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5 months ago · · 0 comments

How To Overcome Fear

Overcoming Fear

overcoming fearFear breeds more fear. One of the things you can guarantee is that if you feed your fears they will grow exponentially. The reason for this is quite simple. On a very basic level we are wired to self protect. When we believe we may face a potential threat to our wellbeing, fear is there to protect us.

But, what if our perceptions of what is really scary are skewed by negative past experiences or by inaccurate beliefs? By testing this theory – you can dramatically reduce fear in your life for good.

How to control fear

The easiest way to beat fear is through evidence. Your self preservation mindset will find it very difficult to push you towards fearful events, unless you can convince yourself that your fears are irrational, or that despite your fears, your actions are still in your best interest (or in the best interest of others you deeply care for).

Imagine you have developed a fear of heights. Each time you come close to being up high, you become anxious and avoid the fearful situation. This avoidance reinforces your anxiety because you quickly learn ‘if I get scared, I can run away’. Now, let’s say years go by and now you have a child. Your child begs you to go on a very high waterslide with her, but your fear of heights debilitates you, so you say no. You feel terrible for disappointing your daughter and feel even more ridiculous when you see her brace the high slide alone without you. In this scenario, you avoid your fear and allow it to continue to manifest.

However, what if you challenged your fear? What if you provided enough evidence to show that you wouldn’t get hurt (eg by telling yourself “if my daughter can do it, so can I”). Even though you were scared, you now know your fear is irrational. You brace the high slide. You’re shaking all the way up the stairs. You sit in the slide position and let go. You make it to the bottom of the slide safely. You’re still shaking, but you did it. Two weeks later, your daughter asks you to go on a much smaller slide (one that previously terrified you). At first you become anxious, then you remember how you braved the big slide. The fear of this smaller slide only lasts a few seconds and you slide down it happily. You have proven to yourself that this fear was irrational and you no longer feel scared. That one leap of faith – with evidence to back you up – was enough to break through your fear and reduce other anxieties that had been previously holding you back.

This example illustrates the best way to overcome fear – through evidence. In order to break through fear, you MUST convince yourself that everything is going to be OK, or at the very least, that you can handle the outcome – whatever that may be. So the next time you feel scared, see if you can challenge your fear and take one small step towards removing fear from your life.

If you live your life in fear, are you REALLY living, or just avoiding life? We can’t control our lives. We can shape and influence them, but we can’t control how other people act around us, external life events and circumstances. BUT… we can choose to live in the present. We can choose to use fear RATIONALLY and question whether the things we are truly scared of are rational, or irrational. If you know in your heart a belief is irrational (such as being scared to say “no” to someone even though you know you have a right to), then this is the time to test the evidence and prove to yourself that you don’t have to let fear rule your life any more.

lizzie o'halloran

 

 

 

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 E: Lizzie.ohalloran@helpformums.com W: www.helpformums.com

7 months ago · · 0 comments

How Mothers Can Deal With Stress and Learn How To Be Confident

Motherhood is a prime source of anxiety and stress

Before becoming a new mum, you would never have believed the amount of stress that could come from expecting yourself to be perfect. Not only do mothers expect themselves to be the perfect parent, but there is added internal and external pressure to be the perfect partner, friend, employee, family member and so on… So it’s no wonder so many mothers report feeling stressed about not being able to get enough done in their day, or feel anxious about regularly falling behind. These feelings often lead to further stress and a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem.

The best cure of stress is to take control

When you are feeling anxious or stressed, it can be very debilitating and can lead to procrastination or inefficiency as your mind is not is an efficient state to cope with all the demands on your plate.

However, one of the keys to feeling calmer and more composed is to take stock of what you can and can’t control. For instance, as a busy mother, you may have a huge list of tasks to get through in your day. You have made the assumption that you can achieve this ‘monster’ list because you expect that when you place your child down for a nap today you will have 2 hours of ‘free-time’ to get everything done. Unfortunately, something has upset your child today and she has taken much longer to settle and only sleeps for 30 minutes. You normal reaction might be to feel like a failure, to get angry or upset and to even criticise yourself for not being able to control this situation and have your child in a regular sleep routine. But what if you decided to rethink about what you can and can’t control. This scenario is a very common one for mothers with young children. There is an expectation that babies SHOULD just follow and routine. What mothers are often not considering is, like adults, children are not always predictable. How many times have you struggled to get to sleep or to sleep well because you were feeling sick; it was too hot; you were uncomfortable; you were upset; you were too cold and so on? A young child or toddler is unable to explain why he/she is having difficulty sleeping, yet parenting experts claim children just need to be placed in a routine to sleep and everything will work out fine. So it’s no wonder that mothers blame themselves or their child when things don’t go according to the experts’ plans.

If on the contrary, in situations like these, you stopped yourself from feeling upset about the ‘uncontrollable’ situation and you re-evaluated your list of tasks, you would begin to take control of your emotions and amend your routine throughout the day accordingly. For instance, you may decide to play with your child for a while and then engage in the activities you had planned together. Even if you were planning on getting some chores done, you could let your child play next to you whilst your cleaned. You could also make the safe assumption that your child will most likely be extra tired that evening, so you could get those chores completed then. Either way, YOU have taken control and adapted to the ‘uncontrollable’ in a way that has reduced your stress levels and still enables you to complete the things on your list – with much less stress.

Gaining control reduces depression

Depression comes from a feeling of being helpless and hopeless, so it makes sense that when you regain a sense of control, you begin to feel happier and more hopeful about the future.

how to be confident, how to deal with stress

When you take control of your own health and wellbeing, you also reduce stress and boost self confidence

Some good examples of this are taking control of your:

  •  Wellbeing: Committing to reducing salt and sugar intake
  • Self esteem: Being mindful of negative self-talk
  • Relationships: Taking a breathe to think before speaking in a ‘snapping’ tone to your partner or kids
  • Finances: Making an appointment to see a financial planner
  • Career, Taking stock of what will truly make you feel happy and balanced now that you have a family
  • Personal life: Feeling comfortable with your parenting decisions and your personal beliefs and values

All these examples above are ways that you can regain control of your life. It is through this behaviour that you can boost your self confidence in times of stress and provide guidance and support for those you love most.

 Take a few minutes now to think about what you would like to regain control of this week and commit to doing this as soon as possible.
 If you need any additional tips on self esteem, jump on to our Wellness Support Page for great free tips, articles and videos on how to feel confident, healthy and happy in motherhood.