Category: Ritual

How to Stop Yourself Going the Wrong Way…

By , February 13, 2013 11:46 pm

“The best thing about the past is that it’s over. When people don’t deal with the past as if it’s over, then they’re not free to go into the future.”

~ Richard Bandler – Make Your Life Great

Throughout our day we are constantly talking to ourselves – Yes, THAT voice in our head, the one who seems to be sat pulling all the levers in the control tower of you!

I’m constantly reminded about the awesome power of language and how it influences who we are, what we believe and how we show up in our lives.

One of the great masters, who I once had the honour of learning from, is Richard Bandler. I was reminded of his work this week as I was coaching a client who was struggling in her mind to move away from the past and towards a new future that she was defining for herself.

She’d decided on a direction of where she wanted to go, but the voice in her head kept subconsciously sabotaging her thinking and taking her on a road trip back to her past, rather than to the future where she wanted things to go. Also, the close family around her was saying: “You’ll never change, you’re set in your ways!”

When we set a goal and decide to make a change in our lives our conditioning and internal language is still set on the old default pattern that got us stuck in the first place. As our unconscious thoughts travel down the neural highway, we find ourselves suddenly back in that old place where we used to be and we’re stuck once again in the past:

“History is repeating itself…”

“Here we go again…”

“It must just be the way I am, I’ll never change…”

I love using the metaphor of our neural highway being like a busy motorway or freeway. You can almost see the blur of taillights flowing past you at great speed. It feels overwhelming and fast… Before you know it, you’re in the wrong lane and you’re turning down that old piece of road again:  All routes lead back to the past – your old behaviour and patterns of language and beliefs.

We get caught up in old thoughts and loops that no longer serve us.

As my client spoke, her words made me realize that she was going into a behavioural loop; she was becoming anxious and started to become self-deprecating. She became once again, the person in her past rather than the person she now wanted to be.

I asked her to STOP and BACK UP…

This broke the chain… These words opened her to a deeper level of thinking.

We explored her thinking and how it was making her feel. She was frustrated that she was still going down the old road and not catching herself in time. She then described where she wanted to be with passion and enthusiasm.

Then she got clear – She knew exactly what to do…

She decided that this was the last time she was going to take this route. So she mentally installed a ‘Wrong Way – Go Back’ sign on her neural highway slip road (on-ramp) before the entrance of the old highway she was unconsciously turning onto.

She is now watching her language and paying attention so when that old thinking comes along, she has a conscious system to STOP and BACK UP so she doesn’t go the wrong way. She’s now able to follow the new signage of where she wants to go:  Happiness ahead. Better relationships – next exit, new career coming – 800 yards!

I helped her create some strategies to back up and reframe the situation, and replace her negative language with positive using the power of her intention.

My client reconfigured her brain with some new language patterns that serve her future and not her past. This shifted her state of mind and made things different so she can keep an eye on where she wants to be. She’s moving forward once again.

The past is what we know and we use it as a compass point, a frame of reference for comparison, whereas the future is unknown. It’s uncertain and we’ve no tangible evidence to support that anything could actually be different or better out there. It’s risky and uncomfortable. But you have two great advocates:  faith and courage, if you choose to take them along on the journey with you.

Creating and following a new route takes time and sometimes a little extra support and direction. It’s hard to do it all on your own. The last thing you need is someone with a clipboard standing over you telling you “you’ll never change or it won’t last long – look what happened last time!”

Dwelling on the past keeps you stuck – You’re going the wrong way!

Some people spend years and loads of money in therapy trying to understand WHY the past happened. My philosophy is that learning and growing (and healing) is all about letting go and taking forward motion. Life is fluid and too short to keep using the past as your navigation tool for the future. Create something new; you’ll be surprised how refreshing and exciting the new feelings are that come your way. It sets you free to go into your future!

Sometimes you need a little coaching support to get you started and change the language in your head. This opens you up to a world of infinite possibility.

What do you want behind you and want do you want in front of you?

Watch your language! How is it serving you right now?

 

 

How to remove old labels and excuses that block your success.

By , February 15, 2012 7:46 pm

Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Never overestimate your power to change others.”

~ H Jackson Brown, Junior

I believe that one of the most powerful gifts we have in life is our ability to understand ourselves. That’s why I’m committed to being a life-long student of me! Self-awareness and understanding enables us to move beyond our limited beliefs and old thinking habits.

You can literally grow through your problems.

There are tons of books out there about mindset explaining that you have the power to re-wire your thinking and even change how your brain works! I believe that you are an infinite being and that nothing is fixed. It’s just your thinking that makes it so.

Many of us are brought up to fit in. Conditioning starts at an early age and even though you’re now an adult complete with rational thinking, you still hang on to deeply engrained rules and excuses that prevent you from being truly yourself.

Rules such as: “You can’t get to do what you want to do!” “You’ll never amount to anything…” “You only get ahead if you follow the rules….” are played to us repeatedly even in our working lives. Fitting in, keeping your head down and being like everyone else becomes part of our programming. I see this so often at all levels in the business world. We create labels in our sub-conscious mind so we can easily retrieve these statements when required.

But it’s not who you really are.

We create excuses to protect ourselves from why life isn’t as much fun as it should be. Excuses help us to rationalize our disappointments and to defend our present position of settling and surviving. We become lazy and comfortable with them.

Excuses keep us stuck in a fixed mindset because our thinking habits stick with us sometimes for an entire lifetime! Our senses filter evidence to support and maintain them so they become permanent fixtures. We even develop language to justify them: “It’s just the way things are!” “This is how I am.”

Here’s what I’ve experienced personally and through my clients:

1. You can BE the person you want to be. You really can become anyone or anything you want to be. Start by getting clear on what you want to change about yourself. You can reinvent yourself whenever you choose.

2. Making conscious decisions dissolves labels because you step into your power. This may be a gradual shift but it begins by deciding NOW. You get to decide for yourself where your effort towards change would be most value. In other words, you get to choose.

3. Your senses become alive to positive changes. You start to notice a difference in how you show up each day. Others will see this too. You’ll begin to see, feel and hear things differently, like you’ve sharpened your senses!

4. Energy flows where attentions goes. I know you’ve heard this many times before, but think about it for a moment… If you place your attention on what you want rather than on what you don’t want, something shifts. You’re re-aligning to your intention and forming new positive habits.

5. Use positive affirmations to dissolve your labels. You can stay in alignment with what you want to attract by surrounding yourself with positive affirmations and reminders. Sensory things that positively stimulate you visually, auditory or kinesthetically such as photographs, fresh flowers, written statements such as: “I can accomplish anything,” “I am healthy, happy and successful.” or record an MP3 message to yourself and play it everyday! Affirmations eradicate excuses and act as living testimonials or symbols to whom or what you are becoming.

6. Develop a growth mindset. Don’t let past negative labels or other people define you. Take every setback as a challenge and work through it. Having a fixed mindset sees transition as a threat and limits your achievement. Be curious, look for new challenges and confront any obstacles along the way. Life is about learning and improving, and developing a growth mindset is the starting point for change.

The key word for me in the quotation at the top of this article is power. We all have the power within us to create change.

You are what you think about every day – What are YOU thinking about?

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

Device Addiction – Are You Hooked?

By , January 23, 2011 5:13 pm

“People who have your cell phone number know they can instantly reach you for help with their immediate needs. E-mails are delivered within minutes – so they expect you to respond equally fast.”

Jack Canfield, Author, Cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

As you know, we are living in the Information or Digital Age. Isn’t our technological world AWESOME?!

I’m so grateful for my laptop, the internet and my Iphone because  I can carry loads of information  with me as I travel the world. I’m always connecting, downloading and learning new things on the move.

What an amazing time we live in and what amazing tools we have.

Technology is relatively cheap and portable – So Yay! For the invention of the microchip! Everyone is connected.

Here’s the challenge…

While I love my DEVICES (IPhone and laptop) -  I also have to regularly check-in with myself to ensure that I’m not becoming obsessed by them!

I’ve coached hundreds of businesspeople and many of them have become unconsciously addicted to their Blackberries. Emails and 24/7 connectability play a huge part in workload overwhelm. They spend at least 3 hours a day answering email to keep up with the surging tide of information flooding into their inboxes. They take their inbox home and work on it while having dinner, watching TV or having quality time with the family! Most of  them are inundated with non-essential email. We have potential information overload at our fingertips!

Here’s how I see it…

Having a Blackberry or Iphone and distributing your email address and phone number is like giving someone implied permission to have a piece of you instantly – any time that suits them. Unless you set some boundaries you can unconsciously lose your power to other people’s agendas, demands and feel out of control.

Device Addiction can cause obsessive behaviour. This is where someone is constantly checking their phone or laptop even when talking to friends, family or colleagues at work. It becomes an unconscious habit. This is often noticeable and frustrating to the person who is on the receiving end of this behaviour (like your partner, children, friends, colleagues and even the dog!).

So here’s a quick test so you can check-in with yourself…And you might like to also ask your partner, a friend or someone who you trust to complete it for you too!

Take the Device Addition Test…

1. Answer the following statements honestly. Read the statement and if this is typical behaviour for you mark it as TRUE if not, mark it as FALSE.

2. What do your answers (and the answers from the other person!) tell you?

3. What are you going to do differently? Try making one or two small changes…

If you feel overwhelmed and out of control consider powering off your cell phone. Check your email only at fixed times during the day. Try being connected to technology a little less and being fully connected and fully present in your life a little more!

Device Addiction Behaviours True/False
1. I spend at least 3 hours a day answering emails (It’s not an essential part of my job/life).
2. If I hear a message alert I HAVE to check it straight away.
3. I constantly check for emails, texts and/or calls.
4. I answer EVERY phone call – Even if it is not important.
5. I check for emails and messages while watching TV.
6. I check for emails and messages while having dinner with friends.
7. I check for emails and messages while in the bath/tub.
8. I for emails and messages while playing with the kids.
9. I check for emails and messages while spending quality time with my partner/spouse.
10. I check for emails and messages while shopping.
11. I check for emails and messages while on holiday/vacation.
12. While I’m with others my phone usually goes off several times.
13. When I sit down my phone is always within arm’s reach.
14. My phone is NEVER powered off.
15. The thought of not having access to my phone/laptop makes me feel very uncomfortable.
16. Friends or family pass snarky comments about my relationship with my device!
17. I check my phone for emails/texts every time I go for a pee!
18. I check my phone for emails/texts while driving or at a STOP light or in traffic queues.
19.My phone is usually the last thing I look at before I go to sleep.
20. If I wake up in the middle of the night I will always check my Blackberry/IPhone/SMART Phone.
20. I lose all concept of time when checking my device.
21. Checking emails for 10 minutes often haemorrhages into several hours!
22. I sleep with my Blackberry/Iphone/Smart phone by the bed.

Travel Notes – Create and Renew – Time for ME

By , January 17, 2011 12:50 am

Keeping Promises With Yourself

By , December 11, 2010 8:49 pm

“Your life works to the degree you keep your agreements.”

Werner Erhard.

How often have you made a promise to yourself and then broken it?

I’ve done this LOADS of times.

My broken promises always related to my self-care, well-being or personal growth. Each promise had a high value to me such as improving my health, keeping fit or creating more personal time in my insane work schedule. I made them with an intent to see them through.

…Then my reactive, chaotic life would get in the way. I’d constantly let myself down.

I would make excuses not to go to the gym because I was too busy. I’d get home tired have a glass of wine and eat unhealthily instead. I ‘deserved it’ after a such a hard day. My dream of being healthier slipped further away. I’d get frustrated and blame work (or anyone else) for my lack of commitment to my personal goals.

One day I was writing in my journal about this frustration when I became aware of the impact of making and breaking these casual promises was actually having on my life.  Every time I broke a promise with myself my self-esteem took a hit because I was literally letting myself down.

Instead of following through I created a mental list of musts, oughts and shoulds, which added to my existing worry and anxiety. I then carried the burden of this heavy list around with me every day.

Here’s the thing…

When you make an agreement with yourself and you don’t see it through you actually learn to distrust yourself. As a by-product of this you lose self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect. In other words you really are letting yourself down.

You lose your ability to achieve a result. Not showing up for what you say you’re committing too unconsciously creates confusion and self-doubt.

Your personal power is reduced and you weaken your sense of integrity with yourself.

Here’s how I learned to keep important promises to myself:

1. Agree on actions you only intend to keep – Check in with your intention – WHY do you want to agree to do this? How do you feel about it? WHY is this important to you? Are you committed or just interested?

2. Write down your agreements – The act of writing is very powerful. Write a contract to yourself to commit time, effort and energy. The main reason that we don’t keep agreements is because in the busy-ness of life we get distracted and simply forget. Written agreements remind us of our commitments.

3. High Value Time – How high do you value your own well-being, learning and growth?  Don’t pay lip service to YOU. Value this time as high priority because this is what will make your more successful.

4. Schedule it to make it happen – Adding an action to your to-do list and saying you’ll do it this week, is a plan for failure! You have to schedule a date and time to really make things to happen. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it.

5. Show Up – Agree to show up, even if you don’t feel like it. I honour my agreement to go to the gym, even if I don’t feel like it after a busy day at work. I know how it makes me feel afterwards so I show up. It becomes just part of what I do each week…And YES you have to commit time and energy for it to happen. Make the effort – YOU are worth it!

6. Learn to say no – Ring-fence and protect High Value Time for YOU. Say no to other activities stealing that time back. Place a high value on it and set some boundaries. Stop giving up this time for a reactive activity.

What agreements have you made with yourself?

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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