Turn Your Bad Day Around

“So you had a bad day. Don’t let it spiral you into a mindset of doom and gloom. Get back in your power. Remember you are who you choose to be.”-Karen Salmansohn

Bad days happen. However, if you start to label too many days disagreeable this can cause a lack of productivity. At Ignite Your Potential we often recite the phrase “don’t let a bad 10 minutes ruin your entire day.” Letting a negative moment define a whole day is not only unfair, it can lead to missed opportunities, and distract from your day’s purpose. Continue reading to discover strategies that can improve your rough days. 

Accept Reality

Accepting the reality of your situation doesn’t mean you’re stuck or a failure. The sooner you acknowledge the problem the faster you can find a solution. Denying or pushing away the negative feelings you are experiencing will only delay the process. 

Consider Repeating Out Loud:

  • I acknowledge this is my situation
  • Even though I have a problem, I am okay
  • I have the power to change my situation 

Change Your Point of View

After you’ve accepted your current situation, attempt to transform your viewpoint into one that benefits you. For example, if you’ve been taking punch after punch all day. You may begin with a negative outlook at think something like, “This is happening to me because I’m not good enough.” Change your perspective by reframing your internal dialogue, “This can make me stronger, more resilient, and prepared to turn challenges into future success.” Small changes, like a reframe, will make a substantial difference in your ability to conquer bad days.

Consider:

  • Asking yourself: is this productive thinking? Does it serve me?
  • Visualize other perspectives
  • Focus on what is in your power
  • Use productive and positive language when you’re talking to yourself

Take a Break 

Attempting to work while your mind is overflowing with negative thoughts is ineffective and will reduce productivity. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign concluded that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods. Time off is necessary to regroup to get your mind back on track.

Consider:

  • Talking to a friend or family member
  • Meditating 
  • Moving your body, go for a walk, stretch, exercise

Socialize

There are many studies that show the emotional support you give and get during connections with friends and family enhances psychological well-being. When you are feeling down, reach out to the people who love and want to support you. 

Consider:

  • Visiting your neighborhood coffee shop
  • Making plans with friends or family
  • Volunteering

Are bad days seem to be occurring more often? Ignite Your Potential Center coaches will provide you with emotional support and skills that will help you achieve your goals. We are the #1 coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. All of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session, see if we are the right fit for you.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tpA2oigo9RMoF-If6eNgL4fZNHBQw-RCgZfva7Ww0a1EfYe9dQvLBnA_oRnwbmTNOUEGMljtW_FBrByA_oa_yASAt_Ihn07zPWPimNjzX3pqrz7LjuLf0pAHfUiNeZIggM_nzCrqB9juUeoAcg

Find a Hobby You Love (Becuase It’s Good for Your Life and Career)

Having a hobby that you enjoy—whether that’s crocheting mittens for your sister’s new baby, curling up with a book to get lost in an unknown world, or moving your hips in a Zumba class—has all sorts of benefits, from lower levels of stress to an increased sense of belonging.

Hobbies make a serious impact on your quality of life. But they also improve your work performance. How? When you’re engaged and fulfilled in your life outside of work (when you’re pursuing meaningful hobbies) that happiness spills over. That happiness has the ability to make you more focused and enthusiastic when you’re on the job.

Having a hobby that you love can do good things for your life and your job. But what if you don’t have a hobby you enjoy? That doesn’t mean you can’t find one. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 80 years old—it’s not too late to find something you love and let it spur you on. Our Ignite Your Potential career coaches have curated a few strategies to find a hobby you love.

1. Make What You Already Love into a Hobby

Take a look at how you enjoy spending your time and figure out how this can become a hobby. Have you watched Kevin Hart’s stand-up special on Netflix…four times? Try taking an improv class. Is your favorite part of the day playing with your dog? Try volunteering with a rescue organization. 

2. Reclaim Your Childhood Interests 

When you were a kid, what did you like to do? Did you spend hours finger-painting masterpieces to hang on the fridge? If so, you might want to try taking an art class. Or maybe you spent the entire year looking forward to Field Day at school—in which case, you could join an adult softball team or flag football league. When you were a kid, you had hobbies—revisiting them as an adult is an effortless way to rekindle that love.

3. Try New Things

The truth is finding a hobby can be hit or miss. And that is OK! If you want to find something you love, you need to put yourself out there—and be willing to accept not everything you try is going to be a win. Think of anything you might find interesting—whether that’s skateboarding, painting, or weight lifting—and take a class. If you like it, great! If not, cross it off the list, and move on to the next one.

It might take a few attempts to find a hobby that you love, but the key is to not give up. Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you find a hobby that will change your life and your career. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

How do you create your wonderful life?

I often see people compromising before they even get started.

It’s terribly sad to me because it’s a self-imposed trap that comes about because we believe we can’t have what it is we really want.

Lean in: this is an illusion. The people you see who are successful…they keep their eye on what it is they desire. They tune into themselves. They ask this important question and they take the answer very seriously.

What do you desire? Keep asking yourself this question, like a mantra: What Do I Desire? What Do I Want For Myself If I Can Have Anything? And when you begin to hear the answer from the deepest part of yourself. Only then, are you ready to move forward. To create the life of your dreams.

Here’s Alan Watts guiding us through this process:

So I always ask the question: What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Well it’s so amazing as the result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say ‘Well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers’ But as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way! Another person says ‘Well I’d like to live an out-of-door’s life and ride horses.’ I said ‘You wanna teach in a riding school?’

Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him ‘You do that! And forget the money!’ Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of which you like doing then a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you are doing – it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way of becoming the master of something, to be really with it. And then you will be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much, somebody is interested in everything. Anything you can be interested in, you’ll find others who are.

But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow the same track. See, what we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing. So it’s all retch and no vomit – it never gets there! And so therefore it’s so important to consider this question:

What do I desire?

How Do You Tell Your Story of Success?

I help people clarify and meet their goals but I also help people feel stronger and more confident about who they are.  Today I’m sharing a “behind the scenes” strategy I use to help my clients remember who they really are and feel more self-assured.

There are many reasons why a person might not feel as successful as they deserve to feel.

  • Maybe you’re in a job that is no longer challenging, is not aligned with your personality, or is not treating you with the respect you warrant.
  • Maybe you’ve suffered a loss such as a death of a cherished loved one, the end of a long relationship, a personal illness.
  • Maybe you’re juggling career, children, and household and it’s all just too much.

Whatever the reason, we all have times when we feel a lack of personal power. And while there is a time to get in touch with your emotional state…drawing the emotions out even…sometimes the name of the game is to transform this state.

So let me ask you…if you were to think back, way back….

How can you tell your story through the lens of success?

Whether your life has been one of challenge or ease, with a favorable attitude, search for a narrative in your life where you were successful. No matter what happened in your past, dramatic or mundane, there is something to admire.

Sit down now with a piece of paper, use a voice recording app, or just get ready to daydream and begin tell a story of a time when you made it happen.

Remember, the thing about storytelling is not how worthy the story is, it’s about the feeling the story conjures. You have already been successful…whether it was getting back in shape after putting on the college 20, landing an impossible job, mastering a sport, or getting around in a foreign country using an unfamiliar tongue. Tell this story of success and you will begin to remember, you will begin to feel successful again.

My Story

When I was very young I had fantasies of traveling. I often felt suffocated amid strip mall after strip mall in the suburbs and longed for something more fertile. I talked about it with my family but often got the message that girls didn’t go off traveling on their own.

When I became old enough I packed my bags and hit the road. I travelled with friends, and sometimes alone, for about five years. I saw most of the U.S. this way, living in my car, working at restaurants, saving up enough to keep going.

In my mind’s eye I can remember so many experiences from then…I see myself driving a late night on a curvy Appalachian mountain road while a gigantic low orange harvest moon met me as though we had a deep clandestine plan. As though it had been waiting for me all along.

Private and rich moments such as this meant so much to me, but at the same time I didn’t classify my experience of traveling across the U.S. as brave. I didn’t see myself as successful.

By the time I went back home and decided to “do something with my life” I felt rather insecure. What did I have to offer? What skills did I have? What had I even been doing all those years? My perspective was that I had to start from scratch and build something of my life. What I was lacking was confidence and the ability to tell my story of success.

I had had a dream, albeit a daydream, but nonetheless, I had a desire to travel across the country and I made that happen. That is what success is all about.

I eventually found my way past that sense of insecurity and moved on to the next phase of my life. Still, when I look back now, I realize I was quite bold and brave. During those years, I had moments of fear and doubt, and I put one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward. I learned a lot about people, about thinking outside the box, about living with ambiguity, creative problem solving, and following my gut. Now, taking the time to tell this story, I feel rather grounded and strong. And that’s really the point here.

If you’re still uncertain where to begin your story of success, here are a few questions that might get you recognizing and telling it:

Was there a time when you felt stuck and you did something to change that?

Was there a time when you were very scared but you moved forward anyway?

What would you consider one of the biggest challenges of your life? What happened?

Can you think of an obstacle you overcame?

Can you think of something you didn’t know but then learned?

Can you think of a time when you had a profound realization? What came of that?

Has something ever happened in your life that changed you? What was it? How were you changed?

Please inspire us and tell us your story of success in the comments.

How Are You Living?

If you know a smart chiropractor, naturopathic doctor, fitness trainer, nutritionist, or pilates expert, if they are helping you lose weight or get healthier, they will ask you to do a food journal. Many of you may have tried this as a way to increase your awareness about what you are putting into your body. In fact, several studies have shown that people who keep a food diary are more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.

But have you ever considered using a similar method to increase your awareness about yourself in general? In other words, instead of a food journal…what about a How Are You Living Journal?

Sometimes it’s hard to observe ourselves…like fish observing water. But there are ways we can gather this information.

Play the Researcher

Researchers are trained not to judge their findings: whatever they uncover, they observe it, sit with it, document it, come to know it. When you do this for yourself, the information can help you achieve your goals.

Sometimes observation alone can produce change. Sometimes it’s the beginning of a process. Whatever the case, I have consistently witnessed that…awareness rules.

Record the Moment

In the directions below, I detail how to start, and keep, your Living Journal.

1. Program an alert into your phone so that several times a day you are reminded to ask yourself these questions.
2. Jot down small notes about what you see. It’s best to do this in a given moment, rather than noting some things at the end of your day. What we think is going on with us and what is actually going on with us can be slightly different. We all have blind spots.
3. If you’re doing this alone, remember to look it over each week – just writing it down is not enough to bring it into your awareness.
When we’re working together, I ask my clients to bring the journal to our check-in.
4. Consider these questions. There’s no need to answer them all, but let them jog your thoughts to record what you’re feeling in the moment…

Mind
What is running through your mind?
What is going on with your internal dialog?
What’s the emotional tone? Mellow? Kind? Grumpy? Silly?
How might you describe the atmosphere of your head space?

Body
What is your body language saying in this moment?
Are you breathing deeply or shallowly?
Do you feel tired?
Are you hydrated enough?
How would you classify what you’ve eaten today? Vibrant? Fine? Call the health department?
Take a moment to notice your body. Any tension areas? How do you feel?

Connection
Are you alone or with others?
Would you say you’re present or off in the world of thoughts?
What’s happening around you? What do you notice?

Actions
Any particular behaviors you’d like to note? Going to the gym? Moving your body in some way? Are you meditating? Are you in a bar with your buddies? Anything self-care related going on?

Assess How You Are Living

All of these questions give you information about the states-of-mind you hang out in, how you may be dragging yourself down or draining yourself of energy, how you are supporting yourself, how certain foods may be affecting you. It gives a snap shot of how you are really living.

After a week, take a look at your journal and take note: Has anything surprised you? What patterns have you noticed? What do you make of it all?

If we were in session, we would go over your journal together…

How Might Our Lives Be More Fulfilling If We Took Imagination Seriously?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YekkGz1E2k]

Janet Echelman gives a great Ted talk. It conveys, if you read between the lines, the creative process. When it comes to creation, you have to let go all the time. You have to have ideas and then release them…allow them to play out and then cut them loose if they don’t belong within the creation. It becomes a beautiful dance.

Somehow Echelman’s stunning artwork itself conveys this same message about creativity. Imagine my delight when last week I got to see one of her pieces in the San Francisco airport. Her work truly shares with us the rediscovery of wonder.

How might each of our lives be more fulfilling if we take imagination seriously? What new thing might creativity bring to each day? One thing is for sure…creativity brings us into the present moment. It brings us into direct contact with the vibrant world around us. It helps us see in a new way. It brings us back to a more playful way of being. Consider an experiment, for the next week try out 8 Steps to Using Your Imagination. See what happens. Share it here.

Is It Time You Expanded? Find Out With this Dream-Like Exercise.

There are times when our conscious mind, our ego mind, can get in our way…bringing up resistance. Sometimes, this part of us defends against change in the status quo. In other words, this part can be invested in staying the same…not necessarily growing or thriving. A life coach or career coach can help you go around this, to get to what your deeper Self (some people call it “higher self“) really wants.

One way is to get into a more numinous state. Jung defined numinous as a heightened psychological state or as he would say “archetypal.” No need to get too complicated, it’s like the place we’re in when dreaming at night, where our psyche is more forefront and our critical, ego-mind is in the background, relaxing and not worrying too much about the details or logic of what’s going on. This post is a brief exercise I’ve created to bring about this deeper awareness. I invite you to relax, take a few deep breaths, tell your thinking mind it can take a little break, and allow yourself, if you choose, to float through your imagination. Here we go…

One night as you sleep, you have a dream. You are in your house having a small party with some old and new friends. Your house looks okay, but a bit unfinished. Unorganized stuff piled in a few places. Certain walls have no art or decoration. There’s a closet without a door. Some bare windows without curtains. Fine, acceptable, livable, approachable, but let’s just say, not a complete image of the abundant and nurtured (and nurturing) home. Then a woman, comfortable in her own skin, looking fit and wearing fine clothes, whom you haven’t met before, asks you if she may have a cup of tea. You bring her into your kitchen, preparing the tea, while you chat. You begin to realize that you feel connected to her, kindred spirits maybe; so you decide to show her around the rest of your home, the part that you don’t show to just anyone.

You walk from your kitchen into a corridor. From there you both glide into a part of the house, that you are at first, not aware was there… but it’s there you find yourself in a large mansion. Your large mansion. It’s as if “the dream you,” the person playing you in the dream, knows this place, but the “observer you,” the person watching the dream happen, is a little surprised. The dream goes on. You show your guest through many different, beautiful rooms. From the window you see a pool, later you show her an indoor pool and all sorts of other impressive rooms and spaces. The colors, the décor, everything is harmony. The house is vibrant, elegant, and expresses a sense of actualization.

As you awaken from your dream and find yourself reclined there in bed, nestled in your soft sheets, it occurs to you that you know that place, you’ve been there before in your dreams. Something deep inside you is resonating. You lay there thinking of the symbolic implications. Often in dreams, a house is a symbol of your whole self or your whole mind (conscious and unconscious.) In the dream, it seemed you were “living” in the more rundown or make-due part of the house and had almost forgotten that you had access to this whole other cultivated, nourished and developed residence. Sit with this image for a moment.

If a question moves you go with it…if it does not…let it fall to the wayside.
Are there areas of your life where you’re coasting, when you could access a whole other level of realization? Are there mad skills you have that are going unused? Are you blaming someone else or some other circumstances when it is actually you holding yourself back? What are some ways you can allow yourself to expand into your true self? When you were imaging the dream, what did it conjure for you?

Do You Have the Most Important Ingredient for Success? Don’t Worry, It’s Something You Can Learn

Have you noticed that people who are successful are not necessarily smarter or harder workers? I’ve observed this over and over. I have known pizza delivery people, bicycle couriers, used bookstore clerks, and more (all with degrees), who could intellectualize their “superiors” under the table, any day of the week. I’ve known people with incredible ideas and powerful minds, doing all sorts of hard jobs that do not pay a living wage (if a living wage means you can live on 60% of the income, saving and investing the rest for retirement and emergencies.) To be clear, I am not suggesting that making money is the only way to measure success. Obviously some people choose to work certain jobs because they want flexibility to pursue their passion, or they are living by a value system where money or material possessions isn’t the focus, or any number of other valid reasons. To be clear, however you measure success, it is not necessarily correlated to the characteristics you would think.

Part of the recipe of success is just suiting up and showing up. Some people think about doing things while others just do it. Some feel afraid of making the next move and allow this to hold them back; others feel the fear and step forward anyway, thinking of the fear as excitement or something along the path they learn to tolerate.

Inspirational author, Joachim de Posada, in this entertaining TED video, introduces another compelling ingredient for success. In several studies, four-year-old children were given a marshmallow and told they would be left alone for fifteen minutes, and if afterward the marshmallow was still intact, then they would be given a second marshmallow. Preschool-aged children and fifteen minutes alone with a sweet, tasty marshmallow. Needless to say, two out of three could not resist and ate the white, powdery treat almost immediately. One out of three was able to wait the whole time. What’s fascinating comes next…they did a follow up study of these same children fifteen years later and found that of those who did not eat the marshmallow, one-hundred-percent of them were successful. They had good grades, were doing well in school, had good relationships with the teachers, etc.

So what did those children have as part of their temperament that made them different? They had the ability to delay gratification. They were able to discipline themselves. They realized that waiting for something can increase the enjoyment…and the payoff.

One of the exciting things about having this information, is that we can change; we can use this to make our lives more successful. Of course shifting our patterns is not always simple and with any change we can expect to feel some resistance. Sometimes we do things to reward ourselves because an area of our life is hard. Maybe, for example, you don’t like your job and so you over-shop to reward yourself for dealing with it. But what if the “rewards” are part of what’s keeping you stuck? Regardless of what has happened in the past, regardless our inclinations, we can begin again. We can create new patterns. We can clear space for new growth and success. We can break it down into step by step plans of action. So where in your life would you like to see more success? Where could you use more self-discipline, long-term vision, and the ability to wait for it? What are some concrete steps you are willing to commit to right now? And how will you track it and keep yourself accountable?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykLUZO_-QZk]

How Do You Grieve? And Why Bother?

Grief is challenging in part because it feels painful, complicated, and vulnerable. I mean, who out there, really wants to grieve? Some never do process grief and in avoiding it, carry it deep within the psyche…a heaviness hidden from the self. Some are experts in processing emotions and just do so, eventually moving along. A funeral can often act as a wonderful way to bring closure to the grieving process and to start celebrating the life of those who have passed. You can find a detailed break down here of services like cremation. Between these two points are every other way we steer our course through emotions, specifically grief. So how do you grieve? Does it just happen naturally? Do you have to make space for it, taking specific actions in order to feel the range of what comes up? For those of you familiar with the terrain of grief…please be our sherpa and tell us how you navigate.

While grief comes through in times when we have lost someone we love. It’s also an emotional experience that can accompany any type of loss or change. If you switch jobs, become a parent, finish your degree, retire, go from a stay-at-home parent to a working-outside-the-house parent, move out of state, and the list goes on, all of these experiences (even when they represent something positive) are a type of loss. Change is loss. Most people have grieved for someone they loved after they’ve passed away. And for some people, they must now start thinking about organising a funeral. If this is you and you don’t know where to start, then it may be in your best interests to contact https://riemannfamily.com/ who can help give them the perfect send-off. If you change the way you treat your body and your eating habits, you are losing the other way you have been living. Like that song goes, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

I notice for myself, that sometimes I have “built in” aspects, created to “protect me,” that can keep me from going deep into emotion. So I have to make space to soften myself. I have to make sure that I’m not unconsciously escaping from my feelings through food, substances, shopping, socializing, over working, trying to control things in my life or trying to control others. I have to take really good care of myself with what I am eating, how I am sleeping, etc. I have to find ways to soothe myself and allow myself to become more introverted. And then slowly if I give myself space to reflect, journal, take baths, watch sad movies, listen to music…the emotions will come. This is how I invite my emotional self…because just like a tender, careful, shy child, my emotional self has had to slowly learn to trust me. In the past I hurt it through pushing it away, making it “buck up,” abusing it through harsh internal language, and simply ignoring it as if I didn’t have an emotional self.

So why go through this? Why bother taking the time to process our emotions or our grief? Especially since, if you’re like me, there are so many ways to go unconscious and avoid our soft sides. For some of us, if we don’t make this space, it will begin to take over, at worst, this is the core of the classic “nervous breakdown.” More mild versions are: break through emotions where we overreact to things (discharging unprocessed emotions at others) and depression (where our emotions turn against us or get stuck.) So one answer to why bother: this is how we avoid these small and large breakdowns. By making space for our emotional side, we can keep our emotional experience in it’s rightful, personal place…rather than unconsciously bringing them into our work lives or having them erupt without conscious intention. This is how we take care of ourselves. This is what healthy and balanced people do. Yet there is also another reason to make a conscious effort to meet our emotional self or process our emotions and grief. In doing so, our emotional side becomes our ally; (drum roll please) we actually become stronger and wiser. A metaphor for this is found in fairytales or mythology where the hero finally conquers the dragon and the dragon who was once a tyrant transforms into the hero’s right-hand companion for the rest of the journey.

When we become softer and allow our emotions to come through we become freer, and what is left, is stronger. Our emotions will then bring us many gifts including compassion, tenderness, and a sense that we are whole.

Happiness Exists in Giving the World What You Want the Most

I consider a presentation of value when at some point I become moved. It’s that emotional reaction when the topic works it’s way into my heart and suddenly everything is different. Sometimes I am teary, but more than that, I feel expanded and inspired to pass that feeling on.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQvMQEB0j_A]

Eve Ensler gives many things within this video. I loved the image she shared of being in Afghanistan and seeing women who have found a way to keep pleasure alive. Most of all I resonate with the idea that when we give to the world what we want the most we heal the broken part inside each of us. “Happiness exists in action, it exists in telling the truth and saying what your truth is, and it exists in giving the world what you want the most.”

What do you want the most? Healing. Love. Integrity. Discovery of undeveloped potential. Innocence. Time for being silly. Random acts of kindness. Passion. To be seen. To be heard. Nourishment. Health. Abundance. To enjoy what is simple and slow. Honor. Respect. How will you give it? Begin now.