Life Improvement through Stress

I wish I was impervious to stress. It is a biological response, usually stemming from the need to adapt to pressure situations. Our body reacts accordingly, releasing hormones and setting off a chain of responses within us.

But often stress can turn into anxiety, overwhelm and sickness, clouding our thinking and impacting our sense of well-being, even when we are generally happy.

I want to dedicate some space to coping with stress because I know it affects most people. I have collated over ten ways we can use actions and ways of thinking to reduce the impact of stress on our lives.

Even the highest stress periods of your life do not have to be disasters.

The next series of posts will be about managing stress. Hopefully, even if you are feeling well-balanced lately it can still help you enjoy your life even more.

Dealing with Stress Part 1

To borrow from the Apple slogan… Think different.

This is genius. So much of what we accept in our day to day lives does not have to be this way. There are systems in every job and in your home life that are not working for you that you are accepting as the norm. What’s more, you may be accepting the stress of a situation as being normal. You probably brace yourself and hope you don’t implode. When the voice in my head is in freefall and my ‘highest self’ is lost I have said things like ‘I am dreading today’ and when asked how I’m feeling, I’ve jokingly responded with ‘suicidal’. This is not the person I need to be, especially when dealing with young people on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, when under stress, I want to claim I work with unreasonable deadlines, ebb towards doing things when only they have to be done, make excuses, suffer in silence and generally notice and talk about the negative.

This is why I have developed better systems that work for me, even within the framework of my vocation expectations. Read the section below if you are interested in how I cheated my way out of the most stressful period of a teacher’s year.

Report time seems to be worse than the bane of existence to most teachers. It results in a lack of sleep, irritability and unnecessary resentment. Teachers can sometimes do a less than ideal job as we are under the pump. For me, report writing is my pride and joy. Other teachers look at my reports for ideas and as a sample of how to write more personalised and helpful feedback for students. Here is how I can hold my head high during this time period:

·       Instead of waiting for the reporting period to begin, I start early. Like a whole term early! If I pay attention, I can learn plenty about students in the first few weeks of a semester and begin putting comments together on a Word document. I can always add a sentence or two once I have extra data. Then, the process is about getting to know my students rather than just churning out drivel.

·       I prophesise instead of report. Especially for the second semester, I consider what the student cannot do and what I am committed to teaching them. Then, when I write their report, stating the improvements they have made, I am pledging to myself that I will help them in this area. Of course I can make adjustments if necessary, but the point is, I have a solid basis from which to begin.

·       I have the mindset that I love writing reports. It is a chance to show I care and to communicate meaningfully with parents.

Some strategy and a positive outlook goes a long way. I am still looking at ways to make assessment periods more manageable (less stress for me and more autonomy from students is the goal!), which involves shifting the culture I work within, but I know that with a bit of planning this will change too.

My question to you… (reply to this if you like!)

What in-built systems can you flip through your own approach and mindset? What can you execute with pride or learn to love if you take the pressure off?

Could you:

·       Do the bulk of your work at the most productive part of the day for you?

·       Begin early, reuse, recycle, delegate, outsource, etc?

·       Do the same job in batches (like responding to emails)?

·       Set up a template or automate?

·       Make your area of expertise?

·       Do while you’re having a bath or listen to while you’re at the gym?

Let me know any brainwaves you have that could dramatically decrease stress and create a more fun approach to something tedious or unavoidable. You can work towards loving and enjoying most parts of your work. It involves some real creative thinking and flipping a lot of what you know on its head.

Do the work and stay tuned for Part Two.

Lots of love,

Be

What are you Choosing?

You always have a choice.

To me, feeling trapped is the worst possible sensation. Its cousins, 'obligation' and 'commitment' also make me claustrophobic- and this is from a girl who loves squashing into cosy small places.

Perhaps in your life you feel like you are locked in. Like you have signed an invisible contract to people, places and routines that feel less than liberating.

I want to remind you that you always have a choice. And there is probably a darn good reason why you are choosing the life you live.

Why do I choose this?

This is a driving question that will have you feeling better or at least clearer about why you are where you are. Why do you choose this vocation over every other possibility? Frame it positively if you can.

·       I choose this HR role because I have a gift with people and love to see the impact I have on the culture of my company.

·       I choose to have my own business because working at my own pace feels healthy and natural for me.

·       I choose to work in this highly physical job because I love the outdoors and have endless energy to expel.

Hold in your consciousness that you do not need to do today what you did yesterday. So why do you do it? Money? Connections? Comfort? Challenge?

And if you are stuck for answers, maybe it’s time for a change. What else could you choose?

For a little decision making booster, think about whether being where you are facilitates you being the best version of you. Does it bring you closer to your goals? Does it make you happy? What would it mean to not choose it? Is there an alternative that energises you?

Knowing that you ultimately get to choose how you live is so empowering. If you love it then you can appreciate it. If you no longer want it, you can take steps to make a change.

For me, I choose to bite off just a little more than I can chew because everything tastes so good. I choose work with intensive ‘after hours’ because it is worth it for the immense joy I feel seeing young people learn to learn. I choose to pay for a cleaner so I can create space for music, and pay for a recording studio to make sure I get shit done. I choose my husband because of his big heart and strong character.

I know that I always have a choice.

And so do you.

Let’s choose wisely.

 

Love for days…

Becky

What is Holding You Back? Ask your Wildest Dreams!

I discovered a new favourite process.

The language of ‘thinking big’ has become part of the modern vernacular. Typo drink bottles tell us to ‘Never give up on your daydream’ and it is being reinforced in education that the youth of today can do or be anything they want. Vision boarding has become a yearly ritual for those who hope to see the Law of Attraction manifest yachts, mansions and Jaguars, and 5 minutes of fame- or longer- is on the cards for anyone who is social media savvy.

But really allowing ourselves to have big dreams, grounded in achievements or experiences does not come naturally. And whilst we could run off a list of things that would be nice, we rarely allow ourselves to fathom these coming to fruition.

Probably because it is uncomfortable.

Probably because it triggers so many of our underlying beliefs about ourselves and the world.

So, as a personal experiment, not in just setting big goals and working towards them, but rather as a way to elicit underlying feelings, I went through the process you will read about below. It seems run of the mill, in terms of the list of ridiculously huge goals (to my mind anyway), but it fast tracked one of the most important steps in personal growth, which is identifying underlying limiting beliefs. Fortunately, because of my practice and love of a good ol’ reframe, I was able to turn these beliefs into really important and useful questions and affirmations. It is so illuminating and really fun, though at times confronting.

What I adore about this process is the way it fast-tracked the finding and zapping away of what has been holding me back. When we try to work out any ‘issues’ or ‘mental blocks’ in our day to day, often we are too close to the issue or it may feel petty or insignificant, so we keep repeating the same patterns. The negative beliefs are insidious and maybe so subtly present that we never find a reason to work on them. They grate away and result in us not fully showing up with confidence. I would love it if you have a go at doing this process. You just need a pen and two pieces of paper. I used a two page spread of a notebook.

Instructions to find out what is holding you back EVERYWHERE IN LIFE!!

STEP ONE

On one page, write the biggest, craziest dreams, fantasies, wishes that would seem outrageous to you.

It may say things like:

  • Have a best-selling novel that is made into a film.

  • Live in a mansion with an indoor pool.

  • Be best friends with Amy Schumer (Jennifer Lawrence can get stuffed!)

And so on.

STEP TWO (I skipped writing this step and went straight to step three)

For each of the fantasies you write, consider what is stopping you from having them. Keep asking yourself why not until you get to a root belief or problem that would majorly impinge upon you fulfilling these. Remember, this does not mean these dreams are your most important goals. They are meant to be wildly huge to you so you can work out what is keeping you from the next level.

Make a list of any of the issues that came up for you. It may be that you think you ‘aren’t good with people’ or ‘have no time’ or ‘need to be prettier’.

STEP THREE

On the second page, reframe the negative beliefs into empowering statements that show you how

  1. You are already in the process of overcoming what is holding you back.

  2. The issue is a non-issue.

  3. You are able to shift this belief.

You make have a list that says:

  • People from all walks of life can get rich.

  • I am my own kind of genius.

  • I have many rewarding relationships with ‘people’.

THE RESULT

Now you have a bank of statements that really support you and address the beliefs that hold you back more than any other. Whether you need to make a new friend or network like a machine, if it is hard for you, the issue will be the same. Use these statements as daily affirmations. They are what you really need to hear right now!

You may end up with a page like this.

 

See me doing the process on myself as an example in this video.


It can be hard to go through this process alone if you aren’t used to asking why, and why, and why, and why! If you need help with this or any of the stubborn beliefs that pop up, find out how we can work together so I can support you through some big life changes.

Remember, the same limiting beliefs or blockages will come up when you go for little wins or huge goals. It is always worth getting to the icky bottom of these, shaking them up, flushing them out and replacing them with something new and beautiful that will serve you.

Shaking things up with love,

Becky


What is wrong with me?

Every now and then I have a thought I need to shake outta my mind. This same thought deeply affects many people and sometimes the belief runs too deep for ‘shaking out’ to seem possible.

‘There is something wrong with me’.

Maybe that thought is articulated in a different way.

 I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Why am I so f*cked up?

I am alone.

Nobody gets me.

I have spoken to enough people to know that this thought hits everyone at some point. It can be alienating, giving us the sense that there is nobody who understands, relates or has the same experience of self.

The trouble is that often the way we relate to others is not authentic. We have a veneer, and social media amplifies the issue, when we often see people happy or the thought articulated in their status is the final positive statement after much deliberation. We get trapped into thinking that life, happiness & beauty comes so easily to some people, but never to us. In the comparison (that often disempowering & dangerous comparison) that we are left thinking, ‘Something must be missing in me.’

We also taught from a young age to see the world in black and white, using oppositions to define what we are by what we are not. We speak in finites, to avoid complicated thoughts. We constantly use the language of judgment (and sometime self-righteousness). That is so wrong. I don’t do that. No wonder we use that language when we speak about ourselves. No wonder when we detect complexity in ourselves we want to attack. I’m a bad mum. I’m not smart enough. I’m not good enough. Perhaps it is lazy to think we are inherently flawed. When you admit imperfection, it’s like you can blame it for everything. It’s a way of avoiding what is really going on.

When you talk to others…

You may catch yourself explaining out of the ordinary (genius like!) thinking as being abnormal to placate others in the assumption that they don’t or won’t ‘get you’. I don’t know. It’s just how I see it. Maybe I’m weird. Or you don’t share.

We respond to paradigms of morality and avoid real conversation with dismissive comments like ‘She’s just a bitch’ or ‘He is a sleaze’. When we do this, it exacerbates the fear that any of our ‘flaws’ will be harshly judged by our peers. Suddenly, ‘There is something wrong with me’, becomes emotionally loaded and will start to limit how we show up in the world. We shrink because we think it isn’t safe to shine. We recoil, we put up walls and create ‘safe’ alter-egos because we are terrified to be ourselves.

‘There is something seriously wrong with me…’

Reframe this thought!

If you catch yourself thinking this way, have a go at a reframing this into something positive.

There is something unique I have to offer the world.

This quirky thing about me is my ticket to success.

I am a complex and interesting human being.

Every person has felt this way- I am connected with my fellow human.

 

And here are some of my favourite questions to help you get some meaningful answers.

What is really going on here? What underlying thoughts triggered this belief/action?

How does this feeling/thought keep me safe or comfortable? Does it serve me in any way?

What would I say to myself if I were my own best friend? Or what would I tell a good friend who told me they felt totally abnormal?

 

While human beings are essentially the same, our spirits have different energies, our auras different colours, our personality different flavours, varied experiences, gifts, challenges and views…

 and in our ‘hearts’ we have a different calling.

This year, I hope that you are more ‘you’ than ever. That you follow your heart and finally come home to the truth. Heart is where the home is.

That you are exactly as you are meant to be, with endless potential and a shiny light inside of you.

Come home to you.

You are not fucked up.

You are you.

The End.

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3 Ways to Feel Good Right Now

We have become used to feeling bad. 

Sad, but true. People tolerate minor discomforts, ongoing pain and suffer mediocre circumstances that are so easy to turn around. It is also a reality that depression is rife in our society and the accumulative effects of feeling bad make us identify with being 'depressed'. We also have been told 'no pain, no gain' and to 'focus on the big picture' rather than the moment. 

I would like to share three ways you can feel good right now, so you can be conscious of how feeling good is a commitment and a choice.

commit to feeling good.jpg

1. What Feels Good?

Notice what feels good right now. What senses are engaged? What positive thoughts are popping up? What do you notice that feels nice?

It’s a lazy Saturday morning and I haven’t put any pressure on myself to do anything.

Having the entire bed to myself.

Knowing that I will have a cleaner on Monday.

Remembering the wonderful New Years adventure trip.

The birds chirping outside the window.

That feeling of hope.

It is meditative and a form of gratitude to observe lovingly the positive you find in the present moment. In the comments, share what you are noticing that feels right.

2. What Doesn’t Feel Good?

Now it’s time to consider what doesn’t feel good, with the intention of doing something about it. We suffer little discomforts that are unnecessary. Let’s do something about them!

The air is stuffy- so I am going to open windows.

I feel a little dehydrated- so I am getting water.

My neck is tense- so I am adjusting my position & scheduling a massage for this afternoon.

The fleeting thought that my website isn’t updated. There is no rush- I will put it in my diary for Monday.

Whenever you decide not to do something about these niggling sensations, you are choosing to feel bad. Maybe you have another priority, perhaps you cannot justify the trouble of changing, or maybe you have never known another way of living. Why do you choose to feel bad? You will gain some clarity once you answer this. Do share any revelations in the comments.

3. Align.

The third way you can feel good in the ‘now’ is to get clear on your life purpose, your goals and daily intention. When you know what it is you are working towards AND have faith that you will achieve this, even tedious or difficult moments take on a new meaning and start to feel good.

This year, think about what your grand purpose is and begin to align your day to day with this mission.

If this is an area you need some help with, drop me a line, and I will send you some further strategies and resources.

Otherwise, I would love you to share your mission statement, purpose or big goal for this year and beyond in the comments section.

Commit to feeling good.

Love Becky

Slow Start? Set Yourself Straight!

Hello Precious!

Today's post is keeping it real. A real full of advice, so pens and paper people for any brainwaves!

best life coach

If you have met me in person, you probably know I get into some pretty intense conversations about achieving goals, overcoming the past and obliterating limiting mindsets. And in my day to day chitchats of late, I have certainly heard these words being uttered out of the mouths of well-intentioned goal-setters.

'I'm just finding (X,Y,Z) really daunting.'

'I'm busy but not really any closer to what I set out to do.'

'I'm lacking motivation.'

'I've been procrastinating on X, Y, Z.'

I speak to some hella talented people, and understand that while you may feel like superman or wonderwoman, doing what it takes to really make 2015 your year can bring up some resistance.

If you want to skip straight to your relevant scenario and get some answers and strategies, click one of the links below:

It's all a bit too big, scary or daunting!

I'm working hard but getting nowhere!

Motivation factor= ZERO!

Procrastination is the current name of my game.

Otherwise, read on darling! If it repeats itself then it is damn important, so write it down and turn it into an action step!

If you are feeling daunted by your goals, let me tell you what you need to know and then read on for some tools to get you past this point.

  • Remember that you more than likely chose that goal for a reason that is especially important to you. You know that achieving or moving bravely towards that goal will get you closer to the life you want to have and the person you want to be.

  • When a goal gives you that 'Ooooh crap!' feeling AND imagining yourself there feels good, then it is probably exactly what you need to pursue.

  • There are both conscious and subconscious thoughts in our mind that are making us believe that they are either unattainable for us, or the kind of achievement that will bring up both great and potential negative results. In other words, there are consequences of achieving your goals that may be putting you off. Yes, that big, exciting goal may not be sitting snugly with what part of you wants. The mind says things like 'But if I become a stage performer I will miss out on family nights.'

  • There are other scenarios specific to you. 'What could be going on in the back of my mind?' is a worthwhile question to ask. Sometimes it comes down to a lack of self belief. If any insights come to you, share them with me.

    Ok! So here is what you can do about it!

  1. Actually move bravely by doing the single most important action that will lead you to that goal. Schedule in be brave time (#bebrave) and notice that the action you are most avoiding is far more important to getting you that goal. Enjoy the exponential progress in personal growth and real results.

  2. Visualise yourself enjoying the benefits of this goal and backtrack in your mind so you can see the little steps and habits that got you there. The big picture is made up of little 'non-daunting' steps (although, yes, some will be crazy exciting!).

  3. Go the other way by doing three little steps before you write your mega to-do list. (These lists can be a bit of a guilty pleasure, so I like to go ahead and do what I know needs to be done before I ponder next steps.) If you want to win a body-building competition, call a personal trainer, book in a first session, and throw unhealthy food out of your cupboard before you can talk yourself out of going for the win.

  4. Adopt a persona/character who thinks bigger is better. In fact, my alter ego is called 'Big Bec' and she comes out whenever I need to stop playing safe and go for the crazy dreams.

  5. Do an important task for 10 minutes. Notice how continuing is a piece of cake after that!

  6. Fill in the blank and say it with your hand on your heart. 'Even though (perceived negative consequence of getting goal), I am committed to achieving my dream for this year.' For example, 'Even though I will be judged, I am committed to sharing my new book with 1000 people.' It's kind of saying, yeah shit happens- so what? I am doing this!

    I am obviously very interested to hear your thoughts on what you anticipate with me the small negative effect of a very rewarding goal!

Perhaps you are starting slow this year but feel practically burnt out already.

This is what you need to know:

  • You will do anything for a sense of achievement, but immediately feel bummed out when you realise it is just 'busy work'.

  • When your direction is crystal clear, the next best step appears.

  • Our little, consistent actions add up. Faith and patience, lovely.

This is what to do if you find yourself just being busy.

  1. Schedule time to do nothing. Enjoy your leisure time properly.

  2. Say no more than yes. Is this the best use of my time? No. Random person wants to catch up and you haven't even worked out this year? No.

  3. Ask yourself- 'What am I avoiding?' Then do that. In fact, do that within the first two hours of your day if it is logical and possible. Eat that frog!

  4. Limit yourself to one significant task per day. Yes, little habits are important, but don't intend to make amazing progress towards three goals on the same day. (Although cross-over will happen naturally.) If you want to do the splits (ahem, that would be one of my little, hard goals), give that a full day's intention. Then you will spend an hour on it instead of five unfocused minutes. Again, say no to the need to do too much.

  5. Ask this simple question. Is this actually really bringing me closer to my goal? You may think shuffling paper is the key (God knows I swear by throwing out old stuff to make way for the new!) but is it really a clear step in the right direction. Only you know.

  6. And the power of asking 'Why?'. 'Tell me, amazing mind, why do I keep running in circles instead of doing what is most important? You will get answers if you go deep enough! The next best question is 'What do I need right now so I can take care what is most important?' You may need a dose of self-belief or to ditch old 'obligations'. Again, you have the answers, Gorgeous!

If you are feeling unmotivated, know this:

  • Our health affects mood which affects motivation.

  • Motivation can be created in an instant.

  • Motivation is not always the precursor of action. In other words, you can do what needs to be done with a little discipline and mindless robotic pursuit of a predetermined goal.

  • Action can lead to motivation.

  • Lack of motivation may be a sign of depression, but truly, this lack of motivation affects almost everyone.

  • We gotta know why we are going for our goals if we are to ever be motivated!

  • Sometimes our goals are bloody uninspiring, even to us, and we set them for the wrong reasons.

What now?

  1. Get healthy. Sleep more. I am miserable and physically and attitudinally (is that a word!) weak when I don't sleep well. There are plently of health blogs to support you with this.

  2. If you are feeling really down, speak to someone and get help. Talk to me or a doctor, hotline or friend.

  3. Tack your desired disciplines next to already built habits. It is called habit stacking and you can read about it here. Brilliant! Habits don't need motivation.

  4. Write down 101 reasons for achieving your goal to create an undeniable 'Why'. See if that gets a fire in your belly.

  5. Use your intuition to help you decide if this is really the right goal for you or if you feel pressured or actually uninterested in it. No harm scrubbing it off the list and making way for something that is really you.

  6. Give yourself a sweet slap down if needed. What would the world be if nobody acted without motivation? Great leaders may not feel 100% pumped all the time, but they act for the greater good. Can you make a concept of 'duty' the replacement when motivation takes a walk? Lack of motivation is no real excuse. Take care of it with one of the above actions. Yes. Action!

And finally, procrastination.

You can take care of this with any of the other tools listed on this post. But here is what you need to know.

  • We feel soooo good when we actually take care of business.

  • Procrastinating takes up so much mental space that we might as well just 'do the thing'.

  • Procrastination can kill self-esteem and confidence.

  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem lead to procrastination.

  • The part of you that inherently doesn't give a toss and wants to be lazy can have its needs met if you work smarter, not harder.

  • Procrastination can be a clue as to the inner workings of our mind and can be a compass pointing us in the right direction.

Take care of procrastination by:

  1. Habit stacking!

  2. Using affirmations such as 'I live life like a winner' or 'I take care of business' or 'I refuse mediocrity'. You cannot say that to yourself all day and sit on your butt.

  3. Start before you're ready should be your new motto. Stick it on your bathroom door.

  4. Schedule relaxation time and actually relax! Notice how when you feel deprived of chill out time, everything seems better than work, even when you know you want to hit that goal. Be where you at!

  5. Use the 10 minute game. Give yourself 10 minutes to work towards a goal and notice that you are pulled in my the momentum.

  6. Remind yourself of the end game and how amazing it will feel to be proud of yourself this time next year when you can say that your dreams are coming true. Even quickly imagining how crushing it would feel to not make progress can snap you into action. Then deeply visualise how you and the world will look and feel when that dream is reality.

  7. If someone else can do what you are avoiding and do it better than you, get them to do it. This is why I have a cleaner and gardner.

  8. Listen to your intuition and body. Are you avoiding this because it actually is not important? If not, what is?

  9. As soon as you have a hint of motivation, get straight onto what you need to do. We actually achieve more in less time when we are motivated, so capitalise on any feeling of excitement. Advanced yet simple tip- Whenever you feel motivated, click your fingers so that when you want to create motivation, a snap of the fingers can trigger that emotion.

  10. List your 'beating procrastination' wins or 'Dones'. It feels great and builds confidence for future lacklustre moments.

  11. Stop focusing on all the little tasks and do whatever has real impact. No more to-do lists. You know what really counts.

There a tonnes of other ways you can get a wriggle on with your goals. Share them with me in the comments and ask any advice about your particular situation. You are supported.

Above all else, know that if the goal is meaningful and it really lights you up, having utter faith in it happening and acting as if it will happen is vital.

Tell me, are there any other blocks you are having when it comes to your goals? Let's work out what is really going on. Once we do this, real magic begins to happen.

I can't wait.

If this was useful in any way, share it with someone who may be feeling a little lack-lustre about their intentions for the year. We are in this together people!

Xxx

All my love,

Bec

Let it Go...

I have always loved the wisdom of Disney films. Birthed from great stories and great minds, it makes perfect sense that their lessons would resonate so deeply. But like most lessons, we learn them only when we see the immediate relevance to our lives.

Today I have Frozen’s Let it Go stuck in my head. Except I can’t remember any of the other words. (‘I don’t care… something, something, something…’). Basically it is about turning your life around just by letting go. And, oh now is the time to do that!

In recent conversations with people, goals for 2015 are big on the agenda. Everyone wants to discuss them and I sure as heck want to hear them! I have seen lists as long as my arm filled with intended achievements for the year, some tremendous and some little wins that are in fact a big deal.

But with all these goals taking up mental space and physical energy, it may be important to think about what it is you intend to release or let go this year. Some of these releases take place naturally as you ‘crowd out’ with good stuff. Others we need to consciously decide to let go.

What are you ready to let go of this year and forever? What will that mean for your life? How will it support you achieving your goals? Brainstorm.

Whilst we have as much time and space as we think we do, I certainly cannot resist the ‘aaaaah’ relief of creating more time and space for the good stuff. Let’s look at what you can let go of in the physical, mental and emotional realms of our world.

Let go of practices. (Apologising for nothing: DELETE).

Let go of stuff. (Costumes from when I was a teenager: DELETE).

Let go of thoughts. (Good friends are hard to come by: DELETE).

Let go of emotions. (Anger at ex-boyfriend: DELETE).

Let go of an identity. (I am a shy hermit introvert: DELETE)

Isn’t it interesting how much we hold onto? It is even more interesting to reflect on why we hold onto such things for so long.

Letting go is miraculous. Just by choosing what you are releasing, you identify all the other areas of your life that will turn around as a result.

For example, if you choose to let go of eating take-away or fast food, check out what can happen.

let it go

Or what about letting go of procrastination? That has amazing effects on your mental clarity and understanding of what you do and why you do it.

let it go coaching

Here is a (in my opinion) fun activity to get you to understand the balance between having more and letting go. Write down a goal you have in mind for 2015 and then note what you can let go of to support you getting that goal.

Goal: Run a marathon

To let go: Shame of running in public to get myself fit.

 

Goal: Get a promotion or raise at my work.

To let go: Animosity towards my boss.

 

Subscribe to receive a fun little worksheet to help you do this. Simple and satisfying.

 

So how do you actually let go?

  • Affirmations and self-talk. ‘I’m done with that.’
  • Visualisation: Imagine you are rolling up that feeling or belief into a little ball and rolling it away. Or that you are dropping it off a cliff where it flies away and turns into something beautiful in the universe. Even writing it down and crossing it out can be a great start.

If you are struggling to release something you can also send me a line for some more ideas.

Share in the comments what it is you will let go of in 2015 and forever in order to create space for the wonderful. And if you let go of something in the past, tell us, how did it feel and how did it change your life?

Wishing you lightness and lovin’.

Xx

Becky

2014: It's a Wrap!

Hello spunky!

Don’t you just love this time of the year? With Christmas passed, and the holiday season leading us into the New Year, the gratitude for 2014 is overwhelming and we can almost taste the promise of 2015. At least I hope it feels that way for you.

I encourage you to reflect on the little wins you had this year and note those not so great moments that you survived and learned from.

Here are some of my key memories of this year and the events that mattered most to me:

·         I started a blog and created my own website.

·         I went camping with my father.

·         I created an online course in personal development.

·         Went to hospital for the first time, twice in one year. Once for a shoulder operation, the next for a severe migraine that left me dehydrated and unable to stomach water.

·         Found a keyboardist to work with and created demos of over 10 songs. We performed two live gigs and decided to focus on writing.

·         Lived with my closest childhood friend for about a year. Oh, and her sweetheart King Charles cavalier, Milo.

·         Recorded two songs with a producer.

·         Recorded two music videos with a cinematographer plus 4 fun live videos with a guitarist from the UK who lived with me for a few days. Check out my clips here!

·         Clocked over 70 hours of quality life coaching with clients I love with all my heart.

cute aussie baby

·         Spent almost every late Monday night watching downloaded TV series and cuddling Dan.

·         Reveled in my red-headed nephew turning one and growing cuter by the minute.

·         Trained karate when I could, with some pain. Far less than usual, but learnt to be ok with that.

·         Fell absolutely in love with my school students. Such a privilege to teach real people.

·         Had my best friend ‘break up’ with me. Still heart-broken.

·         Was an assistant photographer and faux-model. Got to bond with my man and be a babe!

·         Bought a wedding dress.

·         Had nude photos taken for a publication that condemns the censorship of nudity and the prevalence of violent images in the media.

king charles cavalier

·         Ended the year with a beautiful, intimate workshop and some moving phone calls with people ready to change their experience of life.

·         Got my own puppy, Oliver.

My highest moments were those floaty feelings after a coaching session, listening to a track I had written through the speakers in my car and saying I love you and hearing it back many times. And cuddling cutie pie pets!

This was the first year travel took a backseat. It is on the agenda for next year. My wanderlust, though, was satisfied by all the comfort-zone stretching that has coloured the days of this year.

There were darker times for me this year as well. Most involved convulsive crying at the news. Hating the helplessness I feel when my head is bad. Resenting people who are passive aggressive. Getting in trouble and criticized for not being ‘normal’. Seeing strong people I love get really sick.

And my big lessons that I will take with me forever:

-          I am a mirror to people and can bring up their pain as well as their sense of happiness and personal power. It is important for us to be our best selves so we can attract the right people and know that those who move on, like us, may have some growing to do.

-          Being who I need to be is far more important that getting goals. My most rewarding experiences were not necessarily goals, but by-products of being the kind of girl who thinks big and loves wholly.

-          If I want something, I need to ask. If I don’t want something, I need to say no. Sometimes that dialogue needs to happen within.

I would love for you to share with me how you will remember 2014. What lessons are there for you to wrap up as a gift to yourself and deliver into 2015 and beyond?

And what challenges do you believe are ahead for you? What are your goals? Who do you need to be? Can I help with these? Send me a line, gorgeous. That’s why I am here.

Wishing you a beautiful 2015. I am so happy to be a part of it, however big or small.

I live a fulfilled life, and you, my dear, have made that a fact.

Love always,

Becky

life coaching

My Favourite Way to Deal with Anger

This feels incredibly personal to talk about my struggles with anger, even if these moments are few and far between. For compassionate people like you and I, it does not feel right when this 'shadow' emotion feels so all-encompassing. In fact, I used to advise people to simple 'feel more compassion when anger arises', but have since shifted my approach.

The truth is, when I am angry, I tend fantasise about doing 'bad' or harmful things. Usually wanting to slash tyres, run away or say something nasty. Once, I even made a jazz song that vented how much someone annoyed me! These desires can create a sense of incongruence because I see myself as a 'nice' and tolerant person. If you have felt intense anger, you are obviously not alone. It is a universal secondary emotion (it stems from other feelings) and part of being human.

Today, I want to give you some of my favourite strategies for dealing with anger. I know there are more out there and that you may have other ways that work for you. Please share them here!

Feel it.

Acknowledge that the anger is there and greet like a visitor in your home who will leave eventually.

Wait. The anger will subside.

Often-times, after a day or so I feel pretty much zero emotion about something that made me want to throw a brick through a window.

Take your power back and do something for yourself to take control of any area of your life.

This is the best!

If you are angry that someone owes you money, take a step towards getting another client.

If your boss yells at you for a co-worker's mistake, do something nice for your friend.

This won't solve the problem, but it will help soften the anger. Because anger is so connected to frustration, it is crucial to prove to yourself that you have power in your life and don't just have to be reactive- you are creative.

And something more advanced, and deeply powerful. Ask yourself this one question.

What is this anger really about?

I have found, when I dig beneath the surface, that my anger is never really at another person or situation. Here are some revelations I have had when looking into my anger. Please know that these may be fleeting beliefs or ones that I have worked on eliminating and continue to combat. I want to destigmatise anger and be open to its lessons. Here are my personal thoughts that were only just beyond angry feelings.

  • I am ashamed that I offer my time wholeheartedly and feel obligated when people take advantage of my generosity. Why can't I just say, 'No'? Damn my lack of boundaries!

  • My own disorganisation could be avoided if I value my own time instead of allowing myself to be yanked in different directions til my life is a clusterfuck.

  • I deeply need that person's approval. Can't they see how hard I work? Why am I never good enough?

  • This is my fault and responsibility for being in a place where shit like this happens. I should just suck it up.

  • I am so messed up, no wonder this has happened to me.

  • I want to be special. I wish people would stop copying me!

  • It is hopeless. I am one person. How can I fix war? Am I a hypocrite?

Uncomfortable honesty right there.

What did you notice? A pattern of frustration certainly emerges. Or frustration with my patterns. A sense of not being good enough crops up. Hopelessness, ego, shame, guilt, fear.

Once we delve deeper, we can begin to resolve these beliefs and feelings.

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ― Gloria Steinem

Taking responsibility for these feelings and belief is super important. You can then make practical solutions to improve the quality of your life. (Note: Anger is natural, and doesn't have to be fixed, but can certainly transmute into learning.) For me, I can be more rigid with boundaries, have more open conversations and choose to feel like a leader (rather than feeling like a school girl being 'copied').

I want to know now, when have you experienced anger and what did you do about it? What was the anger really about? What have you learnt about yourself? Share in the comments.

I get asked about anger on a weekly basis, so this post is a long time coming. Feel free to ask me any questions here. I would love to answer them with you.

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward

All my love,

Bec

xx

P.S. Get on my mailing list to hear 3 other ways we can utilise and learn from our anger.


Shades of Subconscious

How to tap into subconscious thought

How did I end up reading Fifty Shades of Grey? It was an automatic purchase with an audio reader that I decided to get to make my driving time more productive. I would be lying if I pretended I wasn’t fascinated by the male protagonist and how he became a ‘dominant’. A lot of psychological juiciness there. But my biggest frustration with the book is the misuse of the word ‘subconscious’. The main girl’s subconscious was forever interjecting with comments and her conscious mind replied.

sydney life coach


In reality, our subconscious does not readily make itself known. It influences our behavior and the patterns that emerge in our lives, but its message can be elusive if we are not trained or prepared to hear what it is saying.
Our subconscious holds beliefs and scripts that shape our day to day existence, our feelings and conscious thoughts. There are ways to access our subconscious so we can plant seeds of positivity and heal limiting beliefs.

One way we can tap into our subconscious is to visualise our way there. You can imagine yourself sleeping, dreaming and moving down a stairway into your subconscious realm and from here you can ask yourself important questions or tell yourself something you want to believe.

The next way we can get answers from our subconscious is to ask a question and not settle for the first answer your brain gives you (different from what you feel in your body- intuition). For example, if you ask yourself ‘Why am I sick?’, your first answer may be ‘I don’t eat healthily’. If you keep asking why, why, why, down multiple layers and levels, you not only get to a root cause of a problem, but a subconscious belief that keeps you sick/unhappy/in bad relationships, etc.

We can also tap into our conscious by letting our body answer questions for us. There are many ways to do this, using NLP either alone or with a coach. Here is another interesting way- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHpEqlay4CM.

My challenge for you is to choose a burning question you have about yourself and your life and get a subconscious answer to the question. Once you identify this answer, we can work out whether it is helping or hindering you.

If you need support with this, let me know. I can guide you through meditative processes or help you get to a deeper level. There are some other fascinating ways to not only tap into, but alter your subconscious thinking. I can teach you these too!

Tell me, what answers did you get this week? How has it been enlightening and what ways forwards can you create?

Lots of love,
Becky

Practice of Fulfillment

When it comes to my life, fulfilment is the moment, the reason and the goal.

It is that feeling that matters the most, alongside love, although love can be more easily accessible than the elusive ‘state of being filled and satisfied to the max’. Many people can create instant happiness, but when it comes to utter fulfilment it is a next-level challenge. Thankfully, we can absolutely generate this. Here are 7 ways to feel more fulfilled according to moi!

 

7 Ways to be More Fulfilled

  1. Do something that you are great at. And do it often. There are different ways to work out what you are good at. One is to notice what comes easily to you. What do you generally feel confident doing? Secondly, notice when other people seek your help. What is it you offer them? You can also ask other people what they think you are good at. This can be enlightening. Lastly, you can train yourself up in a skill you would like to have. Again, you don’t need to be in the top 20% of that field/activity. You just need to feel like ‘Yeah. I got this.’ It could be baking, hosting parties, solving computer problems, lifting weights, coordinating outfits, playing an instrument, babysitting, etc. Please note, that this is not a ‘zone of genius’ exercise, where you work out your ‘expert’arena. This is about being able to share little gifts with yourself and others to keep you aware that your talents and skills are not going to waste. Feel like you have too many talents and that is your number one problem? Talk to me about that here.

 

  1. Do what you love doing. How do you work out what you love? What would you spend your time doing for free or if you only had months to live. What would you leave everything to do? What is something you love to do that seems too good to do every day? Even if you can’t do it every day, that is the one thing you should make time for to feel happiness. It is also fun to revisit what you did as a child. Whenever I look back on my childhood, I observe a young curly-haired girl (without adult ‘stress’) living a life that most people do not give themselves permission to enjoy. My favourite childhood activities are still my greatest loves. Here is my list of childhood fun. What is yours?

  • Writing poetry

  • Putting on drama ‘shows’

  • Playing with dirt, making shapes with the clouds and staring at the stars

  • Making up imaginary worlds with my sisters

  • Falling head over heels in love (or so I thought!)

  • Watching great movies and reading fantasy books

  • Writing songs

Now, the truth is that I rarely give myself time to read for pleasure. These days it is all for growth. And time with my sisters is always enchanting, though our get togethers are few and far between. But the rest is still part of my life. The child inside me knows what is best. Make a statement and take back one of your childhood joys! (Nothing terrible like frying ants with magnifying glasses! Seriously, my man used to do that!)

  1. Challenge yourself and dare to be uncomfortable. Growth= fulfillment. When we understand we have the potential for greatness, but aren’t pursuing that, we easily lose motivation and our sense of self can be skewed towards the negative. Focus on the gains of undergoing a challenging experience to combat the natural fear that comes with it. When we see that a great feat will lead to more personal significance and betterment, we already have one foot out of the comfort zone.

  1. Adore what is in your life now. Gratefulness and the act of noticing the good will quickly keep you in check and act as a counter to those moments when you are pursuing ‘more’. You are not lacking. You are simply overfilling the goodie bag of your life. Love everything in your life now and more good will come.

  1. Nurture your relationships. Give and receive love by staying in touch with people who matter to you and communicating how much you care about them. Even when you are busy or have a big vision for yourself and the world, remember to have intimacy and affection for those you cherish. If you desire a new type of relationship, go out and make it happen. If a current relationship isn’t working, seek help or let go with love if that is the only option. Having healthy loving relationships, platonic, familial, romantic or professional can make all the difference in feeling fulfilled as a social being.

  1. Give to others. Receive graciously and in abundance. But especially give. Maybe this is tied to doing what you are good at and what you enjoy, but nonetheless this point deserves its own place on this list. Giving equals happiness. When you contribute, you matter. Where are you already contributing? Where can you give more? How can you reach more people or make more impact in what you do now? This is a conversation you need to have with yourself. Or have it with me if you are stuck.

  1. Be you. Whoever you are now, learn to love and be yourself- a total, unapologetic expression of you. When you are comfortable with that and are not holding back your heart, your gifts and quirkiness, you find belonging and purpose.

There certainly are other ways people feel fulfilled (parenthood, world domination, total honesty etc). Share what makes you feel more alive and valued and loving towards yourself. And choose one action on the list and do it this month. Let me know how it makes you feel.

And I would love if you could complete this quick one question about your own sense of fulfilment.
How would you rate your current level of fulfilment? What is the one thing you believe you need to adore your life?

On a personal note, I would like to express my gratitude for allowing me into your life and for those emails and phone calls we share that make me feel like I am making a real contribution. I cherish you and am always here for you.

Let's fill up!

xx
Bec

Change... like that!

When you sit alone…

When you are walking down the street…

Or into a room full of unfamiliar faces…

Do you feel joyful, loving and confident?

Feeling like a goddess during my latest photo shoot.

Feeling like a goddess during my latest photo shoot.

Happiness and a sense of genuine personal power have become my default emotions. But every now and then, ‘the ‘crap’ clutters this space. And usually that crap has a name. Fear.

I’ll give you a couple of recent examples of when I have noticed happiness-thwarting fear disrupting my normal flow of healthy emotions. (Note: All emotions are normal and it is great to ‘feel’. I just consider love-based emotions healthier than others.)

Sometimes when I think of the music industry I feel enormous fear of not being conventionally beautiful or camera friendly. Yes, I do feel beautiful in the day to day, but in a practical and singer/songwriter sense- not really. I compare myself to other women and despite loving myself as I am, I notice this becoming a very real feeling. I even go so far as to strategise how not having chiselled features could be inspiring or part of my ‘thing’. But the process has a lot of push-pull and is inconsistent with the state of acceptance that does me the world of good.

My go to affirmation is ‘I am perfect as I am. My gift is worthy to be shared and I am worthy to be seen’.

Another time I let fear creep in is before certain social outings where I don’t know what dynamic to expect. (Cerebrally I get that I can control the dynamic if I wish). I find myself nervous and assuming I am different to the majority. In a recent Facebook comment, someone in passing called me ‘the life of the party’. I found this astonishing because before social events I need to psyche myself into going. This involves singing 90s techno songs!

Needless to say, I do have a great time when I go out. And if you are like me- deeply reflective, an analytical (sometimes ‘over’) thinker, then you can imagine how precious it is to have strategies to deal with these emotions.

I’m going to share one of these strategies with you today.

This is a state management strategy you may or may not have heard of, called anchoring.

Anchoring is used to get you into a particular state of mind. And to fire off an anchor, you execute an action that you only associate with that state of mind. In simple terms, you perform an action to make you feel happier, more powerful, confident, etc. And you do it whenever you feel that way and whenever you want to feel that way. This consolidates the association between the action and that feeling.

My example. Whenever I want to focus or remember something I click my fingers near my head and I immediately recall the needed information.

Whenever I want to feel enormously powerful, mentally and physically, I grip my toes in my shoes or to the floor.

To feel excited and happy, I do a little wiggle dance.

And to get prepared for (usually extroverted) fun, I sing 90s techno songs.

So let’s move to you now. What current anchors have you created by habit? When you touch your hand to your heart do you more easily speak genuinely as ‘from the heart’. When you look down for a long period do you become sadder? Tell me in the comments. What is an anchor that you may have created by accident?

Now, pick a feeling that you want to have at will. Confidence, happiness, love. Do what it takes to feel that in your body and really picture yourself having and enjoying the benefits of that feeling.

The next step is to choose an easy action to help you quickly engage that feeling by association. It could be clapping your hands once, a slow nod, stomping one foot, etc. Something you could logically do in a situation you would need this feeling. Practice doing that move and simultaneously experiencing that desired emotion.

Now, the trickiest part. Turning it into a real anchor.

You need to: a) use the anchor at the moment you feel that emotion. So if someone pays you a compliment as you feel your desired feeling (e.g. sexy), you immediately do the action to link the movement with the feeling. B) use the anchor whenever you want to feel this way c) visualize yourself firing off this move in multiple scenarios when it would serve you and really experience in your mind and body the sensations of that emotion.

And repeat.

Once you have mastered this, you will be able to quickly change your mood, state of mind and dominant feeling. There are ways to speed up this process which I do with the people I work with in person and over Skype.

I encourage you to share with me your anchor move and the state of mind/ feeling you wish to generate. I can let you know if it will set you up for success in this area or if your move needs a little tweaking.

There are so many factors that control our emotions and multiple neural pathways we have that can shape our mood and day to day experience. Rather than being happy all the time, the goal is to have the choice to change our state at will. Let me know how you go with this over the next few weeks.

I also want to tell both my local Sydney, interstate and international peeps  that I run a signature workshop that is taking place in December this year, but is also readily available for groups in other states and overseas who are ready for massive shifts in their life.

If you are from Sydney, click here for details.

If you are interested but not from Sydney, click here to find out about these workshops and how you can bring them to you.

Wishing you a wonderful few weeks. As always you have full access to email me at info.beckyshortt.com and chat about what is going on in your world.

Lots of love,

Becky

The Lazy Cure for Nice People

Now I am 100% for self-love. Doing what is best for me, considering the moment plus short and long term happiness and rewards.

But sometimes, I need to call to something bigger when my motivation wears thin. Maybe cerebrally I know I have to do something, but the natural pull of fear, distraction or laziness leaves me a little flat and finding the next episode of 30 Rock too tempting. That’s ok, not just because Tina Fey is a genius, but because procrastination and fluctuating levels of motivation and commitment are bound to happen, be they incremental or seemingly monumental.

life coach becky shortt

So what do I call to? If I catch myself putting off writing the last verse of a song, I say…

What if this song could change someone’s life? What if this was played at a party and lifted everyone’s spirits? What if this song is exactly what the world needs now?

If I feel too tired for conversation with a stranger (yet know it will be fun), I say to myself…

What if we were meant to meet? What if I can help this person with their biggest problem or burning goal? Who am I to be lazy, when we could be soul-mates?

It is ok to step out of the ‘me, me’ attitude and begin wondering how the right choice, won’t just be right for you, but the best possible decision to help the world.

We know that life can never be truly satisfying without caring for and adding value to our fellow man. Our families make us feel deeply fulfilled, and we are far happier at work when we know we are making a positive impact on other people’s lives. There is a beautiful parallel between what your heart truly desires and what will make the world a better place. Inspire, give and love.

Warning: I want to draw a distinction here to make sure this lesson is wholly positive. NEVER justify something that makes you absolutely miserable for other people’s sake, because how can you give your best if you hate your circumstance or the action your considering will do you more harm than good. For example, you wouldn’t stay in an abusive relationship ‘for the sake of the kids’ or quit the job you love and find a ‘real job’ just to make your parents more comfortable.

 You will KNOW the right choice. Doing it for someone else or the big picture will simply add more fuel to the fire and make you follow the little (sometimes less exciting) steps along the way. You move towards your path because others will reap the benefits of your amazing journey.

Keep acting with self-love and notice how being your best self naturally makes the world a better place.

What is it you know you are meant to do but avoid sometimes? How can you reframe this to make it more about others than just you in that moment?

Share with me here in the comments!

As always, I am sending you loads of love and hoping that this small action of writing this post helps those big-hearted readers stay on their goals and fight for their happiness and the needs of the world.

Love Becky,

 

How to Build Confidence: Part Four

 

Hello beautiful souls!

Today is all about intention setting and its role in building confidence. By asking ourselves the right questions, we can easily feel confident and energised about ourselves and the future. The advice today is in the same vein as writing down ‘wins’, although I daresay, it is even more powerful.

Intention setting is the process of writing down an affirmation of; a) what you want to get out of yourself, b) what you would like to prove or achieve today or long-term or c) a short or long term goal. There is so much to be said about intention setting and the best way to do it. I’ll show you what works for me, through this story about one of my not-so-average days as a school teacher.

Last year and in 2012, in preparation for any significant karate tournament I would wake up and write on both sides of a piece of yellow cardboard. On one side it said, ‘I am the champion’. On the other, it said ‘Why am I a champion?’. I would fold the cardboard and put it in my pocket and head off to work. With the powerful question, ‘Why am I a champion?’ at either the back or the forefront of my mind, my behaviour changed to champion-like behaviour. I would subconsciously act in accordance with this question and sometimes would reshape the look of my whole day to align with this question. You see, I really wanted an answer to this question.

Here are some of the changes I made when this was my intention:
 

happiness coach becky shortt
  • I prepared better for classes and was present and thorough
  • I ran up any stairs like a ninja (even if it was frowned upon by staff members)
  • I practised karate in my breaks.
  • I told everyone I was going to win the competition.
  • I ate raw capsicum (and struggled with raw broccoli) as a snack.
  • I visualised success and performing like a champion.
  • I changed my passwords to ‘world champion’.

At the end of the day, when I pulled out my card from my pocket, I would have legitimate answers to that question. I am a champion because; I eat raw vegies, I run where others would walk, I practise when other people rest, etc. In terms of confidence building, it was abundantly clear that I was making decisions that would give me the greatest chance for success. By the way, the above list is just what I did while I was working as a school teacher! The intention obviously had immense power when I was in the karate dojo (training hall) or at the gym.

When we ask ourselves the right questions through intention setting we notice was is already there and make better decisions while letting the universe add extra pep to the intention. (More to come on how things lined up when I set this intention on a daily basis.)

If you haven’t done intention setting this way before, then this is your official action step for the week. Intention setting makes every day happier and growth-oriented. Share your intention with me here. It should be one sentence only.

Advanced tip for people who already do intention setting: My personal struggle with intention setting is that when I write down my affirmation and powerful question I 100% know it will come true. This can be scary, and sometimes I catch myself avoiding the most powerful question I could ask because it would dramatically change my life. To get over this, I list everything that could be bad about getting this goal and affirm ‘Even though I will have to (move houses, lose friends, be a role model) I give myself full permission to (be happy, be a millionaire, tour)…’ One of my favourite parts of coaching is helping high performing people break through to the next level of success by identifying what is holding them back and then healing and intention setting anyway.

Tell me in the comments, which of the four ways to build confidence are you finding the most helpful? When are you making time for this? What could be holding you back?


Have a fantastic week!

Love Becky


PS. Many of my gorgeous clients are half-way through the 6-month Be Happy Mid-Year Boost Program and already getting amazing results in both business and personal success. If you want to work with me next year for six or twelve months, tell me a bit about you and what you are looking to achieve next year. Exciting times!

How to Build Confidence: Part Three

Research found that in a game of scissors, paper, rock, people are more likely to try to ‘draw’ rather than win the game when they can see their opponent’s next move. They still prefer to imitate, even if they get penalised for drawing. Mother’s imitate their babies’ facial expressions. We pick up mannerisms from our parents and those we look up to and spend time with. Even monkeys prefer the company of those who imitate them. So time to capitalise on this!

Monkey see, monkey do

The desire to imitate is so innate in people. Imitation is a subconscious sign of flattery, and something we are far more likely to do in our late teens when developing our identity. But what about after that? Or when we want to change our persona to be more confident?

Imitation can make the transition from ‘fake’ confidence to genuine confidence much simpler.

So how do we safely imitate people, without feeling like a total copycat? Well, you will never be exactly like someone else, but in different contexts, you can put on your character hat to give you more confidence and the consequent success of feeling good.

Choose a person who does similar work to you who you really admire for their apparent confidence. Imagine stepping into their body and visualise yourself moving and speaking like them. Tell me now, who do you look up to in terms of their confidence? Who would you imitate to give you a confident ‘edge’ at work? Or, perhaps you have noticed that you are imitating someone right now. Why do you think you have picked up some of their traits. Is it working for you?

Confidence can be about how you carry yourself. Your posture or the way you make yourself occupy more space with your stance and gestures. Men and women put their hands on their hips to have more of a presence. We puff our chests out or drape ourselves across furniture. We use bigger and more dynamic hand movements to validate ourselves as 'alpha-worthy'.

Who do you know who carries themselves well, be it in a professional space, a sporting activity or when with a person they find attractive. Notice the nuances of their communication and make it a game to become that person in your next significant or insignificant interaction. How do people react to you? How do you feel about yourself?

Rehearse putting on the various imitation caps. As part of your meditation or daydreaming, watch yourself in a montage becoming different people and enjoying their (perceived) level of confidence. Then replay that montage seeing the world from your own eyes.

Experiment with this new way to 'fake it til you make it' (see last week's post) and comment with your biggest insights after playing with this.

And as with all games of imitation, it is ok to take a part of a person you admire and make their mannerisms/demeanor your own. Chances are, they picked up their behaviour from someone they previous deemed worthy of imitation.

By the way, how do you feel when people imitate you? Share!

Now, let’s recap our current strategies for building confidence:

1)    List your daily wins.

2)    Dip your toe into it. Act out your dream role and notice how you are not as far away as you think from living that dream.

3)   Imitate the great.

Let me know how this is working for you and which tip seems most effective in your own life.

xxx

Love Bec

 

Dress Ups! How to build Confidence: Part Two

A colleague of mine condemned my best friend and I for ridiculously playing ‘dress ups’ when we record our music and make videos. He doesn’t understand why we play full out in our lives and become what it is we most desire. He doesn’t understand the ‘fake it til you make it’ is more than just a way to build confidence, but a way to make better decisions. After all, how do you know if you want something unless you are fully immersed in it? It is only by acting out the life we want that we gain better clarity about whether we are doing what we are meant to do.

When we emulate greatness, we close the gap between the lifestyle we have and the lifestyle we want. Between the people we ‘are’ versus who we want to be. This is powerful, because we can demystify what it means to be great. Often, it is not about who we are but how we act.

In acting out greatness we start to notice that we are closer to our goals than we realise. We are capable because we take risks. We are living fuller lives because we dare to play out our ideal life, even in moments, to remind us that our dreams are possible.

So building confidence…

Act out the role you want to play in life.

Until it feels like you.

Until you notice the power you have to be incredible.

This is how I took the leap into being a singer-songwriter.

To be honest, apart from one performance in high school, I hadn’t sung in public for over 18 years. I recall a time in primary school where I wrote a concert about ‘Space’ and sung it with my friends. It has been a long time since then and I have only just decided to be the singer-songwriter of my childhood dreams. It has involved taking bold action, considering my lack of training. But I plough ahead by doing things like sharing my songs, spending (perhaps too much) cash on recording singles, releasing live videos and recording professional ones. It has taught me that the glamour is an illusion but the art is real. That I care more about making music than making people like me. That when I am not creating I feel like a limb has been cut off. And that I would do all this for fun. And in terms of confidence I know that I am safe to take risks.

On the other hand it is clear that I have heaps of work to do. That I want to almost entirely avoid the process of touring and be extremely selective about my live performances. And that I would be absolutely happy entertaining people from a screen. Doesn’t sound like anything like being part of the music industry, but at least I have learnt what it is I want through practical experience.

If there is a dream you want to dabble in, go ahead. To be significant, you do need to go all out, but JUST to get your head clear about the life you want to lead, spend some time acting as though it already is your life. See how it feels. Is it a good fit? How would you lead this life on your own terms?

What could you do to see what life could look and feel like if you taste-tested that dream? For my talented fiancé, he started learning photography for fun and offered to take pictures of my brother’s wedding for free. Apart from producing some amazing first time work, he understood how he’d like to run future shoots, how much he did enjoy wedding photography and that he deserved to get paid for it. He also did a baby photo shoot and as cute as the images turned out, he knew it was not the direction he wanted to take with his professional photography.

Pretty great for just 'taste-testing' wedding photography. This is a shot from Daniel's first wedding shoot.

Pretty great for just 'taste-testing' wedding photography. This is a shot from Daniel's first wedding shoot.

A couple of days of taste-testing does lead to greater clarity about what you want. Not sure how to taste-test what you want? Ask me.

The next best thing to help you build confidence in yourself about your dream is to visualise yourself immersed in that life. Notice where you are happy and thriving. Identify the struggles and challenges and work out if it is all worth it. And know that if you can see it, it is absolutely possible.

What will you be dabbling in to see how it takes your fancy? Where will you act like a superstar and begin noticing that you are not as far away from your goals as you may think?

Tell me in the comments below.

Have a beautiful week!

Xxx

Becky

How to Build Confidence: Part One

Ways to Build Confidence: Part One

After a rather amazing weekend of working far less than usual, I am feeling incredibly refreshed and acutely aware of how tiny moments can drastically alter our mood. More important than the moments themselves is what we say about them. Often we frame these moments as being few and far between, or something we don't deserve to have.

'I know I should be doing something important right now.'

'If only I could have this much time every week.'

'Soon, chaos will come again' (Othello nerd reference)

Even I catch myself wanting to justify my free time, rather than just having it and enjoying it.

'Oh, it made me so much more creative. Look, I wrote a song!'

sex coach becky shortt

But this email is really about the beginning of my series, How To Build Confidence. And in the vein of helping us control our mindspeak, the first way to build confidence is to keep a record of all your wins. Big and small. By recording the wins that occur on a regular basis, we condition ourselves to think of ourselves as winners. And this builds confidence to take on the new, live bravely and feel deserving of our piece of glory.

When faced with a challenge, it is easy to get into the habit of worry and forget all the times we have had success and endured tougher times.

Every single day we have little wins or moments we show courage. Often without a second thought.

We want to bring these moments to our consciousness so that we actively remember and note how often we prove to ourselves that we CAN.

Try this for an exercise.

Keep a piece of paper or pocket diary with you at all times. Whenever you have a little win, jot it down and review the list at the end of the day. When there is a big win, highlight it and bookmark or stick it on the fridge for quick reference when you feel like the impossible needs to be done.

When you're stuck on 'wins' you can write down what you have 'survived'. The framing of this list may not be as exciting, but just as empowering. That means that if you have a shit day you can at least say you got through it and learnt something.


In case you aren't sure about what constitutes a triumph, I interviewed some darling teenagers about what they would consider little wins in their day. All of these are just perfect for not only building confidence, but maintaining positivity. Here are some mini victories that made their list:

'...waking up with the alarm and having energy to get out of bed!'

'...driving a manual car for the first time.'

'...when my girlfriend talks about our future together. She's the first girl I've felt this way about.'

'...completing a task that I thought was too hard.'

'...getting a fresh haircut...'

'...getting a good tackle.'

'…a good netball intercept.'

'...talking at assembly.'

'...becoming vice captain.'

'...paying it forward.'

And most of the rest revolved around food:

  • 'Lunch time.'

  • '...seeing mum after school (sounds sweet) cos she makes me dinner.'

  • '…having left over food in my bag that I find at the end of the day.'

  • '...making mum and dad happy by cooking dinner.'

  • '...when I know I'm having a good dinner.'

And darn good luck, like there being no traffic on the roads or finding 10 cents on the ground that's landed on heads.

A young man said that 'witnessing common courtesies' was like seeing a little win. I cracked up laughing because I had just stopped him playing 'the penis game' (a game where you see who can say 'penis' the loudest). This is why every day is a joy!

So what little or big wins have you had in the past? What wins did you have today? What reminds you that you should have confidence to go for your dreams and live every day with courage and faith? Share them in the comments!

Stay tuned for How to Build Confidence Part Two!

Let me know in the comments below how this win-listing activity boosts your confidence this week.

Lots of love,

Becky