Category Archives: Mental Health

Mental Ill Health can feel like the loneliest place on earth. It’s important to know that you are not alone.

I Can’t Do This! Yes You Can!

Sue Curr Speaker Empowerment Coach

I Can’t Do This! Yes You Can!

Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, some people make it happen – Michael Jordan

 

We have to believe that we will!

Against all the odds and despite all the obstacles that we may face, we have to believe that we are going to make it, otherwise what would be the point?

The choice to do so together with the inherent power we have which allows us to make it to wherever we need or want to be in life is ours alone

It could be that we want to make a lifestyle change or rise above historic emotional issues. It could be that we know deep down that we are stuck in a situation which has long since served to be of any positive use to us that we want to be free from

Whether the place we need to get to is physical, emotional, or that of a shift in mind set it is almost irrelevant because if we’ve reached the point where we are questioning ourselves as to whether or not we will make it then we know deep down that the time has come for a change and more importantly a change for the better

If we are determined enough we’ll get to where we need to be

Yet sadly the need to change means little unless we actively want to do something about it and therein lies the crux of the matter.

At times of crisis or indecision the paths of need and want are simultaneously intertwined and yet are also polar opposites. In simple terms when we need a glass of water it’s usually because we are thirsty and yet when we want a glass of water it’s also usually because we are thirsty!

Doesn’t that mean the same thing?

 

No! If we  need something it’s essential in the great scheme of things

But when we want something it’s an object of desire, something that would be nice to have but it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t get it

‘Making It’ is influenced by the power we have to choose what we want in life

It’s when we couple it with an actual need to do so that the chances of actually achieving it become much improved

How can I possibly ‘make it’ when I’m gripped by mental ill health?

Well the short answer is that anything is possible. When we not only want to do it but believe that we can (and that includes our mental health) then we can take the responsibility to choose to be proactive in the way we approach it, for instance…

On September 26th this year it will be five years since I was admitted as an emergency to hospital. It will be a day I not only thought, but was told I would never see and yet here I am!

I tell you this for no other reason than to define how powerful the combination of need and want are as we strive to ‘MAKE IT’ in life hopefully you’ll see what I mean;

For the majority of my adult life I’ve battled with varying forms of mental ill health but very late in the day (I was in my late 30’s at the time) it was confirmed that I had a pretty disastrous combination of anxiety based issues, Psychosis and Bi-Polar Disorder for starters but despite struggling to both cope and accept my lot (denial can be very persuasive) I finally began to not only address the situation but take responsibility for it as I commenced a long and lonely journey through the battlefield that is Mental Ill Health.

One which very nearly saw me lose my life!

The finer details for the under laying reasons (reasons as opposed to excuses) are for another time, but suffice to say that in the course of my denial I frequently refused the help, be it medical intervention, or otherwise that I so desperately needed. I started to self medicate with my drug of choice, that of alcohol and not unsurprisingly over time my problem drinking  morphed into alcoholism. It was the biggest open secret around except that the only person who didn’t know or rather refused to accept it was – ME!

Let me take you back in time!

Because frankly we can only ever connect the dots by looking backward!

So on September 26th, 2012 I’m in my Doctors office for the blood test results I’d been waiting for. At 52 I’m obese, bloated, jaundiced, have delirium tremors and am taking 17 different prescriptions daily which include 44 tablets for everything from depression to acid reflux and high cholesterol.

I WAS A MESS!

The Doctors face is grave but she cuts straight to the chase.

”Susan I’m calling an ambulance right now, your liver is failing”

I actually laughed (even at that point I was still in denial) and she proceeded to do just that.

The last thing I remember is being put into a hospital bed and my husband tearfully giving the medical team my details. I woke up 5 days later with absolutely no recollection of what had just happened to me!!!

In short, I had spent the previous 15 years subconsciously trying  to drink myself to death largely because I couldn’t accept or cope with either the under laying cause of my illness or my subsequent behaviour and being brutally honest neither had I wanted to because the thought of making it anywhere, let alone to the other side of my mental ill health issues or anything else for that matter just wasn’t on my radar.

That is until I came round and I was visited by my Consultant who told me point blank without ceremony that ‘I would be lucky to have 5 years left to live and although he hoped I’d walk out of there on my own two feet, he didn’t actually think I would be going home’!

The bottom fell out of my world that day!

But in the split second it took for me to register what had been said I instantly knew that it was the catalyst I needed to help me ‘MAKE IT’.

Being faced with my own mortality had in a split second forced me to accept the fact I had been denying for so long – I was an alcoholic – and that if I was going to make it; physically, emotionally and mentally I not only needed to, I had to want to more than anything else and that included being anywhere near the demon drink!

The point behind all this is that whatever the circumstances causing you to feel as though you need to make it are – YOU HAVE TO WANT TO DO IT!

When our should becomes our must things finally begin to change!

My need to make it through to the other side of both my mental ill health issues and my alcoholism turned around in an instant because my desire to live became stronger than the need for that which I had taken solace in to mask my emotional and mental anguish!

We face many  battles to get to where we want or need to be in our lives, many of them the result of external influences but we also have to take responsibility for the part we play in things.

It’s so much easier to hide behind the facade of blaming someone or something for the situations we find ourselves in and that’s where, certainly in my case the downward spiral begins.

Be it the opinions and actions of others bringing pressure to bear whilst trying to mold us into something which we aren’t or the historical feelings of guilt, inadequacy and low self-esteem we experience borne on the back of things said or done. The point is they all lead us to feel as though we’re lacking in some way. Unworthy. Not good enough.

They are learned behaviour patterns which can and do impact massively on everything in our lives. Relationships. Careers. Mental as well as physical health and it is the struggle which we have with every single aspect of this which ultimately leads us to want to make it

What we lose sight of, if we ever had it to lose in the first place, is that with a little courage and determination on our part we have both the power and the choice to change things for the better. If we’re lucky – I truly was – we have the support of our loved ones along the way. The bottom line is it’s our responsibility to do what we have to do, in order that we can get where we want or need to be.

How do we do this?

Find a starting point, your catalyst, the thing which will finally galvanise you into action and then understand that you have to unlearn everything that has gone before.

We have to accept that we cannot change the past but in order for us to change we must forgive it. Let it go. Move on. This becomes so much easier when we consciously decide to act based on the combined need and desire to move forward.

When we sow the seeds of change within ourselves then the hard work can begin

Having forgiven our past we then have to do the same for ourselves. Forgive yourselves for the mistakes you made along the way. In doing so learn from  them and watch how you grow! As we start to grow we come to understand that as a person regardless of what others may think of us we are enough just the way we are, no excuses, no justifications and very definitely no apologies for being who we are.

When we accept ourselves it brings with it an increase in confidence and the self esteem to enable us to have the courage of our convictions. We no longer feel the need to be a people pleaser at the expense of our own self worth. We come to know that we can and should stand up for ourselves and we come to understand that we don’t have to succumb to abusive, manipulative or emotionally and mentally draining people ever again!

It’s not an easy journey and there’ll be days when we feel lost or hopeless and panic will set in as we fear a return to our previous negative, unhealthy or destructive ways but that’s OK we’re human. It’s not realistic to expect ourselves to be perfect. On occasion when this happens and it will, forgive yourself, draw a line under it and look to tomorrow because it is not only another day, it’s the first day of the rest of your life.

Your new life and if you’ve reached that point you really will have made it.

Is it worth it? Yes it is!

There are massive steps along the road to making it but they are so worth it, especially as we feel our resolve grow ever stronger.

The hard work, the trauma, the emotional and mental upset, all of it pales into insignificance when you suddenly understand, probably for the first time you’re living life to the full on your own terms, comfortable in your own skin and despite everything that has happened along the way you realise that not only are you grateful to be so, you no longer feel guilty because;

You MAY have wished for it, you MAY have wanted it but you MADE it happen 

YOU MADE IT!

 

It’s OK To Be Sad – Isn’t it?

It's OK to be Sad Living Life From The Inside Out

The fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend that everything is OK when it’s anything but


It’s okay to be sad!!

Sadness just as much as any other emotion is and indeed should be equally as valid as any other; happiness, anger, jealousy and joy and as such it’s OK to be sad as and when we feel the need

Isn’t It?

Yet the fear of what others think or say about us often cause us to pretend otherwise because we don’t want to worry them. We don’t want them to think we’re weak or can’t cope for instance or worse that we’re an attention seeking drama queen!

But life isn’t a performance!

However pretending to be OK when you feel like you’re falling apart is. It isn’t your job to smile or hide your authentic truth purely to serve to make other people feel more comfortable

So if things become awkward let them

It’s not okay for others to undermine or gloss over your feelings, to try to silence your pain by telling you to get over it or cheer up because you’re no longer fun to be around. They like you need to understand that you are perfectly imperfect and as such are entitled to have times when you no longer wish or need to perform for anyone’s benefit except yours

There’s no need to push away your sadness

You should always honour your feelings and understand that you don’t need permission, approval or validation to feel what you feel and more importantly is very, very real

Self care is important and we should never neglect it for the sake of others. Especially those who may only want you around when it’s easy & comfortable. Their discomfort isn’t about you, it’s about them, their limitations and their own issues

No matter what they think or say, you should always to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel.

You’re allowed to show your feelings honestly.

You’re allowed to talk about your pain and reach out for support if you feel you need it.

You’re allowed to scream and wail and cry.

After all there’s a saying ‘it’s better out than in’ meaning in terms of our mental health that the sooner we acknowledge, accept and validate our emotions then the sooner we can work through them and let them go having learned what we need to from the experience

On a personal level recently as a family we had (and in some instances continue) to deal with some pretty traumatic circumstances each one which in their own right were enough to cope with on any given day but when combined, served on several occasions to almost completely derail our day to day lives and yet from my perspective they didn’t (though to be honest it came close at times) because I’m human and I now understand that as such we have the power of choice

Let me explain what I mean …

Just a few short years ago the stress of the chaos unfolding around us, let alone my highly charged emotional state caused by recent situations would’ve been enough to see me heading for a bottle or 4 of wine per day just to keep on an even keel in terms of ‘keeping it all together’. Anyway despite the emotions, chaos and drama which has continued to plague us these last few months and without burdening you with the finer detail, I’m happy to report that I’m still well and truly sober. YAAAAY!

Yet there have been several times where I’ve been so sad, so overwhelmed and so bloody frustrated I thought I would implode!

Why am I telling you this?

That’s easy because as I’ve pointed out previously life isn’t a performance and I know that now, but the old me?

The old me would’ve carried on stoically, pretending to the world and his father that everything, including me was fine. That I was despite everything happy. That I could cope and that they didn’t need to worry about me. All true – in the story in my head – and which was one of the reasons my life previously took the turn it did

However

The new me (I’m still very much a work in progress mind) knows better, so very much better and these days…

If I’m sad or overly emotional? I let it out. I sob, I cry and most importantly I’m getting better at doing it

If I’m angry?  I let it out. Even (and I have) if I have to go outside and scream at the moon and trust me on this when we release our anger healthily we instantly begin to feel better!

If I feel overwhelmed, hurt or confused? I let it out. I work through those feelings as best, as soon and as thoroughly as I can. Writing everything down is a good venting strategy as well as the more obvious one of talking it through with someone who’s not only supportive but objective (for my part thank you, you know who you are) and whilst ALL of the above and more constitute the menu which is sadness, they by the same token are all of them much easier to overcome, move through and grow from when we deal with them head on and don’t bury them, along with our heads in the sand.

But Do You Know What?

When we allow ourselves to feel, truly feel our emotions and at the same time allow those around us who matter; partners, family, friends etc, to see it then we very importantly take the first all important step in allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable.

It’s not easy. It’s scary and it hurts like hell and is why allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is something that many of us (mental health issues aside) find difficult because in doing so we’re also allowing others to see that not only is everything not well in our world but moreover the picture we’ve painted for them of our being ‘superwoman/man’ is a myth

Guess What? – They Already Knew That!

No one is perfect but often the pictures we paint, the facades we build to protect ourselves from too close a scrutiny by others can be. This does both us and those we care for a disservice. Simply because in our determination to be seen to be constantly happy or always able to cope, we take away their choice in the matter and in doing so deem them either not able to cope with our weaknesses (for fear of upsetting them) or have unfairly decided that they wouldn’t care, have time or be interested if we did

The thing is, that’s not our call to make, it’s theirs!

Five years or more ago I made that same decision. The one to shield those I love and they me, from my pain and sadness. It’s one of the few things I regret today because in trying to shield them I certainly took away their choice.

The choice as to whether or not they would simply watch as I imploded or step up and help me to recover and live if they wanted or were able to

But that choice would have been theirs to make not mine

So is it OK to be sad, angry, upset and emotional especially without worrying about what others will think, say or feel about you?

YES because …

As Dr Seuss so succinctly put it ‘Those who matter don’t mind whereas those who mind don’t matter’!!

So…It is okay to be sad!! – AGREED?

Sue Curr is a Speaker, Empowerment Coach & Writer who in combining her professional background with her own significant journey along lifes loneliest of roads that of Mental Ill Health & Addiction today serves to enable others to see and understand that whoever and whatever we are?

It’s Enough!

 

Did You Grow Up Trying to Please Others?

hiding-1209131_1280

 

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Did you grow up always trying to please others, searching for approval & the need for validation from others & learn to live your life ‘certain’ in the knowledge that were you ‘stupid enough’ to not only have but enforce boundaries with regard to your own life & that by doing so then others wouldn’t, or worse still stop loving you?

If you did I can pretty much say that for you like me life became a vicious cycle of wrestling to cater for your own needs & wants as well as servicing those of others and as such you will have lived anything but a fearless life

I’ve learned many things over the course of my life

However one thing has remained constant & that simply put is this we are ALL of using fighting our own battles & demons on many levels, BUT so are those we are both surrounded by & hold dear. When we are so close that we can’t see the wood for the trees and should one, if not both of us be prepared to see the other side then we get into difficulties.

But there also ALWAYS comes a point when BOTH sides have no choice other than to take responsibility for their part in the problem….

Being brutally honest I’ve learned that in having grown up being a people pleaser & being afraid to set & reinforce boundaries for others in my life, that I had inadvertently become the root cause of the problem!

GUILTY AS CHARGED!

But even so there comes a point in any situation when no matter how much we love, how much we give, how much we ignore, how much we hope that things will change for the better they NEVER will if the all important factor of RESPECT is missing!

But you can be certain of one thing

People can & do get the emotions of LOVE & RESPECT mixed and yet nothing will ever change in a relationship unless both sides both understand and embrace the difference

This is a monumental mistake & the crux of many a failed relationship…husband & wife, father & mother, mother & daughter, the list my friends is endless.

In my humble opinion to love & be loved unconditionally is the greatest gift we will ever be able to give or receive because it comes freely, without strings & by definition without condition.

Respect on the other hand is a privilege. One to be earned, gained if you will & borne on the back of many things and for sure my boundaries & yours will be as different as our fingerprints. Much like the boundaries themselves the reasons others will respect/disrespect us or themselves are equally as varied.

The one thing that people forget is that if a boundary is important enough for someone to set it then it is important enough for the rest of us to respect it.

Whether or not we believe it to be a valid boundary is totally irrelevant.

The problem begins when boundaries & respect become inextricably intertwined with love.

How many times have we heard or even said & moreover believed scenarios such as:

‘If she loved me she wouldn’t ask me to do that”…!

”Whether he loves me or not he should respect my boundaries’…!

Only you can decide if either or both of these generalisations are true and only you can decide whether or not you will put up with either or both of the consequences of them with regard to your own situation BUT for me at least & being brutally honest here…

If someone loves us unconditionally then we don’t have to honour & respect their boundaries – WRONG!

If we truly love someone enough then we will provide them with the boundaries they need. Ones which will help & enable them to thrive & grow in this life, Ones which will allow them to live & learn & grow into someone who they CAN both love & respect themselves in order to enable others t do the same.

If those we love & care for fall into the category of being someone who, no matter how hard you try, how much you give & how much you love continually & habitually not only ignore your boundaries but in doing so totally disrespect them & even go out of their way to cross them?

Then you/we will reach a point where we have to decided what we are prepared to accept & equally what we are not prepared to accept…As Eckhart Tolle so rightly said in any situation;

If you need to change it then do. If you can’t change it then you need to accept it for what it is. If you can’t accept it then it’s time to leave for all else is madness.

There are givers & there are takers in this life and yes there are those who successfully manage both but the question is how much of YOUR LIFE are you prepared to gift to someone who is unwilling or unable to at least meet you half way??

We ALL have limits and on a day where they have been reached the question is will you choose to let them become part of the solution or exacerbate the problem?

Again only time will tell but if like me you have reached a cross roads in your emotional life then maybe it’s time to start a daily practice of self-validation and tell yourself this…

Today I honour myself ENOUGH to take a chance that by being willing to enforce my boundaries then those I love and care for will not only LOVE me but RESPECT my boundaries as well

And after 57 years on this planet as hard as it is and will continue to be? It’s a chance that I am FINALLY willing to take because like you & everyone else on this 3rd rock from the sun know that much like my boundaries …

I MATTER! I AM ENOUGH!

 

Namaste – Sue

 

STOP Waiting for New Years Eve!

Empowerment Coach, Speaker, Author, Fear Less, Live More

FACT – Tomorrow is the youngest you will ever be

FACT – Tomorrow is the youngest you will ever be but it’s also the first day of the rest of your life!

YOUR LIFE! 

Life itself is the singular thing we all have in common. However having said that there are only actually two things which for sure will happen to us all.

We will be born. We will die.

Stark but nevertheless completely true.

Equally true is the fact that many of us do actually treat the experience that is life as something that just happens to us. We all too easily lose sight of the fact that it is actually a journey. Each day, for each of us is completely unique and thus our journey in turn becomes as individual as we are and in all honesty most of us never even consider that it is our choices along the way which make it so.

New Year is largely the time we actively upon the previous 365 days or so and vow to do things differently, better or not at all. It’s also the time when we invariably blame work, stress, the actions of others, lack of time, money or both as an excuse for anything which we determine as having been a mistake, failure or lack of opportunity etc.

By making our New Year ‘resolutions’ we acknowledge the need for change yet many of us steadfastly refuse to own our journey of the previous year by taking responsibility for the part we played in the areas we ourselves deemed worthy of change and rarely ever consider the fact that just one simple act could have provided us with the result…a different, better result…that yet again we are setting our sights on achieving in the coming year.

But why are we waiting? In doing so we are wasting time, our oh so valuable time – which once spent can NEVER be regained?

It doesn’t have to be like that because the amazing thing is, we all of us have the power of CHOICE!

It is after all the most basic of our rights as humans. We can if we so choose be compliant and ‘allow’ life to happen to us or we can become proactive and choose to be the architect of our own journey and subsequently our destiny.

I would urge that you give some thought to the gift which is your life and the like of which you will not receive again. As you go through your day today, tomorrow, the next day pay attention, be mindful if you will as to the number of choices you will actually get to make during it’s course. In addition to the those you would make automatically – what to eat, wear, do etc, concentrate on each moment as it occurs and realise that everything in life is indeed a choice.

Positivity. Negativity. Gratitude. Happiness. Anger. Guilt…all of it

Choices which in turn have the power to alter your life for the better or worse. Any given point on your journey through life is in direct correlation to your words, actions and attitude. Moreover it is you alone who are responsible for both them and the results they bring to bear EVERY DAY not just at New Year.

For instance there are those among us who will say ‘Oh no it’s not  my fault because…’ and try to shift the blame onto someone or something else thus absolving themselves of the responsibility. Now although this could be very true the key here is that others are the ones who have to take responsibility for their actions. You on the other hand must take responsibility for your reaction to the situation/ feeling they created. You have the power to allow or disallow how anything impacts upon you including the decisions about your life which you may or indeed may not make (which incidentally is indeed a decision in & of itself!).

You can choose and it is this choice alone which will dictate whether you are compliant in or the author of your life’s story as it unfolds!

YOUR FUTURE!

So having urged you to be mindful as you go about your day tomorrow, next week & in the coming year I ask you to consider the possibility that up until now you have inadvertently become compliant in allowing your life to just happen to you.

As we move into 2017 keep in mind that although January 1st is indeed the first day of the year, it’s also the first day of the rest of your life, as is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on. By all means mark New Year by resolving to do things differently if you feel the need, but if you are someone who is set to mark December 31st by stringing together a list of resolutions or promises to yourself that things will change and next year will be different, remember that you do not and never have had to wait to make the choice to change either you or your life for the better.

You will never be younger than you are on any given day so stop allowing our old friend procrastination to steal not only time but your dreams & goals. Make daily choices which will better enable you to live the life you wish to lead.

A life that you can live with passion and purpose, on your own terms, in your own way without ever having to apologize, explain, excuse or justify yourself OR that you have to use the acceptable time stamp of a New Years Eve as a smokescreen for doing so ever again.

So here’s wishing You EVERYTHING you wish yourself & more for 2017 & beyond BUT don’t make the mistake of putting off until New Year what you CAN DO TODAY – Remember procrastination may well be the thief of time BUT he always very generously leaves a calling card by way of thanks – the gift of REGRET!

As Walt Disney famously said – If you want something enough you will find a way to make it happen. If you don’t? You’ll make excuses!

Ten years from now I can promise you this you may regret some things you did do BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS regret those that you didn’t!

Why not make a decision TODAY that whatever it is that is preventing you from living the reality of your dreams you’ll face it head on and begin to Fear LESS & LIVE More?

Namaste – Sue

Sue Curr is an Empowerment Coach, Speaker & Author who enables others to  Fear LESS & LIVE More Bespoke Program . If you or someone you know would benefit from addressing & dis-empowering the effect FEAR has on your life you can connect with Sue at suecurr,com or email her directly at suecurr@suecurr.com

7 Simple Steps to Remember if You’re Overwhelmed

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Life Can Be Overwhelming

Life Can Be Overwhelming For Sure

But it doesn’t have to be & it doesn’t necessarily always have negative implications, for instance you can be overcome with gratitude or in-undated with good wishes in all manner of happy circumstances.

In day to day life it becomes problematical when we realize we don’t have the time to do the things  we need or are expected to do and before we know it we’re gripped by the ‘not enough hours in a day syndrome’ accompanied by full-blown anxiety often bordering on panic as we strive to fulfill our obligations on time.

Obviously everyone’s different but most of us have reached the point of feeling lost because we’re totally overwhelmed as life unfolds haphazardly around us and we struggle to successfully balance children, finances and career etc because we don’t have the time, the energy or the strategies needed to bring order to the chaos and strike a balance.

If you reach this point it’s seriously time to take stock & reassess how & why this is happening and declare…

Enough Already!

That said where do we begin redressing the balance & ow on earth do we make a start?

As an intelligent species we’re aware that the amount of time we have in a day is finite and as such how much we can realistically expect to accomplish during its course.

We can start by reminding ourselves of the two major components of the concept of time management – the prioritization & duration of everything we need to do within a given time. If we aren’t doing this consistently we are essentially sending an open invitation for chaos to become a staple part of our life.

Meaning? 

It’s a fact of modern-day life that if we’re not mindful we hit the floor running every morning with a seemingly endless array of things to get done; work and/or educational commitments, household chores, family issues, medical appointments, grocery shopping to mention just the obvious and that’s without factoring the all important daily chunk of  ‘me’ time we should have but which in reality is usually the first casualty in our efforts to get everything done.

We don’t look at the bigger picture before committing to something and for those of us who can always be relied upon to say yes when no would be the most sensible and appropriate answer the slippery slope to overwhelm becomes self-perpetuating unless we learn and quickly to apply the brakes.

Firstly acknowledge the absolute fact that the currency of time just like every other commodity is limited…whilst we will all experience widely differing overall lengths of time here on planet earth, on a day to day basis we are all afforded the same amount;

24 hours. 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds to be precise! 

Having taken this small yet massively important reality check what next? Well simply put it’s time to prioritize yourself & your time every day, preferably in advance. In itself this will naturally lead you to addressing your organizational skills or lack thereof given that you’re feeling overwhelmed but you’ll very quickly become amazed by just how much you can achieve when you set your mind to it…after all there’s a reason it’s called a mindset.

As a younger person my grandmother would often remind me that by failing to plan I was planning to fail and speaking as someone who perceives failure as nothing more than an invitation to find another way to make something work I took her point to heart and learned how to plan!

So it’s time to set yourself up for success!

When planning your day, week, month or even further ahead remember to be realistic and cut yourself some slack. You have 24 hours in a day, assuming that you get your average 8 hours of sleep, you instantly know you have 16 solid hours to achieve everything you realistically can (don’t forget to eat)…note that doesn’t read everything you should or even want to do.

Start by being strict with yourself & others when it comes to planning what you want to achieve in those 16 hours & always factor in the chunks of time that are non-negotiable each day: time to eat, sleep & work for example.

When we bring structure to our days we are giving ourselves the best opportunity to achieve the results we want. Here are:

7 Simple Steps to Remember if You’re Overwhelmed

  1. Look at your list in detail and then sub divide it into area specific tasks – work, household, personal & family
  2. Take each area individually and prioritize its list whilst at the same time removing from it anything which can reasonably be done at a later date
  3. Cross reference and link any task which could apply to more than one area and decide which is its area of most importance thus removing it from the other
  4. Form one new list and prioritize in order of importance the things you have to do in total within the time you have available
  5. You will inevitably be served a curved ball by way of unexpected occurrences – A call to pick a sick child up from school – where possible advise anyone else that having to do this will affect
  6. You may not be able to achieve certain things on your list due to circumstances beyond your control – Receiving an out of office until…auto res-ponder – instantly begin a list for the date of is return
  7.  Even with forethought certain things may take longer than anticipated meaning that you may fall behind – Remember you may be able to buy time due to being unable to achieve other things

With a much reduced ‘to do’ list in front of you the things you need to do will seem far more achievable and as a result you will feel less pressured. At this point take a further reality check and having acknowledged that your day is infinitely more manageable than you initially thought also acknowledge that

Remember that you need to acknowledge and accept that you can control the things which you are able to do but you cannot control the actions, reactions or otherwise of others which may serve to derail your best laid of plans.

By understanding that for any number of reasons beyond your control you may well reach the end of your day with things left undone and that’s not only ok it’s totally acceptable, you are in essence giving yourself permission to start afresh the following day with renewed focus and determination.

Have an awesome day whatever you’ve planned and remember Superman is a comic book hero and mere mortals like you and me have to make do without the use of superpowers to help us because we’re….

ONLY HUMAN!

If you or someone you know would like to know more about how to bring order to the chaos in your life then I invite you to reach out & connect with me to Schedule a FREE, no obligation 30 Minute Strategic Discovery Call to not only start you on the road to finally creating the reality you dream about but should you choose to, explore the ways in which I can further enable you to do so CLICK HERE >>>>>‘Empower You To Have The Courage To Be Who You Really Are’

How to Raise an Imperfectly Perfect Child

Absolutely EVERY child enters this world as a blank canvas…if you are keeping them safe & healthy, warm & fed then you are doing a fantastic job BUT as far as possible you need to allow them to become the architects, the artists & the authors of their own story…the best teachers DON’T tell their students what to do they empower them to find the answers out for themselves thereby learning & growing…parenting should be the same.

Raise a perfectly imperfect child

be the architect and the author of your own life

I’ve often come across situations where almost without it registering parents & carers having welcomed a new young life into their world automatically & literally assume total control over their lives. Obviously it goes without saying that from birth our children need us to feed, bathe, clothe & keep them safe but what many fail to recognise is that, that particular window of opportunity very quickly passes & almost certainly by the time they reach the ‘terrible twos’. That most trying of times when the almost constant daily grind of the battle of wills commence and the seemingly relentless round of uncontrollable tantrums takes hold. With hindsight & experience it’s easy to say to parents in this situation that they could and indeed should start picking their battles from this point on. Not always easy within the confines of time restraints, work life balance etc but something to be mindful of every single day otherwise the next 16 years or so is going to seem like a very long time!

The key thing to remember always is that whilst we have a duty of care to & for our children, they are not ours to own. They like us were/are born with the inherent power of free will and this is where things can if we’re not very careful quickly come unstuck. As log as we are meeting their every basic right; to be healthy & safe, to thrive & grow, to be educated & reach their full potential. Then we are fulfilling not only their needs & basic human rights but also the most important role in the world that of being a responsible parent

It’s pertinent to point out at this point that everyone has potential and for every single one of us young or old it is different. After all Einstein has been credited as saying;

”Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”

As responsible adults we owe it to our young people to do as the best of our teachers do and lead our children to knowledge by letting them figure out the answers for themselves. We are making the gravest of mistakes for both them and ourselves if we try & raise them with the outdated archaic means of education which most of us (and I’m mindful here that I’m probably of a different generation to most of you) had to endure, that of the, totally inflexible rigid, uniform, one size fits all attitude which serves only to shoehorn square pegs into round holes and is a recipe for not only heartache but for rearing frustrated, disillusioned, disenfranchised youngsters, many of whom spontaneously stop trying to achieve because they perceive themselves to be lacking & unlikely to succeed which  becomes self-perpetuating when they prove their own point by doing just that.

Now bearing in mind that as parents & carers we have usually had 2 or 3 years these days before formal schooling & the process of education begins in earnest, think about how different the lives of many youngsters would be if they had the amazing opportunity to learn by discovering things for themselves. I’m not talking quantum physics here mind, just the unbridled joy of say successfully dressing themselves for the first time…despite the fact that nothing matches, is on back to front or they’re wearing swimmers in February!

Find the answers out for yourself

Lead your child to knowledge

The fact that they have not only been allowed but encouraged to figure something out for themselves and were suitably praised and rewarded for doing a good job (regardless of the outcome) ticks all the boxes for raising balanced, inquisitive, successful, well-balanced & happy children. These first learning experiences, the ones we’ve all had, where regardless of the outcome you’ve had or given overenthusiastic praise, high fives and the like are the most important ones we will ever have simply because they begin laying the solid foundations we should all be given the opportunity of having, that of believing that anything is possible if we try!

Our children are but a gift, one which we should nurture & watch grow so that we can let go successfully when the time comes for them to set out into the world in their own right.

Making sure our young people can do that with purpose & passion, secure in not only our love for & support of them but of themselves & their own capabilities is paramount because they like us need to be empowered to understand that they can be who they really want to be, safe in the certain knowledge that whatever their lifestyle choices they make as they journey through life then they can always be sure of our unconditional love.

Does this mean that we have to agree with or like the choices they will come to make?

Absolutely not because simply put even though they will always be our children, once they reach the age of being able to understand & accept the responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make, then we have to relinquish any need to control what they are doing and trust that everything will turn out as it’s meant to be…whether we like it or not.

If you remember nothing else when dealing with young people whether it be as a parent or an educator remember just this;

We are all perfect simply by being our imperfect selves and age has no bearing  on that. 

 

Take Back Your Power

Taking the first step

The emotional & mental turmoil suffered by those who’ve experienced abusive situations (of any sort) can last a lifetime…it’s never easy but it is possible to move forward

The first step for victims of abuse…any form of abuse…assuming that it has been acknowledged & dealt with appropriately by the relevant outside agencies is for the survivor to begin to come to terms with their situation by understanding that what happened to them is not now and never was their fault.

Abusers are generally speaking both manipulative and clever in the way they program their victims to believe that they in some way are to blame and to be honest are uniformly successful in their quest such is their power over their victims.

To suggest that survivors ”get over it” is a common misconception and whilst some do indeed appear to have done just that closer inspection will usually belie the true extent of the psychological damage as evidenced for instance by addictions, self harming, mental health issues etc.

Surviving abuse is in itself a bit of a cleft stick…by definition anyone who comes through it alive is a survivor and should be proud of being so but in reality the survivors of abuse fall squarely into two camps those who learn to cope and those who don’t.

Which camp any of us fall into is part of the lottery of life. For instance how can 2 survivors of the same type of abuse (if not by the same person) find one well-balanced and adjusted to their situation whilst the next person will have withdrawn from life and spiraled into an addictive lifestyle which will almost certainly waste what’s left of their lives.

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Author

Have The Courage to be who you really are

The key is just one word – FORGIVENESS! 

The art of forgiveness is a twofold process first we have to forgive ourselves. Forgive ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know…the fact that we..you..any abuse victims are NEVER to blame…and then and here is the big one and to be honest the one thing that many struggle to come to terms with FORGIVENESS of the perpetrator!!

Now I KNOW how difficult even impossible that concept is for many people but the fact of the matter is until such a time as we are ready, willing and/or able to do this then we will and do remain firmly shackled by the chains of the past.

The past and the abuser once brought to accountability have no further power over us other than that we choose to give it. Whilst ever we are at a point that we can’t move forward because of what’s happened to us then the abuser remains both in our minds and hearts and most definitely in control.

The act of forgiveness should NEVER be about the other person but always about ourselves. Why because in all honesty they rarely if ever acknowledge that they have done anything wrong and as such don’t accept their responsibility for their part in your trauma.

How should we go about taking this enormous and extremely challenging step?

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Author

Take back the power

Meet them in person and speak to them face to face?

Possibly dependent upon circumstances if you are able to be calm & look the person in the eye…only you will know if you are at that point even if it is possible..but I would ALWAYS suggest doing so within controlled circumstances with the presence of an unbiased 3rd party for your support.

In writing?

Almost certainly…writing gives us the freedom to say anything and everything we ever wanted to say but were afraid to for fear of backlash and retribution but the beauty of it is that once we’ve given voice to the words by putting them down on paper we have acknowledged both them and what they represent. By doing so we have taken the first all important step to recovery or ”getting over it”. Once you’ve written everything down, read it out loud to yourself but as though you’re speaking to the other person and then in one of the most empowering moments you will ever experience (making sure it’s safe to do so) set light to it and watch it burn. As it burns acknowledge that this is the end of that period of your life begin to look to new beginnings. When we’ve done this it naturally underpins and reinforces the major way in which forgiveness not only occurs but is most powerful.

Mentally!!

Absolutely, definitely YES!

Tell yourself and often that in forgiving the other it’s not for them, it never is. Remember that in forgiving them you are taking positive action to set yourself free from the past and move forward into the future…your future, one in which they have no place.

Not in any sense physical, emotional or psychological. In doing so you are taking away their power and reclaiming your right to live your life, in your own way and on your own terms.

Do you ever ”get over” being abused? 

Realistically speaking you will probably never,ever forget what happened to you but perhaps for the first time you can celebrate the fact that you survived (remember many don’t) and begin treating every new day as the opportunity it is…one where today you will finally choose to be happy!!

Will it be easy? NO!

Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Always YES! 

Good Luck!!!

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

So You Wanna Be A…

When I grow up I want to be a……..

How often do we hear children say things like ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a nurse like Mummy or a Fireman like my Daddy’,

Very few children have the concept of goals and dreams, the opportunities or possibilities which will present themselves as we grow and sadly in all too many cases it doesn’t register (until later if at all) that just because our parents/grandparents were shop keepers, plumbers, lawyers or brain surgeons even…it doesn’t mean that we have to go into the family business,

Make No Mistake About It

As tends to be the way our paths, circumstances and most certainly our lives in our formative and educational years are usually but sadly not always fairly mapped out for us. Often by well-meaning but misguided responsible adults and sometimes by the not so responsible, controlling, ego driven adults who either want to live vicariously through us or have us be a carbon copy of them.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

I am not a

Up to a point there is very little if anything we can do about it whilst we’re growing…if we’re lucky we will be reared in an environment where we are at an early age afforded the opportunity to learn about the power of choice and the responsibility that comes with it. If not hopefully we’ll learn sooner rather than later that the power of choice is not only inherent in us all it is part of our basic human rights from the time we are able to communicate effectively.

For instance whilst getting my granddaughter ready to go out recently she was adamant that she wasn’t wearing a coat to go outside in despite freezing temperatures.  I opted to explain the choices she had…1) wear the coat thus remaining warm 2) don’t wear the coat running the risk of being freezing cold. Now at 4 she is in my opinion old enough to know the difference between the two choices and understand the consequences of both. After thinking about it she chose not to wear the coat. Accepting her decision I told her that was fine but I would take it along anyway so she could wear it if she changed her mind. Ten minutes later we were outside coatless but within three minutes  she was warm, wrapped up in not only her coat but scarf & gloves having realised she’d made the wrong choice. All without trauma, confrontation or the what did I tell you syndrome.

The lesson here for both of us was that in being given a choice at the age of 4 (and to be honest that’s the way we try to work) our granddaughter has learned early on that when faced with a decision the choice is hers but so are the consequences and that’s her responsibility.

We can’t blame ourselves for not knowing

If we grow up without ever being given the opportunity of choice & understanding that each one comes with the prospect of changing our reality then we do in effect become programmed to accept that things are just the way they are. In my family for instance both my grandfathers were miners, as were theirs, my father was a miner and perhaps unsurprisingly my brother became a miner, It  became a self-perpetuating family tradition, one that was never questioned. It was just what the men in the family did!

Thankfully these days we are more open to and accepting of a persons right to choose who and what they wish to be. Sadly though we still bow to the universally accepted premise that ‘Mum & Dad know best’…now obviously in some instances that is very definitely true. Especially when it comes to keeping young people safe but I seriously question that ethos particularly when it comes to both educational & lifestyle choices…essentially the cornerstones of what will become our adult life,

Understand that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be

Be humble, grateful, passionateNo matter how long it takes us to accept this simple fact…and for me that was the larger part of my adult life…it nevertheless is true!

The hard part for many of us as we struggle to find our identity, establish the career we want, live with or marry the partner of our dreams is that we spend far too much time people pleasing, not wanting to upset those we love and putting ourselves second if not last on our own list of priorities.

Remember this…This life of ours is just that… ours! We have one shot at getting our time here on this mortal coil to be the best experience for us that it can. We have a right to be happy. We have an equally important right to love & be loved unconditionally and we most definitely have the right to live our life in our own way, on our own terms without ever having to explain, excuse or justify ourselves, Ever!

When others, especially your nearest & dearest take exception to the choices you make…regardless of what they are; lifestyle, religion, career, anything at all….which they will. Bear in mind that although they will largely be coming from a place of love & concern, they will also be afraid both for the impact your decision will have on you and often how it will impact on them..what will the neighbours think?

But never forget that staying true to yourself, your wishes and dreams is your responsibility how others react to that is theirs.

Do you want something badly enough?

The general rule of thumb is; if you want something (no matter what) you will find a way to make it work. If you don’t? You’ll find an excuse…usually a pretty lame one…to justify your choice (there’s that word again)…how many times have you convinced yourself let alone others that you have a justified reason for not fulfilling your dream?

I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time. It was a stupid idea anyway!

Wrong! Wrong oh and errr Wrong!!! – No matter who or what you are?

You are real

You are very definitely good enough to do/be whatever the hell you want to…period! Others no matter who they are don’t have the right to make that judgement. If they do then walk away, we none of us need anything other than the love and support of those who matter to us. As Dr Seuss very succinctly put it…’Those who matter, don’t mind. Those who mind don’t matter’!

Time is both a blessing and a curse but if you really believe that time is short, weigh up how long each day you spend on social media, watching TV, window shopping, day dreaming…then tell yourself you don’t have time. I actively chose not to watch TV for a month in January this year just to see how much more I could get done in a day, let alone a week. The result? I gained 4 hours per day or just over one whole day per week to spend doing other more productive things…with the exception of an odd film..I haven’t watched TV since…everything is relative guys!

Thoughts become ideas, ideas become dreams, dreams can become reality..if they don’t? It doesn’t mean it was a stupid idea in the first place just that there’s probably a different way of getting there..if Michael Faraday hadn’t persevered, our concept of electricity today may well be very different indeed!

Finally I would say just one more thing ;

The difference between who you are & who you want to be is…what you do. Your choice. Your Life. Live it your way!

Thanks for reading whatever you chose…be happy! Namaste… Sue