How to Change Your Life

I will always remember my coach telling me, when we first started working together, “When you change, your whole life will change”. At the time I had no idea what he meant but now, of course, I know this to be absolutely true. The question I found myself asking was “how am I supposed to know what needs to be changed?”

If you can honestly say that there is absolutely nothing in your life that upsets you, no relationships that make you feel frustrated or resentful, nothing in your life that you wish were different,then I’m truly delighted for you. However, the fact that you are reading this suggests that there is something that isn’t quite as you would like it to be.

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How to Survive Redundancy

Being made redundant from the one job I loved above all others felt devastating.

I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming. Rumours about redundancies had been flying about for the last few months but I always believed that referred to other people, not me so, when it came, I was totally unprepared, especially emotionally.

I felt bereaved. I felt I no longer knew who I was. My identity disappeared along with the job. 

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Feeling Unappreciated?

Most of us love the way we love, full stop. We rarely wonder if the way we express it is actually experienced as intended, that is, whether it actually works for our partner or not.

I believe it is important to think about it because this can cause much pain, confusion and resentment.

Like most people I learned to express love from my parents. It was their unshakeable belief that they knew what was best for me and that it was their duty to save me from making mistakes and suffering

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Why do we feel lonely?

Many people tend to believe that being alone is the same as feeling lonely. It is not. Being alone can be a re-energising and fulfilling experience. Feeling lonely is intensely painful. We feel no-one cares about us, that no-one would notice if we’re dead or alive. The worst is the feeling that we have so much love to give and no-one to give it to. This kind of loneliness is, to my mind, equivalent to being in hell.

Many people who feel lonely often blame others for not calling or visiting them, if only occasionally.

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Change Initiated by Me

Initiating change, I used to believe, would be positive and enjoyable but, in my experience, that was not always the case.

Here is an example of one particular life change I initiated (subconsciously) over a year before I took the actual step.

It was Sunday evening, and with Monday beckoning I had an unexpected and unwanted thought: “My work doesn’t fulfil me anymore.” I dismissed it instantly: “This is most inconvenient, go away!” I was 60 and planned to work until I was 65. I had a prestigious job at the Institute of Directors and I earned a very good salary.

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Why are Personal Boundaries Important?

I was brought up to always be friendly, agreeable, charming and cheerful. My parents believed that would make people like me, and people liking me was, they believed, crucial to my very survival.
I grew up, got married and, over the years, developed a variety of friendships of varying degrees of social ‘appropriateness’ and superficiality.

I worked as hard as I could at all these relationships. One of the approaches I had developed was to avoid conflict at all cost. I actually believed that conflict signified the end of a relationship, that if I ever told someone how I really felt, they would walk away and I’d be alone – forever. This ‘walking away’ might be physical or psychological.

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How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

When was the last time you beat yourself up over something? When was the last time you went round and round in your head seething about somebody who pushed some of your hot buttons, re-enacting the conversation again and again in your head, and wishing you had come up with a better put down, said something different, more clever, more cutting – more… ENOUGH!

This is your inner dialogue at work. Your inner dialogue are your thoughts that start from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. 

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Scared of Conflict?

My parents’ experience of war and their enforced dependence on other people’s goodwill caused them to instil into me the importance of getting people to like me. My very survival might depend on it, they said again and again. I grew up with that belief deeply embedded into me and I invested a great deal of effort into presenting myself in a way that I believed would appeal to others, get them to like me, give me work, even love me.

It is, therefore, not surprising that, for most of my adult life, I was not only intent on being all things

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Feeling Anxious and Confused?

Are you feeling anxious and confused? If so, I have a radical proposition for you: Confusion is the foundation of creativity.

Ask anyone how they feel about it and they’re likely exclaim, ‘It’s horrible!’, as they thrash about in uncertainty and not knowing which way to turn.

Not knowing is deeply uncomfortable and there is an urge in us that drives us to fill the gap with something – anything. The relief of ‘knowing’ can be huge but fatal because it leads us towards mediocrity.

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