Archive for Fearless Living

23 May 2012

Move on. How to Let Go Of Your Past

No Comments Fearless Living, Life Coaching, Live your best Life

Most clients that come to me have something that they need to let go of in order to move forward. Moving on is a process, but with the help of a skilled life coach, it is an achievable dream. If you find that you holding on prevents you from moving forward, then read on!

Funny enough, holding on to your past shows up in how you withhold from being spontaneous and sharing your thoughts freely. This could be anything from being able to say what you want to say, from thanking or expressing love, or hurt, or asking for help. When fear is running our lives we withhold to protect ourselves. We don’t say things that make us uncomfortable. We don’t like feeling exposed or vulnerable. So we hold back, we wait for the other person to show a card first. We hide, avoid, and keep quiet, carefully holding our cards to ourselves. Ask yourself, what is the ace you are holding on to right now? Make a list of five things you would like to say, but have not been able to. Could be anything from being able to say what you want to say, from thanking or expressing love, or hurt, or asking for help. Push yourself to get that list of 5 things you would like to say.

What made your list? Ask yourself what stands in your way of saying them? For each of your stifled or withheld thoughts or deeds, ask yourself, what am I holding on to here? Maybe you are holding out for that well deserved apology or maybe you don’t want to risk going first. Now, consider what it is that you are telling yourself in order to support you in hanging on to that. What do you tell yourself so that you can keep your cards to your chest?

Usual answers to this question are things like, “what’s the point? I have done enough already, I don’t know how, they are not worth it, it would hurt them” etc. Inside all of those kinds of responses lies an excuse of some sort. Excuses excuse us from taking the steps necessary to make changes in our daily life.

Think about a challenge you currently have in your life. It could be a work challenge, a relationship challenge or a health issue. What is your most common response or action that you take in reaction to that challenge? Do you blow up, or shut down, or procrastinate, or bolt. Do you hide, deny, or complain?

For the next week, pay attention to your common excuses. Do you blame your spouse, or put it off until next Monday? Do you give up?  What are your excuses? I challenge you to find three things that you catch yourself doing that might seem like an excuse.

This is a tricky assignment because what if some of it seems real and legitimate? What if, I can’t give up this job with benefits, or I can’t afford another sitter, or it was on sale, or I am too tired, what if all of those completely justifiable reasons are the tiniest bit truthful? If so, be willing to dig a little deeper, under all your perfectly logical reasons, lies a thread. That thread is a big old excuse that probably stems from a fear. Behind your excuses lies your key to uncovering where fear may be getting the best of you.

This week, pay attention to your excuses.  Can you find some common responses or justifications that you use often? Identifying how you withhold, and what you use to excuse yourself for doing so is an essential step in setting you free from your past, so that you can focus on your future.

09 May 2012

Knowing when to say good-bye

No Comments Decision Making, Fearless Living, Free Life Coaching Tips, Love

Follow Your HeartA client of mine who is single and dating recently took a big step and broke off a relationship that on the surface looked all good. She had a nagging feeling that things just were not right – something felt off. She used this three step process to decide whether it was her true self making her feel this way, or her inner voice of fear trying to influence her decision.

Use this three step process to help you check in with your boundaries and get clear about when to say, enough is enough.

Step One:
How do I feel when I am with this person?

If words like free, myself, happy, natural, come up, then you are on the right track. If instead you feel on edge, responsible, uneasy, tense, or on guard pay attention to this. If you can honestly say that your thoughts & feelings are definitely more from the second list, be willing to look at this closer. Be willing to notice these feelings without reacting to them. This means you don’t have to immediately act on them. Instead you get to choose to reflect on them, and then decide how you want to act. Taking the time to pay attention to how you feel when around another person is an essential step in creating intimacy.

Quiet Reflection: 

Ask yourself what is my intuition telling me to do? Intuition is that quiet knowing voice.  The voice that snaps answers at you or tells you that you are stupid, weak, crazy, or too sensitive is not your quiet knowing voice – that is your voice of fear. Your true voice gives you gentle nudges. Take the time to stop and quietly reflect, what is my intuition telling me?

Step Two:
Know what you are committed to.

What kind people do you actively want to bring into your life? Create your own personal list of attributes that you seek in others. Know and be clear about what you actually stand for. If you have been doing the work that comes with my blog, your sense of what your most important priorities are, are becoming clearer to you. Use this good work you have been doing to help yourself really understand what you’re committed to. What is your intention? Ask yourself if you see this person supporting that with you.

Step Three:
Ask for what you want.

When you are clear on what you are looking for, your next step is to ask for support. The truth is that the really good stuff in life does require work. In fact, the work you put in is actually what makes it worthwhile. When you are able to ask for what you want, people are more able to support that. It eliminates the game playing, guessing, and expectations that get in the way of what could be potential relationships. Fear runs many relationships. Instead, be clear and ask for the support that you know you need. It will become clearer then whether this is a person that you want to continue seeing or if it is time for you to say good-bye. It takes courage to leave a budding relationship and strike out on your own again. Let your commitments to yourself be your guide. Your commitment to yourself is always the right path.  

28 Mar 2012

Fear of the Unknown

1 Comment Empowerment, Fearless Living

One of the more common tricks of fear is how it manifests for us in the fear of the unknown. It’s usually situations we are attached to, and often relates to circumstances in life like:

“Am I ever going to get pregnant?”
“When the house sells…”
“Am I going to get a call about that job I just applied for?”

The uncomfortable part of those kinds of life questions is the unknowing-ness that they bring with them. This fear of the unknown is uncomfortable and difficult to live with. The expression, “Patience is a Virtue” is famous because it rings true; waiting is hard to do!

Think about a waiting room. Have you ever had a great time in a waiting room? Trapped in the Doctor’s office that is running 40 minutes late, or anxiously waiting for the delayed flight to arrive so that you can get on your plane home to your family. Waiting rooms can be excruciating places to be.  This common frustration triggers fear of the unknown responses.  In these moments we are forced into the unknown zone because we lack control.  This temporarily dis-empower us. You are stuck. Your ability to take action becomes dependent on forces out of your control. For most people this is a very uncomfortable place to be at.  Fear of the unknown = lack of control.  No one likes that.

The key to conquering fear of the unknown is to notice that what you’re feeling is dis-empowered. In that moment of recognition, it is important to know that just because you are feeling dis-empowered doesn’t me you have to believe it. Feelings are just feelings.  They come and go.  Focus on the truth – you can always find ways to empower yourself.  Conquering the fear of the unknown is done by your willingness to empower yourself, even when you temporarily have no control over a situation. Here are some strategies for shifting the “pain” of waiting into something more empowering.

Tip #1 – Keep your eyes on the big picture
When waiting for important life events to come through, like a job offer, it helps to think about the big picture and use your power of visioning. Waiting during times of uncertainty can be a painful experience because you are deeply attached to the outcome. Detaching can be nearly impossible, and your mind will naturally start to play out scenarios that create anxiety. Conquer this trap of fear by shifting your focus to the big picture. Ask, yourself empowering questions like “where do I see myself a year from now?”, “what kind of life am I going to be living?”, “who do I want to be when I get there?”  If you can focus on the vision of your big picture, you will be better able to shut out the chatter associated with your dis-empowered feelings.

Tip #2 – Avoid the trap of details
You are not using your big picture skills when you become trapped in the details. These are things like obsessively checking emails for a response you are anxiously waiting for, or a reluctance to leave your house because you are waiting for a phone call. Notice if you only have one topic of conversation with your friends, and whether it relates to your unknown. Know that the details are important, but also use trust in yourself to allow you to carry on with other aspects of your life. We miss the gifts that come with being in the unknown zone when we get consumed by details. Dig deep and acknowledge the silver lining that often comes with waiting. Maybe it is time off, more alone time with your spouse, or a chance to catch up on some reading. If your silver lining is unclear, then go ahead and make one up! It can be equally as probable as the worst case scenario trap that happens when our fear of the unknown raises its ugly head.

Tip #3 – Make your “waiting” plan of action
Sitting in the Doctor’s office waiting becomes more palatable when you remember to bring a good book. If you know or have a hunch that there might be some “waiting” time in your future empower yourself  by making a waiting plan of action.  Do you set yourself up by assuming everything will run by a particular schedule? We all know that life happens, Doctors run late, babies come on their own schedule, and sometimes we have to wait weeks  to hear back from people. Empower yourself by deciding how you are going to wait it out. If you approach it like it is a pain in the butt, then that is exactly what you will get! Shift this by asking, if I am going to wait, how do I want to do it? Choose to let your empowered self win the battle of the unknown rather than helplessly allow fear to run the show. At the end of the day both paths lead you to the same place. I would rather work on empowering myself  rather then allow my fear of the unknown to control all of the “in the meantime…” space.

12 Mar 2012

How to make better Decisions

No Comments Decision Making, Fearless Living, Free Life Coaching Tips

decision makingDo you like to sit on the fence? It is nice sitting up there on that fence! There is a good view from way up on indecision peak! You can see both sides very clearly, on one side you have all the Pros of a decision, and on the other side of the fence, all the Cons are clearly laid out.

Having the ability to sit up on that fence is actually a positive trait because it means you do take the time to be reflective and really look at the pros and cons of decision. Where it shifts from an empowering act to a dis-empowering act is when you become comfortable sitting up there, and as a result fail to take action. This leads to a couple of negative things.  1st, you end up walking around with the burden of a decision on you. This creates chatter in your head as you roll the pros and cons back and forth . This chatter inevitably leads to negative self talk or negative thinking which then impacts how you feel about the decision, and yourself. All of this distracts you from being present and happy in the moment.

How many decisions do you have that are undone in your life? They could be big decisions like deciding to have a baby, or smaller things like deciding to register for a course, or join a gym. These types of things weigh on you, whether it be subconsciously, in other words you don’t think about the decision, aka avoid it, or consciously, all you can do is think about it and carry it around with you all day.

Here are three strategies to get you down off the fence and making better proactive decisions:

1) Talk it out. Warning! This strategy needs to be applied with caution. Talking it out is the best way to gain clarity on both sides of the decision. When you are able to do this with someone who is invested in your potential, it is tremendously helpful. We’ve all had experiences in our lives where we were free to just talk.  When we allow ourselves to speak uncensored often times the right decision reveals itself. Talking it out with the wrong people in your life however, can be tremendously damaging to your decision making. Be sure to choose people who can listen impartially to you and not impose their own will upon your decision.

2) Manufacture a deadline. All of my clients know this is one of my favourite tools from my kit of living your best life strategies! When you have a decision to make and you do not really have a time frame to decide by, (ie having a baby, quitting smoking, joining a gym), MANUFACTURE a date for yourself and stick with it. For instance, if the decision is to put your house on the market, it would be easy to sit and wait and consider and weigh your options. When exactly is the best time to do this? You can manufacture a deadline in two ways. One is to say, “okay, by March 30 I am going to decide once or for all.” If you feel like you are actually ready to decide, then press yourself into getting the decision made. Decide on a date to decide by, and get busy!

You can also use this technique to work on giving yourself a break. This requires accepting that you are not actually ready to decide. “I am not going to think about putting the house on the market until March 30.” Doing this supports you in taking the pressure off that causes all the negative mind chatter. If you are really unable to decide, then decide proactively to not decide. Manufacture for yourself the deadline when you will revisit it, and then work on letting it go.

3) Allow potential regret to guide you. There is a quote by Lucille Ball that I love. “I would rather regret the things I have done, then regret the things I haven’t done.” When making big life decisions ask yourself what you think you might regret more. Doing or not doing? Most of us can connect to an experience where we did something that didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but we can still find the lesson or silver lining. To me, that is much more comforting then wondering how things might have been had I not let an opportunity pass. The key to this is to look at decisions as an opportunity. Does the opportunity really support the vision you have for yourself, or if it passed by, could it easily be replaced by another? If it could not be easily replaced, then get honest and ask yourself if you think you will regret it later. A great way to evaluate future regret is to ask yourself: “What would my 85 year old self think of this decision?”

Remember, the purpose of getting better at making decisions is so that you can move forward. Doing things ‘on purpose’ feels so much more fulfilling.  Being decisive creates greater excitement than sitting on the fence watching it all happen around you.

 

01 Feb 2012

How to know if Life Coaching is for you

1 Comment Fearless Living, Life Coaching, Live your best Life

Over the years, many clients have mentioned to me that they thought long and hard before reaching out to a Life Coach.  Although it has become a little more mainstream over the past few years, many people are still very unclear on exactly what life coaching is.

To me, Life Coaching is the answer to “so now what?”  It’s a tool to help with that feeling of being stuck and unable to live within the confines of whatever is making you feel that way.  Many people have tried traditional counseling and therapy, and from that feel they have an understanding of what’s “wrong” with them or where their “issues” came from. Understanding this is important of course, but it’s only 1 piece of the puzzle. That understanding does not mean you have a solution. Many people may have some awareness, but are still unable to release themselves from the patterns that got them stuck in the first place. The longer you feel ‘stuck’, the bigger the challenge it is to get unstuck. When you are stuck, everything else around you seems to get sucked down into the muck too, and the fear of being unable to get all systems firing again paralyses people even further. Time goes by and the status quo remains.

A Life Coach helps you identify the pieces you need to get moving again in order to get unstuck.  A really good friend can help you do that, and you may in fact be really clear about what those pieces are. But life coaching takes things further. Together you and your coach will go the extra mile to gain perspective on what those individual pieces mean, and clarify what, out of all of those pieces, are your real priorities. A life coach listens to what you are REALLY saying, and helps you take actions that support what you say vs. contradict it. Saying and Doing are not the same thing.

The other key thing life coaching can do is help you become accountable to the things you say are your priorities. We still don’t stop there…and this is my favourite part…while you are out in the world doing the things you say you want to be doing, your coach will help you pay attention to yourself and really bear witness to what’s happening. It is at this point that you will really experience the power of working with an expert Life Coach – the personal understanding of how you trip yourself up. Working with a coach, enlightens you to the subtle and insidious ways that fear can get in the way of what you really want.

Life Coaching is for you when you decide are ready to dip your toe into a different perspective. It is work, but I firmly believe the energy it takes is no different than that energy you put into being stuck. Wherever you are right now, is the perfect place to start.

Fearless Living is about embracing your human potential. Certified Fearless Living coaches are at the top of the rapidly expanding Life Coach industry. They have been through an intensive 18 month training program and not only coach Fearless Living, they live it.

I have been a certified Fearless Living coach since 2005. I have had the great pleasure of supporting hundreds of clients on their fearless living journey and would love to chat with you about how coaching may be able to help move you closer to where you want to be. Contact me today for your free, absolutely no obligation chat. What have you got to lose?