"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain." ~ Vivian Greene
Leaders touch hearts before they ask for commitent or enforce rules. Leaders build hope and confidence, helping people to overcome fear and hopelessness. Leaders have integrity of charactor and spirit.
"No matter how brilliant a man be, he will never engender confidence in his subordinates and associates if he lacks honesty and moral courage." General J. Lawton Collins
Self Care Coaching
1. Be clear about priorities. Having a clear idea of what is important to you helps you to say “No” when necessary.
2. Take time out to rest and relax – 10 minutes every hour (15 if you follow Flylady), one hour “sacred space” daily, at least one days rest per week and one weekend per month, as well as regular holidays and retreats. Rest time will also make it easier to re-prioritise from a more balanced perspective.
3. Make me-time and self-care a priority in your weekly/monthly planning rather than an add on when in need of recovery. It is not selfish to put yourself first. Caring for others requires you to have a certain level of physical, mental and spiritual health.
4. Learn to listen to your body and act on the messages you receive – it is so easy to become disconnected and many of us live in our head much more than is good for us – usually as a way of avoiding a message we would rather not hear from our heart.
5. In times of stress eat protein snacks and be sure to drink plenty of water. (Tip from Cheryl Richardson (www.cherylrichardson.com) from her Life Makeover newsletter) Both re-energise the brain.
6. Make a list of things which you enjoy and refer to it regularly when you need to re-energise – daily treats re-connect you to your joy and need not be expensive.
7. If you have money to spend I have seen it recommended that you go and spend £100 on yourself at the one time just to find out what it feels like to indulge yourself if you are not in the habit of doing so.
8. If you do not have that kind of money to spend or if you do it all to often for it to be a treat, try setting the budget at under £10 and be creative about what you can buy to bring you pleasure. Take the whole day to choose.
Good communication is a key part of all successful relationships. Good communication involves two-way sharing of information. You share your thoughts, feelings, needs, wants and you encourage the other person to do likewise.
The way we do this is through
· Expressing ourselves
· Listening to others
· Accepting what others have to say, though not necessarily agreeing.
The truest thing ever said about communication is that God gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason – that good communication involves listening twice as much as talking. Not always easy to put into practice.
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"Once you have learned to love , you have learned to live" Author Unknown
My husband Alan and I both like to be right. (Both number one in the Enneagram personality classification). Early in our marriage I realised that one of us had to be the first to make a loving approach after a difference of opinion and I decided that it would be me.( It was unlikely to be him!) This choice involves some swallowing of pride but the outcome is always worth the effort. Far more amenable than the isolation of being right in fact and wrong in relationship. We can all be responsible for the choices we make, including making the choice to act in a loving way towards others.
Self- esteem and healthy relationships
Self esteem is essential to healthy relationships. If you are clear about who you are and your own needs and preferences, you can set healthy boundaries and make reasonable requests to have your needs met. Both partners need to be able to express their needs and preferences without fear that these would anger the other or end the relationship. Always moulding yourself to what you think the other wants is not love - it has more to do with laziness or unhealthy conflict avoidance. Someone who always says, "I will do whatever you decide, dear." devalues the undertaking, the relationship and themselves.
With high self-esteem each partner can retain a sense of responsibility for their own behaviour and wellbeing, while choosing, if they wish, to care for the other. You and your partner each need to feel able to be yourself in the relationship and you also need to be able to spend time by yourself, enjoying your own company at times.
A sense of belonging and a sense of control are both factors in high self esteem. Do you have both in your relationships?
Sign up here for the FREE "Coach Yourself To Success" Ezine, by sending an email with "Subscribe Newsletter" in the subject line. We are currently looking at "How to have better relationships"
Simplify Your Life: January 2004
Deciding to give up making New Year resolutions is one of the simplest and most freeing resolutions of all. Simplicity is one of the best kept secrets for improving the quality of life. When you simplify life there are fewer cracks for problems to hide under: fewer payments, fewer people, fewer plans. Make those you keep really count! Elaine St James has written several useful and practical books on the subject and I can recommend Simplicity:easy ways to simplify and enrich your life. She starts off with ways to free up and hour or a day to consider how to make these changes - which is valuable information in itself. Every time you consider a decision, a purchase, a change of routine or a new goal, ask yourself, "Will this simplify my life?" And remember simlicity, like all progress is sometimes one step forward and two steps back. Have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.
Eliminate Hassle - Negotiating Skills: November 2003
This month we come to the last in the five part series about eliminating hassle in our "Coach Yourself to Success" Ezine: Don't Do Problems. (Register here to receive monthly copy.) We have already covered such topics as: calm down, eliminate stress, overwork and adrenalin dependency; stop suffering, tolerating, waiting, hoping; resolve past matters, unfinished business. Last month we looked at extending your boundaries, so it was timely that Fife Women in Business invited me to lead a member workshop on negotiating skills, which along with assertiveness skills, are crucial to achieving many of the above steps in eliminating hassle, so I am going to look now at some of the aims and tactics used in negotiating.
- Be very clear about what you want to achieve
- Decide on your ideal outcome and your bottom line
- Decide on a few simple strong arguments in your favour
- Aim for a Win-Win outcome where you both get something
- Be hard on the problem and soft on the person
- Build trust with the other person
- Work out all the hard and soft benefits for the other person
- Focus on understanding the other person's underlying interests
- Explore all the ways of achieving mutual benefit
- Look at the problem together throught the eyes of a "Third Person"
- Explaining what you are doing, and your motives for doing it
- Testing understanding
- Asking questions to explore the other persons underlying concerns
- Searching for a creative win-win solution
- Minor, unneccessary irritation of the other side
- Attack/defend spirals
- Use of additional, over-elaborate arguments
- Immediately countering one proposal with another
For more on this topic and other aspects of the 50 top things coaching clients want to know, sign up for my regular email coaching newsletter, "Coach Yourself to Success." Or contact me for a FREE 30 minute telephone coaching session. See Special Offers for all current offers and projects, including the November Special FREE Clear Your Wardrobe Focus Day with Style Consultant Shirley Devlin from House of Colour
September Blue - Extending Your Boundaries
As we move from the warmest summer in memory to the beautiful red and gold leaves of autumn, life is yet again keeping me on my toes and teaching wonderful lessons on a subject I obviously still need to learn a lot about - Extending Boundaries. As it happens this was the subject I had planned to share in my July newsletter but that never happened thanks to several viruses which resulted in losing all my Outlook data not once but twice!! As a result of this I still have several hours of work re-entering data and I apologise for the lack of newsletter over the summer. It would be helpful if any readers who had subscribed to the newsletter or know of anyone who had, could please email me to make sure you get back on the list, as I have lost one or two addresses which were stored only on Outlook.
I am certainly not alone in having had a plague of viruses as the MS Blaster hit machines all over the world, so reviewing back up and virus protection is the most obvious place to start in extending boundaries. Firewall, virus checker, updates, downloads and back up back up, back up seem to be the order of the day to ensure least possible disruption to business, serenity and sanity.
What of other areas of life where it is helpful to extend boundaries? Extensive boundaries are a way to protect your spirit from people it cannot afford. (And who can afford the virus creators of this world?) Self- care, systems and support are all areas where our boundaries need to be greater than we really require on a day to day basis. I am currently reviewing and upgrading mine. How can you extend yours?
For more on this topic and other aspects of the 50 top things coaching clients want to know, sign up for my regular email coaching newsletter, "Coach Yourself to Success." Or contact me for a FREE 30 minute telephone coaching session. See Special Offers for all current offers and projects.
July/August - Resolving The Past
What past matters are you holding on to, which you have not fully resolved? Do you have broken relationships on which you have not made closure? Are you still hurting from what somebody said or did to you? Are there issues fron your past and childhood which are adversely affecting the way you are now? Unresolved past matters are emotional clutter, which is hard to shift and it affects our ability to get our needs fully met in the present.
Cluttered living space and excess bodyweight can be indicators of unresolved emotional issues. Try FLYlady for help with household clearing. This is an excellent website which helps you to clear your house 15 minutes at a time and helps you to love yourself at the same time! If you need to "get it off your chest", find a friend, who is willing to listen, or see a Counsellor to deal with unresolved issues. Life is too short to carry the past around with you - you travel faster if you travel lighter. When we are unaware of what our issues are or are unable to let go of them on our own, we risk making the same mistakes again and again, as we act from unconscious patterns. Read "You can heal your life" by Louise Hay for some great insights into the relationship between body and emotions and useful affirmations to deal with the underlying problems, or "A Woman in her own right" by Anne Dickson on assertiveness, or "The Language of letting go" by Melody Beattie on Co-dependent relationships.
The past is over. Do not let it spoil your future.
For more on this subject register for my FREE Email newsletter on Coach Yourself to Success - we are currently looking at how to eliminate hassles. or contact me for a FREE taster coaching session.
June 2003 - Deal with Unfinished Business
Unfinished business may take the form of outstanding tasks, unfinished projects, unsaid words, or unexpressed emotions. Unfinished business not only brings more hassles into the present day, it also drains our energy just being there, playing on the mind. It is amazing how the past can affect us if we have not dealt with it fully. What unfinished business is playing on your mind right now? What are you tolerating that is dragging you down every time you think about it? Is it the unwritten thankyou letter, the overdue car service, the sales call you are avoiding, the relationship which still hurts or the friendship which has never quite ended but no longer nourishes you? Draw up a list and spend 10 minutes per day and/or one half day per week clearing an item or several items off that list. You will feel lighter and freer and more ready to cope with today and tomorrow - whatever it brings!
For more on this subject register for my FREE Email newsletter on Coach Yourself to Success - we are currently looking at how to eliminate hassles.
May 2003 - How is Your Integrity?
My husband has just come a close second (17 votes) in a local council election. He and a candidate from another party were discussing afterwards how they had both deliberately fought a "clean" positive campaign rather than a negative one that focused on the personality of other candidates or failings of other parties. They could both live with themself whether winning or losing.
In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, "Above all to your own self be true." Integrity is about being true to yourself. It is defined in Chambers Everyday Paperback Dictionary as wholeness, entireness, uprightness, honesty, purity, the unimpaired state of anything. Integrity is about letting your principles, beliefs and values show in your actions: letting who you are on the inside show on the outside in an honest and upright way.
If your integrity is weak, it will weaken your ability to fulfill your needs and wants. In what ways might your integrity be weak?
1. Do you Know who you really are?
Who you are is the ground on which to build a truly satisfying life of integrity. Get to know your real self and strengthen your integrity as your actions follow your thoughts and deeper impulses. Meditation, reflection, self-assessments, feedback from others, creative exercises can teach you about yourself. Self-care is a powerful tool in honouring who you really are and strengthening integrity - give yourself what you need to flourish and give yourself treats.
2. Can others identify your values from the life you lead? Can you?
Is it education, enjoyment, family, honesty, justice, progress...? Make a list of all the things you value most and narrow it down to 3-5 key values. Check out how your life reflects these values. Plan a goal related to each value.
3. Do you always keep your promises to yourself and others?
Integrity is about keeping promises to yourself and others. Always under-promise and over-deliver, that way you will be known for being reliable and you will hold yourself in high esteem. Integrity can be strengthened by making and keeping a promise to yourself every day. Try it.
4. Do your boundaries protect your integrity?
Letting other people intrude in your space is one of the most common ways to erode your integrity. You can learn to protect your boundaries and thus maintain integrity as you preserve your self from being eroded by others' agendas, which do not chime with your own. Learn to recognise your boundaries by becoming aware of when you are uncomfortable with an idea, a commitment, a timescale, a value, an intrusion on your time and/or space. Then act assertively to protect yourself by re-enforcing the boundary line.
April 2003 - Lose Your Fear and Use Your Power
One aspect of fear and power I see regularly is when clients give away their power for fear of what others might think of them. Because of self-doubt, it is easy to get tied in knots with an internal argument, which is really about: "Will I do what I really want or will I do what I think others would want/expect of me?" When you are confident within yourself and aware of your wants, needs and values, then you can act accordingly. The more you take time to care for yourself and to get in tune with your internal voice, the more you will distinguish between it and the voice which is based on what other people might think.
Cool Tools and Resources
A useful book on the subject is "Feel The Fear And Do It anyway" by Susan Jeffers.
New site from Coachville (www.coachville.com) called www.clientsuccess.com gives you access to a planning tool called Life Designer 2003. This includes which treats you plan to give yourself and what you plan to give up to simplify life. The same site also has a self assessment called Coaching Priorities. If you would like a FREE coaching session to start work on some of your identified priorities or to work on Losing your fear and using your power, then give us a call on (UK) 01592 873929 or e-mail us from here now.
March 2003 - Fear vs. Freedom - Living your core values.
The twin themes of fear and freedom come up regularly with clients.
Fear can paralyze a person and prevent them from doing any of the things they really want to do. I recognise that fear is at the root of my bad habit of procrastinating. (Mark Forster's Book "Get everything done and still have time to Play" recommended last month - see below- has really helped me to overcome this.)
It is often our fears which prevent us from having freedom or any of the other things, which we desire. Even when we do seem to have it all and be successful, how many live with the "fear of being found out." You know what I mean? Have you ever had that anxious sensation that you are about to be exposed as a fraud? That you are really a little girl/boy playing in a grown ups game? This sensation can be a strong signal that we are not living in integrity with our true values. We may be denying some essential part of ourself or living outwith our emotional or stress limits. It is usually a signal that we are out of balance.
One way to redress this balance is to give ourselves lots of time and attention for pampering and re-discovering our true self. (E-mail us here for a free copy of "45 Ways to Improve Your Self Esteem", which includes lots of ways to pamper yourself.) To work on discovering what our true values really are, we can work out what we enjoy, what makes us smile, when do we feel at one with ourself and the universe? Working on integrity also means finishing off those loose ends and unfinished pieces of business, which we all have in our life. Reducing the number of things we are tolerating and living only with what nourishes and energises us. When we live our life in a way which honours our core values we will find fulfilment and peace, even in the midst of a stressful and busy life. When we are living in integrity, we will also find it easier to get our needs met and then to satisfy our wants.
If it is more freedom you want, how do you define it? Is it time-freedom? Money-freedom? Freedom to do what you want, when you want, without being accountable to or responsible for others? Freedom is often what we really want when we say we want lots of money. Freedom can seem attractive when our spirit is being squeezed by too many demands. BUT IF YOU HAD ALL THE FREEDOM IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
Unless you are clear about who you are and are living true to yourself from your core values, you will either be driven by external sources or lost even to yourself. Either way you will not value your freedom nor enjoy what it can give you. In the words of the song: "Freedom,s just another word for nothing left to lose." (If you have not experienced that, try traveling alone across a continent,with a minimum of money or belongings, and without anyone knowing where you are going. I have tried it and millions of refugees do it every day.)
Freedom vs. Absence From
I could not finish without a word about the sudden death on 11 February 2003 of Thomas J. Leonard ("t"), the founder of Coachville.com and of CoachU.com. Thomas was a visionary in the field of coaching and he felt like a real close colleague, even though I was one of 28,000 members who used his website and resources. One of the many coach training programs he was working on at the time of his death was called the "Absence of You", which seems so appropriate.
I had the privilege to attend one of his live Coach Training Intensive courses in London in October last year and was very impressed by the man himself. One of t's own success statements was "I know how successful I am by how much I am nourished in my relationship with God". I hope he continues to be fulfilled in that way in death as in life.
Check out some of his many resources available in www.coachingclient.com
E-mail us now to find out more about forthcoming workshops, including "How to Discover and Fulfil Your Life's Purpose", or to arrange a FREE coaching session.
February 2003 - Helpful Websites/Newsletters to get you organised
At this time of year we naturally tend to look to the future, so getting organised can be a key part of that and is a good resolution to keep. (Check out my FREE Focus Days for practical help to get you moving on organising your office and clearing your paperwork.) I am giving you another link below, to a time management newsletter from Mark Forster. I am reading (and implementing) an excellent book of his called "Get Everything Done and Still Have Time To Play". We also naturally tend to have a financial hangover from the Christmas and New Year spending spree, so I am including some links to financial sites which I have found useful.
In 2001 I sold a house in Edinburgh (where prices continue to rise) and put the money into shares (which continue to fall), but I am still hopeful for the longer term. In these uncertain times with stockmarket plunging, redundancy rising, house price bubbles and war on the horizon, it is hard to be sure about how best to invest money, so some basic knowledge and planning can be a great help.
I have been receiving The Money Gym Newsletter for some time from Nicola Cairncross, a Wealth Coach (www.nicolacairncross.com at: )(SubscribeFinancialIntelligence-On@zines.webvalence.com) and always find something useful in it. Now I have subscribed to her Beta test of the E-course "Financial Intelligence101 - Out of the Red and into the Rich", which is hopefully going to inspire me to get my finance both simplified and organised (and also increased!?)
Another good place to find financial advice is www.themotleyfool.co.uk, which attempts to make financial management easy for the most financially unaware of us.
Mark Forster, author of "Get Everything Done And Still Have Time To Play" has a monthly e-newsletter of time management tips, which you can subscribe to and other useful information on his website at www.markforster.net
Best of luck with the time management, planning and financial organisation. Next Month we will look at how to plan our life by our values and how to value ourself.
Don't forget to subscribe to my E-newsletter to receive mid month tips and articles or if you wish to contact me for further details about any services mentioned here.
January 2003 - Turning Grey into Blue!
I usually find January the most depressing month in Scotland - so little light. This year however, just when I was starting to think that the mornings were darker than ever before, I have suddenly realised that the evenings are getting longer. It was actually still quite light at 4.30 this afternoon. ( I know this might be hard for some of you in other parts of the world to believe, but yes it does get dark by 4pm in winter!)
SAD syndrome may be a national hazard, but one way to turn grey skies into blue is to spend some time in vision and planning for the days and years ahead. I am in the process of reviewing progress on my last three year plan and thinking where I want to be in the next three years. I will break that down into goals for one year and then 90 days, so that I can make measurable steps towards the future I want. During the last three years I left my job, sold my house got married and moved to live by the sea, in a house with a conservatory where I can enjoy watching the birds. During the next three years I want to develop my business to help others to be successful and to give me financial freedom, practice extreme self care to build up health and energy, have more time and energy for my family, friends and community.
What do you want your life to look like in three years time and what do you have to do to get there?
New Year Resolutions
OK - so how many of you have already broken your New Year Resolutions?
Most of us want to change something about our life and the New Year is traditionally a time when we resolve to make those changes. The reason we often break our resolutions is because we vow to do what we think we should do, rather than what we really want to do. Take a look at what thought underlies your resolution. Is it an "I need to..." or an "I should..." Unless you can say "I really want to..." and mean it, then it is doubtful whether you will have the motivation to succeed. If you are to keep your resolutions then they must reflect who you really are.
If your resolution does ring true to your deepest desires then plan three immediate action steps: one for today, one for this week and one for this month. Keep your plan written down, review it regularly and plan for success. These simple ideas do work. They could change your life.
E-mail for details of how to get the life you really want. If you would like to attend a one day workshop on "How to discover and fulfill your life's purpose." please contact us for details. Try a FREE life coaching taster session with no obligation or to register for a FREE Focus Day. See Special Offers for further information.