Purpose = Energy

September 6, 2017 Leave a comment

 hope     How is your energy level? Do you sometimes wish you had more get-up-and-go? Today let’s look at how high-energy people get that way 

Why is it that some people seem to have a never-ending supply of energy? They get up feeling eager to get started and they radiate good spirits and high energy all day long. Have you ever stopped by the vitamin counter at the pharmacy, wondering what you could take to get that kind of energy? 

 Consider this: Assuming you are in good health, your strength and energy will come from having meaningful and clear lifetime goals. In other words, a purpose in life. You see, high-energy people know what they want and have an unshakable belief that what they want is possible. They have a purpose that they have chosen freely, and they set goals and develop action plans to help them achieve that purpose. 

mindset + behaviour   We mentioned earlier some studies that showed the elderly, with a specific goal or purpose, lived longer than those who did not. You have probably proven to yourself how energetic you have felt when you had even a short-term goal, perhaps a yard work chore like pruning a hedge or putting in a rockery. Even if you hadn’t slept the night before, with the goal at hand, you found yourself with the energy to get the job done. (Now, you may have started losing energy as you were nearing the end of the job, but that’s another story!)

What is your purpose? When it comes to energy, it doesn’t matter so much what you want, as long as you want something. You’d be surprised how energised you can become once you know the answer to this question. When you have chosen your purpose, and you have a clear idea fixed firmly in your mind of what it is you want to be and do, you will be surprised at how your energy level will grow to help you find ways to get there. 

You will become very resourceful and creative, and you will discover that having a purpose is the best vitamin in the world! So, what is your purpose in life?

Linda Sage.
Caring for the caregivers

The Sneaky Side-Effects of Care Giving

August 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Combat Compassion Fatigue

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?

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…

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Find Your Purpose for Living

August 24, 2017 Leave a comment

passion  Do you believe that having a purpose in life is important?  Having a purpose contributes a great deal to the quality of our lives. Not surprisingly, having a purpose can actually prolong your life. 

Several years ago, a study done by Judith Roden of Harvard followed two groups of patients in a convalescent home. Members of one group were asked to care for a potted plant during that time. Members of the other group had no such purpose. Those who were plant caretakers lived, on average, twice as long as the others did. You see, a sense of purpose fosters hope, self-motivation and positive feelings about oneself and others.

Viktor Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” found this same result during his time in Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Purpose, or goals if you will, provided the will to live.

How many examples can we see, when purpose is absent or taken away, that life ceases. Veteran broadcaster Andy Rooney passed away one month after leaving CBS’ “60 Minutes” programme. Bear Bryant, iconic coach of Alabama’s football team for 24 years, passed a mere 28 days after retiring. Retiring something may have been the catalyst. 

fear1     Now it is important to remember that, if it’s going to be truly meaningful, your life’s purpose must be something that is chosen freely by you, not something that is chosen for you. And it may have nothing whatever to do with what you do for a living, although, if it does that would be ideal. 

Have you thought about what your purpose is? Have you tried to put it into words? If not, take the time to do so, and then use that purpose as a compass to guide your activities.  You will be surprised at how much energy and clarity you’ll feel.

By the way, age has nothing to do with finding purpose in your life; and if you are wondering when you can start – well, today will do just fine!

Here’s to your success.
Linda Sage
Caring for the caregivers

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