Why you are not taking action

You know what you want:

a better career, a cleaner house, to set boundaries with the kids or let loose and have more fun. 

So why is change so hard? Before you can make a change, you’ve got to see what’s keeping you stuck. What keeps you from taking action is your thoughts. 

To find out what thoughts are keeping you stuck requires getting quiet and listening to ourselves. This first step, getting quiet and listening, is simple but not easy. There’s a reason you stopped going inward in the first place. Inside your mind can be all sorts of dark and sordid stories about “the one time you made a fool of yourself and promised you would never do that again” or the very common belief, that “you aren’t worthy of good things.” Here are some of the most common characters that keeps us stuck.

Judgmental Janet – Our inner mean girl likes to be in charge. She says things like “you are stupid, fat, ugly, nobody’s going to love you, you’ll never be good enough, etc.” She’s judgmental and critical, “Nobody’s going to like if you _______” or “You know your going to fail so why try.”

Safety Sal  This voice wants us to play small and play it safe. “Just wait a little longer, your family needs you.” “Keep your head down and appreciate what you have.” “I don’t know what to do.” “I’m not sure” “The timings not right, I’ll wait until everything is ready.” “What if I’m wrong?” This voice is more subtle and sounds so innocent but the perfectionism keeps us stuck.

Critical Christine – “If my husband would just help out more” “If we just had more money….” “If my kids would leave me alone and my boss would stop calling, then….…”  Our inner wisdom tells us, “somethings not right, I don’t feel good” but Critical Christine thinks it has identified the problem and wants to fix it. She convinces us that if we could just change the other person, our job, our financial situation, our house, then the problem would go away. Blaming others feels better (temporarily) but keeps us stuck because we never recognize the real issue is our own thinking.

Whenever we try to make lasting change, these characters feel threatened. They know their days are numbered and they pull out all the stops to not lose power. Before we can start changing our actions, we’ve got to change our thinking and tame these inner wild beasts. Having an hour long coaching call each week expedites things and ensures the changes stick. But you can do it yourself by writing in a journal for at least 15 minutes a day.

We’ve got to take inventory of the thoughts in your head so just write them down, every day. Write down every excuse your mind comes up with about why writing in your journal is a stupid waste of time. How there are other more important things to do. How this is selfish and not working. Whatever negativity you hear, write it down and identify who is saying what. Change the names to fit your characters: Inner Mean Girl, Terry the Turtle (who hides in a shell), the drama queen, the inner perfectionist, etc.

In order to take action and make changes in your life, you’ll need to take inventory of who’s in charge and decide if that’s working for you. Every time you go outside your comfort zone, these characters get ready to pounce. Life Coaching is so effective because once you learn to tame these wild beasts, you take charge of your life and can create whatever changes you want to make.

Are you ready to tame your inner critic to make changes in your life?  Try a free discovery call at www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/work-with-me

Are you overwhelmed with end of the school year stress?

You might be asking your brain to hold on to too many things.

Watch the video below and try this trick to eliminate overwhelm and take more effective action. It’s a busy time of year, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.

One Habit Happy Parents Have in Common

Do this one thing today to help create more cooperative kids and happier parents.

There is one thing you can do today to have happier, more responsible, self-confident kids. PRAISE THEM. I don’t just mean “You are a great kid” or other general statements. I mean specific, timely, honest praise that gets you more of what you want.  Let’s say you have a 10 year old slob living in your home. He leaves food, shoes, backpacks and smelly socks everywhere. It drives you bonkers. You are constantly bouncing back and forth between frustration, nagging and hopelessness. Turn your attention and try to catch him doing SOMETHING towards your goal of cleanliness. “I noticed that instead of kicking off your shoe so that it would fly and hit the ceiling, you wedged it off and left it in the entry way. Thanks for aiming closer to it’s designated spot, I really appreciate your effort in helping our house stay tidy.”  Even if it’s nearly impossible to find something praise worthy, keep trying and look for the slightest nudge towards what you want. 

Perhaps you live with a surly, private 13 year old whose moods change on a dime. If you want to reinforce more steady, polite behavior, find a moment to praise it. “I notice when your friend came to the door, you were polite and sociable. That must have been hard since you were so grumpy a minute earlier. Being able to manage your emotions is a wonderful life skill and I’m impressed you are learning it at such a young age.”

You don’t want to lie or be sarcastic. Just find one small, incremental movement that demonstrates effort in the direction you want to see. Notice my title says “One thing happy PARENTS have in common”.  Sure, this will help your children be happy, but so will happier parents!  It’s just too easy to see the shortcomings in our kids, especially during adolescence. When we only see the negative in our kids it feels heavy and yucky to us, and to them. Focusing on what our kids are doing well will make everyone feel happier and more at peace. Try it today. Pick a behavior that bugs you and then find something to praise about it. “You brought your dish to the sink!” “Sharing space on your plate with a vegetable takes courage and that zucchini sat there the whole time!”  “I noticed how when you got angry with your sister, you went to your room to cool off instead of letting it escalate.” “You remembered you have a test tomorrow!” “You still brush your teeth every night even though I stopped reminding you!  You are so responsible!”

Avoid “You are so smart” or “Great Job” or anything fixed like intelligence, appearance, talent or skill. The key is to praise their EFFORT, something they have power over changing. Find something every day to praise, you will never regret it!

Trust your gut, not your snap chat feed


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your kid’s use of technology?

Between homework assignments, researching, online video games, snapchat, texting, youtube, reading books, and easy access to inappropriate content, it seems our whole world is being overrun by technology. For many parents, it feels like technology is taking away childhood.

Parents of adolescents face an interesting challenge. It’s natural for young teenagers to want independence and privacy as they create identities separate from their parents, but the place they seem to want independence is online? How do we keep our kids safe in a world we can’t see or control?

Join me for a free webinar:

Trust Your Gut, Not Your SnapChat Feed.

This webinar will cover 5 things parents can do to help their child build a healthy relationship with technology. Click the button below to register for the free webinar held on Tuesday, April 11th. (A recording will be sent to those who cannot make it live).

CLICK HERE


Below is something I call The Ten Commandments of Texting. (Say it with a loud deep voice for dramatic effect.) Some of it might sound basic but kids don’t know if we don’t tell them. Right now, lessons are being learned by watching others make mistakes and get in trouble. The more we can teach ahead of time, the fewer consequences our kids will have to suffer. Print this and post on your refrigerator, or better yet, share on social media and encourage your kids to do the same. 

The Ten Commandments of Texting 

  1. The person in the room gets priority over the person on the phone. Apologize or ask permission before using your phone in front of them. A quick “excuse me one second” goes a long way.
  2. Never chat with strangers online. Don’t give out personal information to people you haven’t smelled.
  3. Never text when you are angry or hurt. Be nice to yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling then text “I’ll call you” or “FaceTime?” so you can resolve conflict in an appropriate way.
  4. If you see something online or on a group chat that feels weird, icky, or not right, screenshot it and share it with a trusted adult.
  5. Never send or post anything you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard in front of your school.
  6. Beware of using sarcastic humor, it can sound mean instead of funny. Use extra thank you’s, please’s, and emoticons to soften blunt words.
  7. If your media time leaves you feeling yucky, bad or grumpy; unfriend, unfollow or just turn off your phone. Seek happiness and positivity.
  8. Group texts are annoying! Use them only when necessary and don’t add people without permission.
  9. If you message someone three times without a response, stop messaging them. Call, talk in person, or give up.
  10. Devices need a bedtime and days off. Unplug, set boundaries, or take a break. We all need a digital detox once in a while.

Want to shake things up?

Do Something Scary

Everything is going well in Anita’s* life. Her kids are happy and healthy and keeping her busy driving them from one activity to another. Her home, marriage and job are all stable and fine. Even her puppy has grown up, calmed down and is less demanding. She’s busy, content, but a little bored.

We need to create challenge in our lives because we are meant to constantly grow and expand. If we don’t create it in reality, our minds will create drama and fear to keep us interested and on edge. Before I found life coaching, I could walk down the street and imagine myself being robbed, kidnapped, raped, or other horrible scenarios happening. This was stressful and unproductive but it certainly kept me awake and alert in my life! Today it’s easy to find drama and fear by watching the news or reading a Facebook or Twitter feed. This keeps us from getting bored but it, too, is stressful and unproductive.

If you want to feel truly alive and purposeful in your life, don’t just think about scary things, DO something that scares you.
I was listening to a podcast of Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams beer talking about the difference between something being scary vs. something being dangerous. As a rock climber, Jim Koch was used to taking risks and facing fears. When people asked him about it, he would explain with all the safety measures in place, it’s not dangerous but it is scary. He used this same reasoning to leave his corporate job and start his own beer business. He wanted to do something scary, but not dangerous.

Perhaps having Trump as president is dangerous, but it isn’t scary because it’s not personal enough to you. Standing your ground with peace and unity with your argumentative relatives can be very scary, so learning to stay peaceful and open minded when others are not, might be an area where you can grow. Changing who you are and what you do is always a bit scary, but this is how we keep life exciting.

Think about things that are scary for YOU, but not dangerous. Sending your child to summer camp, trusting your teen to use snapchat wisely, or letting your 12 year old hangout downtown with friends, isn’t dangerous but it might be scary. When we do things that scare us, we grow and expand ourselves, making us feel a greater sense of mastery over our lives. When we THINK about scary things happening but avoid taking action, our lives shrink, making us feel more vulnerable and fearful.

Joining a direct selling company is scary, but not dangerous, and it would encourage you to grow and expand yourself, keeping life exciting. Joining a team for a sport you love to play, writing a book or selling art are all things that are scary, but allow for LOTS of growth, expansion and excitement. Have you thought about changing careers or going back to school? Owning your own business is the most lucrative form of therapy, making you face fears everyday. Taking a risk on yourself is super scary but makes you feel wide awake and excited about life.

How do you know if something is dangerous? Look at the “statistical probability” of something really bad happening. Texting while driving is dangerous, but not scary, so skip it all together. Teaching your teenager to drive on an uncrowded freeway on a sunny day with seat belts on, is scary, but statistically not dangerous. Letting your teenager drive on a two-lane road, in fog and pounding rain, with three friends in the car, increases the danger.  

My son wants to go to college in England. This scares me to death. What if he hates it and wants to come home? What if he loves it and never comes home? What if he gets sick and needs his Mommy? What if terrorists attack while he’s riding the Underground? It feels scarier than going to college closer to home, but it’s hard to pretend that it’s dangerous.
I spent so many years thinking about scary things happening instead of doing scary things. Now I’m hooked on DOING scary things, even if they seem silly to others but are important to me. Hiring people on elance felt scary to me, buying a real estate investment property was scary, but my life feels ridiculously fun and free because I believe I can create whatever I want.  What have you longed to do that you’ve been scared to? I’d love to know. Email Torie (at) LifeCoachingforParents (dot) com, or post it on my Facebook Page. Let’s face our fears together. If you want help overcoming your fears and taking a scary leap, sign up for a discovery life coaching session. 

 

 

*name has been changed to protect the restless 🙂