Career, Change, Personal Transformation, Soul Purpose

Are these career myths holding you back?

frustrationOne of the many things that I am asked to cover in my well-being and stress management workshops, is how people can learn to stress less and enjoy life more.
There are many ways that this can happen and I focus a lot on mindfulness as one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Yet this will only take you so far, if you are in the wrong job, or the wrong career or some deep down wish to be doing something that differs greatly from your current reality.
If yes, then you are not alone. Being desperately unhappy at work is at epidemic proportions, with one in two of us feeling undervalued and underpaid.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Once you were full of ideas of how you could change the world. loved Monday mornings and got a buzz out of what you did. So what happened?
When I started working, my poorly educated, low-income parents had little expectations of what I could achieve. They wanted me to get a job, any job. Before too long I was job hopping from one poorly paid position to the next. In 10 years I had got three degrees, had held directorships in different companies and now work as an international transformation consultant, working with global companies.
I learnt how to transform my career, by making the same mistakes that everyone else makes, by learning how to turn them around to my advantage.  You see I realised that many of us are holding on to a myth about our career and what it is possible to achieve.

The top three  myths that might hold you back are:
Myth #1- Believing your sum total is defined by what my current employer pays you. So many of us believe what we get in terms of our current role is what we are worth. Well, here’s the thing. If you bring a unique antique to a car boot sale, you will only get the bargain hunter hawkers making a ridiculously low offer for your priceless piece. It’s the same with our career, unless we take our uniqueness to the right place where it is a good match, we are unlikely to find someone recognises our worth.
Myth #2 – The economy is not good out there, I have to take what I can get. The difficulty with this thinking is two-fold. The first is that the economy can never improve if we stop believing it can be better. The second is that unless we find some greater creativity, innovation and personal power to bring to our work, the economy can never get better. Your unique skills are part of the solution, not the problem, so don’t allow the economy’s current health
Myth #3 – There’s nothing special about me. There’s lots more people out there who are better qualified or experienced than I am. There may be lots of people out there, but none of them bring your uniqueness. We shy away from seeing ourselves as unique in our modern world, yet it is the only thing we can rely on for sure. That our voice, our view of the world, our experiences are unique to each and everyone of us. Employers, particularly good employers don’t want a collection of skills and experiences. They are looking for someone who can fit their culture, can bring ideas, and great team dynamics. They want someone who cares about what the company is trying to do and will go the extra mile to help them achieve it. Years of experience won’t guarantee that, but your passion, drive and enthusiasm will. So let your unique voice shine through.

So as you review your current position and how well this serves you, check in with your own beliefs and mindset. How does these three myths speak to you? Do you have roadblocks that are stopping you from finding the career you love?

If you would like to book a free career breakthrough coaching session, to find out the top three career challenges holding you back and the one thing you could do turn it around,  complete the form below and I’ll be delighted to talk to you further.

Acceptance, Change, Emotions, Grounding, Habits

How to choose and anchor your emotional state

Emotional resilience is not something we are all born with, but it is something we can develop with some simple habits and techniques.

Have you ever had a day when you have woken up feeling happy and vibrant only to find that it disappears after a few moments in the office? Or perhaps after a few moments talking to your mother on the phone?  Our emotions can feel like changeable things that are at the behest of others and our situation. But that is only a story we tell ourselves.  We often believe that our emotions are something that we have very little control over, yet when we consciously choose to be calm, happy and peaceful, we find that this will remain the case for as long as we make that our choice.

 

In this short video, I demonstrate a simple technique to enable you to anchor your emotional state.  It’s very quick and easy and allows you to have an immediate and quick way of reconnecting to your chosen emotional state, rather having one imposed on you by circumstances.

Give it a go and see what you think.

 

Acceptance, Change, Happiness, Personal Transformation, Resilience, Self-love

An intentional new year

For anyone who’s new year’s resolution has become a distant memory, perhaps the issue is more to do with where you started from than, rather than where you were aiming to get to.
We talk a lot about resolutions at this time of year, as if we have to fix something within ourselves; a judging voice inside us, telling us we are not good enough. Such a starting point is hardly motivational and its not surprising that we find that our resolutions dissolve before the new year has begun. A cycle of negative self-talk only compounds our sense of failure and gives us the impression that we cannot stick to anything and have no will power.
Resolutions come from a world of lack, they are borne from a view that we are unhappy with ourselves and that there is something implicit within us to be fixed. Our thinking, when we are resolving on an issue looks something like this:
I need to lose weight – I am fat and ugly (or worse unloveable)
I need to go to the Gym more – I am lazy and becoming a slob
I need to read more books – I am out of touch and becoming boring.
When we set resolutions like these, we start from a place where something is lacking in our essential make up and only by showing dissatisfaction with our current position can we move to a more satisfying one. The negative self-talk that drives these resolutions is hardly motivating, which is why we can run out of steam very quickly when we set them.
Setting intentions has a much higher chance of success. When we become intentional we focus on a motivating goal and put our energy into achieving it, without the negative self-talk that accompanies resolutions.
When we feel passionate and motivated to achieve something, we feel an endless flow of energy to support us, because passion is the very fuel of life. Intentions still drive us to make big changes, without the dragging and judging voice that is behind resolutions.
There is a general rule here that we can apply to any changes we wish to make in life: if we start any change by being more supportive and encouraging to ourselves, we can cope with setbacks and challenges we experience along the way in a constructive way and stay on course to achieve our goals.
So, if you are starting with a goal in your life that you want to achieve and you are struggling to do so, here are some things that might help you along a different path.

  • Start by thinking about what is really motivating you towards your goal. For example if it is about losing weight, what is the reason why your current weight and body shape needs to change.
  • Take some time to reflect and go inward and really listen to the reasons behind your need. As the thoughts start to take shape, notice if any of them are negative. If they are, just let them go and continue to allow a more constructive understanding of the need to emerge.
  • If you hear ‘I’m too fat.’ ‘Nobody will find me attractive looking like THIS’, notice the thoughts as they arise and rather than letting them take hold – just say inwardly notice it and then allow it to pass.
  • As you allow the negative thoughts to dissipate, stay in a quiet reflective mode until you hear more encouraging thoughts arise.
  • These might sound something like ‘My health is important and I want to support it.’ ‘I’ll be able to do more for myself/ my kids/ with my partner, if I am slimmer’. These are thoughts without judgement but with clarity and if you remain inwards you will notice a lighter feeling in your heart and perhaps a little buzz of excitement as a level of motivation comes behind the thoughts.
  • Go with it. This is the path to intention. And if you develop it in yourself and believe in it, you will succeed.
  • When you are clear about your intentions, write them down in a journal. When we write down our intent, it has a powerful multiplying affect in our mind, allowing us to feel the reality of a goal, through the process of articulating it and recording it. It will also be a line in the sand that you can use to review your progress.

So if you need to re-visit your fading new year resolutions, do it today, but in a more mindful and intentional way. Try out the approach above and do let me know how you get on by leaving some comments below or emailing me on mary@findyourjoyfullife.com.
If you want more ways to become intentional, you can find more details in ‘Coming Home to You’ A handbook for personal transformation, available on Amazon.com.

Take the free 7 day email course below to enjoy a daily guide to make positive changes in your life.

Acceptance, Change, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Resilience

Irish Times Women’s Podcast – Book Interview

Quote of connecting to our subconscious from meI was recently interviewed by Jennifer Ryan of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast.  In the interview we cover a range of topics including the nature of resilience, the power of writing down our thoughts, why perfectionism get’s in the way of us learning and how to develop a daily mindfulness habit.

To find out more listen here:

Acceptance, Change, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-love

Using compassion to deal with bullies – the Four S Approach

I was asked by Kindred Spirit magazine to outline how we can use compassion to deal with bullying.  I have learned from a lifetime of dealing with bullying, first as the victim and then as the strong advocate of anti-bullying workplace cultures, is that the bully is as much imprisoned by their own actions as their victims.

Bullies are always wracked with uncertainty and anxiety, which is often what drives their behaviour. They have very little belief in themselves, which is why they can show very little belief in anyone else. By understanding that you are dealing with a deeply insecure individual, it can help you to feel more secure in your own ability. Sticking to what you are good at and not giving ground, you can show that you have the skills and confidence to deal with a situation which will ultimately minimise the impact of the habitual bully.

The other thing to remember is the power of your own thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality, and if you allow these thoughts to be created, shaped or controlled by the bully, you will certainly find yourself playing the victim very quickly. Keeping strong positive thoughts in your mind, especially during a bullying incident is highly effective in minimising its impact.

If you are the victim of a bullying in your home or work life it can be very undermining and make you feel isolated and unhappy. Using compassion to tackle bullying does not mean being weak, in fact it means the very opposite. We need to connect to a stronger sense of our love and compassion for everyone, even the bully, in order to transcend their effects on our well-being.

One of the most undermining things that a bully can do is to infect us with their own lack of belief. Every time you start questioning ‘Is it me?’, stop that thought in its tracks and hold on to a mental picture of all the times you have handled the situation perfectly well before the bully came into your life (or when you were outside of their influence).

The only way that a bully can belittle us is when we start to accept their view of the world, with all its projected anxieties. If you have a sustained and long-term bullying situation, start to use your own mindfulness practices with strong affirmations of your own ability to minimize any caustic effects they may be having. The ultimate act of compassion is towards yourself, and if you know that the situation is not going to change, then seriously think of removing yourself from it.

Try the Four S’s to bring more compassion to a bullying situation:

  • Show concern. Even after an aggressive outburst by the bully, show concern for their well-being. Share your observations that they seem upset, angry, tired or unhappy. Ask them if they want to talk and offer them some time if this feels right.   If they continue to behave inappropriately, tell them you are there for them when they are ready to calm down and then gently extract yourself from the situation.
  • Smile. This one simple act has an immediate effect on our own sense of well-being and a positive impact on our relationships. For the bully that seeks to belittle or undermine, the smile can be very disarming.
  • Speak up. Bully’s get away with their behaviour precisely because people are afraid to speak up; yet you take away their power by doing exactly that. If you cannot address the bully directly, then start by talking to someone you trust. Many organisations have a welfare line to report the incident, or talk to your local HR who often have policies that will help to address the situation. Or if its at home, start to share your issues with a trusted friend.
  • Say thank you. Although this sounds like the very last thing you should do, saying thank you for the person’s feedback and telling them you will bear it in mind, gives the bully and their bluster very few places to go. It’s hard to keep going on at someone who appears to have agreed with you. You have done no such thing of course, for you have only thanked them for the feedback, not agreed with their comments, but you have used gratitude to stop them in their tracks.

Remember that everything we experience in life brings important life lessons our way. When we explore more mindfully what we might be learning through this situation, it can help us to navigate and overcome the effects of bullying.

 

Change, Coming Home to You, Mindfulness, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-love

How to be resilient, when thing go wrong. Recent Feature in Irish Times

Resilience is the art of bouncing back when setbacks or challenges come our way. There will be many times in our life when we are beset by failures, painful situations or conflicting priorities and these can really undermine our self-confidence and belief. Yet resilience is like a muscle that we need to build and test over time so that we can become more and more honed in life’s forge, like a master blacksmith will temper a great sword, so that we can arise stronger each time.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of hardship it is hard to see any silver lining, yet if we persistently focus on the negative and reinforce our undermining self-talk, we are likely to find our self-confidence dwindling before our eyes.

But with practice, we can build our resilience and learn to take life’s knock backs in our stride.

There are four steps we can take to build our resistance:

The building blocks to resilience

Having a healthy belief in ourselves
This is the cornerstone to building resilience. We cannot achieve anything if we do not believe in who we are and what we stand for.

Staying connected to the present moment
Resilience comes from understanding that the only moment that is real is the present moment. By connecting to this through our breathing and through our awareness that all moments will pass, including the present one, we can learn to release difficult and painful experiences more easily.

Learn to take criticism well
Nobody likes being told that their idea is rubbish or their plan is unrealistic and if we are caught up in the excitement of our own ideas we tend to shy away from getting any realistic feedback. Yet criticism, when offered constructively, can help us to avoid pitfalls and failures which come down to our own lack of experience.

Be realistic
Learn to be more self-accepting and more gentle with your inner thoughts. A harsh inner critic is hardly motivating if you are trying to pick up the pieces and move on. Self-love will be a much kinder way to move forward.

If you want to start building your resilience today, start by connecting to what really excites you in life and build your ideas around something that matters to you. Your own belief and passion will take you further and help you to cope with setbacks better than anything else.

 

Read the full article HERE

Acceptance, Change, Personal Development, Personal Power, Self-love, Women in business, Women in Leadership

I was asked recently: If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be? – this is how I responded

I have been very busy with various publicity interviews and articles as interest for my first book, ‘Coming Home to You‘ grows.  In one interview, I was asked: If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

Here is what I said:  I think it would be about increasing their belief in themselves. There are many successful and inspirational women leaders in business, but they are very much in the minority for the business world in general. What I see more than anything in women is a lack of belief in themselves and their abilities, often times when their skills far outweigh that of a male colleague who they watch climb the career ladder.

Success starts on the inside, and if capable and talented women believed in themselves more I believe we would start to see some shifts in the workplace gender balance.

 

If you want to see the full article, read more HERE

Book Writing, Change, Featured, Happiness, Personal Transformation, Resilience

Radio Interview with TippFM

TIPP FM logoToday I was invited onto the Fran Curry show at TippFM, a local radio station in Tipperary, Ireland.

Our conversation covers many things including the process of coming out to my parents thirty years ago, how to turn our troubles into tribulations and how to manage the nagging voice in our head.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

Book Writing, Change, Coming Home to You, Featured, Personal Transformation

Coming Home to You featured in Irish Press

Mary in tree 3 (3)More books are sold between September and December, than at other time of the year. Precisely because of this, I have started the publicity campaign for Coming Home to You.  I’ll feature press clippings and radio interviews here over the next few weeks.

 

Today the Irish Press interviewed me for a feature article on how Coming Home to You can transform lives.  Read more HERE

 

I hope you enjoy it.  More to follow.

Change, Emotions, Featured, Gratitude, Happiness, Meaningful Work, Personal Transformation

Finding happiness at work

happiness

Our jobs are such a big part of our life and when we are not happy at work, it can colour every aspect of our lives. Work defines a large part of our life, precisely because we spend so much of our time there. Yet, when we look around, we find many people are very dissatisfied with their work; feeling trapped and unable to see beyond their current circumstances.
Happiness and Work are rarely used in the same sentence. In fact, our level of dissatisfaction with work is widespread. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) over 25% of us are unhappy at work. One in four of the working population really wish they were somewhere else.
We can however turn what appears to be a negative into a positive. We can learn to enjoy work, leave the pressure of it at the office and then come home ready to fully engage in family life.
To do this, we need to embrace the habit of happiness. Far from being an emotion that is dependent on our external circumstances, happiness is a choice, a state of mind and an inner practice. True happiness always comes from ourselves, rather than from our environment. We have the power and the ability to bring happiness into our life not only every day, but in every moment, through the simple practice of welcoming it in.
My own journey to happiness was a long and arduous one. I grew up in a very unhappy household, became a rebellious teenager, leaving school without any qualifications and started to drink heavily. In my younger days, I associated happiness with external circumstances, such as being out with my friends, having money to buy things I thought I wanted or being praised by others for my actions or abilities. The difficulty with this kind of conditional happiness is that it is completely out of our control; we have no real say in when or how it happens. When we observe the animal or natural world in its natural surroundings, we do not see the same need for approval from its own kind. A tree strives to be the best version of itself it can be; it does not look at the other trees and make comparisons that turn into a negative self-image. The same is also true in the animal kingdom.

 

Making a choice about happiness
For happiness to be part of our lives, we must first make a choice about it. Do we for example, want to be happy? How would we recognise our own happiness? What in ourselves helps to maintain this happiness? By looking more deeply within for the source and opportunities for happiness we start to reverse perhaps a lifelong trend of looking outwards for its source.
Once we have gained some insights into our inner source of happiness we can then look to how we can change our habits and behaviours to make room for happiness in our life. If we know that we enjoy sports, getting creative or have a passion for writing, we can start to set some time aside to follow these passions.

Finding Happiness at Work
One of the traps many people fall into about their work and their satisfaction with it, is to assign conditions which, when met will bring them happiness. They say; “If only: my boss/colleagues would leave; I’d get promoted; I could have a pay rise…” In the long run however, these conditions fail to satisfy. They are transitory victories, which are swept aside as soon as a new cause for unhappiness settles in. Happiness, real happiness, has little to do with external factors. It is an inner space and place, which has a constant smile and self-assuredness. Once we arrive at this place, which requires no external conditions, we can find happiness in the most unlikely workplaces.
Our life purpose will be found somewhere in the simple act of giving and contributing. What we give will depend on our talents and gifts, but all of us have something to offer. Work is one of the places outside of the family where we can share our gift. If we arrive at our work happy, kind, considerate and compassionate, we make our day and everyone else’s enjoyable; we contribute. We don’t look around and feel resentful if someone else has a more favourable relationship with the boss, or compare our salaries, or workloads. We simply smile and look at how we can do the best job possible or how we can help our colleagues with their work.
Look at ways you can bring your talents into your work life. If your talent is numbers, offer to support the accounts department, or perhaps build up meaningful reports on performance and data, which will help your team to work better. If it’s music, but your day job is in elsewhere, perhaps start a community choir, which can raise money for good causes and give other colleagues an outlet for their creative talents.

Start your happiness habit today

Some simple practices that will welcome happiness into your life include:

  • Smile. This one simple act has an immediate effect on our own sense of well-being and a positive impact on our relationships. Practice your smile today and make it a regular habit throughout your day.
  • Start a gratitude Journal. On a daily basis, write down all the things that you are grateful for in your life. Your health, your family, your work, having money to pay bills, your food. The list is endless. Taking time to acknowledge all the things that make your life better is a great shortcut to happiness.
  • Get close to nature. Our natural world is one of the best antidotes for depression or unhappiness. Use your lunchtimes to walk in a park, or at weekends take a walk in a forest, near a lake or by the sea if its close by. When we spend time with nature, we can put our life and our worries into perspective when we look at the greater majesty of life which abounds all around us.

Mary McGuire holds an MBA and MSc in Human Resources. Her early career as a social worker, led on to becoming a Chief Executive of a charity for people with Autism. For the last 20 years she has worked as an international business consultant, working with companies and leaders all over the world. More recently she has trained in Energy and Shamanic healing at Omega Institute in New York, and offers Healing clinics in Donegal, as well as international coaching and speaking engagements. Her first book ‘Coming Home to You’ is available on www.findyourjoyfullife.com and on Amazon. Email Mary@findyourjoyfullife.com