Are You On The Road To Burnout?

What is burnout and are you vulnerable to it? Burnout is a state of prolonged chronic stress that leads to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Overwhelming fatigue and loss of motivation, feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as feelings of ineffectiveness are also symptoms of burnout. When experiencing burnout, you are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level. Remember that burnout doesn’t just happen one day out of the blue. It happens slowly and although one thinks one can handle everything in life, one gets to a point where we can no longer cope. Our bodies and minds do, however, give us warning signs, and if you know what to look out for, you can recognize it before it is too late.

Signs Of Burnout

  1. Chronic fatigue and exhaustion. In the early stages of burnout, you may have a lack of energy and feel tired most days. In the later stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day. You will feel overwhelmed and as if you cannot pick your head up from your pillow.
  2. Increased illness and lowered immune system. As your body is depleted and exhausted, your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems. Start taking a good multivitamin that can help boost your immune system.
  3. Feeling anxious. In the pre-burnout phase, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and irritability. As you move closer to burnout, the anxiety may become quite serious that you begin to have panic attacks. This will interfere in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal and professional life.
  4. Feelings of depression. You may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result. You may not even know why you are feeling down. As the burnout grows, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
  5. Loss of enjoyment in daily activities. At first, a loss of enjoyment may seem very mild, such as not wanting to go to work or being eager to leave, or feeling like driving to the shops is a burden. Without intervention, loss of enjoyment may extend to all areas of your life, including the time you spend with family and friends. At work, you may try to avoid projects and figure out ways to escape work all together.
  6. Isolation. Isolation may seem like mild resistance to socializing (i.e., not wanting to visit friends, finding reasons why you need to be alone). The need to isolate yourself becomes more and more evident as you experience burnout. You may become angry when someone speaks to you, or you may come into work early or leave late to avoid interactions.
  7. Lack of accomplishment and productivity. Chronic stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. At times, it seems that as hard as you try, you can’t seem to meet deadlines or effectively manage your work and time.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you need to be aware that you are on a dangerous path. Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it’s too late. Burnout is not like the flu; it doesn’t go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. My next article will be about practical steps you can take to overcome burnout.

Limitless living!

Nicola Kassier

Master Life Coach, Counsellor and NLP Practitioner at Continuous Growth Life Coaching

Happy Mind, Happy Life

Our mindset plays a major role in how we manage challenges and opportunities, and our thoughts influence what we do, believe and think. Are you a glass half empty or glass half full type of person? When challenges come your way do you throw your hands in the air and walk away, or do you face the challenge head on and ready to overcome it?

There are a few areas in life where our thoughts play a particularly important role. One of these areas is your belief about yourself and your body image. Do you believe in yourself? Or do you constantly put yourself down and tell yourself that you cannot achieve the goals and dreams you have set for your life? In either of these, you are right! If I asked you to think for a moment, what are the 5 words you use most to describe yourself? Would they be negative or positive? We need to be conscious of how we speak about ourselves because what our mind hears, it does.

Did you know that our subconscious mind leads and controls 97% of our life? What we believe, why we believe certain things and how we respond and react in a certain way has everything to do with our subconscious mind. A great analogy is one of driving. When you drive to the shops, you have to put the car into gear by using the clutch and then using the break when necessary. We don’t consciously think “now I need to put my foot on the clutch and then use my hand to change the gear”. These actions are done subconsciously. This is the same with our mind and how we live. I know this may seem scary as one would think that we are then not in control of our lives! The good news is that we are in control of our lives and we can control our mind. By using Neuro-Linguistic Programming, we access the subconscious mind and re-program the way you think about certain beliefs and we assist you in getting rid of beliefs that do not serve you, that dis-empower and hinder your success.

What you are constantly focusing on also plays a big role in your happiness. If you always focus on the negative things in life, you will see the negative in all situations, and ultimately you will become a negative person. The same thing is true for being positive. Are you someone that looks for the negative in every situation? Or do you find the opportunities and possibilities in life? Remember, as you think, so you are and so shall you become. Make an effort to change the way you think about your situation and your life will be a lot more positive! Here’s my challenge to you: everyday write down three things that were positive about your day. It can be something as simple as “today I saw my best friend” or “today it rained”. Find those positives in your day and watch your life change!

Limitless living!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

Neuro-Linguistic Programming image

You could change the way you think, act and respond to certain situations by re-programming your subconscious mind. Changing the way you perceive others and life in general starts in the subconscious mind. By using the practical tools in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, you can make the change needed to achieve the outcomes you desire.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) focuses on the mind and nervous system. Such as the language of the mind and what people focus on, as perceived through our 5 senses. Neuro-Linguistic Programming assists individuals in identifying their worldview and how it is perceived and interpreted. Discovering our cognitive programs/mindsets enables us to re-program/adjust our mindset to achieve specific, successful outcomes. Ultimately, we create our reality through perceptions based on how our minds are conditioned. Once self-awareness of our personal environment is achieved, areas of improvement allows us to make targeted changes for lasting personal development.

Knowing how the mind works and knowing that re-programming it is possible, means that we have the power to change our lives and the results we desire. The unconscious mind controls 97% of perceptions and behaviours as it has been conditioned to respond to certain circumstances in a specific way. Only 3% of what we experience and perceive in life is experienced through our conscious mind. The conscious mind is designed to reason and think about life. We do not actually see the world for what it truly is because of how we filter information and make sense of our surroundings. Becoming aware of our beliefs and why we do things a certain way is important.

Limitless Living!

Why Coaches Need Coaches

Coaches need coaches; no matter how good you are at your job you always need help

Can we agree that all of us struggle with motivation, inspiration and finding new ideas? Sometimes we need someone to kick us under the bum and say “get up, you can do this!” I have found myself experiencing this for a few months now and I decided that I needed to make a change!

Most of the time we think to ourselves that as professionals we need to look like we have it all together. We need to be viewed as always successful and not struggling along, and that we are the ones that always practice what we preach. Do you think this is the case? Not at all! None of us are perfect and even coaches need coaches to support them on life’s journey.

Here are my four reasons why coaches need coaches:

A new perspective

We all have our own views and our ideas on how to run our business or what is needed to be done in order to succeed in our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a certain situation or we don’t know where or who to turn to for help. I have been stuck in a situation for a while now regarding my business goals and wondering how to implement them. I finally asked a fantastic friend, Business Coach and Training Specialist, Taryn-Lee Kearney for help, and her perspective today gave me the “aha” moments I have been needing. Getting a fresh perspective gives you a clearer understanding or a renewed sense that you are going in the right direction.

To stay motivated and accountable

So often I find myself saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” and when tomorrow comes I find another reason why I should postpone taking action towards achieving my goals. As I am the only person in my coaching business, it is easy to get lazy and complacent because I have no one to report to or to hold me accountable to my word.

Self-discipline

Self-discipline is a huge need when it comes to entrepreneurship. One can easily lose self-discipline if one gets too comfortable working from home. After seeing Taryn this morning, I have definitely realized that self-discipline is a must! I need to find ways to stay disciplined, motivated and inspired. Luckily I am now more motivated than ever and I have already ticked two “to do’s” off my list in a matter of one hour! For future reference, I need to get together with like minded people and brainstorm about my business and my possibilities. I know that these get-togethers energize me. Find ways or people that energize you and motive you.

All of us have unique set of talents and gifts

One of the main reasons why coaches need coaches, or counsellors need counsellors, is because we all have a unique set of skills and talents to offer. My strengths build up my colleagues and when I struggle with implementing a goal or strategy, Taryn for example, has her strengths in business coaching and builds up my ability and confidence. Everything in life works as a give and take and as a “what you sow is what you reap”. Are you reaping the rewards of your actions? Are you creating the results you desire?

So often we think that our colleagues or people within our career field are competitors and that we are running a race against one another. I like to look at it as “let’s help one another reach our full potential” by supporting each other with our unique set of skills by empowering one another to excel for excellence.

Do you have a coach or someone to motivate you and keep you accountable? If so, please share your personal stories of how they have helped you. If you don’t have a coach, pop me an email and we can chat!

Limitless living!

Who Are You?

Self-acceptance starts with you. What path will you take to ensure you love and accept yourself?

Who are you? Are you comfortable with who you are and what you have become? Often we think to ourselves “I most certainly have not finished my journey with myself, so surely I cannot be happy with who I am at the moment?” Is this statement true? Or, are you pretending to be someone who you are not or someone who you want to be like?

These are only some of the different questions that run through our minds daily. “Am I ok?” or “Is who I am ok or acceptable?” These are questions that I ask myself. Perhaps I am not thin enough, or not beautiful enough (in someone else’s eyes)? Perhaps I am unacceptable to society because I do not stick to societal “norms” like keeping up with current fashion, or keeping up with the current trends. For that reason, it is very easy to believe you are not acceptable. But then again I ask “who defines who you are?” Does God define who we are? Do we as individuals define who we are, or does a social norm define who we are?

I like to think that I define who I am and that the things people say are just opinions and not facts. Who are people to tell me who I am? First of all, I know who I am! I am the only one who knows what I like and what I do not like, who I love or dislike, what I want to achieve in life and what my motives are for doing the things I enjoy.

In conclusion, no one knows you like you know yourself. No one has the right to tell you who you are! So let’s get one thing clear: I am acceptable because I know I am worthy and I add value to this world. This world may not value me or accept me, but I know I am of value and I know that I am acceptable. Therefore, I can define who I am. Have you discovered and defined who you are?

Limitless Living!

What Can You Not Live Without?

Symbol of a personal support system which we acknowledge with conscious living

Does there ever come a time where you think to yourself: “if this thing disappears or if I lose that person, how will I ever continue to live happily?” When you ask yourself the above questions, what is it or who is it that you cannot live without? Perhaps it is a family member, a close friend, a pet or something materialistic that means a lot to you and brings you comfort and joy.

I thought of writing about this topic because I came to realise that I cannot live without a support system. We all have those days where it looks or feels like the end of the world. If it had not been for our support ssytem, our days would have been way worse without them! On days like these, it is my husband or the people I love that help me get through the day.

I am someone who loves people! As a result, people energize me! In contrast, there are those occasional days where I feel like I need to be alone. Consequently if I come into contact with anyone that day, heaven help them! Often we unintentionally take our friends and family for granted because subconsciously we think they will be around forever. Obviously this is not the case. The term I like to use here is conscious living. Conscious living is a very interesting term which has many aspects to it. I will discuss it more in depth next time. For now conscious living is about taking the time to live in the moment and become aware of every little thing around us. We need to live intentionally and love intentionally where by everything we do and love, we do it with purpose.

Do the people you love and those that mean the world to you, know how you feel? I read this specific quote a few times and it really resonated with me: Why is it that we give flowers, gifts, cards, compliments and kind words to our loved ones when they are dead? Why is it that we do not take the time to tell the people in our life, who matter most to us, that we cherish them and that we love them? Could it be that we fear intimacy or vulnerability of ourselves in such situations? Perhaps it is the busyness of life that keeps us from telling people and showing people our appreciation and love?

I urge you to phone that person that you have been thinking about the past week and let them know that they have been on your mind. Call up that family member that you have not spoken to for the past few months and tell them how much they mean to you. Make relations right with him/her. Whatever you need to do, whomever you need to call, I know that you know what needs to be done. Live life in abundance, fearlessly, consciously and intentionally. Also spread love and kindness wherever you go. Limitless living!

 

What Is My Trigger?

Image of head silhouette containing gears symbolizing an emotional trigger

“What is my trigger?” may seem like a random question and you could be wondering where I am going with this post. I assure you that this is one of the best questions you can ask yourself when you are going through a rough time or even when you are having a bad day. I like to call it the 3 steps to emotional awareness.

Every week I meet new people and I come across different people who very often ask the same question: “Why do I feel sad for no reason?” Or “I have been so angry lately and I have no idea why?” We all struggle with questions like these and I want to give you a practical tool in helping you with these types of questions.

Get to the Root

Firstly, we always want to get to the root cause of a problem to be able to understand what is going on, work through it and let it go. For that reason, we need to identify the root cause or trigger. Ask yourself what could have triggered these emotions? Was it something that someone said to me or about me that triggered these feelings? Have I been under a lot of stress lately that has contributed to these overwhelming feelings of sadness or anger? Or perhaps you experienced a traumatic event in the past, which you have not completely dealt with yet? Once the root cause has been identified, understanding why you are feeling a certain way will enable you to work through that moment and then easily let go of the emotion.

Be Practical

The second step is to work through it or to do practical things in overcoming this trigger. Sometimes we cannot work through it at the time, so acknowledging and embracing the emotion in that moment is the best way to get through it. Be mindful.

For example, let’s say you have been anxious for a few days and you realised that the anxiety was due to something someone said, 3 days ago, which triggered an anxious response within you. You can go back in your mind and think about what that person said and ask yourself why that specific topic made you anxious?  Maybe then you figure out that subconsciously you made a connection with the shared story, due to your own past experience which helps you make sense of the emotions you are feeling. Just by acknowledging the negative emotion, it does something in the mind, where one either feels much better or the emotion no longer brings a sense of anxiety.

Let it Go

Now that you have identified the trigger and you have worked through the emotion or have acknowledged and embraced the emotion, the third step is to let it pass or let it go.

Let’s say you acknowledged that your anxiety was caused by an event in the past that hurt you, and you want to let it go . Consequently, the only way you can fully deal with the hurt is to face the negative emotion. The technique used here would be Time Line Healing, a powerful and effective way to get rid of negative emotions. For more information on Time Line Healing, or if you would like Time Line Healing, please contact me and together we will work through your needs. Please note that a Time Line Healing Practitioner should conduct Time Line Healing as a guided process is much easier to follow. I know it would be a lot easier if you could do it all by yourself!

Sometimes step 3 is not necessary (Time Line Healing) and by embracing the feeling and the emotion, they will pass. Therefore, rather embrace and acknowledge the emotion, otherwise you will suppress the negative emotion. Suppressed negative emotions stay in your mind/body and cause diseases and internal conflict.

If for any reason you cannot figure out a root cause or trigger to how you are feeling, it could be a hormonal response or a lack of nutrition. If the root cause to your negative feelings is due to a past traumatic event and you do not know how to overcome it, please contact me.

Live Abundantly

This 3 step process is a wonderful tool and assists you in becoming more aware of your feelings and solutions to those emotions. You can use this tool in any situation and with any emotion. None of us have to be a victim of our circumstances or of our emotions. We were created to live life to the fullest and in abundance! Limitless living!

 

Do You Know Perfect Lily?

Freedom from anxiety and pressures that we put on ourselves when we strive for perfection.

Have you ever met perfect Lily? Lily has always been the perfect person, never failing at anything and everyone just loves her! You think to yourself “If only I was more like Lily! If only I could do just as well as Lily does at Maths, or I wish I could be more sporty or more musical. Lily is just perfect! She looks amazing, she can eat anything she wants and doesn’t even put on weight! She has had a wonderful upbringing, she has so many friends and even the guys love her!” I am certain that all of us have had similar thoughts like the ones above.

Well to tell you the truth, Lily is not doing as well as you think. All of the pressure of being that skinny girl, the sporty one, the musical one and the one everybody loves, is getting to her. She is no longer coping in life. Anxiety and exhaustion are a constant factor in her life, the fear of failure plagues her, her desperate need for approval and acceptance is all she can think about; and to keep up with the perceptions people have of her, she abuses her body to look thin and perfect.

The thoughts that go through her head daily are “I need to be better, I need to be thinner, I need to be more acceptable, I need to be who everybody thinks I am! The worst of all is that people think I am happy and perfect, when in fact I am suffering from anorexia and the need for love. I would not wish this on anybody! In fact, I think suicide is the only answer.”

It seems now that Lily is not so perfect anymore. Why are you comparing yourself to Lily? “Lily” can be anyone or anything that you think is better than you are. What do they have that you don’t have? What price have they paid to get it and would you pay the same price? You are incomparable because there is no one else in the world like you! How can you begin to compare yourself to someone else who has a totally difference genetic structure, a different perception of the world, different strengths, different weaknesses and difference beliefs? You complete a piece of the puzzle in this world and only you can fill that space! Believe in yourself!

Luckily Lily identified that she needed help and she contacted someone who could help her. The right skills, coping mechanisms and techniques were given to her that she needed in order to cope with the anxiety and fear of failure. Lily has moved from an unhealthy situation into a space of self-love and acceptance. Perhaps you know “a Lily” or you wish to be like “Lily”. Remember that you are victorious and an overcomer.

Contact Us now to book a coaching session, so you can be your own Lily.

Limitless Living!