It’s Up To You! [the R words]

Jim Rohn

“Nina, you share so much about changing and growth and flourishing. What would you say is top of the list?”

Such a great question! The answer is both simple (taking responsibility for your life and its outcomes) and complex (understanding how self awareness and self management combine with responsibility.) But it’s worth the time and energy if you’re serious about moving forward with your life – and it’s always beneficial to learn more about how we tick.

RSASR

Self Awareness

Self awareness is essentially understanding the positives and negatives of:

  • your drives
  • your values
  • your strengths and weaknesses
  • your attitudes
  • your habits
  • your needs and desires
  • your emotional responses – to your own actions and others’ actions

By being totally honest with with yourself, recognising what works and what needs to be improved, you can act from a position of strength. This builds personal power, boosts self esteem and elevates your effectiveness personally and professionally. You can make good decisions, respond positively to circumstances and set meaningful and achievable goals.

Self regulation

Being able to deal with your emotions, no matter how difficult the situation, by:

  • not acting impulsively
  • not immediately looking for someone else to blame
  • acknowledging your feelings (and those of others) but not allowing feelings to get the upper hand
  • thinking before you respond
  • communicating clearly and calmly
  • staying focused on what’s important
  • looking for the best next step

Self regulation is basically self control to bring about the best result. With this self control we are well-fortified. Without it self-control we are vulnerable. tweet this

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” [Proverbs 25:28 ESV]

Hiding from the truth

Andy Stanley says that, “Irresponsibility is very difficult to see in the mirror.” He’s right!

Psychologists talk about the self-serving bias which is a tactic or process used to protect or enhance self-esteem, in every area of life. Basically, it means that we take credit for good outcomes and blame others for bad outcomes – regardless of how we ourselves contributed to the outcome.

“For example, a student who attributes earning a good grade on an exam to their own intelligence and preparation but attributes earning a poor grade to the teacher’s poor teaching ability or unfair test questions is exhibiting the self-serving bias.” [Wikipedia]

And it’s not helpful in the long term because it deludes us into being less than we can be, when we refuse or fail to take responsibility for our actions. It can also make us unpopular with friends, family and colleagues.

And yes – it is tough to face up to – I’ve had many moments of crying into my pillow when I accepted that I’d played a part in many of the things that had gone wrong in my life. But it’s also incredibly liberating and empowering.

Help yourself help yourself 🙂

It was totally worth the effort I made to overcome the bit of me that wanted to play the victim or the martyr. Like forgiveness, taking responsibility is a huge gift that you give yourself –  the benefits are incredible!

Thank God that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past – every day offers you  a fresh start and an opportunity to plonk yourself firmly in the driving seat of your life and where it’s headed.

When you fully accept that you are in charge of the outcomes of your life and how you react to circumstances, then you can truly move forward. tweet this

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Areas of responsibility:

  • Your words
  • Your decisions
  • Your actions
  • Your health
  • Your finances
  • Your career
  • Your talents, skills and gifts
  • Your life
  • Your spiritual life

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” [Robert Schiller]

Once we get a grip on self regulation and responsibility, we open the door to amazing changes.

You will feel more motivated and more excited about the present and the future. You will feel more able to deal with life. You can plan and set goals. You can stop blaming others (even if it is their fault, deal with the situation) and you’ll know that if problems come against you, you’ll find a way through.

I love the following verse – its sums up everything in this post.

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 5 MSG)

Any questions or comments?  Share them both or email me at ninafcoach@gmail.com. You can also follow me on twitter 🙂

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

Why Consistency is Key to Your Success

 

Graphic source: weheartit.com

Graphic source: weheartit.com

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” [Tony Robbins]

Consistency is crucial. It’s the difference between failure and success. There’s no point in starting something  and being lackadaisical. It’s self sabotage and it destroys motivation

Here’s a hard truth – you may have the best ideas, the best resources, the best strategies, the best plans but without consistency they mean nothing.

Zilch.

Here’s another hard truth – if you’re continually flitting from idea to idea, guru to guru, shiny object to shiny object, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

Trust me. I know.

I am by nature a ‘starter’, not a ‘finisher’. I used to be great at enthusiastically starting new projects or routines and letting them drift away into nothing because I didn’t maintain the effort needed. Then I’d wonder why things stayed more or less the same.  Eventually, with help, I realised what was happening and started to change my approach. And I’ve wondered how many opportunities I lost or wasted. But it’s never too late to make a fresh start!

The people who make it to the top  are the ones with solid, dependable habits,  who get up every day and do what has to be done, properly and carefully – and here’s another key – whether they feel like it or not!

Ashton Kutcher hit the nail on the head when he said that ‘Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.’  And so does success. It’s about making a conscious decision to work for your dreams, creating opportunities for success,  day in & day out.

Consistency builds your reputation

Truth.

How many people do you know, socially or professionally, that you think are flaky or unreliable because you don’t know whether they will come through? How often does this kind of behaviour really vex you? How often do you do it?

Consistency positions you professionally

If you repeatedly show up, always doing your best, always with a positive, can-do attitude, people start to notice and respect you because you’re reliable and trustworthy.

Consistency allows you to take stock

When you implement a new routine or plan and you stick with it you can reliably evaluate and measure your progress  and see how it’s shaping up. You can make informed decisions about what to do next because you have accurate data.

Tips on being consistent

Think long term – consistency is not about speed and how fast you can accomplish something – it’s about longevity.

Build your life so that it will be sustainable and successful years ahead,  how you want it to be five, ten, twenty or more years from now. Every day you’re  adding another brick to your vision.

1) See consistency as a journey rather than a quick fix solution. Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂

2) Know what you’re aiming to achieve and plan ahead.

3) Work your goals. They are the blueprint. Drop anything which doesn’t serve them..Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of achieving your goals –  this is very motivating and encouraging.

4) You don’t have to do everything every day – some tasks/actions can be done daily, others two or three times a week or twice a month and so on.

5) Fix times to certain actions – we are creatures of habit and routine.  By performing certain tasks at certain times, you will quickly discover that you’re doing them automatically.

6) If you let something slip – forgive yourself and get back into routine.

7) Find an accountability partner.  You need someone who is both supportive and willing to call you out if needed. If you don’t have someone, think about hiring a life coach for a couple of hours each month.

8)  Remind yourself how pleased you will be in the future when you reap the rewards of being consistent.

9) Celebrate along the way! Give yourself little treats.

Finally, I have grown to appreciate and love consistency as key to my overall success in both my personal and business life.

I hope you do too! 🙂

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

Simplify for Success [lifehack]

Are you always busy?

Dashing from here to there and back again, with your never-ending to-do list clutched in one hand, your phone clutched in the other as you frantically send out another FB update or  tweet or  text?

Does  housework feel like the labours of Hercules?

Are the important people in your life are getting less of your full-on attention than they deserve?

Do you fall into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, knowing that tomorrow the whole wretched merry-go-round starts again?

Do you always/often feel less than 100% physically?

Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re failing?

Do you want it to stop?

If you’ve said ‘yes’ then here are some suggestions to help you simplify your life.  You might find it challenging at first – that’s OK – do what you can.

You’ll feel better, have more time, feel fresher and more productive. Success and simplicity go hand-in-hand.  And remember it’s an ongoing process – you may wish to revisit some of the items on the list again in the future

hih

Do as much as possible this week and chances are you’ll feel so energised you’ll keep finding more and more ways to simplify for success!!

How can you declutter your home? 

Keep all the items that have sentimental value but generally I think that most of us have way too much stuff – from furniture to ornaments and gadgets – that we hardly ever use. Grab some bin bags and go round your house and decide what you genuinely need and give the rest to a charity shop or a friend and let someone else appreciate it.

What about all those things that are going to be mended some day? It’s time to either mend them or dispose of them in some way – do you have a friend who might love the chance to fix it?

Lots of toys that the kids no longer play with? Send them to a charity if they’re still in good condition.

How many clothes do you have lurking in the back of wardrobes that aren’t going to be worn again? [Be honest 🙂 ] Pack them off to a charity shop or give them to friends.

What about paperwork – shred or bin all those old, useless documents and receipts for something that’s been broken for years etc

How can you declutter your time?

Is there any social activity that you can drop and not really miss doing?

What can you delegate? Are there tasks at work that can be handed over to someone else – at least some of the time? What about chores at home? Can you delegate any of those? Are you able to pay for a cleaner to come in once or twice a week and take some of the load off you?

Maybe you could have a gardener come now and again to do some of the heavy work in the garden?

What about food shopping online? Once you’ve set it up it’s fairly easy to redo it each week and still take advantage of any special offers.  And don’t forget you can book tickets on line as well.

Cook simple meals in the evening and, if you can, make enough so that you can freeze some for another day.

Start saying ‘no’

It’s easy to fill up our time with things that we don’t really want to do or don’t really have the time for. Say ‘ no’ to events and invitations unless you’re excited about going or it’s really important to the other person.  But if  you don’t really fancy that  BBQ on Saturday, then simply say apologise and politely turn down the invitation.

Spend less time on the internet

Isn’t it amazing how 5 minutes checking emails or face book mysteriously turns into an hour or more? 🙂 Limit your sessions on social media and see who/what you can delete from your lists.

Stop trying to multi-task

Multitasking is counterproductive as it burdens the brain and slows us down. Read more here.

Instead of multitasking, group similar activities together and tackle them one after another. For example, set aside time to send all your tweets and emails. Or lump all your errands together and do them in one fell swoop,  so that you don’t need to keep driving to various places.

Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll discover new ways and ideas. Make a start and see how much more productive, happy and successful you are!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

Why you CAN’T Multi-Task [life hack]

Ok. Hands up if you do any of these…..

  • read & reply to emails while talking to a colleague
  • text while you’re walking from one place to another
  • discreetly write out a shopping list during a meeting
  • study while you’re watching the match or your fave series
  • send business related tweets while you’re writing a report or number crunching
  • check Face Book during the sermon

…..and you can probably add a few more.  We live in a world where being over busy has   gained a status that it doesn’t deserve. Forget the designer clothes, posh house – being ‘too busy’ is the sign of success.

Busyness

Our lives are packed these days – literally thousands of new items of information  land on our desks or devices every day.

Plus the usual work-related tasks, housework, shopping, caring for children and/or parents,  walking the dog, fitting in exercise or seeing friends, finding time to read the Bible, pray…….

It’s not surprising that we turn to multitasking to be more productive and to  save a few precious minutes here and there – after all, cognitively we seem able to follow several threads of thought at a time. Right?

Not exactly.

It’s possible to perform ‘background tasks’ – eating and watching TV, running several loads of washing while reading a report – because the background task requires little cognitive effort.

Multitasking refers to when we try to perform two, or more, actions simultaneously that each require attention and full brain power.

And the truth is,   you can’t multitask effectively. Multitasking is a myth.

And a dangerous one.

Failures of Multitasking

We all know that texting and driving can have disastrous consequences.

But did you know that, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” [Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, 2005 – emphasis mine]

The same research indicated that multi-tasking is akin to performing tasks when you haven’t slept for 36 hours!

It’s clear from this that trying to do two or more things at once is totally counter-productive and not likely to lead to successful job completion.

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work

Without getting too technical what happens is that your brain can’t do two things at once. So, it switches back and forth between the tasks, using up energy and reducing your attention. This negative effect is apparently worse the older we get, and has been researched by Adam Gazzaley.

To put it another way, you’re not able to fully focus or concentrate on any of the tasks you’re attempting. Hence  a loss in efficiency and effectiveness as you’re likely to make more mistakes, especially as the day goes on and you start to be tired.

And here’s the real blow – multitasking actually slows you down!

It’s far faster to fully focus on one action then move onto the next.

How Multitasking Affects Health

Dr Andrew Rosen of South Florida’s Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders states that multitasking:

  • “overloads the neurons
  • depletes the brain chemicals we need
  • overloads the central nervous system”

Multitasking can result in:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • reduced memory
  • burn-out

Ways to Cut Back

  • reduce the amount of people/groups you follow  on social media – stick with the ones that really matter. If you hardly ever read those newsletters. unsubscribe.
  • organise your day so that you have strict time-slots for dealing with social media, meetings with colleagues. phone calls etc
  • delegate what you can
  • to avoid interruptions try to find  a quiet corner away from people
  • politely but firmly rebuff people who try to interrupt you unless it’s urgent.  If you can, put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and make it obvious that you mean it
  • focus on one job at at a time – it may take a little practice but you’ll find that you’ll be able to concentrate harder and for longer
  • if you do find yourself slipping back into multitasking, stop, take a short break and then decide which task you’re going to tackle first

If you want to read more about multi-tasking, have a look at  ‘The Myth of Multitasking” by Dave Crenshaw

Multi-tasking is counter productive. It  exhausts you and contributes to impaired performance.  I hope these tips will help you  – let me know! If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments or at ninafcoach@gmail.com & also connect with me on twitter.

 

Defeat Resistance; Be A Winner!

depressed

“Many of us have two lives. The one we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”  [Steven Pressfield]

Ouch!!

When I read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art,  those 2 sentences hit home.

Hard!

And  it’s not just me.

I’ve listened to people in an agony of despair and self-criticism as days drift by without any decisive action.

Maybe you’ve been there too……..

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You can defeat resistance and be a winner!

Resistance affects many areas

  • Creative projects
  • Business building
  • New exercise and healthy eating plans
  • Our walk with God
  • Relationships
  • Studying/writing essays
  • Making a stand for what we know is right
  • Getting involved in community/charitable projects
  • Projects around the house
  • Anything that you might be able to add to this list

Know the enemy

Truth is,  Resistance is far from futile – it’s a strong, overwhelming force that can knock us off our path, overcome our hopes and dreams and leave us reeling in despair and  futility with our self-esteem in tatters.  Over time, it can become a vicious cycle – we procrastinate or give into our fears or self-doubts and we feel a failure which makes taking the right action at the right time harder so we feel more of a failure…… and on it goes.

Slowly over time, not taking the right actions at the right time becomes a habit.

You know how Resistance operates – every time you go to start, something stops you, You don’t feel like it, the weather’s wrong, you should hoover and do another load of washing first, the car needs something doing to it, blah blah blah.

It might look a little different each time, but basically it’s all Resistance.  The result is the same – stuff doesn’t get done – whether it’s running, eating well, writing another chapter, making business contacts.

Resistance is the enemy!  It is the enemy of your life, your success, your purpose and your destiny!

You know when it’s got you in thrall.

Your plans aren’t happening, your work isn’t happening, your progress isn’t happening.

I am reminded of St Paul’s heartfelt lament in Romans 7:15

“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” [HCSB]

Don’t be fooled – You can defeat Resistance

beat r

Resistance might shout loudly and fill our heads with ‘you can’t’, ‘not now, do it later,’  ‘this isn’t gonna work, it’s not worth doing’ and other variations on the same theme, but the truth is, Resistance is all talk.  It has little substance.  A toothless lion, if you will.

It’s important for you to grasp this, because it is incredibly important, so important that Resistance doesn’t want you to know it and will fight to stop you implementing it.

It can be defeated!

How?

[drum roll]

Action!

“Action Always Defeats Resistance!”  [N.M.Franklyn]

What to do to defeat Resistance

  • Decide that this is a battle you are going to win.
  • Accept that it will take a while – there’s no magic bullet.
  • Commit to creating new habits.
  • Start small – decide that you will work on a task for a short period of time (even if it’s only 5 minutes)  and do it. Then give yourself a small reward 🙂  Then go back and do another 5 minutes or 15 minutes – whatever you’ve decided.  Then have another reward/break. Keep this pattern going.
  • Alternatively – decide that you are going to devote 90 minutes first thing every morning to work and do it. Set a timer so that you can see the time counting down 🙂 Then when you’ve finished, give yourself a little treat.
  • Work on your tasks/projects every day – build new habits
  • Know the benefits of what you are working to achieve – this will inspire and motivate you
  • Forget perfectionism – do the very best you can right now.
  • Find an accountability partner. Choose someone you can trust, who will support and encourage you to stay on track.
  • Seek out someone who is attempting to do the same as you – either in real life or through the internet – and join forces to share the journey together.

Get into the Word

“Be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12: 2b The Voice

“Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!”

Psalm 107:12 TM

I will leave you with a great talk by Nancy Missler

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Overcoming Hurtful Words

Source@ Google images

Joyce Meyer says that “Words are containers of power.”

 And we’ve  experienced that power. The kind word that lifts your spirits at the end of a tough day,  the compliment that makes you feel good, the encouragement you are given during a difficult task.

Words also damage.  Words can HURT. A LOT!  I suffered a lot of verbal abuse as a child and young woman. By the time I was a teenager I had developed anxiety and other emotional problems – anorexia, agoraphobia. The negative beliefs  that had grown deep inside me encouraged me to pick relationships with men who would continue the abuse.

“Words have more power than atom bombs.” (Pearl Strachan Hurd)


Humans are social creatures – we need to love and feel loved and share pleasant, meaningful interaction.

So the pain from ‘word bombs’ lobbed at you for whatever reason –    anger, blame,  criticism,  or venting over a situation that has nothing to do with you –  is excruciating.

And it’s worse if they are uttered by someone important to you, such as a valued colleague, friend, partner.  All kinds of emotions are triggered – shame, embarrassment, anger. And it can leave a permanent scar unless you deal with it.

deal with words

You can’t control what others say  but you can evaluate what was said:

  • Was it sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? A backhanded compliment.  Can you put it in a more positive context?
  • Was there some truth in it? Is it highlighting an area you need to work on?
  • Was the speaker having an off day? If so, take a deep breath and let it go. As Christians we shouldn’t take offence.  Proverbs 19:11 states, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offence.” [GW] We’ve all said things we regret when we’re dealing with ‘stuff’ and we hope that others will overlook.
  • Is the speaker generally negative?  Some people just are like that. The best way to handle this,  is to accept that’s who they are and pray for them.

joyce meyer words

Action steps for overcoming hurtful words:

It’s OK to cherry pick the steps that are most useful to you – personally I’ve found steps 1, 2, 5 & 7 helpful.

  1. The most important and effective action step you is to choose to let it go, bless the person and move on. Yes, it’s difficult, but it is possible. It’s like they say – all you can control is your reaction to situations. Think of it as a gift to yourself, setting you free from someone else’s negativity.
  2. Write down how you feel in your journal. Putting words on paper clarifies your thoughts and brings insights. Plus, you can plan what to say if you decide to speak to the person about what was said.  Read more here.
  3. Discuss the situation with someone you trust. Another person’s input often reframes events, giving you objectivity, reassurance and affirmation.
  4. Write a letter to the person who spoke the hurtful words – pour out how you felt when they said them and how you feel now. Let it all out. When you’ve finished, don’t read it, either tear it up and flush it down the lavatory or burn it. Don’t send it!! 🙂
  5. Forgive. I’ve had to do this. It needed a lot of prayer and determination and sometimes it seemed like it was a case of two steps forward and one step backwards.  But it made a MASSIVE difference – forgiving others is one of the best gifts you give yourself.
  6. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to go back to the same situation – you can set boundaries or make adjustments. Sometimes, you need to ask God to bless someone and then let them go out of your life.
  7. Ask God to help you overcome the pain, anger, feelings of rejection etc then believe that He will.
  8. If you have been a long term victim of verbal abuse, you may benefit from seeing a counsellor or other expert.

It is possible to overcome hurtful words – I know this from personal experience of years of negative input.  Make a decision to move beyond the pain of hurtful words, pray, trust and believe.

If you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy: Forgiveness and  We’ve All Been That Dog That Walked 30 Miles: dealing with rejection

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

How A Great Attitude Can Change Your Life

att

Do you want MORE?

Great! Then let’s explore the many ways a great attitude can change your life – and how to get it!

Attitude is more than a way of thinking – it’s a way of living your life.  Attitude influences your decisions, your words, your actions and the outcomes of your life.

A great attitude can get you get a job.

“Studies have shown that people want to be with those who have a good attitude, In fact, for some employers, a good attitude is sometimes a more important consideration than skills. You can train for skills, but it’s difficult to work a bad attitude. Recruitment agencies tell us that if candidates are fairly evenly matched, the one with the most positive attitude will get the job.” (Pam Wyess)

A great attitude can you get  you  friends.

This is a no brainer.

Aren’t you drawn to others who are fun to be with, who have a happy, positive attitude and who embrace life?

So is everyone else 🙂

A great attitude leads to excellence

ralph

I had an ‘aha’ moment when I first came across Ralph Marston’s statement and others react in the same way in my coaching workshops 🙂

An attitude of excellence – doing the very best you can with what you have available at the time – can be cultivated, it’s not innate.  So, if you want doors to open for you, then this is the way to go.

A great attitude gets you friends and admirers.

Positive, motivated people handle problems and setbacks constructively – looking for solutions rather someone to blame. This makes them more productive and waaaaay more popular with their friends and co-workers, because they feel secure in someone so trustworthy.

And this opens the door to opportunity 🙂

A great attitude helps keep you healthy

“A cheerful heart makes you healthy. But a broken spirit dries you up.” [Proverbs 17:22 NIRV]

Research suggests negative thinking is bad for your health but it’s the image of the broken spirit that got my attention.

It suggests no hope, no belief, no confidence, no future.

Because negative thinking is a self-fulfilling prophecy which perpetuates itself.

negativity cycle2But the circle can be broken!

Great Attitude is a Choice

“Attitude to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.

The remarkable thing is that we have choices everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. 

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.”(Charles Swindoll)

I grew up in a home where there was a lot of pessimism and disapproval and  my default position was gloom and doom and this impacted on many choices I made as a younger woman. 😦

Becoming a Christian began the change in me as I began to understand who I am and Whose I am. Romans 12:2 “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” was another stepping stone.

I was electrified when God said to me, as I was musing over my journal, “Face up and face forward.” I took it to mean looking to Him, keeping my head up (confidence) and literally to face forward to the future, rather than dwelling in the past and its various miseries.

It’s also about taking responsibility for your life, which is incredibly liberating! I had been a victim – sometimes of other people’s bad decisions but also of my own attitudes and bad choices. When I ‘faced-up’ to that, my life began to move in a new and better direction.

Discipline & Prayer

It takes both to get a habit of negative thinking sorted, once and for all. And there may be relapses on the way – so don’t feel that it’s game over if you have a bad day.

But  we have help; God gave us a ‘sound mind’ – we can use it to think powerfully, to trust that all will be well and to step out boldly.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” [2 Tim 1:7 NIV]

 

buttI guess the caterpillar isn’t too keen on that middle stage before it becomes a butterfly – but what a transformation!

And how encouraging!

We – you and I –  can be transformed by the renewing of our minds

Our approach to situations can be transformed.

How we experience life can be transformed.

If I can do it, so can you 🙂

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

Goal! – 7 really quick tips to stay motivated!

Keeping motivated can be a struggle but these tried and tested tips will help!

1) Know exactly what your goals are.

You need to be precise: “I want to lose some weight” or “I’m going to go to the gym more” aren’t goals. “I want to lose 7lbs in a month” and “I’m going to go the gym three times a week straight after work” are goals.

If appropriate, your goal should have an end date.

2) Know the benefits of achieving your goal.

Why do you want to reach your goal? How will it make your life better? How will your life improve?

The benefits may be:

better health

better earning power

a sense of accomplishment

a step towards a larger goal

Think about the benefits and write them down so that you can read through them regularly.

3) Only tell one or two people who will fully support you

Pick carefully. Make sure that the people you confide in will back you all the way and that they will hold you (gently) accountable. Having someone monitoring your progress is very motivating. (This is why having a life coach makes all the difference 🙂 )

4) Know what you’re letting yourself in for 🙂

In other words do as much research as possible so that you minimise the chances of unpleasant surprises long the way. Knowldege is power. Speak to people who have done what you want to do or read about them. Knowing that others have succeeded is very motivating.

5) It’s an exciting challenge NOT a chore!

It’s all about attitude – if you think it’s going to be fun, then it will be! If you think it’s going to be dull or difficult, then chances are it will be just that.

Find something fun/interesting/exciting about what you are doing. Maybe see if you can do it with someone else and you can encorage each other!

And remember why it is that you want to achieve the goal(s)

6) Celebrate along the way!

Give yourself regular ‘mini-rewards’ eg if you have done 30 minutes excercise and give yourself bigger rewards when you achieve your goal or make substantial progress towards it. If you have genuinely achieved a step, treating yourself in some way is very motivating! And you deserve it!

7) Allow yourself some flexibility

It may be that you need to revise your goal(s) – this is fine! Just make sure that you know the “what and the whys”

If you slip up or have a bad day, forget it and start again! Trust me, you are not the first person to have a hiccup along the way 🙂 Just get back in the saddle and carry on.

If you have any more tips/comments, let me know in the comment box below:)

Thank you for reading this blog.

Straighten out your self image.

“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” ~ Zig Ziglar

imirror

I bet you know someone just like my friend Laura – beautiful, kind, capable, intelligent and yet totally plagued with self-doubt. Laura has little self-confidence and low esteem and nothing that we say to her seems to change her opinion of herself. Laura’s self doubts cost her dearly – for example she was too reluctant to try for a job she would do brilliantly.

And Laura is not alone in her feelings of self doubt and insecurity, despite huge evidence to the contrary – most of us rate ourselves less favourably than our friends and family do. According to Professor Leary of Wake Forest University “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept.”

To put this another way, you filter or assess what others say about you and match it to what you already believe about yourself. So if someone praises you, it’s possible that you might just think they’re being kind rather than 100% truthful.
However, if you have done the best you can (an Attitude of Excellence) you are making a big mistake to totally dismiss their comments.

The Vicious Cycle

Equally, some of us tend to blame ourselves when anything goes wrong, whether we are responsible or not. This reaction can reinforce our toxic thinking about ourselves, setting up a belief system in which we expect to fail or get something wrong, making it more likely that we will fail. It become a vicious cycle.

The better way is to analyse what happened and learn from it. Truth is that we are always going to make mistakes sometimes, that’s life.

How do you see yourself?

How do you think this year is going to go for you? Are you going to be successful, fulfilled, happy?

The answers to these questions matter. How you see yourself and what you expect to happen influence both your decisions and your behaviour.

If you see yourself as inadequate or a failure, it will show in your body language and people will ‘read it.’ It will show in how you approach tasks. It will show in how you talk to yourself. There is a lot of research that suggests that we believe what we say about ouselves more than what others say. I am going to post on this soon.

And of course the opposite is true. If you believe you are going to succeed, you will convey that to others and to yourself. This positive feeling of expectation will motivate you to keep going and it will help you to notice opportunities.

Who are you listening to?

It took me a long time to accept that my self worth is dependant on how God sees me and not how I see myself or how others see me. I know that I am far from perfect (! as anyone who knows me will tell you) and yet I also know that God loves me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has good plans for our lives and Jesus told us that He came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10) However, He also tells us that the thief will come to steal, kill and destroy.

Don’t listen to the thief, dont let him steal your self worth or your future.

Some tips and suggestions

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.(the bully might be you) There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life —body and soul— in his hands. What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Matthew 10:28ff italics mine.

Ask God to show you areas where He would like you to change. Confess and repent and then let go. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Make a list of all the negative thoughts/expectations you have then, for each one, write a faith-filled statement or affirmation from the Bible and say them out loud every day. Keep telling yourself that you can do it.

Hang out with people who support you, encourage you and will give you great advice. Read/listen to people who have succeeded in areas that you want to make progress in.

See yourself as someone who is loved, and capable. Always do the best you can at that moment and take a Godly pride in your successes.

As always I welcome your comments and ideas- thank you for reading this post.

Is your body language saying the right things?

One of the best things that I’ve come across for ages is Kris Valloton’s Prince and Pauper Test – here

It’s a really fascinating test – lots of great questions and he goes through some of the reasons behind possible answers at the end.

The test isn’t just about money – it’s also about how we see ourselves and obviously that has an impact on how we think, the decisions we make and what happens to us a result of our behaviours and actions.

In a popular section of one of my coaching workshops people discuss how others perceive us or, to put it another way, how we come across to others. Albert Mehrabian stated that communication is:

  •  38% is tone of voice
  •  55% is non-verbal cues (eye contact, posture etc).   So, how quick are you at maths? 🙂 Yes, these figures mean that only
  •  7% of how you come across depends on the words you say!

These figures are fascinating – and scary. The fact that only 7%  of how others perceive the genuineness of your communicated message depends on your words is thought-provoking indeed.  

So if there is a disconnect or difference between what you are saying and your non-verbal cues (body language) and/or tone of voice,  listeners are more likely to believe the body language and tone of voice,  rather than the words.

This disconnect can cause the listener to feel uneasy and possibly view you negatively. On the other hand, when your words and body match this will generate trust and confidence.

It is true that your body language will alter depending on who you are with – you probably stand and sit differently with family than you do with your boss or the bank manager.

So what can be done to ensure that you always comes across as congruent and trustworthy?

Your body language reflects both your emotions and how you see yourself.  If you have a negative self-image it will show.

First of all, check that your thoughts and feeling about yourself are in line with what the Bible says about you.

Remember that God loves you. One of the verses that helps me with this is John 10 v10  A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.” (New Century Version) Don’t let the thief  ( negativity, toxic thinking etc)  steal and destroy what is yours, but step out knowing that you can have a full and fulfilling life. 

Repeat Bible verses out loud to yourself until the words sink in and become a part of you and your thought patterns. You will find some of your own that have meaning for you but here are a few suggestions.

“I am determined and confident. I am not afraid or discouraged, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go”

(Joshua 1 v 9)

“I am secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes I look around me and take my rest in safety. I lie down and none make me afraid.”

Job 11 v 18/19

“I am strong and of good courage, I do not fear nor am I afraid, for the Lord my God, He is the one Who goes with me. He will not leave me nor forsake me.”

Deuteronomy 31 v 6

Secondly, take notice of your body language when you are with people – if you feel that the way your body language isn’t conveying the message you want it to, then change it and notice if people respond to you differently.

If you would like to discover how to improve your body language there is a great article by Tomesia Ingram on the facebook page (scroll down for the link on the right)

Your feedback is always welcome and do join the new facebook page, Successful Living With Mountain Movers – just scroll down and click the ad on the right of this blog 🙂 All the twitter info is there too 🙂