Tag Archives: confidence

The One Thing You Can Always Do For Yourself Right Now

This is one of the many techniques I’ve learned to relax and move forward in my life. It’s truly made a HUGE difference (ask my kids!) I learned it from coach Christine Kane, who used it as part of the process of healing her bulimia.

It works if you’re overwhelmed, confused, tired, or if you feel awry and you’re not sure why.

It’s a question you ask yourself:

What do I need to do to feel better in this very moment? That means right now.

Maybe you need to go to the bathroom.

Maybe you need a healthy snack.

Maybe you need to take a nap.

Maybe you need a bubble bath.

Maybe you need to organize and plan  your week.

Maybe it’s budgeting your expenses for the month.

Maybe you need to drink a glass of water.

Maybe you need to turn off the cell phone.

Maybe you need to close the door to your office.

Maybe you need to allocate time for returning phone calls.

Maybe you need to ask for help.

Maybe you need to clean out that drawer in your kitchen.

Maybe you need to find your journal and write in it.

Maybe you need to look at the sky.

Maybe you need to remind yourself that you’re doing your best each and every day.

Maybe you need to sign up for Laura’s Authentic Wealth Creation for Women Only E-Course. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s not even ready yet.)

The thing is, asking yourself this one little question gets you out of your drama, your hurt and possible confusion. It can also help you heal.

So many times we’re too busy remembering our tale of woe, how life is passing us by, how blah blah blah. This question snaps off the circuit of repeated unhelpful thinking and ruminating. It’s even good to ask when things are going fine because asking this gets you in the present moment and aware.

Put it in your cell phone, write it in your agenda. Email yourself the question.

What do you need in this very moment? What would make you feel better right now?

The Power of 7 Tiny Changes

I love tiny changes.  

They’re so doable, and can have such a big and immediate impact.

They’re really big with my clients, too. Yesterday one, we’ll call her Monica, was telling me about some teeny tiny changes she had made while taking my Choose Clarity and Confidence e-course last December.

She said, “I finally bought some accessories for the bathroom. For years I’ve been telling myself that I could live without them, so I never allowed myself to buy them.”

Fortunately, she had a bunch of coupons from Bed, Bath & Beyond so she purchased several items for a small amount of money. And 3 months later, she’s still happy with her bathroom. After buying the accessories, she was more inspired to organize her make-up and stuff. So one tiny change led to another, and now she gets to enjoy her lovely bathroom.

And you know what, she’s also gotten a lot of unexpected new business lately. Not bad!

We did some Tiny Changes in Passion Fruit Writing, but the most powerful thing of all about tiny changes is that you keep doing them. And they’re fun!

So, consider these tiny changes.

1. Upgrade your key chain.

A couple of days ago I noticed how pathetic my key chain for my house is. I have a lovely handmade key chain I bought in Venezuela for my office keys, and I enjoy seeing it every day. How many times do we have to look at our keys? So…that’s my tiny change for this week-end.

2. Buy a plant.

I bought a small orchid at Whole Foods at the end of December. It’s still blooming.

3. Buy a used not-fine-literature novel and read it in a coffee shop.

That suggestion comes from another client of mine. I’m going to find out what book she bought and see if I want to read it.

4. Visit Goodwill.

You never know. I found a set of great-looking furniture for my patio last week-end. If only the weather would warm up so I can use it! I also saw a set of golf clubs and a vacuum cleaner.

If you’re too cluttered, leave some stuff instead of buying more.

5. Bake something.

The act of creating is so rewarding, even if it’s as simple as baking chocolate chip cookies. If you’re on a diet, you could make a rich fruit salad, a super salad, or sorbet. (My buddy Sally’s been whipping up different fruit sorbets lately. She has a Kitchen-aid attachment for this.) I’m going to make gingerbread waffles tomorrow. YUM!

6. Clean out a closet.

Even though I just cleaned out my main closet a couple of weeks ago, I’m doing it again this week-end. Fortunately, that won’t take long and it’s so nice to look into an organized closet. I also tape up old vision boards in mine – just for fun. You can also put up art postcards in a closet.

7. Write a letter.

It’s especially nice to write notes on pretty stationery or post cards. Again, crafty Sally knows how to make post cards out of photographs and that’s so far out of my range. But, I do collect pretty stationery and post cards from museums. People LOVE getting a friendly note in the mail, don’t you?

What tiny changes are you making this week-end? Inquiring minds want to know. 😉

You Can Bounce Back Faster Than Ever!

Isn’t that the life skill?

To bounce back faster each time?

I just found out that someone has a purchase contract on MY house. No, not a house that I own, but I house I wanted to buy, at a very low price. This time, I was sad for only 5 minutes. That’s a record bounce for me and I was impressed.

Here’s what I think makes you bounce back faster:

1. You get enough sleep and you eat well.

I can’t tell you how many clients struggle with the simple issue of sleep. They often have a lot of GREAT things in their lives so that’s something we work on a lot. A few simply have to learn how to say “no” faster and more often. You’d be surprised how much brainpower goes into helping a busy, dynamic go-getter get enough shut eye!

When I was married, anytime I got annoyed with something, or someone, my husband would ask me when I had eaten last.

That used to make me so mad! Because he was right! Low blood sugar and sleep deprivation are FOR SURE going to make you react more negatively to more things.

2. Get exercise 4 or 5 times a week.

I know I’ve written this a dozen times already, but it’s the truth. Exercise is the best therapy for mood management. You don’t have to do an Iron Man competition. Walking 45 minutes 5 times a week is good.

This is easier if you’re eating and sleeping properly. And exercise certainly helps you sleep more soundly!

Any movement that gets your heart pumping is wonderful.

3. Practice daily (hourly?) gratitude.

Life isn’t fair.

And we are the lucky ones.

You know that, it’s just easy to forget, especially if you hang out with complainers.

Develop the habit of writing a list every day of things for which you’re grateful.

(Even though I know this, my coach is “making” me not only write my list, but “verbally” as in “say it out loud, Laura” all the things I’m grateful for.) I hate it when she’s right like that.

One of my clients recently got her husband to write a gratitude list. I’m sure she was at the top of that one — or else! 😉

4. Remind yourself of past times when things worked out for the best, much to your surprise.

I was never going to be divorced (Catholics aren’t supposed to, you know.) But here I am, happy with my life, doing things my way and having more fun than I’ve had in a very long time.

For the record, it’s not that my husband was the source of my unhappiness, it just took that painful divorce to get my attention enough to question my modus operandi. Some of us are hard-headed like that.

Lance Armstrong says getting cancer is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Imagine.

5. Consider that there’s an alternative interpretation of what’s just happened.

Maybe your boss isn’t about to fire you; she’s simply sleep-deprived herself.

Maybe it’s not about you.

Maybe you’re reading too much into this.

Maybe it doesn’t really matter, anyway.

Whether it’s self care or choosing the best attitude or interpretation of things, it’s all about habits. You don’t get fit in a day, but a little exercise everyday makes you strong quickly!

Bonus Bounce: I make it a “Be Extra Nice to Self” day.

When it’s a really tough thing to swallow, I declare that for the next few hours or the next day, I will be especially nice to myself. Usually that means a nap. And usually I feel better pretty quickly.

What helps you bounce back faster?

How Can You Be Even More Amazing?

To tell the truth, which I always think I do, I’m not sure about the answer to this one.

Electrolux says that if you buy their refrigerator, freezer and wine cellar, you are sure to be even more amazing.

They might be on to something. One thing I have learned is that your environment and your self care deeply affect your amazingness.

Since it’s fun to be amazing, I’m throwing out some suggestions. Please add your own. Then  we can all be even more amazing together.

5 ways to be even more amazing:

1. Drink OJ from a martini glass.

My coach finds this amazing. She always finds a way to bring this up, even though we’re discussing much more serious matters, like how I can legally punish our toy poodle for eating my mouth guard.

What I find amazing is that I inherited these martini glasses from my totally teetotaler paternal grandmother.

I think she would be like Sally’s mom, who used to drink wine in a coffee cup so her mother wouldn’t know. And Sally’s mom was in her sixties when she did this. If you’re not from the South, you probably don’t get this.

I think my grandmother called them sorbet servers. We prefer to call them martini glasses and used them for juice up until a few days ago. Now we actually own authentic juice glasses. I think, though, the juice tastes better in my martini glasses.

That picture is of the criminal mastermind who ate my mouth guard I bought to keep from grinding my teeth at night. Maybe I should try hypnotism.

2. Stop stressing about work.

Notice I didn’t say to reduce your work-related stress, just stop it. I did this pretty much 3 years ago, but that was really enforced in my coaching program last year. I can get annoyed at students, but I don’t worry about what to do to entertain them. I don’t worry if they’re really learning or not.

It’s just not worth it. So do whatever you need to do so that you feel relaxed about your job.

3, Stop overworking.

You know how we get into these conversations about being “crazy busy”? Don’t you ever feel that we’re competing to see who has more to do? I used to be the champion of this.

My secret to beating anyone at the “crazy busy” contest was this: I homeschooled, taught at ECU, and took graduate classes online toward my doctorate and had 3 freshly-prepared meals on the table daily.

These days I love it when people ask if I’m “working hard”? I say, “no, not at all.” That’s fun.

4. Go get a makeover.

Nothing drastic. Just go have your makeup done. I’m waiting for the official arrival of spring, but I do this twice a year.

5. Fix one thing in your room that’s bothering you.

I worked on my room a lot this week. It no longer looks like temporary housing. But there’s something rather embarrassing about my bed.

I have this lovely mahogany four-poster bed. On one of the posts, there is the sticky remains from when one of the kids put a large sticker on it. I need that sticky-removal stuff so I’m going to Lowe’s this afternoon.

That sticky thing has been on there forever. But I keep overlooking it. Then when I notice, it’s nutty!

What do you do to be even more amazing?

Good News for Perpetual People-Pleasers and Cookie Bakers

You know who I’m talking about. (I mean “those of whom I speak.”)

Those of us who have devoted much of our lives to making other people happy. Those of us who relish pleasing other people.

That desire to serve other people is actually and truly a noble thing. Admirable and humane in the highest sense of the word.

The thing is, if you attach all of your own happiness to the reactions of certain people in your life, you have set yourself up for failure.

If you can do something for another person, something you don’t HAVE to do, motivated only by the joy of doing it, you will not have a problem with feeling unappreciated.

Here’s an example of how I was confused about pleasing people and manipulating people.

When I was married, my dear husband used to travel a lot internationally. The children and I were always so excited when he would return, eager to hear all of his fabulous stories.

On one occasion, I decided that I was going to thrill  him by baking chocolate-chip cookies, and I timed it so they would be fresh out of the oven when he arrived. I knew he was going to be so delighted with this awesome gift of mine.

Only he wasn’t.

He breezed in, kissed me and went to find the children. The cookies were mentioned in passing, as in “Oh, those look great!” But that was not the reaction I wanted.

I wanted praise and recognition for this incredible gift of love.

It’s kind of like the last time I lived in Venezuela. My maid would bring me coffee each morning at 10. I didn’t really want the coffee at that time of day, but she seemed so pleased with herself for doing that for me, that I always thanked her.

So, was I wrong to bake the cookies? Of course not, the only thing that messed up was having expectations of a specific reaction. I love baking so if I had just made them for the sake of the pleasure of doing so, I would have saved myself from feeling unappreciated.

Does this sort of thing ever happen to you?

The Art of Being Your Own Best Friend

You know you couldn’t get by without your buddies – they’re there for you. You know what I mean; we love to read these forwarded messages about how much our friends really mean to us.

Being your own BFF doesn’t take away from these wonderful relationships; they only get stronger when you get on your own side.

It was one of my coaches who helped me see this. It’s not that I thought I was not being  friendly to myself, I really never had thought about friendship and myself in that way.

These are some signs you’re NOT being on your own side:

* You put other people on pedestals and think they’ve got everything together.

* You’re the first one to criticize yourself….and oh so harshly (you idiot!)

* You think other people know what is best for you.

(A symptom of this is always seeking everyone’s opinion on everything before you take any action.)

* You never invest in yourself. You think other people can invest your money better than you can.

* You don’t do special things for yourself. You think that other people close to you should do nice things for you because you do nice things for them. The thing is, life doesn’t work that way — as I found out the hard way. People follow your example — how you treat yourself.

One of the most fun aspects of working as a coach for others is giving my clients permission to trust themselves, and to take special care of themselves. It is so exciting to hear when one buys new bedside lighting for her bedroom, something she had wanted for years, but hadn’t bothered to buy such a “luxury” for herself.

Other clients have done things for themselves like buying expensive tickets to special events, cooking classes, fancy hair salons and hiring someone to clean their homes.

You will be delighted how much more other people appreciate you….when you’re your own best friend!

17 Things You Can Do to Stay Positive No Matter What!

Even though the economy is supposedly getting better, I see so many talented people who are feeling down. Could be the winter doldrums. A lot of people are feeling rejected because they still don’t have a job, or have experienced some other downer.

I certainly know what it’s like to feel rejected. I also know that rejection is a perspective that you can change. Here is a list of things that has helped me personally, and or my clients, to strengthen the habit of being confident.

Remember that your perspective is plastic, or can be changed. Worry, anxiety, and feeling depressed will never solve one single problem. While there is no magic pill or exercise to exorcise negative feelings, you can develop a habit of spending less and less time stuck in a negative spiral.

Negative thinking goes no where. It’s a circuit and the following things you can do RIGHT NOW to break that vicious cycle.

1. Remember that each diversity carries the seed of an equal or greater benefit. (That was Napoleon Hill.) To get this down, you must first realize that it is true. Recall any negative experience from your past and look for the benefits that you derived from it. If you look with an open mind, I promise you will find the benefit(s.) And even though you can’t see the advantages of your current adversity, they do exist!

2. Look for the learning experience. Failure is part of success. To achieve any single thing worthwhile, you must learn from making mistakes. The faster you make mistakes, the more you learn, the more successful you become.

3. Make taking care of yourself the top priority. Your getting exercise and rest is more important than getting out a resume. Anything that makes you healthier, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, makes you more confident. Confidence is what attracts jobs and clients to you. Exercise also gives your mind a rest from your troubles.

I find in yoga class that it takes all my concentration not to fall down on my face or backside. That’s 90 minutes of mental rest.

4. Stop shrinking yourself to make others comfortable. Here, what you need is simple awareness. I remember feeling so inadequate, so insufficiently academic because I wasn’t trying hard enough to get my writing published in certain journals. Finally I realized that I didn’t want that in the first place, and put my attention elsewhere. If you feel not accepted, you’re probably trying to shrink yourself to be something that you’re not.

5. Count your blessings. Hate to mention this, but if you’re reading this blog, you’re already in the lucky crowd. Reminding yourself of your blessings is the fastest way to turn your bad mood into a great mood.

6. Write in your journal. Writing has so many benefits, too many to mention here. (In other words, I’ll write another post about the wonder of writing. ;-)) Use your journal to be your own coach, therapist and cheerleader.

7. Get friendly support. This is not to be a whine-fest. You want to hang out with people who help you brainstorm new ideas. You know who to call. You also know who not to call.

8. Learn something new. Sign up for a class, read a book, do something to learn something completely new to you. This is what gets your creative juices gushing with new ideas and connections.

9. Read a novel. Captains and Kings was recommended to me. Get involved in fictional drama, it will be a relief from your own.

10. Put time limits on your worry time. Worry is praying for what you don’t want to happen. Allow yourself time to worry, to have an immense pity-party, to lie down in fetal position. But…only for one day, or one afternoon. Savor each minute of anxiety, then go on to something else.

11. This, too, shall pass.

12. Write down a list of past successes and achievements. You got through kindergarten, high school, and probably college. What else have you achieved already?

13. Volunteer. There are two strategies I know to this. One is to volunteer in an area where you’ll meet people related to your professional field. The other is to help out people who are far less fortunate than yourself. Either way, you won’t have much time for stinkin’ thinking.

14. Bake cookies. Yes, I know the problem with this is eating the delicious, home-baked cookies. Fortunately I have kids at home who ensure the cookies never last long. You can always share them. Or not. 😉

15. Go on vacation. Think about it. When was the last time you went on vacation? Is there anyone you could visit for a few days? I had the most delicious stay-cation in December — completely recharged my batteries. If you’re unemployed, take advantage and take some form of vacation.

16. Go to the Humane Society or other animal shelter and bring home a new family member.

17. Write out how you’d like your life to be. Do not include what is not working write now. Simply write a description of your ideal day, your ideal job, your ideal life. Getting specific on the target makes it easier for your brain to find the way to manifest this reality.