8 Habits standing between you and what you want

8 Habits standing between you and what you want

Starting today, stop doing the following…

  1. Playing it safe. – Have you ever tucked something of value “in a safe place” out of fear that someone might ruin it or steal it from you?  And then one day woke to the realization that you had hid it so well that even YOU couldn’t find it?  If so, then you understand the wisdom of leaving your heart and your dreams in the wide open.  To reach for what can be, even when we’re doubtful.  To let go of what is lost, even when it’s painful.  To live as though we’re brave, even when we’re fearful.  These are the trials we face and the choices we make along the path to happiness and success.
  2. Tolerating the influence of negative people. – Sometimes we forgive people simply because we want them in our life, and sometimes we need to let go of them simply because we have had enough.  Saying goodbye is one of the most painful ways to solve a problem, but from time to time it’s necessary.
  3. Letting failed relationships haunt new relationships. – There’s a purpose to every failed relationship.  The purpose is not to lower your expectations, but to raise your standards.  Remember, you don’t want someone who chooses you solely for what’s good about you.  You need someone who sees the bad too, and still appreciates you just the way you are.
  4. Expecting constant bliss. – True happiness is not found just within positivity, it is found within reality, which means accepting the fact that both positivity and negativity coexist.  Trying to be 100% positive all the time is wanting to be an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.  However, when we recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the same one ocean, we are able to let go and be at peace with the way things are, which leads us to happier, more productive places in the long-term.
  5. Dwelling on the things you’ve lost. – In life, there are some people and things you’re going to have to lose in order to find your best self.  So be grateful for what you have right now, try not to dwell on the things you’ve lost, strive for what you want most, and keep marching forward.
  6. Overlooking the lesson. – Everything happens for a reason – a reason you can learn and grow from.  People change so you can learn how to let go.  Things go wrong so you learn to appreciate things when they go right.  You believe lies at first so you eventually learn who you can truly trust.  And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  7. Being overly critical of yourself. – If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realize that we often feel this way when we are too busy judging ourselves.
  8. Letting pessimism feed your procrastination. – We have two choices when we wake up in the morning:  either we go back to sleep and dream, or we wake up and chase that dream.  We often spend way too much time wondering why we’re not good enough, and discrediting ourselves, instead of giving ourselves credit.  We waste too much time with our heads down and hearts closed, never giving ourselves a chance to look up from the ground to see that the sun is shining bright, and that today is another perfect opportunity to take action and pursue our dreams.

This is Karen D signing off… Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Managing Conflict


In any type of relationship conflict is basically inevitable.  But conflict itself is not a problem; it’s all about how it’s handled.  Conflict can either bring people together or completely tear them apart. The next time you’re dealing with conflict, keep these tips on effective communication skills in mind to help  create a more positive outcome.

Tip #1:  Really listen.  Most people often think that they are listening carefully, however they are often thinking about how they will respond and what they will say as soon as the other person stops talking.  Though it might be challenging, try really listening to what the other party is saying.  Don’t interrupt, don’t finish their sentence and don’t get defensive. . Just hear them and reflect back what they’re saying so they know you’ve heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you.

Tip #2: Own What’s Yours: Learn that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong – because it’s ok to do so. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what’s yours. It helps to diffuse the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity.

Tip#3:  Look for Compromise. It is not about winning the argument, instead try to, look for solutions that meet everybody’s needs. Either through compromise, or a new solution that gives you both what you want most, this focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the other’s expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.

Poor communication skills, disagreements and misunderstandings can be a source of anger and distance, or it can be a launch pad to a stronger relationship and more productive future.

This is Karen D signing off…Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Motivation Comes In Small Ways

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” William James

Be creative when it comes to motivation: the little things count.

We all know how challenging it can be to balance the responsibilities of both work and home. The demands at both ends often mean we are stressed for time – and patience. Many of us talk about health and wellness and taking time out for you, but, for some it is just a statement that never comes to fruition.

And according to a Desjardins Financial Security National Health Survey in September 2010, Canadian workers are definitely feeling stressed. Survey participants said that their top stressors were an insufficient salary (30%), work overload (27%), a lack of recognition (22%), a negative work environment (22%) and 14% named work-life imbalance as a source of stress.

Obviously, something has to give sooner or later.

The good news is, employers and senior managers can do a lot without breaking the proverbial bank.

Motivation does not need to be an expensive venture. It can be simple things that allow people to feel recognized, appreciated or respected. So why not show your employees that you care about their health and well-being? For example, at your regular Monday morning status meeting, greet your employees with a cappuccino bar and seated chair massages chair for the first 30 minutes. Or forgo the morning meeting tradition altogether and re-schedule it for mid-afternoon.

Better yet, at around 2 p.m. – during that mid afternoon slump time – hand deliver “pick me up” snack packs to all of your employees – try chocolate covered espresso beans, or an assortment of 100-calorie snack packs, anything that says “take a moment and enjoy.”

Consistent small gestures that say we appreciate your time and effort are far greater motivators in the long run than the occasional big splash.

This is Karen D signing off…Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Positivity Equals Profitability

You Will Profit From A Positive Workplace

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”  ~ Jim Stovall

A great working environment can make a world of difference.

Before the most recent economic recession took hold, Canadians were already struggling with a positive outlook about the workplace. Only six per cent of Canadians and 10 per cent of workers everywhere believed senior management treats people as if they are the most important part of the organization, said the results of a Towers-Perrin survey.
And the survey showed that firms with the highest percentage of engaged employees collectively increased operating income by 19 per cent and earnings per share by 28 per cent year-over-year. Companies with the lowest percentage of engaged employees showed year-over-year declines of 33 per cent in operating income and 11 per cent in earnings per share.

We are know how difficult it can be to maintain a positive attitude at work. We get caught up in the minor things that seem to consume a tremendous amount of our energy. It’s a contagious thing in many workplaces these days. Stresses over workloads, uncertainty and management decisions take hold and productivity declines.

It is important to look after your employees and treat them exactly how you want them to treat and look after your clients. Employees who are happy and content thrive and want to come to work and want to do a good job.  The components to a great environment include; providing employees with what they need in terms of training (soft skills as well as technical knowledge) and genuine support with positive messages where appropriate and constructive feedback where development is needed. Positive messages including praise for accomplishments and thank you’s for the dedication they show to their work.

The wonderful thing about showing appreciation for others is that is doesn’t need to take more than a few words.

Make your goal this summer to provide a great working environment for your employees.


This is Karen D signing off…
Your Next Level Coach for Life

“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~Karen D

3 Self Empowerment Tips

3 Self Empowerment Tips you can use right now: Part I

Have you been in a place in your life where nothing is going right?  You can’t believe this is  happening to you or you just don’t know how your life brought you here?

Many people have those thoughts – but the real question is: where do you go from there? How do you move upwards and on wards?

It all begins with empowering yourself to take charge of your own life. Not allowing others to influence or make your choices for you, using your own strengths to learn how to make your own choices about all areas of your life.  Below are three tips to help you start doing exactly that.

  1. Figure out what you want and act on it.  Think big and forget realistic goals and dreams. Some of us forget what it’s like to dream. So think of  a 5 year-old that you know and learn from their freedom with their thoughts and their carefree, free flowing passion for life. Every one of us, no matter how old or young, has the ability to be free and dream big. I challenge you to forget your current situation and express what you truly want.
  2. Empower your mind. Cultivating a new mindset is about your willingness to grow and expand as a human being. Observe your current, dominant thoughts, beliefs and habits. Do they serve you in a positive manner or do they keep you stuck? Cultivating a new mindset is also about acknowledging that you can control your mind and that it does not have to be the other way around.
  3. Check your personality and attitude.  Are you grouchy, grumpy and generally negative? You can’t go through life with these attributes or you will get no where fast. Get rid of the terrible traits and habits that unendingly hamper your progression. And really, who wants a grouchy supporter anyhow?

Take it one small step at a time and enjoy the process.  Stay tuned for Part II.

This is Karen D signing off.
Your Next Level Coach for Life.
Self-Leadership and Communication Coach

Stay motivated and connect with Karen: 
(416) 414-2082


3 Main Reasons Why We Procrastinate and What to do About it.

Today we’re talking about the big P word. Yes, the word PROCRASTINATION.

We all do it, but for some of us it is the foundation of our existence, and it helps us get no where fast. We know what we want to do and should do. But still we end up spending hours upon hours doing “easier” work or escaping via TV, computer, music, the phone, sleep etc..

To get us moving a way from procrastination, we need to start with why we procrastinate to begin with, and why we sabotage ourselves even when we know what we need to do. Here are three main reasons we procrastinate:

1. We subconsciously tell ourselves that it is overwhelming.
2. Fear of failure.
3. Fear of success, not failure.

Although there are a number of reasons for procrastination, the results are often the same. An endless cycle of anxiety, avoidance, getting nothing done and most important not living your life to the fullest.

Today I want you to say enough already, and use these 3 tips to start to remedy your PROCRASTINATION Disorder.

But, the stipulation is to hang out with people who inspire you take action, a go-getter and hard worker. Those people who’s energy and action help to light a fire under your tail, so that you too, take action.

Make sure there is alignment between what you want and what you are doing. Ask your self these questions: What exactly do you want to achieve/get done? Why do you want to achieve it/get it done? What 3 things should you do to get there? What are the first 3 steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

Identify your most productive time of day, own the fact that this time works best for you and GET YOUR STUFF DONE!

Listen, nothing’s wrong with a little escape from time to time. But if you procrastinate too much you will never get the important things done. The next time the big “P” plagues you, check yourself and Stop everything and clarify, Know your peak times and Hang out more often.


To all of my fellow Superwomen out there, hail to those extra pair of hands, eyes in the back of your head and that 7th sense. As we walk and run through each and everyday of our lives, we almost always have our superwoman cape on. Working, being, doing, helping, holding, listening and hugging those who make up our community at home and at work. Every once in a while we need to stop and remember that we can’t always do everything and be all to everyone.

As you venture through superwoman hood, there are some choices that you have to make to ensure that you don’t reach the point of burn out. Ultimately affecting your health, both mentally and physically. Always remember, if you do not have your health, you can’t help anyone!

Here are some tips to help you manage superwoman syndrome:

1) Make a list of everything that needs to be done each day. That way you are able to get all of your thoughts down and reduce the number of things bouncing around in your head.

2) Re-look at the list from tip #2 and cross off those items that do not have to happen or get done that day. If the importance or lack thereof of the item will be the same tomorrow or even next week, cross it off of your list – it clearly does not need to happen today.

3) Learn to say NO and mean it! I have a little secret that I want to share with you – it is ok to say no. It doesn’t mean that you are incapable, inadequate, or weak. It means, no, you do not want to or no you can’t realistically make time to do it. Either of those reasons is just as good as the other.

4) Include at least 15 minutes of “me time” each and everyday. I call it brain dead time. 15 minutes of slowing down, un-focusing and disconnecting from what’s going on around you. I mean no thinking about what you need to do after the 15 minutes, no planning tomorrows list and no extra company. This is “me time”, not girlfriend time, partner time, it’s “me time.” Sit down and sip a cup of tea, meditate, sit on a park bench, park you car and just breathe – I don’t care what you do, just take “your” 15 minutes.

Essentially superwoman syndrome is something that many of us can’t escape. But always remember, we always have choices.

So choose to make the right choices, starting with the 4 tips above.

This is Karen D, signing off…..
“Your Next Level Coach” for Life.

Please share this post with all of the wonderful, busy and hard working women you have in you life.

4 Ways To Get the “F” Word Out Of Your Vocab

Ladies, enough with the “F” word! The only way that you can fail, is if you give up! The only way that you can fail is if you don’t even try!

Ladies, get that non-progressive, self-defeating “F word” out of your head and out of your vocabulary ASAP.

The right question to be asking your self and acting upon is; how will I set myself up for business success?

My belief is that the “F word” all starts with a mindset. If you choose to focus on failing and why things won’t work – I can promise you that you will have a long road ahead of you to attain business success. The right mindset, a positive mindset is what’s required to get the “F word” out of your vocabulary permanently.

When your mind is consumed with why it won’t work, then you have already taken 5 step backwards before you have taken even one step forward. If you don’t believe in yourself, your product, or your service, neither will your customers.
Here are some tips to get you setting yourself up for business success and deleting the “F word” from your vocab.

Tip #1

Choose to focus on progressive thoughts and how you will make it work and how you will be successful. But don’t be disillusioned, thoughts alone don’t bring about success – positive thought, hard work and progressive action bring about business success.

Tip #2

Choose to not fight change and learn how to embrace it (no matter how difficult it may seem in the moment). Ladies, the reality is this: times change, your clients change, market conditions change – the decision is yours, are you going to submit to the “F word”? Of course not! Make a conscious decision to be willing to embrace change or what will happen is that “change” will manage you – and that is when you lose control. Be intentional about looking for the opportunities in times of change – trust me, they are there.

Tip #3

Nobody likes to make mistakes. However, the simple reality of life is that at some point, all of us are going to be wrong, do something bad, or somehow screw something up. That’s just life.

As a business owner, recognize that you are going to make a lot of mistakes, it’s not the “F word”. Set yourself up to learn from mistakes you make and things that have not gone as planned, use these new “lessons learned” to fuel your success.

Tip #4

At most times we are our biggest fans of our products or services – we know that what we do or sell can help a lot of people. But the real question is – Who else knows? If you truly believe in your product or service, show and tell the world (your target audience). If they don’t know, they can’t benefit from the incredible stuff you have to offer, which equals no sales and no income. Ladies forget about being humble when getting your company name out there – just do it. Put the “F word” to the fire and push full steam ahead.

On a closing note, we should never accept and embrace failing fast as a concept. You can call it failure but I choose to call it – learning “WHAT NOT TO DO”, which is just as important as learning “WHAT TO DO”.

So ladies, let us toast to permanently eliminating the “F word” – Cheers!

Karen Donaldson is a Motivational Speaker, Public Speaking and Presentation skills coach and Founder of Karen Donaldson Inc and Panache Life Inc. She has helped numerous executives, entrepreneurs and sales professionals become panic free presenters, communicate with confidence and clarity, command attention whenever they speak and deliver presentations that close the sale.

Visit Karen at for free resources, one-on-one coaching programs and upcoming events.