What are you afraid of?

We all have them, FEARS that keep us at bay, playing small, not daring to live our dreams, and not “rock the boat”.

I grew up in Sweden the country where we actually have a LAW that states the following (taken from Wikipedia):

The Law of Jante is the idea that there is a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities that negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. … Generally used colloquially as a sociological term to negatively describe an attitude towards individuality and success common in Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries, the term refers to a mentality that de-emphasizes individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers.

So basically I was breast fed with this fear of sticking out, shine bright and follow my passion, because what would the others say?! That fear has deep roots and it takes time to release it, but it can be done. As long as you don’t give up on yourself and your dreams you will find a way to release those fears, one by one.

I sometimes sit here in my little office (which I’m so grateful to have, by the way) and feel like no one is appreciating what I’m doing, no one is reading what I’m putting out there and I might as well go back and get a “real” job. Yes, it’s true, and it takes an enormous amount of energy to engage in this self pity (because I know deep within that it’s not true at all). Energy that I could have spent on more fun, life loving activities like recording that corny Christmas video I had in mind for you all… 😉 And I’m tired, oh so tired, of letting those fears and “Law of Jante” run my life. So I’ve committed to start peeling them off, one after the other, starting TODAY.

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to release those energy sucking fears and move on and actually LIVE the rock star life that you want to create? 

Isn’t it a perfect time to start doing that as we are approaching a new year?

Remember, the NUMBER ONE regret of the dying:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Author: Bronnie Ware

Don’t be one of those having that regret at the end of your life! 

The world needs you and your special talents, passions and love, so PLEASE go out in the world and share it with us before your time is up!

And if you need help to get started, just give me a shout! I have a bunch of free resources that you could start to check out 🙂

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P.S. This is the tool I’m using right now to get in the habit of a Miracle Mindset: Gabrielle Bernstein’s 40 day May cause Miracles guide book. I’m sure I’ll talk more about it in another blog 🙂

So it is Christmas…

IMG_3652We are now two weeks away from Christmas! A lot of us are  busy getting all the Christmas gifts, food shopping and family plans in order for the big holiday!

But for many this Christmas will be the first one celebrated….

  • without their loved one
  • without their beloved pet
  • without their partner (and maybe children) after a separation
  • after getting a devastating diagnosis
  • after losing their job
  • without celebrating with close family and friends after a big move

The empty seat at the dinner table is a massive reminder of who’s not there, and family rituals change due to the departure of a particular family member. Approximately 64’000 will have passed away before end of December 2013 in Switzerland. Around 280 of them will be children under 18 years old. A lot more will have gone through a separation of some kind. Even more will have received devastating news of some kind, but those big changes and reasons to feel lost and in grief are not as easy to spot on the statistical radar.

So I wanted to equip you all with some tools that could come in handy should you meet, or even be one of these grieving persons during the holidays.

What are the things to AVOID saying to a grieving person?

  •  Don’t say “I know how you feel”.

This one is a doozie and it seems to be comforting doesn’t it. Well it isn’t. You see when someone is in a pit of despair they have no idea how they feel so how the heck would you know? Just because your Mum died and their Mum died doesn’t mean it’s similar – this is because every person and every relationship is unique, so the pain is unique – and here’s the thing. This isn’t about you – it’s about them so stop changing the subject to you!

  • Don’t say “Be grateful you had them so long”

This is a well meaning attempt to get you to count your blessings but in truth it’s plain hurtful. No matter how long you had them you’re entitled to want them around now and yes you’re grateful but you still want more and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

  • Don’t say “You’ll find somebody else”

Well this may be true eventually but while I’m in deep pain missing the love of my life desperately it’s also completely irrelevant to how I feel NOW. So if you find yourself tempted to say this to anyone who has lost a partner through death or relationship breakdown; stop. Take a breath and think about someone or something important to you and say to yourself – “if you lost them don’t worry you can get another one”; register how that feels then say something else.

  • Don’t say “They’re in a better place.”

Now according to your belief system this may or may not be true. However it is also irrelevant to the person still here and grieving. It may give a slight comfort if they share that belief, it may cause acute discomfort if they don’t. Either way it’s also changing the subject again – away from their perfectly natural and valid pain and onto the person who isn’t there.

  • Don’t say ” So, he won’t be needing those golf clubs/concert tickets/other stuff”

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why this is a bad one – but mainly it’s because once again it’s about you (and your desire not to see those tickets wasted!) and not about the person in pain.

So what are GOOD and HELPFUL things to say?

The main thing is to be honest and sincere. Sometimes all that’s needed is a hug or a smile. Ask questions, be ready to really listen to the answers and don’t offer solutions – a griever wants to be heard not fixed.

Some helpful starters are:

  • I imagine that you feel like….

Starting a sentence with “I imagine” is unassertive and gives the griever a chance to correct you. For example you say “I imagine you feel like you’ve been hit by a train” and they say well more like my entire world has exploded. This has given them a chance to say quite unconfrontationally how they really feel. Saying “you must feel devastated” will be generating an internal “yah think!!!” even if it’s not said out loud.

  • What happened?

Give them a chance to tell their story – don’t interrupt – questions are about you not them

  • I don’t know what to say…

Is often the best thing to say when there really is nothing to say.

 

Source of above bullet points: blog article “Top five things you should never say to a bereaved person and a few that you should” by Carole Batchelor Certified Grief Recovery Specialist www.griefrecoverymethod.co.uk

 

If you need more resources, there is a really good webinar where Russell Friedman from the Grief Recovery Institute talks about The Impact of Grief During the Holiday Season. Listen to it here.

Are you “daring greatly”?

Photo taken by Elin, 4 years oldHi all, I’m right now reading the book Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. The subtitle is “How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.” It’s fascinating stuff, and it has made me realize what is happening in the world right now. People are no longer looking for the “corporate” websites, where the text is like reading an annual report and without revealing anything about the people behind the company itself.

A new way of daring to be authentic is on the rise, and I only have to go to my own statistics to prove it. The minute I started to share my own stories and experiences I had a MASSIVE increase in readers! People want to know who you are and if you have what it takes to guide them thought whatever issue you need help with, be it coaching, medical assistance, web design or legal assistance. If you are about to take your PADI Scuba Diving certificate, you would WANT to know that the instructor has some experience to guide you in case something would happen under water, as your life might depend on it. So what problem or issue is it that you can guide your potential client or partner through? And how would you describe that on your website? Are you putting your story out there or are you using the corporate language to attract clients? What works for you? What would “people” say if you were more personal and authentic in presenting your business?

Those questions are some of which I’m currently working on myself and I would love to hear your input on the topic!