Coaching Archives - Lauren Bell

It’s Okay To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

It’s Okay To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Nurses and other caring professionals experience a lot of stress in their jobs.

Caring for another person entails patience and empathy. Plus, with the additional stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in stress levels, burnout and anxiety among nurses and caring professionals. Many of the pre-existing problems within these industries are highlighted.

Relationships are stressed, there is hierarchical and horizontal aggression, and blaming is rampant, staff do not feel valued.

But if you think it can’t get any more difficult, wait until one of your superiors or co-workers approaches you to ask for an extra shift, stay back for overtime, cover sick leave, or help with another set of tasks.

But for many caring professionals, we feel the need to help everyone. And, we are pulled between not wanting to disappoint, proving we are good enough, or not wanting to feel judged or rejected for saying no. Thus, saying yes to all these additional requests can come at the cost of our own health and well-being.

But why do we feel guilty in the first place?

Why We Feel Guilty For Saying No

 Before we dive into the ways you can practice saying no without feeling guilty, let’s break down why we do feel guilty in the first place. 

Guilt is an emotion we feel when we do something wrong. So if you’ve truly wronged someone, then it would be understandable why you would feel guilty. However, saying no to tasks or favors that are not in your best interest is not doing anyone wrong. So why do we feel guilty?

There are a lot of reasons for this. Some of which include not wanting to disappoint, wanting to be part of a team, wanting to prove yourself to be good enough, or even wanting to be noticed for future promotions. 

 

Why We Shouldn’t Say Yes When We Want to Say No

Saying yes when we really want to say no puts both parties at a disadvantage. For one, you are neglecting your own self-care by saying yes when you don’t mean it. Additionally, saying yes to an additional shift at work or task, when you already have too much on your plate means less than quality output. 

Here are five reasons why, caring professionals and entrepreneurs shouldn’t say yes when we want to say no. 

  • You have loved ones who need you; your partner, family, children…
  • Just because workplaces are short-staffed – look at the global shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals, it does not mean that the responsibility falls on you. 
  • You need to prioritise your own self-care.
  • Saying no is a way to take care of your mental health. 
  • You are not responsible for how others react to you saying no.

 

 

How To Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s delve into HOW to actually say NO.

 

Stop and breathe.

When we are asked a favour, whether by our superior or colleague, we can sometimes be caught off guard and quickly agree even if we want to do otherwise. In order to say no, remember to first stop and breathe. Feel your breath and take a moment to pause.

This pause is a powerful tool to help you when caught in these types of situations. It gives you space to think.

 

Don’t answer right away.

Following the first step, the next tip would be not to give an answer straight away. Instead, pause and ask if you can have some time to think about it. Tell them that you need some time to think about it or check your schedule. 

Use this time to check-in with yourself first. A lot of times we end up feeling regretful for agreeing to requests on impulse.

 

Notice how it feels in your body.

During this time, check in with yourself. Notice what you are feeling. Try imagining what would happen if you said yes, or if you said no. What do you feel during both scenarios?

 

Practice this exact scenario.

Saying no can take courage. Especially if it’s saying no to someone more senior in position, or to a close friend or even to a family member. So, in order to be able to do so gracefully, practice saying no. Practice this exact scenario. 

Try saying it in your head or try saying it out loud in front of the mirror. By practising the scenario, it will make it easier for you when the time comes to tell them no. Saying no is like a muscle that needs practice to training in order to be strengthened.

 

Remember that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. 

After practicing saying no, you can get back to the person asking for the favor and give them your answer. If they ask why, remember that “No” is a complete sentence. Your explanation is not required.

If you want to say no, just say it. Avoid offering a lot of reasons or excuses as to why you can’t agree to the request. Your co-workers will appreciate it more if you’ll be honest with them.

 

Show Empathy When Saying No

While saying no means standing up for yourself, it doesn’t mean you need to be harsh or rude about it. You want to show the person that you truly understand their problem, but it simply isn’t something you can handle right now.

Remember to show empathy. Empathy is what connects us as human beings, so it’s important to convey this on some level.

 

Remove the Guilt

Saying no takes courage and a lot of guts. But no matter how hard it is, don’t feel sorry for prioritizing yourself and taking care of yourself first. Taking on more shifts and responsibilities is a sure-fire way towards burnout.

 

Be in Charge of the Situation

When we are new to a job, we may feel intimidated or even scared of our superiors. Because of this, we can have a hard time saying no to requests. 

Follow the steps listed above. Then, take control of the situation. Let the other person know that you are standing your ground. 

 

Stop Worrying About What Others Think

Saying yes to requests and favours, when we want to say no, stems from the fear of disappointing, being judged, or wanting to be accepted. It is much more important to prioritise your own health and well-being than to compromise just to “fit in” or be accepted. 

Remember, what others think of you is none of your business. Other people’s judgment of you doesn’t reflect you, but them.

 

Confidence is appealing and charismatic

Saying no takes confidence and confidence is appealing. Being confident not only makes you more charismatic, it also makes other people respect you and your boundaries more. 

Five Ways to Say No

The next time someone asks you to do something, take a moment to pause, reflect, and ask yourself if you are already stretched thin. If so, please say no and don’t feel guilty about it. 

If you are still struggling to say no, here are five alternatives you can use.

  1. I’m not comfortable with that.
  2. I don’t think it’s a right fit for me and my current schedule.
  3. I have another commitment/ I already have plans
  4. I need to focus on myself/my personal life/my career
  5. NO!

In Conclusion

During these times, it is so essential to take care of ourselves. We need more than ever to prioritise our own well-being in order to care for another person. 

By looking after yourself first, you can provide better care for your patients and those who depend on you. 

Download this Free Cheat Sheet and learn more on how to say no without feeling guilty.





Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. 

Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to an abundance mindset and increased wealth. Other benefits include more success in work, more health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and faster recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be challenging to sustain. 

So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just saying thank you.

We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that takes time and practice. 

That’s why practising 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.

 

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: colourful autumn leaves, feet to stand on, legs that work, friends who get you and love you, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

 

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude 

  • Keep 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 gratefully.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your night-time routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. Write it out, or just speak it out loud. 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, celebrate everything – every small step of progress.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfilment is gratitude at work.

It’s Time to Drop the Perfectionism

It’s Time to Drop the Perfectionism

Do you hold yourself to high standards for everything? If so, you’re not alone. Most gifted people strive for perfection.

 

But what if inflexible standards are slowing you down and holding you back? What if they are affecting your self-worth, your wealth? 

 

There’s evidence that constant perfectionism can get in the way of a happy and productive life.
It’s connected to procrastination, low productivity, and depression.

 

We set unrealistic goals that we can’t achieve, or  which makes us difficult to be around, and downright mean and nasty to ourselves.

 

More often than not, continual high standards aren’t needed for us to succeed in life. Think about people like Einstein, Oprah, Donald Trump, Walt Disney and Bill Gates. These famously accomplished people have reported that they owe their achievements to their unstoppable nature and willingness to make mistakes.

 

Recognise when high standards are necessary.

The trick is to recognise when high standards are necessary and when they actually get in the way of innovation, efficiency and fulfilment. Getting to the place of good enough on most tasks and projects allows us to get more done without compromising quality.

 

This open-minded approach allows for creativity, innovation and fun.

 

Freedom from perfection starts with flexibility, compassion and faith in self. Remember that you are good enough as you are. You are intrinsically valuable.

 

The next time you notice that you’re driving yourself hard, procrastinating on projects or tasks, or feeling self-critical about your accomplishments, ask yourself:

“Am I holding myself to standards that aren’t needed in these circumstances?”

“What would good enough look and feel like?”

 

Breathe. Open up your heart and mind. Think flexibly about your project or task and let your standards relax. Try the “good enough approach”.

 

After all done is better than perfect for your day to day tasks and reserve your high standards for rare and special circumstances. You’ll not only get more done, you’ll also feel motivated to do more!

 

 And take on board for yourself this anonymous but very wise quote, “The word ‘Imperfect’ actually spells ‘I’m perfect’ because everyone is perfect in their own imperfect ways.” 

 

In theory we get this but changing it can be hard.

I know this is hard. In theory, we get it, but often the reality is more challenging.

To transform your life, you need to let go of your inner perfectionist and judge and learn how to love and accept yourself deeply. It’s your worth mindset.

As a Certified Tapping into Wealth Coach, I use tapping (EFT) to show my clients what is blocking them and where they are holding themselves back. We are super levelling your worth.

To learn more contact me.

Practical Tips to Overcome Anxiety

Practical Tips to Overcome Anxiety

Anxiety. Stress. Overwhelm. Burnout. 

Anxiety, stress, overwhelm, burnout. These words have different meanings and levels. Yet, people use them interchangeably because they refer to situations when your energy is depleted, and you feel trapped.

What if I tell you that you can reframe these negative feelings into a more empowering language?

Biochemically, our bodies release the same chemicals whether we are excited or scared. So, it’s a matter of reframing the labels and diagnoses we put on what we experience.

Here are some tips for you to do that.

Recognise the symptoms

Have you ever woken up at 3:00 a.m. and you can’t go back to sleep because your mind engages in a thinking loop of would’ve, could’ve and should’ve? Perhaps you have many things to do, or you are worried about something.

Even as a coach, I still suffer from these symptoms. However, I now know how to recognise them for what they are. When I do, I can start to do something about it. Perhaps write my thoughts down or do some tapping or deep breathing.

Focus on the body

Everything is a vibration, and your body vibrates slower than your thoughts and emotions.

So, bring your awareness back down to the body; it literally will slow you down.

When you focus on the inner sensations in the body, they can take you out of your spinning energy and ground you in the present, bringing you to a heightened state of being.

What is your body feeling?

Is it the weight of your bottom on your chair? Notice your feet on the ground. Is it your heart beating? Perhaps you can even hear the sound of your blood as it travels throughout your body. Does your whole body feel tight? Or is it open and loose?

There is no right or wrong feeling. Everything you are noticing is okay. 

When you are ready, you can wriggle your fingers and toes to bring you back to the room. 

Breathe

One effective method to instantly focus on the body is to do some deep breathing. Yet, a lot of people forget about it.

So if you start to feel anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed, take a deep breath. It has to be so deep that it fills the bases of your lungs. 

Allow your belly to expand. Then purse your lips and let the air out slowly.

Most of the time, it’s hard to start breathing as deeply as you want to. Try to count to two at first. Inhale, count 1-2, exhale. As you get into a rhythm, increase the count to four.

Thank your body

We wouldn’t be here without our bodies. So, give yours some thanks and gratitude for being here with you and giving you this human experience.

If you manage to complete your deep breathing exercise, give yourself an internal high five or pat on the back for dropping into your body and giving yourself some care and attention. 

Let your feelings come up and out

Many of us push down our feelings. Doing so becomes exhausting, and the trapped emotions explode during an inappropriate moment. Your partner says something, and you suddenly lash out.

To avoid such a situation, don’t fight the emotions as they rise up. Breathe deeply and feel them come up, expand and dissipate. If you need to cry, do so. You will feel so much better afterwards.

What’s great about deep breathing is you can do it anywhere. If you suffer from professional anxiety, go to the bathroom and take a breathing break. 

Practise mindfulness

Acknowledge that you are in a tough mental, emotional and physical situation. 

We all have times when things are hard, and it’s quite normal. Breathe and deal with it. Then, later on when you’re at home, allow yourself to examine what happened through questions like:

  • What was going on at the time?
  • What was I thinking?
  • What did I make it mean?

Don’t judge the answers you get. 

Through this exercise, you safely unpack the situation and your feelings and understand yourself a lot more. 

As part of mindfulness, remember:

You are valued. You are worth it. You are a unique, needed, amazing, beautiful being, an essential part of this world. 

If you want to be part of a group of people who know your value, join my Facebook group Heart Centred Professionals: Seeking More Love, More Wealth and More Confidence. It’s a safe place for people who are heart centred, care for others yet want to embrace their inner selves.

Why You Need Coaches and Coaching

Why You Need Coaches and Coaching

My whole career has been about my love of health and wellness, and helping people to be the best they can be. Even as a health and healing professional, though, I went through my own burnout journey. 

My advantage was that I understood what was going on in my world, what I was responsible for, and what I could and could not change. 

So, I left that particular workplace and finished a counselling postgrad that I was undertaking. 

These actions led me into coaching. 

All of us have that something that we just cannot get on top of. It is that something that we know can move us from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Coaching was this “something” for me.

Coaches and coaching

Athletes have coaches that bring the best out of their potential. The principle is the same for all types of coaches. 

We are the experts in our own lives. The answers are inside us, but limiting beliefs or past trauma block us. Having a coach allows us to see or blind spots. 

A coach asks thought-provoking questions so you can move forward safely and get the answers yourself. The process helps to recognise your inner critical thinking, and then moving you into empowerment. 

A coach and a client may have to do some work to heal, understand or reframe things. For example, you want to be successful, but at the same time you fear extra responsibility or that you need to work harder, or you are scared that a new job will take you away from your family.

Unlike traditional therapy coaching focuses on making you accept where you are now because you are perfect as you are. This is a great place to start discovering your potential and opportunity for growth and greatness.

Coaching also touches on self-compassion. You learn why you react in certain ways. When you discover the reason behind your reaction, then you can start forgiving yourself. This is just so freeing. You can give yourself what you have been looking outside from others to do for you. And it’s from this place of self-fullness that you can give and serve those you care for without feeling depleted. 

There is also the aspect of accountability. When you tell someone else that you are going to do something, you put power behind your words. Your coach can then help you be accountable for them and you get the results. 

Self-coaching

One advantage of coaching over therapy is self-coaching.

It is the ability to ask the right questions of yourself without judgment. You empower yourself to feel differently about things and accept whatever the answers may be.

As human beings, we all have feelings. This is normal. Yet, we don’t like many of them. We don’t like feeling sad, being in grief or being angry. We have been taught not to feel them even if they’re normal parts of being human.

When you embrace and allow these emotions to come up in a safe way, you no longer need to defend yourself, so you have more ability to be fully expressed. You can get with the flow of these emotions and permit yourself to be who you are, and that is freeing. 

When you stop limiting yourself and allow yourself to be more authentic, your joy is revealed. You own who you are in a respectful way because you develop inner confidence and authority. You become the expert in your life, and what’s going on for you is right. 

 

Professional Anxiety

Besides emotions, people often experience periods of professional anxiety.

However, through coaching, you can alleviate the signs and symptoms of this condition.

In very simple terms, professional anxiety describes anxiety that you feel in the workplace. However, when you dive deep, it becomes more complicated. It could be related to each of these elements or a combination of them:

  • The work itself
  • A toxic environment
  • The relationships you have with colleagues
  • Your personal tendency to judge, doubt or hold yourself back

If you have professional anxiety, you will always feel you are not good enough for a promotion, even if you might actually be overqualified for a higher position. You worry that your performance is never good enough or doesn’t meet your expectations or ideals. You won’t even go for the role, or perhaps you do but you bring that energy of self-doubt with you. 

My professional anxiety triggered my burnout journey. I felt that I had reached the top of my pay level and had no other way of earning more money, except to do more work. 

So, I worked harder, took on more shifts. I was constantly exhausted and not taking care of myself. My anxiety kept building because I was over giving and overdoing things. I felt like I was doing nothing well. 

In addition, I had this compulsion to ‘fix’ other people’s problems and make them feel better. I now understand that this is impossible, but the need came because of my empathic and sensitive nature. Although these are all good qualities, I absorbed too much of other people’s sensations and feelings. 

I took on everyone else’s problems. I reached a point where the line between my condition and everyone else’s blurred.

If you resonate with my experience, you know it is such an overwhelming burden. 

 

Healthy Boundaries

You need to create healthy boundaries between what’s your responsibility and what’s not yours. 

That’s the whole point. You need to stay in your own lane even if it’s not easy. Once you understand more and recognise that it’s not doing you or the other person any good, then that’s where you can move into that empowered place and make a difference. 

As a certified Tapping into Wealth Coach, I use tapping (EFT) and mindfulness techniques to show my clients what is blocking them and where they are holding themselves back from getting to where they wish to be.

At the heart of what I do is the person. This is why I named my program “It Starts With Me.”

Together, I help my clients do the inside work so that their outer world changes. It truly is transformational. 

To learn more or to schedule your FREE 30-minute Wealth Breakthrough session, contact me.