Hidden Potential: How to Find Your Gift When You Don’t Know What to Do in Life?

Humans are experts at exploiting things to their full potential. We only need to look at the speed at which technology progresses. Sometimes it feels like technological advances move faster than life itself. What 20 years ago was unimaginable, is so integrated into our society today that we consider it essential. However…

There was a day when we didn’t have a notion of time as we do today, the sun and moon had the function of clocks and we didn’t know that we could transform their energy into movement or electricity. 

The only machine capable of transforming solar energy into other types of energy was the human body. The sun nourished the fields, fruit grew, and once ingested in the body, humans used transformed it into psychical energy and movement. (I haven’t become a scientist overnight, I am just amazed by Yuval Noah Harari’s work in his book Sapiens, which if you haven’t read yet, I recommend before even starting).

In Sapiens I found something that made me reflect, and then inspired me to create a metaphor about our potential, which I would love to share with you as it is related to today’s topic: For years, humans had the most important invention of energy production right before their eyes and the failed to notice it. When you boiled water in a pan in the kitchen and got distracted, steam would escape and the lid would jump! This was regarded as a nuisance as no one was able to spot the potential of what was happening… Magic! Heat was being transformed into movement! Eventually, this would result in steam-powered engines and the birth of the Industrial Revolution, but more often than not it became merely another reason to criticise the woman behind the pan. Why do I tell you all of this? Because I believe this is exactly what happens when you are not able to see your full potential as a person, you can end up believing that you are boring or even a disaster because you don’t know your strengths, or are unable to observe all that you can contribute to this world (or you are already contributing without even knowing it!).

That is why, I believe it is time to start living through our strengths. Science and technology progress non stop, and that includes psychology. For 60 years, psychology focused exclusively on the illness model: Healing and diagnosing mental illness in order to avoid suffering, but now there is also a science focused on understanding happiness, satisfaction and human potential. Positive psychology tasked with understanding what makes us tick. Coaching provides us with tools to make the best of our full potential.

Now prevention comes before healing. 

However, this is an advance that many people are currently unaware of. That is why I have decided to share it today, for all the people that I have crossed paths with who are stuck because they don’t know what to do with their lives.

‘I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t have a passion or a gift.’ Does this ring a bell? 

We have evolved so much that now our problem is not knowing what to choose out of so many possibilities. The Paradox of Choice is that we have so many options to choose from that often we get overwhelmed without knowing what decision to make, especially when we believe our whole future life depends on a single decision. You go to the supermarket and choosing what milk to buy becomes a puzzle. You go to a shop to buy some jeans and there are so many types, styles, lengths… Whatever you buy, it is easy to leave the shop doubtful that you have made the right purchase. Imagine how this process complicates things when it comes to choosing a couple, moving abroad or choosing a career. I could write a whole book about The paradox of choice, but I just thought it was necessary to mention it as it is one of the biggest causes of our indecision and doubts that lead us to question constantly who we are and who we can be.

Thanks to Positive Psychology, Seligman and Peterson developed the theory of character strengths, which helped us to classify human strengths and discover which ones we have through a scientific test called VIA. It has been proved that practising our strengths make us happier. Knowing our strengths is only the first step if you want to discover your gift, and where you want to go in life, your strengths can become your guiding tool. Your compass. Your map. The more you use your strengths, the easier it will be to make decisions in a world full of possibilities and above all, the more you use them the more positive emotions you will feel and consequently, the happier you will become.

Before getting to know the VIA test there were three questions that pushed me to discover my fortés and to decide to focus on them. I would not be a coach today if I hadn’t asked myself these 3 questions.

What could you teach?

Not long ago, a friend of mine was desperately looking for a job, as she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. I asked her this question: What could you teach? we all know a lot about something to the point to be able to teach it. She doubtful answered: ‘Maybe, feminism. I have been reading about it for years and I think even though feminism is trendy now, there are so many misunderstandings regarding the topic.’. My friend reads much more than most people of our generation. Thanks to this simple question, she thought of the idea of starting a feminist reading club and host weekly events! I recommended starting by charging a very affordable ticket, and hosting the events at her place, so she had low costs to start with. Little by little she took off and felt so satisfied. Even though you might not have teaching blood, this question may help you discover your gift and what you can offer.

What do your loved ones admire about you?

Don’t be shy, just ask! Sometimes our closest people can be more objective as they observe you from the outside, as they do not listen to the critic voice that limits us and accuses us of arrogance every time we mention a positive quality to define ourselves. (Next week I will talk about this voice, the critic, the infamous SATISFACTION chimp). You can take this as an exercise and next week ask the 5 closest people in your life what they think are your 3 biggest strengths. Maybe you can find similarities in their answers, and the overall information may surprise you and serve you in your journey to move forwards!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Anything that you do for pure joy in your free time may be a hidden strength, we enjoy ourselves more when our strengths are in play. Don’t discard anything: Maybe you spend your free time reading or watching movies, or playing some sports, or partying, or painting little plastic models… Whatever it is, you can take some information from it. It is all about thinking creatively, and who knows… maybe your hobby can become your whole day, as in my case: All my teenage summers reading psychology books on the beach have transformed into my profession. Not long ago I met a friend that I hadn’t seen since childhood, as a kid he was always painting these little plastic figures as he loved it and now he decorates professional models that people buy. If you love partying, maybe your gift is public relations. There are no judgements, what you love contains information as to where your strengths are hidden.

Do you dare to look at your light and ask yourself  what really matters? Your strengths are your biggest tool. If you are not using them, your full potential hasn’t been utilised yet.

Enjoy and Join the SATISFACTION Newsletter to receive more posts like this one and receive a free anxiety meditation… It’s Free!

Love and Satisfaction!

The Quartet of Happiness: Hack your natural chemicals in order to feel good.

Happiness is not something that needs to be found, there is not going to be a day when you find it and everything suddenly changes magically. I know a lot of people who live waiting for the wonderful day when (AT LAST!) after waiting for so long they will find their happiness. Happiness is not permanent, neither it is conditional. However, we constantly tell ourselves: ‘The day I achieve X… I will be happy’ and this way, we condition our happiness and position it constantly in the future tense, until it becomes something unachievable.

I don’t believe you can be happy every day. Happiness is an emotion and like all emotions, It comes and goes, it flows. However, we all want to be happy so the more ‘happy states’ we manage to have daily the better we will feel. That is why it is important to…

Clarify and define what we really want

Often we don’t have a clear vision of what it means for us ‘to be happy’. The other day in one of the satisfaction sessions, a great woman expressed: ‘My goal is to be more content and happy’, and I asked: ‘What does it mean for you to be content? In which moments do you feel the happiest?’ Her answer was: ‘I don’t know’.

It is common to mix up punctual moments of happiness with our idea of what a ‘happy life’ looks like. A typical idea of happiness could be: ‘I will be happy when I live in a paradisiac beach, on a constant holiday’. (Or in other words, the illusion of retirement). This idea can be associated with specific moments of our lives in which we have felt happy by spending a relaxing day on the beach. However, the question is: Do you think that you would be happy forever if you were every day lying down in a hammock without doing anything else? Probably not, probably you would get bored, or you would look for something else. Why? Because growing is a basic human need and we don’t feel good when we don’t progress and grow.

That is why today rather than focusing on the possibility of a future happiness, I propose to focus on the present. What does your life need for you to tag it as a ‘happy life’ today? Change starts now. What can you do today to create happy states for yourself? Today I am going to share with you a great tool for achieving happy states!

Activate the Quartet of Happiness Every Day

There are some natural chemicals in our bodies which produce happiness, they are known as ‘The Quartet of Happiness’: Dopamine, Endorphins, Oxytocin and Serotonin. Our body releases them naturally in specific moments. These chemicals are better than any drug, they are self-produced and totally free.

A great way to make sure that every day you enjoy some happy states is to learn how these chemicals get released so you can trigger them. This way, we can stop waiting for the chemicals to be released magically and we can ask them for help when we really need them.  Today I am going to introduce to you to the whole quartet:

1. Dopamine

It is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. When our dopamine levels increase, we have more energy, focus and motivation. We can release dopamine naturally by…

Sleeping:

Yeah! When we sleep we recharge our dopamine levels. It is much easier to get motivated when tiredness is not on our way.

Increasing your intake of tyrosine-rich foods:

AVOCADO AND BLACK CHOCOLATE (Thank you life), nuts, bananas, eggs… Tyrosine is a key component of dopamine. Be careful with sugar consumption. When we consume sugar our dopamine levels increase but a while after, they crash, leaving you in a worse state than before you ate the sweet intake.

Creating something o completing a small task:

Dopamine gets released as a reward every time we achieve something that matters to us (Even if it is a small achievement). When we divide big goals into small actions we have more chances to release dopamine daily!

Listening to music:

Have you ever been in the situation where you were feeling bad, and as soon as a song you loved started playing, you couldn’t help but smiling and laughing? There it is, dopamine comes into place when we listen to pleasant music.

Exercising:

When we work out we release dopamine and all the other chemicals. Our brain rewards us every time we move its best companion: The body.

2. Endorphins

They are hormones which work as a natural analgesic for the body in order to ease pain and make you feel calm and happy. They are known as ‘self-produce morphine’. When we release endorphins we feel happy, euphoric and determined. There are many ways to boost them…

Having Orgasms:

Some years ago when I was suffering anxiety, my osteopath asked me to have as much a sex as possible in order to heal myself. The pleasure that we feel when we make love or have an orgasm is healing. We release endorphins and free ourselves from tension. If you don’t have a couple, you can explore with your own body. Nowadays, there are still too many prejudices regarding masturbation (Especially when it comes to women). I believe it is necessary to break that taboo and to understand that knowing yourself is the first step to be able to enjoy when getting to know others.

Eating Spicy food:

As a response to the discomfort and unpleasant sensations that we experience when we eat something really spicy, endorphins take action to calm us down and provide us with pleasure.

Laughing:

Every time we smile or laugh we release endorphins, especially when we laugh to the point of feeling tommy-ache! If you think you don’t laugh enough, why don’t you try a laugh therapy session? They are so fun!

Crying:

Tears are also healing. Crying is a body mechanism to ease pain, that is why endorphins come into place when tears are around. If we cry due to sadness, endorphins get released to calm us down. If we cry of pure joy, endorphins go to the ceiling! It is such a beautiful sensation; Crying due to happiness.

Exercising:

Again physical exercise is remarked. Years ago I went through a hard break up and every time I could tell pain was too overwhelming for me, I would run away to the gym. There, endorphins would get released and my state was automatically transformed.

3. Serotonin

It is a neurotransmitter that is released when we feel socially recognised. And when we meet basic needs such as eating. In the Spanish culture, we are good at releasing this chemical: We are constantly eating tapas surrounded by the people who love us most!  When our serotonin levels are high we feel safe and in peace, how can we increase them?

Feeling the Sunlight:

Expose yourself to the light that comes from the sun, it is pure vitamin! (Obviously taking precautions!!) when we feel the warmth and light from the sun we release serotonin and feel recharged.

Decreasing alcohol consumption:

This does not mean that we cannot drink a glass of wine or a beer, but it is good to be aware that just 3 minutes after starting consuming, our serotonin levels crash. Violent behaviour is related to alcohol. This is because the part of our brain which stops certain behaviours gets blocked when serotonin is down.

Getting Social Recognition:

Why is social media so addicted nowadays? In the ‘likes’ culture we increase our serotonin levels just by getting likes, the danger of this is that as soon as this form of external attention goes away, serotonin goes down as a consequence. Therefore, it is better to meet this need for social recognition with the people we love most. We need to make sure that we show our appreciation and love in each relationship we have and often enough. This needs to be more powerful than the virtual world if we want to keep our serotonin levels up.

Eating:

80% of serotonin exists in the gut, so our serotonin levels are completely related to our state of hunger. That is why it is common to be in a bad mood when we are hungry!

Exercising:

One more time, exercise is key. When we move our body we release serotonin, especially when we play in sports teams and we enjoy! Also benefits from exercising such as improvement of physical appearance can contribute to increasing serotonin.

4. Oxytocin

It is a neurotransmitter known as the love hormone. We are social beings and we have a need for connection. Oxytocin helps us reducing our cortisol levels (stress hormones) and to reduce anxiety. When we have a good level of oxytocin, we are more ready to deal with our environment. How do we release oxytocin?

Physical contact:

When I was in Sydney I was lucky enough to meet a Buddhist monk from Bhutan. In one of the Conscious Club events, he taught us the power of hugs, he invited us to hug someone for 3 minutes without saying anything. The sensation was incredible as our oxytocin levels went up while we hugged each other consciously. Hugs are healing. Caress, kisses and sex are too!

Words of Affirmation and love:

When we listen to a compliment from someone we value, our oxytocin goes up automatically. Look for people in your life who remind you why it is important that you are sharing life with them.

Helping others:

When we help others we release oxytocin as we connect. If you believe that your oxytocin levels are low, why don’t you surprise or give a special present to someone you love?

Venting emotions:

It is proved that suppressing emotions is not good for us, when we vent our emotions by crying we don’t only release endorphins (mentioned above) but also oxytocin.

Exercising:

Moving our body is the best we can do to release the whole quartet of happiness. When we work out we also release oxytocin.

Understanding how our body works is essential to feel good! This list of small actions to release the quartet of happiness helps me daily. Making sure that every day there is happiness in my life is made easier since I learnt about these chemicals. From all the small actions that we can undertake (there are many more than the one listed here), exercising seems to be the most powerful one! Therefore, if you are ever having a hard day, my advice is: Run, jump, move your ass, pedal as if there was no tomorrow until you feel good. Until you feel happy.

The Butterfly Effect: Finding Comfort in Chaos.

What is the Butterfly Effect?

The Butterfly Effect, which originated in chaos theory, is built around the idea that small actions can have large consequences. It is named after its most famous example: The beating of a butterfly’s wing influencing a chain of events that leads to a tornado! Funnily enough, this example has led to a common misunderstanding; that the small action and large consequence will always be directly related. In reality, the result can not only be huge, but completely unpredictable!

The first time I came across the Butterfly Effect was at a dinner party. A friend of mine told me he had plans to write a book about how nothing would be the same in our lives if we happened to alter just one of the many tiny decisions that make up our day. This novel idea stuck with me and today I would love to share with you how being aware of the Butterfly Effect has become a powerful source of motivation for me.

What Butterflies have to do with finding Satisfaction 

I love the power of small actions. They are a vital part of my lifestyle. But I’m far from perfect… My mind is still wired to crave big results and sometimes my trust in the step by step approach falters. I grow impatient and doubtful. I know I’m not the only one!

This is where the Butterfly becomes my ally! When I’m feeling like this. I stop and reflect on a recent moment of satisfaction, and retrace my steps to see if there were any small actions that made it possible! Let’s put an example and count down:

6. Last week, I had an amazing day, and the icing on the cake was that I met an inspiring woman who gave me some gorgeous advice. I felt so grateful, and we are slowly becoming good friends, so I started digging deeper: What led to our encounter?

5. I received a last minute invitation to the event where we met, and the only reason I was able to go was that I had finished my professional goals earlier than planned, a whole 45 minutes early! Lucky?

4. Maybe not! I finished early because I felt energised and focused which helped me find a state of flow in my work.

3. My energy came from a wholesome breakfast I had cooked with love at the start of my day, instead of a rush of toast and cereal on the go.

2. I took the time to cook a special breakfast because I had built up a big appetite during my 5 minute Wim Hof Pushups and Breathing Practice.

1. That morning, instead of hitting snooze I chose to jump out of bed promptly, which gave me an extra 5 minutes to exercise! 

The tiny action of getting out of bed on the first alarm (which I’m sure we can all relate to!) made this inspiring friendship possible, something I could never have expected; and that’s the beauty of the Butterfly Effect!

Put your wings to work like Butterflies do! 

The Butterfly Effect demonstrates the power that small actions have, but its unpredictable nature frees you from trying to control the future with expectations of related grand achievements. It keeps you focused on the present, comforted by the knowledge that each small step has unimaginable potential.

Learning about the Butterfly Effect has provided me with a great source of motivation:

  1. It has reinforced my belief in the power of small actions.
  2. It has helped me to let go of my desire to control the future.
  3. It has encouraged me to commit to the process and not the result

So, when you are feeling insignificant; like nothing you do matters or makes a difference, try tracing back a recent achievement and see what humble beginning gave it life. Then, count how many of these small actions you have already performed today, and consider the potential of each and every one of them!

And if you are still feeling small, maybe the Dalai Lama can put it better than me:

‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room’

Good night!

Conditional Love: ‘I love you but you better change!’

We feel anxious when we perceive a threat or danger. The other day I was running an anxiety workshop and an amazing topic popped up! I have been reflecting on it and today I would love to share my thoughts. Many of you who were there identified yourselves with a perceived threat that you all shared: Having important differences with loved ones. (A couple, a mother, a brother…). You talked about value, tastes and beliefs differences. The threat you see in these differences is the possibility of disconnection and therefore, it is easy to have anxiety because of them.

Differences to an extent are a natural part of each human relationship. Differences don’t make us anxious. We get anxiety because of our perception of the differences and our inability to accept them. Who hasn’t ever felt this? ‘The problem is that he/she doesn’t change!’. When we have a disagreement with someone we love, our natural tendency is to desire a change in the other. Unconsciously we might attack, manipulate and do all that we can in order to change the other. We see this possible change as the only possibility for total connection and we become oblivious to an essential evidence:

NO ONE CAN CHANGE ANYONE, ONLY A PERSON WHO REALLY WANTS TO CHANGE WILL DO SO.

The question is: What can we do then when we want to keep sharing life with a person with whom we have some differences if we feel anxious about it? The first step is to consider the importance of the differences in comparison with what we share in common. Which one is stronger? Some differences don’t necessarily need to have an effect on a relationship dynamic if they are accepted. However, when it comes to differences in important values it is easier they lead to big conflicts and disconnection. For instance, for a couple, an important difference could be one wanting babies and the other one not wanting a family at all. Once that you have evaluated the differences, if you still feel you want to maintain the relationship, the question is:

Are you willing to accept this person as he/she is today, not tomorrow or in a year’s time?

What if I encounter big differences with my mother? That is not an easy bond to break and it is understandable that you may not want to break it regardless of all the differences you have. One more time, it is a matter of evaluating the seriousness of the differences. If you cannot accept them, you can always take precautions in consequence. Maybe you don’t need to break the relationship completely but there are steps in between that you can take, such as avoiding certain topics or even decreasing time together. The most important thing is to be aware that every day we make the decision to keep sharing life with each person of our lives, and we can change this at any time.

In case you are willing to accept the person you love as he/she is, and not as you would like him/her to be, there are some tools that can help you in the process of decreasing anxiety and make the process easier.

Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg:

Make objective observations instead of judging. Asking in an ‘I would like to’ form rather than ‘You should’ form, talking about your needs and show your vulnerability, empathy and gratitude. This technique is part of the Satisfaction process and I am so amazed by its efficiency.

Change your Perception:

What makes you perceive your difference as a threat? Are you able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes? Does this person have any unfulfilled needs that lead to this viewpoint? Is this difference as negative as you see it? Sometimes a simple change of perception can change your feelings overnight. We perceive the world through our unique eyes. A unique perception. That often makes us believe that our perception is the correct and valid one and that the other person’s perception is the one that needs to change. Changing your perception is daring to expand your horizons, tolerance and respect.

Change your Focus:

In this case, the question is: Where are you putting your focus on the person you love? On her/his weakness or her/his strengths? When we want to change someone is because we are not accepting them completely, and often our focus is on the weaknesses the person has. When people perceive they are not valued or they are even attacked, they won’t give you their best. It is simple, that is why magic happens when we change our focus. When we start appreciating someone’s strengths rather than criticising constantly what we dislike about them, we often get the transformation we were looking for. People show their best version easily when we accept them fully.

Our possibilities to love someone unconditionally increase when this person removes their conditions when loving us as well. The same happens the other way around, and that can be applied to all relationships in our lives. Only this way – when two people are able to accept each other as they are, they can transform themselves and grow parallel.

Giving unconditional love and freedom to be is the best gift you can offer to someone, and it is from that place from which the most unimaginable changes occur.

One day I made the mistake to want to change my partner. It didn’t end well. When I stop trying, when I let go…When I started to practice acceptance and unconditional love… Magic happened! It was then when everything changed for the better, and my partner started to show something wonderful I didn’t know of him or I hadn’t seen yet when I was so focused on ‘changing him’.

Loving without conditions sometimes means accepting that your path and the one of the person you love are going to flow better if you get apart, other times it means just accepting the other in order to keep sharing life hand in hand. Whatever the case is, accepting is the best antidote for this kind of social anxiety. There are no magical pills. Do you dare to love without but’s?

NOTE: This article cannot be applied to cases in which aggression of any kind is involved. If the person you want to change acts violently either physically or psychologically, then distance is the best choice, no matter how hard it is. There are many people in the world as to stay in toxic relationships (This topic is so extent, I could write another whole article just about it, but I just wanted to clarify this point)

Love and Satisfaction,

Emotional Fitness: Do You Know What You Need a Coach For?

What does it come to your mind when I say the Word ‘Coaching’?

This week the Satisfaction program is arriving to Madrid, for those who don’t know it, it is an Emotional Intelligence Coaching Group program for women, which I launched first in Australia. Since I arrived in Spain a month ago, I have been organising the different groups of women who will be part of it! In this process I have come across some prejudices, a bunch of misunderstandings and so much curiosity about the term: ‘Coaching’. That is why today I am going to talk about coaching and the different reasons why I believe that everyone can benefit from an emotional coach.

The word coaching comes from the verb ‘To coach’ which is a synonym of ‘To train’. No one gets surprised if a tennis player hires a coach or trainer to reach his/her full potential in the tennis court. Having a personal trainer or coach in the gym is common and society does not question why. You don’t have to have problems to go and train your body. In fact, physical training is associated with health, wellbeing and strength.

However, for some reason training or coaching emotions is not YET so normalised. (In Spain and many other countries). I have been surprised to observe that there is STILL so many people who thinks: Someone that goes to therapy or has a coach is crazy or has mental issues. Many people argue: ‘I don’t need a coach, nothing is happening in my life’ Is it possible to have a life where nothing happens? Unfortunately, getting emotional help is still associated with disorders, illness and weakness.

Emotional Fitness

Thanks to coaching, I have reaffirmed myself in the idea that prevention is better than cure.

Rather than joining the gym when your trousers don’t fit you and you are almost obese, why don’t you start training before you get to the extreme? Same happens with emotions: Instead of asking for help when you are so down and almost depressed, why don’t you start to emotionally train yourself to avoid getting to the limit?

I discovered Emotional Intelligence almost a decade ago. I got hooked on it when I learnt that any person, at any age, with any circumstance has the opportunity to develop her/his Emotional Intelligence. It is not something that you have or not have. It is not something that you learn only once. It is a practice. It is a training. I love how Tony Robbins talks about Emotional Fitness, we can train our emotional muscles. The more in shape emotionally we are, the less we suffer. We get less affected by external circumstances that are not within our control when we are in good form.

Am I crazy if I go to therapy?

I went to therapy for the first time when I was 16. I was lucky to come across an extraordinary female psychologist.  I take my hat off to her: Lorena López. She not only helped me managing a complicated personal situation but also, she:

  1. Guided me without judging me;
  2. Gave me tools which are still essential for my life today;
  3. Challenged me to go outside my comfort zone;
  4. Helped me training my emotions so I was prepared to manage any kind of circumstance;
  5. And most importantly: She Taught me to love myself and to maximise my potential.

Thanks to the impact that she had on my life for the better, today I am dedicating my life to Emotional Intelligence. With her, I went beyond what I thought I was capable of. It was not about ‘solving’ my life, but about developing myself. She trained me to love life.

This year in Australia I have trained my emotions with 3 different coaches at specific times, on a daily basis I can now train my emotions on my own. However, every so often I ask for the help I need to move to the next level: Hailey helped me to manage anxiety in a more effective and transformative way, Bill helped me aligning my 3 brains: Head, Heart and Gut to feel more balanced and Sarah helped me understanding the relationship between nutrition and emotions. I am truly grateful to them; coaches can benefit from playing the coachee role as well!

Can I be my own coach?

Many people hold beliefs such as: ‘I don’t need anything from anyone’, ‘You are weak if you ask for help’, ‘No one can tell me what I have to do’. To start with, of course I believe personal development is a unique, personal and individual journey.

However, I think there is so much we can gain when we get helped by a coach. A coach does not tell you what you have to do. A coach does not impose anything on you. A coach only guides you so you can bring out the light, knowledge and potential that you already have inside.

The coach’s job is to:

Accelerate and Maximise your Progress

Guide you and push you to progress in a more effective way and challenge you to go outside your comfort zone. Help you overcoming blocks and transforming limiting beliefs into useful ones.

Provide you with Necessary Tools and Skills

Invite you to discover new resources to make your journey easy. It is important to have tools and skills to progress in the direction you want and grow.

Give you a different neutral perspective of your circumstances

Show you your unconscious actions so you can make conscious choices. An emotional coach can identifyyour emotional patterns and show them to you so you can become self-aware and decide what you want to change and what you don’t.

We can only perceive life from our filters and perceptions. That is why it is important to have someone to give you a different version of your reality and to train you emotionally. Moreover, it is harder to abandon your progress when you have accountability from a coach, which job is to encourage you to make the transformations you desire happen!

Then, can my family and friends be my emotional coaches?

We are social creatures and connection to other people is a very important aspect of human life. Having friends and family who support you is a gift!

However, when it comes to make decisions and progress or transform ourselves, people who love us most can often dissuade us from our real journey and what we truly desire.

It is easy to get too emotionally involved in the life of a person you love. People who love us are influenced by the love they feel towards us. Therefore, even though they advise us with the best of intentions, and wishing the best for us, more often than not they distract us from our inner wisdom.

Family members and friends give us their opinion and judge our decisions. They want to protect us. They don’t want to lose us. They don’t want us to change for the worse and often they are as scared as we are or more!

I used to listen to all my loved ones’ pieces of advice and opinions and I used to take all of them into account, driving myself crazy in the attempt to discover what was a right decision. By trying to listen to everyone, I used to forget about listening to myself. Our loved ones empathise with us emotionally and give their advice from that place. Coaches help you to learn how to listen to yourself in a neutral way. They neither judge you nor they choose anything on your name. Coaches go beyond, they are not advisors, they provide you with practical techniques to make decisions and they teach you how to train your emotions.

As an Emotional Intelligence Coach, my mission is to help women training their emotions in a safe environment. I help them become self-aware and to listen to themselves in order to make decisions that they truly desire.

You don’t need a coach for life, you need a coach who can teach you how to train your emotions and mind, so you can keep developing your emotional intelligence in each of your life experiences.

Good coaches don’t lend you their wings to fly with them, they teach you how to open yours so you can eventually fly on your own.

The conclusion of this blog is that as social creatures, we are meant to find people to learn from. Call it ‘Coach’ or not, the term is not what matters most. A good way to grow is to model and learn from people who know about what you want to learn. As kids, we learn through imitation, and as adults, we can still gain so much by sharing practical tools that work! Coaching techniques are transformative. Anyone who knows them does a favour to the world by sharing them.

We all have insecurities. We all want to feel good. We all want to receive love. Showing our vulnerability and asking for help is not what cowards do. Only brave people dare to expose themselves as they truly are. When we are vulnerable we easily connect with others and we start by sharing a commonality: our vulnerability (we are all vulnerable).

I wonder…

How would the world be if everyone would train their emotions? Can you imagine it?

What is your deepest insecurity? This short documentary asks this question and encourages vulnerability

Asking for emotional professional help is not embarrassing, it is time to start practising Emotional Fitness, to become healthy and empowered.

Enjoy and Join the SatisfACTION Newsletter to receive more posts like this one and much more… It’s Free!

Love and Satisfaction,

‘To Rest’ is on my Calendar: Switching Off in order to Switching On?

Do you need to connect or to disconnect? We tend to associate the verb ‘To DISCONECT’ with the verb ‘To Rest’. However, in order to rest you only need ‘To CONNECT’ with yourself, with your body and mind and to listen to your own needs.  If you respect your needs, you will get to rest every day, rather than only when you are on holiday.

Often when we feel overwhelmed by tiredness and fatigue, we tend to look for ways to rest our body: A massage, a relaxing bath, a week lying on a hammock at the beach… Wonderful ways to take a breath. Nevertheless, many times we forget to give our minds a breath.

You pay to receive a massage in order to relax, but your mind keeps ruminating about that unsolved issue for the whole session. Do you feel rested after all? 

The answer is no. Not long ago I went to France and I promised to myself that after running some workshops in England, I would have some days off there to rest and charge my batteries. I took my word seriously and I managed to rest. I spent two days without undertaking any professional task and without setting the alarm clock. However, I was feeling tired after all, and thanks to it I had a revealing realisation: Mentally, I was not resting or switching off. I was constantly having ideas, organising and creating new to-do lists for my business.

24/7 mode ON? Does that ring a bell? 

Up until recently, I had as many hours of free time as hours of work, as everything was mixed together. I would answer a work email at the beach and I would get distracted from work to talk to my mum and tell her about a film I recently watched. My professional and personal life are so linked, that I was not managing to switch off from my passion. Professional Open 24/7. I guess it is a natural tendency when you love what you do, and sometimes too when you don’t love it at all.

Life moves fast, and we have been told that the more we do the better, so we feel we need more hours. It seems like it is all about constantly increasing productivity! and that way, who would rest? There is always going to be an email to reply or a task to undertake. That is why nowadays it is important to find ways to prioritise Resting Body and MIND, or as Julia Cameron proposes with her book, The Artist’s Way:

What You Will Learn to Do is to Rest in Motion, like Lying Down on a Boat.

That is what I am learning, thanks to the Artist’s Way and many other tools, so today I am going to share some ideas which have allowed me to rest and switch off in order to switch on!

Set Time Boundaries? Work when you work and rest when you rest

Did you know that it takes us 20 min to get our focus and concentration back after every time we check our smartphones?

When we try to multitask, our physical and mental energy halves by two or as many tasks as you are trying to perform, and therefore your productivity reduces too. That is why I believe it is important to separate work from rest and to decide how much time you can spend on each action.

The idea that we can Multitask is an illusion that makes our lives much harder.

My dad-in-law is a children book illustrator and he works from home. He wakes up early at 5 and works until the afternoon for lunch an nap, later he rests by gardening, cooking or watching a good film. He travels a lot and is flexible and he has always invited me to create a structure for myself so my entrepreneur soul rests. However, I wanted to stay flexible and be able to adapt to circumstances. As many of you may know, when you launch your own business the to-do list for it is endless! I love my profession, and I tend to work without even realising it and to try and do everything at any time. In my case, it was easier for me to respect the work time frames than the resting ones, and that way I was exploding my mind, and forgetting that focusing on one single task is compatible with flexibility.

The first step is to set time boundaries in which you give the same importance to rest than to anything else. Set a space on your calendar for resting, and respect it… If it is not on your calendar, you won’t prioritise it.

Once that you have prioritized resting, you can create a flexible structure with specific times for work and rest, and if an unexpected work opportunity pops up, you can recover the resting time later as you would recover hours of work.

You can create strategies that help you respecting your own boundaries such as let people you live with that every time you are wearing headphones it means you are working, or let your clients, bosses and colleagues know that you are going to check your email in two or three specific times of the day and that your telephone will be on plane mode at night.

Resting Mentally? Find Your Own Way

To set a time to rest our bodies is relatively easy, but how can we rest our minds? It is not about leaving our minds blank. We only get to rest mentally when we connect with the present, and with our bodies, so we can listen to our needs. Even when we sleep, we connect with our subconscious mind.

There are many techniques such as Mindfulness, which take us to deep states of relaxation and rest by inviting us to connect with the present and tidy up our thoughts.

However, you are the only person who can find the magic formula to rest your body and MIND. And for that, you need to listen deeply.

Maybe you get to rest deeply through Yoga, Morning writing… Maybe you get to switch off from distractions by doing something you really love, and you connect that way with the present and with yourself. According to my grandma, To have a hobby is essential to rest mentally. There are people who rest mentally by dancing. Others meditate. Others read novels. The idea is that you find your own way, and you make room for it on your calendar.

However, regardless of what it is your resting mentally formula, there is something that is fundamental for all of us: Doing Nothing and Sleeping.

¿Sleep = Rest?

Did you know that sleeping lost hours cannot be recovered or compensated by sleeping more on another day? These hours accumulate and little by little they end up having an effect on our health.

It is recommended to sleep 8 hours per day but it is not proven that every single person needs to sleep the exact number of hours. What it is known, is that by sleeping less than 6 hours we don’t allow our system to finish the resting cycles and that sooner or later is going to have effects on our ability to function.

And what if when I sleep I don’t rest? Do you spend hours in bed but you don’t manage to sleep? There are different tools that you can use to learn how to rest.

Not eating the 2h before bed and cutting caffeine from lunch helps! Creating a sleeping schedule so your biological clock little by little gets regulated helps too! Having the same sleeping schedule, or at least sleep the same number of hours each night will help you resting better!

In Australia, my biological clock would never fail. I used to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am. When I returned to Spain, I realized that this schedule was not compatible with the Spanish lifestyle. Here people have very late dinners, and if I was going to eat at 9:30pm I was not able to get in bed half an hour later with a full stomach. To start with, I tried to maintain my schedule because I am aware that I am a morning person, and I loved it. However, soon I decided to adjust. To give you an idea, a satisfaction session in Madrid usually finishes at 8:30pm which means I don’t get home until 9pm. That is why I have now managed to readjust my biological clock, so I go to bed at 11:30pm and I wake up at 7:30am. It is not always like that, but I notice that my biological body is regulating.

To have a biological body is like having an inner alarm that tells you when it is time to sleep, and when it is time to wake up. A great tool for resting better.

Is resting a waste of time? No, and even less if you write your dreams down when you wake up. Your dreams are like letters which give you so much information from your subconscious mind. To start with probably you think you won’t remember your dreams, but as soon as you get the habit of writing each morning, you will notice how you remember more and more each time, until one day you get to have a lucid dream, and take the best out of your rest. (Dreams are the proof that our minds don’t need to switch off completely to rest, they can rest just by connecting with our inner world and with the present. If you sleep, sleep. If you work, work.)

Do you have NO time? Rest MORE then.

After reading this article I imagine some people are probably thinking…How can I get time to rest more? If I am not able to put all the things ‘I have to’ do on my calendar, how I am going to add something else such as resting? Well, the more stressed you are, the better idea it is to rest. When you rest, you will increase your productivity as you will work better. It is better to work 2hours at 100% than 5hours at 30%.

I click on publish and I log out… It is time to rest… And I invite you to do the same: Set a time in your calendar for resting each day, and create a sleeping schedule.

How do you rest mentally? Tell us in the comments, your way can inspire others.

Enjoy and Join SatisfACTION Newsletter to receive more posts like this one and much more… It’s Free!

Hollywood vs. Debates: The 3 Reasons why Couples Break up and Love Vanishes!

What is Love? What is an intimate relationship? For years, the status quo had these concepts very well defined. Everybody would follow the same structure: You would get married under the promise: ‘Until death do us apart’, no matter what, that was the deal, divorces weren’t an option. And as everything in life…

When a relationship is based on a ‘have to’ be rather than on a ‘Choose’ to be… Obligation breaks the freedom of choice and it is natural that people often feel like trapped in prison. 

Romantic Expectations

There was not only the pressure to stay with the same partner for life but also the added pressure of living up to the Hollywood romantic films high standards! These films showed happy endings, roses and romantic scenes, but they would miss all that it takes to share life with another person day to day through the good and bad times. Nowadays we see these standards on social media profiles too where only the best part of relationships are shown. Rarely, couples with these kinds of expectations would or will meet them.

Nowadays though, everything has changed a lot: Leaving a relationship is easier than maintaining love, than looking after it and watering the plants. Divorces are not only possible but also they have been normalised. Marriage is just an option more than ever before, and each person has an ideal of what a relationship should be like. Relationships are diverse: Open, traditional, friendly, committed… Every single person has the freedom to choose how to experience love and with whom to share life. That is wonderful. However, as everything is less and less defined/structured it seems like we need to put more of us in order to understand each other.

No one starts a new relationship looking forward to ending it.

Why then are there so many relationships which break up?

According to Tony Robbins, either you are in a relationship or you are not, but if you don’t want a relationship is due to pain association. Relationships are based on emotional association: ‘I don’t want to suffer again.’, ‘I want love and connection but I don’t want to expose my vulnerability. I want pleasure but not pain.’

However, one of our basic needs is connection and love. You can read more about it here: ‘Emotional Dependency? All You Need is Love’. In contrast with most animals, we are the only social beings who spent an extended portion of our lives relying on other humans for survival. A baby needs the physical touch (Oxytocin) in order to survive. If you don’t caress/hug/hold a baby, it dies! In general, we are dependent on adults until we are able to support ourselves economically, but also we need to be emotionally supported and guided for a very long time. That is why love is a survival instinct for us. A big universal fear is to not receive love! This does not mean that all couples must work, or that we cannot live without a partner.

There are many break-ups which are completely necessary, the question is: Why are there so many?  If now we have the freedom to choose who we want to share life with, why are there so much suffering for love? How much love is destroyed due to fear?

Couples and intimate relationships break for 3 main reasons. If those aspects flow, any relationship can become invincible and love can last and grow without limits.

1# Lack of Crystal Clear & Compassionate Communication:

The other day I went to the theatre to see ‘The Lover’ by Harold Pinter, and after the play, there was a social debate with the actors and the audience. The debate was fascinating: We talked about love, intimacy and sex. It was incredible to listen to so many opinions from people with different backgrounds: Old, young, women and men. We were all sharing our way to experience love,  from a place of respect and tolerance. This experience was pure inspiration for me:

If you don’t know what you want, you can’t ask for it neither you can find it. 

Being able to discover and communicate what is the kind of relationship that you want like is essential for a relationship to work, and for that, we need to be able to talk about love. Thanks to this debate, I reaffirmed an idea: The key to the success of any relationship is Crystal Clear & Compassionate Communication. It is necessary to tell the person you share life with what you love, what you don’t, and thank the person for what specifically you appreciate about the relationship you share. Also, being able to express what you would like to change or improve from a place of love is key. The idea is to stop playing the psychological game in which you believe your partner must read your mind!

Communicating what you want and what you don’t in a relationship is necessary in order to create clear and honest agreements, but it is important to do so through Non-Violent Communication: Without attacking, blaming or making the other responsible for your own feelings. Next week I will talk about Shame-free guilt-free love on the blog. As soon as you start judging and attacking your partner, you are breaking your own team.

2# Selection based solely on Attraction

Nowadays we are free to choose, free to choose the kind of person we want to share life with and in which way. However, when this selection is made based just on an initial physical attraction, often the relationship ends up not working. Sharing Values; agreeing on what really matters to you is key.

Having differences with your couple is natural and enriching. However, having opposite Life Values can lead to constant conflicts and to unfair commitments that have high consequences.

For instance, if the most important value of a person is family; she/he dreams of having more than a baby and form a big family, and the partner does not want to have any children, and values other things more. Do you think that relationship could work? Compromising your number 1 value for a relationship can have a very high price. 

That is why, knowing what is your nature and your values, and taking them into account when it comes to choosing a life partner is essential. Differences can be accepted but not sharing life values can lead to constantly trying and changing your partner. If you want to know more about how to accept differences with your partner, you can read: ‘Conditional Love: ‘I love you but you better change’.

3# Lack of Time for Self-Love 

The third reason why couples break up is due to lack of self-love. If you are looking for the love that you don’t give yourself in a partner, you will always demand more than what anyone can offer you.

When we first fall in love, it is easy to put all our attention on the person we love and to forget about filling ourselves up with self-love. Abandoning what fulfils you most, or what you love for a partner has also negative consequences.

What do you need to do in order to fill yourself with self-love each day? Allow yourself to do it, spending time just for yourself will benefit your relationships. 

Today’s photo is a graphic representation of the way I see love: Love as a team, support and unity. We are hugging each other and we have a leg free on the air which represents our individual paths, we support each other and share our journeys but we also keep walking on our personal development, this way we don’t abandon the relationship, neither we abandon ourselves. It is much easier to give from the overflow (of your own self-love).

Love is not a transaction

Love is not about seeing who gives more. It is not a competition, it is about cooperation. It is all about putting the focus on giving rather than taking. Love is about unity, not separation. If you stop watering the plants they die. If you stop putting love on your relationship, it stops growing. If a relationship stops growing it dies.

As Tony Robbins would say, the universal purpose of a relationship is to maximise y the Human Experience through sharing emotions and experiences.

I think it is important that we stop describing love basing our description on romantic films, and social media profiles. It is time for debating openly:  What is love for you? How would your ideal relationship be like?

Let’s start the debate down below in the comments, your opinion matters!

Emotional Dependency?: All you Need is Love

No committed Relationships, emotional independence, virtual ‘connection’… Protective Shields which disregard our need for love. You receive more messages per day than the ones you can answer, communication is constant and still, you go to bed alone. Does this ring a bell? We try at all cost avoiding emotional dependency,  and yet every day there are more Divorces, more physical Disconnection and more Depression. How can this be?

I have met lots of women and men who live constantly running away from commitment and love, running away from exposing themselves and opening wide: Maybe it is due to fear that magic will vanish, or fear of disappointing others when showing their authentic self, or fear of becoming dependent, or fear of feeling love and end up suffering. The thing is you try to protect your vulnerability and as a consequence, you sacrifice the possibility of fulfiling one of your most essential needs!

I have been getting into the wonderful work of Tony Robbins for a long time now and thanks to him I have learnt how important it is to take our basic needs into account! According to him, we have 6: Certainty, Variety, Love and Connection, Significance, Contribution and Growth. Our main mission is to fulfil these needs. Love and Connection is one of them. That is why, when we close down to love and the commitment than relationships require, we lose a huge opportunity to satisfy this basic need.

We NEED love 

Yes, we need it. We are social beings. As Brené Brown explains, it is important to feel that we belong to a group and that we are accepted and loved as we are. There are many ways to get to that feeling and one of them is through romantic relationships or couples.

A relationship becomes unbreakable when the 6 needs are fulfilled on both sides – When you are able to focus on your partner’s needs, and your partner is able to do the same with yours. This includes the need for connection and love. If you want to meet this need for your partner and for your relationship it is important that:

  • You don’t put your feelings in doubt every time there is a conflict
  • You are aware that real connection is not possible if you don’t show your vulnerability and get rid of your masks
  • You understand that love and connection weakened as soon as guilt and shame become part of your interactions with your partner

If I need love, does that mean that I am emotionally dependent? 

There is a difference between needing love and connection and being emotionally dependent on someone. When your happiness relies on other person – You cannot be happy if the other person is not present – you are dependent.

Meeting your 6 basic needs is your responsibility. You become dependent when you leave ONE SINGLE person in charge of meeting your needs. In each relationship of your life, including the one you have with yourself, you have an opportunity to meet your 6 basic needs. It is important to note that wanting to fulfil them is natural!

In a way, we all have emotional dependencies in some level. What would life be like without any affectionate interaction?

Committing to look after a relationship and satisfying the needs of the person you share your relationship with does not make you dependent.

Why Committing? 

Committing means daring to Connect Consciously! 

Committing requires vulnerability. This is because when you commit and you show your love opening wide (Without games or strategies), you expose yourself to the possibility that love might not be reciprocal or that your need for love and connection might not be fulfiled within the relationship.

There is a reason why many times we don’t get to meet our need for love and connection in our relationships: We have a natural tendency to give what we believe the other person needs based on what we would need in their same situation.

Many times there is love, but it is not expressed. If love is not expressed, probably it is not received. Assuming there is love is not enough. When you are in a relationship and your need for love is not fulfiled, it is normal that you avoid commitment, and that you look for a way to run away and protect yourself.

The problem is that when you avoid vulnerability at all costs, you experience life inside the shield: Neither bullets kill you nor hugs recharge you. 

For a moment, close your eyes and visualise the 3 most important people in your life: When was the last time that you hug them for more than 10 seconds?

The other day I discovered the 8×8 rule to reduce stress. As Evan Brand told Melissa Ambrosini on her podcast: Every day make sure you give at least 8 hugs and 8 kisses (You can even hug a tree), but this is important for maintaining oxytocin levels balanced and prevent anxiety. When they were talking about hugs, they weren’t referring to this kind of greeting-goodbye sort of hugs, when they were talking about kisses they weren’t talking about the two kisses you give someone when you meet for the first time. They were talking about hugs that last at least 10 seconds, and meaningful kisses. However, how many days do we break this rule? So busy, so absorbed by social media, all ‘connected’ constantly missing opportunities for real connection.

You are not emotionally dependent for needing a hug, a kiss or a word of affirmation. If we want to avoid the  Worldwide Depression Epidemy that we suffer nowadays, reduce the number of Divorces (which btw goes up every year) and reduce as well the physical Disconnection caused by the excess of virtual connection… Then, we need to Dare to Give Unconditional Love: Show our vulnerability, listen and understand to each other, expose ourselves and becoming the first ones who give that hug which breaks the ice!

‘We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.’ -Virginia Satir. 

Ps: Today’s photo is the cover of NY Times about the 8M Equality Riot in Spain! I choose this photo because that was (without doubts) the moment of the week where I felt most love and connection! I think this image is a good reminder of how important and transformative committing can be and how amazing it is to feel the warmth of millions of people walking in your same direction. Committing is as necessary as the change we are creating in the world! 

On Air: Women, Traveling, and Emotional Intelligence! Do you have a ‘WHY’?

A couple of months ago I was interviewed by a very well known Spanish Radio called Onda Cero, and today I would love to share with you the conversation. No worries, I have added English Subtitles! In the interview, I had the chance to talk about my WHY.

To have a ‘why’ is so important to do anything in life, I talked about why I do what I do and why I live how I live!

Why Emotional Intelligence Coaching?

This is a big question, and definitely, the big WHY for what I do what I do… When I first started learning about Daniel Goleman’s work around 2006 I got fascinated by the concept of Emotional Intelligence. I remember devouring his book: ‘Emotional intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ.’ and I could not believe how undervalued Emotional Intelligence was at schools, why didn’t anyone teach us about this? Why was not there a subject at schools to learn to manage our anger, our sadness, our frustration, our laziness? Emotions have an effect on all that we do, and yet, it wasn’t taken into account. If you have a big emotional issue, you don’t sleep, you don’t function…

Emotions have so much power if we let them take control of us. If we don’t learn how to manage them, they manage us. 

In my childhood, I assumed lots of responsibilities that didn’t correspond to my age due to my circumstances and experiences (Like many people do). My mum went through some hard times, and I suffered because of it, and now I can tell you… I am so grateful for that! Thanks to those hurtful experiences I had my first contact with the world of psychology and I learn to train my emotions from a very young age! However, I am still learning, and I always will. As well as Emotional Intelligence, I believe in Emotional Fitness.

Emotions can be trained as our body can! The more you train, the fitter you get and the easier it is to hold heavy weights and to handle hard times.

When you stop training, you rapidly lose the habits that provide you with happiness and satisfaction. That is why my mission is to spread Emotional Intelligence and Emotional fitness through coaching around the world. If you want to learn more about this or if you are wondering whether you need a coach or not, you can check the article on ‘Emotional Fitness: Do You Know Why You Need a Coach?’

Why Traveling?

In the interview, we talk about my travelling experience. In the last 4 years, I have lived in four different countries so there was a lot to talk about regarding that. It was fascinating for me to go back and put into words what I had got from each of these places. The countries we talk about are

  • Spain (Especially Galicia in the north, where I had the interview)
  • Santa Fe (New Mexico, USA)
  • The UK (Especially Manchester, where I was living for two years)
  • Australia!
  • Argentina (Funny enough, only two months ago I was convinced that I was going to move to this beautiful country in South America this year, and now, it looks like plans are changing! I think part of what you get from travelling is flexibility! I am now happy to go with the flow and see where life takes me next! Anything can happen in the following two months, but I promise to keep you updated!)

To read more about this lifestyle I share with my partner you can check the article: ‘Country Sampling Lifestyle: Weighing Pros and Cons’. We don’t just travel for holidays, we move to new countries and we don’t live them until we feel at home!

Why Women?

I am so happy that Susana (The interviewer) asked me this question, which I often get to answer in all kinds of environments: ‘Why do you work just with women?’ As I said on the air, it is nothing to do with excluding men! To start with, there are differences between women and men in the way we handle and deal with emotions.  I work with groups, which has many advantages but as well a disadvantage: The bigger the group, the less time or one-one attention each woman gets! That is why I consider that making the first groups just for women would allow me to make the sessions so much more specific and tailored to the women’s way of managing emotions and needs!

Satisfaction: A Mission, A Movement, A Mindset.

If you put these three WHY’s together, you get my idea of what a dream world will be like for me and what my dream life looks like!

Each day I work towards the mission of spreading Satisfaction and Emotional Intelligence around the world, so we act through love rather than fear, and we create a happier nicer planet!

Hopefully, this mindset will keep spreading and it will become a global movement for women, for men and for anyone who wants to experience a satisfied lifestyle!

If you like this interview and this article I would love you to share it, so together we can spread the word and start today to make Emotional Intelligence count!

I leave you now with the interview…

MONEY AND TIME: ‘Never underestimate your work’, a lesson from my grandpa.

My paternal grandfather was a judge. He dedicated his entire life to his profession, but when he did choose to unwind, he enjoyed following the stockmarket and investing in things! His interest in money never faded, but as he got older he found it difficult to keep up with technology. He knew that the internet was a powerful tool, but struggled to get to grips with it, so he asked me to become his teacher, and I did! After each ‘class’, he made a point of paying me, and every time I would shyly refuse. It didn’t feel right to me to charge my grandfather for such an effortless task, but he was very insistent and would always repeat the same phrase:

‘Never underestimate your work’

At the time I was too young to understand, but I now realise that my grandfather was giving me an essential lesson in Emotional Intelligence, using the language he understood best: Money!

His teachings have been in my thoughts recently, and as a result I have been paying more attention to my relationship with money. I have become aware of the fact that my attitude to money fluctuates! And just like the stock market, there are ups and downs and the consequences are huge!

Scarcity Mindset

Let’s start with a bad season: It’s usually unconscious, but sometimes I fall into a financial mindset that doesn’t help me. I become convinced that:

  • Money is only obtained through hard work.
  • Money is therefore extremely precious and valuable.

Although these beliefs might not seem too harmful on the surface, I have realised that they lead me to relate to money though fear which can have a big impact on my life. Here is how:

When I associate money with hard work, I suddenly feel intimidated by the idea of earning a living, and just getting by turns into a daunting task. It is during times like this that I have previously accepted any work I could get my hands on. I have ignored salary, working conditions, and even my own wellbeing because I have been driven by fear.

This is the first step in a vicious circle! Having accepted work I probably won’t enjoy. I proceed to not enjoy it! So, earning money becomes the daunting, unenjoyable task I feared it would be. This reinforces my belief and makes my dreams of being paid for doing something I love appear unattainable.

This is when my second belief comes into play. Having saved some hard-earned money, I am naturally reluctant to let go of it! I put a higher value on it than it is worth and I end up living in scarcity.

Abundant Mindset

On the other hand, sometimes I have a far healthier attitude towards money; these are the seasons when I know that:

  • It is acceptable and possible to make money doing what you love.
  • Time is more valuable than money.

These beliefs have helped me so much during the recent launch of my business. I would not have been able to start offering Emotional Intelligence courses if I didn’t feel confident about charging money for doing what I love.

In short, the first belief gives me an appreciation of my worth as an individual and a professional. I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for finishing a session feeling energised and vibrant because I enjoy it so much! I feel that I ‘should’ be tired or need to have ‘earned’ it in some way. But then I consider how much better I perform when I am doing what I love, and I realise that the service I provide when I am engaged in what I am passionate about is definitely worth it.

Earning my living like this is such a different experience to my struggles when I am fearful of money. It enables me to live in abundance: I am more relaxed in how I spend and save money, because I no longer feel that every penny has been gained out of sacrifice!

And finally, when I remember that money can always be recovered, but that time is a finite resource, I understand what is most valuable to me. This gives me some perspective, and helps to keep me in the healthy place between two common situations:

On the one hand, understanding that time is ‘priceless’ reinforces my belief that it is ok for me to be reimbursed for hours I give, even when I am doing things that I love!

On the other hand, the same fact; that time is priceless, helps to remind me that no matter how much money I am making, or offered, it is always necessary to consider whether it is truly worth my time, as those hours are ones I will never be able to earn back later.

In the end, I believe that money can be thought about in many abstract ways, but the meaning that you give to it can ultimately affect your reality. From now on I hope to shift my mindset to concentrating on time as my new currency. I would like to invest it in doing the things I love, and if I am fortunate enough to earn something from this, then I would like to convert what I am given into experiences. So my time that I can’t hold on to, becomes something that will never leave me: Memories.