When life throws a lemon, make lemonade…

29 Jun

ImageThe past few weeks have been pretty hectic, I am sure many of you can relate. You think you have things sorted, the direction you are taking is nicely chosen, and you happily bumble along on your journey.

What happens…something completely unexpected, something that cannot be ignored, and something that will change the direction of your journey, perhaps forever.

What do you do? What do you do when life throws a lemon?

Sometimes, you are taken along on a completely different path, one which you would never have chosen if you had a choice.

As with all things in life, it is the decision made at this time, as to how you manage this new, unexpected and often fearful road. You can throw your hands in the air, stress out, give in, or give up….or make lemonade, let me explain.

This is exactly what has happened to me in the past few weeks, a health crisis of a family member or two can be a scary road to take. When life throws a lemon, let’s make lemonade. When challenges arise, it is a choice on how you choose to react and act. This is the time to think about what you can control, and accept the things you cannot.

Like many of you, I like things to be clear cut, however as we all know too well, this is so often not the case. It is at these times, my mind can race, questions like “What if…” and “But…” run through my head like a movie.

Life has a funny way of avoiding black and white. It is as if, we like grey shading and in that state somewhere between white and black, it is up to us, to use our knowledge, support systems, life experience and skills to figure out what’s best.

Here are a few practical tips you can do today when life throws you a lemon.

  • Do what is best for you. This can be a tricky one, when taking in all aspects of a decision, including what others tell you and the outcome, the following question can guide you to the answer. “What is the right choice for you?” Once you answer this, now think about the next question; “Are you going to do what’s best for you? Sometimes the thought is easier than the action, and you may not follow through on your decision.
  • Listen to your instinct. This tip relates to natural instinct and the following quote sums it up nicely. “When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin…because in that brief moment when that coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you were hoping for.” Give it a go and don’t ignore your natural instinct. You instinctively know what you want.
  • Weigh the pros and cons. Whilst it is important to listen to your natural instinct, it is also equally important to listen to the logic and map out the pros and cons. For those of you who are fact driven, this is something you may like to consider. Even amongst chaos, take a moment to examine logically what is going on.
  • Don’t let fear decide. Now that you have listened to you natural instinct, really focused on what is best for you and taken a logical view of the pros and cons, fear in making a decision can have major consequences. Big changes can be intimidating and scary. Fear can cause you to believe keeping things the same is better, and that change is not worth the risk. My favourite saying for fear is…’face the fear and do it anyway’.

And finally…Trust in yourself. Once the decision has been made, do not think you will be free from doubts, you may continue to doubt yourself. Believe the decision you have made is the right one, remind yourself that everything has happened as it should…

Keep the focus on the future, the goal posts may move again and another decision will be required, with a different outcome. Commit to staying true to you…..and enjoy the lemonade.

Alice came to the fork in the road.

“Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland

Balancing….

6 Jun

Most of us at some time have had feelings of stress.  You know the ones, the pulse picks up a little, the anxiety level begins to rise, adrenalin is pumping and you are living the definition of stress. Taken from a post I did last year, let’s take a look at some valuable tips to support you when you need to ‘balance’.

We all have our own version of what stress means. According to the Oxford Dictionary (2013)

noun

[mass noun]

  •  state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances

Reference: retrieved from [http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/stress]

As you have no doubt learnt, from a physiological point of view ‘flight or fight’ of the nervous system activates, the signs and symptoms are many…these include but are not limited to irritability, high blood pressure, inability to focus, increased episodes of illness, headaches, increased heart rate, insomnia, muscle tension, and pain.

Any sound familiar? I certainly can relate to many…

This week, take a moment to focus on two things you can do, to work on the balancing act between positive stress and the type that is soul destroying.

One: Go easy on yourself

I can hear you say, “that one is easy, what on earth do you mean?” Our society tells us to be the best, do the best and don’t stop til you do, sometimes known as over achievement.

I am not saying to take it easy and just scrape by, what I am saying is, striving to be the best constantly, can make us miserable.

Hit the pause button…what this means, what this is about, is making the right amount of effort for the most appropriate areas in your life. Another way to look at this, is putting the need for perfection aside.

Think of a time when you have run yourself ragged for a project or deadline, when simply just completing the job would have been sufficient.

Put your efforts into the areas of your life where your values are being met, and you will get the most of what you want right now.

This pressure of having things just right can lead to exhaustion.

Two: Balancing the past, the present and your future

The balancing act, every one of us can relate to balancing life, however what I am referring to here, is balancing your views, beliefs and behaviours equally between the past, the present and the future.

I  am sure you have met someone who obsesses over the past or those who are constantly striving for a future promotion, the reality is they let the present slip away without too much thought.

It is possible to realign your beliefs with this balancing act.  A good place to start is with what you tell yourself about your past, is it helpful?  If not, take some time to reframe it to the positive. Every challenge, every difficulty has a positive learning in it somewhere.

By being aware of what is happening ‘right now’, provides valuable insight and clarity in to what is working and what is not.  The decision is up to you, keep the good and replace the not so good with alternatives to de-stress, and get that peace of mind to focus on your studies.

Got a question? Email me on bron@nursepower.com.au and get the clarity you need.

In the meantime, we love to hear how this works for you, share your comments below.

Until then,

Bron

When memory recall fails….

2 Jun

You know that feeling, the one you get when you flip open the page to your exam, and your mind goes blank….the words might as well be in another language and you tell yourself…’I knew this would happen, I can’t do exams’.

Stop, this is not ok, even if it has happened before, it does not mean it will happen again.

The pressure of exams is not new, generation after generation has sat, stressed and passed exams, some consider it a rite of passage. It is a necessary speed bump in the journey to course completion.

It is the time in the lead up to the exam that is important. It is the planning and preparation key to all successful examinations. This is not new, however there are some who say planning takes too much of their valuable time to be beneficial.

Taking an hour to map out your study regime is worth many hours of anxiety, muddling around wondering what to start with, and how are you ever going to manage to recall all the information…

Here are a few practical tips and questions to help you through this challenging time.

1. Map out how much time you have available to study for your exam

2. How many topics, subtopics and themes are there to cover?

3. Can the themes be broken into smaller processes or areas?

4. Do you know your best way to learn? Do you like to read, write or do the learning?

5. Schedule in the chosen topic to cover from your list in question 2, schedule in all remaining topics and make sure you have allocated enough time to have a ‘helicopter view’ of the subject prior to exam day

6. Schedule in your allocated down time, exercise, work and any other event you have

7. Make sure you have a clear plan for the next day ready before you go to sleep, this means all the decisions are made, the only thing you need on the day is to stick to your plan

8. Just do it!

When under duress, to have a strategy means you do not have time to think about the ‘what if’ and let your mind wander and waste your precious time. Having the day broken in to study blocks with the relevant topic to cover has your mind at ease knowing you have all the topics covered in their respective time blocks.

Make sure you celebrate each step through the process, if you have never stuck to a 30 or 60 minute study block before, celebrate your first achievement. Little by little, topic by topic, you will be able to work through your subject and be prepared for the exam.

Want to know more, email me on bron@nursepower.com.au for more information on getting through exams without memory recall failure.

Until then,

Bron

Commit to Complete

29 Apr

Tired of starting something and then end up finding yourself with a long list of incomplete items to do?…you are not alone.

Now, the first big reason why there is a lack of commitment to completion is around decisions. Remember everything we do is based on a decision.

By not doing anything, is still a decision. What really is important is the reason why behind the decision.

Check out the video below to hear about a simple strategy to develop your decision making skills and master persistence.

Use the three questions to guide your studies. Think about it, once you master this, all areas of your life will rise so much higher. Become a master of persistence, you will learn more, earn more, achieve more and enjoy more. Sounds great to me!

Until then,

Bron 🙂

Video

How To Deal With Overwhelm

4 Apr

This week we take a look at that big headache of a problem – overwhelm. You know the one, the inside of your head is whirling with great ideas, projects, and all the things you should be doing. Sometimes this can be very overwhelming!

Remember- inner turmoil means outer chaos, It can be pretty hard to slow down when this is going on.

In this video I walk you through a short exercise, where you can create mental clarity to your overwhelm right now.

I trust you enjoy this fun exercise. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend.

Bron

http://www.nursepower.com.au

A communication quandry…

4 Mar

We all know about the importance of communication, whether it be your teacher, manager, your colleague, partner or great aunt.  Actively listening and working out the best way to communicate can be tricky.

Dot point or details…that is the question?

Can you remember meeting a colleague and they go in to so much detail, your mind drifts off and you get bored? This may mean you are a dot point communicator.

On the other end of the spectrum, you are having a conversation with a colleague and for some reason they will not give you the information you need, and you have to keep asking questions to get any idea of what they are trying to tell you…you may be a details kind of communicator.

To be an effective communicator requires some understanding, not only of others but especially of yourself.  Take a moment to think about how you like to communicate.  Do you need the details or do you prefer facts in dot point only?

Imagine if everyone around you communicated with you just the way you like, your happiness, confidence and productivity would grow dramatically.  Whether you are a student nurse, registered nurse or manager, teaching those around you how you communicate is both exciting and essential.

There is no wrong or right, it just is…if you need the detail, communicate your need, and if you need the facts, communicate the fact.

The key is to learn how to communicate your needs, and then actively listen to others and provide information appropriately.

Wishing you a great day 🙂

The balancing act…

15 Feb

balancing rocksMost of us at some time have had feelings of stress.  You know the ones, the pulse picks up a little, the anxiety level begins to rise, adrenalin is pumping and you are living the definition of stress.

We have defined stress in past times, however for the benefit of our newer members to our community, Stress is defined as a reaction to a threat, emotional or physical, real or perceived`.

From a physiological point of view ‘flight or fight’ of the nervous system activates, the signs and symptoms are many…these include but are not limited to irritability, high blood pressure, inability to focus, increased episodes of illness, headaches, increased heart rate, insomnia, muscle tension, and pain.

Any sound familiar? I certainly can relate to many…

This week is a focus on two things you can do to work on the balancing act between positive stress and the type that is soul destroying.

One: Go easy on yourself

I can hear you say, that one is easy, what on earth do you mean? Our society tells us to be the best, do the best and don’t stop til you do, at times commonly known as over achievement.

I am not saying to take it easy and just scrape by, what I am saying is striving to be the best can make us miserable.

Hit the pause…what this means it is all about making the right amount of effort for the most appropriate areas in your life.

Another way to look at this is putting the need for perfection aside. Think of a time when you have run yourself ragged for a project or deadline, when completing the job would have been sufficient.

This pressure of having things just right can lead to exhaustion because you may be trying too much, which of course moves the stress radar higher.

Two: Balancing the past, the present and your future

The balancing act, every one of us can relate to balancing life, however what I am referring here to, is balancing your views, beliefs and behaviours equally between the past, the present and the future.

I am sure you have met someone who obsesses over the past or those who are constantly striving for a future promotion, that they let the present slip away without too much thought.

It is possible to realign your beliefs with this balancing act, a good place to start is with what you tell yourself about your past, is it helpful?  If not, take some time to reframe it to the positive. Every challenge, every difficulty has a positive learning in it somewhere.

Once again, this is the time to be aware of the present, who is with you, the conversation, the feelings, take the opportunity to share this newfound awareness, make sure the environment and people are the kind you enjoy.

Wishing you a enjoyable week, have a blast with your balancing act.

Check out www.nursepower.com.au for more information, new resources coming weekly.

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