Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Trust Your Choices

May 1, 2012

Recently, I found myself reflecting on a conversation I had with my hairdresser at Lush Sculpting Lounge in Redondo Beach. As we spoke, a couple of questions came up.

How many times have you been thankful for that small voice that guides your life? Do you remember a time in your life when you made a choice, and you trusted yourself so much that you put all of your focus and energy behind your choice.

Listening to that inner voice and moving forward in spite of any fear takes courage. It can help to remind yourself that you do have a choice when asking, “Is this an act of faith or an act of fear I am taking?”

Too often, we tend to overthink things; your intuition can allow you to feel what is right for you. Faith can be empowering when we release the need to know the details of when, where and how.

Your inner wisdom is always with you; the biggest challenge can be to pause and listen to it, trust it and honor it. We already know so much of what we really need to do when considering which decisions to make in life. It can be very intuitive. We just need to listen! Intuition is your soul talking to you—that nudge you feel somewhere inside your body, the nagging thought in your head, that soft whisper of wisdom that is trying to get your attention to follow the right choice that is for your highest good.

How can you tap into your inner wisdom? Sometimes spending time in nature will do the trick. I find walking by the ocean or spending some time in silence helps me become more aware of the right answers I am seeking when trying to make a choice or solve a problem.

Here are some tips I’ve shared with clients when they’re pondering choices in life:

  • When faced with a problem, focus on how you would like to feel when the problem is solved or when you’ve reached your goal. This can help you discover clues, messages and signs pointing toward the right solution and correct path to take.
  • Sometimes a situation may seem to be going in a different direction than you thought it would. Allow this to inspire you to be open to possibilities, to embrace change and to trust your choice.

Even when we’ve listened to our intuition and have taken action, sometimes we will experience certain roadblocks along the way. Instead of becoming discouraged, allow the roadblocks to provide feedback—observe, keep going and view the stalls and bumps as tools for your growth. Viewing any obstacles on your path as personal growth opportunities and choosing to keep moving forward even when you don’t know the outcome will allow your faith in yourself to grow. Difficulties and challenges allow us the opportunity to experience courage. You can find your courage within yourself, by relying on your inner strength and guidance.

It can be enlightening and encouraging when you remember to focus on what is right about the choices you’ve made instead of what is wrong. It is easy to associate success with all the right choices we’ve made throughout life—and it’s just as easy to associate failure with the wrong choices. Nevertheless, never is there a “wrong choice” to be made; it’s just another valuable life lesson to reflect on. So, you made a choice and the situation did not turn out as you had hoped it would. Allow this to provide you with valuable feedback, showing you what you can learn from this experience and how you might use a new approach next time.

Always keep in mind that if a choice you’ve made for yourself isn’t producing results soon enough, it doesn’t mean you should give up. This is time to show yourself that the outcome will always be for your highest good. Trust that the right answers will be there as needed.

You have your own answers within you. The right answers are always there for you. Take time to go within and hear those answers. Have the courage to follow the right answers and imagine how empowered you will feel when you’ve reached your goal or solved your problem.

Read UberEmpowerment Books

 

Spring Renewal Offers Re-Discovery Within

April 28, 2012

Spring time offers the perfect time for renewal, replenish and rejuvenating. Cleansing out what isn’t working in your life, reflecting on your values and creating new goals. Are your choices in life in alignment with your values that allow you to move toward your goals? When is the last time you made time for self-reflection? When we take some time to ask those questions that allow us to explore and discover answers about where we are in our life and what things we would like to see changed in our life, this type of self-reflection can drive us to create an action plan that will help make our desires become a reality in our life.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. How do you see yourself today? Describe yourself in terms of how you see yourself right now in your life.
  2. Do you feel there are times in your life when you are in control of how you spend your time or do you feel that many times other people, your job and/or tedious tasks control you?
  3. Where in your life are you feeling overwhelmed and as if you are carrying all the responsibility?
  4. When you visualize your ideal life, how do you see yourself starting your day?
  5. Do you see your life filled with joy and fulfillment? When is the last time you experienced fulfillment in your life?
  6. What makes you feel alive, happy and energetic?
  7. Where in your life do you get most frustrated, overwhelmed or discouraged?
  8. Is there an area in your life you find yourself extra careful with before making any changes?
  9. When do you find yourself wasting time and energy?
  10. Name three things you want to accomplish in the next 30 to 60 days. In three months?

These type of questions can help you take a look at your present life and offer some insight to a more desirable future. True changes happen when we spend time and resources toward developing our minds and spirits, examining our values and letting go of issues that may be holding us back from being our best authentic self in life.

Making time for reflection, re-discovering and reconnecting helps create energy toward fulfilling your desires, intentions and goals. Manifesting these new changes will bring great value to your life. Allow Springtime to reveal new options to try and look at new possibilities and discover if your current habitual patterns are benefiting you and moving you toward your goals or if they need realigning.

Perhaps you have had someone in your life at one time who greatly impacted your life by supporting you and encouraging you to reach for your dreams. This person may have been a mentor, a coach, a parent or a best friend who made you feel empowered to make your dreams your reality. Perhaps this person helped to forward your growth and learning. This person may still be in your life and you can still seek them out for support. Surround yourself with those who share your values.

Commit to your new changes, new goals and embrace new growth. It is time to discover what big opportunities are out there for your life, both personally or in your professional life, that you are not taking advantage of and begin to utilize them into your life. It is time to unveil any hidden strength or skill you have that you would like to use more of in your life!!

Read more inspiration Uber Empowerment Books. 

© 2011 Nancy Hovde Uber Empowerment® All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use-other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews-without prior written permission of the publisher.

Inner-Reflection Allows Love and Peace

April 22, 2012

Most of us want to enjoy living a balanced, happy life that allows for that peacefulness inside us to transcend and emanate through us.

Life can be amazing when we choose to work on and change our relationship with ourselves; often the relationships around us change in the most positive way. The key to love, peace, happiness and success is in our relationships. We can’t really have a good relationship with anyone unless we first have one with ourselves. When you are deeply connected to yourself, you can deeply connect with those important people in your life. This can benefit in personal and business relationships.

Sometimes there are things in our lives that need to be released in order to create more peace and love within us and in our lives. Going a little deeper, what areas can you think of that need to be cleared of old negative energy or “clutter”? Consider issues such as toxic relationships that drain you, cause you to have low self-esteem or don’t seem to hold your highest good in sight. Any lingering negative emotions that are tied to negative past experiences such as feelings of hate, anger or jealousy these all need to be released, let go of and made peace with, in order to allow room for your true and authentic self.

 Letting go of negative emotions and negative situations can be done by first, reflecting on what the lesson or gift is in the situation that was meant just for you, to learn from as part of your journey. It can help to remember that no choice you make in life is ever “wrong” but that you can reflect on what was right about the choices you made, hence, often is the lesson or gift that is needed to be revealed and embraced. Have gratitude for the lesson, forgive and release to create peace in your heart, mind and soul.

Become aware of any relationships, situations and lingering emotions that have been a negative experience for you in the past as well as recent. Write these down. All of them, as many as you can think of. Once you have written all of the negative experiences down that you feel you have not made peace with, ask yourself if you can accept that this is true and is still a reality in your life, even though you thought you had buried these lingering emotions, thoughts, feelings, you are aware of the fact that there is still not a peaceful feeling inside you.

 If you can accept what is currently real and you really would like to make an improvement in this area of your life, consider if you are willing to. If you answered yes, create a strong enough desire, a strong “why”:

  • What would the benefit be in your life if you were to find the lesson in these past experiences, give gratitude for the lesson, let the lingering negative emotions go and embrace the new experiences that can flow into your life?

  • How might this improvement impact other areas of your life?

  • How will you feel, if you choose to make this improvement? Write all this down.

 Once you’ve created that strong enough desire within you to really want to let go of the lingering negative emotions tied to past experiences, ask yourself if you are disciplined enough to recall upon these lessons you’ve learned when you encounter similar future situations. These future situations that may appear to show up repeatedly in your life, may seem like similar experiences and are often “tests” presented to us. Anytime, we’ve chosen to let go of previous negative emotions and experiences, life will still present us with more opportunities as “tests”. This is a gift to you that can allow you to stand in your power, recall on the past experience and choose to respond instead of react in a new positive way. If you find you are disciplined to embrace a new way of responding to life’s challenges, you are ready to commit and arrange for success that will help armor you against your old ways of reacting.

Create an action plan for each of the items you have listed as past negative experiences. Perhaps you need to fully put yourself back into that past situation and replay how you would have liked to respond. You may find, you first need to replay the situation as it happened. Pick up on the feelings, emotions that took place within you. Now, reflect on what this life challenge was trying to show you. What was the lesson to be learned from this? Find the lesson and release the lingering negative thoughts, feelings. Recall the benefits you will experience in your life by letting go of these lingering emotions. Does the cost of holding onto these emotions out weigh the benefit? By hanging onto these emotions will you continue to experience your energy being drained from you?

 Once we let go of old, past experiences of hurt and pain who knows what new experiences are waiting to be discovered? Imagine what secret wisdom can begin to flow through you. Amazing breakthroughs can come through when we choose to make major adjustments in our beliefs. Letting go of old pent up emotions allows you to feel more peaceful and loving from within which can improve your energy levels holistically – mind, body and soul. When we are feeling more peaceful and loving from within, we tend to deal with life’s challenges in a more positive way.

Find more inspiration in  Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek  Uber Empowering Quotes in this video.

© 2011 Nancy Hovde Uber Empowerment® All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use-other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews-without prior written permission of the publisher.

Therapeutic Remedies for a Healthier You!

April 15, 2012

How often do you make time to do something special for yourself? As I was walking out of Rescue Massage in Redondo Beach, I thought about the importance of self-care remedies and how they can have so many benefits for the mind, body and soul. Many of us view getting a massage or a manicure as a special treat and only allow time for such indulgences once or twice a year. But the benefits of self-care treatments help to create a healthier and happier you.

We all know that life keeps us busy and that chronic stress can be damaging to our health. Certainly eating a healthy diet and exercising is important in living a quality life and prioritizing time for self-care is also one way we can manage the day to day stress in our lives. The results you feel from therapeutic treatments will allow you to feel more relaxed physically and mentally and this is beneficial for your overall well-being.

Therapeutic treatments do not have to leave your wallet empty. Here are just a few of the self-care remedies I have shared with my clients:

  • Treat your self to a pedicure and manicure. A small but simple indulgence. I often visit either Coco Nail & Spa or Bay City Nail & Spa. Both of these nail salons are located in Redondo Beach.

  • Nurturing yourself with sleep is one of the most therapeutic remedies for your mind, body and soul. Quality sleep is good for your physical health and your mental health. Getting optimum sleep will help you feel your best, think your best and be your best.

  • Getting a massage regularly can be a great preventative nurturing remedy. Regular massage sessions keep you healthy mentally and physically while providing relaxation.

  • Sitting in a steam room can be wonderful for sore muscles and provide an overall relaxing spa experience. A warm bubble bath can have a similar effect.

  • You may find yoga stretches or Pilate movements help bring you back to alignment. Tracy Coe, owner of Body & Mind Coe-Dynamics, Inc.in Manhattan Beach, CA has wonderful Pilates classes and team of instructors.

  • Going for a walk in the park and admiring the beauty of nature and just being outdoors does wonders for the body, mind and soul. Take in all the beauty, indulge the senses and breathe in the surrounding smells. Enjoy a night on your deck under the stars can bring a very nurturing peaceful feeling within.

  • Nurture yourself and the path you are on by writing down your goals and dreams and what steps you need to take to get there. You could choose a place in nature to ponder these thoughts. This alone time can help you slip into a quiet meditative state and focus on what is working in your life, what isn’t and what new changes you might consider.

 Many of the above stress relieving treatments above allow us to enjoy looking good on the outside which helps us feel better emotionally. Therapeutic treatments are a wonderful solution to feeling good inside and out. Listen to what your body needs – sleep? Food? Exercise? Give it that.

 Balance in life can be a challenge and something to continuously work at. Committing to making time for you and nurturing yourself regularly can bring more balance and fulfillment into your life. What are some of the simple self-care remedies that you have found to be most beneficial?

© 2011 Nancy Hovde. Read more Inspiration Uber Empowerment Books.

Create True Changes

March 18, 2012

True change happens when we spend time and resources towards developing our minds & spirits, examining our core values & letting go of issues that may be holding us back from being our uber best in life.

We have the freedom to choose which choices to make each day. We can choose lifestyle choices that lead to feeling our best, thinking our best and being our best. Or we can choose those choices that lead to us to feeling unfulfilled and discouraged.

Is there anything you are doing regularly that does not support your highest good? How could this be tweaked to better support your well-being? While we can only reflect on our actions in the past; we can choose our actions for the present. Here are some action steps you can begin now.

  • Create a strong reason to remind yourself why you want to make a change. Ask yourself what you want more of in your life? Then ask yourself, what is it you are trying to avoid having in your life? Reminding yourself what you don’t want can be a strong motivator in keeping you in alignment with your commitment. Then focus on what you do want to see in your life and how you  will feel with having this new change in your life.
  • Visualizing and using positive affirmations can inspire you and keep you motivated especially during any weak moments.
  • Rewarding yourself along the way can inspire you to do more and go that extra mile to achieve the main goal.

You have the freedom to be who you want to be. Keep believing your path is important and keep telling yourself all the reasons why you can succeed. Expect only the best to happen. Believe it and you’ve just achieved it. Through out your day empower yourself by believing in yourself and your abilities. What you believe you will manifest.

Read Uber Empowerment Books.

Exercise Creates a Healthier YOU!

March 10, 2012

Beach

I have learned that progress in anything takes first believing in yourself, then creating an action plan, followed with effort. During life’s most challenging times exercise has always been my anchor for my physical, mental and spiritual health. When we workout regularly, we are much more in tune with our bodies. Exercise benefits our brain power, improves our moods, helps keep depression away and allows us to develop a deeper connection with our inner-spirit. Exercise can help us feel more positive about life and can help us create more meaningful relationships with others.

Sadly, some of us do not enjoy working out and are not receiving the maximum benefits that exercise can provide us. Some of us even experience a phase where we are no longer motivated and fall off track. Exercise isn’t just for physical health benefits. When we can learn to experience the feeling that our body, mind and spirit are one, there is no more resistance.

As a lifestyle coach, I share with my clients how the mind and conscience work together on sending signals to our feelings and our feelings help us become aware of how a movement or exercise can make us feel in the moment, right now. Noticing that movement and how the movement feels can be very enlightening. Any creative movement done with the right mental focus and movement can support an overall sense of well being.

I had just finished a yoga session and was reflecting on how yoga, weight training, walking, running and all exercise can offer a new way of embracing exercise, a way of living and moving in our bodies that feels good, natural, effortless. We can see effective results when we choose a type of exercise that is fun and makes us feel good on all levels.

Have you ever thought about how effort equals strength? I have found this to be true when my body has pumped and stretched to get up those difficult hills in Palos Verdes, my mind is learning about how effort equals strength. This is an incredibly empowering feeling that I’ve carried over into other areas of my life when difficult situations arise. Each time I climb these difficult hills I notice progress. Progress motivates me to do it again. During life’s challenges, I’ve noticed when I am feeling my best and feeling strong physically, mentally I’m more confident and somewhere deep inside my soul I am able to carry a quiet inner strength.

So if exercise isn’t your thing or you’ve become bored with your same routine, I suggest trying something new that will be fun and challenging where you can track your progress. Often when we choose to try a new sport or exercise we begin to get re-inspired to take the best care of ourselves and to view exercise with all its benefits in a more holistic way and it effects or mind, body and soul.

Here are a few ideas to get re-inspired:

  • Running – mix it up: sand runs, treadmill, indoor track, outdoor track, hills, parks, beaches. Go solo and enjoy listening to your tunes, or go with a friend or group – keep it mixed up, fun and interesting. The Village Runner in Redondo Beach has group runs each week.

  • Hiking – can be very meditative to connect with nature, can be fun with a group or quality time spent with a friend. There are several trails in Palos Verdes for hiking.

  • Walking – indoors on a treadmill and mix up the incline/intensity, walking out doors in a park or on the beach, walking meditation listening to a walking medication CD.

  • Roller blade/roller skate – listen to tunes by yourself or ask a friend to join you. The Esplande in Redondo Beach offers beautiful views along the ocean.

  • Yoga – try a different style of Yoga each week! This could be through a class at your health club or finding a Yoga studio in your area. Another option might be to check out a DVD at the Redondo Beach Library and try out different styles of Yoga; then buy the DVD’s or join a yoga studio that focuses on the styles of Yoga that you connect with best.

  • Bike ride outside or for inside set the stationary bike on an interval training session. Spin classes offer a great workout for a indoor workout. 

  • Stairs – outside or for inside set the stair machine on interval training or try setting the stair machine on the fat burning session to keep things mixed up.

  • Pilates – Many gyms offer Pilates classes. You might also consider checking out a Pilates DVD at the library or signing up with one of the Pilates Studios in the South Bay.

  • Dance – a night out with friends dancing or take up a community dance course/lessons like salsa, line dancing, ballet, jazz to name just a few.

  • Create your own workout using body sculpting, static resistance training and strength training – in a class, with a private trainer or by applying a mixture of exercises you discovered while reading a health and fitness magazines such as South Bay Fit.

  • Martial Arts or Tai Chi – sometimes a gym or health club will offer these or a local studio. Elite Training Center in Redondo Beach offers martial arts group classes. Often Tai Chi classes are held outdoors in a park or on the beach. 

  • Circuit Training indoors or outdoors. If outdoors, try Veterans Park or down on the beach in Redondo and use the benches for step ups, lunges, push ups and use any of the stairs along the Esplande to climb – get creative, think play, have fun! You could even include using a trampoline for rebounding in your backyard, which is really good for the lymphatic system. Use a jump rope in between your sets of push ups, crunches, lunges.

  • Enjoy your favorite sport or activity – maybe it is golf with friends, a game of soccer, windsurfing, snow skiing or maybe you enjoy horseback riding or gardening.

  • Hire a personal trainer to motivate and re-inspire you. Riviera Fitness Club in Redondo Beach has one-on-one, partner or small group fitness training.

Just considering exercise or trying something new won’t be enough to see progress. Ultimately, it is action that will make the difference. Contact me to keep you on track with your wellness plan and start feeling excited about seeing positive progress results!

Read Uber Empowerment Books.

Accountability is Empowering

March 4, 2012

 Arranging for success is creating a solution and empowering yoruself through accountability.

Do you find yourself excited to start something, get half way through or even nearly complete something only to find yourself not finishing what you started? Many times the reason for quitting something before we finish is we feel bored or something isn’t as convenient anymore. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed we feel like quitting.

Developing a strong solution focused approach is key. Using a solid framework for the process that offers support and motivation for your purpose and desired outcome as well as holding yourself accountable to your commitments, goals and action plan can help you effectively complete a project or goal.

Accountability can be empowering. One can choose a new project to begin and develop the knowledge, experience and even the skill, but it is the willingness with an action plan and accountability that determines if one truly succeeds with their intentions, goals and dreams. I truly believe that we can finish the project or reach a goal when we have the focus, plan of action steps and hold ourselves accountable while working towards completion.

What is accountability? Accountability is a traditional, old fashioned method that says you are answerable for your actions. It is the responsibility of your actions and decisions including the implementation within the scope of your role or job description (from a career stand point), it is the obligation to report, explaining and be answerable for resulting consequences.

Now, let’s take a look at what is considered unaccountable. A unaccountable person is someone you can easily recognize because they use blaming others, excuses, procrastinate, act confused or ignorant when confronted about why something did not get done, they do the bare minimum required. They will use phrases and words such as “How should I know, it is not MY job”. Or “I was never told I had to”. And “I did not know”. Unaccountable people are slow to act.

Sometimes, you may have the best of intentions yet still do not do what needs to be done, to get to where you want to be. This may be because you procrastinated, took fewer action steps. When you have either someone to hold you accountable for your goals or you choose to use a method of progress to hold yourself accountable in achieving your intentions you will find that the benefits are:

  • More clarity, focused
  • Less Procrastination
  • Fewer Stops
  • Achievement of results you only dreamed could be possible
  • More balanced and fulfilling life
  • More satisfying relationships

Being accountable is one of the fastest ways to earn respect and trust and feel empowered in your life. When you choose to respond to a method of accountability this gives you control of your life and the power to change things in your life.

Here are some general questions you can use to check in weekly with yourself and see your progress or have a friend hold you accountable for your goals and ask you these questions weekly:

  • What is one action step you are doing with your goal that is working?
  • What makes this action step work so well for you?
  • What would your goal be like if it was perfect?
  • What is missing, which if it were present, would make your goal be perfect?
  • What action steps can you take to put in what’s missing and have your perfect goal manifest in your life?
  • Will you commit to doing that?
  • What in the past has gotten in the way or has stopped you from keeping your commitment?
  • What do you need to have present or put in place, today, to support you in keeping your commitment?
  • In what ways has committing to the action steps in the past week made you more valuable?
  • How have committing to the action steps and accountability method allowed you to feel more empowered?

The above action and accountability questions will help support you in reaching your goals. You may find that all of the questions or just a few of the questions best support you. Choose those questions that resonate with you, that inspire you and motivate you to hold yourself accountable in reaching your goals. Remember, you can always hire a lifestyle coach or seek out a friend to hold you accountable to as well, until you feel you have developed a positive habit of action and accountability.

That vision you’ve set for yourself, commit to pursuing specific steps and you will achieve. You will get there! 

Read more Inspiration Uber Empowerment Books.

Writing for Inner Awareness: Stay Focused on YOUR Path

February 21, 2012

I find that writing activities such as journaling help create more inner awareness, which allows for more peace and harmony. I keep a gratitude journal, and I write in it daily.

Writing for inner awareness can be done on a laptop, in a traditional journal, on a phone, whatever. I like a journal.

Choosing a comfortable location where I’m unlikely to be interrupted helps create a therapeutic experience. Nature or a beautiful location can provide inspiration for writing and thought processing. One of my favorite places is Veterans Park, overlooking the ocean.

I also write just before I go to sleep each night. I reflect on my day and think of a minimum of five things to be thankful for. I might also write about a pleasant surprise I may have had, such as unexpectedly running into an old friend.

Some days are more challenging and I may just feel like writing down the basics, simple things such as gratitude for my health and my family’s health or gratitude for the delicious dinner I enjoyed.

I have noticed that when I take time to give thanks and appreciation for all the good things in my life, I seem to experience more happiness and positive moments.

Another activity that can help clear your mind and keep you guided on your true path is to sit down and write in order to process the thoughts going through your head. This can be in the morning, in the middle of the day—anytime you are sensing too many things on your mind and feel you are missing out on the quality of your day.

I have actually, while driving, pulled over on a side street and grabbed my notebook and pen and begun to write.

Silly as it may sound, so many thoughts will go through my head, including, “I need to get my carpet cleaned,” or, “Did I remember to return my client’s call?’ or, “Should I call up my friend Sheila for dinner plans for tonight?”

When we are caught up in these thoughts, we are not experiencing life fully and in the moment. I call this scattered thoughts or scattered energy. Even though these thoughts are not negative, they are still pulling us away from enjoying ourselves.

When we are in the moment, we are enjoying life and more aware of everything around us.

Be in the moment more often. It is easy to get out of balance more than it is to stay balanced. But if you want it, it can be done. Do you want it?

With consistency, practice, patience, doing each thing with mindfulness, and having the ultimate will, you’ll find yourself enjoying each moment more often and knowing you are living a high quality of life.

Writing also works when you have to make a choice and are having a difficult time figuring out which choice is best. Once you start writing, let the words flow. Stream of consciousness.

Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. This is for your eyes only. If you are angry with someone, or hurt, write down whatever it is you feel and wish you could say.

Tear up the paper when you are done, if you like. You will feel better just having gotten things out of you and onto paper, which also provides clarity.

Writing can bring inner awareness to what your core needs and beliefs are and whether you are paying attention to those needs and making them a priority in your life. This will get you back on track, centered and balanced, and keep you on your true path.

Read more inspiration Uber Empowerment Books.

Share how writing in a journal has helped you in processing life’s challenges and experiences.

 

Are You Too Cautious?

February 14, 2012

I had just finished my run in Palos Verdes and was standing at the intersection on Palos Verdes Boulevard and Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach when that word popped up for what seemed like the third time this week. Cautious. I overheard a couple who had seen me cross in the cross walk and the car that drove in front of me when I was only half way through the cross walk. As a pedestrian, I had the right away. This couple shared their experience when they drove into this same cross walk while a pedestrian had just stepped off the curb and they were given a ticket. Ever since this experience, they are both more cautious. This type of caution makes sense, being a safe driver and following the road rules and laws is necessary.

However, being cautious in life happens in various ways. A friend of mine experienced being cautious after a fall during a trail run due to the uneven terrain. Now, she only runs on flat surfaces such as on the Strand. She admits her runs are always the same route now and no longer mixed with different scenic trails, but at least she feels safe.

There are many situations in life that will cause us to become more cautious. It could be from a financial struggle, relationship issues or some type of alarming experience. These are times that we can certainly learn from. But sometimes we can become too cautious in life and we begin to feel stuck or limited from moving forward into becoming our full potential in life. When we are presented with an opportunity, challenge, problem or obstacle it is important to not focus on the dark negative side of everything.

Perhaps you find yourself weighing out the consequences of every action, every decision and this leaves you hesitant, second guessing and so you procrastinate, put things off or maybe you simple don’t do anything. It is normal to feel nervous about making a change, taking a risk and moving out of your comfort zone. Feeling nervous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new. Sometimes it can help to focus on the facts at this time instead of your feelings about making a change. Taking time to carefully consider the facts will help you to better decide whether a course of action is right for you.

As a lifestyle empowerment coach, I have explained to my clients that the mind makes things so much scarier than they actually are. Often it is more of the anticipation of the unknown outcome that is keeping us stuck in our comfort zone than our desire to try something new.  It can be encouraging to start with one challenge, opportunity or obstacle at a time. Recognize that even just attempting to face a fear head on can help to move you out of your comfort zone. Become aware that even if your fear isn’t totally cured you can accept that no matter what the outcome -whether you win, loose or regardless …  You will develop more courage, faith and a stronger belief in yourself. Your personal growth does wonders for your self-confidence and will remind you that anything is possible when you embrace stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Yes, you may cautiously begin to say yes and do things that previously would leave you stuck in your safe world of monotony. It can help to go at your own pace. Just because you are deciding to make a change, take a risk or try something new doesn’t mean you have to go full force. Take one step at a time, wait and see the results and then take that second step. As you begin to feel more comfortable and confident, you will begin to take larger risks.

Begin to live life more fully that will allow your mind and heart to discover all the amazing possibilities out there.

Read Uber Empowerment Books.

 

Empower Others Through Listening

February 4, 2012

Sometimes, simply listening to a friend talk about her problems can be more empowering for your friend than offering advice.

I was headed to the beach for my morning run and as I passed through Veterans Park, I overheard a woman consoling her friend, telling her how horrible she must be feeling and how badly she wished she could fix her friend’s problem. I’m not sure if this is what her friend really needed to hear at the time, and it made me wonder if this type of comment really made the friend feel better—or worse?

I can recall a few times in life when I had someone there for me to offer support or to bounce ideas off of and bring me back into focus. I think of my parents, siblings and closest friends who’ve been so supportive.

All of us need support from time to time. Have you ever received support from a coach, friend, family member or co-worker that seem to radiate like a beam of sunshine, driving you into the right action? Perhaps this allowed you to move forward and make a decision that you courageously chose for yourself—all because you knew you had their support behind whatever choice you made. Maybe it was a result of the right questions a friend asked you at the time, or you just knew you had your family’s full support in all your endeavors.

On the flip side, maybe you have shared a dilemma with a friend in hopes of feeling better and adopting a more positive attitude, only to find you felt worse than you did before you opened up to your friend. Your friend may have said something such as, “Oh, you poor thing! I can’t believe that happened to you. You must feel just horrible. I wish I could fix that for you.” Your friend’s well-meaning intentions of offering sympathy left you feeling down, negative and disempowered.

We’ve all fallen into the victim mode before, whether we were the one trying to offer sympathy or we were the one receiving it. It can be tempting over-sympathize when someone we care about is suffering; however, this is not positive support.

Instead, we can choose to listen compassionately to someone’s dilemma, bring hot soup to a sick friend or offer a fresh perspective on a challenging situation.

The key is when offering support, we want the receiver to feel loved, encouraged and empowered. This way, we are helping them to make a positive choice, take positive action and come out of their situation quickly—not stay stuck.

Here are some tips to help empower someone who is seeking support:

  • Focus on the person’s positive strengths. Choose to help them rise to a higher level by offering empathy and compassion. We can be present for someone’s pain or suffering and help them remember their inner strengths and positive resources. Often, this can be the best gift to someone who is struggling. I once told a longtime friend of mine, “You are such a strong, positive person. I know you will pull through this and come out wiser.” You can only imagine how this encouraging comment was the ticket to her finding a re-inspired perspective on her situation and life.
  • We may understand exactly how someone is feeling because we have gone through a very similar experience before; however, this doesn’t mean we will fix this person’s problem for them. We can feel what they are going through because we’ve been there, too. We can allow our experience to help empower this person. I recently ran into a friend of mine at Starbucks in the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates. The last time I had seen her, she was going through one of life’s most difficult situations, and I could very much relate, having gone through something similar. I have always seen her as a fully functional human being who will know the next step that needs to be taken. I can recall, at the time she was going through her dilemma, I told her: “I sense your struggling right now, and I’m sorry you have to go through this. What are you going to do?” Now, my friend is happy and has moved on from the challenging situation and seems to be quite positive, wiser and self-empowered.
  • Listening without judgment offers empathy. We’ve all been taught to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Don’t, however, try to fix their problem for them. Listening with compassion and allowing them to share their feelings helps them get it out, which may be all they need from you at this time. When you listen, you offer empathy, which can allow them to feel better and choose empowering action, whereas sympathy tends to focus on reacting—sometimes to the point where we take on their feelings and feel their pain. We are not meant to suffer along with others; we need to remember that their painful situations will assist their self-growth.
  • Asking questions helps them talk more about their feelings and focus on their own solution. Nevertheless, sometimes when we offer advice and solutions, we are not doing them a favor in any way—and we can even make them feel disempowered. No self-growth can take place for them. Instead of telling them what to do, listen, ask a few questions and guide them toward what they feel is the right answer or next step to take. How empowered have you felt when you were in a difficult situation and had the opportunity to express your feelings and come up with your own solution? Remember to do this next time you find yourself in contact with someone who is struggling.
  • Check in with them. Sending a quick email might help lighten their mood. Remind them to see the humorous side of the situation. Providing humor and encouragement can be an excellent supportive gesture for some of us. I was having a conversation with a friend at Lido di Manhattanwhen the friend reminded me to remember the humor in life’s challenges. Nevertheless, just as humor can be the therapeutic dose for some, love and positive thoughts can be what is needed for others. Just knowing that someone is thinking positive thoughts about you can be the perfect supportive remedy for some.

Each situation calls for different types of support and encouragement. Often we may not know much about the challenges someone is facing, but offering to be available to listen to them may be all that is needed. Who knows, it might be the best gift we can offer them at the time.

Read Uber Empowerment Books.


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