Don’t Worry…Be Happy

Worry is your ego’s way of thinking it is in control – which is an illusion. In times when the situation is out of your hands (perhaps when your sixteen year old, new driver takes the car out for the evening) the truth is that worrying is not going work like a magic wand.” Well,” you might think, “if I don’t worry, it means I don’t care.” Let’s explore that thought for a second… can someone not worry and still care? Do you think perhaps worry might even be getting a reaction from other people and bringing the worrier attention and comfort in a round about way?

I consider worry a harmful, learned habit. In the third grade a bright girl in my class, Joanne, would come to school the day of a test and share her worries all morning long. Even after the test, she worried until she got her grade back. I thought somehow that her worries were how she always managed to get an “A plus” ( I usually got an A – or a B).  I figured that worrying worked to get what she wanted, then it must work, so I revved up my worrying practice. ( I still got the A – or a B; maybe I didn’t worry hard enough).

Worrying is a catabolic energy. It is a sign of lack of confidence, a negative outlook, a constriction, turning inward, standing guard, or other self-destructive emotions that break down cells, releasing unwanted fight or flight hormones into your bloodstream which all have a negative effect on your physical body as well as your mind.

Most of us are not even aware that we can change our habitual reactions like worries. A more anabolic or healthier approach would be to act proactively, but then to learn how to forgive and trust and remember the words to the song, “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream. ”

Discover the Feeling of Confidence

I think we can all agree that confidence feels good. It feels strong. I  think that we can also agree, correct me if I’m wrong, that when you feel confident you’re more likely to move forward, take action or make a decision on something that is calling your attention. If you could see confidence floating in the sky would it be going fast or slow? Fast, right? We know that, because often confident people talk without hesitation and walk with determination. We might say that confidence is a fast-moving energy like the energy of trust. (Steven Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, refers to this idea as well.)

Think of somethings you do that you really feel confident about; they can be anything at all, don’t think about their importance, that is not the point, the feeling is what is important here. Perhaps make a list of all the things you feel confident about and keep adding to it. Remember how it feels when you do these. Really take time to focus on the feeling not the results. You can call on this energy when you’re stuck……..  Discover and use the feeling of confidence. It will most likely help you get on your way.


Cooking Up Confidence in Carla’s Kitchen

Keep Commitments to Yourself

When there is a gap between what you say you will do and what you actually do, you rob yourself of confidence. For example, if you tell yourself you are going to cook a healthy meal after work, but change plans in order to go shopping with a friend, you chip away a little bit off of your confidence. Why? Because you compromised your word to yourself. Nobody else even has to know about. YOU are the person it has affected the most because you weren’t able to trust your own word. It’s the same with telling a lie. Even if no one else knows the truth YOU do. When it comes down to it, that’s all that matters.

You can also build your confidence back up bit by bit. Let’s say your goal is to lose some pounds but you don’t have the motivation to even start because you feel overwhelmed when you think of the long road ahead. Begin by setting a task for yourself. Make it a baby one at first, like….drinking one extra glass of water every day.  No matter what, pour yourself that extra glass even if you have to get up out of bed and put your mouth over the faucet because you forgot. When that new habit has been well established, add another small step. This time you commit to walking around only one small block a day. Nothing more, just one time around the block is all you have to do.The trick is to do it no matter what, even if it’s a wimpy attempt.  Before you know it, the once around the block may turn into two and…well you get the picture. You’re actually moving your body more. This strategy really helps with habits you want to build, not with habits you want to break like addictions. Those kind of habits sometimes require professional help of a different kind. However, this strategy can help you take an action such as making a call to find professional help.

In closing, I want to make three points. First, we ruin our own confidence when we don’t keep our word, even to ourselves. Second, confidence can be built. We are not stuck with the amount we presently have. And third, little steps are the way, not huge commitments that set us up to fail again and perpetuate the failure cycle.






Building Confidence

Very few of us are born into the perfect environment where our confidence is nurtured every minute of the day starting at birth. Our natural dispositions, our home environment, families, schools, teachers, religious training all play a big role, especially at early age, in how we perceive ourselves. They all have an effect on our level of self-confidence. Confidence determining factors continue through what we experience, read and see in life and from them we form our impressions and intentions. We create from our impressions and intentions.

The good news is that we can do something about raising our own self-confidence. It is ultimately up to us to make that happen. Yes, this will take time, raising awareness, insights, perhaps outside help, and the need to create new habits and let go of old ones. Brain research has proven that brain can change, it is not as plastic as they once thought.  A new way of thinking is possible.

Why Confidence? Confidence is the key to taking actions in order to make changes in our life so we can reach goals and realize our dreams. Without a healthy dollop of confidence to take actions, why even bother having a dream or wanting more? Do you know anyone who is stuck? What would a new dose of confidence do for them?

As I mentioned earlier, we can raise our confidence level. It takes awareness of both our inner and outer selves. By inner self I’m referring to knowing who you are in this world; not what you do and how you act, but rather who you really are. Your inner self is associated to your thoughts, your impressions, your beliefs and your “take” on what happens around you. We all interpret and make sense of the world differently. A self understanding is fertile ground to choosing responses to the world rather than reacting from emotion.

Your outer world  is how you operate in the physical world. It includes areas such as, how you dress, words you use, how you interact with others, tackle new projects; simply how you interact with life. The world acts like a mirror. What you think on the inside is reflected back to you in the physical world. When you make changes in your behavior you get different responses. Favorable responses from others add to your self-confidence.

There are many excellent books on the market promising to increase your confidence level so that’s a good place to begin.. However, just reading and knowing what to do is not going to make the difference you’re looking for. Putting the ideas to regular practice is the key so consider working with a coach to help keep you on track.

Here are few questions I’ll leave you with…..

1.How would you be living your life if you had more confidence to do whatever you really desired?

2. What have you been holding back from doing? What is the price you pay for not doing what you really want?

3. What will it take to move forward?




You Can Only Be You.

Comparing and Competing are the two tumor twins pointed out by Sean Covey in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Isn’t that what we do so often to ourselves to feel better or worse; putting ourselves up against  the next guy? Many people fall into the trap of measuring success according to what other people do, have and strive for rather than keeping their focus on their own magnificence.

Perhaps another way to see an example of where comparing and competing for success is senseless is in the physical world round us. There are countries that have thrived according to our Western standards and countries that have continued in a more primitive manner. Anthropologists have found reasons for the haves vs. the have-nots and it boils down to luck. Geography and natural resources of the land are the reason why some civilizations have progressed to be able to explore, conquer, and dominate while others have only the means to continue their primitive existence. It’s not a matter of harder work or smarter thinking. It’s a matter of where you were placed on Mother Earth, what animals are native to the area, what crops grow there and what the other natural resources are.

And so it is also with our lives. We can’t be true to ourselves if we compare and compete with the next person as a measure and a factor upon which we base our self-confidence  then our self-esteem . We have all been dealt a different hand, conditioned by our families and our communities, and life events in a different way.  We need only to look at our own lives and make the most out of who we are, being thankful for the human life we have the opportunity to enjoy and learn life’s lessons from. There’s more to our life than meets the eye and finding out about it is far more satisfying than playing only the material gain game. Make time to be with nature and yourself, listen to your inner voice and discover real self and passions will help point you on your way to happiness no matter where you are now.

Myth …..” I Don’t Have the Time to Be Coached.”

It makes me sad when I hear people think that coaching is only goal setting and adding more to their “to-do” list. Yet, I can certainly see why people might think that way. The term “Coach” is used so loosely now that the role has taken on many different meanings and connotations. To some it means mentor, to some counselor, to others supervisor or even a professional nag. Some coaches, often business coaches who are hired by a company and want to produce results for their own job security, have the business’s success as their top priority pushing aside the idea that the person being “coached” has a life with other areas that equally effect their work performance.

Coaching to me, and my friends who are also certified professional coaches, know that coaching is about creating a partnership. It is a relationship that focuses on the person being coached and helping them create their lives so they feel whole, balanced, confident and in control. Good coaches help people create more energy, the energy wanted to move ahead to do the things you want with passion. Good coaching liberates rather than constricts leaving room for more of the good stuff in life.

Achieve Your Life’s Goals

Years ago, when I  working as a middle school teacher, my principal made some time to sit down with me to discuss a personal problem I was having. As he listened, he found a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on his bookshelf and opened to a diagram in the chapter that presents Habit 1 (Be Proactive). The illustration and explanation he offered from the book quickly helped me resolve my own problem. As I left from school that day, I thought about how quickly a simple book had shed clarity on my complicated thoughts. I had never heard of Stephen Covey before and the book was a best seller. My friends in business all knew it. Why was such practical information, commonly shared in the business world, different from what schools focus on. It’s like comparing Apples to …..PCs.

Now I am an empowerment coach I’ve learned (and taught) what Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and his life’s work have been about. Dr. Covey was a leadership expert. He helped millions of people reach their biggest goals in work, life and love first by asking them to clarify their personal mission in life and then setting their goals and plans to achieve it. Undoubtedly Stephen Covey’s work will live on for future generations to benefit from and build on.

Here are some effective tips to reaching your goals as explained in the book co written by Steven Covey’s son, Sean Covey, along with Chris McChesney and Jim Huling titled, The 4 Disciplines of Execution.

1.  Focus on Two or Three Goals      Get very clear on a few goals. Find the most important ones and focus on them. Be sure they align with your mission or your inner core. The fewer things you focus on, the more attention you can give them.

2. Concentrate on the Cause Not the Effect      Rather than focusing on the end result, focus on the smaller steps that will help you to get there. By doing this you can manage each task better and you won’t get discouraged if your end result is not in place as immediately as you think it should be.

3.  Keep a Scoreboard        Keep track of your efforts. It should not be a data fest type of scoreboard, just a simple, easy to see tally. Keep it in plain sight too. It helps to share your efforts with others who can hold you accountable.

4. Report Regularly       Find a partner, a family member, a coach, or someone who will weekly sit down with you to assess your progress and make new commitments. If you don’t meet consistently things could quickly fall apart.

Wouldn’t it be valuable for this type of information to taught in middle and high schools rather than wasting time in study halls? Imagine if these effective tips were habits learned early on.( Effective means that they work consistently, over and over again when used.) Imagine if students learned how to help each other achieve their goals. Well, regardless of when this information is presented to us, life if full of opportunities to set new goals and move ahead. There are Infinite Possibilities to create.

Turn On Your Power

Riddle: What can delight, excite, and ignite; pull a frown up to a smile, melt fear into confidence and fill emptiness with fulfillment

Answer: WORDS

Amazon has millions of biographies and books written by thinkers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, and Elizabeth Caddy Stanton; word wizards who have changed the world.  A French writer and philosopher, Jean-Paul Satre said, “Words are loaded pistols.”  Now we may not be out to change the whole world, but we can certainly change what’s in our own.

Along with several other techniques, choosing and using the most potent words to engineer literary devices like similes, metaphors, and alliteration arouses the imagination.  Imagination conjures up a feeling then attaches it – kind of like a post-it note to the subconscious. From there, the subconscious mind works like an antennae sending out a frequency of that feeling, attracting experiences that match. This feeling is what we see reflected back to us and how we create the exterior or “real world”. The more positive sticky notes attached to our subconscious, the more we see favorable results in our life.

Let’s look at an example of the words someone might tell themselves if they’re looking to put use an effective sticky note of abundance on their subconscious…..They might repeat to themselves over and over….”Success comes to me from unseen places”. Listen to how words can strengthen this feeling…. “ The door to financial success is nailed open for me now and my pockets are jammed and crammed with abundance.” Which statement gives you a stronger feeling of wealth? So the words we use and the way we use them is power, a magic wand.

Now I’m going to change the focus from the way words are used and how they’re used to the thoughts behind them. One of my favorite authors, Kahlil Gibran reminded us that, “All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.” It’s the thought before the word that holds even more magic and it too can be changed.

Have you ever listened to someone who was asked, “So what’s been going on in your life?”  They go into their “story”. Think about it, who really hears their “story”, the most? They do! And do your think this is it the “story” they really want to be experiencing? Usually not. Usually it is one they’re trying to get away from or be done with. Now, if they became more mindful of what they say to others and tell about what they are looking toward rather than where they’ve been; they’d get different results.

Let’s pretend you’ve just asked Joe.. how he’s been doing.  Joe answers.” Oh,  – it’s been a hard year,  I got laid off from my job this spring. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going nuts. What’s the feeling Joe’s sending out?   Fear….frustration and that’s just what his feeling antenna will find more of. A better choice for Joe might be…”.I’m finding a new balancing despite the ups and downs. Interesting new things are developing.”

Remember the speaker is really the one hearing what they say the most. And if the subconscious hears it enough it believes what it hears, that is what will come to be.(But if you try this don’t try to force a false belief on your subconscious, it won’t buy into what is really not true for you at that time.)

Our thoughts and words can make some big changes for us. There’s no need to make any changes where you’re getting the results you want, but where there’s something you want to change, you have the magic wand. Change the thoughts and the words, then firmly believe in what you say, you’ll get a different result. Here’s a caution: we’re usually so busy in life that we never really get to see this principle in action then skepticism is the predominate feeling plus, there is a delay between the thought and the results which also allows disbelief to creep in and ruin the magic before it happens.

Thoughts and Words are the power tools given to humans to create our sweetest dreams and the world we want, and they’re  FREE to all.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Working with a Coach

Working with a professional coach is just like anything else; you’ll get out what you put into it. Coaching is truly a powerful way to make the lasting changes you’ve been wanting. So make the most out of your invested time, money, hopes and expectations. Go for the gold; the sky’s the limit. Here are some tips I’ll share to help you get the most out of your coaching experience.

Have Faith in the Process  Coaching is based on and validated with research. Studies are being done on how the brain operates. Dr. John Medina, David Rock and Jeffery Schwartz are a few of many researchers who study human behavior to help businesses increase their creativity and their productivity. They found that the coaching process instills new thoughts and habits without undue pain and stress. New data like this is driving the coaching industry forward, proving it to be a powerful and effective change medium not only for businesses, but for private lives as well. We all want the best we can be.

Be Honest with Yourself and the Coach  Be willing to sit down and really think about your own life. It’s understandable, we’re all  busy during the day and there are so many distractions to life that we really don’t know what we want or think and why. I request that my clients to put aside a least an hour each week to be alone with a pen, planning book or journal. Notice I didn’t say a stone tablet and chisel. Life is a process. Sometimes I think of it as an etch a sketch…We are creating our lives minute by minute with every action we take.

Do Your Homework   Action is the key to getting things done.There are no little elves doing things for us as far as I know, but I’m always open to possibilities. Each coaching session opens up the path to take a new action. This is how a new space will unfold. If a person “sits” on it and doesn’t take the action they commit to during the session, that’s OK, there may be reasons, but if there is never any action there will be no movement.

Plan for Your Weekly Coaching Sessions  Plan ahead for your coaching meetings. What new challenges you have faced since your last session? What do you now want to accomplish? What came up or changed in your life that has concerned you? What obstacles have gotten in your way of moving ahead?  Bring questions and observations to  your coaching discussions and you’ll get more than you’ve ever expected.

The investment in time and resources while working with a coach who is as committed to your success as you are will pay off for the rest of your life. With focus and awareness, you could be seeing life from a different prospective, some call a transformation. Would you want to miss out on any of your full potential?

Keeping Cool, Hydrated and Healthy

It’s hot.  “Stay hydrated.” is healthy advice. I do drink plenty of water but when  there are all kinds of exotic concoctions available it’s tempting to reach for a drink I’d really rather not have.  What’s a good alternative if someone doesn’t want sugary drinks that put on tons of weight or the artificial sweeteners that get the thumbs down from the health experts. The answer just might be found in the sweet plant, stevia which has been called by some, “The sugar of the future.”

Stevia is many times sweeter than sugar, and does not have the effects that sugar has on your blood sugar levels. Health food stores now have a liquid stevia and some of them are even flavored. You’ll have to experiment because all stevia doesn’t taste the same. Some have a little aftertaste, some don’t. Some are a little bitter, others not.

We’ve been using it in iced tea, lemonade (made by squeezing several whole lemons in water and adding stevia), and protein powder drinks with fruit, vanilla, or cocoa powder added. Oh, and my favorite is to add some flavored liquid stevia to carbonated lemon, lime or raspberry water. It is the closest I’ve come to drinking a healthy soda.

Folks are thrilled when they hear that the eight glasses of water we have been advised to drink don’t all have to be plain water, so keep in these ideas in mind though the rest of the year too. It’s a way to add a healthier liquid alternative to your body and not pay the consequences for wanting a variety of tastes.