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Nearest and Dearest

August 9, 2017 Leave a comment

emb7  Do you ever feel that the people who are closest to you are the ones who resist the most as you try to change for the better? Sometimes, when we are committed to personal growth and change, family members or others who are close to us will do everything they can to try and get us to change back to the way we were – even when the way we were wasn’t so great.

Did you ever wonder why that might be?  Well, for one thing, when people are used to heir lives being a certain way, any change – even when it is an improvement – can be threatening. It is also fairly common for people who are stuck in negative habits to have a hard time tolerating others who are making positive efforts towards change.

If you can convince your family to join you in your quest for personal growth, you will all have an easier time of it. You can support each other through the tough times and give each other encouragement and approval as you begin to see results.

If you have no choice but to go through it alone, let those significant others in your life in on what you are trying to do, and tell them how positive results will benefit them  well as you. Paint them a vivid word picture of what the end-result will look like, and ask for their help in achieving it.

If you don’t get that help, be patient. It may take time to convince them that you are serious, and that you intend to stay close to them even though you are changing. They may be waiting for proof before allowing themselves to believe you. Belief without evidence is difficult even in the best of times, with the best of people.

If it ever comes down to the difficult choice between continuing a painful relationship and developing yourself as a person, remember that you always have the right to choose growth without guilt. If you want to do better for the world, then you first need to do better by and for yourself.
Looking after yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity; if you want to be, do and have everything you want in your life.
Linda Sage
Mentor, Speaker, Author

 

The Sneaky Side-Effects of Caring

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

burnout2  Compassion Fatigue has been known by many names including burnout, but no matter what it is called it isn’t something that happens all at once. We have good days and bad days. That’s normal.

Eventually, though, we find ourselves edging dangerously close to a meltdown over a situation that would have been simply a mild irritation not that long ago. The future looks bleak and our responsibilities endless. This is a danger point.

How do you spot and extinguish the small fires that, left smoldering, can eventually lead to burnout? What do you do if you already feel like you are running on empty?

compassion fatigue2  The best approach, of course, is to take preventative action before Compassion Fatigue takes your knees out from under you.

One way to do that is to keep a log or a diary. How are you feeling on this particular day? And the next? And the next? By making a few notes each day in a journal, or on the computer, you may be able to look back and see a pattern. You  will become more aware of your own moods, actions and reactions, and you may be able to recognize and prevent Compassion Fatigue.

Many people go day to day without questioning why they feel the way they do. It can be more productive to practice some self-awareness. Journaling helps. The act of writing often relieves your stress.

If we learn to know ourselves better, we will be more likely to catch signs that we are being drawn toward a negative or hopeless mindset, and convince us to seek help before we’ve gone over the edge. Seeing a mental health professional can also be beneficial, even if that seems a very scary prospect.

What are some signs that Compassion Fatigue could be present or imminent?

  1. You experience unrelenting fatigue: If you are constantly tired without an explanation (such as too much physical activity), you should see your physician. But if you are quite sure that the cause of your nearly constant fatigue stems from the challenges of care giving, then you are possibly already being affected by Compassion Fatigue.
  2. You get sick more frequently: Constant minor illness can be a sign that you have had enough. You catch colds frequently, when you never used to. Your colds repeatedly turn into secondary bacterial infections. You get headaches, flu and other illnesses more often than you have in the past. If this is your pattern, your immune system may be compromised by fatigue or depression. Your body could be telling you to make some changes.
  3. You lose your temper more often: If you find yourself sniping at everyone—from your husband/colleagues/managers to the cashier who messed up your change—you may have gone beyond your personal capacity to handle stress. (My personal one; was not just getting irate with the recorded messages, while being kept on hold, but answering them back and even shouting at them!)  If you were once an easy going person, this kind of behavior is especially alarming. Even if you have always been a bit volatile, you need to examine your behavior to see if you have gone over the top. It’s not fair to you, your family, or your care receiver if you are so tightly wound that you cannot be civil, let alone caring.
  4. You begin withdrawing from your loved ones: Conversely, you may find yourself pulling inward. You don’t want to see friends, family members or anyone else, even if you could find the time. You don’t complain about your life being taken over by care giving, but you don’t find any joy in life either. You just put one foot in front of the other, gaze focused on the ground. You don’t want to be bothered by people, even those you like or love.
  5. You have trouble finding happiness: You may start to find less and less joy in things that once made you happy. (This one was a biggie for me).  There is none, or very little joy/happiness/excitement and laughter in your life. I even saw the lack of sparkle in my eyes, on the rare occasions I took any notice of myself in a mirror and even rarer occasion of a photo of myself, even with a smile; there was a sad/seriousness about me. A lack of spontaneity, or any interest in being in a happy environment. Even in a happy social location, you can be isolated and seem unapproachable.
  6. You become more prone to accidents: It seems that every time you do something, you inadvertently hurt yourself; walk into door frames, catch you knees on coffee tables. You break a glass in the kitchen and cut your hand picking up pieces. You have minor bumps while driving, even bumping into bollards in the car park, or hitting the kerb. It’s entirely possible that you are so distracted and worn out that you can’t concentrate on what you are doing, thus you make mistakes that can cause injury. (Sometimes, not only to yourself.)
  7. You stop seeking information and knowledge: You were involved in professional development, took an interest in various illnesses/conditions. Now, everything patients do irritates you to the point that you struggle to be kind and you no longer seek information and knowledge. You do what you have to do, but your heart isn’t in it.
  8. Caring for yourself doesn’t seem worthwhile: Small gifts to yourself do not seem worth the trouble. Need a fresh haircut? Why bother. The only people who see you are your family/colleagues and your care receivers. A gift certificate for a massage from a well-meaning friend? You don’t get around to scheduling the appointment. It’s just too much trouble.

If you are experiencing many, or all of these symptoms; you may already be well into the Compassion Fatigue downward spiral. It’s possible that you could need professional help to guide you back to emotional health.

At the very least, you should make changes in your life. Even if you see that only a few of these symptoms of Compassion Fatigue apply to you, it’s time to start adjusting yourself before the situation gets worse.

It’s time to get help with your own care. If you are emotionally at the breaking point, or approaching it, you are vulnerable, and so are those around you. The point is, you must take action – no guilt, or excuses allowed. Your care for yourself is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Linda Sage

Helping compassionate people care for themselves.

http://www.lindasage.com

Life’s Survivors

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

When times get tough, some people fold and some are made even stronger. Did you ever wonder why some people seem to be able to handle life better than others? Everyone likes to think that they have what it takes to survive adversity and tough times, but when the chips are down, some of us definitely do better than others.
 achieverThe real survivors in life (not the participants in the “reality” survivor TV shows that only seem to bring out the worst in human behaviour) have developed personalities that allow them more options. They also have a strong and clear intention to survive, and to do it in good shape. When problems or setbacks occur, they don’t waste time complaining and they don’t dwell on the past or what they’ve lost. Instead, their energies are focused on getting things to turn out well.

Survivors believe that, no matter what happens to them, they are the ones who are in charge of their destinies. They don’t get mad at the world for not treating them better. And they do have an extensive menu of behaviours they can choose from, depending on the situation. In other words, survivors are option thinkers with a growth mindset, instead of black and white, either/or thinkers who get by with a fixed mindset.

get up again  Survivors also have a wonderful ability to laugh at adversity because they know that even if they lose everything else, they will still have themselves. People with survivor personalities can walk confidently into the unknown because they expect to find a way to make things work out.

So, if you want to be a true survivor, try focusing your attention less on safety and security and more on developing positive beliefs and expectations, built on a firm foundation of reinforced self-esteem.

Here’s to your success
Linda Sage
Helping compassionate people, care for themselves.

The Crippling Force of Emotional Baggage


again1  Building a business, can be crippling and intimidating…yet so fulfilling.  Whether your company is a fresh start up or it sits on the top floor in a gleaming global tower of success, you as CEO still have to be brave enough to deal with the crippling force of emotional baggage.

We all have to deal with our emotions.  Today’s CEO has exhilarating days of high yields and public acclamation.  Then, there are those days leaders get so low because they haven’t met projected goals, layoffs are impending and they find themselves pointing fingers and doubting themselves.

It’s like a crazy thrilling ride on a roller coaster. The ups and downs of running a business can have us walking the tightrope of management; confronting chaotic staff issues, dealing with demanding boards and submitting to intimidating financial regulations.

And that is just running the business…

I am leading a small coaching startup… and it can be just as daunting. Financial woes, course development and tech intimidation, and the constant search for clients often puts me in an emotional tailspin of worry, depression and fear.

Whether you’re the global CEO or the visionary of the small startup, we all have to deal with the emotional baggage that often weighs us down. We will never be as successful as we can be, if we don’t. We must stop putting on brave faces as we meander towards the path of success. Each of us must make the effort to confront those emotional “suitcases” that weight us down and unpack them.

what mattersSo let’s find some courage and at least deal with the Big Four (i.e., fear, guilt anger and depression,). If we can “conquer” these four, we have a good head start. And we can easily push through the rest. (I’m telling you, everything else is connected with these four…they just come in a different package!)

  1. Confront Your Fears

What are you afraid of?  Whatever it is, confront it and press past it.  Fear is so crippling.  We get all excited about a project and when the moment comes that you have to act,  you are paralyzed by fear to move forward.  Your palms get sweaty, your heart beats fast and your legs feel like lead pipes.  You can’t move. You’ve lost your momentum and you find yourself postponing important calendar dates, because you are paralyzed by fear.  My advice to you, confront it and press past it.  Fear comes in many forms, but you can’t allow it to stop you from moving forward.  Admit that you are afraid and do it anyway.  My personal adage…DO IT SCARED! You will find that once you acknowledge your fear and you act ANYWAY, you realize it really wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

  1. Don’t Allow Guilt to Destroy You

So you did that dastardly thing and the guilt is eating you from the inside out.  My advice to you, go and apologize (whether they hear you or not) and move on.  But going to apologize is hardly the issue. It is acknowledging the wrong doing and dealing with yourself.  That often means you have to take a good hard look at yourself and deal with who you REALLY are.  And that can be pretty difficult.  Whatever you did, can you fix it? Did you lie, cheat, betray, steal, manipulate, scorn, break or destroy anyone? (That was a short list, but feel free to enlist your own guilty issue!)

Learn from your actions and vow never to do it again.  Catch yourself when you feel the urge…and wipe away those feelings of guilt.

Then there is me. I was not present when my 17 year old daughter passed away from cancer. After her death, the guilt was overwhelming.  I couldn’t apologize to her because she was gone.  But I talked to her as if she was alive one day, and said I was sorry and then I let it go.  I was no longer going to let those feelings of guilt hold me hostage.  And you shouldn’t either. Do what you can to fix a situation, apologize and keep it moving.

  1. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Wrath.

Are you angry?  Has others let you down?  Are you mad at your actions and indecisiveness?  Has anger forced you to walk in unforgiveness and you now are embracing the spirit of retribution?  Anger will do that to you. What is even worse is when you are angry at yourself.  When this happens it is so easy to allow negative talk to cripple your momentum and sabotage your self-esteem. Scripture tells us, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.  In other words, do what you have to do today to resolve an issue so you can sleep in peace.  Find the courage to talk to those people who have offended or betrayed you.  And if they aren’t open, that is okay.  Just know you have done your job to confront the anger that is inside of you.  Now, you can move forward without anger contaminating your space and your spirit.

  1. Don’t Allow Depression to Swallow You Whole

Depression can take you to a dark place – so don’t let it.  We all have down days and those days can be shrouded with darkness. Depression is like a weight sitting on our chest, stunting our ability to breathe and even sleep. So you lost the bid…they told you no…or you even lost the company, well, all of those scenarios can throw you into the pit of depression.  For me, it was the loss of my daughter and it paralyzed me. I was so depressed that I wasn’t effective in hardly anything.  Days were dark, emotions were raging and I didn’t want to go on.  But by accessing my relationship with God and going to a deeper place of worship, I found the strength to confront my depression.  I pushed through it.  But know it took a while…but I didn’t do it alone. You shouldn’t either.  Find someone to talk to…a counselor, a pastor or a friend. Make the appointment and let it out.  And yes, cry if you have to, but don’t stay there.  Know that God has something for you to do. Through the work that you do, you can change the life of someone else.  Truth be told, God has something for you to do that will change your life as well.  So don’t allow the darkness to swallow you whole.  Come out of the shadows of depression, because there is work to be done.

So remember, emotional baggage can derail you.  Don’t let it.  Find the courage to confront anything that wants to stop your moving forward.  Be brave and see it for what it is…a weight that wants to weigh you down and stop you from your God given destiny.  Unpack every emotional suitcase that tries to take the journey with you.  If need be, throw a bookbag over your shoulder and be on your way.  Your future is waiting on you.

Melodie Boone/melodieboone.com

Melodie@melodieboone.com

Liberty Coaching and Consulting, LLC

 

 

It Is Never Too Late to Change

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

New Break out of prison program  I have recently gone back to do some work in a prison.  11 years, 8 months and 17 days it took me to walk back through a main gate, after my complete burnout and previous experience.  From literally burning my work clothes, not just leaving a job, but moving to another country to “run away” from my torment. (not that I saw it as that, at the time!)  Going back has taught me a lot.
When is it too late to change? If you get off to a bad start, can you still turn things around when you are an adult?
 
If you were in trouble all the time when you were a kid, a teenager, and even as a young adult, do you think there is any hope that you will straighten out your life when you get to be 30 or 40? According to findings from two of the longest, ongoing research studies in the nation, many people have an amazing capacity for change throughout life.
 
There is the example of “Stan.” At the age of 32, “Stan” seemed destined for failure. Abandoned at birth by his father, and orphaned at the age of three when his mother died, “Stan” dropped out of school, became an alcoholic, and served prison time for rape and vagrancy in his 20’s and early 30’s.
 
But 15 years later, against all odds, “Stan” had turned his life around. When researchers checked in with him at age 47, he was sober and happily married, had an adopted son he doted on, and owned a transport business and a house.
 
These studies – and evidence from an on-going study within HM Prison Service in London- point out that “Stan’s” story is far from unique. We all have the capacity to change our circumstances – no matter how old we are, and no matter how difficult our early experiences were. It comes down to whether or not we want to change. Once that mindset shift takes place, from “have to” to “want to,” change becomes a whole lot easier.
 
So, please do not give up on yourself. Be careful about listening to anyone who says it is too late to change. They just may have given up on themselves. You don’t have to. If you really want to – if you are willing to alter your beliefs and your behaviour – you can do it. It all starts with changing that internal picture of who you “know” you are.
choose to change  Conquering your own fears and negative beliefs changes your life in so many ways.  If you are struggling with change, come and join me for a 30 mins webinar (Please pass this info on to anyone you know is struggling)
Topic: Behaviour Never Lies – Do You Enhance or Sabotage Yourself?
Time: Jun 22, 2017 7:00 PM London
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4944720202
Or iPhone one-tap (United Kingdom Toll):  +442036950088,4944720202#
Or Telephone:
    Dial: +44 (0) 20 3695 0088 (United Kingdom Toll)
    Meeting ID: 494 472 0202
You do not have to suffer and struggle in silence, come and join us to be another Stan.
Linda
Helping individuals like you Reset Your Mindset for Success

Resiliency a Foundation Block


resilience Have you ever thought about what it takes to bounce back from life’s downturn Today, let’s talk about how to handle those inevitable setbacks that occur from time to time.
 
No matter how hard we may try, life isn’t perfect. Every day cannot be sunny, our relationships with others cannot always be smooth – and let’s face it, sometimes work is more of a pain than a pleasure. However, it is how we react to those less-than-perfect situations that show us how far we have grown as human beings.
 
Since most of us spend a significant portion of our lives at some form of workplace, let’s use work as an example. Suppose something has gone drastically wrong, and the whole place looks like everyone is awaiting execution. No one looks up for fear of being called to account for the disaster. The talk around the water cooler is negative, and unless something is done, the entire organisation begins down the slippery slope of the Downward Spiral.
 
What to do? First, a conscious effort must be made to ensure the organisational self-talk is positive and reaffirming. Your talents and expertise are valued by the organisation, and the work you do is important. Second, the organisation must get beyond the current “disaster” and begin focusing on the future, when the problem no longer exists. And third, forget trying to point fingers and assign blame. As the Blue Angels say, “Fess up, fix it, and move on.”
 
  affirmations  Affirmations are the most important tool in your Personal Disaster Relief Kit.
 
As you may know, affirmations are simply  present-tense statements of fact – about the future. Affirmations are usually most effective when they are personal, but you cannot beat an organisational affirmation that has total buy-in from everyone. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” so to speak. It becomes the organisation’s “vision” for tomorrow, and leads you through to success.
 
For yourself personally, you must believe that your contribution to the organisation is valuable. “I am valued by leadership for my talents and expertise.” “I am comfortable expressing my thoughts in meetings, because I know what I have to say is valuable.” As a group, when faced with a challenge, you might affirm, “No matter what gets thrown at us, we hit it out of the park.”
 
The important thing is to have your mind firmly fixed on the future, the future without the current challenge. Remember, your subconscious mind moves you toward the most dominant picture. If all you are thinking about is the current “disaster,” then you won’t be able to move forward. Keep affirming daily the way you want the future to be, paint it vividly in your mind, and keep your personal self-talk and your group self-talk aimed at a positive future.
We have looked at the value in personal resiliency, and we used the workplace as an example. Now, let’s take what we have been looking at, and transfer it to succeeding through natural disasters.
 
Every year, the world sees its share of natural disasters, from earthquakes and landslides, to tornados, monsoons and floods. In each instance, the aftermath has been almost unbearable to watch. What happened was outside immediate human control. Nothing we can do – at least at this point in time – can prevent natural disasters like these. All we can do is be as prepared as possible for the unknown.
 
For most cities, counties, states and nations, we prepare for the practical response. Seattle,  sits in the Pacific Ocean’s “Rim of Fire,” they prepare for earthquakes, severe weather and flooding. Seattle’s “3 Days, 3 Ways” programme helps residents prepare to take care of themselves – to survive – for three days.
 
While the practical approach takes care of the body’s need to survive, we also need to take care of how our minds approach coping with disaster. Rebounding from disaster takes a conscious effort to control our self-talk in order to remain positive. Looking beyond ourselves, by helping others, is a great assist in aiding our own positive self-talk. Making the effort to visualise what our worlds will look like, once the current situation is fixed, provides a path to follow.  Reinforcing that vision with positive affirmations goes a long way towards avoiding the pitfalls of a downward spiral.
 
get help  One more thing: Let others help you, as you help others. The sense of a community working together to solve a problem is a powerful thing. We are stronger together than we are alone, no matter what the obstacle.
Here’s to your success.
Linda Sage
Helping individuals rest their mindset for success.

Do You Know People Who Need Help to Change?


book launch

I relocated from Saudi to the UK in January this year, since I have launched Successful Mindset Ltd, many opportunities have arisen and I am working on some exciting projects helping individuals successful deal with stress and find balance in their lives.

I have decided to re-vamp, re-edit, add to and re-launch my first book Personal Coaching for Change, the new version will be Personal Change Made Simple.

I will still be targeting personal and professional change in small proactive steps, but in the 6 years since Personal Coaching for Change was launched, a lot has changed. So, I thought it better to reinvent this book. I am aiming for the 19th July launch to celebrate with the original publishing date.

I am asking you if you would be willing to share the new book information with your friends and followers, maybe allow a guest blog from me, or write a review. For all the releases I will do the work and send them to you, if you agree to read the book and write a review I will send you an e-version or hard copy depending on timing and your preference.

If you can think of any clubs, groups or organizations that would be interested in this book, I would welcome any suggestions.

I will appreciate any help and support you can offer. Please let me know what area you feel you would be able to help with:

Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, You Tube, emailing, blogging, reviewing.

Many thanks.

Here’s to your success.

Linda Sage MA, BA(Ed) Hons.

www.lindasage.com