Category: Feeding the Soul

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?!

 

Why Busy People Need to Take Holidays!

By , July 17, 2013 11:25 am

Deckchair and parasol on white background. Isolated 3D image“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.”

~Herodotus

So many of my clients are working too hard and not taking any time to rest, relax and recover from the demands they are placing on themselves everyday.

Achieving a healthy balance in life and work requires discipline. In other words, you have to work at it by setting some clear boundaries and have the persistence to make it happen.

We all have busy lives which is why it is hugely important to power down and take time away from the ‘do-do’ of doing and spend some time ‘being.’ Otherwise you can easily lose focus and perspective about WHY you are doing all this busy stuff in the first place. You become out of alignment with what’s really important in your life.

I take my holiday time very seriously because it keeps me healthy, happy and sane. I also feel refreshed and I’m more productive when I return.

Okay… I know what you’re probably saying: The last thing you instinctively want to do is to slow down! You haven’t got time to slow down because you’ve got too much stuff to do – right?

Holiday time is often put off until later because you never get round to it. Your personal time at the weekend is frequently held hostage to busy-ness. It is used as a buffer so we can ‘catch up’ and finish the work we were unable to do during the week.

Because you are always on the go you probably won’t see tiredness and exhaustion creeping up on you.

Human beings are not designed to work at this pace constantly. There’s loads of research to prove that biologically we need to step away and take breaks to charge our batteries and rest. Some people are literally killing themselves!

You need to take time out to relax, regenerate, reconnect and renew your love affair with your life!

STOP and take a break…

For me, regeneration time involves no work-related activity at all. I might take a day, a weekend or even a whole week.

Here’s how I create mine…

  • Schedule pockets of regeneration time in advance and commit to them (a day, weekend or week). Book several long weekends or weeks out during the year. These could be trips away from home. If you don’t make a plan – it WON’T happen!
  • Set clear boundaries – Regeneration time is where everything is powered down. That includes phones and computers. The day is COMPLETELY work-free. Don’t read the newspapers, watch television or listen to the radio. Step away. Teach other people how to treat you – no compromising! They’ll get the message and will start to respect your boundaries.
  • Leave the ‘office’ – Commit to being out of your office (away from work). This could also be your busy home life as well as your work. You’re not contactable or available to anyone: staff, colleagues, co-workers, boss, and even family (unless of course there is a REAL emergency). It’s interesting how some urgent things aren’t really that important. Don’t get sucked into the drama!
  • Delegate responsibility and ownership – Allow others to take responsibility and ownership for their own decisions during your time away. They can handle things for themselves and learn how to make their own decisions instead of relying on you all the time. This builds self-confidence and helps them to develop their own decision-making ability.
  • Focus on being fully present and having fun – What do you enjoy doing? Start doing some of them. I love hiking and immersing myself in the beauty of Nature. Breathing the mountain air or feeling a warm sea breeze on my face really invigorates me. It makes me feel alive again.What does fun mean to you?

Create your own list. Here are a few of my favorite things:

  • Hiking
  • Having a massage
  • Booking a long weekend away in a hotel
  • A spa day
  • Walking on the beach
  • Hanging out with friends I’ve not seen for a while
  • Skiing
  • Sleeping in
  • Experiencing another country

Regeneration days are all about restoring and resetting your energy. You may have work withdrawal symptoms for the first day or so of a holiday, but you’ll soon re-adjust and embrace your newly found freedom time. You’ll soon start to feel relaxed as you stop listening to that busy voice in your head.

Take a break – I guarantee that you will become more rested, relaxed and more productive when you return to your busy life.

Stepping away will help you to re-focus on what really is important in your life.

Busy successful people take holidays!

 

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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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?!

 

 

How many people do YOU need to talk to before you make a decision?

By , August 28, 2012 5:50 pm

“Today, as leaders are called on to build their companies by creating the future rather than investing in the past, vision matters more than ever. Vision requires what looks to others like a leap of faith: the ability to go beyond the data and make a smart guess.”

Daniel Goleman, Author and psychologist

Have you ever tried to make a decision when you’ve felt confused and uncertain? You weren’t sure what to do? Perhaps you’ve gathered so much information that you didn’t know which way to turn?

I used to be a professional involver…

Whenever I needed to make a decision I’d start asking friends, colleagues (and anyone I spoke to!) for their opinion because it felt so difficult for me to make the decision on my own. I based a lot of my decisions on other people’s opinions of my situation (including my early boyfriend choices!).

I know now that I was terrified of the uncertainty and vulnerability of getting it wrong.

“Listen to your gut…” my friend would say, but I couldn’t hear a thing! All that was there was the knotted and uncomfortable feeling of having to make another decision. Lost in fear and uncertainty, I’d throw my decision straight out to others… HELP ME!

I believed that if I gathered other people’s opinions it would help me to feel stronger, and after all, I could share the blame if things didn’t work out because it wasn’t me making the decision – I had the excuse that others influenced me.

I’d procrastinate and survey those around me for opinions,grasping at any help I could get from others. I’d want certainty before I could make my decision. Most of us aren’t good at not knowing and crave a need for certainty. In the absence of certainty, we look for reassurance from others.

Looking back, I know that I felt so vulnerable.

Last week, I was coaching a client who was procrastinating over making a decision because she was scared of exploring the options. She was worried that it would ultimately take her away from what she really wanted.

Sometimes we are too scared to even manifest options because we don’t want to know the answers in case it’s not what we want. Or, if you have to think about it and gather the data, then you’ll have to make a decision… and things change!

Exploring can be scary – but it’s a great way to help you get clear. I imagine it like trying clothes on in the changing room before you decide to buy – you get an insight to how it looks and feels. This data helps you to make an informed decision.

Here are some thoughts on how to become a better decision-maker by tapping in and learning to trust your intuition…

Intuition is an important skill in business today because there is an explosion of information and data overload. Neurological research has proven that attuning to your feelings helps you to find meaning in data and you can make better, rational decisions. The smart guess matters to leaders especially when there is no clear map of the future and you are creating your strategy through visioning. You can’t predict everything through data!

1. Create some space to listen – Not knowing creates fear and worry that makes you feel vulnerable. The loud noise of anxiety drowns out your inner voice. Take some time out on your own, away from your busy day – quiet time where you can hear yourself think. Listen to your inner voice – don’t ignore it. Learn to trust your intuition as it will guide you. Even if it doesn’t always have the answer, it will help you find the next step.

2. Generate some options – Go into the changing rooms and create some options to try on for size – what does it look-sound-feel like for you? Exploring doesn’t involve you having to make an instant decision. Gut feelings are part of the data too! Sometimes our gut tells us that we don’t know enough to make a decision without exploring some more… so explore!

3. Tune into your feelings – Start to notice what feels right. Our intuition gives us a compelling sense of what feels right by creating literally a gut feeling! This offers us a guide beyond the data presented, that tells us what we need to know or directs us to fact-finding and reasoning. Sometimes it’s a quiet voice; sometimes it shouts very loud!

We pick up many life lessons subconsciously without being aware of learning them. Throughout life you accumulate wisdom from your day-to-day experiences.

Your intuitive self is VERY wise and allows you tap into this wisdom while holding space for uncertainty.

 

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

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