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Top 4 Ways Self-Sabotage is Ruining Your Healthy Lifestyle and How to Fix It

The Sabotage: It’s got to be Perfect

Let me preface this one with the sheer fact that no one is perfect. All of us have imperfections, even that woman who you think “has it all”- the body, the family and the money. Yes, even her. In fact, even if she was perfect to you, she wouldn’t be perfect to me or thousands of other people. Perfection is subjective. That is why you should never try to be perfect for anyone or anything. If you spend your life trying to be perfect for someone else, you may find you are never perfect, for you.
Thinking that you have to be perfect at anything in life is not only a barrier to your goals and Life fulfillment, but you have directly set yourself up for failure. Don’t spend your life trying to be something that doesn’t exist. By striving for perfection, your mind and body will go one of two ways:

1. You will find that you either back down altogether
2. You will attempt your goals with perfection in mind, and then fail (because perfection does not exist). This pattern of attempting and failing lowers our self-esteem and sometimes our desire to set goals at all. One of my favorite quotes was said by Thomas Edison, “I failed my way to success.”

The Fix- Accept the fact that perfection does not exist and march on. Now that, that weight is off your shoulders, you can work toward being more realistic in goal setting and do what is best for you and your body, not what you “think” is perfect. From this point on, your goal is to work toward self-actualization. Self-actualization means to develop your full potential. You know you are not perfect, but you are always in the mind-set of growing and developing yourself. It is through striving for self-actualization that you will find Life, Mind and Body fulfillment.

The Sabotage: Comparing

I bet if you are someone who strives for perfection, you also are a comparer. Ideas of perfection are provided to us on front covers of magazines, TV and even people who pass us by on the street. What do all of these “perfect” people have in common? We know nothing about them.
It is not fair for you to compare yourself to someone you know nothing about. You are comparing yourself to someone with totally different life circumstances. Besides, not many of us can be air brushed before worked! The reality is, your personal and professional circumstances are different from everyone else’s, and thus it would be faulty to compare what you do and how you do it, on someone else’s scale of life.
The Fix: Focus on yourself. Based upon your life, your family your career, and your desires what would work for you? Take time to focus on self-reflection and self-growth, rather than wasting your time and energy comparing yourself to what other people do. When at the gym for example, do not find yourself fixated on looking at everyone else who is running faster, lifting more, and who has a smaller waste and better bum. If you actually take a moment to reflect on your progress, you will build your confidence and better motivate yourself.

The Sabotage: Guilt

Approximately 96% of all women experience guilt at least one time per day. And, a lot of guilt comes from doing things for ourselves and internalizing problems. After a long day of work, we may feel guilty for hitting up the gym, instead of playing with the kids. Then, if we play with the kids, we feel guilt for not hitting up the gym. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. Guilt is one of the sabotages that women struggle to kick to the curb. When things go wrong around us, even if they have nothing to do with us, women tend to internalize the problem: “There was something I could have done to prevent this,” “This was something I should have thought of,” “I should do this…” “I must do that….” These types of statements induce guilt, because you are putting the weight of a problem, all onto your shoulders- and you assume fault to yourself. And, if you “should” or “must” do things, and then you don’t, you have induced guilt by failure to do things.
The Fix: For the next few days, I challenge you to be very conscious of the way that you talk to yourself. How often do you catch yourself saying “should” or “must” to yourself. How often do you internalize problems that have minimal to do with you? Once you are aware of the way you talk to yourself, you can begin to work toward formulating a new habit of positive self-talk: “I would like to do this” or “I had little to do with this problem, but I will help work toward a solution with others.”
The Sabotage: I don’t have enough time
Women are busy this day in age. Between family, work and personal duties, there is sometimes barely enough time to eat. There is not much more to say, we are busy and overwhelmed. Some women could not even contemplate exercise, because of all the duties they have.

The Fix:

1. Exercise. I get it, you don’t have time. But that’s not true. That’s the sabotage talking to you. If you prioritize, you will find time, I guarantee it. First and foremost, exercise gives you more energy, makes you more positive and helps you sleep better. All three of these things will free up time in your day. If you have more energy, you can get more done in less time. If you are more positive, you will stay away from toxic and negative people, freeing up more time in your day because you are staying away from drama. And, if you sleep better, your body tissues are more rejuvenated and ready to go the following day.

2. Also, when you give someone or something time, make it dedicated time. By avoiding distractions, you will get more done in less time. When working on a project, put the phone aside. This way you don’t spend a quarter of your time answering calls or checking emails. Just focus. When hanging out with the kids, sit on floor and play trains with them for 20 minutes without having the phone or computer open. They will think you have given them dedicated time and will be more accepting of the time you want to put into other things.

3. Last, don’t stress yourself out with an all or nothing concept. “It’s either a one hour workout or nothing.” NO! For the days you can’t do one hour, do 30 minutes. For the days you can’t find 30 minutes, download an APP on your phone, go in your kitchen or bathroom and do a ten minute workout. These work. They are 10 minutes of focused time and you feel great.

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Confidence: How to Get It & Keep It

Many of us have limiting beliefs about ourselves in one area of our lives or another. These limiting beliefs lead to a decrease in confidence. You may be an expert and thriving in one area of your life, but in other areas you may lack confidence for a variety of reasons. Often we know that in order to be successful we must be more confident, but the question is, how can we gain confidence, and keep it?

Use Caution with the Self-Talk

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening” Lisa M. Hayes
Person 1: I don’t think I can do this. I failed last time. I always mess up. I’m not sure I’ll make it. Maybe I wasn’t made for this.
Person 2: I got this. I will nail it. I will succeed. I’m so proud of myself. I knew I would get this far.

Between Person 1 and Person 2, who do you think will achieve their goal? This is not a trick question. The answer is, Person 2. The messages that you repeatedly send to yourself day in and day out reflect your ability to see opportunity, the willingness to act on this seen opportunity and ultimately your success.
Action: Stop thoughts that are limiting and self-defeating. Cut your negative thoughts immediately and replace with words that are positive and confident. The more you repeatedly send positive messages to yourself, the more confident you will become.

Stop Comparing

We have all tried to act like someone else at one time or another. The one thing that we found, we could not actually be them. Their past is different, their biology is different, and there is a lot you do not know about what they are portraying to the world.
Exhausting energy on trying to be something that you are not or fighting day in and out for someone else’s approval will minimize self-confidence. When you compare yourself, you are now set in a direct line for failure and feelings of guilt. These feelings only push away confidence.
Action: Shift the attention that you exhaust on others when you compare yourself back to you and your goals and you will instantly see an increase in self-confidence .

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

You have to work for confidence. In order to work for confidence, you have to go into places of your life you would not normally like to go, and familiarize yourself with it. If you lack confidence in speaking up during business meetings, then, you need to speak up during business meetings. Instead of just shouting something out during a meeting, go ahead and create a plan for what you want to say and have notes in front of you. This way you will be more prepared for the uncomfortable situation ahead. The more you speak up during business meetings, the more opportunities you have to work on your confidence in this area of life.
Action: This week, step out of your comfort zone 3 times. The more frequently you step outside of your comfort zone, the quicker this type of behavior will become a habit. Life outside of your comfort zone offers more opportunities opening yourself up to more successes. More personal successes = more self-confidence.

Exercise

Want to boost the confidence? Then work out. Exercising will make you feel better about yourself, give you more energy and encourage better life choices and a better attitude. Exercising helps your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. A portion of our confidence comes from how we feel in our own skin, how we think we look and how healthy our body feels inside. Confidence is a mind and body state.
Action: If you have not already done so, plan and start an exercise routine this week. If you don’t have time to exercise, identify three areas in your life that you can cut 10 minutes from and take back that 30 minutes.

Eat Right

Ninety percent of serotonin is made in our gut. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us happy. Poor diets may encourage depressive feelings. Negative feelings only drop self-confidence. Do your best to stay away from frequenting antibiotics, processed foods and high sugar and carb diets. If you are eating healthy you will increase your mood toward all things, including yourself.
Action: Name one food that you can eliminate from your diet and one food you can add to your diet that would make you feel better about your overall health. Implement this for at least one week and see if the diet change impacted your mood and confidence levels.

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Why Ruminating Hurts Success and How to Hurdle Those Thoughts (As Seen On Forbes )

(Click here for Forbes Article)

Fight or flight is the theory that states when we feel threatened we fight in the situation or flee. In prehistoric times, fight or flight was a survival mechanism and only those who were finely tuned passed this innate capability to their children. Without doing so, people became victims to predators. Survival of the fittest. This innate behavior has been since passed down over the centuries hardwiring capabilities into our brains.

As we discuss hardwiring of the brain, it is interesting to note that some studies have shown that women are more prone to rumination. Rumination is that thinking where we spend hours going over the same thing, again and again. Over the centuries, our brains have got really good at speeding up the fight and flight response. When we face stressors, our brain immediately has memories of when we were in similar situations. This day in age we are pretty good at managing our survival, but we still find ways to “hardwire” our brains. To hardwire our brains it takes repetition.

So, women are prone to rumination, what’s the problem with that? The problem comes into play when we ruminate on events that highlight our mistakes and flaws. Repeatedly thinking about wrongdoings is hardwiring the brain in a negative direction. Consistently thinking about what we do wrong is a blow to confidence and sure to enhance self-doubt. The truth is, what you think about yourself creates a perception of who we are to the world and how they view us. If you have ever sat back and asked yourself why people don’t respect you, or why people doubt you, this is a good opportunity to reflect on how you think of yourself and how those perceptions might be telling the world a story of who you are. During this reflection, if you observe that you have self-doubt, lack confidence or have fears it may be time to find ways to build up who you are as a person.

Here are 3 ways Rumination Hurts Your Success and how to Hurdle these Thoughts:

Ruminating hurts your present.

If you consistently reflect on the negative you are ruining your present. You are taking away the joy of today as you bring negativity to the here and now. Typically the negativity you are bringing to the now, is from your past or something that you can’t control regarding your future. When we ruminate negatively we encourage our minds to see more problems in the present. The way you encourage your mind to think today is a blueprint for how your tomorrows will be.

The Fix: See problems as opportunities. The best professionals or leaders, the people with the happiest personal lives, they cut the ruminating on all the problems and instead ruminate on how this hurdle could actually be an opportunity for advancement. They re-hardwire their brains to focus more on finding solutions and viewing setbacks (and we all have them) as learning lessons. Instead of ruminating on where you messed up, what you should have done differently, or how embarrassed, hurt or sad you are, ruminate on how to move forward, on solutions and alternatives. Ruminate on how you are now more equip with better knowledge and understating for the next venture.
Ruminating drops your confidence.

When you ruminate on your poor decisions or setbacks consistently, you decrease your confidence. Confidence is what you need to take your personal and professional life to the next level. Without confidence you can’t hurdle problems as effectively or take healthy risks for something that would lead to more life fulfillment. If you want to move up in your career you have to show that you can speak up for yourself and your team. You have to show that as much as you believe in your team, you believe in yourself. In the business world, leaders demonstrate confidence in themselves and their decisions in order to get people to follow them. Leaders take calculated risks. But to take a risk you need confidence.

The Fix: Cut negative ruminating thoughts with successes. The truth is, you have had more successes than set-backs. You may think that you have had more setbacks because that’s what you have highlighted for so long, but now try to rewire your brain by highlighting your successes. The more successes you dwell on, the more likely you are to increase confidence. List out 10 major life successes (you have them) and 10 small current successes (you have those, too). A major life success could be raising a beautiful family, getting that MBA, and advancing to management within your organization. Examples of small current successes will focus more on the day to day decisions you make that keep life going in a stable and positive direction. For instance, you decided not to take part in the office drama, encouraged your daughter to try out for the lead role in the school play, and got that gym membership finally. When you catch yourself ruminating on poor choices, you are to cut that rumination with more focus on your successes.
Ruminating keeps you in an ungrateful spot.

If you want to feel down, ruminate on all your problems and wrongdoings. When you brew on all the negative “you have created” and all the things “you have done wrong” you see a bunch of problems. You don’t see that you are healthy, your children are doing well in school and that you have an amazing career. Instead you focus on what you aren’t doing and what you still have to do. This ungrateful view of your life is likely to enhance strong emotions like sadness and anger.

The Fix: If you want to feel positive and happy with your life, look at all you do have and what you do right. Reflect on all you have. This list should consist of both materialistic and non-materialistic things. It’s okay to be selfish here. You worked hard for that dream car and that lovely house. But at the same time, don’t forget to add to the grateful list all the things you can’t necessary touch or visually see. For example, your health, your family’s health, the love you and your spouse share, the intrinsic rewards from being a mentor, your ability to give back to the community or that you have a strong level of willpower and self-control. Recognize that even if you had all you ever wanted, that when you got it all, you would still see the next mountain and desire more. It’s human nature to desire advancement and continuously growing. But, while you can shoot for the next level, don’t solely ruminate on all you don’t have and how much more you need. Keep yourself grounded, positive and grateful by ruminating on all you already worked for and now have.

As you ruminate on bad choices, mistakes or flaws you spiral your brain down into a self-defeating, self-bashing event that hardwires you into having negative perceptions about yourself and abilities. This thinking decreases your chances of advancing and feeling fulfilled in multiple areas of your life. Ruminating is a slow self-sabotage. There might be times when things just stink, and that is that. Maybe you did make a bad decision. But, don’t turn one bad decision into a lifetime of bad choices and do not think that one bad decision means that you are bad at “everything,” instead, learn from it and march on.

This week’s challenge:
Become aware of your rumination. Catch the negativity before you spend hours hardwiring your brain in the wrong direction. Begin to reframe your negative thinking in ways that will enhance your present, build your confidence, and keep you grateful.


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