Tag Archives: positive thinking

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

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

Two Questions vs Four Questions

When it comes to our lives, most of the time we ask just 2 questions. They are:

What do I want?

And

How Do I get it?

But the funny thing is that often, we’re not 100% sure what we want so we look around us to try and figure out what we should want. We’re told by others what we’d be good at, what constitutes a ‘good life’. We are influenced by our friends, our families, our parents, media and our culture. We are conditioned to move towards things that we’re told we should want.

So anyway then we ask the second question, How do I get it? We’re told the path- it’s generally work really hard, put your head down and keep going. So we duly oblige, we work really hard and pursue that path only to get there and realise that it doesn’t really fit us!

If we’re lucky and have the resources, we may be able to go back a step and ask the first question again’ Ok, what do I want now since that didn’t work out too well? And what happens; we spin ourselves right back into the same loop again.

I was spinning for a good while before I realised that I needed to ask four questions, not two. These 4 questions honestly changed my life and have changed the lives of so many people that I’ve worked with. The four questions you need to ask, in this order are:

 1. Who Am I?

2. What Do I want?

3. Why do I want this?

4. How Do I get it?

 1. Who Am I?

How could we forget this most basic question? The first time I asked this of myself I hadn’t a clue! I couldn’t answer it without just saying I’m Paula. But really, the question is all about getting to the core of you. What makes you tick? What do you enjoy? What’s most important to you in your life? In your work? What do you value? What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about other people? What do you believe about the world? What shapes you? What did you love to do as a kid? What makes you you? You are completely unique! You have a unique set of skills, life experience, passions, characteristics, traits, thoughts and emotions to anyone else in the world!

Do you think it might be worthwhile to spend some time getting to know yourself first before you make decision about what you want to do with your life?

 2. What do I want?

We’ve met this question before but I assure you that the answer for a lot of people is quite different if they’ve taken the time to really figure themselves out first. There is clarity, confidence and a huge boost to your self esteem when you ask this question aligned with the knowledge of who you are.

3. Why do I want it?

This is the safety net question. If the word ‘should’ is in your answer then I want the Star Trek Red Alert noise to play in your head! By asking this question, you are making sure that you ‘own’ your decision! To make sure that there’s no influence or interference from people who are not you! To make sure that it is in sync with who you are.

 4. How do I get it?

If you approach your career asking the above questions, you’ll have greater clarity about who you are and what you want to offer the world, you’ll know exactly what you want and what you need to prioritise, you’ll know the motivation behind your desires and that will be the driving force to get you to take action and because of your confidence, focus and passion, you will figure out how to do it.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is one of the most powerful and simplest ways to take control of your life, how you feel about the decisions you make and more importantly how you feel about yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you’d like to explore these 4 questions in more detail then check out The Quarter Life Club! This is my monthly membership programme with a private facebook community, Live Coaching Sessions once a month and we tackle a new topic every month including Life Design for Girls; Goal- Setting for Girls; Overcoming Not Good Enough for Girls; Belief Systems for Girls; Assertiveness for Girls and many more! All for less than €10 per month! Click here to find out more!

Until next time, ask yourself the right questions!

P x

Where are you now?

An awful lot of women in their 20s and 30s will do absolutely anything to avoid stopping and taking stock of where they are at in their lives right now.

Why?

Because they know that they are a vast universe away from where they thought they would be at this stage.

We are the first generation of women who have been raised and told we can have it all. We can have the passionate relationship, we can have the nice house, we can have the college education, we can have the well paid secure job, we can have the family and we can have plenty of freedom, flexibility and fun. A few years ago, in your late teens or early twenties- that probably was the image that you held of your future. So, my question is again ‘Where are you now?’

For many of us, the image that we held of who we would be or where we would by a certain age, has faded away. That version of ourselves has moved into the shadows and an uneasiness and anxiety has taken its place. We start to tell ourselves that the reason why we didn’t get the life we had expected is because we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough- basically just not enough. After a while we start to really believe that we’re not good enough and it turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – either way you’re right- Henry Ford

We don’t put ourselves out there, we don’t do the things that we could do to turn our situation around and take back control! We go with the flow and see what happens, hoping that things will just work out. Most of the time and for most people, things don’t just work out. We end up experiencing what is known as learned helplessness as we dramatically lower our expectations of life and abandon our dreams.

A bit morbid I know! But this is reality for so many women who don’t take stock, who are too afraid to face their own life and begin to self-direct. If you keep going with the flow, you will go over the waterfall or be washed out to sea. You need to take the oars and paddle. Every year, around the 1st January, we make wonderful plans to take control and begin  to self-direct which is brilliant BUT statistics have shown that by the 10th January, all of those wonderful plans fall by the wayside and we go back to our old habits and old patterns.

Come 31st December 2014, do you want to looking back over your year wondering where the time went and feeling frustrated because you’re still stuck in the same rut OR do you want to be celebrating the incredible progress that you’ve made in just 12 months?

If you want to set yourself up properly for a year of massive success and progress in all areas of your life; relationships, career, health and fitness and financial then join me on December 29th at 2pm for a FREE live webinar that will teach you the four steps you need to turn your New Year resolutions into Real Results! (Click on this link to register!)

This webinar will walk you through the four steps that you need to have in place to make lasting change in your life and help you create the momentum that will you drive you to get there!

You’ll gain clarity about where you’ve been, where you are now and where you want to go! I want to help you create a simple plan to set up your 2014 so that it excites you, compels you and is finally Your Year!

Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper handy and I’ll chat to you on the call!

P x

Please register for New Year, New You! on Dec 29, 2013 2:00 PM GMT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3180840215197156098

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

Do you treat yourself well?

I’ve just spent 4 blissful days in Connemara, completely disconnected from TV, phones and internet. I hate to admit it, but it did take a bit of adjusting!! (I hadn’t realised I had turned into one of those people who constantly checks her phone, who takes pictures and records videos rather than watching and experiencing for myself!) Lesson learned- for now anyway!

In my opinion, holidays are all about treating yourself but how to actually do that is another story! In fact I think that ‘treating ourselves well’ is a skill which we ladies desperately need to learn. What I’ve discovered from working with so many women in their 20s and 30s is that we don’t treat ourselves very well. We frequently put other people’s needs, wants and wishes ahead of our own. Yes of course, we will be good to ourselves occasionally- when we’re on holidays!

But honestly, how often have you denied yourself something you wanted because you felt like you didn’t deserve it, that you hadn’t earned it or that you weren’t good enough. I remember years ago, when I was going through a rough patch- I desperately wanted a massage. I needed it as I was so stressed at the time and just going around in circles. I booked in for a full body massage but in the hours leading up to the appointment time that inner voice started yapping! It said, ‘you haven’t done x,y,x, you’re a lazy bitch, you don’t deserve it, who do you think you are to spend €60 on yourself’. I cancelled the appointment.

Things like that happened so often, I’d see something I would like in Penny’s and feel like I haven’t earned it or deserved it so I wouldn’t allow myself to have it (or I’d buy it then return it). But if I knew that my partner, sister, friend wanted something, I would be the first person to go and get it for them. Interesting eh?

Because of who I work with on a daily basis, women in their 20s and 30s from around the world, I have seen that this is really common. We just don’t treat ourselves well. We feel that we need to have earned it, that we have to deserve it and the catch 22 is that the times when we need to treat ourselves well are the times that we’re feeling low, unworthy and deserving. Treating ourselves well and with compassion is the only way to lift ourselves up so that we can keep on keeping on!

Demanding more and more from yourself without ever giving yourself a break is unsustainable and will lead to complete burn-out. Often after the burn-out, you realise that you are a million miles away from where you thought you would be in life because you never stopped to give yourself a break or to check if you were actually happy!

What I found helps immensely is goal treats! So, without further ado, I have a 7 day treat challenge 7daytitlefor you!

Every day for the next 7 days, give yourself a really good treat: just because you are you. No excuses and no exceptions! If for some strange reason you actually enjoy being kind and compassionate with yourself then by all means continue!

It might seem strange or repellent at first but once you repeatedly associate treating yourself well, these treats will start to become comfortable and even indispensible. They have a very important function: they provide enough consistent short –term gratification to sustain trust and happiness when the going gets tough, the path to your vision looks scary or if you need to make a difficult decision. Giving yourself a treat a day is so crucial to making progress in your life. It’s all about treating yourself right!

Now, my definition of ‘treat’ is anything that makes you feel like smiling’. Some people think that’s a strange definition but I mean a real, genuine, heartfelt smile as opposed to the fake social smiles we put on which sometimes that makes us feel like we are violating our souls!

So, as an exercise I want you to compile a list of natural smile starters. You can start this simply by observing your behaviour for a day, what makes you smile? We know that every woman’s magazine on the planet will advertise things like massages, getting nails done, pedicures, hot baths, chocolate, candles etc and yes, they’re all lovely and great but I’m talking about a really custom made treat. Something that actually gives you joy, something that makes the smile start from the inside and you just can’t help but grin! Something that delights your senses!

I’m talking going to bed on a winter’s night with a hot chocolate, a great book and fresh sheets with the sound of the rain and wind banging against the window. That would be a treat that would actually get me excited! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or cost anything at all! Anything that indulges your senses is definitely a winner. Think about it! What do you love the smell of? What do you love the feel of? What do you love the sight of? What do you love the taste of?

Decide if you will take me up on the challenge and make out your list! Share your list of treats on the Quarter Life Coach facebook page and if you find yourself resisting this terrible treat regimen, tell us and we will hold you accountable and if needs be, give you permission to treat yourself well, every single day until you learn to do it for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share your treat list!  I can’t wait to see!

Until next week,

P x

Do you know how to make yourself feel happy?

Do you remember when you were a child and you looked at life in total wonder and awe? Everything was magical and exciting and the tiniest things were so fascinating and thrilling! The crunch of an autumn leaf under your foot, bright shiny conkers, ladybirds, a pretty rock on the ground or even a cardboard box could fascinate you for hours. You would turn it into whatever it needed to be for you in that moment.

You were full of excitement when you lost a tooth and if you were like me, you’d try and stay awake all night to try and catch the tooth fairy! Don’t even get me started on Christmas, Santa Claus, flying reindeers and the magic that went with that!

 Do you remember? There were fairies and elves in the garden, pets were like people and kept all your secrets, your toys had personalities, they came to life when you were out of the room and they protected you when you were scared, wishes were made on the stars and dreams came true. Your heart was full of joy, your imagination knew no limits, and you firmly believed that could fly if you could just figure out the right jump and arm movement to get started – life was amazing and full of magic and awe. You felt good!

This is an exquisite feeling which most of had as children, even though we all had some bad times and bad experiences, we held onto the feeling that everything was good, that every day promised more adventure and wonder and that nothing would ever take away our joy of the magic of it all. But then we grew up! 🙁

As we grew older into teenagers, young adults and real life grown ups- responsibilities, problems and difficulties took their toll on us, we became disillusioned and the magic that we had believed in as children disappeared. I don’t know about you but I love hanging around kids, playing with them and I’m so fascinated with how fascinated they are. My 2 ½ year old nephew Jamie made a caterpillar out of an egg carton and I swear he delighted in it for hours! He named it, he talked to it, he played with it, he made it rawr and squealed with delight as we joined his games.

Obviously I wouldn’t be talking about all of this if it was never to be a part of your life again! The magic of life is real. You may not see reindeer fly or a bunny hopping over your wall but those feelings of fascination, wonder, awe, trust and magic are within you and you can let them all out to play again! When you do, life becomes magical!

We don’t see it, we feel it.

What I find so amazing is that we were taught this by our parents and society as well, but the real message got lost over the years. If you asked a child ‘What’s the magic words? He or she will easily say to you ‘please’ and after they have received, ‘What are the magic words?’ they will tell you ‘Thank You’.

That’s it! That’s how you bring forth magic into your life, you must say the magic words, ‘Thank you’. When we actually stop and acknowledge the wonder and abundance of the life we are living, when we are thankful for it, we shine. When we focus on the good stuff we have, we feel good, we feel happy and then it’s so much easier to trust ourselves and focus on the good stuff we’re headed for.

If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a little. If you practice gratitude a lot every day, your life will change dramatically and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine! Try it for yourself, take a moment now and close your eyes. I want you to run through all of the wonderful things and people that you have in your life right now, feel thankful for what you have and smile. I honestly don’t know any better way to shift your energy and emotions from down and dull to happy and energised!

‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around’ Willie Nelson

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share what you’re grateful for this week! Can’t wait to see!

Until next week,

P x

Who Are You in Your Relationships?

Myself and Colly were out walking the dog last weekend, chatting and reflecting on our relationship, 11218467_10153286501107893_778273589560183537_nour marriage, our daughter and our lives and how it’s incredible……….. and for both of us, that fact is still quite strange!

I do have to pinch myself every now and then to remind myself that I’m not dreaming! Personally, I know I have changed a lot in the past few years. I’m really me now, here and present in this relationship.

In previous relationships, I was who I thought my partner wanted me to be and I wasn’t even aware that I was adapting my behaviour to suit him. We would be watching a movie at home or at the cinema and I would keep glancing at his face to see whether he was enjoying it or not. If I had picked the movie and I could see from his facial expressions that he thought it was lousy, it would seriously take away from my enjoyment of the film.

It was all little things, his favourite food, his favourite hobbies, his favourite everything. His favourites that I had never really had any interest in; became a part of my life. All of a sudden I had sports jerseys as part of my wardrobe and I was shouting at the TV on a Saturday afternoon!

This was all good and fine and I’m not for a moment saying that it’s wrong to embrace your partner’s interests but what happened was that after 6 years of morphing into this person I thought I should be, I got dumped. By text message might I add!

Of course there was heart break and sadness and anger and all of those emotions but they weren’t a patch on ‘losing myself’. During the course of those 6 years, I had lost myself in the relationship or to the relationship. I had defined myself by it and by what we did together. Without that, I wasn’t sure who I was!

I don’t mean for that to sound as dramatic as it does, what I mean is that I really didn’t know what my own interests were, what I enjoyed doing, who I enjoyed spending time with, what I wanted for my future. I actually decided to start smoking again, an actual conscious decision because that’s what I did before that relationship! I had been a smoker! I was trying to find anything that would give me that sense of security within myself. Anything I could cling to that I could say ‘I am a ……..’

Just to top it all off as well, I was made redundant within a month or so of the dumping and then shortly after that my sister and I were told that we had to sell our home! So needless to say, I wasn’t in the best space!

I was absolutely broke in every sense of the word but with my redundancy cash, I invested in a life coaching course- for me. For a solid year, I worked so hard getting to know myself. It was difficult and uncomfortable at times but I got me back! I got a new zest of life and I was so happy being me again!

When myself and Colm started dating, I resisted so much because I was afraid of being hurt but most of all, I was afraid of forgetting all I had learnt. I was afraid I’d go back to my old ‘people pleaser’ ways! The question that I had to find the answer to was ‘how to be in a relationship and not lose myself?’ How to be part of a we without losing me?8dc683cfe1f05ea2c75ea144ad45bd27

The goal was to be close in the relationship but still maintain my own identity so I went out and found people who I thought had great relationships and I asked for their advice! Here are some of their strategies! Trust me- it’s good stuff!

Top 5 tips for a great relationship without losing yourself

1. Spend time with your friends.

It’s great when your partner and your friends get along, but your friends don’t want your other half all the time! The time spent with your friends is different when your boyfriend is there and it’s important that you still have your girls’ nights out, weekends away and giggles!

2. Identify the hobbies and interests that you don’t share

You and your partner aren’t going to share the same interests so it’s important to identify the things you don’t have in common and to continue doing it. If you love dancing but your partner has two left feet and would rather get a root canal done than go to a club, do not let that stop you. If he wants to go to support his team at an away game, you don’t need to tag along! Support each other’s interests.

 3. Express yourself.

 While committing to someone is a lovely thing, giving up your needs for that person absolutely isn’t. Never compromise or undermine your own desires just because you’re scared that you’ll lose him if you need something different. A healthy respectful relationship makes room for what both of you need, and your partner can’t know what you need if you don’t tell him directly (he’s not psychic!). If he walks away when you do make your needs known, that is a good thing. Trust me, better that than losing yourself to someone unwilling to listen to you and respect your feelings.

4. Don’t become too dependent.

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook when it comes to managing yourself and your own life. It’s easy to look to your partner to protect you from the big bad world when everything makes you want to crawl under the duvet and hide, but continue to fight your own battles. When you have a bad day and want to talk, it’s nice to have someone who wants to comfort you, but make it clear that you don’t want your partner to ‘fix’ anything!

5. Never hold back in your own life

 Don’t resist further education, making more money, success or a promotion because of your partner. You should never need to boost his ego or spare his feelings by playing small in your own life. Someone who truly loves you and who is worth loving is secure enough to cheer you on.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress, that you got something valuable from it and could relate!

Until next week,

P

P.S My best selling programme ‘30 Days to Be Your Own Fairy Godmother’ is starting on the 22nd February and you could WIN a place! Click here to enter now! Winner will be announced on the 21st at 9pm!

 

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!