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The 3 tell-tale signs you are experiencing resistance

6 May

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-bored-healthy-eating-image18253299I had a light bulb moment recently (love it when that happens!). I was watching Marie Forleo interview sports psychologist Todd Herman and he was talking about the biological process that occurs when we start to make a change. In very basic terms (I am no scientist!), he explained that when we begin to behave in a new way, our cells are bombarded with different hormones, and they start to vibrate.

We often interpret this vibration as a negative emotion. We can feel unsettled and decide that the change we have made isn’t right for us. We go back to our old habits, as they feel more comfortable.

The realisation that this unsettled feeling that comes when we make a change is actually biological really struck me. Once we recognise that, ‘Hey! It’s just my cells vibrating’, we can move through this initial discomfort and wait for them to calm down (which they will).

I was also really interested in what’s going for us whilst our cells are doing this change dance. What do we actually experience when we are trying to make a change? It can be summed up in one word, resistance.

Resistance can happen whenever we want to do something different. We feel an initial excitement, a ‘Yes! I can do this,’ attitude. We get all motivated and start making the change and then a couple of hours, days or weeks later….resistance kicks in.

What does resistance look like? It’s helpful to know, because you will have your own signature style of resistance. Once you become familiar with it, you can simply say, ‘Oh, I see you there’ and move right on through it.

So, here are three tell-tale signs that your cells are vibrating up a storm and you are experiencing la resistance.

Tell-tale sign number 1: Everything goes to s**t

I have seen this so many times with my clients and myself!

Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight. Everything is going great for a week or so. You’re making healthier food choices, you’re getting to the gym and the weight is starting to come off.

You feel good. You’re thinking to yourself, ‘Yes! I’m finally doing this.’

Then the next week, you get on the scales and to your horror, you’ve put weight on. How did this happen? You’ve been doing everything right. You’ve made changes. How could you have put weight on?

A similar thing happened for me last May. At the time I was working on my wealth consciousness. I was really focused on being more successful in my business.

Do you know what happened? Last May was my worst month ever financially for my business. It was beyond bad.

When this kind of thing happens, our natural response is to feel, ‘What’s the freaking point?’ We can give up and go back to our old habits.

However, if we recognise this difficult time as resistance, then our perception starts to shift.

This is why I always let my clients know that it’s completely normal to experience setbacks. It is part of the process and you just need to move on through it.

What do you do when everything goes to s**t? Keep taking action!

Action is so key. When I had my disastrous May last year, even though part of me wanted to give up and crawl under the duvet, I kept going. I did leaflet drops, put posters up, kept networking and do you know what? Business picked up and has been pretty darn great ever since.

I just had to move through the resistance and you can do that too.

Tell-tale sign number 2: You procrastinate

Have you ever wanted to make a big change and just kept putting it off in some way?

You find yourself thinking that you just need to read that one more book before taking action. Maybe you tell yourself, ‘I’ll start it on Monday, next month, after my holiday’.

Again, this is a sure sign you’re experiencing resistance. Just thinking about this change is causing your cells to samba and you’re feeling uncomfortable.

So, you find ways of putting off actually doing anything. You might even find yourself doing the dishes, folding the washing, cleaning the bathroom – anything to delay making a change.

You can justify all of this in your head, telling yourself that you really need to dust the living room before you can concentrate. Or maybe you tell yourself you don’t have enough time right now?

There are a gazillion excuses and delaying tactics you can call on.

The fact is, you are procrastinating. You are experiencing resistance.

How do you deal with this? Just do the work!

I’m afraid there is no easy solution, you just need to recognise that you are delaying and then get on with it.

Now, don’t think you have to do it all at once (because that could cause resistance overload!)

Start with small, manageable steps. Maybe commit to 30 minutes a day working towards your goal. You can always build on that.

Call yourself out on your procrastination and keep taking action.

Tell-tale sign number 3: You feel grumpy!

Oh, I am so familiar with this form of resistance! (Actually, I’m super-familiar with all of them, but this is a favourite of mine.)

Maybe you sign-up with a personal trainer, a teacher at an evening class or a coach. At first you think that person is great. You’re telling everyone how inspirational they are. You are their biggest fan.

Then one day you find yourself feeling grumpy with them. You start to find points to criticise. Maybe you miss a session, you feel kind of rebellious.

You tell yourself, ‘I’m going to do it my way. I know what’s best for me!’

Now, I absolutely agree that you are unique and you can find your own way. All power to you my friend!

However, if you are telling yourself this and feeling downright grumpy at the same time, then this is often a sign that actually what you are experiencing is resistance.

Maybe this person has challenged you in some way (if they are doing their job right they certainly will have). At first you found this exciting, but then your cells start to cha-cha-cha and you find yourself shrinking back.

It’s much easier to reject someone when you feel grumpy with them, so that’s what happens. You unconsciously manifest a grump so you can justify stopping working with that person.

Does this resonate with you? I have certainly experienced this in the past, both as a therapist and as a client.

How do you get over the grump? Out it!

I know it won’t feel comfortable initially, but acknowledge your grouchiness. Talk to the person your grump is directed at. Tell them what you’re experiencing.

You will feel much better for it. That grump will start to disappear as soon as you let it out (like magic!).

So, resistance, it’s a funny old thing isn’t it? Learning to spot the signs is so liberating. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can move through it.

Take action now: What’s your signature style of resistance? Comment below, tell me about a time you experienced resistance and what you did to overcome it.

If you are ready to just do it and get through your resistance, contact me and let’s talk.

The Surprising Connection Between Weight Loss and Money

22 Apr

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-frustrated-money-woman-image16282481How the same blocks that are preventing you from losing weight could be stopping you from having the money you desire
(and how to overcome them)

Do you ever have so many ideas flying around inside your head that you end up feeling totally confused? That has been me recently!

Although I’ve always specialised in helping women achieve the perfect weight loss mindset, this year I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I could help different women achieve different goals. It’s been very exciting, but I needed some clarity and therefore I decided to send out a survey to my existing and potential clients.

I wanted to discover what areas of their lives were presenting the most challenges and what they thought was holding them back. The results were surprising and enlightening!

Almost half of the women I surveyed said that money was the main area of challenge in their lives. This was no surprise; I personally have had my challenges with finances and I know many women feel the same. However, what was enlightening was that the stumbling blocks women talked about when it came to money were exactly the same as those I had worked with in my weight loss hypnotherapy practice over the years.

The struggles, challenges, and underlying limiting beliefs that were holding women back from being their ideal weight, were exactly the same as those that were preventing women from managing and calling in the money they desired.

I’m sure you have heard the idea before that our outer world mirrors our inner world. If you are struggling to earn enough, if your relationships are difficult or you have excess weight that is getting you down, this is a reflection of something that is going on internally.

The results of my survey showed that the inner landscape of someone who is struggling to lose weight is very similar to someone who has a difficult relationship with money. The excess weight and lack of money are simply symptoms of the same unconscious blocks.

So, what are these stumbling blocks that can stop us from losing weight as well as enjoying financial abundance? Here are the top three of the most common, along with ways to overcome them.

1) Block One – Lack of self-belief

Just as we often have an ideal weight in our minds, many of us have an idea of the amount of money we would like to earn. We are encouraged to set goals in all areas of our lives, clear, specific, achievable goals. So we do. We write them down and then what? I wonder if you ever think, ‘Okay, that’s my goal, now how the hell do I get to it?’

Perhaps you then start to feel anxious about what steps to take? Maybe you start to beat yourself up that you are not taking any action and you have no idea what to actually do in order to reach you goal. In fact, you can feel downright scared!

When we feel this fear and anxiety, it’s often because there is a little voice in the back of our mind saying, ‘You can’t do that!’, ‘Who do you think you are to try and be that weight/earn that much?’ and the classic, ‘You’re just not good enough’. Any of those sound familiar?

As soon as that voice kicks in, we freeze. We might know exactly where we want to be, but we just don’t believe we can get there. So a ‘what’s the point in trying?’ attitude kicks in.

We just don’t believe in ourselves. And if you don’t truly believe you can achieve a particular goal, it’s going to be darned hard work trying to get there.

Whether it’s a particular weight or a certain amount of money we want, we need to believe we can do it.

If this resonates with you, what can you do to boost your self-belief?

Well, the first step is to recognise that critical voice when it starts kicking in. What exactly is it saying to you? Write down any limiting beliefs that are coming to mind. By writing them down, you are starting the process of getting them out of your head, reducing their power.

The second step is to release these old, limiting beliefs. There are many ways to do this, including hypnotherapy and EFT. However, if you don’t have access to these therapies at the moment, you could hold a simple, symbolic ceremony and burn the piece of paper on which you have written your limiting beliefs. As the paper burns, put your hand on your heart and declare, ‘I choose to release these old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve me’. (This might sound a bit woo-woo but believe me, this kind of releasing ceremony can be very powerful – just give it a go.)

Once you have released the old beliefs, it’s time to decide which new thoughts and beliefs are going to support you as you move forwards. What positive statements and affirmations will build your belief and free you up to move towards your goals?

‘I can do it!’

‘I have all the resources within me to earn the income I desire.’

‘I am good enough’.

It’s time to start installing these new beliefs. Write them down. Say them out loud as often as possible and repeat them in your mind whenever you can, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

This process can take time and you may need to go back and work through the steps over again, but you are reprogramming your mind with self-belief.

Take action now: Take some time to think about a particular goal that’s important to you. Visualise yourself achieving this goal, see yourself getting exactly what you want. As you do this, notice what thoughts come to mind. Are there any critical, negative beliefs that come up? Start with these and work through the three steps outlined above.

2) Block Two – Guilt and Shame

These are big ones! As women, many of us have feelings of guilt and shame around not being the way we want to be. Whether it’s in terms of the way we look or the money we earn (or don’t earn), it’s almost as if we have been programmed to feel shameful and guilty.

Maybe we were told, ‘Nice girls don’t ask for more’, so we feel guilty asking for the money we truly deserve.

Perhaps we feel shameful around out past behaviours and choices around money or food? In the same way that someone might binge eat in secret, maybe you have credit card debts or loans that you feel ashamed of?

Often we feel guilty about wanting more, whether that’s in terms of more money or more self-care. We are told, that you shouldn’t want more than enough, any more is a waste. So we manage on what we already have, we don’t give ourselves what we truly need and deserve. We don’t acknowledge our true, deep-down, desires.

We end up suppressing our feelings, scared to express ourselves, fearful of saying, ‘I want that!’, whatever ‘that’ may be.

I wonder if you have feelings of guilt and shame around money? If you do, one of the best things you can do is let these feelings out.

How can you do this? I recommend either talking to a friend who will understand, becoming part of a supportive group, either online or in-person, or working with a mentor who will help you to release these feelings that can hold you back.

Once any guilt and shame is out in the open, once you express it, the feelings start to lose their power. They are only toxic when you hold them in.

Take action now: Are you holding onto guilt or shame around money? Take some time to journal your feelings and start to look for someone who can support you. It’s important that you feel comfortable and safe with whoever you choose to share these feelings with, so start to explore your options and trust your instinct.

3) Block Three – Feeling overwhelmed

This is such a common feeling when it comes to either losing weight or managing our money.

Maybe your particular goal just feels too big? Perhaps you have no idea where to start?

When we are looking to make changes and work towards a specific outcome, we can sometimes click into anxiety and panic mode. When this happens, stress hormones can start to be released into our bodies. We feel under pressure and on edge. No wonder it feels difficult to move forwards and make the transformation we desire!

This feeling of overwhelm can result in procrastination. Although we have an idea of where we want to get to, it seems like there are too many steps in the way, so we find ourselves checking Facebook for the 10th time that day (sound familiar?)

Another method of self-sabotage is telling ourselves there’s not enough time. I hear this so often (and I must admit, I find myself saying it at times!) When something is important to us, we can always find the time to do it. When we say, I just don’t have the time, it’s another way of saying, ‘I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start and I’m going into panic mode!’

So, what can you do to overcome this feeling of overwhelm? Begin by taking a deep breath and then start small. Set aside just 15 minutes a day and start taking the small steps that are going to make a big difference.

If you were trying to lose weight, you might use this 15 minutes to do some exercise. When it comes to money you could begin by finding out exactly where you are right now. Go through your paperwork (remember, just 15 minutes a day) and write down how much money you have, any debts you currently have and track the money that is coming in. Knowledge is power!

Create a plan of your next steps and use your daily 15 minutes to start moving forward.

When you commit to bitesize chunks of time, it feels so much more manageable than telling yourself you’re going to spend a whole day or half-day on something.

Take action now: Grab your diary and schedule in your daily 15minutes – do it now! Write down some ideas for your small steps and plan them into your 15-minute slots of time. Commit to taking action.

Have any of these blocks particularly resonated with you? If so, please share your comments below this article and let me know what action you plan to take. By taking the time to comment, you are sending a powerful message to your subconscious mind that you are committed to taking action.

Tweet: When we work on our inner world, the outer world starts to shift. It’s inevitable. @NicolaSemple1Tweet: When we work on our inner world, the outer world starts to shift. It's inevitable. @NicolaSemple1

If you are struggling with money at the moment, I am offering free 45-minute Blast Your Block calls next week to three people. These calls will offer you the chance to identify your particular money blocks and explore ways of moving past them, coming up with a clear plan of action. If you would like to step-up and claim one of these calls, email me at: nicola@horizon-hypnotherapy.com and let me know how you would benefit.

Your 3 Steps to Happiness

9 Apr

holistic-joy-300x300What does happiness mean to you? When I asked this question on my Facebook page recently, here are some of the responses I received: inner peace, health, enough money in the bank, smiles on the faces of my husband and kids, everything!

It seems that we all have our own meaning when it comes to happiness, but whatever it means to us, we place huge importance on being happy.

There is often a mis-match between what we are experiencing and what we imagine we need to have or be in order to be happy.

It’s all about perception. We can tell ourselves:

‘I can’t be happy until (I have a certain amount of money/am a particular weight/meet the right man)’

or we can say, ‘I choose to be happy right now’.

We can think about what we perceive to be missing from our life, or focus on what we already have.

I know that often it doesn’t feel like we have a choice about what we think or feel. Our thoughts can feel out of control, constantly comparing our lives to those of other people who we perceive to have more money, better relationships, slimmer bodies. Who knows what goes on inside the minds of ‘those people’? I can guarantee it’s not all joy and peace!

The truth is if you want to feel in control of your happiness levels, you don’t need to rely on your external circumstances.

Just like you can improve your physical fitness, losing fat and building muscle, you can also give yourself a mental workout – building your positive thoughts and feelings and ditching the negative, critical thinking.

Let me present The Happiness Workout, three simple steps which will help to build your happy muscle. Commit to following these steps every day and happy will start to feel natural for you. The happiness workout takes just fifteen minutes a day – are you ready?

Step 1 – Driftaway

This is a super-simple technique I often use with my clients. The idea is to recognise that you are in control of your thoughts. Once you realise that, happiness and contentment are yours!

Find somewhere you can be quiet and undisturbed for up to fifteen minutes (you can certainly start off with a shorter period of time and build up to the full fifteen minutes).

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Just start to notice your thoughts. Don’t try to change them, just watch your thoughts.

Notice each thought as it comes into your awareness. Set your intention to simply allow each one to drift across your mind, watching it like an observer.

Imagine you are taking a step back and watching your thoughts from a distance. Notice how you feel as you create that distance.

As each thought drifts across your mind, imagine then that it is floating away from you, like a bubble. You might visualise each thought encased in a bubble. Allow each bubble to float away from you, until it is out of your awareness.

At first you might have a lot of thoughts and a lot of bubbles! It may be difficult to identify each individual one. That’s okay. Just let them come and mentally take that step back. Give yourself some breathing space.

Continue with this practice for up to five minutes.

As you allow yourself to practice the driftaway technique daily, you will come to realise that you don’t have to become involved in your thoughts, you don’t have to engage with them. You can simply choose to watch each thought and allow them to float away from you.

This is a great way of making some mental space for yourself, building the feeling of being in control and knowing that you have a choice.

Step 2 – Body Talk

Now that you have done some mental clearing, you can bring your focus down from your mind into your body.

Often it feels like we are living up in our heads. It can be such a relief to spend some time down in our bodies and listen to the wisdom they have to share with us.

This is the next step of your happiness workout.

Stay in your quiet place and start to bring your attention into your body. Begin up at the top of the head and work your way down through each part of you. Imagine each muscle relaxing and releasing.

If you notice any tension or tightness, imagine that it is melting away, dissolving, like a warm liquid.

Your mind may wander during this process. That’s completely natural. If you notice your mind drifting off into thinking, bring your attention back to your body and continue working down towards your feet.

Once your attention arrives at your feet and your toes, ask your body silently in your mind, ‘Do you have anything to share with me today?’

Listen for the answer, maybe a thought will appear in your mind, maybe you will see an image or experience a physical sensation.

Maybe your body will let you know that it needs to rest, perhaps you will see a particular food that could nourish your body or you will be drawn to a part of your body that needs some attention.

Trust whatever comes to you and act on it.

Don’t worry if nothing comes. Just continue with the practice each day and you will start to become more aware of any insights your body has for you.

Notice how you feel to move out of your busy head and into your body; away from your thinking mind and into that more intuitive part of you that knows exactly what you need. You are building a relationship with your wise inner self.

Spend up to five minutes bringing yourself into your body. You will begin to become aware of a sense of peace and calm that maybe wasn’t there before.

You are now ready to move on to the final step of your happy workout…

Step 3 – Thank you!

As I mentioned earlier, much of our discontentment and lack of satisfaction comes from comparing ourselves to others, or feeling that we should be a certain way.

The last step of the workout gives you the chance to focus on where you are right now and what you do have, rather than what you don’t.

You’ve probably heard that an attitude of gratitude is one of the key ways to being happy? Well, this is what we are going to use now to super-charge your happiness muscle.

Stay in your quiet place and start to think about all the things that you appreciate in your life right now. If you can, write a list of everything you are grateful for. Writing the words down helps to reinforce the power of gratitude and appreciation you are expressing.

If you are thinking, ‘I have no idea where to start’, or ‘My life is so plain awful, I have nothing to be grateful for’, here are some appreciation tips:

  1. Back to basics. Focus on your body to begin with – what do you appreciate about your body? Your ability to sit comfortably? Your legs for moving you around? Your eyes that see the world around you? Your ears for hearing the words of loved ones or beautiful music?
  2. Widen your scope to include your home. What do you appreciate about your home? The shelter? The warmth? The comfort?
  3. Include any people you appreciate. Your partner? Your family? Your friends?
  4. How about any situations in your life you are grateful for? Your work? Your social life?
  5. Think about the natural world around you. What do you appreciate there? The warmth of the sun? The nourishment of the rain? The feeling of the ground beneath your feet? The sound of birds singing?

Once you start, you might find you aren’t able to stop! Keep going for five minutes and notice how you feel at the end.

To end your happiness workout, take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and affirm to yourself, ‘All is well in my world in this moment’.

Delicious! If you commit to doing this mental workout daily, you will bring yourself back to happiness. You will feel in control of your mind and more satisfied that you have everything you need in this moment.

Take Action Now: When are you going to do your happiness workout? Schedule a time right now and stick to it. Show your commitment by posting a comment below this blog post and let me know how you get on. Happy times ahead!

Psst…Did you like this post?  If you enjoyed my Happiness Workout, you will be pleased to know I am creating an audio version guiding you through each of the three steps.  The good news?  This audio will be completely free to anyone on my list of subscribers – to make sure you get your free Happiness Workout MP3, just enter your name and email address right at the top of this page.

How to Establish a Gratitude Practice

17 Mar

Gratitude imageMost of the people who come to see me want to make some sort of change in their lives, maybe they want to lose weight, feel more confident or perhaps start a family.  This means that there is generally something they are currently unhappy with.  When we’re unhappy or dissatisfied with an element of our lives, we can get tied up with thinking about it constantly. We can start obsessing with how overweight we feel or the fact that we just can’t seem to get pregnant.  This kind of thinking can easily turn into a downward spiral and it can be difficult to see a way out.

When we’re thinking unhappy, fed-up thoughts, we tend to get more unhappy and more fed-up – it’s the way our minds operate!  So, I work with my clients to break that negative cycle and encourage them to start focusing on what they are happy with, to adopt an attitude of gratitude.  Maybe you’re not particularly happy with your body at the moment, but what are you grateful for in your life?  Perhaps you have a wonderful, supportive partner, or children who inspire you to be healthier?  How about all of the qualities you have that can help you on your way – your organisational skills, the way you motivate others, your attention to detail?  These are all things you can be grateful for and when we start to focus on feeling grateful, we automatically start to feel good!

Have you ever noticed that when you feel good, life is so much easier? You have more energy, you can get things done and everything seems more enjoyable.  Well, by adopting an attitude to gratitude, you will be creating a shift in your mindset which makes it far easier to get what you want.

This week, my regular Tuesday Challenge video focuses on how to establish a regular gratitude practice.  Watch the video below and let me know how you are going to make gratitude a part of your everyday life by commenting at the bottom of this post.

A Different Approach to Lent

4 Mar

Nurture ImageThis week I have been inspired by Lent, that 40-day period in the run-up to Easter when we traditionally choose to give something up.  Maybe you are thinking about giving up chocolate for Lent?  Or maybe alcohol?  A couple of year’s ago, I chose to give up watching TV during Lent.

I would like to suggest that you do something different this year.  Our minds can struggle with the idea of giving something up or stopping a particular behaviour.  You might have experienced this if you’ve decided to go on a diet in the past or give up smoking; you will have noticed that food or cigarettes kept finding their way to the forefront of your mind!

Our minds find it much easier to start a new habit, to bring something new into our lives, and this is what I would like to challenge you to do during Lent.  What new habit would you like to establish?  What would you like more of in your life?  The next 40-day period is the perfect opportunity to do this.

I talk about this in my regular Tuesday Challenge video this week and you can watch it below.

I would love to know what new positive habit you have decided to create for yourself?  What are you choosing to bring more of into your life?  Let me know and show your commitment by commenting below this blog post.

Just think, by Easter you could have a wonderful, new, supportive habit as part of your everyday life!

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