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Posts Tagged ‘Personal Growth – Professional Growth’

Learn How to Let Go of Your Ideals and See the Beauty in Everything

When life gets messy, you need to know how to let go of your ideals so you can hang on to the beauty of each situation or circumstance and enjoy the ride.”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

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Let go of the ideal that is causing you pain or discomfort. Visualize it floating out of the room or away on the breeze.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Notice your resistance. You either don’t want to let go or you can’t yet see the beauty in the moment.
  3. 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.

Keep Moving Forward – Only Look Back to See How Far You’ve Come

If you’re wondering how you got to where you are in life and how to get back on track, here are 7 ways to mindfully keep moving forward toward your dreams. 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:

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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?

Make the Most of Life by Getting Your Badass Attitude On

 If you want to make the most of life, stop waiting and start going after the badass life that you want and deserve because you’re the only one who can do it“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!

A Letter to My Younger Self – Life Lessons Worth Learning

As I write a letter to my younger self, I reflect on life lessons I’ve learned that are most valuable for living a life of purpose, meaning and fulfillment.“Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.” ~Thomas Moore

Have you ever written a note or letter to younger self? I’ve found it to be an effective way to develop greater connection and deeper intimacy with yourself. To forgive yourself for past mistakes. To love yourself unconditionally. Which in turn helps you be more open and compassionate with others.

Let me share my letter to my 16 year-old-self with you.

 

Dear Younger Self,

When you’re 16, everything seems so intense. One minute you’re in the depths of despair and the next you’re over the moon with happiness. That kind of emotional roller coast can be exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting. So I hope you don’t mind if I share some things I’ve learned over the years. If nothing else, it will help me to put these life lessons down in writing.

As I was saying, emotions can be so hard to handle. And you weren’t born with the tools to manage them. You’re not aware of how far reaching this is yet, but parents and schoolteachers can only teach what they know. And they don’t know everything! (Yes, I know you suspected that already!) Their knowledge can even be faulty!

For example, you were taught that some emotions are bad like anger, pain or selfishness. So you feel like you need to choke these emotions back and hide them from others.

But emotions are neither good nor bad. You feel it, so don’t deny it. It’s important that you acknowledge the way that you feel and process those feelings properly, so you don’t get ‘stuck’ with emotions that don’t serve you.

For example, do you remember how you once adored your father, but how he became so difficult to be around? If you stay stuck in those feelings of alienation, you’ll miss out on a lot of wonderful experiences. Not only with him, but with men friends too. It’s important to continually update your emotions. Extinguish the emotions that are holding you back and nurture the ones that help you be the best you possible.

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s selfish and vain to think so much about yourself.” But that’s not true. We all have to cultivate intimacy with ourselves before we can have intimacy with others. Otherwise, you’ll never know who you really are or feel safe revealing your true self to others. If you don’t accept yourself, the good, bad and ugly, you’ll feel fragmented and conflicted your whole life. I want you to accept all your Parts and feel integrated, whole and at peace with yourself.

You’ll come to realize that people have their reasons for what they do and say. We all have beliefs, values and reasons for doing what we do. Some are just more focused and skilled in their journey through life than others.

By being aware that what people do and say is information about them, you’ll get clues as to the way they think. You can use that to identify their IOS (Internal Operating System. You’ll learn more about this when you study NLP.)

More than anything else I want you to slow down, appreciate each experience and notice everything. Free yourself from expecting a certain outcome, and allow yourself to enjoy every moment of life. Be kind to yourself and to others. Be mindful and be thoughtful.

Living a balanced live is a daily task. I’ll give you an example of what I mean… In 2010, I co-developed with my good friend Nando Raynolds, a wellness program called Life in Balance: The Seven Keys. We did this because we realized that most people we see in our practices lack some basic skills. This seemed to be contributing to their anxiety, depression and general life dissatisfaction.

So we created a simple and methodical way to learn and practice skills like mindfulness, self-care, self-compassion, setting goals etc. The main point of our program is that progress depends on our daily focus and consistency in practicing those skills. The good news is that you never need go it alone. There’s always support available if you’re open to it.

As a final thought, please don’t fall into the trap of focusing on perfection. It’s impossible, so don’t waste the time or energy. Instead strive for competence. That’s what will bring you the greatest satisfaction and joy.

I’m proud of the woman you’ve become. Your desire to learn and grow has made my life rich. Thank you for that.

With all my love and appreciation, Maria

 

Writing a letter like this allows you to spend time with the person you once were, which can be enlightening, healing, and soul nourishing. I’d love to hear what this exercise reveals to you. Please feel free to share your most valuable life lessons with over on my Facebook page.

Embrace Discomfort – A New Attitude that Purposefully Expands Your Comfort Zone

Learn how to master and embrace discomfort and expand your comfort zone, because that’s what will make you continue to grow as a person and professionally. “If you want to choose the pleasure of growth, prepare yourself for some pain.” – Ritu Ghatourey

Do you remember having growing pains when you were young? They weren’t pleasant were they, but who would want to stay the size of a baby? That’s just part of growing up.

However, what most people don’t recognize is that we continue to have growing pains – emotional, mental and spiritual ones – throughout our lives. However, discomfort now becomes our choice – we can avoid it, endure it, or embrace it. It’s no longer automatic.

Since our brains are hardwired to avoid pain, we often choose to avoid discomforts rather than embrace them. As a result, our personal and professional growth can become stunted.

What are some attitudes that people adopt to avoid the discomfort of growing?

  • I’m happy where I’m at.
  • I want to take it easy.
  • I want to be comfortable.
  • I don’t want to do that because it makes me uncomfortable.
  • It’s too hard.

The trouble with staying in your comfort zone is that you can become self-absorbed, complacent, or easily bored. And if you have a creative nature, you’re going to be miserable.

Learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can develop. It’s how you’ll live a full and purposeful life. As Jean Shinoda Bolen said, “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”

But why is growing emotionally, mentally, or spiritually so uncomfortable? Because it involves taking a risk. Letting go of control. Venturing into the unknown. But that’s okay. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.

When you regularly seek out fresh experiences, you become more creative and emotionally resilient. It makes you stronger and more confident as you see each success and conquer each hurtle. Can’t you look back and remember things that used to make you uncomfortable, but you can now do with ease?

How do you embrace discomfort?

  • Develop a craving for something more in your life.
  • Resist the pride of perfectionism.
  • Be willing to make “mistakes” and see them as learning experiences instead.
  • Deliberately seek out things that push your limits.
  • Stop avoiding what’s hard.

Oftentimes you have to expand your understanding to overcome obstacles in front of you – understanding yourself, others, or how things work. It challenges your mental skills. But your brain is like a muscle and the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Conversely if you don’t stretch it, it will become flabby.

Make time for continual learning. Try a new language. Take a mindfulness course. Start a new hobby. You can tackle any project you set your mind to. As Calvin Coolidge said, “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” 

If you make a practice of welcoming discomfort, your comfort zone will expand to include and embrace discomfort as a natural part of living. Then you can have a similar attitude to American writer Jonathan Lethem, “Discomfort is very much part of my master plan.”

Most things seem impossible until you do them. Remember that others have felt just as you do and they were able to push beyond that feeling. So can you.

Sometimes it helps to have someone coach you through a big growth spurt. If that’s where you’re at, I’d love to partner with you so you can more easily embrace discomfort. Please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

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