Author Archive for Catarina

Recognising fear based decisions

I have had my own business for 4 years now, and it’s taken me almost this long to really step into my power and OWN it.

And by that I mean stand up for what is right for me and stop allowing myself to go after shiny objects because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) on some juicy must-know-this-to-succeed information.

I almost cringe to think about how long this has dragged on for, how many programmes and things I have signed up for, to never even open or watch.

Because it reassured me to have them ‘just in case’.

I’m not saying I haven’t learnt things I wasn’t an expert in, or that all of them were a waste of money, but what I can see clearly now is that I was buying them for the wrong reasons.

I was making a decision based on FEAR.

And any decision made out of fear (of some outcome happening / not happening) is not the best decision to make.

So how do we know if a decision is a fear-based one?

Well this is how I can recognise mine:

  • When it’s a quick fix.
  • When I act almost out of impulse (because it makes me feel better in that moment, but the niggling feeling comes back later).
  • When it’s easier than the other decision (because the other decision means I have to face something which makes me feel uncomfortable).
  • When my gut feeling is saying something different, but I choose to ignore it.
  • When it feels almost compulsive, like “I have to have it”.
  • When my inner critic is having a party, telling me something along the lines of “if you don’t do this, then xxx (list of negative things / situations that might happen).”

What can we do about it? How can we avoid it?

The only way to be sure you aren’t making a decision out of fear is when you know yourself really well to the point that you can be truly honest with yourself about your reasons.

When we are feeling fully aligned, we can recognise fear more easily.

Because we know what right and wrong feels like to us.

So when you are faced with a dilemma, take a moment to centre and ground yourself (meaning to focus on the here and now) and ask yourself what impact that decision brings to you.

How does choosing / deciding XYZ make you feel vs. not choosing XYZ.

Dig deeper.

And then dig deeper.

Always coming back to the feeling, the emotion.

And if at any point it resembles ‘fear’ of something “if I don’t do this then blablabla”,which will almost seem like a threat, then you are up against a fear and it’s probably what you think you want, but it isn’t really what you need.

Getting to know what that feels like for you, will help you when you find yourself up against another tough decision in the future.

Getting to know yourself and what is right for you is probably the most powerful tool you can give yourself.

So why wouldn’t you?

What if I don’t get what I really want?

When we are in fear and anxiety it doesn’t feel good.

Fear and anxiety are powerful emotions.

And although if we take a step and look at them simply for what they are, ‘emotions’, when we are experiencing them they can take over and put us in a real state, ranging from worry to sheer panic.

It seems irrational.

But is it really?

You see, we only feel the feeling because of the thought we have around it.

Fear and anxiety are consequence of thinking XYZ might or might not happen in the future.

Thoughts such as:

“What if I don’t get XYZ?”
“What if XYZ doesn’t ____ (like me / hire me /…)”
“What if XYZ is better than me?”
etc. etc.

And if we take all of these thoughts (which are really only fragments of possibility of a worse-case scenario happening), and peel back the layers, what they all boil down to is:

“If ______ (the worst case scenario happens) what does that mean about me?”

Or in other words, what will I do if I don’t get what I really want?

It will mean I’m not good enough.
It will mean someone else was better.
It will mean I’m not worthy.
It will mean I’m unsuccessful.
It will mean I wasn’t able to.
It will mean I failed.

All of these thoughts are so profoundly linked to our sense of worth, that they shatter us in our core.

They make us feel helpless, or hopeless or useless, or… all of the above.

And the only way out of this is to really become better at managing our emotions.
At challenging our thoughts.

At noticing that those thoughts are, well, just thoughts.

That they are not the truth.

Just because XYZ might happen, it doesn’t actually mean we have to tell ourselves that we are useless.
It can just be that what we wished would happen, didn’t happen at this point in time, but that doesn’t mean we are any less of a worthy person.

But what our subconscious mind does, is it pulls out all the history of when what we wanted to happen didn’t happen, and stores it as just another example of ‘you see how what you want to happen never happens?’

So when you find yourself spiralling down a path of negative thoughts about yourself, catch yourself out and take a moment.

Ask yourself:
is this the way I want to feel?
Is this the way I am willing to feel?
What are the thoughts that are popping into my head and do I really want to validate them as being true?
Can I absolutely 100% say they are true?
Am I really being fair to myself?

This moment of stepping back and challenging your thoughts, puts you back into control.
So that instead of being a victim of a situation, you can use it as a learning point.
Because there always is a lesson.
Even if you can’t see it at that very moment.

How To Find, Define And Defy Your Purpose In Life

Everyone has a purpose in life, whether they realise it or not.

You may question whether or not you need a purpose in life, but if you are to understand yourself better, to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and make informed decisions about the paths you take in life, it’s essential to know your purpose.

Because your purpose is actually who you already are.

Your purpose must be something easy and natural, something that feels right. It needs to fit in well with you, and not feel overwhelming. Do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself to make it deep, big and meaningful.

It will be meaningful… to you.

How To Find Your Purpose

Finding your purpose in life is one of those existential questions that gnaws at you.
But figuring out what you’re meant to be doing in life isn’t as complicated as it might seem.
The key is to focus inward, reconnect with yourself, strip away all the layers and reveal what lies at your core.
Find the thing that drives you, the thing you truly believe in and stand for.

Here are a few simple questions to ask that will get you started:

What are you naturally good at?

What do you enjoy doing?

What comes easily to you?

What do people tend to ask you for help with?

How To Define Your Purpose

Many people get stuck as they try to pin down their purpose, because no sooner have they defined it, they find it lacking.
There is often pressure to make your purpose very symbolic, to charge it with deep meaning, or simply to make it ‘fancy’.

When you find your purpose and realise it’s actually fairly mundane, you resist it.
You keep looking, convinced there’s something bigger, or more important that you should be doing.
But your purpose in life doesn’t need to be deeply philosophical, symbolically meaningful, or wonderfully glamourous.

At its core, your purpose has to work for you.
It has to feel right.
It should be easy.
It should feel easy, effortless.
It’s probably something that comes to you so naturally, you don’t even think of it as a purpose.
It’s just what you do, what you love, or how you live your life.

The most meaningful purpose is often the one that seems most humble.

How To Defy Your Purpose

Another common roadblock people run into when it comes to their purpose in life is a resistance to defying it.
There’s a common perception that you only have one purpose in life.
That your purpose is unshakable, unchanging, and set in stone.

The truth is, we are constantly growing, evolving, learning, and changing.
Our purpose evolves and grows as we journey through life, take on different roles, and enter different stages in our development – physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Don’t be afraid of defying your past purpose in order to rededicate yourself to a newly evolved purpose.

How Your Purpose Fits In With The Rest Of Your Life

One question that often crops up is what to do about your career, once you realise your purpose.
Everyone is different.
Some people like to keep their work and personal lives entirely separate. They enjoy that difference.
Others feel their job should reflect their purpose.
If you find yourself in a job or on a career track that has nothing to do with your purpose, it’s tempting to think you should jack it all in and start over.
The funny thing about your purpose is that it’s usually a lot closer than you think.
It’s likely that you’ve already found a way to align your career with your purpose, even if they appear unrelated.

For example…

I used to work in a corporate job in Finance. And although I knew deep inside that I was meant to be doing something different with my life, although I knew that ‘this wasn’t it’, although I didn’t feel aligned to the work I was doing and it was important to me to feel aligned in my work, although I craved the change that would bring me closer to ‘what I was meant to be doing’, I actually wasn’t as far from it as I thought.
I was naturally using my unrevealed coaching talents in the way I managed my team. It was utterly unconscious at the time, as I didn’t really even know what coaching was, but seems I’d been following my purpose all along…

Do you remember who you were?

Ready To Find Your Purpose?

If this has resonated with you and you feel like it’s time to get back in touch with the real you, and get clarity on your purpose, I’m running an exclusive online workshop around this topic for a small group of people.

It will be a relaxed, cosy workshop, run entirely online – all you need is an internet connection (with video if possible) and your lovely self, and to be available on the dates / times: 16th and 19th of May 2017 at 12-noon GMT+1

Places are very limited, so if you would like to join, you can grab your spot here.

Read more information on the workshopor get in touch if you have any questions!

How To Raise Your Vibration In 4 Easy Steps

By now you have probably heard of the Law of Attraction (LOA), and all of the hype surrounding ‘The Secret’ (both the book and the film).

But you may be wondering…what’s it all about?

And how can it help you?

The Law of Attraction (In A Nutshell)…

Humans aren’t robots. We’re living, vital beings, and we’re all made of energy.

That energy is vibrating at a certain frequency, which varies depending on your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and the situations surrounding you.

As your feelings and circumstances fluctuate, your vibration changes.

The Universe (with a big ‘U’, because it’s bigger than all of us) will match your vibration.

It sends us more of the same, in a “oh that’s what works for you, here have some more” giving-it-to-us-as-a-gift kind of way.

Here’s an example:

You’re having a bad day. Your mood dips. You find yourself irritated by anything, and absolutely everything seems to be going wrong. It’s like a chain reaction: one thing goes awry, and everything else seems to follow suit.

Here’s the thing… when you feel bad you focus on that feeling.

Your vibration matches your mood, and the Universe matches your vibration.

You’re not imagining it.

Everything really is going wrong, because your vibration is low.

The opposite is also true.

Great days just keep going, don’t they? You have a fabulous start to the day, and by lunch you’re walking on air. Come what may, that good feeling carries you through the afternoon, everything’s just clicking, you can do no wrong…

Good feelings raise your vibration, and when you’re on a higher vibration, the Universe will send more of those positive, juicy vibrations your way.

The True Simplicity Of The Secret…

‘The Secret’ is actually exceedingly simple.

  • Do your best to avoid focusing on negative thoughts and feelings, and instead focus on the good.
  • Make a conscious choice to shift your vibration, to raise it.
  • This will not only make you feel better, it will ensure the Universe is sending you nothing but good vibrations, rather than the bad ones you would attract by keeping your focus on negatives.

4 Easy Steps To Raise Your Vibrations…

Step One: Pay Attention…

Pay attention to what’s going on around you, and inside you – how are you feeling? What are you thinking? What’s happening? Notice when things are going wrong, or simply aren’t going your way.

Step Two: Avoid Focusing On The Negatives…

Once you’re aware of the negative things you are thinking and feeling, you can actively avoid focusing on them. If you catch yourself thinking about them, do your best to switch your focus to something positive or just catch yourself out (no self-judgment, beating yourself up about it) and learn to not ‘hold on’ to that thought (because that gives it more power).

Step Three: Anchor Yourself…

Work positive ‘anchors’ that will raise your vibration into your daily life and routine, so it’s easy to switch your focus when you notice yourself dwelling on a negative. Anchors can be lots of things: seeing or speaking to people who makes you feel good; playing a particular song or looking at a photograph that makes you feel happy; getting the sun on your face; walking barefoot in nature; keeping lavender or fresh flowers close by to perk you up with their delicious scent. Cuddles with my pups works a charm for me or getting up from whatever I am doing and going outside to get some fresh air helps me clear my head.

It doesn’t matter what your anchors are, just work plenty of them into your daily routine, so that you can pull one out when you need it. Keep them easy and simple to do.

Step Four: Consistency Is Key…

The true key to raising your vibrations is to be consistent in your efforts. Work these steps into your daily routine. You’ll soon find yourself doing them on auto-pilot. The more automatic your efforts are, the more consistency you will achieve, and the higher your baseline vibration level will become. The higher your vibrations are ‘normally’, the easier it is to keep them up (when you hit a snag), or raise them again (if they suffer a dip).

One Last Thing…

One of the worst things about getting down, or having a bad day, is the feeling that life is a little sucky, and you’re totally powerless to fix it.

The Law of Attraction allows you to control the uncontrollable.

It puts you firmly back in the driving seat, with a practical direction to take in order to make yourself feel better.

You may not always shake that negative mood, but if you can shift it, even a little, that’s a definite win!

There you go. Start putting these 4 steps into motion and allow the magic to happen!

It’s all about the mess

I know you know this, but it’s always good to remind ourselves that

life is messy

It’s not all neatly laid down and planned out for us to know exactly what we have to do.

Life is messy and chaotic.

But it’s within that mess that we find ourselves

We make mistakes.
We struggle.
We kick and scream.
We stamp our feet.
Or at least, I do.
We make wrong choices along the way.
And we make some good ones too.
It’s part of what we are here to do: to learn and to find what is right for us.

So beating ourselves up for the not-so-smart or even cringingly embarrassing moments we have had, is not going to teach us anything.

There is no graduation ceremony from the school of life.
No diploma to work towards.
It’s a never ending learning experience.
Which keeps on teaching us something new.
So we mustn’t give ourselves a hard time for not always making the right choices.
We don’t always get it right.
We won’t always get it right.
But we learn more about ourselves along the way.
And that’s why it’s so fascinating.
So sit back, get yourself comfy, and make the most of the ride.

Life is messy

Are you a Perfectionist?

With over 100 blogs in draft mode, still unpublished and several notebooks filled with ideas that haven’t seen the light of day, I have to put my hand up and fess up that perfectionism is one of my downfalls.

 I used to think being somewhat a perfectionist was a good thing.

But it really isn’t.

Perfectionism does not make us feel perfect.

It makes us feel inadequate.

It makes us feel bad about ourselves.
Which will lower our self-esteem.
And impact our self-confidence.

Perfectionism holds us back from taking action.
It keeps us stuck.
And if we dig beneath the surface, we will probably find a fear of getting it wrong, a fear of failure.
But ‘staying stuck to avoid failure’ is actually going to cause more discomfort and agony than if we actually did it and failed (which won’t necessarily happen).
By staying stuck, we are sending our subconscious a message that we aren’t able to handle failure.
And I am sure you can see how damaging that is to your self-esteem.

The thing is, life isn’t black or white: it isn’t a case of success or failure.
There is a lot of grey, and I truly believe that it’s in this grey area that we learn the most and grow.
We get better at things as we go along.
We don’t start out doing things perfectly. We learn along the way. We learn what works better for us, and how we need to tweak something to suit us.
We are human beings – we don’t come programmed with a mistake-free modus operandi.

Life does not come with a guarantee of a smooth path without any bumps along the way.

We are going to stumble.
We might even fall.
That’s just part of the process.

And let’s face it: if we did get it absolutely spot on the first time around, we would probably get rather bored as there would be no challenge.
And what fun would that be?

Perfectionism

Our brain’s battle

Our brain has 2 sides:

  • the left side, which is our rational and logic thinking;
  • the right side, which is our creativity and intuitive knowledge.

Both sides are needed: a balance of both, working together, without overlooking one or the other, as each one has essential value.

brain-2-sides

Let’s start by looking at the left side

It’s our intellect. That’s the fancy word. But it can also come in the form of our mind chatter, mind monkeys, or whatever you call that inner critic of yours.

It’s a loud voice.

A convincing voice.

A very persuading and persistent voice. In a rather annoying and repetitive ‘won’t–shut-up-and-sounds-like-a-broken-record’ kind of way.

It wants to talk you into its point of view. It is logical. It lists reasons (and it has a lot of them) as to why you should or shouldn’t do something. It will effortlessly roll out a whole list of reasons as to why this is or isn’t a good idea. It’s repetitive. It says the same thing in different ways, coming at you from different angles. It doesn’t give in easily. It wants to be right.

It is also authoritative and has a very directive nature. It sounds like a stern parent or teacher. Quite domineering. It wants to have its way (in a “my way or no way” kind of manner). Almost like giving you an order, a command.

You will also find yourself explaining to others why you must or mustn’t do this, why it ‘makes sense’.

You will be justifying. Explaining. Sometimes even without anyone asking you for an explanation. You will probably be talking out aloud to yourself. Going over and over all the reasons.

Another clue to know if it’s the one stealing the show is to be aware if there is a sense of urgency “you need to do this now. Quick, quick, quick.” It always seems to be in a hurry, in a rush: “do this now, because XYZ” (list of logical and rational reasons).

There is a lot of emotion in intellect’s voice and reasoning. There is also a lot of judgment.

And it probably makes you feel quite anxious and tense. Fidgety.

To put an image to this, if you think back to your school days, picture that little boy/girl in class who would immediately stick up his/her hand up in class and wanted to be the first to speak – the “me, me, listen to me, I know I know the answer!”

And now for the right side

This is our intuition. It’s an inner knowledge we all have, but without knowing why or how.

It tells us what is right and wrong for us, what is true and what isn’t.

Unlike intellect, intuition is quiet.

It doesn’t judge.

It doesn’t care, as in it doesn’t have emotion attached to it. It’s just a message.

It knows what is best for you, and that is why it is so valuable.

But it doesn’t try to convince you. It is gentle. It will voice itself, but respects if you aren’t listening or don’t want, and so quietens down again. It doesn’t repeat itself constantly. It is neutral. It doesn’t have an agenda. It’s not giving you an order. It’s not questioning you.

It doesn’t care about the timeline (when you do something) – there is no sense of urgency.

It feels natural. It feels right. There is no tension. You feel peaceful.

Now back to that classroom image: I was an average student, and I was mostly in my own little world during class. Drifting off in thought. However I clearly remember several times when a teacher would ask a question and I had the answer. But I didn’t know how. I hadn’t learnt it / read it / heard it, but I knew. The answer would be there on the tip of my tongue. It would pop up seemingly out of nowhere. But I was also shy, and so very rarely allowed myself to share the answer that was coming to me. It made no logical sense – “how on earth could I possibly know?” So you see, I was allowing the left side, my logic mind, take over and ignoring my intuition, which actually did have the right answer.

Avoid falling into the trap

As the intuitive voice is quiet and neutral, it often disappears into the background, and the intellect is more than happy to take over.

By learning to recognise when your intellect is in charge, you will be taking a powerful step in the right direction: being aware that you might be in self-sabotage mode and actually not making the right decision for yourself.

So ask yourself:

  • How is that thought is making you feel? (anxious, worried, tense, triggered…)
  • What’s the inner struggle between what you are thinking and what you are feeling?

Then:

  • Start to tune in to the feelings and learn to trust them. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.
  • Don’t jump into action, be patient and trust that your intuition will make itself known. As long as you are willing to listen.

Upgrading your beliefs

Our beliefs are like our brain’s software.

They run continuously in the background, without us being aware they are there.

They just do their stuff, what they are meant to do.

But just like any programme, there are glitches, so they need to be updated.

You see, the hardware (you) doesn’t stay the same.

YOU change as you go through life, meet new people, are exposed to different challenges and situations.

But if you don’t update your beliefs, if you cling to the old ones without ever challenging them, you are not going to be the best version of yourself, because you’ll be running on a programme that no longer can serve you properly.

You won’t be operating at peak performance.

You won’t be making the best of your life.

Your out-of-date beliefs are going to hold you back.

In every single aspect of your life.

Why would you want that?

As we come in to contact with new situations, live new experiences, meet new people, we are presented with new opportunities.

So it’s only natural that we will be exposed to new ways of thinking.

If you think back to 15 years ago, I am pretty sure you have changed your way of thinking, things you held as ‘non negotiable truths’ back then may not be so today.

Same goes for 10 years ago.

And 5.

Why wait?

My challenge for you is to raise your awareness around this and not wait 5 /10 /15 years to realise how you have changed.

To be constantly challenging your thoughts, the ones you find yourself being rigid about, by asking yourself:  

  • Is it helpful?
  • How is it helping me?
  • Can I honestly say it is 100% true?
  • Is it negative?
  • Does it make me feel good?
  • How is it making me feel?

Just by facing them and challenging them through this questioning, you will make yourself dig deeper and find another way of looking at them, one which is helpful, which serves the ‘you’ you are today better.

How will you know?

It will feel right.

So why not do it?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting go of an old out-dated belief that does not fit with whom we have become. We are forever changing and evolving, growing in to a more evolved version of ourselves.

You update the software of your computer, of your phone.

You don’t overthink it or feel bad about it.

So do the same to yourself, without agonising over it.

It’s an update.

That’s all it is.

 

Feeling ‘all over the place’?

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

You know what it’s like to have a zillion things clogging up your mind…to have a thousand things on your loo-roll-sized to-do list… to have all those unnecessary-unplanned-and-unwanted situations come along and mess up your day.

But you probably don’t know why it’s happening.

In a nutshell, it’s because your mind is wandering.

It’s taking you away from the here and now.

Which creates havoc.

Making you feel like you’re all over the place.

And the truth is… you are ‘all over the place’.

Your energy is scattered everywhere.

You can’t do things properly, or as you’d like to, because it’s chaos in there.

Your poor brain is all jammed up with thoughts that are still attached to something (anything) other than the here and now.

Can you imagine how this affects your body?

I’m going to get a bit woo-woo here… I don’t mean your physical body, I’m talking about your energy body. We all have one, even if we don’t see it.

Everything is made up of energy.

Everything has energy attached to it.

So every memory, thought, relationship, job, worry, possession, situation, etc. that we have, still has some of our energy attached to it.

Unless we let go.

Because when we still think about a situation, a relationship, or an event, we are attaching part of our energy to it.

Constantly going back in our mind and feelings to relive the past, and being unable to let go of old situations or things you did (and maybe wish you hadn’t) is actually doing you much more harm than you probably realise. The same goes for worrying about the future and having a bunch of ‘what ifs…’ racing through your mind.

Each time your attention goes to the past, or to the future, part of your energy goes there and stays there, lingering.

So how can you overcome this?

 First of all you need to learn to detach.

Then you need to claim back all your energy that’s currently spread all over the place.

To do this, you need to focus fully on what needs your attention right now and let go of those scattered thoughts that are flitting around in your mind.

How?

Visualise a piece of string or a cord, attaching part of you to that thought / situation / person / worry that keeps creeping into your mind.

Then imagine that you have a pair of scissors, and just cut that string or cord, so that all the energy bounces back to you (its legitimate owner).

Your energy is coming back to where it belongs, instead of being scattered all over the place.

This works for everything.

So every time you find your mind:

  • dwelling on something that has already happened and that you cannot change,

or

  • worrying about something that might / could happen (but that hasn’t happened yet)

Just ask yourself: is this happening now?

And as your answer will be ‘no’, you can do this speedy visualisation and bring your energy back to YOU, where it belongs.

It also works if you’re having one of those days where someone takes the parking space you were heading for, or you get upset with someone jumping the queue, or you have a row with your other half, etc. etc.

Give this quick, instant visualisation a try the next time something upsets you or you feel like you need to pull back all your scattered energy.

It really does work and it can turn ‘one of those days’ on its head, in an instant.

No New Year’s resolutions for me

I am not going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year.

You might have noticed that I am not really a ‘do-what-everyone-does’ or ‘do-what-is expected’ kind of person.

And if you are reading this, you are probably not one either.

So why would we make New Year’s resolutions just because a new year is about to start?

Why would we feel the pressure to come up with something and then probably end up feeling frustrated and beating ourselves up for the rest of the year as we don’t do what we said we would?

What’s with all the unnecessary pressure?

If it is something that you love doing and get all excited about, then by all means go ahead, but if you are racking your brain and feeling you ‘ought to’, then just simply let yourself off the hook.

Instead I am going to suggest doing something easy and fun, a personal development discovery which will increase your self-awareness and actually make a significant difference to your life.

Get a notebook and every day take a minute to write down:

✅ one thing that really made you happy / grateful / smile / buzzed – your highlight of the day.

⛔️ one thing that lowered your mood / that made you angry / upset / sad / irritated / frustrated – the lowlight of your day.

You will be able to start noticing patterns and triggers, and therefore be able to be aware of them when they next pop up. And then do something about it, as in, do more of what lights you up and do less or avoid what drains you.

It’s a life changing exercise, and a huge gift to yourself and to others around you, as your behaviour and reactions will very likely change. It will have an impact in your work and personal life.

You can do it for as long as you want. I suggest start with a week and see how you go.

Give it a go, and I am sure you will love it and have a much richer and fulfilled 2017 by getting to know yourself better.