Thanks for your support so far

This week I reached 100 Likes on my Facebook page. I’m so grateful to each and every one of you for liking my page so far.

Which category do you fit?

You’ve probably Liked my page for one of these reasons:

She may not be able to lift me up by my feet anymore, but she still supports me in every way she can.
  • You’re totally into self-improvement and keen to keep up with my news, tips, offers, and random thoughts
  • You’re my family member or friend and feel obliged to Like my page so that we don’t have an awkward moment next time I see you…
  • You’re a friend of my mum’s and feel obliged to Like my page because she asked you to (thanks Mum!)

Don’t need improvement?

It’s very possible that you’ve totally got your shit together and don’t think you need any personal development. Here’s why I want you to stick with me anyway:

  • Those of us who DON’T always have all our shit together NEED people like you to tell us how you do stuff! Engage with the content on this page and tell us what YOU do to make your life happier or easier.
  • There are people you know who may be quietly struggling with their own motivation, self-discipline, or goals. Share the content on this page and help them find me. I stumbled across ONE blog many years ago that helped me start turning my life around. Maybe I can be that person for someone else.
  • I believe that no matter how great we are, or how smoothly things are running for us, we can ALL work on SOMETHING to improve our functionality and wellbeing. Whether it’s habits, kindness, self-discipline, motivation, or some aspect of your personality. Stick with me, check out my blog posts, and spend a little time reflecting on yourself.

What is the point of Fly Life Personal Development anyway?

Fly Life Personal Development is all about helping people get unstuck. We’ve all been there.

  • Unsure about what we’re doing with our life

    You know there’s gotta be more to life than this.
  • Scared about what’s coming next
  • Bored with where we’re at but not confident enough to change it
  • Unmotivated to do what’s gotta be done
  • Motivated but lacking the self-discipline required to achieve something
  • Or just feeling blah about ourselves and wanting to start feeling like we’re really living.

Fly Life Personal Development will help people through the blog and through coaching services and workshops. The more you engage with my content on social media or on the website, by Liking, Commenting and Sharing, the more my business gets out there, hopefully reaching the people who are searching for someone like me to help them.

So I wanted to thank you again for already liking my Facebook page. I hope you’ll stick with me, help me help other people, and in the long run, help me support my own little family by making my small business successful!

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Judgmental or Courageous?

I came across a post on a Facebook group for mums that really got me thinking… This post isn’t about having the answers. It’s just a question I think is worth thinking about.

When should we mind our own business and when should we have the courage to step in?

The poster was asking for advice. She had witnessed an older woman in a store being really angry, harsh, and aggressive with the three children that were with her. The poster’s own child had become unsettled and frightened by the woman’s behaviour. She felt uneasy about what she had witnessed, but didn’t know what she could do. So she just looked away and went home. But hours later the experience was still nagging at her. She was wondering what other mums would have done in this situation.

The response she got from so many other mums, in this supposedly “supportive and non-judgmental” group, was that she was being incredibly judgmental and she should mind her own business.

Many people commented that she had only seen one part of this woman’s day and didn’t know what else she was dealing with. Others said that if the kids looked physically okay (well dressed, not bruised etc) then she should mind her own business.

WHAT?

Would people still say she was being overly judgmental if:

  • The older woman was in fact a paid family day care provider and not a family member?
  • The adult with the children was a man instead of a woman?
  • The woman was in her late teens and dressed poorly?

Now don’t get me wrong. I can’t stand how judgmental some people can be. And I’ve noticed it more than ever since becoming a mum. So I’m all for telling people not to judge too quickly.

I’m dead certain that one day I will lose my shit at my kid in a shopping centre. It’ll be a long day, he will have asked me for something one too many times. I will be so tired of him giving me attitude when all I’m trying to do is be a good mum. I’ll yell at him and grab his hand a little more firmly than necessary. He will look like a sad and scared kid because he didn’t get his way and he’s realised he pushed mum too far and now she’s cranky. And when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

But this kind of parent-child interaction is pretty common and generally doesn’t send people home feeling sick to their stomach. The situation this Facebook poster described was far more than a frazzled mum or grandmother trying to control her unruly kids.

So what’s the answer?

Stepping in to ensure the safety of a child requires courage.

When is it okay to dismiss poor treatment of other humans because we don’t want to appear judgmental? Is it okay to ignore abuse and not get involved because it’s not our business? When is it time to have the courage to step in? And how can this be done in a way that is sensitive and careful?

There are too many stories in the world of unthinkable child abuse. But most of these stories don’t come out until the children are grown and the damage is done. Or worse, we only hear about it after the child has been killed. And then everyone cries, “why didn’t anyone do anything?”

I am by no means suggesting the woman in the store was definitely a child abuser. I was not there to witness the interaction, and even if I had been, I still probably wouldn’t have enough information to make that definitive judgment. But I do know that it was enough to disturb one woman for hours, to the point that she put herself out there on social media, only to be shot down for being judgmental.

What would you do?

I think it’s worth considering whether you would have the character to step in if you truly felt someone was being mistreated. And how would you go about it?

I like to think I would be able to remain calm, kind, and compassionate. Perhaps I would approach the woman and comment that it looks like she’s having a hard time. Maybe I’d be able to offer some assistance and get a better feel for what was really happening. It’s possible that a simple kind gesture from a stranger was all this woman needed to reset her day. Or perhaps her reaction would give me a clearer idea of whether I thought these kids were in any danger.

Until we’re in the situation it’s hard to know how we would react. Have you ever gone to someone’s aid when you thought they were being mistreated? How did you handle it?

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When you want to quit your goal

Six years ago, I set myself a goal of completing a university degree. Six thousand times since then, I thought about quitting. And this week I graduated.

I want to share with you some of the obstacles I faced, and why I did not quit my goal.

He told me I was useless

My ex-boyfriend, who I was with when I started this degree, was not supportive of my studying. He told me I was wasting my time and money. According to him I was useless and I would probably fail or quit anyway. He repeatedly accused me of thinking I was better than everyone because I was studying. But he generously brought me down to earth by reminding me that everyone in town thought I was just a stuck up city girl who thought I was something special.

There were times that I started to believe him. And I thought about quitting.

But then I thought of my family, my friends, and my colleagues who were all so excited about my goal. They didn’t seem to think I was useless. In fact, they encouraged me and cheered every time I got my results back. They rolled their eyes every time I got a high distinction. Because they expected the high distinction. They had no doubt in me whatsoever. And so, I continued.

Remember the people who have your back. Surround yourself with those people.

I left everything and started over

As you can see from the previous section, my relationship wasn’t happy or healthy. So, one day I left. I had a bag of clothes in my car and left town. Leaving behind my job that I loved, my friends who I adored and had been my support network, and my house that I had put all my money into building.

I was back living with my parents. I had no job, not much money, and no energy. Having quit everything else, I also thought about quitting my degree. It was just too hard to focus on it now. And what was the point?

But then I thought about the fact that one day I would be able to help other people. One day I’d have the knowledge and the qualifications to help people believe in themselves and set their own direction. But only if I continued. And so, I continued.

Always remember the big picture.

My new life was busy

I may have been glancing at a textbook when this photo was taken.

I got a new job, fell in love, made new friends, joined a local Rotary club, and started experiencing a more active social life. My new relationship was the opposite of my previous one. I was previously living a relatively isolated life inside my relationship, which gave me plenty of time to study. My new partner was so adoring and wanted to spend all his time with me. While being supportive of my study and being a student himself, he had a very different approach to study and didn’t quite understand how hard I needed to work at it. Throughout the remainder of my degree (even after we got married) this caused a lot of tension.

I thought maybe he was right and I was spending too much time with my head in the books. Maybe I really was sacrificing too much social time because of my study. I knew I couldn’t do any less work and still understand the subject enough to pass. So I thought about quitting.

But then I considered how much time, effort, and money I’d already put in. I was achieving great results and I knew that I could do it. It was only a bit longer. I just had to maintain enough balance for my relationship to survive until the end of the degree. And so, I continued.

Think of what you have already invested and sacrificed. Don’t waste that.

Cancer struck my family

My grandma and my mum were both diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months. It was the year leading up to my wedding and the two women who I worshipped and adored were both sick and undergoing treatment. Between work, my community service commitments, and my study, I felt unable to support them or be there for them. So I thought about quitting my degree.

But again, I considered how far I’d already come. I remembered what I could do with the knowledge and the qualification once I had it. And I thought about how proud my grandma and my mum would be when I eventually graduated. And so, I continued.

Make them proud.

Pregnancy brought me unstuck

The following year, I fell pregnant. I had a difficult pregnancy, with a suspected miscarriage in the early days, followed by hyperemesis gravidarum for the remainder. Which basically means I constantly vomited for nine months. I would be up several times in the night to be sick, then drag myself to work where I would discretely scurry to the bathroom several times a day to throw up. I had no energy because I couldn’t keep much food down and wasn’t getting much sleep. The sickness wore me down until I was badly depressed.

I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to get an assignment submitted on time and discovered weeks later when results came out that there had been a technical malfunction and it didn’t submit. The course convenor said I could fail the subject OR I could get medical evidence to say I couldn’t complete the assignment, and then I would have to do a completely new one to replace it. I just couldn’t face the thought of starting all over again on a different topic and going through the stress. So I thought about quitting.

But I only had a few subjects left. The end was in sight. And so, I continued.

Look to the end. Have a countdown. Keep your eye on the ball.

My tiny human didn’t care for my goals

He was little but loud!

My heart exploded with love every time I looked at my baby boy. And my head exploded with stress every time I thought about my assessments that weren’t getting done. Archie had reflux, and we had a lot of problems with feeding and sleep. He was a very unhappy baby for the first five months of his life, and he only wanted to be in my arms. I would explain to him that I was very close to finishing my degree and would have plenty of time for cuddles after that, but he was not willing to wait. And so I thought about quitting.

But I knew if I stopped now, it would only get harder and harder to get it finished some other time. I’d be back at work AND have a child to raise AND still have uni work to do. It was better just to plough through and get it finished while I was on maternity leave. And so, I continued.

Now may be the best time. Just get it done.

I got there in the end

A proud moment… but I was really just praying I wouldn’t fall down the stairs.

As my name was called and I walked across the stage, I blinked back tears. I was grateful for every person who supported me and encouraged me. And I was even grateful for those who made it more challenging. It was because of them that I felt so proud of my achievement.

Get in touch

Have you fought through obstacles to reach your goal despite wanting to quit? Tell me about it in the comments.

Want more personalised and tailored support to get you through your obstacles? Please contact me to chat about how I can help.

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How to build your confidence without feeling like a fraud

I grew up with an extroverted and very talented older brother. Didn’t matter what he tried, he was good at it. He was popular, entertaining, and adored by his family and peers. This is not a story of jealousy. I worship my older brother and I’m so proud of his many achievements.

This picture sums up my childhood. My brother is relaxed and cool, and I am … not.

This is a story of the kid who was introverted, not very talented, and a bit boring. The kid who followed her brother and his mates around because she didn’t really have a tribe of her own. (She was instructed by said brother to remain at least 10 paces behind so as not to cramp his style, and she dutifully complied). This is a story of the kid who tried really hard to be as entertaining as her brother, but came off a bit weird and awkward.

Growing up, I watched how easily my brother did everything. How easily he made friends. How easily he made people laugh. How easily he just walked into a shop and bought whatever he wanted, chatting with the shopkeeper like they were old mates.

These things were not easy for me. Wherever we went all the other kids seemed much older or much younger than me. Or just much cooler. So I was too shy to approach them. I was terrified of having to go into a shop and make a purchase on my own, because I didn’t know what I should say. What if I made a fool of myself? Or what if I got confused with the money? What if the shop keeper thought I was stealing something because I was a kid and some kids steal?

I had zero confidence! Because everything that seemed so easy for my brother, seemed so very difficult for me.

When it all began to change

It was only in my late twenties, when I started to consciously work on my own self-development, that I started to gain some confidence. And the results have been huge. I started getting great jobs that I loved. My salary increased. I left a terrible relationship and ended up in a loving and supportive marriage. My friendship circle increased and became more interesting.

I still feel terrified before a job interview, but then I go in there and (usually) nail it. Public speaking doesn’t frighten me like it used to. And thankfully I can now go into a shop and chat with the shopkeeper like we’re old mates.

If your lack of confidence is holding you back from living a fun and free life, I feel you! I’ve been there. I still struggle a lot with my confidence. But I’ve found many strategies that work for me, and I want to share them with you.

How to be confident

Recognise your strengths

What do other people often compliment you on? Be sure to think about all the different ways that people show admiration. Sometimes it’s a straight-out “Wow, you’re so good at _____”. Other times admiration is shown by asking for your advice or opinion. And sometimes admiration is subtly displayed by jealousy. In any case, consider all the different things that other people might admire you for and write them down.

Next, think about the things you’re proud of, and write them down too. Don’t worry, you’re not going to show anyone this list. Toot your own horn in your sound-proof bubble. Write it all down.

Now keep this list somewhere you can look at it often. The more often you remind yourself of all your great qualities, the more likely you are to start believing that you’re actually pretty great. And when we believe that we’re alright, we start to feel more confident. You might even start honing in on some of those strengths and building on them.

Use your body

Strike a pose and feel the power of confidence

This one was a game changer for me. I have always had terrible posture. I hunch my shoulders, I cross my arms and legs, and I touch my face a lot when I’m a bit nervous. All these things make us LOOK timid, but they also make us FEEL more timid. Standing tall with your shoulders back and your body open allows you to breathe easier and changes your physiology. Your body language alone can help you to feel more confident. I urge you to watch the TED Talk by Amy Cuddy “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”. Practice the Power Poses she talks about. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel like a real weirdo when you’re doing it, but it will have positive results.

Be your own bestie

If your best friend called you and said she felt like a failure, or that she was thinking of cancelling her date, or that she felt fat and ugly, would you agree with her? NO! That would make you a jerk. You’d tell her how amazing she is and remind her why you love her. You would build her up to the point that she was strutting out her front door ready to take on the world.

So be your own bestie. Have a little pep talk with yourself. Speak lovingly, encouragingly, and positively.

Celebrate your wins

No matter how big or small, when you start acknowledging your achievements you start feeling more confident. As you feel more confident you try more things and you achieve more things. It’s a positive cycle! Take five minutes each week to think of all the good things that happened through the week. Do something nice for yourself to celebrate.

Step outside your comfort zone

Push yourself to do something you normally wouldn’t do. I’m not saying it will be easy or free of anxiety. But when you realise you can do it, it’ll boost your confidence. It might be attending a networking event, putting yourself forward for a promotion, or introducing yourself to your neighbour. It might be skydiving, or going to a Zumba class, or joining the gym. Whatever makes you a little uncomfortable but could be a great experience, take a deep breath and give it a whirl.

Join groups

Whatever your interest or lifestyle, there is a group or a club out there for you. These people are grass enthusiasts. Who knew?

Joining groups that have common interests can be a huge confidence booster. As a shy introvert, I find this really hard, but usually very rewarding. Once you get over the initial discomfort of putting yourself in a situation where you lack confidence, you’ll start to connect with like-minded people and feel more at home. You’ll open yourself up to new experiences, learning opportunities, and the chance to share your knowledge or interest with others. Joining my local Rotary club was the best thing I ever did.

Subtract negativity from your life

Whether it’s your own negativity or people around you, you don’t need it. Practice turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. Politely tell your negative-thinking-self to shut the hell up. If possible, avoid people who are constantly bringing you down. If avoiding them is not practical, maybe you could gently bring it to their attention that they come across very negative. Chances are they are not even aware of it.

I’ve been told before that I’m very negative, which took me by surprise because I thought I was being funny! I now try to be aware of how I’m coming across and pull myself back a bit if my dry sense of humour or my fact-stating might be coming across as overly negative.

Take on the world

All these strategies might feel very uncomfortable at first. Do them anyway. This is not about faking it or pretending to be someone you’re not. This is about celebrating who you are and genuinely increasing your level of self-confidence.

Because sure, you can “fake it till you make it”… that works for some. But for others we just come off a bit weird and awkward.

So continue to be your spectacular self. Celebrate your spectacular self. Share your spectacular self with the world. And set in motion the positive cycle of increasing your confidence and achieving great things.

Let’s chat…

How is your confidence holding you back? Do you think you’ll try any of these strategies? Do you have other strategies that you use? Tell me in the comments!

You might consider hiring a personal coach to help build your confidence and start living the life you want. Contact me for a free initial consultation and let’s chat.

 

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One simple habit to improve your productivity, health, energy, and mood

There are many habits I’d like to build into my life, and I’m always working on improving my habits. But there’s one simple little habit that makes everything else easier. It makes me feel more energised, it leads to me making much healthier food choices, I feel happier, I move my body more, and I get so much more done.

When I tell you what this one little habit is, you might be inclined to roll your eyes and close this article. Maybe you think you’ve heard it all before, or maybe you don’t think it’s for you. But please read on anyway. I have tips for how to build it into your life, even if you’ve tried a hundred times before.

This habit has been a tricky one for me. It comes and goes. When I’m good at it, I’m really good, and everything in life is much better. But when I’m bad at it, like I have been lately, I’m really, really bad. I suffer in Struggle Town for way too long before realising that I’ve let this habit slip. So I’m about to work on building it back into my life, and thought I’d see if anyone wants to join me in the challenge.

We’ve all heard over and over again how we should drink 2 litres of water a day. Ugh. You may as well ask me to drink an entire swimming pool! If you’re not already a big water drinker, 2 litres can feel like a huge amount. But I promise that once you have built this habit into your day, you’ll get through 2 litres of water without even thinking about it.

How the drought began

Before I fell pregnant I used to easily drink 2-3 litres of water a day. But then I was Little Miss Chucky all through my pregnancy and I couldn’t keep much down at all. My water-drinking habit died off, along with my good humour and my will to live. And then I had the baby and was breastfeeding so there wasn’t enough water in the world to keep me hydrated. I was SO thirsty! But the water I drank through this period was more out of necessity than good habits. As soon as I finished breastfeeding I rediscovered two great loves of my life: coffee and wine. I needed ALL OF THE COFFEE to get me through the days. And then I needed a little wine to give me something to look forward to in the evenings. With a demanding little dictator now running my life, there’s not always time to pee when I want to, so I didn’t want to waste any bladder space with anything that wasn’t caffeinated or wine.

But now I find myself tired, grumpy, sluggish, looking a bit (okay, maybe a lot) haggard, and making poor choices. Like, eating milo balls for breakfast, skipping breakfast entirely, cheese & wine for dinner, KFC for lunch… you know, not great energy-boosting choices!

I’ve been in this place before and managed to make water drinking a habit, so I’m going to do it again. And I’ll tell you some ways that I’ve made it work for me in the past.

How to increase your water intake

Set a target

2 litres is sort of the standard recommended amount for adults to drink. But maybe 2 litres seems far too much to start with for you. Or maybe you’re really quite active or sweat a lot and you think maybe you should be drinking more. I’m sure there’s a formula out there that calculates how much you should drink for your body weight etc, but I’m not getting too scientific here.

Use easy measurements

If my target is 2 litres, then 750ml drink bottles make me crazy. I need a 500ml drink bottle or a 1 litre bottle and a glass. This way I can easily track how much I’ve had and how much more I have to go. Maybe you’re not as neurotic as me, but I like to have accurate figures to track. The best method that works for me is a 1 litre cordial bottle filled with water and chilled. I then sit that and a glass beside me and drink away. As soon as the glass is empty, refill it. The glass I use is quite big, so it only takes about 3 refills to have one litre finished. Then refill the bottle straight away and swap it for a chilled one. This works if I’m sitting in one place like my desk. If I’m on the go, a 500ml bottle works better.

Set some rules and/or incentives

When I was a kid we had a rule that we had to eat all our dinner before being allowed dessert. I’m glad my parents taught me this, because now I have a rule that I have to drink ALL my water before being allowed any wine. Or anything else for that matter! I allow myself one cup of coffee when I first wake up, but after that I can’t have anything else to drink until I’ve finished my 2 litres of water. Every time I’m tempted to have another coffee or a cup of tea, it reminds me to drink water first. Rules work pretty well for me, but you might like to think of it more as an incentive.

Track your progress

Whether you use an app or a handwritten log, keeping track of your intake can motivate you to keep going. It will also help you realise how much your intake affects things like your mood, your productivity, and your health.

Add a little flavour

Personally I don’t do this, because it’s an extra step and it doesn’t work for me. But I know a lot of people are more likely to drink their water if it has some flavour added. Infuse your water with some cut up citrus fruit, cucumber, melon, or mint.

Change your vessel

Have you ever noticed how a glass of wine is just so nice to hold and to bring to your lips? Suddenly the wine is gone and you’re ready for a refill! You might feel silly doing it, but drinking your water from a wine glass or a schooner glass can make it feel like more of a treat. You might raise some eyebrows if you try this at work, but in the privacy of your own home or even if you’re out for dinner, I don’t think there’s a problem with this.  It doesn’t have to be a wine glass – just any cup or glass that you enjoy drinking from.

Bottoms up!

We all know the benefits of drinking water, right? So why don’t you join me in trying to increase your intake. Who couldn’t do with a bit more energy, a clearer mind, and clearer skin? Let me know in the comments if you think you might try any of these tips, or if you have other suggestions for increasing water intake.

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Get out of that funk and deal with the minor setback

I’m going back to work in a month. I will be running this business alongside my other part time job. There’s still a LOT of work to do in setting up Fly Life, and I know that it’ll be hard work once I return to my other job. But that’s okay. I’ve been studying at uni while working full time for the last six years. I know I can handle a full workload.

Plus, I’ve planned ahead. I organised to put my baby in day care one day a week for the last six weeks of my maternity leave. This would give him (and me) a chance to adapt to day care. It will hopefully mean that I’m not crying after dropping him off when I’m on my way to work. I would get a full day each week to focus completely on my business. I also knew that babies tend to get sick when they first start day care, so I figured we should try and deal with at least some of that before I’m back at work.

He had his first day there a couple of weeks ago. A couple of days later he had conjunctivitis, croup, and a terrible cold. Ugh. Kids are so gross! And then of course after several sleepless nights and a germy baby rubbing his slimy face all over me, I got sick too. So we’ve now had a week and a half of sick baby, sick mama, and life passing us by.

Sick baby, tired mama

I handled the first week okay. But then the baby started seeming better and I’d feel hopeful that things were getting back to normal… and then he would crash again. I was so convinced he was past all the yucky contagious stuff that I took him to visit my family. And then last night he seemed gross and gunky and germy and miserable again. This sent me plunging into despair.

I’m mostly upset that we’ve probably now passed germs on to the rest of the family, when I thought we were beyond that. But I’m also just so tired and want things to be back to normal. And then there’s the fact that I’ve neglected so many things I need to do because I’ve been busy cuddling a baby and washing everything constantly to try and reduce the lingering germs. Panic is setting in as my return-to-work date rapidly approaches.

I was a complete misery-guts last night. And it took my darling husband to point out that some things are beyond my control, but I can control how I respond to it. I wanted to smack him for being so rational.

It’s all about re-framing

You’ve probably heard the term “re-framing” before. Re-framing means looking at a situation from a different perspective. It’s a key component of building resilience.

When something is … well… shit, try and find genuine positive points about it. It doesn’t stop it being shit, but it takes a bit of the stink out.

So these are the things I’ve been thinking about since my husband’s gentle lecture.

I’m grateful it’s not worse
There are so many families out there with seriously or chronically ill babies, and I just don’t know how they do it. This is just a virus, and while it’s miserable and tiring and hard work, I know it will pass eventually and things will be fine.

At least my house is getting clean
This has forced me to go on a bit of a cleaning rampage and it’s kind of nice to know that things have been washed that I would normally postpone.

Bonus cuddles
As my maternity leave comes to an end I’m feeling sad about missing out on time with my little guy. While he’s sick all he wants is cuddles, so even though this can be frustrating when I need to do other things, I’m grateful for every second I get to hold him.

Work can wait
I am so excited about this business, and have several new services in the pipeline that I’m keen to launch. But at the moment, I am not completely dependent on the income of this business. I have not had to miss any client appointments, and have not let anyone down. Really, it’s just a minor setback and I will be able to catch up when things are settled down.

Getting on with it

My baby and I are back in quarantine until I’m sure we are definitely well. But instead of sulking about it, I’m focusing on the positives and just trying to do whatever I can with a baby on my hip. I’m feeling much more rational and in control.

Because my husband is right (don’t tell him I said that): you can’t control the situation, but you can control how you respond to it.

And as I would say: you can’t change it from being shit, but you can take the stink out of it.

 

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