak up has got a very vocal inner critic on the inside.  This critic continually questions, judges and cautions you on speaking up and allowing your voice to be heard: “That will sound stupid, don’t speak up”, “Don’t say that, you might get in trouble or upset them”, “what happens if what I say is wrong?”.

5. Your belief is that your opinions don’t matter anyway: what is the point of speaking up anyway, no one will listen! When your self-worth has been crushed, you can feel worthless or you believe you have nothing of value to offer, it becomes incredibly challenging to speak up and share your voice.

You may have identified yourself in some or many of the list above. Yet what is most important is how do you move forward and truly start sharing your voice with the world around you?

Here are my five tips to develop the practice of authentically speaking up and sharing your voice:

1.Notice your inner critic and challenge it: what is the voice in your head actually saying to you? How truthful is what it is saying? So often we don’t even challenge the voice of the inner critic – we merely accept it as the truth. Our inner critic lives very closely to fear, it really just wants to keep us safe and small. Start to challenge it: “Is that really real?”, “will they really stop loving/caring for/wanting to be near me if I speak up?”, “how do I know what will happen if I share my thoughts?”, “what is the worst thing that can happen if I speak up?”.

2. Connect with your body: Our bodies NEVER lie!! That feeling in your stomach that is screaming at you to speak up right now is your intuition – your gut instinct. Every time we ignore our body’s signals we are betraying ourselves. The wisdom that our body holds is so much more connected than the story our mind is telling us. Your heart knows the truth and it longs to be heard. By speaking up, you are releasing that energy and this is the very best thing you can do for your overall health.

3. Treat this like a science experiment: Become the Mad Scientist in your world.  Observe yourself, try different things and see what happens. Learn from the experiments you conduct, draw conclusions, make changes and try again. Test different things! By framing speaking up as an experiment or a science project, the energy around it shifts. It no longer feels so life and death, it becomes freer and more fun. Trust me, no one is going to die by you speaking your truth. If they do, please let me know and I will amend this blog immediately.

4. Find a teacher/coach/mentor: If speaking up really is something that strikes fear in to your heart then actively seek someone out who is skilled in this area. They can help you learn new strategies around finding your voice, creating healthy boundaries, becoming friends with the word no and developing the courage to speak from your heart. The quickest way to learn a new skill is model someone who is already excelling in this area.

5. Have a love affair with yourself: The more self-love you have, the more confident you are in your own skin. The more confident you are in your own skin, the more comfortable you are to speak up and stand in your truth. The more you speak up and stand in your truth, the more it becomes second nature. Before you know it, it is no longer such a momentous task!

By speaking up – authentically and courageously – you will further deepen the relationship you have with yourself. Every time you do it, it is like giving yourself a beautiful and loving hug. All of sudden, you will notice that you aren’t seeking love from those external forces (for example, your partner, family or job) because you are filling your own tank up by honouring yourself through your voice.

Keep in mind, speaking your truth doesn’t have to be a bombshell or some life-changing words. It could be as simple as speaking up about which restaurant you would like to eat dinner at, or telling your friends that you are going home early because you are very tired from the week at work.

In fact, these sorts of small examples are where we build the muscle so that when it comes time to speak up on the big issues, we are already practised at saying what is in our heart.

Remember, your voice is always there within you. You know it longs to be heard, in fact you can feel it in your body when you deny its expression.

Speak up, speak loudly, be free.

 

 

Let go of the look

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How much money do you spend because of the belief that if it costs more, it must be better?

It will look better, it will feel better, it will be more valuable.

This was an interesting conversation I had with a very dear friend of mine recently when I visited her in her new home.  I complimented her on a beautiful bunch of roses that were the centre piece of her dining table and she smiled at me with a glint in her eye.

Recently we have both attended a Wealth course (the same course at different times)  and as a byproduct of the course, we have both been seriously evaluating how we spend our money.  We had already had numerous conversations about spending plans, saving plans and wealth creation strategies.

I asked her why she was smiling, “Today I had an ah ha moment, and I am loving it!” she replied

“I walked into the shop because I wanted to buy some flowers.  I love flowers and I regularly buy them to have at home.  There was lots of different bunches, some for $15 right through to $40.  Normally I would of bought a more expensive bunch and as I stood there looking at these flowers, I asked myself why. Why do I always buy the more expensive ones?”

I thought that was a great question.  As someone who is obsessed with self exploration as well as growth, I was curious to hear the answer.

My friend replied ” Because I had the money to buy the more expensive ones so therefore I did.  It literally came down to that. I thought that they looked better. In fact, to be honest, I thought I looked better buying them”

“After standing in the shop today and really looking at the flowers, I realised that the cheaper bunch was just as beautiful, just a bit smaller”

“In that moment, I realised that I waste so much money thinking about the “look” of things.  I realised that if  I made these little day to day spending decisions with my wealth creation strategies  in mind, how different would my finances look in 20 years time?” She said

Wow! If she had the money, she would spend it.  It was about the look of the flowers as opposed to the enjoyment. The perceived extra value of them because they cost more, interesting!! Yet how was this eroding her long term wealth?

I swiftly examined if this shows up in my life, and it does!  I went on to ask numerous others over the course of the next few days and it became apparent that this belief was playing out in many people’s lives.

We are spending money because of how the thing looks, not because of the pleasure it will bring us, not because it’s what we need or even want and certainly not because it will support us in building our future wealth.

My Girlfriend went on to explain that she has been “crunching her numbers”.  If she spends just $100 less per week, a couple of less coffees, slightly cheaper flowers, buys more from the supermarket on special and in bulk, cancels one magazine subscription and takes her lunch to work one day a week, and invests the $100 instead, it becomes A LOT of money!

In five years, with a return of 10% it’s just under $35,000. In ten years, it about $91,000. In 20 years it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars!

If someone said to me, “Are you okay with spending over three hundred thousand dollars on looking good?” I would laugh in that persons face and say that I don’t care what other people think but in actual fact, what my girlfriend did, was shine the light on the fact that maybe I do, more than what I realise!  I care about the look of things.

This conversation, as simple as it was, really got me thinking! So many of us are unconscious in how we spend yet would love to have financial freedom. We miss it, because its $5 here and $10 there but that all adds up.

The “look” is costing us! And costing way too much in the long term.

Something to think about, I hear you say.

 

 

 

E + R = O, and it’s not algebra!

 

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Well this is a bit of a flash back to year 10 mathematics and to be honest, algebra was never one of my favourite things. In case you feel similarly to me about algebra, I ask that you hang in there.

This equation, when applied well, can change your life!

Yep, dead-set change your life.

I was reminded of this simple equation in a book that I have been reading, The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield.

What it stands for is the EVENT + your RESPONSE will = the OUTCOME. Simple, elegant and oh so true!!

Let me give you an example. You arrive at the shopping centre and the car park is full. You spot someone pulling out of their car space and pop your indicator on, signalling that the space is yours. The person backs their car out and as they straighten their car up to drive away, another car ducks in behind them and grabs YOUR space. This is the Event.

So how do you respond?  You put the park brake on and jump out of your car – this is unacceptable! You march over to the parked vehicle and bang on the window. The driver, who is staring down at their phone, looks up with a start. She opens her window and you go to town: “What the hell are you thinking!! How could you not see that I was sitting there waiting!! You took my spot you idiot, I hope you have a crappy day!”. This is the Response.

You storm back to your car, get in, pacify the children in the back seat and when you look up, there is the other driver, looming over your bonnet. She starts to yell and scream at you “How dare you abuse me, you stupid woman! It’s people like you that make the world so screwed up. I didn’t see you and if you had just spoken to me, maybe I would have been willing to move but not now. I feel sorry for those poor kids in the backseat to have a mother like you, you crazy woman”. This is the Outcome.

So, your kids are now all shaken up having witnessed the whole thing, you have more adrenaline in your system than what is healthy for you, and there is a growing  rage inside you at the injustice of it all.

Here’s the question, if you had responded differently, how different would the outcome be?

E + R = O

Event + Response = Outcome

Sexy isn’t it!!

Let’s revisit the example. The driver steals your spot. You hurrmph, this is quite annoying. You sit there and wait until the driver gets out of her car three minutes later. You wind down your window and stick your head out.

“Excuse me, I was waiting for that spot, did you not see me?” you ask calmly.

“Oh no I didn’t see you, sorry about that. I would move for you but I am flat out and have to just run into the shops and grab some medicine from the pharmacy for my daughter. She is at home on her own waiting for me to get back and I am so stressed”.

“Look, no problem. I hope your daughter feels better soon”.

So, your kids witness a quality example of speaking up for yourself as well as a demonstration of empathy and kindness.

E + R = O

Event + Response = Outcome

We are continually at crossroads in life: do I go this way or that way? The only variable in this beautiful little equation is your response.

The event is what it is. Whether it is a positive or negative event doesn’t actually predict the outcome of the situation. I am sure many of you have had negative events happen yet because of how you have responded the outcome has been positive.

Your response on the other hand, is 100% up to you. Every minute of every day you get to decide how you show up, how you respond and therefore how pleasurable and happy your life is.

When we truly stand in full responsibility for our responses then the outcomes we achieve will reflect that.

And that equals a happier, calmer and more positive life.

 

 

The Tribe has spoken….

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Tribal Rule is alive and well.

I feel confident saying that you would have experienced it in some form or another over the course of the last day, week or month.

Tribes fascinate me and I am always curious to know what tribes people belong to.

“What?” I hear you say, “a tribe? I don’t belong to a tribe, are you kidding me?”.

No, I am not! And yes you are a fully-fledged, card-carrying member of many tribes – even if you don’t know it.

Tribes today come in many forms – families, friendship groups, sporting teams, corporate entities, sex, race, religious and spiritual groups, ethnic groups, professions and so on. Basically, a tribe is any group of people who are connected to each other and have a set of rules and beliefs in how things “should” be.

Without even knowing it, you have been participating in your tribes and adding value to them, as well as enforcing the rules of the group.

The thing about tribes that is particularly interesting is that there has to be some judgement: you’re either in or you are out. You are following the rules the tribe believe in and if you are not, then you are most probably living with some discomfort. The tribe will (eventually) evict you because you aren’t toe-ing the line, making a change or fitting in. If you don’t then it will make life uncomfortable so that you want to leave and find a new tribe anyway.

Here are some examples:

The Vegan Tribe says it’s wrong to eat animal products.

The Environmentalist Tribe say that if we don’t change, the planet will die.

The Catholic Tribe says no sex before marriage.

The Australian Tribe is not very welcoming of refugees.

The American Tribe says they have a right to carry guns regardless of the deaths they cause.

The Apple Tribe believes that their products are superior to any other brand.

The Police Tribe says you must follow the speed limit.

Don’t get me wrong: tribes have many advantages. In fact, the human spirit requires connection and to be a part of something bigger than itself. This is still hardwired into us from our caveman days – we long to belong.

Tribes create social order, promote connection and community, and most importantly, they are good for your health!

A Harvard University study examined the lives of almost 3,000 people and found that those who gather together to go out for dinner, play cards, go on day trips, holiday with friends, go to the movies, attend sporting events, go to church, or engage in other social activities outlive their reclusive and more disconnected peers by an average of two-and-a-half years. Being part of a tribe is not only fun but it can also extend your life.

Plus, how much easier is it to get things done working as a group rather than attempting to do it all alone? I think of the Amish Community building barns together, and the local church down the road from me who holds a yearly busy bee to tidy up the neighbourhood streets. What about Christmas time where each tribe member brings something to the table to share?

Like most things in life, there is a light component and a dark component. We all want to feel included, to belong, to be a part of something, and yes, our tribes give us that. It’s about being with like-minded people who understand you and your language and who support your ideas and beliefs.

Just beware, however, that the tribe will speak when you are not “toe-ing the tribal line”. My dad started a new relationship very quickly after my mum passed away and his friendship tribe was MOST put out! They had a set of rules around how grief should be done and clearly my dad was not doing it the right way.

I had to field a barrage of calls from his social circle, all expressing their unhappiness around his actions. In the end I told them to stop calling. I didn’t care what the Friendship Tribe thought (nor did my dad, mind you), I just cared about what was best for my father and his partner.

In one of my coaching sessions this week my client was telling me about how her new partner (whom she completely adores!) is from a different religious denomination and that her family is extremely unhappy with her. It started as a gentle rumble but has now escalated into a deep roar. They have asked her to make a choice: him or us.

The Tribe has spoken…

 

 

 

 

Givers need to know when to stop giving

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We all know that one person.

The person who happily rocks up to the party and doesn’t bring a thing EVER.

The person who will call and offload all their problems to you but is never available in your moment of need.

The person who always wants to be picked up (even expects it) but never does the picking up.

TAKERS!!

Or as I like to call them: The “One Way Street Human Being”.

In my experience, Takers come in three flavours:

The first flavour is that of the Scarcity Taker. The Scarcity Taker simply believes that there isn’t enough to go around. They feel the need to take and hoard whatever they can get their hands on because they believe there is a finite supply on the planet. They will let you buy lunch because then they get to save their money (even if you have bought lunch the last five times). They might need their money for something else so they are not going to offer it or spend it if they don’t have to.

The Scarcity Takers don’t ever view this as unfair or rude – they see it as sensible. They think there isn’t enough to go around so why spend when they don’t have to? You offered to buy the lunch, so they get to squirrel their cash away for another day. This is a win/win situation for them, but not for you.

The second type of Taker is the Entitled Taker. The Entitled Taker genuinely believes that they have the right to take more than others. They will happily go to the pub with a group of people and let everyone else buy the wine for the table. Of course their glass will never be empty! There is wine on the table and they are entitled to drink as much as they want. The Entitled Taker does not even consider that there is anything wrong with this – they are entitled for God sake!

The Entitled Taker often appears cocky and arrogant in their taking. There is no apology for their lack of contribution. They boldly grab at what they want (often without asking) and then will fire back strongly if anyone challenges them.

The third kind of Taker is the Selfish Taker. The Selfish Taker genuinely struggles to think of anyone else’s needs. It is all about them! The Selfish Taker normally has a highly inflated sense of importance (which stems from poor self esteem) and therefore their needs and desires trump everyone else’s. Selfish Takers tend to have the quickest turnover of people in their lives because their overt self-focus gets boring very quickly.

The Selfish Taker wants it their way every time. If it doesn’t go their way, they like to punish whoever was involved. They will fight back when challenged because they cannot see any other point of view and will normally be outraged at the suggestion that they are taking.

The fascinating thing about Takers is they attract Givers. Like night and day, man and woman, black and white, yin and yang – a taker needs a giver.

Givers needs takers too. The Giver gets to feel important and valuable because they are meeting their need for contribution (underneath that they are really meeting their need for love, connection and significance) so for a while this is a symbiotic relationship.

But there ALWAYS comes a point.

The Giver realises that they are being used and the Taker starts to morph into a parasitic being – sucking the Giver dry with an ever growing thirst for more and more.

This is normally where the story gets interesting!

The Giver becomes agitated! Yet often they don’t want to speak up because confrontation is the last thing they want. The Giver has collected hundreds of examples of where they gave and the other person took. They are genuinely baffled at why the Taker cannot see this. The Taker should KNOW what they are doing; they should realise just how much the Giver is giving – it’s obvious isn’t it??

NO, IT IS NOT! You are dealing with a Taker.

It’s time for you to put your big girl (or big boy) undies on and make some decisions! This doesn’t mean ending the friendship, although that is often what happens. It means drawing some lines in the sand, getting clear on your boundaries, and most of all it means finding a voice and speaking up.

Saying “No”.

Saying “It’s your turn”.

Saying “If you want to keep drinking the wine from the table, please go and buy some to add to it – otherwise stop drinking our wine”.

I can hear the collective intake of breath from all the Givers as they read that: “I can’t say that!! That is so rude!”. But so is bagging them to everyone who will listen because you don’t have the courage to speak up! So is not valuing yourself enough to speak your truth!

Every day we are teaching people how to treat us. The statements above are teaching the Taker that what they are doing is not okay. You have now made them accountable. By making them accountable they will think about their actions next time this situation occurs. You might have to call them on it five times, but you are speaking your truth and will feel SO much better for it in the long run.

One of my favourite sayings that beautifully sums this up goes:

“Givers need to know when to stop giving because takers don’t know when to stop taking”.

Never stop giving – it is definitely one of the most beautiful traits in human beings. Just make sure you are giving and not being used.