Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

5 Signs You Are Being True To Yourself

It’s an interesting thing – some people just seem to be born knowing who they are and even from a small child you see them plough their individual furrow in life.

Their way, right from the Get Go. Right outta the gate, they are true to their unique take on the world and their place within it. The majority of us though…It. Takes. Time. So much people-pleasing to be done first, no! Decades of it! Myriad school, qualification, partner, career, home choices, and so on to be made to fit the vision that other people have or expect.

How does it look when you start trusting your own version of you? How do you know when you are starting to live more truly to yourself?

1. You can give yourself permission to change your mind
And – you can change your mind without calling it quitting and beating your sweet self up over it. You just know it’s not right for you. Maybe it was before. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was a mistake all along. But – regardless of what other’s judgement might be about you saying the course – you know it’s wrong and you give yourself permission to change direction anyway

2. You’ve outgrown a few relationships or situations and you are not clinging or feeling guilty about it.
Life is all about growth: internal and external, and it’s at different speeds and directions for us all. And that’s okay. You may outgrow friendship groups. Or relationships, or careers, or countries and all of that is ok. We are not meant to stay the same forever, and nor is anyone else. In such a global world of possibility and opportunity, our personal journeys are meant to overlap with many others – and we might be on parallel tracks for a bit and then one or the other might speed up. We are not left behind or in front. We are just on different tracks and that’s more than ok. Release with love.

3. You realise that life doesn’t feel good, all of the time, and that’s ok too.
This is a biggie. The “pursuit of happiness” after all is drummed into us left, right and centre from before we can walk. But – as humans we are created, programmed, to experience and process a range of human emotion: not just happiness. We might be happiness seeking machines, but we are also programmed to feel sadness, guilt, irritation, boredom, anger, resentment, fear. When we can observe these emotions for a moment without frantically trying to escape them (Booze! Drugs! Overworking! Exercising like crazy! Food! Sugar! Pizza! Oh, go on then just one more slice! Wine! Just a quick one!) we can discern what their message to us is – and how to course-correct ourselves. That it is actually easier to navigate which way happiness is when we know where it isn’t, and we can refine the road all the way. That it’s actually just more efficient to allow ourselves to feel sad, or scared or bored, to move through that feeling – than it is to keep and avoiding feeling it with one more wine. When you are being true to yourself you are being true to what you really feel.

4. Some people like you, some people don’t and that’s ok.
7 billion people on the planet. They ain’t all gonna like you and approve of you and all your choices. It’s an impossibility to even try. You do you. Let them do them. Don’t sweat the haters. Stay in your integrity. The more you love your choices the less you need other people to.

5. You have boundaries that you hold, no matter the consequences.
When you start realising that your boundaries are not things you put up to beat other people with, but merely lines in the sand that keep YOU safe, that you can stand behind – and other people can choose accordingly – that is a huge step on living a life that is true to yourself.

To be able to say “this is ok for me, and this, this is not, this I will not tolerate” and then let others choose how they will behave around you. There is an enormous sense of peace in that. Most will respect your boundary, and say “of course, that is no problem, I had no idea that was so important to you” and a few will not and test if you really mean it. Being able to voice a boundary is huge. Being able to stand firm on your boundary, and know what is a non-negotiable for you IS being true to you. At its very essence, it is where you – stand up and show up – for you.

To being true to yourself, my friend.

 

Louise Thompson signature

 

 

 

 

 

Louise working on her laptop with coffee in hand

Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m Louise Thompson: life coach, author and newspaper columnist – and I hope my words have lifted your day or given you something to ponder.

 

I’d love to send you Wellbeing Wednesday – my weekly newsletter with a fresh new blog stuffed with non-preachy wellbeing to get you inspired each week. My readers tell me I have a spooky knack of knowing just what’s going on for them and it’s like I read their mind! You can join my 20 000 readers and sign up just here and I will see you on Wednesday!

 

If you are ready to have me in your life as your coach, well I’d love that too. You can jump into my daily coaching Academy right here and we can get started – it’s my proudest life’s work and it changes lives, minds and hearts daily. If you are looking for more ease in your mind and your soul: I’ve got you. Have a sneak peek of what’s in store for you here.

 

Categories
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 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Anxiety Creeping In? 6 Quick Ways To Deal With It

When life gets frantic and we feel anxiety creeping in, it can paralyse us and make even the simplest decisions really hard.

We can procrastinate like crazy and that actually makes us feel more anxious!

We can feel this anxiety throughout our body, our shoulders get tense, our breathing shallow and we just want to get this thing SORTED RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT!

Here are my top strategies for instant anxiety reduction for when you are feeling stressed out about making a decision:

 

  • Know you always have a choice. There is nothing you HAVE to do other than breathe, everything after that is a choice. They may be hard choices granted but you have choice nevertheless. I try to be grateful that I am living somewhere in the world where as a woman I have complete control and choice in my life, not everyone is so lucky.
  • Hit pause. Breathe. Stop and Breathe. Breath through your nose only, breathe right down to your belly for a count of 4, then out through the nose for a count of 4. Repeat for 6 full breaths and then refocus on the task at hand from a calmer place.
  • Is it a problem or a fact that’s making you anxious? If it’s a problem then there IS a solution, take your time, step back and Figure. It Out. If there is no solution, well, then it’s not a problem that you have, honey, it is a fact. So accept it, however tough it make be, and move on. Focus where you can make a difference not where you can’t.
  • Walk away.  If a solution isn’t readily presenting itself then walk away and engage in a right brain activity. Painting, exercise, baking.  Your subconcious will then have the space it needs to help you come up with an anxiety reducing solution. The time I need yoga or a run most is EXACTLY when I think I don’t have time for it. So be brave and go for the counterintuitive option and create the space you need to decompress and gain perspective back. When you reengage your left brain you will often find the solution has presented itself.
  • When anxiety strikes repeat the following mantra to yourself, as you breath in, and again as you breathe out. Nice and slow. 6 full breaths. “ I have everything I need, and all is well”. Now doesn’t that feel better?
  • Ask yourself “Will this thing matter 10 years from now?” The answer 99% of the time is “Hell No”, so choose not to sweat the small stuff.

 

Ahhhhhh….now doesn’t that feel better?

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Live Happy Inspiration Resilience Self belief

Self Belief – Inca Trail Learnings

Trekking to Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so glad to have been able to do it. Once in a lifetime that is unless you are a Guide or a Porter on the Inca Trail. Our guide had done the Inca Trail 750 times! If you think that’s remarkable listen to this:

Each year they have a race, just local porters and guides, across the whole Inca Trail. End to end in one go. This trail is at serious altitude and takes us mere mortals 4 days of hard slog, and it is HARD. Really, really hard.

So in what time do you think the locals can do this 4-day strenuous trek? 3 days? 2 days? A day? Nope. The record-holder is a porter who completed the entire Inca Trail in UNDER 4 HOURS. A sub-4-hour time for a 4-day trek. How incredible is that?

Yes, they are used to the altitude and yes, they are madly fit, but nevertheless I think the most incredible thing here is the mindset. And the belief of what is possible for the human body to accomplish. The mind has such a powerful influence on the body, more so I think than the hours spent in a gym preparing. If you believe you can accomplish something, that knowledge is far more powerful than the actual prep.

What you believe is possible has the greatest influence of all.

Consider this, when Roger Bannister broke what was widely considered to be an impossible barrier – the 4-minute mile  – back on 6th May 1954, beliefs were challenged and changed overnight. It must be possible because Bannister had done it. That change in belief led to 53 people (fifty three!) also breaking the 4-minute mile in the next 12 months. What had changed? Certainly not training regimes or kit in that short time period: it was entirely due to the change in belief of what was possible.

Have a think about anything that might be holding you back right now…the belief that you can’t lose weight; that you are just too busy to have a healthy work/life balance; that you are too old to take up surfing; that you can’t make money doing something you love; and see how that belief is holding you back far more than your body or circumstance is.

Commit to trying and challenging the impossible: you just never know what you might achieve, or what you might inspire others to do.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happy People Don't Do Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Your Bedtime Story

What goes on between our ears has the biggest determination over what goes on in our hearts and in our lives.

One of the biggest areas where we can trip up is when we get facts confused with stories, or “the truth” confused with fairytales.

Have a think about a time when you had yourself absolutely convinced something utterly catastrophic was about to happen.

Lying awake turning over the prospect of imminent doom played out in excruciating and panic-inducing detail.  We have all done it. And then…and then…well, nothing happening. NOTHING! The sky totally did not fall in. The fan did not get hit with anything. All that worry, stress, drama and excess cortisol production for nothing.

It can be weirdly tempting to play out a worst-case scenario story as a bizarre sort of double-think mental insurance to ward off against disappointment or rejection. If we have already considered the worst then maybe…maybe… it won’t happen.

However, it’s a far easier way to live to know that whatever comes up –  if it comes up –  you are smart and capable and you will react and handle it. And so, therefore, you choose to wait until such time that might be necessary and divert your attention to happier thoughts in the meantime.

The stories we tell ourselves in our heads have the very real capacity to destroy our peace of mind with far more regularity than any outside event.

Look at it this way. What bedtime story do you read your 7-year-old son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter/nephew/niece? Is it a) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory or b) Nightmare On Elm Street?  Right. You wouldn’t dream of divulging the tales of Freddie Kruger’s bloody mayhem whilst you tuck them up as you want that child to sleep soundly, yes? (preferably right through the night uninterrupted, of course). You want to create the best conditions to do that; you know the content you fill their heads with at that pivotal moment is key – so you choose with discernment.

It’s the same at the cinema.  We know the emotional impact of a good story and so there are standard content rating systems for movies. We know how powerful those stories in the screen are so we want to choose age-appropriately and with discernment for the audience. This is obvious in the movie cinema.

We want the right story playing for whoever is watching it.

And yet, and yet. We are nowhere near as careful stewards of our own bedtime story routine. Replaying the tricky conversation with the boss whilst we clean our teeth: bad bedtime story. Thinking about whether that client is going to be furious or not as we turn down the covers: bad bedtime story. Turning over the backhanded compliment our mother in law paid and worrying about how that may play out at the weekend family barbeque: bad bedtime story. Figuring out if that friend deliberately blanked us at the school gate as we have upset them for reasons we know not: bad bedtime story. No wonder we don’t sleep well, or our days are filled with worry.

Our peace of mind is determined by the tone and content of the stories we tell ourselves through our waking hours.

And as for the stories we believe and repeat in the dead of night? They are the most powerful of all.

Make sure you choose appropriate bedtime reading for yourself.

Sweet dreams.

 

Categories
Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Resilience

Feeling Behind Before You Even Begin

Now – do you start the day almost feeling behind before it even begins? In a panic about getting done all the things you need to get done that day? If so, you are so not alone.

Feeling harried and under the gun first thing is very common and highly detrimental, both emotionally (feeling stressed), and physiologically (by flooding your body with stress hormones before you have even cleaned your teeth). Feeling behind before you even begin sets the tone for a stressed out day to follow.

Obviously there is the “I don’t have enough time” thing, but – if you are a regular Wellbeing Wednesday reader (thank you!), you will know you actually already have all the time you need: you just have to better prioritise what you choose to do with it.

So – let’s be practical. If you are feeling stressed and under time pressure in the morning you actually two options:

  1. Get up earlier / press snooze less / go to bed earlier

Or

  1. Streamline the morning. Either make something more efficient or, don’t do it at all and stop feeling like you ”should”.

Most people I work with are generally operating from a sleep deficit position as it is, which makes the option 1 even less palatable, putting option 2 way out in front. If you are currently feeling like you “don’t have enough time” in the morning what would you like to deliberately choose today so you can start your day with more focus and calm tomorrow?

Where can you be more efficient?

Set out your gym kit the night before?

Leave your yoga mat in the car?

Buy a stash of protein bars so there is always one to grab on the way out?

Or what can you decide, on reflection, just isn’t adding enough value to your morning to justify the time stressor it creates?

Maybe you can delegate it (“I’d like you to stack the dishwasher before you leave please; you are 45 / 17 years of age: does that seem reasonable to you?”) or just not do it at all?

Perhaps that routine morning walk with the neighbour or rushed dinner prep actually creates more stress than relieving it?

What can you adjust in the mornings as a permanent way of making you feel you have just a little more time and breathing space?

What could you deliberately choose today so you can start your day with a little more focus and calm tomorrow?

 

Categories
Communication Emotional Honesty Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Relationships Resilience Self Care and Self Love

The F word that’s the HARDEST one of all

Let’s talk about the biggest F-word there is: Forgiveness.

Easy to say. Hard to do.

We tend to not want to do it for the very good reason, “we don’t want to let them off the hook”. I hear this again and again. And, I get it.

When someone has done something which we perceive to be so boundary transgressing that they require our forgiveness, we easily get all tangled up in the push and pull of “letting them off the hook”.

That by forgiving whatever the betrayal, or series of betrayals (and believe me, in my job I hear it ALL), we are in some way condoning their actions, attitude, choices. Which we absolutely do not want to do!

There is no way we support, approve or condone. Forgiving can feel like we are complicit with the original hurt.

So we hold onto our betrayal, slight or pain. There is nowhere else for it to go.

The thing is, they are not on the hook: you are.

You become stuck in the pain of the original injury through unforgiveness.

Here’s what I want you to know:

  • You can forgive and still choose not to see that person ever again.
  • You can forgive and be absolutely clear you will never put yourself in that position again.
  • You can forgive even if they are not sorry and that apology will never come.
  • You can forgive and absolutely have the strongest boundaries about any future communication or contact.

And why? Why should you forgive them?

They are not dangling on the hook of guilt and shame you imagine them to be.

The forgiveness is not for them, sweet one, it’s for you.

It gives you peace in your heart: and let’s face it, your heart is the one that’s important here.

Forgive, and let yourself off the hook. It’s time.

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Private Life Coaching Resilience Self Care and Self Love

7 Things I Have Learned From Coaching Smart People.

The 7 things I have learned from coaching thousands of smart people.

1. Something bad has happened to pretty much everybody at some point. Everyone has a thing that will make you feel lucky to have not gone through it yourself, and will put some of your own stuff into sharp perspective. Even the “glidey girls” who look like they have life on lock have gone through tough stuff too. Everyone has a thing.

2. The ability of the human spirit to rise is almost limitless. The ability to go through and come out the other side is built in. We are programmed to transcend. Even if we think we are not, we are. If you are in a tough situation right now — keep going. You’ve got this.

3. Sticking in a job that sucks your soul is never worth it long-term. Short-term, yes, you sometimes have to be pragmatic. A lifetime? No.

4. Every problem has a solution. It might not be a solution you like or would wish for but there is a solution! If there is no solution, then you are not wresting with a problem, you are wresting with a fact. That means you are going to lose. Accept it and push forwards however you can.

5. We all spend far too much time worrying about what other people think about us, and it defines way too many of our choices. Your opinion about yourself is far more valuable than anyone else’s. Work on enhancing that first.

6. When you make positive choices in the right direction it’s astonishing how quickly all sorts of unanticipated magical assistance will start coming your way. Happens without fail. Courage gets rewarded.

7. The story you tell about yourself, to yourself, defines your life. Tell a good story. Make sure you are the hero or heroine who prevails and shines.

 

If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

Categories
Happy People Don't Do Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Resilience

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2017

Here are the top 5 blog posts of 2017 – as voted by YOU!  Is your favourite on the list?

 

#1  Key Questions You Need To Ask Yourself To Review 2017

Here are some thought starters for you to ponder (perhaps with a journal and a cold beer in hand) over the summer to bring 2017 to a considered close and set yourself up for the best of all things in 2018.  First on the list to review is Farewell: What would you like to farewell and leave behind in 2017? What have you outgrown?

#2  %^$^%*&ed you over you NEED to read this!

If there is one thought pattern guaranteed to make us feel unhappy, it is victimhood. When we feel persecuted, or deliberately wronged the obvious conclusion to draw is that this other person is against us for whatever reason.  When we take 100% responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens in our life, we drop any victim mindset by default. The tables turn completely – it’s no longer about blame or shame, it’s about learning.

#3  The trick to being happy is in what you don’t do

We spend a lot of time here talking about how to be happy, and what happy people think and do to be happy. The more we know which beliefs, attitudes and behaviours constitute happy, the more we can mirror the mindsets and actions that resonate personally and be happier ourselves. For the next little while I thought it would be fun, and equally useful, to flip that around and look at what happy people don’t do, so we know what to omit from our repertoire.

#4 Resilience #1

Resilience is about being able to cope and adapt to stressful situations. Some people seem inherently adept at “rolling with the punches” while others can struggle in times of stress and change that are thrust upon them. Learning how to boost our resiliency equips us to better ride the inevitable waves of adversity that life throws at us. Here are some characteristics of the resilient…

#5 Congruence & Alignment – why it should matter to you

Congruence: Big Word. Big Impact.  What is it? And why should it matter to you? Well lean in darling, listen closer…I want to talk about Congruence today and why it’s the number one reason why you are not getting what you want in your life.  If you are not enjoying the amount of money you have in your life, you probably have a congruence issue. If your body does not look and feel like you want it to feel, you probably have a congruence issue. If your work-life balance and stress levels are not where you want them to be, you probably have a congruence issue. Congruence. Agreement. Harmony. Corresponding. Alignment. I see a lack of congruence all the time.

Categories
Resilience

Resilience #2 Times are Tough

Five more strategies on cultivating resilience for you today; how to bend not break when going through a tough time.

  • Keep your self-care practices high. There is no more important time to be taking good care of yourself than during a crisis. Unfortunately, this is often when it feels the hardest to do so! It’s difficult to connect with eating nourishing food being a priority when you have suffered such a huge loss that nothing can fill it. However, improved self-care is exactly what we need to do at this time. We can meet adversity with more resolve when we have slept well, have eaten well, are hydrated, and up and dressed ready to face the world, even when we just want to hide under the duvet and hope it will all go away. Going back to basics with sleep/nutrition/exercise non-negotiables, gives us a platform of physical resiliency to deal with whatever faces us emotionally. A crisis situation is what it is, but it is always going to be better to face it with a good night’s sleep and a full belly than wired and tired. When life is so hard, it’s hard to know what to do next replenish your foundation with some loving self-care, regroup and move forwards from there.

 

  • It’s not fair isn’t helping. A huge amount of focus and energy can be wasted on railing against the unfairness of the event, whether that is raged against an organisation, situation, person or Mother Nature herself: that this situation we find ourselves in shouldn’t have happened. It’s not fair. That may very well be absolutely true, or at least feel very true, but the real question is: is getting stuck in the mindset of “it’s not fair” helpful at this time? Could that negative mental energy that is resisting the unwanted reality be better channelled into coping solutions that make the right now feel even a little more comfortable?

 

  • Lean on your team. I’ve written before that a great mantra for life is to “give when you can but take when you must”. If this is your time to lean on others, lean without embarrassment or fear. Be accepting that, on this occasion, it’s your time to take and that is okay. You don’t have to instantly reciprocate. You can be held, and there will be people who will be glad to do it in terms of emotional or logistical support if you clearly raise your hand. Don’t brush them off with “I’m fine”. It’s okay not to be fine, and to lean on your team.

 

  • Find the value in collective reliance. Often we are not alone in going through a difficult or painful situation; it’s a path we are sharing with others. Not being alone in your experience can be incredibly heartening, as a bonding “blitz spirit” develops enhancing everyone’s baseline resiliency. You may find someone doing it tougher than you, and you can boost confidence in your own coping skills by showing them the way.

 

  • Get out of your head. Nothing has the power to stop us sleeping, and fill our every waking moment with anxiety than hitting a big, painful and unexpected speed bump in the road of our life. It can lead to a mind racing out of control with thoughts of helplessness, rage, revenge, powerlessness or fear (amongst many others) that becomes almost impossible to shut off. Painful and stressful thoughts are far better managed on paper than in your head. Journaling can make an enormous difference and bring an element of calm and clarity to an anxiety fuelled internal dialogue. Getting stressful thoughts out of your head and onto paper is a tremendously effective coping strategy, as is getting out of your head and into your body. Exercise and movement of any kind, from walking, swimming through to knocking seven bells out of a punching bag will help you get out of your head and create a space for clarity, inspiration and strength to emerge.

 

Tough times bring an opportunity, albeit totally unwelcome, to develop our own capacity for resilience.

We often surprise ourselves that we are stronger than we know and can withstand more than we ever imagined. As someone wise once said to me, “life is tough, but so my darling, are you”.

Read Resilience part 1 here

 

Don't forget!...

Grab your printable
workbook
worth $27… for free!

This 23-page
printable
LIFE COACHING
WORKBOOK
is for constructive,
guided reflection
so you come out of
tricky times stronger
than you went in!
My gift to you.

Worth $27