Whatever this week has brought you, let that mess go.
It’s the weekend, and your mind has done enough backflips around expectations, criticisms, and judgments that it just needs rest.
Now, decide that you are the most important woman in the room, and let the next decision you make honor what you really need. Is it rest, to laugh, to sit idle on the front steps with a beverage and watch the sunset or the moon rise?
“The pain and stress and anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration and fear and cravings and irritations that we will experience today … they are made up. We can let them go as easily as they arise. They are unnecessary if we realize that we’ve created them for no good reason. Instead, see the beauty in every moment. In every person’s so human actions. In our own frailties and failures.
This world is a morning poem, and we have but to see it to be shaken by its beauty, over and over”.
It can be hard to permit yourself to let go and prioritize yourself. With that in mind, here are 13 mantras to support you as you release the week and reclaim yourself:
I’m living a purposeful life.
I trust the timing of my life, and I know that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
My life is becoming calmer
Loving myself is as important as loving others
I do not allow grudges to become a part of me
I release the stress of the week
I permit myself to focus fully on my self-care
I will not criticize myself. I will love myself for who I am, what I have become, and where I am going.
I am proud of myself
I am allowed to make mistakes. Mistakes are a part of my growth
I am resilient; I will get through this difficult time.
I am an amazing gift to myself, my friends, and the world.
I am not only enough, I am more than enough, and I get better and better each day.
Even 5 minutes is better than doing nothing
Taking a moment to self-nurture and embrace self-care can happen any time- sipping a hot cup of tea, laughing with a friend on the phone, gardening, and noticing the smell of the grass- it’s just sometimes we are so preoccupied, we miss it. The key is to take your 5 minutes, or whatever moment you decide, and show up fully, staying present in the moment and aware. In addition, since your thoughts play a part in your overall success and happiness, its important to find ways to improve your mindset. Adding affirmations to those moments can be encouraging because it shifts any negative thoughts you may be unknowingly entertaining and can help reframe them, supporting a positive mood, happy feelings, ideas, and attitudes.
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.
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.
Are you happy? Most of us want to be, but your nature to demand a lot from yourself, and sacrifice sleep to fulfill one more obligation may be sucking the joy out of the room.
Happiness is often connected to achievement- with financial, family, and career ranking high on the list. The assumption is often with success you will automatically become happier. As we’ve seen recently with the decisions of Naomi Osaka, success does not guarantee lasting happiness. Work hard, do [exceptionally] well, and feel good, is a faulty equation, yet, we continue to pursue it.
Think about it, you probably got the most praise in life when you did something great like excel at a sport, graduate from school, got that promotion or got married, had kids, and found your white picket fence. Or maybe you remember the disappointment or shame you felt when you did not meet the expectations of others, like being asked why you aren’t married with kids at 38, or in need of a mental health day. Which experience do you avoid like the plague?
This is the beginnings of achievement equating to contentment, and our natural response to seek what feels good or conditional happiness.
Take a second and swallow that pill.
Conditional happiness is based on external circumstances and events, and how you decide to respond. A response that desperately seeks to avoid discomfort by searching for external validation, attention, and general feel-good moments that cannot be sustained.
Why? Because life and people are unpredictable.
The one predictable thing you have control over is you, but you might be what’s getting in the way of your happiness.
I often bear witness to this as I listen to my clients articulate how hard they push themselves to be what someone else wants them to be, and although successful, it comes with busy minds that won’t shut off, deep self-criticism, and unhappiness. Sound familiar?
Are you looking for more happiness daily? If the answer is YES, book a 15-minute complimentary session with me to find out how I can help YOU.
Let’s take a look at how else your response and reactions may be getting in the way of your success.
Five Things Getting in The Way of Your Happiness
This emotion is a significant barrier to happiness. Fear is a sign that your mind believes something is wrong, and we often think that something is wrong with us. This kind of unrest creates a thick fog between you and the possibility of happiness. You end up questioning whether you’re really good enough to be where you are, tend to over-analyze for days, and second guess yourself.
It’s important to address issues that cause feelings of fear and resolve them. There’s no room for happiness where fear resides.
2. You Pick Yourself Last for Your Own Team
You’ve spent so much of your life trying to hit all the right milestones, and making everyone else comfortable and not rock the boat, that you forgot to get out of the boat and enjoy the swim. All your decisions have been based on what would make other people happy, or even successful and to do that you’ve turned your needs, wants and voice so far down that you no longer know what defines you.
Who would you be if you took all of those roles and titles away (Manager, Wife, Mom, Doctor, CEO, Professor, The Go to Best Friend, Problem Solver)? The thought of what life may be without the title may provoke some natural discomfort, but the only authentic way out of this dilemma is to start to shift the focus from what has defined you, to find who you are.
Start with asking yourself how do you want to be defined? Explore what you enjoy, what makes you happy. Take a look at your calendar and see where you could plug in more time to discover you.
When you feel that your time, effort, and contribution to the world lack value, you’ll find happiness to be elusive. It’s draining to be in relationships that take more from you than they give. It’s time to figure out why you’re still there and what you may still need to learn as you work on your exit strategy.
Some thinking is useful, like learning from mistakes or making plans for the future. Most thinking is not, such as daydreaming about how you could quit your job today, reliving arguments, replaying choices you’ve made- thinking about what else you could have done or said, or putting off working on projects that really matter. To experience a more fulfilling life, try paying attention to not only your feelings, but also to your thoughts. Your thoughts contribute to how you feel; feelings contribute to how your respond (or don’t respond).
The beauty of your thinking is there are ways to learn to get out of your head and prioritize what’s on your mind.
When unhelpful thoughts accumulate in your mind, along with feelings like anger, hurt, disappointment and shame, it not only impacts how you show up in the world- but it can also trigger larger problems like anxiety, stress, and depression. Anxiety and depression struggle to coexist with happiness.
Determine the thoughts, behaviors and actions you can control in your life, and do your best to work on that.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle in your life is, well, you. To build a life that supports happiness you have to work on the place where most of these obstacles reside, within your mind. Take the time to learn new approaches to cultivate and use your mental muscle in a way that works for you. With practice, intention, and strategy you can let go of self-criticism, overcome your need for control, navigate disappointment and find balance. . .maybe even happiness.
“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”
– William E. Gladstone
How do you prioritize your happiness?
I hope this post has given you some insights into yourself, so you can work on changing the particular reactions and patterns that get in the way of you living your best life. You deserve to be happy. I would love to hear in the comments how you prioritize happiness. For some of us, that means gently unpacking what hasn’t worked and trying on something new.
If you want to take action now, in a meaningful way (beyond spa dates, and affirmations) try our Performance Academy with a few key tasks and the right amount of accountability to move you to calm, confident, and content.
Hi, I’m Amanda Fludd. I’m here to help you get out of your head so you can stress less and focus on your success.
2020 has been an unexpected year and the uncertainty of it has thrown everyone into a whirlwind of anxiety, sadness, doubt, or a different kind of tired- Covid tired. A new year is approaching and it’s important to let go of any baggage that’s weighing you down and make space for what’s to come. As long as you have breath in your body you can create, dream, make room for joy, and live with intention despite uncertainty.
COVID-19 is like that unwanted house guest that you want to leave, but you can’t seem to get rid off.
For a lot of people – children and adults alike, this pandemic is kicking up worries, and making it difficult to get things done. What most people don’t realize is that the time you spend OVERTHINKING about a situatin instead of doing something actually feeds your stress and drains your motivation. The key to navigating stress, anxiety, worry, and overwhelm is getting a handle on WHAT you are thinking and that is what we’re going to get into- the importance of letting go of worries and it’s on your life.
Let’s do a quick exercise that will help you reduce that baggage of stress and worries you’re carrying right away. Ready? Grab a pen and paper and write down all your worries for a minute. Write down whatever you think about during the day, the thoughts on your mind now, what you feel, thoughts related to your business, your family, relationships, whatever is on your mind. Transfer all that pain, worry and negative energy to that piece of paper.
Now, take a look at what you wrote on the paper, and crumple that paper up and throw it away OR rip up the paper as dramatic as you can, shred it to bits!
How do you feel? I hope you feel a little better. Although this will not get rid of your problems completely, this simple exercise is a proven method to calm a person who is constantly in their head and at the mercy of their worries. It’s an exercise that teaches you the value of letting go. Whenever you feel worried again, write it all down, take a deep breath, tear it up, throw it away and let go.
Drop the worries that no longer serve you
Fear of the future
A lot of us get excited about the whole new year, new me and are motivated about new goals, but let’s get real, new goals (or the ones that didn’t happen this year) and dreams can be scary. A lot of my work is coaching women to from fear to success in their business and fear is the number one thing that paralyzes progress. Fear is what is behind anxiety, but often our fears are a bit exaggerated. A quick tip: Ask yourself how bad is this really? Start to tackle what overwhelms you by breaking it into smaller steps or chunks of time. With a little bit of practice you can let go of fear and the unhelpful thoughts that drives it.
The Need to be busy
Covid-19 shut us down- actually for safety, and mentally because it put a pause on our need to do as much as we can in a 24 hour period. Busyness has become the new normal. If having back to back appointments and being in demand equates to doing a good job, it’s easy to mistake busyness for purpose and validation. This pause has given us time to tune in and realign our lives through things that matter to us, like classes to develop our skillsets, fixing up the house, to getting some needed rest. Rest and relaxation is probably the antidote to worry, as well as prioritizing your time. It is the key to reducing stress, improving your emotional health AND resting is productive. Yet, it is hard for some of us who are used to filling every moment of time to simply take a break. A break gives you a moment to take in things like the satisfactin of your accomplishments, quality relationships, and the other details of life that can refuel your energy, support internal validation, and propel you forward.
To tackle your new need for intentional time, block it out! Fill your schedule with tasks and activities you want to do, it’s harder for others to steal your time if you’ve already blocked off key tasks for yourself, and it makes it easier to say “nope, not today”. Schedule key tasks of the day in chunks of time, as well as breaks and time off (vacation time isn’t optional). The key here is to be realistic about what needs to be accomplished for the day, with flexibility to be responsive to changes instead of reactive. Let go of the need to be busy.
The need to be in control
Anxiety and stress happen when you feel like you’re not in control and spend too much time trying to force things to work out the way you see it in you head. The hard truth is that you’re not in control of most things in your life. You can rarely predict how the next chapter of your life will play out or the weather for that matter. Avoid wasting your energy trying to control everything. I know, easier said then done. It might help to take a step back and think about how control plays out in your life, the purpose it serves, and where this need for control comes form. [Take a breath] Accept that you cannot control the circumstances of your life, but you CAN control your reactions and what you do with what’s handed to you. That means you have a lot of power yourself- don’t believe me? Make a list of all the things that belong to you- your health, your decisions, your emotional wellbeing, etcetera, etcetera. Refocus your energies there and take notes on how it creates change for you and in your environment.
Choose an Affirmation that Fits You
A few mantra’s to reinforce shifting control back to you- see which one best suits you and make sure to write it down on a sticky, put it up on your bathroom mirror or computer or even try scheduling it on your phone as a reminder. The goal is to recite it at least once a day until it becomes a new way of doing.
I release all fears of not being perfect. I am good enough
I live my life without restraints
I let go of the need to control others
I’m 100% in control of my life
I let go of my need to be in control
Worrying and stress will impede your productivity and create chasms between you and your goals for the new year, holding your happiness hostage. As counterintuitive as it seems, letting go of your fear of the future, the idea that you constantly need to be busy and the urge to be in control of everything will actually open up great opportunities for you. Not only will it improve your productivity and performance, but it creates a healthy mindset that will serve you right if you treat it well.
I’d love to hear what your goals are for next year and what you plan to let go of before January 1 rolls around. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
~Amanda Fludd, Psychotherapist & Mindset Coach for Women in Business and Entrepreneurs
Covid 19 has reached new milestones not just in mass casualties, but in consequential losses as we grapple with epic rates of change. From grieving the loss of a loved one, or tangible losses like graduations, friendships within classrooms, being furloughed from work, the ability to go anywhere as we continue to shelter in place, or even a loss of safety in the context of recent community issues. Grief is a response to loss to which a bond or affection was formed. Simply put, grief is love. A love that exists across multiple dimensions including spiritual, philosophical, and social dimensions. It’s an experience we will all have just because we exist.
Grief brings with it many different emotions like sadness, guilt, disbelief, confusion, shock and anger. The emotions have often been described as a rollercoaster and can quickly leave its mark emotionally and physically, whether or not you realize it. Unfortunately, loss and change have always been a part of our history and always will be, but we have learned some fundamental ways to deal with it.
Here are some tips to help you embrace your grief and loss:
Take your time. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel as though you’re taking too long to process your loss or that you have to get over it and “move on”. There is no time frame on how you experience grief. Some people may grieve for weeks and months, while others may describe their grief lasting for years. With all the emotions that you experience, acknowledge and feel it as much as you may want to hide from it or make it go away. We can’t get around the pain, but can work our way through it and begin to create new meaning and experiences that work around your loss.
Give yourself credit. Don’t beat yourself up for the way you feel about the loss. Acknowledge your growth as you progress through your healing process. Allow this to happen naturally. (For example, if you cried all day for two days straight and on the 3rd day you only cried twice, acknowledge that and try to look for other signs that there is life outside of sadness).
Get out and get active. Be sure to do something physical even if it is just going for a walk outside. Grief and you can coexist together. Remember to take time to care for your body, mind and soul. Physical movement will help with those difficult feelings.
The language of grief. Grief wants to be heard, validated and supported. It needs to pour out. Talk about your unique losses with loved ones, a friend or maybe even seek out a support group or community events like a grief circle. Pour it on to the pages of a journal or through music or art. While grief is an inevitable part of life, navigating it can be challenging and it’s ok to ask for help if you get stuck. A therapist can help you find a way to pick up the pieces and move through this process if you are struggling to find your way. For some, its easier to be fully open with a non judgmental stranger.
The 5 stages of grief, according to psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Although these are the common stages, there is no guarantee that you experience them all or in any order. For the most part, most of us will go through a loss and never need a therapist, but it is also ok to seek professional support to assist you in coping if you are having a hard time on your own and the grief seems more persistent with feelings of hopelessness, despair, trouble with daily tasks and difficulty feeling pleasure or joy.