challenge

Why You Should Always Challenge Yourself

challenges-ahead

When was the last time your identity was pushed to its limits? When did you last overcome an intimidating challenge?

How you deal with and overcome challenges is a skill you develop. If you're pretty good at it, chances are you've come across many challenges in your life. You've probably developed your skill well enough to withstand an array of pressures that life can throw at you.

One thing I advise people who pursue their own success, is to avoid complacency. The world and how it operates continues to evolve and change and our nature is to adapt to these changes. If you’re not nurturing your ability to overcome challenges, the more difficult it’ll be to adapt, more so when challenges are unavoidably presented.

As you become adapted to a life you've built, you may have learnt to avoid challenges as you nestle into comfort and ease. If you’re settled into routine and are comfortable in the everyday motions of life, it’s important to set yourself and see through goals/challenges regularly. They help you to strengthen your mindset, thus allowing you to tap into your identity; the stronger your will, the more confident and determined you’ll be to succeed in the passions YOU want to pursue.

Challenges present several learning opportunities that teach you more about yourself than you once thought. Challenges are a constant reminder, proof even, that personal potential is truly uncapped. If you're constantly nurturing this mindset, you build up a tolerance against negative infiltrations like procrastination, doubt, insecurity and anything else that keeps you from reaching your self-actualized state.

Your mind as well as your body can be pushed to surprising limits and in order for you to continue your journey towards self-actualization, you should seek to challenge yourself whenever an opportunity arises.  You should always keep your mind and your body engaged in a constant state of improvement and progression.

Regularly engaging in challenges also helps you build up a tolerance of what you can handle at any given time. Remember, the more success you accumulate in your life, the more challenges you’ll come across to maintain and grow it.

Always continue to push yourself further today, so that you’ll sail through the challenges of tomorrow.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

10 Ways To Participate In A Good Discussion

Discuss 1. Listen and pay attention

You'll be surprised how easily you can engage in a decent discussion if you actually listen to the other person. I've seen countless people argue about a topic without realizing that they are both on the same side of the debate, rather than listen to what the other is saying their main goal is to simply get their own point across. You can learn and understand much about a person if you simply listen to their point of view, you'll understand where they are coming from and you'll better communicate your point.

2. Never argue empty opinions

Opinions are empty unless you can back it up with fact, either firsthand experience and/or through secondary research. It's easy to be dismissed if you have an opinion that cannot be followed up with a solid reason why you have it.

3. Establish the difference between opinion and belief

An opinion is easier to change over a belief. A Persons belief system is a very big part of who they are, it's a part of their identity, which is why listening to people and understanding them is very important. If someone truly believes something that you strongly disagree with, have them focus on why they may be right rather than why you may be wrong, you'll gain more understanding from their perspective.

4. Keep an open mind

People are more willing to share and are able to discuss more openly if they feel they are speaking to someone they may be able to influence. Never go in with a "know it all" attitude, not everyone is right not everyone is wrong...same goes for you. Try and stay unbiased and avoid dismissing someone's point until you have fully understood it.

5. Never judge

Everyone's journey is very different, if you truly want to engage in an honest discussion than don't let the other person feel judged. The more one feels judged the less they will share, insecurities and doubts will rise to the surface and you will only engage in a dead-end discussion resulting in a negative outcome.

6. Be patient, respond only when you have received all the information

Don't cut somebody off midpoint and only respond if you feel you have received enough information, otherwise get the person to explain further. It enables you to construct a better response and find out how prepared and knowledgeable the other person is on a subject.

7. Never be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand

I feel this is a true trait of an intelligent mind; never being afraid to ask a question. After all, it's why we have so many answers today, if you don't understand, ask! It shows that you're interested and that you want to understand.

8. Be honest

Honesty is difficult, especially if your opinion or belief has been challenged and you begin to see the opposite point of view clearer than your own, I believe it was his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama that said "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change." Trust me it's much better going through life with the right answers than living with the wrong beliefs.

When someone opens my eyes to something I never believed, I'll always  admit they're point is valid and then delve into research to prove it for myself. This way you can form a constructive belief rather than taking someone's word for it.

9. Keep the same tone and tempo...be the king of calm

Discussions can easily turn into heated debates, maintaining control is key to a good discussion no matter how different the opinion. I find when discussions elevate to certain levels, responses are motivated by emotion over fact and understanding. Both parties should walk away more informed rather than frustration and stressed.

10. End on a positive note

We are all different and we all have different motivations, there is no need to let someone feel belittled or defeated if both parties cannot come to a mutual understanding. The way I see it, you can respect the other person for standing by what they believe in, you'll have that to agree on if nothing else!

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Things Every Relationship Should Have

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8inJtTG_DuU I often get asked why I post about relationships on this blog; it's because relationships are a huge part of an individual's success. People can hold each other back and people can propel  each other  forward. If I can provide my input to help others achieve the latter, then I believe this post fits right in.

Take what you will from the following list, but my entire relationship history has taught me to look out for the following 5 components.

1. Vulnerability. You need to be 100% yourself and honest around each other, be vulnerable enough to bare each other's soul and share each other's spirit. Being vulnerable is also being honest, which makes room for trust and to be easily read and to be easily understood. It keeps the relationship raw.

2. Identity. There's nothing worse than getting into a relationship when you haven't figured out who you are yet. Make it a mission to stay individual and embrace each other's individuality. Strong identities in a relationship make it apparent when the other is not around. Make it easy to miss each other.

3. Support. Be each other's biggest fan and support each other's dreams. Ignite each other's passions and beliefs and make it a passion of yours to watch the other become whole. Understand that you both began your own journey and rather than getting in the way of someone's path, offer the support to help finish it.

4. Encouragement. Encourage each other  to become the best version of yourselves, rather than a version of a person that isn't true.  To offer the encouragement to live life to the fullest and actually want to push each other to succeed towards individual goals and help each other overcome any crumb of doubt.

5. Challenge. Challenge each other, nothing turns loyal lovers to promiscuity more than the lack of a challenge. Challenge is at number five for a reason, if 1 to 4 are satisfied then challenging each other becomes second nature. It'll encourage you to always keep the relationship fresh, to consistently remind, to prove and to embrace the reason the two of you stuck together.

If you review the list you'll notice it's actually really simple.

VanCity

Music: The Paper Kites - Bloom

Live Your Dream: If You Have Time To Think, You Have Time To Act.

Clapper If I had the power, I would remove the need to require sleep, because just before bed my mind is always racing from all the ideas that I want to plan and put into action. I want to start researching and gathering information to make all my ideas a reality. If it weren’t for knowing that I have to sleep, I’d probably be up every single night taking action, making plans and igniting powerful energy towards a promising outcome. Nevertheless, I keep a pen and paper handy or my trusty Smartphone to jot down every idea that comes to mind, just so that my thoughts won’t run into a web of randomness and unorganized nonsense and so that I can get some much-needed shut-eye and look into my notes as soon as possible.

I overheard a conversation the other day, it was a couple of guys talking about a small business idea they had. It was just a simple idea that if researched enough, it could have proved successful for them. Here’s the thing, although spending all this time during their coffee break discussing an idea, they never spent one moment to act upon it. In that very short space of time they could have researched so much about their idea and they could have answered many of the questions they had. They could have looked into the feasibility of making their dream a reality; all it would have taken was a couple of Google searches to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, like many others out there, they decided to pay for their coffee and return to work and ended off their conversation “if only we had the money” and walked away feeling intimidated by the very thought of making things happen.

I’m calling bullshit on this excuse. If they had 30 minutes to talk about an idea, dreaming up the potential lifestyles they could be living, they could have spent a good chunk of that 30 minutes looking into viable options towards making their dream a reality. Always remember, small actions that you take today can impact heavily on your future. If I had never opened up my laptop and wrote my first blog post, I wouldn’t be working on my book today. My excuse was always “I don’t have the time and I don’t know how to write.” Look at me now, I’m definitely a better writer now than I was then and now I can officially say to people “I’m a blogger!” I always anticipated that I’d be in this position today but never really expected it to happen and it all started out by taking small actions.

Many people forget that the most successful people they admire started off by taking small actions towards their dreams. Evidence can be found in the story behind any person you consider successful. Sir Allen Sugar started out selling products from the back of a van, Mark Zuckerberg started coding in his spare time, heck, even Beyoncé started out by singing in her back garden - look at where they are now and when the day comes to tell my story: I’ll say I started writing to kill time on a graveyard shift.

The examples are endless but the key to living any dream is to take action. Small steps towards success can lead to giant leaps towards your dreams. If you have the time to think about it you have the time to act on it! Remember, a vital component towards achieving anything in life is taking the steps to make things happen.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Live Your Dream: Invest Your Time Wisely

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Make a Splash! Remember when we were kids and we used to aimlessly jump into puddles, I remember I used to go out my way to find these shallow patches of water to make the biggest splash that I could. I’d get so carried away until I had completely drenched my socks misjudging the depth, but I didn’t care. I remember it being so thrilling because I was doing what I wanted to do, regardless of being told otherwise and each time it felt like some sort of accomplishment. Recently this random thought had stuck with me for a while and I noticed how differently many of us live our lives today. How many of us can honestly say we seek that thrill and want to make that impact? Don’t get me wrong I understand that we have responsibilities now and commitments that we never had before, but surely there’s still enough time to jump into a puddle now and then; investing time into shaping the life we want to lead will positively impact on our lives.

Do we invest enough time towards building the life we want to live and the way we want to live it? We continue to follow the same routine daily only to realize how much time we could have spent investing into our true goals. Things had recently settled down for me and I began to feel incredibly uncomfortable; surely working everyday and paying bills on time every month isn't what people have evolved to. I know there is so much more I want from life because there's so much more that life has to offer. I’m at a point now where I've met a lot of goals and now I’m ready to aim higher. I’m ready to jump into even bigger puddles.

I find it absolutely frustrating when I come across people who are willing to invest more time deciding on what type of partner they want before carving out an identity of their own. I find it disheartening when I see parents spend more time in a furniture store deciding on which coffee table to purchase rather than nurturing the minds of their offspring. I also find it bizarre how people can tell me more about other individuals, but can hardly piece two sentences together about themselves. At what point did this change, we start lives off so care-free and so individual to only have our identities consumed by the routines we follow. Somehow we decide to be a little more careful and take fewer risks; we find more time for the most insignificant decisions over investing time in shaping our own lives because we’re either afraid of failure or just learn that we simply can’t.

I turn to the people I admire today and am in awe of what they have achieved because it all started with a risk. Looking into a bold move and diving into a new challenge, they never allow themselves to become complacent and always aim higher. Never feeling they've hit their peak and investing their time wisely by seeking opportunity and focusing on goals by drowning out the pollution around them. My sister is probably one of the strongest willed people I know; a description of hell would probably sound like a vacation compared to the ups and downs she has faced in life, but nothing has stopped her from aiming higher to prove to herself, not to anybody else, that she can create a life that she is truly satisfied with.

Had a random conversation about the universe today and the topic lead to how minute our lives are in comparison to time and space, I thought to myself, f*** that! That notion doesn't work for me, I may be only one out of about 7 billion people on this planet but I’m going to make pretty damn sure that this “one” makes an impact on himself and actually lives. There’s already too many irritated souls filling this planet with doubt and negativity not realizing that the benefits of today came from the ones who made a big splash yesterday.  I’m not saying I want my name to go down in the history books and I don't adopt this mind-set purely for others to know who I am and what I’m about. I simply know what I can achieve for myself. Prove to myself that this life is worth more than a routine. Life shouldn't be wasted walking around puddles taking the safer route, just jump right in and make that splash!

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Insecurities Develop When Used To Mask Doubts in Relationships

Image When a discussion topic turns to relationships, the term insecurities get thrown into conversations all the time. Many people I've spoken to tend to say that their insecurities are affecting their relationships. However during the course of discussion, the case is that people will use the term as an excuse to simply mask and avoid doubts and concerns - ultimately blaming themselves for an entire problem that they may never have caused. For example, if someone is concerned that they are not getting the attention they deserve from their partner, compared to at the beginning of the relationship; many people justify that as an outcome of one’s insecurities getting in the way, rather than investigating where the doubt stems from first. Unfortunately when left unresolved, these doubts begin to develop into actual insecurities that carry over into other relationships.

First of all, here’s what I know about feeling insecure: People rarely reveal their insecurities, if someone is truly insecure about something; they do everything to avoid highlighting it. Feelings of insecurity are internal, insecurities will affect one’s own behavior, personality and self-confidence and it’s a huge self-esteem knocker. Feeling insecure is psychological and often stems from trauma and not from unfortunate situations.

In relationships when things begin to go south we always try to find a way to reason them. We want to understand why a certain situation is occurring. However, what I have found from many people is that they use their insecurities as a reason, almost like a defense mechanism, to avoid understanding the actual root of their genuine feelings. Also, people don’t like to feel their making the same mistake twice, so when they feel that something iffy is recurring, they confuse their emotions and reason with insecurity. It’s easier to admit fault with our insecurities as they are difficult to overcome, than to face up and deal with a relationship that could be on the rocks or even failing. It’s taking the easy way out.

To define those points which trigger feelings of insecurity is to look at the doubts you have, which in most cases means to track changes in behavior, either of your own or your partners. If you’re still the same person in the relationship as you were when you began it, then most likely it’s not insecurities that are making you feel uneasy, listen to your instinct instead. If you had insecurities in your past which you felt were resolved but now feel have been triggered, then you need to define the moment things changed and resolve it, before you begin blaming yourself. If you feel you've never had insecurities in the beginning and now they've developed, then you need to define the moment they began; In many circumstances you will notice that it’s caused from a change of behavior in the other person within the relationship. When we can pinpoint changes, we can then begin to unveil the true reason.

Consider doubts your warning signs, your mind and body will try to tell you if you’re beginning to feel symptoms of insecurity. If you notice yourself becoming more introverted, avoiding discussion and shunning away from the topic of relationships – these are signs of feeling insecure in your relationship, which then can be identified as causing the problems. If you’re openly talking about your relationship and trying to engage in discussion to resolve issues - these are your doubts. Feeling truly insecure in a relationship is very damaging, you open yourself to be controlled, manipulated and your identity can slowly get consumed. Justifying doubts as insecurities can lead feeling like every relationship you enter will ultimately fail because of your “insecurities” and you end up jumping over hurdles and compromises that can cause emotional harm.

Here’s some advice, if your partner isn't helping you feel more secure and comfortable, then clearly the relationship lacks a lot of the basics that make being in a relationship worthwhile. People forget the purpose of having another person in our lives - we need to feel empowered and encouraged by the people we keep close to us, to be surrounded with positivity and comfort and to offer this in return. Either way, you need to feel secure.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Be Successful: Nurture Your Goals

Having traveled back to the UK for the first time after a couple of years, I never felt more motivated to really nurture the goals I had set myself. I sat at my old desk, the very same desk I sat at to research and plan my way out of frustration and the mind-numbing life I had been living. I had a flashback to when I booked my first ticket out of the UK and it woke me up to realize how far I had really come. I also came to understand the potential of how much further I can go if I continued to nurture my goals. Even when there was that small crumb of doubt that things wouldn't quite work out the way I wanted, my focused attention helped brush it off.

I met with old friends and past colleagues and many of them had set goals for themselves but had failed to reach them. They had set goals, but that was the easy part. Goals are the final result you want, you need to nurture a goal to make things happen. When I set a goal I look at hundreds of options before discovering how to do it, working on a goal regularly allows me to achieve it.

Research: probably the most important part of any goal set. Researching every aspect of your goal will start you off in the right direction. Research gives you options; it gives you ideas and will eventually open the door to a new opportunity. It may close the door on some ideas you thought would have worked, but upon further investigation you may realize that it isn't what you want. Research allows you fine tune your goals and allows your objectives to fall into place.

Act Now or Never: the time to start is now, that doesn't mean your end goal will be achieved right now, It means taking the first step: booking the ticket, starting the course, viewing the house...whatever the goal is you have many actions you can take right now that relate directly to it. If you don’t act now you delay the life you want to live. People often need reminding that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and determination to get there and it won’t be easy! But the more you throw yourself into the world if your goal the easier it’ll get.

Adopt the right attitude: the biggest threat to you is yourself. Only you determine your failures and successes, I know this from firsthand experience. A lot of failures come from a weak state of mind, allowing yourself to follow the shadow of someone else’s success, allowing the first hurdle overwhelm your ambition and the fear of loss are common traits that can infiltrate an opportunists mind. One thing I can tell you is, no matter what level of success you achieve, hurdles are always going to be in your path, challenges will become more often than you think, but the thing that will distinguish those who succeed and will continue to do so, over those who won’t, are how challenges are met. Welcome them.

Repeat: as you progress to success remember to always go back to research and consider following through this advice over and over again. Each time set your sights higher and continue to build on your success, don’t get complacent. You can’t just stop at one achievement! I see my successes as stepping-stones, one just leads to the other. Your knowledge and understanding will develop, you’ll notice that you will want more and crave more. You’ll figure out a formula that works for you and before you know your life can surpass your dreams as you set more ambitious goals.

Wanting success is like a drug, I understand why many people say that once you've had a small taste you’ll want more and more. Its hunger, my drive and passion is practically linked to a physiological response because it’s just as important to me as eating. We only have this life right now and if we don’t live it we won’t have lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Avoid Silencing Your Instinct

Funny things are friends; they can inspire you at the most random moments. I randomly called a friend of mine, as she was rushing home from work. She asks if I would hold for a couple of minutes. I could hear the anticipation in her voice of needing to get off the phone. She returns my call 5 minutes later and the first thing she says is “...amazing, I can take on the world after taking a piss!” after laughing hilariously at what she’d said, I was compelled by her statement. The point she was making was that she cannot start a conversation with me until she could really sit down and pay attention. If I asked for advice she wouldn’t want to steer me wrong as her mind was completely off focus. I could be wrong, but I see relevance to the following; have you ever been so inspired that you’re bursting with so much excitement that you feel the need to begin embarking on a challenge without weighing any outcome? Your emotions are running high all you want to do is just get involved and before you've realized, something’s taken a wrong turn because you made a haste decision? Sometimes we forget the importance of grounding ourselves and taking the time to really think. We sometimes silence our instinct as we get overrun by ambition. It’s a thin line but it’s always good to be aware of it.

I know when I feel the spark, I let the ideas ignite and then expect fireworks without giving it a second thought. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to just take a breather, get comfortable and think a little clearer...it can have invaluable impact and can save you a lot of headache in the long run. Happy New Year!

VanCity