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Tag Archives: quarter life crisis

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

Why you need to have a vision for your life!

I’ve been spending the past week thinking about my life vision, well to be perfectly honest, I’ve been spending the past week thinking about upgrading my life vision! You see, a few years ago, I had a dream of how I wanted my life to look in the future – this dream was big, bold, outrageous and very happy!! I’d own a house, I’d have an amazing partner who respected me, I’d be doing something I loved doing, I’d have freedom and flexibility and I’d have money in the bank!

At the time of dreaming this dream, I was jobless with zero prospects because I had just realised I hated my chosen profession, I was completely broke and had recently been dumped via text message! But I held this vision of what I wanted in my mind and worked towards it over the past 4 years. In recent weeks I’ve realised that I need to upgrade my vision! Why? Because I’m already living my dream, I’m living the big, bold and outrageous dream that the Paula from 4 years ago was dreaming about!

The Paula from today has learnt a lot of lessons in the past few years- most importantly, whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together my bigger vision and you know what, I’m really excited about it! My life will be whatever I make it!

 So how about you! Do you have a vision for your life?

  A vision is how you want your life to look in a few years time. I’m talking 5, 10, 20 years time! You might be gasping thinking ‘I haven’t a clue where I want to be next week, let alone in 20 years time!!’ But when it comes to a life vision, you do need to go out that far because this is where you want to end up. If you don’t have any idea of how you want your life to look in 10, 15, 20 years time then how do you know if every day you’re moving further away or closer to your vision?

It’s like the analogy of driving around in a car without knowing where you’re going. We always get into the car with our destination in mind, or at least the general direction that we want to go in. This is what we’re trying to achieve with a life vision – a destination or direction.  If you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know what success looks like, then how do you know when you get there?

What tends to happen is that we get caught up in our late teens and early twenties. We start to do things out of necessity, we do what everyone else is doing and what is expected of us! We go to college or get a job, work hard, progress in our career, meet a partner, save money, maybe talk about getting married, try to get a deposit together for a house. We’re just getting on with it though with our heads down.

We’re like busy worker bees, work, work, work, busy, busy, busy and we don’t look up, we just keep going. This was me; I was busy, busy, busy and trying to ignore the fact that I was so unhappy. I thought it was normal to be unhappy in your twenties, well normal for me anyway! But the problem was I had no vision, no direction. I was still just going with the flow and I wasn’t self-directing my life based on what I wanted.

What having a life vision will do for you is to give you some focus and direction as well as helping you gain clarity on whether the decision that you’re making will take you closer to your vision or further away.

It’s not very often that we spend time on ourselves. We tend to spend so much time living that we don’t actually make the time to raise our head, look to the future and say; ‘ok this is the big picture. This is how I want my life to look.’ But I want you to do exactly that! Now is your time! Put the brakes on for a few hours, take a step out of the madness and ask yourself ‘How do I want my life to look in 20 years time?’ ‘What will I need to do to make that happen?’ You see, the time is going to pass anyway so you might as well point yourself in a direction that you’ll be happy with! Think about it over the next few days and jot down any ideas that come to mind!

It has to make you think ‘Wow, I’d be floating on air if I had a life like that!’ Be big bold and outrageous. People over-estimate what they can accomplish in a year but they wildly, wildly under-estimate what they can accomplish in a 5 years or ten years! You need to be clear on what you want your life to look like by when? What does success look like to you? It’s a very simple concept but an incredibly powerful motivating tool! Think BIG!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you want to Kick-Start 2014 then check out my 30 day Be Your Own Fairy Godmother Programme starting on Friday 3rd January! Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules such as ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You’ll have two live Q & A sessions with me where you can ask questions, get some coaching and make real progress in your life! Also, you’ll have access to a private facebook group offering 24/7 support so you can get a kick in the ass when needed! I’ll also dip in with thoughts, advice and insights throughout the month and you can compare notes on your workbooks and homework with the other women on the programme! Trust me, there’s no better way to set up the New Year! To find out more and secure your place, click here!

Until Next Time,

Think about where you’re going!

P x

fairy_godmother_package_image4

Is 2014 going to be the year you finally make the changes you’ve been putting off! Kick-Start your year with my 30 day ‘Fairy Godmother‘ programme starting on 3rd January 2014!

Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules like ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You will be able to use what you learn forever and it’s only €99! Check out the link for more details!
http://myquarterlifecoach.com/the-fairy-godmother-programme/

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

Stuck in a rut and can’t move forwards?

“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.

3 Ways to build momentum

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!

Break the process down into baby stepsTaking 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.

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.

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

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

Growing Pains at 27?

I came across an old diary entry last week which I had forgotten I had. The entry was over 18 months old and at the time of writing it, I was in Australia meeting my partners family for the first time. We were there for 3 weeks and there was such much stuff going through my head at the time. I was quite emotional while we were there; it was really unnerving that I wasn’t able to put my finger on why I felt so raw and just not myself! I was able to blame jet-lag for a few days but after a week I knew that couldn’t be the reason anymore so I went off for a long walk on my own, took my diary and a pen, grabbed a coffee from a little coffee hut and I plonked myself down and began to write.

 Here’s what I wrote:

“I’m very aware that a change is taking place. I’m holding onto the past I suppose. I’m growing up and it’s quite bittersweet. I don’t really want to – but at 27 years old, I have to ask myself is it not about time? Am I being overdramatic? To be honest, I don’t think so. I think that this is another part of growing up. It’s the in-between-y stage.

Obviously I’m not a child anymore but I really don’t feel like an adult. I have a bank account, pay bills, live with a boy, drive a car and have my own business which is all very grown up but the next big milestones and major events of my life –the traditional markers of adulthood like buying a house, getting married and starting a family are coming soon. I wonder if everyone experiences these feelings of apprehension and uneaseiness?

It’s kind of scary and I find myself looking back an awful lot. Being carefree, having fun, playing with bubbles and going to amusement parks and parades has always been a big part of who I am and what makes me smile but it’s all very childish- I mean does that all get left behind now?? I think it’s scary because I don’t know who I’ll be as an adult.

But in saying all this, I know that something great is coming- I feel like a caterpillar entering a chrysalis- she may know that she’ll emerge as a butterfly and be able to fly but I bet the caterpillar is frightened of losing herself in the process! I think that’s where I’m at.

When I think back on how far I’ve come, all of the changes I have made in my life so far, how wonderful things have been- there really should be no reason to be frightened so why am I?

I think it’s because I’m not focused on the future, I keep looking back instead of forwards. I know if I look forwards and direct my focus on where I want to go, it will feel lot more secure. Who do I want to be? “

 *******************************

 I find diaries really fascinating! I had no recollection of writing that until I actually read it again and immediately I was brought back to that moment! At the time, I really did feel nervous and anxious about growing up! I was having growing pains at 27 years old which may seem ridiculous, but at that particular time in my life, it was real and it felt scary! I had to accept it, embrace it and decide who I wanted to be as an adult! Interestingly, I got engaged less than 3 months after writing that diary entry and less than 12 months after writing it, I had bought my own house. Very grown up indeed! At some level, I must have been aware that is was on the horizon!

But anyway, I was very grateful to have stumbled across this last week and I thought I’d share it with you! I honestly would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you ever experienced anything like that? Can you relate to it? Please get in touch and share your thoughts and stories!

Until next week,

Look after you,

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!

What’s most important to you?

What’s most important to you in life? We don’t ask ourselves this question very often and the beautiful thing about this is that everyone is completely unique in their response! Some people say family, some say love, some say success, some say health, some say security, some say safety, some say adventure. What all these things have in common though, is that they are values.

Our values are the things that are most important to us in our lives.

They guide our every decision and therefore where we end up. If we’re not clear about what is truly important to us in our life, then how on earth could we ever expect to be able to make an effective decision? If you ever found yourself having difficulty making a decision in a particular situation, I can guarantee you that the problem was that you weren’t clear on what you valued more in the situation. It’s important to remember that all decisions really come down to values clarification.

When you know what’s important to you, making a decision is quite simple. However, most people are unclear about what is really important to them and therefore any decision making becomes a process of internal torture, second guessing and self esteem obliterating. Let’s be honest here, you feel like an idiot sometimes when you keep changing your mind and when you’re unsure about something, other people are often more than happy to tell you what to do!!

One of the biggest dangers for women in their 20s and 30s is not knowing what is most important to us. We are raised in a culture in which we aspire to have the nice house, car, clothes, stable respectful job, marriage, family as we have been socialised to value the same things as our own social circle. But at this stage, if you’re the type of person who is actually reading this then I know that you have realised that acquiring things simply will not fulfil you. Only living and doing what you believe is the ‘right thing’ will give you that sense of inner strength and peace that you deserve and crave. The ‘right thing’ is acknowledging and living in accordance with your own personal values.

Remember that your values- whatever they are- are what are guiding you to your ultimate destiny. They are creating your path by guiding you to make certain decisions and take certain actions consistently. Not using this internal compass intelligently always leads to frustration, disappointment, lack of fulfilment and that nagging sense that life could be something different or better somehow but you’re just not sure how. On the other hand, when you do use this internal compass intelligently and consciously you will experience a sense of certainty, flow and an inner peace that few people ever experience.

The only way we can ever feel truly happy and fulfilled in our lives in the long term is to live in accordance with our values.

“What I found most valuable was working on what’s important to me in life, and what I want to move away from. This ended up directly influencing a couple of huge career decisions I had to make a short time later. Ordinarily I can be very indecisive, but armed with the knowledge that our sessions had given me, I was able to make empowered decisions. When I made these decisions it was with confidence and conviction and I felt really proud of myself because I knew I was putting what mattered to me – my family and my health – first instead of just chasing more money.

The biggest benefit working through the sessions is that it has given me is a much firmer grasp of who I am, what I want, and how to go about achieving it. I just feel more grounded, like I have my s**t together and I’m ready to move forward with my life.”
K. Murphy, Quarter Lifer

Is it time you asked yourself the question

What’s most important to me in life?

Ask it over and over again until you get a list of at least 10 values! Then you will have a starting point! I bet you will be surprised about what comes up for you!

Check out www.myquarterlifecoach.com for details of The Quarter Life Blueprint and Discover Your Purpose Packages which have intensive values work!

Who Are You?

Who are you right now?

It is never too late to be what you might have been- George Eliot

Who am I? Have you asked yourself this question before? Would you know how to answer it? Most of us 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 ‘Eh, em, hmm well 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 career? 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 do you tolerate? What do you not tolerate? What are your boundaries? 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! For most of us, we have been raised in a culture and environment that is all about conformity. We have been well trained about what our particular peers deems a ‘right life’. We share common values with the people in our own social circle, things like having a stable job, finding a partner, having a family, having a pension, looking after our parents etc.

A lot of the time, these influences can direct our decisions and ultimately where we end up in life. We do certain things because we feel we ‘should’- we feel it would be expected. Bottom line, we put other people in control of our lives by allowing ourselves to go with the flow rather than being a big girl and self directing our lives. The reason why we don’t self direct is because we don’t know ourselves, we don’t trust ourselves, we second guess ourselves, have major self doubt and listen to that mind monkey in our head!

The result of this that one day, you realise that you just aren’t happy. You don’t know yourself and the life that you’re living just doesn’t seem to fit you. You are nowhere near where you thought you would be and it’s so scary! There’s nothing really majorly wrong but you just don’t feel joyous or happy at all, nothing is really right either.

On the other hand, if we have a strong sense of self and know who we are- we will self direct our own lives based on our own interests, based on our own passions and the things that we love to do and be. When you know who you are, making decisions is easy because you know what’s important to you. When you know who you are and live your life in accordance, life just flows and you are more confident, more self assured, feel more self worth and whole.

Being able to answer the question ‘Who Am I?’ truly is the first step in the finding happiness in your 20’s and 30’s. Everything else rests on this, as you’ll see!
About the Quarter-Life Coach
Paula Coogan, The Quarter-Life Coach, is an accredited Life and Executive Coach. She specialises in working with women in their 20’s and 30’s, and are asking themselves ‘Is this it?’
Paula’s open, warm and personal approach means that she is the perfect coach to work with through the Quarter-Life challenges you face. She offers a choice of coaching packages, all designed to help you discover who you are, what you want, why you want it and how you’re going to get it. www.myquarterlifecoach.com