When You Are Learning (WT658)

When You Are Learning (WT658)


WT 658 When you are learning

What are you like when you’re learning something new?

Do you have patience with yourself and your teacher or are you like me and chuck a temper tantrum until you master it?

This week in The Loyal Lieutenant Masterclass Series, I had to remind participants that they are learning and that I don’t expect them to submit perfect work.

If they knew how to do the thing they were learning to do, they wouldn’t need to attend the class.

In fact, one of my favourite quotes is from Aristotle, “For the things we have to learn before doing, we learn by doing them.”

Here’s what happened.

Last week I showed participants how to look at the world through little boxes. Their homework was to create a workflow diagram and submit before the next class.

In the class, I went through each workflow and gave feedback.

All participants got to see the other workflows and learn from the feedback as well.

What was interesting, was that a number of participants apologised for not having a perfect workflow diagram.

No apologies please.

You are learning.

I don’t expect you to submit a perfect diagram because you don’t know how to do everything yet. I only introduced some basic concepts the week before.

It reminds me of a time years ago when I was learning how to host my own online TV show. Each week, Ross would set up the greenscreen and lights in the garage and I would go on camera to learn how to set up greenscreens and lights and how to host.

Each week before class I would get stressed because my lights etc. were not perfect.

“Shirl, this is what you are learning”, encouraged Ross.

“You don’t have to be perfect, because you don’t know how to do it yet.”

I had to agree.

It helped take the pressure off.

If you’re someone who thinks they have to have it perfect before they know what they are doing, think again.

When you are learning, whatever you are doing is not going to be perfect. Be happy with that and focus on improving what you are learning.

When you’re in a stressed state of heightened arousal (ie the Primal State), you cut yourself off from the flow and joy of learning.

Relax and enjoy it.

When you are learning, allow yourself to make mistakes and have fun. You’ll master your topic much more easily and much more quickly.

Again, as Aristotle said, “For the things we have to learn before doing, we learn by doing them.”

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Confront the Brutal Facts (WT657)

Confront the Brutal Facts (WT657)


WT 657 Confront the brutal facts

I don’t know where this saying came from, however this week it has popped up for some of my clients and myself.

The phrase in and of itself can be confronting. “Confront the brutal facts.”

What are “the brutal facts”?

Brutal facts are things we may or may not know that are getting in the way of us achieving what we want to achieve.

We use the word “brutal” because there can be no denying the facts, even though on some level that’s exactly what we want to do.

Brutal because sometimes that’s how we receive the feedback.

One time I was complaining to Ross about how unhappy I was with something he had done. “That’s your shit Shirl”, he said. “You deal with it.”

Ouch! He was right.

Is there an area of your life that’s not working as well as it could be right now?

If so, are you willing to confront the brutal facts?

Are you willing to take a deep dive into the issue?

Are you willing to hear and accept the feedback?

Are you willing to take the necessary action to change it?

Now’s a really good time to do so.

Let me know what you discover and if you need support, reach out.

Another saying for you that was written under an image of a person being doubled on a bicycle on the handlebars, through rain, “You won’t get to where you want to go, if you only travel on the sunny days.”

Be brave! I know you can be.

Confront the brutal facts.

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Time in Your Mind (WT656)

Time in Your Mind (WT656)


WT 656 Time in your mind

You know how every so often someone says something and it really resonates with you? Well, I was at a new yoga class this morning and the yoga teacher made a comment that I thought I’d share with you.

“We spend a lot of time in our mind each day, so we’d better make sure it’s a nice place to stay.”

Wow. This resonated because of the work I’ve done with David Bayer regarding suffering.

Bayer’s mission is to end all human suffering. What he means by that is our psychological suffering.

There is no suffering in the experience.

If we look to nature, there is no suffering. No psychological suffering. Flowers don’t get upset because one is a brighter red than another. Squirrels don’t get stressed thinking they may not be able to find a nut and birds aren’t worried that they might fly in the wrong direction.

We humans have this unique ability to create suffering in a world where suffering doesn’t naturally exist.

This week my heart has gone out to a number of clients who have been suffering in the primal state of anxiety, anger, resentment and generally feeling lousy because of situations that have occurred.

It’s helpful to remind ourselves that’s there no suffering in the experience. It’s just an experience. The suffering comes from what we think about the experience and the meaning we give it.

Another point Bayer makes is that our emotions are our guideposts from our nervous system and that if the nervous system is in dissonance with our energy, we feel “bad”. He says that if we feel bad, it’s a clue that our thinking is off; that what we are thinking isn’t true.

It took me a long time to understand this concept. How can what I’m thinking not be true? If you play with the concept and accept that what you’re thinking can’t be true, we can ask another question. If this isn’t true, then what is true? Often it’s the exact opposite of what we’re thinking.

If you go deeper into the enquiry and are open to the insights that will be revealed you’ll find that the suffering goes.

As an example, Bayer felt terrible when his cherished dog died. He was thinking that his dog shouldn’t have died. He applied his teachings. “If what I’m thinking isn’t true, then what is true? That my dog should have died?” The answer is “Yes” because the dog did in fact die.

Enter the enquiry. “If he was meant to die at this time, (he was an old dog with serious health issues), then what am I upset about? I’m upset because I won’t see him again.”

A little while later he got the inspiration to check out near death experiences of people, who as it turns out, were met by their pets. Hmmmm. “So I will see my dog again”, explained Bayer and with that the suffering ended.

I accept this might be a bit to get your head around. I encourage you to give it some thought and play with it next time you find yourself in a negative emotional state.

Go into the enquiry of it.

Remember, we spend a lot of time in our mind each day, so make sure it’s a pleasant place to stay.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

P.P.S. There’s still time to register for our February Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience. Here’s the link for more information. Contact me urgently if you’d like to attend. We only have a few places left. https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/

You Have To Get Down (WT655)

You Have To Get Down (WT655)


WT 655 You have to get down

For the past week or so Ross and I have heard noises in the ceiling.

Both too scared to get up and have a look, we called in the pest experts.

They came, climbed into the roof cavity, agreed there was something there, either a rat or a possum and laid baits and traps.

Each night we would hear the animal leave and then arrive back each morning between 4:30am and 6:00am.

Each day the pest people came to check the trap.

Nothing had moved.

“Should we move the trap closer to where we think they are?” Ross asked the pest person.

“No. They’ll come get the apple if they’re hungry”, replied the pest person.

That didn’t really make any sense to Ross and I because the animal clearly wasn’t hungry. It was coming home to sleep.

This morning I heard it trying to get into the roof about 6:00am.

“Come on Ross. We should go up there and see for ourselves.”

“I’ll do it later”, said a sleepy Ross.

“No. We need to get up there now and see what we can find”, I insisted.  “I’ll go with you.”

So we got up, got dressed, put shoes and gloves on and got the ladder and up we went.

It was difficult for me to get into the ceiling through the manhole because the ladder was a bit short. Anyway, I got up.

We had a look around. I shimmied over to the lowest part of the roof where we thought the animal was. We couldn’t see anything. There was nothing more to be done except get down.

Now the fun began.

I have a bit of a fear of heights and attempting to get down through the manhole reminded me of the day I got stuck coming down Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island. I was okay going up, but coming down and coming down face first. Now that’s a different story.

I had visions of me falling face first through the manhole and collecting the ladder as I went.

I froze. Just like the possum in the roof. I couldn’t move.

“I’m scared Ross. I can’t do it.”

Ross did his best to encourage me.

“Hold onto me”, he offered.

“No. You won’t be able to hold me.”

“You have to get down Shirl.”

“I know. I know I have to get down. I just can’t do it yet. I have to figure it out.”

“Let me show you.”

Ross stood with his two feet either side of the manhole and gently lowered himself onto his arms and then dropped his feet and legs onto the ladder.

My eyes bulging, I was terrified.

“I can’t do it. The ladder is too far away.”

“Do you want me to get the other ladder?”


I stood in the ceiling shaking and holding onto the beam above me while Ross went and changed ladders.

“You have to get down Shirl”, he encouraged.

Shaking all the way, I somehow managed to get the courage to trust myself to move one foot at a time and lower myself to sit on the edge and dangle my feet to the point where they almost met the ladder.

“A few more inches”, motioned Ross.

At last, my feet connected with the ladder.

“You did really well”, said Ross.

“Hmmm. Not something I want to do again in a hurry.”

There is something about going head first that scares me. For some reason I am much better if I can turn around and go out backwards.

In the end I did get down because I had to get down.

How about you?

What are the things that you’re scared to do, that you just have to find a way to do? There is no other option other than to do the thing that frightens you.

As Susan Jeffers says in her book of the same name, “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway”.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

P.P.S. Our next Loyal Lieutenant Masterclass Series starts on Thursday 19th January 2023. If you want to learn what it means to be a Loyal Lieutenant (Second-In-Command) AND work on streamlining and documenting your operations and procedures, click the link to register now. Last chance to enrol is Monday 16th January. https://shirleydaltoncourse.com/Webinar

Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Bullied (WT654)

Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Bullied (WT654)


WT 654 Don't allow yourself to be Bullied

“Everywhere I go, I get bullied”, cried Jane.

“Don’t say that”, I replied. “Because that’s what you’ll manifest.”

Our words are so important.

They are commands to our unconscious minds.

Let’s make a pact that this year, we will be very mindful about the language we use, especially when describing ourselves and our situations.

Bullying doesn’t just occur in the workplace.

It can happen with suppliers as well.

Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into accepting a product or service you don’t want.

You are the expert on you.

You know what you want and don’t want.

It’s okay to say “No”, when you don’t want something.

Here’s an example. George sought some legal and accounting advice. The advice was sound, however the strategy suggested wasn’t what George wanted to do.

“I know what they are saying is right”, said George. “But I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to start legal action. I just want to get on with things and put it down to the cost of my education, albeit a very expensive education.”

“Then don’t”, I agreed.

“Don’t allow yourself to be bullied. Thank them for the advice. You now know what your options are. Pay their bills and do what you want to do. At the end of the day, it is you who has to live with your decision.”

Just because we seek advice (from friends, family, professionals), doesn’t mean we have to implement what they say.

If you’re feeling uneasy about a decision to purchase or do something, question it. Our emotions are guideposts and if it isn’t a “Hell Yes”, then it’s a “Hell No.”

Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into buying or doing something you don’t want to.

It’s okay to say “No thank you.”

Here’s to an awesome 2023. May it be your year to be assertive.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

P.P.S. Our next Loyal Lieutenant Masterclass Series starts on Thursday 19th January 2023. If you want to learn what it means to be a Loyal Lieutenant (Second-In-Command) AND work on streamlining and documenting your operations and procedures, click the link to register now. Last chance to enrol is Monday 16th January. https://shirleydaltoncourse.com/Webinar

2022 What A Year (WT653)

2022 What A Year (WT653)


WT 653 What a year

If you’re feeling like me, and I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are feeling the same, 2022 was a big big year.

Many of us were feeling totally exhausted coming up to the Christmas break.

I’ve had a few days off now and feeling less exhausted, although still sleeping in and looking for a nanna nap in the middle of the day.

How about you?

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is to listen to my body. In days gone past I would have pushed and pushed and pushed and kept going until my body would say “Enough!” and send me to bed for rest with a wicked cold or flu or a bad back; just enough to be annoying and stop me working.

As recently as a week or two ago, Ross challenged me with his comment, “You’re a workaholic!”.


Like I mentioned though, I am learning to listen to my body and to not push push push (as much).

Mentor, David Bayer talks about the paradox of overwhelm and one way to let go of that feeling is to recognise that everything that needs to get done in a day, gets done. That which doesn’t need to get done, doesn’t get done.

I’ve adopted this mantra and it helps.

I get done what needs to be done and allow myself to say “tomorrow” for the things that don’t need to be done that day.

Perhaps you too could adopt this mantra if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.

Back to how I started this week’s thought with the feelings of exhaustion. If you look back at the past 3 years, starting January 2020, January 2021, January 2022 up to now, we’ve been dealing with what management consultants call “V.U.C.A.” (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity).

According to  Nate Bennett and G. James Lemoine in Harvard Business Review, the characteristics of Volatility include the challenge being unexpected or unstable and of unknown duration (think Covid). Uncertainty – despite a lack of other information, an event’s basic cause and effect are known (e.g Covid). Complexity describes a situation that has many variables and interconnected parts. (Again Covid). Ambiguity – no precedents exist. You face “unknown unknowns” (you guessed it. Covid.)

The past 3 years have provided plenty of V.U.C.A. However, according to Bennett and Lemoine, V.U.C.A. can be misleading, so they suggest that strategy and planning can help to prepare for a V.U.C.A. world.

What will 2023 bring for you? Will you end up exhausted again because you don’t listen to your body, you continue to live in overwhelm and you fail to plan and develop a strategy for predicting and coping with V.U.C.A. or will change your responses throughout the year, anticipate V.U.C.A. and end 2023 feeling full of energy and vitality?

Wishing you a fabulous 2023. May it bring you all that you desire.

P.S. EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT for our February 2023 Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience ends tomorrow.  Save yourself up to $1500. If you’re thinking about enrolling, do it before the 31st December, 2022. Click the link for more information https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/

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