The Busy Syndrome.

people-pleasing

How many times do you hear people use the excuse that they are too busy?

Do yourself a HUGE favor and don’t use that as a reason for not doing anything ever again.

Your future will thank you. I promise!

“Busy” is the generalized excuse we use for not going after our dreams.

It’s the ultimate dream stealer.

It is important to remember that we define our busy.

We are the ones who choose what we will do with our time and our day. We create this state for ourselves.

It is important to look at it regularly, question it, and decide if it is in line with how we truly want to be living.

Instead of saying that I was too busy to work out, say, “I chose to lie on the couch and watch TV instead of working out.” Or, “I chose to see my daughter’s play instead of going for a walk.”

Everything you do in your life is a choice even if it doesn’t feel like it.

You choose to go to work, you choose to take care of your family and you can choose to take care of yourself.

“Busy” is a dark hole of vagueness that will never help you get a handle on anything. Be specific so you can identify what it is in your life that is and isn’t working.

Kick “busy” to the curb.

One of my clients was a high-level executive who was too busy to do anything she really wanted. I asked her to define busy. She went on to describe her day of running errands, going to meetings, picking up her kids, going to the store, making dinner, doing laundry, and answering clients’ calls. She had lumped these activities into a seemingly unchangeable busy.

Busy was living her life, but it was at the expense of what she really wanted.

I suggested she change her plan by writing down everything important to her, putting these priorities at the top of the list and then shifting activities from the busy pile to the bottom. At first, she thought it would be impossible to add even one more thing to her day. By evaluating how she was spending her time, she saw ways she could delegate and eliminate some of her busy.

It really worked. She had the mantra, “Me first, busy second.”

The ultimate result was that she was able to fulfill her own needs and actually handle the rest with much more peace because she saw it as a choice, not a forced reality of life.

Don’t confuse being busy with living your life.

One of the best secrets to eliminating busy from your life is to learn how to say no. Many times we say yes when we really want to say no. We go to parties and functions we don’t want to attend, we buy things that we do not need and we eat food we don’t want to eat.

When should you say no? Whenever it’s the truth.

Living a life that is based on truth is freeing and wonderful.

You eat when you are truly hungry, you spend time with people you truly like and you live a life you truly want. When you begin to tell the truth about your real desires and real emotions, you can begin to live your truth.

The truth really does set you free and allows you to get the right perspective on how you spend your time. “Busy” will stop becoming an automatic excuse.

And you will instead experience the joy of creating the life you want to live.

Do you want some help kicking “busy” to the curb in your life? Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can recreate your priority, so you are spending more time choosing to do exactly what you want and less time using your”busyness” as an excuse.

make yourself #1

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Over and over again I hear women say they don’t have enough time to plan healthy meals, have connected time with their partners, declutter their home, feel their feelings or exercise. It’s a tragedy. All of these well-meaning, intelligent and accomplished women give so much to everyone else but leave the scraps to themselves.

They forget that they can’t pour love from an empty pitcher.

The hardest part of this scenario is that giving to others at your expense can be externally rewarding. You are viewed as a giver and you really are – but inside, you are starving for your own attention. This is one of the main reasons we self-sabotage – because we are trying to get our own attention.

The most important person to take care of is you. Period. If you aren’t healthy you won’t be any good to anyone. Also, women who have children need to remember the best legacy they can give to their kids is an example of a life well-lived. Kids might listen to what you say, but they will do what you do. If you tell them to take care of themselves and you don’t do it yourself, what kind of message are you sending?

You must become number one. You do not ever have to sacrifice healthy eating, intimacy in your relationships, exercise, or your emotional health for the sake of anyone else…ever. If someone really needs you, they need you to be healthy and available. Put your own oxygen mask on first and then take care of the kids or anyone else who needs you. The ironic part of this process is that once you start taking care of yourself, you have so much more to give to others. Your attention to you doesn’t take away anything from anyone else – it actually adds value and joy to their lives.

When I work with clients who struggle to prioritize their needs, they have usually all heard this advice before and understand it intellectually. My job is to help them start applying it. Sometimes this requires that I be extreme with this advice and require my clients to at least try it out. In support of my clients making themselves their number one priority, I have said…”sometimes the kids will have to give up on some of their activities so that you can have one of your own. It will mean that your friends don’t always get the help they need and dinner is not quite ready at the exact time expected.”

My clients will often tell me there is a special circumstance which made it impossible for them to take care of themselves and when I inquire about the situation, it will be because of a party they were throwing or a meeting or a son’s soccer tournament. The truth is that there will always be these things vying for our attention because we live full and busy lives and those things are still always secondary to their emotional health and physical care. And I will tell them this…”if you can’t take care of yourself and throw a party, cancel the party. If you can’t work out and attend your son’s tournament, you don’t see your son play soccer.”

And almost 100% of the time, my clients will find a way to do both.

I know this approach can be very difficult for my clients to accept at first. Many women will feel terrible asking their families to wait for what they need while they get in their exercise. The worry that their families and friends will be shocked because they are used to her dropping everything so that they can be happy. My clients have conditioned everyone to believe that taking care of herself isn’t important or as important as everyone else.

I tell my clients that they should expect their families or friends to be a bit surprised when she introduces a new way of treating herself. I tell my clients that there will be a period of time where everyone is uncomfortable with a change in routine and behavior. Expect it. Know that it will be a natural reaction to the adjustment. And that feelings of discomfort are just vibrations in our bodies caused by the thoughts we think. It is always temporary. Consistent follow-through of the new plan will eventually shift the feelings that everyone is experiencing. A new pattern will be established and the old negative thought cycles will be replaced. The external reward of giving to others at your own expense will be replaced with the internal reward – for making yourself your number one priority, by giving yourself attention, by eliminating self-sabotaging patterns. The internal reward will come from helping and supporting those in your life from a place of pure joy, knowing that when you treat yourself with the respect and love that you deserve, everyone ultimately benefits.

Be Good Company.

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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.

Fall Goals.

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It’s the time of year again, signaled by the end of August, back to school and fall around the corner – the time when we often re-evaluate routines and patterns, and consider making changes. It can literally feel like the new year and awaken in us, the desire to set new goals or resolutions about how we will move into the new season and the last four months of the year. It can be an inspiring time. Full of possibility and hope, for bad habits to be replaced by good ones – to foster more structure, follow-though and consistency in our daily lives.

Exciting, right?

Absolutely!
And then we get to work creating our new fall routines – getting organized, signing up for activities and classes, cleaning and purging from summer vacation, travel and camp. This will keep us very pre-occupied for the month of September. The days will be full and schedules packed, and we will let ourselves believe that this means that we are making real change and progress towards our goals.
But this often isn’t the kind of change that we are ultimately craving. This is just busy-ness. Busy-ness being recreated all over again, like last fall and the fall before that. We step right back into the same pattern of over-scheduling and over-whelming ourselves with huge to-do lists and obligations. We forget to make time for ourselves and to think about the bigger goals that we secretly desire. This can be challenging and very frustrating. It can be difficult to figure out what it is that we really want for ourselves, especially when we become so habituated to being busy.
Here is what I like to suggest if you want to move into the rest of this year feeling more empowered, grounded and connected with your goals. This is a great exercise to put in place this week of transition, before fall really starts.
Answer these two questions:
  • What are my strengths? Make a list of them.
  • How can I better utilize my strengths to create a happier, more joyful and successful fall?
By answering these two powerful questions, you will generate amazing feelings about yourself, realize what is possible and increase your excitement motivation to follow through on goal-setting.
Now answer this question.
  • What are my weaker qualities that need strengthening, compassion and attention in order to reach my goals for this fall? Choose three.
This is a great question to help make your goals become even more crystal clear.
Once you have answered all the questions above and have chosen the three qualities you would like to strengthen, follow this 3-step process:
Step 1: Write a Fall Goal Card for each goal with a positive affirmation to go along with it (keep it in the present tense).
Step 2: Put your Fall Goal Cards where you will see them, every day. Look at them a couple of times every day (remind yourself what matters and why).
Step 3: Choose three actions you can take this week to begin to strengthen a quality within yourself that needs your attention (add extra love and compassion).
As you consider the qualities you would like to strengthen, remember that the quickest way to create a better life is to focus on taking action. Release yourself from focusing on what you haven’t done or still need to do. Even the smallest of action steps will create amazing momentum. Momentum combined with everything that you captured on your list of strengths, will help boost your confidence and get you closer to achieving your goals.