I was reminded this morning as I was getting dressed how important it is to take the time to find what fits best for me in any situation. I have a very clear intention of allowing myself to feel really good in the clothes that I wear and this was the benchmark I was using as I decided what to wear today. I had the time and space to play this morning as I tried on a few different combinations. I could feel my frustration as I put some items together and found that they just didn’t look right. The thought flitted across my mind that what I had on would do backed up with with a few other negative thoughts about myself as well.
However I persisted and decided to try something else on (3 times!!!) and then I nailed it – I had the outfit that fitted. I felt comfortable, it made me feel good about myself and it was fun – bright and colourful which how I wanted to feel today. And, of course, now I know that I can wear these items together in future and will feel confident and relaxed in them which frees up my mental energy to focus on other more important stuff!
“So what?” you may be thinking … well, here is the learning for me. Life is like my experience this morning.
- We need to be willing to try different combinations or ways of doing things on (this means taking action!) until we find what fits us, what makes us feel good about ourselves. We need to be willing to make adjustments or to say no, that does not fit with what I need right now, and to let it go. This applies to how you live your life, who you choose to work with, how you create your environments to support your success – in fact with any decision that you need to make about how you want your life to be.
- We need to have a clear intention – what is the result you want to achieve – it may be something physical or it may be intangible as it was for me – a feeling or belief that I wanted to experience.
- I had the time and space physically and mentally to play and have some fun with this. Life can be so serious with our long to do lists – shorten the lists and allow yourself to create what I call white space in your diary and see what happens.
- Don’t settle for less – allow yourself to experience what it is you desire.
- Recognise what you already have that fits with what you desire – for me the clothes just needed to be arranged in a different way. Recognise what is already in your “wardrobe of life” that fits with how you want to be, eliminate the stuff that doesn’t fit and only then decide what needs to be added.
Hope this inspires you to find the learning’s in everyday experiences. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or comments.
We can waste so much time and energy when we spend our lives resisting what is. Our constant mental activity is a great example. Whether it is filled with positive or negative thoughts our “mental activity is as natural as a hot bubbling spring” (from Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan McMillan).
As this author says we have more control over what we do than over what we think and feel, so use your energy wisely by focusing on your actions and letting the rest be.
Despite all the books and courses I have attended it still surprises me how quickly I can forget the tools that I know work when I am in the middle of a stressful or challenging time. This is why it is so important to have a support network to help you remember (or to learn for the first time) – this can be a coach, a group that you meet with regularly or a really good friend you can call.
Whatever challenges we are facing in life the bottom line is that we are the only ones who can handle it, we are the ones who must take responsibility to manage the difficulties we are being presented with. We can’t change anyone else involved however we can act as a role model when we demonstrate what happens when we take the time to look after ourselves. We become stronger and more resilient. It is easier for us to think clearly and to set the boundaries or make the requests that we need to make. It becomes easier to make the decisions we need to make because we have the energy to do so.
So what can you do to start building your resilience and energy? As always the change starts with self awareness and the willingness to take action. Here are some questions to reflect on so you can choose one area to make the shift…
- How high are your energy levels right now? Give yourself a score 1 being empty, 10 being full of energy.
What are you doing to take really good care of yourself right now…
- Are eating food that is healthy and makes you feel good?
- Are you drinking plenty of water or are you filling up on liquids that are de-energising?
- Are you aware of your breathing – is it shallow or is it deep and refreshing?
- Are you aware of what your body needs? Does it need to walk, run , stretch, relax. We need to maintain a balance between exercise and rest. Are you resting too much so that everything feels sluggish and slow, or maybe you are exercising too much so you feel frazzled and on edge?
- Do you have quiet time and space, or is your life always full of activity, people and noise?
- Do you take the time to reflect on your life and how you want it to be – to set clear intentions for yourself and your loved ones?
Choose one of these areas and make the decision today to take action. You will be surprised by how even one small change can increase your resilience and will positively impact whatever challenging situations you may be experiencing in life right now.
There are three important components that we need to invest our time in to be successful in all that we do. There is a time for planning and preparing a plan of action, there is a time for action and there is a time for review.
Sometimes we can get stuck in one of these areas – we can spend far too long creating plans and avoiding taking action, or we can be so busy taking actions that we can end up wasting time doing things that just aren’t effective in producing the result we want. Often the review part just gets forgotten when in fact it is the most important part.
It is a good idea to take stock of what we have accomplished so we can check where we are on the journey towards our goal. We can then celebrate our successes, which motivates us to continue, and refocus on the steps that we still need to take, so that we can invest our time wisely in only those actions that will produce the results we are looking for.
So, have you reviewed your last few weeks or months recently?
Overwhelm seems to be the disease of the 21st century – everyone experiences it at one time or another. It seems to be a default setting that we flick into especially when our resistance is low.
So what is overwhelm? According to the dictionary it is to load with too great an amount, to defeat completely, to overcome and to make helpless.
So what can we do to remove this sense of helplessness and return to a state of feeling empowered once again. Here are some ideas…
1. Let the lists go. I am a great advocate for getting things out of our heads and down on paper however there comes a point when we have so much down on paper it can feel like there is just too much to do. So without looking at your lists choose one thing to focus and take action on right now that feels right for you. Put everything else to the side until that is completed.
2. Finish all your unfinished business. Take on no new projects until you have some completed some or all of the projects that are incomplete. There is a lot to be said for multi tasking however in reality often we are more effective when we focus on one thing at a time, so choose that one thing that will make the biggest difference for you right now.
3. Clear your desk. When we are in overwhelm we will usually have lots of “stuff” scattered on our desks or around our work space. Attend to everything on your desk or in box by filing it an organised way that makes sense to you. I tend to create a project folder to capture all the thoughts and bits of paper or documents lying around so it is all in one place when I do sit down to focus my attention on that topic.
4. Do it now. When in overwhelm I often think of an admin assistant I know who will always deal with stuff there and then when she can. She is a great role model for efficiency. I have a tendency to put things to the side with the intention of coming back to them however it can be difficult to find the time to come back – it can be much easier to deal with something straight away when it is in your hand – so get into the habit of making the decision there and then about what needs to happen with that email or document and do it straight away when possible.
5. Stop beating yourself up for being in overwhelm. Everyone experiences overwhelm and we all come out of it again, usually much quicker when we start to talk to ourselves in a much kinder and gentle way. Reach out for support to regain a healthy perspective – talking it through with someone can give you the clarity you need to shift it and if overwhelm is a constant companion consider working with a coach to completely change this habit.
6. Use the Bach Flower Essence for overwhelm – Elm can be purchased at a health food store, is completely natural, easy to take and very effective when you need some extra support.
I had an action on my to do list that I kept avoiding and moving forward from one day to the next for a long time.
As a result of changing how I structure my days and work load I changed tact and wrote “make a decision about X” on my daily task list so I would commit to take time to reflect on what I needed to decide, make the decision and follow up with action.
So now I had a task on my daily list to “make a decision” on something that keeps getting moved from one day to the next!! I would look at the task and think, I’m not ready to make the decision, it’s too difficult to even think about.
After becoming aware of what I was doing I took a few minutes to stop and reflect on what was happening and realized that I needed more information before I could actually make the decision. So what really needed to be on my task list were the steps to gather the information so I could make an informed choice.
Seems obvious now but it wasn’t until I paused and reflected on what I was doing that I gained the clarity to stop procrastinating and take some useful action steps.
So what are you avoiding?
Would some clarity around what really needs to happen help? This is were coaching is so powerful. Email me now, or call text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to explore some actions to get you moving again.