7 Steps to dealing with change

Thinking young woman with yes or no choice looking up

Whilst many people embrace change and are excited by the thought of it, others find it a daunting and worrying prospect.

Many clients I have worked with have hankered for change when a situation has been static for a long time, such as a job that bores, them but the fear of changing for an unknown alternative is enough to keep them stuck where they are

 

Here are my my seven steps for dealing with change because like it or not, it is always coming!

1) Don’t fight it. Accept that change is inevitable. Fighting it can not only sap your energy but also cause huge amounts of stress. Think about the way a tree bends in the wind – the more flexible it is the less chance of it snapping an
2) Remember. It is just a process like any other and that by the time you have been through it the chances are you will have forgotten why you were worried in the first place.

3) Examine your fears. Keep a journal and write about how you feel. Putting your feelings and emotions about an issue down on paper can really help put things into perspective and help you feel better.
4) Reframe your thinking. Instead of dreading the change adopt an attitude of positivity. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts think about all the potential benefits of the change.
5) Build your success bank. Think about times when you have successfully dealt with challenges in the past and remember how you felt when you did. Tap into those feelings of achievement and success and use them as an anchor whenever you are feeling fear.

6) Learn to relax. Try deep breathing, exercise or even meditation. Stress change can often make us feel stressed so adopting habits that help us relax can help us to be far more resilient and able to deal with things.

7) Choose your thoughts and attitudes. You may not be able to control what happens in life but you can choose how you want to react. Your perception of the world is often a reflection of your internal thoughts so change your thoughts for positive ones and enjoy the results!

Stop Dreaming Start Doing!

 Creating Your Business Vision Workshop Prague 2013

Creating Your Business Vision Workshop Prague 2013

Do you dream about starting your own business and escaping the corporate cage ? If you do you’re not alone but  what steps have you taken to make your dream a reality ?” You see a dream without action stays exactly that, a dream .Over the years I worked in recruitment agencies and then as a coach I have spoken to countless people who all had a desire to change career and work for themselves. When I asked them what was stopping them I got the following answers

 

 

 

1) I’ve never run a business before-I don’t know where to startphoto 3

2)I’m not qualified

3)I don’t have time

4) I don’t have the money

5) What if no-one wants my product or service ?

6) It’s too risky in a recession I’ll wait till the economy picks up

7)don’t have any skills/knowledge  I can make money from

8)I dont know what I’d like to do Im waiting for the perfect idea

9)I’m too old/too young

10) Im scared to give up my job

Do you recognise any of them ? Are any of them what you tell yourself ?

At first glance they all seem like perfectly good reasons not to take action , but if you go through the list its possible to flip each excuse and come up with a positive reason why now is the perfect time to follow you dreams . If you don’t believe me heres an example.

Excuse -Im too scared to give up my job  Solution -You don’t need to . Start your business small scale on a part time basis evenings or weekends to see how it goes .

All of these reasons, or as I call them excuses are just stories we tell ourselves because we are afraid of pursuing what we really want. Start changing the story you tell yourself and you’ll change your life.

 

 

Two Questions That Can Help You Change Your Life

bigstock-Female-student-thinking-29443847What are you and what do you want to be?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “Life is a journey, not a destination”, but do you ever look at your life and wonder what direction you’re taking?

The experiences we accumulate, our personal growth and the relationships we build are vital in determining our quality of life and, whether we realise it or not, we also influence the lives of those around us, be they colleagues, family members or partners.

Finding the right path and living our best possible life can not only increase our happiness and contentment but can also have a positive impact on those around us.

Here are some questions to consider for living life and living it with purpose and direction:

First, what are you? Take inventory of the state you are in right now.  Be honest with yourself and truly define what you are now.  If you are not going to be honest with yourself at this point, you are not ready to set a direction for your life.

This question is different from “who are you?”  The “who” question is a personal, internal reflection of your self-identity.   The “what” question turns the personal, internal look at your life into the external view of what others see you as.

Second, what do you want to be?  This question gives you a second point of reference that is used to direct your life choices.  If what you are now and what you want to be are different, then you have the ability to motivate yourself to make the proper changes to get to what you want to be.

In order to set a direction, you have to have a current point of reference (what you are now) and a second point of reference (what you want to be).  You are literally beginning to chart a new course.

After looking at what you are and what you want to be, you can identify the real changes you need to make.  Changes such as education, career moves or even meaningful life changes can be identified and acted upon.

Once you have asked these questions and gained some clarity, identify some steps you can take and break them down into actionable events. Put them into a list and prioritise them.

This gives you the basis for getting on track and creating the lifestyle you want around the goals that matter to you.

3 Tips For Living a Happier Life

Happy woman
Living a happy life is often thought to be the preserve of the rich and famous and consequently, many people resign themselves to “living lives of quiet desperation” as Henry D. Thoreau so eloquently put it.In truth, by focusing more on ourselves and our happiness and taking some simple steps we can all improve the quality of our existence.

1. Make time for friends 

With today’s culture of working long hours and being expected to “do more with less” it can be easy to make work your only focus and lose touch with important members of your social network.

Studies have shown that people with strong social networks are not only happier but healthier and generally more successful in all areas of life, so take time to nurture the relationships with the people you care about.

2. Exercise and relax 

When you are feeling stressed, sometimes all you need to do is let it out with some kind of activity.

Whether it’s a brisk walk round the block, a high energy zumba session or a gentle swim, exercise is great for helping you reduce stress, relax your mind and body and increase your levels of the happiness-inducing hormone, serotonin.

3. Create smaller goals

When you set yourself big goals it can be easy to feel really overwhelmed. If you have a big goal that you are working towards try breaking it down into smaller steps so that you can experience a series of quick wins. Make sure you acknowledge and celebrate each step so you can really build on the feel good factor and enjoy each day more.

 

Are You Suffering from N.E.D?

Are you suffering from N.E.D? Recently I was lucky enough to be part of the organising crew at the world famous Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within event. It was amazing – four days of transformational coaching delivered with humour and energy.

Whilst there, I had the opportunity to spend time with Gary King – a good friend of Tony’s, who is also a renowned leader in the personal development field. He told me about a global disease that is sweeping the planet affecting hundreds of millions of people all across the globe. To say that I was slightly alarmed at this stage would have been an understatement .

He went on, however, to explain that this disease was not the kind you took a course of antibiotics for but that many people self-medicated with alcohol, food, smoking or recreational drugs .What is this disease? Well it’s not one you will have heard of but I’ll bet you know someone who has it: N.E.D, or the Not Enough Disease.  From the moment we are born and throughout our lives we are made to feel we are not enough.

Think back to the earliest childhood memory you have of being punished or reprimanded for something. Perhaps you drew on a wall or broke an ornament. Now remember what your parent or older sibling said to you. If you can’t recall the words think about how you were made feel when you were told off. You might have felt ashamed or embarrassed, or perhaps stupid and clumsy. Either way, the overall message you got was that you were not enough, not good enough, not smart enough or not well behaved enough.  At school the conditioning continues as we spend time trying to attain grades in tests to see if we are good enough to get onto a further educational course which, if we pass, will determine our value as an employee.  Our society is to a large extent based on the concept of making people feel they are not enough. Advertisers use images of slim tanned models to promote face creams and cosmetics and the end result is that millions of women receive the message that they are not good enough as they are and therefore must seek to improve themselves.

As a coach myself I often have clients who are ‘stuck’ in life. They want to take action and apply for a new job or find a new relationship but confidence issues get in the way and they are almost all suffering from NED. They will tell me the reason they can’t pursue their dream is because they are not pretty, handsome, brave, clever, tall, short, slim or curvy enough.  Does this resonate ? If so I have some news for you. You are enough!

All of the conditioning and messages you have received are faulty because it was most probably developed by other people with NED, which is nothing more than a human construct.  Next time you think you can’t do something because you are not enough, close your eyes and repeat to yourself ‘I am enough, I am enough, I am enough’. If you adopt this as your new mantra and tell it to yourself each day it won’t be long before you start to notice a positive change.

Live Healthy

Fitness dance zumba class

Eat healthy!

We’ve all heard the expression “You are what you eat” but do we really every think about the real effects eating the right or wrong foods have on our bodies? What you put into your body can either make you feel energetic, positive and glowing with health or burned out, jittery and stressed. A balanced diet with a good mix of proteins, plenty of vegetables and whole foods can actually reduce your stress levels increase energy levels and help you look and feel great!

Lighten your load

Years ago when all the new labour saving devices like washing machines, hoovers, and computers were invented scientists proclaimed that all these wonderful things would free us from the drudgery of repetitive time consuming tasks and thus free us to enjoy more leisure time with our friends family or simply with ourselves. Clearly that hasn’t happened with people nowadays working longer hours and constantly being bombarded with “urgent requests” via e-mail, mobile telephone, and PC
Prioritise your commitments -Can you block out more free time in your schedule just to relax without constantly having to be “doing” something all the time?

Learn to say no -

You don’t have to agree to everything you are asked.If you are asked to work late constantly,or to go to a social event you really don’t feel like attending just politely decline -you do not have to provide a reason for your decision!.

Get Help -

Are there things you could get help with or outsource completely to someone else? You might think getting someone to do your ironing or clean your house once a week is an extravagance but the initial cost is easily outweighed by the benefits you will get from having more time to do the things you want to do.

Exercise

It doesn’t have to be a gruelling session pumping iron at the gym or a 10k run. The key is little and often, a half hour walk each day or turning on your favourite dance tracks and having a boogie round your living room will really lift your energy levels, clear the cobwebs and reduce stress levels leaving you feeling like you can cope with whatever the day throws at you!

Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can really have a huge negative impact on your stress levels. If you find it hard to sleep at night try listening to restful music or a meditation cd and stay away from caffeine and alcohol in the few hours before you plan you go to sleep. You could also try taking a power nap during the day.

Laugh

I’ m sure you’ve heard the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine” but there is actually a great deal of truth to this. Laughter has many positive health benefits some of which will surprise you for example did you know it can boost your immune system? Yes it’s true!

Laughter causes stress hormones to decrease whilst increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies all of which improves your resistance to disease.
Another amazing effect of laughter on the body is that it releases endorphins which are the body’s feel good chemicals. This causes a general feeling of wellbeing and can even temporarily alleviate pain.

Laughter relaxes the body relieving tension and stress and even your muscles for up to 45 minutes afterward

Laughter is also great for your heart – During a study at the University of Maryland volunteers were shown humorous films and noticed that laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, to dilate resulting in increased blood flow which can help protect you against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

When the same group of study volunteers was shown a movie that made them feel mentally stressed, their blood vessel lining developed a potentially unhealthy response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow.

So next time you think you don’t have time to relax and have fun just remember that embracing your silly side can have serious benefits to your wellbeing

 

Spring Clean Your Space

Declutter Your Life

Declutter Your Life

So the festive mayhem is  over for another year and I have attained the unenviable but I suspect rather common state of being a few lbs heavier physically and a few £££ lighter financially due to a combination of lots of good food and tempting sales in the stores .

One of my Christmas sales bargains was a rather fetching desk diary containing a list of key dates and holidays for 2012 and the ever useful year planner. It is this very diary you can blame or thank depending on your view, for inspiring this article.

Apparently January 9th is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.  That got your attention, didn’t it? The New Year is a great time to review and clear out the stuff you know has been mounting up in your desk / home office  over the last few months.

Look around you and be and be honest ,how much of that stuff do you really need. Are there post it notes with phone numbers that could be transferred to a spreadsheet on your PC or put on a spreadsheet or contact? Do you have information that’s been superceded by up to date materials. How many staplers do you have in that top drawer of your desk and the big question, Do any of them have staples in them?

Having a tidy desk and work space has some major benefits which I’ve listed below

1)No visual distractions
With no extraneous piles of papers, magazines, post it notes etc to distract your attention  you can focus on the task at hand which means you will probably finish it more quickly and to a better standard

2)Create a comfort zone
How often have you tried to or seen colleagues trying to work at a desk brimming with files and papers until the desk is so covered they are squeezed awkwardly into a corner of it . If the desk is clear apart from the one file or piece of work you are dealing with you will have space to organize and be unlikely to misplace or anything.

3)Out of site out of mind

We have all seen those home design/ makeover programmes where the décor is awful and we wonder how anyone could enjoy being in that space. Spaces each have their own atmosphere ,in fact interior design focuses on creating different types depending on what they want the inhabitants to experience. A peaceful space creates an atmosphere where people can feel at ease and a clean and tidy space with no distractions provides users with a less stressful environment where they can focus

4)Cleanliness is next to godliness

Well ok maybe my mum just told me that to get me to clean my room as a child but keeping a tidy desk does mean the space is easy to maintain and clean properly meaning its more hygienic and  is a much more pleasant place to spend your working day   .

 

Read more http://www.elainegleeson.com/articles/

How to develop a positive attitude

How to be happyWhen it comes to quality of life, attitude is everything! Have you ever noticed how when you think something isn’t going to be much fun it often isn’t

We have all met people who have had a terrible attitude. Maybe they were really pessimistic and not much fun to be around, or they complained non-stop about how terrible their life was. Did you find it draining to be in their presence?

A negative attitude will not only make you miserable, but everyone around you too!

A positive attitude, on the other hand, turns you into a person that everyone wants to be with; a person that constantly experiences great things, and a person who loves their life!  Do you want to be that kind of person?  If so, read on for some easy ways to develop a positive attitude.

1) Do what you love. This applies to hobbies and fun activities, but it also pertains to one of the biggest parts of your life – your work!  Do you enjoy your job?  Are you spending most of your time on something that makes you feel purposeful and fulfilled?  If not, consider ways you could make your current role more enjoyable, for example, learning a new skill or getting involved with a project that would interest you. Or perhaps consider exploring other career options and moving toward a job you will enjoy. When you regularly do things that make you happy, you can’t help but feel better about yourself and your life, which fosters a positive attitude.

2) Expect the best, always. It’s easy to get into the habit of seeing doom and gloom in every situation, but doing so keeps you forever focused on the negative.  Instead, make a conscious decision to expect the best, even if your first impulse is to think negatively. When you get up in the morning make a conscious decision that you are going to have a great day, and approach it as if you are already experiencing it. The more you train your mind to adopt this mindset the more good days you will have!

3) Build yourself up. Think and speak positively to and about yourself every day.  Many of us have a habit of talking to ourselves in a way that’s not very positive .We say things like I’m too old, too fat or to stupid to do that or be like that . Be mindful of your self-talk and notice what and how your internal dialogue makes you feel. Negative self-talk can leave us feeling hopeless, frustrated and pessimistic. Get into the habit of building yourself up with positive self-talk and positive thoughts. Affirm your good qualities and downplay the negative ones. Affirm that you are a work in progress; not perfect but great nonetheless!

4) Build others up. As often as you can, make an effort to encourage, support and compliment the people you encounter each day.  That goes for people you know as well as strangers you meet in your daily travels.  The more you focus on emphasizing the positive in others the more likeable you are going to be and the better you are going to feel about yourself too!

5) Focus on your strengths. The more you worry about all the things you don’t like about yourself or your life the more miserable you (and everyone around you) are going to feel! Instead, consistently affirm your strengths, talents and capabilities.  You’ll end up feeling empowered and in control of your circumstances, which cannot help but improve your attitude!

Read more http://www.elainegleeson.com/articles/

Finding Your Inner Calm

bigstock-Travel-landscape-beach-with-b-38766310With the fast pace of today’s world and the current tough economic climate putting pressures on businesses and organisations to do more with less resources, it is not surprising that many people are experiencing high levels of stress .

Currently one in six workers are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression and over 10 million working days are lost directly due to work related issues.

Most of us will suffer from stress at some point in our lives but there are simple and effective steps we can take to deal with it so that we don’t suffer needlessly.

One of the easiest and most effective things we can do to alleviate feelings of stress is simply to breathe correctly.

When we are feeling anxious we attend to breath shallowly, only drawing in the minimum amount of air to the chest. It’s the way we tend to breathe when we are experiencing our bodies fight or flight response to being in a stressful situation.

The problem is that in order for our cells to repair and renew and our nervous system, muscles and circulation to function well, we need to ensure we breathe deeply and take in enough oxygen.

Try this exercise at least once a day and you will notice the difference:

1.    Sit or stand in a relaxed position.

2.    Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to five in your head.

3.    Breathe out slowly through your mouth, counting to eight in your head as you do this. Repeat several times.

Tips

1.    As you breathe, try not to raise your shoulders but focus on bringing the air down to your abdomen so that it expands outward. When this happens you are breathing deeply and your body will be getting the oxygen it needs.

2.    Doing this just a few times will help you feel less tense, more relaxed and able to cope with the demands of the day.

 

Zumba and lessons for life

Fitness dance zumba classI went to a Zumba class the other day, my fourth since they started at my gym last October so you could say my attendance has been a little sporadic at best . However I was determined not to miss another one so at 11.30 on Monday morning myself and about 20 other women stood eagerly awaiting the aerobic studio filling  with the sounds of reggaton and salsa music  . As we got going and I desperately tried to get the gist of the routines and steps that had been added since my last attendance I came to the realisation that actually when it comes down to it I am a terrible dancer ! I seemed to be going left when others were going right and backwards when my classmates seemed to be moving forwards in perfect formation. The second thing I noticed swiftly after realising just how bad I am at the Zumba dance moves is how little it mattered . The other thing that struck me was that despite my ungainly display of movement no-one else in the class seemed to notice. Nobody stopped and stared and nobody laughed . This really made me think . I thought about life and the pressure we often put on ourselves to be perfect , to follow the right steps , to have to be good at everything we do and it hit me  that actually I didn’t have to be good at stuff to do it or to enjoy it ! I was having a great time doing something I was totally hopeless  at . This was the first time I had really thought about this before . I thought about the clients I’ve coached who say to me  ” I can’t do that because I’m no good at it ” I won’t try that because I’ll get it wrong” and I thought about how often fear of not being “good enough” stops us from taking part . As we neared the end f the class I felt great, exhilarated, energetic and uplifted and as I watched my classmates I noticed they, like me had red ,shiny but predominantly smiling faces. I am going to attend the next class and make a real effort to go often and if I never become a great at the Zumba moves thats ok, I give myself permission to move to my own beat and just enjoy the music !

If you want to follow your own beat in life and make some positive changes contact me to arrange an informal chat about your needs