The Saturday Morning Mindset

I’ve had this nagging experience lately that I just haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it is now, I believe, slowly starting to take shape and I figured I would share it with you guys and see what you think.

I got sick over a year ago and was forced to leave my 30+ year career. That was hard.

For men in general, we derive much of our self-worth through our careers. We are providers, we are problem solvers. We are meant to work, to have an impact and for many to be a leader.

To not have the health to perform the typical 40-hour work-week (ok, mine was 60+hrs per week which influenced my illness but that’s another topic) meant I needed to now reinvent myself.

That in itself was not an easy transition, letting go of the traditional employee mindset is completely counter-intuitive. But I believe in the end, being forced out of my career will likely turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

And trust me when I say that isn’t a statement made lightly. I am currently only 54 and living off my 401K retirement, and using it to seed my new business.

Yes I know, accountants all over the planet just groaned in unison.

So it is critical that I make this transition into entrepreneurship sooner rather than later. But talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

There is nothing in my life that says success is just around the corner or even remotely a lock.

In fact, quite the contrary. Statistics are horrible for new entrepreneurial startups and everything is screaming that I’m wasting my time, that failure is imminent and that every day that I’m not looking for another 40-hour job that I can do from bed or computer desk is one day closer to the point of no return and self-insufficiency.

But the choice has been made, give it at least 1 year before freaking out. I’d say I made it maybe 4 months before I began freaking out.

And that’s where I’m at today. For the past month, I have woken each day with a sense of discomfort, some internal unrest that has been sapping energy, creativity, motivation, and commitment.

But I haven’t been able to pinpoint the source, or even recognize what exactly the emotion was. Everything has just been off, but off how?

And it hit me talking to an accountability partner earlier today. It’s just simple fear.

The Problem

Imagine the scene, you’ve worked a hard week and it’s Friday night and your off work. Feels good but your tired. You might go out, have some fun or stay in but you hit the sack wiped out.

But oh, when you wake up Saturday morning, there isn’t a care in the world; you’ve got the whole day.

You can sleep in, you can go for an early morning jog or hit the gym. You can call a friend and make lunch plans, hit the clubs later that night, even go into the office if you felt like getting a jump on next week.

No matter what choice you make for a Saturday it is the right choice because you are the master of this day and it will go any way you choose, and whatever you choose will be the right choice.

There isn’t a care in the world because no matter how far you push it, you’ve got another day off, all day Sunday, to enjoy just the same.

This is what I call Saturday Morning Joy, it is true freedom and it is how life is supposed to feel.

What do I want, what do I need, ok, let’s go… total freedom of spirit, mind, and soul.

But what happens when you get up on Sunday? Is it “I’ve still got a whole day off, how awesome, the best day ever!”

For some, maybe. But for most people I know, the dread starts to come in and the thought “ugh, I have to go to work tomorrow” starts to drape a cloud over our sunny disposition.

What???? This day is going to be less-enjoyed because of commitments more than 24 hours away that have no bearing on today?

And no matter what you engage with, there is always this nagging voice that interrupts the joy saying “don’t forget, you have to work tomorrow”.

And that is the feeling I haven’t been able to shake; for more than a month!

As an entrepreneur with a business plan, short-term and long term goals, financial stability at least for the short term, I should be thrilled every day.

This is it, the dream transition has begun. Every day I can choose to work on the business some, engage in social activity, change tasks. I am my own boss and I can do anything I want to or need to. Every day is Saturday.

But instead, every day I have been filled with a sense of dread that even if I am free today, I’m still not free. There is this weight that is stealing my ability to stay present, a weight centered around the unending insecure tomorrows, even if today is secure.

Once I realized that it is my thoughts and subconscious beliefs messing with my emotions I began to ask friends and mentors about the “Sunday Mindset”.

They all knew exactly what I was talking about, and the conclusion I drew I’m calling ACTIVE SURRENDER. 

The Solution

Everyone shared tales of how they pushed through the darkness of uncertainties that dominated different seasons of their life. And, in the end, they simply needed to do the actions of a successful person while surrendering to the fact that it was God who had to bring the miracles.

It ultimately became the opportunities, resources, and discoveries outside of their control that rescued them from their dire situations and carried them to the next level.

All they could do was remain active and faithful to the dream, but they also had to surrender the timelines and outcomes as to when the next breakthrough would come.

We simply move forward on faith that the breakthrough is coming without ever getting the assurance of knowing when and how it will come. 

I know many motivational speakers or coachers will say “you make your own breaks”, but the reality is, on some level, success only comes when we actively pursue through faith and trust that God will meet us in our efforts.

Active Surrender

So what does Active Surrender look like?

For me, I’d say it is staying rooted in the Saturday Morning Mindset.

True freedom is a state of mind, soul, and spirit and must not be based on physical circumstances. 

We won’t escape the feelings of anxiety, fear, insecurity or hopelessness until we change the often hidden limiting beliefs that are feeding them.  

We must recognize every morning when we wake up that we are free today to craft whatever we want with the next 12 hours of our life. Work, play, socialize, rest, dream, sing, dance, write, draw, create, destroy, we choose each activity.

I am not a victim, I am not trapped, I am not dead, I am not helpless or hopeless.

Quite the contrary!

I can do whatever I want today, and tomorrow I have the same freedom. Sure some decisions may come with huge repercussions, but if not making the decisions leads to unending misery then is it really a choice?

Change or die. Grow or die. Risk or die. Overcome fear and insecurity or die.

Live or die, the choice is ours.

We are all going to die, the question is, will we die without regrets?

If there is an aspect of my life that I feel trapped in, then it is up to me to evaluate what needs to change and start moving in that direction.

The Sunday Morning Mindset knows it is free physically but yet still feels emotionally captive to an unsure or undesired “tomorrow”.

It is a victim mindset that believes it is trapped, that nothing will ever change, and that we have no power to overcome the circumstances of our life.

But the Saturday Morning Mindset, along with knowing it is free, also chooses to believe it and live like it.

Once we get the heart and mind right, then it’s back on course.

Focus on your “why” and get busy kickin’ ass 

If we can just choose to hang on to the Saturday Morning Mindset and remain Actively Surrendered we won’t just endure each day, we will tackle each day with enthusiasm, with a free spirit that lives without boundaries or limitations in pursuit of dreams and desires.

To successfully navigate risk in any area of life requires making peace with the unyielding pressure for assurances that aren’t coming.

The sooner we (I) get over it, the sooner we (I) can back to crafting our song and dance the day away.

Romans 8:28 
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


So, how about you? Do you have a Saturday Morning Mindset or a Sunday Morning?

Feel free to join the conversation in the comments below.

Let’s do this!

George

Are You Lost in the Weeds?

life is

It’s almost funny to me how self-sabotage can still sneak up on me and take me out.

For anyone that has spent any substantial amount of time trying to accomplish a goal, you know first-hand how hanging on to your “why” is critically important.

If we don’t have a well defined “why” that you are doing something then it is virtually impossible to summon the strength, courage, and endurance to make it through the seemingly endless battles and encroaching hopelessness that inevitably comes up while in pursuit of our dreams.

What is super important to recognize, however, is that challenges only become roadblocks when we lose perspective.

As I talk about constantly, our life experience is filtered through our belief system and values. What we believe is true will ultimately become true, either through perseverance or sabotage.

Case-in-point: as an IT Manager I was called upon to tackle incredibly challenging projects quite often. From finding new ERP Software to replacing a legacy phone system with a new IP based system. From evaluating evolving infrastructure hardware and software requirements to rolling-out entire enterprise-wide solutions for both.

Oh, and did I mention I was a department of one! I had no employees working for me in the IT department, I was it.

With nearly 200 employees in 5 different offices throughout the entire Western United States region, my hands were full. And when I started working there, they had only 5 AOL dial-up computers (yes, that just aged me).

I had to research, develop, roll-out and manage all of the projects without ever having done any of them before I joined the company as their IT Manager.

And literally, EVERY project was a success.

How is that possible?

When I look at my relationships, health, finances and other areas of my life at that time, I was a complete trainwreck.

I was 70lbs overweight with pre-diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, an active alcoholic, and hadn’t dated in nearly 20 years. I also had 1 bankruptcy in my past and the once-again maxed-out credit cards were threatening a second.

How could my career be stellar and the rest of my life not be working?

I was the same person in all those areas of my life, with the same capabilities, brain, and strengths.

As I reflected on that incongruency in my own life I realized it was mindset; that failure never entered my mind in my career, and giving up was never an option, and fear never took me out.

I was the IT Manager and I had a task to accomplish. I loved the challenge. Inevitably every project started with a Google search; how did others accomplish this.

And then I would begin to cast a vision of what the end-game would look like.

Then start assessing where we were now, what did we have already that would support the project and what did we need to dump and acquire.

Invariably a thousand knowledge deficits arose, and sacrifices had to be made, compromises and constant risk assessments continually restructured the process… BUT QUITTING WAS NEVER AN OPTION.

I realize now, in hindsight, failure wasn’t even on my radar, that was an absurd thought.

We needed a new phone system and I was going to roll one out, come hell or high water.

But when I thought about dating: what if she’s not the right one, what if I blow it, what if we date for a while then she goes crazy and I can’t get out of the relationship, what if everything goes great and it might lead to marriage, what if… what if… fear fear fear!

How about my finances: I really want to go on that motorcycle trip over the Continental Divide next Fall in Colorado, I’ll just put in on a credit card. I really want to go out to dinner with my friends, I’ll just put in on a credit card. My car’s a piece of crap, I’ll put the downpayment on a credit card. I need a new computer, I’ll put it on a credit card… I’ll put it on a credit card… credit card… credit card…

And what about my health: It’s a busy day, I’ll just grab fast food… 3x per day for 30 years! Insane eating habits.

Yet every year I would jump on the New Years Resolution with millions of others who dreamed of living differently in various areas of their life, make great plans, but never able to stick with it.

In every area of my life other than my career, when I envisioned a goal (dating, get out of debt, get healthy), the minute it came to actually “doing the work” I would get “lost in the weeds”. 

I would make choices based on immediate desires (temptations and feelings) instead of long-term visions. Or begin ruminating on my fears of what could go wrong instead of being driven by what could go right. 

In my career, failure wasn’t even a consideration, success was inevitable, it had to be. I just had to figure out how to do it and take the necessary steps every day. And every day I loved the process because every successful benchmark took me one step closer to the goal. 

I can’t begin to tell you the hundreds of hours I have spent personally and with clients trying to gain focus and clarity and drive and passion to get through the hard work of achieving goals, when in reality it comes completely natural with no awareness at all if we can just stay focused on “the vision and the why”.


I have an exercise for you, should you be interested in seeing just how good you are at this already, maybe without even realizing it.

The Success Mindset

Step One) Think of a past success that you are especially grateful for or proud of. 

  • Graduating from college?
  • Landing a killer job?
  • Getting that first date with the guy or gal you’ve been crushing on forever? 
  • Paying off your last credit card
  • Losing 50 lbs
  • Starting a new business
  • If you are younger and can’t think of anything major, how about getting your drivers license. 

Step Two) Get in touch with your mindset during your road to success

  • Was failure even a consideration?
  • Did fear stop you from progressing?
  • Did you see challenges as insurmountable or “just the next thing to solve”?
  • Like getting your drivers license, was the thought “I’ll never get my license” ever a belief that made you quit trying? Everyone gets their license, even if it takes a few tries, right? But did you have a clue how to drive when you started?

Step Three) What did the process look like for you?

  • Did a lot of it suck but you did what needed to be done and in hindsight glad you did?
  • Were you embarrassed to ask for help or did you instinctually and effortlessly seek out others for support?
  • Did you think of yourself as stupid for not having “all the answers” at the beginning of the process, or just took the “next step” without realizing it?
  • Did not having a clue “how” you were going to pull this off create debilitating fear that stopped you from trying?
  • If it was a weight, financial or other type benchmarks, was the daily sacrifice difficult during the entire duration or did it become almost fun as you saw the end-game coming closer into view

Step Four) Contrast and Compare the areas of your life that you struggle in vs your successes

  • Are your “thought processes” the same in both scenarios?
  • Is your focus on the goal any different?
  • Is your confidence, attitude, or beliefs about the situations any different?
  • Is your commitment, drive, and desire for success any different between them?

Invariably, it is our beliefs about our chances of success that keep us from being successful. 

So, what were the important variables for you when looking at a successfully completed goal vs one you keep failing at?

My guess is we will always find mindset, attitude, emotion and beliefs at the center?

Whatever the difference, ask yourself “why do I think differently about this area of my life than I do in the successful area(s) of my life?”


The Pursuit of Successful Attitudes

A clear vision of what success looks like is a critical first step.

“I will get my drivers license, I will get out of debt, I will get down to 150lbs, I will start dating and find my perfect mate, I will get sober, I will succeed in my business, I will, I will, I will!!!”

We cannot ask ourself “what happens if I fail” or get stuck believing “I’ve tried before and failed”. Those are a freight-train to the weeds!

We achieve what we focus on, trial-and-error prior to success is not a failure. Failure only arrives when we quit trying.

Taking a drivers test and not passing simply meant you studied harder and tested again, right?

Having an unshakeable “why” is another critical step. 

“I want my freedom and my driver’s license is how I get there, that’s why I will keep studying and training”.

“I want to live longer and play with my kids and watch them grow up, that’s why I’m losing the weight”.

“My business depends on me finding an edge over my competitors, that’s why I will keep searching for new innovation”.

“My company needs a new phone system and that’s my job, bring it on, let’s do this!!!”

Our “why” is what powers us through. If the goal is all you can see then the steps to get there are almost insignificant, they just are part of the process.

No stress, no drama, no fear… just “what’s next” as a matter-of-fact.

Never losing sight of the fact that YOU CAN DO IT

In looking at our past successes instead of our past failures, we can see that our mind, body, emotions, and will, combined with our faith and determination made the seemingly impossible, possible.

We must realize that we have all the internal goods needed for everything we need for success in every area of our life, we just need to tap into it, nurture it, develop it, whatever “it” is.

The greatest challenge is keeping our minds out of the weeds so our emotions stay positive and enthusiastic, which in turn feeds our mind’s creativity and resolve.

Gaining High Self-Awareness

For many, if not most of us, or even EVERYONE… recognizing when our self-talk becomes negative, extreme, black-and-white, all-or-nothing or worse, self-condemning or fear-based, we must punch-out IMMEDIATELY

So what do we do if we find ourselves in the weeds?

Steps to Avoid/Recover from THE WEEDS

  1. Refocusing on your “why” and reclaim the commitment to success
  2. If there were significant trauma, abuse or childhood neglect issues, counseling is warranted. Some of those negative beliefs run really deep into the subconscious and with a self-sabotaging inner-child running amock the chance of getting off course is significant.
  3. Learn to engage the emotions. I am personally a big fan of mindfulness meditation and I use a Muse Headband and Headspace App nearly every day to help stay focused and present.
  4. Start each day with a priming exercise of some sort, something that kicks off the endorphins around achieving your goal(s) and being connected and filled with gratitude.
  5. Practice your faith, meditation, journaling, exercise… do the “self-care” stuff that helps keep you sane.
  6. Get an outside perspective, especially if you find you have been stuck in the weeds for months, years or even decades (as I was). Get a coach, one who specializes in the area you are wanting to excel. Relationships, health, finance or just a general life coach can be super helpful in gaining new insight, focus, and motivation.
  7. Take a time of solitude, either in a hobby or go for a walk or whatever that looks like for you. Reflection and refocus is healthy and necessary occasionally, even if only for stolen brief moments.

Do you have others? – please share below!

The point is, it is always our thoughts that lead us either further down the path or into the weeds. We may not have much control over the 95% of our brain that operates outside of our conscious awareness, but we can work miracles with the 5% that is under our control once we recognize we are losing sight of the big picture and our motivation is waning.

Take control back today!

Join the conversation: How do you “stay out of the weeds” as you move towards your more abundant life? Feel free to comment below!


My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2
George Crone
Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner
Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching
Developer of The Life Mastery Project and Life Mastery Series
Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

 

But Overcome What?

The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse. Helen Keller

hellen keller 1

I’ll be honest, I’ve been struggling to find my voice, my message, my niche’, my audience.

Sure I write everything from the heart and freely expose my own life’s victories and blunders. But it seems that I’m still trying to figure out what my life’s story is trying to say.

Clearly, The Life Mastery Project is about “overcoming”… but I realized this morning that is much too vague.

Discovering that “our mess is our message” and that “our tests become our testimony” is a beautiful thing, and it’s easy to share from that space. But to provide an offering that you, the reader, are consistently interested in following and engaging with is another thing.

I’m not Tony Robbins, although his energy, wisdom, and vision of success run through me.

I’m not Darren Hardey, but his DarrenDaily wisdom influences me greatly.

Clearly, I’m not Jesus Christ, but the Word of God and his heart and teachings flow through my veins through the Holy Spirit, or at least that is my belief. 

I’m not Derek Rydall or Wayne Dyer… but their enlightened wisdom is a part of me.

I’m also not Bill W or Ted Roberts… or John Eldredge, Oswald Chambers or C.S. Lewis or Dallas Willard, but their heart and wisdom influence my thoughts.

These and dozens of others are the mentors I study under. As are my therapists throughout the years who have also brought insight and greater self-awareness.

Or the concept of Ikigai, or Tao/Buddhism wisdom. Or discovering my personality styles through Clifton, Myers-Briggs, and The Love Style self-assessments.

Some may contest that Christianity refutes the concepts of addiction recovery, psychology, self-help, and enlightenment and say they can’t be intermixed. But in my (current) view, they are all aspects of the same thing; a whole mind, body, and spirit existence.

Yes, the tenants of Christianity go far beyond just being our best self or living our best life. But the truths contained within are universal to many enlightenment and scientific discoveries, beliefs, and understandings.

But I digress. As mentioned, I am starting to recognize that I am somewhat all over the map by pressing into these different ideologies and areas of study and awareness.

It feels like the incongruency creates a lack of clarity and therefore, a lack of branding.

So again, I press back into the question; what is the Life Mastery Project all about?

What is my gifting? What value do I bring to others through my testimony and messages?

I feel like I came closer to that answer last night.

I was in a social gathering, a reception for an artist friend of mine. It was his gig, and I was just there to help out with the logistics; food, music, and general guest well-being.

Social gatherings are not my thing. I am an INTJ, an introvert, who feels overwhelmed in crowds. Add loud music and dozens of simultaneous conversations, and it’s just too much to process. I found myself having to step outside to get air often, and I struggled to connect with anyone.

These were the artist’s peers, not mine. But I met someone there who seemed different. We connected. We talked about the “emotions” the art drew out.

Earlier that night, I had someone ask me what I did for a living. I realized that was the first time that question had been asked of me since I left my 30 year career in Information Technology to become a Life Coach.

I struggled to answer him. I said, “I was in IT for 30 years,” and “I’ve been out of work for a year on disability.” I felt strange claiming to be a life coach.

It was a good reflection point for me. After that conversation, I realized I still see myself as being in limbo.

I have been working tirelessly for months on building the foundations for The Life Mastery Project and developing The Life Mastery Series. And I am working on getting Nikaos Coaching off the ground. Yet somehow, it appears, that I didn’t feel legitimate with these endeavors.

So when this gal asked me the same question a 1/2hr later, I was ready. “I’m a life coach,” I stated with confidence and authority.

I couldn’t really gauge her reaction, but it felt good to claim my dream. I may not have a significant impact yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not putting myself out there and doing the work that is required.

One step at a time, one day at a time. 

I am an entrepreneur, I’m a knowledge broker, I am a thought leader; just an unknown one haha. And that’s ok!

What happened next, I believe, was God’s way of revealing the answer to my question: what’s my purpose.

She said something (of which I don’t even remember now), and when I gave my response, she replied: “oh, your right, I’m so stupid sometimes.”

The words just rolled out of her mouth casually without any real emotion or conviction. It was as if she had said that statement to herself a million times before and she was just “stating a fact.”

Of course, the hair went up on the back of my neck, and I lovingly snapped back “hey, you don’t get to say things like that around a life coach, you are NOT stupid. Our self-talk matters”.

She was startled but then instantly replied: “your right, I even know that is true, self-awareness and self-dialogue are so important.” My parents never called me stupid, why do we do that?”

(side note: if you aren’t prepared to get a profoundly probing response, never ask a life coach why we do stuff)

I proposed that “we acquire that kind of self-assessment by the way we felt as a child.

The significant people in our life didn’t have to use those words, they just needed to treat us a certain way. By either doing something to us or holding something back from us, we experienced emotions and formed self-opinions.”

I went on to say that it is common to feel invisible, or voiceless, or like we didn’t matter. And that it was us who assigned the labels to those unexplainable feelings, especially if nobody else was around to adequately explain them to us.

I continued: “they may have loved us dearly and would never use words like that, but their actions speak to our soul whereas their words only speak to our minds.”

I could see her processing, lights were going on, synaptic connections being made.

I should have possibly let it go at that, but I was now in my element. For the first time at this social event, I had a connection with someone, and we were having a meaningful conversation. I could “see with my soul” that she had self-worth issues, and my “auto-pilot” felt the desire to engage; to help.

She then stated, “that makes sense, so what do we do with that?”

(Again, side note: often, Pandora’s Box exists at the core of the areas that we find ourselves stuck in life. When I think about “being an overcomer, this is ground zero.)

With her follow-up question, I felt like I had permission to go deeper. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just seemed like the door was open, so I walked through it.

I explained in more detail that we remember childhood events through emotion instead of intellect. Unfortunately, studying self-help books or gaining intellectual knowledge or doing talk therapy doesn’t always help. Especially if the circumstances or trauma took place very young in life.

I then gave her an example from one of my own life-changing epiphanies. It was an enlightenment breakthrough event that came from a counseling session looking back at something that took place with my father on vacation when I was 10-years old.

(Seemingly lots of side notes today huh? A detailed breakdown of that specific childhood event which changed my life can be found in the Life Mastery Series.  I am also now certified in the NLP process, which unearthed the truth in that childhood experience for me. NLP has since become a prominent part of my life coaching practice.) 

I then noticed she had tears streaming down her face. My ability to connect with people’s deepest place of wounding had drawn out this complete strangers pain in a public setting.

I continued, however, and explained the process of how I found incredible healing from those early formative years and the freedom I experience today.

Just as I was finishing “the lesson,” the artist walked up to us, and he noticed her tears, and she quickly composed herself.

I later apologized to her, but she explained that she was grateful for the conversation because she didn’t realize that stuff was hiding under her own surface.

I’m sure you can imagine that my INTJ processing plant has been working overtime on that encounter since last night and into today.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the whole experience had something to do with my question to God. How does what I’m learning from my own wounding and my ongoing recovery position me to help others? 

There is a new clarity starting to emerge, even as I relate last night’s events here to you now.

We have many things to overcome, but there is a definite order to things.

WHAT DOES BEING AN OVERCOMER LOOK LIKE?

  1. Overcoming the faulty self-narratives, limiting beliefs and thinking patterns
  2. Overcoming our learned habits of conformity, complacency, and conflict
  3. Overcoming our lack of self-awareness, self-control, and self-discipline
  4. Overcoming our lack of vision, empowerment, and faith
  5. Overcoming our lack of commitment, determination, and focus
  6. Overcoming our lack of organization, goal setting, and intentionality

It has been my experience that simply beginning to incorporate these things in my life has rewarded me with the daily gifts of living as an overcomer. I am experiencing vibrant new energy, inner-peace, and joy. 

There is no arrival; there is only pursuit

We don’t overcome, we become overcomers

If we are hoping to feel successful and happy by overcoming anonymity, poverty, or insignificance, then we will be disappointed if we ever achieve those things.

An overcomer is one who has mastered his body and mind, and he can honestly say it is well with his soul.

Being an overcomer is a constant daily internal battle against our desire for smooth sailing, comfortable surroundings, and a risk-free environment. An overcomer is no longer in pursuit of pleasure or happiness, she has learned that those are byproducts, not sources.

Psychology, sociology, physiology, and spirituality all play crucial roles in wholeness.

And it is wholeness that is the pursuit of all overcomers even though these areas will never be fully overcome.

There is no “one thing” that we must overcome to be an overcomer. 

That may be disappointing, I know I have spent much of my life looking for the “one thing.”

The good news is history proves that everyone has the ability, capability, and even a responsibility to live their life as an overcomer.

No matter where you find yourself in life, somebody has been there before, and they have overcome your exact same circumstances.

You have exactly what they had; a brain, two arms, two legs, a beating heart, and a soul.

I guess my message has been all-over-the-map because my awareness is all-over-the-map.

Everything matters, it all plays a role. And it is all stuff that I personally have to be aware of and press into every day in my own life.

The difference might be that I am falling in love with the process and accepting who I am as I am today.

I don’t feel a lack of anything, although there is much I still look forward to having, experiencing, and doing.

My joy comes from being the best I can be each day and helping others on their journey of overcoming.. overcoming whatever the next thing is.

And my even greater joy is when I see those I help begin helping others.

It is our shared journey of redemption to reignite the light in us that darkness tried to snuff out.

But just because something is our destiny doesn’t mean it is our guaranteed destination.

It is only after we take ownership of the process that we are then free to enjoy the journey. 

This is why I encourage everyone to JOIN IN ON THE CONVERSATION; BECOME A PART OF THE SOLUTION.

If my blogs or podcasts spark anything, know that there is a place where your voice can be heard.

It’s no secret that inquisitive, helpful, encouraging, and respectful comments help further the conversation.

And of course, likes and shares help grow the community.

How can you help me?

Through my coaching website, you have access to a direct contact form. If you provide your contact info, I would be happy to connect with you.

I’m a lonely introvert, let’s chat (haha)


My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2
George Crone
Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner
Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching
Developer of The Life Mastery Project and Life Mastery Series
Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

Do You Give Your Freedom Away?

freedom

Have you ever had those moments in life where you feel like God or the universe is trying to get your attention and show you something really important?

Over and over again in the last 24-hours, the same theme has been coming up.

Yesterday when it first hit I was like “that’s interesting”.

Then when it came up again this morning in a different context I thought “oh wow, what a coincedence”

And then the third example just moments ago, I literally sat down and said out loud “really??, this is that important??”

Clearly, someone or something that cares deeply about me is trying to make a point right now.

And I can’t think of a better reason to sit down at the keyboard and try to capture/express the depth of the message for others to share.

Scenario One

I’m talking to a friend yesterday, one of my closest. I know his story and he knows mine and we actually still like each other. (those in accountability relationships will get the humor in that)

He has had his share of weaknesses and struggles; childhood neglect can create emotional cavities that manifest in less-than-desirable ways later in life. And even in our best intentions, we will hurt the ones we love, and be hurt by them.

That is just life, we can learn how to minimize the damage, but few, if any, will ever be completely immune to it.

This time it was about his wife, she was triggered. He had done something that “this time” he was completely innocent but it flared up fear and anger in her.

We talked for an hour trying to assess the reality of the situation.

Yes, his past actions have helped create her insecurities, but the reality that she is responsible for her emotions and he is responsible for his is still the bottom line.

However, knowing the truth, and having our emotions follow along with that logic, are two VERY different things.

He was feeling insecure, kinda fearful. Any husband knows when his wife is upset with him there is unavoidable tension on the horizon and no way around it, you just have to step up and into it.

At one point he said, “ but I don’t have to own her emotions“.

And that was big, for both of us.

We are both very familiar with how our childhood woundings molded us into people-pleasers. We have become skilled at keeping the peace to avoid emotional conflict, it was the highest priority in our emotional world before enlightenment began to rewrite the narratives.

And we know the role codependency plays in that, the act of “feeling” responsible for other people’s emotions and making them responsible for ours.

In that one sentence, he proclaimed his freedom; he realized he was about to give his power away and he reclaimed it.

It wasn’t mean, it wasn’t selfish. He simply stated the fact that “just because my wife is upset doesn’t mean I have to be upset also”.

By him choosing to remain emotionally stable and still meet his wife where she is instead of having to somehow “make her like him again”, or “fix her”, he was then freed up to now simply love his wife instead of needing to change her state.

Sure it was a good desire, but it wasn’t necessary for his well-being.

That was true freedom example #1

Scenario Two

This morning I was awakened by a phone call; it was my old boss.

Just last week, after a year of me being on a medical leave of absence, we sat down and I signed termination papers. I had to surrender my job of 19 years. We were both saddened; but also trusting that God is manifesting new things.

So when my “ex” manager called this morning, I realized that I picked up the phone effortlessly, I was happy to see his name on caller ID.

I noted that awareness immediately because over the past year I have felt anxious, maybe even guilty, every time he called.

He was having a crisis at the office and was calling to get my opinion. I’m glad he did because what he was considering doing was a suicide run with the customer; a setup for disaster that could potentially make a bad situation much worse.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a solution for his issue, and I told him I would at the very least I would pray and we both agreed God is always faithful and this will work out, it always does.

When I hung up the phone I was at total peace… and that was unusual.

So much so that I began to journal and reflect on it.

What I realized is that even though I have been on disability for the last year and I was on an approved medical leave of absence, I “felt guilty”.

Somehow my boss represented my failure to perform, my inability to work meant I was less than a man, I was somehow useless.

But this morning when he called I had none of that experience.

I realized he was still the same person, it was only my perspective that shifted.

For the last year (probably more like my whole life) I had given my self-worth (another aspect of personal power) away to my job, my career.

Somehow my illness made me less of a person and all I could “feel” was how I was “letting them down” even though it was my illness that made me incapable of working my old job.

Throughout my entire career, I’ve always had the knowledge that “I can only do my best” but I always had the feeling like “it was never good enough”.

That’s how I got sick, my over-achieving workaholic, perfectionism mindset provided me great career success, but also drove my body and mind to the brink of exhaustion.

And a year later, I’m still trying to recover.

Again, emotions were driving my reality, not wisdom.

That was true freedom example #2

Scenario Three

And then the icing on the cake was soon after that phone call another close friend called to share an experience he just had.

He was at work yesterday and his boss and his cronies came out of an office as he was walking down their hallway. He instantly had this pang of anxiety. What are they going to say, am I in trouble, what will they say about this tomorrow?

Granted there is a lot of history that I won’t share here that makes this scene make more sense, but in a way, it’s kinda like my other friend and his wife. It is a relationship that has ups and downs, and it now generates “what is going on now” fear-based emotions.

You know, that uncomfortable space where somebody might do or say something and without knowing their motive we worry about “what are they thinking about me”.

We all say we don’t worry about what other’s think about us, but I would hazard to say that is b.s. for a vast majority of the population.

Our social survival is pinned to what other’s think of us, and our amygdala (the fight or flight response) is ALWAYS judging body language, tone of voice, and actions of others against past experiences to determine if the situation is safe or a threat.

But what he was so excited to share was the epiphany at that moment when he realized just seeing his bosses created this emotional response.

His inner dialogue went something like this:

“Why should I fear them, they are just men.

“Sure they hold the power to fire me, but so what.”

“God is bigger than my circumstances, this isn’t the only job on the planet that I’m qualified for.”

“I don’t even like this job.”

“If I ran into them at the grocery store they would mean nothing to me other than old acquaintences.”

WHY AM I CHOOSING TO GIVE MY POWER OF WELL-BEING OVER TO THEM”

At that moment, he was set free. His revelation gave him his power to choose how to feel about them and himself.

He simply needed to be respectful and do his job, and his bosses were free to have a good day or bad day and be grumpy or friendly as they choose.

They may control his time when he is on the clock but they will only control his emotional well-being to the measure of his internal dialogue and the power he places on their state.

That was true freedom example #3

From there I started to recognize just how prevalent this lack of emotional freedom is throughout my whole life.

When a police car pulls up behind me I get nervous… BUT WHY???

Well, in my teen years I was a party animal and used to drive wasted all the time (God’s mercy that I never hurt anyone) and cops were terrifying. Could my body’s emotional memory of those years still see police as a threat today?

Back then I was truly doing something wrong and should fear them, but that is not my reality today.

Wow, I realized that’s an actual description of PTSD. Past experiences creating unrealistic emotional responses to current events.

Or my son not replying to my text right away… could that mean he is in trouble or he’s upset with me?

Why would I go there… it could also mean he is just busy. (And that is all it means every single time).

When my son’s mother mentions that our son needs new tires on his truck, is she just “being a bitch that only calls me for money?” That depends upon how I “choose” to view the situation.

She’s just stating a fact and I am blessed with a son and with that comes the opportunity and obligation to help keep him safe.

If someone else doesn’t like us, does that mean we are unlikable?

If someone else didn’t think we did a “good enough job”, does that mean we didn’t give it our best and our efforts were wasted?

If someone else thinks our dreams to be an entrepreneur or to go back to school or take up sky-diving is stupid, does that mean us dreaming or desiring more is stupid?

If someone else devalues us, judges our motives, treats us poorly, says mean or unsupportive things… does that mean they know us better than we or God knows us?

We Choose to Believe What We Believe

  • I choose to believe I will or I can’t
  • I choose to believe I have options or I’m stuck
  • I choose to believe I am empowered or I’m a victim
  • I choose to believe that success simply has obstacles or life is cruel and unwinnable

Our Choices Create Our Reality

  • I choose to eat healthily or eat crap
  • I choose to risk being vulnerable with people or wall them off by wearing masks
  • I choose to go for my dreams or talk myself out of them
  • I choose to exercise or rest, save money or spend, like myself or hate myself.

Our Emotions Seek Survival Not Success

  • I can choose to be excited about the day ahead or feel burdened by it
  • I can choose to let courage propel me or fear to stop me
  • I can choose to be happy or sad
  • I can choose to be hopeful or hopeless
  • I can choose to take risks or play it safe
  • I can choose to feel alive or dead

Power is not something others bestow upon us, our true power exists in the way we value ourselves and how we interpret the circumstances of our life.

Some of my favorite ingredients for success

  1. Don’t Live Small; Have a Compelling Vision
  2. Own Your Shit; Then Strip Away Conditioning & Fear
  3. Live With Intentionality By Making Decisions and Taking Action
  4. Don’t Judge Outcomes as Good or Bad; Simply Measure Results
  5. Fall In Love With The Process

I’d say today’s message falls under #2 above, stripping away the conditioning and taking ownership for our lives.

Self-Awareness Is The Key

The committee (as I call them, the subconscious inner-workings) have agendas that do not align with change and growth and risk.

We have to become hyper-aware of the ways in which our thoughts and emotions try and trick us into submission and complacency to living “less-than” lives through an exaggerated pursuit of “safety”

We have the ability within us to create the lives we desire… but we must make the choice to believe that and to then wield our God-given power in ways that brings healing and hope to a broken world.


Join the conversation: How have you either given your power away or discovered ways to take it back?


My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2George Crone

Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner

Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching

Developer of The Life Mastery Project

Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

LMP #2: Is Anxiety a Myth

worry

Anti-anxiety medicine kills more people in the United States than all illegal drugs combined. And the prescription rate has risen over 67% in the last several years alone.

So if the problem is getting worse, and the prescription rate and death rates are both exponentially increasing, are we really seeing the problem accurately?

I propose that anxiety is not the problem, but instead, a condition created by a bigger problem, and actually, that problem isn’t a problem at all, unless we make it one.

Wonder what the hell I’m actually talking about?

Check out this week’s podcast to find out.

And don’t hesitate to join the conversation in the comment section below, I would love to add your voice to the discussion.

Life Mastery Project Resources

 


*statistical references

Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

When Is Weakness Not Weakness?

strenths

Could that be any more counterintuitive?!?!?!

I’ve been kinda struggling the last couple days.

I’m still all-in with the dream of breaking free from fulfilling someone else’s vision (corporate jobs) and living for greater impact through sharing my experience, strength, and hope with the world (entrepreneurship).

But those old tapes, no matter how much we fight against them, seem to still have a voice.

  • You aren’t doing enough
  • You aren’t doing the right stuff
  • Who are you to compete with the big boys who have been doing this for decades
  • It’s too hard running an entire business by yourself
  • Your goals are too lofty, bordering on unreasonable
  • (add your inner-sabotager here)

I say it over and over; until we become self-aware of our negative beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns we become prone to letting the feelings; those nay-sayers; to take us out.

Gratefully I’ve become pretty good at noticing them, so I can counter them pretty quickly

  • I AM making progress, there is no such thing as “not doing enough” unless I place that performance-based burden on myself
  • I AM doing the right thing If I am spending time in ANY area of my life that needs attention, which could include a Netflix binge – the definition is up to me
  • I AM taking my life to the next level and not competing with the big boys. Impact and success are they byproducts of consistency and creativity; leave the rest up to God
  • If my goals aren’t lofty then they aren’t big enough. We shoot for the sun and if we hit the moon, how awesome is that!
  • (list your counter-attack here)

But what happens when the internal dialogue comes up against something about yourself that doesn’t want to let go?

For me that looks like:

  • The “what if…” rumination can send me down a negative spiral for hours
  • Wanting to be “more social” yet always leaning toward introversion keeps me feeling disconnected
  • An OCD type behavior that runs really hot or really cold on projects
  • Driving other people crazy because I believe EVERYTHING has meaning and connection; even silly and seemingly insignificant things which make me feel like an outsider
  • Struggling at small talk and sometimes making people feel uncomfortable because I’m only fully-engaged in deeper more meaningful and personal conversations
  • (insert some character traits that you seem stuck with)

But there is good news

That list (and several more) has always been my nemesis, the enemies within that I believed I had to change or grow out of and fight against to be the best version of myself.

What I discovered however through Myers-Briggs and Clifton Strengths Finder is that those are key personality strengths that make me who I am.

So often we fight against our core personality and it makes us miserable, it robs our peace, our self-confidence and can make us feel broken, defective, different.

Again, my entire life’s message revolves around confronting those negative self-image items that reside under the surface and out of view from our conscious mind.

Through those self-awareness tools I discovered that:

  • Being an INFJ (Myers-Briggs) and being STRATEGIC (Clifton Strengths Finder) means that being in my own head is where I thrive, it’s where great insights into what makes me and the world tick comes from. It’s what allows me to solve problems, connect the dots and visualize solutions.
  • Discovering what makes me tick also allowed me to see that obsessively focusing on a project and losing myself for hours if not days in a task at the sacrifice of other areas of my life, including self-care, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That is what it looks like when I’m “in the zone” or “in-flow” or “in-state”. I can get a month worth of content created in a matter of a few days. Granted I need to be warry of balance, but this is not a valid self-condemnation character trait. Quite the opposite, it is something that if I manage and balance properly should be celebrated; it is another aspect of what makes me who I am.
  • Again, both Myers-Briggs and Clifton Strengths Finder confirm the same things, and me believing everything is connected and has meaning is an amazing encouraging tool. It is how I can make meaning out of even bad things, I can give others hope, encourage them that it seems dark now but that hardships not only open new doors but sometimes shove us through them and force us into becoming greater versions of ourselves. God intends for us to thrive, He wants the best for us, and us being challenged in greater ways is wonderful; oftentimes comfort is not our best friend for it breeds complacency.
  • I also realized that not being comfortable in large crowds or being comfortable with small talk is not a bad thing either. My core mission, gifting and calling is to have an impact on the lives of others; to become the best version of me and use that to help others. It again is what makes me tick. Something in my character disarms people, and they are many times very comfortable in only a few minutes and I am able to plants seeds of grace and encouragement in an incredibly short amount of time. There is nothing wrong with small talk, but at my soul level, it is a waste of time when there is an opportunity for impact. What a beautiful thing huh?

Hopefully, you can see the point. So often what we may think is a character defect or flaw because we believe we “should be like everyone else” or “more normal” is, in fact, the very thought process that becomes self-condemning and self-limiting leading toward self-sabotage.

We have to learn to love ourselves, embrace even our perceived weaknesses, discover how they can actually be our strengths, and then move forward with even greater confidence, empowerment, and boldness.

Do you have a strength that you believed to be a weakness at one time?

What tools, similar to Myers-Briggs or Clifton Strengthsfinder, have helped you discover more of who you are?

Join the conversation, add your voice to the comments section below.

My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2George Crone

Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner

Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching

Developer of The Life Mastery Project

Copywrite © 2019 Nikaos Strategic Coaching | The Life Mastery Project

Growth Requires Acknowledging Weakness

self-awareness

I am happy to share I have really been enjoying my new found empowerment and freedom.

And it has been reaping rewards: the checklist is looking great:

  • completely overhauled my diet and eating habits
  • established healthy sleeping patterns
  • developed powerful morning and evening routines
  • fighting back against my chronic fatigue Syndrome and getting more exercise while maintaining new push/crash boundaries
  • and of course the big one; leaving my 30-year corporate IT career to start my own coaching business. 

That’s nuts, right?

I Have Arrived

Have you guys noticed this? It seems like every time I start thinking “I have arrived” I am soon after humbled by the realization that there is ALWAYS a “next thing”?

Allow me to explain

Part of my morning routine is to set balanced and reasonable expectations for the day, and my evening routine looks back over the day to make sure I stayed true to that plan.

However, over the last several days, I have been solely focused on my new business, from early morning into the late-night hours. I’ve been “in the zone” cranking out tons of content on The Life Mastery Series program.

So much so, that my morning and evening routines have been truncated or even skipped completely. Each morning I moved straight to the keyboard,  painting my thoughts onto blank white canvas, turning them into grand masterpieces (in my mind anyway) and being so tired each night that I would hit the pillow completely spent. 

A younger man could likely maintain that level of… commitment?… obsession?… drive?… not sure what the right word is there… but being in my 50’s and still working towards undoing the physical damage that decades of poor self-care manifested; I can’t.

But I have learned that a key component to Life Mastery is Self Mastery.

And a key component of Self Mastery is Self Awareness.

And a key component to Self Awareness is Self Acceptance.

Gone are the days of Self Condemnation, when I would look at some mistake or lack of action and spend the nightly recap being Self Critical over falling into old patterns or “wasting the day”.

Instead, I now choose to frame everything in life as “knowledge gained” and with that, the sense of wholeness, contentment, self-worth, and inner-peace has had fertile soil to flourish. 

We are always only discovering what works and what doesn’t.

Heck, other people are human and will make mistakes and let us down; and so am I… and so do I… welcome to the human condition.

That is easy to say, but I had that play out in an unexpected way.

I sat down two nights ago and looked over my Life Balance Checklist and this is what I found.

  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Health
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Relationships
  • Business
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Finance
  • Growth
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Spiritual
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Recreation

Clearly, not much balance there, and I found myself starting to get self-critical.

But here is where the magic happened. and why I had to share this with you guys.

Because of my difficult childhood and gaining the false belief that no matter what I do it is never enough; I realized early on that my ultimate priority is NO SELF CRITICISM. 

But yet, here I was, living out of balance. Clearly, I lost vision right, I’m obsessing in one area and the other areas are suffering, I’m blowin’ it, right?

Wrong!!!

Rebalanced Living Begins With A Rebalanced Focus

I had to get off the self-criticism train before I could recognize that the last several days have been HUGELY successful. I was experiencing a season of massive productivity on the new program that I’m working on. 

I was writing more than 5000 words a day, I converted each lesson into a podcast, laid down intro and outro music tracks on each and then uploaded into the program database and wrote page content for each lesson. 

What the heck, that is Superman status in a writer/podcast world. I did 4 complete entries in 4 days, from initial concept to editing and posting. That is nearly a full month of publishable content productivity in a span of only 4 days…

… and I’m being self-critical because I’m “out of balance”??!?!?!

It wasn’t until I got my weekly Grammarly update which stated I was more productive than 99% of other Grammarly users, that I realized my expectations were what’s out of balance, not my productivity focus! 

That Life Balance Checklist should have looked more like

  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Health
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Relationships
  • Business
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Finance
  •  Growth
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Spiritual
  • This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is red.jpg Recreation

Under my original perspective, all I saw was a sea of red boxes, a 75% failure rate; what I failed to see was that the green checkmarks were HUGE.

I was devaluing my progress. I was intentionally sabotaging my wellness by searching for some criteria to criticize myself. 

Another aspect of growing in our Self Mastery in pursuit of Life Mastery is to make sure we are trying to solve the correct problems.

I believed that not only was a balanced life one of the keys to a successful life, flipping that meant if I wasn’t living a balanced life then I’m not being successful. 

The problem was, my view was too narrow and my precepts were wrong

Having properly identified the areas of life that are important to me, I felt I needed a green checkmark next to them all, every day, with few exceptions.

I have disagreed with the huge philosophical movement that says having a balanced life is a myth.

I maintain that life balance is absolutely critical if we want to experience a deep sense of wholeness and fulfillment. 

Many times the problems are not that we are missing out on success, it is that we define success improperly. 

Being that I made huge progress on my business in such a short amount of time now means I can focus on recreation and relationships for a couple days. 

This is an entrepreneurial mindset that I never realized existed; that time management when working in corporate America is very different from time management when you are your own boss. 

If you are working 60+ hours a week for someone else then you are forced to cram in the rest of your life in the margins, evenings and weekends. And with such little time left it is critical to ensure that in the few hours you have you need to hit on all cylinders of your balance worksheet.

That does make balance a misnomer because working for someone else makes time a mostly non-negotiable commodity… they own you.

The Good News – I Am Still Balanced

So sure, it was 4 days of manic OCD type behavior, but that is wonderful. To be “in-state” or “in-flow” for 4 days in a row and knock out so many needle-moving activities is spectacular! 

I will now take the needed time to re-incorporate the other areas, no harm, no foul.

So what does this have to do with exposing weakness? Great question!!

Without an intentional and honest assessment of what isn’t working, we simply can’t develop an effective growth plan, either personally or in business.  

My growth this time came in the form of humility. I had to admit that my weakness was not life imbalance and just trying harder.

My issue was my old nemesis self-condemnation and perfectionism; it was listening to the voice that says “you may be doing a lot, but you aren’t doing enough” or “you aren’t doing the right stuff”

That’s bullshit!

The bottom line is, the verify definition of growth or pursuing success is that “we make progress”. That’s it! 

If perfectionism is still a struggle for you, know this: the only outcomes can be giving up because you can never achieve it, or burning out and dying miserably. 

Pride, fear, ego, control, expectations, limiting beliefs, unhelpful thinking patterns like living-in-the-extremes… these are all character defects that try to re-define success by setting the bar juuuuuuust outside of our reach; therefore making us feel defeated when we are actually being successful. 

Recognizing those faulty beliefs or reframing unreasonable expectations and getting back to loving ourselves and staying the course is what facilitates growth, and it is an indispensable ingredient of success. 

Success is not something we are chasing, it is something we live out daily

My success came in recognizing that my OCD served me great when channeled into business or health or relationships, but it serves me poorly in the area of self-critique because it feeds my disease of perfectionism.

So, instead of believing my growth was temporarily derailed by living imbalanced and dropping the ball, I now believe I grew personally through gaining greater self-awareness and I’m thrilled about my business progress.

It’s a win-win. I didn’t have to change my gameplan, I just needed to change my perspective. 

Can you relate to this topic?

How do you leverage your weaknesses into next-level strengths?

Join the conversation, add your voice to the comments section below.

My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and victories with each other

Let’s Do This!

canon podcast image 2George Crone

Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner

Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching

Developer of The Life Mastery Project