Do I Love Me Enough?

Its valentines day – everywhere is full of hearts and flowers and couples who are all loved up.  And its lovely because it makes us think about what really matters in our life.  Things tend to be a little different in the Trafford household as its Hubby’s birthday so I have to work extra hard to spoil him.  On the whole I think we get the balance right.

And its balance that I wanted to talk about today.  Its important when we talk about who we love to remember that we should love ‘me’ too. 

How often do you take time out to really appreciate the things that you do for yourself or even make time for yourself. 

So when you’ve finished with valentines day and the flowers have faded, set a date for “Love Me Day” and do something special  – just for you – to appreciate you, what a wonderful person you are and to thank you for simply being you.

You’re worth it.

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If you struggle to appreciate you and who you are, it could be that your self esteem is feeling a little low.  Give Caro a call on 07714 216388 today to book your free consultation to see what you could do to feel “worth it” again.

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Comfort Zone Leap Part II – Stepping Up To The Mic

In last week’s post I shared with you my thoughts on the OMG state – a state of mind where your inner voice continually tells you that you’ve made a mistake and its all going to go horribly wrong.

I met up with my fellow comedy challengers again last week.  We’d all prepared some material – short comedy sketches to test on each other and I felt OK about it.  But when we got to the meeting room – there was a microphone and a speaker.  How can one inanimate object scare me so much.  I panicked at the thought of using it.  I quickly realised that this was my negative self (Frankie) trying to sabotage me.  What a brilliant opportunity to practice and use the mic now rather than face it for the first time at the show.

Turning thoughts around into a positive outcome is a great technique to use when you start to panic over something.

P1070681copyright Carolyn Trafford

I’d also really worried about my material.  Having stood in front of a mirror and read it out, it neither sounded funny nor was delivered in a funny style.  I was really nervious when I stepped up to the Mic.

Yet I was greeted with laughter from my 14 strong audience.  Loud laughter! Imagine what that will sound like with an audience of 300.  And better still the feedback I received was that it was almost there.  So my second learning point today is:

No matter what you say, do or in fact believe, when delivered to someone else it will be interpreted differently, gather feedback and if its positive believe it as readily as you would if it were negative.

Well I’m off to practice for this weeks meeting, I’ve added a few bits, changed a few bits and streamlined some of it, so we’ll see what this week throws at me.

Sometimes we need help, encouragement and motivation to achieve the things we are aiming for.  Call Carolyn today on 07714 216388 if you need help with yours and to book your free 45 minute consultation.

 

 

 

 

Who Is Your Worst Enemy? – That’ll Be Frankie.

Fortunately when I ask myself this question, my list of enemies isn’t that long…

Yes of course I have annoyed a few people over the years, and of course there are a few people who I have annoyed. But to class as actual enemies there is probably only one.

According to the Oxford English dictionary:

enemy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛnəmi/

noun (plural enemies)
a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something

…And its using that definition that allows me to identify not my worst enemy, but thankfully my only one. That person is often me. Why? Because its me that can be blamed for getting in the way of my plans and dreams. Its me that at times actually stops me doing things that I want to do.

I don’t set out to do it, but I keep doing it.   Almost 18 months ago I was made redundant after 24 years.  One of the small rewards I was going to give myself on receipt of my remuneration was a trip on the Norwegian Fjords.  Its not the most expensive cruise, yet there is a little voice in my head asking me if I can justify spending the money right now.  When is going to be a right time?  I don’t know other than to say sometime before I die and I don’t know when that will be.

Another example is when I spy an opportunity for my business.  Sometimes that little voice in my head pops up and says “I’m not ready yet” or “its a big step“.   That’ll be Frankie.  Frankie is the name I’ve given to my self doubt.  Frankie is the part of me that lacks confidence.

Do you have a Frankie, talking you out the things you know you ought to be doing? 

I’m sure you do, they’re hard to get rid of, although there are lots of things you can do to help manage them.

Acknowledge your lack of self belief.  That’s why I named mine.  He/she exists because they have a name.

Have a conversation with yourself – talk back to your Frankie.  When you hear him/her talking you out of doing something , create a positive persona.  If you need to give it a name.  Its not crazy only you will know you do it – unless you go and announce it on your blog of course.  Remind yourself exactly how good you are.

It sounds strange, I know, but it does get easier to do with time and practice.  And very soon your positive persona will take over and your self belief and confidence will grow naturally.

I have a wealth of experience helping clients face up to their self belief and lack of confidence.  If you would like help dealing with your “Frankie” why not get in touch with me for a free consultation.  Who knows where it could lead?

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MOTIVATION – Top Tips from a Guest Blogger

If you have read recent posts on this blog, you will have seen some snippets about a client that I have been lucky enough to work with who has recently successfully achieved her near impossible goal. I have attempted to share her story with you and I really don’t think I have done it justice.  So I am delighted to say that Sandra has agreed to guest blog for me AND share her MOTIVATION tips.

Please enjoy:

I have the honour of being asked to write a guest blog post for Carolyn on motivation, following my recent journey up a mountain.  I’m no expert in this field, but I’m happy to share my journey and maybe, just maybe, something will inspire you to achieve your own goal too.

P1060319Sandra on the summit of Great End

….

….

I’d always been a bit of a fitness fanatic and a huge lover of the great outdoors.  An ex-gymnast, fitness instructor and personal trainer I looked after my body and truly believed that by eating well and keeping fit my body would reward me well into my old age. 

 

Oh what a delusion!  You can imagine my devastation when, just over 5 years ago, I acquired a disability affecting the use of my legs.  Going to the shops became an expedition needing help, support, crutches and a wheelchair.  I took the easy option and stayed home, isolating myself from the world in my own little bubble of safety.  I basically gave up on life.

 

In August 2012 I attended the Lake District Calvert Trust, a charity that challenges disability through outdoor adventure activities.  I had low expectations, low confidence and low self-esteem. I told my instructor of my one regret of not having got around to summiting Great End (a mountain in the Lake District on the Scafell range) before my disability.  He looked me in the eye, and said quite matter of factly “Don’t have regrets, go and do it then.”  As the week progressed a spark inside me ignited, and over the following months that spark became a roaring fire of passion, hope and self-belief.  I am proud to say that 9 months later I stood on top of that mountain, fulfilling a long-standing dream and raised nearly £2,500 for the charity the brought me back to me.

 

So what motivated me to achieve what others had said was impossible?  Here are my top tips:-

 

M   editate on your goal.  Imagine how great it feels to have achieved it, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like.  Doesn’t it just feel fantastic!  Hold onto that feeling every single day of your journey.

O   bserve your goal and your journey from every angle so you are as prepared as you can be to overcome any obstacles.  It’s ok to change your game plan, it’s the end result that’s important.

T    ell others.  This makes the goal real.  If anyone is negative, ignore them – that is their problem not yours.  Surround yourself with positive people and ask for their experience and expertise to help you get where you want to be.

I    nspire yourself.  It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, but keep yourself inspired by focussing on a role model, google inspirational quotes, print them off and put them around your house.  I love the quote by Martin Luther King “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

V     alue yourself, what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Yes, you are worth it!

A    ccept where you are now, and identify what help or support you will need to get where you want to be. This will enable you to set realistic goals and targets.

T    hink outside the box.  How could I get up a mountain when I cannot walk unaided and need to rest after a few steps?  Let’s think in a different way.  I can walk with assistance for a few steps and then need to rest.  I can repeat that process over and over again.  I can travel at 3.6 hours per mile.  It will take me 3 days.  I can do this if I camp in the mountains for 2 nights.  I will ask people to help me, support me and carry my kit.  Change your words, change your way of thinking and suddenly you will find a solution.

E    njoy your journey.  To reach your goal you need passion.  For me, failure was not an option.  My passion and desire to achieve my goal was so strong it drove me on when exhaustion wanted me to stop and when the pain was screaming through my body.  My passion of the great outdoors, being at one with Mother nature and standing in awe at the beauty of her artwork from the summit of a mountain is one I shall never forget.

 

I am humbled by the help and support shown by my team who shared this journey with me.  Sometimes a goal is just too big to achieve on your own.  Ask for help, work on yourself, dream, believe and achieve.

 

With love.

 

Sandra x

What if? What if it was empowering to make a decision?

How many hours do you think you waste in a lifetime worrying about decisions?

I know I’ve done it.  I agonize for ages about the “whats ifs”. There are consequences of making a decision, whether its the right decision or otherwise. 

I recall being told my job was relocating.  I had to decide whether or not to go with it.  I didn’t want to go, the commute was too much and I didn’t really enjoy the job, the alternative was to start my business, but with hubby having just made his own first steps in business it really wasn’t the right time for me.  But then when would be?  What if we both failed?  What If I failed?  Why give up a well paid job?  I found myself in this virtuous circle, never concluding the answer.

I slept on it.

The next day I knew what the answer was.  I had to give my business idea a go.  From that minute on I felt empowered.  I had control of my life back again. It enabled me to take the next steps, start the ball rolling and release myself from the shackles I felt with work.

Angelina Jolie 2003

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have blogged abut this before and I don’t like to repeat myself, however I felt it tied in with the news about Angelina Jolie and her decision to have a double mastectomy which has been publicised this week.  It can not be denied that this would be a tough decision to make, and Angelina has been quoted:

“On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

For me, the lesson is simply, as in my own situation, the act of making a decision on something personal and emotive is an extremely empowering thing to do.  Cast aside the fear of making the decision, without a crystal ball we’ll never know the alternative outcome and must make the decision based on the information we have now.  We can not look back afterwards but to make the decision, frees the mind.

What has empowered you? Please share your stories here

 

Change One Small Thing

Why for me its much better to make several small steps than attempt one large one.

 

I love my job.  I am very fortunate.  My role as a coach is to help to inspire and motivate others, yet it never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration I draw from my clients.  Because coaching works on the principle that the client holds the answer within them, each of my clients is a constant source of new ideas and concepts to me.

 

Working with a client recently, I could see that the task of setting a goal and going all out to achieve it could potentially result in overwhelm.   The challenge that they were facing was that in order to achieve their goal there were so many things that needed changing.  Far too much.  The solution that came out of the session to just choose one small thing that takes them in the right direction was much more manageable.

 

So many of us never achieve our goals because they are too big, too daunting or quite simply, we get too bored along the way.  Imagine for example your goal is to get healthy.  Giving up cigarettes, alcohol and going on a diet whilst taking up jogging could be a step too far.  My suggestion is choose one small thing to change.  Really focus on that one small thing.  In this case, walking to work everyday for a week could be that one step.  Achieving it will give great satisfaction and provide the motivation to take the next small step.  Before you know it ten small steps will have taken you to your bigger goal.

 

So my “Change One Small Thing” campaign is underway and to kick start it I’d love to hear from you what your BIG goal is together with your first “one small thing”.  Either comment here, or email me at caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk.  Anyone achieving their goal following a series of small changes will have their names put into a hat to win a free “change one small thing” coaching session.

 

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Joie de vivre

How do you stop life getting you down?

 

I’ve had a couple of low moments recently.  I won’t go into the details because my blog is about support and motivation not self pity.  But sometimes when I’m low its really hard to pull myself out of it.  I was thinking about this when out walking The Ziggy Dog the other morning.

 

Cue Ziggy:

Obviously Ziggy is very important to me, however it is his pure joy of life that inspires me.  His desire for the simple pleasures, just running free across an open field so frequently reminds me that it is often the simple things in life that are important.  To love and be loved, to care, to be healthy.  The other stuff, well sometimes that’s just stuff to provide challenge and keeplife interesting – there’s no right or wrong answers. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

What small stuff do you sweat?

What Great Things Have You Achieved This Week?

Have you ever been there?

Sometimes its like a black hole sucking you in.  No matter what you do or try it doesn’t get any easier and your business looks like it’ll never be a success.

Its a perfectly natural feeling or at least that’s what I keep telling myself?  But the question I keep asking again and again is:

 

“How do I know when my business is successful?”
2 years ago I would have defined success as having the flexibility to work at home, for myself with clients largely on a one-to-one basis.  Well, actually that’s exactly where I am right now so why do I not have the answer to the question?

Is it just my need for perfectionism.  I’ve previously described my perfectionism gene as my downfall, so maybe I just set very high standards for myself and keep moving the goal posts.  Maybe that’s a good thing – stops me stagnating or becoming complacent.

So here’s my one top tip about goals:

Goals – should be moving goal posts that way we always strive to be the best.  However its very important to give yourself credit for what you’ve achieved so far.  Keep an achievement list somewhere visible and add to it daily.  Review it monthly – you’ll be surprised how much you have actually achieved.

What great things have you achieved this week?

 

Seizing Opportunities – Free Offers Should They Be Avoided

Do you grab opportunities with both hands?

I’ve been faced with a couple of opportunities this month and I’ve grabbed them.  They are the sort of opportunities you look at and question that they’re too good to be true.  Someone offering something for nothing.

 
In fact its becoming quite a popular marketing technique.  Offer someone something for free, be it a taster session, free trial, or discovery sessions.  I’ve tried two different sessions, one around marketing and the other about entrepreneurs (dream rooms).  And I’ve taken a lot of free and useful learning from both of them.

There are three secrets to this,

  1. Don’t be afraid to try them.  Check them out and make sure they’re genuine – not Scams, but try them.  The companies running these incentives are working on a numbers game.  They expect a greater proportion of people will not sign up, but some will and that’s where they make their money.
  2. If you don’t want to buy, provide fair reason and feedback.  They want to provide a great product that people want and will accept your answer.
  3. Be sure you know what your business needs before you have to make the decision whether to buy.  If you don’t, this is the point you could get talked into something you don’t need.

Have you taken up any online free offers?  Why not share your experiences here.

 

 

 

 

Goals – Making Them Count For Me

When was the last time you set some goals just for you?

We often find ourselves in the pursuit of goals because they have been imposed on us by underlying negative beliefs.  Typical examples include the words “should” and “must”.  Examples could be:

  • I can’t ask for help, it’s a weakness
  • I won’t make any mistakes
  • I should be the perfect partner
  • I always have to be the best
  • I must put others above myself

 

goal(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

 

When we set out to achieve goals that have been imposed on us, they become difficult to achieve, often with negative effects.  Good goals should be evaluated when setting them. Here are two simple rules:

  • Ensure your goal is valid.  Will achieving your goal result in a true and positive outcome?  If so, it is valid.  If it is based on an imposed or false belief and worsen your imbalance or problems then it is invalid.
  • Is your goal is ecologically sound?  By this I mean will achieving your goal have any negative side-effects for you or those around you?

If you find that your goal is ecologically unsound and/or invalid, you don’t have to forget about it. It might just need a little fine tuning.  Of course, you may also find that you don’t really want to achieve it and focus your attention on something you really want.

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