Maria Connolly, LPC

Category: Change Your Life

Be Proud of Yourself and Unleash the Power of Small Wins

If you find it hard to be proud of yourself, learn how to complete your past, which includes intentionally noticing and celebrating the power of small wins.“Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.” ~ Paulo Coelho

This may be a very uncomfortable question, but I’ve got to ask it…are you proud of the person you are today? Surprisingly many people think they’ll be proud of themselves only when they accomplish or achieve something in the future. Maybe you even think it’s wrong to be proud of yourself, because of the culture you’ve grown up in.

On a related note, have you noticed how many goals, resolutions, and aspirations are based on not liking yourself? Most New Year’s Resolutions are approached from a scarcity or lack mentality based upon negative thinking…”I’m not skinny enough; I’m not smart enough; I don’t have enough money; I don’t have the life I want to live.” This can be so discouraging! The thing you dislike about yourself can easily become an obsession that overshadows all of the wonderful things you are.

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The ABC’s of a Life Vision: from Dreaming to Achieving

You can use these same 6 specific steps that I consistently use to turn my dreams and life vision into an exception life – I call them my Life Vision ABC’s.“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” ~ Jonathan Swift

Have you ever been encouraged to put your dreams “out there” and let the Universe bring them to you? That’s a common coaching practice today. While I agree there are benefits from positive thinking, achieving your life vision is not as simple as waiting for someone or something else to deliver your dreams to you on a platter.

We can’t expect things to just happen without us having to do any hard emotional or physical work to get it. Where is the self-satisfaction and self-esteem in that? We grow as we see ourselves doing what we didn’t think was possible. (Examples of a little victory and a huge victory.)

Over time, I’ve noticed that I consistently use the same specific steps to turn my life vision into reality. I call them my Life Vision ABC’s. Be sure to give yourself plenty of creative time and space to work on this project. You won’t be able to do it justice in one day.

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Not Good Enough? Only You Can Change How You Feel. Here’s How…

When you let “I’m not good enough” drive you, you give your power away and aren’t in charge of your life, so here are tips to help you change that feeling.“We see things not as they are, but as we are.” ~ H.M. Tomlinson

I’m just not good enough” is a phrase I hear from many of my clients. Maybe they don’t use those exact words, but the feeling behind many of their roadblocks can be traced back to whether or not they feel like they measure up in their own minds or in the mind of someone else.

For example, one client said to me, “I’m not happy.” Why? “Because I worked really hard on a session for my client and she didn’t respond well at all.” Is that really your fault? “If I was a better coach, they’d love everything I do.” Is that realistic? “Maybe. Maybe, not. I just feel like I’m not good enough to be a coach.” Bingo!

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Kick the Power of Commitment into High Gear & Make Your Dream Come True

The unstoppable power of commitment helps you achieve your goals and achieve your dreams by reminding you of how badly you want your desired outcome. “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ~ Vince Lombardi

We often hear about the need for willpower and getting tough with yourself to create the best version of yourself. I’ve written blog posts on how you can use both of these to your advantage. However, willpower and self-discipline, by their very nature, are internal forces you use when you don’t necessarily want to do something, but you know it’s for your own good to do so. And therein lies the flaw to solely relying on willpower and self-discipline — if you don’t really want to do it, you’re NOT GOING TO DO IT! To achieve your goals and attain your dream it’s imperative to first answer the question, “How badly do I want it?” because that kicks in the awesome and unstoppable power of commitment!

Of course, willpower and self-discipline have their place. They’re handy for keeping you on track and getting you past the times when you’re feeling low or are momentarily distracted or tempted to take your eyes off of your desired outcome. They remind you of your passion and get you back in alignment with the power of your commitment. And once that happens, the distraction or temptation loses its power over you. I love how Kenneth Blanchard puts it:

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

Consider this: people who excel, for example Olympic gold medalists, aren’t driven by their willpower or their self-discipline. They don’t wake up each morning and think, “I’m so looking forward to making myself do something today.” No, they’re driven by their vision of standing on the highest podium, bending their head to receive the shiny medal, as the crowd goes wild, cheering their name! They want that prize more than anything, so they’re willing to do whatever it takes to beat everyone else. That’s the power of commitment!

While it’s good to strengthen your willpower and self-discipline, it would serve you best to focus on strengthening your commitment to the few things that are truly important to you. The more committed you are to an outcome the more real it is to you, and the easier it is to choose the things that support that commitment. As Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”

Maintaining your commitment is often easier when you buddy up with someone who has similar commitments.

Louise Santiago and Maria Connolly team up at Newave Leaders to inspire and assist women to bring forth the leader withinFor example, several years ago, I enrolled in a coach development program through Coaches Rising and met Louise Santiago. I’m a somatic coach, and Louise is an executive leadership coach. We quickly realized we had a deep commitment to helping women identify and bring forth their innate leadership skills to expand their world, their community, and themselves. We began a business partnership at Newave Leaders where we empower women and we lead a life-enriching annual women’s retreat. These retreats are opportunities for highly-motivated women to travel the world and explore how we can use the power of commitment to achieve the next level of growth. (If you’re interested in learning more about Newave Leaders, check out our blog, or sign up for our newsletter.) 

Working with Louise has helped me become crystal clear that intentional self-leadership is the core principle for my own coaching practice. To make intentional commitments requires that you make sense of your story, understand where you come from and what you believe, and importantly, how your emotions are showing up in your body. All these things are shaping your ability to step into the next phase of your life.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” What promise have you made to yourself that hasn’t become a reality yet, because you’re not quite sure how to make it happen? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I love working with women who want to unleash the power of commitment in their lives.

“What Is My Gift?” The Question that Unlocks Your Place in the World

“Don’t die with your music still in you.” ~ Wayne Dyer

What makes you different from other people? What’s that one special thing you bring to the table that no one can do like you do? Surprisingly, these two questions can even leave highly successful people speechless. We have so much trouble assessing ourselves, knowing ourselves. But if you’re brave enough to do the work, the answer to the question, “What is my gift” will give you unending confidence and will reinvigorate your thirst for life.  

Your gift is not a talent or the skillset you’ve acquired. It’s the thing that you’re intrinsically good at without any effort on your part. You display it at work and on vacation, whether you’re alone or with someone. It’s fueled by your deepest passion and nurtured by your highest purpose. It could be how you can:

  • Stir the pot so people bring their best to the table in new and creative ways.
  • Make sense of a situation or data and know what the next step is.
  • Mediate and resolve any conflict.
  • Sing like a rock star.
  • Make people laugh.
  • Get things done.
  • Show empathy.

Why does it matter that you answer the question, what is my gift? You can certainly live by mindlessly going through the motions, being a cog in someone else’s wheel. But if you want to live an extraordinary life, you’ll find your gift.

To find your gift, you’ll first want to know what’s keeping you from identifying it.

What are your roadblocks to answering: What is my gift? Here are some common ones…

I’m so ordinary I couldn’t possibly have a special gift. Let’s nip this one in the bud right now! There has never been, nor will there ever be, another YOU. You are a unique combination of genetics, environmental influences, hopes, dreams and desires. Someone else may do what you do, but they’ll never do it like you do.

Teachers, parents, or bosses, make me feel less than and unworthy. Not everyone lives in a nurturing environment. When your unique gift isn’t acknowledged or is worse, belittled, you can learn to minimize its value or lose sight of it altogether. Don’t let their shortsightedness rob you of the power that comes with finding and sharing your gift. Do it for you and for those around you.
 

I don’t want the spotlight on me. It may feel more comfortable in the shadows. By staying small, you may think you’re honoring others, so they stay in the spotlight. But in reality, you’re selfishly withholding from them something that could make them even better. Your gift plus their gift can create a synergy that creates something neither of you can do individually.

Get the focus off of yourself and what others might think of you, and on to the positive outcome you can make. Even if you fear success because you don’t think you deserve it or you’re not ready for it, remember what Maryanne Williamson said,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’”

I don’t want to be too pushy. It’s good to recognize that others should be allowed to shine, but don’t think that means you can’t shine too! The key is to learn better communication skills so you can express your gift in an authentic and totally comfortable way, while, at the same time, accepting the gifts of others.

I don’t want to get involved. Taking responsibility for and using your gift mindfully takes guts. Yes, it’s easier to procrastinate and let others take over while you wait for the perfect time to shine. Life is short and unpredictable. Do you really want to be that person always standing on the outside looking in and who says, “I wish I would have…”

Not only is it important to know your own gift, but we can help others discover their gifts too!  If you’d like to learn how, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). We’ll explore how you can bring your gift forth in a more fulfilling and meaningful way.

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