Tag Archives: can i be happy?

This is a bit personal…..

There’s no hiding it anymore, the bump is literally out! Yep, I’m pregnant.. very pregnant! 30 weeks in fact and it has been really hard to keep it quiet! This is why my newsletters have been a wee bit irregular the past few months!

Myself and Colm are thrilled and I feel very lucky and in awe of the whole thing. But if I’m completely honest, it really threw me. It’s only in the past few weeks that I really felt I’ve got a grasp on it. It’s something I’ve always wanted but I’ll admit that seeing that positive result on the test completely freaked me out. I was terrified, wondering was I ready? Can I really do this? Will my life ever be the same? The past few months have been a real rollercoaster and it’s only recently I’ve started to get that excited buzz. A new adventure is about to begin and life as I know (and love it!) is all about to change!

This is probably the most personal blog I’ve ever written and for those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while, know that I’m not really one to hold back on my story and who I am. The reason this is personal is because it’s still raw and uncomfortable and challenging but I wanted to share it with you because after all, it’s going to impact my work as The Quarter Life Coach.

The last few months have been tough, really tough. I don’t want to moaning and groaning about everything, but seriously, I never expected it to be this tough. The lack of sleep already, the total and utter exhaustion, the physical pain to turn over in bed or walk, the hormones, the crazy emotions, the heartburn, the anxiety, the reality of being a self employed expectant mama and trying to stay on top of everything with The Quarter Life Coach!!!

To make things a bit more tough, my nan passed away last Autumn, about 10 weeks before I found out I was pregnant and even though its months later, there’s still tears as I write these words. My Nan was my soulmate, best friend and absolute rock. Most of my childhood was spent hanging out with her and my cousins and when my own mam died 12 years ago, my bond with my nan just got stronger. The idea of becoming a mother without these two incredible women by my side has been really hard.

The baby is due to arrive in August and we’re choosing not to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl (which means right now, we have 34 potential names on a list!). It’s a completely wacky ride and one which is asking for total surrender- which for a bit of a control freak is quite difficult.

But for now, I will say this:

Just over 5 years ago, my life was completely different. I was in a relationship that wasn’t good for me and that wasn’t working, I was living at home, I was in a job I hated and I was absolutely miserable. I had zero energy and was just living day to day going through the motions.

Within the space of a few weeks, that relationship ended and I got redundancy from my job. I had some big decisions to make about what I wanted from my life in the future. I made those decisions and started to work on making them happen.

  • I wanted a strong, happy, loving and healthy relationship with someone I absolutely adored and who adored me.
  • I wanted to do work I love and to make a difference.
  • I wanted my own home with a garden and an office.
  • I wanted a dog.
  • I wanted to feel strong and happier within myself.
  • I wanted to get married and have a family.
  • I wanted to be work from home so I could be at home with my kids, dog and husband and have that freedom!

You see, often we accomplish our dreams but we forget to notice because we quickly move on to the next thing, so I just want to take a moment and say:

Yay me! I did it!

What a difference a few years can make when you know what you want, why you want it and are working towards it.

Believe it or not but it was actually this time 5 years ago that the seeds were planted! Watching the eurovision with pals, having a chinese and a few drinks putting the final touches to my ideal life and relationship plans.

So thank you 25-year old self for having the dream that I get to realise 5 years later. Thanks for envisioning this amazing future which is my current life today. And even though life has its ups and downs and challenges- thank you for putting systems in place which meant that I have so much freedom, that I was able to spend so much time with my nan in her final weeks, that now I can nap as much as I want and do whatever I need to do to take care of myself and baby bear! I’m just so grateful to my 25-year old self for having this dream and even though it was scary and I didn’t know how I would achieve it, I took it a baby step at a time and I grew faith in myself.

Phew, ok so on a lighter note! One of the main reasons I wanted to share all this with you is because there are going to be some changes with The Quarter Life Coach over the next few months! Everything is a bit up in the air – hence the total surrender! I will absolutely continue with my newsletters but it will be every fortnight from August instead of weekly!

I also plan to add a new-mama programme to The Quarter Life Coach and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if this is something you expectant mamas and mamas would like? I’ve heard so many people tell me how they were afraid of losing themselves when they had kids or like me, having a new mama meltdown. The Quarter Life Coach is me, it’s an extension of my life and so it’s only natural that it will evolve with me!

I’ll be running my ‘30 days to Be Your Own Fairy Godmother‘ programme once more this year in June, to secure a spot now, click here.

But the biggest offering I want to make to you is my ‘Thrash It All Out‘ session. This is basically what my 25-year old self did- took some time out, invested in myself and my dreams, made some big decisions, created a plan and put it into action. It is an intensive session and we spend half a day together thrashing it all out with a few coffees and treats! I have 6 of these sessions available before I take a step back for a while so if you want to work with me privately this year, this is your chance! Drop me a line now to find out more info and see if this is suitable for you!

So, now over to you!

Everything you’re doing today is preparing you for the life you’re going to live tomorrow.

So, what is your big dream? What seeds are you planting for your future? What actions are you taking to specifically nurture those seeds? I’d love to hear what you’re creating so please drop me a line or join the conversation over on the facebook page!

P x

Do you know her?

She is a smart woman, she found school interesting and fun yet she would never let on! She always enjoyed exams and tests because she was able to stay calm. She accepted that what she knew then would have to be enough and she felt empowered. She enjoyed that feeling as she felt special, everyone else seemed to be panicky and stressed. Part of her misses that school but again, she’d never let on!

She gets an anxious feeling in her chest or around her heart every now and then, she’s not 100% sure what it is but it bothers her. It means that she knows she’s holding back from something- that there’s something that could be better but she’s too afraid to do something about it.

She’s a very open and warm person and tries to see the best in everyone. Sometimes though, she can be played and people take advantage of her. She doesn’t like to be angry and feels guilty at the idea of hurting someone else’s feelings. She would rather take the hit herself than to hurt someone she cares about. This causes her to numb her feelings quite a lot. As a result, she tends not to really know what’s important to her or what she really wants. She’s quite open to other people’s influences and suggestions.

She is curious and imaginative and loves new things, exploring, parades and gatherings of people. She loves having something to look forward to although she doesn’t allow herself to get excited until it’s actually happening. She has a bit of a short attention span and can get distracted easily. She will start new courses and projects, make big bold resolutions and then not follow through.

She speaks to herself harshly, she is her own worst critic and her own worst enemy. She is a sensitive soul and she needs to be alone every now and then to soothe her soul and recharge. She will get upset if she doesn’t have a chance to do this and the only reason she won’t get the chance is because she is too harsh with herself. She will look forward to a massage or something special for herself and then she won’t allow herself to do it or have it because she doesn’t deserve it, she hasn’t earned it.

In a relationship, she can be easily taken advantage of as she would never want to hurt someone she cares about and if her partner knows this, he/she can exploit that. She is very loyal and loving and will always try to help her partner as much as possible- often she would end up in a relationship with someone who needs a bit of help and support– a lost soul. She will always fight for the underdog and help make him top dog and it will be really hard for her when he turns and bites her. She is very low maintenance and easy going.

She loves the little things in life and in a relationship, the little things are just as, if not more important than any grand gestures. She loves to feel she can talk to her partner about anything. She wants someone who will treat her with respect but she would never demand it.

In work, she is really hard working. It is important that she feels authentic- it’s important that she knows what she is doing and feels confident. She suffers from imposter syndrome sometimes and is terrified that she will be caught out or that her boss or colleagues might find out that she doesn’t have the answer. Relationships in work are important and it is vital that she has respect for her colleagues and most importantly, she needs to respect and admire her boss. If she doesn’t, she will never feel comfortable or honest in her career.
If she finds herself in a career or relationship that doesn’t ‘feel right’ for a long period of time but doesn’t do anything, her self esteem and confidence start to suffer. Her values start to get fuzzy as well as her sense of who she is and what she’s about. Because she’s a sensitive soul, not wanting to hurt anyone else, it will normally take a lot before she does anything to change her situation.

The straw that broke the camel’s back is normally what happens for her. Something simple, something silly, something small- just a moment when she just thinks

“Oh my god, is this it? Is this me forever? Is this my life?”

Once she reaches this point, things start to happen. She rebels a bit, she notices that she doesn’t really care about certain things, she’s not really sure who she is anymore and starts looking for answers. She is entering a metamorphosis and knows that she needs to make some changes……

Do you know her?

She is me. I wrote this about myself a few years ago. If you’ve read up to this point, then I’m guessing she is you as well!

I’m often asked what I do and who I work with.

I work with her. I adore her. I work with her to help her find her own place in the world, to practice self love and self respect, to be real and authentic. I work with her to help her find her answers. To help her find meaningful work and loving supportive relationships. I help her to adore herself and be happy within herself.

I’d love to hear if you resonated with this! I really would love to know if you know her? Please drop me a line to paula @ myquarterlifecoach.com or pop over to the facebook page and let me know!

Here’s to her!

Paula xx

Want to know what’s at the core of a Quarter Life Crisis?

The answer is Decisions…

You see, we’ve been raised with the myth of ‘having it all’! We are in fact the first generation (women especially) who have been raised and told that we can have it all! But the reality is that it is simply not true!

There is an opportunity cost for every decision that we make and that makes things quite uncomfortable for us. For example, if you were deciding whether to go to college straight after school- the opportunity cost would be 4 years salary and progression in a job. If you decided to be in a  committed relationship, the opportunity cost of that would be dating other people. If you have children and decided to work full time, the opportunity cost of that would be that someone else will be looking after them when you’re in work. If you were  to decide to stay home, the opportunity cost of that would be not making as much progress in your career as you may like. If you decided to do a part-time degree, the opportunity cost of that could be not having as much free time or money to go out with friends and have fun.

With every decision that we make- there is an opportunity cost, you are losing or sacrificing the next best alternative. This doesn’t sit well with many people because as I mentioned before, we have been raised and told that we can have and do it all but the reality is that it’s not possible! So what happens is that we sit on the fence and then we get stuck there because we’re not making decisions or taking action out of the fear of what we may lose out on if we commit to one particular path.

 This is the core of the Quarter Life Crisis- you know that you’re at a point when you need to make a decision on where you are going to go, what you’re going to do and what type of person you want to be but you’re not feeling able to make that decision and so you remain stuck and life seems to be passing you by.

Look at this time in your life as a crossroads, you’re in between who you were in the past and right up to this moment and who you’re going to be from today, tomorrow and onwards. It’s a time when a lot of questions will come up for you, questions about who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to achieve or accomplish, where you want to live. It’s a time of confusion, anxiety and frustration which to be honest, no one really prepares us for, but it also seems to be a really normal experience for our generation! This is the New Normal guys!

What fence do you need to get off?fence life pass by

P x

 P.S Remember, you are who I work with!

Already I’ve worked with over 100 people just like you from all over the world to help them overcome their Quarter Life Crisis! It’s what I do!

I would love to help you do the same so check out www.myquarterlifecoach.com to see how we can work together or sign up for The Fairy Godmother Programme starting in less than 2 weeks on the 31st May 2014!

What are you paying attention to?

‘Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.’ Jose Ortega y Gassett

Have you ever caught yourself dwelling on something completely ridiculous or insignificant for WAY TOO LONG?

Maybe something happened during your day that caught you off guard or someone said something mildly offensive to you. Whatever it was, you knew that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal YET you felt a need to mentally rehash it over and over in your head and heart all day long.

Sound familiar?

I’ve done this so many times! I know it’s draining and pointless but at the time, it seems like a good way to fix something that somehow felt wrong.

I suspect it’s also a way for me to reinforce the idea that I am right and didn’t deserve to be snubbed or whatever! I thrash over and over again the whole woulda, coulda, shoulda mentality of what I would do should that happen again!

But you know what I realised, every time I give power to the little things that might seem irritating, like when someone doesn’t let me change lanes in traffic or the bus doesn’t stop when I’ve got your hand out, or someone is a bit rude to me—I’m actually choosing to be that unproductive, irritated, anxious energy.

Every time I feel that I have been unfairly treated or ignored or whatever, even if it’s something slight- if I get caught up in that then I am choosing to bring that pointless emotion into my day.

The thoughts that we have and the emotion we feel as a result really does influences our state of being. It can alter our mood which then can impact on everything and everyone that we come into contact with during the day

As the Buddha said ‘what we think, we become.’

Now I’m not for one second suggesting we should repress our feelings when we feel pissed off or annoyed but I am suggesting that we question the thoughts that create our feelings so that we don’t let them consume us! (Especially when we’re creating drama and unease over something we won’t even remember in a few days’ time.)

You see, we tend to create ‘meaning’ for certain situations which may not be the case at all and can lead us down a slippery slope! For example, if your partner is a bit grumpy or out of sorts- we think ‘what have I done?… He/she must be pissed off with me etc’ If your hours get cut back in work, we think ‘They don’t think I do a good job… I’m not good enough…etc’. Then your happiness, confidence and self esteem takes a beating!

We spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us and on what we don’t want in our lives. This takes up a hell of a lot of our time and energy! Time and energy that would be better focused on proactively going after the things that we do want for ourselves in our lives!

But if we can observe and understand how our thoughts are impacting us, we can change how we are experiencing the world on a day to day basis. So try this as an experiment this week and have some fun with it!

If something happens that pisses you off or annoys you- try to catch yourself before it spirals and then challenge your initial reaction! Ask yourself:

1.Is thinking this way going to add to my day or take  away from my day?

2. Am I attaching my own created negative meaning to this situation?

3. Then choose to release the little worries that stand in the way of your happiness in any given moment!

Life will seem much sweeter when you do!

take thatHere’s a real life example of how this can help! Saturday night, myself and my two buddies had a yummy meal out and were all excited to relive our childhood and go see Take That! Got the tickets in February! We arrived at the venue only to find out that we actually had tickets for the night before! D’oh!!!!!!

Take That wasn’t happening! Our night that we’d been looking forward to for months wasn’t happening! What did we pay attention to??

We were together, it was early and we were gonna have fun regardless! We ended up in the laughter lounge (even though it was full, the staff went out and got another table and set it up especially for us- we did of course tell them the story and they had a good chuckle!). I was so proud of us that night. It could have been easy to spiral into pity and disappointment but we didn’t and life was much sweeter!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress!

P x

 

Top 5 tips for a healthy relationship!

 Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take

but by the moments that take our breath away –

Maya Angelo

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I’m sure it’s no surprise that this issue of my ezine is devoted to the big L word- Love. I’ve been referred to as the ‘Relationship Queen’ by some of my friends but please bear in mind that this title wasn’t given to me because my relationships were perfect, rather because I was always in one! But a few years ago, I found myself single after a 6 year relationship ended via text message! Talk about ouch!! It was never going to work but it was only afterwards that I realised why. I want to share with you the lessons I have learnt and taken with me from that experience.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP

1. Love Yourself

I don’t mean a vain, conceited self love rather a strong, healthy appreciation of who you are as an individual and what you bring to the relationship. By acknowledging your own worth, you are setting the standard for how you want your partner to treat you so ensure that you set it at the level that you truly deserve.

2. Know Your Partner’s values

This is so important and is the root of most conflict in relationships. You must find out what is most important to you and to your partner. Your values shape your decisions and therefore the direction of your life. If there is a conflict in the values of two individuals, there will be a conflict in the relationship as you will be pulled in different directions. For example, if one individual valued adventure and freedom and his/her partner valued security and family- can you see how there could be conflict in the relationship?

3. Communicate

Talk to each other. Don’t let issues fester and build up. If something is bothering you, ensure that you talk to your partner about it.  If you can’t talk openly about your needs and your feelings, then I would encourage you to ask yourself why not and perhaps look over tip number one.

4. Respect

If there is mutual respect, your relationship will be so much smoother. It is just so essential for a healthy relationship. An interesting thing however, is that people have different ‘rules’ about what respect means. For example, I may believe that you show the other person respect by being open and honest about your feelings, even if what you say be hurtful while my partner could believe that you show respect by never saying a bad word, raising your voice or by leaving the room if things got heated. If an argument occurred and I behaved my way and he behaved his way, we would both feel completely disrespected even though the intention on both sides was to be respectful! We are complex creatures which is why it is so important to understand tips two and three.

5. Enjoy time apart

Finally, enjoy time apart. Don’t lose sight of who you are as an individual and morph into a ‘we’! It tends to happen quite easily so keep an eye out! Nurture your relationships with your own friends and pursue your own interests. Your relationship needs to breathe and so do you!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! While I was writing these tips, I was asking myself ‘What’s the main difference between my past relationships and my current relationship?’ The answer really is tip number 1- Love Yourself. You see, now I have a strong and healthy appreciation of who I am and what I bring to the relationship.I know my own value and worth and I communicate what I will and will not tolerate. That was something I had always been scared to do in the past, I was always afraid of upsetting my partner in case he got mad and left. Basically, I put his needs ahead of my own because I was afraid of losing him. That relationship ended with my getting dumped via a text message after 6 years together so needless to say, that wasn’t a very healthy relationship!

Learning to love and appreciate myself was a tough journey and one that I’m still not done with but the changes in my life over the past few years have been incredible. This is one of the core modules that I teach in my ‘Be Your Own Fairy Godmother‘ Programme! If you need to stop being so hard on yourself, allow yourself to open up more and start to appreciate your own worth and power then I would highly encourage you to join us on the 21st February! Make it a gift of love to yourself this month!

Chat soon,

P x

The Fairy Godmother Programme

30 days to Awaken Your Personal Power

Starting February 21st 2014

fairy_godmother_package_image4

Have you been feeling like this?

  •  Completely defeated and low energy? You’re working your ass off but it doesn’t feel like life is progressing at all
  • That everyone else is doing so much better and are so much happier than you
  •  Your confidence is feeling low – you need a boost!
  •  You’re feeling completely overwhelmed that you’ve lost all direction for your life
  •  You’re wasting time and energy and money (and you know it)
  •  You don’t know where to start with getting a plan together
  •  You KNOW you have so much potential and power inside you and you’re ready to finally GO FOR IT!

Is this YOU??? If so, you are DEFINITELY NOT ALONE!

Don’t miss out on this!

A year from now, could you bear to be in exactly the same place, doing the same thing and feeling the same way about your life?

My 30 day ‘Be Your Own Fairy Godmother’ Programme starts on February 21st 2014! I won’t be running this course again until May/June 2014!

So sign up for this 30 day programme and get ready to Be Your Own Fairy Godmother and start making magic in your own life!

It’s decision time!

P x

Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays…..

Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays………..

What am I on about? Have I finally lost it and gone away with the fairies? Why the random words?

A couple of weeks back, these words were said to me by my coach. She looked at me expecting a reaction, I stared at her with a blank expression!

She said it again ‘Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays.’ ‘What does that mean?’ I asked. ‘You tell me’ was her response.

I thought about it for a minute and then I cringed, ‘Oh my god, that’s life!!’

We’re coming out of Sofa and heading straight into Easter at the moment- have you noticed? In every shop, there are easter bunnies, mini eggs, creme eggs and very shortly  Easter eggs will be on the shelves of every shop and supermarket if they’re not there already!

After we’re done gorging on chocolate, we will be bombarded with messages of sun holidays and breaks away, magazines and tv ads telling us that we need to get a ‘bikini body’. Many of us will try and eat a bit healthier, get out more and generally feel not enough when we look at other people who already have their ‘bikini body’! But no sooner have we put the suitcase back in the attic and all of a sudden, it’s Christmas again- in September!

Christmas takes us from September to January with a short break allowed in for Halloween! Again, we’re bombarded with messages about the perfect gift, we’re rushing around, spending and trying to keep up with everyone else! Christmas flies by and all of a sudden, we’re in Sofa!

Sofa is an interesting one! It kinda sneaked in there! I’m not sure if I’m noticing it now because I’m older but all the ads from Christmas Day onwards are selling sofas! It’s furniture, home improvements! Maybe it’s because everyone has been sitting down a lot more than usual over the Christmas period so we start believing that we need a new sofa, but then, guess what- we’re back into Easter again and the merry go round keeps on going!

We would normally look at these periods as Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn but I have to admit, referring to them as Christmas, Sofa, Easter, Holidays has really given me a kick in the ass! Time seems to have sped up in recent years, not just for me but for everyone I’ve been talking to! We have more to do and we’re busy busy bees getting on with our lives! Time is progressing but are we? Are we getting caught up in Christmas, Sofa, Easter and Holidays at the expense of achieving the very best of what we want for our own lives?

Christmas, Sofa, Easter and Holidays are going to happen anyway but the important thing is that we don’t get caught up in the flow! We need to make sure that our lives are directed by what we want and who we want to become so in this edition of Progress…..

I want to encourage you to step off the hamster wheel and take stock of where you’re at and look at what’s going on in your life now-

‘Where are you now?’ and ‘Where do you want to be?’

and

‘What do YOU need to do to get you there?’

 

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress!

hamster wheelIf you’d like to get off the hamster wheel, get crazy excited about your life in 2015, ACTUALLY make the changes you want to make and ACHIEVE the things you want to achieve, then check out The Fairy Godmother Programme! This is my best selling 30 day programme where together we will work through topics like ‘Life Vision & Focus’ ‘Mindset and Confidence’ and ‘Decisions and Follow Through’! You will have access to a private facebook community where you can avail of support and coaching and you will also get 2 x 60 minute Q & A sessions with me! All for only €99 for the entire programme! Check out The Fairy Godmother Programme in the ‘Work With Paula’ section now!

 

Do you have any goals?

I often hear people say ‘I don’t really have any goals’. This statement simply demonstrates their lack of understanding of how goals actually work. You see, the human mind is always pursuing something, even if its nothing more than avoiding trouble and pain!

We all have goals. The problem is, for many people, they’re not aware of them! Most people’s goals are to ‘pay the bills’, ‘get by’, or to ‘make it to the end of the month and still have some cash left’- basically, they’re caught up in the trap of making a living rather than designing a life! None of those goals would give you the motivation you need to tap into the vast reserve of personal power within you!

We have to remember that our goals affect us, whatever they are. The best way I can describe this is using the metaphor of a garden. If we don’t consciously plant the seeds of what we want in the garden, it becomes overrun with weeds. Weeds are just automatic, unfortunately we don’t have to put any effort in to get them!

If we really want to see what we’re capable of and I know you do; we need to find a goal that is going to challenge us. Something that will push us beyond our limits and outside of our comfort zones- that’s the only way that you really see what you’re capable of.

The most important key in goal setting is to find a goal big enough to inspire you, something that will force you out of your comfort zone, something that will show you what you’re made of! The way I know I’ve set the right level goal for me is when it seems far-fetched, it seems impossible but at the same time, the idea of actually achieving it makes me crazy excited. What would that be for you? Something that seems far-fetched but at the same time, the idea of it makes you crazy excited. Would it be to travel the world? Would it be to be a black belt in karate? Would it be to have your own business? Would it be to have your own home? In order to truly find that inspiration and achieve those impossible goals, we have to suspend our negative beliefs about what we’re capable of achieving.

So, what’s stopping you? What’s holding you back? What’s getting in your way? I know that you’ve heard of goal setting before, I know that this isn’t new stuff to you. But even though we both know that you know this, do you actually have a list of clearly defined goals for the results that you absolutely will produce in your life? Mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually? What’s stopped you?

For many people, it’s the unconscious fear of disappointment. Most of the time, we say fear but we’re not afraid of fear, we’re afraid of something and for most of us, it is disappointment and failure. Most of us have set goals in the past and failed to achieve them and as a result of the pain of that experience and the desire to avoid that feeling in the future, we stop setting goals. We don’t want to have expectations that are going to get dashed! If we don’t expect to see the world and travel, then we won’t be disappointed if we don’t. Does that sound familiar?

So, how do some people tap into that that inner strength and reserve which allows them to dig deep and keep going despite their fear? Research has shown that they have the ability to screen what their mind pays attention to. Our minds can only focus on a certain number of things at any one time, so our brain spends a lot effort deciding what not to pay attention to. There are countless stimuli bombarding you at every moment of the day but your brain deletes most of it and focuses on what you believe is important.

Once you actually make the decision that something is a priority, you give it tremendous emotional intensity and by continuing to focus on it, by keeping your eye on the ball- any resource that will support you in achieving your goal will become clear. This is why it’s not important to understand exactly how you will achieve your goals when you first set them. Remember, often they seem impossible. Trust that by making the decision and continually focusing on it, you will find everything that you need along the way.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you need some support in your Career then check out my brilliant programme ’30 Days to Conquer Your Career’ starting on Monday 20th January! Over the course of 30 days, we’ll explore your career timeline, you will uncover your purpose and passion, you will get a gale force wind in your sails by acknowledging your strengths, skills and core values and you will walk away from the programme with a clear vision for your future career including a action plan to get you there! To find out more and secure your place, click here!

Until next time, start thinking about what you really want!

P x

What’s your label?

Probably one of the biggest obstacles that you will face anytime that you want to make a change in your life is……….Your Label. You have been branded and labelled from infancy and the extent to which you have bought into this labelling, is the extent to which you’ll find it difficult to discard. As much as I cringe to say it, but for many of us, we are who we have been told we are. We’re wearing our own brand and it can be quite restrictive. Your labels, positive or negative, have boxed you in quite nicely!

A label/branding/story- call it what you will, that really seemed to stick to myself and my sister Lyn was that, at some point in our childhood,  someone said ‘Lynda got the looks and Paula got the brains’ or something along the lines of that! That statement stuck to us like glue! It was a label that defined both of us for years. Lyn assumed that she wasn’t academic or smart and gave herself a really hard time about that; I just didn’t bother with my appearance and had really low self-esteem about how I looked!

Some people say that your culture and environment determines your personality and character. Others believe that you are born with your character intact and your destiny is already sewn up. What do you think- does biology or the stars decide your fate? Are we purely the products of what we have been raised to be? What I believe anyway is that we always have free will. Who you are right now is of importance but what is paramount is who you will become.

Who you are is who you have been up until this moment. It is our choices and how we respond to our environment that ultimately shapes our lives. Once the deck has been cut, you’re the one dealing the hand. It sounds easy doesn’t it? That we can just choose to respond to our Words that stick on youenvironment in a different way than we have done for the past 20 years! I agree that it sounds easy but putting it into practice can be quite difficult. Now remember, I said difficult; not impossible.

How to Create Yourself

Step 1: Start Picking!

First you must free yourself! Awareness is power! Lyn and I both knew that this statement had been made and we both knew that it had defined us. But when we talked about it, it began to lose its power. You know the way if you buy a new item of clothing, the label might be stuck on but as soon as you see it, you start to pick it off. That’s exactly the same here, as soon as you see it, start picking off the old, untrue and outdated labels! So, who predicted your future? What label might be boxing you in?

Step 2: What’s stuck on you?

Make a list of the labels that have been stuck on you that do absolutely nothing for you. For example, have you been told that:

  • You’re always late
  • You’re easily distracted
  • You’re lazy
  • You’re brutal at sports
  • You’re argumentative
  • You’re too soft
  • You’re really shy

Now, I want you to see these as they are – someone else’s perspective. In fact, they’re more than likely meaningless, throwaway comments that got stuck on you and have been stuck ever since! These are the easiest labels to pick off, when you can see them for what they are- a throwaway comment on a report card from 6th class or something like that- they tend to just drop off

 Step 3: Re-Brand!

If you’re someone who has been labelled as ‘always late’ and it’s something that you no longer want to be true; then drop it now. This actually is one of mine! I was always late for school, probably because I wasn’t bothered about it but I was always told my friends, by teachers, by the person in charge of detention ‘Paula, you’re always late.’ That was a label which stuck with me for years; I was always late because that’s who I was. I was someone who was always late. I definitely wanted to re-brand that aspect because I hated being late, it made me anxious and tense! So I picked off the label and rebranded as someone who is on time. I developed new habits by modelling people who were on time. I actually plan to rebrand myself again and someone who is always early!

 What’s your new story?

You are the author of your own life. Only you can take the credit. Only you can take the blame. You are writing your story every day based on how you choose to respond to your environment! The question is not ‘Who Am I?’ but ‘Who do I want to be?’ This question takes you out of the box that you’ve been hiding in, forces you to look at the labels and decide if you want to rebrand because the truth is that your story could be amazing!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear what labels you’ve decided to pick off and how your story will change as a result! Drop me a line and let me know!

Also, I was just wondering how are you going to change your life this year? What are you going to do differently?

I’m running the Fairy Godmother Programme for the last time in 2016 next week! It will be a whole month focused on YOU! You will walk away with focus, clarity, confidence and determination to make it happen. It’s an amazing way to spend a month! Check it out here!

Until next time,

Choose your story!

P x

When you just feel raw and exposed…….

I had an incident the other week which was a real struggle for me! I’m talking about a wallowing, spiral of negative emotions!! Of course, needless to say, this pit of despair is not where I like to spend my time! I lived there years ago, but I managed to move and get a place that was brighter with a view and I haven’t really gone back to visit the pit, except for this particular incident!

Now, when you’re working as a coach there is a bit of extra pressure to avoid the pit because you’re supposed to have it all together! Luckily ‘having it all together’ isn’t my unique selling point and never has been! Being me, being real and facing up to what’s not working so that I can change it is what I try to bring to my coaching relationships. Being authentic and true to myself is of the utmost importance to me, whether that means that I’m strong and supporting others or if that means I’m in tears on the kitchen floor cuddling the dog!

So, let me paint the scene… I’m self employed and I work from my  home office on my electric blue sony laptop for about 8-10 hours per day, nearly 7 days a week for the past 2 ½ years. I’m not techy; I don’t know much about ‘cloud’ computing, backing up etc! All I do know is that when a blue screen appears on my laptop that says Incorrectable hardware error’ that it is bad. It’s the blue screen of death and I completely lost my mind when it appeared! I turned into a lunatic!

I was able to re-start the laptop and it appeared to be fine but I still went into panic mode. I hopped into the car, drove to the shops and 5 minutes later I was talking laptops to the salesperson. They didn’t have any more electric blue sony ones which made me sad but there were two others that seemed pretty good, a different Sony and a Toshiba! I took down the spec numbers; details, prices etc and I went home to chat to my Dad- the computer genius! We chatted about the Toshiba, he did his research and mentioned words like benchmark, processor and RAM, it went over my head but bottom line was he gave it a thumbs up! He said to leave it with him and he would do a bit more research to see if he could find a better deal. That was 8pm. At 8.15pm I was back in the shop (I think I was possessed!)

I wanted the Toshiba laptop right then, I didn’t need a better deal; I needed security. The fear and panic had set in again. I had to try and control the situation, I had to make sure I was covered, this is my livelihood and I was a business owner, an entrepreneur, a home owner, I’m responsible etc. I felt raw, exposed, stupid for not backing up and very vulnerable at the thought of losing all of the work I had saved on my computer- we’re talking everything!

Of course, they were sold out of the Toshiba. The salesperson offered me the Sony laptop, said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two and knocked 50 quid off. Sold! With a smile on his face and a debt over €1000 on my credit card, I left the shop feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Hmm, what now? Well, of course I didn’t take a deep breath and calm down.

I got home, opened the box and attempted to set up the computer. I followed instructions and entered passwords, then I realised it was windows 8. Ooops, Dad said ‘Whatever you do, don’t get windows 8’. Crap, the panic was back and it was now mixed in with fear, shame, anxiety and regret!

I sent my Dad an email with the spec of the Sony (the one that was now sitting on my kitchen table) and I asked him to check what it was like. I did not tell him I had bought it, opened it and messed around with it. He replied shortly afterwards using words like ‘benchmark, lousy machine, not good value, not even half as good, don’t even go there’. Unfortunately those words didn’t go over my head, they sunk right in and I felt like the biggest gambeen on the planet.

I was wide awake for the whole night with a tight jaw and an anxiety ridden mind. ‘What was I going to do?’ ‘How can I HIDE this?’ ‘How can I pretend this never happened?’ ‘What was I going to say?’ ‘They won’t allow me bring it back, I’ve opened it and I don’t think there’s any legal comeback for impulse buying’ ‘Dad is going to think I’m an idiot’ ‘I am an idiot’. Talk about a shame spiral, plus the whole I just spent over a grand on something I regretted! Ugh, horrible horrible feeling!

At 6am, after pondering and tossing and turning all night I sent an email to my Dad with the subject line ‘I f*cked up’. That was probably the hardest email I’ve written in ages, acknowledging that I made a mistake and needed help. I could not believe how hard I found it!

His response was great, he said ‘Shit happens, sounds like the salesperson took your buying intent for the Toshiba and transferred it to the Sony. You trusted him; he said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two machines which wasn’t true……. Come over to me in the morning, we’ll go back to the shop together and we’ll talk to the manager and see if we can get your money back. Stop beating yourself up! Love Dad’

 As soon as I read it, I grew up a bit. There was a part of me that wanted to hide behind someone else, point the finger, blame the sales guy and let someone else protect me and fix my problems! I just started laughing that this was the situation I had created- it had to stop! There was no way that I would/could do that, blame someone else and hide. It would really go against everything I stand for, being real, being authentic and to be honest, even if I got the result I wanted- I knew I would be ashamed at how badly I handled it. It was time to be a big girl again and to be honest it didn’t feel good!

 I called over to my Dad a few hours later with sausie sandwiches and I thanked him for his support and explained that I had to deal with it myself. I told him that my approach was to go back to the shop, and be honest. Tell them I had been in a panic and that I had made a mistake by buying the Sony laptop on an impulse and that I was going to ask for their help. He was proud of me but also tried to prepare me for the fact that I was going to be turned away. “You’ve opened it, there’s nothing wrong with it; you’ve just changed your mind. Legally, they don’t have to do anything for you. So don’t be disappointed…..”

Back to the shop I went, I found the sales guy I had dealt with the night before and I told my truth. My face was roaring red, the anxiety was eating me up on the inside, I wanted the shop floor to open up and swallow me whole, and my jaw was getting tight.

‘Hi Trevor, I was here last night and I bought the Sony laptop. I wanted to get the Toshiba but you were sold out so I took the Sony instead’. He nodded remembering me. I gushed ‘Well, I made a huge mistake. I’ve opened it and messed around with it but I really don’t want it, I shouldn’t have bought it. I should have just waited for the Toshiba and I was in a panic and it was an impulse buy. I need your help; can I please bring it back?

‘Sure’ he said. ‘Come with me and we’ll get the manager Andy to get you sorted out.

 Just like that.

It was an incredible lesson for me. I had been riding a train of thought that had brought me to places where I felt weak, small and vulnerable. Where I wanted to hide my mistake so that no one knew, where I wanted to blame the sales guy, where I wanted to be protected and where I lay in bed wide awake for a full night listening to mind monkeys chattering in my head. All because I didn’t want to say ‘I made a mistake and I need help’. It was a valuable and very uncomfortable lesson for me! But in the end, being truthful and allowing myself to go into a situation where I could be rejected and denied was the course I chose and after that experience, I learned that it will be the course that I want to keep on choosing.

I know that it’s difficult for us to acknowledge that we make mistakes and it’s also difficult for many of us to ask for help. We don’t like being seen as wrong, weak or vulnerable (or an impulse buying crazy lunatic!) but it happens. Engaging in life fully means that there will be times when we need to deal with these emotions, even when we don’t want to!

So I just wanted to share my experience with you for a few reasons; firstly that hopefully you find it beneficial and you can take something useful from it and secondly, for you to get to know me a bit better. I’m not the coach who has it all figured out; I’m a Paula and I can be raw, weak and vulnerable- just like you. I get myself worked into states; I fret and worry often- just like you! I get mind monkey attacks with that voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough- just like you. What you see is what you get with me. I’m real, I’m tough, I go after my dreams and I don’t give up on myself (I might have a rocky start sometimes though!) I love my work, I love coaching and supporting others to be real, to be tough, to go after their dreams and to never give up on themselves. I love it because I get it.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue of Progress, slightly different yes but hopefully you enjoyed it! I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to drop me a line!

P x

 

Are we ever done?

I don’t know about you but my ‘to-do’ list was never ever done. As soon as one job got ticked off the list; two more were added! It often got completely overwhelming, especially when I felt that everything was dependent on me– that I was the only one who could do the things on my list the ‘right way’!  I thought if I just work harder, smarter and faster; that someday, I would be on top of everything!’ Someday always seemed elusive so I decided I needed a bit of help!

A few weeks ago I enrolled myself in a time management workshop; between running a business full-time, meeting clients, organising a wedding, looking after a crazy puppy and spending time with family, I was struggling!. So a time management class seemed to be necessary, and it was!

60 minutes into the workshop, I learnt a valuable lesson. The facilitator, Joanna, stood up and said You cannot manage time. Well, my heart sunk and I thought, ‘Well, that’s great! You probably should have mentioned that in your ad!’ But she went on and said that We cannot manage time but we can manage our tasks, we can manage ourselves and we can manage other people’. It was a Homer Simpson ‘D’Oh’ moment for me!

Of course, it makes sense and it comes down to the basic principles of personal responsibility. I am responsible for my actions and I am responsible for what I choose to spend my time on. I cannot simply find time for anything, I have to make time and I can do that by managing my tasks, myself and other people with awareness. I can do it by being proactive rather than reactive.

I thought the whole workshop was quite intriguing because as a coach, I spend a lot of my time helping others manage this aspect of their life! ‘I can’t go after my dreams and do x,y,z because I don’t have the time’ is something I hear on a weekly if not daily basis and my immediate response to that is Bullshit!’ (in a gentler way of course!) After taking clients through the coaching process, we can almost always free up a few hours each day which they can then commit to doing something they love and designing their life the want they want it to be. So, I can do it for others no bother but when it came to doing it for myself; I was completely blinkered! It’s difficult to be objective with your own life! This is why I always work with a coach!

So, I thought I’d share with you a few tips of what I learnt from the workshop!

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

First of all, you need to know why you’re doing all the things that you’re doing. What are you aiming for? What’s the purpose? Is your to –do list actually benefiting you or bringing you towards something that you actually want? Think of 5 areas in your life that are important to you and write them down. These are things that you want to improve or that are currently a main focus for you. For example, for me it would be:

  •  My business
  • Relationships with family, friends and partner
  • Health and Fitness
  • Finances
  • Organising wedding

These are all things that are important to me at that moment and that I want to be spending time on however at the time of doing the time management course; my business was taking in excess of 70 hours per week of my time and health and fitness was lucky if it got 2 hours per week. I wanted to spend more time with family and friends without looking at my watch every few minutes, thinking of all the work I need to get done!

Managing Tasks:

So, all of these things were important to me, but they weren’t balanced at all! I had to start making smart decisions about my time and I adopted the 3D Strategy.

 3 D strategy

  • Do it
  • Delegate it
  • Dismiss it
  1. Plan and prioritise each day the evening before
  2. Break each task down into smaller, more manageable chunks
  3. Celebrate each chunk of a task that is completed! Be good to yourself as this will give you that sense of achievement that you need to keep going after the things that you want!
  4.  Make sure that what you have to do is actually going to help you get to where you want to be in life. If it is going to bring you where you want to go, then do it or delegate it. If it isn’t, then dismiss it or give it back to whoever delegated it to you!

 Managing Ourselves

This is all about taking on the role of leader in your own life. Remember you’re in charge of your attitude and your actions!

Attitude

  • Be realistic and honest with yourself about your time
  • Stay focused on your goals and priorities
  • Be prepared to make changes
  • Maintain your motivation and excitement by checking in on your progress towards your goals!

 Actions

  • Clean the mess– the first thing you need to do is sort out all the crap! An organised home is the first step in an organised life. If you spend ten minutes every morning looking for a hairbrush/your left shoe/car keys etc then you know what I’m talking about! Get your living space/handbag in order before you tackle your entire life! (It just makes things easier!)
  • Set deadlines for yourself
  • Know your idle time. Be honest with yourself- if you spend 2-3 hours every evening watching TV, and 5 hours at the weekend watching TV then acknowledge that and don’t bullshit yourself by saying you don’t have time.
  • Sleep, rest and take quality breaks. Make sure that you have down-time!  Do not beat yourself up! It’s such a waste of time and it does not make you work harder or more productively regardless of what you might think! Being hard on yourself wears you down and chips away at your confidence and self-esteem.

 Managing Others

  •  Learn to say yes to yourself and no to others
  • You choose your own priorities- it’s all about you!

Asking for help is a scary thought for many women. We’ve been raised and told that we can have it all and we can do it all– I personally don’t know anyone who has it all and does it all. The strongest women I know are able to ask for help, they are able to delegate and allow others to have responsibility and control. Ask for help not because you’re weak or incapable but because you’re strong and value yourself.

If colleagues always ask you to do them a ‘little favour’, it is within your rights to say no. If you take on extra work and are unhappy about it, take responsibility for it and decide not to do it again! If you do all the housework then delegate to your partner/ housemates or make an agreement to have everyone chip in and hire someone to help. Build up a support system for yourself!

 Time is the only thing we can’t get more of so it is incredibly precious. You want to ensure that your time is spent doing the things that you love and that you want to do!

 I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress and that you found it beneficial! I’d love to hear your stories/tips of what works for when you manage your time so get in touch on the facebook page!

Until next time, Do It, Delegate It or Dismiss It!

P x