Tag Archives: career coach

Is now the right time for you to make some changes?

Most people don’t change until they have to: they might be forced to change by outside circumstances or the pain of staying put becomes unbearable. Either way, often it takes massive negative motivation to make massive change. Making changes as a result of negative motivation obviously isn’t our first choice but it sure does work!

Often, we put up with a serious amount of crap in order to keep things the way that we’re familiar with. We might even say, “I will never put up with my boss demanding X, Y or Z,” but then of course, he demands X, Y or Z and then we move the line in the sand. We give in ‘this one time’. We’ll stand our ground next time, we’ll state our boundaries next time, we’ll say no but we just don’t do it.

Slowly slowly, our self esteem and our confidence is chipped away. Not just in relation to the work we do, but also how we express ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and what we expect for ourselves in the future. We feel really lousy for a long time – but not quite lousy enough to do anything about it except complain and grumble. Until one day everything explodes. It’s normally something really small that ends up throwing us off the handle! Finally, we’ve had enough, we’ve reached boiling point and we can no longer accept that the life we are currently living is all that there is to offer and experience.

This is what happened with me 5 years ago; I was in a job I couldn’t stand, in a relationship that wasn’t working and it was building and building until it all exploded! BOOM! It wasn’t pretty or comfortable and my life was unrecognisable within the space of a few weeks. Now, this was change that was forced upon me- I was dumped and a few weeks later, made redundant. In the end I was incredibly grateful that it had been forced upon me because to be honest, at that time, I think I was too chicken shit to proactively do anything about it myself.

 If you tolerate the intolerable, accept the unacceptable, and live outside of your integrity and authenticity long enough, you will either explode or implode.

 You explode by creating or attracting a dramatic, life-changing situation in your life as described above. You implode by directing your pain and frustration inward in a dramatic way that manifests itself as frustration, anxiety anger or absolute and complete boredom. I’d been imploding for a while before it exploded!

These big bang scenarios, the implosions or explosions, might happen a few times over the course of your lifetime! I’d be surprised if you’ve never ever experienced something like that before. But the thing is that once we heal from the pain, deal with what has happened, and re-create ourselves, we can look back and be grateful we’re on the other side of it, having become stronger as a result.

But what about the rest of the time? The time when we are living day to day, when we’re caught up in the flow, when we’re just getting by day to day with no major emotional dramas? What about that space in between ordinary and a full-blown explosion? Those times when there’s nothing really wrong but there’s nothing really bringing you any joy or happiness. If you’re still reading this, then that is the space that I believe most of you are in right now.

And that space is the best place for making positive change in your life and career, for discovering your purpose and passion and for taking the action necessary to create change. 1374265_535424596537050_1640816290_nCreate is the key word here. The best way forward for you right now is the scenario in which you are the creator rather than the reactor.

This picture is one in which you proactively decide exactly what you want for your life and then boldly and fearlessly go after it. You make change on your terms rather than waiting for a huge eruption to force change on you.

When you are proactive about change, you don’t have to deal with the pain, the fallout, the lost time and energy. Yes, there are some difficulties even with proactive change, but you can prepare for them. They aren’t thrust upon you, you are choosing it and you know why.

It can be really scary to be proactive. Often, we feel stuck and don’t know what to do first. We don’t know what to expect. We don’t have any certainty that what lies ahead is any better than what we have now. But I can promise you that doing nothing will eventually land you in chaos, burn out or melt-down- even if it’s after you retire, when you look back over the 70,000 hours that you spent working and ask yourself ‘Why? What was it all for?’

I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to have to wait until I’m retired in order to start living my life in a passionate and purposeful way. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my 60s to start making a positive difference to the world! I know that you don’t want to wait either and that’s why you’re still reading this! You want to figure out what you want to do with your life! Does that sound good? What are you waiting for? Click here if you want to Conquer Your Career Crisis!

 “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

Do you Over-Function or Under-Function?

We’re in the festive season and lo and behold, stress has been coming up a lot with clients recently so I thought I’d try tackle it this week! The most common form of stress that I’m seeing for our generation is a mix of anxiety and feeling flat or sad. Now, we all have stress in our lives- and we know that some days can be worse than others depending on what we have on our plate at any given moment!

Stress in itself is not a problem- some people thrive on having an impending deadline (or at least tell themselves that they do!) But stress can become a problem when we feel we can’t control it when the pressure on us outweighs our ability to cope. When we feel under pressure or that we can’t cope, we tend to default to our patterned ways of responding -we either over function or we under function. I’m a complete under-functioner!

The first time I came across this concept was in a book called ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Dr Brene Brown. This idea of how we handle stress blew me away because I had definitely experienced it but never really understood it before. The theory is that we all have patterned ways of responding to stress/anxiety.  We either respond by over functioning or under functioning.  Neither is good or bad, right or wrong- it just is what it is.

Over-functioners respond to stress by wanting to take charge of the situation. They become controlling, feel that they have to rescue others, they take over, micromanage, and tend to believe they know what is best for others rather than looking at themselves first. Their thought pattern goes something like this ‘It’s up to me. I’m the only one who can do x,y,z. It needs to be done this way’………etc etc!

They can see other people as either unwilling or unable to ‘shape up’ to their standard. Rather than feel vulnerable they go into action mode. They often can get labelled as bossy, controlling and a know it all and they absolutely hate being thought of that way!

Under-functioners like myself, respond to stress by wanting to avoid the situation. They get caught up in their feelings, feel too vulnerable and start showing up less. They tend to get less competent under stress, they detach, procrastinate and retreat from the world. Their thought pattern goes something like this ‘I’m not good enough. I don’t know. I can’t’………etc etc!

They can see other people as overbearing and demanding. They can often get labelled as lazy and unreliable and they hate the idea of people thinking that of them.

The key thing is to remember that these are patterned responses to stress and anxiety, rather than truths about who we are.  THIS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. Understanding this point helps us to understand that we can ALL learn to take control of how we tend to handle stress.

So, how about you. Do you tend to over function or under function when you are under stress?

Here’s what to do:

We all need people in our lives that we trust and who will be brutally honest with us!  We need to ask for their help- rather than tell you that you’re being controlling or unreliable which would make you feel ashamed of yourself and even more stressed- these trusted people need to focus on your behaviour.

It is easier for Over-functioners to ‘do’ than to ‘feel’ so if this is your default response to stress then you need to work on being more willing to embrace your vulnerabilities in the face of stress. Imagine, something incredibly stressful is happening in your world right now and you go into to default mode of operating, organising, delegating and taking charge. Someone you trust comes up to you, looks you in the eye and says ‘You’re over-functioning. You’re not on your own.’ This allows you to take a step back, breathe and realise that you’re not on your own and you have support.

It is easier for Under-functioners to ‘avoid’ than to ‘feel’ so they need to work on building their self regard and strengths. So imagine something incredibly stressful is happening in your world right now and you go into your default mode of operating- you start to step back, retreat and feel that you have nothing to offer. You need someone to come to you, look you in the eye and say You’re under-functioning. You have what it takes. Your opinion matters and you need to step up and be involved’. This allows you to breathe and acknowledge what can be done. You can break things down into smaller pieces and tackle things in pieces.

Other things you can do to help during stressful times include:

  • Get more exercise- go for a walk, a swim, yoga- anything! Get your body moving and if possible, exercise outdoors.
  • Cut back on caffeine!
  • Practice calm and stillness- for you this could be meditation or mindfulness. For me, this is purposefully going for a walk on the beach with the intention of calming my mind
  • Get it off your chest- express your emotions either by talking to someone, writing in a diary- whatever works for you! If I’m really stressed or upset, I’ll actually watch a sad movie that I know will have me in tears at the end! It’s a way to release the built up tension or emotion! (Especially for over-functioners)
  • Bank your successes! By this I mean, make a note of all the times that you stepped up and did great despite your anxiety! Try journalling regularly and making a note each day of 3 things you did that day that demonstrated self confidence or self regard! (Especially for under-functioners)

I hope this issue of Progress has been helpful to you and that this concept has resonated with you as much as it did me when I first read about it. I think it’s really powerful and I challenge each of you to take some time to think about what your default response to stress is! Then, go and find people who are willing and able to speak the truth to you when you need them to.

Until next week!

Take care,

P x

The Power Of Momentum

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum.”  -Tony Robbins

Have you ever hesitated to take action and ended up stuck in a rut not knowing what to do? There are some common reasons why this happens.  Sometimes we are waiting for some kind of sign to indicate that it’s okay to move forward. We might be waiting until we feel more confident because we don’t really feel up to the challenge. Or, we could be thinking that if we just wait a bit longer than all the obstacles will disappear and our goals will be easier to achieve.

But how often do we use those reasons as excuses to avoid leaving our comfort zone? Let’s face it, if we are looking to justify procrastination there is no shortage of reasonable sounding excuses.

Procrastination is the equivalent of going nowhere!

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it is to get started. Circumstances will never be perfect and waiting until they are means that in the meantime, you’re going nowhere. The truth is, it will probably never get any easier to move forward and every moment that we hold back will just make things worse.

When we avoid taking action it’s often because we have created resistance in our own mind. We have convinced ourselves that what we want to do is exceedingly difficult. But is that really true or is it just an avoidance technique?

Create momentum, create confidence

Momentum is one of those rare, self-perpetuation phenomenon. That’s what makes it so powerful. The perfect example of momentum is a snowball rolling down a hill. What happens? It grows and picks up speed along the way, we all know this! But how can you use this power to achieve your goals and start living the life that you want to be living?

Instead of getting bogged down by excuses, we need to create some momentum as soon as possible. Trust me, this is not something that is hard to do! That huge, fast moving snowball started out small and slow. The reason it grew was because it kept moving. We don’t have to throw ourselves into action at warp speed, but we do need to start moving and to keep moving so we can build some momentum. You know yourself that as soon as you sit down and start doing something, you very quickly really get stuck into it! This is what I’m talking about!

3 Ways to build momentum

1) Commit to taking the necessary action steps first. That’s what you really need to focus on. What do you need to do first? What’s the most important step at this point? It could even be finding out more information on what to do!

One of the main reasons why people don’t achieve the goals that they set for themselves is because they lack commitment. Commitment to following through on the actions that will bring us where we want to go. Why do we lack commitment? Because we don’t begin immediately! Early on, action needs to be our main concern. Obviously, we want to keep our goal in sight, but the majority of our attention should go toward taking consistent and purposeful action. That’s how we build start building momentum as well as commitment!

2) Break the process down into baby steps. Taking small, consistent steps toward a goal is generally much more effective than mammoth action every now and then! (Think about, if you’re goal is to become healthier then which is best; exercising a little every day and cutting down on sweets or a 7 day detox once a year?)

Also, it’s easier to get ourselves to act on smaller tasks. Even tiny actions will eventually begin to build momentum and produce results, as long as we are consistent.  Making it your mission to move forward consistently will make it much easier to overcome obstacles because with each step your confidence will grow.

3) Don’t give up too early!  So many goals have been abandoned because people do one thing, they wait to see what happens, and quit when they don’t see the results they wanted.  Sometimes we don’t even see the results for a long period of time but change is happening below the surface- we just can’t see it yet!

So focus on building momentum, focus on keeping the ball rolling, even if you’re not seeing the results you want just yet. If you get discouraged and quit, that’s it, game over and you lose. Focus on building momentum.

Use momentum to overcome procrastination

Taking action leaves procrastination in the dust. If you do something every day that moves you toward your goals, you’ll be too busy to think about making excuses. Dale Carnegie made this point nicely when he said:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

So, what are you going to do today?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you have any strategies for keeping momentum or have any stories you’d like to share, just pop over to the facebook page and let us know!

Until Next Time,

Keep going!

P x

Are You Holding Yourself Back? Top 5 tips to Overcome the fear of Failure

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’ll feel ashamed, we’ll lose respect from others and ourselves and often, if we try something we want to do and it doesn’t work out- that means that we’ll lose our dreams, hopes and aspirations. 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 nephew Jamie was fantastic at reminding me about this! When he was learning to walk, he wasn’t afraid to try and during his learning curve, he walked into walls, tumbled, fell down repeatedly but he always jumped up and went at it again! (Now I’m not for a moment calling my nephew a failure!) 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 simply stopped dead in their tracks when things start to go a bit 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 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.

2. Keep dreaming big dreams
Always have your destination in mind; keep dreaming your big dreams. Spend time visualising yourself already achieving your dreams. 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 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 lead, 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?

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

Until next time,

Love and Respect,

Paula

The Fairy Godmother Programme

30 Days to Awaken Your Personal Power

Starts This Friday!

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 THIS FRIDAY -21st February 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

How the real you says No!

I know that you’re reading this or following my work because you know that there’s something 484318_10151361617128460_1077609347_n else, something more that you are meant to do, have or be but you can’t put your finger on it right now. I know this because it’s exactly how I felt as well and how most of my clients describe their feelings.

It’s like there’s something inside you that is reaching out, longing and yearning and sometimes you feel like you could just explode! What I’ve learned is that there is something inside you. That something is YOU– also known as your authentic self. You see, through my own journey and exploration over the past number of years, I have come across many teachings, books and articles which talk about us having different ‘selves’. The concept that resonated most with me and with most other women in their 20s & 30s is the idea of the ‘authentic self’ and ‘the social self’. Let me introduce you:

 The social self is that part of you that has been influenced by your culture, your environment, your peers, your family and society as you have grown up and throughout your life. It has taught you to value the same or similar things to most other people in your circle such as stable job, being financially secure, owning your own home, meeting a partner, having a family, having a pension, looking after your parents – being a ‘good girl’ shall we say!

 The authentic self is the part of you that knows your preferences for everything; it knows what you enjoy, what you’re passionate about, what brings you joy and what you love to do. The authentic self knows that you want to order dessert in the restaurant whereas the social self will tell you not to be a piggy as no one else is having anything! The authentic self is that part of you that is spontaneous, curious, fascinated with the world and playful.

 Our authentic self is great because when we tap into it, we can use it a bit like a compass and it will let us know when we’re moving in a direction that is completely out of sync with the ‘real and authentic’ us. The key is to learn how to read the compass! The following examples are a few ways in which the authentic self says ‘No’ and this can tell you whether you’re truly happy with the path you are on.

1. Sick as a dog!

 When you are forcing yourself on a particular path, struggling to repeat exams, trying to fit in and basically saying yes to things when you really want to say no; you’re not happy. There’s a general unhappiness, tense and anxious state that after a while becomes even normal. Bottom line, you’re under stress but you’ve probably been under it so long you don’t even realise it. When you are suffering with stress, your immune system is affected and its functionality decreases leaving you open to all sorts of illnesses. People with an over developed social self who keep putting other things and other people ahead of the needs of their authentic self can be under immense stress for years without realising it. They never consciously and deliberately recognise what’s going on- they may not even get to the point where they can say that they they’re unhappy in their career or with something else in their life but the authentic self is very aware and the effect on the immune system is disastrous. The result is what clients describe as overwhelmed and burn out.

 2. Vibrancy Vampire

 This is a really interesting one and something I know you have experienced! It’s 3pm and you’re sitting at your desk wishing that you were back in school in the baby class when your teacher would say ‘Put your head on your desk and go to sleep’- How I wished for those moments when I was working in my last job. I would be staring at the screen like a zombie, zero energy, trying to shake myself every time I noticed I was nodding off and terrified that I would be caught! So, I’d reach for the coffee and biscuits to give me a pick-me- up but even being stuffed with caffeine and sugar it didn’t help.I’d put on two stone in my last job as well  ( I kept snacking because I was so bored and or unhappy!)

 I had dragged myself out of bed that morning, dragged myself through most of the day and as soon as 5.30pm came- I would be heading straight home and crashing on the couch forever if not longer (possibly getting a take away because I had no energy to cook). This is what I call the vibrancy vampire- when we are way off course it’s like there’s a vampire that sucks out all of our vibrancy and passion for life. This is really one of the best tell tale messages that your authentic self can give you! As yourself ‘when do I feel drained and when do I feel vibrant and alive?’

 3. Feeding the ‘Nothing’

 I don’t mean for this to be as scary as it sounds but when your authentic and social selves nothingare disconnected, you will feel a void. Everyone describes the feeling slightly different as everyone experiences it in their own unique way. Physically, I felt it in my chest and it was like an anxious clawing feeling. Some describe feeling it in the pit of their stomach and others describe it differently again! For me, it reminded me of the film The Never Ending Story and how their world was being threatened by the ‘Nothing’– that’s how it felt- like nothing. There was nothing really wrong but nothing really felt good either- everything was just bleh, -grey, dull and boring. The feeling of nothing or void or emptiness was always there and I tried so hard to feed it, fill it, and do anything to make it go away. When it was really intense, a cigarette helped for about 30 seconds! Some people, they’ll go out and have a few drinks to try and numb it, others will exercise excessively, others will sleep around, some will eat excessively, some will shop, and some will hide from the world.

 Everything that we do, we do because we’re trying to change how we feel and feed this nothing! If we did manage to find something that dulled the feeling, it easily became a habit and something we would do on a regular basis- we all know that some habits are good but others can actually ruin your life. For me, it was cigarettes amongst many other self destructive habits- I believed that they took the edge off the nothing or anxious feeling.They made me feel better but only temporarily, pretty soon afterwards I’d be feeling pretty lousy about myself again! The reason I behaved that way was to try and change the way I felt, and the reason why I wanted to change the way I felt was because I was so miserable and the reason I was so miserable was because I had gagged my authentic self! I wasn’t allowing myself to listen to what I truly wanted, I wasn’t trusting myself and I wasn’t being kind to myself.

 Over the years, I have learnt that it’s quite difficult to break free from bad habits and addictions until you start acting more loving towards yourself, until you feel that you are worthy and good enough. I could only do that once I aligned my two selves and came back to the path of my deepest sense of purpose.

 I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your feedback so get in touch!

 Until next time, notice when no means no!

 P x

 To read more on this topic, check out

http://myquarterlifecoach.com/feeling-a-bit-disconnected/

Who do you need to be?

 Life’s not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw

 An important question that many twenty-something find themselves asking is ‘Who Am I?’ It’s usually asked during a stage in their lives when things are changing- when there’s a full blown identity crisis going on. They’re asking the question ‘Who Am I? – because they genuinely don’t know anymore. Perhaps a career that they have invested 5 or 6 years in wasn’t what was expected or a relationship has ended but the real crux of the issue is that the life that they had expected to be living just hasn’t materialised. On top of that, they’re realising that the life they’re currently living just doesn’t fit them anymore! Where do you go from there?!

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 will become is who you need to become. It’s completely up to you how far you stretch yourself. If your life goals are non-existent, if you want to just ‘see what happens’, get by, be able to pay your bills and keep a roof over your head; then you will become someone who will strive towards that.

 If your life goals are vast and exciting, for example to pay off your mortgage within 10 years, have adventures, travel the world, swim with sharks, go in a hot air balloon, learn a foreign language, have a passionate relationship full of fun and excitement, be financially free; then you will become someone who will strive towards that. Even if you don’t hit the mark every time, your life will still be fuller and much richer than if you were just trying to get by.

 Stepping Up

A lesson I have learned over the past few years is to step up. I was working with my own coach at the time and we were discussing my life goals – (what I wanted my life and my business to look like) and the fact that I wasn’t really getting anywhere with it! The issue was that I was scared; I was afraid of everything. Afraid it wouldn’t work, afraid of what people might think of me, afraid of putting myself out there and I was even afraid that it would work! Some of the excuses and reasoning I came up with included:

  • ‘I’m too lazy to do this’
  • I’m a bit shy
  • I’m too young
  • ‘I’ll get bored and distracted by something shiny’
  • ‘I couldn’t handle it if I failed’
  • ‘I’m just not the type of person who could actually do what I want to do!’
  • This is my dream and if I try and it doesn’t work then I’ll be devastated. What will I have to dream about then? It might be best to keep my dream as a dream and that way it’s safe!

‘Who do you need to be?’ she asked. The question hit me right between the eyes and stopped me in my tracks. This is what we coaches call an ‘Aha’ moment. I knew the answer.

I had to step up and be a better, stronger, more confident version of myself if I was to do the things I wanted to do and have the life I wanted to have. That was who I needed to be. I needed to be Paula 2.0!

 Who you are is who you have been – up until this moment. It is our choices, how we respond to our environment and the goals we set for ourselves that ultimately shapes our lives. Once the deck has been cut, you’re the one dealing the hand. It’s all up to you! As I said, a lot of my clients start by asking the question ‘Who Am I? and searching for the answer to that question. Once you find it, the next question to ask is ‘Who do I need to be?’ I guarantee that you’ll know the answer!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you’d like to read more on this topic, then check out my blog ‘Who are you right now?’ and ‘Why you need a life vision?’

I’d love to hear your feedback and who you’re choosing to be?

Until next time,

Step up!

P x

Don’t forget- Registration for my 30 day programme ‘Be your own Fairy Godmother’ opens tomorrow!

Would you like to meet your ‘Two Selves’?

So, out of curiosity, do you ever self sabotage? Do you frequently miss the bus by just a few seconds? Completely forget about something until it’s the last minute and then have to rush around like a lunatic! An interesting theory that I have come across is the question

‘Is the behaviour really self sabotage or is it actually in harmony with the desires of our authentic self?

Allow me to introduce you to the two selves…

The social self is that part of you that has been influenced by your culture, your environment, your peers, your family and society as you have grown up and throughout your life. It has taught you to value the same or similar things to most other people in your circle such as stable job, being financially secure, owning your own home, meeting a partner, having a family, having a pension, looking after your parents – being a ‘good girl’ shall we say!

The authentic self is the part of you that knows your preferences for everything; it knows what you enjoy, what you’re passionate about, what brings you joy and what you love to do. The authentic self knows that you want to order dessert in the restaurant whereas the social self will tell you not to be a piggy as no one else is having anything! The authentic self is that part of you that is spontaneous, curious, fascinated with the world and playful.

Having a well developed social self can be a great asset, however when it is too dominant, it can essentially cut us off from our authentic self who has all the information that we need to discover our true purpose and our true desires.

The metaphor I use for this is that the social self is the car but the authentic self is the destination. The car might work perfectly but if we don’t know the destination, it means we’re wasting a lot of time driving around in circles. The feelings that we have of feeling down and sad are not just us the fact that we’re unhappy in our careers or in our lives, our authentic self is actually mourning the loss of our life’s purpose and true desires.

Now, in saying this the social self and the authentic self can work beautifully together when they are both in sync however this is not the case for the majority of women in their 20’s & 30’s in today’s society. A lot of us, without realising it, have put others in charge of directing our paths in life. (Be it from ‘going with the flow’ and seeing what happens as to whether we get a promotion to asking anyone and everyone what they think we should do!). We very rarely consult with our inner selves and most of the time we steer our lives based on the instructions of other people (who most of the time do have our best interests at heart) but who really have no idea what we’re passionate about and therefore they have no idea how to help us find our true desires or purpose. As a result, naturally we end up driving in the wrong direction. But there is one word that the authentic self has to get back on track – that word is No!

Do you remember the word no? It was one of the most wonderful discoveries of your early childhood! My nephew Jamie is two now and he goes crazy for the word no. He uses it constantly and very loudly. He has no problem whatsoever telling me and anyone else within a 5 mile radius what he does and doesn’t like. The problem here is that according to the adults and experts around, Jamie is going through the ‘terrible two’s’- you see we think it’s terrible because as adults, it’s our job to socialise children and that doesn’t work very well when Jamie is running around like a mad thing shouting no all the time. He’s doing the opposite of what society in general wants him to do- socialisation basically means learning to say yes to all cultural demands whether you want not to or not. Girls especially are trained to be pleasers and have good manners etc.

So, if you take the age you are right now and subtract twothat’s the number of years you have been forcing yourself to say yes when your authentic self might have really wanted to say no. Think about it, school, family, friends, work, all of those times when there was expectations and pressure on you to behave in a certain way, make certain choices and decisions and lead a certain kind of life. My point is that your social self no longer knows what you want or need or desire, its main focus is getting you to fit in! Scary eh?

The most basic way to reconnect your two selves is to pay attention! Notice how you feel in certain situations and around certain people. Teach your social self to pay attention to when your authentic self says no! By doing this, you begin to rewire the inner guidance system that can lead you toward your best life by making decisions that are actually in alignment with who you really are and what you really want!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of progress!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please drop me a line!

Until next week,

Paula