Category: Now!

How’s your sense of direction? Do you know where you are growing to?

By , September 5, 2013 7:42 am

3D business white people. Mobile phone with GPS“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are that you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”

~ Jim Rohn

How’s your sense of direction?

Most people simply let their life happen to them. They wait, procrastinate and react. There’s no sense of urgency and certainly no strategy. They just get busy doing stuff…and time rolls on.

They stay stuck because they don’t know what to do.

We all burn through time so quickly. Before you know it most of your life is behind you. Reality sets in that you should have been more proactive and strategic, rather than waiting and putting things off.

I think it was Charles Handy who wrote that we live life backwards: the longer we live the more we learn and experience, by the time we have it all figured out we’re too old to do anything about it!

…But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can DECIDE TODAY to stop waiting and reacting!

As a career strategist, I sometimes work with people who are confused because they have no idea what to do with their life, career or business…

It’s a bit like they are lost in a foreign city without a map. They don’t have a sense of purpose or direction. Their growth is random and chaotic. They drift from one idea to another and have no clue to where they want to go. In this confusion they collapse into a coach for the answer.

Here’s how I see it…

You have to develop your own sense of direction by creating two reference points:

1. ‘You are here’ – In other words, you need to know where you are now. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear on a notice board with a big arrow on it (like in a big city or shopping mall!). You have to sit down work it out for yourself. But there are some clues…

Your direction in life begins with SELF-AWARENESS. As John C Maxwell says: “You must know yourself to grow yourself!”

You have to get to know:

  • Your strengths
  • Your weaknesses
  • Your passion
  • Your opportunities

From my experience, most people lack self-awareness, don’t know their strengths or the value they bring to their daily lives. Start by focusing your attention here, because your natural strengths and passions are where you have the most potential for growth.

Do things that you are passionate about, not just interested in. There is a difference in the energy of these two words! Pay attention to:

  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What would you like to do?
  • What are you good at (other people will tell you this)?
  • What would you like to do more of?
  • Why would you like to do this?
  • How can you get to do more of this?
  • Who can help you?
  • What is your investment to make this happen (time, resources, money, sacrifice)?
  • What’s your first step beginning today?

Get to know yourself and accept who you are in this moment.  This can take time.

Okay… Our second reference point is…

2. Where you want to go –Your strengths hold the key for where you have the most potential for growth. So start here. If you focus on growing your strengths, you will build confidence in your abilities and these can help you to set a course for where you want to go. Look for opportunities to use your strengths along the way.

Knowing yourself and growing yourself are intertwined. The path might not be clear at first, but you’ll get momentum on your journey by learning new things and applying them as you go.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • DECIDE to be proactive and take it seriously.
  • COMMIT to action and be consistent.
  • GET SUPPORT – You can’t get to reach your destination on your own. You’ll need the help and guidance of others who can teach you.
  • TAKE DELIBERATE ACTION even when you don’t feel like it.

Life is short and we don’t get any rehearsal time so I encourage you to develop a strong sense of urgency and proactivity.

How’s your sense of direction? Do you know where you are growing to?!

 

When are you going to get started?

By , June 26, 2013 6:31 pm

someday word in wood type“Everything huge that I’ve ever achieved I started before I thought I was ready. I just did it scared and grew into it along the way!”

~ Elaine Bailey, Coach-Mentor, Author, International Speaker

In my role as a career strategist, I meet a lot of people who are settling and surviving in their current career while they are waiting and hoping for THAT DAY when they will get to do what they REALLY want to do.

I call this: “The Someday Syndrome!”

It looks like this:

“Someday…

…I’ll get my act together and start my own business.”

…I’ll do that course and get my qualification.”

…I’ll sign up for that Mastermind program because I know it will make all the difference to my success.”

…I’ll write that book.”

…I’ll change job and become a ……. I’ve always wanted to.”

SOMEDAY… Doesn’t exist.

It’s not real – It’s just an excuse you use to give yourself permission to stay stuck and settle where you are.

Someday is like an untethered kite blowing out of control in the wind. It holds your dream in suspended animation.

Someday has no deadline – it is infinite. Before you know it your life is over and that someday never came.

Here’s my question to you:

Instead of someday…Why not NOW?

Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not ready, perhaps this feels true? I know that if I’d waited to be ready, I’d still be working 9 to 5 in a Bank in  East Yorkshire, UK. It was safe and secure!

Are you waiting to be ready?

…You might be waiting your entire lifetime for the right time and you’ll never do it.

Most people aren’t prepared to invest in their someday.  So what they really want stays a dream. Someday comes at a price.

How much does someday cost?

This was a great question that one of my coaching clients asked me recently. I helped him break it down.

Doing what you want to do and living your dream involves personal investment.

It’s not just about gathering information, the hardest part is often implementation: taking the steps necessary to bring it to life. This will cost you time, commitment , attitude, and energy (even when you don’t feel like it). It can be hard work and yes, there may be a few sacrifices along the way.

One of the biggest obstacles of success is that we get in our own way. We lose the mental fight with our own laziness and ignorance when things feel too hard or difficult. We slip back to our comfort zone because it’s easier settle for what we already have.

For most people the price of success is too high. They prefer to settle for an easier life. They aren’t prepared to reach through their fears to find the courage to keep going and keep growing through change or take a few risks.

Here’s how I see it…

  • I only get one life. I owe it to myself to make the most of my days here and make each one count.
  • I dare to dream BIG and go deeper than I’ve ever gone.
  • I don’t always know how to do it, but I’ll do it anyway.
  • There will be days where I’ll challenge myself because I want to quit.
  • There will be days where I never knew that my life could be so beautiful.
  • I’m here to make a difference and I’m following my heart.
  • I’m committed to keep learning and growing and leading.
  • I’m honored to do what I do and blessed to notice that the work I’m doing affects the lives of those I serve in such a positive way.

Doing what you want to do has its ups and downs like everything in life. It may take more time and effort than you anticipated.

But the pay off is huge…

It changes your life from deep within. You feel more alive and the returns on you, your family and the people you serve are even bigger than you would even begin to imagine.

“Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.”
~
John Maxwell.

 

How are you getting ready?

 

How to Stop Being AVERAGE – Develop YOUR own Potential

By , June 6, 2013 2:32 am

Road to Nowhere“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”

~ Abraham Maslow, psychologist

Did you know that most of us only use a small percentage of our ability and never reach our full potential? We settle for an average life, take average jobs with little desire to stretch out of our comfort zones to explore our own potential beyond our default position. We often fall into our careers and wait for things to happen to us rather than shaping and making it happen for ourselves.

We make excuses to justify why we didn’t make more of ourselves: The time wasn’t right, I didn’t have the money or the opportunity never presented itself. We believe our story and settle into patterns and habits, doing the same things with the same people and the years roll by. Rinse and repeat. Until one day you’re looking in the mirror at an old, tired person and saying to yourself: “What the hell am I doing with my life?!”

We are taught to blend in and follow the path of least resistance. While average feels safe it can also create a sense of unfulfillment – is this all there is? You are dissatisfied with your life or work, but can’t really articulate why.

Have you ever felt dissatisfied and wondered why things haven’t worked out the way you’d hoped? There’s a lot of pressure to follow the status quo. It’s easier to blend in with those around us, using them as pacesetters for our own life.

Here’s how my clients describe what average feels like to them:

  • Plodding along
  • Just getting on with it
  • Mediocre
  • Numb and dull
  • No balls (sorry!) to stand up and do something different
  • Passing the time away
  • Waiting for something to happen
  • Checking out and being lazy
  • Stuck in a rut
  • I should do something about it
  • Maybe next year when… (Insert your own excuse here)

Personally, I’ve never wanted to be average at anything. When I worked in a bank NO ONE wanted an average appraisal. Average meant that you were written off; you had limited value and potential.

My own life continues to be full of stretching and reaching for a new normal, both in my professional and personal life. You have to create some tension to move out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territory if you want to create a new experience and a new normal for yourself. Sometimes it’s scary too.

Creating tension is what gets you going!

Here’s how…

It’s easy to stay where you are rather than to change and take a risk to become something different. The gap between the two seems wide and scary.

It’s a bit like having a back massage, when the masseur finds a knot… they have to apply some tension to increase the flow and flexibility of soft tissues and joints (…and getting rid of all those ‘knotty bits’). You have to do the same if you want to change.

It’s ALL about choice…

Here’s how to step away from average…

Where do you want to stretch? What areas of your life would you like to stretch and create some growth tension just now? How is NOT doing this making you feel? Where are you falling short of your potential?

What’s stopping you? Write down all the reasons WHY you’ve settled for the status quo. What excuses are you using to stay stuck? How are you getting in your own way? What is the story you are currently telling yourself? Re-write your story looking for a positive place to start.

Find the courage. Build your fire within and find the courage to push through your comfort zone – to break through your current mediocre mindset. Let go of things that no longer serve you, step away from the familiar and leave it behind. Explore the unknown and take a few risks if you want to change and grow. This is what life is all about (get a coach to help you)!

Embrace the tension. Lean into feeling uncomfortable. Recognize your growing pains and become your own masseur! It’s challenging to change and you will feel some resistance. Keep growing through it. Remember that any obstacles are the raw materials for your solutions. Create forward motion – don’t cling to the past. Take action in the present and begin to shape your own future today.

Keep growing! If you stop learning, you stop living. You become mentally and spiritually inactive. It’s like you die on the inside. Be curious! Looking forward and taking consistent action will fill you with energy. Create a strategy. It’s the small incremental things that you do each day that make a difference. Don’t take the foot off the gas when you’ve tasted success… Dream Big and go deep!

It’s your life!

Keep Going…Keep Flowing…Keep Growing!

 

 

How To Create Lift-Off…

By , April 3, 2013 6:40 pm

They say it takes up to 65% of an airplane’s fuel just to lift it off the ground.

Do you think that the pilots ever get to the point where they’ve used 55% of their fuel and they look at each other and say, ‘This thing’s not lifting yet, let’s just give up!’

Is there a point where you’ve given it all, the end of the runway is getting closer but you’re still not getting any lift? You just want to give up and walk away from what you’re trying to achieve.

I’ve felt this many times in my life when trying to shift negative patterns and habits that no longer serve me, or when I was putting all my time and effort into starting a new business but still not seeing any of the benefits from all my hard work.

Isn’t it just easier to give up, return to the gate, park up and go get a Starbucks?!

“Sorry folks your flight’s been cancelled, we’re not changing our lives today.”

Pilots know that during take-off there is a point of no return. This comes after a certain amount of throttle and speed has been engaged. You can no longer abort the take off. This is known as the critical point.

This point of no return is also true in our lives when returning to the gate is no longer an option.

Sometimes I feel like I’m tearing down the run way. My intention is clear, and I know that this change is important. I’m uncertain of what’s in front of me, yet I know I don’t want to go back to the old place I’m moving away from. I want to take off and fly; I’m just a little scared of the unknown. Like that pilot, I’ve reached my critical point and take off is my only option if I want to Live On Purpose.

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”

H.Ross Perot
American billionaire and former U.S presidential candidate

Persistence is a common quality of successful people. Sometimes it’s not going to be easy. You face obstacles and criticism that you may not have been able to predict. Sometimes you may feel that the Universe is testing you to the limit about your commitment to this goal.

It’s going to take a lot of energy to get lift off in your life.

I have learned the practice of persistence. Even when the going gets tough I refuse to give up. Instead I choose to learn and grow from each obstacle as I hang in there. I make my decisions from where I want to be and no matter how hard it seems, I eventually break through and create lift off.

As you are in the process of creating lift off in your own life, allow me to give you a five step safety demonstration.

1.    Fasten Your Seat Belt – Your seat belt is your Intention. It holds you in my seat. It keeps you grounded and secure in knowing your destination. It holds your attention, despite any turbulence (distraction). You can always adjust the strap, hone your focus and return to your intention.

2.    The Life Vest –Your life vest is there in case of the unlikely event of a water landing. It’s about having faith in yourself. Only you can know exactly what your life vest is, but mine are my supportive friends and my coach. What is your life vest?

3.    Read the Safety Card – Here’s a thing about that safety card. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about the systems and processes that work. Even though we think we know them all too well. Use these systems and processes regularly by being persistent and not giving up after the first attempt because it was hard. It’s working through any obstacles, hanging in there, trusting the process, following the system despite not feeling like it.

4.    Put on Your Own Safety Mask First – The greatest gift that you can bestow on the world is a happy and healthy you. This is all about looking after yourself on many levels: physically, mentally and spiritually. One thing I’ve learned about me is that when things get so bad I forget about self-care. I then make bad decisions and I can’t get lift off. So I have to remember to go back and put on my own safety mask. Place a high value on your own Self-Care, and take good care of yourself.

5.    Enjoy the Flight – People think it’s all about the destination. It’s who you become on the destination. That’s what is so important. In fact who you become as you are creating lift off is more important than getting there.

So ladies and gentlemen…

“Fasten your seatbelts. Seatbacks in the upright position, and tray tables stowed…”

Let’s get this baby in the air!

How to BE the person you want to be… NOW!

By , May 23, 2012 11:55 pm

 “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

 Walt Disney

Sometimes growing involves stepping forward into the unknown and doing something  outside of your comfort zone. It can be scary to change direction or decide to take a new path in your career or your life. You have to be brave and take some action towards your intention. My mentor taught me that courage is all about being courageous and not waiting for it to happen.

Instead of waiting, it’s about stepping into your power and ‘being the person you want to be…Now!’ Whatever the situation or role you’re intending to be, you have to claim it for yourself and start living from that place where you want to be.

I’m often reminded of this when I’m coaching leaders to deliver presentations. Speaking to an audience, as you may know, is scary. Just the word presentation is enough to fill a person with dread and fear.

One of my coaching clients was waiting to develop into a confident speaker. She’d framed it in such a way that she held her intent on the outside and didn’t step in to claim the role for herself. She didn’t believe that she was a confident speaker… so she was waiting to become one… and she was still waiting. Because she believed that she wasn’t confident she wasn’t there yet. This was a limiting belief.

Believing this affected her confidence and ability to perform. She’d hesitate and become nervous. The voices in her head reminded her that she was a fraud and she didn’t know what she was doing!

When transitioning into something new you have to “Be the person you want to be…” before you actually become that person! In other words, you have to start being that person from today and embody it.

 You begin working on this from the Inside. Yes… There is an element of ‘fake it until you make it.’ Your mind and body are connected, so if your mind is focused on you playing small and being nervous, your body will respond in perfect alignment and it will be so!

So you have to start by creating a recipe for success and begin to act as if you already are a:

  • Confident speaker
  • Sought after business coach
  • Senior manager
  • Published author

Here’s how to begin:

1. Create your own recipe for success – Write down what it would feel like to be someone who… (insert the role here). What behaviour does that person demonstrate?

a) What are they saying?

b) What are they doing?

c) How do they act?

2. Step into the role – Set your Intention to deliver an engaging presentation or coach an effective session. Create a mantra and frequently repeat this to yourself: ‘I am a confident speaker’ or ‘I am an awesome coach.’ Using this recipe, you can step into the role and act like a confident speaker or an awesome coach.

3. Claim your power – Step in and claim this for your own! BE that person – NOW. Decide that this is what you want and become it, through your actions and words. Grow into it every day.

4. Practice it – in your everyday life… Be that successful coach in everything you do. Be a successful author while writing a chapter of your book. Practice makes it happen. Play with being whatever it is you want to be. This is a little like playing mental dress up. The more you practice walking and talking like the person you want to be…the more you’ll grow into becoming that person congruently.

This really works!

Who do you want to be?

 

 

 

Bad News About Your Thinking… It’s time for a Reality Check!

By , February 8, 2012 2:27 pm

“Most of us are confused about what is real. Even though we sense there is something more, we attempt to settle for a reality based exclusively on feedback from our physical senses. To reinforce this “reality,” we look to what our culture defines as normal, healthy, and therefore real.”

~ Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD

A few weeks ago I was talking with a client who was locked in fear.

Sarah was preparing to deliver a presentation to some senior executives. She knew her topic but fear was distorting her perception of reality.  She was confused as her mind was comparing this future situation to a presentation she’d delivered badly four years ago.

Her mind was locked into the old reality of that bad presentation. She was replaying this past movie in her mind over and over again. The more she played it, the clearer the old movie became in terms of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic experience. She was back there and the feelings were real. Sarah was projecting this failure onto her future presentation!

Here’s what was going on…

She was creating self-imposed noise and interference that was keeping her stuck in an old belief system from four years ago.

When you get locked into the movies playing in your mind you are experiencing the past and often projecting it on to how you believe a future event might play out. As a result, you are blocking out the reality of the situation: You’re not seeing or hearing it as it is. Sally was getting an occasional glimpse of the present but through a lot of noise and interference from the distorted re-runs of her old movie.

We have the ability to recall and replay memories from the past that are sometimes distorted by time. We also have an ability to create memories of the future, of things to come. We are very good at doing this with potentially negative scenarios and the more we play the memory of the future, the stronger we are setting our negative intention.

Your imagination is a powerful tool that can help you to dissolve the old movie and help to visualize a different outcome. To use this effectively it requires letting go of the past experiences of fear and guilt, and creating a circuit breaker to stop you re-playing those old movie reels again and again.

Here are some ways to do this…

Stop predicting doom!

Are you the type of person who wallows in predicting a bad outcome and then finds a sense of pleasure in saying ‘I told you so…!’ afterwards?

Sarah was locked in her own self-fulfilling prophecy of doom! She predicted that her future presentation was going to destroy her career. She was miserable. She’d already failed! Sarah was predicting her future from a PAST event and worrying about what was going to happen in the FUTURE. She missed seeing the opportunity of the PRESENT to change the outcome of her story.

Put down your crystal ball!

Step back into your present and decide a new outcome for the situation. The present is where you can influence change and do things differently.

Write down the three headings: Past, Present and Future. List the source of your current thoughts under these to determine where your influences are coming from.

Choose your own reality

YOUR THOUGHTS CREATE YOUR REALITY – Good or bad. You can change your thoughts.

You really do have a choice over experiencing the truth of any situation. Learn to be curious and question the past and your future. Challenge it. Refuse to be hypnotized by the movie playing in your head.

Identify your limiting beliefs and re-frame each one. You can change the future because it hasn’t happened yet. The future is a fantasy of your own thinking. Our minds have no boundaries. Challenge your thinking and choose a better feeling thought. Go deeper and look for the truth.

What do YOU want the outcome to be? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?

Pause and re-define your intention in the NOW. Set a single positive goal for success and put all your attention into it.

Get the resources you need in the PRESENT to create the real outcomes that you are intending.

For Sarah, this was our coaching session! Sara set her mind for success and she learnt some new skills on how to deliver her presentation with confidence and passion.

Her fears evaporated. Of course, she was a little nervous (aren’t we all in this situation!) but she delivered an excellent presentation.

…Time for a REALITY check?!

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