Why to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Recently, I was a guest on  See Chicago (airing Sunday nights on WGN TV) for the “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” episode. With my pal and show host Dawn Jackson Blatner, I took on the adventure of trying aerial yoga. If you haven’t heard of it, aerial yoga involves flying in silk fabric and performing yoga suspended up in the air. Sound challenging? It is! Especially trying it for the very first time if you’re not Spiderman or a trapeze artist.

The suggestion to “get out of your comfort zone,” is advice we hear often. But, do we really know why this is a good idea? This experience reminded me. And I wanted to share with you because it is so easy to forget! It’s easy to forget that this is a healthy practice because there are two major reasons why you typically don’t want to get out of your comfort zone. They are:

  1. It’s hard. By the very title: “get out of your comfort zone,” it’s obvious that you’ll experience discomfort. This means you can expect to feel the range of emotions falling on the less desirable side of the spectrum like: fear, embarrassment, disappointment, anger, and frustration. Not typically what we look forward to feeling.
  2. You’ll resist. Because your brain doesn’t like like discomfort, and especially if you’re an overachiever like me who hates being a beginner and bad at something, you’ll want to react to the discomfort like a whiny baby: crabby, critical, defeated, demanding, and maybe even snapping at people to dispel your negative emotions. This is not the best version of yourself and you especially don’t want others in the world to see it.

So with all this ick – there must be a profound reason to get out of your comfort zone, right? Well, here’s what I learned:

As much as I felt frustrated and whiny while I was terrible at aerial yoga in a room full of aerial yoga goddesses, the whole experience reminded me what it’s like to be at the very beginning of something. Anything new is messy. Always. And that is important to remember because we get so IN our comfort zones in life sometimes we get an aversion to messiness. And if this goes unchecked, out of fear, we’ll stop doing anything that seems chaotic or uncertain or adventurous. This is dangerous because chaos and uncertainty and adventure are necessary parts of the creative process. You can’t create anything new or interesting without these elements. Nope. You can’t. Not ever.

So, aversion to messiness puts you in a rut where you are at risk to: stay in the same old jobs even if its boring, to stay exactly the same in a relationship even if it is unhealthy, and to just stick with sameness in countless other ways. On the other hand, to get out of your comfort zone means staying fresh, innovative, creative, able to take risks, and committed to grow into who you are really meant to become. This is the absolute gold and why it’s worth doing. And, the more you do it, the more you build confidence to cultivate your creative, genius self.

Plus, here’s a bonus tip: Get out of your comfort zone with loved ones, especially those who are fun and have a lot of heart and personality.  Together is always better, and makes it much easier to remember to laugh and have a good time in the whole messy, chaotic process. Speaking of laughter, watch Dawn and I giggle our way through an aerial yoga class in the “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” episode on See Chicago.

WATCH THE SEGMENT HERE (3 minutes)!

WATCH THE SEGMENT HERE!

And if you’re a Chicago lover like us, be sure to tune in every Sunday night at 10:30 pm CT / 8:30 pm PT. Watching Dawn in her various adventures around the city is sure to give you more ideas to get out of your comfort zone.

 

Genius tool: Angel Card Readings

Last week I was interviewed for the new YouTube Series 7 in a 750 hosted by Oh Elisabeth. During the interview, I shared about one of my most fun & popular tools for working with clients to bring forth their genius: angel card readings. In the episode, I do a live reading for the audience. So guess what that means? Watch the episode with your personal question in mind, and you’ll receive guidance in this reading from your angels!

What is an angel card reading?
Oracle card decks are a tool to receive guidance about creating our best future. Reading of oracle cards was an ancient practice for tuning into divine wisdom coupled with our own inner wisdom. And in modern spirituality, oracle cards are making a big comeback! I use cards as a regular practice with my clients as a loving & supportive tool. One of my favorite oracle decks – and great for beginners to oracle cards – is Doreen Virtue’s angel card deck, which allows us to receive guidance from our angels.

What is 7 in a 750?
A personal driver for luxury experiences in a BMW 750i, Elisabeth Oh features 7 minute interviews with interesting Chicago figures as she takes them on a ride. Think Taxi Cab Confessions but in a high end vehicle and inspirational! The show is her genius emerging currently published on Youtube, so be sure to subscribe and follow her at:

YouTube: helloOhElisabeth
Instagram: @oh_elisabeth
Twitter: @oh_elisabeth
Deluxe Chicago Limo on Facebook: DeluxeChicago

A Meditation to Awaken Divine Purpose

Wanting to connect with your inner genius and be of service to the world? Enjoy this meditation to awaken your divine purpose! Here are 8 minutes of me guiding you to disconnect from the demands of our busy modern world and to tune into your inner Truth.

 

Feminine energy in business evokes genius

Our society labels certain behaviors in terms of gender. Driving motorcycles is manly, while taking ballet classes is womanly. But what really is the difference between masculine and feminine? We can distinguish the two as types of energy. And both are essential to the living out of our genius. However, we often miss the importance of feminine energy in business. This is because masculine energy has typically been more valued in our professional lives. So let’s explore these energies and why feminine energy is essential to business and expanding our genius.

Masculine energy is direct, linear, logical, and action-oriented. It is non-emotional and focuses on getting the job done. Our masculine energy ensures that once we set a goal, we move toward it and achieve it. Feminine energy is dreamy, intuitive, spiritual and playful. It is the opposite of linear and involves following the flow of the moment, wherever it may take us. Our feminine energy ensures that we are creative and take care of the needs of the moment and the people around us.

One energy without the other is imbalanced. Too masculine and we reach our goal yet do so blazing through without regard to consequences of people and places affected by our ambition. Too feminine and we have fun and make friends with everyone yet don’t reach our goals. Our modern society – in the context of business – has clearly favored masculine energy over the past century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and this has had many positive results. We’ve achieved so much in terms of progress. Yet we can see in many aspects of business, we’ve missed the mark on taking care of people and places because we haven’t given our feminine energy its due.

What does it look like to be in our feminine energy? We are purely in the moment. An idea comes to us, and we don’t move into action. Instead, we move into playfulness and nurturing. We allow the idea to show itself to us and then we engage in a flow of intuitive insights and the happenings of the world around us to nurture the idea and let it grow and shift and expand. Ideas are best when given time to reveal their best potential through our feminine energy.

So in our feminine energy, it looks something like this:

  • we get an idea in the shower (being creative)
  • then maybe we offer up a prayer about the idea (being spiritual)
  • then maybe we take a walk and commune with nature (more being spiritual) and
  • then meet with a friend and talk about the idea or go engage in some fun activity (being playful) and
  • then maybe we take a drive and listen to music and the lyrics prompt an idea (being intuitive) and
  • then maybe we consider how this idea supports and impacts all the people touched by it (being nurturing)
  • then we get out our markers and draw images and write our ideas in a flow chart (being creative).

And with all this our idea is being nurtured and watered like the seed that it is meant to grow into as a flourishing part of our world.

Without this feminine energy, we get an idea – a spark – and immediately ask: “how do I make this happen?” And this is an error because in acting too soon – we don’t allow the idea to express its fullest potential. If we allow our feminine energy to flow and the idea to mature into a form that we intuitively feel is ready to be acted upon, then we engage our masculine energy effectively to get the job done!

So let us remember to give more love and attention to the power and importance of our feminine energy. This goes for both men and women, by the way. We each have both types of energy. For when we engage our feminine energy, we ensure that our best, most genius ideas are what we bring forth into our world.

Want your team’s genius to flow? Ditch perfectionism.

As a society, we have created a perception of what it looks like to be a strong leader. She is perfectly poised, emotionless, and buttoned up. This is the face of perfectionism. If this is your leader, how does she make you feel day in and day out? What is the message she sends?

Well, for normal human beings she sends the message that the rest of us are inferior. This is because we expect that we should have it “all together” the ways she does. But no human who has emotions, desires, and challenges looks this way all the time. That’s ridiculous.

Normal human behavior is to feel a full range of emotions. Like, we lose a deal so we cry to release the pressure. Or, we say something stupid so feel embarrassed and seek counsel of a friend to talk it out. Or we receive criticism so we walk away, take a few deep breaths, and talk ourselves down with calming affirmations.

This is reality. We feel. We struggle. And we need to do things to recover. Yet, it seems we’ve made a collective agreement that perfect and perfectionism is the new normal.

What is the cost of this?

A person leading as if she is perfect can cause damage to herself and her team. She has lost connection with what it means to be human. And in her presence, others are harmed because they believe that they are not worthy or good enough to even be where they are unless they look perfect too. Creativity is stifled all around.

The Truth with a capital T (meaning spiritual truth) right now is this: Rather than this perfectionism, our workplaces right now need big doses of EMPATHY and COMPASSION and REALISM that it’s ok to make mistakes, feel difficult feelings, and struggle every so often. With freedom to be ourselves, our creative selves thrive. Then our genius and the genius of our teams can truly shine through.

A genius prerequisite: Self-Love

If you seek fulfillment in your work life, guess where focusing your love can most efficiently give you the results you desire? On YOU! Focusing your love on YOU. I’m sorry to have to break the news to you, but self-love is a requirement to knowing and expressing your inner genius.

I’ll be honest here. I used to think self-love was a bunch of crap. Ten years ago I met a woman who would later become one of my greatest spiritual mentors, Christine Arylo, who is known as The Queen of Self Love. When I met Christine I was a super busy rising star executive in the nonprofit world with an insanely full schedule. As much as I respected and liked her and was into personal growth and development, I thought: “who has time for self love?” Then several years later, as I began coaching people professionally around creating the lives and careers they most desired, I was like: “dammit, self love is EVERYTHING.” And, I’ve since come to hear this from other master teachers like Louise Hay.

Creating self love takes time and patience. It involves a whole lot of compassion for where we’ve been wounded, where we feel shame, and where we have found it best to protect ourselves and put up walls. And beyond all that, as we heal, it is then that we can discover our greatest talents and our genius.

One of the reasons I explain to clients that it takes several months for us to uncover their genius is because we need to work on self love as their foundation. It can be no other way. We cannot uncover and share our genius with the world without loving ourselves first.

And then – when we do love ourselves – look out! When we can see our true nature and who we really are and know that we are awesome in our light and dark qualities, we then become FREE to share our deepest, heart centered talents with the world. And THAT is e v e r y t h i n g!

How having fun helps discover genius

A KC & The Sunshine Band concert at the House of Blues: this is where I first experienced how having fun helps discover genius.  A successful, rising star lawyer, I was out for an evening with friends. What most people didn’t know was that I felt like I was losing in the game of life. I didn’t know who I was. And while I was very good at my job, I felt fear and doubt all the time about whether I was moving in the right career direction. Working in the criminal justice system, I was surrounded by people who woke up every day with purpose. Yet, I didn’t feel connected to my inner passion.

Until …

That night at the concert, I locked eyes with this incredible back-up dancer. I couldn’t stop watching her. She was JLo-level awesomeness set to old school disco tunes. She was having fun!

It hit me: fun! THAT’s what I needed. I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I knew in that moment, I’d sure love to dance!

I always loved dance. As a little girl I twirled around my living room lost in creating my own FlashDance free-style dance moves to the 80ies hits of the day. I tried a dance class once, but dropped out feeling intimidated because I couldn’t pick up the choreography quick like the other girls.  In 6th grade, taking matters into my own hands, I choreographed a skit for the school talent show and brought in two other girls to perform with me to Janet Jackson’s then mega hit, Control. In 8th grade, I had a blast as co-captain for the cheerleading and dance squad.

Thereafter, my passion for dance faded into the background due to two tragedies. My mom passed away right before my 8th grade cheerleading competition, so I dropped out. And then when I tried out for cheerleading in high school, I didn’t make the cut. Again, probably because I had trouble picking up on other people’s choreography, the judges didn’t see my talent.

So that night at the KC concert – something awoke inside of me.  I wondered “How could I create some of this magical fun in my life now?”

Luckily, at the time, I had a creative and unabashed friend in my life known as “Big Gay Jim.”  (The universe always sends us exactly what and who we need.) Jim was following his artistic talents running a small theater company. He put on variety shows and musicals that were performed at the Elbo Room in Chicago. I asked if I could choreograph and perform in a skit in his upcoming show, and forever changing my life, he said “yes.”

I had a major role in his next two productions and had So. Much. Fun!!!

how having fun helps discover genius

Me at the Elbo Room with my pal Jasiel after a show!

What I know now is that the fun of those several months of performing was essential to my larger transformation that was occurring. By reconnecting to fun, I was reconnecting to myself. I could hear the whispers of my heart and where it was guiding me.  Soon after, I left my legal career to pursue what I discovered was my greatest passion: empowering women and girls to be their truest selves through creating awesome careers.

And now, I teach my clients – as The Genius Guru – how having fun helps discover genius. When you don’t know where to go in your career, fun is the place to start. Why? Because we are energy beings. And feeling joy is the highest vibration available.  There are lower, less fun vibrations of course like: powerlessness, fear, frustration, and apathy.  And while you’re in those lower vibrations, you attract more into your life of that energy.

When you bring yourself up to the level of joy – through pure fun – you begin clarifying what feels good to you and then attract more of that into your life. And you literally create magic!  Today, you may feel stuck and unsure of where your life is going. But when you bring regular doses of fun into your life – you begin to notice people and opportunities show up that had previously seemed crazy or out of reach.  Magic is real – and fun is your entry point! If you’re inspired to learn more about how creating happiness helps attract your life desires, check out Pam Grout’s latest book: Thank & Grow Rich.

So, my friends, go out there and have ridiculous fun! You’ll find yourself and your genius along the way! I promise.

My most recommended Ted talk for new business ideas

If you desire to be free professionally and express your deepest creative genius, it may be in your cards to launch your own business. You may even be the type to launch several business ideas over your lifetime.  Creating a new business concept is kinda like dating. You and your idea have to to get to know each other. As a way to help my clients get better acquainted with any of their new business ideas, my most recommended Ted talk is Simon Sinek’s, which is ranked 3rd most popular of all time.

These days, I’m talking about this Ted talk every day in connection with my new Launch in 30 program. This is a program to help individuals with great business ideas get the ideas out of their hearts and out into the world in as little as 30 days.

Simon’s talk is so great to help launch a new business idea because he provides a structure to really get to know your concept. He talks about identifying the why, the how, and the what – which he refers to as “The Golden Circle.”  The why is the big purpose of your business or the reason you even exist, which Simon describes as the most important element. He says it is through sharing clearly your why that you will attract the right customers: those who also believe what you believe.  The how of your business, Simon says, is what makes your business special over others in the same marketplace. It’s what I talk about as your genius. And the what is simply the product or service you’re currently offering. The what may change over time.

Fear and doubt come with the territory of starting anything new, and launching a new business concept is no exception. Simon’s talk is a god-send for anyone looking to gain more courage and confidence in a new business idea.  Identifying the why, how, and what your idea totally changes the game. I’ve seen entrepreneurs who sensed they might have a good idea shift very quickly into confident crusaders of something big and purposeful by doing this golden circle exercise. Their deeper sense of purpose and unique genius quickly inspires action and calls upon grace to catalyze success. It’s quite amazing to witness such transformations!

To get more in the know of what all this excitement is about, check out my most recommended Ted talk to launch new business ideas here:

If after watching this, you’d like to uncover the why, how, and what of your latest business idea, let’s have a conversation about how I can apply my genius to support you. Contact me now!

5 pieces of career advice for young adults

adjusting-to-adult-life

As a recent guest on The Dr. John Duffy Podcast, I answered questions for his audience of young adults about how to navigate the early part of their careers. They asked questions like: How do you know if you have an abusive boss? How do you ask for a raise? And how do you know if you’re moving on from a job that isn’t right for you vs. just “quitting?” Dr. Duffy’s team named the episode: “The Workplace Advice You’re Not Getting,” and from the show, here are 5 pieces of career advice for young adults (and all humans!) who want to navigate their careers authentically and mindfully:

  1. Only take career advice from people who you admire how they’ve navigated their careers.
  2. Work that is your natural genius is not hard to you, it’s fun and easy.
  3. Dealing with difficult people will be part of your career and can help you grow into a better person.
  4. Money is only one part of the equation to measure your success.
  5. Following your true desires around work is essential to your your physical and emotional health.

Appearing on Dr. Duffy’s show was important to me because I believe many teens and young adults are getting out-of-date and frankly BAD advice from many adults. As someone who works with adults in their 30ies, 40ies and 5oies about their biggest career regrets and ways they got off course, it is my intention to help this next generation stay on course around their genius from the very beginning.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full episode, answering the questions mentioned above and more HERE. (8/24 episode). And check out more awesomeness with Dr. Duffy by subscribing to his podcast.

About Dr. John Duffy:
Dr. Duffy is a clinical psychologist, best-selling author, certified life coach, parenting and relationship expert, and husband and father. He has been working with individuals, couples, teens, and families for nearly twenty years. Along with his clinical work, Dr. Duffy is the author of the number-one best-selling book The Available Parent, as well as a frequent parenting and relationship expert on the Steve Harvey Show.

Relieve doubt about your genius with a prayer

Want to serve others in a big way through your genius?

As enlivening as a big, purposeful career feels, it also rouses inner discomfort.
This road has twists and turns, ups and downs – all to help you shed away baggage
to release what you no longer need to be who you are most meant to become.

These challenges bring major self doubt –
perhaps as you watch someone else get ahead and you feel behind, or
perhaps as you try something new and it doesn’t take off the way you planned, or
perhaps as you procrastinate because you’re too afraid to really go for it.

If you’re craving a reprieve from feeling too unworthy, unprepared, or uncertain
to truly follow the big career calling in your heart, I’ve got a treat for you!

While sitting by the ocean this week, I video recorded a prayer for you,
to release the doubt and open to guidance toward your greatness.

Remember: those of us with the biggest connection to purpose, are often the ones most sensitive to the doubt. So know that it’s ok to feel it, just don’t get stuck there.