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The Percentage of Your Wellness = The Percentage of Your Success

The % of your Wellness = the % of Your Success

That statement hit me right in the stomach.

I was at a group coaching session with a coach I deeply admire and we had been working on goals. She was asking how committed we were to achieving them, the rest of the group were really enthusiastic shouting out ‘Hell yeah, 100%!’ ‘ I’m 120%, it’s gonna happen, I can’t wait to get started!’

Then it was my turn, ‘Eh, honestly, about 50%, no really actually about 40%’.

I so desperately wanted what I wanted but I just didn’t have the drive I needed to get really excited or passionate about putting in the work. It seemed like so much effort and it made me tired and overwhelmed even thinking about starting! (For a second, I thought I was going to be politely asked to leave!)

Then my coach said the magic sentence. She said ‘The percentage of your Wellness equals the percentage of your Success’ and then it clicked! She had me sussed! No wonder I was only about 40ish% committed to achieving what I wanted to do! I was exhausted, I was stressed, my sleeping pattern was all over the place and my recycling bin was brimming with takeaway Chinese and pizza boxes!

I realised that I had to change my goals drastically! I had wanted to grow my business, take on more clients, get more speaking gigs, create new programmes and make a bigger impact but when it dawned on me that I knew that there was no way that I could achieve these things. I had to slow it down and instead of focusing on the external things I wanted to do and achieve, I had to focus on me and my own wellness. The percentage of my wellness equaled the percentage of my success.

To me, wellness means:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having fun and relaxing
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Spending quality time with the people I care about

At the time, sleep-wise I was probably averaging about 7 hours per night but I was going to bed at 3-4am. Sometimes I got 3 hours sleep, sometimes I crashed for 12 hours. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun or relax because there was so much to do and I hadn’t earned the right for time out. I was eating crap, getting no exercise, going to bed stressed and annoyed with myself and feeling guilty when I was with my family and friends because I wasn’t really present with them, my mind was distracted and on over-drive! I was almost always feeling ashamed of myself. I hadn’t even contemplated changing my lifestyle!

There’s a brilliant researcher and author called Brene Brown and in one of her books she described a conversation she had with her therapist, she said

‘I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch. I need a shell, what can you give me? What do you suggest?‘ The therapist replied saying ‘I have an idea. Why don’t you get out of the briar patch? You’re getting poked and prodded and hurt, not because you don’t have a shell but because you’re living in a briar patch’.

That resonated with me so much! I wanted a shell. Something that I could just put on and get going, to keep on keeping on! But (reluctantly) I realised that I had to get out of the briar patch and change my lifestyle.

I’ve made a lot of changes and I still have a lot of changes to make but I’m definitely making progress! My goals are balanced now to ensure that self-care is as important, if not more important than external achievement and the difference that has made to my life is incredible! I may not be at 100% yet but I’m a hell of lot better than 40ish%

How about you? Are you trying to push yourself to do more, be more and achieve more when you’re operating at reduced wellness? Where are you at now? What is your wellness percentage? Have you ever thought about this concept before and does it resonate with you? I’d love to hear your feedback and get a discussion going so pop over the facebook page and drop me a line!

Also, check out my fab programme ‘30 days to be your own Fairy Godmother‘ starting on the 15th June!

Until next week, be well!

Paula x

Let’s talk about Money

Money is a very personal topic and I know that many of us don’t like talking about it! Why? Cos we feel like we don’t have enough! It’s a major stressor for so many people and you know what, there’s even a name for it- Scarcity Mentality! I think we’re all guilty of having a scarcity mentality- it’s that feeling of not having enough and not being enough. Most of the time, I work with women who feel like they aren’t enough- not good enough, smart enough, brave enough etc but today I want to talk about scarcity mentality in relation to our finances.

January is a major month for money blues and scarcity mindset, there’s no denying that! Over the past few weeks, we’ve spent most of our cash on gifts, cards, food, going out, catching up with friends and we generally have had a good time. We look forward to the new year with high hopes and ambitions of what we’re going to change but then, January comes and we feel shit.

Why? Because it’s a long 4 weeks to payday so January can be like hell. We feel like we haven’t enough, we’re stressed and worried about our finances and we feel insecure. Money worries is one of the biggest reasons why New Year resolutions fall flat on their face before the end of January! It’s a major stress point and has an enormous impact on almost every aspect of our lives! When we’re stressed or worried in one area in our life, it can seep into other areas and then all of a sudden we’re comforting ourselves on the couch stuffing our faces with chocolate or alcohol to try and numb the feelings of anxiety.

So, what do we need to do? We need to get in control and confident with our finances. Now.

We will be dealing with money for the rest of our lives and if it’s a source of stress for you now and you continue to ignore it or avoid it, it’s not going to get better. Guaranteed.

So, let’s stop pretending we are ostriches and get our heads out of the sand! Here are a few top tips ostrichto break out of your scarcity mentality!

 1. Reality Check!

Do you know where you’re money is going? Do you have a budget? Do you need one? This is the first step in getting your head out of the sand, face up to reality! Look at your accounts, look at your savings, look at your income, look at your expenditure and budget for things (including fun). Once you know where you are right now, you immediately have more control and can make better decisions about your finances.

2. There’s always more

When you’re handing over money to buy something or pay a bill, say to yourself ‘there’s always more where that came from’. It might sound silly but there’s so much power in the words that we say to ourselves. It’s the truth. There is always more- you may not have it in your purse right now but you are capable of creating more, earning more. How much crap have you got in your house that you don’t use? Do a car boot sale! Clear out the mess and make a few bob!

3. Start a fun fund

We need to have fun, relax and treat ourselves. It’s vital and non-negotiable if you’re working with me! So, if you’re holding back and saying you can’t afford to go to the cinema or have a drink after work with friends, then you need to start a fun fund. It’s a savings account or piggy bank that has money set aside that is to be spent on fun and fun only! Having fun and treating yourself well is one of the key ways to break out of scarcity mentality!

4. Spread the wealth

Anytime you catch yourself worrying about money or stuck in scarcity mentality- I want you to give some money away. Donate to a charity or cause that you feel connected with! Another way to spread the wealth is to be generous with your friends and family. It’s a great feeling to say, ‘I’ll get this’ when you’re out with people you care about. Even if you just got a pot of tea and a cake to share!

5. Educate yourself

You probably know this already but almost half the world, over 3 billion people live on less than €2 per day. 80% of all of the people in the world live on less than €7 per day. That is the reality. Now, I’d be pretty confident given the fact that you’re reading this that you don’t fall into either one of those statistics. I get that you want more and that’s fine. If you have more money and resources, I know that you would spread the wealth and everyone would benefit! But we have to realise that true abundance starts with appreciating what we already have right now. You have a roof over your head, clean water, clothes and food. You are already financially abundant!

“Be thankful for what you have  and  you’ll end up having more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”- Oprah

I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress! I’m really curious as to what you think of this blog! Have you noticed that you have a scarcity mentality? Have you found a way to break out of it? Come over to the facebook page and share your story!

Chat soon,

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