Life Coach via Skype
Rebellion…another approach to goal setting
“When we harness our rebellious energy, we reject what most may accept, and focus on creating what we believe to be possible…we do not dwell on what has already been proven. Instead we create the future we already know is possible.”
- Tara Bliss
There has been a recurring theme going on these days with not only my clients, but my friends as well:
We’re tired, burnt out, and want to go hide in a cave. The last thing on our mind is goal setting for our future.
Personally, this year has been one of the most emotionally challenging years in a long, long time. We’ve seen people’s personal lives politicized to the point of causing families to be ripped apart. Death threats, hateful tweets, and offensive behaviors have become what feels like the norm for many of us. And most of us are still mired in cultural expectations that we’re not only blind to, but don’t even agree with in the first place.
But hiding in a cave isn’t the answer.
We do have a say in how we create our lives and the world around us.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
Yeah, yeah, yeah… but are we actually doing what he’s suggesting? Are you BEING what you want to see? Are you acting on the belief that you can co-create your future? Or, are you hanging onto the belief that it’s too late or you’re just not up for the challenge?
No, it’s not too late and yes, you can handle the challenge. I think where we get stuck when confronting change, is when we assume the future will unfold the same way the past did. But if you bring a more rebellious energy to your goals, you can reshape the trajectory of your life and the world around you. Rebellion has both destructive and creative energy behind it. That is the road to change. And a way more fun way to approach our goals.
If you’ve already set some goals for the new year, revisit them now. And if you haven’t set any goals yet, think about something that you would like to see change. This could be personal or cultural…just pick something for the sake of this exercise.
What are my friend’s, family’s, and/or cultural expectations around this?
Do I agree with these expectations?
Which expectations can I get behind?
How would I behave? What would I say? Who would I spend time with and who wouldn’t I spend time with?
What would I watch or listen to in terms of the news, Netflix, Facebook, etc?
What would I say “no” to and what could I say “yes” to instead?
Asking these questions stokes our inner dormant fire. If you were genuinely honest in your answers to the above questions, you will likely feel your energy perk up. This is where rebellion starts. And, good news… you have just gained more clarity about why you want this change/goal to happen in your future.
And I guarantee you will be more successful if you include collaboration. Collaborate leadership is about dropping the pecking order and refusing to blindly follow orders. It’s all about expressing and empowering not only your talents but also the talents of others. It is inclusive, decisive, and powerful. It is the opposite of oppressive power (which is divisive, destructive, and erratic). And, no, it’s not about dropping our boundaries to be ‘nice’ either. Collaborative leadership is every bit as much about owning our sovereignty. In fact, it is when we have clear boundaries, we can freely share, grow, and co-create our lives.
I believe it is time to pivot away from the single handed, oppressive hierarchy. Instead, it is time to birth a new approach that holds collaboration and belief in our future as its’ new expectations.
Are you with me?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. And share your rebellion with me if you feel moved to do so.
And if you want to dig deeper into your own rebellion/goal setting, get in touch and we’ll strategize together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and share with friends.
Why our goal setting sucks, and why we will never achieve our sucky goals.
The most common times for goal setting is New Year’s and Birthdays. Then, a few weeks go by and we notice we are not only off track, but we have already forgotten the goals we set.
That’s because most of us set our goals ass backwards. We think of our goals as accomplishments rather than journeys. And because we don’t ask ourselves why we want what we want, we easily give up at the first sign of challenge.
There is a golden rule of the universe, in my opinion…
That which you desire has been deliberately put out of your reach so you can become the person who is worthy of receiving it.
That requires a whole different outlook and entirely a new approach to goal setting. So let’s begin. Ask yourself:
How do I want to feel every day?
Why is that important? Because everything you do, every goal you set, is to help you feel a certain way. Obviously, we all want to feel good. But my way of feeling good is different than yours. For me, feeling good might mean connecting to nature and my spiritual practices. For you, feeling good might mean the thrill of adventure. Or maybe, feeling good for you is all about family and intimacy.
The clearer you are about how you want to feel, the clearer your goals will be. AND, you’ll have a clearer pathway to achieving them.
So, let’s not wait. Pull out a piece of paper or your journal and ask yourself some questions:
How do I want to feel every day?
(Energetic? Generous? Grateful? Sensual? Passionate? Creative? Joyful? Empowered? Sophisticated? Inspired? etc) Ask yourself this question at least 10 times and rattle off whatever comes up.
And don’t worry if you can only come up with a few feelings. Write out what pops into your head even if you keep repeating the same feelings. And don’t get hung up on the words…I have ‘creative expression’ as my top emotion and although that encompasses many feelings, that phrase vibes for me so that’s what I’m going with.
After all is said and done, how do you REALLY want to feel every day?
Now, on a different piece of paper jot down all your favorite memories from the last few years. Feel free to include amazing memories that go further back in time, maybe even your childhood.
Now look at all those times and ask yourself, how did those experiences FEEL? Did you feel a sense of belonging, or excitement or adventure or love? Don’t over think it. Just write out all the feelings that come up when you remember those highlights from the past.
Then, circle the ones you repeated the most…those top three to five feelings are why you do what you do. By getting this specific, you have just gained the clarity you need to set goals that you’ll actually want to accomplish.
Now is a perfect time to take a few deep breaths before asking yourself:
What would I like to accomplish so that I can feel the way I want to feel? What goals, if I really went for it, would help me generate these feelings on a daily basis?
Is this the year you write the screenplay, start a family, take your dream vacation? What, if you really set your mind to it, would help you feel the way you want to feel not only at the end of the journey…but throughout?
Those are your new goals.
And one last thing…only set 2 goals maximum. Because if this is the year you write the screenplay, you won’t have time for much else. Setting one or two juicy life affirming goals is plenty.
And if you want help with this, get in touch and we’ll figure it out together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.
A Clean Slate
This is a follow up to my previous newsletter… ‘Creating Space’.
This idea of cleaning our slate is one that I usually suggest doing later in the year. But I have found that starting this process in October is more effective for both myself and my clients.
The idea is to go into the New Year owning everything on your to-do list. As well as owning your bigger goals that you may or may not include for the new year.
When I say “owning” your to-do lists and goals, I mean…taking full responsibility for what you are putting your energy behind.
If you thought of energy as currency…hard earned cash…what would you invest it in? Because you get to decide how, where, and what you will invest your energy in.
So this process begins with writing down (not in your head) everything you have to do. Your ‘ultimate to-do list’, so to speak. This includes bills, work assignments, agreements with others, your personal goals, appointments, holiday gifts…everything. I like to give myself at least 3 days to make up this list. Little things pop into my head when I’m driving or in the shower so I keep adding to my list as these things come up. So, for the next few days, jot things down as they come to you and do not discriminate. Big or small, put them all on paper.
When you think your list is finally complete, set aside a few uninterrupted hours to actually study at your list.
Circle the doable items that will give you a great sense of relief knowing that they are finally DONE. In other words, by actually completing these things, you will be entering the New Year “mentally” clutter free as well as opening up the time to start new things.
Then, cross off or politely bow out of the things you agreed to do for other people that no longer serve you.. These are things that simply won’t get done or will hold you back from the more important tasks on your list. Again, politely bow out of what you had initially agreed to doing ideally in the next 24 hours.
Then, look at the “big goals” that you did not accomplish.
Because, to truly clear the slate, you may choose to eliminate some goals all together.
So look at the goals that are currently not happening.
Why didn’t you accomplish them? Is it possible that they no longer serve you? Sometimes letting something go is more empowering than hanging onto it for dear life. Goals and dreams actually do have expiration dates. Put on your truth lenses and ask yourself if this is still worthy of your time and effort. Ask yourself why you set this goal in the first place and more importantly, do you still feel the same way about it now? This step of letting go may feel painful or sad, but there is great power in being honest with yourself. Honoring where you are NOW will ultimately help you to make better decisions as to where you want to go in the future.
How do you know if it’s time to let it go?
Is it taking too long? Is the pain outweighing the joy? Are you getting nowhere? Are you hanging onto it because you are afraid of what other people will say if you decide to “give up” on it? Is there something else nagging away at you? Could you actually try something different or new and still fulfill the desire that the original goal was meant to achieve?
Sit with this awhile. These are not easy questions to ask…even harder to answer with honesty and self compassion. But they are worth asking and answering.
You may decide to let it go. You may shed a tear or two. But then, you can allow yourself to open up to other possibilities you were too preoccupied to see.
Or, you may decide, “Absolutely NO! I’m not letting it go.” And in that realization you will discover more clarity as to WHY you must keep this on your list of goals and desires.
The point is to be honest with yourself. And compassionate.
Now…what can you do before the end of this year to both clear your to-do list and move your goals forward?
Write out a new list of what will be done THIS year. Schedule when and where in your calendar and start taking action today. I suggest setting an aggressive course of action now which will allow you to have more time to enjoy the holidays when they arrive.
The idea is to start 2019 with a CLEAN SLATE. Not a slate with stale leftovers from last year. Ideally the only goals being invited into the New Year are your passion projects that you have revisited and have even more clarity on. All the other stuff should be completed or at the very least, completed as much a possible before the New Year begins.
So…write it ALL out. Decide what shall be done, what shall be let go of for good, and what shall be reinforced and invited into the New Year.
And, stay tuned. I have a “Getting Our Shit Done” challenge coming up in the next few weeks. I suggest you get a jump on it and start clearing your slate now!
Go getter’ done!
And if you want some extra “kick butt mojo”, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.
Most of us can pretty quickly point to the areas in our lives that we’re not happy with. The answer to asking ourselves the question, “what’s not working?” is rarely a surprise. But the problem that most of us have when reflecting on our sticky spots is that we simply slap a label on it and then shut down or become self critical.
The truth is:
Self criticism offers no clarity.
Think back to a time when you were getting overly critical with yourself. Did you come up with any solutions for the issue you were dealing with? Not likely. Your mind just kept going around in circles about how you should have done this or that…not helpful or resourceful in any way.
If letting go of what’s not working, or finding actionable solutions is the goal, then we have to try a new approach.
Pull out a pen and a piece of paper (I HIGHLY suggest writing this out) and answer these questions:
What is weighing you down? (Heavy? Burdensome?)
What do you fantasize about changing or getting rid of?
What have you bitched about on more than 3 occasions?
What would you love to never do again?
And then ask yourself this question, which you might want to spend some extra time on…
Why? Why haven’t you let this go…yet? What expectations do you have of yourself and others that keeps you stuck in this situation?
And then…take a deep breath. Reread what you wrote and allow this to sink in.
Then, off the top of your head:
‘What ACTIONABLE steps can you take to change this situation?’
Write them down.
Maybe you don’t know the answers yet. That’s okay. Because taking the time to get clear about why it isn’t working, and why you are still dealing with it, will eventually lead to ideas.
You can also do this for the less intense things in your life too. Maybe the clutter in your drawers is weighing you down. (That’s true for me!)
Why is this an issue for you? What are your expectations about yourself? Did someone expect you to keep everything neat and tidy when you were a kid? Do you still feel that way now? If so, schedule times to get rid of that crap. Or maybe now you realize that, despite your upbringing, you don’t really care about clutter. Great! Drop the expectation about being a neat and tidy person!
Getting clear about our bigger issues can be tough or easy depending on your level of clarity. You start with asking, why it’s still a problem and what your expectations are around it. Your answers will give you the clarity you need to handle the situation. And that makes it easier to take the necessary actions to create the change you want. And, getting rid of the little issues can open up way more space (and time!) to handle the big stuff.
So, write out your answers to the above questions and see if you can actually DO something to change those situations. Both the big stuff and the little stuff.
And if you want support with this, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.
Today’s newsletter is not about the big goals, the big decisions, the big changes we create in our lives. No, today I’m talking about the stupid shit that we waste our energy on…on a daily basis.
One could argue that our little pet peeves and minor irritations are not a big deal.
But, science is proving that stress, ANY stress, is a major cause of disease. And the little stresses that we put up with every day, add up.
A helpful way to examine what you are wasting energy on is to ask the question:
“What game am I playing that I am no longer willing to play?”
For example, feeling irked when:
The dish is in the sink instead of in the dishwasher.
The laundry is yet to be removed from the dryer.
The neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.
You get the point. These are small irritations that can cause stress despite not being a very big deal. Consciously choosing to no longer put your energy behind these types of things frees up your energy and lowers your stress level immediately.
You can ask this same question for the bigger ‘games’ you are playing as well.
The game of being envious of your friend’s success.
The game of playing victim to your mother’s criticism.
The game of staying quiet when someone is saying something offensive.
Framing it as a ‘game’ rather than a big issue can sometimes make it easier to adjust your behavior. It also opens you up to seeing the issue from a more objective point of view rather than a personal one.
Seeing your envy as a ‘game’ allows to to decide if you want to opt out of the game entirely. Is the game of taking criticism personally worth your energy? And if you refuse to play the game of staying silent, what new actions can you take that weren’t available to you before?
Whether it’s the little pet peeves or the bigger issues, lightening up your attitude will undoubtedly allow you to have a more honest look at where you are adding unnecessary stress to your days.
I’d love to hear from you on this! What games are you opting out of? (Me? I’m quitting the game of shaming people for not stopping at stop signs! Wish me luck with that!)
As always, retweet, repost and share with your friends.
“Never Underestimate the Inclination to Bolt” – Geneen Roth
To create any lasting change, you must be willing to push beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. If you remain in your comfort zone, nothing changes. Its the edge of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
But, that is also where you will have to tolerate a good amount of discomfort.
Let’s say you are trying to end your addiction to sugar. Aside from the physical addiction (and, I think sugar is our biggest addiction in this country) there is an emotional reason you are turning to sugar. The first step is to notice what’s going on…notice your feelings you when you are fixated on eating something sweet. What thoughts are running through your head. What does your body feel like when you want to inhale the cookie jar? Can you name what you’re feeling?
And here’s the truth about feeling your way towards what’s really going on…you don’t actually have to name it!
A lot of people get tripped up with that. We’ve been told to name the sensations that we are feeling in our bodies. But, from my experience, you really don’t need to name it. Now, if you know for certain that you are feeling shame, or loneliness, or boredom, great…name it.
But if you’re like me (and many of the people I’ve worked with) you can’t quite put a name to it. So, rather than getting stuck trying to figure it out, forget about that and just feel whatever your body is feeling. Lean into it.
Now remember, when you are feeling uncomfortable your instincts are to run away…to bolt, as Geneen says.
But, the opposite is where the change begins…you must turn towards that part of you that is uncomfortable and open yourself up to experience those feelings…feel what’s going on, fully.
And then, move your body to express what you’re feeling. Literally get up and move and physicalize what you’re feeling.
After you have felt and expressed what’s really going on, choose a different action.
Insight without action is useless.
Let’s go back to the sugar example.
You’re faced with a craving and rather than scarfing down a chocolate bar, you stop and feel what’s going on. You move through it, lean into it, and allow for yourself to feel what’s really going on.
Then? What is a different action you could take? How about throwing that chocolate bar away? Maybe go for a walk or put on your favorite music and dance for a while. You could call a supportive friend or journal for a few minutes about what’s going on.
Another great way to interrupt cravings is, once you’ve leaned in, yell out loud “Stop! That is not loving to me!” Shouting, in and of itself, will change your state. And hearing your own voice shouting those words is a powerful tool to changing your behavior.
Whatever you do, take a different action. And, there is no ‘one way’ for everybody so you’ll have to experiment to see what helps you the most.
So again, when the desire to ‘bolt’ kicks in, stop what you are doing, and lean in. What’s going on? Where do you feel it in your body? Can you move your body in a way to express those feelings? And then, what different behavior can you try?
This can be really tough for a lot of us. If this is something you need support with, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. We can figure it out together.
And as always, repost, retweet, and send to a friend.
“If the path before us is clear, we’re probably on someone else’s” – Joseph Campell
Your life did not come with an instructional manual. Which is great because you get to decide how you want to live your life and what you want to accomplish. But, that also means that the minute you decide to take action towards any of your goals, you have to get jump into the world of uncertainty.
Not knowing the outcome of our actions can bring up a good amount of anxiety. But in order to create anything meaningful, you HAVE to be willing to take risks.
Successful people are not immune to being afraid. Fear of failure is a normal fear that everyone feels. But successful people don’t allow their fear to be an excuse for not doing their work. They feel the resistance, and keeping going anyway.
So how do we learn to manage our fear of uncertainty and failure?
…By sticking to our fundamentals.
“The minute you walk away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation, – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing” – Michael Jordon
Your fundamentals, be it your morning workout, meditation practices, list making, getting to bed at a certain time…whatever constants you have in your life will help you feel the confidence and willingness to charter unknown territory.
The problem is, most of us take those behaviors for granted because now they’ve become consistent. What we have to do is notice and name what those consistent behaviors are, and then change our approach to them when in the midst of fear and uncertainty.
For example. When my father got sick a few years ago, I had just started teaching Pilates at a Physical Therapist’s office. But I wanted to be there for my dad (who lived in Vancouver). That required me to work as much as I could at the office for 3 days, fly to Vancouver midweek, return on Sunday and start the whole thing again the following week.
How could I maintain my sanity with this ridiculous schedule and incredible pressure? By sticking to my fundamentals. For me? That meant a cardio workout every morning (even if just for 15 minutes). And, I ended every day adding a few more stitches to my knitting project. And my knitting was the first thing I packed! For me, it was a crucial stress reducer. The rest of my life could be in total chaos provided I did those two things every day.
What are your fundamentals? What do you do that brings you a sense of stability? Morning workouts? Journaling? Meditating? Working in your garden? Green drinks? To-do lists? Specific classes? Hobbies? Podcasts?
Write them out.
Now decide which actions are the most important for you to take on a daily basis when your fear is up and running. Then, when you actually do these things, be present for your experience of them. Don’t just put on your running shoes and go for a run. Remind yourself that you are in fact practicing something that will help you stomach the uncertainty of your day. You’re daily run is not just for your heart…it’s for your spirit too. By being consistent with your fundamentals, you are creating a safe place to land in the midst of chaos.
Remember, living with passion means taking risks. And taking risks requires us to live with fear of uncertainty and failure. The fear my never completely go away. But with your fundamentals in place, you can look it in the eye and move forward anyway. Because although our paths are not always clear to us, they are still ours to experience.
You were meant to do something special in this world that only YOU can do. Discovering it and sharing it is your path.
If you need help with this, get in touch. We can figure this out together.
And as always, retweet, repost, and forward this to your friends.
…Your “Master” emotions.
Master emotions: knowing how you want to feel can literally change your life
We all have vast emotional lives with desires for specific experiences. Some of us value freedom and adventure whereas some of us prefer to feel content and safe. Which means the more we hone in on what makes us tick, the more likely we are to succeed regardless of the goals we set.
I wrote about this process before in terms of figuring out your soul’s desires. Today, let’s use the same exercise but this time, lets dig below those desires to see what’s really driving us. Because when we are at our happiest, it’s because we are feeling something specific…something that personally turns us on. And those specific feelings, are running the show.
Let’s get right to it!
Take out a piece of paper or open a fresh page in your journal.
Don’t think…just write: your favorite memories from the last year or so. This can include trips, jobs, relationships, tv shows, parties, classes, etc. All the highlights. Without overthinking it, just write down the times you were full of life and happiness.
How did those memories FEEL? Did you feel a sense of belonging, or excitement or adventure or love? Don’t over think it. Just write out all the feelings that come up when you remember those highlights from the past.
You will likely see a few feelings repeated over and over again. That’s fine…just write it all down.
List the top 5 or 6 feelings without worrying about being exact. One of my master feelings is ‘creative expression’ which isn’t really a feeling. But, when I’m engaged in a creative task, I’m feeling most like “myself”. It’s definitely a master emotion for me so I’ll stick with the phrase “creative expression”. I’m not getting hung up on the words because again…its about FEELING a certain way. So, list your top fave feelings.
Now let’s do a little comparison.
For example, maybe your list of favorite emotions is:
Start with the first emotion and compare it to the next one.
What would you rather feel? Connection or exhilaration? Let’s say you answer ‘Connection’.
Move onto the next feeling for comparison.
What would you rather feel? Connection or supported? (These may seem similar but there IS a difference…you can feel supported without feeling connection and visa versa). Maybe you answer ‘supported’. That means you favor feeling supported over connection. So now you compare the next feeling to your desire to feel supported.
Again, what would you rather feel? Supported or free?
Keep comparing until you can easily see that you have 2 top emotions that outrank them all…these are your ‘master emotions’.
How does this help with goal setting? By creating opportunities to feel these master emotions while going for your goals. (And this may also shine a light on some goals that you’ve set that don’t actually serve you after all.)
Using my master emotions as an example: connection to spirit and creative expression…let’s see how I can incorporate these emotions into any goals.
Let’s say my goal is to lose weight. How can I feel my master emotions while I approach this goal? Maybe that means taking a ‘mindful eating class’ or exercising outside in nature. Can I be ‘creative’ in the kitchen and learn how to cook healthy foods that taste good? (And changing how we eat is by far one of the toughest things to do…having our master emotions front and center gives us the edge to overcome our resistance.)
If my goal is to shoot a short film, how can I incorporate my master emotions into the actions that I will have to take? For many of us, sitting down to write something like a short film (or a newsletter!) can be the toughest thing to do. But, if we can actually incorporate our master emotions into sitting down to write, we are more likely to actually follow through. For me? I’m definitely feeling creative when I write. But also, I try to write from the heart so I can still feel connected to my truth (connection to spirit) while talking about something heady like goal setting.
What if your goal is to go to Australia? Well…you will likely have to make some money! Brainstorm all the ways you can you bring your master emotions to your day job.
Use this tool for all of the goals on your list. If you can figure out how to utilize your master emotions, you will not only be more likely to succeed…but you will enjoy the process as well.
If this feels overwhelming, get in touch and we’ll go through this process together and get your year off to a powerful start.
And, remember to repost, retweet, and forward this to your friends.
Here we are! It’s the new year and most of us have set a goal or two that we are excited about tackling.
And, I’ve already had the pleasure of working with many people as a part of their support team.
But there is one common theme that I’m hearing and I want to squash this form of self sabotage right now… The phrase I’ve heard over and over again? “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to do that…”
Any exercises, suggestions, advice, including my own, is completely useless unless you actual DO it. You must DO THE WORK to see the results.
Think about it like this…let’s say you want to take up hiking. You buy the gear, research hikes in your area, get directions on how to get there…but don’t go. Well, you’re not a hiker then, are you?
If you want to be an actor, you have to act. If you want to be a painter, you have to paint. If you want to run a marathon, you have to run. Just reading about it, ain’t gonna get you nowhere.
And if you want to break free from limiting patterns and break bad habits, you have to actually DO THE EXERCISES you learn about rather than just read them and say you’ll get to it later. Putting them in your ‘flagged’ email folder doesn’t help either. Most of us are guilty of doing this. We make a note of doing something we read and then say “I’ll do this later.”
Nope. You won’t. None of us will. Unless you do it NOW or SCHEDULE when you will do it.
And, for the record, if I say an exercise is quick and easy, it really is! I’m not lying to you. Stop what you’re doing and do the exercise right now, instead of not doing it at all. And, if I say you need to take some time to sit and write about something, that’s true too. Sometimes it is best to wait and find the time you need to really go deep. But if that’s the case, you have to SCHEDULE that time. Because be it a big assignment or a little one, both are useless unless you actually do them.
So, how about we change that limiting behavior right now? What is one assignment you can do right now? (all of my newsletters are available at brigittadau.com) What step can you take right now that will bring you closer to achieving your goals? What task can you complete so you can mark it off the to-do list, right now?
Start doing this every day. Pick ONE thing that you can DO to further you along your path.
The good news is, when you practice following through on a daily basis, it becomes a habit and your resistance and excuses are replaced with action and achievements.
So… pick one thing and go DO it now.
And, if you don’t know what steps to take to achieve your goals, get in touch and together we’ll put together a concise plan of action so you can get started today. Maybe getting in touch with me is the step you’ve been ‘thinking’ about instead of actually ‘doing’?
Now is the perfect time to start.
As always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.
And Happy New Year to all of you!!!