One of my clients, Paula Kent, once asked the question, “Why do the destructive patterns emerge so quickly when situations or life gets stressful?” In simple words, why do we go back to our old patterns of old bad habits?
First, think about the bad habits that you have.
I know for me that as soon as I get busy:
All of those things go away, and I lose my balance. This is where Paula was and where so many of my clients get.
The Wheel of Life
Your first tool or first way to really battle this is with the wheel of life.
The Wheel of Life is a professional coaching tool. What it does is it really shows you a bird's eye view of what life balance is like for you at the current moment. Not three weeks from now or three weeks ago.
So today, how is it? How is your balance? How satisfied are you in each area of life?
It's going to quickly tell you where you're not satisfied. It's going to quickly tell you where you're off balance. When you have these destructive patterns that emerge so quickly, it's going to give you the answers right in your face to the question: Where am I really losing it?
Making New Goals or Habits
Now that you know the areas to focus on:
Then you get to make a decision. Do I want to do more in that area to make that better?
If yes, you’re going to make some goals or some new habits around those areas. This is one option.
Get into Maintenance Mode
Another option you have is to pull back and go into maintenance mode when life gets stressful or when major things happen.
Those are all things that happen quickly and can be unexpected. Even if you knew it was going to happen because a big project, renovation or surgery was planned, it is still something that can make you feel overwhelmed.
Life gets stressful, but you need to know what you have to do to get into maintenance mode. What do you do when life gets crazy? Here are some examples:
In maintenance mode, you can also think of doing/not doing these things:
You need to know which areas of your life you can dial back on: which solutions you can bring in to make that area easier. Maybe get a house cleaner that week just to help you out. Maybe you bring on someone to help you in your business that week.
When life is crazy, ask yourself, “What are the basics of what I need right now?”
I call that maintenance mode. Rather than you trying to fulfill all 10 areas and be perfect and amazing in all of your life, you really get to dial back in those certain areas. You could focus on just the top 4 priorities.
When my son broke his femur, there were definitely a lot of things that I had to do in order to go into maintenance mode. I've seen this in clients when they were on a leave of absence or mat leave, then the company wants them to come back to work full time. The problem is if they didn’t they would lose their job. All of a sudden, they're back in a full time career, but also trying to manage everything they managed before.
Just go into maintenance mode. Use the tool of the Wheel of Life to really see where things are at, and then have a little grace with yourself. We fall back into patterns because they were easy or for some reason, they supported us before. But you have now either leveled up your life and who you are, and you don't want to undo the good work you have done.
If you already have a really great morning routine, you already have a really great health routine, or you already have really great relationships, you don't want to undo those by going back to those bad habits.
Use your self-awareness. Go into maintenance mode so you can stay on track and figure out an easy plan. Write down all the things you are not satisfied with. Then once you are feeling less overwhelmed, put a plan in place where one by one, you can start to get back into the swing of things.
If you’d like to go through the Wheel of Life you have 2 options:
Read my other blogs here:
1. Using GOOD Habits to Achieve Your Goals
2. How successful women replace BAD habits with GOOD Ones
3. 10 Honestly GOOD habits to have
Are you feeling tired and that you can't work like you used to do when you were younger?
There is a common problem that I hear from my clients. It’s an issue that affects female leaders, female business owners, and probably lots of men as well.
I was coaching with a group of clients in my She’s Goaled Program. We were reviewing how their goals went that month.
One of them said that she felt she wasn’t getting everything done because she wasn’t at her optimum level of health:
I'm guessing you've had those moments, too. Maybe even today! But the next thing she said was, “I have to remember what my age is and not work like I’m 20 years old again.”
What it comes down to is how you want your lifestyle and your every day to look like. This is especially true if you're in control of your own time and is important even if you work a nine to five.
It’s not about age. It’s not about your life before kids. It's about how you want to live your life right now.
Answer these questions as the person you are, not even thinking about age. Think about what you want and what you want your life to look like.
If you're tired, try asking yourself: What’s the cause?
I had one client who had so much vacation time banked at her company that she basically could take a whole year off! She was a great employee, but she was working herself into the ground.
I asked her, “What do you want?” She said she just wants to work less. She was working 80 hours a week. She wants to have a bigger impact in the work she does, but she also needs to rest. She said she wants to be able to take her time off and doesn’t feel she can.
She knew she needed to take it, but she worried. She felt like she couldn't have the same impact that she wanted to have if she was to take time off. Surprisingly, since she also worked so much she worried she wouldn’t know what to do with her free time.
If you run a business, maybe you think you can't have the results you want if you take some time off. I'm not saying take a whole month off, but if you want to that's totally doable because that's actually what this client of mine did.
Not only that, but she continued to take every single August off moving forward. She also took a personal day every so often. It was a day for herself where she would just book a day off with no major plans and just wake up that day and think:
If you're at a place where you're feeling like you don't like how things are, you can't handle what you used to handle, or you wish things were different, STOP. Take a moment. Really ask yourself:
It's not about comparing to how life was in the past. It's about getting super clear about how you want life to be right now.
What do you want to accomplish, what goals do you want to have, and what priorities are in your life? Basically, it comes down to three words: Design your life.
You can actually do that. A lot of times people just go with the default or they settle for what's happening in their life. Or they take options that are presented to them.
If you want to balance your life better then I’ve got you covered.
For the upcoming Black Friday, I’m offering the Ultimate Success Toolkit which contains tools that can help you reach your goals and surpass the feeling of being tired, busy, and overwhelmed!
Grab your toolkit here.
Are you feeling a little out of control of your life right now?
Michael Altshuler once said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
It got me thinking, how many people are really the pilot of the course of their lives?
Who is really choosing the destination that you’re going to? And how are you going to get there?
What does it mean to be the pilot of your life? It means:
Do you feel that you are in control of your life right now? That you are really the one in the pilot's seat to get you there?
There are many times in our lives when we feel a little out of control. We feel like we are not the ones who are really charting the course for where we're going. You may be in one of these situations:
Are you in any of these situations?
I want to give you full kudos. You are such a loving person to be able to give up what you want to do for others. But it's hard to not be in the pilot's seat if you want to be. It's hard to let life or others make your decisions for you when you have your own desires.
If you have had to make a really hard, selfless decision to support a partner, a family member, or a parent, I applaud you. Reading this might not be the right step for you, but it gives you an idea of what you can do to feel in control of the other areas of your life.
You may just be feeling out of control for some reason (like COVID-19) and it’s making you feel like you can't chart your own course. What if you're in the midst of trying to gain back control, but until you complete something, do something, or a certain time comes, you're held back?
Getting back into your pilot’s seat
I've got a few tips, tricks, and a few philosophies around how you can get back into being in the pilot's seat. As a coach, I find that one of the hardest questions that I ask people is, “What do you want?"
That simple question, though, of “What do you want?” isn't so simple.
We then go through the process of looking at all 10 areas of life and figuring out what would make you feel the most fulfilled and happy.
If you want to be the pilot of your life, you need to be able to answer the question, “What do you want?” And not just answer it but answer it with confidence and with passion.
What do you want in each of those 10 areas? With your:
Then, we determine what are your top three goals that you want to be focusing on right now.
“What do you want?” and “What are the top things that you want to be focusing on?” will really get you to where your destination is. If you want to be the pilot of your life, you need to know where you're going. That's how you get back in control.
A lot of times, we are living our lives according to other people's agendas. The agenda of your boss, spouse, family, kids, and maybe even of society.
With Michael's quote, “the bad news is time flies.” Therefore, if you want to gain back control, today is the day. Figure out what you want, and then you need to make a plan to get there.
It could be time to have some difficult conversations with others:
You have permission to take back the pilot's seat… to be the pilot of your plane.
It doesn't mean you don't honor anybody else or their wants. It means that you get to fly your course, too. You have permission to have clarity on what you want, the confidence to go for your goals and to get into action.
The next piece is, who do you need to be in order to get there. Do you have to be organized, creative, confident, outspoken, determined, persistent, resilient? There are so many different ways of being. It's not just the “doing” that's important. It's the “being” side that helps you to get there.
What type of pilot do you want to be?
There have been times in my life where I looked around, and I thought, “Wow, I didn't necessarily pick this job. It just kind of found me. It was offered to me. I knew someone who knew someone who was offering a job, and now I have the job.”
Then I look around and I think, “Wow, I'm hanging out with these people. I'm friends with these people.” But again, I didn't necessarily choose them. They were connected to a job, my kids, or they were in a club I was in.
I wonder, in your life, how much of your life is by your own design? Or how much is just based on circumstance, convenience, or settling?
I'm not saying just because you happen to get a job or you happen to meet people and hang out with them, that you're settling. But it's a question to ask yourself. If you want to be in the pilot's seat and if you want to be able to chart the course of where you're going, you need to be honest about where you're at. If you could, Would you choose your career again? Your friends again? Your situation again?
So once you know where you're going, you know your top three goals. You know how you need to redesign with other people and you know who you need to be. It's time to take action. Make a full plan.
What's the first step? And then after that? And then what comes next? What do you need to learn? Who do you need to bring on board to help you to get where you're going?
Are you now thinking, “Oh, man, I don't want to be the pilot. I want to be the passenger. I just want someone to take me through this.”
Whether you want to be the pilot or a passenger or not. If you don't feel like you're getting the right answers, or you have the clarity but you’re not getting into action or you lack the confidence around it, let's have a conversation.
Reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I really want you to be able to be in the pilot's seat of your life because, as Michael says, time flies. Can you really miss another day?
Read my other blogs here:
1. How is Overthinking Affecting you?
2. 4 crucial questions about your life path
3. The Power of Baby Steps
I have a confession, and it has to do with being an impostor.
Michelle Obama felt like an impostor. It all comes down to a psychological condition called “Imposter Syndrome.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one's abilities, or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one's ongoing success.
It's the truth. There are so many people who are feeling like impostors. So many powerful women have felt like impostors or currently feel like an impostor.
Do you feel like an impostor?
Let me share my personal experience.
Many times in my career and in my life, I have felt like I didn't belong. I have felt that I wasn’t good enough. It often came from me and the worst was when other people told me that I didn’t belong.
When I was a young girl, about 11, I was really succeeding and leading the way in soccer. I was noticed for my ability by an indoor soccer boys team that invited me to come and play with them. I was excited because this was going to be a higher level of challenge for me. I was honored to be invited.
When I showed up there, I worried, “Oh, my goodness, I have to step up to this level. Can I?”
*insert imposter syndrome*
I see a gym full of boys and soccer balls and we start practicing. When we get into pair work, no one wants to do the drills with me! I really started to feel like I didn't belong. That I wasn’t wanted there.
Maybe you felt this way at some point in your life. You weren't allowed to be there. People didn't want you there or maybe you just weren't good enough to be there, so you self-sabotage your way out of being there.
Because I was young and I still had a little bit of naive confidence, even though they didn't want to pair with me, I thought, “Okay, well, I'm still here, so I'm still gonna practice.” In the end, the coach had to put his son with me because no one would pair up with me.
I heard the murmurs. Maybe you have heard them too. Maybe it was the truth. Maybe it wasn't the truth.
Sadly, we murmur to ourselves the most, judging ourselves, doubting ourselves THE MOST.
Have you heard these? Have you felt these?
What happened for me was a lesson and maybe a lesson for the boys, who knows. The coach sat everyone down and said, “The reason why Diane is here is because she's a really good player.”
Nothing. No reaction. They didn't care. Then, the next comment was, “You should be glad she is here because she's going to help us do well.” Again, for their benefit. They didn't care. But the last comment was a little bit of a poke to them. He said, “And to be honest, she’s probably better than most of you here.”
Well, saying to a group that you’re better than them is a way to not belong. But hey, at least I knew that the coach wanted me to be there.
How many times in your life and in your business have you got to that place of these questions?
Women and Imposter Syndrome
The sad thing is imposter syndrome is probably holding you back. It has held me back. Now, where does Michelle Obama come in here? Well, former US First Lady Michelle Obama was speaking to some girls and she urged them to resist imposter syndrome.
Why did she say that? Because she felt it on the way up the ladder, as Barack was going up, what happened? She felt like she had to fight men for power. She had to prove herself all the time.
Until we as women step up into who we were meant to be, until we are unapologetically ourselves, until we really take ownership of the amazing things that we have done, we can suffer from impostor syndrome.
There are many negative problems that come from imposter syndrome:
The Stark difference between Men and Women
A Business Insider study said that men and women view success differently. Men believe that success comes from their innate skills and talents. Women believe that their success comes from luck and help from others. If our success comes from luck and help from others, no wonder we feel like impostors because we are saying that the only reason why we succeed is because someone helped us. So we aren’t the lead of our own success.
I don't know how many times the clients I work with reach a level of success, win an award, and they still think that they only got there because of other people. Maybe they got there with some help from other people, but not completely.
If you run a team yourself, you are the one to lead them to greatness. Yes, you could have great people on your team to take ownership and celebrate the things that you did.
The other thing that is going to happen is how are we ever going to be paid equally to men if we don't own that we actually belong at that level. There was another study that I read. It said something like, a woman feels she needs 80% and above qualifications for a role or a position before she'll apply.
Sometimes it even takes the urging of a mentor or someone else in the company in order to get her to go for it. This also includes my clients who were speakers. They don't go for certain projects, engagements, keynotes, and conferences because they feel like they're not good enough.
So not getting paid the same, not going for opportunities that are the same.
The other thing is, how are we ever going to have more women in high-up leadership positions if we continue to feel like we're an imposter. Now, it's one thing to think, “Oh, I'm slightly under where I need to be” and that's fine, but it's another to limit yourself.
In that same study that I read where a woman feels she needs 80% and above qualifications for a role or a position before she'll apply, it's only 20% for men. If a man has 20% of the qualifications for that role, that position, that engagement, that board spot, whatever it may be, he only needs 20% of the skills to say to himself, “I'm going to step into that.”
Now, this is a complete blanket generalization. I get that. But it was a fact that I read. And I see it play out over and over and over and over and over in my female clients, in the women in my Dynamic Women® Community, even in the successful women that I interview on my Dynamic Women® Podcast, the women in my collaborative books, they still feel like impostors.
It often comes from a limiting belief.
The number one limiting belief according to the research Brene Brown is, “I am not enough.” This is basically feeling like you are an impostor.
Thai happens no matter your level of success because every time you push yourself to the next limit, you move yourself out of your comfort zone. I do this all the time, maybe you do too. Then I have that second... that moment of “Am I really meant to be here? Have I really deserved this position?”
Do you know what I changed it to? Absolute immense gratitude.
I'm constantly presented with the option of choosing impostor syndrome every time I push you out of my boundaries, and the same goes for you. When you level up, you have that moment where you’re going to feel like an impostor. But you also have the chance to choose gratitude. You also have the chance to create the most magnificent plan to step into that next level and to feel more confident there. BUT:
So if you ever feel like an impostor or if you feel like you're an impostor in one or more areas of your life, I'm telling you, it's okay. It's totally okay. It's about boosting your confidence so that you can own that position. That you can be there and be your most brilliant self.
You and I are not really impostors. We're just holding ourselves back, but not anymore...
P.S. You can still get the Confidence Fast Start! It’s a box full of experiential items that can help you build confidence!
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