Looking for Better Ways to Manage your Time!

One of the challenges I often hear inside of coaching conversations is ‘how do I fit it all in?’ They are looking for better ways to manage their time.

Time management challenges often arise when you:

  • Over commit yourself to take actions in an underestimated time frame and with an unrealistic ‘to do list’.
  • Say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything, not wanting to let people down.
  • Do not take time out for yourself, feelings of guilt if you do have 5 minutes to spare.

There is no such thing as time management because no one can manage time. What you can manage is the choice of actions you take during your day. This is the distinction between time management and self-management.

When you manage what is most important to you, based on your values first, this will always give you space, time and energy to achieve the other important things to you.

The three most common areas we let go of when the ‘busy cycle’ appears are

  1. Exercise
  2. Quality time with loved ones
  3. Time-out for self

Imagine if you looked after all these first as a priority. Think how great you would feel with more energy and focus to take care of new habits you would like to create. I notice that whenever the higher percentage of my focus is on my business projects, my exercise routine gets pushed to one side. As soon as I become conscious about this and start to pick up the exercise routine, my business projects become more creative, with a natural flow about them.

With this awareness of what it brings me, I make sure that I maintain an exercise routine that suits me, my schedule, quality time with loved ones and make time for my self-care. I am a much better person to be around when I do this and life seems to flow with ease.

The 3 Steps to Self Management: Breaking it down

  • Personal Foundations
  • Business Foundations
  • Time Out for Self

Planning your time is often a combination of tasks scheduled in your diary and a to-do list for you to get around to when you have spare time. The more you can schedule the most important things, as well as your daily tasks, into your diary, with a time and date set against each one, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve them.

A big tip is to leave plenty of white space scheduled in your diary, to manage the unexpected, or things you may have forgotten about in your day. This is normally a challenge for most people, as you are trying to fit so much into your day and invariably wonder how you can ever leave ‘white space’ in between scheduling.

“My challenge to you is to ‘give it a go’ for at least 30 days
and notice what happens. Do the important things first aligning
your actions with your vision and values.”

Every Friday afternoon I sit down with my weekly schedule list and place every activity into my diary against an allocated time. This also includes the inspired action steps for my committed goals. Create your own self-management plan by filling out the weekly schedule below, using the 3 breakdown steps.

Personal Foundations covers all areas that are important to you for developing a healthy and happy foundation, e.g. quality time in relationships, exercise, shopping, family time etc.

Business Foundations covers all roles and responsibilities, required to be completed on a weekly and monthly basis, e.g. weekly meetings, accounts, client contact calls etc.

Time Out for Self covers what is important to you based on personal development and time-out for yourself to recharge your batteries, e.g. reading personal and professional development books, meditation, journal writing etc.

Coaching Challenge

Write down where you are currently spending your time. Then make a list of the things you always say you would like to be doing that you don’t get around to. It could be something that you have always wanted to Be, Do or Have, e.g. learn to dance, more time with family, socialise with friends, begin a sustainable exercise program you enjoy.

Fill out your weekly schedule, including all the areas in your life where you spend your time and what you would like to spend more time doing. Then place these in your diary with an allocated time and date. All you need to do is follow your diary knowing that every action you take is in direct alignment with your vision and values.

Remember to leave plenty of white space for creativity and spontaneity.

If you are looking for a professional coach as your sounding board to clarify your direction and partner you in realizing your vision and goals faster than what you would on your own, contact me to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

When you compare yourself to others, in that very instant you may possibly be negating yourself and what you have already achieved in your life.

I remember my coach saying,

“Don’t compare other people’s outside world, to your inside world”.

You really do not know what is going on in their world, or whether they are truly happy, especially when you compare yourself to another person and what they have materially.

For example, you might notice a colleague who looks and acts confidently with external material success and you catch yourself saying “Where’s my success, I work just as hard” or “I wish I could be as confident as him/her”. Only you know those moments that really hit you in the stomach.

Next time you catch yourself in this position, notice your tone of voice as to if it has a negative charge of hope and wishful thinking. Behind this emotive feeling is generally a put-down of your own capabilities, your own potential to achieve in life.

The thing that you may not be aware of is that the other person is probably comparing themselves to you – about some completely different area of inadequacy within themselves. We all have our own inadequacies.

The day you stop comparing and start to acknowledge
the strengths and good fortune of others will be the day
you unleash your unique attributes.

Just notice how the more you keep comparing, the further away from you that good fortune gets. You will not receive that which you do not acknowledge within yourself. So next time you notice yourself comparing, catch yourself and acknowledge others for their good looks, qualities, possessions, good fortune etc.

For example, the next time you see a confident and successful person, say in a positive tone of voice, “Wow! That’s for me!” Start to get excited about the fact that you have attracted this quality into your life just by seeing it in others, for this is normally an indication that you are ready to unleash what’s already inside of you.

The sooner you choose to acknowledge others, the sooner the things you see in their lives will show up in your own life. Creating a supportive self-image will accelerate your growth and transform your life for the better.

Create a Supportive Self-Image

What is your perception of yourself? This can be a challenging question to ask. How you feel, see and think about yourself is everything. Self-image is not something that just happens to you; it is that all-important concept you have of yourself. Having a negative self-image will create a negative outcome when you try to move towards achieving your goals. The good news is that you can change your self-image, your personality and your behaviours.

If you see yourself as a winner in life and you act like a winner, then all areas of your life will begin to flow. Use strong images with pictures, feelings and words with the roles you want to play in life. What you see for yourself, is what you attract, and what you feel within yourself, is who you are.

Take the time to identify how you see yourself and how you truly feel about yourself. As you become conscious of who you want to become, you can make the change.

Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Have you gone from goal to goal and wondered why you are still not happy? Often this is because you are so focused on where you are going in life that you have not stopped to smell the roses along the way.

It is important to be grateful for what you do have in your life today, the people who are important to you, and the unconditional love you receive from your family. Yes, that means the everyday small things that bring you joy in your life, including the small actions you are taking towards your vision.

In the past, my life always felt as though it was dangling like a carrot on a string out in front of me to chase; I was always going for the next goal and still not happy. Yes, I had heard people talk about ‘being grateful for what I had in my life now’ and ‘reflecting on what I had already achieved’. I always let these suggestions slide off me with an “it’s not enough yet” attitude.

What I was really saying was ‘I wasn’t enough yet’. This also meant that everything I had achieved in my life was not enough.  I took so much for granted. When I realised that, I decided to make a list of everything I had achieved in my life as far back as I could remember.

Whatever you appreciate in your life
will always appreciate in value.

The list started really slowly as I reflected on my life. The more I started to write, the more I remembered, from little things like getting up early one morning to watch the sun come up, to the bigger things like being a national sporting representative.

As I looked back at the list I had a powerful feeling of accomplishment within myself. This helped diminish the limiting beliefs I had of ‘it’s not enough yet’ and ‘I wasn’t enough’; when in actual fact I was ‘more than enough’ and had ‘more than enough’ in my life.

When you are in a state of ‘it’s not enough yet’, you will continually feel that way – and life will also show up that way. Did you know that when you live your life with the ‘it’s not enough’ theme constantly being played, you are actually affirming to yourself that ‘you are not enough’? I learnt this lesson myself when I first hired my coach. I remember telling my coach that I had to learn more about certain topics before I could move forward in my business.
Sure, education is important, but I actually had a lot of knowledge, which I was not using. My coach gave me two challenges.

  • The first challenge was to write the affirmation ‘I am enough’ and place it in my office so that I could see it every day. I resisted this at first because I truly believed I had to look for more answers outside of myself.
  • The second challenge was to trust and take the next step I knew I wanted to take, based on the knowledge I already had. You see I was always one of those people who loved to learn by reading books and attending seminars, but did I action what I had learnt? Not to its fullest capacity, if at all.

When I started trusting, I realised that I undervalued the amount of knowledge I did have and kept looking outside myself for more knowledge. It became a habit because I loved learning things, but what good was my knowledge if I did not put it into practice? Notice in what areas you may be looking outside yourself for knowledge you already have. You are already enough in many areas of your life. You only need to bring it to your awareness and then acknowledge yourself.

One of the practices I now have is to write five things I am grateful for today. So if you feel as though your wheels are spinning and life is moving fast, stop to smell the roses by taking on this daily practice. This can be done even in your thoughts just before you turn the light out at night.

When you are grateful for everything in your life as it is today, you will feel an immediate expansion of your energy and start to attract more of the good things in life that you truly desire. Why not start a gratitude journal on a daily basis and notice how quickly your life will change?

Active Meditation: Mindfulness in Action

Who has time to meditate with the fast pace of life and business nowadays?

No, you do not have to be sitting in the lotus position with your eyes closed to get best results as I first thought.

The reason I decided to write this article is because many of my clients are making themselves wrong for not making the time to meditate. They are telling me that they feel they need to create time for it to be most effective. In other words they are thinking they need to be meditating in a certain way for best results.

Can you relate to this?

I certainly can. Especially during my first attempts to meditate, with my head telling me that this is a waste of time, I have better things to do, where is this going to get me?

The monkey mind – chitter chatter – just wouldn’t slow down at all.

Yes, I had a very busy mind that would always be racing ahead.

How do I do this meditation stuff so that I can stop driving myself crazy jumping from goal to goal or project to project? Exhausting myself!!!

Trying to get it right. Only to find there is no right way. Let’s find your way.

There are many forms of meditation –
it is important to find what works best for you.

Ultimately, you want to feel like you are in a state of consciousness throughout your day for focused productivity, engaging communication and creative innovation. If not, you may find yourself reacting to situations and circumstances leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

  • This is where meditation and mindfulness can support you.

Yes, meditation can consist of sitting quietly and being with your thoughts and your breath. I don’t know about you, but as a high achiever and go-getter personality style, I found that style of meditation very challenging to do in the beginning. So I chose to start with creative visualization and deep breathing for only 5 minutes, and increased the time, as I gave myself permission to sit for longer.

Today, this has expanded into what I like to call ‘mindfulness in action’.

This means that I focus on my breath being conscious to my senses, as I take action throughout the day. This supports me to become a lot calmer, present and conscious inside of each activity, without reacting to outside circumstances. From this stance, I can make better decisions because of being grounded and connected with mind and body.

  • For example, if I am about to step into a meeting, I take a few deep breaths sending this into my body taking me out of my strategic mind racing ahead. With my first priority being to connect with my inner body being still in mind and body. My objective is to stay fully present to the environment, the people in the room, the language they are using, sensing what they are saying and what they are not saying.

Listening with a beginner’s mind, connecting with
all your senses will support you to become an
influential observer with inspiring presence.

Being the observer creates space to listen without judgment or pre-conceived ideas. Being the observer will support your active listening skills, which is much more powerful as you can take everything in using all your senses. If you jump in too quickly, you will not hear all. What is being said and what is not being said. You will then know exactly what to say or do that will make a difference inspiring everyone in the room.

I then take this home with me and remind myself to live being conscious using all my senses. Being fully present to my relationships at home, in my community, at work etc. creates a state of presence. This means taking powerful ownership of all your emotions.

If you have a busy mind, as I do, one of the best practices I choose is to focus on my breath as often as I can throughout the day. This creates space between your strategic mind and your creative mind.

For innovation and natural creativity to flow, it is important to create plenty of space for your mind to relax so that you can hear your inspiring vision and next steps from your innovative wisdom.

There are plenty of times I catch myself trying to work it all out from my strategic mind, to which I then push the pause button and take a deep breath; shifting my presence back into my body – not trying to work it all out in my head.

Notice whether you are getting in your own way by working harder or driving yourself to find the solution coming from force.

The best solutions will always come to you when
you are most relaxed.

I just noticed myself taking another deep breath with a slow exhalation, as I am writing this article. I caught myself realising that this is becoming more and more a natural practice inside my day.

  • Let’s push the pause button for a moment and ‘take a deep breath in’ – and ‘let it go’. I know, a little corny, but it works if done consistently.

It does take a conscious reminder in the beginning and with repetition; it will slowly become a natural part of your being.

This reminds me of when I was a personal trainer of the many times I would be coaching my clients to relax their mind and body for best results through the power of the conscious breath. It’s interesting how I find myself using this simple practice personally and with my professional coaching clients today.

  • Never underestimate the simple repetitive steps as they can create extraordinary results.

No matter what results you want in your personal and professional life, it is paramount to know who is showing up.

  • Are you being calm and relaxed from inside out?
  • Are you being present in a state of presence?
  • Are you fully listening with all your senses?
  • Are you communicating with language that inspires others?

Practice mindfulness in action throughout your day with greater self-awareness for best results in your personal and professional life.

If you are wanting to close the gap from where you are now to achieve next level success, contact me to book in for a 15-minute introduction to coaching conversation to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Coaching, Counselling, Mentoring and Consulting – What’s the Difference?

I often get asked about the difference between coaching, counselling, mentoring and consulting.  While the communication skills used by these professions are similar – such as asking questions, active listening, summarising, etc., they are very different methods, and it depends on what the client needs.

Here are some distinctions:

Coaching
According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is defined as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.” The coach is the subject matter expert at coaching, not necessarily the subject matter expert of the client’s coaching topic.

Counselling
Counselors are trained to diagnose and help the client with emotional problems, the past or dysfunction while coaches are not. The coach’s domain is future-oriented – what does the client want? And then coaching the client to get there.

Mentoring
A mentor is a wise and trusted guide and advisor. The mentor is the teacher that shares their experience while bringing the “mentee” up the ranks.  A coach is not necessarily the subject matter expert in order to help develop the client.

Consulting
A consultant is an expert who is called on for professional or technical advice or opinions. They are relied on to understand the problem and present solutions. Consulting is unlike coaching because, with pure coaching, the answers come from the client.

What are your thoughts about these distinctions?

When seeking a professional, it is important to know what your requirements are so that you can choose the right professional at the right time.

Coaching, Counselling, Mentoring & Consulting

According to the founder of CoachU, Thomas Leonard:

A Coach is…

  • Your partner in achieving professional and personal goals;
  • Your champion during a turnaround;
  • Your trainer in communication and life skills;
  • Your sounding board when making choices;
  • Your motivator when strong actions called for;
  • Your unconditional support when you take a hit;
  • Your mentor in personal development;
  • Your co-design when developing an extraordinary project
  • Your beacon during stormy times;
  • Your wake-up call if you don’t hear your own, and most importantly;
  • Your coach is your partner in living the life you know you’re ready for, personally and professionally.”

The Art & Science of Coaching

I am very passionate about coaching because since having a Master Coach in my corner over the past 17 years, the power of transformational coaching has delivered exactly that in my life – it has transformed my personal and professional life. This is what strongly supported my decision to become a professional coach studying the true art and science of advanced coaching.

If you are wanting to close the gap from where you are now to achieve next level success with a professional accredited coach, contact me to book in for a 20 minute introductory to coaching conversation to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

How I Developed Self-Confidence – My Affirmation Story

Yes, you can change your life. I know this is a very profound statement and I say it because I have done it myself. Until I was about 30 years old, I was so shy that I hardly ever spoke, and I lived a lot of my life in my head. My only self-expression was through my physical body, as an excellent sportswoman.

I started to wonder why I could express myself naturally as a sportswoman, but not in my personal and professional life. This was a challenge to me because at that time I spent a lot of my life worrying about my past (which I could not do anything about) or thinking about the future (which had not even occurred yet).

As I observed myself in my sporting arena, what stood out the most was that I had to respond to the plays spontaneously in the moment, otherwise the opportunity was lost. That was my breakthrough! I was 100% present in the moment on and off the field as the captain coach, leading the team and holding on to the higher purpose of the game. Obviously, I had trained my level of fitness and skills to respond quickly.

My greatest challenge in my personal and professional life was living in the present moment. Once I started to practise being present, I began to hear my predominantly negative self-statements, which were obviously based on my fears of all the ‘what ifs’ (which, by the way, never happened). What a waste of energy and time in my life that was!

I decided it was time to get serious about this positive self-statement stuff! I admit I was still a little apprehensive about affirmations because I had attempted to do them a few years before, without success. Now I realise that I had always done them in a very reactive state when I either felt negative or frustrated and that I’d soon given up, wondering why affirmations never worked for me.

Once I began to do my affirmations more effectively, I decided to keep saying them, as I knew the conscious mind would only take on the thoughts and words I consistently told myself. This eventually became a natural part of who I am and how I live my life, as a new and rewarding habit.

How I developed self confidence

I will take you through the steps I took that helped me make the changes. To get the maximum from my experience, why not go through the steps with me now? I have used the true-life example of developing my self-confidence in my personal and professional life.

Step 1   I wrote down the negative head talk and became conscious of what I was automatically saying to myself, about myself and others.

E.g.        “I am not confident” . . . “I wish I looked and acted confidently like her or him” . . . “I am not very good at . . .”

Step 2   Then I changed the wording of those negative self-statements into positive present tense affirmations and wrote them on palm cards to keep in the office, car, fridge etc. as a reminder.

E.g.        I am confident

I act confidently

I am great at . . .

Step 3   I chose to say the affirmations as many times as possible during my day no matter what. I said them with feeling, emotion and belief, as though I had already achieved them.

Tip: Choose a maximum of three affirmations to say each time. If you do not feel comfortable with the affirmation, you may need to change the wording to suit you. Keep saying your chosen affirmations until you feel you own them and your life begins to show up that way.

Step 4   I asked myself, “Who do I need to become to achieve this?” Then I made a list of what confident people do, how they act, what they wear, how they walk. I started taking on all those actions, like walking tall down the street looking people in the eyes, smiling and acting confidently (yes, fake it until you make it – definitely works), speaking to people even when I felt nervous.

How I Developed Self-Confidence – My Affirmation Story

With daily commitment in practising to be confident, I built a new habit, which changed my life, and I naturally became confident. The new me went from being a shy person to becoming a public speaker, moving interstate and developing my first business, stepping out of my comfort zone and participating in adventurous events such as jumping out of a plane; skydiving, white water rafting, half marathons, travelling the world, just to mention a few.

I cannot tell you how long or short a time it took because there was no line to cross over that marked the difference between ‘shy’ and ‘confident’. I remember one day just noticing how confident I now was and it felt so natural and humbling.

We are all made up of our habits. I decided to make being confident a new habit, purely by taking on new behaviours and acting out ‘confidence’ until it became a part of who I naturally am today.

If I can do it, I know you can too. Think about what habit you would like to change and start taking on the new actions until they are a part of who you are. Does a little part of my shyness still pop up in my life every so often? Yes! Of course, it does and in that moment I remind myself that I am not committed to being that way.

Who are you committed to being in your life?

Transform your Life in 2018

Every year my husband and I have a celebration ritual next to our pool with a glass of champagne to reflect on the past year. In previous years, we found that we could not remember everything that we had accomplished, what we were grateful for, the people we met, the events that we engaged in, the projects we completed etc.

So I decided, in January 2017, to set up a large vase and placed it in the corner kitchen bench so we could see it every day as a reminder to reflect on our day. We would write on a post-it note with the date and whatever it was we were grateful for within that day. If we went to an event, we would place the tickets in the vase. Very quickly the vase was bursting with the energy of life’s gratitude.

Here is a picture of our life’s celebration vase.

Celebration vase

When it came time to go through our reflections, sipping on our chilled champagne next to the pool, we were both pleasantly surprised as to how much we had achieved, received, connected and engaged with in life.

As we reflected on our year, we both mentioned that we had so much more to be grateful for that we had not placed in the vase. Mark, my husband, also mentioned how surprised he was about how full a life we actually live without realising.

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day busy schedule, with life skipping by so fast, we forget to really connect with the life we are living each day.

Transform your Life in 2018

One of the things that became clear to both of us by doing this was the pattern of what was most important in our life. The repetitive actions we took, what we were doing with our time, how we were exerting our energy, where we were spending our money etc.

This created a clear opening as to our evolving vision, goals and next steps for this coming year knowing these were all in alignment with our true values.

Our next step is to create a vision map matching our vision, goals and values.

Are you living your inspirational vision in alignment with your true values?

Make sure 2018 is your best year yet. If you have been thinking about hiring a coach to partner you in transforming your life, then please contact me http://annettestanton.com/contact/

A little more about vision mapping (exert from The Power of Vision book) http://annettestanton.com/author/

Vision Mapping

The brain works with sensory images and associations radiating from those images. Every day, you take in images, which affect your life. Using selected images (goals) and associations (values) will support you in maintaining focus on what you do want to attract.

A vision map is a collage of pictures, photos, inspirational words etc. of your goals, values and vision. You can’t buy a vision map; it is important that you spend the time to collect pictures based on your own goals, values and vision. When you bring colour into your images (goals), this adds extra vibrancy and energy, suggesting the possibility of creative thinking in achieving your goals.

When I first started creating vision maps for myself and facilitating vision mapping in workshops, I would place all my goals and vision onto one map. This worked really well, though today I do it a little differently. I have fun every year collecting pictures and photos to make up my three separate vision maps in the areas of business, personal life and travel. All of my vision maps are hanging in my office and my home so that I can view them daily.

Vision Success Tip

Creating your Vision Map

Choose whether you would like to begin with one vision map, or separate your life into three or four areas. Get yourself a large sheet of cardboard and place a photo of you and your family in the centre. Starting in the centre allows you to express yourself freely and spread out in any direction. Now collect pictures and inspirational words from magazines or the internet and paste them on your vision map. The end result will be a colourful vision map of what you truly desire. Look at it every day and take in the colour and life of the pictures as though you have already achieved your vision.  

Transform your Life and Business to New Heights

Are you interested, or even curious, about how The Coach Approach can transform your business and personal life? Become the game changer today!

Ask about my One on One Coaching Programs, or you may prefer my Group Coaching Program for individuals, teams and organisations.

With over 35 years of coaching and mentoring experience working with executives, business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs, I will coach you to gain clarity of direction and partner you in taking action towards living your inspirational vision with confidence, presence and freedom.

Contact Annette today for an introductory coaching session email: http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Live a Stress Less Life

In your busy daily life, it is very important to make time for some form of relaxation. This can help to reduce the effects of stress on your body and your mind. If you take on the practice of daily relaxation, you will feel much more in control of your life. Relaxation involves both the body and the mind. To work on one is to work on the other. Even if you choose to take 10 deep conscious breaths every day as your form of relaxation, then that is better than doing nothing at all.

Relaxation does not mean being lazy. It plays an important role in the rejuvenation of your body and quietening of the mind. Taking time out for yourself may be a challenge for you. You might feel a sense of guilt about it. This is normal, especially if you are not yet practised in doing things just for you. You might even find that the challenge is in ‘being’ with yourself, especially if you are the type of person who continually needs to be ‘doing’ things with others or for others and the thought of being alone is not inviting. It does take practice and the more you do your chosen form of relaxation, the more you will want to spend time with yourself.

The benefits of daily relaxation go beyond the obvious one of reducing stress. You will also gain clarity of mind, your creativity and intuition will unfold, you will deal with challenges with much more inner peace, you will have more energy . . . the list goes on.

Live a Stress Life

 

Simple Relaxation Techniques

After many years of practising different quick and easy forms of relaxation, I would like to share with you some of the ones that have helped me to maintain a stress less life.

Mirror Work

Look into your eyes in the mirror every day for 1-2 minutes. Connect with yourself by staying focused on your eyes. Notice how you might want to judge yourself and your facial features. Let it go and keep coming back to your eyes. Take deep breaths whilst looking into your eyes and connecting with yourself. If you hear any negative head talk during this process, write it down after your 1-2 minutes is up and create positive affirmations from your negative head talk. This is your subconscious coming to the forefront, indicating beliefs that you may need to work on.

Conscious Breathing

Sit in an upright position or lie down. Close your eyes if you wish. Concentrate on your breathing, in through your nose and releasing the breath out through your mouth. Say in your head: “I’m breathing in . . . I’m breathing out . . .” as you stay focused on your breath. This will slow down your mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Conscious breathing is beneficial if you are lying in bed and feeling restless. This will help you to relax for a better sleep. Try it.

Nostril Breathing

Place the thumb of your right hand over your right nostril. Take a deep breath in through the left nostril. Place the right index finger over the left nostril and release the breath out of the right nostril. Repeat this 5 times using your right hand, and then repeat the same process using your left hand. Notice how quickly any anxious feelings dissipate.

Open Eye Candle Meditation

Light your favourite candle and place it on a table in front of you. Place yourself in a comfortable sitting position with your back upright. Gaze into the flame of the candle. Take slow, long deep breaths as you hold a soft gaze on the flame. Notice the calm and serene feelings that pour through your body. Stay with the gaze from 5 minutes to 20 minutes or more if you desire.

Walking in Nature

When you are enjoying your daily walk out in the beautiful sunshine, practice being 100% present to nature. Let any thoughts drift through the mind and focus on the trees, the roses in the garden, all the nature surrounding you. Every step you take, be conscious and feel your body moving. Look into the sky and feel the expansion of your chest as you take in the next breath. The miracle of nature mirrors the growth of you. Just as through nurturing, a seed grows, so through nurturing yourself, you will flourish. Say your positive affirmations while you are walking and notice how tall you feel.

If you sick and tired of continually running on empty, feeling drained in your energy levels and this is affecting your productivity and efficiency at work with no energy left for yourself at the end of the day, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards creating a reserve of energy levels each day?

The Vital Link to Inspired Success

Have you gone from goal to goal, achieved success in many areas of your life; and wondering why you are still not happy? What’s missing for you?

Often this is because you are so focused on where you are going in life that you have not stopped to smell the roses along the way. It is important to be grateful for what you do have in your life today, the people who are important to you, the clients you already have, your current financial position, your family, the action steps you are taking, your health, the knowledge you have, all the life experiences you have had, and whatever else you can think of to be grateful for.

Yes, that means the everyday small things that bring you joy and energy in your life, including the small actions you are taking towards realising your vision.

In the past, my life always felt as though it was dangling like a carrot on a string out in front of me to chase; I was always going for the next goal, the next award, the next level and still not happy. Yes, I had heard people talk about ‘being grateful for what I had in my life now’ and ‘reflecting on what I had already achieved’. I always let these suggestions slide off me with an, ‘it’s not enough yet’, attitude.

What I was really saying was ‘I wasn’t enough yet’. This also meant that everything I had achieved in my life was not enough.  I took so much for granted. When I realised that, I decided to make a list of everything I had achieved in my life as far back as I could remember.

The list started really slowly as I reflected on my life. The more I started to write, the more I remembered, from little things like getting up early one morning to watch the sun come up, acknowledging a colleague, helping a family member; to the bigger things like being a national sporting representative, starting my own business, publishing my book and speaking overseas.

As I looked back at the list I had a powerful feeling of accomplishment within myself. This helped diminish the limiting beliefs I had of ‘it’s not enough yet’ and ‘I wasn’t enough’; when in actual fact I was ‘more than enough’ and had ‘more than enough’ in my life.

When you are in a state of ‘it’s not enough yet’, you will continually feel that way – and life will also show up that way.

Did you know that when you live your life with the ‘it’s not enough’ theme constantly being played, you are actually affirming to yourself that ‘you are not enough’?

I learnt this lesson myself when I first hired my master coach. I remember telling my coach that I had to learn more about certain topics before I could move forward in my business.

Sure, education is important, but I actually had a lot of knowledge, which I was not using. My coach gave me two challenges. The first challenge was to write the affirmation ‘I am enough’ and place it in my office so that I could see it every day. I resisted this at first because I truly believed I had to look for more answers outside of myself.

The second challenge was to trust and take the next step I knew I wanted to take, based on the knowledge I already had. You see I was always one of those people who loved to learn by reading books and attending seminars, but did I action what I had learnt? Not to its fullest capacity.

When I started trusting, I realised that I undervalued the amount of knowledge I did have and kept looking outside myself for more knowledge. It became a habit because I loved learning things, but what good was my knowledge if I did not put it into practice?

Due to this new way of thinking, I was able to identify my values-based vision and goals from the inside out – not just going for a vision outside of myself. Life and business transformed and evolved naturally because I stopped chasing after the elusive vision. The truth is, your vision will always naturally expand, although if you continue to live like it is something outside of yourself, then that is where it will stay. The chase will be forever with those feelings of ‘it’s not enough yet’.

Once I realised this, I had to consciously practice catching myself whenever I looked outside for more, to then come back inside to honour my values-based vision.

Are you living your values-based vision? Notice whether you are getting swept along with other people’s vision and values, as this is not sustainable to your inspired success.

Notice in what areas you may be looking outside yourself for more knowledge, information, wisdom, opportunities etc. that you already have. You are already enough in many areas of your life. You only need to bring it to your awareness and then acknowledge yourself and the actions you are already taking.

Coaching Tip

One of the practices that may support you (as it did me) is to write five things you are grateful for each day. So if you feel as though your wheels are spinning and life is moving fast, stop to smell the roses by taking on this daily practice. This can be done even in your thoughts just before you turn the light out at night.

When you are grateful for everything in your life, as it is today, you will feel an immediate expansion of your energy and start to attract more of the good things in life that you truly desire. Why not start a gratitude journal on a daily basis and notice how quickly your life will change?

Strengthen your Strengths

“Your natural strengths are the gift you have to offer the world.”

Most people do not acknowledge their own strengths, abilities and natural talents. Your strengths are the qualities or skills that you are generally good at, are drawn to and enjoy doing. When you clearly identify and acknowledge your own strengths, you will re-ignite a glow inside of you that will automatically strengthen your strengths.

You will miss out on a lot of life’s exciting opportunities that you know you would love to experience if you do not bring your strengths to the forefront. For example, you could miss out on applying for a new management position, asking someone you admire out for dinner or starting your own business. Your strengths will become weaknesses and lie dormant if you are not conscious of what they are – and especially if you do not utilise them in your life.

This reminds me of one of my clients, Sally, who was naturally very creative. She would paint, draw and design cards in her spare time. I said to her in one of our group coaching sessions that it was easy to see that her natural strength was being creative. Sally said that she could not see how that could be a strength because that was what she had always done in her spare time.

“How could it be strength when that was just how she was?”

I then asked her if she knew anyone else in her group of friends who did the same things in their spare time, to which she answered No. I explained that it is easy to not see our own strengths because they have become a part of who we naturally are. When Sally started to own her strength of creativity she started to share her artwork with others and even began to frame some of her work to hang in her new home.

Many people are busy putting themselves down and focusing on what they are not good at instead of focusing on what they are good at doing. When you focus on your strengths and utilise them to their fullest capacity you will be surprised at what you can do.

Let’s not forget your so-called ‘weaknesses’, as it’s important to be aware of these and to acknowledge them also. I do not consider weaknesses as a weakness. The thing about a weakness that most people do not realise is that it is only a part of you that you have not practised enough for it to become strength.

Notice how your strengths are strengths because you enjoy utilising them and they then come easily to you. Your weaknesses may be areas that you do not enjoy as much, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose not to have them become a strength. If a particular weakness is something that you would like to become strength, all you need to do is to learn and practice it until it becomes a part of your strengths.

Look for Strengths in your Whole Life

I was coaching Julie, who shared with me that when she was writing out her strengths, she noticed that they mainly related to her working career and experiences. This challenged Julie because while work was a major part of her life, she wanted to balance this more and look at strengths in other areas of her life.

So we explored this by looking at the balance wheel. Julie went to the gym regularly, so one of her strengths was looking after her well-being and fitness. Another obvious strength to me was that Julie was very well organised in having a routine that she was committed to maintaining. Another area we looked into was family and friends and the way Julie kept in contact with them on a regular basis even if they lived in another state or country. The strength, in this case, was staying connected with loved ones by keeping in touch over the phone, no matter where she lived in the world.

As Julie started to explore her strengths, I observed a glow in her eyes and a huge, engaging smile on her face. I acknowledged her for having a great smile. This was also a strength Julie had – and she was not even aware of it.

So you see your strengths are not just about your qualifications and work experiences. In fact, you need to have a look at all areas of your life. You may be a great father/mother, or easily connect with people, you may be a person who excels at routine and being organised, or you could be a great ideas person. Dare to expand yourself in becoming aware of your own strengths. Take a look at the list below giving some examples of strengths.

List of Strengths

  • Well organised person
  • Great smile
  • Committed person
  • Connect with people easily
  • Great communication skills
  • Open and honest
  • High standards
  • Great father/mother
  • Healthy and fit
  • Enthusiastic
  • Honest work ethics
  • Positive nature
  • High energised person
  • Loving wife/husband
  • Great systems in life/business/career
  • Put people before results
  • Very creative
  • Love life
  • Acknowledge self and others
  • Visionary
  • Balanced life
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Team player
  • Leader
  • Great manager

Coaching Tip

You have natural strengths, talents and abilities that you use every day. When you own who you are and what you do well, this will give you greater clarity of vision and confidence because you will know exactly why you do what you do.

Make a list of your top 10 strengths. Be really generous with yourself and write whatever comes to mind. Be mindful about where in our life you are expressing your strengths.

I encourage you to give yourself a boost of certainty and confidence by taking on the challenge of making a list of your top 30 strengths and let me know how you go.

By strengthening your strengths with conscious awareness and mindful action, you will gain clarity with natural confidence knowing Who you truly are and Why you do what you do.

There is no competition when you know Who you really are, What unique strengths you have developed and in What way you naturally express your strengths. This way of living will ultimately give you your purposeful Why each day.