I’m a scaredy cat

scaredy cat

Is a quarter life crisis causing you to become a scaredy cat?

I’m a complete scaredy cat. When the going gets tough, my default state of being is hiding and sleeping myself into a safe cocoon of darkness. That’s what I’d love to be doing right now, being lazy in my bed, curtains drawn, lights down either sleeping or losing myself in a novel.

Why?

Well because I’m telling myself I am an imposter and not good enough because I’m a scaredy cat.

 But you know what, this is the real me.

I am a total chicken! I get so scared that I get stuck in limbo not knowing what way to go.  The future scares me, asking for what I want scares me, doing things I know I want to do deep down scares me, telling people the truth scares me, looking at my finances coming up to Christmas scares me, every time I write a blog post or tell you a bit of my story scares me, relationships scare me, making decisions scare me, running my own business terrifies me. Sometimes the thought of facing a difficult day scares me and I wake up with crippling anxiety in my chest, my jaw and throat tighten and I have such a strong desire to hide from the world. Life can be really scary but guess what? That’s ok. Also, I know I get scared and want to hide and that’s ok too. I’ve accepted this.

You might think that this is a strange blog post for a life coach to write- it’s a bit blunt, not exactly motivational and so far isn’t offering much hope or inspiration!! And you’re right! It is an odd post for a coach to write but it’s also me being honest with you.

I’m always afraid and fear is always present in my life but it’s not a problem for me. It doesn’t get in my way or hold me back. Anymore… (well, maybe the odd time!!)

But my default state of hiding used to win all the time, I hid for most of my late teens and early 20s. I never really stretched myself and I stayed within my comfort zone. It was boring and frustrating as hell!! I didn’t really do anything fun and exciting either!

So I started to study fear- probably to try and figure out what was wrong with me so you can imagine my surprise when all of the books I read and seminars I attended were actually telling me that fear was normal, what I was feeling was normal, my desire to hide was normal.

One particular book I read was Susan Jeffers ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’- it took me years to get through this book because it made far too much sense and I just didn’t want to hear it. The main message in the book is that fear comes from an uncertainty within ourselves of our ability to handle the situation should something bad happen. Susan Jeffers says, “All you have to do to weaken your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.” So basically, cultivate self trust, self love and self compassion.

She talks about the 5 truths about fear, my favourite being ‘The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow’. Everybody fears doing, or being, something new because of the uncertainty within unfamiliar situations. If you do not fear, you do not grow.

This is why fear is no longer a problem for me.

I accept it and love that I continue to grow and push myself in spite of it. I said at the beginning that I would rather be hiding in my bed than writing this but I’m still typing so it’s more evidence for me that I’m progressing in spite of my fear and that I can handle whatever will come my way.

The reason I chose to revisit and write about this topic now is because life has been kicking my ass for the past few weeks! My mind, body and spirit have been taking their sweet time to come together and get on board with my plans and goals for 2018- like I cannot believe that there’s only 3 months left of this year!! Seriously WTF???

Getting back into my work groove after summer time has kicked my ass even with Sarah starting preschool and the fact that I have more time to myself. Getting back into any sort of self care routine and rituals such as exercise, proper food and sleep has kicked my ass as well! I’ve had lower back pain for ages which I kept dismissing; finally got tests done the other day and there is a problem which I’ve been aggravating for months. In short, fear had crept in and self care, love and compassion has taken a nose dive! Doing a reality check on your life is scary- especially when it means facing up to the fact that things are not as you want them to be. It can feel like we’re not progressing or we’re a million miles away from where we wanted to be by now. So looking at where you’re at is scary and making the changed necessary is scary! Either way- it’s scary! Oh, and the other thing- not making the changes and seeing where that will lead you is equally terrifying!

But what I’m so grateful for, is my work and being able to connect with so many other women like me all around the world and the message I’m hearing back is that …………...it’s not just me. Seems like the last few weeks have been kicking lots of asses! But hey, if you do not fear, you do not grow! Let’s all be scaredy cats for the rest of 2018 but push ourselves in spite of it!

Fear is my constant companion- how bout you? What can you do to break through despite your fear?…..

On that note, I’d love to invite you to join ‘Elevate’ – a 10 week high challenge and high support personal development course. I was planning to work with a large group but I’ve decided now, it will be less than 8 women so it will be more intimate, more personal and gentler for me in terms of energy demands! It is a combination of personal development training, accountability, group coaching, actions and follow through and 1:1 sessions- exactly what you need to finish off 2018 on a high! Check it out here, or book in for a call with me to see if it’s a good fit for you!

Until next week, Be afraid but move anyway!!

P x

Would you sacrifice yourself for someone else?

We’ve received a lot of messaging saying that if you take care of yourself, if you spend your personal resources of time, energy, money and focus on what makes you happy- then you are selfish. It would drive you crazy but yet it’s stuck in our heads and embedded into almost every decision we make- whether or not we’re aware of it. If you’re exhausted, depleted, running on empty what do most of us do? We get a caffeine hit, we dig deep and push on. Until we burn out, have a breakdown or get sick.

Why? Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why?’ Why do I do that? In whose interest is it for me to be unhappy, burnt out, depleted, exhausted or sick? Is it what someone else wants? Is there needs more important than yours? Is it in society’s interest? Will it have you spending money seeking answers and solutions? Will it keep you numbing out all of the things that you’re unhappy about because you just don’t know where to start in changing anything and you’ve also no idea where you’d get the energy you’d need to make that shift?

It can get to the point where slowing down the pace of life feels tortuous because then we have head and heart space to feel and see things a bit clearer. I’ve totally been there. I’ve driven myself beyond the point of sanity trying to please other people, to take care of them, nurture them, make sure they were ok and it came at such a high price.

I remember having a conversation with an ex, a couple of months after we broke up and he was telling me how much he needed me, how hard life was without me. (He dumped me by text) I found myself contemplating going back to him even though every fibre in my body, soul, heart and mind felt it was the worst idea. I’m not even sure why I was having those thoughts but it was something along the lines of, I can make him happy and it would be horrible for me not to give him what he needs. I freaked out. Something clicked in me and I lost it- in the weirdest way. I felt like I was drugged, just totally spaced out. I was sitting outside a coffee shop in Drumcondra having this conversation, then totally zoned out and starting seeing elephants walking up the road. It scared the life out of me, I thought I was losing my mind.

He was concerned as there was obviously something up with me and walked me home. I lived less than 5 minutes away. As soon I got through the door I burst into tears and I wailed at him to just leave me alone. That I loved him, I cared about him but that I couldn’t be responsible for him or his happiness. That it would cost me everything. I think I scared the shit out of him too then.

I’ve only ever told a few people this and I’ve no idea why it’s coming up now but I feel it’s important. I was seriously contemplating sacrificing everything to make someone else happy and I blew a fuse. It caused an emotional breakdown and to be honest, I’m glad it did because the alternative of agreeing would have been much worse.

It was around 2009 that this happened and it put me on a different path. It’s fed into my work with other women and it’s one reason  (of many, I’ve lots of stories) why when I hear of women who are experiencing emotions of selfishness or guilt around taking care of themselves, I get passionate.

It’s not you. It’s the messaging you have received about who you are supposed to be that is complete bullshit. You have a right and a responsibility to take care of you and do what lights you up and makes you happy. When you do that, it fills your well and then; only then, do you have the capacity to care for others.

Take care of you, first and foremost. If you want to learn more and really commit to focus on this, then join me in my 30 day programme ‘All You Need is Love’. This programme is choc-a-bloc full of practical support to teach you how to elevate the relationship you have with yourself. This is the one thing that will lead you to your everything.

This is the last time I’ll run this programme so I’m offering €50 off the price AND a complimentary 60 minute one to one coaching session worth €150!

I’d love you to join us

P x

The Green Eyed Monster!

I’ve been desiring to write this for so long however I’m still learning to juggle all of my roles, dreams and responsibilities so it had to go on the back burner for a while.

It’s hard.

When you have dreams and ambitions for yourself, when you have deep burning desires of wanting to express yourself more fully, to show up more fully in life but have limited resources of time and energy.

The past few months have been challenging, my daughter is 2 and a half and I can count on one hand the number of times she has slept through the night, I’m growing my business while at the same time cutting back on 1-1 clients as my childcare is only 12 hours per week by choice, so I’m working from home and around my family, trying to ensure myself and Colm stay deeply connected and have quality time together, make sure Sarah has all of her needs met physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, I’ve been trying to eat well, drink plenty of water, get the dog out for a walk every day, keep the house clean, have dinners made, pay bills, spend time with family and friends, exercise, keep an eye on finances and budgets, do up the house, spend time on my learning and development as a coach and personally, have fun and be happy.

I feel like I’ve been doing a half arsed job with everything and my inner perfectionist has been having a field day.

Recently, I found myself glued to my phone regularly, just scrolling down and down and down. As my mood and energy went down and down with it! When I look at facebook or LinkedIn or instagram, I fall quickly into comparison- looking at the grace and polished-ness of other coaches, mothers, entrepreneurs, wives, sisters- basically anyone who is giving off the impression that they’ve got it together. I get envious of their clothes, their washed and brushed hair, their confidence, their success, their happiness and I start to think ‘I suck, big time’, I’m not good enough, I can’t do this, I’m not a good mama, I’m not a good person’.

I was at a full day CPD training a few weeks ago and the facilitator asked everyone to raise their hands if they have the thought ‘I am not good enough’ and every single person in the room raised their hand. It surprised me- I personally knew many people in the room and greatly admire them. She posed the same experiment for the thought ‘I can’t do it’ and again, every single person in the room raised their hands. It was interesting. ‘There are no new thoughts- They’re all recycled ‘ she said. There is nothing that you have thought about yourself that the majority of people within a 5 mile radius hasn’t thought about themselves as well. ‘Thoughts aren’t personal. They just appear, like raindrops. Would you argue with a raindrop?’ It’s the fact that we attach to and start to buy into this particular thought that becomes problematic.

I’m naturally an introvert, I’m shy, I’m quiet. I love long walks on the beach at night time when no one else is around. I love my own company. I love having meaningful conversations one on one. I love silence, candlelight, writing, singing in the car and dancing in my kitchen. I mostly go around in jeans, a vest top and a pair of skechers with my hair pulled in a ponytail and no makeup. I love to read, I love to teach, I love to engage with groups with purpose and connection. I love to learn and watch TV programmes that teach me something new. I love to be open minded. I love to be free. I know myself, quite well and I do love who I am.

But when I start to think the thought ‘I am not enough’, I swiftly go into comparison and spiral quickly. I start to think ‘I should’ be doing what other people are doing, I should be more polished, I shouldn’t write blogs like this one, I should just get it together and make sure other people can see I have it together and put on a good show!

We don’t compare when we feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we don’t allow ourselves to attack our own worthiness. When we feel good about ourselves, we look for the good in others and the world around us. Comparison kills happiness, creativity and resourcefulness. It gets us stuck in a negative spiral and then we start to really believe the thought ‘I am not enough’ because in that moment we feel so empty, lacking and paralysed to be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and take a step forward.

So, how do we change this? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to walk myself through this practice!

Attitude of gratitude…

One of the quickest ways to help you lift yourself up and out of lack mindset is to practice shifting into abundance mindset. This basically means opening your eyes to what you do have in your life- perhaps you have an abundance of friends, an abundance of energy or passion for a particular topic, you have a roof over your head and food in your press, you have your skills- your ability to read and write and how much pleasure you can receive just from that, you have the beauty of the world around you. When we start opening our eyes to what we already have, it can help us shift our attention from what we lack. I will admit though, the first time I tried to do this, I found it very difficult to do because I was deeply rooted in lack mindset. Myself and Colm used to turn it into a game, asking each other ‘What was the best thing about your day? or ‘name three things you’re grateful for right now?’ – we’d do it in bed before we went to sleep and it felt really good.

The chance is that what you’re truly desiring to feel is probably present in your life right now in some shape or form but you’re not noticing it. Do you pay attention to what lights you up? Do you know what makes you feel good? When we start to acknowledge areas in our lives where we are truly abundant, things start to shift and we can ask ourselves ‘Where else do I already have what I want?’ ‘What is already part of my day to day life that I love?’

I hope this has resonated with you and that you take something from it! I’m writing this as a kick in the ass for myself but I’m guessing it may resonate with you too! As always, I’d love to hear from you!

With love and much warmth,

Paula

Are you settling for less?

The reasons why people settle for less in life is quite complex. On the surface, it may seem simple- that they’re stuck in a comfort zone but the reality is that for most people, they have found attempts to go after they want extremely disappointing and they’ve been hurt. We all have a built in safety mechanism- an inner voice that tries to protect us. Back in the days of sabre-tooth tigers and woolly mammoths, that voice spoke up to protect us from physical danger. It’s how we survived. Nowadays, we don’t those physical dangers however, but that voice is still there and it still tries to protect us from danger- the new danger being emotional- shame, embarrassment, what other people think, disappointment, failure and fear.

Can you relate to any of these scenarios and thought patterns:

  • There are so many other people who are better than me. I’m not going to be able to do it perfectly so I better not try.
  • What would people think of me or say about me if I was to take this risk. My family/friends/boss/colleagues/partner would think I’m an idiot.
  • I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work. I’m not wasting my time on that again.
  • What if this is the best I can get, so I better just hang tight to what I have right now.
  • I might try to do this, and fail. What would I do then? I’d be mortified and everyone would know.
  • I don’t have the time, energy, resources to go after that. Now is not the right time, maybe someday….

If you’re desiring to date, meet new friends, leave your job, ask for a promotion or pay raise, start a business, start a family, set boundaries with friends and family- you start a dialogue in your head, you’ll start to think about it and the thoughts that you have will bring up certain emotions. If those emotions are fear based or you feel you may be putting yourself in a vulnerable position, then often we avoid following through on what we want to do. We don’t put ourselves out there, we stay stuck in our soul-destroying job, we don’t have the difficult conversations with people and what happens then is that we lower our expectations of ourselves in our own lives. Our standard for our own lives can drop gradually or it can be a drastic move after a major disappointment. We start to settle for less than because we feel we are less than.

We start believing that we can’t do or have the things we once dreamed about, that we aren’t as capable, as powerful, as special, as lovable, as smart as we once were. We start telling ourselves we don’t deserve it. This is also called learned helplessness and we become oblivious to the fact that the situation we’re settling for is a major compromise on our original dreams and desires.

How can you break out of this rut and start creating a more satisfying life:

How can some people bounce back from disappointment stronger and more determined while others let the disappointment define their future…. Is it because some people are better than others? No! It’s simply that they’ve learned a skill called Resilience. Could you do with building up your bounce-back ability? I think we all could! Here are my top 5 tips to build your resilience muscles:

Step 1: Understand and speak shame

Yikes, start with the hardest one but once you start practicing this, it will make the world of difference! When we’ve been hurt or disappointment, most of the time we stay quiet. We don’t tell people of our dreams and our desires. We brush them off with a laugh if someone asks. We deflect because we feel shameful or embarrassed. Even the word ‘shame’ itself can be a trigger.

Brene Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

Whenever we experience something that we feel shame about, we want to bury it, hide it, let no one know about it but that’s not the best approach. “The less we talk about shame, the more power it has over our lives,” Dr. Brown explains in her book Daring Greatly. “If we cultivate enough awareness about shame to name it and speak to it, we’ve basically cut it off at the knees.”

If you share your story with someone you trust, in my experience, what you get is a hug and a resounding ‘Me Too!’. Once its spoken, there’s no shame, there’s no hiding, you’ve got your power back and you get to write a new ending to the story.

Step 2: Develop a growth mindset

Carol Dweck in her book ‘Mindset’ outlines two different mindsets- Growth mindset and Fixed Mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

People with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

A simple way of starting to develop your growth mindset is asking the questions ‘What did I learn from this?’ ‘ How could I improve on this?’ ‘What would I do differently next time?’

Step 3: Get Clear and Get Focused

A lot of the time, we settle because we don’t know what direction to go in instead. Take some time to really allow yourself to think about what you want and if you can’t define it in tangible terms, think about how you want to feel in a particular area of life and then work backwards’ What can I do to create this feeling in the area of my life?’. People who get what they want know what they want, they focus on it and learn what’s working and what’s not. Speak to a mentor, a coach, a career advisor, a financial advisor, a health specialist and get clarity.

Step 4: Practice Self-Care

This should go without saying but we all need reminding! Sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, proper hydration, time management, fresh air all impact our bounce-back ability, our optimism and our perspective on life. By practicing self care, you’ll also be teaching yourself that you are deserving and worthy of your own time and attention. You cannot pour from an empty cup so self-care needs to be a daily consideration in your quest for an incredible life!

Step 5: Take baby steps

One you’ve got the clarity on what you want, you need to start taking action. Often, we get stuck in overwhelm at this point because the task at hand seems huge and we’ve no idea where to start. Start by breaking it down into smaller steps, I’m talking really small steps that will enable you to start taking forward action while practicing the tips above. It will move you forward gradually, raise your standards gradually and change the course of your life gradually. Remember the tortoise and the hare, be the tortoise!

Who am I? I’m a walking contradiction!

I’ve been pondering this topic for ages and I knew I had to write about it. It is a bit of an odd one but if you’ve been following me for a while, I’d say by now you know to expect a bit of oddness every now and then!

One of the biggest questions that people struggle to answer is ‘Who Am I?‘. I mean the first time I asked that of myself about 10 years ago at the beginning of my quarter-life crisis, I couldn’t answer it. All I could come up with is I’m a Virgo (Seriously right?) Full disclosure, back then, I really leaned into star signs, tarot card readings, oracle cards, magic 8 balls to make decisions and to try and give me a sense of me and what I should do with my life!

Anyways, I couldn’t answer that question because I didn’t know.

Over the years, through coaching training and bucket loads of personal work, I got more and more clarity around who I was and what I was about. I got firmer foundations in place and as I got clearer on me, I got clearer on what would be a good life for me, on the work I wanted to do and the relationship I wanted. My true desires were uncovered and so was I.

Fast forward to 2018 and I’ve been struggling with the same question again ‘Who am I?’ and the answers I’ve been coming up with have been really confusing.

I realised that I am a walking, talking contradiction.  

I am ambitious but I’m also incredibly lazy, I will always seek out the easiest route possible. I can be quite selfish at times, but I’m also selfless and give my resources of time, energy and attention to others when they need it. I am such a scaredy cat, I mean I’m always scared- of what people will think of me, of making an absolute balls of something but at the same time, I’ve got bucket loads of brave and I still step forward even if I’m scared. I love parties but I’m shy and quiet. I’m shy and quiet but I put myself out there and show myself to the world though my work. I feel lovable and loving but at times I don’t. I can be passionate and another day be apathetic. I love flexibility and spontaneity but I’d be lost without a plan for the day and my to do list! I value security and safety yet I’m a risk-taker. I am extremely patient but not when sitting in traffic (unless there’s great music on and I have a coffee). I’m an introvert but I’m also a leader.

This for me, feels like the next level of knowing who I am and yeah, she’s sounds confusing but she’s much more real! But what I’ve realised is I don’t have to choose between ambition and ease, between being selfish and caring for others, between being brave and being scared, between being with people and being by myself, between being passionate and not giving a shit. I can be all of those things because I am, I can’t deny it and I’m guessing you’re the same – a walking talking contradiction.  Being real, being truly yourself will mean that you are both. Sweetie, you are allowed to be both.

Years ago, this realisation would have left me feeling very unhinged but now, as I honour myself more, I can tap into how I’m feeling and understand what I need in this moment. Then I can respectfully give myself what I need and know the reason why- because I’ve given myself permission  to be both.

I’m so curious to hear your thoughts on this? Can you relate? Are you really a walking talking contradiction trying deny parts of yourself? Let me know and share your examples over in my private ‘I am more than Enough‘ facebook community.

Also, don’t forget that the next round of my FREE ‘7 Days to Boost Your Confidence’ course starts on the 19th February. You’ll get access to the private group, your own printable workbook walking you through each day as well as 7 training videos walking you through topics such as ‘letting go of what other people think’ ‘Being Really You, ‘Claiming your own Worth’, ‘Dealing with your inner critic’ and much more! Sign up here!

The Seasons of Life

From working with hundreds of women over the past 7 years, I’ve come to the realisation that that life is cyclical. We move through cycles and more often than not, we’re completely unaware of it. 
 
They’re like seasons, and interestingly there’s no set time frame for each season but it goes something like this:
 

The Season of Discomfort

The 1st stage is the Season of Discomfort- you’re going along in your life and it’s not great. You feel agitated, uneasy, frustrated- it could be in your relationship, career, you want to settle down, it could be financial. You know that you need to make a change. You need to make a new decision, do something different and it is really scary. You try not to think about it as you don’t know how to start or what to do. There could  also be a lot of anxiety and uncertainty during this season and it can last a while, until you make that change or you make that new decision and then you move into stage 2.
 

The Season of Pulling Apart

The second stage is the Season 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. A lot of what you are doing feels really uncomfortable and alien to you. You may be engaging in a lot of self-comfort or numbing behaviours. Maybe you feel like you’re hurting people you care about, or you’re doing things that are causing you pain right now 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.
 

The Jigsaw Season

Stage 3 is the ‘Jigsaw Season’- you’re now in the process of putting together the new picture of your life. You’re finding the pieces that still fit, and carving and creating new pieces. There is, of course still uncertainty and you feel a bit wobbly but you are feeling 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.
 

The Season of Progress

The fourth stage is the Season of Progress and 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. We self sabotage, we procrastinate, we fear failure and often we fear success. Mind monkeys show up and question you- who do you think you are to have what you want? Who are you to be happy? To be 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!
 

The Season of Joy

The final stage 5 is the season 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, you are living the life you have been desiring and you know that you DESERVE it!
This season is all of that good stuff! You’re there! This is the year that everyone wants to have and when you’re here, savour it!  Suck as much goodness out of it as you can! You’ve up-leveled your life and you have those feelings of certainty and being in control- you know everything is ok.
 

But 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 season and change a few pieces and then can go back to joy, maybe you’ll stay in joy for a number of years.
 
All this is a framework upon which you can try and place your year, the past 12 months and then for you to try and place what you’re expecting 2018 to bring- 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?
 
Something to ponder anyway and I’d love to hear your answers!

Is fear of failing holding you back?

I haven’t failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. 

–Thomas Edison

No one ever wants to think of themselves as a failure. We have such negative associations with the word! We think that if we fail at something, we will be embarrassed, we will lose respect from others and ourselves, we’ll lose our dreams, hopes and aspirations for that particular area we were attempting to master. It can be scary stuff and for many people, the fear of failure is what stops them from even trying.

What we always forget is that some sort of failure is inevitable if we are to succeed in life. My daughter Sarah has just turned 2 and she is an incredible teacher for me. When she was learning to walk, she wasn’t afraid to try it.During her learning curve, she walked into walls, tumbled, fell down repeatedly but she always jumped up and went at it again! It’s really interesting to watch babies and kids learn because they accept and know that it will take them a while to get the hang of something. They do it at their own pace and they have so much fun learning.

The rest of us grown-ups unfortunately, are very aware of the notion of failure. We’ve been conditioned to fear failure. The thing is that many people are unsure how to overcome obstacles and potential failure and they are stopped dead in their tracks when things go pear-shaped. The ability to pick yourself up and get back on the horse is one big difference between the people who succeed and the people who just don’t get there.

So, knowing that overcoming obstacles is essential to tackling your fear of failure, what should you do? Here are my top 5 tips to help you overcome the fear of failure:

1. Pick yourself up and hold no regrets!

When things don’t work out, we’re often tempted to think that we have completely wasted our time. But that is never entirely true! Like Edison when he was inventing the light bulb; we have found a way that doesn’t work so our time hasn’t been wasted. We’ve learnt a lesson and we won’t try that exact path next time. We will try something different. Each failure you encounter increases your wisdom and brings you one step closer to success. If you adopt this mindset, you will see failure from a completely different perspective. You will see failure as an opportunity to learn. The Quarter Life Coach is my 2nd coaching business- my last one was a spectacular failure! I failed big but I picked myself up, nurtured my bruised pride and ego and learnt the lessons from the mistakes I made.

2. Keep dreaming big dreams

Always have your destination in mind; keep dreaming your big dreams. Spend time visualising yourself already achieving them. Use your imagination to help you foresee and overcome potential obstacles in your path. The process of visualization was investigated during the preparation of Olympic athletes between 1980-1990. The athletes were hooked to the sophisticated biofeedback equipment and were asked to run their event only in their mind. What they found was that the same muscles fired in the same sequence when they were running the race only in their mind as they were running it on the track. So use your mind to practice overcoming obstacles and avoiding failure.

3. What’s the worst case scenario?

One of the most powerful questions posed by Tim Ferris in the 4 Hour Work Week is: If you chase your dreams and fall flat on your face, how long would it take you to recover? Ask yourself this question and I bet you’ll be surprised by the answer. Another question posed by Susan Jeffers in her best-selling book Feel the fear and do It Anyway is ‘If the worst thing possible happened, could you handle it?’ We all underestimate our own strength and by knowing you could handle the worst case scenario can give you the inner strength that you need to take the first step! Is the fear of a few difficult months strong enough to keep you in a place you’re unhappy with for the rest of your life?

4. Take action

The best way to reduce your fear and build your confidence is by taking action. By actually doing the very thing you are afraid of gives you back your power. Break it down into small manageable parts and do it at your own pace- but keep progressing. Make sure that you reward yourself for each step you complete- you have many years of negative conditioning to overcome so give yourself credit! If you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself ‘What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?’ If you are truthful is answering this, you will see that it’s only your fear that’s holding you back and you already know exactly what you need to do.

5. Burn the boats 

One to think about! In battle, the ancient Greeks established a well-deserved reputation for bravery, discipline, and determination. They were successful because they were well trained, well led, and most of all, well motivated. The Greeks were master motivators who understood how to instil commitment and prepare their soldiers for victory. To infuse their army with a spirit of commitment, the moment they landed on the enemy’s shore, the Greek commanders would give the order to “burn the boats.” Imagine the tremendous psychological impact on the soldiers as they watched their boats being set alight. There was no turning back. Once their boats were burned, they realized that the only way they were going home was through victory.

Are there any boats you need to burn to cement your commitment?

So, is fear of failing holding you back? Is it stopping you in your tracks before you even get some momentum going? If you can relate to this, please click the link and book in for a free 30 minute Clarity Call with me and let’s get you making progress on those big dreams.

Until next time,

Much warmth,

Paula

You spoke, I listened…..

Confidence…… These are the issues.

Over the past few months, I’ve been asking you guys to help me out with a bit of research around confidence. I wanted to put together a FREE resource for you around confidence which I did and starts on 10th July! You can sign up below!

But I wanted to share the feedback that I received because it is incredible. So many of us surrender to supportfeelscared, feel like we’re not good enough and a lack of confidence and we feel very alone in that. Here are the voices of your sisters… you are not alone in this.

I put together the FREE 7 Days to Boost Your Confidence Challenge together with the ‘I am More Than Enough‘ facebook community to work with you to get the results you want. I would love to see you there!

What is the main problem or frustration that you experience regarding your current levels of confidence?

  • That line between feeling confident and arrogant seems very blurred. There’s always a fear that becoming more confident makes you appear arrogant even if you’re not.
  • Work related as new job at a higher level! #impostersyndrome
  • Not believing in myself. Not feeling good enough so that I don’t go or do what I want to do.
  • Little voice inside my head saying you will fail
  • Maintaining my confidence levels. Caring about what others think.
  • I am not excelling, I’m afraid of rocking the boat to get my work needs and relationship needs met.
  • Speaking to the public (giving talks/workshops). Body confidence. Confidence in my own skills/knowledge.
  • What people called quarter life crisis. Always dream to live somewhere abroad but now stuck in the country ( Indonesia) not the strongest passport at all. SO hard to get around, need a work visa at least to be somewhere like Europe/ Australia as I really want to live there.
  • I have worked part-time for the last 7 years after my two children were born. Having a happy and busy family life my career has taken a back seat I have lost my confidence in my skills and abilities. Still want a good work life balance but feel trapped to stay in part time role as it suits family needs but I’m not getting and professional development or much job satisfaction.
  • Finding it hard to speak up for myself. Not believing I’m worth it
  • External factors such as other people’s opinions always affect my confidence
  • No belief in myself
  • Feeling not assertive enough
  • Always second guessing myself, comparing myself to skinnier and better organised parents than me
  • No get up and go. Faltering on setting the wheels in motion for my new business
  • Being stuck in a cycle of feeling anxious about something and backing out but then feeling like I’m missing out.
  • Focusing on results before I’ve even experimented which is probably rooted in a fear of failing
  • Not being able to get my point across
  • Not feeling good enough. Prevents me from doing things
  • I will be doing great confidence-wise and then one small thing will happen and knock it completely, taking precedence over the much greater amount of positive evidence. I am then frustrated that I allow things to affect me so much and that just adds to overall feeling of sh*ttiness! This goes for general confidence and also body confidence (one bad photo makes me feel terrible about myself even if most days I’m feeling good about my body)
  • Preventing me from putting myself forward for opportunities or believing in myself
  • Doubting myself and my current choices because people seem to think *they know better* and when they ask you what are you doing and you reply taking some time off to figure out my next move the look on their faces tell me it’s the end of the world…but I know myself it’s what’s best for me. Hard to keep the confidence up sometimes when people want to bring you down…but I ain’t settling for what they have to say because I know in my heart what is best for me
  • Not being able to communicate as confidently as I would like; Not feeling as confident with networking, making new friends, confronting conflict Need serious work on decision making abilities Motivation to meet goals
  • Lack of self confidence especially when things go wrong
  • Holding myself back, knowing it and not being able to change it
  • I lack confidence in my abilities and second guess myself. Also constantly second guessing what people think
  • fear getting in the way, feeling not “enough”
  • Self criticism
  • I doubt whether I would be good at things. Also when it comes to dating my confidence levels would be low,
  • Job, relationships (like friendship)
  • Competitiveness at work / social situations
  • Past experience of constantly being knocked back
  • It can be shaken very easily
  • Let what others think affect me too much. I also find it hard to complement myself on anything eg. job well done, losing weight…
  • Self worth. Putting value on my creative time etc.
  • Not very confident in my looks, holds me back in relationships, trying to people-please. Tend to procrastinate, get worried.
  • Self doubt
  • Self Esteem, Social Perceptions
  • The fear of success. The fear of demonstrating my knowledge to other people.
  • Not standing up for myself to my employer
  • I’m not assertive enough in work. As a teacher we were never taught in college how to stand up to parents or principal and I now find myself losing sleep over school! I’m always afraid that if I stand up for myself I’ll end up crying or come across as a b!tch.
  • Received a lot of knockbacks in recent months through turmoil in romantic and platonic relationships. Also feel like everyone else my age have their lives sewn up
  • Anytime I’m trying something new or different, I sometimes tell myself that ‘I won’t be able to do this/I’m not good enough’. That negative self talk decreases my level of confidence within myself from time to time.
  • I am very big and always think/assume people think the worst of me, I can also be a yes person or not voice my opinion in order to avoid any confrontation or debate with others, I always feel they know more about a topic than me so Ill automatically come out looking bad
  • I constantly worry about what other people think of me and my life choices.
  • Confidence in certain areas of my life but not in others
  • Self belief & maintaining it despite other people’s opinions criticisms or negativity on careers etc.
  • Not thinking I’m good enough for role or do start my own business or follow a dream
  • Can’t get the confidence to go for what I want re career, relationships and trying new hobbies
  • In work I don’t have the confidence I know I have inside
  • I wish to leave my relationship but feel guilty, like by leaving, I am implying I’m too good for him, which is not the case. I’m simply unhappy.
  • Self esteem and let it go issues
  • my abundance of self doubt
  • Personal self belief
  • I’m unable to talk to any man I like due to assuming they find me boring or not as pretty as other girls. I’m also about to finish a college course and very anxious about applying for jobs as I am not at all good at “selling myself” on a cv.
  • Self doubting

 

What result would you ideally like to get from this confidence course?

  • Tips to work on confidence!
  • Self Acceptance
  • To be able to be comfortable in my own skin
  • The balls to be able to stand up for myself at work and with friends
  • Tools to help keep on track with confidence, tools to help if you have a dip.
  • I would like to feel like I’m worth coming first.
  • The courage to develop my knowledge and skills possibly create my own consultancy business.
  • A sense of self worth
  • The ability to be able to stop people unwanted opinion affecting my own confidence
  • Self respect and the ability to set boundaries and keep them, belief in myself
  • Skills to be more confident in various situations
  • Just to feel good being me
  • To not continuously second guess myself and compare myself to others who are already established etc
  • Have the confidence in myself to make a decision without second guessing myself and worrying about what other people think.
  • Taking more risks
  • To be braver and not put myself down
  • Tips on nipping self doubt in the bud/dealing with moments that knock your confidence
  • A more positive outlook or tools to help when confidence levels become low
  • Feeling more confident in everyday activities – presenting to people, valuing my own opinion and voice, meeting new people, not doubting my decisions or struggling to make a decision
  • Be more comfortable and confident in myself in work and dealing with set backs
  • That my confidence levels are boosted. Also that I believe in myself.
  • Get confidence on meeting and approaching people, felling more secure.
  • To become more assertive
  • Strategies to create and maintain meaningful relationships
  • An increased overall boost to confidence
  • Skill to keep my on track . Ability to be happy in my own skin with the life I have
  • Tools to put value on myself and believe it so that others out value on my time.
  • Have a more get up and go attitude and stop procrastinating.
  • Belief in myself and trust in myself
  • Inner self belief, joint shared perceptions with others on confidence strategies.
  • To gain courage to simplify a tasks so that I can be more efficient with my time and effort. To let go of my need to complicate things and make things difficult when they are already running smoothly!
  • being able to stand up for myself to my boss
  • Assertiveness skills. Not to let comments about how I look (from my sisters!) affect me.
  • A feeling like I’m being true to myself and a feeling of loving who I am
  • I’d like a few techniques on how to silence my mind monkeys. I’d like to learn how to be more confident without coming across as too cocky/arrogant at the same time.
  • To not care so much what others think of me, and maybe realise my own worth
  • more confidence to just be comfortable with my decisions and to think less about what other people may be thinking about me
  • Strategies on how to build your self-belief and how to disregard others input and beliefs
  • believe in myself
  • Be able to accept disappointment and failure without affecting my confidence. Also to improve my general outlook and motivation
  • More self stem and guidance in life
  • to grab life by the scruff of the neck and just go for it!
  • Motivation to change/ feel inspired
  • More self esteem, I’d like to spend less time worrying and more time doing.
  • The tools to use in my daily life to use myself when the course is over

 

Want to Boost Your Confidence?

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