How often do we see the gift and blessings that come out of difficult times? Seeing The Silver Lining during Difficult Times
The proverb, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” can be traced back to at least the early 17th Century. It reminds us that difficult times do pass and something positive to be found in negative situations.
Life can be so challenging. When we are in the midst of tough times, it is easy to be engulfed by the feelings it evokes and the often negative meanings we ascribe to it.
Although we know that things will pass with time, it is important to feel and experience the depth of what we are going through. Otherwise, we are just band-aiding the pain that needs to be healed, and it will continue to rise until we do finally deal with it.
Looking back at some of the most difficult times in my life,
I realise they were times that I experienced the most profound growth.
They moved me into greater faith, peace and happiness.
Although the pain was great, it allowed me to make difficult decisions that I had been avoiding. I was able to face finally, stop and listen to what my heart was telling me.
I often experienced a 180-degree turn in my understanding, in my courage, in my feelings of worthiness, which led me to see opportunities in a new light.
I do believe in a Universe that happens for you, not to you, and that it is happening for your Spirit’s growth and expansion even when it seems as though this can’t be so. This faith belief has become easier with age and experience. It allows me to relax and stop trying to control things because, of course, this is impossible and only leads to more pain and anxiety.
‘Let Go Let God’ is the classic saying and action that allows you to rest in this place.
My love to you if you are on that difficult road right now, and I pray you can experience the silver lining soon.
Have you ever experienced something exceptionally positive that came directly from a difficult time? I’d love to hear a bit about your story. Please share in the comments below.
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You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article, including this footer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren is an uplifter and wellness and wealth coach who uses therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed of; ‘An Extraordinary Life.’
I am passionate about transforming the lives of entrepreneurs and professionals who care a lot,who give tirelessly, look good on paper, and still doubt themselves.
It’s time to stop the self-doubt, the anxiety, letting fear hold you back. Stop hiding and playing small so that you can claim your self-worth, stand in your confidence, authority and value and receive abundant wealth, love and appreciation.
Live your extraordinary life through the act of self-forgiveness.
By being courageous through vulnerability and seeing our shame, we lessen our hold over ourselves. When we choose to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and shortcomings, we liberate ourselves from the bonds of our past and open the door to a new future.
Choose everyday to forgive yourself. You are human, flawed and most of all worthy of Love. – Alison Malee
Becoming self-loving is a journey. A continuous journey. I am on this journey.
And what I have discovered is, the more accepting and forgiving I am to myself, the freer I become.
I can be free to be me! It starts with Self.
The journey to self-forgiveness starts with an understanding and tolerance that, yes, you have imperfections; you have made mistakes, you are at times inadequate, emotional, highly strung, have fears that stop you in your tracks so on.
And we all do! Understanding this is to know you are human!
Self Forgiveness is a Gift
And the more I have given myself the gift of self-forgiveness, the more I realise that there is nothing to forgive.
The truth is I am human, I am flawed, and at the same time, I am a magnificent being of love, loving, and I am loved.
Sometimes, it isn’t easy to forgive your missteps. You feel bad when you’ve let yourself or someone else down. But one day, you must allow the sun to shine again. Has it been challenging to do that?
This 5-step process can help you forgive yourself and move on with your life:
Confront your mistake.
In all circumstances, take responsibility for your error. Come face to face with it and acknowledge where you stumbled. As painful as it might be, this is the first step to forgiving yourself.
It’s sometimes helpful to look in the mirror and say aloud what you did. It connects you with the action. It also helps you realise that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Seeking help from a therapist may help if the first option doesn’t do the trick. Talking to someone else may help you release feelings that are tied down inside. Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or tapping is a useful evidence-based tool to reduce the stress you feel and help you see things from another perspective. It also promotes self-kindness and compassion.
Do your own Personal Peace Procedure. The Personal Peace Procedure is an exercise for using EFT to make peace with what happened to you in the past.
Analyse the impact. Take a moment to reflect on the outcome of your actions.
Who has been affected? How badly were you or others hurt? Take it all at face value, and avoid embellishing it with extreme emotion.
Take the time to consider the impact outside of what you initially see. It’s sometimes easy to overlook the smaller effect when the greater one is overwhelming.
Accept your human imperfections.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you’re human. There’s nobody on the face of the earth who goes through life without making mistakes. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t excuse what happened.
While accepting your human imperfections, take the time to identify your shortcomings. Use the opportunity to work on aspects of yourself that you might want to improve. Perhaps you’d like to develop certain character traits further or strengthen your skills in particular areas.
When apologising to yourself and others, you can point out that everybody makes mistakes, but you’ve learned from yours and have every intention of not repeating it.
Challenge yourself to do better. The crucial final step to self-forgiveness is challenging yourself to do better.
In the previous step, you accepted your imperfections. Now it’s time to work at fixing the things you can.
Is it that you need to learn to be kinder to others? You can work on that through conscious effort or group therapy.
Try not to repeat the same mistake. That’s one of the easiest ways to backslide and end up at square one again. However, in saying that and depending upon what error you are learning from, you may make it again. And that’s okay, keep being kind and compassionate, remember it is a journey!
Ask your supportive friends and family to help you on your journey. Remember that no man is an island.
Use Tools to Support You.
There are many resources easily accessible and available that can help you with this journey. I love finding beautiful prayers and mantras that harness the essence of what I am embodying into my life. Read them and speak them every morning for at least six weeks, they can transform you.
Here are some Tools I Use
In her book Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, Marianne Williamson has many prayers dedicated to clearing up the past.
Here’s one that I loved:
Dear God Please accept my past and take my future Transform them both through the miracle of Your power into energies of love and love only. May I know the present as You would have me see it. May I only see You in everyone and everything That I might be dazzled by the light, lifted up by the light and made new by the light. Release me from my past and deliver me to my future In You I trust, nothing else is real. In You I have faith, nothing else has power. And so that is that, I am where I belong, and I will strive for nothing. I am home; may I feel this and be at peace. For I would rob myself no longer through my vain imaginings and tormented thoughts. You are my life. You are here and now. Amen.
And this one is from Tosha Silver author of Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender. It is about being able to receive and has a powerful message of acceptance and forgiveness. When we forgive ourselves, we feel worthy and deserving and open to receive everything that life has to offer.
Please change me Divine Beloved into One who can feel wildly open to receiving. Let me know my own value, beauty, and worthiness without question. Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me. Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way. Change me into One who can fully love, forgive, and accept myself so that I may carry Your light without restriction. Let everything that needs to go, go. Let everything that needs to come, come. I am utterly Your own. You are Me. I am You. We are One. All is well.
Making things right might not happen overnight. What’s important is that you forgive yourself and commit to turning things around.
You’re full of so much potential. That potential sits unused while you consume yourself with guilt and negative energy. Lift yourself up! Come to terms with the fact that you have so much more to give to the world. Chip away at the negativity until all that’s left is your renewed spirit.
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Be you, love you. All ways, always. – Alexandra Elle
The Christmas holiday season is already upon us. And with it comes the hope that this one will be magical especially after the year that we have had!
Although this is a time for love and connection with family and friends, singing carols and connecting deeply spiritually. It is also a time for celebrating and reflecting on achievements and learnings, that this year has brought; I find as always that it sneaks 🧐 in or perhaps more precisely comes flying in on me.
Many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns.
This morning I decided to do something different, to honestly identify the negative self-talk and limiting beliefs that I have leading up to Christmas. This is so that I can choose to do something different this year.
These are just a few examples of ‘worries’ that I uncovered:
Wanting to balance time between work, rest and play.
Feeling that I am too busy, too tired, that there is too much preparation.
Deciding on what presents to buy for my loved ones.
Spending money that feels tight and wanting to be more generous than I am.
Eating and drinking too much at Christmas and New Year’s and putting on extra weight.
Do you relate to these? Do you have other ones too?
Get Clear and Choose Differently
Give yourself a moment to become really clear on what it is that stresses you about this holiday season. There is so much more peace in awareness because then you can choose to do something different.
Here are 9 ways to turn that dynamic around and create the magic.
1. Give yourself a break. Perfection—even perfect happiness—just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money—and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.
2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, you might find yourself getting swept along by others’ desires. Even if you compromise later, get clear first.
3. Shorten your to-do list. What do the holidays mean to you? For many, it’s about family and friends and spirituality. If an item doesn’t add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off.
4. Say no when you want to. It’s very liberating. Try it and see. It sounds simple, but too often obligation trumps desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would make you happier.If you can’t avoid certain events, limit the time you’re there.
5. Take good care of yourself. The old standards help keep stress at bay: eat healthfully, exercise, drink lots of water, and breathe deeply. Schedule time for relaxation and fun.
6. Start early. To avoid a last-minute frenzy that can bust your budget, start shopping or making presents now. I think I missed this one this year!!!
7. Ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you’ll be.
8. Establish new traditions. If you have experienced a major life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, consider doing something you’ve never done before over the holidays, such as travel to another country or take a cruise
9. Get support. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Reach out for the support you need.
And have an Extraordinary Christmas Holiday Season.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field. Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed of; ‘An Extraordinary Life.’ Visit www.laurenbell.com.au to learn more about Lauren and her work.
“The greatest act of courage is to be and to own all of who you are — without apology, without excuses, without masks to cover the truth of who you are.” - Debbie Ford.
Anxiety. According to Beyond Blue, two million Australians suffer with it, and 17% have experienced it in the last 12 months.
It’s a debilitating condition that can plague us when we are not in alignment with our true values and beliefs.
Learning how to recognise the signs of anxiety and burnout can help you reassess your life and give you the courage you need to make changes.
Read on to learn about what anxiety is, especially professional anxiety, and why it affects so many of us. Then discover some ways to combat stress and anxiety so that you can start living your best and most authentic life NOW.
What is professional anxiety?
Anyone can experience professional anxiety at any time. It relates to how we feel about the work we are doing and the goals and dreams we have for our work, our career, our business, and our wealth.
Anxiety can become a problem in any life area, but when it resides in our professional life, we can feel even more pressure and risk burnout due to the demanding nature of work.
Are you in a high-stress job? Do you sometimes feel like you are required to keep giving of yourself, and yet you never feel replenished? Are you feeling undervalued or not compensated adequately for your worth? Does it feel like people want more from you and that you are never able to give enough?
This is a familiar feeling, especially amongst women, who, by nature, are givers and nurtures.
And for those who work in service industries, such as health, education, emergency services and law, statistically, are more at risk of experiencing professional anxiety. This is due to the nature of their work which can be very overwhelming and demanding.
Many of us feel that our work requires an enormous amount of investment, which gradually becomes more and more taxing on our mental wellbeing. If you are experiencing stress, exhaustion, are feeling less capable or you are even starting to resent your job. You are likely suffering from anxiety associated with burnout.
How burnout can affect your life
Burnout is a widely recognised condition in which a person experiences anxiety and stress for a prolonged time due to feeling overwhelmed and depleted.
Burnout is affecting the nature of industry and is costing billions of dollars in lost productivity each year. It negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of individuals, their families, and those who are in their care.
That’s why it’s so important to gain an understanding of why we experience these situations in our life, and what we can do to remedy them.
This tells us that far too many people are experiencing burnout due to stress-related professional anxiety. It’s a feeling that your cup is never being refilled and that you are constantly overextending yourself.
Your thoughts are likely plagued with self-doubt, high standards, and idealism. You may be attached to wanting to make a difference in the workplace or even the world.
These thoughts tend to activate a strong inner criticism where you believe you should have done it better, sooner, faster, or been more prepared. You don’t even see your achievements but, instead, focus on what’s wrong. You never give yourself a break or encouragement. This serves no purpose and is very disempowering.
The following are some more signs of anxiety:
Physically - You may feel excessively tired, have a rapid heart rate, feel shaky, or experience more frequent illnesses. Experiencing more headaches, stomach problems, dizziness, chills, chest pain, trouble breathing, muscle tension, and insomnia are all signs of anxiety.
Mentally - Constant worrying and pessimistic thoughts can lead to depression, apathy, or thoughts of giving up.
Emotionally - You may feel overwhelmed and tearful often and unable to gain control over your feelings.
What can I do to help my anxiety?
If you are experiencing anxiety or burnout due to your professional and/or personal life, you are not alone. It’s time to take stock of your life and address the situations that are no longer serving you.
There are skills, tools, and techniques that you can learn and master to combat the anxiety that’s plaguing you. You can actively choose to address your worries and find the power to make changes. As with all personal growth, the lessons start from within. You can learn to not only manage your anxiety but eliminate debilitating anxiety from your life.
When a person experiences these symptoms for a prolonged period of time it can have all kinds of negative effects on our wellbeing.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have experienced increased levels of professional anxiety and stress. At best, your employment has been only mildly affected. At worst, your entire professional and personal life has changed and you have no idea when or if things will ever go back to how they were.
Uncertainty is at an all-time high.
On top of that, the demands at home may have increased as well. As caregivers, many women take on the responsibilities associated with caring for others, often other family members.
Generally, women take on other peoples’ worries and stressors too and push themselves to not only meet their professional demands but also fill the emotional, mental and physical cups of others.
Women are giving by nature and they want to help, but forget to give to themselves. This is a sure-fire way to increase anxiety and burnout, which could result in a complete mental breakdown. There is only so much a person can give when their cup is never being refilled.
Here are the 5 keys to soaring free
Take some much needed time out to really think about what you want. Listen to your heart, not your head. If you truly listen, your heart already knows all the answers. Make sure the changes you make are in alignment with what you truly need, and not what you think you need or what you think others want for you. You don’t have to live up to anyone else's expectations, just your own.
For example, I felt stressed that I was nursing when I wanted to be working entirely in my own business. In my mind, I was underachieving. So, after reflecting who I love being and how I love to show up in the world, I understood I am caring, loving and wise. And I value being helpful, respectful and sharing what I know.
I realised I could be all these things whether I am counselling, coaching or nursing, as a mum, a friend, or anywhere, even at the supermarket. This is me, I don’t have to “DO” anything to be the person I love being. And this takes away the pressure to be something other than who I am now. I feel fulfilled, peaceful, and joyful.
Tip: Ask yourself who is the person you love being.
Start taking responsibility for your own needs, not everyone else’s.
We take on what is not ours to take on and then feel tossed around by other people. We think we are doing the 'right thing' but when you really look at it, we are then adopting that victim mentality where we blame others for our problems. This is not a mindset of empowerment. Show yourself and others that you believe what you want is important. When we have an attitude of taking responsibility for ourselves only, we move away from a victim mentality and into a position of empowerment.
Tip: We can look at any situation and apply one or more of these three ideas to move into the empowerment position:
What can I learn from this situation? What are the hidden gifts in this?
What is my reaction? How am I behaving and how can I change my behaviour and respond differently?
Have a faith belief rather than pessimistic belief. We have to have one or the other so adopt the principle that The Universe is always happening for me, and not to me.
If you don’t have boundaries, now is the time to start recognising them and honouring them. When you don’t set personal boundaries, you are communicating to others that you don’t respect yourself, so why should they? Find out what you can and cannot accept in your life, and stick to it.
Brene Brown says the most compassionate people are those with firm boundaries. They show others how they are willing or not willing to be treated. It’s when we let people step over our boundaries that we become hurt, resentful and then act in ways that cause us to feel ‘bad’, anxious, and guilty.
Tip: Boundaries are like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. When you first start setting boundaries it can feel difficult it can feel unnatural but that doesn’t mean boundaries wrong. It just means that you need to practice more. With practice, you will gain confidence and setting boundaries will come more naturally.
Take the time to look at and question your beliefs. Make sure that your beliefs still serve you and are in alignment with the desires of your heart and soul. Are your beliefs your own or have you unconsciously taken on others’ beliefs?
Tip: Beliefs are just thoughts you think over and over. When we really look at our beliefs we can ask questions: Is it true? Is it useful? Chris Helder, author of Useful Belief: Because It's Better Than Positive Thinking suggests using ‘useful beliefs.’
For example the belief ‘I hate growing older’ can be replaced with a more useful belief that opens up thinking such as, ‘I am older, yes and that makes me wiser, more experienced, and I no longer need to prove myself to anyone.’
Empower yourself with knowledge, and find ways to get in touch with your feelings so that you can discover your own truth. Look for resources that you relate to. My new book, The Anxiety Relief Handbook offers many proactive strategies to help you.
Tip: This mindfulness and breathing exercise will help you feel more connected to your body and more present. With your feet on the ground, notice the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.
Don’t judge, just notice it. What are you feeling in your body? Where are you feeling it in your body? Describe it. Is It a colour, texture, an image? If you could name it, what emotion is it? What would it say to you if you asked it to tell you, and then listened?
Communicate to yourself that you are ok. Breathe. I am here right now. I am not in the past or in the future. I am in the present and I see that I am ok. Affirm that you are safe.
When you have managed to move away from those feelings of anxiety into a state of calmness, then you can reflect. Use self-coaching and explore your thoughts and beliefs. You can release pent up feelings, learn what are the triggers, and recognise and respond to it more quickly. This will help you manage so it doesn’t have to escalate to such a high level of stress.
Remember, anxiety is a natural and normal emotion and it serves an important purpose - to protect us. It only becomes a problem when we are unable to manage it in a productive way. Anxiety can be performance-enhancing if you know how to respond to it.
Learn how to manage anxiety and empower yourself
The Anxiety Relief Handbook explores ways to heal anxiety, stress and overwhelm by releasing buried emotions and identifying them.
Allow yourself to let go of inner doubt, increase self-belief and the confidence to step up and shine.
In this book, you will find out how to:
Understand yourself better, and why you think and feel the way that you do.
Practical exercises to guide you to a place of calmness and clarity so that you attract abundance into your life.
Release guilt and feelings of loyalty to people or situations that no longer serve you.
Discover what you really need, learn how to ask for it, and be open to receiving it from others.
Learn how to build trust and watch what you need to come into your life.
Develop practical skills for improving self-awareness and a positive mindset.
My wealth coaching will teach you how to really own your own value so that you can step up and be paid well for what you love doing. We all deserve to discover our life’s true purpose and feel rightly acknowledged and appreciated for what we offer. I can teach you how to live a life of abundance.
Now is the time to start living a life where you feel more present, embodied, comfortable, and relaxed. You will be amazed at all the positivity that will come to you just from a change in your mindset. We all want to be the very best and happiest version of ourselves but often we need a little guidance. My book will be that guide for you and offer easy to understand ways for you to experience an amazing transformation.
The book will be available in March, however, to reserve one of the first copies and receive the special PRE-LAUNCH PRICE with free postage (within Australia) plus bonuses click here and secure your handbook today.https://creativeleads.com.au/lauren-bell/
With all book orders, I offer a 30-minute Wealth Breakthrough Session. This session will map your personal breakthrough plan to help you discover what you really want in your life. You will learn how to identify the mindset problems and blockages that are preventing you from achieving what you want. This will open you to receive more abundance, wealth, happiness, and health. Release the pressure and take up this special offer NOW.
Unconsciously we assume that the way we experience the world is the same way that everyone else experiences the world.
But, for every experience we have, it is interpreted through our perceptions.
These perceptions are based on our own senses, our sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell and the consequent meaning that we then assign to it.
And it is also dependent on our past experiences, internal dialogues, emotions, unconscious programming and more.
So it makes sense that we all have our own interpretations and reactions to experiences as they unfold.
Why is this important?
Knowing this makes us more accepting of other peoples points of view, especially when it is different from our own. And we know that in this world in all it's climates, we need more acceptance, respect and harmony.
As the Dalai Lama says, "Mutual respect is the foundation of genuine harmony."
Pete the Shaggy Duck
When I first read this funny and beautiful story about 'The Shaggy Duck' from Alan Cohen's book, A Course In Miracles Made Easy I was able to understand this more clearly than ever before. It cleverly shows how we all view the world through our own unique lens.
SHAGGY DUCK STORY When I lived in an organic farming community, one morning I sat on the porch of the bunkhouse, watching members walk across a grassy area to the dining hall.
Beside the path, Pete the duck sat and quacked at people as they walked by.
A professional singer was the first to pass by Pete that morning. Upon hearing him, she stopped and told him, “How nice of you to sing me a morning song!”
The next woman along the path was rather overweight. When she heard Pete quack in her direction, she scolded him, “You’re always quacking for more food, Pete. It’s time you stuck to your diet!”
The final person to pass was a very intellectual architect. Hearing Pete’s voice, he retorted, “Questions, Pete—always questions! How about some answers for a change?”
Hmm . . . Each person saw Pete through the lens of his or her own self-perception. They projected their worldview onto the duck and attributed their beliefs about themselves to him. It was their own selves they were talking to.
According to Renee Thompson an expert on incivility in nursing, this is not just a problem in nursing but in many occupations including medicine, the police force and teaching.
I experienced this myself
In my career, I have experienced this attitude of nurse cannibalism and witnessed it occurring to others. And I still hear many troubling accounts from junior and novice nurses.
Although junior nurses are the most often targeted, experienced nurses, do come up against this too. This may occur when they take on a new role in a different speciality, for instance moving from orthopaedics into the operating theatre or coming from another hospital or organisation.
Not ok to not speak up
What has come to light through Black Lives Matter is that it is no longer ok to not speak up when things are not right.
That’s because being present and witnessing something not right and not objecting to it, is equal to condoning the wrongful behaviour. Now I don’t think it’s easy to do but it is important.
Although we worry about what to say and we are scared of being criticised people will criticise you anyway so it’s better to speak up and speak your truth.
We must lead by example
To make these needed changes in our workplaces, we need to lead by example. It’s not enough to rely on others to do it first and don’t fall into the trap of following along with the cultural ‘norm’ of the workplace.
Be the first, and be proud of how you conduct yourself. This can be as simple as being the one who seeks out another’s eyes and smiles genuinely, is inclusive, asks what you can do to help, and says thank you.
We are leaders even if it is not fully recognised or owned yet. If we don’t like the way things are then be the change that we want to see.
So how can you be a good leader?
Good leaders must lead by example. Through their actions, which are aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow. When leaders say one thing but do another, they erode trust, a critical element of productive leadership.
Here are just a few of the ways that we can lead by example
Take responsibility. Blame costs you your credibility, keeps team members /colleagues on the defensive and ultimately sabotages real growth.
Be truthful/vulnerable. Inaccurate representation affects everyone. Show that honesty really IS the best policy.
Be courageous. Walkthrough fire (a crisis) first. Take calculated risks that demonstrate a commitment to a larger purpose.
Portray confidence. When you are confident in yourself and believe in your team /colleagues, confidence is instilled in others.
Acknowledge failure. It makes it OK for your team to do the same and defines failure as part of the process of becoming extraordinary.
Be persistent. Try, try again. Go over, under or around any hurdles to show that obstacles don’t define your company or team.
Create solutions. Don’t dwell on problems; instead, be the first to offer solutions and then ask your team or colleagues for more.
Listen with empathy. Ask questions. Seek to understand. You’ll receive valuable insights and set a tone that encourages healthy dialogue.
Delegate liberally. Encourage an atmosphere in which people can focus on their core strengths.
Take care of yourself. Exercise, don’t overwork, take a break. A balanced team, mentally and physically, is a successful team. Model it, encourage it, support it!
Celebrate every step of progress. It is important to celebrate all steps of progress and success. Some people feel as though their work is never recognised or valued, they are only spoken to when there is a complaint. We all work better with encouragement rather than criticism.
Be appreciative, give thanks everywhere. People love to be thanked for a job well done, for their effort and commitment. A simple thanks goes a very long way.
WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG OR EZINE?
You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article including this footer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field. Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed of; ‘An Extraordinary Life.’ Visit www.laurenbell.com.au to learn more about Lauren and get your complimentary No Apologies, I Deserve More Toolkit.
None of us wants to be needy. It’s unattractive, and we can find really needy people annoying, pathetic and attention-seeking.
Being needy is one of the traits in our humanness that we avoid or deny profusely.
We pride ourselves in being strong, capable and independent.
You know what I mean, don’t you? We don’t ask for help; we pride ourselves in being strong, capable and independent.
Do you agree that it is important not to have to depend on anyone?
After all, if you want something done a certain way, it’s easier to do it yourself than to ask someone.
Would you rather work and be responsible for everything – even to the point of overwhelm, exhaustion and failure-than to ask for help?
Of course, we don’t want this, but for many of us, it’s so much easier to do it this way than to tune into what we need and ask for it.
There is a benefit too
Although there is a cost to doing it all yourself, the add-on benefit protects you from being upset, disappointed or angry. You do not have to nag someone else or be stuck if they don’t do what you want.
And, when we do it yourself, it gets done the way you want it done. And if there is any problem you cannot blame anyone else but you.
Being independent and not asking for help is so common. It can be a challenge to break free from because we learned this at a very young age. We learned it often as a necessary protection.
You see, it’s like we have taken a vow (subconsciously) to: never be weak, never depend on anyone, never want anything that you can’t give yourself, never share what you would really like or never tune into or feel deeply what you do want for you.
And, there is another downside that you may not be aware of.
When you decide that you don’t need anything from anyone else you block yourself from asking and receiving.
Therefore, you are not open to it; you don’t even see it when offered, so you can’t receive it.
Secretly we do want more support
The funny thing is that secretly we do want more support, more help, more ease, more acknowledgement and more money.
How often have you given others what they need (even when they don’t ask) and you hope or believe that they will do that for you?
And, how disappointed and hurt are you when you don’t get it? Perhaps your birthday was overlooked, or you are never asked if you would like a cup of coffee or tea made for you?
Allowing Yourself To Ask ForMore
1. Know that you are not alone.
We all have needs/wants and desires. It’s just that we deny them and soldier on. We all have a needy part inside us that wants to be seen and acknowledged. Let it feel seen and honoured for the truest feelings.
2. Tune in to you and question
‘What do I find pleasurable? What do I love doing? What would I love someone…my partner, child, friend, colleague to do for me? What do I need from my boss? How would I feel more supported, loved, appreciated, acknowledged? What would that look like? What have I been afraid to admit?’
This deeper reflection may be new for you, but it does get easier once you start enquiring because you are now curious and open.
Be the detective; you can use a journal, daydream, confide in those you trust, your girlfriends or others you can feel safe with. You can own and acknowledge it for each other. Being honest like this is incredibly freeing.
3. Start asking for what you want
What do you need help with? Would like to receive more of? Start asking for what you truly want from those around you. Start with small things and from people you feel more comfortable with. Build up to asking for much bigger things or things that make you feel vulnerable.
Understand that people can’t magically intuit what you want or need and often are perplexed by what support they could give you or what gift you would adore.
Let them know. Let them know how much you would love it and what it means to you.
4. Get support
Get support for yourself. There are various modalities, such as tapping or meditation and mindfulness to access the deeper feelings you have. Feelings that you have been denying. They will help you gain the confidence to speak the truth about what you really want, those things you have been limiting yourself.
This was true for me. After doing some of the deep work from the Tapping into Wealth Program, I cleared the vows that blocked me. I accessed parts in me that desire praise and acknowledgement to know that I am loved and cherished for who I am.
Once I understood this, I was able to share this insight with my partner. I told him that I had learned something new about myself, and although I was scared of how he would respond, I felt more courageous and did it anyway.
His response was to hug me, and he said, “Ok, I will do this for you. But, you might have to remind me sometimes!”
I still do have to remind him sometimes, but the truth is I can ask for it and at the same time own and love that part inside me that needs this support and encouragement.
5. Acknowledge and give thanks
to those who respond to your requests and see what they deeply need too. When we give from a place that feels full, because we have our own needs met, we realise the gift that is in the giving.
We all need support.
As a woman, a mother, a coach and a nurse, I see this all too common. I know that it can be difficult to clear this deep subconscious programming as these vows have been with you since childhood. We all need support now and again.
If you would like more support with this, then I would love to offer you my FREE Personal Leadership Breakthrough Session
During this private one to one consultation, you sit down with me, over zoom…
We will look at one of the areas in your life where you are really overgiving, and I’ll help you make a new agreement with yourself to start setting healthy boundaries.
Calls are recorded on Zoom because you’ll gain aha’s and will want to listen again.
This session is valuable, worth $200. It is yours FREE and with no obligation.
Feel heard, understood, clearer and more confident
Together we can find out if it is a fit to work together.
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You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article, including this footer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field. Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and Love Your Extraordinary Life.’ Visit www.laurenbell.com.au to learn more about Lauren
At this turning point in history, knowing deeply that we are all connected, ONE, allows us to relate more deeply and sense the connection with all hearts (all people, all creatures and Mother Earth).
For most of us, we know we are all part of something larger, part of the whole.
As Robert Smalley writes, “we are all in the oneness of God even though we don’t fully understand or know this. We are like the drops of water in the ocean and the ocean is God.”
Connectedness is the feeling of belonging, it is valuable and feels wonderful.
However, feeling connected comes with certain responsibilities.
If we are all part of a bigger picture then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves, we must not exploit others because we will be exploiting ourselves, we must not disrespect others because we will be disrespecting ourselves…
Knowing that I am connected makes me more considerate, caring, kind and loving and helps me to form quick deep connections and interactions with the people I’m with.
Applying this in your life will help you master the art of connection.
So what else is helpful?
The gift of paying attention is a fundamental key in transforming relationships.
Relationships can be turned around when the connection and interest in the other are truly sought after and valued.
The gift of paying attention to another is a gift for you too. And when you are the one receiving, you do truly understand its power.
One of the skills that is needed for connection is listening.
Learning to really listen is an active skill that takes awareness, practice and a desire to attend.
Top 10 Barriers to Connection
Connection takes effort, there are things to do and things not to do (that many of us do).
Here are the top 10 barriers that impact the connection in all of our relationships, whether they be intimate, family, friends, colleagues, bosses or acquaintances…and whether they are in agreement or in conflict.
A good example of this is when someone comes to us with a problem, it’s easy to lapse into behaviours that—although usually well-meaning—serve to block us from hearing the other person’s experience.
We’d be better off following the words of this back-the-front saying: “Don’t just do something; stand there”…and try not to:
1. Counsel. Seek not to advise solutions (until asked) but listen and reflect back the person’s experience.
2. Defend. When you explain, justify or rationalize, you invalidate the other’s experience. You can create a time to offer your experience, but for now, just listen.
3. Shut down. This happens in parenting when we say things like: “Stop crying. It’s not that bad.” Children are more likely to stop crying and will feel supported when they feel they’ve been heard.
4. One-up. Saying, “Oh, that’s nothing! Listen to what happened to me!” gives the message, “Your experience doesn’t count.”
5. Reassure. It’s OK, in fact it’s good for people to feel their feelings. When we try to console (“It’s not your fault; you did the best you could…”) we take people out of their feelings.
6. Pity. Sympathy and pity (“Oh, you poor thing!”) are very different from empathy, which is simply a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.
7. Commiserate. Sharing stories of your own similar experiences is not showing empathy; it turns the focus away from the person with the problem.
8. Correct. First listen. After the other person feels fully understood, then see about correcting any misunderstandings or inaccurate impressions.
9. Enlighten. Don’t attempt to educate unless your opinion is asked.
10. Interrogate. Too many questions distract from the feelings at hand.
Many of us have a mind that measures self-worth in terms of productivity… We give ourselves no credit for just being present. And yet, if you asked the people you care about what they would like most from you, their answer is likely to be some version of ‘your presence,’ ‘your loving attention’.
—Jan Chozen Bays
WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG OR EZINE? You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article including this footer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field.
Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed because you do deserve more. More wealth, love, authentic self-expression. You deserve to ‘Love Your Extraordinary Life.’
Fill in the fields below for your complimentary
No Apologies! I DO Deserve More Toolkit, that includes:
My Self-Assessment Quiz That Uncovers Your Giving and Receiving Quotient
What You Must Know to Earn & Receive More Wealth, More Love, More Reward.
When something is going well in my life, an unexpected gift, a windfall, new clients, a podcast or interview invitation, opportunities for fun, for work, for pleasure, no matter how big or small it is, I say, “Yes Please! More Please! Thank You!”
Taught to me by my manifestation coach. I say it out loud, with a smile, with glee. My kids roll their eyes and laugh (and I have caught them saying it too!!!).
The practise of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain.
So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. Programmed into us for survival, watching for danger.
However, for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word.
We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention.
For my clients, I encourage them to keep a little notebook to write down all the ways that they are delighted by experiences, items, surprises, kind words, smiles, gestures. This is gathering evidence to counter all the things that aren’t right.
Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: sunshine, colourful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
Keep an evidence journal or a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
Smile and dance and exclaim “Yes Please! More Please! Thank You!”
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling.
WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG OR EZINE? You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article including this footer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field.
Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed because you do deserve more. You deserve to ‘Love Your Extraordinary Life.’
Fill in the fields below for your complimentary
No Apologies! I DO Deserve More Toolkit, that includes:
My Self-Assessment Quiz That Uncovers Your Giving and Receiving Balance/Imbalance
A Revealing Deserving Exercise that shows you just where your subconscious mind is right now.
When you think about people who love giving, who are perhaps over givers, who do you think about? Mums? Nurses? Teachers? Someone you know? What about you? Do you over give too?
IS IT SELFISH TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST?
WHY DO WE STRUGGLE TO PUT OUR SELF CARE NEEDS AS A PRIORITY?
We have been taught by our families, by society, to put the needs of everyone else before our own.
That it is selfish to put your own needs first.
But, I have found that we have it back the front.
We subconsciously believe that putting our needs first sends a message that wellbeing is our ONLY priority.
So really it must start with me. I must put my needs and wellbeing first so that I can give from a full tank, not an empty tank.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END OF CARE GIVEN BY SOMEONE THAT CAME WITH RESENTMENT, FRUSTRATION, EXHAUSTION?
It doesn’t feel good, does it?
I have received care like that and I have also been the one giving it. It never feels good.
Are you taking care of everyone else or caretaking? There is a difference. Taking care is with boundaries and healthy whereas caretaking is unhealthy and can lead to exhaustion and burnout.
Today, May 12th, 2020 is International Nurses Day, celebrating 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale and nursing as a profession.
And the World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
The theme is Nurses: A Voice To Lead – Nursing the World to Health.
And yet, nursing and the health industry is facing a crisis because caring for others is overwhelming and demanding.
Burnout rates for all industries have risen significantly in the last decade. Physicians, nurses and other health professionals are among those who are most affected by burnout. With rates, somewhere between 40-60% even cited up to 78% in some recent publications. And it is rising.
High levels of stress can lead to conflicts and workplaces can feel unsupportive, even hostile, leading to high rates of staff turnover and many health professionals intending to or leaving the industry.
And this was before the impact of COVID-19 😯
In 2019 the World Health Organisation identified burnout as a workplace phenomenon and added it to the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11) not because it is a disease but because it is a major reason why people seek help from their doctors.
Burnout is costing billions of dollars in lost productivity each year and impacts the health and wellbeing of each individual and those people who are in their care.
So what is burnout?
It’s a syndrome that results from chronic stress in the workplace. Chronic stress can be from work and/or workplace conflicts.
Burnout symptoms include emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and reduced personal accomplishment.
Or more simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.
The truth is having a high-stress job doesn’t necessarily lead to burn out if it is managed well. But there are certain occupations and certain personality characteristics such as perfectionism and pessimism that predispose a person to burnout.
As a Registered Nurse for over 30 years I’ve been through the heartache and shame of burnout feeling unappreciated, isolated, unfulfilled and resentful. I was questioning what is the point?
Burnout my experience Through my experience of burnout and my recovery, I discovered aspects about me that led me to burnout. At the time, I didn’t know I was in burnout until I was through it and could look back on that time of my life.
As a sensitive, empathic, person I see and feel people’s pain and their wounding and am compelled to make them feel better. I was over responsible for everyone else and under responsible for myself.
I am an idealistic, spiritual and love holistic health and hold an optimistic view of the world and of people. Classic rose-coloured glasses! Yet I barely shared this side of myself at work, believing that western medicine and holistic health/spirituality could not go together. I lived with my feet in two camps.
Around 12 years ago as a single mother, I returned to full-time nursing. My three sons were only 8,10 and 12 years old. I was juggling a new job, a new relationship, and studying.
It was a lot.
Then I took on a role with even more responsibilities.
But I didn’t even stop to think about that, I just kept adding more to my plate. And with my high ideals, I was imagining the difference I could make in the work I was doing.
It became apparent that I could not achieve what I wanted, I was not able to please my managers or myself, I became more and more disheartened, demotivated, burdened and cynical.
I didn’t share my struggles, I didn’t speak up or reach out for help, instead, I complained and I withdrew and became more and more isolated.
Not in touch with my feelings, stressed, I took it out on my family. The littlest thing such as the boys leaving their dishes on the sink was enough to have me yelling.
I was running on empty.
I felt powerless, stressed, I was making poor decisions.
Then I hit rock bottom
The Turning Point I was in the doctor’s office, he was behind his desk, he was being so kind, compassionate and listening to me, looking right into me, seeing me. As I sat there red-faced with tears streaming down my face, I couldn’t speak, I felt so ashamed, embarrassed, my heart was breaking 💔
Then it dawned on me… I was doing this to myself.
I was not listening to what I wanted or needed, I was soldiering on, even though I was desperately unhappy.
I realised right then and there that if I don’t do what I need to do to care for me then I am self-neglecting, self-sacrificing and even self-abusing.
I could make a choice, I could do this for me
To put myself first, my heart, my peace, my happiness, my health was foremost. Because without it who was I?
I realised IT STARTS WITH ME! and in my recovery, I discovered the 5 keys that are needed to soar free.
5 KEYS TO SOARING FREE
KEY 1. HONESTY Drop into your heart ❤️
I took time out for me and listened to my heart
What do I want? What do I love doing? Who do I love being?
I did know what I needed. I do have the answers inside me.
I had been living a lie, denying myself, my heart and soul wanted to express my love for holistic wellbeing, to embrace my spirituality, I had to stop censoring myself. I had a different view of health and healthcare and I could no longer pretend with my 2 feet in 2 camps, I had to be real, authentic, to show myself, to be myself, to be proud of myself.
I shared this with my family, my work, my friends and even though I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable, I soon discovered there is freedom in being vulnerable.
KEY 2. RESPONSIBILITY Take responsibility for you, not for everybody else
Working with my mentor helped me to take responsibility, to move to a place of empowerment instead of being a victim tossed like a pinball in the pinball game of life.
I could see that I had been caretaking not taking care.
KEY 3. BOUNDARIES Know yours and honour them
I had no boundaries in place. I wanted to feel accepted and fit in. I learned what I was willing to accept and what I wasn’t. I set my boundaries and committed to them.
You get to teach others how to treat you when you have boundaries.
KEY 4. BELIEFS Can be changed, make them empowering
I looked at my beliefs and recognised many erroneous beliefs that weren’t serving me. I chose to believe in me.
KEY 5. KNOWLEDGE Learn tools to support you.
Mindfulness and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping helped me to feel my feelings and to express my truth. Feeling is healing and it enabled to me develop self compassion, acceptance and self love, to know my own value and deservingness.
This started everything flowing into my life
Now think about your life, where you are not listening to you? Where are you needing to do something for yourself? Where are you putting everyone else ahead of you?
WHAT I WANT FOR YOU… is for you to know what you need to take care of you. At home, in your workplace, in your career, in your relationships? So that you too can feel happy, on purpose, fulfilled to the brim and overflowing.
As a Nurse with A Voice To Lead – Nursing the World to Health and as a coach I know it is time for you to address your self-care in an empowered way. Gain emotional mastery and take responsibility for your own professional and personal wellbeing.
So how well are you doing?
If you are giving yourself away everywhere you need to find a way to make you first.
Take my special quiz Are you Taking Care or Caretaking? FREE Quiz to assess right now how you are doing with this.
Visit www.laurenbell.com.au to learn more about Lauren and get your complimentary Are you Taking Care or Caretaking? FREE Quiz
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what is left of you.” Katie Reed
WANT TO REPRINT THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG OR EZINE? You may reprint this so long as you include the entire unedited article including this footer. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Bell helps nurses, healers and caring professionals who feel burnt out, stuck, angry and silenced to step up, stand out and be valued at the highest level in their field. Passionate for holistic health and wellness – body, mind, and spirit, Lauren delivers high impact transformation with therapy, coaching and workshops to move you forward and live the life you dreamed of; ‘An Extraordinary Life.’ Visit www.laurenbell.com.au to learn more about Lauren and get your complimentary No Apologies, I Deserve More Toolkit.