Category: Death

Do You Have Enough ENERGY to Get the Job Done?

By , October 23, 2013 5:40 pm

iStock_000022531364XLarge“Energy is simply the capacity to do work. Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and recover energy.”

~ Jim Loehr, Author

We need energy to function and perform.

Our bodies require rest and recovery time in addition to the absence from work if you want to be healthy, happy and deliver high performance.

Balancing stress and recovering is essential in all aspects of our daily lives.

Most people in business (working in corporate or for themselves) have an imbalance of expending energy as opposed to recovering it. Over time, our energy reserves are depleted and this can lead to burnout.

It happened to me many years ago and I was fortunate enough to see this as a wake up call to change my lifestyle and approach to my working life. Others aren’t so lucky.

Most of us tend to unconsciously assume that we can indefinitely spend our mental and emotional energy without replenishing any at a physical or spiritual level. Our balance becomes skewed as we work longer hours, sacrificing our weekends and evenings.

Over time our performance is compromised, as we falsely believe that being successful means working harder, and this involves working long hours all the time. Some working cultures actively encourage this (I know this was true when I worked as an international consultant).

I’ve learned that spending and recovering energy has a natural flow to it, a bit like a tide ebbing and flowing. You’ve got to allow a natural rhythm in alignment with your body. Don’t just take my word for it – our breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure all have natural rhythms to them!

By starving your body of energy you are messing with the natural rhythms that effect your health, happiness and performance. No wonder you start to feel tired and exhausted!

Working at a crazy pace without breaks is actually addictive (you see it all the time in the work place). We are all copying each other heading towards overwhelm and burnout! If you don’t do what everyone else is doing, then you feel that you aren’t performing as well.

In our reluctance to stop and replenish, we turn to artificial stimulants to keep our bodies alert to meet the busy demands in our lives, such as caffeine and drugs. To help us relax, we use alcohol or sleeping pills to calm us down. These artificial stimulants become addictive over time as we rely on them to keep us going.

Are you drinking several cups of coffee during the day to stay on it? Are you then going home and drinking several glasses of wine at night to relax and chill? If so, you are messing with your rhythms and masking the depletion of your energy.

Here are some tips to increase your energy and avoid burnout even in the most demanding job:

Create circuit breakers in your routine – Our bodies are not designed to sit at a computer and stare at a screen answering emails all day, or sitting inactive in long meetings. Create breaks in your day – get up, move around, go for a 10-15 minute walk to shake off the atrophy. Drink plenty of water and go for a pee when you need one (seriously, I know people who forget to go all day!).

Schedule personal time with family and friends – Mark days or long weekends and holidays in advance in your calendar. These are not compromise-able! One of my clients takes a long weekend (3-days) every month to be fully present with her family. The more important we see our work and ourselves; the more we become unavailable to our friends and family. I coached a guy once who has lost all his friends because of his addiction to his job. He was very lonely.

Set some boundaries – Be realistic about what you can achieve and prioritize around your High Value Work (HVW). Minimize any distractions and stay focused on what’s important. Plan, prioritize and say NO to things that don’t serve you or your goals.

Stretch – don’t splatter –  yourself! – High performance requires us to step out of our comfort zone and create a new normal. To build new capacity mentally and emotionally you have to exceed your muscles’ current capacity  past it’s current limit for short periods of time followed by adequate recovery (just like building muscle tone at the gym). This is where you get growing pains and feel short-term discomfort as you are learning.

Take up a hobby – Yep… I’m serious! There’s almost a perception that taking time to rest and enjoy something that you like doing is a weakness because surely no one has time to do what your like doing, right?! Resting is seen as laziness! I enjoy walking and surrounding myself with nature is uplifting mentally, physically, emotionally…and spiritually. Make time for something that you enjoy each week, reading? Photography?

As a coach, I’ve witnessed remarkable changes in the energy and performance of people (including myself) because they consciously and regularly renew their energy. They are healthy, happy, high performers and are fully engaged in their lives.

Look after yourself… YOU are the only ONE you have!

Do you have enough energy to get the job done?!

 

5 Things To Do the Next Time You Feel Like Quitting!

By , March 7, 2012 8:02 pm

“The difference between success and failure isn’t the absence of fear but the determination to pursue your heart’s desires no matter how scared you are.”

~Martha Beck, Author and Coach – Finding your Own North Star

Sometimes I feel like quitting!

The last time was a few weeks ago after my cat died suddenly. I’ve had three deaths in the last six months and was getting sick to death of death! I’d reached the “WTF!” stage. I felt like giving it all up throwing my laptop away and getting a job in a tea shop. I could happily spend my days serving cups of tea and chatting to customers. Blissfully avoiding any responsibility!

How many times have you felt like giving up, throwing the towel in and running away to start a new life or career?

Monthly?

Weekly?

Daily?!

Life isn’t always easy. There are times when things get difficult and we struggle with loss, uncertainty and doubt.

Quitting is always an option especially you’re faced with what seem like impossible challenges.

Here’s the thing…

There is a difference between TALKING about quitting and ACTUALLY quitting…

One involves THOUGHT the other ACTION.

The truth is that EVERYONE FEELS like giving up at some point. We all hit a roadblock that’s hard to get around:

  • You’re scared to begin because you might fail
  • You’re riddled with uncertainty and doubt – Especially when things become murky or unclear.
  • You’re questioning whether you were really cut out for this after all?
  • You’re feeling like a dumb-ass for giving up your well paid job to go it alone and now no one’s knocking at your door for your services!
  • You’re repeatedly asking yourself WTF am I doing?!
  • You have more excuses for not carrying on than reasons for carrying on
  • You’re questioning the answers the Universe appears to be showing you just now!

Fear and doubt are dream killers and in moments of uncertainty it’s easy to allow them to erode our confidence and win-out. We want assurances on how things are going to turn out and when these aren’t available we become uncomfortable with taking action. We hesitate our energy drains away and up pop the excuses. Avoidance strategies kick in and we skulk back to hide in our comfort zone, waiting for either divine intervention or for someone else to save us!

We stop being successful…

This lack of energy towards your goal reinforces the limiting beliefs that “I’m not cut out for this…” and you become locked into a lack-mindset.

These are the defining moments that make us question and challenge ourselves. You have a choice between Getting Out and Going Deeper in.

Here’s what to do when you feel like quitting:

1. Take responsibility. Let go of any excuses and accept where you are right now. You might not be able to influence what has happened in the past, but you can influence the present and shape future outcomes. Stop blaming others, the recession or the moon being in retrograde! Dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.

2. Get in touch with your passion. Re-align to your dream. WHY do you want to do this? Re-ignite the flame burning deep within you. You CAN do this but ONLY if you REALLY WANT to. Take time to re-connect and renew your energy. Get giddy about your intention!

3. Get out of your own way. Recognise the voices in your head as naysayers who are not real! Change your thinking because it will change your results. Check the quality of your inner dialogue and only allow space for positive language. Create goal cards or affirmation statements to re-focus your attention. Use the problem as raw materials for the solution. Instead of asking: Can I really do this? Ask “How can I do this?”

4. Be disciplined. An idea will ALWAYS remain just an idea unless you create systems and habits that enable you to take deliberate action. Plan your next step and take conscious step by step action to make it happen. Create systems to help you show up and be 100% present and committed.

5. Get some help. Having a coach as a sounding board and mirror to reflect back your behaviour really helps you to blast through any roadblocks and challenges. Having someone on your side makes ALL the difference and stops you feeling isolated and alone.

The grief that I was going through wasn’t a mistake I was on the verge of huge transformation. Grief, silence, emptiness is a gift AND it’s the hardest thing to go through, especially when you just want to run away. I was working through my deepest fear – Loss.

What I realised was that there is NO GETTING OUT, I had to walk DEEPER IN. Loss wasn’t the enemy I was being broken open for transformation. I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable but getting out wasn’t an option. Grief has a way of peeling back the bullshit and getting you closer to the core of who you are. As you let go and things fall away a new deeper level emerges.

Grow into your challenges by Going Deeper into the uncertainly and the unknown. The solutions for success are waiting to be found as you to connect deeper to your authentic self.

How Loss Creates Life (and Growth)…

By , January 5, 2012 11:23 am

“Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.”

~ Eckhart Tolle –Author of Stillness Speaks

A few weeks ago I was hiking in the New Forest in Hampshire, UK. We came across a large patch of ground that was scorched and burnt. Tree stumps and gorse bushes were blackened and destroyed. A fire had ravaged here only few weeks before reducing this part of the forest to charred and twisted branches. Everything looked dead.

This made me feel sad.

As we walked closer I was amazed to see small green shoots already growing out of the ashes and charred forest floor! There was a small carpet of green. In such a short space of time Nature had got things covered and the earth was already pushing out new life…

Nature is a great source for a lesson in life!

Think about it for a moment…

Imagine how brutal and devastating that fire was. How the trees and bushes were destroyed so quickly. In the aftermath of death the earth creates life. Shoots burst through the soil and new bushes and trees begin to grow towards the sky again. This is what happens. It’s a cycle.

This is life and this is just what we do too.

Here’s how I see it…

When someone dies the loss of that person (furry or human) creates a huge space in our hearts. This vacuum is like fertile soil. It is filled like the forest floor offering up new seeds of hope, possibilities and growth. It can take time and it certainly feels raw and painful for a while. These are the healing and growing pains that create our new sea of green. We create life and are part of the same cycle.

I have experienced much loss in the last eight months. Losing my cat (Ashley) recently really made me question why would I ever want to put myself through all this pain and upset again?  A good friend reminded me that grief is part of life. Letting go is like the fire – all things have to die this vacuum is filled with more love if you’ll allow it in. You have an unlimited capacity to love again. For me, I know there will be another kitty to fill that new space in my heart when the time is right. Ashley has been a wise teacher he taught me about the true gift of giving and receiving unconditional love.

Death is a natural part of life and it’s normal to feel loss, sadness and pain. It’s okay to cry. Whenever it approaches open up you heart and walk through it – Remember the opposite of death is birth that is the true gift.

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