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

Extreme Self-Care for the Holidays

Extreme Self-Care for the Holidays

Health & Wellness life balance Lifestyle Personal Growth

How to get your needs met so you can enjoy every moment

Dear Brave One,

You deserve to be relaxed, rested and fulfilled during the holidays, and it demands extreme self-care.

Who’s job is it to get your needs met?

Yes, it’s yours. Too often we have this unspoken expectation that others will know what we need and take care of it for us.  And sometimes, when that doesn’t happen, we feel resentful and bitter.  Well, not anymore…

The Holidays… Your Time!

In this little guide, I’m going to show you how to maintain your energy and your sanity during the holidays, by getting clear on your needs and planning your time to get them met!  It’s your responsibility to get your needs met.  And your life will be incredibly more fulfilling when you do!get your needs met first

We’re often so worried about being “selfish” that we neglect ourselves terribly. And the result is stress, frustration and burnout – certainly not a combination we want for the holidays.  It is your job
to be selfish because if you don’t take care of your Self, then you won’t be able to give of yourself to those around you who need you.

Strap on your seat belts and join me on this little journey…

How Do You Want to Feel?

First, get clear on how you want to feel during the holidays.  What are your desired emotions for this magical time of year?  Use the list of Emotions at www.suebowe.com/emotions-list and select your top 15 emotions, then narrow it down to 10, and then select your top 5 emotions that reflect how you want to feel during the holidays.  Write them down now.

Which Personal Needs are the Priority?

Using your top 5 feelings as your guide, and the list of Personal Needs at www.suebowe.com/needs-list, go through a selection process again, first selecting your top 15 needs, then 10, then top 5 core needs that are a priority for you this holiday season.  Write them down in a column on the left side of your paper.

Now for each of your top 5 needs, make some notes on ideas for healthy ways to meet that need, and how often you would want to have or experience each thing.  Get specific.  Here’s an example…

 

Personal Need Healthy Ways to Meet that Need How Often
Solitude

 

Luxurious epsom salts and essential oils bath with candles and music for 45 min 1 / week

 

Schedule it in Your Calendar!

Now, pull up your calendar, and schedule the blocks of time into it now, in this order:

  1. The time for the activities (above) to meet your prioritized needs daily and weekly (even if you don’t know the specific activity yet, block in the time!).
  2. One entire unstructured, unscheduled, delicious day to do whatever you spontaneously choose to do!
  3. The events you’ve committed to with family, friends, and work.

… in that order.

Protect your self-time in your calendar with a passion, and you will be happier and more pleasurable to be around!

You did it!  You’re ready to enjoy the holidays with balance, ease and grace.

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

Life… What’s the Point?

Life… What’s the Point?

Existentialism Personal Growth self development

I’ve been fascinated with the mysteries of life for quite some time, and I’ve heard many theories about the question, “What’s the point of life?” Some people never give this question much thought – they live their lives, happily unaware or unwilling to see that there might be a deeper reason for being in the world.

I was like that once… until I woke up. To myself. And to Life. You could say I took the red pill that Neo chose in the Matrix. I realized I had been living on autopilot, and I became aware that I was hungry for a more expanded world view.

There are many in the world who would argue that the point is simply survival of the fittest. Our sole purpose is to live as long and as well as possible, and procreate to leave a legacy by way of a lineage. I don’t buy it.  What’s the point of that?

Others insist that the point of life is to be successful and happy. For some that means generating as much wealth as possible, for others it’s about living simply and being content with what they have. I can appreciate this view but it doesn’t tell a complete story for me.

Abraham Hicks says that we exist in order to create expansion and joy. That is, to continually find ways to grow, and create joy in the process.  I love the notion of finding joy in the process, rather than only at the end of the game (that never really ends, by the way).

There are also folks who will tell you that the point of life is to serve others, and to contribute to the world. The problem with this view is that if it’s the only purpose that we have, we risk living our lives exclusively for others, and never truly expressing ourselves, our needs, our desires, and ultimately our creative identity. We become what others want of us, not our authentic self.

I believe that we are eternal beings having a human experience, so the essence of who we are lives on after our physical body dies. If this is true, then we chose to have this human experience and I believe we chose it in order to experience the process of remembering our true identity. This core identity, the higher self, derives inexplicable pleasure from the process of re-membering ourselves as the true creators of our experience that we are.

Learning how to create our human experience consciously, while we’re in it, seems like the most outrageous adventure to me!  Swoop up to the meta-view with me for a moment. It’s like the earth is a magical play and we are each playing the lead role in our own play. I can tell you that life is so much more fun when I see it this way.

How about you? What do you think the point is?

And are you living it?

Drop me a line and let me know!

Until next time, be free and wild,

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

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

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Which Fears are in Your Way?

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

In Part 1, the first blog in this series, I shared with you two ways to know if you are getting in our own way – one is recurring problems that are actually patterns for you, and the other is unconscious programming that is running your behaviour without you being aware of it.

Now let’s look at the third way to know if you’re getting in your own way.

3. Your doubts and fears are causing you to second guess yourself

Everyone has dragons to face. As a successful business owner, you’re no different.  In fact, most of us have become quite adept at masking those dragons with compensating or offsetting habits, rather than facing them head on.  But they are still there, those doubts and fears, in the deepest undercurrent of our being, and they are consuming valuable energy that would serve you much better if it were released!

A Harvard Business Review article exposes the top fears of CEO’s and it can make your hair curl. It’s both shocking and a relief to a) learn that high-powered executives are, after all human, and b) that we’re not the only one with dragons under our beds. Take a look at what CEO’s are most afraid of, in rank order below. I have added the limiting belief system that underlies each fear, and adapted the resulting effects from the HBR article, so that you can check-in with yourself to see which of these dragons is running your show.

FEAR

LIMITING

BELIEF

EFFECT

1

Being found out to be incompetent I am an imposter

Reduced confidence; undermine relationships; silo thinking

2

Underachieving I am a failure

Take bad risks; lack of ownership and follow-through

3

Appearing too vulnerable I am weak Avoid honest conversations; inauthentic; hiding parts of oneself

4

Being politically attached by colleagues I am not safe

Mistrustful and overcautious; too much political game-playing

5 Appearing foolish I am a fool

Avoid speaking up; avoid honest conversations; tolerating bad behaviour

Notice your inner reactions to the statements in the chart. Your conscious mind will attempt to argue with you that that fear or belief is not true, but deep down you will know that you know that it’s running at your core… you will feel the familiarity, feel the resonance, feel the truth of it.

Every single fear is driven by a limiting belief, which when changed, will eliminate the fear. Your natural state of being is love, not fear.  Fear is never truth. And it wreaks havoc with our confidence and self-esteem. So let’s release the veil of fear shall we?

Do some self reflection. List your greatest fears. Then let’s get together and transmute them into success-driving programming so you can get on with creating the success you dream of.  Now that’s Wildfire Alchemy!

So, are you getting in your own way?

If any of these scenarios is describing you, then it’s time to up-level your personal leadership mastery.  Contact me today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

Business Leadership Personal Growth self development

It might be time to up-level your leadership development

There’s a common expression that is a great are-you-getting-in-your-own-way tool in the personal & professional mastery industry.  When we get caught up in the reasons and excuses about why we aren’t getting what we want in life and we start playing the blame-game (come on, you know what I’m talking about) then our colleague or coach will remind us that whenever we point our finger at someone or something, there are always 3 other fingers pointing back at us!

It’s a great time to laugh at ourselves. Because really, when we’re struggling and fighting with all these external things in our lives, we can step into the relief of realizing that it’s something within ourselves that needs to be addressed, and great news – that’s totally within our control! And that means it’s time for some inner leadership development.

Here are 3 ways to know if you are getting in your own way.

  1. You have a problem that keeps recurring

It’s sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees, when you are in the thick of it.  But when you take a moment to pause and reflect on a challenge or issue, you will often see how it’s been repeating in your life.  It may be repeating within a certain area of your life, for example you realize that your staff is just not understanding what you expect from them, and your customers are misunderstanding the delivery process and your vendors are confused about the timelines… the common denominator is your communication.  At other times, it may be a recurring theme in different areas of your life, such as you tolerating your office manager being habitually late, and your friend reneging on their promise to help you paint the rec room, and your daughter always managing to squeeze that extra $20 out of you… the common theme is your lack of boundaries.

A recurring problem is always pointing to a pattern and it it’s a pattern in your life, then it’s all about you.  So resolve the pattern rather than a specific issue and you’ll clear out all the problems connected to that pattern.

  1. You’re using all your education and training and you’re still not getting the results you want

Knowledge and intellect are not the only factors in success. Whether you trained in B-school or the school of hard knocks, you likely have unconscious programming that is placing a ceiling on your success, and it’s completely out of your awareness.  Perhaps you are a sceptical kind of person, always considering the downside and risk, and planning contingencies. On the surface that sounds like a good business practice, however the negative possibilities need to be considered and handled swiftly, and preferably not by you as the business owner, so that you can get on with focusing positively on your future targets.

Your thoughts are best focused on your vision, your goals and the positive results you are in the process of creating.  There is scientific evidence to show that those who remain positively focused on their desired outcomes are more likely to succeed.  Leave the risk management to your right-hand guy or gal and be the visionary that you need to be in your business.

When you’re not getting the results you want, your first place to look is in the mirror. Here’s an amazing arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror by PATAX and special guests.  Stay with it to the end for the wonderful latin-inspired jam. The lyrics are powerful too.

There are an unlimited number of unconscious programs like this that can overthrow the most brilliant leader.  And it usually takes an intimate conversation with a trained professional to identify and change them into success programs so you can get on with growing your business.

In Part 2 of this blog series, we reveal the third way that we get in our own way and some shocking insight into the top fears of the most senior leaders.

Until then, be free… and wild.

Sue