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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What Boundaries Can Never Do For You And Why.

boundaries

As a coach, I get a lot of questions about boundaries.
Here’s one from a recent client:
“I feel like everyone in my life is taking advantage of me. I guess I have no boundaries. Can you help me with that?”

I start the conversation asking her to share an example.

And the example always goes something like this…

“So-and-so wants me to help her out with such-and-such. She is constantly asking me to do things for her. She has absolutely no respect for my time or my schedule. She always thinks that I can drop everything and be there for her. She has no appreciation for me at all and I am sick of it.”

I am curious about what she does next.
And the answer is always something like this…
“I tell her that I can help her out.”
I ask why.
“Because she asked and I don’t want to disappoint her.”
A-ha.

I told her she didn’t help to create boundaries.
She needed help getting good at no.
We all get this one confused – especially when we are people-pleasers.

We believe some crazy things about boundaries.

1. We think boundaries are these invisible shields of protection that will prevent the requests, the favors and the phone calls for help.
2. We believe boundaries will teach people to stop taking advantage of us and then they will know exactly how to treat us better.
3. We think that boundaries with stop the potential disappointment that others will have in us.
4. And finally, those boundaries set an expectation of how other people should act with us.

Boundaries don’t have these 4 superpowers. They can’t do any of these things.

And here’s why.

People are going to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

They are going to ask for help, favors and make requests. And they get to do that.

And you get to respond to those requests in whatever way you want to.

Just because someone asks you for something, does not mean that you have to say yes or believe that you are being taken advantage of.

Here’s the real superpower that you are looking for – getting good at no.

Getting good at no means getting good at telling the truth.

This matters because every time you say yes when you really mean no – you are choosing to tell yourself and the other person a big, fat lie.
Lying is choosing to take advantage of yourself, to not appreciate yourself, and to disappoint yourself.

Telling the truth is what teaches people how you want to be treated because it shows them how you treat yourself.

Boundaries do play a role in our relationships but rarely do we actually need them. 9 times out of 10, the problems that we are having in our relationships are about the way we treat ourselves. The better we treat ourselves, the better our relationships. Treating ourselves better begins with us telling the truth.

And here’s what getting good at no can do for you.
A no can be delivered with kindness and love. Kindness and love are emotions that you experience and they feel good!
No is a sign of self-respect. Self-respect increases your trust in yourself!

No makes your future yes that much sweeter.

You will be much more excited about your yeses without all the resentment and irritation!

Ready to say no more in your life? Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and let’s talk about why saying no is a challenge and how you can move past it.

 

4 Powerful Lessons to Create an Empowered Life

Here are four of the most significant lessons that I have learned and used to create an empowered life.

These lessons have changed my life in radical ways – helping me to let go of what I can’t control and focus on what I can. These lessons have taught me how to know myself better and how to positively influence every direction of my life, creating what I want on purpose and not by default.

 

1. Stay out of everyone else’s emotions.

I’ll admit, this one took me a long time to learn.

I used to believe that it was my responsibility to create other people’s emotions.
I believed that it was my job to make people feel happy, appreciated, included, calm, engaged, interested and special.
Therefore, I believed that it was also my responsibility to ensure that the people in my life never felt disappointment, anger, sadness, frustration, worry, fear or loneliness.
I thought that was my job and just the way things worked.
It meant that I spent a lot of time trying to ensure that people would feel the way that I wanted them to. Of course, I wanted the people I knew and loved to feel good (positive emotions) and to never suffer (negative emotions) so I worked really hard to manipulate situations, so there would always be happy endings and positive outcomes. I tried to anticipate potential negative outcomes and remove that possibility if I could.
It was a lot of work. It took so much effort. It was exhausting.
Sometimes I felt like I was successful and a lot of the time, I felt like I was not.
I continued to do this, until I learned the important lesson that other people’s emotions are none of my business.
People get to feel and experience any emotion that they want.
I have no business going into their lives and trying to manipulate circumstances in order to create a specific outcome.
Their emotional experience is 100% their own responsibility. It is for their benefit. What they do in their lives is entirely dependent on what they feel. I have no place trying to influence their experience of processing their own emotions – whatever that means for them.
My only job is to create, observe and understand my own emotions and manage them effectively. Lesson one of living an empowered life.

2. Stir up some fear and self-doubt on purpose.

I used to be very risk adverse.
I was afraid of experiencing fear.
I hated feeling self-doubt.
So, I lived in a very cozy comfort zone. Everything was safe and predictable. I loved trying to control everything and make it perfect.
Perfect to me – meant stable and consistent, reliable and steady.
And it also meant my life was stagnant and stuck.
The safety and security that I had created around me was like a protective shield and it was literally sucking the life out of me.
I craved growth and evolution in my own life. I loved learning new things. But as soon as a little fear of the unknown or self-doubt about my abilities to create something new creeped in, I retreated back to the security of my comfort zone.
I started new things and stopped when I got scared, felt uncertain or uncomfortable.
I didn’t know that evolving and growth automatically meant that fear, self-doubt, uncertainty and discomfort would show up.
I didn’t know experiencing the feelings of self-doubt and fear are exactly what I had to experience in order to grow.
I learned that those emotions came from my thoughts.
Those emotions are actually harmless.
The worse thing that could ever happen is that I would feel some self-doubt, some fear, some uncertainty and some discomfort.
Those emotions would wash through my body and I would feel them.
And by being willing to experience them, I would grow towards the new thing that I wanted to learn. I would evolve and stretch myself towards the new experience and ultimately create a new experience in my life.
I learned the lesson that fear and self-doubt are a necessary and manageable part of growing out of a comfort zone. Lesson two of living an empowered life.

 3. Protect my yes.

I used to believe that I had to do it all.
I had to always say yes.
To create the best for family. To make everything perfect. To please everyone. To never disappoint or let anyone down. To always be prepared for anything.
And that I could never ask for help doing it all.
And guess what?
I completely wore myself out.
For a while, it was fulfilling work. I told myself that it was noble.
It’s what women do – they just take care of everything.
And then, my exhaustion caught up with me.
I stopped taking care of myself.
I was angry.
I felt unappreciated.
I was disappointed.
I was deeply resentful.
I didn’t understand why I had these feelings and then I felt badly that I had them. I was ashamed that all my attempts to take care of everything and make it perfect didn’t bring me more satisfaction. It was distressing to realize that I was actually making myself miserable trying to be a woman who took care of everything all the time, at my own expense.
Then, I learned the important lesson of constraint. I learned that I could protect my yes. And most importantly, I did not need to say yes to others at my own expense.
I learned that I was trying to take care of everyone and make everything perfect, so others would be happy.
I was always saying yes to manage other people’s emotions (lesson 1).
This was a big wake-up call for me. If other people are ultimately responsible for creating their own emotions, then it doesn’t matter how much effort I expend and how many times I say yes to everything to try and control their emotions.
It doesn’t work that way.
I was suffering by over-extending myself to do the impossible – manage other people’s emotions.
I learned the lesson of protecting my yes, so that I could take better care of myself and focus on what I could control, not what I couldn’t. Lesson three of creating an empowered life.

4. Love myself, no matter what.

This is my most favorite lesson.
This one is powerful because it means that I have learned to generate my own self-love – under any circumstance, no matter what.
I am not reliant on others to love me, so that I feel love.
I am not dependent on taking care of everyone, making everything perfect, managing all the details, manipulating happy ending and outcomes, so that I will experience love.
My job is to love myself.
When I do this, then I can show up and allow other people to experience their own emotions without trying to change them.
When I love myself, I don’t feel compelled to influence other people’s emotions. I allow them to feel whatever they want and I am ok.
When I love myself, I know that I can embrace fear and self-doubt as a necessary part of growing and evolving into the best version of myself.
I use self-love to help me overcome the moments when fear and self-doubt tempt me to quit, give up or sabotage my dreams.
I use self-love to keep from retreating back to the comfort zone of my old life.
When I love myself, I protect my yes, with ease. I know exactly how to ensure that I do not over-extend myself to my own detriment.
When I love myself, I know that perfect doesn’t matter.
When I love myself, I know that taking care of myself is my top priority. And that I can take care of myself without feeling selfish and guilty – because feeling selfish and guilty never inspire me to take care of myself. Those feelings are unnecessary, not useful and do not feel good.
Love always feels good.
And I am the beneficiary of my love.
I get to enjoying the double experience of creating love for myself and receiving the love that I create for myself.
And now I go out of my way to create and experience more of it, every day. Lesson four of creating an empowered life.

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!

make yourself #1

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

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.

Asking for Help.

Katie Pulsifer ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Asking for help is one of the hardest things for most women to do.

And there are so many reasons why will won’t do it. Here are some examples:
We are too proud.
We don’t want to bother someone.
It’s embarrassing.
We are supposed to figure things out ourselves.
We just don’t talk about our problems.

Unfortunately, when we are not asking for help we are usually putting ourselves in a position of taking on too much. We end up exhausted, over-scheduled, over-committed and burning out. Not only do we end up with too little energy to do the things we said we would get done, but we find out we don’t have any energy left over for ourselves. This leaves us feeling pretty tapped out and potentially very unhappy. This is often what leads to self-sabotaging behaviors, like over-eating, over-working, over-drinking, over-spending….

I believe that, as women, we can and must, put our needs first, in order to realize all of our potential and to have amazing lives that we deserve. To do this, we must be willing to ask for help in achieving our dreams or for help in working through something that is holding us back from having everything that we want.

I know that for some of you, this can trigger a lot of negative emotions – to imagine asking a friend, partner or family member to help you. Whether you are looking for support to leave a job, lose weight, have a difficult conversation, stick to a wellness plan, get out of a challenging relationship, ask for a raise, or start a new business. It is hard enough to claim exactly what you want, let alone ask someone else to help support you in going after it.

If you are habitually uncomfortable asking for help and consistently find yourself in a cycle of self-sabotage because you always try to do everything on your own, then it is important to uncover what is going on for you. What are the sponsoring feelings that you are consistently experiencing that make it difficult for you to ask for help?

Most likely, you are experiencing one of two feelings:
1. Guilt
or
2. Fear

Guilt shows up if you consistently have thoughts like this:
I am supposed to be able to do it all.
I should take care of everything myself.
Everyone expects me to be able to figure it out myself.

Fear shows up if you consistently have thoughts like this:
I am afraid of what they will say if I can’t do it myself.
I am afraid of what they will think if I have to ask for help.
I am afraid of being seen as weak or incapable.

Why would we choose to let guilt and fear be the reasons that prevent us from asking for help, and therefore prevent us moving closer to our dreams? Why would we allow fear and guilt to zap our potential and desire for something better?

The truth is, that guilt and fear are just feelings – and not as powerful over our lives as we let it seem. All feelings, including guilt and fear, are just vibrations that run through our bodies, caused by the thoughts that we think. Our thoughts are just opinions and judgements of our circumstances. Our thoughts are not the facts and they are not the truth. And the good news is that we can change our thoughts anytime.

Whenever you are experiencing a negative emotion that is holding you back, you can always find the thoughts that are creating it. With a little focus and some practice, you can replace the limiting thoughts with new thoughts that can inspire new action.

Here are some of my favorite thoughts to think when it comes to asking for help. See if you can use these thoughts or any others this week, to help you ask for something that you need. You will be amazed by how good it feels to ask for help, to get support and to let go of the need to do it all.

A powerful person is comfortable asking for what they need.
A person who asks for help is very clear about their limits and boundaries.
The people who love me, always show up when I ask for help.
A person who asks for help knows their strengths.
People love to support someone who is going after their dreams.
A person who asks for help is not willing to settle.
Asking for help is all about receiving love.

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!

Loving myself enough

Loving myself enough to speak my truth 100% of the time.

 

Loving myself enough to listen patiently and intently while others find their voice.

 

Loving myself enough to hold space for those that need to fill it.

 

Loving myself enough to risk being raw and exposed.

 

Loving myself enough to ask hard questions.

 

Loving myself enough to trip and fall flat on my face.

 

Loving myself enough to extend the hand that pulls me back up.

 

Loving myself enough to go all in when my intuition is activated.

 

Loving myself enough to invite those I love to come with me.

 

Loving myself enough to have my own back.

 

Loving myself enough for the sheer joy of it.