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2022 Fear of failure High Energy Happiness Self Care Sunday

Success Is Not Always What You See

That change you are working to effect in your own life?

Just because other people can’t see it or applaud yet, IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT HAPPENING!

Success is not always what you can see.

Just because it’s not on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t mean that quiet, steady acts of brilliance and commitment are not happening quietly and powerfully every minute of the day.

Saluting all you quiet achievers.

Keep up that amazing work.

Categories
4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Good Enough Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Self Care and Self Love

Wellbeing Is A Verb…

Wellbeing is a verb…it’s something you DO, not something you POSSESS.

It’s not something you ACHIEVE, like a DEGREE…

a certificate on the wall you will have for life, that no-one can ever take away…

Wellbeing a a state of continual, life-long, DOING…

one action, after the next, after the next,

like riding a bicycle, pedal after pedal after pedal…

it’s the perpetual movement that stops you falling over.

With wellbeing there is no getting “THERE”,

there is no settled final destination,

no silver bullet, no “one thing”, “one secret”,

its a million tiny ACTIONS, DOINGS… wellbeing is self-love in ACTION.

It’s not that one-off achievement that you’ll get sorted one day once life is “less busy” (it will never be).

it’s something you commit to in the now, amongst the busyness, an integral part of the busyness…

there’s never a better time to look after our mental health and physical wellbeing than today,

and tomorrow,

and the day after that and the day after that.

The sooner I realised that (and my god it took me a lot longer than it should!)

and I stopped waiting for the right time or that right bit of magical wellbeing information I was missing,

that’s when it all started to fall into place.

Wellbeing is a verb…it’s something you DO, not something you POSSESS.

DO something for the future you TODAY.

Rinse and repeat tomorrow.

Accept it will never be “done” and do it anyway. 

 

Categories
2021 4 Dimensional Wellness Dream and Goals Good Enough Live Happy Inspiration

Do You Ever Secretly Feel “Not Good Enough”?

The secret to making 2021 count.

There are as many dreams of a different, more fulfilling life than there is tea in China. Each dream as unique as the person. However, the underlying reason why we don’t step up and move towards our dreams is usually the same.

Do any of these ring a bell with you?

• The middle manager who really wants to be a nutritionist but is scared it won’t work out and they can’t make money
The gorgeous girl who has been unlucky in love and is reluctant to get into online dating, or, who does it, but then cancels the dates at the last minute.
• The busy mum who wants to get fit but can’t get a consistent exercise programme going
The new lawyer who graduated with a hard-won degree but it absolutely loathes dragging themselves into the law office each day. They slap on a brave game face and get on with it despite the misery.
• The Dad who loves his family but hates his job, but can’t leave because he is the breadwinner.
The girl who wants to travel and do the OE but has no one to go with so doesn’t book it and never goes.
• The girl who does the part-time training in massage and wants to make a full time living out of it, but is too scared to make the leap.
The spouse who is desperately unhappy but can’t have the conversation to either improve or leave the marriage.

It’s so easy for us to “get by”, day after day. Not truly connected with what makes us happy and fulfilling our life’s purpose. And then the next day, and the next day after that. And before we know it years have gone by in the “it’s okay” zone, but the amount of time we feel truly connected, alive and at peace is next to nothing.

Why?

The number one reason I see people holding themselves back is a fear that on some level they won’t be “good enough”.

• Not good enough to make a new business in the wellbeing field make enough money and be successful enough to support a good lifestyle
Not good enough to trust that there is a loving and respectful partner out there who will make her soul sing. Not good enough to be loved completely and be loved in return.
• Not good enough to put herself and the needs of her body first sometimes, that doing that will mean she is a not good enough mum, that she is selfish.
Not good enough to pack in the shiny yet unfulfilling career path and do something that the family might not approve of. Not good enough to stand up to the inevitable familial pressure.
• Not good enough to make the break and create a career change that is bold yet pragmatic. Not good enough to make the leap.
Not good enough to make friends along the trail. What if people don’t like me? What if I never meet anyone?
• Not good enough to do the non-traditional thing. That’s for other people, the brave ones who are good enough. More talented. More special.
Not good enough to make a stand and stick to it. Not good enough to live my own and make an independent life. I’ll never make it work.

Not good enough is a universal fear. It’s also a universal lie. And believing it keeps us playing small in the world. It dashes countless hopes and dreams. It’s an all-pervasive, silent assassin of living our life’s purpose.

When you look around at people who are living their life’s mission, what do you see? You see that they do feel good enough to give it a go. To back themselves. To trust that when they are honouring the messages of their soul that things will work out. That they have the courage, resilience, and passion to overcome any obstacle.

People who are living their life’s purpose don’t wait to feel good enough to make it happen. They know that that feeling comes from the action of leaping towards their passion.

Because – here’s the secret they are in on:

You are ALREADY good enough.

Why? Because “Good Enough” is an impossible standard to define. When you think about it, what does it even MEAN? Define for me someone who is good enough? Hard right? We are all imperfectly imperfect. No-one, and everyone, is already good enough.

If we wait to feel good enough on some level before summoning the courage to live the life we know we are meant to live, we will be waiting a very long time. We have to take action before we feel good enough, in the knowledge that the truth is we are already more than good enough to handle whatever comes up.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is proceeding with your soul’s calling DESPITE the fear.

You are ALREADY good enough.

You can do this. Make 2021 count.

 

Categories
2021 4 Dimensional Wellness Dream and Goals Live Happy Inspiration

Incomplete Success

What do these things have in common?

The client distraught at the collapse of her marriage after finding her husband of 4 years had been cheating for 3, sure she would be a single mother forever and ever, and her life was over. O.V.E.R. A short time later serendipitously meeting an old school friend, getting together, he as an eager co-parent, and happier than ever before. “It was all worth it to be as happy as I am now, I’d never have found out how great things could be if I hadn’t gone through that”.

The client who was sure that the eleventy-billionth restructure at the corporate she had devoted the last 12 years of her working life to would end in redundancy. Which it did. Handily just before Christmas. “The market is so tight I’ll never find anything and Big Restructure Corp is all I know…this is a DISASTER”. She is already happy as a clam in a new role, in a medium-sized company with a whole different perspective on people management and culture – she is relaxed, sleeping well, and loving her work in a way she had forgotten she ever could. “Best thing everrrrrrr!” she laughs.

The old family friend who got royally blindsided by his business partner embezzling the company funds behind his back. A young family of 4 to support he never saw it coming. Total financial destruction. Overnight. “I had no choice I just had to go and do this job that I honestly thought was beneath me. I would never have done that work before”. Turned out that the owners loved what he did so much they offered to fund a whole new business partnership that he ended up selling down the line for millions.

I could list dozens of these, and let’s be honest – you can too. A slew of personal anecdotes exist of someone “failing” cataclysmically, only to later snatch a much more prized victory from the jaws of defeat. What they “failed at” and left behind later becoming something they wouldn’t even want for themselves anymore. That what awaited on the other side of that failure was something so much shiner, a much bigger success they could ever have imagined for themselves.

The lesson in these common tales is that we tend to take score too way early. That if you are in the grip of what seems like an unmitigated failure right now, to see that perhaps…just perhaps…it’s a foundation leading you to something way superior. You just can’t see it yet. Perhaps it’s not failure at all. Perhaps there was something you needed to learn there. Something you needed to let go of, in an albeit brutal fashion, in order to make way for something that will serve you better in the future.

Consider the possibility that failure is not failure at all. Maybe it’s just incomplete success in disguise. Doesn’t that feel better? Whether it’s in the career area, or the money area, or the relationship space, or the owing your own home space or the health and fitness place – whatever it may be for you – maybe you are not experiencing failure at all. You are just in the slightly messy transition phase of incomplete success. That’s all it is.

Incomplete success.

So hold fast. Don’t call it too soon. You can’t hear singing. The fat lady hasn’t even started warming up yet.

 

Categories
2020 Happiness High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Post Lockdown

Dance In Your Own Space

Remember “Dirty Dancing?” The late Patrick Swayze in his prime. The kooky Jennifer Grey (whatever happened to her?) in the most archetypal 80’s movie of froth and fun and burning romance. Oh, the sweet agony of love!

Well, you know the scene where he is teaching her to dance? There is a bit where she keeps stepping on him, not holding her arms rigid to create the space between them. “Look, spaghetti arms” he says, marking it out with his arms. “This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine. You gotta hold the frame”. By being aware of that space between them and honouring it in the way they moved, they both performed so much better. Then, later… the long-awaited moment with the clinch, the tension unbearable, he moves in to kiss her…”You’re invading my dance space. This is my dance space” she retorts coquetishly “That’s yours. Let’s cha-cha”.

Here’s the thing about smart busy people who have no energy. They are doing a heap of stuff for other people.

Maddy, the extra young grandmother who was doing the parenting for her daughter’s daughter. Harriet who was making 3 meals a day, 7 days a week for her entirely grown-up family of self-sufficient men. Sarah who was breadwinning and working herself literally to the bone to support her entirely capable husband and brother. I see it again, and again and again. Belinda who ran herself ragged doing everything for “the business” from the marketing and comms to fixing the printer at any hours or the day or night. Whatever it took.

Understand this.

If you take more responsibility that is actually reasonable, and you make that your role, then eventually everyone around you will expect that. Let’s be honest, if someone was happy to get up and feed your child in the middle of the night and you could sleep through, or make and clear up all your meals, or pay your rent, or do all your work so you don’t have to pay to hire someone else…well…that great isn’t it!? They must love doing that shit, if they keep doing it. That’s the obvious assumption to make.

Basically what has happened is you have stepped into someone else’s dance space, scooped up their responsibilities, and in a completely non-manipulative way (usually) that suits the other party just fine too. They think you LIKE doing all that stuff!!! So they step away. So you keep doing it. So the more you do. And the more tired you get.

This may or may not be accompanied by moaning. “I have to get to the supermarket, if I asked Bob to do it it would never happen”, or “If I don’t pick up that project it just won’t get done and the business will suffer”. Well sure, honey. But  – hear this – the status quo is never going to change if there is no consequences for the other party. If there is no pain point to get attention for someone to step up and own their own dance space they ain’t gonna just spontaneously do it.

The fascinating thing is that when YOU change up the status quo, provide the pain point or consequences, in a consistently delivered way then things change faster than you can ever believe. My clients are blown away by how quickly the people in their lives will step up into the void in their dance space if they themselves leave it.

So, make the change Spaghetti Arms. Get real, where are you actually stepping past the boundary of your own dance space into someone else’s? Start by step back, but in a smart transitioned way like Harriet did with her houseful of grown men for whom she was doing all the washing and cooking. She calmly explained why the change needed to happen and exactly what each person would be responsible for, She trained them on the new menu. She ordered the groceries so it would be easy and smooth and a good experience for everyone as they got started. She praised their efforts even when things were a little burned to start with. She didn’t expect perfection straight away (of course they are not going to do it exactly like you, but you know what, if you want more energy then you need to accept that some things will be done other people’s way, and that’s just fine). Guide them, then step back from their dance space and leave that space for them to step into. If you are permanently blocking it they will never step up or in.

YOU need to create the space. Now. Let’s Cha-Cha.

You can get the full series of questions and actions steps from this chapter in my (excellent and super helpful, if I say so myself!) book High Energy Happiness.

 

Louise Thompson signature

 

 

 

 

 

Louise working on her laptop with coffee in hand

 

You can order a signed copy of my book  High Energy Happiness here and I will get it sent straight out to you.  Enjoy! 

 

 

Categories
2020 Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Post Lockdown Reduce Stress Simplicity and Time Management

Tame That To Do List

Habits Of Happiness – Expectation Management

Here is an interesting phenomenon. In my experience, people tend to seriously OVER estimate what can be achieved in the short term, and UNDER estimate what can be achieved in the long term.

For example, if you are anything like me you start the day with a To-Do list thinking, yep, I can crack through at least 8 of those things today! Bring it on! I have a vision of crossing things off in a frenzy of activity, getting to the end of the day with a list satisfyingly scored with black lines detailing what has been accomplished. But yet, in reality, I will have a super busy day, and yet only 2 things get crossed off.  Some days not even that!

I was bemoaning this fact to my partner. He asked “How was your day”, and I responded “Good, but… I didn’t get done everything I wanted to get done”. “You ALWAYS say that!!!!” he said. “Always”. Irritatingly when I thought about it he was absolutely right. Almost every single day I would be beating myself up about the things I had NOT done. Rather than celebrating the progress on the things I HAD accomplished. I had fallen straight into the trap of overestimating what can be achieved in the short term, and it was sucking a bit of joy out of each (actually pretty damn productive!) day.

When we routinely overestimate what we can achieve in the short term it can create a whole heap of stress and overwhelm. By overestimating just how much can be done in a day we end up beating ourselves up for not being efficient enough. Organised enough. Quick enough. Good enough. It’s actually a pretty tiring pattern.

It’s a good observation, and I know I am not alone. My smart, high achieving, professional clients are usually in the same boat. It’s a good exercise to do a little expectation management on ourselves to reduce stress.

Interestingly this phenomenon seems to go hand in hand with underestimating what we can accomplish in the long term.

We can get so caught up in the frenzy of everyday life that we fail to put our head above the parapet long enough to set some real stretch goals for ourselves, big dreams that can be realised if we plan them properly with a 12-month time frame. Because we are so busy it’s easy to dismiss those dreams as just dreams, or too big to be reached so why bother. Whereas if we put our minds to it and break it down into the tiny steps we discussed last week, that big dream can become a big goal with a deadline that we can actually accomplish if we consciously choose it.

The secret to achieving more of the big stuff and reducing stress with the small stuff is to practice expectation management. Expect a little less of yourself daily, but a little more of yourself long term. It’s a subtle but effective shift in perception that can make a big difference.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What DID I accomplish today? (not what did I NOT do!)
  • What are the three things I will accomplish this week come hell or high water? What are my real priorities this week?
  • What are three small things I can do this week that will step me towards my long term goals?

Action Step:

Cut yourself a little slack today, know you won’t get everything done on your list that you want to get done, BUT commit to putting into place at least one big, energising blow-your-mind dream that you can steadily move towards over the next 12 months.

You will surprised how much you can reduce the stress today, and increase the accomplishment in tomorrow.

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 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 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

The Smile Jar

As we kick start 2020 I would love to set you up for your best, most brilliant year with a simple tool.

I’d like to think you have a year of grace and goodness in store!

In my experience of coaching thousands of people to health and happiness I have found that that much as we seek magic silver bullet solutions that change the wellbeing game (eg. starting a fantastic new job; leaving a hideous old relationship) the fabric of health and happiness really is woven from micro-moments of happy, than elusive silver-bullet game-changers.

By consciously putting more micro-moments of happy and well into life…life becomes elevated one tiny bite at a time.

There is a lovely technique called The Smile Jar, and you are in perfect time to get yourself set up for it right now for 2020.

All you need to do is buy/find/repurpose/beg/borrow or steal a pleasing-looking jar, and a bunch of post-it notes.

Each day you add one post-it note or scrap of paper that contained a moment that was pleasing, happy or successful.

It might be the compliment from the boss on that presentation you sweated over, the fact that your teen picked up their own towels off the bathroom floor without nagging, the unexpected message from a friend overseas, or finding that super cute dress you wanted 75% off in the sales. Maybe it was picking lemons off your own tree in the sunshine and making the most perfect gin and tonic, or getting a personal best on your morning run. The smile your granddaughter gave you after her ballet class or running into an old friend at the beach.

It can be anything.

The only criteria is that it made you smile!

Pick a happy moment, scribble it down, pop it in the jar.

You are filing a jar full of smiles.

This is a lovely one to do for the whole family.

I have had clients get a jar for each member of the family and it’s become part of the bedtime ritual for each child to add a moment of positivity or happiness to their jar at the end of each day as a gorgeous, positive family ritual that has endured for years.

At the end of the year, perhaps the day after Boxing Day each year when things have gone a little quiet you can sit and pull out each memory one by one.

Reconnect with what made you happy and all the moments that you have forgotten from your jar of smiles.

If you are having a bad day it’s also great to be able to dip into anytime, and remind you that life ain’t all bad.

Get yourself a Smile Jar for 2020, because, y’know, the small things in life…in the end, they ARE the big things.

Categories
2020 Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In New Year Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

Why you DON’T need a “New You” this New Year!

“Happy New Year! Happy New You!”

How many headlines will you see screaming that this month? Too many to count, I suspect – and I also suspect another level of “New You” hysteria given its the turn not just of the year – but of the decade.  It’s going to be “New You”- tastic out there!

Here is my direct take on that noise:

Contrary to a million headlines of “wisdom” – YOU DO NOT NEED A “NEW YOU”. 

The “You” you are is absolutely perfect in your imperfection. Anyone who tells you you are broken in some way is undermining your personal sovereignty. Especially anyone who tells you you are broken in order to sell something.

You are not broken! You, my darling,  are whole and complete.

Life and self-improvement is a PROCESS. A process means it’s ongoing. It doesn’t end until you do. It is never complete.

Life is always in a state of beautiful incompletion.

We are all works in progress. For the whole of our lives.

It is never “done”. It can never be done!

We will be learning and growing into an ever-expanded version of our best self, our whole life. It’s a glorious process of growth.

It’s about expansion and about improvement and inspiration.

It’s about reaching a little higher, being a little braver, asking for a little more. It’s not about fixing something that’s broken.

You are not broken and anyone who tells you you are is lying. Don’t believe them!

A New Year is simply a convenient time to dust off the cobwebs and assess where we are at with our life’s project.

Our work in progress. It’s just a milestone in the journey. A reminder to pause and reflect.

So, this year I am offering you some different kinds of New Year resolutions.

Ones that delight you rather than punish you.

Goals that draw you forward effortlessly in the energy of growth rather than beating you up in the energy of “not quite good enough”.

Principles that lift you up, rather than tear you down for not being smart, thin, fun, rich enough – or whatever.

Because you, you dear reader, are enough.

Make your resolutions something that makes your soul sing not fill you with an increasing creeping feeling of dread.

Resolve toward what makes you grow, not what you want to fix.

Resolve to laugh more in 2020
• Resolve to love more in 2020.
Resolve to smell the roses more in 2020.
• Resolve to connect more in 2020.
Resolve to speak kindly to yourself, with love and compassion, in 2020.
• Resolve to strive for progress not for perfection in 2020.
• Resolve to honour your body and soul in 2020.
• Resolve never to stop growing, learning and expanding in 2020.
Resolve to be all that you can be, the happiest version of yourself in 2020.

That’s what I wish for you. You are not broken. You never were.

Embrace the glorious mess of all that you are and the beauty this year is going to unfold at your feet.

Happy New Year.

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