Staying Focused In Tough Times

I’m going to be straight with you.

The past week has been a rollercoaster.

Stressful to say the least.

Nothing we can’t handle – but a big fat curveball in our life plans.

So we’ve both felt emotionally drained, sleep deprived and physically low.

I wrote a post on Facebook a couple of days ago about being proud of how, even when there’s turmoil going on, I still exercise. I still lift. I eat well – and don’t turn to one of the easiest crutches of all – alcohol.

It’s the same for both of us.

And it’s hard when you’re feeling out of whack – not to go off the rails. Yes – even for us 🙂

But that’s all a side note to what I really wanted to share – and it might seem a little counter intuitive.

You see, when you’re stressed, although exercise is awesome for lifting the spirits, BE CAREFUL that you’re not overtraining.

Even though we’re sticking with our schedule, we’ve both noticed this week we have less stamina.

And less strength. It’s all a lot harder.

Emotions, stress and a lack of sleep has a nasty habit of doing that.

So – to push ourselves as much as we usually do (and can) – would be a rookie mistake.

Why?

Because on a cellular level we’re low.

The stress hormone cortisol is firing.

Putting our Central Nervous System under even more physical stress will only weaken the immune system further – when it’s trying to deal with everything else going on.

Having over trained in the past under extreme stress and personally experienced the negative implications – I recognise that my body is powerful and strong, yes. But it’s not a machine.

So if you relate to this right now, consider some self care. Exercise for sure. Keep up with the schedule. But pull it back a little.

You’ll come back stronger both physically and mentally.

I’ll Wait…

Yes I actually had someone say this to me recently, when discussing my mentoring programme.

The lady in question reached out as she’s tried every crash diet under the sun. She is unable to motivate herself and is completely confused about how to feel and look better.

She’s lethargic, overweight and miserable.

Most of us can relate to that feeling I’m sure.

When she said she’d wait until January – I was really saddened.

There were 9 weeks of 2019 left.

9 weeks where she will do absolutely nothing. Nothing will change. Except feel worse.

They’ll be no structure to her eating or exercise. They’ll be no accountability or support.

I’m not telling this story because I want to shame. It actually reminded me of times I’ve done the same.

Wanted something so badly. But couldn’t even get off the starting blocks.

And it has nothing to with the actual process. Or the person willing to take us to a better version of ourself.

It’s ALL about self worth and self respect.

This lady feared she would fail.

She didn’t believe in her capability to see it through. So she made excuses.

“I’ll be out a lot leading up to Christmas.”

“I won’t have much time.”

These may be true, but putting something off for a better time never works.

Why would she allow herself another 9 weeks of feeling anxious and depressed? Why would she allow herself another 9 weeks of eating food that makes her feel sluggish? Another 9 weeks of piling on the pounds and her body becoming more and more unhealthy and unfit?

Wasn’t her life worth more than that? Right here, right now?

Waiting is a way of hiding. Circumstances will never be quite right.

So I urged this lady to look at the real reason she wanted to postpone. In no way to pressurise but to break through her limiting beliefs. Because my goodness she deserves it. Just like you do.

If you relate – I’ll leave you with these questions…..

“Is your body, your mind, your life – not worthy of everything you’ve got? Is it not worth investing the time, money and energy right now?”

If you’re resisting and feeling icky about those questions – gently ask yourself in some quiet time….

“What is behind my resistance? Honestly. What is behind it?”….and just see what comes up.

As with this lady – and with you – James and I are always here. We don’t judge.

We just hope to help as many people as possible see their true worth. Their true power to create change.

Because that’s where it ALL starts.

Getting Triggered All The Time?

This one shift in thinking can honestly change your life.

It will…..

Lower anxiety.

Reduce frustration and anger.

Enable you to live with more peace.

This truth, when really acknowledged, is a total game changer.

The truth is this….

You cannot, regardless of how much you try, alter anyone else’s thinking, behaviour and actions.

Not your boss. Your partner. You parents. Your children. The person that pulled out in front of you on the way to work.

Neither can you alter circumstances outside of your control. The late bus. The rain. The economy.

The ONLY thing you can control is your reaction TO IT (OR THEM).

How you react is your choice. It’s your responsibility.

Will you choose to react with anger and force? Frustration and pain?

Or understand that the only one you’re truly hurting is yourself?

Those feelings are causing you stress and anxiety.

You may think you’re making a point. That your reaction is having the desired affect on the other person or situation.

But in truth….it’s you who suffers the greatest.

So…I ask you…

Are you going to CHOOSE to cause yourself anguish?

Or will you take your power of thought and reframe it.

Reframe it something like this…

“This feeling of anxiety and pain – trying to fix or control a situation or person outside of myself is not making me feel good.

The more I try, the more it hurts.

Therefore, I’m willing to acknowledge I can control my feelings and reactions.

Next time I’m triggered, I’ll remember this and take responsibility for trying to shift my feelings and reactions in a more positive direction.”

Being aware is always the first step to regaining your power.

Be gentle on yourself.

We’re all going to be triggered at points and it takes practice.

Be firm with your boundaries. But don’t seek to force others or situations. It’s exhausting and often futile.

Image credit: Contance Doyle [http://www.constancedoyle.com/]

Will A Blow Out Ruin My Progress?

This one is a really popular topic – especially over the summer in Ibiza! A little bit of sun, a dash of uplifting music, some drinks, and that one small beer turns into a mighty session… have you undone all your good work?

Although the next morning it will probably feel like it – not at all – and this is where people go wrong. A big day or night out is not going to help your health progress – no doubt on that (although if you have a good time and end up with a smile on your face – hey!) BUT falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you’ve lost the wagon train and you should lay down and wait for the vultures.

We see this all the time – people work hard for their body goals – watching their diet, moderating their drinking, training hard, then boom! That big blow out and they give up. Don’t!

First up, we’ve been prone to the odd big night out. BUT…what we learnt about ourselves early on is that the all or nothing approach does us no favours.

If you restrict yourself over too long a period of time – strict eating, early nights, herbal teas instead of Gs & Ts, sure, you start to feel physically great, BUT…

Emotionally you’re probably bored, overthinking and stressing about every little thing.

So…

Moderate.

We’ve learned having the odd drink when we want, going out when we feel like it – all helps with overall balance and our goals aren’t as impacted as when we’re trying to be at the extreme end of something. Think of it like an elastic band, we want to be flexible in the middle, not pulled tight at one end, or else, when the band pings…

So….live a balanced life, acknowledge your goals, stay on track, understand your need to have fun (within reason) and you’ll be far less inclined to “go hard or go home”.

But what if you did slip?

Here are some practical ways forward…..

You wake up feeling like death warmed up – all those negative voices in your head will start telling you “See, told you so…” Thank them, acknowledge them, and pick yourself up and move on.

If you’ve had the mother of all days/nights/48 hours, don’t try to do anything. Respect your body and your mind. Rehydrate with lots of water, eat nourishing food, rest.

If you’ve only gone moderately hard, and you feel you can, then moving can really help a) shake off a hangover b) help swing your mood back up as the endorphins from exercising kick in.

Only go at a pace and intensity that feels okay to you, and is safe for whatever you’ve done the night before. Aim for either a short burst of activity to get you sweating a little bit, or go for a long steady walk in the fresh air. Both work, sometimes short and sharp is better, like ripping a plaster off.

Remember that your insulin and blood sugars will be all over the shop from over-indulgence, but rather than going for the fatty, starchy food your hunger hormones will be screaming for, smash in lean protein like fish, chicken (easy to digest) and lots of veggies.

Be realistic, it’s not the end of the world. Rest, realign and once you’re recuperated, carry on as before and you’ll be back on track before you know it.

Are You Investing In You?

I’ve just completed our Q1 accounts and what leapt out at me was the amount (relatively) that Claire and I have spent on coaches, courses and learning.

We have a stable business, a strong sales pipeline for our retreats, corporate clients and consulting clients. We know what we’re doing. So why are we spending on coaches and learning?

The answer is, because we have a growth mindset. It would be easy to sit back and stay where we are, and have an easy, uncluttered life, but that’s not what we want or believe in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to rest every now and again, but when you stop learning, stop growing, you don’t stay still, you actually go backwards.

This year we’ve worked with business coaches, money coaches, sales coaches, NLP coaches and more. Why? We know this stuff…

Well, we do, but other people can often articulate it better (with a fresh perspective) and we want to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. When we see an area we can improve on we jump at the chance to work on it.

That way we can be the best we can be, and we can be even better at helping others. Our lives are a journey, and your learning doesn’t stop when you leave school or university, it carries on throughout your life.

Now, you might passively sit by and let life teach you lessons (and it will!) but why not take control and learn what’s going to benefit you, and the people around you, the most?

Could we have coasted on without these coaches? Yes, for sure. But they all added value to our lives and what we can offer others.

So this short blog is not meant to tell you how great we think we are, but rather how we acknowledge that we need support and learning to grow and become greater, to reach higher, to serve better.

The purpose of this piece is to ask you, where can you level up? What part of your life would you like to steer in a more positive direction?

It’s never too late. In the words of Ghandi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

if you’d like to talk to us about how we could help you move forward, then drop us a line.

We’d love to speak to you 🙂

Much love

James

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