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Posts Tagged personal development

The Seven Circles – Relationships

Many people go in and out of our lives. Some stay for a while and some are gone in a blink of an eye. Some raise hell and others raise our spirits. Many teach us what we need to learn at the time, whilst others seem to be of little consequence.

Have you ever wondered who fits where? Have you ever struggled with people’s changing attitudes and behaviours? Have you ever hung on to a toxic relationship or friendship for too long? Are your thoughts cluttered with trying to ‘work out’ where others are at, or why they made ‘that’ comment in ‘that’ tone? Have you trusted someone you wish you hadn’t? Are you unsure who is ‘your tribe’? I may have the solution.

Over two decades ago a teacher of mine shared with me The Seven Circles. At the time, I was struggling in a deteriorating marriage and had some toxic friendships to compliment it; and to top it all off, a couple of family members where behaving badly. This exercise changed my perspective and lifted me out of the draining situations, gave me clarity, and allowed me to make better choices with my time and energy. Since then I sit down and fill in my circles every year, or when I feel I am beginning to get drawn into others dramas.

Here is a graphic of the seven circles explaining what each circle represents:

 

You can print The Seven Circles up here, including a blank one for you complete.

I would love to hear your findings, and how The Seven Circles supported you to create more clarity around those you choose to share time and energy with. After all, “We become who we hang around.”

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Mindfulness, Parenting, Resilience

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A Year of Possibilities

Happy New Year!

Preparing for a new year can often feel daunting, and will be overlooked by many if it seems to hard, only to find regret around Easter that this time wasn’t taken.

So, to help you prepare, I have put together a list of ten points to consider when entering into anything new, especially a new year of possibilities, to support you getting the most out of this year.

The following list will give you the beginnings of creating a strong foundation to leap off. This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings, “prior preparation prevents piss poor performance!” Take time to mull over each one.

  1. What is your carrot? What is the thing, your why, that will keep you moving forward and keep your focus?
  2. Get real about the pitfalls, and the worst-case scenario that can occur. It is likely you will be struggle free this year, yet there is also a chance that stuff will happen, you will be blindsided, and bowled over. When stuff happens, what is the plan? What is the best way to address it? What is going to work to keep everyone on the same team, solution and goal focused?
  3. Create a dialogue around what you say to other friends, family members, your children, and those you talk to about your goals, career and lifestyle. Be supportive and positive in your language and prepare the standard responses. This will help when people begin to share their well–intended, yet negative opinion of your choices.
  4. How are you going to manage your finances this year? Create a realistic and flexible budget, then stick to it.
  5. Identify the possible stressors within your family, the routines that are required, also how the responsibilities will be shared to meet the demands of how you would like this year to look.
  6. Listen to how the other people in your circle of influence are feeling, the hopes, positive feelings, concerns, worries, and motivations. Open the conversation to what ifs, those things that may never happen—what if someone becomes ill, what if you are losing sight of the carrot, what if stress gets the better of you, what if one of you is just over it? There are lots of what ifs, discussing them lightly with no expectation of them ever happening, is a good thing because this can alert you to possible stress triggers later on and you will be more open and prepared to deal with the issues together.
  7. Start now to find all the resources you can that have information on what you would like to achieve. Start by Googling, and the more you read, learn, feel supported, and develop an understanding of the jargon, the easier you will find it is to keep on track.
  8. Set up a plan of communication and connection to others. What will work for you, your friends and your family? It doesn’t have to be every day, but by having a sense of belonging and a supportive network around you will triple your chances of success. Don’t get too busy to check in with your mates and family.
  9. What is going to be your time management system, or flexible plan, or list process that keeps you on track with all you want to do, need to do, and includes rest and relaxation?  Have a rough idea prepared so you will enjoy more fun and relaxation, keep working towards your ‘why’, and reduce overwhelm and stress.
  10. How will you improve, grow and develop this year? Just working and watching TV isn’t going to hit the right note. Could you be studying, reading, personally or professionally developing, starting a side home business, learning a new type of dance, getting fit, getting involved in a sport or volunteer position, or making new friends? You may be limited by hours in the day or home responsibilities, however embarking on something new that fits in with your life will energise you and support new possibilities.

I hope these tips spark a brighter vision for you this year. I wish you a wonderful 2018, and if you would like any support – either questions, or would like a quick phone chat please email me.
Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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The Confidence Rollercoaster!

I was talking to a friend and she said, “How can you be so confident all the time?  You are such a ‘go getter’. I wish I had more confidence and self-belief like you.”

This dialogue got me thinking, and this was my response:

My definition of self-belief, or self-esteem, and confidence are: liking and feeling good about me enough to know that I am doing the best I can; and if I am determined enough, and work hard enough, and I trust my abilities, then the right results in the right order will follow. 

My sense of confidence and esteem does change constantly depending on various factors, including my day to day mood, appearance, ability, others opinions or the situation. So, as you can see, it is not something that you begin to act like and then ‘voilà’ all is well!

I have found that regularly checking in on how I am feeling about myself leads to a direct reflection of how I perform and present myself to the world. If I need to adjust my thinking, eating, or doing, I am on it. I make sure that I am consciously making choices on how I want to be, rather than letting the ups and downs of emotions, events and energy levels take control of my decisions, moods and actions.

The main mistake I witness a lot of people make is relying on others expectations and opinions and daily performance statistics to dictate who they are and how good they are.

All things change, you live and learn, you make mistakes and you have wins. We all have ups and downs, good and bad days. This is no reflection on your worth, rather a testimony to you living life.

The best way to overcome the rollercoaster of self-doubt, highs and lows, and judgement of your abilities is to have a strong sense of self-value and self-respect. Take a pause and when you are feeling less confident and a bit shaky, check in with you, adjust and get back to doing the best you can do.

You will then move into a space of making productive choices rather than staying longer than you need to in less than comfortable situation, entertaining draining emotional turmoil, giving too much time to listening to your inner critical voice, or worse, heeding another person’s views, and entertaining self-sabotage behaviours.

Trust yourself, respect yourself, do the best you can in any given moment, and you will find the confidence and self-belief rollercoaster can become fun rather than terrifying.

Until next time, K 🙂

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Developing self confidence and an I can do attitude in your child

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A lot of parents have concerns about their children’s self confidence and their children’s ability to not give up if something is proving a little difficult.

I often have parents come to me asking questions like:

  • “How can I get my child to stop saying they can’t do it without even trying?”
  • “My child has such a low opinion of themselves, what can I do?”
  • “How can I help my child be more outgoing and happier?”

All these questions lead to the parent’s concern that the child is showing a lack of self-confidence. The parent usually feels this isn’t right and isn’t going to be beneficial for their child in the future.

We have a saying in our house, “O’Callaghans never give up”. It arose from Joseph, our youngest child, going through a stage of saying, “I give up.” He was about four and must have picked it up from day care or his older siblings as I’m sure I never said it—well, fairly certain anyway.

Joseph would be building blocks, carefully placing one on top of the other, and then a large crash would be heard. I would enter the room to see him standing defiantly looking at the pile of blocks, angry face on, and he would be repeating, “I give up, I just give up, I give up.”

The possible enormity of the situation hit me—that if I don’t come up with something soon to change his attitude, it would turn into a life limiting habit. I wanted my son to be mentally and emotionally strong. I wanted my son’s cup to be full, not half-full, not half empty, FULL.

We started saying, over and over again, “Try again because O’Callaghans never give up.” This mantra has grown to include all of us now, and we have developed a very strong culture in our home of never giving up, thanks to those damn blocks.

I believe that self-esteem is the value one puts on them, and confidence is a self-belief that they can do it.
So one is how you feel about you, and the other is that you have practised and know you can do it. Therefore confidence is gained by doing and self-esteem is gained by knowing (or being encouraged) that you are valuable and capable. One cannot go without the other.

Children come into this world full of worth and asking for what they want. As parents it is our role to keep this sense of self worth healthy. Below I have outlined some suggestions of how we, as parents, can direct this in-built determination and persistence in tact, guiding it around appropriate boundaries and safety rules as our children grow. This then will allow your child to believe that they are capable of achieving many things as long as they show determination, practise and commitment – because they are worth it and super clever in their own way.

Modelling is the primary way to teach children good habits. They watch their parents and listen to them constantly, often when the parents are unaware. They watch and listen for verbal and non-verbal reactions to everything everyday. Children feel when situations are happy, sad, threatening, stressful and joyous. The child picks up on all the actions and reactions, even non-actions, to all situations by their parents and learns how it should be done and begins to develop certain belief systems.

Begin now and for the next week observing and listening to how you and your family:

  • Show your confidence,
  • Show your self-worth, and
  • The behaviours and reactions day to day you are showing (teaching) your children.

It is important to remember this is not for you, or anyone else, to negatively judge these behaviours or put another layer of parenting guilt on yourself.

It is for you to become the best parent possible, which is the parent your child needs – which is what most parents ultimately want. You get so many things right by practising what doesn’t work first.

I really resonate with the saying, “making mistakes is proof you are trying.”
You can then move on to supporting an affirmative belief system for your child. This is telling them often:

  • You love them
  • How important they are just the way they are
  • They matter and that their presence in your world and the world of others makes a difference
  • You have caught them out more times being great, and not less than expected, and
  • Each day how grateful you are for them and congratulating your child for big and little milestones reached or achievements.

I like to also make sure that there is a habit of paying it forward to others. My children hear me, and are encouraged to, praise others or speak of them in a positive and supportive way. It really does come back to the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.”

Next is putting it all into practise with an I Can Do It attitude.

I Cant’s just need proof that this is not true. How do you get this proof? Just do it – with guidance, encouragement, a bit of patience and support, then repeat, and repeat again. Let your child do as much as age appropriately possible:

  • Packing up toys
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • Packing bags
  • Making beds
  • Getting dressed
  • Creating, making, playing, building blocks, dressing dolls, writing
  • Cleaning teeth, brushing hair, tying shoelaces

There are many things they can do things even though it may be quicker for you to do it. However, if you can be patient and encouraging, the smiles, celebrations and hugs are so worth it when they get it. Praise each time they get it right, redirect and start again with enthusiasm each time they make a mistake. Mistakes don’t call for punishment; they are the opportunities for improvement and building a determined attitude – the attitude of winners.

On a final note – It is not being able to do everything right or perfect; it is doing our best and doing what brings joy and laughter to our hearts that insights greatness. Listen to your child with your ears, eyes and heart, just as they do to you. Find what brings light to their eyes and excitement to their voices – then practise, practise and praise, and repeat.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Parenting

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Having a Great Support Network Will Promote a Longer, Happier & Healthier Life.

Fostering close friendships is crucial to increasing longevity and maintaining your health. By creating a social “safety net,” you can protect yourself from depression, anxiety and physical ailments.

During times of high stress, self-care, friendships and support networks have a tendency to fade into the background, while work and family expectations and obligations take centre stage. This is a mistake and in fact, counterproductive to maintaining your physical, mental and emotional well-being! Recent studies have suggested that

  • 22% of people that have a good support network live longer happier lives
  • the happiest people socialise about seven hours a day,
  • you’re three times more likely to be happy if you are married,
  • each new friend will boost your happiness about 10 percent.

So is there a magic formula to developing those quality relationships personally & professionally that power you forward, that satisfy you, nurture you, allow you to feel safe to express yourself, and get you results?

I don’t know if it is a magic formula, and nothing worthwhile is gained without effort and practise, however with my years of experience in the relationship building industry and after overcoming many personal hurdles I have come up with a method, that I will share with you that will allow you to be on your way to being a more interesting and interested partner, friend, colleague, parent and person. You will be able to gain support, acceptance, approval and co-operation.

I run a very successful business, which thrives because of my belief in me and the service I provide, my ability to communicate my message and build successful business alliances. It wasn’t always like that though. It seems to have been a lifelong search on how to be heard and feel confident enough in my vision and myself to speak up.

My process is a 9 step process that is bundled up in 3 steps – my M.A.G. method©. Not N.A.G, because that is not helpful in excellent relationships, rather MAG for magnificent!

M – Mindfulness & Confidence – Know yourself, your message and your ‘audience’

A – Approach & Attitude – Believe in yourself, your message and your ‘audience’

G – Growth & Follow through – Being Your Best! – Master yourself, your plan and your relationships.

“To Know, To Believe, To Master = Success”

You can find out more about this at any of my workshops or speaking events when I speak on the topic of Relationships.

What is your highest dream for your relationship/s? What could it look like if you were a master of the art of relationships?

The greatest gift in a relationship is the ability to listen with your eyes, ears and heart. People want to tell their ‘story’. There is a marked decrease in today’s society in this area. There is also a marked increase in the breakdown of relationships in our society. When we listen with our ears we hear what is said, when we listen with our eyes we hear what their body gestures are telling us, when we listen with our heart accept the others point of view and how they feel about it. We become interested and interesting. We draw people to us as there is nothing better than someone that allows you to feel valued and important.

Kirsty 🙂

 

Posted in: Business, Resilience

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Balance: The Energy & Enthusiasm to Keep Stepping Up

Long work hours and highly stressful jobs not only hamper employees’ ability to harmonise work and family life but also are associated with health risks. Work life conflict has been associated with numerous physical and mental health implications and having negative implications on family life.

According to a 2007 study by Duxbury and Higgins, women are more likely than men to report high levels of role overload and caregiver strain. This is because women devote more hours per week than men on average, to non-work activities such as childcare, elderly care and are more likely to have primary responsibility for unpaid labour such as house work. Although women report higher levels of work-family conflict than do men, the numbers of work-life conflict reported by men is increasing.

Work/Life Balance is meeting everyone’s needs and wants, including your own, in a realistic way, while staying in alignment with what is most important to you. It is an intentional state of harmony, satisfaction and wholeness that exists within these life areas (categories) in a person’s life: Family, Partner, Work, Financial, Social, Health/self-care, Personal & Professional Development, Me Time, Volunteer/helping others, and Spiritual.

When I say that work-life balance is “an intentional state of harmony,” I mean that it does not happen naturally, or by default. If it did, we wouldn’t have millions of stressed-out people in this world. Pursuing work-life balance is important so that you can enjoy the peace and harmony that comes from living a balanced life, from focusing your time and energies on the things that are most important to you and not just the things that yell the loudest for your attention. When we re-orient our lives toward achieving balance and satisfaction, we enjoy more peace and less stress.

Are you satisfied with where you’re at in life right now? Do you feel like you’re giving the attention you want to give to the life areas that are most important to you?

The most valuable question you can ask –

Whilst reflecting, without judgement, ask yourself “did I do my best today and what can I do better tomorrow?” This is the true path of excellence.

I find that I achieve the most balance (and harmony) in my life when I do and reflect on these things:

  1. Make a conscious decision to prioritise your personal values and commitments (goals) within each life area (Family, Partner, Work, Financial, Social, Health/self-care, Personal & Professional Development, Me Time, Volunteer/helping others, and Spiritual).
  2. Define what is Important to You. You need to become an expert in your life by clarifying your actions and activities. This is not as difficult or complicated as it seems.
  3. Creating “Me Time”. Once you have started to create more space by letting go of activities or people that no longer serve you, it is time to start creating “me time”. Start with as little as 10 minutes or start with an hour. You can increase or decrease with what is comfortable for you.
  4. Set Your Boundaries. Once you have defined what is important to you and you are comfortable with what you have, it is time to move forward by setting some boundaries. Boundaries are imaginary lines that allow you to have control over your life and stop other’s actions and behaviours from interfering in your life.
  5. Have a list. I am a compulsive list maker. I have an overall to do list, a daily to do list, a grocery list, a who to ring list, a who to email list, a to do for work list, a to do for home and family list, list for gifts, to do lists for other members of the family, and the list goes on! Making lists provides you with the opportunity to ask one of my favourite questions at numerous times during the day; “What is the best use of my time right now?” When I have asked myself this question, it is an opportunity to look at my list and see what I could be doing in the time I have right now and the energy I have available to me. Once you have put a list together, prioritise tasks.
  6. Have a weekly plan which creates a flexible routine. When was the last time you sat down and wrote down everything you do in a week on a regular basis? Including school drop offs, work commitments, home chores, groceries, you time and the many other demands on your time.
  7. Identify sources of stress. Identifying the things that leave you feeling stressed out unnecessarily is the first step toward eliminating them.
  8. Eliminate unnecessary commitments. We all wear many different hats and have commitments in a variety of areas. But when you spread yourself too thin because you have taken on too many commitments, feeling stressed is the inevitable result.
  9. Create a great foundation for balance by beginning with eating for excellence. Food has a direct influence on your ability to cope with challenges. Good nutrition has both a calming and an energizing effect. Mental clarity and cognitive function are also nutrition related.

A.I.M. For Balance©

A = attitude; do you have an attitude of gratitude, are you hopeful, do you adopt a never give up and determined focus?

I= inspired energy; who are you around regularly, do they sustain or drain your energy, do you drink enough water, do you eat high energy foods and do you get enough rest and relaxation?

M= meaningful order; what are your key life result areas, what are you passionate about, what desires do you have, what routines, lists, time management techniques and plans will then work for you and your unique family?

Balance is the opposite of feeling overwhelmed and negatively stressed. It is feeling purposeful, being in the now, doing your best and following what you truly desire, maintaining a connection to what is important to you and knowing you can overcome obstacles placed in your way.

Kirsty 🙂

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THE 6 P’s TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_mFuZncR734

If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. Most people procrastinate to some degree.  Is procrastination stopping you fulfilling your potential and unsettling your life?

You procrastinate when you put off things that you could be, or know you should be, focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.

Putting off an unimportant task isn’t necessarily procrastination; it may just be good prioritization! If you have a good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. However, if you’re just “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are.

The key to taking back control is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better. To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to be aware straight away that you’re doing it. Then you can identify why you’re procrastinating and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.

Here are my 6 P’s for creating a new habit of action rather than non-action or avoidance:-

  1. PAY OFF – Establish and brainstorm what are the great things      that you will get once this is done.       WHY is it important to you?
  2. PEOPLE TO TELL AND PROMISE – Name your task and put a deadline      on it, then tell someone or a group of people and promise to have it      finished and ask for their support.       This creates an atmosphere of accountability and is a psychological      incentive for you to complete what you have been putting off.
  3. PREPARE AND HAVE A PROCESS – Prepare all that you need to get      this task done and have a list, diary and a process.  Are you going to do it all, in what      order, or are you going to break it down into smaller tasks?
  4. PAY ATTENTION – Be completely present with this task, no      breaks, no interruptions, and no distractions.
  5. PRACTISE – just keep following this guide on all tasks you      feel overwhelmed by or struggle to complete.  You don’t have to get it perfect,      practise will allow you to just do it and create a new habit of work/task      completion.
  6. PRAISE & CELEBRATE – Give yourself a big pat on the back      and reward each time you achieve your goal.  This will encourage you to keep going      forward.

One of my most favourite action steps is to aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day; which means conquering your hardest, least desirable task first thing in the morning so you don’t have to carry the load in your mind around with you all day.

Get started today and kick procrastination to the kerb! Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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Picking your state and intention for the day – YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

Do you just get up every morning, head hung low, would rather be back in bed? Do you just get up and start going through your morning routine, putting one foot in front of the other? Do you wonder where your motivation,let alone inspiration have gone?

I have realised that beginning the day with no clear direction, no high expectations and on automatic pilot does not get me the results I want or need. I am going to share with you a couple of tricks to get you feeling more energetic andinspired each day.

Know your overall picture/goals for the next couple of years. It always brings more meaning to your life when you know where you are headed. Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time? What is happening? Who is with you? How are you feeling? What are you doing? Remember, it’s not what you don’t want, it is what you would like to work towards and where you want to be.

Once you know where it is and what you want, pick a state that suits this part of your life. Is it happy, healthy, open, engaging, pumped, peaceful, in control,respecting and respected, grateful, confident, valued, or the like? Once you know the state that feels right, get in that state from right now. Remind yourself constantly I am……. today.

Set your intention for each day. What do you intend to do, to be, to achieve,to overcome, to create? Know this, write it down and begin.

Try this for the next month. I will guarantee you will see your life become more enjoyable, you will get more meaningful things done and you will move away from what you don’t want because you are too busy getting what you do want and enjoying yourself!

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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