How is Your Ego?

Does your EGO rule?Do you have an ego? Or perhaps should I ask, do you have a big ego?

Because it’s fair to say we all have an ego to some extent or another.

Yet do you allow your ego to get in the way of decisions that you make?

We are where we are in our lives as a result of the decisions we have made up to date. Have you always made decisions in your own best interests? Or have you made them to satisfy your ego?

Are you concerned about what other people think? Has this changed how you might respond to things?
Perhaps it is not something you have considered before. Why not take a few minutes and give it some thought, you might be surprised at the answers you come up with.

And how about when you are making investment or business decisions?

All too often people allow their ego to get in the way of making a considered decision. So you invest in something for the image, or because it makes you feel smart. Do you do things so that you can be “seen” to be doing what you perceive to be is “expected” of you, or of someone in your position?

Why?

Why would you do that?

I have observed this so many times, people doing what is expected or what looks to be the best thing to do, and all of the time there is no integrity in the way they are behaving, they are not being true to themselves. And how does it then affect your investing or your business and ultimately your future?

On the flip side be wary of doing something because you are listening to somebody else’s ego. Just because somebody shouts loudly about something doesn’t make it good. Always do your own research and due diligence. Learn to trust your own judgement and inner guidance, and you will get the results you want.

Some food for thought perhaps …………… enjoy the process, and do let me know what you find.

When Asking For Help Is Hard…..

asking for help can be hard in business. Julia McdaidIt’s one of the things about being a solopreneur, and even more so if you are single as well, you are on your own. Not only are you running your business you are also entirely responsible for keeping a roof over your head, food on the table and all of your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Now I know you may argue that we all are, and I do agree, it’s just that when there is nobody else there at all it can feel very hard sometimes. It’s something I have seen and heard a lot with women entrepreneurs.

As women we are used to helping others, its instinctive, but what about those times when you feel overwhelmed, or down and you don’t know which way to turn?

What do you do when you know you want to reach out and you don’t know who to call? And what do you do when it seems the only way to get help is to pay for it and you don’t have any budget for that, especially of you are in the early days of your business?

Because asking for help, showing vulnerability can be a very scary thing.

At the same time I’d say we all know the value of working with others and the benefits it can have for a business owner, and at least in theory we know we work better with support.

Help may be support in moving forward and growing your business, maybe with a coach or mentor, or a buddy you work with, or it may be of a more practical nature where you are delegating out some of your tasks. It may be appropriate for you to do both, in the long term it almost certainly will.

For some its easy, they have a support network in place and know exactly where to go. For others its harder, they recognise the need to reach out and don’t feel anyone in their circle is the right person to reach to. They may not be confident in who to ask. It’s hard, you are used to working alone, and as I said earlier if you are single it’s even harder, yet that’s most likely when you most need the support.

Having the awareness to know it’s time to reach out is a great place to be, its a big thing to get that level of self knowledge.

To then take that last step and ask for help often feels very hard though. We fear sharing our vulnerable side yet actually it’s an attractive quality and a strength. How often have you found yourself drawn to someone who is totally open and honest.

I know friends who have reached out on Social media and have received an amazing response, they were publicly vulnerable and support came. And if you have a private social media profile where you know all your contacts then maybe its a way you could go to reach out, I know some people prefer to just put it put there and let serendipity take care of finding the right person.

And if that not for you, and it won’t be for all I know, ask your inner guidance for help, for pointers about where to turn. Or ask a friend for a recommendation for the kind of help you need.

Its not uncommon to feel stuck and nervous when it comes to asking for help. In reality you know that if you don’t get help you are likely to end up in a bit of a rut and may even become anxious and stressed, or overwhelm kicks in and overtakes you. When you have reached the point where you know help would be good, you know that if you reach out you will move forward more quickly.

And it’s worth building up a support network so that you have people you know and trust around you. Then when you need to call in help it will become obvious who to turn to.

Listening To Your Ideas

Listen to Your IdeasDo you get random ideas when you are in the shower, or driving, or just waking up in the morning? You know the ones, the things you never remember later.

What do you do with them? Do you pay attention or dismiss them, or just allow new thoughts to drift in and replace them?

I would urge you to pay attention. I know its not always easy to capture ideas in the moment, but if you give it more attention it will grow and you’ll have more chance of remembering it.

Why? Well I believe that we have ideas for a reason. They are a part of who you are. Little messages from your creative self. And if you want the real you to shine through then these may well be your clues.

Huge life changes can come about from the smallest of ideas. I am living proof of that. I moved country from what started as a random thought. It could have stayed that way, a throw away comment that amounted to nothing.

I guess in my case it may have triggered something that meant a lot to me, I’m not sure, but I drifted back to it and started focussing on it and thinking “why wait?” I realised that the random idea (moving to the sun) had been on the radar for some time, I had just always thought it was something I would do in the future when certain things fell into place.

Yet as soon as I gave it attention it was like a seed that had germinated and it grew fast. Because it was true.

So my point is that often things that are really important to us and that are representative of the real person inside, often may appear to be just a random idea.

We have thoughts for a reason, we have ideas for a reason. My invitation to you is to choose not to dismiss your ideas. At least take a look at them, and capture them in a book if they interest or energise you, even if you don’t think you can do anything about them at the moment. Though even then I suspect you will be surprised what you can do, if you decide to go for it.

But more than that allow them to flourish, see what comes up when you explore them, get curious. You never know where you may end up.

At the end of the day life is about choices. We always have a choice. And choosing to listen to those random ideas might just change your life.

3 Inspirational Quotes About Authenticity – How to Be Yourself?

Today we welcome guest author Steve M Nash

What does authenticity even mean?

On the surface, it’s a simple question to answer. It means ‘being yourself’. Marvellous, guess we can all stop reading now…
Hang on. What does ‘being yourself’ actually mean? Aren’t we, by definition, always being ourselves?? (Quick answer: no!)

Well, that’s what I’d like to try and answer in this post. Obviously, I am a man so it would be inauthentic of me to write about your experiences as a woman. Which is okay, because I can’t really write about my experiences as a man, either – I can only really, with authenticity, write about my experiences as me (myself and I…)

Anyway, I’m going to enlist the services of 3 women, and their inspirational words – all of which relate to authenticity. And I’ll add my own reflections, often personal, to illuminate what I consider to be the elements of authentic living, elements of being yourself.

So here’s the first of those quotes right now:

 “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission!”
Eleanor Roosevelt

How can anyone – woman, man, girl or boy – live an authentic life if they are constantly being buffeted by the opinions of others? If someone utters those ‘magic’ hurtful words, such as (in my case) “you’re a pathetic, weak little man!” and these words ‘shake’ your world to ‘pieces’ then what sort of authentic world are you living in?

Other insults you might like to try out for size include… “You look fat in that dress!”, and “You’re just like your mother!” (And if you find my thoughts at what might insult you insulting you, please feel free… to be insulted by them!)

The fact is, other people’s thoughts about you are simply that: other people’s thoughts. Now if they resonate with you, if you actually believe these ‘hurtful’ words, then that’s something you can address. For yourself. (That’s the permission you’re giving to be offended, by the way – your tacit agreement with what’s being said.)

Yes, these words can help you grow as a woman, as a human being. I hope you can see that. Remember…

• Authentic living isn’t about everyone liking what we do.
• Authentic living isn’t about nothing going wrong.
• Authentic living isn’t about being perfect, either.

An authentic life comes to us simply by BEING who we are, in the moment, without comparing ourselves to anyone but ourselves, without trying to be someone else in case we offend.

And even those times when we think we’re being ‘less’ than we used to be then authenticity comes to the rescue by simply accepting such thoughts, in not trying to change ourselves, in being okay with what’s showing up for us.
So, what does this mean when it comes to being yourself? It means knowing yourself, and being okay with what you find.

Now it’s time for author Anais Nin to have her say:

 “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself”

When I, a man, read these words from a woman whose wisdom I admire greatly (e.g. she’s the author of words like, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”) it challenges me as a human being to realise that my life is my responsibility.

I can seek out sexiness, for example, in my partner and I can seek out strength and support from her, too. But my quest for an authentic life has led me to the understanding that I must seek out these qualities in myself, first, for them to be triggered in my partner.

Quite literally, I’ll find what I’m looking for outside of me when I decide to look inside of me first.
Now maybe you’re not a woman who’s looking to a man (partner) to “build her world”. Maybe, instead, you’re looking for recognition from them, or encouragement, or even inspiration. I politely suggest that authentic living means either looking to yourself for these qualities or, better still, offering these qualities ‘out there’ to whomever you’re seeking them from.

This kind of thinking transforms lives; most importantly this kind of ‘being’ transforms your life!
As to being yourself? Well, it’s about recognising your own powers, your own strengths, rather than trying to recognise them in someone else.

Finally, we have Maya Angelou’s wonderful words on authentic living (a journey that clearly is challenging for women and men, both):

 “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

What is your song, then, and do you sing it with as much originality of voice as you can muster? (Are you fully being the woman that YOU are? for example) Your song could be sung in the home, in the office, or within your relationships. It represents how YOU do life, whose rules you follow.

An imitation of a song is fine for many, it seems, but is it fine for you?
How much do you enjoy what you do in your life? How do you enjoy the roles that you play? And how much do you listen to your inner voice rather than that all-pervasive voice of ‘they’?

Can there be a better definition of being yourself than singing your song, whatever notes you end up making!
So, how often do you sing your own song?

Being yourself, then, seems to include the following: being okay to be you (and being okay with others not being you); understanding the responsibilities that come with being you; and, lastly, singing your own song…

Of course, this may not be what authenticity means to you. An authentic life may look very different through your eyes. Naturally, your definition is the one you should go with. Always…

Steve M Nash is editor of guru-free self-help site, SelfHelpCollective.com. And one of his favourite pages on the site is Patricia Lynne Reilly’s inspirational poem (about ‘female authenticity’) called Imagine a Woman (reprinted with permission). You can read it here

Seasonal Obligations….. Are You True to Your Heart at Christmas?

As we approach the holiday season I think we are at a time when many feel under obligation for various reasons.

Authentic Edge at Christmas - thoughtsTo start with there is the expectation of spending the time with family. Many do this not because they want to but because they feel the obligations, it’s what’s expected, what they “should” do. So inevitably you don’t enjoy yourself because you constantly feel you are fitting in and you’re wishing you could be doing what you want to do.

So why don’t you? At the end of the day we all make choices in our lives which impact what happens. If you want to go skiing at Christmas or have a quiet day at home, or just spend it with your partner, why not do that? Stop and think about what you’d really love to do. You have a couple of days off work, it’s your time, how would you love to spend it?

(and yes I know there are people who have elderly or sick family and want to be with them, I appreciate that)

Obligation to Give

And then there are presents. Firstly feeling obliged to buy for certain people, or to spend a certain amount of money. We are all under this kind of pressure, though really when you stop and look at it we are putting this on ourselves with our own beliefs and thoughts about whether we will be judged.
So again stop and look at it, would you love to buy that person a gift? If so great, if not don’t, or buy a small token.

Obligation to Keep

And what about the gifts you are given? Here’s a biggie!
Do you feel obliged to keep them , even if you don’t like them? Do you feel you have to put them on display when the donor comes to visit? Well guess what, when someone gives you a gift it becomes yours, as such is your to do with as you choose, and if you choose to donate it to the charity shop that is entirely your choice. Do it without guilt. I was surprised earlier this year when my own mother even shared that she believes this, I was impressed though I hadn’t expected it of her.

YOU decide

So give it some thought, you are free to make your own choices, it’s your life, it’s your money, you decide how you spend your time and money.

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And if you know a woman in business, why not gift them a free Authentic Business Strategy Session? Or treat yourself! You deserve something for you after all 🙂

Why do I work with women and how is that different?

I was prompted to write this blog by a conversation I had at a networking event the other night. because I focus on working with women people often ask me why, and the truth of the matter is it’s not something I’ve ever done before in my life and I followed my heart.

What do I want to do?

So in many ways there isn’t any logical reason why I do what I do and the work I do with my clients is something I can obviously do with men and with women, but what I have done is spend a lot of time checking in with what my intuition says and what my heart would love to do.

I can support people growing a business (male or female) but when I check in and when I looked at what I would really truly love, what makes my eyes fill with tears is having an impact on women.

I remember a talk I went to a couple of months ago by Paul Dunn, and he was suggesting the audience do an exercise where you ask somebody why they do what they do, and then you keep on asking why. As you do this you go deeper and deeper and eventually you get to a point where you more or less can’t speak, you cannot say what’s in your mind because it’s so true for you that you’re filling up with tears.

And for me what gets me in that space of deep love, is when I say I want to see the impact I can have on women, and how many women I can have an impact on, and that’s where I hit that point. So it really is just following my heart and staying true to what my heart and soul would love to do, there is no logic, it’s not a logical decision, it’s not planned, its just the way things have turned out.

The beautiful thing is being around authenticity I am helping these women be true to themselves and bring their own true values and their heart to their business, and I am doing that myself. Clearly if I’m talking about and teaching others authenticity to be practising it myself is always a good thing, it makes me feel very genuine and very true. And it doesn’t mean I’ll never work with men, or never do work with men.

There is such a growth of the feminine in the world at the moment, there is a growth and a movement towards being feminine and using feminine energy and there’s a big movement towards being real in my view, and I just really truly believe that if I can help in that in any way it’s just where I want to be.

Often when I’m in my head thinking about it, it makes no sense to me at all and I do sometimes have a conflict with that, but the bottom line is when I connect to my heart and what my heart would love, my heart would love to have an impact on a lot of women, and the way I’m being led to do that at the moment is supporting them in the business.

So that is why and where I am at, that is why I created Authentic Edge and that is why I’m doing what I’m doing at the moment.
That’s why I’m here and I’d love to help you get to the place of really knowing where you are as well.