focus

How to Channel a Negative Experience into Productivity

Shell

I feel I’ve worked very hard over the last few years to build a life free from as many negative stresses as possible. Yet, as hard as I work to avoid it, sometimes life just throws a negative force my way and I get affected.

I wish I could tell you that I have a solution. A way to avoid bad experiences completely, but I have yet to come across one. Life just has a funny way of f*cking things up now and again, but its OK, because I’ve learned that I can build strength from moments that attempt to break my spirit.

When I’m knocked down, what I learn as I get back up makes me stronger. The lasting impact reduces as I increase my tolerance and patience to work through any negative experience life decides to put me through.

The future is promising and my present is shaping up nicely. I’m experiencing the life I have built for myself and for the first time, I'd become unconcerned with interruption.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of good vibes: from networking and connecting with new people, through to celebrating milestones and successes. However, getting caught up in all this current bliss, I overlooked any potential disruptions that would affect this positive flow of energy. I was productive, I was social and I was grounded.

I won’t go into detail, but an echo of disappointment and mistrust knocked me sideways as my identity was threatened. Everything I had work so hard for felt like it was unravelling because of this one, unrelated negative experience. It was so unexpected that disruptive thoughts consumed my consciousness, I was struggling to focus as I tried to regain a positive mental state.

I guess it’s what a lot of us do in situations that impact us negatively, I tried to overcome without processing and I tried to rebuild without reflection. There was bit of a journey between where my mind had ended up to where my mind needed to return, and I had to drive down a highway of reflection to get there. Full of wide turns and varying speed limits, the journey felt long but I found myself finding more peace as I passed each landmark I recognized.

I realized that this is one small, although significant, negative experience was not the energy I needed to nurture. Why dwell on it when I don’t want it? I don’t need it and by investing into it I’m only giving it more power over my life. It’s one of those situations that cannot be reversed, so I have two choices. I can choose to either let it affect all that I have worked on and worked for, or realize my aspirations and utilize this experience towards something productive.

I always forget that negativity is an uncomfortable loud scream over positivity, which is a gentle comforting whisper. Understanding this is how I learned to channel negativity. There are countless ways for me to be productive and do something that benefits me and my life. I just needed to do something to raise those little whispers, something that reminds me of my identity; doing something that reminds me of myself, to remind me of what I want.

I like to write, I like to blog and I like to be alone when I process my thoughts. So I opened up my laptop, poured myself a beer and wrote. Not really trying to think of what to write, I just allowed my mind to focus on whatever it wanted to focus on. Clearly the negative experience was still on my mind so that’s what I wrote about. The more I wrote the more I reminded myself of how much I love this! How much I love just doing what I do and how I want to make this a part of my living. This is what I want and I want more of it.

The more I engaged my passions the balance began shifting back in my favour; the more I was engaging in something that made me feel like me again, reminded me of my potential and my goals. I synchronized my energy into a flow state of productivity and before I realized it, I had this blog post written up, four more ideas drafted and organized my schedule for the week ahead. I overcome a negative experience and rediscovered my bliss by utilizing  things that make up my identity.

Like me, you too can turn your negative experience into something productive.

Whatever bad experience you come across in life, you can get through it. Life will continue to affect you again and again, but as long as you consistently engage in the things that make life worth living, then it won’t be too long before you return to your purpose and focus.

Just keep in mind, you must do whatever it takes to engage those comforting whispers in order to distance yourself from any annoying screams.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Moving from One Goal to the Next: Relinquishing Doubt

Goals

There’s a lot of material out there that talks about setting goals and aiming high, even my blog carries this re-occurring theme. This time, I wanted to write to those that are on the verge of hitting a goal, as I am on the verge of accomplishing one of mine.

Like many goal oriented people, we become solely focused on accomplishing the task at hand and just like the time that seems to escape us, our emotions do too.

I’m close to finishing my very first book. I’m becoming to get a little nervous now, because all my spare time was dedicated to writing; my focus was set on getting it finished, that very little thought went into what would happen when I did. Now I’m near the end, I find myself processing all those emotions and thoughts that got buried under my work.

I’m thinking about all those times I said no to going out with friends in order to complete another chapter and all those times I was up late writing and struggled to stroll into work the next day. The outcome of my efforts need to make those compromises worth it, it’s quite intimidating!

These feelings began to overwhelm me and I felt like I would regress to self-doubt.

The decisions I had made, the commitment and dedication I gave to this project were pulled back into debate. I turned down job opportunities, I literally had people waiting for me to submit resumes and I never did. All of these decisions are hitting me now because I chose stick by my aspirations over taking a safer route.

So I did what I always do when I get these feelings of anxiety, I looked back at all my previous accomplishments. Moments in my life when I was at my lowest and moments of greatness. As I reflected I realized these feelings had occurred before; when I quit my job to move abroad, my very first day at university, the time I explored new cities on my own and even the day I started this very blog. I've had a lifetime of experiences to remind me that these feelings are completely normal and I remember why.

I reiterate, fear is a reaction to the lack of control and nobody can control how life is going to work out, but everyone can control what they do with it. I don’t know where my book is going to take me, but I learned that every experience has always led me somewhere and I grew stronger from every experience. The value is: I learned more about myself, the things I am capable of and what I can accomplish if I stay focused and true to my aspirations.

Over the past six years I went from being lost with low self-esteem to self-actualized and confident and I did this by taking full control of every step I made. The day I decided to follow my own passions I was freed from the burden of any expectation and pressure to “settle.” The message is: I have this one life to live right now and I’m not going to waste it by not trying.

Furthermore, this is where surrounding yourself with the right people and always discussing openly about your aspirations pay off.

I tend to become a recluse when I write, but when I am socializing, who I am and what I’m working towards becomes evident right after the question “so what do you do?” Recently I connected with some people who I hadn't spoken to since earlier this year and the majority of them asked me how my book was doing. It was in that moment, a flood of positive energy seized any doubt that I was feeling, because someone held up a mirror and showed me that I can put my mind to anything and accomplish it.

Whichever direction the book goes, I know for certain that I have the ability to write one. The things I’ve learned, the process and what I’ve been through probably mean more to me right now than the final outcome. I’ve learned that no matter what the outcome is, I have the ability to start something and follow it through to the end, teaching me that I can start absolutely anything I want and so can you!

Even though I started off not knowing how to do it, I got it done! So take it from me, be whoever you want to be, tell the world about it and embark on your journey, dedicate your life to your aspirations and free yourself. Doubt may creep up from time to time but on that day you’re forced to look back on your life, I promise you nothing will fill you up with more pride and fulfillment than your accomplished goals.

Whatever the outcome, I’ve already set the next goal to get my book published, so I will make it happen one way or another. This goal that I’m about to complete will highlight the things I need to do to achieve the next and with each goal accomplished, I’m that much closer to my dream.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

 

Motivated to Work: Connecting My Environment to My Identity

Since the age of 19 I’ve not really lived at home, between travelling, working and my current pursuits, I'd float from city to city but I’d always manage to find a space I connected with. A space I could escape to and work, that allows my mind to focus, to get in the zone and get closer towards achieving my goals. Now I’m lucky, I have a home of myTravel own; a home that I have designed to remind me of my goals and in ways that represent my life, such as the things I am grateful for and what I aspire to be.

I've made my home to serve as daily reminders of what I need to do to grow my passions…

When travelling, I always had to go in search of places that motivated me to work, and I would find “hot Spots” that inspired me. To do this, I would follow one rule; to find places that connected to aspects of my identity that create an energy of my aspirations. For example, when I lived in London I would go into the city to work, into areas that connected to me, such as areas I imagined myself living in one day.

On my travels in Asia, I would hide out in culturally rich places; near temples or at the foot of awe inspiring monuments. Simply allowing my senses to absorb the life and spirituality around me as my mind focused on what needed to be done. I connected with the humble atmosphere there.

The individuality contained within New York City, the richness that paved London, the smiles that beamed in Sydney, to the freedom I found in Vancouver. There was always something to be found that appealed to aspects of my identity.

… as I sit here now in the comforts of my own home, around the stillness and silence, my environment echoes my life and what I have accomplished, they help guide and motivate me to my next destination. Designed to cater to my identity, as my identity guides my life.

Try it, go in search for places you connect with and if you struggle, simply start by being in a place where you feel comfortable being alone. That loneliness forces you to tap into your identity and as you become more in tune with who you are, you'll be drawn to places that motivate you and you’ll eventually uncover the passions that will guide you to wherever it is you’re supposed to be.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Simple Way to Stimulate Creativity and Inspiration

We sometimes struggle when developing new ideas and in that struggle we feel faulted by our own creativity. Pressure and stress begin to fill our minds because we feel we cannot successfully deploy or complete a project and soon enough, a looming deadline is all we seem to focus on. Whatever creative thought we had, is being blocked by a wall of doubt and uncertainty. The first mistake we often make is forcing creativity, we feel so pressured by getting something done that the end result turns out to be poor and of a lower standard to what we’re actually capable of. In the end, we’re left with the satisfaction of a completed project rather than the fulfillment of an accomplished one.

An 'original break' is something I started doing when I lacked focus, when I feel I have lost my muse and procrastination becomes a meaningful pastime. Generally if whatever project I’m working on isn’t flowing naturally and my train of thought is only just chugging along, then that’s my indicator to do something to get back on track.

An original break is about fueling the mind and trailing into fresh thought. An original break is not going out to grab a coffee and some fresh air. It’s first stepping away from what you’re working on and closing the entire project down and leaving it alone for some time. Just like your mind needs a break from the project, the project needs a break from your tired mind and poor input. Like the engine performance of a car running on standard gas versus premium fuel.

Your original break could be heading out to lunch in a different restaurant to break routine, like how you were when you first tried sushi.  It’s talking to a complete stranger to adopt a different point of view or even talking to people who disagree with your ideas. It’s going for a drive to that part of town you’ve always heard about but never visited; exploring new environments is always a good way to stimulate creativity. It’s reading a type of book that you wouldn’t normally read. It’s simply taking the time to discover something new, placing new thoughts and ideas into your mind to stimulate creativity when returning to an existing project.

It seems a little strange at first, but this simple formula helps break down walls that block creative thought. These small adjustments in your breaks could result in a wonder of opportunities for your work. You may not necessarily be inspired by anything you experience but you will leave with new thought(s).

Naturally we’re curious creatures and unlike robots we have a natural desire to learn and explore its how we've managed to advance as a species. Remember creativity and inspiration aren't timed to surge between the hours of 9 and 5 but if your need it then you have to find ways to stimulate it.

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