For the past fifteen years I have called upon an amazing woman, whom I refer to as “My wise sage,” to help me in times of confusion, doubt or struggle. Her actual name is Sue. I’ve never met her in person, have no idea what she looks like but consider her one of the most influential women in my life and her advice and intuition is spot on.

Talking to Sue recently, she said something that rocked me to my core. “Traci, it seems you’re living in fear of the future instead of the possibility in it.” I felt the blood drain from my head and as if I might pass out. Seriously, it hit me like a ton of bricks because she was right and I had no idea.

Most disturbing is that I had always lived my life from a place of possibility- excited about the future- creating it first in my dream journals and then meticulously through very clear goal setting. Not once have I doubted my ability to do something and Sue knew this because she’s been coaching me for 15 years and seen it firsthand. So what changed?

I know it sounds really contrite but the only thing that changed was my thinking. In truth, something has been off in my mind for the past six months and I’ve struggled to access that part of my brain that instills confidence, belief and pure drive. At 44 I was thinking perhaps it was my age and something chemical- or at least that was an easy out for me. But when Sue said, “You’re living in fear of the future,” she unlocked my power- literally. That very day I instantly felt better because I knew what was wrong, my focus and thinking was off. Rather than put energy toward what it is I wanted, I was giving it to what I didn’t want and was afraid might happen in my life.

The brain is a very tricky organ. It needs a job and if you don’t give it one- a clear one, it will take over and in most cases, fill you with doubt, fear and anxiety. For me, this trigger built up due to actions I took in my consulting firm, Bild and Company. I had hired a new CEO the year prior to run my national organization; something I had done myself for over 20 years. While he has done a fantastic job, I never worked through the grieving process of “giving up my position” and also felt powerless to run my business because I had literally handed the job over to someone else. Known to many as the Mindset Mentor, I for sure had lost that ability over the past six months. What I didn’t lose was my refusal to live a mediocre life. Instinctually I knew I was losing the battle of the mind, but simply couldn’t figure out how to regain control. Refusing to give in, it finally hit me- I need to call Sue and thus the beginning of the story.

Almost like a fairy god mother waiving her wand, with one sentence Sue returned my power. Instantly I felt my mind, mood and spirit shift back to living in possibility. I couldn’t do better because I didn’t know better; now I do.

Even more powerful is the process I’ve been engaged in to find one “word” or phrase to encompass what the Get Your Girl Back movement is about. All I can say is God is good because through this experience, tough as it has been, he revealed it to me (and you are going to be among the first to hear it!).

I’ve always lived my life in possibility but many women have not. Before I could help others with this final piece of the puzzle, I had to experience it personally- not what it’s like to live in possibility- but the despair of living my life in fear.

I understand now- Get Your Girl Back for me has always been about possibility- how could I have missed it? The possibility to live an abundant life, the possibility to have a beautiful marriage, the possibility to enjoy great health, the possibility to raise well-mannered children who make a difference in the world, the possibility to use your natural talents and gifts in your work, the possibility to have financial freedom, the possibility to live in gratitude, the possibility to have balance and the possibility to have fulfillment in your life. There are SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! You just have to expect them to show up!

This is the possibility I’ve lived in since I was a girl- that along the way was lost- but regained. This is Get Your Girl Back- so go, live in possibility and make your life what you’ve always dreamed it would be. Comment here on my blog your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Please, if this message resonates with you, help me spread the word to the women you know and love. Forward them the blog, encourage them to sign up for Notes From Your Girl or advise them to download a FREE dream journal and see what it feels like to map out their life and live in possibility. Just visit www.GYGB.com for any of these immediate actions. Thanks for supporting me through this journey. We are just getting started.

 

 

 

 


(posted today on my Working Mother magazine’s “Walking Zombie” blog)

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Last year while on vacation I repeatedly told myself a big fat lie- At an amazing adventure camp for both kids and parents, I had the opportunity to learn the flying trapeze, to water ski, tube, and more. While I did indulge some, on many occasions I simply opted out. To be honest, I don’t even know why…it was just easier to say, “No thank you, I’m good,” and encourage my kids to participate.

But the truth is, each time Dave or the kids did something really cool like swing from the trapeze, I thought to myself how amazing it would be to give it a try. Yet time after time I just sat and watched.  Looking back, I now realize that much of my resistance was a combination of fear of the unknown, the inability to get outside my comfort zone and pure laziness. It just took too much effort. Each time, after I passed, I would get this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to dive in and have crazy fun, I did! It was just easier to watch everyone else have it.

We want back to Callaway Gardens again this year. I’m quite certain this is now going to be an annual family tradition. I made a mental decision that this time; I was not going to sit it out. I was going to step out of my comfort zone, face my fears and do all the things I refused to do last year. I also had this gut feeling that my daughter Paris, who is ten, was watching every decision I made. As her mother and mentor, if I wasn’t going to do it for myself, I was going to do it for her.

In the course of one week, I raced Dave on a crazy water obstacle course called aqua island and laughed so hard I almost passed out, water skied, tubed, climbed an 80 foot tree that scared the life out of me and zip lined over a beautiful lake, biked for hours on end, studied garden ideas at an edible garden, learned how to do a backflip on a flying trapeze, caught lightening bugs, and sat alone in an old chapel along a wooded path and pondered my life.

Who do you think had more fun? The stuffy woman who chose to sit it out or the adventurous girl who chose to dive in? The only difference between last year and this year was my mindset. Last year I had no intention, I was just there, on vacation with my family. This year I set out with the intention to have a blast and to do everything that scared and got me out of my comfort zone. This by far was one of the best vacations of my life. While I’ve been to France, Spain, Germany, the BVI and more…this little place in the Georgia mountains stole my heart because it called to the girl in me and beckoned me to play. I am so glad I said yes! I still can’t believe the impact it had on my life.

When is the last time you did something daring, adventurous, and crazy fun? What inhibitions are holding you back from letting the girl inside you come out to play? Whether at work, home or while on vacation, I challenge you to set your intention in regards to how you want to be, what you wish to feel and the experiences you desire to have and then set about creating them. Like me, you may just find it changes your life.

Written by Traci Bild, work-life balance expert and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement. Follow us on Facebook (Get Your Girl Back movement) for more inspiration and ideas to live a life of adventure, fun and sheer bliss! To download the first chapter of Traci’s forthcoming book, Get Your Girl Back, visit  https://gygb.com/the-book/.

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(from my Walking Zombie blog on WorkingMother.com)

Yesterday my family went zip lining at Calloway Gardens in the Georgia Mountains. We strapped on our gear, headed into the trees and zealously moved from one obstacle to the other. Two hours in we were still going strong until I realized we were close to the end of the main zip line course and about to enter the Lake course. Out of nowhere I started to sweat really bad- my hands were slipping from the lines, my t-shirt sticking to my chest and my heart beating faster and faster. Having done this very same course last year, I knew what was coming…the tree. As hard as I tried I couldn’t shake this horrible fear.

The lake course has three exhilarating zip lines. That- I wanted to do! But to get to the second one you must climb an eighty foot tree via a wooden rope ladder. Last year it took everything in my being to get up that ladder. This year, I knew what was coming. I had done it before but this was the first time our whole family was zip lining this course together and Noah’s first time at all! Dave was leading from the front and I was following up from the back. This had worked all day until we got closer and closer to the tree.

Ending the main course we walked over to the Lake. Shaking, I climbed up the first ladder, telling myself, “I can do this, I can do this!” but the reality is I had already talked myself out of it- I was terrified. How was I going to watch my two children climb an eighty foot ladder, step onto a platform high into the tree tops (and the size of my kitchen mat), and not pass out? Standing at the top of a smaller platform, I stared at the tree…taking it in, I told myself, “You’ve done this before, it’s no big deal, just climb the ladder, step onto the platform and zip over the lake!”

Then I looked down to see an employee and suddenly, I had my out! “Can I pay you to please follow my kids? I won’t let them go without someone behind them and honestly I don’t want to do it!” He offered to go, no charge and I was out- free from the torture of climbing the ladder up the tree. Someone would head up the front and back, ensuring my kids were safe but it wouldn’t be me. I was so relieved I wanted to cry. He went up and I went down…my family continued on.

I sat on a bench and watched from afar. As I saw my eight and ten year old children climb the tree I realized I had failed them. I let fear, false evidence appearing real, steal my confidence and in turn my joy. My fear would keep me from the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline my family would feel- instead, I would be defeated. The truth is, I had done this before, had fun, and challenged myself in a huge way. The only thing different this year is I let fear get the best of me.

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How many times have you let fear get the best of you? Perhaps you had the opportunity to take a promotion and out of fear, declined and missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe you were offered a job oversees but declined due to your fear of the unknown or you wanted to launch a new business but changed your mind for fear of failure. Fear is very real and as I learned yesterday, it can steal your girl in a nanosecond. That girl who stops at nothing to get what she wants, who is bold, confident and full of hope. Looking back on my experience I realize that yesterday, fear won. The next time we battle, I will win. What about you?


Never in my life have I been in a physical fight- until yesterday. I can’t even begin to explain the adrenaline that was rushing through my body as I held my fist up high threw a punch with my right hand, brought my left in for a solid hook and them bam! Punched again with my right fist for what felt like a lethal blow. I was angry, excited, energized and in a fight or flight state all at the same time. I’d actually never felt anything like this in my life…I was kickboxing and it was crazy fun!

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If you’ve been following this Power of Play blog series, you know that I’m serious about play. Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Each week and more often, every day, I’m making time for play. What I’m finding is that the more playing I do, the easier it comes and the more ideas I have. When I first began this series, I had to look for things to do that were fun and put in real effort. Now it’s become a way of life.

Just yesterday I played tag three times, hula hooped (and learned how to throw it so that it comes right back to me, how cool is that) and played catch- all in one day. In my quest to play I’ve found that it doesn’t take any extra time- what it takes is the desire to want to play and have real fun.  Here’s how simple it is- Yesterday we went to get ice cream and while Noah and I waited for Paris to finish hers I looked at him and said, “Want to play tag?” You should have seen the look in his eyes! He said, “Yes!” and took off running. We were both laughing so hard that I forgot that I was a grown woman hanging out at an ice cream store playing tag (how embarrassing- as I was playing full out)!

When we got home, the kids jumped out of the car and Paris grabbed her hula hoop. “Have one for me?” I said- She excitedly threw me a hoop and although I was horrible (it’s been 20 years!), we laughed a lot. Keep in mind that we didn’t spend an hour hula hopping…it was more like ten minutes, but for that ten minutes, I was a girl…Traci Shafer…the one from the past who loved to play Barbie’s, board games and follow the leader.

Before I began this process to get my girl back, I would have never thought to play. I was the mom who “watched” her kids play. Getting in the game has transformed my life in so many ways. Most importantly I’m having fun, laughing and experiencing joy in the most simple of things. I am feeling less grown up and more childlike…I can’t tell you how good this feels because in truth- it’s been far too long. With a national company and a third book in the midst of the publishing process my life can be pretty crazy. Playing has changed my perspective entirely- things that once freaked me out don’t bother me. I’m less serious, more spontaneous and fully engaged in living in the moment. My entire perspective is different and it’s empowering.

That leads me to my fight yesterday. Because I’m tired of “going to the gym,” I’ve been experimenting with all different kinds of exercises that fall into the category of fun and I’m having a blast! This week I did Pilates on Monday, Kickboxing on Tuesday and today I went for a walk on the beach with my mom. I feel as if I have awakened from a long sleep- the sun is brighter, the water bluer, and the breeze softer on my skin.

I dare you- to join me in the quest for play, adventure and fun! Life is so serious all the time- there is always going to be something to do; someplace to go and something to clean…give yourself a break. Your partner will find you more fun, your kids will be in a state of shock and utter happiness and you- you will feel alive.

Each week, as part of my Power of Play blog series, I will share what I’m doing . . . to fuel ideas for you!  I encourage you to get in the game and read my recent blogs for ideas.  If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear from you. .

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues


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“I don’t have the time.”

For most of us women, this is one of our all-time favorite cop outs. Ask me why I don’t work out and my answer is, “I’m too busy, I simply don’t have time.” Challenge me on the importance of cooking healthy meals rather than running through a fast food restaurant after a long night at gymnastics with Paris and my answer is, “I would love to but I don’t have time.” Remind me that I have a gorgeous and loving husband who needs my attention and a sense of connection and my answer is, “I don’t have the time or energy.”

Sound familiar? The truth is women don’t have time to exercise, cook healthy meals or spend time with their partners. Between working forty hours or more outside the home, the commute to and from work, after school activities, homework, never-ending cleaning and laundry as well as the rare attempt to cram in the chapter of a book or a mindless television show to shut off the brain…finding additional time is sort of like glimpsing a double rainbow- it’s magical yet rare.

If you’re sort of sighing with relief… in knowing that you are not alone, I would like to ask you a deeper question- “Is this how you really want to live?” You know that you have to stay healthy and that means getting regular exercise and eating properly…if you are in a relationship, you’re in it probably because you love the person you are with. The result of making excuses is only going to create more deep seeded guilt and anxiety over not doing what you know you need to do! I know it’s crazy, right?  

I remember sitting in my kitchen and unbuttoning my Mrs. Me Jeans because my belly was hanging over them and it was uncomfortable. “It’s just a muffin top,” I thought- I have two kids! But then I didn’t just feel it but stood in front of a mirror and looked at it, yes my muffin top- Blueberry, peanut butter, chocolate or whatever it was…it was no longer just a muffin but a full blown entrée!  How was this possible (I wondered) – overall, I eat healthily…or was I?

That day, I did something different. I decided to stop making excuses. Instead of hiding behind the famous, “I don’t have the time,” I realized that I had to make the time. The fact is, a flat stomach wasn’t a priority to me, but good health was. It dawned on me that at 44 I was collecting an extra 5 pounds or so a year and that by the time I was 50, those Mrs. Me jeans would long be gone and on someone more fit to wear them.

It was time to own up and take stock of my life, the things that mattered most to me- my health, my family, and my sanity.  I literally removed the words, “I don’t have time” from my vocabulary. Instead I learned to say, “It’s not a priority.” At least this way I own it.

So I got serious about my health…reflecting back I now see that I was eating way too many carbs, skipping meals, living on lattes and getting exercise in every so often. Now, when I plan my weekly calendar, I make sure that fitness, meal planning, family fun and date night are all built in and color coded in my calendar. I’m treating the things I care about as the priorities they are. I feel more in control of my life because there’s no one to blame things on anymore. All I have to do is look in the mirror and take ownership.

It’s not easy being a woman in the 21st Century- in fact, it’s damn near impossible not to crawl up into fetal position and hide in a corner.  The best antidote is to fight back- with fun, adventure, laughter and a commitment to stay focused on the priorities that matter most in your life. To give the time and attention to those things- that at the end of the day, really do matter most. Then and only then will you feel less anxious, more inspired and empowered as a woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend. While only four words, “I don’t have the time”- they hold tremendous power. I challenge you to take that power back starting today by eliminating them from your vocabulary.

Written by Traci Bild Founder of the Get Your Girl Back Movement- (www.GYGB.com)


 

It’s not often that you try to nail your 8 year old son in the face with a hard rubber ball. But last week, that’s exactly what I did. When I missed, my son Noah taunted me with a little booty dance. “You little stinker” I yelled, “I’m gonna get you”. I quickly grabbed another ball and while staring directly at Noah, fired it at Paris—my 10 year old daughter—slamming her square in the chest. “You’re going down mom”, she shrieked in mock fury. The next ball flew out of my hands and right into my husbands…crap I’m in trouble! He then begins to fire off balls so hard and fast I thought he might put a hole through our garage door. We were all red-faced, sweaty and slightly hysterical. It was awesome.

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Sounds kind of sketchy, I know, but don’t worry, I wasn’t beating my kids.  I was just playing with them . . . a good old fashioned game of dodge ball. You see, I’m tired of sitting it out. Day after I day I watch my kids play — baseball and gymnastics, swinging and jumping on the trampoline – and I sit and watch.  We cart our kids around from one activity to another, they play while we “busily” attend to our to do list, or scroll through Facebook, or just zone out. But I’m sick of it. Call me selfish but I want to have fun too.  And rather than continue to think about it, last week I decided to do something . . . starting with this incredibly fun game of dodge ball.  And guess what, since our first game, we’ve been out there every day playing.

 

I bet when you were a kid, there were things you loved to do, that brought you incredible joy. In most cases, you didn’t even think about what you were doing, you just did it: hula hooping, tea parties, dancing, putting on your mother’s make up and more. Do you remember that feeling of joy that playing brought you? When I was a girl, I loved to jump into my bedroom closet and play spaceship with my brother Todd. “Captain, ready for takeoff!”  Another favorite?  I pretended to be the drummer for the rock band Kiss! My brother, his friends and I, would put on concerts and I swear…I could hear the screams of the crowd, feel the beat of the drums and the adoration of my fans as I rocked out to “I… wanna rock and roll all night!”

 

I love these memories because playing was fun!  So I have an idea for you.  Join me and bring the power of play back into your life. Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Not so sure? Let me inspire you.  Since our first game of dodge ball, I’ve actively been playing every day.  I have to admit, at first it felt a little odd but within a few days, I felt different; freer, lighter, giddier, and my kids were commenting on how much fun they were having too.  What started as an experiment has morphed into a true reconnection with my girl; the one whose life was ruled by giggles, imagination, and adventure . . . As opposed to anxiety, stress and rigid schedules. 

 

The more I play the more I remember who my girl was, what she enjoyed and more importantly, how she felt.  While I love my life and being a “grown up”, I miss the freedom of my youth (When the words guilt, fear, and worry weren’t even in my vocabulary). As I’m learning to play again, and get my girl back, I’m also weaving that feeling of joy into everything else I do. It’s as if a light switch has been turned on and a breath of fresh air has infused my life.

 

So here is your mission: start playing. Do something you used to do as a kid — jump rope or hula hoop instead of going to that dreaded fitness class.  Or if your kids are playing, get in the game and play with them.  If you’re not sure exactly what to do, start by playing a game of dodge ball!

 

Each week, as part of my Power of Play blog series, I will share what I’m doing . . . to fuel ideas for you!  I encourage you to get in the game and give play a try (starting with Dodge Ball this week).  While it was difficult to figure out what to do at first, it’s now easy- because I’m having so much fun and you will too!

 

If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear your fun ideas and how it’s impacting your life.

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues