“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.
”Be in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in your life. Be thankful for the storms as well as the smooth sailing. What is the lesson or gift in what you are experiencing right now? Find your joy not in what’s missing in your life but in how you can serve.” ~ Wayne Dyer
What do you do when life gets messy? Your schedule is blown out of the water…people don’t respond as you expected…LIFE happens.
Do you crawl back into bed? Retreat into a movie marathon? Become paralyzed in inactivity and depression?
OR…do you know how to let go and see the beauty in the experience? If you’d like to handle change in this more positive way, then you are going to be blown away with the exercise I’m going to share with you…
Our brains crave order and simplicity; so change throws us off-balance. You want a “perfect” or ideal world. You want everything to be smooth sailing. So when you run into choppy water and the ride starts getting bumpy, it catches you by surprise every time.
How do you adjust your grip on life so you can hang on and still enjoy the ride? It’s a matter of learning how to let go and re-center on the positive. Counterintuitive isn’t it? Learning how to let go in order to hang on!
No, it’s not simple. But it’s a system for life that you master if you practice long and hard enough. Here’s how you do it…
How to Let Go and See the Beauty in Everything
- Notice when you’re getting anxious or frustrated. Are you tired, hungry, cranky, or have unexplained pains as your body is trying to communicate with you?
- Recognize that the problem isn’t the external situation. (Don’t play the blame game.) The cause of your anxiety is coming from your internal ideals. For example, you want order, but your high ideal for orderliness (that isn’t being met) is causing frustration and anxiety.
- Breathe, re-center and calm yourself. This helps you become mindful in the moment, with no ideals, seeing the situation with new eyes and an open heart.
- Let go of the ideal that is causing you pain or discomfort. Visualize it floating out of the room or away on the breeze.
- Own the fact that you have the power to create a new ideal for the situation at hand. Instead of looking outward, take some quiet time to look inward.
- Start seeing your current experience as perfect. That’s right! No matter how messy or uncomfortable it may seem at first, look for and see the beauty in it.
These steps are easy to say, but not easy to do. Why? Because we fight change. We hate to relinquish control. It takes real effort to see beauty in chaos. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to open up and soften yourself. How do you do that?
- Feel the hardness in your heart when someone disappoints you. Feel the frustration in your neck and shoulders when someone interrupts you or makes a mess of things.
- Notice your resistance. You either don’t want to let go or you can’t yet see the beauty in the moment.
- Consciously and deliberately open your heart and mind. Even if it’s just a little bit. Work at being more accepting of what’s happening. Maintain your attitude of gratitude. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Look for new opportunities that have suddenly opened up for you. Look for ways to express kindness, love and joy.
Change is hard for so many people. Sometimes you just have to get tough with yourself and make yourself do it. Would you like some help in mastering the messiness of life? I’d love to help you learn to let go of your ideals and focus on the beauty. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work through the rough patches so you can more fully feel the exhilaration of life.
Stuck in a rut? Taken a wrong turn in life? Can’t seem to find your way back to your dreams? Maybe you’re even wondering how you got to where you are in life. Perhaps years ago you started down a path and it’s taken you further away from the life you expected. Now you don’t know how to get back on track or how to keep moving forward.
Even if you feel lost, the good news is that it just takes one baby step at a time to move forward to where you want to be.
Discover seven ways you can keep moving forward towards your dreams:
- Learn to love yourself more. Isn’t it true that we can be our own worst critics? It’s a battle of the mind. Just remember, your mind is under your control, not the other way around. So don’t let your mind get the best of you. Give yourself some slack and choose to always think the best of yourself.
- Realize you are not broken! About 15 years ago, when one of my teachers showed me that cultivating self-love could be the answer to my anxiety and depression, I was shocked. I wondered, what did that have to do with what I was feeling? I really thought I was totally broken! But it was refreshing to realize that a bit of self-love could change the quality of my inner environment.
- Don’t be afraid to start over. Don’t define yourself in one way only. Embrace everything that you are. If the career you chose a decade ago isn’t making you happy, try something new. It’s okay. It’s not wasted time. You’ve learned a lot in your life’s journey that will help you build the type of life you really want.
- Let go of things you no longer need, even if they once meant a lot to you. It’s easy to settle or compromise. You may not get everything you want, but if you pay close attention, you can make the best of every outcome, and still get a lot of what you want in life. Learn to manage your time, energy and attitude appropriately. Asking yourself, “How much do I really want or need this?” will help you determine if it’s something you can let go or something you need to fight for.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more you expand your comfort zone, the more you’ll look forward to growing. Subconsciously you may have been taught that discomfort should be avoided. Yet, you’re made to feel upset, sad and hurt for a reason. These and other feelings are a natural part of living. The key is to face discomfort and learn from it. This is what ultimately molds you into your best self.
- Do your best and be content with achieving competence. Comparing yourself to others or even a younger version of yourself is not productive. Obsessing over perceived “flaws” will blind you to the beauty of your diversity. Remind yourself that you are good enough.
- Remember, it’s not all about you. Sometimes we have the tendency to put ourselves at the center of the universe, and see everything from the viewpoint of how it affects you. When self is your sole focus, you may start feeling sorry for yourself. Looking for little ways to help others will get you out of the pity party. And it helps solve feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy too. It’s interesting how serving others benefits the giver more than the one who receives.
Look back over the years and reflect on how far you’ve come…the obstacles you’ve overcome, the fears you’ve conquered, the dreams you’ve made come true. Now, think about what’s next on your Keep on Moving Forward wish list.
If you’re ready to form an accountability partnership, I’d love to discuss your options. Why not contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Dreaming doesn’t change your life. Actions do. Are you ready to keep moving forward?
“Let life be an adventure. Live your life to the fullest, unfettered by fear of the ghosts and goblins of what might occur. Calamity and death happen as well to those who hide from life as to those who squeeze every drop of zest from it.” ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Are you ready to do something really impressive? Do you want to make the most of life? Have you had enough of taking it and you want to fight back to finally get the life you want? Do you want to kick the make-do attitude to the curb and go for the gusto?
Then you want to be a badass! Sometimes we just have to call it for what it is to make the point.
But not so fast…wanting and doing are two completely different things. So do you want it? More importantly, are you willing to put in the dedication, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to make the most of life? I hope so. Because life is short and no one can guarantee tomorrow. My recent Women’s Retreat in Italy has reinforced the fact that it’s vital to make the most of every day that you live. The ladies I coached were, in their own ways, all badasses too!
How do you become a badass and make the most of life?
The first thing you need to do is give yourself permission to live larger than life. You have to believe that you deserve the best. Then don’t wait for it to come to you. You have to go get it!
Listen to what your inner voice says is most important to YOU (not someone else).
Then write out a “My Best Life Ever List”. What would your perfect life look like? Prioritize it in order of importance to YOU.
Accomplishing one thing may make the next one easier to attain, so think seriously about the order you do things in. For instance, clearing out the clutter and simplifying your life will free you up to bring something really meaningful in.
Prioritize, what is the Number One thing you can do Right Now to begin accomplishing your priority accomplishment. GO DO IT! You heard me. Don’t write it down. GO DO IT!
What’s the next thing you need to do Right Now to accomplish your priority task? GO DO IT! You’re getting my drift, right?!!!
Making lists is fine, but it’s only when you kick your butt off the couch that you can become a badass and make the most of life.
As you wake up every day, think about how you can push yourself just a little bit more today as you chase your dreams. We’re not looking for huge shifts in your attitude and actions…just gradual, sustainable, baby-step changes.
Listen to your body. If you need to rest one day, that’s okay. But if the need for rest is motivated by discouragement or negative talk (from yourself or others), don’t listen! Get tough with yourself and do just one thing. You might be surprised by how that breaks the dam of procrastination and invigorates you to do another.
A book I’ve really enjoyed and got me going is The Badass Life: 30 Amazing Days to a Lifetime of Great Habits–Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Christmas Abbott. The key is balance: using essential daily practices for the mind, body, and soul. She provides a month-long-program based on building mental toughness that leads to positive daily habits that help you make the most of life.
Why not grab a copy of the book, contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype) with me so I can help you remain accountable during those 30 days. I’d love to be your Badass Buddy!
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit
“Urggh! I can’t do anything right today! Everything I touch is falling apart!” Have you ever felt like this? Once your day starts off on the wrong foot, is your whole day shot? Or do you have a sure-fire way of resetting your emotions, so you can get over it faster? Do you know how to get out of a funk quickly?
We’re not always up and peppy. I don’t think humans are meant to be, do you? There are ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Most of us go through a predictable cycle of peaks and valleys. However, it can become a perpetual problem, if we spend too much time focusing on the negative. I agree with this beautiful expression from TinyBuddha.com:
“Our minds are like oceans. Like the tides, thoughts come in and then retreat back. When your mind is stuck, the ebb and flow of your thoughts are all negative. Each new thought process makes the negativity even stronger, creating a snowball effect.”
Being in a funk is normal; staying there is not a healthy option. A funky mood is signaling that it’s time for reflection to make a change in your life. Give yourself space to do that and then move on. Otherwise you’ll experience these effects of a sustained funk:
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Loss of energy and enthusiasm
- Isolation and withdrawing from friends and activities
- Lack creativity
- Persistent feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Inconsistent and irregular sleep patterns
It’s taken me years to recognize the signs, and still at times I can spend precious time in a pretty deep funk before I can get out on purpose. But the good news is that we can all learn how to get out of a funk through practicing mindfulness.
Previously I shared five ways to mindfully shift your level of happiness. Here are some additional ways to show you how to get out of a funk and back to enjoying life to the full:
Listen to what your body is telling you. It may be a case of just needing restorative sleep, good nutrition or self-care to regain your emotional balance.
Identify the negative, reinforce the positive. Your feelings help you understand and explore why you’re in a funk. Allow them to guide you, without judgment. Try writing them down. Start with how you’re feeling. “I feel ” then “I feel anxious because .” Keep digging until you get to the root cause so you can extinguish its power over you.
Take a break and do something creative. You may not think you have time, but how productive are you going to be in your funk, anyway? You’re not. So give yourself a break and restore your energy by getting out of your head and into your body. Creativity helps you process your mood and express things you can’t with words alone.
Break a sweat, get the endorphins pumping, and work the funk out. I use a number of exercises to bring myself out of a funk. If, because of injury or limitations, you need a low impact solution, try The Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Re-education. Learn to release the tension in your body and you’ll release the tension in your mind.
Use NLP to do a reality check. Connect with when you were at the top of your game. You’ve been there before. You’ll be there again.
It may be tempting to blame other people or circumstances, but we are individually responsible for our own mental state. You get to change how you internalize and deal with what life throws at you. I would love to partner with you and share personalized techniques for excellence with you. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.