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Change Your Story… Change Your Life

Everyone tells themselves stories, mostly self limiting ones like, “I’m too old, I can’t, I don’t deserve it”, yet you can change your story change your life“You can do anything you set your mind to!” Did you ever hear these encouraging words from a parent or teacher as you were growing up? Did you believe it then? Do you still believe it? Or somewhere along the way did you quit believing because you started telling yourself self-limiting stories?

Too many times we’ve replaced the encouraging voice in our heads with ones that tear us down and keep us little. They come from our own fears and insecurities or we’ve actually heard them from other people who abusively denigrate and belittle. We’ve heard it so often that we begin to believe it ourselves.

The self-limiting stories we tell ourselves are usually focused on generalizations, negativity and comparisons with others. You can recognize them, because they often start with statement like these…

“If only I was … I could …!”

“I’m not good at…”

“I can’t…”

“I’ve never been …”

“Who do you think you are…”

“You’re too…”

“He gets … because he’s gifted. He doesn’t know what my life is like.”

Just because something doesn’t come easily to you or you’re inexperienced, doesn’t mean you can’t do it well. Perhaps you’re not the most talented speaker today. Your story doesn’t have to be that you’re not a gifted speaker. Your story can be that you want to be a talented speaker and you’re willing to do a lot of hard work and preparation in order to influence people with your message. And that’s a new story you can create for yourself.

This shift begins when you become aware of the self-limiting talk running through your mind. Think of that commentary like a Narrator – the voice in the background that is giving substance to the story. Most people are oblivious to it. But with greater mindfulness you can stop yourself from automatically saying, “No, I can’t”, and just listen to the objections in your mind. Without judgment, write them down in your journal.

Ask yourself if it’s true. You may think, “I’m so stupid!” But you’re not. You many have made a mistake, but that doesn’t define who you are as a person. Evaluate it. You’ll see that the Narrator is only offering one perspective, based on previous experiences. You don’t have to accept what the Narrator is telling you, especially if it’s disempowering. See all the good things you have accomplished.

Affirm what you know is true. Maybe you don’t know how to do something. But you have the ability to learn. We’re all a work in progress, adding layers and layers of experience to our core values. And that experience is valuable. Set your intentions for how you want to live each day. Stay in touch with your values and you’ll stay aligned with your purpose.

Tweak your story. You don’t have to totally reinvent yourself. Take the parts that don’t serve you any longer and overwrite them with choices that create the best possible story. Daily reflect on how your choices fit into your greatest purpose.

It takes mindful effort to process through the stories you tell yourself. But you can change your story and you can change your life. I would love to partner with you as you go through the process. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Supercharge Your Efforts and Accelerate Your Personal Growth – Do Your Coaching Homework!

Ramp up your personal growth by diligently doing the homework your life coach gives you, for real transformation comes from daily baby steps not huge leaps.When you were in school, did you enjoy homework? I remember the collective groan that used to echo throughout the classroom. Yet, it really is an effective way for students to grow personally and academically.

As I reflect on those years, I’m grateful now. Not only did homework help me remember the lesson, it accelerated my personal growth for it taught me to 1) be disciplined, 2) make priorities, and 3) learn how to learn. Today, I regularly use homework in my coaching practice and I’ve seen that my clients who follow-up and do it dramatically accelerate their personal growth.

Not convinced? Check out these seven reasons for doing your coaching homework and see if they don’t rev up your personal growth…

  1. Remain focused.

We all know the benefits of putting notes where we see them constantly. In that way, we won’t forget the task or goals we need to accomplish. It keeps us from being distracted. Coaching homework gives us something to focus on in between sessions. Working on your personal growth every day is key to becoming the person you desire to be.

  1. Reflect deeply.

When you delve deeper into a topic you covered in session, you often need quiet and solitude to mindfully reflect on it. When your coach gives you homework, think of it as a map to your personal growth as it helps you explore the pattern of your actions, thoughts and feelings.

  1. Retain through repetition.

Our brains benefit from repetitive patterns. Your personal growth depends on remembering new things. Routines, checklists, and templates save you time and ensure you retain what you’re learning.

  1. Reasonable expectations.

You can’t expect overnight transformation. It takes daily baby steps, rather than giant leaps once a week. Coaching homework makes big challenges seem not so intimidating. It lets you know that you’re not the only one with this issue and it reassures you that there’s a process that works.

  1. Recognize results.

It’s important to track your progress – even the tiniest of wins. When you start getting discouraged, you need to be able to look back and see how far you’ve come. An important part of coaching homework is recording your feelings about each step forward and owning your triumphs.

  1. Reframe to fit.

While many of us struggle with similar issues, you have a unique learning style and speed. Coaching homework let’s you mull over the information and make it your own as you reframe it to fit your personal growth needs.

  1. Revisit and expand.

The first time you go through an exercise, you’ll apply it for those circumstances. As your experience widens and your abilities grow, you’ll be able to revisit an exercise with a fresh perspective and gain more from it on a deeper level.

Are you ready to ramp up your personal growth? Do you have something specific you want to work on, but you’re not sure where you should start? I would love to partner with you and share proven personal growth techniques that get results. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Making Your Bed – A Small Routine that Makes a Big Difference in Your Life

Making your bed is a routine that could save your life because it’s the first win of the day that motivates you to choose to live mindfully and productivelyDoes an improved quality of life depend on you changing something? Perhaps you know you should exercise more, eat more healthfully, or develop more mental resilience. But you just can’t seem to get started. Rather than be in a “let life just happen mode”, you may need to switch into a “take charge of life” mode. Making your bed will help you do that!

We all hear the reports that the rate of health problems such as obesity, depression, and heart disease are increasing. Even when a solution is as easy as taking a pill, people don’t comply with that. Studies show that people on lifesaving medications take them only 45 to 55 percent of the time. I believe many are in crisis. They just don’t know how to get started and stay on track.

A meaningful and fulfilling life is built gradually and purposefully. There are no shortcuts. It involves developing a daily practice of habits, rituals and routines that gets you started every morning. And they don’t have to be hard or complicated. Start off with one that that gives you an immediate win – making your bed!

After you awaken, what do you do the first thing? After visiting the bathroom, do you stagger toward the coffee pot? Then what? Do you sit down and mindlessly wait? If that’s the case, you’ve already left something undone or unfinished. Do you really want to start your day with a loss? 

You can regain ground easily. When you awaken, throw the covers wide open so your bed airs and dries out. Then after you push the coffee pot ON button, head back to the bedroom and make your bed. It will only take a few seconds, but the gain is tremendous. Why? Because you’ve made yourself do it. You’ve taken control of your day. You’re no longer on autopilot just letting stuff happen. You’re in command once again.

A “making your bed” routine is a way to develop discipline, which I abide by religiously! The military is noted for its discipline, which begins each day with making the bed with precisely tucked-in corners. As Admiral William McRaven, ninth commander of US Special Operations Command said: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

Making your bed starts your day with an easy win. It’s a decisive action that creates order out of chaos, setting the tone for your day. It triggers and reinforces in your mind that your intention is to live purposefully and productively.

Charles Duhigg says his book, The Power of Habit, “making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” He calls it a “keystone habit,” something that kick starts a pattern of good behavior. Since you do it first thing in the morning, you’re more likely to do the next practice in your routine, whether that is exercise, meditation, reading or journaling.

So rise and shine! Isn’t it time to start making those life-altering changes? On January 12th, my colleague Nando Raynolds and I are presenting a free talk: “Make 2017 your Best Year Yet!” We’ll share with you our proven strategies, including NLP skills, for accomplishing what you desire most. Why don’t you join us! You can learn more by clicking here or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

It’s Your Time! Make This Year Your Best Year Ever!

Don’t give up, because you CAN make this year your best year ever by applying these three simple rules that will dramatically change the way you think about life“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to assess where you are in your life and where you want to be. So, did you accomplish most of what you set out to do? More importantly, how can you make this year your best year ever?

Achieving desired results is a product of 1) having the right mindset, 2) taking actions that are consistent with that mindset, 3) having a process of follow-up and/or accountability, and 4) having lots of human support. To do that, there are three important rules to follow:  

Rule #1 – you must know exactly what it is you want (your compelling vision).

Rule #2 – you must track exactly how you are doing – at all times.

Rule #3 – you must make each step toward your vision manageable.

To make this year your best year ever, mindfully and introspectively ask yourself the following questions…

What did I accomplish over the past 12 months? No win is too small. Celebrate your victories! Focusing on your successes will reinforce the belief that you can be anyone you want to be. If you’ve kept a journal, you can easily review these wins. If not, I encourage you to begin journaling now. Otherwise, the memory of these successes fade away, which only lessens your feelings of self-confidence and satisfaction.

What were my biggest disappointments and what did I learn from them? Failure is really a great teacher if you don’t let perfectionism get in the way. Your emotions and moods shape the way you learn. If you’re negative, and self-defeating, your learning and productivity will suffer, regardless of how skilled you are. On the other hand, if you’re open and curious you’ll be receptive to learning.

 How did I limit myself, and how can I stop?  Our perception of failure is one of the biggest thought patterns we must heal. It’s simply an indicator that you’re entering an area that brings you discomfort and it’s time to open yourself up for further growth in life. When you develop a healthy balance between action and fear, you’ll become unstoppable. 

Did I uphold my personal values? Throughout our lives we adjust to fit in, to belong and to survive. We reshape and adapt, often covering over our “authentic” selves in order to cope. Different parts of our bodies—often our backs, necks, and stomachs—may hold unresolved emotions. This may be experienced as tightness, pain or, surprisingly enough, a disconnection or detachment with our bodies and our spirit. The good news is that as you become more aware of your body and make positive changes, you’ll change the way you experience others, the world and yourself.

What is my major focus for the next 12 months? When you tackle the issues that trouble you most, and you do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t, you’ll be happier. Take time to reconnect with your body and purpose by taking the 7-Point Wellness Assessment.

What are my specific goals for the next year? Spread out your goals into sets of 2 or 3 to be accomplished during each quarter of the coming year. Define measurable steps for each one of your goals. Place them where you can review them daily, so your determination remains strong.

Who can I buddy with to help me achieve my goals? Only share your plans with the yea-sayers. Avoid the downers and nay-sayers. Look for people that are already mastering the skill or have similar motivation to succeed.

Don’t doubt it for another moment. It’s your time to shine! You can make this year your best year ever. On January 12th, my colleague Nando Raynolds and I are presenting a free talk: “Make 2017 your Best Year Yet!” We’ll share with you our proven strategies, including NLP skills, for accomplishing what you desire most. You can learn more by clicking here or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Grow Professionally with 5 Rapid Transformation Strategies

If you want to accelerate your professional growth, here are 5 tips anyone can use to grow professionally and enjoy life more fully - tip 4 may surprise you“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” John W. Gardner

Isn’t it amazing to watch people completely transform themselves? One moment they’re a shy person and the next moment they’re confidently leading others. It’s as spectacular as seeing a beautiful butterfly emerge from a cocoon. How do they grow professionally, seemingly overnight?

The truth is this kind of transformation doesn’t happen overnight, does it? We aren’t born professionals – it takes time and concerted effort. However, there are strategies that you can use to grow professionally that will fast track your transformation as a confident leader in your field. Take a look at five of my favorites below:

1) Take advantage of targeted education. 

New practitioners, therapists, and coaches often struggle with maintaining focus, because there’s so much to learn when you’re starting your own business. It’s normal to get sidetracked. In order to grow professionally, you’ll want to fight that tendency and keep your goal foremost in mind.

Focus allows you to pick the most appropriate education for your current situation. Education is easily accessible via local or online courses, books and audios, podcasts, and joining specialized online communities, so take full advantage of these, but please do so purposefully. When you master one thing, move on to the next.

For example, over the years I’ve studied both traditional and non traditional methodologies. I started with western psychology and added specializations such as Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Self-Relations and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy. But what really accelerated my transition from therapist to Somatic Coaching is the deep study of The Feldenkrais Method® and Neuro-Liguistic Programming.

Just as a caveat: searching for a “perfect” program may become an excuse for not taking action. You may find that working with a personal coach helps you focus on the most effective path toward your goal.  

2) Ask for specific feedback.

It boosts the ego when someone says they like what you’ve done. But without specific feedback on what’s working and what’s not, you won’t be able to grow professionally.

It takes time and effort to establish a reputation of excellence and it starts with the right attitude. For example, professionals aren’t defensive when they receive criticism, because they know that, somewhere there’s a nugget of truth they can use. Then they willingly invest in themselves to become the best version of themselves possible.

3) Network for progressive advancement.

Whom you associate with directly affects how you grow professionally. You may not view yourself on the same level as well-known people like Stephen Gilligan, Byron Katie, Robert and Diane Masters, or Richard Strozzi-Heckler, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how approachable influential people can be when you sincerely reach out to them. Social platforms let us show interest in what they do and how they do it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. (For example, please feel free to post your questions or comments about leadership, professionalism and personal growth on my Facebook page. I’m happy to chat with you.)

4) Go the extra mile.

Even if others are happy with a so-so result, hold yourself to a higher standard of excellence. Since an “okay” experience is quickly forgotten, push yourself to perform something truly memorable. Think creatively about how you can make it easier, more enjoyable, or more valuable for your clients.

5) Before saying “Yes” or “No”, mindfully consider your options. 

Some choices can be scary and that can make you say “No” reflexively. On the other hand, out of embarrassment or pride, you may be tempted to say “Yes” before fully knowing the scope of what’s required. Slow down and ask yourself why you’re reacting as you are. Then ask clarifying questions to ensure you fully understand the project at hand. By being willing to try new things, you demonstrate self-confidence, which inspires others to have confidence and trust in you as well.

Many years ago, one of my most influential mentors said to me: “When you are asked to do something, Say YES and then figure out how to do it!” This bold approach can bypass all the fear and anxiety of trying something new. It’s not for the faint of heart, though!

Which of these strategies are you ready to try? If you want to grow professionally it’s essential to have a plan. So, what do you really want to accomplish and how will you do it? Why not schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me so we can explore your options? I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

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