Well, the holidays are gaining on us fast and the stress of trying to do all that needs doing before, during and after can leave us holding onto too much, while forgetting to be grateful for much else.
Maybe you’re holding onto a past resentment or two about a particular family member that you will hopefully avoid sitting next to at Thanksgiving Dinner or during Hanukkah or Christmas Dinner. Those holidays are just around the corner too.
Perhaps that sense of overwhelm with too much to do and too little time to get ‘er done is beginning to take over your thoughts and you’re already feeling that sense of dread building.
Here are a few tips to let go and give thanks instead.
First, when you notice the emotion of overwhelm or dread, stop and breathe. Yes, intentional deep breathing can have an instant impact on our psyche.
Here’s how to do it.
Second, be grateful for something general, in the moment, after you do the breathing exercise.
Keep it general, having nothing to do with any of the holidays. Simply find gratitude for your eyes being able to read this. Your ears for hearing someone say I love you. Get me?
Gratitude goes a long way in helping us improve our thoughts and feelings around what can be a challenging time for many.
This Thanksgiving season, however, you now have a tool to help get you through any stress or overwhelm.
What if when you woke up you decided “today is going to be a really good day”?
What if today you choose to believe that “others, when they show up today will show you their excellence?”
What if today you believe “things are always working out for me”?
How might your life be different if you could find a more positive way to BE with yourself today?
Do we have to “allow” the traffic, or the significant other, or children, or co-worker, or project, or boss, or weather, or finances, or responsibilities, or commitments, or...or...or...have such a negative impact on us? Can we choose to believe that today will be different?
The good news or bad news, depending on your perspective and thoughts around this idea, is that YOU CAN if you think you can and YOU CAN’T if you think you can’t. Either way, you’ll be right.
So, I ask you...do you have the power within to think more positive thoughts that could shift your feelings and therefore shift your beliefs so your life can take on some more positive ways of being with you today?
Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment or forward this to someone you think may benefit from knowing what else is possible.
Jenn was 51 years old. Living in Alewife, Massachusetts, her company was acquired, again and she was frustrated. Another happy face was going to be needed when meeting her new boss, who was two decades her junior. Jenn was sick and tired of being treated like someone who didn't know what they were doing, although she was a long-term, successful, seasoned employee.
Jenn often came home tired and complaining to her husband, Steve, about how disgruntled she felt and unappreciated. Job dissatisfaction had been going on for a while now, and she was at her wit's end. Even her two high school-aged children noticed her unhappiness with work, which left her depleted at home.
The company even dared to take some of her best clients and give them to the newer, younger account executives to help them feel more confident when they started with the company. How much more was she going to have to take?
Yet, the writing was on the wall that more change is a-comin', and it was time to do something else. But what? Jenn was scared. How would she help put her kids through college and save for retirement? What else was Jenn going to do at this stage in life? She had convinced herself that she could push through the challenges, yet after five years of driving what felt like a boulder up a mountain, Jenn knew she had to do something else.
Then she met with Elise, who had used a coach to help her through her job challenges in recent years. Elise found courage through the coaching process in knowing that she could create a new and different pathway for herself at the ripe age of 52, and so she embarked on a new adventure doing something completely fresh with the help of her coach.
Jenn wanted the same courage and confidence she heard from Elise, and she wanted to know how her coach might help her too. Jenn then reached out to the coach.
The coach offered an exploratory, confidential coaching experience that would quickly to put any reservations Jenn had to rest. Jenn would come to understand more clearly what her next step was and confidently envision a new future self, and what she wanted for this next chapter of her life. Jenn hired the coach.
As they worked together, Jenn discovered her confident self again and got some much-needed downtime to re-energize. She boldly turned in her resignation. As she and her coach worked through their action plan, Jenn realized she had put her own needs on the back burner of her life.
Fast forward, and Jenn has a new job working for a company and a boss that appreciate what she brings to the table; sage wisdom and experience.
I am getting ready to depart for a River Cruise that will include extensive bike riding. While I started riding for my husband, back at the beginning of our relationship, I stopped doing so because I could not keep up and all the practice in the world would never give me the ability to reach what he has been doing his entire adult life. Thank goodness for “E-bikes” now. With pedal assist, bike rides are now more enjoyable and don’t keep me riding by myself all the time and my hubby still gets his workout. Let me say this, I still get a workout but it’s no longer a lonely workout. Get me?
When our itinerary arrived in the mail, fear in the form of anger started to take me down the rabbit hole and I found myself ticked off that I let “him”, my husband, talk me into this. Just to be clear, he didn’t, but blaming him felt like the right thing to do because I would never do this on my own.
Then, I caught myself because I know now that FEAR really means False Evidence Appearing Real. My inner essence knows that my husband is in my life because he expands me. He grows me in ways I would never think to do on my own. I often love the accomplishments I embrace (especially when its over...lol) of my latest achievement. Whether its riding 10 miles or 50 miles a day on bikes or ATVing the back-roads of the majestic purple mountains majesty in Colorado, I have achieved some of my greatest accomplishments because of my husband.
Once I recognized the F.E.A.R. for what it was, I “allowed” myself to step into a new vision for myself. I started seeing myself in total enjoyment as I pedaled through the various back-roads of France. I envisioned the new friends I would make and if you know me personally, I love making new friends. I could see us at the Captain’s Table during dinner in a private room getting to know other couples across the world. I started envisioning the ease and flow on the daily bike rides. The next thing I realized, my inner essence was literally jumping for joy, in my mind, over the fact that I will be growing, learning, expanding, having a really, enjoyable time and I was so happy. I was able to pivot from blame and FEAR toward growth and joy.
You see, fear really helps us get more in touch with what we want if we can catch our thoughts and instead allow new and different thoughts that feel more fun and joyful. Typically, we allow the fear to grow, which is simply just negative thoughts getting out of control and becoming larger and scarier than the actual experience will be. The fear is simply a thought and I get to choose if I will allow that thought to take me down the rabbit hole or grow me into more joy. I choose joy, every time! AND, I’m getting better at choosing the thoughts that work for me instead of the thoughts that work against me on a daily, moment-by-moment practice to notice when something gives me a negative hit, and to more fully understand that I can control where I go from there.
What’s got you fearful?
What is negatively affecting you?
~ Balance and Self Care ~
I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer filled with a little more relaxation, perhaps a bit more fun, and maybe, just maybe some much needed time for yourself.
Did you try anything new?
Travel anywhere or spend time on the water or time outdoors?
Were you able to enjoy watching young ones catching lightning bugs?
Have you eaten your share of corn, tomatoes, and s’mores?
Read any good books or spend time reflecting on your life?
However you spent your time, were you able to feel satisfied?
Are you now in the thick of shopping for new school supplies, backpacks, dorm room essentials while gearing up for those back-to-school schedules, activities and sports programs? Perhaps you’ve got an upcoming wedding you’re helping plan. Whatever you have going on at this time, life can get pretty busy, pretty quick and before you know it you’re wishing it were summertime again...a little more laid back.
We’re actually not very good at hiding how we honestly feel, especially to our loved ones. If you don’t think so, just ask your spouse or significant other if they take the brunt of your unsatisfaction, stress and overwhelm. They’ll tell you.
Here is a powerful way to turn off the overwhelm and stress and tune into your internal GPS; the inner essence of you.
Use this technique to calm the overwhelm, the frustration, the worry:
69% of marriages have a perpetual problem that is never going away, says author John Gottman. The financial and emotional costs don’t end just because your marriage does. If your divorce is ugly, so will dealing with your partner be as time moves forward. You’ll be forcing your kid(s) to choose between you or your former spouse/partner at weddings, holidays, family gatherings and more if you don’t learn new ways of communicating, even after you’ve split up. And, that ugliness your kids saw growing up doesn’t end there. You’ll either become or try to become the favored parent. Maybe you’ll
Well, the first six months of my 26-year (still) happy marriage came close to ending before it even got started. We were acting like our parents and communicating the only way we knew how, and that included sometimes the good, but mostly the bad and the very ugly.
Growing up, I experienced the wagging finger by my mother toward my father. Then I watched my father stonewalling my mother; sitting there taking it in and saying nothing in return. Talk about escalating an already highly charged “conversation”?! My in-laws had their own ways of communicating and that included name-calling or ignoring each other, which is a form of contempt.
These so-called forms of communication or lack thereof, are simply patterns of unskillful interacting.
Did you ever learn how to communicate and relate to others in school, college or a Catholic Pre-Cana? Maybe to some degree, but usually, we just tried our best to get along with others. Ordinarily, there were no instruction manuals handed out. We just communicate with each other doing what we’ve seen or experienced growing up. Period. And, if you have been to therapy or marriage counseling, then good for you!
Now, there are Relationship Coaches, and I am one of them.
I recently completed a high-level Relationship Systems Coach Training and I am further equipped with more great coaching tools to help couples whose relationship is in stress. Perhaps you’re no longer communicating like you once did or you have financial concerns, job stress, lack of intimacy, not on the same page with how to raise the kids, or dealing with your mother-in-law, or ex and much more.
Coaching couples means a lot to me, personally, because it took me decades to get over the divorce of my parents when I was 20 years old. How did I deal with it? The only way I knew how at the time: I got married myself, just to escape the fallout because I felt my entire childhood had been a lie.
Although my first marriage would only last 18 months and feels like a lifetime ago, this was the way you handled things, or you did something else like have an affair or you ran from the relationship, as in separation and divorce. You learned how not to commit. You learned you didn’t want to make someone else happy (and that’s not a thing you can do anyway, but that’s another article for another time!). And, if you’re trying to figure out the math, no, I didn’t go to college at the time because education wasn’t valued by my mother (although my father was a college grad) hence the story ‘higher education is not necessary’. Are you starting to see any patterns you’re guilty of in your own relationships?
Fast forward twelve years and I’m now in a second marriage. The help of a few therapists, which was the only modality available then, proved great for our marriage. Yet, our relationship got even better when my husband participated in this same Relationship Coach training before me, at least a decade ago. Those tools and new ways of communicating changed our relationship for the good and how we communicate with each other. You see when one partner starts to change, the other either goes along or chooses something different.
Might Relationship Coaching be the answer to your marriage? I offer a 60-minute complimentary coaching call for couples to experience new tools right away, while we determine if I can help.
Check out my website for more information.
This series of BLOG’s were designed to help you understand more about confidence, and more importantly, help you become aware of the factors and situations that influence your confidence.
Remember, the route to confidence is not a sprint. Instead, consistently take small steps to reclaim the natural confidence you were born with, and strengthen your situational confidence, and you’ll feel your MOJO rise!
You don’t have to wait for a summer day, a new client, a call from a “certain someone” or praise for a job well done. Simply visualize yourself as That Girl or That Guy. See yourself managing whatever curve balls life might throw your way. See yourself competent, capable, and confident. Feel the energy of what is now possible. When you do that, don’t be surprised if you suddenly have a lift in your spirits, a smile on your face and a bounce to your step as people see you walking down the street and say:
“I like his MOJO!”
“Look at her, she’s got MOJO!”
As you may recall, last week, in my newsletter, I shared the five common situational confidences.
Hopefully by now, you have a better sense of what causes your confidence to go up and down like a roller coaster. You can be on the top one minute, and feel your confidence sink the next.
To stay more even-keeled, think of confidence like a bank account. You want to make regular deposits into your confidence bank, so you can stay positive when people and situations make withdrawals on your confidence.
The key to having a more sustained level of confidence is to make more deposits. The ways you can make deposits into your confidence bank account are numerous. Here are a few you might try:
Confidence can be developed. Sure – it seems that some people were born with a leg up in life. We all know people who started life in a supportive, nurturing family that provided the opportunities for them to get ahead. But many, many successful people have had to pull themselves up by their boot straps and go it alone. They took responsibility for their lives and you can too.
Stay tuned for the final week: Is confidence a sprint or a marathon?
Terri O'Donnell is a certified Life Coach. She is an honest, straight shooter who is dedicated to using her training and experience to help people live the life they desire.