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Have you got a stone in your shoe?

7 Jul

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-walking-boots-image27270242Can I share a secret with you? 

Sometimes I find it difficult to explain exactly what I do for my clients.  I know I’m a hypnotherapist, an EFT practitioner and a coach.  I know I help clients to be more successful, feel more confident, lose weight or start a family.  But how does this happen?

Well I could say that I help clients to overcome any subconscious blocks or limiting beliefs to achieve their goals and dreams.  That makes sense, but it might not mean much to you.  You might not completely get what I mean by subconscious blocks or limiting beliefs.

Often it helps to explain ideas and concepts by using a metaphor or a story and recently a metaphor has kept coming to me, which sums up perfectly what I do and how I work.

It first came to me when I was out for a walk and I noticed I had a stone in my sandal.  It was only a small stone.  It was irritating, but not too painful, so I kept walking for a while (to tell you the truth, I just couldn’t be bothered to stop and get it out!)

The thing is, although I kept walking, I couldn’t move my attention away from that stone.  I couldn’t stop focusing on it.  I stopped enjoying my walk and the stone was becoming more uncomfortable by the minute.

Eventually, as the stone actually did start to feel painful, I stopped and hooked it out.  What a sense of relief!  I could walk freely and get back to being in the moment and enjoying my surroundings.

Now, you might be asking, ‘Nicola, why on earth are you talking about stones and sandals?  Have you gone crazy?’

Well, my point is that when you have some sort of subconscious block or limiting belief, it’s like having a stone in your shoe.  You might not notice it too much to begin with.  You might be able to put up with it and carry on with life.  But at some level, that stone will be taking your attention and your energy.

The more you try to ignore it, that stone will become more and more noticeable.  As it does, you might start to walk less and less to avoid the discomfort.  You may even find that you don’t bother going out at all because you know that stone is going to cause you pain.

So, this is a metaphor for the work I do.   I help to hook that stone out of your shoe so you can move forward freely, without feeling restricted and without experiencing pain.

Sometimes we put with things for too long – whether it’s a stone in your sandal, a destructive relationship, an unhelpful habit or a limiting belief.  We get so used to it that the discomfort begins to feel normal. 

I wonder if you have a metaphorical stone in your shoe?  I wonder if you have been putting up with pain for too long?

If you have, then maybe it’s time to let it go?  I would love for you to be able to start enjoying your walk through life.

If you want to find out more about how I can help, contact me now to arrange a free 30-minute consultation and let’s talk.

Are you secretly scared of stepping up?

17 Jun

The Fear Factor

 

What are the goals that you want to achieve?  What do you dream of moving towards?   Where do you want to be in your life?

These are all exciting and thought-provoking questions.  I’m sure you have some wonderful ideas running through your mind right now about your goals, dreams and desires.

Maybe you want to be more successful in your business or career?

Perhaps you want to reach a particular weight?

It could be that you want to move to the next income level?

As you focus on your particular goal, I wonder if any fears or doubts come up for you?

When I’m working with clients, I always check out whether there are any hidden benefits to staying where they are right now.  They usually answer pretty quickly and say, ‘Of course not!  I really want to lose weight/earn more/get that promotion’.

But when I ask them to think about it more deeply, often they realise that it feels safer and more comfortable to stay where they are at the moment.  Secret doubts and fears surface about what it might be like to achieve their goals.

‘I’m worried that I’ll attract more attention if I reach my ideal weight.’

‘My boss might find out that I’m not good enough if I get that promotion at work.’

‘People will think I’m greedy if I earn that much money.’

I wonder if any of these sound familiar to you?  Maybe you have your own concerns about how it would be to step up and grab your desired outcome.

These hidden (or not so hidden!) fears can prevent us from living the life we want.  They can keep us stuck and stop us from taking action.

That’s why I have created a special tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) routine to release any fears you might have around success and being more visible.

You can see the video below and tap along to let go of any worries or doubts you might have.

 

When you have watched the video, I would love to hear what goal you are moving towards at the moment and how this tapping routine helped.  Comment below to let me know what action you will be taking as a result of watching this video.

This everyday challenge is stopping you again and again.

29 May

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image19385242Whenever I speak to women about what is stopping them from achieving their goals, the number one answer is lack of time.

These are the the kind of things I hear:

‘I want to change career, but I just don’t have the time to retrain’.

‘I would love to do more exercise, but I can’t fit it in’.

‘I want to write a book/create an ecourse/revamp my website, but I’m just too busy right now’.

This perceived lack of time can keep us stuck in a place we don’t want to be. It can keep us stuck feeling less healthy than we want to be. It can keep us paralysed in our business or career. It can prevent us from living the truly fulfilling life we want to live.

This one challenge comes up every single day, stopping us in small ways and big ways.

Have you ever found yourself saying to a friend on the phone or when you bump into her on the street, ‘Can’t stop, I haven’t got time!’

Or maybe you’ve turned down an event you want to go to as you feel you’re too busy?

I personally can think of an opportunity that I was offered recently where I would have to step up out of my comfort zone. My first thought wasn’t, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’, it was ‘I’m not sure if I have enough time’.

(By the way, sometimes, we can use lack of time as an excuse to mask an underlying lack of self-belief.)

The fact is when you feel time-pressured, it’s a major cause of stress. When you feel that you don’t have enough time in the day, you are heading for burnout.

The good news is that there are some simple ways to overcome the time challenge. Here’s what to do when you are feeling time-pressured.

1) Prioritise (aka cut the crap!)

Have a think about your day today. What are you spending your time doing?

Now I know a lot of the stuff you are doing is super-important and necessary (like reading this fabulous article!). But if you are honest, how much of your time is spent doing stuff that just doesn’t matter?

How much time do you spend checking Facebook or email? How much time do you spend watching crappy TV programmes? How much time do you spend procrastinating about what to do next?

Now I can hold my hands up to all of the above! The truth is you have plenty of time to do all the things you want to do (truly). You simply need to focus on your priorities.

Ask yourself the question – ‘What is most important to me?’

Make a list, with your highest priority at the top.

Now you have something to work with. You can clearly see what means most to you and where you want to spend your time.

Each day, focus on the top three priorities on your list. This is now your guide. Whenever you find yourself feeling time-pressured, ask yourself, ‘Am I spending my time wisely right now? Am I focusing on my priorities?’

If the answer is no, let go of what you are doing.

This might take practice, but in time you will find yourself experiencing more space and fulfilment in your life.

Take action now: Make your priority list! Tune in to what’s truly important to you and then think about where you are spending your time right now. You might be surprised to realise that most of your time is being spent on crap (to be frank!) that’s just not meaningful for you.

2) Change your time story

We all perceive time in a particular way. I’m sure you’ve noticed that some people are laid-back and easy-going, never in a rush. Whereas others are always dashing from one place to the next, feeling pressured and stressed.

Which are you?

Your time story (or mindset) will certainly have been influenced by how your family were growing up. I know for me, we always had to be on time, if not early. In fact, if I get to a meeting just on time now, I feel like I’m late!

Like any aspect of your mindset though, this isn’t set in stone. You can create a shift in the way you experience time. You can change your time story.

The first thing to do is to mind your language. Notice any times when you find yourself saying things like, ‘I haven’t got time’, ‘I’m too busy’, or ‘Where does the time go?’ (Big hands up to this one for me!)

When we make statements like this, we are reinforcing the story that there is not enough time.

Start telling yourself a different story.

The next time you begin to say, ‘I haven’t got time’, catch yourself, take a deep breath and say, ‘I have all the time I need’. As you do that, notice how you feel different.

Like any time we start to change our mindset, it might feel strange at first. There will be occasions when you don’t catch yourself and start talking your ‘too busy/can’t stop/must dash’ chat. That’s okay. This is a process.

The first step is to recognise when you are telling yourself an unhelpful time story and the next step is to start shifting it.

Take action now: For the next 24 hours, commit to telling yourself a different time story. Look out for those times when you’re thinking or speaking negatively about time. When you catch yourself, change your story. Say something different.

3) Chunk it baby!

Have you ever noticed how time can seem to slip away? You might have a whole day or week ahead of you. You think about all the things you’re going to get done. Then somehow, you don’t end up achieving half as much as you wanted to.

Alternatively, you might have a busy day or week coming up. You have something you really want to get done, but you just can’t see how you’re going to squeeze it in as it’s going to take a substantial amount of time.

Chunking can help with both of these scenarios. What I mean by chunking is carving out specific ‘chunks’ of time to focus on a particular task.

Here are some examples.

If I have a whole free day ahead of me, I can easily drift aimlessly from one thing to another, never getting anything done. However, if I say I am going to spend 45 minutes writing an article or 30 minutes working on my website, I will be super-focused during that chunk of time.

I might faff around for the rest of the day, but I will do what I need to get done in my designated chunks.

In the same way, when I have a busy week ahead of me, for example when I’m travelling to work with clients on retreat, I can still carve out small chunks of time to write or create.

By using these manageable chunks of time, I feel productive and much less overwhelmed.

So, over to you. Where can you chunk your time to achieve what you want to? The key is to keep them manageable – certainly no more than one hour.

Take action now: Think about something you want to get done over the next week. Schedule some chunks of time in your diary now when you will work on this particular task. Notice how good it feels to be taking control and planning for action.

These are my top time transformation tips! I’d love you to comment below and let me know which one resonates with you most. Which one will you be taking action on first?

If you would like some extra help managing your time, I am running a free Get It Done Challenge in June.  Click here for all the details and to join us.

Can you tap your way to your ideal weight?

20 May

A tool  I use more and more in my practice is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping.  So I was delighted to see an article in The Daily Mail last week singing the praises of tapping, particularly for helping with weight loss.

The article quotes a recent clinical study on 89 women which found that those who tapped for 15 minutes a day lost an average of 16 lb in eight weeks, without following a strict diet or exercise plan.

One area that tapping is particularly helpful with is emotional eating – those times when we reach for food and we’re not physically hungry.

To show you how to use this powerful tool for yourself, I have created a special video which takes you through a tapping routine to help combat emotional eating.

 

 

I’d love to hear how you found this tapping routine.  Comment below and let me know what you experienced and any particular emotional triggers you have for eating.

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.

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