Push Your Boundaries

LEAVE your Comfort Zones

I've always believed those who leave their comfort zones will find an unexpected beauty, a new opportunity, a connection that leads them to something greater. A happiness that is found outside the worlds of mediocrity. 

Traveling has always forced me to push the barriers of comfort and interact in a new way with the world. The nooks and crannies I find, strengthen my sense of curiosity and in return, heighten my creativity. 

If you have the chance, explore a new a place. You don't have to go far. 

Push your boundaries of comfort. 

#SpreadYourAwesome

@Claire.Bouvier

 

 

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

 

Do you get nervous before an interview?

 

As I was getting ready today to head to my interview with the local TV station, I started to think about what it is that helps me prep for an interview. Above is a stream of thoughts as I bumbled through my afternoon to get ready.  

Thank you CKWS for spreading so much local love! 

Super Team Secrets

 Secrets to the Super Team

Secrets to the Super Team

The Two Secrets to Create your SUPER Team
both at home and work

 Why is it that Google has been ranked by Fortune as one of America’s top workplaces? What is it that makes a place like Canada’s Shopify so desirable to work at?

Workplaces like google and shopify are considered some of the top places to work because they dedicate a lot of attention, money and time to “people’s analytics”. They are always trying to increase workplace happiness and productivity.

In the last few years, I’ve been particularly interested in learning about the studies conducted for optimal workplace happiness and productivity. Perhaps you’re reading this and feel completely disconnected from the office worlds such as google and shopify and that’s okay! However, the results from these amazing studies can also be applied to your personal life and to your home life.

Imagine if I could tell you right now the two secrets to having the best team, the best family, and the best relationship? Well, heck, here we go…
 

Psychologists over the last ten years have devoted special attention to answering the question, what makes a “SUPER TEAM?”. You might be assuming it would be comprised of superstar individuals but interestingly enough, not at all. According to Duhigg's book Smarter, Faster, Better the super team is essentially composed of average people that work collectively in order to take their individual “averageness” to team “superstar-NESS”.

 To have a super team you need the following:

1) A SHARED VOICE  

2) A SOCIAL SENSITIVITY

 The Claire Closet Camp

The Claire Closet Camp

A Shared Voice

Any team can become a SUPER team when every person has equal speaking time. This is important because each person needs time to be validated and respected. Their speaking time provides individuals to share their thoughts without feeling embarrassed or the fear of being punished. When there is an imbalance of talking time, team members become isolated and others become less respected. However, when each team member has the chance to speak, there is equilibrium and a shared vulnerability that effectively fuels the camaraderie in order for the SUPER TEAM to form.

 Social Sensitivity

The second secret to the SUPER team is when team members share a heightened sense of social sensitivity. This means that you can easily read others’ facial expressions and react appropriately in that moment. Being socially sensitive is a powerful tool. For example, if you can sense someone is feeling left out or confused, those with a heighted social sensitivity would notice and subtly give him or her the attention and encouragement needed for them to feel validated and respected. When you have a team of empathetic individuals there will always be a subtle, yet driving force of needed harmony.

Have you ever heard of The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test? This test developed by Professor Cohen at Cambridge University and has the ability to see if you are able to read the emotions of others. “The ability to read the emotions of others is linked to social intelligence which, in turn, is linked to performance on team-based problem solving tasks.” Take the test and see where you score: http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/

 Queens University Soccer Team

Queens University Soccer Team

REMEMBER the most important point is that THE TEAM LEADER must set the example. If the team notices your vulnerability and empathy towards your team members, it will be positively echoed by your teammates.

So, if you want to create your SUPER TEAM.

1.     Give each member EQUAL SPEAKING TIME

2.     Encourage your team to become more AWARE OF OTHERS’ FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Like anything awesome, it cannot happen overnight. However, start to nurture this newfound ideology in the teams that you are a part of. Overtime, I will guarantee there will be a little more awesome coming your way both in your work and home life.

Let me know how it goes and keep spreading your awesome!

Motivation for a Monday

 Motivation for a Monday

Motivation for a Monday

Are you just waiting to die?

Or

Are you aspiring to become someone better before you die?

Early this morning, I made it to my home gym and sleepily jumped on a bike. Instead of music, I decided to peddle and listen to Charles Duhigg’s new book Smarter, Faster, Better. Both enlightening and inspiring!

If you are feeling like you are just trudgin’ through life with no purpose or motivation, read on. Take hold of this week and bring back the awesome it deserves! 

1.    Do you have any control in your work life?

Your motivation will exponentially increase when you have some control in the work you are doing. The idea of knowing you can make a change will motivate you to be better.

2.    Do you ask yourself WHY before you start a task?

When you need to accomplish a task (big or small), ask yourself why you are doing it. This process will link your small task to larger aspirations. This linkage will motivate and inspire you to do it with light feet and maybe even a smile.

3.    Do you surround yourself with people that inspire you?

When you surround yourself with inspiring people, they will set a higher bar of expectation. They will motivate you to be a better person. Soon enough you will be that person to someone else.

4.    Do you set goals for yourself?

Try and give yourself two minutes on Friday to set goals for the following week. You can do this on your own, with your family, in your relationships etc. Take ownership of your week. Having set goals will give you a focus that will simplify your busy brain and give meaning to your week.

If we don’t know our choices are meaningful then we start to drift off the path. We need to constantly ask ourselves WHY. Questioning the small tasks will give value to our emotional well being and eventually impact the greater world out there. Your self-motivation will continue to flourish.

Take control this week, ask yourself WHY and SPREAD YOUR AWESOME in the small tasks of life. Thanks Mr. Duhigg for the inspiration. 

Here’s a big hug.
Happy Monday,

Claire

Show the Way

catch me if  you can

You have an idea. It excites you. It energizes you.

BUT.

You don't know how others will respond to it. Will they like it? Is it worth trying? We could easily spend all day worrying about the outcome. But that's a waste of your energy.

Remember, you've got something. Something awesome. Start running with it! 

 Fast.

You will be amazed by your followers. Your passion will excite them and they will want to share in your idea and be a part of the story you are creating. Don't be afraid. Stop overthinking and start running. 

They will follow.

You just need to show the way. 

 

Rain or Shine.

 Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario

You have to remember that life can turn on a dime. Everything could change. For the good. For the bad. For the awesome. We have no control what will happen. So today, embrace the sufferings, embrace the celebrations. Live the present and your heart will continue to expand and to learn.

You have so much to give. Keep your head up, carry on and #spreadyourawesome.

 

Just Play.

Imagination

There is incredible value if you let the children just be free. Let their imaginations run wild. Let them be creative. Watch the magic unravel. 

If we raise our little ones on structured, timed and organized play, they will not develop their full potential of creativity and imagination. 

It's never too late. Let yourself be free. Just play.

Seek the Simple

We know less is more, right? Perhaps sayings like this get overused and we forget their importance. Today, focus on seeking the simple. Once we strip down all the noise we find the beauty in what we're doing. It allows us to find our creative source in a beautiful and raw way. Keeping our lives simple will also allow us to dedicate our energies to what is most important. 

Check in with your energy tank. How can you simplify your life?

Simplicity is perfection.

Aim High.

Aim High

Mediocrity is no fun! There is also much more competition here. Aim high. Be the best and most creative version of yourself. Set a goal today, set a goal for this week, set a goal for this season. Write it down and watch your progress. You got this, AIM HIGH.

Confidence in Creativity

Confidence in Creativity

Being creative requires you to take a leap of faith. Be confident and trust your abilities. You ARE awesome. You have something creative to bring to both your personal and work life. Go out there and take a chance at being creative. Start by changing a small part of your routine today. For example, walk a different way to work or approach a problem in a new way.  Spread your awesome and be confident in your creativity.