How to survive the uncertainty and discomfort of transformation and change

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I had no idea where to, but I knew that I’d be moving soon. I did know that the move was intertwined with my purpose and life’s work, kind of like a rite of passage. I began to prepare for this imminent mysterious relocation in ways that perhaps a nesting expectant mum might, but in the opposite vein. My house and everything inside the property suddenly came under scrutiny. Instead of buying things, organizing and creating a comfortable, safe and secure nest, I was ripping up and dismantling, emptying, unravelling 15 years’ worth of home, memories, belongings and of course stuff!  I donated, discarded, detangled and detached. A tough, deep yet necessary process that began a year before the actual date that my children and I pulled away in the taxi in the early hours of that cold, dark December British morning of 2014. Destination. Tropical Goa, India. Home for the last four years.

As you upgrade and transform, things as you know them will change too. To shift into an aligned space to match what you are seeking to improve or create, life must sometimes crumble and fall to make space for the next, better, more upgraded version. The more we resist, the more abruptly these times can hit us. The mistake we often make is to want or need the new to be here now, before we can muster the courage to let go of the old and outdated. We often wait for the terrain to be stable and visible before we say yes to the opportunity or take the first step. We have a deep necessity as humans, a “need to know”. We thrive on certainty and security and when we don’t have that it can be highly uncomfortable, sometimes debilitating.

It makes total sense to require comfort to be able to thrive. Comfort is synonymous with certainty, safety and security, but not with radical change. The uncertainty and discomfort that can come about in the deep transformational phases, can often prove too intense to bear, causing a premature quitting and reverting to the known, the comfortable and the familiar. We deal with a myriad of emotions, fear being a huge one. While we must acknowledge the profound effects this can have, it does not need to always end in disappointment. With conscious and deliberate management of the process, you can set yourself up for successful, joyful and lasting transformations. Here are three of my teachings to help you along as you keep putting one foot in front of the other on your path to actualizing your dreams, desires and highest potential.

Create comfort within the discomfort

To succeed and progress we must begin to spend much more time in our ‘discomfort zone’. New ways of thinking, fresh habits, changes to our routines, environment and relationships are all happening simultaneously. To grow and evolve you must do, be, think and act differently. Different is often uncomfortable. A large portion of this discomfort is rooted in our mind though. Our mind is powerful but we can override it if we are clever! Stagger your changes, replace old with new gradually and partake in at least one activity per day that snaps you right back into your yummy comfortable state in both body and mind. Allowing time each day to cozy back up and de-stress within an activity that requires little thinking and provides much joy, will give you a well-earned break from your discomfort zone, time to re-configure your brain and body chemistry and dupe the mind and into feeling safe! My favorite comfort zone inducer during such times is to watch an episode of the sitcom ‘FRIENDS’, gets me every time. You can pick anything that is like second nature to you. For some it may be a sweat inducing run, for others a chat with a friend and others their favorite meal from childhood. Creating some comfort each day in this way will allow you to survive and then of course thrive way into the success zone of your change or goals.

Create a bubble

Times of change can leave us extra tired, vulnerable and more sensitive. There’s a lot going on and the additional mind activity and emotional strain mean we are by default likely to be in a weakened state. Your state is made up of your thoughts, emotions, what you consume by way of food, media and other audiovisuals. Consciously opting for more nourishing foods, plenty of fresh water and nurturing movement is a good framework to instill at such times. The company we keep also affects our energy levels and, also our state of mind. Taking extra time for self-care and rest is paramount as is creating a protective bubble around yourself to ward off any naysayers, critics or doubters. The last thing you’ll need is added pressure from people who do not support you or understand your desire, dream or passion. During times of transformation, your mindset can literally be the make or break, if your mind is against you then you’ll struggle to complete the desired transformation or goals. Practicing five minutes of positivity in the morning, afternoon and night time can be enough to make a measurable mark. Be honest with yourself about what is unhelpful and unsupportive and resolve to put yourself and your success first, at least for the duration of the conversion.

Things are always working in your favor, trust the process

This tip is a little more intangible. It’s not a tip per se, but more of a heads up. This one takes a little bit of digging around inside to understand. Ultimately, the issue that I see most often that blocks the transformation process is fear. It can manifest in many different guises and often we take them each at face value. We become convinced of the truth of our excuses and allow them to get in the way of us even starting let alone completing a radical upgrade. The truth is, if life has brought us the idea or inspiration then it can also bring to us the strength and resources required to actualize it. Since we are evolutionary by nature, which means we are naturally wired to desire the next better version, the desires that we have, if progressive by their nature, are given to us as breadcrumbs towards our next chapters. As well as fear, the process can also be quashed by doubt, and generally we doubt our own selves and our ability to make good decisions as well as our ability to perform or follow through. Simply put though, you can never really make a wrong decision especially if it is fueled by a deep yearning or even a heartfelt fleeting urge for something better. Whichever way you turn, however you decide to proceed, things are always working in your favor because you can’t lose, you can only learn.

For more information, coaching, consulting or speaking enquiries please email maria@upgradewithmariak.com

Growing Together: Welcome to Motherhood.

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As featured on the shine bright mama blog by Maria k

When you become a mum, no matter your circumstance, you will never again not be a mum. You can never undo it. Unlike other jobs or vocations, a career change from motherhood, is never on the cards. I am a mother. I have a 17-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, and although it has been many years since my breastfeeding days, sleepless nights spent comforting them through teething, and days spent safe guarding them from stairs and sharp edges, the load remains the same if not heavier and the responsibly immense, and despite their steps towards freedom and independence, the love and bonds only ever grow deeper.
Over the years, I have come to realize that my children are not mine, they do not belong to me, and when I use the words “my son or daughter” it is only when speaking with others. My children came through me and to me in my early twenties whilst I was married to their father. We three have effectively grown up together. I raised them mostly alone since they were four and five years old. We have been each other’s teachers, confidants, enemies and emotional and spiritual personal trainers. Today I share with you several ideas that have been born to me as I have observed and experienced our individual and intertwined journeys together as a three which has taken us across the world and back again.
I didn’t always get it right and I expect I won’t at times in the future either and I’m ok with that because I am honest with my two. They know I always do my best and apologize when I mess up. These concepts that I offer today are for you to ponder, try on, keep or discard as you feel to. If I had to leave you with one take away from being a mum so far, that would be that the answers are usually already inside of you and the main job of a mum is to continue to deepen the connection she has with herself first and then by default, so too will the relationship with your child continue to grow and develop too. Parenting is nothing more than a relationship, a complex one for sure, but not much more than two people trying to figure out this thing we call life together.

1- Pace Yourself

When we first give birth, life literally revolves around our baby. Nothing is more important than their comfort and wellbeing and we are the ones responsible for literally everything. And, of course, why would we want it any other way? We vow to give and do our all to our precious offspring which, no matter how challenged we may be feeling, is a precious gift. In the early days it is hard to see into the future. It is almost impossible to imagine your baby, toddler or preschooler as a teenager or young person, let alone an adult. In my opinion though, it is a must. It is useful to understand early that being a mother is a long-haul journey, more like running a marathon than a sprint, and that pacing yourself in the early days by creating personal balance can be helpful to avoid burn out and a buildup of resentment. When mine were little, I’d cram our days with activities, wear myself out by giving them so many opportunities, home cooked organic meals and one on one time, and when I ask them about those days now, they do not remember very much. Furthermore, the type of demands that come with parenting tweens, teens and young adults, I have found demand a very different type of energy, one that far supersedes the simplicity of waking up to a baby’s cry and changing a diaper on demand. Of course, relish every precious moment but also conserve your energy, mentally and emotionally keep building yourself up and remember, parenting is for life, not just for the early years!

2- Mother Not Martyr

This might be deemed as quite a controversial idea, and I must also preface this by stating that in most cases, our children do come first. Period. I refrain from using the word must here though as it is not my intention to dictate to anyone how to do anything, let alone raise their child or organise their life. It is worth considering though, that there is a difference between giving from a place of choice, centeredness, awareness and healthy boundaries and allowing one’s sense of self, authentic desires and pleasures to wither and die the moment a child comes along. Having been raised in a culture that is very enmeshed in the idea that parents must give up everything for their kids, I have spent much time pondering this concept, what it really means and how it can be morphed into something that is healthier and mutually beneficial to both parent and growing child. In many cultures and modern times, it is normal for children to be placed above and beyond the well-being and happiness of either parent. Much to the detriment of their mental and physical health. My question is though, what are we teaching them and what are we setting them up for in later life? The chain of decline, pain and resentment that has plagued the many generations before us is now in the hands of us modern parents, we are raising and impacting on many generations to come. This is of course, such an individual piece for each parent and cannot be taken from a book, custom or culture. Whether it’s a trend, expectation or fear mongering medical or health concept, be wary of why YOU are inclined to do it and check whether you are being the type of mother you want to be or more the martyr that is keenly intertwined with motherhood.

3- You Are Enough – Trust Yourself

There are, from the moment of conception, a myriad of opportunities to begin feeling crappy about your capability and credibility as a mother. From pregnancy onwards, we have the chance to quickly buy into the myth that there is a perfect way to do this. A perfect way to carry, a perfect way to give birth, a perfect way to navigate sleeping and feeding, a perfect way to discipline, educate, negotiate pocket money, independence and so on. Many openings for feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and guilt. As a single mother with a less than mainstream life, I battled with feelings of not enough-ness on many levels and made the mistake of believing that I was failing because my kids were not turning out a certain way. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and it took about six months of testing out alternatives that were not of my own natural ways and witnessing the contrasting outcomes to understand that I was doing ok in the first place because we were doing it our way. No one will ever know your child the way you do, and no two children are the same. One system does not work for all and there is no generic philosophy to suit the uniqueness of your child and your relationship to him and his to you.

4- Allow them the gift of their own experience

Our immediate tendency is to protect our little one from all pain, discomfort and or loss. Of course, we are hardly likely to allow them to run onto a busy street or munch away on a dishwasher tablet when they feel like it. We are talking more about experiencing life in its entirety, as it comes, with its many opportunities for growth, learning and emotional intelligence and maturity. This is surely a tough one. For me, this has been one of the hardest lessons to learn and accept. As pre-mentioned, we have lived an interesting life and my two have experienced things that have forced them to face deeply painful and confusing situations, on more than one occasion. I have had to train myself to trust not only in their strength and resilience but also in the bigger picture of life that is formed by the smaller snapshots we live inside of, daily. One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to hold the space for your child while they seemingly make mistakes and or navigate the dark depths of their own emotions, fears and traumas without trying to absorb the pain, blame or take control of the situation every single time. It takes great emotional and mental strength to allow anyone you love to have their experience and not make it about your own pain, especially when it’s your child and separating your pain from their pain takes practice, awareness and gentle self-encouragement. There’s a big difference between being there to support, guide and listen without trying to manipulate, control or over protect. Your child’s strength lies in the level of belief you have in his ability to cope with what life brings his way and learn through experience. Your belief in him and your willingness to demonstrate this through noninterference will make him stronger, more confident and courageous.

5- Facilitate rather than Control

To facilitate is to make possible. This is often a counter intuitive idea in connection to parenting, based on the conditioning that most of us have grown up with. We are taught that children are lesser, unwise and incapable of knowing their own needs and preferences. We can lose sight of how complete children are, and we believe that we must fill this empty vessel, decorate this blank canvas and mold the block of clay with our own ideas, ways and morals. I find that this approach is rooted in fear. The fear that our children are representative of our own capability in life and that we must under no circumstances leave them to their own devices because that will reveal our own shortcomings. I also believe that it takes far more patience, skill and courage to facilitate the natural and organic forming of the human being that has been entrusted to us rather than manipulate and control. It takes more work too, the kind of work that many of us adults shy away from. The inner work. Facing our own fears, beliefs of limitation and need to control most things around us, including our offspring. To facilitate means taking into consideration the nuances of the individual and the situation. To facilitate means to guide without expectations. To facilitate means to trust in the process and to allow for it to not look like anything you had ever imagined or wished for.

Within my UpGrade teachings, is the theory that life is built and carved from within us, from our desires and inspirations; our ideas and inclinations and that our life is unfolding through us. It is much easier to allow our toddler to enjoy free play or our infant to feed on demand than it is to practice these principles into the later years and in all honesty, it is both an art and a science with no finite formula available for me to share with you. What I can share though is this. As your child grows, make sure you grow with him. Seize the opportunity to become a better version of yourself as he does too. Just as your child will never be perfect, neither will you. And that dear fellow mama, is exactly how it is supposed to be. Here’s to raising our children and to our children raising us!

Enough is enough, Doreen Virtue

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As featured on Elephant Journal

I have been following the unfolding of Doreen’s renouncement of ‘New Age’, in favor of Christianity since it began. I have been following as an observer, as I tend to do with many things. Gathering clarity, gaining as much understanding as I can of all angles, aspects and stances, and using it as another opportunity to process more deeply our current climate, the human condition as well as my own personal and professional journey.

I have not, and still do not, have a need to jump into judgement or to prove another wrong for their beliefs, actions or inactions, so that I can be right, and by writing this piece, I am not in any way swaying from my core values of tolerance, noninterference and unconditional acceptance.

What I saw yesterday posted on Facebook, however, by the woman that so many of us have looked to for guidance, support and leadership in the past, has brought me to a place where I often find myself in my work today, which has in fact been a continuation of my nature from childhood. A place where I feel I must speak out to help out.

I am for the people. I am passionate about empowering people and helping them to come back to themselves, to become their own gurus, to remind them of their divinity, to become one with their own inner guidance systems and to do whatever they can do to create and live their best lives in whichever manner that may feel aligned with at any given time.

The truth is, any time we rely solely on anything external to give us answers, make us feel better, numb pain or mask the truth, we are pulling ourselves away from our center, we are giving away our power. I have studied, observed and been around many who do use modalities such as oracle cards, psychic mediums and ‘other peoples’ opinions to dodge the inner work that is required to become their best self, and to avoid stepping into their own brilliance. This, however, is not the only way that the ‘New Age’ as Doreen refers to it, is being practiced.

If we want to get a bit technical, there is absolutely nothing ‘new’ about this age. We are simply seeing a resurgence of very ancient practices and rituals, that have been around as long as people have been on this planet. From the tribal women gathering monthly in red tents, to the village medicine man with lines of people waiting to be treated. From our Grandfathers who would follow the moon cycles to ensure a good crop, to our Grandmothers who would seek the guidance of the local gypsy woman to help their off spring with a childhood fear. From the tea leaf readers, coffee cup readers, to palm readers to astrologers, yogis, shamans and gurus. None of this is new.

I really don’t mind what you believe in, no matter who you are or what work you are doing. We are all unique and induvial, that’s what makes this world so amazing to live in at this time. What I do mind though, is when you use scare mongering, aggression and belligerence when communicating your opinions to people who once looked to you as a sage. When we have stepped into a leadership role, whether on social media or in any other arena, it is our responsibility to lovingly facilitate and guide, not force, shame and humiliate.

My truth is this. If someone is called to my work, feels an affiliation with it or with me, then it is a blessing, and I feel it is my duty to take that person under my wing with love and sensitivity as they grow their own wings of strength, clarity, certainty and courage. It is not my right to brain wash them though, to ‘convert them’ to a way of thinking or being that will in effect, be for my own benefit, out of fear, lest I be judged or condemned by Jesus or some other illusory danger. My primary duty is to bring out the very best in them.

The image I saw yesterday on Facebook, posted by Doreen virtue, depicted oracle cards with the same type of warning found on cigarette packaging. Warning her followers that ‘psychic cards can attract demons and lead you on to the wrong path’. I didn’t read the entire post, I have already seen enough. What I did see were words such as ‘demons’ and ‘sin’. Some may argue that I can’t comment if I don’t know the full story.

What I do know is that stances such as these, which are clearly extremist, do not have a place in the type of world we are all craving to live in. A world where we are free to choose based on what feels right for us. A world where we are building through love, community, support, respect and tolerance. Making someone else wrong for believing something that you no longer believe in, to me, is not a basis for high vibrational living.

Living our best life can only come about when we free ourselves from fear and attachment. If we are too busy treading on eggshells though, frantically trying to avoid ‘doing wrong’ by a man-made book or set of rules, while turning our back on our own inner guidance systems, then we are already treading on dangerous ground. We are no longer our own person.

I believe that our number one power tool in life is self-awareness. The ability to tune in, at any given moment, to feel into our hearts, recognize our desires, observe our emotions and thoughts, and the life unfolding around us. To be able to discern which way to turn, what to pursue or when to let go, is the most empowering ability we can develop. If we choose to pray to God, take communion, utilize oracle cards, chant with the Yogis, worship the full moon, follow the teachings of the Dalai Lama, or harness the power of plant medicine to support ourselves, our success, freedom and happiness, and our communication lines with the divine along the way, then so be it.

None of it is wrong. None of it is right. There is only right for right now, and only you can truly know what that is.

Three Pillars of Entrepreneurism, Peak Performance and Radical Success

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The myth that creating and living the personal and professional life you desire should come easy, be easy and that we are entitled to it all simply because we said so is destroying way too many dreams and holding back an immense number of people who have a great deal to offer the world. If their ideas, abilities and core messages remain unsaid, unactualized and their potential unrealized not only will they themselves be unfulfilled, but so will the market, people and problems they are destined to help. This pattern is forming the basis of a deeply detrimental epidemic of victimhood and disempowerment.

This does not need to continue though. It’s simply a case of misinformation and mismanagement. We have at our finger tips everything needed to turn this around over time. Notice I wrote ‘over time’. Rome was not built in a day, neither was the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt or the Taj Mahal. Peak performance athletes spend their entire lives in training, failing as much as succeeding, and choosing where they allocate their energy, time and focus. Some would see that as a pity worthy sacrifice. I surely don’t. Impatience, misaligned mindset and a disconnection from the reality of what it truly entails to succeed in the radical, alternative and high level that many are feeling the pull towards these days are prime culprits.

Of course, we each have the right to choose. But if there’s one or more areas of life or business that is displeasing, then it would pay to explore whether it’s being approached with a full out attitude or the safer option of “I’ll give it a try”. We have been placed in what can be deemed as the most beneficial and opportunity packed era. I’m optimistic. I see so much potential in individuals, entrepreneurs and companies and I also see that we are opening, gradually to a new way of operating. The merging of attitudes, ideas, philosophies and practices. For me as a performance coach and motivational speaker working in a diverse set of arenas it excites me. I make it my duty to share as many truths as I know them to be, based on my own experience and that of my clients, students and upgrade community members. It is in that vein that I bring you the following three pillars of entrepreneurism, success and peak performance.

Work hard

To be clear, when we speak of hard work what we really mean is hard smart work. Aligning the actions with the intentions and the desired outcomes is paramount for success and will help you to avoid burning out. I do apologize if this is not what you were hoping to read from someone like me, who also teaches lifestyle balance, selfcare and metaphysics as it can seem a little contradictory. I get it! My core values are success, freedom and happiness after all! The truth is though if you are wanting to completely overhaul your current reality or even a small part of it, you’re going to have to do things that stretch you. There will be periods of imbalance which is totally fine if we can practice the art of re-calibrating each day. Often what matters most is how we perceive things to be, how grateful we can be for the freedom that we do have and how happy we can get along the way, as we create and carve out the details of our vision, during the journey. Working hard on the outside is obvious but there’s another piece to this that sometimes gets by passed yet is quite often the glue that holds us together during times of challenge, change and expansion. Outer work must be matched with inner work. Mindset, personal development, self-awareness and emotional intelligence must become a large feature of an individual or company who are reaching for higher heights. An individual or group of people who are not developing on a personal level, will inevitably hinder the growth and expansion of the more tangible and concrete outcomes.

Dedication not sacrifice

I prefer the word dedicate over sacrifice. It is more in line with the empowered decision one has made to utilize the immense inner strength and limitless capacities that reside within them to live the life and build the empire or project that they want. If you have done the ground work to ensure you know what you want, that the mission you have chosen is authentic and deeply inspired by the passion in your belly or intertwined with your life purpose, then you’ll hardly ever begrudge the choices you’ll make that may look on the outside as a sacrifice. If you get your mindset on your side, you’ll in fact often feel empowered by your choice to follow through on making your deepest desires a reality, even if it means missing out on leisure time. Pick the things in your life that you want to prioritize like family, partner, health etc. then build them in alongside your life’s mission, your work, your daily hustle. Design your days, weeks, weekends and months around your central theme and then allow nothing much else to muddy those waters. See it as a time of building, creating and molding. See it as claiming your life, taking back your power, being the boss of yourself.

Don’t try, DO!

“I’m doing It” is far more final than “I’m trying”! When we ‘try’ we leave ourselves plenty of wiggle room for our basic humanistic behaviors to overtake. Comfort and certainty are some of our most primal needs and often we will manipulate the heck out of a situation to hang on to these states if we can. We all know that nothing much great came from anything that resembles a comfort zone. The ‘trying mind’ will procrastinate, do less, doubt and retreat when the going gets tough. The ‘doing it mind’ will go the extra mile, do it despite the doubt and engage in all manner of options and possibilities until the solution has been nailed and the outcome reached. The reason that so many of us fail is because we did not put all our chips on the table at the time of dealing. It is totally understandable as to why this would be. Putting yourself out there, committing to something big, different or new can raise many fears. Fear of others judgement, fear of failure and the biggie, fear of our inability to withstand the intensity of the work involved. The power of one’s decisions must never be underestimated. It doesn’t mean it’ll all get done today or in one year, it’s not a speed thing. A ‘doing it’ attitude doesn’t change the façade, timeline and nature of the journey. There will still be backbreaking ‘work’, intense risks, uncertainties, changes and fears, but it does change things on the inside. The mind is the hub of everything, so if the mind believes that it’s being done, albeit at a slower pace than hoped for, then without a doubt, the goals, dreams and desires will become the reality that you wake up to, to engage in and live from someday, sometime, Along the way, notice the pieces of evidence that reinforce to you that you are indeed doing it as opposed to trying!

For more information, speaking, coaching and consulting enquiries please email maria@upgradewithmariak.com

Eight Entrepreneurial Habits for Lasting Success

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In the past, an entrepreneur was a misfit, one who failed to succeed in traditional organizations and institutions. Doing your own thing was once frowned upon, judged and often seen by the masses as failing, whereas today the story is very different. Entrepreneur-ism is now synonymous with innovation, creativity, radical success and limitless freedom of choice.

The people who were once shunned and misunderstood, are now the ones leading the way in the market. Entrepreneurs today are loudly celebrated and revered across many key sectors. It takes a melting pot of unique behaviors, traits and abilities to be a successful entrepreneur, here are some of the top ones to cultivate, adopt and implement for optimal results.

Hunger

Entrepreneurs are hungry, and they need to be. Hunger is the fuel that keeps their engine going. They are driven by a deep-seated urge to improve upon what once was, to win or find the next solution. Often, they yearn to positively impact, be of service or leave a legacy. Without hunger, it’s a struggle to remain committed and motivated, come rain, shine, snow, Christmas, Ramadan or summer. An entrepreneurial person isn’t someone who dabbles in their spare time or when it’s convenient, they wake up at five am to be interviewed virtually by a broadcaster or meet with a potential client in an opposite time zone, will take the red eye flight to and from meetings to buy time and ruthlessly release people who don’t support their vision and mission. An entrepreneur is passionate, invested and emotional about their goals and will often be misunderstood as workaholics when in-fact they are having the most enjoyable time building their empire. 

Seeing in the Dark

An entrepreneurial mind can see what to most is invisible, and has an ability to perceive potential in situations, people and opportunities even when the odds seem in opposition or unfavorable. The development of such vision and intuition can be evoked with focused practice and doing so will place you way ahead of your counterparts who may be wasting time excessively planning, researching or trouble shooting. Training your mind to look for the good, positive and promising when the terrain is seemingly pitch black or dubious will give you the type of edge that entrepreneurs across the globe are leading with today.

Superbly Aware

Know thyself, the mantra of all wise entrepreneurs. Spending time developing your self-awareness, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and the practice of trusting your gut will bring you closer to the source of your success. Becoming super conscious of yourself and your surroundings will enable you to understand when to adjust your own behavior or attitude, when to walk away from a situation or when to take on a new project or venture. This type of mindfulness also supports you in avoiding laying blame in times of struggle or delay by taking ownership. Claiming responsibility is awesome because it allows you to change something if it isn’t pleasing or working.

Trust Yourself 

An entrepreneur relies a lot on inner-guidance; therefore, needs it to be strong and well developed. Strengthening your trust muscle will enable you to power through during tumultuous times or situations with more certainty and ease. Begin by employing your inner compass often in daily life, for small insignificant things so that you can test yourself, and then gradually for the bigger, more crucial decisions. You are born fully equipped with your own inner satellite navigation system. Most organizations and institutions do not provide support or encouragement for the deployment of this innate ability, so it becomes underused, hence weakened. Just as a muscle can be rehabilitated though lifting weights, this too can be easily reformed with practice.

Radical Positivity

Develop a positive and expectant attitude. Your optimistic outlook will be like a wrecking ball is to a concrete block. When your mind is focused on the good stuff, it will breed more of the same, bringing you more outcomes and circumstances to be positive about. Expose yourself to people who uplift and inspire you. Surround yourself with individuals and groups who are nailing what you desire to achieve and immerse yourself in stories of success or triumph over adversity and struggle. Train your mind to focus on the positive outcomes that you desire and be strict with yourself. Keep your thoughts on a short leash and when they wonder off path, yank them back in line much like you would a mischievous puppy. Radical positivity is also made up of gratitude. You can’t be negative if you’re feeling grateful.

Risk Tolerance

An entrepreneur has a superior ability to cope with uncertainty and risk than the average person. This strength acts as a buffer between intense discomfort, quitting prematurely or not starting at all. By engaging in well-chosen strategies to survive the negative impacts of risk, you will reduce the possibility of restricting your progress and results due to a weakened emotional state. If you’re not naturally wired this way, you can use brain training strategies to rewire the outdated nature of your mind’s primal tendency, to keep you safe in the face of danger (AKA different, risky or uncertain) Anxiety and fear, when mismanaged or misunderstood are damaging, it is useful to become acquainted with your default response to risk and uncertainty, and then, factor a counterbalancing activity in to your regular personal growth work.

Tenacity of a Two-Year-Old 

Become so rigid and stubborn about your goals and results that you’ll allow nothing to get in your way. Even though you must be flexible with your approach, which is advisable to adapt to the ever-evolving terrain, a tenacity to continue no matter the obstacles, comes from a healthy attachment to actualizing the vision, desire or idea. Simplified, be stubborn about getting what you want. Utilizing your emotion along with logic to hype up your eagerness to attain your goals will act fuel to sustain you during periods of adversity. I’m not suggesting you throw yourself on the office floor when things aren’t going your way, but a quiet foot stomp and whispered declaration of commitment to yourself will go keep you in strong momentum. Try repeating the simple mantra “I can do this” next time you find yourself wavering.

Patience of a Saint 

Rome was not built in a day! While rapid results are not impossible, they are not to be relied upon. Patience really is a virtue of a successful entrepreneur, patience and the ability to quiet their ego when it is trying to persuade them that it’s not working because it’s taking too long. Celebrating and acknowledging the smaller triumphs and success are paramount in keeping you engaged and committed. Variety in your schedule, projects and systems will keep things fresh and exciting; you’ll be far more likely to keep going even when things are mind-numbingly repetitive. Enlisting the outside support of a coach or mentor is also a good way of plugging those gaps in your motivation, enthusiasm, confidence and drive. Motivation and momentum is easily cultivated in short bursts, it takes intricate and continuous re-routing to maintain it through many years of growth and development.

For more information, coaching, consulting or speaking enquiries maria@upgradewithmariak.com

www.upgradewithmariak.com

Aiding Change & Success With Self Awareness

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Self-Awareness is the bedrock upon which steadfast successes and positive, lasting changes are built upon. Developing an ability to observe yourself with the inquisitiveness of a detective is no longer a fluffy, only for the uber spiritual or 1%-ers kind of passtime. The ability to understand your emotions, recognize your feelings, observe how they are interconnecting with your environment, the people in it and your results or outcomes, is like permanently flipping the on switch to the mega super powered flood light. Self-awareness is now a necessity if you want to succeed and thrive so the activities that assist us in becoming more self-aware are no longer considered luxurious or indulgent. 

With an illuminated terrain ahead, any impediments, damage or hindrances are instantly visible to you, and if handled accordingly can no longer cause havoc and drama. Furthermore, living in close quarters with your inner self will allow you to receive accurate real-time feedback about yourself, people and life decisions, enabling you to continue to move step by step closer to the awesome version of you, your relationships, business and life.

So how do we enhance the communicative relationship we have with ourselves? How can we best develop and utilize the inner satellite navigation system that we are all born with to aid change and success? Here are five tips to get you started. Please don’t worry if you don’t like any of those activities. These are simply prompts that you can use to become inspired. Find what feels good for you. If the activity assists you in disengaging from day to day life, is fun or relaxing and allows you to integrate back into yourself you’re on the right track.

1- Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the observation of oneself, one’s thoughts, emotions and feelings in any given moment. It can be carried out anytime, anyplace and developed and integrated via everyday activities like cooking, gardening and driving. It is helpful to engage in practices such as meditation and breathing techniques though to deepen the experience of tapping out to tap back in. Whichever the option, being still and silent often provides the space for true feelings, thoughts and inspiration to rise to the surface to be felt, noticed, pieced together and understood. Mindfulness is massively on the rise in schools and corporations as a means of unlocking potential and performance abilities.

2- Movement

Simple movement encourages the slowing down of the thought by shifting attention from mind to body. Engaging the body is a powerful medium for increasing awareness of self and to boot, is a super potent and pretty instant natural mood and energy booster. Activities such as walking, running, dancing, swimming, or anything that snaps us into the moment is a good option, even a quick full body wiggle or shake on your bathroom break can help to click you back into feeling mode. Physical activity forces us to reconnect with our breathing, and helps to recognize and then release tension which is usually a form of stuck, unhelpful emotion.

 3- Writing

Journaling, jotting down your thoughts or even typing a few bullet points in the notes section of your phone is a good way to get an insight into your current state. It can often be better than speaking to a friend because your journal will not interrupt you when you’re in the flow, is unbiased, and you can re-visit the text to explore when you have some spare time. An effective exercise is to set an alarm several times per day on your phone as a reminder to pause, close your eyes and write down what your main thoughts and emotions are in that moment. This will provide you with a bank of information from which to gather insights and clarity, learn how certain situations affect you and which environments and people allow you to thrive over others.

4- Nature

Being outdoors in nature instantly drops us into a peaceful state. Peace, tranquility, serenity are all majorly conducive states for self-awareness. The act of breathing in fresh air, soaking in greenery or the sound of the ocean is like plugging yourself in to be recharged. Depletion and exhaustion often hinder us from connection. If we are running on survival mode, trying to get through the day, numbing ourselves with alcohol or artificially boosting ourselves with caffeine, there’s very little time, link to self, and energy left for tackling the inner emotional stuff. Time in nature can revive your capacity to feel and observe. Also, taking in the beauty of nature or the animal kingdom is an instant mood booster. We are more likely to feel inclined to be present with what is if we are feeling balanced and replenished.

5- Creativity

Creative expression is not only good for the soul, it is also an excellent teacher. Any form of creative output will show you new insights about your true nature or the reality of a situation. Creative activities which are not limited to arts, crafts or painting by the way, are not only calming, relaxing, but will also very quickly reflect to you your current state and any elements of your mindset or patterning that are perhaps hindering your growth and success moving forward. Cooking, music, dance, writing, and of course traditional arts are all creative outlets which provide beautiful space for your inner self to shine through and the cool thing is, you’ll likely see the revelations in your creations as well as notice clearer feelings, sensations and emotions being evoked during the process.