Tag Archive | moving forward

Get A Life…Coach

(I recently presented this as a speech at my local Toastmasters Club)

I have heard it said, “If you don’t have a vision, you can never be focused in a direction.”

I wonder then, how do you set a goal, and once set what propels you to consistently move in that direction?

Perhaps, like me, you try searching the internet. This is fine, except for those times I don’t really know what I need to search for.

I ask friends and family. However, their answers are given from their own life perspective and experiences which may not quite align with mine.

To move forward I found I needed to look within myself.

How do I do that? In walks my introduction to a ‘life coach’.

You may have heard the term ‘life coach’ – you may even know someone who is a life coach. As with any other profession, there are various styles. Let me introduce you to Life Coaching as I use it in my own practice.

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a manner that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential; in other word – working ‘from the inside out’ rather than ‘from the outside in’.

My daughter, unknowingly, demonstrated to me a life coaching technique when she was a teenager.

She would come to me and say, “mom, I don’t want you to tell me what to do, I don’t want you to fix it, I want you to listen, to hear what I have thought through, and let me know if you see anything I may have missed or need to consider”

As a life coach, that is what I do. I listen. And I ask questions. I help you see what you are looking at from a different angle.

Last year over the Christmas holidays I opened a jigsaw puzzle and set it out. There were 5 of us working on this puzzle at the same time and this is what I learned: we had the picture in front of us and were in agreement of what the end goal was – to make these pieces look like that picture; however, each of us had our own method of reaching that goal. We all started out the same – find the outer edge pieces and make the border. But then, we each went our own way of working through the process. Jon took a piece and worked methodically along pieces already in place and tested to see if it fit, then moved on to another piece. Angela looked for pieces that fit together, even if just 2 or 3 pieces, and worked to create a lot of partial fittings. My granddaughter and I looked at what everyone else did and mottled through trying to expand from their work. A few times, we switched chairs. With the new perspective the pieces to the puzzle suddenly fit in places we had not noticed before. Everyone had their own method to reach the same goal.

As your life coach, I help you find your method to reach your goal. I provide you with the tools you need make the decisions you require to get the job done. I walk with you on your journey toward your goal. I will remind you of your goal, your values, your priorities along the way when life’s detours and road hazards call your focus away from your destination. And, as your life coach I celebrate with you your successes.

Are you ready for a Life Coach? Ask yourself these questions:

• Do I want to grow and change?

• Have I made efforts to change within the past year?

• Am I capable of thinking about the future?

• Am I open to learning?

• Am I committed to making changes?

• Am I willing to learn from others?

• Am I willing to take risks?

• Am I willing to restructure my life if necessary?

If you answered YES to any these questions, you might want to consider connecting with Life Coach to help you as move forward. If this is something you are interested in learning about, I have some references for you from organizations I am associated with that may be of help.

Working ‘from the inside out’ what jigsaw puzzles are developing your life? What steps are you taking you need to clarify? Are there detours on your path you have not considered? Maybe it’s time to ask a life coach to help fill your toolbox.

You have the vision, and now you have tools to keep you focused on the direction, it’s time to begin the journey.

My Checklist

‘Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you have set’ – Psalm 119:5 msg

I have tossed my daily TO DO list and now work on an I WILL list.  Simply thinking about ‘what I should do’ verses ‘what I will do’ is a perspective shift that has helped me to move forward.

Alongside my I WILL list I now have checklists.  Many activities require a number of steps, as if putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Once I determine what I will do, I look at what must be done to complete that task.

An example would be writing this post. I work it out like thischecklist_md_clr:

  • determine the topic
  • open the software so I may type as phrases or particular words come to mind
  • type, delete, type, repeat
  • proof read for spelling/grammar
  • set categories
  • set tags
  • schedule the post

To you, this may be excessive. Perhaps for you it all comes naturally and impulsively. I used to be able to do that as well. I don’t know if it is aging, time of life, or just a cluttered mind Smile 

By breaking it down, I stay on course, feel a sense of accomplishment and realize that I am closer to my goal with each step.

What works best for you? How do you stay on top of your TO DO lists and accomplishments?

Abstract Absolutes

 

A young man was called into the boss’s office. He working as an artist for a Missouri newspaper. He was informed that he was not creative enough and was no longer employed.

 

If you’ve ever lost a job you cherished you understand what this young man thought and felt.  

 

In our minds, each of us looks at the life around us, at the actions and words – real or perceived – and draw conclusions of our own self worth.

 

Those thoughts create our emotions and determine our actions. They help us to move forward, work around an obstacle, and accomplish our goals. It’s a wonderful system……..unless our thoughts are wrong.

 

In the book, ‘As a Man Thinketh,’ James Allen wrote:

“All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

 

As a child I learned “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  Yet those words sometimes are more harmful than than the broken bone.

 

Or should I say ‘my thoughts about those words’ are more harmful.

 

Many of us, myself included, find the prevalent thoughts are self-defeating.  This young man, after studying art and working for several years was faced with self-defeating thoughts.

 

He didn’t allow those thoughts to take hold.

 

I call the self-defeating voices we play in our minds:  Abstract Absolutes. 

 

Abstract is defined as ‘existing in thoughts or as an idea, but not having a physical or concrete existence.’

 

Absolute refers to truth.

 

A general example would be this young man who could have said “I’ve lost my job, I am a failure, I have nothing, I am nothing”.

 

What abstract absolutes have you or a loved one created? How about ‘I just ruined dinner, I can’t cook, who am I fooling?’  or  ‘I would try that recreational sport with the guys, but I am just no good and we would lose if I were on the team.’

 

I bet you can think of someone in your life who thinks along these lines.

 

There are a number of negative effects to abstract absolute thinking, such as:

 

·      Anxiety

·      Nervousness

·      Worry

·      Sadness

·      Discouragement

·      Low self-esteem

·      Feeling inadequate or worthless

·      No pleasure in life

 

What we think leads to how we feel and how we act; or as an ancient Hebrew proverb states:    “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”

 

It’s true. It’s not what we do, or who we are, it’s what we think that counts.

 

There is good news!!  Our self-defeating, abstract absolute thinking patterns can be changed.

 

So, where do we begin?



There are only 3 steps to begin changing your life today.

 

·      Recognize

·      Replace

·      Rehearse

 

This young man knew what to do.

 

Let’s briefly touch on each one.

 

First step:  Recognize

 

I think the hardest part of this process is to recognize the faulty thinking. How do you recognize, admit, and accept that your thoughts are not healthy, they are not accurate?

 

Sometimes we are challenged by others around us. Other times we may find dissatisfaction in our lives.

 

No matter what triggers the process, once recognized it is time to face it.

 

Consider this experiment:

 

On a sheet of paper draw a line down the middle.

 

Now on the left side, at the top write COST OF HOLDING ON TO THE FAULTY BELIEF.

 

Write out the faulty belief you have recognized.

 

 

Once you Recognize the negative thinking and faced it, step 2 is to Replace it.

 

On the right side of the same paper: COST OF REPLACING THE FAULTY BELIEF    


 

 

 

Cost of Holding On to the

Faulty Belief

______________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of Replacing the

Faulty Belief

_______________________

 

 

Honestly look at the situation. Write out your more truthful thoughts. Ask someone you trust to help you.

 

What could I say instead of “I lost my job, I am nothing”.  Perhaps

I could remind myself:

 

The company is downsizing, my work results were good.

I have lost jobs before and always found another.

 

 

Another replacement technique is “Treat Yourself as You Treat Others”.

I would not look you in the eye and say “you are worthless” so why would I talk to myself that way. 

 

It is time to replace my thoughts with words that are true, that are encouraging, that will help me.

 

Now that you have RECOGNIZED and REPLACED the Abstract Absolute Thinking in your life, the 3rd step of the recovery process is REHEARSE

 

 

Henry Ford once said,

“If you think you can, if you think you can’t – either way, you are right.”

 

It would be wonderful if once we recognized and replaced a thought process, everything was fine.  But life doesn’t work that way.

 

Rehearse regularly by doing these simple steps:

·      Repeat your new thoughts to yourself as often as possible

·      Hang up post it notes around to remind you of your new thoughts

·      Have a friend, coach, or partner hold you accountable

·      Feed your mind with success stories

·      Surround yourself with people who think positive thoughts

·      Teach others what you are learning

 

This young man didn’t take his ‘failure’ as an abstract absolute. He used it to start a creative company with a friend of his. After a few years that company went bankrupt.  He still would not allow the abstract absolute thinking to take hold of his life.

 

Did I mention this man went on to create Mickey Mouse? Yes, he was Walt Disney.

 

Are you willing to look at your abstract absolutes honestly and take control of your thoughts.

 


You can change your Abstract Absolutes into Honest Absolute Truths with 3 steps:

 

·      Recognize

·      Replace

·      Rehearse

 

 

It wont happen over night.

Changing the habits of a lifetime takes time.

Give yourself grace. 

 

The only thing you can really change is yourself.

 

And that is an honest absolute truth.