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Coach Carlene

Are you in a season that’s exciting and makes you want to jump out of bed everyday? Or, maybe you’re in a season where you feel kind of meh.? Or, maybe you’re in a season that’s stressful and exhausting and you can’t wait to get back to better days?

I’m in a rough season right now. It’s been grueling and has taken it’s toll on my relationships, my productivity, my energy, my focus, my self-esteem, and dare I say, my outlook.

I don’t want to bore you with the details of this season I’m in. Because, no one’s seasons are the same. Here are some different seasons you can probably relate to like; being a huge support to your grown/almost grown kids, taking care of aging parents. running your own business, staying in the game of your profession because, my gosh, you have worked so dang hard to get there.

Or maybe you’re in a season of transition; moving, becoming an empty-nester, divorce, mourning the end of a friendship that has run its course, a job change, retirement. The list is long.

Some seasons are full of joy. Others are full of sorrow. Others are little of both, AKA bittersweet.

I’ve come to learn that life is full of seasons and it’s how we navigate them that really matters. When a new season rolls around I get overwhelmed. I start to lose my footing, and as result, I become super vulnerable to anything that throws me off.

So, that’s why I wanted to share a couple different ways that I stay grounded, especially in situations like the past few weeks, when things have gotten really tough.

Here’s what has helped me stay grounded as I move from season to season.

Change Your Scorecard

We’re always wearing so many hats, and there’s only so much time to get things accomplished. If you are still measuring yourself by the high bar you set for yourself in a joyful season or a season where you were the master of your days and you are now in a season where your time is not your own, you need a new scorecard.

Why?

Because your priorities have changed. It’s time to change your expectations of yourself. There is absolutely no shame in putting things off for a few months or longer. If you’re in a really busy season you have to look at that calendar.

So, if you had all these projects you wanted to tackle but your time is now spent caring for a sick child, partner, or parent, you need to readjust your expectations. If you don’t, you’ll be constantly beating yourself up for “not getting anything done”. Trust me. It’s terrible for your self-esteem.

You should be measuring if you’ve been showing up for this person as best as you can. Have you brought your best self to the situation? Sure, you can keep one project on your scorecard, but lower the bar. I know that doesn’t feel good initially, but you will soon realize you just took a whole lot of pressure off yourself.

Remind Yourself You Are In A Season

One thing I do when things are tough is to remind myself that I’m in a season and that this, too, shall pass. The season I’m in right now is one I’ve been in for awhile, and it’s a whole lot of bittersweet.

Please hear me when I say that I’m not complaining. I’m beyond grateful to have my amazing family and friends. I’m so grateful for the business I’ve created and to have the opportunity to wake up and do the things that I love every single day. Truly. But just like you, I’m human, and sometimes it can be a lot.

By reminding myself that this is just a season and that it will eventually end, I’m able to rein in some of those negative thoughts and maintain a much better mindset.

Be Grateful

Now, on the flip side, when things are going really, really well – when you’re just hitting it on all cylinders, like, things are just moving and flowing – that, too, is a season.

I think about how I’m in a season right now that on one hand, I’m looking forward to getting out of, but on the other hand, I know there is an incredibly painful loss that defines the end of this season. Bittersweet.

Whether it’s a great season, or kind of a rough season like I’m in now, I’m just going to be grateful because I know the season I’m in now, I’m growing. And at the same time, I’m just grateful that I know things are going to move forward and change. And, if I was in an amazing season right now, I’d be grateful for it because I know it doesn’t always stay that way.

Breathe

When I started doing breathing exercises this year, I had no idea that I have the most shallow breath. It’s hard for me to take a really deep breath. Is it easy for you take a deep breath and count to four? Like, one, two, three, four, maybe fix, six? Can you do a little bit more and then hold it for four? And then let it out for eight? That’s what they do on the Calm app, I breathe in for four, hold for four, out for eight.

When you take a deep breath in, hold it and let it out, your entire body responds. Science backs this up. Deep breathing stimulates your vagus nerve that then calms you. I do this every morning before getting out of bed. Then you’ll find me throughout the day now just taking a moment, just taking a breath. Deep breathing gets me through those anxious moments.

Ask For Help

Finally, when I’ve got too many plates spinning in the air and I feel like they’re all about to come crashing down, I have to be brutally honest with myself. I can’t pretend that I’ll somehow get it all done. This is so closely tied to Changing Your Scorecard above. Lying to myself is only going to make it worse for me and everyone else.

Instead, I need to lean on my amazing family and friends and delegate some things that I absolutely need to take off my plate. Most importantly, I can’t be afraid to ask for support.

So, in this season, I’m not worrying about getting dinner on the table or grocery shopping. My family is so capable and willing to take that on. I’ve had to push some big things off in my business and focus on my 1:1 coaching clients.

Wrapping It Up

When a new season is upon you, reprioritize your scorecard, eliminating, delegating, changing expectations. Remind yourself seasons of life are normal. You will be okay. Just breathe.

My friend, whatever season you are in, know we are all in this together. Right now is the time to love yourself hard. Love those around you you hard. Give yourself the space to move through your priorities at a pace that feels manageable to you. And in the moments you feel like you’ve jumped into more than you can handle or life has just dumped it on you, remember that you’ve got this, and I am so cheering you on.

The trick to accomplishing anything is thinking you can do it. In other words, confidence is key. Many of the confidence killers we inflict on ourselves are thing we don’t even realize we’re doing.

But as with any behavior, these habits that slowly kill your spirit can be unlearned. The first step, of course, is recognizing them.

Check yourself to see if you have any of these 10 confidence-killing habits.

#1 People Pleasing – saying yes to everything

Saying “yes” to everyone stems from a desire to feel needed and liked. When you focus on pleasing others, you neglect yourself. Pleasing yourself is not selfish. It’s necessary. When you focus on your needs instead of everyone else’s, you reinforce that you matter. Stop linking your self-confidence to others’ approval. Instead show up for YOU!

#2 Using Always and Never

Your language is a reflection of how you feel about yourself and feeds your confidence, or not.

Using the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ is a common unconscious confidence-destroying habit that leaves you feeling like you have no ability to make changes, when that’s hardly the case.

Anytime you find yourself saying ‘always’ and ‘never’, you are destroying your confidence. Because of their seemingly absolute, black and white, all or nothing nature, you’re setting yourself up to feel hopeless, helpless and less confident.

#3 Maintaining toxic friendships

We truly are who we spend time with. If we are surrounded by people who are lazy, complain or have a victim mentality, then that is who we become.

If there are toxic people in your life who threaten your self-worth and significantly chip away at your self-esteem, it’s time to kick those relationships to the curb.

Seek out positive reinforcement, not haters.

Get a tighter rein on the positive influences. Hone your friend group and be intentional with who you surround yourself with. Make sure you’re surrounded by those who have your best interests at heart, and who love you and want to see you thrive.

#4 Bullying Yourself

You say things to yourself that you would never say to another person. These sound like, “I’m not good enough. I’m a loser. Or, I’m so stupid.” Constantly speaking to yourself this way will have the same effect as if someone else were saying those things to you, which can deal a serious blow to your self-confidence.

#5 Focusing on Your Weaknesses

The more we talk about our perceived negative traits, the more we will believe them. Not only that, but focusing on those flaws leads our subconscious mind to look for evidence that this belief is true and create new experiences to support it. At a certain point, these perceptions will turn into a self-created reality.

#6 Comparing Yourself to Others

When you compare yourself to someone who you perceive as better than you it diminishes your confidence. We have the tendency to tell ourselves that, compared to someone else, we aren’t qualified to do our job or lack the ability to be a good parent, partner, friend, or listener.

But by doing so, you’re likely to feel as if it isn’t even worth trying to live up to your expectations, thus enacting a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, only compare yourself to those you can learn from. What are they doing or what do they have that you want? How did they get there? What attributes to you admire about them? How can you use this new knowledge to move forward?

#7 Spending Time on Social Media

Social media can have damaging effects on self-esteem and self-image. If negative comments or a lack of likes and interaction are getting you down, it’s time for a social media hiatus. Try to remind yourself that social media, in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty superficial place. And remember, the only validation that matters is the kind you find inside yourself.

#8 Not Admitting When You’re Wrong

Confidence is crucial, but over-confidence is downright dangerous. Knowing when to admit you are wrong is an important step in maintaining your self-esteem, because confidence doesn’t mean being right all the time. It also means being self-aware. You’ll learn that even when you make mistakes the world doesn’t come to an end. Own it. Admit your mistake. Forgive yourself. And move on.

#9 Neglecting Yourself

One of the main ways you can damage your confidence is not engaging in self-care. Not scheduling doctor appointments, cancelling training sessions at the gym, or eating like garbage send subconscious messages to your brain that you are not worth the time, money and energy necessary to lead a healthy life.

#10 Playing the victim

Thinking people are out to get you, that you are always wrong, or that you have terrible luck, are all damaging to your self-confidence. These thoughts can lead you to think the world is against you and that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough. Begin by reframing your thoughts to “That didn’t go as I had hoped, but next time will be better because I’m smarter now.”

When you are confident you will:
  • feel happy, valuable, fulfilled
  • feel worthy of the good things in your life
  • easily cope with life’s challenges
  • be productive
  • trust yourself to show up for YOU
  • stop looking for external validation because loving yourself is where true confidence thrives.

The fastest way to change the way you think about yourself is to change your behavior.

Identify which habits above you want to change and take one small step to start today.

Don’t forget to download your free confidence building guide.

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

“I’m exhausted and I think it’s because I don’t take enough downtime.”

This is what one of my coaching clients is dealing with.

Can you relate?

If you can, you are going to be surprised at the outcome of this coaching session.

Together, my client and I dove into what “enough downtime” meant for her. This lead us to her beautifully color-coded daily planner.

What we discovered was she had plenty of downtime planned in her schedule.

After peeling the onion, layer by layer, she discovered she was taking the downtime, but she didn’t feel like she experienced any of the benefits.

Hmmmmm.

So, what was happening during her downtime?

There were distractions.

She wasn’t present during her “me time”.

Like anything else in life, we have to be there in the moment to have the experience, no matter what it is.

If you’re not present in the moment, you’re going to miss your “me time.”

It means being intentional and committing to your downtime. It is sacred and should be treated as such.

It’s not about how much downtime you have that matters. It’s about how you show up for it – for yourself.

But isn’t the point of downtime to NOT have all that pressure of showing up a certain way – to just let your mind wander and NOT have to be accountable to anyone or anything?

Well, the answer is both yes and no.

Yes. It’s your time to let all the stress go. To stop worrying. To stop doing all the “shoulds” on your list. Yes, this time is about you and no one else.

And the answer is also no. You can’t be distracted during your downtime.

Here’s an example.

You decide you need some time to yourself and you’re going to indulge in some Netflix binging. And while you’re watching you are also scrolling on your phone.

Before you know it, the first episode is over and you have no clue what is going on. You fall asleep because you were never fully invested or present. Netflix keeps popping up the the next episode and the next.

When you wake, you beat yourself up for not even making it through your downtime as you had planned. You also know that you’re not going to be able to fall asleep tonight because you took a 2 hour nap. You also know, that tomorrow is probably going to suck because you know you’ll be exhausted.

That is the exact opposite of what downtime is intended to do.

Downtime is supposed to be your time to relax and get reenergized.

Here’s another example.

You grab your phone and go for a walk. Someone from work calls and it becomes a stressful conversation. You’re not paying any attention to your walk. You don’t notice the warm breeze, birds chirping, or the new spring blooms. You’re present with work but not with your downtime.

You get back home and you’re more stressed than when you left. Ugh.

Here Are 6 Ways to Stay Present During Your Downtime.

  1. No scrolling. You can have your phone on you for emergencies but other than that, don’t look at it during your downtime.
  2. No multitasking. Focusing on only one thing allows you to be present and take in the entire experience you’ve chosen – be it a bubble bath, a walk, reading or working on a project you’re interested in.
  3. Make downtime a consistent priority. Try to keep it at the same time of day. Then it becomes a habit, and you know you can count on yourself to take the time.
  4. Don’t let others in unless they are part of your planned downtime – for example, if you’re working on a project with a friend.
  5. Tell others you will be unavailable for the time being.
  6. Get creative with how you spend downtime. Something active like gardening, walking or baking can help you unwind more-so than a nap. If it’s something that interests you and lights you up, you’ll be more likely to be fully present.

Remember, the challenge is not finding more free time. The challenge is being present in order to realize the benefits of relaxing and getting reenergized.

Don’t forget to grab your confidence building guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Taking breaks is the counter-intuitive approach to improving productivity.

Breaks should be a priority, not a reward for completing your to-do list. Listen to your body and know when to stop. Taking a break will help you perform better, get better ideas, and feel good about yourself.

WHAT IS A BREAK?

A break is a brief pause of work or physical activity. You decide to give it a rest with the intention of getting back to your task within a reasonable amount of time.

But do you fear you’ll never get back on task?

Here are 4 ways to ensure you’ll get back on task:

One: Set 2 alarms – one on your phone that you take with you on break. That is the only thing you do with your phone on break. And a second alarm in your work area that will force you to go back to turn it off – once you’re in the space, you’re more likely to start again.

Two: Tell someone what time you need to get back to work.

Three: Write on a post-it where you stopped and where you’ll start when you get back.

Four: Work for 2 Minutes – Telling yourself you only need to work for 2 minutes will get you started. Before you know it, you’ll realize you’ve been working for 20 minutes.

TWO COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BREAKS

Myth 1: Scrolling on your phone, watching You Tube videos, playing video games, essentially anything on a screen is a great way to take a break.

Truth 1: Anything on a screen is a big no-no. As this survey by Huffington Post suggests, activities like social networking can significantly increase stress. When you’re on a screen you’re more likely to lose track of time. It is also more difficult to get your brain off the screen and it does not give your brain the break it needs.

Myth 2: Breaks take too much time. It’s better to push through without one.

Truth 2: You think you don’t have time for breaks? Truth is, you don’t have time to NOT take breaks. Read on. You’ll find out why.

5 REASONS WHY BREAKS ARE INCREDIBLY VALUABLE:

One: Breaks are essential for your physical and emotional health.

Movement breaks, specifically, lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Getting up from your chair to walk, stretch, do yoga, etc. can reduce the negative health effects from too much sitting. Just a 5 minute walk every hour can improve your health and well-being.

Two: Breaks can prevent “decision fatigue.”

Author S.J. Scott points out the need to make frequent decisions throughout the day can wear down your willpower and reasoning ability. Decision fatigue can lead to simplistic decision-making and procrastination.

Three: Breaks restore motivation, especially for long-term goals.

When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later.

A small study summarized here even suggests that prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance.

Four: Breaks increase productivity and creativity.

Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative. “Aha moments” came more often to those who took breaks, according to research.

Five: Breaks called “Waking Rest”, AKA resting while awake, helps consolidate memories and improve learning.

Scientists have known that one purpose of sleep is to consolidate memories. However, there is also evidence that resting while awake likewise improves memory formation. During a rest period, it appears the brain reviews and ingrains what it previously learned.

WHEN NOT TO TAKE A BREAK

If you are in a state of “flow” it does not make sense to take a break. Flow is characterized by complete absorption in the task, seemingly effortless concentration, and pleasure in the task itself. Simply enjoying what you are doing may be a sign that you still have plenty of energy for your current activity.

In short, if it ain’t broke, don’t “break” it.

7 TIPS FOR TAKING BREAKS SO YOU COME BACK RECHARGED, REENERGIZED, AND MORE PRODUCTIVE.

One: Walk or exercise.

Get moving. A walking break leads to more creative ideas than a sitting break.

Two: Get Outside

Staying in an artificially lit, stuffy office or home, all day might be a necessity for getting things done. But escaping that space for even a few minutes during the day can have huge benefits. Fresh air helps clear the brain fog allowing you to focus with a clear head. Choose where you go wisely. Walking in nature tends to calm, while city streets amp up engagement.

Three: Change your environment

Briefly leaving your work space and going to another area will help your brain rest and switch gears.

Four: Hydrate and have a healthy snack.

Opt for high protein, low sugar snacks. And always, always, be drinking water!

Five: Take a few deep breaths.

They don’t call a rest “taking a breather” for nothing. Deliberately taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on your breathing for just 30 seconds is a mini-meditation that can relax your mind and body.

Six: Daydream

Daydreaming gives the prefrontal cortex a break, taking you on a brief journey to your unconscious mind where chaos and creativity reign.

A report published in Science Magazine found that simply letting our minds wander by zoning out or daydreaming has similar benefits to meditation.

Letting your mind drift can help you come up with more creative ideas and help you problem-solve.

Seven: Have some coffee or tea.

Coffee could be a great way to bring your brain to focus on the task at hand. A study conducted on 2010 concluded that employees who take regular coffee breaks are more efficient and productive. A dose of caffeine can keep you alert, reduce stress, and help you stay active.

HOW OFTEN TO TAKE BREAKS

While the rule of thumb is simple: take a break when your brain feels saturated, different researchers have come up with different options.

  • A post published in Inc. Magazine suggests a break every 60-90 minutes.
  • The Pomodoro Technique advises working for 25 minutes followed by a 3 to 5-minute break, and then a 15 to 30-minute break every 90 minutes or so.

While it’s true that different durations work for different people, you should decide how often to take a break depending on the type of work you need to do. Keep the momentum for as long as you can and take a break after 90 minutes. However, if your thoughts start to wander more frequently, a short break every 20 minutes might be helpful.

MONITOR YOURSELF AND LEARN

As you take breaks, be mindful of the results. Which kind of breaks seem to help you become more creative, motivated and productive? Which kind of breaks just seem disruptive to your work? Notice what works and what doesn’t. Research on breaks is a generalization; only you can decide what particular strategies work best for you.

WRAPPING IT UP

By knowing you have a break coming up, you’re more likely to stay focused and work with purpose.

Breaks are an enriching way of giving your brain that much-needed rest. According to Forbes, taking breaks as self-care can literally save your life.

In our culture of doing, taking regular breaks can be seen as lazy or unproductive. But when done correctly, breaks are the ultimate productivity hack, because they let us do more in less time. So, stop glorifying long days and burnout-inducing hours and take a break.

You deserve it!

People- pleasing is rooted in self-doubt.

You want to be liked.

You don’t want anyone to be upset with you.

You fear if you say no, they will stop talking to you.

You don’t feel like you’re enough, so you keep doing more, thinking that adding one more thing won’t be too much trouble.

But what if you weren’t constantly looking for that external validation that you are enough?

What if you believed in yourself and truly knew that you are an amazing human?

What if you looked at setting boundaries around people-pleasing, AKA as saying no, as a way to be healthier and happier. And what if you showed up in all of your relationships healthier and happier as a result? That’s some powerful stuff all from learning how to say no. Wow!

Saying no is not the only way to set boundaries. It’s just a small part of the process. But before you can move on to other parts of boundaries, practice saying no first.

Like anything new, setting boundaries is uncomfortable. Maybe you…

  • fear being mean or rude.
  • are anxious about future interactions after setting a boundary.
  • feel powerless and not sure boundaries will help.
  • get your value from helping others.
  • have no clue where to start.
  • believe you can’t have boundaries is certain relationships.

If any of those resonated for you, you are not alone. People don’t have to agree with boundaries for you to execute them. Boundaries are meant to keep you safe. And they are meant to keep you comfortable. Your comfort may make others uncomfortable, and that’s okay.

3 Simple Steps to Set A Boundary

Step #1: Be clear, and focus on the solution, not the problem.

When we think about setting boundaries, we mostly talk about the problem. The boundary is the solution.

Ask yourself, “What would you like? What do you want to see next time? What would make you feel safe?”

Condense what you need into one or two sentences, max!

Do say, “I’m not able to take care of your plants while you’re on vacation.”

Don’t say, “I don’t know why you asked me to take care of your plants. You know I don’t have a green thumb. The last time you asked me, one plant died, and you haven’t stopped complaining out how incompetent I was. Why don’t you ask someone else who knows more about plants?”

Don’t say, “You should ask your sister to water your plants instead.”

Remember the boundary is the solution to your habit of people-pleasing. The boundary is not the solution to the other person’s issue. It’s up to the other person to make different arrangements.

If you overexplain, people can find your weakness. When you’re a newbie, people can talk you out of your boundaries because of your lack of confidence.

Step #2: State what you need and want, or say no.

Speak your truth using phrases like:

  • I want…
  • I need…
  • I expect…

Don’t just mention what you don’t like; ask for what you need or want. Identify your expectations, or say no.

Step #3: Manage your discomfort.

It’s normal to feel guilt, fear, sadness, remorse, awkwardness, indifference, or relief when setting boundaries.

Guilt is by far the most challenging, but it’s to be expected. Guilt shows that you are emotionally aware and are concerned about potentially hurting others. But don’t let your guilt stop you from doing what you need for your well-being.

You will likely be relieved after setting a boundary. The hard part is over. You did it!

And even when people aren’t happy with your boundaries, it feels good to have taken that first uncomfortable step.

The more you do this, the more confident you will feel in setting boundaries and taking care of yourself.

What is one thing you would like to start saying no to?

Don’t forget to grab your free confidence building guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

“What do I want for lunch? Pasta or sushi?”

“When is the right time to have that difficult conversation?”

“Where can I go on vacation? Can I afford it?”

A typical adult makes more than 35,000 decisions per day – usually starting with whether to turn off the alarm or hit the snooze button.

We face hundreds of choices every day – from simple, “What should I wear to work?” to more complicated decisions that involve our emotional, financial, and physical well-being, “Should we pivot the business?”

The number of decisions you have to make in a day can get so overwhelming that by the time you get home, you can barely decide what to eat for dinner.

This is what’s known as decision fatigue – a term coined by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, as the emotional and mental strain resulting from a burden of choices.

This type of fatigue leads to one of two outcomes; risky decision-making or decision avoidance.

In other words, when your mental energy begins running low, you’re less able to override basic desires and more likely to go for whatever is easiest.

Fear not! That feeling when you’re overly stressed by the endless amount of decisions you’ve had to make throughout the day can be remedied.

How to Recognize It

Remember decision fatigue isn’t always easy to spot. Here are some tell-tale signs that might suggest you’re heading for burnout.

  • Procrastination – “I’ll tackle this later.”
  • Impulsivity – “A quick decision will give me relief.”
  • Avoidance – “I can’t deal with this right now.”
  • Indecision – “When in doubt, I just say no.”

ONE: Focus on self-care

Take time to rest by setting aside 10-minute breaks between tasks throughout the day.

Recovering also means making sure you’re getting enough sleep, making sure you’re eating healthy, and watching your alcohol intake.

TWO: Prioritize your decisions.

Cut down on needless decision-making by jotting down your top priorities for the day and ensuring you tackle those first. This way, your most important decisions get done when your energy is at its highest.

THREE: Save major decisions for when you’re rested and refreshed.

Ask yourself;

  • “How tired am I in the present moment?”
  • “Am I making a decision to simply solve the thing and get it off my plate?”
  • “How much impact on my life will this decision have?”

If the answer is that it’ll have a high impact, only allow yourself to make those decisions when you have to make them or when you feel refreshed.

That might mean setting aside a block of time each month to evaluate the pros and cons of those major decisions.

FOUR: Minimize low-stake decisions

Reduce decision drain by planning ahead and taking relatively minor decisions out of the equation. For example, take your lunch to work to avoid having to decide which restaurant to order from. Or, lay out your clothes the night before.

Yes, you are still making the decision but you are doing it at a time when you’re not rushed and stressed.

Remember, your morning is only as good as the night before.

We don’t realize that things that have very little impact on our lives can actually take a lot of decision energy.

FIVE: Create routines that will stick

Set up your day so that you have to make the fewest decisions possible. Have a morning and evening routine. Put as many things on auto-pilot as possible.

This means having strict and clear rules about certain things, such as;

  • when you’ll go to sleep
  • specific days you’ll hit the gym
  • going grocery shopping

SIX: Allow others to help

Sharing the mental load of decision-making can help prevent overwhelm.

Here are a few examples of what you can delegate:

  • If you’re having a hard time meal planning, allow your partner or roommate to come up with a menu. You can help out with the shopping.
  • Ask a close friend for a referral for a plumber.
  • Let a colleague choose which images to use on your next presentation.

SEVEN: Keep tabs on your mental and physical state

Everyone gets overwhelmed with decisions at times. Pay attention to your emotional and physical responses.

Are you repeatedly making poor choices because you feel overwhelmed? Do you find yourself making a habit of snacking on junk food to avoid making decisions about dinner?

Keeping track of your reactions can help you understand which habits need improvement.

EIGHT: Celebrate your good decisions.

You make so many small decisions during the day without even realizing it. And that’s on top of all the big, noticeable ones.

Celebrating the big and small decisions alike, boosts your confidence and sets you up for more confident decision-making tomorrow.

Mel Robbins created the High-Five Habit so we could all start celebrating ourselves. So, go high-five yourself in the mirror for showing up and making the best decisions you could today.

If you liked this, be sure to grab your free guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

A lot of us are back to the office and school. This is great for so many reasons like, connecting with others, having structure & routine, and even some built in accountability. 

What many of us didn’t notice while we were working from home, was the opportunities it afforded us to set our own schedule’s and take some downtime when we needed it.

Between 2 pm and 4 pm, is when we typically experience afternoon slumps to some degree; where you feel mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. For those with ADHD, you don’t experience just a little slump, yours are full blown crashes. 

No matter if you fall on the side of a slump or a crash, they both affect your attention, focus, productivity, and your ability to stay calm and rational.

Here are 7 things you can do to minimize or prevent your afternoon slumps and crashes. The more suggestions you implement, the more results you will see!

1. Simply put, EAT

Many of us don’t eat breakfast; either because we don’t feel hungry in the mornings or because we are in a rush to get out the door. However, starting the day with a protein packed breakfast is incredibly helpful to avoid the afternoon crash.

Lunch is often a meal eaten on the run or skipped when we get busy in our day. Or because we missed breakfast, we are ravenous and eat a big heavy lunch. What we eat for lunch has a direct effect on our energy in the afternoon. Take time to eat a gluten-free lunch with some good-quality protein (chicken or fish) and fiber in the form of vegetables. Your afternoons will be transformed.

2. Get your 7 hours of Sleep

75% of ADHDers have problems with falling and staying asleep. According to the CDC, more than 35% of Americans get less than the recommended 7 hours a night. If you are sleep deprived or had a night of poor sleep, then an afternoon crash is more likely to happen. However, they can still be minimized with the other suggestions on this list.

3. Be a Smart Caffeine Drinker

Caffeine isn’t bad; and if you become a smart caffeine drinker, you can still drink it and not get afternoon crashes.

Drink your first coffee of the day after you have eaten breakfast.
If drinking coffee gives you energy highs and lows, then switch to green tea.
Both tips will give you more sustained energy. Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm because it will interfere with your sleep (which in turn affects crashes).

4. Get Moving

After you exercise, your whole body and mind is energized for 3 hours. To capitalize on this, move your workout to lunch time and see if you notice a difference in your energy level in the afternoons.

5. Drink up

Staying hydrated is by far the simplest ways to fight fatigue, yet remembering to drink water throughout the day isn’t as simple. Don’t skip this step!

6. Say Goodbye to Stress

Stress is exhausting! If your morning is full of tension, mini crisis (forgetting things, mad dashes for deadlines), worry and anxiety, then by the afternoon, you will be emotionally exhausted and ready to crash. 

Stress comes from 2 sources: things you can control and things you can’t.
Focus on the life stressors that are in your control. Using strategies to reduce your worry and anxiety is a great place to start.

7. Stop Multi-Tasking

We love to multi-task. It feels exciting and exhilarating. However, it’s also very tiring. Every time we shift focus, we burn glucose, which is the food our neurons use. After a couple of hours of speedy shifting, we feel drained and ready for a nap. Also, our glucose store is depleted; cortisol (the stress hormone) has also been released, causing us to feel edgy and stressed.
Stop multi-tasking and start single tasking.

Stop here and jot down which of these tips you’re going to put into practice. Don’t skip this step. Doing this sets your intentions. Also, share your intentions with a family member or friend. They may want to join you on getting out of the afternoon slump!

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The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

You don’t even notice it. It’s been happening your entire life. You’ve become complacent and simply accept it. What is it?

Accepting unsolicited advice. 

Think about a time (you won’t have to go back too far in time) when you got some unwanted advice? How did it make you feel? Do any of these feel familiar?

  • You feel insulted.
  • It feels patronizing and condescending.
  • You now underestimate your abilities.
  • You don’t trust yourself to make decisions.
  • You feel criticized and rejected.
  • You feel defensive. 

Over time, these feelings erode your confidence. Accepting unsolicited advice eventually keeps you trapped in a cycle of doubting yourself. It holds you back from doing things you want to do. You don’t believe or trust in yourself. You no longer feel capable of handling challenging situations. You question yourself constantly. 

Wait a minute!

Why are you allowing this?

I know. You’re scared of conflict. You don’t want to rock the boat. You don’t have the confidence or know-how to politely shut the advisor down. 

You need to hear this.

You do NOT have to accept unsolicited advice. You have a choice. Really!

Say that out loud, “I do NOT have to accept unsolicited advice!” 

So, what do you do instead of accepting it?

Here are 4 things you can do instead.

1. Don’t take it personally.

Easier said than done. Some people genuinely want to help you, but if they give unsolicited advice often, you can mention that part about them so they can consider toning it down. But for those other advisors who don’t have the best of intentions, you have to take control.

Take a step back and realize you are capable. To know that all this unsolicited advice isn’t about your inadequacies but about the persons ego or need for power or need to be right, makes it much less personal.

When you can be in that moment of pure frustration of getting that advice and know that it’s not about you, you have taken the power away from them. YOU are the only person in charge of your thoughts and how you feel about yourself. 

2. Be clear up front.

Know what you want to get from the conversation. If you want advice, ask for it. If you don’t want advice, say it first. For all those times you want to vent, to simply verbally process something, you need to lead the conversation with something like,

“I really need to get something off my chest. I only need you to listen. I don’t want a solution or any ideas on what I should or should not do. Think of this as a monologue.” Watch your tone. You want to be clear and firm and respectful. After all, the person is going to listen to you. When someone knows what the goal of the conversation is, it keeps all potential conflicts from even cropping up.  

3. Politely shut it down.

There are times you simply don’t see it coming.  The conversation has morphed into unsolicited advice being slung your way and you are getting annoyed and feel belittled. Now you have to manage your emotions and avoid the conflict that will come if you try to cut-off the giver of advice. First, take a deep breath and yes, kind of stop listening. Put the advisors voice in the background, like white noise, so you can get a hold of your emotions. 

You are now ready to politely shut it down. 

Say something like, “Thank you for offering an option but I’m okay with my choice.” Or “Thank you for your advice but I have a plan that works for me. I’ll ask you about it if I need your opinion in the future.”

You don’t need to apply every piece of advice you get from everyone. And you also shouldn’t let people establish superiority by imposing their opinions on you. If they’re wise, such polite but firm statements will make them realize their rudeness.

4. Indicate you’ll consider it.

If you want to avoid as much confrontation as possible, the best way to evade such an overwhelming scene is to say something non-committal like, “I’ll consider it”, or “You might be right, I’ll think about it.”

I know this kind of feels like you’re blowing them off, that’s because you are. It’s all in your tone. 

These comments should signal to them that the conversation is over. If they continue with the advice giving, try something like, “I’m done talking about that for now.” And change the subject. 

You don’t want to give them the power to further annoy you so cutting the conversation short without revealing what you’re thinking can be the best move. After thinking deeply about what they said with less emotional attachment, you can choose to ignore or apply their advice.

You get to choose who and what you listen to. You choose your thoughts. You choose who you give the power too. You choose to take back the power. By choosing NOT to accept unsolicited advice that erodes your confidence, you are choosing YOU and a healthy mindset that will propel you forward. 

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How often do you put yourself first?

If you can’t put yourself first, first thing in the morning, then when can you?

You deserve to spend time on yourself and put your needs first for the simple fact that you exist. Believing that is the first step toward building self-worth and confidence.

One of the best ways to put yourself first is to create a Morning Routine or Ritual, where you spend time doing something just for you.

Committing to a daily morning ritual helps you build self-worth by declaring that this is your time, and you deserve to do something for yourself.

Morning routines are all the buzz on the internet and social media. 

There’s good reason for this. Morning routines are made up of rituals and set the tone for your day. Having a solid and intentional morning routine is the KEY to being happy, successful and confident.

Rituals change our brain chemistry. They signal that it’s time for something to happen. Having routines and rituals for putting our kids down at night is a perfect example.

Our kids count on taking that warm bubble bath, brushing their teeth and reading a book with us. Maybe you have a favorite saying like, “Love you to the moon and back.” Or maybe you rub their back for 5 minutes. Whatever it is, these rituals trigger your kids’ brain telling them it’s time for bed. 

So what do rituals have to do with confidence?

First, rituals are always there for us. We can pull them out whenever we need them. Mostly, we do them without even thinking about it.

Second, it is an important way of showing up for ourselves. It tells you that YOU can count on YOU. Keeping promises to ourselves is a huge confidence boost. 

Third, the ritual of NOT doing certain things is just as critical to our state of mind as the things we are doing. 

Science has shown rituals and routines have a direct impact on our confidence.

Researchers theorize that routines help focus our attention, limit distractions, help to “trigger” behaviors we’ve practiced in advance, as well as generally help us feel optimistic, energized and confident.

Having a great day starts with how you wake up. And the best way to make sure your start your day off right is by sticking to a morning routine that makes you feel empowered and in control. 

That doesn’t mean you to need to wake at 4am or block off hours of your morning. All it means is getting intentional with your time and prioritizing what YOU need in order to have a successful day.

Start with one of these 5 rituals that I practice every morning. Give it 30 days and then add in another. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do them all at once.

1. Self Before Cell

At night, put your phone across the room or better yet in another room. You’ll be less tempted to look at it in the middle of the night. 

Now, commit to not looking at it for the first 30 minutes of your day. That’s right. Think about it this way: would you let 100 people into your bedroom first thing in the morning? What about 1,000? 

That’s essentially what you’re doing when you’re checking emails or scrolling through social media first thing every day. You’re letting everyone else, and their needs come first. 

You’re also looking at everyone’s perfect vacations, cute puppy dogs, perfect friends and family and now you feel like garbage about your life. 

Now your day is defined by that instead of how you are actually feeling when you wake up. 

You deserve a few minutes every morning before you let the world in that’s just for you.

2. Start by making your bed every morning.

Yes, I make my bed even when I’m at a hotel. When you make your bed in the morning it will automatically make you feel productive since you just completed something. And doesn’t it look nice?! You can throw your covers over the wrinkled sheets, it doesn’t have to be perfect. 

One small task can make a huge difference in making you feel more confident to start your day.

3. Morning Journal

Get present, journal and plan your day.

Ask yourself these 3 questions, it will help you set an inspired intention for the day.

  • What’s one thing you want to work on today that matters to you?
  • Who are you going to be today?
  • What are 3 things I’m grateful for that occurred in the last few days.

They can be small (how someone smiled at you in the grocery store), big (a promotion), or anything that comes to mind. As you think of each of these things, notice how the joy feels in your body as you reflect on your gratitude. 

4. Care for your body

There are a number of things you can do to help your body wake up in the morning. If our bodies aren’t on board, it’s hard to get our day started with confidence. First, drink at least 8 ounces of water. By hydrating first thing in the morning, especially upon waking up dehydrated, we can reduce hunger throughout the day and reduce the potential onset of headaches. Next, do some gentle stretching. It only needs to take 5-10 minutes. This will help increase flexibility, improve mobility, and also flush out toxins. 

5. High Five Yourself

Life is hard enough, so stop being so hard on yourself. If you want the life you dream about, you HAVE to be your own greatest cheerleader.

You’ve been talking to yourself negatively for so long, and it’s gotten you nowhere. It’s impossible to grow and push yourself if your inner voice is telling you you’re not good enough. 

You weren’t born doubting yourself. Life did that to you. And if your brain can learn how to criticize, it can learn how to cheer.

So, what’s the easiest way to start cheering for yourself? Give yourself a high five every time you pass a mirror.

It’s going to feel silly at first – but trust me. It’s shockingly powerful. It creates positive change at the neural pathway level of your brain. I can almost guarantee you will start to feel a difference in your mood, your attitude, and your energy.

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 The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

People pleasing is the desire to make other people like you. That’s why you put yourself second, because you think people will like you better if you put them first.

People pleasing is a habit grounded in fear of rejection, of disappointing others and keeps you stuck in the exhausting cycle of trying to silence your inner critic of not feeling good enough to be loved. 

We people please for many reasons. 

It could be a response to fear associated with a past trauma. Maybe you’ve experienced abuse and you learned it was safer to do what other people wanted and take care of their needs first. By people- pleasing, you made yourself likable, and therefore safe.

Or it could be self-esteem issues. Maybe when you were younger you learned that your value comes from what you do for others. This will probably play on repeat throughout your life unless you work to undo the message.

Or it could be fear of rejection. If your parent offered you approval and love based largely on your behavior, you probably realized pretty quickly it was best to keep them happy. To avoid rejection in the form of criticism and punishment when you did something wrong, you learned to always do what they wanted, maybe before they even asked it of you.

Wherever it comes from, people-pleasing is damaging to you, others, and your relationships. It plays out with many negative consequences including:
  • You feel frustrated and resentful.
  • People take advantage of you.
  • Your relationships don’t satisfy you.
  • You experience increased stress and burnout.
  • Partners and friends become frustrated with you.

Here are 6 signs you’re a people pleaser:

  1. 1. You’re terrified of disappointing people.

You might worry that telling someone “no” or turning down a request for help will make them think you don’t care about them. Agreeing to do what they want might seem like a safer option, even if you don’t actually have the time or inclination to help. 

  • 2. You feel like everything is your fault.

Are you always ready with a “sorry!” when something goes wrong? People pleasing involves readiness to take on blame, even when what happened has nothing to do with you.

  • 3. Your sense of worth comes from being needed.

People pleasers often deal with low self-esteem and draw their self-worth from the approval of others. You spend a lot of time worrying about rejection. You may think, “I am only worthy of love if I give everything to someone else.” You may believe people only care about you when you’re useful and need their praise and appreciation in order to feel good about yourself. 

  • 4. You have trouble asking for help.

You don’t want to impose or interrupt anyone else. They may think you’re not capable if you ask for help. You think it’s best to figure it out on your own

  • 5. You hate conflict and will avoid it all costs.

You’re quick to agree, even when you don’t really agree. Agreeability often seems like a surefire way to win approval. You’re really setting yourself (and others) up for future frustration. The flaws you could have brought to light early on will eventually surface. 

  • 6. You take care of everybody else and do a lousy job of taking care of yourself.

Try to pinpoint the last time you did something just for yourself. Do you have many moments like that? If you can’t think of many (or any) instances, you could have some people-pleasing tendencies.

3 Secrets to ending the habit of people-pleasing.

  1. 1. Learn to set boundaries.

Next time someone asks for help or you tempted to intervene, consider:

  • How you feel about the action. Is it something you want to do or are you dreading it.
  • Whether you have time to see to your own needs first. Will you have to sacrifice limited free time or skip out on some necessary self-care?
  • How helping will make you feel. Will it make you feel happy or resentful?
  • 2. Wait until you’re asked to help.

No matter what the problem is, you’re always ready with a solution. You jump in with fixing everything anytime someone mentions a problem. Next time, challenge yourself to wait until someone explicitly asks for help.

  • 3. The secret to ending this pattern is learning how to be okay with other people not liking you. When you truly like yourself, you’ll no longer struggle with people pleasing.

As long as YOU like yourself, nothing else matters. 

Break the habit of people pleasing by learning to love yourself FIRST, even if that means making some people upset or even making them NOT like you. 

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You think self-care isn’t that important because you are getting by each day. Your body is resilient. You can neglect it and not only will it keep working but it will alter itself to keep up with garbage habits. You might not realize the toll it’s taking because you can “push through”.

Every choice and action does have effects. You may just be so deep into exhaustion and neglect that nothing really seems to be “bad enough” until something drastic happens.

If you could experience five seconds of how good you could feel with good self-care you would have endless motivation to keep it going.

Thought 1:

You think “self-care is not that important.”

This is a direct hit to your self-worth. Saying self-care doesn’t matter that much is like saying I don’t matter.

Low self-worth tricks you into believing that your own health, personal development or rejuvenation doesn’t matter. It’s not true.

You do matter. How you take care of yourself with thoughts and action signals to your mind that you DO MATTER.

Thought 2:

You think “self-care is selfish or takes away from others.”

This also implies low self-worth because you think another human is more important instead of equal, and it also makes you feel guilty.

Self-care = self-responsibility. Not selfishness.

Look, if your definition of self-care means you ignore people you love and purposely cause suffering to get your massage, then yes. You are selfish. But that’s not what self-care is.

Caring for yourself doesn’t equal someone else’s suffering.

What is your intent? To make sure you get yours and everyone is punished? Or is it to take care of you so you can stop being so short-tempered, ill, or worn out when somebody wants to talk to you after a long day?

“Self-care is giving the
world the best of you
instead of what’s left of
you.”

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I know it can be hard to fit self-care into your life. Twenty minutes when you park your butt on the couch is twenty minutes you’re not with your kids, or doing all that stuff on your to do list.

But skimping on self-care is not going to help you get those million things done. It might work some of the time but eventually you are burned out and resentful.

Self-care comes in all kinds of forms from laying on the couch for 10 minutes to staying hydrated on days you are busy.

Self-care can also mean relaxing your unrealistic expectations of yourself. Sometimes the best self-care is looking at your personal expectations and to do lists and evaluating if this is even what you want to be doing. Often, we ignore our basic wants. Self-care is paying attention to them.

What are some doable self-care things you’re going to start doing every day?

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The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Burnout is not what you think it is. It is not about being too busy or having too much to do.

You see, burnout is about how we handle having too much to do. It’s about how we let our to-do lists and demands from others hijack us and create a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet those constant demands.

You are the only one who can manage how you respond to all that stuff coming at you. It’s about protecting your energy and you have control over that.

Here are 7 ways you can start protecting your energy today.

  1. Unfollow, mute, or block as needed on social media.
    Social media is a huge “energy suck”. Mentally we compare ourselves to others and feel like we aren’t enough, that we don’t have enough. This zaps so much energy. Make sure if you are on social media that you unfollow those accounts that make you feel like garbage. Follow “real people”. They should inspire you, make you laugh and show you their flaws, struggles and triumphs.

  2. Turn your ringer off, leave the text unread, or call them back later.
    Technology has put us in a state of being expected to answer someone immediately. Think about how you feel when someone doesn’t respond to your text right away. Do you think, “Oh they must be upset with me”, or “They don’t care about me”, or “They really don’t want to go hang out so they’re ignoring me”?

    Most of the time, none of those are true. Most likely, these are the people who are setting boundaries to give themselves a break from constantly “being on”. Follow their lead. It’s up to you to manage peoples expectations of you. Initially, set-up some auto-responses when you get a text or a call that let’s everyone know you are not available right now and you’ll get back to them as soon as you can.

  3. Take an emotional/mental break from people that leave you drained.
    Again, this is about setting boundaries. We all have those people in our lives who use up all our energy reserves. You can still be there for these people, but you need to set boundaries on how often you make yourself available to them.

  4. Practice resting as a preventative measure.
    I can’t even tell you how many of us punish ourselves for taking a break. When we’re taking a break we sit there and feel guilty, thinking about all the other things we SHOULD be doing instead. The challenge is to REST, GUILT FREE. When you truly check out mentally, you will return to your work with a fresh perspective, clear of the brain fog.

  5. Don’t be available for every request of your time.
    Do you hear boundaries again? You can start adopting a personal challenge to start saying NO. You could start slow by simply saying “Not now.” Everyone else will be amazed at how capable they are when they now have the space to have to figure something out on their own without you. If you’re being asked to do something socially, that you know drains you, then say “not now”. You have the power to choose.

  6. Stop doing things just because you SHOULD or can do it yourself.
    First ask yourself what would happen if you simply did not do this thing? Would anyone else care? Do you really care? If not, stop doing it. If it is a MUST do, consider asking for help or pay for assistance if you can.

  7. Speak up as a strategy to prevent future frustration, burnout, and discomfort.
    You need to tell people what’s going on with you. If there is too much on your plate at work, speak up. Of course, don’t do this in a whining, complaining way. Tell your boss, you feel like the workload is too much and you’re concerned the quality of your work is at risk and you want to do your best work. Go in with a solution, maybe recommending what can come off your plate or what can be put on hold for now.

    If you’re frustrated at home, talk to your family and tell them what you need and from them. No one can read your mind.

You know your needs. Honor your needs by protecting your energy. You get to decide how to use it.

If you like this, grab your free guide here:
The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence