Listen to the Inner Voice

voice insiude
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you listen to your intuition? It can be a huge help both in business and other aspects of life. Fabulous when making decisions.

10 Ways To Find Inspiration

TFind Inspirationhis list was originally published in a previous newsletter of mine, but I think its worth sharing again.

Here are ten suggestions for finding inspiration when you’re feeling stuck.

TAKE A HIKE
If your head seems full of cobwebs and your can’t think straight, go for an aimless walk. A rhythmic pace helps
you to enter a state of flow and allows solutions to surface – quite literally, a breath of fresh air.

FEED YOUR SENSES
Whether it’s a museum, park or concert, indulge in something you love which will open your mind to creativity. Make the most of your self-employed status and go mid-week when there are no crowds.

KEEP CLIPPINGS
When you read something in a magazine or book that inspires you or makes your think, cut it out or write it down. Keep clippings and notebooks in a ‘inspiration’ file so that when you’re feeling down or stuck, you can dip in at will.

MEET YOUR MENTOR
An older, more experienced peer will have been in a similar situation to yours before, so if you’re really stuck on an idea, talk it over with a mentor or good friend and get a second opinion. To find a mentor, try asking your contacts or your industry association.

DO IT NOW
Be proactive by doing a chore that’s been nagging you for ages – whether it’s sorting through piles of receipts
or clearing out your filing cabinets. It will make you feel organised and clear your head for other tasks.

OFFER A HELPING HAND
Help someone else who needs advice, whether work-related or otherwise. It’s easier to see a solution for other people’s problems and in doing so you activate the problem-solving part of the brain.

READ ABOUT OTHERS’ SUCCESS
Read a biography or watch a programme about someone who has succeeded against the odds, whether it’s a sporting hero or a software millionaire. It’ll inspire you to similar heights.

BACK TO THE FUTURE
Write your five-year plan in reverse: think about where you want to be and work backwards to the present to find your next step.

TALK TO ACQUAINTANCES
Talk to people outside your social and professional spheres, whether it’s your partner’s friend or your neighbour. They may have things to say that could challenge your preconceptions and offer fresh perspectives.

GO TO BED
Hit the mattress in the middle of the day with your loved one. Apparently scientists have proved that adrenaline and seratonin – which can promote inspiration – increase sharply during, and remain high after, lovemaking. Best excuse yet.

(Disclaimer – I didn’t write this list 😉 )

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

This weeks wise words were originally shared by Neale Donald Walsch.

It is only This Moment that counts, This Moment that matters. Dwelling on anything else is pointless.

Yesterday is gone, if not forgotten, and tomorrow is not yet here, so why waste precious time and mental energy focused on either?

What is going on right now? That is the question. And what can you do Right Now to make Now better? Make each Now better and the future will take care of itself, while the past will not matter.

Coming across this mindset being expressed more and more these days. And it is very powerful. We waste far too much energy worrying about what’s long gone or what might be. I know I have done, though I’m definitely learning to leave it all alone. And I can vouch for life being easier when you do, if you don’t give something attention it has no energy and soon disappears off the radar. 🙂

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Sharing a very well known poem with you this week, made famous by Nelson Mandela who used it to keep him strong when he was in prison. And also brought to the fore by the film of the same name.

The last paragraph is the most powerful.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

Inspiration in action

Let your inspiration flow and guide youAs I sit down to write this blog it’s worth noting that today I had already planned to be working ON my business, no clients just writing and developing new programs.

And first thing this morning, when I was out walking the dogs I started getting ideas and inspiration. Words, ideas for programs, snippets to make up parts of the program and areas to focus on. I was actually dictating on my phone when I was out. What a great way to kick off the day!

Here’s where life happens though. Do you ever find yourself in the same situation, absolutely buzzing with thoughts and ideas, feeling you need to capture them before you lose them?
I bet you do.

Make it happen
Its more than just making a note of them though, its creating space to implement them. And when you have planned a creative day honouring that decision for you and your business. That gives us momentum, time working on the business is just as important as client facing time. Otherwise what happens when your current projects run their course, when existing clients are at the end of their agreed work with you? You end up starting again almost.

Stuff gets in the way..
This is where distraction is the big risk, because it oh so easy to just do those little jobs that need doing. “I’ll just do x,y,z then I’m free for the rest of the day to follow up my ideas”

NO!

This is what happens so often in our lives, and I know I fall for it, that was my challenge this morning, I had a list of jobs that need attention, “things to do” . Some admin, some money coming in to the bank to check, some bills to pay. It would be very easy to do them first, but I was very aware that had I done so it would have distracted me big time, the chances are in my case I wouldn’t have stopped doing odd jobs before lunchtime.

And by getting distracted like this it would have taken all the excitement & energy away, I wouldn’t have had the same buzz if I put the ideas aside to pick up this afternoon. In fact I may not have gone near them today at all, and then they would be relegated to the future “to do” list.

You have time
The bottom line is there is time later on, enough time to do the odd jobs, later on in the day. As long as I get to it during working hours I can check the bank and do payments this afternoon, the world won’t end if I do my admin tomorrow.

This is about taking inspired action, following your heart and staying in flow. And staying with your plan.

Act on it
So here is my message and call to action for you today:

Act whilst you have the inspiration and energy, act before it fizzles out.

As Nike says Just Do It!

If you are struggling with prioritising and would like to schedule a Strategy Session just send an email to ss @ ae8.biz to arrange a complimentary chat.

The Benefits of Journaling

Benefits of Journaling - Julia McDaidI wanted to share some thoughts with you about journaling, as its something that has cropped up in conversation a lot recently.

I am a big fan of journaling, (even when I don’t do it all the time!) and I think it can be really helpful.

There is more to it than just keeping a record of what is going on in your life. I think traditionally a journal was used as a way of recording, to remember what happened, sometimes with thoughts or other items added in.

What I am talking about here is how to use a journal to help you get clarity, whether that is to deal with things that aren’t going quite as you had hoped or to help in knowing what to do next.

So there are two main ways to use a journal.

The first is purely to empty out the thoughts from your head. If you have read The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, you will know she recommends writing Morning Pages. This is writing three pages of thoughts as soon as you get up in the morning. And you just write anything, whatever is in your head.

This has two benefits, firstly it takes all those niggling thoughts and doubts from your head and puts them on paper, so they stop whizzing round your brain. And secondly it will start to get you used to writing as part of the creative process. You will be surprised how ideas start to pop up once you have been doing it for a while, or even once you have written a couple of pages.

The second way to use journaling, which is truly tapping into the creative, is to use it for getting insights. To do this you write about what you want to create, or you start with a question and write to answer it. Questions may be things like “Why am I here?” , if you are looking to identify your purpose, or they may be more specific, perhaps something like “How do I want this teleseminar to impact my listeners?”.

Again the key is to just write, without thinking about it, write as much as you can, however mad or silly it seems . Don’t judge what comes , write it all down.

An somewhere in there you will start to get some clarity. The light bulb moments will start to happen, or you will get a sudden realisation about what you are doing or why.

I have started compiling a list of thought provoking questions to journal on, so I will let you know when its ready to release. And if you have any that are powerful, or worked for you, please do share them.

I’d love to hear how you get on with journaling if you try it, and if you use it already what you find most beneficial. I know I am choosing to do more of it.

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.

Stay Inspired With Great People

I was at an event recently which got me thinking. It was a very timely reminder of the inspiration you can get from mixing with positive people.

Mix with upbeat positive peopleIf you are in business on your own, even if you have staff, it can be a very lonely place. And when you don’t always see other people regularly it can mean getting despondent sometimes. One of the best ways to keep yourself positive is to mix with positive people, and also to spend less time with those people who always get you down. You know the ones – the people who tell you things will never work, the ones who always feel sorry for themselves, never have a good word to say.

As we move into this year, find ways to gently ease out the negative people, and actively seek out the positive people.

Remember you can network on the internet as well as in person, as I’m sure you do. There are some great discussion groups around who are hugely supportive of each other. Seek out the ones that resonate for you.

And keep some time for live events, for networking or learning, nothing beats real life connection!

Appreciate the Small Things

jar of gratitudeIf you are on Facebook you may well have seen this idea doing the rounds. I think it’s well worth revisiting.

For those who haven’t seen it, the idea is to write down any good things that happen every day on a small piece of paper, and to save them in a jar. Then at the end of the year you can read them all and remind yourself of all the good things that have happened.

Because I think all too often we forget the good things that happen and get too busy beating ourselves up about what we didn’t do, or don’t have.

I have started doing this for 2013 and I’m having great fun with it already, and we’re only on day 2!

For example today I received a cheque in the post, received an unexpected present and had a new client sign up. So I have been back three times to add a note to the jar. There is no way by 31 December I would remember any of that without some record.

It’s also giving me a feel good factor as I make a point of noting down good things, I find I am more aware and more appreciative. Which can only be a good thing, so that is an added benefit.

 

Have you done anything like this? What do you think?

 

And for those who would appreciate a free gift to start things off, I am offering a Business Focus Breakthrough Session every day throughout January. Normally I limit them to just a few, so take advantage 🙂

To book yours just fill out your details on the Contact Form today stating you are claiming a free session

Inspiration from the Paralympics

Yes it was months ago, but isn’t it worth remembering?

Back in the summer I found myself watching the Paralympics one weekend. I’m no avid TV watcher and no avid sports fan, but I did turn it on this particular time when I sat down to eat, and ended up leaving the TV on in the background for the rest of the evening.

Inspiration from the ParalympicsAnd what an eye opener it was. These guys are nothing short of inspirational, they don’t stop and say I can’t I have no legs, they just say “give me my prosthetic legs” and off they go! They compete like any other athletes.

Not just the competitiors

I was also amazed to watch the show afterwards, a chat show hosted brilliantly by “disabled” presenters. I mean who needs to have your arms and legs just so to sit behind a desk and commentate? Any TV presenter is sitting behind a desk presenting for those kind of shows, it doesn’t matter how many legs they have*.

These guys have personality, make great comments and it was highly entertaining viewing.

Controversy

Something else which I found amazing was that they were commenting on a tweet made by a guy who had said that the word “disabled” is now outdated.

And watching these athletes they are as able as anybody and I find that amazingly true. Clearly there was a lot of controversy over a comment like that and it was interesting to see and hear the views. It wasn’t the disabled people who got offended, they saw it as it was meant , in acknowledgement of the athletes, a positive way to say don’t separate these people.

Seeing beyond

Alan Carr was a guest on the show too, and had apparently been attending the Games for the previous days, he made another interesting comment saying the first couple of days he looked at the disabilities then after that he just saw beyond that to the athletes.

Isn’t that how it should be? Isn’t it great to just recognise talent and determination and other inspiring human beings?

Inspirational

I actually found it all very moving, including writing this piece. At the end of the day these are people who are very determined, very successful, very committed, people who put the rest of us to shame the way they get up and go. They don’t say I can’t, they just get up and do whatever it is they have chosen to do.

How many of us can say that we really honestly act like that? The whole thing was truly inspirational, truly amazing and I would never have watched it if it wasn’t in London. Generally I don’t have the interest, I don’t watch TV I’m not a big sports fan. I’m truly glad that I didn’t let that stop me on this occasion.

What do you think? Were you inspired?

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(*Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts and no comments are intended to offend or upset anyone, please read in the spirit it was written, as an appreciation of these amazing, inspirational people)

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