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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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-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!

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.

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.