6 Steps to increasing your risk tolerance

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Throughout my life people have often commented on my risk taking abilities. I have been called brave and tenacious, a high level risk taker. The strange thing is that I don’t feel like a risk taker at all. I often compare myself to others and feel disappointed in my ability to take risks.  Some of the things I have done include;

Moved across the world a number of times

Had a baby in a foreign country

Moved to a new city with a one year old and my husband, with no jobs and without knowing a single person

Left full time employment to study photography

Started a business

Purchased numerous  investment properties. I purchased  my first property when I was 19.

While people have said that these have all been big risks, I have never really felt like I was taking a risk at all.

1.  Always have a backup plan

I always have a plan b. I usually have a plan c, d, e,  and f too. I have as many alternate plans as needed to make me feel comfortable with taking the risk. When you always have a backup plan then the risk is reduced greatly.

2. What is the worst case scenario?

I always ask myself this. I will only take the risk if I am happy with the answer. When we moved across the world with a one year old and no jobs, we asked ourselves ‘what is the worst that could happen?’ The answer was that ‘everything could go wrong and we would have to move back again’  Moving back to the beautiful city of Bruges wouldn’t be such a bad thing. When investing in  property the worst thing that could happen would be to lose a lot of money.  I have never been too scared of this. I value health much higher than money and if I was to lose money then at least I would have learned a lot and become better prepared for next time.

3. What could I regret more: doing this, or not doing this?

This is another question I ask myself when trying to make a decision that could be seen as risky. Sometimes the bigger risk can be to not doing something.

4. Balancing risk with comfort

Taking risks usually takes us out of our comfort zones. Pushing our limits needs to be balanced with spending quality time within our comfort zones. This allows us to rejuvenate completely and make better decisions when taking risks.

5. Focus on your strengths.

For me I trust in my problem solving skills. Things don’t seem so risky when I know that if a problem occurs, I will figure it out. I am resourceful and not afraid to ask for help.

What are your strengths?

6. What would I want my daughter to do?

Sometimes our own insecurities and self doubts can get in the way of making decisions for ourselves. Often when I have a big decision to make, I contemplate this question. Focusing on what we would want a loved one to do in a situation can help us to make better decisions and take bigger risks.

Is there something you have always wanted to do but been too afraid?

Let us know in the comments below.

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The Anxiety Solution 30 Day Program – FAQs

If you have been contemplating enrolling in the Anxiety Solution 30 Day Program the following FAQs may be useful.

What do I get?

This course consists of 15 modules. You will receive one module every second day via email. Each module comes with worksheets and strategies for overcoming anxiety and building self confidence.

You will also receive personal email support

Is this course only for people with anxiety?

No this course is designed for anyone that wants to take their confidence to the next level, deal with limiting beliefs or overcome resistance.

Will this course cure me of my anxiety/depression/ptsd/low self esteem?

It is one of my beliefs that we are not broken or in need of curing. My goal is to teach you to live a fulfilling and empowered life, while accepting every aspect of yourself.

Are you a doctor?

No, I have lived with various levels of anxiety all of my life. From social anxiety, low self esteem to more severe PTSD and depression. I have found strategies that work for me and want to share them.

Is it ok for me to be taking medication while doing the course?

If medication is helping you along your journey then absolutely. This course is not designed to tell you whether or not you should be taking medication. It is designed to help you realize that taking medication and getting the support you need is a sign of strength not weakness.

Can I do the course at my own pace?

Definitely. The modules and worksheets are designed to be revisited as often as you need. I understand that you can be busy and the course reflects this.

Can I contact you if I have a question?

Please do, I offer personal email support. If you are needing any clarification regarding any aspect of the course please ask. Sometimes it’s nice to have somebody to just chat to that understands and has been through what you are experiencing.

Do you offer refunds?

I have worked very hard on this course, but if you do not feel you are receiving value for money, then yes, money back, no questions.

How much does it cost and how do I pay?

$33. Payments are made through Paypal  here

Please let me know if you have any more questions via the contact form below. I’m always happy to help

Thank you

Nicole

Financial Freedom Friday – The Spaces Between

Photo taken from a holiday in Sweden
Photo taken from a holiday in Sweden

A lesson in Rest and Play

The path to financial freedom usually involves a lot of hard work.

Long hours, difficult decisions, problem solving and taking risks.

It is important to learn that the quality of your work is determined by the quality of the breaks you take.

This quality of your breaks will determine how quickly and smoothly you will travel along your path to financial freedom.

Overworking is easy to do. Just one more hour. Just one more day or week. Then you will take that rest. Something always comes up and the rest and play becomes a last priority, often missed out on altogether.

What can you delegate?

What can you stop doing in order to get some quality rest and play time?

Where can you be more effective in order to create time and space for rest and play?

How do you rest?

What do you do for fun?

What activities take your mind off work completely, even just for a few moments?

Rest and play doesn’t need to take up much time.

Perhaps in between each task you complete you could take five minutes to take a few deep breaths, have a nice cup of tea and enjoy some fresh air.

Without quality breaks, (the type where you aren’t thinking about work and checking your email every 2 minutes) you will never get the time to fully recharge.

As entrepreneurs, business owners or parents it can be so hard to draw a line between work, rest and play.  Whenever I am needing a reminder I think of this poem.

  FIRE ~ Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Poem can be found  here

What do you do for fun? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

The Power of Rituals and Routines

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The outcome of our lives is determined by the actions we take. These actions are determined by the habits we create for ourselves, both good and bad.

One way to create good habits is by implementing little rituals and routines into our lives.

I resisted the idea of creating routines in my life for years.  I thought that by following routines life would become boring and restricted.

In fact the complete opposite is true. The more routines I create for myself, the more time I have spare to do fun things. The more I follow my routines the more space and time I create.

Rituals and routines can also be comforting in times of stress. They allow our minds to know what is coming next, creating a sense of calm.

I used to spend an entire day doing housework. These days there is no way I could possibly do that. There just isn’t time. So it is important for me to create lots of little routines and rituals that allow me to keep the house clean and tidy to a standard that works for me. It’s far from perfect, but it works.

For example every time I make a cup of tea I have to work on cleaning the kitchen while the kettle is boiling. As I work from home and drink a lot of tea, the kitchen is always clean and I don’t have to worry about finding time to clean it.

Every night before I go to bed I set the washing machine up to start a load of laundry at 4am, ready for me to put out in the morning. It keeps things moving and the washing never seems to pile up.

These are just two of the many simple routines I have  for keeping the house at a level that is suitable for me. I have had a long habit and practice of decluttering too, so that makes things easier to manage.

Attach routines to any goal you are trying to achieve.

I have a problem with a lack of strength in my shoulder due to breaking my collar bone a few years ago.

Whenever I have finished brushing my teeth I work on doing a handstand against the wall outside of our bathroom! This simple habit takes less than 2 minutes a day but is having a huge impact on my health. It’s a fun little routine that is helping me build strength and work towards something that is a little outside of my comfort zone!

The best way to build a routine and a new habit is to keep it simple and attach it to something that you do on a regular basis.

What is your goal?

What is a small action you can take?

How many times a day would you like to do this?

What is something you already do this many times throughout your day?

How can you attach your new step to your old action?

Don’t forget that this is just a simple way to build a new habit and it can take time and practice. This system isn’t designed to give you a new way to feel disappointed in yourself for not doing it right! The goal is never to be perfect. The goal is to build new skills and find what works for you.

Let me know what actions you add to your routine in the comments below

Don’t forget to sign up for the weekly newsletter for more tips and inspiration to help you take action.

 

 

7 Questions To Ask Yourself Every Sunday

Image by These Little Lights. Shrewsbury UK
Image by These Little Lights. Shrewsbury UK

In order to achieve any goal and move forward in life it is important to monitor and measure your progress. The following seven questions, asked on a regular basis will help you to measure and monitor your progress.

1.  What did I learn last week?

If we aren’t learning we aren’t growing and moving forward. List everything you learned. This can be anything from something you learned about yourself to a new skill you picked up. Small things and big lessons are all essential tools for creating the life of your dreams. Is there anything you feel you failed at last week? Failing is simply a tool to teach us something new.

 2. What were my achievements last week?

Again, big or small list them all. If your biggest achievement of the week was to get out of bed and brush your teeth then list that and feel proud.  It is not the size of the achievement that counts but the fact that you achieved something. If we don’t take the time to acknowledge the things we do achieve then we will never gain a feeling of fulfillment. We will always be focused on judging ourselves for  the things we think we should have achieved.

3. What am I most looking forward to this coming week?

I believe the key to a long and happy life is to always have something to look forward to. We can often think this needs to be something big like a holiday or buying a new item. The smaller the things you are excited about the easier it is to schedule them throughout your week. Start a list of all of the things that make you really happy for when you need some inspiration. Perhaps reading for 30 uninterrupted guilt-free minutes with a lovely cup of tea is something you could schedule and look forward to. A trip to the cinema or a café. A walk around a farmers market. Dancing around to some great music.  A visit to a museum or art gallery.  Taking an afternoon nap, or a long soak in the bath while the kids are at school. Take a picnic to the beach or the park with the family.

4. What are 7 little to-do items for this week?

If your to-do list is anything like mine, it will have at least a couple of hundred items on it. Awhile ago I gave up on fighting with my to do list and accepted that it wasn’t something to ‘complete’. I was always racing to get my to do list finished. Finishing any list just gave me the ability to take on more projects and even more to do items.

There are many things I need to get done each day, but there are often items that can get stuck on my list if I don’t make an effort to get them done.

I choose seven items from my big to-do list to complete each week. One to be  completed each day. These are small items, the ones that are important but usually get neglected for more urgent items.  They don’t take longer than an hour and can often take just a few minutes. These are usually things like; send thank you cards, make dentist appt, sort out my desk, buy a new folder, return an item to someone,, fertilise plants, take clothes to charity shop,. compare insurance quotes, open a new savings account

It keeps my list moving forward and frees up negative energy from seeing the same things on my list week after week.

5. What would make my coming week easier?

Is there something you can add to your routine to make your week run a little smoother? Is there something you can let go of in order to move forward into a new week? Is there somebody you can ask for a little help or advice? Is there something you feel has been wasting your time and you can cut down a little this week?

6. Did I avoid anything last week?

It can often be the things that we are avoiding that we most need to do. They can often be the things that will provide the biggest benefit to our week.  We usually avoid these things because they can be taking us outside of our comfort zone. It is outside of our comfort zone that we make change. We can make great progress inside our comfort zone, but it is usually change and growth that occurs outside of it. If you find yourself stuck in procrastination mode, read here about how I learned to love procrastination.

7. What made you laugh and smile last week?

It’s important to note these things, so you can do more of them! Laughter is the best medicine and smiling means you are on the right path. Laughter and smiling often come out of the simplest things too. Rolling around on the floor and playing with your children, watching a funny show, getting out into nature.  I believe one of the keys to a great life is having a light and playful attitude whenever possible.

Use these questions on a regular basis, or create a list of your own. I like to complete them on a Sunday night to help me focus on the week ahead. Let me know which question helps you in the comments section below

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Financial Freedom Friday

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I have always strongly believed that it is not how much you earn it is how you spend it that counts.

No matter how much or little we earn we can often find ourselves buying things we don’t really need or want causing us to sacrifice ever buying the things we truly want and dream about.

Whether it’s a house deposit, travel, a boat, a car, paying off a debt or credit card,  expensive outfit these things can often feel always out of reach.

Here’s a strategy for making those things a reality.

Open a savings account, label it travel account/house deposit account or whatever it is that you would like that seems always out of reach.

Whenever you buy something ask yourself, “do I really want/need this or would I rather put the money in my savings account’

If you decide you do not want to make the purchase, put the money that you would have spent into your savings account. Keep a notebook for all of the decisions you make through the day as they can soon add up.

There are some rules for this strategy –

Never use the money in your dream savings account for bills or anything other than what you intended it for. (if bills are a huge problem, then it might be an idea to focus on your budget before buying things anyway, it can be uncomfortable, but at least the exercise may help you understand where your money is going.)

This strategy is not supposed to leave you feeling deprived – most of the time you will say ‘yes I really do want to buy this thing’ and that is ok. One object of this strategy is to become more conscious of your purchases and where your money goes. There will be many times though that you will think ‘No I would rather buy my dream item”

Do you want the chocolate bar or the holiday?

Do you want to buy the book or read one of the unread books on your bookshelf?

Does your child need that toy or would they be just as happy playing a game with you that you already have?

Do you have anything to sell?

Do you need to buy lunch every day at work or could you take your own on some days?

Do you need to buy peanut butter, or can you buy some peanuts and blend them up at a fraction of the cost? (yes, there are many ways to save money to put towards your dream purchase)

This exercise should be fun and creative – Make sure you do put the money into your savings, you were going to spend it anyway so it won’t be missed.

 

Let me know how it goes for you!