Are you Afraid of Success? Overcome You Fears and Begin Thriving

Success is pursued, celebrated and the reason so many of us invest tons of money in education and trainings. With that being said; how can anyone fear success?  Why would anyone fear thriving in their career?  Why would anyone fear living the life they worked so hard to obtain? Why would anyone fear making a difference?  Why would anyone fear leaving behind a legacy as a result of their hard work?  With success comes power and with power comes responsibility. Fear of success is similar to fear of failure. These fears get in the way of you being the best version of you and achieving your goals.  The following are reasons most people fear success:

You consistently spend a lot of time questioning your competence.  It is normal and healthy to have a dose of “humble pie” every once in a while and seek guidance from mentors.  If you find yourself spending a lot of time second guessing every decision you make, second guessing or down playing accomplishments and turning down opportunities that could open more doors for your success; you may fear success.

Self-sabotage:  Creating excuses why we didn’t get something done, telling ourselves mediocre is good enough or believing that huge goal we set is just too big.

Change: “Change or get left behind.” Change is a messy process and you WILL experience this process if you choose to pursue success. Most of us fear the unknown on the other side of change.  Keeping this in mind, there is a huge investment in remaining the same or “being left behind.”  Will I be okay with who I become as a result of my success?  Some fear they will become a “mean spirited” person, develop addictive qualities or lose the qualities that make them unique.  Are you afraid of whom you will become or the results you will achieve (or not achieve)?

Procrastination: Procrastination is a symptom of fear. The only way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Avoidance: You spend more time talking about your projects than you do completing them.

It’s too hard!  Remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Your journey to success will be filled with tests.  Without these tests there are no testimonies.  Your journey can and will help someone else.

 

Ask yourself these questions as you get to the core of your fear of success:

Why are you standing in your way? Past learning experiences often influence our behaviors in the present. What past experiences are holding you back from success?  What do you need to let go of? What have others said to you to discourage you from moving forward?

What does success look like to you? Success is a subjective experience.  Get clear on your goals and define why you are doing this?  Do you want to help other people?  Do you want financial freedom? Begin by identifying a small success. It could be something as simple as making it through the day without second guessing yourself or completing a task.  Stacking small successes will lead to the big successes.

You’ve achieved success, what’s next? You fought through your fears and achieved success. Visualize this scene.  Are you happy? Will you celebrate? Do you feel accomplished?  Will you set more goals?

Success is not an accident, it’s a choice. You will be successful, when you make the decision to get out of your own way and be successful!

 

I want to hear from you. Have you ever self-sabotaged your success?  How did you get out of your own way in order to be successful?

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

 

 

Are You Afraid of Success? Overcome Your Fears and Begin Thriving

 

Success is pursued, celebrated and the reason so many of us invest tons of money in education and trainings. With that being said; how can anyone fear success?  Why would anyone fear thriving in their career?  Why would anyone fear living the life they worked so hard to obtain? Why would anyone fear making a difference?  Why would anyone fear leaving behind a legacy as a result of their hard work?  With success comes power and with power comes responsibility. Fear of success is similar to fear of failure. These fears get in the way of you being the best version of you and achieving your goals.  The following are reasons most people fear success:

You consistently spend a lot of time questioning your competence.  It is normal and healthy to have a dose of “humble pie” every once in a while and seek guidance from mentors.  If you find yourself spending a lot of time second guessing every decision you make, second guessing or down playing accomplishments and turning down opportunities that could open more doors for your success; you may fear success.

Self-sabotage:  Creating excuses why we didn’t get something done, telling ourselves mediocre is good enough or believing that huge goal we set is just too big.

Change: “Change or get left behind.” Change is a messy process and you WILL experience this process if you choose to pursue success. Most of us fear the unknown on the other side of change.  Keeping this in mind, there is a huge investment in remaining the same or “being left behind.”  Will I be okay with who I become as a result of my success?  Some fear they will become a “mean spirited” person, develop addictive qualities or lose the qualities that make them unique.  Are you afraid of whom you will become or the results you will achieve (or not achieve)?

Procrastination: Procrastination is a symptom of fear. The only way to overcome this is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Avoidance: You spend more time talking about your projects than you do completing them.

It’s too hard!  Remember if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Your journey to success will be filled with tests.  Without these tests there are no testimonies.  Your journey can and will help someone else.

 

Ask yourself these questions as you get to the core of your fear of success:

Why are you standing in your way? Past learning experiences often influence our behaviors in the present. What past experiences are holding you back from success?  What do you need to let go of? What have others said to you to discourage you from moving forward?

What does success look like to you? Success is a subjective experience.  Get clear on your goals and define why you are doing this?  Do you want to help other people?  Do you want financial freedom? Begin by identifying a small success. It could be something as simple as making it through the day without second guessing yourself or completing a task.  Stacking small successes will lead to the big successes.

You’ve achieved success, what’s next? You fought through your fears and achieved success. Visualize this scene.  Are you happy? Will you celebrate? Do you feel accomplished?  Will you set more goals?

Success is not an accident, it’s a choice. You will be successful, when you make the decision to get out of your own way and be successful!

 

I want to hear from you. Have you ever self-sabotaged your success?  How did you get out of your own way in order to be successful?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

 

Overcoming YOU! 8 Powerful Ways of Conquering FEAR

imagesN0IBMQDZFear is one of the few natural emotions. We are born with two fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned responses brought to the child by its environment and taught to the child by its parents. The purpose of natural fear is to build in a bit of caution. Children who are made to feel that fear is not okay, it is wrong to express it, and in fact, that they shouldn’t even experience it; will have a difficult time appropriately dealing with their fear as adults.  Fear that is continually repressed becomes panic, a very unnatural emotion.  Perhaps, viewing fear through this lens could explain why many of us struggle with conquering our fears.  Facing your fears can be a process and overcoming these fears will happen in its own time.  Fear does not have to be a part of who you are.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear as you traverse through your unique journey to overcoming fear.  YOU are the constant in everything that happens or does not happen in your life.  Oftentimes fear is a huge barrier in making a decision.  How many times have you allowed fear to be the driver while you ride shotgun?  You cannot have faith and fear, you must pick one.

If you choose faith: Check out these 8 powerful ways for getting on the other side of fear:

  1. Identify: Be specific in identifying your fear(s). What are you afraid of? What is wreaking havoc in your life? What pictures are you creating in your mind? Where do you feel the fear in your body? How do you react to the fear? What triggers this fear? Be an observer of what is going on within you!
  2. Journaling: After identifying these fears, get them down on paper. Getting these fears on paper is another strategy of getting this negative energy out. Seeing these fears on paper can help you make sense of them.
  3. Counseling/Coaching: Getting an objective perspective and talking through these fears with a licensed professional is another powerful way to assist you in conquering your fears. A professional can help you examine if you have a fear of success or a fear of failure. While therapy can be powerful and even life changing, make sure the therapist is a good fit for you.
  4. The Now: Be present in the moment. Oftentimes fear comes from past learning experiences and anticipating future failures. You have no control over the past, but you do have control over the present moment. Grounding techniques through breathing is a great way to get back to the present. Try the “4-7-8 Breathing Technique.” Place your tongue behind your teeth. Breathe in quietly for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
  5. Gratitude: Instead of ruminating within your fears, spend that time expressing gratitude. What are you grateful for? If you are fearful of public speaking, be grateful for the opportunity to speak in front of people. If you are fearful of taking a test, be grateful that you have the qualifications to take the test.
  6. Awareness: Be aware of your thoughts, daily routines and habits. What are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time around? Some ways to combat your fears are to read on your specific fears, watch a motivation video and/or spend time around successful people. Any successful person has overcome some form of fear.
  7. Nutrition: The food you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel. All the sugars, additives and other chemicals in some foods can have an effect in creating balance in our minds and bodies. Find a balanced diet that works for you and make it a lifestyle
  8. Be a verb: The only way out of your fear is through it. The more time we spend ruminating within the fear, the more power we give it. When we take action, we weaken the fear. Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will! Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Whatever fears you are facing, please remember that YOU are bigger than your fears. Your WHY is bigger than your fears.  Your largest fear carries your greatest growth.  If you are not growing, you are dying.  Do not let fear determine this fate.

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Robin Sharma

I would love to hear from you!

What fear is keeping you stuck? What fear(s) have you overcome?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual life coaching and counseling.   For more information or assistance with adjustment and life transitions, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com

 

 

Relationship 201: What Constitutes a True Partnership?

Most of us long to be in a happy and healthy relationship. Songs are created about finding and sustaining love. In addition; a day has been dedicated to couples celebrating romance and love.  Dating is fun.  Falling in love, while scary, is also fun.  The “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is fun and blissful.  On the other side of this fun are challenges.  All relationships experience the normal ups and downs and ebbs and flows.  Through my observations, experiences and interviewing; I have learned that being a good partner sustains a relationship.

While there are many components to being a good partner, I have highlighted four that I find to be most impactful:

Give 100%: I often hear people say “a relationship is 50-50.” 50-50 equates to each person giving half the effort.  Can a relationship be successful with each person only giving 50% of their efforts?  Is the person you claim to love worth half of your efforts?  True partnership is giving your all with no reservations.

Selflessness: The ability to place your partner’s needs before your own.  You replace the “I” for the “we.”  When making decisions you are factoring how your decisions will impact your significant other. It is not just about you, it’s about team US.

Don’t hold grudges: Disagreements and even arguments will occur in relationships.  Use the disagreements as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of your partner.  Continue to communicate about the disagreement with each other.  Forgive and move on.  Holding grudges with your partner weakens the relationship.

You play for the same team: When your teammate is having a bad day, offer support, encouragement or give him/her the space needed to recuperate.  A good partner does not down talk their mate to others.  A good partner speaks life and has the uncomfortable, but necessary conversations with their mate.

When you’re in a true partnership you learn and grow together. As my husband says, “you become two halves of one whole genius.”

Now it’s time to hear from you! What makes you a good partner? What do you think it takes to sustain a relationship?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual and couples counseling.   For more information or assistance with relationship building or couples packages please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com or visit http://www.hihcounseling.com

 

 

What is the Best Way to Live? Principles to living a more satisfying life

 

When asked the best way to live, answers will vary. Doing what you want, when you want and with whom you want, happiness, health, peace, stress free, debt free and the most popular answer is usually living in balance.  Most of us seek work-life balance.  We want to dedicate the time and energy needed to our careers while having the time and energy to devote to our personal lives.  Experience has taught me that while balance is important, satisfaction is just as important if not more important.  What good is balance if you are not satisfied in your professional and/or personal life?  How can you keep the 2 separate when one influences the other?  Dissatisfaction in the work life leads to dissatisfaction in the personal life.  The “unsatisfied” employee goes home and takes negative energy into his personal life.  The “satisfied” employee may be willing to work longer hours and is more likely to take positive energy into his or her personal life as a result of this satisfaction.  Our personal and professional lives complement each other.  When we are satisfied in both our professional and personal lives; balance becomes more of an organic process.

You may be wondering; “How can I live a more satisfying life?” If you find yourself caught in the matrix of existing in the same daily routine; you may be wondering if it is possible to live a more satisfying life.  It is possible if you are willing to take the time to examine your value structure.  What influences your decision making?  What guide do you use when making those tough decisions?  When ethical dilemmas arise, what guides you in making the best decision in a given situation?

When thinking of principles to living a more satisfying life; again we must examine our values, morals and beliefs.  Upon examining our values, morals and beliefs, you must be courageous enough to hold true to these when making decisions, especially life changing decisions.  Following this process will allow you to develop principles to live a more satisfying life.

In doing the work; I have developed 3 principles to living a more satisfying life.

Be the best version of you: You are either making decisions to become a better version of you or a lesser version of you.  Does your current job allow you to be the best version of you?  Do your intimate relationships or friendships allow you to be the best version of you?  If the answer to any of these questions is no, reflect on the reasons you cannot be the best version of you in this situations.  Will you have the courage to say yes to the things that make you a better you and no to the things that don’t?

Discipline: When I think of discipline, one of my late grandfather’s favorite sayings comes to mind “A fool and his money will soon depart.”  This saying applies to so many facets of our lives-finances, health, career, family.  Most of us can obtain almost anything we put our minds to, but very few have the discipline to sustain certain lifestyles.  The most successful people have mastered the challenge of choosing between what they want now and what they want most.  The key to discipline is winning the daily battle with yourself.  Will you live with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret?

Integrity: “Doing the right thing when no one is watching” is a saying that comes to mind when thinking of integrity.   Integrity is choosing between what’s convenient and what’s right.  Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gains.  When making tough decisions, are you able to have peace of mind knowing you did the right thing?  Oftentimes making the right choice will not be the popular choice.  Success without integrity is failure.

Now it’s time to hear from you. What principle(s) guide you in living a satisfying life?

 

Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in relationship building and work-life balance. For more information or assistance with stress management, please contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com

 

The Ups and Downs of Yo-Yo Dieting: Tips for Maintaining Your Waistline during the Holiday Season

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Those of us raised in African American families are well aware of the dietary concerns in our community. For these reasons, we find ourselves eating cleaner in the 21st century. The importance of this article is to reinforce awareness of an ongoing problem of high blood pressure and diabetes especially in the African American community.

Last summer you reached your weight goal and fit into that dress you haven’t worn in over 5 years. In fact, you were able to show off your weight loss by wearing that dress to your 30th year class reunion. Fast forward to 6 months…life happens. You are experiencing work stress, having trouble finding the time to exercise and as a result of all the stress you resort to emotional eating. Food has become your outlet. Since this occurrence, you find yourself on the weight loss roller coaster also known as “yo-yo dieting.”

Do you find yourself in search of the latest diet every few months? Are you consistently looking for a detox after another weekend of bad eating? Maybe you feel guilty because you were sticking to your diet and over-indulged on Thanksgiving! You are not alone! Recent studies have shown that 54 percent of Americans are currently trying to shed pounds. Most people have tried everything; including detoxes, supplements, diets and packaged foods guaranteeing weight loss. Are you ready to say goodbye to yo-yo dieting and hello to lasting results? Before we go any further, allow me to elaborate on yo-yo dieting. Yo-Yo dieting is the cyclical loss and gain of weight resembling the up and down motion of a yo-yo.   In this process, the dieter is initially successful in the pursuit of weight loss but is unsuccessful in maintaining the loss long-term and begins to re-gain the weight. One seeks to lose the regained weight and the cycle begins again.

Tired of watching your weight go up and down…and up again? Check out these tips for maintaining your waistline!

Define your “WHY”: Most people begin their weight loss journey because they want to look good (on vacation, on the beach, in an outfit, for a major event). These are great external motivators. What happens once vacation ends or the special occasion you targeted as your reason for losing weight comes and goes? Having trouble searching for your reason “Why?” What will inspire you to make maintaining your weight a lifestyle and not just a trend or a hobby? Do you want to be around for your children? Do you want to be the example for your family? Do you want to prevent health related medical conditions? Your “why” will carry you through those moments when you feel like quitting.

Find a Healthy Outlet: This will require being proactive. Create a list of 5-10 activities you can engage in during times of distress. When you feel overwhelmed, instead of grabbing that bag of chips or box of cookies go to your list and choose something you can do for the next 10 minutes to allow your stress levels to subside. This can include taking a walk, writing a letter, listening to your favorite song or reading an article.

Balance: The holiday season is upon us and a common theme in most, if not all families include food. Food should not be your enemy. You can and should enjoy yourself at holiday parties without feeling guilty for having a slice of your favorite pie. However, this will require some planning on your part. If you plan to attend two holiday parties during the course of a week, be mindful of your eating throughout the week so that you do not have to feel guilty or suffer at those holiday parties. A big part of practicing balance with healthy eating habits includes making good food choices through meal planning.

Have a Plan: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The holiday season is also a busy time for many people. The shopping, cleaning, cooking, entertaining family while fun; can also become overwhelming. Plan your meals for the week. Spending a couple extra hours at the beginning of the week meal planning and organizing is imperative in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unforeseen circumstances will take place throughout the course of the week and if you are prepared with good food choices, you reduce your chances in making bad food choices. For assistance with meal planning click here.

Accountability Partner: Find an accountability partner or group. Choose people who will challenge, support, inspire and encourage you. Share your goals and your weaknesses with your partner. However, it is not an accountability partner’s responsibility to change your life; you must be willing to take responsibility by owning your weaknesses, shortcomings, habits and mistakes. “You will only hold yourself accountable to goals others know about. Tell someone what you’re up to.” ~Unknown

 

Dieting is temporary; lasting weight loss requires making lifestyle changes that will work long term. The journey is in fact just that; not a stroll in the park, not a hike in the woods, but a journey. You do not have to go through this journey alone. You can contact me at vitaminchealing@gmail.com for assistance with health coaching and meal planning.

How have you maintained your weight loss goals through the holiday season? What strategies do you use as outlets when feeling overwhelmed during the holidays?

 

Say Goodbye to Self-Guilt & Hello to Self-Compassion: Tips for reframing self-guilt

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Guilt can rear its ugly head in many facets of your life. You feel guilty because you work long hours, leaving minimal time for your family. You feel guilty because “life happened” forcing you to devote more time to your personal life and less to work. You feel guilty because you do not have the energy to complete another task or an event you RSVP’d to months ago.   And….the most common form of guilt is saying no to everything and everyone else but saying yes to you; better known as self-compassion or self-care.

By no means am I implying that self-guilt is completely bad. Guilt can be a sign that you want to be better and you want more. There is always room for improvement; it is healthy to strive for being a better you each day and holding yourself accountable. Sometimes a little guilt can be the fuel you need to make some changes. However, when you find yourself consistently feeling guilty for wanting to say no, needing to take a day off, wanting to treat yourself and wanting to enjoy life; it may be time to evaluate your level of self-compassion.

These tips can help you reframe the way you view self-guilt:

  1. Get in wise mind. Guilt is an emotion and emotions are important in certain situations (loving our spouses, children). Getting in wise mind is the medium between reason and emotion. Wise mind is based off your life experiences and what you know to be true. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with guilt, ask yourself, “What would wise mind say?”
  2. Say Yes to You. When you say yes to everything and everyone else, you are saying no to someone very important-YOU!! Feeling guilty for saying no to a request may be perceived as “selfish.” Allow me to explain; someone asks you to do something or invites you to an event and for whatever reason you want to decline. But your guilt will not allow you to decline and you say yes to a request and no to yourself. Remember, no one is going to feel guilty for taking from you so don’t you dare feel guilty for taking care of you. I discuss this concept at length here.
  3. Use Guilt for Insight Only. Why do you feel guilty? What changes can you make? If you feel you have genuinely done something wrong, focus on the lesson and allow it to motivate you to embrace being better.
  4. Apologize, Accept and Let It Go. What purpose does the guilt serve in your life? How is your guilt helping your current situation? If you have done something wrong to someone; apologize and let it go. If someone is not ready to accept your apology; accept this as a part of their healing process. Allow them the time and space they need and work toward letting it go. Your guilt will not help the situation.

 

Do not put yourself on trial and render a “guilty verdict” for every decision you make. Remember self-compassion and self- guilt cannot co-exist. It is impossible to truly take care of yourself while feeling guilty for taking care of yourself.

Feel free to contact Sharise Hemby-Nance at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

*Serious inquires only

Take Control of Your Time: 5 tips to create two extra hours in your day

 

“Either you run the day or the day runs you” is the quote that comes to mind when thinking of the asset or liability we have in father time. Do you find yourself wasting time on menial tasks? Do you find yourself constantly busy with little to no productivity? Are you mismanaging time throughout the day- scurrying from checking email to scrolling through social media, to answering the phone and barely making it on time for appointments? If you answered yes to any of these questions, no need to panic (or try to squeeze in another task) most of us struggle with overbooking our schedules; which can result in the infamous “I could get so much done if only there were more hours in the day.” What if you could manipulate your schedule to create an extra 2 hours in your day? The purpose of creating an extra 2 hours in your work day is not to create more room to squeeze in more tasks. This extra 2 hours we are creating is comparable to clearing space in a cluttered room so we can see the floor. If our days our cluttered, more than likely our minds are cluttered. The following tips will allow you to work smarter in order to allow time for rest, people and leisure.

 

Tips for taking control of your time:

Complete the most important task first: Each day identify at least 3 tasks that you must complete. Complete the most difficult or the most dreadful task first. Completing at least one of these tasks at the beginning of the day will put you ahead of schedule.

One mind, one task: This may be the most difficult tip for those of us with “Type A personalities” to comprehend. We live in a fast paced society and oftentimes work calls for “uni-tasking.” If you are taking a business call, focus on that call. If you are sending out an email, focus on completing and sending just that email. If you are organizing files, focus on organizing files. When we attempt to do a little of each task simultaneously, something else will come up, none of the tasks get complete and we find ourselves….OUT OF TIME. If you must, limit distractions (go to a quiet place, put your phone out in another room, refrain from the internet) in order to focus on one task.

Learn to Say No: Some of us are good at juggling multiple commitments and not feeling overwhelmed. Others struggle with saying no to opportunities that will create more clutter and chaos in their lives. When we cannot say no to these things, we are saying yes to issues such as disorganization, stress, anxiety and marital problems. Take the time to understand who you are, what you can handle and the reason you struggle with saying no.

Get an early start: “The early bird catches the worm” still rings true. The snooze button is not your friend if you are looking for ways to use time as your ally. Getting that extra 15 minutes of sleep usually turns into an extra 30 minutes of sleep. I challenge you to wake up 30 minutes earlier instead of using the 30 minutes to snooze. I know…so much easier said than done, but think of how much more time you will have throughout the day just by getting that early start.

Rest: Getting an early start also means getting ample rest. I can relate to wanting to squeeze in more work late at night and it may feel like you cannot sleep until that blog gets completed, that chapter is written, that business plan is submitted and so on-the list of tasks continues. Since we completed the most important tasks for the day; make a list of important tasks for the next day and go to bed. How effective can you be if you are exhausted? Remember you need your rest because we are not snoozing in the morning!

 

Our lives can be so full of excess. When we can identify the excess and remove it, we create space for what is important and what deserves our time.

For more strategies with time management contact Sharise Hemby-Nance, LSW @ vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

Work Hard, Play Hard: Tips for finding Work-life Balance

cbeb6ba46e18660129e7ddbef8420f5c[1]Most of us struggle to find balance in our professional and personal lives. The struggle to find balance can hurt relationships, health and happiness. The demands from both our personal and professional lives can make finding balance seem like an impossible goal. So, what is the goal of work-life balance? If you ask several people, you are likely to receive several different answers. In my experiences, I have learned that most people want at least 2 things from both their personal and professional lives: achievement and enjoyment.   However, most people struggle to obtain either of the aforementioned goals. Some of us may find ourselves working 60-70 hours per week and not feel a sense of achievement or enjoyment. When this occurs we must stop and ask ourselves “Why?” What are you hoping to accomplish as a result of working long hours? Are you keeping your end in mind? When we struggle to connect with our “why” in relation to work, our personal lives will suffer; thus making it difficult to find balance in both facets of our lives.

Work-life balance does not require us to find an equal balance such as scheduling an equal number of hours for our work and personal activities. Work-life balance is the proper prioritizing between career and lifestyle (health, pleasure, family, and spirituality/religion). This balance will vary over-time. The right balance looks different for each individual. The right balance today may change tomorrow. The right balance when you are single may change when you marry and have children. Remember we are not striving for perfection, but searching for the tools to combine a sense of achievement and enjoyment in our careers and personal lives.

The following tips can help you juggle the demands of your career and personal life:

  • Leave work at work: We devote over 1/3 of our lives to work. The time we invest into work also includes preparation for work, the commute to and from work as well as time spent ruminating on the work day long after work is complete.  In fact, most of us probably spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families. If you find yourself feeling emotionally and/or physically drained from over-working, look for ways to re-arrange your work schedule, do not take work home (if you work from home, designate an area from work and use it only for work), schedule time off.
  • Rest and Recuperation (R&R): I used to subscribe to the sayings, “I’ll sleep when I die” or “No one ever died from lack of sleep.”  While we may not actually die from being “sleepy,” our bodies need adequate rest to heal and recuperate. Just as our smartphones, laptops and iPads need recharged; so do we! Do not wait until your battery is in jeopardy of dying. If you are working, do not wait for your boss to suggest that you take time off. You are in charge of your self-care, take the time off and do not feel guilty. If you are an entrepreneur, it is okay to take a day off to take care of yourself. Remember, you are no good to anyone else if you are drained. Is it fair to your customers to experience the “burned out version of you?” Don’t they deserve you at your best?
  • Let go of perfectionism: Most perfectionist tendencies are developed during the school age years when the demands of life are limited to hobbies, school and maybe a part-time job. As we grow older and gain more responsibilities, life becomes more complicated making perfectionism impossible to maintain. If this habit is left un-checked, it can lead to burn-out and become destructive. Remember, striving for perfection is an unrealistic goal but striving to do the best you can with what you have is attainable.
  • Exercise/Meditation: When our schedule gets full, exercise is usually the first to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. We make time for many other important things to our health such as eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. Exercise is just as important to our heath and has other benefits such as excellent stress reducer and “anti-depressant” (release of endorphins). Taking into account that time plays a huge role in whether most people choose to incorporate exercise into their schedule; you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a few blocks away and walk to your destination or take a walk during half of your lunch break. Other self-care practices can include yoga, quick breathing sessions in the morning and before bedtime. Remember, we only have one body to live in and we must treat it as such.
  • Limit distractions: This can include activities and people. Social media can be one of the best marketing tools and one of the biggest distractions. If you find yourself spending countless hours browsing social media networking sites yet tasks fall incomplete; it may be time to monitor the time you spend on these sites. Are the people in your life assets or liabilities? Do the people in your life drain you? Take the time to reflect on your top 3 distractions and ways you can limit those distractions.
  • What changes can you make today? As creatures of habit, we are comfortable in our daily routines. It takes great discipline to maintain a daily routine. However, it is quite difficult to recognize when the routine is no longer effective and change is needed. If your current routine is adding stress; how can you lighten the load? Do you consistently over-book your days? What tasks can you delegate or outsource? Sometimes, a minor tweak in our routines can be the change we need to help us find more balance in our lives.

Improving work-life balance is one of the most challenging tasks faced by many. When making any changes it is imperative that we start small, celebrate the small successes and continue to build.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with finding work-life balance contact us at vitaminchealing@gmail.com.

Our Thoughts Become Our Reality: The Power of Positive Framing

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Last week I had the pleasure of being invited as the keynote speaker at a women’s conference. I was charged with captivating an audience composed of diverse, wise, sophisticated, spiritual and compassionate women. I was honored, excited and slightly nervous as this was the first time I was asked to be the keynote speaker for an event. I would not allow my fear to overtake this moment as I had powerful and life-changing information to share with this beautiful group of women; and I am not a hoarder of information.

What is framing?

Framing is seeing the world without distortions. It is not putting on our “rose-colored” glasses and being oblivious to what is happening around us.   It is merely viewing life through a different lens and being open to seeing things differently.

How can positive framing improve your quality of life?

One of the main differences between successful and unsuccessful people is the way they view the world. Successful people see opportunities, while unsuccessful people see problems. When we utilize positive framing, we can see the facts in the clearest light. We will not allow negative feelings to distort our view of reality. We widen our lens to gain the strength and clarity to face the problem and find solutions.

I remember how tough the transition was for me from high school to undergraduate school. I felt unequipped with the tools needed to be successful in undergraduate school. My peers had a slight advantage over me as they took college prerequisites in high school. I’ll never forget meeting with my English professor during the first semester of my freshman year. She told me that I would have to work really hard to graduate and she was not sure if I had it in me. At the time, I almost believed her and even questioned if I belonged in college. Sure, I graduated from high school with high honors, rarely studied and had tons of success; but college was new territory. I had poor study skills and struggled with the transition to college throughout the first semester. To my “surprise,” first semester grades reflected my struggles. I was placed on academic probation and in jeopardy of flunking out of college. My parents were surprised and disappointed. I was disappointed in myself. Then 2 things happened. I remember my English professor presenting me with the challenge to graduate college and my dad gave me 2 options, return to school and improve my grades or withdraw from school and get a job. I had the entire semester break to reflect on what would be a life changing decision. I chose to return to school and hit the ground running. Instead of being intimidated by my peers, I joined their study groups and picked their brains. I wanted to learn what they learned. If you want to be successful, spend time around those more successful than you. I had a big piece of humble pie over the semester break and I was okay with not being the smartest person in the room. As a result of my humility and hard work, I found myself on the dean’s list nearly every semester and graduated with honors in 4 years. I do not share this story to impress anyone with my accomplishments, but to press upon you how a shift in thinking can change our lives. Remember, life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond to it.

How are thoughts, self-talk, actions and habits connected?

Thoughts

The way in which we choose to live our lives ultimately begins with our thought process. In “How Remarkable Women Lead,” authors Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston discuss 2 types of mind-sets; growth mind-set and fixed mind-set. People with a growth mind-set believe that nothing is predestined; their work determines their success. They look for opportunities to learn and grow; understanding that adversity, setbacks and failures are a part of the process; utilizing these lessons as blueprints for success. People with limited mind-sets are stuck and often see their talents and abilities as limited and are threatened by fresh thinking that challenges their beliefs. People with growth mind-sets see the gain, the possibilities and “make it happen.” In contrast, people with limited mind-sets see the pain, the problems and “let it happen.”

What do you read?

If you watch television, what are you watching?

How do you frame setbacks?

Who do you spend the most time around? How do they impact you mentally and spiritually?

For more self-reflection, check out Vitamin C: Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul: The Healing Workbook here.

Self-talk

Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening.

Do you speak life into yourself?

What is the first thing you say to yourself when you wake up in the morning? Are you thankful? Do you practice positive self-talk (prayer, recite daily inspirations, etc)? Or, do you practice self-defeating talk (I hate my job. I hate my boss. I have too many bills and so on)? Imagine the direction your day can take by your choice in positive self-talk or self-defeating talk.

Do you talk yourself in or out of success? Which statement best describes you? “It may be difficult but it’s possible.” OR “It may be possible but it’s too difficult.”

Behaviors/Actions

Framing also includes unlearning self-destructive behaviors. If we have been accustomed to negative thinking and self-defeating talk, it is highly likely that we will engage in self-destructive behaviors. Undoing these behaviors will take some time as these behaviors were not learned over night. If we are committed to unlearning these behaviors, we must take action by having the courage to broaden our lens and remain flexible in our thinking which will impact our self-talk and actions.

Our actions are based on past learning experiences. Raise your hand if you ever failed a test! Most of us experience an unsettling feeling in our stomachs when it’s time to take a test. Some call it test-anxiety. Our fear of failing another test is based on past experiences, and may affect how we take action, or if we take action. People who are discouraged and struggle with limited mind-sets tend to live in their fears. When we can reframe our experiences, we see the world differently, allowing us to pursue opportunities. In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway!

Habits-doing something religiously day in and day out. A regular practice that is hard to give up.

Good habits can include looking both ways before we cross the street, bathing, practicing awareness of your negative thoughts throughout the day, taking a few minutes per day to express gratitude.

If we make a habit of practicing good habits; these good habits ultimately become our reality. How wonderful would it be to make positive framing a habit?!?!?! “We first make our habits and then our habits make us.” John Dryden

Framing is an approach utilized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-a goal oriented, short-term therapeutic approach used in psychotherapy to challenge one’s distorted thinking, inviting individual(s) to change thinking and behavior patterns that are keeping them stuck. We use this approach at HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC, and click here for more information.

Framing is hard work. By no means am I trying to simplify this process.   In order to get better and experience change, you must to set an intention to practice this approach to life. Remember, you are competing with yourself daily to be a better person. You are the wild-card. You have the power to make positive changes; if you desire.

“Our fear is not that we are inadequate. Our fear is that we are powerful beyond measures.” ~ Marianne Williamson

What are some ways that you can use framing to improve your quality of life?