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Are You a Victim or a Creator?

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live your best life

By Sophie Fuzi, Holistic Life Coach

There are two significant mindsets that we build our worldview on: We are either The Victim or The Creator

Since childhood, my passion was to have self-awareness and how life shaped me and also to talk to people from all walks of life to learn about their thoughts, motivations, desires, and fears so that I could see how experiences changed them.  The more people I talked to and the more I learned about them, it became evident that the main difference between someone who turns their dreams into reality and people who are stuck with their life is their attitude.   How people interpret the events of their life becomes their beliefs, and their beliefs are what determine if they will live their dreams or not. 

How do victims see the world?

how to overcome victim mentalitly

The Victims believe that they are the sufferer of their circumstances and do not have the power to bring about a change in their world. When it comes to their problems,  they blame politicians, family, country, the media, or anything outside of them.   They are unhappy with their lives, but it is someone or something else’s fault.  The truth is they are happy to feed on others’ attention as they complain, and they feel comfortable to stick to this stage.  Blaming others is easy and requires no effort.

How do creators see the world?

law of creation

 The Creators, on the other hand, understand that, to a large degree, they are in control of their lives.  They don’t blame others for their shortcomings or wallow in self-pity when things don’t go their way.  They   analyse and observe their difficulties from all angles and are willing to change their perspective and behaviours  to get closer to success.

 The Creators don’t get stuck by taking everything personally,  they can detach themselves from the level of ego and, through their continuous observations grow their understanding of the connectedness of life on a deeper level with their experience. 

Why is perspective so important?

 The reason why I place this as the most important lesson that I have learned in life is that: The quality of our lives depends on which of these two positions we take most.

Victims often find themselves in a pattern where every day feels the same, and life seems to be passing them by.   Time goes by, and they feel like nothing has been accomplished or achieved.  They have excuse after excuse but not one legitimate reason.   

On the other hand,  the Creators choose to be proactive.  They learn to take the lead of their life and “sail their own boat” in the direction they want to explore.    Therefore they are full of experiences that fulfill their desires at that moment in time.

How can you become a creator in your life

What is the key element to step into the Creator mindset? To mature and take responsibility for one’s decisions and the consequences that come with them. It is not always easy to take responsibility but that is the difference between the victim and the creator. 

Believe that your life is created by the decisions you make.

Sometimes the smallest choice that we pick out of the many creates the biggest effect on our life: For no reason, you decide to take a different route to work, which creates a whole different path for the day.  If you took your normal road, you could have been a fatal accident, but since you didn’t, you arrive safely.

Many people talk about listening to their intuition, and it somehow saved their life or created for some amazing circumstances which never would have happened otherwise. The opposite can also happen when a  seemingly small choice leads to misfortune.

These types of choices are not the ones we actively have control of.  They are a matter of the ‘laws of nature’ or fate.  

Our habits, the decisions we make every day are the ones that shape our reality.  When we continuously eat more calories than we use up, it is almost sure that we will gain weight over time. If we put effort into learning something new, this skill will evolve and grow over time. If we drive recklessly, we have an increased chance of getting into legal troubles,  having an accident, killing someone else, or dying ourselves.  

Regardless of what we choose in our daily life, we shape our world. Each decision adds to our future, whether it’s going to blossom with new opportunities or feeling beat up by life, becoming tired and moody.

So how do you know how to make tough decisions?

  • Use your common sense!

There are so many outcomes that you can predict if you look at your choices by adding your common sense to it! We dislike using that part of our sensibility because many times, it goes against our desires, and we ‘want to control an outcome’ so we overlook logic and reason and focus on emotion.

  • You can’t fill an inner void with outer things.

The ego runs in a continuous loop that keeps telling us we need things (outside of us) to finally become happy/successful/content/etc… but it never seems to last very long. So we keep creating cycles when we run after stuff/goals to achieve to make ourselves feel good within ourselves because we aren’t present with ourselves and grateful at this present moment. When it is the case, we can never succeed the way we want to because the only thing how we can fill our internal void is to turn to ourselves.

  • Use your intuition!

Trust yourself.  When you have an intense sensation within you about what you should choose to do it is usually in alignment with the deepest parts of you.  This will create positive changes in your life in the long term. Sometimes what we sense on this level seems illogical but somehow, these deep internal suggestions connect us with those events we wish to experience.  

  • Understand what you want and why you want it!

Sounds very obvious, and still, many of us can only articulate what we do not wish to have and experience in our world. Only when we know what we want and what it means to us, we can choose the choices that take us closer to get there.

No wind supports a sailor who doesn’t know where he wants to go or only knows where he does not want to end up.

It is not what you find in life, but what you make out of it what matters!

I have heard once that the best chef is one who can make a tasty dish out of the ingredients he finds at home. I agree, and I love to apply this method in my world. We like to believe what we have is not enough to create something amazing, so we keep looking outside. But the thing is that all of us already have enough to create something extraordinary! I believe that bringing the best out of what we already have is the attitude that can serve us best in the world to keep ourselves not only grateful but also inventive and open-minded when it is about new elements that come to our world.

It is easy to get lost in the options that are in front of us if we have no idea what are the things that really “float your boat” or what “crumbles your cookies.”  We all have heard stories about lottery winners who found themselves miserable, or talented people who wasted their life getting sucked into addictions, or people who have incredible luck and opportunity but were too damn afraid to take it.  

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, on things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like”  Will Rogers

 

Because no amount of money can help a person to become truly happy if they can’t connect with others, or have low self-esteem, or no real sense of purpose to live an authentic life.  For this person, money is only lending them an illusion that is attractive to others, but it is a temporary fix to a deeper, permanent problem.

Money can be wonderful; the difference is that a truly happy person does not connect their self-worth or their deep fulfillment to the money or material things.  A balanced person relies on his personal skills and capacities as a priority to create their life and can creatively make use of the elements that are in his surroundings. They do not get scared if he needs a doorstop but doesn’t have one; instead, they look around and find something that will serve the purpose and continues the project.

In short, when we know what we are doing and why we are doing it, the world provides us an easy way to fulfill our desires. All we need to do is to open our senses and notice them!

 ‘How  can you be fully in peace with who you are at this moment in time?’

There is no better question to ask when turning from victim to creator. 

learn the art of self love

It all boils down to self-acceptance.   This isn’t the kind of self-acceptance you proclaim to your therapist when they ask you, ‘Do you love yourself?’.  In which case, of course, you say ‘Yes!’.

By true self-acceptance, I mean when your heart is fully involved, and you have no lumps and bumps regarding this question on the level of feelings and sensation.

Self-love is not a face-mask with a never-ending smile or a continuous can-do attitude.

 It is the deep and peaceful inhalation and exhalation about our existence. 

It is having an awareness of our strengths and weaknesses with knowing that everything is as it should be here and now while experiencing inner-peace.

                The real self-acceptance is very difficult because

  1. We were conditioned to believe that we must act in specific ways to have the acceptance/love/care of others.
  2. We continuously compare ourselves to the standards set by the world, forgetting that we see only the best of others and compare it to the worst of ourselves.

Read: Looking at Life Through a Lens of Self-Love

The person who embraces themselves ignores the opinions of the world and listens and acts to their inner voice. They are aware there may be negativity, but they do not let that negativity determine their dreams and desires. They do not act according to other’s standards or view themselves through other’s lenses.  Their state of being comes from their heart over their head, and they feel connected to their core and authentic being.  

How does low self-acceptance influence your decisions?

Here are two examples:

overcome limiting beliefs

Beliefs:

  • When you have a negative and unrealistic image about yourself, it affects your decisions. For instance, you wish you could learn to dance, but you are shy because you think that your moves are gawky, so you talk yourself out of taking lessons.  

Feelings:

  • When you have low self-esteem, it is tough to let go of a relationship that does not give you value any longer.  Why? First, you are likely feeding off each others’ energy, and you are scared to be alone. 
  • In healthy relationships, you stay because you WANT to be there and not because you NEED to be, or are afraid to not be.  
how to achieve goals

Your interpretation of life events:

People with low self-acceptance tend to project their insecurities in their body language, speech patterns, and social skills.   Everything they hear, see, and experience must pass through a “negative” filter and ends up being interpreted in a negative way that will mirror the same negative feelings that they have.  

With healthy esteem, they see the world for what it is.  They can observe events without internalizing them or taking them personally and emotionally.   They learn from things that go awry and revise their strategy to adapt to reality.  

The state of our self-acceptance is within all of our actions/reactions and determines how we act.  We can choose to settle for less than what we dream of OR we can dare to go for it and allow ourselves to enjoy our world by living true to ourselves.   This is much better than choosing to never measure up to other’s standards and go through life with the weight of the world placed on our back.

Embracing yourself fully from your heart is the entrance for creating a quality life for yourself where you enjoy your creations. No work for this is a waste of time!

learn to laugh at yourself

Oh, and one last thing…..

Don’t forget to laugh!

Becoming an adult is not easy and being one isn’t either!

With several responsibilities such as family, work, friends, etc… on our shoulders, it is easy to get stuck in a rut.  Don’t let life become a heavy burden.  Remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.   Be a creator, but don’t forget to enjoy the silly little ways of life that are non-sense and holds no weight in their results. 

Blow soap-bubbles with your kids, or make up funny stories with them and laugh together! Go to a comedy show, or watch a movie that makes you laugh with your partner, then talk gibberish while you tickle them in the bed!

Most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously.   Remember to laugh at anything, especially at yourself sometimes! The world will keep spinning, no matter what.

About Sophie Fuzi, Holistic Life Coach

From Hungary, ‘Be Real! Life Coaching’ has been her dream her whole life. Always interested in learning how people make sense of the world and form their adult perspectives, she believes the key to true happiness lies in fully accepting oneself exactly as they are. 

Book Recommendations

atomic habits
Create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1% better every day!
Whole Again
Toxic relationships leave scars. This book shows how to work through these symptoms and find love on the other side.

5 Essential Steps to Success

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
essential steps to success

What are the steps to success? First, it depends on what your definition of success is.  Is it getting rich?  Finding the love of your life?  Reaching a goal? There are many definitions of the word, but the one common theme is clearly defining what it is you want and then being proactive to get it.

Here are  5 essential steps to find success:

 

Be True to Yourself

Whatever your goals are make sure they are in line with your values and not someone else’s.    Ask yourself what do you truly want? Pay attention to your inner self and notice if you start telling yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” want something.   That’s a red flag that it’s someone else’s goal and not yours. 

As you explore possibilities of what you really want, notice your self-talk.   Are you telling yourself you can’t do it or it’s not possible?   Question the validity of those  beliefs.   Are they true and do they serve you? Or are the self-limiting beliefs based on fear or lack of confidence that are getting in the way of pursuing your own happiness.

Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm.   Someone had to assemble the first rock-band.  If they didn’t, we’d still be listening to classical music.  People thought Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both crazy and they have revolutionized how the world lives.  You may be nervous about your ideas but meet your fear with confidence and courage and you’ll be amazed at what unfolds once you start. 

Create a vision 

Think about all areas of your life.   For most people, the list includes things such as family, career, health, personal growth, spirituality, and finances.  Think about where you’d like to be in all areas of life a year from today.

how to create a vision

Having a vision is only the start.  A vision means nothing if not followed by action.  Too many people focus on the end-goal without giving serious thought about what they need to do and who they need to be to get there.   

For each part of your life, set one meaningful goal that will have the greatest impact.  Prioritize which goals are most important to you.    If your goals are set for one year, think about what needs to happen in one month to get there.  Then break down what needs to happen in one week to achieve your monthly goals.  The words best goal setting modal is  the SMART goal strategy.   The more specific your goals and strategy are the greater your chances of success are. 

Exercise self-discipline  

One of the most critical parts of staying motivated through the ups and downs of everyday life is remembering WHY you want something.   Reaching the goal itself is not what you’re really after, it’s the impact that it will have on your life that is what you are really chasing.    

As you plan your day (s), make goal oriented decisions.   There is no single action that will have a profound effect finding success.   Success comes from hundreds of tiny actions, repeated consistently over time.    Learn how to be selfish with your time.    Figure out how to eliminate distractions and accept that there will be times when you just have to say “no” to others so that you can stay focused.  Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to actualize your dream and learn how to ask for help and delegate tasks when needed.

Focus on your strengths.  One mistake many people make is spending too much time trying to improve on their weaknesses.  Find someone who is strong where you are weak and get better at what you are naturally good at.   It’s far sweeter to be great at one thing than mediocre at five. 

Be ready to deal with change

how to deal with change

The road to success is not lined with unicorns and cotton-candy.  Things are not going to go according to your plan.   Don’t let the unexpected knock you down or deflate your enthusiasm, just deal with it.  As we are all acutely aware, the world is in constant flux and there is so little we can do about it.   The only part we can control is our responses to each circumstance.   Persevere and be resilient and adaptive.   Whenever there is a problem, a solution exists somewhere.  Learn how to find solutions.  Turn problems into games and you’ll relieve yourself of unnecessary stress and angst.   Believe that some of the best things come from some of the worst things and look for the positives. 

If it feels like failure, look at it as a learning opportunity.  No one is wildly successful on their first attempt at anything.  Learn, adjust, and carry on.  If you can’t figure out what went wrong or what the next step is, ask someone who has been successful.  

Stay open-minded and ask for help!

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stick with a plan or to change your strategy and try something else.   The key is to be deeply honest with yourself and ask yourself empowering questions.  

Here are a few examples:

                        Is there another way to look at this?

                        Is there a better way to do this?

                        Am I afraid?  If so, what of?   How can I overcome it?

                        What did I learn?  How will I adjust?    

When you deepen your understanding of what is happening you can invest your energy in what is working avoid burnout. 

Don’t go it alone!   No one gets a gold medal for doing things all by themselves and most people who are successful have teams of people that have helped them get there.  Try to surround yourself with positive minded people.   Look for people who have what you want and find out how they got there.  Sometimes friends and family mean well, but even if they are well-intentioned, they aren’t always the best allies for us to move forward. 

You’ll go much further when you collaborate with others and here’s why:   You’ll likely have different strengths and weaknesses and can fill in for each other.  Someone who is objective is better able to see your “blind spots” and help you gain a fresh perspective on things.   They’ll help you brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles and they are able to hold you accountable.  Just having someone who knows you and what you want to achieve is powerful because you can’t make excuses.   These are the things that life-coaches are professionals at doing.

What is your top goal right now?    What is your plan?   Can you get there on your own? Time and repetition are the key.   Every small step today eventually becomes something massive in the future.   

To all My Girlfriends Managing Depression during the COVID-19 Crisis

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manage depression during covid 19

(My guy friends too…I love you all! Some ideas will apply to everyone, others not so much. Hopefully, the ones that don’t will inspire something that will! 😉 )

The ripple effects of COVID-19 are impacting us all, and this is a difficult time for everyone right now.   For those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or any mental illness, it is crucial to pay equal attention to staying healthy emotionally as much as it is physically.

Getting stuck in a rut is possible for all of us, here are some tips to stay well amidst the shutdown.

Tips to Combat Depression Right Now

1. Turn the downtime into a positive!  It’s easy to get sucked into all of the negativity around us right now, especially for people who tend to be predisposed to it.   Perspective is everything.  If you look at this as inconvenient, frustrating, scary, and stressful, IT WILL BE! However, if you look at it as an opportunity to rest, regroup, catch up with the little things that you’ve been meaning to get to for weeks if not months, it can be a welcomed reprieve.   Make a conscious decision to think and stay positive throughout the day, even if you have to “fake it until you make it” when you change the way you think, and you will change the way you feel.

2, Make a list of all of the things you wish you could get done but never seem to have the time to.     Clean your closet? Organize your drawers? Paint a room? Detail your car? Weed the garden?  Write letters/email? Give the dog a bath? Sure there will be things on that list you can’t do right now for any number of reasons.   Don’t fixate on those; there’s circumstances you cannot control.   However, I’ll bet money that you can come up with better than 5 things you can with what’s available to you right now.  

 If these tasks sound mundane, refer to #1 and turn them into a game.  If you’re cleaning out the closet, why not put unwanted stuff up for sale on eBay, Postmark, or Facebook?    You may not get rich, but the extra bucks may come in handy or justify a whimsical spend.  Make it a game, see (example) how many weeds you can pull in one minute.   Try to beat your record the next minute.    Sort through old photos and have a “reunion party” with all the pics and other stuff you find. The nostalgia might just perk you up. Ultimately too much idle time can lead to depression funks.   It’s not required to be busy every moment, but the key is to stay engaged in life and not check out.

How do you take care of yourself?

3. Bump up your self-care routine.   One of the first things that go out the window for people with depression is self-care.  Now is a time you need yourself the most, please do not abandon you.   Everyone has their own definition of self-care.   These below fall into the pampering/spa category, which may not be for everyone.  They are positive ways to stay present with the “self” and really do leave a girl feeling nurtured and loved, by the one who needs to nurture and love her the most…HERSELF. 

Give yourself a facial:  fancy products are fun, but you don’t need to break the budget and go buy them.  Simple ingredients like oatmeal, eggs, some dairy products can create an excellent mask.   Google is your friend, search for DIY masks, and you’ll find one that appeals to you.

Exfoliate the body:  Banish winter dryness and imagine any inner “yuck” going down the drain with it.   Again, Google is your friend, and there are simple DIY scrubs you can make from sugar and oil that will get the job done nicely.   

Deep condition your hair: When is the last time you took the time to fortify the locks?  Salon products are great, but so is olive or coconut oil.  Add heat.   No cap? Try aluminum foil. Yes, it looks ridiculous, but no one is going to see you, although you probably want to refrain from selfies. 

Be more rigorous in your brushing and flossing routines.   Vanity aside, keeping your mouth clean is as essential to your health as washing your hands.   Seriously. 

Light some candles and take a bubble bath.  

Whatever self-care means to you, kick it up a notch, you’ll feel better about you! 

4. Get dressed already!   Pajama days are great; I love them too!   Try and limit them to no more than 1-in-a-row.   It’s easy to fall into a funk when you’re not having to suit-up and show up for work or you can’t even leave the house and interact with people.   Crisis or not, the world does not stop spinning, and life goes on with or without you.   Do your best to show up and play the part., even if that part seems smaller right now. You don’t have to put on a professional outfit, but don’t live in jammies or sweats until the crisis ends. 

Keep your mind active, learn something new!

5. Learn something!    Make a list of 10 things you’ve wondered about.   The pyramids in Egypt; the life span of birds; how to make bread; how to change a tire; the lives of famous musicians/actors.  Whatever it is that sparks your curiosity, write it down.   Take one at a time and really learn about it.   Read articles, listen to podcasts, maybe find a documentary.   Spending hours online with mindless interaction on social media typically won’t leave you feeling fulfilled, Learning will. When we learn, we grow, and staying in a forward-thinking and growth mindset helps to combat depressions in both the short and long term.  

6. Listen to or read something that inspires you.   There’s not a whole lot of uplifting news in the mainstream right now.  It’s a good time to seek it out actively.   There’s a plethora of inspirational talks on YouTube.    A simple search term “inspirational” will get it done.   Read an inspiring story or listen to an audiobook.  Not sure what to read?   Here’s a page of inspirational reads recommended by our life coaches.   Most are available for instant download.  

Here are three of personal faves: you are a badass Time Warriors Steve Chandler GIRL WASH YOUR FACE RACHEL HOLLIS

Feeling inspired?  Make a vision board.  Psychologists agree that vision boards improve motivation, and motivation is not compatible with depression.   Your board will help you remember your “why,” and that will enhance your sense of purpose.   

A great way to start is to simply set some goals.   You can set a specific goal using the SMART goal structure or just take a piece of paper and make 3 columns.   In the first column, write everything you would love to get done by this time next year.   In the second column, write what needs to happen in the next month to be on track for the yearly goal.   In the last column, write down what you can do TODAY to meet your monthly goal.  If you’re not moving forward you might be moving backward, keep trudging forward.

7, Nurture your inner child and play: Do something to balance out binging on Netflix, social media, and video games.   If you are going to binge-watch, try and find something light, funny, and uplifting.  Go ahead and watch Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones for the umpteenth time too, but add something light in the mix sometimes.   On some level, we become what we continuously watch and hear.

Binge-watching or all-day video games in moderation isn’t necessarily bad but balance it out with something that does not involve an LCD screen.  Doing things that come from you and utilize your abilities are much better when it comes to keeping depression at bay.  

How do you like to play? Write stories or poems? Draw? Color?    Paint? I personally love art but I am not so gifted.   Therefore, I am quite drawn to adult coloring books and paint by numbers.   They are fabulous for tapping into one’s creativity and staying balanced.    Try journaling.   We are making history right now.  Whatever age you’re at, either you or someone else will be fascinated by hearing your testimony to living through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Don’t got it alone, break the isolation

8. Don’t let yourself become isolated:   Sometimes easier said than done when one battles depression but is super important to stay tethered and connected to the world.     Pick up the phone and call friends or family members.  Better yet, SKYPE.  Not everyone is comfortable with video, but try and remember it’s not about how anyone looks on camera, it is about being present with other human beings.   Too much time in ones one head can spiral downward, so it’s essential to keep a strong support network.  Be honest with trusted others about how you feel.    No one is expected to have their “happy-face” on all the time right now.  Don’t be afraid to express yourself, good or bad. 

9. Reach out to someone who may be in need.  Nothing lifts the spirits more and gives one a sense of purpose than helping another.   Whether it’s an elderly neighbor who needs you to run to the grocery store, a friend who is in relationship hell or another person who is just stressed out from the news, be the light of their day.   Offer yourself to help or be a shoulder to lean on.  Let it be all about them; your turn can come later if need be.  Getting outside of the self will boost your mood and leave you feeling fulfilled.

Total wellness = healthy body, mind and soul

10. Eat well.  Its easy to get into some funky eating habits when we’re stuck inside, and the produce department at the grocery store is suddenly barren.  It seems so acceptable to give in to cravings   because the truth is life is just a bit challenging right now and comfort food can take the edge off.  Just be mindful of what you’re putting in your body and try to make healthy choices.    Sugar spikes wreak havoc on one’s mood and leave people feeling sluggish and down.  Too much alcohol will not fix anything, and the hangover and dehydration are such downers.   Couple that with feelings of guilt and shame many people experience after such escapades, and it can be a real slippery slope.

 Try and drink more water and less caffeinated beverages, sodas, alcohol, or even too much juice.  Hydration is vital to all of your body functions, to even mild dehydration contributes to emotional problems (WebMD).  Caffeine is a diuretic, and sugar/alcohol screws with hydration levels too.

If you fall short of your health ideals (or any other), don’t beat yourself up, just accept it and try again tomorrow.   Feeling bad about yourself isn’t going to help anything and makes it even harder to make healthy choices, just let that $#!+ go and move on. You’ll be better for it.

11. Exercise: Even if you’re in full-blown quarantine, outdoors is still open. If you’re not suffering from illness, you can at least go for a walk.   Find a park, or if available, go to the ocean and make a deliberate effort to notice and appreciate the natural beauty.   If you live in a busy city, walking down the street and admiring the architecture or culture of an area can be stirring.

 There is overwhelming evidence that moderate exercise has a positive effect in fighting depressions.   If you can’t leave home, just spend a few minutes stretching.  Stretching releases both physical and emotional tensions.       

12.Make a gratitude list.   Feeling gratitude Is synonymous with feeling happy. Happiness and depression cannot exist in the same space.   Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for, or for fun, make an A-Z list with something for every letter in the alphabet.   After you finish the list, circle 5 things and stop and truly feel the gratitude.  Its sometimes easy to ramble off an “intellectual’ list of things to be grateful for, but gratitude is not a thought, it is a feeling, and it is an action.   Feel the appreciation and then act on it. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you, do something nice for someone who you are grateful to.  Do it wholly unsolicited and expect nothing in return.  Just express your gratitude.  You’ll feel amazing after.

Read: Gratitude for Happines

13. Meditate:  Science proves that the physical and emotional value of mediation is profound.   For many meditations is a spiritual practice.   I personally am amongst those who believe in God and the spirituality of meditation, however, if you are not, you can still benefit dramatically from practicing mindfulness.   Staying “grounded” through mindfulness will preserve your inner peace and sense of security.   

If you are new to the idea, here is a simple and practical strategy to get started:   A Beginners Guide to Meditation for Wellness.

14. Be gentle with yourself.  Some days are going to be better than others.  Be quick to celebrate the wins and forgive the less than perfect days.  That same rule applies to others.   Find other people doing something right and praise them for it.   The world was a broken place long before COVID-19 and is indeed vibrating much more fear and negativity right now.   

No one is perfect, depression or not; we are all struggling now. Every one of us could all use some more love. It starts with you! Love yourself, love others, and please stay well!

I Am an Imposter!

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery
imposter syndrome

I have been trying to write a blog for days.  Ok, it’s been weeks, and have had total “writer’s block.”   Sure it can happen to anyone, but there’s an irony when one who is a coach (that would be me)  and writes so much about building confidence; ending procrastination; boosting one’s motivation; having an attitude of gratitude, yet here I am,  stuck. 

I ask myself, “How is it that ‘I’ am so stuck??”…..(crickets chirping in the silence) I DON’T KNOW! I JUST AM.  When honest with myself, I’ve been stuck for over a month. The polite word is “writer’s block,” but let’s be honest, I’m in a yucky funk with it.

Have you ever gotten “stuck” and had no idea why?

Time Warriors Steve Chandler

I have been trying to self-analyze this, and the only thing I accomplished there is creating more confusion and, ultimately, procrastination.   In my mind, I hear passages from one of my favorite books, Time Warrior by Steve Chandler, an amazing and inspiring book to overcome procrastination, yet I no movement. 

Like a good coach, I have a coach (two actually), and I have had chats with them both.    The feedback is different as they have different specialties, but the common denominator amongst coaches is we all believe that the client has their own answers. The key is to tap into their inner wisdom.

What would I say to a client who is as stuck as me?   How can I walk the talk and get out of this?

First things first, I would suggest (or try and tease out of a client) to use prayer and meditation to get grounded and centered.

Great idea, I do this frequently, but I’ll do it with a more specific intention and see what happens.    It’s incredible, for the first time in my life ever, I have been utterly thoughtless in a meditation.  Yes, I have tried to accomplish this for years with no avail.  Guess the trick all along was to seek writing inspiration and voila, silencing of the mind.

Ok, screw it, “Just start”, that’s what I would say to a client.

100 ways to motivate yourself

Another Chandler-ism pops into my head, “do something badly.”  Yes, from 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, it’s better to do something bad than to do nothing at all.   We get so crippled by thinking we must do something perfect that it’s often hard to begin.   We’ve defeated ourselves before beginning.    Just open a document and start writing!

(to myself)  “OK, that helped, I have a few paragraphs of total junk written…hooray 😊. “

Next???  Explore what fear or blockages are getting in the way?  So, I write down the usual culprits and see if any of those pesky f*ckers are robbing my creativity.  

Fear of failure?  

Nope, not that one, I’ve failed at so many things in the last few years, failure and I have become buds.      I prefer it if you all enjoy the writing and get something out of it but have made peace with the idea that many will not.   

Fear of success?

 Sure, success can be daunting.  With it comes responsibility and expectations of continued success.   Plus, people start scrutinizing you for flaws when you start to get successful.    A problem I do hope and pray to have to deal with on a high level someday.  Not successful enough yet for that to be an issue.

Imposter Syndrome?  Ouch! I think I just hit a nerve.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

The imposter syndrome refers to the feeling people have when they do not see the connection between their accomplishments and their abilities.  They often have a deep-rooted fear of being exposed as a fraud. The term was coined by clinical psychologists who  found that despite having plenty of evidence of success and accomplishments, people remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.   (Megan Dalla-Camina).

I think I’m on to something.   Even though I have:  been recovered from addictions for over 31 years; have spent thousands of hours in the pursuit of personal growth through modalities like psychotherapy, metaphysical energy work, and bodywork; attended countless growth-centered retreats and workshops; read hundreds of self-help books; mentored dozens of others in their growth journey; spoken at numerous venues on healing related issues; and have 25 graduate-level credits in counseling; I’m really not qualified to be writing these blogs.   IMPOSTOR!!! 

Not until I have 3 Ph.D.’s and know everything about everything am I qualified.   LMAO (at myself)

How do I overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Like I just said, I am not a psychologist, and I hold no doctoral degrees.  I’m just a self-help zealot who has been passionate about the pursuit of emotional and spiritual growth and helping others on that same journey for decades.

I have learned that most of my discontent is rooted in being stuck in “self.”   Whether I’m taking myself too seriously and thinking a blog must be perfect or wallowing in self-pity because I’m so stuck and I can’t get out of my own way, I am stuck in “self”.    The problem is me.   The problem is always me, and sometimes I hate it.  I wish that once in my life, the problem was someone or something else, but ultimately it never is.  External circumstances can really suck sometimes, but if I can’t change them, how I relate to them is on me.  Translation=the problem is me.

The good news is if the problem is me, so is the solution. 

Sometimes it only takes a shift in perspective.   Instead of operating from fear that if I don’t get something done, there are dire consequences,  I can shift to an attitude of love.   There’s gotta be at least one person out there that gets madly stuck sometimes and will get something out of it.   Even some other life-coach reading this might possibly relate.   I write with the hope that it helps someone.   Anyone.   Just me putting love and light into the universe. 

Other times, it requires action.  I don’t always love spending time and energy getting outside of myself,  I think I’m busy with important things to do.  But, when I do get out of my own way and reach out to others my energy multiplies, and it costs me a fraction of the time I’ll waste if I don’t.    It pays dividends.  

I try and connect with a girlfriend that might be having a tough time. Find out how she is and extend a sincere offer to help in any way that I can. 

Sick kids at home?  I’ll go to the grocery store for you….(even though there aren’t any groceries in the grocery store right now) .  

Need a ride, I’ll come get you.  

Something on your mind?  Talk to me, I am all ears…

Regardless of what transpires   I always end up with a profound sense of gratitude.  So no, I don’t have an expert explanation on how to overcome feeling like an imposter.  I only have my personal experience to share with you, but this is what works for me.    Maybe it will work for you too.

This post is far from perfect but in the spirit of “just start” and “It’s better to do something badly than not at all.”    I will post it and look the world in the eye knowing that to the best of my ability, I do walk my talk.

Warmest regards, Wendy Cope

P.s.  if any of you could help a sister out and let me know what personal growth topics you may be interested in, I’d love fresh ideas and inspiration for writing.    

Weeding Out Faulty, Limiting Beliefs and Breaking free of the Inner-Child Syndrome

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family
limiting beiefs

What is “the inner-child” and the “inner-child syndrome”?

A term coined initially by famous psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, the “inner-child” refers to the belief systems that are developed in childhood.  It is easy to grasp the idea that everyone’s belief systems are rooted mainly in childhood; after all, everyone learns about the world primarily from their parents. 

The “inner-child syndrome” refers to a term used to describe the dysfunctional or destructive behaviors that continue in some people’s adult lives.  These behavior patterns that occur as a direct result of thoughts and beliefs that run automatically or unconsciously.  Those thoughts come directly from childhood development (Steven Diamond, Ph.D.).

What are the issues associated with having limiting beliefs or “inner-child syndrome”?

There are numerous ways this can manifest in one’s life.  For the most concise list, I would like to refer you to The Laundry List of Adult Children Of Alcoholics.  This compilation was originally written for children raised in alcoholic environments; however, psychologists recognize these traits as typical amongst various populations.   The mutual attributes being any form of abuse, neglect, or mental illness present in the home. 

For this article, I would like to focus on what I call living on “repeat”.   What I mean by that is often, as adults, we find ourselves in the same type of situation over and over and over.  

For example:

  • Getting out of a bad relationship, only to find ourselves in another lousy relationship
  • Getting out of debt only to rack up new debts
  • Losing and regaining the same 20 pounds repeatedly
  • Being taken advantage of by others again and again
  • Thinking you’ll be happy “if” (something changes) or “when” (something happens), only to realize that you’re no happier when those things occur.

…..there are countless other scenarios.

“We learn our belief systems as tiny children, and then we move through life, creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.”

You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay

Why is it essential to revisit childhood to overcome limiting-beliefs? Why can’t the past be the past

Because ultimately, at the root of living on “repeat” are unconscious limiting-beliefs that inform every thought, action, and therefore result in what we create in our life. 

With spring right around the corner, I will use planting a garden as an analogy to explain the importance of weeding out self-limiting and damaging beliefs.

You can’t change anything until you know what it is you are trying to change: Identify the Weeds

I am not a green-thumb by anyone’s standard, but you don’t have to have a degree in horticulture to understand that a critical step in growing a beautiful garden is to get rid of all of the weeds.

For the most part, weeds are just another type of plant that is growing in the wrong place. Some plants look like they could be weeds but aren’t.  Conversely, many weeds look like they could be plants.

Most weeds are harmless, but they just look ugly.   Then, some weeds are literally poisonous and will wreak havoc and destroy your flowerbed.   There are even some that are dangerous to other living creatures. They might be pesky to deal with, but wishing them away or ignoring them will not make them disappear. Neither will pretending it is a plant help it to result in beautiful spring tulips.  In fact, that sounds downright silly, doesn’t it?

One can also convince themselves that dandelions are harmless, and there is no use in working on getting rid of them.   That may be true, but the end result is accepting a second-rate garden.  Understating  the seriousness of a bishops weed could result in severe illness or death to a beloved pet.

So, even a wannabe gardener like me can wrap their head around the idea that the only way to get rid of them is to pull them out by their root; otherwise, they will just grow back and start the cycle all over again.

The Journey to Growing

To deeply heal the “inner-child syndrome” and overcome limiting beliefs, a couple of things have to happen so the journey can begin: 

One must look back to what went wrong in childhood, particularly in the early (birth to 7 or 8 years) childhood.   This does not mean they have to relive the experiences and “become” the emotions, but rather observe what happened with adult eyes to understand what happened and replace old damaging beliefs with new and empowering ones.  A great way to do this without reliving the pain is using an NLP technique called Association and Disassociation. 

Life Coaching for Less than a Latte: Crush Self-doubt and Unleash Confidence the workbook

It is critical to get it through to one’s core that what happened in the past was NOT THEIR FAULT.   I cannot stress that enough.   I have worked with many clients who intellectually know that events in their lives weren’t their fault but, on an emotional and even spiritual level, carried some guilt and shame.  At the core of their being, they got the message that if they were somehow better, smarter, quieter, cuter, etc., that mommy or daddy would have acted differently and real or perceived, they believed it.    

Awareness is the stepping-stone to change:  Once we are aware of the bad programming, we have two choices.  We can consciously decide to stop the denial; to stop hiding from the pain; to stop lying to ourselves;

OR we can perpetuate the narrative that everything is ok and believe that the same thinking that created chaos in our lives can somehow fix it, ultimately continuing to repeat the cycle of misery repeat again and again and again.  

That may sound harsh, but those are the two choices.

Fortunately, there is freedom in accepting this as reality.  It takes so much energy to try and “pretend” everything is OK when intuitively, we believe something is awry.   The effort it takes to attempt to control outward appearances (and seem “normal”) is exhausting and keeps us from using that same precious energy in pursuing our dreams.

Uncovering the damaging lies (weeds) that do not serve you anymore allows you to replace them with empowering truths (lilies) that will help you manifest the life you desire and deserve.    It is then that life begins to bloom.

Change is possible, but it is not always easy to do it alone.  If you are ready to take control of your life and believe you’ll go further with support than by yourself, why not try working with a professional Life-Coach?   Life coaches are trained at helping their clients overcome limiting beliefs and moving forward with their lives.  There are times when a psychotherapist is more appropriate than a life coach.   If old wounds are still very raw and painful, a therapist is a better choice as they will provide an environment conducive to healing.   If you are ready to move forward and need to breakthrough old blockages, a coach can be a game-changer in your life.   Life Coach Library makes it convenient to find the best coach for you, and the process is risk-free!

Take Control of Your Life: Think Positive & Overcome Your Fears

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family
overcome fear

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

FEAR: F#@% Everything And Run

We all have fears.   Each and every one of us.  Some fears are good and healthy to have.   It is wise not to put your hand in a fire because you’re afraid of getting burned.  It’s a little much to avoid lighting candles at dinner because they are a fire hazard.  The difference is the level at which fear dictates how one lives.

What separates those who seem to have bulletproof confidence, and are those who over-react?   The thoughts behind the fear and the meaning that is attached to them.

Take, for example, someone who hates their job but won’t change.  

The underlying fears might be:  being too old, not being good enough to do something else, disappointing someone else, giving up the illusion of security for the unknown. 

Underneath those fears are still more fears and lies.

“ My friend was 50 and changed jobs, and she was the talk for months.   No one expected her to succeed.   She almost lost her marriage; her husband was furious.”

And so on.

A confident person also has anxious feelings about a change.  Their thinking is more like:

“OK, I’m 50, but I could be working for a minimum of 15 more years.  

If I love it, I might do it till I’m 80

They either don’t care what other people think, or they consider what others will say but know that those worthy of their friendship will support them, and those who don’t aren’t.  They understand there will be an adjustment with their relationship, but they work it out with their spouse and find a way to prioritize tasks and get it done.

One person spends another 15 years surviving, and the other creates a life they love.

That is what separates the two scenarios above.   

Check it out: Crush Self-Doubt and build Super-Confidence, a workbook.

The core of fear

At the core of fears that do not serve us and yet have control in ones, life is a negative thought pattern. That negativity is likely not even conscious, making it harder to manage and move past.

Thinking positive will take some commitment and practice, but you can turn irrational fears around if you are willing to make a conscious effort to be better.  When you get better at focusing on your strengths more than your shortcomings you gain confidence; when you expect the best outcome more than the worst, you gain motivation; and when you chose to act in the face of fear instead of allowing it to dictate your life, you gain courage.   All of these lead to a life of greater peace and happiness. 

The tips below are not necessarily easy, but they are simple, practical suggestions that you can use to develop more positive thinking patterns.  When you change the way you think, you will be able to take control during times of fear and be more productive and successful in reaching your goals.

Take care of yourself first.  

Taking control of your life requires a strong baseline.  Make sure your basic needs are met. It’s hard to have clarity and focus when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.   Eat well, get enough exercise, make sure you have healthy social interaction, and get enough sleep.

Look at the fears behind the fears; they tell you more about yourself than the “surface layer” thoughts.  To gain this insight, you’ll have to slow yourself down and find a way to dig below the surface or conscious thoughts.   If you’re not sure how to do this, here are a couple of suggestions.

Identify what you are really afraid of.

  • Talk it out with a trusted friend or mentor.   Try and uncover your “why’s”.   Why are you afraid to (for ex:) change jobs?   Why do you believe you’re too old to?   Why does that matter?   And so on.   If you can do this 3-5 times, you should be able to uncover a more deep-seated, core level fear.  
  • Try quiet mindfulness or meditation.   Sometimes when we try and sit quietly, the thoughts come racing fast and furious.    Notice those thoughts.    Think of what your heart’s desire genuinely is and pretend you already have it.   Chances are your knee jerk reaction will be all of the reasons that it is not possible.   PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE THOUGHTS, they are clues to your core fears. 
  • Grab a pen and paper and start writing.  Don’t try and censor your thoughts; no one is going to read this.  Just start writing about what you want and what stops you from getting it.   Similar to meditation, the underlying blockages are likely to present themselves.   Write anything that comes to mind, regardless of what it is.   After about 15-20 minutes, go back and read it.   You’ve probably got some new self-awareness on the paper. 

Crush your Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s)

Famous author and mental health expert Dr. Daniel Amen describes ANTs as the unconscious thoughts that bring you down.

Ask yourself: Is this really true? Maybe it was true in the past, but is it still true today?  Do you know someone who defies this?    What do you really have to lose if you try and things don’t go exactly as planned?    Has catastrophe ever really entered your life because you took a chance on your goals?

Everyone has fear, but successful people feel the fear and do it anyway.   A great book by that title, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers offers excellent ideas to overcome crippling fears. 

Remember, negative thoughts only have as much power that you give them.  When you recognize them, don’t give them credence.   Try to detach from them and replace them with something empowering.     One way to diffuse their strength is to laugh them off.   If you notice yourself thinking “I’m not smart enough to be a _________ (dream job)”  instead of believing that lie, laugh at the fact that some small, childish part of you is silly even to think that, but there is a stronger, healthier part of you that is wise enough to know the truth and simply dismiss it.   Move on to something else so that you don’t continue the story in your head.

Thwart fear with an attitude of gratitude.  

When you focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t, stress and fear are deflated.   Take a few moments throughout the day to notice the things you do have, the things you’re doing great, the people who you support, and support you.   The positive feelings that come from gratitude will crush the negativity that fear generates. 

 Create a new story.    

Don’t get analysis paralysis, but consider different outcomes.  Sometimes fears take over, and we start practicing terror, imagining all kinds of unlikely events.  Thinking about the “worst-case scenario”  is helps some people muster the courage to take the plunge, but we find two flaws in this strategy.   First of all, it often cripples action, and it rarely comes to pass.  Second, it is based in negativity, and negative thoughts lead to more negative thoughts.   Try thinking about the best-case scenario.   The ultimate may not come to pass either, but positive thoughts lead to more positive thoughts, and you’ll still go farther than you would otherwise go.  Think about what it means to be successful.  Who do you need to be to get there?  What do you need to do to make it happen?   What supports do you have in place?  

Take Action!   

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.    Nothing great will ever come from a comfort zone.   Reading books, watching videos, writing journals are all great ways to learn about yourself and what to do, but they mean absolutely NOTHING if you don’t take action.    Changing your thoughts and behaviors is a process, and miracles won’t happen overnight. However, if you start now, and push yourself just a little bit every day, in a month, you’ll see a difference, and in 6 months you’ll be amazed.  A year from now, you might just have a brand new life!! 

Now, try this on for size     FEAR: FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE

If you ready to take control of your life and believe you’ll go further with support than on your own, why not try working with a professional Life-Coach?   Life Coach Library makes it convenient to find the best coach for you, and the process is risk-free!

Being Single on Valentines Isn’t A Bad Thing!

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

The retail world would have you think that if you’re not spending a sentimental and romantic February 14th with a special someone that you are missing out.  Every website has Valentine’s advertisements practically every TV and radio station talks about it or fills the airwaves with jewelry, chocolate, card, and other commercials designed to pull on your heartstrings.   There’s dozens of Romcoms, novels, and memes on the internet, depicting single people as depressed, introverted loners who will cry themselves to sleep on February 14th.

Please don’t fall for it.    

There is something powerful about being free and independent, and there is no need to go on a date just for the heck of it. Don’t stress out; there are plenty of reasons to celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day.

  • No Valentine’s day anxiety

Ladies can be relieved that they don’t have to change clothes 15 times, worry about the extra weight that came with Christmas festivities, or spend an hour trying to get every strand of hair and speck of makeup perfect.

Guys don’t have to sweat getting the right gift and card.  You know, this one’s too serious, that one’s not serious enough, a card that seems funny to you and your guy friends could royally piss her off, but you aren’t sure….

Restaurants are all booked solid, and if you didn’t make a reservation in January, there’s likely either an hours-long wait, or it’ll feel like New Years because you’re eating dinner at midnight bringing in February 15th

Chill-ax!  You can stay home in your sweats and binge-watch Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, (again). 

  • You will save money

The average person spends close to $200 on Valentine’s day with men spending as high as $399. A beautiful gift, fancy dinners, French wine, and flowers don’t come cheap. But don’t worry, you can have a good night’s sleep knowing you’ll be saving a lot of money.   Buy yourself something you’ve really wanted and be your own Valentine.

  • No disappointments

The morning after, you will be one of the few people who will not be disappointed. While the night might not have been special, it was also not a let-down or, in some cases, an absolute disaster! You spent the whole day, exactly the way you wanted to, and that’s what matters.

  • Better to be single than with the wrong person

Some people are single just because they like being alone.  Others have had some rough relationships and have come to the decision that being alone is better than wasting your life with someone you aren’t totally feeling,  Being with the wrong person is like being in a trap because you don’t even have the option to find the right one.   Anyone who has ever been stuck in bad relationships knows and appreciates having space and opportunity to find someone special.

  • The Potential of finding the right partner

Every new turn in life is an opportunity to start all over again. If you are single, but would like to find someone, there is plenty of opportunities to connect with other singles.  Take your time and find someone with who you can connect and have a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

        You might not be single until next Valentine’s day – savor this moment!

If finding or keeping healthy, loving, and fulfilling relationships in your life is a priority and you think you’d benefit from honed relationship guidance, talk to a relationship coach and see how they can help you get to the next level. 

Crush Self-Doubt and Unleash a Super-Confident You a workbook designed to breakthrough limiting beliefs and get you moving forward to being the best you! 

Reignite Some Passion in Your Love Life!

coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Forget your New Year’s resolution (chances are you have already).   How about merely deciding and committing to set and reach your goals?  With cupid flying around why not set some relationship goals?

2020 is well underway, and at best, a few of you are on track to reach your resolutions.   Some of you are re-negotiating your plan of action, but a large percentage of you are having trouble remembering what that resolution even was. 

Whatever your goal is or was, chances are you’re “why” comes down to LOVE.  Whether it is self-love, love for your significant other, or you would just love to find someone to love, Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and it seems to be all anyone is talking about.

Human beings are designed to be social creatures, yet navigating healthy human relationships remains one of the most complex and challenging tasks in life (Leon F. Seltlzer, PhD).  

Why are healthy relationships so important?

We all need healthy and loving relationships to function properly in life. Poor connections can bring us down and have an impact on our career, social life, and even our health.

More than that, if you are serious about your partner, if you love them and if you want to spend the rest of your life with them, maybe your most important goal for this year should be to work on building a healthy relationship with them.  It’s easy to get complacent in any area of life, and relationships certainly are no exception. 

Ignite romantic passion in your life!  It will take some planning and effort; it is so worth it in the end.  

Go on Fun Date Nights: 

You NEED to have confirmed date nights with your partner. Remember when you first started dating?  The excitement of getting ready and the anticipation of seeing each other was exhilarating.  It’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of daily living and forget just to play together.   Dinner and movies are great, but I’m willing to bet if you’ve been on enough of these dates that there is no excitement or novelty left in them.  Are you the romantic type?  Trade the restaurant for a tour of a vineyard or winery.  Many offer samples that will help get your romantic juices flowing 😊 If weather permits, go on a picnic.  If it doesn’t, pack a picnic anyway and have one indoors.   Finger foods that you can feed each other and creatively make and clean messes with are great for this.  

For the more adventurous type: Go to an amusement park or try simulated skydiving.  If you’re really adventurous, do the real thing!   

Take a walk down memory lane together, remembering the things about each other you were first attracted to.   Try a couples’ massages or take turns giving to each other.    Whatever you do, just make sure to do something both of you enjoy!  It can even be something as simple as cooking a nice meal together or going to the mall for an evening. Whatever works best for both of you!

Change up your sex life!

Remember the hot, steamy times you spent with one another when you first met? You couldn’t get enough of each other.  It seemed like things would never get boring – but then you get too familiar, life gets busy, and next thing you know, you’re scheduling it on your calendar, hoping your calendars are in sync. And then it is as predictable as a multiple-choice quiz with a, b, or c as the only possibilities. Don’t be that couple. Good sex is the best way to maintain a connection with your partner.

The best way to reignite the fire is to focus on your partner and ensure you can meet all their desires. When is the last time you opened up to one another to talk about what you’d like to want to experience?   Keep an open mind.   Dozens of legitimate websites can offer creative ideas and do a much better job of it than I can here.  I urge you to keep an open mind, not to be judgmental, and explore each other’s desires and fantasies. The goal is to explore and connect with your partner again.

Thank one another:

Gratitude increases happiness and improves relationships (Read: Gratitude for Happiness). All relationships come to a stage where we get comfortable with one another – possibly too comfortable. The little things we did for each other in the beginning get taken for granted, and we either stop doing them altogether or come to accept it as part of the relationship.

Start thanking your partner. Maybe they did something grand like take you on holiday, or simple like preparing a nice meal. Perhaps they let you choose the movie or they were just patient and listened to you rant about a crappy day at work.   Thank them for both the things that they do and being the person that they are.  Never take the relationship for granted.  Saying thank you for something simple shows is sometimes more meaningful than the bigger and more obvious things.   

Start appreciating the little things you will immediately see a positive reaction!

Never stop trying to be a better you:

Work on eliminating one bad habit. We all have pet peeves and so does your partner! 

No one is perfect, and we all have bad habits that someone else finds annoying. If you have been in a long-term relationship, you will find a lot of things downright irritating in the other person!

The problem is, we take our partners for granted and don’t even think about working on ending some of our bad habits they don’t like. The mantra ‘they should accept us for who we are’ has gone too far nowadays. There’s a difference between changing something about yourself because you want them to love you and doing it because you love them.   When you love someone, you want to put some work into this relationship.

Do you drive her nuts by leaving the toilet seat up?   Make a conscious effort to put it down.  Put a post-it note on the wall if it helps.

Do you drive him nuts by talking his ear off as soon as he gets home?   Please take a few breaths and let him relax in whatever way he likes to most.

Some habits can be changed easily, others not so fast.  For the tougher ones, even small steps that show respect for your partners’ wishes will send a strong message.

They will notice the effort you put in, and you will love the compliments!

Imagine if you can completely transform your relationship and have something money alone can never buy? A New Year’s goal of having a healthy relationship might be challenging, but it will be the most rewarding as well.

Ready to take all of your relationships to the next level and improve your professional, romantic, and social life?   Try working with a relationship coachLife Coach Library makes it convenient and risk- free to experience life-coaching!   

Signs that you might need an emotional detox.

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

What is an emotional detox?

The word ‘Detox‘ often refers to “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” Upon hearing the word we tend to jump to the usual suspects of drugs, alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. We may even assume it relates to the latest ‘dieting’ fad but rarely do we think of our emotions and mental health in need of detoxification.

An emotional detox refers to a mindful practice wherein we take the time to process unresolved emotions, thoughts, and trauma which have been left to go stale. Much like food which has been left to rot, our long overdue traumas and emotions can make us very ill But instead of chucking it all in the bin and starting over, emotional detoxing encourages us to properly and fully work with that which is causing us harm. We’re aiming to work through our troubles rather than shoving them to the side and labeling them as ‘do not open.Ever.’

How do I know if I need an emotional detox?

Are you afraid to say the word ‘no’ ? Maybe you’re constantly trying to fix other people’s problems? Do you often put the needs of others before your own? And, finally, are you a chronic overthinker who loses sleep over the smallest of things?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above then you’ll benefit greatly from an emotional detox.

There are various mental and physical symptoms to consider when thinking about emotional detox. You don’t have to wait until you experience any of these to start your detox, instead you should act quickly and often in order to avoid a build-up of negative emotions and trauma.

Watch out for the following:

Chronic headaches.

Often considered a sign of heightened stress levels (or the need for an eye appointment), frequent and uncomfortable headaches are a sure sign that you may need to emotionally detox. It goes hand in hand with reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood which can trigger a variety of adverse reactions in the body.

If the headaches escalate to migraine level things can become debilitating, and you might find yourself on the couch or in a dark room for a number of days.

Frequent illness.

Do you often get colds and flus? Or maybe you suffer from constant stomach aches and cramps? Illness of any kind can be an indication that you need to slow down, listen to yourself and possibly detox from your emotional traumas. The odd niggle or stuffy nose here and there is normal, but if you’re getting sick every time you take a break from work or more often than the average person, then it might be time to dig deeper.

Of course it’s important to remember that illness can be a sign of many other issues. Our bodies react adversely to any major trauma and changes, so always get checked out if you’re concerned. Otherwise, an emotional detox won’t do you any harm!

Unexplained and frequent pain.

As discussed, please be aware that unexplained and frequent pain could be a sign of something much more sinister. If in doubt, get checked out! This could include anything from joint pain to the aforementioned headache.

Poor gut health.

The gut is notoriously known as the second brain. We tend to hold a lot of our stress, trauma and tension within this area, and it’s extremely sensitive to change. Some people are more sensitive than others, and you could find that your stomach tightens with the slightest hint of anxiety.

Even when experiencing no other symptoms I would deem ‘gut health’ worthy of treatment all by itself. At the first signs of gut changes, I ask myself to slow down and re-evaluate things lest I repeat the last ten years of a painfully unhealthy GI tract.

If you begin to experience unexplained cramps, changes in bowel habits, sensitivity to foods you were otherwise fine with or anything else untoward, I strongly advise speaking to your doctor. If nothing else is out of the ordinary then an emotional detox should be the first thing on your list (along with hot water bottles and various herbal teas).

Trouble getting to and staying asleep.

Being unable to get adequate sleep is not only a sign of night-time anxiety, but negatively impacts our mental and physical health. So, the less sleep we get the more troubled we feel, and the more troubled we feel, the less sleep we get. It’s a vicious cycle resulting in chronic sleep deprivation which in itself can be a very dangerous thing.

Sleep is essential. Without it you’ll not only suffer from a variety of mental and physical impacts, but you may even die.

While we sleep our body recovers from physical and mental strain. We go into a hyper relaxed state where our tendons, neurons, brain cells (etc) can all repair themselves in peace. So, it’s easy to see why it’s so important to our overall well being.

Persistent trouble getting to sleep, like many things, indicates a problem either mentally or physically. It could be a case of making your bedroom sleep friendly, or simply shutting off from electronics a few hours before sleeping. Even bedtime meditation or yoga could do the trick! If you’re a frequent worrier, try keeping a journal where you can write down all your nagging thoughts before bed? Work through the worry, ask yourself why you’re feeling like that, is it justified, is it rational and leave it in the book for another day.

** It’s important to acknowledge that there may come a time when you need pills, in which cause ONLY use them under the guidance of your medical professional. Never use illegally sourced sleeping medication as this could have fatal consequences. **

Weight changes.

Fluctuation in weight over a short period of time can be an indication of a problem either physically or mentally. You could have a suppressed appetite due to overwhelm, likewise you could also be eating more, both of which lead to weight changes. While many people admit to overeating due to anxiety and stress, there are others who find themselves unable to eat due to discomfort or lack of appetite. It’s important to spot the signs and take action to combat them.

If you’re stressed or dealing with unresolved emotional issues, take action to recognize and process accordingly. Don’t allow it to continue to fester and, most importantly, take back control over your eating habits. Your weight may never be 100% controllable, and rightfully so, but it goes without saying that a healthy body makes it easier to maintain our mental health.

**If you’ve suffered from an eating disorder in the past or if you’re in recovery, it’s important to speak to your GP as soon as possible to avoid complete relapse. I would argue and say this is more pressing than attempting an emotional detox. Instead, get professional help first and work on detoxing later.

There are also a variety of mental and behavioral signs that you’re in need of an emotional detox, including;
  • Easily distracted and unable to maintain focus.
  • Unable to retain information, accompanied by a poor short term memory.
  • Deep feelings of anxiety. Constantly worrying about everything no matter how small.
  • Frequently ignoring your gut feelings, or any difficult feelings in general.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope on a daily basis.
  • Substance abuse and addiction.
  • Self-doubt, so much so that it hinders you from moving forward.
  • Feeling stuck and out of balance.
  • Chronic self-comparison which often leaves you feeling disheartened.
  • Unable to trust your own instincts and easily swayed by others
  • Breakdown of or poor personal relationships.

How to emotionally detox.

There are so many ways we can go about an emotional detox and, like many things, there is no one size fits all approach. It’s about finding what works, and I mean really works, for you. Google ‘How to do an emotional detox’ and you’ll come up with a variety of ways to get started. I’m going to discuss some techniques that have worked for me in the past and I strongly encourage you to find what works and create your own tailored approach.

  • Do Yoga (and maybe try some meditation).
  • Write or outwardly express your feelings in some way.
  • Practice affirmations and gratitude.
  • Step away from the screen!
  • Stop running from your feelings! Welcome them like guests, chat with them for a bit and then send them gently on their way.
  • Mind your gut.
  • Be aware of your stress levels and work on daily self-care to help reduce these.

There are many other ways you can take part in an emotional detox and, really, it’s a personal preference. What works for me may not work for you. Take time to get to know yourself and what makes you feel better in times of high stress. And if something doesn’t work for you the first-time round, remember that a lot of self-care skills require continued use in order to reap the full benefits.

Isolation is also an emotional killer.   It’s not always easy to ask for help or make ourselves vulnerable to others.    However, being stuck inside our own head means we are using the exact same thinking to help ourselves that got us where we are.    Find a trusted mentor who will never judge you and always has your best interest at heart.   The new perspective can help you look at things in a way that can change your life. 

About the author

Nyxie’s Nook is a blog focusing on mental health awareness, eating disorder recovery, wellness, and self-development. The blog was started in March 2019 in a bid to raise awareness for mental illness such as Anorexia Nervosa and Anxiety, two such disorders I suffer from. However, what started out as a hobby, quickly turned into something much, much more! 

Nyxie’s Nook has become a place to talk about all mental health issues and the struggles that come along with recovery. I cover a variety of subjects ranging from general wellness right up to more specific recovery-related content. I not only aim to cater to those in recovery but to people in all walks of life.”

You can find my blog at: 

www.nyxiesnook.com

Additionally you can view my social media profiles at the following: 

Kind regards

Chloe. 

I Guess That’s Why They Call it the (Winter) Blues…

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery

The holidays can be so stressful and hectic, and like it or not, we are typically surrounded by people.  Lots of people.  Family members, friends, colleagues at your office holiday party, crowds of people in the malls, restaurants, and traffic…the list goes on and on.

Then, poof! its over and everything is eerily quiet, or comparatively so.   

For many, this drop in activity and social interaction leaves a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. Couple that with single digit temperatures outside… and oh, those New Years Resolutions that you’ve already forgotten about, again…and. (deep sigh) yep,  the winter blues have crept right in.  

  
Regardless of why the first few weeks after the holidays can be emotionally overwhelming. 

My top 3 go-to’s when getting in a winter funk: Lights, Connection, Action!!

Let there be light! 

It’s common knowledge lack of sunlight during the winter months is connected to feeling down.   The scientific term is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and while some people suffer from it severely, almost everyone agrees the gloom of winter is a downer.    Dress warm and go outdoors if you’re able.   Being cold stinks, but as long as you’re warm, breathing the brisk air can be invigorating.  If you’re a dog owner like me, you know that getting them out sometimes is a pain, but everyone is much happier after.  Have an elderly neighbor with a dog?  Offer to help them.  They’ll appreciate it, and doing something for someone can really lift your spirits.  However, you choose to do it, don’t get too cooped up inside. 

Open your curtains and let the light shine in.    A lot of times, we close them because they do help insulate and keep the heat in.  I get it.  Keeping the heat in is good, but the flip side is that it blocks the light out.   Even if you only open them for an hour a day, let there be light!  You’ll feel better.  

 Feeling blue, try Gratitude for Happiness

It’s almost impossible to feel down when you have a real sense of gratitude.  Take a moment to think of anyone that did something extra special over the holidays and reach out to thank them.   You could call them, send them a card, or an email.  I discourage texting, but if that’s what feels right to you, then by all means, go for it.  Everyone loves to receive thanks and to get outside of yourself and to connect with another person with a grateful heart creates endorphins related to happiness (Psychology Today)

Make a plan

Just get going again.  Think of how focused you were during the holidays.  How ever you celebrate, making plans, meeting deadlines, reaching goals is a big part of the process, and chances are, you did all of that without even being aware of it.  Now is your opportunity to focus on something for yourself.  We all have something we’d like to accomplish and have procrastinated on (until after the holidays?)

Here are a few ideas.

Pick an area of your life you want to work on.   Are you happy with your career?  How’s your love life?   Still eating Christmas candy or just feeling the after-effects and ready to get back into healthy habits?   Thought about starting a business or writing a book or taking up a new hobby?  Pick one (or two), and write down your ultimate goal with it.  Even if it seems lofty now, as long as there is some reality to it, get it on paper.  Then break it down into chunks by what you need to accomplish in (for example) one year or six months. Then what do you need to get done each month to get to the end?  After that, break it into weekly goals to reach your monthly objective.  Lastly, what can you do TODAY to meet your weekly commitment?  

Don’t put massive stress or pressure on yourself.

That’s counterproductive.  The stress will create negative feelings that will ultimately be the demise of the plan. Even people who think they are motivated by pain or panic typically fizz out.  It just doesn’t work, or at least not for long.   If you find yourself feeling angst or stress, try setting SMART GOALS.   These  are smaller, more specific and managable goals allowing you to celebrate even your simplest victory.

Winter can feel like an ending while you’re waiting for the new beginnings that come with spring.  However, it doesn’t have to be.   There are only so many tomorrows, and letting nearly 90 of them pass you by does not serve your highest good.   You deserve so much more out of life.   Let yourself live it to the fullest.  

Ring Ring Your Life is Calling: find your true calling in life

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family
stop procrastination

Realize it or not, we all experience a sense of passion and purpose at some time in our lives. Think back to when you were a child and had an unfiltered interest in a game or toy.  Maybe you played a musical instrument or lost yourself in arts and crafts.  

Finding a passionate purpose in your adult life is not so different from this.  We resonate with a vision of possibility.  It may start seemingly ordinary, but as we lean into it, the possibilities seem endless, and it takes on a life of its own. The clearer we can see the vision, the more doors to new opportunities appear, and our vision becomes deeply meaningful. 

Living authentically frees you to turn possibility into reality. 

Are you living in line with your authentic self?  Do you do what is meaningful and inspiring to you? Are you achieving the results you want in your life? Do you feel fully alive? How much do you wholeheartedly engage and enjoy each moment, no matter where you are or what you are doing?   How you live one day is how you live your life. The answers to these probing questions define it.

You’ll have more confidence and self-respect; you’ll feel better knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a true and accurate measure; you’ll be more optimistic and be ready to forward, even if you’ve felt stuck in the past.

When you ignite your passion, you procrastinate less and have more drive; your relationships will improve because you being the best version of you. 

Uncover your true passion and purpose

It starts with a vision.

Allow yourself some time to quiet the mind and slow down the chaos of everyday life.  Ask yourself: What do I want? What makes me happy? What am I passionate about? Don’t filter your answers.  The answers you seek exist inside of you if you’re willing to listen.  It can take time, so don’t try and hurry the process.

Pay attention to shifts in your thought process.


You’ll start to notice your mental energy flowing towards unraveling what it is that you truly are meant to be or do.  You’ll be amazed as you begin to attract the elements that resonate with your calling.  It will be as if life is calling you on your own personal telephone, you just need to answer the phone. 

As ideas come to you, imagine that you are already living your ideal life.   Close your eyes and as if you are watching a movie starring yourself, fill in all the details with vibrant color; hear the sounds of success; feel the satisfaction and joy that comes with it.
 

It takes consistent vigilance

To manifest situations that provide the opportunities you desire, you must maintain focus on the end-goal.  Spend time each day doing even the smallest thing that is consistent with someone who already has or is what they desire.   Be selfish with your time and not get distracted, even if only for 15 minutes. Make this time yours without negotiation and be willing to repeat it again and again.

Ask for Help

You will always have to do “it” yourself, but you never have to do it alone.  Find a trusted confidante to run your ideas by.  Try to find someone who will support you without judgment.  That someone should also be living in line with their true passion and purpose.  Inner vision can take time to activate, and it’s essential to know where, how, when, and who to ask for help. 

These suggestions will help you get in touch with your core values and deepest desires.   They will stimulate your imagination to identify what your life’s purpose, vision, and mission are.

Consider that as you discover your passions that life is calling you.  Are you going to answer the phone?   Or are you going to wait for the voice mail (procrastinate)?   Will you respond with a text because you don’t have the “perfect” response? Or will you put a post on social media asking for permission from others to do what you desire most?

When you feel a strong pull that something is your calling, the best thing to do is get busy!   The sooner you start, the quicker you feel better and build momentum.  When you decide to live your purpose and go for what you really want, amazing things start to occur.  

Start today!  A year from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jobs and Careers: Why are so many people content with just earning a salary and working 9-6 their entire adult life?

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
i hate my job

Ahh, the American dream: finish high school, continue to get a degree or specialized training, and live out the rest of your life for an organization the provides fringe benefits and opportunities for promotion. 

For some, attending college may be about enrichment and personal fulfillment. Still, for most people, the primary motivation to go to college is the hope of securing gainful employment when finishing.   Statistics validate that the average income of someone who has earned a bachelor’s degree is 80% higher than their peers with a high school diploma or less. 

So, assuming having a decent salary is the big win for investing four years of one’s life and tens of thousands of dollars, it is no surprise that so many are motivated and encouraged, if not pushed, to pursue this pre-mapped route.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this and by no means discredit what a precious resource knowledge can be.  There is nothing wrong with taking the traditional route! But let’s look at this a little closer.  Over 70% of college grads are in debt with a whopping collective total of about $1.5 TRILLION. If you were to place 1.5 trillion one-dollar bills end-to-end, that would stretch for about 210,000 miles, or around the earth about 8.5 times.  It’s no wonder the average age children move out of their parent’s house has crept up to nearly 30! 

With such responsibilities, having a 9-6 job is not only attractive but convenient. A safe and secure job will help pay those pesky student loans, make the monthly payment on dependable transportation, take a vacation occasionally, and maybe even save towards a down payment on a home.  All good stuff and part of livin’ the dream!  

Whose dream?

Maybe dreams are for kids?

Hence, most people prefer to work for someone else all their adult lives. They get periodic promotions, pay into their retirement fund, and live a life that is risk-averse and without complications.  They are content.  Many of them at least.   According to Forbes, 58% of them are.   Which means 42% aren’t.    Over 2/3’s of them are merely surviving.  Miserable at work.  They hate their job; they hate their boss; they just go through the motions to collect a paycheck and get health insurance.  Sound familiar?

Compare this to the life of someone self-employed or an entrepreneur. Venture capitalist and internet entrepreneur. Reid Hoffman, eloquently said ‘An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.’

This accurately describes the life of someone who wants to take a different approach to life. Someone who must live passionately and is driven by some higher purpose.  They are willing to forgo the security of a steady income in exchange for the opportunity for unlimited income.  Despite the extreme discipline and dedication, they will tell you they do not work at all.  Why?  They love what they do!  It makes them feel alive.  

Entrepreneurs take risks, make sacrifices, and endure hardship. The ultimate reward is freedom, a sense of accomplishment, and a flexible lifestyle that is entirely different from the mainstream lifestyle. 

Interestingly,  out of 185 million working-age Americans, 14% or 27 million are entrepreneurs today. They are either starting a new business or already have their own established companies.  This is the highest number of entrepreneurs ever recorded in the US and goes to show how millennials and Generation Z have a different approach to life than their parents. 

Why? Maybe technology has created more opportunities to niche out. Perhaps the allure of work-from-home in your sweats has winningly surpassed the “suit up and show up” mentality of the baby boomers.  Or maybe, just maybe, that despite all the benefits of formal education, we are learning to value the independence and satisfaction of creating our own livelihoods.  No longer are they willing to conform to the corporate culture and jump through the hierarchical hoops to get ahead.   They are living authentic lives.  

We have total respect for any hardworking human being who supports themselves in any ethical fashion, in whatever professional lifestyle they choose.   For those who know that they are cut out to use their God-given talents to do something fantastic on their own, we wish you success as you pursue your passion. 

If you hate your job and are merely enduring the days and weeks, living for a paycheck and a few benefits, you can make a change.  It’s not too late, you are not too old, and there is something better for you.   You owe it to yourself to live in line with your values, interests, and fulfilling work if you’re unsure where to start, with a career coach to find out how!

A NEW YEAR – A NEW BEGINNING

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family
new years resolution

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, time to be with your loved ones, and a time for laughter and cheer. But it is also a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not simply a commemorative Christian holiday. It is not simply celebrating with family and friends. It is not simply a time to give gifts and to be a giving person for a few days out of the year. The Christmas holiday can certainly be all these things, but it can be so much more. No matter what your religious beliefs, this time of year can be a time to reflect on our lives. Every year, I am particularly moved by the song “Happy Christmas” by Celine Dion.

So, this is Christmas and what have you done

Another year over, a new one just begun . . . .

Every year when I hear this song, it touches my soul in a very personal way, and it always gets me thinking about my life. What meaningful things have I done over the last year? Certainly, my accomplishments and goal achievements come to mind, but it is actually much more than that. It is about who I’ve become and what I have done for others. Each year it is my goal to become a better person. Health and wellness is something I always need to work on but, equally important, is my goal of becoming the person I want to be. I want to demonstrate my love for my family in many different ways. I want to create beautiful memories for my children and grandchildren that will live on for a lifetime. I want to deepen the relationships I have with my spouse, my family, my friends, and others. I want to step into the shoes of others, so I can see and feel things from their perspective, experience their world, understand and help them work through challenges, and join them as they celebrate their successes. As a life and leadership coach, I want to support my clients to reach their goals, achieve their dreams, and, in the process, become their personal and professional best.

There have been a number of self-improvement efforts I’ve made over the years. One that I would like to share because it has had a very positive impact on my life and may on yours too is learning to be present, to live in the present moment, the here and now. Most of us spend the majority of our time focused on either the past or the future. We have 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts entering our minds every day, and as many as 80% of these thoughts are negative.  While some past thoughts may be pleasant, many aren’t, and those are the ones we tend to focus on. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness are all emotions that can come from focusing on our past. We hold grudges and, as such, compromise our relationships. Thoughts about the future are also a source of negative emotions.  We worry about things that may never happen. Anxiety, tension, stress, and worry come from focusing on too much future. To make matters worse, we play these same negative thought patterns over and over and over again in our minds.  When we do this, we are escaping the present moment that is our life now. We may be eating a delicious meal or spending time with friends, yet our minds are “miles away,” stressing over a problem at work or replaying for the thousandth time an argument we had with our spouse a few days ago.   We don’t fully enjoy the food we’re eating. We don’t really hear what our friends are saying, and we don’t enjoy our time together as much as we could. We’ve lost connection. Our relationships and joy can be seriously compromised. Just think about how much we are missing out on life by not being present. To become present, ask yourself from time to time what you are thinking about, and instantly, you will become present. Note where your mind was. Were you dwelling on something from your past or possibly worried about something in your future?

Have I achieved being the best version of myself? No, I have not, but that is the point. It is something we need to work on continually. As I approach the New Year, I think about how I can become a better person to make more of a difference in the world. Change takes time. The New Year is the perfect opportunity for a new start, a new beginning.

So, I invite you to search your soul to see if you are becoming the person you want to be and making the difference you want to make in this world. As the song goes, what have you done? Another year over, a new one has just begun. When the Christmas holiday returns in December, and we hear the lyrics to “Happy Christmas” again, let’s have something to say about how we’ve been a giving person all year long and how we’ve made a significant difference for others by who we’ve become. The people that mean the most to us, our families, our friends, and others may not remember all our accomplishments, but they will remember who we are, how we’ve treated them, and the impact we’ve made in their lives.

We wish you a year of love, laughter, connection, success, joy, and fulfillment!

While no one can create your happiness but you, reaching our goals can be tough to do alone.  If you’re ready for better results than you’ve achieved in previous years, consider reaching out to a professional life-coach.  You will go further and do it faster than you will on your own!  Life Coach Library makes it convenient and RISK FREE to experience the impact working with a coach can have. 

Submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com/

You’re PROBABLY NOT Going to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family
new years resolutions

It’s nothing personal; research shows that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken and forgotten by February 15th.  Why are resolutions so hard to keep? There are a lot of reasons for this ranging from lack of clarity of goals, unrealistic expectations, or, according to some psychologists, the word itself does not program the brain for commitment and motivation, which are vital for success.

It’s true that at the end of December, most of us reflect on the year behind us and look at the new year as a fresh beginning, a chance to make changes.  The reality is that May 5th, August 30th, or November 19th are equally as good to create a new beginning and make changes.  ANY day you decide to improve something about yourself or your life is a GREAT day to start.  

The real question to ponder is not WHEN is a good time to start?  But WHY haven’t you done it already?  Why haven’t you done what you wanted to?  Why are you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship?  Why did you lose 20 pounds and then just give up?  WHAT has gotten in-between you and achieving your goals?

 The usual culprits are:

  • Absence of clearly defined and realistic goals
  • Unsustainable motivation and commitment
  • Limiting-beliefs that lead to procrastination or sabotage success
  • Making costly mistakes that deplete time and resources
  • Using the SAME thinking to solve a problem that created them 

“Problems cannot be solved by the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”  If any of this sounds like you, you’re not alone.   Hundreds of thousands of people go through the same cyclical process several times a year, every year.    If you’ve been afraid to try or have tried and failed repeatedly, it can be so discouraging, but the worst thing you can do is allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. 

It takes courage, and it takes energy, but you can begin again.  You can change.   You can overcome challenges.  You can break through self-limiting beliefs.  You can become the person you want to be, and you can create the life you want to live.

The difference is:    If you want a different result, you have to do something different.  Something inside you must change before anything outside of you can change. 

Whatever it is you do today, you are creating your future.   If you do nothing today, you are creating your future.  If you  “go for it” today, you are creating your future.   The second you decide to act and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you win.

So, with 2020 right around the corner, what are your goals? 

Here are 6 common areas of life and goals.  These are very general, but we recommend that yours be as specific and detailed as possible.

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Career

  • Reduce stress and create life-work balance
  • Plan a better career path or transition 
  • Improve professional skills (presentation, leadership, time-management, etc.)
  • Start or grow a business

Finances

  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Establish a nest egg
  • Save for large purchases
  • Invest
  • Plan retirement

Health and Wellness  

  • Establish daily self-care routines
  • Nutritional goals,
  • Exercise and physical goals
  • Wellness goals (for ex: stress management)
  • Lifestyle changes.

Relationships: family; romantic; social

  • Meeting the love of your life
  • Improving your current relationship with the love of your life
  • Getting along better with your parents or colleagues
  • Communication with your teenage children
  • Broadening your social circle

Personal growth;

  • Build confidence; end procrastination; become proactive
  • Develop a happier attitude; learn to think positively
  • Overcome limiting beliefs; find one’s purpose and passion
  • Break bad habits, create good ones

Spirituality

  1. Deepen commitment to spiritual practices
  2. Broaden your understanding of religious philosophies
  3. Learn to practice The Law of Attraction
  4. Seek answers to questions you ponder or don’t understand
  5. Grow along spiritual lines and principles

Any of these goals are possible.  If any of them (or others) appeal to you, know that YOU CAN.  It may feel like moving a mountain right now, but one step at a time, they can be achieved.

If you decide to “go for it,” it does not matter what you call it, you must commit to change.   You must see it clearly, and you have to believe you can do it.   You must become the person you need to be and develop the discipline and character to make your goal reality.  You must change not to be the person who only wants success and become one who is willing to fight for it. 

One thing you DON” T have to do is go it alone.   No one is coming to do it for you, so you do have to get your a## in gear and get busy.  But you don’t have to fly solo.   DO get support.  DO find someone who can help you clarify your goals.  DO find someone who will hold you accountable and help you remember your why.  DO get an outside perspective that is objective.    Who is that person?   If you don’t have an answer already, we suggest working with a professional coach. 

A coach is skilled in helping you:

  • Clarify your goals and create a robust and actionable plan
  • Identify blocks that have gotten in the way of success in the past & help you overcome them.
  • Help you stay motivated, committed, and hold you accountable.
  • Collaborate with you to form a “think-tank” and come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have had on your own.
  • Save you time and money because you are less likely to make mistakes and get off track.

Life coaching works!  Life Coach Library makes finding a coach you love convenient and RISK-FREE.   When you register and complete a short survey, we’ll match you with up to three coaches who will offer you a complimentary coaching consolation.  From there, you choose the best coach for you and start reaching your goals!  The best part?  Our service is FREE. 

You haven’t lived your best year yet!  Will 2020 be it?

Why Career Coaching is a Must for Developers and Freelancers

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

This article was initially published by JetCake.

The benefits of career coaching have shown to be invaluable in almost every industry.  Forbes, Inc., recently published statistics reporting that over 70% of those who receive coaching see improvements in their work performance, communication skills, relationships, and more often than not, recoup their investment.

Many of the worlds most famous CEOs, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,  have worked with career coaches.   They had the personal insight to know that having object feedback and accountability could be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.  They worked with coaches to develop communication skills, business concepts and clalrify their vision.  While coaching was once considered a luxury service for the elite, mainstream professionals frequently advance their careers and personal goals by working with a coach.    Today, professionals in every industry, including developers and programmers work with coaches to sharpen their resume,  gain feedback on their “blind spots”, advance in supporting skill sets, and clearly define their career trajectory.

Coaching takes many forms, from collaborating with trusted peers, having a mentor, and formally hiring a professional coach to get the most personalized attention and expertise one can.   In today’s uber busy and digital world, most of the coaching takes place right on your smartphone or tablet.

Being a successful freelancer takes so much more than being an excellent developer.   You need a strategy to market yourself and juggle the many tasks of going out on your own.  You might be a fantastic coder, but do you have all the skills needed to stand out?  If you’re ready to be proactive to stay ahead of the competion,  the impact of coaching is  invaluable. Here’s why every developer needs career coaching along the way. 

A Coach will help you develop your soft skills

When it comes to skills that employers seek most, tech and coding skills dominate LinkedIn’s 2019 list of skills sought after by employers’. That’s great news for developers.   Finding work will be relatively easy for you as your skillset is in high demand.   Scarce are developers who cannot get by.  However, do you want to get by, or do you want to be wildly successful?  Do you want to pick up a few gigs here and there, or do you want to thrive and have a constant stream of business?   What’s your vision for tomorrow, next year, and five years from now?    How are you going to make yourself stand out from the crowd?  

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, having the right soft skills are in equal demand to honed professional talent.  This is what separates the good from the great.  Many developers and programmers focus on their hard skills but ignore this area of professional development.     

Read: Should you hire a Freelance Developer?

According to Linkedin, the most in-demand soft skills are collaboration with team members and management, being able to think outside of the box, an eye for detail and accuracy, time management & organizational skills, and being adaptive and responsive. When a recruiter interviews dozens of candidates for one highly sought-after position, guess who stands out?   They one who delivers “all that AND the bag of chips.” In other words, the total package.

Certified Business and Career Coaches are experts at helping clients by preparing them for nuanced, real-world situations that will hone communication skills and develop them to measure up in multiple skill areas.  The jobs are out there and you can gain a competitive advantage in the job market by becoming a seasoned candidate with various skillsets. 

A Coach will save you time and money in developing your career

There’s no shortage of demand for developers which makes it very easy to let yourself rest in a comfort zone.  You might be lucky enough that opportunities seem to find you more than you actively seek them.   If that’s you, kudos, but don’t take it for granted.   Inevitably competition will grow, the “fit” will survive, but only the “fittest” will excel!   A career coach can help freelance developers, and tech professionals connect to more extensive networks, navigate career changes, win proposals on more significant projects, and discern what types of companies are most suited to your talents and preferences.    

A Coach will help you “future-proof” your skillset 

What worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.  The tech industry is continuously growing and changing, and if you want to stay in the race, your skills must too.   Easier said than done when  you’re focused on work projects of the day, so how can you be proactive and sharpen your skills to be ready for tomorrow?

“Coaches can use assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of personality and skillsets. They can also help job seekers understand how a skill can be applied in a different way to a new job,” writes TechRepublic

Business and Career Coaches stay current on what recruiters and industry leaders are looking for and can help you see where your skills might be outdated.  They will help you sharpen your presentation skills for the interview.    Some coaches will also take it a step further and place a developer in a job.

In short, the longevity of your professional status comes down to staying ahead of the curve in both technological and professional skills.    Savvy developers take advantage of coaching to stay in high demand!

Ready to be proactive in your career?  Try coaching RISK-FREE.

If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time To Look Inside

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
achieve your goals

Can you believe there are only a few weeks left before the New Year is upon us?  Is your life today as you hoped it would be this time last year? Have you kept your New Year’s promises and made the changes you were so enthusiastic about?  Or, are you among the many who wanted change, wanted results,  had powerful intentions, but once again, you didn’t go the distance and achieve your goals?

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein.  The truth is, if you want change, it’s you that needs to change.   No one is saying this is easy; old habits and old beliefs die hard.  The key to powerful, lasting change is having a clear vision and setting compelling goals.

Even though most people understand goal setting on a rational level, a whopping 80% of people never set clearly defined goals.  If that’s not bad enough, of the 20% who do set goals, nearly 70% of them never reach them.  Why not?  There are several possible reasons.   Sometimes there are outside circumstances that they genuinely have no control over. Still, the reality of it is the biggest obstacle to reaching the personal and professional growth we aspire to lives between your ears.  The typical culprits are lack of commitment, inactivity, or perhaps having too many goals. But even if these things are in perfect order, you could still miss the mark.

Here’s why:

  1. You need a change in attitude and to address self-limiting beliefs: Using the same thinking that got you “here” isn’t going to get out.  When you want something new on the outside, you need to create something new on the inside.  Most of our thought process runs in the unconscious, and that’s is where many damaging thoughts camp out.   Think of these limiting beliefs as pesky weeds which, until pulled out from their root, keep coming back and airing their ugly head. Typical examples are believing you’re someone you’re not; you’re not good enough, not smart enough, too young/too old, or some such disempowering label. Until that limiting belief is discovered and replaced with something positive and empowering, you are set up for failure.
  2. You fear failure, or even worse, you fear success: Some people are afraid they will fail, but the fear of success undermines even more people.  If they fail, they anticipate people labeling them a failure or a loser. If they succeed, they think people may be envious and treat them differently, perhaps negatively or that they can’t keep up the pace and will humiliate themselves.  As cliché as it may be, deep down, they might believe they’re unworthy of attaining the goal and, consciously or unconsciously sabotage themselves.   Either way, if you lack faith yourself and your potential, why would you even invest your energy and make the kind of non-negotiable commitment needed for success?   If you can’t give everything you’ve got, what can you expect to get back?
  3. You’re not being true to yourself, and there is a conflict with your core values and/or life purpose. Are you doing what you are passionate about or what you think you should be doing?   Are you trying to please yourself or someone else?   Get clear about your core values and life purpose because they will serve as a compass, pointing out what it means to be true to yourself.  If you are living in conflict with your core values, you create stress, like running against the wind or trying to swim against the current.  It leads to frustration and disenchantment.  When you live “on purpose,” you will be amazed how easily things can fall into place.  You still have to work hard and very hard at that.  However, your motivation will be stronger and last longer because you are doing what you love to do, what you are good at, and accomplishing what is important to you. You are making a difference in the world.   These are the key ingredients to finding success, joy, and fulfillment. 

The most common characteristic amongst successful people is the ability to take 100% responsibility for their lives, including their achievements, the results they produce, the quality of their relationships, their health and well- being, their income, and everything else. They are goal-oriented and take action.  When stuck, they don’t blame people, places or circumstances, they reassess and readjust and keep going.  Even if things do not go as they hoped, they do not feed themselves the lies ‘I am a loser, I am a failure, or I can’t achieve anything.’ They redefine their failure as a success by looking at the reality of the situation, learning from it, and pressing on. 

While no one can create your success but you, you’d don’t have to do it alone.  If you’re ready to go all the way and move past your fears, consider reaching out to a professional coach. Overcoming the limiting beliefs that interfere with success is what life coaches specialize in. 

Reach out and receive a free consultation to experience the impact a coach can have!

Written and submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family
how to achieve goals

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Hollywood superstar Denzel Washington recently gave a commencement speech where he famously said 

‘…You have these dreams. Dreams without goals remain dreams and fuel disappointment’

We all love to dream, think about the house we want to buy, that cool car we want to own or that high-paying job we are working towards. Unfortunately, a lot of people are never able to live their dreams and are stuck in an unhappy place.

While some people like to call themselves lazy or even unlucky, the biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is setting goals.

The idea of setting goals is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago Aristotle explained this as final causality.

According to him, the only reason why people do something because they have a basic purpose and a need to achieve it.  

This simple factor drives the world and takes us forward.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke researched this idea and conducted tests that culminated in the ‘Goal-Setting Theory’.

His research work has been celebrated for years, especially in the business world, with corporations following many of his conclusions.

Interestingly though, most of his research has even better applications in our private lives. To get more out of your life and turn your dreams into reality, you will need to:



1. Make specific goals:

Having a big house or making that career move are great goals to have. However, uncertain or ambiguous goals might not take you anywhere. The idea is to be very specific about the goals you have and build upon them.

For example, to say that you want to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year is not a specific goal. Humans are emotional and such vague aspirations do not motivate us.

A better way is to set a goal of e.g. losing 2 lbs every month or cutting out on sugar and carbs. Such specific goals help us to act immediately and work on our dreams.

  • Turning dreams into reality takes effort:

If you want to change your life, make your marriage work, earn more or buy that house, you will have to work hard for it. There are no short-cuts, no lottery tickets to be won and no one is going to help you.

The good thing about setting small, quantitative goals is that it automatically pushes people to work that harder.

For example, if you are looking to buy your dream car, your goal should be earning an extra income. This way you will push yourself to work overtime and get closer to your objective.

  • Goals make us more persistent:

Read How to Get and Stay Motivated

Setbacks are a part of life and usually throws a lot of people off. You might have had a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse.

A bad day at work can be emotionally challenging and a bad marriage can be life-altering.

However, research has shown that the aim of achieving well-articulated goals make us more persistent against setbacks and generally makes us more resilient in life.

  • Goals can change our behavior:

Research has shown that having well-defined goals can gradually alter our behaviour and make us improve ourselves. E.g. if you are trying to lose weight you might have a goal of reducing your calorie or sugar intake. With such small, specific goals, you might not only shed away the pounds but alter your eating habits for the long-term.

How to Develop effective goals

Make sure the goals you set for yourself really make you work towards your dreams. For effective goal-setting make sure:

Your goals are clear – Goals should be SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure your goals are simple, clear and have a certain milestone or deadline. Without setting deadlines your goals will take you nowhere.

Also, complex goals are not easy to implement, thus be practical and realistic about them. You should also be able to keep track of your progress and measure your success.

Challenge yourself – While your goals need to be realistic, that does mean they should be easy. Only by challenging ourselves can we break free from our comfort zones and do something beyond the ordinary.

Commit to it – You need to commit to your goals and set up some kind of a feedback system so you can understand how close you are to your goal. E.g. if you are aiming to lose some pounds, record your weight every week and keep on measuring it. A feedback system helps us to stay committed to what you are doing.

Most people never achieve their dreams because they are never fully committed to it. A lack of quick results demotivates most people. Hence, stay focused and committed!

Have an Action Pan – You need to have a complete action plan to turn your dream into a reality. Your action plan should consist of key milestones you want to achieve and when e.g. you dream of becoming a TV producer, you need to start with small internships, take relevant college courses and work your way up. There should be a complete strategy for whatever you want to achieve in life.

In all this, we should never forget the importance of our present. Currently, you might be a young professional or even a fresh graduate. However, 5 years ago, you dreamed of being where you are right now.

On an unconscious level, you did have a plan and goals in mind and you worked hard for it. We usually don’t enjoy the situations we are in and are always looking for a ‘better’ future. While this is human nature, we need to appreciate our present and where we are in life to fully realize our potential and prepare for tomorrow.

Hence, if you need to change something in your life, make a plan and start following it. If you believe saying sorry to someone right now can save your relationship, do it now! If you believe applying for a new job might help you increase your income, don’t think and do it now!

Having someone to help you set powerful goals and stay focused on them can be the difference between success and failure for many.  Professional life-coaches are trained to help their clients gain clarity on their values and set goals that are in line with their authentic selves.  They help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.   Bring on the new year ready for success and try life-coaching risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us at Life Coach Library.com!

If You Can Learn, You Can Lead

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family
collaboration

One thing that all leaders know is that they are never finished developing their leadership skills.  They are continually looking for ways to grow both professionally and personally.  Evolving in one’s leadership skill set is vital to the success of their organization, team, and themselves. 

Are you that leader who thinks that your subordinates suck? Guess what, if this is you, it might be you who sucks. A good leader believes there are no “bad teams.’   only ‘bad managers’ and they look within to find solutions before pointing the finger to others.

If you are currently in a leadership role, you know this is true.  If you’re not, but aspire to be, you can cultivate skills you already have to become one.   Leadership does not have to be a professional title.   You can be a leader in a marriage, your family, and even social acquaintances.   To be a leader, you only need to be someone who modals ideal behaviors and inspires others to follow. 

Characteristics of the best leaders are the ability to infuse passion, make strong-connections, infectious energy, and commitment to the mission of the organization.   Business mogul  Richard Branson says the ability to inspire is one of the most crucial skills every leader should have.  The greatest leaders encourage you to learn more, become better, dream bigger, and accomplish what seemed almost impossible. 

Lead by example

Expect from your team what you expect from yourself

Never ask your team members to do something that you would never do yourself.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll be resented and viewed as a hypocrite.  You can’t have such high expectations of others if you do not have them for yourself too.  If you’re ok with mediocrity from them, be mediocre.   If you demand excellence, make sure you deliver excellence. 

The only person you can change is yourself.  Be the person you want others to be, and ideally, you will inspire them to change themselves for the better.

When things go amok, stay calm and carry on

Remember, life is unpredictable. Thus, it is possible to run into challenges at any given moment.

It is vital to stay calm and set aside some of your time to think things through when they come up.  It’s not wise to rush and make decisions during the most challenging situations.  You want to keep your team calm, too, as mass hysteria will not solve anything.  Don’t dwell on the problem but focus on the solution.  Communicate clearly with everyone involved and encourage input.  Most issues arise when there is isolation, and the (proverbial) right-hand doesn’t know what the left-hand is doing.  Stay openminded to new ideas and collaboratively come up with a solid strategy to remedy the situation.

Everyone screws up sometimes.  If it’s you, own it!

Don’t be afraid to let your team see the fallible and human side of you.   When you admit you made a mistake and take responsibility for it, they will respect you and be able to come to you for guidance when they are in need.  Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and move on.  You will create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in.   You want your team to be challenged by the tasks that they do, not the environment they do them in. 

Be clear about boundaries

A good leader is the one who has clearly conveyed what is expected and what is not tolerated.    Their primary objective is to gain the respect and devotion of their team but not to be buddies.    As a manager, you need to ensure that all the team members take you seriously.  Make sure you follow your own rules too.   This models strong communication skills to your team and shows them that you are fair and consistent.  

Listen

 Sometimes it’s better to talk less and listen more.  Let yourself be approachable and available for your team to come and speak freely.  When you allow others to share their ideas, you empower them, and incorporating some of them will keep them motivated.   

When you are doing the talking, make sure that you offer praise and gratitude to your team.  It’s easy to say, “good job!” and your sincere appreciation will make them feel incredible.

  Inspire

Frontrunners know they have something great to offer this world.   They are talented at teaching others to access their own greatness to support that mission.  They do so with heartfelt support and guidance and provide the resources necessary for success.  They do not take advantage of their position and dole out rules and demands.   

 Inspiring leadership is the one that starts with passion. Passion leads to purpose. Purpose plus direction leads to accomplishing great things!

It starts with you! 

A leader is not a person who is born overnight. Leadership is a journey that starts with a single step. 

These tips offer general guidance to be a progressive leader.  Put them into practice and continue to take a personal inventory to hone your unique leadership skills.  

If you’re ready to up your game with a professional leadership coach, you can speak with up to 3 risk-free at Life Coach Library when you register and complete a simple survey.   If not you, who?  If not now, when?

Read: Why is Leadership Development Important

 

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows (proverb) 8 Tips for Better Time Management

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
stop wasting time

Sometimes life is defined by either time or money.  Sometimes we have plenty of time, but don’t seem to have the money to do what we want.  Others, we have enough money, but simply can’t muster the time.

Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. You cannot buy it or produce more of it, and once time goes by, you can never get it back or makeup “lost-time.” While we have all slacked at some point in our lives, the biggest regret of most isn’t that they were active and made mistakes but did doing nothing and wasted time.

In our professional lives, time is money; In our personal lives, (enjoying) time is happiness. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a senior manager, or just someone trying to build their career, better time management can make the difference between reaching your dreams and being able to enjoy them when you get there.  

Ideally, you want to be productive at work, have a healthy social life, and still be able to spend quality time with your family. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; what differs is how we utilize them. We have come up with the top 8 tips that can help you better manage your time and achieve more in life!

1. Make a to-do list

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the simplest to follow. Prepare a to-do list to better understand what you need to do and when. It can be an hourly, daily, or weekly task list.

The idea is to be very clear of the tasks that need to be completed. As you complete each task, check it off the list and move on to the next. If you’re a procrastinator or just feeling completely overwhelmed, add things that you can complete in the next 10 minutes.  

Start with ones that are quick and easy to complete then progress to the bigger, challenging ones. There is a certain satisfaction you get as you move down the list, and it will keep you more motivated throughout the day.

2. Prioritize your tasks

Remember to prioritize your work. For effective time management, it is better to compartmentalize and complete the more urgent tasks first.  What’s urgent may not always seem essential.  If you have a big report to write, it’s probably more important than responding to an email your boss sent, but I assure you answering your boss is more urgent at that moment.

Know yourself and what keeps you pumped.  Is it better for you to tackle difficult tasks first? Or do you prefer to start with the more manageable tasks and knock them off your list?    Once you’ve decided what the most urgent and important things are, do whatever works best for you.

3. Remove distractions

Multi-tasking is a buzz word from the ’90s that has caused more harm than good.  We’re so technologically advanced that we think we can have a meeting on Skype while writing a report and texting friends to make plans for the weekend – This does not work!  Nothing gets done correctly, and the long-term results can be harsh when it’s time for performance reviews.  

For better time management, you need to concentrate on one task before moving to something else.  You get out of it what you put into it, so give tasks 100% of you, this is even more important if you have a short attention span or suffer from ADHD.

Learn the art of saying “NO”.  If someone asks you to take on extra work, politely decline when possible.  Saying yes to others is often saying no to yourself.    You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and only you know your limits.

It takes confidence to say no, but it will your life easier and help you better manage your life!

Don’t be afraid to close your door; turn your cell phone off; not answer every email in your inbox; and hunker down on an important task.  It’s ok to be selfish with your time, and you must be when you want to be most productive and efficient.  

4. Eat better and exercise

Eating healthy and exercising regularly can have a massive impact on your physical and mental well-being. It can keep you feeling fresher and active, giving you more energy to keep you going throughout the day.

One of the primary reasons many people miss deadlines is because they feel sick, tired, or stressed all day long.   Having chronic caffeine or sugar withdrawals wreaks havoc on one’s concentration and stamina to see tasks through to completion. 

Staying fit and healthy is a great way to combat this and can help you get more out of your day. This is even more important as you get older. For better time management and to stay active, work on a healthy lifestyle.

5. Get some sleep and start your day early

Speaking of healthy lifestyles, never skip on a good night’s sleep.  Many young professionals do not get enough sleep, making them feel tired and irritable throughout the day without realizing that sleep deprivation is the culprit.  This has a direct impact on efficiency, forcing you to be under-productive.

The most successful people in the world start their day early and for a good reason!

Waking up early gives you enough time to start your day casually. You can have a good breakfast, read the news, exercise or answer emails, and avoid that daily race to work.  Science proves that the first 20 minutes of your day have a lasting effect (Entrepreneur).  Use yours wisely, and you will set the tone for the rest of the morning and afternoon.

Be disciplined, get rest, wake with a lot of energy, and crush the day!

6. Take breaks

Don’t try and be a superhero and work non-stop all-day everyday. Taking short 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day helps to revitalize, relax, and keep you calm.  Every 2-3 hours, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the office or building, drink some water, and just let yourself regroup.  

7. Outsource or delegate whenever possible

We all want to believe we are amazing and can do everything ourselves, that we are in complete control. We would rather do things ourselves than ask someone else, possibly because we don’t trust people to do it right and believe we can do it better, or we simply don’t know how to ask for help.  Try and view “problem tasks” as “challenges” and make a game out of them.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Successful people know how to decide what to do themselves and what to delegate responsibility, whenever and wherever possible.  Chances are if it’s making you miserable, someone else is better for the task or can at least help you get through rough spots.   The ability to trust your team is a bit difficult but is essential for improving time management and your lifestyle.

8. Establish routines

With practice, you can discipline yourself to have a routine that makes your day work like a well-oiled machine

When you are consistent about the time you go to sleep, wake up, exercise, get to work, have lunch, and everything else you do routinely during the week, you will have successfully managed your time instead of allowing your tasks to manage you.

Expect hiccups now and then, but working on this type of discipline will go a long way in meeting key milestones and achieving daily goals.

What to Do When Your Boss Is a Jerk

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

A dream job could turn into a nightmare when you have a boss who seems to go out of their way to be a jerk to you. Sometimes, they seem to get some twisted pleasure in making you miserable. Some environments have such a toxic culture; the employees have come to think it’s normal for their bosses to behave this way. Worse still, they believe it’s a rite of passage.

Dreading Monday

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a beautiful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is incredibly depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day or the whole week. You even get the feeling your boss hates being at work almost as much as you do.

My boss is a jerk

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of complaints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in; jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then there’s the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could quickly have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade! 

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected, and demeaned. 

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills, consider these career tips to make it bearable.

 

Take it in Stride and kill them with kindness.

Usually, when people treat others poorly, it stems from deep insecurity and fear they have of their leading potential.  They somehow confuse intimidation with leadership.   Meeting them with anger and resentment only makes things fester and get worse, especially when they have the power to make your life miserable.  According to Sutton, in such a situation, treat them with respect, kindness, and give them genuine compliments.  At the very least, you’ll confuse them, but chances are, you will gradually soften their brashness and create a better space for yourself. 

This move may not work in all instances if your boss is a power-hungry and derives joy in treating people like dirt. In that case, it’s a defensive move—think of them as the miserable person they are, feel sorry for them,  smile, and move on!  Or, in your mind, see them as a comical figure. By doing this, you create an emotional distance.  It’s not worth getting upset or angry at The Joker so just laugh (to yourself)  at their irrational behavior. 

Limit interaction to the minimum needed to do your job.

You tried. Remember, you only have control of how you act and react, not how other people receive you.   Their attitude is not going to change, and there isn’t a thing you can do except take care of yourself.

You have to figure out a way to survive, and we recommend space and distance.  Create as much of it as you can so that their negativity does not pollute your psyche.

Give yourself kudos for not stooping to their level. Be graceful about the situation and act like their hurtful words little spit-balls that a 6-year-old would spew out.  In time, you’ll develop a thick skin, and it won’t affect you as much.

Consult with other colleagues or managers when you need help as the first line of defense.  When there is no way around dealing with them, be polite and respectful but get straight to the point so that your meeting is as brief and professional as possible.   

Take advantage of modern technology.

Here’s another easy way to create space and distance: instead of having face-to-face interactions, try to communicate electronically whenever it is useful and appropriate.   It’s much easier to brush off sarcastic comments when they’re online, and if you get heated, you have time to pull yourself together before engaging in any drama.    

If they send several unpleasant emails—don’t reply to them immediately. Get yourself together, compose a short and polite reply to that email. Try not to get into the vicious cycle where you keep getting angry and offended by everything they say.   

Know the situation and the jerk you’re dealing with.

Take a moment, sit down and do a thorough analysis, ask yourself;

  1. How much power or control do I have over the situation?
  2. How much am I suffering?  How can I look at this differently for my sanity?   

If you have a boss who is insulting you, dumping on you, and being disrespectful, try not to retaliate or fuel their anger.  Sometimes, when you look closely at the situation you find yourself in,  you realize your boss is criticizing you because the job is beyond anyone’s control, or it’s entirely a broken system.  Instead, approach them when they’re calm and express your irritation as polite as you can.

If you believe that won’t work, bypass him and go to their superior or directly to Human Resources to file a complaint.   It may be better to bond together with your coworkers experiencing the same problem, form a coalition, and try expressing how toxic and hostile the workplace has become a group. This way, it would become difficult to push people around or single out one person.

When you document and complain as a collective group, you’re more likely to get the problem sorted out than when you try to do it alone. Don’t rush, get your facts right, get concrete proof, and make sure there’s no dissent among you. Then present your evidence to an impartial person in authority.

Don’t quit in rage

Don’t hesitate to resign if you no longer feel safe at your workplace, or you’re being demeaned and insulted constantly. But don’t make any decisions in rage. Plan a departure so that you can leave the company on the best terms possible, you never know when you may need to use them as a reference, and if you storm out, you’ve burned that bridge.  

Consider your options and make a plan.   If you’re unsure how to come up with a sound strategy, consider working with a career coach.   They are skilled at helping you clarify your goals and putting into action a plan that brings results.   One of the most grueling experiences in life is the job-search, and having the extra support of a professional will help you stay focused and sane through this tedious process.

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a wonderful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is extremely depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day, or the whole week. You even get the feeling, your boss hates being at work just as much as you do.

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of compalints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in, jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then theres the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could easily have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade!

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who  leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected and demeaned.

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills consider these career tips to make it bearable.

The 12-pounds of Christmas

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

…tis the season to get chubby, fa, la, la, la, …….what?

For many this is the case.  When being festive translates over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending those extra pounds seem to just show up one morning, and omg, what happened? While we’re there, can somebody please explain to me how eating a 1-pound box of chocolate turns into a 3-pound weight gain?      Just asking for a friend.

There are always options in life.   If you’re like me, not engaging in the holiday indulgences is not one of them though.  Which leaves us two other options:

A: Eat, drink, and be merry until the jeans don’t fit and it’s not so merry anymore  

B: Earn dessert with some extra workout activity.

As busy as life can be, traveling for work, having kids at home, it’s mid-November and too damn cold to go for a walk or run, here are 3 work outs you can do in your own living room or a hotel room.  All you need is the decision and commitment to not give into the 12 pounds of Christmas.  

#1. This ain’t just a booty call!

These exercises not only tighten the tush but they incorporate multiple muscles.  They build lean muscle tissue which torches calories during the workout and has a great afterburn (burning calories even in a resting state).  You can do all three exercises in 15 minutes while watching TV .  If you have hand weights, feel free to use them, but if not don’t sweat it, you’ll sweat plenty without.  For each exercise, do 10-15 repetitions, rest for 30-45 seconds, and then repeat 2 more times, for a total of 30-45 repetitions for each exercise.

#2. Get ready for family and in-laws!

If you’re one of those people who would rather go to the dentist than spend the holidays with your in-laws or even your own family, burpees will not only help keep you trim during the season but is a great way to vent all of the stress and angst that may build up in you.  Before, during, and after.   If you’ve never done burpees before, here’s a link to a quick You Tube video, Burpees for Beginners. These suckers scorch calories strengthen the entire body, and boost endurance Try and do 5 sets of 10 with 45-60 second rest periods in between.

 Forgive the crudeness but I’ve also heard these referred to as barf-ees.   Do about 30 of them and you’ll completely understand why!  Maybe that’s why their associated with…..never mind.  

If you’re super ambitious, alternate sets of burpees with push-ups or planks.

#3. At the core of everything is, well, your core!

Core exercises don’t just flatten your belly, they make you stronger and better at doing most other exercises.  Strong core muscles also improve your balance and stability.  The root of many body pains and injury’s stem from a weakened core.  The plank is the mother of all core exercises.  There are many variations of it, and they’re all super tough.  You read that right, they’re all super tough.   I’m a realist who won’t try and candy-coat it.  They engage over 20 muscles and work more than just your core.  Your arms, legs, shoulders, back and glutes will all get some of the love.   Here’s a couple of variations and the internet is prolific with plank choices and videos.  Try and hold each set for up to 60 seconds, then take a short 30 second break and start again! When you do this work out, shoot for as long as you can up to 30 minutes.  

Try a plank drag. It burns a ton of calories.  You’ll need a smooth floor surface for these.  They are like the stationary plank above but put a towel under your feet.   Try “walking” with your hands while dragging your feet, which should slide.   Depending on the size of the room, one trip back and forth is one round.  Shoot for three rounds to get your heart pumping and rev up your metabolism. 

Side plank: Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.  They should be completely extended. Using your forearm and elbow to hold your body up while remembering to hold your abdominal muscles tight.   Don’t forget to breathe.  Lift your hips up so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Side to side plank:  Start  with a basic plank.  From there, push yourself up, and place one hand at a time on the floor.  Make sure you keep your abdomen held in tight and do not let your back arch.   Try and stay in a straight line and do not let yourself sag in the middle.  Slowly use your hands to walk, (like you did in the plank drag) but allow your opposing leg to bend and use gently use that foot to walk across the floor. 

No one is saying this is easy and if you’re not already in an exercise routine, it may not be particularly fun either.  But hang in there, and it will be both before long.   While there isn’t any instant gratification here, you’re doing it because there is SO MUCH instant gratification everywhere else.   Remember that. 

If you feel like you’d do better with a boost of motivation and accountability, talk to a health & wellness coach.  They’ll not only help you get and stay on track, they’re skilled at helping clients overcome the beliefs that have interfered with or even sabotaged success in the past.  With a coach you will not only meet your goals faster than on your own, you will learn how to make your success permanent!!

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Stop Combo Dating!

coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Combo dating: when the first date is so bad it’s also the last date   

What to do and what not to do

Whether you’re looking for Mr./Mrs. RIGHT or Mr./Mrs. RIGHT NOW, nothing can be as much fun yet at the same time nerve-wracking as a first date.   

The internet has profoundly changed the way we meet people and, in many ways, changed the rules of dating.  Whether you’re Tindering, Match.com-ing, or meeting the though your own social networks or by chance, here is some timeless advice to consider when you’re just over combo dating!   All of these are suggestions that may need to be tweaked to fit your lifestyle but keep an open mind, and you’ll understand why the rules became rules, to begin with.  

Time:

Anything after 10:00 is just a booty-call, right?  DO pick a decent hour to meet for a first date. You’re trying to get to know each other, and it makes sense to be both alert and sober when that happens.   It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl and will be home watching TV with the cat that night, late evenings are for down the road.  

DON’T be late!  Fashionably late is unfashionable when it is at the expense of another person’s time and emotion.   It is disrespectful and sends a message that you are either undependable or inconsiderate of others.  Being on time will tell the other person how much you value the interaction and what they can expect from you as a person. 

There are exceptions.  Your car breaks down, your boss makes you stay late to finish a task, there’s an emergency.  Fine, pick up your phone and call and let the other person know and set their expectations of when you can meet or if you have to reschedule. 

Practice the 15-minute rule.  Always text/call if you will be more than 15 minutes late.  If you’re the one waiting, 15-30 minutes MAX is enough time to give someone.  Your time is precious, and you could be doing a lot of things besides sitting around waiting for someone to show up.    

Games

DON’T play them.   You know what I mean, but if not, don’t play games with people’s affections.   DO be honest about what you’re looking for.It is never a good idea to lead someone on. Whether you are looking for a causal relationship or something more serious, it is better to let the other person know.   This doesn’t have to be a discussion on the very first date, but it should be early on. If you’re getting a vibe that the other person is really out of sync with you (you want commitment, they want to play the field), then do bring it up.   It’s ok to simply ask where they are with it.  Trust your instinct to know if they are being honest and upfront with you or playing you.  Your gut reaction is often spot on if you listen to it.

At the end of the date, there is no need to ghost someone or play the waiting game. We are all adults here, so text or call them and let them know if you want to see them again or not. If you wish to decline the offer, do it politely not to hurt their feelings.

Dress

You don’t have to dress to impress but DO try to present yourself well.  It should go without saying (in my experience it is not), but basic hygiene is super important.  If you’re going to a ball game you can wear your jeans and a t-shirt, but please make sure they and you are clean and for the love of God, brush your teeth or carry breath mints! Even if you’re not smooching, bad breath is such a romance killer.  

If you’re going to dinner, it’s ok to ask your date if you should dress up or dress down.   You don’t want to show up in a suit or dress in a pizza place anymore that you want to be wearing flip-flops at the Ritz.  Whatever the venue is, it’s always nice and appreciated when you make an effort and look good. Not only does it make a good impression, but it will also boost your confidence, which in itself is attractive and sexy. 

Use your best judgement

DO be careful about comments on things such as appearance, social issues, politics, religion, and those types of sensitive topics.  These topics are important, and if it’s absolutely critical for you to know these things up front, then have at it. Still, I’m warning you that the potential for things to get intense and go south quick are far greater than the chance anything positive coming out of it.  If you end up going there, DO keep an open mind and you may delightfully see a new perspective.

It’s best NOT to criticize your date, not even playfully, or if you think you’re being funny.  Chances are you’re not.  Commenting on their hair color, or choice of clothes might be a fun tease later on, but when you meet for the first time, it’s better to be well-mannered and make the other person feel comfortable.  Oh, and weight….DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT say anything about the other person’s weight!

Remember, this is a DATE, which is supposed to be light and fun and flirty. 

Affection: OK, everyone has their own standards with how physical first dates should be. Here are a few things to ponder.  You don’t really know each other yet, and sex can cloud thoughts.  When I say sex, I mean everything from holding hands to going all the way. Depending on what you’re ultimately looking for, just know that the level of affection you engage in on the first date sets the tone for the relationship.  Not just physically, but also emotionally.  If I may be candid, I am convinced that as evolved as we are in 2019, this primal instinct carries deep psychological implications and should not be taken lightly. My best advice is to be crystal clear on where your boundaries and stay true to yourself.

Those are the big ones, here are a few more.

DO show interest: You might have had a long day at work, but a date is no time check out or be self-absorbed.   You are not there talk all about yourself for the entire night nor to be the designated listener.  Show some interest in the other person, ask them questions, and get to know them.  People love a meaningful interaction, and the better the communication, the better your date will be. This is the time to get out of your cocoon – ask questions about their work, their family, their life aspirations, and you might be in for a treat. Listen to them and engage in the conversation. 

DON’T drink too much: This goes for both men and women! No one wants to go on a date and end up taking care of a drunk person. Drinking changes people, and if you’re looking to get to know the real person, that doesn’t happen when either of you is polluted.  You’re on a date, not at a frat or sorority party. 

DO give compliments: Do not be shy when it comes to giving compliments but DO make them sincere compliments. If you think she looks fantastic in that black dress, let her know! If you love the way he smells, tell him. Don’t hold back – these subtle flirtatious moments will help to make the night even more special. DO be respectful. Call me old fashioned, but this is just everyday manners.  

DON’T be a big-shot by showing off your education or wealth or any status in a cocky and arrogant way.  You can be confident yet kinds and humble.

Dating can be an enjoyable experience or an excruciating disaster.  The key ingredients for lasting relationships boil down to compatibility and chemistry.  Dating is the process of discovering if those critical components exist. In this technological age, remember the human.  We all seek good company and a loving friend. Be confident, have fun, and go with the flow!

If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while and are unsure how to get back in, or if you’re looking for more out of your relationships, consider working with a Relationship Coach.   They are experienced helping people just like you reach your relationship goals.  Whether your goals are romantic or you want to increase business and social possibilities by learning better communication skills, a coach can help you get there faster than you will on your own.

At Life Coach Library its easy to find a coach.  Just register and fill out a survey.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for, and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is completely FREE.    

Sources:  

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/first-date-tips/

http://www.psychology.com/articles/?p=392

How To Be a Better Communicator: Seven Ways to Help You Express Yourself

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

How to be a better communicator: Seven ways to help you express yourself

The Importance of Communication Skills

1. Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.    

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express.  It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.  

How can you be a proactive listener? 

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally.  It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.   

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak.   What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds. 

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest.  Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them. 

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for.  Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent.  If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.    

2. Build trust by showing empathy 

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy, people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying. 

How to be more empathetic 

First, here’s what you DON’T do.  The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)  

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value).  When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication. 

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language  

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills?  Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal.  Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion.  They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously.  Verbal and non-verbal communication work together.  While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust.     If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock.   If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.  

Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express. It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.

How can you be a proactive listener?

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally. It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak. What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds.

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest. Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them.

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for. Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent. If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.

2. Build trust by showing empathy

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy,

people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying.

How to be more empathetic

First, here’s what you DON’T do. The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value). When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication.

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills? Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion. They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously. Verbal and non-verbal communication work together. While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust. If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock. If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.

You can talk extensively about something, but if your non-verbal cues don’t match what you’re saying, you will not convince your audience to believe in you. Physical gestures should be consistent with the message we are trying to convey.

4. Be clear and concise

To be clear and concise is an essential communication skill. Whether it be written or oral, it’s best to get straight to the point without a lot of flowery and unnecessary words that are just meaningless. What you may think is an introduction to a topic may be thought of as a waste of time in getting to the point if it’s not directly connected to it.

How can you give value in an introduction to a topic?

First, make it informative and drop anything irrelevant. Avoid wordy sentences so that the point is not watered down with unimportant detail. Don’t be repetitive. It’s one thing to assert a position, but repeating the same point, again and again, is just overkill. If your point is not clear, try to illustrate or explain in different ways. An analogy is an excellent tool for this if the analogy is truly relevant. Check for understanding before offering more prolonged and more in-depth explanations. Maintain focus on your topic and make sure not to use too many words when you can say it with just a few.

Whether you’re speaking to a crowd or captivating an audience with your writing, it is best to be clear and concise to keep your audience’s attention.

5. Ask “good” questions

The manner you ask the questions says a lot about your communication skills. You ask questions to get information; to be fully committed and engaged; to understand what the speaker is trying to say; to affirm your interest.

To get good answers, you must ask good questions. As easy as it may seem, asking questions can be a bit tricky. Some pointed questions may be offensive. The tone of your voice and your body language are vital when asking questions in most settings.

  • Keep questions focused on what you really need to know. The questions asked should be based on the topic. Structure the questions based on the information you already have.
  • Discern if your question is best asked as open (an explanation) or closed (yes/no) ended. Is it rhetorical? If it is personal, can it be asked in a way that one can decline to answer comfortably?
  • Know the reason you’re asking. Do you need clarification? Are you looking for a different perspective? Are you looking for help with something?
  • Consider your intent: Are you looking for help? To start a discussion? An argument? What will you do with the information you get?

These awareness’ will help ease the flow of communication so that no one feels like they are being interrogated or put in an embarrassing situation.

6. Improve written communication

Written communication is a communication skill that not all people will take time to master. While some people are naturally gifted at putting their thoughts into written words, others do struggle.

How can you improve your written communication?

After you’ve done your research (if needed), try brainstorming. Brainstorming is nothing more than writing down all thoughts randomly, without any censorship, judgment, or concern for accuracy or cohesiveness. Then, go back and circle the main points you want to get across. From there, put them in some logical sequence. Maybe organize them by time or level of importance. Then construct your writing. If you are writing a letter, find a template online, there are thousands. If it is an essay, start with a basic 5 paragraph format (Introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion). Use a free tool like Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling. Have a fresh set of eyes read your writing before you submit it whomever.

7. Learn to resolve conflict

Agree to disagree:

Agreeing to disagree means accepting other peoples’ opinions even if it is different from what you think. When two people have opposing viewpoints, it doesn’t always have to be that one person is right and the other one is wrong. Part of being emotionally and socially mature is the ability to accept the fact that other people may think differently and have different values. Some people who cannot allow other people’s opinions find themselves threatened that they might be wrong. This negative feeling hinders effective communication. Being open-minded or at least having a higher level of acceptance will allow you to feel comfortable in most situations. As a result, your thinking will stay clear and not clouded by the need to be right. Resolving conflict starts with accepting differences in opinions, views, and sentiments. Instead of getting angry, try to take it constructively as a different perspective you could learn from.

Strong communication skills are essential for success in both your social and professional life. Being adept at discussing and resolving problems, asking for and giving information, and interacting with other people with respect and dignity will pave the road to growth and happiness.

How to Negotiate Salary Or Ask for a Raise

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
abundance

Scenario #1: You’ve aced the interview and got offered the position, now it’s time to work out the money, but how?   Sometimes candidates are so eager to accept an opportunity they are afraid to rock the boat and take whatever salary the employer offers.       

Scenario #2: You’ve been crushing it at work and you’re mustering up the courage to ask for more money…but when and how does one go about asking for a pay raise?  How will it go down, especially if they say no?   

Whichever scenario describes where you are right now, you are certainly are not alone.   There are very few people who like talking about salary at all, and this phase of employment is often intimidating.  Some people never ask because they don’t want to be perceived as pushy while others are just too uncomfortable with the process.   

One thing that is worse than confronting the money situation is getting up every day to go to a job where you are believe you are underpaid.  When you add value, you should be compensated appropriately, and it’s up to you to know and ask for. what you deserve.  

In most cases you will not get it unless you ask for it and if you don’t you may be costing yourself thousands!  

If it’s a new job, you must negotiate before accepting the position.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer and remember most the hiring managers expect you to negotiate salary. 

When you’ve been at the company for a while and you become of greater value to them. It may be that you’ve taken on more responsibility, your role has expanded or changed,  or you’ve just become the best at what you do, whichever the case,  it may be time to ask for a raise.  

 So, how does one go about asking for more?  

Be prepared 

In either case, it is essential to prepare well before going into any type of salary negotiation.  

Do some research and know your value 

Your success will depend on the strategies you use to show how you contribute to the company.  A smart way to sell yourself and be convincing of your added value is to focus on the mission of the organization and how you going to help them.  Negotiations tend to go south when candidates become overconfident and focus on what the company should do for them.      

It is critical to know what your minimum and ideal compensation will be.    There are several websites you can easily access current salary trends.  To name a few, try glassdoor.comcareerbliss.com, or indeed.com.   There will always be a range which is based on many factors, such as: geography, education & credentials; experience; and detailed job descriptions.   Spend some time to get the most detailed information possible. These numbers can serve as both your starting and jumping-off points when negotiating.  

If youre a new hire, be ready to emphasize the unique skills and attributes that you bring and be ready to justify how they will benefit the company.    

Negotiation time 

You’ve convinced your manager you are a great asset and they want to you happy.  

New Hire:  

Let the hiring managers make the first offer. Don’t make the mistake of going first.  It is possible you ask for too little and you can’t negotiate when you set the bar.  It is the first offer that establishes a baseline from which you will work from. There’s generally about 10% wiggle room in an opening offer.  

One strategy candidates and managers may use is known as “the flinch”.  This means you listen to the first offer suggested by your employer, repeat it, and then go silent.  In that silence, it is  possible for hiring managers to suggest a higher offer on their own, or “flinch”.    Even if they do not, you cannot lose anything by doing this. 

Take your time before responding.   A moment of pause will help you gather your thoughts and stay focused on your research and talking points.  Speaking too soon can send the message that you’re anxious.    

Begin your counteroffer by emphasizing how you understand your role in the organization and what makes you uniquely qualified for more than their offer. This is where your research and preparation will pay in dividends.  Be confident yet humble.  Not all compensation has to me money.  If the company cannot pay you more, explore what benefits they offer and consider their value. For example, they may not be able to increase your wage, but will allow you to work from home once you’ve established yourself.  Maybe they can offer extra vacation days, or a company paid vehicle.  These perks can be worth thousands.   

Remember, things cannot always go as per your ideal, which is why you have to be clear on what your minimum is.    If you don’t get everything you want, make sure you are not walking away feeling bitter or you will start on the wrong foot and things never get better from there.  It is ok to ask your employer for a 3- or 6-month review and if they are then happy with you, to reconsider a bitter salary.  

If you do decide to accept, show appreciation for the opportunity and your commitment to giving your all to the position.   

Asking for a raise 

When asking for a raise, have both general and specific examples of how you have     contributed to the growth of the company.   Management will want to know about your performance and how you have contributed to making their department run better and the company’s goals a reality. Thus, you need to prepare the right answers to these questions. Be ready to confidently discuss projects you’ve competed successfully and how they contributed to the overall success of the department or company.   

Remember, being on time and doing your job is what you are getting paid to do in the first place.  If you’re looking for more money, don’t focus on the things that are expected of you anyway.    Show them how you work faster and save them time, (and money) or that you’ve helped to increase others productivity or revenue.   

If you need to, make a list of your accomplishments and talking points.  It will make it easier for you when you have this conversation with management.  

All companies have goals and it is safe to assume that somewhere there is a board of directors mainly concerned with the bottom (profit) line.   Thus, it is possible to come out with a raise if you can show how much you have contributed to the company’s growth. 

Do not demand or give ultimatums  

Never make the mistake of approaching the hiring managers with this attitude when asking for a salary increase.  You will invariably lose.  Even if you get more money that day, you will likely taint the relationship with management and end up on the short list should the company have to make changes.  There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you will not be perceived as a team player if you approach your employer with an attitude of entitlement.    

You win when you anticipate the interests of your boss and make them understand what you can do to make the goals of the company a reality. 

Final thoughts:  

 Don’t be surprised if your boss seems to have more trust and respect for you after your negotiations.  You are amongst the 53% who dare to ask for what you are worth.  Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking but having the fortitude to withstand them sends a very positive message about who you are as an employee and what you bring to the organization.    

Learn how a Career Coach can help you boost your career!

Looking at Life Through the Lens of Self-Love

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family
why self love is so important

At the core of happiness is self-love. It’s that strong sense of security one has both when life is going as planned, and when it’s not, it’s a profound satisfaction in knowing you are a fantastic human being, even though you are not perfect.   

Self-love can best be described as knowing yourself intimately, being well aware of your assets and having taken responsibility for your shortcomings AND having zero interest in hiding your true-self or pretending you are something you are not. For effect, I repeat zero interest in pretending you are something you are not. 

With self-love comes freedom

  • Freedom from fear of rejection: Will you still experience rejection?  More than likely.  I didn’t say freedom from rejection, I said freedom from the fear of rejection.  You’ll take chances knowing that even if (for example) the girl says no, you don’t get the job; the customer refuses to buy, it is no reflection of you, and you’ve just moved one “no” closer to a “yes.”   Without hesitation, you believe you have value, even if someone else is too blind to see it.   Sure, there will be times that people may judge you or even laugh at you, but you are not afraid of it b because you know you are enough.    
  • Freedom from financial insecurity:  Are you going to be rich?  I don’t know, that’s up to you.   Will you be in constant fear and worry about money?  NO!  You will have enough faith in yourself to trust your instincts; you will learn that you are resilient and resourceful and will find ways to meet your needs.   
  • Freedom from fear of failure:  I’m not guaranteeing you are going to be wildly successful at everything you do.  I’m saying you will embark on new things, take calculated risks and step out of your comfort zone because you are not afraid.   You are resilient; you look at outcomes as learning experiences, not a failure.  Besides, you know that the worst-case scenario seldom comes to pass anyway. 

It takes a shift in perspective

Will there be bad days, challenges, or storms in life.  PLAN ON IT.  Having self-love is not synonymous with living a life full of rainbows and unicorns.  Things will go awry, and when they do, it stings.   Badly.  Will you feel lousy when it does?  Probably.  You are still human, and grief is a valid, natural, and healthy emotion.   I suggest you do feel it, feel it fully, and then let go of it, so it doesn’t keep you down.  Think of it as an unexpected guest that is allowed to “visit,” but don’t let it “move-in.”      

How do you move on?  Change your perspective.  Instead of looking at the experience as a loss, consider it a gain.  You’ve paid the tuition of life so that you can become stronger and wiser.  It’s an investment that will pave the way for your next venture.  Failure only has the power that you assign to it; decide you are more powerful.    When you empower yourself, it’s easy to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move onward. 

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

Winston S. Churchill 

Read: Redefining Failure for Success   

With self-love comes opportunity

Opportunity can be created from the inside. When you love yourself, you have less fear. When you are free of fear, your vision is not clouded with worry over an endless list of “what if’s??”   Your energy is not sapped, trying to make others happy.  Intuitively you will know what the next right thing is, and confusion will evaporate.  You’ll be able to nurture and develop your passions and talents so that you are ready when the opportunity comes; you can see it and see it clearly.   

Read: If Only Life Came with a Tracking System… 

Are these new opportunities? Probably not, they have likely been there all along, but you may have been so clouded with fear and doubt that you missed them. It’s like when the sky is cloudy and gloomy for a while until it gradually opens up and the sun starts beaming down.  Eventually, the clouds disappear, and there’s nothing but brilliant blue sky above you. Everything becomes crystal clear, and one opportunity morphs into many. 

You can learn to love yourself

Here are 3 steps to learn self-love: It is a CHOICE

Forgive yourself 

Read: Guilt (and shame) Sap Confidence. 

Guilt is the biggest obstacle to knowing self-love.  It saps confidence and destroys esteem.  No matter where you are, where you’ve been, who you are, what you’ve done, you need to let that $#!T go! Believe that you did the best you could with what you had to work with.  Life isn’t always kind, and sometimes we are presented with challenges that didn’t bring out the best of us.  It’s ok, no one is perfect.  You’re here now, and at this moment, you are perfect; you are enough; you are worthy.  

If you can “right the wrong” do it, it will create positive feelings, and it will shut-down the space that guilt lives in.   Self-love is based on who you are, not what you do.  Self-esteem comes from what we do.  If you want to boost self-esteem, do self-esteem-able things.  Eat well, get some exercise, help someone in need, be kind to others even if they aren’t kind back!  Feeling good about the things you do will progress into feeling good about who you are.  

Choose the people you want in your life.  

Be fair to yourself. I just want to be practical here.  Sometimes we can’t choose who we spend time with but why volunteer to be around negative and toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself.  If they exist in your life, know that they are projecting their own baggage, and it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. 

Celebrate your successes  

Make a list of everything you’ve achieved and that you are good at. Think about your talents, hobbies, every little thing that you have ever been complimented for. Make a list, and read them at your own pleasure. Add to the list often.  Find 5 things positive about yourself for every 1 negative.  Do this for other people too because seeing the best in others affirms seeing it in yourself.  

Believe 

Everything you need to be the person you want to be lives inside of you right now. If you struggle to access it, get help,  I promise the answers you seek are within. We human beings are always moving. We are either moving to or from our dream, but we are never at a standstill.  When you shift into the gear of self-love, you can only move forward. 

At Life Coach Library, we make finding a coach you love convenient and simple.  All you have to do is register and fill out a brief questionnaire.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for, and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is completely FREE.   Visit lifecoachlibrary.com to find out more about the impact of working with a certified coach will have. 

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