By Beate Chelette, Special for USDR.
Since my book Happy Woman Happy World was published, I have been a guest on a number of TV and radio shows. Often I am asked how I made my comeback from being $135,000 in debt, having a business that made no money, and being a single mom, all while deeply grieving over the death of my father. The answer all boils down to courage. I felt plenty of fear, but my will to succeed gave me the courage to overcome my obstacles and come out on top.
My life is not much different from yours—we all face adversity. It could be the loss of a job, a sinking business, an unexpected illness, or a difficult personal issue that sends us into depression. No matter the difficulties you are experiencing, the lessons I learned can help you get through it.
START HERE: Find the lesson and the silver lining of your obstacle.
When I was a still photography producer and a photography representative in Los Angeles, I often thought to myself that I was destined for something bigger. My downward spiral began in 2000 when an employee and a key photographer betrayed me. Within a few months, I lost my half million-dollar photography representation business. Six months later, my production business was wiped out in only 24 hours when the World Trade Center was hit. I lost another half million and I was broke.
Was this the end of my professional career? Or, had my wish been granted and this was actually the beginning of building something bigger and better?
By 2006, I was at the peak of my career. My secret thought of operating on a larger scale had become a reality and I had a new business with clients in 79 countries. I sold that business to a company owned by Bill Gates for millions of dollars.
I was at the lowest point in my life only 18 months before I reached my highest point. Was the betrayal in 2000 a lesson that I should have figured out much sooner? Once I did learn the lesson, I was able to make my major turnaround. I went from having a bankruptcy attorney on speed dial to becoming a multi-millionaire.
When we want to get from overwhelmed to awesome, we need to figure out what is holding us back. It usually involves fear. Fear is one of the most powerful and paralyzing emotions: fear of not being good enough, of not knowing enough, of not being smart enough, of (insert your fear here).
In spiritual teachings, we learn that all thoughts are based in either love or fear. They are opposing forces. While love opens our heart, fear clamps it shut and our world constricts. We focus on the negative, and we can’t find a way out. Fear holds us back.
FEAR has been referred to as False Evidence Appearing Real. Here are three steps that can help you get beyond your fear and onto the path of happiness:
1.) The first step is to shift our thinking. Let’s find another way to look at our situation. Be objective to find the positive of the situation and understand the lesson. Is an illness a roadblock, or an opportunity to learn the importance of appreciating what we have? Is an unprofitable business a dead end, or is it time to start something new? Do you have a toxic relationship with yourself or other people, and only a massive shakeup can get you out of it? Once you see the possibilities in your situation, you can redefine who you really want to be. THINK: If I would shift my thinking, what else would I see?
2.) Uncover the main issue. We tend to make things worse than they have to be. When we have an issue with one thing, instead of devising a plan to fix it, our brain immediately offers us another 15 issues to add to the list. For example, we may lament that we can’t afford a new car, we didn’t get the promotion, we don’t like how we look, the fridge is empty, our love life sucks, etc. We started with one issue and now we’re beating ourselves up over everything. THINK: What is the one problem that triggered this negative train of thought? Focus on resolving that one thing. In my book, you’ll learn about finding your ego-RHYTHM®. It’s a time-based concept that helps you set priorities.
3.) Break it down into small steps. Fear pushes us into helplessness. Since no one likes to be at fault, we tend to lay the blame all around us. While the problem could partly be our job, our relationship, our living situation, or our partner—we play a part in it too. Rather than look for a scapegoat, start doing something about it. Even if it’s just a small step, you’ll be going in the right direction. THINK: What do I have control over? How can I change this today?
We may not be ready to face our innermost fears until we reach our breaking point (much like an alcoholic has to get to that point) where we get stopped in our tracks, and our life comes to a standstill. Did we allow it to get this far because we have ignored the warning signs along the way? Use the three steps that I have outlined to work through your fears, and instead of a breaking point make this a turning point instead. The choice is ours.
Choose not to be defined by your circumstances, but rather, define your circumstance. When I was struggling with setbacks in my career, I kept thinking that this couldn’t be all there was for me. I didn’t know what was lying ahead or how to get out from where I was. But I did get out of it—one week at a time, and sometimes one day or one hour at a time. Whenever you feel fear, find the courage to push through and do it anyway.
Let me know how my three fear conquering steps work for you.
Beate Chelette, a nationally known Gender Decoder, is a respected career coach, successful entrepreneur, author of Happy Women Happy World, and founder of The Women’s Code. After selling her creative company in 2006 to Bill Gates for millions of dollars, Chelette pursued her mission to build a global community of women who will collaborate and support each other. In business and in her personal life as a single mother, Chelette witnessed first-hand how women treat other women, how they boycott, bully, and backstab other women’s careers and personal lives. She is fiercely determined to turn that around by creating a new Core Code of Conduct by which women will live happier, more successful lives and as results show – have better relationships with other women and men.
Drawing on the tools, hard knocks, and strategies she learned on her road to success, Chelette founded The Women’s Code. Chelette has created programs to improve Work-Life Balance, Leadership on C.U.E., and Career Advancement for Entrepreneurs and Creatives.
Happy Woman Happy World by Beate Chelette
The Foolproof Fix to go from Overwhelmed to Awesome
Chelette, a trainer, coach and speaker imparts her proprietary strategies that can take any woman from being “overwhelmed to awesome.” She deduces that women can have it all, just not at the same time. Instead she offers her original concept of ego-RHYTHM®, which allows women to delve into defining what is most important during their various stages of life, then teaches them how to set a Main Focus, re-structure their lives for better Work-Life Balance and put an end to the “crazy-making” lifestyle.
In addition, she discusses the struggles of today’s women in the workplace and how they sabotage career advancement, while addressing the culture of “mean girls,” the distasteful behavior that women perpetrate on each other which ultimately undercuts self-confidence and success. She introduces her ground-breaking system called The Women’s Code® – a new way for women to relate to each other with more awareness and a paradigm for teaching them how to get and give support, while collaborating to truly achieve happiness.
Publication date: September 24th, 2013