10 Quotes to Inspire Courage

10 Quotes to Inspire Courage

Need a boost of courage and confidence? Sometimes a good quote is just the ticket! Here are 10 to inspire courage and confidence.

1. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings

2. Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” – Maya Angelou

3. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anaïs Nin

4. A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – John A. Shedd

5. Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” – Emma Donoghue, Room

6. When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

7. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

8. A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.” – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

9. Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brené Brown

10. “What good are wings without the courage to fly?” – Atticus

Let me know which one is your favourite by commenting or tagging me @lisaborinmiller!

5 Ways to Be a Transformative Leader

5 Ways to Be a Transformative Leader

In a recent blog post on inspiration, I discussed the role that mentors can have on feeling inspired. As a creative person, it is also very likely that you will find yourself in the role of mentor too. In the words of established artist Gregory Amenoff “artists drive the bus.” It is the role of the creative person to think outside the box, to discover new possibilities and to take roads not commonly walked. As such, you are likely going to find yourself in the role of leader and mentor to many who admire the way you conduct yourself in the world and for those who are also looking to feel more inspired.

In a paper called “Changing Roles: Leadership in the 21st Century,” Gregory Dress and Joseph Picken address ways that leaders can shift their focus to a global perspective by recognizing their companies diverse resources (Why Inspiration Matters, Scott Barry Kauffman). Knowing these five strategies can enable you to make the largest impact as a transformative leader.

Dress and Picken recommend implementing the following habits:

1. Use strategic vision to motivate others.

Be sure you know your “why.” If there is a big goal that you are working to achieve, a change you’d like to see in the world, or a huge mission you are on be sure your team and community knows it. This will help others show up collaboratively, give them a greater sense if meaning while carrying out tasks that may otherwise become mundane.

2. Empower people at all levels.

Don’t overlook your most introductory positions by forgetting the skills they may have beyond what their role requires. Sometimes people require an invitation from a senior staff person to feel comfortable sharing their insights and creativity which can be invaluable.

3. Accumulate and share internal knowledge.

Encourage your team and staff to communicate with you and one another about challenges and learning opportunities that arise in daily activities. Having structured time to do this means it won’t get overlooked.

4. Gather and integrate external knowledge.

Research empowers us to learn without so many bumps and bruises. Stay connected to what is happening in your field and discover where you can build on it. A collaborative attitude is essential to making great change. Bringing in other experts can strengthen your community and give credibility to your position as well.

5. Challenge the status quo and enable creativity.

It can be easy to forget the possibilities that are open to us if we are stuck in the daily grind. Working habitually can take over and we can forget to see how many positives we have going for us. Get in the habit of exploring multiple solutions for any problem that presents and encouraging your team to do the same. Their is no one size fits all solution, instead explore the idea that there are multiple solutions to choose from and start from there.

Which one of these strategies can you implement today with your business, team or community? 


7 Things Inspired People Do

7 Things Inspired People Do

If you’ve been procrastinating, feeling overwhelmed or just plain blah, a heaping dose of inspiration is just what you need to get the creative juices flowing again. You know that amazing feeling of ‘anything is possible’ that makes you feel empowered? Research on inspiration shows that there are things that we can do to cultivate this experience.

According to psychologists Victoria C. Oleynick, Todd M. Thrash and Paul D. Kieffaber, “inspiration is a motivational state.” Their inspiration scale indicates that “openness to experience” is the first quality necessary to experience inspiration. They also found that inspired people are less competitive, have a stronger desire to master their work and were intrinsically motivated. People who rated high on the inspiration scale reported higher levels of self-esteem and optimism as well as greater levels of spirituality and meaning (Why Inspiration Matters, Scott Barry Kauffman).

We can use the research of Oleynich, Thrash and Kieffaber to increase our own ability to experience inspiration and also to meet our goals. According to Scott Barry Kauffman of The Harvard Business Review, “Inspiration facilitates progress towards goals.” While we live in a culture and time that often underestimates the importance of inspiration, Kauffman writes that “Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.”

Research on inspiration has shown “effort is an essential condition for preparing the mind for an inspirational experience.” In other words, if you set the intention to be inspired you are more likely to experience this state. Exposure to role models and leaders can also facilitate inspiration (Kauffman).

Below are seven habits you can cultivate to stay inspired, experience the most joy and make the greatest impact with your talents in the world:

1. Meditate. If openness to experience is the most important first step, it is essential to clear the mind to allow it to be receptive.

2. Collaborate. Collaborative people eliminate competition from their mind by seeing opportunities to build bridges and community.

3. Use affirmations. Self-esteem is an important component to seeing possibilities. When you feel good about yourself you start to believe that you can accomplish important things!

4. Find a role model. This doesn’t have to be someone who agrees to be a role model. If there is someone who you admire in the world, study them. When you feel down, read their advice, watch how they conduct themselves and feel yourself expand into an empowered mindset.

5. Travel. Seeing new sights broadens our perspective. This can be as simple as a day trip or going somewhere new in your town. When you experience new things you cultivate an open mind.

6. Take action. Goals and inspiration have a cyclical effect and influence one another. To continue feeding your inspiration, you must take action when it inspiration strikes!

7. Have a purpose. Being intrinsically motivated means that you are not looking for external approval. If you are working toward a great personal mission you are more likely to want to keep expanding beyond your perceived limitations and feel a sense of meaning each day.

A Boost of Brand Confidence

A Boost of Brand Confidence

You probably have an idea of what a brand is that is polished and tweaked into perfection. You might also think of a brand as something that is corporate or created to sell a product.

I want to get you to stop thinking about a brand as something your create and start thinking about it as something authentic, something natural, something that comes from who you already are.

Like all great life lessons, this one begins with the same old same old truth that all answers come from within. Nothing exists outside of YOU.

Sit with this truth and let it ease your fears, cease your striving and dissolve your insecurities.

Next time you see a drool worthy feel or a perfectly polished website that makes you feel inferior, celebrate it! Remember this truth: your brand will be completely you. Your feed will be completely YOU. There is no one, not one single person out there who can do what you do the way you do it.

You are a beacon of light, you are a miracle. Your gifts are an extension of divine love.

Take your envy and let it fuel you into refining the answer to this question:

1. What do I give that makes me come alive?

Take one offering that you already have and make it more inline with this answer. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel just yet, you just need to make a small adjustment towards your joy.

If you don’t have offerings yet, brainstorm how you can give what excites you in a way that will also pay you. Money is just an exchange for the value you offer.

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t perfect it, just move towards joy and share that in your social media, your newsletter or with your clients.

Doing this on a regular basis will make your brand and business stand out because you will give more of you to it.

The foundation of a great ‘brand’ is your passion, your joy and your creativity shining through.

Blossom into a ‘Brand’

Blossom into a ‘Brand’

The word brand kind of bugs me. It has become a catch all for the essence of you, your voice, your aesthetic and your shared gifts. When I hear all of this summarized by the word brand it feels pretty blah.

So let’s throw the word away and focus on the much bigger concepts I just mentioned. Those concepts feel juicy, exciting and expansive!

When I sit down with clients to start our first brainstorming session this is where we start and there is one question that I always include:

What three words describe the impact you want to have?

These words should feel impactful, authentic and you.

Sometimes we start with a list of ten words and then whittle it down to what feel like the top three. You have to go with your gut and choose the words that evoke enthusiasm and excitement. If you’re struggling to choose, you should try describing them all out loud to a friend. When you hit on what’s true for you your voice will sound more certain.

A few examples of how this might sound are:

inspired, uplifted, joyful

energized, clear, confident

peaceful, certain, still

The three words that you distill your essence into can be your filter from now on. These words are like your northern star and will inform your aesthetic and your message. Make sure that from now on anything you put out in the world communicates the feel of these words and your ‘brand’ will start to blossom.

Make friends with social media

Make friends with social media

If you are anything like me, you might occasionally decide to go off-line from posting from time to time. It can feel daunting to pop back out in the world, especially if you tend to be introverted!

Here are some social media truths that you can turn to if you have sunk into hibernation mode, are naturally introverted, or are feeling like it just isn’t ‘you.’

1. Social media is your friend.

You know those days where you feel crummy and then EVERYTHING seems to go wrong or irritate you? If you are honest with yourself, you can likely admit that it is your mood and perspective derailing your day.

You can turn this around by acting as if everything is trying to support you and give you love. How would your day go if you walked through life imagining that every person you meet, every circumstance you encounter and every opportunity that comes your way is a gift from the universe just for you.

Now, take this attitude and apply it to social media! Social media is an enormous web of people who need to hear your voice, who need to benefit from your light and who want to give you love back.

2. Simplicity is your friend.

Stop agonizing over the content and go back to basics. Think of what it is that you offer that gives others joy. Write about one idea related to this now.

Remember, you don’t have to be every where, mastering every platform. Pick the one or two social media channels that you actually enjoy and focus your energy there! Pinterest for example, is a great place for introverts to explore whereas Facebook may feel too busy. It’s okay to embrace what feels good to you.

3. A plan is your friend.

As in other areas of life, anxiety tends to pop up when we don’t feel we know what we are doing or the rules of the game. Do yourself a favour and make a game plan.

Here’s the fastest way to do this:

  • List 8-10 general topics that your ideal client wants to hear about and you want to share about and rotate a post on each of these. Be sure to have fun with them! Topics might be things like this: behind the scenes, tips from a stylist, favourite travel spots, office decorating tips etc.
  • Collect 5-10 images on each topic from above and have a folder on your phone with all of these images.

Now you’ve got four friends that are definitely on your side: social media, simplicity, a plan, and me. Plus there are all of the people out there on social media who want to appreciate your gifts, so do yourself a favour and share something!

I’d love it if you could tag me @lisaborinmiller so I can like your post and applaud you too.