It wasn’t all bad….

So we’re into a new year, and over the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of commentary about the year just finished. So can I make a suggestion? When you look back over 2016, take a moment to step back and remember all of it.

It is so easy to decide it was a good or a bad year based on how you feel now, or have felt for the last few weeks. It seems like the whole world decided 2016 was a bad year.

When in fact there were good things, I’ll guarantee you. If you look you will see and remember them.

Nothing is ever all bad, so forget the hype and the media. Forget the celebrities who died and the polling results. None of that stuff affects you personally, (unless its someone genuinely close to you)

Take a step back and realise its all perspective

I can remember when I was young having a time when I was quite down, possibly even a bit depressed. And it was down to so much going on, and me taking it all personally, yet in hindsight it wasn’t my stuff. It was about other peoples’ lives and events, that I had got caught up in and built up into “life” being sad and awful.

When I look back at 2016 myself, on the surface I don’t appear to have done much, I feel great, I am in a good space feeling positive about what is next.

Yet I had some ’bad’ times, I had phases when it felt like everything was against me, I was dealing with multiple high stress situations at the same time, with zero support. And have been there more than once this year.

But it passed, I dealt with it, I knew I would, it was just annoying having to manage all that stuff at once.

The difference between the me now and the younger me is the confidence and inner knowing, and the awareness and knowledge, I have grown a lot over the years! Now I can let things go, not take them personally, especially when its not my stuff, leave the world to get on with it, and judge how good my own world is, based on me, and how I really feel, and what really happened.

Maybe you could say I was lucky, I ended the year in a good place, feeling good, so my view was tinted with happiness, others were the opposite. Yet we all had lots happening through the year. and I will also add, my high spirits had plenty to do with my plans for the year ahead, so its focus too!

Where is your perspective and focus, looking back and looking forward?

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.

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?

Working “On” Your Business

Michael gerber, EMyth - tips learnt by Julia McdaidThe distinction between working ‘in’ and working ‘on’ your business is one that most business owners will recognise. And the related advice that, as leaders, we should spend more time working on our business is also widely accepted. But how exactly can we turn those good intentions into action?

Some time ago I was fortunate enough to see Michael Gerber speak live, and this is one of the things he spoke about.

The key learning points from Michael’s seminar were these:

* Entrepreneurs should concentrate on seizing opportunities, and let their managers worry about how to solve problems.

* The entrepreneur’s product is not what the business happens to sell, it is the business itself.

*The role of an entrepreneur isn’t to merely change his or her business – it is to transform it. Change is still connected to the past. Transformation leaps out of the past into the unknown.

* To help them with this transformation process, entrepreneurs should follow the example of Walt Disney by creating a ‘dreaming room’. A room where there are no rules. A room where they spend at least 10 minutes a day thinking about the future, not the past.

* Ultimately there is no difference between a small business and a big business: a big business is just a small business that has done all the right things.

I am a great believer in learning to work on your business, and its one of the things I help my clients with. If you would like to chat about this please get in touch

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Are you chasing too many rabbits?

There is an old Chinese proverb that says ‘man who chases two rabbits catches neither’.

Al Ries’s book Focus (Harper Collins) contains 300 pages of examples suggesting that it is exactly the same in business. Success, he says, comes from narrowing our focus so that our people, our customers and our targets have a clear and uncluttered understanding of what we are, what we do and what we stand for.

According to Ries ‘If there were nothing but general surgeons and you were the only brain surgeon, you would have an incredible business and you could charge outrageous prices’.

So why shouldn’t it be the same for other businesses too?

It’s a question that many of the world’s most successful businesses have already answered eg Intel’s CEO Andrew Grove once said ‘I’d rather have all my eggs in one basket and spend my time worrying about whether it’s the right basket, than try to put one egg in every basket.’

Seven Questions to Kickstart Your Week

7 questions to kickstart your week - Julia McdaidI thought I would jot down a few things that might help when you want to focus. By asking yourself questions you will naturally start your brain looking for answers.

This is one way to tap into the subconscious mind, and can be used very powerfully.

So here are seven questions to ask yourself

1. What do I most want to create this week?

2. Who do I need to speak to this week?

3. How will I choose my attitude to impact how I deal with stressful circumstances that arise today?

4. What am I doing that I know isn’t helping my business?

5. How do I really want to serve my clients?

6. What choices will I make today that align my purpose and passion with the tasks awaiting my attention?

7. What can I work on right now that would change everything for me?

Give them some thought, either ask yourself at the start of the day, or the start of the week, or before you go to sleep and let the answers come overnight.

And do let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear what worked for you, and what difference it made.

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.

Always Aim High

Authentic Edge, Empowering dynamic women entrepreneursAt a sell-out conference a few years back, Sir John Harvey-Jones argued that every company, no matter how small, must aim to be world class in its marketplace. ‘The risks of aiming low’ he said, ‘are far greater than the risks of aiming high’. According to Sir John, the keys to becoming world class include:

 Recognising that, while there is no such thing as a sustainable competitive advantage, competitive disadvantage is self-accelerating. So the only way to stay ahead is to carry on moving faster than everyone else.

 Studying and learning from everybody and anybody, and continuously looking for new ways of doing everything and differentiating ourselves in the marketplace.

 Finding new ways of getting the best from the creativity and energy of our teams. ‘People are capable of incredible things if they are given a chance. Our problem is that we don’t give them that chance.’

 Competing by being smarter, not by being cheaper – because ‘there is no future if the only way we can compete is through cheapness’

Which of these keys do you already implement in your business, and which might you look at implementing now?

I’d be interested to hear what you do to stay world class, and what you believe makes a business world class.

Feel The Fear

Go past those fearsOften when we are on our journey towards our dream we find that we seem to be hitting our head on a brick wall, or that “something” is stopping us. Whether we are conscious of it or not, often that something is fear of some sort.

Many of our fears are based on how we look at the world, and may result from conditioning or experiences in our earlier life. Whilst there are a few fears that benefit us, those that will actually save our lives, most are unfounded and have no logical explanation.

Did you know that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real? and very often this is what fear is. Fear comes from our thoughts, because we are worried about what might happen. So if you can change the worrying thoughts, the fear will go and so it can no longer get in your way. Usually our fear is about what might happen, we have no idea yet, what will happen as the circumstances are in the future, so in reality there is no substance behind these thoughts, they are not based on any actual evidence.

If we can change the way we choose to look at these things, and so change our thoughts and perceptions about the impending event that is causing the fear, we can eliminate it. Once you have done this a few times and found that it works, things will never be the same again. You will be much more confident and able to deal with those scary thoughts as they arise.

There are many resources available to help you address any fears that might be getting in your way, or to identify what those fears are. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Intuition If you tap into your intuition you can focus on what you really want. You can also see what is happening in your reality now and what is your best next action.
  • NLP (which stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming). If you see an NLP practitioner they can use a variety of exercises to identify and deal with any fears that you may have
  • EFT (which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques) also known as “Tapping”
  •  
    All of these can be very quick and very effective.

    Conquer Your Fear – a series of audios by Lisa Jimenez. These are every good, and can also help you identify what your fear is by giving examples of how people with certain fears might behave – fear of success or fear of failure , for example. Lisa Jimenez RX Success

    Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway – a book by Susan Jeffers

    Feel free to contact me if you’d like to be put in touch with a practitioner for NLP or EFT. And if you are interested in an intuitive session to look at what is happening I would be happy to chat to you about this.

    (First published by Julia Mcdaid on the Finding Wealth and Freedom Blog)