Time To Stop This Craziness

Sometimes, when its all getting too much, you just have to STOP!Are you enjoying the summer? Its school holidays now and for many an excuse to rest a bit more and work a bit less.

Not for everyone though, to some the nice weather just makes them feel guilty because they want to be out in it but feel under pressure to get on with other things.

 

Time for me
At this time of year the first thing I do once I’m up is take the dog to the beach, and we stay there for between one and two hours. I don’t check the time, we come back when we’re ready. That’s me time. I mostly don’t book appointments too early in the morning, and I only ever check the time on the rare occasion I do have a commitment.

Yet among the entrepreneurs I know, not many do things like this.

Too many folks are too “busy”

All too often I see people running around way too much, if you talk to them they keep on about how busy they are and don’t have time for things. Yet they are still keep adding more to the diary. And at the same time they are constantly making excuses for not doing things.

Typically these people are not hermits, 9 times out of 10 they’re at all the social events you can imagine as well, and all the business events and conferences.

Take a break

You don’t have to go to every social event, catch up with every friend and acquaintance every time. You don’t have to do it all

You do need to take a break, give yourself day off, quietly, on your own, or an evening off. On your own, not with the pressure of social and fitting in with others

Or you might be forced into it
If you don’t rest your body is eventually going to make you, and you very likely won’t like the way it does it!
Here’s the thing, if you’re feeling stressed, for whatever reason, you need time out. You’re already making excuses for the things you don’t deem to be a priority, yet what is left is still too much.

And its not just you
Plus the people you are turning down are seeing you doing the other things and out and about all the time, and they are noticing, if they are switched on they are noticing that you’re not making them priority. Particularly if you post your every move on social media!
Your clients can see it, your friends can see it

So not only are you slowly making yourself ill, you are also unconsciously upsetting people around you or undermining their faith in you.

Too much inspiration?
And then there’s the other side, the entrepreneurs blessing and nightmare. You just keep getting more ideas. You do, don’t you? It’s normal.

What’s not normal is trying to implement every idea as soon as it comes to you. Where did you suddenly get time and energy? Either you put off something else, because this is exciting and in the now, or you’re trying to do it all, which means you’ve added even more to the “to do” pile!


Actions you can take

If you already promised to do something, don’t just say you can’t do it now, or you don’t have time, ask someone else to take over. Or delegate if you have someone you can hand over to.

If you get all these ideas and you want to do them all, write them down, keep an ideas book with you, and then do one at a time

If your feeling stressed, stop. Take time out. Really the world won’t end if you have a breather, nobody will die if it’s not all done today, honestly.

Be responsible
At the end of the day you have to take responsibility for what’s going on in your life. You can change things and you can make choices. Step back, breathe, and ask yourself what is the right next step for you. And do that.

If you feel that your life is a bit crazy and you’re looking for more balance why not check out my new workshop? How to Get Back to Balance: Know What You Want, Create More Time, And Get Back in Control of Your Life and Your Business read more here

First published by Authentic Edge, August 2015 © Julia Mcdaid

Its All In The Choices You Make

You know the answers, really you doI wanted to write about choices today. Mainly because I have been reflecting on this following a couple of recent conversations.

I’m sure you have heard & read about life being a result of the choices you make? And whilst that may sometimes seem harsh, or difficult to fathom, in realty if you look at smaller things you can see how your choices impact you

For example, today I am feeling tired. Yet it is entirely self-inflicted. I had a late night and got up early! I didn’t get enough sleep, end of story. End result is tired, need more sleep. I could have gone to bed earlier or got up later, I had a choice.

Take it back one step, well actually easier said than done. Where I am its hot in summer and I have a dog, so I need to be up and out and walked by about 9am. OK I don’t have to, but it’s more comfortable for both of us if it happens.

Plus last night I was hosting an event, I could have left much earlier and gone home. Fact is, I was the host, it’s my group, I don’t like to leave until it’s down to the last few people, and I was having a lot of fun! Was I worried about getting up in the morning? At the time, of course not.

Where am I going with this?

Well, here’s the thing. I could have slept in, I didn’t because of the dog, I chose to have dog, I chose to live here , I chose to walk when it’s comfortable, I chose to get up even though I felt tired..

I chose to run a social group, I chose to have the event, and I chose to stay til the end. I didn’t have to do any of those things.
Do you see? Lots of choices but my feeling tired today is nothing to do with anyone else, the Universe, the weather or whatever.

These things are cumulative and build up over time, lifestyle is affected by the choices you make. Whilst you may not see the path or the many choices you made over time, in the end you did choose the things that led you to where you are, whatever that may be.

And you can now choose how you deal with it, how you feel about it, and what you do about it

If you do nothing you’re still choosing, even though you may choosing to let others decide by not actively deciding something yourself.
I guess there are two things to take away from this.

One, to be aware of your choices as far as you can, even though you may not be able to see the future cumulative effect

And two, to take responsibility, by acknowledging that yes you did make choices that led you here, even if you didn’t realise at the time

What do you think?

Beyond the Resolutions

Beyond the New Year Resolutions Authentic EdgeHere we are, one week into a New Year and, if you are anything like me, for the last few weeks your inbox has been full of mails about setting new year resolutions, intentions and goals, letting go of 2014 and creating success in 2015.

Although we can make changes at any time we choose, this time of year is when we tend to give it more energy. The changeover of the calendar year is when we sit back and look at what has happened and the changes we need or want to make as a result.

It’s interesting to note that where I come from the majority of companies have their financial year end in March in line with the tax year. So financial targets for the business, or budgets, if they do them, will be set then. It may be worth thinking about whether you want to align the two!

Have you set goals?

Do you set resolutions or intentions, or new goals at New Year? Have you done it for 2015 yet?

And did you take some time to look back over 2014 to see what happened, review what you created and learned, notice what worked and what didn’t?

Lets face it, its always a good time to let go of what didn’t work and to build on what did, so knowing what that was is great for moving your business forward.Click to Tweet Now

Life gets in the way

I know it’s not always as easy as it sounds. As a woman you often have distractions, you are at an age where life is impacting you in a big way. Maybe you lost parent or you are caring for a parent, your kids are growing up and becoming independent, or maybe you lost a partner, or a relationship broke down.

These are all things we have to deal with in life and all of them can distract us from business, however dedicated we are.

And rightly so you may say, we have to prioritise and (sometimes) its right to put family first. If something major happens clearly that is the case.

Create a business that supports you

With this in mind though isn’t it perhaps a good idea to include things in your new goals and planning that will help you cope in the event of unexpected and unplanned circumstances.

Even if you are not dealing with any major life or family events now, prepare yourself for it if it happens. Build in systems and back up to support so things can continue without you if you can’t be around for a while.

This is good business practice anyway, and ultimately adds value to your business, though perhaps often we do not really think about how it can help us as an individual not just the business.

Moving forward

If you have already set your intentions or goals, consider whether you have included anything that adds support to you as an individual, as well as just making your business better, and if not what could you add?

And as always if I can help in any way please do get in touch, I always have the odd slot available for a quick chat.

Simplify Your Office, Simplify Your Life

simplify your office, simplify your life and businessWhen I moved last year, one of the key things that I wanted to do was make sure I had an absolute minimum amount of paperwork around me. And because I was moving I wanted everything to be simple and streamlined.

But you don’t have to be moving to make life easier for you in your office.

There are lots of ways you can simplify things.
 

Clear the clutter

In practical terms, clearing the clutter is a great start. Not only do you not have things lying around everywhere, you improve the energy flow around your environment which can only help creativity and productivity.
So it’s worth sorting out all your stuff, throw away things you don’t need and only keep what is necessary. Clear your desk, your cupboards and your drawers.

Go digital

And get your paperwork scanned. We live in a digital age and now you can keep everything on a miniscule disc. Or if you’re like me in the Cloud where you can access it from anywhere.

One caveat here, you do have to organise it at the beginning to make life simple. So ensure files are scanned together and in order, and then stored in similarly labelled folders online. Then you can always find things.

And going forward just periodically scan and file any new paperwork that comes in, and shred the originals. It defeats the object of you keep paper and digital copies.

Cloud storage

I highly recommend getting a full Cloud storage solution which also runs backups. That way you don’t have to remember to back up – a major improvement, and your backup is not in the same building, also good security. You can access your documents from anywhere with any computer, or most smart phones. And in the event your computer crashes you have everything there, ready to reinstall at the press of a button. This has happened to me and it really is a lifesaver.

Create a routine

On a personal level it’s also great to have a routine, that way you don’t waste time deciding what to do or jumping from one thing to the next, for example some people have admin days on Friday, or maybe you write first thing and check emails at lunchtime. Keep it standard and only do things in the right slot, then you don’t get distracted. It helps you focus too.

What else can you do to make things simple?

Get someone else to do it

Well you can also outsource some of your work, have someone else deal with all the admin or accounts for example, or perhaps your social media.

Minimise Mail

You can also get your mail handled by someone else. Either a secretarial service which will open it and either forward or deal with it directly, or use mailing house and just get mail sent once a week, so you are not dealing with bits and pieces daily.

Fewer Phones

Do you have more than one phone? perhaps it time to go down to one, or have a dual SIM phone so you can still keep two numbers. Or you can use virtual numbers such as Skype In numbers. You can have a geographical number in nearly any country and people call that but it comes through on your Skype, or you can forward it wherever you want.
Or alternatively you could use a call answering service to take all your initial calls, that way you only deal with the important ones.

You can think of more ….

These are just a few ideas to help you start to streamline and simplify your office and your working. I’m sure you can think of plenty more, please do add any thoughts in the comments.

Just think about this question, and see how you can make changes.

What takes up a lot of your time and energy and how can you turn that around?

If you are looking for some support in moving forward or finding more time to get everything done, why not book a call with Julia to chat about it?

First published on the Authentic Edge Blog www.authenticedge.co.uk/blog

You Already Know It – Really!

You know the answers, really you doEverything you’ll ever need to know is within you; the secrets of the universe are imprinted on the cells of your body.
Dan Millman

You’ve heard people say that you already know everything you need to know I’m sure. Or that everything you need to know is inside of you.

And with all the opportunities to learn new stuff all around us do we really need to go on more courses when we feel stuck? It can be so overwhelming, and sometimes so easy to think that another course is the answer, you get all these promises about what you will learn or what shifts you will make.

But will it really make a difference?

In all truth, it depends.

It depends how much you have done already and what kind of action you take as a result

Have you ever done a training and sat there thinking, ” I know this stuff” ? I know I have, and sometimes it isn’t that we need to learn it again, it’s that we need to start using it and acting on it.

So sometimes a course acts as a prompt or a reminder and that is what kicks us into action, other times it is literally money down the drain.

Its more than possible that the first time you weren’t ready to hear it, or to act on it so you need to hear it again when the time is right

But then that begs the question – do you?

Often it is the same stuff, packaged up differently or with a different focus. So doing more and more stuff is really just revision of what you have already learned.

I made a decision a while back that I wasn’t going to pay for any more big trainings.

Having learnt to take notice of my intuition I know that it is a great guide, OK sometimes I don’t connect and listen but that doesn’t stop it being there when I do

I also know that I have learnt a lot of stuff, and on top of that I share a lot of it with others so I do know it.

So I believe I don’t need any core formal trainings, what I need is to call on my reserves of existing knowledge and pull out whatever is appropriate in the moment, and usually intuition can help me with that if it’s not immediately obvious.

Even if you weren’t ready when you first heard it, tap in, use your intuition, you do know what you need to know, just trust yourself.

And yes I get that’s there are circumstances when you need to learn something technical, some “how to”, and that’s great, its about recognising what is necessary and what is more of the same, and also learning to trust what you already know and to tap into it and use it.

Listen to your intuition. It will tell you everything you need to know.
Anthony J. D’Angelo

It really, really will.

If you have something you need to make a decision on or are struggling to find a way forward, perhaps intuition will help. To book a session with Julia to tune in together , or talk it over some more fill out the Contact form.

First published on the Authentic Edge Blog www.authenticedge.co.uk/blog

8 Essential Ways You Can Avoid The Overtiredness Trap

How to avoid the overtired trapDo you ever get that feeling when you are so exhausted you just want to sleep…. only you have all these things still to do?

As a woman running a business of course you will feel tired sometimes. You are busy keeping everything running smoothly and growing your business, not to mention having all sorts of other things to do from different parts of your life, leaving you frequently feeling like you are juggling all the balls in the air.

And just when you think you have everything under control , something happens that tips you over, usually something that you have no control over, some outside influence, and suddenly you don’t have enough time for everything, and the more you try and fit it in the more tired you get, until before you know it you feel exhausted and you find things are starting to slip.

Or often it may just be something as simple as a disturbed nights sleep, or an unplanned late night. Yet it can knock you for six.

If you are overtired sometimes you feel too tired to sleep at all, even when you go to bed, do you ever get that? I have done.

In our current world it is acceptable to be tired and overworked, and seen as strong to push through it and keep going.

But lack of sleep can make you restless, irritable and quite possibly lead to illness. It can also affect your diet and eating habits, as you try and rush meals or eat on the run, and so your health suffers.

So you can get sick because your defences and immune system are lowered when you are run down.

You probably lack energy and force yourself to do things, to keep going. Tiredness affects your productivity and effectiveness, you find you can do simple admin tasks but put off the big, important stuff.

So what is the answer, there are plenty of reasons not to succumb to overtiredness, and I’m sure you can add more. More importantly how do you stop yourself from ending up there in the first place, or how do you move on from it?
Well actually there is a lot you can do and I have complied a few suggestions for you.

Things you can do to help the situation

Eat properly and regularly – its very easy to let eating slip when you are busy, and end up eating on the run or eating convenience or junk food. Changing to a healthier diet and a regular eating plan will definitely help improve the tiredness.

Watch the caffeine and sugar intake – both of these will give you a temporary lift, but later you will end up feeling even worse, so its better to keep them to a minimum and eat healthy snacks.

Acknowledge when you are tired – it may sound simple but its so easy to keep pretending you are OK. Even if you don’t acknowledge it to others, acknowledge yourself.

Sleep when you need it – yes really. If you are tired you get to a point where anything you do becomes ineffective, and you can only really do mundane stuff. So really you are not gaining anything by trying to push through.

I found this out when I used to do BNI breakfast meetings. Where I lived I had to be up around 5.30am to get ready and to the venue in time for the early start. So by about 3.30pm I was literally dropping. So eventually I realised it was better to sleep for an hour then start again than pretend I was working and do nothing productive for the next three hours.

So if you work at home or are able then stop and sleep for an hour or so, then start again. You will feel heaps better and get more done.

Take naps – if you find you are often tired, find a way to incorporate naps into your regular routine. In the summer I take a siesta every day, because I need it, I get up earlier and don’t go to bed earlier to compensate, so siestas are the answer. These Mediterranean types know what they are doing!

Plan your time to do your most important work when you are most effective – if you are tired it is much easier to do mundane routine tasks than more creative and productive work. So keep these jobs until then, and focus on the important things when you feel most awake and energised.

Have a regular routine – if you are tired its easy to let your plans slip. Combat this by having a regular routine, and not just for work. Eating, sleeping, exercise and work tasks. That way you get into a kind of autopilot as you do the same each day.

Take time out for you and to socialise – they say a change is as good as a rest. You can also feel fresher and more energised by doing something different now and again, and taking time to do the things you really enjoy. It gives your brain a rest, and who knows you may even be inspired with new ideas too.

Remember, always be kind to yourself, and what suits you won’t suit someone else, so find your own plan , one that works for you, and then stick to it.

You can change your life starting from today… get some support, or some ideas and guidance, lets chat about it.
Schedule a call with Julia

First published on the Authentic Edge Blog www.authenticedge.co.uk/blog

Who Says Weekdays Are Good?

Don't waste your life wishing it awayAre you on Facebook? Most people I know are, even if they don’t use it much. In fact where I live it is necessary to know what is going on as locally they don’t seem to use real websites much, just Facebook pages.

Anyway, I digress. I am on Facebook, and on the whole I quite like it, its nice to dip in for a few minutes and see what is happening.

What I wanted to write about though is the frequency of those picture posts with things like “Hurrah, its the weekend!”, “Thank God Its Friday”, ” Happy Hump Day” and “Boo, its Monday” and similar phrases.

What is the obsession with days of the week, and the weekend being good and the weekdays being bad?

Isn’t this just a classic example of perception?

Who says Saturday or Sunday is better than Tuesday or Thursday?

Do you really want to wish your life away hoping for it to be a different day of the week?

I know this stems from employees and the work week but even so. If things are that bad, isn’t it time to look for a new job?

Seriously, this obsession with the weekend and wishing your life away amazes and saddens me.

Every day is what you make it, if you decide Monday is a good day I bet you it will be better.

A day is a day, no different to any other day. In this century more so than any, it is not even as though shopping hours vary much, you can access everything you want virtually every day and many things 24/7.

And if you are self employed where does one day end and the next begin? Really? If you work for yourself you have already created more choice, and you choose when you work.

Who says you have to work 9-5, Monday – Friday? And do you anyway? I suspect not.

In many ways this is conditioning. Yet who wants to live their life based on someone else’s thinking from years ago? Not me that’s for sure!

In my view every day is a day, filled with as much or as little possibility and opportunity as you want to attach to it. A work day isn’t “bad” and a non work day isn’t “good”.

Instead of worrying about where in the week you are, why not focus on choosing what you would love to create and enjoy it for what it is.

Overwhelming Being A Female Entrepreneur

Overwhelm and female Entrepreneurs - Julia McdaidI wondered “can I write a whole blog about overwhelm? Really?”.
Truth be told I think I can, and then some. It is widespread in the entrepreneur world. And I particularly see it as I work mainly with female entrepreneurs, and for some reason overwhelm seems to plague them more than most.

It is usually the biggest cause of not getting things done. Do you find that? You have so many things to do you don’t know where to start. You are almost certainly in overwhelm, all the tasks become too much, and you can’t see the wood for the trees. So you fiddle about, do a bit here and a bit there, but not really with any focus.

Why does it happen?

Usually the reason you fall into overwhelm is that you are trying to do everything yourself. Sometimes there is just too much to do and other times it just feels that way because you are doing it all. As a woman it is typical that you are trying to do everything and look after everyone and everything.

And that I think is where we fall over. The focus goes, no focus, no planning, just a busy head and a busy desk and not a whole lot of productivity. Or of course you may spend all your time planning, and none actually doing, it can be an avoidance tactic!

And being an entrepreneur its likely you are also an ideas person too, so you are always having new ideas and thinking if new ways to do things or new things to try or people to call or connect with, the list is endless.

Is confidence a factor?

I think sometimes another cause of overwhelm , or at least a contributor is lack of confidence, or lack of belief. Sometimes we know what needs doing but we are scared to do it, or scared of what might happen if we do, so we put it off. And the more we put it off the scarier it becomes, and the more our to do list accumulates, until we get really caught up in the “must do”,” have to”, “need to do” etc.

So what is the answer?

How do you step out of it and move forward more effectively?

Well, I am a great believer in lists, and notebooks. Often the problem is that you have too much going round in your head, so if you can get it all out that lets you think more clearly.

Use “to do” lists for all the things you think of that need doing, and use a notebook to capture all those ideas. Once its written down you know you have a record so you can let it go until you have time to develop it further.
The same with lists, write it all down so it’s out of your head. Then each day sort out the list and the priorities to create a “to do” list for that day with all the most important things.

You can still keep the main list with all the other things as a reminder, and to create lists for the following days.

Look after yourself

And it is important to ensure you are fit and healthy too, make sure you look after number one. If you don’t you will end up exhausted and possibly ill, I have seen it happen and its not fun, so please take this seriously. It’s common for female entrepreneurs especially to leave their health on the back burner, I think it’s our caring instinct.

Little things like taking regular breaks, eating properly – and regularly, and taking daily exercise can all help you to feel calmer and more focused, as well as making you stronger to deal with everything else.

Don’t go it alone

Another way to make your life easier is to identify the things you can outsource and get help. I know this can be hard to do, especially when you are used to doing everything. And also budget is often a constraint here. Its so easy to believe its all cost and so you might as well just do it. But the real cost is to your time, and not having that time to do the more important things. Your role in your business really is one of managing, creating and maybe customer facing. Things that are not your strengths or not fun for you can and should be delegated to someone who can do it for you. This frees up so much time and brain space, which really helps you to do the important stuff.

So in summary, to get out of the overwhelm trap, look after yourself, tighten up your time management and prioritising, learn to say no, delegate things other people can do.

And if you are finding tough and would like some support, or some ideas and guidance, do get in touch with me and lets chat about it.
Schedule a call with Julia

Think Yourself Happy

Think yourself happy - Authentic EdgeSome posts I saw on Facebook got me wondering. How often are we thinking ourselves out of happiness?

You have no doubt heard the phrase focus creates reality. And we’ve all seen people who are constantly moaning, never happy with life, and what happens? they get more of the same, maybe because they don’t see the opportunities when in that mindset, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter.

Equally we all know people who are successful who have a very high opinion of themselves, they are no better than anyone else, they just think they are, and it is this belief that brings their success, failure literally isn’t an option to them.

So just how much does our thinking affect our happiness?

I believe a lot.

It saddens me that there are people I know who are denying themselves joy because they don’t do the things they love. It was hearing various snippets of conversation that prompted this blog,

If you have a hobby you love, are you pursuing it, or are you telling yourself you can’t because of whatever circumstances you find yourself in?

Do you remember the paralympics a couple of years back? Perfect examples in front of us of people who can show us that there is no such word as cant. We see runners with artificial limbs, why? Because they want to run.

So why are you not doing the things you enjoy? If you like to dance, dance, if you want to play saxophone, play saxophone, if you like photography , get out and take photos, whatever it is do it.

You know that when you are in the middle of it you hit a zone where you lose yourself. There is true happiness here. The brains stops thinking.

And you know what else, that is when you are in your heart, and here’s a bonus tip, if you have decisions that need to be made or you don’t know what to do next with something, make the decision when you’re in this space. All the outside influences are gone and you make the decision that is true to you and your heart.

Things Will Always Get Better

Things will always get better - Julia McdaidI think it’s fair to say that however well life is going, at some point its likely we will hit a down patch. Or maybe that patch has already happened.

I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t had some low time in their life. You may well have done and you may well be past it now.

So what do you do when you hit the low spots?

Often they creep up on us, we may have had some idea things weren’t going so well. Often though, even with fair warning the reality can come as a bit if a shock.

And isn’t that the problem? When something happens that is causing us upset, distress, grief or other feelings it can knock us for six.

I know it has me in the past.

When something “bad” happens, and I’m hesitating to use that word, it can affect all areas of our life.

It can drain your energy, make you inattentive and even depressed and even not caring about things we would otherwise pay attention to, which can have a knock on effect on other aspects of your life
How often does someone experience a bereavement or illness in the family and end up with financial worries for example.

When unexpected things crop up its easy to take your eye off the ball, often without realising.

So what do you do when things get rough? How do you pull yourself through?

I know when I was younger, and less aware, I used to get very down about things I wasn’t happy with, and get stressed. And I think with hindsight some of that was because I didn’t take action to change things as quickly as I could have done.

For example if you don’t like your job change it. Don’t wait for things at work to change, it just gets worse and you get more unhappy. I have watched a friend get seriously ill from refusing to leave a job she was really unhappy in. And all to get a slightly higher pension.

Believe it will be OK

I am natural survivor I think, though I prefer to consider myself a creator these days. Way way back since my divorce I always thought at some level that things will work out. I have had some tough times, a few years ago after a particularly stressful year on the personal/family front, I was helped and supported by friends. Even then a few months later I was in danger of bad problems elsewhere, yet at very last minute things changed and “saved” me. Also I had made some decisions which eased life a lot, so one way and another I turned things round and gave myself the space I needed

A big part of it was choosing not to get bogged down in the stuff, not giving it too much energy. Yes you have to know the reality of situation and accept it, and if there are practical things you can do, then do them, but that’s it , you don’t then need to worry all night, you do what you can and leave it, until next time you need to have a look.

That’s has certainly been my experience, in many areas. When I find myself starting to focus on things that might happened and starting t worry, I actively move my focus elsewhere, and taking the energy away takes the power out of it. Which means whatever I could have been worrying about no longer dominates my thoughts or my life, and on the whole I’d say causes me a lot less grief than it might have down.

Don’t be alone

When things get rough don’t tough it out on your own, seek support both practical and emotional. Often there are people around who know things you don’t and know ways to shift things in way that makes life easier that you weren’t even aware of.

I’m not trying to make light of rough times or the circumstances you may find yourself in at all. I would just like t say that there is help and support out there and also that a little belief that things will work out alongside some active choice of focus goes a long way.

10 terrific self motivating tips

Guest blog written by Mike Moore

Tips for self motivationNo one can motivate anyone to do anything. All a person can do for another is provide them with incentives to motivate themselves. Here are ten very effective strategies to help you get up and get moving toward actualizing your enormous, untapped potential.

Be willing to leave your comfort zone. The greatest barrier to achieving your potential is your comfort zone. Great things happen when you make friends with your discomfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Wisdom helps us avoid making mistakes and comes from making a million of them.

Don’t indulge in self-limiting thinking. Think empowering, expansive thoughts.

Choose to be happy. Happy people are easily motivated. Happiness is your birthright so don’t settle for anything else.

Spend at least one hour a day in self-development. Read good books or listen to inspiring tapes. Driving to and from work provides an excellent opportunity to listen to self-improvement tapes.

Train yourself to finish what you start. So many of us become scattered as we try to accomplish a task. Finish one task before you begin another.

Live fully in the present moment. When you live in the past or the future you aren’t able to make things happen in the present.

Commit yourself to joy. C.S. Lewis once said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”

Never quit when you experience a setback or frustration. Success could be just around the corner.

Dare to dream big dreams. If there is anything to the law of expectation then we are moving in the direction of our dreams, goals and expectations.

The real tragedy in life is not in how much we suffer, but rather in how much we miss, so don’t miss a thing.

Charles Dubois once said, “We must be prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice who we are for who we are capable of becoming.”

Live your life for you

Live your life for you - Julia McdaidI have been reminded several times over the last month or so of the importance of living life to the full. Several people in my circles have either lost someone or discovered illness unexpectedly.

Unfortunately it is at times like this that most of us feel reminded to get on with life and do the things we always wanted to do, be with the people we want to be with and get out and make the most of things
Yet really they should always be our priority, why would you not make the most of your life? Why waste time with people you don’t like being around or who don’t inspire you, or doing things that you don’t enjoy?

And even worse if you find yourself in circumstances not of your choosing why keep the pain and hurt inside?
Yet it happens so often.

The natural response when circumstances around us become painful or uncomfortable is to shut down, often we are either conditioned not to show feelings and emotions or we are scared to or we feel uncomfortable letting it all out.

So what happens? It gets bottled up inside. We take refuge in keeping busy, using other activities to distract us. Some people become health freaks, always exercising, others become workaholics, all in an attempt to keep busy to keep the pain and hurt at bay.

And to what result? Usually this bottled up pain, hurt or resentment finds a way out somehow. And all too often it is through illness.

So then you have to stop, your body has forced you to. Those who are wise, or aware, listen and rest and look at how they came to be here.

Those who are not, or don’t want to face it may still carry on, trying to push through.

I have known people who always bottle up feelings and emotions and who always put a brave face on things, never showing how they really feel. And usually they are angry, there is bitterness underneath. And it is fake too, I have noticed how it feels fake when someone is always pretending, and I’m sure you have too.

I know it can require vulnerability to share pain or hurt, and many find this too hard. Yet being vulnerable is such an amazing strength. Sometimes we just need to change our perception to feel more comfortable.

So I guess my call to you today is to focus on what is important to you. And if necessary take steps to move things you don’t like out of your life, or at least away from you on a day to day basis. Whatever you can do to take your attention away from the things that get you down, annoy you, worry you etc has to be a good thing.

And also look at being more open, ask for help if you need it. Share how you feel, especially when something is getting to you. Be honest with yourself even if you don’t feel up to telling others.

I know I was brought up in a family that kept feelings and emotions hidden. I didn’t have role models who talked things out, it was all British “stiff upper lip” way of coping!

I have learned myself as life has gone by and I have grown as a person. And I feel very lucky to have been exposed to the people and situations that helped me become more aware and change into a much more open person. I know who I am now is a million miles away from who I was 30 years ago.

And one of the main things that has changed is that I do choose to do things for me, I generally don’t care what other people think, and I don’t let stuff get to me. It doesn’t mean nothing ever annoys me, or gets to me, of course it does. I just decide not to hang out there for too long.

Life is too short, and the most important person in your life is YOU.