Why We Have to All Embrace ‘Adulting’

If you’re one of many who gags any time you hear the word, adulting I’d like to invite you to take a quick look at why. 

Maybe it’s because it’s just another one of those made-up millennium words akin to Branjolina and On fleek?

Or maybe it’s deeper than that. Is it possible that you have an aversion to what the word really represents – paying your bills on time and covering up your tattoos at a job interview?

Personally, I think the word is great and it fills a need. In this world where the video game generation includes everyone; parents wear Converse All-Stars and read comic books; and thirty-somethings can still get asked for ID at the liquor store (yes, it happened to me again!); there’s a gap between what used to pass for a ‘grown-up,’ and all the possibilities for what adulthood means today.

More and more of us are the fun parent who still loves superhero movies and willingly play ‘Disney princess’. We’re on the front lines, fighting for more than one casual-wear day a week and we all envy anyone who works at Google because we heard they have hammocks, arcade games and nap time. 

Fun isn’t reserved for kids anymore so we’ve been in desperate need of a word to describe those other mundane, conservative tasks that we never thought we’d be doing like applying for a mortgage, getting winter tires put on, or paying for a year’s subscription to a razor-of-the-month club.

Admittedly, the word, adulting makes my job a whole lot easier too. Instead of hearing or saying the phrase, ‘responsible adult’ 50 times a day, this one word encompasses it all. Plus, it even greatly distinguishes for us between any dislike of simply aging and getting older with just the boredom or tediousness of everyday tasks.

So, if you’re still among the haters, it might be time to check yourself: are you against the word, or against the idea of growing up and ‘selling out’? It may be time to realize you can be any type of grownup you want to be, just as long as you get all your adulting done too.

I truly think it’s time we embrace adulting as much as we’ve come to love, Netflix and Chill and admit, once and for all, that these modern words and phrases define our time and define the fun type of grown up we all want to be.

And if you haven’t seen this already, I invite you to indulge in Chris Stapleton singing a hilarious mix of all the made-up words we love to hate.  I love it! Watch Now

And when you’re ready to really start adulting while staying true to your inner kiddult, you have to get in touch!  Let’s work together to keep a playful balance of work and play that will bring you success and abundance through your passions.  Visit ashewoodward.com for more info and send me your questions at support@ashewoodward.com.

What Are Your Daydreams Trying to Tell You?

For the longest time I actively worked against daydreaming because I saw it as the opposite of productivity.  Every time my eyes started to cloud over with fluffy fantasies I would snap myself out of it and get back to “real” work.

Well, as they say, “Be careful what you wish for.”

It was at the beginning of this year that I noticed my self-discipline really taking hold because once I stopped the daydreaming, I got really focused on practical work. So much so that I never took breaks and sometimes went two or three hours without getting up from my computer or taking even a sip of water!

Surprise, surprise, it all caught up with me. 

Sure I’ve been productive as all hell but I’ve learned that it’s nothing without some reflection.  Not only do we really need to reflect in order to improve oneself and check in but also to acknowledge the work and achievements that have been going on.

And, duh – reflection and self-checks all happen in the daydreaming realm.

By shutting out daydreaming I haven’t been shutting out pointless thought webs, I’ve been stifling my brain’s way of sorting and healing.  Not only that but I’ve stopped it from refreshing itself by adventuring and exploring.

And the worst part is that as a Creative (capital C) I can’t believe that I ever thought that was a good idea. How dare I try and stifle my Creative brain!  It’s literally my money maker and how I make my living – writing the blog, creative marketing, and, most importantly, working through people’s questions doubts and helping find creative solutions.

Daydreams are where the imagination goes searching for the next idea and the answer to current questions. At times these derailments may look like innocuous jaunts down Ryan Reynolds Lane but eventually, if we let them run a little longer, they just might take us to Breakthrough Avenue.

And since cutting off this free flow of ideas I feel as though I have an injured muscle.  Even though I’m letting the daydreams take me away again, I’m rehabilitating slowly.

In other words, I’ve been off my game. You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week. Don’t be fooled. This has been going on a lot longer than that, it’s just that it hadn’t affected my post writing yet because I had a stockpile of ideas from months ago.

And now, since I’ve figured out my problem, I’m back in business – literally! Mercury is flying forward and so am I. Ideas are flowing and solutions are no longer floating somewhere beyond my reach and I vow to my Creative Spirit to never shut out daydreams again.

—-well, not never; a girl’s gotta work sometimes too!

The point is, daydreams are rich with ideas and to stifle them is to block your full creative power and potential.  Never fool yourself into thinking that they are the enemy, as I did.  You’ll only block yourself further and perhaps miss out on your big aha.

So, how are you letting your creativity flow these days? Have you ever had an epiphany through a daydream?  What was it? I’d love to hear i the comments.

Or, if you really want to talk about how daydreaming and exploring your creativity can solve some of your adulating problems, get in touch for coaching at

support@ashewoodward.com.

Do You Really Deserve It?

I’m not sure I can think of even one movie that doesn’t prey on our love for the underdog.  We love rags to riches stories and even I, a self-proclaimed chick flick fanatic, can get wrapped up in an action movie about an unlikely hero in a thriller-action movie.

You know the drill:  we get a back story where our hero is either an ugly high school student who becomes princess of a fictional country; or, it’s an excommunicated mob member who ends up helping police save the city from his former boss.  Even though the storylines might seem a little far-fetched at first, we get to know our heroes and we’re led to see their strengths – physical or not – and we start to root for them.

Funny thing is, there are so many of us who have these same strengths and these same wild dreams, but we don’t have as much faith in ourselves.  So what is the disconnect here?

What is it about the big screen that makes us pull for the ugly duckling or the outcast, but get us out of the theatre and in our own heads and we can’t do the same for ourselves?

There is always that point in the movie where our hero questions him or herself for a moment and wonders if they really can pull off what they want to do.  In the audience we get really worried because we know the back story and how hard they’ve worked and everything that’s riding on this.  We start to feel like they deserve to win.  And just so Hollywood is sure you know who the good guy is, they’ll throw in a really good unlikeable enemy so you see the contrast.  I automatically think of The Plastics in Mean Girls.

The point is we’re pulling for our characters all the way, even though the odds are against dorky Mia Thermopolous (Anne Hathaway) becoming the beautiful and poised princess of Genovia in The Princess Diaries; or Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson), a wealthy business man, saving his son by some other way than paying the ransom in Ransom.  Okay, so these are sort of outdated examples, but they just happen to be what I watched this week – but I think that’s the point. 

This story is timeless and is probably part of the narrative going on in your head about your own life too. 

The problem in our own lives is that we are too involved in the underdog part of the story and you’re not seeing the potential – you’re not seeing clearly enough where the story goes.  On screen it all happens in a matter of about 2 hours and it’s probably around half way that you could guess that Lindsay Lohan is going to do something special and that Bruce Willis is going to save Christmas. 

You and I have had years of backstory to deal with and maybe no big success…yet. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to win. We’ve had tons of enemies – maybe not as easy to see as Hollywood makes it seem, but they’re there and we all have the power to defeat them.  We all have those surprising and specialized traits that will help us get the job done.

The trick is, we need to believe that we are the hero of our own stories, see that we can defeat all of our enemies, and see that we deserve to live happily ever after. You know your backstory better than anyone, so let your own story pull at your heartstrings and force you to believe that success is inevitable.

Think hard on this one:  What is the big success you’re going for right now and why do you deserve to win?  What surprising or unlikely traits do you have that will help you pull this off?  What movie have you watched lately that could inspire you to believe in your own hero story?

And if you have trouble putting together all the pieces of your own epic tale, get in touch for a coaching session at support@ashewoodward.com. Or find our more about how coaching can be just like that driver guy that helps Anne Hathaway find her confidence (man, I just can’t help loving that movie!) at ashewoodward.com.

Is Going Back to School Just Small Thinking?

For some of us (myself included), going back to school would be an absolute nightmare with a side of personal hell. Okay, maybe not that bad but, when totalled up, I’ve done about 8 years of formal post-secondary education and I am so not interested in more of those painful all-nighters, disgusting microwavable dinners, and the epic frustration of not being able to get my life started already.

A couple of years ago I was faced with making a career change, and the very last thing I wanted to do was hit the books again. Not to mention, I really really really wanted to get started making money.

I’m all for more education and I love school but just the thought of another two or four years of stress from writing essays and taking exams makes my young heart start pounding – No thanks.

For others, it’s the only option if a change is going to happen and we have to just bite the bullet…or do we?

Truth is, what seems like the only option may just may be your good friend FEAR running the show.

How so, you ask?

When I was starting my coaching practice, the thing to do was get certified as a coach. But, as I mentioned before, nothing would have made me more miserable than to hit the books again and fork over my day job money to yet another course.

On the other hand, a lot of people put a lot of stock in certificates and it makes me seem ‘more official’ and more trustworthy.   

But then, thankfully, I realized something about the current trend of over educating ourselves.

In most cases – not all – going back to school or taking more courses is simply a way of playing small and staying safe. Taking the course meant I could look the Universe in the face and say I’m taking action towards my dream but at the same time I’m safe from actually having to start anything on my own.

In other words, it was a way to keep me from just starting my business already. I was scared to start again and I was happy to use school as an excuse to stave off reality, which is the opposite message I wanted to give to my future clients.

The other thing I realized is that I’m not alone. It seems like every time I run into an old friend they’re busy taking courses to change careers. Nowadays its a big topic for a lot of people I work with and it does take a bit of consideration, depending on what you really want to do.

It’s still true that some career changes actually do require a certain certification. I am in no way urging alone to become a doctor or lawyer, for example, without the proper education [Yikes!]. In these cases, you’ll want to be sure that you’re ready for a commitment and you’re passionate about the course.

Here’s a quick and cool article about jobs that are worth going back to school for.

10 Careers Worth Going Back to School (Keep in mind these are US numbers).

https://lifereimagined.aarp.org/stories/6481-10-Careers-Worth-Going-Back-to-School/2

And if you’re not sure if more school is for you, answer these questions for yourself:

1.  Are you taking this course to get only one specific job or can the skills you learn be applied in a variety of places?

My hunch is that you know what it’s like to put all your eggs in one basket, or you wouldn’t be here now. It’s just good sense to consider having more than one option at the end of all of it.

2.  Are you ready for the cost?

Investing in courses is a financial expense, yes, but it will also cost you emotionally. Are you ready for those late nights and microwaved dinners again? Is your family?

When you look at the big picture, is the cost in the present truly worth it for the return in the future? And don’t forget to look at how long it will be microwavable dinners until you make that investment back and more.

3.  What will you do if you do the course and don’t like it?

This is a tough one but it has to be asked. Try to dig deep and give a specific answer here. Draw out your detailed plan B – sometimes surprising things can reveal themselves here.

4.  Is there anyone who does your dream job without having the credentials you’re looking at?

I’m sure you could find someone. How different is your situation? Do you think having the credentials will make you better at what you want to do? (I personally didn’t). Make sure you’re not leaning on going back to school as a crutch or a way to waste time until you really know what you want. You’ll be more successful with your plan if you’re clear about your WHY.

And if your WHY is big enough, it might be possible to forego the certificate and impress people with your life experience, skills and passion.

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If you feel like you should go to school, rather than really wanting to, I hope you do your research.  Not only should you find out about the job you’re in treated in and what kind of credentials are needed, but also research yourself.  Sometimes we have more skills than we think and, with a good resume, you an exploit these for any job you like.

Just know that there is always another way and if going back to school isn’t for you, don’t let that deter you from your dream – there’s always a way if it’s what you really want.

Need to discover your skills and see what you’re made of? Get in touch for personal success coaching at support@ashewoodward.com. For more information visit ashewoodward.com