How Confident Are You Feeling?

That is a good question, right?

Before the pandemic, the answer to this question might have been different than it is today. Our lives are getting back to normal, but many people are realizing they do not want the same life as they had before. Perhaps saying no to obligations was difficult, maybe you realized that your relationships were unhealthy or that you had some issues of the past that you needed to resolve. Whatever it is, it is both scary and empowering to decide that you want to create something new for yourself.

The real question is not in your ability to do so, but in your level of confidence to do it. It is worth asking yourself, how confident are you feeling about making the change you want in any area of your life?

I wish I could wave a magic wand and all the confidence you need would be it at your finger tips. As we know, it does not work that way; it is the built in small steps we take each and every day.

It might surprise you to know that I also have struggled with the feeling that I was not enough. The feeling of not being capable of doing the things I dream of, left me feeling powerless. We all live in some form of what I call the “not enough” world. We feel we are not smart enough, good enough or capable enough to get what we desire. More people feel this way than you can imagine. It undermines our level of confidence, but the good news is it can be changed!

You might be wondering how you can boost your confidence:

First, we must recognize that the thoughts and actions we have about ourselves is a habit. I know it may sound simple, but we have trained our mind to think negatively about ourselves, and what we are capable of.

This bad habit is our default mode that keeps us stuck in the same place and we go round and round unable to get off the merry go round of negative thinking.  One of my favorite sayings is, don’t believe everything you think. The idea is that when we can recognize the thinking is negative, we can reframe the negative into positive, it changes our perspective.  We can now choose to think about ourselves in a more positive light which gives the freedom to look at the things differently and then begin to make a change to a more empowered way of being.

Secondly, start small. Identify something you want to change and make a small goal that is achievable. I always suggest people do this because it is important to set yourself up for success. As each small goal is achieved you will gain confidence that you can also reach another goal. That is how it works, building one success upon another, one step at a time.

And lastly, identify a time in your past that added to your confidence? What did you learn about yourself from this experience? What can you use that will help you now?

Remember that you are more resilient and capable than you give yourself credit for. There is one thing I know for sure and that is that you can make any change that you want. My hope for you is that you believe this with your whole heart. Don’t wait a minute longer to get what you desire.

Due to more demand for coaching I have opened a few more coaching slots. If you want to make a change in your life and are not sure how to do that I would love to support you in making that change. Reply to this email to set up a “no-fee” conversation.

What Are Your Guiding Principles?

You might not give much thought to this question, yet the words we speak and the actions we take are a reflection of what we value. I am fascinated by people’s stories especially the ones that tell me about what or who inspired or influenced them to become the people they did. I recently picked up the book, In My Own Words, a story about the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. As I read that book, it made me think about the people and experiences that have shaped my life.

My grandmother was a great teacher for me. She was not a warm or easy-going person, instead, she was firm and lived life by a set of rules she passed on to me. She taught me to:

  • Tell the truth at all costs.
  • Always do your best at whatever you are doing.
  • Always leave a situation on good terms.
  •  Finish what you start.
  • Put things you use away rather than let them sit around because there is a place for everything and everything in its place.
  •  Never lie because you will have to tell more lies to cover it up. In my life, I have realized that the common assumption is that you lie to protect   the feelings of the other person but in reality, we also lie to protect ourselves from things we don’t want to deal with.

When I look at my life I see many many people and situations that have helped me become who I am. Have you ever met someone and you could tell that person had integrity just by the way they carry themselves and how they speak? My business mentor is that person! Every time I am with him I have no doubt bout who he is and what he stands for.

I am curious if you looked back in your life who has inspired you?

Who has taught you life lessons?

How has what they taught you influenced your life?

We don’t always think about the lessons we have learned daily, so they fade from our memory. One of the more difficult things to do is to keep these life lessons close to us so they can influence who we are and who we continually strive to become.

I have learned over and over again that your integrity as a person matters in everything you do. This is a constant journey to becoming who we are and that needs our constant attention.

Ideas to reflect on:

  • Understand that every choice matters because it either pushes you closer to what you want or takes you away from it.
  • Create a focus every day for your time and energy and keep it.
  • Decide that you will not carry anything from today into tomorrow.
  • When the day is done, it is done. You did the best you could and tomorrow you can start fresh.

I hope the ideas I have offered here will get you thinking about who your teachers have been and how your life has been influenced and changed because of them.

ARE YOU LOOKING TO GET BACK ON TRACK? I HAVE OPENED A FEW MORE COACHING SPOTS! 

I have helped many people get back on track, especially after the pandemic. If you need a little help as life returns to a new normal, reply to this email and we can talk about how I can help you.

 

 

 

Charting Your Path Forward!

This is the weekend of the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. It brings back a fun memory for our family. My husband is a fan of golf, especially watching the Masters Tournament. On one of our trips to Georgia, I thought it would be fun for him to see the golf course and at least buy a souvenir from the gift shopNeedless to say, I was very naïve, as soon as we entered the grounds we were escorted out, as my family had predicted would happen. It is now a funny memory that mom thought she could get the family into Augusta!  

Even though I don’t care one way or another about golf, I do like to watch part of it. The course alone is beautiful and worth seeing, but mostly it peaks my curiosity about what it takes to be an expert in the game of golf, or anything for that matter.  

We all want to do our best and be our best however, it does not come without work on our part. It gets me thinking about what it takes to be a master of our own life. What would it mean to be a kinder and gentler with ourselves so that we can find peace and joy within the lives we already have?  

The more important questions we can ask ourselves are: 

What does it mean to you to be a person of mastery? 

How can you be a better spouse, parent, friend or mentor?  

What would it take and how would it feel to be able to come closer to the life you have imagined?  

It takes far less work than you might imagine but it does require that you stop, pause and reflect on where you want to go, what you want in your life and then take a step in that direction.  

It is never too late to start or begin again to get the kind of life that will make you happy and at peace with yourself and others. If your dream is to move forward, ask yourself how you can take one small step forward.  

Defining what we want in life and moving toward that goal is a life long journey. If you need a guide to help you get started or help with motivation to keep going, send me a message and we can talk about what that would be like for you.  

The words of Virginnia Satir say it best. “I want you to get excited about who you are, what you are, what you have, and what can still be for you. I want to inspire you to see that you can go far beyond where you are right now. “  

Sandy

 

Believe in Your Own Success!

Yesterday, I participated in my monthly Mastermind group. I never miss attending because I know that I will always find nuggets of inspiration and wisdom from the group. Yesterday was no different.

 

Everyone in the group talked about their business and what was going well. I think we are much more inclined to talk about what does not work, rather than what does, so it felt like a breath of fresh air. After we had each shared, one of the members offered this bit of wisdom; success always leaves clues. Think about how powerful that statement is. We were challenged to look at our process and the steps we took that led to the success. Doing this process is both powerful and insightful.

 

Success in any area of our life is not this magical thing that just appears, it happens because we have done things that support our success. We don’t often think about the steps we have taken that help us achieve what we want, but when we break it down, we can see the steps that guided and supported us.

 

When I work with clients, we always talk about the steps and processes they can use to set themselves up for success. Believe it or not, we don’t give this much thought. Instead, we attempt to make too big of a change or a take a step that is not realistic or sustainable, then criticizing ourselves for failing.

 

Everyone is excellent at something and when you discover what your steps are, they can be applied  to any area of your life.  I call this Modeling Your Own Excellence and is an essential life skill.

 

I am sharing this with you, because as we begin to emerge from the pandemic many people feel like they have lost their confidence, or they feel lost when it comes to moving forward. You can make any change in your life that you desire, as long as you remember that you are wise, smart and successful.

 

I love to talk about how you can model your own excellence, or have questions, reply to this email so we can set up a phone conversation.

Sandy

 

 

 

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Think!

“From my own experience, I want to say that you should follow your heart, and the mind will follow you. Believe in yourself,

and you will create miracles.”

– Kailash Satyarthi

 

When people tell me what they believe about themselves or circumstances in their life, I never doubt them. I have learned that whatever they believe is the absolute truth to them, knowing that if they think they can do something, they do. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. If you don’t believe you can change or do something, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve it.

Our experiences and life events have taught all of us who we are. From early on in life our mind works hard to make meaning of all our experiences through thoughts and beliefs which then influences what we think about ourselves and others. Those thoughts and beliefs inform our actions, so in essence, we are living out how we feel about ourselves and others.

 

In school I was never good in math, and always struggled to get it right. My grades were barely passing, and although the teachers were usually nice, I could see their frustration. The harder I tried, the further behind I got. Because school in general was difficult for me, I assumed I was stupid. I carried this belief into adulthood, knowing learning would always be hard.

One day I was challenged by a friend who asked, “Why do you believe everything you think?” I was taken back by that comment, but it is true. We carry the negative thoughts and beliefs from all areas of our life, and we treat them as though there are our truth. I came to believe that I was stupid when I was a child, but now all these years later I can change that belief into a more empowered story that will benefit me. In fact I owe to myself and the world to do that, and so do you.

 

If we are to make changes in our negative thoughts and mistaken beliefs, we must learn to relate differently to the events that informed us so many years ago.  Understanding that as adults, we can look back at those events with a different perspective. We can now choose to think in a more positive light about those circumstances. Doing that will allow you more freedom to look at the things that have held you hostage—and begin to make a change to a more empowered way of being.

Inspired Action:

  • What is one negative thought or belief you have about yourself or someone else?
  • Ask yourself if is actually true or just feels true?
  • Reframe it into a positive statement that you can carry forward.

 

When the Pandemic Ends…Then What?

Did you think that we would be still in the pandemic, one year later? I know I did not. In fact, I remember, sitting with my girlfriend last March, spaced 6 feet apart in my driveway as we remarked that if we had to do this for a couple of months, it would not be so bad. But here we are one year later, finally beginning to see that the end is in sight.

You might not know this about me, but my training is in Neuropsychology, so I am always looking at the way the brain processes our experiences and how we can use that insight to influence our emotions, thoughts, and actions as we move forward.

With that said, so much has happened over the last year that it would not be wise to resume life as though nothing has happened. Once we have experienced something that is as all-encompassing as this was, and in some respects still is, we cannot just rid our mind of the effect it has had on us. The interpretation our brain makes of the experience of this last year, determines how we react to it. We want to carry the positive forward but the negative also stays with us. So as much as we might like to wash this last year from our minds, moving forward, carrying the past becomes difficult. This is true because anything we leave unresolved will influence our emotions, the way we think and how we act going forward.

There has been a dramatic shift in every aspect of our lives from how we shop to how we work, play, and communicate with our friends and family. Many have lost loved ones and some their very livelihood. In essence everything has been affected by this virus, some which are positive and some that are not.

As we emerge from this last year it is important to reflect on what we personally and collectively lost, what was gained, and what was learned about yourself and the world? Many people have told me that they were surprised to learn just how resilient and creative they were, more than they ever imagined.  I know for myself, perspective is what allowed me to see things from many different viewpoints. That alone allowed for a greater understanding of the both personal and global circumstances.

Taking time to reflect is essential as it gives us the ability to take an honest look at how we experienced this last year. What behaviors and attitudes do you personally want to keep?  What do you want to let go of? Awareness is 80% of change because you cannot change what you are not aware of. I promise you that doing this will help you feel empowered to change thoughts and behaviors you no longer want or sustain the ones you do.

Once that step is done comes the Now What? This question is about how to move forward making what you want a priority over a period of time. Here are some ideas that can help you do that.

  • Make it clear. To begin with, I would pick one thing that you want to change or continue. Make a simple statement the is simple, concise, and clear.  Include what it will look like and what it will feel like in your life. The more clarity you have around what you want, the more able you are to get it. As I learned as a Boy Scout leader years ago, keep it simple, make it fun.

 

  • Ask yourself what the motivation is behind what you want to implement going forward?  Doing this in bullet point form helps to keep this simple and concise. This will be a reminder to you, why you are making this change.

 

  • For me walking became a way to reduce stress but also exercise during the pandemic. I found that I enjoyed it but when the pandemic is over, I am afraid I will not be as motivated to do it, because I will be busy with the things I could not do before. So, my motivation is to remember how good it made me feel.

This becomes your path, but to make it happen you also need a plan. You will need action steps that are specific, measurable, attainable, and sustainable. The action step you choose needs to be clear and specific, you need to have a way of knowing if you did it and easy enough so it can be sustained over time.

Example: I will walk a certain number of steps each day. I will keep that attainable by have a low step count to begin, when I have met my goal for a week, I will raise the amount by 200 steps until I can do that consistently. Little by little I will get to my final goal of 12,000 steps.

 

The best gift of all is to help people move from where they are to where they want to be. I hope this will serve as inspiration for you to make the changes you desire.

 

Cultivating Hope, Peace & Joy For Your Holidays

I have always loved the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The news showed them getting the tree in place and placing the star at the top. They talked about it as being a star that is filled with hope during this time of year. Besides living with hope there are at least two essential components of living life to the fullest; they are cultivating peace and joy. To foster this we must know that we can be flexible in what we do, what we say, and what we think; in other words, we hold the right to be able to change our minds and do things differently at a moment’s notice.

The second is that this knowledge is the foundation of the philosophy that every day presents us the opportunity to start over. I know this is not new to you, but we can get so set in our routines and rituals of how things need to be, that we forget that we have the ability to adapt and change. We cause ourselves much dis-ease when we are unwilling to bend.

2020 has already presented us with challenge after challenge and now the cold weather and the holidays are approaching, we are facing new obstacles. As hard as this has been, we have also learned how to pare down our activities to those that are most essential and have learned how to stay connected with friends and family. However, because the Holidays are so rich with tradition and family gatherings many of us are wondering how we can remake the holiday to still feel joyful when nothing feels the same.

This year is certainly different, but I think that if we can first spend some time reflecting and tending to our spirit, everything else will fall into place. Here are a few ideas to consider in making this holiday time filled with hope, peace, and joy.

We can rethink our holiday rituals to see if they still bring us comfort and joy or if they produce extra work that leads to exhaustion. Perhaps there is an easier way, or we can make it simpler, but just as meaningful.

  • Celebrate the Winter Solstice
  • At the end of the day create a ritual of asking yourself where you experienced hope, peace, or joy that day. The days are busy and filled with responsibilities and challenges and we often forget about the good. This will train your mind to begin to look for and relish the good when it happens.
  • Make a daily intention to invite joy into your life
  • Give yourself time to play and to do the things that make you happy.
  • Express gratitude regularly for the goodness that is in your life, including those who love and support you.
  • Choose to look at life with a sense of awe and the wonder of a child.
  • Connect regularly to the Spirit inside you that guides and informs your path.
  • Send blessings to anything that is causing you discomfort and refuse to carry any anger by taking steps to resolve it.
  • Show kindness to someone every day from until the new year.
  • Offer positive comments to yourself.
  • Take time to enjoy the quiet.
  • Expect the miraculous to happen.

Finding and fostering hope, peace, and joy within ourselves is one of the most important things we can do to live fully. When we honor this sacred process, it spills out to all we meet and this is the spirit of the holiday, whether we get to spend it with our families or not. Wishing you all the miracles of the season!

 

 

 

 

You are Strong, Courageous and Wise

Eleanor Roosevelt made this bold statement years ago and it could not be truer than it is today. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” I do not have to tell you that we are living in an uncertain time and we are all experiencing the stress of the pandemic.  At every turn, there is something new we must learn to navigate.

Have you ever wished that everything in life were just smooth and easy? How silly that question is. Of course you have, and so have I! What is your response when you hit a rough spot? Perhaps it is our current life circumstance or a relationship that you are struggling with. When things in life get difficult, many people become fearful, believing all their worst fears will become a reality, which is not helpful. All this fear leads to confusion, which makes it difficult to discern between what is true and what is not. It alters our perspective, and as a result we say and do things that are out of alignment with our deepest intentions. It takes us away from our best self. I’m just wondering, are any of you feeling like this?

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Master Class: Turning Negative Thoughts into Positive Action

Can you imagine trying to live life to the fullest when your inner critic is telling you all the reasons why you cannot? That is how negative thinking works, by finding just cause for why you cannot do or get what you want.

Think of negative thoughts like this: there is a constant committee in your head that is always hard at work criticizing you. You are being asked if you are good enough or capable enough to do what it takes to get what you want.

Our experiences and life events have taught all of us who we are. From early on in our life our mind works hard to make meaning of all our experiences through our thoughts and beliefs, which then influences what we think about ourselves and others. Those thoughts and beliefs inform our actions, so in essence, we are living out how we feel about ourselves. That is why we need to meet our negative thoughts face to face, look them squarely in the eye and decide to transform them into something positive so we can live in a way that is aligned with our desires.

Questioning this committee in your head takes a little time and practice, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. The first step is to always become aware when your thoughts are negative. All too often negative thinking becomes the default thinking, recognize this as old thinking, and ask yourself how you can make a change in the thought. Once you recognize this is not helping you, then you can make choices on how to move forward with a more positive mind-set.

Join me for this Master Class to learn how to manage your negative thinking!

Turning Negative Thinking Into Positive Action

Thursday Oct. 22nd, 2020

6:30 – 7:30 PM (Zoom Class)

$25.00

Can you imagine trying to live life to the fullest when your inner critic is telling you all the reasons why you cannot? That is how negative thinking works, by finding just cause for why you cannot do or get what you want.

How would you feel if you could change your negative thinking?

Would you like to be more hopeful and positive?

Are you looking for easier ways to live your life?

Are you seeking more harmony in your life?

In this class you will:

  • Learn to recognize negative thinking as your default thinking.
  • Learn how to challenge your thinking?
  • Explore tools that will help you move into a positive mind-set.

How to Register:

Send an email to: Reply to this email or send an email to: sthibault12@msn.com with your name and how many you are registering for. I will then send you an electronic invoice to pay online. Once I receive your online payment, I will send you the link to the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MASTER CLASS:

Learning to Live with Change & Uncertainty

Thursday Oct. 1st,   2020

6:30 – 7:30 PM CST (Zoom Class)

$25.00

The truth is that there is nothing more constant in life than change, and with change comes uncertainty. However, change happens whether we want it or not, even though we do not know how the outcome will affect our lives. Since change and uncertainty are inevitable, the better we can learn to navigate it, the more harmony we will have in our day to day life.

How do you feel about change and uncertainty?

Do you feel uneasy with all the changes in your life?

Are you looking for easier ways to navigate the uncertain times?

Are you seeking more harmony in your life?

In this class you will:

  • Explore your relationship with change
  • Learn to recognize your default patterns
  • Explore tools that create harmony

How to Register:

Send an email to: sthibault12@msn.com with your name and how many you are registering for. I will then send you an electronic invoice to pay online. Once I receive your online payment, I will send you the link to the class.