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.

Simple Self-Care Solutions – 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Self-Care Without Spending a Dime!
Click Here to get your FREE GUIDE

 

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!
Click Here to get your FREE GUIDE

 

 

Overwhelmed with an Over Problem?

Overwhelmed, Self-Care, Confidence, Self-Sabotage

Are you overwhelmed with a pattern of Over-ing?

Over-committing.
Over-spending.
Over-eating.
Over-preparing.
Over-promising.
Over-dramatizing.
Over-drinking.
Over-purchasing.
Over-worrying.
Over-complaining.
Over-perfecting.
Over-compensating.

Over-ing is going WAY above and beyond what is necessary or what serves a purpose – done with the best intentions and usually for all the wrong reasons.

The wrong reason is all about feelings. Creating and preventing feelings. In other words, we “Over Do It” when we want to make other people feel something specific or we want to make ourselves stop feeling something specific.

Here are real stories that my clients have shared:

“I eat everything on my plate even when I’m no longer hungry because I don’t want to hurt my husband’s or my mother-in-law’s feelings.”

“I constantly apologize for everything not being perfect in my house when my friends come over. I’m worried that they only see my flaws.”

“I buy way beyond my budget and sometimes even hide it from my husband. I know this creates a lot of stress in my life – I just want to have my son what he wants. I just want him to be happy.”

“Everyone always asks me to help out or for a favor. I can’t say no. I always say yes. They depend on me and I need to be there for them.”

I’m sure you are reading some of these client’s stories and wondering “what’s wrong with that?” or “isn’t that what we are supposed to do?” 

I know – I totally understand. I used to think the exact same thing.

Each of the examples shared comes from amazing women who are working really hard to take incredible care of the people in their lives. They want to do the right thing, make other people happy, not hurt anyone’s feelings. They were raised to be kind and loving. They’re doing the best they can, every single day. They just want to feel good, except, they don’t.

Each of these women has fallen into a pattern which on the surface seems like no big deal, but underneath is causing them to feel absolutely terrible.

Client 1 is gaining weight because she is eating more than her body requires to fuel itself. She is unintentionally over-eating because she would rather eat when she is not hungry than hurt someone’s feelings at the dinner table.

Meet client 2, who is constantly searching for external approval to feel good about herself. She is worried that nothing is ever good enough and spends a lot of time trying to make everything perfect. She’s stuck in cycle of over-compensating.

Here’s client 3, who thinks that her son’s happiness comes from having all the things he says he wants. She over-spends to ensure that his needs are met and then has little to no money left to do the things that she would like to do for herself, like take a class or join the gym.

Client 4 is exhausted and overwhelmed. She constantly over-commits herself and says yes to every request from friends and family. She never wants to let anyone down, but in the end, she is letting herself down because she is so tired and run-down all the time.

These are the negative consequences that happen when we fall into a pattern of trying to manipulate other people’s feelings.

We want people to like us, we want them to be happy, we don’t want to disappoint them, we don’t want to hurt their feelings….and yet, we do not have any control on how other people feel, ever.

We work so hard to try and control this and it is ultimately beyond our control. The way people feel or what they think is always their own responsibility. Just like our own thoughts and feelings are our own responsibility.

So, how do you overcome being overwhelmed with an over problem?

How do you stop a cycle of manipulating other people’s emotions so that you will feel better?

I help my clients move past being overwhelmed by teaching them how to manage their own emotions first.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Know that you create your feelings from your own thoughts 100% of the time
  2. Understand that feeling are just vibrations that pass through your body, caused by your thoughts
  3. Be willing to fully experience your own emotions – even the negative or uncomfortable ones
  4. Accept that others get to think and feel anything they want, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable or you don’t like it
  5. Believe that you wouldn’t want anyone to try an manipulate your feelings, so it is unfair to try and manipulate theirs
  6. Notice where you are ultimately hurting yourself because you are trying to avoid a feeling or trying to hard to manage other people’s feelings. Notice what you do and ask yourself why you do it.
  7. Now ask yourself, if it’s worth it? Is the negative consequence worth the potential temporary discomfort of a negative emotion? Chances are, that it is not.

This is a process and it is hard work. And the upside is spectacular!

Clients who learn how to manage their own emotions (all of them) – also learn how to lose the weight, gain their own approval, save their money for what they really want and feel less exhausted and overwhelmed.

Emotional management allows you to focus on what you can control and to direct all the actions in your life to the results that are most meaningful. It allows you to quite spinning your wheels trying to manage other people and circumstances that are really beyond your control.

If you are overwhelmed with an over problem, I would love to show you exactly how you can move past it, so you can get back on track in taking exceptional care of yourself and everyone else, in a way that is positive and energizing. I believe that you deserve that and I would love to show you how it’s possible.

Let’s schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session to talk about it.

Got Perfect Pairings?

katie puslifer coaching

When I talk to my clients about perfect pairings, we usually aren’t talking about what their local wine shop owner suggests to serve with that new grilled fish dish that she’s cooking on Saturday night.

And we are not talking about what heels to pair with her cute new dress, either

Nope, we are talking about a whole other kind of perfect pairing.

We are talking about the unusual combination of two things – that have absolutely nothing in common, but go together perfectly!

When I first start working with my clients, they aren’t even aware that they create perfect pairings in their life. They don’t even know what they are and they can’t see them right away.

But working together for awhile, they get really good at noticing what is going on. They start to pay attention to what they do and what they feel. It’s completely fascinating to them. It’s like the lights come on in their life. Their awareness is ignited and suddenly, they see perfect pairings that they had never noticed before.

Here are five stories about five women and their perfect pairings…

She is following her instincts and pairing back her weekend yoga workshop offerings, so she can create more time to be with her family. She is worried about how this business decision will affect her students. She is worried that they will be mad at her. She really wants to make this change in her schedule and she is totally afraid to do it. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. She is filled with doubt as she creates her new fall on-line calendar and then publishes it. She goes to the freezer for ice cream to make her feel better. It’s interesting to point out that she doesn’t even like ice cream, but it makes her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Self-Doubt + Ice Cream

She gets the kids off to school after packing backpacks, lunches, reviewing the day’s schedule and preparing breakfast. She looks around the kitchen and sees the messes that need to be cleaned up. There are exploding laundry baskets in every bedroom. The pile of bills and papers on the dining room table is so high, it’s blocking her view out the front window. She is exhausted. There is clutter everywhere. She loves being a mom and has such a challenging time staying on top of all of all the household stuff. And she feels so guilty that she can’t figure this out. So, she heads back upstairs and climbs under the covers, right after setting the alarm for 2:30pm. She wants to wake up before the kids get home from school and more rest will definitely make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Guilt + Napping

This woman is writing a project proposal to a non-profit that she hopes will hire her. With every words she types, she is filling up with discomfort as she writes about her qualifications and experience. She starts to think that she is a fraud and that they will see right through her and never hire her. She keeps getting up from her desk and going to kitchen for a small spoonful of cookie dough. When it is all said and done, she has made 10 trips to the kitchen while writing the proposal and it takes all morning. Despite the fact that she is currently on a 3 week cleanse, she eats the cookie dough anyway. It doesn’t really taste that good, but make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Fear + Cookie Dough

She is moving to a new town and is facing 17 years worth of stuff in her house. Every item is screaming for her attention. And she sees 1000 decisions ahead of her, just to decide what to pack and what to purge. She looks around her house and feels completely overwhelmed and knows she should just get to work, but she can’t quite motivate. She is beginning to regret her decision to move and starts to question everything. Then, she curls up on the couch and watches two movies and eats a cheese plate. It’s 10 in the morning and it does make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Overwhelm + Cheese plate with Bridget Jones double feature

This woman is gives and gives all day long. She takes care of other people for a living and for fun. She expends a lot of energy for those she loves. Sometimes in the evening, when she is making dinner, she can feel invisible and unappreciated in her house. It feels like everybody needs something and doesn’t seem to notice that she could use some help. It doesn’t help that she’s not great at asking for help and in fact, it makes her really uncomfortable. So, she does all the work of preparing and cleaning up from dinner herself, while her resentment towards her family builds beneath the surface. She opens a bottle of wine almost every night while she cooks. The wine always makes her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Unappreciated + Cabernet Sauvignon

These pairings all have 3 things in common.

Each begins with experiencing of an uncomfortable emotion first. Followed by doing something, eating something, drinking something to soothe that discomfort and to feel better. And finally, after that momentary soothing subsides, here comes another uncomfortable emotion, like regret, guilt, shame, or embarrassment.

Here’s how it works….

You feel something unpleasant or uncomfortable. And you want seek relief from that discomfort with something that feels better. So, you give what you want in that moment, there is relief. YES! The discomfort dissolves.

And then the discomfort is replaced with another negative emotion and you return to the familiar lecture that you have given yourself a million times and it goes something like this…

Why did you eat that? You know better. 

Why did you do that? You wasted hours that you don’t have.

Why did you drink that? You overslept this morning, again.

What’s wrong with you? You know better. Seriously, why did you do that?

Here’s why…

We don’t like to be uncomfortable or to experience negative emotions.

We like to feel good, as much as we possibly can. In fact, we want and almost expect to be happy all the time. We get so many messages in the world about trying to be positive, optimistic and grateful. It creates this unrealistic expectation for sustained and continuous happiness (at all costs) and we start to believe that something is wrong with us, if we can’t achieve it.

As the perfect pairing stories suggest, we seek comfort and happiness when things get hard and find ourselves eating things we don’t want or avoiding things we need to do. We seek pleasure or escape as a way to avoid the pain of discomfort.

And most of the time, we are only mildly aware of what is happening. We talk ourselves into the fact that we are just giving ourselves a little treat or a small reward – for the hard work, the big decision, the struggle or the effort.

We tell ourselves that we deserve it. And say anything to justify it. It’s just a little self-care. No biggie!

It’s just one little bowl, one glass, one hour…

And if it is just that…every once in a while…it would be no big deal.

But, most of the time it is more than one. It’s a few.

And it happens whenever there is a feeling that is uncomfortable or unpleasant.

It becomes a habit. Coping. Soothing. Dealing. Managing. Escaping.

It’s a little pick-me-up or a treat disguised as self-care coming to our rescue, when things get tough.

And yet, that seemingly innocent treat has a negative consequence attached to it if it goes unchanged – gaining extra weight, breaking a commitment, not showing up, missing a deadline, feeling hungover.

Which brings more negative emotions…more guilt, more shame, more discomfort and disappointment. It’s basically choosing to sabotage ourselves with these results, instead of just being uncomfortable.

Here’s what you can learn to do about this.

Look at the whole sequence of events. Slow down and turn the lights on. Notice what is happening. See how the perfect pairing is formed. They go through every step.

Feel the un-appreciation. Notice the desire for Cabernet to soothe the discomfort. Feel the relief that Cabernet brings. Followed by regret and disappointment, when you remember that you want to stop drinking on weeknights. Notice how you keep hitting the snooze button the next morning. See how hard it is to wake up. Feel the sluggishness and fogginess. Feel the new wave of regret and disappointment.

Ask yourself if it’s worth it? Is this perfect pairing working for you? Do you like the end result?

If not, decide to make a new one. Begin with the un-appreciation again and try a new way to pair it.

Breathing. Music. Asking for help. New thoughts. Decide to feel appreciated. Seltzer water in a wine glass. Just be with the uncomfortable emotion until it goes away.

Do this until you find the pairing that is perfect for you. Find one that allows you to not sabotage your way through discomfort. And that has no negative consequences. One that feels better in a lasting way, not a fleeting and temporary way.

Interested in exploring and overcoming a Perfect Pairing in your life?

Download the Perfect Pairing cheat sheet here. This free worksheet will help uncover what you are doing and how you can make some positive changes going forward.

Free Download

Think you might have a perfect pairing problem?

This free (and highly actionable) worksheet will help you discover how your perfect pairing is impacting your life and exactly how to create a positive pairing going forward.

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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!

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

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.

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.