Category Archives: autobiography

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

 

Working Holiday or Holiday working?

Imagine yourself in Portugal….Imagine yourself in Indonesia…..Imagine yourself in Spain… You are on holiday, seeing the sights, sipping the local wine/cocktails/fruit juice, enjoying the sunshine and relaxed pace. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? So how do you have this and run your business too? How do you take your business on the road with you?

This is my intention…to create a business that is location independent. Why would I want to do that? A couple of reasons. I like the scenery to change and also I see myself wanting to continue to do what I love long into my retirement. I don’t want to have to choose to give up my job to travel. I don’t want to have to say no to adventure because I need to be somewhere or I don’t have leave owing.

The past few years I have traveled quite a bit and its during this time that I started my blog. Being away on holiday hasn’t stopped me from writing. In fact I  probably write more taking inspiration from the places I am visiting and the things I see around me. So how about working with clients? this is something I am yet to try. I am comfortable with skype and zoom and use these platforms to coach clients  but by far the majority of my clients are face to face. This is the way my business has evolved at this point. I don’t see this as a limiting factor in my business at this stage. I am pretty confident that if I needed to I could switch my clients over to the virtual world.

Travelling and working also opens up new possibilities for how my business could evolve. What experiences could I offer in the location I am traveling too? Is it an opportunity for me to run a workshop somewhere else in the world? Is it a chance to host a retreat? Something I have always wanted to do.

To work effectively while travelling will require a similar level of discipline as my current situation of working from home. Carving out time for various tasks each week to ensure that they are done would still need to be a priority. Looking at what works better when travelling is what I would explore. Does it feel good to spend a small focused amount of time each day working and then to have the rest of the day free or would I be better to schedule a loberg work session every 2 or 3 days. This I am yet to discover and explore.

I would like to publicly set then intention here on this blog to schedule a holiday in the next 12 months that also includes some work time. I invite the miracle of how this will unfold for me into my life and welcome it with open arms. You might want to pencil in a visit to this blog next September to see how it went or to hold be to account. I would like that!

One of the great gifts of my job as a Business Coach is that I get to support people to create a business that fits with their dream for their life. I get to see their business idea emerge, be nurtured into life and to take them where they want to go. I get to support others to get clear on what they want and whats getting in the way of that. I get to see the miracle of moving through a block unfold its potential in someone’s life and business. I feel blessed to have these experiences and also grateful that it inspires me to continue to breathe life into my own dreams to keep the fire burning within my own belly. What would I ever want a holiday from that !

If you would like to get clear on whats holding you back in your life and biz 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 9

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Life is a daring adventure….

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing” one of my all time favourite quotes and it sums up for me what life is all about. If you aren’t trying new things or challenging yourself on a regular basis then  you arent growing or expanding and life becomes stale, predictable, boring even.

I get that adventure isn’t for everyone but you don’t have to be an adrenalin junkie to put a bit of adventure in your life. For me adventure is trying new things, visiting new places, new learning and moving to the flow of life,embracing change as it comes your way.

The last few years have seen me do a bit of solo adventuring. Travelling to parts of the world I have never visited and seeing things I have always dreamed of. I have embraced solo travel and also the joy of going on retreats with other like minded souls. I love the expansion I feel when I discover new places.

This year my adventure has been a lot about leaving a 10 year corporate career to step out on my own. Learning new technology and ways of working and marketing my business. Mastering new skills can be quite and adventure!

I have also traveled this year with my partner and with friends. Once again a new experience, a different adventure. The biggest benefit of new experiences regardless of how risky they are in the physical sense is that you learn to feel grateful for what you  have and also learn to adapt to new situations more quickly.

Todays adventure might seem really simple to most but for me it was another opportunity to change my view. To see the world differently, to see myself differently. Today I went to an open home to look at a house with some land. Seems simple doesn’t it but to see it that way is really only seeing the surface. Attending and open home implies an openness to moving, living in a different environment and essentially changing everything in your day to day experience from where you buy your coffee to route you drive to work.

I am not going to buy this house or even make and offer but it was and still is an adventure. A new adventure loaded with possibilities, new dreams and new magic!

I wonder where this adventure will take me 🙂

If you would like support to shake up your routine and fit more adventure into your day then click here to book a free clarity call with me or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

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Your Focus needs more Focus

For the next 10 days I am participating in a Blogging Challenge. The challenge to write a blog post on a set topic each day for 10days.  I have never participated in a Blogging Challenge before primarily because I tend to write about what is current for me or what is in my heart and needs to be shared. However Natalie Sisson the instigator of this particular challenge has been somewhat of an inspiration to me  in my journey and glancing over her list of topics for the next 10 days I believe there is value to be had both for you as the reader and for me as the writer.

So here goes……..

FOCUS

As those of you who have read my blog or website will know my current fledgling Coaching Business is not my first foray into the world of self employment. I actually started my first business at the tender age of 24! The mechanics of beginning a new business and growing a client base are familiar to me- I know this road, I have walked it before. This time however I have to admit I have been challenged both personally and professionally in ways I could not have expected.

There are a couple of reasons for this and I’ll go into that in more detail shortly but if I am really honest with you the key reason is that this time it matters more. This time I am creating a business and lifestyle I really want to live. This time I am creating from a place of deep knowing that success and fulfillment are not the same thing. I am building for myself exactly what I teach my clients, a business that is in alignment with my values, my purpose and my vision for the future I want to live. I have an incredibly strong desire to lead others to deep experiences of success that go beyond achievement.To do this I also need to do it for myself. So challenges in this biz/life creation phase are coming at me thick and fast and I’m sure many of you will relate to exactly what I am describing.

Challenge#1 VISIBILITY It has been 12 years since I sold my last business and in that 12 years social media marketing has gone bananas! My last business was very successful and remains so for its current owners, but 12 years ago I had no website, no blog, no facebook page, twitter feed or instagram account in fact no social media presence whatsoever!

What I am learning very quickly is that the world of social media can be very hit and miss. Building your profile online takes time, perseverance and consistency, but even small gains can make a big difference. Increasing the visibility of my business has been my primary focus for the past few months and pretty early on it became clear to me that social media alone was not enough, so I went back to what I know. By far the biggest gains for me have come from meeting actual people in real life! Face to Face Networking has had a really beneficial impact on my business and the best thing about it is that I really like getting out and meeting new people. Face to Face networking is also a great way to get really good at telling people what you do in a 1 minute elevator speech!

There are a lot of networking groups out there that cater to all sorts of businesses and people, so if you are looking for ways to increase your visibility, find a group you like the sound of and go and meet some people!

Challenge#2 THE TECHIE STUFF landing pages, websites, plugins, SEO, online booking systems, mailchimp, facebook ads- Yes it all sounds like another language doesn’t it?…well it has to me! Dont get me wrong I am actually fairly good with a computer and amd proud to say I bulit my own website www.paulamcfarlane.com but my techie learning curve over the last 5 months has been very steep and I am still far from reaching the top! Youtube has become my best friend! There are video tutorials for just about anything on youtube!

The key with the techie stuff is to work out whats important to you and what someone else can do for you. I love that I can change up the copy on my website daily if I want to but creating an email sign up form proved outside my techie capability. Luckily access to tech help is plentiful and price wise ranges from relatively cheap to quite expensive. Finding the right technical helper who understands you and your business at a price you’re comfortable paying takes experimentation and I am still a work in progress on that front.

Challenge#3 FEAR by far the hardest part of creating this business has been fear. When you move towards what you really, really want you are constantly challenged by fear. Fear that you will fail, fear that you will succeed, fear that you don’t deserve it, fear that you are not worthy, fear that there will not be enough clients, fear that there will be too many clients, fear that you are charging too much, fear that you are not charging enough, fear that what you are creating is not wanted by the world.

The one truth about running your own business is that it is scary beyond your wildest expectations.

I have begun to accept that my fear will always be along for the journey. I can’t outrun my fear. My fear asks me daily to feel it, connect with it and to understand what it is trying to show me. My fear reveals to me all of the parts of myself that need to be healed, that need my love and attention. Being with my fear is my greatest teacher and learning to love and understand it, to accepts its gifts, is a challenge I am willing to accept. I am willing to accept working with my own fear because it is supporting me to support others to work with theirs. There has been no greater gift for me in this experience that seeing one of my clients embrace and understand their fear and take steps forward into the business and life they truly desire because of it.

For me the key to working with fear is to get really good support. Finding the right coach, mentor or mastermind group will support you to really accelerate your growth both personally and in your business.

I’d love to hear what challenges you are facing in your business. what has been you primary focus in creating your biz/life. Feel free to comment or ask questions below.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1 http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/10DBC-Day-1

 

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A Letter to my Lovely Clients….

Dear One,

I have been writing and re-writing this letter in my head for several days now. There are some things in my heart that I feel compelled to share with you. What I know about my compulsion to write is that if I don’t honor it, it will simply not leave me alone until I do. I have held back from this letter because it simply felt to silly to tell you, to vulnerable and really a little bit cheesy but it is my truth and it is for you.

I want to tell you how happy it makes me to be able to work with you, support you and to walk with you on your journey of creating your business. I love it that you have reached out to me for support and that I am able to serve you in this way. I have such a huge amount of respect for the challenges you have overcome to be where you are right now and for your commitment to meet your fears head on. I know and understand how hard this is for you because I have done it too and am doing it all over again!

I see your desire to feel connected to your purpose, to feel you are expressing yourself in your business and to create for yourself and your family a life of substance, a life lived in full colour and a life of meaningful success.

I know that like me you believe  in your dreams, that you can be the very best version of yourself, do what makes you happy and have success in every way possible. Knowing this about you inspires me to continue to learn and to grow so that I can be the very best support to you and your business. And learn and grow I have. These past few weeks have been a massive roller-coaster of change for me as I grow my business and create the foundations I need to be able to support you as much as I want too.I am committed to doing all that it takes to be the best possible business coach so that as you reach new heights in your business, I am also reaching them with you!

For me a big part of this journey is to be here to let you know that you are not alone. I know and understand how hard this is. I understand that you have days where you can’t see the woods for the trees and you feel like every choice you have made is wrong. I know what it feels like when everything is just out of reach and its a stretch to keep going and to make your business happen. I know how much courage it takes to face your fears, to look them in the eye and to feel your self shaking as you keep going anyway. I understand how much this costs you, financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. I know what you have given up for this and just how scary that is. But I  also know that nothing compares to the joy you feel with each and every little success that you have. I know that even on the hard days you really don’t want to go back because what you are creating right now is real and really you!.

When you look back at where you were just a few short months ago you cant help but agree with me that you have come a long way and achieved a great deal. I am so proud of what you are creating. I love that by living your dreams you give permission to others to do the same, as do I and together we are doing our bit to change the world! You are amazing and you are achieving amazing things!

I know that you are fiercely independent and that you are capable of moving mountains when you put your mind to it but I also know that its hard for you to ask for help and even harder sometimes for you to let your self receive it. I want you to always know that when you need support, when you are having a wobble that I believe in you and where you are going and I will do my very best to help you along the way. It’s as simple as reaching out. Please feel free to reach out, email, text send me a message on Facebook. Let me know what your roadblocks are, the challenges that are emerging for you, shout out your latest wins, your new plans, your desires and dreams, I am here for you.

I am really excited for whats ahead for both of us. The new programs I am creating, the community I am building with you and for you. Its my mission to lead you to deep experiences of success in your business and life. I believe in you and all that you are creating and I want you to know how much respect I have for you and your journey and how I value having you in my life. You are why I keep doing what I do!

Keep being you

Paula xx