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I oh, thank you for being here. Again, for another episode of the aspire for more for, with Erin podcast today, I wanted to really take a look back at 2023. This is the week in between Christmas and new years. And the theme this week is to really look back at the year. And. Create a story. Create the story. I have 2023. And you. When we create this story, we take away. The opportunities to be proud of ourselves. The opportunities that you overcame. The opportunities to learn where your weaknesses are. So you can create a master plan for 2024. One of the things that. I have come to realize is we think we will remember. What we accomplished. What we overcame. But we don't. What is more powerful. Is the story that we tell ourselves. So if we don't take the time to actually write down. What. We did and accomplished each day, each week, each month for the year. We lose sight. Because we are a, in the moment type. People. So it's important to be intentional with the time. Look back. Read notes, read the diary. Look at your calendar. And realize what actually happened, who you were at the beginning of 2023 and who you are now at the end of 2023. And do you like it? Do you like who you are? Those back to that question. How are you really? Which was a catalyst of change for me. I did a podcast episode with the one word that I wanted to take into 2023. And that word for me was clarity. I needed a lot of clarity in my life at the beginning of 2023. And. As I look back and go over. My year with you, hopefully through a lens that you can use for your year review. I realize I gained a lot of clarity in 2023. Because I was intentional. I was intentional. Of being aware. Every moment. Of my thoughts, my emotions, my. Elections and my outcomes. And what success was to me. Not everybody else, but to me, What did I define success as for me? And that's a question that is really important for you to know the answer to. I drive a minivan. I'm super proud of my minivan. I worked very hard to be mom's status 11 years ago. I am there. I am proud. My dad told me that I would love the doors that opened by themselves. I rolled my eyes at him, but I do. I love the doors. And by themselves. I want. A luxury car. I always have. I always will. One day I will get that. Whether it's the Volvo, whether it's the infinity, whether it's Alexis, whatever it is, one day I will get that. But right now. My success story with my vehicle. Is to see how long I can drive this van. That is success to me. How long can I make this vehicle last? Because in the past I've had a pattern. Yes. To wreck a vehicle. Every four years, don't ask me why. I just did. And I have had this vehicle now for six years and I am super proud and the mileage is high. But it is still functional. And it is still a good ride. And it's still serves its purpose. And I value. That when I value no car payments. And I value the freedom that, that affords me. So my definition of success. Is to drive this car, this fan, as long as I can. So when somebody else gets a vehicle that I want, or a new vehicle, or the newest shiniest version of it. And that jealousy creeps in that. Oh, I would like a new one. I have to revert back to what my definition of successes. I like the freedom that no. Par note grades. That's success to me. And so I. Go there in my mind. And I'm satisfied. I'm happy. I'm content. And that's the freedom of knowing what your definition of success. Is. It's your north star really? So in every situation you want to know what your definition of success is. That's how you aspire for more for you. Because you have the clarity, you have the vision, you know, the answer. So each circumstances that I found myself in throughout a year of 20, 23, I was intentional. With asking myself, what does success look like for me in this moment? That question always worked for me inside the community. And so I decided to use it for me personally, in every situation, especially all the new situations I found myself in. That I did not have context for. I was constantly in a learning state. Of mind in 2023. My word for 2023 was clarity. And. I believe. I found it. I'm wanting to know the answer to the definition of success. So I could use that. And how to overcome a mindset that always bogged me down. Even though I was living in a purposeful life. My goal was to control the narrative of the story that I created. For myself and it was always. A story. That hinged on. I wasn't enough. It didn't matter what I did. Half to achieve. To be accepted. That story no longer served me. That story is what held me back my entire life. From the potential that I knew that I had. And so how could I gain the clarity? How could I. Understand. The root cause. I dove into podcasts. And I read books and I watched YouTube videos and I found people. That were vulnerable enough in their story. That allowed me to see mine for what it was. That is power. And that is why I am so vulnerable on my podcast and hoping that you can see my story. And use it for your story. Because in senior living. It is an industry that. You know about, unless you're in it. And that's the motivation for me today. To lay out. What gave me clarity, what actions I took to give me clarity in what my word for 2024 is. The truth is if you want to gain clarity and what success is to you and what you want to achieve. You have to start. I had to take action no matter what. I had to fail. I had to learn to like failure. In order to succeed. And that. Was new for me. Too. Do something to fail. In order. To gain the perspective was new. Because I never gave myself permission to fail. And if I failed. My worth and value plummeted. For me. I gave myself permission to be bad. To put out C minus work. And then constantly improve from C minus to C plus to B minus to B plus. I don't think my best work is out there. I think it's a constant. Process of. Understanding and knowing and presenting things better. I view everything as an experiment, just to gain clarity. That's it. Not to be a success. not to impress somebody, but just to serve people. The people that need. The perspective. And. For me to gain a new perspective. On a new. Process that I'm going through. Not everything is life and death. And that was a new mindset. Sometimes, well, all the time fear prevented me, it was like sitting on the ledge. I have a mountain. Like I just felt like trying something new or doing something new and me not being good at it. It literally felt as if. couldn't breathe. And I was forcing myself. To change that. You have to do this because it is uncomfortable. Because you're learning. Because you haven't done it before because you want to do it. And the definition of success is that it's not that good. Because you want it to get better. You have to learn. The crawl before you walk, where we could even take it to, you have to learn to hold your head up. And rollover before you can learn to crawl. That's the permission you give yourself. And I finally realized that my worth was not dependent. On my outcome. It just isn't. I finally realized the root of that problem and I faced it head on. My value and my worth is not dictated on the outcome. It's not dictated on the percentage. It's not dictated on what somebody else thinks of me. It's dictated on me. The way that I think of me, the story that I tell myself, Was actually that. I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Period. That now is the base of everything that I do. I value me. I know I am valued. I bring value to others. And if people don't want the value that I bring it's okay. It does not dictate. Anything other than they didn't want it. Or they weren't ready for it. And that is power. I faced head-on. Every insecurity. Every rejection. Every negative outcome in my life. And I changed the story. To how it literally set me up for the next phase of my life. It was this story that was based literally on my childhood. And it was, I was not chosen. And there were moments in my career. That just blew the bandaid off of wounds. And it caused that sentence to come back over and over again. But the truth of the matter. Is, I was chosen my entire life. My entire life. I was chosen. But because I told myself a story when I was young. I believed it. And I found evidence to support it throughout my entire life. It. Was the current that steered my ship. And it wasn't true. It wasn't true. And at 42 years old. I can now say to you. That I have been chosen. And the person that didn't choose me. That was in my best interest. Because there was a person that did choose me. In my life. Was exactly how it was supposed to be. And it was beautiful and it is beautiful. So that story changed and my life has changed because of it. And that's the first thing. That. I realized that I can control. So there are four things that we're going to go over today. That. I realized through this year of gaining clarity of taking control of my life. And realizing, even though I didn't think I was a control freak. Because I. I view control-freak as being one way. But that's not the only way to be in control. I wanted to control outcomes and because I can view patterns. I realized that I could control outcomes. Because I can see patterns. But that can be exhausting as well. But the one thing that I didn't realize. Is it, I can control my thoughts. But in 2023. I realized I can control my thoughts. And that is where my controlling focus should be. So when I heard Tony Robbins say, change your story, change your life. Aye. Didn't understand it at first. And then in February of 2023, I heard it again. And I understood what he was saying. Because when you change the narrative in your mind, You change. The trajectory of your life. The truth is we all have the power. To tell. People our perspective of each circumstance. We all have the power to change the story that we tell ourselves. We tell people. How to think. About. Anything. Based on the words that we use to describe it. Ask yourself. What are the words? That I'm using to describe. My experience, I circumstance. The compliment that was just given to me. We had a family gathering. And somebody brought food. Item, a potluck. And it looked great and I was happy to eat it. And they just kept going on and on, in a negative way. About the dish that they prepared. That dish was really good. But the way that person described it to me made me not want to eat it. How are you describing things to people and how are you describing them? To yourself. When we have a circumstance that has a negative outcome. There's one word that I want you to think about. Blame. Let's talk about rejection. Let's talk about. Losing a sale, breaking up with somebody, getting a divorce. All those negative experiences. There is one word and that is blame. And the story that you tell yourself about that outcome is important. Who are you blaming? Because when you blame. You give your power. Away. When I understood. And allowed myself to look at every circumstance and view. My perspective. what role I played in that negative outcome? And learn from it. I became more confident, more powerful. The story I told myself became. More positive in a way that served a future. Me. You play a role in every outcome, whether negative or positive. If you want to be in control of your life and your future. And your present. Owning your part in every story. Learning from it. And moving forward. Is your superpower. Because where the blame goes. So does the power. If there is one thing I want you to take away, it is that. Because that has shifted for me. And that has made me more confident, more powerful. In my own. Mind. And. More aware. That life is an experimentation. And not. I'm comes. It makes the process better. And it creates a story. Of significance and empowerment abundance versus. Victimhood scarcity and insecurity. In marketing. You get told how to think about a product. Chick-fil-A is going to tell you to eat more chicken. And they're going to use cows to tell you to eat more chicken. That's a story, right? They're trying to save their own lives. Keep more chicken, Are these makes you want to think about a breakfast biscuit in the morning? Buc-ee's will tell you to come and go to the bathroom because it's a great place to go to the bathroom. Their bathrooms are beautiful. Beef wants to tell you that is what's for dinner. So these advertisements tell us a story that we remember, and our experience can dictate whether or not we go back there, but the constant reminders through advertising of the story, they want us to know. Makes us think that maybe our experience wasn't that bad. That's how powerful the story is. what are you telling yourself? About the story of your life. Make it serve you. Own. Your role in every story, whether it's good or bad. And let it empower you. Embarrassment is really empowerment when you change the story behind it. Especially if you're just experimenting in life. I have fallen before. I'm sure you have too. And it's how you get back up. That will determine story. Of how you fell. And that's funny and funny. Way to think about it instead of an embarrassing, awkward way to think of it. Our experience can hinder the story. So make your story serve you. Recognize the parts that cause you pain insecurity and doubt and change the narrative to a story that uplifts you inspires you and keeps you on track to your mission. I used to think that if I stayed in reality and was aware of way that everyone was thinking, then. I can make plans to overcome them. But the silly part is how do I know what people are thinking? And how do you. Are we creating stories about what other people are thinking, and yet we don't even know what their perspective is. So be careful. With the stories that we tell ourselves. Because half the time it turns out that they weren't thinking what we thought they were thinking at all. And I wasted a lot of energy. With variables that never ever came into existence. So now I just stay in a very positive story rooted in fact, and based on a serve first mentality. With the idea. Of What is mine will be mine at the perfect time. Period. So number one. Thing I learned in 2023. When I changed my story, I changed my life. Be aware of your story. Number two. My emotions are directly correlated to how I think. When I control how I think my reactions and my emotions fall in line automatically. The first mindset hack. It's not about me. Someone else's reaction is based in their own mindset, live story and trauma. My job is to evaluate my role. How do you control your actions when you stop placing your own? Ownership. You stop placing the blame on you. And you start realizing. This is about them. When I. Start looking at people's. Reactions to me and to. Policies I said, or decisions that I had to make, I had to start asking myself, did I clearly communicate the expectations Did I stay consistent in my management style? And did my actions justify this reaction. If the answers were. I guess I did clearly communicate my expectations. Yes, I did stay consistent in my management style. And did my actions justified this reaction is no. Then I have no blame. And I realized that this person's reaction is based on their own. Set of experiences. And not because of me, I do not take personal responsibility for this, but I can. Sit down and listen. And say, how did we get here? And to realize that defensiveness is just a way to protect. One's self. It's a sign. That they are already beating themselves up. About something. It is an armor to protect us from vulnerability. And when I see that in signs of other people, I can relate to that. And so therefore I say to them, you are valued here. This community, this company, this industry, it needs you. How did we get here? And then the emotions come down. And when I feel my own armor, kick up when I feel my own defensiveness, which let me tell you, I am. Naturally inclined to be defensive, to protect myself. I have to ask myself. What are you trying to avoid? Why do we not want vulnerability in this moment? When we know that vulnerability is power? And then I have to look inside of me. When we avoid vulnerability, we see defensiveness. We see blame. We see perfectionism. These are all emotional intelligence signs that you can find in yourself and you can see in other people that you can navigate. With grace and dignity. Because it's. How you think about the situation determined? Your emotions. And remember when we blame people. We lose our power. We want the feedback. We want to give it and we want to receive it. And so if we framed feedback to people, As. This is. Allowing you to grow. This is allowing me to grow. It sets the tone. For an empowerment conversation. Rather than a negative. Conversation. Think about when employees or when residents or family members of residents come to you to praise you or to give you opportunities to improve. Think back about the body language. Do you see hands shaking? Voice rattling. Body language that is. Telling you that they're nervous. That's vulnerability. When you see that in other people identify it in yourself and be aware that's where we are. And allow the room to be. Safe. And say. I want to know it, all the good, the bad and the ugly. Because it's important for us to grow to know these things. And let them know how valuable that information was. the phrase. Thank you for sharing has such a cheesy and negative connotation. But it's important to say. If you value feedback. If you don't value feedback it's because you don't like vulnerability. You don't like the emotions that are tied to that. And you're telling yourself a story. It may not be. Positive one. Allow the feedback. Keep the story. Keep the emotions under control that this is going to make us better. This is going to make me better. Vulnerability is power, allowing people, a safe space to share that. And then asking. And making sure that people understand their value to you. In those moments of vulnerability. We'll help. RO you as a person in clarity. And envision. So the plan. Of success for your community and success for the next year. So number one, change your story, change your life in every situation that serves you. Number two. Your emotions. Are dictated by the way. That you think. It's story that you tell yourself. Number three. The way that you think. And your emotions dictate your actions. So if I can control the story that I tell myself about every situation based on my definition of success. And not blaming and owning my role in every positive and negative situation. I can control my emotions. Because I want the feedback because I want to be healthy because I want the success. That I have defined for myself. And then the way I think The way my emotions are around each circumstances will then cause my actions. To mirror what I really want. How many times do we not move forward? Because we are scared. Fear is only the made up version of the future based on a negative experience from the past that we moved forward. To our president and our future. This was one of the hardest concepts for me to learn. Because I didn't realize that I brought all that negative baggage with me everywhere. I went, like I thought that was normal. But that's not normal. Some of the most successful people. Leave what happened in the past. They didn't define who they were based on negative experiences that happened. Previously. They just let it go. And they brought forward with what they learned from it. They didn't assign a story to the outcome. That literally affects our present and our future. That story that I assigned to every circumstance followed me. It wasn't the lessons that I learned. It was the story. I value that I assigned to it. Now I understand. I'm only bringing the lessons that I learned from it. Because no one cares. That's about when I've been to you in the. They want to know what's going on with you in the present. Think about that. What's happening today. Is what is most important? Not what happened in the past. how do you tell that story about what's happening today? What's the story that you want people to know. That's what's important. We cannot allow. I cannot allow fear. To effect my present and my future anymore. I have been raised to know. That. The past does not define our future. That when you decide things, the past stays in the past and you move forward a new creation, right? I never understood that. To the extent that I understand that today. And that my friend. Is how you move forward in a positive way. You take with you, the lessons you learned from those negative experiences and you do better. Fear will limit your actions, which will limit your outcomes. What happened to me? 42 years ago. Or in the past 42 years. Does not. I get to dictate what happens to me in the next 42. Absolutely not.'cause what only matters. Is what I took away from it and what I'm doing today. What I'm going to do tomorrow. And my definition of success. I no longer. Allow. My past. To prevent me from my full potential. My actions are now based in experimentation thought processes. And not value processes. It's just, I'm going to try it and then I'm going to see if it works. No worth assigned to it. Just action. Is you really don't know what to do until you take the first step and then the next step leads to the next. Choices of steps. You don't have to know how to get there. You just have to start moving. That is freedom. And how to communicate what you're doing. So you act no matter what. And the best. Thing for you, if you feel. Like you have nothing going for you. If you feel. Rejected and not successful. And. Just at the bottom of the barrel. Here's what I want you to know. You were in a prime position. Is shoot your shot, buddy. It doesn't matter. How low in the gutter you feel. low in the well that you feel. It matters that you try. Because you have nothing to lose. You're the underdog on the field. On the court. Nobody's watching. And it's the perfect time. To try to experiment. The harder you fall. The higher you bounce. If you create the momentum. Of action. And don't just lay there. So act. Move experiment. Sign no value because your value is already assigned. Your story is one. Of moving. To learn. Acting to learn. Knowing that what is yours? We'll be yours when it's meant to be yours. I will be in the right place at the right time. Exactly when I'm supposed to be there. But I will not get there. If I do not act. Every single circumstance leads you to the next circumstance. It requires you to tell yourself a story. They help you emotionally prepare to act. No matter what. And then you will get to where you need to be when you least expect it. So the story that you tell yourself, Is the story that propels yourself. To the future that you want. And that story. I wasn't. You control your emotions with no, Eight, the action plan that you want. Rooted in experimentation, not failure. Or success, pure experimentation. And then you realize. I'm in control of the environment that I'm in. When you start valuing who you are. What you bring to the table? You realize you're in control of your environment? Do not stay where you are not valued. I did that for a long time. Because I didn't value myself. I thought. If I produced. I would be valued. But. I didn't value me. And what I wanted most was my own validation. But I couldn't see that because I was too busy trying to earn other people's validation. So don't stay. In an environment. Too long. That doesn't value. You. I carried the weight. Of carrying a load that I didn't need to carry because I believe that would validate me. You don't need to be a martyr to be successful. In fact, you just need to act. And say. On the journey, progress in the journey. You don't need to martyr yourself. When you value yourself. When you create that authentic energy. You will find a way to attract. That energy to you. In my role now. I have not produced. Or worked. Near as hard. For a company. Or people. That I did in 20 years inside of an industry. And I am more valued today. Then I was inside that industry. And I don't mean that in a. That in a negative. Like conceited way. I value myself and what I know and my perspective. In ways that I never have before. And there are people out there who value what I know. And my perspective in ways that I have never. Been a part of. One caveat. When I worked in assisted living my residents, my associates. And my families of the residents valued me. They were the fuel to keep me going. They meant the most to me. More than I meant to myself. I was so loyal to them. That leaving. Them. in any circumstances was just not possible. I was never going to make that choice. They valued what I knew and they valued what I gave to them. But the difference now is. Professional people that I look up to. That. I want to emulate a career off of that. I want. To give value to. That I want to bring value to their company. They value me. In ways that I am not used to. And that's because my energy, the value that I created inside myself, The voice that I'm creating. The experience that I can communicate. The empathy that I have due to my history. Is valued to them. And it tells me. That I'm on the path. To where I'm supposed to be. And that everything that I've worked for, everything that I've achieved, everything that I have experienced in overtime. Led me to the moment of where I'm at today. But I would not have had that. Had I not made clarity. My intent for 2023. To fix all of my negative broken pieces. And to put myself out there. To be seen, heard, and valued. But that value started with me first. And what I consider to be success. And so when I think about 20, 24, And I think about what my word. For 2024 is. And what my definition of success in 2024 is. And what my life. Up until 2024. Has been. Now that I have clarity. I want to create. When you live in fear. You're not creative. Because you're scared. Of outcomes until you're not innovative. Or you are afraid. failing. But I'm not afraid of failing anymore. So to me, fear is a reminder that we require faith. Fear is a negative projection of the future. And the future is to be created. Not to be feared. I am a human. I was created. And for a long time, I created the outcome of what my fears were. And now I realize I had that power. And now I want to create the future. Of success. I created the future that I feared. And that drowned my faith and my creativity. Every single bit of me. He knows. that was not an accident. So my goal is to create success. For myself. For the companies that work with me that I work with. For you. In my content. For my children for my family. I'm going to live a life of faith. Knowing that I can create future. It serves me and other people. I am not artistic. But there are many other forms of creativity than just art. And I have. Totally undersold me for a very long time. And I had the power to create. The future. I feared and now I have the power to create future. It excites me. That. Is full of faith and hope. And learning. cause I don't want to be right. I want to get it right. And I don't want to think I know everything. I want to continue to learn. And I want to give hope to other people. That the journey. Personal growth. And innovation. And hope. Is it worth the risk? You are worth it. You. Should and will aspire for more. So in the recap. No, your definition of success and cling to it. Replay it in your mind over and over again, especially in times when other people are trying to tell you what you should want. No, what you want. Okay. Yes. I want a fancy car. But not now. That's not my definition of success today. Keep the story, the thoughts and the summary. Positive and be aware. When they're not serving you. Be vulnerable enough to give and receive feedback. That is how you will gain success. Act anyway. Knowing what's mine will be mine. At the most appropriate time for me. So act you will be where you need to be when you need to be there. Just prepare. Because luck is when opportunity and preparation meet. So act get used to it. C minus work. C plus work B plus work, gain progress. Create the momentum. And then give yourself clarity. Of every situation, refer back to your definition of success, control this story because when you control the story, you control your emotions. Your actions. And your results. That is where burnout. When you cannot control your thoughts, your emotions, your actions, and your results. It is true. When you change your story, you change your life. So gain clarity. And start creating the future. That you want. It's possible. We are born to create. You. Are more than you think you are. And you are worthy. Of it all. So go out there and aspire for more. For you.