MY PERSONAL LEARNINGS FROM 2017

Over the last few days of 2017, I shared my personal reflection learnings over on my Facebook page which I’ve pulled together to share here. I hope these encourage you to reflect on the year that has gone by, to celebrate your successes and take inspiration from the mishaps and missed opportunities so that you can make 2018 a year of exceptional success. Do follow me too on Facebook for more daily inspiration and guidance.

LISTEN MORE

As a coach listening is a key skill and in sessions I’m all ears, eyes and senses fixed on hearing everything. But outside a session, as I went about daily life I recognised I missed a lot. That being in the busy trap impacted my willingness and ability to listen properly. Awareness has led to positive change. I now seek to ‘listen more’ by being more present in every moment whether I’m coaching or not. To take a breath more often, put down the pen, the book, the spoon or whatever to pay attention to people, places and hear through the constant ‘noise’ of everyday life. Learning to listen helps manage overwhelm and achieve greater focus. It breeds knowledge and learning. It builds relationships. It boosts opportunity. Understanding that listening is more than just hearing leads to greater balance and happiness.

Strategies to improve listening:
– When someone speaks look them in the eye and stop what you are doing.
– Got nothing to do, rather than pick up the phone for aimless activity. Do nothing. Stare out the window use all your senses to hear what’s going on.
– Ask questions, be curious, go deeper. Seek and take time to hear more than what’s on the surface.

NEGATIVE ENERGY

This year I had an amazing AHA moment around conceptof ‘negative energy’and it’s impacton my performance as well as mypersonaland mental wellbeing. Negativity breeds negativity,causes stress and does nothing to boost you. Negative energy has the power to suck the life out of momentum, passion, fun and self-love and leave us exhausted, fragile, anxious and bothered. It has the ability to squash our potential to be our best. Negative energy comes from many sources but the biggest culprits I woke up to this year are certain people, lack of gratitude and personal expectations. So, to lead myself more effectively I have created personal rules, tackled my fixation of perfection and become more aware of what, how and who brings negativity into my work and life.

Managing ‘negative energy’ is hard. You can’t manage others thinking and behaviour or this crazy world we are living in, but you can lead yourself more effectively in how you engage with those negative souls out there, how you tackle self sabotagearound perfectionism and how you can lead with a positive mindset.

Strategies to help manage negative energy;
Positive self talk– when you feel yourself being sucked into negative thoughts or being too hard on yourself have a batch of positive affirmations,or simply talk to yourself with words of positivity and kindness to inspire yourself.

Faced with negative actions– then do the opposite and seek to find a actof kindness and positivity to re-boost you.

Practice Gratitude– Start each day reminding yourself what is wonderful, joyful and what you are grateful for in your life.

Choose wisely– it maybe difficult but you need to take responsibility for who, what and where. Surround yourself with positive people and positive activities more often. It may be hard but choose to walk away from negativity, limit exposure as much as you can to negative chat and auras.

HELP!

Asking for and accepting help at work and at home has always been tough for me. I’ve always considered myself and valued my independence. I believe it is rooted in growing up in a small village with limited transport links so I use to spend a lot of time in my own company. Going to small schools and developing the view and the need for only a small circle of friends around me. Being given independence in travel and self-sufficiency before and after school from an early age as both my parents worked. Always earning my own money with part timejobs. Supporting myself through university and into my career. Experiences in life which had contributed to building a belief system that was stopping me from asking and accepting help in fear of looking weak, being a burden to others, losing control and not being perfect.

So, this year I finally, accepted I need support from others in order to function and achieve what I want not just for me but those important to me. I woke up to the fact that HELP was not a bad word. After allI am always willing to help others. As I embraced 2017 with a new set of more empowering and effective beliefs I have sucked up support from friends, family and neighbours wherever ican. Invested in support with mastermind groups, personal coaching, training and self-care. Best of all I’ve turned a corner on overwhelm, productivity and mood swings!

Strategies to help you ask for more help!Stop self-judgement– we are own worse enemies with negative whispers around what other people will think and setting out-of-reach personal expectations.

Say yes more often to help– sounds simple but mastering perfection tendencies, the inner critic voice and self judgementneed to come first. Stop think, take a deep breath and assess what you need right there and then before letting No roll off the tongue so quickly.

Be direct– with yourself and others. Don’t make it a guessing game or leave it too late. Look at what needs to be done, look at the resources needed and you’ll probably see straight away that one of those will be a little support from friends, family and colleagues.

Find your support tribe– give and receive as much as you can to empower each other.

THE 5 SECOND RULE

This year I started following Mel Robbins. She’s a master of confidence boosting, helping you push through fears and procrastination. (If you can find the time I’d strongly recommend watching her TEDx talk to inspire you on how you can get everything you want at work and in life). One strategy she created is the ‘5 second rule’ to beat fear, procrastination, excuses and more. The concept is simple (but not necessarily easy!) – whenever you feel hesitation creeping in, self doubt or inertia then you start to count backwards 5-4-3-2-1 – GO. This process helps ‘shift your mental state’, to drown out the inner critical whispers and to initiate a positive behaviour and an action. For example, can’t get out of bed in the morning – start counting and then on Go – just get out of bed, want to have that difficult conversation 5-4-3-2-1- deep breath GO or need to focus on a specific task you have been avoiding – count back and GO and start. You simply go from impulse/ decision to action without allowing space for self-doubt and over thinking to create hesitation and ultimately stop you in your tracks.

I’ve been using this approach now for 6 months to manage overthinking and to take more action. And wow it works! You can find out more in Mel Robbins books, website and youtube videos. Worth a look.

STORYTELLING

There is power in stories. The more vivid and emotive they are the greater the power. We can use personal stories of strength and success to inspire us, to boost belief and confidence and totally enhance our impact. The more we hear a story the more we can connect with it, remember it and start to believe it. BUT what about the stories we tell ourselves which we have created based on our perceived memories which don’t inspire us, in fact they do the total opposite. This year I spent time understanding the power of stories we create which we believe to be 100% true which can often be remembered and seen differently by others. I created a bank of my personal stories in different aspects of my career, home, friendships and health. I then spent time dissecting the stories to check whether they were empowering or limiting me. The empowering ones I now use as anchors to propel me when self doubt hits. The sad ones I didn’t dwell on, I spotted the learning and how I can use this insight to inspire me and others in the present and the future. Powerful stuff but even more powerful was what my eyes opened to when I discovered stories which I had not really understood held a bank of limiting beliefs and self-esteem killer. When I opened my eyes to a new perspective to these stories and challenged them, got them out into the open it helped to create understanding around fears, hesitation, procrastination and perceived expectations which were sitting in the subconscious. 2017 has made me more aware of my stories, and as with any level of awareness, the power of potential to change is amazing.

So what stories do you have which you could use to propel your success more in 2018 and which ones are lurking in the unconscious keeping you stuck, unhappy or fearful? Sit quietly and under core headings of career, relationships and health for starters write down your stories. Then take time to spot the beliefs sitting within these stories. Are they empowering you or limiting you?

Believe in your best, Lead yourself to positive change and balance. Get in touch to discuss your desire for 2018, to find clarity, focus and action in creating positive change and balance. Book a FREE discovery chat here.

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