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Continually grow as a person and find your work/life balance

Self Sabotaging Behavior – 5 Traps Women Need to Avoid to be Truly Happy

self sabotaging behaviorWhich would you say is more damaging to your health: stress from a car accident or from a messy house? Which is worse: a breakup with a romantic partner or a friend who makes you crazy because she never follows through on what she promises?

The answer lies in whether the stress is short-term or long-term. We’re actually equipped to handle life-threatening situations. It’s the constant, nagging stress that causes problems. Why is that?

“Today, many people live in stress mode all the time, and the constant release of steroids like adrenaline and cortisol can lead directly to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, depression and cancer, and indirectly to bad health habits like undersleeping and overeating.” says James Ehrlich, MD, clinical associate professor of endocrinology at the University of Colorado.

Interestingly, women produce a higher amount of oxytocin than men do, which counters the rush from cortisol and epinephrine and puts them into a “nurturing, tending and befriending” mode, according to a WebMD article on why men and women react differently to stress. This means that if you’re not careful, you can find yourself focusing solely on giving to others, which will leave you depleted.

What is it that makes your stress level rise? Is it chaotic surroundings or disrupted schedules? Do you fall prey to negative self-talk or negative body image fed by food and fitness issues? Or do relationships make your blood pressure rise?

The underlying cause for many of these stressful issues can be traced to self sabotaging behavior. You’ll achieve greater happiness and freedom to excel if you adjust your perspective on the following five traps:

  1. Imagined fears.Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection and even fear of how your decision will impact your family, friends and others – all of these are paralyzing. And it’s all imaginary. It’s not real. How many fears in the past actually came true? It’s better to focus on what’s real. Your desires for a better life are real. Your dreams can become real if you cultivate a mindset that gets rid of self sabotaging fears.
  1. Perfectionism. Women tend to compare themselves to others wishing to be smarter, more attractive, or more successful. These comparisons are harmful. The only comparison that’s beneficial is – how can I become a better version of myself? Love yourself for who you are.
  1. People Pleasing. Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting. Worrying about what others think is nonproductive. Let everyone know what you need and think. If you set boundaries, you won’t fall into the trap of not having a life of your own, being at everyone’s beck and call. The world needs to see the “real you”, and they’ll respect you more. You absolutely do have gifts, skills, and personality traits that are extremely valuable. Value yourself, and others will value you more.
  1. DOing instead of BEing. When you measure your value by how much you achieve, will you ever feel like you’re good enough? Not likely. You won’t be able to slow down for even a moment because there’s so much to do! Give yourself a break and learn to be mindfully present in each moment. Enjoy the journey. In the end, what will make you feel more satisfied – accomplishments or a life well-lived?
  1. Self-punishment. So many women struggle with feeling unworthy or undeserving. They minimize their value as an individual. They downplay their accomplishments. You won’t become egotistical if you stop to recognize and acknowledge the positive good you do. When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, choose to self-correct, find a better way, and keep moving forward. Everyone fails. That’s how we learn to do better.

Are there areas in your life that could use some attention? I’d love to partner with you as you create a life in alignment with your purpose. Join me in my new workshop, The Power of Embodied Presence – Empowering Women Through Somatic Education and the Art of Relationship. This highly experiential, one-day workshop draws on neuroscience, mindfulness, somatic principles, and adult development theory to help you unlock your inner wisdom and create harmony between your mind, spirit, and body. Mark your calendar – July 16th. Click here to learn more.

Life Motivation – Finding the Harmony Between Action and Fear

Life motivation can make you stronger and unstoppable when you harmonize or balance your fears with your motivation, so learn five life skills to do so. Is your closet full of unfinished projects? Are your shelves covered with training courses you started, but never completed? Do you have relationships that are unfulfilling and stagnant? How often do you feel really excited and motivated to try something new, but as you begin, fear creeps in and stops you from taking the next step necessary to moving forward? If this is the case, your life motivation is lacking harmony between action and fear.

As I discussed in a previous blog post, our perception of fear of failure is one of the biggest thought patterns we must heal. Fear is simply an indicator that you’re entering an area that brings you discomfort because of lack of knowledge or your own limiting beliefs are manifesting themselves. (We’re not discussing the type of fear that is based on real threats to your safety.) This fear is letting you know that this is where you must open yourself up for further growth in life. Action is not at odds with fear, but is really a powerful collaborator with fear. When you develop a healthy balance between action and fear, you become unstoppable. How do you achieve this harmony?

Five skills to create collaboration and balance between action and fear.

Fear and action are both forms of energy. So, by shifting your perspective, you can transform the fear energy into courage and optimism. Then you can tap into the power of that positive energy in five ways:

  1. Focus on the positive.Often we only focus on the end goal. Unfortunately, this sets you up for discouragement if you don’t meet the perfect schedule or deadline you’ve created for yourself. The fear creeps in as a defeatist attitude – “I messed up. I’m never going to… Why try anymore.” Instead, look at what you’ve already accomplished even if it seems small. Find joy in every evidence of progress and don’t allow the negative thoughts to zap your power. Be happy with where you are today, not thinking about how much further you must go to achieve your goal.
  1. Set milestone markers along the way.Life is a journey, so enjoy the trip. You wouldn’t drive across the United States in one day. You set markers like, “We’re going to stop in Wyoming tonight and we’ll be in St. Louis by Monday.” We need markers for our life goals too. And as you reach each milestone you should reflect mindfully and feel a sense of accomplishment for the progress you’ve made, which in turn builds life motivation and dispels fears.
  1. Celebrate your victories. Don’t let these milestones pass by without making a big deal about them. Celebrate your victory and make it a permanent memory – one that you can recall when the going gets tough. You’ll remember that you did it then, so you can do it now.
  2. Pat yourself on the back.You would commend a friend for a job well done, wouldn’t you? Don’t withhold that praise from yourself. Generously give yourself some well-deserved approval. It’s not being egotistical. We need to acknowledge and feel good about our accomplishments to build our self-esteem and confidence.
  1. Fuel the momentum. Momentum fuels motivation. It gives you a sense of anticipation that you really can achieve your goal. Each time you feel fearful, address the fear, either through increased knowledge or awareness, and you’ll free yourself to rise above and ride the new wave of excitement leading to your inevitable success.

You can shift your perception of fear. It doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. You can view it as a building block for life motivation and momentum. In our FREE talk on July 7th: Choose Your State of Mind, Nando Raynolds and I will show you how to use NLP to do this easily. It will be held in Medford, Oregon at 6:30 PM to 8PM. Learn more about it by clicking here or contact me for more details.

Building Momentum to Achieve Excellence In All You Do

Building momentum lets you do more, with less effort and greater results - learn 3 ways to harness the power of momentum and stop always-starting-over cycle“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie 

I want to do it, but… I’ll do it when… I’ll get around to it if

It’s easy to master the art of procrastination, isn’t it? We put it off. We postpone. We ignore it. We hope it will resolve itself. We just don’t get started. And this inactivity leaves us feeling stagnant and in a rut. It feels like we’re always struggling in an uphill battle.

Never rising to a challenge or finishing a task undermines self-esteem. There’s no sense of adventure. No feeling of accomplish. No satisfaction, self-confidence, or ambition. There are only excuses so we don’t have to leave our comfort zone. That’s not the kind of life I want to live. What about you?

I want to feel alive, to try new things and experience each moment fully. I want to derive joy and satisfaction from what I do and who I am in all my relationships. If that’s how you feel too, then building momentum and harnessing its power is essential.

Momentum is an interesting phenomenon. Once you get the ball rolling and you build some momentum, it becomes self-perpetuating. It just keeps rolling under its own steam. Remember how it feels to ride a bicycle. The first few pumps on the pedals give your leg muscles a workout, but as you pick up speed, that bicycle takes you a long way while you coast along for the ride.

The longer you wait to take action, the more you procrastinate, the harder it is to get started and build some momentum. Circumstances will never be perfect. If you’re waiting until they are, you’ll be waiting forever. It’s not going to be any easier tomorrow. In fact, delaying makes it worse, because the resistance in your mind gets stronger. We convince ourselves that what we want is too difficult and we talk ourselves out of trying.

Taking consistent action is vital to building momentum. If you consciously and consistently take action every day, you’ll see that it takes less effort on your part. You’ll begin to enjoy your activities and you’ll feel empowered and confident. How do you do it?

Building momentum in three easy steps:

1) Make a commitment to yourself because the action is important to your happiness. Keeping the rewards of your goal in mind will fuel you to keep taking consistent action. If it’s not that important to you, just let it go and focus on something that really matters. Once you make that commitment, the majority of your attention should go toward moving forward. That’s how you build momentum!

2) Take the first baby step. What’s the one thing you can do right now to get started? Get up and do it! (Please wait until after you finish this article, of course.) Even tiny actions will eventually build momentum and produce results, as long as you’re consistent. 

3) It’s the journey, not the destination that’s important. More often than not, you will learn more about yourself and grow as an individual if you focus on the process of how you get to your goal. Many people abandon their goals because they don’t see the big vision results they expected fast enough. Slow down and enjoy the process. Don’t get so obsessed with results that you discourage yourself. In other words, focus on the baby successes, the changes you make, and the knowledge you acquire as you move forward.   

What do you want to accomplish? I encourage you to begin today with one baby step that moves you toward that goal. This daily success will fuel your momentum to continue tomorrow. And do you know what builds momentum even faster?  Getting someone to help you, instead of trying to do it all alone. I would love to assist you. I’m hosting a new workshop, The Power of Embodied Presence – Empowering Women Through Somatic Education and the Art of Relationship, on July 16, 2016. Click here to learn more.

Overcoming Fear of Failure – One of the Most Valuable Lessons Learned in Life

This simple exercise in overcoming fear of failure is one of the most important life lessons you’ll learn, for it frees you to become the best YOU possible.“Failure is the foundation of success and the means by which it is achieved.” ~ Lao Tzu

One of the most common fears people have is fear of failure. Some even have a phobia about it called Atychiphobia. How do you feel about failure? Has it stopped you from trying to do something, even though you wanted to? Or do you view failure as a steppingstone to achieving better things? What value do you place on failure? Do you view it as a negative that’s taking away from your life or a positive that’s giving you a valuable gift? Just imagine how overcoming fear of failure will improve your quality of life.

The way you feel about and manage failure will profoundly influence your ability to achieve excellence. There are three key points to creating a positive view of failure:

  1. Redefine Failure. Failure is really a great teacher if you don’t let perfectionism get in the way. Perfectionism causes you to beats yourself up emotionally. Shame based emotions like these lower self-esteem and makes you want to give up.
  1. Have realistic expectations. Build your self-esteem by only demanding of yourself what you can realistically do. Don’t set yourself up for toxic emotions such as guilt or shame. They only make you feel less than deserving of success.
  1. Heal your thought patterns. Creative visualization and mental rehearsal will transform failure into opportunity and hope – the faith that things can be better. Stimulating hope is vital for being resilient and able to move through life gracefully.

Instant gratification is an enemy to success. Realistically, it takes anyone thousands of hours of work and education to achieve excellence and mastery. It takes time to hone your skills. The truth is there’s always going to be someone better or worse than you are. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself, not anyone else. The real question is, “How can you become a better version of YOU?”

Neuroscience shows that we all cycle through four stages between our thoughts and actions…

  • Thoughts are the triggers and catalysts.
  • They, in turn, elicit your emotions.
  • Emotions cause a chemical reaction in the brain.
  • These neurotransmitters and hormones produce a physiological response in your body that affects the quality of your performance, either beneficially or detrimentally.

This is where the power of visualization helps in overcoming the fear of failure. Remember – your brain can’t differentiate between what you visually imagine and what is really happening. Here’s a simple two-part visualization exercise to help you retrain your thoughts – the foundation of your actions – to be more positive…

The first part of the meditation exercise for overcoming the fear of failure.

  • First thing in the morning, sit quietly with your eyes closed so you can fully concentrate. Take three deep breathes. Think of something or someone that makes you feel heartfelt appreciation. Focus on this for a moment.
  • Next shift your thoughts to happy thoughts or prayers for someone else.
  • Now turn your focus back to the day ahead of you.
  • Identify the top three priorities for you today and their positive outcomes.
  • Visualize the ideal result you hope to achieve.
  • Open your eyes and proceed with your day.

The second part of the meditation exercise for overcoming the fear of failure.

  • At the end of the day take a few deep breaths.
  • Reflect on what happened during the day.
  • Acknowledge and feel good about the successes and fun you had. Express gratitude to the Universe or a higher power.
  • Now honestly acknowledge any setbacks. Take responsibility for it, but don’t wallow in it. Appreciate that you’re one step closer to realizing your goal. Express gratitude for this feedback and learn from it.
  • Tell yourself out loud, “I give myself permission not to be perfect.”
  • In your imagination, go back in time, and make believe you’re doing it over. Reframe it and change the scene as you imagine handling the situation better.

You can’t control everything that happens in life. But you can control how you think about it, how you interpret it, and the value you place on it. This exercise is a powerful tool that helps you do that more effectively. I would love to partner with you in your quest for excellence. Contact me and we can talk about what’s the next best step for you to take. And be sure to download your free copy of The 7-Point Wellness Assessment – Create Change Through Awareness. 

How to Get the Life You’ve Always Wanted

Get the life you’ve always wanted – learn this exercise that lets you extract value from every experience and gives you skills to make your dreams come trueDo you love your life so much that you greet each day with excitement and anticipation? Would you like to increase the quality of your life so that you do? How do you get the life you’ve always wanted?

We all experience set backs. The usual human response to being disappointed or afraid is to disconnect from your dream, telling yourself, “It’s not for me. It’s not meant to be.” Nevertheless, you have to be willing to risk failing and experience disappointment as you strive to achieve your goals. Otherwise, you won’t step out of your comfort zone because it seems too scary.

Raise your expectations back up to living life passionately. Continually strive for your peak experience that makes you happy and satisfied. Despite whatever challenges you face, you CAN get the life you’ve always wanted.

Positive results come from deliberate action. If you immediately apply the exercise I’m teaching you today, and you practice it daily, you’ll get results that will reinforce your beliefs that you CAN make your dreams come true. In turn, each win will be the foundation for new habits that eventually will create the life you’ve always wanted. You’ll see that you can learn to derive the maximum value from each experience.

The exercise that creates greater awareness and regulates your desires.

In full disclosure, I learned this wonderful exercise from Tony Robbins. For it to work, you must fully and actively participate. It can’t be just a reading exercise. The goal is to learn to rate all of your experiences as you use your power of thought and your sense of feeling.

Step 1: See how things really are. Be honest with yourself about your present situation.

Step 2: Be committed to finding value in everything you experience, even the hard things in life. Always ask yourself, “How can I make the most of this situation?”

Step 3: Learn to rate your desire.  Right now, select ONE item (try a piece of food) and focus on only it. On a scale of minus 10 (the most repulsive thing in the world) to plus 10 (I have to have it NOW!) where would you rate your desire for that thing? This targets a quality of feeling or sensation that you’re going to work on.

Step 4: Incrementally increase your desire by asking yourself the following questions

  • If my desire is at +4, what would make me want this at a higher level, say +6? Seriously. What thoughts and feelings will you have to concentrate on to make you want it a little bit more? Keep thinking about it and looking at it until your desire actually increases.
  • Now take it up a notch to desire level +8. What would make this item even more desirable to you? What do you have to think and feel to make it even more appealing?
  • Finally, take it all the way up to desire level +10. What did you feel and think to make it absolutely irresistible, so that you have to have it NOW?

It’s time to break that state of urgency, because we’re not done. Get up and walk away and think of something else until you can come back and continue.

Step 3: Incrementally decrease your desire by asking yourself the following questions…

What would make this item a little less desirable? What are you thinking and feeling to change your desires? Continue to work your way down the scale until your reach minus 10. Don’t give up until you feel repulsed by the object.

Step 4: Bring your desire level back up to the range of plus 4.

We all have different patterns of thinking. Some people use their imagination and add something to it to make it seem less desirable, like mentally adding salsa to that glass of red wine. Others change their focus and start thinking of consequences, like lying sick in a hospital bed because of eating the item. Others seek distractions.

Did you notice your pattern of thinking? When you create greater awareness around how YOU think and feel about any object or activity, you gain control over your desires. You’ll utilize patterns that work, and know when to interrupt patterns that don’t work.

You can create extraordinary experiences any time by consciously deciding how you want to think and feel before you engage in the activity. You learn to target a sensation, measure its desirability, and take conscious control of your emotional state by determining your pattern of thinking. Always ask yourself, “What is the quality of experience I want in this situation? What conditions must I create in myself, in other people, and in my environment to achieve it?”

Awareness gives you the freedom of choice and control over what you think and how you feel. You get to decide what everything means to you. To delve deeper into getting the life you’ve always wanted, please do these two things:

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