Life Coaching

  • Uncovering Who You Really Are

    I’ve learned a lot during my time as a life and confidence coach, and to be candid, much of it pisses me off.

    We arrive on this earth unique and pure beings.

    All too soon, societal conditioning is thrust upon us. From an early age we are told and taught how we should be and act.

    By early childhood, the basis of our self-esteem, worth, and confidence are already formed. This takes shape from things we observe, are told, or experience. Unfortunately, at this age, our minds are not developed enough to question or challenge these beliefs, so we simply take them on as fact. And these beliefs, whether true or not, act as a guiding light for the remainder of our lives.

    We spend an agonizing amount of time trying to twist ourselves to fit into boxes and shapes that we’re told we’re supposed to. The resulting emotional pain this causes is heartbreaking.  I cannot even count the number of women and clients who have shared with me “I never really felt like I fit in”.

    These feelings carry over into all areas of our lives and essentially holds us back from reaching our full potential. Every time we want to step out of our comfort zone, the old beliefs rise up and pull us back in. Our minds tell us it’s not safe to step out. If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone. In fact, our brains are wired to do this. As sophisticated as they are, our brains do not have the capacity to distinguish between real and perceived danger. This means the fear we feel when stepping out in front of a car is similar to what we feel at the idea of being vulnerable or doing something like public speaking.

    The truth is we’re not meant to be like anyone else. We are each unique beings, with unique experiences that shape us, and unique gifts and talents.

    The good news is that we can change all of this. We can reprogram these negative, false beliefs and ‘unlearn’ the societal conditioning we’ve been taught to emerge as our true, authentic selves. We can strip back all of these layers to uncover who we were meant to be in the first place.

    I’m not saying it’s easy. In fact, it takes a lot of effort to undo decades of conditioning. But I know it’s possible because I have done it myself and I have helped others do the same. And I would love to help you uncover who you really are.

  • Cultivating Hope

    As a life coach and eternal optimist, I find myself spending time each week trying to come up with support or words of wisdom that I can share during these unprecedented times.

    A word that repeatedly enters my mind is hope.

    What do we have if we don’t have hope?

    This question reminded me of a book by Viktor Frankl that I came across several years ago: Man’s Search for Meaning.

    Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist from Austria, who not only survived the death camps of the holocaust, but he was also forced to provide psychiatric treatment to his fellow prisoners. The book is a fascinating read, where he shares the knowledge he gleaned from this experiences.

    There are many take-aways from the book, but the major theme boils down to the reason some survived these unthinkable conditions and some did not, was hope.

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances”.

    Hope is created at the intersection of 1) a desire for something vital 2) perseverance-the need to prevail against great odds, and 3) the belief that there could be something better beyond those odds.

    Clearly, when faced with dire conditions, our souls crave hope at a fundamental level because it is crucial to surviving seasons like this one.

    Hope isn’t the alleviation of fearful risk, or the sidelining of anxiety. It’s the choice to see beyond the current circumstances to something better despite the presence of those feelings.

    According to Frankl, “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. Every human being has the freedom to change at any instance”.

    In these circumstances, we each have the power to choose hope. Every minute of every day. We can choose hope and look for meaning amidst this suffering.  

    I believe there will be many silver-linings that emerge if we choose to see them.

  • How To Move Out of Analysis Paralysis

    As I was setting up my online business four years ago, I regularly experienced “analysis paralysis.” There was a laundry list of decisions that had to be made and seemingly 7 gazillion options available all proclaiming to be a “must-have” if you want a successful, streamlined business. I was researching thing after thing, taking free course after free course like a cat chasing the light from a laser pointer. It was exhausting.

    It is emotionally painful to stay stuck in a place of indecision.

    It’s like sitting in quicksand while your mind kicks into overdrive, running through every possible scenario and outcome. I look back now and marvel at the level of unnecessary stress I put myself through. Not to mention the wasted amount of time and energy. When you get into a state of over-analyzing things, it brings heaviness and anxiousness along with it.

    There’s a scientific reason for this: stress releases cortisol which puts us in “fight or flight” mode. This makes every decision seem like it’s much bigger than it is. I was making even insignificant decisions seem crucial. For example, feeling as if my whole business would fail if I picked the wrong website platform to use. Or approaching writing a simple blog post as if it was going to be published in a scientific journal. Stressing about the topic, the title, what I would include. Worrying that it wouldn’t be value-added enough to help anyone.

    Fortunately, what I had heard my mentor say a few times finally clicked: “Done is better than perfect.”

    So simple. Just make a decision and move forward.  Over-analyzing and taking no action is far worse than the consequences of a decision that moves you forward.

    Any progress is progress.

    When I catch myself doing this, I stop, take a few deep breaths and ask myself some, or all, of these questions (depending on the situation). Often just this first question is enough to course-correct. If it’s something simple like “this vs. that”, I follow my gut and choose one. It immediately feels like a weight lifts, and I am more focused and relaxed.

    Tips for Making a Quicker Decisions

    Ask Yourself:

    1. Am I making this into something bigger than it needs to be?
    2. Is this going to make my life better?
    3. Can I do it on my own, or do I need support? If I think I can do it on my own, I ask a follow-up question: “why then, haven’t you done it already?” Most of us have been conditioned to believe that we should be able to handle everything on our own. I’ve learned that asking for help and getting myself the right support accelerated my progress. And made for a much more joyful experience!
    4. What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do this? To put it in more context: no one is going to be physically harmed, right? And I also remind myself that most decisions are not permanent. We can change course along the way, contrary to what we often let ourselves believe. As my husband says “just try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else.” (Can you tell he’s Australian??)
    5. What will happen if I don’t do this? The answer is usually that you’ll be stuck in the same place. Trying something new, despite how scary it can be, is always better than wondering if you could have.

    Too often we hold ourselves back with excuses and fear of failure. Keep in mind, some of the most successful people in the world say that their success came after failures. That’s where they learned the most.

    We’ve got just this one life–BE BOLD!