Maria Connolly Somatic Psychotherapy CoachingConnect with me on LinkedInLike us on Facebook

Posts Tagged ‘Personal Growth – Professional Growth’

Learn How to Develop a Growth Mindset – The Key to Thriving in 2019

Learn how to develop a growth mindset about money, relationships, personal development and criticism. “The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself.” ~ Bo Bennett

As a new year approaches, many people are thinking about changes they want to make. Looking back to 2018, according to a YouGov poll, “the most common aspirations in the U.S. were eating healthier, getting more exercise and saving more money.” Were those on your list? Other people want to work on their productivity, their abs, or their skills, but when was the last time you heard someone say, “I want to learn how to develop a growth mindset”? And yet isn’t that the basis for all lasting change?

A growth mindset starts with making an honest self-assessment. Are you accepting the thought that “I am who I am and there’s nothing I can do about it!” as if “who you are” is set in stone? While it’s important to love yourself for who you are right now, I firmly believe that you can upgrade your life. You have the power to grow. However, before you can accomplish anything significant, your mind must believe you can.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

Do you feel like you have abundance in your life, whether it’s money, joy, love, or health? Your habitual thoughts, whether negative or positive, lodge in your subconscious mind and shape your body, your environment, your life. What you think and talk about grows. Let’s examine four major areas of life where you can make life-altering shifts by learning how to develop a growth mindset.

 

1. Develop a growth mindset about money. As a child, did you see your parents struggle and fight over finances, because there was never enough? Experiences like that can feed a poverty mindset, which leads to excessive worry about money. Yet you don’t have to be poor to have a poverty mindset. If you find that your thoughts about money keep you from improving your life in some way, then it’s time for a shift to a growth mindset about money.

How? Become more aware of how often you say or think, “I can’t afford that!” Then mindfully examine the situation from another vantage point and ask, “What can I do, so that I can afford it?” And believe that you can! As Dr. David Schwartz stated in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big,Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure out ways and means how to.”

 

2. Strive to participate more than you watch. A growth mindset focuses on creating more than consuming. We consume, or take in, so much information and entertainment everyday from our computers, devices and TVs. Yes, it’s fun to watch the latest adorable cat video, but what is it keeping you from doing? If you’re busy watching, you aren’t participating. We’re being trained to jump from this to that and it’s ruining our ability to focus deeply.

How? Pick one day a week where you consciously turn off your devices and create and do something meaningful instead.

 

3. Mindfully nurture your relationships. Loving family and close friendships add richness to life. We can’t take it for granted that a relationship will wait around until “we have the time”. I love what Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.”

How? Treat them like you actually love them – spend time with them, listen to them, be interested in them, commend them, touch them, and let them know you value them every day. 

 

4. Develop a growth mindset that welcomes feedback. Of course, we don’t always enjoy criticism. However, if you want to improve, you need to know what to work on, and one of the best ways to find your weak spots is to get feedback from an outsider.

 How? By remaining mindfully open and welcoming, you can accept feedback without taking it so personally. You know that a flaw doesn’t define you as a person. If something is holding you back from being the kind of speaker, or parent, or partner that you want to become, let go of pride and ego. Hear and act upon honest feedback.

 

Are you prepared to make 2019 your best year yet? Just as exercising a muscle can be painful, so can improving your mental strength. But you can make it easier on yourself. There is a natural progression for building success upon success. Please  contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype) to learn how you can develop your growth mindset in a supportive, enjoyable way.

Create a Master Plan to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

Create a Master Plan to make 2019 your best year yet! “Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” ~ LL Cool

I can hardly believe we’re at the end of 2018 and that it’s time to get ready for a new year. It’s an exciting time to create the life you want and to define your success. To that end, throughout this month I’m going to be sharing useful tips so you can make 2019 your best year yet!

It’s always good to take some time and reflect on what you did well during the last year. This is when your journal will really be helpful, because we tend to minimize or forget our wins. Or you could write a letter to yourself about the lessons you’ve learned this year.

To up your game and maintain greater focus, it’s vital to create a Master Plan to make 2019 your best year yet. I find that some of my clients get sidetracked in the minutia of life and lose sight of their bigger picture. Where can you start and what needs to be given priority?

#1 Priority – Fuel your body, mind and spirit. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you will not be able to implement the following suggestions. A successful Master Plan will make your own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness top priority. Feel free to download my 7-Point Wellness Assessment and it will help you begin creating a healthier YOU today! 

#2 Priority – Make restorative sleep a priority. Your health, mental clarity and ability to be productive depend on it.

#3 Priority – Develop systems. Goals are fine, but if you want to create real change, it helps to have supportive systems in your life so that you perform important tasks automatically rather than relying solely on using willpower.

Before you proceed, please, take care of yourself with these priorities first! Then the following suggestions for developing and maintaining your focus will help you make 2019 your best year yet.

Remove distractions. Use the rest of this year to get rid of the clutter in your house, mind, desk, email inbox or schedule. This will help make room for any opportunity that arises.

Define your goals. When you define your goals according to a yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily schedule, you’ll be less likely to lose your focus. Yes, that’s a lot of work to do before the year begins, but it’s worth it. It’s how you connect each day’s activities to your significant life goals.

Divide each goal into small tasks. Do you find yourself saying, “Where do I start?” “If” and “then” are small words, but they are indispensable tools in your productivity arsenal. Ask yourself, “If I want to accomplish my big goal Z, then what absolutely has to happen? If I want to work on Y, then I need to finish S, T, U, V, and W.”  Baby steps and microhabits are your best friends for making progress.

Work on hard things when you’re fresh and energized. Days can pass without accomplishing much toward your big goals, if you don’t learn to work to your strengths. Whether you’re a morning person or not, be selfish and keep the first hour of the day for yourself. Start with something that gives you an immediate win, like meditation, exercise and setting your intentions for the day. As you’re feeling confident and centered, you can turn to working on the hardest project of the day. Leave running errands and repetitive tasks for lower-energy moments.

Create and stick to your boundaries. Especially if you work at home, you’ll benefit from creating boundaries about when you answer emails, the phone, the doorbell or when your family can interrupt you. I like this reminder from Steve Jobs:

“Focusing is about saying No.”     

Hold breaks as sacred. Under Oregon law, the typical adult employee who work eight hours must receive at least a 30-minute meal period and two ten-minute rest breaks. Yet many people who work for themselves will not treat themselves that kindly. They push until late at night, skip meals, and work through break times. And their bodies hurt! It’s time to listen to your body and heal yourself from that abuse.

Reward yourself. Celebrate every small or big win each day. Get up and dance, grab a latte, cuddle your cat, buy a flower. Make each win memorable, because that’s how you’re going to know at the end of the year that you really did make 2019 your best year yet!  

If you’re tired of going it alone and are looking for an accountability partner, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work through the rough patches so you can make 2019 your best year yet!  

What Pushes Your Buttons? How to Manage Your Emotional Triggers

Gain emotional freedom from what pushes your buttons so you feel like this woman doing cartwheels on the beach“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

This time of year can be so stressful. Dark winter days, end of year demands, and celebrations with family who delight in pushing your buttons can all add up to unwanted stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can learn how to understand, manage and take control of what pushes your buttons.

In the English language, there are so many ways to express how people set off your emotional triggers – pushing your buttons, getting your goat, rattling your cage, yanking your chain, throwing you off your game. And therein lies the truth of the whole matter…when you react badly to an event, it is common to blame the event or other person for your emotional reaction. “He makes me mad. She upset me. If that hadn’t happened…I wouldn’t have…”

While it may feel good to blame someone else, you’re cheating yourself of an opportunity to get to know yourself better and to change any behavior that is no longer serving you. When you think about it, this is tremendous. You have the power to turn off all of those buttons or emotional triggers. However, it will take a great deal of mindful effort to discover your untapped pools of inner strength and courage.

Emotional triggers are a manifestation of your own beliefs, feelings or views. That’s why my emotional triggers are different from what pushes your buttons. Yes, I still have some! Common ones revolve around:

  • Disrespecting personal space
  • Insults
  • Threats
  • Lies
  • Correction
  • False accusation
  • Being interrupted
  • Being ignored

We all have emotional triggers. You do and so do the people you encounter. It’s vital to be accepting of this fact. It doesn’t work to expect perfection from ourselves or others.

An emotional trigger is an experience that draws you back into the past and causes old feelings and behaviors to surface. For example, there may have been a time you were required to do something you didn’t want to do, but were forced to do it by an authority figure. Or you may have lacked confidence, so you couldn’t say “No!”  Now when you hear a demand, it triggers an unfavorable emotional response, even if it’s really just a poorly worded request.

How you think of yourself on the inside dictates how you behave and are perceived on the outside. Your unwanted emotional reactions can make you think that you’re weak and hopeless. But that isn’t the case at all!

When your buttons have been pushed and you feel yourself losing control, take a deep breath and mindfully let your mind sort through the event to see what’s really bothering you and what belief you can change to regain your emotional control.

Examine the situation that triggers your emotional reaction. You have three options for dealing with it: change the situation; change how you think and feel about the situation; or remove yourself from the situation.

Maybe you’re not in a position to immediately examine your emotions. What can you do then? Before the day ends, go to a quiet place and reflect on the episode. You might even want to journal about it, to gain the greatest clarity. Don’t edit yourself as you write. Just pour it all out. This will be most revealing. You’ll also have a written record that allows you to track behaviors or habits that you want to change.

When you know you have an emotional trigger, don’t avoid it; challenge yourself and keep trying to manage it. Plan how you’ll respond next time. “If Situation B arises I will do XYZ. This course of action supports my need to have a choice and be appreciated!”

Of course, you’ll want to be loving, kind and patient with yourself as you peel back your emotional layers. It will take time to make adjustments to your beliefs, feelings and values. Work at building a strong foundation of mental energy and physical wellness, as well as a supportive network of people; then you’ll be able to unplug those emotional triggers and turn off what pushes your buttons.

I’d love to be part of your supportive network. It’s one of my life’s pleasures to use Somatic Coaching to help my clients gain emotional freedom and reach their fullest potential in life. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

7 Strong Leadership Scenarios: How Do You Measure Up?

If you aspire to a strong leadership presence, allow challenges such as these 7 scenarios, to mold you into a better version of yourself as a person and leader.What goes on behind the scenes in the lives of great leaders? I look at the strong leadership presence of Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes, Brendon Burchard or Marie Forleo. They make it look so easy. Were they always strong people? Or did they learn to become strong people? I’d love to meet and ask them how they acquired their strong leadership skills, wouldn’t you?

We do know that much hard internal and external work goes on behind the scenes. All leaders continually work on developing mental strength. To give you a peek into the leadership world, here are seven “what if” scenarios. Think about how you would respond and why. This will reveal areas you may want to work on.

  1. Sentimentality and pragmatism. What if your “good friend” causes trouble in the company, because he can’t perform his job properly?

How will you react? Will you be patient, because there are mitigating circumstances? Will you assign him other tasks within his capabilities? Will you dismiss him?

How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? As a leader, you care deeply about your colleagues. You don’t have to be tough and unfeeling. But you do need strength to identify and manage personal feelings and issues that cloud your ability to see what’s best for the company.

  1. Earned trust. What if an employee is constantly pushing your boundaries?

How would you respond? Do you see her intent is disruptive, or is it creative? Does it become a personal challenge to your authority? Or do you see how she’s trying to make your company better?

What does someone with strong leadership skills do? You don’t have to be perfect as a leader. But you do need consistency and strength to clearly identify your boundaries and communicate these to your team. Consistent emotional states and dependable actions earn trust and make people feel secure.

  1. Kind yet firm. What if someone makes the same mistake over and over again?

What do you do? Is it kind to let it slide? Or do you take your frustration out by lashing him with harsh words and actions?

How does someone with strong leadership skills react? Leaders engender loyalty by personally connecting with their team to bring the best out of each one. They foster a harmonious company culture, not by being a “friend,” but by being someone who “gets” them and helps them excel at their jobs.

  1. Congruent actions and words. What if you continually promise more than you can deliver?

How would you respond? Do you shrug it off, making excuses? Or do you accept responsibility and make a course correct?

What does someone with strong leadership skills do? Once confidence is shaken, a strong leader knows it’s important to “knuckle down” and deliver on all future promises to regain their trust. She gets tough with herself so she fulfills her commitments and inspires her team.

  1. Initiate change. What if you’re brought in to lead a well-established organization and you want to shake things up?

What would you do?  Do you hit them between the eyes with your new way of doing things? Or do you assess the old way – seeing what works and changing what doesn’t?

How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? While change may be necessary, strong leaders evaluate the situation and individual team members to see what needs to be done for the betterment of the organization, considering how and when to do it.

  1. Ego. What if someone younger and prettier than you is on the team and it makes you feel threatened?

How would you respond? Will you use your position to make that person “suffer” until they leave?

How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? Personality is a strong factor for how well an organization runs. Strong leaders work at staying humble, considering the work each person contributes. It’s not about them. They put the needs of the team before their own.

  1. Control. What if someone you’ve invested a lot of time and energy in mentoring decides to leave?

How would you respond? Do you take it as a personal slight? Do you try to manipulate them into remaining, against their best interests?

How does someone with strong leadership skills respond? Strong leaders accept that people have to live their own lives, so they let go, without letting it disrupt their peace or that of the team.

If you aspire to a strong leadership presence, allow challenges, such as these, to mold you into a better version of yourself, as a person and leader. I’d love to help you hone your leadership skills. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Executive Leadership Coaching Isn’t Just for C-Suite Executives

Executive Leadership Coaching Isn’t Just for C-Suite Executives “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right…If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” ~ Napoleon Hill

When you look at industry or world leaders, do you see them as your equal? We tend to put them on pedestals and idolize them, don’t we? Like most people, you probably think, “I could never be like them!” However, they, as well as all C-level executives and corporate leaders, are only human. They don’t succeed in all of their glorious accomplishments by themselves. In fact, they especially need support, since they expend so much time, strength and energy sustaining a high level of excellence.

Who supports the men and women at the top?

World leaders, C-level executives and all those in corporate leadership positions carry a heavy load. The business and employees depend on these execs to establish a culture that allows each person to perform at their highest level of competency. Since everyone “below” them is depending on them, executive leaders can’t expect personal and professional support to come from within the firm. They reach outside for executive leadership coaches to mentor and support them. And these same services are within your grasp, too!

Executive leadership coaching unlocks leaders’ potential to maximize their own performance. It helps leaders work on emotional intelligence, authenticity, well-defined boundaries of accountability, clear and direct communication, problem solving, decision-making, self-awareness and self-management.

What specific benefits can you expect from executive leadership coaching? You’ll be able to…

1. Mindfully create a vision for each role you play in life – whether that’s as a business leader, marriage mate, parent, caregiver or community leader.

2. Clearly define core values you want to exemplify in your life, which will inform your intentions, choices, and actions in all relationships.

3. Work purposefully toward a promotion or improved status of life, by strategically fast-tracking your ability to perform necessary skills.

4. Gain a competitive advantage in your industry or team, as you improve and enhance specific leadership skills.

5. Have a safe place to nurture personal growth and challenge your beliefs, as you can openly and honestly discuss your vulnerabilities and fears.

6. Discover the soft skills, which make tactical challenges such as decision making, conflict resolution or meaningful communication easier. 

7. Explore and improve your self-confidence and emotional intelligence, so you know how to read the big picture emotional landscape.

8. Develop human effectiveness by building deeper relationships in work and in life.

9. Master delegating and trusting others to contribute to the organization’s success.

10. Make a difference and add value to any given situation, as you develop greater self-confidence and accept full responsibility for your decisions and actions.

11. Deal with complicated challenges that are unique to leadership challenges by discerning the best culture and environment for people to operate at their best.

12. Learn techniques for managing your emotions, so you think clearly no matter what happens.

Leadership comes naturally to a few, but most of us have to work hard to become leaders. Either way, quality leadership doesn’t just happen by chance. Leadership skills must be fully developed and honed. That’s where executive leadership coaches like me can help you reach and maintain your full potential. By employing somatic coaching methods, I help unlock your full potential for excellence. Are you ready to fly? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Recent Posts

About Maria

Our Address