The Voices Made Me Do It


So, it’s not that often that you really test yourself, right? I mean, that’s not just me is it, that sometimes has that fleeting feeling (OK sometimes more lingering than fleeting) that I might be, just a little, sitting on the side lines of life a bit much?? Anyone? No? Yes?  Are there other self-called-“in-betweeners” out there? Maybe you’re an over-achiever having an attack of conscience; maybe you just don’t quite tackle life with the vivre that you used to and sometimes that bothers you… maybe, I don’t know – you’ve had a couple kids and somewhere along the way you got seriously responsible and in your darkest moments in the darkest corners of your mind you might even use the word ‘boring’ or at least sickeningly reasonable to describe yourself.   Like, with a capital S – maybe….



Here’s the thing, I originally jumped mostly because I didn’t like the idea that I was letting fear hold me back. How’s that for messed up? lol Happily, I managed to change my focus from debilitating fear, to adrenalin-pumping excitement and that meant I was able to enjoy every moment – me ‘she-who-analyses-and-is-super-careful’…. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still had butterflies aflocking en-masse in my stomach for days beforehand and I had a few ‘oh shit!!’ moments throughout (I cleaned up the language. You’re welcome).



But from the moment I stepped into that harness till the moment I came down to earth again (bodily at least), I had a manic grin stuck on my face. It was nothing short of epic and I can’t find the words to explain everything I felt, and how incredible it was. I could NOT stop smiling…. I mean I have about 300 photos of the 30 minute adventure and I am smiling in about 295 of them.  It’s funny, in the photos, Danny, the instructor-type-guy has this cool repertoire of faces and poses for the go-pro and pics, while I, it turns out, when pushed out of an airplane, instantly and consistently adopt gangsta hand gestures and a completely incongruent, ridiculously large and somewhat maniacal goofy grin.

It’s like it was an automatic response; as if my hands are trying to be cool but they didn’t let my face in on the plan; honestly, I just couldn’t get the grin off my face, I was having that much fun.


Oh shit

Oh shit


My internal voice from roller coaster rides that literally screams “I’M GONNA DIE” had been magically (O.K. it was via NLP rather than magic in the classic Houdini sense) transformed into “I WAS MADE FOR THIS. I AM FLYING. THIS IS AWESOME. OH MY GOD. HOLY COW!) (I may have used an alternative non-noun in place of ‘cow’). But, well, you get the idea. I had a ball. I lived in the moment. I accepted the fear as part of the excitement and went with it and the experience I created as a result was incredibly gratifying, uplifting (if you’ll excuse the pun) and highly rewarding (yep pun city here lol). What’s more is it didn’t go as I expected. I mean I was hopeful but by no means sure I was going to enjoy this. I literally took a spare pair of pants and undies just in case my excitement trans-mutated back into bowel-loosening fear and a fresh pair of undies was required. So, in that context, you can (I hope) forgive a bit of self-congratulation here – no additional change of clothes were needed at any point! It was much, much more, and far more enjoyable than I expected. It was everything I had dreamed even. Go me. OK, enough self-congratulations, this is appalling. I apologise – my only excuse is I am still high, lol. But enough about little old me…

What can YOU get out of this?

Two things: 1. I’m laying down the gauntlet – a challenge to the dormant awesomeness that is also in you. Let it out! Go be awesome. Don’t wait. Don’t be reasonable. Don’t put everyone and everything else first. Not this time. Go do something crazy fun and don’t apologise for it or even look back at the people gawking as you do it. Live your life at a level you never have, even if it’s just for a while. Do something that scares you just a bit – or even a lot. Do it because you can and because you’re worth it (sorry Lorreal, we knew that before you knicked it). Do it because you owe it to your future self who will otherwise look back and hate you for wasting the chances you didn’t even realise you were missing because you were to busy with life or business as usual. If you’re a ‘toward person’ (motivated to achieve something), do it because you can imagine all the epic fun or havoc you could wreak when you engage your curiosity and adopt your own unique ‘what the hell’ attitude….


If you’re an ‘away from person’ (motivated to avoid bad/negative things) do it because your future self will indeed metaphorically (or perhaps literally depending on technological advances in time travel by then) one day otherwise reach back through time and kick your butt for being so complacent and maybe even just a little boring. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there will be time for your awesome adventures later. That is arrogant and short-sighted and quite possibly false. Greatness happens when you push your boundaries. Go be great. And #2? Don’t stop, make it a habit. This is a reminder to myself too, as well as a call to action for you. Have you heard people say of motivation or awesome leadership or the like “If only we could bottle this, we’d be rich!” So bottle the energy, (anchor that feeling you create during your awesome adventure – any good NLP practitioner can quickly help you learn how to do this) and make it work for you over time. My plan now is to harness this new feeling of aliveness and able-ness and achievement I created today by doing something so epic and challenging, and to keep that new energy going.



I want to ride this high to new heights of happiness & achievement and I can see how I’m going to do that. I’m going to use the renewed energy and self-confidence I’ve found to do more EVERY DAY, even if it’s just one small thing, because we know don’t we, that is the many little things that make the difference, as much as the less frequent big decisions. Thus, through small changes in my actions, focus, habits and beliefs I’m going to make an even more magical and amazing life than I already have – for myself and my wonderful little whanau. My first step was writing this blog – my audacity to recognise my awesomeness yesterday and share it to hopefully resonate with and inspire your own. My second step/process is to implement a daily check – I’m going to ask myself ‘and what else can I do?’ and ‘what else do I want more of or less of, or to be different’. And what have I or will I do today to get it? Then I’m gonna chase that like a dog chases a stick: With joy and excitement and energy, enjoying all the moments along the way.


So, that’s a bit about my skydive. That started with one step. Admittedly it was a very long step. J Never-the-less today I challenged myself to do more than I was sure I could do, and my reward was priceless. I’d love to hear what you do if what I’ve shared resonates with you too. Feel free to drop me a line. P.S. Originally I was going to talk about NLP and the specific processes (chaining anchors and anchoring mostly) I used to prepare for this. If such NLP processes & solutions interest you please feel free to contact me, I’m happy to tell you more. In the meantime, focus less on the mundane and make your whole life an adventure one small change at a time; get outside your comfort zone, be awesome and don’t stop – who knows, perhaps we’ll see each other long the way.

The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated: #3 – Fake it TO Make it!

OK, so we’ve all heard of the mind-body link and you can probably think if you try now of a time when you weren’t sure if your mood created your day or your day created your mood. The answer of course is yes. Both are true.

What we focus on determines our thoughts and feelings, which influences our actions, which creates the results we get and all of this is driven by our beliefs. Logical when you think about it – but have  you stopped to consider the incredible ramifications?  This means if I’m not living the day/life I want to live, I can start to change that simply by changing my thinking and my behaviours.  In a nutshell -

3 - fake it till you make it CEO at desk

If you’re not yet as successful as you want to be: fake it TO make it! It’s not cheating, its a step on the path to your success – yes, I’ll explain…





3 - fake it till you make it - smiley face held up in front of head

If you’re not as happy as you want to be: fake it TO make it so.







3 - fake it till you make it - Ali

This is the age old ‘chicken vs egg’ conundrum: which comes first? Your excellence or your belief it is so?  Your happinesss or your decision to be happy?  If the idea of faking it bothers you, consider that even for the most successful people in the world, the knowing did not necessarily come before the doing, the ‘being great’ could not possibly come before creating the situations in which they proved themselves to be so, and in fact, the ‘knowing how’ did not necessarily precede the acceptance of the challenge that they would find a way.  The great people that have gone before us took a leap of faith – sink or swim style and realised they could swim.  Before we can prove we can, we need to create the opportunity or platform to perform.  In this way we NEED to fake it TO make it. So…

Will you?

And what does this mean for you and staying motivated?

We often go through life thinking we need to avoid stress, only bite off as much as we can chew, but what we often forget to remember is that a certain level of stress (called ‘eustress’) is actually a good, motivating thing.  We NEED to challenge ourselves and stretch ourselves sometimes.   So, how do we turn this into actionable steps?

It’s simple really… Two thoughts worth thinking about:

2 - no victims model

If it feels scary, move your focus from just what could go wrong, to what could go right and really weigh it up – remember living happens outside of your comfort zone so challenge yourself - Make sure you venture outside of the known sometimes.

Remind yourself that that’s where excellence and growth occurs.  Without giving ourselves the opportunity to succeed our motivation can wane.

So, it’s worth considering that by putting yourself out there you create space and opportunity for new experiences, achievements and greater satisfaction and recognition.  Some people are motivated by internal satisfaction (that comes through stretching ourselves and knowing we did well), and others also enjoy external recognition – so go on – stretch yourself, focus on what is possible, even if you need to fake it for a while. You’ll likely surprise yourself and learn some amazing things along the way.

3 - fake it till you make it quote from katy perry

And, in summary – one final thought to leave you with.  It’s not so much fake it till you make it so much as fake it TO make it – simply because action begets opportunity, and putting yourself out there could be the step you’ve been missing till now, in creating your greater success, happiness and fulfillment!

So, go well and think big. Have a positive, productive and pro active day!

Getting what you want

Make Things HappenHave you ever noticed that when we talk about the good stuff, it sounds scary?  I mean we ’break barriers’, or ‘tackle challenges’, to ‘hit’ or even better ‘smash targets’, we sound quite a violent bunch really, don’t we?

But seriously, the search for personal or business success is a journey, and journeys are often fraught with adventures and challenges (expected and otherwise) – that’s what makes the experience so memorable.  In a nutshell, a successful journey or venture requires two things –

1) Taking deliberate action

2) Taking a risk

Getting Ourselves To Take The Leap

In order to go to such lengths we must first furnish ourselves with motivation.  Ah motivation, that much courted, often allusive of states… So, how do we achieve it?  Motivation occurs when we identify something we really want and don’t yet have, but that in itself is not enough.  We must also believe that we have the capability to bridge the gap between where we are, and where we want to be.

So,  simply put these are the basic ingredients to success!

  1. Knowing what you want
  2. Believing you could achieve it
  3. Having a plan and commitment to actioning it

So Simple…

As simple as 1, 2, 3… literally!  But number 1 alone has been the topic of millions of books, counselling session and woeful sagas (without even ‘tackling’ 2 and 3).  As pleasure-seeking beings, it seems counter-intuitive to me that when it comes down to it, so many of us ultimately have absolutely no clue what we want.  I think though that the problem here is in fact less about not being aware, and more about being too aware.

No really, please bare with me (sp?) I mean bear with me?…hmm that could send quite a different message… please work with me on this!… Think back to your childhood. Back when you were a tot did you know then what would make you happy? What did you want to do?  What was you dream? Did you want to be a vet? a doctor? Superman/woman? lol

So OK, not all of our dreams are achievable but many of us never give ourselves the opportunity to find out, because we bring ’reality’ crashing down on ourselves as we grow up, and become more aware of the barriers which might get in our way.

Instant Gratification Overload

This pattern seems to cut across cultures, countries, oceans and generations. It’s one of the things that got me interested in professional & personal development – my ‘I want it now’ approach to life, left me wondering what might be possible if I just tried – odds and barriers be damned.  But that light-bulb moment is another story.  That story to follow.  Have you thought about what dreams you’ve marked as ‘unrealistic’ and let go?  What barriers get in your way? Or when you don’t let them what do you work around, minimise or negotiate them?

One final thought to close; it’s a [paraphrased] famous quote, one of my favourites:

‘Barriers are what we see, when we take our eyes off the prize!’

So remember, if it seems hard right now, change your focus – literally put your chin up and mentally think forward to your end goal – where your motivation is. Tap back into the dream, the vision, the prize that makes it worth it and recognise that this moment/situation you’re in right now is just a ‘blip’, a leg of the journey to achieving your end goal.

The only thing that fundamentally will stop you achieving it, is if you let those barriers deter you and give up.  Your success truly is up to you, and the key to achieving it is in having a focus that serves you at the time.

Karma, purpose, and every day lessons

Take RisksI got a parking ticket the other day. I should tell you that I’m normally very good, very careful, an ‘honest to goodness’, accepting of the ‘user-pays’ philosophy type of gal.

This particular time however I had the choice of being late for an appointment, or playing the odds and seeing if I could have my cake and eat it too. I did a quick mental risk analysis and decided I’d play the odds, figuring that making a positive first impression would be with the $15-20 ticket if I should be unlucky enough to get stuck with one.


So, OK, they did indeed stick it to me (well, to my window screen actually) …. And it wasn’t $15, or even $20, in fact it was a $40 infringement notice!! ‘Fiddlesticks!’ I thought when I saw the amount, or words to that effect!…

If I’m honest, I didn’t really think it would happen and that was a big factor in my decision. For some reason I thought the universe would with some great karmic understanding recognise that this was me: ’Ms well-meaning, upright citizen, not in need of a financial reprimand’ and somehow make the parking warden decide to not walk down that street at that time (as they probably do every day). Crazy huh?

Points To Ponder…

The story illustrates some interesting points to ponder though. Here’s the lessons or useful ‘rules of thumb’ that occurred to me:

1) If you’re gonna take a risk, be willing to take the possible consequence – and

2) Be aware that sometimes you can’t foresee the totality of the consequences!

3) Your expectations create your perception – If I hadn’t put the $15-$20 trade-off in my mind, $40 may not have seemed so extreme.

4) (And most importantly) you can focus on the details, or the big picture. In most situations you can choose to be the victim or the victor. Yes, I had to pay the fine (‘victim’), but even at twice as much as I had anticipated, I still don’t regret the decision to choose promptness and good first impression over some money in my wallet. The big picture view, and clarity of purpose and values leaves me feeling solid in my decision (‘victorious), rather than foolish or like a victim of bad luck/timing.

One More Lesson…

And finally, I learned that while the world might care how good, kind and well-meaning you are, and karma may well affect our everyday lives – it didn’t have squat over the parking warden that day! lol (thought I’d finish on a light note).

I know this is a light-hearted post, but it’s amazing the different lessons people take from every-day experiences and I’m interested to see if you take any other learning’s from my experience. So, do feel free to share your comments/thoughts! Cheers!

Leadership and You

Leadership is a journeyGlobally we are going through a time of great change – we see it in our economy, we see it in changing societal norms, we see it the leaps and bounds that science and technology are taking. With change comes opportunity; opportunity for diversity, opportunities for innovation, opportunities for leadership.

As leaders – be it managers, business owners or community leaders these challenges will either make or break us and the people around us. Our biggest challenge is in finding the right buttons to push, to encourage people to be the victors not victims in their story/situation.

What Makes The Difference

The difference between this being a trying, harrowing time, and a time of opportunity and achievement lies largely with those who step up to lead people through the change. It is strong leaders that see options or even opportunities where other people cannot see past interim struggles and barriers.

Such leaders remain positive and forward-focused, and communicate this to their team. They value and listen to their people in order to understand their wants and needs. Their vision will inspire others because it will be delivered in a way that is real and meaningful to these individuals, enabling the leader to capture their hearts and minds and in doing so lead people towards a common goal/success.

Individuals follow great leaders because they believe that achieving that vision will deliver outcomes they too personally value. Finding out what drives people especially in times plagued with negative press and economic challenges, is key to keeping people motivated.

So, How Do You Do This?

The Top 4 rules of thumb I’ve followed in regards to leadership are:

1) Seek first to understand, then to be understood

2) Know what is important and never, never, NEVER give up (Good old Churchill)

3) The process is as important as the outcome – So look after your people, give them the chance to shine, support them in achieving the vision.

4) Your communication is defined by the response you get. It doesn’t matter if you had the best intention or strategy in the world, if your people don’t get it; you aren’t likely to achieve it! So communicate regularly and meaningfully.

When Is Now The Right Time?

People look to leaders most in times of challenge and change, so now is a time for leaders to step up, look ahead, and get people excited and focused on what they can control and achieve. Motivation is created when people identify something they want and believe they have the capacity or resources to achieve it. At its core, leadership is really about motivating others toward a shared goal and direction.

There’s a lot more to it of course, leadership is an art as much as it is a skill, but these rules of thumb are a good start in moving people towards a positive future.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Pro Activate Leadership Training for more on how you can develop your leadership skills and approach.