Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Working With My Inner Child

This month I’m reflecting on the fact that I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.  That may sound a bit arrogant, but it’s really just good ol’ self-nurturing.  This past week my inner child has taken some big emotional risks. She and I are both pleased that she had the courage to do it, and are even more pleased that it turned out well.

That probably sounds weird, so I’ll explain.  I believe that even though I am a grown, capable, competent adult, I still have inside myself an inner child who is representative of who I was when I was young.  My inner child is about five years old, and usually feels scared, lonely, incompetent and vulnerable.

Most of the time my inner Sandy stays quiet and lets the adult Sandy make decisions and go about the day.  However, when I’m in a new situation where I’m uncertain about what I’m doing or how to proceed, my inner child feels vulnerable and becomes huge and loud.  This is because her old fears and anxieties begin to take over.

In those situations my challenge is to quiet the inner child and reassure her that Sandy-the-adult has things under control.  That all she (the child) has to do is relax and let me (the adult) handle the situation.  When I’m able to do that, I can move ahead, stretch my comfort zone, and grow and learn new things.

That is what I did last weekend, which is why I’m feeling proud of myself.

In order to market my new book, Moving Up To Management:Leadership and Management Skills for New Supervisors, I attended a conference as a presenter and also an exhibitor in the Trade Show.  This was a new experience for me, and it was a bit daunting.  However, it needed to happen, so my inner child and I had to work on the fact that we could do it and still survive.

She agreed that as a five-year-old she had no clue how to talk in front of a group or market a book, but she thought that maybe the adult I am now could do it.  So, she sat back, let the adult part of me handle it, and it turned out well.

I believe that we all have an inner child who is afraid, and occasionally wants to be in control in order to keep us emotionally and/or physically safe. The challenge is for the adult you are now to work with that child (with inner dialogue) and help him/her understand that you will make sure all turns out well.

You do this the same as you would if you had a small child by the hand and s/he was feeling afraid.  Using positive, reassuring statements such as “It’ll be fine”, “We can do this”, and “I have it under control”, will help to reassure your inner child that all will be well.

So, you might want to ask yourself, how old is my inner child?  What are his/her fears?  In what situations does s/he become large and try to run the show?  What does s/he need to know, hear, and understand, in order to feel safe and secure?


If you meet the needs of your inner child by being strong, in charge, and letting him/her know it’s safe, you will be able to face and walk through your fears, stretch your comfort zone, grow, and feel proud of yourself.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bring Present













I have lots of things going in my life, and at times they become a jumble and I have trouble sorting them out in my mind.  The result is that I often end up feeling overwhelmed and not knowing which to tackle first.  When this happens I realize that I’m so into my head and out of my body that I’m not at all in touch with the ‘now’.

So, this month I’m reflecting on what I call “being present”. ‘Being present’ means that I focus on what I’m doing/feeling right now.  Not on what I did yesterday or will do tomorrow, but right now.  Amazingly, when I do this for at least 10 minutes, it clears my brain, relaxes my body and I’m once again able to concentrate.

There is something very calming and peaceful about being ‘in the now’.  Stopping everything and becoming aware of what my body is doing. Is my breathing deep or shallow, where are my muscles tense, am I warm or cold, etc.?

When I am ‘present’ I also notice what’s happening outside my body.  The way the blossoms blowing off the trees look like snowflakes, how the sun feels as it warms my face, the texture of soft, squishy grass under my feet.

Many years ago when my children were toddlers they taught me the beauty of ‘being present’.  Small children are always in the present.  They don’t worry about what they have done or will do. They live in the moment.

If you’ve ever walked with a toddler you know that everything is fascinating.  They see the beautiful leaf, the caterpillar crossing the sidewalk, and the lovely rocks in the driveway.  Taking a walk with my small children was an adventure.  They taught me to slow down and take time to notice the present, instead of focusing on moving ahead to our destination. For them, the process was the destination.

Now, when I feel overwhelmed and scattered I remind myself to stop, and just ‘be present’.  It makes all the difference.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Do You Think You Can?

When I was young there was a children’s book called, The Little Engine That Could.  The story was about a small engine that was just learning how to pull long trains.  Through a variety of circumstances, all the seasoned engines were out of commission, and it was up to the little engine to pull the train over the mountains.

He was terrified, but as he chugged along he continued to say, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can……”

Of course, he prevailed, hauled the giant train over the mountains, and learned a lot about himself in the process.

Numerous studies have shown that your attitude and beliefs make all the difference in how successful you are in life.

When you believe you can’t do something, just because you’ve never done it before, or because someone has told you that you don’t have what it takes, you undermine yourself and get to be right.  You can’t do it!

However, if you ignore all the reasons, excuses and negative messages and thoughts, and do as the Little Engine did, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.

Many years ago I worked in an agency where several programs were funded by 1-year grants.  There were two positions in which people were hired for a program, only to lose funding and have to switch to a new program.

When one employee learned she had to do something new, she freaked out, fell apart, and insisted she couldn’t do it.  Of course she couldn’t, and she didn’t last long with the agency.

When the other employee was told she needed to do a new thing she’d never done before, she walked around all week saying, “I CAN do this!  I CAN do this!”  Being her own cheerleader and coach was effective, she did learn the new thing, and she became well respected throughout the agency for her resilience and effectiveness.

So which of these people are you?  What do you tell yourself, and how do you proceed, when you’re faced with a new or scary challenge.


Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t will make all the difference.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Are You Stuck?













Last week I was talking with Sam, a new client who hired me to help him streamline his office procedures. The chore that requires much of his time is his bookkeeping, which he does by hand! He said that its time consuming, but works for him because he knows how to do it this way and feels comfortable with it.

Sam’s father initiated this accounting method when he opened the business 30 years ago, and since then they’ve ‘always done it this way’.  In the early days they were a small company with only 4 employees, and this was the best way available to keep track of finances.  When Sam took over 5 years ago, the firm employed 37 people, and they were still doing finances by hand!

Sam explained that he’d thought about switching to a computer accounting program because he knows it will save time, give him access to all kinds of reports and tax information, and streamline his entire bookkeeping operation.  However, he was having trouble letting go of how it had always been done. 

Is This You?
Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Are there areas in your business or personal life where you are still doing things as they’ve always been done, even though it’s no longer efficient?  Places where it’s probably time to make changes and grow, but for some reason you are reluctant to actually do it?  If so, you are definitely not alone.  There are many reasons why people are hesitant to let go of doing things the way they have always done them.

Comfort Zone
One of the main reasons is that doing something the way you’ve always done it keeps you in your comfort zone.  Your comfort zone is a very nice place in which you are a capable, competent person who understands what is going on and feels in control of it all.  It’s a pleasant, cozy, safe place to be.  Why would you want to let go of that?

However, the down side of your comfort zone is that it keeps you stuck and stops your growth.  It reinforces using procedures and behaviors that may be outdated or inefficient, and makes your business vulnerable to your competition.  It is also a boring place to be, and robs you of the opportunity to grow, learn new things and become the best you can be.

Fear of Change
Another reason you might be staying in your comfort zone is the fear of change. Change often represents uncertainty, and the unknown is a scary place. You don’t know for sure how things will turn out.  It’s a place where, for a time, you feel inadequate and confused instead of competent and capable.  There is also the fear that you may not be smart, good or clever enough to master the new thing.

Many people spend their lives doing everything they can to avoid fear.  However, the reality is that every change, anything new, will involve some fear.  The way to deal with fear is to confront and move through it.  Feel the fear and do it anyway!

From Master to Novice
Another part of change is that you go from being a master at something to being a novice.  When something is new you begin the learning curve all over again.  In this situation the fear of not being able to master the new thing is often very present and can be a huge deterrent to making a change.

When you look at your life you can see that you’ve already mastered this process many times. As a child you probably moved through the school system, which is set up so children reach a level of mastery and then become novices again. You started elementary school in kindergarten, new to the idea of school.  You learned and adapted to the process and place, to the point where you were comfortable and proficient in functioning within the system. Then you moved to junior high school, with a whole new set of rules and systems, and were suddenly a novice again. You learned and grew into junior high, and then repeated the process again when moving to high school, college, into a job, etc.  With each step you expanded your comfort zone. A process that was initially uncomfortable but eventually empowering.  Stretching your comfort zone is one way you learn you are a capable competent person.

In Sam’s case, in order to update his accounting he will have to go from being totally proficient with the system, to being new and temporarily confused.  From being the person who knows how to handle it all to being the person who has to rely on others while he’s in the learning process.  Growth always involves a period of being new, and new is always uncomfortable.

Why Have I Always Done It This Way?
Have you asked yourself why it’s always been done that way?  Often systems are implemented, or relationships or routines are created because they are the best available at the time.  However, as time passes and new ways of doing things are available, what was once state-of-the-art may become outdated and inefficient.

For example, when I was a child I would stand holding the refrigerator door open while deciding on a snack.  My mother would always tell me to close the door because all the cold air was escaping.  Since she did that with me, I did the same with my children (we’d always done it that way).  Until one day my son asked “why”?  He pointed out that the refrigerator was electric and constantly made more cold air, so it escaping wasn’t really a problem. Of course, he was right! I’d never thought about why I was delivering this message, so I asked my mother where it came from.  She said that her mother always said it to her, so she believed it and passed it along.  However, when my mother was a small child, refrigerators were actual iceboxes, which were cooled by large blocks of ice. When the door was opened the ice melted faster and they really did run out of cold air.

When my grandmother told her children to close the door, it was the right message for the situation.  As the message was passed on from generation to generation, the situation changed and the fridge no longer ran out of cold air.  (I do understand it takes electricity to generate more). However, nobody looked at the reason for the message.  We just kept doing it as we’d always done it.

In Sam’s case the accounting system his father implemented was right for the time, but changes in technology have refined the most effective way to track finances.  It’s important to understand why the system was created, what need it was designed to fill.  Look at it and see if it is still the most efficient way to fill this need, or if a more effective way is now available.  This applies to how you run your personal as well as your business life.

How Do You Know You’re Stuck?
Sometimes you may not consciously realize that you are stuck and that it’s time to make a change. When something becomes a struggle, takes too much time, or feels like a huge chore, it may be an indication that you are doing it the way it’s always been done rather than the more efficient and effective way.  You can often identify what may have outlived its usefulness by noting the things that are difficult, and asking yourself why you do them the way you do.

What To Do
Once you have identified things that may need a change, ask yourself:
·         Where did this procedure originate?
·         What was its original purpose?
·         Does this still apply?
·         Is there an easier way to accomplish the same goal?
·         What are the consequences of continuing to do things the way we’ve always done them?
·         What will be the results of implementing a new process?
·         What is stopping me from implementing this new process?
·         What will I do about this?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to move. Change the procedure, buy and learn the new program, delegate to whomever can do the job, or completely let go of the procedure if it no longer applies.

After going through this process Sam decided to take a leap of faith and implement a computer accounting program for his business.  He expanded his personal and business comfort zone by hiring a professional to help him become proficient in the new software.  He endured a brief period of feeling totally lost, and soon became as skilled with the new system as he was with the old.  The new system has accomplished his goal of streamlining his accounting and providing him with more time to focus on other aspects of his business. Sam has also renewed his sense of being even more empowered, capable and competent.

Of course, your comfort zone also applies to your personal life.  You might be keeping behaviors, relationships, locations and habits that worked for you in the past, but now just keep you stifled and stuck.

So you may want to ask yourself, where in my life do I feel stuck or like I’m doing something just because it’s familiar, comfortable, and always been done that way?  What things do I need to change, but I’m hesitant because I’m afraid of looking/feeling awkward and stupid, or fearful of failing?  What would I like to do about that?

It’s something to think about.


Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For a FREE worksheet to help you look at, “I’ve Always Done It That Way”, and many FREE exercises on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Just say, "NO!"













Last week my friend, Steve, was talking about how overwhelmed he feels.  He said he has too much to do at work, and in his “free” time, he’s busy every minute.  When I asked him to elaborate, he explained that during the workday there are several co-workers who complain about all they have to do, and ask him for help.  Since he wants to be a good employee and team player, he always steps up and says “yes.”  Then he ends up having to do his work and theirs too, and he’s swamped.

Instead of being grateful for his help, his colleagues are then angry with him because he doesn’t have the time to do a perfect job on the projects he’s taken over for them.

Steve explained that outside of work he is on the Board of Directors for three non-profit organizations, plus he coaches his daughter’s soccer team.  His wife is angry with him for never having time to spend with her or do things around the house, his golf group has given up on him because he’s always busy with something else when invited to play, and his children complain that they never see him.

Steve is so busy trying to be helpful and supportive to everyone, that he’s forgotten to take care of himself.  He has no boundaries around his life, and the result is that it’s completely out of control.

The problem is that Steve hasn’t learned to say “NO!”  He is afraid that if he turns people down they will think he’s selfish and won’t like him.

The reality is that he needs to take care of himself as much, or even more, than he takes care of others.  If he doesn’t do this, he will end up alienating the people he cares about, will feel exhausted and miserable, and his overwhelmed body will probably get sick.

Steve has forgotten to treat himself with the same respect he gives others.  It’s time for him to decide what is most important, set boundaries around his time, and learn to say “NO”. 

A great phrase to use when telling someone “no” is, “I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for me.”  Don’t give them reasons or explain why, because they will argue with whatever you say.  Just repeat, “I’m sorry, that won’t work for me.”

The other person will be frustrated because they can’t argue and try to change your mind, but you will be standing your ground, making your boundary clear, and taking care of your needs.

It’s time to give it a try.  Just say “NO!”

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Are You Afraid of Your Shadow?

Do you occasionally find yourself thinking or feeling something negative about another person or yourself?

If you do, you’re not alone.  No matter how loving, kind, thoughtful and smart you are, there will be times when negative thoughts will surface.

This part of you is sometimes called your Shadow (a concept created by psychologist Carl Jung), and is the part of you that is everything you like to think you’re not.  It’s the angry, jealous, spiteful, vengeful, violent, ignorant, etc. part of who you are.

When you were a child you probably got in trouble, or people didn’t like you, when you let your Shadow side show, so you learned to hide and ignore it as much as possible.

However, denying your Shadow is denying an important piece of the total human being you are, and running away from it can control your life.

The trick is to recognize your Shadow and notice when it surfaces. Instead of negatively judging yourself for it, pay attention to the thoughts, look at where they came from, and let them go.

Once you acknowledge your Shadow it will lose its power of you.  You will no longer have to run from it or deny an important aspect of yourself.

One of the key elements in creating positive self-esteem is the development of acceptance and compassion for all facets of your personality. Not merely for the part of yourself that is "the good little girl or boy," the part who follows all the "shoulds," but also for the parts of your personality that you may want to hide, even from yourself.

It might help to look at your personality as a series of circles, one inside the other. 



Your Façade

Your Shadow

Your Real Self 

The outermost circle is your Facade. This is the part of yourself that you choose to share with the world most of the time. This is the nice, polite, creative, attractive, intelligent, strong, cooperative part. It is also the part you want to believe is the total you, since it gains you the most love, acceptance, and positive feedback from others. It’s the part of yourself you use to gain a sense of worth. Fortunately it is only one aspect of the person you really are.

The second circle is called The Shadow. This is a concept taken from the work of psychologist Carl Jung, and refers to the hidden and repressed aspects of your personality. This includes all the negative conclusions you drew about yourself during childhood, all the unpleasant feelings and thoughts that go against your "shoulds" and expectations, and label you as incompetent, unlovable, and worthless.

It also includes the part of you that experiences “negative” emotions and thoughts about others.

You may fear that this Shadow aspect defines who you really are, and live in terror of yourself or others seeing through your Facade to these dark, black, embarrassing, negative feelings. However, it is important to understand that The Shadow is as essential to the total you as your Facade is, and that it is not your identity! The Shadow does not define who you are, just as your Facade does not.  They are both a part of the incredible whole.

As long as you are afraid to confront your Shadow, this fear will control you. You will spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to ignore or deny part of your being. It's exhausting!

However, when you finally allow yourself to get in touch with EVERY part of your personality, you will find it incredibly freeing. Once you confront your darkest fears about yourself, those fears will lose their power and you will be well along the road to complete self-acceptance, compassion, and acknowledgment of your Real Self.

The innermost circle represents Your Real Self, and is the combination of all parts of your personality: the positive and negative, good and evil, gifts and talents and all aspects that go into making you a one-of-a-kind person.

Once you recognize your Real Self you will no longer feel the need to maintain a Façade, believe other people's "shoulds", or deny your Shadow. With the knowledge of, and acceptance and compassion for, your total self, you will at last be able to relax and enjoy all parts of the amazing and unique person you are.

You will never again have to be afraid of your Shadow.

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.

If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Are You Just Talking or Are You Communicating?

Several years ago my two young children, my husband and I were traveling in the car. The traffic was heavy and my husband was tense at the wheel. The kids were giggling and playing in the back seat and in frustration my husband said “will you kids please be quiet so I can focus on the traffic”. The kids responded by lowering their voices and playing in a less rowdy fashion. Their father became more agitated and said, “Quiet down NOW!” The children lowered their voices a bit more and continued to giggle and play. Their stressed father then turned around and yelled “I said BE QUIET!!!, at which point the shocked children stopped talking completely and the mood in the car was incredibly tense.

When I later reflected on this situation I realized that what had happened was a failure to communicate. When my husband used the word “quiet” he meant silent, but our children interpreted it to mean less volume. A very uncomfortable situation was caused by the lack of a common word definition. 

COMMON SITUATION

What happened in the car that day is very common when people attempt to communicate. We often think we’re having a meeting of the minds, and later discover there was no connection at all.  How often have you walked away from talking with someone thinking they understood what you said, and then found out s/he had no clue what you were talking about?

Although common, situations such as this can be avoided if we use a few simple techniques.  The first is to realize that both participants in a conversation have a role to play.
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Most people assume that the person doing the speaking is the one who is communicating. In reality communication is a two-way street and the roles of both speaker and listener are equally important. Fortunately there are several things each can do to insure that the process of delivering and receiving information flows smoothly. 

BE PRESENT/PAY ATTENTION

The first thing is for both participants to be mentally present and pay attention. This sounds obvious, but how many times have you been in a conversation where you’ve been distracted by things around you, are thinking about how you’ll respond, or wondering what you’ll have for dinner? If both participants aren’t fully present and completely tuned in to the conversation, clear communication will not take place. 

BODY LANGUAGE

The second thing both participants can do is to be aware of their body language. Studies have shown that over 75% of communication is nonverbal. Things such as eye contact, tone of voice, facial expression and how you hold your arms, all communicate your level of interest in what’s going on.  To facilitate good communication, both speaker and listener must maintain good eye contact, use a pleasant tone of voice, make sure their body is in an “open”, friendly position, and smile and nod to indicate they are on the same page.

FEEDBACK

The third thing both speaker and listener can do is to give feedback to each other.  This may be nonverbally, as we just mentioned, or spoken. The listener can clarify word definitions or ask questions if something is unclear. The speaker can define words that might be confusing or misunderstood, and ask if there are questions or if clarification is needed.  Since we all come from our own experience and perspective, we often hear what we’re expecting or wanting to hear rather than what is actually said. If this skill had been used during the interaction between my children and their father I’m sure there would have been more understanding and probably no conflict. 

TWO LEVELS

The fourth thing both speaker and listener can do is be aware that communication happens on at least two levels. There is the content level, which is the literal meaning of the spoken words, and there is the process level, which refers to the feelings beneath the words. In the situation with my husband and children, the content was that he wanted them to be quiet. The process was that he was tense and stressed with the traffic situation and needed their help in coping with it. If the listener is aware of both levels it will add to his/her understanding of what the speaker is conveying, and can help him/her respond in the most appropriate way.

When you are listening and what you’re hearing on both levels is the same, you are probably receiving the intended message.  However, often the message is different, and this can lead to major confusion on the part of the listener. A common example of this is when you ask someone how s/he is doing and in a sad, slow voice they reply “I’m fine”.  The words say all is well, however the nonverbal cues may be telling you the words aren’t true.  When the process and content are not congruent it’s important for the listener to pick up on this and ask about what’s really going on.

Both participants can also further communication by summarizing what they are saying or hearing, and giving occasional feedback to each other to insure they’re both on the same track. 

BE BRIEF, BE BOLD, BE GONE!

One last hint is for the speaker to be specific and brief about what s/he’s saying. We’ve all known people who tend to ramble and add unnecessary details when they talk. They are usually difficult to understand. A good speaker follows the rule "Be Brief, Be Bold, and Be Gone!”

So, when you interact with your employees, customers/ clients, family and friends are you effectively communicating or just talking? Do you clarify?  Are you fully present, using positive body language, defining your words and giving feedback? Do you listen fully and with an open mind?

Communicating effectively takes work, but the rewards are great. I think you will be pleased to find that when you make the effort to communicate clearly your relationships will suddenly become easy and uncomplicated.  Why not give it a try?

Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience

For FREE worksheets on ways to empower yourself, see the Resources Page on our Inside Jobs Coach website.  Also be sure to check out our Books page.

If you'd like to bring positive changes into your life, we have the perfect thing for you.  Check out The Rapid Power Pack, and begin to create the life of your dreams.


If you would like to feel more confident and believe in yourself, check out The Confidence Pack, which contains several powerful worksheets to guide you and an amazing hypnotherapy session to strengthen your belief in yourself.