“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents, and interests.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg
I love my job! I actually do! Recently I took a vacation in Italy, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to see my sweetie and start working with my clients again. I love making a difference in their lives. I confess, though, that when I made my career change, I was apprehensive. But looking back, I don’t regret it. It’s well worth making a career change at 30, 40 or later, if what you’re doing right now is not filling your soul with joy and happiness.
In today’s entrepreneurial world, you can turn your passion into your source of income too. A job doesn’t have to be about being a cog in a wheel or putting in the time so you make enough money to support yourself. If you can dream it, you can make it happen, if you’re not afraid to take the leap. But how do you get from here to there?
I know it can be scary to make a career change at 30, 40, 50 or older. By this time, you’ve settled into a certain lifestyle. You may still have college debts to repay, and if not that, then credit card debt may have you firmly in its grips. Besides that, family responsibilities, such as children, need to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, the invincibility you felt as a youth has faded. Your dreams may not have been realized. Life may have delivered some serious knocks that make you doubt yourself and your abilities. I get it.
That’s why it’s so important to ask some tough questions and be totally honest with yourself. It takes courage to investigate and uncover your deepest thoughts, desires and values. Too often we make choices based on what we think others expect of us. But that’s a poor way to live.
If you’re ready to break out of your box and see what the world really has to offer you, then take a fresh look inward. Start digging deep by making a running, pro and con list about your life and career. Record what’s working for you and what is not. Always keep this list with you (I suggest you use a Note app on your phone that can sync across all of your devices) and add new points to it, as they come to you.
Here are some questions to consider before making a career change at 30 or any age:
- What do you like and dislike about your living situation? What do you want to change?
- What do you like and dislike about all of your relationships, working and personal? What would you change in each of them? This one will take some time to fully explore.
- What do you like and dislike about your current career – your role, responsibilities, salary, etc? What do you want to change?
- What will make you feel challenged so that you reach your full potential? Go big!
- What dreams are being realized and what can you make happen tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now?
Don’t hold back from recording absolutely everything that comes to mind. Don’t let resistance take over and keep you from being totally honest. Suspend all judgment for this exercise. There are no “rights” or “wrongs” when identifying your true feelings. Your emotions don’t make you a “good” or “bad” person. They’re just a starting place for building the life you’re meant to live. Once you identify how you feel, you can further explore why you feel as you do. Then you can address any inner conflict that is holding you back from changing careers at 30 or really any other stage of life.
Many people find that it’s helpful to enlist the help of a life coach, when doing this deep self-exploration. A good life coach can hold you accountable, plus help you tease out answers that may be difficult for you to see on your own. If you’d like my assistance, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work out a plan that gets you where you want to be.
“Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” ―Katherine Dunham
Do you feel like you’re not strong enough? For many, they equate being a strong person with having emotional and mental strength to cope with and excel at anything encountered. But if you’re wondering how to become a stronger person, is focusing on mental and emotional strength the only personal strengths to work on? What does it really mean to be a strong person and how do you become a stronger person?
Becoming a strong person means different things to different people. Be cautious…if your definition of how to be strong is flawed, you’ll end up with negative self-talk that you’re not “strong enough”.
Here are some common misconceptions of how to become a strong person:
Strong people never cry. In many cultures, men especially are taught that they can’t show this kind of vulnerability. But crying is a natural response for releasing great emotion. It takes strength to be okay with being vulnerable, no matter what other people think.
Strong people never back down. It takes wisdom to know when to stand up for yourself and your values and when to walk away. It takes strength to refuse to be manipulated or drawn into a pointless argument. Being the bigger person allows you to avoid mistaken pride, which can get in the way of disengaging from someone else’s issues. You aren’t required to take on their “stuff”. That’s on them.
Strong people never feel fear. Your brain protects you by making you feel fear. The first step to tapping into your personal strength is to identify if the fear is rational or irrational. As you mindfully experience it, you can process fear without judgment. In that way, you control your fears, rather than them controlling you.
Strong people never lose it. When life falls apart, it’s natural to have an overwhelming rush of emotions. Go ahead and complain, but at the end of the day, accept it for what it is and move on.
Strong people never have doubts. We all second-guess ourselves at time, because we can’t foresee the future. When you start down one path and it’s not the right fit, have the flexibility to shift and try something else. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t work out as expected. Calmly acknowledge your truth and know that no matter what happens, you’ll be okay.
Now that we have some of the misconceptions out of the way, let’s examine how to become a stronger person by focusing on these four personal strengths…
1. Physical Strength. Often overlooked, physical strength is at the core of your emotional and mental strength. If you know you’re not physically strong enough to do something, then your mental and emotional strength also decline rapidly.
Traditional psychotherapy and personal-development coaching focuses solely on thoughts and emotions, somatic coaching, on the other hand, incorporates your entire body. The body, mind, emotions and spirit influence each other constantly, even when you’re not aware of it.
If your core muscles are toned and you can easily center yourself, you’ll have an immense amount of strength. Somatic practices, like the Feldenkrais Method®, help you develop a deep awareness and connection between your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength.
2. Mental Strength. Just as your physical strength grows when you push and challenge yourself, so too, you can prepare your mind to handle hardships by challenging your mind with mental obstacles. Mental training techniques can help you create a better self-image and actually boost your fitness level, too.
3. Emotional Strength. An emotional response is complex energy released by an instantaneous interaction between feelings, thoughts, hormones, body sensations, and more. Because of unresolved experiences and training, we can develop emotional polarities that sap our strength, because they cause internal conflict. You can restore your inner harmony by practicing NLP Parts Integration.
4. Spiritual Strength. Spiritual strength springs from creating an inner peace that you can extend outwardly to the world. It involves having an intimate knowledge of self without judgment. Self-compassion fosters compassion toward others. Self-forgiveness generates forgiveness toward others, as does self-love, self-kindness, and self-generosity.
A practice of mindfulness is central to developing these four personal strengths. Self-awareness is a crucial element in your quest for becoming a stronger person. As Lalah Delia said,
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”
Would you like to be able to deal with life’s challenges with more strength and grace? Feel free to contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you on this exciting journey.
“You draw to you the people and events which resonate with the energy that you are radiating. You attract what you are, so be your best.” ~ Lynda Field
Are there days where you feel like a dark cloud is following you all day long? Like you never should have gotten out of bed? First one thing goes wrong, then another…until all you see is disaster, problems, frustrations and failure. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. However, did you notice I said, “…all you see…” The truth is you’re seeing the bad, so you’re attracting bad; if you can see the good, you’ll attract positive energy instead.
Just as a magnifying glass intensifies the sun’s energy as it passes through it, to the point of catching paper of fire, your focus intensifies the energy you project – positive or negative. You can choose to focus on the bad and make your day worse, or you can focus on the positive.
You absolutely have the power to turn a bad day around by mindfully practicing these 10 ways to attract positive energy:
- Walk to attract positive energy. Physically remove yourself from an environment that is bringing you down and go for a walk outside. Tune in to, and feel, the positive energy in your new surroundings.
- Practice positive meditation. Once you arrive at a place private, be still for a few minutes, and imagine the most beautiful and serene place possible. Stay with this image, as you feel your body relaxing.
- Do something you enjoy. If you can’t leave the building, play some music and dance. Do anything that is proactive and gives you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task is. This allows you to mindfully engage your senses so you feel powerful and more productive. As Joe Rogan says,
“There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results.”
- Notice your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your inner self-talk. Oftentimes, a disruption occurs when you feel conflicted because one of your Parts is not fully integrated. If that’s the case, use my NLP Tea Time Exercise to become centered, congruent and empowered.
- Reestablish control. Worry and stress lowers your energy and damages your health. No matter what you fear might happen, know that you will get through it. Work on mastering your emotions and controlling you thoughts, so you can show those fears who’s boss.
- Let go. If you’re holding resentment, stress or anger in your body, do mindful breathing exercises to release that negativity, so you make room for positive energy to flow back in. One of the most empowering ways to attract positive energy is to forgive and quit blaming either yourself or someone else. Release the negative energy or power that your past has over you.
- Reaffirm your power. Believe that you can influence your life for the better. You show strength when you don’t retaliate, and are able to turn in a new, positive direction. Concentrate on doing your best at work and taking care of yourself and others, without comparing yourself to anyone else. You attract positive energy when you pick yourself back up and keep going.
- Re-set your intentions. How do you want to change your energy for the better? When you set powerful intentions, you create within yourself a new and specific state that serves your purpose in life.
- Eliminate negative energy sources. This could be a draining relationship, unproductive activities, unwholesome food, or inadequate sleep. Draw healthy boundaries that empower you.
- Be determined to begin tomorrow with positive energy.What you might need most is a good night’s sleep. But before you doze off, affirm to yourself, “I am in control. When I wake up, good things will come my way.” New beginnings attract positive energy.
I realize this is an abbreviated list of some not-so-simple ways to attract positive energy. I’d love to share more details with you. Why not pick 1 of these 10 tips that you’d like to work on, and then contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Remember: huge changes begin with the first step.
“Never pull away suddenly from a negative thought or experience. Stay with it until you are indifferent to it or until it turns beautiful. Look at it, love it, then let it go.” ~ Thaddeus Golas, Author
Have you noticed that you intensely remember a bad experience from years ago, but the pleasure you experienced last week is easily forgotten? This isn’t just a matter of long-term or short-term memory. Instead of taking in the good, our brains are hardwired to remember painful or bad experiences, as a way of protecting us from possible harm in the future. If we get anywhere close to repeating something disturbing, our brain sends us down the rabbit hole of negativity, to keep us safe.
The brain learns from our experiences and how we process or “file” them. Think about how you’ve been “filing” every experience in your life. If you’re like most people, you tend to see the bad in them, so your brain files them into one of your over-stuffed negative files, like your “Resentment File”, “Grudge File”, or “Self-Doubt File”. Some examples:
- A confrontation with your spouse made you feel bad, so anytime disagreements arise, you get angry and defensive, because you don’t want to feel powerless again.
- A snake scared you, so every time you see a snake your skin crawls.
- Your neighbor, Stephanie, hurt your feelings, so every time her name is mentioned your brain retrieves resentful feelings.
Was there any good in these experiences? Probably. However, you didn’t see it or you resisted taking in the good. In all of these cases, your brain only retained a snapshot of negativity and erased the rest of the whole picture, which included a lot of good that could have brought you happiness.
Whereas, if you change the way you process your experiences and lean toward mindfully savoring the moment and taking in the good, you’re telling your brain to file them in your “Happiness File”, or “Gratitude File”, or “Love File”. Instead of automatically dumping each experience in one of your negative files, you’re teaching your brain to see, enjoy, and use the good.
“Everything that is created begins in the mind.” ~ Ruth Fishel, Author
An effective way to rewire your brain is to use the H.E.A.L practice coined by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. In his book, “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,” he explains a process for deliberately and mindfully taking in the good. Here’s how this acronym works:
Have a positive experience in real time or as a recent memory, like when Stephanie took care of your dog while you were away on vacation. Feel the good emotions that go with it – pleasure, contentment, joy, etc.
Enrich it. Stay 15 to 20 seconds with your positive thought with a broad, open body, mind and spirit. Enhance and expand that good feeling by experiencing what it feels like in your body. Do you feel light? Warm? Safe? Loved? What other pleasant sensation do you notice about the experience?
Absorb it. Mindfully let it sink into your body, mind and spirit. Breathe with it and stay soft and open.
Link positive and negative material. Briefly recall a negative experience that you want to rewire, like when Stephanie hurt your feelings. Bring forward the positive, enhanced, absorbed memory, while keeping the challenging moment in the back of your mind. Let the two mingle together, until the positive takes on more importance and then anchor this new resourceful state. The next time you talk with Stephanie, you’ll feel a profound shift within yourself, because you’ve made this transitional link.
As you practice savoring the moment and taking in the good every day, you can turn your experiences, into lasting inner strengths, such as resilience, balance, and self-compassion. Remember that practice involves using your new skill repeatedly. If you’d like guidance and accountability on your journey toward a more positive outlook, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to meet you!
“To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”—Gail Sheehy
“If just one more thing goes wrong, it’s going to send me over the edge! I’m at my breaking point! I can’t take anymore! I’m too discouraged and overwhelmed as it is.” Have you ever felt like that? If you struggle with maintaining an optimistic attitude, your coping mechanism may be to shut down. You’re not alone. Yet, you are lacking the one key ingredient that will make getting through hard times more rewarding.
How can getting through hard times be rewarding?
Even though our lives are packed full of demands, we can face all of these, plus the uncertainties that loom on the horizon with optimism and courage, IF we tap into the inextinguishable power of hope.
Yes, there will be pain. However, optimism fuels hope, and hope fuels resiliency, which can see you through seemingly impossible situations. Looking past the challenge and shifting your focus to better times ahead, can change everything. As William J. Brennan, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said:
“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”
When we accept the struggles and challenges of life as part of our education, then we’ll be able to get through the tough times more gracefully. Here are five ways you can mindfully practice hope during hard times…
1. Take care of your health. Our bodies and spirit run on the fuel we give it. Eating healthfully and getting a good night’s sleep can often restore your balance and give you a new and hopeful perspective. Also, be careful about what you’re feeding your mind and spirit. Reject negative talk, whether it’s coming from yourself or others. You deserve better than that!
2. Share your feelings. Recognize the emotional states that are keeping you trapped in despair; they might be pride, fear, or shame. These are common emotional triggers. Hope reassures you that your trusted loved ones will not reject you for being human.
3. Express gratitude. This goes beyond the mental exercise of keeping a gratitude journal to get your mind focused on what you do have. It’s an activity – out of your gratitude list, look for ways to build others up with “thank yous” and compliments. The more positive messages you send out, the more positivity comes back to you.
4. Give meaningfully to others. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a long walk every day in the park, so you can smile at everyone you encounter. The size of your goal doesn’t matter, as long as it feeds your sense of purpose and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
4. Take one step at a time. Hope, like an actual building, is built one brick at a time. Seeing the big picture can often overwhelm, so focus on the one thing you can do right now…and do it!
You’re tougher than you think. People have always survived; and some have even thrived, while getting through hard times. Why not ask those around you what inspires them to keep going? Also read or watch true life stories of courage that inspire you. I’d love to hear about the people who inspire you – please come over to my Facebook page and share what you’ve learned from their stories.
Remember that baby steps lead to transformation. If you’d like guidance and accountability in your quest for a more hopeful state, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). It’s easier when you have help.