Category: Wisdom

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat – Coming Soon!

By , August 14, 2011 6:22 pm

Dealing with Uncertainty

By , May 24, 2011 12:01 pm

“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”

Brené Brown, Author and leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging.

Two of the large corporate organisations I’m working for are currently going through big transitions. One of them has merged with another company. Another is working through a merger of internal business units. Both are working through due diligence exercises and looking for ways to remove duplication in roles and working processes.

It’s interesting to observe the different view points of people working in this uncertain environment as the organisation revises it’s business strategy and re-structures. Some people see the ‘opportunities’ others bury their heads and just hope that they ‘survive’.

Senior executives may not fully know how things will be changed yet or who, if anyone, will be laid off. All they can communicate with certainty is the end goal. The fog of uncertainty shrouds the work environment while key people run the numbers and look at working practices to gather data to make the final decisions.

Human beings like certainty. Most of us aren’t very good at not knowing.

We crave for the facts, guarantees, assurances and can become anxious if we don’t have enough information. We often look externally for this source and ignore our own intuition. Instead of listening to a strong message from our inner voice we’ll go and get a second or third opinion from others because we don’t trust our own knowing.We ignore our gut feeling and instead become wrapped up in the uncertainty and not knowing.This fills us with fear and worry.

If you’re stuck in the dis-comfort of not knowing it can be easier just to make a quick decision to get it over with. This might be a decision you regret later.

Using your inner wisdom as a guide can be really helpful in uncertain situations. The key is to take time out to really listen to it…

Intuition isn’t just about getting THE ANSWER from a voice within! Yes, sometimes you’ll have a clear gut instinct about something, other times you listen you can tap into your inner wisdom and it will guide you to take logical steps, check things out and to fact-find. It might even advise you that now is not the time to make a decision.

Here are a few ways to deal with uncertainty:

1. Listen to your intuition – What is it telling you? Are you being steered to fact-finding or is it telling you what you need to know? Tap into your inner wisdom. Listen to your deeper voice. Use this as a tool to help guide you.

2.What do YOU want? Sometimes when things are uncertain we forget that we always have a choice. What do you want to happen? What is important to you here?

3. What can you influence? Consider what is in your circle of influence that you can do. It might be becoming more involved in the process fact finding and even become involved in shaping the outcome. Look for any opportunities that might present themselves. Take one logical step at a time.

4. It’s okay NOT to know – Sometimes it’s okay to recognise that for now, you’re not going to know the answer. Set yourself short term goals and focus your attention and energy there. Review the situation in a month (Re-check in with the bullets on this post!)

5. Do a GREAT job – Focus on business as usual and look for oportunities to continue to do a great job. Consider your own marketability and leverage – What do you have to offer here? How can you play to your strengths to really make a difference in the short term. Look for solutions – don’t dwell on the problem or get sucked into whining, moaning or colluding about how bad everything is!

Confidently Creating a New Normal…

By , March 12, 2011 7:18 pm

“My learning curve is so steep! I’m being stretched beyond where I’ve ever been before. This is exciting and exhausting at the same time. I’m frightened to stop and take a break because I may be run over by the very thing I’m creating!”

Sally, Manager and Coaching Client.

Getting started and creating forward motion are important elements of growth and success.  You also need to be able to constantly step out of your comfort zone and create a new one as you continually work towards your goals and dreams.

This can be exhausting work!

Once in motion, it can be scary to take your foot off the gas because you’re frightened that if you take time to experience your new normal before moving on you’ll lose momentum towards your goal.

The reality is that if you don’t experience your new comfort zone (new normal) before moving on to the next your confidence can stop growing. So the next stretch beyond where you are comfortable is harder to achieve.

Sally was trying creating her new normal before she’d got used to the previous one! This reduced her confidence levels and she began to feel exhausted and burnt out because of the extra effort she was having to put in. She was over-stretching and this could not be sustained. Her rapid fire growth on growth was relentless!

It’s like going to the gym. When you work out using weights it’s important to take a break for a day between sessions to allow the muscles to repair and grow. Otherwise you risk injury and you can lose any progress gained.

To sustain confidence and momentum through continual growth you need to take a short break to experience your new normal. Only by doing this can you increase your confidence to match this new level. Otherwise confidence can begin to  drain away and it’s hard to keep going because you start searching for comfort instead.

Create a short Confidence Catch-Up Break while you consolidate in your new normal. This requires you to take some time out to recognise your achievements and restore your energy levels before stretching yourself to the next challenge.

New Year – New Approach?

By , January 13, 2011 11:56 pm

If you’d like to read more about my programme click on the following link:

The Spirit of Christmas

By , December 21, 2010 11:59 pm

“For a moment our lives met and our souls touched.”

Oscar Wilde

I love watching movies at Christmas. One of my favourite Christmas stories is ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. I especially love the movie version with Sir Patrick Stewart.

This story reminds me of Spirit of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Christmas is a wonderful time for reflection, time to be fully present with family and friends and an opportunity to dream, and set  intentions for the New Year.

My reflections for 2010 take me around the world to the places I’ve been honoured to visit and all the wonderful people who have touched my life a long the way.

I remember having a broken English/German conversation over dinner with a wonderful woman and her husband in Berlin. Neither of us could speak the other person’s language except for a few words, yet we were able to have a wonderful animated conversation over dinner. I left that restaurant feeling very blessed to have met them.

Life is a transition and we’re in constant flow. People come in and out of our lives. They touch us for a brief moment or stay for a while, it’s ever flowing. Christmas is a time to celebrate this flow.

I have enormous gratitude and love for everyone I have met during 2010, who have shared their time and wisdom with me: My clients, Platinum friends, awesome mentor Christine Kane, friends (old and new), colleagues and family. Not forgetting my four-legged family too!

I hold you all in my heart this Christmas – I’m truly blessed.

Whether you’ve touched my life briefly or more intensely in 2010 this blog post is a personal THANK YOU to you for being in my life this year.

Who’s touched your life in 2010?

Showing Appreciation

By , November 27, 2010 12:12 am

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”

Alan Cohen

“I feel so unappreciated. I work hard and share good ideas but no one acknowledges what I do. Nothing ever changes, our department is in chaos and morale is low. You know, my boss really doesn’t see people as important. I’m just a resource – a bum on a seat!”

John, Coaching Client.

John’s story is a common one in business. Many people leave their jobs because of feeling unappreciated. Frustrated talent walks out of the door because everyone is focused on getting the job done, hitting the target or meeting those insane deadlines at all costs. Many managers process manage their people rather than leading them and appreciation is a rare commodity.

We forget to appreciate the extra time and effort that John put into deliver the project. How someone pitched into to help us achieve a tight deadline. Appreciation is something that we just forget to do.

Lack of appreciation doesn’t just happen in the work place it can happen at home too.

Last Thursday as I was coaching John, I remembered that it was Thanksgiving Day in America. Many of my US friends have taken a long weekend off to visit the family. Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude for the people in your life,  for what you have, for what you do and for the beauty that surrounds you.

Appreciation is not just an annual event. It is a conscious state of mind and the more gratitude we have the more we receive. It’s a Universal Law! Go on… Test it out for yourself, you’ll be surprised!

Showing appreciation is such a simple thing to do and  it can be so powerful. It really makes a difference to the person on the receiving end. Appreciation is such an important motivator for us yet in the hustle and bustle of busy life we forget to pause to take a moment to be grateful and communicate our appreciation for those around us.

It isn’t about promotions and pay rises – these are soon forgotten. Appreciation is about demonstrating that you care. If you look back at your life it’s those people who believed in you, made you feel special, or  have helped you grow and learn. Mrs May, my primary school Headmistress was my first ever role model. I was 5 years old and starting school it was a big event! She made me feel appreciated and special from day one. She gave me confidence through my primary school years and looking back, I know that she genuinely cared about her pupils. She made me feel appreciated and touched my life.

Why not make appreciation a habit?

Having a daily ritual of reflection is a great way to create a habit of appreciation. My coach taught me this.

Every evening before I go to bed I write down at least 5 gratitude’s in my journal. These are people, things, animals, events that I am grateful for. I stop to pause and be thankful for how each one touched my life that day.

This practice reminds me to communicate my genuine appreciation by sending an email, a card, some flowers, making a donation or phoning someone to say thank you.

It’s a great habit to practice each day!

Getting Wrong Right!

By , August 14, 2010 1:57 pm

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”

B C Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine

There are many times in my life when I’ve believed I got it wrong. Here are a few of them:

  • I didn’t prepare for something as I should have done.
  • I made a decision and the outcome was much less than I expected.
  • I misunderstood a situation and responded in an inappropriate way.
  • I got a different reaction to what I’d expected.
  • I felt that I could have done much better.
  • I didn’t listen to and be guided by my intuitive self

In others words – I screwed up.

If you allow feedback from others to compound the situation, you hastily retreat into shame and self-pity. The committee in your head continues to re-run the situation over and over: “If only I’d…” as if this might change the outcome! Instead it magnifies the pain and makes you feel smaller and even more of an idiot! We invent stories of what people might be saying or how they might be reacting as part of this internal beating.

We doubt our abilities and motives. This alone can be enough to kill our dreams.

Shame and self-pity makes you want to lock all the doors, pull down the shutters and never show your face again.

“How stupid am I for even trying in the first place? I should have known…

  1. …better to have challenged things.”
  2. …that I wasn’t really all that good.”
  3. …that people would have reacted the way they did.”
  4. …that they wouldn’t listen to me.”
  5. …how stupid my idea was.”

We can all add more to this list from our own experiences!

Here’s the thing…

Your ego hates you for getting it wrong!

It tries to punish you for not listening, for daring to be different and for taking a risk. “I told you so!” Shame enters your head and takes over the show. When this happens there is no room for confidence or self-belief and they sneak out of the back door while shame is dancing centre stage to your ego’s tune. All the attention that shame is getting just helps to magnify and intensify the pain.

Here’s another way of looking at getting it wrong:

You did it!

You stepped into your power and took a risk for something you were passionate about and believed in.

You may not have done something perfectly, but you took action and did it. You went for it!

Remember the following:

  1. You were brave enough to try and to step up – this is great!
  2. We ALL get things wrong and make mistakes because we’re human. Humans are naturally imperfect!
  3. Sometimes when you try new things you face ridicule and opposition from others. This often comes before acceptance. Your ideas might be seen as a threat to other people’s comfort zones.
  4. Sometimes getting it wrong is an essential part of the journey to getting it right. Without the wrong, you’d never have stumbled upon the right. How many of us actually were able to ride a bicycle perfectly the first time we rode it? I remember falling off many times but I was determined to do it!
  5. Wrong is a rich source of learning. Growth happens when things go wrong. New shoots form. Learning is like a light that restores energy, allows growth and helps your confidence and belief to return through the front door!
  6. EVERY successful person screws things up and gets things wrong from time to time. It’s okay…it helps you to be more successful. Success is all about persistence, taking some risks and trying things out.

Here’s how to get wrong right:

  1. Take the ownership and responsibility to learn from any situation. What have I learned here? What would I do differently next time?
  2. Choose not to listen to your ego because it’s not telling the truth.
  3. Embrace the humility of being human – sometimes we screw up – it’s okay!
  4. Shame will pass – Allow some time to wallow in the emotion. Give it a time limit. Then stop and allow time for learning and growth. Choose to step into your power again.
  5. Continue to believe in yourself even though you may feel doubt and confusion. Go back to your intention and get clear again.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back in the saddle again knowing that you are bigger, bolder and wiser.

Getting it wrong can be quite liberating if you allow it as part of the natural process of success.

“Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping-stones to greater experience….When one door closes, another always opens; as a natural law it has to, to balance.”

Brian Adams

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