Tag Archives: resistance

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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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

 

 

 

Dont Die with you Music Still in you

This time last year I had just returned from Hawaii where I had the great honor of learning from the late Wayne Dyer at the Hay House Writers workshop. Wayne’s words have been on my mind this week as I have been gearing back into creation mode after my break in Indonesia. Wayne talked about one of the his key motivators in life being a message he wrote to himself after reading Leo Tolstoy’s “The death off Ivan Illycich” which had been given to him by his Uncle Bill. ( you can hear Wayne talk about this here https://vimeo.com/19672457)

The message  ” Don’t die with your music still in you”

This statement resonates with me on so many levels. We all have so much unshared, untapped talent, wisdom and insight that we keep to ourselves and don’t express. We hold on to our gold because of feelings of not being good enough. We let our fears get in the way of what it is we truly want to do or be in our lives.

I bet even in this very moment as you are reading this you are aware of a part of yourself that you don’t give life to, or a talent or desire that you keep on the back burner. You allow your job or circumstances to take precedent over what you really love and what you are really good at.

Sometimes we just get in our own way. We are afraid of what other people will think or what it will mean for our lives or our families.

I totally understand this

I get it

I have done it myself and still do in certain areas but less and less.

For me losing some very precious souls over the years has shown me how much it costs us mentally, physically and emotionally to deny parts of ourselves, to deny what we truly desire. I have been struck by how much the world has lost when these same loved ones have passed without ever really sharing themselves fully with the world.

It breaks my heart to know that others wont remember them for who they really were, they will remember who it was they allowed the world to see.

It broke my heart until I realised I could do something about it.

I could be part of the solution not part of the problem. I could do something about it by sharing myself more fully with the world. By sharing my talents and skills and by showing up as myself, no cover up, no disguise or what is “acceptable”

I could do something about it by supporting others to share their music too.

It has felt scary. It has felt vulnerable and it still does some days but it has also lead me into a new career that I love. It has given me the job of supporting others to share themselves with the world. To share their music from a foundation of what feels right for them and what is true for them.

I have been given the gift of self-examination. I have 46 years of experience of calling myself to understand more, to feel more, to do more and to be more. Life has become my toolbox for working with others, for uncovering truth, values, deciphering the code of fears and blocks and stuckness.

I am intimately acquainted with the challenges of change and loss and grief. My painful experiences serve as a balm to soothe and hold others through their own. I feel very blessed to walk this path.

I feel blessed that I can honor those I have lost and support those who feel called to work with me through my own understanding of why this is so important. Why you and me and you and you and you and you all have something very special to bring to the world, to your family and your community but most importantly to yourself.

Your impact as an individual in this life you are living can never be underestimated.

So lets write that symphony that’s inside you, lets gather the notes that are your music and find a way to bring it forward, to let your melody out into the world.

It’s never too late to answer that call within, it’s never too late to become more of who you are in any aspect of your life. Get support, make a change and most of all don’t die with your music still in you!

Paula xx

If you would like to try coaching email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if it’s for you.

Coming back to what works…

I never could have anticipated how unsettling it would feel to be creating a new routine and role for myself this year. The first few weeks after I finished my job were actually really easy to fill. I was tired and much in need of a good long break.

The last 4 weeks have been difficult to say the least! My new job is to set up my coaching business. To decide what I want to offer, create a business name and brand, decide who my customers are and what differentiates me from the competition. All of these things I have done before quite successfully for my previous 2 businesses. However, after 10 years in a corporate role where my job was to support small businesses to grow and increase sales I have had the luxury of being exposed to many different ways of doing this.

I now realise how important this gestation stage of business creation is. I don’t want to rush the process or force it to happen. I have a lot of ideas. I always have had but I am learning to ground them. To pull them down out of my head and into my heart. To really feel which ones are right for me.

One of the key areas I want to coach in is supporting others to create heart centred businesses and here I am having to walk my talk!

It’s not enough to bring something to life that I like and that works. I want to fall in love with my business, so in love with it that I cant help but give it life, nurture it and nourish it.

Part of my restlessness has come from being in a position to create my own routine. Sounds like a good problem to have doesn’t it! I have a choice about when I start work and when I finish. I can choose how many hours are in my work day.

Today I have realised that I was struggling to let go of my 9 to 5 conditioning. Part of me feels guilty to be not working 9 to 5. So guilty in fact that I have felt unable to work or play some days, torn between what I “should” be doing and what I “could” be doing. Working in a traditional 9 to 5 way does not make what you do more valid or important. What is important is that you love what you do whenever you are doing it.

I have also come up against my inner demons. The part of myself that were kept in check by my successful corporate role. I have felt the part of myself that feels unworthy without paid work. I have felt a level of shame surface from old conditioning. I have judged myself and felt fearful for my future. My old self-destructive patterns have resurfaced. I have gotten in my own way.

There has been another level of healing needing to take place for me to step into who I am becoming.

This week I have come back to what works for me when I know that something needs to be healed.

I let go of my resistance and sat with the discomfort of all that needed attention within me.

I picked up my meditation routine which had waned from a daily practice to a hardly ever practice! And slowly I began to understand and slowly healing has been taking place.

I let go of shame, judgement and expectation and loved the parts of me that have felt afraid.

I recognise how much this process is serving me. How my patterns have served me also. Uncovering my own blocks and recognising the inner process that runs alongside creating something new will help me to support others to do the same. For this I am grateful…really grateful

I know that I am on course, my process purposeful. What has emerged from within is a much clearer idea of what I want to do in my coaching business, who I want to serve, what I have to offer and how valuable that is.

I am breathing life into this new business and beginning to feel its beating heart within my own.

I am currently taking new coaching clients if you feel that I can help you please email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz for a free Skype chat

 

Old Dog…New Tricks…

Recently I have been undertaking to learn some new things and to implement that new learning. This has asked me to change some behaviours, to complete new tasks and to perform new roles.

All of these things I have done in the context of new learning many times before. As a small child I learnt to walk and talk, to read and write all by the same process. Taking on new information, moving from one behaviour to the next, crawling to walking, completing reading and writing tasks in ever increasing difficulty. Taking on the role of reader, writer, student and even teacher.

Going through the learning process again, to become a coach, I have had to take a step back, to witness my own experience and to join together dots as to what is occurring at each stage.

Historically I have been a bit of a sponge when it comes to new learning. I have happily added qualifications over the years- embracing what they have added to my working and personal life without much thought.

I have found it harder this time though.

  • I feel a greater need to really embody and understand new concepts.
  • I have felt a greater sense of pressure to put the theory into practice and also a resistance to it.
  • I have experienced a level of fear around completing new tasks and performing new roles.
  • And I have become curious as to why this is the case. To a certain extent the stakes are higher for me this time. I feel a stronger sense of connection to what I am bringing forward. It is more authentic for me. There is less for me to hide behind as a coach. What I bring to the coaching table is ME

 

In order to be able to support others to discover what the truly want I have to live that experience myself. I have to expose myself to the experience of asking for what I want and of trying things out for size. I need to experience success and also know how to respond when I am discouraged.

All of this has transformed my experience of learning to something new. I have an increased sense of curiosity about things that stump and confound me. I am acutely conscious of my giving up point, my attention span, the feeling I get when my brain encounters something new and it can’t close a loop.

This is not just a great experience for me to draw on as a coach; it is also really good for my brain! When we are small children learning new things every day our brains are creating new connections and pathways to assist us to understand new concepts and perform new tasks. The more new experiences we have the more pathways we create and so on and so on. But as an adult our brains tend to rely on the familiar using existing pathways rather than creating new ones. This can actually make new learning and changing behaviours and habits quite a lot harder.

Yesterday in a workshop I was attending the facilitator aptly described the lack of ability to take on or even engage with something new as being like an “undeveloped sub division”. We have nothing to connect it too or with! Attempting to build a house in a sub division that has no roads, water, electricity or other services is not just uncomfortable, it simply doesn’t work. There is nothing to connect up to!

Does that mean as adults we won’t be able to learn new things or change our behaviours? Not at all. The amazing thing about our brains is that they don’t like an unclosed loop or an “undeveloped sub-division” so it will seek to complete it. This is known as the Zeigarnik effect.

According to Wikipedia “the Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted tasks better than completed tasks” Essentially your brain won’t let you forget that you haven’t quite mastered something.

This has encouraged me to continue to take steps into the unknown even though my inner perfectionist wants me to hold back until I have it mastered. The Zeigarnik effect makes a strong case for letting go of fear of not getting it right and just doing. This is how our brains work.

In the doing lies the gold!