Category: Creativity

Lighten Up and Let Go – How to get in the flow of what you WANT…

By , October 2, 2013 7:15 pm

iStock_000012339432Large“Struggle and efforting always means that you are in resistance. As you relax, lighten up and let go, everything begins to flow.”

 ~ Gill Edwards, clinical psychologist and author.

A few years ago, I took a HUGE leap of faith and completely changed my life. I resigned from being an International Learning and Development Consultant and Head of Coaching in a very reputable training consultancy, so that I could develop my own coaching and learning consultancy business full time.

Back then, I had no real idea of how to run a business or market my services, as I’d been an employee ALL of my working life. I had some jumbled ideas on how I could earn a living and grow my business AND I had the support of an awesome business mentor.

Step by step I did it scared, took risks and lived through fear of uncertainty, ignoring the negative voices in my head, who were constantly poking holes in my confidence and offering up daily serving of self-doubt. Where are you going to get clients? Who do you think you are? What if you don’t make any money? What if no one wants to work with you?

Having being used to a regular income and the security of a J-O-B, I remember moments of terror in those early days. I regularly questioned my sanity! Work was a little patchy at the very beginning: I’d get a few clients, then a gap (the gap scared me the most!).

Taking one step at a time with guidance and support I started to move in the right direction. Former colleagues or clients asked me to run workshops or coach their leaders. I knew deep down that I was on the right path. One thing led to another and opportunities started to manifest. As soon as I stopped struggling and efforting to get clients, everything started to flow.

Something had shifted…

I stopped wasting energy on worrying and feeling desperate. I changed my inner dialogue from: But what if it doesn’t… to: How can I… and got to work on making things happen.

This created a profound shift in my energy. Instead of being focused on moving away from what I didn’t want to happen, I focused my energy and thinking on moving towards more of what I wanted.

In other words… I focused on being a successful business owner and NOT being a bag lady living on the streets!

What you focus your attention on grows!

If you start to focus on the things you love doing: what makes you feel good, looking after and appreciating yourself (and others), filling your day with activities that you enjoy and being surrounded by people that you love, you can’t help but attract gifts and coincidences. Opportunities will start to open before you because you are aligning with your soul and your purpose.

Does this mean that you should resign from your job tomorrow if you hate it?!

Absolutely NOT!

…Especially, if you don’t have any other source of income just now!

I didn’t hate my job when I resigned, I’d just simply out grown it. I got tactical and created a plan so I could transition and step into a growing business.

Whatever you want to create… Lighten Up and Let Go – Here’s how to get in the flow of what you WANT…

Set a clear intention – Start getting clear on what you want. What do you want to change? Clarify what makes your heart sing! Examine your beliefs about work, wealth and money.

Relax into what you do now – Most people don’t get clear and then give their job up the next day. There is a transition. So while you’re still in your current role, re-align to what you like about what you do already. Relax into your work rather than resisting it. Your current role is a key stepping stone to whatever you want to do next. Engaging with it will open doors to new opportunities. It helped me to reframe my existing job to become part of the transition.

Watch your language MOVE TOWARDS what you want, NEVER focus on moving AWAY FROM what you don’t want . Re-align your thinking to what you want to achieve. Create a positive focus. Check your language. How do you talk to yourself about it every single day. Shift your energy before taking action!

Don’t worry about HOW it’s going to happen – Trying to FORCE something to happen can actually push it away because you create resistance! Once you put it out there, the Universe handles the details: the when, where and how! You’ll figure it all out as you go along and everything will happen at the right time. You don’t need to know ALL the details before you begin. Timing is all about aligning with your higher self.

Things start to flow – As you grow, you’ll start to notice opportunities open up for you. You’ll meet an old friend out of the blue who can help you. You’ll hear valuable information on the radio. Things start to happen around you and you’ll attract the right people to help you. You’ll get some traction and motivation as things begin to feel lighter and you feel more on purpose.

Lighten up, let go to get in the flow of what you WANT…

 

The Power of Pausing – How Reflection Helps You Grow

By , July 3, 2013 6:28 pm

iStock_000025377786LargeFollow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”

~ Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and Author

Stop – pause and take it in.

In our busy world there seems to be little time for commas let alone full stops and new paragraphs in our day! We are so busy in the do-do of doing, that there is often haste in our learning experiences and we allow little time for reflection – we just move onto the next experience, grabbing as much in as we go!

As a Leader of Learning, I know that if you want learning to turn into growth, then you have to STOP – PAUSE and TAKE IT IN. Sometimes you have to allow the specific learning from an experience to catch up with you. You have to breathe and let it percolate through.

How often do you take the time to pause and let the lesson you’ve learned soak in and create a paradigm shift for you?

Most learning experiences are One and Done!

A person might read a book or attend a one-day workshop. They may set a quick Action Plan at the end of the workshop, but then return to work the next day and fall back into the old habits of doing what they’ve always done. Any thoughts or potential changes in thinking drain away to be replaced by the existing neural highway of old patterns and unconscious habits.

I was training a Personal Effectiveness workshop this week where at least four people were disappointed with themselves for relegating their personal development to the bottom of their To-Do Lists. I encouraged them to return to work after the workshop and start work by reflecting on what they had just learned and how to implement it into their lives – one step at a time.

Here’s what I know about reflection and how it’s so important for your learning and growth:

Learning from experience – Is one of our most powerful ways of growing if you apply reflection to it. When I was learning to be a coach my coach would FORCE me to follow the principles of each step of the Learning Cycle (David Kolb and Honey & Mumford) through. It really paid off as my learning became rounded and whole. Here are the four elements:

  • Have an experience
  • Review the experience
  • Conclude for the experience
  • Plan the next step

I realized that you don’t grow from the experience unless you pause to take time to reflect afterwards and apply what you have learned.

Many learning opportunities are lost each day because we have the experience and then do nothing with it except move onto another experience.

You need reflection to take an experience and understand it. Learning and growth in the moment will only happen if you allow a pause for reflection.  Experience alone won’t change your mindset or your approach to how you do things. It’s your understanding of that experience that creates a paradigm shift. If you stop to reflect, you give yourself some space to allow your understanding to catch up! This is so important for learning.

The power of pausing gives you time to think. I cannot emphasize enough the value of stepping out of the do-do of doing and creating some reflective space to think alone. Reflecting equals growing! I use Honey and Mumford’s four steps to create some good questions to generate some deeper thinking around any learning experience. Here’s what happens when you allow reflective practice into your life:

  1. It allows you to revaluate where you are now and re-connect to where you want to be. It gives you further insight into how to (or how not to!) get there.
  2. You have to slow down to speed up. Accelerated momentum towards your goal will happen if you schedule some time to reflect before moving on. Rushing from A to B to get things done might mean that you miss something significant because you are too focused on the finishing line and not on the growing to get there. Learning is left discarded along the way.
  3. Reflection allows your experience to percolate and true learning and growth catches up. You can understand the significance and tweak your approach or take corrective action for next time. In other words, you get to plan and apply it in readiness for your next experience.
  4. You get good at describing what happened and how to apply the new wisdom. This makes you a better mentor to others.
  5. Successful people build reflective practice into their daily lives. They schedule time to THINK as well as DO. Their doing is purposeful and effective because they have given themselves space to walk through their experiences, look at it from a different perspective and plan their next step.

Most people miss out on so much learning from their experiences because they don’t pause to reflect. They make the excuse that I haven’t got time to sit and ponder! I’m too busy! What they are really saying is that they haven’t got time to learn and grow.

To be successful in life it’s important to think and reflect as well as do. If you want to keep growing, you need to create reflective space into your life, where you can ask yourself some questions that generate understanding from the experiences that you are having!

Create some reflection time for yourself today!

 

What are you waiting for?!

By , March 20, 2013 7:01 pm

iStock_000015337955Small“How much of human life is lost in waiting”.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lecturer and Poet

What are you waiting for just now?

  • The perfect client to walk through the door
  • That promotion I was promised
  • The right person to come into my life
  • The right time to leave my current job
  • For someone to notice the great work I’m doing
  • One more course or workshop that will teach me how to be a ……….

…These are just a few examples.

When you think about it we are ALL waiting for something…

I remember walking Belle the black labrador with my Dad on the beach at Alborough as if it were only yesterday (The reality is it was probably 25 years ago!).

We’d often talk about the children stories he was writing and how all the characters (The Camblesforth Bunnies) were getting into mischief! He talked about how One day he’d publish these books. One day he’d find out what needed to be done. One day he’d share them with the world.

My Dad was in a waiting room that lasted the rest of his lifetime.

These stories are still in a folder waiting…

He’d written and illustrated a series of short stories. One day as we were walking he told me that he was waiting for the right person to come along to give him the nudge and make things happen.

That person never showed up.

Sometimes the person you’re waiting isn’t going to show (they might not even exist) because the only person you are really waiting for is YOU.

I was coaching an executive this week whose long-term dream was possibly coming true: Her boss had been preparing her to step into his shoes. Suddenly he had decided to leave. This was the director’s role she’d always wanted. She now needed to step out and demonstrate that she was ready to secure the  secondment as a director. It was everything she’s been working towards.

You’d think she’d be excited and buzzing…

Now, she faced her own resistance of self worth and self-doubt and her confidence dipped. As the fear of stepping up became real, she started to push the role away…

Sometimes we create a false ceiling to hold us back because we just might actually pull it off! Fear kicks in and we create limiting beliefs that get in our own way of success. Gay Hendricks in his book called the Big Leap – calls this an Upper Limit Problem. We sabotage our own success because of our discomfort of a hidden fear inside that wants to keep up playing small. Our Lizard Brain is working overtime to protect us!  This is the last obstacle between you and success.

I believe that my Dad had an upper limit problem with his books. He’d got so far, then he got scared. The fear was enough for him to put the idea a side and allow himself to be distracted by something else.

What are you waiting for just now?

What would it be like if you decided to stop waiting and take a step towards what you want to create or have in your life?

I see opportunities as grains of sand in an hourglass… The hourglass turned when you were born and the grains of sand are falling through and slipping away.

Life is short and it’s easy to put things off because we believe that we have all the time in the world and we can come back to it and do it later.

…All you have is NOW… Now is where you can make things happen.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are you waiting for just now?
  2. Why are you waiting?
  3. What is holding you back (is it real or perceived)?
  4. What would it be like if you decided to stop waiting and take a step towards what you want to to achieve in your life?
  5. What is the very first step you could take today?

You can choose to leave your waiting room – Reach through your fear to find the courage to take your very next step.

Remember… Courage is ALWAYS waiting at the other side of fear.

Don’t waste your life waiting…

Take a moment to think about this today…

 

 

Do I Fit In or Do I Stand Out?

By , March 6, 2013 8:00 am

Stand Out “I’m stuck… I do a great job but I’m invisible to others. I’ve been told to ‘get out there more’ and promote myself – become more visible. I’m frightened of what others might think if I start talking about how good I am. Being visible feels false and fills me with fear!”

Extract from an email – Jenny, A frightened coaching client

There’s no shortage of people waiting to tell you how to fit in. They are happy to explain: ‘how we do things ’round here,’ show you what you’re doing wrong, criticize you, correct you, and offer advice.

Fitting in is the social norm. Keeping your head down and not rocking the boat creates an easier life.

This advice can be overwhelming. We are really good at creating and maintaining the status quo (especially in the UK!).

Over time, fitting in becomes the norm and standing out is perceived as arrogant, egotistical, fool hardy or career limiting. Especially in this current climate! (Yes! This excuse fits perfectly.)

So standing out is certainly a much riskier strategy… isn’t it?

Have you noticed… there’s no one pushing you to stand out? Where are these people? Often you are on your own (especially in corporate!)…

 Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 07.29.28

 

I see fitting in and standing out like two people sat on a see saw. Our minds often struggle up and down with this:

  • Fit in too much and you’ll blend into the background. Nothing much happens. You become invisible and limit success by hiding in the shadows. Occasionally someone may get a glimpse of your true value.
  • Standing out requires you to step into the spotlight, sharing your ideas and making an emotional connection with others. As you receive exposure and attention your Lizard Brain equates this to danger (our ancestors didn’t want attention – this could mean death…). No wonder you feel resistance – all the alarm bells are going off in your amygdala!

This is what had happened to Jenny. She’s an expert in her field and does a great job (often taken for granted). She was hiding her value and only those close to her knew about it. This limited her potential and her career stagnated.

Most of us don’t have anyone to push us forward. Many of us are happy just to fit in for an easier life.

Jenny was frustrated and unhappy. She was working hard and not being recognized and the same time she was scared of being in the spotlight. Her seesaw was working overtime!

Being successful means that you sometimes have to stand out from the shadows and allow your light to shine. In Jenny’s case, she was tired of not getting the recognition she deserved. By increasing her visibility she was able to build her marketability and leverage in the business and share her value with more people.

Here’s how to stand out:

1.    Know your Biology. Understanding how your Lizard Brain tries to protect you from threat enables you to deal with any resistance. You are able to change how you think and move beyond it (I regularly coach clients through this).

2.    Create your own map. Stop being an order taker waiting for instructions from the Status Quo Committee. Create your own status quo! If you take orders you can’t create your own value and share it with others. Do it your way… chart your own path and create your own value. Be YOU.

3.    Know where you’re going. Have clarity about what you want to achieve and WHY it’s important to you.

  • What does it look like, sound like or feel like?
  • Create your own direction and plan your first step. Planning may take time but it’s time well spent.

4.    Make a deliberate choice. Your value is created by what you choose to do. Most of us know what we should do but we don’t do it. Thinking is not voluntary! Choice is about thinking and feeling, not just as a reaction in the moment when you are a victim of your thoughts. Generate possibilities and choose intentionally. Decide to overcome any anxiety or fear associated with your decision to stand out.

5.    Put the work in. Be prepared to put in whatever is necessary to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Others may criticize you – know that this is a natural part of the process. Practice, practice, practice – be imperfectly perfect you’ll make a few mistakes along the way.

6.    It’s ALL about connection. Learn how to authentically talk about what you do and the value it gives. It’s a gift to be able to serve others and help them to achieve their goals. You don’t work in a vacuum – you are doing a dis-service if you don’t share what you do with those who might need your help.

7.    Learn how to be happy. Does your work match your passion for it? Or does your passion match your work? You can’t just BE happy, but you can learn to do things in a happy way. Pay ATTENTION to enjoying the process of what you are doing. Make things enjoyable even when talking to others about what you do and how it might help them.

We’re waiting for you to walk into your spotlight and Stand out!

 

Are you too busy to grow? Here’s one way to find out…

By , March 14, 2012 4:36 pm

Your capacity to GROW will determine your capacity to lead. If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.”

Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, Authors

Some people have a static view about their business. They have great ideas and then get lost in the ‘do-do’ of doing the work. This is known as working IN YOUR BUSINESS.

When you only work IN YOUR BUSINESS you become boxed in. You’re so focused on doing the work day after day that you forget something really important:

Your business only evolves and grows if you evolve and grow.

Stagnation destroys a business – Growth is critical for success… But some people have an opposite view and develop a fixed mindset reinforced by their own limiting beliefs: “This is how it is…”

People who work IN THEIR BUSINESS tend to focus on WHAT needs to be done. When they become overwhelmed they try to change WHAT they’re doing, but they are limited because the nature of the work IS the work!

The uncertainty of “not knowing” causes fear and doubt because they want assurance that it’s all going to turn out okay. They have no control over their workloads and are frightened that clients will either all flood in all at once or there will be a drought.

 

Here’s how you know if you’re Working IN YOUR BUSINESS

You’re an order taker. You’re just focusing on doing the work. You’ve forgotten your passion. You may have left the corporate world and set up your business doing what you were doing for an organisation – now you’re doing it for yourself. Here lies a paradox: Some entrepreneurs run their businesses with an employee mindset rather than evolving the mindset of a business owner.

No strategy – just delivery. You have no real clarity or vision for your business. It all centres on your products or services and getting the job done. No strategy or thought goes into it. You work reactively to what seems to be urgent at the time and have no systems, structures or support mechanisms in place to help you.

Not enough hours in the day. You’re already so thinly spread there is hardly enough time in the day to get everything done. You have no one to delegate to, so how could you possibly have any time to step back and grow? You’re too busy doing it all! You have created a limited ceiling and can’t go any further. Your only option is to work harder and you feel that you are reaching your limit.

You don’t invest in your growth. You’re trying to do it all on your own without any support. You’ve not developed your leadership skills to run a business. You take advice from your friends or family who have never been in business!

Leaders with a growth mindset are constantly working  ON their BUSINESS…

 

Here’s how you know if you’re working ON YOUR BUSINESS

You focus on the HOW. If something isn’t working you look at HOW you do things. You don’t fundamentally change the nature of WHAT you’re doing. You focus on HOW you’re currently doing things and create new systems to help the flow. You have processes and practices that streamline your activities and save you time.

You know your high value work. You have clarity, vision and purpose: You know WHY you are in business. You’re moving towards more of what you want rather than moving away from what you don’t want. You’re clear on your High Value Work and focus your time and energy on these activities. Low Value Work is automated, delegated or deleted. You are selective.

You work to a schedule. You know what you’re doing BEFORE you sit down to do it. You have a weekly schedule and work to it. You have standards and boundaries in place so that time doesn’t hemorrhage away. You schedule time for marketing, personal growth and for being creative (your genius work!).

You’re in the business of marketing.You understand the value of marketing and have created CONSISTENT stay-in-touch strategies with your stakeholders, clients/prospective clients. You’re building relationships and networking online and offline. Marketing is EVERYTHING if you want a successful business leader. It’s part of your weekly plan.

You surround yourself with like-minded people. You invest in your own personal growth.  Your learning and growth is a CONSISTENT strategy. You network and mastermind with like-minded business people. You have a coach to help you understand and develop your marketing, leverage, mindset and skills as a leader.

Successful leaders are always growing and changing. Working ON your business gives you a whole new approach to productivity, business and lifestyle. You create a balanced approach to your whole life.

Are you working IN or ON your business?


LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat – Coming Soon!

By , August 14, 2011 6:22 pm

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