Tag Archives: change your thoughts

Lesson 3: Ask for Help


Lately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here to read the intro post)

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Last fall, my life was feeling out of control. I had just returned from Ethiopia, was trying to run my coaching business and workshops, starting a new graduate school program and a new part-time job, trying to pay the bills and take care of my friend.

I felt like all of these things had dropped in my lap at one time, and that somehow I should be able to juggle them all. And somehow, I was responsible for them all too.

“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” people say.

Why do people say that?

So I kept trying to handle it.

I prayed.  I did my homework. I went to classes, and I went to work. I smiled and participated and encouraged others. I was doing all of the things that make me feel purposeful, successful, and make me feel like a good person.

But inside I was a mess. I cried a lot. I tried letting go of the things I couldn’t control, but I wanted to be able to control EVERYTHING. I felt moments of peace, but then the worries and fears would come crashing back in waves. I didn’t know what to do to handle it all or to help my bestie, and I felt powerless.

And alone.

I didn’t want to burden anyone with what was going on. Everyone else has their own worries and troubles to deal with – why would I burden them with mine?

I delight helping others, but can't ask for help myself

Was it pride that was keeping me from asking for help? Or did I see myself as a burden because somewhere inside I don’t see myself worthy of help? And even more perplexing – if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t I want to be there for those I love?

Regardless of the root of the issues, I wasn’t asking. I was trying to carry everything alone, and I KNOW BETTER.

So I started doing a little self-coaching,

and I realized the root was fear.

It was fear of being out of control.
It was a fear of being judged.
It was fear of being vulnerable.
It was fear of being needy.
And really…
it was a fear of asking for help, and maybe not getting it.

I decided long ago that fear would not be the decision maker in my life. And this situation could be no exception – I needed to step OVER that fear and let people in. I had to ask for help.

Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I like to think I have things all together.  I like to think I can handle just about anything.  But we aren’t meant to live that way.  We are built for connection and interdependence, and it’s ok to ask for help.

pin ask for help2

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Struggling to Find Thankfulness

This time of year, especially in the States, we are flooded with reminders to be thankful and grateful for all that we have in our lives.

But sometimes life gets pretty tough, and it’s hard to find our thankfulness.  It’s hard to stay in touch with our gratitude when we are experiencing loss.  It’s hard to find joy in the midst of great tragedy.

So I just want to remind you today:
it’s OK to feel however you need and want to feel.

You don’t have to be grateful just because a holiday has come up. You don’t have to let go of what you are really feeling because of how you are “supposed to” be.

And maybe our feelings can be more than just either/or.  Maybe we will be able to find moments of laughter through heartache, or find joy in reliving old memories. And maybe we can even find a spark of gratitude in tiny moments, in little gestures of kindness.

Maybe we can feel it all.

And maybe, when we say it’s OK to feel exactly how we are feeling today, we will notice becoming grateful after all – for the little kindness shown to ourself.

However you are feeling today, give yourself permission to have and express those feelings.  I hope you are able to feel more than one way today, and I hope you know that you are never alone.

rejoicing in thankfulness

Why We Struggle Saying No

noSaying No seems like it should be easy.  It’s just 2 little letters after all.  We learned it so well when we were toddlers!

The little word “no” can be one of the toughest words to get out. And I’ve started thinking about why.

Is it about avoiding conflict? Or maybe it’s all about timing, or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings?  Or could an inability to say “No” be tied to underlying fears or insecurities?

5 reasons we might have trouble saying no:

1.  We have been trained.

Remember that 2-year old whose first words included Dada, Doodoo, and… No?  Oh dear, that wasn’t acceptable!  We train our children to stop saying no, and heaven forbid they say it to a teacher.  We have been trained to be compliant, and that makes speaking up for ourselves and our needs a little difficult.

2. We want to be liked.

It feels BAD to disappoint someone.  To see their face drop, or to get a sad-face emoticon response. We want people to like us, and we often internalize their disappointment into messages of our own worth and likability. That makes it hard to say no.

3. We want to be “good.”

This goes along with the compliant learning, but I think there is something in us that often tells us that “good” people are always helpful and always social.  We don’t stop to think about how always being that way would make a person burn out or become resentful (uh – opposite of good).

4. We feel rushed.

Because of our ingrained training, we often don’t take time to think about our answer, and the automatic “Sure!” comes right on out.  In our instant gratification society, taking a little time to think about an answer can be frowned upon (and that takes us back to #2 – no frowns desired).

5. We fear rejection.

I think this is the bottom line. When we tell someone “no,” they have the opportunity to dislike us, form an unflattering opinion of us, or dismiss us completely.  We fear isolation, disconnection, and disapproval.

These desires and fears are real.  They are powerful.  And fear can keep us in a really unhappy place if we let it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It is possible to say No to others and still be liked, still be good, AND take care of yourself too.  We’ve had a lot of practice at being compliant – now it’s time to incorporate a little self-care into the our lives, and stop saying yes when we really mean no.

It will be OK if you do.

Need help saying no? Free Webinar!Click the image to learn more about my free webinar June 24th!

doing some training and always laughing!

Christine Morgan is a Professional Life Coach, Counselor, and Teacher. She began her career empowering others through Social Work and Education, yet her personal journey is a muddier road than any resumé implies. She knows the effort it takes to cope, to believe in yourself, and to let go of what other people think or expect. If you are tired of feeling stuck or overwhelmed, and would like new skills and support on your journey, contact her today!


Being a Sheep

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

It’s the lunar new year, and it’s the year of the Sheep (or goat, or ram, whichever you prefer).

Chinese new year 2015

So this got me thinking…

Have you ever been called a sheep?

It’s often thought of as being a negative – being a sheep.  I’ve heard it used to describe someone as weak-willed, following the crowd, conforming to fit in without really thinking for themselves, or just going along with what everyone else wants them to do.

But I don’t know if that’s fair – to people, or sheep.

Because maybe it’s good to be a sheep…

Sheep are friendly.  They like being together in a herd, and get stressed when separated from others.  New sheep don’t have to look the same, act any certain way – they are just accepted.  What if everyone in the world chose connection?

Sheep protect each other.  Flocking is a natural behavior among sheep.  They will run from things that frighten them and band together to stand against an enemy.  What if people always protected each other?

Sheep collaborate. They don’t get in power struggles, or need someone to be the boss – there is no one leader in a flock of sheep – they often follow just the first one that moves.  What would our world be like if people all worked together?

Sheep are peaceful.  There are no turf wars or alpha struggles for sheep. They don’t care about any particular piece of land, as long as they are together.   They don’t care about being in charge, or getting the credit.  Sheep want to just be. What if we could spend more time just being?

Sheep are aware.  Sheep rely on their senses to observe the environment and are constantly surveying.  They have a wide field of vision (up to 306 degrees!), can pinpoint the location of a sound, and even smell water. What if we used our senses to be more aware of what’s around us, in this moment?

Sheep are intelligent.  Sheep recognize and remember faces. They can remember complex mazes.  They have been known to search out healing plants when not feeling well, and even rolled themselves over a cattle grate in Yorkshire to get to a better field. What if we focused on creative problem-solving?

Being docile doesn’t mean weak.
Being peaceful doesn’t mean less intelligent.
Accepting others openly doesn’t mean conforming.

In fact, being tender-hearted, friendly, collaborative, always thinking and observing – these are the ways I do want to be.  And, with a good shepherd to guide me and a flock to help protect me, I know these are the keys to enjoy a good life.

Just like a sheep.


Lambs photo by TouTouke

Info Source: I got my new learning about sheep here and here


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Overcome Limiting Beliefs

So, by now, you are in the middle of it, right?

Charging ahead, working on those “New Year, New You” resolutions.  Headed to the gym before work, reading a new book each week…


Oh wait.. no?
Are you feeling defeated?
Are you losing some steam?
Feeling discouraged or overwhelmed?

Psst – it’s totally normal.

Have you heard of limiting beliefs? It’s a concept we talk a lot about in coaching.  Limiting beliefs, simply put, are lies we tell ourselves that stop us from succeeding, that stop us from even moving. We’ve picked them up over the years, through watching our parents figure out their own place in the world, from crabby teachers who don’t like children, from bossy friends telling us how to fit in – even from society at large giving us “information” on what women and men “should” be like.

Limiting beliefs tell us when we “can’t” do something. Falsely.  These lies create little stories in our head and attach emotions such as fear, doubt, or shame.  Powerful, paralyzing emotions.  And those thoughts, paired with emotion, over time, become habits.  It becomes normal to sabotage our dreams, to believe we can’t achieve goals we set.

Samples of limiting beliefs:

  • I can’t quit, addiction is too powerful.meLpMPsa
  • I’m never going to be as good as she is, so why try?
  • I don’t deserve it anyway.
  • No one even cares what I do anyway, so why try?
  • It doesn’t matter what I do.
  • No one will like me that way.
  • Being rejected is too painful to risk it.
  • I’m just going to embarrass myself by trying.
  • I’m not good enough.

Lies. All of them.

What if … we stopped believing the lies?

Does it seem possible to stop believing the lies?

I will admit, it’s not easy.  It takes time, it takes practice, and it takes a real desire for change. And sometimes, a new wave comes up and you have to start over again. (Another thing that’s normal!)

But the good news? These thought patterns ARE YOURS.  You are the only one who has the power to change them, and you can overcome!

How to begin to overcome your limiting beliefs:

limiting beliefs1. Make the choice.  First you have to want to, really want to, let go of those old thinking patterns.  It’s hard – even when they are unpleasant, they are still comfortable. They are known. So the first step is to set your mind, set your will, choose to step out of this dirty comfort.

2. Get some help. Because these thoughts are habits, they are quite comfortable. So it’s hard to recognize when we are falling into these old traps. Get a friend or a coach who will hold you accountable. Someone who will gently remind you of what is truth, what is possible, and what you can really do!

3. Replace the lies.  You need new truth to fill the thought space of your old thinking.  And you need to remind yourself constantly of this new truth!  Put post-it notes on your computer screen, your bathroom mirror. Change your passwords, your screen-savers, your lock screen on your phone to phrases that will remind you of all that you can do.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice.  It takes time to train your brain. Just like learning to play the piano, it takes time to learn a new skill. So be kind to yourself  while you learn to make new statements and let go of the old.

Samples of overcoming statements:

  • I am more powerful than addiction.
  • With God’s help, I can do anything.
  • I am doing what I am meant to do.
  • I am meant to fully live this life.
  • Through my work, I can help others.
  • Everything I do is a learning experience.
  • I am enough.

Your statements will be yours.  They will lift you up, remind you of who you truly are and all you meant to be.

So play with this idea. Talk with a friend about what holds you back and what would get you going again.

Because we have to recognize it in order to conquer it.
And we can.

So Many Rules!

You can't make me!Are you following the rules?

For some of you, that question brings up a feeling of panic:
Wait, am I?

For others, it inspires instant rebellion:
What are you going to do about it if I’m not?

Whoa! Hang on there…
I’m certainly not here to tell you ANY rules, I’m here to help you CLAIM the ones you choose as your own.

Here’s what I mean:

We get so caught up in our day to day life, that I think sometimes we forget that we are adults and that we have choices.  Some of our responsibilities can be so heavy that we feel like we have no choice… but we ALWAYS DO.

You could always choose to walk away. You could always choose to say no. You could even choose to give up. You always have the choice.

Sure, every choice has a consequence, and some of them feel dire. But the choices you make today, right now, even those that help you fit in and to follow rules given to you, those also have consequences.

So if you ever feel like grumbling because you are always being told what to do, or feel forced to make certain decisions, remember that you are choosing that path. You are choosing it because the consequences are the easiest to deal with, because you want to have other options in other areas of your life, or because you have let go of your personal power.  There are a myriad of reasons why we choose, even subconscious ones, but we are always choosing.

So let’s claim our choices!  We choose our circumstances. We choose our steps. We choose our path.

We choose our rules.

My choices, my rules.


Life is for living.
Don’t let rules in your life
take your personal power.
You are an adult.
You make a choice.
Every time.

~Be blessed! Christine

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My favorite color is October Ahh… autumn.
This has always been my favorite time of year, and now that I’m in the Pacific Northwest (as I’m learning to call it), the magic seems just a little bit richer, a little more tangible.

Leaves are changing,
the air is getting sharp,
the squirrels scurry with urgency.

My nose is most often cold now,
but I get to wear cozy clothes
snuggle deeply into blankets
and drink lots of tea.Design Peaceful Moments

But for me, the autumn is about even more than the beauty that surrounds me.

Maybe it’s those squirrels, but there is an energy this time of year that feeds creativity.
It’s an energy of getting ready.  It’s about being in this moment, yet also preparing for what comes next.

Change your Thoughts...I’m guessing you feel it too.

And to me, it’s a message. A message about paying attention to what’s going on around me, as well as what’s going on in my mind.

Being aware.  And as we get ready for our next big thing, remembering to enjoy the little things along way too.

To see the beauty around us.

To design peaceful moments.
To get ready.
To live life fully.

Thanks for reading – bless your week!

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