Mindful Living: Connecting with your Authentic Self

Most people live life purely in the physical body pushing and driving their actions every day feeling exhausted hoping they will achieve their vision and goals.

Whilst this is happening, they allow their mind to be scattered on everything that either needs to be done, or what they truly would rather be doing, or what hasn’t been done yet. In other words, your thoughts are all over the place causing you to easily lose focus and energy (as well as the illusion that you do not have enough time) with life passing by, not living in the present moment at all. 

Generally, your real self doesn’t get a look in at all because your body and mind are flat out running the show and way too busy to hear what your inner voice is trying to tell you. Not ever giving you a chance to feel what your body is guiding you to do, which is always giving you your right actions to take.

Your Body   – the physical actions in alignment with your values
Your Mind  
 – directs your thinking to support your vision
Your Spirit 
 – the heart of who you are and how you want to live your life

All 3 areas are important for you to live a fulfilling life as your authentic self.

It takes courage to trust yourself, consistently taking
inspired action in alignment with your authentic self.

 Most of the time you will hear yourself saying things like, “I’m too busy”, or “I don’t have enough time for that”, or “I wish I could do this”, or “I need a break from all of this”.

There is a total disconnection from your true self that is screaming at you to listen. Then you may go on a holiday hoping to release the pressure valve for a while, and then what do you do when you return from holidays? Yes, that’s right, you find yourself jumping right back on the busy cycle without changing your priorities.

It takes a conscious reminder to tune into what your spirit is screaming at your to make time for, which is normally indicating for you to set up new systems, habits and routines to maintain your natural energy flow for you to live your full potential.

3 easy steps to connect with your body – mind – spirit each day.

  1. Take a deep breathe and focus on your breath – this will help to slow your mind down.
  2. Tune into what your heart (spirit) is telling you are your most inspired actions today in alignment with your vision and values.
  3. Take physical action (body) in accordance with what your spirit is telling you.

By practicing tuning into your most powerful guidance from your spirit every day, it will always guide you to take inspired action towards fulfilling your highest vision and values. Yes, this takes conscious practice on a daily basis with your ‘to do list’ running your life. It takes time for you to connect and trust your real voice because of all the voices in your head overclouding your clarity. Be patient with yourself with plenty of self-care as you practice getting to know your authentic self.

It takes courage to trust yourself, consistently taking inspired action in alignment with your authentic self.

If you are ready to connect with your authentic self, taking inspired action in alignment with your vision and values, contact me today 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?

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?

Achieve your Goals: Inspired Action Planning gains Clarity

How often have you felt a gap between where you are now in life and what you truly want to be, do and have? I do not know how many times I would set a goal and get so excited about achieving it – that feeling of, “Yes, it’s definitely going to be real this time around, I’ve made up my mind!” Then slowly I noticed the excitement fading into uncertainty and frustration. Can you relate to this?

One of the crucial keys to achieving your goals is to have an action plan detailing how you are going to close the gap and make your goal a reality.

I have always been goal orientated, right from my sporting career days, with the goal being to compete in the next championships or achieve the best player for the season. At the start of each pre-season, I would make up a plan of how I was going to achieve this, what type of training was required from pre-season, through to maintaining my seasonal fitness and post-season.

Years later, I realised that I had only ever put a plan together to achieve my sporting goals. What about my personal, business career, relationships and every other area of my life? Maybe that is why those areas were the most challenging parts of my life. They were also the most rewarding learning lessons that I love coaching people in today.

I soon realised that if I could use this process in my sporting career, I could apply the same practice to my whole life. I was so excited about this new insight I had gained for myself. As soon as I made a step-by-step plan of how I was going to achieve goals in all areas, I felt I had more control of my life, and could move forward with greater balance.

I remember years ago I wrote out my goals on a sheet of paper and stuck it in the filing cabinet, never looking at it until the next time I cleaned the cabinet out. To my surprise, I found that most goals were still achieved. It was then that I realised that if I had a step-by-step plan of action towards achieving these goals, I would consciously and purposefully achieve them.

A common question I hear from clients is ”Where do I begin to achieve my goals?” Are you the sort of person who has goals, who may even read your goals regularly, but wonder why you are not achieving them? Well, do you have a plan? Without a plan, a goal will feel like a distant hopeful wish. You will stay on track much more easily with a step-by-step plan, however, small the steps. I believe in taking little steps and building momentum from there.

Achieve your Goals: Inspired Action Planning gains Clarity

 

There are 6 Steps to Inspired Action Planning

  • What is your Goal?
  • Why do you want to achieve this Goal?
  • When do you want to achieve this Goal by?
  • Who are your Resources – the people who can support you in achieving your Goal?
  • How? These are the action steps you currently know you want to take to achieve your Goal.
  • How will you celebrate when you have achieved your Goal?

Enjoy planning your inspirational stepping-stones to achieving your goals.

If you know it is time to step up and play a bigger and stronger game that truly inspires you, your team, your family etc., 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 achieving your goals?

If you know of a leader who is being challenged and they know it is time to step up and play a bigger and stronger game, please share this article.

The Game Changer: Change your Life with Powerful Statements

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 had to keep saying them, as the conscious mind will only take on the thoughts and words you consistently tell yourself. This will eventually become a part of who you are naturally, as a new – and rewarding – habit.

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.

The Game Changer: Change your Life with Powerful Statements

Step 1

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

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.

 

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, 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 was 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? Become the game changer today!

If you know it is time to change your game in life and become the person you know you truly want to be, 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 becoming the game changer in your life?

If you know of a leader who is being challenged and they know it is time to step up and become the game changer, please share this article.

Is The Ego Path Sabotaging your Real Success and Fulfilment?

The path you are taking may be the very path that is stopping you from living the life you say you want to live.

Many clients come to me after achieving much success in life and wonder why they are still not fulfilled. They are trapped in a world of success that is defined by their past or their future. Never fully being a witness to the fullness of their real success.

If you are chasing your vision and goals, thinking that your future will be better when you achieve them, then you may be on the ego path – not your true path of success.

I often get asked this question about the ego path?

“How do I know the difference between my true path and my ego path?”

Before I go further into answering this question, let’s take a look further into what the ego path is and how it may be sabotaging your real success.

The ego path is when you keep focussing on the outside tangible results e.g. how much money you want to make, the type of relationship you want to be in, your ideal career/business, trying to keep up with the Jones’s.

If you focus on the results you want on the outside ‘alone’ without coming from your own heart’s inspiration and taking those inspired actions, then you will go through life running very fast skimming the surface and certainly will not enjoy the journey on the inside. No matter how much you achieve and receive, there will always be a sense of ‘not enough yet’ or ‘not good enough yet’.

The ego path will always keep you disconnected from your true values and you will be living another person’s values in life based on what you think success should look like. Identify what success looks like, feels like and acts like from your values – not others – and certainly not the ego path. 

I often get asked this question about the ego path?

“How do I know the difference between my true path and my ego path?”

Answer:

  • If you keep comparing yourself to others and making yourself feel inadequate – is the ego path.
  • If you are continually in competition with others and not living life on what success looks like to you – is the ego path.
  • If you keep hearing yourself say…”I must do this…” “I have to do that…” “I should be doing this…” – is the ego path.
  • If you continually keep wondering if you are getting ‘it right’ in life – is the ego path.
  • If you notice you keep buying lots of stuff, getting more money, the new relationship and still not happy – is the ego path.

You will know when you are on your true path when:

  • You are in your flow and taking actions that feel good.
  • You see opportunities coming your way naturally.
  • You attract like-minded people.
  • You handle challenges by being the ‘observer’ and learning more about yourself.
  • You trust and follow your intuition and gut feelings even when you cannot see all the steps in front of you.
  • You are focused and living in the moment being fully present to life.
  • Your priority is being of service and building like-minded relationships.
  • You surrender to the flow of life.
  • You give unconditional love and acceptance for yourself and others.

Most people are taking action, thinking they are on the path of success, following other people’s vision and values. Yes, you may achieve a lot along the way, yet at what cost! Your time, energy, money, family, health, business, peace, fulfilment, connection, authenticity, relationships, creativity, inspiration, and much more etc.

At the end of the day, only you know what your truth is! Observe what’s working and what’s not working for you. Get honest about your decision-making by reflecting on whether you are taking action based on your ego path or your values connected path.

If you are ready to authentically connect and engage with your inspirational self, 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 authentically connecting and engaging with your inspirational self?

If you know of a leader who is struggling with connecting and engaging with their inspirational self, please share this article.