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Speak Up: How to Communicate Better

Speak Up: How to Communicate Better

Do you know those things that make you sweat? The things that make you feel anxious? The ones that make you want to apologize when you didn’t even do anything wrong? Well, that is how I feel when it comes to verbal communication.

Communication has never been a strength of mine. Well, let me rephrase that–verbally communicating how I feel and what I need has never been easy for me. My brain was wired to devalue my feelings and needs and overvalue another. It was a learned behavior that I needed to learn how to harness. 

Courage to Communicate

I remember distinctly the first time I verbally voiced what I needed to my husband. 

My husband and I were sitting on the couch one night after he had gotten home from work. I knew that walking, yoga and physical activity helped me manage my anxiety and could feel my anxiety slowly creeping up. I wanted to go for a walk by myself to breathe, take a time out from the kids, and relax. However, with two small kids at home and a husband that was working a very physical job, I felt that his happiness and relaxation were more important than mine. Asking for a “break” made me feel guilty. 

However, at that moment, I knew exactly what I needed and I needed it so badly I had no choice. I swallowed my fear and verbally communicated to my husband that I needed to go for a walk. I paused. And waited. Brian, my husband, said, “Go, hun. I’m good”  without flinching. I felt an immediate sense of relief at that moment. 

This may not seem like a big deal to some but for me, it was a milestone. That moment where I voiced my needs and wants set a solid foundation for my future. Today, I am able to voice bigger things like my views on parenting, life, and business. It’s also led me to now be able to agree to disagree, be okay with someone not liking what I have to say, and setting time for myself and not feel like I have to ask for permission. 

Learning How to Listen

About ten years into recovery, I discovered that I didn’t know how to effectively communicate. I also learned that how well you listen has a major impact on the quality of your relationships with others.

I didn’t know how to listen. I was continually projecting what I thought others were thinking and saying before they even finished talking. With that, I was actually preparing for a rebuttal and would instantly shut down or bark back the moment I would receive a response that I didn’t like. 

I had to relearn how to listen.  

Even though listening may ‘sound’ easy, listening well is a gift that not everyone has. Improving your ability to listen well will enable you to assess situations with more clarity and gain insight into other people, their opinions and the overall circumstances of an event. Listening well can prevent you from misreading a situation and making mistakes –like I was doing. 

Make Your Voice Heard

I decided somewhere along my journey, with the help of the yoga I know, meditation, and fully embracing the love of those around me to press on. To keep voicing up. To keep asking those uncomfortable questions. To say what I need to say.

Speak up, friend. You deserve to speak. You have something valuable to say and your voice matters.

And each time it will only get better. Each time you voice up and choose to communicate instead of hold it in, you will get better at it. Each time you ask that uncomfortable question it feels less uncomfortable. Each time you will get more precise at what you need to say and how you need to say it.

Clear Communication

Work in Progress

I have learned time and time again in life and business that it is MY responsibility to ask questions, inquire, and do research if needed. This practice, in a sense, is putting myself first, and at the same time putting the other person first as well, because now communication is open. My advice, start with safe people. Start in safe environments and with small less scary things to communicate. For me, it was wanting to go for a walk. For you it may be voicing that you want Mexican food tonight instead of just saying “I don’t care”. 

Full disclosure, doing these things is super hard for me. Still, I’ve discovered that time and time again; I am continually putting others’ well-being, happiness, comfort, and satisfaction above mine. And I am so grateful I have developed an ever-growing toolbox to help me build up these muscles in my life and business.

Let me help you get rid of stress so you can press on to the next phase of your life.

Check out my blog: 3 Yoga Poses to Banish Stress Instantly

5 Simple Solutions When Life Feels Like A Mess

5 Simple Solutions When Life Feels Like A Mess

Have you ever said to yourself, “My life is a mess and I have no idea how to fix it”? Well, you are certainly not alone. We all have mental clutter and distracting thoughts that take our focus off of our priorities.

I think we all have had a feeling of hopelessness at one time or another in our lives. The truth is, life gets messy sometimes.

Sometimes you might feel like your life is such a mess that you don’t even know how you got there. You don’t think you are going to be able to handle it any longer and the thought of trying to dig yourself out is too overwhelming to even consider.

Mental Clutter

For fifteen years, my life was messy. It was a constant tornado of highs and lows. I was living a secret life.

Mental clutter pulls us out of the present moment– anything that keeps you from thinking straight. All that mental clutter takes up so much space that we hardly have any room left for what we’re meant to do.

Having spent my fair share living at rock bottom, I know firsthand that there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, YOU have to be willing to step up, show up, and get uncomfortable in order to make change happen.

So, if your knee-deep in a messy life or you feel like you might not have anywhere to go, I welcome you to join me in clearing the mental clutter once and for all.

5 Steps to Clear Mental Clutter

1. Put Down the Instant Gratification Devices.

Growing up with technology has made us dependent on the idea of always being connected. Information, entertainment, and communication are only a click away all day, every day. I recently read that an addiction to social media and the “likes” (so to speak) you get on these social media sites give you the same endorphin boost as someone who is suffering from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc. So, put down your devices so that you can truly experience life around you rather than just document it.

2. Enjoy Nature.

When is the last time you stepped outside and just took in a big breath of fresh air? The blue skies, the singing birds, the refreshing breeze–all of these things help to restore your mental clarity. Stepping away from life’s distractions gives us the opportunity to enjoy what is in front of us more fully. Goodbye mental clutter!

3. Meditate.

Don’t think of meditation as some big and scary monster. It’s actually the opposite. Meditation changes brain function and helps to improve focus. Meditation is simply a matter of you stopping for a few minutes and breathing, unplugging and reducing yourself to nothing more than every inhale and exhale. Even if it just for a few minutes. Step into a mini oasis with me for just three minutes a day with my 3 Minute Meditation. Clear your mind, focus your thoughts, and open yourself to a fresh new perspective. 

4. Join A Community.

My FREE online Facebook community, Daily Dose of Hope, is dedicated to helping others purposefully excel through the messiness of real-life, both on and off the mat. This group is about reclaiming the health and well-being of all its members, inspiring each member to see they are worth it and assisting in the cultivation of each person becoming the best version of themselves!

5. Clear Your Mind. 

When your mind is in overdrive, sometimes you just need to hit the reset button. My 3-Week Clearing Mental Clutter Mini-Course shows you how to banish your mental roadblocks by recognizing what they are and how to do something about them. Weekly affirmations help to keep you on track, short mindful movement sequences to help you step into your body fully, and a private accountability group helps to support you in clearing the mental clutter and creating monumental clarity. What are you waiting for?

Your journey awaits. What are you waiting for? After all, you are well worth it.

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

5 Ways to boost self-confidence.

On April 6th I get to celebrate 35 years of life, love and walking down this path we call life!

Why be shy about it? 
Why hide it?
Why down play this celebration of life?
Why not shine like the bright star you are?

This was not always my style of thinking. I use to be uncomfortable with the thought of shining too bright. I use to worry others would notice me and because I would be noticed, others would judge me.

That people would criticize me, and because they didn’t know my whole story…get the wrong idea that yes, I am a recovering addict. But I am successfully in recovery (well always working on myself). Except, even though I clawed my way into recovery, I still lacked the self-confidence to let my light shine bright. 

In 35 years I have learned a lot. 
In 35 years I have slowly come to a place were I am OK with who I am. 
And more importantly, I am less concerned with what others think. 

Let me explain. 
My entire life I have been WAY TO FOCUSED on what others think of me, my choices and life, and as a result my self-confidence was zilch. 

I would run myself into the ground trying to please others and often time end up depleted, frustrated, and rundown. 

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly began to understand this is no way to live and no way to get ahead in life and as only killing my self-confidence at every pass. And it was around that time which I realized this entire approach to life was a learned behavior that I could in fact… unlearn.

To say that the process of breaking such a habit would be as easy, would be a lie. 

Slowly, taking one situation at a time I have grown to a place where I am more confident, where my self-confidence shines more each day. I care about others, respect others, but no longer am willing to sacrifice my happiness and or my desire to walk the path my Creator has set for me simply on the fear others may not be happy. 

I struggled with this because I would get wrapped up in my thoughts thinking that this was selfish, rude, and un-yogic like. 

But it was yoga which taught me caring for myself and living my life in the best light I can, the way I feel I am called to do is how you can best care for others.

Here are five things that come to mind when I reflect on my own self-confidence and what helped me cultivate it.

Self-Confidence Blog Hope Zvara

5 Ways to Boost Self-Confidence:

  1. Learn to be Uncomfortable. First on the yoga mat with poses, then in life with people. Just sitting with emotions, breathing, and letting things pass.
  2. Use Your Voice. First through teaching, sharing my point of view with the understanding that others may not agree. Then in life, at first little things, and when someone would disagree, letting that conversation be, and not recanting myself to appease the other person.
  3. Began to Ask Yourself What Feels Good to Me. Not one thing is going to be 100% right for everyone. No diet, no exercise, not even yoga. And knowing that is OK, there is no need to convince someone of your practice or lifestyle.
  4. Get Quiet to Get Loud. Not yelling, but to use my voice with confidence I first needed to get real quiet and listen, feel, and process. As someone who would often shoot from the hip in life. This has served me well.
  5. Realize and Fully Understand That Not Everyone in Life Will like You, and That is OK. I know some of you will feel the need to email me and tell me “I like you”. And I appreciate that, but it’s not necessary. I have found great strength in others not liking me, not agreeing with me, or flat out rejecting me. It has been one of my best muscle builders to help my light shine bright.
 

So today, let your light shine bright. Let it beam with self-confidence. Don’t worry a thing about whose eyes may not like it. Shine baby, shine and let your self confidence burn bright!

From my heart to yours,

Hope

Stepping Off The Struggle Bus: 3 Steps to Getting Off

Stepping Off The Struggle Bus: 3 Steps to Getting Off

Stepping off the struggle bus: 3 steps to getting off.

Struggle has become a household word. And for some…a badge of honor. 
It seems in today’s world we are all striving to “get somewhere”. And there is nothing wrong with that!

Having goals, hopes and dreams keeps one motivated, focused and driven. 
But what happens when you find yourself stuck on the struggle bus? 

What do you do when you just don’t know what to do next? 
Everything is blurry, overwhelming, and just too big to handle?

I use to spin my wheels and struggle (and still do on several occasions), hide in the comforts of what was familiar, easy, and “going good”. 
But within those gates I would complain, cry and do I dare say pout about how I felt like I constantly had one foot on the struggle bus, and that I “couldn’t” get it off. 

I’ve been an entrepreneur all my adult life! 
I was taught to grind (in a sense that struggle was the way and method), to put your head down and keep going. 
And for most of my life that has served me well in the notion that I don’t give up easy. 

But now almost 35, I have realized that it’s perfectly OK to hop off the struggle bus and see what else is out there. Who else is out there, and what other buses are driving around to… HELP? And even if I fall stepping off, I’m at least off.

See it’s funny, I was never really taught collaboration and that there are truly others out there who WANT to help you.
See, I was taught survival. 
And clawing my way out of an eating disorder, survival was essential. 
But there comes a time when you evolve past that and need, and you begin to step out of survival mode. 
Or at least you begin to see you that you want to do that. 

That process for me. Stepping out and off the struggle bus was HARD
I’d get one foot off and freak out and grip the struggle bus tighter. Even though I hated it, it was comfortable and familiar, and I did not want to have to go out there and “figure it all out” all over again… Talk about overwhelm.

So when I started taking my teaching to a larger audience both off and online I wanted to remove all the barriers of entry. 
I want to collaborate with you, help you off the struggle bus, and I’ve been, there so let me remove all the “I can’t do this” objections. 

Do you want to know what I found… 
What I discovered when I started to reach out to help others?
The same thing I did to countless people when they tried to reach out to me. People didn’t do it. They still didn’t come to class, invest in themselves, in what I had essentially created just for them. 
I had paved the way (just like others did for me).

Did they not want it? 
Was their grip too tight, just like mine to the struggle bus?
Did they too have one foot off just enough to feel free, but comfortable at the same time?

In the last 20 years of my life I have discovered one vital thing…You can’t make someone grow, step off the bus, or even look up at the horizon if they are not ready. 

I remember a time when I was that very person. Nothing my parents, my school teachers, my counselor could say was going to change my mind and my ways. I liked the struggle bus. I did. It was comfortable, predictable, familiar, and as horrible as it was for my well-being, it made me just happy enough to limp by in life. 

I don’t want that for you. 
When I see someone struggling, I see myself flash before my own eyes, reminding me of my own struggle and how essential it SITLL is to keep pressing forward and surrounding myself with others, ideas and tools that help me to press on and stay off the struggle bus.

Here are my 3 best tips for stepping off the struggle bus:

1. Invest in yourself. Misery loves company and when you are caught in that cycle of struggle, your inner state will often refuse help, ideas, and making any kind of positive investment in yourself. You’ll find reasons also known as excuses to not do things like take a yoga class, invest in a workshop or online course, or even something as simple as take a nap or vent to a close friend. Step one to stepping off the struggle bus is to believe you are worth the time and investment. And if you don’t, do it anyway.

2. Pick your friends wisely. They (not sure who “they” is) say you are the accumulation of the 5 people you most frequently surround yourself with. So, make a list and see with your own eyes who those people are. Stepping off the struggle bus is all about coming to reality with where your life is right now. And then beginning to make those decisions as to how to move forward.

3. Call yourself out on your excuses. I started to notice that whenever someone would suggest something to me, offer me an opportunity or the most perfect program or offering came my way I would always tell myself some excuse I would disguise as a “reason” as to why I couldn’t do that or have that.

I challenge you to call yourself out on those moments then trace it back. So, I began to ask myself on those occasions “Why Hope, why can’t you”. And what I discovered is all those moments (yes, I said all) traced back to unworthiness and fear. Nothing real and legitimate. If it was about money, it was really about a fear I had around money not thinking I deserved it. Or I would hype my life up that I am “so busy” that I just don’t have the time to do such a thing, which in all reality I wasn’t willing to make the time and put myself out there that I was of value and worthy. I challenge you to try this and free yourself by stepping off the struggle bus right now.

This message may have hit a chord with you, and if it has, I want to welcome you to the first steps of stepping off the struggle bus and beginning to open your eyes to the idea that you are a rock star!

And as you begin to step off, if by chance you are ready to look up, I’ll be waiting here.

Having removed all the barriers as to why you can’t step off with my personally crafted programs made just for you (well, in all honesty, just for me, because most people create great things based on their own struggles, breakthroughs, and divine moments).

Want to take a look? Just hop on over HERE and take a look. Whose ready to step off the struggle bus and make a change?

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