The Four Wings of Personal Growth Lessons on self-love, self-awareness, self-care and self-empowerment

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries....two words...easy to say, not necessarily easy to do.
Of course, some of us are better at setting boundaries then others but most of us have some areas that need some attention.
I became pretty good at setting boundaries at work.  Sometime in my 30's, I identified my priorities and was able to say no to things that were not important to me, and yes to things that were.  (most of the time ๐Ÿ˜) Learning to do that was a process.  I think my upbringing and my personality made it easier to accomplish setting boundaries at work.  But, doing the same in my personal relationships, that was a bit trickier and still is a work in progress. 
For a long time, I did a lot of what I thought other people wanted from me and then resented the hell out of it.  So I can tell you with certainty that, if you find yourself doing things and then bitching to your spouse, or friends or even to yourself, after the fact, You have boundary issues. 
Learning to set boundaries, is by no means a one step deal.  Like every other area of personal growth, it involves a process of self-discovery, courage, action and commitment.  But if you are at all interested in creating the life you want and the one that is absolutely yours to have, it's an essential step.  And well worth it!!
Here are a few strategies to support you on your journey towards setting boundaries:
In what specific areas in you life do you feel a need to set more boundaries?
This is different for everyone.  Take the time to journal and reflect on this question?  Check out my facebook page for some journaling prompts to support you in doing this.
Know what is important to YOU!
Were do You want to be spending your time?
What's important to You....Your time? Your freedom? Your relationships? Your Health?
Does what you spend your time on at work or at home reflect your values or someone else's?
How could you change that?
๐Ÿ’—You can't set boundaries if you have no clear understanding of your own priorities.  
If you are not sure, give yourself time to think about it!
If you are in the habit of often saying yes to things and then regretting it, start by developing the habit of saying "Let me think about it and get back to you."  One, this helps you break the habit and two, it gives you time to properly assess whether saying yes really aligns with your priorities. 
Avoid saying yes when...
You are stressed, tired or sick.
When you would be dealing with something that is not your responsibility.
When saying yes, makes you feel used or not quite right. (listen to your gut) Better to say no and reassess, then to betray yourself. 
Believe you have a right to communicate your wants and needs and learn to do this in an assertive, direct, non confrontational manner.
This might require a bit of work.  First of all, you have to know that you are deserving of what you want and need.  This might necessitate a bit of work in the self-love and self-worth department.  Then you have to develop the skills that will allow you to communicate your needs effectively.  Might sound like a daunting process, but absolutely doable!!
๐Ÿ’—These are but a few starting points. If you are interested in exploring, with the support of a coach, how you can better learn to set boundaries in your life, please feel free to email me at
Create an awesome day!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Update on the Eighty Four Day Experiment

Ninety eight days ago I started the Eighty Four Day Experiment with the following question.
"What happens when I set clear action steps around specific goals 
and hold myself accountable by blogging about the experience for 84 day?"
Well, for starters, I did not blog everyday for 84 days. I modified this action step by blogging every week.  And, for those of you who have read all my blogs, the topic has varied.
As for the other action steps I set for myself:
Improving my nutrition by cutting out unhealthy carbs. (sometimes)
Journaling my progress, challenges and successes on a regular basis. (never)
One hour a day spent working on my coaching model. (some days less, some days more)
One hour a day spent working on my workshop series. (sometimes)
One hour a day spent working on marketing strategies. (sometimes)
One hour a day working on my talk series. (most days more)
So here I am a self proclaimed "Life coach" and if I were to give myself a grade on how well I did with these goals, it probably would be "below average."  Luckily, coaches don't assigned grades! 
Recently, I had a client get really down on herself because she had not accomplished all the actions steps she had set for herself between our sessions.  I recommended that she focus on what she had accomplished.  A little self-compassion and a shift in mindset can go a long way. So, I am trying to apply this wisdom to myself.  Why?  Because I know that criticizing my actions or lack there of won't in any way shape or form be helpful.  
Asking myself some important questions will.
  1. How can I make my goals SMARTer?
    1. Specific
    2. Measurable
    3. Achievable
    4. Relevant
    5. Time bound
  2. How will I make a distinction between my goals and relevant action steps?
  3. What was more important then accomplishing these goals?
  4. What limiting beliefs got in the way and how can I transform these into empowering beliefs?
  5. What is me overall vision and how can I move towards that vision in a SMARTer way?
  6. What support and resources will I need to accomplish this?
It will be important for me to take some time and ponder these questions, as well as any others that come up.  I have a few coaching sessions coming up with my colleagues and I will definitely explore these with their support.
So what is my biggest take away from this experiment?
That moving towards my goals is an ongoing process of action, assessment and reflection.  
And that, that process needs to be experienced within a context of compassion, perseverance 
and self-awareness.
Create an awesome day!
Joanne ๐Ÿ’—

Sunday, July 21, 2019


This past week my facebook posts have been about adding more fun into our lives.  The timing was good for me given that I spent the week at one of my favourite places, the beach.  There is something about being near water that soothes and calms me.  Looking out at the water hitting the horizon makes me feel connected to something bigger then myself. 
I love to grab a raft or tube and just float around for hours.  Sometimes the water is calm and I just enjoy the feeling of freedom I get from looking up at the blue sky.  Sometimes, there are waves and then I turn into a little kid, laughing and enjoying getting thrown about. 
I think fun can be a very personal thing.  I love organizing anything that can be organized, closets, cupboards, storage spaces.  I completely lose track of time when I'm putting things in order and purging.  Some people might call that work, for me it's fun.
What is the difference between work and fun?
Work : "activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result."
Fun : "enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure."
They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  I tend to believe that every person has to define fun for themselves depending on factors such as strengths, talents, character and preferences.  What is fun for one person is not necessarily fun for another....and that's ok.
So how do you figure out what's fun for you?  Try new things, old things you did as a child, things you would not think to never know. 
I'm wanting to try one new thing this week. 
So here's a favour, write down your ideas and I will pick one and report back at the end of the week on how it went.
And, do the same.  Try something new and let me know how it went.  Would love to hear from you.
Create an awesome day!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Living Our Passion

My favourite courses in university were my psych courses.  Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by human behaviour.  I have this deep hunger to understand what makes us tick, why we do the things we do?
Why are some people more successful, happy, ambitious...etc then others.  Why do we hate?
Why do we love?  Why is there random violence and why do we hurt ourselves and others?
To me, it seems that uncovering the mysteries of our own psyche is what will allow us to rid the planet of pain and suffering or at least to lessen its effect.  Ok, I know that we are complicated and that this might be an impossible task.  Who knows, maybe humanity will become extinct before we find answers to all the questions related to our darker side.  I don't care...I want to learn as much as I can about us while I am around.
I realized this subject was a passion of mine somewhere in my twenties.  And from that point on, I became addicted to books on philosophy, psychology, self-help, growth and development and spirituality.  From that addiction developed a conviction that each and everyone of us, has a potential that is often left untapped.  I think that more often then not we accept our status quo, not realizing that we could have a lot more joy, peace and love in our lives.
In my 30 year quest for knowledge and understanding of our human nature and capacity, I've discovered of few ideas that resonate with me.  I try to live my life in alignment with these, sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.  Here are two of them.

As long as I am living and breathing, there is room to learn, to grow and to move forward and to succeed I have to learn to do that without judging myself.

       I consider myself a life coach.  Not because I do life better then everybody else...far from it.  I have screwed up big time and my guess is that I will again.  But, I think I've learned to try to look at myself honestly and consider my weaknesses without judging myself.  That allows me to improve on what is not working so well.  As I write this, I think of the many shortcomings that I have yet to overcome, maybe out of fear, maybe because there are things I still need to learn.  But giving up is not an option.  When I uncover one layer, something else shows up and that's ok.
As a coach, I want to give my clients the non-judgmental space to do exactly that.  As a school leader, I learned that a problem can not be solved until it is clearly identified and defined.  Well, we cannot improve or overcome our own challenges and problems without being able to honestly look at ourselves.  When we judge ourselves we make it often impossible to do just that.

There is no innate meaning to life.
We are the creators of that meaning for ourselves.

     This I learned from Mr. Victor Frankl.  I think one of my mentors suggested his book "Man's Search for Meaning" and I read it quite of few times, once for an assignment when I was completing my Masters.  When we give ourselves the sole responsibility of creating meaning in our experiences it gives us immeasurable power.  If Mr. Frankl could do this in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, I think I can do it in my own life.  I believe that when we look for meaning in all our experiences good or bad, we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow through that experience.  If I see the end of a relationship as an opportunity to learn about myself or to learn how to be more independent,  I will still feel the pain but I will not feel victimized by the experience.  The meaning is highly individual and can differ from one person to another.  It will depend on where the person is on his or her journey.  This is another role I play as a coach.  I help clients create meaning in any and all experiences.  This creates a growth mindset rather then a fixed mindset.  For anyone interested in learning more about growth mindset, I highly recommend Carol Dweck's book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success.

Basically, these blogs are about those lessons that I have learned in my 30+ year quest of attempting to understand myself and others a little bit better.  Hence, the title Damselfly Lessons Along the Way.
Ant the quest continues....

Create an awesome day!