Why Do We Stay? How Women Can Stop Denying Their Intuition and Get Unstuck

 Image courtesy of Norwood Themes

Image courtesy of Norwood Themes

I sat across the table quietly listening to him talk. We were at the corner Chinese Food restaurant at the nearby corner from where we lived, waiting for our order. Same as we had many nights before when cooking at home seemed like too much work for our NYC too-busy-to-cook lifestyle. But this night was different. This night had the potential to change the course of my life. It was the night when it finally hit me that the man that I had spent the last seven years with was not going to be the man I would spend the rest of my life with.  As the words touched my ears, “I don’t want to get married”, I instantly felt drained. In a way his words confirmed my suspicions but actually hearing them said out loud were like daggers to the heart. And in that moment, what happened next can only be described in the same way near-death patients report having an experience of leaving their physical body. I felt as if my soul left my body and I actually watched myself sitting at the table listening to my ex boyfriend tell me the thing I didn’t want to hear. I then heard my own wisdom, a voice whisper to me advising me that this was not where I should be and it was time to leave. I had a choice: Was I going to stay with this guy knowing that he wasn’t going to put a ring on it? Or do I walk away?

I chose to stay. Less than a year later, we broke up. 

I recall that memory at the Chinese food restaurant a few years ago like it was yesterday. Looking back, I can really appreciate having had that experience because over the years since then, I’ve learned how to listen to and trust my intuition. And as it turns out, the breakup opened me up to a new joy in my life that I would not have had the opportunity to experience had I stayed in the relationship. Sometimes in order for our greatest wishes and desires to become a reality and for us to become the empowered women we know we can be, we need to let go of the things that hold us back in order to make room for the things that will support us. That’s just how life works sometimes.

I’ve had conversations with many women who’ve had their own Chinese restaurant moments.  A time in their lives, their career, or a relationship when it was clear that it was time for them to move on.  Yet we hesitate or doubt what we are truly feeling and brush it off. 90% of the time when we get an intuitive nudge about something, we respond by:

1.      Going into denial about it.

2.     Waiting it out with false hope that the situation will resolve on it’s own.

3.     Ignoring it all together.

In my example above, I chose option #2. That seems to be a popular option for many of us. I worked with a woman who knew it was time to leave her job but chose to stay and took on another role within the same company. A year later, that pit in the stomach feeling returned so she finally decided to listen. She made plans to leave the company and pursue another career path. She says when she didn’t listen to her intuition the first time, “It was like postponing the inevitable.”

When it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. And when we ignore this knowing that our bodies try to alert us to, we only prolong the inevitable.

If you sense that your intuition might be nudging you to move on from a situation that is no longer working, here are three practical ways to respond:

Get curious. Activate your self-inquiry. Ask your inner wisdom for more clarity about where it’s leading you to. If you are feeling resistance to moving on, ask yourself what is it that you fear about that idea. Curiosity opens you up to new answers and possibilities rather than staying stuck in your own judgment.

Talk it out. Gather your closest friends and confidants to let them know what you’re experiencing. Do this in a supportive group and ask them not to give you advice but just listen. Sometimes articulating your thoughts, feelings, and fears out loud helps you to hear yourself talk about it and take ownership of what you’re feeling.

Create a plan. If you determine that your intuition is right and it is time to move on, make a plan to do so. Understanding that it is not always easy to just walk away from a situation, making a plan with concrete steps will allow you to take incremental steps while honoring your inner wisdom.

If you’re currently facing your own situation and you feel it’s time to leave, don’t delay the inevitable. Choosing to leave a situation that is no longer working for you is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself. Listen to your intuition and determine your next course of action.

With love,

Ariane

If this post resonates with you and you feel moved to go deeper into this conversation, take the next step and reach out to us to get support.

Notes on Being Courageous

Notes on Being Courageous

The other day a client asked me during session, ‘what does courageous mean to you?’ Hearing the question gave me pause because to be quite honest, when do we ever get asked that question and the opportunity to give a real answer.

I want to share with you how I responded in hopes that it will inspire you to answer that question for yourself.

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Mindfully Handling An Apartment Leak

Mindfully Handling An Apartment Leak

About 1:45am Saturday night….

drip…drip…DRIP…DRIIIP…DRIIIIIP…

the sounds of water coming down woke me up out of my sleep. I sat up in my bed and looked around the dark room listening while my mind searched for answers of why I was hearing dripping water in my apartment. And most importantly where was it coming from?

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Transaction v. Transformation; the difference between cheap and meaningful interactions

“That’ll be $12.05”, said the cashier to me for my groceries. I reached in my wallet, pulled out my debit card and handed it over. Here I was, in a supermarket I had come to for years and the same cashier that knew my face just look through me like a transaction to be made. As he swiped my card and bagged my groceries, I said to him, “How are you doing today?” He looked up at me and said “Good.” I nodded my head, picked up my bag of groceries and exited the store. 

A few days later at my favorite cafe: “I’ll have the spinach salad without bacon and a soup please”, I said to the cashier. “That salad has eggs in it, is that ok?” the cashier said. “Yes, that’s fine”, I say back to her feeling pleasant about our interaction. The cashier paid attention to me as I spoke and took note of any diet restrictions I might have. In short, she cared.

Why do I tell you these stories?

In the first story, as a customer I left the store feeling unseen and undervalued. As a person, I left feeling discontent and nothingness. Whereas, in the cafe, the interaction with the cashier felt more enjoyable and meaningful. Some businesses just see their customers as a transaction whereas others see customers as an opportunity to connect and build relationships. 

Now, I have been told that I can be ‘too nice’ and I do understand that I live in New York City where everyone won’t always get the whole ‘nice’ thing. But really, it’s not about being nice. It’s about making connections and interacting with each other in a meaningful way.  To come out of our own world and engage with others in a way that is impactful.

We’ve all heard the standard conversation at work when you come in on Monday and you’re co-worker asks “how was your weekend?”  You reply something like “fine” or “it was good” say a few other words and the conversation ends. Or worse, you get this question while the person is walking away from you half listening because they’re not really expecting a detailed response.

Hey, I get it. We all have places to go and other things to do. But when did we stop putting a value on human connection and start being so transactional with each other?

Let’s do better.

When your words, actions, or behavior become transactional, you miss out on a bigger opportunity to create something lasting, make an impact on someone, and develop deeper relationships. You are here on this earth to make a transformation within yourself and for others.

This also goes for your career or any investments you make in your personal development. Never trade your time for a paycheck but rather seek work that allows you to share your unique value and create positive change.  Whether you hire a personal trainer or work with a coach, look for someone who won’t just give you a quick transactional result but someone who will help you create real transformational change.

Keep me posted on how it goes…ariane@arianehunter.com

PS The Momentum Club is starting up soon! It will be a transformational experience for your career that you won't want to miss. Click HERE for details and to reserve your spot!

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Showing Up: Part II

Happy New Years everyone.

 

A new year to start fresh, open a new chapter while closing older chapters, an time to let go, embrace, reevaluate, recondition, and reset. Don’t just make 2014 better, make it different.

Today’s post is the second of a two-part post that highlights the two ways we Show Up for life and in our work. If you missed the first part, you can check it out here. The second one up is:

#2. Default Autopilot

The alternative to prepared spontaneity is showing up on Default Autopilot.  Most of us easily fall into this way of operating and it works for us because we show up conditioned like well-oiled machines.  Mornings at the office look and feel the same; we know what to expect. Our output and productivity at work is the same because you’ve built up a high competence in your work such that you can do it with your eyes closed. Conversations at home and with your friends sound the same because you know what to expect.  Through a default autopilot mindset, you’ve built up a tolerance and a level of comfort to the work and life around you such that it becomes automatic.

Image Credit

Default Autopilot is a mindset.

In DA, routine habits take precedence over creativity and purposeful action. It gives rise to constricting patterns as you become used to showing up as you always have despite repeated unwanted results. We have virtually no awareness of our thought pattern and how they control our behavior. Default Autopilot makes us feel like we have no choice because we’re locked into a certain perspective and pattern of thinking. It limits our potential, is a high trigger for stress, and narrows our thinking.

A quick personal story of how the default autopilot story usually plays out. After college graduation with my business degree in tow, I assumed the usual 9-5 job. It was a great position for a new grad working for a great company, Stony Brook University Hospital. My work was straight forward, day started at 8am everyday, lunch break at noon, chit chat with fun co-workers, paycheck the 1st & the 15th, 45 minute traffic-filled commute to and from work, dinner at home, and then off to bed to do it again the next day. This pattern showed up in many other jobs since then. Pretty simple right? I knew what to expect, I created a routine; it worked. Except it didn’t.

Showing up on autopilot is easy and that’s why so many of us do it. We play the role, go through the motions, we become content and then we forget. Forget that we do have a choice. We forget that we can choose to see and do things differently. 

Choosing ignites Change. Change ignites breaking the pattern.

We can choose the course of our workday by breaking up the pattern in small bites.  During Monday morning’s status meeting, maybe you might break the autopilot pattern by injecting 3 different ideas to spur productivity for the department. Or maybe for lunch you may take a mind-clearing walk around the block. And maybe instead of the knee jerk worry you have of making the wrong a decision, you can choose to see a different perspective and a more positive outcome.

Default Autopilot is a mindset. The choice is yours.

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com

 

 

 

Showing Up: Part I

This is the first of a two-part post that highlights the two ways we Show Up for life and in our work. Are you listening? Good. The first one up is:

#1. Prepared Spontaneity

What does Prepared Spontaneity mean? To take responsibility for the things you can control and let go of the result. It is a yin-yang interplay between being in control & detaching from the result. Hang on to that last part, we’re going to come back to it in a second.

Preparation is something we can control. We can prepare for an interview, prepare for a session with a client, a presentation, or a meeting with a business contact. We can prepare dinner. We can prepare for a speech or an important conversation with a colleague. We can even prepare or set an intention for how we show up for work every day. We can all agree that when you show up prepared to any situation, you are more confident, clear, less stressed and more in control. The likelihood of success is far greater when you prepare.

Image Credit

The second part is equally, if not more important: let go of the result. This is hard for us to do because we crave predictability and certainty, which contributes to our desire to control everything. Through spontaneity, we learn to let go of the result, the outcome, and even our expectations. Spontaneity allows us to unblock from linear 1+1=2 calculations, presumptions of what-happened-in-the-past-must-happen-in-the-future-thinking. We allow chance to take it’s course and let the chips fall where they are intended to. We give up our control of the outcome and learn to trust that whatever happens is for the best.

What we can control:

  • Our reaction to a particular outcome
  • Our actions or behavior
  • Our thoughts or attitudes
  • Our emotions
  • Our beliefs
  • Our decisions
  • Our approach to work & life
  • Preparation time i.e. a few hours, a lifetime

What we can’t control:

  • The outcome of a situation
  • What other people think and do

The paradox of control is the more we let go, is the more control we have. In short, Prepared Spontaneity is to go with the flow in an active way. We give 100% of ourselves to planning and preparing and then we let go.

Keep me posted on how it goes…ariane@arianehunter.com.

Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss the other side of how we show up for life and work.

Glass Half Full

Are we talking about how much optimism one has?

Are we talking about being realistic?

Or could we be talking pure and simply about mindset and the willingness to choose?

 

The answer: all of the above.

Glass Half Full. The age-old common expression used to indicate someone’s point of view of a situation.  If we looked a little deeper behind this seemingly simple expression, we find that it not only represents one’s perspective, but their beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. The way you normally see your situation can dictate the outcome for you. It can also quite honestly be a reality check for how often things normally work out for you, or don’t.

It can be said that your past experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions determine how you would react to situations. Perhaps your experiences have shown you that life is tough and you have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt. This belief creates the mindset you have today. But let’s imagine for a moment that we could choose the reaction we want to have to the scenario and thus have the option to turn our ‘glass half empty’ mentality around.

What if this glass below represents a situation you’re in right now.

Photo Credit: Glass Half Full

Scenario 1: You’ve spent the last month in a series of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round interviews with an employer that you’d very much like to work for. You later find out that you didn’t receive an offer. Is your glass half empty or half full?

Scenario 2: You’re a new business owner and over the past two months you planned and prepared for a unique program that you’d like to offer to your clients. You only mange to sell 30% of your targeted goal. Is your glass half empty or half full?

There is no right or wrong answer to the scenarios above. Just an interpretation of the events that could either empower you or deplete you. Coming from an ‘half empty’ mindset generates feelings of lack and low energy; it can be draining and create stress. The ‘half full’ mindset represents growth, support, empowerment; endless possibilities is the name of the game.

It all boils down to choice and mindset. Whether you see the situation as dire and dismal or exciting and full of potential is completely up to you and will dictate the results you get.  What if having no job offer meant that the right job is opening up for you? What if no sign up’s to your business offer meant more clarity to improving your services and could yield higher sales next time?

What is the ‘glass half empty mentality’ costing you? What could change by shifting into a more empowering reality? What have you got to lose?

Keep me posted on how it goes….ariane@arianehunter.com.

 

Announcement

My coaching practice is getting a fresh coat of paint and is transitioning from In Spirit to the new, www.arianehunter.com! As of January 2014, we'll be launching a full service coaching program for career conscious professionals with new tools, assessments, and strategies to help you align with your career goals.

Curious? Let's meet for an intro private 30-minute session over coffee with me, either in person or over the phone, scheduled at your convenience, to get clarity on the next step in your career.