Archive for the ‘direction’ Category

Dec
04

In this busy time of year, what if you were to pause for a few moments and rejoice in the good thingsthat you have experienced 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 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 2018 goals and focus, seeing how and where they fit into the bigger picture of, and importance in 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. For each of these, ask the following questions
  • What was most important about each (most meaningful or most valuable)?
  • Why were they most important?
  • What worked really well in each area?
  • Why do you think that was?  (Especially think about what YOU did/brought to the experience that enabled it to work so well)
 What is most important for 2018?
  1. What do you want?  To achieve? To experience? To Do?
  2. What overall feeling/emotions would you like to bring with you into 2018 to help make it an amazing year for you?
  3. Why those feelings/emotions?  What is most important about them?
  4. In a few sentences or paragraphs, write your VISION for the year with that feeling/emotion in mind – imagining what your year could look or be like if you were to carry that feeling with you day to day

Happy Holidays!

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Sep
07

As I sit by the window looking out at the teaming rain, my thoughts have turned to the idea of “enough”.

You see, today I am thrilled that it is raining hard for we have been without Enough rain the last few weeks. So little, in fact, that we have not had to mow our lawn in almost 3 weeks! That is unheard of during summer in NC. My beautiful fig tree is suffering and plants are wilting from thirst all around me. So, with this rain, I am imagining the earth’s rejoicing and drinking it in, just as I am!

However, if it were to keep raining like this for a few days, not only would it be too much for me, but also too much for the ground, grass and plants. How much is Enough rain? That may be able to be defined in some scientific way, determining how much rain plants, grass and trees need to be healthy and grow before drowning. When it comes to our own lives, however, we often struggle to define Enough.

How much is Enough money?

How much is Enough down time?

How much is Enough work?

How much is good Enough?

What happens when we can’t answer these questions?

When we are not able to define Enough, we often lose sight of how much we DO have and instead focus our attention on what we have NOT done yet, how much we are MISSING, or how far away we BELIEVE we are toward our goals.

Enough is a measure. It can be a measure of progress, of effort, of the outcomes we have achieved. We can then strive to do, be or have more than enough AND because we know how much Enough is, we can also allow ourselves to bask in the bounty we have for a minute, a month or a lifetime.

What would it feel like to you if you knew you

Had enough?

Were enough?

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Aug
02

Have you ever had those moments when you were just not sure of your next step on your life or career path?  When I have those moments (which are quite often), I use Inspired Action.

Inspired Action, to me, is when you allow inspiration to show you the way toward your next choice or goal.  There is no trying or forcing an idea to come to you.  There is not even any research or digging to find an answer.  There is only inspiration.

Inspiration from what you are already reading (in books, magazines and on the web), what you are already watching (videos, Netflix), what you are already talking about (with colleagues, family and friends).

Inspired action can come from your internal sense of “readiness” for something new, some next step on your journey.  You may have heard the term “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”

Here is an example of how I personally have used inspired action.

Several years ago I was on a break from my volunteer board work having just come off a board role of 5 years with a women’s business group.  When I began to have the “itch” to join another board, I had no idea which one.  I did some research, attended some things but nothing felt right.

I chose to stop “trying” to find the next thing and just waited for inspiration to hit.  One day I received an email from a coaching colleague I had not seen in a while inviting me to the next event the group she belonged to was having, just to catch up with her.  When I arrived (it was the Coach Federation Raleigh chapter Cutting Edge Conversation event), I felt immediately “at home” with these people in the room and energized by the conversation we were having.

At the end of the meeting, the colleague that had invited me announced to the group that they were seeking volunteers to join their board.  I knew this was no coincidence and took the inspired action to make this new commitment.  What is interesting about this is that I had attended events from this group in the past, but never felt the desire to join the group, this time was different.

How to take Inspired Action

  • Let go of trying to find answers
  • Live your life, doing things you already enjoy
  • Notice when something catches your attention, sparks your interest or gets you thinking.
  • Pay attention to ease – often inspired action feels easy, sort of like a “no brainer”
  • Take Action.  Once inspiration hits, take a small step forward (or a giant leap).  Depending on what has inspired you, your step may be to have that conversation, research that career OR it could be a full commitment (like my joining the ICF board)

What if inspiration not coming?  You can give it a nudge by

  • Having more conversations.  Invite a friend over you have not seen in a while, throw a party, or attend an event you have been meaning to
  • Start researching something you have had your eye on and see where it leads you
  • Read something out of the ordinary for you.  Could be a book someone recommended, a different magazine at your dentist office, or a blog someone recommended
  • Overall – get out of your comfort zone.  Doing, being and experiencing something slightly (or greatly) different than your norm.

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May
04
My story of career change…
Some of you may know my story of how I transitioned my career, but may not know what went into my decision and how I made my way in my new career.When I was a Career Counselor, I played a very specific role in helping college students and recent grads figure out their career path and helped them to get their first job.  Yes, a big focus of the work I do now is still related to Career Development and Job Search – what changed in a big way is How I do that, Who I do that with and the scope of What I do with each client.

How did I discover all of that? It started with Taking Inventory
I started noticing that the tasks that gave me the most energy included the one on one connection with individuals I was helping, especially when I was able to see the same student on an ongoing basis.  At the time, as Associate Director, I was in a leadership role that took me away from the 1-1 interactions.  I wanted to bring that 1-1 focus back.I wanted to expand.  The nature of my work at the University was very specific to career and did not allow much expansion into the personal lives of those I served.  I understood that the whole person is the one seeking help, and I wanted to be able to address ALL areas of one’s life as it pertains to career and beyond.

So…I started exploring what type of work I could do that allowed a bigger picture focus while remaining engaged 1-1 with clients.  I started doing some research and having conversations with people and that is when I discovered Coaching.

Once I had a better idea of where I was going, I Took a Big Leap
When I discovered Coaching as a career choice, for me to fully dive in and be in the type of role I wanted, it meant starting my own business.  Oh Boy!  I had never even thought of myself as a business owner!  I knew nothing about business; I was terrified of “selling myself” and even being visible to the public.  I knew this was a big leap and started thinking ….. “If I Could do this, how would I” Starting from that place helped me create solutions and actions around my concerns and fears.  I also knew a strength of mine is Learning – and boy did I use that one in a big way!
To make this new idea be very real for me, it was time for my Commitment Step
I made several commitment steps throughout my transition.  The first was enrolling in a training program to become a coach; the second (at around the same time) was hiring my own coach.  Both were financial investments, something my frugal self does not take lightly. J   To make these financial commitments was really a commitment to myself – to my path, my growth.Once I committed, it allowed me to ride the ups and downs, twists and turns that are part of change and transition.  And I had many…. Some days I wondered “what am I doing, I don’t know how to…..”  then other days I was so excited by all the possibilities and positive feelings I had while doing the work.  I soon realized that there will Always be ups and downs and need to Trust.  Trust myself and my abilities and Trust the process.

In my 12 years as a coach and business owner,  I Re-evaluate constantly
I look at what is working, what is not; what I love doing, what I’m ready to let go of; what new projects I want to create and what I want to change.  Formally I do this at the end of every year. Informally I do it whenever it is needed or insight strikes.I hope my sharing some of my story helps you to take your own inventory, big leaps, commitment steps and evaluation.  We get one life and my hope is for everyone to be living his or hers to the fullest!

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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.

Jan
10

It’s that time of year again, time to choose your “one word” for the year.

Your “one word” becomes your intention (what you will do), it gives you a lens to look at life through, and make choices around.  Having “one word” to remember keeps it simple and easy.  You can then create your new years goals around your word.
My “one word” for 2017?  Inspired
In full disclosure (if you may recall from my January newsletter) my word for the year started out to be Embrace, but when I sat with that word for a few days, it just did not do much for me.  So I changed it.

How will  “Inspire” show up in my life this coming year?

As I seek new opportunities to…

  • get engaged in my community
  • choose fun things to do as I celebrate turning 50 this year
  • embark on new creative projects

I will discover these opportunities through Inspiration by what I see, experience, learn, hear, etc.  I will then take Inspired action!

We continued our new yearly tradition of having a new years brunch with some friends where sitting around a big circle, together we each shared our “one word” for the year.  Here is the word cloud that resulted from that:

word-of-the-year-2017

For You
Choose a word that evokes something positive in you, a feeling you are craving.  Your word will feel good (no “shoulds” please) and be one that is a good fit for where you are in your life right now and where you would like to be.Need some examples?Peace
Fun
Experimentation
Playful, Play
Nurturing
Giving
Steady
Bold
Live
Trust

Would love for you to share your “one word” with me!
Happy New Year!

Resource
http://oneword365.com
You can share your word, find others who have chosen the same word, and see a list of words to inspire you

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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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Oct
19

 

To me, Absolute YES is when you jump in, choose something, make a commitment with no doubt or hesitation.

This could be about a purchase you are making (as small as a new outfit or as large as a new house) to a decision you are making (as small as what you are having for lunch or as large as a new job).

How do you know something is an absolute yes?

Sometimes it is a gut feeling

You “just know” it is right from somewhere deep within

Sometimes it “checks all the boxes”

It fits the criteria you had in mind

How can you use this when making a big career choice/deciding on a new job?

Ask yourself

“what would make me say Absolutely YES to this?”

When you answer that question, it may sound something like

“I would say absolutely YES if….

  • I could have…..
  • I could do……..
  • I would be……….
  • It felt like………….

When you create this narrative/list in answering this question, it shows you, with clarity, what you truly want.

It goes beyond what is on the surface (If I was paid X or if there is flexibility) to deeper criteria that really matters. Remember, we are not talking about what would just be nice, or good – we are talking about what would make you say Absolutely YES, with no doubt, no guilt, no remorse.

Can there be fear present with an Absolute Yes?   In my option, yes, there can be.

How is that so?

Fear does not always stop.

How often does fear act as a driver for you? It may feel like excitement – “wow, I can’t believe I’m doing this but I am” or “this seems crazy but right at the same time”

Absolute Yes’s are not always logical

They do not always look perfect on paper, yet there is something there that allows your full body and mind to go for it – and that can seem scary at times.

What have been your Absolute Yes’s in your life and career?

Sep
15
The spirit of the upcoming Coach Federation conference got me thinking about the conscious conversations we have…with ourselves.

To me, a conscious conversation is one where you sit down, with no distractions, and ask yourself some important questions that make you pause, focus and think deeply.

These questions bring up what you want your conscious mind to be curious about, unravel or understand.  These questions also tap into a deeper part of you – your intuitive mind, the part that is vulnerable.

Some examples of questions you can ask yourself

  • where am I holding back?
  • what am I ignoring?
  • what am I holding onto that no longer serves me?
  • how do I want to grow or expand?
How to have this conscious conversation with yourself
  • answer your questions truthfully and vulnerably
  • you can do this in your head, out loud or in writing
A client of mine had this type of conversation with himself and realized that a career path he was considering was on his list for the wrong reasons (for him).  His reasons were that he “could” do it (easier transition) and he “should” do it (more money).  When he realized this, he chose to let it go, to remove this option.  When he did that, it felt as if a big weight was lifted.  That allowed him to shift his focus to the career paths he felt were more aligned with what he truly wants in his life right now.
Notice what shifts for you when you have these types of conversations with yourself.

Are you having new insights, greater clarity, some relief?

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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