Category: fear

Five ways to protect your confidence

By , June 20, 2013 7:15 pm

Thermometer - Confidence Level“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.” 

~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson

I love this quotation because it reminds me that growing and making change comes from taking action. Creating forward motion almost always brings criticism with it. Why? Because taking action tests the boundaries of our own beliefs and the beliefs of others, as we step out of our comfort zone to create a new normal.

It’s normal to feel a little ‘wobbly’ or scared when you are taking charge of your life and making some changes. After all, you are leaving behind what you already know to make a transition in a different direction.

This takes courage.

It’s easy to doubt yourself and lose confidence when others around you are telling you that you are wrong. Friends and family might criticize your decision. Someone else might be doing what you do in a different way, but it doesn’t feel congruent or authentic. Yet you still feel the pressure of how they are doing it because they seem to be getting results. Do you copy them? Or do you carve your own path and do it your own unique way?

Everyone has opinions of what you should do, but here’s the thing – their opinion of you or what you are doing is theirs and not yours! And their opinion doesn’t have to become your own reality.

You get to make your own decisions and you are accountable for the choices you make and the actions you take. You don’t need to ask for permission.

In my experience, most people underestimate their potential and play safe by reaching out for what is within their grasp, rather than stretching and aiming higher. The danger is that you settle for mediocre and what you have rather than what you could create.

As you grow, expect a few obstacles along the way. When you take action you create ripples of change in the energy around you. It’s very tempting to succumb to the belief that your critics were right after all. Especially if you feel tired and things are feeling a little harder.

Here are five ways to protect your confidence while taking consistent action towards your goals and dreams:

1. Surround yourself with the right people – Jim Rohn once said that you are the average of the five people who you spend most of your time with – we become like them. Growth thrives in a positive encouraging environment. Leave the naysayers and negative people behind. Associate with like-minded, nurturing, encouraging and supportive people. As you experience new things you will encounter difficulties. Having a positive sounding board will help you through. Surround yourself with positive people who are authentic, have integrity, and who are the after of your before. They will lift you up.

2. Listen to your body – Your physical needs also affect your confidence. Be fully present in your body and listen to it when you are tired, hungry or dehydrated. These three things can have a huge impact on your confidence. Their absence will have a negative affect on your attitude and state of mind. Take a break, eat healthily and look after yourself. Tired and exhausted people are rarely successful. Take a break – go for a walk!

3. Keep going and keep growing – Life is about the present moment. What you do NOW influences who you will become in the future. It starts NOW! Get clear on what’s important and create a plan of consistent action – one step at a time. You become an expert by taking time to learn about your passion. Increasing skills and competence will help you to feel more confident each and every day. Get good at what you do by practicing it imperfectly. Experience is a great teacher and can lead to significant growth.

4. Take personal responsibility for your thinking Choose to be courageous. Don’t be distracted by external noise – stay on course. Focus on your truth and what is important for you. Have faith in your intuition and believe in YOU. Learn to recognize your own emotions and their impact. Develop a deeper understanding of your emotions, strengths and limitations. Recognize how negative patterns can feel overwhelming and cause you distress. This is known as an amygdala hijack and it’s just your Lizard Brain trying to protect you. Learn to reframe these quickly.

5. Re-decide – Remind yourself of your WHY and in the face of self-doubt, get clear again. Make being authentic your number one goal and stick with it. Allow courage to overcome any fear. Don’t let fear rule your decisions, just because somebody has challenged you. People WILL push up against you – especially when you’re doing something different. Learn to rescue yourself and step back in alignment with your vision every day.

How are you protecting your confidence?

 

 

How to Stop Being AVERAGE – Develop YOUR own Potential

By , June 6, 2013 2:32 am

Road to Nowhere“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”

~ Abraham Maslow, psychologist

Did you know that most of us only use a small percentage of our ability and never reach our full potential? We settle for an average life, take average jobs with little desire to stretch out of our comfort zones to explore our own potential beyond our default position. We often fall into our careers and wait for things to happen to us rather than shaping and making it happen for ourselves.

We make excuses to justify why we didn’t make more of ourselves: The time wasn’t right, I didn’t have the money or the opportunity never presented itself. We believe our story and settle into patterns and habits, doing the same things with the same people and the years roll by. Rinse and repeat. Until one day you’re looking in the mirror at an old, tired person and saying to yourself: “What the hell am I doing with my life?!”

We are taught to blend in and follow the path of least resistance. While average feels safe it can also create a sense of unfulfillment – is this all there is? You are dissatisfied with your life or work, but can’t really articulate why.

Have you ever felt dissatisfied and wondered why things haven’t worked out the way you’d hoped? There’s a lot of pressure to follow the status quo. It’s easier to blend in with those around us, using them as pacesetters for our own life.

Here’s how my clients describe what average feels like to them:

  • Plodding along
  • Just getting on with it
  • Mediocre
  • Numb and dull
  • No balls (sorry!) to stand up and do something different
  • Passing the time away
  • Waiting for something to happen
  • Checking out and being lazy
  • Stuck in a rut
  • I should do something about it
  • Maybe next year when… (Insert your own excuse here)

Personally, I’ve never wanted to be average at anything. When I worked in a bank NO ONE wanted an average appraisal. Average meant that you were written off; you had limited value and potential.

My own life continues to be full of stretching and reaching for a new normal, both in my professional and personal life. You have to create some tension to move out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territory if you want to create a new experience and a new normal for yourself. Sometimes it’s scary too.

Creating tension is what gets you going!

Here’s how…

It’s easy to stay where you are rather than to change and take a risk to become something different. The gap between the two seems wide and scary.

It’s a bit like having a back massage, when the masseur finds a knot… they have to apply some tension to increase the flow and flexibility of soft tissues and joints (…and getting rid of all those ‘knotty bits’). You have to do the same if you want to change.

It’s ALL about choice…

Here’s how to step away from average…

Where do you want to stretch? What areas of your life would you like to stretch and create some growth tension just now? How is NOT doing this making you feel? Where are you falling short of your potential?

What’s stopping you? Write down all the reasons WHY you’ve settled for the status quo. What excuses are you using to stay stuck? How are you getting in your own way? What is the story you are currently telling yourself? Re-write your story looking for a positive place to start.

Find the courage. Build your fire within and find the courage to push through your comfort zone – to break through your current mediocre mindset. Let go of things that no longer serve you, step away from the familiar and leave it behind. Explore the unknown and take a few risks if you want to change and grow. This is what life is all about (get a coach to help you)!

Embrace the tension. Lean into feeling uncomfortable. Recognize your growing pains and become your own masseur! It’s challenging to change and you will feel some resistance. Keep growing through it. Remember that any obstacles are the raw materials for your solutions. Create forward motion – don’t cling to the past. Take action in the present and begin to shape your own future today.

Keep growing! If you stop learning, you stop living. You become mentally and spiritually inactive. It’s like you die on the inside. Be curious! Looking forward and taking consistent action will fill you with energy. Create a strategy. It’s the small incremental things that you do each day that make a difference. Don’t take the foot off the gas when you’ve tasted success… Dream Big and go deep!

It’s your life!

Keep Going…Keep Flowing…Keep Growing!

 

 

Becoming Human – Radio Interview with Elaine Bailey & Authenticity Radio

By , May 18, 2013 9:39 am

 

Becoming Human

Hey, wait a moment, I am human. What does it mean to be fully human?

Authenticity Radio invites you to come listen to guest Elaine Bailey explore the, “Authentic Human You.”

You can Listen Here: www.AuthenticityRadio.com

 

Being YOU is pretty damned amazing! So go out there and change the world! – Elaine Bailey


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What are you waiting for?!

By , March 20, 2013 7:01 pm

iStock_000015337955Small“How much of human life is lost in waiting”.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lecturer and Poet

What are you waiting for just now?

  • The perfect client to walk through the door
  • That promotion I was promised
  • The right person to come into my life
  • The right time to leave my current job
  • For someone to notice the great work I’m doing
  • One more course or workshop that will teach me how to be a ……….

…These are just a few examples.

When you think about it we are ALL waiting for something…

I remember walking Belle the black labrador with my Dad on the beach at Alborough as if it were only yesterday (The reality is it was probably 25 years ago!).

We’d often talk about the children stories he was writing and how all the characters (The Camblesforth Bunnies) were getting into mischief! He talked about how One day he’d publish these books. One day he’d find out what needed to be done. One day he’d share them with the world.

My Dad was in a waiting room that lasted the rest of his lifetime.

These stories are still in a folder waiting…

He’d written and illustrated a series of short stories. One day as we were walking he told me that he was waiting for the right person to come along to give him the nudge and make things happen.

That person never showed up.

Sometimes the person you’re waiting isn’t going to show (they might not even exist) because the only person you are really waiting for is YOU.

I was coaching an executive this week whose long-term dream was possibly coming true: Her boss had been preparing her to step into his shoes. Suddenly he had decided to leave. This was the director’s role she’d always wanted. She now needed to step out and demonstrate that she was ready to secure the  secondment as a director. It was everything she’s been working towards.

You’d think she’d be excited and buzzing…

Now, she faced her own resistance of self worth and self-doubt and her confidence dipped. As the fear of stepping up became real, she started to push the role away…

Sometimes we create a false ceiling to hold us back because we just might actually pull it off! Fear kicks in and we create limiting beliefs that get in our own way of success. Gay Hendricks in his book called the Big Leap – calls this an Upper Limit Problem. We sabotage our own success because of our discomfort of a hidden fear inside that wants to keep up playing small. Our Lizard Brain is working overtime to protect us!  This is the last obstacle between you and success.

I believe that my Dad had an upper limit problem with his books. He’d got so far, then he got scared. The fear was enough for him to put the idea a side and allow himself to be distracted by something else.

What are you waiting for just now?

What would it be like if you decided to stop waiting and take a step towards what you want to create or have in your life?

I see opportunities as grains of sand in an hourglass… The hourglass turned when you were born and the grains of sand are falling through and slipping away.

Life is short and it’s easy to put things off because we believe that we have all the time in the world and we can come back to it and do it later.

…All you have is NOW… Now is where you can make things happen.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are you waiting for just now?
  2. Why are you waiting?
  3. What is holding you back (is it real or perceived)?
  4. What would it be like if you decided to stop waiting and take a step towards what you want to to achieve in your life?
  5. What is the very first step you could take today?

You can choose to leave your waiting room – Reach through your fear to find the courage to take your very next step.

Remember… Courage is ALWAYS waiting at the other side of fear.

Don’t waste your life waiting…

Take a moment to think about this today…

 

 

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Do I Fit In or Do I Stand Out?

By , March 6, 2013 8:00 am

Stand Out “I’m stuck… I do a great job but I’m invisible to others. I’ve been told to ‘get out there more’ and promote myself – become more visible. I’m frightened of what others might think if I start talking about how good I am. Being visible feels false and fills me with fear!”

Extract from an email – Jenny, A frightened coaching client

There’s no shortage of people waiting to tell you how to fit in. They are happy to explain: ‘how we do things ’round here,’ show you what you’re doing wrong, criticize you, correct you, and offer advice.

Fitting in is the social norm. Keeping your head down and not rocking the boat creates an easier life.

This advice can be overwhelming. We are really good at creating and maintaining the status quo (especially in the UK!).

Over time, fitting in becomes the norm and standing out is perceived as arrogant, egotistical, fool hardy or career limiting. Especially in this current climate! (Yes! This excuse fits perfectly.)

So standing out is certainly a much riskier strategy… isn’t it?

Have you noticed… there’s no one pushing you to stand out? Where are these people? Often you are on your own (especially in corporate!)…

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I see fitting in and standing out like two people sat on a see saw. Our minds often struggle up and down with this:

  • Fit in too much and you’ll blend into the background. Nothing much happens. You become invisible and limit success by hiding in the shadows. Occasionally someone may get a glimpse of your true value.
  • Standing out requires you to step into the spotlight, sharing your ideas and making an emotional connection with others. As you receive exposure and attention your Lizard Brain equates this to danger (our ancestors didn’t want attention – this could mean death…). No wonder you feel resistance – all the alarm bells are going off in your amygdala!

This is what had happened to Jenny. She’s an expert in her field and does a great job (often taken for granted). She was hiding her value and only those close to her knew about it. This limited her potential and her career stagnated.

Most of us don’t have anyone to push us forward. Many of us are happy just to fit in for an easier life.

Jenny was frustrated and unhappy. She was working hard and not being recognized and the same time she was scared of being in the spotlight. Her seesaw was working overtime!

Being successful means that you sometimes have to stand out from the shadows and allow your light to shine. In Jenny’s case, she was tired of not getting the recognition she deserved. By increasing her visibility she was able to build her marketability and leverage in the business and share her value with more people.

Here’s how to stand out:

1.    Know your Biology. Understanding how your Lizard Brain tries to protect you from threat enables you to deal with any resistance. You are able to change how you think and move beyond it (I regularly coach clients through this).

2.    Create your own map. Stop being an order taker waiting for instructions from the Status Quo Committee. Create your own status quo! If you take orders you can’t create your own value and share it with others. Do it your way… chart your own path and create your own value. Be YOU.

3.    Know where you’re going. Have clarity about what you want to achieve and WHY it’s important to you.

  • What does it look like, sound like or feel like?
  • Create your own direction and plan your first step. Planning may take time but it’s time well spent.

4.    Make a deliberate choice. Your value is created by what you choose to do. Most of us know what we should do but we don’t do it. Thinking is not voluntary! Choice is about thinking and feeling, not just as a reaction in the moment when you are a victim of your thoughts. Generate possibilities and choose intentionally. Decide to overcome any anxiety or fear associated with your decision to stand out.

5.    Put the work in. Be prepared to put in whatever is necessary to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Others may criticize you – know that this is a natural part of the process. Practice, practice, practice – be imperfectly perfect you’ll make a few mistakes along the way.

6.    It’s ALL about connection. Learn how to authentically talk about what you do and the value it gives. It’s a gift to be able to serve others and help them to achieve their goals. You don’t work in a vacuum – you are doing a dis-service if you don’t share what you do with those who might need your help.

7.    Learn how to be happy. Does your work match your passion for it? Or does your passion match your work? You can’t just BE happy, but you can learn to do things in a happy way. Pay ATTENTION to enjoying the process of what you are doing. Make things enjoyable even when talking to others about what you do and how it might help them.

We’re waiting for you to walk into your spotlight and Stand out!

 

Stop Hoping to be Successful and DECIDE to BE Successful

By , January 2, 2013 9:16 pm

Here’s something I have observed in others and myself…

Sometimes we can get in the way of our own success and block the flow.

We race after success without really knowing what it means for us; as a result, we are rarely successful because we are trying to live someone else’s dream of what success looks like. Instead, we contort ourselves in an attempt to align to their vision. This takes loads of effort and energy and the results are often disappointing.

A maze of social pressures pulls us off course and distracts us from our true direction.

The organization I used to work for defined success as: The harder and longer hours you work, the more successful you will be.

Success = Effort

I bought into it and this became my unconscious belief. Unwittingly it also became my work ethic for at least three years!

I regularly threw myself on the altar of personal sacrifice for work. I worked extremely long hours in the belief that my superiors would recognize my sacrifice. They would value my effort and promote me. It didn’t happen; instead I became exhausted and unhappy. The harder I tried – the further I pushed success away.

Looking back, I am so grateful for this happening because I realized I had been running around trying to GET promoted, but I had no idea why. It was something that I thought successful people supposed to want, and I wanted to be successful!

In this crazy, reactive world, people run around grabbing at a chance of success: ‘Yes, success… I want that! What do I need to do… How can I be like them?!’Sometimes, when we try to get something, we don’t consider why we want it, and therefore, we only work on external factors to make it happen.

I believe that success is a very personal thing.

Everyone defines success a little differently.

We are too busy comparing and competing with other people’s versions of success rather than carving and defining it for ourselves: ‘Why am I not as successful as them? I must try harder!’ It’s easy to become frustrated and disappointed when you perceive that THEY can do it much better than you!

But here’s the thing…Of course they can! It’s THEIR definition…not yours!

Once I realized this, my life changed completely.

I was done constantly comparing and competing with EVERYONE ELSE around me. I got down to the serious business of defining success for myself. This was such a liberating moment because everyone else’s story that I’d been carrying around just fell away.

The truth is that I started to become successful once I let go of following other people’s dreams of success and started to create and mold my dream for myself.

Remember, success is very personal – it comes from the inside-out. Following someone else’s definition is like starving your soul of light.

Here’s how to claim success for you:

1. Define YOUR OWN definition of success – Screw everyone else’s definition – we’re talking about you! You are a unique being on this planet. Stop trying to wear someone else’s shoes and ‘make them fit.’ What does success… look like, sound like and feel like for you? Maybe it’s flying 1st class to business meetings! Maybe it’s having a better balance of home and work life.

2. Claim success for yourself – Be the pioneer in your life. No one else does it like you. Become the leader. You can only do this by following your intuition and stepping out of the footprints of someone else, to create your own in the virgin snow. Intuition NEVER goes away – it’s always there guiding you to your higher self – if you’re prepared to listen to it. Be the role model for others.

3. Identify what you need – You grow into your success… (trust me on this one!) You don’t just walk around the corner and it is there, waiting for you. You have to nurture it. This requires self-awareness, vulnerability, openness, and a willingness to do things imperfectly. Also you need to stay true to you!

4. Stop being so scared! Being frightened is a natural reaction when you’re stepping up and trying something new. Recognize your fear and decide not to be paralyzed by it (life is too short!). Work through it by reaching through to find your courage instead. The most amazing things I have ever achieved have scared the crap out of me! But, here’s the thing about being scared: It’s when:

  • I feel the most alive – it’s exhilarating!
  • I grow to a whole new level of transformation.
  • I get awesome results.

5. Find someone to support and challenge you – There are so many coaches out there that are just focused on being supportive and helpful. While this is good, it doesn’t stretch you and help you to become the best you possibly can be. You want someone on your side that can support and challenge you… To claim your success – you need both!

STOP racing after someone else’s definition of success and give yourself permission to create your own!

Your successful life is waiting for you – Go deeper and start claiming it for yourself.

Who’s definition of success are you working to right now?!

 

 

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