Illustration photo by Flickr.
I've decided that it's time. After more or less 18 years of not talking about it, I need to come out of the closet and say it out loud: I suffer from PCS.
Never heard about it? I'm not surprised. I hadn't heard about it, either, until a doctor diagnosed me with it back in 2002 (I think that's when it was). I'd known for a long time (more than a year) that there was something wrong with me, and I'd been telling my GP (General Practitioner Doctor) my theory about it, but I felt that he didn't believe me. In fact: Many doctors know very little about this, and my GP at the time obviously didn't.
I'm not writing this blog post to bring shame upon anyone, but after my own personal experiences with PCS, I think it's time to shine some light upon this invisible injury, which is more common than you'd think, and which a lot of people suffer from, especially many athletes. But people with PCS often keep silent about their illness because they feel they're not being taken seriously or even believed. That's why I've kept silent about it, too. That doesn't make it go away, though.
So let me tell you my story:
Back in March 2001, I had applied for a vacant job at the local municipality office after having worked from home for 7 years. It was a part-time job (60 %).
Just before I was going to start that job, I had an accident. I hit my head very hard against a bookshelf in my son's room one day, and I had a constant headache for 2 days. I didn't call any doctor, though, because I didn't want to bother anyone or "complain" (guess I'm a typical woman!) and I thought it would pass. So I started that job, despite the headache, because I thought if I started off with a sick-leave, I'd lose the job right away, so I tried to hang in there as best I could.
Only the pain didn't pass. Well, it got better, but I was dizzy and also had other strange symptoms, like feeling completely exhausted just by walking up one flight of stairs, and I had migraine with "aura" almost every day, - so after a couple of days I finally went to see a doctor (not my usual GP). He examined me, but couldn't find anything wrong. He did, however, say that I should probably take it easy for a few days and asked me if I needed a sick note. I was reluctant at first and said "no, thank you", - but it didn't take long before I had to go back to the doctor and ask him to write that sick note anyways, and so I was on sick-leave for 2 weeks.
That was just the beginning.
Let me just cut a long story short and say that I was in and out of that doctor's office more times than I care to remember, and I felt more and more like I was regarded a hypochondriac each time I went there, because the doctor couldn't find any physical evidence of my illness. I felt more and more that he didn't quite believe that there was anything wrong with me at all, even though I'd told him about what happened when I hit my head and I'd described my symptoms and told him over and over again that they had to be connected to my injury, because it all started then and I'd never had any such symptoms in all my life before that.
It wasn't until months later that I finally got diagnosed. My GP had sent me to the local hospital to have some tests done over a couple of days, which meant that I had to be admitted, and during that hospital stay, after having been interviewed by the doctors and told them my story, one of the doctors came to me one day and gave me a Medical Journal with an article that he wanted me to read. "See if this describes what you're going through..." he said, as he handed it over to me.
Post Concussion Syndrome
The article turned out to be about something I'd never heard about before: Post Concussion Syndrome, but which I immediately recognized. (I won't explain in detail here, but you can read all about PCS here). When I read the article, everything fell into place. It was as if it was written about me personally. And the doctor told me that he'd had a similar experience as mine when he was younger. He'd fallen into a river and hit his head on a rock, and he got a severe concussion and suffered from it for many years afterwards. Post Concussion Syndrome really means "long-time effect from a severe concussion", - or to quote the Concussion Legacy Foundation: "Post-Concussion Syndrome, or PCS, is the persistence of concussion symptoms beyond the normal course of recovery" - and there was really no doubt: That was exactly what I was going through.
It was such a relief to finally meet someone who understood what I was struggling with, and who could give me some answers! I asked the doctor if this was something I would have to struggle with for the rest of my life, or if there was anything at all I could do to heal myself. He said there was a chance that I could get well eventually, but that I most likely would have the symptoms for many years to come. He advised me to read more about it on the Internet when I got home from the hospital, and said that I should try to avoid all kinds of stress, mental and physical, and that I would probably need to rest a lot. If I managed to do that, he had good hopes for me, but couldn't make any promises.
It turned out that I was in one of the categories of people who were most likely to develop PCS and have symptoms for a long period of time. I'm a woman, I was in my 40s when I got the injury, and I'd had several head injuries and concussions as a child. For your information, I had at least 3 incidences of concussion in my childhood, - on one occasion I had to stay home from school for a whole week. I also had what they call "petit mal" epilepsy for a few years in my childhood, where I had "black-outs" and didn't know what was going on around me. Luckily, I "grew out of" that, but all these things probably made me especially vulnerable to PCS, and is probably part of the reason why I still have it.
Symptoms of PCS
If you suffer from symptoms that no doctor has managed to diagnose, maybe you have PCS, too. These are some of the symptoms:
Headache / Migraine, often with "aura" (eyesight disturbances)
Flushing of cheeks
Temperature control issues
Visual convergence insufficiency
Shortness of breath
Frequent toilet visits / need to urinate
Increased intolerance with alcohol
I've suffered from most of these symptoms, especially during the first few years. Some still linger on, but I'm better. When I'm allowed to set my own agenda, I can live more or less like normal, but if I have to be in an ordinary job, I seldom last long before I'm back on a sick-leave.
How serious is PCS?
Well, to quote the Concussion Legacy Foundation:
"Post-Concussion Syndrome can be extremely disruptive to a patient’s life. In addition to having to constantly manage concussion symptoms, which can intensify with normal activity, long-term PCS patients often have to restructure their lives to avoid activities and situations that cause symptoms to worsen. For children, this can mean extended absences from school and removal from sports and extra-curricular activities. In severe cases, it may be necessary for a child to repeat a grade. In adults, PCS can seriously impact a patients’ personal and professional life, interfere with family life, as well as the ability to focus, communicate, and be effective at work."
I can confirm that. I've had to restructure my life somewhat significantly after I got PCS, and the fact that this is invisible to everyone else and therefore something other people seem to find hard to accept even exists in my life and is a real problem, - I've learned to keep my mouth shut about it and I just try to live my life as close to normal as possible. The fact that many doctors know so extremely little about it, too, doesn't make it easier. It's hard to convince others to believe in something they can't see. That's why I've sometimes considered buying a pair of crutches or putting a bandage around my head, - like so many other PCS patients. I quote: "PCS is an invisible injury, and many patients often wish they had a more visible injury requiring crutches or a cast so that they would receive more respect" (quoted from the Concussion Legacy Foundation's website).
No specific treatment, but there are options
There's no medical cure for PCS, as you can see if you read more about it (here), and no particular physical treatment. But there are some options, depending on what your exact symptoms are, and there are things you can do to try and keep it from getting worse. I've tried to follow the advise I got from the doctor who diagnosed me. Basically, I've had to try to avoid stress (which has been extremely difficult, since I've had to work, and life has presented a lot of challenges along the way...). One of the symptoms of PCS is fatigue, so there's been a lot of things I always enjoyed doing before, that I just stopped doing for many years because I felt completely exhausted. Dizziness and migraine with "aura" (sight-disturbances) also made me sort of afraid of even going for a walk alone, - something I used to enjoy earlier.
Less physical activity, combined with a lot of stress, resulted in me putting on almost 20 kilos of weight. For a person who's been lean and strong and never heavier than 60 kilos all my life up until that point, putting on that much weight and losing my slim figure was really depressing. I felt less attractive, and the fact that I felt constantly tired and didn't have the energy to do things together with my kids the way I used to, also made me feel like a "bad Mom". The effect PCS had on my relationship with my husband, is also part of the picture. I didn't have the energy I used to have before, neither to be physical intimate nor to go hiking in the mountains with him and that was bad enough, but I even struggled with doing household chores like cleaning floors, because I got so exhausted, so my husband had to do more of these things now. But the most frustrating thing was the feeling of not being taken seriously with my illness and the actual challenges I had because of it. As time went by, I felt that both my husband and other people didn't quite believe that PCS was real, and that I was just making excuses to avoid working or doing things I didn't want to do. It made me really sad and frustrated.
I had to change my life
It came to a point where I just couldn't live like that anymore. I wanted my life back! And I understood more and more that I had to stop putting everybody else first and start living more in alignment with who I am and what I need. I had to start looking after me for a change.
So after years of struggling my lonely battle with PCS, - after being on sick-leave long-term, then going through a rehabilitation period where I managed to get some financial support to educate myself as an interior decorator, then going through a work-practice period, then starting my own creative business which I kept going for 2 years while at the same time working as a substitute teacher.... (!) (you may breathe now!) - yes, I did all of this despite the fact that I knew that I had PCS and really shouldn't be having all that stress in my life. But I was the only one who really understood that, and I felt that nobody believed me. So I kept quiet and kept going. But after some years, I realized that I had to make some big changes in my life. I just couldn't keep going the way I did. I was exhausted, physically and mentally. My marriage wasn't working well. I felt that - apart from the constant love and support from my wonderful kids - I was completely alone with my struggles, and had no support. So what should I do?
To cut a long story short: After some time where I really tried to make the best out of the situation and I made a serious effort to think positive thoughts and try to make everything work (my health, my work situation, my marriage...), I realized I couldn't keep it up. So I made some tough decisions and sort of started my life from scratch again. Without going into any details right here, let me just say that I did what was necessary for me at that point, and part of that was divorcing my husband and moving to a new town.
I struggled for quite a few years financially, with only part-time jobs or vacancies available and also a long period of unemployment, - but I found ways to cope and never gave up on my dreams of a better life for myself. I worked for several years as a coach for unemployed people, and then, 4 years ago, I got a job as a social worker for refugees, which was a permanent job.
I was happy to get that job after quite a few years of only part-time jobs available, because I needed it to get a more balanced economy after the divorce, - but I've always known that being someone's employee was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be my own boss, and I did everything in my power to make that happen. Why? Because I was struggling with my health, and I knew that having to rely on an employer or maybe even social security to keep my head above water, was not something I could live with much longer. It would only make my PCS worse. I just had to find a better way to support myself.
I'm still struggling with my health, so I really need to make this online business work. It's early days yet, but I believe I'll be fine. I trust in myself and in God (or the Universe)
How can you help someone with PCS?
Again, I'd like to share a quote from the Concussion Legacy Foundation's website:
"Family and friends of a patient suffering from PCS can help by recognizing that PCS is a serious condition, and being understanding and supportive if the patient needs to socialize differently. A person with PCS may no longer be able to handle the noise or crowds of a party, but they still need to spend social time with friends, so offer a movie night or just pay them a visit and talk. Other situations may bring on more severe symptoms, so expect someone with PCS to sometimes remove themselves from a loud, bright, crowded, or otherwise over-stimulating situation. Instead of questioning if their headache is really that bad, a supportive friend will offer encouragement and remind their friend that they’ll be ready to continue their activity when they’re feeling better."
I realize that I probably should've informed work-colleagues and friends earlier about my invisible injury and the challenges I have on a regular basis because of it. But bad experiences when doing so in the past, has kept me from it. I'm tired of being mistrusted, misunderstood and not taken seriously when I talk about what I'm struggling with, like insomnia, fatigue, noise- and light-sensitivity, - among many other things. And I don't really want to focus on it, either. I want to focus on getting my life back to normal and being well. No one wants to listen to someone who always talks about illness and problems, and I don't, either. So I don't want to be that person, and I try to avoid it. But when people notice that I withdraw from social gatherings, at work or in private, they might think that I don't want to spend time with them, so I guess some explanations are in order.
Well, at least I've come out of the closet with this blog post, and I want to contribute to more awareness around this topic, but not in a "problem-focused" way. I'm writing this from a positive perspective, to (hopefully) help others who might suffer from PCS without knowing that that's what it is, and to help them and their immediate circle of people understand better what's going on and maybe find ways to improve their life.
If you suffer from PCS, or suspect that you might do, you're more than welcome to contact me. Leave a comment below or send me a message through my "Contact Me" form, and I'll answer back A.S.A.P. And if you know of someone else who might want to read this blog-post, please share. Thank you for your time!
Honestly: I don't watch much TV. Because I like to watch a programme or a film or a documentary from start till finish without a 5 minutes' commercial break every 10 minutes. But despite this, I've lately become a fan of a few TV-shows that give me enormous joy, and I could watch them for hours if possible, because they're such a great inspiration to me. And I've been asking myself: What is it about these shows that inspire me to a degree that I don't mind spending hours watching them?
From wreck to beauty
The answer is simple: They're all about creating beauty out of a seemingly hopeless "canvas", or from what might be called a "wreck". Whether it's a house that looks like it's ready for condemnation, or a garden that looks like nothing can grow there, or a person who's hiding behind an armor of make-up, false eyelashes, extreme outfits and sometimes even - quite literally - a mask, simply because he or she has lost their self-confidence ...
To watch how they're all lovingly taken care of by these very competent people, - interior designers, architects, contractors, realtors, beauticians, fashion designers, hairdressers, stylists, landscape architects, gardeners ... people who see these various (officially- or self-claimed) "wrecks" for what they really are: Buildings, gardens and people with great potential. They see the natural beauty hidden underneath the seemingly unappealing or unattractive surface, and then lovingly, little by little, make sure the natural features are emphasized in such a way that the owners also learn to appreciate them and don't want to hide them anymore. To watch buildings, properties and people rise as the bird Phoenix from the ashes and - after careful restoration - stand before us in all their new-found confidence and glory ... That's so wonderfully inspiring!
Transformation from within
I believe that TV-shows like the "Fixer Uppers" with Chip and Joanna Gaines and "Property Brothers" with Drew and Jonathan Scott, are really important. Because it's not just about fancy interiors and cosmetic changes. On one hand, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Drew and Jonathan Scott (and other people who have similar TV-shows) are highly professional in their craftmanship and really know what they're doing, and they create truly amazing changes to houses that seem beyond salvation. But more importantly: They're actually transforming people's lives in a significant way.
And shows like "100 % Hotter", where people go through what they call a "make-under", because it's more about "dressing down" or toning down an extreme way of showing up in the world, and helping individuals appreciate and embrace their natural selves... It's the same with them. The team of stylists, beauticians and hairdressers help people find a new confidence and pride in who they are, and help them find a style that emphasizes their natural beauty and make them feel fabulous. How great is that!?
This is important work. This is transformational. If you've ever thought about these TV-shows as superficial and shallow and all about "looks", then think again. It's not about that at all. It's not only about designing a beautiful interior, or about making everyone look like a "super-model". It's about releasing tension, stress and chaos in people's lives. It's about giving them their life back. It's about giving them their self-confidence back. It's about joy, happiness and all good things.
The Female Life Designer
That's the kind of contribution I want to give to the world. It's becoming more and more clear to me. With my education as an interior designer, my skills in arts & crafts, my experience as an entrepreneur and as a coach, combined with my passion for all good things in life, I want to inspire, motivate and empower other women to create a beautiful life for themselves on all levels. To be confident in their own skin. To stand tall and walk with their heads held high. I want to inspire, motivate and empower you to be all that you can be.
Because this is important.
So I'm on a mission to serve you, and at the same time keep designing MY life the way I truly want it. That's why I call myself The Female Life Designer.
I hope you'll keep following me on this journey. I hope you'll join my tribe! Who knows where it might lead us?
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a note through the "Contact Me" page, and also share this post with someone you know. And you're of course welcome to check out my Facebook page. See you soon!
Do you feel stuck in your past? Is it sort of "haunting" you and keeping you from doing the things you really want to do? Maybe you're not even aware of how much your past is affecting your decisions. You just feel that things are never going your way, or that you're constantly struggling with certain issues or situations that keep occurring in your life again and again, no matter what you do.
I don't know what your past looks like. Maybe you've experienced neglect or abuse. Maybe you've struggled with poor health or severe illness all your life. Maybe you've always been poor. Maybe you never did well in school and nobody ever believed that you could ever accomplish anything, and maybe they even said it to your face so you lost confidence in yourself and it became a belief deep within you.
Or maybe you did have everything going for you: A good upbringing and a happy childhood with lots of opportunities. Maybe you did well in school and got a good education. Maybe you found a great job and has had a certain amount of success in your life.
And still, you're not happy. You feel that there must be something more, but you feel stuck with what you have and can't really put your finger on what's wrong, either. And you feel bad because you can't make yourself love the way things are, even though everything's "perfect" and other people kind of envy you and think that you've really made a good life for yourself. Complaining isn't your thing, and it wouldn't be proper, because hey, you have a good life, don't you...? Don't you!? So what more do you want!?
Either way, - a past full of struggle or a past full of opportunities: You feel stuck. You feel that your past is the foundation that determines how the rest of your life will look like. Your path has been laid. Your past experiences and conditions have made you into who you are, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's just the way things are. This is what life has given you, and you just have to deal with it and do the best that you can with it.
Well, I'm telling you that's not how it has to be.
You're not your past
Whether you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth or not: You're not your past. Because what you experienced in your past was a result of the programming you were exposed to by your peers: your parents and extended family, your teachers, your religious leaders, the society you were brought up in. They've all programmed you with their own beliefs about life and how things should be, and eventually these beliefs became your own. You've learned rules to follow, you've been told that you should act in this or that way to make sure you fit in with the rest of your community and not upset or provoke anyone by being different. And maybe you've been told that you should be grateful for what you have (no matter how little or how much that is) and not strive for more, because it wouldn't be appropriate. Or maybe they've even told you that you're not worthy of more. Who are you to think that you deserve anything more?
You are worthy and you can have it all
But guess what: You ARE worthy of more! In fact, you're worthy of all good things! And the best of all is that you can have it! You can have it all! It's totally achievable!
I don't know if you believe in God or the Universe or a source energy that's in all of us, - or whatever it is that you believe. And it doesn't really matter. What I want you to know is that whatever you believe, whether you're religious or spiritual or an agnostic: YOU have the power to create your life the way you want it. You and only you.
How is that?
Your mind is like a cannon acting like a boomerang
What you experience in your life is a direct result of what you think about day in and day out. Your thoughts become your reality. You get what you focus on, whether it's positive or negative. Your mind is like a cannon, loaded with thoughts, only it works like a boomerang and sends back to you whatever it is you're projecting out into the universe. So if you want only good things to come to you, you must stop sending out all those negative thoughts and start projecting only positive, happy and prosperous thoughts instead.
I'm telling you: If you really understood the effect your thoughts have on your reality, you'd never want to think a negative thought again!
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."
I'm sure you've heard this quote from Henry Ford. And it really is as simple as that. If you keep thinking that you're not good enough or wise enough or not worthy ... or that you're not good with money or that you're not educated enough to get a better paid job, or that your health is preventing you from living the life you want, or that other circumstances like your family, your kids or society - or whatever it is that you're thinking - are preventing you from fulfilling your dreams ... then that's how it will continue to be. For sure.
Because you simply can't think a negative thought and expect a positive result.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
If you think something's holding you back or keeping you from doing what you want ... well, I'm telling you: It's all in your mind. It's not real.
You can choose what to think
So my advise to you today is this: Start thinking positive thoughts from this moment forward.
And when you do, I promise you that you'll soon start noticing a positive effect in your life. And you're in total control here! Because you can choose to think positive thoughts, no matter what life throws at you. Nobody else can decide what you should think. Only if you let them. And whatever your past has been: It doesn't have to be your tomorrow. It doesn't have to be your TODAY. And today is really all we've got. So make the decision today that you'll start thinking positive thoughts and only focus on what you DO want, and not on what you don't want. I promise you: Your future self will thank you for it!
If you want to hear more about this topic, I suggest you watch the episode I broadcasted on my YouTube channel a while back. You can watch it below.
If you liked this blog post and / or the video, please feel free to leave a comment below or follow my blog.
If you're one of the women who's constantly struggling with money and don't know how to turn your situation around, I want to share with you some practical advise. Because I can really relate to your struggle. I've been there myself, and not that long ago, either. But let me first share with you a little bit about my background:
I grew up as the youngest of 6 children in a small town on the west-coast of Norway in the 1960s and '70s. I lived in what you might call a middle-class family. My father worked for the railway, and my mother was a housewife for most of my childhood and teenage years. My parents were the best parents I could ever get. They were very supportive and kind and I had a great childhood. But they taugth me what they had learned when they grew up, like "You should go to school, get a proper education, and then find a decent job". And I often heard that "money doesn't grow on trees" and that as a good Christian girl I shouldn't strive to get rich, because that was .... well, not good.
So I did what most other girls at that time did: I went to school and worked hard to get good grades. Then I found myself a job and started a family. And I settled for that for quite a few years (more than 20, actually). Because we had a good life, really, - we had a good economy (well, fairly good anyway), and we had our own house and 2 wonderful children... And my husband was a kind man, and everything was OK, really...
But I came to a point in my life where I was feeling more and more that I was living my life on other people's terms. My life wasn't in accordance with who I really am. So I made some tough decisions. I ended up divorcing my husband, and I moved to a new town where there were only part-time jobs or vacancies available when I arrived there. I was even unemployed for a long time.
So I really struggled with money, and when I finally got a job, I wasn't earning enough to cover my monthly expenses. I lived paycheck to paycheck, and I really, really struggled. I ended up using credit-cards to keep my head above water. And after a while I found myself in a situation where I had maxed out all my credit-cards and there was nothing left but debt.
So I felt like I was in a swamp that I couldn't see any way out of. I tried a lot of things to turn the situation around. I applied for lots and lots of jobs. I looked on the Internet to see if there were any solutions there. But for a very long time, I couldn't find anything that could get me out of that situation and move me forward.
Until one day when I came across some really sound advice on the Internet that actually helped me turn my situation around. So I want to share that with you, but first I want to tell you about the 5 biggest mistakes women make that keep them struggling with money and never living the life they truly want. I'll start with Mistake # 5 and finish with the biggest mistake at the end.
Biggest mistake # 5: Emotional spending.
What do I mean by that?
Well, you know when you're feeling sad or angry and that nothing's going the way you want it in your life? You never have enough money to go on a vacation or buy something that costs a little bit more money than what you normally spend ... And you feel so frustrated and you say to yourself: "Damn it! I have to be able to do something to be happy! I should be able to treat myself to something nice now and then!" And then you go out and spend money on some new clothing, maybe some expensive shoes, some flowers, chocholate, a magazine or two ... or three... You know: The whole package, just to make you feel good.
And of course, it does make you feel good, there and then... But the thing is: When you go shopping in that state of mind, when you're either sad or angry, you probably end up spending a lot more money than you should. And you're probably using credit-cards to pay for it. Right? I know, because I've been there. Believe me: I've done a lot of emotional shopping in my life! And, like I said: It probably makes you feel good there and then, but for me - and I think maybe that's the case for you as well, - after a while I regret the spending. And because I used credit-cards to pay for it, I also end up deeper in debt than I was before. Right? So the problem will only escalate.
So my advice to you is this: Never go out shopping when you're feeling emotional, whether you're angry or sad or whatever. Because you will only set yourself up for failure and get even deeper into trouble. So resist that urge to go shopping when you're emotional.
This picture by unknown creator is licenced under CC BY-NC-ND
Biggest mistake # 4: Making financial decisions out of guilt.
Many women have a tendency to feel guilty when other people are in trouble, and they want to help out. They feel that they have to contribute to a difficult financial situation even if they can't afford it. Maybe you're like that, too. It can be a family member or a friend who needs money, and you feel that you just have to give it to them, even if you can't afford it.
I suggest you stop doing that, if that's something you have a tendency to do. Because you'll only risk you own financial success just because you feel guilty. Of course seeing a friend or a family member in dispair is devastating every time, so of course we want to help. But you know when you're on a plane and they go through the safety instructions, they tell you to put your own oxygen-mask on before helping others? Well, that's exactly the same principle you should be following in your financial life. Because you can't help anyone else if you're falling off a cliff yourself financially. That makes sense, don't you think?
So my strong advice to you is this: Don't give or lend out money to anyone else if you can't afford it, and if you can't be absolutely sure to get that money back before you need it yourself. You might never get it back, right? Then what?
Biggest mistake # 3: Trying to keep up with everybody else and surrounding yourself with big spenders.
If you're one of those women who keep comparing yourself to other people, like your colleagues, your neighbors, your friends, - again, you're just setting yourself up for failure. Because if you keep doing that, you'll just constantly feel that you don't have enough. So instead of comparing yourself with a lifestyle that isn't yours, you should be comparing yourself to yourself. Look at how far you actually have come, and think about what it is that you want for yourself in the future.
It's a dangerous trap when you keep comparing yourself to others. Because you don't know how they manage to have that lifestyle. In many cases people live on loans or use credit-cards to support their luxurious lifestyle, and that's not the way to go about it. It only leads to financial disaster. So make sure you stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on what it is that YOU want. And focus on getting out of debt, if you have any and you're struggling with that.
Regarding what I said about big spenders:
Maybe you've heard the saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? So if you're spending a lot of your time with people who are big spenders, and who live on loans and credit-cards to maintain a luxurios lifestyle, then that is something you should do whatever you can to avoid in the future. Stop surrounding yourself with people who make you spend a lot of money too, because that's most likely what happens. There is most likely a certain pressure to fit in, and we mirror other people's behavior whether we realize it or not. So don't fall into that trap. Try to set an example. Try to focus on living within your means.
Of course I'm not saying that you shouldn't strive for a lifestyle where you can afford to buy things without having to think about what they cost. On the contrary: I think you should try to get in a situation where you are that wealthy. But for the moment, when you're not, you should try to focus on setting an example: that this is a kind of spending you're not willing to keep up with. And make sure that you just focus on yourself and not everybody else.
Biggest mistake # 2: Feeling intimidated by personal finance and leaving your finances to someone else.
We've never learned about personal finances in school, or how to deal with money. What many women have been told, however, is that we should leave our personal finances to some man in our life: A father, a brother, or a husband - or some financial adviser at the bank. So if you're one of those women who have done that, - you've relied on some man in your life to take care of your money (and that man has been a husband, most likely): STOP DOING THAT!! Why? Because there's absolutely no guarantee that that man is going to stay in your life forever. Maybe he's already left you, for all I know, and that's why you're struggling. Because you've never been used to taking care of your money yourself. Anyways: If you do have a man in your life right now that you depend on: Stop depending on him! Because he might disappear out of your life in a jiffy.
I'm not trying to scare you or anything, but it's a fact: There's absolutely no guarantee that he'll stay in your life forever. He might disappear all of a sudden, either by death or divorce or imprisonment ... or even by war. So it's a dangerous trap to rely on someone else like that. Stop doing that.
There's also no guarantee that he's capable of taking care of money in a better way than you can, just because he's a man. He might end up ruining you both and you won't know anything about it before it's too late. So what then?
You're perfectly capable of taking care of your own money. In fact: You're the best person to take care of your money! Because you're the one who needs to make ends meet and should be in control of what comes in and what goes out of your bank account. You shouldn't leave that with anyone else. Especially if you're a single woman and don't have anyone else in your life that you share finances with, you should be in full control of your money. Don't leave that to your father or brother or some accountant.
You need to find a way to manage your money in a good way. You just have to learn it. It's not impossible. It's not even difficult! In fact: At the end of this blog post, I will tell you how you can get a system that will help you take control over your money in an easy and good way. But right now, let's move on to the # 1 biggest mistake women make that keep them struggling with money.
Biggest mistake # 1: Thinking that your financial future is out of your control.
This is a huge mistake. Because I'm telling you right now: Your financial future is 100 % in your control! But you have to choose to make your future better. If you're living a mediocre life right now or you're constantly struggling with money, then it's about time that you do something about it. Take responsibility. Decide that you're going to learn how you can manage your money in a good way, and then implement what you learn. And that is key. Because knowledge mean absolutely nothing if you don't implement it. Right? That's really a no-brainer, but I just want to make that perfectly clear.
Let me congratulate you!
Now you know a little bit more about the biggest mistakes women make that keep them struggling with money. You also know a little bit more about how you can avoid doing those mistakes yourself. That's a huge step in the right direction, and you have every possibility to actually start doing something about your financial situation. You can be proud of yourself for actually taking the time to read through this blog post. I know you probably have a lot on your plate, so I'm glad you took the time to read it.
How you can start taking control over your money today.
I strongly suggest that you make that decision now: That you will find a way to take care of your finances. You will learn how to do it, and you will stick with it and make sure you get the results that you want. You will make sure that you get the life that you truly want and deserve.
Because you deserve to have a life of abundance. A life where you don't have to worry about money. And if you're in a situation right now where you're struggling, here's what I want you to do:
# 1: Stop blaming yourself for this situation.
Yes, that's right: Don't blame yourself for having "messed up" or for having made unwise decisions about money in the past. I'm sure you've done your best under the circumstances. And we never learned about this in school, so you can't blame yourself for not knowing what you didn't know, - right?
So stop the blaming, and just decide that you will make a change. Take responsibility for the situation and just decide to do better from now on.
# 2: Get clarity about your financial situation.
What does your financial situation actually look like?
This may seem difficult, but it's really not. You just need to write down what your income is and what your monthly expenses are, and not leave anything out. How much debt do you have? What is your monthly down-payment on that? Do you have any subscriptions or other monthly fees that you pay but have lost control over? And so on...
#3: Learn a system for managing your money, - one that is easy and that you can stick to.
This is where I want to tell you about my Money Managing Program, Fun & Easy Money Managing For Female Life Designers. It's a very easy and accessible program, because I know that if you're in a situation where you're struggling with money, you simply can't afford any expensive programs. So I've made it very affordable for you. It was originally priced at $99, but it's now only $39. In fact, I'll be bold enough to say that if you're struggling with money, you can't afford not to buy this program! It's based on systems that even millionaires use to control their finances. Heck, it's because of this and similar systems that many of them have become millionaires!
But you don't have to be a millionaire to make use of it. Anybody can use this system, because it's easy and yet so powerful. Remember: It's not the amount of money you start out with that decide whether or not you'll be rich. It's the way you manage it that matters. The habits of your day-to-day money management.
That's why I really hope you'll buy this program. It has the potential of becoming a life-changer for you, and you even get a 1 Year Money Back Guarantee should you not (after having implemented what you learn) be happy with the results you get from it.
Here's where you can buy the program Fun & Easy Money Managing For Female Life Designers . The link will take you to the product page where you can read a little bit about what's included in the program before you decide to buy it.
I wish you all the best for your new life, and hope you have found this blog post useful.
I woke up to the most beautiful weather, and the day had every possibility in it of becoming a productive one, but I felt exhausted, even after a night's sleep. So I decided that I wouldn't make any definite plans, - just go with the flow.
Yoga has become my favourite way to start the day
My one determination, though, was to do my Yoga Burn Total Body Challenge routine. I do that every second day now. I'm in my first week, and I find it invigorating and not too hard to commit to, so I actually believe that this is something I will stick with. Unlike any other work-out or exercise routine that I've tried in the past.
The Yoga Burn Total Body Challenge is a 12 weeks' program, and I seriously think I'll be able to see this through. The benefits are obvious: Better over-all physical condition, better health, better ME!
Hopefully, I'll even lose some weight and get a more toned, lean and strong body, which is very high up on my list of short- (and long-) term goals.
It's definitely a part of my Freedom Journey, because to me, freedom is also feeling free in my body. Feeling comfortable in my own skin. Even though I'm quite happy with my body the way it is, I have a strong desire to lose some weight and get a leaner and stronger body, like the one I used to have before.
I was always lean and strong in my younger days, even after 2 child-births, - but 18 years ago I had an accident, - a head injury - which set me back physically and got me into a downward spiral with less exercise and gain of weight.
To make a long story short: It's been a long way to get back to normal. And I still have challenges (like fatigue), which makes it hard for me to motivate myself to do physical exercise, even though I've actually always liked being active. Therefor, feeling exhausted by the tiniest bit of exercise has been rather depressing for me. So I need to do this for myself. I want my life back!
I need to do what's best for me
Since my physical challenges are not visible or obvious to other people, it's not easy to make other people accept the fact that I have problems with working a 9-5 job. This is also a challenge for me, because I need to earn money to be able to support myself.
I'm alone (divorced) and don't have anyone else to share my expenses with, so I just have to find a way to cope. It's been hard, but I'm still here, and I do cope. Better and better, actually.
I still have a day-job, and I do appreciate that, - but I know that if I'm ever to recover fully from my head-injury, I need to reduce all the stress from my life and be free to set my own agenda every day.
That's why I know, without a shadow of doubt, that I need to be my own boss. I need to work with what I love and what makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning. I know that I need to be creative.
I need to be out and about, exploring the world, socializing with people, learning new things. I need to contribute to the world in a positive way, - in my unique way, with my talents and gifts. I want to spread peace, love and understanding, and inspire and motivate others to live the life they want without fear, and without apologizing for being who they are.
But before I can really make a difference in someone else's life, I need to start with myself. I need to start doing what I really want. I need to give myself a kick in the arse and stop procrastinating. And I need to start by exercising more and get "my old self" back.
So I hereby commit to the Yoga Burn Total Body Challenge and to report my results on this blog on a regular basis. You can follow my progress here. You are now my Accountability Partner!
Feel free to cheer me on with a comment below and follow my blog, - and even better: Join my tribe and let's do this together!
I felt so much better after my Yoga Burn routine today, so if you're struggling with motivation to do any sort of exercise, I strongly suggest that you start with Yoga. You can do it at home, and you can start slowly and build yourself up, little by little. It's working for me, and I think it can work for you, too. There are many different programs online, so I'm sure you'll be able to find a program that suits you, but to save you some searching I can hereby recommend the Yoga Burn programs (there are several). Namasté!
If you want to start with the Yoga Burn Total Body Challenge, here's a link to where you can find it. Please note that this is my personal Affiliate link, so I might be rewarded with a small commission if you join through this link.
I’m a time traveler.
I bet you didn’t know that about me… that I’m capable of travelling in time and space and taking on several personalities. In one week I can be in ancient Egypt on Monday, then on Tuesday I can travel on to 1943 to live the life of a resistance agent in the south of France … and on Wednesday I can find myself in 1994 and be a Detective of the New York Police Departement…. and suddenly, on Thursday, I’m back in 2019 and living as a self-made millionaire with my own TV-/public speaker-/author business …
You might think that this must be a rather exhausting way of living, but I assure you: It’s not. It’s invigorating, inspiring, fascinating and wonderful!
I’m so grateful for the day when I discovered that I could do this! It’s been such a journey, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this!
Anyone can do it
So how do I do this? It’s really quite simple. Anyone can do it. You see: I’m a reader. I read books, articles, blogs…. and I watch films… and I listen to music … and they draw me into their worlds and I identify with the characters of the stories… I smell what they smell, sense what they sense, hear the sounds that they describe or create … I see the landscapes, the houses, the interiors, the colors, the people … It’s amazing!
One of my biggest dreams have always been to be able to create such experiences for others, by writing books and making films … by acting and singing … Because the writers, the filmmakers, the singers and the musicians open up new worlds to us all … and I feel richer with every book, every film, every piece of music that I experience.
I bless the day I discovered this wonderful possibility of traveling in time and space. Thank God for the diversity, the creativity, the inventions that have made it possible to access these treasures, through the printed word, the books, the libraries, the cameras, the radios, the microphones, the LP’s, the cassettes, the DVDs, the concert halls, the screens, the movie theaters, the TV, the computer, the Internet …
I wonder where I’ll go tomorrow …. I’m already looking forward to the journey!
(This was first published on my blog "Leylas Journal" over at leylasjournal.tumblr.com)
Saving money on a daily basis can be a challenge, especially if your monthly paycheck is only covering your most urgent needs from month to month and never really allows you to go on a shopping-spree or do anything out of the ordinary. That's why I want to share with you my top 10 Money Saving Tips that you can use on a daily basis to reduce your expenses and get more out of your money. Here they come:
I hope you found these tips valuable! If you want some really good advice on how you can get control over your finances once and for all, check out my program Fun & Easy Money Managing For Female Life Designers. You can find it HERE ... - or if you're a man: Check out my program especially designed for men, Financial Freedom Money Managing System For The Future Millionaire, which you can find HERE...
With the beginning of a new year, many people - myself included - make resolutions and promises to themselves about all the things they will either stop or start doing in the year to come, or about things they intend to accomplish, places they will go, and so on.
This is all good, but there's a chance we'll put so many things on our list that we'll feel completely overwhelmed just a few weeks into the new year. And then - before we know it - we're "back to normal", back in the same old routines.
Set goals and write them down
Setting goals is a great thing, though. And if you write them down, there's a much bigger chance of you actually making them come true. Research has shown that people who write down their goals accomplish them to a much higher degree than those who don't write them down.
So why don't you set a big, hairy goal for yourself this year, and then make sure you take small steps towards it?
Don't set yourself up for failure by just putting it out there as a WISH and then forgetting about it. Write it down, and decide when you want to accomplish it. Set smaller goals that show how you will reach your BIG goal, and write down Action Steps that you will take, little by little, to get there.
Get clear on your WHY
And get clear on WHY you want to do this or accomplish this, because the bigger your WHY is, the more likely you are to see it through.
And remember: You are the only one who can decide what your life is going to look like. You are the only one who can take the necessary steps to reach your goals.
Don't keep doing the same old things over and over again and expect things to change. You have to DECIDE to change, and you have to TAKE ACTION. YOU are the creator of your own life, and ONLY YOU.
Stop living in the past
Stop living in the past, - that's not where you're going! - and stop blaming the things that happened before, or your childhood, or your current circumstances or other people for where you are in your life right now.
If you're not happy with the way things are: Change them! You're not a tree. You can move around. You can take steps towards the things you want, even if you don't know exactly where to go.
Just start doing SOMETHING. Start from where you ARE, but START! The things and people and circumstances you need in order to succeed, will come to you - if only you start moving in some direction or other.
You are unique. You are great. You are wonderful. And there's nothing you can't do or be.
So set some hairy goal for yourself this year and set smaller goals to get there, step by step. You can do this!
I'm making new rules for my life.
I have lived so many years according to other people's rules, and quite frankly: They haven't served me all that well. I have always felt it deep inside, that something was wrong, and that living within the frames that either my family, the Christian community, teachers, or society in general set for me (and for everybody else), wasn't always right for me.
But it took me almost 5 decades to realize it: That living by other people's rules was not what I came here to do, and that I can actually make my own rules. What a relief!
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that we shouldn't have rules at all. Some rules, like traffic regulations and rules that help us keep "law and order" in our society and avoid complete chaos, - some general rules for human behavior, like not stealing from others, etc. - are, of course, necessary.
All we have is here and now
I'm referring more to those other rules... the unwritten ones, if you see what I mean, rules that say we "can't live like this or that", or that we must get an education, find a job, get married, buy a house, have children, not strive to get rich....
And the general belief that we must work hard most of our lives to earn money. Then we can retire when we're in our 60's and do all the things that we really want to do.
What a lot of rubbish!
I say: Live your life while you can! You have no guarantees about tomorrow. All you have is the here and now. So make sure you make the most of it! Don't put off until tomorrow or some time in the distant future the things you really love doing.
You came here to live your life the way only you can, and you should follow your gut instinct and not just what other people think you should be doing. They don't know you like you do. Only you know what's best for YOU.
So go for it! What are you waiting for?
Make a plan and start moving
I know, I know... There are challenges... obstacles .... other people to consider ... I've been there, too... But at least do yourself the favor of making a plan and start moving in the direction of what you really want. One small step at a time, if necessary. You don't have to make quantum leaps, - at least not to begin with.
And I know: It's hard to make changes. Especially if you have to do it all alone and don't have anyone to support you or guide you in the process.
But we are many who are on the same journey, and who would be happy to get to know you and walk that road together with you.
I'm one of them. I hereby invite you to get in touch. Let's do this together! It's definitely more fun that way!
Please feel free to follow my blog, or even better: Join my tribe!
Hi, I'm Else Kosberg, a multi-passionate creative woman, motivational speaker & writer, passionate traveler, and a firm believer in the unique value and greatness of all of us and in the freedom we all have to live our lives unapologetically on our own terms, regardless of gender or ethnic, cultural or religious background.