A life coach uses guided conversations to help you navigate personal or professional challenges and aspects of life. Whether you’re going through a transition, lacking confidence or just stuck in a rut, working with a life coach can help you achieve your goals and realize your full potential.
Coaching sessions can help hold you accountable, help you realize your self-worth and empower you to make lasting change.
When do you need a life coach?
A life coach is an unbiased third party who can help you sort out your professional life, achieve your personal goals or walk you through a big life change. Consider hiring a life coach to:
- Discuss your purpose and/or identity
- Explore lack of motivation or excess emotions
- Learn about communication and listening skills
- Discuss career choices and changes
- Navigate relationships and getting the most out of them
Coaching success story
Here is an example of a client I worked with: Paige was going through a divorce and her family was giving her a tough time about it. Paige just wanted a clean and even break. She didn’t want to fight with her soon-to-be ex-spouse, she didn’t want to go tit for tat. Our work together was around her self-esteem, trusting her intuition, and setting boundaries, being able to confidently tell her family that this was her journey and that if they were not going to support her, then she would not be sharing the journey with them, also being able to communicate with them what was appropriate in conversation, what she was going to say yes to and what she was going to say no to. In the end, she was able to confidently navigate both her divorce and her family, and she was able to create a healthier relationship with them.
In coaching sessions, we did this through small steps, powerful questions and guided conversations. How did she want to show up in the world? Why was she giving her power away? What would be the worst thing to happen when standing up for herself, and how would she navigate it?
One of the biggest lessons she was able to take away from our sessions was that communication is key.
Find your future
Coaching sessions will help you learn that the answers you’re looking for have been inside you all along, but you have to do the work to find them. This is where I can help. All my sessions are virtual and flexible to your needs. Schedule a free consultation today.
“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without.” -— Buddha
The beauty of life is its unpredictability and spontaneity. Even with the most well-thought-out plans and deliberate actions, you can never be sure of what’s going to happen next. This makes it exciting and scary at the same time. Unfortunately, with such unpredictability also comes challenges. These may include financial struggles, health problems, and even loss of loved ones.
One thing that’s certain is that challenges are a part of life that come and go, and you have the capacity to overcome each. However, it does not just happen automatically and takes time and deliberate and consistent effort.
Navigating grief or overcoming other challenges requires a way to help you cope and release the energy weighing you down. For most people, their go-to stress relief methods are exercising, doing yoga, talking to a trusted friend, or partaking in hobbies. For others, it’s mindfulness meditation.
What is Mindfulness?
It’s not uncommon to find yourself engrossed by things that happened in the past or by the chores and plans you have for the future. This focus on the past or future often leads to neglecting your present needs, affecting your psychological and emotional state.
Mindfulness refers to a mental state in which you are fully focused on the present, where you are, and what you are doing. It allows you to become more aware and accept your emotions, thoughts and sensations without self-judgment. By achieving such a state, the things around you will not be overwhelming, and your responses less reactive.
To fully experience meditation’s refreshing benefits in an elevated way, daily practice is necessary. In essence, the goal is to focus on your senses to bring more awareness to your emotions and state of mind.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a form of mental training that involves slowing down your thoughts and letting go of negativity. It brings about mental and physical relaxation, giving you more control over your thoughts, emotions and actions.
There can be variations to the techniques used for mindfulness meditation, but a focus on breathing is common in all. Research on mindfulness meditation suggests that it can reduce stress and anxiety, improve memory and attention, and increase self-regulation and empathy.
The good thing with mindfulness is that you do not require any equipment. A judgment-free mindset and a quiet place to sit for about five minutes are enough. Depending on your personality and preference, you can also use essential oils, candles, and some mantras for motivation.
How to Start Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
Though there are programs for this, mindfulness is easy enough to begin on your own. With the right mindset and openness to try something a bit unorthodox, you can unlock your greatest potential. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Dedicate Time for Meditation
One of the good things about meditation is that it does not require a lot of time. Paradoxically, this is also one of its main challenges. It’s easy to assume that you can’t spare five or 10 minutes a day for meditation and find yourself going days without meditation. This is because such an approach makes it easy to reschedule it for later.
With busy and demanding personal and professional lives, the best way to ensure you get your daily dose of rejuvenation is by scheduling it. Assess your daily routine and determine the best time you can slot in a meditation session. Take it as an appointment that you cannot miss, and if you do, don’t beat yourself up too much and wait for the following day.
2. Choose a Comfortable and Quiet Place
Mindfulness meditation is all about eliminating all external stimuli and getting in touch with your mental and emotional state. To achieve this, you need a conducive environment that’s quiet and comfortable. It does not have to be somewhere isolated.
You can do it on a chair or even the floor. Ensure you have comfortable clothing on and keep your head, neck, and back straight without stiffening them.
3. Use a Timer
In the short meditation session, it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time, causing you to end it prematurely. Thinking about how long you have left is also a distraction in itself. Though not necessary, you can reduce such distractions and ensure you meditate for the desired time by using a timer. Since you will be awake and in a calm state, you only need something with a gentle alarm.
4. Pay Attention to Your Breathing
One of the key elements of achieving a trance-like meditation state is tuning in and steadying your breathing. Focus on each inhalation and exhalation, the rising and falling of your chest. Inhale with your nose and exhale with your mouth. Feel the air as it enters your nostrils and the physical sensations of the air moving through your body. Try and notice the difference with each breath.
5. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
During meditation, you want to empty your mind and let it run free. If you have a lot of things weighing on you, they may creep up at that time. If they do, remember that meditation is not about self-judgment. Focus on your breathing and see where the thoughts go as you try to refocus on the present.
6. Try a Meditation App
Depending on your schedule and other circumstances, you may find it difficult to practice mindfulness meditation. If so, there are apps that offer free meditations and numerous tools to help you achieve the mindfulness state throughout the day.
Make Mindfulness a Lifestyle
The goal of mindfulness meditation is to help you achieve a calm and productive state. One of the mistakes that people make is to assume that mindfulness is a preserve for your meditation sessions. As you gain more control of your ability to focus on the present, try bringing it to other aspects of your life. Take a minute when you are seated at your office desk or relaxing on the sofa to get in touch with the moment.
You will notice that there are many opportunities during your everyday activities to practice mindfulness. All you need is a brief moment to focus all your attention on what you are doing. If you make this a habit, you will have richer and more fulfilling experiences.
Areas in your everyday life where you can incorporate mindfulness meditation:
- Doing chores – Do you find chores tedious? You can make the most out of it and finish doing dishes or laundry without realizing it by focusing on being present. As you wash the dishes, notice the bubbles, sounds of utensils, and the warm water flowing on your hands. With laundry, pay attention to how the fabric feels on your skin and the scent of detergent on clean clothes.
- Brushing – As you brush, pay attention to the movement of your arm, the brush in your hand, and how the floor beneath you feels.
- Exercising – If you like working out, there’s no better time for you to practice mindfulness meditation. While on the treadmill, pay attention to your breathing and feel your feet moving. When lifting weights, focus on the muscle groups you are targeting and note the sensations.
How Does Mindfulness Meditation Benefit You?
Other than enabling you to overcome challenges and boosting productivity, mindfulness meditation has a wide range of benefits that boost your health:
- Better sleep
- Reduces stress levels
- Helps manage chronic pain
- Reduces anxiety
- Prevents depression relapse
- Increases the gray matter in your brain
- Improves memory and attention
- Helps banish negative feelings
Is Mindfulness Meditation Worth It?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that mindfulness meditation is for people struggling with issues. Though it does help in such situations, it offers a lot more and is beneficial to everyone. By enhancing aspects such as attention and memory whilst reducing anxiety and enabling you to sleep better, it not only boosts your health but can help you become more productive.
Feeling overwhelmed by creating your own routine? Not sure where to start? Schedule a consultation with me today and we can find one that works for you.
Negative self-talk is the conversations we have with ourselves that create limiting beliefs. These conversations are typically mean, rather than uplifting or positive, and they’re just stories we tell ourselves.
“I can’t do that.”
“I don’t deserve this.”
“I’ll never be enough.”
“I failed at this in the past.”
We all have these internal monologues, and sometimes it can be helpful in motivating us to reach goals. But when this inner voice is excessively negative, it can impact your life and even those around you.
Constant negative thoughts are stressful and may even inhibit your chances of success. There are ways to overcome these thoughts that we’ll discuss below.
5 ways to stop negative self-talk
If you have a running dialogue in your head saying things like “you’re not good enough” or “you’ll never accomplish anything,” determine whether that’s your voice or someone else’s trying to hold you back. Did someone say these things to you or did you have a bad experience that stuck with you?
Once you can name your voice, you can take back control. You are not the negative voice in your head. You know that you are enough.
Truth versus story
Is your negative self-talk the truth or a story? It’s an important distinction because we may say mean things to ourselves, create situations that never have or will never happen, or we judge something that did happen too harshly. If we don’t befriend our brains we can easily turn something small into something big.
When your inner critic chimes in, have the truth versus story conversation with yourself and see where it leads.
Treat yourself as you would a friend
If a friend was saying to you the things you’re saying to yourself, how would you react? Would you ever tell a friend that they are not good enough, smart enough, that they will never accomplish their dreams? No way! You would champion your friend, encourage them to be the best version of themselves.
So why are you being so mean to yourself?
Be compassionate with yourself and express how you feel
Once you acknowledge that you’re being harsh with yourself, you can begin to look for reasons why. Maybe there’s something going on that you’re not fully aware of in your own headspace. This is the best time to talk to a friend, family member or counselor about how you’re feeling. When we can get the thoughts out of our heads and bounce them off someone else, we can get to the root cause of where they’re stemming from.
Deep breaths help to calm the nervous system. Deep, intentional breaths help stop those racing thoughts and can even manage anxiety. The best part of this exercise is that you can practice deep breathing anywhere. Find a comfortable seated position, close your eyes for a few seconds, and take a few deep breaths in and out. How are you feeling?
Change negative self-talk to positive
It’s beneficial to take a limiting thought and change it to something neutral or encouraging, but also accurate. “I can’t do this” turns into “this is challenging,” which makes it easier to tackle and possibly overcome. Repeat these affirmations until you find you need to do it less often.
If you find you’re still struggling to overcome negative self-talk, a life coach can help guide you in the right direction. As an unbiased third party, a coach can help you find your moment of clarity and encourage you to move forward.