Blog Archives - sheIQ Life

Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Christmas Keep It Super Simple Bronwen Sciortino sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional Speaker

It’s that crazy time of the year when every function, catch-up, coffee, lunch, dinner and drink seems to crawl out from under a rock and demand that you give it some attention.

Almost everyone around me is already exhausted, and the added pressure of all those extra things at this time of the year can easily tip the delicately balanced scales over the edge.

I notice this going on around me because it is how I used to live. When I stop and think about why I used to live this way, I can bring it back to one thing: the need to keep everyone around me happy.

If you’re struggling with an overload of additional activities and you feel like you need a bit of respite from your life, then here’s a few tips that might help to keep you sane in this very demanding time of the year:

Know what your values are. Once you know then, allocate your time to the activities and people that are aligned with your values … and say ‘no’ to the others – that way you know that the activities you add into your day will be ones that will be supporting your energy, not draining from it. Spread the load. There’s no rule set anywhere that says that every catch-up must be held in December each year. So, put off some of those ‘catch-ups’ until the New Year, when you’ll be able to relax and enjoy them more. Have the confidence to say ‘no’. It’s perfectly OK if you can’t fit a function in. Saying ‘no’ is sometimes the best thing you can do; it allows you the time you need to do the normal things in your life without completely exhausting yourself by overloading your system. Be kind to yourself. If there’s something you feel you need to go to, then go along … but don’t think twice about leaving early. Burning the candle at both ends will only make it harder to get through all the other things you have to do. Be prepared. Not only is this time of year full of extra activities, it’s also usually full of extra food and drink. It’s really important that you make sure you support yourself with quality, nourishing food and drink during this time. Spend a little bit of time now so that you are ahead of the game for those times when you’re exhausted and can’t be bothered looking after yourself. You’ll thank yourself later if you get organised now.

Try one or two of these things and see the difference it makes in your life. Remember, you are a human being with free will and you can choose how, when, where and with whom you spend your time.

Make your choices wisely and you’ll reach Christmas Day a lot more refreshed than in previous years. Who knows – maybe you will experience the 25th of December differently as well as a result!

Want more info on ways that you can easily implement these steps? There are loads of practical exercises and activities for 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, 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.

This article was first published on www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 29/11/2017

Edge of Exhaustion Bronwen Sciortino sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional SpeakerOn the Edge of Exhaustion

When I look around myself, almost everyone I see is resigned to the fact that their life is a slog and that ‘that’s just the way it is’. They have all unquestioningly accepted that you have to be stressed and exhausted before you’re allowed to be successful.

I watch as people on the verge of giving in – and out of sheer desperation – reach for the closest thing to them to try and turn their lives around.

It doesn’t take long for stress and exhaustion to take a hold … and, in fact, take over. Why? Because everyone is busy looking at others and thinking that what others appear to have is the answer to their own problems.

Almost everyone who comes to work with me arrives with a similar theme. They are looking around themselves and seeing everyone else achieving all the things they want: a fabulous life, a flourishing career, the perfect family and an ability to – seemingly effortlessly – manage anything and everything that comes their way.

Somehow, as a society, we’ve accepted that this is our way of life, that we are stuck with it and that there is nothing we can do about it. We’ve become sheep – following blindly along behind the person in front of us, following the same pattern every day and desperately hoping that it will get us where we want to go.

I understand this because I was a master at living this way.

It wasn’t until I pushed myself so far, and for so long, that my body and mind had to either force me to stop or let me kill myself. It wasn’t until I was forced to stop that I could understand what it means to actually live.

I learned so much during my recovery. Let me assure you that there is no one ‘golden nugget’ that is ‘the’ piece of advice that I can impart. However, one of the biggest things I now clearly understand is that we are taught from a very young age to live in a way that is totally disconnected from who we are.

I now know that the way we are taught to live – when we’re told what is right, wrong, good, bad, appropriate and not – teaches us to live a life that is given to us by someone else. We are programmed so that our thoughts are no longer our own, but rather are the thoughts that are acceptable to those around us. What we do, where we go and who we see are the things, places and people that others have told us are the ‘right’ ones for us.

All this does is create a disconnection between our true selves and the person we are trying to be …. the one the world has deemed is acceptable. 

We’ve been taught to hand over responsibility for our life to those around us.

Living like this is now the norm, and it is so common that it is almost always one of the first activities I work on with people who end up on my doorstep close to collapsing. It’s like triage, in a way, where the initial focus is on helping people to stop and reconnect with their lives, their path and their health.

Life changes so quickly now, and with the evolution of technology the speed is only going to get faster. Trying to deny this is futile, so our focus needs to be on how to make sure we are fit and healthy within the ever-increasing speed of life – how we can thrive in the environment within which we live.

It is now more important than ever that we take the time to reconnect with ourselves, so that we can make our OWN choices for our OWN lives.

Because of the speed of life, and how quickly we find ourselves out of control, it can be easy to be distracted by what others around us are doing. The reality is this: there is only one person who knows what the best thing for you, in your circumstances is … and that is YOU.

The first step in creating a life that is connected to who YOU are is to understand that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and that you are not stuck living a life that someone else has given you.

Having spent almost two decades helping people navigate the maze of their own lives, I can tell you that everyone is a unique individual and that whilst there might be common themes, I have yet to see any solution that works perfectly for more than one person.

I know it can seem to be a relief to follow what someone else is doing to get what you want, but the truth is that no one knows what YOU need better than YOU do.

My experience has taught me that the quickest and easiest path to reconnecting with yourself is as easy as learning to ask a few simple questions. Simple questions teach you to quieten the noise and find out what it is you really want.

When you know what YOU want, it becomes really easy to step away from overwhelm and to reduce the stress and exhaustion in your life.

Walking away from the edge of exhaustion and stepping into a life that is calm and full of energy is as easy as choosing to find your path back to you.

This article was first published on Sivana East Blog on 15/11/2017

Challenge Your Boundaries Keep It Super Simple Bronwen Sciortino sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional SpeakerChallenge Your Boundaries to Ease Your Mind

It was an interesting moment when I realised that the last time I had made a conscious decision was the first time I had decided to crawl.

Deciding to crawl was such a simple act … and yet it was an act that triggered the start of my social conditioning. Just like everyone around me, from the moment I first crawled I was trained that all of my answers were to be found outside myself. I was cheered as I crawled with more expertise, encouraged to walk and praised as I became proficient at it.

Progressively over time, I was schooled by my family, friends, school, community and so on, in all the things that were right and wrong, good and bad, appropriate and inappropriate about myself, my characteristics and my behaviour.

What I didn’t know was that all of this conditioning was forming the basis of the platform that my subconscious would then use to filter information about my life. Filters that would go on to create the boundaries that would define the way I would live, how far I would extend myself and the things that I would – and wouldn’t – allow myself to do as I moved through every day.

I also discovered that the subconscious is always adding and storing information to the long-term memory bank, and as it does so, it also creates lists of similar circumstances that the memory can, and will, be applied to over time.

Here’s an example. If, while walking across a courtyard on a rainy day, I was to slip because the pavement is wet, then my subconscious will not only record that it is slippery when wet in that courtyard, but will also then apply that information to all situations when it is wet.

So, instead of a one-off event where I slipped in the rain, my subconscious would go on to create a memory for me that it is always slippery when wet. Moving forward, I would then apply that to every situation, forever applying a boundary of having to be much more careful of all surfaces when it is raining.

Sure, there are times when this sort of information is helpful and can alert me to take care. However, I also found that there were exponentially more times when the experiences stored in my long-term memory were being applied through an ‘auto-pilot’ response … and I was limiting what I ‘allowed’ myself to do through wanting to minimise the impact of the long-term memory.

In effect, I had allowed my subconscious to create boundaries for me that in turn had created rules around what I could and couldn’t do. To make matters worse, those rules were creating layers of complexity that were significantly limiting my potential; they were essentially squashing me into a small and confined box.

I had spent so much time being squashed in that small and confined box that it had increased the level of fear that I associated with making changes. I can tell you from experience that when you can’t move it’s also very difficult to breathe.

Furthermore, being squashed into that space was taking such a toll on me that my subconscious then created boundaries for me to conserve my energy … and so I stopped doing almost all of the things I loved to do because the rules I had put in place told me that they were no longer good for me.

Keep It Super Simple: Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist Average Rating: total customer reviews…

Eventually I found myself so afraid to move that my subconscious created blinkers for me and I became blind to the warning signs I was receiving from my body and my mind. Instead, I created rules and beliefs that succeeded in convincing me that it was much better to live in a totally overwhelmed state. Somehow, I had trained myself that being overwhelmed was easier than taking small steps that introduce and encourage change.

Once I understood all of these things it became very easy to take one simple step at a time to do things a little bit differently.

One of the most powerful things I have ever done for myself was to create a process that allowed me to step out of the box I had created for myself. I learned the simple, yet significant, act of challenging my boundaries.

I’ve tried and tested the following method so often – and it has worked so well every single time – that I now love finding something that I can challenge regularly. Here’s how it works:

Identify a boundary in your life. The boundary can be big or small – it doesn’t matter. Just find something that you want to test. I started by challenging some long-held beliefs about physical activities I didn’t think I could do anymore because of permanent injuries. Set yourself an activity that will challenge what you believe about this boundary. Give yourself something to do that will challenge whether what you believe about the boundary is correct or that the boundary no longer applies to you. I set myself a goal of completing a day trek with challenging terrain that I knew would test the beliefs I held about my ankles, knees and back. Consciously take notice of the things that are – and aren’t – true about the boundary. Allow yourself time to get into the motion of the activity you’ve decided to do. If possible, remember to constantly ask yourself how you’re feeling whilst doing the activity. When you’ve finished the task, look at how you went honestly and decide whether the beliefs you held about the boundary are still true. I now know that 95% of the beliefs I held about physical activity weren’t true for me. Give the boundary a new definition. Once you know what is and isn’t true about the beliefs you held about the boundary, you can create a new definition for yourself. Creating the new definition will re-code your subconscious and create new information in your long-term memory. I now hold new beliefs about what I can and can’t do with regards to physical activity and I also know that these are now boundaries that I can challenge again whenever I want to!

Challenging boundaries is now so easy and simple for me that I am constantly looking for things I can test. Every time I go through this process I find that it shifts my perspective about things. The best thing about a shift in perspective is that it opens up so many more options in my life and there are so many more things I can easily do.

More options received in a graceful and easy way makes it so much easier for me to breathe. And … the more rules I get rid of, the simpler my life becomes. It seems that the more I challenge my boundaries the easier it is on my mind.

Perhaps most significantly, my experience has taught me that being ruled by the boundaries in our life is a choice that we make; we can choose to challenge them and breathe easier every day, or we can choose to remain confined and squashed in a box of our own making.

Doing something a little bit differently is no harder than learning to ask yourself a few questions – the choice is yours.

Want more info on ways to challenge some of your boundaries? 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.

Keep It Super Simple: Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist Average Rating: total customer reviews…

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, 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.

Breathe Sunflower Keep It Super Simple Bronwen Sciortino sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional SpeakerGive a little less, breathe a little more

There are times when it can feel like the weight of the world will crush you.

The longer you carry the load, the heavier it becomes. The heavier the load becomes, the more stories you tell yourself about why you are carrying it. And before you can blink, you find yourself under constant stress, sleeping poorly and feeling like you’re on the edge of exhaustion.

You find your thoughts wandering to what it might be like to simply collapse and let yourself fall into oblivion. For a few minutes you might even wonder what it would be like to sink into a chair and have someone drug you into senselessness, so you might escape your life for just a little while … and then you guiltily remember all the things you’ve promised to everyone else and the way the world would collapse if you didn’t deliver.

So you soldier on.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, we’ve accepted conditioning that has led us to believe that we have to be stressed and exhausted before we can be successful. We’ve grabbed hold of this story, taken it by the arms and run away with it until it is so ingrained in us that we cannot see otherwise … to the point that we now live our lives with this belief as a guiding principle.

Often, we don’t find out that living this way is doing us significant damage – at least, not until we suffer a traumatic event that brings us to our knees. Part of the problem is that our current way of living allows us clarity only when we stand still long enough for the message to be received.

Why do we live like this?

We’re educated, intelligent people, right? So what compels us to live our lives in such an insular manner, completely oblivious to the speed with which we are storming down a pathway that ultimately allows us one of two outcomes: death or destruction?

The answer is simple. We live our lives at such speed – and in such an unconscious way – that every action, thought and reaction is made on auto-pilot, without any thought given to the outcome for ourselves.

We struggle blindly from crisis to crisis, fighting nobly to put out the ‘bush fires’ of our life, and desperately focus on the next mini-break that might offer us salvation.

We give everything we have to everyone around us because we believe that this fulfils an unwritten contract that will guarantee we will be successful. We drain our energy resources until there is nothing left, in the hope that this means that we will be rewarded.

In reality, we’ve forgotten that we have the power to direct our own life. We’ve forgotten that we have the power to make decisions for ourselves. We’ve forgotten that there is another way to live.

The thought of stepping away from all the commitments you’ve made to everyone around you is something that brings great fear to the heart of most of us. But here’s the thing: the weight of the life we’ve created is too significant for most of us to maintain for very long.

Living life differently is as simple as learning to ask yourself a few simple questions; questions that help you to make conscious decisions about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.

For most of us, being able to step away from just one of our commitments is enough for us to find some room to breathe a little more. Room to breathe increases our ability to think, and when we have space to think, we are more likely to make decisions that are better for everyone around us – and, perhaps more importantly, for ourselves.

It’s time to recognise that the way we’re currently living isn’t working for us. It’s time to understand that by giving a little less, we give ourselves space to breathe a little more … and that by breathing a little more we’re creating a better world for everyone around us.

Want more info on ways to create more space in your life? 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.

Keep It Super Simple: Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist Average Rating: total customer reviews…

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, 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.

This article was first published on www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 20/07/2017

Combatting the Stress Bronwen Sciortino Keep It Super Simple sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional Speaker

Combatting the Stress of Being a Leader? Here’s Five Things Women Can Do Almost Immediately

There’s a reason ‘it’s lonely at the top’ is one of the most commonly used phrases by people in leadership positions … and it’s never been more true than for women who take on leadership roles.

The basic definition of a leader is something as simple as this: a person who leads or commands a group of people or an organisation. However, the reality is that leadership is often complex and demanding.

There are so many layers that come with being a leader. The added burden of being responsible for a group of individuals is something that most women take extremely seriously. The best leaders appear to effortlessly display qualities like honesty, delegation, communication and confidence. All this at the same time as knowing how to inspire their teams to achieve dizzying heights.

Often, there is little or no training offered for individuals to become great leaders. If you’re lucky, you come across someone who inspires you, and you find a way to learn from them. But for most leaders they learn on the job and, depending on the culture of their workplace, they sink or they swim.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that most women in corporate roles (other than in the public service) seem to have to battle a great deal of bureaucratic red tape in order to access company-sponsored training funds. What this means is that any formal leadership development training comes at their own expense. Additionally, age-old customs and long-held beliefs see women finding it hard to justify spending time and money on themselves, so there is an added impact on their ability to access quality training that can assist them with personal and professional development.

For women, leadership positions come at a greater cost. We take the responsibility of looking after, and leading, others very seriously. We absorb the pressure from above and shield our teams as much as we can, without considering the cost to ourselves as we do so.

All of this adds up to a significant yet silent load that stress places on the shoulders of women in leadership. Stress plays a massive factor in our lives, but we’ve been taught that stress and exhaustion are necessary components of being successful.

As a leader, we take on the responsibility of asking people to follow us, but we need to consider what we are asking them to follow. We spend so much of our time committing ourselves to the needs of others, the business, our boss and our team members … and we forget to make sure we are OK as well.

We may physically leave the office building at the end of the working day, but technology now means our work travels with us when we go home. Our immediate focus may shift from what is happening in the office to what is happening in our family, but technology allows those two domains to overlap and blend throughout the day. There is no respite; we’re in demand and on notice 24/7. We don’t get a break and this amplifies the level of stress in our lives.

We’ve been trained to live like this – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

To combat the stress of being a leader, you can benefit almost immediately from focusing on the following five things:

Make sure that sleep is a critical component of every day. Sleep is essential for making sure you’re well rested. Stress levels rise significantly when you’re tired, and there’s a direct correlation between being tired and an increased difficulty in decision making. Allocate some “Me Time”. Set aside a specific period of time each day to relax and re-charge your batteries. Make sure that you structure it so that you cannot be reached and where you disconnect from technology. Re-charging your energy in the right way not only allows you to fulfil your everyday activities, it also assists in achieving beneficial sleep. Establish your ‘posse’. Who are the people in your life that you could call at any hour of the day or night if you needed them? Are any of these people outside your immediate family group? Make sure you schedule time to catch up with these ‘go-to’ people regularly – this will keep your posse current. Plus, if they’re your ‘go-to’ people, chances are you are theirs in return. Connection is key. Make sure your friends are people outside your workplace. Your friends should be people who help you re-energise, but they should also be people who help you grow and develop. Pick the people who will tell you the truth in a loving and kind way – not just what you want to hear because you’re their boss. Spend time with positive people. Spend time with people who leave you energised after spending time with them. Intentionally choose to have people in your life that will pick you up.

There is nothing normal about being constantly stressed and exhausted … and there is a very different way to live that is no more difficult that learning to ask yourself a few questions that allow you to think a little bit differently.

Want more info on how to reduce the stress in your life? 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, 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.

This article was first published on LinkedIn on 27/04/2017

Hands Keep It Super Simple Bronwen Sciortino sheIQlife Simplicity Expert Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness Professional Speaker

First published on HuffPost 22/04/2017

Every day is made up of a string of choices – some of them large, some of them small. Some of them conscious but most of them unconscious. Almost all of them place little thought on the value that we place on our life. Most of the time we wander mechanically through our day, reacting rather than participating; oblivious rather than aware. Something happens and we respond with a pre-programmed, automatic response – we respond in the way we’ve been taught. We see conditioning all around us. Look at the high-performance sporting teams that spend hours drilling their players to respond in a certain way when certain conditions arise in the game they’re playing. Look at military colleges that spend hours training their personnel how to respond in situations of high stress. We accept these situations as normal – they’re requirements of the job that these people perform. What we don’t do is stop and recognise that while these might be specific cases, the reality is that all of us have also been drilled for hours in how to respond – in our own lives. Think about when you were growing up and the way in which you were taught what was right and wrong, good and bad. Our formative years generally see us being given subliminal conditioning around these five things: 1. The language that is appropriate for us to use – which words are appropriate, whether we’re allowed to use slang and colloquialism, and the way in which we pronounce words. 2. The way in which it is appropriate for us to dress – the types of materials, brands and colours, the cut and hem lengths of garments. 3. The level of education we should achieve – private versus public schooling, university versus vocational qualifications. 4. The class of society that we should live in – we are generally conditioned to remain in the class within which we were born. 5. The types of people we should be associating with – we’re usually steered towards people who are deemed to be a good influence on us, and these people are generally those who encourage us to sit within the boundaries that our conditioning gives to us. The conditioning is almost always covert, and is often referred to as ‘hidden rules’ within society. What we’re not taught is that this conditioning is different for everyone, and is entirely dependent on the family, friends, community, school, state or province, region and often country you reside in. Often, the golden rule of this conditioning is to ensure that you conform to society – that you fit in. But if all of us have received different conditioning, how is it that the concept of conditioning is supposed to assist us in fitting in? The one thing that we all have in common from receiving this conditioning is this: it forces us to squash ourselves into a shape that is determined as appropriate by someone else. So, we become a smaller version of ourselves. It also usually follows that once we have squashed ourselves to fit this shape, we then exhaust ourselves trying to live up to the rules that have been given to us about being this shape. Before we know it, we’ve succumbed to the pressure of trying to live a life that has been given to us by someone else and we spend every day stressed and exhausted, desperately looking for a way out. We accommodate everyone else’s wishes, and meet everyone else’s needs because that’s what we have to do be able to prove that we’re a good person. We work long hours, grinding away at a job that we probably don’t really like, because that’s what we have to do to prove that we are successful. We fill every second of every day with ‘stuff’ because that’s what we have to do to prove that we are busy. And while we’re doing all the things we ‘have to do’ and constantly proving ourselves for one reason or another, our mental and physical health suffers. Despite our desperate search for a way out, we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into an existence that doesn’t work for us. We live like this until we die, or until a traumatic event happens that gives us a road out of the desperation. The fascinating thing about all of this is that there is a very different way to live – and it is no harder than learning to ask yourself a few simple questions. Somewhere along the way, our lives have spun out of control and we’ve been handed a set of rules that no longer serve us. A set of rules that means that we no longer understand our own value, in our own lives. We’re so busy being conditioned that none of us have stopped to ask whether the rules are relevant any more. To put it another way, are those rules actually adding value to our lives … or are they subtracting years from our own longevity? It’s time for us to start asking questions that help us to determine what is right for our lives. Remember that every day is full of choices … and more importantly, understand that living your life the way you are is a choice – you are choosing to live as you do. So, you choose – do you want to continue living a life that has been given to you by someone else, or do you want to start choosing your own adventure? It all comes down to how you answer one simple question … ‘What value do you place on your life?’ 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, 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.
Insta Reach for Relief | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

Article first published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 20/02/2017 as part of the #lovetakesaction campaign

Stop.

Sit still for just a minute and allow yourself a small slice of silence.

Use the space in this silence to ask yourself this question: ‘Is how I am living my life working for me?’

Are you squirming? Did your intuition tell you ‘No!’ and almost immediately your mind kicked in with all the reasons why it’s OK for your life to be the way it is?

Stop.

Before you let overwhelm take over your thoughts … I want you to know that it is perfectly OK for your intuition to tell you that your life isn’t working for you.

According to Francis P. Cholle, ‘… intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason …’.

Our intuition can tell us a lot of things – if only we stop to listen.

Our lives are so busy now. Technology connects us 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. With this comes an accelerated sense of pressure that is compounded by our lives being visible on a global scale, in real time.

The way we live our lives has also changed as a direct result of our global connection. Barriers to entry in the marketing and advertising space are now almost non-existent, thanks to the power of the technology we carry in our hands. It is now easier, more efficient and more effective to market via social media, email and text messages than through traditional television and print media. It is instantaneous, direct to market and cost efficient.

The sheer speed that we live our lives at – and all the things that we try to squash into each and every day – leaves us feeling exhausted and with our heads spinning. Most of our day is spent on auto-pilot, where we lurch from one ‘crisis’ to the next. Because we communicate through a virtual world, we are surrounded by ‘evidence’ of everyone else’s success. We compare their success with our own life and find ourselves sadly lacking.

Who do you become in this environment?

We do our best to be ‘good people’. We slog our way through every day, desperately – but almost always unconsciously – trying to find our ‘golden nugget’ that will catapult us to success.  When we live this way, in an unconscious state, we are vulnerable to suggestion; we are vulnerable to manipulation.

The immediacy of our lives – and the demands on them – leave us susceptible to thinking on the run. Now add in that overlay of the ‘auto-pilot’ syndrome. When you think about it objectively, it is easy to see how this state of being puts us in a position to be significantly influenced by what we see and hear. We can be fed information in snippets that are designed to elicit a response from us.

Before we know it, our buttons are pushed, we jump in. We become appropriately outraged and we have our say. We contribute to a cause. But whose cause is it – is it actually our cause? We don’t notice that we’re being driven by a mob mentality, ‘herded’, if you will, by a group energy  … because there aren’t people physically around us. We get lost in the virtual ‘movement’ that is propelled by feelings and sentiments and ideals and values that, bluntly, are not necessarily our own.

Stop.

Become conscious of the things that grab your attention.

More importantly, become aware of where your thoughts go first in response to the information you’ve received.  Are your first thoughts negative, critical or harsh? If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to question whether you’re been conditioned – triggered, even – to respond that way.

The more we can consciously make a decision to make love the first filter we use – in every situation – the more we will take back our control over the way we behave in our lives.

Invest your time and energy in empathy rather than hate. Acknowledge the things that create a common bond, rather than becoming a voice of hate for someone else’s crusade.

Stop.

Reach for relief.

Remember who you are.

Loosen the grip of auto-pilot on your life.

Stand true to who you are, whether you are communicating in person or through a virtual conversation.

#LOVETAKESACTION

 

Want more info? You can find free resources and heaps more information at my website www.sheiqlife.com and 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, 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 | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

Article first published on www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 17/02/2017

 

No! is a complete sentence …

Almost all of us are constrained by ‘rules’ that we don’t even know exist – that aren’t actually written down anywhere but were drummed into us as part of our social conditioning as a child. When we were young, we were taught which behaviours were deemed acceptable and which parts of our character were to remain hidden from the world in order for us to be accepted.

In our hearts, we are all born with kind, generous and loving souls. It is only once we are exposed to the world around us that greed, fear and a relentless search for more are introduced to us.

History tells us that it’s the victor who writes the story of what happened during the battle. However, history very rarely documents the rules that were broken to win the battle.

Why? Because if everyday people realised that rules can be broken, then power and control over them would be lost. If only we knew the truth: that every single day, there are millions of rules being broken all over the world.

To some extent rules are needed to assist in keeping people safe. Can you imagine if there were no road rules … and it was fine to drive as fast as you like, weave all over the road with traffic coming at you from all directions, change lanes without indicating, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and pay no heed to killing anyone?

I think we can all agree that there are some rules in our lives that are necessary for the greater good.

Here’s the thing: most of us are so conditioned to obey the rules that we’ve never stopped to think about whether or not there might be some rules that we need to break free of … for our own greater good.

For example, how many times have you said ‘Yes’ to doing something … when you really didn’t want to do it, and in fact it was detrimental to you to have said ‘Yes’?

Being caught in the mould of being a perfectionist, I found myself trying to be everything to everyone and feeling like I failed every single time. I never, ever put myself first, and I had no concept of how to consider what I needed – for me to be OK. I also didn’t ever stop to consider whether my actions, or whatever I was doing, was detrimental to my own health.

I was caught up in the ‘system’ and felt compelled to continue on … when what I really needed to do was say ‘No’! What I actually needed was to stop and call out the fact that what I was doing wasn’t working for me and then step away to something that matched my values.

Instead, I worked for almost two decades in situations that clashed with my personal values. I told myself stories about why I had to stay there and I had a million reasons why I couldn’t leave. I ran around after everyone else and made sure they had what they needed to be OK. It wasn’t until I was recovering from a breakdown that I realised I did that completely at my own expense.

We often create a version of ourselves that we believe is the most acceptable to those around us. We become chameleons – changing and moulding ourselves for the different situations in our lives.

So, after those aforementioned nearly two decades of saying ‘Yes’ to everyone and everything except myself, I collapsed. I was totally and completely exhausted – mentally and physically – and my body and mind conspired against me to create a situation that I couldn’t get back up from. I had pushed too far, too hard … and for too long.

One of the most liberating moments of my life came not long after I was in pieces on the floor and I couldn’t get back up again. I was given the tools that helped me to realise that I needed to take the time to examine each of those pieces. Then, I could choose whether to pick up a given piece again and make it a part of me. Or, I could conclude that the piece in question no longer served me well and I could thank it for its contribution and let it go.

When you are able to say ‘No’ to a piece of yourself that you no longer need moving forwards, you can say ‘No’ to anything.

We find ourselves in time-poor situations of high stress simply because we said ‘Yes’ when we should have said ‘No’. Can you count how many times you’ve said or thought something like this: ‘I really didn’t feel like I could say no’?

The only person suffering through this situation was me – and it wasn’t until I was on the floor and couldn’t get up again that I realised that I had been miserable for almost my entire life.

Removing guilt and obligation from my play book, and refusing to bow to the ingrained conditioning that says that I must serve everyone else at the exclusion of myself, has allowed me to create a life where I can choose to participate in those things that are kind to me.

One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I can share with you is this: that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Saying ‘No’ to something is enough. You don’t need to elaborate, or explain, or contextualise … or embellish in any way at all.

Why? Well, because we’ve been programmed to be so helpful to others that it is excruciating when we have to say ‘No’. To ease the pain of this experience, we attempt to explain to others why we have been forced to say ‘No’. We work overtime to make the story as convincing as possible to make sure that our ‘No’ is accepted by the other person.

What I’ve discovered is that roughly 99.9 times out of 100, saying ‘No’ is all that is needed.

Getting comfortable with saying ‘No’ and resisting the urge to tack on an explanation can seem really hard. What I know, is that saying ‘No’ confidently and with easy comes down to practice – the more you say it, the easier it becomes.

Why not give it a try? Create a little experiment for yourself. Make a commitment to say ‘No’ to things at least three times a day. And when you do say ‘No’ … leave the ‘No’ as a complete sentence and see how often someone actually asks you for an explanation. I am willing to bet that there will be very few occasions where you are asked for any further information.

It won’t take long for you to be saying ‘No’ more often than you say yes. Get used to ‘No’ being a complete sentence and watch your world open up!

 

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.

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

Article first published on www.steelheels.com.au on 31/01/2017

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is becoming a driving force in the lives of too many of us.

 

We overload our lives with unnecessary activity because we’re focused on finding the ‘golden nugget’ that is going to catapult us to success and we’re worried that we’ll miss out on the ‘one thing’ that will change our lives.

In our late teenage years we’re expected to seriously assess our future and we’re asked to pick the direction our lives will take. With the changes in the education system, we now face a significant expense to cover the cost of a university degree, or any other form of post schooling education and unless we’re lucky enough to have someone who can afford to pay these education expenses for us, or we win a scholarship, the first step of our ‘career’ is weighed down by the shadow of debt.

Despite bringing fresh energy and excitement to our very first job, we also step out into the workforce feeling pressure to rise in our career – and quickly. Over time this pressure morphs into an underlying fear that we might not amount to much if we haven’t already made it.

Before we know it we’ve adopted a lifestyle that accepts being tired and stressed as normal. In fact, most people now hold a belief that if you’re not these things then you’re not working hard enough.

We find ourselves unable to say ‘No’ to a networking event, professional or personal development session and we’re left with our heads spinning trying to fit everything in. Our sleep is the first thing that goes – we don’t get anywhere near enough and the quality of the sleep depreciates over time.

When asked about the pressures in everyday lives, the number one recurring theme from women is that they are overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted because they’re busy living a life others expect of them.

FOMO is now the major factor driving us as a society to increased stress, ill health and untimely physical and psychological breakdowns.

Safe Work Australia reports that stress, burnout and fatigue impacts an increasing number of Australians each year, with 6% of all workers’ compensation claims for mental health disorders.

Safe Work Australia 2015, Work-Related Mental Disorders Profile Report claims that “Mental stress is the main cause of compensated work-related mental disorders, with 90% of mental disorder claims attributed to mental stress”

The report also found women workers were more likely to suffer and make a claim for compensation with the number of claims per million hours worked 2.3 times higher than those recorded for men.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Our societal belief that we have to wait for a traumatic event in our lives to have permission to change the way we live is one of the biggest furphies of the modern life. Getting ahead and achieving success is not about being busy – it’s about filling our lives with things that give us more energy than it takes to do them.

Each of us is a unique human being, and as such we need different things to support us in our everyday activities.

There are simple and easy things that we can do every day to help us make sure our energy is focused in the most productive way for us as individuals:

• Understand where you get your energy from: Make a list of all the things that give you energy – these are the things that make you happy, make you smile, make you laugh. They can be related to people, places or activities. • Understand how your energy is drained: Make a list of all the things that drain your energy – things that make you tired just thinking about them, people who steal your energy when you see them, work tasks that aren’t challenging or inspiring. • Reduce negativity: Make an effort to stay away from activities or people who drain your energy and replace them with things from the list that gives you energy.

It’s time to buck the trend. It’s time to start thinking and living differently. It’s time to open our eyes to the cost of living our lives in the shadow of stress and exhaustion.

It’s time to put FOMO in it’s place!

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 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.

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

Article first published on www.dynamicbusinesswomen.com.au on 16/01/2016

Make Changes….  It’s Your Choice

We’re taught from a very early age that change is something to be feared.

In fact, over time this message has been reinforced so strongly that we now fear change more than we fear death.

As we grow up we’re conditioned by the people and places around us. We’re shaped and moulded into a version of ourselves that we believe is acceptable and we step obediently into the drive to success – just like everyone else.

We grow up, and leave school and we continue to make sure we have the ‘right’ qualifications, buy the ‘right’ car’, have the ‘right’ friends, have the ‘right’ career’, buy the ‘right house (in the ‘right’ suburb) and create the perfect life.

More shaping, moulding and conditioning.

In an effort to keep up – and hopefully get ahead – we push ourselves beyond our boundaries. We place ourselves under the weight of heavy expectations and we carry the burden of ‘success’ in every decision we make. We ignore the voice in our head that tells us we need to slow down, take some time and care for ourselves …. after all, that’s for people who are less busy than we are – we simply don’t have time.

We punish ourselves until we meet every expectation and demand that is placed on us … until we reach that point where we’re running on empty and we have nothing left to give. And then we find a way to give more.

We take a deep breath and just keep going – everything will be all right if we just keep going. We’re stressed and exhausted but that’s normal, right? Aren’t they the key components of being successful?

The blinkers on our eyes keep us looking straight ahead. They keep us from understanding that we’re actually living a life that someone else has programmed us to live.

While ever we continue to live our lives this way, we are guaranteeing ourselves a one-way all expenses ignored ticket to a traumatic event of our own. 

After all, we believe that traumatic events – such as a breakdown or cancer – are things that only happen to other people … until they don’t.

The human body is an amazing construct that is designed to provide us with warning signals when it needs us to take notice of something that’s not quite right. When we put on the blinkers and shut down the warning voice, we push ourselves harder than we were ever designed to go.

We have a remarkable ability to see the effects of stress and exhaustion in those around us – whilst completely ignoring the fact that we are suffering from the very same symptoms. We have boundless empathy for our friends, family and colleagues – but rarely do we allow ourselves a bit of self-compassion.

We give everyone around us our permission to take a break and give themselves a bit of self-care … but we’ve been programmed to believe that offering the same care to ourselves is just selfish.

So how do we step up and give ourselves permission to make some changes … and still get ahead?

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of our lifetime is that introducing change is quite simple.  Once you understand that breaking something down into small, simple and manageable steps means that change will never be difficult again, you’ll easily and willingly step away from the life someone else has given you and start living the life that was meant to be yours.

Life will become much easier and will be more likely to be full of the things that you love, and you’ll be less likely to become stuck in the things that drain your energy.

We need to acknowledge that being stressed and exhausted is NOT normal. Bluntly, being stressed and exhausted is slowing killing us.

Everything in life comes down to our choices. In every moment and with every decision, we can choose the path we take. The reality is that making change in simple, small steps is so much easier to handle than trying to climb back up after a total breakdown.

It is only when we choose to stop waiting for permission to change, that our lives can be lived very differently.

About Your Guest Blogger: Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert 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

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