Monday, October 31, 2011

4 Things a Coach Will Do For You (And 4 Things They Shouldn't)

CoachImage by williamnyk via FlickrBy Nick James Smith

What To Expect

1. Achievement

Firstly, a coach should help you to achieve what you want to achieve. In the Harvard Business Review's article about executive coaches, Ram Charan says they will help you 'in understanding how to act'. This is true for a personal coach at any level, in whatever field they are operating, because it is through understanding how to act that you see the clear path to your goal and you can get on with achieving it.

How they go about that will be different depending on you, the coach and what you are aiming at. It might be in clarification of goal setting, helping you break things down into bite size chunks to let you see more and quicker results to keep you motivated.

Alternatively it might be in bringing you to your realistic senses to make your goals more manageable for the circumstances you find yourself in. It could even result in you evaluating who you are and what resources you need before you even set out on the path.

What tools they use for that will also vary. Expect any coach though to ask deep, probing questions that get to the heart of the matter quickly; they will challenge you and make you think, process and make decisions about what you want. Other aspects of the methods they use to get results should be clearly explained if you ask for it. If not, wonder why not.


2. Improvement

Next a coach may help you by assisting you to alter your view of the world or your view of yourself to something that is more resourceful and allows you to act in a better way. Sometimes our predictions about our own poor performance, negative thoughts about ourselves or other people's interventions in our life or a slightly squint take on things will prevent us getting the results we desire.

I have a friend who regularly sets herself up for poor performance so that she never has to deal with the failure of disappointment. A coach can change that. Again, a variety of tools exist, with NLP-related techniques being key in this area of altering your brain's processing patterns (if the initials bamboozled you, ask your coach to explain it to you).

I agree with Michael Maccoby (again quoted in the HBR article) who says that a coach should leave you 'more competent and self-reliant'.


3. Accountability

Sometimes, all you need from a coach is a certain amount of accountability. You know what you need to do but you put off doing it because it isn't essential, you don't have enough self-discipline for something that's a bit tough or there's actually no-one expecting results because it's purely an improvement in your own personal life.

Having a coach challenging you and checking if you have completed the goals you set yourself is often all the extra push that you need to actually achieve.


4. Listening

Finally, a coach will listen to you. It's another of the key skills of a good coach, like questioning. Sometimes, this is the only skill you need of them because you find that speaking words out loud makes you process internally in some way.

To say it you need to own it so a decision has already been made in your head. At other times, as you bring the words out, you realise in some way the absurdity of them and change your thinking because of that.

See the Possibilities

All of this though barely hints at what you can be like after working with a coach. The positive changes in you and your power properly harnessed and put to work can do great things that generally have to be experienced at a personal level to be understood. If you are still in doubt about what is possible, listen to some people who have experienced it for themselves.

Most coaches will have a section on their websites for testimonials or what others say. Read them, and even with a pinch of salt thrown in to counter the self-promotional nature of the page, you will see some of the results that are possible.

What Not To Expect

There are some things that you might expect from a coach that I would hope they will not do for you. In some cases it would be ill-advised to expect them to and in others it would verge on the fraudulent for a coach to offer.


1. Therapy

Coaching focuses on the future, not the past. Whilst there are some coaching techniques, particularly within NLP, that may get you beyond obstacles from the past, if you need to actively deal with something then you need a therapist. Now, it's fair to say that some coaches will also be qualified as therapists of some sort, so they might be able and well-qualified to do both.

If you think you need the services of a therapist then be careful who you hire. Conversely, if your coach meanders off down a therapy kind of line, get them to explain themselves and if you're uncomfortable, stop them.


2. Getting What You Don't Want

This leads on to the second thing they shouldn't do which is anything you don't want them to do. Coaching is about helping you get to where you want to be. If you don't want to go where they are taking you, say so.

If they explain it as a means to an end (they will hopefully understand their own processes and know how they will assist you in getting to your destination) then it might be viable, but as the service purchaser, you need to be happy with what you are getting.


3. Advice

If a coach gives their opinion I would expect it to be prefaced with, 'Would it be okay if I gave you some feedback', or similar words. Coaching tends to be non-directive in its very nature. You might choose to hire a coach who has been through similar experiences to you but still don't expect them to advise you. For that you should try a consultant, trainer or mentor.

A coach is aiming to help you to get the most out of the resources you already have and if they offer you new ones then it should be clear that this is a different process to the coaching conversation. Their role is not primarily to give you advice.


4. Someone To Do It For You

A coach will help you put in the work to get the results you want. They will provide help and assistance along the way but essentially they are a facilitator, not a doer. If you want someone to do things for you, it ceases to be about personal growth and achievement and just about getting stuff done instead. This is fine; just hire someone other than a coach.

Summary

A coach will listen, challenge you and help you to be accountable. They will help you achieve your goals better, and possibly improve how you deal with the world. What's not to like?

Nick Smith is an Outdoor Life Coach and Trainer. Within his company, Square Pegs Coaching, he uses outdoor experiences to help people develop themselves. To understand better what this means in practice and to take greater advantage of his expertise, go to http://www.squarepegscoaching.com or read his blog at http://www.nickjs.co.uk

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life Scripts: Are They Unconsciously Running Your Life?

PatternsImage by Bill Gracey via FlickrBy Eoin Meegan

What are life scripts? Nothing mysterious, they are patterns of thinking which at one time we learned and adopted. They give us certain results, sometimes helpful, more often not. We can identify scripts by the things people frequently tell themselves. For example:

'I get impatient easily', 'I have a quick temper', 'I never get anything finished'.

Let's look at each in turn.

The impatient script

If you were told to 'hurry up' as a child you might have got the idea that there isn't enough time. The impatient type may be useful in the corporate world, where the tacit bully can be seen as an advantage. He will probably land a good job.

He may not be very well liked, but this type isn't likely to set much store by that anyway, (actually wanting to be liked is another script, a more insidious one). He gets results, an immediate need is satisfied, but he's still trying to feel accepted, worthwhile.

Another way we get scripts is through learned behaviour. A child sees a parent act with impatience and they imitate what they see. And in time they think it's natural. There can be an element of self-protection here too. If you're hit on as a kid you may develop various defence mechanisms which turn into scripts, being the victim is one, or being a protestor another (defending yourself from those you see as attacking you).

What about quick-tempered guy?

This is a very id centred script. These people think if they shout loud enough or slam their fist on the table hard enough they'll get attention. It's the mindset of a small child who thinks if they throw a tantrum their parents will give them what they want. This, as we know, is rarely the case. Indeed demanding we have our way is usually a sure way not to get it.

A quick temper can land you in trouble. In fact it has landed many in jail. However, for most people with a quick temper or a short fuse it results in low levels of anger, or irritability. The result constant rows, getting annoyed over stupid things, and a general level of discontent. When we get mad it seems that it is wholly outside our control, but this is not so.

By learning that at some level we are responsible for all our actions (including re-actions) the unconscious elements of this script comes to the surface, where (if needs be) it can be dealt with, or it falls away.

The procrastinator

'I can never get things finished' is really an "I'm helpless" script. The payoff is big here. Basically, it gives the helpless person permission not to do anything. It creates dependency. If someone never takes risks they won't get hurt, so it appears to benefit them. Problem is they won't create anything either. Generally this script convinces people they are subject to the vagaries of life and not in control of things themselves.

The thing is people think their scripts are natural, same as having blue eyes or red hair. But scripts are not genetic. They are all adopted. At some time those people learned to be impatient, short-tempered and indecisive. They made a decision this is how they would be and then they forget they made it.

Are scripts ever beneficial?

An argument could be made that at times they are, but I disagree. Take the impatient guy. He may get the job done, but is he happy? He's deluding himself and I think that's a high price to pay for a well-paid job where people do your bidding but laugh at you behind your back.

If you're angry much of the time chances are you're jeopardising your peace of mind, your relationships, and possibly even your health. Many studies have shown a correlation between an imbalance in mental states and physical illness.

And by telling yourself that you can't get stuff done you may be robbing yourself of finding your true calling in life, and the great rewards, financially and otherwise, that go with it.

Scripts are not authentic. If Jane learned impatience from her mum, or if she adopted it because it served her at some time, then it's obviously an accretion, something added from the outside, and not really her. Once she comes to realise she's playing the game 'I'm impatient' and that she's not only manipulating others, but herself as well, and short-changing herself big time into the bargain, then she can stop. She now has a choice.

Call yourself on your scripts. You do this by examining your life carefully, what your constant pattern of thoughts are, how you react to external stimuli, to unwelcome news, what you tell yourself constantly. It was Plato who said a life unexamined is a life not worth living. And the kid knew a thing or two.

Whatever you adapt will show up in your life. Decide to change today. Get unscripted.

copyright Eoin Meegan

Eoin Meegan writes on self development, mind matters, spirituality, relationship, and awakening to higher consciousness on his site http://www.the-unscripted-self.com which he updates regularly. The articles on the site help people to identify their scripts or programs and clear them.

When not writing Eoin enjoys walking along Dublin's scenic coast or visiting the many coffee shops in the busy Irish capital. He is a rebirther and life coach by profession but spends most of his time these days writing. His first ebook "Birthing the New Consciousness" is available at http://www.the-unscripted-self.com/consciousness.html

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breaking A Habit Is Easy

Bad Habits storeImage by SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent) via FlickrBy Lawrence H Allen

Your mind isn't stupid.

Changing a well ingrained habit is a challenge, but it can be done. Because your brain has created such a well established pattern in your mind, it won't let go of any habit easily. Your mind will use every trick in the book to try and get you back on the path of the habit you told it to create.

Remember, your mind is only doing what you told it to do and like any good servant it keeps trying to do the job until it's done. Your mind will try a lot of ways to get you to get back on track in the habit you created.

Here are just a few of those ways:
  • The first couple of days your mind will not notice the missing habit very much.
  • After a couple of days you will begin to think about going back, but you'll be able to override the thought fairly easy at this point.
  • After 3 or 4 days, you'll start questioning the wisdom of your choice. You'll begin asking yourself, is this really worth the effort?
  • By 5 or 6 days your mind will get even more creative. You'll start telling yourself that I don't really need to do this right now, why don't I just do it in the future? You'll be very tempted to cheat but you know that by cheating you will end up defeated so you stick it out.
  • After about a week, you will begin to find reasons to put the change off. There will be a party, you'll go out to dinner or even the fact that it's Friday night and just doing it this once won't hurt. I can start up again on Monday because there's no point trying to do it the rest of the weekend; after all, what are weekends for?
All of these temptations, logic, rationalizing and reasons are just your mind's way of trying to force you to do what you told it you wanted it to do. Your mind isn't stupid, it's going to get very creative.

The only way to change this whole picture is by doing three things:
  1. Educate yourself about how habits are formed and the tricks your mind will use.
  2. Maintain your focus. If you begin to think less and less about the habit change you are trying to make, your mind will exploit this weakness. You must continually remind yourself or be reminded of the habit you're trying to change during the entire 30 to 60 days it will take to permanently change the habit.
  3. Only take on a small change at one time. If the change you're trying to make is fairly small and easy, you can overcome the resistance of your mind. If you take on too much, you will simply give in and your subconscious mind will win.
Always be aware that your mind is only doing what you told it to do for many years and that you're trying to reprogram it to do something else. Small simple changes to habits is how you break a habit the easy way and offers the best chance for success.

If you don't change your habits, your habits will make sure you never change.

My name is Larry Allen and I spent the last three years researching and analyzing why diets and exercise programs don't work to lose weight and keep it off. I have developed an alternative that does. "It's Just A Habit" is a bold, new, simple solution to permanent weight loss. It shows how by developing 4 simple habits you can get dramatic results that are not achievable through diet and exercise alone. No diet and exercise plans, no pills, no hype and no phony promises. It's simple, it's easy and it works.

Visit our website at http://ItsJustAHabit.com and discover why you haven't been able to lose weight permanently and what you can do about it. You can also join our free forum to talk about how habits rule our lives.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Tips On Creating A Vision

VisionImage by ransomtech via FlickrBy Ian Crossley

GETTING READY TO CREATE A VISION

Creating your vision thing is where most people have great difficulty. There are so many challenging things that have to be overcome, and it is in not understanding what we are trying to achieve that shipwrecks many early attempts.

It is your right to obtain wealth and create enough money to live a fulfilled life, and you MUST decide what fulfilled means to you based on what you feel would make you happy.

It is always a problem when people look at others and envy their lifestyle, when the truth may well be that that person could actually envy aspects of your lifestyle. For example a "successful" business person may have lots of disposable income, and the supposed trappings of success, but because of the situation they are in, they may not have the mindset or the time to enjoy it.

When creating your vision, it is important that you factor in initially, the things you love about your life now, that cost nothing, for example time with your family, exercise regimes, being available to do things with your children, time to enjoy the natural wonders of the universe like sunrise and sunsets, and of course time with friends. It is these very things that some people seem to sacrifice, in an attempt to obtain money and things, that they think might make them happy.

Most of the extremely wealthy people I know, get pleasure from doing some very basic things, and always wish that they had more time.and others have arrived at where they wanted to be financially, and have realised their assets, and have so much time on their hands that they get bored.

So as you can see, the more balanced that you can make things on the way to achieving your vision the better. That is why I recommend not making too many sacrifices on the way by ignoring the things mentioned earlier, that you enjoy now.

It is very difficult for us to create a vision based on things that we know nothing about, and many people arrive at a point they were aiming for, but have lost many important parts of their life.

My recommendation, when creating your vision, is to not rush it, but really decide how things will feel when you achieve it. Factor in all the important things that we discussed earlier, and make sure that you do not sacrifice them in an attempt to accelerate things, thinking that you can put it right later. You will never be able to put those things right however much money you get, one thing you cannot buy is time that has already passed.

A point to consider here is very important and it is the true foundation of your success in creating and achieving your vision. You must change your thoughts and feelings deep inside, and truly believe in your ability to allow your new life to come to you.

I read somewhere that if all the money in the world was divided equally among all the inhabitants of the world, eventually the distribution would get back to pretty much how it was. That is the rich becoming rich again and the poor becoming poor again. This would indicate that each persons mindset has controlled the redistribution.

In conclusion, it does not matter what you visualise, if you do not change your mindset to one of belief in achieving, and faith in receiving, unfortunately you will remain exactly where you are.

Remember it is your right to have all you need and desire, and it is only past information and programming that is limiting you.

Croz has been coaching and mentoring young entrepreneurs for many years. He talks regularly to groups and individuals, spreading his valuable message in an entertaining and humorous way. His website is http://www.worryfreeisland.com

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Personal Growth Quotes 1

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...Abraham Lincoln - Image via WikipediaBy Nonny R Knight

Personal Growth is different for everyone and your unique experience causes you to react differently to any stimulus that comes your way. Today, I have listed a few quotes and their impact on me, I hope you find them inspiring.

The fact is that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can - Robert Cushing

This quote means such a lot to me because I can be one of those that spends a lot of time thinking and thinking about doing something. If I finally do decide to do it, I then spend time researching and researching things and then I move on to reading and reading about it. I think you get what I mean. Some would call it 'analysis paralysis'.

I definitely get stuck here for a long time and then talk myself out of whatever it is that I am considering, only to come back a while later wishing I had at least given it a go. There is nothing quite like the shame of regret for things not done. I think I would rather look back and smile at all the silly things I did than forever wonder if I could have made something I dreamt of, work.

Are you determined to live life to the fullest? Putting the above quote into practice would demand that. This is definitely a quote to live by.

Energy and persistence conquer all things - Benjamin Franklin

Another powerful quote. Lots of people try different things, having overcome their fears but then at the first sign of trouble, they quit. We must choose each and every day to carry on pushing forward with the personal growth targets we set for ourselves.

I sometimes wake up feeling tired and afraid and full of the desire just to give it all up as a bad job. At times like that, I have to remind myself of things I am grateful for, I whisper a prayer and step out and refuse to condone the weak thoughts that threaten to overwhelm. Not always easy to do but definitely worth it.

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure - Abraham Lincoln

I love this one! The truth is I have failed at some of the things I have tried to do, but I am not content with that. So I dust myself off and try again. Failure is only truly failure when you stop. This I suppose links back to the last quotation. We must persist, we must keep on growing and each time we try something new, we will improve.

I am particularly interested in starting business at present but maybe for you, it is simply going to college each day, or looking after your children without screaming for a whole 24 hours (I am working on this, by the way!). Whatever situation you are in, there is always room for your personal growth.

I invite you on this journey to self-development with me. What quotes inspire you? Let me know a few.
Nonny Knight is passionate about inspiring and encouraging women to step out into the limelight. A pharmacist, business owner and property investor, she shares her journey at http://mum-in-business.com. Come and join in the journey.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Motivational Quotes - 21 October 2011

From http://www.lib.utexas.edu, in the public ...Andrew Carnegie - Image via Wikipediaby Nicolas at the Inspirational Quotes blog: http://inspirational-quotes-blog.com/

Whatever you have, you must either use or lose - Henry Ford

Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make - Donald Trump

It is not what we get, but who we become, what we contribute ... that gives meaning to our lives - Tony Robbins

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better - Jim Rohn

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come - Robert Schuller

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress - Thomas Edison

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination - Mandela

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work - Andrew Carnegie

Maturity is the ability to reap without apology and not complain when things don’t go well - Jim Rohn

To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence - Sun Tzu
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creating Change: Two Major Barriers to a Better Life

Carnival of SoulsImage via WikipediaBy Lori Bell

There are two major roadblocks that get in the way of achieving a better life: fear and excuses. The bad news is that both of these are tied to the mindset that we carry around with us.

The good news is that it is possible to change your mindset and to contain or eliminate these two roadblocks from interfering with building a life that we love and are so much entitled to have.

1) Fear

Everyone experiences fear at some time or another in their life- it is not something that can be completely avoided. We are all genetically programmed to respond to fear. It once served a greater purpose in our lives- to survive. When people were chased by dinosaurs or other prehistoric creatures, the response was to either run or fight the aggressor. The fear response was indeed a true response to a true life threatening event.

While fear still has a purpose, the majority of our fears are based solely on our interpretation of the various situations that we encounter.

Take for example, the fear of not getting into your desired graduate school. You send the application in. Your peers received acceptance letters back from their schools of choice. You have heard nothing back. You start ruminating - afraid that you won't be accepted.

The panic and anxiety begins to build to the point where you can't eat anything and can't sleep at night. You start to become incredibly grumpy and unbearable to be around. And, then you get that thick envelope in the mail with your acceptance packet. The fear you were experiencing was all for nothing. What purpose did this fear serve you?

When you are experiencing fear that is not related to a real-time event (a car accident, a house on fire, or a big bad dog chasing you down the block for example), the best thing to do is acknowledge your fear and ask where is it coming from and what its purpose is? Is this fear serving me well?

2) Excuses

We put excuses in place to cover up our fears. I once supervised an employee who would do everything possible to get out of speaking in public. She would get sick at the last-minute, her daughter would get sick at day care, or she would have a forgotten dental or doctor appointment to attend to.

Although the excuses she used to get out of performing in public did serve a purpose - to decrease the amount of anxiety and fear she had - they did not serve a greater purpose. Instead, they inhibited her ability to move forward in her career. Her fear was irrational and tied to thoughts contained in her mindset:
  • I am not good enough
  • I will fail
  • They won't like me
  • I am a fake - they will find out that I really don't know what I am talking about
The good news is that, this is a common fear, and that she was able to work through the fear. She started attending Toastmaster's International which was offered during the lunch hour at our place of work, and she started slowly in giving presentations to smaller groups of people and then building upon that.

One of the key motivators for her was that she really loved her job working as a coach and mentor, and if she was going to help other people grow then she needed to challenge herself and grow too.

Lori Bell is founder of Creating Powerful Change, LLC and creator of http://www.help-me-change.com which offers tips, tools, and techniques for implementing successful change in to your life. As your Personal Change Agent, Lori will provide you with an easy to follow step by step process that allows you to tap into your hidden potential, to grow personally and professionally, and to create a life that finally feels right and works great for you! To receive other free articles and the no cost product- "Are You Ready for Success?" visit http://www.help-me-change.com now.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Motivational Quotes - 19 October 2011

Paulo CoelhoPaulo Coelho - Image via Wikipediaby Nicholas on Inspirational Quotes blog: http://inspirational-quotes-blog.com/

You must remain focused on your journey to greatness - Les Brown

You must sow a seed of opportunity everyday - Richard Parkes Cordock

We still did not answer the questions that are important to us - Paulo Coelho

No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like - Napoleon Hill

Hope is not good enough, action is what matters - Richard Parkes Cordock

Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing - Napoleon Hill

Men willingly believe what they wish - Caesar

The path to success is to take massive, determined action - Tony Robbins

A person starts to live when he can live outside himself - Albert Einstein

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat - Napoleon Hill
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get Clear About Your Intentions and Create Lasting Lifestyle Changes

Infinite ClarityImage by Rockinelle via FlickrBy Jennifer J Johnson

Most of us are interested in living our best lives. On the journey toward living our best lives, we are all working to change something - our jobs, our bodies, our schedules, our eating habits, our exercise habits, our self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, our ability to take action in spite of our self-doubts and fears, our unconscious compulsive habits, or our work/play balance.

When we're contemplating lifestyle changes, getting clear about our intentions and finding a way to keep them in the focus of our daily attention is key.

For example, it's one thing to say that our goal is to lose weight, but it's another to get clear about our intentions behind the desire to lose weight. Perhaps what's driving the goal of weight loss is the desire to improve our health and well-being, the desire to feel more energetic, or the desire to feel better about ourselves.

Getting clear about our intentions is the first step. There are several ways that you can go about clarifying your intentions. Writing about them is a great way to get clear, as is asking the questions, "What is my intention? What matters most to me?" during our meditation practice.

Once we've clarified our intentions, it's useful to find or create a visual image that represents our intentions. For instance, if the intention is to lose weight in order to improve health and well-being, find or creating a photograph of something that represents health and well-being. Placing the photograph on our desk at work, where we'll see it throughout the day keeps our attention on our intentions and can serve to keep us focused and guide us in making the decisions and choices throughout the day that support those intentions.

Similarly, once we've achieved our goals, continuing to focus on our intentions can support us in making ongoing choices that support lasting changes. Keeping this focus on our intentions can help us to generate positive and focused responses to the negative or defeating thoughts that can sometimes take us off track from achieving our goals.

For example, if we're trying to lose weight and we pass by the cookie counter, we may have the thought, "I want a cookie," and if we're aware of it and say to ourselves, "I shouldn't have that," we may then have a defeating thought, such as, "It won't hurt me to have just one." Of course, eating that one cookie typically leads to more negative thoughts, such as, "Wow, I've blown it now. I may as well eat two," and that thought may lead us to feel entitled to engage in poor eating habits for the rest of the day.

However, if we can stay focused on our intention, that we want to lose weight to feel more energetic and be able to run with our kids, keeping the long-term goal and intention can keep us focused and help us to say no to eating the cookie.

Try to make some time this week to focus on your intentions. Take 20 minutes to sit quietly and consider the questions, "What are my intentions?" and "What matters most to me?" and see what emerges in response. Or try writing about your thoughts in response to those questions.

Jennifer Johnson is a psychotherapist, wellness coach, writer, and photographer. She coaches people all over the world to dare to live life through being well, managing stress, and living their full creative potential. Jennifer works with people struggling with stress, time management, food/weight issues, chronic illness (including celiac disease, allergies, and environmental illness), anxiety, and depression.

She provides individual coaching internationally by phone and Skype. When Jennifer isn't coaching people to dare to live their lives, she's daring to live her own life through her writing and photography.

Jennifer Johnson, MS, MFA
http://www.daretolivelife.com
http://www.jenniferjohnsoncreative.com

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to Learn to Let Things Go

Let goImage by Brandon Doran via FlickrBy Bob Howard-Spink

When I talk with people about the idea of making the rest of your life the best, whether through changes in work or doing something new and different in their free time, I always get an enthusiastic response. It is when the conversation moves onto the part about actually doing it that attitudes become less "can do!"

Not surprisingly people raise some very practical considerations about making big changes in life - with obvious concerns being financial issues and time commitments. A far less obvious concern, but one that does ultimately reveal itself as a major factor, is a reluctance to let go - to let go of things from the past and to move on.

To be fair it is something which I have not been good at, and it took a recent event to point this out to me.

I finally sold the old Lexus 300. There were of course several sensible reasons why I should: Expensive to run, and with a home based business these days, not much of that expense was allowable to tax. Awkward to park, I never mastered it. Hopeless on snow covered roads, now a regular feature of our winter.

Yet all these reasons were suddenly questioned the day the old boy was traded in for a used but un-abused VW Golf. An unexpected moment of sentimentality came over me as I thought about losing some of its comforts and indulgences. But more than this, it was the thought that I was giving up my symbol of success, my big executive car.

Just how big an issue this was, or how it connected with a 20 year old grudge only fully emerged a few days later. By now I was happily enjoying the benefits of the Golf. It is easy to park. The fuel gauge needle does not plummet to empty. But it was when a business colleague said "You have come down in the world a bit" that I discovered the biggest benefit.

His comment triggered memories of redundancy 20 years ago. Of the blow at losing a big job with all the disappointments that meant. He caused me to see that the Lexus was my way of denying all this, and dwelling unwittingly in the past. Suddenly I not only felt good about driving the Golf, I felt relieved of a hang up. I had finally let go.

A short guide to letting go
  1. Be alert to the problem: There are certain to be events in your past that have caused embedded feelings of regret, injustice, disappointment, even shame. They work away in the background distracting and nibbling away at your attitudes towards life.
  2. Look out for the clues: The habits and routines that are the ways you have always done things. The mementoes of the past that on reflection you now see to connect with these events.
  3. Create your hang ups inventory: Write them all down. When you plan to commit yourself to goals or actions then writing them down adds to their reality and the intent that you attach to them.
  4. Have a mental de-clutter: Remember the old adage that everything starts with a thought? How you feel about anything and everything happens because of a thought. I get anxious when up a ladder because I think about falling. All those things from the past you feel angry, sad, ashamed of, tell yourself you are not going to feel that way any more. Tell yourself you are moving on.
  5. Have a physical de-clutter: Take that hang-ups inventory you wrote out and ceremoniously throw it away. Put it through the shredder. Roll it up into a ball and chuck it over your shoulder into the wastepaper bin. Burn it on your stove. Do it with purpose and feeling!
  6. Have a behaviour change: Change those "old way" habits and routines. Get rid of those mementos.
For many people making the rest of your life the best of your life can mean making one or two major changes.

For some, making the rest of life the best simply means letting go of things from the past.

Author Bob Howard-Spink had by his own admission been shifting careers for 40 years before realising what a life refreshing and enriching experience change is. He also admits that like many people he had viewed mid-life career change as one of those "crisis" things that people do until discovering what huge benefits it brings.

All of which inspired him to launch onwego.co.uk through which he now encourages, advises, and generally eggs on would be mid-life changers as well as connecting them with sources of help. The help ranges across career change, making the best of your free time, and personal fitness, all offered to help visitors make the rest of their life the best of their life!

For more information visit http://www.onwego.co.uk.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

2 Quotes to Help With Your Personal Development

InspirationImage by Todd Huffman via FlickrBy Steve Nash

Personal development is all the rage these days, isn't it?

Everyone and their sister seems to be urging us on to bigger and better things. And for what? So we can improve ourselves as individuals, or so we can add to the bottom line of an ever-burgeoning self-help industry.

Well, let me offer you an antidote to all the noise out there, re personal development. And I'll charge you exactly zero dollars for the privilege (yes, that's US dollars too - hmm!). All I need is your full attention, and the services of 2 personal development inspirational quotes I happened to notice a week or so ago.
Then your personal development is assured (read on)...

Personal Development Quote #1:
"In learning to know other things, and other minds, we become more intimately acquainted with ourselves, and are to ourselves better worth knowing."
- Philip Gilbert Hamilton

Hmm, this is a long-winded way of saying 'get involved'! Get involved with life, with the people you meet in it (even those people you take a bit of a disliking to). Take part, stretch yourself, and have a bit of a laugh.

And don't keep count on how 'successful' you are - oh no! Keeping count, or comparing yourself to others, is the number one way of stopping anyone do anything of use.

So get involved, don't keep count, and I bet you'll find that your life just a got a whole lot more interesting and stimulating. You'll be doing new things, meeting new people and finding out how much you can do than you ever realised...

Personal Development Quote #2:
"Today's action becomes tomorrow's habit."
- Anon

Ah, lovely. All that doing new stuff today, becomes doing 'old, familiar stuff' you keep on doing tomorrow. AND, the habit you have of trying new things grows - yes, that's right, it's important that you keep on trying new things, keep on developing yourself as a human being.

Just imagine, remember for a moment, that one person you know who's never afraid to try out new stuff! Yes, they're usually quite self-confident. Yes, they're usually quite good at the new stuff they try. And, yes, they don't mind that much when they're not so good either. The thing that you always notice about this person, that everyone else notices too? They laugh a lot! Yes, they laugh a lot AND they laugh an awful lot at themselves!

Now just imagine that this person is... you! How does that feel, huh!


What exactly is the development of self if it's not the stretching of who someone thinks they are, and what they think they are capable of?

Follow the ethos of this article - do more, be more, enjoy and then repeat every day - and you WILL develop as a human being, it's guaranteed.

And you'll not have to read any more articles on personal development, either - which will be an added bonus, no?

But for those non-believers out there, who always think that there's more to read first, and more to learn, then why not check out this page (if you must!)

http://www.selfhelpcollective.com/personal-development-plan.html
From Steve M Nash - Editor of http://www.SelfHelpCollective.com

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Unleash Your Creative Power

Creativity (magazine)Image via WikipediaBy A Horton

Our thoughts determine the size and scope of our expectations, our expectations drive our creative capacity and our commitment, perseverance and creative energy eventually turn into the reality we get to experience.

Are you guarding the thoughts that you are thinking, ensuring that you focus your creative energy on only positive outcomes, which are aligned with your desires or are you allowing negative thoughts to dominate your mind.

Positive thinking, turns into desirable outcomes and fulfillment, negative thinking turns into regret and unhappiness. Can you think of one reason why you are not choosing better more positive thoughts?

We are all creative beings with the potential to create almost anything, if we have a big enough reason why it is important to us. Search your life today; invest time to discover what you really want and more importantly why achieving, having or doing it is important to you.

The time invested into this exercise will finally give you the fire in your belly and the inspiration to overcome any obstacle that may cross your path. When you have a reason why you want something and that reason is real and meaningful to you, nothing can or will ever stop you from succeeding.

The reality or the outcomes, which you will get to live in the future, are merely the sum of all the creative actions, you will take over time. Learning how to tap into your creative power, will allow you to explore the limits of your potential and permit you to finally begin achieving your hearts desires.

Ignite your creative spark today and allow your innovative and creative energy the freedom it needs to begin building the life you desire and deserve. When you open your mind and become an innovator, you are constantly searching for ways to improve and to do things better. This desire to continually streamline, improve, refine the way you do things will improve the quality of your life.

The ever increasing rate of change, we see all around us every day is making innovation a necessity. If you are not improving, you are most certainly going to fall behind. Until you become an innovator and someone that is committed to on-going growth, you are effectively allowing the world to speed by and you are moving backward. This fast paced, ever changing and evolving global marketplace is not a place to stagnate and to keep doggedly doing things the way you always have. It is a place where you must adapt, innovate or die.

Innovation isn't an event, where you get to make radical single changes to the way you do things. It is an on-going process of gradual adaptation. It is a new way of thinking, constantly challenging the status quo.

Looking for new and better ways of doing things every day, systems that worked yesterday may not be appropriate tomorrow. It is no longer acceptable to say" If it ain't broke don't fix it". The new way of thriving and surviving in business today, requires that businesses constantly look for better and more creative ways of doing things.

As you foster a new attitude and commit to make innovation an integral part of your life and business, your new paradigm, your new way of doing things, you will have found the key to creating a competitive advantage and set your business up for long term sustainable success.

http://www.andrewhorton.co.za

Hi my name is Andrew Horton; I am an inspirational Speaker, Master Teacher, Radio and TV Host, Global Traveler and Author. My area of focus is in the field of human behavior, expanded awareness and enlightenment. I travel the planet constantly researching, learning and seeking ways to unlock the mysteries of the human mind. I delve into the inner workings of the universe, always looking for ways to understand my role in making things better and contributing to the improvement of the human experience.

Please visit my website to sign up for a daily inspirational message, by following this link Daily Inspirational Message. This is your daily call to action, a reminder to do things better each day. Visit my website at http://www.andrewhorton.co.za

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goal Setting - How to Get and Keep the Momentum Needed to Reach Your Goals

Despite the GIF format's limitations, it can b...Perpetual Momentum - Image via WikipediaBy Cindy Siow

Here are three ways you can sustain and keep the momentum going.

1) Consistent action

Taking consistent action can help you reach your goals faster by sustaining the momentum that gets you going in the first place. Once you have overcome the initial inertia to getting started, putting in place a series of consistent action can sustain your momentum to reach your goals more successfully.

For example, when using article marketing to drive traffic in your online business you need to have momentum in order to gain success. Once you have submitted a few articles, gained a few subscribers and some traffic; momentum will sustain your success by providing the drive to write and submit more articles for sustained traffic to your website.

2) Push yourself to become better

You need to consistently push yourself to become better once you have reached your goal. There are many others who feel 'lost' once they have reached their desired goal, not knowing what to do next. Thus it is important to have a series of goals to sustain your growth throughout your life.

In order to sustain your success and not become a one hit wonder, it is important to have a series of goals you want to achieve in your life.

There are many people who have listed a set of 101 goals they want to achieve in life; this is what keeps them going after they have achieved a goal.

3) Fight off disappointments and discouragement

There will be times when we do not reach the goals we have set for ourselves. You have to fight off the disappointment and put things in perspective. Review your actions and find out why you have not achieved the goals despite taking certain actions. Can you leverage on people or resources to help you reach your goals faster and more successfully the next time round?

Secondly, there will be people around us who question why we are going after a certain goal. Well, they may be well-meaning people such as our family who do not wish to see us get hurt when we do not achieve our goals, but you have got to fight off this discouragement in order to reach your goals.

There are people who do not realize that they have the momentum going in their lives at certain points. They get distracted by the 101 things that keep popping up in their lives on a daily basis.

Do not let this happen to you and you can sustain the momentum to get going towards reaching your goals. Remember the word momentum cones from the word 'moment'. When you are in the momentum, work twice as hard so that it will be sustained and you can reach your goals faster.

Cindy Siow is the owner of the website MyFirstMagicButton.

MyFirstMagicButton is a system that enables virtually anyone to create an extra stream of passive income right from the comfort of their home. It's like having your own 'magic button' where you can spin off cash almost like clockwork. For a limited time only, you can claim the blueprints to creating your own 'Magic Button' by visiting http://www.MyFirstMagicButton.com

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For Your Reading Pleasure: Four Excellent Self-Help Books

Cover of "The Success Principles(TM): How...Cover via AmazonBy Mattie Taylor

The fact that self-help books have become increasingly essential for personal growth is the main reason why they have not only become popular - they have also been quite useful for a lot of people.

In this article, I will explain to you some of the most powerful books and why you should have them in your keeping. These books are going to change your life as you know it. It is going to improve how you look at yourself and the world.

I am saying this because I am convinced that these books are really helpful. A lot of people who have read these books now have noticeable positive changes in the perspectives and actions. And that is something that you would want to have in your life.

The first book is written by Jack Canfield and it is called the "Success Principles." This is especially helpful for people who aim to understand the principles to becoming successful. This book is a good read for almost every kind of person who wants to attain success and covers a lot of field - from the spiritual to the more individualized nature.

So if you are on the quest to find a more detailed, more comprehensive and fresher approach to success, the Success Principles is highly recommended.

For more than fifty years of studying people, Napoleon Hill came up with the book called "Think and Grow Rich." Napoleon Hill observed and studied the lives of successful people and how their principles could work for the modern man as well.

It features the 13 principles which can make great impacts on your life if you commit to follow them religiously. It has sold more than a million copies a few decades before and now it is back with a more updated language and more illustrations to go with it.

For people who want to discover and learn the new principles in leadership in this day and time, the "Eight Habits" of Steven Covey is the must-read. The book is like the "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" but it features more principles in leadership and concepts that can make visible changes in ways with dealing people, perceptions of the situation and the over-all goal of creating better, wiser and more diplomatic leaders.

By making "Eight Habits" part of your reading list and committing to make it as a guide to become a better leader, then you have just made one of the wisest investments in your life.

While the book "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferris sounds a little superfluous, this book is the best partner when you are also reading "Eight Habits."

This book explains in detail how he developed his own four hour work week and how this idea improved his life immensely and how it could also work for you too. In a nutshell, this book talks about how one can deal with the fast-paced modern society and live a happier and more meaningful life.

Investing in books like the above mentioned will pretty much improve your life and personal growth. So if you are up to reading books, better make these four a part of your reading list.

Learn more about how to improve your life and visit our site to get your Free Self Help Tips Report.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Creating Change: Letting Go of Unfinished Business

Cover of "Are You Ready For Success?"Cover of Are You Ready For Success?By Lori Bell

Unfinished business can be a major obstacle to moving forward and achieving your dream life. Sometimes, though, in order to move forward we need to stop and take stock of our feelings and thinking from earlier life experiences.

Sometimes those earlier thoughts and feelings get in the way of living our lives today. Most often, the thoughts and feelings that get in the way of reaching our hopes and dreams revolve around fear, feelings of guilt, being hurt by someone, or hurting someone else. Think of all of the relationships that you have now or have had in your life- parents, friends, teachers, bosses, coworkers, children, significant others.

In looking at these relationships, are there any that were particularly troubling? Were you bullied by anyone at school, by chance? If so, do you still harbor bad feelings towards that person? Did you have a professor in school that made your life miserable, flunked you and said you would "never make it in this field" When you think of that teacher do you wish them ill will? What about a former boyfriend or girlfriend. Did someone ditch you via text after a three-year relationship?

Or, what about your parents - were they there for you when you needed them or were they always belittling you and saying "I told you so?" Do your worry that the direction you might want to move in, or won't be the best direction for someone else? For example, you decline a job offer because it's not in the same city where your parents or girlfriend live?

Believe it or not, these relationships and the thoughts and feelings that go hand in hand with them, can take a huge toll on your life even if they have not been relevant relationships in years. We build a lot of beliefs and assumptions based on our relationships, many of which are false and often sound something like the following:

• I am stupid
• I am not loveable
• I am not worthy
• I am a failure
• I am weak
• I will let someone down.

When we run head-on into these assumptions or false beliefs we can learn to stop, recognize them for what they are worth, and challenge them with new beliefs. It is when we don't recognize our faulty sets of beliefs that things become a bit more difficult. Faulty beliefs can prevent us from trying new things, taking risks and succeeding, and from growing as a person in general.

What do you do if you think that unfinished business and faulty beliefs are blocking your journey to happiness and success?

1) Look out for feelings that bring you down. Ask "Where are these feelings coming from? What are they all about? Why am I experiencing them now?" Just the recognition of the feelings and emotion are sometimes enough to get beyond them. Write about your feelings in a journal, or find a way to talk to a trusted friend about them.

2) Ask yourself some questions: Are these thoughts and beliefs true? What beliefs can I replace them with? What experiences do I want to have? Will these old assumptions allow me to have the experiences that I want?

3) Forgive yourself. No one is perfect - we all know that. Yet, somehow, we expect perfection of ourselves. Instead, learn to know when good enough is sufficient, and when perfection really is needed.

4) The biggest thing probably is to learn to forgive the person who left you with these thoughts so that you can move on. To continually drudge up what step-mother said and did to you in second grade probably isn't going to help you get to your goal. You need to forgive and move on so that you can put your focus on what really matters.

Lori Bell is founder of Creating Powerful Change, LLC and creator of http://www.help-me-change.com which offers tips, tools, and techniques for implementing successful change in to your life. As your Personal Change Agent, Lori will provide you with an easy to follow step by step process that allows you to tap into your hidden potential, to grow personally and professionally, and to create a life that finally feels right and works great for you! To receive other free articles and the no cost product- "Are You Ready for Success?" visit http://www.help-me-change.com now.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Adelaide Custom Tours: The Adelaide Experience

Old Government House in the Belair National Park.Old Government House, Belair National Park - Image via Wikipedia
Hi everyone,

If you are planning a visit to Australia, stop in to Adelaide which is a wonderful city. I operate custom walking and driving tours around the city and surrounds.

Experience #1: Adelaide's Universities - This is a half-day tour where you are driven to each university campus around Adelaide. As I have worked in all 3 universities here, I have a unique insight into the history, architecture and philosophy of each institution, and I know each campus intimately. Maximum - 4 people (A$50 per head).

Experience #2: Bushwalking in Belair National Park and Mount Lofty - This is a full-day tour where you will be picked up from the city to go bushwalking in the Park. I live about 5 minutes from Belair Park and so I know it intimately, the old buildings (Governor's residences, old railway stations and pavilions, the only cafe in the vicinity (included the best coffee in Australia, seriously!). I know the terrain and the story of much of the flora and fauna of the region. As for Mount Lofty, I know a number of trails, most of the cafes, the private Botanic Gardens, and the strange stories of the region (and there's a few). Maximum - 4 people (A$60 per head).

Experience #3: Cricket Adelaide style - This is a half-day walking tour for cricket fanatics! Being one of the spiritual homes of cricket, Adelaide has a great history and a great group of organisations who have recorded it's history. There's the Bradman Collection Museum, the South Australia Cricket Association Museum, Adelaide oval (of course), the State Library Bradman Collection, and the Bradman Digital Library. Also, having played cricket for many years and knowing lots of great cricket stories, this would be a very entertaining experience for people. Maximum - 25 people (A$40 per head).

Experience #4: The Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens - This is a short walking tour lasting for 2 hours, through the Aboriginal Bush Tucker (tucker is food) tour in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. Very few people (even locals) know that this exists. I have taken a number of visiting school groups through this tour and they love it. This is an interesting cultural experience. Maximum - 25 people (A$20 per head).

Experience #5: Mitcham and Springfield, the heart of historic Adelaide - This is a full-day walking tour after being picked up in the city. These are some of the oldest suburbs in Adelaide, nestled into the foothills, where some of the first settlers lived, with many old homesteads still standing. Great old churches, cafes, tea houses, hotels, picturesque streets, Carrick Hill (Adelaide's most famous stately mansion), and even the beautiful Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. Lots to see, all of which can be done on foot. Maximum - 4 people (A$60 per head).

If you are interested in seeing Adelaide with your own personal guide, just call me on 0433 354 383 or email me on: dr.robert.muller@gmail.com

3 Quotes That Make Self-Improvement 'Simple'

Room to ImproveImage via WikipediaBy Steve Nash

How to improve oneself?

Well, it could be as simple as reading this self-improvement article, but I seriously doubt it. It could be as simple as listening (and watching) how others do it, but you know better than just to rely on the actions of others don't you. Or it could be taking right action, relentlessly so...

Or it could be a combination of all of the above, taking right actions as guided to do so by those who have done similarly, but always remembering to rely on your judgment.

This article will attempt to prove the case for the last option - taking the right sorts of actions, right for you that is. And I include 3 self-improvement quotes to help make that case...

Self-Improvement Quote #1:
"People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy."
- Oliver Goldsmith

Learning from others is pretty much how we learn to do most things as a child, I'm sure you'll agree. And when we become a teenager the influence of our peers is not far away. And then adulthood hits us, and we know all we need to know to do life 'our way'.

Except we don't. What we really know is that some parts of 'life' come easier for us than others; that maintaining successful relationships can be frustrating; and that the 'life skills' class seems to a never-ending one whose lessons get harder and harder.

Truth is, we can bumble along in life, blaming others for our failures and taking sole praise for our successes, or we can realise that it is ALWAYS useful to find a mentor or two to model ourselves on.

The mentor could be a family member or a friend or even a famous faraway type. But some kind of role model is always useful to be guided by, when it comes to developing certain aspects of our self.

Else you might find yourself seriously stuck in life, and making the same mistakes over and over again...

Inspirational Quote #2:
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for."
- Socrates

Sometimes it's okay to learn from so-called self-help 'gurus'. Some of these people have struggled a great deal in life so that they now come to an understanding of how much easier life is when you take X action and have Y attitude.

These learned men and women understand themselves really well, and (usually) have a good way of explaining their reality so that it becomes your reality.

Then their journey, which might have taken a lifetime, can help shorten your own journey, as long - of course - as you DO what these people suggest you do, trusting your judgemental as you do so...

Self-Improvement Quote #3:
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
- Confucius

If you don't take actions, even the opposite actions to what some 'guru' suggests you take, then you're going nowhere in your journey of life - nowhere, slow. Development and growth can ONLY occur by your taking actions, preferably right actions.

So you put into practice what your mentor suggests; you do what the self-help guru urges you to do, also; and then, then you see how it works out in your life, and adjust accordingly.

As long as you take right actions, and reflect on how it actually works for you, then you'll grow as a human being... guaranteed!

And if you find that some of these so-called 'right actions' don't actually work then even better. Just as long as you know what DOES work for you, you can maybe become a self-help guru of your own and then come full circle and end up helping others shorten their life-journeys too.

And you can find many other self improvement ideas, contributed by many, beginning at this page - http://www.selfhelpcollective.com/self-improvement-ideas.html
From Steve M Nash - Editor of SelfHelpCollective.com

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Become a Life Coach?

Author, life coach, and motivational speaker T...Tony Robbins - Image via WikipediaBy Carrie Muir

Why do people become Life Coaches? What is the pull? Well there are many reasons why people seek to coach others.

There are many reasons, some that will work and enable you to go on and become an effective coach and there are also reasons that will mean you will be doomed to failure. So lets explore both sides of this coin.

Most would say it is a desire to help others that is behind their wish to become a Life Coach. To feel that they have facilitated a change in another person's life is immensely rewarding and gratifying. The pertinent point here is to explore your motives behind the initial view of wanting to help others.

Is it that you feel you are somehow better than others? or that you have the answers where others do not? I suggest to you if these are your motives then you will never succeed as a Life Coach for those reasons contradict the very essence of what Life Coaching is all about.

Some desire to be a Coach because they believe it is a way to earn a great income; and so it is. However, if your sole motive is to make money out of other people then that is a motive that will lead to disaster for you. People will see through your facade of wanting to help them and see the real truth that you just want their money.

Neither of these motivations will lead to effective coaching or a successful business. So what will?

Lets look at what motivations will lead to becoming a successful and effective Coach. Lets explore the real rewards of being an outstanding Coach. By rewards I mean the emotional satisfaction and joy in seeing others succeed through our help and not the material gains that come with it. Of course material gain is a part of it, in the concept of fair exchange we pay others for their service to us. This is the nature of life.

Someone gives us something and we pay for it. With coaching it so happens that the service we give has life changing consequences for our clients of enormous proportions. What price total freedom? What price releasing the shackles of years that have held us back? What price being able to achieve that long held dream?

The very essence of Coaching is to help others see for themselves that which they have been unable to see on their own. For often when we are in trouble or have lived for years or even decades, with a mind-set that does not serve us, that somehow we are unworthy of wealth or success, we are so embedded in these negative beliefs about ourselves that it can be almost impossible to change that perspective without outside help.

Sometimes we are so "programmed" by life to expect the worse that we can not possible believe that we are able to set up our own business or go for that top paying promotion or new job.

This is where the real magic of Coaching occurs. By helping others to realise and see just what magnificence they have within themselves that they can achieve anything they want in life. This magic can only ever really happen when we are so far along our own personal growth paths that we can truly relish the success of others.
When our motivations come from a genuine desire to see others succeed. When we are able to value and appreciate others for the people they are and have no desire to impose our own values onto them, rather to help them identify and live according to what is most important to them. Irrespective of whether their choices coincide with our own or not. These are the skills of the best coaches. These are the motivations of the successful Coaches.

Carrie's passion is helping others to achieve. Her in depth knowledge of what makes an exceptional coach, how to find clients and sustain business growth can help you do the same. Take a look at her Coaching Program if you have a change you are struggling to achieve in your own life. http://enlightenu.co.uk/become-a-coach.html

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

If You Want to Be Successful, Cultivate Your Creativity

"The Thinker" statue at Columbia Uni...Image via WikipediaBy Melinda Sinclair, D. Phil
Creative intelligence = "the ability to go beyond the given to generate novel and interesting ideas" (Robert Sternberg)
Innovation has become the key to ongoing business success. Career-wise we are regularly reminded of the need to recreate ourselves several times over the span of our working lives.

In our personal lives yesterday's solutions fail to fit our complex, high- pressure, high-expectation, fast-changing world. Instead we are challenged to design our own customized answers to how we live our lives. No wonder, then, that creativity has become such a highly valued attribute.

Indeed, if we are interested in increasing our effectiveness and building our capacity for success, then developing our creative capacity is a high leverage activity. Below are six basic, yet effective, strategies that I use in my work with coaching clients to help them bring more creativity to how they live and work.
  1. Acknowledge and recognize your own creativity. Using creativity more effectively starts with the belief that you are inherently creative. If you doubt your own creativity, then intentionally notice where you currently exhibit creativity in your life. You may be surprised to notice where and how you are creative. Even seemingly mundane activities such as cooking, gardening, or making lifestyle choices can provide you with evidence that you do have novel and interesting ideas. More important, by paying attention to your creativity you will also discover how acting upon these ideas adds value for you. Gradually you build the foundation for bringing more creativity to your work and life.
  2. Nurture your imagination. Einstein said that 'Imagination is more important than knowledge.' Practice your imagination muscles by making time to fantasize, to create new possibilities. When faced with a specific challenge, devote time to brainstorming ideas. Deliberately make space for the outrageous and way-out when considering options and possible solutions. Nurturing your imagination - giving it room to play - is essential if you want to live creatively.
  3. Cultivate curiosity, avoid judgment. A habitual negative judgment towards new ideas and suggestions is an effective way to close off new explorations. It keeps you firmly in the box of your existing expertise and prejudices. Curiosity, on the other hand, opens the door to new explorations and holds the possibility of new discoveries. Maintain an open, curious attitude towards new ideas and suggestions that come up - both your own and those of others.
  4. Strive for independence. Just as creativity requires letting go of your own judgment, you also need to be willing to let go of others' judgment. To the extent that you shape your actions and thoughts to meet with others' approval, you may miss out on the opportunity to explore creative new ideas and possibilities. This is quite a price to pay. If you find that you have a pattern of holding back on creative solutions for fear of others' disapproval, it helps to start experimenting in one or two small, safe areas.
  5. Take creative risks. Playing it safe is tempting, because it reduces the chances for spectacular failures. If we don't risk such failure, we also eliminate the chance for coming up with new possibilities. When we fail in the process of stretching into our creativity, we know we are learning and growing. And painful though the failure might be, know that stepping out also holds the possibility of you realizing more of your unique, valuable potential.
  6. Make creativity a normal part of your life. In the words of John Chaffee, creativity "is not an add-on, something extra that you have to find time for in your busy life. Instead, creativity is a better, richer, more productive approach to doing what you are already doing."
* John Chaffee. 1998. The Thinker's Way. Boston etc.: Little, Brown and Company. p. 74
Copyright Melinda Sinclair 1999-2011
Please visit MelindaSinclair.com for blog posts, articles and other resources about executive coaching, leadership development, and the power of creativity.

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