Want the kind of work life that makes you excited to wake up in the morning? Do you want the kind of life where your mind is constantly buzzing with ideas, connections, and creativity; the type of life where you feel an electric pull toward success? Us too! That's where Cortney McDermott comes in. A brilliant career strategist, coach, visionary, and author of the book Change Starts Within You: Unlock the Confidence to Lead With Intuition, Cortney can teach you to tap into your intuition and deep "knowing" to craft a full, successful, lucrative life you love. Welcome to her Intuitive Success column, running once a month! — Horoscope.com editors
If you've ever been on one of those old-school ski lifts—the ones with poles that hang down from a rotating wire and bring you up the slope in a standing form — you know what being pulled feels like.
You can kind of coast and feel supported, as the lift does the rest of the work. The only active participation on your part is to gently hold on. At some points on the way up, the rotation stalls and you're just waiting; at others it speeds up or slows down. But there is always a certain momentum, and you know you're rising. You're certain you'll reach the top if you simply do your part of sticking with it.
That's sort of what INTUITIVE SUCCESS feels like. It's a pull, not a push.
Lots of us on our way up hold on to that rod stiffly, exerting WAY more pressure than what's needed. I sure did for a long time in my life—gripping much too tightly, wondering if I'd ever make it to the top, and what I was going to do once I got there, rather than enjoying and resting back into the ride. I often talk about this period of my life—chasing gold star after gold star—as being “miserably successful”. It doesn't have to be that way, though.
The first thing you can observe when telling the difference between "miserable success" and "intuitive success" is the state of your body. What do you feel like in your body right now?
Do you feel stiff, a sort of cramped tightness? Or do you have an overall sense of elasticity and flow? If you feel any tightness, where is it? For me, when I'm experiencing any resistance in my life, the closed, cramped feeling usually comes in my upper back and shoulders. I remember reading once in Louise Hay's work that pain in the back has to do with not feeling supported.
What I learned over the years is that I can choose to 'distance' myself from those feelings of discomfort and focus my energy instead on the thoughts, actions, and emotions that give me that sense of support. I use many different tools for this kind of resetting. But first I have to notice, I have to observe the discomfort.
Is there anywhere in your life (or body) where you're feeling irritation or distress? Can you take a timeout here and there to observe and see if you can bring even just a little bit of relief to those places? Is there a way for you to redirect your physical, emotional, and psychological energy so that you can experience more ease?
It’s important to find what works for you.
That might be dancing, going for a walk, or simply breathing deeply into that tightness so that you can begin to alleviate any suffering and the mental and emotional ties you might have to it. This is a practice. And once you start becoming better at it, you'll also begin to notice a subtle shift from a sense of striving to a deep state of inner fulfillment. You'll invite more intuitive success into your life, moving from a state of resistance to a state that’s open and ready to receive the gifts that await you. This Intuitive Success Column is designed to help you do just that, so stay tuned for more.
Cortney McDermott is an award-winning writer, TEDx speaker, and strategist to Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurial leaders, and think tanks around the world. Her work has been featured in multiple major media including: SUCCESS, HuffPost, and MindBodyGreen. Cortney’s debut book, Change Starts Within You: Unlock the Confidence to Lead With Intuition, was selected for Inc.com’s “26 Favorite Books of High Achievers” and has been described as “‘‘Eat, Pray, Love’’ meets ‘The 4-hour Workweek’. Before turning entrepreneur, Cortney served as an executive at Vanity Fair Corporation, vice president at Sustainability Partners, professor of graduate studies for Big Ten US universities, and global associate for the renowned beCause Consortium. (She has also moonlighted as a deli waitress, secretary, and everything in between, as a way to put herself through school and life.) Cortney is a graduate of the London School of Economics and a certified cultural mediator in multiple languages. She lives with her family between the United States and Italy.
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