Monday, February 27, 2012

A letter to an amazing woman

Dear sister,

    I am writing this letter to share my thoughts and my feelings with you; you are the only one who can understand what I think and how I feel. I know you go through a lot of struggles and fights every day like me. I want to share with you a great experience that I went through one day.

I live a life like yours; working, taking care of my family, giving birth to my lovely children, raising them, feeding them, looking after them, doing my best to make them feel comfortable and happy, taking a lot of responsibilities at work and at home. I am trying my best to prove to everybody that I am a successful working person, a good wife, a good mother and a good daughter. I have done all that I can to please everybody. At work, I worked extra hours to get my work done on time. I always found the energy and the time to take my kids to their workouts, or take them out for some fun, even when I was very exhausted. I had to go see my parents and tolerate their blame while I needed someone to give me a tap on the back. I gave up opportunities to travel— something that I really love and enjoy—to meet never-ending project deadlines. I felt unsatisfied, unfulfilled and unhappy. My days and my life were a long list of tasks for everybody else with nothing for me, for my happiness, and my self-care. Although I have done my best to please everybody, they were rarely pleased with what I did; on the contrary, they criticized me more and more.

One day I realized that I couldn't go further. I needed to find a solution. I felt totally unhappy and unsatisfied. I needed to make a huge change but I didn't know where to start or how to start. At that time I thought it was a time management issue so I looked for books about time management. I came by a book that made me realize after reading it that my problem was not about time; it was mainly a mindset issue. It's my way of thinking, my way of living, my way of allowing unimportant things to consume my time, leaving me unsatisfied and unhappy at the end of the day. I wasn't putting myself and my happiness as a priority. The book that I mentioned before made a huge change in my life. I had gotten the book in 2000. The author of the book is one of the most famous personal coaches in the world, and ever since I read it, I started searching for and learning about coaching. Now that I became a coach myself I decided to offer my coaching to WOMEN all over the world and especially on the HAPPINESS aspect of life. 

Dear sister, 

    The amazing woman I want to address my message to is YOU, every woman all over the world. Yes, you are amazing. No one can tolerate what you are tolerating for your family, your children, your parents, and your friends. The support you are offering everyone passing your way is fantastic. No one can bring happiness to your family as you can. No one cares about your children and fights to protect them as you do. No one is giving up and denying their happiness for the happiness of others as you are.  I admit you are amazing, caring, tender, loving, courageous, sacrificing and strong. I admit you are great, but there is something I want to whisper in your ear "You can't make others really happy unless you are". Your happiness doesn't mean you give up happiness of others. Your self-care doesn't mean you give up caring for others. Your self-love doesn't mean you give up loving others. Showing self-care and self-love and looking for your happiness means you appreciate, value, and respect who you are. Be sure that as much as you appreciate yourself, your family will appreciate you and what you do. As much as you value yourself, your family will value you. As much as you respect yourself, your family and the entire world will respect you. So just be proud of who you are and show enough self-care and self-love. You will feel happier, more confident and you will shine. 

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”  ~ Brigham Young ~

Can you imagine that by taking care of your happiness, you are teaching others how to be happy and this is exactly what you aim for, don't you do your best to make others happy? In this world, there are millions of stories of amazing women with achievements that varied from fighting for their families and their children to make their lives better to leading their countries and their people to greatness. In history, you can find plenty of such stories. Don't you like to be one of these role models? I am offering you a small secret, just learn to make yourself happy and you will be a role model for everyone else. You will shine and illuminate others lives, you will energize and inspire others. You will teach many others how to be happy; something that all the humanity has been looking for for centuries.

Starting this week, I invite you to dedicate only one hour daily for yourself to do something you like. Don't say I don't have one hour per day, you have 24 hours a day and one hour is not too much for your happiness and your wellness. Listen to music, walk in the open air, meet a friend, have your hair cut, read a book, go to the movie, or attend a seminar. Do anything that you like; just relax and enjoy every minute of these sixty minutes and write down how you felt after this hour. You can have the seven hours of the week organized in different ways, half a day once per week, three and half hours twice a week, two hours and half every second day or one hour daily. Manage them the way that suits you. The important thing is to commit to it as an important appointment in your week. Plan ahead for it, and don't give it up for any reason. You will feel the impact this hour will have on your life.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Want to be great?

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great" ~Zig Ziglar~

So true! How many times did you procrastinate doing something because you thought you weren’t ready yet, that you needed to think more about it, or that you need to prepare some more? You keep thinking and thinking and over-thinking, then planning and searching, then making excuses that you want to be well prepared and ready for taking the right actions. And do you finally take any actions? Most probably not.

Actually, it's your fear that is holding you back. It may be fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of the unknown, fear of getting out of your comfort zone, and sometimes it's fear of success. Anyway, whatever the reason of your fear, you won't be able to overcome it unless you start and take action. To achieve a goal you don't need to be professional; all you need is to have a clear vision of what you want to do and how to do it then START. You will make mistakes, so what? It is an opportunity to learn the right way to do something. You may fail; the greatest champions and the best scientists have failed but they never gave up. How many times did you have a dream and you gave it up just because you didn't believe you could do it then you found someone else do it? The only difference between you and them is that they believed they could, while you did not. They felt fear and they overcame it, but you did not. They started and they kept going toward their dreams, but you did not even start. 

The first step you take is your first step towards greatness. If you still can't start, reflect on these questions. They can help you gain clarity about what is holding you back:
1- What would I do if I had no fear?
2- What would I do if I was sure I would never fail?
3- What would I do if I believed there isn't a word called "mistakes"? There are only options with different outcomes; some will lead to my goal while others will not and I will learn what the right ones are.

Start today, look for a goal that you gave up and see which action you can take immediately to bring you closer to your goal and take it. Actions create the momentum that you need to keep going, so keep taking actions, even small ones, to keep the momentum. Your pace may differ from time to time. It is OK but never stop, for it will be hard to restart again.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

22 tips to keep yourself motivated (continued)

On my post of last week I shared eleven tips to get and keep you motivated while you are going through life and in this post I share the rest.

12-  Ask what's the worst that could happen if you give up your goal?
       Visualize how you will be; how will your life look if you give up your goal, and what are the results of giving up your goal. Visualizing the outcomes can keep you motivated to work on your goal especially if the image you visualized is not the one you desire of yourself or your life.

13- What's holding you back? 
       Discovering why you are stuck or unable to take action is the first step to solve the issue? To find a solution you need a clear vision of the problem before being able to handle it. Is it a fear? Is it a lack of self-confidence? Is it a belief? What can you do to deal with it? Sometimes you may need the support of a professional coach to deal with it and get rid of the reason for good.

14- If not now, when? 
      If you don't start working on your goal now, when will you?  Most probably you will keep procrastinating for good. If you aren't able to take action on your goal now, this means that you are stuck and need to find out the reason. Find out the simplest action you can take to start, do it, and you will feel the difference. 

15- Fear is normal.
       Do you feel fearful of doing something new although you badly want to do it or fearful of taking any actions toward a goal?  Who of us didn't feel fearful when we started doing something new? Every one of us feels fear; the difference is there are people who take action despite their fears and others who allow fear to hold them back. Always remind yourself that fear is normal and that every one of us experiences it at one point or another in our lives. Your support group or a professional coach can help you to deal with your fears.

16- Put structures in place to remind yourself.
      We tend to forget the change we want to make or the goal we want to achieve.  Putting structures in place to remind us of our goal can be so helpful. A structure can be an affirmation written on a piece of paper and kept in different places in your home and office. Inspiring pictures, reminders on your cell phone or any other ideas can be used.  What is essential is to find the ones that work best for you.

17- Keep quiet. 
       Learn when to talk about your goals and with whom. Some people can be a great source of support and motivation while others may resent your improvement, so it's better to keep quiet. Keep your goals and your success to yourself in presence of the latter.

18- Failure is normal. 
      Fear of failure is one of the most common reasons people are stuck and unable to move forward. However, failure is essential for our learning. To reach any destination there are several options, and to know which one is the right path we may have to go through several until we reach the right one. All of us have failed at a certain point in our lives, and our reaction toward this failure determined where we are now. Just accepting failure as a part of the journey can make a great difference in your life.

19- What inspires you?
       Keep inspiring resources nearby. Find what works for you, movies, songs, books, affirmations, quotations or anything that inspires you, and refer back to them when you need a motivation boost. You may set a daily time for reflecting on one of these resources to bring you motivation, or do it when needed.

20- Create strategy and reuse what worked for you. 
      Knowing what you want to do is the first step, and knowing how you will reach it is the second one. To get somewhere you need to know very clearly what your destination is and how you will get there. Make your plan. What obstacles might you face? How will you overcome these obstacles? Who can help you or support you along your way? What resources do you have? What strategies worked for you before that you can reuse? A clear vision of how you will reach your goal is crucial to your success in reaching your goal.

21- Timeline.
       Be very specific when you expect to achieve your goal and every sub-goal.  A plan with very specific dates brings more clarity and momentum, it helps keep you accountable and avoid procrastinating. Specific start dates and end dates are very important.

22- Enjoy the journey and celebrate.
      Focusing on the end result and being attached to it can be frustrating because achieving a goal may take a long time.  Forgetting a while about the end result and focusing on the actions you are taking, the momentum created and the sense of achievement you feel with every step you take can be so empowering. Enjoy the journey, the learning, the achievement and celebrate your successes.

Bonus Tip: Acknowledgement. Acknowledge yourself for your achievements. Acknowledge others for their achievements. Sometimes acknowledgement is all we need to keep going. It brings you and your surroundings great energy, motivation and love.

Hope you find these tips helpful and I welcome your thoughts, your questions and your comments.