Mirco Confidence

Most people who struggle with self-confidence tend to think of it as an all or nothing thing…especially when confidence is in short supply. Either you’re confident or you’re not. You have the wherewithal to get through this challenge or you do not. You believe in yourself or you don’t. You’re perfectly confident in your ability to succeed…or in the likelihood you’ll fail.

Yet, confidence rarely manifests in such absolute terms. And framing confidence in all or nothing terms blocks you from experiencing the living, breathing confidence that’s growing stronger in your heart each time you meet a goal or learn a lesson…even a small, simple one.

Why make confidence so difficult to attain? Instead, seek to develop micro confidence. That is, limit the scope and intensity that your confidence must have in order to “count”. Center your confidence on the infinitely accomplishable and the easily doable.

Don’t have confidence that you can finish a degree? Then take one class…one day at a time. Don’t believe you can lose weight? Start by confidently changing one meal or adding one short walk to your week.

Are you absolutely confident that you’ll never have the life, the relationship, the career you want? Keep centering your thoughts and actions on these negative assumptions and you can be all but certain that you won’t. However, generating a tiny bit of micro confidence to take a step in the direction of what you want is all you need to shift your energies in a positive direction.

What that one small step is depends on your values and your goals. You might begin with a brief morning meditation or prayer centered on the changes you want to make. Make this a sacred time devoted to nurturing your ability to believe in what’s possible. Open yourself up to new ideas and allow yourself to receive guidance as to the next steps.

Ask yourself “what is the smallest action that I could take today that would still be a commitment to the changes I want to make”? Then take that action. You don’t have to have confidence in the end of your journey. You just have to believe enough to take that first small step!

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We are what persists…

We’re all familiar with the struggle to understand and activate our best selves…our highest natures. No matter what our faith or philosophy, we seek to deepen our connection to that which is most true: the source of our inner wholeness, the person we really are. In doing so, we are often given kernels of awareness that uplift and inspire us to change, to treat ourselves with kindness, and to live in radically different ways.

Yet too often, these revelations wing themselves away as quickly as they came. We unwittingly permit their departure by turning our attentions back to the mundane aspects of living and away from the powerful, the pregnant and the possible. Having caught a glimpse of the eternal person we can become, we reject her and settle for the time bound self of today. In that moment, that powerful, possible self fades to little more than an image. We take her promise and shelve it along with so many other stillborn ideas of which we have dreamed over the years. She becomes a character inhabiting our fantasy lives instead of the flesh and blood being whom we are here to realize.

We are what persists. This higher, better, wiser, more engaged and intuitive, more capable and successful, more loved and loving, more of what I am meant to be person may still exist in our hopes and dreams. But if all that persists of her is a dream, then at best, she’s a compelling image able to challenge us to grow. At worst, she’s a reminder of unrealized potential, undeveloped talents, untested purposes, untried plans and unanswered callings. She persists an unperson, a would-be being who reinforces our habit of remaining “less than we are meant to be” each time we fail to act on her compulsion.

We are what persists. We are what we allow to persist, what we encourage to persist. What shall we allow and encourage to persist in us today?

Listening to your Fear

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“Don’t live in fear. Banish fear from your life. Cast out the fear and let in the love”. We hear things like this said all the time. And given the choice between living in fear and living in love, who among us wouldn’t prefer love?

That said, let’s not be so quick to dismiss fear and its power. I don’t mean its power over us, but its power to guide us. Fear is a potent signal. It tells us that something inside us or around us is out of balance…exuding negative energy…drawing us down an unhealthy or dangerous path.

The depth and contours of our fears parallel the character of the obstacles that block our fluidity of choice. Fear may block us because of roots in habit, memory or past experience. But fear can also give us an intuitive glimpse into the consequences of our choices…a warning that certain life paths will be problematic for us and that we’d do well to explore fully before committing to them.

A great deal of damage can be done to our lives if we ignore this leading of fear. The next time you feel afraid…especially that unnamed fear that nags at you and keeps you from moving on with your life as planned/hoped…find out the fear’s reason for being. Use the following questions as a starting point.

Am I afraid of something that’s happening now, or recalling a fearful experience from my past?

Do I fear something external to me or am I the source of the fear?

Does the fear have certain triggers: actions, words, emotions, colors, sounds, scents, people?

Does the fear ever translate into words? Does it “speak” to me? If so, what does it say?

Do I feel/react to the fear in my body? If so, how? Where?

What ideas/thoughts come up with the fear? What other emotions?

Listening to our fears can be a powerful step in understanding and overcoming what’s holding us back and keeping us from the lives we want!

www,lifesignscoaching.com

Coaching for Caregivers

Being a caregiver is a sacred trust between you and a loved one. It’s an honor to help another person as they recover from illness or pass from this life with dignity and love. But it can also take an emotional, physical, mental and spiritual toll on you. With so many demands on your time and energy, it’s often difficult to give yourself what you need without feeling guilty.

• Honor your own needs as well as the needs of the person you care for
• Relieve the stress that comes with being responsible for another’s health and welfare
• Create a balanced life and a workable schedule
• Set healthy boundaries that honor you & your loved one
• Get assistance and support when needed
• Process your feelings (positive and negative) in a life-affirming way
• Attend to your health too!
• Cultivate hope and peace
• Cope with the loss of your loved one
• Re-create your life when caregiving responsibilities are done

For over 15 years, I have been helping people to change their lives and rediscover their confidence…to find hope again and create the lives they want most. I’ve also spent 3+ years as the primary caregiver for my mother as she underwent treatment for cancer. I know the joys and struggles you’re facing.

Let me help you be the best caregiver you can be…for yourself and your loved one! Contact  lifesignscoaching.com today!

Put Off Procrastination for Good!

My name is Jan. I’m a recovering procrastinator. I can relate to those of you who never do today what they can put off until tomorrow. And I know that hideous procrastination cycle all too well.
You decide to get healthy, organize your house or any number of other changes that would make your life better if you just did them. Your motivation is high at the start. You envision your new life in vivid detail and go to sleep confident that tomorrow begins the new you.
Then tomorrow comes, and you realize it’s easier to plan your game than to play it. Perhaps you stumble a little the first day. Maybe you just realize that working out or cleaning closets isn’t your cup of tea. Motivation quickly fades into guilt and you put off the new you until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow….
Put off the procrastination shackles for good. Here are a few tips to do just that.
1. Choose it or lose it! People often say “I always put things off” as though procrastinating was just as natural to us as blue eyes or brown hair. But procrastination isn’t natural. It’s actually a learned habit of avoidance. We procrastinate and avoid a goal if it makes us uncomfortable in some way.
Don’t let past habits define your life. Choose or lose your goals today by asking yourself WHY:
What does this goal mean to me today? Do I want it anymore?
How must my life change if I am to reach this goal?
Yes or no? Is this goal worth the effort to me or not?
If your WHY is convincing enough, then choose to make this goal happen. If it’s not convincing, lose it and save yourself the time and energy you put into procrastinating.
2. Make it manageable. We put off some goals because they’re too big and scary to deal with all at once. Instead of putting off the whole thing, break up your goals into small, manageable pieces. Start with something that you can complete in 15 minutes. Organize one shelf in one closet instead of THE WHOLE HOUSE. Walk for 15 minutes instead of running a 5K. Taking one step at a time, you’ll reach your overall goal without being overwhelmed by it.
3. Failure isn’t fatal. Procrastination is often easier than facing failure. Remind yourself that you don’t need to be perfect. No human being is. You only need to give your best effort at each step. Be gentle with yourself when the steps become difficult. Take your failures as opportunities to learn and do better next time.
4. Don’t put off celebration! Celebrating success after each small step will boost your self-confidence and make future successes more likely.

 

 

Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions into Solutions!

Are you already thinking of tossing your New Year’s Resolutions out with the holiday trash? Do you want to make some big changes in your life, but just don’t know where or how to start? Try a different approach for 2013.

Stay motivated and moving forward with help from a life coach!

An experienced life coach can help you to:

  • Overcome limiting habits and behaviors
  • Create new life affirming habits
  • Balance personal and professional lives
  • Prioritize your activities according to your needs and values
  • Make time for yourself in your own life
  • Set and attain personal and professional goals
  • Clarify and understand your personal beliefs and their effects
  • Stay motivated and committed to your growth
  • Organize and manage your time and space
  • Communicate your own needs
  • Develop confidence and self-esteem
  • Learn to communicate with an honest, authentic voice
  • Expand your leadership skills
  • Learn to love and respect yourself and live a life based on your values and desires
  • Be happier with yourself and your choices!

If this sounds like the kind of help you need, then don’t wait another second to put your 2013 Solutions into action!

Contact Life Signs Coaching today!

Ask about our online New Year’s specials when you do!

God Bless Us, Every One!

I posted a version of this last Christmas. But given the growing level of selfishness and hatred seen in human interactions today, these themes bear revising and revisiting. Enjoy!

For me, it’s just not Christmas without A Christmas Carol. I love getting caught up in the story of greed gone good and the most sacred of human redemptions. I watch EVERY version of the movie that has ever been made. The classic Alastair Sim version is still my favorite. But I even admit to enjoying the cartoon Carols with Mr. Magoo and the Smurfs…and the ultra-cheesy Ebbie with Susan Lucci.

At the beginning of the story, Dickens says “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book to raise the Ghost of an Idea.” Just what idea Dickens had in mind I do not know. But the idea I am left with after reading the tale…the idea I’d like to raise …is this:

Every human, every one, stands in need of redemption. None of us is without flaw or foible. Like it or not, we depend upon the grace of God, the bounty of creation and the generosity of others to live life, let alone to live it well. We are saved by these connections. And ourselves being saved, we are called upon to share the gift of connection and salvation with each other.

When little Tiny Tim, out of the abundance of his heart, proudly proclaims the most recognized holiday wish since “We bring you tidings of great joy,” he gave such a gift.  “God bless us, every one.” In context, the boy was offering his special prayer for those he loved. But Dickens and I have a deeper message in mind.

God bless us, everyone! Yes, literally everyone! Wishing well to those who would do the same for you is easy. But it’s difficult, nigh impossible, to wish blessing upon those who hurt us or wish us ill. Yet that is the nature of the love of which divine blessing is made. No one on this planet is beyond the reach of divine blessing. And no one on this planet should try to change that.

The reason is simple…and from a certain perspective, selfish. Divine blessing…divine love…is given freely without condition or limit. But when asking for this blessing, we most often pray the easy, narrowly focused “God please give us” prayers. Easy prayers center us on the ones being blessed rather than on the one giving the blessing. In doing so, they turn divine blessings into all too human “good wishes.”

Praying such easy prayers closes off the heart and cripples our ability to give and receive the love of which blessings are made. Praying the difficult prayer opens our hearts to God and to others in a bond of mutual respect and shared communion. Love thy neighbor is great. But love thy enemy is an uphill climb…especially if the hurt they’ve caused is fresh and the pain intense.

There is nothing wrong with asking this love for our families, friends, selves and those like us. However, unless we can pray the same prayer for one who hates us (not just for one you hate), then we don’t know how deeply and profoundly the blessing for which we are asking runs. We will never truly know divine love until we can share it with the one who our human heart would rather avoid or even  harm in return.

So in this holiday season, dare to pray a bolder prayer.

“God bless us! Every one!

“God, bless those I love and those who love me. Bless all those who have my best interest at heart. Bless those who make your world a better place simply by being in it. Bless those who make my life shine!

“But God, also bless those who hate and spitefully use us. Bless those who find me foolish and without value. Bless those who see my opinions…or even my existence…as trivial. Bless those who see themselves as the world’s greatest blessing.

“Bless those who make my life hell. Bless those I cannot bless because even seeing them darkens my spirit. Bless those who have hurt me most deeply, even those who hurt me in your name. Bless those with whom I will never agree!

Bless those who destroy for destruction’s sake. Bless those whose actions tear at our hearts and preoccupy our minds with humanity gone wrong. Bless those who would obliterate the best in us…the best and most innocent among us. Bless those who know naught but evil, and bless us so that we will never be or be impacted by such as that.

“Bless those who would never think…or want…to ask for your blessings themselves.”

Perhaps this change in the focus of our prayers will open the door to new community, connection and cooperation in 2013. Individually, as a nation and a world, we are in desperate need of this blessing!

One of my other favorite things about A Christmas Carol is that Dickens chose Ebenezer as the first name of his redeemed character. The word translates literally from Hebrew as “Stone of Help.” In Old Testament times, such stones were raised to memorialize places and times when God intervened for the good of Israel in ways which no human being could have orchestrated alone. Dickens’ Ebenezer was graced with such an intervention for his good…and subsequently became the source of good interventions on behalf of others.

In this most sacred of times for so many faiths, let us receive that same grace to transform our hearts to better share love, joy and peace with all. Let us not be like Old Jacob Marley, dead as a door-nail in our spirits. Let us be redeemable and sources of redemption for the Scrooge that would dwell in each of our hearts. God, please do bless us…every one!

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