Category Archives: Personal Growth

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

Where are you today?

How are you feeling? Whats happening in your life and in your business? How big is your week this week?

Do you even have time to contemplate answering these questions? Are you overwhelmed by how much needs completing or are you madly scrambling to find more clients/contracts/jobs to pay the bills?

Why do I ask……

We are now 8 weeks into 2017. We have reached that point where it seems both a long way from the centredness and relaxation of the summer break and equally as far from the next opportunity to take more than the weekend off (if you are even managing to do that) This is where we can lose ourselves to the momentum, the busyness,the rush and hustle.

This week I’d like to encourage your to draw breath, to create space regardless of how busy or not busy you are. Find a way to inject a gap into your week just for you. It can be as little and an hour or even 20 minutes a day or if you really want to amp things up gift yourself a day.

Step off the treadmill for a moment and gather your thoughts, let go of busyness, pressure and hurry. Connect with yourself and feel where you are at, feel the reason you are here doing this, feel the part of this that “is you” and not your business.

When we create regular gaps in our schedule to reconnect with ourselves and what we are creating it becomes easier to stay on track, we accomplish more and it is easier to find the energy for the doing.

We step into flow, we find satisfaction and contentment or we identify what is not flow and not satisfaction and it becomes easier to make the necessary adjustments, to self-correct, to feel re-inspired towards our goals, mission and purpose.

Whenever you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, too busy or not busy enough in your business its time to take a step back, to turn to yourself and ask the question “where am I in this?’ “where am I and what do I need?”

To be able to show up consistently and to create something you love in the long term – that sustains you financially, emotionally, spiritually, professionally and personally, staying connected to yourself is the key.

Dont wait for someone else to notice and to give it to you….

Dont wait until you are burnt out and just dont love it any more

Dont wait until its too late to change course and make the necessary adjustments

Take that time today, this week. Gift it to yourself, you deserve it. You are more worthy of your own time and attention than you can ever imagine.

I’d love to hear your experiences of giving yourself time in your business, feel free to share int he comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with this feel free to schedule a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

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

The gifts of 10 days Blogging

Today is the last day of the 10 day blogging challenge I have been participating in. As I reflect on the last 10 days its clear that this challenge gave me more than I had expected. It has increased the traffic through my blog, it has increased the number of people following my blog, it has increased traffic to my website and also engagement on my business Facebook page. All great benefits, however the greatest benefits are more personal.

Since I began this blog 3 years ago I have had a fairly consistent routine to my writing. It was a ritual for me. Initially I would write monthly and then it became weekly. For the last 10 days I have been here writing each day.

To participate in this challenge I have had to change my approach to writing in a number of ways.

I had to let go of feeling that I needed inspiration to strike before I could write, learning that sometimes inspiration occurs during the process.

I have had to get comfortable with posting on a topic I didn’t really want to write about and also with posting when I wasn’t sure if it was worth reading or that it was even any good. Learning to let go of the need for my writing to be perfect and that I am my harshest critic when it comes to what I write. Letting my voice be heard regardless of whether I judged it to be “good ” or not has allowed me to relax my writing style and also the pressure I feel “get it right”

I have let go of the need for the right environment and circumstances to be present before I could begin writing. It has challenged me to write in different environments and regardless of what else is occurring in my life.

It has asked me to re- examine my beliefs around what I was doing in my business and to really connect with what it is I want to create. I loved Day 2 and 3, connecting with my why and my perfect day and allowing myself to share that with the world.

It has asked me to do many of the things I ask my clients to do but forget to do for myself

It has helped me to share my story and express who I am.

This experience has taken me outside my writing comfort zone and that can only ever be good for my writing and those who read it!

I love that writing gives me a way of connecting with people and also to express what goes through my head on a daily basis.

I think a lot and I feel a lot and I have a strong desire to help people. Sharing my thoughts on this blog has helps me to feel that somehow somewhere I am reaching out and touching someone. That maybe my experience or perspective can be of benefit.

This challenge has allowed me to do that in a much freer more unstructured way and I know that that will lead me to write more, connect more, help more and feel more fulfilled in what I am doing.

And last but not least it gave me a chance to really consider why Freedom is my word for the year, what that really means to me and how I can feel it in my life each and every day.

I hope you have enjoyed the ride for the last 10 days. Gold stars if you have read them all! Rest assured this will not be the last you hear from me, in fact far from it.

If you would like support to connect with what you really want to create, to step outside your comfort zone and to feel more expressed in your work then I’d love to chat. 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 10

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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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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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