How to say no!

Being a people pleaser for most of my life, I have long struggled with this concept of saying no.

When I directed my first show in 2008, I learned to say it nicely. It went something like this, 
“I am the director and in my vision, I see it this way so this is how we will do it.” When I directed my third show in 2010 I said it with more force and it really tested my ability to please. In that case,  I pleased myself and our audiences greatly. Looking back, I see that as a great victory.

In 2011, when planning our wedding, I had to learn to say it all over again and to people I loved and cared about but it was the end of the people pleaser as a default response.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get occasional bouts of “I don’t want to make anyone mad or hurt their feelings” but I am able to quash those impulses fairly easily when thinking about the pain it will cause in the long run by saying yes, or going along and going along till you just can’t take it anymore and you say NO, I WILL NOT DO THAT. It’s much better to let someone know up front that you do not want to do what they want you to do. I am not advocating you start bellowing NO at everyone you know but realize that you have a finite capacity of things you can do and things you can not do or more importantly do not WANT to do and say no accordingly.

The only way to get what you want is to ask for it. You can’t hope that it will magically happen because someone read your mind and sees your deepest hopes and desires. Learning to say no, is honoring yourself before others. It is one of the skills I am proudest of developing.

Now, here is the hard part, let me ask you. Who or what do you need to say no to today? Do it!

From XL to L in 6 months- Yes, you read that right!

I am SO excited to be wearing the shirt my husband had made for me with my slogan

“Nobody has a voice like Kermit, just like nobody has a voice like you”

as created in my 10th speech (detailed here)

Jeremy originally bought it from CafePress in a Large thinking it would fit me but realized after it arrived it was too small, but due to CafePress being super amazing , they let him keep it and then sent him the 2X which I happily tore into on Christmas morning and have been wearing for months with the duplicate in the back of my drawer waiting, waiting, I tried it on this morning and OH MY GOD, ladies and germs it fits!

Thanks to Paleo and all the wonderful changes my husband and I have been implementing I have never looked or felt better. I am still working towards my ideal weight but more important than the weight loss is the increased confidence and overall happiness!

See for yourselfImage

What do you do when what you want doesn’t happen?

As many of you know, I was up for a part in a play I adore and was doing everything I could to get picked. I was not picked and while I am upset ( I am human after all! ) I am excited to see what is next on the agenda that I am meant to do because this did not pan out.

Key takeaways from the experience?

1. Be Prepared. I practiced and practiced and practiced and received coaching from people I respect ( you know who you are) and felt extremely prepared, more so than for any audition I have ever had before. Yep, after almost 15 years of acting I just wrote that. Staggering.

2. Think Positive. I used to say Prepare for the Worst, Expect the Best and Adapt to the Outcome but that is such a defeatist attitude.. From now on, let’s just prepare for the best and adapt to the outcome whether its what you want or not.

3. Working hard is important but its not everything. – Sometimes you can do everything right and work as hard as you can but someone else or other factors make the final decision so in that case are you going to gnash your teeth and wear your hair shirt? No. Just work as hard as you can. That way if it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you can console yourself with the knowledge that you did all you could do to affect a positive outcome.

If nothing else, I had the chance to act and work with others for a night even if it wasn’t for a full run. I often have to remind myself as an actor it’s not my job to get the gig. It’s my job to audition, audition and then audition some more.

What are you working on? What is your dream? Tell me about it? I would love to encourage you on your journey!

I am Shattering Expectations, you can too!

This Saturday I am walking in a 5K. I will pause for your reaction.

This former fat kid, who was told many times, “you have such a pretty face, you just need to get rid of the baby fat” is walking in a 5K. I never thought that was possible. I use the phrase “shattering expectations” very purposefully. I have a picture of myself as fat which started in middle school and pervades daily. My only choice is to shatter that image with everything that I do that defies that image.

So when I look in the mirror I do not see the slimming figure I am becoming. I see the overweight teenager who was mercilessly teased. In other words, someone who would NEVER walk a 5K let alone run in one. (my next goal)

Funny thing about memories, they aren’t always accurate. In this case, they aren’t even close. I was recently going through some pictures of me in sixth grade (see below) and I am not fat, was not fat and this was my figure going through high school but somewhere along the way someone told me I was fat and I believed it over and over and over again and it is only now in looking back and considering the things I told myself and the relationship I have with food that I realize I am a healthy weight for my size and losing the weight is within my grasp and I have already lost 45 pounds of the weight I have carried along with a lot of negative thoughts about myself.

What do you say about yourself that when looked at through anothers eyes simply isn’t true? Image

Drum Roll Please……

As of 6/1/2013 I have lost an additional 5 pounds making my total for the year 54 pounds. I now have to set a new goal, because my goal was 50 pounds for the year, and now I have met that goal.

I am shocked and amazed that the steps we have taken with paleo (If you are interested in Paleo- this is where we go for all our information,  have made such a difference. I shouldn’t be but I am. I mean, you hear all your life eat good food and exercise and you will have good health, seems really simple right? Well, when you get right down to it, it actually is. It boils down to baby steps, and figuring out what your overall goal is and then taking steps every day to work on it. If you fail, so what, you learned something new and that adds to your experience. Start again, try again, you are worth it!

When I started this, my goal was to get in better health. I have achieved that and tripped into some nice benefits like increased levels of confidence, more energy and of course weight loss. I think the biggest thing I have learned on the journey thus far is that your thinking will determine your action. Or put another way as Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude not your aptitude determines your altitude”

It sounds like a great motivational platitude but in truth it matters. Positive Mental Attitude.

If you need science to back this up, I invite you to check out this youtube video

So what does this mean to you, dear reader? Simple. Figure out what you want to do and start doing it, little by little. Do you want to learn a new language? Run a marathon? It is all within your reach. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Make a plan and follow it. If it doesn’t work, try something else. If it does work, examine what happened to make it go well, and repeat!