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.

Being Real and Creating Authentic Connections

Be the real you, written by Julia McdaidWhat does being real mean to you?

To me it’s about authenticity, and that to me is about being true to who you really are, about learning to follow your heart, knowing what you prefer and following what that truly means to you and where that leaves you. It’s about being the real you, not the person that you think the world wants you to be, not what you perceive is how people think you should behave or what you think is the way you should do things. To me being real is leaving behind the should’s and have to’s, the ought to’s and that’s the way you have to do things, and it’s about being open and true and following what feels right for you

I think when people are very open and very vulnerable they can question whether or not that’s acceptable, to me that’s just what really opens people’s hearts and it’s the way to really reach people and connect at a deeper level.

Being open and being vulnerable is not a bad thing and it’s not something to hide, its something that shows who we are to the world and yes we feel very exposed, it can be a scary place to be , yet you get such a deep connection with people because you’re connecting on a different level. You’re connecting from a place of truth, from a place of who you really are, talking to their heart and that means you get a much deeper and more honest connection, a much more true connection and realistically a much more longer lasting connection.

When you connect with people heart to heart you can get a very true friendship in a very, very short space of time. I am fortunate to have experienced this and to be surrounded by a community of people who connect at this level. I can assure you it really is a lovely space to live in and it’s wonderful to have so many friends that you can connect to at a deep level.

Reaching out
To anybody who feels they have a message to share, and is feeling vulnerable and scared of sharing their heart with the world, if there are things you feel you need to say and which are naturally coming from your heart, I would urge you to say them, to share them. Whether you want to share them personally, on video or in writing, the medium doesn’t matter. But that depth of pulling deep down into who you really are and sharing your truth reaches people, and that touches your audience, it touches the people you are speaking to and will give you an immediate connection.

And whilst it can be very scary to open up and recognise your true ideas and even more so to share with anybody else it’s also very freeing and it helps you in your moving forward with wherever you are in your world, and in your life.

Whatever it is that might be blocking you or in the way, if you are honestly facing up to what that is, what’s blocking you and what you were doing, you may even realise now it wasn’t ideal. When you acknowledge that to yourself from the heart and even more so when you can share that with others, not only are you freeing yourself, you are also helping the people you are speaking to so it has many, many benefits

You’re creating a deep connection with those you share with. You’re freeing yourself from whatever was blocking you, and also others like you. By living in a much more open space, by getting connected to that space in your heart you can share freely and be open, so I would say go for it.

Following your truth
You do your best to connect to your heart deep down inside and just follow your truth, for being your authentic self is all any of us can really do in this world. But it’s so easy to get distracted because our ego and our beliefs and everything we grew up with, all of our culture around us is pulling us in another direction, and we do sometimes feel like we’re going against the grain, but I really truly feel that the world wants real now.

The world is moving towards real so if you can be real you’re in the right space, you will connect with people from the right space, connect with the right people and you will be guided from your own intuition in your heart as to the right path to take.

So whenever you’re making decisions all you have to do really is check in, come back to this space of vulnerability and truth and ask yourself whether this is what you would love now.

And you will know somehow, whatever works for you, whether you have a feeling, or a word or a vision or whatever way your body speaks to you. You will find an answer. And it doesn’t matter what the world/society says, it doesn’t matter what you think other people will feel, or how they will see you because you never know how anyone else feels anyway so we might as well just be sure of ourselves

And you will find that other people who are true to themselves will be drawn to you, and you will have like-minded people around you to support you and you will end up having a lovely community of people who think a lot like you do. There is nothing better in this world than to have the right kind of beautiful people around you. And from that space you can go anywhere, I truly believe that and I look forward to seeing you in a beautiful heart space.

Help! I Don’t Even Know What My Purpose Is….

I don't know what my purpose is!This is a place I understand all too well, as I was there! That was me. So what do I recommend for you if you are a woman who doesn’t yet know what her purpose and passion is?

To be honest I will rephrase that and say if you don’t yet know consciously. Because I believe we all know deep down, it’s just that sometimes it’s so deep it can take us a while to find it or recognise it!

And that is my first point, know that it doesn’t automatically happen overnight. Some people have a flash of inspiration and just know, for others, for many of us, it can take a lot longer and needs some focussed attention.

So I would suggest taking some time to get connected to your heart, learn how to listen and interpret what is true for you. It will be easier for some than others, though that is no reason to despair. There are lots of things you can do and exercises you can learn to support you in this.

So spend time connecting to your heart, find out what works for you, listen to what comes through, and you will at some point find out what it is you really want to do. Initially you may just have the essence of it not the detail, it will come.

To help you in the process you may find it helpful to invest in a coach, its often easier and clearer to have two of you focused on the outcome, I found this true for me. Sometimes we don’t trust or believe our own intuition and when it is reinforced by someone else we are more willing to accept the truth of it. You also usually get a deeper and wider understanding. Or if you have an intuitive friend you can work with them.

I find that journaling can be good too, it allows you to expand on what comes to you and to stay connected to your imagination and your intuition for longer, so you can get deeper insights.

And all the time do your best to trust the process, believe in your own guidance and receive the messages and signs that come to you, stay open to possibility. When something is really true you will just know, however that shows up for you, you will feel it. So whatever your head might say, whatever thoughts you have about what you feel, know that it’s your heart that is right.

Top Tips For Running A Successful, Purpose Driven Business

Top Tips from Julia McdaidToday is the day you can hear my interview on the Soulfully Successful Women Telesummit.

One of the things Kelly and I talked about in preparation for the Telesummit were my top tips to build a successful business from your passion and purpose. After thinking about this I came up with these, and I thought you might find them useful.

Firstly is follow your heart. If you are not familiar with the phrase, learn to understand what this means. To me it’s about doing it YOUR way, BEing you, being authentic and in integrity. Following your heart is about doing what is true for you, what you wnt deep down inside when yu stop listening to all those doubts and questions in your head! Its not what is expected or what you know. In fact I can’t emphasise enough, don’t just do what you know – unless it really is your passion and purpose.

The next thing I would say, which really follows on from the first is to connect with your intuition, and use it. It is your intuition which will guide you and tell you what is true for you, this is what allows you to follow your heart.

Another thing that many of us as women need to learn, because we are not very good at it, is to learn to receive. We women are naturally givers and often find this hard to do. Again this may need more explanation and understanding, I know it would have meant little to me when I started out. Here I’m referring to allowing your feminine side out, to allowing things to come to you, to be graceful and gracious and open in the way you interact. When you start thinking about attracting the right clients and people to you it pays to know how to receive (not dismiss things without thinking!).

I think it is great to remember to keep things balanced too, although this is enough to be a blog in itself and I have written about it before. Part of this is knowing you are number one, put you first. Then also think about masculine & feminine energies in the business, and in you; about having time for the non work aspects of your life, the people and things that are important to you.

And a couple of more practical tips for you:

Get the right support network around you. This will allow you to play to your strengths. so look at advisors, mentors, peers, the people you interact with and look to for help. Plus your business structure, you can set this up so that it works for you and your lifestyle, delegating where appropriate and so on – learn to delegate well. This one is still on my “must do better” list I will be honest, I find it hard sometimes.

And when it comes to using people outside of the business to help you, especially if you are paying them, don’t use advisors who only have corporate experience, because they won’t get you and they won’t understand the peculiarities of small business, whatever they might say. This is one I learned the hard way.

And finally, this kind of ties into where I started, do let go of the “shoulds” and “ought to’s“. If you are running a purpose driven business it’s about your passion, your purpose, you and your clients, it’s not about what somebody else who doesn’t know those things says you should do. Yes there are some things you have to comply with legally, every business does, outside that its your business, your way, always.

I hope you find some of these tips useful and if you have any good ones, please do share them 🙂

Let YOU Shine Through

Let the real you shineThis phrase has become my new tagline, because I think it really embraces what Authentic Edge is all about.

I want to support you in transforming the way you engage with life, so that you are showing up as the real you and you are as committed to yourself and your business as you would be to someone you were about to marry.

When you have a feminine structure in your life and know exactly who you are, the real YOU can shine through. And life flows then, things feel easier, you will certainly be (even) happier and you will feel in love with life.

It’s very easy in our world to get sidetracked and distracted from what we want and love to do. To slip out of being who we are and get caught in the day to day stuff that comes up. How often do you find your mood or behaviour influenced by the news, the media or others around you?

Do you feel under pressure to conform, to fit in? I appreciate there is a level of expectation in our society. Does this get you down?

At the end of the day all those expectations are outside of you, they represent other people’s views and thoughts. And I’m sure you already know the only person you can change is you. The only influence you really have is on yourself and how you decide to respond and show up.

I invite you to take some quiet time, take a break from the hustle and bustle and noise, and just allow who you are and what you want to surface. Ask yourself questions if it helps. Sit and reflect on how you want your life to be and who you are, really, deep down.

And if it isn’t who you are bringing to the world at the moment, how might you change this? What could you do differently?

Do you know when you are the real you in the world you will automatically attract the right people around you? By being true to yourself those who resonate with you will be naturally attracted to you.

And what I have found is that people who are being true to themselves, who are coming from their heart rather than their head, they do shine. They radiate love and beautiful energy.

I am pleased to know a lot of people who spend a lot of time in this place and being in their company is both energising and a delight.

Is the real YOU shining through? I don’t care if you don’t conform. I don’t care if you’re quirky. That’s real . Real is tangible. And in my view it’s the way the world is moving.

This blog was inspired by my superstar client Shannon Eastman, when we were discussing her website, and it was just really obvious to me that instead of trying to change her out of date business website, she replace it with her personal one www.shannoneastman.com. This site really shows her as a person as well as a marketer and business woman, and was actually just what she needed.

I’d love to hear about your own experiences, please add a comment or email me.

What Does It Take For You to Engage In Your Life?

Authentic Edge - Let YOU shine throughFour weeks ago today I arrived in my new home. Most of you probably don’t know that I have moved to a different country. Something I know is perceived by many as a huge step to take, scary, difficult, crazy, impossible and many other similar words will be used to describe such an action.

Yet to me it wasn’t. Once I had made the decision it was just obvious. And to be honest everything flowed pretty easily. There was a lot to do in a short space of time. Being the impulsive person that I am, once I decide something I do go for it. It took me 8 weeks almost to the day from committing to the decision to arriving here.

And believe me, I’m an organised person so I did the research, I had my travel and hotels booked, my dogs paperwork arranged, a place to live, and assorted information about living in Malta, which is where I am now. I even had arrangements to meet up with people over here, before I had arrived.

Which is why I have been quiet on my blog and social media the last couple of months, because I was fully focused on the move and everything surrounding it.

So why was it easy and a no brainer for me? I believe because I made a decision and committed to the outcome. Things have a way of aligning in this world once you do that.

What did it take for me to do this? To have that level of engagement.
It took me realising that actually it was what I really wanted. Although I was very happy in myself there was an underlying “someday, maybe” going on in the background. It all started with a throwaway comment, which I then questioned later in the day and started thinking “why wait?”

So then I started making some enquiries and the seed was fully planted. I love the sun and I wanted to be somewhere sunnier, that was it. Except I realised it was more fundamental than I had previously allowed. So the more I looked into the whole idea the more it grew. It was just true for me. It’s a part of who I am, as those who know me well will know.

So all I was doing was making a commitment to honour and support what I love. To go with what is true for me deep down inside.

And the outcome is, not only have I moved to a place I love, I have let go of plenty of clutter which I left behind or gave away, and streamlined the way I do business. I have a fantastic view to gaze at whenever I like, I live in a beautiful penthouse apartment, my dogs are happy and I am meeting lots of new people.

Here is what one of them wrote to me in an email “ I do so admire your courage…. it takes guts to start a new life in another country, and it’s good to see someone comfortable with their life choices and willing to embrace the difference” Amazing, I’m inspiring people too, and it just feels normal to me – but that’s a whole new blog.

So I would like to finish by asking you if there is anything in your life that you are not fully engaging with. In your business or personally. What are you not committed to? Is this because it isn’t “you”? If so I invite you to question it.

If it is true for you, what is stopping you from committing? How might your life change if you did?

And what is “you”? Who are you when you are really being YOU? I’d love to hear about it, and if you’re not too clear I’d love to have a conversation and see if I can help you uncover it.

Julia can support you in transforming your engagement with your business and yourself. If this might be of interest why not book yourself in for a call to chat about it? Just drop an email to SS @ ae8.biz

Do You Follow Your Heart?

I was listening to an audio in my car the other day, and the speaker was talking about following your heart. I think this is so true when in business. I have made huge changes to my current business and previous business in the past because what I was doing just didn’t “feel” right any more. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I bit the bullet and moved on.

follow your heart in businessWe so often hear people saying if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. And that is really important when setting up your business. How can you ever hope to be successful if you hate what you do? Where will the motivation come from?

So when you are planning your business and the way it will develop, think about what you like doing and how it fits into the rest of your life. You can get around tasks that you don’t like by getting other people to do them, but what about the bigger picture? Make sure you are happy with where you are going, your business will benefit!

And if you need any help in defining that big picture clearly, get in touch and book yourself a Vision Day

What does it mean to be authentic in business?

Have you ever stopped to think about it? Are you authentic? Do you have a meaning for that?

Greet authentically, be you

To me authenticity is about being real, it’s about being who you really are. And that doesn’t mean “my way or the highway, take it or leave it”, that sort of attitude will no doubt drive readers and customers away.
Being real is being honest and genuine, not putting on a front, because it looks good, or because that is the way you think you have to be or look in business, or in the field you operate in.

Do you ever find this at networking events, have you met the people who plaster on a fake smile, are all charm and high energy, yet it doesn’t feel genuine, have you seen them when they go outside and their whole demeanour changes? the armour comes down. I have, I know people who do that, what they don’t get is that on some level we all detect a fake, we detect when someone is not being genuine.

What do I have to do to be authentic?

Just be who you are. Really, it’s that simple. Though I would add that if you know you are in a bad mood or in your stuff, if you are having one of those days when things re getting to you and you know you have a lot of negative emotions, that is not who you really are.
To me who you really are is the you you are deep down inside, the person that comes from the heart and wants to connect with others.
I do appreciate that we are all both sides of the coin, and the bad days are as much a par t of us as the good days. All I’m wanting to highlight here is that when we have those days that is when we tend to lose sight of the authentic person, the person who lives for and from our heart.

So what are the benefits?

At the end of the day people buy people, you’ve heard that one before I know. And it’s true. So if you are who you are, when people like you they will be happy to do business with you. If you are pretending then you may find when you start working with someone the real you slips out and then they don’t like it and so problems rise, and you won’t have a good working relationship.

What about online?

These days a large part of our business presence is online, so we might also consider how we can be authentic in our dealings on the web. In many ways the behaviours are the same. What might you do? Just as an example, if you like something acknowledge it, tell the person you like it, compliment them, any genuine comments will be well received. If you don’t like it don’t share it, that doesn’t mean you have to be rude and announce you don’t like it. Do you see the line, its a subtle difference.

Equally when you recommend people don’t do it if you don’t know them or have nothing good to say, don’t make it up. One simple positive sentence that reflects your true experience and the benefits you received is far more value to a business than made up blurb written because you feel you “should” (or just for money).
You don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations, do what is right for you. And be the same person you are offline, don’t have an online personality and an offline one.

One thing I think is very true, it is so much easier and less of an energy drain to just be real and not be keeping up pretences all the time.

Be courteous and polite, follow sensible etiquette on and offline, there is no need to be rude or abrasive ever, and it wouldn’t do your reputation any good. Within these guideline be as genuine and honest as you can, respond from your heart, do what is true for you, and you will find people honour and respect that.

What if I’m not feeling it?

What if you feel you are not connected to the real you? if you feel you are too caught up in “life” and all the stuff it throws at you. Well I would suggest you just take some time out, it may only need a few minutes or an hour, just allow yourself to let go and slow down. Take a walk in nature, breathe deeply into your heart, write a journal , do some exercise, or meditate. Then choose to be more aware of what you are experiencing in your view of life, when you feel disconnected just bring yourself back.

It’s also good to really get connected to what life is about for you and what your business is about for you, beyond putting bread on the table. We all have a bigger reason for doing what we do. If you are unsure there are a number of ways you can connect more easily to why you do what you do. Use outside support if you need to.

It’s really not about having the most expensive car or computer or the fanciest business cards, they don’t get you business. These days our world is moving more and more towards appreciating and demanding authenticity, being who you are; and connecting to people in a genuine way is going to take you far.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

If you are uncertain about your big vision or why you are doing what you do, try our VIP Vision Day, its perfect for getting more clarity!

If you don’t feel it……

“If you don’t feel it, flee from it. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” ― Paul F. Davis

Authentic Edge, Celebrating FriendsDo you like this quote? What do you think of it?

When I tweeted this recently it received the most response of any tweets in a long time, maybe ever. Why do you think that might be?

Clearly it resonates with a lot of people.

Personally I like it, and it resonates for me. To me it speaks about being true to who you are, staying authentic.

“If you don’t feel it, flee from it” so if what you are doing doesn’t feel right, it isn’t, don’t hang around. We can apply this to so many areas of our lives. It could be business, a new customer or employee, a new project, or it could be at home, with family or in a relationship. Maybe when you met a new person.

Its really about following your heart, If you don’t feel it, if there is no connection for you. To me you’d make this choice from your heart space and not from your ego.

If you choose to be in your heart and it doesn’t feel right , it most likely isn’t. Some call it gut reaction, some call it intuition, it doesn’t matter, it’s your body telling you what your conscious mind may not yet know. I recommend listening!

And what about the second part? “Go where you are celebrated, nor merely tolerated”

I so agree with this. Why on earth would we choose to hang around with people who don’t appreciate us? All this is saying is choose to be with those who choose to be with you. Be with like minded people who appreciate you.

Isn’t life so much easier and more fun when you do that?

My Journey From FD to Authentic ME

This blog is just following on from my earlier one about authenticity really. I am a big people watcher and I love observing how people behave and how they respond to things.

my journey

What’s it got to do with me? Well I guess its back to observing reactions to what I am doing with my life. I have followed what some would consider an unusual path. After a networking event last year, I had a brief conversation with Thomas Power, we were discussing think, feel, know. The idea being that the brain thinks, the heart feels, and the gut knows.

And on reflection I have realised that my career evolution has touched on all three. Although maybe not quite in that way. Through an indirect route I became a management accountant, firstly employed and working in corporate (yuk!). Then I left to set up on my own – doing what I knew, I did it all, I wrote the book, had the website, did breakfast seminars, ran national conferences for my Institute, I was known in my communities.

Until eventually it dawned on me that I wasn’t having fun, I liked some of it, but the rest I really didn’t, and I decided to sell. Once I made that decision it was like a weight I didn’t even know existed was lifted from my shoulders. My then partner advised me to wait a year, build the practice up then I could sell it for more. He didn’t get that it wasn’t about the money!

So then I moved into property, which became the think element. I knew I wanted to create wealth, and property was the option that most appealed, and so I did what I thought would get me there. Initially that was my motivation, I was still running a business consultancy alongside, although once I got going I had a lot of fun.

The time came though when I had done what I set out to do, my 7-8 year attention span was at its limit, family circumstances crystallised things, so I was ready for something else. (Although this remains a part of my financial structure)

That’s where Intuition comes in. It took a while, I learnt a lot more about connecting to my own Intuition more easily, following my heart and what I love, and knowing better what that meant, as well as learning a lot about what patterns I play out and how my beliefs and thoughts can trip me up. (It’s also fantastic for people, watching because you get so much more understanding!)

So using this and working with two different coaches the jigsaw eventually all started slotting into place, and brought me to where I am now. This business is what my heart wants to do. It’s the feel element. Its what is real for me , now. And I don’t need anyone else to approve or like it, its not about approval or need or what I learned way back when. Women who resonate with what I am doing will be in the feel space too, so they are drawn to me and my business.

Its a different place to be in and to run a business from, and I like it because its about being authentic and real, which are important to me, probably more so now than ever in my past. I get to use my skills and experience still, and I have a fascinating area to research and write about too.

And I am connecting with some wonderful women 🙂