Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Let Go of What Other People Think

I’ve been studying this for years because I really find it fascinating! I find it fascinating because I’m aware that it impacts on my life and my decisions (I’m definitely a recovering people pleasing perfectionist) so I really had to dig deep into it!

Another way of describing being real or true to yourself is being “authentic” and there is an amazing quote from the expert in this field, Brene Brown. She defines authenticity as ‘the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are’
Think about that for a moment- a daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.

Why is it a daily practice?

Well, because it’s really hard!

Never mind having to psyche yourself up to do it on a daily basis, sometimes you have to psyche yourself up to do it on an hourly basis! It’s hard because we’ve been raised with an idea/a notion of who we’re supposed to be- it’s all around us, it’s been programmed into our minds since childhood- expectation and pressure is rife and that can be difficult to overcome. That’s the letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be side of things but the 2nd part of being authentic is embracing who we are. That’s equally as challenging, as for many of us, we don’t actually know who we are! How can we embrace who we are if we don’t know who she is- or if we think she is weak/flawed in some way.

So, where does the whole worrying what other people think come from? Well, it’s seeped into our lives gradually! When you were a kid, the answers to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” were limitless and varied. My future career plans included being a pilot, an astronaut, the president of Ireland, a writer, a teacher and a supermarket checkout clerk because I liked the sound of the beeps (a desire which has been satisfied since the introduction of self-scan!) Your answers may have been similarly ambitious or bizarre – but there were at least focused on things you were passionate about as a child.

When we were kids, we didn’t worry about things like getting a mortgage, eating sensible meals, promotions or biological clocks! We saw adulthood as a place of amazing freedom: when you’re an adult, you can cross the road on your own, buy as many toys as you like, go to Disneyland by yourself and eat cake for breakfast.

But somehow by the time we reach our early twenties, this world of vast possibilities has completely narrowed. We go to college, because that’s what everyone else is doing. Then we look for a sensible, entry-level job, because that’s what everyone else is doing. Pretty soon, we think about buying a house, getting a better car, working towards a promotion, watching crap on TV … because that’s what everyone else is doing!

What Happened to our Amazing Life?
Life isn’t supposed to be a dull, day-in-day-out routine where work is just about bearable and evenings are spent going through the motions: eating dinner, watching TV, surfing the net … waiting for it to be time to go to bed, sleep, get up and repeat.

Life can be an adventure, it can be fun, it can have you at the edge of your seat in anticipation sometimes, it can be a leap into the unknown, a chance to grow, and an opportunity to do something that makes a difference after you’ve gone. This is what you wanted at one point in your life! What went wrong? The answer is that you started to care what other people think!

Some people have no problems with “peer pressure”: they’re self-declared rebels who have forged their own path since they were two years old without any worries about what their parents, siblings or friends might think!

The rest of us though, find that other people’s expectations and opinions can begin to rule and run our lives. In some ways, this isn’t surprising at all.

As humans, we’re social creatures and if we behave in a way that raising a lot of eyebrows and causes disapproval amongst our social group, we risk being excluded or rejected by our community.

An extra factor in this is that girls especially have been raised to be people pleasers: as children, we delighted in praise from parents and teachers, and we continue seeking this as adults.
So, tell me! Does the voice in your head go something like this?

• I really don’t want to go out to the pub tonight, but the girls will think I’m no fun if I stay home and they’ll be talking about me when I’m not there.
• I’m under pressure and struggling with my workload already but I can’t say no when someone asks me to do a favour as they might think I’m mean, a bitch or that I’m struggling with my workload!
• I know that this relationship isn’t working, but how can I say that to Tom? He’ll hate me. I’ll go with the flow for another month and see what happens.

If it was your best friend saying something like the above comments to you, you would give her a swift kick up the ass; tell her to cop on to herself and to do what she wanted and what would make her happy. “Who cares what other people think!” you would say.

Remember, no-one else in the world knows what is going on inside your head (thank god says you); you can’t read minds and know what’s going on in their heads either. It really is a waste of time to worry what other people will be thinking: more than likely we will be wrong and we end up dramatising everything into gargantuan proportions! Even if other people are thinking negatively about you, what real impact do other people’s negative thoughts have on your life?

I’ve often worried what people will think and I used to hold myself back to a huge degree. I’m self employed and I really struggled to put myself out there when I set out on my own – I was terrified of ‘being exposed’ to a mass of strangers. I had no idea how people would react to a nervous 27 year old giving a seminar on ‘Self Esteem’ and I would dramatise it in my head, playing out different scenarios, each one worse than the last. (In my mind dramas, no-one threw anything at me, but many people muttered under their breath and walked out mid-seminar). If I had allowed worrying what other people thought of me to run my life, I would not be where I am right now. I would probably be living a miserable life always wondering ‘What if?’

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing” Aristotle

You are not here because you want to say, do and be nothing! On the contrary, you want to say what you want to say, do what you want to do and be who you really are! So, you may well experience some criticism! I’d love to just say, ‘fuck it, do what you want to do, be who you want to be and say what you want to say! Who cares what other people think!’ but in reality I know it’s not that easy! This is a process and is something that will take some time! I’ll just quickly talk you through some of what you’ll be working on!

1. Cultivate self-acceptance.

The first step in letting go of what other people think is to strengthen your core foundation so that you feel strong enough to go with what feels right for you. By feeling strong within yourself about your own decisions and choice, you will no longer feel the need to look to others for their input or approval.

Start a self-appreciation journal and on a daily basis acknowledge the things you’re most proud of about yourself: decisions you’ve made, times you practiced self love and respect, insights you’ve learned, things you like about yourself, situations that you’ve stayed true to yourself, or whatever feels right for you.

2. Stop looking for validation from other people.

Secondly, you need stop looking for validation from other people about the decisions that you have made and more importantly, for who you are.

This means noticing when you you’re seeking approval and wanting someone else to say you’re ok, that you made the right choice, or that you did the right thing. It takes a while to be able to catch this but in your journal you can note down your triggers!

Instead, give yourself the thumbs up! When you do make a decision, check in with yourself first that it feels right and remind yourself that it is your decision to make! This is your life and you are living it for you, not for someone else.

3. Surround Yourself with a Supportive Tribe

It is not just you. There is nothing wrong with you and you do not need to be fixed! What can be invaluable is having a supportive tribe who get you and who have your back. That’s why I’ve created the ‘I Am More Than Enough’ private group which is a safe space for you to show up, practice being real, being brave and we will have your back! Plus, we have a 7 Day Confidence Boost Challenge starting next week! And it’s all FREE!

I hope you enjoyed this blog!

See you in the group!

P x

Be the lighthouse, not the electricity…

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Anne Lamot

The first time I heard this quote it both cracked me up and also resonated deeply with me! I was Be the lighthouse not the electricityintroduced to this quote an concept by my spiritual teacher Rebecca Campbell and I’m curious if it resonates with you too?

You see, from my own personal experience and from working with so many women around the world, I can see that we have a tendency to be the electricity for other people. We allow other people to plug into our energy, our vibrancy and our light- we become their source of light. This can occur in many different ways and relationships- perhaps you’re in a relationship with someone and you know it’s not working for you, but your partner is very dependent on you. Or on your team in work, you have become the Go-To woman for everyone’s problems or perhaps you keep offering your attention and energy to others if you feel they need help…..

I was the electricity for others for many years and it didn’t serve me well. I didn’t have clear boundaries in place and often I would get phone calls or texts late at night from friends, family and even friends of friends who needed help, a lift or if they’d had a row with their partner and needed to talk. I allowed people to plug into me so they’d always feel lighter and brighter leaving me but I’d feel drained and duller as a result.

It took a long time to learn to be the lighthouse instead of the electricity. and it didn’t come naturally. One of the main reasons why I struggled with becoming the lighthouse was because of my desire ‘to be needed’ and this is something that comes up regularly with clients! Even though it’s draining and a pain in the ass, it can be a great ego boost to be ‘the one they run to’. But over time, I was able to that I had been doing people a disservice by being their energy source. I was enabling their ‘helpless’ states instead of challenging them in a kind way and pointing out their strengths and resourcefulness.

Through learning how to coach people, studying emotional agility, wellness and working on my own boundaries and self worth, I gradually become stronger and more solid within myself. My focus now is to connect to my own light through taking care of myself and living a life that is in alignment with who I am and what I desire. That allows me to do work I am passionate about and where I can teach people how to do that for themselves.

So, how about you? Are you running around the island looking for ships to save or are you focused on becoming strong and grounded within yourself so you can shine brightly like a lighthouse?

P x

Where are you in your Cycle of Life?

Hey,

I hope you’re having a fantastic week so far! I’m a bit pumped today as I’m sitting out in 25 degree sunshine listening to waves while Sarah is napping! We made a last minute trip to sunshine and I’m really loving the fact that I have the freedom to do this! This was a pipe dream many moons ago! My vision board for 2017 is starting to look more real every day!

I’m in a good phase of life at the moment, I feel like I’m making progress and am feeling really good about things BUT I am aware that this is a phase of the cycle that we tend to go through in life. I came across it a number of years ago and as soon as I saw it in my own life, I saw it everywhere with clients as well!

I wanted to share this with you today because it’s such a useful tool to have to hand. It also helps us be kinder to ourselves as well! I don’t know about you but when I know WHY something is happening or WHY I’m feeling the way I’m feeling- it makes it much easier to navigate through!

It appears that we go through cycles in life and I’m curious if you can pinpoint where you’re at right now? There’s no set time frame for each period but it goes something like this:

  1. The Phase of Discomfort

You’re going along in your life and it’s not great, you feel agitated, uneasy, frustrated in any areas- it could be relationship, career, you want to settle down, it could be financial but you know that you need to make a change. You need to make a new decision, do something different and it is scary. There could be a lot of anxiety, uncertainty during this period and it can last a while, until you make that change or you make that new decision and then you move into stage 2.

  1. The Phase of Pulling Apart

You feel like you are pulling apart at the seams. You’re having to break down relationships, maybe you move house or country, maybe you change career or go back to college, maybe it’s a period when you’re no longer tolerating certain behaviours or people in your life and it requires you to be firm and put boundaries in place, maybe you feel like you’re hurting people you care about but you know you need to do what you’re doing for you. You are pulling apart, tearing down the old to make way and make space for the new. You’ve started a transition of who you are and what you’re about and you move into stage 3

  1. The Phase of the ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’

You’re now in the process of putting the new picture of your life together. Finding the pieces that still fit, creating new pieces. There is of course still uncertainty and you feel a bit wobbly but you are more determined now, you’re gaining clarity and focus. You’re starting to see what that picture could look like and it’s exciting- still scary and oftentimes difficult but you’re putting in that work and you’ve built up your resilience and you move into stage 4 which is progress.

  1. The Phase of Progress

It is so welcome! You finally feel like you’re in the right groove, you’re gaining confidence, momentum , you’re seeing the results of your efforts. You’ve got that business plan done, you’ve been on some really great dates, you’ve lost that weight, you can run that 10k, you’ve saved that deposit- whatever it is for you! You’re thinking life feels good here, it feels charmed and magical. You’re moving forwards and closer to your dreams and you feel aligned- comfy in your own skill and strong within yourself.

The latter parts of this stage can be difficult to navigate- you’re so close to the big result, the big dream and fear often kicks in. Mind monkeys show up and question you- who do you think you are to have what you want? To be happy? Successful? This is normal and so so common and you need to keep moving forwards. Bring in the support teams in this period, bring in the coach, the trainer, the financial advisor- whatever you need to keep you on track! Far too many of us get so close, and then give up. Know that this doubt is often part of the process! When you stay on track, then you hit stage 5!

  1. The Phase of Elation

You’ve done it! You’ve hit the big dream, you’ve done what you set out to do, you’ve published the book, you’re actually travelling the world, you’re engaged or you’ve bought the house, you’ve had the baby, you’ve got that promotion, you’ve started the business! All of that good stuff! You’re there! This is the year that everyone wants to have  and when you’re here, savour it like we talked about earlier! Suck as much goodness out of it as you can! You’ve up-levelled your life and you have those feelings of certainty and being in control- you know everything is ok.

Guess what happens then! When we are comfortable, have a sense of security and certainty about our lives? Guess what happens? We get bored, we get agitated, we get uneasy! And we slip back into stage 1 again!

This isn’t gospel! Maybe you’ll get bored and go back into the jigsaw stage and change a few pieces and then can go back to elation, maybe you’ll stay in elation for a number of years.

All this is a framework upon which you can try and place where you are right now, as well as helping you identify what’s next! So, what resonates with you the most and if you’re were to make a guess- where have you come from and where are you going?

For me, I’m definitely in progress and stepping into Elation and I need to put firm structures in place to ensure I continue to support that as well as bring in something new and exciting to my life to ensure I don’t get bored! Good time for a holiday so!

Something to ponder anyway! I’d love to hear where you’re at!

P x

P.S Check out my Half Day Thrash It Out session! It’s the perfect way to get so clear on where you’re at, why you’re there and create a plan to take you where you need to go! Check it out- it’s the ultimate 1-1!

Your Inner Critic

Self doubt has been something I’ve always struggled with. It’s a pity I never joined a debating team because by the time I was in my twenties, I had plenty of practice! There was a never ending debate in my head about everything; it was as if I had a split personality. I would want to do something but then I’d have that little voice in my head saying ‘Oohh, be careful- you could screw it up and make a show of yourself’.

The more I wanted to try, grow, learn and experience, the more that little voice spoke up. It got to the point that on many occasions, I actually listened to it and I held myself back. I think one of those times was in fact the decision as to whether to join a debating society in college- the little voice in my head told me I’d make a balls of it so I didn’t even put my name down to try.

The inner critic is that internal chatter that tells you that you are not enough, it’s that inner voice that makes you doubt yourself, your abilities, makes you think you’re not ready, that you don’t know enough to offer an opinion. What I’ve learnt from years of coaching and working with other women is that one of the main reasons why women don’t behave in a loving and kind way towards themselves is because of an underlying belief of not being enough, worthy or deserving. The inner critic plays a key role in our ability to love ourselves as well as our ability to feel confident, take risks and trust our own minds.

All women struggle or as the case may be, battle, with self doubt. For some of us, the voice of self doubt and not good enough speaks up in relation to our career, for others it speaks out about being single or as a mother, for some of us it speaks out about our body, our weight, our aches and pains, getting older! For others, it speaks out about our passions, our dreams, our creativity. For most of us, it’s a combination of all the above!

The thing is that because most of us are so used to hearing this voice, we just believe that it is who we are! We believe it is our voice and since we don’t really chat to people about our insecurities and fears, we don’t learn or realise that other women – women we admire because they ooze confidence- hear the same mean, irrational, harsh crazy talk in their own heads too.

The inner critic costs us so much- think of all those times you stayed silent in a meeting, ideas you never put forward, all those times you didn’t ask for what you wanted or stated what you needed, all those times you didn’t ask the question, all those creative ideas that were parked, all those talents and strengths unused, gradually getting quieter and quieter. Think of all the joy and fulfilment women have missed out on because self doubt got in the way. It is everywhere and we have lost a lot because of it. That’s the bad news.

The good news is less well known. You don’t have to find a magical well of confidence, you don’t need to do past life regression to work through the roots of your insecurities and you don’t need to figure out how to banish fear and self doubt from the face of the earth! Instead, you simply need to learn how to live with that inner voice of self doubt but not be held back by it. To hear it, but not take direction from it. That’s what I want to talk to you about today!

Why do we have an inner critic?

The answer is that we’re hardwired for it. The inner critic is an expression of the safety instinct within us- the part of us that wants to stay safe from potential risk. It’s been with us since the time of the saber tooth tiger and various other animals with large teeth. Nowadays, we don’t have to contend with wild beasts but that instinct to keep us safe is still there and the biggest risk to us now is emotional risk. So these days, the safety instinct aka the inner critic tries to keep us safe from hurt, failure, criticism, disappointment or rejection from our community. It’s a smart cookie….

If your inner critic just said the words, ‘don’t apply for the job’. ‘don’t write the book;, ‘don’t fall in love’, ‘don’t put on a bikini’. These things are far too dangerous – you would laugh- if you listened to it at all in the first place! You’d probably tell the voice to get lost and that you were grand, thanks!

So the safety instinct has learnt to use a more effective approach, instead it says things like:

  • ‘If you leave your job you’ll end up miserable and jobless, you won’t find anything else. You’re lousy at what you do anyway, how have they not caught you out yet? You know that every success is a total fluke’ ,
  • ‘Your writing is mediocre, you really can’t compare yourself to the pros can you?’
  • ‘If you let yourself fall for that person, you’ll have your heart broken, it won’t work out and you’ll waste time and you can’t afford to waste time, you want a family’,
  • ‘How could he be attracted to you? You’ll look like an idiot if you let your guard down’
  • ‘If you put that bikini on, people will think you’re mental, they will look and point, and judge and stare’.

The critic has learnt to speak with a sharp tongue of viciousness and brings in something personal- something that triggers a fear of embarrassment, rejection, failure or pain.

Loving ourselves and following our passions and dreams puts us in a vulnerable place. I know a lot of people don’t like the word vulnerability but the definition of vulnerabilty is ‘exposure to emotional risk’ so if you ever want to grow, try something new, have relationships with other humans then you’ll have to experience it. However our own safety instinct seeks to protect us from that potential vulnerability by mouthing off self criticism and self loathing so that we stay where we are.

Your safety instinct doesn’t give a monkeys whether or not you feel fulfilled or self actualised- it doesn’t care if you’re self comforting every night to numb the feelings of boredom or loneliness.

The safety instinct is happy as long as you stay in the zone of familiar. What it says to you to get you to stay there isn’t necessarily true.

Its job is not to be honest, it’s job is getting you to avoid perceived risk.

When we start to understand that our safety instinct, which has been with us since the dawn of time, uses the inner critic as a strategy to keep us in the zone of the familiar, and that what it says is not actual truth or reality, we start to take away its power. We can say to ourselves in the moment ‘I hear that voice, but I know that’s not the voice of truth and I choose not to take direction from it’.

Self doubt will always be a part of our lives as we move forwards towards our true desires and the mission is not to eliminate self doubt. It will never be gone so that’s a fight we simply can’t win. The mission is learning how to let the inner critic be who it is and do its things, without taking direction from it. The goal is to hear the inner critics voice but not to let that voice determine your choices. The mission is to build a relationship with it in which you understand why it does what it does and for you to step up, do some adulting and tell it that everything is ok, that you got this!

If you want to learn how to manage that relationship with your inner critic then join my ‘All You Need is Love’ programme! Week 2 is all about the Inner Critic and we will deep dive into it so that you learn the tools you need to manage and master that relationship once and for all!

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent..including you!

Doors close on Wednesday 1st March so just go for it!

P x

All You Need is Love

How is your relationship with Money?

Today, I’m talking about your relationship with money because the topic keeps coming up again and again with my clients and for myself personally!

We all have a relationship with money and having a healthy relationship with money is just like any other relationship. You can break up,  kiss and make up,  get so mad and frustrated, fall head over heels, you can be wooed and become smitten, be impulsive, be cautious, you can feel unworthy, undeserving and push it away, you can get blinded and have ups and downs!

But ultimately we want to live happily ever after with our money and like all relationships- it takes love and attention to do that!

Money is an emotive topic so if this triggers you, get curious about it!

Your relationship with money really is an intimate relationship and one that perhaps you’ve been neglecting. Or perhaps you feel it’s the other way around, that money has been neglecting you or even abusive and causing you to play small in life. Perhaps you feel that money doesn’t care about you at all and forgets you even exist!

Trust me though, regardless of where you are; this particular relationship can be salvaged and you can turn this around into a caring and loving partnership.

I had a major realisation this morning, what we coaches call an ‘aha’ moment. The relationship I used to have with money reminded me of relationships I had with exes. It was neglectful, undervalued, dramatic and dysfunctional. Now, I have been working on my money relationship for a few years and it’s improving, but if I’m honest I still have a lot of work to do!  How about you? Does your relationship with money mirror other relationship history? Something for you to ponder…..

Let’s look at what money is; basically money is an exchange of value.

In life, there are transactions in which we exchange money in return for value. That value may be clothes, holidays, a home, a pair of boots, a smoothie, bin collection etc. We earn money in return for value. We provide a service or our time, a particular value is placed on that service/time and money is exchanged for it.

So, if we don’t value ourselves, if we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, not worthy enough then we undervalue ourselves and the exchange of money is reduced. Think about it;  performance appraisals, interviews, negotiations.. any time that you had to talk about the value you add- did you own it? Did you claim your own value or did you play it down?

In personal relationships, it took me a long time for me to realise that it was ok and safe for me to have a healthy, nurturing, respectful relationship. It wasn’t what I was used to. When Colm opened the car door open for me when we were dating, I thought he was a weirdo! Every single time, he would hold it open, wait for me to get in and then walk around to his side. Then I would lean over and open the door for him. We still do this 7 years later and my friends laugh about it but really it was a baby step for me in learning how to have more respectful relationship and it stuck with me.

Anyways, back to money! It is possible and more than ok for you to learn how to fall in love with money! Imagine that, a relationship with money that is full of love, respect and caring.

Here’s what to do:

Identify the characteristics of your current relationship with money:

Is the relationship neglected, respectful, dangerous, loving, thrilling, fun, abusive, nurturing…?

Who are you in the relationship you have with money?

Are you dismissive, are careless, are you nurturing, are you disrespectful, are you jealous, are you obsessive, are you caring, are you clingy? Don’t worry about what your current reality is because once we’re aware, we can start to make changes.

What is your all time favourite love story?

If you had to pick the most romantic or the best movie relationship, something that inspires you, what would it be?

Perhaps you’d choose The Notebook, perhaps any of the Love Actually couples, maybe Notting Hill, maybe Pretty Woman, maybe Mamma Mia! Have a good think about it? Look through your favourite movies! I would choose a movie called ‘Ever After’ with Drew Barrymore- it’s a Cinderella story but basically she does end up with her happily ever after and her prince but she rescues herself!

How would you describe the relationship the characters have?

So for example, is it exciting & sexy, is it romantic and respectful, is it empowered and enduring, is it loyal and stable, is it romantic and loving?

If you were to merge your love story and your money; describe what your relationship with money would be like?

  • How would you know you were valued?
  • How would you feel spending money on you?
  • Who would you be in this new relationship?
  • How would you show up and let money know you cared?
  • How would you expect it to treat you?
  • What would you be doing regularly to nurture the relationship?

 This is all for you to ponder! Answer the questions, give it some thought because sometimes looking at something from a new perspective can lead to massive change. So, for now please remember that it’s more than ok for you to have an amazing money relationship, it’s ok for you to feel supported!

But remember that you are responsible for what you bring to the relationship; you can’t be neglectful and then resent it because it’s never there when you need it!

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic so please feel free to shoot me an email or pop over to my facebook page!

Until next week,

P x

Watching Frozen with my 5 year old nephew……

I was minding my nephew Jamie after school on Monday and while I was cooking, he navigated his way to netflix with stealth speed and stuck on Frozen for himself and Sarah to watch! I’ve seen it a few times and of course, I found myself being pulled in gradually! I’ll admit that the words of ‘Let It Go’ are drilled into my mind but there was one line in particular that for me, really sticks out. Elsa sings ‘Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them know”. It sticks out because it’s a juicy topic, I can relate and it’s the focus of a lot of 1-1 work with clients when we’re working on emotional intelligence. Do you conceal your emotions or do you allow yourself to feel them?

It’s an area that I have been personally fascinated with for years. You see, I used to conceal – in fact, I was the queen of conceal!  I’d put on my poker face, I’d take care of others, I’d bite my lip, I’d say yes and get swamped with work and smile politely like a ‘good’ girl. It meant I didn’t have to really engage, I’d let things just wash over me. Or so I thought!

In my effort to conceal how I really felt, I was actively engaged in numbing. Numbing is pretty much anything you do to distract yourself from feeling the emotions that you don’t want to feel. I was trying not to feel angry, hurt, anxious, disappointed, loss, empty and all those other negative emotions and it took a lot of effort and practice- it wasn’t a natural thing for me to do. I had to work hard at it but after a while I excelled but little did I know what the real cost was going to be…..

‘We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” – Brene Brown

As the years went on, I lost my joy for life. I lost the magic, wonder, awe, curiosity and excitement that is present in everyday life. I lost myself. I wasn’t allowing myself to look forward to things or get excited in case I was disappointed. I wasn’t allowing myself to be happy for what I had achieved as there was always something else on the list. I wasn’t allowing people to get to know me and despite having a wonderful family and a wide circle of friends- I felt incredibly alone. Paula against the world. I put huge amounts of pressure on myself to be everything to everyone but at the same time, to myself, I became worthless. I was on auto-pilot, working hard and studying law (which I hated with a passion but ignored) because I thought that achievement or recognition from others would plug the empty feeling. It didn’t.

I had numbed everything, positive and negative and I lost myself.

But finally, after almost 10 years of actively numbing- I woke up to what I was doing! Cue meltdown, 6 year relationship ending, changing my career entirely, a lot of tears and a hell of lot of soul searching! I still have numbing days but life is amazing, inspiring and brings me so much joy now- in all areas! (The whole process and exactly ‘how’ is a long story!)

But as I said, this has been a hot topic with my private clients in the past few months. So many of them have been numbing for years and they’re recognising that their behaviour isn’t serving them and that they need to change. Some of the common numbing trends include cigarettes, alcohol, food, spending money (that they don’t have), casual sex, doing degrees, masters, PhD’s to bring them further up the career ladder (even though they know it’s leaning against the wrong wall) and the most common one I’ve seen lately is completely ignoring the whole sphere of their personal life and relationships and focusing almost solely on career! Do you know anyone who does that? Perhaps know them really well 😉

I wanted to share my experience with you so that you can be aware of what happens when we conceal how we feel- when we start to numb ourselves to life. Unfortunately, it’s far too common.

Why do we do it?

In most cases, we numb to avoid feeling vulnerable and exposed. We think we’re protecting ourselves but the truth is we are not. We’re hiding our true self from the world and the longer we hide and disconnect, the greater the risk we run of losing ourselves and our real connection with others.

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability. It sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” – Brene Brown

Can you live life without love?…… Can you live life without allowing yourself be vulnerable?

Food for thought xx

P x

****Check out my new 30 Day Programme ‘All You Need is Love‘ starting 29th May!****

This course is a 30-day program about the power of loving yourself. And, let me set this straight – I don’t mean a conceited, cocky self love; I mean a valuing yourself, going after what you want, honouring yourself, knowing your worth and expressing yourself openly type of self love!

It is so incredibly important.  All of the rest of it — everything else you’re wanting in your life like meaningful work, finding your voice, standing up for yourself, asking for what you need and want, putting yourself out there, making new friends as an adult, cultivating new romantic relationships, committing to romantic relationships, making decisions on your future…..- it all sits on the foundation of Love.

Without Self- Love and Self-Care, we take two steps forward and one step back, we get lost in self sabotage and then listen to our inner critic and mind monkeys and we lash ourselves out of it for not being enough, our motivation disappears at the first sign of struggle or we spiral into negativity and we suck the goodness out of everything.

We start on 29th May 2016 but you’ll have access to the materials from a few days beforehand as well as the community of a small private group to keep you on track, motivated and accountable!                                                                              

What we’ll cover…..

Building Your Strong Foundation:

Week One: Self Care vs Self Comfort

We focus our attention on Self Love and Self Care and what that currently looks like for you! We discover the difference between self-care and self-comfort, we look at your current habits and behaviours and develop new strategies for building a strong foundation of self love.

Week Two: Your Inner Critic vs Your Inner Mentor

In week two, we explore your inner critic (yep- that nasty little voice(s) in your head!). We look at where it came from, why it’s there as well as strategies to deal with inner critic. We also are introduced to our inner mentor- the most powerful ally and guide we have and we learn how to access her wisdom and resourcefulness.

Practicing & Maintaining Self Love in a Messy World!

Week Three: Your Confidence Rituals

In week three, we’re working on strategies to boost your inner confidence by learning to own your story! We’ll have your confidence sky rocketing to the moon as we make you the leader of your own life. At the end of this week, you’ll be more comfortable in your own skin, feeling more positive and creating your own rituals for confidence and success on your own terms.

Week Four: Moving Forward with Self Love & Integrity

In our final week, we look at your intentions from the start of the course, examine your new learning and how to integrate it into your life moving forwards. Life will always keep moving forwards and this final module will help to ensure that you are stepping forward with life from a place of self love, integrity and on your own terms.

Losing Yourself…..

So this is a really juicy topic and something that comes up regularly with my private coaching clients. It is the experience or the fear of losing yourself.

What do I mean by that? Let me explain..

I’m talking about the woman who suffers burnout, is off work for a month and has no idea what to do with herself, has only suits in her wardrobe and whose personal relationships with friends has disintegrated. She has lost herself to her job.

I’m talking about the woman who enters a relationship with a new partner and changes her behaviours, interests, time with friends and wardrobe! She has lost herself to her relationship.

I’m talking about woman who has had a child and now doesn’t pursue her passions, who is agitated and cranky with the world, who takes on so much responsibility and puts her needs second. She has lost herself to motherhood.

I’m talking about the woman who knows she has potential, who knows that deep down she was meant to do something incredible and make a difference in this world but instead, she is hiding, staying small, not going after her dreams and compromising. She has lost herself to her fears.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I’ve been behaving in ways that have been very uncomfortable for me. I’ve been bitching at my husband, rolling my eyes when someone says something irritating (and finding the tiniest things irritating), shouting at our dog, shouting and cursing at drivers or at traffic lights; basically not being a very nice person! And when I have those moments of being a cranky ass or being short or dismissive with the people I care about, I always feel bad afterwards and it just causes me to spiral downwards.

But what really got my attention was what I would say, it was

‘I’m sorry, this isn’t me’.

Then it clicked, I’d lost myself. I was behaving and reacting in ways that simply weren’t typical of my normal behaviour. I don’t normally go around shouting at the dog, cursing at the hoover and wanting to punch anyone who rings my doorbell once Sarah is asleep!

I had definitely lost myself!

But lost myself to what?? Maybe life? Maybe new mamahood? Maybe Poor Self Care?

The lack of Self-Care really resonated with me and it was intriguing as I had never thought that thought before!

But it made so much sense!  Just think about it- if you’re hungry- are you being your optimal self? (Snickers/gremlin ad anyone?) If you haven’t slept properly- are you operating at your optimal level? If you have been putting all of your energy/time and focus onto other people and other projects- are you going to feel taken care of within yourself? If you’re not setting boundaries with people and saying yes when you want to say no- are you going to feel respected and strong? And if you put all that together, really, are you going to be yourself?

The answer is no.

You may be a version of yourself or a shell of yourself but you definitely won’t be yourself as best you can be!

We all need Self Care, Self Love, Self Respect and Self Compassion in place as the foundation upon which to securely build everything else in our lives.

If we don’t have that as our solid foundation, then everything else is incredibly rocky- our relationships, our health, our career, our finances etc!

I’d never thought of losing myself to lack of self care before but it made perfect sense and know quarter_life_blueprint_image3I know what I need to do to find myself again- early nights, turn off the tv, drink more water, book in for a massage and implement small habits that will have a big positive impact!

So, how bout you? Have you ever lost yourself to your career, relationship, lack of self care before? Or is that something that scares you? If you feel like you could do with putting that solid foundation in place then check out my ‘All You Need is Love’ programme starting 22nd February. It’s what I’ve been using to bring myself back to me and I’d love to support you to do the same!

Until next time, take care of you!

P x

 

Happy Halloween!

285635_10151107638055669_1257918381_nI love this time of year! I always have done, even when I was a kid! I mean, what’s not to love! Being allowed out late, sweets, dressing up in costumes and the thought of witches flying around on their broomsticks on Halloween night! That’s actually what I loved the most- I loved the idea of witches. Being able to fly, casting magic spells and making things happen! I used to play games as a kid pretending to be a witch, casting spells and making my wishes come true! I loved the idea of having the power to make things happen. And you know what, as I kid, believing in magic and personal power- life was magical.

Over the years though, in my teens and early twenties, I lost that sparkle, magic and power. Life became dull, negative and to be honest, a real downer. Like everyone, I lost people I cared about, things didn’t turn out how I had planned and my confidence and self worth got chipped away each day. Life just seemed tough, unfair and uninspiring.

Then I discovered something called ‘gratitude’- it was an alien concept to me at the time but I started practising it and when I did, I suddenly refocused from looking at things through my despair tinted glasses to seeing things from a completely different perspective. My mam had died- I was grateful to have had her as my mam. My family had fallen apart- I was grateful that I knew they would come back together in time when their hearts healed. I had no idea how to handle negative emotions and I self harmed- I was grateful I was alive because if I’m totally honest there had been times when I thought it would be easier if I wasn’t. By opening my eyes and starting to see the wonderful things that I did have, it started me on the path that I’m walking today. The more I healed, forgave myself and grew stronger, the more power I realised I had. I started feeling magical again, not all the time but magical moments- perhaps just a few seconds but enough to remind me that they existed but undoubtedly the best thing that I discovered was Magic Dust.

Now I promise I haven’t lost my mind but modern day magic dust does exist and you can sprinkle it everywhere and magic just starts happening. This is probably my favourite magical power! I can sprinkle magic dust on another person and change their day- how amazing is that!

How many people do you interact with on any given day? How many people serve you? I’m talking anything from the coffee in the morning to the milkman to a Pilate’s instructor to a salesperson in a shop to a chef in a restaurant and the waitress? Did you know that you can sprinkle fairy dust on them and change their day?

You can look them in the eye and say ‘thank you, I really appreciate your help. It means a lot’. The people who work in a service role are giving to you, you are receiving from then and most of time; we take it for granted. We bitch and moan and complain but the bus driver picks you up and brings you where you want to go, your coffee is made up for you to your specific request, the bins are collected, the grass is cut, flowers are planted in parks, the streets are cleaned, a meal is cooked and served to you and your water glass is topped up!

I love this! It honestly is an incredible feeling to acknowledge someone else and thank them. You will be amazed at the responses you will get- everything from disbelief and suspicion to a smile to a wave of gratitude from them back to you. It amazing, one simple thing done with sincerity is like sprinkling magic dust on your world! When you say thank you to someone, look them in the eye! That’s how the magic dust gets sprinkled!

I have a habit now of writing a note of thanks to the chef and kitchen staff in a restaurant when I’ve had a lovely meal! The very first time I did it though, it wasn’t my idea, it was my other half Colm who suggested it! We had just had the most delicious meal so when he suggested we thank the chef, I got excited and whipped a pen and paper out of my bag. It was humbling when the chef came out with tears in his eyes and told us it was the first time that a customer had ever thanked him. He was genuinely moved and grateful and so were we. It was so simple but it was magic. I also learned that day that Colm was a keeper! He knew how to sprinkle magic dust!

Every action always has an equal reaction. If you really mean it when you say thank you, the other person will feel it and you will not only have made the other person feel really good but your gratitude will fill you with happiness. The day we walked out of that restaurant, we felt indescribably happy.

So, this Halloween, how about you bring that sparkle back into your world and sprinkle some magic dust!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Love P x

Who’s afraid of The Big Bad Wolf?

An issue that has been coming up in recent months from many of my private coaching clients has been the sense of frustration and powerlessness they feel in relation to their career. There is a wide variety of reasons that I hear such as uncertainty about whether their contract will be renewed (whether they actually want it renewed or not!), being afraid to speak up for fear of losing their job, afraid to rock the boat, putting up with a manager that you can’t stand and the biggest one (drum roll please!!!!) is being in a job that you really hate!! A job that is draining your energy and passion for life!!

In the current climate, if you start complaining about any aspect of your job, you can almost be guaranteed that someone will pitch in with

‘Stop complaining, sure you’re lucky to have a job at all. Think of all the people who’d give anything to be in your position. Don’t be getting too big for your boots! Put your head down, keep your mouth shut and just get on with it’.

Unfortunately, too many people listen to this advice.

The amusing thing about this is that for many people- it’s the voice in their own head offering them up this fabulous advice! More than likely-

YOU are the big bad wolf!

We may try and convince ourselves that it’s the company, it’s our boss, it’s the economy, that we have no control and therefore no power. But I don’t buy that and the reason why I don’t buy it is because I been there, told myself the same thing as well and I’ve learnt from it and discovered the truth. Also, I’ve been working with private clients for the past 18 months on this exact issue who have been telling themselves the same thing as well but then we got to the truth.

The truth is that no matter how bad the situation is at work, for now, it’s less scary than the unknown and THAT IS WHY YOU ARE STILL THERE.

So how do you overcome this?

You start getting to know yourself and what you want!

Think about this for a minute, if you:

  • Knew what you’d love to do instead of your current work,
  • Knew what your transferable skills were,
  • Knew how much value you could add to any organisation,
  • Knew what your passions were,
  • Knew exactly what you needed from your career
  • Knew that you had a kick ass CV
  • Knew that you could ace an interview,
  • Researched and built up a network of people who could help you to move into an area you loved

 If you had all that information and knowledge, would you feel more confident in putting yourself out there and going for something you would love to do?

The answer is Hell Yeah!!’ (Just in case you weren’t sure!!)

This is something that YOU have control over! The answers are within you, you just haven’t been asking yourself the right questions!

If you need to get to know yourself, get to know what you want and bust out of your Career Crisis then check out my 8 week ‘Conquer Your Career Crisis’ Programme starting Friday the 12th September and get ready to take back control and make some big changes!!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! Please feel free to get in touch and share any of your thoughts or ideas with me via email/facebook/twitter! I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have a topic or question you would like me to address, please just let me know!

Until next time,

Love and Respect,

 Paula