Life coaching explained

I am often asked what I do and when I reply that I am a Life Coach, I am, more often than not, met with a blank stare.

So first, let me tell you about the story I read about a Hungarian University swimming coach. This coach took over the swimming team that was, at best, average. Within 2 years, he made them his country’s University national champions! When they won the championship, the team, as was customary, threw the coach into the water. A few seconds later, a few them had to jump into the water to rescue their coach. He could not swim!

Whilst their coach obviously could not swim, he was really good at one thing – helping them become the best swimmers they could be!

I told you this story to illustrate what a life coach does and that is to help you become the best you can be in whichever area of your life you choose to focus on!

And how do we do that, you probably wonder?

As a coach, I believe that you already have everything you need within yourself to deal with whatever situation you need to address. I will help you find your solutions that are right for you. You know more about you and what works for you than anyone else (even if you don’t know that right now). The truth is, though, that sometimes we all need help to drill down on our issues and find these solutions. I can help you with this. I also believe that you are much more likely to act on your own suggestions than someone else’s, including mine. I will not tell you what to do, I will help you develop the right action plan just for you. And taking that action is the only thing that will change your life for the better!

So why do you need a coach, I hear you ask? Why can’t you just read a self-help book or talk to a friend or a family member and get the same results?

I love a good self-help book myself, however, they offer a one size fits all solution and whilst we can get some tips and techniques from them, it will take time and lots of trial and error to get the life changing results we want this way.

Our friends and family members are also great! They are our support network which, undoubtedly, helps us make a decision or get though the tough times. Sometimes, they even tell us a thing or two that we really don’t want to hear. But at the end of the day, friends and family who love and support us become conditioned to our shortcomings or blind spots or even afraid to say something that will get us more upset or depressed. And at times, we may have a secret or two that we don’t want to tell anyone, even our best friend, because we feel shame or guilt.

With coaching, we work in a safe, judgement free space to help you explore freely and determine what really matters to you to when considering your options.

Using insightful discussions, intuitive and powerful questions and effective coaching tools and techniques, we will explore your situation and shine the light on that blind spot or the dark corner in your life. Honest and frank conversations may reveal your long-held beliefs or life defining moments, often long suppressed, and these ‘Ahaa!’ moments can trigger profound change. At this point, you can begin to write a new life story for yourself, one which ensures you are living to your fullest potential, and on your own terms.

So, if you feel stuck, lost, indecisive or unhappy or just need a push you to help you become the best you can be and take your life to the next level, call me.

Interested to find out more? Call or email me for an obligation free discovery session to see if life coaching is for you.

 

Books that Changed My Life – The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Interested in finding out the difference between success and failure? The edge between winning and losing in life is very slight, according to Jeff Olson, the author of The Slight Edge.

This simple yet profound book tells us that those mundane, every day actions that you take have compounding effect on our life and will end up making a huge difference to your success rate. (For example, if you choose to drink water instead of Coke every day, over a year, you are likely to either lose or gain weight).

So, if taking positive actions every day is so easy and will make such a huge difference to your life, why doesn’t everyone do it? Why doesn’t everyone take simple positive steps to have the life they want and deserve?

Jeff Olson gives us 3 main reasons why people don’t take these actions:

Easiness – walking 30 minutes, meditating or journaling for 5 minutes per day or eating healthy – these are all easy to do but there is a catch! They are just as easy not to do! So, when you decide to have a Coke instead of water or have a burger instead of a salad, you think it is only this one time. But we all know that is not the case. And because there are no immediate consequences for your actions, you choose not to take the right action! That can of Coke or burger a day may cause you to put on weight over 6 months but then again, you think you’ll do better tomorrow, right? We all know what happens the next day.

Compounding effect – these small actions add up to a big result and we often miscalculate the compounding effect they may have on our lives. We have all heard stories of how we need to start saving early given the impact of compounding interest. What we don’t think about is how this applies to everything else in our lives.

Myths – we have all heard of overnight success stories and it seems like everyone is waiting for that next big break. What Jeff Olson is clear about is that all these overnight success stories have solid foundations in mundane, day to day activities that no one notices. So instead of waiting for the lottery win or for your business to become the next big success story, make sure you do your everyday, mundane tasks consistently that will ensure your success.

The key principle to The Slight Edge is DOING and knowing that these little actions, compounded over time will create a momentum in our lives that will create a ripple and more ripples that will eventually make a huge difference over a long period of time (difference between success and failure).

The good news is, you can change the way you think and act by taking small positive steps that will get you back on right side of the track (or curve as Jeff Olson calls it). Simple to do, but equally simple not to – the choice is yours!

Packed with examples, easy to read, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially young people! I only wish I read it when I was much, much younger!

My New Year in One Word!

We all love to celebrate the beginning of a New Year and with that, commit ourselves to a list of New Year’s resolutions.

And then, by about the 3rd week of January, we realise that our resolutions have been all but forgotten and we have gone back to our old ways (OK maybe I am overstating this a bit but you get the idea).

A few years ago, I came across Dr Jason Fox and his idea of using 1 distinct word (yes you read that correctly, 1 word only) to live with you and describe the intent you will set for the New Year. This word can be anything you want it to be – an action, an aspect/archetype or something completely abstract! It doesn’t matter, as long as it is meaningful to you!

You can read his very insightful and amusing post at http://www.drjasonfox.com/read/reword-yourself-2015

Before we choose that 1 word for 2017, lets choose 1 word that describes our current (this day only) year, 2016!  Is there 1 word that jumps at you? Can you see a pattern in your behaviour or your life that would suggest that word? What is it trying to tell you? For me, the one word that jumps out is TRUST. I have a new career, a new business, a new path in my life and I needed to trust that was the right decision for me.

And now, let’s look at the year we want to have ahead of us – what type of year you want to have, to live, what is the intent you want to set for 2017?

So far, I’ve had a Year of Consolidation, Focus, Beginnings and my one word for this year is ACT. Not a sexy word, but one that describes what I want to do and see in 2017 –  I want to see myself take action for (and with my family and friends), my health and wellbeing, my career and business and life in general! And as I am planning to embrace public speaking this coming year, ACTing will come in very handy!

So do yourself a favour and do this little exercise. You don’t have to share it with anyone although having an accountability buddy might be a good idea.

Happy New Year! Here is to your Year Of ……. (you can fill in the blank)

 

4 steps to deal with disappointment

dealing-with-disspointmentThe other day I pitched a very good program to a company, and today I received a nice and resounding NO (actually, a “we are not interested at this time” but it sounded pretty harsh to me). Wow, was I disappointed!

And then I thought, I can write about it, that may help, that will be my therapy, my way of grieving about it.

So apart from death and taxes, one other thing in life is for certain – we all get disappointed. We disappoint other people; others disappoint us or we disappoint ourselves. So how do we deal with these disappointments?

  1. Make sure we don’t take it personally!

My first reaction to my news was to take it personally, this was all about me, the Universe is giving me a message etc. Then I had to stop my negative self-talk and tell myself (quite a few times) that this was not about me, it was just that what I was offering was not right for them at this point in time.

By making it not about me and more about what the company needs and wants, it was easier to accept their decision and understand the reasoning behind it.

  1. Practise acceptance

We need to accept that we will all get disappointed in life from time to time – people will disappoint us, we will disappoint them, it is just part of being human. So, the sooner we learn to accept this and accept the emotions that come with it and take personal responsibility for it, the quicker we will move on.

  1. Reflect on your expectations!

This one was a biggie for me! Were my expectations reasonable? Should I be disappointed that my first ever proposal was rejected (at least “not at this time”) or re-adjust my expectations? Were my expectations serving me or not and what can I do about it? Reflecting on our expectations is a very important step when it comes to dealing with disappointments. It will teach us a lesson, change our perspective or even create a new goal.

  1. Have another go (e.g. another time with another company) or change your goal!

Finally, it is important not to get disheartened every time you experience disappointment. The important thing is that you can give it another go at another time or do a bit of self-reflection and change your goal, if that is what you need to do! For my own situation, I am planning to go to a similar company and make another proposal, hoping that this time will lead to more success!

And remember Robert Kiyosaki’s words “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

 

Ask For a Sign and the Universe Will Deliver

white-feather-1I was walking my dog and listening to Gab Bernstein’s new book “The Universe Has Your Back”. She said something that really resonated with me, which was ‘if you are uncertain, you should ask the Universe for a sign about any question you have and watch the Universe give you an answer.’

I have had a question in my mind for a long time so I thought, why not, let’s give it a go! I decided that my sign from the Universe would be a feather, as they are pretty rare to see in the streets of my neighbourhood. I asked the Universe my question, and waited for a sign.

And I kept on walking, searching for my sign, my feather. A hundred meters, two hundred meters, three hundred meters … still no sign, and a bit of disappointment. And then I started to reason with myself; “the sign does not need to show up immediately, it may take days or ever weeks, I need to be patient”. And then, as I was about to cross the road, there is was. My sign! My feather was waiting for me! And then twenty meters down the road, I found another one, and then another! I had a big smile on my face, even a happy tear in my eye. I thanked the Universe, feeling very grateful and happy.

A few days later I was walking my dog again, thinking about the topic of this week’s blog. I had the idea of writing about my sign from the Universe, and as I looked down on the ground, there was a white feather. My sign that this blog was right topic for this week.

So are you ready to ask the Universe to give you a sign? Are you ready to trust that it will deliver?

Nourish Your Roots and Stop Focusing on Your Fruits!

tree-womenThe other day, I started working on my presentation and was looking for the best and easiest way to describe the impact of our thoughts on our quality of life. And then it came to me! Why not use the analogy of a tree to explain how the quality of our thoughts (roots) impact on the quality of our results (fruits)?

The fruits of our tree represents to us our results and our actions, for example having a loving relationship, wealth, the perfect job, a great house and so on.

The roots of our tree represent what’s below the surface and can’t be easily seen – our thoughts, our feelings, our beliefs, our attitudes and our commitment. They represent everything that drives us to take actions to get results and as such, they are so much more important to us (and essential to life of the tree). And if we nourish the roots of our tree, the fruits will come. If we don’t attend to our roots, we will not get the fruits (results) we want or they may not last.

So to put it simply, if you don’t tend to the roots of your tree, your fruit won’t grow!

Let me explain how it all works.

We’ve been told that what we focus on expands or manifests and more often than not, we think that refers to our actions or goals (and then we wonder why we are not getting the results we want).

However, that is not the case.

What we focus on refers to our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create our world. Our thoughts determine how we feel, what we believe, our attitude towards something as well as our commitment level.

So having the right thoughts that control our feelings and attitudes determine our actions, which in turn will result in a happy, fulfilling and successful life.

The key is to become aware of our thoughts and use this awareness to change what we think and focus on in our mind (nourishing our roots). This will in turn drive our actions to give us the results we want (fruits).

So now that you are aware of your thoughts, it’s time to make a choice! Will your thoughts be positive or negative? Life improving or failing? Everything begins as a thought and these thoughts will materialise into your world. So think carefully about what kind of life you want, because you might just get it! And next time you want to change, stop and think about your tree’s roots, not just the fruits. For more details on how to stop your negative thoughts and words ruining your life, check out my blog from 29 June (http://www.powerofcoaching.com.au/are-your-negative-words-and-thoughts-stopping-you-live-the-life-you-want/).

How do you go about nourishing your roots?  Do you want to learn some more on how to take action, stay focused and get motivated? Check out my free EBook offer. www.powerofcoaching.com.au/free

Learn 5 ways to spring clean your life and banish your unwanted habits!

Do you have a habit or 5 that you want to get rid of? Are you addicted to late night snacking or smoking and you want that changed?  We all have unwanted, bad habits that disrupt our lives, give us physical and mental health issues and waste our time, energy and money. So why do we still have them? Why don’t we just stop?

Speaking from personal experience (and I certainly had my fair share of unwanted, bad habits, including overspending, excessive TV watching, nail baitwomen-smoking-cigaretteing and smoking, just to name a few) and those of my clients, our bad habits are almost always caused by a stress or boredom.

So how do we go about changing a habit that we no longer want and replacing it with one that will serve us better? Do we go “cold turkey” to remove them from our lives, or do we simply replace them with something that is more beneficial to us, like a healthier habit?

Before we go there, let’s define a habit and the cyclic process that defines it.  Habits are repeated behaviours that after a while, tend to occur subconsciously. Our habits are created over a period of time and usually involve a 3 steps cyclic process starting with a cue (trigger), followed by a routine and then a reward.  So for example, for a smoker, a cue (trigger) may be a stressful situation or feeling bored followed by a routine (lighting up a cigarette and taking few deep breaths) to achieve the ultimate reward, feeling calmer by smoking a cigarette.

So, how do we go about eliminating our unwanted habits from our life? First and foremost, we need to become aware of the cues that trigger our routine/habit. To become aware of these cues (triggers), take a pen and paper with you (using an app will work just as well) and for a week, write down every time you have an urge to do your habit (biting your fingernails or lighting up your cigarette). You may also want to write down how your felt (stress, anxious, bored) and whether or not you reacted on that feeling. And then, consider some of the ideas listed below that may help you eliminate or replace your bad habits. Some may work better than others and you may need to give it a few goes before you get long lasting results, but keep persisting! This persistence will eventually pay off!

So here are my 5 ways to help eliminate or replace your unwanted habits:

  1. Choose a healthy substitute – For example, instead of lighting up a cigarette, how about learning a new breathing technique and doing that breathing exercise, or even having a glass of water every time you want to light up.
  1. Find out what your triggers are and temporarily limit your exposure to them – If your urge for a shopping spree is triggered every time you see a sale sign at the shops, leave your credit and debit cards at home or go for a walk outside instead!
  1. Have a support buddy – Do you have a friend that wants to kick the same habit as you do? How about holding each other accountable? Regular catch ups and encouraging texts may do the trick!
  2. Listen to your Mini-me (negative self-talk) and train yourself to think differently – If your Mini me (negative self-talk) is telling you can’t do this, argue with it and give it examples of all those times you have done something successfully and very soon, you will start thinking differently. If you have a deep seated issue caused by fear or limiting belief, you may need to deal with it before dealing with your habit.
  1. Focus on what you want – Teach yourself to focus on what you want – so instead of saying that you want to quit smoking, focus on having healthy, clear lungs.

Finally, accept that you will have small setbacks and remember that you may not succeed the first time you attempt to kick you bad habit! But that is okay! And that is why it is so important to keep track of your successes and celebrate each win, no matter how small it may be. And if you would like a visual reminder of your progress, why not get a calendar and tick off every day that you’ve come closer to reaching your goal?

What are some of your unwanted habits that keep you from becoming unstuck?

If this resonates with you and you need help to banish your bad habits forever and get “unstuck”, a life coach can help!

Or if you just want to take action – check out my free E-Book offer at www.powerofcoaching.com.au/free

 

 

 

 

Time to spring clean your Belief System? 8 questions to ask yourself!

getting-rid-of-what-stopping-youWhat is a belief? A belief is something we hold to be true in our lives. It is not a fact, although sometimes we treat them as such. Our belief system provides us with a framework on how to live our lives, what to do and what to say, who to befriend etc.

We are not always aware of our beliefs as they often run in our subconscious mind (just as we are not aware of every single breath we take). Some of our strong beliefs could have been passed from generation to generation or may have been programmed early in our life (for example, the belief that money is the root of all evil).

These beliefs can tell us a lot about ourselves and our self-identity. However, when our beliefs get in the way of us doing something we would like to do, it is called a “limiting belief”. Whilst not all limiting beliefs are bad for us, the trick is to recognise those ones that are and once we do that, do something about it!

So, how do we know we have a limiting belief? We need to look for patterns in our life. If we are overeating, overspending or attracting the wrong kinds of people in our life, they are all indications of a limiting belief. Or if we use the following to describe ourselves, our limiting beliefs could be causing us some grief!

 “I can’t”

If we repeatedly tell ourselves that we cannot do something, these generalisations become our rules for life. Since they are rarely challenge, they can easily turn into a limiting belief. Have you ever caught yourself saying things like “I can’t change” or “I can’t dance.?” By having these thoughts before even applying yourself, they become limiting beliefs.

 “I don’t”

We often define ourselves by what we do, or do not do. So if I am a life coach, I might define myself as such and as a result, I don’t do finance so fail to budget well for my business.

Another common limiting belief is how we judge ourselves as someone who “doesn’t deserve …. (love, happiness, relationships, a better job, a better body –  you fill in the rest). As we don’t believe we deserve them, we don’t expect them to come to us, so they simply don’t show up in our lives.

 “I am/I am not”

“To be or not to be” is the question here. Is that limiting your reality? If you hear yourself thinking or saying “I am stupid” or “I am fat”, you may be stopping yourself from achieving your true potential. So instead of generalising when you are not happy with your actions, it is better to focus on a specific action and make reference to that by saying, for example, “what a stupid thing to do” or” overeating last night was not the right thing to do”.

“I mustn’t”

What determines what we must and must not do in our lives is often defined in laws, rules, norms and values that are imposed on us by our family or society. However, not all of these are compulsory and some could be very limiting. So, if you tell yourself that you “must” clean your house every day, you are limiting yourself as you could use this precious time to do something more productive or enjoyable with your children or friends.

So how do we spring clean our belief system? Think of an area of your life that needs work and think about where you want to be. Once you do that, write a list of the beliefs that are stopping you from getting there. As a test, ask yourself if you would achieve everything you wanted if you didn’t have these beliefs. If the answer is yes, you can start asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I have this belief? Who says it’s true, and do I believe them? Has it ever been the truth? Is this belief true for every situation? What evidence do I have that this is still a valid belief?
  • How would my life look if this belief was no longer true? How would I react in different situations now that it is no longer true? What would I do differently?

What are some of your limiting beliefs that keep you from becoming unstuck?

If this resonates with you and you need help to banish your limiting beliefs forever and get “unstuck”, a life coach can help!

Or if you just want to take action – check out my free E-Book offer at www.powerofcoaching.com.au/free

 

 

 

 

Find out the #1 reason that keeps us stuck in life and how to overcome it!

I couldn’t sleep all night. I kept tossing and turning, thinking about the difficult conversation that I was to have with my boss in the morning. “I should call in sick”, I thought to myself. “I don’t have to do this; this is too hard”.  But then I knew that she will find out about my accident soon enough and things will get worse. So what am I to do?

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have any difficult situations or people in your life that keep you awake at night? Do they stop you Women fear
from asking for, or doing what you want to do, and stop you from moving on in your life?  Everyone can relate to this in one way or another.

According to the author Susan Jeffers, the difference between those of us that get stuck in life and those that overcome the fear, is to “Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway” (which happens to be the title of her great book about overcoming fear). The book suggests that fear is our normal response and that to deal with it, we should think of the all possible outcomes from facing our fears, and then, by understanding what those are, start working on them.

The acronym often used for FEAR is ‘Fantasy Experienced As Reality’. The good news is that if we created this fantasy, we can also change it! So how do we go about changing and challenging our fear so that we can move on in our lives?

First, let’s debunk this myth about our fears. We all feel fear from time to time.  And not all fear is bad!  If fear is stopping us from stepping in front of the car in the middle of the freeway or getting ourselves in the danger, then it is not such a bad thing! However, if our fear is stopping us from sleeping at night, or asking for a well-deserved pay rise, asking someone out on a date or just enjoying our life and living it to its fullest, then we need to take action.

So, how do we go about facing our fears and building our courage muscle, you may ask? Changing your life and facing the fear will involve some level of risk. For most of us, this unknown level of risk is what we don’t like.  It doesn’t matter how young or old we are, once we decide to change our lives and go after something we really want, we will go into an unknown territory.

We may not like what we find when we get there. Or we may love it! Well, there is only one way to find out, isn’t there?

So when we are feeling this fear, we should ask ourselves this question – What is the worst thing that can happen to me when I face this fear?

Once we know the answer, this will allow us to accept it and instead of dealing with the unknown, we’ll be able to tell ourselves that we can handle this. This will allow us to move on despite our fear.

So, in the case of my boss, the worst thing that could have happened to me was that I could have got a caution, certainly nothing worse than that. And could I live with that? Definitely! Once I understood that I could live with the worst case scenario, everything else was a bonus. So you can guess what happened to me the next morning…. I told her about my accident, she was actually very concerned for my health and if anything, I felt better knowing that I had such a caring boss. I know that every situation is not like that and that every time we take a risk, it may not pay off but we’ll never know until we try it.

So, we need to focus on what we want and if that looks too big, break it down. Break our big action into smaller steps and take these steps one at a time. This action will build our courage muscle and our 30 seconds of courage may turn out to be something special.

If this resonates with you and you need help to get over your fear, a life coach can help.

Or if you just want to take action – check out my free EBook offer at www.powerofcoaching.com.au/free

 

6 Reasons We Feel ‘Stuck’ In Our Lives

13921178_10154856009414769_4384868206275762233_nThe other day, I saw this post on the Facebook and loved it. That also got me thinking – the idea of changing something if it does not serve you sounds so easy, so how come so many of us have major issues becoming “unstuck”? Is it because we are not even aware of it (being stuck) or could it be that our negative or limiting beliefs and our negative self- talk is keeping us stuck? Are we just continuing to press the replay button on the remote of life and replaying the same problem or mistake over and over again?

So what are some of the reasons that we get “stuck”, that stop us from creating a better life and how do we become “unstuck”?

1.Fear

Whether it is a fear of failure or a fear of the unknown, the fear stops us from living the life we want and deserve. I’ve heard the acronym for fear being “Fantasy Experience As Real”. Does this resonate with you? Is the fear keeping you stuck?

In order to overcome your fear, ask yourself the question – “what is the worst thing that could happen?” The answer is usually not that bad. And then, accept it and do it anyway. This will certainly expand your comfort zone to a new level.

2. Bad habits

Some of our unhealthy habits, regardless of how small or big they are, could be a problem for us. It is easy to start drinking or eating too much without realising it, and before you know it, it can become a serious life issue.

Do you have a habit that needs changing? By becoming aware of the impact these bad habits have on your life, you can choose to take small steps every day to change your unhealthy habit into a healthy one.

3.Limiting beliefs

Whether you are aware of them or not, sometimes your limiting beliefs are keeping you from moving on in your life. Do you have a lot of “I couldn’t “and “I shouldn’t” in your vocabulary? Maybe you are not even aware of them! Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself every day, and then make the choice every day to replace your “couldn’t’” and “shouldn’t” with “I will” or “I will not” and start living life by your own design.

4. “Better the devil you know” or fear of the unknown deserves its own section.

I know I have been guilty of this one, more often than I care to admit. How often do we stay in a relationship or in a job, just because we don’t know what will happen if we left? Once again, our comfort zone dictates the quality of our life. Start expanding it to break the pattern you have created in your life.

 5. Finding excuses, such as “I don’t know how to change it” or not knowing where to start.

Many of us get stuck because we don’t know what to do next, who to ask for help or we simply are stuck because we have not achieved the perfection we strive towards so we simply won’t start. All of these are bad excuses, especially given the age of technology we all live in. Everything is at our finger tips with Google, YouTube, Wikipedia or even at your local library. So how about getting a start on what type of information you may need? Decide what you need to learn and just do it! Even a small step in the right direction is better than being stuck.

 6. Denial

When we are in denial, we certainly don’t get to work on ourselves or do anything to move us from our “stuck” state. Accepting that we are stuck, and realising that we have fear, bad habits, limiting beliefs or too many excuses is usually the first step to moving forward.

Being aware of what is not serving us any longer and making small intentional changes every day gives us an opportunity to improve our lives.

What are some challenges that keep you from becoming unstuck?

If this resonates with you and you need help to get “unstuck”, a life coach can help.

Or if you just want to take action – check out my free EBook offer at www.powerofcoaching.com.au/free