FEELING GOOD ABOUT MYSELF

 Feeling Good About Myself

Let’s start by taking control of one very important area of our lives.  How we feel about ourselves.

Like many women when we look in the mirror all we seem to notice are all the things we see that are ‘wrong’ with us.  I know you have done this!  I have too!

The more we focus on these things – they soon become all we notice.  This is quickly followed by the monkey chatter that seems to be a continuous stream of negative things about how we look and beating ourselves up for not taking better care of ourselves, and a whole lot of ‘shoulds’.  I really should make more of an effort, I really should go on a diet, I really should begin to do some exercise, I really should make myself look nicer and  take care of my appearance, all the way down the rabbit hole and ending up with things like ‘why would anyone be interested in me?’, ‘I’ll never meet someone when I look like this’ and on and on it goes until we end up feeling like shit about ourselves and our lives.

How would it be if I gave you a little exercise that will turn this thinking and focus around so that you feel good about yourself and start noticing all the great things you have going for you.

Of course the thing is that just reading this is not going to do it for you.  So give it a go and have some fun with it.  What have you got to lose?

Here’s how it goes.

  1. Sit yourself down where you can turn to look at a mirror, but don’t look at it just yet.
  2. With your back to the mirror I want you to think about a time when someone you know to be sincere paid you a compliment. If you are in one of those moods where your first response is “I can’t remember when anyone ever paid ME a compliment,” drop it right now and play along with me here!
  3. As you think about this time, and as you bring to mind the words they said and as you hear those words being spoken again in your mind, remember just how this make you feel.  Perhaps you can remember what it was you were wearing or doing at the time. Bring as much detail to mind in bright vivid colours, remembering the words they said and noticing how it made you feel.
  4. Now taking this feeling of being complimented and imagine this spreading through your whole body, through all the cells in your body and notice as you do this that this feeling is getting stronger and stronger
  5. Now turn around and look at yourself in the mirror.
  6. Voila!
  7. Now just imagine taking a picture of yourself just like this.  And imagine taking that picture right into your heart, place your hand on your heart and lock it in.  Now it is there with you all the time.

This is a way to anchor this new image and the feeling so that it is with you all the time.

One of my anchors for feeling really confident is a visual anchor that I created when I was working in real estate several years ago. One day I walked into the office wearing a stunning red dress.  Lots of very positive comments started flying around so I immediately took notice of how that made me feel, created a picture of me in this dress in my mind and then locked it in.  I have used this anchor so many times when I have had to walk into a room full of strangers, or get up and speak in an unfamiliar situation.  It instantly creates exactly the feeling I want, my posture changes instantly, my shoulders go back, my head is held high  and I feel totally in control.  So very simple and so very effective.

Give this a go and over the next few weeks and months you will begin to notice subtle little shifts in how you feel about yourself and how other people respond to you.

Our minds are the most incredibly powerful resources we have available to us, when you know how to use it.

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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TOUGH CONVERSATIONS!

You have just been told by your partner that he wants out!  Or you have told him you want out!

Apart from everything else that will be going on for you right now, your mind will be racing with thoughts, questions and decisions.
Your emotions will be out of control.
Tears will be sitting delicately waiting for the right moment for you to let them fall uncontrollably.
And the first people you must have a conversation with are the people you love the most in the world.
This may include your kids, your parents, your siblings, your in-laws and your very close friends.

How to tell your children about divorce?
How do you handle these tough conversations?

Obviously it will be a very different conversation you have with your kids compared to everyone else and will depend on their age.
My belief is that divorce impacts our kids in a very big way no matter what age they are.
It is not better if they are older or better if they are little.  It still sucks and it is still a life changing experience for them.
And they will not feel better because they ‘will just want you to be happy.’

I’m going to talk about how things could go in an ideal world.

Unfortunately few parents seem to be able to put their own differences to one side and think about what is in the best interests of their children.

Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world.

And if truth be told, this is so far from how things played out for me although at the time we were both doing the very best we could under the circumstances.

Nevertheless, here is my version of how this conversation could be handled in the best interests of everyone involved.

The first step is for both of you to sit down together and talk this through beforehand.  To have a solid plan on how to move forward to help make this easier for yourselves and everyone else and provide some sense of certainty and security for your children. The more information you can share with them about where to from here the better.  What your plans are and how you see things working out.

Allowing them the opportunity to tell you how they are feeling and really listening to what they have to say.

As the adults in this situation it is your responsibility to put your own differences to one side and do the very best you can to alleviate their fears and concerns.

For some of your relatives and friends their first thoughts will be about themselves.  This news will throw them into a tailspin.  They will be thinking about birthdays, social events, Christmas and so many other things.  If they really like both partners they will have a sense, rightly or wrongly, that they have to choose who they will support and who they cut adrift. In many cases the one who gets cut adrift will be the one who has decided they want to end the relationship.

As hard as it may be for you, give them the time and space they need to come to terms with what is happening.  Avoid engaging in conversations with them about what a bitch/bastard the other party is, or any other damaging conversations.

This does not serve anyone in the long run, doesn’t change the situation one little bit and will have you feeding on more negativity.

You have enough of that going on already.

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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ANGER – DOES IT BURN YOU OUT OR FUEL YOUR SURVIVAL?

Anger, the most reviled and misunderstood of emotions, is the psychological equivalent of the immune system.

It is triggered whenever we perceive injustice, giving us strength and energy to change the status quo.

Whereas the physical immune system may create inflammation (a ‘flame’ in the body), anger is like fire in the soul. 

Repressed, it destroys from the inside, by slow burn or explosion.  Misdirected, it can blaze a path of destruction through your life and the lives of others.

Cared for and properly used, it can warm you, light your path, fuel your progress, and keep hostile interlopers at bay.

Some people seem to think that an inability to feel and act on anger is a virtue.  It isn’t.  Most of us know people who destroyed their physical and mental health by staying in unjust and exploitative situations without ever speaking up or taking strong action in their own defense.

After watching Brene Brown’s TED talk again on Vulnerability I’d like to share a little of my own personal journey. I was someone who lived for many years with the inability to feel and/or act on my anger.  As a matter of fact I actually had an inability to feel anything!  In relation to anger I buried my hurt and resentment so very deep that when it eventually come to the surface as it did and as it should, I was taken back by my intense feelings of hatred. Hatred to me is such an ugly word and to hear that come out of my mouth was both very confronting and enormously powerful.

When you are genuinely angry, it means one of two things. 

1. Either something your soul needs is absent, or something your soul can’t tolerate is present. To make the anger go away you have to change this situation.  No matter how frightening or irrational your anger may seem, acknowledging that you are angry is the first step toward a peaceful and cooperative connection with the world around you.

2. You can change yourself or you can change the situation that’s making you angry.

A third option, carrying all that anger around with you, not changing anything is a recipe for disaster.  Sometimes, the reason for your anger will be someone else.  In this case you may have to fight to change the situation.

Here are some rules for doing that responsibly and effectively.

Step 1. Burn off ‘hot’ anger before the confrontation. Use the energy of rage constructively not destructively.

Step 2. Using ‘cool’ anger for energy, confront the person who is responsible for your anger.  Tell him or her exactly what is bothering you and why.  Use examples to support all generalities.  Speak only in terms of your own firsthand experience, don’t moralise, just express your feelings.

Step 3. Tell the other person exactly what you would like him or her to do.

Step 4. Spell out what you will do if nothing changes and follow through.

If you follow these steps it will rob you of the illusion that you are helpless to change your situation.  Giving up your illusion of helplessness leaves you staring at the raw truth, that no-one else is totally responsible for your failures and no-one else can push you into the success you deserve.

Thank you to ‘Martha Beck’ for permission to use some of the content from her book ‘Finding Your Own North Star’.  When you find your own North Star you experience a real sense of purpose and inner harmony – it’s taken me awhile, doing a whole lot of inner work and choosing to take total ownership and 100% responsibility for everything in my life.

It’s is well worth the journey – the reward is ‘freedom.’

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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BREAKING FREE

BREAKING FREE

Many women who have been in an unhappy, unfulfilling or even an abusive relationship of some kind, find it really difficult to get out and get on with living a more fulfilling life.

For some it can take many years to get over the end of a relationship, lives put on hold as they hang on to the past and what might have been.

I understand that this can be a very individual and complex topic and I have no intention of digging deep into this in this blog but I do have some things I want to share with you.

If you still find yourself questioning the end of your relationship after a fairly long period of time you may be spending a fair amount of time beating yourself up with a whole lot of ‘what if’ questions.

You know the ones that go like this!

What if I had been more attentive, more attractive, more loving?

What if I was slimmer, smarter, sexier?

What if I made more effort in the bedroom?

And on and on the list goes in an ever-spiraling loop of negative self-talk and beating yourself up as you create anxiety, stress, guilt, remorse and for some, long periods of depression.

Any relationship ends for a number of reason and sometimes it’s just not about you!  If you have spent far too long living in the past and find yourself struggling to move forward and create a fabulous new life for yourself this may be helpful.

How do to break this cycle? 

I’m about to share with you a technique that has proved very powerful for many women to free themselves from their attachment to their partner and allowed them to begin creating a better life for themselves a whole lot faster.

This technique is called ‘The Threshold Technique’ created by NLP guru Richard Bandler.

Part of the power of this technique comes from the speed at which you run it.  It is important to take the time to read it through properly before you start.  If you have to stop to figure out the next step you will lose momentum.

Decide now whether you are ready for a radical change in your feelings and read it through carefully before you begin.

  1. Call to mind a picture of yourself with your ex when you were in love.  Look at it as though it was a photograph and notice how strongly it affects you now.  Then just imagine putting it to one side so you can check it again in a moment.
  2. Next call to mind four negative experiences with your ex-partner where you felt very definitely upset, or repulsed by them.  Perhaps you will think of times when they did something that really offended you or did something that you found hurtful.  Make a list of them so you can easily call them to mind.
  3. Now fully return to those four negative memories one at a time in detail as though you were inside each of them re-enacting the moment.  See the things you saw, hear the things you heard and feel completely the negative feelings you felt all over again like you are actually there.
  4. Go through the memories again and again, one after another, each time making the images a bit bigger, brighter and more colourful, so they become more and more intense.  Now go through them faster and faster, until the events are overlapping, until there is no break at all between all the worst parts happening over and over again.
  5. When you have generated a really strong negative feeling throughout your body, look at that picture of yourself when you were in love with your ex, and notice how differently you feel now.
  6. Finally imagine stepping out of all the memories and imagine all the pictures and feelings to do with you ex floating away from you and going off into the far distant past.

Many people only need to do this technique once to feel totally free of their attachment to their old relationship.  If you want to, you can do it again carefully and thoroughly in order to reinforce the effect.

I would love to know how your feelings have changed having done this exercise, what else you have noticed and perhaps think about some other people in your life where you might like to apply this same technique  🙂

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

 

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OH SHIT! DIVORCED AND NEED A JOB – Continued

‘My Exciting Career’ – The next bit.

If you haven’t read the previous post then now is a good time to do that.

In Part 1 I mentioned that the job market consists of both the VISIBLE MARKET (that which you can see online of employment opportunities like SEEK or advertised generally) and the HIDDEN MARKET (that which is below the surface and is never or rarely advertised).  I also mentioned the beginning of the process by being sure in your mind of what you will not do as opposed to finding the answer to what you will do. To some it can be clear what they will do but my experience tells me that the majority have no idea let alone how they will do it.

So, this time around we will explore how you might begin to crack that hidden market and how you respond to the question people will ask you, ‘what are you going to do?’

For a start make a list of all your contacts regardless of how you know them or their relationship with you.

Begin with an ‘A’ GROUP. This is the relatively small group of people who you regard as very close to you, either friends or relatives who you have very regular contact with. Make a note of where they work if you know or find out if you don’t. Remember all these people know people who work somewhere even your grandmother! I remember once someone had been trying to get into see a CEO of a company to little or no avail. At a family BBQ she mentioned her frustration to others and on mentioning the CEO’s name it turned out that her grandmother, a long retired secondary teacher, exclaimed that if it was the ‘little Freddie’ she knew then he was a former student of hers. ‘Use my name” she apparently said and it worked, she managed to get her foot in the door and speak to this guy.  True story.

Next will be a ‘B’ GROUP. This is a list of people who you know quite well but who do not reside in your ‘A’ Group. In other words they are not very close but one step out from that. These normally comprise a larger number and are people who you may know through your social circle, church connection, sport, schooling, former work colleagues, people in small business you know well, etc.

You may even have a ‘C’ GROUP of people and these can be those more distant. People you may have attended some classes with, or long ago school friends that you recall or may have kept in contact with. Maybe former customers or suppliers of business. Make a note.

Almost everyone will tell me that they do not know many people but again, my experience here is that we tend to know more people that we give ourselves credit for and once you get the brain working it can be amazing how a name will pop back into your head as you are walking down the street or watching TV. Write them down.

Now, the question “Julie, I hear that you are on your own these days, what are you up to? What are you going to do? Are you working?” The answer typically is a throw up of anger, frustration, panic, or cold sweat etc., the dog’s going to die, the roses are going to fall over, how the hell do I know what I am going to do. Who’s going to employ a 50 year old? And so on, and so on.

Strangely this is one of the most important questions you can face and almost everyone shoots themselves in the foot with the answer as they are NOT LISTENING to what people are saying to them and they are NOT LISTENING to what they are saying to people.

Imagine a scenario. I know you through some manner. I run a business and I have heard of the issues you have been through and I am thinking to myself ‘Gee, I wonder of Julie would be interested in working for me as I need someone to help me organise X because of a new contract and it may assist her as well.’ This does happen I can guarantee you.

But because I don’t know what it is you may have planned I am unlikely to just jump in and say ‘Wow Julie, have I got a job for you!’  It is going to be more like ‘What are you up to? What are you going to do? After all you could be packing the bags and heading interstate or running off with the toy boy or whatever, Just joking!

Now, here it is. If your response is full of negative stuff, full of personal anguish, the ‘nobody loves me’ kicking the stones approach then the message to me is that Julie is not ready for work. At best I say ‘good luck, hope it all works out for you’ and a possible job walks away with me and you don’t even know about it. Worse, I walk down the road and run into someone else who knows you and who says, ‘How is Julie going?’ And I say ‘god don’t go there as you will get an earful.’

So, you have to see yourself as a blip on everyone’s radar screen and how can you keep that blip alive. Sure, you may be wrenching inside but if you are going to kick the cat, kick it at home, not outside.

Now our scenario again. “Julie, I hear that you are on your own these days, what are you up to? What are you going to do?”

Here is the tip. Kick the question back at me “Jenny, that is a pretty interesting question. One thing I am not going to do is fall in a heap. I am moving on and part of that is to get into the workforce, so I would be very interested in hearing what you think I could do? What happens in your business or industry? I need information on what is going on out there to help me get direction? Would you help me?”

By kicking the question back you allow me to come into your world. ‘Well, have you ever thought of… Would you consider…..Yes, why don’t we have a chat about that?’

You need to get the eyes and ears of people you know working for you. I can guarantee you that good employers are looking for good reliable people all the time. In my years in my business I have never advertised for anyone. I have had people come to me or I have put the word out and sooner rather than later the right person appears.

Also, people who know you often will have an opinion of you that you cannot see or are not aware of. ‘Boy that Julie, she had such a great personality. I could really use someone like that in my sales area. Someone who my customers can relate to. I wonder if she would consider working for me?’

The BLIP I mentioned is that even if I do not have a job on my mind I may be talking to a business colleague who says that he needs someone in the sales area who has a vibrant personality and how hard it is to get good staff. What I am going to do is indicate that I know someone and maybe he should have a discussion with you. Believe me ladies, when I say that this is exactly what happens in business, as a discussion with you could save thousands of dollars in advertising and interviewing time lost.

Okay, I hear you say, that is all very well but you don’t know what your skills are or what you can sell and maybe you have not done a Resume for a thousand years etc. Well, this is very normal I have to tell you. Nothing strange about it.

Most people have more skills that they are aware of. You drive a car – that is a skill and it can be somewhere to start. Look around your local library or bookshop there are hundreds of books about examining your skills and competencies and I am not talking about tests either.

Go back to the tips in Part 1 about tapping into your natural god given abilities that you take for granted too.

Share your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions – we are here to help you.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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OH SHIT! DIVORCED AND NEED A JOB?

‘My Exciting Career’

Something for you ladies to begin to think about if you find yourself suddenly single, no income to call your own, and no job, another slap in the face as you face life after divorce as a single woman.

Thoughts racing through your mind, overwhelmed with thoughts of not being able to financially support yourself and your kids if you have them.

Questions that all start with WHAT!   What am I going to do? What job? What direction?

Don’t be dismayed if you don’t have the immediate answer to these questions.  Most people have no idea what they will do job wise, next. Indeed, most people have no idea how they got to where they are in the first place let alone what to do next.

Instead of what will I do, begin to think and make a list of what it is that you will not do. “I would not want to work in the waste paper industry.” I could not see myself working in retail or sales.” I definitely don’t want to work in a processing line.” Be as realistic as possible, but be clear about what will not be on your radar screen. There is nothing worse than asking a person what do they want to do and they answer ‘I will do anything!.’ Give me a break!

Make a list and whatever is not on the list within reason, becomes your oyster!

How do you research?  What industries are out there?

Well, the good old yellow pages is a place to start plus some simple googling on the net.

Who do you know that works in a job or industry that you would love? Make a list even if it is a bit utopian!

Understand that the job market is made up of two components, the visible market (that which is advertised) and the hidden market (that which is below the surface).

The first accounts for some 30% of the market the second about 70%. It is a fact that the majority of people especially those in the more mature end of job seekers or those who may have been out of the workforce for many years, will have the greatest success in the hidden market.

Prove it to yourself, ask people you know how they got their job. You may be surprised at their response.

A quick word on age. If you tell yourself you are too old for something then that is exactly how you will begin to act or come across. Easy for me to say but if you did not know how old you are then, how old would you be? Likewise formal qualifications certifying you to be intelligent! If you are 55 now and got your degree 35 years ago, do you really think that has relevance now?

Well it might if you still want to be a pilot or engineer or doctor but otherwise it will be maturity, experience, tenacity and a host of other things that employers are looking for.

My business is built on it! Ask the school and university leavers why they do not have a job and I can guarantee you that you will hear it often said it is because they do not have experience.

Most, if not all of you who may read this will in fact have more skills than you give yourself credit for, the problem for you is that you are so close to yourself that you cannot see those skills and what will make you saleable.

We are going to explore that in a future post.

We also explore the answer to the question that everyone you know is asking you and which must already be driving you crazy when you wake up at two in the morning with an attack of the horrors as I call it, “What are you going to do now ?” How do you respond to that in a constructive way?

A simple strategy for the question will come soon and  which can begin your new Exciting Career!

Stay tuned for the next post on this topic and in the meantime spend some time thinking about the things that you naturally already do really well. The things that other people comment on.

I have always been the person that younger women called on to tell me their troubles, to get advice, to share very personal, intimate details about their lives and just hang out with. When I decided to explore the field of coaching and eventually turned these skills into creating a business it felt like I had come home.  So look at your own qualities, whether it be a love of cooking, making cupcakes, putting on events at school, jumping out of plane, travel, whatever floats your boat and explore some opportunities that might exist for you in these domains.

Share your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions – we are here to help you.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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I KNOW YOU!

DIVORCE HAS RIPPED YOUR LIFE APART.

You are angry, resentful and want revenge.

He left you for another woman.

He walked out on you and your kids.

He had been lying to you and cheating on you for years.

He was a complete bastard and you never saw it coming.

And now,

You hate your ex and you hate his skank even more.

You hate even more that your kids are now calling his skank ‘mummy’.

You hate the fact that you still have to see him every other week when you drop the kids off.

You hate that he comes to the school with the skank for all your friends to see

You are out to make life as difficult for him as you can.

You want revenge and you want it real bad.

Your anger is what drives you to get back at him.

Your anger is why you are out drinking and chatting up other guys.

Your anger is what feeds your hatred for this other woman.

She’s the bitch who stole your husband from you.

She’s the reason he left you.

And then ….

In those darkest hours before dawn you remember the good times

You remember the dreams you shared together

You remember the all the wonderful family holidays

You remember the man you now no longer recognise.

As you face the future on your own

You struggle to face each day
You struggle to discipline your kids
You struggle telling people that you are now divorced
You struggle with your life and keeping it all together
You are looking to find love again
You are desperate to fill the void in your heart,
You play on internet dating sites

Nothing seems to help, nothing seems to make it all better.

It isn’t supposed to be this way.
It’s not fair.

And all the while you know ……. DEEP DOWN

You know you played a role in this marriage falling apart.

You know you chose to ignore the signs.

You chose to pretend that everything was OK.

You chose to ignore that little voice, that feeling in your gut.

AND NOW YOU ARE AFRAID

Afraid of life,

Afraid of love

Afraid to trust

Afraid to care and

Afraid to pull down that brick wall that protects you from ever being hurt again!

I KNOW YOU!

Your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions are important to me.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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