Who’s in Charge of Your Life?

How’s your relationship with yourself? Who’s in charge of your life? You or your inner critic?

If your inner critic is in charge, then this is what could be happening;

A compliment comes your way…and you downplay it.

You look in the mirror…and only see your flaws.

You set out to do something…and then tell yourself all the reasons you can’t.

You step on the scale…and then make the number mean terrible things.

You look at your bank account…and start feeling guilty and ashamed.

An opportunity shows up…and then you say that you don’t know how to make it happen.

Meet Your Inner Critic and she is running your life!

The inner critic voice can be VERY LOUD in our heads – based on months or years of thinking negative thoughts.

These thoughts are so well worn and habitual that we don’t even realize they are there.

They have become fundamentally part of who we are.

And we believe every one of them.

The inner critic slows down our evolving process. It only sees problems when actually there are solutions and possibilities. The inner critic makes us hide, play small, and settle for less.

We forget that we have the power to silence our inner critic.

We always have the option to turn a negative and judging voice in our head into a neutral voice.

We can always teach ourselves to think new thoughts – ones that are less negatively charged.

Thoughts that don’t do such damage.

We can choose responses that show ourselves compassion.

And LOVE.

Kinder thoughts are always available to us.

This is the ultimate gift of self-care.

Here are some ways to silence your inner critic;

A compliment comes your way…and you can say thank you.

You look in the mirror…and you can see strength, courage, beauty, and wisdom.

You set out to do something…and you can tell yourself that anything is possible.

You step on the scale…and you can feel blessed to have a body.

You check out your bank account…and you can feel grateful for all you have.

An opportunity shows up…and you can say that you will get to work to figure out how to make it happen.

Kinder words will silence your inner critic. And eventually, those kinder words will become your thoughts. And those thoughts will become your new beliefs.

And you will be in charge of your life!

For more Self-Care solutions like this one, be sure to request my FREE GUIDE below.

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3 Must Ask Questions to Create an Amazing Morning Routine.

morning routine

How you spend your time in the morning can set the tone for your entire day and there are 3 questions that you must ask yourself if you want to create your day on purpose.

 

Most of the time we wake up exhausted and then hit the snooze button multiple times.

When we do finally get our eyes open, we grab our phones and jump on Facebook or check our email.

Then we climb out of bed to race around and try to do way too many things without enough time.

We rush through coffee or tea and we make food choices that don’t fuel our bodies properly.

Sometimes we’re grumpy. We snap at family members or they snap at us. We rush off to start our day.

And we feel frantic and scattered. Already behind schedule and racing to catch up.

The day goes on and then we get up and repeat it all over again the next day.

No wonder we are exhausted? It makes sense that we feel so overwhelmed.

Here is a simple strategy to ease the exhaustion and overwhelm.

It starts with a simple morning routine.

Most of us miss the opportunity to take a little quality time for ourselves.

To reflect. To plan. To set an intention.

Take 5-10 minutes to create the day that you want.

A simple morning routine can have a powerful effect on how you show up during the day.

It can literally make all the difference in helping you create a day lived on purpose versus a day that happens by default.

 

Here is your simple guide to creating your morning routine:

Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier tomorrow morning.

Place a journal or notebook and pen next to your alarm.

Write a message to yourself on an index card or small piece of paper – this should be a motivating message that will remind you why you are changing your schedule and giving yourself a little extra time in the morning to focus on you. (It can be something like “This is important” or “This matters to me” or “I want to start my day feeling good”). Finally, place this note on top of the journal, so you see it in the morning.

Get up when your alarm goes off. Stay in bed or find a quiet place in the house.

Take a few minutes to think about what kind of day you want to have.

Then, answer these 3 questions in your journal or notebook:

What do I need to do to have this kind of day?

What do I need to feel to make these things happen?

What do I want to think to feel this way?

Read them over a few times to commit them to memory.

There is so much power in those three little questions.

They will help you go from reacting and responding to your day to creating the day you want on purpose.

Directing your mind first thing in the morning will also set you up for feeling clear and intentioned about all your decisions, which will eliminate the exhaustion and overwhelm that you have been experiencing.

15 minutes in the morning can make a significant difference in the way you feel all day. It’s a simple and easy self-care solution that can create a positive effect on your overall wellbeing.

For more self-care solutions like this one, be sure to request my FREE GUIDE. Simple Self-Care Solutions – 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Self-Care Without Spending a Dime!
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Self-Sacrifice.

life coaching, Self-Sacrifice, Katie Pulsifer Coaching

Are you taking good care of yourself?

When I ask my clients this question, I often hear the same version of this answer.

They are in the habit of sacrificing their needs for others and then describe their self-sacrifice as a noble thing. In many ways, some minor sacrifices are necessary to give to your family, as well as to your job. But it is never noble to sacrifice your emotional or physical health in any way for anyone.

One of your responsibilities while on this planet is to take exceptional care of ourselves. Distracting yourself from yourself in order to to handle the problems of everyone else is a cop-out. It’s the way you procrastinate the work of your own life.

It’s your responsibility as a mature adult to take emotional responsibility for yourself and to take care of yourself physically on a regular basis. Other people’s needs cannot be dealt with at the expense of your own…ever.

Now, I want to be clear about something. Credit is due for all of the amazing things that you do. I know that you work exceptionally hard to take of everyone and everything in your life.

I am focusing on the times when you make sacrifices that take a toll on you and then you act as if you don’t have a choice in the matter. I am talking about when you believe you are doing the right thing by giving up on your dreams, goals and needs for the sake of your family. I am talking about a cultural assumption that we have – that in order to be amazing mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, wives, employees, we have to make sure that everyone else has their needs met before we can meet ours.

This assumption is absolutely not true.

There can be a balance.

Taking care of ourselves, while taking care of everyone else in our lives. It is found in loving everyone in our life from a place of self-care. It’s through paying attention to ourselves and growing ourselves, that we set the most amazing example for others in our life.

Yes, I know that your schedule is full. And that your family and your work is very important. Yes, everyone needs you. But you need you too. By putting yourself last, you are ignoring the amazing opportunity that you have while on this planet. You have the opportunity to really get to know yourself. You have the opportunity to take exceptional care of yourself. You have the opportunity to become who you are meant to be. You have the opportunity to develop yourself. To evolve and grow.

So, are you ready to stop neglecting yourself?

Are you ready to quit procrastinating the work of your life?

Are you ready create the balance between your needs and the needs of everyone else in your life?

Remember that sacrificing yourself for others is optional. It is a choice that you no longer have to make because I guarantee that it won’t work for you long-term.

You have a responsibility to you. Your self-care. Your well-being. Your self-love. Your health. Your thoughts. Your feelings. It all deserves your time and attention. It is truly noble to take exceptional care of you. I promise that it will benefit you immensely.

self-love.

self-love evolution, life coaching,

Happy Valentine’s Week.

And this is what I want to know – what are you going to do to show yourself some love today?

Seriously. How are you going to love yourself today?

What words will you choose to describe yourself and all the amazing things that you do?
What actions will you take to bring you closer to your dreams?
What do you want to feel, on purpose, about yourself?
How can you create more love for yourself today?

There will be a lot of emphasis on your relationship status today. The cards, the candy, the flowers, the jewelry – all focused on whether or not you have new love, old love or no love in your life. Yes, relationship status is important. But, nothing is more important than the relationship that you have with yourself. When you are loving towards yourself – new love deepens, old love strengthens and no love turns into the possibility of finding love.

It all starts with self-love. How we treat ourselves. How we care for ourselves. How we nurture our well-being. Everything we do, say, think, feel is a choice. And choosing, on purpose, to treat ourselves in a loving way is always available to us.

So here are some questions for you to consider today.

Do you put your needs last?
Do you constantly apologize?
Do you assume that you are letting others down in some way?
Do you regularly find ways to make fun of yourself or put yourself down?
Do you have a hard time following through on what you say matters to you?
Do you feel sorry for yourself?
Do you feel afraid a lot?

If you answered yes, to one or more of these questions, then it is time for you to ignite your self-love. Here’s why.

It doesn’t matter how much someone else loves you, if you don’t love yourself like you are the most incredible person that you have ever met.

And, if you are looking for love…you will continue to block it from coming into your life if you don’t love yourself with everything you’ve got.

And, if you are working on your relationship and trying to take it to a deeper level, it can’t go there until you lead by example and deepen the love you have for yourself.

I know, that this sounds counter-intuitive, to everything that we are taught about being selfless in love, making others happy, taking care of others, meeting their needs, etc…

But let me tell you, it doesn’t work that way.

The most important person for you to love is you. You have to start with you. When you develop true unconditional love for yourself, then you are ready to love others with such conviction, loyalty, compassion, respect and devotion.

Unconditional self-love is about being kind to yourself. It’s about creating your feelings on purpose. It is about trusting yourself. It is about not letting yourself down. It about being your own best friend through everything that life throws at you.

Love is one of the best feeling emotions that we can feel. And it is available for us to feel anytime we want based on the thoughts we think. Self-love gives us a double dose of love. Not only do we generate the feeling of love with our thoughts. We also experience being loved by the actions we take and the way we treat ourselves.

Who wouldn’t want a double dose of love?

When we create self-love in our lives, we show up differently. We give more generously. We listen more intently. We pay more attention. We choose kinder words. We forgive more easily. We act more truthfully. We create more love everywhere we go. Every relationship strengthens. Life as we know it, just gets better.

So, how are you going to love yourself today?

P.S. Interested in learning more about how to ignite your self-love? Then I invite you to check out the SELF-LOVE EVOLUTION – a journey that will help you revolutionize your relationship with yourself!

Be Good Company.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

You are stuck with yourself for the rest of your life.

How does that thought make you feel?
Do you like to hang out with yourself?
Are you kind, loving and sweet to yourself?

Many times, we wait for someone else to pay attention to us and to make us feel good. We dislike being alone because it means that we have no one to entertain us, to make us feel better and to distract us from our own thoughts.

Our thoughts can be very damaging and destructive, especially if we have made it a habit to think unkind things about ourselves. Without knowing better, we convince ourselves that what we think is 100% true and therefore we become reliant on other people to convince us otherwise.

Here are some example thoughts that my clients have shared with me – thoughts that they have carried around with them on a daily basis, for years.

  • They will never like me
  • I am ugly
  • I have no will-power
  • I will never be able to figure it out
  • I look old
  • I am too old
  • I have no follow-through
  • I don’t like to get my hopes up
  • I am not good enough
  • I will probably just get hurt (again)
  • I will never be thin
  • I will never lose the weight
  • This is just as good as it will ever be

When my clients share these thoughts with me – they are usually very attached to them. They have held these beliefs for a long time and feel that their only option is to believe that they are true. They don’t like what they think, but they feel like they don’t have a choice. They often go to great lengths to distract themselves from their thoughts – trying to avoid them, to push them away and to ignore them. And what ends up happening is that they begin to ignore themselves. They stop paying attention to themselves or keeping themselves company. They dread being alone. They forget their joy. They stop being their own best friend. They forget what makes them happy.

This is when I tell them the good news!

Thoughts are just sentences that run through our minds. They are opinions. They are judgements. They are impressions. And they are ALWAYS OPTIONAL. Thoughts are never facts. Thoughts are changeable. There is an infinite supply of thoughts to think. There is always a choice. Our brains do not know how to distinguish between negative thoughts and positive thoughts. Our brains do not try to hurt our feelings on purpose. They just want to be efficient and process the thoughts that we usually think. So, it is our job and our responsibility to direct our minds towards what we want to think about ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone in your life who adored you all the time and told you how amazing you are on a regular basis? You can! You can feel joy by remembering how exceptional you are. You won’t need anyone else to tell you because you are telling it to yourself every day. You don’t have to wait for compliments – you can always give them to yourself.

Start right now. Write your 25 Things that I Love About Myself list. You can give yourself some serious credit for everything about you that is amazing. Creating your own joy and love is a skill that just takes practice and you can begin today with creating this list. If it is hard to begin, then just start with writing down the smaller things – like getting up on time, eating a healthy breakfast, providing an education for your kids, not yelling at anyone, being a good driver, being kind…etc. – start anywhere and just keep writing until you have 25 Things. Then do it again tomorrow and every day this week until you have a substantial list that you can refer to, often. Write it and read it. This list will help to retrain your brain to create more positive thoughts than negative ones. With practice, these new thoughts will become habit.

When you love yourself, you will never mind being alone. It will give you time to reflect and connect with yourself. You can give yourself credit for what you have done well, and you can allow yourself to be filled with gratitude for all the joy you have in your life. When you love yourself, you can genuinely have a good time hanging out with yourself. You can be good company to yourself. Talk to yourself in a wonderful way, find out what you love to do and then do it. You will never feel “stuck with yourself” again – instead you will feel grateful and inspired by your own company.

Paying Attention.

www.katiepulsifercoaching.com

Pay attention to yourself.
Because when you don’t – you are actually choosing to be selfish.

Wait. What?

This is not what you were expecting me to tell you, right?

As women, we have been lead to believe that when deny something for ourselves or hold back on our self-care, it is a “self-less” gesture. We tell ourselves all of these things… The family needs us. Our friends need us. Work needs us. There isn’t enough time. There isn’t enough money. Everyone else comes first. This is just the way life works.

So we tell ourselves that we can go “without” and “make do” and we eventually stop paying attention to ourselves.

In our effort to please, serve, care-take, be responsible, accommodate others – whatever we want to call it – we inadvertently create a cycle of self-sabotage and selfishness.

I talk to women every day who find themselves in this cycle and here is what they tell me that they feel like in their lives. They are successful, accomplished, smart women and this is their daily experience.

  • I get quiet.
  • I stopped asking for what I want.
  • I am disconnected from what was important to me.
  • I complain all the time.
  • I spend money on things I do not need.
  • I stopped dreaming.
  • I have too much stuff and can’t stay organized.
  • I eat too much.
  • I am so angry.
  • I drink too much.
  • I feel detached.
  • I have no idea what makes me happy.
  • I gossip.
  • I just want to escape.
  • I am so resentful.
  • I have spent so much money trying to fix myself.
  • I think something is wrong with me.

This self-sabotage cycle leaves so many of my clients frustrated, disheartened, discouraged and feeling sorry for themselves. They are trying so hard to do the right thing by their families and friends, and yet have become consumed with their own pain and unhappiness. It’s all they think about it. It’s all they talk about it. They obsess about it and complain about it. They have created a pattern of selfish living – the exact thing they were trying to avoid when they decided to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own.

So, how do you break this cycle? How do you show up in your life for yourself and everyone that you care about, while not trading off your happiness for everyone else?

Here is how I teach my clients to start paying attention to themselves.

Express yourself and be willing to let everyone disagree
Dream big for yourself
Carve out quality time for yourself every day
Talk about yourself with kindness and respect
Conserve your energy / time / money for what you really love
Clear the clutter
Be your own best friend
Notice your thoughts without judgment
Feed your hunger instead of your feelings
Use your imagination
Ask yourself interesting questions
Choose your words carefully
Honor your priorities
Find out what brings you joy
Refrain from gossip
Be present
Speak your truth
Be willing to say no
Believe that happiness is created by your thoughts, not stuff
Know your worth
Believe you are amazing and so is everyone else
Treat your needs as if they are as important as everyone else’s
And finally, pay attention to yourself from a place of love. It is impossible to be in a state of love and to be selfish at the same time. Self-love promotes quality self-care, allowing us to show up for others with greater compassion, presence and connection – the most selfless state of being.

Emotional Boundaries.

boundaries, ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Some of my clients do not want to set proper emotional boundaries in their lives because they don’t want to risk losing relationships. They’re afraid that if they take care of themselves and tell the truth, they might make the other person angry. So in order to avoid the other person “getting upset”, they stay in relationships that are based on lies, pretenses and resentment. This prevents true intimacy in the relationship.

Having a conversation about an emotional boundary can be uncomfortable and challenging – it is really hard work. It is also the work of true intimacy. Honoring yourself and what is authentic and true, along with the willingness to let other people interpret it how they will, is difficult, but well worth it in the end. People who cannot find the courage to have conversations like this, stay in relationships where they are pretending. Then they often wonder why their relationships aren’t deep or intimate. Or even worse, the relationship erupts in the end due to built up resentment and hostility, which we blame on the other person for our own lack of emotional boundaries.

What is an emotional boundary?

I like to define it like this:
An emotional boundary is something that I create for myself. Like a property boundary, it delineates where I end and you start. It is a request that I make of someone else to change a certain behavior and a consequence of what I will do to self-protect if they violate the boundary.

Emotional boundaries promote self-responsibility and empowerment, ultimately leading to closer relationships with others.

It is about telling the truth to ourselves and to the people in our lives.

An emotional boundary is not an ultimatum. Nor is it a way of controlling another person, so that we can feel better.

How do you know when you need to create an emotional boundary?

I like to tell my clients this:
There is a situation that consistently upsets you and you are worried about being viewed as bad, rude or uncaring when you think about having an emotional boundary conversation with the person in this situation. And yet, this is exactly the way that you are acting on a regular basis with this person. You try to smile and act like everything fine, but you are seething underneath. You act one way with this person and then complain about them behind their back. If asked, you always say that everything is fine but the resentment is building.

How do you set an emotional boundary?

Here is what I teach my clients:

Emotional boundaries always come from a place of love.

If you are angry, frustrated and mad – you need to work through these emotions first.
Write down all your feelings and work through them until you can get to a place of calm, peace and love. It’s important to remember that the reason you are upset is not because someone has violated your boundary, it is because you haven’t been truthful with yourself and the other person and set a boundary in the first place. When you can really own that and take responsibility for your emotions, you can explain your boundary from a place of love and then set clear consequences for what will happen if the boundary is not honored.

Setting emotional boundaries requires courage. It is all about truth-telling and honoring yourself, no matter what. When you can have this conversation with someone from a place of love, you will significantly increase peace and intimacy in your life.

Best Friend.

katie pulsifer coaching

I think that most of us would think of ourselves as someone’s best friend. We might describe ourselves as loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, understanding and supportive. As a best friend, we show up, no questions asked, when we are needed. We laugh together, cry together and offer advice and give tough love when it is required.

Becoming a best friend to someone can take years of investing in the relationship. It takes consistency. It takes attention and focus. It means, giving unconditional love. It means, less judgement and more compassion. It means forgiveness and understanding. Being a best friend is about allowing space in the relationship to evolve and grow over time.

In my experience, this is what I believe it takes to be a best friend. It is a privilege. It is rewarding and fulfilling. And it feels amazing to have this type of relationship with someone that you care about.

Imagine for a moment, what it would be like to be this kind of best friend to yourself. To show up for YOU every day, like you would for your best friend. To love yourself unconditionally through any situation. Doesn’t that sound incredible?

For most of us, being our own best friend sounds incredible and feels absolutely impossible. Mostly because, it never occurs to us, to treat ourselves the way we would treat our best friend.

And why is that?
How is it that we have invested years of attention, time and growth into our best friend relationships and yet, we still haven’t figured out how to have an amazing best friend relationship with ourselves?

Simply put, I believe that we think, that it is someone else’s job to be our best friend. We believe that other people make us feel loved, trusted, cared for or supported. We think these best friend kind of feelings (and all other feelings) come from outside of us. We teach ourselves to rely on others to make us feel a certain way.

The truth is, that we create our own feelings 100% of the time – without exception. This is powerful information. And such good news because it means that we create what we feel all the time. If we want to feel supported, loved, trusted – we can treat ourselves that way, right now. We can choose to show up for ourselves the way that we would for our best friend. We can treat ourselves with kindness, compassion and love. We can release judgement, shame and guilt.

I talk about this concept of being your own best friend with my clients all the time, because I believe this to be the most powerful way to add more love in your life. I teach them to think about how they can choose to feel loyalty, by having loyalty to ourselves and our decisions. I teach them that they can feel and experience commitment by keeping our commitments and promises to ourselves. And that to experience more self-love and compassion, means having your own back, every time, no matter what.

Imagine how amazing your life would be if you decided to be your own best friend!
What can do to start treating yourself like you treat your best friend?
How would you make decisions, show up and act if you chose to love yourself unconditionally?
There is no downside to loving yourself more!
So why not go into this week, loving yourself like you love your best friend?
Offer yourself more kindness, compassion and love this week – with your words, your thoughts and actions. See how amazing it will make you feel!

Intuition

woman taking care of herself using six self-care steps

Intuition is an incredible tool because it provides us with quick insight. It allows us to understand something almost immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. And yet, most of us ignore our intuition. We can’t access it because we are unaware of what it feels like in our bodies. Or we don’t trust it. Or it is inconvenient and means that we might need to change our minds, change direction or impact someone else.

Intuition can be very powerful when we tap into it. It requires a willingness to access our inner knowing – one that may not feel immediately logical or make sense in the moment. It means being vulnerable. It means accepting that we already know what is best for us. It means giving ourselves permission to experience something intended for our benefit.

To access our intuition, we must silence the inner negative chatter that we inevitably experience. We have to shut down the ‘what will they think’ thoughts, the ‘it will be too hard’ thoughts and the ‘it doesn’t make any sense’ thoughts.

How could you change the course of your life in big or small ways by accessing your intuition this week – trusting that you know exactly what is best for you even when it may not make sense to everyone else?

Try going inward. Connect to your intuition when you have to solve a problem or make a decision. Trust that the answers are already within you and that following your intuition is the very best way to access your truth about what you really want.

Protect Your Yes

Saying yes…

So simple and easy to say.
And it often obligates us. And it can complicate things.

How often do you say yes, when you would actually prefer to say no?

A friend needs a favor and the timing is actually terrible for you, but you don’t want to let them down.
Someone serves you a second helping and you eat it when you are not hungry because you don’t want to be rude.
You purchase something that you don’t actually need and can’t afford, because you are uncomfortable saying no.

Saying yes is too often our default answer and it has the potential to do damage and harm. This simple word can compel us to turn our back on ourselves, because we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings or disappoint them. Essentially we would rather hurt our own feelings when we answer with yes, but are thinking no. We give away our precious time, put food into our body that we actually don’t need, or spend money instead saving it for what we really want.

It is possible to protect your yes.

It means slowing down, giving yourself time to consider your answer carefully.

It means having an understanding that saying no may let someone down, but their experience of disappointment is all about them and that they are entitled to feel anything they want to.

It means being willing to be a little uncomfortable with someone’s reaction in exchange for not disappointing yourself.

It means keeping your commitment to yourself in regards to your time, your money or how much you eat.

It means honoring your truth and standing up for yourself.

It means being genuine.

It means not complicating your life with external obligation to others.

Protecting your yes means you are protecting you.