Category: Courage

Why You Have to Take Consistent Action if You want to be Successful…

By , May 29, 2013 4:37 pm

Working businesswoman“Motivation is one thing – Keeping momentum is another. To Keep Growing YOU have to Keep Going!”

~ Elaine Bailey, Coach-Mentor, Author and Speaker

I first started writing blog posts in 2009. I was initially scared to put myself out there. But I made a commitment to write and post an article EVERY week.  I have posted EVERY week since I started, no matter what was going on in my busy life. I showed up, did the work and made it happen. I’m disciplined and consistent in my approach to writing.

It has paid off. My results have far exceeded my original goal: I’ve been invited on numerous radio interviews, published in English Textbooks, written chapters in books, spoken from the stage, and been given a scholarship to write my own book! These articles have also connected me to new coaching clients and corporate contracts.

What did I do to get all this?

…I showed up consistently and did the work!

It doesn’t matter how good you have been in the past, how talented you are or how many amazing opportunities are coming you way in the future…

Your performance is linked to discipline.

Consistency is the key to continued growth and achievement of your goals in whatever you want to achieve.

If you are inconsistent with your progress, you’ll do things when it’s convenient or when you remember and you’ll get inconsistent results. You’ll fall short of your desired results.

Other people will see your inconsistency. This will affect their perception of you and it could negatively affect your ability with clients or your chances of a promotion because:

“How you do anything is how you do EVERYTHING!”

 ~ Christine Kane, Mentor and Speaker

People sometimes come to me for coaching because they have mastered the job, but not mastered themselves. They come with their success stories of how awesome they’ve been in the past, but can’t understand why it’s not happening for them NOW.

Personal growth requires two things:

  • Work mastery
  • Self mastery

Knowing the work isn’t enough. You have to know yourself too to create habits that consistently set you up for success…

Your future success relies on your personal growth – you have to keep growing!

How to create consistency:

PURPOSE

You might start with a clear purpose and know what you want to achieve. Personal motivation and enthusiasm usually kick starts you into action.

Motivation is what gets you going. This alone won’t keep you growing because it can soon disappear once things start to get harder.  When this happens you have to dig deeper for your WHY and re-connect to your purpose to keep your motivation alive.

The more you understand WHY you want to do this, the more you are tuned in to your purpose, dedicated to growing towards it, and the greater your chances of success.

Know what motivates you and play to your motivational strengths when you’re stepping up to do the work each day (I motivate myself with a treat such as a walk when I’ve finished writing).

Get clear and then keep reconnecting to your purpose.

PROGRESS

If you are inconsistent with your progress you’ll probably become impatient, you’ll make excuses and your motivation will be replaced with resistance and discouragement. It’s easy to let your good intentions slip or give up altogether.

  • Begin from where you are and start with the basics.
  • To gain momentum and increase motivation you need to break down big goals into small action steps that are doable.
  • Focus on one step, then the next.
  • Show up EVERY day – whether you feel like it or not.
  • Consistency is the path that leads you from an idea/goal to your outcomes and results. Walk this path daily – make it a habit.

These small incremental steps guided by discipline are what keeps momentum flowing and leads to great things! Little and often is the key.

Successful people show up and do the tedious work when it needs to be done.

Getting into the habit of working through what needs to be done. You may not enjoy doing every aspect, but every step takes you closer to your outcome.

Find away to value the process. Appreciate every moment of the journey.

PERFORMANCE

A common mistake is to attempt too much too soon in your haste to race to the finishing line.  This affects your performance and your results fall short of your desired outcomes.

Be conscious of your performance and keep checking in on how you are doing and what you still need to learn. Believe me – you’re never done!

Feedback is a great tool. What are people saying about the work you’re doing? What do you need to stop doing?

It’s okay to do things imperfectly and learn as you grow.

Being consistent isn’t always easy. You have to learn and lean into it and make it part of your daily or weekly routine.

Where do you need to be more disciplined in your life?

 

How to Manage (and Grow Through) Bad Experiences

By , May 22, 2013 5:41 pm

iStock_000006322263Small“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

~ Virginia Satir

Life is messy and uncomfortable at times. Things don’t always go to plan. We encounter bad experiences as well as good ones.

For example, you might get criticism from someone that makes you feel raw and vulnerable. The pain feels so real it hurts you to the core. Perhaps you can’t let go of it in your mind, you keep replaying it over and over.

When you’re stuck in the middle of a problem it’s hard to see it as an opportunity. It’s easy to wallow, say woe is me and keep replaying the story of just how bad things really are. You may react to the situation in one of the following ways:

  • Explode with anger
  • Get frustrated
  • Shrink inside yourself
  • Get caught in the drama (…and jump on the pity bus!)
  • Ignore it
  • Cry
  • Blame someone else
  • Freak out and panic
  • Become anxious and obsessed with worry
  • Fear (of failure or being exposed)
  • Discouraged and want to quit
  • Want to run away, change your name and start again!

Why do we react this way?

…Because the pain feels so real, it makes you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, and if you give it power then it will stop you dead in your tracks.

I came across this quote recently:

“Every problem introduces a person to himself.” ~ John McDonnell.

I LOVE this because I believe whatever you are going through in your life you ALWAYS have the opportunity to grow through it and from it. Every experience unlocks a little more about who you are and how you show up in the world.

Here’s how I see it…

It’s ALL about your attitude towards the situation and how you manage it and pain it creates.

Let me explain some more…

Pain is a great teacher – The pain that you feel when something goes wrong teaches you about where you are just now and who you are in that moment. It’s like looking at yourself through a mirror – It’s a gateway to a deeper level of self-awareness.  If you can hold up a mirror (or have a coach hold it up for you) there are some great lessons to be learned. How you handle the experience you are having defines whom you become and influences the ultimate outcome.

You are NOT alone – The truth is that life is messy! Yes! Shit happens! Life is full of ups and downs. We all experience both negative and positive times. You can’t avoid it – It’s just a natural part of life and an essential part of being human. No one enjoys or wants to have a bad experience. Know that this moment will pass and you will move through it and beyond it.

Lead your way through – How we handle the problem defines us and determines whether we settle and survive or create and thrive in our lives. You have two choices here: 1) Allow it to hold you back and limit you OR 2) Allow yourself to learn through it and grow. People who are successful often talk about a difficult time and how this was the pivotal moment on their development.

Own it don’t deflect it – Don’t become the victim: woe is me! Take responsibility for moving through and making change. Some people cling on to their story replaying it for everyone to hear. It becomes their excuse for staying stuck. Look for the opportunity in every situation.

Reframe the situation – As a coach, I constantly work with clients who have setbacks and negative experiences. My role is to help them reframe their problems and transition through their pain using it as a catalyst for success. How can you use this situation to unlock your creativity and find a solution? Here are a few prompts:

  • What is the problem?
  • What am I currently thinking about it?
  • How does it make me feel (what emotions are associated with it?)?
  • What am I learning?
  • What do I want the outcome to be?
  • What options are available to me?
  • What support do I need from others?
  • What’s your first step?

Remember there is no destination. Start from where you are right now and see every experience (good or bad) as a place where you can make positive change and growth.

“Keep Going – Keep Flowing – Keep Growing!”

Becoming Human – Radio Interview with Elaine Bailey & Authenticity Radio

By , May 18, 2013 9:39 am

 

Becoming Human

Hey, wait a moment, I am human. What does it mean to be fully human?

Authenticity Radio invites you to come listen to guest Elaine Bailey explore the, “Authentic Human You.”

You can Listen Here: www.AuthenticityRadio.com

 

Being YOU is pretty damned amazing! So go out there and change the world! – Elaine Bailey


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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!)…

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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!

 

How to be YOURSELF – Even when talking to important people!

By , February 27, 2013 2:34 am

Be Yourself“Leadership is not about holding on to territory, it’s about letting go of ego, bringing your spirit to work, being your best and most authentic self.”

~ James A Autry, The Servant Leader

Why are people sometimes so afraid to be themselves?

One of the key principles of self-leadership is the importance of being you.

However, some of us hide who we really are and instead present an image of how we think the other person wants us to behave in the hope that we will be accepted or liked.

I see this happen a lot in business, especially when leaders are stepping out of their comfort zones to play a bigger game. In corporate you might be attending a meeting with senior managers. As a business owner, you might be meeting an influential client or someone who is a role model and you feel star-struck to work with them.

Whoever the person, it’s easy for us to feel small, unworthy, inferior, or of lesser value. We perceive them as being so much more important and fall to pieces in these situations instead of being our normal, confident and articulate self…

Our internal thinking has a huge impact on our confidence and self worth. Our social and parental conditioning is against us being authentic and over time we have created rules, such as:

  • It is disrespectful to disagree with our elders, seniors or those more important than us.
  • Only speak when you are spoken to: We are taught what to say, when to say it.
  • Who you are is shaped by those who have influence over you. (You hand over your power to them.)
  • Don’t brag about what you’re good at as it might make other people feel uncomfortable. Push it down… (This is why most of us struggle to talk about our own successes.)
  • You have to be submissive with people more important that you.

Society creates ‘norms’ and we measure ourselves to them. We are under pressure to fit in. So here’s how we respond:

  • You want to keep the peace and hope they like you. So you say what you think they want to hear in order to become a people-pleaser.
  • You believe that your opinion is of lesser value and doesn’t count or it doesn’t matter. You perceive the other person’s opinion is of far greater value.
  • If you challenge or disagree with something, then you’ll be shot down or seen as difficult or negative.
  • You should keep your head below the parapet and blend in.

We live up in our heads most of the time, believing our thoughts to be the truth (you literally are what you think!).

Most of us go through life not knowing who we are or what we want. We settle, survive and keep our heads down. This is easier than trying to be yourself. Being real exposes you to vulnerability and judgment – this is scary.

The perception that someone is more important than you is often based on old concepts of power, especially in business. We try to work out where we fit in in the hierarchy.

True power comes from your personal power as a human being. By building trust and support you naturally attract other people.

Here are some tips on how to be you:

1. STOP WORRYING about what other people are thinking about you. You have no idea what they are thinking. These assumptions aren’t real. They are probably not thinking about you at all! This distraction only makes you get your own way of success. Instead of worrying about what to say, or how you look, focus on your intention for the meeting. Be 100% present for the person who is talking.

2. KNOW YOUR VALUE – Be useful as a leader to those you serve. Know WHY you’re attending the meeting.  Understand the value that you bring. You are there to provide information or  expertise so that others can make an informed decision. You are helping them to understand and make sense of things and prevent them making mistakes: Here’s how I can help you…

3. BE AN EQUAL –As human beings we all have the same worth and dignity. We are all equals no matter what role we play. See yourself as a consultant, not as a sub-ordinate. Let go of ego (theirs and yours) – it’s a distraction. Understand that some personality styles are different to yours. They package their language in a different way. It’s normal, not personal.

4. ALWAYS BE YOUR REAL SELF – Be the same person at home as you are at work… because you are! Be your authentic self – It’s who you really are. You have the same values whatever role you are playing. You already know how to interact with people at other levels – This is no different – Just be YOU. Find the language to help you say what you want to say.

5. FIND THE COURAGE to be you. Learn to listen to your heart as well as your head. People want an honest opinion, not ‘lip service.’ Be authentic and respond assertively, even if it is a difficult message. Remember, you are just talking to another person – we are all the same.

Be the person YOU want to be… from today!

It’s really okay to be YOU – Take yourself to work!

 

How to Stop Yourself Going the Wrong Way…

By , February 13, 2013 11:46 pm

“The best thing about the past is that it’s over. When people don’t deal with the past as if it’s over, then they’re not free to go into the future.”

~ Richard Bandler – Make Your Life Great

Throughout our day we are constantly talking to ourselves – Yes, THAT voice in our head, the one who seems to be sat pulling all the levers in the control tower of you!

I’m constantly reminded about the awesome power of language and how it influences who we are, what we believe and how we show up in our lives.

One of the great masters, who I once had the honour of learning from, is Richard Bandler. I was reminded of his work this week as I was coaching a client who was struggling in her mind to move away from the past and towards a new future that she was defining for herself.

She’d decided on a direction of where she wanted to go, but the voice in her head kept subconsciously sabotaging her thinking and taking her on a road trip back to her past, rather than to the future where she wanted things to go. Also, the close family around her was saying: “You’ll never change, you’re set in your ways!”

When we set a goal and decide to make a change in our lives our conditioning and internal language is still set on the old default pattern that got us stuck in the first place. As our unconscious thoughts travel down the neural highway, we find ourselves suddenly back in that old place where we used to be and we’re stuck once again in the past:

“History is repeating itself…”

“Here we go again…”

“It must just be the way I am, I’ll never change…”

I love using the metaphor of our neural highway being like a busy motorway or freeway. You can almost see the blur of taillights flowing past you at great speed. It feels overwhelming and fast… Before you know it, you’re in the wrong lane and you’re turning down that old piece of road again:  All routes lead back to the past – your old behaviour and patterns of language and beliefs.

We get caught up in old thoughts and loops that no longer serve us.

As my client spoke, her words made me realize that she was going into a behavioural loop; she was becoming anxious and started to become self-deprecating. She became once again, the person in her past rather than the person she now wanted to be.

I asked her to STOP and BACK UP…

This broke the chain… These words opened her to a deeper level of thinking.

We explored her thinking and how it was making her feel. She was frustrated that she was still going down the old road and not catching herself in time. She then described where she wanted to be with passion and enthusiasm.

Then she got clear – She knew exactly what to do…

She decided that this was the last time she was going to take this route. So she mentally installed a ‘Wrong Way – Go Back’ sign on her neural highway slip road (on-ramp) before the entrance of the old highway she was unconsciously turning onto.

She is now watching her language and paying attention so when that old thinking comes along, she has a conscious system to STOP and BACK UP so she doesn’t go the wrong way. She’s now able to follow the new signage of where she wants to go:  Happiness ahead. Better relationships – next exit, new career coming – 800 yards!

I helped her create some strategies to back up and reframe the situation, and replace her negative language with positive using the power of her intention.

My client reconfigured her brain with some new language patterns that serve her future and not her past. This shifted her state of mind and made things different so she can keep an eye on where she wants to be. She’s moving forward once again.

The past is what we know and we use it as a compass point, a frame of reference for comparison, whereas the future is unknown. It’s uncertain and we’ve no tangible evidence to support that anything could actually be different or better out there. It’s risky and uncomfortable. But you have two great advocates:  faith and courage, if you choose to take them along on the journey with you.

Creating and following a new route takes time and sometimes a little extra support and direction. It’s hard to do it all on your own. The last thing you need is someone with a clipboard standing over you telling you “you’ll never change or it won’t last long – look what happened last time!”

Dwelling on the past keeps you stuck – You’re going the wrong way!

Some people spend years and loads of money in therapy trying to understand WHY the past happened. My philosophy is that learning and growing (and healing) is all about letting go and taking forward motion. Life is fluid and too short to keep using the past as your navigation tool for the future. Create something new; you’ll be surprised how refreshing and exciting the new feelings are that come your way. It sets you free to go into your future!

Sometimes you need a little coaching support to get you started and change the language in your head. This opens you up to a world of infinite possibility.

What do you want behind you and want do you want in front of you?

Watch your language! How is it serving you right now?

 

 

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