Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

CHOOSE Your Perception



Life isn’t in black and white. You choose how to color what you see and do. Your life is as colorful as YOU allow it to be. Just like a child brings a coloring book page to life with crayons, your thoughts color your world. I’ve talked about how we can create new habits to replace those that aren’t serving you in a positive way. You can break habits of letting other people program how you view your life and then create a habit of having a more positive perception.

You can create the good habit of coloring your world with bright hues!

Did you ever adjust the color of a TV set? You turn the dial one way and the colors get brighter and more vibrant. Go the other direction and it gets washed out or not there. That’s what perception does to you thoughts! YOU control the dials. Perception allows you to choose your reality; to color it positive or negative. For example:

* You can CHOOSE to see a glass half empty or CHOOSE to see it half full. Which sounds better? You know the answer, yet many people choose half empty, which makes it sound bad. My half full glass always looks good! The glass has no more or less based on the perception you choose. So why not choose half full???

* You can CHOOSE to believe that you’re not good for much because you had a parent who told you that. Or, you can bypass that belief and CHOOSE to do a lot of good! You are the person that your perception allows you to be. Why not be one who SUCCEEDS???

* You can CHOOSE to feel fat because the media says that anyone with more meat than an airbrushed model is fat. Or you can CHOOSE to not compare yourself to anyone and see the beauty of who you are. I felt like a porker for years because not being perfectly thin made my self-perception one of being fat. Now I view me in my own eyes and I’ve gotten a beautiful, soft shapely body without losing weight!

* You can CHOOSE to believe that abuse you get from a romantic partner is your fault because you’re not perfect, or you did something that you don’t understand but he or she says you did. Or, you can CHOOSE to accept that some people have issues that have nothing to do with you, and you should NOT stay with someone who hurts you over and over, since no one can be perfect. And leave fast!

Whose perception rules you? Mom’s? The media’s? Your romantic partner’s? When I was a DoorMat I gave way too much importance to what others thought and not enough—or nothing—to my own view. Ha! I rarely had a view of my own since I was too busy agreeing with everyone else’s. It made me think I was more secure, but that was also a perception. Deep down I knew my security was only as good as my butt kissing. That in itself felt lousy! But I was too scared of losing the people who controlled my perception to change. Now my vision is clear and my security is solid, because I get it from ME, not my erroneous perception of others being there for me.

Create your own perception! How you see yourself and project it commands respect or footprints. Be careful about how you blow up situations that reinforce low self-esteem. Watch for your own distorted perceptions.

• That extra five pounds makes you fat.
• The five-minute incident ruins your day.
• One mistake makes you a screw-up.
• One boyfriend who hurt you makes you a poor judge of men.
• One girlfriend who took advantage of you makes you a pushover.
• You don’t know something so you’re stupid in general.

Enough already! Don’t be your own worst enemy. You can CHOOSE to control this. Don’t blow flaws or problems out of proportion. I remember the pain of seeing only what I hated in the mirror. I never saw my pretty face. For years I was fat and ugly, yet, I was far from that. But a few extra pounds drastically altered my perception. Now, even with some flab, I’m a very pretty, hot chick! Perception is YOUR choice. Do you distort yours as excuses to not risk moves to stand up for you?

* “I’ve never gotten respect. I’m no good!” The past is history. Now is what counts. It doesn’t matter how some people treated you before. You know better now and can show with actions that you expect decent treatment.

* “I can never finish anything. I’ll never get anywhere.” Just because you haven’t finished things before, you’re not hopeless. Take baby steps to complete a project and prove that never finishing isn’t your M.O. anymore!

* “I’m not a cook so I’ll make a lousy meal.” You’re not what you haven’t done. You can follow directions, can’t you? One step a time. Someone once told me I made awful coffee. It was one time but I believed I was incapable of make something worth drinking. When my friend pushed me to try again with her watching, I did it all by myself, and everyone enjoyed it!

* “I should be further along in my career so I’m a loser.” Says who? Individuals work on different timelines. Not advancing enough doesn’t make you a loser unless you choose to be. Learn more skills to be a mover, not loser! Appreciate what you have done instead of dwelling on what you haven’t.

* “People don’t like me.” Paranoia will destroy ya. Do you expect rejection and emit an air of self-protection? Act friendly and expect friendliness. You truly do get back what you give out.

Pay attention to what beliefs you have that nurture a negative perception. Look for ways to reinforce a more positive one. That leads to SUCCESS. Just because you’ve believed something for a long time, doesn’t mean it’s true or that you must continue living up, or down, to that perception. Remind yourself that your perception is YOUR choice, so make it yourself! Then focus on coloring your world a brighter shade of happiness! This recovering DoorMat can attest that it feels like the biggest high you can get!

Pay attention to how you see situations and consciously choose to be fair to you. Have a very blessed weekend, full of colorful, positive perceptions.

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Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora



Tim Westergren’s passion has always been music. He began his career as an independent musician, a composer for films and other aspects of the music industry. In 2000, he created the Music Genome Project™. An enormous collection of songs were gathered and analyzed, one by one, along close to 400 musical attributes, by a trained musician. They break down music into its most basic components—every element of melody and harmony, rhythm and instrumentation. An analyst gives a number to each of those attributes and together they make up a song’s musical fingerprint. When you type a song into Pandora, it looks at that song’s music fingerprint and starts connecting it to other songs that are its nearest musical neighbors.

Working as a film composer Tim had to figure out the director ‘s musical taste and translate what they said into a musical composition, which gave him the idea of creating the Genome. He shared it with a friend who’d already started and sold a company. A week later they began a business plan.

The original plan was to build a recommendation technology and license the Music Genome Project™ to other companies, such as, AOL and Borders, so they could use it to recommend music to their customers—a business-to-business licensing company. They tried to make that idea work for about four years. It was a bad time to launch a company, right before the dot com bubble burst. But Tim had already invested a lot of time and money, and also felt an obligation to the people who had been working with him, so he became even more determined to get it off the ground.

Every door that could be tapped for possible investors was tapped hard. Tim was relentless in his determination to make his Project happen. In fall 2005 he launched Pandora. His initial intent was to have a subscription service, but he quickly switched to a free site that’s supported by ad revenue. He has direct deals with AT&T and Sprint so people can listen to Pandora on their phones. It gets bigger almost every week.

I’m a big fan. After you register, you can choose an artist you like and Pandora creates a personal radio station of many songs that are similar. They don’t all sound alike. The Genome knows what other music I’d like by the artist I enter. I have a bunch of stations chosen and listen all day long to a stream of only music I enjoy. That to me is the best radio station on earth!

Pandora is fast becoming THE online radio station to go to for great music! If you’re a music lover, check out Pandora and create your own stations! And if you’re a musician with a top quality finished product, submit it! Now here’s some questions I asked Tim. Hearing his joy about what he’s created illustrates how SUCCESSFUL Tim and Pandora are.

Why do you think Pandora continues to expand its SUCCESS? The two reasons behind our growth, which is outpacing other forms of online radio, is 1) It’s super easy. Pick one song and we immediately deliver you a very personalized stream of music. That’s a big promise to make and a hard one to deliver. That’s the function of the Genome. 2) Since the Genome is blind to popularity, you hear a ton of music on Pandora that you’ve never heard before. So it’s a huge fountain of discovery. That, to my mind, is really the magic of a good radio.

Why did you keep going when you ran out of money and were in a deep hole? I knew I had to make it work or head to Mexico. I had nothing to fall back on. In some ways, when you start the kind of businesses, a little bit of naivety is healthy. If you knew the odds against you or what you were getting yourself into, you might never try. Once you start, you keep going. It’s kind of like gambling—just one more hand. We owed so many people so much money that we had to keep going and going, hoping somehow we could get across the desert. I had no idea what I was signing up for.

What motivated you? I never stopped believing in the idea and that it would have its time. It wasn’t just me who made it happen. It was a group who were willing to sacrifice because 1) they believed in it and 2) you start feeling an obligation to each other and some sense that I’ve invested so much already I’m not going to walk away from it. So there’s a natural momentum that keeps you going. Plus, I felt an intense sense of responsibility for all the people I borrowed money from, all the people who hadn’t been paid in a year or two. I was either going to make this happen or die trying. There was no choice.

What do you consider the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? When they hit a road, they immediately start problem solving. And they adapt. They figure out how to get around it. They don’t view it like a sign saying you shouldn’t be going this way. They view it as an obstacle that has a solution. You can’t be rigid in your thinking. You’ve got to be able to be creative and resourceful. People really ought to learn the lesson—that you can do extraordinary things with your mind and body.

How did you find investors? I looked everywhere and pitched it hundreds of times. The pitch that led to the real financing in ’04 was my 348th. I pitched anybody I could find. I was always networking and trying to find somebody—from friends and relatives to bankers, investors, wealthy people, musicians, celebrities. I’d go pitch anybody who’d listen to me. In the end, to get over that four year period, I found money in the most unlikely places. You never know what stone you turn over will be the right one. Ironically, being in a band and being a self-employed film composer was great preparation for trying to raise money for a business, because you don’t get deterred by being told no. When you’re a musician, that’s your life. And you have to learn to sell yourself. If I believe in something, I can be pretty convincing.

At what point did you get advertisers? In November 2005 we made a commitment that it would be ad supported and free to use it. The strategy for that, and products we have for that, have evolved steadily since then. That’s been a combination of innovation on the product side, creativity of the ad sales team—a bunch of people coming together. One of the position challenges for online radio is that most people don’t look at it. We thankfully learned about Pandora is that people like to look at it a lot. They go back to it a lot to skip a song or go back to one, to see who an artist is that they don’t know. So it generates a lot of interaction with the site and driv
es enough advertising inventory to support the business.

Why travel around the country to do town halls? People want to meet the company that’s helping them discover such great new music. That excites them. There are people who come to the town halls that are 75 years old. They’ve been checked out of music for 50 years and now they’re back in the game. They’re finding new stuff, buying music, discovering old hits, finding new music they like. Tommy Dorsey fans have discovered Michael Buble and Red Hot Skillet Lickers. They’re getting reintroduced to music in a way.

How did the Town Hall meetings begin? It was kind of by accident. I originally planned to drive around the country to spread the word about the Genome in local music scenes across the country and let people know we were looking for music. Someone in my office suggested I have meetup in each town. I’d post on my blog where I’d be if people wanted to meet up and talk about Pandora. The first ones had just a few people. Now there are hundreds of people when I do one. I’m going to keep doing it!

How important to follow your passion? For me it’s impossible not to. There is something so uniquely satisfying and rewarding in doing what you love to do. Nothing compares to it. That love kept me going during the worst times of this company.

What are you most grateful for? A lot right now! I pinch myself all the time. I’m grateful for all the folks who have hung with me and this company all these years—a lot of people. People made tremendous sacrifices and put themselves under tremendous personal pressure to get through it, when there were a lot of voices saying “What are your doing?” I’m very grateful for that.

What does SUCCESS mean to you? A musicians middle class. That’s really how I’m going to measure the SUCCESS of Pandora. If I sold the company for a bunch of money and it got pulled into Clear Channel and wrecked, I wouldn’t be happy.

What do you see for the future now? I think a lot about possibility now. Even when we launched, I used to think, would people like it? Will it grow? Will it work? The usual kind of stuff. Now I think about what kind of a difference it could make. We could really change this business in a very fundamental way, for the better. It could be enduring. That’s what really excites me now.

Do you feel successful now?
Yes! I’m very proud of what we’ve done. There’s a lot to be proud of in having taken it this far and survived.

So what are you waiting for? Go to Pandora and listen to some great music as you continue!

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I Was Sick, Tired and Ran!



About 10 days ago, my allergies began to kick in. My nose and eyes were itchy and watery. Then I spent 2 days having a reunion for a group of people I went to elementary school with so there was a lot of talking going on and irritated my throat. By Sunday I couldn’t wait to crash early. But, the guy designing my new website called to go over some stuff so I had to talk, for a long time, on that scratchy throat.

Tuesday night I went to see Lifehouse at Roseland. I was on the guest list and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. But all the talking above the music and singing along made my already sore throat worse. An air conditioning vent blew some very cold air on my left side all night. Plus I stood most of the time. It wasn’t crowded because I was in the balcony—a restricted area. Celebs like Keifer Sutherland and Nick Lachey stood nearby.

After ages of staying mainly in one place, I leaned awkwardly on the balcony railing to take pressure off my feet. By Wednesday morning I felt like I’d been beaten up. All the contorted positions I’d gotten into haunted me with pain in my back, neck, legs and side. My allergies were much worse and my head hurt from across my forehead and over my head to my neck. Probably some was from the cold air blowing on me. If I sat still, the pain subsided. But moving set it off. I plodded through my writing but missed running in Central Park. Thursday I felt no better.

So I got pro-active! When you don’t feel well, you can lay around feeling miserable or do what you can to show that you’re serious about healing. Then the Law Attraction can work with you!

I did affirmations. “My body is healing nicely.” “I refuse to be sick anymore!” I made an effort to drink a lot more water and took some extra vitamins. And I forced myself to bring my laptop to my desk to write. I’d been propped up in bed with it, which probably made my sore neck and back worse. That evening I went for acupuncture.

Being proactive made me feel like the power was back in my court. I got more determined to heal!

I slept poorly that night but EXPECTED my body to heal. Friday morning my allergies felt better once I walked around, but my back and neck still ached a lot and my head still hurt if I moved too much. By later afternoon I was craving exercise like a drug, but knew running wasn’t meant to be. So I got my backpack and headed across town to a vegetable store that I rarely get to, as an excuse for a long walk. I figured if I felt too bad I’d turn around.

I was out of breath at first. My lungs seemed to have forgotten how to breath, since I’d sat around so much for days. But I kept affirming that I was fine and could do it as I consciously did deep belly breathing and picked up speed. After a few blocks I forget my problems. Power walking is a full body activity for me and mine seemed to love it. My soreness eased a little and while my headache was still there, it didn’t bother me much.

SUCCESS = working through a physical problem and coming out on the other side feeling better!

Saturday I didn’t hurt as much and my headache was much fainter. It was supposed to rain most of the day but turned out bright and sunny. The weatherman changed Sunday’s nice forecast to damp. When I heard that, I knew I had to run. I hesitated since my back was still pretty sore and didn’t know how my head would respond to running. But I really needed to go and affirmed that I’d feel better after. When my back groaned as I tied my sneakers I reconsidered, but quickly reassured myself I could take it easier or go back any time if it felt wrong.

So I ran. I was again short of breath when I began, but pushed through it. My back and neck hurt the whole time as my head throbbed just a little, but I continued. The pleasure of running offset the discomfort. As I pumped my arms hard, I felt it in my back but continued. My gut told me it was fine to do it and I know my gut is triggered from above.

As I ran out of the park I felt a big surge of pride. I’d SUCCESSFULLY completed a full route, without cutting myself slack!

You may be thinking that I’m making a big deal of this. Why is Daylle even telling me this story? Because this is a good example of how viewing a small accomplishment as SUCCESS gave me a BIG shot of good feelings. Appreciating that anything you challenge yourself to do and complete is SUCCESS. I could have focused on how it was harder to run while feeling tired, with pain in my back. Or just I could have just done it and not thought about it at all. Instead, I got great pleasure that went well beyond the run itself. I felt proud of my SUCCESS of running through my pain. I grinned broadly as I returned.

You can overcome most things with will and setting your mind to it. Recognizing smaller SUCCESSES makes your will even stronger. Not giving in to feeling bad makes you stronger. Using setbacks as excuses to avoid doing things brings more setbacks. I felt lousy for days and took it easy but continued my writing. By Friday, it was time to heal! Go slowly but go forward, no matter what.

The bonus—Sunday morning, all the pain—neck, back and head—were completely gone.

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Controlling Fear of Success


The idea of begin afraid of SUCCESS might seem odd. After all, isn’t that what we strive for? In theory, SUCCESS is a positive. It can mean your career is advanced, you make more money, and you get closer to realizing dreams. What’s the fear factor? It’s in the unknown I’ve talked about.

WThe hardest fear to deal with is being scared what MIGHT happen.

It’s not quite reality based –you’re afraid of “what ifs” instead of concrete situations. If someone threatens you, it’s normal to be afraid. Jumping out of a plane can cause a legitimate set of frazzled nerves. But fear of the unknown is worrying about things that your mind conjures up.

Your imagination can create a variety of scenarios that keep you stuck. And for those of us who don’t know what SUCCESS may bring, fear of SUCCESS can create blocks that prevent us from achieving it. In my DoorMat days, fear ruled me on many levels. Being insecure, I worried about how I’d handle a new or different scenario, even if it was a good one. SUCCESS was a frightening prospect.

Doormats prefer to keep things status quo, even if the status quo makes them unhappy. The idea of navigating something new and excited can seem daunting to someone with low confidence. I sabotaged opportunities without quite knowing why. It was like swatting flies. You automatically swat when a small buzzer comes toward you.

When you’re insecure, it’s hard to stop automatically swatting away good opportunities.

The first book I ever wrote was for children. I loved it! By chance, I met an editor from Scholastic books and she offered to read it. She returned the manuscript with a nice note saying that several editors liked it but would prefer some changes. They weren’t hard to make. They were very interested in publishing it if I made them. And I didn’t. No reason. Sending it to the editor as a long shot. This was serious. I never consciously choose not to do it. But it still sits in my file draw in the envelope it came in. Years later, the editor was gone. I will get it published one day!

There are some common worries that contribute to fear of SUCCESS:

* Will it change me or how others see or treat me? Some people change with SUCCESS, Sometimes there’s no choice if you’re pushed to maintain an image or people expect too much of you if you’re too open. Sometimes change is an ego thing and you should be scared of that! ? But, if you’re conscious of who you are and where your passions lie, you can stay true to you. Be the same person you are now and your real friends won’t change, even if you have to don a façade at professional events. My friends have orders to kick my butt real hard if I ever get an attitude. ? Ask the same of yours.

* Will I be disappointed when I get what I strive for? You might be successful but it may not generate the money, opportunities or high profile that you hoped for. Or, if you’re not happy already, you may not feel as happy as you expected to be from reaching this level. When you’re not happy on the inside, you look to external factors for happiness. That often creates a let-down when you get it, because career SUCCESS doesn’t create real happiness inside. Following passions lead to a more satisfying SUCCESS.

* Can I handle SUCCESS? Subconsciously, you might be used to struggling. Some people find it challenging. Needing to pay bills is a good motivation for working hard. Or, deep down you might not feel worthy of SUCCESS or of being able to live up to people’s expectations of you. Write down what SUCCESS means to you. What expectations do you see? Figure out if any of it makes you nervous, and why. Become conscious of these things to find ways around them. Then make a list of all the good things SUCCESS will bring you. If you get scared, focus on THAT list.

* Will there be pressure on me to increase my SUCCESS? There are a lot of one-hit wonders. Maintaining SUCCESS can seem daunting. You may be okay with achieving the initial SUCCESS. But pressure to surpass it may be the scary part. Take it day by day. Faith in your higher being, and in yourself helps you triumph over this kind of fear.

* Will I have to make more decisions? You may worry that life will get more complicated at the next level of what you’re doing. More opportunities mean more decisions have to be made. Should I take a higher position or seek a better job? These choices may be tough to make and detract from your freedom of creative flow, even if they’re good opportunities. SUCCESS can rein you in a little if you have to commit to things that will make your life more rigid or deprive you of free time. Focus on the rewards.

* Will doing what I do still be fun? SUCCESS can create more obligations and restrictions. The road to it may seem more pleasurable. Before my first book deal, I was afraid SUCCESS might dim my passion for writing. When you’re hungry you push more. I liked that urgency to work hard. It fueled me to write and I didn’t want to lose it. But eventually I knew I was more likely to lose the passion if I kept writing books that no one saw. Having achieved a decent level of SUCCESS, I can attest that my passion is stronger than ever. Knowing that my books will get to a receptive audience is a bigger motivation than struggling. Look for the pleasure in your choices.

Just as failures teach you about yourself and how to do things better, so does the path to SUCCESS. If you’ve felt like there was a block to your SUCCESS, think what might scare you about actually achieving what you say you want. How do you feel about those factors? Talk it out with a good friend to separate true concerns from the what ifs. Then work on your inner intentions for what you really want out of your life.

Use positive affirmations to defeat the fear. “I intend to become more successful with ease.” “I’m worthy of and ready for great success.”

Fear will always be there. It’s how you handle it that counts! Consciousness and determination get you to the other side!

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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