Category: Gratitude

Are You Too Busy To Look After Yourself?

By , July 10, 2013 8:44 pm

iStock_000011570636Large“A healthy and happy YOU is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone else. Yet most of us don’t look after ourselves. We are too busy getting things done to get around to looking after own emotional, psychological and physical needs as a human being. We only take it seriously when something goes wrong!”

- Elaine Bailey, Author, Speaker, Coach

Many of us spend most of our time doing things for everyone else:  the boss, clients, family or friends. Sometimes our own needs are neglected. We relegate ourselves to the bottom of our To Do List hoping that we’ll get around to taking a break, eating healthily or going to the gym soon!

I was working with a coaching client recently who was exhausted with her busy life and the demands others placed upon her. She felt obliged to be the constant support for everyone else. The more she gave, the more they seemed to want. She was locked in this holding pattern because she didn’t want to let anyone down.

Taking personal timeout wasn’t an option and the thought of it made her feel guilty. How could she be so selfish and do something for herself?

My client had assumed the role of a rescuer in many of her current relationships. She’d become the go to person for everyone. She felt exhausted and unhappy.

She was:

  • Doing more than she really wanted to
  • Discounting her own needs
  • Doing more for others than they were willing to do for themselves

Our lives constantly inter-connect and we all have needs and wants. It’s sometimes hard for us to weigh our own needs against the needs of others and own needs get neglected as we try to help.

The truth is that we care and we want to help those that we love, but we also need to look out for ourselves.

We consciously hang onto our old conditioned patterns of behavior. My client had no-energy for herself, because she was unconsciously giving it all away to everyone else.

Taking care of YOU is NOT selfishness.

So what does ‘selfishness’ actually mean?

Selfishness – Many people confuse taking care of themselves with selfishness.  There is a significant difference between the two.  Selfishness is about getting what you want without any consideration for the other person’s needs. It’s usually at the expense of the other person. Selfishness is an intentional release of negative energy. For example, it’s purposely not sharing information with someone that might save them time, because it might make them look better than you.

Self-care  Is a totally different energy. You are look after your own well being in a healthy way. It’s a commitment that you make to yourself. A healthy and happy you is hugely important because your energy affects and interacts with everything and everybody that you come into contact with (See Radiators and Drains).

Invest in yourself.

If you’ve never done this before consciously, those closest to you may notice a difference and feel uncomfortable to begin with because you are doing things differently and they are not used to it. They prefer the ‘old you’ because they were easier to manipulate! Teach them how to treat you.

Here’s how to get started…

1. Take responsibility  We are each responsible for our own life and the choices we make. Therefore, we have the right to take care of our own needs. The balance between commitment to yourself and the desire to help someone else requires us to define some lines of responsibility. As a coach, I’m responsible to my client, but not for my client’s results. They have to take action in order to get a result. It’s more difficult to draw lines with those we love.

2. Determine your own needs and wants – To live authentically it’s important to consider your own needs, wants and to identify what’s important to you. This clarity helps you to live your core values and create your best life. You also get to decide when another’s needs supersede your own. Take conscious action do one thing every day for yourself.

3. Set some boundaries – As human beings we all have equal value, worth and dignity. You have the right to say no when you want to, to take care of yourself and to ask for what you want. It’s important to set boundaries with other people, so they know what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior. Boundaries help you to protect your authenticity, integrity and demonstrate how you value yourself and others.

You only get one life (and one body) so look after yourself. After all, your To Do List is pretty useless if you’re not around To Do it! Right?!

If you are not taking care of yourself – Who is?

 

Things to be Thankful for – Develop an Attitude of Gratitude!

By , November 21, 2012 6:00 pm

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

~ Brain Tracy

Being in the USA around Thanksgiving has taught me a lot about the importance of taking time for reflection and gratitude for the people (and animals) in your life, for what you have, for what you do and for the beauty that surrounds you.

How often do you do this in your life?

You know, appreciation is not just an annual event. It is a conscious state of mind and the more gratitude we have the more we receive. It’s a Universal Law!

Test it out for yourself, you’ll be surprised!

Showing appreciation is such a simple thing to do and can mean so much to the person on the receiving end. Appreciation is such an important motivator for us yet in the hustle and bustle of busy life we forget to pause to take a moment to be grateful and communicate our appreciation for those around us.

It isn’t about promotions and pay rises – these are extrinsic and soon forgotten. Appreciation is about demonstrating that you care. Make it a regular practice, as you go through your daily life.

Here’s what gratitude is all about…

If you look back through your life it’s those people who believed in you, made you feel special, or have helped you grow and learn.

Mrs. May, my primary school Headmistress was my first role model. She touched my life briefly for 4 years, when I was 5 – 9 years old. She genuinely cared for her pupils and made us feel appreciated and special from day one. She only touched my life briefly, but in those moments she gave me confidence to navigate through my primary school years. I will never forget her.

Why not make appreciation a habit?

Having a daily ritual of reflection is a great way to create a habit of appreciation. My coach taught me this:

Every evening before I go to bed I write down at least 5 things: These are people, things, animals or experiences that I am grateful for. I stop to pause and be thankful for how each one touched my life that day and how they have enriched my life.

This practice reminds me to communicate my genuine appreciation to others by sending an email, a card, some flowers, making a donation or taking time to phone someone to say thank you.

It’s a great habit to practice each day!

Take a moment today to consider what you are grateful for. As Albert Schweitzer says, it’s all about lighting the flame within us and sharing its warmth. We can help and support each other EVERY day…

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. 

~ Albert Schweitzer 

 

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

Travel Notes – Create and Renew – Time for ME

By , January 17, 2011 12:50 am

My New Year’s Promise…

By , December 30, 2010 1:37 am

I’m in the process of de-cluttering my office in readiness for the start of 2011.

It’s amazing what you can accumulate in such a small space over the year! I can very easily accumilate piles of papers, especially as I’m on the road so much.

During de-cluttering I came across some old drawings and watercolour paintings I’d done in the 1990’s. Of course, I had to stop, grab a cuppa and flick through the sketch books and papers! It was a little like uncovering some buried treasure. Each drawing brought back some very happy memories. I’d forgotten just how  relaxing this hobby was. I used to get lost in the detail of each picture as I was drawing it. This filled me with joy.

I’ve not done any drawing for at least 15 years now. Today my creativity is channelled through designing my coaching programmes and workshops.

So here’s the thing…

I’ve made a decision…

2011 is the year that I dedicate a little time each week to drawing again – Starting next week!

I’m so excited to be re-newing my interest in something that I really LOVE doing.

…And if I get stuck – my Dad is on hand to help me (He used to be my art teacher!)

What one thing will you promise  for yourself in 2011?

The Spirit of Christmas

By , December 21, 2010 11:59 pm

“For a moment our lives met and our souls touched.”

Oscar Wilde

I love watching movies at Christmas. One of my favourite Christmas stories is ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. I especially love the movie version with Sir Patrick Stewart.

This story reminds me of Spirit of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Christmas is a wonderful time for reflection, time to be fully present with family and friends and an opportunity to dream, and set  intentions for the New Year.

My reflections for 2010 take me around the world to the places I’ve been honoured to visit and all the wonderful people who have touched my life a long the way.

I remember having a broken English/German conversation over dinner with a wonderful woman and her husband in Berlin. Neither of us could speak the other person’s language except for a few words, yet we were able to have a wonderful animated conversation over dinner. I left that restaurant feeling very blessed to have met them.

Life is a transition and we’re in constant flow. People come in and out of our lives. They touch us for a brief moment or stay for a while, it’s ever flowing. Christmas is a time to celebrate this flow.

I have enormous gratitude and love for everyone I have met during 2010, who have shared their time and wisdom with me: My clients, Platinum friends, awesome mentor Christine Kane, friends (old and new), colleagues and family. Not forgetting my four-legged family too!

I hold you all in my heart this Christmas – I’m truly blessed.

Whether you’ve touched my life briefly or more intensely in 2010 this blog post is a personal THANK YOU to you for being in my life this year.

Who’s touched your life in 2010?

Showing Appreciation

By , November 27, 2010 12:12 am

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”

Alan Cohen

“I feel so unappreciated. I work hard and share good ideas but no one acknowledges what I do. Nothing ever changes, our department is in chaos and morale is low. You know, my boss really doesn’t see people as important. I’m just a resource – a bum on a seat!”

John, Coaching Client.

John’s story is a common one in business. Many people leave their jobs because of feeling unappreciated. Frustrated talent walks out of the door because everyone is focused on getting the job done, hitting the target or meeting those insane deadlines at all costs. Many managers process manage their people rather than leading them and appreciation is a rare commodity.

We forget to appreciate the extra time and effort that John put into deliver the project. How someone pitched into to help us achieve a tight deadline. Appreciation is something that we just forget to do.

Lack of appreciation doesn’t just happen in the work place it can happen at home too.

Last Thursday as I was coaching John, I remembered that it was Thanksgiving Day in America. Many of my US friends have taken a long weekend off to visit the family. Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude for the people in your life,  for what you have, for what you do and for the beauty that surrounds you.

Appreciation is not just an annual event. It is a conscious state of mind and the more gratitude we have the more we receive. It’s a Universal Law! Go on… Test it out for yourself, you’ll be surprised!

Showing appreciation is such a simple thing to do and  it can be so powerful. It really makes a difference to the person on the receiving end. Appreciation is such an important motivator for us yet in the hustle and bustle of busy life we forget to pause to take a moment to be grateful and communicate our appreciation for those around us.

It isn’t about promotions and pay rises – these are soon forgotten. Appreciation is about demonstrating that you care. If you look back at your life it’s those people who believed in you, made you feel special, or  have helped you grow and learn. Mrs May, my primary school Headmistress was my first ever role model. I was 5 years old and starting school it was a big event! She made me feel appreciated and special from day one. She gave me confidence through my primary school years and looking back, I know that she genuinely cared about her pupils. She made me feel appreciated and touched my life.

Why not make appreciation a habit?

Having a daily ritual of reflection is a great way to create a habit of appreciation. My coach taught me this.

Every evening before I go to bed I write down at least 5 gratitude’s in my journal. These are people, things, animals, events that I am grateful for. I stop to pause and be thankful for how each one touched my life that day.

This practice reminds me to communicate my genuine appreciation by sending an email, a card, some flowers, making a donation or phoning someone to say thank you.

It’s a great habit to practice each day!

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