Help, I’m trapped and I can’t get out!

Bathroom StallToday we were out and about running errands. During one of our stops, nature was calling so I went to the ladies room to take care of that. Unfortunately, it turned into quite the experience. When I was finished flushing the toilet, and of course, pulling up my pants, I went to open the stall door. To my surprise, the door wouldn’t open. Yes – the door wouldn’t open. I was trapped! I kept struggling with the door, but to no avail – the door still wouldn’t open. At this moment, panic/survival mode was kicking in. Thoughts were racing by at the speed of light. Should I call out for help, but what would the other lady be able to do? Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to climb under the door? Yikes, is the floor clean? When was the last time the floor was mopped? Did the previous person actually sit on the toilet, or did they squat over the toilet? No way am I going to get on the floor to get out of this stall! All of my thoughts kept returning back to getting out of this stall via laying on the floor and scooting myself out.

I have seen parents with toddlers that were stuck in the bathroom stall, trying frantically to keep their children calm while trying to coax them to open the door latch on their own. Heck, I have even been one of those parents myself with each of my four children. Trying to keep your child calm while they are clearly upset because they can’t get out is a daunting task. Sometimes the toddler will be able to open the door, but most often it turns into the child stooping down and crawling out under the stall. Every time I see this happen to other parents, it always brings back my memories of each time I went through that with my own children and I find myself giggling to myself since I have been there and done that. For Pete’s sake, I never would have ever imagined that I would be the one trapped in a bathroom stall.

The decision was made. I had no choice, crawling under the door looked like my only option. But before I committed myself to this unbelievably icky option, I had to give the door latch one more try. The door was jiggled with one hand while the other hand jerked and pulled desperately at the latch. Hip Hip Hooray! The latch finally gave in to the force from my hands. Thank goodness the door opened. Sadly, the door was not finished because it took aim at my brute force and my index finger was pinched badly. After washing my hands, I was finally able to leave the bathroom. My husband was waiting outside the door with this look of, “Wow, what took so long?”. I had to explain what had just transpired in the bathroom. He did like anybody would do can you guess? He laughed.

This whole experience made me realize that we all hit brick walls at some point during our lives. We all feel trapped and start to think irrationally because we just go into this primitive survival mode. It seems that if we can just take a step back and relax for a little bit, our mind will sort out everything so that we can get back to what needs to get done. Our actions are always fueled by our thoughts. If our thoughts are not focused, then our actions will be erratic. This doesn’t mean quitting because something doesn’t work, or throwing in the hand towel because something didn’t go your way. Each and everyone of us need to keep trying. Our perseverance, determination, courage, motivation, and positivity will get us through all of life’s challenges. Believing in yourself is key. With that anything is possible.

I am so happy that today was not the day that I was destined to crawl on the floor of a public restroom. On the bright side, this experience gave me a topic to write about. Sharing my almost humiliating experience has indeed brought laughter to this new memory. Without laughter life would be very dull.

 

We all need time to breath, relax, and collect our thoughts.

 

Have you ever felt trapped, and if so what did you do to resolve that situation?

I survived my first #leadfromwithin tweetchat

I survived my first #leadfromwithin tweetchat. My husband has been trying to get me to try this for quite sometime now. Unfortunately, there were always things keeping me from joining the chat. It was mostly my fault, and I’m not big on excuses, but we do have four children who need to be looked after. My goal was to keep the house under control so my husband could do the tweetchat. Sadly, I was also nervous since my husband has previously mentioned that in order to do the #leadfromwithin tweetchat you have to be quick and go with the first thing that comes to mind for the questions. Yes, that’s right I was nervous because I over-think and analyze everything before I write or talk.

I managed to psyche myself out well before each Tuesday evening with all the things on my mind like:

  • what if the kids are too noisy
  • what if the kids get into one of their, “mom he did this” or “mom he did that to me”
  • what if I can’t type fast enough
  • what if my answers aren’t good enough

I think you get picture on where I was going about this all wrong. Of course, this night was no different than any other Tuesday night, or for all that matters, any other night of the week. Ten minutes before the tweetchat was to commence, the kids asked if I could bake a batch cookies from the pre-made cookie dough, so I turned on the oven to pre-heat and put the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. Five minutes before the tweetchat I was starting to question how can I possibly be able to do the chat when two of our four kids were yelling at each other over who was going to sit at my desk and use the computer. I told my husband at three minutes before the chat there is no way I can pull off sitting during the chat and give my undivided attention to only that. He reassured me that I could, but I still had my doubts.

Well, it was starting time and the kids were surprisingly calm, so I stayed at my laptop next to my husband sitting at the kitchen table. My nerves were still pulled tight with worry, but that was a good thing, since I committed myself to this, I would have to muster up the courage to follow through with this. Amazingly, as soon as it started, I immediately saw so many familiar faces that I already interact with on Twitter. It was so comforting that I quickly got over my worries only to have them resurface by how fast the tweetchat was going by. I found myself struggling to keep up, and at times frustrated when I went to click on the retweet button only to have the screen refresh leaving me with a different answer in the box than the one I originally went to retweet, but no worries a quick “command a” followed by “delete” got me back to a blank slate.

Interestingly enough, the topic for the night was on mental models: how they interact/effect us in leadership, life and communication. Holy moly, what a topic, and of all things, it was part of the reason that has been keeping me from doing the #leadfromwithin tweetchats before. I know from past experiences that I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and since I haven’t discovered a way to clone myself, I tend to limit myself from certain things along with the fact that I really do over think things like trying to lay out and figure out all the possible scenarios before acting on my ideas. I guess you could say I over plan – oops, never mind, you can definitely say I over plan. Over planning is great, but at some point you need to set aside your own rules to try something new and challenge yourself. This actually turned out to be such a great learning experience for me and of all things, it was wonderful to be able to do it with my husband sitting next to me.

Oh and the cookie dough was forgotten about until the chat was over. I can’t believe not one of the kids came and said “Mom are the cookies done yet?” or “Oh my gosh mom you didn’t even put them into the oven yet, Why?” Instead, I baked the cookies after the chat and all the kids were super excited when I handed them out. Hmm maybe I can do more than I give myself credit for. 🙂

It is simply amazing what you can accomplish with a little bit of courage, motivation, determination, great friends, and the loving support from your spouse. I can’t wait to hangout with the leadfromwithin family every Tuesday here on out on the #leadfromwithin tweetchat.

Have you ever tried anything new even though you were nervous and scared if so what did you learn from it? Please share your stories below!

Failure is an option – but Fear is not

Hand of Fear

Here are a few questions I want you to read and just think about your answers to yourself. There are no right or wrong answer to these questions.

How many times you have failed at something?

What is it that you do when you have failed?

Do you try harder the next time and learn from your mistakes?

Do you give up because your afraid of failing again?

Those are bold questions, as well as they should be. Failure happens to be a vital fact of life. Without it, we could never improve and learn something new. Fear, on the other hand, keeps us from moving forward. Just remember Failure and Fear (fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or fear of what others think about you are) are very distinctly different situations.

Think about this —

Do you think that: Jone of Arc, Emily Dickenson, Amelia Earhart, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Rosa Parks – just to name a few – allowed fear to keep them from doing what they achieved? I’m sure you would all agree that these women faced their fear head on, armored with chain mail, and ready to fight. I am sure that they had many failures (mistakes) along their path, but they just kept climbing until they reached the top.

Failure (mistakes) is a small hurdle, but an important part of life. Fear is Fear, nothing will ever happen if you let it take ahold of you. You might think about the things you want to do, but you will never do them..

If you allow fear to be a part of your actions, you will never know if you could:

  • Get that promotion
  • Get a new job
  • Speak out in public
  • Make a million dollars
  • Become the next American Idol
  • Create a new blog site
  • Make knew friends
  • Climb Mount Everest

Or whatever your heart desires unless you try. Who cares if you fail. It just means you have to try harder and keep telling yourself like the little engine that could “I think I can, I think I can” until you can say “I know I can”

We as moms need to grow and stay strong. Learning from our past failures, basking in the knowledge and strength we have found from our mistakes. Never allow fear to keep us from doing what we dream of. Fear is a powerful force that will keep us weighted down so heavy until you feel like your sinking down further and further into a bottomless pit. You must fight fear with all your strength. Charging at it head on, and never giving in to it.

I know it isn’t easy – trust me. I also know it will seem impossible at times to accomplish anything because you keep failing at it, but don’t let any failure cause you fear. Instead, embrace failure as a stepping stone you must climb. One that will always be there creating new steps until you have climbed them all, reaching the top of the mountain and finding self gratitude.

Just a final thought to keep you motivated and inspired.

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

What are your biggest fears? and/or What are some of the biggest failures that you have overcome to get to where you are today?