The amazing feeling when you’ve made a big scary decision

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I made the decision to quit my job. It was a feeling of MASSIVE relief and freedom. Like I could breathe deeply again. I remember feeling exhausted. But I had a real sense of – I can do anything.

I’d been at my parents crying my eyes out, talking through my situation and I came to the conclusion that I needed to leave my job.

Related: The Day I Decided To Leave My Job

The next morning, I caught a train back home, and started walking back from the station. I bought myself a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and really savoured them, strolling along in the gentle sun.

And it might not seem a big deal, but that was quite symbolic for me. Buying a packet of crisps at 11 o’clock in the morning and strolling along eating them! I never do that! This is real freedom!!

And I just remember that feeling. I’m free. I’m not trapped in this feeling of frustration and shame and discomfort any more. I’ve made my decision. After years of self-flagellating and dreaming and not moving on – finally, finally, I had made a big decision as a grown-up adult has the right to do, and I knew in my gut it was the right decision.

The right decision?

I tell you this in case you are struggling with a decision. If you are all twisted inside, feeling uncomfortable, sick, nervous. If you are terrified of making a mistake.

Ultimately, you probably know what you really want, you are just scared. Or you are torn between two equally decent sounding options. Or, maybe one is decent and sensible and a little boring, and the other is big and exciting and risky. Whatever.

Related: What happens after you reach ‘Breaking Point’?

The main thing I want you to know is that the absolute worst is the indecision. The wrangling and overthinking and swaying from one side to the other.

And the absolute best, is making that decision. Knowing that you are equipped to deal with whatever the outcome is. Perhaps it won’t work out quite as you hoped or expected. Maybe there are still tough times to come. It could be you’ll have to quickly make another big decision, then another.

Think new thoughts

But the sooner you move on, the sooner you can get stuck into the next phase. And feel that sense of freedom and excitement at having made your decision. You can concentrate on other stuff. Think new thoughts.

Sure there will be other dilemmas and issues and let downs. But you will be safe in the knowledge that you made that big decision! It’s yours. You did it. You had the guts to do it. And you can do it again. It’s given me a certain confidence that I’ll never forget.

From deciding to leave my job, a good year or so later I then made the decision to move to live in Spain. With a new job working remotely and a looming Brexit, this was the time. A little after, I made the decision to set up my coaching practice on the side.

I’m certain my decision to leave my job allowed me to make these other big decisions with a  lot more ease and confidence. (With moving to Spain, I still stressed, and worried, and sometimes wondered what the hell I was doing…but I got on with it. Because deep down I knew exactly what I was doing). I’d stuck my neck out once, I could do it again, take a risk, follow my heart. Survive and deal with the consequences.

What decision are you hesitating on? Do you have your answer deep down? Can you take a step forward?

If you’d like my help through some coaching, get in touch here.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Your future self – more than self-care

The term self-care is being bandied about all over the place, and I sometimes wonder if I need to read yet another top 10 self-care list, although they seem impossible to avoid at the moment.

Having said that, there is something in it. It is really important to remember to be kind to yourself. To be as lovely to yourself as you are to your friends or family or partner. To rank your needs as highly as anyone else’s.

And we’ve all got a horrible little voice in our heads trying to tell us how rubbish/unattractive/stupid/idiotic we are. It takes a fair bit of effort to quash it. Sometimes it’s easier to give in, agree, and feel yourself fall into a cycle of nasty thoughts and self-loathing.

On top of that, with all the general busyness in our lives, it’s hard to listen to what we really need or want i.e. a rest, a break, a snack, water, a laugh, a hug, a break from the screen…

This results in feelings of stress, anxiety, not having enough time – and all seem to be pretty much the norm.

Maybe we’re not caring for ourselves as much as we could be.

Future me

Here’s something you can try. I think of it as being nice to ‘future me’. It consists of doing something small today that I know will make me happy tomorrow.

I remember when I lived with a teacher and his wife in the south of France for a few weeks at the start of my year abroad. Each morning when I got up they would have left for me some recently toasted bits of baguette, alongside some butter and a pot of marmalade for my breakfast. It was so simple and so sweet. An act of thoughtfulness.

So now I do the same for myself when I need a bit of love and care.

Before going to bed, I’ll lay out my breakfast things. First I’ll place my small wooden chopping board and a sharp knife ready to chop up my apple. Then I’ll add a favourite mug and a teaspoon for my tea. Finally, I’ll lay out a nice big bowl and a spoon for my porridge.

A simple act

Just laying out the simple implements is enough. It’s telling me that I care for myself. I guess it’s like the thought behind making breakfast in bed for someone else. I’ll wake up in the morning and smile to see that someone has thoughtfully left out these things for me – to make the morning that little bit easier.

It’s like a little reminder to myself. That I care.

It could also be laying out my outfit for the day, the night before. No more stressing and time wasted deliberating between these trousers or that jumper. One less thing to think about.

Or it’s tidying away the post and leaflets and scraps of paper and general junk on the kitchen table – knowing that your morning will feel a lot more calm when everything seems in order.

It’s thinking ahead – to one small thing you can accomplish now – which will act as a little hug to yourself tomorrow.

What can you do?

Maybe that’s the answer to bringing some joy into your life, being thoughtful to yourself. Doing something small that you know future you will appreciate, to show that you care. For you now, and for ‘future you’. What are you going to do?

You can contact me here if you are interested in life coaching sessions.

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

Delight

I’ve started reading a book called Delight, by J. B. Priestley. And what a delight it is. Short chapters each focussing on something which brings the author delight. Fountains. Detective novels. Finishing a piece of work.

I love it because not only is it beautifully written and lovely insight into what makes another person tick, it makes me reflect on what brings me delight. And I think it’s one of the most important things we can try to do every day.

Delighting in the small things which can easily go unnoticed.

The way the sunlight was reflecting off a building as I walked along this morning, giving a beautiful orangey glow.

The sweet smile the street cleaner gave to me, as if we knew each other.

My morning cup of tea in my favourite mug. Ever faithful, ever delicious, ever calming.

The anticipation of family coming to visit me, and knowing that soon I can try to squeeze the life out of nieces with hugs.

When going through hard times, or just a particularly crappy day – trying to think of even one small good thing or delight in our lives can remind us that ‘this too shall pass’. Things won’t stay like this forever. Maybe the whole day wasn’t awful, for a brief moment there was also a spark of delight. And that counts for so much.

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If you’d like to try a life coaching session with me,  you can contact me here for a chat.

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

4 tips to manage your energy when working remotely

I’ve been working remotely for nearly 3 years now. Over that period of time I’ve done a mixture of working from home, setting up in a co-working space, and tapping away in cafes. Now that I’ve found a lovely new co-working space I mainly work from there.

If you are considering working remotely, or just getting started, here are 4 tips I rely on to make sure I feel at my best throughout the day.

1. Set up a routine (and get moving)

Some people are happy rolling out of bed in their pyjamas, turning on their laptop, sitting on the sofa and off they go. I am not that person. I need structure, routine, and I really need to move my body and get some fresh air before starting work.

So, I have a morning routine that includes meditation, yoga, then either a gym class or a walk in my local park. For the meditation, I use the Headspace app – I normally manage 10-15 mins. I use Youtube for the yoga – YogawithAdriene and SarahBethYoga, also 10-15 mins.

I love this routine. It allows me to wake up slowly, without rushing, and then get moving. At the gym there’s music, a few friendly faces to say hi to, the rush of endorphins. Especially when working from home, it feels good to be around other people first thing.

Then sat at my desk to start work, I feel energised and happy, ready to go. It’s the same if I walk in the park; I always listen to a podcast or music as I walk, which inspires me and puts me in a good mood.

2. Have a change of scene

I’ve also found that I’m best suited to a few different work locations in a day. Back when l started working from home all day, it got too much for me and by the afternoon I’d start to feel cut off from the world. I discovered that going to sit in a café for an hour or so was like a massive injection of energy; suddenly I was part of the world again, and I’d become super productive.

In the current coworking space, I work at a desk where I can stand or sit, and I’ll sometimes switch to a quiet meeting room, or the in-house café, depending on what I need. I really appreciate being able to change my position and my surroundings, depending on what I’m working on and my mood.

3. Take a proper lunch break

If you’re not in a traditional office set-up it can be easy to just keep on working… But it’s good to get away from your computer – ideally away from any screen, even better if you can take a walk outside… and drink lots of water!

4. Break between work and evening

I think it’s important to make a distinction between your working day and the evening.  My number one favourite thing to do after work is to go for a walk. As was the case when I worked in an office, it feels so good to get outside, move and leave work behind. Going for a walk does wonders for your energy levels and can help you to relax.

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I hope some of these tips help or inspire you if you are new to working remotely or looking to change your routine.

If you are considering a change of direction in your career or life in general, feeling stuck, and struggling to work out what to do next, I can help you. Send me a message here and we can set up a chat about life coaching.

Photo by Emmanuel Kontokalos on Unsplash

How do you listen to your own voice, when others speak so loud?

It’s really difficult. You’re unsure what to do. There’s a decision you have to make and you’re not clear on which direction to take. There are several options.

Naturally, you want to talk to the people you are close to about this. You want to hear other people’s opinions, get their advice. Maybe they have more experience than you and therefore can offer you words of wisdom. It helps to talk things through, clarify your own thoughts by talking to others.

But, fundamentally, your own thoughts and opinion are what really matter.

You know yourself best. Deep down you know what feels wrong or right, good or bad. You have a gut instinct, that perhaps you’ve been ignoring. You have intuition to guide you.

I remember reading a quote which is along the lines of “listen to the advice that helps you, ignore the advice that doesn’t.” You have to get good at not letting someone’s flippant comment niggle away at you. What do they know?

I sent a message telling some friends that I was quitting my job. One replied with a message saying “well done, if that’s what you really want.” I was mortified. Reading between the lines, she didn’t appear to agree with what I was doing. That stayed with me. Why – I don’t know. It’s not her life. It’s not what she’d choose to do.

So what? It doesn’t mean it’s wrong or a bad decision.

Some time later, I sent her an interview which had been published about my career transition, and she was very supportive, saying she’d shown it to others to inspire them. Had she changed her mind? Or had I misunderstood her first message? It really doesn’t matter. What someone else thinks has no reflection on what I choose to do.

So if you’ve got something on your mind, and you’ve shared your issue with those close to you, perhaps try adopting the “take only the advice that helps you” attitude. Anything that makes you feel bad, and is unfounded, let go of. However if there’s an inkling of truth in someone’s advice, and it makes you feel uncomfortable, is it something you need to address? Is there something you’re not facing up to? This can really be helpful in pushing you forwards, in making positive changes.

To book a coaching session with me, click here. We’ll talk things through, I’ll listen, then together we’ll come up with a plan to get you where you want to be.

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash