“Wouldn’t it be nice…?”

Wouldn't it be nice if every little girl was born with a magic wand in her pudgy little fist? And she could use that magic wand to perfect the people in her life who are nearly the people she knows they could be?

Needless to say, when she grew up, she'd use that wand endlessly to improve herself also. She'd be taller, slimmer, younger, more beautiful, and even more giving, selfless and understanding. So that, finally her life – and the life of her loved ones – would be   P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Not having been given that magic wand hasn't stopped most of us waving our arms about virtually to the point of RSI. And yet, we haven't been able to perfect other people, or ourselves.

That doesn't stop us believing that, with a little more effort, we'll crack it.  You see, most of us get confused: we think that magical relationships  come about as a result of waving our magic wand, and we're bound to get there, one day.

To the best of my knowledge, one day, and some day, are not days of the week. Yet. Maybe if we'd all been given our standard issue magic wand, at birth, by now, the days of the week would be:

  • One day
  • Some day
  • Holi - day
  • Fun day
  • My lucky day
  • Happy ever after day...

Chances are you know where I'm going with this: 'magical thinking' doesn't work too well in the real world. In fact, it doesn't work at all.

The real magic lies somewhere else entirely.

The real magic lies in focusing on what you really want, and then taking action to bring it into being. Waving an arm about wistfully doesn't count as action. Nor does hiding away, dreaming, count as action. Dreams are great. But not when you put the power of making them happen somewhere outside yourself.

The trouble with all that magic wand stuff is this: it makes you underestimate your own power as the architect of your own life.

Suppose that magic wand stuff was actually shorthand – which it is. At birth, every little girl was given amazing potential to create the world of her choosing. She just had to learn how to use that potential.

The best part of it is that the potential never goes away. It may take itself off quietly to the broom cupboard, if you slip into Cinderella mode for a few months, years, or even decades. But it's still there. Still waiting for the day when you ditch the (not so) magic wand, and decide to make use of the treasures you’ve overlooked, and undervalued.

Go look in the broom cupboardJ

The Truth About “Simple”

Have you ever got a little peeved with yourself? 

Have you ever looked at yourself, and launched into that old “Should-ing” refrain, as in “I should know better...”, “I shouldn't be doing X, Y, or Z”, “By now, I should...” 

It's not as if you don't know. 

It's just that there's a piece missing, that stops you acting on the things you know. 

That missing piece may well be what's putting the dampers on your relationship, or your working life, or your creativity. 

Why does it happen? 

Knowing something is easy. 

Especially now. We have the Whole World of Knowledge at our finger tips on google. It's never more than a few clicks away. 

But getting that knowledge/wisdom – call it what you will – into your emotional muscle is a tad more challenging, isn't it? 

The point about Simple is this: Simple means there aren't a thousand complicated, moving parts you have to put in place to make that transformation happen. And that's great, isn't it?

Whatever that transformation is, achieving it is actually much... well, simpler than you think. 

However because it's simple, there's usually just one right way. There are any number of wrong ways. But just one right way. Yes, there may be a fair bit of 'fine tuning' you can do. But you have to start with doing that one right thing the right way. 

When you put the right key in a lock, opening the door is, mostly, very simple, isn't it? Occasionally we encounter the odd glitch. But we certainly encounter rather less glitches that we would if he kept using the wrong key, and brute force. 

If you've been struggling in one area of your life – or more than one area - you need to ask yourself: “What's going on?” 

If it's not easy, chances are there's a better way you've been overlooking, until now. 

So, how do you change things? 

Well,at the very least, you could put the question out there: 

How could I be doing this differently?” 

Don't expect instantaneous enlightment – that's Hollywood. But don't be surprised if a few hours, days, or even weeks down the line, a few new insights pop into your head. 

Have fun, and say “Hi” to Easy for me:-)

You know you’re too nice when

How do you know when you're too nice for your own good?  

Well, you get that sneaking, sinking feeling of course – you probably know the one.   But there are lots of other pointers, and these are what we'll be looking at in today's e-zine. 

You Know You're Too Nice When... 

  1. People have stopped sincerely thanking you for what you do.  Yes, you get the odd, half-hearted “thanks”, simply because people know they have to make the right noises.  But they're not stopping, and taking the time to express their sincere appreciation for what you do for them, are they?
  2. The words “one day”, “someday”, and “sooner or later” figure in your thinking – as in: “They're bound to reciprocate sooner or later.”
  3. You're left with a feeling of faint dissatisfaction, that the whole exchange didn't work too well for you.
  4. You are aware of a pattern of endless giving in your relationships.
  5. You don't feel appreciated. 
  6. You get tired, drained, and/or discouraged by the amount of time and energy you spend caring for others.
  7. You don't feel there are too many people rushing to provide you with the help and support you need.
  8. You know that 'they' – whoever they may be – aren't really listening to you.
  9. Your friends and loved ones are invested in you staying exactly the way you are.  They don’t want you to change, at all.  But here’s the thing, it's not as if you could suddenly change your personality overnight.  That's not going to happen.  But what could change is how biddable and convenient you are for them.
  10. You never seem to have time for the things that you want to do.  Why not tot up your hours, and see just how long your “nice-work” week is – that’s you time you spend, per week, trying to do your very best for other people really is.  It might surprise you. 

The moral is simply this: 

You can be too nice for your own good.  

It's not even hard to do.  You already know that.  

But here's the really important piece: you can be too nice for other people's good, too.  When you overwork that Niceness muscle, they reciprocate by underworking it.  Cause and effect.  Which means that when you're working your socks off 'doing nice', you're not helping them to train their Niceness muscle properly.  

How about you train less, and let them train more?  

It will be good for them, as well as you.  Honestly:-)

Your dream

Are you a fan of the Law of Attraction?  Do you have a dream that inspires you? 

This week I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes the Law of Attraction work the way you want it to work. 

Most of us have a dream, right? 

But what takes it from the ‘Dream Folder’ inside our head, into Reality.

The Law of Attraction gives us the overview, sure enough.  It inspires us to believe, and lets us see that we can create our heart’s desire in our own life…   But there has to be a bit more to it than just that, doesn’t it?

The Universe is on your side – provided you choose to believe that.  It wants to give you whatever you want for yourself.

And more.

Provided…

(Yes, there really is a proviso.)

Provided you step up to the plate, and start taking appropriate action. 

See, there is a huge difference between stepping up to the plate, and being given things on a plate, isn’t there? 

Handed to you on a plate versus

When you’re given things on a plate, what happens?

Most times you don’t appreciate them that much.  It makes me think of women I’ve worked with who have one, or two, bad relationships; and then along comes someone who just wants to take care of them, and do nice things for them.  You’d think they’d be –D-E-L-I-G-H-T-E-D, wouldn’t you?

Yet mostly, it doesn’t work like that.  Before too long, for some reason or other, the woman stops valuing Mr Nice and Giving.  It all feels too easy.

Stepping up to the plate

What happens when you step up to the plate?  That’s totally different, isn’t it?  Then you feel you’ve earned it.  You feel entitled.  YOu accept what you receive as the appropriate reward for your efforts.  So, you really make the most of it. 

And you’re inspired to go on and do more.  Your belief in your own worth increases.

The Universe doesn’t just want you to have what you want.  The Universe wants you to appreciate it - and yourself. 

That’s most likely to happen when you take appropriate action. 

The Universe rewards action-takers.  

Maybe not today, or tomorrow.  It needs to see that you’re not just a dilettante.  It needs to know that you’re serious. 

You have to ‘be in it, to win it’.  You have to be in it for the medium haul, anyway.

It’s all about implementation. 

What one thing will you do this week to let The Universe know you really are in it?

 

It’s All About The Way You Do It

 How do you do the things that you do?  See, it’s all about the way you do things.  That’s really important.

Have you spared a thought for how often you did nice, over the past week?

Last week, at Gorton, I met up with a lovely lady I’d seen at an event a couple of weeks before.   On first meeting, she’d been stressed, unhappy, close to her wits’ end.  The cause of all this emotional upset was – unsurprisingly – the man in her life. 

At Gorton, she was radiant.   She’d listened to my message, and she’d stopped being Happiness Fairy, and Chief People-Pleaser to this man.  The result was …

The result was that he was feeling surprised, confused, and showing signs of cleaning up his act.  Which brings us back to Suzie, in last week’s ezine. http://anniekaszina.com/what-gets-in-the-way-of-your-success-and-happiness/

You see, Suzie discovered something really important that had a huge effect on the way other people respond to her:  she discovered that

“nice” was never intended to be a stand alone word.

“Nice” loves and deserves the company of other words:

As in:

  • nice and firm
  • nice and self-assertive
  • nice and focused
  • nice and otherwise engaged

Do you see what I’m saying:

Nice is all about the way you do the things you do. 

Nice isn’t a mission, or a lifestyle.

The last I heard, not too many women want:

“She was SO nice”… 

as their epitaph.

I can’t say I blame them.

When I was at school, I had a teacher called Miss McCauley.  (I suspect she was born without a first name.)   Miss McCauley was bright and passionate about what she did; she inspired young minds.  The word she hated above all others was…”NICE”.

“Nice”, she said, represented our failure to express ourselves fully and appropriately.

She had a point. 

“Nice” is, at best, only a part of who you are.  It’s the part that describes how you do a lot of what you do. 

Think of it as a “how” word.  Not a “who” word.

You are so much more than “nice”.

What Gets In The Way Of Your Success and Happiness?

Is there something that could be getting in the way of your success and happiness?  For a lot of women, there is something  that’s blocking them  from achieving what they want for themselves – and we’re not talking about the so-called ‘glass ceiling’,

It’s more like the ‘glass wall’.

If you’ve ever had the experience of knowing what you want, and knowing what you need to do to make it happen…  but not doing it, then you know what I’m talking about.

Suzie is a client who was desperate to build her own business.  She’d been struggling for a while with that glass wall.  She had all the skills and ability she needed to be successful, but she wasn’t making the most of them.  In fact, she was the best kept secret for miles around.  Her business wasn’t going anywhere.  When we talked about what was happening for her, and what was keeping her stuck, she said she wasn’t too good at dealing with difficult people and difficult situations.  

Now, Suzie was an HR consultant; dealing with difficult people and situations was her professional bread and butter. 

She was great at handling things well – for other people – but when it came to herself… that was another story. Why?  Because she was still struggling with her own difficult emotions about her own worth.  Because she believed  she had to prove that she was a nice person, to all and sundry.

Suzie had to ‘do’ nice.  She even had to ‘do’ nice with people who behaved quite horribly towards her. 

There’s a big difference between ‘doing’ nice, and being nice. 

When you don’t truly believe that you are a nice person, that’s when you feel you have to persuade other people. 

And how do you do that?

By ‘doing’ nice.

That’s meant to give them signals they can’t possibly miss.    They are meant to be driven to conclude: “If this woman is prepared to work so hard, and be so selfless, and do so much for other people, she must be a fabulous person, and I need to acknowledge that.”  Right?

WRONG!

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, for a moment. 

Yes, I understand that could be really difficult, because you’re not built like them,  But try.  They’re used to you ‘doing’ nice around them.   Really used to it.  So, they take it for granted.  They take it as something they’re entitled to. 

They probably tell themselves a story that you like doing it; it gives you pleasure.  Besides, as they see it, ‘doing’ nice is your job description.  That is how you have signed up to behave around them. 

It doesn’t leave you much room for manoeuvre, does it?   

Suzie saw the light.  She realized she’d spent her whole life ‘doing’ nice, and ‘doing’ nice left her with both hands tied behind her back.  That’s not what she wanted for herself.

So, we set about changing it.  Suzie’s still a nice person – there’s no changing that.  But, now, her relationships with people are better, and her business is taking off.

I’ll tell you how she did it in next week’s blog..

How to Take Stock and Be Happy

Have you had a Happy Easter? 

No, honestly, had you had a Happy Easter?  Has it been a time of savouring good moments, or has it been more of the same old same old? 

The weather hasn't exactly been on our side, this year, has it?  Winter has all but hijacked Spring – for the time being, at least.  That's great if you are a fan of winter.  But most of us aren't.  

One of the thing that has made a big difference to my clients’ quality of life – and my own -   has been taking stock.  It's something most of us don't really do.  Normally, when we look at an event, we tell ourselves a story, either: 

  • “that was good”, or
  • “that was not so good/not good at all” 

If it was good, maybe – just maybe – we give ourselves a pat on the back for our part in making it good.  

If it was bad, we make sure we give ourselves 50 psychological lashes, at regular intervals, for  making it bad.  

(If you're a woman, taking responsibility/blame for all the bad stuff comes with the territory, dos it not?) 

Taking stock is a different process.  It's all about becoming aware.  Because the clearer you can be about what works, and what doesn't, the more you can repeat what works, and avoid what doesn't.  Which means you can create a strategy that actually works for replicating the good things. 

How does that work in practice? 

Well, I'm guessing that there are usually a few minutes in the day where you mull over recent  developments that have been going on in your own world. 

I'm guessing, too, that when you do that, you tell yourself things about what happened, and quite a lot of those things are negative, as in: “Yes, but it would have been better if you had...” 

(There's no satisfying some folk, is there?  Especially, the 'folk' inside your own head.) 

What would happen if you made a point of NOT telling yourself the usual old story about what happened, and how you could have done better? 

Different, huh? 

Now, you're in unfamiliar territory?  You've turned off auto-pilot. 

So, what do you do next? 

You do something different. 

Never, ever, underestimate the power of doing something different

How do you do something different? 

Well, you could go for something radical, like dyeing your hair a nice shade of Indigo, but that isn't really the point.  How about you just ask yourself a few simple questions?    You do have to  make a point of answering them BTW. 

How about you ask yourself: 

  • What really worked well for me? 
  • What made it work well?
  • How can I incorporate doing something like that into future occasions?
  • What didn't work well?
  • Why didn't it work?
  • What one teeny, weeny change can I make that will work better? 

When you've done that, you'd better give yourself a big pat on the back – or a big High Five.  You've just done a serious piece of personal development work, right there.  

And it wasn't even that hard.  

Brilliant. 

If it works, you know what to do next, don't you? 

Keep doing it. 

Have fun:-)

Why Do Women Work So Hard At Relationships

Why is it that we women work so hard at relationships? What have we learnt – and what are we telling ourselves – that makes us work so hard?

Let’s look at the 3 key features that condition women to become relationship workaholics (aka relationship fairies).

Factor #1  Programming

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’ve probably been told, time and time again, that “You have to work hard at relationships.  Relationships are hard work.”

There’s a word missing in both statements.  Let’s see those statements as they should read:

“You have to work hard at BAD relationships.  BAD relationships are hard work.” 

Nobody is going to argue with you about that one.  But it’s not a bad relationship you want, is it?  What you want is the kind of good relationship where everything is going smoothly.  It’s warm.  It’s loving.   It’s nurturing.  It’s supportive.  That’s a relationship you’ll want to nurture.  But you won’t need to ‘work hard’ at it, as if it were some kind of emotional salt-mine.

Factor #2 Earning happiness

You need to be in a relationship to be happy.  What’s more, you’ve been taught that you have to EARN happiness.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t think of happiness as our birthright.   We don’t see it as  

a)      Something we’re entitled to

b)       Something that’s been hardwired into us.

Happiness, we think, is the reward we earn by doing all the right things, and being as selfless as we possibly can be. 

We rely on other people to make us happy.  It’s not something we could possibly do for ourselves.  Happiness is always slightly out of our reach.  (But that’s probably good for us, isn’t it?  If you had too much happiness, you could start to get ‘above yourself’.”

Factor #3 The "feel-bad" factor

You don't feel good enough.  Honestly, most people don’t feel good enough, and deserving enough.

Good enough for what?  Deserving enough for what?

We could go through a whole shopping list, or we could sum it up like this:

Most of us don’t feel ‘good enough’ to deserve the life we’d love to have.  Often we don’t even dare to dream of that life.

If you want to learn how you can become the woman who can not only captivate and keep her Mr Right, but who feels great about herself, you’re in the right place.   This blog will offer you, information, revelation, and transformation.  You’ll discover how you can create your own winning relationship.