Spring Coaching Offer !

Spring is in the air!!!

So it’s that time of year once again where you start to think about clearing out the old and starting a new.

You start working on the house, on the garden, planning holidays etc, but do you ever take a step back and take time to think about you.

For instance, when did you last ask yourself, Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Am I satisfied? Am I motivated? Am I heading in the right direction? Do I know where I want to be this time next year?

If you answered yes to all the above then well done, you are on your path, you know what you want and how to get there.

If you answered no to some or all of the above then now is the time to make that change!

Indulge in some real you time! Set aside an hour alone with just a pen and paper.

Consider your life right now. For every question above where you answered ‘no’, now ask ‘why? Once you know ‘why’ then you can identify what needs to change. Once you know what needs to change, you can decide the first step in making that change.

Sometimes when we want to change things in our lives we look at the big picture and it all seems so far away and unreachable that often we push it aside and it then becomes just a dream.

The key is to break it down into smaller chunks – draw up a plan of where you are now, where you want to be and what steps you need to make to get there.  Next set weekly goals, write down the first step, then the 2nd step and so on. Once you break it down and start reaching these weekly goals, you become more motivated and pretty soon you are half way towards your desired outcome in no time at all.

Anything is achievable if you have the desire. Once you start looking ahead and planning for the future your life will have new meaning, you will become enthusiastic and positive.

If you have no enthusiasm for life then something needs to change, don’t waste any more time, life is too short!!

Coaching can provide fast and effective results. So take advantage of my Spring Offer. From now until the end of April 20% discount on all coaching sessions.

Live the Life you Love and Love the Life you Live!

Email to vicki@aaylifecoaching.com quoting ‘Spring has Sprung offer’

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Self Talk and The Power Within!

Self Talk and the Power Within.

As we go through our day we are constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in. That voice in side our head seems to determine how we perceive every situation. In NLP we refer to this inner voice as our ‘Self – Talk’ this includes our conscious thoughts and our unconscious assumptions and beliefs.

Practical self-talk is essential and does not cause any problems. However it’s the negative self-talk that can take us down into a big black whole, these thoughts can be unrealistic or self-defeating, such as ‘I’m going to fail for sure’, or ‘I am useless at everything”.

If you are suffering depression or anxiety it is likely that you interpret things negatively. That’s why it’s very important to become aware of your self-talk, and to then realise that you have the power to change the way you feel by changing your self-talk.

When we are worried and concerned we are usually either thinking back to the past or projecting into the future. The past is gone, you can’t change it, so don’t dwell on it, regrets are a waste of energy. The future you can never ever know, so why waste all that time playing out scenarios that may never happen. The only true moment we have is ‘NOW’ and right now we have all the resources we need and we will act accordingly. This is why in an emergency people take action they don’t worry and procrastinate, they are in the NOW.

Once you realise just how much control you truly have you will be able to turn your life around, to overcome moments of doubt, fear and procrastination. You will no longer allow outside influences to have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing.

You can challenge and change your self-talk. You can change the negative aspects of your thinking by challenging the irrational parts and replacing with more reasonable thoughts.
It doesn’t happen overnight but with practice, you will learn to notice your own negative self-talk as it happens, and consciously choose to think about situations in a more realistic and positive way.

Whenever you find yourself feeling depressed, angry, anxious or upset, use this as your trigger to take a step back and become aware of your thoughts, what is it you are telling yourself over and over?

Sometimes we can over react to a situation; we can become irrational, and jump to the wrong conclusions. When this happens it is useful to test the accuracy of your perceptions. To do this, first see the situation associated, so through your own eyes. Then see it as the other person, dissociated and then as a fly on the wall. This will enable you to see if your interpretations are factual or if you are jumping to conclusions. Consider that had you been more positive, would you have perceived the situation differently. Also consider if there are any alternative ways to view the situation. Ask yourself ‘is it as bad as you think it is’? ‘Is there anything good about the situation’? ‘Will it really matter this time next week or in a couple of months’?

Because you feel anxious, depressed or stressed, your self-talk is likely to be extreme, and you are likely to focus on the most negative aspects of your situation. Step away and consider what your thoughts are achieving, consider if you have any control over the situation, and if so what can you do to help change it.

Remember there is no failure, only feedback, so think about what you have learned from this situation in order to ensure that next time, you do things differently.
By becoming aware of your thoughts and monitoring your self-talk, you are taking back control. This gives you the power to choose what you let in and how you deal with it. You choose your state, you control ‘you’ and no one will ever be able to take that away, unless you allow it.

Instead of “why” try “how”. So instead of “why did this happen to me” replace with “How can I change this”

You and only you have the power within to change your life!

Are you Depressed or just Fed Up?

The word Depressed is used frequently but more often than not erroneously.

People who are depressed have feelings of overwhelming sadness; they feel anxious, tense, irrationally worried and irritable. They lose interest in life, lack concentration, have difficulty sleeping, lose weight, lack the energy to even get out of bed and have feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. In severe cases there may be recurrent thoughts of death or suicide and self-harm.

If you tell yourself that you are depressed but are getting up every morning, going to work, eating well, listening to music, reading, and conversing with friends and colleagues, then the chances are you are not depressed, more likely you are discontented with some aspect of your life.

Everyone feels down in the dumps now and again, but if you have a constant feeling of discontent, then it is time for you to sit down and evaluate what is wrong in your life, what needs to change and how to change it. If you don’t take action, you will continue in this downward spiral.

The first step is to identify which area of your life is causing the displeasure. It may be that you feel stuck in some way, that you are in the wrong job or in a bad relationship, or not in a relationship, maybe you are unhappy with your living arrangement or maybe you just have no fulfilment in your life.

Once you have identified the area of discontent, then you need to look deeper, zoom in, dig down, pull it to pieces, don’t leave any stone unturned. Once you decide what needs to change, you can then decide how best to take action or it may be that the only solution is for YOU to change.

As an example, you wake up every morning and dread going to work, you hear yourself saying “I hate work it’s so depressing”. But what exactly is it about your job that is bringing you down?

Now it is time to start chunking down!

Do you like the sector you are in?
Do you identify with the company and its goals?
Do you enjoy your daily tasks/duties/responsibilities?
Do you feel fulfilled in your work?
Do you feel the hours are suitable?
Do you feel satisfied at the end of the day?
Do you need further training?
Do you feel you are due promotion?
Do you feel there is no progression available?
Do you feel confident in your role?
Do you get enough support?
Do you get recognition?
Do you like your boss?
Do you like your colleagues?
Do you like the general moral?
Do you like the general environment?
Do you like the location?
Do you find the journey to and from work manageable?
Are you happy with your pay/benefits?

Now you have identified the problem area/s, next you need to decide upon your options. Are you able to make the necessary changes, do you need to address the issues with a colleague or your boss? Don’t put this off, decide upon the action required and act!

Let’s suppose that having pulled the problem to pieces you realise that it isn’t actually your job, but your journey to and from your job that is the problem. You have to get up extra early, there is always traffic, you get tense and frustrated during the journey and by the time you arrive at work you are wound up and you start the day in a bad mood. The working day ends and you know the journey home will be just as frustrating, there will be traffic; you know you will get home late and when you get home you will be once again wound up and in a bad mood, consequently you then don’t have the inspiration to do anything. So, problem identified, let’s look at the options.

1. Is it viable to resign and find a job closer to home? If the answer is yes then start looking for a new job straight away. If the answer is no go to option 2.
2. Would moving closer to work be an option? Would it be affordable, could you house share? If the answer is yes then start looking for suitable accommodation straight away. If the answer is no go to option 3.
3. What can you change about your journey, obviously you have tried other routes and to no avail. So the change that is necessary is something that is out of your control. Therefore YOU have to change.

This is where changing your mind-set comes into force; you must decide how you can approach the problem in a different way.

By reacting this way to your journey YOU are creating the problem. You are fighting against it. You keep telling yourself you hate it, you have to get up earlier, you sit in traffic and get wound up, you hate getting home late. All of this is out of your control, getting wound up and angry is achieving nothing other than putting yourself in a negative state. Your anger will not change the traffic or shorten the journey so it is a waste of your energy.

This is now a repeated pattern that only you can change! Instead of fighting it, accept it. Accept that you have to get up earlier; is this a bad thing? If it is a struggle, then perhaps you need to go to bed earlier. Accept that there will be traffic every day; is it logical to expect empty roads? Ensure you leave in time to allow for traffic, this way you won’t be worrying about being late. When you are sitting in traffic accept it, and just let it go. Don’t concentrate on it and complain about it. Listen to the radio, listen to your favourite music, relax, breathe deeply in and out, with each outward breath let go of the tension and negativity, tell yourself you are calm and that everything is fine. Think about the day ahead, plan your day, think of good things and keep positive. By doing this you will arrive at work in a calm state ready to face the day! On the way home, do the same, forget about the traffic, listen to music and plan the evening ahead.

Instead of fighting it, accept it and just let it go!

Once you look into issues much deeper you will be able to find solutions, either by YOU changing or by instigating an external change.

You may find after digging deeper, that the problem is there simply because you have not done anything to rectify it. If you are no longer challenged in your job and feel promotion is the answer, then speak to your boss. If you lack confidence and feel you would benefit from further training, speak to your boss?

So often people moan and groan over and over but do nothing! If you don’t ask you will never know!

You may come to the conclusion that the job is not for you and that you will never be happy there no matter what, so time to move on!

Once you determine which area of your life is causing the discontent, repeat the exercise, above, break it down, ask yourself in depth questions to determine exactly what needs to change, or if indeed it is YOU who needs to change.

Changing your mind-set will help with feelings of discontentment. If you tell yourself every day that you hate life, that you are miserable and that today will be crap, then it is inevitable that it will be.

Our self-talk is fundamental to our wellbeing. Become aware of what you are repeating to yourself over and over.

Start to concentrate on what you want and forget about what you don’t want. Look ahead, not back.

Life is all about choices, there is always a positive or negative side. It’s you who decides which to choose.

And Finally…

The next time you hear yourself saying “I am depressed” think about what you are saying. Are you really depressed? Or are you just avoiding taking action!

Spring has Sprung!

Its Spring time once again, although it doesn’t exactly feel like it, however I am sure warmer weather will be with us soon!!

So it’s that time of year once again where you start to think about clearing out the old and starting a new.

You start working on the house, on the garden, planning holidays etc. but do you ever take a step back and take time to think about you.

For instance, when did you last ask yourself, Am I happy? Am I fulfilled? Am I satisfied? Am I motivated? Am I heading in the right direction? Do I know where I want to be this time next year?

If you answered yes to all the above then well done, you are on your path, you know what you want and how to get there.

If you answered no to some or all of the above then now is the time to wake up to yourself!

Indulge in some real you time! Set aside an hour alone with just a pen and paper.

Consider your life right now. For every question above where you answered ‘no’, now ask ‘why? Once you know ‘why’ then you can identify what needs to change. Once you know what needs to change, you can decide the first step in making that change.

Sometimes when we want to change things in our lives we look at the big picture and it all seems so far away and unreachable that often we push it aside and it then becomes just a dream.

The key is to break it down into smaller chunks – draw up a plan of where you are now, where you want to be and by when you want to be there. Next set weekly goals, write down the first step, then the 2nd step and so on. Once you break it down and start reaching these weekly goals, you become more motivated and pretty soon you are half way towards your desired outcome in no time at all.

Anything is achievable if you have the desire. Once you start looking ahead and planning for the future your life will have new meaning, you will become enthusiastic and positive.

If you have no enthusiasm for life then something needs to change, don’t waste any more time, life is too short!!

Coaching can provide fast and effective results. So take advantage of my Spring Offer. From now until the end of April 20% discount on all coaching sessions.

Live the Life you Love and Love the Life you Live!

Email to vicki@aaylifecoaching.com quoting ‘Spring has Sprung offer’

Take the Reins and Make the Change!

Through coaching I see many people who are staying in a place that brings them no pleasure, they feel trapped and spend their lives just going through the motions? For some it is their job, they dread Mondays and long for the weekends. For others it is their relationship, they know what to expect every evening and every weekend? All these people are waiting for something to happen, instead of making something happen.

Life is for living not for tolerating; if the above sounds familiar then it is time you realised that only you are in control of you, no one and nothing else. No one can make you feel anything unless you allow it, no one else can make you do something unless you let them. The only person responsible for your unhappy life is you! You can change the things that you are in control of to try and improve the situation, but sometimes you can’t change anything other than by moving on!

What usually happens is that people stay and continually moan and complain about their miserable life. How often have you thought of moving on and what stops you?

Some people see it as ‘walking away’ or ‘giving up’ this promotes feelings of guilt and angst and this is usually what prevents them from moving on.

Let’s reverse the situation. If your partner told you they had wanted to move on for the last year or so, how would you feel? If your boss told you he had never been impressed with your work how would you feel?

So, are you staying for them, or for you?

Consider your options, stay and be miserable or move on and be happy. If you are totally sure you have done all you can and you know you will be happier moving on then by staying you are doing no one any favours.

We all have fear of the unknown but it is what you do with that fear that will make a world of difference. You can never know what the future will bring so why fear something that may never happen? Stop that chatter of “what if”. This is you inventing a future.

The one question you do know the answer to is “What happens if I stay”?

Don’t ask others, look inside for the answer. Visualise yourself taking action, how does it feel? There is your answer. Once you take action, you will feel relieved, lighter and free. You will be motivated to make other changes, try new things; you will take back control of your life.

There will be times when doubt creeps in, and you wonder if you are doing the right thing, it is normal to first feel elated after making a major decision and to then question yourself. When this happens take your mind back to that moment when you took action, feel that initial elation and relief. You felt that way, because you knew you had done the right thing. Don’t ever lose site of that.

Concentrate on the future and on what you want. Don’t spend time dwelling on the past and what you don’t want. There will always be change through life, how you perceive those changes is what is important. Rather than see ‘endings’ see ‘new beginnings’, rather than see ‘walking away and giving up’ see completion.

One day you will sit back and wonder why you stayed in that place so long!

Overcoming Anxiety

Through your life there will have been times where you found yourself in situations where you have been nervous,  where you feel a little bit of fear rumbling inside, situations such as attending interviews, meeting new people, sitting exams, a driving test and many more.  Feeling a little apprehension and fear in certain situations is normal, however, you go ahead and soon the fear subsides. But what if that little bit of fear that is rumbling inside, does not subside, and soon becomes a volcano ready to explode, what do you do? How do you cope?

First of all, you need to understand that anxiety is not a condition that you were born with.   Anxiety is something that you alone are creating through your own thoughts.

If it all begins in your head, then you are in control of it, and if you are in control of it then you can overcome it.

When the body comes under stress, a message is sent to the brain and the body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream. This normal reaction stems from ‘caveman days’ when we were fighting for survival.   The nerves become more alert, preparing the body to fight or flee from the danger it is facing.  The heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and  breathing increases.  The mind becomes focused on the ‘danger’.   Nowa days you are not fighting off beasts for survival so how can you stop this fear from increasing to an anxiety attack.

Let’s assume you are going on a first date, you are getting ready, you  feel nervous,  you start to think about the person, you picture them in your head, you feel excited, you cant wait to meet them again,  you are all dressed up and ready to go, you feel good, you go out the door, you meet up and you have a great evening!

But what happens if before you get out of the door you start to have the “what if” thoughts.  This is where it all goes downhill and the little bit of  fear and excitment turns into anxiety.

You begin to play out scenarios in your head such as:

“What if he/she thinks I’m boring?”

“What if I can’t think of anything to say?”

“Whatif  he/she sees how nervous I am?”

“What if I start shaking?”

“What if we have nothing in common?”

“What if  he/she thinks I’m stupid?”

“What if he/she doesn’t want to see me again?”

What if this goes all wrong?”

“Oh god why did I do this”

By now the messages to the brain have the body preparing to fight off the biggest beast ever, you are sweating, breathing hard, shaking, heart pounding………..STOP you simply shout STOP in your head as loud as you can.  This stops all messages reaching the brain the pattern is stopped middway, the body stops reacting to the danger.  Now you start to tell yourself:

“Everything is ok”

“I am calm”

“I am confident”

“He/she will think I am great”

“This is going to be a great night”

You stop shaking, your breathing slows, your heart stops pounding, you cool down, and you take a big deep breath and blow all the fear away.

You created it and you dissolved it.

When ever a thought begins with ‘What if’, it is you worrying about a future event,  assuming an unpleasant out come, worrying about what could happen, but the truth is, you can never ever know what lies ahead,  so why waste that energy on worrying and bringing on anxiety.  The past is gone and you cant change it, the future is yet to be and you can never know what it holds, the only moment you truly have is now, enjoy it and embrace it and you will never suffer anxiety again.

You have the power within to take control of your thoughts, what you tell yourself over and over can have an immense affect on your life, ensure you are telling yourself the good stuff and not the bad stuff!

For more information see my website www.aaylifecoaching.com  its All About You!