Personal Leadership Archives - Dale Darley

Category Archives for Personal Leadership

Meeting Yourself Where You Are

It’s Sunday afternoon as I sit to write this. So far today I have walked my dogs three times. I confess to not wanting to go out so often sometimes, but I am always grateful for the air and time to think. Also, today I have been making workbooks for an up and coming program. Creation and being creative is something I adore. Going for the walks lets the processes fall into place. It’s all quite magical.

There’s a cake that wants to be made. A chocolate cake – but I am lacking the requisite enthusiasm. In fact, my enthusiasm has deserted me these last few days, and I have found that I have had to push myself to get things done.

Take yesterday, I was due to renew my online art class, and I kept thinking I can’t be bothered and what’s the point and even worse I should be cleaning up. With just an hour to go, I told myself to get over me, pay and go. But I wailed to no one, in particular, what shall I paint?

Just days before I was looking at a friends art and one picture came to mind in this moment. I went in search of a picture of a fertility goddess and was pleased to find a statue to use. My inspiration returned.

A few hours later it was half done and I was pleased that I’d made the effort.

It’s easy to give up isn’t? Especially right now when we no longer have the external freedoms that we once did. I’m certainly missing my girly lunches at the coast. Though I confess a friend did make me lunch last week, and we sat looking out onto the most spectacular mountains.

All of this made me think of how can we find a space for inner peace and meet yourself where you are?

Awareness

Awareness gives you choices and understanding. When I bring attention to my body, I can hear her speaking to me, and it gives me clues about what to do next.

I use a model called the heart connection model, it started off as something I had printed off and would use either with a pendulum or use my intuition to know where to go. Now I ‘see’ the model inside of me. Each day I ask what do I need to know and I am guided to a colour and energy centre (chakra).

This super awareness of what my heart wants to tell me gives me clues about what I need to know, and I can ponder on how the messages can support me through the day. I find keywords come to me, and I turn these into questions and affirmations.

This means that every day I can let my intuition guide my awareness and push or pull me in the direction I need to go.

While I ponder I also let me awareness drift to my breathing. That’s a sure sign of what is going on.

To do: Stop what you are doing and simply notice your breath. What do you learn from this observation? And when you notice your breath and take it around your body – what else do you learn?

Where am I?

This is about taking a 360 degree view of my life via a set of life areas.

  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Learning 
  • Financial 
  • Heart and spirit 
  • Experiences 
  • Mental/emotional 
  • Love/Partner 
  • Family 
  • Friends 
  • Mission/Vision 

Within these I have a set of questions and I use a wheel of fortune – similar to a wheel of life – but called fortune as I like the idea that we are in control of our fortune/fate.

To do: This is one for your journal. Put a stake in the ground and look around. This may seem very simple, but it is, in fact, very powerful and may bring up all kinds of feelings. You must look around you and take it all in. Use the life areas to guide you. Acknowledge that this is where you find yourself. Describe where you find yourself. Consider how this feels. What do you see and what do you know about this place? 

What do I want to create?

I ask this of everyone I work with. What do you want to create could be here and now – the short term. Or sometime in the future – a timeframe that you want to choose. Some people think that this could be their legacy and it could, but in reality, your legacy is what other people value about what you leave behind, not what you think they will get.

Asking this question starts the envisioning process. It’s about what you think is possible without the confines of your I can’t language. Creation gives us the big picture and then you can come back to where you are and have an idea of what your next aligned step is.

To do: Ask what do I want to create? Put pen to paper, start with the mundane and allow the magic to flow.

How do you feel?

Meeting yourself where you are is connecting to your emotions and feelings in this moment. Do you feel angry, helpless, trapped or joyful, or light and with a sense of inner peace? I know that the people I am talking to swing between the good and the not so good almost within the same minute.

I think it’s important to sit with your feelings and notice (become aware) of what they are saying to you and why?

When you look at yourself without judgement and merely observe it is incredibly powerful. This is not the time to fix you, it’s the time to notice.

Fixing, slaying or healing can come later. I, of course, prefer to heal, rather than take a hammer to them and fix them up against the good feelings wall and declare triumphantly ha got you!

To do: Stop for a moment and write in your journal the emotion you feel and what you observe about it.

Tap into joyful moments

Even in my darkest moments, something happens to make me laugh. It’s usually one of the dogs. Perhaps I’ll be chewing my food and not paying attention and Angel decides that mmm she’d like some of that and since I wasn’t paying attention it might as well be hers. I laugh, every time she does something because she is sweet, funny and loving. Then there are the farts (usually Marley) when you are meditating – yes I do laugh.

To do: Remember to laugh at the small things. Let moments of joy seep in.

Be patient

Oh this one has caught me so many times. I find myself wanting the yuk to be over with NOW. What I have learned is things always get better and to be kind to myself. Journaling, eating cake (not all of it) and walking with the dogs always lift my mood.

I remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And that all I have to do is one thing that moves me in the direction that I want to go in. When I look back in my journal, I can see just how far I have come and that’s reason to celebrate – isn’t it.

Let go of what doesn’t serve you. What might seem important right now, often doesn’t the following day.

To do: Write in your journal and then occasionally take time to reflect. Remember to celebrate how much you have grown. Also give yourself permission to focus on what’s important.

Start where you are. Utilise what you have. Express what you need. Take one tiny step.

Start where you are. Utilise what you have. Express what you need. Take one tiny step.

Value and values

Remember your value and values. What do you value and why? Where did your ideas around value come from? Value this moment and what it teaches you about you.

What are your values? How do you know that they are? Who taught them to you? Do you own them and live by them?

Value yourself and live by your values, these two things will help you to navigate life.

Journey Of The Heart is about creating a life that you love. Could this be the start you need to make?

20 Powerful Ways Of Knowing That You Are On Your True Life Path

Knowing that the path you are walking is your true life path is a question many people have asked. Where am I going? Why am I here? What is it that I am meant to be doing in this lifetime? It’s a terribly human thing to desire surety, to know for certain that this is the right way for us. We think that we should know where we are going. We set goals and take action and do stuff and often find ourselves frustrated and angry that things are not going to plan. Things keep happening and wham all your best-laid plans go to rat shit. I have learned over the years that plans are good as long as you allow your heart to change them. After all, a plan is merely a suggestion, isn’t it?

Heading out of the house this morning, the dogs led the way. They know the path by now. I put on Audible and started listening to Chillpreneur. The book was recommended to me and to be honest, it was a welcome change from all of the very spiritual books I have been listening to.

I caught sight of the doggies sniffing last nights playful fox trails and eating boar droppings, they were following their intuition. They weren’t struggling with shall I stay on this path, they were going for gold.

Ok, it’s easy for the dogs, eat, poo, sleep and wander around the hills. But there is a lesson in exploring, being curious, open and considering possibilities. They are so bright, those doggies.

 There have been many times over the last few years when things have gone wrong that I have screamed which fricking life path am I meant to be travelling on? One moment you let me make plans for this and then something happens. Help me to know.

The truth is knowing would take the fun out of things. Maybe you don’t agree with that, but I have had to learn so much about letting go and trusting and still there is more to learn. I am getting better at being less impatient and listening. No, seriously, I am.

If you are feeling stuck, pissed at life, wondering what next or even feeling like you are living someone else’s life. Consider these that have guided my expansion and growth.

20 Powerful ways of knowing that you are on the right life path

These are what resonate with me, perhaps there are others that you would add to the list?

  1. You learn to trust your inner guidance system
  2. Things start to align for you – as if by magic
  3. Set intentions, take aligned action and allow
  4. You overcome obstacles creatively and don’t let them get in your way
  5. You make great conscious choices which seem to be easy
  6. You stop living someone else’s life – you do what makes your heart sing
  7. You lose track of time doing what you love
  8. You feel fired up and motivated about what you are doing
  9. You feel proud of what you have done and what’s to come
  10. Use feedback wisely (no more feeling criticised)
  11. You want to be a part of the change, and you find a way
  12. You surround yourself with likeminded people
  13. You take courageous steps even if they feel scary
  14. You let love in, let go and follow your heart
  15. You live by your values and feel fulfilled doing so
  16. It’s less about the material things
  17. You treasure community, kindness and connection
  18. Toxic friends go and care less about what these kind of people say about you
  19. You listen to your body – it will tell you what you need to know about what it needs and when to slow it down
  20. You took the chill pill and you like it

Don’t look for the key it will find you

On the last full moon, I’d set some powerful intentions, one of which was combining my spiritual work with my strategic work. It seemed so obvious after all of the mithering. There is no this or that, I am who I am, and I am always on the right path. Knowing it is one thing but doing something is quite something else.

With the full moon ebbing, I sat once more with my journal, eyes half-closed and wondering – what is Spirit trying to tell me, with the mad dreams and other signs? What am I not hearing? Connecting my heart with Mother Earth and breathing gently, in my head, I heard the answer. Don’t look for the key it will find you. Pausing I realised that I had been pushing too hard for an answer, for a solution to this malaise that I was feeling.

Over the week before the full moon, I’d been having wild dreams all about being reborn and new starts. And I felt dread wash over me. No more starting again, please!

I have started again so many times. Although I confess, the last fresh start was much needed, albeit a tough one. I’m sat here today feel pretty chill that I have so many skills and experiences that have contributed to my vast well of knowledge.

But here’s where I found myself. I was almost renouncing my strategic business stuff in favour of following a spiritual path. When it struck me that what I needed to do was to combine the two – doh!

I dug out my 90-day plans – mmm. I reviewed my strategic plan for 2021 – mmm. Ok, I thought here we go again. The path is no longer the path. The path and plans are changing. I felt resistance like you cannot imagine… And then I spoke with my coach – they always help you to clear the debris, don’t they?

In among this, I was slowed down with a cough. By being stopped, I had time to reflect and scribble and by allowing everything felt easier, and it made sense. Naturally, I still have to take action.

Stop searching: I know it’s hard, but what I believe is that all is in divine order and you already hold the master key. Pop it in the lock and let the door swing slowly open.

Things will go wrong until you listen

Know this; your crappy life is your gift. In my life, there have been many turning points and crossroads. I’ve lost count of the forks in the road and the journeys along so many seemingly strange paths. I ask you, who hasn’t encountered an unexpected bend, a twist or turn they weren’t anticipating? Every day the master plan, the route through life continues exactly as it should and yet we face it with fear, disappointment, and anger. We get on the magic bus of life and sit helplessly as it appears to drives us, we think, in the wrong direction.

We need to look backwards, not so that we can dwell in or on the rubbish part of our lives, but to gain wisdom or hindsight that provides flashes of insight to where we now find ourselves. Combine this with our magical formula of foresight, intuition, inner knowing we have an indispensable system for moving forwards.

The key to your inner guidance system is to stop, listen and learn, from the past, present and future because they are all, in reality, our now. The choices we make today affect all of our tomorrows. The choices of yesterday do the same. Everything collides beautifully into the book of our lives. That rich flow of endless words which come to guide us. Not written on parchment or carved in wood, but deep inside our souls. And all we have to do is listen.

There is no wrong path

Life is rarely one long period of ecstatic peace, love, and harmony; it is made up of lessons for us to learn. Each lesson teaching us something amazing about ourselves, and if we don’t learn the lesson the first time, it somehow creeps up and bites us on the bum.

Sometimes those dratted lessons keep spinning around until something jolts us awake. Then you often find that after a period of let’s call it grieving, you find that gorgeous peace once again descends, and you have a slow and enchanted growth period.

Life goes in revolutions (fast stuff) and evolutions (slow stuff). Neither exists without the other, and both exist because of each other.

Think for a moment of every revolution in your life—Times of abrupt change, followed by times of quiet consideration. Eruptions, solitude, eruptions, quietude and so your world revolves and evolves.

What I have also come to realise is that it is in the act of observation; in becoming a witness that one can gain the most value, gain understanding, seeing repeated patterns, reasons for particular behaviours, what your scripts are and so much more. The past is a beautiful synchronistic set of events that lead you to your now. Your past is an encyclopaedia for you to reference. What a rare and glorious gift, your book of life is, that guides you artfully along your life path.

Writing has been my saviour

Expansion and transformation is a part of a process that keeps you awake, aware and alive. Writing eases you into expansion, it is a gentle, iterative and an evolving process. It cannot be forced, and nor does it just happen. It takes work, but it does work.

There comes a time in many people’s lives when the life we are living no longer makes any sense; we feel stuck and fearful of facing our demons. Unknown and unseen monsters tear away at us. We unwittingly shape our lives, putting on a face for our public and all the while we live in constant terror that one day someone will unearth our secrets and show us for the frauds we are. We are not frauds, just fearful.

When that time comes, we search blindly, looking for answers about who we are in the strangest places when, in reality, the search needs to move inwards, where all of the answers reside.

Write and journal it will help you uncover the key

In taking the courageous step of examining who we are and the things we have done or had done to us, we run the risk of crashing. When we career over the precipice and hit the bottom of the canyon, there is only one way out, and that is to find our inner courage and to take control. Give yourself the gift of writing yourself a new adventure, where you are the heroines (or heroes) and can control your outcomes.

Through writing, reflection, and creativity, you can pull things into perspective.

For anyone who wonders what next? Put pen to paper, see what emerges, reflect, and learn a new way of writing the next part of your journey and personal story. Writing is cathartic, and when your soul is laid bare, you can either lie down and die, or you can recognise who you are and fight back.

Writing won’t solve anyone’s issues, but it will help to shine a light and in the process enabling painful memories to be uncovered, written about, and for healing to take place.

I work on the premise that we are all perfectly imperfect (to steal a title from Lee Woodruff) and that we are the best judges of how to heal ourselves, although we may not know it in our darker moments.

At no point is this about fixing you, making you well or sorting your shit out. No matter where you find yourself, this is about you learning more about you every day and taking action in whatever way is relevant to you. From expansion comes transformation, spiritual growth and evolution. We all have a personal choice about what we do next.

Writing has been my saviour and certainly eased me along my life path.

You can start by journaling, or you can look at what you have learned and turn that into a book. Writing a book will enable you to clarify your purpose and your processes, and you will have so much fun getting it written. I’d love to connect with you and walk by your side, guiding in this process. Please give me a call and let’s chat your life path book.

What about you are you ready to let the key find you?

PS: your purpose is already in your heart, you simply have to get out of your way and allow the key to unlock your treasure.

Journey Of The Heart is about how you can start living the life you want. How you can wake up happy to be you, with a sense of direction, knowing what you want and how to get it.

Become The CEO Of Your Life With The 11 C’s Of Personal Leadership

When I was growing up I wanted to be stand on the stage in Wembley and say those famous words ‘thank you Wembley, I love you’ after delivering an awesome gig.

The trouble was I was told that I would never become a singer and so my singing voice became, as predicted not that great and so I would probably be booed off the stage.

That’s not how I want to be remembered. I want to be remembered for the right reasons. I want to be remembered as someone who others thought had found who she was, acted from her heart, highest self and was kind.

And of course, I want people to love my courses, books, cake and my dogs.

I am also happy to be remembered for my quirkiness, intuition, ideas imagination and turning ideas into simple things.

In order to understand how important being the CEO of your is, think beyond where you currently are. Think about who you want to be or become.

I believe that it is who we become on the way to getting what we want that is the most important thing.

Where ever you are heading, you are the captain of your ship, the CEO of your life and your business. That’s a big responsibility. You are charting success for you, whilst mindful of the map laid out for you when you left the soul place.

You probably already know lots of people who look like they have got it together – rocking their lives as it were. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t.

Being the CEO of my life means I have:

  • Learned to love me
  • Found my Happy To Be Factor
  • Discovered the gorgeousness of inner peace

It also means that:

  • I make conscious choices that are connected to my heart
  • I balance my energy daily so that I can work in a great space
  • I am open to opportunities as presented by my soul for personal growth

So how do the 11’cs help me to do that? Consider these points.

Competence

Whether you know it or not, you are an expert in your life. Trouble is you probably take all of your knowledge, skills and experience for granted and assume that everyone else can do what you do too. They don’t.

To Do: Remember the conscious competence model where we get to the point of knowing what we know and just doing it.

Here’s your challenge – grab your journal and create a talent map across all areas of your life. Next, mark what you love and then what you are just good at. Reflect. What stands out?

Credibility

Showing up as the goddess (everyone loves being a Goddess – don’t they) of your life gives you a level of credibility that nothing else can. It is simply proof that you are an authority on your YOU subject. You will be establishing yourself as someone to trust and earning respect in the process.

To do: Look at your list of loves (up there). Which of these are you showing up as a leader in your field for? Which ones are missing? Reflect.

Competitive advantage

We all have competitors, I wonder how many have taken the time out to really consider who they are, what their values represent and how they show up. How are you different?

Living by your core values and from the heart will give you an ‘advantage’. When you know what your competitive advantage is you can:-

  • You communicate to the right people  
  • You communicate the right message 
  • You know what you can deliver on in terms of customer expectations

So what is your competitive advantage? Your brand, pricing, unique services, expert in a niche, turn big pictures into tangible products… Define what makes you different and then talk about these things.

To do: Look at the things that you love how do they make you different and unique. Which ones are sustainable options for the future?

Change agent

By carefully crafting what you stand for you not only become clear about you (change one), you will show others that they can do or achieve. You lead the way and inspire others to change and become their best selves.

To do: Look at the things that you love, consider your competitive advantage and ask in what ways can you use these to inspire others to know what is possible in the world?

Connect

Humans love connection and at a time when that is being eroded how can you become a connector? Being your best self and showing up connects you emotionally to your community. It’s the small things that you do from the heart, with kindness and compassion which will leave your YOU mark on others.

To do: How can you show up each day with kindness and compassion and connect your heart to others hearts?

Conscious choices

Making conscious choices that are connected to your heart will guide your life like no other map.

There are some simple rules about becoming fully conscious in your choices and that is to first understand how you do things. If you do not know how you do things, how can you know how to make conscious choices work for you?

To do: Read this article how to become more conscious in your decision making

Contracting

Carefully decide who you maintain heart and soul contracts with. When something ends, look at the lesson, appreciate the gift and rip the contract up. Move on and embrace people who deserve your love and attention.

To do: Make a list of your a, b, c and d people. Who are your a’s? Who can you move from b to a. And what will you do with the rest?

Confidence

Actually going beyond the fear and lack of self-belief process and coming out the other side as a person with a who has embraced the grunge of life with grace is amazing for your inner confidence. This is a massive subject which has filled many books. Where do I start? Perhaps with this question?

If you were brimming with confidence what would you do?

Take the leap from the corporate rat race and follow your dreams?  You can start planning now. Start to think about your personal brand and get yourself ready for the big leap. 

Sell up, pack up and travel around the world?  Why not proactively look around for opportunities to make it happen. Ok, the world is a bit restricted right now, but hopefully not forever.

How about that hobby you’d love to turn into a paying business?  Take the first step in doing some research, learn how to monetize it, then take it from there. 

Or are you already in business, but lacking the confidence to step up, step out, or charge what you’re worth?

Whatever that one thing is, if you’re not there yet or toying with how to get there.

To do: If you could confidently say yes to just one thing, what would it be? 

Cathartic

Becoming YOU is cathartic. Actually working out who you want to be and how you want to show up in the world is terrifying, but it enables you to tap into parts of you that may not have considered.

That’s why I love journaling and writing. When I explore me through journaling I gain masses of clarity and I heal. When I write books, I heal again.

To do: Grab your journal again and ask who can I be if I were just me? Be mindful of what comes up and explore that with your coach.

Clarity

When you know how you got here while enjoying the peace of the present moment, you can contemplate and get clarity of where you are heading next. Clarity comes in the spaces, understanding the lessons learned no matter how horrible and appreciating the ahas from them.

To do: My suggestion is that you sign up to 101 days of being me. Journal every day and you will find clarity. You can also read the 101 days blogs here.

Compassion

I believe that to feel compassion for your fellow man you are either born that way or have been tested in some way. That’s not to say that you have, more that for me having been through some tough times made me more aware and compassionate. 

It won’t always be easy; because when it comes to living as a compassionate, non-judgmental human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, is learning to walk a lifetime, comfortably in your own. 

To do: Become aware of the heart chakra which is located near your physical heart in the centre of the chest. This centre, when awakened and healthy, governs your capacity to have compassion, forgiveness, understanding, generosity, empathy, caring and love, for self and others. When it comes to making a choice about something take your hand to your heart and connect with your compassion.

Phew, that’s a lot of stuff to do. I’m sure I can think of many more ‘c’s, but it’s time to control myself and not get carried away. Take one thing that resonates with you and head to your journal to explore.

Let me leave you with this final question – Who do you want to become?

How To Become More Conscious In Your Decision Making

I was asked, ok so now that I have got all of that stuff out, what do I do with it, how do I change my life?

Well, I paused. You need to make some choices. You either choose a rubbish life or you choose something else which is in alignment with your heart, purpose and soul. And, I laughed how about choosing something better than that? If that is even possible.

It’s hard isn’t it? I’ve stayed in awful relationships and jobs because I was too scared to choose something else, something for my higher good.

Then one day – there is always a fateful day – I did choose something different and I didn’t procrastinate over it, like I’d done in the past. I went with my gut and my heart and figured out what my head would do later.

I made a conscious decision and the right choice just because I knew it was the right one.

And it changed my life – phew!

Conscious decision making is both easy and hard

Easy because some decisions can be made on the spot based on gut instinct. Hard because the decision is harder, it needs more time, more reflection, you may not be good at making decisions for new things, or you are just rubbish (or think you are) at consciously choosing, you may need external validation or there may be some other reason that makes this a hard decision.

There is no such thing as a wrong choice. All roads lead you home.

How do you do stuff?

There are some simple rules about becoming fully conscious in your decision making and that is to first understand how you do things. If you do not know how you do things, how can you know how conscious decision making will work for you?

I’m not a believer of how you do everything is how you do anything. I do believe that for certain things you do have a pattern. I choose IT equipment differently to choosing food for example.

So let’s talk about food.

Food choices and decisions can be traditionally hard to spot.

What I am talking about is making choices about what to eat based on your emotional state. It’s something most of us do on an unconscious level.

I had been working with a client and we had a fantastic session that went on longer than usual. This made me late for an appointment I had with the eco veg lady. Halfway down the mountain, I got a call from the woman to say she’d got the wrong day. (I did pull over when I heard my WhatsApp call)

Because I was late and I hadn’t eaten I was immediately cross. As I sat in the car I could feel my annoyance grow. Taking a few deep breaths I asked ‘what choices can I make instead’ and ‘how can I make the best of this?’

I did a quick reframe and thought, well that’s okay, I know where I can get a gluten-free sandwich and there’s various errands I can run which will be useful.

However, my luck was out and the cafe was closed, I could feel my energy dip even more, but thought one last errand and I can get home.

When I reached the final shop I was feeling lightheaded and uncomfortable and so when I passed the ice cream freezers I was immediately seduced by a deliciously dark Magnum. Of course, I was and it was very tasty.

Gut, heart and head

In simple terms when we make a decision based on our guts it is usually fast, we just do it, however, we often do not listen to our guts and immediately override it with our heads, missing out that vital ingredient of the heart.

The head is usually best left for slow decisions that need some reflection time. If too much head is given (excuse the picture in your head) then you can risk never making a decision.

The heart is where your divine inner wisdom resides, where you have a knowing based on your values.

Each of these has a rightful place in conscious decision making. The question is how do you know when you make decisions, which of these is right for which situation?

Does it matter as long as you act or don’t act?

Four stages of the conscious competence model

I believe how we form our decisions is progressive. You can use this model to consider how you made decisions through the stages of your life and how you learn.

  • Unconscious Incompetence – You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Conscious Incompetence – You know you don’t know. This is a fantastic learning stage.
  • Conscious Competence – You know that you know, you’re just not entirely clear on how.
  • Unconscious Competence – You can do what you are doing with your eyes closed. At this stage, you will have gathered immense knowledge, skills and experience.

One way to understand how this works is this.

Stop and think about how you might make a cup of tea. Now write all of the steps down and then teach someone else what you do. Easy?

You might think it’s easy, but I bet you missed loads of things out like you had to pick up the kettle and carry it to the sink, before lifting the lid, placing it under the tap, etc.

What I mean by this is we forget how we make decisions, because we become competent at making them.

The same thing applies when you choose food and drink – you become competent at making your choices. And you become well trained in emotional eating.

This model shows us the stages that we go through when acquiring new skills and knowledge. It is really useful to consider this when reviewing our decision making as it reminds us how we become unconsciously competent and serves as a useful reminder of the stages we go through when acquiring new knowledge and to be mindful of this when making choices.

This model is also known as the Learning Stages model was developed by former Gordon Training International employee, Noel Burch in the 1970’s.

Naturally, the more experiences and skills you acquire, the easier it becomes when making a decision.

But as you will know that isn’t always the case, things can come at you and throw you off track when you least expect it.

In my case, eating the Magnum was an aberration and a decision that I would come to regret. Later that night I woke up with horrendous itching from the sugar in the ice cream. Which meant that I didn’t sleep. The knock-on was that my energy was lower and I was a tad ratty the following day.

This is just a simple example, but none the less an important choice about something that could have been avoided.

On another occasion someone had come to visit for the day and she was not in a good space and took it out on me. She was quite frankly horrible. When she left with some viscous parting words I wanted not only to scream, but I wanted to stuff my face with sugar.

As I didn’t have sugar in the house this made it harder to wimp out. But I knew a friend who did have some. I stopped. Breathed into the events of the day. Asked questions. Walked around like a demented demon. Instead I drank water, planned a calming meal for later and took the dogs for a walk.

I had been hijacked and it took a lot to calm me down.

Conscious decision making journaling exercise

When you are faced with things that you do at an unconscious level which could go on to cause you problems there are a few things that you can do. One is to stop and assess and two is to become aware of what is happening – this is often hard to do in the moment (see above).

Use this exercise to record the event and to then discover what your decision making process is.

Grab your journal and write about the event. This is best done while it is still fresh in your mind. When you have finished stop and reflect, allow your muse to connect the dots.

Stop

Just stop. Allow yourself a few moments or minutes to take in what was going on. Breath and assess the situation. You will find all kinds of thoughts going on.

Aware

What is coming into your awareness?

What are the unconscious rules that you are playing by? All you need to do is become aware of them. How do you do things – is there a process or a pathway? What are your criteria for decision making?

Consider, three other events. What do you learn? Do you see a pattern?

Awake

How awake are you to the effect your decisions have on you, others and your environment? Again go back and review the decisions you wrote about and consider this. Also, look at how connected each was to your beliefs, values and emotional trigger points.

What or when do these events remind you of?

The friend that came to call reminded me of how much I hate being unfairly criticized.

What does this tell you? Consider the outcome and how awake you are to what this means to you.

In my Magnum example, it goes back to childhood when I was soothed with sweet things and was taught by someone that if your energy dips what you need is something sweet.

After being very unwell with a fractured spine and other complications I value my health. So why I ask did I eat this ice cream? This goes against all of my values around my health.

The bottom line is I don’t believe it is ok to eat rubbish as I value my health. However, I was hijacked by my low energy and emotions. As I am sure you will be occasionally.

Alive

How did your decisions make you feel?

I felt crap eating crap.

What was the core emotion and how does this or these emotions run your life? Dig deep.

Good conscious decision making should make you feel more alive.

This is not in the sense that you are leaping around for joy because sometimes good decisions are gut-wrenching and difficult. This is alive in the sense that they are completely connected to who you are, values, beliefs and you believe that they are right in the moment.

Acceptance

No, you cannot turn back the clock. What is done is done. Accept the decision you made and then decide what next, what did I learn and what, if anything will I do differently next time?

There is power and peacefulness in acceptance. This is not about giving up or not taking action, rather it is knowing that pushing against a closed door will always hurt. Whereas finding ways to open the door and walk through it without resistance will deliver far greater rewards.

Acceptance is a choice. You can see the positive or you can fight what is going on. Why would you want to wander around a littered battlefield?

Acceptance is living fully present in the moment. It’s not about the past, while that is a great source of reference for peeling the onion; it’s not where to live. Neither is it about the future because we cannot force it.

We can create visions, make decisions and we can take action, but we already know stuff can happen to throw these visions off course. That is why it is important to understand yourself, just a bit more…

Action

Whatever happens, you need to take action, even if the action is inaction. I know that there have been times when my decision has been to simply let go, to not be attached to the outcome and quite frankly let others get on with it.

My action was to throw the rest of the ice creams in the bin, remind myself to be better prepared and to recognise more when I am being emotionally hijacked. And you know I hated throwing food away because it was a ‘waste of money’. Let’s not go there…

Because of how important my health is to me I know that this will not happen again. The pain of the night long itching is far too good a reminder…

Ask your heart

One of the things that helps me is to take my choice to my heart.

Typically when I am journalling and I feel that the piece is finished, I stop this and place a hand on my heart, connect my breath, ask for guidance and wait. I will feel, see or sense something.

It is always interesting to notice what comes up.

What happens for me I find that I am checking in with my values when connecting with my heart.

I’ll look at how I can reframe something so that I get a better outcome. I like this opportunity for reflection.

My favourite question is do I love myself enough to? If the answer is yes, the decision is also easy.

Do I love myself enough to.

You can do all of these things without a piece of paper. Just stop and practice the four thumps that are in this Donna Eden video. There are lots of different energy techniques. My other favourite is the zip up.

What do you think?

Another fundamental part of conscious decision making is to also stop and ask ‘what do I think?’ Out loud, not just in your head. That question is not for your conscious mind to analyse, more to ask the question and go deep into yourself – trance-like to allow the answers to surface.

Try it. Stop now and ask what do I think? Don’t rush, just allow. Get your pen ready and scribble.

Your many brains

There are three brains in the body that exists alongside the chakra system, the one in your head that you already know about, one at your heart and one at your gut. These three brains work together and communicate along another superhighway called the vagus nerve.

The name vagus comes from the Latin term for wandering. This is because the vagus nerve wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen. It therefore in case you haven’t guessed connects information in both the energetic and physical bodies.

This is why it is vital to nourish your body properly, heal your heart, embody self-love because the messages from here will influence the brain, the chemical messaging system, the neurotransmitters, your intuition, connection with spirit and how you make choices.

Stop for a moment and put your hands either side of your neck and breathe. You are now calming down the vagus nerve.

The gut-brain connection

Let’s come back to emotional eating and making conscious choices for a moment.

The vagus nerve travels from the stomach to the brain. This second brain sends signals to the first brain which advises it of our emotions which naturally affects our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the gut is responsible for a lot of how we feel, our ability to live well and make decisions for our well-being. It’s a bit of a circle, because what you eat affects your brain.

What’s going on in your brain affects what you eat, how you eat and why you eat the way that you do and how you think.

What you eat (and drink) affects every cell in your body. In his book The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton talks about how our thoughts affect our cells. If you are living in a perpetually stressed place, imagine what kind of thoughts are being passed to your cells. The cells will respond in the best way that they know-how, which might not be very beneficial.

I certainly feel that the better my diet the better my ability to listen to my gut and the sharper my intuition. Maybe that’s just me?

Want to know more about the vagus nerve? Read this.

Summary conscious decision-making points

  1. Stop. Breathe. Collect your thoughts.
  2. Try some of the energy techniques to bring calm back.
  3. Get to know you and how and why you do things
  4. Know why you have made previous decisions
  5. Look for patterns in your behaviour
  6. Look for patterns in your gut, heart and head decisions
  7. Practice stopping, asking and listening to your heart
  8. Understand your values, and you will certainly know what decision you will make next time you are faced with something
  9. Get in tune with your gut and look out for your bodies signals
  10. Ask. Other people can be very insightful, even if they don’t know the answer
  11. Always know that you are using the best resources you have available at the time
  12. Practice journaling around different decision-making choices and ideas, from the very easy to the very hard. What do you learn?
  13. Look at decisions from many angles. What do you learn?
  14. Remember you cannot turn back the clock, so make a conscious decision to be more conscious next time you are faced with a choice

Have fun, I’d love to know what you discover…

Steps to personal branding success

Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others.  Using our personal brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others.  Just like businesses need to find their niche so do you. The key to your success is to , your passion, live it and get compensated for it.

Be you, build your personal brand, get noticed

  • Hoping to get noticed?
  • Talented, but not well known?
  • Stuck in a career, business or life rut?
  • Feeling stressed and going around endlessly on the hamsters wheel

Understanding your personal brand and you will understand the direction of your life, business
 or career and enable you to create a unique position for you.  It will help you to focus on how you create value for you and the people in your life.

Personal branding is creating something special you believe in and have passion about. It separates and differentiates you between your peers, colleagues and competitors.

For leaders personal branding is critical to your success.  You need to be fit for success and to be fit you need to invest in ME Limited.

The steps to personal branding success

1. Become clear about who you are

It is vital that you get to know who the real, authentic you is and what you want.  We often try to be what we think others want us to be.  Personal branding is about getting in touch with you, your values, passion, purpose and vision and remaining authentic.

2. Surround yourself with the right people

Hand select the people that you want to work and play with and make it a habit to communicate regularly. How you interact and communicate with your network are key components of your personal brand. Nearly all of the people who are key to your success are not within your team, they are all of the other people out there, watching you.

You need to spend time building your networks, they are as important as your skills and experience.  These take time and commitment to nurture.  Think what you can give them and then when you need something people will remember and be only too happy to help.  Remember to pay it forward.

3. Build your confidence and banish fear

The lack of trust in our own abilities can be damaging to our potential, as it can stop us from doing the things that we are really capable of doing.  Find out what it is you fear and work to find ways to build your confidence.  Think about what your confident self would look like, might be saying or doing and consider what steps you need to talk to walk into that person.

No one will know that you lack confidence unless you tell them, so fake it until you make it.  Of course, I don’t mean that you pretend to be someone you are not, simply tell yourself that you have these qualities, your mind and body are one.  Before long it will be true.

4. Communicate effectively

The effective exchange of information is essential for relationships of all kinds. Communication is more than what you say,  it’s about learning to listen, building rapport, seeking to understand and be understood and it’s about learning to tell the stories of you and your brand effectively.

To build your brand you must become your brand champion and to do that effectively communication of who you are and what your brand stands for is imperative.

You need to learn to talk the same language and you need to learn how to tell your stories.

5. Package yourself and be remembered

Your brand position is the place you occupy in the mind of your network. It’s how they think of you as compared to other people.

The ACTUAL product is YOU.  Your physical features, how you present yourself, your dress code, how you communicate with others, the value that you bring, experience, know how, skills, talents and what you say and do.

Look at what makes you unique and different and find ways to package that so that your brand is remembered and sought after.

Take a moment and look down at your shoes, did you remember to polish them?  It may seem insignificant, but it could be the make or break component.  What about your car, proud to share a ride?

6. Write a book

Writing a book is a great way to position ‘you’ as a credible expert and to reach out to the world with your story and message.

It allows you to demonstrate your expertise, skills, knowledge, experiences and passion.  A book can support your career and be used as a highly effective marketing tool.

The business benefits to you could include a raised profile, more speaking engagements, opportunities to collaborate with others and build your oganisations brand at the same time.  All designed to give your marketing and personal brand a huge boost and and open up personal opportunities.

7. Stay healthy and de-stressed

A healthy body and mind will make it easier to demonstrate a healthy brand. Looking after your body by exercising regularly, eating well, getting regular sleep and reducing stress can make you feel good. Feeling good about yourself can affect the way you think and feel. It can give you the confidence to help you to achieve what you want in life.

Are you amongst a growing number of people are struggling to cope with the demands upon them? Are eating more convenience foods on the run, working longer hours and finding less time to exercise and not paying attention to your health issues?

A fit person can function without a business, but can your business or career develop and grow without a fit person?

A healthy lifestyle includes activity, proper eating habits, focus on your energy systems and a clear mind.

8. Promote your self effectively

Promotion is just one part of the personal branding mix. It involves managing, controlling and influencing how others perceive you and think of you.

However, you can’t make yourself famous or even well known, others do that for you.  To promote your brand you have to work on the impression you are having on people around you.

9. Measure your success for repeatability

You will know that you are successful because you get repeat business, are asked to speak, contribute to articles, blogs and books, people follow you on social media and others recommend you.

However, your brand is measured by the reputation held in the hearts and minds of others.  To find out what others think, you will have to ask them.

Conclusion

Whether you want one, you already have a personal brand – simply by being you, you have a brand. What you do with it, is up to you. If it needs changing then you make the choice to do that.

Remember Be YOU. Be AUTHENTIC. Be CONSISTENT.

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