Do you feel guilty when you put yourself first?

Today we build on last week’s JanYOUary blog entry and discuss the first of the 3 most common mistakes we all make when it comes to putting ourselves first.

1) The guilt of putting yourself first… do you ever feel that?

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This one gets a little tricky, so stay with me. There is a huge difference between being selfish and putting yourself first. And we seem to confuse the two all the time.

Let’s take a closer look at the various definitions of “selfish,” according to www.thefreedictionary.com.

1. “Concerned chiefly or excessively with oneself, and having little regard for others.”
2. “Showing or arising from an excessive concern with oneself and a lack of concern for others.”
3. “Caring only or chiefly for oneself; concerned with one’s own interests, welfare, etc.”

When you’re selfish, you do not care about others and their well-being. You could argue such a person has a lack of empathy and compassion for others, too. That tinge of guilt you feel when you think you’re being selfish? It tells us that you actually do care about other people.

So what is the difference between putting yourself first and the above definitions of selfish? Think of it like the safety instructions on an airplane. Put the oxygen mask on first and then help others. If you start assisting other people before you have your own mask on, you’ll most likely suffocate before you get to the other person. You’ll both be dead, and that helps no one.

In putting your mask on first, you will be able to help way more people. And this is how it also works in real life. When you continually put others’ needs before your own, you deplete your resources. In the long run you’ll have less to give those you love.

Next time you feel guilty about being self-centered, stop and realize why you’re doing it. If your reason is to become more effective, then you’re not being selfish. Everyone around you will thank you later! Start putting yourself first so that you can empower others.

xo
Hanneke

ps – As always, my business is growing via word of mouth and social-media interactions with you. Thank you for all your likes, shares, and forwards of this e-mail. And remember to sign up for my Pilates Pamper Retreat happening Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will enjoy a lovely afternoon of high tea, Pilates, group goal coaching, and more. Sign up here.

Look Ma, I am on the news!

In case you missed it last week, yours truly made the news. The whole thing was very exciting (and yes, nerve wrecking too), especially as it came literally out of no where.

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Click the Play button to see it.

The entire experience made me realize that one should never give up on your dreams and ambitions. Stick to your guns, work hard, work smart and always be grateful.

I remember distinctly about 4 years ago saying to a girlfriend of mine: “You know I have this feeling that I should be doing something bigger, something that makes a difference in other’s lives, besides Pilates.” Two years ago that feeling had grown into a definite desire to empower women.

Since then there has been many times where I just wanted to pack it all in. Forget my dreams, my aspirations and just settle for an easier more stable work environment.

About a year ago sitting at South Boston Yoga before Pilates, I had a conversation that changed it all. Mary-Alice, whom many of you may know as a former manager from South Boston Yoga, and I had a random conversation about what we were doing for the weekend. She was meeting her Life Coach Trainer friend. This random conversation led to another in depth chat with my Life Coach. Before I knew it I was following my dream of making a bigger difference in other’s lives by becoming a Life Coach.

Ultimately it was this choice that inspired our brain child, Pilates with Purpose. If I didn’t have to attend a bunch of networking events to build my coaching business, I wouldn’t have connected with Kristen Scanlon, my Pilates with Purpose partner. And that means this amazing week wouldn’t have happened at all.

As I left the Fox 25 studio with Kristen on Tuesday, I was filled with so much excitement, gratitude and motivation for what’s next. I realized that everything up until that moment had prepared me to pull it together for Tuesday. The frustrating, life sucking days along with the exciting, award-winning victories, came at exactly the right time. A moment where I was able to embrace the opportunity and run with it.

In today’s action steps a few things to remember when you are running out of patience and hitting big lows are:

1) It’s hard: If you really, really want something it’s not always going to be easy to get it. You’re going to have to work harder than you ever thought you would have too or even could.
2) Relax: Even if you just have a hunch of what it is you want, but can’t put it into words just yet, don’t stress yourself out. Your sub-conscious mind is always out there working on it for you.
3) Support: if you feel stuck hire a Life Coach. Ultimately the best investment I ever made in myself. Shirley, my Life Coach, helped me become unstuck and set me on my way to where I am today.
4) Embrace: trust that everything comes at exactly the right time.
5) Evolve: Only on the day that you die will you stop growing, learning and evolving. There will be many testing times with many more amazing experiences. Accept the moment for what it is: just a moment, adapt to it and work with it.

There’s a saying: “It all works out in the end and if it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.” Never give up!

Even Albert Einstein enjoyed life coaching.

Ever noticed how when you’ve made up your mind to go in a different direction with a project that all hell breaks loose? And everything that can go wrong does?

We often refer to this as Murphy’s law. My friend Dennis, who’s a ski instructor, knew better. I first met Dennis on a work ski trip in Chamonix, France. At the time I was desperately trying to get out of and away from a bad relationship that was a toxic influence. Every time I tried to break up or get away from it, life would tempt me again. Things would all of a sudden go really well, and it would make it more difficult to just dump the whole thing.

While talking to Dennis (who, by the way, is also the person who introduced me to life coaching), he nodded his head and explained Murphy’s law in a way that made more sense to me. It goes like this: When you make a big decision that changes your route, the universe will almost always test you. That’s when things can get confusing or drift off course. The best way to combat this is to be prepared.

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Prepare with today’s Action Steps:

Actionsteps1) Be clear about what you want. Take time to really think through your ultimate goals and what actions you need to take to get there.

2) Know that your journey will not be just sunshine and roses; there might be some dark days and thorns down the road, too.

3) Stick to your guns. The more you show the universe what you want, the less she’ll mess it all up. That is basically the Quantum Physics Law of Attraction, which, put very simply, means:“You attract what you set your intention to be.” Double tap to tweet it now!

Albert Einstein said it best:“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

Only 3 people should know how crazy you are.

 

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“There are only 3 people who should know exactly how crazy you are.” Is what a friend told me recently. My friend is so right!

These 3 lucky winners are:
1) Your Mom,
2) Your Best Friend,
3) Your partner/husband.

For the rest of the world you have to do your best to pull it together! Sure – we all have our moments:
– Tantrums where we kick and scream like a 3 year old because someone got something we wanted.
– Our over the top meltdown because something didn’t go the way we wanted it too.

But think about it, when have you ever felt amazing about yourself when you:
–  sent a totally out of line and nasty text to someone?
–  started playing the comparing game with someone on facebook. This resulted in some obsessive behavior, which led to you leaving a ridiculous message on that someone’s feed.

Urm like NEVER. Normally you just feel utterly stupid and foolish for overreacting.

The key is to give your crazy a little play time, before it jumps out and cause drama. Don’t keep it in or try to suppress it. Simply let your crazy be.

Ah, let’s tweet that: Don’t suppress your crazy, just let your crazy be

Simply:

Actionsteps 1) Breath.
2) Talk about what’s bugging you with your mom, your best friend or your partner. Even if you think what’s bugging you is ridiculous and silly. The people who love you will understand and help you get over it.
3) Do some Yoga!

Focus on living a life where you are acting on what happens to you, rather than reacting and defending against it.

Everyone’s fighting a battle you know nothing about.

What I love about coaching is how much I learn from my clients and how amazing their progress really is. The stories that they bring me, their challenges, their wins and how they become more and more aware. How they implement the skills I help them uncover. How they learn to put these new skills into action in our sessions and in their lives is something truly powerful and sometimes even magical.
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In today’s blog I’d like to share one of these with you. (Please note that permission to share this story was obtained beforehand. All my sessions are strictly confidential, unless otherwise authorised by the client.)

 

A few weeks ago when one of my clients walked in, I could physically feel the weight of what she had been through since our previous meeting enter the room with her. She had had a really rough couple of weeks. Her old, pre-life coached, self would have crumbled under everything she had to deal with. However she used all the new skills in her toolbox to beat back every curve ball that life had threw at her. One of the overwhelming events was her apartment almost burning down! This resulted in her having to lug almost all of her stuff to the dry cleaners for cleaning and storage.

 

On one of her many rushed trips to the laundromat the owner pulled her aside. He started to thank her and told her how she had saved his business.

 

Her loss had been his gain. He had had cancer a little while ago and the manager who looked after his shop ran the place into the ground. If it hadn’t been for her bringing in all her stuff he would have lost his business.

 

Although what had happened to my client was not pleasant, to say the least, she became more aware of the bigger picture. His words gave her the extra bit of motivation she needed to see her misfortune with new perspective. She experienced first hand how her actions had a ripple effect, even if she couldn’t see it. That doesn’t mean the experience didn’t suck, or that she had to put a happy face on it. She just started to realize how lucky she was in the grand scheme of things and how much she had to be grateful for… As my client finished her story we were both teary eyed.

 

ActionstepsAction Steps:

1) We often act like we are the center of the universe. And that our problems are the worst and biggest. Take a moment to notice and be kind to strangers around you, realize that just like yourself, they also have their own battles that they’re fighting.

2) Don’t take it all so personally. How strangers act and react towards you, almost always has nothing to do with you.

3) Then take another moment to reflect on everything you have that you are fortunate enough to have.

 

Realize that you can make or break someone’s day without even knowing you’re doing it. Always try to be the best version of yourself, you never know what impact you can have.

 

When is it ever Enough?

When is it ever enough?
(first of a two-part series)
 
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Since I was very little, I can remember always wanting more. The first time I experienced it was when I was in kindergarten, and I won my first track sprint. From there on, I wanted to win every time. Later I started doing ballet and aced my first exam, and every time afterward I wanted to achieve those same amazing grades.
 
This went on until I started working on Wall Street. Then the success was measured in money and there, too, I wanted to accomplish more and more. Somehow no matter what I achieved, it was just never enough.
 
Until one day the question suddenly popped up: When is it – and will it ever be – enough? We basically spend our entire lives reaching and striving for the next big thing. This journey can be both exhausting and extremely stressful at the same time. Think about it: You spend way more time striving and working toward goals than the time spent achieving them. Once a goal has been reached, the high you get from the achievement wears off pretty quickly. It’s not long before you’re already fixated on the next big shiny thing.
 
I am not saying you shouldn’t have any drive or lofty goals. They give us a sense of purpose, something to look forward to and something to keep us motivated.
 
The key is to explore the “why” behind your goal.
 
In today’s Action Steps, find out if your goals are serving you for the right reasons:
 
1) What is your goal?
2) Why are you setting this goal for yourself?
3) Does the reason give you internal satisfaction or external status? In other words, is it something you want for YOU and YOUR dreams, or are you striving to reach this goal to please others and garner outside recognition?
 
When you pick goals that will provide internal satisfaction and growth, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled. Goals set for external recognition almost always lead to disappointment and the feeling of “it’s not enough, I want more.” And guess what: The most successful people of our time are those who set goals that are in line with their internal dreams and passions.
 
Watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “WHY” for more on this.
 

 
Want even more? (Pardon the pun.) Sign up for my weekly newsletter and stay tuned for next week’s blog entry on how to turn what you have into enough.

 

 

How to make your partner perfect.

It all starts off nice and romantic and your significant other can do no wrong. The person is simply perfect. Fast forward a couple of years and all of a sudden you may be experiencing some serious problems with your partner’s behavior. Out of nowhere, you feel like there are a million little things you want to change.

 

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STOP. Turn that finger right back at yourself. More often than not, when I’ve gone to this “I’m annoyed with my partner, so let’s pick him apart” stage, I almost always have had some insecurities of my own to address. I would be unhappy with my own behavior or how I handled a situation, or be frustrated with myself for not achieving goals I had set. That’s when it’s so easy to focus on your partner’s quirks.

 

Becoming aware of this projection of my own frustrations onto my partner has helped me be less harsh and more loving toward him – especially when I am not performing at my best and actually need to lean on him.

 

As my good friend Benjamin Degenhardt, and fellow Pilates instructor says: “When you’re moving from your authentic self and a place of good intention while allowing others to be themselves, things flow in perfect harmony.”

 

My grandpa used to say, “Live and let others live.” I’d like to combine Benjamin and my granddad’s sayings to make one of my own: “Be yourself and let others be themselves.”

 

ActionstepsIn today’s Action Steps, there are a few ways to help you do that by focusing on the positive.

 

1) What qualities about your partner do you enjoy and love?
2) What do you adore about your relationship?
3) What is going on in your own life that’s making you so critical right now?
4) Is the behavior that’s annoying you new?
5) Can you talk to your partner and tell him or her what’s going on with you?

 
 
Remember: Communication is always key to building a strong and lasting relationship. Your partner should be your best friend whom you can share anything with, even the stuff that’s tough to admit.

 

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