Archive for the ‘coaching’ Category

Oct
04
Have you ever noticed the words you use when you are describing your present circumstance, your life, or your career pursuits?

Do you ever hear yourself say any of the following (or something similar):

  • My job search is so hard
  • I will never get new clients/business
  • My life is such a struggle
  • I hate my job

Which words have the most emotional impact on you as you read those statements?  What happens to your behavior when you hear these words?

What if I were to just change a few words in each statement:

  • My job search is easy
  • often get new clients/business
  • My life can be amazing
  • My job is a great fit

What is the emotional impact when you read these statements?  Now you might be thinking – but some of these are just not true!

If that is the case in your world, here is another alternative to these statements:

  • My job search is tiring
  • sometimes get new clients/business
  • My life can be challenging
  • My job is not a great fit

What is the emotional impact now? What may be different in your behavior?

What if I were to keep going, using these last statements and changing several words:

  • I am adding new strategies to my job search to make it more interesting
  • am doing more of what already works to attract clients/business
  • Many areas of my life are full and rewarding 
  • I am creating a new role here based on what is a good fit

Now how do you feel?  Notice how the focus changed with the addition of these new words?  What might be different with your behavior as you read these statements?

The words you use, whether out loud as you discuss your life with others, or inside as you mull things over in your mind can have a profound impact on your mood and behavior.  When you use words that are empowering, energizing, inspiring – it often lifts your mood, and elevates you to action.  When you use words that are limiting, deflating or doubtful – it often plummets your mood and decreases your action.

An Exercise for you…

  • Notice your own words and how you feel after using them.  If you are not sure (not noticing), ask a trusted friend/family member to notice and tell you what word(s) they hear you say often, then ask you how you just felt when you said them.
  • Notice if there are 1-3 words that you often use to describe things that cause negative emotions, and decide what you would like to replace them with.
  • Tip:  Think about how you behave when you use these limiting words, and how you would like to behave.  Which words help you to behave that way?
  • Practice the new word(s) and notice the impact they have on your life.

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Apr
13

If you have ever done any home renovations (large or small) you probably have experienced some form of the following.  As you are reading this, imagine how the same process can apply to your life/career “construction”.

You have a feeling that something needs to change.  Maybe you are unhappy with how something flows, or the way your space makes you feel, or some things just feel old and outdated.

  1. You then begin to imagine what you want.  Sometimes that takes a while.  You may have an idea of what feeling you want to have but cannot put into words or pictures yet
  2. So you mull it over, seek inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, or other people
  3. Now you are beginning to create your visionand so are ready to take action
  4. You start with deconstruction, decluttering or discarding what you no longer like/want
  5. As you begin shopping for materials, you may find that your vision is beyond your budget or you can’t find what you want
  6. Some of you may stop here – though if step 5 has already occurred, you may feel stuck/concerned.  Others may forge ahead anyway thinking you’ll figure it out as you go
  7. Next comes the redesign, construction, changes and additions
  8. Often, what you actually create does not exactly match your vision, but if you are able to capture the overall feeling you were trying to achieve, you are “complete” (for now anyway…. )

Your process may include additional steps, or maybe you tackle each step in a different order.

And, at any point in your process you may think “what was I thinking, this is overwhelming!”

I share this with you to introduce the idea that any transition is a process.

  • It will be exciting and overwhelming
  • It will be confusing and clear
  • It will be messy before it is beautiful

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Mar
08

So many of those I work with bring up confidence at one time or another as something they want to increase or build.

What is confidence?

Confidence is a sense believing in your own judgment and decisions. Confidence is accepting who you are – your strengths as well as weaknesses. It is a feeling of positivity and empowerment. I believe we all have it within us to be incredibly confident – in fact, I’ll bet you already ARE confident in one or more areas of your life or in certain situations.

What is it about those experiences/situations or moments that brings out your confidence?

Confidence can show up on the outside (in our choices, behaviors and words we use) and on the inside (in our thoughts, beliefs, perspective, assumptions…)

Here is what others might hear: Your voice is clear and strong, you admit when you don’t know something, you ask questions to learn and share when asked to, you say thank you when complemented. Your words are positive (and not timid or self deprecating)

Here is what it may look like on the outside: you enter a room with your head held high and engage others in eye contact. You have a genuine smile on your face. You engage in conversation and connect with others.

Here is what might be going on inside: you believe in yourself and your limitless possibilities. Yes, you still have an “inner critic” judging you occasionally, but you know better and use those negative messages to fuel and challenge you instead of stopping you. You focus on your accomplishments (large or small) as evidence of what works – and you continue to build on that. You feel strong; knowing that there is nothing you can’t handle, learn or overcome.

How do you develop confidence?

Yes, it may seem that some people are born confident, but I believe that anyone can develop theirs. Here are some strategies for doing just that.

  1. Stretch out of your comfort zone as often as possible – daily if you can. This could be as simple as taking a new route to/from work or as big as trying something you have been fearful of.
  2. Know, then capitalize on your strengths – when we focus on building our strengths, it gives us a feeling of control and empowerment!
  3. Remember the moments when you are/have been confident – what were you thinking or believing about yourself?
  4. Be true to yourself and live your values – when your choices in life/career match what matters most to you, they feel “right”.
  5. Celebrate your achievements – small and large, every step of the way, instead of focusing on what you have not accomplished yet.
  6. Treat yourself as you want others to treat you – being kind to yourself shows that you value yourself. When you value who you are, confidence builds.

Dec
14
Your 2016 Year in Review

Before rushing into the new year, what if you celebrated what you have completed, achieved and learned this year?

Why?

Stopping to recognize how far you have come is a powerful motivator to keep moving forward.

  • Reflecting on what you accomplished, however large or small, gives you a sense of pride and can serve as a confidence boost.
  • Reviewing what went well (and what didn’t) helps you decide what you may want to add more of, or reduce in the new year.
  • Your year in review can also help you clarify your 2017 goals and focus, seeing how and where they fit into the bigger picture of your life.
How do you conduct your year in review?

To get started, grab a journal, a notebook or your computer.  You can look at your life as a whole or conduct a separate review for different areas of your life including:

Career, relationships, family, recreation, finances, personal development, etc  –asking the same questions of each

Here are some Questions for you to get started:
1 – What did you accomplish, achieve or experience this year?
2 – Why did these things matter so much to you?
3 – What did you learn from this?
4 – What worked really well?  What didn’t?
5 – What would you like to do/be now because of this?
As you capture your answers to these questions, additional questions will come up.  Continue this process until you have a snapshot of 2016 as well as a foundation for what you would like to achieve in 2017.

If you find that it’s hard to remember all that you accomplished this year, begin your new year by doing your own month in review, and by the end of next year, your year in review will be almost complete!

Wishing you a 2017 filled with clarity, confidence and courage for all you want to be and do.

Nov
10

While I do not usually use the word “normal” (is there truly such a thing?) In this context I’m using it to describe what is often seen or patterns I notice in the many clients I have served over the years.

When going through a transition of any kind (especially one the will take you out of your comfort zone), our minds bring up lots of juicy messages like

I don’t have….
I’m too old….
I can’t….
What if……

I often refer to Transition as a roller coaster ride.
Some moments you are more clear, focused, taking action
Some moments you are more confused, unfocused, taking no action
When my clients realize that their experience is a natural (“normal”) part of the rhythms of transition it seems to take some of the edge/pressure off. They can then let go of the chatter in their head that sounds like:

Why is this happening?
What’s wrong with me?
This must mean…

With an already emotional experience of transition, any amount lifted can be beneficial.

The roller coaster of transition can sound like:

UP – I’m feeling more clear about my direction and goals
DOWN – I’m more confused than I was yesterday

UP – I’m feeling exited about this new idea I am considering
DOWN – Just when I started getting excited about this idea, I started thinking ….. and it deflated me

UP – I’m experiencing great progress with….
DOWN – This will be too hard

UP – I’ve built some great momentum around….
DOWN – Why am I not/ I did not do my homework – what I said I would

So you see, this “ride” of transition is a “normal” part of the process of change you are choosing to take. Rest assured that you are not alone!

When you can learn to enjoy the ride, and embrace the waves of excitement and terror you may feel along the way, your experience can be quite exhilirating!

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Aug
17

When I was a teenager, I remember having a conversation with my brother that went something like this. “I am so envious of you, you love drums so much and have found your passion, you know exactly what you want to do/be.” He said to me “You are the lucky one, you can be or do anything, I only want to play drums, and if that does not happen, I would be lost”

That experience stuck with me, for you see, I was one of those that did not have my “one-thing”. I did (and still do) enjoy several different things, some of which I liked keeping as hobbies since my interest in them ebbs and flows. I enjoy change, growth, learning, testing and researching which often leads me to new areas to explore. I have embraced this life of plenty and never felt like I needed just one thing.

What became of my brothers passion? He did play drums professionally for many years before finding a new passion – technology/design – He loves having a strong passion and even that passion continues to evolve/deepen as he learns and grows.

What about you?
Do you wish you had a burning passion – one career or life interest that is all consuming? Where you are singly focused, clear, and driven toward it?

So many of my clients come to me wanting to find such a passion. Some feel that they never really had it (in their careers especially). When I ask how they are defining passion, they use words like, “my one thing”, “what lights me up”, “what fulfills me”. When they don’t have it, they feel like something major is missing from their lives, like they are “less-than” somehow. This often leads them to forever pining/searching for that one thing they will love absolutely – and not truly enjoying where they are or what they have.

What if you don’t have one passion?
You may have heard me talk about “sparks”, what I call those moments and experiences that bring you a jolt of joy, curiosity or interest.

What if, you were to start to pay more attention to your personal “sparks” and notice what you are doing, who you are with, what you are thinking that brings about these sparks? When you do that, you then get to choose more of those experiences deliberately! You may even find that they lead you to a new career or new personal pastime – one of your many!

If you want to learn more about this idea….

Video – Listen/watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk – she talks about the “flight of the hummingbird” and having a “curiosity driven life.” This talk was my inspiration for this months topic
Article – Your Career Calling
Book – Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

May
25
“Success means different things to different people… and the  road to success is often paved with challenges and tests. It can be a roller-coaster ride filled with highs and lows and fruitful learnings. One thing is clear — all of us who reach for the stars and actively stretch towards our dreams emerge from our efforts transformed.”  This is quoted from an article on Successtory.com

This idea of success being a roller coaster ride is something I usually share with my clients as they begin their process of career (or life) transition.   When you begin entertaining another path for yourself, it can be scary.  You may be unsure of your direction or uncomfortable with some of the unknowns even when you do have an idea of your path.

Just when you begin to gain some clarity, you may feel more confused.  You feel like some momentum is building, only to be discouraged at the next turn.
Some of these highs and lows happen in a moment, an hour, a day or over several days/weeks.  You can see why it is easy to get stuck and wind up staying right where you are!
So, how do you enjoy the ride on your roller coaster?   Feel the fear and the thrill at the same time!  
When you are on a real roller coaster (no matter how tame or death-defying) you have several emotions happening at the same time – some level of terror and some level of exhilaration.  You are sometimes so scared you wish you never got on in the first place – yet you know it will be over shortly so you hold on for dear life!  When you get off, you are a bit wobbly, but often proud of yourself that you did it, even though you were terrified.  For some of you, the exhilaration of being whipped and flipped, makes you want to go on again!   No matter your tolerance for the real thing, your transition roller-coaster is controlled largely by you.
How to stay the course?
When you know that you will expect some highs, and some lows, some clarity followed by confusion, some momentum followed by feeling stuck, you will know you are “doing this right”.  That knowledge can keep you focused and committed to your process and your growth.
Your transition can take you in many different directions, and the turns and flips along the way can take you along interesting new paths that you could not have planned for but are exactly where you need to be .
Learn to enjoy your roller coaster of success!

Read the full article from Successtory.com to see some great quotes of what success means to some history’s greats.
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1029/definitions-of-success-down-the-ages-successstory-com/

Mar
02

Why is it important to take ownership instead of WAITING for things to change?

When you take ownership, you are in the drivers seat of your life.  There is no one better than you to determine what is right/good/best for you.

When you leave it in others hands, a few things may happen

  • You may be given opportunity you don’t want
  • You may be waiting a very long time to get what you want (if it ever comes)
  • You may be working against the very thing you want by focusing on what has not happened yet

When you take ownership, here is what could happen

  • You get more of what you want, because you determined it and are working toward it day to day
  • You go much farther in life because you are taking an active role in your life instead of a passive one
  • Your life is richer and fuller!

How do you Take Ownership?

  •  Determine what you want – not what you feel you should do/have, but what you truly want for your life – how you want to be, what you want to have and do
  • Decide what you have full control over – which of your wants can happen without anyone else having to do/be anything, without any circumstances being any different.  What can happen immediately once you put your mind to it, decide it and do it
  • Understand where you have influence – how, by changing your approach, your behavior, your interactions – you can influence those around you which can get you closer to what it is you truly want
  • Make no excuses – no blaming others or circumstances for what you don’t have
  • Set daily intentions – ways you will be, things you will do each day toward the things you want

Example

You want to have a happier life, and you decide one of your wants is to be more connected with other people.  Where you have full control is how you interact with others (how open, friendly and social you are).  When you behave the way you want, that influences how others see you, which can change how they engage with you.  Your daily actions may include smiling at everyone you meet or asking your colleagues what they did last weekend.

How will you being taking ownership of your life?

 

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Dec
07

Reflection and Renewal

It is the joy of the holiday season, a wonderful time for reflection as the year comes to a close and renewal as the new year dawns.

Why reflect in order to renew?

How often do you rush to your next to do list item, and also into the new year without ever acknowledging what you have completed, achieved and learned?  Stopping to recognize how far you have come is a powerful motivator to keep moving forward.  Reflecting on what you accomplished, however large or small, and how you accomplished it, gives you a sense of pride and can serve as a confidence boost. Reviewing what went well helps you decide what you may want to add more of, or reduce in the new year.

How do you conduct your year in review?

To get started, grab a journal, a notebook or your computer.  You can look at your life as a whole or conduct a separate review for different areas of your life including:

Career, relationships, family, recreation, finances, personal development, etc  –asking the same questions of each.

Here are some Questions for you to get started:

  • What did you accomplish this year?
  • What are you most proud of having achieved?
  • What were some of your peak experiences?
  • Why did these things matter so much to you?
  • What worked really well?
  • Which of your strengths, skills, mindset & insight helped you accomplish all of this?
  • What did you learn most this year – about yourself and in each area of your life?
  • How have you grown this year?
  • What would you like more of in the new year?
  • What would truly give you “life” in 2016?
  • What additional skills or support will you need to accomplish what you want in 2016?
As you capture your answers to these questions, additional questions will come up.  Continue this process until you have a snapshot of this year as well as a foundation for what you would like to achieve next year.

If you find that it’s hard to remember all that you accomplished this year, begin your new year by doing your own month in review, and by the end of next year, your year in review will be much easier.

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Aug
15

Fear is a normal human reaction to change, even change we are choosing!  When clients come to coaching, they are excited about achieving or experiencing something new.    They may be dissatisfied with their career and want one that is more fulfilling, they may be eager to grow their business or enhance their growth opportunities.

Whatever the goal, when faced with taking that commitment step to really push forward, we often stop in our tracks.   Stopping is a normal reaction, how we move forward dispite the fear is what separates successfulness from stuckness.

When faced with fear, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I truly afraid of?
  • Why am I fearful of that?
  • What is it that I really want?
  • How will this path/solution/strategy I am fearful of get me what I want?
  • Am I really afraid or just resisting?
  • What one tiny step can I take to move forward?

These are questions that I am asking myself these days as I embark on growing my own career/life coaching business.  I have several enticing options to consider and not feeling the connection to any one of them yet.  There is also some fear coming up – for me, it sounds like “will this experience/product deliver what it is I am wanting?  What AM I really wanting for my business?  For my clients?

My next step?  To take some time to answer the main question first – what DO I truly want for my business and my clients?  How will each product/solution get me to that goal?

Feel like fear is stopping you from going for what you want?  What will be YOUR first/next step?

 

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