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Reading the title of this blog you could be forgiven for thinking I’m a callous bitch who ‘deletes’ people from her life on a whim.
I’m actually fiercely loyal, loving and thoughtful. However, I am absolutely capable of walking away from a relationship of any kind if it’s not good for me. I don’t walk easily, and sometimes I should have walked earlier. What triggers this behaviour in me? Mostly, it’s a sudden raising of my awareness that person X is treating me in a way which doesn’t feel healthy for me. Sometimes I become aware of a numbness of my previous feelings for that person. I work on it first. I explore how I’m feeling. I consider what I want to do about it. Sometimes I talk to that person in an effort to resolve the situation. It could be a partner, a friend, a business acquaintance; these are all relationships which can affect me on a personal or professional level.
Has anybody sprung to your mind while you read this? It doesn’t have to mean somebody who has treated you badly. Sometimes we outgrow people, or relationships.
Do you find yourself always investing more in one particular relationship than the other person ever does? Do you feel resentful, angry or depressed because you’ve been treated in a way which causes you damage or upset? Maybe it’s time to do a ‘relationship audit’.
Look at your relationships with your partner, your children, your parents, your children, your friends, your work colleagues, even. Don’t only look at what you get from the relationship, but also what you invest.
Do either of you have characteristics or behaviour that is a relationship destroyer? Look out for: -
- Lack of trust
- Lack of respect
- Laziness (not making an effort – no investment)
- Abuse, of any kind
- Lack of intimacy
- Lack of healthy communication
- Lack of assertiveness – ignoring your own needs, maybe never asking for them to be met.
Sometimes you can set yourself up for consistent failure and unhappiness with relationships, all on your own. Do you have an unwritten, unspoken relationship ‘rule book’? For whatever reason (and that’s a whole different subject!), this will undoubtedly cause you heartache, over and over again. When people don’t abide by your rules, you’ll feel hurt, disappointed, angry and undervalued. It could take many years before you realise that you are the common denominator in broken friendships or partnerships. Write your rule book down. Reflect on it. Does it seem unrealistic when you see it in black and white? Consider easing up a bit.
When you’ve completed your ‘audit’, consider what you would like to do in each case. You do have choices! Maybe you will discover that you would benefit from having honest and assertive conversations designed to get back on track. Maybe you feel that you need to invest a little more yourself, whether it’s emotion or time. Maybe you want to walk away, to hit delete. Whatever you choose to do, do it thoughtfully, realistically and not in the throes of anger or other negative emotions. You need a cool head to do this kind of exercise, or you may regret your decisions later on.
Whatever you do, I wish you happiness in the future, with relationships that are mutually rewarding.
If you think you could do with a little extra support to work through this exercise, get in touch.
By Judith Flowerday
You really only ever need to start over when something else has ended. Endings can be unpleasant. Painful even. Often an ending feels like a failure. New beginnings can be unsettling and really scary.
A relationship, a friendship, a job or a business; these can all be devastating when you lose them. A bereavement. It goes without saying that losing somebody close shakes your world to its core. Then there are those goals that you were hoping to achieve, but somehow didn’t make it. Weight loss maybe, or quitting smoking. These are all situations where you have a choice, and sometimes a need, to start again. To move on. Experiences that are traumatic. They take a whole load of moving on from!
Often you get stuck and feel unable or unwilling to move on. You may find yourself clinging to what’s gone, sometimes without realising it. You can spend huge chunks of time reliving past experiences, and analysing them in minute detail. Emotional attachments become unshakeable and you can’t seem to free yourself.
Starting over doesn’t necessarily mean reinventing yourself. Sometimes it just means having a little faith and taking a few steps outside your comfort zone. It can boost your confidence and empower you. You’ll conquer fear more easily, and be open to opportunities and possibilities. That’s an exciting journey.
If this is you, and you think you’re ready to start over, try this: -
- Learn any lessons, in a healthy and balanced way. What did this person or situation teach you? You cannot compare the lessons you learn from experiencing something yourself, to those you learn from a book or a seminar!
- Ground yourself. Realign yourself with your values. What is important to you now, at this stage in your life?
- Where do you want to be, ultimately? Create a vision, with as much detail as you can manage.
- Make a plan. A realistic one.
- Take action. Baby steps just outside your comfort zone are fine to start with. Trust that it will be OK.
- Keep taking action, until you get there. Check in with your vision. It will motivate and inspire you to keep going.
- Finally, look back at your journey. See how you got yourself unstuck, and realise that starting over isn’t actually that scary or daunting, when you have the nerve to do it.
I wish you good luck, and success!
As always, if you need some support, ask for it.
By Judith Flowerday
Are you a complainer? Do you whinge about how crap your life/job/partner/boss/family is, to anybody who will listen? I’m talking about the chronic complainer who never takes action to change or improve anything, but just bitches about it. Is that you? How’s that working for you?
This is different to the sharing of woes we do with our partner or our friends. That’s a two-way thing. A mutually supportive kind of unspoken arrangement.
There are benefits that you may not have considered to your constant moaning.
- You’ll feel better. For about 5 minutes. That outpouring of whine is massively satisfying. Unfortunately, it all builds up again fairly quickly and you’ll feel just as pissed off as you did before.
If you don’t like the sound of these benefits, how about working out what’s going on with you? What’s behind your complaints? A general dissatisfaction with life? Turned into a stuck record about something that somebody once did to you and you can’t let it go? Can’t get anybody to listen to you any other way? Or is it that you feel really fed up with the way your life is or the people around you are, but it never occurred to you to do anything to improve things? Or maybe you’re scared of being assertive or making changes? “Would you like some cheese with that whine” or would you like to stop doing it? Your choice.
If you want to stop being a whiner, and you can’t make the change yourself, get some help.
By Judith Flowerday.
You think stress is something that happens to you? Think again. Here’s 5 ways you’re doing it to yourself: -
You’re too hard on yourself
If you’re indulging in negative self-talk or beating yourself up about stuff, that’s a guaranteed way to get, and stay stressed. Work out where it came, why you keep doing it, and stop.
Comparing yourself negatively to everybody else? Stop putting yourself under pressure to be the best. Everybody has different qualities and skills. You have your own. Acknowledge them, make the most of them and feel good about them.
Stop expecting too much of yourself. If you don’t understand, ask. If you don’t ask for guidance, information or clarification, what is going to happen? You’ll feel stressed and anxious. You could make huge and possibly costly mistakes.
Trying to please others
At work, you might find yourself taking on the work of colleagues, constantly being given new projects, or working extra hours with no pay. At home, you might find yourself constantly looking after children, entertaining, cleaning and generally wearing yourself out with no help from others in your household.
Do you think people will like you if you always run around after them? They’re more likely to have no respect for you and continue to take advantage of you. If you’ve got deeper issues that mean you are always looking for approval, get them sorted. Start pleasing yourself for a change.
If you are the kind of person who makes every encounter a battleground, stop it! Why do you do that? If you have unresolved issues, deal with them. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion until it gets out of control – then it becomes destructive, affecting your relationships at home and at work.
Try seeing the human being behind every annoying person. Everybody has their own issues. Everybody is doing the best they can. Just be nice.
If you’re one of these passive aggressive types, that’s still fighting!
When you put things off, maybe because you think they’ll be difficult or time consuming, they still rent space in your head. If they really need doing, stop messing about and just do them!
Being a perfectionist
If you find yourself spending way too long on something, consider if you are trying to achieve absolute perfection. If you’re a surgeon, sure, we all want you to be bringing your A-game every day. If you’re not, ask yourself if less than perfect is actually OK. It usually is.
There are lots of ways you can make life even more difficult for yourself. If you recognise any of the behaviour mentioned here, you will substantially reduce your stress levels when you get a grip and control your triggers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you have found it interesting or useful. Feel free to share it! You may also like to download our FREE ’8 Essentials To Beating Stress’. You can get yours here. If your stress levels have been through the roof recently, try meditating or self-hypnosis. You can access our ‘Be Calm and Happy’ MP3 here.
I’d love to hear how you get on, and good luck!
By Judith Flowerday.
We all do things we think we shouldn’t. We all do things we regret. I’m not going to nag you, because deep down you know what you need to stop doing or stop being.
It’s ‘Stoptober’, created in recent years to encourage smokers to quit the evil weed. But how would life, work or relationships improve for you if you were to stop doing those things that ultimately cause problems for you?
Let’s have a look at just a few of the different things you may have found yourself doing that you’d maybe like to stop: -
What thoughts do you have that get in the way of you being, doing or having what you want? Your thoughts have power. Power to make you screw things up, or to stop you doing things that could really improve a situation for you.
- You carry negative stuff around in your head from previous experiences. Stop it! They’ll get in the way of everything that you do. Make your peace with them, brain vomit onto paper or visualise dumping them in a virtual skip.
- You take your work stress home or your personal stress to work. Dump it!
- You worry about ‘what if’ and always expect the worst. You’ll screw yourself up and won’t change the outcome, but will stop you enjoying anything and taking risks.
- You beat yourself up about things you’ve done. Cut yourself some slack and lighten up a bit.
- You lie to yourself, and maybe to others. Just stop it!
- You feel angry or jealous of other people who are more successful than you. Why?! You can stop that right now!
- You’re scared of failing. This fear will stop you doing anything, including having a life or improving your situation. Failure is simply your discovery of another way not to do something, and offers you valuable lessons.
What have you believed about yourself, or others, that makes you think, feel or act in a damaging way?
- You assume you’ll have time to do or say things. If it’s important, do it now.
- You believe you don’t deserve happiness, respect or success. Sort this one out right now!
- You believe that you must achieve total perfection in everything that you do. Consider for a moment that less than perfect is often acceptable. Unless you’re a brain surgeon…
- You’re self-important. Nobody will like you and you’ll look like an idiot.
- You believe that everybody else’s opinions and desires are more important than your own. Not so.
- You think things will improve if you just wish hard enough. They won’t. You have to take action.
What have you found yourself doing that creates horrible and lasting results in your life?
- Your drag your personal ex-baggage into every new relationship. And you think that’s going to give you a good start, right?
- You fight with everybody. Life will be easier if you don’t make every situation a battleground.
- You medicate yourself with misuse of alcohol, drugs, spending or sex. Get real and get help.
- You’re waiting; for your life to start, for other people to make you happy, for other people to apologise. Move on.
- You manipulate other people to get what you want. That’s just nasty.
- You trample over other people. They’ll remember you did it long after you’ve forgotten.
- You think, feel and act like a victim. Take back your power and deal with your crappy stuff. It’s time to move on.
By: Judith Flowerday
These really are just scratching the surface of the things that could be holding you back. Now, over to you… What do you need to stop doing? When will you stop? No putting it off!
If you need some extra support to help you, you may find one of my free resources useful. You can access The 7 Wonders Of Your World And How To Enjoy Them here, 8 Essentials For Beating Stress and 5 Fundamentals For Boosting Confidence here. If you think one of my self-hypnosis MP3s will further support you, quote the code WBC10 to grab yourself a 10% discount here.
How fiercely do you protect your business against ‘competition’?
Are you actually being ignorant, and potentially not only damaging your credibility but also shooting yourself in the foot?
I witnessed a couple of incidents this weekend that took me on a journey down memory lane and also made me feel a whole range of emotions, from anger to sadness and briefly visiting a ‘ha ha, you idiot’ moment.
My partner had a stand at an event on Saturday. The guy has a real gift and I was proud and pleased to show my support for him. This was his very 1st event, where he showcased his shiny new Reiki business, amongst the owners of other wellbeing type businesses. The day brought family and friends who came to give their support, people who tried out taster sessions and gathered information, and enjoyable conversations with nice people.
One of the 1st stallholders I spotted was a lady (a Reiki practitioner, among other offerings) who had been a ‘friend’ on Facebook for 3 and a half years, until the day I had proudly shared my partner’s Facebook page. She unfriended me. Another lady stallholder who offers Reiki, among many other services, has always spoken in a friendly manner to my partner when she has met him previously. He saw this lady at the event and went to chat to her. She deliberately turned her back on him. Throughout the day a group of people representing another healing business sent the nastiest vibes imaginable to my partner along with a large selection of ‘dirty’ looks. Maybe you would expect these nurturing, caring, helping, healing kind of businesses to be run by those kind of people? Clearly not when they feel threatened. I am, of course, assuming they felt threatened. They could simply be incredibly rude people.
My partner was initially mystified by this reaction, and I’m sure he was quite hurt by it too. I was bloody angry. I’m still angry.
What these people don’t realise is that my partner has no intention of quitting his ‘real’ job and that he works away quite a bit. Which of course means that he’ll likely have to find other Reiki practitioners who he can refer potential clients to when he is unable to see them himself. Guess who won’t be getting those referrals? Ha!
In my 4+ years of running Dare To Fly I have seen evidence of this behaviour before. Last year there was some blanket Facebook unfriending and blocking of people who shared information about a service that the unfrienders thought would appear on their friends’ timelines and ‘steal’ all their clients. Of course, their clients wouldn’t have seen these posts at all. Why so ignorant?! Ah, so they think they’re protecting their businesses, right? Locking out the competition. No, they are actually locking out future referrals, recommendations and potential joint ventures. All of these could be incredibly lucrative. There is one thing they are gaining though, and that’s a reputation for being short sighted at best and stupid at worst. People talk, especially about things like this.
Fairly early on in the land of Dare To Fly I demonstrated this ridiculous behaviour myself. I visited a thriving networking event, that I really enjoyed, and was subsequently invited to join. Thank goodness the guy that ran the event was much wiser than me! When I said that I didn’t feel I should join because there were 2 other much more experienced coaches amongst the membership, it was suggested to me that I would naturally attract different clients, because what I offered was different, even though we had the same job title. Of course, he was right! Thanks for that valuable gem and massive learning opportunity Rich!
I believe that this ridiculous behaviour comes from a threat to our confidence, not our business. If we honestly believe that we do a damn good job and we attract the people who need us most, then we don’t need to close ourselves off. Don’t take years to learn this lesson, please. You will lose count of the wonderful connections and opportunities that you have lost.
By: Judith Flowerday
Stress is horrible. Short episodes are a nasty shock to the system but when it drags on it can really affect you emotionally, mentally and physically. Coincidentally, I worked for quite some time in very demanding roles and I too succumbed to stress on more than 1 occasion. That was a very long time ago, but last week my plate runneth over with lots of extra tasks and I went straight down that road again! Not a nice journey, so I got back in control and thankfully made it a very short one…
I’ve been blogging here and posting on social media this month about the different strategies you can employ to cope more effectively with stress, or maybe even combat it for good. When you are feeling stressed, what do you to relax? Here are some ideas that may help you to take the sting out of your stress: -
When you’re stressed it’s likely your heart will be racing and your mind either frozen (think rabbit in headlights) or acting like a crazed hamster on a wheel. Making yourself just stop can do wonders for chilling you out. Try taking your shoes off and feeling the grass or even sand under your feet. Listen to the birds singing, a clock ticking, the sea or the wind in the trees. Smell flowers. Meditate, or just sit and stare. Listen to that relaxation MP3 that you thought was a good idea last year… I’m not suggesting you knit yourself a jumper out of yogurt or howl at the moon but simply reconnect. And don’t forget to breathe too!
Get Your Blood Pumping Faster
No, not the kind of pumping it’s been doing while you’ve been tearing your hair out! I mean the make you feel alive sort of pumping… Whether you go for a run (or even a walk!) or dance around the house singing into your hairbrush, you will feel the stress being released. Don’t forget that there may well be other opportunities available to you if you’re in a relationship…the kind that you generally put off when you’re tired/stressed?! That gets the blood pumping, and reaps rewards at other levels too. Having a really good laugh will help. Go and search out a friend with a great sense of humour or watch a ridiculously funny film. Do whatever it takes to make you feel alive!
What kind of thing used to bring you pleasure before you became a stress monkey? Consider making yourself a ‘nurturing box’ for when you really need to be good to yourself. You can dip into a good DVD, a scented candle, a bubble bath, a good book, massage oil, a soft blanket to snuggle under. How about hugs and cuddles? Touchy feely stuff is great for reducing stress! Spend time with people who make you feel good; those who uplift you. Use your senses too. Listen to great music, look at beautiful scenery, taste wonderful food or drink, stroke your cat or things that feel wonderful to the touch, and smell things that make you feel good, like that super expensive perfume that you are saving ‘for best’…
And whatever you do, don’t only do these things when you’ve got to the point of no return! Make time every day to do things that relax you. Life is tough. Give yourself some down time.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Maybe you can rediscover a forgotten pleasure that will help you relax. I’d love to hear from you!
You may find the 7 Wonders articles useful to continue your quest for stress relief. You can grab yours here.
Or maybe you think the Be Calm and Happy MP3 would help you? Check it out here. Psst…If you use the code WBC10 at the checkout you’ll get an extra 10% off ;-)
By: Judith Flowerday
Whether you are self-employed or work for somebody else, stress is most likely to pay you an uninvited and unwelcome visit when you’re doing whatever you do to earn money. You may feel under pressure when dealing with those occasional tight deadlines, or you may be a permanent stress-head.
I’m guessing that you think stress is something that happens to you; an external factor that tries to screw with your life? What if you could improve your stress levels by changing something yourself? Worth a shot, right?! Let’s have a look at the areas that could be contributing, but with a bit of a tweak, could take the load off for you: -
The Stuff You Do At Home
If you’ve got money or relationship problems that you’re not dealing with or you’re crawling out of bed after 3 hours sleep (after yet another night of full-on boozing, drug taking or Internet addiction) you are going to be super sensitive to stress at work. Dragging yourself through the day wired on caffeine may make you think you’re coping but it’s simply adding to your vulnerability to stress. Get your act together and give yourself a chance! At least test the theory.
You’re instinctively thinking of a bossy, demanding manager or a whining colleague as being the only possibility here, I imagine. Yes, the anger that you feel towards people like that will sky rocket your stress levels, but there are other issues too. Competition at work can be a good thing, but more often will be a stressor, and if you are overlooked for promotion after giving everything you’ve got, you’ll be dealing with some seriously nasty feelings on top of that too. Coping with difficult people (or even those that you have nothing in common with) can also increase the pressure for you. It could be other people don’t produce the goods to your exacting standards so you get angry and now you don’t delegate. See clearly what drives you to distraction and then you can more easily identify what change you need to make. It could just be a change in your perception that makes all the difference.
Change at work is often perceived as a major trigger for stress. Your role, the systems that you use, the service/product, your environment, your boss, impending redundancies; when any of these changes happen you can feel unsettled at the very least and drowning/terrified at the other end of the stress scale. Do you need to view change in a more positive light? Would you benefit from a plan B? What will make you feel more in control?
Sorry, but if you are prone to anxiety, guilt or fear, super ambitious, lacking in focus or constantly worry about others’ opinion of you/your performance you will be contributing to your own stress levels. You’ll be attracting it in by the way you think, feel and behave. How can you focus on the job that you need to do if you’ve got that lot distracting you or dragging you down? Work it out.
Physical discomfort such as a work space that is too cold, too cramped, too noisy or with inadequate lighting is going to drip feed stress. Consider whether sitting or standing in one position for hours on end is helping. Maybe you don’t feel safe. Take a step back and look at how/where you have to work. What are you putting up with that could reduce your stress levels with a really simple change?
A deadline can be a really useful way to focus and become effective, but even if it’s a totally achievable goal, a deadline can immediately make you feel under pressure. Are you being realistic? Add to that a workload that you feel overwhelmed by and you’re climbing the walls. Over the top information gathering (before you even start a task) is a big time thief. You may think you’re doing the necessary research but are you going to the extreme because you’re scared of getting it wrong or maybe you’re putting off doing a difficult task? Talking of putting it off, we talked about procrastination last week. That’s another huge time thief. Take a good look at what you are actually doing with your time and how you could be wasting it.
I hope that you found something useful here. What could you do differently to put a lid on your work stress? I’d love to hear how you get on with that!
Thanks for reading.
By: Judith Flowerday
Procrastination. Not a very attractive sounding word. Not a very attractive habit either, if you’re prone to stress.
While you’re investing time and energy in putting things off, your stress levels can go through the roof! Think it doesn’t take effort to procrastinate? Think of all the things you do to avoid doing what you should be doing. I know I’m doing it as soon as I find myself doing housework! Even though you know you need to get off your backside and do stuff, you still sit there, just not doing what you need to. What’s that all about?!
Some thoughts about why you may procrastinate from time to time, or continually: -
- You’re scared of failure
- You think it will be too difficult
- You think it will be boring
- You think it will take too long
- You think it will be uncomfortable in some way
- You don’t think you have the skills to do it
- If you start, you will have to face facts that will be nasty
- You think it will go away if you just ignore it
- You think a skin of your teeth deadline is the best way to get stuff done
- You hope somebody else will do it for you if you leave it long enough
- You’re a bit of a lazy bugger.
…and what you could try that may help you kick the habit: -
- If you really don’t have the required skills, find somebody who does and delegate/outsource.
- Accept that failure simply means that you have discovered a way not to do something, and learn from it.
- Set yourself regular time slots to do stuff that needs doing.
- If you’re self-employed, give yourself a job mindset and set yourself working hours/days.
- Stop drifting and build some structure into your day/life.
- Set yourself reminders (for before the absolute deadline) to allow you time for delays, problems and changes and get used to feeling a sense of urgency around them.
- Accept that anything less than perfection is actually OK, unless you’re a brain surgeon…
- Visualise a positive outcome instead of doing the whole boring “I know this is going to be crap/difficult/embarrassing” thing.
- Get some accountability! Ask somebody to kick you up the backside if you don’t do it.
- Know what it is that needs doing. Take a good look at it. Really see it for what it is, or isn’t.
- Put stuff into ‘Important/Urgent’, ‘Should Do Sometime’ or ‘Bin’ piles. Get rid of everything in the ‘Bin’ pile.
- Understand that you could be storing up a whole load of seriously awful stuff if you ignore debt, relationship problems etc.
- At the beginning of your working day, prioritise, focus on the most important task for only 20 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes and then prioritise again. Repeat until your working day is finished. These short stretches of time will have 2 effects on you – they will fool you into thinking that it’s only 2o minutes, might as well, and you will feel a subconscious sense of urgency and get your finger out! Amazing how productive this method can make you.
- At the end of your working day write down anything that you need to so you can get some rest. Stuff that rattles around in your brain just takes up space and hijacks your energy.
- If you still struggle, do 1 crappy task and then 1 pleasant one. Don’t do it the other way round though!
Please tell me you’re not now sitting there thinking, “Yeah, that could work” and then doing nothing? Go and try 1 of these out! Let me know how you get on too…
If this is just one of the areas that holds you back you may find the 7 Wonders series of articles helpful. If you get around to reading them that is You can grab yourself copies here.
By: Judith Flowerday
How many times do you regret agreeing to something you never wanted to do in the first place?
Do you find yourself being the first to arrive and the last to leave, but you only have yourself to blame? Doesn’t stop you feeling angry though, does it?
Exactly how much stress do you let into your life by saying “Yes” when maybe you could have said “No”? Do you even know why you do it?!
You could be saying “Yes” if: -
- You’re worried that people won’t like you
- You think you’ll get that promotion, or you’ll be too valuable to make redundant
- You think you should be able to cope
- You think you’re the only one who can do it
- You don’t trust anybody else to do it
- You feel you have to ‘earn’ the right to say “No”
- You’ve got low self-esteem
- You can’t ask for help
- You feel guilty if you refuse
Whatever your reason for saying “Yes”, I’d like you to check in with yourself from now on and work out why, each time. If you’re agreeing to something because you want to do it, fine. But if it’s for any other reason, would you like to make a change? What would be the benefits to you of being a little more thoughtful and selective?
If you’re ready to make that change, try one/some of these: -
- Make a list of the things that you could stop doing, if you removed the emotional attachment to them.
- Make a list of the areas of your life/work where saying “No” would be really beneficial to you.
- Identify the areas of your life/work that would be improved, if only you were able to say “No”.
- Stop saying “Yes” unless you actually want to agree to something. Take a rain check. Say something like, “I’ll get back to you on that”. Consciously decide what you want to do and then give your answer.
- Learn to be assertive; to say “No” without feeling dreadful about it. You will get through the initial angst of assertively saying, “I’m afraid I can’t help you with that this time”. When you make assertiveness a new habit, people who used to take advantage of you will bump into those new boundaries of yours. You will feel empowered. I promise you!
If you have difficulty even beginning to be assertive, or simply to identify where your boundaries are at, get yourself some support or guidance.
By: Judith Flowerday