Coaching in a Nutshell

Are you ready to wake up and create the life that you want?

Tag: safe

I Dare You to Do This Differently

Are you hard on yourself?  Do you align with your inner critic and attack and berate yourself when you’re not perfect or haven’t met your expectations for yourself?

Really aren’t there enough expectations, demands, judgments, timelines, criticisms, harshnesses, stresses, opinions, critiques and comments about who you are, what you do and how you do it?  Without you adding to the cacophony of external, judgmental voices?

It’s really interesting if we think about it.  We worry incessantly about what other people think about us.  Why?  Because we judge ourselves harshly so we’re forced to look outside ourselves for approval and to feel that we’re OK.

The craziest part is that we’re looking for acceptance, kindheartedness, compassion, caring, approval, validation, understanding and acknowledgment from people who often don’t give those gifts to themselves.

Confession:  I’m hard on myself, too, sometimes.  But not as often anymore.

I used to berate myself with abandon.  And ridiculously, it felt almost virtuous.  I thought I was being a warrior by being hard on myself.  Keeping myself accountable.  Being tough on myself so that I would be more focused and successful.

I finally realized that, when I was hard on myself, my soul had no room to breathe.  I had locked myself in the cage of my expectations and shoulds.  A cage without the oxygen of my heart and inner wisdom.

I decided to wake up.  Being hard on myself wasn’t making me more effective, motivated or successful.  And it didn’t feel good.  (Always a sign to wake up and pay attention.)

My inner warrior isn’t about turning everything into a struggling battle and hauling myself over the coals for not being perfect.  The only response to a constant battle is exhaustion.

My true inner warrior is my creative force, not a fighter.  My North star encouraging me to persevere, to hold my vision and walk the path to my dreams and especially to support and believe in myself NO MATTER WHAT.

My warrior pays attention to what I’m doing right instead of focusing on when and where I’ve missed the mark or veered off the path.  She appreciates and celebrates my victories, my courage and my learning.

If you’re spending your precious time being hard on yourself, you’re going to stumble in the weeds of discouragement, frustration and impatience.  Try travelling a different path.

When you hear (or feel) yourself shooting those arrows of heartlessness at your soul, try an experiment.  Instead of jumping on the train of ancient, ineffective habits and getting taken for the same old ride, write down what you’ve done well, your successes and what you’ve learned.

Stepping outside your comfort zone in the outside world is a piece of cake compared to moving beyond your inner comfort zone of old, familiar behaviors.  If being hard on yourself is automatic and habitual for you, I challenge you to do it differently.  And see what happens.  Self-compassion takes courage.

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend.  What are you grateful for?  Can you add yourself to the list?

Get Out Of There Before You Suffocate

Your comfort zone.

It will choke the life out of you.  But your fearful mind will feel better if you stay in your comfort zone because you’ll be safe.  Maybe not happy or fulfilled or excited about your life or contributing or involved.  Safe and comfortable, which is all your fearful mind cares about.  Because its first concern is your survival.  Not your happiness, your joy or whether your life is meaningful.

But your soul, your life force, your inner spirit – whatever you want to call that inner flame that feeds on love, purpose, growth, passion and joy – gets most of its fuel outside of your comfort zone.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  Neale Donald Walsch

We are at the dawn of a new year.  Start from here.  Wherever you are.  And walk boldly towards possibility and opportunity.

Do you know why we so desperately hang onto safety?  Why we’re afraid to venture outside our comfort zone?  We’re afraid that we won’t be able to handle whatever comes our way.  And that we might fail.

So we cling to safety.  And shrivel up inside.

“… and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  Anais Nin

I am declaring 2013 the year of sailing outside of our comfort zones.  Not forcing or pushing or struggling or slogging or striving or fighting.  Those are painful and create inner resistance.

Sailing.  Get ready for some rough waters, big tides and strong winds where you’ll learn how to navigate this journey of your life to the destinations of your dreams.  And, as any experienced sailor knows, get ready, too, for those magic days of calm waters, sunny skies and perfect, warm winds where everything just flows.

Can you imagine what your life will be like if you get out of your comfort zone again and again in 2013?  As I ask my clients (and myself), are you willing to try something new and see it as an experiment without judging or needing to be guaranteed of the outcome?

Have a wonderful New Year filled with love, joy, excellent health and the courage to sail outside your comfort zone.  As always, THANK YOU for taking the time to read this newsletter and for sharing your comments and your experiences with me.

I look forward to offering you more opportunities and getting to know you better in 2013.  Let’s navigate these uncharted waters together.