How the “A” Word Can Ruin Your Life

Anxiety. There, I said it. Typically people categorize anxiety as a problem experienced primarily by women. A Worry Wart. A Nervous Nellie. Women are stereotyped as being more emotional than men. Is that really true? Or do we just use different LANGUAGE to explain the anxiety or other feelings experienced by men?

So men, would you ever say that you experience a lot of “pressure?” Pressure to meet a deadline. Pressure to meet or exceed presentations. Pressure to measure up to your expectations of yourself as a man, a professional, a husband and a father?

Often that “pressure” is synonymous with anxiety. And anxiety is no laughing matter.

I’m not saying that pressure can’t work to our advantage in some cases and I’m certainly not suggesting that you should not feel compelled to meet deadlines or do well.

So, what’s the problem with anxiety for you? Don’t be fooled into thinking that this anxiety is good for you OR your career.

40 million Americans suffer from anxiety that manifests itself in the following ways (just to name a few): headaches, muscle tension, lack of focus, irritability, chest pain, fatigue, lack of motivation, over-eating, social withdrawal and substance abuse. Over time your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes will sky rocket. You may also develop a panic disorder, causing episodes that mimic a heart attack.

Anxiety in men might look different and might hide under a different name, but it is still anxiety. And if you don’t manage it, it will ruin your health and your relationships.

So what now?

What if you could be compelled to meet deadlines, do superior work and get that promotion without the heavy burden of pressure? Can you imagine?

I do so much work with clients to help them reconstruct thinking so that all of their success and accomplishments can come from a place of passion, rather than a place of pressure.

I am not a doctor or a therapist and I am not trained to treat mental illness. However, I AM trained to help you manage your mind, change anxious thought patterns, and improve your overall emotional well-being.

Anytime you are working from a place of negative emotion (such as anxiety) you are not being as effective in your actions. As a professional, you have learned to work around the anxiety, but what if you could remove it and be even MORE effective? What kind of toll is the anxiety taking on your health? These are all important questions for you to consider and decide if you are WILLING to rid yourself of some anxiety.

One of the MOST common problems that successful executives have in letting the anxiety go is a FEAR that they will not be as successful. Can you begin to think about accepting the idea that you can trust yourself to be successful without it? If you can shift thinking about parting ways with anxiety, you might find that you not only increase success, but your ability to actually ENJOY your success will be multiplied!

Think about it…

 

A big thanks to the Mayo Clinic and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for some great facts and information. To read more about the effects of anxiety, check out one of the following resources:

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

 

https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

 

Are You Going for the GOLD in Life?

How important is your happiness, life success and satisfaction? Is it worth working toward each day? I don’t mean just getting up and doing the daily grind; I am talking about living your life with intent, plans, goals and finding fulfillment.

I believe that everyone on earth has a great purpose. Your job is to discover yours and go for it!

So many people ask me, “What is a life coach?” “What exactly do you DO?”

I wish there were an easy way to put it without making it sound completely hokey, but there is not.

The words “empower” and “success” and “life satisfaction” are so over-used and come across as very “blah” in my opinion. But…when you EXPERIENCE the freedom, empowerment, success, authenticity, and fulfillment that coaching offers, it is nothing short of AMAZING.

The easiest analogy I can offer to explain why it’s so beneficial is an athlete’s use of a coach. Can you imagine an Olympic athlete opting NOT to use a coach? Of course not! Why? Because they have so much passion, drive and commitment to becoming the BEST at what they do.  Olympians take any and every opportunity to improve and raise the bar.

I believe that EVERYONE can benefit immensely from having a coach. Think about it – if there is any level of athlete that would ever be beyond needing a coach, it would be an Olympian. Yet they are the most likely to have the BEST coach, because they care SO MUCH about reaching their goal.

Do you care THAT much about you? Are you living the life you were meant to live? If not, WHAT is holding you back?

I hope this had made you think about where you are headed, why, and how important it is to you. You and your great purpose in life is SO very significant.

Whether you work with a personal coach, business coach, or use other resources, take your life seriously.  The type of coach you work with is highly personal based on what you want to achieve, and your personality.  Many coaches offer free consultations.  Shop around – finding a good coach/client fit is the first step in achieving what you want.

You have your own personal “gold medal” to earn; don’t deny yourself that success.

What is the mark you will leave on the world?

How do you want to experience life?

And finally, what steps are you taking to get there?

Be Selfish This Year

I’m writing to those of you who set goals year after year to become BETTER. To do MORE for others. To MAKE A GREATER impact in the world.

Especially to those high achievers. Or those selfless parents who find themselves completely deleted physically and emotionally. And let’s not forget the bend-over-backwards people who always put their needs last behind anyone else who so much as makes a peep.

We all want to help others, achieve great things and make a difference. If those desires are a motivating factor in the way you live your life – this blog is for YOU.

What if all of those things you are doing in the name of giving and becoming better, are actually giving LESS to others and LIMITING your potential???

Yes, that’s right. By giving too much… sometimes we give too little…of our best self.

What if I told you that instead, you should spend more time on YOURSELF?

Before you roll your eyes or fear that I’m promoting a “me first” attitude… give me just a few more paragraphs of your time.

We are going to take the oh-so-familiar oxygen mask analogy. You don’t have to be a flight attendant to know the drill – “if you are traveling with small children, first apply your own oxygen mask, then help those that need assistance.”

These instructions are so important that after the presentation, flight attendants go to each parent on the plane individually and MAKE SURE that they understand the need to put their own mask on first.

Why? Well, if you pass out from a lack of oxygen you are no good to ANYONE!

Self-care is VITALLY important if you want to be your best, give the MOST to others, and really make a difference in the world.

So, what is self-care? Caring for yourself, by giving your body, your mind and your soul what they need.

Let’s take a minute to differentiate between REAL self-care and self-indulgence.

There is a difference between caring for yourself, and just doing things you want to do at any given moment. An easy example is how you deal with stress and decompress. Over-working is not healthy, but neither is over-eating as a way of “rewarding” yourself for making it through a long day. True self-care looks more like giving your mind and body some quiet time, meditation, or a good conversation. Merely avoiding stress and anxiety by distracting yourself is a short-term coping strategy that only leads to long-term physical and emotional problems.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas of what you may want to incorporate into your goals this year. While none of these are new or crazy concepts, hopefully hearing them again and again will help you understand their importance.

  • Schedule time to do things you are passionate about – this is energizing and will make you your best self. Don’t you want to give your best to those you love?
  • Take time daily to read uplifting and inspiring literature. When you feel good, you are more kind and more thoughtful. Period.
  • Block out the time you need to get adequate rest. If you are tired, you are not productive. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are better off sleep-deprived and working down a to-do list.
  • Learn to say no. By saying “no” when you need to, you can say “yes” to so many more things and contribute in a more powerful way to those around you.
  • Replace coping skills like over-eating, drinking, tv/internet addiction, or other destructive habits with EFFECTIVE coping skills. Meditation, 15 minutes of quiet, a good book, or a good conversation are great options – you just need to be willing to do them.
  • Managing thought patterns is a skill that I work with my clients on regularly. When you can be intentional in your thinking, rather than let your brain run amuck, you can keep things in perspective.
  • Look for the best in yourself. When you see the best in yourself – you will start to see the best in others too. On the contrary, if you choose to criticize yourself… you will naturally criticize others as well.

 

THIS is my focus in the New Year. I look forward to caring more about myself, so that I can care more about others. Making MY happiness a priority, so that I can share that happiness. Giving myself plenty of kind and encouraging words, so that I can be strong – and help others to be strong too. I look forward to the most fruitful and impactful year yet. How about you?

Are you rounding the bases, but never crossing home plate?

When my oldest son started little league baseball at age 4, it was the uniform that mattered most. From his hat to his cleats he felt like an all-star. His first season was a version of T-ball that had only one base. Nudging the ball off the tee with the bat and running to that base was nothing short of amazing for him. He was completely oblivious to anyone around him and simply felt satisfied to be on the team.

As time went on and he strengthened his skills, he wanted MORE out of the game. Getting a hit was no longer so easy, first base was only the beginning, and the outfield was more than just a giant sandbox. At a certain point, crossing home plate became firm in his mind as to how his team could win the game.

So often I work with clients who are having great success in “the field” aka their profession, but when it comes to the ultimate goal of having true achievement and satisfaction in their personal life – they aren’t quite meeting their goal of crossing home plate.

In baseball of course, if a hitter gets a runner across the plate, then they have had success – even if they don’t personally cross the plate. Not every player has to cross the plate for the team to win the game. However, in the game of life, only YOU can cross the plate to achieving your own personal happiness.

If you are counting on a teammate like your spouse or kids, your employees or employer, or anyone else to bring you satisfaction in your life, then you will never reach that goal.  The GOOD NEWS is that you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s skills, ambition, or actions to achieve personal satisfaction.

It’s amazing how so many of us want others to play THEIR position, so that we can succeed. I have seen enormous changes in my clients when they are willing to take responsibility for their personal success, strengthen themselves, and ultimately decide whether or not they will make the winning play in their life.

Here are 3 tips to consider:

  1. Take responsibility for your happiness and success. Blaming others for your unhappiness is simply a way to avoid facing the ways that you fall short. It also leaves you feeling powerless, after all, you can only control what YOU do. You are the creator of your thoughts – thoughts lead to feelings and action. Think pro-active. If you want to cross the plate, do what YOU can to make it happen.
  2. Choose activities that make your life meaningful. What is meaningful to you? What things in life have brought you fulfillment and purpose? Are you doing those things? Often we let life set our agenda, instead of setting our own agenda with a goal in mind. Engaging in activities that are meaningful for you is food for the soul – it will increase your happiness and make you a better person.
  3. Shift the way you think about challenging relationships. Often we choose 2 default options when it comes to relationship challenges – we continue to try to improve things in exactly the same way (even though it hasn’t been working), or we avoid the relationship altogether. Successful people understand the art of being able to think differently in any given circumstance. Relationship coaching is a powerful way to do this. Change your thoughts – change your life!

If you’ve been rounding the bases, but not crossing the plate for long enough – maybe it’s time to THINK differently about your approach. Are YOU ready to bring it home?

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Parenting: 2 Things Sabotaging Your Best Efforts

parenting

 

This parenting help is for you. Yes, especially to those of you who are human.  You know, the kind of parents who make mistakes?

Let’s simplify your parenting woes today by looking at just 2 things that are undermining all of your best parenting efforts. Read more