Maybe Mrs. Bennet was on to something.
I started today with a wee bit of a tantrum, maybe you can relate?
How do you handle having an off day?
What would it take to turn it around?
What if I could wave a magic wand and poof! All better? Wouldn't that be amazing?
When I ask myself those questions, the "all better" usually doesn't look too different on the outside from where I am at presently.
But on the inside - big difference.
Much of the struggle comes from external pressures to have handled the moment differently.
The judgement that says you should have acted more rationally, more controlled (re, less emotional, or human).
But people ARE chaotic and messy!
It's a beautiful feature that when we embrace how to move through an emotional state to a rational state, we can successfully communicate our needs!
Is there room for you to give yourself permission to be discovering how to handle a moment? To be learning?
Or permission to choose how you are responding - even if it is simply out of habit?
Permission and choice allows us to move through the tough moments smoother and faster!
Emotions are not only allowed, they are necessary.
You can work through and with the intensity to communicate your needs.
When we allow ourselves to be in learning mode, and make room for possible useless paths, we automatically calm down our nerves.
For example, take Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
Why is it fine for Mrs. Bennet to "take to her rooms", but it isn't okay for you to have an off day. (If you haven't read the Jane Austen classic yet, do. Or at least the BBC 6-hour version - it's worth it.)
Well, it was socially acceptable for a woman of her position to have the luxury of indulging in being vexed.
I wonder how she would function today? I bet her Instagram would be well followed.
It was a feature that she embraced. She owned suffering. She indulged in it.
Is there a way that we can build allowance for realness in our daily lives?
Institute a grown-up version of time out, if you will.
Let's set some guidelines:
Time Out Tips to Tame the Tantrum!
If possible, remove yourself from the stressor. "take to your room"
Work overwhelm, kids, housework?
Even sitting in a different part of the house or your desk at a different angle can make a difference!
If necessary, tell others involved that you need a time out, that you need some time to think and regain your calm (rational thinking brain).
This will help them not escalate the situation on their end.
Give yourself permission for 20 minutes.
Pay attention to your heartbeat - it will start to return to a normal rate.
You will know.
Some people suggest deep breathing, but that usually makes me annoyed, so I will suggest mindful breathing.
There is no wrong way to do this, just notice how you are breathing.
Bringing attention to the breath is often enough to settle.
For a short term fix, the above three are often enough to do wonders.
For developing new habits, if overwhelm is a regular state for you, I suggest adding the next steps. Don't read them if you are feeling compromised at the moment, they sounds annoying when angry.
As you relax, bring to mind aspects of the situation or people that you are grateful for.
Not necessarily about the moment, but in general. Hold that feeling for a few minutes. (gosh, minutes are long sometimes)
Think about how else the situation could be viewed. What was behind the words and emotion?
This helps us get in touch with what we were actually trying to stand for or choose.
It connects us with the purpose and intent of the situation.
The overall goal keeps us on track with discovering a new way to move forward.
The most important part of the time out happens after it is done: continued and renewed forgiveness. Acceptance that we are messy and working towards our goals the best we can.
Allowing yourself to be learning helps bring a sense of purpose and calm into the growth process.
Remember, Mrs. Bennet didn't apologize for her vexation.
She moved on to the next moment with fresh authenticity!
I want you to choose to have a time out and allow the peace to return as you work your way forward.
There's always another chance to try again!
So let's keep the conversation going!
Which of these steps do you find most helpful?
What steps would you add to your time out practice?
Leave a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you.
Time to Slay that Imposter!
I want to touch on a fun topic today!
One which often comes hand in hand with perfectionism.
Our sneaky friend Imposter Syndrome! Woo Hoo!!
Most people can relate in some way with that 'plummeting of confidence' feeling of showing up and that self-doubt creeping in.
The fear of being exposed as a fraud.
That "I'm not good/smart/proper/worth enough to be here/doing this presentation/teaching/talking" feeling.
If this sounds like you, you are certainly not alone!
Some of the most high achieving and amazing women I have met occasionally still struggle with this!
Sources say that 70% of people are found to struggle with Imposter Syndrome at some point. (When I did the research in preparation for this post, the references led me on a wild goose chase of broken links, if you would like more details, send me an email!).
Put another way, Imposter Syndrome can be defined as the inability to internalize accomplishments.
So in other words, even if we have accomplished the authority and worth of being included/teaching/leading, we don't allow ourselves to remember our worth.
With that understanding, here are:
3 ways to combat the feeling of fraud!
1. Practice positive mindfulness
Prepare a list of 5 positive points about yourself.
Write that list down (go ahead, I'll wait).
Post it where you can see it.
For example, my list would include: awesome, non-judgmental, fair, direct and open (and super humble).
These traits allow me to do my job with confidence and authority.
Keeping those in mind when I am out of my comfort zone allows me to do my job effectively.
Side reminder: If you need a bit of help, email me to schedule a free 30 minute discovery call. In our coaching sessions, we work together to clarify and highlight your traits.
With this list, practice holding awareness of the positive traits at various neutral points throughout the week.
I suggest posting this list in the bathroom at home and next to your coffee cup in the office.
When you are faced with a presentation or an event where you are asked to step outside your comfort zone, these points will be easily called to mind.
This allows us to move from a sense of empowerment rather than fear!
2. Define your terms
Look at the why behind your fear.
Instead of dismissing the discomfort as fear of being seen as a fraud, take a look at why that is important to you.
That fear is trying to tell you something.
This will allow you to connect with the message you are trying to get across.
The "why" you are showing up and succeeding!
Ask the question, how do I define success?
What is important to me in this moment?
Break it down to tiny chunks and watch the wins flood in!
Once we understand that we have a desire to be understood and have our hard work validated, we can skip the projection of failure and fraud.
3. Practice with intention
Step 2 allows us to access why we are showing up in the first place.
This step, practicing with intention, reminds us to focus on our own growth journey, not just that of those we serve.
When asked to give a presentation, or whatever fills you with fraud, allow for room to explore how that looks.
How are you learning in that moment?
Imposter Syndrome does not serve you. It paralyses you.
These tools will have you saying goodbye to that fraud!
So, let's take some deep breaths, write out awesome list, and remember why we started.
You've got this!
I'm proud of you!
What does "done" look like for you?
Sometimes sitting down to write a blog post feels like a monkey banging on the keys.
Ooo Ooo Oooo. Eeee Eeee Eeeeeee. Smash, crash!
And voila - a blog post.
In starting the creative process, I always begin by typing at random.
I practice writing with intention and radical forgiveness.
I sit down in front of my computer and acknowledge that this feels HUGE.
Content creation is important to me.
Helping people is important to me.
Meeting my readers' needs is important to me.
Every time I sit down to write, I know that resistance will be sitting down in front of me. Every. Time. It's a given.
I like to treat resistance like a pet cat (see image above).
It likes to sit on my keyboard and prevent me from writing.
I say hello, move it aside, and start typing.
Resistance gets bored after a few minutes and leaves me alone.
It knows I am the Queen of Consistency.
I am not here to play.
When I started Life Coach Online, it was out of a desire to show people that they are worthy of space in this world.
That their unique strengths and gifts should be honoured and honed.
And those strengths can be used in creating the life they desire and deserve!
This blog is intended as a way to provide inspiration and motivation to anyone who needs it. To give people the tools to work ease into their lives.
One of the main struggles that plague perfectionists is the paralysis that comes when it is time to hand of a completed task.
It feels like there is too much riding on the outcome, that you could have done better, that it is almost perfect, just a few more tweaks!
That only perfect is worth publishing.
And if you don't produce perfect... you aren't worthy of the job at all.
To that I have a question:
Who decided what perfect looks like?
As high-achievers, we tend to rapidly form a vision based on the information we have been given. A vision of completed excellence!
But who are we actually pleasing?
Our boss? Or friends? Or is it our self?
If it is an outside entity, did they directly tell you what "done" looks like?
What do they value in this situation?
A completed product, or an overwhelmed you?
If it is an overwhelmed you, give me a call, we can sort that out, you are worth more than that!
Will they notice all the small details that you painstakingly combed through?
Or will they spend a few minutes on it and move onto the next project?
Think of it like picture day in school (bear with me).
Think back to either yourself or your kids' school picture days.
Do you remember how much work you put in to caring about how they (or you) looked?
That the nice shirt was ironed (ha!) and hair was clean and combed...?
Do you look at those photos and remember the details, or see the details, or do you see the overall picture of someone you loved?
Do you judge yourself for the wear and tear that may have happened outside your control that day?
I don't remember what I wore in any school photo... or what my kids wore... but I remember that I cared at the time. And that it was IMPORTANT!!!
All the control over all the details!
Just like all those small details that prevent you from pressing send.
From handing in that completed project... because it isn't "done".
So let's redefine done. Redefine perfect.
Perfection can't happen in a vacuum.
It will never be perfect until it is released and fresh eyes can help.
The best school photos are ones where the photographer lends a quick hand in correcting the last minute scuffs that happened once you let go.
So, let that project be.
Let it get to the next stage and trust that you did the "appropriate-ist" that you could (which is your actual best).
Because best is knowing that others will treat the project with importance on their end too.
Moving through media with intention.
There certainly is a lot of heavy in the media this week.
It seems that some people are making some scary choices (and I'm not talking about Game of Thrones).
Social media and the news are full of head-shaking sadness and disappointment. How do we safely move through this sadness when our habit is to turn to social media daily?
Many of us check social media throughout the day as a quick dopamine hit.
We open Facebook or Instagram and our eyes pop up to see if we have been validated in a message or a like. Wheeee belonging!
We browse for "only a few minutes" to scan through the latest posts from our friends to keep us updated.
But what happens when the world takes a turn for the worse and we are bombarded by reminders of stupidity? Reminders that we live in a potentially scary world that is controlled by others' actions...
How do we, as empathetic driven women, navigate the triggers in the media?
We can do that by practicing two of my favourite things: boundaries and intent.
Time to get honest with "why" we are looking at social media.
To choose to view with intent.
If the intent is to turn off our minds for a wee bit, then when there is a negative media flare, social media is not going to help.
We are more likely to be triggered if that is our intent and we continue viewing.
If the intent is to inform, there are more reputable sources that can give us the information we need without the images and the repetition.
If the intent is to help, we can look to certain members of our community who have the power to enact change and contact them.
If the intent is to catch up with friends, then create a list of valued members and only view that list for a time.
When things are heated, it is important to remember what we stand for and that there is a productive way to navigate the changes or a destructive way.
We get to use our strengths to speak for what we want, but need to remember that people are involved.
Critically consider the source.
And set boundaries.
If we are strongly against (or for) the present outcome, then we need to take time to connect with our own views.
To find a way to communicate effectively and with respect.
To set boundaries with others to ensure we are responding from a place of connection rather than reacting from a place of volatility.
It takes time to wade through the feels.
People can't hear the point through the reaction. Especially through text.
Knowing our hearts allows us to set boundaries with others and to look for ways to be helpers, to better support helpers.
I wish that this world was a safer and kinder and more caring space.
Together we can stand up for each others' awesomeness.
What are your most reputable sources?
How do you deal with the media storm?
Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you.
Wishing you a gentle weekend,
Are you Using failure as an excuse?
Last week we talked about forming a new habit.
How did your new habit work out?
Were you able to stick to it?
Did you give up because you forgot one day and why bother continuing because you are just a failure anyways?
You're not alone.
I hear that a lot.
Some of that could be because of our good friend negativity bias.
Some of that could be because, as women who struggle with perfectionism, it is a habit to think all or nothing.
Good at or failed. "Why did I even bother trying? Who was I kidding?"
Well lovelies, let's take an honest look at what happened.
You tried because you wanted to.
You tried because you looked at a goal and thought it looked worth a try.
You tried because you are capable.
You gave it a go one day, and maybe even enjoyed it.
You forgot the next day, or day 3, or whenever.
Does that mean give up? Or that you failed?
Or are you choosing to use that as a reason to give up?
As a "permission excuse" to not bother?
Can you give yourself permission to not have enjoyed it and put it aside?
Can you give yourself permission to not be interested in following through after you tried and did enjoy it?
Can you give yourself permission to have prioritized other activities in place of the new habit?
Our main goal is to move from a place of empowerment.
Living our lives from a place of choice and ownership.
It's awesome if you tried something new and gave it up because you didn't enjoy it!
It's great if you looked at a habit in your life and allowed yourself to choose a new step because it didn't work for you timing!
You have control over how you use your time.
You are not an slave to perfect anymore - that's why you are here!
So, whether you kept your new habit in play or not - I am proud of you for trying. For gaining clarity.
And for taking control of how you use your time.
One Little trick to magically improve your life!
I have a question for y'all today:
What habit would you most love to magically acquire?
By habit, I mean "a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up." (thanks Oxford!)
I don't mean the garment worn by members of certain religious orders (although, in case you are ever in need, visit here to order).
I should also explain that acquiring a habit is a different question from what would you change about yourself. That can be a topic for another day.
Habits aren't related to innate ability. They are most definitely learned.
A set of actions that has become so ingrained, it is almost automatic.
Habits are handy ways our brains can automate positive action, and darn stubborn ways it can automate negative ones.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would grant myself a daily meditation practice.
I have had a meditation practice at various times in my life, and it was wonderful in connecting me to a sense of calm and purpose.
The habit shifted as I grew and dropped off somewhere between going to university and starting a family.
I have moments of mindfulness worked into my days now, but not a dedicated sitting practice.
Maybe I'll start tonight!
Based on how uncomfortable that above statement was to write, I can tell starting a meditation practice takes me to the edges of my comfort zone and would likely be amazing for personal growth.
So does that discomfort mean that now is not the time, or that I am on to something important?
One way to find out is through engagement.
If you have been reading these posts, you will know I am a fan of the timer.
I will set a timer for a comfortable amount of time in starting to acquire a habit - maybe two minutes to start.
If that turns out to be too long to start with, I can always shorten it.
But I won't know unless I try.
Alright lovelies - today's that day!
I will enter into this renewed endeavor and see if it brings me joy and positivity. If it empowers me.
If it could be something that potentially serves.
If I engage and it feels heavy, or negative, or dis-empowering, I give myself permission to stop.
Kindness in action.
Currently, the most helpful habit that I have built into my life is my gratitude journal.
At the end of the day, I write three line in a journal, simple point form of what I did that day and what I am grateful for.
I include handy little symbols in the margin to track pain or illness or cycles, etc.
The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
I started this back in June 2015 and suddenly I have almost 4 years of data!!!
It's amazing what trends you can see if you have the evidence.
Even in a small amount of time, habits can be profoundly transformational.
One small step can snowball into greater awareness and greater ownership. Who doesn't like feeling in control?
A few examples to get your habit started:
Wellness - gratitude and attention to the present moment.
Nutrition - how 'bout those greens?
Spirituality - mindfulness and meditation.
Organization - dedicated spot for papers?
Fun - scheduled weekly friend time.
Career - devote time to one action item that moves your business forward.
Creativity - review artistic work that inspires you.
Learning - sites like Duolingo are magnificent for languages.
So, what habit would you most love?
Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!
Wishing you a fabulous weekend,
A window into happiness
Let's talk about happiness!
At Life Coach Online, we are a big fan of strength.
There are many different profiling surveys around for personality and character: Myers-Briggs, CliftonStrengths, Enneagram, Hogwarts Sorting Hat, for example.
Important note, I am totally a Hufflepuff.
Whenever I come across a new-to-me survey, I like to see if it fits with how I experience my life. How I can use that potential information to better advocate for myself and my purpose.
This week, I came upon the VIA Institute on Character.
Their research suggests that there are 24 unique characteristics that impact happiness, including our development of resilience and positive relationships!
The extended definitions are available on their site, but here is a list of the basic 6 categories:
• Wisdom and Knowledge: Creativity, Curiosity, Judgment, Love of Learning, Perspective
• Courage: Bravery, Honesty, Perseverance, Zest
• Humanity: Kindness, Love, Social Intelligence
• Justice: Fairness, Leadership, Teamwork,
• Temperance: Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence, Self-Regulation
• Transcendence: Appreciation of Beauty, Gratitude, Hope, Humour, Spirituality
The test takes about 15 minutes and ranks the strengths from 1 to 24.
I found the test a bit vague in points and it was easy to read the questions in a number of ways, but it was fun to see how they ranked my strengths.
My number 1 trait: appreciation of beauty and excellence.
My number 24 trait: humility.
Pretty accurate on the end points I think.
The thing is, everyone has all 24 traits.
Just because a character trait receives a lower ranking, doesn't mean it isn't accessible. Or that it is a weakness. It just means it isn't as easily brought to the fore-front. You can still access it.
Someone who ranks a 1 on humility and a 24 on beauty might view me as a pompous flake.
Does that mean it is true?
It means that we can all be mindful of our character differences and allow for space in the interactions.
When we meet others with similar characteristics, we feel more at ease and relaxed.
When we interact with opposite rankings, it is trickier.
Why I like learning about these traits, is that it removes the "failure" aspect from the interactions. It isn't that I chose to be a pompous flake, it's a feature!
If I just worked harder, or was less of X, then they would like me... or it is my fault that blah blah blah...
Nope. Not your fault. Just a different and still-equally-valid feature.
It is when we learn to balance our strengths and how we use them in our lives that we create effective and efficient space for everyone.
When we learn to use our strengths in the right way and amount, we can create happier and more balanced lives.
Let me know how you did!
Or more importantly, which Hogwarts House are you?
Have a fun week!
Survey the garden of your life.
Wishing you a glorious May!
Isn't there is something so deliciously wonderful about Spring. The newness, the hope, the earth bringing forth potential abundance!
The season reminds us to plant the seeds that will lead to the desired harvest.
A gentle reminder that action is called for to bring forth fruit.
If you want to harvest a particular crop, you need to identify the seeds and plant them in the conditions conducive to their growth.
Survey the garden of your life.
When we look at our lives as a gardening metaphor, it becomes less personal to do the work. Here are a few questions to get you started!
1. Is there a crop that you no longer enjoy?
Dig that up, look to the roots, and pull that sucker out.
If that is too painful, modify the conditions that it grows in that will support a different plant to thrive in its place.
Or plant a helper weed nearby.
You were done with kale anyways.
2. Are some areas affected by a fungus?
This might not be a result of choice. Or a plant you transplanted in was infected.
Again, it's okay to root this out. Careful not to spread the spores!
Gentleness. You might have to let this area lie dormant for a bit until the soil recovers.
Remember to check on the soil occasionally to see how it is doing!
3. Is there a desired harvest you have in mind?
Plant those seeds!
Tend to the conditions to bring forth abundance!
Wait and be patient. (super easy, right?!)
Trust the growing process and season. It will come!
You've got this!
Your garden is glorious and the conditions this year will bring will bear fruit.
Plant those seeds and thrive!