Category Archives: Authenticity

What Letting Go Reveals…..

Has your vision for you life and business become clouded?

Do you sometimes feel that you are getting in the way of your own success?

What would happen if you just let go? 

Todays blog is about the surprising benefits of letting go and the freedom it can bring you in your business and your life.

Letting go has been the dominant theme for me this year and as we hit the full moon earlier this month I found myself releasing more than I had ever imagined I was holding on to.

Early this year I made the decision to sell the home I had shared with my late husband and to find a new home for both myself and my business. My home sold quickly and I was forced to acknowledge that a huge amount of physical clearing needed to occur before I could actually move. Knowing this process would take some weeks to complete and with a strong desire to begin my new life free from the weight of possessions that didn’t belong to me, I gave myself permission to step back from my business and to continue to serve my existing clients but to let go of all of the demands of marketing. promoting and growing my business.

I focused on the process of lovingly going through my late husbands tools and equipment and items that he had collected over his 45 years of life and finding new homes and new people who appreciated them to pass them onto.

What I learnt from the process of letting go of these possessions was that clearing the clutter on a physical level will reveal a layer of mental clutter, internal belongings, beliefs and patterns that are also waiting to be cleared.

There was an invitation to let go on another level. To let go of everything that is holding you back from being who you are.

Tied up with these physical possessions was a letting go of where I had thought my life “should” be and who “should” be in it. In letting go of “shoulds” came an acceptance of what is.

I have come face to face with my perfectionism, the need for a set of perfect circumstances to arise before I can act.

I was able to see with crystal clarity the patterns that led me away from myself and from where I most want to be.

The root of procrastination and resistance rose up to met me, revealing all the ways in which I sabotage myself and hold myself back.

So why do we have all these internal scripts and processes that we hold on to?

Why do we let this internal junk get in the way of or goals, dreams and deepest desires?

Your stuff, the things that hold you back, the limits you place on yourself are a hardwired protection mechanism shaped by your early experiences. Your young self unable to make sense of the world around you developed a highly specialised system of checks and brakes to save you from the pain of loss, failure, rejection and to set you up for the best chance of fitting in and receiving love.

Call this your ego or your monkey mind, your bad habits, this hand brake to success exists in all of us.

However, just as I have recently experienced we are able to let go of what no longer serves us on both a physical and an emotional level.

To do this we must acknowledge deeply these patterns and make peace with them. Understand how they have served us and thank them for their gifts before the process of letting go is truly complete. For me this was true even though my process was an unexpected side effect of letting go of physical belongings.

What I am left with is lightness and a freshness. I am seeing with new eyes and a new way of being is revealed to me. I have clarity.

The feeling of being weighed down and the desire to feel free of self-imposed limits is not unique to me. I see this in my clients, my friends, my wider networks.

We all have within us the ability to achieve the life we dream of, so ask yourself the question………. What’s getting in the way? What do I need to let go of?

Get curious, become an explorer of your own internal landscape.

The mountain may seem high but the view from the top is incomparable.

Its time to just let go………

I’d love to hear your experiences of letting go, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with what you need to let go of you can book a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

 

 

 

Undo the overwhelm!

How often do you feel overwhelmed in your business or life in general?

Over the last few months from my own experience and from hearing stories of overwhelm from many of my clients I have come to realise that overwhelm is a very normal experience and it is possible to break it down and work your way through it. The biggest downside of staying in overwhelm is that it sucks the joy and meaning out of life and that can leave you questioning the very thing you believed to be your purpose. Being on purpose does not mean that you will never experience overwhelm.

In today’s blog I want to share the 3 major ways that overwhelm can keep us stuck and get in the way of what we want to achieve.

Feeling overwhelmed is really, really, common whether we are business owners or not. If I look back at the last 12 months (my business is 11months old) I would say that I felt overwhelm weekly and sometimes daily! When I get overwhelmed I suffer from what I call “deer in the headlights syndrome” I freeze. I can neither go forward nor back. The very thought of dissecting the overwhelm, overwhelms me!

Instead I polish up my procrastination skills…I watch daytime TV, I make snacks when I’m not hungry, I check the snail mail and the email and I hang out for hours on social media. All of these things fail in every way to alleviate overwhelm and in fact often serve to intensify it.

So how do we manage our feelings of overwhelm in our business and in our personal lives?The first step to dealing with any difficult experience is to gently allow yourself to feel it, acknowledge it and accept it. It’s time to stop avoiding the overwhelm!

In my experience the source of your overwhelm will likely be :

(1)time

(2)knowledge or

(3) the stretch.

If we can work out which of these 3 are at the source then we are more than halfway to resolving it.

(1) The most common source of overwhelm is time…and not enough of it! The first step in defusing the time problem is to have a really good look at where your time is going and what time you actually have available. Identify your time drains and look at how you can eliminate these. Are there ways in which you can re-order your routine to free up an extra half an hour a day? Can you shuffle your schedule to give you some bigger chunks of time to work with?

Once you have established your time limits then look at all of the things you need to complete. Make a list…yes I know that making a list in itself can feel overwhelming but believe me you will feel a lot better once you do it. Look at each of the items on your list and ask yourself how essential they are for you to complete. Put all the non-negotiables into your schedule first.

It is likely that the simple act of making a list has reduced your overwhelm but if not you can trust me that once you start to tick off some of the items on your list you will be able to breathe again. This is also a good time to re- evaluate the standards you are setting yourself…are you expecting and unrealistic level of perfection that results in things never being completed? Make your new Mantra “done is better than perfect” and make a start.

(2) The second source of overwhelm is knowledge. This is where we feel overwhelmed because we have reached our outer limits of knowledge on a particular subject or aspect of our business. Once again it’s important to be gentle with yourself and to be accepting that there will always be things that you need to learn.

For me starting out in a new business after 10 years in the corporate world I had to admit that my marketing skills from my previous businesses was completely outdated. Social media was my new learning curve and boy was that overwhelming! The great thing is that new knowledge is so readily available now. There is always someone who knows what you don’t so find a coach or a course or a mentor who can help you to get on track to gaining the skills you need.

(3) The third reason we feel overwhelm is when we are in the stretch. The stretch is that place where you are putting yourself out there, owning your genius and testing your new skills and abilities. It might be a new program you want to offer or a new way of working or a new product or service. It may even be a new way of communicating your needs in your relationship or a new aspect of yourself you are learning to share and embrace.

Personally I find the overwhelm associated with the stretch the most challenging. Recently I have been leaning into the stretch in my coaching business and owning my true nature as a business coach. I am acknowledging that what I do does not fit within a traditional model but is soul based. My clients have been quick to accept my new moniker of soul based business coach as it aligns with how they have experienced what I do, but owning this dimension of my work more publically has felt overwhelming because of the stretch.

When overwhelm is in the stretch it’s important to know that it will feel uncomfortable initially as you grow into this aspect of yourself or your work but the rewards are enormously satisfying. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stretch the my best advice is to go slowly, dip your toes in and test the water and feel the expansion as you do. Nurture and celebrate your small steps as you would a child who is learning a new skill.

 It is my hope that some of my suggestions will help you to relax about your feelings of overwhelm and to let go of the battle you have with yourself. When we relax about what is occurring it allows us to drop our resistance and then the way forward begins to appear. Don’t be surprised if your desire to procrastinate is strong here its normal to feel a level of resistance to your growth.  After all overwhelms best friend is procrastination and that is another blog entirely that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Paula xx

New Year…Old Leaf?

I don’t need to tell you that it’s that time of the year……when we earnestly pledge and promise to make changes, big and small for the coming year. New Year’s resolutions in my mind aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This time of the year gets us reflecting on what the past year has been and what we would like to create for our future. I’m a big believer in that, in taking time to review and reset, to ask ourselves the question “Am I where I want to be? and to set goals for the year ahead.

For many this time of the year is about making a commitment to “turn over a new leaf” when it comes to things we want to change or believe we “should” change for our health and wellbeing. We propose to give up our “bad” habits, to eat healthier and to begin a new exercise regimen, to lose weight or to finally run that half marathon. Whatever you are proposing to change in the New year are you in fact turning over a new leaf or are you once again recycling and old one?

Often times we have the same resolutions on our lists year in and year out. So why don’t we achieve them? And why is it that we wait until the year is at an end to do this rather than at other times of the year? I have been pondering this as I review my own 2016 goals.

I am an active goal setter and work hard to achieve my goals through the year but like many of you I still have resolutions that don’t get achieved.

This year I have started my own business, graduated as a Business coach, traveled to a new country, left the security of a regular pay check. I have run a group coaching program (3 actually) and two mastermind circles. I have increased my followers both on my blog and on my facebook and instagram pages and as I write this today it will be my 30th blog post for 2016 (although my goal was 52!) but I havent lost 10kgs (I have actually gained weight!) and I haven’t ticked off the other health and well-being goals on my list.

When I reflect on why this is the case it becomes pretty clear to me that the things I have given most of my attention to are the things I have achieved the most success with. Although this is not exclusively true. At the beginning of 2016 I wrote down a list of 81 things I wanted to do in 2016 (I couldn’t quite get to 100) Without giving any time or attention to this list other than to review it once during the year I have actually completed 21 of them.

My best advice when it comes to resolutions and goals is that it’s never a bad time to set them. If you feel drawn to doing it at this time of the year then by all means write them down and make a start. but we can also turn over that new leaf at the start of a new month, a new week, or even a new day. In fact every minute holds within it an opportunity to make a change, start something new or to set a new goal.

My feeling is that we do a large chunk of our goal setting and resolving at this time of the year because we get a chance to pause. The space between christmas and the New year is when we are either on holiday or the pre-xmas work pressure has eased. We get some time to reflect, to connect and to feel what needs to change.

What if we took time out on a regular basis to do this? What if we gave ourselves space quarterly, monthly or weekly to reflect on where we are at and to re-focus on our goals? I suspect we would find motivation levels would be sustained far beyond the first few weeks of January and our resolutions would have a greater chance of surviving! So don’t let New Years be the only time in 2017 that you reflect on where you are at and what you want to create.

My resolution for 2017 is to create space every week to review my goals and to re-set and adjust them quarterly as the year unfolds.

“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands and what you dwell upon determines your destiny” Robin Sharma

Feel free to join me…or to share with me your resolutions for 2017 in the comments below

To download your free 2016 Biz review workbook Sign up here

For support setting you 2017 goals click here

 

When you are in Alignment it is effortless

When you are in alignment it is effortless……….

I heard these words come out of my mouth this morning over coffee and like a message from the universe they stuck!

What I was commenting on was the resolution of a challenge another business woman had been dealing with. This situation grew out of a knowing that something wasn’t lining up with her values. The situation had escalated to the point of almost becoming catastrophic for her business until she said no to what was not in alignment for her. From the moment she refused to continue tolerating this values conflict everything changed. Her business recovered and is thriving beyond what she could have imagined possible.

When we are in alignment it is effortless……

When we are in alignment it becomes effortless….

When we are in alignment it feels effortless….

Let that sink in for a moment because its BIG

Hearing myself saying this asked me to consider all of the parts of my business that don’t feel effortless. I began to get curious about what feels like hard work for me and also to consider what drains my energy and on the flipside what fills me up and feels effortless in what I do.

I realised that I was allowing myself to be influenced by other Coaches with bigger more established businesses than my own. I was hearing the hype about this system or that model and was “shoulding” myself to do things someone else’s way. I had allowed myself to feel I had to change my approach to succeed and I was beginning to feel defeated by the thought that I had to hustle to get where I want to go.

Hustle is not effortless for me, hustle is not in my zone of genius or in alignment with my values.

The effortless parts of my business fall neatly within my zone of genius. Supporting people, teaching, coaching, leading others to clarity and alignment. When I allow myself to be me, to be authentic, to share my gifts,to speak my truth, to do what fills me up, that’s when I see results in my business that’s when it’s effortless

Wow Heart expanding moment!

Clarity is such a beautiful thing and I love that this level of clarity allows me to step away from anything and anyone that pulls me away from whats effortless. I don’t need to prescribe to any other way of doing this than my own

There are no more “shoulds” for me

From today my guiding principle in my business is “does this feel effortless to me”

 

Would you like support to uncover your effortless? I’d love to help, book a free clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

Someone just like you!

Self employment can be a lonely business! Over the past few weeks, as I have actively been working to promote and build my business, I have been networking and putting myself out there to meet other business owners. I have engaged with all sorts of business people both online and face to face. What has become really clear from these experiences is that as business owners we all face similar challenges in being self-employed.  Being a business owner can be lonely and isolating.

As humans we are hard-wired to connect with other people, to feel accepted, loved and part of a social/family group or tribe. When we step away from paid employment to work in our own business we can lose that sense of connection, collegiality and team support.

Having a business can be a lonely existence. We can feel isolated, out on a limb and that other people in our life just don’t really get it! When we feel like this and also face challenges in our business it can become doubly hard. We have no one to bounce ideas off or even to just unpack all of the crazy, scary thoughts that are running through our minds with.

However being self-employed whether you’re a business woman or man it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. There are plenty of opportunities for support available. From industry groups, to business coaches, to mentors, to networking organisations and online support groups. The options are far wider that you might think. Experimentation is the key, not every group/coach or organisation will be right for you and your business but I guarantee that your people are out there. If you approach finding your tribe with an open mind you may find it easier than you first thought

“What you seek is seeking you “Rumi

As a Feminine Business Coach I felt that I didn’t really fit with traditional coaching models or even people’s understanding of what coaching was. I was almost afraid to tell people what I did because I wasnt sure it would be understood or accepted. That all changed for me earlier this year when I attended RISE and had an opportunity to hear Sue Lindsay speak about the feminine way of doing business and the benefits it brings even in the corporate world. Suddenly I felt validated and legitimate and proud to own what I do. I knew that I had to connect with Sue and did something I never do. I introduced myself to her. Sue was not only lovely in person, she very generously gave me some of her time via Skype to help me refine my story and the story of my business. Meeting Sue was one of the key things that prompted me to really engage with other women business owners in a networking capacity which has been incredibly rewarding for me personally and for my business.

Connecting with like-minded business women and hearing them share experience of feeling lonely and isolated has prompted me to begin to change that in whatever small ways I can. I have begun to run Mastermind circles here in Christchurch for women business owners and I am also gathering a tribe of women online (Love your Biz) to receive support, share experiences and learn together. I am proud to be able to offer this to my clients and women business owners who are looking for support on their journey to creating a life and business they love.

If you like to join my tribe of women business owners click here

If you’d like to know about my mastermind circle click here

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

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What is your Superpower?

Todays blog post is about really owning what you are good at, connecting with what you love doing and identifying the strengths that other people see in you.

We often shy away from owning our strengths for fear of appearing arrogant or “big headed” In New Zealand we call this Tall Poppy syndrome but the real values of knowing what you are good at is that it will lead you closer to your purpose. Finding purpose is one of the key things I find my clients are wanting to achieve in creating a life and business they love. I have written about it here The Problem of Purpose When we feel a sense of purpose in what we do we experience a deeper level of success and satisfaction that goes far beyond achieving in the financial sense.

So how do you find your super powers? For me it has taken 2  previous businesses and a 10 year corporate career to really find my sweet spot.

What I know now is that I am able to give great clarity to people. I can break down ideas, problems and information in to clear steps. I have a knack for knowing when someone is rubbing up against a block or a fear, I use my intuition help me with this and I have developed some really effective tools for helping people work with what comes up to address it and clear it. I am also an awesome brainstormer which makes me a great ideas person. Combining this with my love of people and desire to help and support others and Coaching is a great fit for me. It uses my skills and makes me happy.

To get to  this point I did a lot of experimenting. I followed a love of plants and gardening to train as a Garden Designer and  run a business in Garden design and maintenance business only to learn that it took the joy out of gardening for me. Gardening for me works great as a hobby but not as a career path. I also have a range of other skills that just don’t make me happy in the long-term. For example I had a very successful career in sales and sales management. I love working to targets and enjoy working with people,but sales just didn’t give me the level of connection I was looking for and I realised I wanted to help more than my role as sales person would allow me.

All of my past experiences have led me to this point. The point where I know my strengths and skills and how to apply them in a role that allows me to do something I really love. And this is what I wish for you. I want you to also experience the joy of loving what you do

So How do you find your superpowers? Start with a career/life audit.Take a look at your past experiences and what they have shown you about yourself and your skills.Then as Natalie suggested with this blog challenge write some lists of the things you are good at and the things you really enjoy doing. Then go ask some of your friends and family what they think your good at because you’ll find some more gold there. You might be surprised at what you find. If nothing else you will be a little clearer and closer to finding your purpose.

If you would like my support to get clarity, move through your blocks and identify the steps you need to take book a free clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

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Oh such a Perfect day!

Today’s Blogging challenge is to write about your perfect day. Imagine there are no limits. You can create a vision for your future that looks and feels and includes anything you want! You can design a working/living style that is exactly right for you, that makes you feel happy, connected and on purpose.

This exercise is not new to me. I have done it myself a number of times and its something I often ask my clients to do. Knowing what you want to create provides a roadmap for your business and the choices that you make. Designing an ideal life will also highlight for you what in your current life needs to change and evolve. From a spiritual perspective the law of attraction says that if we believe it we will see it. Our thoughts create our reality. Our subconscious mind is unable to discern reality from fiction so if you really connect to the images and feelings of what you want to create you draw towards yourself the perfect conditions and opportunities to make it happen.

Go Confidently in the direction of your dreams…..this has been a favourite quote of mine for a very long time. Most of us like the idea that we can create what we want in our lives but to do this we actually have to relax that parts of our self that tells us we cant have what we want. We come up against our conditioned limitations and beliefs such as “I don’t deserve it” or “you have to make the best of what you have” or “not everyone is destined for greatness” We fear our deepest inner most desires being laughed at or ridiculed or that we are arrogant to want to much for our lives. Sometimes we have felt so discouraged by our circumstances that we don’t even dare to dream. We have disconnected from our true desires.

When I ask my clients to write for me about their dream day some grab the opportunity with both hands and others resist it and need support to work through what holds them back from what they want.

Personally I am half and half. I love to dream about what I want to create. I get excited abut my vision for my future and I love to write it down and to create vision boards from what i have written. However to share my dreams in public for other people to view…that is where I meet my resistance.

What I know about goals is that if we share them even with just one other person we have a much higher chance of achieving them. So with that in mind I am going to move through my resistance today and share with you my Perfect Day.

My perfect day begins without an alarm. I wake up from a restful sleep with my partner. Together we go for a walk on the beach or in the hills and then enjoy breakfast together sharing our intentions for the day. We are blessed to be able to live where we choose which means we often split time between NZ and other tropical locations giving us a long summers and  a very relaxed lifestyle. Each day after breakfast I spend a couple of hours in my workspace. My workspace is an open studio in a garden setting with lots of light and stunning views. I will spend my time meeting with my admin team and planning the coming days/weeks. I might spend time creating workshops or programs or I might be working one on one with clients either face to face or virtually. Some days I will be travelling to deliver workshops and seminars. I love that I have created a working life that allows the scenery to change and for me to express myself while supporting others to experience deeps success in what they do. I love that I have created a prosperous business that supports me and a number of others and that allows me to give to community projects that are close to my heart.

Most days I will also have some quiet time to meditate, journal and work on my latest writing project be it blog or book.  I finish work early to meet up with friends or family or to swim or indulge in a massage or spa treatment.  At the end of the day I meet up with my partner to share what the day has bought us and to either go out for dinner or to spend time preparing a meal together. I feel completely fulfilled and satisfied at the end of every day. I love that I have freedom  and time for what is important  and to travel and learn new things. I enjoy spending time reading and indulging my creativity through writing and art. I feel blessed to be living the life of my dreams and grateful for all that I have, all that I am able to contribute and that I can do this by simply being myself!

If you have read this far I invite you to do some dreaming on your Perfect day. What is it that you want to create in your life? I also encourage you to notice if you resist doing this and what comes up for you when you think about it.Let me know if I can help. You will find me at www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

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