5 Steps to More Creativity in Your Life!

Do you have a burning desire to express, be free, and create?

Often times in our pursuit for “more” we search for happiness in a better job, in fixing our current relationships, or seeking new relationships. We try to eat our way into happiness, purchase our way into happiness, and overwork our way into happiness.

And I’m pretty sure you’ve heard many times that true happiness comes from within. Right?

So what does “finding true happiness from within” mean to you?  How do you do that? “Within” can look and feel differently depending on our mood, state, and health. It’s not stationary.  Actually, within is constantly moving, swirling, forming, changing, and creating. After all, we are energy. There is not a one-size-fits-all formula for finding our happiness within.

But I’m here to share one way for you to start.

Get Creative.

What do I mean by “get creative”?  I mean to let go of problem-solving, structure, and strategy mode. Give your mind a break.  And instead, create time to physically and emotionally move your energy from your head into your heart and be here. Create time to let go of the reigns and tune into your inner leader. She’s in there waiting to make your day lighter, happier, and more creative if you let her.

So here are some ways to start getting creative.

Draw it out

When you start feeling overwhelmed, stressed, bored, and unhappy, put your thoughts to paper. Take a thought, any thought that’s not serving you, and if you aren’t able to let it pass, draw it out. Putting your thoughts to paper separates you from them.  You can then see them in a different way. Challenge them and let them go. And you create space for thoughts that will move your forward. It’s freeing…and fun.

Write to open

Take time in the morning, before you do anything else, to tap into your creative self.  It’s easy to get lost in the shoulds of the day and social media when you first wake up. Keep your phone off and take time to breathe, move into your heart, and listen to your creative voice. Write down everything that’s on your mind and open up space for your true, authentic ideas and desires to come through. Start with 10 minutes of your time, move to 30 minutes, and when you start seeing the results you’ll be waking up early to spend 60 minutes simply being creative. Just keep writing.

Dance!

That swirling energy within wants to feel supported and wants to be free.  When you move your body you create pathways for new energy to form and for old energy to release.  Dancing literally gets your creative juices flowing.  So put in your headphones, but on some Bishop Briggs, and dance with your creative self like no one’s watching. Actually, maybe even close the door…

Get outside

Get creative by being in the moment and appreciating the beauty around you. Smell the flowers, hug a tree, sit in the grass, put your hands in the dirt, immerse in the water, and take some deep breaths (I’m clearly a tree hugger). Start to nurture your body, heart, and creative mind by connecting to nature and the moment.  Even if you are not a self-proclaimed tree hugger, nature calms, soothes, and opens.

Let your imagination run free

You are busy, you have a lot on your mind, and you don’t feel like you have time for imagination. But what if you did? What if you paid more attention to what makes you feel alive? What if you were more intimate with the details of your ideal? Connecting to your imagination moves you closer to manifesting the career and life you desire.  It allows you to tap into the creativity moving through you to take inspired action. What’s your ideal vision of success? Who do you want to be in 1 year or 5 years? How do you want to spend your time? Your inner leader drives imagination. So let go of the control and let her take the wheel. Be guided.

So when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or doubtful then it’s time to get creative. Because you now know that these symptoms are an echo of your creative voice telling you that it’s time to check in. All you need to do is take 10 minutes to invite a burst of happy, creative energy into your day, right now.

And if you do this consistently you will become a pro at accessing your inner happiness when you need it the most.

Make creativity your new normal. Here’s to more drawing, writing, dancing, getting outside, and connecting to your imagination. Have fun!

3 Steps for finding positivity when it matters most

The past few years in my career have been a journey, to say the least.  There have been the high points where I have grown and expanded. And, with this growth there has also been the discomfort – reaching outside my comfort zone, exposing my weaknesses, discovering doubts I never knew I had.

As an over-thinker, I found that I can easily get stuck in the doubt, the self-judgment and the fear of failure.  I felt the power of negativity.

But I don’t have room for doubt. I am on a mission for more success in my career – to reach more women, to spread my message, to build a platform for consciousness, environmental sustainability, and women empowerment. And to create a lifestyle for my family where we more frequently travel, learn, and soak up this world while we are here.

So what’s a woman with a mission to do when the doubt appears?

1.Acknowledge the negativity bias: Understand that we were designed to doubt to protect ourselves from potential danger around us. The doubt and negativity we experience today are still here to keep us safe. However, unlike our ancestors, we are no longer faced with life-threatening situations on a daily basis. We now have the choice to acknowledge the negativity we are feeling and change focus. And we have the ability to train our brains to focus on the positive. We can let down our guard.

2. Have gratitude: When you let down your guard you create space for gratitude. Make an effort to focus on the positive until it becomes part of the flow for you. Every night, for 21 days, write down every positive thing from your day.  How about that moment when you locked eyes and smiles with your child, or when you arrived early to your appointment, you ate that banana instead of ice cream, or you ate the ice cream and didn’t feel guilty, you went for a walk at lunch, you went out of your way for someone else, you received help from an unlikely person. Find ALL those little and big moments that make you thankful.  Keep digging to find thanks for the unexpected. And create your own explosion of positivity in your day.

3. Envision Success: When you are in doubt go to your destination of success. Find a place to sit down, breathe deep, and envision you as the successful woman you desire to be.  Imagine how you feel and get present in this moment of success. Lift yourself out of the doubt by getting clear. You will then have more energy and clarity to take more intentional and positive action.

These three steps have helped me significantly overcome the doubt that kept me “safe.” And by bringing these three steps into my daily meditation, I visit the valleys less frequently, while hanging out on the peaks more often.

Our thoughts create our reality. And as women on a mission, our success is up to us. So let’s focus on the positive.

To Your Success,

Christy

Set yourself up for success.

This post is about you, your desires, and action.

It’s about setting yourself up to create and receive the success that you want in your career and in your life. And I’m writing this because we often think that success is to come, so we put ourselves in the waiting game along with the majority of others. We wait for promotions to happen to us, we wait to have the right conversations, we wait until we have enough money, we wait until we have the confidence, we wait until our children are grown, we wait until we finish the project, we wait until we become the expert, we wait until we’re perfect, we wait until we have the time.

And while we’re waiting we become tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. And while we blame our unhappiness on the busyness of the day and on others, we know deep within that we feel this way because we are not stepping up and creating the success we desire in our life, now. We are stressed because we are living a misaligned life and we’re not doing everything we can to make it aligned.

I have been called an idealist. And although at the time it wasn’t intended to be a compliment, I took it as one, because it’s true. I’m a realist too, but sometimes I tend to be guided more so by the ideals than the practical, by choice. And I believe that you do not always have to wait for your success. You do not always have to follow tradition and protocol. You do not have to try to interpret and follow the unwritten rules. As long as you are committed, fierce, and genuinely kind in your approach to life, you do not have to wait.

So this post is about you, your desires, and action, because this, with a dose of faith, is all you need to set yourself up for success.  Let’s take a look at each:

  1. YOU: To begin creating success in your life now first recognize that YOU are responsible for living and leading from your unique presence.  What makes you you?  What makes you tick? What gives you energy?  You create the space for you and then you fill it up. No more hiding behind working hard, no more staying small, no more pleasing others, and no more worshipping the fears. Be brave, remove the mask that has been guiding you into perceived safety, and become available for vulnerability and freedom.
  2. DESIRES:  After you drop the facade and create the space for you and your unique presence, your desires will become clear. And you now have the opportunity to unapologetically make them your top priority. Drop the guilt, smash the old beliefs that drive them away, and honor your desires for what they really are – your Truth. Accept them as part of you, because they are, and use any fears that surface as a catalyst for change.  Your desires are the foundation of your success, and without them, your success will continue to be in process and feel unsteady, and even nonexistent.
  3. ACTION: Take action to align your decisions, strategy, and energy with your desires. Become fiercely committed to using language that serves you. Say yes to aligned opportunities and no to the misaligned. Make powerful decisions at the moment that move you forward. Set boundaries that will support you on your journey. Stay committed to embracing the people, thoughts, and actions that will help you succeed.

Your success comes down to you, your desires, and your action. Take radical responsibility for your success, and then let go, and enjoy your journey.

Be the savvy leader of your business.

I help women step into their full potential and become the leader of their business by getting intentionally productive and confident about the decisions they make. I do this because I have seen, first hand, the power of an inspired and committed woman and the positive change she can create. Given women’s history and the present day messaging we still hear and receive today, the fact that women are able to overcome, fight, and achieve their dreams, even when their journey feels impossible at times, is amazing, but not surprising. We are women, after all.

I know it’s not always easy. In fact, it can feel downright hard at times.

I know, because I have experienced the valleys. And at times my business has felt hard. However, I also know that not radically working toward my dreams would feel a whole lot harder, and it’s not an option for me. So I choose to climb and move forward. This is my life and this is the time to play it big for my husband, kids, my parents, for kind and determined women and men, my clients, our planet, and for me. I hear this from my clients too; they want to live this life to the absolute fullest. And they realize it’s up to them to do so.

I recognize that there are external barriers holding us back. And I know there is a reality to our circumstances.  But I also believe in the power of an inspired woman. And I can confidently say that living out your potential to it’s fullest is up to you. So I ask you to be your biggest supporter. Trust your decisions. Believe in your mission. And commit to your vision. Be certain that you have what it takes to achieve your dreams because the moment you doubt you will open space for perfectionism, people pleasing, and procrastination to take the lead on your journey.

Allow your adventure to begin, on your own terms.

Be the leader by trusting your judgment, tapping into your powers, and knowing you have the sense, intellect, knowledge, and faith to make it happen. This is what makes a savvy woman leader. Now it’s time for you to take the reigns and be the savvy woman leader of your business.

Do you really have what it takes to lead?

I recently spoke with seven women in client-facing roles who all believe they don’t have what it takes to be a leader.

All seven of these women are intelligent, high performers, dynamic communicators, and they have big dreams for their career, but they don’t feel like they have the natural ability to lead.

So they feel stuck and overwhelmed.

They believe in 15 years those big dreams are going to be just that – dreams. And this thought doesn’t sit well with them, because they desire to be part of something big. They want to play a significant role in something innovative, progressive, and successful, while not consistently doubting their abilities and feeling overwhelmed.

And they know their doubt plays a critical role in whether they will actually get to play big.

The doubt described by these women stems from their tendencies to be on the quieter side, to take on the energy of others, and to observe before taking action. These traits are not perceived by these women as typical “leadership” traits, and so they try to be “more” vocal, more energetic, more interactive, and even more aggressive.

But, for them, trying to be “more” leads to overwhelm, doubt, and misalignment. They feel scattered and reactive in their day and they work hard to be perfect, to be the expert, to have all the answers, and to control the situation. And as a result, they find themselves in tunnel vision, where they are unable to see the Truth of the situation. One truth is that these “non-leaderly” qualities can actually be quite powerful traits that lead to understanding, meaningful connection, and long-term sustainable success.

As far as they can see, these intelligent women believe they have two options: 1. Keep doing what they are doing until they gain the respect they need to be seen and heard as a leader, and 2. Begin to step up as a leader now by adopting the skills they think they need.

These options are possible, but if they haven’t worked already, then they most likely won’t work in the future. In fact, no option will work for the long-term unless they believe and trust that they can be a confident, significant, innovative, and successful leader, on their own terms. It hasn’t happened yet because they don’t believe it can happen.

This is their option 3: Change their belief to change their outcome. That is their option. That is your option. If you are 100% serious about your dreams then believe they can happen. Make your dream a clear vision, see yourself as the leader you desire to be, get clear on what you want your career to look like, and then start making aligned decisions and taking aligned action based on your vision.

Your path to success will be much clearer when you believe it will happen.

Learn the rules, and then break them

My mother was a rule breaker, and she still is (hi mom…). She would take any opportunity to question a rule, and then break it if it didn’t work for her. From stepping over the imaginary line of no trespassing signs, to a few friendly-ish police run-ins, and to standing her ground in conversations and conflict, she is not afraid to stretch the limits, take risks, and question.

She is also one of the most free-spirited, strong-minded, and confident women I know.

She was a rule breaker. I was not. Or at least I didn’t appear to be.  You see, I took after my dad who was compliant (when people were looking). We didn’t want to be noticed so we stayed within the lines. And we appeared to follow the rules, but at the core I was my mother’s daughter, and my compliance was a façade that I unknowingly used to manipulate my life to make me feel safe.

However, little did I know, the control I was attempting to gain by complying was actually making me feel less safe and less confident.  By staying so far within the lines, I created the fear that I was trying to avoid.

But I’ve done my work over the past decade, peeling off the perceived safety net I created. And through this work I started to return to my natural state – free-spirited, strong-minded, and confident. And I learned to find comfort in the discomfort.

So I started to wonder, is this where we all begin? Are we all free and confident until we let fear by fear define our beliefs, our habits, and our identities over time?

This question is important, because I see so many women, including myself, define their identities by the rules they abide.  And often times, these rules are not even True, but are instead assumptions and beliefs that we turn into rules for our own comfort.  When we let fear control us we blur the lines between rules, beliefs, expectations, and doubt, and we rely on our assumptions to guide us.  And this leads to a life of fear-based compliance where freedom is not an option. And after watching my mother live a life of freedom for the past 38 years, I desire to also be free, and  I know I’m not alone.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. – Pablo Picasso 

So how do you return to your natural state? How do you tap into your free-spirited, strong-minded, and confident self? How do you learn the actual rules and then have the courage to break them when desired?

  1. Recognize that you have a choice. It is your choice to live life-based on your circumstances (or others’ circumstances) or to break the mold and live life-based on your own terms.  You have the choice to rise above fear, to rise above blame, and even logic. You have the choice.
  2. Know your standards. You are different than the person next to you. They may disagree with you, they may judge you, and they may also admire you. This is none of your business. Understand what is important to you. What are your top 10 non-negotiables for how you want to live your life? Know them and then unapologetically live them, while being kind.
  3. What’s your destination?  What are your vision and goals for your career and life? What do you desire to manifest? What is your definition of success? When you are intimate with exactly what you want out of your life you will know when to stand in your power, be more flexible, let go, and ask more questions.

When you understand that you have a choice, you know your standards, and you feel your destination, you will see the limiting beliefs and rules you worship for what they truly are. And you will begin to question, stretch, and take risks that take you out of ordinary, out of the stress, and out of fear, and into your zone of genius. Once you know the rules, you will have the choice to break them. This space, right here, is freedom.

Mom, 38 years later, lesson learned.  Be free, be kind. 

To your success,

Christy Venza

 

 

The balloons in the background…of my Facebook live

This post is about perfectionism, judgment, determination, and the two shiny balloons that made their debut in my first Facebook Live on my business page.

Yes, that’s right, I shot my first Facebook Live on my page last Saturday. I’ve shot live videos before in my private groups, but this felt different because I knew there would be friends, family, and friends of family watching, and as a result, more judgment! I did not know, however, there would be an amazing balloon photobomb.

Before I go any further, let me back up. Five years ago, the thought of shooting a live video, unscripted, would have been crippling. I would have planned the video out for hours, dressed the part, set up the right lighting, and known exactly what I was going to say, word for word.

Packaged and delivered to perfection.

Yet, behind the scenes, I would have been stressed out and overwhelmed from a five-minute video – spending way too much time away from my family planning this thing, taking an hour to set up the phone and lighting, and thinking about what could go wrong.

Facebook Lives didn’t exist five years ago, but it doesn’t matter because five years ago this is how I reacted whenever I was asked to speak or be in the spotlight. I over prepared to [try to] control the situation and eliminate judgment.

Five years ago, unexpected balloons making their debut in the back of my Facebook live would have felt unprofessional and slightly mortifying, and although this may feel extreme to some, the perfectionists out there get it.  Because it’s not just the balloons, but also the lighting, the attire, and the lack of makeup would have had my inner critic telling me I was not good enough.

But, today it’s different. When thinking about shooting the live video, the judgment stopped by for a moment to remind me that a few hundred close people may see me and I could say the wrong thing or lose my train of thought, but after a few seconds, I shifted to my vision, and my why, tapped into my expertise, and my determination took the reigns.

And it’s a good thing because I was committed to “going live” by the end of the week, regardless of my mindset.  And Sunday was not an option for me, so I was left with Saturday afternoon, with my kids playing outside my door, my husband in the shower, and with one hour to go before heading out for dinner with my family and neighbors. I didn’t have time to set up my lighting, I was wearing what I was wearing, and I trusted that it was the time to record. And right before I was about to hit “start live video” my 5-year-old son opened the door, peeked in and walked over to me. I asked him if he wanted to join me for “the live” and he gave me one of his “you’re weird” looks, nodded his head no, smiled and left the room…and I started recording.

It wasn’t until I watched the video about an hour later that I realized my son had left some balloons in the background. And it made me smile. Actually, they made me laugh out loud.

In the past, perfectionism and the “shoulds” would have consumed me following the video. I would have analyzed everything I did wrong and what I could have done better. The balloons would have actually made me cringe, not laugh.

But, thankfully these bright, shiny, energy-filled birthday balloons in the background represent the celebration and the laughter that I have craved in my career for so long. They represent my vision of being more present in the moment while meeting my professional goals. And they represent letting go of the thousands of excuses that have held me back from speaking my mind, standing up for my beliefs, and saying yes to what matters most.

I have worked hard over the past five years to let go of the beliefs and habits that were no longer serving me. And as a result of this work, I have found more joy and lightness in the moment.  And when you allow yourself to be present in the moment you are able to simply recognize, acknowledge and receive the little things, and even the bright, shiny, energy-filled things, that can turn your career and life into everything you desire.

The magic is in receiving, not resisting, the balloons in the background.

To your Success and Confidence,

Take Radical Responsibility for Your Career

Your career success is entirely 100% up to you.

It doesn’t depend on your clients, your boss, your organization, your next promotion, or your family, but what your success does depend on is your commitment to your vision and the action you take to make it happen.

The results you’re getting right now are the outcome of your thoughts, words, perspectives, beliefs, and the ways you have shown up in the world. Everything you have in your life and in your career is a result of the decisions you have made and the actions you took.

We learn as children that there are boundaries, limitations, expectations, and requirements for staying safe. And often times, we continue to live within these structures, without question, as adults.  This way of living is sometimes fine, until your energy and your vision become too expansive to contain within these walls. And here is where you may start to feel misalignment and disconnection from your desires, you blame others for the “lack” in your life, and you may start to feel like the victim of your circumstances. And as a result, you continue to get the same not-so-aligned results.

 So how do you shift from feeling like a victim to your circumstances and blaming others to feeling powerful, aligned, and like the leader of your career?  You start making the right decisions, speaking with intention, embracing positive thoughts, and becoming radically responsible for making sure that your actions move you in the right direction.

So here’s what happens when you start taking responsibility for every single thing in your life.

You begin to:

  1. See the choice in your day.
  2. Trust your decisions.
  3. Turn small wins into massive growth.
  4. Intentionally engage with the world around you.
  5. Create structures that support your real goals, not “should” goals.
  6. Attract like-energy collaborators and connections into your life.
  7. Find comfort in the discomfort and embrace the lessons learned.
  8. Take inspired action.
  9. Positively influence those around you to take radical responsibility.
  10. Understand that your responsibility expands past you, as an individual, to our planet, its people, and every living thing on it (no big deal, though😀).

And the first step you can take to starting becoming radically responsible for your career success is to become aware of your energy.

When do you start to feel hopeless, like you are always let down, life isn’t fair, you always lose? 

 When do you get angry with those around you and things outside of you?

 When do you find yourself blaming others for situations in your life?

When you start to become aware of these moments you will start to explore them and the feelings associated with this energy, you will begin to see how you may have created situations through your decisions and actions, and you will begin to detach from them.

After all, what you resist, persists.

Whether you are consciously or subconsciously resisting something, your attention and focus on the matter will bring life to it. When you become aware of resistance in these lower energy levels of feeling like a victim and blaming, you start to release it and create the space for taking inspired action and growth and receiving your wins.

When you take radical responsibility for your career success and your evolution as human being, you will see an incredible shift in your consciousness and will bring a new higher energy to the people and events in your life.  And in return, you will create the career success you truly desire.

Make it happen.

 

 

You are Greater and Wiser than You Appear to Be

When you lack confidence, it’s easy to seek opinions and find solutions outside of you.  It seems easier, more logical, and safer to ask someone for the answer or to simply Google it rather than thinking about a solution first.  Can you relate?

I can. I remember early in my career asking my managers for their feedback on EVERYTHING. And when I became a manager in my mid-20s, I realized just how frustrating my constant questions must have been to them. Yet, I still found myself asking my boss for her opinion – way too often for way too long. I had formed a habit of looking outward for the answers, rather than “tapping in” to my confidence and taking the lead. Looking back, I remember my questions were not just about learning, but they were about avoiding failure; looking outward felt safe.

By not trusting my inner wisdom I held myself back; I let others take the lead, I procrastinated, I hid behind busyness, and I didn’t trust my own decisions. Ouch! As an ambitious woman in my 20’s with big dreams, this hurt. And I knew I needed to make a change if I were to have more impact and to create the life I desired.

So I set out to change my ways. The first thing I did:

I took radical responsibility.

Upon further reflection, I realized, in full transparency, that early in my career I was taking the pressure off by asking my managers for their feedback; making them part of the process lessened my responsibility if things didn’t go well.  As you can imagine, living in this type of low-level energy where you are trying to avoid blame and responsibility can be extremely draining and tiring (for everyone involved). By shifting my energy to that of taking responsibility for my career success and everything I did in my life, I was able to shift from a bystander to a leader.

This shift into accepting full responsibility for every decision you make can be your slingshot to more success in your career.  Taking responsibility allows you to tap into your inner wisdom to find different ways to approach a situation. You also become more available for risk, you intuitively know when to ask for support from others, and you become available for the energy that will move you forward and unavailable for anything else.

If you are ready to thrive in your career, take radical responsibility for your actions. Trust your instinctual voice. After all, you are “greater and wiser than you appear to be.”

 

Protect Your Energy by Setting Boundaries

Last week I wrote about the 7 steps to connect to your priorities, because so often in our crazy, mixed up lives we veer.

When I feel disconnected from my vision and goals, I find it’s way too easy, and sometimes tempting, to chase the shiny objects, say yes to everything that comes my way, and no to the things that actually matter.  Sometimes becoming aware of my priorities is all I need to take action and get results. Other times, not so much.   Sometimes, even when I’m aware of my desires, I still veer.

And then I know it is time to set boundaries.

When we are not aware of where we are spending our energy or when we are handing our energy over to others, we become depleted.  Setting boundaries is a way to use your energy in the way that will best serve you and your vision.

So what does boundary setting look like?  Below are some examples of how to put the structures in place for more focus. 

 Start with self. Setting boundaries with self can look like the following examples:

  • Manage your “self-talk”. What stories are you telling yourself? Become aware of the self-talk you are using and intentionally eliminate the words that are not serving you.
  • Consistently update and commit to your calendar. Eliminate the paper to-do lists and only use your online calendar. Sounds simple and it is. We set boundaries when we are organized and clear on what our day will bring.
  • Schedule time for self-care. Intentionally create the space for peace of mind and clarity. What allows you to eliminate the distractions?  Journaling, meditation, exercise?  When you commit to you, others will as well.
  • Walk your talk. Are you living your life in line with what is important to you? Make a list of non-negotiables and commit to them. Make decisions aligned with your values.

So what does setting boundaries with others look like?

  • Know your limits. When you are aware of and stand in your beliefs, you trust your decisions in the moment.
  • Connect with positive people. Make it a non-negotiable to only cultivate relationships with people who will encourage and support you.
  • Embrace assertiveness. What is your communication style? Are you passive, aggressive, passively aggressive, or assertive? Find your assertiveness and practice in low stake situations. Become comfortable with voicing your opinion.
  • Take responsibility for your actions: Energy attracts like energy. When you can stand in your truth, accept responsibility and find solutions, others will start to do the same.

You have the choice to connect to your priorities and create the results you desire.  And when you are feeling held back from taking action, first check in on the boundaries you have set, or need to set, for yourself and with others. When you start to take responsibility for your mindset, energy, and success, others will start to meet you where you are, rather than the other way around.  This energy  – your energy – is what will drive your vision and your success.

To your success,

Christy