How to reconnect in a broken world when everything seems useless.
This summer has had some rough patches for many of us it seems.
What do we do when our efforts seem to lead us to failure?
This post is intended to bring a bit of grace into the process.
Strengths acknowledged. check.
Expectations laid out. check.
Clearly communicated boundaries and guidelines. check.
Protocols written and timers set and needs met. check.
Set up everything you could control for? check.
Frustration and anger.
I laid out the path.
I did the things.
I followed the protocol.
I controlled for every aspect that I could.
If you are anything like me, at this point you turn into a fire breathing dragon and destroy villages.
Cue rage and futility.
And fight with entitlement.
Let's unpack that a bit.
Setting up and making known my expectations and then those expectations not being met is mind-boggling.
But is it entitlement.
Process and set up and hope doesn't entitle me to get the desired outcome.
A "failed outcome" isn't a blow to the ego, but it helps pave the way towards clarity on how to get there.
Sometimes that clarity shows that the set up didn't work.
Sometimes it is that the "controlling factors" actually didn't mean as much as I thought they did.
Sometimes it is just me that stands in my own way.
When it feels futile: What's the point?
The "why bother" moment.
We can work through this moment by reflecting on our own values and the intentions.
You likely didn't bother because you were a failure. You bothered because you cared.
Find a comfortable position.
However you learn best, explore the reasons you set out to do things.
Love? Safety? Belonging?
Those core values aren't letting you down. The attempted process did.
It is time to release our hold on the process.
Take time to reset our being and hammer out a new way forward.
This is tricky and takes practice and sacrifice.
Sacrifice of the comfort zone.
Sacrifice of the habits and routines that once worked for you.
To venture out with fresh eyes and trust that the process will pay off eventually.
In calling out your own greatness, it can also make others uncomfortable.
It can seem to them that you are judging them.
But quite the opposite is happening - you are holding yourself to a new standard.
They can create their own.
So what drives you?
When you sit in the quiet moments, how do you want to grow?
How can we move from a place of connection if we keep judging our attempts?
I wish you kindness and grace in all your attempts,
Bring on the Awesomeness!
I wish you all the best wishes for today is my birthday!!!
I like to celebrate different years by turning a page.
Closing a chapter of the previous year with a beautiful summary and with foreshadowing with what to expect.
Bring on the journal!
And although life is unpredictable, I am resilient and capable of growth.
I am awesome.
And so are you.
Check in with yourself.
Remember that you are the true and only expert in who you are and are the one responsible for who you are becoming.
We all navigate through pressures and challenges of this world.
And we all are surrounded by the opinions and views of others as we bump into them.
But where is their place? What focus and energy is necessary to give to others views of us?
Using what others think of us, or using our story of what they think of us, is important.
It is important to look at the facts and ask "What do I know for sure?"
For example, what I know for sure is:
I am capable
I am kind
I am fierce
I am growing
I am loving
What others may see:
I am too much
I am arrogant
I am improper
Well lovelies, which view should I spend my energy on?
I can't control how other people experience me, but I can focus my heart and focus on using my strengths (confidence and direct communication) to call for love and acceptance of where people are on their growth journey.
I could also fret and worry about changing aspects of me that are life-long and given (my energy and heart) to try to make other people feel better about me or to like me.
I choose not to do that because if someone wants me to change, they will take the time to look at the heart in the matter. They will allow for growth and development and be able to work with, instead of judge against.
Our personal investors are the ones we need to care about.
The rest is just noise and nonsense.
So what to do about it?
Here is a quick trick to uncover your own awesomeness!
Take a deep breath and focus your attention on your being.
Write down as many adjectives as you can that describe you - positive or negative.
Once that list is created, reset your focus.
Focus on your heart.
Ask it to guide you to what is true.
Look at the list.
Highlight, circle or underline any adjective that resonates with the actual you.
The real you.
Not the noise from others. The you in your heart.
Welcome to your awesomeness.
You are a unique blend of qualities that the world needs.
The world doesn't need another them. Another other.
It needs a you.
As you move through the coming weeks, think of this list.
The list of awesome. The list of you.
If someone accuses you or pulls you off brand, remind yourself that you are growing.
This list is a work in progress and you are an enjoyable process.
So, here's to awesomeness! Here's to you!
P.S. For my birthday, I would love it if you were to like us on Facebook and share with your friends!
You never know who could use a little more love!
What's your excuse?
My brain still thinks we are somewhere in June rather than being almost August!
When I take a moment to sit and think, my mind starts racing.
"How did we get here? Where did the time go? What are we going to do?!"
Basically, part of my brain really likes control. I bet you can relate.
But so what dear brain. The fact is that you can't control time.
Time will pass at the same rate as always (more or less).
Moments like this are probably is the only time taking a deep breath is helpful for me.
In reconnecting with my present breath, I remind myself that I have the skills to make this (what ever this happens to be in the moment) successful.
Fun example... I meant to publish this post a few weeks ago, but life got in the way - so here is the follow up to the last post, in which we talked about a different approach to change.
That in calling it by another name, can we calm our bodies into accepting new terms.
Instead of feeling bad or overwhelmed that I didn't post this on time (because reality), I am going to feel proud that I am committed to working on this blog to provide value and inspiration to you lovelies. And celebrate that I DID post it eventually, even if time got int he way.
Because you matter and the voice inside my head is sometimes inaccurate.
Today, we dive into choice.
Specifically about the consequences of choice.
Who doesn't love consequences? Oh wait, everyone.
No one loves consequences, yet they are a given part of reality.
Most of us can make a decision, but what about taking the time to ask what happens if we don't choose?
Sometimes it is tempting to think if we ignore a decision, it will just go away right?
It doesn't often work like that.
Some people try to play it safe and opt our of choosing, but it isn't a safe way out of forming your story.
Your given life pieces are unique and you don't owe anyone else their tale.
Your chosen pieces can transform your life to look like how you want to live.
Are you using absence of choice as an excuse to stay in your comfort zone?
So today, we look at a way to remove some of the surprise factor from our choices by asking the question:
What if I didn't do X?
In taking a few moments to really dive into the absence of choice.
Using being static as an excuse that is holding us back.
When we make a decision, we often think through the consequences of the choice we are making.
Every choice has consequences.
But what about the consequences of NOT choosing?
The absence of choice has consequences.
Here at Life Coach Online we practice radical accountability and not choosing is no longer an option.
You can choose no, or yes.
Or choose to back-burner an issue for a time (like this blog post being on time).
But using absence of choice as an excuse is not an option.
Or at least, not an option that will lead to growth and the life you deserve.
You are in control of your life.
Do you want to write that book, but every time you think about it, you feel bad about not writing it?
Well, what are you doing to move that forward?
Why waste time feeling bad about your choice to not sit and write a few words?
If fact, I challenge you to start with a paragraph. (email me if you want feedback!)
Are you like me and sometimes mourn the fact that you can't draw?
But have you taken the time to practice? (my answer is no, not really)
Literally the only reason that other people can draw and you can't is practice. (hello back burner)
Maybe they had a head start and were given some talent, but drawing is a skill.
There are people without hands that can draw.
There are people without hand and feet that can draw!
They are using their given instead of fighting their given.
The reality is, I don't want to put the work into practicing, so I won't learn to draw.
That's the consequence of my choice.
But also the consequence of my not choosing if I used my life as an excuse to why I haven't practiced.
Here is a quick exercise if you want to see where you are holding yourself back.
Let's not focus on what we aren't doing, but on what we can do!
On what we CHOOSE to do.
Let's focus up!
Grab a pen and paper. (Actually do this. I'll wait.)
Write down any and all given realities that impact your life at the moment.
Job change? Family? Location?
The point is to note the circumstances with which you have to work - not to change their presence.
Now, go through and circle the givens that affect you today.
These are the circumstances that we can't change, or have little control over.
So instead of using them as an excuse, is there a way we can choose to work within the reality?
Hard truth time.
Are you using any of these as part of your current story as to why you can't do what you want to do?
Some of the given will be limiting. That's okay. It is part of your story.
Here is where intention is important.
Acknowledging the given realities is important.
Using them as an excuse to prevent you from showing up is doing yourself a disservice.
Please note that I am not talking about trauma here.
If you have given trauma, I trust you are using the appropriate supports to help with that.
I am sorry that happened and wish you gentleness in the healing process.
This exercise is meant to start the conversation about given vs. limiting circumstances.
About creating and taking steps in trying to find a way to transform how you operate within your reality.
Remember love, you are not defined by your givens.
They are just pieces that are a part of your life.
What you do with your chosen parts are important.
So what are you doing to propel yourself towards your goal?
What action steps are you going to take today to get the life you want?
Go get it!
Trick your brain into welcoming growth.
Today's blog is responding to a question that was submitted from a reader.
Bear with, this post is a wee bit rambly in places, but it resolves nicely at the end.
The question went something like this:
Dear Life Coach Online,
I have an idea and I want to get it done, but I am too scared to try because I might fail.
What should I do?
Sincerely, Lovely Reader.
Well dear reader, I know that many of us have been there.
Most of us at some point have had an idea that we wanted to accomplish and loved, but then didn't try because we were afraid to fail?
Too afraid to do something that we would really like to do.
Because it feels important. And special.
Most cases, it is that little voice in the head.
The one that criticizes us at annoying times.
Common thoughts that hold us back are:
I'm not good enough.
I could never do that.
I'm good enough right now, why take the risk.
I'm foolish to think I could do that.
Who do I think I am.
Well dear reader... that brings me to the question, who DO you think you are?
As we develop this awareness, we develop the freedom from failure.
Throughout this life, we go through many experiences - both wanted and unwanted.
Chosen and given.
Getting in touch with these parts of our self identity can bring light and understanding to how our inner critic got its voice.
It might seem like a lot, but I want to invite you to try something with me.
Let's challenge the inner critic a little and see where that takes us today.
Imagine your best self.
The one that thrives when conditions are perfect.
When we identify as that being, and really get down to it, do we feel like we have changed that much at all throughout our life?
Chances are, your inner awareness has stayed the same.
The YOU-ness of you is outside your body and when we connect with our true self, we feel powerful and meaningful.
Over time, what changes is our resilience and our awareness of self.
When we experience connection and love at our being level, we begin to thrive!
As we grow and bump into the boundaries of others, we develop reaction patterns that may or may not serve us.
This brings us to the concept of change.
Personally, I like to define change as the process of becoming.
Freedom to adjust and expand and change.
Change can be a scary word for some people.
It can trigger feelings of inadequacy and failure.
That is not the point here. Here we strive for kindness.
Synonyms for change include:
Which ones of these words sits easier?
Change feels BIG but development feels appropriate depending on the situation.
Want to make a lifestyle change - sometimes people react negatively to that language and ask "Well, what was wrong with me in the first place?"
Even admitting that change is desired somehow devalues the current being and the hard work you did to get there.
How to make change gentle - call it by another name.
There is more inherent permission to say that I am developing rather than I am changing.
It implies choice in the areas of growth.
You story can be what you make it.
Sure, there are given pieces of that story, but how do we use those givens to connect and build bridges between others in our lives.
Or do we use those givens as an excuse to hold ourselves back, to limit what we are capable of choosing?
Over the next few posts, we will talk more about change.
And on ways to embrace the potential rather than run from it.
We aim for choice and permission.
So dear reader, what happens when you apply the kinder word to the inner critic?
Does that free up some of the creative energy and allow you to start your task?
I look forward to continuing the conversation!
You've got this! I'm proud of you for reaching out.
For my lovely other readers, please know that my inbox is always open for ideas and questions.
Like our Facebook page for more tips and inspiration throughout the week!
Wishing you a beautiful day,
Dive into this exercise and find out!
I'm curious, are your expectations setting you up for success?
Sure! You think. I'm all for success!
Of course I know what I want.
But how many of us have taken the time to intentionally define what that looks like?
How do you know when you reach your goal?
When those expectations are met?
When we feel scattered and messy, it is often because we aren't clear on where to put our energy.
Different areas of our life compete for different resources.
Internal focus and energy that keep us moving towards our ultimate goals.
Last week, we looked at tasks in life we didn't want to do.
We gave ourselves permission to shut down the potential energy going towards those possibilities to reclaim focus on those that do matter.
But how do we start in identifying what does matter?
Our brains are marvelous organs.
They allow us to process the information we receive from the world around us.
But the rest of our body can inform us too.
Intuition and "go with your gut" are common themes when we are faced with danger, but how many of us tune into them when we are safe? Or simply curious?
It can feel a little tricky when you start, because we are mainly used to signaling danger, but then, as we get used to the quiet voice,it doesn't have to yell as loud.
To begin, I want you to grab some paper and your favourite pen (or is that just me?)
Begin on the bottom of the page and start writing right to left.
Write down all the projects, or items, or tasks that are important to you, or present for you.
No editing or worrying about spelling or script here. This is a judgement free zone.
Now, take a look at this list.
How does it make you feel?
Where in your body do you feel that reaction?
A punch in the gut failure?
A fluttery heart appreciation of pride?
A headache of overwhelm?
Many of us here are fun type-A personalities, so grab your favourite highlighters, and colour code each item as the different feelings.
Now that we have a record of the swirling brain items, we often feel a sense of calm and validation at why we were kinda cranky in the first place.
Take a look at the items that are coded for pride.
Look back at those when you are feeling stressed and know that the awesome is possible.
And now let's tackle the failure and overwhelm. The ones you coded as gut punches and headaches.
Our goal isn't to dive into the "why" of the stress, it is to dive into the "what now".
Take a look at the top three stressors.
Do you notice anything similar about them?
If they trigger a sense of failure, an important question to ask is how do we know we are achieving that?
What does failure look like?
I want you to shift into your heart for a minute. Let's move away from our brain and thinking.
I want you to imagine that I am the one having trouble with these tasks.
That I set out to do them with the chosen expectations.
How would you react to me if I told you that I was struggling a wee bit?
Would you yell at me for being a failure?
Would you tell me to quit, or why bother even trying?
Or would you help me break the task down into smaller chunks and celebrate the process.
To reevaluate the expectations given the current reality.
To allow for me to learn and grow through this process.
It's okay if you chose the yelling. I'm good with confrontation.
Now that you've yelled at me, let's go on to breaking those tasks down into 3 smaller pieces and assign a start date.
When we take a moment to reengage with our tasks from a heart-centered lens, we can embrace the permission to learn and grow as we navigate this life.
Wishing you a heart-felt connected week.
Celebrate Summer with me!
Happy Solstice Lovelies!
Welcome to Summer!
Here, for us folks that live in the Northern hemisphere, we arrive at that beautiful point in the year where we get to celebrate the light and prepare to welcome the coming darkness as days get shorter.
Gosh, I love celebrating.
It is a reminder to enter into the present and to connect again with reality as we move through life.
A process that I love to do at this time of year involves gratitude and appreciation for the things in life that we don't do. To free myself of the extraneous expectations that gather and collect at times.
I use the summer solstice to remind myself of the coming darkness and its place in the seasons of life.
I like to spend some time reflecting on an important topic: freedom of choice.
To take a quick intentional look at the "shoulds" in life that I choose NOT to do.
This exercise that can free up our summer and get clarity on what we want to do by highlighting the paths in life that we are closed to.
We can put down the weight of those expectations and move some potential to the back burner of our subconscious.
This frees us to celebrate to awesomeness of now!
Grab a pen and some recycled paper - using discarded paper is a nice symbol here.
Don't think. Just start writing.
Any topic that comes to mind that no longer interests you. That no longer serves you.
I give you permission to write it down.
You aren't committing to throwing it out of your life forever, or never picking it up again, you are just listing possibilities and potentials that no longer serve you.
I challenge you to see if you can write 20 items.
If 20 is easy, try 50! I dare you to get to 100.
There is no right or wrong number here. Just permission to write.
There is no way to fail at this exercise - 2 items? awesome! One item - let it go!
Put the pen down, close your eyes and take a breath in - bask in the glow and warmth of the longest day of the year in gratitude for not having to carry these items forward into the coming darkness.
We can use this time to find joy in what we do choose to do.
Doesn't that brain dump feel nice?
Now, take that piece of paper and return it to the recycling.
You don't need to keep it.
You've let the expectations go and freed up your energy for choice and service.
The point is not to "dive into the why" or look at a how. It is to list and thank and breathe.
What are your favourite ways to celebrate the seasons?
Keep the conversation going and leave a comment below!
Go and enjoy this beautiful summer -- May it be filled with light and laughter!
P.S. My favourite season is Autumn. I am so excited to move through Summer with you and into the hygge deliciousness of fall 💖
The Sad Truth About Autopilot.
Within the life coaching sphere, a word you hear thrown around a lot is "fulfillment".
It sounds a bit more relatable than "abundance" or "mindset" or "flow".
But what does it really mean?
And more importantly, why does it matter?
Fulfillment is defined as:
1. the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted.
2. the meeting of a requirement or condition.
Most people, when they think of fulfillment tend to understand it as the first part of the first definition: getting something they desire.
But it is more than that.
While it is nice to have what we desire in life, it is also important to note that the second part of the definition also applies.
Requirement or conditions met.
It is one thing to say that I desire a retreat spa-style life, but what steps am I taking to achieve that?
What are the requirements to having that life and that calm that are necessary for fulfillment of that reality?
Many of us operate from an auto-pilot space.
That's okay, if we have designed our autopilot to navigate the mountainous terrain that is our life.
But how often do we ask ourselves, is our autopilot creating fulfillment or sabotaging our success?
What does it feel like when we step out of our comfort zone and seek out the requirements and conditions?
How do we harness that energy and celebrate the present moment rather than worrying about how the future pieces come into play.
Take a moment to check in with yourself.
Set a timer for 5 minutes.
Listening to how your gut feels. Try not to decipher what it means, just notice.
Give yourself permission to adjust autopilot if necessary - you'll know how!
Trust your gut!
Onward to a fulfilled week!
Be kind to your being and own your energy.
How is everyone feeling today?
I'm crawling back out of my cave after a beautiful weekend filled with song. I sing in a lovely women's choir and we had two performances this weekend.
I love performing. When I was a child, I wanted to be an actress.
I adore being on stage and giving it my all.
Today, I am crawling back out of my cave because although I adore being present and creative - I am an introvert. I require space and time to process through the people and regain my energy.
Maybe you can relate?
Every person has their own energy to them, and requires different amounts of energy to be around. When that energy is expected, we're great!
When there are personality differences, or unexpected occurrences, or simply a large amount of bodies, it can be overwhelming and deplete my energy tank.
Do you ever come home from spending time with many people and feel unsure of how to enter back into the energy of the quiet being?
Jumbled thoughts of "Why am I feeling this way? I had a fun time? Why am I unsettled? Did I misrepresent myself?". Expending energy can leave us all feeling that way - introvert or extrovert!
I have a process that I go through to unpack that unsettled feeling.
When I get home, I run a mental scan of my checks and balances to make sure my needs, and the needs of those around me are being met.
Imagine a bar of light travelling down from the top of your head down through to the soles of your feet. As the bar travels, take note of any unsettled pieces and bring them light and space.
Imagine them being filled with calm intention and acceptance and love.
Take your time. With practice, this get smoother and faster.
Sometimes this can take a little while to complete to find the "threats" - the bumps and bruises we acquire in interacting with different personalities.
Writing down the "threats" as they arise helps identify their real purpose (because it isn't just to make you feel uppity). Usually, it isn't a specific detail that is causing the discomfort.
Often, it is simply signalling a need for space and regeneration.
Scan and identify.
And then let go.
Letting go is key. It brings space for the energy to return.
I do this by bringing gratitude for the learning that can take place.
And for the process of becoming.
My introverted being isn't trying to keep me away from people, or from having fun.
Quite the opposite.
Acknowledging my energy tank needs allows me to enter into activities with an awareness of boundaries that can increase my enjoyment.
For my extroverted readers, the same technique can be used to scan and see where you need to bring awareness to in the search for people to meet your energy needs.
How do you care for your energetic being?
Please leave a comment to help the other extroverted readers! Sharing is caring!
So this week, instead of apologizing for your energy needs, try to bring mindfulness and do a few scans to see if being unsettled stems from a need for energy balance. Bring attention to the energy demand and let the strain of being different go! 💕
May your week be filled with kindness.
Here's to becoming!
Experiments in challenging perspective!
I'm curious, do you identify as a creature of habit?
Or do you tend to switch things up and go with the flow?
Often, we high achievers find a way that works for us and tend to stick to it, no?
Human beings are comfortable with routine and expected behaviour.
This helps systems move smoothly and efficiently.
Socially, when someone acts as expected, we feel kindly towards that person.
When they behave unexpectedly, we feel at odds.
Practically, we come up with routines that become second nature and we continue with them because they work - how you brush your teeth, how you shower, make your coffee, get dressed.
We don't give it much thought now do we?
To say I am a huge fan of routine is a massive understatement.
I THRIVE on routine. It makes me feel at ease.
But the flip side, is that when the unexpected does occur, I struggle to integrate quickly.
Maybe you can relate.
Last week, I wrote about trying a different viewpoint at work or home and it got me thinking, "What am I doing that has outgrown its purpose?"
So this past week, I have been experimenting with switching things up.
I don't know about you, but I like sleep.
I love that cozy snuggled in feeling that happens on those occasions when you wake up without obligations (remember those teenage years?).
Normally, I wake up when my alarm goes off and press snooze for a glorious amount of time.
I find I can come up with some pretty crazy dreams in that almost asleep state.
I choose to set my alarm 15 minutes early and enjoy stress-free snooze.
But in reality, it is not very productive, because if (when) I get lulled into an extra snooze (which is often), I end up rushing around stressed to make it out the door on time.
Being rushed and that anxiety undoes the deliciousness of the extra lie-in.
I was processing this stress the other day and asked myself, "Is this really working for me?"
I knew the answer. But I really didn't want to give up my snooze. But I needed to test it out.
If I got up an hour earlier, I could accomplish the extra snooze, and even throw in some improvements to my self-care routine.
So I did.
I switched up my normal routine and set my alarm for an hour earlier.
I also gave myself permission to go back to sleep if I discovered it was too painful.
A few neat observations happened.
Remember, I am a creature of habit. The first challenge was to listen to my body.
The second was to purposely keep this time as routine-free as possible.
Each day has elements to choose from, but they are all optional, and all are choice.
I get to show up and ask, "What do I feel like?".
Yoga, morning pages, extra cup of tea, reading. Anything that catches my fancy is fair game.
And it is by choice. Operating solely from a free and allowed space.
Guys. It has been fabulous and challenging. And empowering.
My body isn't sure what to make of it, but I have discovered I am a nicer human if I have some more time to wake up slowly, and if I do some morning stretches.
I am determined to take this as a by-choice only and not to turn it into a must-do routine.
That's the challenge for me. Learning balance.
Do you have time in your day that isn't rule bound? That is free from "shoulds"?
I am not suggesting you wake up earlier, that's just what I tried.
How would you use that carved out time?
At Life Coach Online, part of the process we look at is creating micro-habits that help us shift into our desired life. Small steps that work for you and with your strengths.
In the 8 week program, we move from current assessment to strength clarity and then to creating a way forward that works with those strengths.
Here is a quick exercise to try.
Over the next two days, pay attention to how you function.
Not for judgment, or to change anything, just for observation purposes only.
Notice how much of it is on autopilot?
Is there room to change up the unimportant?
It's amazing how tricky it is to brush your teeth with the opposite hand or to dry off from the shower in a different pattern.
I'm not suggesting you change it up forever. Just to see for a bit. Play with it.
This exercise to show how we have mastered possibly difficult tasks and turned them into automatic tasks over time.
It was difficult for you to learn them in the first place too!
What habits would you like to start creating?
Is there something that you have always wanted to achieve but were too stuck to try?
When we question how we do something, and look at it from another point of view, we can choose our actions (current or new) with greater awareness and really own our lives!
Remember to sign up for the mailing list for more tips and tricks for motivation and inspiration!
Our emails are sent out every Tuesday!
And thank you for those who sign up and have responded - I love our conversations!
Wishing you a marvelous week,
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,