Knowing is the Easy Part

Most of us have personal goals. We have things we want to work on and improve upon. Knowing what to do is usually the easy part. It’s the doing that’s tough. Let me impart a warning: Disrupt yourself before someone or something else does it for you. There are things you know you need to do. If you don’t take it upon yourself to start working on them, life will eventually do it for you and will likely have greater time pressures than you would have now.

I’ll use health as an example. Let’s say I want to lose 20lbs. I KNOW what I need to do to lose the 20lbs. I could disrupt myself and start eating better and exercising more. But I keep putting it off while the scale continues to climb. Then I go for my annual physical and the doctor tells me I have high blood pressure, I’m pre-diabetic, and I’m making my heart work too hard. Guess who just disrupted me? The doctor. She tells me I need to lose weight to turn these issues around before they start creating even more serious problems. How much do you want to bet that I’m kicking myself because I knew what I needed to do before things got so dire?

Where do you need to disrupt yourself before someone or something else does it for you? Are you drinking too much? Do you need to face the problems in your relationship? Is it time to learn some new skills for work? Are you ready to address your depression? Do you need to stop charging up those credit cards? Are you ready to stop enabling a loved one? Is it time to eat better and get more exercise? Only you know the answer, but wouldn’t you rather make the decision on your terms?

So, how can you get started? DO something. Don’t think, or plan, or graph, or participate in any other form of “research” or “preparation.” DO something. It doesn’t need to be big, but it needs to be something. Need to stop drinking? Dump everything in the house. Need to discuss relationship issues? Set up a time to talk. Need to start exercising? Go for a walk. Today. Right now.

If you give your mind enough time, it will find a way to talk you out of it. It will reason with you and explain why tomorrow will be a much better day to get started. But tomorrow always stays tomorrow. You need to stop thinking and start doing. You are racing against time. What is one action you can commit to right now to disrupt yourself and start proving to yourself that you can do it? Start there. Stop blaming others, or your circumstances, or the unfairness of it all, and take back control. Take action and create the disruption you know you need to be the best version of you.

Tell me in the comments section how you have disrupted yourself in the past and how it led to greater wins.

A great place to start taking action is scheduling an Empowerment Session with me! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session that is sure to leave you feeling motivated and excited about taking more action to make your life better!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Taking Time for Rest and Reflection

I think back to when my kids were young, and I feel like I’m busier now than I was then. I think we all are. We’re just so busy. We’re always doing something, and when we’re not doing something, we feel guilty about it or make excuses for it. But it’s important to take time to rest and reflect. To be curious and wonder, and imagine, and consider possibilities. While on the outside it may appear we are doing nothing, on the inside we are doing very important work.

Rest can take the form of sleep, meditation, or just quiet time in your own space. Rest allows our bodies to heal and repair. But there are other ways to rest from our busy-ness and that involves activities that may not look like rest. Here are some examples:

  • Spending quality time with friends and family – What’s important here is the “quality” aspect of these gatherings. You need to genuinely enjoy time with these people in order for it to be considered rest. This could be a picnic, a leisurely walk, time by the pool, a shared dinner, or a chat over tea. These types of connections leave you feeling lighter and relaxed.
  • Sitting quietly with your eyes closed – This can be a more formal method of meditation, or just you being aware of each body part and focusing on relaxing each one.
  • Eating natural, easy to digest foods – We put our bodies through a lot of extra effort when we consume too much processed, hard to digest foods. Some toughies include: dairy, fried foods, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol, carbonated drinks, beans. Try replacing a heavy dinner with a lighter one, like salmon and brown rice. Also, drinking lots of water throughout the day helps, too! (9-11 eight-ounce cups per day for women, 12-13 cups per day for men is the general recommendation)
  • Deep, relaxing breathing – Focus on your breath and fill your lungs with oxygen. Take a deep breath in for four counts, then slowly release for 8 counts. Focus only on your breath. Do this for two minutes and you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Nap – Short naps (20-35 minutes) can recharge you and make you more productive. They can also help minimize the effects of lost night sleep.

Reflection may seem like a luxury, but it serves an important purpose. Reflection is the process of looking back on your actions, both good and bad, considering their outcomes, and using those conclusions to direct future actions.  Reflecting like this improves your problem-solving skills and strengthens higher level thinking. Give yourself some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • Am I using my time wisely – Sure, you may be busy, but are you busy in the right way? Are you balancing the areas of your life appropriately?
  • Am I being true to my values and beliefs – It’s all too easy to do what is accepted by others, but that may mean being untrue to yourself so much that you lose your own identity.
  • Have I set goals and made a plan to achieve them – Getting lost in auto-pilot is all too common. Make sure you don’t lose sight of a future by your design. You don’t want to realize in 20 years that you followed everyone else’s path.
  • What behaviors and tendencies have I improved in over the years – Noticing where you’ve grown and improved is an important step in the reflection process. It reminds you that you can change any aspect of yourself that you want.
  • What behaviors and tendencies do I need to work on – There’s always room to become the best you. Considering the stage of your life now and the future you desire, consider what areas need some attention and effort.
  • What actions do I need to take that I’ve been putting off – We all do this. We can get fearful or overwhelmed by “next steps.” Taking the time to consider what the next small step is can gradually lead us a little closer to achieving what we need and want.

Making rest and reflection a priority in your life can mean the difference between “passive living” and “active living.” Living is meant to be an action verb – so get living by incorporating more rest and reflection in your life so you can truly live a life that YOU design.

Share in the comments section your favorite way to rest and/or a reflection question you love.

If you would like to work together and turn your reflection into action, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Having the Courage to Live Authentically

I’ve spoken of the dangers of expectations in the past, particularly as it relates to having expectations of others. However, there is another side to expectations and that is when we don’t live up to those that others have of us. When we disappoint someone we care about, it hurts. Starting the journey of living authentically will often reveal plenty of disappointment.

There are certain life patterns we all enjoy. We have routines and often everyone has a clear role within them. However, when someone steps out of their assigned role (in this case you) it can upset the comfortable life patterns of those around us. It’s amazing how quickly guilt can envelop you. You have committed to a change that you think is important and when someone pushes back, you feel guilty. It’s hard to start swimming upstream – against the flow of everyone else – but often, that’s what living authentically does at first.

When you decide to start living your truth and your version of happy and fulfilled, it often means changing a path, even if only slightly. This means people may feel left behind or that you have now changed their role, which they were so comfortable in. I have a friend who decided to focus on losing weight. She had a goal of losing like 100lbs. Her husband didn’t have this same goal. At first he thought it was just a “health phase” she was in, but he soon discovered that wasn’t the case. She began changing her entire lifestyle. She eliminated processed foods from her diet which had been a staple for them in the past. She became more active and went for walks, hikes, and took exercise classes. As she saw the results of her efforts, it motivated her to continue. She eventually achieved her goal – but her marriage fell apart in the process.

You could certainly look at this situation and see the husband as unsupportive and selfish, but that’s not the whole story. While she was changing her lifestyle, his role became fuzzy and unclear. He was often the cook and took great pleasure in preparing foods that she enjoyed. He would pamper her and took pride in how loved and appreciated he made her feel, regardless of her weight. He enjoyed their food choices and liked sitting together watching TV shows or relaxing with friends. When she started and continued her weight loss journey, he lost his identity, so he started saying things that made her feel guilty. He accused her of leaving him behind and not caring about their relationship anymore. And she felt really bad about that, but she had a goal that was important, and had hoped he would join her and improve his own physical health. But instead, their paths grew further and further apart, until they were no longer able to be in a relationship with each other.

Not all changes will be so dramatic, and you should know this story ended well for both of these individuals. But living authentically is for the brave and assuming you have only this one life to live, you better make sure you live it well. It’s important to be empathetic to those who are impacted by your choices and goals, HOWEVER, that does not mean you change course. If you believe your goals truly are for your well-being, then you have to accept that others may respond negatively. Hear them out and let them share their perspective. Consider how your changes may impact them and try to share your perspective with a patient and open heart. Also, understand they may not be able to join you on your journey or not until they’ve taken the time to adjust to the changes. They may need to time to figure out what their role will be in your life. That doesn’t make you a bad person and that doesn’t mean you should let guilt stop you in your tracks.

Living authentically requires bravery and resilience. It means you may have to leave some behind or that roles will change. But living authentically also means you experience deep joy and fulfillment in your life – even with the growing pains that come with it. Be you. Love you. And keep pursuing the life you desire.

It’s your turn to coach! Tell me in the comments section what you would recommend someone do when they are feeling guilty about living authentically.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan to live life YOUR WAY, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Your Life – Are You In the Audience or On the Stage?

Life plays out differently for different people, but there are generally two places to interact from: The Audience or The Stage. There are those who observe life from the audience perspective. They tend to see life happening to them. Those who are on the stage are active performers. They tend to see life as very much in their control. Where you choose to be greatly determines how you feel about your life. Let’s take a closer look at these perspectives.

Audience Member

  • Often a victim of life’s circumstances
  • Feels as though everyone else’s needs come before their own
  • Has many “reasons” to explain why their life is the way it is
  • When things go right, they often feel “lucky”
  • They often see others as smarter, better, or better positioned than them
  • They feel powerless
  • They may have moments of wanting to take control of their life, but ultimately talk themselves out of it
  • They tend to complain
  • They think they fall short compared to others
  • Tend to be “people pleasers”
  • Often deal with issues as they arise, as opposed to planning for them or taking preventative measures
  • May wish for things to be different, but just don’t see how it could work for them

Stage Performer

  • Excited at all the possibilities
  • Sets goals and achieves many of them
  • Has many stories of overcoming obstacles
  • When things go right, they often feel proud
  • They don’t regularly compare themselves to others – they embrace their own uniqueness
  • Even when faced with unexpected challenges, they recognize that they get to choose how to handle them
  • They often try new things and aren’t afraid of failure
  • Instead of complaining about others, they self-reflect and control what they can control
  • Failure does not define or deter them
  • They balance their self-care and taking care of others
  • They plan and goal set to avoid obstacles
  • When they desire change, they take action and make it happen

So which one sounds most like you? I can honestly say I’ve spent significant time at various stages of my life as an audience member.  I was guilty of all of those things. I also left my “seat” and approached the stage, but got scared and returned to my seat. Maybe I chose a seat a little closer to the stage, but I still sat. Other times, I approached the stage, owned it and then gradually backed away to the comfort zone of sitting. There were times in my life where I actively chose to be an audience member. Maybe because I was just too tired to do anything else. Still other times, I sat in order to observe and learn from others who were excelling on their stage. There is no judgement here. There is no right or wrong. It’s up to you. Where do you want to be most of the time? Is it where you are now? If it isn’t, then you know what you need to do – you need to take action.

Tell me in the comments section one area within the Stage Performer list that you’d like to strengthen, and why.

If you would like to work together and find the strength to get up on your stage, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Spring Cleaning Your Life

Well, it’s officially Spring! That may mean you’ll start some Spring cleaning. Maybe you’ll pack up the Winter stuff and pull out the Spring stuff. Maybe this is when you’ll clean out a closet, a basement, or a shed. The new growth of Spring can cause us to reflect on clutter, baggage, and stuff that may block the way to new and improved change. And I don’t just mean physical stuff. This can apply to everything in your life.

Spring offers us a new beginning. If you live in a colder climate, then you may have been cooped up all winter and you envision Spring being the start of a new you. Maybe you’ll get more physical, eat healthier, or try something new. But whether it’s a closet or a lifestyle, your vision may not include everything that’s in it now. That’s not to compare an old coat to an old friend. Things are different than people. However, just like it may be time to donate that old coat, it may be time to let some relationships go. These may be relationships you have at work or in your personal life, or they may be relationships you have with yourself, like attitudes, limiting beliefs, and unhealthy behaviors.

Cleaning out the closets of your life can make space to enjoy what you really want to keep and make room for new additions. Taking an inventory of all the spaces in your life can help you determine what to keep and what to let go of.

Consider your vision for all the “closets” of your life:

  • Work/Business
  • Personal Relationships
  • Hobbies/Activities
  • Physical Possessions
  • Health/Wellness
  • Religious/Spiritual
  • Intellectual

How do you want these areas of your life to look and feel? What do you want to change? Which ones need a refresh or reorganization? Getting crystal clear on what you want, will help you determine what needs to stay and what needs to go. As you consider each aspect of your life spaces, what would you need to add to it, to achieve that vision? Is there anything currently in that space that is keeping you from reaching that vision?

Using the Work/Business space as an example, you may realize you need more confidence or maybe you need to build a relationship with someone you respect in that professional circle. You also may realize that your Negative Nellie co-worker is only bringing you down. The additions can seem a little easier to work on. There are plenty of materials and professionals that can help build your confidence. There are also many ways you could start building a relationship with that respected professional. Tossing out the co-worker is much more difficult. You may truly like your Negative Nellie, but you know she isn’t helping your mindset or your vision to advance in your professional sphere. The beauty of dealing with people is there are many more options. You could have a conversation with this co-worker, for example, stating you are working on changing your mindset, and you could use their help by focusing only on the positive or actionable steps you could take. They may need a refresh, too. The point is there are plenty of options.

I’m certainly over-simplifying a complex part of life. These actions aren’t easy and there are many nuances to our relationships and lifestyles. However, if you have visions of change and growth, you’ll need to get clear on that vision in some area of your life, know what’s in your “closets,” and what you need and don’t need to reach that vision.

A great place to start that vision is by sharing it in the comments section! Tell me one area of your life you’d like to improve on this Spring.

Don’t you think it’s time to start cleaning out those closets and living to your fullest potential? Are you ready to develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design? Get Un-Stuck and schedule an Empowerment Session! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies (like the monthly newsletter with book reviews), SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Are You Using Your Superpowers?

Yes, you have superpowers. You have strengths and passions that because of their unique combination, make them special. Sure, there are likely plenty of people that are great at the same thing, but they don’t have the same combination of skills that you do. That makes you pretty freakin’ special!

When life gets busy, it can be easy to take these strengths for granted. In fact, we can get so busy focusing on our weaknesses or just trying to survive each day, that we may forget about our strengths and how far they’ve brought us.

I’m reading What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. The character Alice falls at the gym and hits her head. After speaking to others, she realizes that she has no memory of the past ten years. (You’ll get that book review in an upcoming monthly newsletter that only VIP subscribers get – so subscribe if you’d like in on that.) Anyway, that made me reflect on how much I’ve changed over the past ten years. It’s kind of startling when I think about it. This also caused me to realize something important – it was my strengths that brought every good change I’ve experienced.

Interestingly, it wasn’t always the strengths I recognized that brought about important change. I have often relied heavily on my sense of humor, my love of people, and my optimism to help me get where I was going. But when I look back on the last ten years, there were different strengths that propelled me forward. My willingness to be honest with myself about my shortcomings, my willingness to change, and my willingness to work hard were the ones that showed up the most for me. And I hadn’t really given those strengths any credit before realizing this.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and suggest that maybe you’ve done the same thing. Maybe you’ve forgotten that you possess many great qualities, strengths and passions. Maybe there are others you haven’t really paid much attention to. Try that exercise. Think about who you were ten years ago and compare that to who you are today. I’ll bet you’ve grown and learned lots of lessons. I’ll wager that you’ve overcome hardships and difficulties in large part because of your strengths. I bet many of those strengths will help you grow and evolve even more over the next ten years.

Knowing that, are there any strengths you can identify that will help you get where you want to be ten years from now? What aspects of your life would you like to be different and how could your strengths help you get there? These introspective questions can help you achieve your goals. Work on taking an inventory of your many strengths and passions. Bringing these superpowers to the front of your mind will make them that much more accessible to you when you need them. These are “tools” that are at your disposal whenever you face a challenging situation.

A great way to honor these superpowers is to share them, so tell me in the comments section a superpower you possess and how it has helped you in the past. Don’t be shy. Remember, your individual strength may be shared by others, but yours is in a unique combination of others you possess so shine some light on it by sharing in the comments!

Don’t you think it’s time to start using those strengths to their fullest potential? Are you ready to develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design? Get Un-Stuck and schedule an Empowerment Session! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies (like the monthly newsletter with book reviews), SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

How Our Beliefs Can Limit Us

We all have belief systems. There are things we believe to be true. Mechanically, our brains help us to hold onto beliefs by “proving” them to be valid. For example, if you believe most people are good, you will find plenty of examples in life to prove this to be true. Likewise, if you believe most people are shady, you will find evidence of this as well.

The challenge with beliefs is that they are often limiting. This is true for both negative and positive beliefs. For example, if you believe that everyone is just out for themselves, you may be missing out on connecting with someone who truly wants to offer you support because your beliefs will convince you that they must have an ulterior motive for wanting to help you. Likewise, if you believe that you are so skilled and confident that you really don’t need anyone else’s help, you may face the same problem as the negative belief. You will not accept help. In both of these examples, your beliefs limited your results.

Beliefs, in and of themselves, are not “bad.” It’s up to you to determine which beliefs you’re willing to part with or consider alternatives to. Consider any that may be holding you back. These can often be identified as “reasons” you can’t escape a difficult situation. For example, you may believe if you leave your job, you’ll never find a better one or make the same rate of pay. There are plenty of examples of people leaving a job, struggling a bit, and then catapulting to a whole new level in their career. You may believe that being vulnerable in a relationship makes you appear weak, but if you look, you’ll find plenty of evidence suggesting the opposite is true.

So how can we alter our beliefs or at least be more open to others?

  • Question your beliefs – When you catch yourself, you can ask, how did this belief come into existence? Was it childhood or a bad experience or a scary event? Are you even sure you actually believe it?
  • Avoid totality statements – Words like, ‘always,’ ‘never,’ and ‘every’ should serve as red flags to you. Challenge those totality beliefs.
  • Think of times a belief has been untrue – If your inner critic keeps telling you it takes a long time to learn new things, try to think of times when you picked up on something quickly. Our brains like to make connections, so change the direction to finding examples that disprove our beliefs.
  • Try starting a belief statement with “sometimes” – Instead of making a belief so permanent, like “I’m awkward when meeting new people,” change it to, “Sometimes I’m awkward when meeting new people, and sometimes I’m very comfortable.” This opens up dual beliefs that can open up new perspectives.

When we loosen our grip on our beliefs, we will naturally open up to other possibilities. We no longer need to be confined and limited by what we believe. This opens our minds to new ideas, solutions, and approaches to life. We can be more creative, innovative, and flexible when we can look at the world with alternate views. This can also be very beneficial to our inner world and the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

In the comments section, share a limiting belief you once held and how changing it opened up new possibilities for you.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Five Love Languages – Touch

Some people just need a hug, a high-five, or a pat on the back to truly feel understood and appreciated. This post is the last segment of the 5-part series featuring a new “language” each month. These are based on Gary Chapman’s book series, Five Love Languages. Each post highlighted a particular language and some suggestions on ways to meet that need for yourself and others.  In October, I shared Words of Affirmation. In November, I shared Quality Time. December was all about Acts of Service and January covered Gifts.  This month will wrap up to discuss the language of touch, those physical gestures that some people need. Let’s review what’s been covered so far:
These are the Five Languages:

• Words of Affirmation
• Quality Time
• Acts of Service
• Gifts
• Touch

October’s Words of Affirmation shared how these language speakers want you to tell them they rock and why. November’s Quality Time shared how these people prefer focused attention on, or with, them. December’s Acts of Service shared how action and doing something the recipient would greatly appreciate is what tugs these heart strings. And in January we went over Gifts, which are those tangible “things” that let a person know they are loved and appreciated. Now we will close out the series with Touch.

These language speakers are all about touch. Nothing communicates like person to person connection. Touch rewards, soothes and, of course, loves.

Personally, this language speaker likes the obvious like hugging and holding hands. But more subtle signs include when they are listening to a heartfelt story, they may touch the hand of the speaker to soothe or to soften a difficult, yet honest discussion. These lovers are often eye-gazers as well. Touching with their eyes, so to speak. They also tend to be very comfortable being up close and personal with others they know and like, possibly as in ‘intruding-on-their-personal-space’ comfortable. So identifying these language speakers is relatively easy. Some find this a difficult and uncomfortable method of communicating. To the recipient however, this is as necessary as oxygen. Find your most bearable level of comfort and lay it on ‘em. Like the other languages though, remember not just any touch will do. You have to determine their preferences. As they are often so sensitive to touch, doing it “wrong” can have a negative effect. When in doubt, ask.

Professionally, there is not a lot of room for these language speakers, as most touch acceptable in the personal arena, is not appropriate in the workplace. Likewise, even those who prefer the language of touch in their personal lives to feel loved, may not prefer it in the workplace where the required personal connection is missing. Although you’ll see snippets of them as they tend to be the high-fiving, fist-bumping, pat on the back, handshaking folk. Those are pretty much the only acceptable forms of touch in the workplace and even the pat on the back can be annoying to some, so use with caution, always considering how the other person may perceive it, regardless of how you intend it.

Generally, these touchy-feely types love affection and being affectionate. If you identify with this language, remember it can also be off-putting to others at times, so pay attention to the signs others are giving to you. If you’re approaching someone and they take a step back, you likely just barged into their personal space, so be respectful of other’s needs.

Hopefully, you’ve identified your own primary “language” and those that play a significant part in your life, both personally and professionally. Understanding your own languages in those environments can help you communicate your needs better and be aware of how this differs from others. Understanding the language of others will help you show love and appreciation to them in a way that’s meaningful for them. As always, I hope this, and all preceding posts, gave you a new perspective to consider. Perhaps that person who frequently doles out compliments at work would like to receive some Words of Affirmation themselves. Maybe Mom’s complaints about how you never visit, is a sign that she needs Quality Time with you. Seeing your spouse’s face light up because you surprised them with a five-course homemade meal will indicate their need for Acts of Service. The employee who tears up after you present them with a small engraved plaque thanking them for being the Official Morale Booster of 2018 appreciates Gifts like nothing else. And of course, the ever-ready-with-a-hug, lover of Touch, who gets as much as she gives, in every embrace.

All of us need love and appreciation. We may need varying levels of it, but we all need it. Understanding how you need to receive it and how others need you to give it, and acting on that knowledge, will guarantee improved relationships. If you’re still unsure of your language or would like to invite someone else to learn theirs, here are the sites and info to take the online assessments: For the free personal assessment, go to www.5lovelanguages.com/profile . For the professional version, there is a $15 charge, but can be found at www.mbainventory.com .

You are now empowered to make a difference and communicate more effectively with someone. So go Love on that person you love and get Appreciating those people you work with. Watch how it will ripple through every aspect of your life.

You’re up…if touch is your preferred language, or that of someone you know, what’s a great way to use this appropriately? Also, now is a great time to share your thoughts on any of the “languages,” so head to the comments section to share yours.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

(The Five Languages are based on “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and “The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” (co-written by Paul White))

Being Your Best Self Every Day

Obviously, we all try to be our best selves every day. But then someone annoying comes along, or a challenging situation presents itself, and VOILA, we are living on a lower frequency. Stuff happens, and striving for perfection is wholly unhealthy. But there are some techniques to help you deal with annoyances and difficulties while still maintaining that ideal version of yourself.

When people or situations come our way, we tend to put our focus on them. We may analyze why someone is behaving a certain way (like the obnoxious tailgater) or figure out how we are going to resolve a problem (like a demanding boss). While there are most certainly times when these tactics may be useful, if your focus is on being your best self, there’s another way.

Let’s say you have an issue that you need to resolve with the electric company. You call and the customer service person gives you serious attitude. In fact, he’s being downright rude. Maybe situations like this in the past have wound you up and resulted in a battle that raised your blood pressure, made the call last longer, and left you feeling exhausted even if you came out victorious in the end. While you may justify your behavior, you likely don’t feel like your best self.

When faced with tough people or times, focus on asking what kind of person would take this situation in stride. What qualities might this person possess?  In the above example, the moment you sensed attitude from the service person, you would recognize your rising blood pressure. This is the point to ask the questions: what kind of person would take this in stride? What qualities would they possess? Perhaps you think a patient person would let the attitude go. So you focus on increasing your patience. Perhaps you think an important quality in this situation would be empathy. You consider the possibility that this person may have just gotten off the phone with an angry, insulting customer and they haven’t pulled themselves together yet. So you start working on showing them empathy. Or maybe the other person is just being a jerk. It doesn’t matter – this is about being the best version of yourself for YOU. The benefits others get out of that is just a bonus. You will feel proud in how you maintained your cool and lived in a higher frequency.

In the book, The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer, he makes this genius reference about having a thorn in your arm. The way he tells it, you think of a sensitivity you have – let’s say you’re sensitive to other people using tone and having a bad attitude. Maybe this makes you feel disrespected. Whatever, it’s your sensitivity. Now imagine this sensitivity is actually a thorn in your arm. Every time someone or something comes in contact with it, it causes you pain and discomfort. You have two choices: You can live life doing everything you can to avoid having the thorn touched and reacting in a predictable way when it is; OR, you can remove the thorn.

It’s not all that easy to just remove a thorn. However, by identifying what your sensitivities are, then imagining what kind of person would be unaffected by them, and the qualities they would need to possess, you will be well on your way to removing the thorn.

What do you think? What’s a quality your ideal self possesses that helps you the most? Share in the comments section.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living as your BEST self, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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Questions to Ask Yourself During Challenging Times

When we are faced with challenging times, we may find ourselves pondering questions. Questions like, “why me?” “why does this always happen to me?” “how am I going to move on from this?” While it’s natural to do this, spending too much time on these questions likely won’t lead you to the path of recovery.

Questions like those are too big for you to answer. Take for example what could happen if you were to get in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault and your car was totaled. The value placed on your car is much less than the value you placed on it, so now you have a significant financial strain. The “why me?” and “how will I recover?” questions are not only universally big and far reaching, their answers may not be specific enough to help you in this moment.

So then, you may be wondering what questions WILL lead you to a healthier path and a happier resolution. Try these on for size:

  • What’s one small step I can take today that would ease my discomfort? – Sometimes no one thing is going to clear up your situation, but one small step can help a little. For example, if you’re struggling emotionally, a walk or workout can help alleviate some of your discomfort.
  • What’s one small action I can take that will lead me one step closer to a better future? – Maybe there isn’t much you can do today to change your circumstances, but what could make a small difference for your future. For example, if you’re in severe debt, could you find a small way to save or make money that will contribute a drop in the bucket of your future?
  • Who could help me in this situation? – People like helping other people. Think of others who can help or who have experienced a similar challenge.

Once you’ve answered these “Triage Questions,” you can start exploring how you got here and how you can prevent it in the future by considering these questions:

  • Is there a pattern that I’m unconsciously creating? If so, why might that be happening? – For example, some of us feel significant and important when we behave as victims. We don’t think of it this way consciously, but sometimes personal reflection will reveal this. This could relate back to childhood, or uncover a need to be cared for and paid attention to.
  • What behaviors of mine contributed to this situation? – For example, are you in yet another relationship that has you feeling resentful? Could you be holding in your feelings and not sharing your needs clearly?
  • How could I look at this situation differently? – Sometimes the situation isn’t the problem as much as our attitude around it is. How might this situation look to someone on the opposite side of it? Are there any truths to that perspective? Try to get a full 360-degree perspective on the problem.

It’s tough to truly explore questions like this when we are experiencing physical, emotional, or financial pain. This is why starting with the Triage Questions is recommended. You have to try to ease your pain in order to think more clearly. It may take days, weeks, or even months before you’re ready to explore the greater perspective questions. There’s no wrong way here. Nothing you do or discover is “wrong,” so don’t turn these exercises into an opportunity to beat yourself up. Reflect and change course as needed. Do not fault yourself for the path that led you here, just work on becoming aware and preventing a similar situation in the future.

I’m sure there are other questions that could be beneficial to ask yourself during challenging times. Share in the comments section a question you think is important.

If you would like to work together and develop a plan for living a life by YOUR design, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

If you’d like special offers, updates, and insider-only goodies, SUBSCRIBE to be a VIP! (It’s free and I won’t blow up your in-box!)

email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com