Don't Let Overthinking Stop You From Moving Forward

 

So, ladies I must confess …....
I'm guilty of overthinking things in my life and business.  Yes, even though I am a coach,  and help women with their mindset and moving past fears, I still sometimes struggle in this area, myself.

Sometimes, I replay things over and over again in my head, before taking action. And I even try to play out different scenarios all the way down to what I think will happen in the end and by this time my thoughts have lead me down a rabbit hole.  I’m chasing these thoughts and thinking if I keep analyzing and grinding them down until I don’t have any more “what if” questions( if that's even possible) then I’ll be completely comfortable and safe to take a step forward. But by then, I've wasted so much time and have not taken any action.  Does this happen to you?  Do you think about every possible “what if” scenario that could happen?  

Are you waiting for things to be perfect before you move forward with a decision?  Are you indecisive and find yourself not making a decision at all (which is, by the way, making a decision even if you choose to do nothing).  The funny thing is, on the journey out of your comfort zone, you’re not always going to have the perfect answer at your finger tip, but you're able to use your best judgment, make a decision and move forward. Even if the decision you made ends up not working, there’s always room to adjust. It doesn't have to be permanent.

Just in case you're wondering if you live in the land of overthinking, here are a few signs:

  • Second guess everything
  • Analyze things to death
  • Expect the worst to happen
  • Would rather someone decide for you
  • A perfectionist
  • Criticize yourself a lot
  • Never sure of yourself

 Most times after one session with a client, I recognize no matter what their vision, goal or dream is, their mindset is the first thing to work on.   Managing those negative thoughts; the replaying of past andvarious wrongs you believed happened to you; worrying about what people may think of you or your situation and dealing with the “inner critic” is what keeps you “stuck” from moving towards the great relationship you want to have, career growth, sales conversations in your business, or even having the peace of mind you desire in life.  

As a coach, some of the ways I help my clients stop their minds from going on a mental roller coaster is by helping them look at a situation for what it is and then understand how unresolved feelings from the past can cause negative reactions to present circumstances. We look at the triggers causing you to overthink and other blocks to moving forward. And then create strategies to help quiet your busy mind and help you pay attention to or resolve what is.

 By the end of our time together, clients are able to recognize their specific triggers, notice when they’re about to jump off the deep end and use techniques to manage their thoughts. These technique helps in countless ways such as becoming more poised on the job, responding to tough, stressful situations in a more productive manner and knowing how to self-coach through these types of situations going forward.

So while overthinking attacks even the best of us (we're human right?),  being able to recognize when it shows up and knowing how to handle it before it leads to overwhelm is key.
 
 Any of this sounds like you?  If so, click HERE to schedule a conversation with me.

 

Posted on May 22, 2017 .

Are You Ready to Do The Work?

          

Hello, Hello!
I know you truly want to have a career and a life that you sincerely find joy in from the inside out.
We all desire to have happiness, have fun and do the things we tend to talk about more than we put into action.....and all of it's possible.  But, are you willing to take the time to put all of what you talk about doing into action?

In a society that promotes quick fixes, fast food, fast relief, and everything disposed right at your finger tips, it sometimes makes you wonder if you'll ever get to where you desire to be.  Or wonder if your hopes for the future is a fantasy because it's "taking too long" or it's not unfolding the way you thought it should. 

And while those "fast" things and experiences can be convenient, even feel good in the moment, they are temporary fixes and are not meant to give you long lasting satisfaction.  Those short term fixes only satisfy that immediate moment- that's it!  Then afterwards, you're on the search for something to fill the void or to"make you happy" again.

I know deep down inside you want more for your life, you want something sustainable.  You don't want tobury yourself in other things, people and habits to be "fake happy" but you want to live a real life, one that may be include some challenges, but in the midst of it, you can honestly say you have joy. You want togrow and exceed your own expectations. You no longer want to mask your pain, but face it head on and step by stepbecome the person you want to see. 

To have long lasting effects, it requires you to do the work!  I know in the beginning you're hype, and excited to get the ball rolling, however when challenges show up, or something doesn't work out the wayyou thought it should, or it seems like progress isn't happening fast enough, then the desire to move forward slows down, stops and most times ends right there. 

This is where we fall back into old habits to satisfy us in the moment.

To get long lasting effects it's time to approach things differently. It's time to get outside of your comfort zone to gain what you've always wanted! 

What areas of your life, business or career have you been covering up with quick fixes and short term resolutions?  Asking for help is not something us strong women are used to doing, but taking a step to have a conversation can provide clarity, insight and a renewed sense of where you need to be. 


I am available over the next two weeks to have a conversation to help you gain clarity, focus and to help you create long lasting, meaningful and sustainable strategies for your life.  Click HERE to schedule a conversation with me.

 

Posted on May 22, 2017 .

Sometimes Old Habits Die Hard.....

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“I’m a little anxious about how they’ll react, you know I’ve always given into their requests” she explained to me about a difficult conversation she needed to have with someone in her family.  You see several months ago, she struggled with saying "No"  and often found herself trying to please everyone- some family members, people at work and even tolerating so much in her relationships, that much of who she was, was buried deeply within.  She shared she knew things had to get better, but was unsure of how to break the cycle of always sacrificing herself to make others comfortable, at ease and happy.  

These days she’s extremely clear on her boundaries, with family, friends, work and relationships.  She understands her values and priorities in life and even though she’s improved with asserting herself and communicating her needs, she sometimes gets a little concerned about how this new version of herself will affect others.   

Although, she’s striving for better, there are those moments at each level of progression that tests her and self-doubt creeps in. 

We explored her concerns around communicating her needs which ended up revealing her fears of speaking with this person.  We gained some clarity around those fears and it turned out her inner critic was hard at work, saying things like “Well, who do you think you are?” and “Why do you want to change things now?”  These are just a few of the questions that shows up as you actively make changes within yourself and in areas of your life.  Your old self is used to doing things one way, so in making life changes, all kinds of questions and statements begin to swirl in your mind, bringing more self-doubt.  And believe me, it’s absolutely normal.  

 How do you successfully replace old habits when you’ve operated this way for so long? How do you begin operating in a new way, when there’s friends, family or a mate that doesn’t support you? How can you reinforce the new skills you’ve acquired to live and be better? 
 
Know Your WHY!!:  Ask yourself “Why is moving past this habit or problem so important?  What do I stand to gain from changing? And what do I stand to lose? Once you’re clear on your motivation for change and it’s deeper meaning for you, you can begin taking steps forward.  Your “why” can open the door to new and great possibilities for life. 
 
Know Your Triggers: Usually when we experience some type of emotion, (i.e. loneliness, sadness, overwhelm), it can send us reeling back to old ways of coping and to what’s comfortable. 
So, what situations or thoughts are causing you to think about going back to what’s comfortable, but not helping you move forward. Is it the thought of confronting a loved one and wondering about the outcome?  Is it after executing on a decision you know is right for you, but have trouble moving forward?  Is it putting pressure on yourself to be someone you’re not to appease others?  

Whatever it is, write down the situations, thoughts or people causing you stress.  Then write how you feel, behave or treat yourself after this.   Now take 1 minute and write down different ways to respond once you’re triggered.  It could be you will be kinder to yourself, you will call a friend, read, journal, get some rest…whatever you choose, it must be something positive that encourages your growth and to just BE present in the moment.
 
Connect with People For Support - This is something you’ll hear me say often, but connecting to people who are on the same path or further ahead on their journey is truthfully one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Find the people who will help reinforce the positive habits you're creating.  Being around those who inspire, motivate, encourage, and allow you to be you while you grow,  is key.

Interested in learning how I can help you with creating new habits so your real life can reflect your dreams, then let's have a conversation.  Click the link http://www.raphaelabrowne.com/book-session 

Posted on March 16, 2017 .

It's Time to Surrender

How has the first few weeks into January been for you?  I’ve been taking time to gear up for this year and looking forward to everything to come.  I hope these first few weeks of  2017 have been full of new ways of thinking, new opportunities and new energy.  But, if this hasn't been the case for you, I pray for a renewed mindset, peace and grace to carry you through.

So, I want to take a moment to connect with you about the word “surrender”.  Now, when you think of this word, what normally comes to mind?  I know for me surrender used to mean giving up, throwing in the towel, giving into the demands of others, relinquishing my power, being defeated, or backing down- and those were things I definitely didn’t want to do.

But what if I told you to surrender doesn’t have to mean those things, but to give into a greater power- surrender to peace, surrender to God, surrender the need of having a specific outcome—an outcome that things just has to go our way all the time.

But think about surrendering as having complete acceptance of what is and having faith to know that all is well or will be well, even without your control or input.

I want to leave you with this perspective on surrendering from
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Big Magic"  She provides a  real, relatable view of how surrendering may look in our lives. This is a bit lengthy, but take 5 minutes  and read the message below:

“Surrender is what happens when you come to the end of your power. Surrender is what happens when you have searched to the bottom of your soul and found out this truth — which is that you really can't do this thing anymore. Surrender is what happens when you don't have any more ideas for how to fix everything. Surrender is what happens when none of your survival strategies work anymore — and your playbook is out of pages. Surrender is what happens when you turn it all over to God. You release your grip on the thing. You stop white-knuckling it. You stop pretending things are great when things are actually horrible. You stop putting on a fake face, or glossing over the problem, or lying. You face the truth that you are not the most powerful force in the universe. You turn it over to fate. You exhale, and let go.

There is always grace in surrender. There is always truth in surrender. There is always a great deal of human dignity in surrender. And what happens next is often very beautiful. You crack open because you have stopped fighting and pretending, and once you do that...anything whatsoever can now occur. Sometimes your true fate can only find you after you have surrendered. Cracking yourself open in surrender...well, that’s where God can rush in. The universe can sometimes only work through you once you have surrendered.

Anyone who has ever walked into a therapist's office for the first time, or a psychiatrist's office, is in a moment of beautiful surrender. ("I have nothing left to offer this problem. I'm at the end of myself. I don't know what happens now. Help me.") Anyone who has ever knocked on the door of a women's emergency shelter in the middle of the night has surrendered. Anybody who ever inched back into a church after years spent away from worship, has surrendered...................... Anybody who has ever decided to cut off contact with somebody whom they love with all their heart — but that person is an addict, or violent, or a thief, or a liar, or abusive, or has turned hateful — is in a state of surrender.

Divorce courts are filled with people who have surrendered — people who have reached the end of their power. As dreadful and scary as divorce court was for me, I witnessed and experienced real grace unfolding there. I myself had to surrender to divorce court (and to the universe) and to completely let go of my power when I left my marriage. And although it was painful, there was certainly nothing lazy about it. I had reached the end of myself. I had no fresh ideas for how to make this relationship work. I was empty, and cracked open. I might as well have been in a temple, for how deeply I was changed by the experience of divorce court. What happened next was nothing less than the unfolding of an entirely new life.

I have quit on things, and I have surrendered on things...and there is a world of difference between them.

If you are quitting, you won't be happy about it later — I can promise you that. (And I'll give you a hint: If you have a track record of never finishing anything, or never sticking with anything or anybody, it's very likely that you have a habit of quitting. Maybe it's time to change that. If that is the case, I would suggest maybe staying with the problem a little longer — if only as a change of pace, and as a science experiment upon your own life. Might do you good to see something through for once.)

If you are surrendering, on the other hand, everything will be OK. (And I'll give you a hint: If you have a track record of seeing things through at all costs, and fighting to death to try to make impossible situations work — even if it ruins your life and causes you to have endless nervous breakdowns — then it's very likely that you are in the habit of martyrdom. Maybe it's time to change that. Maybe you need to learn how to let go. If that is the case, well, maybe it's time you gave surrender a try — again, just as a science experiment on your own life.)

And one way or another — whatever you decide — you will need to be generous and patient with yourself, as you puzzle through these difficult (but oh so important) decisions.”


Thanks as always for reading and feel free to share this with one person who may be struggling with surrendering !

Until next time........

 

Posted on January 24, 2017 .

Do You Have A Fear Of Success?

Do you have a fear of success?  Sounds weird, right?  But it happens to us, ladies, more often than we think. 

You finally get the promotion you’ve always wanted. Yes!  But then you start wondering if you’re able to do the job, or what will people think of you. Or maybe you’ve finally found love again and everything is going so well, but then you begin wondering if this is real and will it work out.  Your thoughts begin creating a laundry list of everything that has the potential to go wrong, sometimes talking yourself right out of your happiness into thinking you should’ve stayed where you were.  

Here are a few things NOT to do, so you can keep the momentum going with your success.

1. Self – Sabotage-  This is the “Unconscious Safety Net.”   So, you’re starting to nit-pick about little things, procrastinate or slowly revert into old habits.  It’s time to look at those behaviors, thoughts, and emotions you unknowingly keep reverting to.  Ask yourself these questions: What do I believe about this situation?  How is this belief helping me?   How will changing my response to this situation allow me to get what I truly desire?  Once you’re clear on the answers begin taking action, get out of old unproductive habits and do things differently.

2. Forgetting the Present Moment- It’s great to have a vision for your life and work towards that, at the same time it’s important not to miss the moments right in front of you!   Most times getting stuck comes from feeling like we should have the perfect plan, the perfect layout, and the perfect vision for the future before we take action.  But honestly, no one can predict the future - all you have is today.  Commit to the experiences you want to have in life and that will help you move forward on your goals. Let your vision be a guide, but not so rigid that you cannot flow with what’s in the present moment of today.

3. Thinking or Playing Small –There’s nothing wrong with thinking big.  At times we tend to restrict ourselves right into a box and before you know it we’re already operating as if we’re in a deficit. According to  Tripp Lanier,  Playing small usually means “we dismiss what we truly want in life to maintain a present-moment illusion of security, acceptance, or control.” In contrast, playing big means “we’re willing to experience short-term discomfort, risk, and uncertainty in the service of what we truly want — to feel alive, to experience greater love and connection with others, to feel a deep sense of peace, and to live with greater freedom.”

When you want to shrink in the face of fear consider asking yourself “How would my life change if I continued moving past this moment of fear?” Write your answer down and keep as a reminder.

So, no more playing small.  You’ve prayed for it, worked hard for it and its time to embrace what’s meant for you.  With less than 60 days left in 2016, let’s all agree to get out of our own way and open ourselves up to receive the love, peace, career, business, or clients we’re meant to receive.  No need to wait for the New Year to work on goals we can start today.

Feel free to leave your comments below and share how you'll embrace success going forward!

Also, as I shared in my last newsletter I guest blogged for two sites, Kind Over Matter and Tiny Buddha.   If you haven’t read these yet, take a moment to read them on the way to work (if you’re not driving), take 5 minutes to read during your lunch break or whenever!

Here are the links:

Kind Over Matter – Embracing New Challenges

Tiny Buddha – Never Be Ashamed of Your Scars

Until Next time,

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Posted on November 2, 2016 .

Don't Go It Alone

With all that has occurred in the past week, it was somewhat challenging for me to think about writing anything.  But  through prayer, meditation and writing is where I find solace and clarity.  During challenging times or if you feel drained it's so important to take a moment recharge. 

In light of the incidents from last week and even over the past few months, if you feel led to do something positive (prayer, find a group to begin having discussions about these topics, organize an event in your neighborhood, send a letter of encouragement to the families of the slain) then definitely do so.   We all have the power and ability to share love and light out into those places of darkness. 

In closing out the Designing a Life You Love series, let’s take a look at the importance of building or joining a community/group that provides additional support on your journey.  Yes, this journey is about you developing a life you love from the inside out, but when doing so link up with those who are doing the same.  It’s when we share our experiences and resources that we bring a richness and abundance to our journey.   It’s through this community or partnership that you find accountability, encouragement to stay the course, learn new ideas and gain resources.

While you may not be interested in getting support outside of family and friends, however yo may find it helpful to gain a fresh perspective and ideas for how to move forward.   Here are a few benefits of joining a group/community:

Feeling Less Isolated:  You’d be surprised how many people have gone through where you’ve been or are currently going through where you are right now.  And it’s through someone sharing that they understand, acknowledging that you’re not “crazy” and affirming that you have the right to make changes in your life, no matter what stage you’re in is when you begin to feel like some sort of change can occur.   Through this new found support is where you feel validated and empowered to begin building towards something new.  It’s through this community where you’ll feel less judged and it’s with this community where you’ll increase your confidence to stay the course to “grow” forward in your life.
 
Gain New Resources and Opportunities:   When you go it alone you’ll find some resources, but when you connect to a group you’ll gain a plethora of resources and opportunities.  Forging new relationships not only helps you grow in your walk but there is also an abundance of opportunities to come out of it, such as building new friendships, gaining new referrals, clients leads, partnerships for an event or business ventures. Also once you share your strengths someone will take notice and connect you to opportunities within other networks.
 
Move Goals Forward More Quickly and Effectively: When you have support you’re able to go further!  It gives you a boost in motivation and the ability to believe that all is possible.    When   the people around you are growing and excelling, you too will experience success.  In the African proverb that states “I am because we are”, it’s because I share and pass knowledge, experiences and resources onto you, that you grow and become better on your journey.   When that energy is constantly transferred along, a strong community of people who builds up one another will create a continuous cycle to help others move forward.

Leave a comment below and also, share this post with at least one person you know who could benefit from this information.
 


 
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Until next time....... Greatness Awaits!

Posted on July 10, 2016 .