Category: <span>Personal Development</span>

motivation, how to find your purpose

4 Clever Tips To Find Your Purpose and Redefine Yourself

Discovering who you are is a way to understand your purpose and reduce the anxiety and disconnect you feel in your life.

Do you ever wonder why you’re here? Or reached a point in life that you question, is this all life is about?” It’s like getting to the end of the action-packed ride you waited an hour for only to come off like, “that’s it?” 

This is the same feeling many of us experience who have checked all the boxes, aligned with cultural or familial expectations, and did “all the things” only to one-day wake up with a life that’s far from what they expected.

Before we hit this realization, it sometimes gets lost in a tirade of energy-sucking complaints. It may start with minor things in life, like why won’t he pick up the laundry off the floor? To forever late to everything, or dreading going into work- finding yourself more reactive, envious, or defensive to others, to escalating unhappiness. This dynamic is more about our own avoidance of what we don’t like about ourselves. Let that marinate.

When you are out of Alignment

When we are out of alignment with what we want in life or are living in a way this is not an expression of who we are (our likes, values, etc.), it is sometimes projected outwardly as complaints, victimization, or blaming other people for something you instead need to address within yourself.  

For me, purpose is redefining who you are or who you thought you needed to be. It’s finding what you love, and that’s the work I love to do with the women I work with. After all, you were created with a unique set of gifts, passions, and talents that no one else in the world can duplicate! You have to find space for that in your life, which is sometimes outside the expectations that have guided your life so far.  

Your success is connected to how you leverage your strengths and navigate your own wants and everyone else’s expectations. Taking the time to discover your purpose allows you to redefine yourself in a way that brings you greater self-fulfillment and promotes emotional wellness.

When you’re doing what you feel like you must have been born to do, you can create a life you enjoy every day.  

Your goals will have more meaning to you, and challenges will be naturally easier to overcome as you operate with intention and expectation instead of out of obligation and dread. This process for finding your life purpose enables you to tune in to your inner self and figure out what drives you. Take the time to find your purpose – your life will undoubtedly change for the better!

Do Not Disturb. It’s Time To Get Honest With Yourself  

For this process, an open mind is optional but helpful. Some of this may seem too deep — too personal. You may ask yourself how it has anything to do with my career, purpose, or having a business. But ultimately, all of this is connected.  You will need piece of paper, something to write with, and a stretch of quiet time (anywhere from 15mins to 1 hour), so throw up that Do Not Disturb Sign on the office door and let’s do some work.

As you are doing this exercise, try to empty your mind as much as possible. A great way to help you do that is with a mindfulness practice, as the less cluttered your mind is, the easier the process will be.

Redefining Yourself and Finding Your Purpose

Rediscovering and reinventing yourself is a natural part of self development. It’s essential for honest and valuable growth.

1.    Focus on your intention. Write at the top of your paper: “Finding my purpose.” This simple act sets your intention in your mind for the next hour (or whatever time you decide. You can always start with a smaller period of time and repeat the exercise when you have more time).

2.    Begin listing your thoughts – even if it’s doubts about this process. As you clear your mind and focus on this process, write whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is. If you think to yourself, “This isn’t going to work,” then you would write, “This isn’t going to work.”

3.    Brainstorm.  List what you think your purpose or gifts, strengths, and talents may be. Feel free to incorporate a few of these questions below to help generate some ideas. Keep writing until you believe you’ve arrived at your purpose. Eventually, you will see connections. And likely notice the connection between the things you enjoy doing and the things you were meant to do in your life.

· What is the most important priority in your life? Family? Work? or something else?

· What brings you joy in those spaces, or what do you find challenging at the moment?

· Is there someone triggering you in those spaces? What types of stories are you telling yourself about this person/situation? 

· What are your talents and abilities? What are you good at? (Try to get a list of 5 – 10, but don’t overthink it).

· What are your weaknesses? (Be kind to yourself here. It shouldn’t exceed your strengths list).

· Which skills would you like to develop further? Why?

· What are you passionate about / what do you love to do?

· What are you not so passionate about / what do you hate doing?

· Do you get joy from helping others? Who?

· Based on your knowledge, experiences, and what you like to do, who do you like to help? 

· What problems do they have?

· What have you always wanted to do, but you haven’t done it yet?

· Who do you most enjoy being around? Adults? Children? Why?

· Do you like to travel?

· Do you want more excitement in your life?

· What are your favorite books or movies? Why?

· How do you feel about your relationships?

· What or who kicks up your anxiety or perfectionism the most? What insights can you gather from that dynamic?

· What do you value?

· How important is money?

· What are three things you would do over differently if it were up to you?

4.    How will you know you’ve arrived at purpose? You’ll know. It will be the answer that fills you with the most emotion. It may even bring you to tears. The idea will resonate with you completely; simply continue writing whatever comes into your mind until you reach that point.

A few of your answers may repeat itself and that’s ok. You may also notice a bunch of nonsense, but our brain can get distracted or be a little cluttered, and this exercise sometimes exposes that. Howeve, your brain will expose your innermost dreams as well. There may be a few answers that feel good, but remember you are looking for the most meaningful to you.

When you see good ones but not “it,” this means you’re close but not entirely on target yet. You’re looking for that one idea that feels overwhelming to you. In this exercise, it’s common to take several ideas before your purpose takes shape, even as many as 400 ideas. Keep writing!

How can my life purpose benefit me?

Hopefully you’ve discovered your purpose, or have a good sense of it. Now the work is to honor it. To do that, keep it in mind consistently as you make decisions in your life. Ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with my purpose or values?” A life lived like this, with direction and intentionality, is a life with less overwhelm and more joy.

So don’t wait any longer; schedule a time to do this exercise when you know you’ll have some peace and quiet. Understanding the core reason you’re here and ensuring that it aligns with the life you have created is a beautiful gift to yourself

Psychotherapist, Mental Health Trainer, Black Therapist, Coach
Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R Therapist, Mindset Coach for Women in Business and Corporate Mental Health Consultant
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase an item I will receive a commission at no cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

10 Tips to Encourage the Tired Entrepreneur

I just wanted to remind you that you are amazing. 

I don’t think we get to hear that as much as we need it, and sometimes we are just too tired to give it to ourselves, so I’m sharing that compassion with you.

We don’t always know how to tell people how we feel about them; it’s like this great big mystery to find out how people think about us. 

Looking at it from a cultural lens, Caribbean families, for example, you’ll often overhear your parents telling your auntie or their friend how proud they are of you that you excelled in school, won the trophy, involved in sports, working on your business, yet, they may not directly tell you how proud they are of you.  Sometimes, we even forget to tell ourselves, but at this moment, I am showing up to let you know that you are doing a wonderful job, and I am so proud of your thoughtfulness and efforts.

Find That Positive Encouragement

We have to find supportive spaces to pour into us, especially when you are in a service position, or typically engage in a love language of giving.  Get around a community working just as hard as you are, especially as entrepreneurs and women with amazing goals. We aren’t always around people that get the drive or the sacrifice that comes with this role. Or even how empty, or worn out you are on the inside, despite how aesthetically pleasing you may show up on the outside. Find a tribe that gets that, and that’s willing to pour into you as well. You are welcome to join my tribe, especially if you are a woman of color, we sometimes need a unique space to relax, feel safe and allow ourselves to be poured into. 

Find the community that is going to push you

That said, just because someone doesn’t see or acknowledge your brilliance doesn’t mean that you aren’t exactly that. It’s ok to pour into yourself instead of waiting for external validation and approval. I want you to think of two ways to remind yourself that you are amazing, that you are brilliant, creative, [insert strength].

Think about that right now, write it down, and take the next step of figuring out how to remind yourself of even that reminder. For example, I could send myself a text message, so let me find that app that will do that for me. I can schedule a few emails for the future, etc. By engaging in that extra bit of action right now, this shifts from interesting thoughts to a sustainable system of action that regularly infuses positive encouragement into your life. 

Words of encouragement for the tired entrepreneur

What’s the key to pushing through? You have to stay mentally and emotionally encouraged. One way to do this is to reinforce statements that uplift your spirit on a daily basis.

  • I am happy with my growth at this moment.
  • I am in love with my life and my business. I own my worth. 
  • I deserve the best in all areas of my life 
  • I embrace the greatness within me
  • I am unstoppable
  • I am a fierce and powerful woman 
  • I am energized and ready to slay the day 
  • I welcome positive vibes and opportunity into my life
  • It is ok to rest
  • I make self-care a priority because it’s essential for self-love

And this final gem from Congress woman Maxine Waters, “I am a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated.” 

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R is a Psychotherapist, Coach and Consultant pushing the personal development of women. She loves to run, nap and spend time with her family.  Amanda talks tips and all things mental health at www.amandafludd.com. Make sure to also follow her on Instagram @amanda.fludd.

End Self Criticism and Learn To Like Yourself

You are amazing. You are more than enough. You are creative, talented, effective, and beautiful. Yet, so self critical.

The truth is, many of us often engage in a very critical inner dialogue flooded with “I can’t,” “should’s,” “what if’s,” or “I am not enough.” Words that play into catastrophic (imaginary) outcomes as it plays out in our minds (often in elaborate detail) and throws a wrench in our progress.

Have you ever wondered why you can be so self-critical and how to tackle the thought I am not enough?

Here’s to some deep soul searching today.

In rare cases, self-criticism can be helpful- it may give some valuable insight, but it’s rare. The problem with self-critical thoughts or that unchecked inner mean girl is it takes a direct hit at your confidence and sense of self. Unchecked, it increases your risk for stress or experiences like depression anxiety.

Don’t think your way out of how capable you are. Instead, remember that thoughts are not facts, and if you shift your thoughts, you can shift your experience.

Ten affirmations to replace critical conversations: 

I am capable of doing hard things.

I am focused and persistent.

I am safe.

I am in charge of my own happiness.

I am doing the best that I can.

I am capable of creating positive change.

I am the expert in the room.

I am dismantling systems that create inequity piece by piece.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am proud of myself and all that I have accomplished.

Which of these speaks to you? 

To embrace those I am’s and respond to them in meaningful ways instead of our fears, it becomes essential to explore the source of our negative thoughts. With awareness, you can gain the insights and skills to reframe self-critical thoughts, so they don’t continue as barriers as you execute your goals.

Let’s tackle I Am Not Enough

It’s one of the most common self-critical thoughts. It is often connected to early family stories, invalidating environments, traumas, or shame-based experiences that can emotionally paralyze us in real-time. For example, Mark (definitely not his name), grew up with a very old school strict father who wanted him to “man up,” a consistent message in his young life. When his eight-year-old self (the client) brought home 90’s, it would be met with, well why isn’t it a 100?

While it was never clearly stated, what is the underlying thought or belief you hear with this example?

It’s not enough.

As a developing being, if you repeatedly hear negative messages, it can quickly become internalized into this belief that no matter how hard I work, it is not enough. I have to work extra hard to be “enough” or be seen, acknowledged, or accepted. The most challenging part is that the achievement will never resolve “I am not enough.” It becomes complicated to feel or be satisfied. This dynamic around this idea of “enough,” or any self-critical thought, can consequently create space for things like anxiety, perfectionism, worry, overworking, and stress.

How do I change the I am not enough thoughts?

A significant step to change is awareness. It’s helpful to think about where the thoughts or ideas come from.

Ask yourself when does this happen to me, and begin to get curious about the experience.

Ask, why do I feel like I’m never enough? It is important here to also take a moment to acknowledge the feelings that accompany that experience. Often those same emotions you notice were never given space and were instead met with the message don’t cry, what’s wrong with you, or feelings are a sign of weakness.

Once you realize that thoughts based on your past may still be showing up to control your present, it gets easier to address them in real-time, like using the above affirmations. The key is finding the unhelpful thoughts or beliefs based on old ideas that no longer support your life and learning to reframe them. It becomes easier to like who you have become, accept you are enough, and embrace your success with new perspectives.

Reflection Point: Changing The I Am Not Enough Thoughts 

  1. Figure out the source. Spend some time unpacking your thoughts and feelings.
  2. To help your awareness – Try journaling, meditation, or other contemplative activities to find and release the things holding you back. You can give our self-love journal a try. The prompts help you to approach self-criticism from a place of self-compassion.
  3. Every time you have a negative or critical thought, replace it with a new thought that uplifts you and makes you feel good enough. Or repeat to yourself, I am good enough or another affirmation as mentioned above. The research suggests that affirmations can help you to perform better. Spending just a few minutes thinking about your best qualities can decrease stress, increase your confidence, and improve your chances of success.

 

 

A Licensed therapist and coach for high achieving women. It’s important to note when resolving complex thoughts is challenging, it is also helpful to enlist the support of a therapist or a coach.

 

Why We Should All Set Goals So Big They Scare Us

The better version of yourself starts with challenging your limits. The magic in extraordinary goals is that it requires you to take massive action, forces personal growth, and the payoff — even if it’s an epic fail — is worth the risk.

Three reasons to set big goals:

1. Big goals require you to think on a higher level. It forces you to stretch what you believe is possible. To challenge your thinking, this level of goal attainment requires that you start with planning your approach and invoking a level of innovation and creative thinking that may not be necessary with small goals.

2. It requires you to take inventory of your skills and assess what you really need. Many of us are forever students, consuming information, hoarding our skills, rehearsing scenarios in our heads. Yet, we still feel we are too inadequate to act and execute our knowledge. This resistance to risk and embracing opportunities only feeds fear. However, have you challenged that lately? Fear doesn’t always give us an accurate assessment of danger, or in this case, how well prepared you really are. To determine that, you have to take your assets and use them.

Have you registered for this training yet?
Click: https://www.amandafludd.com/girl-get-your-goals

Here’s how- Take a look at what you want to achieve, list 3 skills and strengths that you already possess that can get you there, and use that data to support following through on your SMART goals. Athletes are a great example of this. Each time they compete, they execute their plan that incorporates their training. Once the event is over, they reassess where they are based on their performance. Audacious goals require you to have a plan to take your training and compete at your highest caliber, then fine-tune your skill sets and get back out again.

3. It fosters a sense of mastery. The more you practice executing all that knowledge and skill you’ve spent all this time building up, the better you’ll get in your field of expertise. Even if you’ve recently experienced failure or rejection, shift your focus to the lessons you can learn that will support mastery of your craft.Repeated failure for example can indicate a lack of preparation – that some skill or combination of skills is missing. For example, I haven’t been as active I would like to be in the past year (pandemic and all) and if I get out and try to run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes, it’s just not happening (even though your girl is a Marathoner). However, it’s not that I’ve failed at running, I have to start over and focus on mastering an aspect or one piece of the puzzle that supports reaching my goal. In my case, it may be learning to manage my breathing again so I don’t pass out at .2 miles or setting a mini goal to build my physical endurance by adding CrossFit to strengthen my dormant muscles, which can then support that endurance towards the goal. Master the parts, get closer to the whole.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s scary as hell to set goals beyond your realm of comfort and in those moments our minds have a funny way of finding all the challenges to help you change your mind. This is where procrastination begins to set in: as we try to avoid what we perceive might be overwhelming or hard work, we find ways to get sidetracked and trick ourselves into thinking that we’re busy. So rather than working towards our big goals, we hesitate to commit, we ignore, we lose motivation, we settle, we quit.

If the goal doesn’t scare you a little bit though, it probably isn’t big enough. Big goals require a big commitment and will inspire you to become a completely different person than the one you are right now. In order for those big shifts to happen, that discomfort has to be significant enough to get under your skin so you consider something else besides that status quo.

Just know that when you do take that one small action towards what is required to achieve that next level of success, you short circuit that internal system built around fear, and if you do that enough that feeling of fear becomes a positive experience, making it easier to continue the small steps needed towards your goal.

We all have plenty of fears and excuses, but all it takes is to do that ONE thing. Embrace the big-ass goals and keep at it day after day, you’ll be surprised where it takes you personally and professionally.

How about you, what is your big audacious goal? What’s one step you can take towards it today or in the next week? Share it with us in the comments. 

 

 

Amanda Fludd is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Coach, and Mental Health Consultant addressing the emotional needs of individuals and the work cultures that support them.

 

 

Why Does Success Elude You?

I’m guessing that you’re holding yourself back because of one of the following reasons

Examine Your Role In Success

It’s human nature to want to be successful at everything we do in business and life. Yet, most of us aren’t experiencing the level of success we desire, and to be honest, it’s a pretty unsettling feeling.

 It’s easy to see successful people thriving in their lanes and get caught in the trap of holding yourself to their standards, not understanding their story. From your vantage point, it would appear that everyone (but you) is “crushing it,” and as a reflex, you wonder what the hell is wrong with you?

 There’s no magic formula for success; even those business people or influencers, who seem to be overnight sensations, worked hard for many years out of the limelight before attaining their level of success. How you select your goals and your process to navigate the stress that comes with a high level of achievement is a big part of the formula. 

Even though you may have some setbacks along the way, if you prepare yourself for the road ahead and visualize what you want to accomplish, then the only person standing in your way of success is you.

Skillfully move through the process, and you WILL find success in both business and in life.

  1. You keep asking, “why not me?”. It’s a waste of energy and time to keep asking why other people are hitting these incredible milestones, and you are not. Worse yet, it’s contributing to your anxiety around success, making it less likely that you’ll take action towards your goals.  

 

  1. You are not clear on your goals. Not having clear goals or feeling like your goals are out of reach can be frustrating —try asking yourself, “What do you want out of life/business?” Having clarity on what you want – no matter how big or small they may be –sets you in the right direction and positively impacts your emotional wellbeing. According to an

    Get Clear On Your Goals

    18 year-long study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, people who were good at keeping up with goals or got better at sticking with their goals over time had better mental health than those who didn’t. 

It helps to break your goals down into smaller milestones that feel attainable to you. If you’re starting out in business or early in your career, you probably won’t make multimillions your first year. Instead, break that multimillion-dollar goal into something smaller that is more realistic. The goal should be meaningful to you, and the milestones shouldn’t dampen your spirits but serve as your next action steps.

 

  1. You don’t have habits that support consistently reaching those goals. Your results in life are a reflection of your habits. You’re moving either closer or further from success each day. The processes you create to reach your goals are much more important than the actual goal itself. Consider following a checklist for your daily tasks with a time limit for each task, tackling more difficult tasks first. For instance, allow yourself 10 minutes to check and respond to emails, then sign out of email for a few hours. Time blocking also works to focus on one task or one client for a certain amount of time.

If you feel like your processes have stalled, focus on improving the processes instead of changing the goals. Maybe you need to add or subtract a step or add more time to specific tasks. Or perhaps you need to take time to explore the root causes of inaction that are negatively impacting your progress. Self-awareness and effective habits ensure that you make consistent progress.

 

  1. You are afraid of failure or uncomfortable with change. Failing can be hard on the ego, and that fear can be so intense that avoiding failure obscures the motivation to succeed. Insecurity about doing things incorrectly, or maintaining extremely high standards, often causes many people to sabotage their chances for success unconsciously. 

 

Every time you try something new, there will be a level of discomfort. You have to learn to deal with uncomfortable feelings all along the way. Also, keep in mind that the most successful people have failed the most and the truth is, most people won’t even notice the failures on your way to success.

 

  1. Your mental attitude is blocking success. A pessimistic attitude brings negative results. When you expect a poor outcome, you won’t do the work necessary for success. This is tied closely to brain function with negativity slowing activity in the cerebellum- the part of your brain that works to develop creative solutions for the issues you face. Keep your mind filled with positive thoughts.

 

Success is a twisting road with many obstacles. It’s easy to become discouraged and feel left out of the club, but know that most successful people know what they want and have a high level of persistence. Avoid the common reasons that impede success, and you’ll begin to see opportunities arise that will bring you toward your ultimate goals.

 

ARE YOU READY TO BE BOLD & PLAY BIGGER?

Our zone of genius is helping ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders learn to navigate the anxiety of high standards in pursuit of their biggest goals and unapologetically live their lives. Feel free to schedule a consultation to see how this or another one of our programs would fit you. Your most successful future starts here. 

 

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