8 Signs your Motivation is Unhealthy

Business Health & Wellness Leadership Personal Growth self development Uncategorized

In the article Is your Motivation Hurting you? I shared two important types of motivation that are inconsistent, stressful and unhealthy, and the ideal balance of motivational drivers to have to accomplish your goals in a healthy, consistent and sustainable way.

This is a quick check to see if your motivation is healthy or not.

Here are 8 signs that your unconscious motivation patterns are potentially unhealthy.

  1. You are very driven and your drive is causing you stress.
  2. You are frequently unclear about what you want. You tend to defer to what your supervisor or your clients want of you.
  3. You care far too much about what others think of you. Your benchmark of success depends on what they say about you.
  4. You tend to work in fits and starts, with confusion in between.
  5. Things like looming deadlines and negative consequences are incredibly motivating to you. And you usually don’t get started unless one of these is in place.
  6. Your momentum and productivity is inconsistent.
  7. If you were the only one in the office for a week, not much would get done.
  8. You are motivated on a regular basis by one or more of the following emotions: anxiety, dread, fear, anger, revenge, terror, rage.

If you said yes to 3 or more of these signs, then you likely have some unhealthy motivation patterns running.  Either you are too extrinsically motivated or you are too avoidance/away-from motivated, or both.  

When you are too extrinsically motivated you are giving away control over how you measure your success and self-worth to others. You’re letting something or someone outside of yourself dictate how you feel about yourself. 

When you’re too avoidance motivated, you’re going through life focusing on what you don’t want.  That will just bring more of what you don’t want into your experience. What you resists persists.

Have a look as some of my coaching programs if you’d like to do something about this. 

Leave a comment below and let me know what motivates you and what you learned from this post.

How to Know if your Stuck

How to Know if your Stuck

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

How do you know if you’re stuck? In our hyper-active, multi-tasking society, it can be difficult to find an accurate barometer for ‘stuck’.  What could be considered a slower pace today, might have been overdrive a generation ago.

First let’s get clear on how NOT to know if you’re stuck.

Don’t try to figure out if you stuck by…

…comparing your progress to that of other people

…measuring yourself against what society says you should be accomplishing

…considering what your friends and loved ones say you should be doing

We live in the age of everyone knows best, but when it comes to determining if you’re stuck, only you will know.

It’s time to tune in to the wisdom within you. Take a deep breath and bring your attention into your centre. Notice what emotions you are feeling. And keeping your focus there, read on.

Here are some of the common signs that indicate you’re stuck.

  • You’ve lost your joy. There’s a dark cloud that’s set in and you’re unable to find your enthusiasm for life and your passions no longer spark you.
  • You are not taking action. You are either doing absolutely nothing or you are distracting yourself from the right action with unproductive activity. Exception: If you are on vacation or sabbatical or a much-needed rest, then lack of action is not a sign of stuckness.
  • Everything feels hard. It seems that everything is a struggle and you feel blocked at every turn.
  • You keep getting the same (unwanted) results. You are taking action, but it’s not producing the desired result.
  • Your outlook has turned negative. You’re feeling overwhelmed, drained, despair and/or you want to give up.
  • Your belief in yourself is waning. Your confidence has taken a hit and you’re unsure what you’re capable of anymore.

If after considering all this you’re pretty sure you’re stuck, then you might like my complimentary From Stuck to Momentum Guide available here.

Congratulations!  You’ve determined whether or not you are stuck and can now take action appropriately.  Either get some new resources if you’re stuck, or keep on keeping on if you’re not!

Until next time, be free… and wild!

Sue

How to Create your Life Strategy for the New Year

How to Create your Life Strategy for the New Year

Leadership life balance Lifestyle Personal Growth self development

It’s already December and it sure did sneak up on us quickly!  Within days, we’ll be into the holiday hustle, layering in more socializing, more shopping and more preparations into our already overloaded schedule. But life continues after the holidays! When will you build you 2017 life strategy?

It may seem like a strange question, but we create a strategy for almost everything else in our lives: our career, our business, our home renovations and moves, our children’s education… but what about a strategy for your happiness and fulfillment? For your learning and growth? For your relationships?

Here’s a Life Planning exercise you can go through in one evening or afternoon over the holidays, or sooner. I strongly suggest committing to a time with your partner and/or loved ones for this, to make sure you do it.

There’s a downloadable worksheet which you can grab here (no email required) to help you capture your ideas.

  1. Set your intentions and expectations for this process. You might decide to expect it to be lighthearted and fun, and that it fosters strong bonds and more alignment in your respective visions for the future. You can also set the stage for this activity – get some chart paper and markers, gather in a comfortable place (eg. around the fireplace), and maybe have a nice bottle of wine to share. What would make it an enjoyable tradition for you and have you look forward to it every year?
  2. Mine the current year for insights and learnings. First look at where you were on January 1st and what you experienced and learned through the year. What accomplishments are you proud of? What setbacks did you face and how did you respond to them?  How does this inform what you want to create in 2017?
  3. Revisit and re-dream your vision for your life. Spend some time imagining your dream life, and making any changes to it based on what you’ve gleaned from the past year. This is the place to get into your right brain space, assume anything is possible. Spend some time in quiet reflection and stillness, listening to the small voice within – your heart and soul. You may choose to solidify your vision with images and words as a vision board.
  4. Explore each area of your life to identify what you want to aim for in the coming year. Is it having something? Doing something? Or being something? Is your intention for a feeling or an experience or a tangible item? Consider every area of your life and ask yourself: “What do I want to create in this area of my life in 2017?”

That’s it!

Of course you can get much more detailed with strategies and action plans, but this is the high level direction for your year.

Be sure to take your analytical mind offline for a while in the process to really tune in to your heart’s wishes and your soul’s desires.

If you’d like some one-on-one help with you life strategy, please consider a session (or a few) with me to get more clarity and direction.

I’d love to hear what you’re planning for 2017. Leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time, be free… and wild,

Sue

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Business Leadership

Whether you are a business leader or a business owner, there’s an important team member that needs an invitation to the board meetings of Me, Inc.  That wildcard who must have a seat at the table is your soul. It’s the difference between chasing fulfillment and realizing it, throughout your life.

Imagine for a moment that an aspect of you had a grand plan for your life before you were born. There was a desire to have certain experiences and grow as a person in specific ways.  We might call this your soul theme. And you, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, created it and are now living it out.

Of course there’s free will
and chance, choices and serendipity, but deep down,
your soul is on a mission.

For one person, their soul theme might be about confidence and empowerment, for another it could be compassion or forgiveness, and for still another, a soul theme could be about power and authority.

It’s useful to know your soul theme, because you’ll be working layers of it all your life.  You will be experiencing the opposite of it first, each time you transform and grow into a new version of that theme.  In fact, your soul is relishing in the process every time you work yourself through another layer… whoop!!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel very good while you’re in it and just before you break through. But on the other side? Glorious!  And then life goes on and encounter the next edge of the theme to work through.

In our career and business planning, it behooves us to have our soul at the boardroom table.

Here are some of the questions you might like to engage your soul-level-deeper-knowing about:

  1. What is the pattern of the challenges that have been running in my work life?
  2. How is this affecting me personally?
  3. What is it that I really want instead?
  4. How can I create what I want and still have the satisfaction of progressing on my soul theme work?

It’s always easier to have these discussions with someone else, whether that is with a loved one, friend or a professional. When looking for answers from the soul, it helps to find a quiet place where you can really tune in to your body, your emotions, and your memories. The wisdom is all there within you.

Ultimately your happiness and satisfaction depend on getting your soul’s input as you move forward. So go ahead, call a board meeting for Me, Inc. and give your soul a seat at the table.

Until next time,

Sue

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

Business Leadership self development

I believe that every person is a leader, regardless of title, rank or position. You are certainly a leader of your life, within your family, and among colleagues and peers, if not formally in your role at work. And there comes a time in a leader’s life when they must ask themselves, “Am I leading from the highest possible consciousness level?”

As we evolve into a more awakened species (yes, believe it or not, we are on track with this!), we are experiencing even greater polarity between the light and the dark consciousness on the planet. It’s not that there is necessarily more war, violence, terror and evil than at other times in history, it’s that we have more contrast now, and more instant media exposure.

So what’s a leader to do?

Practice more Heart Conscious Leadership.

I firmly believe one of the best ways to make a positive contribution in the world is to evolve yourself. As the famous quote goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As you grow, learn, transmute and transform, you become a model for others to do the same… you call others forth into the next best version of themselves.  And you are creating an energetic ripple, like a pebble in a pond, which emanates to others you may not even come into contact with. As you grow yourself personally and professionally, you are raising the collective energetic… it’s quantum physics.

Heart-conscious leadership is connecting, perceiving and making decisions from the heart, rather than solely from the mind.

Leading from heart consciousness results in being more centred in one’s own skin (and truth), a feeling of being more fulfilled, and a greater connection with oneself and world.

Here are 5 ways to lead from heart consciousness:

  1. Inner Alignment.  You are aware of your deepest drivers of behaviour: your core values, beliefs and needs, and you honour those essential drivers by taking action that is aligned with them.  Your choices, decisions, and words reflect your values and beliefs to those around you.  When you are aligned and congruent, you model your values to your friends and colleagues through your behaviour.
  2. Serving the Common Good. Competition, scarcity and lack are aspects of fear-based consciousness. Your efforts are focused on cooperation. You see the win-win-win solutions and work to create more balance and harmony between people and between humanity and nature.  When you’re focused on the common good, you recognize that there is enough for everyone when the resources are distributed in a more balanced way.  You engage in initiatives that impact the good of all, rather than being beneficial to the few.
  3. Trusting the Flow of Life. You operate with an underlying trust and empowerment that allows you to be at ease with uncertainty. You have developed strong mental and emotional health, so that you’re not easily ruffled by unexpected events.  You know how to control your thinking so that in a crisis, you avoid being overcome by negative thoughts or feelings.  You have nurtured a faith in yourself and in life so that lead with joy, purpose and grace, no matter what arises.
  4. Connecting to Inspire. You are able to genuinely engage with anyone, building relationships and deepening trust.  You adapt your communication approach to match the preferred learning style of the other person, which results in inspiring, compelling and persuasive conversations.  Heart-Conscious Leaders use their advanced connection skills to build cohesive teams and inspire others to join the cause.
  5. Collaborating and co-creating. As a Heart-Conscious Leader, you build networks based on shared values and triad relationships.  Connecting people based on shared interests, missions and values, you recognize that your mission is too large to accomplish alone, and that the strongest teams and communities are based on the three-legged extended net.  The triad net, the strongest, most powerful human system, has very little, if any, hierarchy.

We are living in chaotic and disturbing times, and what’s being called for now is for us to step up and into the next best leadership consciousness possible. It is time for Heart-Conscious Leadership.

Until next time,

Sue

How to Get Un-Stuck and Create Momentum

How to Get Un-Stuck and Create Momentum

Leadership Personal Growth self development Uncategorized

It’s inevitable, really. At some point everyone experiences being stuck. It may be that you’re unable to move forward on your dream, or are stuck on a particular project, or you might be totally stuck in life. Whatever the stuck-ness is that you’re experiencing, you can shift it now to create momentum towards what you want.

If you’re ready to get moving, let’s get to it!

  1. Get Excited! Take some time imagining the details and connecting with the meaning behind what you want. Why do you want it? Be sure that what you want is reflecting your highest truth and is not influenced by others. Without a reason, there’s just no point. This is your opportunity to understand why this thing that excites you so much is truly compelling for you. Then notice how your MOTIVATION changegetting un-stuck winnie the pooh
  2. Start with Small Steps. Find the tiniest first step that you can take immediately. It might be to look something up online, or to buy a book, or to find those old notes you made and re-read them. Whatever is the smallest step you can take right now… do it! Then notice how your BELIEF changes.
  3. Celebrate each Action and Result. Before moving on, take a moment to acknowledge your accomplishment and feel good about what you’ve just done. If you want to celebrate the milestone, go right ahead. Then notice how your APPRECIATION of the journey changes.
  4. Action Several Steps in a Row. In a way that is appropriate for you, build up the size of the action steps and the rate at which you are taking action. You might take several tiny steps first before taking a larger step, or you might take several steps in one day! Aim to advance your progress as you go. Then notice how your CONFIDENCE changes.
  5. Follow your Rhythms and your Intuition. There is powerful wisdom in your body and when you follow it, your timing and inspiration will lead you to successes like never before! Your body has natural rhythms, so trust when it’s time to do certain tasks. And follow your internal nudges and ideas. These will guide you to resources you wouldn’t find otherwise. Then notice how your TRUST in yourself changes.

That’s it! It’s about focusing on the final outcome while taking action on the immediate next step.  You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t need to know the rest of the steps… they’ll reveal themselves to you in perfect time.

Join me on the 2016 NLP: The Secret Sauce to Success Summit where I’ll be discussing specific tips and tactics for shifting from stuck to progressing on your dreams! It’s free. And you’ll have access to 11 other expert interviews. Just sign up here.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Health & Wellness Leadership Lifestyle

We are hard-pressed to find a leader, an entrepreneur, or an employee who doesn’t want to be more focused, more productive, and less stressed. We live in the most fast-paced, over-stimulated, multi-tasked time in history. And focus has never been so challenging!

In fact, during 47% of our waking hours we are thinking about something other than what we’re doing. Another way to look at this is that roughly half the time, we’re not actually focused on what we are doing. Half the time!  We won’t bother speculating on why that is, however we might surmise that if we could change it, we would.

Mindfulness is the solution.

Mindfulness is the mental state achieved when focusing one’s attention on the present moment. That means we’re not focused on the past, reviewing events, analyzing what’s taken place, or feeling bad about what’s happened.  And we’re also not focused on the future, planning our next steps, imagining what if, or feeling worry or anxiety about some future possibility.  Mindfulness is having your full attention in the moment, on whatever you are doing, feeling, saying or hearing right now.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, one of the most common being meditation. And while thousands of corporations around the world are offering mindfulness training to their employees, there are so many different approaches, that there is still much confusion about what it is.

The benefits of mindfulness at work include

  • Improved mood and morale (increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions)
  • Improved productivity (increases focus, changes brain regions linked to learning and memory)
  • Better teamwork (fosters compassion toward others, enhances relationships)
  • Reduced sick leave (boosts the immune system)
  • Reduced stress

The simple approach to Mindfulness that I teach is mastering the combination of relaxation and awareness, so that the mind can remain focused, clear and present. This is a skill-building process.  Learning the skill of deep relaxation and the skill of heightened awareness, while training the mind to enter these states at will, provides us with a powerful asset.  Imagine what’s possible when your mind is able to remain calm and focused, regardless of what is going on around you and what you are experiencing.  That’s the beauty of mindfulness.

Here is a simple exercise that can help you right now.  It’s called Pausing to Breathe. It takes just 2-3 minutes, and even that will be challenging for many of you.  Begin by putting your pen or your device down and turning away from any screens.  In a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.  Proceed to take 5 deep breaths in and out, while you keep your focus on the breath.  Notice how it feels as the air passes through your nose and mouth, how it fills up your lungs, then how it moves out as your lung push, and the feeling of the breath passing your lips or nose on the way out. Use curiosity about the breath to keep your attention on it.  And ignore distractions for the full 2 minutes.  If your mind wanders, as soon as you notice it wandering, then bring your attention back to the breath.

Do this Pausing to Breathe practice several times a day and you’ll feel refreshed, centered and more focused.

And if you would like to bring mindfulness training into your workplace or group, let me know.  I’d be happy to discuss possibilities with you.

Until next time,

Sue

How is Your Energy Intelligence?

How is Your Energy Intelligence?

Energy Health & Wellness Leadership self development

Everything in the universe is made up of energy.

Your body, the chair you are sitting on, and the air you are breathing are all forms of energy.  Science has long been studying physical energy such as those in the diagram below, and yet there is another energy that isn’t as well understood… our own body’s energy and that of those around us. Your acumen with this energy is your Energy Intelligence.Energy Intelligence includes the metaphysical - often missing in standard forms of energy diagrams

What is it that you are picking up on when you meet someone and you instantly feel repelled, or attracted?  What are you noticing when you walk into a meeting and the air is thick and you know there is a conflict and strong emotions present. And what is it that you are gauging when you know that you feel drained of energy? When you’re feeling “high energy” what is that?  What is it that you are perceiving in all these cases?

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
– Nikola Tesla

This is energy of a different kind. It is a metaphysical concept that some call a vibe, chi, an aura, or an energetic field.  We call it the Human Energy System and it includes the energy body of each person and the energy of the inter-relationships between people and groups of people.  This energy system has a huge impact on our health and well-being, as well as our ability to function day to day, so it is in our best interest to learn how to tend it well.

There are ways to recharge your energy system when you feel depleted. There are ways to strengthen your energy system so it is less affected by others. And there are ways to utilize your energy system to provide you with information, healing or general well-being. There are also ways to transmit your energy intentionally to others. The first step is to begin noticing your own energetics, and knowing when what you’re sensing is yours or someone else’s energy. You’ll soon be on your way to honing your own energy intelligence.

A few years ago, when I was recovering from burnout, I had completely retreated and minimized my contact with people because I was so energetically depleted and I needed to be alone to recharge.  Each outing into the world of people required a much longer time period alone to recuperate my energy system. With the help of some gifted healers and coaches, I was able to stop the energy leaks in my system, and learn how to allow my system to receive energy from others so that I could create a balance of energy out and energy in.  As an empath, I had unconsciously shut down the receiving flow in order to protect myself from unwanted energy from others. I had been operating with a one-way flow of energy with other people, always flowing out to them.

Our energy system is simultaneously receiving and radiating energetic information. And our ability to allow universal energy to flow through our human energy system is key to harnessing our power as co-creative beings.  Physicists will tell you that all matter is energy, vibrating at different frequencies. The basic element of reality is consciousness manifested into energy.

What are you using your energy to create right now?

There is a new intelligence awaiting your discovery… energy intelligence.

Let me know what this article brings up for you… Questions? Curiosities? Skepticism?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Sue

 

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

Business Leadership life balance Personal Growth self development

If you’re reading this line, then something struck a chord with that headline. Why aren’t you happy? There’s something amiss, and only the deepest part of you knows what it is.

You’re living an amazing life. Career, family, home, social, travel… This is the stuff dreams are made of. It doesn’t get any better than this, they say. You’re living large and working hard. There’s lots of love, laughter and people in your life.  You’re driving a nice car and proud of the neighbourhood you live in. You’re a success at work and continue to grow your net worth.

So what’s the problem?

You’re feeling disconnected and antsy. There’s a part of you that is dying inside because it’s not being heard. You’re longing for more meaning in what you do, for deeper connections with others, for a greater purpose in your actions.  It’s not enough anymore to fit in, catch up, or win against others. That yardstick isn’t important anymore.

It’s time to listen to you soul… your wildfire within.

Whose definition of an awesome life have you been living? You were probably doing what you were expected to do. And now you’re here, but this dream didn’t originate from you. You need to question the cultural norms and beliefs you’ve adopted and create your own definition of ‘awesome’.

Usually what’s missing is more meaning, in one of these ways:

  • Feeling you belong
  • Knowing you’re doing your part and truly making things better
  • Feeling a sense of purpose, or deeper meaning to your existence

Finding purpose and meaning is a life-long quest. So start now.

Life is a much more exciting adventure when we’re seeking answers to these deeper mysteries.

And along the way on your quest, it’s important to know that you can be happy at any time, in any circumstances, with the right skills. I call this the happy-anyway strategy and it relies on a practice of conscious focus on your thoughts, as well as mind-body state management techniques.

It is incredibly empowering when you realize that you can assign ANY meaning to ANY situation, simply by choice. When you master your thoughts, you master your emotions.

And this is the paradox of life:  Accepting what is, while simultaneously wanting something more.  You might as well be happy while you’re working it!

Why Do You Want Money?

Why Do You Want Money?

Business Health & Wellness Leadership life balance Lifestyle Personal Growth Profitability self development Uncategorized

Why do you want money?!?  Sounds like a silly question, right? Like, duh! I want money because…

How did that sentence end for you? What was your first thought?  To be happy?  To relax? To buy X? To do Y?

The fascinating thing about money is that everyone wants it, but most people don’t know truly why, or are unclear as to what it will actually get them.

Money makes the world go round

Money happens to be the vehicle of exchange in our society, and is required in order to pay for shelter, goods and services. And so, while many of us might wish that we didn’t have to deal with money, that fact is, is that it’s a necessity.

In my experience working with clients on success and fulfillment, many people are chasing more and more money believing it will make them happy, but this is a trap. Research has shown that once a person has their basic needs met, there is no correlation between more money and more happiness.

You can, in fact, train your brain to be joyful and happy regardless of your money circumstances, but that’s a blog for another time.

Joy and happiness can come indirectly from what money can help you do, be or have, but if you are not clear on what those specifics are, then happiness will elude you.  In fact, if you are chasing money for money’s sake, you will never have enough. The acquisition of the money will feel empty, without some meaningful outcome that will bring you happiness.

Now, there are always money stories that we’re carrying that are not serving us.  These need to be released and healed.

And there are always fears and doubts around money, no matter if it’s about having too much or too little.  These need to be released and healed.

Regardless of whether you are wealthy or poor, whether you have an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality, whether your money situation is up and down like a yo-yo… unraveling your relationship with money in order to create a healthier one is life-long work; the layers run that deep.

The first task is to get clear on the impact that money will have on you. And to understand what you want to do with it to improve your life and create happiness.

What’s important to you about money?

The key question to uncover the meaning of money for you is:  What’s important to you about money?  When you uncover the deeper nuances of this question, you will know precisely what you want to create in your life with money in order to reach optimal levels of happiness and joy.

So, go ahead… Find your money-happy!

If you’d like to explore this further with us, our Money and Meaning Mastermind group starts in Aurora, Ontario on February 8th, 2016. Contact us to see if it’s a fit for you now.

And leave a comment to let me know what you find out about yourself.  What did this bring up for you?

Until then, be free… and wild,

Sue