12 Ways to Be Powerful in 2015

New YearHow are your resolutions going?

Instead of the usual suspects of exercise more, get out of debt, save more, drink less, eat more healthily, etc. how about committing to taking on the habits of thought and action that will make you more powerful in 2015?

After all, without a foundational strength of character what chance do any of your other resolutions have of succeeding? Not much!

If you can adopt even one of these lessons, you’ll find it far easier to gain control over your life, your emotions, and all your relationships this year – not least your relationship with yourself.

So in 2015, let’s:

1. Stop being a victim

Stop being caught up in getting attention by playing the victim or trying to tell everyone your sob stories. Focus instead on solving the issues and problems in your life as quickly as possible, and moving on.

2. Stop whining

Losers always whine about the reasons why they didn’t achieve something. Winners simply work out what they can learn from the experience, count it as a step towards their goal, put it from their mind and move on.

3. Learn to bounce back

Failure is not getting down, it’s staying down. Failure is simply feedback so see it as that and work on your resilience in bouncing back quickly.

4. Stop being a drama queen

Don’t see every little thing that happens as so significant and create dramas out of small things. It’s an addiction! Stop doing it – keep things small and move on.

5. Live with integrity

Focus on your personal integrity and honoring your values, ethics and agreements with people and yourself. Especially with yourself.

6. Stop just doing what you ‘feel’ like

Powerful people don’t run their lives based on what they ‘feel’ like doing at any given moment. Powerful people value their commitments and their agreements with themselves and others and when they don’t ‘feel’ like doing something they ignore those feelings and do what they agreed to do anyway.

7. Communicate with clarity

Powerful people communicate clearly and powerfully, without drama. They make requests and never make excuses for why things don’t happen.

8. Speak with power

Focus on making eye contact with people when you talk to them, lift your chin and speak in a clear audible voice. Softly spoken people are very dominating to those around them as everyone needs to lean in to hear them. It’s subtle manipulative control vs. clear powerful behavior.

9. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

The universe doesn’t care about your bad day and neither does anyone else. Pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

10. Stop gossiping

Never talk badly about other people. Bored people talk about other people. Powerful people talk about the big games, projects and exciting things they are doing in their lives.

11. Stop worrying if others like you or not

Stop giving a damn about everyone liking you. There is a clear T-junction when it comes to this point – you can focus on being liked or you can make a difference in life. Both of these items cannot always be true together.

12. Stop complaining when life isn’t fair

Life isn’t fair so people will talk about you behind your back and be horrible even if you don’t deserve it and have always been nice and supportive to them.

This is because most people will only do whatever they do to forward things for themselves so don’t expect that your good deeds and actions for others will always come back to you. Simply do your good deeds and actions for your own reasons and not to get anything back – this way you won’t be disappointed or constantly feel hard done by.

Think you can take on the challenge and become far more powerful this year? I know you can.

Let this be a wonderful, empowering 2015!

Share your thoughts below!

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Don’t Eat That Cookie! Are You Healing or Avoiding?

foodWhen you were young did your mother use to say, ‘Don’t cry. Here have a cookie and you’ll feel better.’

And you ate the cookie, got distracted and yes you did actually feel a bit better. For ten minutes. Then the pain came back, and it was time for another cookie.

Does this sound at all familiar? If that child was you, perhaps you grew up to associate fixing your emotions with food, or other short term distractions. Instead of facing the pain and actually healing properly. The fact is:

If you don’t confront your emotions, you’ll never heal!

The example of the daughter and her cookie comes from John James and Russell Friedman’s great book ‘The Grief Recovery Handbook’, where they talk about confronting your emotions rather than filling your life with things that fill your time, but only provide a short-term relief.

When you eat that cookie the fact is there’s no emotional completion of the pain caused by the event. The event and all the feelings associated with it are simply buried. Ready to keep coming up throughout your life no matter how many cookies you eat.

What are Your Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics?

Short Term Emotion Avoidance Tactics (STEATs) are things you do to avoid feeling the pain, numb the pain, or to take the pain away in the short term. They are often escapism-type activities where you keep SO focused and busy that there is no time to think.

They help you feel better in each moment BUT you’re not feeling better for real – it’s a false sense of security – a false feeling of recovery. And if you fill your life up with lots of STEATs your healing will not progress.

STEATs are so common after divorce

The sad thing is that for most people struggling to get over their divorce they’re engaging in a cycle of feeling the pain, applying a STEAT, feeling the pain, applying another STEAT, until over time they feel numb and they think this numbness is them healed from their divorce.

STEATs prolong the emotional roller-coaster of your divorce. So you never fully grieve for long enough or experience the loss critical to healing for real. Your emotional roller coaster will go up and down, up and down. Until you stop. And start to heal for real.

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Your recovery exercise – which of these common STEATs do you use?

It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.

Try to identify two short-term relief activities you’ve been doing to distract yourself and displace your feelings since your divorce or break up. This can be a lot harder than it seems, but it’s going to take your absolute commitment to honesty to truly heal.

Here are some common examples: Excessive socializing. Over-exercising. Fantasy or escapism activities (books, TV, movies). Shopping/retail therapy. Work and becoming a workaholic. Pretending something hasn’t happened. Overeating. Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat (‘comfort eating’). Excessive drinking of alcohol. Excessive use of recreational drugs. Using prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antidepressants.

The list is endless, and it could be something totally unique for you.

So, what STEATs do You use?

Can you share a few with the world?

I’d love to hear them!

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Are You Choosing Your Life Or Just Surviving?

DepressedOne of my clients was so traumatized by something brutal which happened in her life. She dealt with it by swallowing everything down, including alcohol, drugs and just numbing herself.

 

Many would say she ‘chose’ her path of destruction

In life this word ‘choice’ always gets tossed about. Perhaps too much. How we always have a choice in everything we do. How everything we do is our choice.

I believe that on one level but I am beginning to think that true choice is something which becomes available when you’re on the higher echelons of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs;

MaslowsHiearchyofNeeds

 

You need to be able to think straight to truly ‘choose’

Otherwise we’re just reacting and stumbling along. The thing about being in survival is you go back to basics and consequently have no true ‘choice’ because you’re just existing to survive. You can’t think properly and operate robotically.

Suddenly all you feel you can focus on is getting the basic needs of physiology and safety; sleep, food, sex, homeostasis, safety of body, safety of employment.

All those old stuck emotions keep you held down, unable to rise above survival mode or think beyond it. When you don’t face those emotions and work to release them permanently you’re just stuck struggling to deal with them day by day, while also trying to operate a normal life and survive.

Everything beyond that is way out of your reach, and beyond your choice to have in your life.

Without releasing all those old stuck emotions, you can’t choose a different path consciously. You can’t just ‘switch’ off anger, deadness, and coping mechanisms to just be full of happiness or possibility.

Your unconscious mind is driving you blindly

Although you may consciously recognize that you’re on a self-destructive, unfulfilling path away from real healing, you don’t have the choice to get off it without taking the difficult step first to release all the crap that’s holding you there.

So your unconscious mind is robotically taking over and trying to get you through the day. And without any understanding of a real strategy for release and long term healing, your unconscious mind is pushing you to deal with the pain and stuck emotions the only way it knows how – with short term escape tactics.

For my client this was drugs and alcohol among other things.

How to release and escape the cycle

But my client has now been doing this incredible catharsis release process we designed and what is now there is pure sadness and compassion – for herself, others and her family.

She now has a choice!

A choice to take a different path and heal herself. To move beyond this kind of destructive survival mode and cycle, and towards happiness and possibility once more.

And she got there by taking that first bold step and facing those old stuck emotions head on, following our carefully developed release process.

Are you stuck in a similar place?

I’d love to help.

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Sick of Suffering for Others? Stop Being a Martyr!

shutterstock_67945258How can you give so much but feel so empty and angry?

Because if you’re a martyr, you’re selfish and you’re not giving freely.

You tell others you are, but you’re not. And because of this you’re suffering in silence… and causing it all yourself.

The motivation of a martyr is to sacrifice themselves for someone else or for a cause – in their relationship, family, friends, work, a cause, or any area of life.

They give give give to feel like a good person. And they tell others they give freely.

But that is a lie

They don’t give freely. They expect something in return and when they don’t get this thing in return they feel empty, tired and angry.

And they don’t let out the anger – because they’re “giving freely” and shouldn’t expect anything in return, right? – So of course it comes out as passive aggression.

Does any of this sound uncomfortably familiar? I see it so often. And if you’re a little bit of a martyr (or maybe a lot) I’ve got some good news for you. You can turn the whole pattern round and let go of the disappointed expectations, anger, tiredness and passive aggression for good. Starting TODAY.

Time to Take Your Power Back

Here’s the key to getting over being a martyr. Remember YOU chose that behaviour. YOU chose to ‘give’. YOU chose to sacrifice yourself. YOU chose it. No one else.

And you forgot that you chose it and now you’re upset when you get nothing in return.

The moment you realise that you chose to sacrifice yourself for someone else, or for a cause, or for your work then you can also choose to stop doing it and take your power back. And you can do it NOW.

Firstly, you have to accept that some beliefs you’ve been living with for years – perhaps your whole life – are just plain wrong. And that can be tough. For example;

Suffering is Not Always Rewarded

Start analyzing exactly what you think to gain every time you sacrifice yourself for someone else. Do you hope to gain respect, a feeling of value, nobility? Or a return favour?

Or does a sneaky feeling of unidentifiable guilt lie behind it? Or undeservedness? Are you trying to prove yourself a good person to yourself, or your parents, or your concept of God?

Remember, all the happiness and richness you can get out of life will not come from someone else, it will come from YOU. By going out and getting it.

Suffering does not lead to joy. If you’re in doubt of this, just think back to when you were young. How easy does a child find it to be happy – without suffering for others. Imagine a child sacrificing everything they want to other children just in the hope the other kids will pay them back and make them happy somehow one day. It’s ridiculous!

Martyrs Are Actually Extremely Selfish

When someone gives a compliment spontaneously and sincerely they’re doing a lovely thing for the other person. When they give a compliment just because they’re fishing for one themselves, well that’s just unpleasant, needy and selfish. Don’t you think?

It’s the same with any sacrifice where you secretly expect something in return. When you give something to someone purely 100% to help them in that moment it’s a lovely gesture for both parties. But when you want something in return, well, you should make sure you say that clearly, because;

Mind-Readers Don’t Exist!

No one can read your mind, and no one knows of these secret deals you’re setting up with them when you sacrifice yourself for them. No one knows of these unfulfilled obligations building up over time the more you “give give give.”

And if they did know that everything you were “giving” came with a debt, they probably wouldn’t accept your sacrifice!

Your Action Plan – Quit Martyrdom and Become Selfless Once More

Firstly, examining your beliefs. And be brutally honest with yourself.

And start setting boundaries and enforcing them with a steel hand;

When you want to say ‘No’… SAY ‘NO’

Don’t be afraid to change the way you act, and the way others will see you. When you start saying ‘No’ others will respect you more, trust me. And when your passive aggression towards them disappears, they’ll love it as much as you do.

And of course, take responsibility for everything in your life. You caused it all. When you accept this, it’s a wonderfully empowering feeling.

Tell me what you think about Martyrs. Are YOU secretly one?

Do share, I want to hear it!

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Your way of expression

 

Ten Reasons Why He Dumped you… Ten reasons why chocolate is better than a man, Ten reasons why Woman Love Bad Boys and Ten Reasons Why Dogs and Men are the same.

It’s these particular topics that have creating an online traffic scramble, attracting over 800,000 visitors to YouTube online presenter Emily Hartridge’s advice blog. The 28 year old quirky girl with explicit explanations like…

“Good chocolate is genuinely easy to find, a man however, is ******* Difficult!” or “You can have more than one chocolate a night without ruining your reputation.” These in your face comments and videos on global You Tube are immediately grabbing people’s attention. ‘The main purpose of 10 Reasons Why… is to make people laugh.’ However the blogger stresses that the content of the videos is deliberately tongue-in-cheek. ‘I want everyone to know that none of my reasons are my personal opinions,’ she adds. ‘I am merely doing what us Brits do best……..be sarcastic!’

Sarcastic or not, these topics have been an online sensation and not just because people like to laugh. It’s no shock to the system people genuinely like to affiliate their experiences with others and hear someone else say something they’ve secretly thought in private or have been dying to blurt out publicly themselves! Certain situations and particularly these videos can be quite far-fetched for some, that’s granted. However our emotions can be somewhat far-fetched! So sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that extremity is not just within our emotions alone but with others as well, and quite frankly sometimes there is a need for extreme…

When it comes to our experiences, break ups and divorce; as woman we naturally look for outlets in which we can either talk or express our opinions and emotions. That may be in an intimate setting with you best girlfriends in a garden cafe or perhaps a far-fetched way of release similar to Emily’s blog advice on a public internet site.

POINT IS: There are many ways different ways of expression, this being one way. It Might not be your cup of tea, but find out what is! Expression is healthy! What is your self expression then?

What’s your way of Expression?

 

Till next time!

Lots of hugs