Category Archives: Gratitude

5 Ways to Harness the Power of Gratitude

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Gratitude Can Be Severely Underrated

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has for many been popular for years and is becoming widely accepted by increasing numbers of people who have witnessed firsthand the beneficial changes the act of being grateful has brought into their lives. Indeed, long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and even a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are programmed to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. In order for gratitude to meet its full healing potential it needs to become more than just a word we pay lip service to. We have to learn a new way of looking at things and begin to think differently in order to create the shift needed in our mindset to facilitate the long-lasting and sustainable change it takes to establish it not only as a new habit but a way of life and that can take time.

That’s why actively practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life, everything; the good, the bad & the indifferent as both the opportunities & blessings that they truly are.

However, it’s important to remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world without a shadow of a doubt but when we learn to focus on the gifts of life, we gain an often previously unfelt sense of well-being because gratitude in and of itself helps to restore balance and gives us hope.

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker Coach Author

What’s on your list?

For me true wealth lies in life’s intangibles and on a daily basis if we choose to see them there are many things to be grateful for: the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, waves crashing on the shoreline, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, the unbridled laughter of children, our health, butterflies………………

 5 Ways to Start You On the Road to Practicing Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal and establish a routine where you spend just 5 minutes of every single day (for me bedtime is the ideal time) and write down as many things you can for which you are grateful AND why. It doesn’t matter what or why. It doesn’t have to be anything other than something – anything – which has/does cause you to feel grateful in some way…there are no limits & trust me when I say that in ‘giving voice’ to your gratitude in this way you will very quickly come to realize just how much you truly have to be grateful for
  • Make a gratitude collage; paste, copy, stick, draw again it doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you give it a try. How amazing would it be whenever you feel sad, upset or miserable say to be able to glance at a visual reminder of all that you have to be grateful for. Think about it you glance over & in one spot you instantly see images of your kids, better half, a sunrise, next/last year’s holiday destination maybe even a picture of yourself before & after a life altering experience (losing 100lb in weight for example) ANYTHING for which you’re grateful. How would that make you feel, how powerful would that be in lifting your mood?
  • Practice gratitude ACTIVELY at every opportunity. When we make a conscious effort to be thankful by showing others that we appreciate them on a daily basis the world around us responds in kind. The most obvious example of this would simply be the act of showing your appreciation by actually saying thank you be that verbally, by text, a nice card or even sending a small gift as a token for something that others have done and not even necessarily for you.
  • Instigate a gratitude challenge. When you or those around you start complaining about something challenge yourself or them to find the hidden positive, blessing if you will no matter the situation. It’s not always easy but it is possible, remember it’s a simple law of physics that for every negative there is an equal and opposite reaction. Given time and practice you’ll be amazed at how better you start to feel.
  • Take time and be mindful of how being grateful impacts positively on your life. Notice how your attitude and that of those around you change for the better. Concentrate on living fully in the present and notice how deeply grateful you are becoming for even the most mundane of things which have previously gone unnoticed and then celebrate the new improved reality which will begin to unfold around you.

When we make a conscious choice, because like everything it is a choice, to make practicing gratitude a way of living an inner shift begins to occur and you may be delighted to discover how content, realigned, more focused & fulfilled you begin to feel and which has the most profound of effects in every area of our lives be that home, personal, relationships & careers and that sense of fulfillment my friends is:

 GRATITUDE AT WORK!

To find out more about making long-lasting, sustainable positive changes in your life I invite you to take the first step & connect with me to claim your FREE Strategic Discovery Call

Not for you? That’s great but should you know of someone who would benefit by reaching their full potential please feel free to pass the invite along.

‘Empowering You To Have The Courage To Be Who You Really Are”!                                    suecurr.com 

I can be reached via: Email – suecurr@suecurr.com  

Reboot Your Mindset

Is it time to take the chance to choose to change?

When it comes to the historic debate over which is the most powerful computing technology around you can forget Apple & it’s Mac or Microsoft & it’s Windows and look a lot closer to home.

What? Where?

Just take a look in the mirror because every single one of us comes  complete with the world’s most powerful, pre-loaded, fully operational software system there ever has and most probably ever will be…our brain!

In simple terms the brain itself that 3lb or so mass of grey/white tripe like matter in our head acts like a modem ensuring that our hearts beat on average 100,000 times per day thus keeping us alive and by definition functioning.

As amazing as this feat is in and of itself, it’s largely acknowledged that the active part of the brain, the part which processes & regulates the electrical energy which becomes information is…the mind.

Without becoming embroiled in science, the mind itself is subdivided into 3 parts; conscious (awareness of the present), subconscious (awareness of accessible information) & unconscious (memories & experiences which form belief & behaviour patterns)….it’s bombarded every single second that you are alive..and yes that includes while you’re sleeping…by millions of bits of information all of which are processed instantaneously & subconsciously.

BUT!  

Although on the one hand that’s amazingly good news when you think about it…we don’t have to remember to breath, remind our hearts to beat, blink the grit out of our eyes & so on…the time management savings on this fact alone are immeasurable.

On the other hand however given we’ve already established that we technically operate by remote control it’s where many of us come unstuck.

The unconscious element of our mind, the part where our memories & experiences have been safely stored away and added to time and again over the years has been quietly laying the rock solid foundations upon which our behaviours & beliefs have been formed.

Sue Curr Speaker Author

Those same beliefs & behaviours which impact all day, every day on the way we live our lives. The ones which determine our mindset…the way we act & react to life. The ones which predispose us to positive or negative behaviour. In short the ones which colour not only our view of the world but that of ourselves and our perception of what we can or cannot achieve!

For many of us this isn’t an issue, for others however it’s these unconsciously formed belief systems which can and do form the basis of all manner of psychological issues from lack of confidence & low self esteem upwards.

The trap that we sometimes fall into (often willingly because it’s the easiest option) is that just because it’s always been this way that’s just the way it is or worse still has to be.

Errr…Wrong. Wrong oh and err WRONG! 

Everything in life is temporary…the seasons, the situations we find ourselves in, our lifespan and very definitely our thoughts.

The thought process in itself is actually as temporary or permanent as we choose to allow it to be. Lets take the imaginary but plausible example that your mother taught you to cook a Sunday roast and in doing so instilled in you that the best way to cook your joint of beef was to let it cook through until it was uniformly the same shade and texture of dry, tasteless cardboard yet when you ask her why she cooks it like that because you’d seen Jamie Oliver do the same thing and his joint was tender, succulent pink she simply looks at you and says ‘because that’s way my mother, grandmother, great grandmother etc cooked it..it’s just the way it should always be done!’

Is that true? Of course not because times have changed, cooking appliances have evolved, new recipes and innovative chef’s like Mr Oliver have made sure that we can IF we choose cook beef differently.

Our thoughts and by association our mindset are absolutely no exception to this. Of course as children we are very much guided by our responsible adults but as we learn and grow there comes a natural point at which we become responsible for our own lives, our choices and the way in which we want them to play out.

If you really don’t like something your career, your relationships, your work/life balance or anything else for that matter but you are paralyzed by the inaction borne on the back of… I can’t do anything about this because…(you fill in the blanks) then I’m here to tell you that you most certainly can and whatever it is you wish to change although it may not be easy, in this day and age it is more than definitely possible.

If you want to live the reality of your dreams, write a book even become a brain surgeon when everyone in your family has historically been a shopkeeper (incidentally there is nothing wrong with shop keeping) or anything else in between then you and you alone have the capacity and the choices available to you to make it happen!

Sue Curr Speaker Author

When you realise this then you have to CONSCIOUSLY as opposed to unconsciously make the choice to choose to change the way things are and most certainly have to decide how you’re going to execute that.

Start small, having thought about what you REALLY want to change especially if it involves one of lifes’ important intangibles write it down and as you do so say the words out loud. When we see things laid bare as we write and at the same time enhance that by verbalising them we reinforce the signals we are sending to our unconscious mind…our beliefs and behaviour bank if you will…that things are about to change. Do this often, several times daily preferably it’s a massive step in the reprogramming of your thought process.

Obviously as important a start as this is, in and of itself it isn’t going to create the long and lasting change which you seek. You have to be willing to build on the foundation by becoming self aware. Aware of your negative self-talk When you catch yourself thinking or saying anything which has a negative or dis empowering effect on you stop and ask yourself how you can rephrase the thought to change it’s meaning to it’s positive opposite (it’s a simple law of physics that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction and the thought process is no different). The chances of successfully achieving the change you seek (regardless of the area) will be further improved by taking steps to remove yourself from negative or toxic situations and relationships and importantly by YOU being honest with yourself, brutally honest about not only what you want but what you will need to do to ensure it happens. Which by the way should always include surrounding yourself with like minded people.

You need to take your goals – plan them out and then take action.

As with every major decision you will ever make it all starts with you. It has to. The responsibility for living the life you want to live is yours and yours alone. YES take advice and guidance from people you trust and/or outside agencies but always remember knowledge doesn’t become learning until we make the leap from what we do know to what we don’t!

As the saying goes there’s no time like the present so make a start today and…

REBOOT YOUR MINDSET!

Be awesome in creating your new life by design instead of living it by default.

More insights and advice is available by booking a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call at suecurr.com

Fear Is Nothing More Than…

Linkedin Fear IsFear Is Nothing More Than The Link Between Our Current & Future Realities

Life is too short to waste the currency of time doing anything which serves only to make you miserable and yet far too many of us do just that. Day in. Day Out.

What is it that holds such sway over us that we are paralyzed by the inability to change the way we live & work? Why do we steadfastly remain in negative or toxic situations that undermine our confidence, our self-esteem and our aspirations?

The answer is simple & can be summed up in one word – FEAR!

The fear of what though, making mistakes, failure or change?

In reality it could be a combination of all three so lets put things into perspective shall we?

When we make mistakes and we all do from time to time, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on what you could have done better? Note I purposely didn’t say what went wrong! The key thing to remember about mistakes is – there aren’t any! There are only opportunities to learn what doesn’t work, which in and of themselves will by definition take you closer to where you wish to be. If something doesn’t work out, view it from a different angle and start again. There is always more than one way to achieve a goal or dream and when you adopt this viewpoint as a consistent habit then you will begin to see the results you desire.

The fear of failure often appears in synergy with the fear of making mistakes and yet the word itself – Failure – is so much more powerful than that of mistake. Why? Stigma. The fear of being defined by others as being a failure is largely what prevents us from even trying to achieve something in the first place, simply because we care what our loved ones, peers and colleagues think of us. What we lose sight of is that if it takes us longer and down more avenues than we expected to get there it doesn’t mean that we are failing in anyway. If anything it proves the opposite in that we are persistent and determined enough to get to achieve what we set out to do which is a very successful trait to have. It will take you to the golden egg which you are seeking as long as you believe in yourself. As for what everyone else thinks? Anything can have the power to prevent us from achieving our goals and dreams, the opinions of others being just one of them. By acknowledging that they have the right to their opinion but at the same time realising what anyone thinks of you is none of your business you reclaim the power for yourself and the perceived fear of failure in the eyes of another fades away as sure as melting snow.

I am the only one

We all of us have the inherent power of choice and we can choose to make the choice to change anything we want at anytime. We simply have to overcome the paralysis by utilizing the most powerful tool we own – our mind – and become aware of what it is telling us. Or to be more precise what we tell it! We tell ourselves all the time; it’s too late to do that, I’m too old, I couldn’t possibly and so on. Yet we forget the all important word in all this – choice – and the first choice to make in the face of our fears is that of choosing to take the chance to change. We can start the process by changing the way we think and subsequently talk to ourselves. The fear of change is real and largely what we use to give ourselves the permission we need to remain inside the bubble we’ve created for ourselves, wrapped in the safety net of our comfort zone. To be brutally honest far too many of us end up staying there by default because we are subconsciously willing to allow life to just happen to us instead of going out and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck! Until we realise that we are the only ones responsible for manifesting the change we wish to see in our lives then we will remain stuck in the limbo of misery we have succumbed so freely to this far.

The responsibility for

Remember that there isn’t anything you can’t do, say or become if you choose to make it happen, Not your age. Not your gender. Not your education. Nothing. Because there is always a way and it’s up to you to find it.

When you think you’ve gone as far as you can go – go on

When you think you know it all – learn something

When you think you’re done growing – grow some more

You are the one who has the key to and control over your mind. You alone have the power to create the life you desire and you should exercise that right with every waking second because this is your life. There are no refunds, no overdrafts and very definitely no second chances because this life of ours is very definitely not a rehearsal.

How you see your future is much more important than how you remember your past or what’s happening in your present. If you want it enough you will realise that fear really is nothing more than a link between our current & future realities so make 2016 the year in which you decide to;

FEAR less & LIVE more!!!

suecurr.com

Sober. Proud. Grateful…3 Years On!

3RD Anniversary Post

”No matter how many times we stumble or fall, the greatest lesson is loving yourself through it all” – Barbra Streisand

TODAY is the 3rd Anniversary of the first day of the rest of my life. It is the day when I was faced with the prospect of not seeing the next 24 hours let alone my children carve out their adult lives for themselves. I lived. I learned. I grew.

Welcome to my life. My new sober life!

It’s a day that I am fortunate to be seeing and there is not one day since the 26th September 2012, that I have not offered up thanks for the miracle that is my life as I live it these days. Now I don’t mean that to sound evangelical, nor do I say it to solicit sympathy or even pity. I say it simply because it’s true, a simple, honest fact. Due to my extremely poor lifestyle choices as a result of Mental Ill Health and having tried and failed (although that’s a word I dislike intensely) to sort myself out with the usual cocktail of prescribed meds and varying forms of therapy, I had slid almost unconsciously (the irony of that word isn’t lost on me as for the larger part of a period totalling about 15 years..that’s largely what I was unconscious) into the dangerous, un-policed area of self medication. Except my drug of choice came in a bottle or 3 a day rather than a blister pack of little white pills.

My descent into a self-induced state of oblivion started off relatively slowly but as is the way with all addiction gathered pace quite spectacularly and as I’ve told you before I almost became a guest of the Grim Reaper when my liver and other vital organs started to shut down. Fortunately I lived to tell the tale and my life since that date  has gone from strength to strength. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally & very definitely physically. Quite simply on every level I am a different person.

Someone asked me recently if I was a better person because of it. Honestly? At the time I couldn’t answer her…largely because I didn’t feel that was my call to make. However having had chance to digest the question properly and if she asked me again today…particularly today, given that it’s 3 years hence my answer would have to be a great big, fat resounding...

Yes it is and not only that I am prouder than I ever imagined possible about the fact.

I’m happier, healthier and more whole than ever before and because of this I’m more confident, less paranoid, have an improving opinion of my self-image and I know I am more than enough just the way I am. All of the above have led me to be more relaxed, less anxious, most certainly less self-absorbed these days and as a result I am more emotionally and mentally available, as such I’m more in tune with and receptive to the needs of others in a way which quite honestly I was totally unable to be 3 years ago. So yes I think I can say with all honesty yes I’m a better person for the experience. As frightening and unpleasant as it was the lessons I learned because of it have made the person I am today…and do you know what? I actually for the first time like who I am. BONUS!

That said I very firmly still consider myself to be a work in progress..living, learning & growing every single day. My historic battle with Mental Ill Health & its resultant poor lifestyle choices saw me almost rob myself of seeing my family thrive & grow…the fact that I did leaves me full of a gratitude which is beyond measure.

If I’ve learned anything it’s that this isn’t a rehearsal..grab each day by the scruff of it’s neck…tell those you care for how much you love them and make every single second count leaving no room for regret. We’re all born, we all die..it’s what we do in between which becomes our legacy NOT what there is in the bank..the box we’re leaving in bar a few inches is gonna be the same size and we ain’t taking anything with us folks so make it count…while you still can.

I firmly believe the adage that in life there are no mistakes only lessons to be learned and trust me this particular one is very definitely one which will never have to be revisited let alone unlearned. I’m not naive enough to think that I will never be tempted to partake of the demon drink again..indeed in recent times of extreme stress the thought has in all honesty crossed my mind BUT I owe it to myself and those I cherish to love this life I live & live this life I love with every fibre of my heart and soul cleanly, openly & honestly thus absolving them of the need to worry about me.

Addiction makes a person very selfish and as that selfish incarnation of yourself you truly cannot think or process anything which threatens the false reality you’ve created for yourself as you hide from the cause of the pain which you have strived so hard to forget. In becoming so self-absorbed nothing else matters, not yourself or your health, not your loved ones or the pain they feel on your behalf and you certainly don’t even think about happiness, let alone actually being happy. In short you care about nothing only where your next drink, fix, high,,,whatever you’re chasing is coming from.

This more than anything else is something which even if I was tempted myself? I would never, ever put those I love through that pain again…and so going back to the previous question.

Has it made you a better person? Oh God I do hope so…YES! I’m done being selfish, I’m done being miserable, I’m done hiding. I fully intend to carry on doing exactly what I now implore you all to do which is to;

Do what makes YOU happy, be who or what YOU want to be and understand that we all of us have the power within to do just that…live life mindfully with gratitude and whatever you are KNOW that you are ENOUGH!

Trust me if I can do it….anyone can and I highly recommend it!!!

For those of you…and you know who you are…who have loved & supported me unconditionally along the way my eternal gratitude knows no bounds..I love you today, tomorrow & ALWAYS

LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE!

Sue – Clean. Sober & Happy for 1096 Days today!!

We Should Never Forget That Children Do Listen

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Children Do Listen

 

Everything we ever do is a learned behaviour

And let’s face it the job of the teacher…initially at least…falls squarely on the shoulders of our parents and carers.

Without doubt parenting is the most important role with the most significant responsibilities around… not a statement I make lightly….and yet it’s practically the only job in the entire world which anyone can take on without any formal training.

The second we’re conceived we become part of the lottery of life. As children our future is mapped out and there is little we can do about it until we take responsibility for our own life as we grow up.

When we’re born our responsible adults start us on a learning curve that is never steeper than during our first 5 years of life. Every second of every day we are learning on every conceivable level largely without even being aware of it.

When I say every level I do mean every level as babies we’re naturally programmed to react to and learn from everything our senses are being continually bombarded by.

Sight, Sound. Taste. Smell & Touch

Our grown ups are aware of our responses to stimulation but unless we react suddenly to loud noises, they rarely if ever remember that children will and do listen.… all the time even when they appear to  be engrossed in other things.

It’s a common misconception that young children in particular are unaware of what is being said in their presence and whilst that may be true before we ”understand the words” it most certainly isn’t as we grow.

It’s an error of judgement that  can and does cause serious consequences for both the children that we are and the adults we become!

The vast majority of parents or carers quickly get to grips with the mechanics of teaching the day-to-day practicalities involved in the rearing and shaping of us into responsible adults in our own right. Including the…for some….not too obvious aspects that form part of the package our spiritual, emotional and mental well-being.

They simply ”forget” that children are like sponges soaking up everything including what’s said to, shouted at, spoken to others about, even muttered through clenched teeth….. at them!

Children listen constantly especially when it’s about them!  

By the age of 5 the majority of us will have heard and absorbed all manner of information much of it about us and if we’re lucky we will have come to learn that we are bright, intelligent, lovable, funny, pretty, in other words we are secure in the knowledge that we are loved and wanted which is exactly as it should be

However for every well-balanced, secure, confident child that’s raised there are children who grow up thinking that they are stupid, naughty, noisy, cheeky, bad and who grow up to be less well-adjusted, nervous, shy, insecure with little or no self-esteem and for an unfortunate proportion of these children this tends to be the beginning of their journey through the battlefield of Mental Ill Health a place I’ve come to acknowledge as being the loneliest place on earth.

There are far too many who are unwilling or unable to extend their duty of care to their offspring in a manner which sees them learn, grow and mature into whole, rounded, well-balanced adults in their own right and that’s where some of us come unstuck!

Why? Simply because adults severely underestimate the power of the spoken word!

As human beings and particularly as children we do over time tend to forget the words that have been spoken and the things that have been done in their finer detail but we never forget how we’ve been made to feel. If the parents and carers of this world could somehow see into the future and be held accountable beforehand then so many lives would be very different from that of…

A ‘’lifelong battle with Mental Ill Health’’ and the resulting suffering

When I was 5!

When I was 5 – I knew how to laugh but learned how to cry
When I was 5 – I knew how to shine but learned how to hide
When I was 5 – I knew how to be happy but learned how to be sad
When I was 5 – I knew how to play but  learned how to sit
When I was 5 – I knew how to be real but learned how to be fake
When I was 5 – I knew how to read so learned how to escape

As children we adapt very quickly to the circumstances of our day-to-day lives. If we have been molded to be timid or insecure, feel anxious or unloved we learn how to people please. We learn how to ”behave” because we’re afraid of doing something wrong or being lacking in some way and we grow up feeling stupid or worthless but most of all unlovable.

It can take years to overcome the behaviour patterns, insecurities and traumas we may  have experienced throughout childhood..some of us never do. Because we grow up believing that everything we have ever been told or have heard about ourselves from the mouths of ”our grown ups” must be true because they ”were big and we were small” and that’s just the way it is!

If as responsible adults we understood that it takes much less effort to raise a whole child than it does to mend a broken adult then life and this world would be a much brighter, happier place. Our children are but a gift, ours for a very small window of opportunity it’s our responsibility to raise them to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.

When I turned 50

When I turned 50 – I knew how to cry but remembered to laugh

When I turned 50 – I knew how to hide but remembered to shine

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be sad but remembered to be happy

When I turned 50 – I knew how to sit but remembered to play

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be fake but remembered to be real

When  I turned 50 – I knew how to escape but remembered it was enough to just read

We owe it our children to raise them properly and that means looking after their spiritual, emotional and mental well-being in equal proportion to their physical needs. They shouldn’t have to spend their lives trying to become who they really are……….I was lucky I now know without doubt that I am worthy, I am enough, I am lovable and funny and smart and anything else I want to be because I matter!!!                                                                     

Pity it took me 50+ years but that’s ok because everything that has ever happened to me, made me who I am and AM PROUD TO BE today   

If you would like to begin living your life with both purpose & passion in your own way & on your own terms without feeling the need to apologize for, justify or explain yourself BUT lack the rock solid foundation of self-esteem & confidence then I invite you to reach & connect with me here by Claiming a FREE 30 Minute Strategic Discovery Call