Slowing down to get more done.

In these lazy hazy days of summer it’s easy to sit with a glass of wine in the evening, laugh with friends and appreciate life. But come the autumn chill, or even Monday morning, it’s back to speed, working hard and chasing the goals.

I used to be the woman who crammed everything into the day; tasks, decisions, duties, work hours, and mothering. That constant watch checking while I rushed from one demand to the other took its toll. I burnt out.

I learnt a few lessons from that period and the most valuable was this:

When you slow down, you get more done. 

I’m now on a mission to tread a slow, meandering path of enjoyment, beautiful ease, and achievement too.

When you’re rushing through life you miss things. You miss how those around you are feeling, or you might miss the important phrase in a document. Both could change your day if not your life.

When you try and get too much done, you make mistakes. You drop things, and you rush out of the door and then have to return because you’ve forgotten something. You’re more likely to have an accident; and that could be life changing too.

You always have a choice of how your day is going to be. It starts with deciding whether to speed up, or to slow down.

Slowing down to speed up

You can reach for your ‘phone as you get out of bed and check your emails, which will put pressure on you to get into answering someone else’s demands as soon as possible.

You might skip breakfast and gulp down a coffee, and even eat while you’re driving, and you’ll feel stressed before you’ve even started work!

You may have the news on loudly, shout at your children to get a move on, and rush out of the house, and you’ll feel depressed and guilty for most of the day.

However, you could choose instead to:

Stretch, breathe and give thanks for starting a fresh new day, while you decide how you want to feel, and who you wish to connect with.

Make time to nourish your body, and savour quality food that makes you feel energized for the day. You notice the smell of the coffee you love, and feel happy.

Play music that either soothes or invigorates you. You decide to calmly run through your morning tasks instead of getting into drama. You try to ease your loved ones into a beautiful day because you want the best for them too.

Yes, it takes effort and practice. You may need to get up earlier, break habits, and focus on the desired result, but it will be worth it.

Slowing down is always a choice, and one you can make today.

When you slow everything down, you’ll create time to take control of your thoughts, feelings and actions, and ultimately your day.

Do you need to get clear on what direction you need to take your business?  Do you need support to make that business grow – without you getting overwhelmed or stressed? Book a call with me here. 

Here’s how my private coaching works.

Follow me on Facebook, see my posts on Instagram or connect on LinkedIn. 

5 steps to perfect decision making

My clients this month have all had trouble making decisions.  Without gaining clarity and then taking action on those choices, you can get stuck in confusion and inaction for a long time. Here are my 5 tips for helping you make perfect decisions – and moving forward!

Tip No 1 – Don’t make decisions based on who you are now, but on who you want to be.  

I always like to look to the future, especially when it comes to making decisions. I don’t base them on what I’m doing now, but I think ahead to the business owner I want to be in a year’s time. Imagine yourself as the entrepreneur with the successful business, plenty of income and time to spend it, how would you be making that decision?

If you were feeling capable, worthy, deserving of the luxuries, how would you be feeling about getting what you want?

If you were feeling empowered, successful, with a huge sense of achievement, would you be doing something differently?

The person in the future is bound to be different to the person you are today, so think and act like

the wildly successful person you WANT to be, and you’ll be making different decisions.

Decision making at the office.

Tip No 2 – Simplify your life!  

We all have so many decisions to make during the day that we get tired and often at the end of the day, we make poor ones. We’re fed up of having to choose so we give up, we can’t be bothered!

Try structuring your life so that you have fewer decisions to make.  

Look at your business, and wherever you’re frequently doing the same task (such as social media posting, writing blogs, writing to customers), make an outline plan so you always know your next step. This will stop you from sitting stuck, wondering what you’re going to write this time.  

Menu planning is a brilliant way of simplifying day to day decisions about what to eat. Set aside time to plan those meals, make the shopping list and you can forget about it for the rest of the week! Do you spend valuable time trying to decide what to wear each day. I’m not suggesting that you become like Mark Zuckerberg and have only grey T-shirts, but how about creating a great basic wardrobe for your normal office days?

Tip Number 3 – What are you telling yourself?  

I’ve been guilty of asking for others’ opinion too much. They say “Do it this way,” and I say, “OK, maybe they know more than I do,” and I go out and do it their way. 

And the whole time, my intuition was telling me it was a no, but I did not listen to it.  I’ll tell you, 100% of the time, when I don’t listen to my intuition, it never works out!

This is something you can get better at. Meditating helps, so if you don’t meditate, try today. There’s no right or wrong way to meditate and it’s not about emptying your mind – which is impossible. It’s more about sitting quietly and allowing thoughts and ideas to come up. If you prefer, go for a walk instead. Have no distractions, but allow yourself to think quietly. You’ll always have the answers if you choose to listen.

Tip Number 4 – Don’t string it out!   

When you’re sitting in a restaurant faced with a menu, you have to make up your mind in a couple of minutes, or you won’t get fed. Or you annoy your fellow diners. 

So when you have other decisions to make, give yourself a deadline. Don’t stress about whether it’s going to be the right decision, gather all the information you need, and mark a date in your calendar. I do this with my clients when we’re working on clarity in their business. It stops all the confusion that can hold you back for months or even, years. Once you declare you will have decided by say, next Thursday, you’ll feel both relieved and empowered. 

Tip Number 5  – Embrace your first decision.  

This comes with trusting yourself and becoming confident in your own ability.  Once you have made a decision, don’t get wrapped up in all that “maybe I shouldn’t have…”  or “perhaps the other way is better”. 

No, make your decision and then decide to feel good about it. When you allow yourself to regret your first decision, you stop yourself from going all in. There’s a part of you holding back saying “maybe I should have thought about ….” It’s not effective to keep on doubting your decision. 

Decide to feel excited about what you’ve chosen then move forward to make it happen.

In conclusion, remember that rarely is a decision set in stone.   You may make absolutely the right decision and life will be amazing, or it may be a wrong one, but you’ll learn valuable lessons from it. The key is to be confident in yourself and your ability to do what is right for you. If you have listened to your intuition, it’s highly likely the decision is perfect for you. Then decide to feel good about your choice and take action!

Do you need to get clear on what direction you need to take your business?  Do you need support to make that business grow – without you getting overwhelmed or stressed? Book a call with me here. 

Here’s how my private coaching works.

Follow me on Facebook, see my posts on Instagram or connect on LinkedIn. 

 

How to own your worth

Last Saturday night, I was sitting in a lovely restaurant with a friend, discussing her yoga classes. Claire is a fantastic teacher with years of experience, yet when she told me the problems she was having with her pricing, I was shocked. A cleaner would have charged more.

“Claire, you’re one of the best yoga teachers around”, I told her, “and you need to own your worth!”  So often we fail to claim our worth and ask for it, because we feel bad asking for what we think is too much.

We worry what others will think of us.

We believe we’re not worthy of more.

So we continue to play small.

I told Claire, what I tell my clients, “YOU get to decide what you believe about yourself.

They sometimes look at me with astonishment. Then the light slowly dawns. I know when I heard this, it was was a huge aha moment for me.

Yes, I get to decide.  So what do I believe about myself? I looked back and thought of all the beliefs I’d held.

I’m not that clever because I never went to University

I procrastinate all the time

I’m very organised

I can’t manage my money

My thighs are fat

I can’t do public speaking

I’m kind

I’m not very disciplined

These were some of the beliefs I held about myself, and most of them were negative! Was I helping myself by having these beliefs?

Hell no!

 Now I knew I could choose what thoughts to have, and that opened up a whole world of possibilities.

 What would I choose?

 What would you choose? Because, you too can decide what you choose to think.

 More importantly, what you think influences how you feel. And how you feel, dictates how you behave.

Claire was choosing to think her classes were worth less than £10. How would that make her feel about herself as a teacher? If she felt mediocre, how would she then show up?

 Think about it. Are your thoughts dictating how you feel and therefore, how you act?

You can decide

Whether youre clever or dumb

Whether youre efficient or disorganised

Whether youre beautiful or plain

Whether youre witty or boring

Whether youre confident or shy.

Whatever you think, will be true. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Once I realised I got to decide what I wanted to believe about myself, I knew I wanted to believe things like:

I’m clever and creative

I’m capable of whatever I put my mind to

I’m wealthy

I’m loving and kind

I’m confident around others

I’m charming and sociable

I’m healthy and vibrant

I’m efficient and organised.

Now, the more I think thoughts like this, the more positive I feel about myself and those thoughts become beliefs (after all a belief is just a thought that’s become a habit).

The better I feel, the more I become that person. It’s not always easy or straightforward, it’s a work in progress! But it’s better than thinking, and feeling inadequate and unworthy.

What would you choose to think about yourself?

If you’ve been holding a belief about yourself that’s been keeping you small (or not charging your worth like Claire), what could you believe instead?

How would that new belief make you feel.

Can you imagine how you would act differently?

Hold onto that image and decide what you’re going to choose this week.

************************

If reading this, you know you need some support and guidance to change what’s gong round your head, and so feel more like the woman you want to be, then contact me. We’ll get super-focused on ways to make you feel confident, smart and sassy, no matter where you are now. Ready to take action and have a call with me to explore how that would work? Email me at Karen@karenjburge.com

 

 

 

Who decides what’s big for you?

Do you ever think you’re playing small?  Do you get asked what is your BIG vision? Do you get told to play BIG? I’ve seen this asked at conferences, in emails and on social media.   So many coaches and mentors asking, and the replies flood in. Most people respond with big goals like

  • I want to have a 7 figure income
  • I’m going to open a school in Africa
  • My goal’s to get on Woman’s Hour on the radio
  • I’ll be the next Oprah Winfrey!

There’s nothing wrong with all those big dreams, but I’ve often wondered what my BIG vision would be and what income I want to earn. That’s when I ask myself, what do I really want?

My answers look like this:

  • I want to buy an air ticket to visit my family whenever I want.
  • I want to have fresh flowers in my house every day and drink freshly squeezed orange juice (and Champagne when I feel like it)
  • I want to run a retreat for stressed business owners to help them reclaim their lives in a beautiful way.
  • I want to have more time to relax and read, and learn about artists.
  • I want to connect and have conversations with women, and inspire them to live a full and joy-filled life.

Is that enough?

Drinking Champagne

Those who desire huge incomes, big projects, and maybe fame, might scoff at me and wonder at my version of ‘playing BIG’.

But now I get to decide what playing big means to me.

You get to decide too.

We live in a world where we are constantly told to push out of our comfort zone. We’re told we should have big dreams and a bigger vision.

Should we?

I believe I’m always pushing my comfort zone.

I did 6 speaking gigs last month when for decades I said I couldn’t speak in public. It scared me, and I loved it.

I dared to open a mastermind group when everyone else seemed to be starting network groups. It excited me and now I’m meeting diverse business owners in my area.

I’m learning about how our brains work in totally new way that feels like I’m back at school. It’s pushing me and it’s fascinating.

We all have our own ways of dreaming, planning and pushing ourselves. It won’t be anything like anyone else and why should it be?

We’re all unique, having our own experience of life, however, we will all want, need and desire different things.

One of the best quotes I read was “the biggest act of bravery is being strong enough to love what you love and want what you want.”

The only person who gets to decide what you love, what you want and how you play is YOU.

Cycling to Paris may be big for you.

Re-designing your garden may be big for you

Conducting your local choir may be big for you

Doubling your income may be BIG for you.

Having a big vision will excite and challenge you. It will light you up and make you tingle, but it’s YOUR big vision.

If you sit and think, I don’t know what my big vision is, then listen. We always have the answers inside if we really sit still and listen.

If you don’t know what you want today, what don’t you want? That’s always a good starting point. If you listen carefully, you will hear that voice saying Yes, this is your dream and if you really want it, you can make it happen.

When you have an insight and say Yes, that would be really cool, beware of the doubt that immediately creeps in and says

You can’t do THAT!

Or

You shouldn’t desire THAT!

Or

You’re crazy to ask for THAT!

Own your dreams, claim them as yours, and never, ever apologise for wanting what you want.

I’m going to buy air tickets whenever I want (and yeah, I’ll go First Class if I can).

Yes, I’m going to enjoy fresh flowers, freshly squeezed orange juice and Champagne, because like ay other woman, I’m worth it.

I’ll plan to run retreats, connect with amazing women and have fascinating conversations, and what’s more dammit, I’m going to inspire them to live whatever their vision is. Unapologetically!

So this week, my mantra is

Decide it, claim it, own it, live it, and never apologise!

***************

Want more like this? You can sign up for Life Notes on this page.  Follow me at www.facebook.com/karenjburgecoaching

If you feel something is missing and your life isn’t exactly what you want it to be, then book a free LIFE ASSESSMENT and discover how you really do get to create the life YOU want.  Click HERE.

Are you asking the right questions?

We all know that the language we use can our affect our thinking and ultimately our actions. But what about the questions we ask ourselves.  If you want to make changes, are you asking the right questions?

I’ve found that most people ask a certain type of question when they want to improve something.  I had a client called Claire who had got incredibly frustrated with her business. It had stagnated and she felt stuck. 

She asked herself the usual questions. Why can’t I get clients? What am I doing wrong?  Why isn’t my business thriving?  Why can’t I be as successful as her?  She turned these questions over and over in her mind – often in the early hours of the morning. 

What am I doing wrong, she implored me, with tears of frustration in her eyes.

We ask ourselves similar questions when we’re struggling to find answers.

Why can’t I lose weight? Why can’t I speak confidently in public? Why do I always attract the wrong people? How come I’m always broke?

Then our inner voice gives us the answers, and they’e usually ones that make us feeling stupid and incapable. They tend to go like this:

  • You’re lazy. 
  • You’re hopeless.
  • Nobody wants what you’re offering.
  • You’ll shake with nerves.
  • You’ll never be wealthy.

These answers always make you feel worse, and they’re certainly not going to inspire you or give you the solution you’re looking for!  

So let’s turn it round.  Are you asking the right questions? If you were the successful business woman, the slim, vibrant woman who sashayed into parties attracting all the most entertaining people, what questions would you have asked yourself?

To get answers that will get you to where you want to be, you have to ask different questions.  Questions like this:

  • What needs to happen for me to get more clients?
  • How do I get in front of the best people?
  • How can I give my body what it needs and not what I want?
  • How can I have more fun today?
  • What type of people am I excited to meet?
  • How can I learn from that past experience?
  • How can I create more income?

It’s time to ask different questions.

If you are facing a challenge right now, I suggest you do what Claire did. She wrote out all the negative, energy draining, questions that kept her locked in her whirlpool of despair, and turned them round.

Instead of asking Why can’t I get clients? she asked What can I change in my marketing?

Rather than asking What am I doing wrong? she wondered What have I learnt so far and what can I change now?

She turned Why isn’t my business thriving? into What needs to happen for me to move forward?

Then she started to get the answers she needed, the answers that were fresh ideas and became new plans. 

If you want to make a change in your life, try changing your questions. 

*****

Want more like this? You can sign up for Life Notes on this page.  Follow me at www.facebook.com/karenjburgecoaching

If you feel something is missing and your life isn’t exactly what you want it to be, then book a free LIFE ASSESSMENT and discover how you really do get to create the life YOU want.  Click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be Authentic

Authentic is a word that is bandied about a lot these days. You’re probably often asked, Are you authentic? Authenticity appears to be a requirement from everyone, and yet we rarely see it in the media, social or otherwise.

What does being authentic mean? I’d say it’s being yourself. Which is kind of weird as what choice is there but to be ourselves?

We always have a choice, and it’s the same with being authentic. We, like everyone else, choose how we present ourselves to the world, but we are surrounded by images and text about people who are probably not being themselves. After all, Instagram and Facebook are full of people showing their ‘best’ side – their airbrushed bodies and happy faces. Deep down we know it’s a front, but we get swept up in it and start comparing, and then perhaps copying, and before long we’re also adding the layers of pretence!

We try to be someone we’re not and we become inauthentic.

So how do we start being authentic once more?

Let’s start with defining inauthenticity. It’s the feeling of not being your true self.

It’s pretending to be someone you’re not. You don’t need to add anything to be authentic because the key is to take away what isn’t real.

Let me repeat, to be authentic, you need to take away what isn’t real.

  • Lower the mask you’ve been wearing.
  • Stop agreeing to anything that feels wrong.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others.
  • Don’t feel you only have to share the positive.

Do you remember the TV sitcom ‘Keeping Up Appearances’? We laughed at Hyacinth Bucket, but how much happier she’d have been if she decided not to ‘keep up appearances’ but be happy in her own skin? She could have kicked off her shoes, invited the neighbours round and poured a very large gin and tonic. Hyacinth would enjoy her life instead of being in a constant state of stress.

When you can be yourself, without striving to present a different image, life becomes easier! Being you is so much more relaxing. You also feel freer when you stop trying to be something else – what other people think you should be, who your parents taught you to be, or what your job demands.

There’s more joy in just being you. Stop working hard to be ‘perfect’ and enjoy who you are and what you have. You can stop judging yourself as being inadequate, and flaunt the talents that make you unique. You learn to trust, and revel in, your own intuition, when you stop listening to everyone else. 

As humans we recognize authenticity and are attracted by it. When you can be authentic, people will be drawn to you. They will recognize someone who trusts themselves, believes in themselves and doesn’t try to be anyone else. Sometimes it means being vulnerable and admitting that you’re not perfect. But others will love that because none of us are perfect either, and we recognize another very human, being.

There is no-one else like you, so embrace that and be YOU. After all, as Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”

Better boundaries, better business!

A couple of years ago I had a client who ran a holiday home rental company. She came to me because she was exhausted. She’d spent the weekend in bed with a lung condition that always flared up when she was stressed. ‘Don’t worry’ she said, ‘I’m taking a break next weekend – 4 days in Morocco!’  I mentioned her office manager holding the reins while she was away; she laughed and told me that the woman would probably phone her twice a day!   She also admitted that she always had her phone on, even by her bed, in case a client should need her at any time.

She allowed everyone to encroach on her time and energy!

It’s very easy to completely give yourself to your business, but there comes a time when you need to stop and ask yourself why you decided to go it alone in the first place. I’m guessing you wanted something better, for yourself and your family. You wanted more income, more time, and more freedom.

But you soon discover that now everyone demands your time and attention. As you strive to keep everyone happy, just getting through your day to day routine leaves you with little energy, no time, and precious little freedom!

When you’re always busy serving others, you lose the ability to spend time focusing on what your business needs. You never have time to plan your work effectively or focus on your next strategy. Your business stagnates and your life has become a shadow of what you dreamt of.

So how do you reclaim it all?

You need to erect that fence!

Establishing boundaries puts you back in control.

Firstly I suggest that you set aside some time and revisit your dream. What did you imagine your dream business would look like? How many hours would you ideally work? Where would the profit be coming from, and what sort of team would you have around you?  Do you still want that?

What did your dream life look like? Do you still yearn to travel more and experience new places? Did you desire time to enjoy the things you also love? Today do you crave for free weekends and an afternoon off?

To resurrect your dream you need to sit down and plan it. Write out the hours you want to spend working (there are no ‘shoulds’ here). What hours you’re going to join the family, meet with friends and take time for you?

The most successful business owner I know, guards his boundaries fiercely. He spends 90 minutes each morning focusing on his business without interruption. He puts a very firm boundary around that time because he knows how much can be achieved. He’s also decided how he wants to spend his time with his family and it’s clear that all school holidays are ring-fenced!

You too can decide when you’re going to work – and when you aren’t. Even when you are employed.

To regain your life, you need to put a fence around the ‘me-time’ too. For instance, let’s say you always mean to go for a run each day, or you want to read your child’s bedtime story each evening. Decide you’re going to do it and put it in your diary. Now treat that appointment as importantly as any client meeting. After all, who’s more important than you, or your family?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your business, it’s because you haven’t put in the boundaries. When you do, you’ll have more energy to act on fresh ideas. You’ll find that you’ve freed up time to work on growing your company. What’s more, you’ll create the time for you, what you enjoy doing, and being with those you care about most.

And wasn’t that the dream?

I help overwhelmed and stressed entrepreneurs ensure they can grow their business while creating the best version of their life. Contact me for details of the new Elegant Entrepreneur online programme.

Dare to Dream!

This week I’m in Los Angeles, described as the City of Dreams; it’s full of people waiting on their dream (literally, in every restaurant your server may be a ‘wannabe’ actor), pursuing their dream, or living their dream!

Last week we saw Olivia Coleman hold high the Oscar she’d long dreamed of. “I imagined this”, she cried.

When our dream is really aligned with our soul and what it craves, it never really goes away.

In the busy-ness of life, it is still there, nagging away. And we sigh and say “one day when…” and carry on with our life. But your dream is still there.

When we were young, we dreamt of what life would be like. We imagined the person we’d be and what we’d be doing. We’d always be doing something wonderful – being a doctor, famous dancer, explorer or author.

What happened?

We allow life to happen to us and along the way, we lose the belief in ourselves to make those dreams happen.

We allow the negative thoughts to creep in.

We allow ourselves to doubt.

We allow ourselves to feel incapable.

We allow ourselves to shrink back into life and to play small. We just ‘get on’, and our dreams become a faded memory.

But still they remain, buried in our soul.

One day, and I hope this is for you, you realise that the dream you had is still there, and you decide to fight to make it happen.

It can start in a small way.

When I was a little girl I dreamt of being a famous actress. I was entered into a big poetry competition but when I got on that stage, I froze. I remember still the room going black and the over-riding fear that took over.

So as I grew, I would never speak out loud in a room. I wouldn’t even raise my hand to ask a question. I would say for decades, “I don’t do public speaking”.

I came to believe that if I opened my mouth, my throat would constrict, my heart would pound and I’d never get to the end of my sentence. And that’s exactly what happened.

My dream was still to be able to get on a stage and talk. I knew I wasn’t going to be an actor, but I still loved the idea of captivating an audience.

So I took a decision and then those baby steps.

I went to networking lunches where I had to stand up and introduce myself. I stood with my small piece of paper, reading out my introduction with my hands shaking. Eventually I was able to put the paper down and stand up straight!

I started speaking in public.

After many months I put my name down to give a 10 minute talk. That’s when I really felt fear! But I’d said yes. I had to coach myself through that one, using the tools I use with clients today.

It was all about changing my mindset. It is ALWAYS about changing what you believe!

The short talks became longer talks until I could confidently talk to a room for 20 minutes without notes, and without stumbling or shaking!

Last week I stood in for a speaker who cancelled at the last minute. This year I’m preparing to talk to groups of people in companies. I want to talk to them about making their work just part of their life, and how to make that life the best it can possibly be.

Now here’s the BIG reveal; I’ve learnt that by going for my dream I’ve changed. This is the best part.

When you reach for your dream, who do you become on the journey?

Reaching for a dream IS a journey. Like any other, it will have its twists and turns, ups and downs.

But if your dream is one that is deep inside and fully aligned with who you are, it will keep you going.

Yes, it feels uncomfortable at times. Yes it can be scary and will involve change. Yes you’ll bump up against questions and criticism. But let’s face it, haven’t you dealt with all that before?

Do you dare to resurrect your dream? Many women I meet have firmly packed away their dream. But I believe every woman has her dream. Do you?

What would happen if you owned up to that dream and really went for it?

What if you stopped listening to the voice of doubt?

What if you allowed yourself to believe that you deserved whatever you desire?

Let me ask you; when you’re old and frail and looking back on your life, do you want to cheer or regret?

How will you feel knowing you had a dream once but it never came to fruition?

How will you feel knowing you made it happen?

Will you see what you were capable of?

Will you see that you created something wonderful?

Will you see that you stepped up and were brave?

Will you see that you brought joy and even astonishment?

You have a dream. It doesn’t have to be about becoming a professor or climbing mountains.

It may be to create the most peaceful retreats, or a beautiful garden.

It may be to flaunt blue hair when you’re sixty, lose 2 stone, or become an award-winning dancer.

It may be to influence 100,000 people, or inspire 50 in a village hall to improve your locality.

It could be to play guitar or form a jazz band.

Do you dare to reach for that dream?

You are capable.

You already know what you want.

You are ready.

You can do it.

Tell me, what dream are you going to reach for? Please share in the comments below. Because by declaring your dream, you’re a step closer to achieving it.

And it all starts with one step.

 

Do you have a dream that feels impossible right now?  I occasionally have spaces in my Elegant Entrepreneur programme to enable you to create the life and business you desire. Message me at karen@karenjburge.com to talk about your dream.

 

 

 

Why french women say yes to everything!

I fell in love with France when I was at school learning about the beautiful chateaux in the Loire Valley. After many years of holidaying there, and even buying a tiny house in a village, we eventually bought a much bigger place – a ‘Maison de Maitre’ – and lived there full time. 

Now there’s a lot written about french women and how they treat themselves so well; particularly the Parisiennes who are always thought to be slim and chic!  In the south west my neighbours were as varied as the women in any other country, but it’s true, there was a different philosophy that permeated life. 

I can tell you, French women do say Yes to life!  They certainly say yes to great food and wine, so how do they stay slim?  We know they eat croissants, chocolate, and foie gras.  They drink Champagne and wine of course! They say yes to four course meals and eat all that cheese!

But there are certain rules in place.

Firstly they only eat when they feel hungry, and then it is the best quality food.  If they indulge one day, they’ll make sure they eat less the next.  Because they eat delicious food, they eat slowly and savour each mouthful, and while they might adore croissants and pastries, these are an occasional treat, not an every day indulgence!  Food, like friendship is to be celebrated!

 

French women on the whole, treat their bodies with respect.  They recognise that unless they take of themselves, they can’t take care of others. They know that when they feel strong, they can handle any circumstance. But above all they treat themselves well because they honour and respect themselves in all things. And they take responsibility. 

When you do all that, you don’t allow other people to take advantage of you, sucking your energy or taking up your precious time. You don’t tolerate bad behaviour from others because you know you deserve better. 

At the same time you enjoy the nice things in life.

You don’t keep the good china for ‘special occasions’, because life is a special occasion!

You wear good clothes because you want to look your best, not for others, but because it makes YOU feel good.  

If you feel tired, you take a nap, because that’s what your body needs. And when you feel like dancing until dawn, you do that too, because life is to be celebrated. 

When you honour yourself, you find yourself saying yes to everything life has to offer – as long as it’s the best thing for your mind, your body or your soul. 

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If you’d like to learn more about staying slim the french way, I can recommend the book Why French Women Don’t Get Fat!  Get it here.   

How are you when it comes to respecting and loving yourself? Do you yearn to say Yes more often but think you don’t deserve what you want?  Do comment below and let me know; and if you’d like to talk about this, click here.

 

When to say a big loud Yes!

That short word Yes.  Such a little word, yet so powerful. Saying it can keep us stuck, or help us rise.

Sometimes it’s said out of laziness.   You know, when you mean to “be good”, and lose those few extra pounds? But you’re in the queue for a coffee and it’s so easy to say Yes to that double chocolate chip muffin that’s sitting there on the counter.

We say Yes out of obligation.  A friend calls you up and asks you to help out at a school fete, or sit on a committee;  you think “well I really ought to, she’ll be disappointed in me if I refuse”. Then you end up resenting your friend, and the event, and it’s just an energy sucking experience all round!

Then there’s the Yes due to the Fear Of Missing Out (see my last blog on this here).  You agree to going to a local knees up, not because you like the people and you think it’ll be a great thing to do, but because you dread the idea of missing out on the local gossip, that they might have more fun than you, or heaven forbid, the chance to be “in with the in-crowd”.

However, saying No can stifle you and keep you stuck.  Saying No can keep you safe, at home, doing what’s familiar.   If you want to expand your life, have more experiences, and grow yourself, there are times to step up and say an enthusiastic YES! 

When you say a big loud Yes to life and all that’s on offer, you become the person who’s eager, courageous, confident and fun to be with!  (I still push myself to say yes; here I am in Egypt having a wonderful time when so many said it was too risky!)

What could you say Yes to?

  • Saying Yes to the chance of a last minute trip could lead to new and exciting places and people.  Who knows who you might meet, or what may happen?
  • Saying Yes to an opportunity that feels darned scary could lead to a new dimension in your work and business, and potential growth. You’ll never expand if you always say No to an invitation.
  • Saying Yes to buying something gorgeous and expensive (that you normally wouldn’t),  wakes you up to recognising your worth. Yes, you do deserve that!
  • Saying Yes can be uncomfortable, but if it’s the next step that will take you nearer to your dream, it’s the best Yes of all.  Take a deep breath and jump in!

This week, what could you say Yes to that will help you rise?

 

What are you afraid to say yes to right now?  Is there a goal that feels impossible?  I can help you get rid of the fear and take the next steps to a different way of doing and being. If you’re tired of saying “I’d love to but…”, email me at karen@karenjburge.com and let’s talk.