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Keep on Keeping On - 10 tips to build consistency into your life and practice

Posted on 25 May, 2022 at 4:10

 

“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard.

It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time.”

Bruce Springsteen

 

 


Consistency in your creative practice (and indeed in your life) is a valuable mindset. Building supportive habits can pull you through the days when the spark isn’t there; be the jump off point for new ideas; help you to develop.

However, being consistent in our behaviour and habits can be a challenge. This is understandable if the project or job is something we don’t enjoy doing (social media, accounts and marketing often come up in this area). But what about when the thing we are consistently not doing is the thing we most want to do, such as our creative practice? Or something which enhances our wellbeing?

 

The reasons we aren’t consistent can be numerous, such as:

 

 

  • we forget why we are doing it
  • we feel we don’t deserve it
  • we don’t put ourselves first
  • we think short term and forget the long game

 

 

These aren’t all the reasons by any means. However, here are some ideas which may help you be consistent with both the activities you love and those not so much.


 

 

1. Remember your “why?”

What is it you want to do consistently? Where does it fit in with the bigger picture of your life / practice / career? What is important about that bigger picture? What does it give you now / what will it give you in the future? (This as much about the emotional reasons as the practical.) Depending what works for you, write a short paragraph, make a sketch, find a photo, get a piece of music that you can refer to when you are feeling less than inspired. (See my video “Waterloo Sunset and the Power of Visioning” as an illustration of how I used a song to keep me going.)


 

2. What’s the alternative?

I am always more interested in positive imagery, but let’s be radical. Just imagine someone said that you weren’t allowed to paint anymore? Or to write? Or to sing? Or to dance? How would that make you feel? (Indeed, in the COVID-19 world, this is what happened with actors and musicians in particular who were not been able to perform.) Would you just shrug your shoulders and give up? Or fight for the chance to do what you love?

 

(I include both 1 and 2 in here because we are all motivated differently. On a day to day level if you think about brushing your teeth, do you do it because you want 1: a lovely smile or 2: don’t want horrible trips to the dentist?!)


 

3. Where are you consistent?

I mentioned teeth brushing which is a small, everyday example where most of us have fairly regular habits. Think about other things which you do consistently – in any area of your life – and what/why makes you do them? List the reasons and also any tools / methods that you use to keep the habits going. What can you learn from that to use elsewhere?


 

4. ‘Bundle’ activities

With activities which you do habitually, can you add another to create a sequence which becomes automatic? For example, with me every work morning, I go into my office, take out my laptop, plug in the external back up drive, open up mail, calendar and to do list. If there was a morning habit I wanted to adopt, I would probably think of tacking it onto the end of this sequence. You can also bundle jobs together. Whilst multi-tasking is not always a good thing (you can end up doing several things averagely rather than one thing well), there can be exceptions. I dislike exercising, but I do half an hour on an exercise bike every morning whilst reading novels on my Kindle. I also watch some webinars on my phone whilst walking around my flat, to counter sitting all day.


 

5. Make a schedule.

Often we can put all the other things in the diary and completely forget to schedule our own projects. In family situations, I have often seen everyone else’s calendars getting prioritised, but not our own. Begin by scheduling in your priorities and build around those rather than trying to fit them in after everything else. This can be for daily activities or for things like a monthly self development session or an exhibition afternoon. Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’ advocates a weekly date with yourself, and I wholeheartedly agree with her! (How do you decide if something is a priority? Does it make you feel happy? Does it make you feel fulfilled? Does it spark and /or soothe your soul? Then it is a priority.) When you put things in your schedule, remember to tell people about it so they can leave you alone.


 

6. Give yourself a goal.

In this instance, I am not looking at the big picture you might have in your “why”. This is in part because I have found that peoples’ big “why” is often more a way of being than anything numerical. Also, if you are feeling a bit ‘meh’, the last thing you want is to be overwhelmed by some huge target. But what if you had a small goal which was achievable every day?

 

It might not be feasible to spend all day in your studio and so easy to think it’s hardly worth picking up a pencil. But what if you aim to do a 5 minute sketch a day? If you have a whole morning in front of you, a 5 minute sketch is nothing, but it gets you started. If you have a day full of children, chores, business admin, then the 5 minute sketch is actually a major achievement in itself and a great marker for consistency.

 

By having small, achievable goals like this, or 10 minutes a day on social media or writing, you can give yourself ‘easy’ wins, which lead to a sense of achievement. Your 10 minutes can often lead into a longer session, as you get in the flow. I had a client who wanted to meditate for 30 minutes a day and kept failing miserably. Then we brought it down to 5 minutes a day. By the end of the year, he was often meditated for up to an hour a day - but his goal was still 5 minutes.

 

(You could marry this with 4 - bundle your sketch with your morning cup of coffee?)


 

 

7. Pick your battle.

If you have several areas of your life where you want to be consistent, trying to sort them all at once could become overwhelming. Begin by picking one thing to concentrate on and stick with it. When that becomes a habit, pick your next priority and begin working on that. This could be another way to gradually bundle activities.


 

8. Change how you feel.

This is not something that I often say, but on this occasion I would say if you are about to skip your habit, ignore your initial feelings. When I get up in the morning to do my half hour on my exercise bike, my first feeling is very often “I don’t feel like it…”. However, I remind myself how good I will feel afterwards both physically and mentally for having done it. This is also where reminding yourself why you are doing it is very important. In my case of riding the bike, I do it for the long game, to keep me fit and healthy into old age so that I can continue coaching people for another decade (or two). Ultimately those are the feelings which keep me going.


 

9. Keep track of progress.

Keeping track of your little wins is a great motivator. This can be an entry on a diary page, filling in a box on a grid, a tick on a to do list, using an app… This is a really useful thing to do when you are building a habit as it provides a reminder and a record of your progress. There is also a great sense of satisfaction when you realise you can stop tracking the activity because it has become so automatic.


 

10. It’s not the end of the world

Okay, this may be where I undo all the good work above! But if you miss your daily sketch, your writing session, etc., don’t beat yourself up about it. We are human and sometimes even with every best intention, stuff gets in the way. It can be easy to think, “oh well, I’ve broken the habit, so therefore it’s all been a waste of time”. But the truth is you have only missed one session. Remind yourself how far you have come, acknowledge the missed session and continue the work again the next day.

 


These are just a few tips and as always with any ideas that I offer, play with them, try them out, throw out the ones which don’t work, adapt them to work for you. This isn’t about getting all the tips ‘right’ but finding ways to support yourself.


It's Not About the Lipstick

Posted on 11 May, 2022 at 3:30


 


Some time ago, I did a webinar with another coach, Claire.  It was done in audio mode, with a few slides for reference, but no-one could actually see us.

 

A couple of hours before the webinar, Claire and I had a call to finalise last minute details and check out the technical stuff. As this was done over Skype, we could see each other.

 

After the webinar, we had another Skype call to debrief and what do you know? We saw that we had both put on lipstick for the webinar, even though we weren’t going to be seen by our listeners.  We had a good laugh about this, even as we realised what it meant for both of us.

 

Now, you can have a debate about whether or not women should wear makeup, but that is for another place. The point is that it wasn’t about the lipstick in itself. It was that for Claire and myself, regardless of the circumstances, it was important for us to show up at our very best.

 

It was a way for both of us to move into ‘professional’ mode, for ourselves and more importantly, out of respect for our audience. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t see us; it was about giving them the best we could be, us showing up at 100%. (Even working from home, on days when I don’t have meetings, I always dress “for the office”.)

 

I have another coaching colleague who happily scribbles away with a ballpoint pen on any old bit of paper for their own notes, but when working with a client only uses a fountain pen and a leather bound notebook. A male colleague always puts on his 'special' tie for important meetings and video calls.

 

Obviously, it is no good turning up with the lipstick or the fountain pen if the content isn’t any good, so you need to get that right first of all. But once that is sorted, it is surprising how these small touches can enhance your confidence and get you into your right, professional zone.

 

So what little thing do you do, or could you do, when you want a bit of confidence to show up at your best?


5 Words from 5 People

Posted on 27 April, 2022 at 4:10


 

 

Confidence is an issue that often comes up when I am working with people, especially around the Inner Critic (what we tell ourselves about ourselves) and worrying about what other people think of us.

 

We can spend too much time in our heads listening to this Inner Critic and creating a self image of who we are and how we behave. We then tell ourselves this is the truth and believe that other people see us in the same way.

 

I have been guilty of exactly the same issues and when I was having a crisis of confidence around what other people thought about me, this is an exercise my career coach used with me.

 

This exercise is a bit scary.

 

If you really want to find out what other people think of you ... ask them.

 

Yes, I really said that: ask them.

 

See what I mean by scary? But stick with me.


1) Pick five people that you know and trust.

2) Ask them to give you five words to describe you.

3) Accept the words with no comment, other than to say thank you for their feedback.

4) Give yourself some time and space to really consider the words they have given you.

 

  • How do you feel about the words?
  • Are there any surprises?
  • Which are you most proud of?
  • Which would you have used about yourself?
  • Do you recognise the person they are describing?
  • How will you use this feedback for the future?

 

 

Let's look at this in more detail. 

1) It helps if you have a mix of people, so, for example, you aren't just asking family members or professional colleagues or the other people in the ice hockey team. (I don’t do sports so that's the only one I can think of that has a six person team!) When I did it, I had a very good friend of long standing; a trusted work colleague; my tango partner; a co-founder of a charity; a younger mentee.


2) It may make you feel a little bit self-conscious, but you have my total permission to tell people that you are on a coaching programme and some mad coach has told you to do it, so it's all her fault! You can, as I did, do it by email if you feel too nervous to do it face to face. Be clear with your people that it’s not a five word sentence, but five individual words, such as: smart, funny, kind, skilled, ambitious.


3) Whatever they say, don’t counter with, “oh, no, but…”, “I’m not really…” etc. For one thing, that would be rude - you have asked for their opinions in good faith and because you trust them - don’t throw it back in their faces by arguing. Imagine you are being given a gift and just say “thank you”.


4) Really give yourself time to think about the words used and your reactions to them. You don’t have to consider if you think they are right or wrong - to the person who gave then to you, they are true because it is their perception of you. You can then decide which of those you want to own. (When my coach asked me my reaction to the words I had been given, I said, “they describe the person I would like to be”. Had she been that type of person, I think my coach might have given me a good shake!)

 

Lessons I’ve learned from both doing this exercise for myself and with clients:

 

  • People are extremely generous in their time and consideration
  • I’ve never known anyone refuse the request or give negative feedback
  • Most are thrilled to have this opportunity to say something positive about you, without embarrassment, because you are giving them the excuse of a coaching exercise
  • Some people disobey the rules and will give you sentences and more words than you need!

 

 

Once you have considered the words and begun to own them, you can keep them near you in some way. (For instance, I keep mine in keepsake book which I can refer to whenever I need a boost of confidence.) When you are feeling less than confident or the Inner Critic is giving you an earful, you can go back and remind yourself who you are in the world, rather than in your head.

 

 


Pick Your Battles

Posted on 13 April, 2022 at 4:25


I was recently taken to task by someone who read a comment I had made about spiders. I said I don’t like spiders and to overcome my dislike, I could go to London Zoo for their Friendly Spider Programme where I could end up with a Mexican Red-Knee Spider on my hand. Will I actually do that? Ummmm, probably no!

 

Her point was that as a coach, I shouldn’t be admitting to any fears and “imperfections” (her word, not mine), as I should be a shining example to my clients of how to be “fearless” (again, her word, not mine).  And any fears … well, shouldn’t I be working on them?

 

Interesting and valid points which I was and am happy to answer.

 

I am a coach. I am also a human being, with all the flaws, imperfections and quirks of most human beings. And that means that sometimes, I am frightened of things and that is a good thing. It makes me compassionate to and empathetic with my clients. It is also a good thing when, for example, I get nervous before public speaking. It gives me that adrenaline rush which ups my game and indicates that I feel the speech is important to my audience, not just ‘another day at the office’.  

 

And this is where the point about picking your battles comes in. I get nervous about public speaking and so I prepare thoroughly; my subject, equipment, notes, venue, outlook, clothes, everything. I do as much as I can to give myself confidence. I work through the fear to step up onto the stage because connecting with people, offering them insights and information which might support them, is important to me.

 

If I decided that I wanted to move to a country such as Australia which has a reputation for big spiders turning up regularly in your kitchen, then you can bet that my very first call would be to London Zoo because in that case, a fear of spiders could be a serious block to my future.  However, feeling a bit uncomfortable and screaming like a 3 year old when I see a UK house spider isn’t, so I am not going to spent valuable time and energy on it.  

 

None of us have to be perfect and we don’t have to work on all our fears and be invincible. Not everything has to be handled - and your little quirks and imperfections are an important part of who you are. We have enough to do already in our lives working on the stuff which is important.

 

How do you know which to work on?

 

Is the issue something which is an inconvenience and a minor irritation (or in the case of my spider dislike, something which can be mildly embarrassing in company?), something you can live with or work around? Or is it potentially getting in the way of you moving forward?

 

If it it the former, don’t sweat it. Or work on it if you want, as a practice for working on the bigger issue, but don’t let it distract you. Save your focus and energy for those battles which matter.

Sometimes Your Mind Plays Tricks on You

Posted on 30 March, 2022 at 4:35


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Marcus Aurelius

 

 


I heard a really great quote from Winston Churchill. When asked during World War II why he was not cutting spending on the arts, he allegedly replied, "Then what are we fighting for?"

 

"Fabulous", I thought, "that is the basis for a whole blog post on the importance of the arts."

 

But wait...when I Googled 'Churchill quote art funding' to find the exact wording, it seems that wonderful quote though it is, it was never actually said, even though it pops up all over the place as being amongst the authentic Winston's Words of Wisdom.

 

I saw my great blog post idea turn to dust, until I started thinking about all those others things we believe to be true, especially about ourselves and our situations, and often with less evidence than we get with 30 seconds of Googling.

 

I remember an occasion many years ago when I sat in bed at 2am weeping inconsolably. I had, as far as I was concerned, lost a job I really, really wanted, a job which would be great in its' own right and would also get me away from a company I disliked. And as a consequence, I was trapped in my current company and would never have a job I liked ever again. No wonder I was in tears.

 

And how did I come to this awful conclusion?  

 

I had applied for a job.  

The deadline for applications had passed.  

After three weeks, I hadn't heard if I had an interview.  

 

That's all. From those few facts, I had created the whole desolate scenario and made myself terribly upset. (It must be said my imagination in my younger, less mature days, could create a major drama out of anything!)

 

Luckily, I woke the next morning and had the sense to realise that I knew nothing at all about the situation. I decided to call the company concerned and ask them what the status of my application actually was - after all, I had already seen the dark, despairing future so nothing they could tell me would be as bad.

 

As it happened, the company (a charity) had hit a hiccup with funding and didn't want to start interviewing until the money was actually in the bank. But, they assured me, I was definitely one of the candidates they would call for interview.  

 

And in due course, I got the job.

 

Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our own thoughts about what might happen that we either forget or are unable to take an objective view. By that time, our minds can be convinced that what we think is happening is actually true. As a coach, part of my job is to be that objective view, picking through the truths, half truths and pure conjecture to get to the absolute facts and offering other ways of seeing a situation.

 

If there is a situation which is giving you grief, making you feel trapped, blocked or unhappy, see if you can step back and look at how much of it is real and how much is your mind playing tricks. This in itself might help take the emotion away from the subject and help you see it more clearly. From that, you might find one small thing you can do to begin to change the situation.


Confidence

Posted on 16 March, 2022 at 5:45


 

Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.

Michelle Obama 

 

 


Many people regard me as a very confident person. There are a few areas where I still have the occasional wobble, but I definitely feel most confident when I am coaching or dancing the tango.  But it wasn't always like that.

 

When I started dancing the tango years ago, I had that lovely first flurry of enthusiasm where I was learning and had the permission to get it wrong. I felt a bit of a clumsy oaf occasionally when I trod on someone's toes, but hey, I was learning. The problem was when I had been dancing for a while, hit a plateau and lost my confidence. I felt that after all the classes I had attended, I ‘should' be doing better. I booked myself a private lesson which in my mind I saw as a bit ‘make or break’ - I decided if it didn’t go well, I would just give up tango and walk away. Luckily, I had two really great teachers who gave me some important pointers and I ended the class with a fabulous dance.

 

I didn’t get to be an expert dancer in that single class. I am not an expert dancer now, although I am becoming accomplished.  But I know I can dance well enough to have a fabulous time with some great partners (or at least will be able to once we can meet up again!). 

 

I didn’t walk away from the tango. (In fact in time, my confidence in the tango opened up the possibility of starting my own business.) I just recognised that as a dancer (and as a coach), I have something unique to offer. Not necessarily better, finer, more brilliant that anyone else, just unique to me.

 

If you hit a moment when your confidence has momentarily disappeared, remind yourself of all the things you have accomplished, learnt, created. Remind yourself that these things didn’t just happen, but needed you to learn, to practise, to experiment - and yes, sometimes, often, to get it wrong. Confidence is built on all your experience, your particular talents, your resilience and your mindset.

 

To be confident, recognise your uniqueness, and open up all kinds of possibilities for yourself. 



If confidence (or lack of) is stopping you, perhaps I can help. Book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.

Yes or No?

Posted on 2 March, 2022 at 4:30


“A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

 


If you are searching the internet for advice on whether you should do something or not, you can get conflicting advice around those simple little words, “yes” and “no”.

 

Some people exhort you to say “Yes” to every opportunity. Say yes rather than give in to that little voice of fear holding you back. Say yes because you might not have this opportunity again. Say yes because it is more positive…

 

On the other hand, others say learn to say “No”. Say no to set your boundaries. Say no to be assertive. Say no to be your own person…

 

It is almost as confusing as dietary advice - is red wine our health saviour or our downfall?

 

As with all these things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.


The most important thing to think about is not the whether you say yes or no, but the why. 


Before you make a decision, check if you are going into your default mode. Are you always saying yes to this particular person whether you agree with them or not? Are you always saying no to new things out of fear but sometimes find yourself regretting it?


If you feel yourself about to respond automatically, stop for a moment and check, “is this actually what I want to say?” 


You can ask for time to think - “let me get back to you”. 


You can offer a third option and negotiate something that works for you: “Do you want to meet up for a curry?” “I’d love to meet up - but can we make it a pizza?” 


We may be frighted of what people might think of us if we give the “wrong” answer. The truth is that most of us appreciate people being honest. We would prefer a “good” no to a “bad” yes. Wouldn’t you prefer someone being honest that, for example, an afternoon at an art gallery isn’t their type of thing, so no thanks, rather than someone who says yes and trails around like a moody teenager?


So yes or no? Whichever answer you choose, have it come from the “why” and be true to yourself.

 



If you find you drop into your default mode all the time and would like to make a change, book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.

Optimism

Posted on 15 February, 2022 at 13:10


 


“I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant. After all, in order not to be a fool an optimist must know how sad a place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds this out anew every day.”

Peter Ustinov


 

This may seem a strange quote to start a blog on optimism. After all, as a coach, shouldn't I be telling you that the world is a wonderful place, everyone is lovely, nothing will ever go wrong and thinking happy thoughts will make happy things happen? But look at where we are at the moment. For many, finding the positives in lockdown seemed nigh on impossible; now we are moving in a strange hybrid world. I know for myself, even as someone with a generally positive outlook, that there were moments when it felt like we were trying to navigate the world in a leaking boat with no maps.

 

I remember reading Ustinov's quote in his autobiography ('Dear Me' 1978 Penguin Books) when I was a teenager. It was one of those light bulb moments, the effects of which have stayed with me ever since. Up until then, my picture of an optimist was someone who was always sunny, to whom nothing bad ever happened and who sailed through life with a smile and a song. But surely that is unrealistic at the best of times, let alone in a time still being impacted by the effects of COIVD-19?

 

But Ustinov's quote put things in perspective for me. It made me see that optimism is an attitude of mind, of seeing the world for what it is, warts and all, embracing it and finding the best way through. It is, I believe, a much more powerful way to approach life than waking up every morning thinking and hoping the world is a great place and being kicked in the head and heart at every turn.

 

Optimism is about determining to make the best of the circumstances at that moment. I repeat, "make the best of the circumstances at that moment”. This is not trying to pretend that everything is glorious and lovely. I think it is important to cultivate a positive mindset as a ‘default’ as much as you can. I believe it is also important to be able to identify what your emotions are at any given point so that you can, if you need to, change them or, crucially, be with them and / or use them.

 

For me, the key is to realise that your emotions are things which you can use for your own benefit, even (and perhaps even especially), the negative ones: anger, fear, sadness, disappointment. Sometimes you need to be with the emotion and work through it in order to get to the next thing. As author and coach Gretchen Rubin says, “Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they're big, flashing signs that something needs to change."

The point is we will all have things which happen in our lives which cause us grief, fear, sadness, confusion ... Don’t let the negative emotion take over and leave you powerless. Always remember, you have the emotion - the emotion doesn’t have you.

 

Giving yourself choices of how you react to whatever life throws up is a way of taking control, especially important at a time when it feels control is the last thing we have over our lives. At any moment, you can stop and decide how to feel. You can take a breath and look at how to make this moment work for you or for someone else.

 

What can you learn to use at another time?

Can you change your mood from anger to conciliation?

Can you change the situation from a difficulty to an opportunity?

 

It is also a valid choice to decide to be with your grief, sadness, confusion, anxiety, to let it play out as a true expression of how you are feeling at the moment. (In the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the definition of optimism is “an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome”. In my own experience of lockdown, I did indeed find that the “most favorable construction upon actions and events” sometimes was to let myself be with my confusion and sadness, knowing that if I fought it, it would add to my upset and last longer.

 

(In psychological terms, “Optimists are likely to see the causes of failure or negative experiences as temporary rather than permanent, specific rather than global, and external rather than internal. Such a perspective enables optimists to more easily see the possibility of change.” Psychology Today. Also, we can think that it is our natural disposition which makes us optimistic or pessimistic, but, whilst they appear to have some links to heredity, they are heavily influenced by external factors such as health and environment.)

 

By adopting an optimistic attitude, you can keep on a more even keel, be less buffeted by the bad things and be more energised. It can also keep those voices of doubt at bay; as Lucille Ball once said, "Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”


If this is something that resonants with you and you want support with, book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.

Yes

Posted on 2 February, 2022 at 4:10



“Say 'yes' to life - and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”

Eckhart Tolle

 

 


Yes is one of those funny words. If you say it too quickly, just to get a quiet life, or to something you feel you ‘ought’ or ‘should’ to do, it can be one of those words that can eat away at you, chipping away at your time, energy and/or self respect.

 

But if you say Yes for the right reasons, it can often open up more than you can imagine. Those reasons can include the times when you get that little tremor of excitement, so close to fear, as you see an opportunity which is just outside your comfort zone. For me, it used to be when I was offered the chance to speak in public - my first instinct was always to say ‘No’, because I found speaking in public really scary.

 

For example, close to the beginning of my coaching career I signed up for a coaches’ retreat. It was going to be an intimate group, about 6-8 people, coaches of all levels of experience.

 

In the confirmation email, the course leaders offered an “experimental space”, the opportunity for participants to try out a coaching tool they hadn’t tried before, wanted to refine or get feedback on. My first reaction, as I quickly shut down the email message, was that there was no way I was going to stand up in front of my peers and deliver a session, especially one which wasn’t tried and tested. In fact, my reaction was so strong, I knew there was only one thing I could do.

 

I immediately opened up the email again and before I could think twice, shot off a reply saying I would love the chance to run a new session on visioning the future.

 

The result? The session went marvellously and was described by one of the course leaders as “the champagne moment of the weekend”! The exercise has become the basis of one of my key workshops.

Nowadays, my yes or no to speaking engagements is based on availability/event/etc., rather than fear.

 

Sometimes, I find myself working with people who have a big idea and have even spent a great deal of time thinking and planning it in great detail. They come to me because they don’t know quite why it isn’t happening. Often, we work out that although they have been doing all the right things to prepare, they still haven’t really said ‘yes’ to the great new idea. It is like getting dressed up in your best summer clothes, but not stepping out of the front door in case it might rain.

 

We hesitate because we are frightened: we might not be good at something; we might look a fool; we might get it ‘wrong’. But even if we aren’t very good or we do get it wrong, at least we have given it a try. We can always learn something along the way and who knows, we might even find that it is the best thing we have ever done. I had wanted to dance the Argentine Tango for decades and didn’t do it because I ‘knew’ I would probably be terrible at it and make a complete idiot of myself. I didn’t start dancing until a few years ago and it has had an amazing effect on my life! 

 

Of course, there have been other things I have tried (ice skating, karaoke, cricket, tennis, painting watercolours, for example) where I have been precisely as bad as I had anticipated. But you know, I don’t regret having tried them; I have crossed them off my list and gone on to the next thing, instead of always wondering what it might have been like.

 

But those things I have said 'yes' to which have worked - well, as Tolle says, the world worked with me!

 

So, what will you say ‘yes’ to today?


If you need help deciding your motivations behind your yes and no, why not book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.


Just Start Running

Posted on 19 January, 2022 at 4:25



When people come to me for coaching, it is usually because they want something to change.

 

I know from my own experience when I first went to a coach I was desperate to change my career.  My focus was very much on “running away” from my then current situation. It was a great place to begin. In fact, it was the only place to begin because I couldn’t see any other viewpoint. Importantly, it was a major motivation to get me moving, even though I didn’t know where I was going.

 

As the coaching progressed, my viewpoint was expanded and options became available to me.  Suddenly I realised that instead of running away from, I was “running towards”. I still wasn’t entirely sure what the next part of my career would be, but there was excitement as much about the possibility as the actuality. It increased my motivation tenfold.

 

In a way, this was hardly surprising. When you are looking to change something in your life, you still have your mind in the past, in the situation that hasn’t been working. Running away from that will get you on the road. It can, though, almost feel that you are trying to run fast whilst continually looking over your shoulder. 

 

If you are stuck and not sure what to run towards, don't let that stop you. Being by thinking of what you want to run away from. Make a list of everything in your current situation.

 

 

  • What are the things which are working?
  • How do you keep / increase those?
  • Which are the bits which aren’t working?
  • How could they be ditched / decreased?
  • How long would that take?
  • Who could help you?

 

 

There comes the point where you have distanced yourself, even if only on paper, from what isn’t working and begin to see possibilities ahead of you. You can begin to change your focus to what’s ahead and suddenly, you can move much faster and with more intention. That intention will keep you going over sometimes rocky terrain until you have made the changes you want.



Coaching made a huge difference to my life (and continues to do so). If you think it could help you, too, book a Clarity Call and let's start a conversation.


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