Categories
2022 Communication Relationships

Just how annoying is the “You should just…” when you share something

Last week I observed someone who was sharing (with a certain amount of bravery I might add) the details of a breakup with a friend (sister?) in a cafe. They were met with a disappointing lack of empathy and a heap of really unhelpful “advice” they so clearly were SO not ready for.

It was hard to hear! This is what I would have liked the friend/sister to have known…

Just how annoying the “You should just…” is when you share something that is troubling you ?

Some of the time we are just venting or processing out loud and not looking for input or solutions. Having a solution rammed down our throat and our hurt invalidated does NOT feel good and it not helpful ?

We can all get better at this and model helpful behaviour so we have more chance of getting it in return later.

?‍♀️ “That sounds hard. Tell me more”

?‍♀️ “That sounds really tough. Do you want to bounce possible solutions or do you just need to vent right now? What do you need? I’m listening”.

?‍♀️ ”I haven’t been in your shoes on this but I’d love to help you. What do you need most right now?”

If someone is ASKING for your input and advice – give it! That fresh perspective can be SO helpful. But…listen closely before you jump in…ARE they asking for it yet?! ?‍♀️ Maybe the most helpful thing you can do in this moment is listen really closely and offer a shoulder.

If you are not sure if it’s time to offer possible solutions – just ASK! It’s hard to see someone we care about suffering, but timing is everything. You may have the perfect solution if perspective but they need to be READY to HEAR it!

Also, bear in mind…you can only ever know a small slice of what’s really going on for them. Even if you feel you have been directly in their shoes, YOU HAVEN’T!

So BE KIND ?

And if you are on the receiving end, don’t be be afraid to ask for what you need – people welcome clarity (even if that clarity is telling them to button it!) Listen to what’s helpful but only take what resonates.

Only YOU know what it’s like to BE YOU in the situation you are in. Take that support but also trust hard in your own intuition to know what’s right for you ?

Categories
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
2021 4 Dimensional Wellness Communication Emotional Honesty

This is the Complaints Department – how can I help you?

Comfort V’s resolution. 

I have a complaint to make! Specifically about the amount of complaining that goes on. Go on, tell me, list it right now – what’s one thing/person/situation that’s really winding you up right now? Something that’s been frustrating for a while.

Go: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Okay. Now list for me the last person you told about this problem:  ________________________________________________________________________________

And, just for good measure – what would be a great resolution for you to this totally annoying sitch? What do you want to happen? What would fix it?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Roger that.

So – here’s the thing. What is horribly common with most ongoing complaints, is that pretty much most of the time we don’t take the complaint to the person or place who can actually do something about it. We complain to our spouse about the marketing department delivering creative late again. We complain to our peer that one of our staff or our boss isn’t pulling their weight. We complain to our best friend that our partner doesn’t help round the house enough. We tell the boys that the golf pro is always late turning up for the scheduled lesson. We tell the lady in the coffee shop on the adjacent table that the coffee is good but the cake is a bit dry. We tell the girls that the daycare doesn’t do as much educational play as they should. We tell everyone on Facebook that the flight was delayed. And so on.

Essentially we take our complaints  – not to the Complaints Department  – but to Menswear On Three, or Home Furnishings in the basement. And – sympathetic though those departments may be – they cannot fix the problem. And so – whilst we may feel temporary relief at venting – the situation perpetuates, and our complaining continues.

Why do we so often take our complaint somewhere other than the source? It’s strange when you think about it, given that it’s only the source who actually has a potentially shot at fixing it.

Because its risk free that’s why. It does not require us to step up and be courageous enough to have a tough conversation or take tough action to schedule a meeting to take the Marketing Director to task. It’s much more comfortable to vent to Brenda about the daycare then go meet with the centre manager and say the standard isn’t acceptable and ask what potential changes could be made. It’s easier to gossip in the café than risk offending the nice barista over the disappointing cake. It’s easier to vent with the girls/boys than have an uncomfy convo with the spouse about sex or housework or money. It’s easier to complain about the pay than to front up and ask for a payrise or go do the training course that would put us in line for promotion. Complaining feels like relief because it’s stress free and it’s risk free. Essentially complaining to people other than the source keeps us well within our comfort zone.

The real question then is – do we want to feel comfortable more than we want the situation resolved?  Or, do we want the situation resolved more than we want to feel comfortable?

If the answer is to choose comfort over resolution – then we will be stuck in the loop of complaining for much time to come. And that’s okay – if that is indeed what we want. Stop holding out for a magical resolution or for things to just magically fix themselves and stay comfortable with the venting and the problem itself.

However – if we decide we want the situation resolved and are prepared to feel uncomfortable temporarily in order to achieve that, then a whole new world opens up to us:

If we accept a degree of risk. If we speak up. Request what we want. Demand what we want. Give options. Change our communication. Try something new. Try an alternative. Leave. If we take our complaint to the actual place it has any chance of being resolved – the Complaints Department  – it will require varying degrees of courage – but the only way OUT of a niggling ongoing complaint situation is THROUGH – you have to take it to the place where you can get resolution. And that is the source.

For sure, take your advice and sounding board from others as a sense check if that feels good. A second opinion can be really useful. But then – if you find you are complaining about the same thing for the third coffee catch up in a row  – its time to take the bull by the horns and take it to where it actually belongs.

Be brave.  Take a risk. Ask for efficiency. Ask for respect. Ask for bonus air miles. Ask for a raise.  Ask for fresh baked cake.

The real Complains Department can help you with all of that. You’ve just got to ask.

Categories
2021 4 Dimensional Wellness Fear of failure Good Enough Live Happy Inspiration Self belief

How I Got Over My Fear Of Failure…

Falling not failing.

I have a new yoga teacher. She is a willowy blonde goddess, improbably flexible and radiant in all ways. She is also funny and nice, goddamn it. My posse of yoga girls and I have a bit of a girl crush, as we try and emulate her grace and strength. Last night she had us trying some fiendishly difficult arm balances (Parsva Bakasana if you are interested). Demonstrating this asymmetrically balance effortlessly, a picture of poise right down to her perfectly pointed toes, she encouraged us to follow. “How hard can it be?” we muttered trying to get to grips with it. Pretty hard as it turns out. We persevered, the sound of the chilled yoga tunes almost entirely drowned out by the noise of arses and foreheads hitting the floor. Annoying. Difficult. Tiring. Hot. Very easy to give up and put it in the Too Hard Basket. Just wait it out till she moves onto the next pose.

But then? But then she says this:

“Keep falling. I love it when people fall. It means you are committed.”

Oh, lady that is good. You don’t just have beautiful arms but much wisdom too.

I think this is a core principle for life. If we could love falling more we would all go further and do more.

The fear of falling stops so many of us from trying things that could be amazing, if only we would accept it was going to be harder than we thought, take longer than we thought and we probably will fall on our ass a few times. We pull ourselves up short of training for that new career; jumping into that new relationship; creating that side hustle business; volunteering for the things we have never done before; trying the scary but cool new hobby, all the time. If we are not going to be good at it quickly we can stop ourselves from starting. We fail to commit because we are scared of falling. We don’t want to hurt ourselves. We don’t want to be seen to fail again. We don’t want to go through the learning process where we are going to fall far more often than we nail it. We fail to commit because we fear the fall.

And the thing is, the fall is generally not as bad as we think. The fall is just part of getting out of our comfort zone. Trying something or someone new.

Falling is actually an intrinsic part of the process of anything new, not a reason not to commit in the first place.

Look around at the things you are proud of that you have accomplished. Look at those who have accomplished things which you would like to emulate. Some of the time it’s down to aptitude or luck but much of the time the only difference between us and them is that they have been willing to let themselves fall, and not judge themselves for it. That they have learned to love the fall. That it’s been a badge of their commitment not a signal of their failure.

Falling means you took a risk. It means you showed up. It means you didn’t quit.

Falling doesn’t mean failing. Falling means you committed.

How would life be different if you learned to love the fall?

 

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 2021 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In Love your body New Year

Why You Don’t Need A ‘New You’

“Happy New Year! Happy New You!” How many headlines will you see screaming that this month? Too many to count, I suspect.

I am going to be really subversive here (I know, I’m such a rebel) and kick off the New Year with a directly contradictory premise: You don’t 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 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 make 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 2021.
• Resolve to love more in 2021.
• Resolve to smell the roses more in 2021.
• Resolve to connect more in 2021.
• Resolve to speak kindly to yourself, with love and compassion, in 2021.
• Resolve to strive for progress not for perfection in 2021.
• Resolve to honour your body and soul in 2021.
• Resolve never to stop growing, learning and expanding in 2021.
• Resolve to be all that you can be, the happiest version of yourself in 2021.

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.

Categories
2020 Communication Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

What You Seek Is Seeking You

Ever feel like things just work out for other people more easily than you, or that life just not unfolding quite as it should.

Do you feel stuck in the struggle? I get it – and I see it – A LOT – with my clients, and I want to help you with that yucky feeling of stuckness today.

So, here’s the thing.

If you are feeling stuck about something it’s because your thinking is stuck about that issue.

If you want to get unstuck you have to be prepared to find a new way to think about that topic.

You can’t expect things to be different but your thinking to stay the same. Period.

Now, this may sound easy, but it isn’t. I see this often.

People desperately want a certain part of their life to be different in some way but they are utterly resistant to changing their point of view on it.

So they keep thinking the same negative thought pattern about it, over and over – for months, years, decades even – and they can’t understand they remain stuck in the same unwanted place.

If you think life is one long series of disappointing situations then it’s going to be one long series of disappointing situations. You are going to miss the small moments of good things that are literally littered through your day, as you will automatically filter them out. The shy smile from the guy on the bus. Missed it. The easy park you got right outside. Missed it. The compliment someone tried to pay you on your shoes. Missed it. Getting the last brownie in the store. Missed it. It will be a disappointing day. The person who doesn’t email you when they said they would. Saw that. The guy that pulled right out in front of you. Saw that. The rain cloud looming. Saw that. Very disappointing.

You get what you look for.

 In fact, you get more of what you look for.

 It’s self-perpetuating.

If you think that life is one never-ending struggle of never enough then that’s what it’s going to be. The free coffee on your coffee card. Missed it. The two for the price of one in the pharmacy. Missed it. The complimentary blow-dry. Missed it. The insurance paying out after a little dink in the car. Missed it. Hitting the car being terribly inconvenient. Saw that. The 10cent increase in gas. Saw that. The colleague that got a raise but you didn’t. Saw that.

What you notice and appreciate grows. Things to appreciate begets more things to appreciate. What you notice and denigrate grows. You notice more and more things to feel bad about.

If you want a life where you believe things are always working out for you your thinking needs to reflect that. If you want a life where you know there will always be enough your thinking needs to reflect that. If you want a life full of love and lightness your thinking needs to reflect that. That’s what you need to look for.

It’s very easy to get stuck in a loop where we are endlessly playing the same record on a particular issue. The “I’ll never meet anyone” track. Or the “Things work out for everyone but me” track. Or the “I hate my job” track.

It takes effort, willpower, willingness, and consistency to change the tune. The problem is we want to wait for the circumstances to change before we change the song. For the new lover to appear. Or the lottery win. Or the passion-filled new job. The trick is knowing that the fastest route to getting those things is to change your tune ahead of time. Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet said “what you seek is seeking you”.  It is. The way to speed up it finding you is to change your tune.

When you change the way you think about things, things change.

Happens every time.

What can you change your tune on today?

Because what you seek IS seeking you – if you look for it.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Happy People Don't Do Live Happy Inspiration

The Approval Trap

How to stop caring what other people think

Delightful client I’ll call “Evie”. A gentle sweet soul, making her way through life in a quiet and unassuming way. It turns out Evie is NOT doing a whole heap of things that would make her happy. Joining a choir. Making her own clothes. Taking a trip to Asia. Going for a promotion.

Why? Because she is so, so, very afraid that each choice will not meet with universal approval. What if she misses a note and people laugh? What if people don’t like that quirkily fashioned skirt? What if no one from the tour wants to talk to her in the temples of Thailand? What if she can’t do the new job perfectly and everyone knows it and thinks she shouldn’t have got it?

It paralyses her. And so. And so. She does none of these things.

And life stays small. Her fear of not receiving approval stops her from creating opportunities to make her own heart sing.

She has handed all her power away.

She is not alone.

Before you judge Evie take a look inside. There are way more of us who are closet approval seekers than you might think. The rise of social media and the selfie have fueled a culture of approval seeking. Ever had a little lift in mood as you got more “likes” than you anticipated; ever wondered what was wrong with that status update that it got so few (doesn’t anyone care?)?  Approval seeking comes in many forms, and when we base a piece of our self-worth on it we are in trouble. It means we have handed the power of how we feel about our own self directly into the hands of others. That we are dependent on receiving a certain response from outside ourselves in order to feel good on the inside. That, my friend, is a very dangerous way to live.

Look – we all want to be liked. OF COURSE, WE DO! It’s nice when people say nice things, compliment us, agree with us, support us. It feels awesome.

But it should never take the place of us being our own cheerleader.

The approval of others can add to and enhance our own validation of our choices, but it should never replace it.

The more your choice resonates for you at a deep level, that you approve of it heart and soul you’ll find the less you need someone else to approve.

You cannot, simply cannot put your self-esteem in the hands of other people dependent on whether they approve of your life choices, or their opinion on how funny/pretty/smart/hardworking you are or are not.

Some of these people you want approval from you don’t even like.

Hell, some of these people you don’t even know.

Listen. It’s a big ole world out there. There are a few, if any, choices that are going to meet with universal approval. For anyone. Even if you are…say, Beyonce. Even if you are a multitalented, gorgeous multimillionaire and philanthropist – there will always be someone who doesn’t like Beyonce! But that doesn’t mean Beyonce should stop being Beyonce and doing Beyonce type stuff.

It is not just unrealistic, but actually impossible, to expect “everyone” to approve of you all the time. It’s also something you simply CANNOT control. It’s time to call time on trying. Here’s your magic formula:

If you approve of your choices: that’s an essential ingredient for a happy, fulfilled life.

If other people approve of you / your choices: that’s a nice optional extra.

Other people’s approval is the cherry on top of the cake.

Your approval is the cake itself.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

There are TWO types of Busy Person…which are you?

Life is busy. You sure don’t need a life coach to tell you that! However – there are two kinds of busy. Which one is more you?

There is active, focused, conscious busy …and there is frantic, rushing, juggling, largely unconscious busy.

The first feels energising, focused, controlled, productive. Let’s call that Purposeful Busy.

The other feels overwhelming, stressful, and out of control. That would be Stressful Busy.

Life is always going to be busy. It’s the 2020’s. That just how it is, we don’t really get to change that. What we DO get to control though is WHAT KIND of busy we are personally engaged in

BOTH are going to keep you doing stuff all day. Only one is going to not just feel good but move you nearer to where you want to go and the kind of life you want for ourselves.

We can all be busy all day and knackered at the end. That however doesn’t tell us if we have been being busy about the right things.

The defining factor is

WHAT ARE YOU GETTING BUSY ABOUT?

How much has been about obligation?

And how much about positive choice?

How much has required willpower? And how much has been breezy inspired action?

Stop. Take a minute. What ARE you filling your day with – to be so busy?!

Is it purposefully in alignment with the life you want to have for yourself a year, 3 years from now?

How much of your day is a building brick for the future, and how much is going through the motions or obligation driven?

A year from now if you want to be promoted is your busyness a small step in driving that outcome, or is it just busy work that someone else didn’t want to do that you didn’t want to say no to?

A year from now if you want to be strong and fit and in your old jeans is skipping that spin class because you were so busy a step towards that goal or a step away? What were you busy with instead?

A year from now if you want to be credit card debt-free did you take a tiny action towards that goal today? Or were you too busy to make a packed lunch and ate on the run again?

All these things are teeny tiny choices.

But that is how we get ANYWHERE! Lots of teeny tiny choices in a row.

To create anything of meaning in our life.

We have to be busy doing the right things.

Being busy per se is not enough.

The time will pass anyway.

It will get filled with tens of thousands of tiny choices anyway.

The difference between Purposeful Busy and Stressful Busy is a very clearly defined future goal, and the commitment to move towards it each day, in a tiny way – NO MATTER WHAT. Even if its inconvenient. Even if it means we let someone else down.  Even if we say no to some other stuff.

When we don’t do this – it means that our priorities shift weekly, daily, hourly, depending on who needs what. That is where we are Stressful Busy. That’s why we feel like we are rushing, and juggling between everything.

Because we are.

There is a better way.

When we have a purpose and we prioritise it.

When we are Purposefully Busy we are not LESS busy.

We are just busy about the right things.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

3 Steps To Sticking With It!

Let’s think about a healthy habit that you find easy to maintain.

Hands up who brushed their teeth this morning? Of course you did. Now, was that a hassle? Was that a major effort of willpower to convince yourself to do it? Of course not. You just got up, wandered into the bathroom and started brushing, right? Brushing your teeth is an effortlessly healthy habit that you put into practice twice a day without even thinking about it.

Why is it so easy?

One: Your action is in congruence with your deeply held belief, drummed into you since childhood, that oral health is important physically and socially. There is no internal dialogue that goes on every morning about whether teeth brushing is a good thing or not, you have already decided it is, so you act accordingly.

Two: It’s set up for you in a way that’s convenient and easy to action. The toothbrush is right next to the sink, with the toothpaste. Easy. And it happens at a regular time of day which further anchors the habit.

Three: We get an almost instant reward for carrying out the behaviour. Our teeth feel clean and nice and we can deliver a good morning kiss without fear of embarrassment.

Can we use these principles to establish other healthy habits? For sure. We need to make sure we cover all three steps.

  1. We deeply believe in why we are doing it.
  2. We make it convenient and easy to carry out
  3. We build in some sort of reward, especially if the activity itself isn’t yet intrinsically rewarding because it takes longer for the benefits to be apparent.

So, a couple of examples:

Habit we want to establish: reduce coffee intake, no coffee after midday

  1. Why: We are not enjoying feeling so wired and want to be able to sleep more soundly.
  2. Ease: We make it convenient by stocking up on a load of herbal teas and good quality decaf coffee in our desk drawer and at home.
  3. Reward: We reward ourselves with a non-food based treat after four days of successfully carrying it out eg. Meet with friends/ new magazine/ night at movies.

Habit we want to establish: increase exercise, a 15 minute walk daily

  1. Why: Moving our body daily is a commitment to future health and vitality, plus a valuable opportunity for downtime and reflection
  2. Ease: We make it convenient by keeping a pair of trainers in the boot of the car /under the desk so we can stop on the way home or scoot out at lunchtime if we miss our intended morning walking time
  3. Reward: We reward ourselves with a non-food based treat after four days of successfully carrying it out.

Don’t underestimate the value of having simple systems set up that support the change you want to effect.

The pair of trainers at work, the yoga mat in the boot of the car, the stash of herbal teas in the desk drawer can all make keeping the habit up as low maintenance as cleaning your teeth. I have a couple of friends who believe that green smoothies are the best way to start the day, but find mornings juggling getting the kids off to school just too frantic to make it happen regularly. One now spends a few minutes on a Sunday doing 5 little ziplock bags of spinach, kiwifruit, apple, etc so that all she has to do on Monday morning is grab the bag out of the fridge and throw the contents straight into the blender, no hassle. Another simply outsources it and has them delivered fresh weekly. Introducing simple systems that support habits can be the difference between them sticking or not.

What simple processes or systems could you put in place to support the healthy habits you want to establish? It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

It’s much more about reducing the hassle factor so it’s easier to do it, than to not do it. Just like cleaning your teeth!

 

 

 

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