Posts tagged: living on purpose

Stepping Out of the ‘Do-Do’ Part #3

By , March 30, 2010 12:22 am

forget everything and runNote: This is Part 3 of a mini-series.To read Part 1, click here. To read Part 2, click here.

Not ‘Do-Do’ but ‘Think-Do.’

When Busy-ness and overwhelm takes over it’s easy to forget how to think. We become driven by doing and we get hooked into trying to do everything!

We also feel that we should be able to do everything!

Focusing on doing rather than thinking stops us from asking ourselves why we are struggling or how we could do it differently. We dis-engage our logical thinking processes.

Getting stuck in the Do-Do is often driven by one of our strongest and most hardwired emotions: fear. This is a key driver of living reactively.

  • Fear of getting it wrong
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of letting others down
  • Fear of not being able to do it all
  • Fear of being unworthy
  • Fear of not living up to our own or others expectations of us
  • Fear of being seen as a ‘fraud’
  • Fear of saying NO

Fear overrides our thinking and our ability to be realistic about what we are able to achieve. Our emotions take over and run the show. Logical and rational thinking is replaced by chaos, desperation and overwhelm.

There is a difference between just doing things (unconscious action) and taking conscious action. Conscious action is where are activities are defined, deliberate and purposeful. Actions are realistic and do-able.

Here are some strategies to help your thinking:

1. Address your fears head on

“Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse.”

Seth Godin, Author, Tribes

People are usually more frightened of blame and criticism than failure. The fear of criticism can be a powerful deterrent, and the criticism doesn’t have to happen for fear to set in.

  • list the fears associated with YOUR busy-ness.
  • re-read this list and view them objectively as if  this was your best friend’s list and you were giving advice to him/her
  • what is the worst thing that could happen here?
  • write down exactly what you need to accomplish in the coming week. This helps you to re-focus and re-awaken your logical thinking

2. ‘Think’ before you ‘Do’

For example, in our working life it is easy to forget that we are paid to think as well as do. Why? Because doing is the tangible action stuff. Thinking can be seen as non-action and lazy. So it is seen as a nice thing to do, if I have the time!

Thinking and planning a head is SO under-rated because of the illusion that in the time I have to think about it, I could have done it! It’s not perceived as productive. Instead we panic and the action we take is random, unplanned and unfocused.

Here are four practical self-management tips. You already know these, BUT do you actually use them?

  1. To-Do Lists – to write down the tasks that have to be done
  2. Prioritize -This focuses on two elements: 1) relationships and 2) results. It helps you to stay On Purpose. What are the 1-2 important things that you need to focus your time on today? Small home runs will help you to experience how good it feels to complete something. This includes scheduling some time for me! See Circuit Breakers.
  3. Diaries and schedules – to plan in what I have to do and when I’m going to do it. This activity can stop procrastination by chunking down large overwhelming tasks into small do-able actions. Give each action a time e.g. 10am – 11 am. Show up at 10am, set a timer and just do it!
  4. Be imperfect - Flexibility is the key. Be prepared to re-prioritize and don’t expect perfection EVERY day. If you are a perfectionist, then these tools can restrict you because you can feel over-scheduled and rigid. You are not a robot! Priorities change so allow flexiability – it’s okay!

How much time do you actually spend thinking, planning and writing down your activities before you do them?

Value the importance of Thinking as well as Doing.

Want some more techniques? Why not download my FREE GIFT on the right of this page:‘Are You In Busy-ness or Business? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This download will really help you think and do!

Stepping Out of the ‘Do-Do’ – Part #2

By , March 23, 2010 12:28 am

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Note: This is Part 2 of a mini-series. To read Part 1, click here.

Living reactively is exhausting because you are constantly living in chaos and waiting for the next crisis to happen.

Here’s how this used to be for me:

The yammering voices in my head never stopped telling me what I must, ought or should be doing. They made me work longer hours. Sometimes they’d wake me in the middle of the night to remind me about something I’ve forgotten to do or to give me something else to worry about. Sometimes as I woke up the next morning I’d get a flat feeling as all my to-do’s rushed through the mental fog to great my consciousness. I’d begin my day by freaking out over my workloads before I got out of bed!

I’d get more tired and desperate to succeed as I ignored self care and continued to push my body to the limits by working all hours. My energy tanks were emptying quickly and I wasn’t replacing them. There got to a point where I was living on ‘empty.’

That’s when I realised that I’d reached overwhelm.

Energy is our life force!

Here’s a good place to begin…

1. Listen to your body!

I worked with a coach who once asked me two important questions:

  1. Are you tired?
  2. Are you hungry?

Huh?!

What did this have to do with anything?

“I haven’t got time to focus energy on this because I’ve already got too much to do. Don’t give me more to think about!”

It had EVERYTHING to do with how I had unconsciously allowed myself to become exhausted and overwhelmed!

Sleeping and eating are usually the first things to suffer when we get sucked into the ‘Do-Do.’ Busy-ness loves it when you’re hungry and tired. We get locked into doing and forget to eat and sleep properly under the false illusion of saving time to get more things done!

We ignore the signals from our body and wonder why we are so tired, emotional and overwhelmed.

Short-term this is okay because our bodies are very forgiving and have an amazing ability to heal.

If this continues, exhaustion gets a tighter grip because we are physically and mentally weaker. It’s harder for us to concentrate and to be effective.

Listen to the signals from your body. Your body is VERY wise.

Important Note: You can’t complete your To Do list if you don’t have a body!

2. Slow down and allow time away from the ‘Do-Do.’

Okay…the last thing you instinctively want to do is to slow down! You haven’t got time to slow down because you’ve got too much stuff to do right?

The first thing that you need to do is to restore your energy. You can only do this by slowing down and resting. It is not easy to do especially if you are so used to living at a constantly reactive pace.

I started by introducing a few Circuit Breakers into my daily life. These really helped restore my energy and focus.

Here are some examples of Circuit Breakers:

  1. Close your laptop, turn off your phone and physically walk away for 30 minutes!
  2. Finish work on time at least one or two nights a week
  3. Go to bed before 9.30 pm at least one night a week
  4. Take a proper lunch break
  5. Eat regularly (and not just when you remember to!)
  6. Eat healthy food – not junk that fills you up with sugar and fat
  7. Drink plenty of water throughout the day (most people don’t drink enough water)

Try one or more of these activities as evening or weekend Circuit Breakers:

  1. Take a nap when you feel tired (listen to your body!)
  2. Have a relaxing long bath
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Read something funny or light
  5. Sleep in
  6. Sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes (Really…it’s okay to do this!)
  7. Listen to some uplifting music
  8. Allow yourself a ‘Day off the Do-Do’ one day a week

I’ve just added a Free Gift on my website! You can download the recording of my awesome tele-seminar: ‘Are You in Business or Busy-ness? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This is packed with extra tips. Check out the box at the top right hand corner of this page.

9 Reasons WHY YOU Should Have a Coach…

By , March 11, 2010 5:23 pm

“Learn as if you were going to live forever.ManHelpingHand
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

Mahatma Gandhi

I love this quotation for two reasons:

  • I love learning and I love life! This sums up my passion and energy.
  • I clearly remember when and where I first read these words and why self-investment is hugely important to me.

These few words changed my life on many levels!

Here’s my story…

The first time I came across this quotation was on a little business card placed upon my pillow as part of the turn down service at the Mövenpick Hotel & Resort, Beirut, Lebanon. It was the evening of 12 July, 2006. For the previous two weeks this amazing hotel had been my home and workplace while I trained groups of managers on various leadership programmes. I’d also been blessed to immerse myself in the culture and friendliness of the people. That night, I went to sleep to the sound of a firework display at the resort. The next morning I left the hotel and flew back to the UK.

I returned home to find that I’d actually flown out of Lebanon just in time because a few hours after my flight there had been Israeli airstrikes across Beirut destroying the airport, lighthouse and four bridges along the coast road. The same road I had walked only a few days before, where I’d watched families playing on the beach. A war had begun there. The bombing continued to destroy the city and surrounding areas for many days. Those fireworks were actually gun fire in the hillside outside Beirut! I had been very lucky to get out that morning (others were stranded, caught in the cross-fire for over a week before aircraft carriers came to their rescue).

My thoughts instantly turned to the welfare of the people that I had trained. I frantically sent emails to check that they (and their families) were okay. Fortunately they were all safe and had taken refuge outside of the city. Danger, uncertainty and fleeing to the hillside were a normal part of their life. It certainly wasn’t normal for me and this experience created a shift in my thinking. For the first time, I’d witnessed the fragility of life and the importance of really living On Purpose. I remembered the little card that I’d enjoyed reading only the night before:

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

This quotation became my mantra. I still have this card and carry it with me in my wallet every day, wherever I travel.

What’s THIS got to do with coaching?

It’s ALL about self-investment. Do you value your life enough to invest in yourself?

I LOVE being a coach and being coached!

Why do I need a coach?

Here’s how I see it. Yes, I am a certified, practicing coach. It’s really not about having the qualifications, more importantly, it’s about demonstration of the qualifications in terms of how I show up and actually help my clients to move forward and make the changes they want to experience in their life.

Having qualifications doesn’t mean that my learning is done!

So, I will always have a coach.

Here’s 9 reasons WHY YOU should have a coach:

  • I value me – enough to invest in myself. I’ve learned that if I wait for someone to come and rescue me or the organization that I work for to develop me that I could be waiting a VERY long time. I have learned to recognize the value of me enough to know I’m worth investing in. I’m passionate about learning and growing, it is an important part of my life because it helps me to Live On Purpose. There is something really powerful about investing in YOU.
  • It’s hard to go it alone – I’ve learned that I can’t do it all alone. Sometimes we need help and support. A coach always provides that beacon of light in the darkness. A lighthouse in the storm, so that you can safely navigate back to port. She is always there for you. She holds your hand and walks with you. She helps you navigate back to your centre and find your way home.
  • Help with your clarity – A coach helps you to get clear and say what you really want. Even when you think that you don’t know! She helps to clear away the noise and distraction.
  • A coach believes in you – A coach has the wisdom to see a BIGGER and GREATER you. She has vision to see your potential and ability even when you can’t see it and you’re stuck in your shrinky-ness. She sees you already there, being successful and Living On Purpose. She’s not interested in dwelling in the past. The focus is the present and how you can take steps to move forward and grow. She helps you be authentic and true to yourself. It’s a partnership.
  • Holds you accountable – A coach keeps you accountable. You have someone to answer to. She helps you to make and keep promises with yourself. This stops procrastination and creates discipline, persistence and motivation and you achieve your goals!
  • Celebrates your successes – Whether it’s saying ‘no’ to someone at work, getting out of bed in the morning and actually going to the gym or developing a successful kick ass coaching programme, a coach will recognize and reflect back your successes. She’s there to remind you of the baby steps you’ve taken and the growth you’ve achieved. This drives momentum and makes you want to achieve even more! Bring it on!
  • Is your mirror – A coach has a 6th sense (I swear mine has!). A coach is sensitive to your emotions and moods. She recognizes and understands the negative mindsets that block your thinking and helps you create new patterns of thinking that align with your intention. She reflects back your leaky language when you’re playing small and helps you turn it around. You get to experience “what is it like being on the receiving end of you?” in a safe and creative environment.
  • Makes you feel great – A coach will make you feel better about the situation and yourself. I’ve witnessed this reflected in my client’s faces. They come into a session full of stress and pressure, looking tired and pale. They leave relaxed and the colour has returned to their face. They’re ready to kick ass and make things happen. They take back the control of their situation. A coach makes the un-doable become doable!
  • Having a coach helps you to BECOME a coach – Experiencing being coached is an awesome gift. Knowing what it’s like to be coached helps you to be fully present for anyone you interact with. You become committed to them in the same way as your coach is to you. You’re living and coaching from the inside- out and helping others to do the same.

Me? I’m going to “Learn as if I’m going to live forever” because I believe that my learning and growth will NEVER be done.

What a GREAT investment to make!

Do you value your life enough to invest in yourself?

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