This week we share a guest post from blogger and Transformational Coach, Suzie de Jonge. Enjoy :)
Humans are an interesting species - each of us is totally unique in our physical makeup and personalities, but as a majority we all come up against similar situations in our lives that can challenge us. As children we are like sponges, we absorb and then mirror back what we observe from those around us. Some of these behaviors and beliefs are helpful in navigating the world, some not so much!
If you find yourself constantly replaying a situation over and over with the same negative outcome, maybe it is time to stop and identify the pattern that is playing out.
I have listed the Top 3 blocks to happiness – see if you can relate to one or more of these.
# 1 OTHERS’ OPINIONS
Firstly, identify the reason WHY you are letting other’s opinions affect you and your decisions, at the cost of YOUR own happiness.
1. I want to be liked.
2. I’m a people pleaser and want everyone to be happy.
3. I don’t want to let others down.
4. My self-esteem is tied into whether others approve of me and my decisions.
How can you change this pattern?
1. Forget about failure - we all fail, though really there is no such thing as failure, only learning!
2. Check in with your own intuition – you have the answer inside you, you just need to be quiet, listen and trust yourself.
3. You can still care what other people think, the big difference is you don’t NEED to let others’ opinions govern your choices.
4. Remind yourself whose life this is!
5. Never let what others think matter more than what YOU think.
There are actually 2 types of procrastination:
Productive procrastination - an important part of the creative process. When you are waiting for creative ideas which don’t flow straight away, you may need to distract yourself for those thoughts/ideas to come through.
Destructive procrastination - when you avoid tasks you NEED to complete but know as a result there will be some sort of negative consequence. What is important to understand is for a lot of people this sort of procrastination is NOT due to laziness; the inability to take action may be due to feeling paralyzed by anxiety. It is actually therefore a coping mechanism for stress.
However, the stress is not caused by the thing you are putting off, it is just a symptom of the BIGGER ISSUE that is causing you anxiety – e.g., money, relationship issues. Therefore, it is easier to watch cat videos on YouTube for example, because it gives you an instant sense of relief. The catch 22 of course is that then you start beating yourself up more over what you SHOULD have been doing!
What steps can you take to smash this debilitating behavior for good?
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT – FORGIVE YOURSELF! Beating yourself up is pointless and just makes you feel worse!
2. PUT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE - picture the sense of satisfaction you will feel when the task you have been putting off is completed.
3. DO THE THING YOU WANT TO DO THE LEAST FIRST – this is a game changer! Once that is out of the way you clear your day for the things that DO bring you pleasure.
4. BREAK THINGS DOWN into bite sized pieces, schedule them into your day and COMMIT. Doing something you have been putting off in 15-minute increments instead of a 2-hour block can be lot easier to digest as long as you SCHEDULE and COMMIT to it!
5. DON’T SET YOURSELF TASKS you know you are never going to achieve. That is just another thing to beat yourself up over.
6. TREAT YOURSELF – once you have ticked that thing off your to do list, indulge in something you really want to do!
#3 SAYING “YES” WHEN YOU REALLY WANT TO SAY “NO”
The first key to unlocking this energy sucking habit is to identify the reason behind WHY you do what you do, why you say YES when you really want to say NO.
If I say NO …
1. I might offend the person asking
2. They may not like me
3. It might seem as if I am selfish and not a caring person
4. I might be rejected
You don’t have to become aggressive to turn this around, you just need to become more assertive.
The most important thing to remember when saying ‘NO’ is I’m refusing the REQUEST and not the PERSON.
1. Start small – say no to the little things first and then work your way up. It may be saying “No, I can’t talk now” to that one friend who rings you late at night complaining about how miserable they are.
2. Become aware of the reason WHY you don’t want to say no and challenge it if it is not a healthy reason, eg, people pleasing.
3. If you find it absolutely impossible to say a straight out no, say “I need to check my schedule and get back to you”. This gives you breathing space to decide if it is something that you want to do, instead of instantly REACTING and blurting out yes.
4. Trust your instincts – if you feel it is really something you don’t want to do, you CAN say NO. You may be surprised when the person asking you simply accepts it and understands.
5. Think of the reasons WHY you want to say no – e.g., more time for yourself or your family, less stress or anxiety.
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Suzie de Jonge is a Transformational Coach and the founder of Beautifully Selfish. She supports women who are ready to rebuild their lives, their careers and sense of self. To learn more, click here.