How to Prepare to Create Connection

If you haven’t seen it yet, a woman is in her doctor’s office being asked routine questions about any pain she might be experiencing. With each question, the woman downplays her painful experiences, but her inner voice is arguing with her to speak up and tell the truth about how bad it really feels.  In the end, the woman says that it all feels awful.

 

I was listening to this ad for the hundredth time and an alarm bell went off. This is exactly what happened to me when I was dating all through my twenties and early thirties.

 

I remember so many of my dates where I was sitting across from a guy, and for whatever reason I lied to him about what I wanted, what I was looking for, or who I am. And every time I lied in order to be more of what I thought he wanted, my inner voice was quietly trying to advocate for what I really wanted. It would whisper “But you’re really looking for a guy that will treat you right and may be interested in marriage someday.” “You are nothing like this.” “He’s not that funny, why are you laughing?”  I twisted myself into a pretzel to try to become exactly what I thought he would want me to be. And then I wondered why I never felt a connection.
 
What I was missing all along was the truth. And I found it by asking myself what I wanted and who I wanted to be. I was preparing for my dates completely backwards.

 

In this video, I talk about ways to prepare for a date that have nothing to do with how you look on the outside.

 

https://youtu.be/bOlgXZwA9aE

 

No one teaches a person to ask these questions before dating. We say vague things like “Love yourself before you love someone else” but we never talk about what it takes to actually love yourself. Asking yourself questions like the ones in the video is the first step to knowing yourself better because you are actually being honest.

 

This is what I’m all about. Be honest, get clarity, then get what you really want. This is exactly the prep work you need to do to establish if there is a connection with the person across the dinner table from you. Because if you’re not honest and clear, there is too much standing in the way to allow for a connection.

 

What was your biggest takeaway from the video? What is one question you plan to ask yourself before going on a date? 

What I Learned Facing My Fears

Maybe you followed along on my Instagram my journey to face 40 Fears in 40 Days. I had so much fun with this self-imposed challenge. I did things like dancing naked, failing on purpose, giving blood, asking for help, and saying no.

 

It often surprised me that the things I thought would be scariest were actually easy. And the things that seemed simple are the ones that really made me sweat. I wanted to explore in writing my overall reactions and lessons from the 40 days. And I hope it will be useful to you as well.

 

•   Most Stuff Actually Isn’t That Scary.

I borrowed a challenge from The Four-Hour Workweek to lay on the floor on a public place for 60 seconds. My head was spinning all kinds of stories about what I would say if anyone asked what I was doing. I thought about how everyone must be staring at me and thinking how strange I am.  The 60 seconds went by slowly and no one said anything. I couldn’t even see people’s faces so I have no idea if they even noticed me.

 

I am so afraid of what other people will think, but the reality is that people are so busy doing their own thing that they don’t even notice me laying on the floor. No one asked if I needed help or if I was ok. What I am really afraid of is something that isn’t coming, and if it does come, I can’t do anything about it. Bracing for the worst was really just playing tricks in my imagination, not in the real world.

 

2. I Am Stronger Than I Thought, But Fears Don’t Actually Get Conquered.

 

When I had to ask for a discount on my coffee, I was sweating through my shirt. My heart was pounding and I stumbled over my words, but I took a deep breath, smiled, and asked politely. I didn’t get the discount that day, but figured that it would be much easier to ask for a freebie a few weeks later in the challenge.  

 

But I was surprised when I had the same problem. I had to psych myself up in the car before walking into the ice cream shop, and I practiced what I would say when I walked in because I was so afraid that people would think I was crazy. I was still sweating and nervous.

 

What I learned was that I still have some made up stories in my head, and I need to keep questioning them because THEY AREN’T REAL. It doesn’t magically go away because I did the thing that scares me, it is still there chattering its fear story in my ear. It’s going to take some time to break old patterns.

 

3. People Love to Support You.

 

I learned at my family reunion that even though my family doesn’t necessary “like” all my posts in an outward way, they are reading, processing, and trying the experiment in their own way. I discussed my post about making eye contact with strangers with my cousin, because she saw the post and tried it for herself. I was surprised to have this conversation with her because she hadn’t liked a post in a while so I assumed she hadn’t seen or read it.

 

But what I realized is that the people that care about me are actually being really inspired by the changes I have made in my life the last year. And when I gave blood and told strangers that I did it because of a challenge, everyone was so supportive of me and my fears about the process. It’s lovely to know people are rooting me on. I believe that human beings genuinely want to encourage and support each other, we are communal animals after all. We just don’t give each other the chance to do that.  

 

 

I urge you to ask yourself if anything I learned resonates with you. Ask yourself if you are sabotaging yourself in your imagination and you don’t even recognize it. I would be willing to bet that you probably are. Where are you willing to get a little uncomfortable?

 

Doing a lot of things that made me feel uncomfortable was extremely valuable to building my self-confidence. I feel stronger, I feel more willing to question my doubts, and I know I am capable of pushing forward. It also got me out of a few ruts where I was making assumptions. If you’d like to try some of my challenges, reply to this email and I will send you the PDF I created with all the challenges in one place. Try a few, see what happens for you, and let me know how it goes! 

Don't Find Your Passion

Passion is the new dirty word in the self help world.

 

For most of my life I have been seeking and pursuing my passion. I have read countless books and watched online classes and videos about how to find your passion and how make a living with it. There are people that have made their entire careers teaching people how to do exactly that.

 

I no longer believe in finding and pursuing my passion.

 

This is not because of failure. Many of you have watched me as I tried my hand at Arbonne, personal training, and theater all pursuing my dream and my passion. Each time I pivoted, I thought that this new thing was IT. Only in hindsight did I see that it is all really the same dream in different clothing.

 

And there is nothing wrong with trying on different items of clothing.

 

I heard a term a year ago and it described the new wave of entrepreneurs as “multi-passionate.” Instead of pursuing one passion, they were ok with having several passions, and the passions are not necessarily the end-all-be-all.

 

What I have learned about passion is that it can be fleeting. By nature, passion is meant to excite your cells, get you all fired up. From an evolutionary stand point, that passion you feel early in a relationship is meant to make the population procreate. That passion naturally fades over time so that the children can be raised

 

And if you get really honest, how often have you waited for passion to come along to motivate you to go for that run, eat healthy, or make a job change? Do you sit around waiting for passion to come up and grab you and stir up butterflies in your stomach? And if it does, do you trust it enough to act?

 

Passion is not meant to be inspirational. Passion doesn’t simply just come along. When we limit our thinking to finding that “one” passion that everyone says is out there for us, we inevitably get demotivated. Our thinking becomes tunneled. We keep seeking for just the “one” thing that is OUR passion.

 

It’s tricky semantics, the way our thinking plays tricks on us.

 

We each have one passion that is unique to us. We search for the one thing, and we get possessive. And then if we find anyone else doing the same thing that we think is ours, we despair and compare and think that the other person is doing so much better than us. Then we think it is hopeless and we give up on our passion and settle for less.

 

Sometimes it is a feeling of being paralyzed at not finding any passion at all. I used to wait for my calling to come knocking on the door, take me by the hand, and walk me down Easy Street to the path of happiness and success. I thought that it would be that easy. If I found “My Thing” it would all just unfold in front of me with ease.

 

I felt that I found my thing when I became a coach. It felt so easy, and I felt like I was aligned with a higher purpose – My Calling. But the path is hard. There are sharp twists that I didn’t see coming. There are challenges and struggles and tests. It’s a daily choice that I have to make to keep going. And I keep going not because of passion, but because of my long-term vision of what I want to create in this world. The point of my journey all along is that I am in line with my long-term vision of what I want to create for myself and others. It doesn’t really matter what vehicle I use to get there.

 

So how did I even find the things that I get passionate about and enjoy pursuing despite the challenges? It’s a process.

•   Notice what sparks your interest and makes you feel a little excited.

•   Pick one or two to commit to and pursue. Give yourself no less than six months to dedicate and practice.

•   Immerse yourself.

•   Get a coach or mentor to guide you along the way.

•   Tell your friends, and find a buddy to join you.

•   Keep going, no matter what.

These steps seem simple and easy. And that’s what I tried to do. I tried to keep things simple and easy to follow. It’s not always easy to stick to a path when things get hard. But that’s the point of 4 and 5- give yourself accountability to stick through the tough spots.

 

Passion just isn’t enough to get through the day to day slog on the way to finding success. And there is no such thing as One Perfect Calling (or Person). But we can find a thing that brings us happiness, and isn’t that the point?

 

When you look back at the paths you choose to pursue, and the ones you didn’t what commonalities do you see? WHY did you choose it, what were you trying to accomplish or gain? This is how I found my bigger vision. Even though the paths I choose don’t look the same on the outside, deep down I know why I am doing them. And that’s all that matters to me. I’m committed to waking people up, helping them become better versions of themselves. I know I’m walking towards that.

 

 

Five Steps to Find Your Inner Guidance

In a recent moment of frustration and confusion I threw my hands up, had a mini temper tantrum and yelled to the heavens “Somebody just tell me what to do!”

 

I used to constantly ask my friends to solve my problems. I would ask them what I should do, and then ask other friends for a second opinion. It became an endless search find what seemed right.

 

The process left me crippled. I couldn’t make a decision unless I got a friend on the phone to talk through it. I recently found a way to answer my own questions, and I have now taught it to my clients who have all been impressed with how easy it is to find their own answers.

 

Here is my easy five step system that you can start practicing right away.

 

1.  Sit in Silence.

 

Practicing stillness is very different from meditating. Stillness creates clarity and power. It will also help you discern between the internal loud, pushy voice and the still, quiet voice that comes later if you really listen.  

 

Turn off anything that makes noise. Sit, be quiet, and still for 10 minutes. That’s all. You can space out completely. There’s no need to think, or count your breath. If your brain won’t stop running, let it run. You just have to be still and quiet. If you fall asleep, that’s ok too.

 

Results aren’t important, it’s just meant to be a practice in stillness and listening.

 

2. Practice a Body Scan

 

One of the most useful tools I have learned is how to speak my body’s unique language. The more you pay attention the more it will talk to you, and practicing a body scan will help you learn this language. A body scan done on a regular basis will teach you how your body responds in various situations. I recommend that you practice this twice a day for a week. Keep a notebook to track what you notice. Look for changes from one day to the next, and sometimes noticing an absence is just as important and noticing something unusual.

 

If you do the exercise and you don’t feel anything, start by squeezing your thumb. Describe what that feels like. Move through your body, squeeze different parts. This gets you in tune with your sensations.

 

To do a body scan, give yourself 3-5 minutes in a quiet place. Close your eyes, and take three deep breaths. Focus on your feet and notice anything you feel. Are you clenching, is there tightness or tingling, or do you feel nothing at all? Move up your leg pausing at major areas, like calves, knees, and thighs. Next pause at your hips, glutes, stomach and lower back. Note anything you sense. Work your way up your back, into your shoulders and into your chest. Mentally scan down your arms to your hands. Then sense your neck. Finally, notice any tension in your face, particularly your jaw, the area around your eyes, and your forehead.

 

This will start to track how your body handles different situations. In the future, you will notice your body’s signals and will have a clearer indicator about how to act and respond.

 

3. Test for your Intuitive Yes and No

 

Did you know that your body will give you a physical answer for Yes and No? It is different for everyone, but there are a few ways to calibrate so you understand how to read the signals.

 

The easiest way to understand is to think back to your past. Think of someone that was really wrong for you- maybe a school bully or an ex-lover. Scan your body for the response. This is your “No.” Then think of someone that you have an obvious and uncomplicated positive response towards. Scan your body, and note what you feel because this is your “Yes.”

 

Test this in your real life. Do you want a smoothie or scrambled eggs for breakfast? How does your body react when you say each option out loud?

 

4. Make Mistakes

 

Making mistakes is one of the fastest ways to prioritize what really matters to you.

 

Test my theory by flipping a coin. Find a problem you have with two answers. Assign an answer to each side of the coin. Flip the coin, but no matter which side actually wins your reaction to the result will tell you what you really want.

 

I encourage you to make mistakes. Blunders will show you what you truly value. Observe your reactions, what can you learn from that, and how can you realign your life to live those values?

 

5. Balance Rest and Play

 

This falls under the title of “if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” When I am working, I feel like I am playing. I am completely in the flow of life and it is completely joyful. And when I have a task that doesn’t feel like play, I can turn it into a game or I learn to delegate and ask for help (like paying for someone to do my taxes).

 

When I’m not playing, I give myself time to rest, more than just sleep. I give myself a time to recharge, to do nothing. Like winter, it may look like I am not getting anything accomplished but this time is necessary to be ready to play and produce my best. Rest is anything from a nap, a good workout, or dancing. It is whatever I need to let go of expectations of producing and to instead just recover.

 

I encourage you to test this for yourself and tell me your results. When I started practicing, I felt clearer and lighter. I also felt more confident that I was making the right choices for what I really wanted in my life.

 

Recently, a client admitted that she came to me expecting to be handed all the answers. That I would be able to tell her what job to take to make lots of money and make her dreams come true. She wasn’t sure if she should apply for a job in marketing because it would give her more money. After teaching her these steps she firmly decided that job was a bad fit for her. She is using these tools on a daily basis to feel more confident in all areas of her life including personal relationships and her side hustle with a rapidly growing theater company.

 

That gift of certainty is something cannot be given from someone on the outside. It can only be created from within.

 

Why You Should Stop Caring About Shoes

They say bad things come in threes, you’ve heard this right? Like those days when it all seems to start wrong. You oversleep, then spill your coffee on yourself on the way out the door, and you just know that something else bad is going to happen. Of course, I am speaking totally from personal experience.

 

We see this happen with celebrity deaths, too. Remember when Bowie died, and we were all still mourning then came the shocking news Alan Rickman died? Not only were we sad to lose two great artistic geniuses, we all braced ourselves for the third.

 

I had a good friend email me recently that two colleagues were fired in the course of two weeks. She noticed she was holding her breath, waiting for the third firing to happen. It felt like it was looming.

 

She noticed herself waiting for that third firing, and felt inspired to write a little for me and for my blog. Here is what she shared with me:

 

“If you are like me, when waiting for the "third death" there is a looming feeling and a holding of the breath until it happens. I take stock of my life, friends, family and health. There is reflection of all the good and wonderful moments and also a sense of action: I need to exercise, eat better, set-up that will, take care of my s***!

 

I've been having this same feeling as I await hearing who might be the "third fired." I might complain about my job some days, but I really need it and mostly like it. I like my office and my co-workers and my paycheck! I like having purpose every day and being part of a team. I don't want to be fired! But much like death, it can happen--and for any number of reasons (either on my part or my company's part).

 

(then I stopped writing...if I want to keep my job, I guess I should do it instead of writing this email! haha!)”

 

Thanks to my friend for taking the time to write to me and share her thoughts about this because it made me realize we all suffer this. This phenomenon is also called “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

 

I am here to tell you to stop caring about the damn shoes. It’s not about the shoes, it’s not about waiting for a thing to happen, or bracing yourself for the worst.

 

Here’s exactly why you shouldn’t focus on waiting for the other shoe to drop.

 

When we focus on something, our brains are programmed to literally search until it finds the missing piece. The brain loves to solve problems. And the problem that is created in this situation is “something bad is going to happen, because it has to because of the law of threes.” So the brain will work and search until it solves this problem.

 

Rarely does the brain work to disprove this theory because we have set up a scenario where it says “Bad things come in three and this must be true.” It is like programming a computer, and giving it exact parameters. It is not giving an option to look for reasons why it must NOT be true, instead it is trying to prove why it must be true. It is just the way the code is written.

 

Here is the important thing. This code that bad things happen in threes is NOT true. When I searched for the third celebrity death after Alan Rickman, there wasn’t another major death for over a month (Harper Lee died on February 19). 

 

The rule of threes is a completely made up phenomenon. If you are looking for the third bad thing to happen, then your brain will most certainly find it. It will not rest until it does. Or it will get distracted by something else and choose to focus on that other thing instead.

 

So the next time you find yourself holding your breath and bracing for the third worst thing, the best thing you can do is recognize that is happening and then distract yourself. What is more important? I actually like how my friend said she directs her attention to taking stock in her life. What is working? What would she like to see improve?

 

Even better would be if you can use the good ol’ attitude of gratitude. What do you love in your life right now. Write 20 things. Yes, that might sound like a big number but remember we are reprogramming your brain to distract from feeling bad and waiting for something bad to happen. So, what is good? What are you grateful for? It’s even better if you can get really specific. A recent item on my gratitude list was “My soft sheets because I got a really cozy night’s sleep last night.”

 

Instead of looking for the bad, train your brain to look for the good. What is good about your day, what are the other good things that you can find?

 

And if you’re going to care about shoes, at least choose a cute pair that makes you feel sexy and awesome.

 

How I Went From Feeling Numb to Blissfully Happy

I used to work in cubicle hell. I was chained to my desk by a headset and a program that tracked the amount of time I spent answering calls or avoiding them or even time spent going to the bathroom. I traded my artist ideals for a steady paycheck with benefits. From 2007-2012 I answered questions about retirement planning and investments.

 

The statement “I hate my job” was true but avoided at all costs because that would be admitting that I knew how bad it was. I told myself I “needed” the job in the recession, and I should “be grateful to even have a job.” So I stuffed down the truth.  

 

I came home and ate bad food and binge watched bad TV while drinking plenty of wine. I put on weight. I spent my time with my friends complaining about how bad my life was. And my romantic life looked like one of those ghost towns in old Western movies – completely empty with the occasional tumbleweed blowing through.

 

My life was far from the dream I had of what I wanted my life to be. And to be honest, I didn’t even know what I wanted from my life. I didn’t even really know how bad it was until I was out of the job for several months. I wasn’t aware of how numb I had become, because I thought it was just ok and that I couldn’t expect better.  

 

I worried I would spend the rest of my life running on a hamster wheel and trying to climb a corporate ladder. I worried I would put on so much weight that I would become lazy and unattractive to any possible romantic partner. I was worried I was boring in conversations. I was afraid I would never meet my future husband and would never have the family I wanted. I was worried my passion for life was dying.

 

The worst part was I didn’t see a way out. I didn’t know what I wanted. And how was I supposed to even figure out what I wanted when I barely had the energy to drag myself to collapse on the couch at the end of the day?

 

I was stuck. I was living Groundhog Day- the same misery day in and day out without any sign of change.  I remember how numb I felt. I didn’t feel happy or unhappy, just numb. I listened to The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” every morning just to give myself some boost of happy energy just to get me through my morning routine.

 

Where do you even start when things seem hopeless?

 

I asked myself “Am I supposed to settle? Is this as good as it gets? Will I just hope that it will get better if I hang on for six more months? It’s GOT to get better if I just wait, right?”

 

And so I would wait, and things seemed to show some improvement. But it always went back to this feeling of dragging myself through, waiting for the weekend to arrive so I could be free. But when the weekend came, I was so low energy I didn’t enjoy it. And all of Sunday was spent dreading Monday.

 

That was no way to live. It wasn’t the life I wanted.

 

I was afraid that all of my greatest creative days were behind me in college. I was worried that I would never feel connected to my life again. I was worried that the happiest moments in my life would be taking a hot shower in the morning and drinking wine in the evenings.

 

My greatest fear would be that I would hit mid-life and I would look back at all the years that were gone and I would wonder “What happened to me? What happened to all my passion, drive, excitement for life? Who AM I now? I don’t even know myself, and I don’t like my life. I wasted all my best younger years.”  

 

I didn’t know how to change it. How do you stop going down the slippery slide straight into a mid-life crisis?

 

I started to change when I received a free unlimited month of fitness classes. I went to these classes and started to feel excited again (and really, really sore).  I started to lean into these classes two or three evenings a week, and I started to come out of my shell. I talked to the other people in the dressing room and after class. I talked to the instructor and built a relationship. I worked really hard for those 45 minutes. I researched healthy eating and working out habits.

 

My confidence grew by leaps and bounds. I was feeling excited again. I chased that excitement and kept trying to find ways to expand that excitement so I could keep feeling it more hours of the day. Just one little bit at a time, creating more excitement and happiness in the little moments.

 

That was ultimately how I got myself out of my funk, and started feeling excited about my life again. That is also how I got here, how I quit a really awesome job, and started feeling passion on a really excited about my life.

 

It wasn’t overnight, and I can’t say it was even intentional. It took years before I realized exactly the steps I took to bring passion back to my life.

 

Does this feel familiar to you? Do you feel numb in your life or like you are just coasting directionless? Do you see no way of stopping the slide head first into a mid-life crisis? Are you afraid that you’re settling for less than you deserve? Do you feel stuck and unsure how to get out?

 

I know those feelings. Let’s hop on the phone so I can hear your story and what you are going through. I want to help show you that the clues are already in your life, and you have all the power to get yourself back on course. I am sending you a lot of love because I know where you are, I have been there and I know it can feel like an uphill battle to get out. And I am here if I can support you through that journey.

But What Will My Friends Say?

Have you ever tried to march to the beat of your own drummer, but when your friends reacted with disgust, worry, or anger you abandon everything? Instead you try to find the drumbeat that everyone else hears. Does this sound familiar?

 

You are not alone. I do it all the time. I would say it is one of the contributing factors to why I had so many bumps in my dating life. I was quick to abandon my own preferences and needs and I tried to become what I thought my romantic interest wanted. And it is no surprise that all of these relationships ended with confusion and frustration. 

 

Why do we care so much about what people think? Even when I say I don’t care, there is still a part of me that cares.

 

Thanks to technology we are more connected that ever. It is both a positive and a negative. It is really great to connect with people you haven’t seen in ages and it’s an easy way to send a message to someone.  

 

Have you heard about the research that looks at what social media does to the brain? And I’m not just talking about just the over-hyped comparison of social media and cocaine.

 

Yes, social media sets off the same reward sensors in the brain as cocaine and sugar. The brain gets flooded with dopamine every time someone gives us a heart on Instagram. It makes us feel liked and connected.

 

Don’t get me wrong. These aren’t bad things. We as human beings love to feel connected! It’s how we survived when we lived in caves. It’s how we survive now in this world that is changing so quickly. We survive because we are connected to others.

 

But this same need for connection drives us to behave unlike ourselves. We make choices so that we fit in, so that other people like us, so that we are one of the herd.

 

Martha Beck calls it the Social Self. The Social Self is the one that drives you to do the things that will make you a part of the crowd. The Social Self drives you to do things like see the movie that everyone is talking about, drink at parties (even when you really don’t want to), or stay at the boring 9 to 5 job that you hate but keep for… some reason that you’re not really sure about.

 

The Social Self worries about what your friends will say. Your Social Self worries that you won’t fit in, that people will talk negatively about you, that you’re not cool enough. Your Social Self is driven by these dopamine-charged boosts that we get when we have meaningful connection. Because your Social Self is trying to make sure you can survive in this world.

 

But we don’t live in caves anymore. And social media can work for our Social Self or for the natural, Wild Self. And we get to decide how to use Social Media and which Self we want to Nurture.

 

Martha Beck calls this other half the Essential Self. The Essential Self is the part inside of you that is purely yours. The part of you that is just in tuned with your deepest desires, needs, and wants. It marches to the beat of your drum. The Essential Self is talking to you when you decide to dance (even if no one else is), you take a nap in the sun in the afternoon, or you take a walk in the woods at lunchtime.

 

The Essential Self truly does march to the beat of its own drum. It doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. It only wants to do what it wants to do.

 

Here is the really cool thing. Even though the Essential Self doesn’t care what other people think, and it only does what it wants to do, it will attract other people that agree. It will actually attract better people, more agreeable, and more fanatic and loyal people.

 

The idea is that like attracts like. And if we are being true to our Essential Self then people that are like us will find us and walk with us. If like attracts like and we are following the social self, it isn’t the natural fit for our soul. The connections aren’t as deep, not as meaningful.

 

If we choose to show up authentically on our social media and share the things that feel like it is truly who we are deep down, the people we will meet and connect with are going to be stronger connections.

 

When we ask ourselves “What would my friends think?” we are thinking with our Social Self. If we worry about what our friends are thinking, we are not making the deep soul connections that we could be making if we listened to our Essential Self. The Essential Self thinks “What do I think?” and it follows.

 

Where are you thinking with your Social Self? Where can you shift your thinking to ask yourself about your own guidance instead of asking what others think?

 

Mastering Learning the Hard Way

If colleges gave degrees in learning things the hard way I would have my Masters and be on my way to a Phd. My minors would be in stubbornness and mistake making. At least that would give me a piece of paper to frame to show something for all these mistakes and lessons learned. Right now, all I have is some wisdom that I am trying to live each day.

 

Since I don’t have a physical degree, I am going to write some of the lessons down so that they are in print, I can incorporate them on a deeper level, and hopefully they will also be useful for you.

 

The biggest lesson that I am still practicing on a daily basis is where to turn for guidance. I used to be a person that devoured books, courses, quotes, podcasts, or wisdom from friends in order to make my decisions. I used to think that the answers were out there. That everyone else was given a magical key that had all the symbols and their meanings and could tell me what I was supposed to do. I thought all these people who wrote books were special, that they had something that I didn’t because they had this book in print. Someone came along and bopped them on the head and marked them as #blessed or smart and that I had to learn from them.

 

I spent who knows how much money on courses and mentors and books and videos that I thought would share some insight that I needed to be better. All the while, I was looking at myself as not enough: not smart enough, not talented enough, not networked enough, not wise enough. I thought that I needed more books or more knowledge or more things to give me the answers.

 

Can you see the big “but” coming?

 

BUT that is truly all an illusion. What I learned, the hard way of course, was that there is no magical expert or magic wand to make someone more special than anyone else. Each one of us has special gifts and it is up to each person to bring their gifts to the world. You are your own expert.

 

I could give credit to the numerous teachers that helped me find this wisdom, because it was almost like I needed permission to do the thing that I already knew. I was getting tired of asking everyone else for advice on what I needed to do. I realized that everyone is just giving advice through the filter of their own experiences.

 

When I had a relationship fall apart, I realized I couldn’t ask anyone else what I should do. No one could answer that question. I had to hear what my heart was saying. I could ask people for support, but they would never be able to tell me what was right or wrong.

 

That relationship ended up not working out, but if I hadn’t listened to my heart and given it my best shot I would probably still be wondering what if? I would wonder if there was something that I hadn’t tried and if that would have been the thing to make it all better. Not that there was anything, but that’s how my brain works. It is always looking for how to make things better.

 

I’ve been practicing this for the last year and a half. Turning to myself before turning to anyone else. I still listened to podcasts, mentors, coaches, books, and courses but they are playing a different role in my life. I use them for research to inspire me to see what is possible in this gorgeous life we have. I use them to keep me thinking positively. And I use them for interesting conversations, I’m listening to more fiction and humor than I ever have in the past.

 

Where are you turning to outside sources to save you? What can you do to learn more from yourself?

How To Hire a Life Coach

I hear a lot of questions about what it means to be a life coach and how does someone go about hiring a coach. I decided to put everything right here. If I missed anything, please leave a comment and ask your question! 

 

What is a life coach?

 

Simply put, a life coach helps you create focus in your life to achieve the things you want. They help keep you mentally fit and strong so you perform at your best and show up as your best self in your every day life.

 

Think about fitness. Can a person workout and eat healthy foods on their own? Sure. Lots of people do. I go through periods of time when I am doing it alone.

 

But when I have a personal trainer or a health coach to help me make better choices, to push me to do stuff I don't want to do, and to stick to a regimen, my results improve. I go to the next level of my health. Maybe I would have gotten there on my own, but I got there a lot faster with help. An outsider perspective can also see the things that I can't. It's a lot harder to see things when it hits so close to home.

 

How do I know if I need one?

 

For most people, they have an internal hunch, like a whispering, that says "hey maybe you should check that out." Usually that hunch is pointing you in the right direction and I personally teach people to follow their hunches more often. Instead, what most people do is they try to find reasons not to listen to the hunches. But I digress.

 

A life coach might be useful for you if you feel stuck in one area in your life- maybe family or relationships, career, passion, money, health, or your relationship with yourself. Many life coaches have specialities, like a health coach or a business coach, but there are just as many that have a wide base of knowledge that can help in a variety of areas. Besides, you would be surprised how connected this are. A shift in your relationship to your health could actually also bring up issues that you have with your family.  The right life coach for you can help with these things.

 

How do I pick a life coach?

 

Check out their information online! Many coaches have gotten very dpsaavy with putting good content out for free so that they can serve a lot of Peale and also it let's potential clients get to know the coach. Sign up for their mailing list. Read their blog or watch their YouTube channel. Do you like his or her personality? Are you resonating with what he or she is saying? Do you want to know more?

 

Also, what are the practicalities? Do you meet in person or by phone or Skype?

 

Another great option is to sign up for a consultation call. Every life coach I know or have worked with offers a consultation call so you can get to know each other. Just like dating, you don't want to enter into a committed relationship without getting to know the other person and making sure you are a great fit. Use this session to talk about what in particular is bothering you and ask the important questions about how to hire a life coach.

 

Sessions with your coach won't always be easy, and you won't always end them feeling better. In fact, sometimes feeling unsettled and upset is the best way to spark you to make real change in your life. You don't necessarily need a life coach that will always be your peppy cheerleader, but you do need a life coach that will see you, hear you, and understand you. This person will be in your corner, your ally, but not your friend. It's an important distinction. Choose the person that makes you feel seen, heard, and understood and that you trust to get you to where you want to go.