Games People Play; How Not To Meet Their Needs.

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What do we mean when we hear the words “toxic behaviour”? What is it? Who are they? and do they mean us any harm? Don’t be fooled by the title of MD, Partner, Child, Mother, Father, Brother or Sister . Toxic behaviour can appear in all shapes and sizes. They can be part of our work and family life. However, if you are or have come across toxic behaviour here are a few steps to protect yourself from damage.

Acceptance is the key, and I have spoken about acceptance in my last few key notes and newsletters as it is the foundation for mental and physical health. You have to realise that you cannot expect toxic people to change. You may crave to be the one to help them but this is mostly a thankless task. Toxic behaviour is purely motivated by a person’s complex problems and needs and these needs must be met first. Toxic people play the role of the victim, putting others on a roller coaster of emotions. You will never really know where you stand with a toxic person. Unfortunately with toxic people over time nearly all relationships become confusing, destructive and dysfunctional. When you let go of the need to change the toxic person it will be a lot easier to carry on with your life.

 

The importance of boundaries. “You spin me right round baby right round” may have been a number one hit for Pete Burns but this is how you will feel when a toxic person constantly wants you to prove yourself more and more. Are their ways compromising your values ? What will and won’t you put up with? Check in with yourself. Does a toxic person’s behaviour infringe on how you allow yourself to be treated? If you are not being paid to be in the drama don’t audition for it. When a toxic person’s complex needs are not being met they will manipulate you like a puppeteer to generate the feelings they need. If you ever really listen to a toxic person they are always the victim. Have you noticed that? Unfortunately, they need to be, to attract the attention they crave.

In my late twenties my coach taught me about Projection. It was like a huge light bulb moment. Spend time really getting to know yourself. So you know when a person is projecting the parts of themselves they don’t like onto you. You know you, so you will know the truth. The truth is it has nothing to do with you, its just a great way for them to avoid the truth about themselves.

Stay healthy and happy. Who and what makes you feel happy , healthy, joyful and free? Write down the people who make you feel this way and acknowledge the way you help yourself to feel this way.

When you remove toxic behaviour from your life you can feel bereft, even though it has been challenging to say the least. Remind yourself what life is really about.; healthy body and mind, healthy relationships and friendships. Build positive energy . Think of it like a muscle. Every day you become more aware and more resilient to the complex needs of human beings and know you have a choice if you want to be involved or not. Like Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are believe them”.

 

What Is Happiness All About?

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I’ve been reminded all morning that its National Happiness Day. The advice given by this morning’s TV presenters were ‘go and connect with people, give someone you have thought of a phone call and surprise them’. Social media, texting and whatsapp make it so easy to avoid actually having a conversation. Taking the time is a lovely reminder of how to communicate with people and to connect with them on a deeper level.

Another great reminder was to look for what’s good. You are probably sick of hearing it but there is so much healing in gratitude. Saying thank you to someone or even to yourself can make a huge difference. Lets focus on creating an upward spiral in life. When I was a child my Uncle Billy used to say to me ‘Don’t walk and look down at the ground Karen, there is nothing for you there, look up because that’s where your dreams lie’. Keep spiralling upwards, it’s brighter at the top.

Take care of your body. Many coaches and speakers I know drive the most prestigious vehicles which are serviced regularly, wear fantastic suits which are dry cleaned every week and every material thing is kept in tip top condition. Remember our physical health is important. Many professionals I know have a BMI which is drastically over the limit, drink far too much coffee and keep working 24 hours a day. You, your mind and your physical health are important. If they go you really have nothing left. This is my kind reminder for you to take care of yourself.

Acceptance. For me acceptance is the biggest key to long-term happiness. Accept what is. You don’t have to like it but accepting in the moment whatever situation is creates less resistance, fear and anxiety in your life. Equally it creates more moments of happiness. Remember its not all work and the stuff we buy with the money we earn that keeps us happy. It’s the interactions, our health and the great company we keep that makes us smile more and more.

 

5 Steps To An Achievement Enriched 2017

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“……Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference” Reinhold Niebuhr.

January is always my busiest time of the year. It is great that people want to hit the year running and make the most of what they can achieve. Over the years I have noticed a theme. The words ‘in the past’ or ‘last year when’ seem to pop up a lot in coaching conversations and create a theme of not wanting to let go. It can seem hard to let go of the past as whatever has happened can give us a sense of identity. Maybe this is why we hold on to challenging situations a lot longer than we need to. We replay situations over and over, of when we were achieving and when we were not achieving and still don’t go in the direction we need to. By not letting go of these situations we create pressure on ourselves, damaging self worth little by little as we carry on. Maybe a great start to the New Year could be letting go of anger, fear and bitterness; the key players in the search for success in every situation. So like Maria in sound of Music said ’Lets start from the very beginning’ for 2017.
1. Letting go of frustration. Whether its with yourself, a situation or someone else. Carrying frustration will only cause anxiety and make whatever it is you are frustrated about seem bigger than it actually is. Give yourself a frustration window of say five minutes. Vent your frustration for this time only. And when you are finished close by saying ‘I let you go’. Try this for five minutes every day if you need to, working your way through to once a week until you feel like you don’t need to give it attention any more.
2. Taking responsibility. Responsibility is huge. It’s easy to always focus on what others did. What could you have done to make the situation different? Don’t give your power away by playing the blame game. Empower yourself by making responsibility your friend.
3. Worry Off. You worry about being late, you worry about deadlines etc. Worry may pretend to be a necessary part of the scenario but serves no purpose unless you want high blood pressure. Ask the question when you are about to play ‘worry out.’ How will this serve or help me in whatever the situation is?
4. Stepping out of the box. Try something different. Maybe its volunteering trying a different niche. Put yourself out there and show what you have to offer.
5. Laughter. It might seem silly, but if you are honest, how often do you laugh? Laughter creates joy and holding joy is a great gift and helps you see life and situations differently. Hence, letting go.

Give these five nuggets a go and let me know how you get on. It really can be a beautiful world, letting go one step at a time.

 

Are You Holding Your Life Back One Word At A Time?

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I think most of us know that the words we use in our speech and even in our thoughts have a powerful influence on our mood, happiness and outcomes in life.

This year I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and was offered Methotrexate or Sulfasalazine, which are very toxic drugs. Methotrexate is a chemotherapy agent and is used to treat cancer. I declined the offer of the drugs and the consultant kept saying “your arthritis”. I corrected the doctor by letting him know that this was not mine and that I had no intention of taking ownership of the disease or the “dis ease” that I referred to as having a holiday in all of my joints. Like any holiday it would have to come to an end. I wasn’t in denial. If you know anything about inflammatory arthritis, you will know that the pain is unbearable, but I felt that the best way to treat an immune disorder would be to focus on my immune system and heal that way. The doctor told me that many people commit suicide because of the pain and the changes it can have on your life, as it is a crippling disease.

I really believe in healthy body and healthy mind so my focus was to keep my mindset strong. My goal was set for medication free remission and reversal of inflammatory arthritis.

Words are not only tools for communication. Words can be like jewels or stones; joyful or damaging. Everything is energy as described in quantum physics so everything vibrates, even words and we need to keep our vibrations high. Try it out for yourself. Think of a negative experience and see what happens to your body. Maybe it’s a sinking feeling in your stomach. Low energy, furrowed brows etc. Now think of a joyful experience and feel the difference. Maybe your chest feels open, you feel a weight lifting off your shoulders.

I chose to describe arthritis as a gift and turned the word to a positive feeling. Even when the pain was unbearable I shifted my mindset to knowing this would not last forever. The saying “this too shall pass” became my mantra. I wasn’t in denial as I knew I had a choice in how I was going to handle my body and I chose to keep my words bright and light. 12 months later I am in remission and my body is having time to heal itself. My words are positive and my mindset is strong.

Have a think about the words you are using every single day and see what changes you can make.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Junior

 

Why Three Is Never A Crowd On The Road To Success

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Its about six weeks to go to until Christmas,  where has the year gone?   I’m currently filming a feature film called The Last Laugh,  written by John Godber and directed by award winning director Daniel Cole.  Hence, the reason why I’ve been quiet.  Unfortunately, when running your own business you can’t really afford to go off the radar.  So I thought it was time to hold myself accountable for my actions and the best way to do this is by having a coach – even coaches go off track!     Or start a mastermind group.  I’ve always found that I am the type of person who achieves more when chasing my dreams with a team around me.  Having the involvement of mutually committed people has always been a winner and is intensely rewarding.   A mastermind group has created friendships,  helped towards my goals  and measured my progress.  Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich’   talks of the power of the mastermind group.

 

How to achieve a group.

If you want to start your own mastermind group, gather together a group of likeminded people who are striving for a common purpose.   Having mutual support is a key to success.  Sometimes when I have lost vision or felt stuck, my mastermind group has been able to put me back to track.  Hearing different perspectives on an idea can soon blow the brain clouds away and help you re-focus.

 

Its brilliant if your group is a mix of creative talents and skill sets and a wide network of people that will come in handy for you all   Also, something which I find most helpful is holding myself and the group accountable.  Give yourself a time to meet every 6-8 weeks.   Just knowing that you are committed to a timescale makes you work hard because who wants to be the only person who hasn’t committed and made an effort to move their project forward.  All you have to do is to pick between 3-6 people who you feel you fit with.  Make sure you set the boundaries out at the start.  No stealing ideas.  You are all there to support each other.  Remember, a mastermind group is only as successful as the people in it.   In the meeting give each other equal time to discuss their topic and keep to a time frame.  Do you need an agenda?  That’s up to your group.    See what works best for you all.   In the group I work with we take turns to facilitate so   we make sure we keep to a timeframe and  keep the speaker on track.  We also capture what happened at the meeting so we can see the triumphs, goals and lessons we want to keep each other accountable for.  It really is as easy as that.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day but it would have been a lot harder without a team of  people behind it.