Today has been one of those days. I was so excited to have a day at home and work from my home office with the Wonder Dog at my feet and the radio on in the background. After a brisk walk around the block with the Wonder Dog the day started well with a list full of things to get done and a mind full of good intentions. After crossing some things off the list it all kind of went pear shaped. I couldn't concentrate. I kept getting distracted and I thought of several more things to add to my list (at least I wasn't just doing nothing right?). And I still had the remnants of conversations from last night echoing in the back of my mind. When a friend asked about biggest fears I confessed.....I have a book inside me (well, several really) that might never get written and if it does who would read it? It was that conversation running around my already hyperactive brain when I went to sleep. And this morning it was there again. I know what to do....block out time and just write. And still I haven't.
This week is also significant because my marriage, which ended five years ago, will be declared over in the family court on Friday. It's kind of a surreal time. New dreams are screaming to get out of me and old ones are being laid to rest. I also have an upcoming trip to the US in November, which I should be looking forward to but right now I'm kind of wondering if I have the time to go and yet I crave some new experiences, sights, smells and sounds to reinvigorate me. Maybe I'm just tired.
We all have these days from time to time. Days where the best laid plans go astray. And days when the things others say and their belief in your triggers your own inner demon who whispers in your ear about all the things on your list to do but haven't yet done, all the things you want to do in the future and what could go wrong and all the dreams you have and why should anyone else care about them. And the little voice that says maybe you don't deserve a holiday. You know what though? I do deserve a holiday. I do deserve joy. I do deserve to stand at the front of a room full of strangers and share the knowledge and experiences that have bought me here. Every single time I start a training I feel a little pang of that imposter.....maybe telling me that I'm not qualified, that people won't like me or that I'm fooling not only them but also myself by being there. And then my good twin steps up to remind me of all the great things that I have experienced. I'm reminded of all the amazing people I have had the honour to coach, teach and mentor. And then I go and look in my brag box which I keep in my office. It's full of letters, cards, messages and little gifts from those whose lives I have touched.
So....when your imposter rears her head (and her voice) tell her to get stuffed! You deserve this (whatever it is) and by golly you are going to relish it.
And now I'm off to take action on the rest of that list because I deserve the success that comes from crossing those things off. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your overwhelm is take a breath, write out all the stuff that is bothering you and get it out of your head.
While it can seem almost impossible to get rid of stress from your life, some simple steps can make you less susceptible to it. It is important to develop a lifestyle that is in line with your values, beliefs and attitudes. If you value family time, make the time to spend with the family. Likewise, if one of your values is good health, make the time to exercise.
Preventing stress need not be as hard as you think. Here are a few simple strategies that you may like to incorporate into your life. They may just help your life to be a little simpler and less stressful.
Dance – get your body moving. Whether you do a waltz, jive, salsa or contemporary dance, as long as you have comfortable shoes, dancing is a great way to both get fit and reduce stress. Exercise of any kind releases endorphins into the system and these are the feel good friends your body needs to maintain good mental health. So get moving and feel great.
Sing – sing along in the car. Singing like dancing releases built up tension in the body. Let it all out. Sometimes a good sing along is as good as yelling or screaming to release tension.
Learn to say no – only say yes to something after you have considered both options. If you do not consider both options then chances are that you are only saying yes out of fear of the consequences of saying no. next time you are asked something, think before you answer. If you need to get some practice in saying no, why not say ‘Let me think about that, I will get back to you’. This way you can think about it and if you feel like saying yes you can.
Get a life coach – this will help you to set goals and keep you on track to achieve them. A life coach is also a cheerleader, teacher and someone who will hold you accountable to your actions.
Cry if you want to – Tears can help the body to release toxins and tension. Sometimes all we need is a good cry to feel better.
Embrace Change – Look at changes as challenges, opportunities and new experiences. Reframing change into a positive light opens you up to the possibilities available within them.
Plan downtime – schedule time that is not allocated for any activity and use it to do whatever you want. Do not feel guilty if all you want is a sleep. Watch a movie, read a trashy magazine, chat on the phone with a friend. Whatever you want to do is fine.
Try adding just one of these strategies to your life every day and see how it transforms your life.
till next time, stay happy.
I was on a call this morning with a gorgeous, talented business woman. Throughout our call I noticed her language. There was a lot of "I should', 'I have to' and 'I need to' language peppered throughout the conversation. I asked her to substitute the phrases with 'I choose' whenever she catches herself saying them. Let me tell you why.
When we use language that makes us feel guilt or anxiety we take our eyes and our focus on the things that will bring us the success we want. When you tell yourself what you 'should' do you feel guilt that you are not already doing it. When you say 'I have to' it's a message to your brain that you don't want to do this thing and it feels imposed on you, which can cause resentment. And when you say 'I need to..' it causes anxiety because most of us are already busy and when we have a need for something again our focus goes to that thing.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you are a start up business and are procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed by all the things you are learning and doing while you establish yourself in the marketplace. During a conversation with a friend you hear these words come out of your mouth....'I should do some marketing for my business because I have to make it work. I need to the money to come in so I can pay the bills.'
Now all of that may be true....but let me ask you this. While you are having the conversation are you taking any action? Does it make you feel good? Does it get your message, brand and product out to the world? NO, it doesn't. What it does is make you feel even more overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out about what you have not yet done. It also puts the message to your subconscious on the money rather than how your business will benefit your clients. While it's true that we live in a society that uses money as the exchange for the things we use in our own lives it is just that....currency to exchange. So, what do you choose to exchange for the money?
Let's try that conversation again with I choose in there instead.
'Today I will do some marketing for my business because I know how much my (product, service) will benefit people. I know that when I choose to put it out there that the clientele will come pay me well in exchange for what I have to offer.'
Every morning as you get ready to start your day say this or something like this to yourself. Use your words and make it personal. Please feel free to comment below.
So today I went out with a friend for a walk around out town. There are a lot of independent businesses and shops in our main street. In the near future I am going to start hosting events for women in business in this area and wanted to introduce myself and gauge interest. What was interesting was the response. In one store the young women who is the store manager could not have been nicer. She asked if she could have some info to give to some of her clients and was bubbly and happy. The rest of her staff were also cheery and the whole place had a good vibe. In some of the other stores and businesses I went into it just felt like the people did not want to be there and they couldn't wait to leave. Those businesses had an oppressive energy and weren't places you would want to stay in or spend your money in.
It got me thinking about how we are responsible for how we show up. Many years ago I worked in real estate. It's amazing how you could always tell if a home was happy or not. If a couple were going through a breakup or just had an argument you could feel it in the air. In business and at work too we can often sense when something is not right or someone has something going on in their life that they are struggling with.
Jill Bolte Taylor worked in the area of brain science and had a stroke. As a result of that stroke she lost her capacity to speak. What she gained was a heightened sense of feeling people's energy. She wrote a book called 'My Stroke of Insight' which is well worth the read otherwise find her on TED talks and have a listen to her story. We are all responsible for how we show up when we are engaging with others, whether that be at work, with children, partner or friends. Just spend a bit of time reflecting on what sort of impact you want to have and try your best to make sure that your energy matches your intention. If it doesn't then do something to change it. Dance, give yourself a pep talk, put on a smile, listen to some great music that makes you happy or go for a walk. And if you truly feel that today you can't elevate your energy then just understand that will impact on how others respond to you. You might not get the results you want from your interactions.
How good are you at clearing out your stuff before it turns into clutter? It's easy enough to accumulate too many things and not use them. Some things we collect because they are beautiful or inspiring like art and ornaments. Some things we collect because they are a perfect match with something else we have...usually this is the case with clothes. And some things we collect just in case we might need it at some time. Think kitchen utensils, appliances and garden tools. But if you don't need them, love them and use them often then it is just more things to store, clean, insure and some of them even increase your monthly living expenses in the form of electricity and cleaning.
Holding on to stuff might be a symptom of some loneliness or unhappiness in yourself. Sometimes people buy things to fill up that feeling and for a while it might work. This is called a 'spike of happiness' when we get something new and feel good for a while but it wears off then we need to get something else so we can have the feeling again. Try to find ways other than shopping to help you feel great. Exercise, meditation, dance, coffee with friends or just getting out in nature will all help you to feel better. Let's face it most people have everything they need and extra purchases are really just excess. I'm not saying never buy anything again...I'm just saying know why you are buying something. If it is to make yourself feel better chances are that it will be a short lived thing and before you know it you won't enjoy it like you did in the beginning.
Most people have some things they will never use or wear that they could get rid of. It's still spring so now is the perfect time to spring clean. Go through your drawers, wardrobe, shed and cupboards and see what you are ready to let go of. And as you do notice how it makes you feel. If you feel hesitant because you know you will never use something but just can't seem to part with it then take a breath and ponder the reason. Is it of sentimental value? You can still have the memory without having to hold on to the things. Is it because you are afraid that you are decreasing the value of the stuff you have in your life? I'm not sure about what your reasons are but I can share this with you. Every single time that I have let go of things that didn't make me feel great I received in the very near future something even better. It's just how it seems to work.
I'd love to hear your comments and stories about how you decreased the clutter in your life and what the positives are from that. Please comment below. Have a great week.
be in your flow....
the 3 A's of awesome.
The 3 A's of awesome is not my idea. I loved the concept when I heard about it in a TED talk by Neil Pasriche. I love the idea that there is a formula for leading an awesome life and thought I would share it with you. Neil has a blog called 1000 awesome things, which reminds us to be amazed and thankful for all the little things. If you want to see the original TED talk the link is here.
If you want to be awesome, you have to have a great attitude. What does that mean? Well, a great attitude means different things to different people but basically someone who takes responsibility for their life, enjoys themselves, is positive most of the time, does not get into blaming and deception. If you are feeling a bit flat, work every day to put yourself in a better mood. You can find things to be positive about if you just look for them. When things go wrong you can choose to give in to the gloom and doom or you can grieve, let go and learn.
Awesome people are very aware of the world that surrounds them. Embrace your inner child, see the world through young eyes. Kids don't miss much. They notice everything and they are amazed by it. People who are aware know when to speak up, when to shut up and when they are about to learn something very important. Awareness is reconnecting with that inner child that feels like intuition. What would you be aware of if you did that?
Awesome people are authentic. They know who they are, they are comfortable in their own skin, they don't try to pretend they are something that they are not. They live their lives proud of their achievements, proud of who they are and who they are becoming. They are busy being themselves, because they know they can't be someone else. If you are OK with being you, chances are that those around you will also be OK with that and those who aren't will leave.
I challenge you this week to be awesome.
til next time.
Are you hungry for knowledge and learning? I worked with a young man today who is. He is a voracious reader of personal development books. He is learning about face reading, body language, persuasion skills, NLP, communication and everything else he can that he thinks will help him to 'work people out'. And while I think this is great, I read a lot myself, I can't help but feel he has missed the point. The point of learning all those skills isn't to work out everyone else. It is to work out yourself.
It's true that you can learn skills to build rapport with others. You can learn how to influence others and the skills of persuasion. The thing is that people will sense that is what you are doing unless you truly know yourself. If you are coming from a strong, calm sense of self then it is much easier to build rapport. I'm sure most of you have met someone who seemed friendly, nice and seemed to be very persuasive. But you might have had a sense of it not being genuine. Think old school used car salesmen who say all the right things, look the part and yet you still don't feel right about doing business with them. This is what we discussed today.
You have to come from a place of knowing you, of being OK with you and of wanting the best for the other person. If you don't know and like yourself then you can read and learn all the skills in the world and you will still give off an aura of not being authentic.
So yes read books, attend events, learn new skills and then use them to be the best version of you. From there you will develop rapport, trust and love from those you have contact with. While the books and skills will help you to understand others it's of little use if you don't understand yourself.
have a great week.
Til next time
So, I've just got off a call with my coach. During the call we were getting clear on what we want to achieve in the next year but before we did that we reflected on the year just gone. As I went through, reflecting on what had been some of my biggest challenges I realised just how much I had overcome in the last year. I've moved across the country, started a new job and have built up a new friendship group in a city where I only knew two people when I moved here. I've traveled across the country 10 times this year to continue the work I was doing before I left. And I once again completed a firewalk. At times I felt very alone, overwhelmed and exhausted.
A little later on the call we had to reflect on our biggest accomplishments. Yes all those things were challenging. And they were also my greatest accomplishments. I grew in confidence, I really felt outside of my comfort zone for most of the year and there were times when I didn't know how I was going to keep going with a smile on my face. I often wanted to pack up and go back to where I had come from. And now, one year later, I can see all the gifts.
So, as we near the end of the year I would encourage you to do a similar thing. Think about your greatest challenges over the last 12 months. And then think about your greatest accomplishments. You might find, like I did, that the list looks very similar. I felt rather proud looking at the list.
I'm not sure that I could have done it without all my wonderful family, friends (old and new) and of course my coach. I'm really glad I have these people on my team as I move forward in to the new year with a whole list of big, bold goals. I'd love to hear your experiences of what has happened in your last year. Comment and share and let's cheer each other on.
How good are you at 'going with the flow?' I can tell you it's the greatest place to be. I can also tell you it can be scary. It is often unpredictable, frightening and unsettling. Going with the flow is not a guarantee of peace and harmony that many people think it is. It is a place where change can be rapid and what seemed certain is suddenly not.
It is also a place where if you can maintain a curious mind and be open to the new experiences, your life will be far better than you imagined. The human condition is one that seeks security but gets bored with it too. We all at some stage have a craving for more excitement.
You can read more about this in our newsletter that went out to members here.
So be flexible, and look for the blessings and the lessons in everything. Even that which seems difficult is some of our greatest.
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.