Challenging you to BE YOUR OWN BOUNCER~

This challenge has EMBOLDENED you to evolve and grow, making you feel more joyful and confident but also putting your friendships and relationships to the test.

Many of you have told me (and continue to tell me) that some of the people you call your friends aren’t really that DESERVING of the title. Maybe they call you just to vent about their horrible day and then hang up, leaving you feeling like CRAP before you even realize what happened! Or maybe they are actually pretty good friends about most things, but you have a sinking suspicion they can’t be trusted with what you just accidentally told them.

Oops! (And it happens, doesn’t it?!)

But this week, I DARE YOU to you to realize that you DESERVE so much more than this.

So, I dare you to TAKE BACK your power, and start treating YOURSELF the way you WANT to be treated — with genuine GENEROSITY of spirit, kindness and loving RESPECT.

I dare you, starting TODAY, to choose to spend less time with those who bring you down, and more time with friends who lift you UP, protecting and respecting your energy and HAPPINESS with more diligence and discipline than the biggest, baddest BOUNCER you’ve encountered thus far.

I dare you to be willing to release all guilt you feel for putting distance between yourself and the friends who “need” you, and instead choose to shift your perspective to see how this could actually be in the best interest of ALL people involved. (Seriously!)

And today, and throughout this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to CHOOSE to make more deliberate and CONSCIOUS decisions about who you spend your time with or go out of your way for, knowing with unwavering CERTAINTY that YOU have the power — in THIS MOMENT — to create the VERY friendships and relationships that you’ve been yearning for with ALL YOUR HEART.

Because your happiness is IMPORTANT ENOUGH to do this,

Nicole

****

Challenging you to PLAY like its your JOB~

It’s CLEAR that you’re one of those special people who always strives to be better, in everything that you do. And that’s probably one of the reasons you joined this challenge and have been committed to applying these practices week to week.  (Have you celebrated this simple fact about yourself yet?)

But it’s also possibly one of the reasons why you haven’t had that much FUN — just for FUN’s sake! — lately.

Don’t get me wrong… I know you’ve been working each week to create more happiness, JOY and FLOW in your life. Which has made you FEEL so much better, provoking excitement that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to contain about the direction your life is now headed. And maybe applying these challenges has even allowed you to feel more gratitude or experience RANDOM BOUTS of happy tears for your ability to create such positive changes. 

But when was the last time you ACTUALLY laughed out loud? 
When was the last time that you actually PUT SOMETHING ON YOUR CALENDAR, just for FUN?
When was the last time you PRIORITIZED PLAY like IT WAS YOUR J-O-B!?!

So this week, I DARE YOU to be willing to break from your usual routine to consciously CREATE opportunities for GENUINE, unfiltered laughter, unapologetic SILLINESS and imaginative play, on your own or with others.

I dare you to spend some time thinking about the things that made you LAUGH SO HARD you almost (literally!) PEED YOUR PANTS in your childhood and CHALLENGE YOURSELF to BEAT THAT.

I dare you to set the intention this week (and SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS, so they can hold you accountable/join in on the fun!) to have the MOST FUN you’ve ever had in your adult life, in whatever way feels best for you.

So today and throughout this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to give yourself a break!and be willing to let loose, releasing all the tension you’re not even conscious of, and in its place, invite tons of HEALING laughter and SILLINESS into each moment, EMPOWERING you to reawaken those parts of yourself that allowed you to SHINE BRIGHTLY, experience GENUINE CURIOSITY and have ENDLESS reasons to BELIEVE in the good in this world.

Oh yeah. Let’s have some FUN this week~

Nicole

****

Challenging you to FORGIVE YOURSELF~

Throughout this challenge, we’ve deeply practiced self-kindness, and hopefully you continue to apply whichever method you chose, whenever you need it.
  —> If you haven’t yet, see our “self-kindness” challenge to help you more effectively tackle today’s challenge.

But how do you treat yourself in moments when you can’t pay your bills? Or when someone else is promoted to the position that you were next in line for? And how do you treat yourself in instances when you make a mistake or behave in a way that makes you feel so ashamed, you physically shudder when you reflect back on it?

And it happens, doesn’t it?

We don’t like to admit it, but I bet, just like me and all the other HUMAN BEINGS on this earth, you’re disappointed in yourself sometimes.  You’re ANGRY at yourself, too. And you feel like you should’ve done better more often that you’d care to admit.

Well this week, I DARE YOU to exchange your self-judgment for SELF-ACCEPTANCE, no matter WHAT.

In those uncomfortable moments when you USUALLY turn your back on yourself, I dare you to DEFY that instinct and SEE that you are (unconsciously) CHOOSING to perpetuate your own PAIN by holding your perceived OFFENSES over your head instead of FORGIVING and moving on.

So, I DARE YOU to TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE through devoting some quiet time in the privacy of your own home (or sacred place) each night to DETOX YOURSELF of all SHAME, ANGER, RESENTMENT and GUILT that you’ve been so stubbornly holding onto, in whatever way feels best for you.

And this week, as the leaves change colors and fall to the ground, I CHALLENGE YOU to SEE how you can change your life, just as vibrantly and BEAUTIFULLY, through FORGIVENESS, as you choose to release your perceived NEED to punish yourself and see that it is BRAVER to learn from your past, using that knowledge to EMPOWER your future.

It’s time to MOVE ON with your life and BE FREE again,

Nicole

****

Challenging you to FACE YOUR RESISTANCE~

Last week’s challenge took things to the next level, inviting and DARING you to FORGIVE yourself, even and ESPECIALLY for the things that made you feel disappointed or ashamed with yourself.

During your sacred detox time, how did it actually feel to look at your darkness and just accept it for what it was… with the intention to FORGIVE, let it go and move on?

Was it a HUGE relief? Or did it feel physically uncomfortable? Or did you make up every excuse on the planet NOT to fulfill your commitment to yourself and this challenge this past week? Just like we ALL do whenever new information or behavior threatens to shatter everything we’ve ever known or believed!

Well this week, I DARE YOU to FACE YOUR RESISTANCE head-on, and view it as a chance to GROW into the person you’ve always wanted to be (and always KNOWN you really were!)
          –>These earlier challenges can help you face the emotions and sensationsthat come up, too, in the most AUTHENTIC WAY for you.

I dare you to take a step back and notice your reaction to things, like this challenge, that might provoke an intense REPULSION or just an automatic sense of avoidance and aversion, and ask yourself: “What does my REACTION to this tell me about MYSELF?”

And TODAY and throughout this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to be willing to GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY as you wade through your very own particular stickiness and UNCOVER and begin to question those underlying beliefs and fears that are HOLDING YOU BACK from being as AWESOME and FEARLESS and FREE as you wish to be.

Because THIS will take the QUALITY of your LIFE to the next level,

Nicole

–> You may want to try journaling, my FAVORITE tool!, to empower you to get the most out of this challenge.

P.S. Or if you need help with this, I encourage you to set up a 30-min Strategy Session with me, completely free of charge, to help you see the lesson buried within your resistance. Email me at [email protected] to set it up — Because you DON’T have to do EVERYTHING on your own, you know. ;)

****

Challenging you to RAISE YOUR STANDARDS~

As last week’s challenge showed you, knowing and accepting WHY you’re scared or WHY you’d rather be stuck than in the flow EMPOWERS you to make those pattern-BREAKINGsustainable changes that you’ve been DREAMING about… and that you KNOW… somewhere deep inside you… you are TRULY and HONESTLY capable of!

So this week, I DARE YOU to use your insights from last week’s challenge wisely, starting with the SMALL, doable and sometimes not-all-that-exciting baby steps that actually make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

I dare you to examine the things you do EVERY DAY that are WORKING AGAINST YOU and continuing to FUEL your resistance and prolong your inner struggle.

  • What do these behaviors look like?
  • How do they make you feel?
  • What usually follows them?
  • For example: what do you do first thing in the morning that sets the tone for your day? How does it make you feel? Does it inspire you to make good, nourishing, FEEL-GOOD decisions in line with whats important to you throughout the rest of your day? Or does it inspire just the opposite?

And then, I dare you to replace just ONE of those daily behaviors/“rituals” with a more NOURISHING and uplifting one that is more aligned with what you DESIRE and DESERVE! and commit to it WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Start ASAP.

So today and throughout this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to RAISE YOUR STANDARDS as you begin to TAKE ACTIONS that will support your personal growth and EMPOWER you to rise above your LIMITATIONS and leave your FEARS in the DUST, as you start living just a little bit better each and every day.

It’s time to practice UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for YOU, providing yourself with all the NOURISHMENT and INSPIRATION that you deserve.
Let’s *ENJOY* this,

Nicole

P.S. Give yourself SPECIAL PERMISSION to not beat yourself up with this challenge, NO MATTER WHAT~ Aim for progress, NOT perfection, ALWAYS! … and reward yourself for each step in the right direction because the POINT of all of this is to feel better, right?

Don’t forget to ENJOY it.

****

Challenging you to SEE what you WANT to SEE~

After beginning to integrate your self-kindness practice into your life, you are probably beginning to really understand that the way you feel, day-in and day-out, IS and HAS ALWAYS BEEN under your control.

But you may be surprised to hear that you ALSO have the beautiful PRIVILEGE and POWER to choose what you actually SEE and experience.

And what you choose to SEE in your life is what you end up GETTING… and getting… and getting.

Get it?

So this week, I dare you to intentionally CHOOSE to focus your thoughts and attention ONLY on what you WANT to see and experience, so you actually have a SHOT at getting it.

I DARE YOU to start by choosing to SEE and appreciate the AMAZING things that happen to you, in even the most ordinary moments. Like when…

  • You’ve had a really long day, and you absentmindedly answer your phone when it rings, suddenly hearing your best friend’s voice say “Hey. I miss you,” right when you needed a boost.
  • Or when you accidentally miss the exit you were supposed to take and instead wind up finding a secret route (with no traffic!) to your vacation spot, ahead of schedule.

Things like this happen EVERY DAY, but if you’re still obsessing about what what wrong at work or beating yourself up about missing that exit, then YOU’LL MISS OUT on EXACTLY what you keep telling yourself that you want: to feel truly, deeply and wholeheartedly confident, capable and in control of your AMAZING life!

So today and throughout this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY, and instead choose to OPEN YOUR EYES to see ONLY the GOOD in your life and begin to EXPECT even more of it. Because if you go looking hard enough, I PROMISE YOU that you’ll keep on finding it~

Here’s to believing in something BEAUTIFUL again,

Challenging you to DETOX your LIFE~

Forgiving ourselves for our past mistakes and shameful moments is a MAJOR challenge. But forgiving others? That can feel MUCH MORE complicated.

Let’s be honest, though. We all have a few people from our pasts who STILL trigger our emotions as if it were yesterday…and it kind of pisses us off to admit it. 

Maybe it’s that mean girl in middle school who always made you feel left out, or that annoying co-worker who had the AUDACITY to take credit for your idea, or THE ONE who got away and never gave you an explanation why they left!

But no matter who it is or what happened, we’re ashamed to admit to ourselves that this person — who doesn’t deserve to have any lingering significance in our lives, and who might not even be in our lives ANYMORE!– is still affecting us so deeply! So, we judge ourselves and beat ourselves up for having these feelings, making ourselves SUFFER even more.

And in doing so, we deny ourselves the ability to HEAL and to give ourselves the very closure that we need in order to let go and move on!

No.
More. 

This week, I dare you to give yourself SPECIAL PERMISSION to admit the truthto yourself and to stop judging yourself for it. 
I dare you to OPEN YOUR EYES to see that how you feel IS NOT silly or ridiculous; it just IS.
I dare you to validate and HONOR your feelings like this or through journaling or inwhatever way feels best for you to give yourself the closure within yourself that is long overdue.

And today, I CHALLENGE YOU to be willing to FORGIVE the people from your past, TAKE BACK YOUR INNER PEACE, and choose to DETOX yourself from the POISON of the past.

Let it go. It’s time you were FREE~

Nicole

****

Success Stories

“I was surprised at how quickly you got to the source of the problem…You were able to uncover it with tact, grace and TLC. I was happy to divulge it all to you because you made me feel this sense of unrushed comfort. I always feel so relaxed and accepted in your presence even though we are usually having one of the deepest conversations of my life! You really make it seem like I’m the ONLY person in the room, always. After working with you for a few months now, I truly know I’m worthy of that kind of attention in all areas of my life.”
Chloe Dancer and Performing Artist, NYC

“Nicole Bernardo is a wonderful, fun and fully committed coach. She encourages you to let your freak flag fly and to own your professional potential fully. She passionately cheers you on, mirroring back your strengths to you, and gently assists you in taking the next necessary steps. Her inspiring coaching approach will help you to dig up your inner superpowers that are already waiting for you, probably just out of sight, hidden under heaps of old beliefs. Plus, the techniques she teaches and the books she recommends will help you to overcome those old habits you are more than ready to let go of. Her thorough feedback after each session is priceless: Intuitive insight, hands-on homework and lots and lots of love on top. You might hire Nicole because you wanted the “Martha-Beck-trained-coach” experience. But you will continue to work with her because she’s so much more than that. I highly recommend Nicole to anyone who needs more enthusiasm, optimism and joy in their life.”
Lilly Mackuth Transformative Coach at www.yourworldisyou.com, Germany

“It’s so refreshing to work with Nicole. She really listens, and she GETS what I’m saying. I always feel so pumped up and positive after our sessions. Since I’ve been working with Nicole, I’m actually beginning to accept and love myself for the quirky rule-breaker that I am. I feel like I can do anything, and I’m actually taking risks that feel so good and true to what I want! FINALLY!! I’m so grateful to Nicole for that.”
Elizabeth Television Producer, NYC

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience while working with Nicole.  By creating a confidential, non-judgmental forum for dialogue, Nicole uses her keen intuition and understanding of human nature to pinpoint the issues that ultimately keep you from being the best version of yourself.  While Nicole possesses all the characteristics of an effective life coach – empathy, support, and encouragement – what differentiates her from others is her sense of humor and “no-nonsense” approach.  Nicole uses her creativity and experience to equip you with meaningful, effective tools that will empower positive thinking and improve your quality of life.”
Laura Financial Underwriter, NYC

“Before I began working with Nicole I had really bad luck with my career. I was laid off and unemployed for a few months. I took a position that was chaotic and made me miserable because I just needed a job. For months I was trying so hard to change my situation. I was applying to countless jobs and going on so many interviews. The interviews began to stress me out and I began to lose hope and feel really bad about my self. Then, I began talking to Nicole. She is easy to talk to, a great listener and encouraging. After every session I felt so much better about my self, my career and my skills. Nicole showed me a different way to view my situation and gave me the confidence I needed during interviews. I ultimately have a wonderful new job within my desired field, a salary increase and a more peaceful work environment. I am pleased to say that Nicole was an important part in making that dream come true.”
Dominique Fashion Industry Professional, NYC

“Nicole Bernardo is an intuitive coach; she has a strong sense of picking up on thoughts that prevent forward movement. Her genuine personality is to the point and she is always transparent with her clients. Her authentic questioning helped me see past some of my formed beliefs, and she was able to give me small tools to work with on a daily basis to work beyond those beliefs. If you are looking for a focused coach who is as kind as she is strong then Nicole Bernardo is your coach.”
Chad Gilham Adventure Leader, Mt. Vernon, Indiana http://ascentlifecoaching.com/

“What I have discovered while working with Nicole is a great amount of trust in her abilities. There are many times where I am floundering in my thoughts and approaches to my own life and relationships and Nicole will know exactly where to go and how to narrow down the confusion in my head. Often during a coaching session, I will discover more about myself than I ever imagined. Nicole helps me find my own internal wisdom. Our sessions help clarify my feelings and help me be more confident in knowing what to do and how to go forward. Many times after a session, I will shake my head and just say, “Wow, that was a very powerful experience and I didn’t know that was in me.” I always feel gratitude for Nicole’s competence and intelligence and compassion.”
Cindy Zullo Bozeman, Montana

Challenging you to PRACTICE your Practice~

Discovering a self-kindness practice that makes sense to you and actually feels DOABLE is a HUGE step in saving yourself from YOURSELF and stepping up to become your own HERO*.
                    (If you haven’t chosen a practice yet, join us HERE.)

But your chosen “practice” won’t do ANYTHING to improve the quality of your life or increase your own appreciation of who YOU are and what YOU have to offer, if you don’t take the time to PRACTICE it.

And I mean, CONSISTENTLY. Because it only takes 4 CONSECUTIVE DAYS of following through on this commitment (or any other) to turn it into a new habit,according to research psychologists. And that’s a PIECE OF CAKE.

So today, I dare you to STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

Seriously.

And I dare you to take the FIRST STEP in creating the foundation for this nourishing habit by using THIS VERY MOMENT to practice APPLYING your self-kindness practice to your own inner conversation. 

  • What are the things you’re always beating yourself up about? (Maybe that you’re NOT GOOD ENOUGH or SMART ENOUGH? or CONFIDENT ENOUGH?)
  • Dredge it up NOW, and put your self-kindness practice to WORK. 
    • If you’re feeling UNMOTIVATED, read this to get on board and JUST DO IT.

And BOOM! Day One ACCOMPLISHED, just like THAT.

So throughout today and the rest of this week, I dare you to continue practicing your practice AT LEAST ONCE each day, whenever and wherever feels best and easiest for you.

IMPLORE you to truly PRIORITIZE THIS TIME for yourself… and COMMIT to it!… because your ability to get to the next level in your life DEPENDS upon it. 

And what’s MORE, I dare you to give yourself SPECIAL PERMISSION to LET GO of the rules. Because there is truly NO RIGHT WAY to do this. All that matters is that this practice is effective for YOU. Let it grow and evolve in whatever way SUPPORTS YOU BEST and feels pretty darn DELICIOUS… so you’ll not only have FAITH in this tool and it’s unquestionable ability to change your thoughts/LIFE, but also so you’ll WANT to utilize this tool — time and time again — throughout your LIFE.

So LET’S DO THIS. This week, I CHALLENGE YOU to JUST PRACTICE your self-kindness practice, aiming for progress, not perfection!, so you can EMPOWER YOURSELF to BE THE CHANGE you wish to see in YOUR own world and within your own crazy, BEAUTIFUL life and begin to create positive HABITS that will support you from THIS MOMENT ON.

I KNOW you are absolutely and completely CAPABLE of THIS.
Now go PROVE IT to yourself~

Nicole

****

Challenging you to BUST OUT of your personal prison

Last week I challenged you to take responsibility for your life…to step up and OWN it.

But because you’re HUMAN, it’s inevitable you’ve come across a part of your life that makes you feel ASHAMED or disappointed in yourself and your actions (or lack thereof.)

Like when you SHRANK from a challenge, avoided confrontation or didn’t act with integrity. 

But HANGING ON to your negative feelings about yourself and your INABILITIES can be debilitating, calling your self-worth, -confidence and even your RESILIENCY into question! It scares you into submission and surrender and undermines your commitment to take OWNERSHIP of your life, when you’ve only just begun.

So my heroes, THIS is your call to ACTION. It’s time to ditch those harmful behaviors and start SUPPORTING YOURSELF like your happiness depended on it. (Because it really, really DOES.)

So, this week, I dare you to BUST OUT of your personal “prison.” 

I dare you to give yourself special permission to STOP JUDGING YOURSELF and focusing so much of your attention on your downfalls.

Instead, I dare you to take a step back and COURAGEOUSLY look into those areas or memories, and ask yourself WHY you’re disappointed in yourself.

  • What do you wish you had done differently?
  • Did you even know ANY BETTER at the time?
  • What would handling this situation SUCCESSFULLY look like to you?
  • So now, whether or NOT you knew better at the time, what can you LEARN from this situation?

And this week, I CHALLENGE YOU to be willing to FORGIVE YOURSELF, letting go of the heavy BURDEN of this negativity and inner criticism and FINALLY allowing yourself to be FREE, so you can — FROM THIS DAY FORWARD– move effortlessly and CAPABLY into your BEAUTIFUL future.

Here’s to never stumbling on what’s BEHIND YOU ever again~

Nicole

****