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?

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.

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.

Choice

” I radiate and attract whatever I choose to accept. I now choose to accept the highest and best in life. I now choose and receive the best health, success and happiness. I now choose to accept lavish abundance for myself and all. This is a rich friendly Universe and I choose to accept its riches, hospitality and enjoy them now.”
Catherine Ponder

This is a great quote. We all have a choice about what we do, how we live, how we deal with situations. We get to choose everything about our lives.

And I know some of you will be saying “yes but…” or “but what about…” at this point. It’s worth considering that whatever happens, you can choose how you respond to it, and how you respond will determine where you go in life.

Are going to choose to accept the things you don’t like? Or are you going to go out and find something better?

Will you choose to be happy when you get up in the morning?

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.

Make Your Own Decisions

Follow your own heart, make your own decisionsHow often do you find yourself in a situation where you have decided to do something, and then later in the day or maybe the next day, you find yourself worrying about it and wondering if you made the right decision? I know it happens to me.

And then what happens? You start questioning whether it was right, and the more you think and worry the worse the situation seems. The doubts kick in and that ego “stuff” starts to surface, whether you are conscious of it or not.
So why does this happen?

Well it may be triggered by something external to you. Sometimes its a conversation with a friend or partner, or something random like a post you read on social media. And once the seed is sown you go off down a spiral of questions and doubts and fears. You start to worry about the implications of your decision and what might happen if it doesn’t work out. You may worry about money or not having time or losing something you value.

You know what? It’s just “stuff”. All this is your ego kicking in because it’s scared. Your ego likes consistency and staying In your comfort zone, not change and new things. And certainly not growth, not shifts that might its role smaller. And if you let it win you end up compromising, or even changing your mind altogether.

Yet if you step back for a minute to look at the decision you made, does it look different?
When you decided were you sure? Did you trust your judgement?

I bet you did. As often as not when you make a decision you know it feels right.

So why when it feels right at the time and you know inside that its true for you to follow that path, do you allow the ego to have a say?

I know it’s the way life is and we were brought up like that. Yet I would suggest shifting to a place where you do believe in yourself and you trust your own judgment. And choose this over anything your ego wants to throw at you.

Often when we are investing in ourselves we can have these doubts, whether the investment is time or money. I know, I have invested several $’000 before in a coaching program. And at the time I didn’t have the full amount spare nor any plan for how to meet the instalments. What I did know was that it was true for me to take that action at that time. I already knew I wanted a business coach, as the coach I had been working with didn’t have business focus.

So I checked in with my intuition to see if it was true, and got that it was. And of course by making the leap I ended up learning new ways to increase the business I was doing. And when I look back the coach I worked with had appeared on my radar at just the time I decided I needed a new focus. And for me that realisation of changing focus had also come about intuitively so I knew it was true.

So I would urge you when you have decisions to make, large or small to learn to listen to the inner signs. If an opportunity pops up at just the right time, or something sounds perfect, then you know what, maybe it is. And yes by all means talk to others and bounce ideas around, take advice and guidance. But at the end of the day always remember its your life, nobody else is on your journey, only you know what is true for you.

So please, listen to your heart/gut and ultimately make all of your own decisions based on what is true for you, regardless of knowing all the hows and whys .

Power Down Procrastination

Procrastination and New Year resolutionsMy guess is that this week not so many of you are suffering with procrastination (if suffering is the right word!), we are still in the hype and novelty of New Year and resolutions and intentions.

So how long until the procrastination kicks in? When does the excitement wear off and you start getting distracted? I suspect not that long……

Are you a procrastinator? Or are you always productive and get everything done quickly and easily?

If I am honest I have sides of both, I can procrastinate for England if I am in that space! so believe me I know what I’m talking about here. Yet I can also be very organised and very productive when I’m in the zone. My challenge these days is often getting into the zone, getting going, once I’m there there’s no stopping me.

I think when I was younger, especially in the early days of my business, I had so much to do I really didn’t have time to be distracted or to not do it. I was definitely that busy person to go to if you wanted something done.
Over the years I think I have relaxed more and also changed focus in terms of what I actually do in my business, as well as what I deem to be important.

For more years than not since I have been self employed I have worked at home, so I have always had the potential for distraction.

And I think its all about how you manage it. I would always go to the gym during off peak hours because it was quieter, then at the same time I wasn’t working a straight 9-5 so I would still get everything done, just at a time to suit me.

Over the years I have definitely become more conscious of having a balanced life and sometimes it is taking this too far that leads me into procrastination. I lose focus on what I want to create and get caught up in minutiae. Or I take a break in the sun, which is fine, but then don’t limit it so I lose track of time and then don’t feel like picking up again.

And balance is definitely a big part of it, not only balancing work with the other parts of life, also balancing the things you want to do with the things you “have” to do, as its usually these we procrastinate over in reality.

And I know its all about focus because I prove it with my own actions, I know for me when I am focused and make a decision to do something I do it, whether it is moving country or doing my accounts at the end of the month!

So are you focused enough or can you drift into procrastination? In the next blog I will follow up with some tips to beat it…..

Focus Forward

Focus Forward by Julia McdaidSo here we are, the beginning of the New Year, resolution time. Did you make resolutions, or set intentions?

I set intentions for the year. I read recently a great way of distinguishing between the two, unfortunately I can’t remember who wrote it, but the gist is that a resolution is created to fix a problem and an intention is a focus on what you want to create. Which I think is a great distinction.

At the end of the day if you’re focusing on what you don’t want you still tend to get more of it. It makes much more sense to me to focus on what you do want, for example an intention might be to feel fit and healthy rather than a resolution to lose 20lb. Sometimes its just worth asking what the resolution is aiming to achieve, and then maybe you will be closer to what it is you actually want.

If you haven’t already done it I’d recommend giving yourself a little time to sit quietly and consider what you would like to create this year. How would you like your life to be? What difference would you like to make in the world? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to spend time with? What do you want your business to look like?
Take some time to meditate or journal on these or other similar questions and see what comes up, what you would really love. Then you can create intentions based on these findings.

If you know what you want to be celebrating this time next year it gives you plenty of focus to move you through the year.

And you know what’s really great, doing it this way you get what you would really love, not what you think you ought to do, or what other people think you should want.

Which do you do, if either, and how does it work for 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.

What Are You Waiting For?

Waiting .. it never happens
I find it fascinating how much of our lives we can spend waiting. Waiting for things to happen, waiting for things to arrive, waiting for someone else to show up or do something.

I think it’s almost part of our culture “I’ll do it when…” and often what happens is you just don’t; do it, because you have put conditions on your result and those conditions might never be fulfilled.

How much time do we lose

How much of our lives do we waste because we don’t embrace who we really are and what we would really love to do? Do you delay going to that place in the world you have always wanted to go because you want to wait until your friends can join you, or because its romantic and you want to go when your ideal partner shows up?

Do you stay in a job you don’t enjoy because you are waiting for something better to come along? Or maybe you have your own business but you don’t grow because you are waiting for the right time, person or opportunity.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill

Waiting begets waiting

Your subconscious mind isn’t that clever, it takes things at face value without interpreting them. So if it is hearing that you are waiting, it will give you more waiting. So that thing you are waiting for will just never happen.

Its only when you decide you won’t wait any more and start taking action that things start to change. I mean, what is stopping you? really. If things don’t work out quite how you had hoped, the world isn’t going to end. Honestly, it won’t.

Waiting is putting the power of your life outside of you. It’s being dependent on things you can’t control.
As soon as you choose to embrace who you are and what you would really love to do, whether in your business or life generally, things will happen. The very act of making a decision sets things in motion, both physically and energetically.

Things will change

And I guarantee you will feel better. Have you not been in a situation where things have been getting you down and you decide enough is enough, and so you do something, you take action, and you feel as if a weight has been taken off your shoulders? I’m sure you have, we’ve all experienced it.

So take a look at the things you want to do, the things you are going to do “when…” and see which of them are a part of who you really are. And those that are really you, commit to them and make a choice to go for it, to move things forward (even just a tiny bit) and watch things change.

You can start small, take baby steps. But take steps, so whatever you can now, after all…. What are you waiting for? 😉