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2020 Communication Emotional Honesty Happiness Love your body Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy Resilience Self Care and Self Love

Relationships: How to get EXACTLY what you want (at work and home)

Not getting what you want? Look at what you are giving.

Here’s an interesting thing. We are often not getting what we want. We may not be getting the money we feel we deserve. Or the amount of love and affection we want. Or the recognition we want. Or the help and support we need.

Not getting what we want is kinda part of the human condition.

What can we do about it?

Mostly what we do about it is have a nice big fat moan. Right?!

“My boss just doesn’t appreciate me like he should.” “My husband should support me more around the house.” “My mother is never loving towards me.” “My friend is never really interested in what I am doing, she never asks.”

Venting feels good.

It also keeps us focused on what we are NOT getting. The LACK or absence of the thing that we want.

Which doesn’t make much of a difference. If any. The situation will generally just perpetuate. We remain unloved. Disrespected. Undervalued. Unsupported. Whatever.

Here’s the thing: We can’t magically change other people to give us what we want.

We are not in direct control of that.

But, what we ARE in control of is ourselves. And what makes a powerful difference in these situations is to turn the question around. Instead of looking at what we are not getting, look at what we ARE in control of instead – and that is what we are GIVING.

Now I know when you feel hard done by the last thing you want to do is give MORE. I totally get that. And that’s not exactly what I mean. Dig a little deeper.

“If you are not happy with what you are getting –  have a good think about what you are giving.”

When I asked Janelle, who was feeling very let down by her husband for not supporting her fledging business, when was the last time she had demonstrated her support for his work she drew a blank. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had even asked him about his day let alone his work she was so wrapped up in her new project!  She was expecting him to do something for her she wasn’t prepared to do in return. She was, in fact, getting exactly what she was giving. Nothing.

When Polly was seething about her ex-husband continually disrespecting their longstanding childcare arrangements, I asked when she had last demonstrated respect for herself and re-stated her boundaries clearly, calmly and firmly, detailing the consequences of crossing those boundaries – she hadn’t. She was asking him to give her more respect for her boundaries than she was demonstrating to herself. She wanted him to respect what she wasn’t even prepared to respect herself enough to voice out loud.

Caron was fuming that her husband made a comment about how she looked in a particular outfit. When she looked at what she was actually giving in terms of respect to looking after her body and being appreciative of her own body she was hard pressed to answer with any positives at all. She was asking him to love something she was repeatedly saying and thinking was unworthy of love. She wanted him to give her something that was the exact opposite of what she was giving out.

Here’s the thing: We get back what we give.

If we disrespect our own boundaries we should be less surprised that others disrespect them too. If we do not love and appreciate our body we make it harder for others to do so. If we are always looking at how much money we don’t have and give out that message of “not enough” then we are going to get a feeling and a reality of not enough money.

This awareness is a GOOD thing. Because all of this is in our own hands!

We have the power to change up the dynamic and when we change what we give out we will get something different in return.

To paraphrase the great Rolling Stones… You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes (and look at what you are giving not just at what you are not getting) you might just find, you get what you need.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love Your Work

How to know you are living your purpose

I was ill a while back, in bed feeling sorry for myself surrounded by a sea of tissues. It was the day the cleaners come but nevertheless I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed. They will just have to clean around me I sniffed.

Jilly, my sweet and spritely South African cleaner, chatted away as she dusted. She had some holidays coming up over the next few weeks and she had to take her leave as she couldn’t carry it over any more.

“Are you going somewhere nice?” I mumbled, thinking a bit of Fijian sun was exactly what I needed to get rid of my cold.

“Oh no” she said brightly “I shall be at home. My husband is away on business so I am going to have a GOOD SPRING CLEAN without him in the way!”

She said it with such utter relish I would have been floored had I not already been lying down.

“But Jilly, you’re a cleaner. You clean all day! Every week! You are going to spend your holiday cleaning? Voluntarily?” I was incredulous.

“Oh yes” she said with utter conviction and glee, no doubt thinking of the sparkling clutter free cupboards in her spring clean “I love it!”

And there you have it. Someone who is living their purpose in the most joyful way.

It just goes to show that there is a perfect role out there for us all. And that our perfect role might be someone else’s worst nightmare but there is a place where we can all find our perfect fit. Where we are contributing to the world in a way that is far more than going through the motions or doing it for a paycheck. Where we are bringing joy to others and joy to ourselves.

In my job I see many people who are most definitely not living their purpose and helping them figure out what it actually is, is a whole heap of fun. But it is a rarity that someone walks into my office declaring “I love my job I do!” so I treasure Jilly for being one of those rare people who have naturally found their purpose and is living it with such surety and joy.

How do you know you are living your purpose?

Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • If you had all your monetary needs taken care of would you still want to do what you do for free?
  • If you unexpectedly have to do some work at the weekend are you resentful about it or does it not really bother you?
  • Do you lose yourself in your work and find the hours fly by as you are immersed in what you are doing, or do you find you are clock watching the minutes creep by?
  • Would you read books about your day job on the beach for pleasure?
  • Is checking emails on holiday a resentful chore or does it not really bother you at all.

I believe there that we all have a place where our unique skills, aptitudes, interests personality and passions meet where we feel truly engaged with our work. Finding it can be tricky but it is so worth the effort. It doesn’t mean there are not still bad days, or that we don’t enjoy the money, but life comes from a very different place when we connect our unique gifts with our profession.

Action Step:

Ask yourself those exploration questions. If the answer is a no to more than 2 then you may not be living your passion. If you need extra help to figure out what might be a fulfilling way to earn a living, check out my Life Coaching Academy Wellbeing Warriors.

 

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2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Love the Skin You're In Love your body Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy

Past Perfect

If you never feel quite good enough it’s likely that you are a bit of a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the ultimate double-edged sword: yes, it might propel us forward towards our goals BUT it is also the cause of a huge amount of stress, pressure, sleepless nights, procrastination, quitting, and generally diminished wellbeing.

Perfectionism sounds like it’s a good thing…but…on closer inspection… there is a big difference between being a balanced and happy high achiever, and a perfectionist. Your body, health, and happiness will really thank you for getting super clear on the difference.

Here’s the thing: Perfection is a mirage. It’s a standard you can never reach consistently.

It feels like…

  • Life will be PERFECT when you get that promotion…and then you get it…but then…it’s not perfect YET, because you could do it better, or faster, or more efficiently. So…the goalposts move.
  • Or Life will be PERFECT when you lose those 5kgs. And you lose them! BUT…you still don’t feel perfect YET because your bum is not perky enough / arms not toned enough / just another few kilos before you are “there”. The goalposts of perfect move…MIRAGE.
  • Or Life will be PERFECT and easy when the kids are old enough to go to school…but then…they are and they do…but it won’t be perfect UNTIL they are really settled…and then they settle but it won’t be perfect til they…etc etc. The goalposts of perfect move…MIRAGE.

If we could see life just as a series of moves that EXPAND US, IMPERFECTLY, in a forwards motion…rather than trying to reach perfection but never getting there either at all (or for more than 25 seconds) it would be a MUCH more realistic and relaxed way to live.

Where in your life is perfect a mirage you can never really reach?

The quest for Inbox Zero?
The nirvana of an empty washing basket and a tidy house?

List a mirage today.

Then let yourself off the hook.

You will never reach it, consistently, and that’s okay!

You can give yourself permission to know life is unfolding just fine as it is:  a work in progress in a state of imperfect but constant expansion.

 

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Summer time

5 smart tips to avoid the cray-cray Christmas Work CRUSH!

Now, there is a kiwi specific cultural phenomenon that happens for those in the workforce in December.

What happens is that every project you have ever touched or been associated with during the previous 11 months (and indeed some that you haven’t) suddenly has to ABSOLUTELY be finished by Christmas Eve, OR THE WORLD WILL END. End, I tell you.

All joking aside, it’s actually super stressful. Due to the fabulously extended January holidays we all enjoy this creates a real pressure cooker environment which can lead to a) massive overwhelm before Christmas b) utterly unrealistic expectations that can never be met c) not enough time for Chrimbo shopping or drinking egg nog with colleagues whilst wearing festive antlers.

Northern Hemisphere peeps will be back at work as usual on the 3rd of January, whilst most Kiwi’s will be drinking cold ones for another 4 weeks, so clearly – we win! No one would want to give up their January. BUT – can we reach it without descending into Xmas Madness?

Here are a few tips you can put into place today:

1. Get really clear, really really clear, that the working world will not in fact end at midday on the 24th December. Do not buy into the madness.

2. Set some expectations NOW. Get ahead of the game whether by a team meeting, or email or whatever. Set some expectations NOW on what you can deliver by when. Communicate with staff / customers / clients / suppliers / colleagues and so on expectation and timelines. Be confident and set your boundaries on what is realistic.

3. Beware the hospital pass. Veeeery common at this time of year is the colleague whistling in a project and making it your problem, when in fact they have sat on it procrastinating since June. Boundaries are required here, people. Don’t let your December get pulled into the madness because someone else has been fluffing about for the last 6 months. Use your “no” judiciously but firmly.

4. Accept some stuff will just not get done before Christmas. This is okay because a) the world will not end (see point 1), and b) it means you have a job to come back to.

5. Make time for some fun. The seriousness of the Xmas Madness can suck the joy out of a normally happy workplace as everyone feels so under the gun with this end of year deadline. Remember that this is the season of goodwill unto all men, and make sure you allow enough space for laughs and thank you’s and celebrations too.

We are still far enough away that you can do some really effective (read: ruthless!) scheduling and expectation management now.

Head off the Xmas Madness at the pass, don’t make it an inevitable part of your working December.

After all you’ve got eggnog and festive antlers to attend to.

Categories
Love Your Work Reduce Stress

2 Killer Questions To Beat Back To Work Blues!

Happy Monday, people! For many of you today is The First Day Back At Work, and might be accompanied with that sinking feeling known as the Back To Work Blues, traditional in these parts late January each year. Well fear not good people, I have a top technique for you to get back into the swing of things.

There are two questions I recommend you ask yourself on Day 1 when you have the benefit of full energy and perspective having stepped back from the coal face for several weeks. When we are stuck on the hamster wheel of doing, doing, doing it can be hard to get the bigger picture we need to see what’s truly working for us and what’s not.  When we are stressed and in the thick of it we tend to get caught up in the detail and just add more and more things to the To Do list. On Day 1 of a fresh new working year, whilst you have the benefit of a fresh and elevated perspective about what’s important it’s a great time to consider these two questions:

 

What’s one thing I am going to START doing in 2018?

 

What’s one thing I am going to STOP doing in 2018?

 

Deceptively simple questions. Rather than creating an exhaustive and overwhelming To Do list of goals, resolutions and projects that makes your heart sink just looking at it, try making a simple commitment on Day 1 to just one thing to START doing, and one thing to STOP doing that will refocus your energy on what you can control and kick your year off with focus.

So – you might want to START leaving on time on Tuesdays, or start filing emails as they come in rather than letting your inbox get out of control, or have one day a week that is designated meeting free so you can get bigger project work done. You might want to START making a regular lunch date with a mentor, or START fresh with a difficult client relationship or START speaking up for yourself more confidently.

You might want to STOP getting sucked into complaining conversations with Bob from Accounts or STOP repeatedly submitting your expenses late, or STOP bitching about the inventory system because it doesn’t actually change anything. You might want to STOP buying stuff from the vending machine or STOP being taken advantage of by a certain person who does not reciprocate.  Or STOP habitually apologising when you haven’t done anything wrong.

Look at where your energy goes.

Who and what GIVES you energy and enthusiasm, and who and what DEPLETES it? There is a well-known quote that is variously attributed to Tony Robbins, Henry Ford and others that says

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

So if you want a little more from 2018, and are ready for more… maybe more fun, more responsibility, more growth…then you need to change something up. It really can be as simple as stopping something that after time for reflection doesn’t serve you (even though you may have habitually been carrying it out for years, decades even) and starting a life or work affirming attitude or behaviour that will have positive ripple effects through the year, starting something that you have no idea what the outcome or effects will be. But starting anyway.

So, if it’s your Day 1 today. Welcome back! Commit to something to start, and something to stop in 2018 and get set for a great year.

And for those of you who still have a week or more to go…enjoy… and have a cold one for the rest of us!

Categories
Love Your Work

Beat the Back to Work Blues

Beat the Back to Work Blues“Post Holiday Blues” are really common. A miserable, panicky feeling when you are headed back to work, followed by irritation when you get there, a flat low mood and severe loss of productivity. This can spiral into overeating to combat boredom, difficulty concentrating and multiple man (and woman!) hours sucked into distractors like social media.

This feeling is really normal at the end of a holiday –  so don’t panic people! It’s just an exaggerated case of “Sunday Evening-Itus”. Here is how to overcome it and move into 2015 with a bang:

1.     EASE IN

  • If you can, ease in with a 4 day week and soften the blow.
  • Take the opportunity whilst the office is quieter to completely de-clutter your desk and working environment to start the year with a fresh slate – it’s a remarkably energizing productivity enhancer.
  • Make sure your self care is excellent. Eat well. Sleep well. Move lots. Get out in the sunshine – even if its just for 15 minutes a day.

2.      BE REALISTIC

  • Ease in with a short To Do list of what you can realistically accomplish in the first week. We often overestimate what we can achieve and underestimate the timescale – this leads to instant overwhelm and job suckyness. Avoid with a serious reality check and a short, ruthlessly prioritised list.
  • Keep your Out Of Office email on for a extra day, and set email to work offline  so it doesn’t leave your inbox alerting people to your presence and generating more work – use this “under the radar” time to catch up whilst no one thinks you are there and expects stuff  from you – use it to clear the email, desk, decks and for a bit of strategic planning.

3.      BOOK A BREAK AND SET SOME GOALS

  • Don’t make a permanent decision on a temporary emotion! Don’t quit straight away! Post Holiday Blues are pretty common so don’t quit the job at 10am on your first day back. Give yourself a week to settle in.
  • Take time to evaluate what is REALLY getting you down– do you really new job, or do need a new challenge in the same job?  Or would a new training course or secondment do the trick? Or do you need to bite the bullet and search for a job you don’t want to escape!
  • Look at what was great about the holiday break – connecting with loved ones, eating healthier, more sleep, more time to exercise, more time on the water – and look at how you can incorporate more of what you really valued into your working week in a conscious way. Commit to a monthly family get-together, or join a swimming or sailing club one night a week, or commit to going to bed earlier or whatever it was that really resonated about the holiday time for you.
  • Set goals – 3 personal and 3 professional – overall goals for the year. Download my FREE e-book that will guide you through this process so you are all set for a super exciting 2015.
  • Commit to not working late – pack in more personal time and  healthy Work-Life boundaries in 2015 – diarise your after work or weekend activities so they are a happening thing.
  • Book your next break – so you can throw yourself in and you have it to focus on and look forward to! Boom!

 

Post Holiday Blues will subside after a week or so as you get back into routine and the swing of things. And – don’t forget – there are quite a few public holidays and long weekends to look forward to at the start of the year!

positive balance, Louise Thompson, wellbeing, life coach,

Categories
Love the Skin You're In Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy

7 Simple Ways To Get More Confident Now

7 Simple Ways To Get More Confident NowI have a client who I will call Bella. She is an amazing woman, seriously, this woman is FEARLESS. She continues to astound and amaze me with the life situations she takes in her stride that would have the vast majority of the rest of us cowering under the duvet. Cancer? Take that. Sick parent? Deal with it. Divorce? Get it done. Solo parenting. Boom. She does not miss a beat. The woman is indomitable.

But then, here’s an interesting thing. Like so many women who have had a career break, suddenly re-entering the workforce has her freaking out. Her confidence is really shaky, and it just goes to show a crisis of confidence can happen to the very best of us. And let me tell you this woman is truly one of the best.

Confidence can be a very fragile flower. It needs tending and watering and nurturing. If it gets ignored it can wither on the vine. Let’s face it, sometimes life can knock us around a bit. Whilst we might feel really confident in one area of our life we can feel horribly insecure in others. We might rock it out without a thought in the office but we might feel eye-wateringly under-confident when it comes to dating. Or we may confident and secure in how our body looks and moves but self-conscious and under-confident in our parenting skills. Or visa versa.

Then there’s real confidence that comes from an inner knowing about our value, and fake confidence of the ‘fake it til you make it’ variety when we are just winging it and hoping nobody notices. True confidence shines from the inside out. We can all spot a fake.

So, how can we improve our authentic confidence levels? Let’s face it, life is easier with confidence. Here are 7 techniques to raise your confidence you can start applying today:

1. Mirror your high confidence areas. Look at the areas where you DO feel confident in your life. What words describe you in that situation? Strong? Empowered? Capable? Efficient? These are all transferable skills honey child. You are that person in the office, it stands to reason you can be that person in the bedroom, the boardroom, or at the school gates. Channel the person you are in your most confident situations and know that you ARE her.

2. Channel a superpower. Think of someone who is super confident in the situation you find yourself under-confident in. Then channel them, take a moment to absorb the essence of them and “borrow” their confidence temporarily. After a while you will find it just comes naturally. I have to admit I used this technique A LOT when I did my first few live TV appearances. I. Was. Freaking. OUT. To put it mildly! But I knew it was a great opportunity to spread wellness goodness more widely and I wanted to do it. So, I thought about one of my role models – a very cool and composed kick ass New York business coach Marie Forleo, and I thought – how would Marie handle this? She would be open, and warm with everyone she meets, she would be confident in what she was saying, she would hold her head high and her shoulders back, she would think “OF COURSE I should be here doing this thing!” – the more I channeled Marie the more my confidence grew. If one smart woman can be confident on live TV, then I am a smart woman why should I be any different? Look for a role model who embodies the confidence you want to portray and “borrow” it temporarily to get you in the zone.

3. Fear can be soluble in information and preparation. Prep, Prep and Prep. Information and preparation can be extremely confidence building. Know that you know your stuff. Do your homework and then back yourself.

4. Don’t fall into the trap of comparisonitus. My client Bella had well and truly fallen down the rabbit hole of Comparisonistus which is explained in more detail in my post here. With her fledgling career she was looking at all the very established people in a similar field and looking at all the ways she didn’t measure up. OF COURSE YOU DON’T – they have been in the business for 3 years, 8 years, 20 years! Do not fall into the trap of comparing your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 15. It will suck the confidence right out of you. Instead turn it right around – seeing loads of smart women succeeding in that industry just shows what a demand there is in the market! What it demonstrates is how eminently do-able it all is. Take confidence from that fact. Also none of them is YOU – you are bringing something unique and special.

5. Don’t fall into the Imposter Syndrome Trap. This is suuuuper important. You can read a whole post on it right here. Imposter Syndrome is that nagging feeling of nothing quite good enough on some level, or that you are going to be “found out”. It’s surprisingly common, especially in women. Get educated so you don’t get sucked into it!

6. What would you do/say if you knew you could not fail? It’s a good question to ask yourself to get out of your own way when you are feeling underconfident. If you could approach the situation with confidence and without fear what would you do or say? Who would you BE? Put your fear to one side and act as if that is the truth.

7. Know that You Are Good Enough. Are you perfect: no. Is anyone else? Also, no. We are all just doing the best we can being perfectly imperfect. Know that you have enough. You do enough. You are enough. Chasing the mirage of Good Enough is confidence destroying because it’s a mirage – it’s NOT REAL – you will NEVER reach it. Why? Because you are already there.

So, whatever that thing is where you are feeling under-confident know you have the tools to change that self-perception. Pick the one that resonates the most for you and put it into practice today, and let me know in the comments how you get on!

Louise Thompson

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