Category Archives: Change

What type of Echo are you? Positive or Negative?

??????????Just another Monday. As for the past few months, I was at London’s Heathrow airport, bright and early at the yucky time of 5:30 am, to catch my weekly commuter flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Those of you who know me, will know, I am not (and I repeat), most definitely NOT, a morning person. Having armed myself with enough tea to wake up an elephant, I settled down at the gate to await my flight’s boarding call.

Suddenly, I noticed the rather penetrating echo of a newscaster’s voice. Every few yards, along the gate side of Terminal 5, there is a large, free-standing Samsung TV set. The sets were a few seconds out of sync, from one side of the building to the other. At first, I was a little irritated, however, then I started to notice the quality of this echo. The ‘outofsyncness’ now became a work of art, and turned out to be in sync in a miraculously Mexican wave like echo – quite astonishing, even at 5:30 am in the morning.

That got me thinking.

We are Echoes

We do this all the time, just like these misaligned TV consoles, we also broadcast our thoughts, our feelings, our body language, our words, our actions into the world, to others and, critically, into ourselves. Our bodies receive and resonate with these constantly echoing messages. Most of our messages are repeating day in, day out, and often are unconscious. According to research, we think over 50,000 thoughts day and most of these are not even positive.

Positive Echoes

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime. We should all smile more often. – Steve Maraboli”

During the boarding process, one of the flight attendants gave me such a lovely and genuine smile and chirpily wished me a great day. I smiled in return and was still smiling as I entered the plane, highly unusual for me at 6 am in the morning. The smile and her tone of voice vibrated right through my body. I had a deeply felt sense of that smile. Interestingly, me smiling at one of the other passengers caused this man to also smile – a regular on this flight, who I suspect hates early mornings as much as I do. Previously, I had never seen him smile before now. The felt sense of the smile stayed with me for most of the day, making my day more enjoyable.

Anything we do, say or feel causes some sort of resonance in others whether we intend it or not. And it causes resonance within our bodies and energy fields. As my whole mood shifted because of that gift of a smile, me echoing the smile, my fellow passenger’s mood also shifted, and he started being a positive echo.

Negative Echoes

We can also be negative echoes. Most of us, at some point during our day, experience some negative thoughts about ourselves, consciously and often unconsciously. We put ourselves down, feel guilty, blame ourselves, and compare ourselves to other or to impossible personal standards, to name but a few examples. Each negative thought and word, reverberates through our bodies as feelings, sensations and emotions, echoing in every cell of our bodies and our energy field. Our body language, demeanour and even our tone of voice demonstrates this to the outside world.

Some ‘negative’ echoes move through the body quickly before they dissolve into thin air. These are the ones we learn from and then move on. Others get stuck and keep echoing on and on and on, in our body, mind and energy field – stuck echoes can lead to health issues. In coaching we often call them limiting beliefs, false identities, stress or low self-esteem. These are echoes that have become chronic.

Changing our echo

If we wish to be positive echoes, the first step is to notice what we are echoing at any given time:

1.       What are we actually broadcasting?

  • Do we know and/or notice it?
  • What emotions, feelings and sensations is my body giving me?
  • It is positive or negative?
  • Does it stay with us or move right through us?

The second step is to observe what impact our current echo has on our bodies and our environment.

2.       What is the impact this echo has on our body, others, the world around us?

The third step is to make an active change. When we notice what we are echoing ,and it might only be a feeling or an emotion rather something we can put direct words to, we can change it to something we want to echo.

3.       Every time you notice that you are echoing something you don’t want to give out, connect to the emotions, feelings and sensations you want to give out.

Some options for doing this are:

  • Connect to a memory of an experience that contained the emotions, feelings and sensations you wish to echo
  • Laugh or smile at and into your current state – that helps to turn it
  • Consider possibilities of action – often when we echo negatively we feel stuck or without options. Opening up to other ways of being or acting, helps to unstick the state.

Enjoy being a positive echo.

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Have you tried to ‘chew’ life? Another perspectives on mindfulness

Young Woman Standing with Arms Stretched OutWisdom can come from unexpected places

Stopping for lunch at Blarney Woollen Mills[1], I could not help but notice a rather large, elderly American man. In a very loud, penetrating mid-western voice he kept talking at his fellow tour members repeating the same words over and over again until I assume they finally listened to him. While this occurred all sorts of judgements went through my head especially the silent plea for him to quieten down his voice so I could eat in peace, and that was by far the most polite thought I had. You can image what went through my head (and I will leave the exact words to your imagination).

And then I started to pay attention to his words. Oh boy, was I surprised and humbled by this man’s insight.

He said: “We breathe in our food, we do not really chew it. That is why people put on weight”.

What wisdom! This man, having had this massive insight, actually had already lost 95 pounds by really chewing his food, and was well on the way of losing the remaining 120 pounds to reach his ideal weight.

Missing out . . .

Breathing is something so every day, that most of us do not actually notice that we are breathing or how we are breathing. And that is how we treat a lot of experiences in life, we just breathe them in without paying particular attention of what is happening, just as this man used to do with his food:

  • When do we actually ‘chew’ and ‘taste’ life to its fullest?
  • When do we truly have a present, second by second multisensory experience of life?
  • Where have we missed miracles just because we just breathed through them?

Sadly, for most of us, not even for the duration of one inbreath.

Ingesting too much . . .

As this American gentleman used to do, a lot of us are just breathing in food, information, life experiences; you name it, we breathe it in unconsciously, and then forget to breathe it out again. We rush through life, swallowing part of it whole without truly appreciating what is going on.

The result of this is overwhelm, overload or to continue using the food metaphor: mental obesity, emotional obesity, energetic obesity, and who knows, even spiritual obesity.

And we often don’t even notice.

What we may notice is that our stress levels rise, that we seem more irritable and easily distractable, that we cannot focus and require quicker and more distractions, that we feel the need to self-medicate with substances such as alcohol or drugs, or that we are more discontent than ever.

What if . . .  we were to spend  5-10 minutes a day, chewing life?

  • Really tasting, savouring, relishing each and every second of these 5-10 minutes, each second to their fullest?
  • Noticing what occurs around us, through us, in us for each second of the 5- 10 minutes?
  • Observing thoughts, emotions, energies, physical sensations
  • Allowing a multisensory experience consciously experiencing and breathing in these 5-10 minutes through all of the 5 senses and our intuitive sense to their fullest?

10 minutes of life chewing makes a difference

Notice what is different after the 5-10 minutes:

  • How you feel differently
  • What miracles happened
  • What opportunities you can now see
  • How life changed

I recommend using a journal to record, amplify and deepen your experience of life chewing.

Enjoy your conscious 10-minute meal of life!


[1] Co Cork, Ireland. They have a very healthy self-service restaurant and a terrace to enjoy your meal outside. It is a favourite spots for bus tours to stop.

Welcome 2013! A new year – a blank new page to start on for your personal brand

I have asked my friend Valerie, a brand expert, to contribute this article –  this time of year, is a great time to review your personal Brand.

Looking back at our achievements, failures in 2012 and moving towards our aspirations, our personal brand is one of the best tools we have to attract what we want. Getting to understand how our “magnet” worked in the past and how we can make it stronger opens the door to more avenues of realising our dreams.

How does personal branding work?

Personal branding takes place in many ways. Your communication style, your emotions, your values and beliefs systems are all part of a personal brand. It is who you are, what you like, what you do, where you come from. Knowing yourself inside out helps to know which part of your brand you would like to communicate more, which part needs strengthening, which part is not serving your goals. 

Brands evolve over time. Your current brand embraces beliefs that are congruent with your life experiences. Beliefs are part of the invisible part of the “iceberg”. Your communication style is part of your public brand.

Personal branding takes place all the time: when we are dating, going out with friends or mingling with the family. Our values, cultural norms, emotional management determines who we attract as friends, potential partners, clients. The status of our relationship with family members is determined by how well we understand what makes or breaks a relationship. 

What we use to brand ourselves depends on the contextual situation, the person we are interacting with and how high are the stakes. If punctuality is a core value and having to work with people whose relationship with time is more fluid requires an assessment of how important punctuality is as our core value. Expecting people to change so as to suit our needs is not realistic. Meeting the person halfway is a possible option as it encourages the other to do same.

In short, personal branding is not about having great PR skills. It’s more about knowing what emotions are not serving us and how to move to more empowering ones. It is communicating clearly on our core values so that we attract like-minded people, organisations sharing the same values. Without clarity on who we are, we tend to attract only part of what we aim for or we tend to continue experiencing repeated patterns in our relationships…most of the time, the ones that we do not like.

For your “magnet” to be aligned to your aspirations, get to know yourself to your deepest core, honor your feelings and love who you are!

Updating your brand

So take a bit of time this week to consider your brand – your pre-dominant values, emotions, patterns, habits, beliefs, qualities …

  • How do you perceive yourself?
  • How do others perceive you? How do you come across? Relationships are mirrors. What you see in others is part of you.
  • How do you want to be perceived? You attract what you are and not what you want.
  • What would like to update, change or add to your brand this year?

One key tip to updating your brand is to do it one attribute at a time, rather than completely change everything from day one. Patience is a virtue and be kind and non judgmental towards yourself. Especially, when it comes to values and habits, for example, punctuality – if you are regularly late, then being on time from now on is a new habit that takes time and some work to embody. 

Aligning your New Year’s resolutions with your brand

If you set New Year’s resolutions or intentions, check those intentions against your desired brand.

  • Do they support or dilute your brand?
  • Or do you need to additional or different intentions this year to update your brand?

Valerie & Bettina

You can find out more about Valerie Cheong Took at  www.valeriecheongtook.com

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Preparing for a stress free festive season

In many cultures November and especially December, when the weather gets colder and the days shorter, used to be a dedicated period of stillness, contemplation and connecting in with oneself.   In most western countries, now, the run up to the holidays can often be one of the most stressful time of the year. Rushing from shop to shop finding and buying presents, finishing off work projects and putting in extra hours to get everything done in time, sorting out where and how to spend the holidays and even anticipating family conflicts or challenges over the holidays can bring additional stresses and anxieties into our lives. Now is the time to start preparing for a stress-free (or low stress) festive season.

Stress-free can be planned

In times of ‘Busyness’ a lot of us tend to go into headless chicken syndrome, just doing, doing, doing, rushing round to get stuff done. Whilst this is a strategy, it is not necessarily an effective one as it causes us stress. Although for most of us it seems counter-intuitive to take a little time out to take a few deep breaths, take stock and plan, it actually makes more effective rather than less. Allow yourself the gift of a quiet 10-15 minutes today to prepare for an enjoyable festive season. And, here are some tips on how to make your preparation even more effective.

1. Connecting in with yourself

When we make plans we often forget to set intentions and state what we truly want. Connecting in with yourself…

… what are your intentions for the festive season?

… what do you want the festive period to be like for you?

Ideally write down your answers, that makes them much more powerful. And remember to keep all your intentions and wants in positive and present tense language.

2. Gain focus 

We often loose touch with truly important when we go into autopilot using the same strategies and habits honed to perfection season by season. So ask yourself …

… what is truly important in this 2012 festive season?

…. what would make this festive season truly effortless and enjoyable?

… how can let go of what is not important/what stressed you?

3. Make your plans

Now that you have a good idea of want you want and what to focus on, you are ready to plan.

…. what do you need to do by when?

…. what can you do and how can you be every day to keep your intentions alive?

…. who do you need to sign up to your intentions or create shared intentions with?

Sharing this planning process with your partner, friends or family makes more powerful.

Our Gift to you

To help you reduce stress and to honour the festive season, I want to give you the gift of a free meditation call, my friend Nyali and I  are offering on 2nd December 2012 at 18:00 GMT. To find our more and to join us, click here. Feel free to forward this invitation to anyone who you feel would benefit from it. Everyone is very welcome.

I look forward to connecting with you on 2nd December.

Lots of love Bettina

The compelling world of ‘Feminine Power’

For this week’s blog, I asked my friend Nyali Muir, a successful Transformative Coach, specialising in the Feminine Power teachings,  to introduce you to Feminine Power coaching! I love the focus on women, and the supportive and practical approach.

Over to you, Nyali.


Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve been ascribed the task of introducing someone – who’s never tasted it before – to the delectable world of Ice-cream!

Some things have to be experienced to be appreciated, such as the sensuous delights of eating chocolate and the endless fascination of a new born baby.

Well that was how I felt when first considering how I’d introduce Feminine Power to an audience who may never have heard of this delectable smorgasbord of Coaching-Life possibilities.  Consider the infinite variations of ice-cream the world over, where would you commence your task? 

Well, the juicy originators of Feminine Power Coaching are 2 extraordinary women, Claire Zammit (Transformative Educator) and Katherine Woodward-Thomas (Psychotherapist & best-selling author of “Calling In ‘The One’”).  Created by women, for women….and men! 

It is largely based on Transformative, or ‘Transformation of Identity’ Coaching – which identifies and addresses the underlying limiting beliefs-thoughts to our undesired patterns and inner obstacles.  Patterns which we all experience, standing between where we are and the greater potentials we sense for our lives, appearing as our ‘glass ceilings’. 

Based on Ontology – the Science of BeingFeminine Power Coaching focuses more on how we are being relative to One’s Self, Life and Others, than it does on what we are doing.  It gives credence to more of the typically feminine ways of being such as ‘Creativity’, ‘Intuition’, ‘Care’, Compassion’ and ‘Flow’ in partnership with the more masculine recognised ways of being such as ‘Structure’, ‘Direction’ and ‘Logic’, to bring Life, everywhere, back into balance.

The relationship between Coach and Client is an ‘Evolutionary Partnership’, which from the onset is based upon 3 premises.   To show their application these have been emboldened and included below in the article.

We have a ‘Daily Power Practise’ which is one of establishing a deep relationship; one of safety, love and maturity, between the conscious part of one’s self and the un-conscious parts of one’s self.  We bring to awareness that which has been hidden, yet which has been navigating and co-creating the experiences of our lives.

We see ourselves as source of our own experiences, co-creating with Life, being 100% responsible for evolving our part in things.

To illustrate a Feminine Power Coaching context within business, the following are true-life cases.  Names and identities have been changed.

Wendy works as a Global Project Manager for a household recognised I.T. company.  Whilst very competent in her role, she felt restricted by her fear of public speaking and came for coaching to shift any inner obstacles that were holding her back.  We had 1 session and immediately identified an old ‘I’m not clever’ belief – clearly untrue otherwise Wendy would never have held the position she did.  Yet this old programme had her stutter in meetings, not share her views with colleagues and generally speak quietly.  Within the session we took Wendy through a process that ultimately shifted her inner position from one of victimization (& misinterpretation from childhood) to one of Maturity, Truth and Power.  We also identified new skills and capacities for her to commit to and develop.  Immediately following this session Wendy was presented a first time invitation – which she rose to….to organise, orchestrate and deliver a conference for clients to attend from around the world, which she would never have done before.  Since it is it that our beliefs, words and actions are the tools with which we co-create our experiences, with Wendy’s True, Supportive beliefs in place and new behaviours being practised, opportunities and circumstances arose.  I’ll leave it to your imagination how well it went! 

Jade is a performing artist and model with no small amount of talent, skill and beauty.  Only, Jade wasn’t getting the work she desired to come in – no matter how hard she tried.  Working by phone, after a short while we identified an unconscious ‘I’m not safe being visible’ beneath all her endeavours.  In brief, we sought to re-establish what was really true about her old beliefs, using a specific Feminine Power Process, anchoring her into the Powerful, Wise Part within herself.  From here Jade was able to keep herself safe.  Safety no longer being a matter of ‘chance’ or ‘fate’, but rather her lived experience created through conscious and wise choices. 

Almost immediately she gained a modelling contract that saw her appear nationwide on billboards and the internet, she was invited to New York to sing and she also completed recording her first C.D., with ease and joy.  Because Jade had brought about an inner shift, her outer world changed.  Not long after this, she called in her soul-mate, became pregnant, they are blissfully happy and soon to be married.

Diana is the successful partner of a global company in a male dominated industry.  Surprisingly, she’d been timid, personally insecure, generally incapable of saying what she really thought and continually wore ‘masks’.  She was something of a walkover and was clearly disrespected by key staff members.  She wanted and needed to take her power back. Our coaching partnership gave Diana the safe container and learning environment she needed in which to create her breakthroughs. One of her biggest successes was being able to do something most folk dread – to give various staff members notice to leave.  Diana is now sourcing staff who are far better suited to the healthy and friendly office she’s committed to establishing.  Private conversations and clearly communicated boundaries have resulted in greater respect towards her. Diana set clear intentions and committed to them, thus setting the stage for new opportunities and possibilities to arise, enabling fulfilment on her original intentions. 

Feminine Power ‘Transformation of Identity’ Coaching is as delicious as a new ice-cream creation, with none of the calories and with all of the yummy benefits!

 “My North Star is for the Thriving and Flourishing of all Life; I’m 100% for You, 100% for Me, 100% for Life.  Whatever your blockages, together let’s transform them”.

Love and Inspiration

Nyali

Nyali Muir is a Certified “Calling In ‘The One’” Coach, Feminine Power Mastery Graduate,  Feminine Power Coach, Life Coach, Educator, Writer and Public Speaker with over 25 years of professional experience.  Sessions are held in person, groups, using phone, Skype or Conference Call.  One or more sessions may be required depending on the person/group, intention and circumstances. To contact Nyali, e-mail her on nyalifm@btinternet.com, check out her website: www.nyalimuir.com or call her on + (44) 1206 822205. 

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Getting rid of unwanted habits

We all have habits [1] that we want to get rid of or change. The topic of unwanted habits something that usually comes up during December or January, when we look back over our year, and remember those discarded New Year’s resolutions that we abandoned during the first two quarters of this year.

What are habits?

So before we get into how do we rid ourselves of those unwanted habits, let’s have a look what habits really are and how they formed. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines a habit as “a behaviour pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance”. Big words, that just mean that we repeated a sequence of activities enough times to make them automatic and unconscious, i.e. now the habit just happens automatically (e.g. brushing teeth) and we often only realise that we ‘doing the habit’ when we are either half way through or experience the results of the habit.

Generally, habits help us to automate activities so we do not have to think about them. However, when these habits include drinking the 20th cup of coffee at work, unconsciously picking up and eating the 10th Mars bar at work or flopping onto the sofa after switching on the TV every night in a row instead of going to the gym, is when we want to think about breaking them and acquiring more useful and generative habits.

How are habits formed?

As with every habits at one point we did not have it and we had to learn it and make it automatic by doing the activities over and over and over again. The good news is, we can use the same strategy to change unwanted habits or acquire news ones.

They say that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Well, there are differing views on this. Some people say it takes 90 days for the body to get the habit into the muscle, other says it can be done in less than 21 days. My view is, if you just use repetition of an activity and willpower, unwanted habits take a lot longer to break than if you use some other key techniques in addition.

In this article I am covering three effective and easy to use techniques to break habits that you can use in parallel. These techniques work in conjunction with the repetition method mentioned earlier. If you feel you need a rapid and immediate habit [1] breaker I suggest you invest in a session with an NLP [2] Master Practitioner.

1. Satisfy the reasons behind the unwanted habit in a more useful way

Now how do we actually rid ourselves of those unwanted habits? Think of habit now, that you have and that you wish you didn’t have.

  • What does this habit give me?
  • What does it do for me?
  • What do I get out of it?

These are some really important questions to ask yourself. Habits are usually formed for a reason and generally with a good intention.  That is why force and willpower does usually not work. We will only become tense and more stressed because we are not satisfying the initial positive intention or reason for our unwanted habit. For example, the good intention of drinking lots of coffee during the day might be to ‘stay alert’, or the good intention for the switching on the TV and sitting on the couch after work might be ‘relaxation’.

So once you have discovered what the unwanted habit’s positive intention is, ask yourself:

  • What do I want instead, that will satisfy the positive intention and is more useful for me now and going forward?
  • How else could you achieve what the unwanted habit does for you?
  • What are three other ways to fulfill the purpose of the unwanted habit?

And really make sure, that whatever you choose instead, also fulfils what that unwanted habit did for you.

2. Catch the habit before it starts by finding its trigger!

Every habit has a trigger, something that sets it off. In order to change a habit useful to catch it before it starts. It is a bit like a washing machine cycle – once you pressed start, it is almost impossible to stop to put more washing in or choose a different programme as the machine has already filled with water.  We want to catch the habit before you even press the start button.

I invite you to walk through your habit step by step (and the best way is walk backwards) until you have found the trigger. Ask yourself the following:

  • How do I it is time to (do the habit)?
  • What sets me off? Is is something I see, is it something I hear or say to myself, a feeling, or a smell or something I taste. 
    A lot of habits are set off by visual triggers. For example going back to our TV example, it might set off by walking in the living room, setting down the key on the table and seeing the TV in front of you.

You might wish to take a few days to observe yourself, and see where you can interrupt your habit. Play around with it.

Once you know your trigger, you are in control  of the habit and can make a decision at the trigger point to do your habit or not. And, you can use a distraction to remind you to do something else instead. So for the TV example, instead of coming into the living room where you see the TV, you might want to go into the another room first or place the TV elsewhere.

3. Increase the speed of adopting the new habit by using visualisation – mental walkthroughs!

As we know habits are formed by repetitions. To adopt new habits quicker to repeat them as often as you can. That is not always practical physically. Visualisation or mental rehearsal is a great technique to use. Map out mentally in as much detail as you can, using images, sounds, feelings (smells and tastes if appropriate) to create your new habit from trigger to finish – like a mental movie, and then replay this in your mind as often as you like. Make your mental walkthrough fun. Play around with the movie and its attributes, for example make it brighter, more colourful, slower, quicker and find out how to make the most compelling for you.

The great thing is, that you can do this anywhere, at the bus stop, while waiting for the train or even in a break in the office. I would not recommend doing this while driving a car.

And then, practice, practice, practice every time when you notice your trigger, make that different decision!

My tip would be to focus on one habit at a time. Even though you might now be totally fired up to change all your unwanted habit, these processes work best when we focus on one habit at a time. And once you have changed one habit, you will find the next one will be even quicker and easier to change.

Enjoy and let me know how you get on!

[1] Habits in this context do not include addictive behaviours e.g. addiction to drugs, food or other substances. For these, please consult a medical professional.

[2] NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming

What’s your ‘obstacle’ strategy?

How you deal with any obstacles or blocks that appear on the way to your goal is a key indicator whether you are likely to achieve your goals and what the journey to your goal will be like for you.

Obstacles can be of an external or internal nature. The external obstacles, which include things like rules (‘we do not do this here’ or ‘you can only get ahead if you fulfil certain criteria’) or lack of resources (money or time).

Then there are the internal obstacles. In my view, they are the more critical to us. We often do not recognise that we have them and use external obstacles as reasons or excuses to procrastinate about taking the next step or even abandon our goals. Internal obstacles include limiting beliefs or decisions about us such as our capabilities, our self-worth, what we deserve or do not deserve. Internal obstacles also include how much we subscribe to shared cultural beliefs. Do we accept that something is true for us if is the accepted norm in the environment we live and work in? For example, Roger Bannister obviously did not subscribe to culturally accepted beliefs that ‘it is humanly impossible to run a 4 minute mile’, whereas other athletes obviously did.

Both types of obstacles whether internal or external are very real to each of us. Having a good obstacle strategy helps us to not only deal with obstacles successfully but also to stay on course to achieve our goals.

So what does it mean to have an obstacle strategy? A strategy is a sequence of steps or techniques we go through to achieve a certain outcome. However, not all strategies are useful. For example if your normal obstacle strategy is to ‘overcome’ the obstacle however there is an easier way to walk around it, then why not walk around it and avoid the obstacle all together?

In order to come up with alternative obstacle strategies, it is helpful to know what you believe about the obstacle(s) that you perceive in your life right now.

So, take a few moments and consider what beliefs, rules, assumptions, decisions etc. do you have or have you created about the obstacle(s) in relations to yourself?

It is useful to write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t judge any thoughts that come up, just write them down and continue writing until you have listed everything you ‘know’ and believe about the obstacle as it applies to you. Then write down your possible actions that you can take using your normal strategy for each obstacle.

Now it’s time to be creative. Flip the obstacle or the beliefs on their heads.

I invite you to explore a number of options for each obstacle and each belief, rule, assumption and decision about the obstacle(s):

  • What of the opposite were true? Rephrase your obstacle and your beliefs about it so that it says the complete opposite. What action options do you have now?
  • Think of someone who you know of or a famous person you admire, and imagine you are them. How would they deal with that obstacle? Write down your ideas.
  • Imagine the obstacle was not there. That is especially useful when it comes of lack of knowledge and lack of resources. What would your next step be towards your goal, even if it was a tiny step?

Once you have written all your new options down against your perceptions of that obstacle, have a read through them again and notice how many more action options you now have. Take the one that appeals to you most at this time and put it in your diary!

Outwit the obstacle by travelling into the future

One other great way to deal with obstacles is to take a journey into the future and look back at it. Our amazing minds are able to imagine almost anything, so make use of this fantastic capability. Imagine yourself at a point when you have moved beyond that obstacle, when you have achieved your next milestone on the way to your goal of the goal itself. Make the experience real by noticing what you see, hear and feel in that experience. Then ‘figuratively’ (or if you are standing upright, physically) turn around and look back towards the present. Notice what happened that obstacle. What did you do move beyond it? Write down all your insights.

Using these techniques will help you to gain different perspectives on those obstacles you currently perceive in your life. A different perspective opens up new choices and alternatives that will help you move forward towards your goal.

Enjoy.

Have you checked your self-esteem level, recently?

When we procrastinate or put off pursuing our goals for some reasons, our level of self-esteem could be cause. So, what is self-esteem? Self-esteem is what we believe of ourselves.

Self-esteem, to me, consists of our self-worth and our self-confidence. Our self-worth, i.e. how much we value our own achievements and ourselves as individuals. It is also how we perceive ourselves in comparison to others, i.e. where we see our own achievements or qualities in comparison to others’. Self-confidence is about how much do we believe in our own abilities to achieve whatever we want and that we will get there. There are of course lots of other definitions and you might wish to come up with your own definition of what self-esteem means to you.

Low and negative self-esteem can be debilitating; it holds us back from achieving our desired goals and from being happy in relationships with ourselves and others. Low self-esteem can seem like a downward spiral. Every experience is taken as evidence of the limiting belief and further undermines self-esteem. On the other hand, when you have high self-esteem you feel good about yourself, you feel you can achieve anything you desire and you have fulfilling relationships with others.

A lot of people think that self-esteem is something that is given and cannot be influenced. That is wrong. We are all in control of our self-esteem levels. And another myth about self-esteem is that it does not require maintenance. Well, guess what. It does!

What is your self-esteem level right now?
In order to take control our self-esteem levels we first need to understand what they are. Studies have shown that self-esteem levels are not necessarily the same across all areas of our lives, therefore my suggestion is to use the ‘wheel of life’ technique to assess your self-esteem level for each major area of your life.

Feel free to change the headings to headings that are meaningful to you. You may also wish to add more categories, if that works better for you. Take each area of your life in turn and assess your self-esteem level from 1 -10 (1 being very low, 10 being very high). You might also like to split self-esteem into self-worth (looking how you feel about your achievements so far looking back and right now) and self-confidence (right now and ability to achieve your desired goals). Once you have done, notice where the differences are. In which areas of your life do have high self-esteem and in which areas is it lower. Ask yourself what are doing differently in the areas where you have high self-esteem compared to area where you have low self-esteem?

Now you know what your current levels of self-esteem are, consider, what do you want your level of self-esteem to be?
You can use the same wheel of life that you have drawn and in different colour mark each area of your life, where you want your level of self-esteem to be. Then, pick one area where you feel that raising your self-esteem would make a big difference to you and decide where you want your self-esteem to be. When you have got that number, ask yourself

1. What do you need to do to get to your desired level of self-esteem?
And if the jump is to big, just consider what could you do to raise your self-esteem by even one point, and if that is too much start with half-point.

In case you are stuck at this point, there are two other questions you can ask yourself:

2. How do you measure your worth in this area of your life?
Or in other words what evidence would you need to satisfy yourself that you are worth more in this area than your current self-esteem score? What are you currently using as evidence? Is that still valid or useful? Review your measures for self-worth or the value you put on yourself, and for each measure that you feel is valid come up with at least one thing you can do over the next seven days to raise your self-esteem.

3. What are you saying to yourself about yourself, your worth, and value in this area?
Most people who suffer from low self-esteem in an area of their lives, have negative self-talk. Are your thoughts positive and encouraging or are you replaying all those ‘failures’ and little ‘embarrassments’ in your mind? If your thoughts are negative, I challenge to you find positive things about you in that area.

What is your self-esteem maintenance regime?
Now you have some actions to raise your self-esteem, it is important that you actually maintain and improve your self-esteem levels on a regular basis.

I assume you have skin care regime? Most women do. Think about it, would you go out without having gone through your skin care regime. Most women I know, only ever skip their skin care regime in a dire emergency. Most women also slightly change their skin care regime with the seasons, i.e. add an SPF face crème in the summer or a more moisturising face crème in the winter.

Your self-esteem regime should be like your skin care regime: regular, daily and readjusted on a regular basis.

As your skin care regime is often quite individual to you and your particular skin care needs, your self-esteem regime will also be individual to you. You know best what you need to maintain and raise your self-esteem. So for each area (and if that is too much at this point, then choose one area) let your creativity flow and create a self-esteem regime that works for you.

If you need something to start you off, here are two self-esteem regime elements that others found useful:

Make a gratitude and appreciation list before going to bed:
There just two questions to answer:
1. What am I am grateful for today?
2. What do I appreciate about myself today?
It does not take long, maybe 5 minutes and you will notice the changes in you and how you feel about yourself within days. Make sure to think of at least 5 things for each question and include at least 2 items for each question that pertain to your current area of focus for your self-esteem.

Draw up your self-esteem inventory:
This activity requires at least 1 hour of uninterrupted time and a few pages of paper. For each area of your life, write down your achievements ( remember to also add those that others appreciated, not just the ones you that you value), your strength, any compliments or positive feedback you received and your development (your improvements and your successes in overcoming any challenges). Make sure to list everything even the smallest thing. Review this inventory regularly. If you want to be really creative, make a mood board with lots of images and symbols or just use different colours for each category or area.

The importance of maintaining your self-esteem cannot be underestimated. Therefore, I urge you to take regular time for yourself to review your self-esteem levels and adjust your self-esteem to do whatever is necessary to raise or keep your self-esteem at your desired levels.

Do let me know, how you get on…… Enjoy.