Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quitting from a Place of Power #Motivation

Oh, the freedom of letting go!

I was raised in the Midwest where people simply didn't quit things. I was told at a young age never to quit--that it was somehow a sign of weakness to say, "You know what? This doesn't work for me so I'm out of here!' 

"Once you commit to something, you stick it out," is what I heard growing up. And I'm all for being committed, for working hard, and being diligent, but there does come a time when you need to reevaluate what's good for you in the long term. If the situation is no longer healthy--mentally, physically--if it's no longer pushing you toward your goals or complementing your highest purpose, then it's time to quit.

How many times have you heard someone saying that they "can't" quit that job that makes them miserable? Or that they "can't" leave an unhealthy relationship because of "loyalty" even if they may be in physical danger or emotional peril?

What is all this "can't" business? That implies that we are prisoners of our own making. Every moment of every day we make choices that drive our happiness. What is more immobilizing and disheartening than saying, "I can't leave this job" or "I can't leave this friendship because I've known her for twenty years even though we have nothing in common anymore" or "I can't leave him because he would be devastated."

Who is in charge of your life? The word can't immediately strips the power from your own hands and gives it to someone or something else.

Your happiness is your responsibility. Take charge of it. Don't settle. Don't waste one more minute of your life doing something that isn't serving your highest intention for yourself. If you're not on the right path, change course. If you don't want to spend time with someone because they suck away at your energy, then don't. If you are in a job that is slowly killing you, start looking for a new one today.

Quitting is not the same as "not trying" or "giving up." It is taking your power back to control your destiny and live from a place of positive intention.

“Employ the power of positive quitting. Most of us view quitting as something negative, but it’s not. ‘Winners never quit,’ we’re told, when, in reality, winners quit all the time: choosing to stop doing things that aren’t creating the results they desire.” – Jim Allen

Because we confuse quitting with giving up, we attach shame to it. Your heart usually knows when it's time to quit, but your mind convinces you that there's something inherently wrong with choosing to let go. Shame...it's a destructive and insidious emotion. Quitting is an action with power behind it--you are saying that the situation you are in today no longer fits where you want to be tomorrow. It is an intentional act.

Giving up, on the other hand, is feeling defeated, no plan of action, no direction. It is powerless. It is stagnation.

“When you quit all the things that aren’t working for you, when you quit tolerating all the negative things that hold you back, you’ll create a positive ‘charge’ in your life as well as create the space in your life for more positive experiences.” – Jim Allen


When you force yourself to do things simply because you fear being labeled a quitter or because of some misguided loyalty, you are expending more energy than you would if you were doing something that made you happy. How exhausting is that?

  • Quit being concerned about what others may think about your life.
  • Quit social media "scrolling" and use that time on yourself. 
  • Quit the job that's slowly killing you. 
  • Quit postponing happiness to "someday". 
  • Quit waiting for perfection and start living today. 
  • Quit comparing yourself to others--even to expectations you had for yourself. 
  • Quit making yourself anxious by sticking it out with someone who simply isn't good for your well-being.
  • Quit one-sided relationships. 
  • Quit trying to make other people comfortable in your presence--laugh out loud, be uncensored, be you at all times. 
  • Quit movies or TV shows you don't enjoy--time is precious.
  • Quit feeling guilty for pursuing your own happiness. 
I've quit people who bored me and tried to make me smaller than I am. I've quit writers' groups filled with not-so-nice people. I've quit meeting people for activities that didn't interest me after realizing I was only going because I wanted to "fit in"...but that wasn't being true to me.  I've quit making excuses for saying 'no.'

When you start quitting what no longer works for you, you'll make space for all that will take you where you want to go.

Wishing you all green lights and happy moments...
Amber Lea Easton
http://www.amberleaeaston.com 




Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com



 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Remaining Fluid in the Face of Frustration #Motivation #AmWriting

Hidden on that little island in the river is a gazebo where I retreat from time-to-time. While sitting there surrounded on all sides by rushing water crackling over boulders and rushing across broken ice from the spring thaw, I am reminded of how temporary everything is and how small we are in comparison to Mother Nature.

Sometimes it's easy to put things off because of fear or feeling blocked or whatever the excuse of the moment may be. Writing is a challenging profession and, quite frankly, a competitive one. But when we're feeling discouraged or on that precipice of giving it all up, we need to remember that what's upsetting today may be an amusing story tomorrow. 

I've whittled it down to three things that usually create the feeling of unease in myself when I'm not exactly where I'd like to be in my career. 

  • Lack of specificity. I'm a big picture thinker. I like to create broad ideas of where I'd like to be and the things I'd like to accomplish every year, but this creates friction with reality when time keeps rushing forward and I don't feel as if I'm close to achieving that ideal I have in my mind. "If you can dream it, you can achieve it," has always been one of my favorite quotes; however, not being specific about the how creates a constant drumbeat of frustration in my soul. Are you specific about what you want or are you like me...easy to see the big picture but fuzzy on the steps? 
  • Getting stuck in the habits that are no longer working--or perhaps never did. Long ago, back when I first published a novel, I read that online writers' groups were the "only way to get the word out" about your book. I participated in them religiously, jumped on the latest trends, stepped up into leadership roles eager to be a part of something great--but, even though the results really weren't there and group participation became severely lopsided, I hesitated to leave the groups and try something new. The reality was that I sold more books doing my own thing and before jumping on the bandwagon--I have great ideas and a few decades of experience, yet I was allowing "hobbyists" or those with more bravado than accomplishments, make me doubt my instincts. I remained and drove myself crazy with frustration! The insane part is that I couldn't figure out why I was so frustrated for the longest time. I thought because I'd read it somewhere once up a time, that I needed to continue doing things that were creating a hum of dissatisfaction and downright annoyance in my blood. Why did I think that? Why was I so reluctant to let go of something that no longer served any purpose and had become a giant time suck with ungrateful people who knew far less than I did about the business? Habit combined with a need to "belong" ended up dragging me backward in some ways. Being a soloprenuer is lonely--being a writer is challenging--I liked the idea of working with like-minded people, but it turned out that reality fell short of the "idea".  If something is no longer working--or perhaps never did but you keep trying in the hopes that it eventually will solve all your career problems--then it's time to move on. My frustration levels dropped significantly when I finally said, "it's time to let this go" and I cut ties with groups that only brought drama into my life. Ahh...how amazing it feels to let that burden go!
  • Always thinking in terms of "timing". Well, the timing for launching that story isn't right or my personal life is hectic so the timing for this or that would be "too much." Sitting in that gazebo surrounded by churning water is a great reminder that time is never waiting for us to get our shit together. It's either now or never. If you want something, the time is always NOW. Waiting for the stars to align perfectly or to have more money in the bank or for your schedule to slow down, will not work to your advantage. Just when you get that account balance where you want it, who's to say your house won't flood or you won't need something else that prevents you from pursuing your dream right now? If you're not living your dream life because you've been waiting for the right time or the perfect circumstance, then it's TIME for you to act today. Do something specific in the right direction toward making yourself happy. A lot of my frustration has come from holding myself back because of timing--waiting for the kids to grow up, waiting for book twenty to publish, waiting to lose twenty pounds, blah blah blah. While waiting, my heart has been banging against my rib cage sending a SOS to be free to soar! The timing is always right if it's a step toward being true to yourself. Realizing this has also lowered my frustration. 
I'm sure there are other things than what I've listed that have created frustration in my life, but those were the main three that came to mind. If you're frustrated, it's important to take the time to be honest with yourself about why. Frustration can lead to many things--depression, anger, burn-out. Fix the frustration, embrace the peace.

Write on!
Amber Lea Easton
http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com



Monday, March 21, 2016

Valuing Your Experience and Learning Not to Settle for Less #AmWriting #Motivation

In the era of "free", where do those of us with experience fit in? We've already paid our dues and spent time honing our craft so the idea of writing for free in return for exposure seems pointless.

I hear it all the time. As a freelancer, I've accumulated over two hundred and fifty published articles, over a thousand blog posts, and published nineteen books. Despite this experience, I'm still nickle and dimed to death over rates. Just this last Saturday, a man from a supposed "financial firm" called me to discuss a position as a staff blogger. The call was going fine, but then it came to rate: in exchange for me taking time to interview CEOs and other movers and shakers in the financial industry, researching the article, and writing a post with a minimum of 500 words, he was willing to pay me thirty dollars a day.

THIRTY DOLLARS A DAY!

I didn't even bother negotiating because that was a low ball offer and, after talking to the man, I doubted the legitimacy of his "financial firm." Yes, you heard me right: I didn't counter. What would I bring him up to? Fifty dollars a day for about six hours or so of time when you factor calling people, research, writing, and marketing? It was an insulting offer and told me that this was an organization I had no interest working with further.

My point is that it's okay to turn down work or simply walk away from an offer that doesn't value what you're bringing to the table. Too many writers think they need to take anything and everything that crosses their path just to build up their portfolio or for the chance of being "seen." The fact is that if you've already built up a portfolio like I have and are blogging and marketing yourself, chances are you are being seen.

Did you know that the Huffington Post doesn't pay their writers? They are a huge media organization profiting from advertisers and they're still able to convince writers to work for them for free. WHY?

The problem is that we writers are not valuing our experience and are not confident enough to demand what we're worth. Because there are so many writers out there who are hungry for exposure and must have some other source of income, they will take the free jobs and perpetuate the idea that it's okay to work for free. It isn't.

This practice is causing talented, hard-working, experienced writers to leave the business they've always loved. That's not right but it's common.

Change begins when we unite and start saying 'no' to free assignments--or pennies on the dollar gigs. Yes, there will always be someone willing to do it--someone fresh out of college or new to the game. Let them. But if you're not new, if you have an established portfolio, then do not settle. If you don't value your experience, then no one else will. Set a fair rate, stick to it, and the right clients will come. If you keep undercutting yourself, you'll end up being one of those talented writers who simply can't afford to do business any longer.

Write on!
Amber Lea Easton
http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com 

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com.