One step up the feeling-good ladder

You know what it feels like when you have a shitty day. And you so wish it would get better, but most often you’re waiting for something outside of you to shift. Don’t. Wherever you are on the feeling-shit to feeling-awesome ladder right now, YOU are the one in control of shifting it. And here’s the thing: don’t be unrealistic by wanting shit to become shine in a second – take one step at a time. That’s also why it can be annoying with a well-meaning friend on a much more positive radio channel wanting you to ‘think positive’. Just because they are able to reach that frequency right now doesn’t mean you can reach it – this is where the positive psychology movement can be misunderstood. Take the step that’s available to YOU right now – and it will make a difference. Here are the simple steps: 1) Reach for the best-feeling thought you can come up with right now. This will switch the radio channel you’re currently listening to one step up. 2) Notice the shift and relief as you allow a better-feeling-thought and let go of what you were feeling just a moment ago. 3) Do this … More One step up the feeling-good ladder »

I love myself… you what??

It’s ironic how we think and tell each other that we should serve others before we tend to our own needs. That we’re selfish if we follow our own needs. Isn’t it ironic? Isn’t that other person wanting you to tend to their needs first the one who’s being selfish here? I love myself. I like how I apply myself, take responsibility for my happiness and energy. And that’s provoking to some people. Because often it feels safer hiding or pleasing others or blaming everyone else and wanting them to make us happy/motivated/fill-in-the-blanks. Other people’s light can inspire us. But our light comes from within. So, I want you to follow yourself. Only YOU know what makes you feel good. What makes you able to be the best version of you. And that’s not being selfish. That’s your job! Accept yourself and be OK with yourself first, the good, the bad and the ugly. Then you can start accepting others like they are, too. Be kind to yourself. Be true to yourself. Follow yourself. Don’t hurt others doing it, don’t bring them down to get you up, come from a place of kindness. Towards yourself and others. Healthy selfishness opens … More I love myself… you what?? »

Keep screwing…

How annoying is it when you try doing something and you can’t figure it out? When you keep attempting but it’s not happening? When you spend excruciating amounts of time on something that should be simple? I believe we all recall the frustrating seconds, minutes, days or years of feeling we’re wasting time – that there is a better way. It could be a system or process at work that’s driving you bananas – or it could be a new task or challenge that you can’t find a good way of solving. Now recall the bliss when you nail it. When you find a way. Suddenly it flows, it’s working, it’s easy. Aaaaah… Screwing eight screws into a fickle bolt with limited and obstructed access got me to a level of frustration this weekend that I haven’t experienced in years! The fact that I was so slow and even worse than that: that I couldn’t get a system or process going to pick up the speed, or to create a learning curve. It made me realise that we all have a different definition of “wasting time”. And that it sometimes is wonderful to “waste time”, “shoot the breeze”, “take your … More Keep screwing… »

Let’s promote making mistakes!

I’ve heard it many times, said YES to it many times in training rooms. But these last months I’ve finally DONE it. If you don’t make mistakes, you’re playing too small. Well, I have been playing too small and too safe all of my life then. This message really resonated when I shared it on the Business Rebels page earlier this year, so this is to make sure to share it with all of you. Have I had no failures? Well, lots of things I could have done differently as I look back. But I wouldn’t call them failures or mistakes. They made me who I am today. But because of a prior perfectionism and wanting to always get it right (… anyone resonating…??), I always worked very hard, was extremely diligent with doing what I promised, making sure to think through, plan and follow up dedicatedly to not leave ANY potential leaks in the boat. These are skills and a standard I’m very proud of. And my clients get great value and certainty from it too. “In some industries, you CAN’T make mistakes”, you may argue. Well, in every job you know exactly which parts you have to get … More Let’s promote making mistakes! »

Promoting round corners

A culture’s design says a lot about that culture’s mindset. One example from the Scandinavian design tradition you may not be aware of is the absence of corners in Piet Hein’s super elliptical table. The design without sharply defined corners enables everyone to seamlessly sit next to each other around the table, with a less pointed-out difference of “who’s at the end of the table”. Being neither round nor rectangular changes the dynamics. And while we’re on the subject of seating, have you noticed the difference when talking to people sitting opposite you compared to sitting shoulder by shoulder on a bench or while walking or driving – talking and heading in the same direction? Brene Brown in her book Dare to lead talks about the position at the table when you have conversations: preferring not to sit across from the other person, but instead sitting next to each other. You will notice how it changes the interaction – looking in the same direction, shoulder to shoulder, being united in whatever needs to happen – compared to being on opposite sides facing each other, like a tug-of-war. It may be my Danish blood, because when I’m with clients or prospects, … More Promoting round corners »

Gratitude one day or the other?

I haven’t been online yet today, but I’m sure there will be stacks of Mother’s Day posts and true gratitude for the flowers, the lunches, the dinners, the gifts. That’s all fine. But as those of you know who have followed me for some years, we don’t do Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in our home. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating these days, we have nothing against them like some people detest Halloween as a growing commercial tradition – I think it’s GREAT to create new traditions and savour the old ones. What is it then? Well, we believe the other 364 days count much more. What is a lovely bunch of flowers on this day compared to mutual respect and helping each other out running this thing called a family all year round? What is a breakfast with hundreds of other families out on this day to celebrate the (sacrifices of?) motherhood compared to a smile and a hug on a random Wednesday – seeing in each other’s eyes that it means a lot having each other around? I hope everyone has had a lovely day, been spoiled and had that beautiful feeling of love and gratitude come their … More Gratitude one day or the other? »

Your name. Your identity.

Annlone or Annlone [said Danishly]. Your name is an important part of recognising yourself. I’ve had some fascinating conversations around names – how you and others say your name – with people I’ve met recently. Thank you to all of these people who showed curiosity and wanted to be able to say it, the Danish way. And hearing your stories made me want to do this blog because I can hear it’s resonating. If you’re based in another country, living away from where you grew up, you probably resonate with this. You were given a name, you heard your parents or the other big people call you that. And if you liked the name you had and those using it, it became a positive part of your identity. An important part of recognising yourself – differentiated from others. Living surrounded by lots of different languages, even international names like Peter, Michael, Sarah and so on will be pronounced differently in German, French, Danish, English. Some take the consequence and change their name when settling into a new culture – Joan becoming Yoan, Pierre becoming Pete. Good on you. I went through 3 versions – because just Ann is not me, … More Your name. Your identity. »

Doing What Others Can’t or Won’t Do

Have you heard the saying: you don’t earn a lot if you do what everybody could or would do. You can earn a lot if you do what NOT a lot of others could or would do. This applies in business and in all other types of work. So, if you would like to be more valuable in your field, how can you stand out doing what others could or would not do? I’m always in awe of people being great at what they do and loving doing it. Whether that’s the ear-nose-throat specialist, the teacher or the arborist. A while ago I was fascinated by watching the tree surgeon cutting back dead branches on the neighbour’s 15-20m high gum tree. This arborist was swinging from branch to branch way up high. Most people get sweaty palms just watching it. It takes skill, and not a lot of others would or could do it.  He was climbing up to the very top, swinging like a monkey from branch to branch, fully trusting the rope securing him, his own knowledge and awareness of which branches to trust and which not, always knowing what to do next. People sometimes get jealous when … More Doing What Others Can’t or Won’t Do »

Catching the Spider Webs?

Remember those early morning walks or runs where you unassumedly get a spider web across your face? That’s what can happen when you are the first to walk the path. Last morning in the bush, I had a group of women taking off at the same time as me, but as they were walking, I got to the water at the bottom of the track first. As I was zen-ing at the water, they caught up and with a smile told me that I had missed a spider web, a web I should have cleared. They thought they were safe with me in front of them, probably didn’t look out for them – and this one they caught, head first. It’s a great metaphor: how we catch spider webs for those who follow in our footsteps. That morning my limited height (160 cm on a good day) came in handy – or maybe it was the one where I ducked to let the spider keep its well-earned beautiful work. So, that web they had to take. Where are you trotting new paths? There will be spider webs that get in your face. You can hold up a stick, but some … More Catching the Spider Webs? »

Curiosity as my secret sauce

Yesterday morning I discovered curiosity as my secret sauce. Curiosity as a go-to-state. When I put on my curious glasses I can’t be grumpy, or disappointed or judgmental at the same time. Not at myself, not at others either. Maybe that has always been my secret sauce, my super power? I loved school and learning, was it really because it triggered my curiosity? The kind of subjects I’ve studied that logically should never have been able to excite me – but then a teacher (Karen, Kit: macroeconomics!) or a fellow student or something else got me curious. Sometimes maybe even the fact that it was so far from my current sphere that it had to be explored. When first my curiosity was triggered, there was no stopping me. With our daughter currently travelling London, another example came to mind: becoming au pair in London when I had only ever babysat once (with poor results) and generally had no interest in or experience with small kids. But this amazing mother inspired me, she had a marketing background, had run her own Cafe, cheeky and fun, and I became SO curious about these two little boys, these fascinating human beings, how different … More Curiosity as my secret sauce »