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I am not perfect

For years, and even now I suffer from something called Imposter Syndrome.  It is really hard to acknowledge this.  I do not see my success, only my failures.

This syndrome is where you criticise yourself and cannot see how good you are at what you do.

For years I was a workaholic, striving to do better. Learn faster, create better training faster than anyone else.  My close friend, who is also a colleague would tell me over and over how I learn faster than anyone she has ever met, and that my standards and quality of work was higher than the client expected.

I never took it in, did not listen.

Why am I telling you this?  

This affected me achieving my goal.  I learned over the years to always look confident and in control but inside I was upset and felt like a failure.

No matter what I was told by the people I was training or coaching, or those who had hired me, I could only see where I needed to improve.

Last week one of my coaches ask the question, what are you afraid of?

That question floored me, I really thought about it.  Was I afraid of something?  Then it came to me. No, I was holding myself back because I was the one who criticised myself the most.

When someone was telling me that I had lost a lot of weight during my weight loss I would reply there was still a long way to go.

When I had lost weight and even yesterday evening someone said I had lost a bit more weight, my reply was not thanks so much, but oh no, that can’t be a good thing.

Self criticism can hold us back from achieving our goals, it can stop us from changing our mindset and becoming the person we want to be.

This is one of the reasons I love motivational mantras.  They help me to remember how far I have come.  That I am worthy and that I have done some amazing things.

When I feel myself criticising myself I have started to say these mantra’s, because I am worthy of success.  Just like you are.

What is your favourite mantra?

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How we view a situation can make a huge difference

I have taught adults for over 20 years. I started out answering questions my colleagues had, they pushed me to become a trainer at a training company, then I went freelance in 2001 and work on projects where new software is being upgraded, updated, implemented or new features and processes introduced.

Sound boring?

I love seeing how people go from dreading the change to being able to work better than they did before.  This past week I have been training people on a new process as well as answering questions in two countries about the process I am training them how to use.  This has reminded me of what I have learned over 20 years.

The people who go into the process who have negative thoughts about it have a harder time then those who do not.  Even those who are resigned have an easier time.  This shows how your thoughts towards change can make a huge difference.

When I started new diets I would think of it as a chore, dread doing it but think that it was temporary and something that I had to “put up with”.  

One day I realised that I was WRONG!

I needed to stop thinking that I had to have a temporary change, in order to meet my goal I needed to think of it as a lifestyle, making changing that I could live with for the rest of my life.

Healthy food I could love.

Activity I like to do and with people I enjoy being around.

Work I love to do.

This does not mean I don’t have a glass or two of wine, or a piece of chocolate once in a while.  It means my life is more balanced.  When I drink that glass of wine or chocolate I do so slowly and savour it.

I am more thankful of good food and good friends.

How has your thoughts held you back?

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Finding the right motivation

As most people who know me now know, I like to run.  I am not a motivated runner but one who is more of a social runner.  Running with others is great.  Running on my own is not as much fun unless I am in a race where I get a bit of Bling at the end.

Before lockdown I used to run with a wonderful non-competitive running group.  We would meet up and do long runs, the people like me who are turtle runners would be at the back and the faster runners would go ahead then loop back.  

No one would push us to go faster, we were allowed to run at our own pace.

Lockdown changed all that.  

Self motivation.

The keyword became self motivation. For running I am not so good at that.  I am motivated to stay a normal body weight but my runs became more walks and very short.  I made excuses not to go out.

Someone might look at me, worse they might get too close and I could get sick.

I needed to have something to help me.

I was reminded of Virtual medals.

They are amazing motivation tools!  You sign up to them and do your race on your own time.  You need to record the activity, once you have completed the activity send the proof to the virtual medal company and they send you your medal.

Not Just for Running!

They are for walking, running, cycling, swimming and more.  I get such a high opening the envelope and then adding it to my medals.

I feel even better knowing that the virtual medals that I sign up for all give some of the money to charity.  It is like doing a charity event.

So great.

Is there an activity you like to do that you could sign up for a virtual medal?

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Footwear

Back, knees, and feet do not have to hurt.

A short walk leaves your knees achy and your back sore.  Being larger means that more pressure, weight is on your body.

I remember when I was starting out walking that my knees would hurt for a long time after I stopped.

I wanted to quit but I wanted to be a normal size more.

The hurt had to be good right?

Wrong.

I was walking in the wrong shoes.

My legs had no support or cushioning.  Walking straight n the had surface.

So many people said to put up with the pain and just continue but it just makes you want to give up.  Sit on the sofa instead.

There was a sale on walking shoes.  So I went in and tried what seemed like all of them on.

Would I ever find a pair that were comfortable?  Eventually a wide fitting pair were brought out and they were like walking on a cloud.

I purchased them quickly.  The clerk in the shop said I would have to break them in, even though they were comfortable in the shop to wear them in the house for a day or two before wearing them outside.  Then wearing them for longer trips.

I went home and wore them all evening.

They were great so I wore them to go to work the next day.

Too much and they rubbed a bit, I got a blister but I was used to those so I put on some compeed and continued.

After a week they were comfortable the whole time I wore them.  My knees were less painful, my back didn’t scream for me to stop.

The right shoes made a huge diffference!

What I have learned since is that sometimes shoes can seem great in the shop but you need to wear them in a bit to see if they are really any good.  Wear them around the house so there is no wear and tear and you can return them if they are not good, or buy on sale.

Some peoples feet prefer solid, inflexible shoes, other people prefer flexible sock like shoes.  I used to think that it was normal to get blisters every time I went for a walk.  Then one day I bought a new type of running shoes and only have blisters very rarely.  Do try other style of shoes out if you get blisters.

The right shoe is amazing!

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Ready to bloom

Let yourself bloom.

Hiding away and not letting the world see the real you.  How you really feel. Like a flower hidden behind a bush, not reaching for the sun but hiding.

Your smile is your armour rather than showing true joy. You deserve more.

I was like that.  I used my smile like a shield. Not showing how I really felt.  Not really experiencing much happiness.  Hiding the real me, even from myself.  Telling myself that work was everything, that someday I would live how I wanted to live.

Decide to be happy.

One day I made a decision to start doing things that made me happy.  Not to wait until that far off time when life was going to be perfect, but now.

I went out and did the activities I wanted to do, saw sites and had experiences.  

Started living, rather than existing,

Became happy.

That was when I started to bloom.  People made comments about how great I looked, had I lost weight, at that point, no. But the more I started living the life I wanted to live the happier I was and the weight started to come off.

I was not the flower hiding beside the bushes scared of the sun, but a flower reaching for the sun.

What can you do today to start living your life how you want to?