Author Archive for Gail Blanke

Stepping Into Your Power: The Six and a Half Steps

[tweetmeme]This is exactly the right time for you to step forward; it’s not a moment too soon or a moment too late.  So what are you waiting for?

Gail Blanke

Waiting is a national pastime. We wait for the mood to strike us, we wait for the weather to change, we wait for someone to strike up the band and give us our cue to start singing.

Some of us are waiting for them to get about us. You know, about how good we are. They should recognize us and promote us and celebrate us. They should discover us. But that’s not how it works.

Here’s how it works: People don’t get it about us until we get it about ourselves. Until we step out of the stands and onto the field — even before we’re invited.

I know a woman named Jenny who should be ready to move forward in her career. All the signs point to this being the right time to take the step: She’s recognized as an expert in her field, her company is open to promoting her and, most importantly, she’s lost enthusiasm for her current job.

“C’mon, Jenny, let’s go for it,” I said, somewhat impatiently. We’d been having the conversation about moving forward for weeks. “I know, I know, I should make my move pretty soon. But I’m just waiting for my son to get a little older.”

“Wait, how old is he now?” I asked.

“Well, he’ll be 30 on his next birthday. But I just want to be sure…” she trailed off.

Many of us are waiting.

We’re waiting for the signal, or for the invitation, or to be discovered, or for the planets to be aligned before we take that step to change our lives or our world. We put our power and our futures on hold and wait for the right moment to present itself. And while we’re waiting, our lives, our opportunities, our big moments, float on by. As I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, moments don’t present themselves; you’ve got to go out and grab hold of them. And that takes courage. The Good news is — you’ve got it.

Go Out and Grab Hold of Your Opportunities

Here are six simple steps to help you move forward with velocity and create a life that’s as good as you can imagine it.

  1. Tap into the incredible power of a vision. Walt Disney said, “Build the castle first!”  What’s your “castle, your vision for a terrific career and a fulfilling life?  Ask yourself that all-important question:  “How good could I make it?” Flesh out your vision, color it in.  If you can feel the magic, you can go the distance – every time.
  2. Let go. Let go of the negative assumptions, the doubts, the fear of failing, the times when you came up short – anything that would keep you from bringing your vision to life. To get yourself in the “letting go” mood, throw out fifty things!  (“Throw Out Fifty Things” is the name of my newest book that was published in March.)
  3. Make a list of the “Defining Moments” in your life and your work – those moments when you made the tough decision, pulled it out of the fire – or just plain got through.  Own those moments.  They form a pattern of courage – and prove that you have everything you need to step forward with a bold spirit – today.
  4. Adopt an entrepreneurial spirit. Be a risk-taker, be passionate, resilient, unstoppable and above all, agile.  Never think that what you already know is enough.  Never become entrenched.  You can’t grow if you don’t change – and you can’t change if you hang on to the past.  As my father always told me, “Stay light on your feet and ready to dance.  The world is spinning too fast for you to become flat-footed!”
  5. Develop your own personal brand. Know who you are, who you aren’t and what you stand for.  Don’t be afraid to be unique.  The world belongs not to the one who fits in but to the one who stands out.  Remember, if enough people love ya, the ones who don’t, don’t matter…  Complete this sentence:  “I’m ____________ and I’m the one who…”
  6. Learn to distinguish between “fact and interpretation” in your life and your work.  Einstein said, “Ultimately, there are very few facts.”  Our lives are awash in interpretations and most of them are negative.  Make up empowering interpretations for the things that occur in your life and your work that propel you forward.  Remember, there’s no way it is….there’s only the way you say it is.

6½. Find your song and sing it. Identify your own “power song” — the one that intensifies your courage, reminds you of how good you are, of the fact that you are absolutely one-of-a-kind and thoroughly unforgettable.


Gail Blanke is the award winning, best-selling author of Throw Out Fifty Things; Clear the Cutter, Find Your Life.

Editor’s note:  I was inspired by a talk that coach and motivator Gail Blanke gave describing how to unclutter our lives so that we see ourselves as uniquely ready to step forward into the challenges and opportunities of the moment, to let go of the “life plaque” that clogs the arteries of our lives – and find the energy and optimism to move into the next and greatest segment of our lives.  As she also says, “Don’t disqualify yourself from the race before it even begins.  You’re here to compete, not sit on the sidelines.”