“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.” ~Unknown
Why do so many people fear change instead of welcoming it? We tend to get into a routine and become quite comfortable with things. After a while, it is easy to develop a false sense of security. It feels safe because we know we to expect. It’s easy to become comfortably numb. We resist change and close out creativity.
If we are not changing, we are not creating our lives. Imagine if nothing changed in your life from this day forward. Everything would remain the same. Creativity would seize. In a sense, we would be alive, but not living. Would you be satisfied? Would you have any regrets? What comes up for you?
Whether you realize it or not, you play a part in creating each day. It begins with creating an intention, attitude or outlook. Conscious or subconscious, it’s there. It could be based in fear or love. Be mindful of your thoughts.
What are you creating?
Do you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed? Is your schedule overloaded? Do you wonder where the energy will come from to get it all done? You’re not alone. Taking time to slow down is a popular topic that comes up with some of my clients. After working together, many of them discover that we all need to internally slow down in our minds, slow down in our schedules and slow down in our activity.
It is usually our resistance to slowing down that causes the anxiety, fear and overwhelming feelings. When you think about slowing down, what comes up for you? Some people have a fear that they won’t get everything done. Others fear they will miss out on something. It is important to take a look at what slowing down really means to you. This might help to shift your perspective. (Even the Energizer Bunny needs to change batteries at some point!) By slowing down, most of us end up feeling more energized, less stressed and a little lighter. Doesn’t that sound nice? The good news is that it is totally possible. Here are 7 slow down strategies you might find helpful:
- Breath. By consciously taking loooong, slooow, deeeeep breaths we can begin to slow down the heart rate and our racing thoughts as well. Control over our breathing is something that is always available to us, no matter what the circumstances might be.
- Recognize limitations. Be gentle with yourself. Something has to give and sometimes it’s your very own expectations that apply the pressure to keep going and not slowing down.
- Schedule time to relax. Block time on your busy calendar for YOU. By planning a date and time on your calendar, you are making a commitment to take care of yourself. Be sure to keep the date! Do something relaxing during your time like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, reading, meditating or listening to soothing music.
- Make a list. Do a brain dump and write down all of the things you have on your mind. There’s no need to worry about writing out sentences, correcting spelling or punctuation. Just write it out. This will release the mental clutter and your thoughts will slow down.
- Avoid too much caffeine. The extra energy you get from the morning cup of java can also increase anxiety. Try ordering a decaf coffee in the afternoon or evening. Cutting back on the energy drinks will help as well.
- Connect with Nature. Disconnect from the electronics and spend some time with nature. Take a walk in a park. Make time for a hike. Sit outside and observe Mother Nature. What kind of trees and flowers do you see. What the birds, squirrels and other creatures in their natural habitats. Connecting with nature will bring a calmness to you. In turn, it will allow you to let go of the stress and slow down.
- Remain grateful. We all have so many blessings to be grateful for in our lives. The universe is taking care of us all the time. Focusing on gratitude will help you to internally slow down and reconnect with your spirit.
It is important to give yourself permission to slow down. I challenge you to pick a few slow down strategies from the above list to practice on a regular basis. There are many other ways to slow down, so feel free to do whatever works best for you. The goal is to slow down. After you start slowing down, make sure you recognize the positive difference it makes in your life.
Which slow down strategies will you focus on today?
As hard as it is to admit it, I’ve been stuck. Several years ago, I lost my “virtual” voice. My writing, blog posts and social media pages came to a halt. I found myself in the middle of an unpredictable storm. At times it was hard to walk through it. Eventually the storm passed and the skies cleared. Emotionally, it felt like my foundation had been cracked. I needed to rebuild.
Since then, a part of me has been caught in a cycle of overwhelming fear when it comes to writing. I have allowed the fear to hold me back. The ideas and words have continued to come to me every day. This is nothing new. Some people feel an urge to exercise, shop, eat, paint, dance, etc… I feel the urge to write. Then morning turns to night and nothing is released. Oh how I’ve longed to pick up the pen or type on my keyboard once again.
As far back as I can remember, I have been creative. Writing has been my passion. When I was a teenager, writing was my form of therapy for quite some time. Before I was able to speak my truth, I wrote my truth. It felt so freeing. It filled my spirit and gave me purpose.
Through this experience, I’ve learned that my creativity and “inner-writer” never left me. Somehow, the fear crept in and kept us apart. It deflated my courage, sense of security and self-worth. My inner-writer has been patiently waiting to reunite. My creativity was not as patient and took another route.
When the words were unable to find a way out, my creativity connected me with Coloring. About a year ago, I bought a couple Meditation Coloring Books as a different way to get back into meditation. I loved it! I ordered dozens of coloring books, packs of markers, gel pens, and when the creativity was really flowing, Prismacolor pencils. Coloring gave me a chance to put the pen to the paper again and create. What a beautiful process it has been.
I have felt a shift from within. I started working with a Life & Business Coach a few weeks ago. It reinforced what a powerful process coaching can be when I’m ready to change. One of the “ah-ha” moments came when my Coach helped me see how much my creativity was connected to my authentic-self. By tapping back into my creativity through coloring, I reconnected to a place within where my inner-writer was waiting. It was time to reunite.
I took a deep breath and asked my Higher Power to take the fear away. I felt love in my heart. I let go of the false beliefs. I felt the courage and inspiration come back to me. I released the negative thoughts and doubts. I gave myself permission to live in my truth. I embraced my creativity. And I wrote this blog post!
Imagine being out in the wilderness on a beautiful spring day. There is a stream flowing downhill filled with colorful fish, rocks and leaves. The birds are singing and you can feel the sun shining on your face. Ahhhhh! You start to walk along the stream and follow a school of fish swimming by. Up ahead, you notice some bark from a tree is blocking part of the stream. Leaves and rocks are starting to form a barrier making it very difficult for the fish to pass through. It seems as though there is not enough room for the fish to move forward and break on through to the other side. Because of this “perceived” illusion, the fish start to give up. Now what? (Can you relate?)
As a life coach, one of the common topics clients want to focus on is moving forward in their lives when something is holding them back. Their goals, dreams and ideas are like the rocks and leaves in the stream. The stream represents the flow of life events and experiences. The tree bark and leaves are the fears, mental blocks and false beliefs that appear to hold them back from moving forward. With coaching, I help clients become aware of all the paths in the stream of their minds they might not have seen. We discover ways to put a plan of actions in place to take action, grow and change.
What’s holding you back from moving forward? Now is the perfect time to dive into the stream of change.
If you need a motivating push towards overcoming your fears and creating positive changes in your life, schedule your free intro coaching call at firstname.lastname@example.org today! To learn more, visit http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com
If you are reading this, know that you are good enough, loved and have a purpose.
- Keep your head held high.
- Breathe deeply.
- Take the high road.
- Don’t take other people’s actions personal.
- Spend a few minutes with nature.
- Sing and dance more often.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Hug your children and/or pets.
- Think positive thoughts.
- Smile at strangers.
- Take a chance.
- Believe in yourself.
- The possibilities are endless!
Written by Life Coach Jennifer Bridge
With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, we are on the verge of another holiday season. It’s hard to believe, right? I feel like I was just laying out at the pool. But the seasons have changed. The invites to Thanksgiving dinners and Holiday parties will soon begin to arrive. The cooking, eating, decorating, holiday list making, budgeting, shopping, planning, scheduling, holiday card writing, running around and more is about to begin. Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed yet?
GOOD NEWS, THERE IS STILL TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Be a part of the upcoming coaching program called “Handling the Holidays” starting in November where you can DISCOVER HOW TO:
- Be your best self during the holidays
- Become aware and let go of fears that come up this time of year
- Overcome the overwhelm of the holiday season
- Make a budget, better manage your money and spending
- Get along (or at least be civil) to certain family members during holiday gatherings
- Stay fit, eat healthy and maintain peace of mind
- Get organized and balanced
- Help others and get outside of yourself
- Create a realistic New Year’s plan
By participating in the Handling the Holidays coaching program, you will RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING:
- Benefit of having Jennifer Bridge, an ICF certified Coach facilitating the coaching calls
- Two group coaching calls per month (Nov, Dec and Jan)
- One individual coaching call per month (Nov, Dec and Jan)
- Email support between coaching calls as needed
- Coaching tools to help you handle the holidays
- Accountability and a new awareness
- Empowerment and Support on an individual and group level
- Connection with like-minded people
- A motivating push towards positive changes
If you are interested in life coaching, but cannot begin in early November, contact Jennifer Bridge at email@example.com to set up a time that works best for you. For more details, on the Handling the Holidays coaching program, go to http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com/handling_the_holidays.html
Life is full of ups and downs. With each experience we learn and grow. It is easy to play the victim and stay stuck in a situation. I used to be the “eternal victim” until I realized that I was responsible for my own actions. My mindset used to be “bad things always happen to me.” I was so stuck in this way of thinking. I could not see that my choices led to situations that brought me pain. Once I learned how to step back and take the higher road, things changed. The blinders were removed and I saw things in a new way. It took a lot of work, but I changed. And now, I help others discover who they are and change for the better.
All of us are here for a reason. Some know what that reason is and others haven’t found it yet. We all have dreams and goals, but many people not in touch with them. Fear can keep us stuck in the same routine and environment for months and even years. Where does that voice of fear come from? For some it stems from lack of self-love, worth or esteem. For others it is a voice of an abusive parent or parental figure from our childhood. Giving power to that voice of fear can make it feel next to impossible to move forward. It holds us back from finding our purpose, following our dreams and reaching our goals. Some of us feel so trapped in those fearful thoughts that we stay in the same relationship, job, living situation and surround ourselves with the same friends. It can turn into an endless cycle. But somehow it “seems” safe or comfortable.
The reality is that all of us can overcome the fear. We all have an inner-strength. We can let go of the fear and change. It is just a matter of discovering what works for you. One way is through life coaching. A professional life coach can work with you on ways to move beyond the fear. And in turn, you will be able to create a plan of action to get from where you are to where you want to be. “The possibilities are endless with how far you can go!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To learn more about ways to overcome fear and creating positive changes in your life, contact Life Coach Jennifer Bridge, ACC for a free intro phone appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jenniferbridge.com
This article was written by Life Coach Jennifer Bridge
With the New Year only a few days away, I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2011. Yes, I make goals, not resolutions. I have found resolutions to be too open-ended. In the past, I lost focus and motivation when it came to my New Year’s resolutions. In fact, statistics clearly show that most people do not stick to their New Year’s resolutions beyond the first few weeks of January. Ever notice how jam packed the gym is the beginning of January? How about all of the people that are moody and barely have patience from starting their resolutions to give up smoking, caffeine and junk food? By February, many are left feeling frustrated and discouraged because they were not able to keep their resolutions. If this sounds familiar, you might want to set New Year’s goals instead.
Do you know what your goals are for the New Year? There are many ways to come up with your goals. One of the tools that I use with my clients is the Life Assessment Wheel. It gives a snapshot of all areas of a person’s life. The Life Assessment Wheel shows the successful areas in your life and the ones that need to be improved.
Another approach I use is to have clients envision a clean slate for creating new ideas and possibilities. Then we make a list of what comes up. That list is turned into goals that are achievable, measurable and in line with where you want to go. Many people find it beneficial to work with a life coach on their goals, so they are held accountable and stay on track.
Managing your goals can feel overwhelming. There are some wonderful websites out there to keep everything in order. Some of the ones I recommend are Stickk, 43 Things, Remember the Milk, Zealog, SuperViva, Achievr, Goal Setting 1 and Life Tango. Whether the site calls it life tracking, personal metrics, important things to do or goals, these virtual tools are sure to be another helpful resource.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree. But a video is worth a million! I came across a wonderful video cartoon that does a fabulous job visually showing how coaching actually works. Please take a moment to watch and share your comments. Enjoy!!
Rule One – You will receive a body.
You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.
Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life”. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.
Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.
Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned.
Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.
Rule Five – Learning does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”.
When your “there” has become “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than your present “here”.
Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you.
Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you.
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth.
You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helic of inner-knowing.
From the book If Life is a Game, These are the Rules by Cherie Carter-Scott