Archive: Newsletter

Imposter syndrome

imposter syndrome

 

A lot of people feel they are a fraud. Even Maya Anjelou felt that way sometimes. Members of traditionally underrepresented groups tend to feel this more. There are lots of motivational talks, books and videos that can help you if you suffer from this.

One aspect that interests me is this: in every thought there is at least a tiny piece of truth. I’m not saying I am an imposter, but I respect myself too much to poopoo this feeling completely when it does happen.

When I sense this thought creeping up on me, I’ve learned to ask myself a few questions, like “What legitimate reason might there be?”, “Am I afraid of doing something I’ve judged I ‘should’ already know, but is new to me?”, or “Are my personal expectations set too high?”.

  • Legitimate reason: perhaps there is something I don’t know and need to learn, or find someone else who does know this thing and get them on board. Nobody knows everything, not even long-time experts.
  • Fear of doing something new: As I get older, I also get more confident in what I’ve been doing for a while. Then something new comes along, and I’m a novice again. Will I get stuck, or make a mistake? Possibly, but if I have a strategy in place that covers this, I’ll be fine.
  • High expectations: This is probably the toughest one for me, because I do have high expectations for myself. A realistic assessment will help me adjust my expectations to something more attainable.

Traditionally, women feel this syndrome much more keenly than men. It’s been trained into us. If we’re honest, though, we’ll be able to exchange this undermining feeling for something more genuine and fitting. Pride in our own accomplishments, for instance.

The surprising solution to the Imposter Syndrome

Quote of the Week

When I won the Oscar, I thought it was a fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and they’d take it back. They’d come to my house, knocking on the door, “Excuse me, we meant to give that to someone else. That was going to Meryl Streep.
-Jodie Foster

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

The real meaning of “Impromptu”

Impromptu

Mark Twain was the inspiration for this blog when I happened upon his quote: “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”

Exactly! He does have a way with words.

When I read this, I decided to make my next Toastmasters speech about it – for all of my colleagues who believe they lack in some way because they don’t have the “impromptu” part figured out yet.

To prepare for this speech I did some research, and came across an excellent article written by Chris Anderson, curator of TED, about how TED support their speakers.  They don’t choose their speakers based on whether they can come up with a speech on the spot. They choose their speakers based on three things:  the original idea, the story, and the speaker’s passion for their idea.

TED gives a speaker 6 months to prepare a speech, which must be completed a month ahead of time.  A speaker must memorize their speech, completely, before giving it: no scripts or teleprompters allowed.  Mr. Anderson believes that reading from a script or teleprompter disappoints and disengages the audience. Memorizing all of it is the only way.

Not impromptu.

What is impromptu is the idea, and the speaker’s passion. The rest is practice, practice, practice.

Chris Anderson’s Secret to a great talk

 

 

Quote of the Week

I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.
– Winston Churchill

Announcements

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

Karma

Darlene recently made a decision that might upend her life in ways she never wanted. She did want, with all her heart, to be successful in her profession. To that end, she did something scary and invested heavily in a program that promised to help her achieve her dream. The scary part was that it was a big risk for her: she was close to retirement age and this money was earmarked for just that.  She knew that if this didn’t work, she’d be in trouble.

Before she made her move, did Darlene do her homework and base her decisions on what she really knew about herself? Or did she blindly jump in, trusting in others instead of herself? If she blindly jumped in, then she’s just increased her own karma.

Karma is the sum of our actions in this lifetime that will determine our next lifetime. This means if we’re considerate in our actions, that sum is lower; if not, it’s higher.

Even if it ends up being a mistake – what Darlene did – if she chose with care and consideration, whatever happens won’t be as gloomy as it would have been had it been a thoughtless move.  She need not recriminate herself – it was a risk. She loses no self-esteem, and can as a result bounce back much easier.

I’ve noticed in my practice and in my own life, that people can make themselves miserable if they let other people run their lives. For instance, if I react to a comment from a friend that feels hurtful, that “friend” is momentarily running my life – and I’ve just added to my karma. If I make any decision based on what I think others in my life want instead of what I want, I’m building karma.

It’s the source of human suffering – this build-up of karma. The best way I know to begin to reduce that suffering is to empower myself by clearing out judgments and comparisons, and living life on my own terms.

What is Karma? How Do You Break the Karmic Trap – Sadhguru

His Holiness the Karmapa – The Technology of the Heart

Quote of the Week

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
― Wayne Dyer

Announcement

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

If you want to be a writer …

A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write!

I heard this from a facebook video of an elderly woman (name unknown). It may seem simplistic, but if so, it also hits the nail on the head.

. What this speaker says may seen simplistic, but if so, it also hits the nail on the head.

No matter what you want to do, no matter what your dream is, the only way it will come true is if you take action.

You may be stopped because you feel overwhelmed. If so, try turtle steps – one step so tiny it feels like nothing. Then another just like that. Then another. Before long, you will notice changes you never thought possible.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Writing

 

 

Quote of the Week

If you’re waiting until you feel talented enough to make it, you’ll never make it.”
― Criss Jami, Healology

 

Announcement

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Daredevil!

 

Many years ago, I dated someone who loved taking high risks; his name was Tom. Tom raced cars that used Nitro for gas; he got a thrill out of swinging in high wind 300 feet in the air; he would walk into dangerous or toxic environments with little thought for his own safety.  Tom did it because it was exciting. I admired him for his lack of fear – still do – and I would never want to do what he did.

But, I have done things that were exciting, thrilling, and dangerous: I’ve driven at speeds I shouldn’t because I’d crammed too much into the day; I’ve spent the entire night working on a project because I loved the thrill of doing something new, while completely ignoring what that was doing to my health. Doing those things some of the time are probably fine; doing them as a rule aren’t fine, and I did them as a rule.
I wasn’t so different from Tom after all!

Many of us confuse excitement with joy; happiness with fulfilment. Our jobs can be exciting – every day something new.  But that doesn’t mean we are fulfilled or feel joy from them. If we don’t feel safe in our jobs, then we won’t feel joy either.

What does it mean – to feel safe in our jobs?

For Tom, it might be confidence in the structures he was hanging from. For me, it’s feeling appreciated and valued. If I don’t feel those from my fellow workers, I won’t stay.

Tom was a Daredevil. So am I – in a different way. I will walk out of a business, a job, a calling, if I don’t feel valued and respected. I won’t do it impulsively but I do know what matters to me. And that’s all that matters.

What matters to you? What are you willing to do for what matters?

If you know and are willing, then you know what it is to be a Daredevil.

The little risks you can take to increase your luck

 

Quote of the Week

A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.”
– Nikos Kazantzakis

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Inner strength

strength

This time of year is a glorious time for some, and really rough for others. It’s a busy time for therapists and coaches.

The disappointments. The unfulfilled expectations. The hopes and longings that never happened.  All of these can send some of us into depression and even despair.

But not necessarily. There’s something that we all have that can bring us through hard times: our inner reserve of strength. It’s there especially for hard times, when we need something more than the usual every-day strength to make it through.

We do all have this strength. So, if you find yourself heading towards feeling lost or disappointed or depressed, remember that you have this strength, that it’s there for just this time. And then tap into it.

Hilary Duff – Inner Strength

Quote of the Week

We all have an unexpected reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to the test.” ― Isabel Allende

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Start this year with joy

If there is one thing that we all have in common, it’s that we all want to be happy.  It’s something you know about me, and I know about you.  And according to Brother David Steindl-Rast, the way to happiness is through gratitude.

Brother Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk, living in a priory in Austria, in his 90’s, and known the world over for his views on gratitude.

When I think of happiness, I think of people and places that make me happy – places and people I love and have wonderful memories of.  But when I think of living happy, I think of living in joy.

Joy, for Steindl-Rast, is the kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.  We can experience this joy even in the midst of great sadness. When we lose a dear friend, under normal rather than catastrophic circumstances, there is a joy as we are present with the event at the same time that there is deep sadness.

This kind of happiness – this joy – is the kind of happiness that lasts, and is with us every day.

This kind of happiness comes from gratitude, or in Steindl-Rast’s terms, gratefulness.  When he speaks of gratitude, he’s really speaking of connection through being present with what is. He sees gratitude as part of belonging; that there can be no gratitude without belonging, and no belonging without gratitude.

A simple example – when we eat, we’re eating earth, the products of earth. Salt, vegetables that are nourished and come almost directly from earth, animals who ultimately ingest vegetable matter. This is all connected to earth.  Then there are all the people who cultivated the land, growing, collecting and processing those vegetables, and the animals that go into the making of the food. Even the table you eat on, the bowl and utensils you use to eat, the chair you sit on while you eat. All of this and much more go into the food you might be eating this moment.

With everything we do we have this direct connection. He calls this The Great Mystery.

There is a daily practice that you can do anywhere and at any time to experience this gratefulness: to fill yourself with joy.  He calls it Stop! Look! Go!

Stop! Listen, attend –  Stop and see what the present moment has for you. It is whatever this moment presents in a split second. The sound of the heater, for instance.

Look! Behold – look at the unique opportunity this moment has for you. The warmth the heater sends into the room; the sound it makes that becomes a background of a strange kind of stillness.  The materials it’s made of; where those materials came from, and the many hands that went into digging the raw materials and shaping them into the parts of the heater.  The animals and plants that were displaced by the process, and the way they adjusted. What I must do to adjust the heater to my needs.

Go!  – avail yourself of this opportunity. My appreciation of that heater, and my connection to it, everyone who had a hand in making it, all the animals whose lives have been impacted by it, and how I can gain strength in facing my own daily challenges of adjustment.

Doing this simple exercise will give you an immediate feedback of joy.

Gratefulness

 

Quote of the Week

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Pay me now or pay me later

A few years back, I owned a house I loved. It was old Victorian that I had restored to its natural beauty. I’d sunk everything I had into that house, being as careful as I could. And yet, in the end, I was forced to sell it because I let what turned out to be a scammer talk me into doing some major work for me.

I was wooed – partly – by his competitive rates. Also by an engineer who I thought was truthful, and who recommended him. Both turned out to be untrue. Someone reading this might think I didn’t do the thing we’re all told to do: get a number of estimates and references.  I did all of that. What I didn’t do was listen to my gut, which was screaming at me big time.

So I lost my beautiful house, thankfully to a young couple who loved it and weren’t planning on gutting it.

I may have saved a little up front, but paid much more in the end. Because I ignored my gut.

Attending to what you really know deep inside is tricky – is what I’m feeling some fear that isn’t real or even useful (an emotional reaction), or is it my inner knowing that this isn’t right? There is a way to find out.

  • Find the feeling. Do a scan of your body to see what sensations are coming up for you. A sick feeling in your stomach? A quivering and tightness in your chest? A tension between your shoulder blades? Whatever it is, identify it in visceral terms. For me, it was a sense of nausea and a desire to move back out of harm’s way.
  • Compare it. To a time you felt fear and knew it. When you were safely behind glass on the 50th floor of a tower, looking down. Or up in a plane contemplating jumping with an experienced skydiver. Or on a ladder cleaning the gutters (yes, I’m afraid of heights). What did that fee like?  For me it feels like I can barely breathe; that my lungs have ceased to function. Not at all like nausea.
  • Take action. If it’s fear, I take another look at my choices and then make a decision. If it’s my gut, then I’ve learned to trust what it’s telling me. Always. And act accordingly.

You can learn the difference between gut knowing and fear reactions.  It is so worth it because it will save you a lot of emotional pain, time, and even possibly money.

Finding your inner voice

Quote of the Week

The Voice
There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside
.
― Shel Silverstein

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

The story of a purse abuser

I have a story. Two days ago my purse fell apart. The story of how I chose this purse has its own story, but that isn’t the one I want to tell today. Today I want to tell how I became a purse abuser.

Yes, you read right – I am a purse abuser. After carefully getting the purse that would fulfill all my requirements, it still ended up not being quite adequate. I wanted one that was well made of good material so that it wouldn’t fall apart. I wanted it big enough to hold my notebook along with everything else that usually goes in purses. And, I wanted one that could be worn as a back pack so that one shoulder didn’t end up in pain.

I got all those things, paying more than I wanted. That purse was and is attractive and roomy. The only problem is that once I got it, my requirements changed. I discovered, for instance, that I really needed a mouse because the keypad wasn’t reliable. Then I noticed that the battery life wasn’t all that good, so I also added a chord. And sometimes, I needed extra research material, so in they went as well.

Soon that purse was overloaded and really heavy (which is why I needed a backpack model in the first place). And sure enough, one day, almost simultaneously, the hardware on one strap shattered, the zipper broke, and the handle shredded.

I do this with every purse I’ve ever owned. My need to be prepared under any circumstance means that I “need” to have with me every conceivable thing that could possibly help in any given situation. You might suggest a suitcase with wheels, but honestly, whatever I get would soon be inadequate. I know this because I’ve tried it.

Pause.

I hope my story is entertaining and that you’ve recognized similar things in yourself or a friend. I’m wondering if you have some advice you’d love to give me, or an equally entertaining story of your own.

Stories are powerful. They grab our attention in ways that nothing else can. They influence what we do and how we view the things around us.  They have the power to light our world, and to darken it.  They can change our perspective.

Coming out as a purse abuser by telling my story means something else: it means I can now change it.

I wonder what that story will be.

The danger of a single story – Chimamanda Adichie

 

 

Quote of the Week

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

Your Coach Within

Seth Godin talks about how 90% of coaching is really self-coaching.  That’s true whether you have a good coach, a lousy coach, or use self-help, friends and the media as a coach.

All a good coach does is supply, in one place and in a condensed form, what you could manage to get, piece by piece, from your own sources.  What a bad coach does is send you on paths that you eventually discover are heading in the wrong direction, or no direction that’s useful. From a bad coach, you learn a lot about what not to do.

Either way, once you get the nuggets, the rest is up to you: digesting what you’ve learned and then applying it to whatever problem – or challenge – is in front of you.

Eventually, that learning becomes automatic – becomes your own inner voice of wisdom – and serves as the growing bedrock of knowledge and knowhow for increasingly complex problems and challenges.

It’s a great way to learn and grow your coach within!

Building Your Inner Coach – Bret Ledbetter

Quote of the Week

Taking personal accountability is a beautiful thing because it gives us complete control of our destinies.
― Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto

Announcements

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.