Resistance to Change: new YouTube video

Do you tend to see resistance to change as a problem to be fixed or an obstacle to be overcome?

If we can change our perspective on it slightly, resistance to change can be useful and positive rather than a hindrance and negative.

Our resistance then becomes a helpful tool or message, and can open up a range of new options.

RESISTANCE TO CHANGE – WHAT IS IT REALLY?

People resist change when they perceive it – consciously or unconsciously – as a threat.

Sometimes, these perceived threats can be quite obvious or easily identified. But these threats and fears can at times be very subtle, hidden or even counter-intuitive – especially when dealing with self growth, personal development or more immediate challenges.

Resistance to change often shows up as an almost physical block – a really strong sensation that wants you to run in the opposite direction or avoid it at all costs!

We don’t always spot the fear that underlies our strong response. It might be triggered by a new idea or a positive change we want to make that somehow threatens our sense of identity, confidence or connection with others.Continue reading

Leading by Example – But is it a Good Example?

Do you realise you are leading by example, but is it a good example?

During recent workshops, Chris challenged some leaders to really think about what kind of examples they were setting. They were effectively always leading by example, but was it a good example or not?

It’s not just about the example you are setting for others, but more importantly for yourself.

For some it might be going to the gym. For others it could be when they are face with a difficult challenge at work, or an uncomfortable conversation that needs to be had. By setting an example for yourself, it allows you to naturally and honestly set the example for others.

Whenever you find yourself being stuck, ask yourself, what would a would class leader do in this situation?

We are always leading by example.

Check your own Facebook feed, scrolling back through your own status updates, what kind of an example are you setting for others?

Paul talks about how previously his own twitter feed mentioned more about Apple products than it did about personal development!

Maybe you’ve experience a child that has mimicked you (sometimes with a little embarrassment!) it’s because you have been setting an example, they have just followed your lead.

  • Is the example you’re setting the one you’d like to be known for?
  • Where could you be a bit more mindful on what sort of example you are setting not just for others but your yourself?

Have a good hard look in the mirror, whatever that mirror might be:

  • Your Facebook status updates
  • Your Twitter feed
  • The emails you send
  • The conversations you have with your friends and family

Start making a list of things you would like to be discussing, or activities you’d like to be known for doing/talking about with your friends.

For example, how would you describe the day you’ve just had? What would you like that description to be like? Positive and engaging? Or whiny and negative? How would you prefer that sound when you are talking it through with friends?

By trying to be that person, you’re taking the right steps to actually becoming that person.

Having the Energy to Do It All

With a hint of regret and a look of disappointment, a client recently revealed that she just doesn’t feel like doing much in the evenings after a day of work.

She was too tired to think, too overwhelmed to see clearly and “…just needed some ‘me’ time to unwind”.

Of course, she’s not alone.

It’s a common malaise of today’s “always on” way for many people – demands continue to rise yet our capacity to meet those demands doesn’t naturally rise along with them. This often leaves us in a deficit of time, energy and enthusiasm for what matters to us outside of work (and many important things in work too).

We would never say it’s what we think, but our behaviour often shows that part of us believes that because technology runs at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time, then we should to.

Illogical, but the truth for many of us nonetheless.

Is there an alternative? Is it possible to break this cycle?

Of course there is.

Sometimes we just need to slow down long enough to notice, to think and to reset our perspective on where we want our energy to be directed.

The first thing to understand is that unlike machines and technology that run on one or two sources of energy (e.g. electricity, petrol), we humans run on – and need – four sources of energy.

Physical energy is the foundation. It’s the quantity of energy we have on a daily basis directly influenced by sleep, what we eat and drink, and how we exercise (or not). Without physical energy we are fairly useless to ourselves and others.

Emotional energy is the quality of our energy. We are fuelled by our emotions and how we feel profoundly influences how we perform. What’s more, we have much more control over our emotions than we give ourselves credit for.

Mental energy is where and how we direct our energy. Where does your focus tend to go? On big important things that matter most to you? Or on small, but voluminous details and minor things that keep you busy but don’t move you forward and accelerate your success. When it comes to trying to deal with all the things in our lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of mistaking activity for productivity.

Spiritual energy is simply about having a sense of purpose and being in alignment to that purpose. That doesn’t just apply to the biggest question of all, “What is the purpose of your life?” but even on a daily basis where it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of many of the things that requires your energy, attention and time. In the UK and other parts of Europe it’s a common expression that something, or an experience, can be “soul destroying” – a cancelled project, a task you’ve been assigned where you don’t see the point of it all, or being overloaded with demands from your boss who doesn’t see that you’re already struggling to keep your head above water.

Within these four dimensions of your energy lies every solution you need to lead a more rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, happier, healthier and purposeful life.

If you are like the thousands of smart, educated and committed people who tend to fall flat at the end of the day, or week, you need to do something differently.

It’s not the way it should be. You must stop tolerating that and seeing it as acceptable.

You should have enough energy at the end of your work day to fully engage in your personal life, friends, hobbies and activities that you enjoy.

It’s how we humans are designed and it’s what you deserve.

So as a starting point, at the end of your day, give yourself a score of 1-10. 1 is you are completely and utterly drained, 10 is you are fully energised. Score yourself on EACH of the four dimensions of energy.

The more accurately you can diagnose where your deficit currently is, the more precisely you can apply the right solution.

Having more energy isn’t just about getting more sleep or putting your feet up.

As my client began to realise, making small changes and creating new habits to expand her energy across the four dimensions creates an upward, positive and sustainable spiral of renewable energy.

Within a matter of days, she felt more energised, more focused, more engaged and more fulfilled.

And perhaps most importantly of all, she reconnected with her inner strength and capacity to take back control of her choices and her life.

Do you regularly find yourself being drained at the end of the day? What would you love to do that you don’t seem to have the energy to do? Leave a comment below and let us know and we will provide suggestions and strategies in upcoming podcasts and blog posts. Or pop your feedback on our Facebook page.

GIGO – Garbage in Garbage Out: What are you putting in to your life?

By going without the food, that we all know is bad for us, for a short time both Gina and Paul noticed something very interesting. When they sampled the food they thought they craved before they were able to feel the negative effects much more profoundly.

Both Gina and Paul have had some recent success with their eating habits and have been able to shed a few pounds. But their new diets helped them reflect on what else they were consuming in their lives that was effectively just garbage.

But it’s not just food that seems to make a dent in your physically wellbeing, but the news we read, the relationships we have all have a dramatic effect. By just going without something that you believe is bad for you, for just a week, when you try it again the results seem almost magnified. Their motivation was reduce, their mood was affected and their energy levels were lower.

Going without something for a short period of time could be just the thing you need to help you recognise just how unhealthy it is for you!  The old computer adage of GIGO (Garbage in = Garbage Out).

Even if you “fall off the wagon” once in a while, making sure to get back on track as soon as you can. Re-starting, getting back in to the routine is crucial.   In fact deliberately having a break from being “good” can make you savour what you do. It will also help you notice the difference. You’ll find it easier to notice what is good for you, and the effects of having something bad can have on you.

What garbage are you putting into your life?

 

How to Overcome Your Plateau

Every now and again we seem to get less out of the effort we put in.

It happens with our health and fitness, in relationships and in careers.

Is this natural? Normal? Does it happen more than you like?

In this podcast Paul and Chris discuss how to recognise a plateau, what happens when they show up, plus provide three solid strategies for overcoming plateaus in any context.

1. Refresh

Sometimes just a bit of variety, fun and mixing it up can be enough to challenge your status quo and motivate you to the next level of progress or fulfillment.

2. Re-engage

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut at times and lose sight of why you’re there in the first place. Feelings of overwhelm by the amount of work to be done, burdened by the responsibilities, and perhaps even experiencing hopelessness that things will improve. In this case it can be very helpful to step back and reconnect with what you really want and why you want it. Paul and Chris share exactly how to do this.

3. Re-evaluate

As creatures of habits we will quickly fall into a regular pattern or regular approach to trying to achieve what we want. We hit the same machines at the gym, manage a project in the same process or deal with our partners in the same way. However, those habits may be the exact reason why you’re experiencing the plateau in the first place. Re-evaluating your approach, your process and your usual way of doing things can shed new light on your challenge and give you alternatives you hadn’t thought of before.

Listen to this podcast now and join the conversation with a comment below or on our Facebook page.

How To Calm Your Mind

Cosmic Mudra Zazen

When did you last take a breather? Centre yourself? Feel calm?
It’s rare – unless you’re a yoga bunny or meditate once a day – to experience calm and balance. So many distractions, a never-ending ‘to do’ list and all and sundry calling on your time and your energy. Plenty of distractions.

So to help you go within and experience your true essence and some quiet time, here’s an easy exercise you can do first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and if you work from home almost anytime.

Centering and Balancing

Our life force or chi is the energy you feel pulsing through you every day. This spirit is the electrical energy that fuels the living matrix of your body. When you practice the exercise (see below), you’ll become acutely aware how your breathing influences your thoughts and your emotions.

Developing an awareness of the breath is crucial in stilling the mind.

Sit comfortably

So… either sit on the floor cross-legged on a pillow or cushion, or if you prefer in a chair. Sit upright with your back straight.
Imagine your head is touching the ceiling but keep it level. Feet on the floor, legs uncrossed. Allow your muscles to relax, without slouching and feel your abdomen pushing slightly forward so your diaphragm moves freely with each breath.

Now place your hands in what is known as the ‘cosmic mudra’ position. Put your lead hand (right if you are right-handed; left if you are left-handed) palm up in your lap. Nestle the other hand gently on the palm of the active hand so that the knuckles overlap and your thumb tips just touch. Making an oval.

Become still

Allow your body to settle into a comfortable position. Your back is upright but not stiff, your chin is slightly tucked in, the tip of your tongue resting gently against the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth (prevents over-salivation). Breathe through your nose.
Then lower your eyes so you’re looking at the ground a few feet in front of you.

Discover your centre
As you do this your focus will start to move naturally inwards. Shift your attention to your hara… this is your power spot located 2.5 inches below the navel. It’s actually the centre of gravity in your body too. Allowing your focus to rest on your hara creates a sense of balance for the body and mind. As you breathe in, imagine your breath going down to the hara, then returning from the hara as you breathe out.

Be mindful of your breath
Become aware of your breath, how it feels in your nose, the back of your throat. As you breathe count 1 on the in breath and 2 on the out breath and so on up to 10. Then repeat the whole process from 1 again. If you get distracted, choose to let go of your thoughts and begin again.

If you do this for 15 minutes in the morning and evening you’ll find your ability to focus and concentrate dramatically improve. You’ll be able to find stillness among all the outer chaos in the world. And you can do this anywhere and at any time. Moving to your still point swiftly and with ease will positively impact your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Happy breathing!

Creating Momentum- The Fuel to Motivation

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Source: empowernetwork.com via Discover on Pinterest

In the goal setting process, the key to accomplishing things is to know how to create momentum. Creating momentum is essentially taking that first step that will begin a series of actions, which will help you to work on your goals continuously despite any challenges and roadblocks you might encounter. You may have come to realise by now that the hardest part of getting something done is actually taking the first step, but like all things, you accomplish your goals by taking it step by step.

Why do You Need to be Motivated?

Having enough motivation is important for creating momentum, because if you don’t want to accomplish something enough, then you probably won’t be willing to exert sufficient effort to accomplish it. Motivation is an emotion, which encourages you to act, thus pushing you forward despite your hesitations and excuses. This momentum will lead you to continue working harder. So what happens when you aren’t motivated? It’s going to be tough for you to accomplish things, and all your efforts in goal setting might go to waste if you don’t find the energy to get going.

How to Create Momentum

Creating momentum is done by taking things gradually. The first step is to create a clear vision of the outcome you are after. Begin with the end in mind, because you can easily lose track of your goals if you don’t. When you have determined your end goal and made a plan to accomplish it, you need to muster enough courage to take action right away. Success grows on success, so start with a small goal that you can easily accomplish in a few days. As soon as you get started, your momentum kicks in and you will notice that things will begin to flow. Taking the first step is the hardest part but once you make the first move, the following steps are easier to follow.

Once you’ve created momentum for one plan, it doesn’t mean that momentum will last forever for all your other goals. It’s normal for you to have down times, and when this happens, the key is to know how to start the momentum building process all over again. You need to concentrate on becoming good at starting and restarting,

Tips for Creating Momentum

There are a number of things that can stop your momentum. Here are some tips that can help you restart again during your goal setting process. Remember, it is all about pushing yourself to accomplish the first step. After that, everything else follows, as long as you remember your goals.

  • Determine if you have strong enough reasons to proceed with a particular goal.
  • Do you have motivation to complete this goal? You have to really want your desired end result, because if you don’t have the drive you simply won’t achieve it. It just means that it’s not a worthy goal.
  • Discover what drives   is it a challenge, a competition, or perhaps a realisation that you’re not getting any younger?
  • Learn how to act upon your goals, even when you aren’t in the mood. Promise to work on something for just 20 minutes, you’ll be amazing how easy it becomes to take action.
  • Create a back-up plan that will prevent you from giving lousy excuses when you’re not in the mood to work on your goals. For instance, what should you do if you’re too tired to spend time with your family? Is reading your child a bedtime for only 10 minutes really enough? What about a quick dinner with your partner?

Keep in mind that it isn’t easy to juggle loads of goals at once. If you have too many goals, you may end up not accomplishing any of them, which is why you have to take things step by step. Focus on the top 3 goals that you want to prioritise, and then pick the most important one for you. At the same time, only work on ONE goal a time and don’t move on to the next until you’ve made progress on the first.

 

How To Achieve Goals (Tackling Your Mountain)

Everyone’s experience of how to achieve goals most effectively is going to vary, and be to some degree unique.

Given the same mountain to climb, we’d likely all take slightly different paths up, require different amounts of preparation and approach it at different speeds. And the way we approach the big goals, challenges or mountains we set ourselves is no exception.

So as Sam tackled what would seem to be a mountain of a project recently, it is unsurprising that she & Paul both approach big projects with a totally different plan of attack! No matter how many self development books you read, podcasts you listen to or even coaches you have, only you can really decide what works best for you when it comes to how to achieve goals effectively.

When you set yourself a challenge, or decide you want to work towards something really important to you, how do you tackle the mountain of effort required?

When we commit to something we are passionate about or really believe in it, there is likely to be a significant amount of work required to reach the point where it is fully possible and real – climbing the side of the mountain. It is only once we’re at the top that we recognise just how far we’ve come, can admire the view, and see the route down the other side to our new self and new success.

It is important to recognise that we’ll all have our own approaches, and we’ll each find certain methods that work best for us – there is no right or wrong approach, only what is effective for you!

Join Paul & Sam as they share the very different ways they tend to tackle the mountain, and explore what route you take when you’ve set yourself a big challenge.

Are you the type of person that likes to focus on one big project at a time, or lots of little ones?

Do you go full steam ahead at the start of the project but lose speed as you reach the end or do you plod along at a steady pace and then go all manic as you reach the end?

Discovering how to achieve goals most effectively for you needs to start with a good deal of awareness and exploration as you tackle your mountain, which can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride – as Paul & Sam explored in podcast a few years ago: http://www.actionpodcast.com/2009/04/lifes-rollercoaster-ride-767/

We’d love to hear about the type of approach you tend to take, and what metaphoric mountain(s) you are currently tackling – so please leave us a comment below, or visit us at Facebook.
And we’ve set a challenge for Chris & Gina to create a sister-podcast exploring their own unique approaches too!

 

Our popular “80 Tips for Everyday Action” is now available on Amazon Kindle, download your copy instantly to your Kindle, or the Kindle app on iPhone/iPad & Android.

To get a sneak peak at Sam’s most recent mountain-climbing results, and who the programme currently under pilot is aimed at, visit HurdlesHappen.

Only Human – Know Your Own Limitations

música 65We are only human, and therefore do have our own set of limitations about what is possible, feasible & even ideal. That’s not to say we can’t stretch or challenge that from time to time (as Felix Baumgartner recently demonstrated so dramatically!), but it is less healthy to ignore them or pretend they don’t exist.

We can’t be everything to everyone, whilst performing at maximum capacity for extended periods and continuing to say ‘Yes’ to even more things, without something giving. We are not machines – let alone well-oiled ones!

But we can get caught up in our own hype when we’re under pressure, and be fooled by our seemingly superhuman capabilities.

We forget how to say ‘No’ when someone asks us to take on another task or responsibility or to make time for something else, even if we recognise we’re already struggling under the current load. We think we can crank out even more productivity and peak performance – like an endurance athlete – despite the fact that we’ve not prepared ourselves adequately & certainly aren’t looking after ourselves properly in between. We feel like we’ve got to right all wrongs, or address all outstanding issues, just because we’ve managed to make some great progress on a few things we’ve been focused on.

Consciously choosing to push our boundaries and abilities is a healthy, natural and essential evolutionary impulse. It is what nurtures dreams and enables change.

But it is a wise man who understands his own limitations.

And a wise woman who knows hers too!

There is no sense in pushing ourselves until we break, or until we smash all the plates that we’ve been trying so delicately to keep spinning.

The human body and brain are truly remarkable, and the human heart and soul are fathomlessly deep.

So to honour both our ability to grow and evolve, as well as our innate humanness, we need to be clear about what our non-negotiables are:

  • What do you really need to prioritise (what’s most important)?
  • What are the things you aren’t willing to compromise on or let slip?
  • What areas does your persistence turn into stubbornness that really doesn’t serve you?
  • What is the cost (to yourself, others & your dreams) of ignoring your healthy limitations?

Could it be time to take off the cape, and forgive yourself for being only human?

Why Your Problem Isn’t Going Away

Do you have a problem or challenge that seems to continually behave like an uninvited guest in your life?

Those extra 10lbs around your waist line?

That annoying boss that is always micro-managing your every move?

That credit card debt that is quietly growing, not shrinking?

We all have “problems” that can be a constant thorn in our side and cause of frustration, disappointment or even depression.

But if it’s sticking around in your life longer than you want or need it to, you’ve got to ask WHY?

WHY does it continue to persist?

WHY have you allowed it to persist?

Despite all the resasons you might give, and what you say when you vent to your partner or best friend, they may not be the “right” reasons.

Changing something can be hard and when we face change we fight against our natural tendencies for maintaining our internal status quo.

We are hardwired for self-preservation. Some say that’s evolutionary, some say it’s passed down from generations. Either way, what research shows is that we are designed to conserve as much as possible…calories, physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy, etc.

In other words, we like the path of least resistance and this directly affects the decisions we make and the action we take.

And because we like the path of least resistance we generally respond to change in one of four ways:

a. Procrastinate – we intellectually know – and emotionally, are acutely aware – that something is off in our lives but we decide we can delay taking action until some later time (and be no worse off). It may not feel like a decision, but our behaviour shows that we have decided to not take the action necessary to resolve it.

b. Rationalize – we acknowledge the conflict but downplay it in our mind. We justify the problem for the time being even if it still stings but are convincing enough to allow it to persist. “It’s only 5lbs but I’m not as heavy as I was in 2008 and I don’t have any big social obligations coming up so I’ll just wear my bagging clothes until I need to change…”

c. Suppress – we try to completely ignore it or push it out of our minds. We turn our attention to more pressing matters, or convenient distractions that we can find in the moment. Chocolate or the office sweets jar are a common reprieve from the discomfort.

d. Accept – we acknowledge it yet tell ourselves that this is the way things are and there’s no point trying to change it. We adopt learned helplessness and play victim to the situation rendering us incapable of making it better. It may feel like that is true but this approach can erode our self-esteem, self-worth and resourcefulness to find a way…because there’s always a way if we want it badly enough.

When we engage in any of these behaviours we are effectively resolving our conflict in the moment but the reality is we’re not solving anything. It feels like we are because the tension goes away but we’re only delaying the eventual solution.

And when your action is only aimed at resolving your inner conflict (e.g. your feelings of stress, worrying, frustration, disappointment, etc) in the moment but don’t actually move closer to eliminating the real issue, you are directly and undeniably encouraging your problem to stick around.

So when you ask WHY the challenge continues to be present in your life, start measuring yourself against these four common responses.

  • Are you exhibiting one or more of these behaviours more than you should?
  • Are you doing it consciously and actively avoiding having to face the issue head on?
  • Or were you doing it unconsciously but now you can see how you are contributing to the lingering nature of the problem?

It’s time to take back control of yourself and be more mindful of how you respond to problems.

Just as you trained yourself to take the path of least resistance, you can train yourself to take the path of most effectiveness. You can make your default reaction more conscious, more honest, more courageous, more resourceful and cut off the chance of it sticking around longer than it needs to.

Which in turn, means you will have more energy and optimism for the things that really matter to you and to work on becoming the person you want to be.

If this post resonated with you, tell us why? How do you tend to respond and what do you think you could do differently in the future. Leave us a comment below or post on our facebook page.

 

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