Asterisk How Much Pressure Do You Put On Yourself?
18/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Coaching / No comments

How much pressure do you put on yourself?

how much pressure do you put on yourself?

 

Pressure seems to be a part of modern life. There is the pressure to be successful in our relationships, careers and finances. There is the pressure to do the right thing and act the right way. Let’s not forget the pressure to look great while you are being successful. Much of our pressure comes from the society we live in. We receive messages about what is expected from the media, institutions and those around us but how much pressure do you pile onto yourself every day?

Have you ever noticed you telling yourself what you should and shouldn’t be doing? Maybe you told yourself that you should pull yourself together or shouldn’t let things get to you? These are the types of should or shouldn’t statements add pressure. They are a reflection of a judgement or a value we are placing on something. In my experience, the judgement is a critical one about how I should be more than I am.   Do you feel the pressure like a hard lump in your throat that you struggle to swallow?

I often talk to clients who tell me who they should and shouldn’t be something other than they are. They should be stronger, braver, more grateful and work harder or faster.  They shouldn’t care so much, let things get on top of them, take things to heart, or complain.

pressure of should and shouldn't
Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

It can be pretty gut wrenching when we first notice the pressure we put on ourselves. Most of us would never ask anyone else to be more than they are and pile on the pressure in the same way. Why do we do it to ourselves?

Should and shouldn’t statements are often based on values and ideals which on its own isn’t a bad thing. What is bad is the judgement that we attached to it. When we judge how we are doing things and use it as a method of self-criticism. We use the words should and shouldn’t to imply that we are not doing something we are supposed to be. It adds a layer of pressure, of guilt and

We add a layer of pressure, of guilt and potentially shame as we internalise these ideas and what it means about us. For example, when I am behind on my writing and I tell myself that I should have written more, I feel guilty and lacking in my work (guilt) I could go even further by telling myself I am a bad writer (shame).

Can you notice the next time you are using should and shouldn’t to criticise yourself?

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?

Should and shouldn’t statements can but are a powerful weapon used by our inner critic can you imagine how life would feel if you could stop craving to be different than you are.  If you could believe that you do not need to be fixed.

You should not be any different to how you are. What you do is enough what you are is always enough.

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Asterisk 7 Tip For Easing Through Uncertainty
11/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Empowerment / No comments

uncertainty

 

easing through uncertainty

There are times when life feels uncertain, when you face challenges and you worry about how the future is going to look. Not knowing that things are going to work out can feel scary and overwhelming. We agonise over making decisions and wish someone would arrive with a crystal ball. We wish to be told that all our pain and worry are pointless because it is all going to be ok. Unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option so how do we help ourselves feel more grounded and secure in the face of uncertainty?

Here are 7 little things that I have found help me when the future looks scary and unknown.

Dream

Imagining how you want things to look once you get to the other side of this challenge can feel really reassuring.  This helps you to focus on the reasons you are doing this horrible scary thing rather than running for the hills. Remembering your goal or solution can also help you keep a little perspective when you are in the trenches. This isn’t permanent, things are going to look brighter!

Take a Step Back

When things get really tough don’t be afraid to back off if you need some space. Forcing yourself to power through and relentlessly look for a solution feels awful and is most likely counterproductive.

You don’t have to continually feel the fear and do it anyway.

Back away, pause and regain your strength and then get back to it. You are allowed to choose the long way round or take a detour. Return to your problem when you feel a little less overwhelmed. Finding your next step can seem easier after you have had the chance to take a breather.

Get Support

Talk to people who understand what you are facing. If you do not know anyone who has been through what you are dealing with then you can always find someone who you know will cheer you through it. We are not alone in our struggles, speaking out can be a great way to remind ourselves of this. Utilise family, friends and/or paid professionals if you need to get advice or to talk through what scares you. Let others support you.

Step Up The Self-Care

Get an early night, eat good food, take breaks, and have a little fun where you can. Being scared and brave both use up a lot of energy so take care of yourself. Even superwoman needs her rest so make sure you do too. Think of the things that make you smile, it doesn’t have to be a spa day or a day in the hairsalon to be self-care!

 

uncertainty
Photo by Frank McKenna via unsplash.com
Be gentle with yourself

Show yourself a little compassion, what you are doing is scary for a reason. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not the right thing to do but when things get scary we catastrophize and worry. Be gentle with yourself. You don’t need to have it all figured out or be perfect you just need to show up and do what you can.

Remember You’re On A Journey

Nothing is permanent, no situation whether it be a bad or good one.  The journey you are on will quite probably take you longer and be more difficult than you imagined. Nevertheless, you will get past this uncertainty It is not a permanent journey either, these feelings will pass. Be prepared to change things up on this journey. Things may not go as expected and that is ok.

Have A Little Self-Belief

Self Belief can be difficult when we are in the midst of something that feels uncertain and scary. Focus on your own abilities and have faith that you are capable to see this through. Doing this makes it a lot harder to focus on the uncertainty. Believe in your determination to see this through. You have undoubtedly overcome obstacles before and you will be able to overcome any current ones too.

We cannot avoid change and challenges but we can look after ourselves as we face them. We can give ourselves the time and space we need to get through uncertainty. Remembering that we are not alone in our situation and that we always have an option about how to proceed can take some of the pressure off around an uncertain future.

 

If you are struggling with uncertainty you can create a Self-care plan for yourself with my free worksheet.

 

getting through uncertainty

Have you heard of The 14-Day Refresh? You can explore ways to support yourself through challenges with my self-paced e-course.

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Asterisk Will You Give Your Self-Care A Refresh?
04/09/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Coaching / No comments

Self care ecourse

Self care ecourse

What is The 14-Day Refresh?

The 14-Day Refresh is an email Programme that explores what self-care means to you.  This course has been designed so you can make time for yourself in a way that suits you. You cannot be behind or late. There are no deadlines or targets. You set the pace for yourself. This is an opportunity for you to make some time for yourself and feel good about it!

What do you get when you sign up?

You will receive a daily email for 14-days, each one is filled with exercises, inspiration, encouragement and activities designed to help you reconnect with what inspires and replenishes you.  The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.

The 14-Day refresh will help you create a “self-care armoury” of activities, tools and techniques to help you combat feelings of stress and overwhelm.

This course is yours forever, keep the emails so you can take this course whenever you feel the need to refresh!

make time for self care

Why I Created This Course

I wanted to create something flexible and accessible for everyone, whether you are super busy or on a tight budget. taking care of yourself is important no matter how your life looks right now.

I used to spend so much of my time taking care of everybody else in my life. The thing is that I believed I didn’t have time to look after myself. It seemed like replenishing my energy levels or treating myself to the things I enjoyed was frivolous and a waste of time. Whenever I took time out, I spent so much of that time feeling guilty about not being productive.

Taking my self-care seriously has made a massive difference in my daily life. It changed how I approach that never-ending to do list and how I feel every day. I wanted to create a self-care course so that you can save yourself from all the exhaustion, guilt and pressure and cut straight to having fun and feeling good!

Is this course for you?

The 14-Day refresh is great is you want to:

Relax into self-care

  • Rediscover what lights you up and revives you.
  • Make time for yourself more often.
  • Have a self-care routine that is about more than spa days and shopping.
  • Ditch the guilt and worrying about needing to be “productive”.
  • Have more energy and enthusiasm every day.

 

 

Say Yes To Self-Care

The total investment for the 14- Day refresh is $20. A PayPal invoice will be sent out upon sign up.

The first e-mail will be arriving into inboxes on 15th September 2017. Sign up now and save your space on this great course.

If you have any questions about this course please get in touch or have a look at my FAQ’s

Sign up

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Asterisk This Is How You Lose Yourself
28/08/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / No comments

How to lose yourself

This is how you lose yourself

Do you have fierce dreams or do you remember a time when you did? Have you ever felt limitless, like nothing was going to stand in your way?

I remember feeling this way after I left high school and was at university. My dreams were all about how I was going to change the world. By helping people, by working for charities and getting my PhD. I was going to travel and maybe even start my own charity supporting women affected by gender based violence.

There is no denying that I have been blessed, I have never gone hungry and I have always had a bed to sleep in. I have people who support me and I have love in my life. My bills have always gotten paid (eventually) so my question is that enough to be happy? Is that all we need? Once we have those things should we consider ourselves fulfilled? Because let’s face it, others have it worse don’t they?

Lucky Me

Around 5 years ago I had an amazing house, two wonderful children, I didn’t need to work, we had a nice car and could afford a holiday once a year. we could eat out when we wanted and I could buy things without checking my bank balance first. I ran my own small business and my husband had 6 months of the year at home with us. My life was everything you would call conventional success but the one thing that was missing was that I was miserable

I told myself that I was lucky as there are so many people who were worse off than I was. That I couldn’t have it all and that I should just focus on being grateful rather kicking up a fuss. I got caught up in all the day to day responsibilities of ‘adulting’. It felt like stability and security were the most important things. It was time to ditch the dreams and get realistic about what was important. I didn’t need dreams of travel or having a career I loved because my life was safe. Boring but safe.

Off Track

Have you ever looked at your life and realised you went in a different direction than you intended? It is a perfectly adequate life but it doesn’t really light you up? You are filling your days with the things you are supposed to be doing rather than the things that excite and inspire you.

Did you do what was ‘best’, not what you wanted?
Did you tame yourself in some way?
Maybe you dampen your spirit?
Did you decide it was time to grow up rather than live a wild life?
Were there times when you stay quiet and pretend you didn’t mind?
Did you get stuck on the hamster wheel of getting things done?
This is how to lose yourself.

If you find yourself off track then the way back to what you really want is to remove the layers of obligations, responsibilities and objects, whatever is in the way of your happiness and those fierce dreams. It is adding something that lights you up to your life. Say yes to your wild dreams and no to convention when it isn’t making you happy. Be who you are unapologetically and reach for what excites you.

Do not feel guilty, you are worthy of happiness and the life you dream of. Money and conventional success are great if it excites you. But if it doesn’t leave you inspired and enthusiastic about the future then ditch it. You are not ungrateful for wanting something different to what you have. You cannot make yourself happy in a situation that is not what you truly want.

how to lose yourself
Photo by Jaime Handley on Unsplash
Why Shouldn’t We Aim For An Amazing Life?

Once your basic needs are met you do not lose the right to complain. A comfortable and stable life is not necessarily the ideal life for everyone. You cannot stop yourself from having wild and adventurous dreams because others are not as fortunate as you are. By all means, do your bit as a responsible citizen, help where you can, support others who need it.

Dare To Dream

It is fundamental in my opinion that everyone should have the right to be fed, clothed and sheltered. As is health care and education but here I am heading towards a political discussion that distracts from my point. The right to happiness is also important. The right to have dreams and unconventional desires. Dare to dream of an amazing life whether it be a home by the sea, an endless supply of books, or the opportunity to travel. Don’t let what makes you who you are be sidelined for anything. Our dreams make us unique and they are far too important to be given up on or forgotten.

Would you like to find ways to fit more of what you love into your every day? Download my free day planner and make room for the things that excite and inspire you.

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Asterisk Why Play Is Important For Adults Too
21/08/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / No comments

Why Play Is Important For Adults Too

 

Why Play Is Important For Adults Too

 

Like many families, there are times when my family life involves a lot of working, juggling and scheduling. I started my own business in January which has understandably brought a lot to my plate. Meanwhile, my husband has been working really long hours at the office after a period of layoffs and restructuring.

Recently, a long public holiday weekend appeared on the horizon of my husband’s schedule. He had booked time off earlier in the year to care for our two children who would not have childcare or school. I had already decided to work through the public holiday in favour of getting stuff done!

When my husband announced he was planning a weekend’s camping at the beach, I decided I was not willing to miss out on family time at the beach. With some juggling and hustling, I managed to join them and make the most of the long weekend.

Take me to the beach

I love the beach, it is one of my most favourite places. Hearing the waves and feeling the sand on my bare feet never fails to relax me.  This is one of the reasons that I jumped at the chance at a camping trip.  I was so busy and tired of “adulting” I wanted to take a break with my three favourite people in my favourite place.

On our trip, we spent a lot of time on the beach with the children. We played in the sand and had fun directing a stream that came down across the beach and into the sea. Then we created little waterways and watched the water flow through them. Our waterway system became quite complex as we built dams and broke them and re-patched them.

At one point my husband and I realised we had not only spent most of the day doing this but also the children had ditched us in favour of digging a large hole nearby.  We laughed as we realised that we were playing on our own and we were enjoying every moment of it.

play is important for adults
Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

We played

What we experienced was something in addition to precious family time. We were being silly and imaginative and there was no more clock watching. We used our hands to create something purely for fun. It was play.

As adults, we don’t really value our own playtime. It tends to be something we do with the children for their benefit. Play in adults is often considered immature or unproductive. We discourage this type of behaviour in favour of more serious and responsible activities. For us, playing with the sand on that warm day was most definitely to our benefit.

As we played, I felt a stiffness in my shoulders as I began to relax the tightened muscles there. I felt lighter and more at ease. I stopped planning ahead and juggling. We didn’t think about work or schedules or the to do list. Instead, we made dams and then opened them up and watched the water flow freely again. We experienced a lightness that was not available in our current hectic schedules. Everything felt energised and happy after our messy day on the sand.

Making room for play

Play should not be reserved for children. The opportunity to step away from the responsibilities that exist at the moment give us energy, clarity and creativity.  Fun for funs sake should not be a privilege only for the young.

Studies show that play is benefitial for children. We encourage the children in our lives to play because we want them to be happy, relaxed and creative people.  We support them to use their imagination and feel free through play.

Why are we denying this opportunity to ourselves once we “grow up”? Imagine a world where we could embrace play as an important part of adult life. Where messing around in the sand dunes as adults was encouraged or even recommended.

Find opportunities to be playful. Give yourself permission to play like a child. Be messy and creative and enjoy activities purely for fun rather than any outcome or goal. Notice how the children in your life and allow themselves to be silly, be playful and imaginative for no other reason than it is fun. Play is a pathway to feeling free and happy. No one should be denied that, regardless of their age.

Can you describe your life as fun? Working with a life coach like me can help you work out what is important so you can create a life filled with more fun. Find out more about what a life coach and other FAQs.

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Asterisk Why telling yourself “I don’t have time” is a lie!
14/08/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Facing Challenges / No comments

Why telling yourself I don't have time is a lie

time

 

Do you ever find yourself thinking “I don’t have time for this.”  It usually comes when you are feeling frustrated and exasperated.  When you wish someone would airlift you out of the situation and take you somewhere else.  I recently found myself in that particular situation. I was putting myself under a lot of pressure to get things done yesterday. Through lifting that pressure, I learned a little truth about time.

Running on Empty

About 6 weeks before my summer holiday I had begun to feel stressed and run down. What I really wanted was to take a break but with my holiday so close I found myself thinking ” I need to get ahead and get a little more done before my holiday. After that, I can relax.”

My mind was super busy all the time, I started to ditch my exercise routine. I stopped taking breaks in favour of getting more done even though I was tired. It became increasingly hard to switch off. I started to feel weepy before a conference call one evening. “I don’t have time for this”, I thought. It felt like I had to keep going despite how I felt.

I was pushing myself relentlessly and was denying myself what I needed. I was putting so much pressure to get everything done before I could “earn” a break. Trying to run on empty felt horrible as I am sure many of you will know. What I really needed was to press pause but I was convinced everything was going to fall apart if I didn’t keep going at full speed.

Pressing the dreaded pause button

I decided to admit defeat in the fight against my emotions. At the same time, it felt like a definite win for self-love. I stopped fighting against the urge to slow down and gave in to how I really felt. The best thing I could do was just go with it. I took a few lazy days. I saw my scheduled clients, did some yoga, walked, took naps, and caught up on reading.

Guess what, Nothing happened. My scheduled work went out as normal (I schedule my writing work ahead of time). My inbox filled up a little. No one complained that I didn’t answer them instantly. Life continued. The washing piled up as it often does. I felt like I had a crushing headache then after a few days, I felt better so I went back to work.

At the moment I am focussing on taking it easy when I can and stopping when I needed to. I am trying to listen to how I feel rather than ignoring it. Life didn’t fall apart when I slowed down as I feared. It appears I do have time to give myself what I want and need. Some things carry on without me and the things that stopped patiently wait for my return.

time

You have Time

Time is there whether or not you use it. There are always 24 hour hours in a day and there is only so much that is physically possible in that time. No one can ever ask any more of themselves than that. There is always now and there is always tomorrow.

Stop being Wonderwoman

I serve myself and my business better by making time for how I feel. By acknowledging when I am stressed and needed to stop. You have time, you deserve to give yourself it. Almost everything can wait unless lives depend upon it.

You have time to deal with how you feel. Give yourself permission to relax and replenish yourself. Trust me when I say, nothing will fall apart in your absence. You can press pause, throw a sicky, take a duvet day. Run away for a little while. Give yourself what you need. You deserve that!

Have you seen my Medium account yet? It has lots of loving articles just like this one.

 

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Asterisk 21 Ways to Practice Self Love
26/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Fun / 2 responses

21 ways to practice self love

21 ways to practice self love21 ways to practice self love

Do you love yourself? Do you love every part of you, both the good and the bad? When you look into the mirror, how do you feel about who you see? Many of us feel an indifference or mild feelings of either like or dislike. Some of us have a hard time finding anything about themselves that they like.

The idea of self-love can feel uncomfortable. For some, the concept of self-love can feel akin to being selfish, conceited or self-absorbed.  The media bombards us with images on how to change or improve who we are and how to hide our flaws. This makes it very difficult to accept or adore what we see in the mirror.

To get a little perspective, think of a person that you love or care deeply for. How do you feel about them? what feelings do you have when you think of this person?  Do you feel the same way towards yourself?

If the answer is no then you could probably benefit from practising a little self-love. Below are some ways to begin exercising that self-love muscle. They allow you to explore how you feel about yourself and the truth that you are enough as you are.

21 Ways to Practice Self-Love

  1. Pause – Allow yourself a few quiet minutes to simply be. You don’t need to do anything or be anywhere. Just sit in the moment and do nothing.
  2. Stop Apologising Unnecessarily – Apologising for everything can become a bit of a bad habit. I am not talking about when you have done something wrong. I am talking about things like apologising for how you feel, saying no or changing your mind. You are allowed to do this!
  3. Give Yourself A Pat On The Back – Recognise your achievements. Encourage yourself when you’re doing something new and scary. Try to create a kind inner voice rather than a critical one.
  4. Look In The Mirror And Tell Yourself “I love you” – I am not going to lie this one felt super cheesy and uncomfortable when I tried it first. I also have to say that with a bit of persistence, it started to make me smile.
  5. List Things That You Like About Yourself – Do you love your curly hair or how you always hold the door open for people? There must be something you like about yourself. If you find this tricky make this a week long task and add to the list as you find more things.
  6. Self-Care – If you have read my blog before then this will not be new or surprising. Making time to do the things that excite and inspire you is as important part of being happy.
  7. Sleep Well – Being tired makes things harder. Give yourself an early night or take a nap when you need to.
  8. Eat Well – This is about looking after your body. I love the occasional binge on ice cream and cookies too but when you feed your body nutritious and nourishing food you feel as well as look good.
  9. Be Honest – The next time you are tempted to pretend everything is fine when it isn’t, say so. You are entitled to feel how you do and to receive support from others when you need it.
  10. Stop People Pleasing – You will never please everyone and trying to is exhausting! Do yourself a favour and focus on pleasing yourself.
  11. Start a Gratitude Journal – When I first heard of this I thought it sounded a bit woo woo but taking the time to think about the positives and what you’re grateful for can be really beneficial. It is a way to focus on what is already good in your life and feeling and thankful for that.
  12. Keep A Note Of Your Success’s – Make a success list and write down all your accomplishments, from managed to resist a second slice of cheesecake to rocking that presentation at work! Look back on your list when you doubt yourself and remember all you have achieved.
  13. Remember The Compliments – What do people compliment you on? If you can’t think of any, start another list of the compliments you get from now on.
  14. ACCEPT  Compliments – When someone compliments you, don’t dismiss it. Accept what you are being told as the truth. You don’t need to be humble or self-deprecating, simply say thank you.
  15. Move Your Body In A Way You Enjoy – Dance, walk, run do yoga, swim or go to the gym. Taking care of your body is a way of showing yourself, love
  16. Give Mindfulness A Try –  Mindfulness is about being fully present in where you are and with what you are doing.  I am really guilty of thinking about my to-do do list while during other things so have been using mindfulness techniques to practise focusing on the here and now. You can learn more about mindfulness here.
  17. Write Yourself A Love Letter or Pep Talk – Write yourself a letter, tell yourself all the things you wish to hear. Be kind and encouraging. Read your letter back whenever you doubt your worth.
  18. Give Up Trying To Be Someone Else – As Oscar Wilde put it, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken
  19. Stop Comparing – Chances are there is someone who wishes they were more like you. “Can you imagine not craving to be different than you are right now?”
  20. Say No When You Need To – You do not have to say yes to everything and everyone. It leaves you empty and exhausted (see people pleasing)!
  21. Practice. Think of self-love as a new skill, be prepared to mess up and keep trying. You are worth the effort!

 

 If Self-Love sounds difficult…

If this list feels overwhelming pick the easiest and most achievable one on this list and begin there. There is no rush and you can try as many or as little of these ideas as feels right for you. If you find it hard to even like yourself then take it slowly. Think of self-love and acceptance as training for a marathon rather than a sprint. Practice going a little further each time rather than sprinting to the finish straight away.

We are all worthy of love, every single one of us. You are not broken or inadequate. You are perfect just as you are. Think of how you feel about that person you love once more. Can you imagine how you would treat yourself and what you could achieve if you felt that level of love for yourself?

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Asterisk Learn to love Yourself
19/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / 2 responses

love yourself

Love yourselfI talk about and promote self-care in my work because it was one of the first methods I used to recover from a very dark period. A time when I was depressed, anxious and had totally lost touch with any sense fun and freedom. I was so out of practice with showing myself love or kindness.

It was this experience that inspires my coaching business and writing today. I continue learning about myself and what works for me, I then share with you.

Every day, I learn a little more. There are parts of who I am that I love but I want more than that. True self-love is a process of learning to accept every inch of who you are. This means every lump and bump, every kind bone our bodies as well as every petty and needy bit too.

The journey towards self-love

I have learned that self-care is an important part of the journey but it is not the only thing needed to feel happy relaxed and free.  You have got to give yourself love and acceptance.

As the kid who was told she was nobody, on most of her schooling it has been difficult to let go of the idea that the people who bullied me were right. I hid away because ultimately, I felt flawed.

I hid away both the positive and negative parts to keep myself safe. This was very effective in such a traumatic situation. Like a hedgehog, I rolled up into a ball and kept my warm and soft centre tightly under wraps.

I used self-care as a first step to loosening up and to learn to let myself be valid and visible. As someone with needs worth considering. This involved making myself a priority without feeling guilty or bad. That was not easy, I can tell you!

The next step

In coach training, I was encouraged to focus on the gifts and skills that are uniquely mine. What have I to offer the world? This is an incredibly difficult thing to comprehend when you are used to hiding away. When you are so fearful of your brokenness being exposed to the world. I wanted so badly to not be ruined by my experiences as that bullied kid. I wanted it to mean something.

love your sparkle
Credit: unsplash.com

This is one of the main reasons that I became a coach and writer. I want to make every lesson learned and every ounce of pain worthwhile. It is important to me to create something that can give comfort and strength. I want to help people move past what is holding them back. No one is deeply flawed even if they believe it to be true. We are all enough and amazing just as we are.

Now that I am on the journey to explore those parts I have kept so hidden. I am finding there isn’t so much scary broken stuff as I thought. My broken bits are also just like everyone else’s. I’m not so unique in the bits I try to hide. It is a terrifying thing to put myself out there and risk judgement but wow how the payback is worth it! I’m paid in confidence and freedom, lessons and experiences. I am paid with a full life.

A new approach

I am adding an additional focus to my business. I am not only going to tell you to look after yourself. Accepting and loving yourself is just as important. That when you are tired and overwhelmed and feel like life is just neverendingly difficult. Being able to love yourself, accept yourself as you are and show yourself kindness is just as important as taking care of yourself.

All that love you pour out to your friends, your family, partner and children. Can you imagine if you showed yourself the same love? It’s difficult, to begin with. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world at first. You’d rather pull your teeth out with pliers. If you can gently but persistently learn to like something about yourself and nurture it and care for it. one day you may like it and then maybe even come to love it.

Loving yourself is a gift

To love yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to those around you. I started trying to love myself for my kid’s sake. I wanted them to love themselves and be lead by my example. Furthermore, it was really important to me to heal over my childhood. I also wanted to be more open and honest with those I care about. I don’t want to hide bits of myself away. It is important that I  am fully present rather than focusing on hiding and keeping myself safe. I want more.

I want more. Taking care of myself wasn’t all that I needed to do. My next step has been towards learning to love myself. I deserve a full life not limited by the worry that I am not enough. I am good enough as I am, so are you.

You are awesome

Why are we as women not relaxed? Why are we always worrying what everyone else thinks and wants? Wouldn’t it be great if we could we focus comfortably on ourselves?

I want to love me and I want to see my daughter grow up as a woman who loves herself. I want her to learn that putting herself first isn’t selfish or narcissistic. Self-love is important because she is important. I don’t want her to be limited by fear of her flaws and fear of judgement. I want her to love every inch of herself even the imperfections. My hope is that she will love herself as I love her. We should love ourselves as much as those around us do.

A Message

If you do not love yourself of even like yourself right now this doesn’t mean that you are not worthy of love. You are capable of anything. You are loved and valued and enough and important. Even your anxiety, even your shyness. every fear you have is worthy of your love.

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Asterisk What to Remember When Life Feels Hard
12/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Inspiration / No comments

when life feels hard

When life feels hard

There are times when it feels like you are hiking up an escalator that is moving downwards. I am sure you know the feeling. When no matter how hard you try, you still feel swamped and overwhelmed. Progress seems impossible. It is so easy to lose sight of ourselves and what is true and important at times like this. We get caught up in trying to move forwards and how difficult it all feels and we begin to doubt ourselves.

You are doing the best you can…and that is enough

When life feels hard it can be easy to think that we are not doing enough, that we are not making things happen. We often feel like we need to keep pushing and finding ways to solve our all our problems immediately. I have had many clients tell me that they need to find a solution to their problems yesterday! That is a lot of pressure!

Remember you are only human and you are doing all you can every day. It is always enough. You do not have to have everything fixed all at once. You are doing the best you can with what you have at this moment.

It’s ok to admit things suck right now

Personally, I am guilty of minimising the hard stuff. I’ll tell people “it is fine” when I really I feel like it is anything but fine. I am pretty sure I am not fooling anyone either. There is no doubt that you will get through whatever you are facing but that doesn’t mean you are not entitled to feel bad about your situation now. When things are hard, it doesn’t help to ignore how you feel. Be honest with yourself. It is much easier to support yourself when you are honest about how you are really feeling.

There is no doubt that you will get through whatever you are facing but that doesn’t mean you are not entitled to feel bad about your situation now. When things are hard, it doesn’t help to ignore how you feel. Be honest with yourself. It is much easier to support yourself when you are honest about how you are really feeling.

You are stronger than you realise

Think back on every challenge you have faced before. I am guessing a lot of them felt pretty impossible to deal with. You are stronger and more capable than you realise. You have come through challenges before and will overcome more obstacles in the future. Have faith in your abilities. One day you will look back on this time as something challenging that you overcame.

Things won’t always feel this hard

No matter how permanent or difficult the situation, things change and you change. You grow and adapt just as the world around you does.

To give you an example, my son was a really colicky baby. He would cry and cry for hours every evening no matter what we tried to find something to soothe him.  When I say we tried every trick in the book, I mean every single one!

During that period his Dad and I couldn’t imagine a future where our darling boy didn’t cry and howl every evening. It felt like he was going to be colicky forever! It seemed so difficult to see beyond our frustration and worry, no matter how often we were told it was a stage that would pass with time.

When things are hard it can be easy to forget that our situation and feelings are not permanent. Everything changes, neither the good nor the bad times last forever. One day the difficult times you are facing will be something you look back on from the other side.

You are not alone

It is so easy to feel like we are the only one in the world having a hard time. It can appear like everyone else is managing perfectly while we desperately try to make it look to the outside world that we are coping.

Reach out and tell someone that life is kicking your ass right now. Chances are that the person you talk to has been where you are. Who knows, they may even reply with “me too!”

Each of us has our own unique challenges but no one is exempt from obstacles and difficulty. There are all moments when we want to jump ship. Talking about it with someone can remind you that you are not alone and that you will get through this.

If you are struggling at the moment, this is my gentle reminder. Life will get easier again, you do not have to be a superhero!

when life feels hard

You can download my free notes to yourself as a reminder of your awesomeness when life is hard. You can cut them out, put in your planner or use them as bookmarks or simply download it to your phone so you have a little encouragement when you forget to give it to yourself.

Have you heard of my latest e-course? The 14 Day Refresh is really great for helping you to explore how you can take better care of yourself every day whether life is hard or not.

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Asterisk 5 ways to be more Honest
05/06/2017 Lynne Mclean Brown in Freedom / No comments

I have a nasty habit of saying yes when I mean no. Another bad habit I have is that say I am fine when I am not. I want to be more honest and I had no idea how to go about it. So, this is how my experience gave birth to a plan. This is how I am working on being more open and honest.

5 Ways to be More Honest

We say things that undermine our integrity. We say we do not mind to keep the peace, we say that we things are fine, we hide our disappointment, we try to protect others from being hurt. This can leave us feeling angry and frustrated.

What about other people’s feelings?

I am not talking about being nasty, many people hold back because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. If you’re having that conversation with yourself in the first place my guess is that you aren’t mean.

There is a clear difference between being honest and being nasty. Telling someone what you need, telling them what you want isn’t mean. Telling them what they should do and make judgments is very different to talking about what you need and how you feel.

For example, we all have a friend who is continually late. Telling that friend they are a rude and terrible person who needs to get a watch is mean however saying I need to you to be on time because it feels disrespectful when you are late is honest. Talk about what you want and need rather than your opinion of what the what the other person is or should or should not be doing.

Say no when you mean no

When you are too busy say so. If you haven’t got time say no to extra tasks. It has taken a lot of practice to me to get the hang of this one but on most days, I am glad to say have the hang of it.

Saying yes to stuff that we don’t really have the time, energy or inclination for leaves us feeling frustrated and taken advantage of.  Ultimately we have to take charge of looking after ourselves. Save your energy for the things you really want and need to do. I bet that the person you say no to won’t even give it a second thought.

honest

Don’t put others feelings before your own

Thinking about how others are going to react to you can be misleading. Ultimately, we cannot see inside an another person’s head or predict their reaction. Don’t preconceive how others will react to what you say or do. What people think is their business what you think is yours.  Do you want people around you to sugar coat stuff and tell you what you want to hear or do you want the truth?  Don’t treat others any differently. You might be surprised that people want to hear your opinions and know how you feel.

It is possible that people will love the thought you are so afraid to share. Even if they do not like what you say at least you are putting your real thoughts out there to be heard. Their reaction whether positive or negative is to your honest thought not to some lie you used to protect yourself. People are going to get mad either way whether you pick the lie or honesty. Wouldn’t you rather you were arguing about something real?

Tell people what you want

Don’t beat around the bush. If you would rather not eat Italian food on your next night out, say so. Don’t make an excuse. Be honest. I often say I don’t mind or it doesn’t matter when in fact the opposite it true. Those around you are taking you on your word. They are not double checking to see if you actually mean it. I am not talking about the times when you truly don’t mind. Think about how many times you actually do have an opinion but don’t want to express it.

Stop saying it’s ok when it isn’t

If you ever find yourself saying “I’m fine” through gritted teeth, you’re not fooling anyone! My husband is well acquainted with this one (sorry, darling!). It occurred to me recently that I am not doing anyone any favours by holding my tongue. If I could tell the truth and say what is really bothering me I am guessing that is going to allow me to move on from the issue quicker.  Letting things simmer away and pretending they are fine just means you are stuffing down what you are feeling.

Learn to like yourself

You are a good and worthy person who deserves, to be honest, and open with yourself and those around you.  What has liking yourself got to do with honesty? Liking who you are makes you less likely to want to hide your thoughts and ideas away. You have just as much to offer as anyone else. Loving yourself means not hide yourself or what you want from yourself of the world around you.

Own your voice, be who you are. Don’t hide what you want or wait for others to guess. You are in charge of you. Making your needs heard is important it’s also respectful to yourself and others. Don’t end up frustrated and unheard because you never really expressed yourself because you thought of everyone else all the time

What are you afraid to be honest, what do you fear? Is it worth dulling your shine, it is worth not letting yourself be seen over? You are worthy of the honesty and so are those around you.

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