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E#189 How to boost your professional credibility

This episode is about how to boost your professional credibility

When you start a new profession, one of the most important parts of marketing is developing professional credibility and a good reputation. Today I’d like to share a golden opportunity for you as a professional health and wellness coach, to do just that in June 2022.

Starting out in your health and wellness coaching business is exciting and challenging. And initially, you need to put in a lot of work to become seen, known, liked and trusted.

Further to that, you want to be more than just known – you want to be seen as a reputable professional who is properly qualified and who is confident in what they’re doing.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* 7 Reasons Why the Conference is a Must Attend Event
* How This Event Can Rocket Fuel Your Coaching Business
* Why We All Have a Role in Putting Health and Wellness Coaching on the Map

How do you do that?

Well, there are many ways, and I want to talk about one specific golden opportunity for you to boost your professional credibility if you are a health and wellness coach in Australia or New Zealand.

This opportunity is the HCANZA conference, being held on the Gold Coast on 2 – 3 June 2022. The conference is called Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World.

Before we unpack this, I’d like to say that any professional conference attendance gives you similar opportunities, but this particular conference gives you a one-time-only opportunity to be seen, heard and recognised as a professional.

7 Reasons Why the HCANZA 2022 Conference is a Must-Attend Event

There are several reasons why this is such an important event and such a significant opportunity for you as an individual health and wellness coach.

Not in the least, is the fact that the world we know, our workforce, what’s important to us, the awareness of health and the willingness to change have been irrevoc

Now more than ever, coaching is a viable career option, and it’s a golden opportunity to put Health and Wellness Coaching on the map as an important part of navigating health and wellbeing into the future.

1. Showcasing Health and Wellness Coaching as a Reputable Industry

This inaugural conference provides the opportunity for our industry association and its members to showcase the skills and the breadth in-depth of knowledge and experience that health and wellness coaches have and share those with the world.

We have global experts Zooming in or attending live to speak at this event. Some of them are founders of the industry and have played a significant role in building our profession from the ground up over the past 20-odd years.

With global key opinion leaders together in the room, it gives a huge weight of credibility and reputation that we can promote and advertise to medical professionals, allied health professionals and the general public to promote ourselves as an evidence-based, high calibre profession.

This alone puts health and wellness coaching squarely on the map.

2. Showing the Value of Health and Wellness Coaching, and Where it Fits

This conference is our chance to explain our scope of practice and highlight how we complement other health professionals so that their clients and patients can achieve better health outcomes more easily and in a shorter time.

We show our value with case studies, storytelling and real-life examples of business and client success.

We’ll share how coaches and coaching organisations have changed lives by working in a complementary way with other health professionals, giving everyone who attends a clear understanding of exactly how and where coaching adds value to existing health professionals and treatment frameworks, and independent businesses.

Remember, this is the first time in Australia and New Zealand that such a conference has been held, and it’s our opportunity to share these facts and success stories for huge media coverage and collective recognition.

3. Clearly Explaining How We Work

Have you ever had trouble describing what you do and how you work?

The stories, case studies and expert presentations at this conference will equip you, the attendee, with clear insights and anecdotes to share with prospective clients, partners and advocates in your own practice when you get home to explain clearly how you work with people and what sorts of results and outcomes are possible.

You will learn how to describe your profession and skill set in a more succinct way.

You will develop a confident spiel about the important conditions for change such as self-awareness as an essential first step, and how health and Wallace coaching empowers self-responsibility, which saves the health system and the individual billions of dollars each year.

4. Improve Networking Skills and Confidence

Another great reason to attend this conference is that it gives you skills, experience and confidence in networking.

Networking with other health professionals pretty much an essential part of fast-tracking your marketing and gaining success in your business.

By attending this conference, you will get to polish up your skills of breaking the ice, having friendly conversations, making your contacts, and starting conversations that lead somewhere, with like-minded people.

How will you feel, having brushed up your networking skills in a safe environment with trusted colleagues?

How much easier will the next conference or networking event be?

What impact will that have on your business or coaching practice?

5. Build Important, Business Building Alliances

I’ve just touched on the skills of networking, but have you considered what they might lead to?

If you think about it, conferences are networking events that offer business-building opportunities.

The #1 challenge coaches tell me they have is running their business in isolation, feeling alone, with nobody to bounce ideas off.

Attending this conference in person gives you a more personal connection with other coaches that you’ve only ever met online. That live meeting will cement your relationships and help them grow.

Through those conversations, you might even find some opportunities and leads to help you in your business.

Think of how you’re going to feel after walking out of a conference with a handful of really great contacts that you can stay in touch with and possibly even collaborate with or get help from to grow your practice?

Or finding someone who is doing complementary work and you find an opportunity to help each other?

Or simply being inspired by one of the speakers and discovering strategies that you can apply right away to your own business?

One way or another, you have the chance to learn some important skills and develop some strong support networks and alliances.

6. Increased Confidence, Belief and Action-taking

How are you feeling so far, having thought about all these benefits?

I bet you are feeling pretty pumped up. And that leads me to my next point – this conference is essential to your business development, your confidence, and your personal and professional growth.

You might hear that and think, “well that’s a pretty big claim to make”.

Yes, it is – but it’s 100% true.

Think back to the last time you attended a conference or event – how did you feel?

If you have ever been to any sort of sizeable event, you probably remember the huge buzz, sense of enthusiasm, inspiration, energy, confidence, optimism and hope that you felt.

You probably left that session on a high, with so much belief and a readiness to take action based on what you learned or discovered.

There is a saying that we are the average of the five people closest to us. In a professional context, it’s important that you are rubbing shoulders with people who have more experience, more knowledge, and a greater sense of conviction about what is possible with your modality, so that you can continue to hope, believe, and create success that you wish for in your profession.

Listening to professional coaches speaking gives you the sense of what’s possible for you. It makes your discipline in your profession relatable and within your reach. And it gives you the opportunity for some personal growth and to identify what you need to focus on in order to keep moving forward and growing as a coach and as a person.

Remember that we are in the relationship building industry, and your ability to be self-confident is critical to your success. You can learn how other people have built their own self-confidence and their skill as a coach so that you create a roadmap to get there yourself.

That leads me to my last point on why attending this conference is so important.

7. The Ripple Effect

The final benefit of this conference that I want to talk about is the ripple effect.

For this inaugural conference to really help to put our profession on the map, we need to sell all the tickets and speak to everyone we know about it.

If it’s down to the HCANZA board and few members to do this, we’re not going to get very much media coverage or excitement or visibility.

But if the conference is a sell out and we’re all sharing the word and the success stories, it is a totally different ball game.

It shows that there is a strong collective of coaches who are qualified and who uphold a standard of practice, and who stand together as a united voice to speak about the benefits and opportunities that health and wellness coaching provides.

And at a larger scale, the success of our industry depends on the commitment of every person who is certified and working in the capacity of a health and wellness coach, to find their voice and speak up about the profession, this event, and every one that follows.

It’s not something that a few people can do on their own. For this to work we need to have everybody putting their hand up turning up and being part of something that is bigger than the individual, and which has the potential to create a significant impact on our health systems, longevity and quality of life.

Yes, the number of people attending the conference and telling everyone about it, is important for our profession.

But it’s also important at the other end of the conference long after it’s finished. Because you’re going to walk away feeling inspired and enthusiastic and excited, and you’re going to have a head full of new knowledge, ideas and cutting edge information.

And what’s going to happen to that information?

You’re going to be excited to share it with everybody you know.

You’re going to be equipped with information and words that will help you to network with other health professionals, reach potential clients, find collaborative partners, and find cross referral opportunities.

The more people that attend and promote this conference at the same time, the bigger the visibility and impact we can have.

This really is a critical time and event in the development of our industry.

Summary

Today, I got pretty ranty about boosting your professional credibility, and more specifically, using the inaugural Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World – as a vehicle to really showcase our profession.

I outlined just seven of the many benefits of attending.

In summary there are so many opportunities for personal and professional growth at this conference. So much rich content, information and relationships to be found in this conference. All you need to do is attend. https://www.conference.hcanza.org/?_ga=2.5600117.73171265.1650423249-552347760.1650423249

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#187 How Exercise Improves Mental Health with Zac Jefcoate

This episode is about how exercise improves mental health with Zac Jefcoate

Today, I interview exercise physiologist and health and wellness coach, Zac Jeffcoate to discuss the links between exercise and mental health, the cost of prevention versus injury management, and how the powerful combination of individualised exercise and coaching can empower improvements, save money and improve quality of life at the individual and workforce level.

MW: I’m pretty interested to start by hearing a bit about what you’re really passionate about.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The links between exercise and mental health
* Why changes are difficult, and how to overcome resistance
*  How individualised coaching and exercise programs can improve health and save money
* The importance of simple steps

ZJ: Well, firstly, that question gets asked a lot, and the way I answer that is, the passion for me is providing exercise and movement. Initially in my career as an exercise physiologist, we can impact people’s lives really positively. And as I progressed in my career, I found that it’s not so much what exercise does, but it’s more the fact of what exercise, obviously, how it improves the quality of life, and how people actually fit that into their day to essentially get to an outcome.

So my passion is actually educating people on the benefits of exercise my solution and what I kind of not sell them what solution is that exercise is a modality that fits into their lifestyle.

And it’s really important that we look at how diet, sleep, exercise, relaxation, and meditation fit into a physical mental model. My passion is really the profession, I’ll be honest with you. It is exercise physiology. And beyond that, it’s obviously providing education to anyone who wants to hear.

MW: Wow. And it sounds like you have quite a broad experience. We were talking just before we started this conversation about all of the things that you’ve done. Can you give us a quick recap of your world tour of Australia?

ZJ: Yeah, well, just I mean, I’ve, I’ve got a bit of ADHD probably. So I do a lot of different things.

Initially, when I graduated in 2008, I was offered a job in mining. Unfortunately, I turned up and I tried a uniform on and the guy said, Sorry, Zac, there’s no work here. We’ve lost the contract that’s mining.

It was a humbling experience. My rejection was the redirection to go on a journey, and I set up two AP clinics in medical centres. They’re a great company so did that for about five years. At that time, I was an ABC radio host, and had a skit on ABC.

I then worked in Surf Lifesaving as a performance coach and as a Cert IV lecturer in fitness. Then, after five years, I went into the Northern Territory in Tennant Creek, and I worked over there for about three months with a company called Body Fit. We provided access to exercise physiology in remote and rural indigenous communities. That was a great eye-opener.

And then after that, I went to Melbourne for a number of years and work down with Angelo and the team in Melbourne, in rehab, and then I had come back to Perth, to take on the role in rehab services.

MW: Wow, you’ve seen a lot of the country and by the sound of things, a lot of different sorts of people in different contexts regarding exercise.

ZJ: Yeah. And it’s the same message. And I guess the challenge is what you know, the message that you’re trying to portray, it’s about linking that to your target audience, or linking that in terms of value. So how does someone who’s recovering from kidney disease take your message, as opposed to someone who’s just been guys diagnosed with anxiety and depression?

So how do you as an AP, or as a health professional, essentially get buy-in or trust with the client? And that’s a hard skill, to be honest with you.

MW: I guess that’s where the coaching approach comes in for you.

ZJ: Definitely. Yeah. And the coaching principles. More importantly, that the client-centred approach is you really have to understand that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, essentially, the empathetic approach. Second to that, what is it about what you’re offering do they think they need?

I mean, I’ll be honest with you, a lifestyle change is hard. And this is why it’s about the clients we have the range on the spectrum in terms of their levels of health. And it’s really important that when you coach them through each week or each session, they understand that your guiding principle of coaching is really important because of how you do your initial assessment, how you do your follow-ups, and then essentially how you educate them all comes down to that kind of format and modality that needs to really be targeted to them.

MW: I can hear that it’s very personalized, even down to the level of each individual client. That’s what you’re saying?

ZJ: Yeah, a tailored approach. So we don’t do cookie-cutter assessments. You can have two of the same people come in with the exact same diagnosis or a similar history and you need to treat them differently. The approach of, well, for example, the One-Stop approach doesn’t work, especially in coaching and health and wellness, the individuality.

So it’s really important that you understand, this is essentially going through the need to understand the biomedical markers of the person, you could ask them the physiology, and you have to understand the drive and direction in their psychology behind their motivation and their habits. You have to break this down, because what your intervention and what you’re trying to provide a solution won’t necessarily hit the mark if you can address those factors.

MW: It sounds like you have to be across a lot of stuff, generally. And then as well, on top of that the individual needs of the person or being able to identify those and be client-centred at the same time.

ZJ: Yeah, it’s difficult. And I’ve been doing it for 14 years, and I probably am still learning a lot, it probably took me at least a number of years to actually understand how to relate, also understand how to say what, when, and also how to formulate a plan to best suit my client. And this is life experience, number one. Number two, it’s understanding your trade, knowing what you can offer and also really having a thirst or a passion to continue to keep learning.

MW: It’s so important. Absolutely. I wonder if we could talk a bit about mental health because really, in this spotlight at the moment, there’s obviously a link between exercise and mental health. But I’m not sure that a lot of people really understand that link very well. So could you talk to us a little bit about that?

ZJ: Well, I mean, the link, over let’s put it this way, it’s definitely gotten a lot better in terms of the awareness, I think we have to be mindful with exercise and mental health, that there’s a component that they actually go hand in hand. But remember physical health, mental health, what comes first.

I think the main thing is understanding that from a, I guess from a medical model, so for example, in the GP, it’s about providing the lifestyle change. And then from a health coaching, and from a wellness perspective, you’re not just focusing on one part.

So the link between exercise and mental health is actually quite been studied a lot in the last probably three to four years, the rates of depression, anxiety, in particular, schizophrenia, and bipolar.

Also, there’s a lot of evidence in relation to exercise and how it modulates the brain improves, obviously, the feel-good hormone reduces cortisol, which essentially over time, what it does, it gives it a more locus of control, or competence to the client, about what they can and can’t do.

I’ll talk to you from a purely physiological point of view from the way the body responds. It improves oxygen. That’s the first point of Go.

So as we improve oxygen, when hemoglobin, obviously, blood flows for the body, that increases natural feel-good hormones, you need to do that in certain way over time to get a benefit. And the first thing I look at with mental health is called dose-response.

For example, you go walking for 10 minutes, get enough response for your body and change. It’s no different than medication now, where you’ve been diagnosed with depression, and you have 25 milligrams of sertraline or Zoloft. Does that do anything for the body? So it’s this it’s no different.

The second thing is looking at what is it about physical health that when you’re faced with a mental health condition or concern, why does that always go on the back burner? What is it about exercise and movement and eating? Well, so why does that always go to the bottom? And this is the crux of understanding that we need to break the relationship down so people can see the value.

Liking what you read so far? Listen to the whole interview by clicking the links above.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#170 4 Ways to Beat Imposter Syndrome

This episode is about 4 ways to beat imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome has been a hot topic lately and I have decided to talk about it again in this episode. 

I have worked with several clients in the last year who have been struggling with imposter syndrome. And through the process of coaching conversations, I have seen a few things that have been really effective in helping people to beat impostor syndrome.

The thing with impostor syndrome is that it creates an unhelpful downward spiral. If you are plugging negative thoughts into your head, then your brain takes that as an instruction and starts looking for evidence to prove the thoughts right.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is impostor syndrome?
* How to overcome impostor syndrome?
* What are the methods that I can use to overcome impostor syndrome?

That’s how our brains work. So you definitely need to learn some skills to manage those impostor thoughts and feelings.

Sure, there is no magical quick fix for imposter syndrome. But there are habits that you can form that will help to diminish impostor syndrome and keep it at bay. They’re things that anyone can use, and benefit from.

What is impostor syndrome?

Healthline defines impostor syndrome as follows:

Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.

They say that Impostor syndrome may manifest as perfectionism, struggling to deal with anything that doesn’t come easily, the belief that you should be able to do things on your own, believing you should have all the answers and be an expert, or linking your competence to success in all areas of life.

In clients I’ve worked with, these patterns come up in conversation along with a sense that they will be judged or criticised if they don’t succeed, achieve perfection or have all the answers. 

If any of this sounds familiar, then you might have a bit of imposter syndrome going on. 

I want to point something out before we go any further. If you are learning anything new in your life, you know that there is going to be a steep learning curve. There is a period where you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, because you haven’t had enough time to practice your new craft. 

I see this a lot in  my work as in business startups and coach training within a health and wellness coach training school. I work mostly with mature adults who are going through a career change and have a lot of past success and knowledge – but who see their foray into a new career as challenging and disheartening. They are so used to feeling competent and now, suddenly, they are inexperienced newbies!

Enter the impostor syndrome.

Never mind! It is 100% normal to feel insecure when you are learning new things, to doubt yourself, and to feel like you don’t know enough, or aren’t doing it well enough. That’s called learning.

Just like a small child learning to walk, falling down and then getting up to determinedly try again, you can learn to develop new skills and persist without feeling like a failure.

How do you do that? Well, I’ve rustled up some of the ways that you can move past impostor syndrome more easily.

I want to share four methods that have come up in coaching conversations with my clients that have been really effective in helping and overcome imposter syndrome. These are not one-time use methods – they need to be done consistently.

Method #1 – Schedule time to recognise success 

Self efficacy is a key part of beating impostor syndrome. Self-efficacy means that you have a sense of competence around your ability to do certain tasks or activities.

For example, maybe you know that you are a good ballroom dancer, or that you are good at making cakes.

Knowing that you have skills and strengths in a particular area confers a level of self-confidence.

That’s why method #1 for beating impostor syndrome involves reflecting on wins in your daily life, or your progress with learning a skill.

Here are a few ways you can do that.

Firstly, if you are a coach, you can start working with practice clients and develop a self-reflective practice to implement after each coaching session that you do. Focus on being objective and non-emotive in your feedback, using neutral language. 

Note what went well or not so well based on the client’s behaviour and feedback, what you feel went well, and what you might have done differently and why.

A second way to build self-efficacy is to collect external feedback.

If you are a coach, this would involve reading through testimonials and feedback surveys from your clients on a regular basis to remind yourself of the value of what you do. 

This implies that you need to be collecting feedback after every coaching session as part of your business ‘habits’ or processes.

Outside of coaching or your business, external feedback involves asking friends what they think your strengths are, or what they like about you. Ask for candid feedback from people you trust. It might feel a little uncomfortable, but you will probably be surprised about what comes back…..and delighted!

Other than these ideas, you may have access to customer or colleague feedback at work, performance review feedback or simply the kind words of a compassionate friend who always champions you.

A third way to build self-efficacy is to reflect on the value of what you do in your life.

You could consider any area of your life. For example, the importance of being a parent. What is possible for your child because you care for them, house them, feed them and get them to school?

What is possible if you continue to run your business or do your job – what good can that create in the world? Who can you help? And, by doing that work and helping those people – what will THEY be able to do?

If you are new to coaching and are concerned about the value of your services, consider what is possible if your client gets to the end of their program and has made changes in a specific area of life? And THEN what is possible for them? And what else?

In other words – use the big picture coaching questions toward the client who shows up and does their work, to see what is possible because of their work with you.

Hopefully you can see that with a few questions and reflections, it is possible to recognise skills and strengths that you have, and to acknowledge how those things can have a bigger impact in your own life, or someone else’s. 

Method #2 – Say I don’t know

My husband recently told me a story about one of his first jobs in Australia. 

He moved here from California and had no connections. Moving into a new job, he felt such pressure to have all of the answers and was really impacting him. 

One day he was asked a question in a work meeting and he said simply, “I don’t know but I’ll get the answer and come back to you.” 

He describes the sense that a huge weight was lifted from him because he could be totally honest (one of his strengths), he could go away and learn something, and he could still fulfill the request and gain probably more respect than if he had tried to bumble through an answer, as if he knew what he was talking about.

I found the courage to do this a long time ago, and it was liberating.

Think about it – nobody ever has all of the answers all of the time. If you can learn to be ok with that, you can remove at least some of the weight of expectation that you have placed on yourself. 

To get a sense of this, see if you can recall a time where someone gave you an answer that you knew was a fake. How did it feel? What did you think about that person at the time?

Now, imagine if they had been honest and told you they didn’t know, but would find out?

I’m sure you can see the difference. And if we want to be really pointy about this – in those two versions of the situation, only one is an imposter – and it’s not the one telling the truth.

Method #3 – Tap into your purpose 

What I notice with all of my clients – literally all of them – is that when they feel like an imposter, they turn inward and focus on themselves and their own inadequacies.

It becomes an emotional and sometimes judgemental conversation in their head that plays on repeat. And as I  mentioned earlier, when you are plugging those sorts of thoughts into your head, your brain takes that as an instruction and starts looking for evidence to prove the thoughts right.

That’s how our brains work.

So a way to flip that and get out of the unhelpful thought loops is to tap into your purpose.

If you are a coach and/or a business owner, then your impostor syndrome might be around your ability to give value to your clients. It becomes a conversation all about you and your inadequacies. 

But coaching is all about the client! By flipping this, you can get back into that client-centric mindset and start delivering value. 

Reflect on some of those big picture, brain-opening questions.

Why does my work matter to the world?

What could this much-needed skill change in my community?

What will happen when I become masterful – how will it help me and my clients?

Why do I want to make a difference in people’s lives?

As you can see, honing your purpose is a great way to pull away from the useless impostor thought loop and to re-focus on the big picture – your why behind it all.

Method #4 – Accept yourself as a learner 

Finally, if you feel like an impostor, it might be that your expectations are greater than what is realistic or possible right now.

Being honest and objective with yourself and getting external feedback allows you to see clearly where you are at in the learning continuum.

And sure, you might really wish you were further along – but maybe it’s time to step back and accept yourself as someone who doesn’t have all the answers, can’t do it perfectly, and is on the journey toward becoming masterful.

This is the growth mindset!

Accepting yourself as a learner gives you permission to make mistakes, be curious, learn from your challenges and build strength.

Another perspective is this – they say it takes 10.000 hours or 10 years to truly master something.

Consider where you are on that timeline. Yes, it can be sobering. But also, it’s a good reminder that your persistence in doing something you love will lead to a good outcome and, persistence in itself is part of winning in a world where so many people give up.

Summary

After several conversations about impostor syndrome, I wanted to share some insights on how to move through it more easily.

Firstly, you can start scheduling time to recognise success. This could involve self-reflection on performance, reading client testimonials, asking friends for feedback, or reflecting on the downstream value or ripple effect of what you are doing.

Secondly, you can practice saying I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you. This single act will gain you respect and will ease the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself.

Thirdly, you can tap into your purpose. Stop focussing inwards on your flaws, and start focussing outward on the bigger benefits and impacts of what you are doing.

Fourth, you can accept yourself as a learner, on a journey to mastery, which takes 10,000 hours or 10 years – whatever comes first.

Hopefully you are feeling better equipped to tackle your impostor syndrome.

I’d love to know – which one of these methods will you try first?

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#166 50 day Program Update – Forming Habits vs Circadian Rhythm

This episode is about 50 day program update – forming habits vs circadian rhythm

This is the latest update on my 50 day program. At around 25 days in, I want to share some of my results and key learnings so far. 

I’ll also cover what I’ve learned about how habit forming is easier within a structure, but stickability is easier if you honour your more fluid circadian rhythm. This might explain to you why you have struggled to stick to programs in the past. I will also talk about a few solutions.

Results so far – Eating

I can certainly say without a doubt that some of my key results after 25 days on this program have been very impressive and important for me personally.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is the update on my 50-day program?
* Habit-forming vs circadian rhythm
* How do we juggle habit formation and circadian rhythm in our life?

In the last episode I mentioned macro tweaking – I used the app my fitness pal for a couple of weeks to track my meals and workouts, so I could work out calories, fat, macro ratios and nutrients to see what works best for me in terms of energy, focus, cravings, satiety and productivity.

My fine tuning has been impactful.

For starters, I know exactly which breakfast fuels me the best for energy, productivity, and focus in the morning.

I have a clear understanding of exactly what to eat at lunchtime to fuel an afternoon of even energy and without sugar cravings or hunger.

I am also very clear on the role that water plays in my mental focus, energy, and hunger, working synergistically with what I’m eating.

This is a great starting point for me because I am really clear on which types of meals to eat to optimise my mental and physical performance, so I don’t have to do any thinking work about that any more. I can plan my meals ahead prep them in advance and just enjoy them. No diet plan could ever have done this for me.

I am acutely aware of true hunger signals now. And I have noticed that when I get stressed, feel flustered, or feel rushed, that is when I am likely to want to eat chocolate. But I realise that it is a craving for chocolate and comfort food, rather than any need for food or energy. This has been a really important learning for me. 

Now that I am in a really good place with my hydration and my eating, it means that I can notice these stress-related chocolate cravings when they come up, and I can sit with the urge, allow it, and let it go. I realise that if I did not have my hydration and eating in order, then I would probably give in to that chocolate craving. And that is what has been happening until this program.

Results so far – exercise

My morning walks have happened on most days and they have been a great start to the day, and precious quality time with my husband.

Otherwise, I have been sporadic with my afternoon exercise, and it seems to be related to my work schedule and energy levels. 

I have a preferred time of day to exercise, which is in the afternoon. That’s when I feel strongest. The trouble is, that time often coincides with meetings. 

In this program, I have managed exercise better on days when I’m not teaching at night and when I don’t have late meetings. On those days, exercise ends up happening while I’m making dinner, which is not ideal. It means a shorter, less intense workout.

Also, if I have had a rushed or mentally busy day, I feel too drained to exercise in the afternoon.

Morning exercise doesn’t suit me, apart from walking.

I’m still grappling with this one. Stay tuned.

Habit forming vs circadian rhythm 

Through the process of analysing my progress and reflecting on what’s been going on, I have come to the conclusion that habit forming is really difficult for a lot of people because of the clash between our life schedules and our circadian rhythms.

I have had this same conversation with a client recently who is on her own program.

Let me explain what I mean.

We as humans living in society run our days via a fixed schedule. We set an alarm to get up in the morning, we have to be at work at a certain time and we have responsibilities outside of work that are also driven by the clock.

However, our bodies don’t run like that. Our bodies run on a circadian rhythm that changes through the year based on day length and temperature and a whole bunch of other environmental factors.

For example, we have certain times of day where we are more energised, and this is the best time to exercise and eat. However, your most energised time might happen in the middle of a board meeting!

What happens is that we end up exercising or eating at sub optimal times for our personal rhythm. And that’s why it might be so hard for you to follow a particular exercise plan, or keep going to the gym at the same time each day for a whole year, or be able to eat the same food at the same time each day.

Our bodies change in response to the seasons and our stage of life, and our needs change.

What this means for you is that if you try to follow a set exercise program at the same time every day, or the same eating pattern with the same foods at the same times every day, the likelihood is that you fail at some point because your biology will shift you in a different direction and your needs will change.

In addition to this, habit formation is easier with some degree of consistency, so having a set day or time to perform a habit makes sense in theory, but perhaps not in practice.

I learned all this in my biology degree, in my metabolic typing advisor training, my personal training qualifications, my coaching certification, and through over 4,000 hours coaching clients…. but I have only realised the gravity of this influence by doing my own 50 day program and experiencing this myself.

So how do we juggle habit formation and circadian rhythm when we have a fixed schedule for life?

I have a few ideas that i will sketch out now and flesh out in another episode.

Flexible work is one idea. Finding ways to adjust my start times, finish times, days off and/or meetings means I will more likely be able to honour and leverage my circadian rhythm.

Supplementing is something I’m currently doing and will continue. It makes a huge difference, and I know after using my fitness pal that it’s very difficult to meet all my nutrient needs, even with a good diet. I have been taking Usana supplements for 15 years because of their science backing, quality manufacturing process and proven efficacy.

Seasonal exercise is a no brainer for me, and I have been doing this for years. In personal training we talk about something called a periodised training program. This is when an athlete in a competitive sport breaks their year into segments where they do different types of training – their preparation phase, intense training phase  and competition phase and then the rest and recovery phase which is also called the off season.

For me, it’s the day to day fitting in of exercise that is more of the challenge, which I’m working on.

Seasonal eating is also a no brainer and I am a huge advocate. Research shows that eating in season produce gives you more nutrient rich food, and it’s also cheaper to buy in season stuff because there is a glut!

So choice of food is not the issue for me, it’s more about fine tuning my meals in each season so I can maintain energy and eliminate focus.

Reflection and planning are the last points I’ll make for now. All of the above are relevant, but to implement seasonal changes, you need to stand back from your busy life and take stock, then, plan each week or each day to fit in all of the health giving activities you need to do.

Summary

Today I updated you on my midway results of my 50 day program.

I also discussed the importance of honouring your dynamic circadian rhythm so you can be consistent and motivated, and the challenges of doing this within a more fixed framework of creating habits, and managing daily schedules.

I offered some solutions in the form of seasonal eating and exercise, supplementing, aiming for flexibility in your work schedule, and the importance of reflection and planning to make seasonal adjustments.

This is what I’ll be focussing on for the remaining 25 days… and maybe into another 50 day cycle!

Stay tuned for the next episode!

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#165 Busting Cravings and Firing Up Motivation

This episode is about busting cravings and firing up motivation

Are you doing a transformative program and have found that the magic is wearing off after a week, and you’re losing motivation?

I want to share my initial results with you and talk about how to stay motivated while you’re on a transformative program.

The first week’s highlights

I am pretty chuffed with my first weeks work in my own transformation program.

I did really well with everything this first week. After all, it’s the honeymoon period of the program where everything is new and exciting.

Here are some highlights.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What to do when you are losing motivation?
* How to get the timing right?
* What are the other motivation tips that we can use?

Water

I did especially well with drinking enough water, and this made a huge difference to my overall energy levels, my hunger, the way my skin looks and feels, and also my mental focus. My digestion has been better and I’ve tapped into my natural thirst and hunger signals.

That was an absolute winner to start with.

The way I managed to succeed in keeping my water intake up was actually pretty simple. I just filled my water bottle up every night so would be ready for the next day at my desk. I made sure to have 2 cups of uncaffeinated rooibos tea each day which added to my water intake.

Plus I had a glass of water as I was preparing dinner each night. I absolutely bossed my goal and my natural thirst mechanism has kicked in, so I will be doubling to two litres of water a day this week coming.

One of the things this has helped me to do is cope with sugar withdrawals.

Sugar and white flour

I have to be really honest and say the first five days without sugar was really hard.

After my birthday where I got a lot of cakes and some fudge and some chocolate, I had developed a bit of a habit of eating chocolate or cake in the afternoon when I had a bit of an energy lull.

But by God did I have some sugar cravings this week. I crave sugar after lunch, I crave sugar in the mid afternoon, and I crave sugar after dinner.

To cope with this, I use some really effective strategies to get past those cravings and I was over them completely by day five.

These include keeping my water intake up, including enough protein and fibre at each meal, and getting my meal timing right so I don’t need snacks.

That last part is important because snacking, especially on sugar or carb rich foods, drives false hunger and cravings so it’s important to stop those in their tracks.

Now by day 7 I have been free of sugar or carb cravings for two days!

This is pretty impressive for me because I have long been a fan of having what I call ‘lunch dessert’, plus at least a little chocolate after dinner.

Macro ratios

After busting those cravings by day 5, I turned my focus to getting my carb mix right because this is the secret for managing long term hunger, satiety, energy and cravings – and of course body composition and weight 

Once you sort out any blood sugar imbalances which are indicated by what I call ‘false’ sugar or carb cravings, then you can assess natural energy needs and can get a sense of how best to fuel your body for clear thinking and good performance with exercise.

So the past two days I’ve been following the Metabolic Typing fine tuning process to get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat at each meal and maintain good physical and mental energy, free of cravings and full of energy, completely satisfied for four hours after a meal.

Exercise

I haven’t gone as well as I hoped with exercise because I had a couple of days with really bad headaches and a stiff trapezius muscle so I had to work around those things.

I also noted I hadn’t planned around my work properly during a busy week and so I was short of time on a couple of days, and not wanting to exercise too late in the afternoon for fear of staying awake all night.

However, I achieved about 80% of my exercise goal this week which is fantastic. That means that on most days I did two exercise sessions per day, in accordance with the specific activities I set for myself.

What I learned is that I need to plan better for exercise.

I had to catch my naughty mind trying to convince me I was too busy to exercise on a couple of days, and pushed through using the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 principle.

Staying Motivated

I wanted to talk a bit about how to stay motivated during a program like this one.

Let’s start with what I’ve seen in many of my clients. The first week of any type of transformation program is exciting and interesting. You’re doing new things, you’re getting some quick wins, and you are also starting to get into a rhythm.

But if you are a veteran of programs, or lacking in self confidence, you might start to lose focus or find yourself making excuses for things that you are not doing.

Let me just say that this is totally normal. It’s totally normal for you to start getting a bit bored or unmotivated or to feel challenged when it comes to habit upgrades.

It’s normal to feel a bit stuck or overwhelmed at times and feel like giving up. Although this may happen to you later on, it can also happen after the first seven days of a program.

I want to explain what I’m doing to stay motivated during my transformation program

Motivation Tip 1 – Get the Timing Right

The first point is that you should really choose the timing of your transformation program carefully. It’s crazy to try to do it when you are incredibly busy at work, or when you have a lot of stressful things going on in your life.

Generally those things mean that you’re at a tipping point of stress and a thing that would normally be challenging can become just that bit too challenging such that you might give up more easily.

Also, when you’re stressed it takes a huge toll on your physical and mental health, including your body’s nutrients status. Your nutrient needs increase, and your cravings for sugar and carbs and fatty salty food all increase when you are stressed. So it makes it a lot harder to improve your eating, just sleep well, and to be able to exercise effectively. 

In fact if you are trying to do something transformative in a period of life like this, you’re more likely to get a cold or a flu or to get otherwise rundown and sick and then not be able to complete the program.

So this timing thing is really important – choose a period of your life that is normal, routine, and average, so that you can more easily adjust to the disruption and challenge of the transformation program and face the challenges and discomfort of change without giving up!

Similarly, a bad time to do a transformation program is if you are out of a normal routine.

The reason that this isn’t a very good time to do a transformation is when you’re on a relaxing holiday. It may be harder to persevere or you might find it harder to stay motivated and focused.

One other reason that you should not attempt a transformation while you’re on holiday is that you may be establishing habits outside of your normal weekly structure, so that when you go back to that normal weekly structure, your new habits no longer fit into that typical week.

It totally makes sense for you to make changes within your normal routine, where you have more of a fixed schedule each day. That makes it easier for you to stack habits or piggyback habits on top of your existing ones and automate them much more easily.

Motivation Tip 2 – Measure and Reflect

One thing that’s been really helpful for me is to measure several things each day and really keep my eyes on how much better I am feeling when I do certain things and to reflect on the success of that.

After seven days on my own 50 day program, I have learned a lot about motivation. I realise that I approach each weekend ready to relax after a stressful week and have been tempted to let down my guard because of that.

Documenting this process helped me to see how important it is to have a strategy for weekends to stay motivated to stay on track – or choose to focus on habits that you can easily do 7 days per week – or at least consistently and without any sabotage.

Motivation Tip 3 – Don’t wait for motivation

Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik Effect? 

The Zeigarnik Effect states that not completing a task creates mental tension, which keeps it top of mind. The only thing that will ease this tension is to complete the task. 

Starting something – like your daily exercise session – is usually the hardest part. If you can start focusing on the task for a few minutes, the brain’s desire to complete it should then take over. So next time you feel like putting off an action, just take that first step, and the rest will follow.

Summary

Today I’ve talked about all the things I’ve learned after 7 days on my own transformation program. 

I’m still in the experimental phase to see what works and what I can fit into my lifestyle and how to do that, but I’m already seeing amazing results with clearer skin, clearer thinking and a calmer, less anxious state of mind. The mental chatter has all but stopped and that’s been life changing for me.

I explained the changes I’ve chosen to make – water, food, exercise, boundaries around work, journaling – and how I’ve used journaling and metrics to learn about myself, and stay motivated, and tweak the plan.

This has been such a growth opportunity for me. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been extremely rewarding. I look forward to sharing what happens next week!

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#161 Sleep Hacking

This episode is about sleep hacking

Today I want to share a bit of my journey around sleep hacking to overcome insomnia.

I’ve had insomnia for most of my life off and on, and for me there is a clear correlation with the amount of stress that’s going on in my life. But with the onset of perimenopause, that has ramped up and there are other things that are also causing insomnia such as night sweats and even certain things that I’ve eaten or drunk.

So I’ve been on a mission to hack my sleep. 

I’m going back to my roots.

That is, biohacking is something I’ve done for many years, but I just haven’t spoken about it much in the last couple of years.

Biohacking is where you make small tweaks to your daily habit to improve certain areas of your health or your life.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What approach does one needs to take to remedy sleep?
* What you can take to supplement your need to sleep?
* What other factors affect our sleep?

I want to share with you what I’ve been doing, what I’m doing next, and how it’s all working, so that you can get your own ideas for hacking sleep for yourself or perhaps for the clients that you’re working with. 

Remember that everybody is different and has their own individual formula for improving sleep or any other area of well-being. So what’s working for me may not work for you, but it could be worth trying

The approach you take to remedy sleep and the hacks you decide to use will depend on what’s causing your lack of sleep.

Things changed

My catalyst to get back into biohacking was the onset of perimenopause around 18 months ago, when a lot of things changed for me. 

One of the first things I noticed was that my anxiety increased, and I developed insomnia again after many years without a hitch, and I had night sweats.

Through self-observation, I realised these things were related and they tended to make each other worse. The more anxious I became the less I slept, and the less I slept the more prone to anxiety I was, and the worse my night sweats, the less I slept.

Obviously none of these things are very good for mental well-being or productivity or health so I was motivated to experiment and make some changes. 

Lack of sleep tends to make you grumpy, it tends to make you crave sweet foods, and to feel too lethargic to exercise.

And all of that started happening to me.

So here’s how I worked things out.

Supplements

I actually started the process of unpacking by experimenting with some supplements. The reason I started here is because it was the easiest and fastest way to effect change. 

Firstly, I got back into a routine of taking a high grade multivitamin and mineral formulation that I have used on and off for years, because the research is clear that the more stress your body is under, the more that stress robs nutrients from your body (oxidative damage). 

I won’t go into the complex biology in this episode and will save that for later.

That was my baseline, and I also consulted a naturopath to get some specific supplements for my perimenopause symptoms. She gave me an Ashwaghanda formulation, a magnesium, vitamin B and zinc formula, and a herbal preparation to help with night sweats. 

As a result, I got fairly rapid relief from stress to the point where I was able to sleep better, and I also felt calmer during the day. That took about three weeks.

Before supplementing, I was waking up around five or six times at night with a hot flush that caused me to wake up and then stay awake. Falling asleep was not the issue, it was staying asleep, and particularly at that critical time of 1 to 3am. 

After supplementing, my sleep was more regular, I had fewer flushes, and I was staying asleep better or more easily falling back to sleep.

Stress – workload

At the time all of this was going on, the pandemic hit and I had anticipated a downturn in workload through my contracting roles. As a result I decided to take on some new private clients running a pilot program. 

What actually happened was that both of my contracting roles got a lot busier, so I was juggling too much busier contract roles in addition to my own clients. 

The other thing was that with my own clients, it wasn’t a set and forget, rinse and repeat program that I had run before. It was developmental work and consideration to get what I was doing right. I believe that creativity is the opposite of stress. When you are feeling stressed and under pressure then your ability to think creatively is compromised.

Also, going through menopause makes you realise that your capacity to do things is diminished. It’s a combination of brain fog, fatigue, and of course the insomnia and anxiety.

That’s what happened to me. 

So what I had to do was to reach out to my contract roles and talk about changing my roles, doing less of the detailed stuff that doesn’t light me up and which I find draining, and that took a load off.

Switching off at 5 pm was also a critical part of this formula for me. 

It was a hack that was well worth it. Switching off at 5 pm, I was finishing my screen time at that critical period around sunset where we want to decrease cortisol levels rather than keep them pumped up with artificial light.

This helped me to wind down, reduce anxiety and sleep better.

Before that, I was prone to catastrophizing and making everything seem worse or more urgent than it was.

By lowering my workload and switching off earlier, I had time to unwind, relax and ‘de-focus’ so I could sleep better each night.

I’ve since noticed that if I have to teach at night or if I watch an intense or scary movie, or read a thriller novel, it pushes up my anxiety levels enough that I go back to 1am wake ups.

Food and Drink

A bit of research and some experimenting on my own helped me to realise that certain things would trigger night sweats, or even hot flushes during the day. 

For me these triggers included portion size, alcohol, sugar, or more than 2 cups of coffee per day.

With portion size, I’ve worked out that if I eat after 7pm and/or if I have a meal that’s too big, I won’t fall asleep easily or stay asleep. I tend to sleep better if I’ve had a small serve of complex carbohydrate, plenty of veggies and lean protein for dinner. 

Anything that’s salty, fatty, sugary or too starchy (like a risotto) will wake me up at an odd hour, either starving, with heartburn or thirsty.

With alcohol, I have found that champagne, certain spicy spirits like cinnamon whisky, and some wines, will cause me to wake at 1 – 3am or to have night sweats. It seems related to the amount of sugar.

Having one white wine with dinner, or a white spirit, seems to be ok. But regardless of the alcohol I drink, there is definitely a pattern of increased sweating and I wake at least twice per night with this and struggle to sleep again.

I am still experimenting with sugar, but have found that evening chocolate or dessert might be a trigger for poor sleep, in the absence of alcohol, late work or other triggers. 

It’s well known that when you are a bit depressed you crave carbs, and that is related to an increase in tryptophan and therefore serotonin which improves mood – in the absence of protein which can block this pathway. I have many more experiments ahead on this, so I’ll come back to you on it.

With caffeine, I’ve worked out that I can have 1 – 2 espressos per day (I make mine with oat milk) and be ok and sleep well if I have them before 12pm.

But, there are some exceptions to this rule. 

If I’ve been awake since about 3 am and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, or if I am waking up tired and have two coffees on an empty stomach at a time when I have a lot of stress in my life, then those two coffees don’t help anything and I tend to have a peak and then a crash, followed by a jittery day and/or a restless or sleepless night.

I remember one day waking up after having a terrible night sleep, where I perhaps only had three hours of sleep. I had coffee in the morning and I had a rocket fuel boost of energy followed by a big crash and I felt listless all day.

What I’ve learned is that I have a tipping point for caffeine and I need to be careful not to cross the tipping point. If I am a bit fragile or tired or stressed and my capacity to cope with caffeine is lower and it has an amplified effect on anxiety, mood, sleep and energy levels.

The optimum time to have caffeine is 60-90 minutes after waking or around 10am. The reason is that when you wake up in the morning your cortisol levels naturally increase in response to sunlight. If you inject caffeine into that equation then it prevents your body from creating its own natural energy at that time.

Exercise

I am yet to do any experimenting with exercise specifically – remember that good science means one thing at a time. 

But for now, I wanted to say that I’ve always been somebody that likes exercising in the afternoon. As a personal trainer, I know that exercise done too late can be overstimulating and affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

I will come back to you on this one.

Summary

At different stages of life, we experience hormonal and physiological changes that tilt your world on its axis.

When that happens, what used to work for you in terms of your biology and physiology might change such that you need to revisit things.

With the onset of menopause, I’ve started experimenting with my body – biohacking – to help me understand my triggers for insomnia and anxiety. 

So far, I’ve worked out some important things about supplements, stress, and food and drink so I’m much more aware of nights that I AM sleeping well.

The real benefit of this experimentation is that I am super clear on my own personal formula for a good night’s sleep. I am following my own coaching framework to figure this out. 

Working with a coach can be so helpful because they can help you to work out what to experiment with, and to focus for a long enough period of time to uncover your blind spots and reveal your own secret formula for healthy sleep, weight loss, stress reduction or any other challenge that you’re facing.

If you’re looking for a coach and need a referral, please reach out and let me know.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#146 Enough!

This episode is about having, doing and being enough

If you have ever struggled with being good enough, doing enough, or having enough, let’s unwind that and get to the truth in this episode so you can make peace with these feelings and let them go!

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Idealism vs realism – Separating the dreamers for the doers
* Having a genuine desire to help people
* The search for more purposeful work

Having, Doing and Being Enough

One of the common denominators of discomfort is the sense of not having, doing or being ‘enough.’ It comes up a lot for people in business and life, and any of these three ‘enoughs’ can be a roadblock to your success and satisfaction.

Today I want to talk about the signs that you might be feeling like you don’t have enough, do enough or that you aren’t enough, the results they cause, and how to overcome them.

Please know that all of these attitudes come from a place of lack or inadequacy. If you think with a ‘lack’ mindset, it will show up first in your self-talk – in other words, the thoughts you have – and that will affect how you feel and act, and the results you get.

Lucky, these are things you can change. We will talk about that at the end.

You Have Enough

Even if you think that you have enough, the internet, media and marketing that’s out there in the world tries to convince you that you don’t have enough – usually so they can rope you in and sell you more stuff.

This shows up in various guises. 

For example there is the guise that your home needs to be redecorated and so you need all of the latest trendy colours and styles. 

Another example is that the clothes that you’re wearing might be “out of date” and so you need to buy some new clothes so that you are dressing in a way that is socially acceptable and ‘on trend’.

In the business world,  you have all of these people telling you that they have the perfect formula for growing your business, or the perfect way to beat your money mindset issues, or the perfect training to help you to grow your Facebook audience, or that you need extra training to become good at what you do in your profession.

While some of these things may be true, while it may be good to update your stuff, learn more or perhaps develop some new skills, the truth of the matter is that what you have is perfectly good right now and it probably is enough. 

When I was growing up, there was a saying that people needed to “keep up with the Joneses”. The Free Dictionary.com defines this as when someone deliberately buys or does the same things as the people around them so that they appear as successful as them.

Whether it’s about your own lack of self-confidence, or the desire to appear as successful as other people, this sense of not having enough is a huge impediment to you being authentically you and to succeeding and growing as a person and in your business.

Here’s why. 

When you are so busy trying to have enough, it means that you are probably collecting or accumulating things that you may not necessarily need. 

This is where overwhelm starts, and here’s what the signs of overwhelm look like. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your business and/or life, you might be telling people you are ‘juggling a lot of balls’ or have ‘too much on your plate.’ You might not be making time for your own self-care and rejuvenation. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you took a holiday. You might be worrying about not remembering everything in all last year’s training courses and needing to go and learn more stuff. Any or all of these are signs that you have too much going on. 

RIght now, look around at all of the training courses and books and clothes and things that you have, then imagine how you’d feel if you had to move house right now. What would that bring up for you? 

I bet you would feel stuck and wonder where to start, or put it off until ‘later’ because the job is too big to tackle.

If this sounds like you, then you might want to consider listening to my previous podcast overcoming purpose blocks. In that episode, we cover things that get in the way of you being your authentic self and clearing away that clutter so you can define who you are and what’s important to you.

When you truly accept that you have enough, then and only then you will be able to spend more time making the best use of all of the things that you have. You will get to savor them, cherish them, enjoy them, and make good use of them. 

In contrast, when you have too many things to worry about, then life and business becomes a tick and flick exercise as you strive to keep up and get onto the next urgent thing.

When it comes to training, we are constantly sold the fact that we don’t know enough. 

I recently heard a very good commentary on the Bible as a metaphor for learning.  A religious person doesn’t go out and buy hundreds of different sorts of books and read them in order to develop spirituality. They have one book that they read over and over again, so that they truly know, understand, and embody the wisdom within it. 

Imagine if you did that with the latest training course that you completed? Imagine if you actually applied what you learnt? How would that change things for you?

I encourage you to consider what serves you in life and what doesn’t, and to make a list.

Stop keeping things “just in case.” 

Then, start getting rid of things that no longer serve you.

You Do Enough

The next thing to think about is whether you are ‘doing enough’. 

Maybe you’re on social media looking at a bunch of happy, successful people who are doing amazing things and living amazing and successful lives, wondering why you can’t have this too, and wondering if you are doing enough to get there.

This 100% smoke and mirrors. It’s your brain working against you.

I’d like to illustrate this with a story.

A few years ago I made a vignette movie, capturing some really great surfing moments from about a dozen surf sessions that my husband had enjoyed. 

The movie was set to a 3 ½ minute, heavy rock song that created a lot of energy and fit with the carving turns and cutbacks he was making in the surf. 

We shared the movie with a few people to show the surf highlights from that year. 

What I found interesting was that a couple of people came back to us and said, “Gee all you guys do is party and surf, doing a lot of stuff, being all pumped up and energetic. When do you find time to work and clean your house and stuff?” 

Isn’t it interesting that someone could look at 3 ½ minute movie – out of a total of 525,600 minutes in a year – and believe that that was representative of our whole life? 

This is what we do on social media.

We see the person who has lost 30 kg and we forget about the months of toil, mental challenge, and physical effort required to get there.

We see the successful person in business who has 40,000 followers and makes a 6-figure income and forget about the years of toil, trial, experimenting and failure they’ve endured.

But at the end of the day, doing enough is really just about staying in your lane, focusing on one thing and doing it well and persisting until the end. 

It’s not about doing lots of different things all at once.

In business, doing enough is about researching and developing a solid plan, getting advice and help to test and implement it, and persisting until it’s complete.

Doing enough doesn’t mean that more is better – doing enough means that being selective, focused and persisting in a smart way is better! 

In life, doing enough is about acting and giving within your personal capacity, and giving as much to yourself as you give to others. It’s finding the sweet spot between pleasure and achievement.

According to psychologist Chris Skellet, excessive focus on pleasure can lead to guilt and inadequacy, and excessive focus on achievement can lead to frustration and burnout.

I invite you to answer the question right now and to just give an immediate reaction – do you do enough?

Although I’m not a betting person, I bet you $100 that you do enough. 

If you’re not sure, then I recommend that you give your brain the proof – write down all of the things that you do for yourself and others, and for the world. Then ask the question again.

The truth will reveal itself!

You Are Enough

Most people have a deep-seated fear of not being enough.

Feeling that you’re not enough can show up in your life as comparing yourself to others, buying into feedback from others (no matter what the feedback is), rating your self-worth through your achievements or developing an excessive need for approval or to be liked. 

If you feel you’re not enough, you might also attach negative labels to yourself or overgeneralise about how terrible, helpless or stupid you are – those sorts of things. 

And further, if you think this way about yourself, please know that your brain will start to seek proof that it’s true. 

When someone doesn’t reply to your text, if they don’t return your phone call, if you didn’t get a perfect score on your test, the ‘not good enough’ thinking person will turn those events into proof of inadequacy.

As I say this aloud, it probably sounds illogical. And it is. The problem is, if this dialogue is running in your head, it’s not easy to see that illogical talk for what it is.

I coached someone once who said they were no good at following through on anything and they were always giving up. The funny thing was they had just completed a year-long program that they’d persisted with even when they wanted to give up!

Reflecting that back to this person created a sharp realisation that the belief was not true.

Now it’s your turn. I invite you to think differently – because ‘not good enough’ thinking will 100% NOT help you to get to where you want to be.

That is just going to keep you in the cul-de-sac of frustration and misery.

Stop focusing on perfection, feeling dissatisfied with what you can’t do, and why you can’t do it.

Start asking a better quality question.

Instead of asking what’s wrong with you, ask what’s right with you?

Make a list. Find the evidence of all the strengths, skills and wisdom you have.

Instead of thinking about how far you have to go, reflect on how far you’ve come!

Instead of talking about what you can’t achieve and why, talk about what you are determined to achieve and how.

Reframing

You might see that a common pattern in these three cases is negative self-talk. 

It’s your inner critic.

The way forward is to watch your thoughts, and start reframing those sentences so you can turn your lack mentality into a mindset of adequacy, or even, abundance. 

Hire a coach to help you if you find yourself falling into a hole.

I am working with clients on this right now and at times it’s hard for them but boy, have I seen some transformative thinking and feelings as a result of doing the work!

Reframing is simple, not easy, but it’s extremely powerful and the effect is long lasting.

Of all the habits you could possibly develop in life, this is by far the most important as it reduces stress, builds resilience and most importantly, builds self-belief.

When you have self-belief – anything is possible. ANYTHING!

Summary

Today I talked about three common ‘enough’ thinking patterns.

Not having enough, not doing enough, and not being enough.

They all come from a place of lack rather than abundance.

And none of them are helpful.

The way forward in all cases is to develop a habit of thought watching and reframing.

It is the most powerful and transformative habit that you can develop because it will change the way you approach your life, it will build resilience and it will build self belief.

It will help you to find your purpose and passion, and to live a more satisfied life.

If you need coaching support for this important work, hit me up on my contact page.

I currently have space for three new clients.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#136 Have to, Need to, Want to

E#136 Have to, Need to, Want to Melanie White, habitology

This episode I would like to invite you to think about the language of success.

I want to ask you to reflect on your commitment to yourself, and how you speak to yourself and whether it’s really giving you the happiness and the sense of purpose that you want. I’ve come up with a concept that I’m going to call language feeling. What I mean is that when you use certain words, they make you feel a certain way and this is going to affect your experience, things, situations in life.

Notice the language that you use on a day to day basis, and think about how it serves you and decide how you like it to be going forward. I want to talk to you about ‘I have to’, ‘I need to’, and ‘I want to’, more specifically and it was so interesting because I had the idea for this podcast a week ago. I saw a product client who was using this exact language and it was so funny because it felt like I had the concept in my mind. And then I started to see it everywhere.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* The connection between your words and your emotions
* Pressure and the language we use
* Where to focus your attention to feel good about the ‘have to’ things 

That’s how your brain works, right?

Your reticular activating system is at play here, what you plug into that creates a filter so that you start seeing those things around you. This led to a fruitful discussion and allowed me to come up with this episode and I want to start with the concept of ‘I have to’ how do you feel when you say ‘I have to do this’, or ‘I have to do that’. When I say ‘I have to’ I feel a huge sense of responsibility, I feel like I have no way out except to do the task at hand.

So if I say I have to do something, it means it’s not negotiable. Do you feel like that too? If you think about it, this could be helpful or unhelpful. If you say, I have to do something for a specific reason, then it could be like meeting a deadline or getting paid or something like that, then maybe there’s a motivation and a drive to do that thing so that you can achieve that outcome. But on the other hand, if you are saying I have to all of the time about everything that you do, then maybe what you’re doing is actually conferring a lot of responsibility, and maybe a bit of drama and pressure that you don’t necessarily need.

That’s not helpful.

I’m going to invite you to think about that language and how often you say I have to, is that something you say all the time? How does it make you feel when you say I have to? How does it affect your energy levels, your stress levels and your ability to switch off and take care of yourself? Or are you driving yourself to do things because you feel like you have to I would speculate that the more you have to have in your life, the more pressure you had in your life pressure to perform and pressure to complete. And I bet that could leave you feeling overwhelmed or unable to sleep or putting aside your own needs at certain times to get things done.

Keep your eyes peeled for this one and have a think about how you respond when you start saying I have to. Notice yourself over this week and see what happens. Here’s an example. Maybe you’re saying I have to exercise or I have to do my social media posting for my business. Notice how much of a burden that is when you use this language? Maybe you feel there’s no way out. And it’s something that you don’t really want to do.

Is this how you want to feel?

Think about I have to. But now let’s talk about ‘I need to’ how do you feel when you say those words, I need to do something? What does that bring up for you? Is there a sense of urgency? Is there a sense of desire? Notice how it’s different from ‘I have to’. ‘I have to’ sounds like you must do it. But you don’t necessarily want to or maybe you’re not looking forward to it or you feel a sense of tension around it. Whereas ‘I need to’ has more desire and a sense of urgency. I think, in my opinion, if you say ‘I need to’ it could mean that something’s really important to you. And in certain cases, that could be a good thing, right? I reckon though if you say ‘I need to’ too often, then it might mean that you’re living with a sense of urgency all the time, or heightened importance about things that may not necessarily matter too much.

It could be a different kind of pressure that you’re applying to yourself if you’re saying ‘I need to’ all the time that is and so then the question really is what is it that you truly need to do and why is the need there? Is it your need? Or is it somebody else’s need, whose need is being met? 

 Listen to the entire podcast to learn more.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: