Category Archives: fear

Feeling the call…….an invitation to action

I wrote today’s blog post on Sunday 23rd July, just over 30 days ago. Although at the time I wrote this post I did not publish it I did follow my own invitation to solitude. What has unfolded for me over the last 30 days has been an amazing illustration of the benefits of exactly what i wrote about in this post. I have greater clarity, I have followed my own guidance to refresh my branding and make small but important changes in my business. As a result I am happier, more engaged with my work and working and plying with a new sense of Joy and energy. I invite you to join me……………..

 

Lately I’ve been feeling the call. Soul Whispers, internal urges, that lingering sensation that it is time.

Being a widow with no children, I have a love /hate relationships with my alone-ness. As much as I crave company I also crave solitude. You would think that a person in my situation would have alone-time sorted but true solitude is not just about being the only person in the room.

It asks us to be present with whatever we are holding inside, good or bad.

For the past few weeks I have had house guests and i have allowed them to become my convenient excuse. My excuse to not meditate and to deny myself true moments of solitude.

I become aware again of my perfectionism….my need for the perfect set of circumstances to align before I set aside my Busy-ness (even when alone) and settle into some moments with myself.

What I find there in my solitude is a chance to fill up on myself, to feel the presence of my soul self and to reconnect with all that is within and around me.

It is in this place that i can draw from when I am stuck or confused or in need of some clarity. It is in this place that my intuition, desires and heart reside.

I ask myself why I avoid deep drinks from the well of solitude and my answer is a rising tangle of fear and excitement. I am afraid of the power of what lies within me, of the depth of my own presence and what it asks me to bring forward.

This age old oscillation of fear/intuition/power/darkness/light and ego is present within all of us and can manifest visibly in procrastination, resistance and putting everyone else before we give to ourselves.

This reluctance to truly own the power of our presence, keep us small, dims our light, dampens our creativity and stands in the way of our success.

Today I take a stand and say “No More” no more dulling our magnificence!

Join me in a commitment to the self and all that reveals

Join me in a conscious movement closer to yourself, your heart, your power.

Join me in action by taking steps on what is revealed

join me in walking in the face of fear and discomfort.

Join me in finding more joy, more clarity and inspiration in solitude.

Join me in the magic of rediscovering yourself!

21 Days of Solitude

Join me each day for the next 21 days as I carve out moments of solitude and share the experience on Instagram using #21daysofsolitude 

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Saying it as it is….

Have you ever felt like a fraud or that you don’t measure up?

Today I’m calling “bullshit” Who’s with me?

This week I ran my first live webinar. I loved it and I know that those who participated received value from it. I wrote the content for the webinar “10 Soul Strategies to Kick Procrastination” in November 2016.  So why did I procrastinate for nearly 8 months to bring this content to my tribe?

If I’m really honest, over the last few months I have felt myself a fraud, that I didn’t measure up. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my gut, a hopelessness, a uselessness. I was struck down by comparisonitis and crippled by the thought that I had to do this the way I see others do it in social media.

I felt invisible in such a noisy social media world and a little bit sickened by the empty promises of “learn how to generate 6 figures in 5 months” hype. I saw authenticity being pedaled as the latest “must have” in the most inauthentic ways.

What I fell victim to and I know I am not alone in this was allowing social media to influence my own measure of value and success. Quick Fix business schemes are marketed in a way the hyper creates an artificial sense of what success is.

The reality is that the majority of small businesses take a minimum of 2 to 3 years to really hit their stride.

So I called “bullshit” on the social media hype that I was buying into…

Dont follow me to be followed back!

Dont sell me your magic formula that you still haven’t proven to yourself works yet

Dont sell me your Uber successful launch strategy that you are trying out for the first time on me, that was sold to you by someone else who got it from someone else!

SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE

Show me your soft underbelly, your journey, your darkness, your failures

Show me all the things you don’t want me to see, show me your soul, your integrity, your values

My biggest takeaway from the last few months is that I am comfortable building my business in the same way I like to cook food…Slowly, I am savouring the journey.

And that all the aspirational marketing hype drew me in for a reason. It speaks to the part of me who has success in her soul, who knows her time is coming and is preparing for the shoes that currently feel too big for her to fill.

This is my invitation to be who I am, to do it my way and to grow my business in a way that feeds me, and is in alignment with my values. To stand in my own integrity and be my own version of authentic.

And I invite you to do the same and I just know the world will love you exactly as you are!

Have you felt affected by all the social media hype too? I’d love to hear about it, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like to connect I’d love to invite you for a  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

Joining the largest nation in the world!

Have you joined it? The largest nation in the world?

Procrasti-NATION!

What I am really enjoying about this 10 day blogging challenge is that it is asking me to step outside my writing comfort zone. Not so much in terms of topic but in terms of the environment and conditions in which I write. I have to admit that I have a writing routine that has become a little rigid in that I have felt unable to write unless the environment and conditions were “right” This in itself could be considered procrastination – today’s topic- more on that soon.

Today I am well and truly outside my writing comfort zone. I am sitting in an ice cream truck on a race course surrounded by hot rods and classic cars! A great example of the freedom lifestyle- to be able to do what you want to do you must learn to complete tasks and get work done in any environment.

So no blogging procrastination for me today but I am not unfamiliar to procrastination by any stretch of the imagination. I can be as crippled by inertia and inability to act as the next person. Procrastination is also one of the key reasons my clients come to me for coaching.

Why do we procrastinate?

In my experience, from the experience of my clients and also from a conversation I just had with my partner it seems to me that fear is generally the root cause of procrastination.  What this also means is that we can try any number of tips and trick to beat procrastination but until we address the underlying fear the procrastination will return.

What are we afraid of?

It can be many things and often its different for different people; fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not getting it perfect, fear that it or you are not worthy or deserving, fear of the uncertainty of the outcome…..

How do we ditch the fear?

I am a big believer that to really bust the fear for good we need to go deep. I have a great process that I walk my clients through which helps to not only identify and understand the fear but also to hear its message. Surprisingly fear brings its own gifts.

In the short term I would encourage you to make friends with your fear. Acknowledge its presence, where do you feel it in your body?  Can you name it? Feeling and knowing your fear can free up some energy to act. Can you feel it and take action, even if its just a start. Taking some small actions now that you have acknowledged your fear may help you to relax and get things moving.

Sometimes a little bit of logic applied at this point can also make a difference. Ask yourself these questions. Will it matter in 10 days? Will it matter in 10 weeks? Will it matter in 10 months?

Hopefully some of these tips have helped and instead of continuing to read my blog you are now off to complete whatever you have been putting off! If not it could be indicative of a deeper core fear and I would recommend seeking out a coach or counsellor to help you identify and work with it.

It also helps to know that procrastination is a perfectly normal part of the creative process and often occurs when we are attempting or creating something new. In fact right now I am procrastinating about beginning to write the content for a 7 day e-course on finding purpose. I have planned this e-course out but have yet to sit down and actually write it and record the videos. The key is to be really clear on when your procrastination is about readiness of an idea to be birthed and when its because you are afraid.When you are creating something new, the germination stage of the new idea may feel like procrastination but you might just not be ready. If this becomes a sustained lack of action or a stronger resistance that’s when you have a problem.

As I wrote at the beginning of this blog having the perfect conditions and circumstances around me to write is no longer an issue so beginning my e-course is the next task on my list today!

If you would like support to get clarity, bust through bloacks and take action book a freee clarity call with me here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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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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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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Are you Bringing yourself to the table?

This time last week I spoke at a women’s business networking event about bringing more of yourself to the table in your business. I was surprised how much meaning my message held not just for the audience but for myself.

In the week that has passed I have reflected on where I too am holding myself back from my business and have found myself engaging more deeply with my fears and stepping forward into parts of my business that I had been holding back from. It has been easy and natural and I have enjoyed it more that I imagined I would. My fears have taken a back seat to what I really want to achieve and I have been riding the high of taking on new challenges and nailing them!

But it wasnt always this easy, some days even thinking about doing some of these things caused me pain and anxiety.

Today I want to share with you some of the steps I have taken to change this and how to recognise if you too are holding parts of yourself back from fully engaging with your business.

So what does it mean to bring more of yourself to the table in your business? and why is it something that we need to consider?

As a business owner you have stepped into a world that asks many different things of you. You are the face of your business, you are the accounts person, the debt recovery specialist, the advertising guru, the marketing expert. You are responsible for strategic planning, cashflow forecasts, recruitment and the training and running of your team. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In addition to this you may also be a Mum, wife, partner, lover, sister, daughter, friend etc etc. Are you starting to get the picture?

All of the roles we perform in business and in life ask different things of us and often things we havent had to do before or that we know arent our areas of strength, sometime it can even be hard to do the thinsg we know we are good at because we are afraid to really put ourselves “out there”. Our ability to step up and engage is directly affected by our fears and our self belief

I suspect like me you likely got into business because there is something you are passionate about, something that you love doing and your business allows this. However there will be other things that scare the living daylights out of you. It’s the scary places that we hold ourselves back from because we don’t feel our power and our passion in those parts of the job.  We are afriad because we are holding on to old conditioning and beliefs that arent serving us.

For example when you pitch to a big client for a new contract you may come face to face with your fear of not being good enough and the part of you that doesn’t believe she can really pull it off.

When you have to sit down and get real about the numbers in the business or prepare your paper work for your accountant you may meet the part of you who is afraid she isn’t smart enough, who doesn’t believe she can do it and who carries the belief that she just isnt good at maths.

When things in your business start to really take off up comes your fear of success, or your belief that you don’t deserve it or that the higher you go the harder it will be when you fail.

When its your time to shine in your business you will feel your fear of rejection, your fear of being seen and your belief that you are not worthy.

This all translates into lost opportunities because you said no when you should have said yes. It puts the contract in your competitors hands because you really couldn’t bring yourself to the table. And it will see you procrastinate and procrastinate on jobs you know you need to get done because you just cant seem to make a start. It will have you watching others enjoying the success that you crave.

The good news is that you can change the effect your fears and negative beliefs have on your business and on your life. You can move forward and have what you want quickly and easily if you choose to and the rewards will be great. You will not only enjoy more success and growth in your business but you will feel more deeply satisfied, connected and engaged in what you are doing. You will have more joy, fun and freedom in what you do.

So how do you kick your fear to the kerb and up your self-belief? I’d love to tell you its easy but the truth is it will challenge you to do this. The good news is that over time it does get easier. A lot easier.

I woud encourage you, if it feels too hard to seek some support from a coach. Two heads are better than one and a good coach will be able to help you identify  what the issue is faster and hold your hand as you work through it.

In the meantime here’s 3 strategies to get you started.

(1) IDENTIFY: make a note of what you are avoiding and putting off doing in your business. What tasks and activities fill you with dread? When we know where we are holding back it becomes easier to take action

(2) FEEL: engage with the feeling you have when you think about doing these things. Let the feeling tell you its story. Where does it sit in your body? How big is it, what colour is it, if it had a name what would you call it. What other tasks and activities make you feel this way. When was the first time you remember having this feeling? When we become familiar with our feelings we can identify when they are impacting on what we are doing and we are in a stronger place to work through them.

(3) AFFIRM and attempt: now that you are really familiar with the feeling, acknowledge it when it comes up for you. Using an affirmation may help such as “even though I am feeling not good enough it is safe for me to start writing this pitch” Even though I am afraid of not getting it right it is safe for me to start my paperwork” Then make a start. it can help to have a timer and set it for 5 mins even though you are feeling your fear you are going to work on it for just 5 mins. Once you make a start you will find that you are able to work on it for longer than you think!

By engaging with what holds us back we are empowered to move forward. By engaging with our fears we begin the process of healing the parts of ourselves that are wounded, afraid and holding on to beliefs that no longer serve us. You can let your fears and lack of self belief dictate the level of success you experience in your business or you can at any moment take back your power and choose a different way. Its really up to YOU

So take a moment to reflect on your business…..where are you holding yourself back? where are you not bringing yourself to the table.

And then decide to step up and engage. You can do this. I know you can 🙂

I’d love to support you with this process and to answer any questions you have along the way. Feel free to share or ask questions in the comments below or to send me an email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz