Let Your Inner Child Play!

This week I have had the opportunity to let my inner child play! It was liberating. To be honest, I guess it was more my inner youth, nonetheless liberating.

I recently returned from a road trip with one of my dearest friends where we had been exploring the US. On this road trip, we went to a New Kids On The Block concert. As an adult, I am not that big into music, I realize now it’s something I just let slip by the wayside. When my friend found the tickets, I thought “Sure why not?”

Boy am I glad I did!

As soon as the concert started, I heard songs that instantly brought me back to my youth! It was so neat to experience the totally excited 14-year-old in me, she was excited beyond words and that is something I have not felt in a long time. I was instantly brought back to my 14-year-old self who danced around the basement, had posters of the band on the wall and fantasized about the cute boys. She was so enthusiastic, so full of life, so optimistic and so passionate. What an amazing experience to feel her, to be her again. I could feel her absolute excitement about being at the concert. I could feel at times that my adult “in control” serious side wanted to squash her as I didn’t want to look silly, I overrode the impulse and let her play! It was exhilarating!

Let your inner child play!

 

What a blessing for this experience!

After the concert, I started thinking about that it was at around that age that I started really struggling to find my identity, which is the plight of adolescence. It is during this time that the need to fit starts to outweigh almost everything; the primal fear of rejection pushes us to start to sacrifice parts of our personality that we deem undesirable. Parts that might get us singled out or that someone might reject. I am sure I am not alone in this! Allowing the 14-year-old in me to come out and play gave me the opportunity to reassure her that she is perfect the way she is and that she is good enough! This was so liberating and healing! So, needless to say, she played that night at the concert and I reconciled some deep wounds of suppression.

I will let her play!

As I continue this journey into myself, I am finding that there are more of these traits. They are like treasures that I am dusting off and putting back on display. What a cool experience! Of course, there is some shame for having hid them in the first place. I have always advocated for owning who you are and I believe that completely, but as with most things, we are harder on ourselves. Continuing on this journey, I find myself curious and excited to see what other treasures I will find. And I made a promise to myself that when my inner child/youth arises I will let her play! Oh and of course dance!!

 

 

 

Perfectionism a Problem? Really?

Perfectionism a Problem? Really?

I have been running this blog through my head for weeks, and finally I am ready to write it! The funny thing is, I haven’t wanted to write it because I wanted it to be perfect, guess I still have some work to do!

I was convinced that perfectionism could not be a problem!

Listening to Brene Brown’s books Daring Greatly and The Power of Vulnerability, she talks about how perfection is an armor that we use to protect ourselves from vulnerability. I must admit when I first heard this I thought “NOPE!!!!!” It made me uncomfortable (perhaps even angry) and physically nauseated, I wanted to throw up! I had flashbacks of my life when I had proudly stated “I am a perfectionist!” The more I let this sink in, the more I wanted to disprove it and find examples of events in my life that could prove that it was untrue. I was convinced that perfectionism could not be a problem! After all, it pushes you to achieve, it keeps you at your best and it keeps you on your toes…and on and on I went, trying to justify why being a perfectionist was a good thing! The more, I listened to Brene talk about it, (honestly, over and over), I finally let go of my resistance and with some awareness, willingness and a whole lot of self- compassion, I began to accept that maybe my perfectionism was not the motivator I thought it was.

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The problem with perfectionism is: Is there ever perfect enough?

After receiving a good performance review at work, the first thing my mind would focus on would be the one slightly less than great comment. My mind would say ‘not perfect’. When I would receive a compliment on my cooking, typically I would reply with something like “I wish I would have…”, implying that the dish did not turn out ‘perfect enough’. When my husband would tell me I looked beautiful, I would respond “I still need to lose a few more pounds”. You guessed it, ‘not perfect’ was playing in my head. That is the thing with perfection, the very meaning of it means it is unreachable. Could you ever really be perfect in a perfectionist mind frame? No, because there is no such thing as perfect and when you do reach a milestone or make some headway the perfectionist in you says, “Oh no you didn’t”, and moves the mark. You are like a rabbit chasing a carrot at the end of the stick, you keep running and running but will never get the carrot. And, if by chance you do achieve a goal and for a minute recognize your accomplishment, the perfectionist will poke holes in it and point out how it really wasn’t ‘perfect enough’. It is never ending and crazy making!

How can we put ourselves out there if we are waiting for everything to be perfect?

The other side of perfectionism, according to Brene Brown , is that it kills creativity and innovation. How can we put ourselves out there if we are waiting for everything to be perfect? We can’t! The biggest thing that stands out in my life is my procrastination on sharing my photography. The self-talk tape I would play when someone would give me a compliment on my photos was never-ending. When I would look at my photos I would pick them apart like a vulture. I was ruthless in my judgement and the underlying message was “These are not perfect you can’t put them out there!” And so, I didn’t! There would be times I would sit in front of Photoshop working on a picture and after a couple of hours I had only cropped one single picture – no word of a lie! Back and forth I would go, the little cropping lines taunting “you are not going to get this perfect”. I was paralyzed and then frustration would set in and eventually, I would give up. To be honest this still happens sometimes, but now I just walk away for a little while until I can get my perfectionism in balance. Then I return and finish the picture.

Perfectionism a Problem? Really?

Having this understanding I now think, “Thank goodness there are people out there who have learned to keep their inner perfectionist in check.” Otherwise there would be no creativity and innovation and I imagine we would still be living in caveman times if that was the case.

Although I resisted it at first (OK let’s be honest, I full out rejected it), I can now see that the more I am aware of my perfectionist and the more I can keep her in balance, the more I accomplish! The coolest thing is, I am enjoying it too! As a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you that you don’t accomplish less you actually accomplish more!

So I leave you with this question, “What has your perfectionism stopped you from doing?”

Release It!

When I attended my yoga class, our instructor advised the class that it was a full moon this week. Our practice was based all around releasing. Therefore, I thought this would be the perfect topic for the week.

Releasing can be either in the physical sense or it can be on a spiritual, emotional or psychological level.  There are two sides to releasing. First, a natural grieving for the letting go process and, on the other side, an excitement for opening of space for something new.

Too often we focus on the difficulty of the letting go!

We equate letting go with leaving the comfortable and the known. Many of us subscribe to the old saying “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. But if we ascribe to this, we end up staying in relationships that don’t serve our highest good, we hold on to grudges and negative feelings that are stealing our joy, we stay in situations that are either stunting our growth or are harming us; all for the safety of the known. I understand the compulsion to stay in the comfort, even when it is uncomfortable. In my experience, when I am resisting moving forward the Universe finds a way to help me make that move!

 

Release it!

We are the captains of our lives and we intuitively know what is best for us!

Often, we either consciously or unconsciously talk ourselves out of making those changes for a variety of reasons. We think we are better staying where we are because it is known. Usually, when we do this we feel agitated and stressed we may not realize why we are feeling that way but we just don’t feel right. We find ourselves feeling exhausted and like we are banging our head against the wall, or running around in circles. We feel this way because this is exactly what we are doing we are using our energy to go against what we know in our gut is right for us.

In my experience, I have found that the more I continue to resist the truth the worse I feel and slowly but surely, I am disengaging from my life; only showing up halfheartedly to everything. Even the things I truly love, being stuck is energy sucking. It is usually then that the Universe finds a way to intervene and assists me in making the move that I didn’t feel I could do on my own!

 

Release it!

The issue with this is that if we are not aware of the gift of being moved forward then we often end up feeling resentful for how the situation ended.

In my life, I have been gifted by the Universe many times over when I was not able to move forward; I am trying to hold on to the old and comfortable. I see this same pattern with the people around me. One friend, found herself staying in a relationship that was holding her back, she stayed because she felt that it was her responsibility to work on the relationship. She believed in the vows she had taken and tried to make the relationship grow with her. The problem was that she was the only one trying. Her spouse, for his own reasons, was not willing to grow. She begged, pleaded, argued and cried trying to get her partner to grow with her; to no avail. She continued to stay in the relationship because she was holding out hope. It wasn’t until she started to see the effect this was having on the rest of her life and the lives of her children. She had been sacrificing herself to stay and that was causing friction in all areas of her life. She was withdrawing from a career she loved, she was constantly feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. That was the point when she finally listened to her intuition and made the decision; it was time to leave the relationship. And she did! She released the belief that she needed to make the relationship work and opened up to the unknown of being a single parent. Since this releasing she has found a happiness that she had not felt for a long time. She has rekindled friendships and most important she has honoured her inner wisdom and is feeling more confident and present in her life.

Release It!

 

Now I am not saying that you need to get a divorce, or quit the job, or leave the partner. That doesn’t have to be the only solution. In her case this was, but maybe in your case there is a belief that needs to be released that will completely shift the situation. Maybe you feel that you have to be perfect and that is causing strain, maybe you believe that to a good wife or mother you need to be self-sacrificing, or maybe you believe that at your age you should be married so you are settling for less than you deserve in your relationship. When you are able to release the belief, the person, the emotion, or the situation then things can and will shift. You will be releasing the old that is not working for you and opening up space for something new that suits who you are.

I guess it really all boils down to a choice.

Do you want to stay stuck and keep banging your head against the wall or do you want to release what is not working to welcome something new? I know when I become aware of something that I need to release I choose to release because I know the alternative is hard and, to be honest, it sucks!

All that said ask yourself, with this full moon in effect, “What is it that you are ready to release?”, so that you can open the space for something new!

Just Say Yes!

Last week I talked about setting boundaries and how absolutely important that is! The other side of boundaries is that you need to be able to say yes too! Often, we lax on our boundaries for others but are rigid with the ones we have on ourselves.

Curious?

Have you ever found yourself really wanting to do something like starting a yoga class, or taking a trip with a friend, or even something as simple as going for a massage? We (at least I do) set boundaries around saying yes, “I will take that class when I lose 5 pounds”, “I will go on that trip when things slow down at work”, “I will go for a massage after I finish my spring cleaning”. Whatever it is, we set ourselves a boundary that stops us from doing something we really want to do.

Why is that?

In The Power of Vulnerability, author Brene Brown says we do this because a “shame gremlin” pops into our heads and we don’t feel good enough to say yes. We don’t join the class because we are not slim enough to be in a yoga class, we are not productive enough to take the trip, not clean enough to have the massage. Does this sound familiar?

It sure did for me! I was always saying, to myself, “When I am fitter I’ll take that class”, “When I am better at photoshop I’ll sell my pictures”, “When I have this work completed then I can take that trip”. There are a couple problems with this. The first being, is there ever going to be a time when we do feel enough? We tend to keep moving the milestone and never get to the “yes”! So you may lose those 5 pounds, but then the thought becomes “I’ll join the yoga class when I am more flexible”, or “I’ll take the trip when this next client gets on track”, or “I’ll go for the massage when I clean out the garage, too!” And on and on the cycle goes. Never saying “yes” because we never measure up to the qualifiers. The second problem: When we say “no” to something we really want, we are left regretting not having that experience.

Just Say Yes!

What I have realized!

I place these boundaries on myself and I miss out on opportunities that would bring me joy!  Once you take all the beliefs, fear and judgments out of it, you realize this is crazy!!! When I realized this, I decided to start asking myself, “What would I say to a friend?” Doing this keeps me in check, because of course, I would say to a friend, “That’s crazy! Take the class, go on the trip, go for the massage!”

What I have decided!

In my life, I would rather have the discomfort of facing the self judgments, and saying “yes”.  Now, I practice going for what I want to do, when I want to do it. I have decided that I would rather have the slight discomfort now, rather than the regret.

If you have read my story, then you know that when my husband’s illness worsened, he regretted not taking chances and doing the things he really wanted to do. This regret was burned in my mind! I don’t want to be 80 and looking back on my life wishing I had said yes more often. Therefore, for me in my pursuit of a joyful life, I have strengthened my boundaries with others and loosened the self-imposed boundaries. I am now practicing saying yes to life, yes to experience, and yes to joy!

Just Say Yes!

How about you? Is there something you have imposed a boundary on that you want to do? If so I challenge you to say yes. In my experience the more I practice yes, the easier it comes.

Learn How to Set Your Boundaries + A Free Boundaries Cheat Sheet!

Ok…. wait. Don’t close the page. I know boundaries can be a scary word to a lot of people. We hear about the importance of putting boundaries in place… Then for some reason or another we don’t follow through with it. Why does even thinking of boundaries frighten so many of us?

It may be because some of us like to identify ourselves as “givers” or “nice people” who would do anything for anyone. This isn’t bad, but when we give to the point of being drained or we give to others till our cups are empty, then we get to a point where we start to feel bitter about it.  This can happen so slowly that we don’t even realize it is happening, until you realize… 

You avoid certain friends because you don’t have the energy.

You start isolating yourself from others because you’re drained.

You dread Monday morning and count down the hours till Friday afternoon.

Sound familiar?

Just say no

In our society, we are taught that we need to give selflessly to be liked. At the same time, we are taught that if we say “no”, or set boundaries, it’s selfish and rude. When you’re everything to everyone, it’s exhausting! That is why so many of us give until we burn out. We become apathetic and give out of obligation instead of desire. This is a very soul sucking place to be! The thought of saying no to friends and family, the mere mention of taking time for yourself rather than being selfish is overwhelming, especially if we have dedicated our lives to being everything to everyone. I call it a “giving addict.” We feel that we will be seen as selfish, friends will abandon us and that we are not good enough. The negative dialogue takes over. We muster the strength and continue to give more and more and betray ourselves more and more.

How I recovered as a giving addict

Hindsight is 20/20! I was like this with my family and friends, but especially with my career. Often I chose to allow my work to dictate my life. I would leave my work cell on and respond to clients’ calls in the evenings and on the weekends. There would be days where I would realize when I got home that I hadn’t eaten or taken a break all day. But I continued to do it again the next day. My ego would say “my clients need me…I have to be there for them. What kind of worker am I if I’m not available?” Most evenings I would be so exhausted, I would crash on the couch trying to recuperate, and weekends were a write-off, I was too worn out to do anything. I needed to recharge!

My wakeup call came too late! When my husband passed, I started to see all the things I had missed out on. He always wanted to do things on the weekend…. take little excursions, go camping, socialize with friends and family or go on dates. I was always too tired and burned out from my work that the thought of having fun… just seemed like more work!

I missed these opportunities and special times with my husband because I was not able to set boundaries around work. I learned and I now know how important boundaries are!

Not only did I lose out, I also robbed my clients of the chance to figure things out on their own. I stole from them the opportunity to grow and learn. So really it was a lose-lose! Now I have boundaries in place, I take care of myself, I honour my feelings and I do things because I want to, rather than feeling obligated to (most of the time) and I have people in my life that support those boundaries!

You can have this too!

All it takes is total honesty with yourself about what you will and will not accept. You need to feel good about putting boundaries in place. This is definitely a process. Our culture has deeply ingrained the need to please in us. It takes awareness, patience and a lot of self-love to get through to the other side of a boundary-friendly life. When you do start moving in this direction, you’ll be rewarded! You will regain energy, love yourself more, and people will offer more support than you envisioned! Sounds good, right?

The first step is awareness. Recognize where in your life you need boundaries. Where do you give too much of yourself? Listen to your internal voice and determine whether you feel motivated by “should do” or “have to do”. If you feel heavy and dreadful, then these are good clues that you need boundaries in place. There are some things in life that we choose to do because they need to be done, (i.e. laundry or dishes for me). These become the exceptions to your boundary rules.

Ready to take that first step?

Get with yourself and recognize where you are betraying yourself and giving out of obligation or guilt Start valuing yourself and get ready to set some boundaries.

Get TSW Life Coaching’s free printable boundaries cheat sheet below!

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

Holidays can be a really hard time for many, especially if you have been through one of the 5D’s. When you have gone through a loss from death, divorce, dumped, downsized or disease, holidays can be huge reminder of the loss and can be very stressful. If this is the case then this is the perfect time to lean on family and friends; it is not a time to suffer alone.

Although, family and friends can, at times, be a source of frustration, they are also our greatest teachers and our greatest support. I am so grateful for my family and friends (whom I consider family). Without them I would not be the person I am today, so to honour all those I love this holiday I compiled a list of my 10 favorite quotes on family!

     Do you know what is the best part of life? When your family understands you as a friend and your friends support you as your family. – Unknown

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

     To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. – Confucius

 

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 

      Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learnt the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 

  A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you. -Elbert Hubbard

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of humans, are created, strengthened and maintained. – Winston Churchill

 

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. – Mother Teresa

 

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

 Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. -Unknown

 

 

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

Families are like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one. -Unknown

 

An extra…. I couldn’t resist!

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

Families are like fudge mostly sweet, with lots of nuts. -Unknown

 

Happy Easter, I hope you all feel the love of family and friends this holiday! And of course, the Easter bunny!

10 Best Quotes on Family and Friends

 

Top 3 things to Consider When Looking for Work!

Being downsized or let go can be a pretty upsetting thing. When this does happen most people just want to run into a new position.

They crave that security and there is a lot of fear surrounding the uncertainty and overwhelm of the situation. I understand the desire to just jump back in, but I encourage you to consider these three things before looking for your next job. These are especially helpful when you are looking not only for a job, but a job that you love, a job that excites you!

1. Consider your values!

Top 3 things to Consider When Looking for Work!

Get crystal clear on what your values are. We operate through our life according to our values, therefore if we want a job that fits us, it has to fit within our values. For example, if you value community, then getting a job where you are on your own working by yourself where there is no community probably won’t be satisfying to you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take this job but it could be a struggle to keep you interested or engaged. If you really want the job you may need to find a way to incorporate community into the position like a weekly lunch gathering, so that your value of community is being met. That is a decision only you can make but if you understand your values then you understand your unique perspective on the world. This way you won’t get into a situation where you are working somewhere that is out of alignment with your values, and you are more likely to find something that suits you and that you love. So, consider what values you hold and how strongly you hold them.

2. Know your worth!

This is one many people struggle with, including myself. We tend to undervalue ourselves. We tend to minimize our special talents because they come easy to us and, therefore, undervalue our worth. I am guilty of this for sure! The more I learn the more I realize that common sense to one does not mean common sense to everyone.

You are a unique individual with your own special set of superpowers and that in itself is awesome! You should be valued for those gifts. Therefore, when looking for a new career make sure that, not only does it align with your values, but your superpowers too!

Top 3 things to Consider When Looking for Work!

Set standards on what you will accept and what you will not and then, most importantly, don’t settle for less! You deserve to be valued. Stop playing small! The world needs you to shine in all your glory!

3. Clear out negative energy!

This is so important, especially if you have been downsized or let go! If you are carrying around negative energy and negative beliefs about your abilities, about working or about people then this will hinder you in finding your dream job. Clear out all the negative stories you are telling yourself, so that you can open the space for the positive energy to move in. If you are replaying stories of fear, mistrust, abandonment, anger or judgement directed at either yourself or others or both, then it is time to let it go!

Think about this, would you hire someone who has a big dark storm cloud hanging over them? Of course not, it’s not good for business! You may think you are hiding it well, but usually those types of emotions are written all over our faces and they come out in our body language and tone. Not the best face to show at an interview!

Top 3 things to Consider When Looking for Work!

Getting rid of those emotions will open up the space for you to move into something new with a clean slate, ready for new experiences and ready to face new challenges. Now that sounds like a great employee!

 

If you get these three things in line then I am sure you will be in a better place to find a job that you like, that suits you, that you are excited to do. Who doesn’t want that?

We spend a lot of our lives at work.  We may as well enjoy that time, rather than counting down the days to the weekend!

Go on, take care of yourself…IT’S OK!

Self-care is something you always hear about, how it’s so important, but most of us don’t do it. Or at least don’t do it properly!

Working in the field of human services for so many years you always hear about the importance of self-care. In fact, I don’t think I have been through an interview where I wasn’t asked “What do you do for self-care?” And to be honest I would throw out the same old answers, read a book, go to the gym, yoga, hang out with friends. I wasn’t necessarily lying, but when I said those things I actually just did the actions the minimum, I was too busy! What I didn’t understand was what it really means to practice self-care!

The difference, I know now, is that you can do the actions but if your energy and intention is not in line with the actions, then you are not actually doing self-care.  In many instances, I feel you might be doing self-harm instead! What I mean by this is that when you take a bath and spend the whole time running through a to-do list in your head, or thinking about a mistake you made at work or what else you should be doing, then how are you enjoying your bath? You’re not! You might as well be sitting at your desk! The harm here is, if you are telling yourself that this is self-care then you are sending the message that you are not good enough and don’t deserve the break!

On the other hand, if you are sitting in your bath being mindful of the warm water, the way the bubbles tickle your skin, smelling the oils in the bath, enjoying the space and time that you are in, then you are definitely doing self-care! Can you see the difference between the two?

Go on, take care of yourself…IT'S OK!

Another common go to method of self-care for some is having a glass of wine. If you are drinking it while thinking “I need this glass of wine to unwind to stop thinking about my crazy day”, but you are actually thinking about your crazy day then this is not self-care! If you are drinking that glass of wine mindfully, enjoying the view, feeling how the wine feels on your tongue, savoring the flavor and feeling the glass on your lips then you are doing self-care!

The energy behind the two is very different! Keeping this in mind, why don’t you plan some time for yourself to do some actual self-care this week?

While doing your chosen activity, notice your thoughts. How is your body feeling? Where are your emotions at? Being present in your self-care activity is what makes it an act of caring for yourself. Think of it this way: If you were caring for a friend would you focus on them or would you focus on your to-do list, planning your next activity or ruminating on your day or would you give them your full attention? You deserve that same attention!

The following is a short list of some activities you can do for self-care but remember the most important part is that you give yourself that time and attention while you perform them.

Go on, take care of yourself…IT'S OK!

  • Go for a walk.

While walking, take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Pay attention to how your body moves while you walk. What is your breathing like?

  • Read a book.

Really read the book. If it is a self-help or personal growth book, focus on the words and lessons from a place of curiosity instead of a place of judgement or trying to fix yourself.

  • Have a spa day.

Choose your favorite salts or oils to put in the bath, pick your favorite music to listen to or enjoy the silence. Make and use a facial mask or body scrub. Here are some links to cool homemade spa treatments  http://www.wholeliving.com/136432/home-spa-guide#end or http://www.thefitindian.com/diy-homemade-spa-treatments/ or search https://wellnessmama.com/.

  • Enjoy your favorite meal.

Either cook yourself something special or go out for your favorite meal. Actually, taste the food, enjoy it…. No guilt or judgement on what you should or should not be eating.

  • Get exercise.

Go to a gym, take part in a class that excites you. While performing it do it because it is fun and exciting, no self judgements!

Go on, take care of yourself…IT'S OK!

 

Make sure whatever it is that you do, do it with the intention that you deserve this time, you are worth it and you are doing it because you love yourself! If you set the proper intention before you start the activity, then you are going to actually be doing self-care rather than just checking off another thing on your to-do list!

Perseverance or Punishment?

One of the values that many of us hold is perseverance, which is defined as steadfastness in doing something despite delay or difficulty in achieving success. This is a value that can be very beneficial in life, but is there a point where it can move from being a positive to a punishment?

 

When we value perseverance, we don’t give up, we challenge ourselves to stick with something when it is not easy, we push through the difficulties to achieve success. This is positive, right? We all know someone, or maybe we are the one, who keeps trying and doesn’t give up. I know people who have stuck with a job, despite not feeling they are achieving things, they tell themselves things like “It will get better, keep going! You will achieve success.” And others who are in relationships that are less than they desire and, same thing, they tell themselves “Just keep going, keep trying it will work out.” This optimistic, loyal attitude can get you far in life for sure, so what could possibly be the down side of it?

Perseverance or Punishment?

The other side of perseverance could be struggle, settling, pushing and conflict. That is not so positive. It sounds more like a punishment than a value. So the question is, when does perseverance move from a positive to a punishment?

In my experience, it all comes down to the motivation and the reasons for the steadfastness.

 

Let’s look closer at the two examples above. First, the job. Sure, you are challenging yourself to stick with the job you are being loyal to the organization. You are possibly learning, growing new skills, you are being a good employee, you are contributing, you are employed doing something that you are passionate about (maybe not all the time), but most mornings you are happy to go to work.

The flip side of this if you are settling for something that doesn’t excite you and stresses you out and the rewards of achievement are not coming, but you continue to stick with it because you are employed.  Both of these descriptions are two sides of a coin. And the difference is the motivation behind your perseverance.

So, are you telling yourself “Just stick with it because you want to learn and grow”? Or “Just stick with this because you should be able to do this, you should be better than this”? Are you staying at the job because you want to be loyal or because you are scared people will judge you for leaving? Are you persevering because you are excited about the challenge or are you doing it because you are a failure if you don’t? The energy and self-talk behind the two are very different. If you are staying in the job because you are a failure if you leave, you should be doing better, people will judge you and you have to because it is a job, then guess what? Your perseverance has turned into a punishment. I am sure you can recognize this person in your work place. They are the ones who look completely unhappy and they seem to be carrying a thousand-pound weight and they most likely are pretty negative! Yuck! If this is what is keeping you in your job it’s time for some serious self-evaluation!

Perseverance or Punishment?

On the other hand, if you are truly persevering then you are excited about the challenge, committed to figuring things out, you are challenged and enjoy your work and the thought of future achievements excites and inspires you. If this is the case, you are in a good space you and your value of perseverance is serving you well!

Looking at the relationship example, I am sure you can all recall a couple you have known who you think should not be in a relationship, or maybe that’s you! Same thing as above, if you are staying in that relationship because it’s important to you and you truly love this person and want to grow together, then great! It’s your perseverance that will help you make it through the difficult times. If, on the other hand, you are staying in the relationship because there may not be anyone else out there, or being in an ok or crappy relationship is better than being single, or you should be able to work things out, then you are punishing yourself!

 

Unfortunately, most times when our perseverance is a punishment, it takes us leaving the situation to realize that we were not really as happy as we thought. I have heard countless times “as soon as I left and was away from the situation for a little while I realized the toll (the job or relationship) was taking on my life. I feel healthier, less stressed out and just around all happier.” I have said those exact words myself!

So, if you are wondering if your value of perseverance is actually a punishment ask yourself Why am I persevering?” The answer you get will tell you! If you are sticking with it because of fear, or self-judgement then it’s no longer perseverance, it’s punishment. If you do find you are punishing yourself, leaving the situation doesn’t have to be the only outcome, sometimes all you need is a change in perspective and you will switch your punishment to perseverance.

Perseverance or Punishment?

Why Everyone Deserves a Coach!

What I gained from coaching is beyond my wildest expectations. If you have read my story then you know that I looked into coaching after my life was turned upside down after my husband passed away. When I first signed up for the coaching course, I never expected or could have imagined how it would change my life. I went into it with the desire to support others, but I never realized how much it would have, and continues to, support me on my journey.

Why Everyone Deserves a Coach!

I can’t say it enough, I think everyone deserves a coach! I don’t say this because I think everyone is broken, rather I believe we all have areas of our lives where we are not shining our brightest! It may not be that drastic and you may not necessarily be suffering, but why have fried bologna when you can have filet mignon?! What I mean by this is I see a lot of people surviving in this life, settling for a good life when they could have a fabulous one. And this has been my experience with coaching. It took the complete upheaval of my life to help me find the courage and the strength to decide I wanted and deserved a fabulous life.

Until you have experienced it, and I recommend you do, it is hard to explain how coaching changes your life, but it does! When I first was coached, I went into it thinking “I am self-aware”, “After years of working in the human services, I have a lot of skills”, and “Short of magically returning my life to my level of happiness before my husband passed, there is not a lot that can change”. Boy, was I wrong! First of all, I couldn’t even fathom that my level of happiness could be higher, much higher! Second, the journey that coaching has taken me on is one that is challenging, eye opening and so rewarding. I couldn’t even imagine I would be where I am now and my journey is not over! Every time I get coached I learn more, grow more and gain a better understanding of myself and how I show up in my life!

Why Everyone Deserves a Coach

I know this may sound all ‘sunshine and roses’, but trust me there are storm clouds. What I have gained from coaching is a way to handle those difficult times with strength, trust and the ability to listen to my inner wisdom, that guides me always! I have learned that I am fully capable of handling what life has to throw at me. This does not mean that I live it all the time, but how I used to cope compared to how I cope now is totally different.

In the past, if a storm cloud rolled in I would go into my head and catastrophize the whole thing, I would over think to the point of obsessing at times. Sound familiar? Even after the storm had passed I was still thinking and recycling through fear, shame and thoughts of how I should have or could have done better and then I would ruminate on this for a while, sometimes weeks! Then, when another storm cloud showed up on the horizon I would go into hyper drive trying to control the situation and reliving the last storm cloud, in mind and body. Holy anxiety producing!

This is a stark difference to how I handle storm clouds now. I am now able to enjoy the day until the cloud comes, rather than living in fear it may appear and being vigilant about checking the horizon for it! So when they appear – and they do still appear –  that is life. I take a deep breath, brave the storm and trust that it will pass. I use the skills I have gained to weather the storm, and at times find myself enjoying the show. Once it has passed, and it always does, I can be grateful to the storm for all it provided; clearing out the old, shining the light on potential areas of growth, and providing much needed sustenance to blossoming seeds.

Why Everyone Deserves a Coach

Now, I want to be perfectly transparent. There are still times when fear and old patterns show up. They have been there for years and they were in place for a very real (perceived) reason. The difference is, now with the skills I have gained, if I do fall into old patterns I can recognize and adjust so they are not nearly as paralyzing as before and don’t last nearly as long. When I feel really stuck then I reach out to my coach for further support.

Based on my experience, this is why I believe everyone deserves a coach! Everyone deserves to realize their potential and everyone deserves to fully shine! You don’t have to be in dire straits to reach out for support from a coach, instead you simply have to have the curiosity to get to know yourself intimately and have a desire to take your life from good to fabulous! I wish I would have realized the power of coaching much earlier in my life, as who knows where I would be now. I am just grateful that I have the support and skills to live my life to the fullest!