September 2016 - sheIQ Life

Archive for September 2016 | Monthly archive page

sheep | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 29/09/2016

What is it about someone that makes us want to follow them?

We’ve all had people in our lives that have caught our attention for some reason – whether it be because of a song they’ve sung, a picture they’re in, places they’ve been, clothes they are wearing, the job that they do, something we’ve read about them, the things that they say to us.

We become obsessed with them, hang on their every word, and use them as a role model to shape who we should become and the things we should be doing.

We hanker for every last scrap of information about them so we can mimic our lives on theirs.

Whole industries are built around us reacting in this manner. There are international conglomerates whose existence relies on us following the lead of an ‘icon’.

We then take the lead we’ve been given and filter it into our local community.

In schools, sports teams, workplaces, families and friendship groups there are individuals who seem to naturally rise to the top of the pack as the ‘leader’.

Our social conditioning from a very young age teaches us to rely on the community around us to survive.

This means that we are always looking for the answers to our questions outside us.

We want to fit in – we want our community to accept us – and we don’t want to do anything that the people around us might deem inappropriate.

We’re conditioned to seek approval – to be accepted – to be praised. The same conditioning means we settle into a life of auto-pilot responses that ensure we don’t upset anyone around us.

Our lives settle into a black and white pattern with an occasional, tiny splash of colour that comes from us glimpsing something new and exciting in someone else’s life.

We wait with baited breath to see whether the colour is accepted by society and if it is then we bring it into our own lives and it filters down into the lives of those who follow us.

When do we stop to ask whether the person we are following is a leader?

When do we stop to ask whether the leaders we’ve chosen are actually leading or simply walking at the head of the pack?

What are you following? Are you following someone simply because you think they have a better life than you? Do they have the answers you need – or can you find the answers within yourself?

When is it time to step away from the noise in your life and give credence to the answers you have for your questions?

As long as we rely on everyone around us to provide us with our answers we will always be following from the front.

If you want to be a true leader you must learn to find your answers from within; you must learn that it is OK to walk on your own whether others follow you or not; you must learn that you are the most important part of the equation of your life.

Being a true leader is as simple as thinking a bit differently.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

 

Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicty Expert and Professional Speaker and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram  or LinkedIn

 

 

Print 3 | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on www.lifegrid.com.au on 29/09/2016

One of the greatest ‘ah-ha’ moments you can have in your life is realising that you do the same things every day but secretly hope that things will change.

Most of us are so enmeshed in our comfort zones that we operate completely on auto-pilot and don’t even think about what we’re doing – or why.

It’s often only after a traumatic event that we take the time to stop and have a look at how we’re living – and usually only then because we are forced to stop.

I was one of these people. I pushed myself too hard for too long and my mind and body collaborated to force me to stop. I was dropped with such a force and from such a height that I could not get up. I went from a fully functioning, high-powered, award-winning executive to being on the floor, shattered into a million pieces and unable to stop crying in the space of an hour.

For me, everything ground to a halt in the blink of an eye. For the first time in my life I had nothing I had to do, nowhere I had to be, and no one relying on me for anything. I couldn’t function in everyday life. I couldn’t communicate with people around me.  Suddenly, I was in the unfamiliar territory of having nothing else to do but things for myself.

I was used to being busy. I was doing everything for everyone else until I had nothing left to give – and then I kept going. My life was passing me by and I had no idea. I was well and truly in my ‘comfort zone’.

But then I started questioning all the different things in my life. And I was left wondering whether it was actually a ‘comfort zone’ or whether I was actually in a massive ‘rut’.

When I looked at what was in my comfort zone I realised that it was full of ‘stuff’ that wasn’t really all that comfortable. I was exhausted trying to run around making sure everyone else was okay. I was tired, stressed and miserable.

So why did I stay in the same day-to-day choices, living the same day-to-day life without making any changes? I pondered this question a lot during my recovery and the only answer I came up with was this: because I was afraid of failing.

Being forced to stop gave me the opportunity to step away from all of the expectations in my life. I dropped every ball I was juggling and was unable to pick any of them up.

What I realised during my recovery was that my comfort zone was something that I had imposed on myself.

I could come up with a thousand reasons why I had to do all the things I was doing, but at the end of the day everything in my life was of my own creation. I was exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed and it was a direct result of the way I had chosen to live my life.

Realising this taught me to start asking questions about how I could do things differently. A lot of people will tell you that change is too hard and that to get out of your comfort zone you have to make uncomfortable choices. I like to view this differently, because in my opinion doing something uncomfortable sounds like introducing more stress and exhaustion into my life.

I prefer to look at life like an adventure. Every day is an opportunity to explore and find new ways of doing, seeing and thinking about things. Using this thought process I made the choice to try life without a comfort zone.

To do this, I removed the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’ from my dictionary and decided that for everything I did I would view it as an adventure. So, when I try something new – whether for business or for personal reasons – I do it with a view of exploring to see where it goes. If it doesn’t work I can step back and look at it from different angles to see whether it needs a simple tweak or a total overhaul.

The focus of every day is now about having fun and seeing where my imagination can take me. I approach everything with a mindset of ‘…if it works, then great, the adventure continues; if it doesn’t work, then also great, the adventure continues albeit in a different way’.

My life is much simpler now that it doesn’t have a comfort zone. Every day I get to go to new places, find new information, engage in new and different conversations. And the best bit? I get to do it in a way that supports the life I want to live and the person I want to be.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’. Want to chat? Follow my social links below.

Yoga mat 1 | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on http://blog.sivanaspirit.com on 23/09/2016

It’s scary when you realise you would have been dead at 45.

An even worse realisation is that it is as a result of the things you’ve done to yourself and the way you have lived your life.

I lived my life teetering on the edge. My battle wasn’t with a commonly recognised foe like drugs or alcohol. My conflict was with not being good enough, and underpinning this was a lost sense of self and an addiction to perfection.

My perfectionism drove me to a place of exhaustion and overwhelm, where I was running on empty fumes. I existed on two or three hours of sleep for over a decade. I gave everything I had to everyone around me until I had nothing left to give – and then I gave more.

I lived with the creed of ‘you have to keep going – you have to push through’. In my most honest moments a little voice inside would acknowledge that I was terribly unhappy and desperately unwell … but the moments were fleeting and then that voice was pushed deep down inside where it could no longer be heard.

I was on a one-way express train to a traumatic event in my life. There were loads of warning signs, but I was too busy being ‘strong’ and ‘resilient’ to take any notice.

To everyone around me, I appeared to have it all. How do you explain what it feels like to go from being a high-powered, award-winning executive to on the floor, in a million pieces and unable to stop crying? The truth is, no one else can understand what you’re going through – because you don’t know what has happened yourself.

What I can tell you is that the little things in life suddenly matter a great deal – simply because they’re the only things you can actually identify with. I suddenly had no one relying on me, nowhere to be, no responsibilities – and all the time in the world to re-connect with the beauty around me, with sitting still, with the simplicity of your life. All the time in the world to realise that I had no idea where to start … no idea how to connect … no idea where to turn.

I was like a child, learning about life and looking at everything around me as new and unfamiliar.

Yoga played a massive role in my re-emergence to a ‘normal’ life.

I learned to love the space that my yoga mat gave me – wherever it might be, with whomever might be around me.

I learned to bring my focus to the confines of my yoga mat and to allow myself to surrender to the practice that was right for me – right there, right then.

I learned to block out the ‘noise’ of the people around me – to allow them to have their practice, their way, in the same space.

I learned the importance of honouring where you are at – right here and right now – and the understanding that I have everything I need to be okay.

I learned to form my own thoughts and to accept the wisdom from every teacher that was willing to share their understanding of an ancient art form.

Most of all – I learned to apply this wisdom to every single day.

The peace and the solitude that a yoga mat brings is perhaps the greatest asset I can take into every day. The ability to step back and view a situation from multiple angles – to reconnect with myself and make a decision that is aligned with who I am.

The process of yoga can so clearly reflect the process of daily life – if only I am mindful to let it.

In yoga I often start out a bit stiff, and sometimes sore. Then I slowly work into the depth of a pose – allowing my muscles to surrender in line with where my body is at. As my muscles warm up I can allow my mind to relax and then my body can explore its own boundaries.

Taking this mindset into my day allows me to step back from the noise and the demands around me and allow a conversation with myself that enables me to move from the ‘stiffness’ of an immediate reaction to the ‘surrender’ that allows me to be in flow.

I love my yoga mat –its simplicity saved my life.

I am now reborn and live my own life in a totally different way. Plus, I can now dedicate every day to showing people that there’s a very different way to live.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

 

Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and global thought leader and is the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.

 

comfort-zone-r | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on Huffington Post 10/09/2016

We sit in our comfort zones every day …. pretending that they’re there to support us.

When you strip everything back and bring it down to the bare bones, life is really just a game that we play every day. Our lives pass us by and we have no idea. We continue to do the same things, day after day, while in a dark, hidden corner of our minds we secretly hope that things will change.

We tell ourselves (and others!) all sorts of stories about the things we are going to do – when we get a minute to ourselves – and then we go about our day adding as much ‘stuff’ to it as we can so that there is no time to think about the things we really want. It’s easier – less traumatic – that way.

Why is it that as adults we complicate our lives to the extent that we just ‘have to get away’ or just ‘have to take a break’ for us to survive? It’s almost as if we’ve convinced ourselves that if we just get away we can recover enough to step back into our ‘normal’ life. We don’t ever stop to question where our lives are at, or why we’re so unhappy or under so much stress that we have to take a break before we collapse.

We simply, blindly accept that this is our lot in life – it’s what we do because ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’.

We’ve been fed the message that ‘someone out there is worse off than we are so we should be grateful’ and we turn this into the reason why where we’re at is OK. The reality is that we’re slowly killing ourselves or, if we’re lucky, pointing ourselves directly on a collision course with chaos simply because we don’t stop to recognise that there is another way. We accept less than we’re comfortable with because it’s the polite thing to do.

Most of us are programmed to exist rather than live our lives, and we find ourselves referring to our existence as our ‘comfort zone’.  We spend our lives with our heads down enmeshed in the ‘stuff’ we’ve got going on – we very rarely raise our heads and look around for the possibility that life might have so much more to offer us.

We’re entrenched in playing our game – but most of us don’t realise that we are the ones who make the game. Our social conditioning, and how we receive and internalise the messages we’re given will determine how we set up the rules of our game. For most of us, our game is set up with harsh and critical rules and the game is made so complex that it is almost always impossible for us to win.

We’re totally oblivious that we have the power to obliterate the game by simply making the choice not to play anymore, or to change the rules, or to change the purpose of the game, or even to start playing a completely different game altogether. Our challenge is to stop and realise that our comfort zone (our game) is usually set up in a way that is at odds with what we want from our life.

A lot of people will tell you that to get out of your comfort zone you have to make uncomfortable choices. It’s often said that you should ‘do something uncomfortable every day to help you eliminate your fears, and to experience rapid growth in your life.

What if they’re wrong?

Why should we add more struggle to an already complex day – most of us have had more than enough struggle in our lives without adding any more.

If you don’t want your comfort zone to kill you, here’s three things you can do to start looking at things differently:

Take a step back and acknowledge that your ‘comfort zone’ isn’t actually all that comfortable. In fact, looking at it with honest and open eyes it’s full of things you aren’t comfortable with – the daily grind, toxic relationships, jobs we hate, situations that clash with our values and the list goes on and on. Write a list of all the things you’d love to have in your life – the things we could do, be, see, visit. Prioritise this list in order of importance or significance in your life. Take the first item on the list and write down three small steps you can take to have this thing in your life then make a commitment to yourself to take the first step, including scheduling the time you need for the step.

Courage and discipline are words that are bandied around as being the source of great achievements.

When we break our ‘stuff’ down into small chunks that we can tackle one step at a time then it’s much easier for us to set our priorities and take small steps to achieving our outcomes. When we approach things in a simple way and have small, easily achievable tasks, courage and discipline aren’t required anywhere near as often.

Life becomes simple, and more importantly, life becomes about simple steps that make us happy.

Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.

Want to chat? Email me on info@sheiqlife.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!

 

Bronwen Sciortino is a global thought leader who empowers simple connection and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.

 

 

SheiqLife Logo | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker
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