Do You Try to Criticize Your Way to Success?

Ready for a shock? Take a few minutes right now, slow down and detach momentarily from your routine, tasks, and to do list, and contemplate this: As you go throughout your day, try to monitor/write down the thoughts going through your mind AS you try to attain those goals. Go ahead, try it now, just for a few minutes.

Did any of the following usually unconscious, autopilot, often socially conditioned responses come up for you?

Why can’t you do it right? Do it faster! You sure about that? What if you’re making a mistake? Maybe they know better than you? Watch out! You’ll never be good enough. You better wait, what if it doesn’t work?

Yikes! This programmed self-critic isn’t HELPING you in any way, but this issue has been coming up some recent coaching sessions, and because my coaching mantra is ‘It’s time to get out of your own way’ that means putting an end to any mindless, autopilot self-criticism.

The mind has thousands of thoughts a day, so we can’t possibly correct EVERY thought that comes up, but we CAN notice them, without attaching judgment. Then, try to let them just dissolve like a passing cloud on the horizon. Casually notice, then dismiss that harsh inner critic, and pay attention enough to interrupt any stream of thoughts that drag you down, de-energize you as you move towards what you want. Try it today, and see how you do. Do these thoughts HELP you in any way?

Are self-criticism, punishment, admonishment, etc., really the BEST you can do to move towards your goals?

You can’t criticize your way to ‘success’ and even if you can temporarily motivate yourself via this kind of negativity, it will be short-lived, and unsatisfying. Is that really how you want to live your life, turning against yourself, cracking that whip, as your best option for achieving your goals? When we understand there are far better ways to self-motivate, which actually make us feel GOOD, fill us with vibrant energy and self-worth (and thus, self-confidence), we can tell that inner critic to take a hike, because we’ve found a better, far more satisfying (and effective) way to be successful.

Try this exercise today, and identify three of your most common forms of self-criticism. Take a hard look at them, and then decide you’re going to release them and choose a more satisfying means of filling up your fuel tank. Write your own mantra, to train your brain to believe success is NOT attached to self-criticism. Before long, you’ll start ticking off that ‘to do’ list with greater ease, and FEEL good in the process. That’s the kind of ‘success’ I’m looking to experience, what about you?

For more information on coaching or to set up a consultation, CLICK HERE

The Art of Focusing on What You WANT

It’s no secret that Twitter can be a toxic landmine of hate and misinformation, but it can also be speckled with insightful (and ultimately inspiring) threads like THIS – which basically surmises that happy people talk more about what they LIKE in life, as opposed to what they hate. As I read it, I found myself shouting inside, ‘yes, exactly!’

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This thread is about observing happy people in Japan, but I’d say it’s pretty universal. I also realized this epitomizes what coaching is essentially all about: A daily practice of interrupting any habitual negativity, and re-focusing on what you WANT, rather than what you DON’T want. Simple, right?

If it were that simple, of course, everyone would be happy and living their dream life. I’m also reminded of what the amazing Esther Hicks has said so often said in her seminars and on YouTube (I’ll paraphrase): “Stop beating the drum of what you don’t want!” As this Twitter thread points out, negativity is almost an epidemic in America right now. What can we all do about it?

So let’s agree, we CAN start doing something, if we want to. But how often have we been caught up in complaining about what (or who) we hate, over and over again? What exactly does that accomplish?

I can hear many of you (myself included at times) saying ‘But it’s true! Look at everything there is to be negative about!’ No arguments here. But focusing on what’s wrong is ultimately a choice, and invariably results in stress and unhappiness. Not fun, not healthy, not useful. What if you deliberately focused on what you WANT to have, right now, for the next hour? Or day or week? What do you think would happen?

If you want better health, more inner calm and fulfillment, make that your focus right this second – choose to disconnect from that tedious (but often addictive, I’ll admit) chat room of discontent, and immerse yourself in good feelings of having what you want– which is often right here, ready and waiting for you, but we can’t see it because…we’re too consumed by what we hate! Do any of us want to spend another day looping in that dead-end pattern?

This leads right into of another mantra I love – it’s time to get out of your own way.

So here’s one practical step to get you started: Write down three things you dearly WANT — better health, a job you love, more calm, etc. — and focus on them throughout the day. Look at them often. Play around, feel as if you already have it, experience that fun, eager, happy feeling of the end result. You’ll feel better, so try it!

While thinking of a way to conclude this blog, I stumbled upon this Tweet, which is a fantastic reminder of why focusing on what you WANT really matters.

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So immerse yourself on focus more often on things you want. Stop complaining. Watch inspiring videos, share funny Tweets, support a worthy cause or start working with a life coach. Do whatever feels right to you, and watch how your life starts to change for the better.

It’s Time to Get Out of Your Own Way!

Read the headline for this story again. That no-nonsense mantra hit me like a ton of bricks recently during a coaching session with a client, and I jotted it down immediately so I wouldn’t forget. Over the years, I’ve interviewed incredible energy healers and wellness experts, and experienced almost every healing modality out there. It’s been amazing. But I’m realizing more and more that this one nugget of intuition might be the most simple, powerful strategy for ‘healing’ I’ve ever heard.

It’s time to get out of your own way.

headacheI think this statement applies to everyone. We’ve all been stuck (either for a short time, or possibly for many years) in some job, relationship, limitation or other unhappy circumstance. But our minds often find many logical reasons ‘why’ we can’t move on or get what we want: My boss sucks and doesn’t appreciate me. I’m too fat. I’m not good enough. People don’t like me. I’m not lucky. Other people are so stupid! Why don’t they appreciate me?

Do any of these sound familiar? What would be on your list? It’s unbelievably easy to fill our minds with all this noisy, negative chatter, and feel resigned to the fact that happiness and real fulfillment are (for now) out of the question. One day, maybe. After all, life is just too stressful, people are just too crazy, and there’s too much to do, right?! But do these statements help you get what you want, or do they just litter your own personal landscape, and slow you down?

Understandably, most people accept that they’re stressed out and stuck, and look for ways to cope with these feelings of powerlessness. You slowly forget that you have choices, and that you’re naturally equipped with a limitless capacity for change. So you muddle along, doing the best you can – stuck and in your own way. If that’s OK with you, fine and dandy. Don’t judge yourself, it’s OK to choose to stay the same.

But if you’re feeling adventurous and brave, I’ve found that when you take a moment to ask yourself a scary question – What role am I playing in any or all of these unhappy circumstances? – you can then start to see opportunities to break free, and get out of your own way. Hint: If you think the only reasons you’re not living at optimal levels are ‘out there’ or ‘their fault’ or ‘that’s just the way I am’ this is your chance to snap out of that inertia (blame accomplishes nothing) and start liberating yourself so you can achieve that big goal, or just be happier and more peaceful each day.

The fact is, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky, airy fairy New Age stuff: You CAN be happier and more powerful than you’ve ever imagined, once you learn to get out of your own way, and allow yourself to live life more freely. What would your life be like without that noisy, negative chatter weighing your down, getting in your way?

Want to learn more about how to get out of your own way? To get started, go here or fill out this quick and easy intake form here. For a free, 30-minute consult, contact me here. 

Are You Stuck in Approval-Seeking Mode?

Hate in any form is toxic and destructive, especially when you hold onto it. So while I’m taking a deep breath and letting go of the latest insanity coming out of Washington, I’ll direct my ire at an enemy we all share in one way or another: approval-seeking! Guess what? I hate it.

I know you’re not supposed to hate anything (or anyone) because as the well-known adage goes, holding onto hate is akin to your taking a vial of poison thinking it will kill your enemy. But this particular poison – approval seeking — drains your energy, individuality and personal power; needing and seeking and obsessing about the approval of others is energetic poison, and each and every one of us dips into this toxic well far too often.

The truth is, approval seeking is incredibly stressful — and exhausting.

So WHY do so many of us seek approval? More specifically, what’s wrong with being nice and seeking approval? Here’s the problem: Needing and seeking their approval is akin to saying, “YOU’RE more important than I am. I need you to approve of me so I can feel good about myself.”

So we dress a certain way. We conform, act and preoccupy our every move with fear-based thoughts such as “what if they don’t like me?” It’s safe to say that virtually everyone on earth has experienced similar thoughts like this one, sometimes hundreds of times per day. We get desperate to impress, to get more ‘likes’ and attention, online and in the world. But what do you think that’s doing to your true potential, creativity, and moment-to-moment peace of mind? The truth is, approval seeking is incredibly stressful — and exhausting. Life becomes a chore. Anxiety rises. How does that help you (or anyone)?

So ask yourself right now: Are you seeking too much approval in your life?

Start to observe yourself today, in everyday interactions, out getting coffee, at a meeting or even at home. Are you motivated by approval (“do you like me, am I OK?”) or by a genuine desire to express and share your authentic self with the world? Lingering discomfort, resentment, and anxiety can be an indicator you’re in approval seeking mode. If so, it’s time for some changes, because life is way too short to spend it seeking and needing approval.

Here’s a simple action step you can take today: Say to yourself ‘I don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy’ every time you catch yourself in approval-seeking mode. Write down or make a mental note of what happens when you introduce that fresh, empowering thought into your mental patterns. Keep doing it, and this will interrupt any toxic patterns of seeking the approval of others at your own expense. WARNING: Expect an ‘aha’ moment or two (or three) while practicing this.

Here’s a great irony: The less approval you seek, the more you tend to receive. Your energy and attractiveness go way up, because people sense that you genuinely like and approve of yourself – it’s infectious and liberating. Everyone wants to discover an easy way to start feeling good, and putting the kibosh on approval seeking is one of the best ways I’ve found to ignite natural good feelings and greatly increase your energy.

Interesting in learning more about coaching? Want to learn more about how to stop seeking approval, and living with more joy and less stress? To get started, go here or fill out this quick and easy intake form here.

What the Heck IS Life Coaching?

“I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling, traveling, looking for something, what can it be?” – Joni Mitchell

I’ll be honest, I’m not crazy about the term ‘life coach’. As a tennis pro/coach, I used to help people learn the grips, technique and footwork required to play better tennis. But how do you coach people to learn how to be happier, more successful, or break free of negative patterns/behaviors?

That’s the cool part about this work; I don’t teach, as much as gently guide you towards your own unique ‘sweet spot’ in life; where you can access your own natural abilities to express personal power in healthy, satisfying and fruitful ways; you can gain access to parts of yourself, your talents, abilities and self-confidence, you never knew existed. I can speak from direct experience, this is what can and does happen with coaching.

Learning to overcome a noisy, negative mind can result in clarity and inner peace, and with that comes an incredible amount of personal power.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t want to positively transform something about themselves or their lives — health, career, relationships, self-esteem, fulfillment, family, etc.? Who isn’t stuck in some self-defeating pattern or circumstance?

Assuming your answer is a ‘no’ let’s start with a simple question: Do you believe powerful change is possible in your life? Can you FEEL the change, right now? If so, then you can LIVE it out in daily reality, too. I’ve experienced this first-hand, so I can speak with authority on this. Sure, it takes some work, practice, inquiry and diligence to change old patterns and beliefs, but it can be done. This work instigates and fuels that natural transformation.

So much of this work is about slowing down long enough to get in touch with your truth, gently confronting your resistance and negative patterns by taking a closer look at them.

Looking back, I sure wish I had been able to work with a life coach who could have helped me align with my goals, and authentic self. But in lieu of that option, I learned and assimilated most of these tools on my own – it just took a lot longer

Coaching is ultimately about inquiry, in the here and now, and taking responsibility for your feelings. Exploring questions like: Have I felt inferior all this time, for a lie, for someone else’s benefit? Did I accept someone else’s definition of me as fact, when in truth, I outgrew that label long ago? This list of possibilities here is endless, and yet highly personal to you. Get to the deepest, most personal core for you, and challenge whatever negative belief you discover.

After being a professional writer for more than 20 years, I’ve learned how to communicate ideas, concepts and stories to others; for me, this work is a natural extension of that communication, and it’s tremendously gratifying to use this skill to help others.

For more information, go to my Coaching Guidelines page.

Or just contact me HERE. Or check out my BLOG (updated often!) for random musings on transformation and empowerment (or totally unrelated topics that might inspire and interest you!).