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How to Succeed at Anything – Master the Five Stages of Your Inner Game

How to succeed at anything – if you desire, you can succeed at anything when you master the five stages of your inner game, aligning your body, mind and spirit.Would you like to succeed at anything? Often we look to experts to guide us and help us master a new goal. But the truth is finding an expert doesn’t always work. Being told by someone what we should do doesn’t necessarily help because it’s too easy to forget the advice and revert back to old habits.

In order to reach your goal what you need, beyond expert advice, is to master your own inner game. As a life coach I’ve discovered that my clients already know how to succeed at anything, they just need the right kind of support.

To illustrate this point: Tim Gallwey, a tennis coach, discovered a novel approach to helping his struggling students. Instead of telling his students to “keep their eyes on the ball”, he would ask the player to say “bounce” out loud when the ball bounced and “hit” out loud when they hit it. And it had amazing results. The players improved without a lot of effort because they were naturally keeping their eye on the ball without consciously trying to do so. The inner game of ‘bounce’ and ‘hit’ made their outer tennis game so much better.

This experience led Gallwey to a groundbreaking formula. He distilled his wisdom into a book, The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. I highly recommend you read it. It’s found its way into the hands of NFL players, politicians and even world strategists. And the impact has been remarkable! (Click here to see how NFL Coach Pete Carroll used it to help struggling football players.) Anyone who wants to excel at something can use his formula and get great results!

It’s made up of two simple steps…

  1. Stop giving instructions.
  2. Start asking awareness-raising questions to discover for yourself what works and what needs to change.

For example: The first stage in this process is to set a goal you want to achieve. Maybe you want to cut sugar out of your diet. So, you keep a food diary to see what you’re eating. Then you ask awareness-raising questions such as: “What am I doing when I stay away from sugar? What makes me crave sugar?” This enables you to discover for yourself what’s changing in your mind and body. Perhaps you see that going for a walk every day keeps you motivated to eat more healthily. Or you see that a stress-filled relationship causes you to binge on ice cream. Once you see the cause and effect you can make the change to achieve your goal. In this example, you could learn new stress relieving techniques that don’t involve sugar.

There are five stages to make the Inner Game Principles work for you…

  • Increase awareness of what actually is. Really see and feel what you’re doing.
  • Learn naturally with imagery. Visualize what you want to do. Rehearse the process in your own mind, and then let your body perform naturally. Don’t struggle to remember the instructions. Just do it.
  • Develop a concentrated mind. Be in the zone. Become focused, leaving no room for thinking how well you’re doing. Let your body and mind act as one.
  • Use your own knowledge to grow. You know how to do it so don’t over think it. And don’t interfere with the learning process by trying to look good to someone else. Stay focused.
  • Learn from experience. Make discoveries along the way, rather than struggling to prove or remember something. When you discover something new, adapt to it instead of struggling against it.

Once you master these stages of the inner game, you’ll know how to succeed at anything. After all, don’t we intuitively know what we should be doing already? We don’t need someone to tell us. We just need to unlearn the habits that interfere with the process and let it happen. That means getting out of our own way. And that’s how we get really good at our inner game.

If you need more clarity on where to start first, click here to download your free copy of The 7-Point Wellness Assessment – Create Change Through Awareness. It will help see areas in your life that you personally want to work on. And if you’re ready to “up your game” in business or life, I would love to partner with you. Please contact me and we can work out the best options available to you.

Feeling Trapped in Life? Master Your Inner Game to Free Yourself

If you’re feeling trapped in life, don’t give up, because you CAN free yourself by mastering your inner game, being focused and learning to trust yourself.“There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure in the outer game.” ~ Tim Gallwey

Do any of the following statements describe how you’re feeling right now?

  • I’m feeling stuck in a rut.
  • I feel trapped in my job.
  • I’m feeling trapped in a relationship.
  • No matter how hard I try nothing seems to go right.
  • I used to be really good at this, but now I just can’t make it work, so I end up trying too hard and second-guessing myself.
  • My fear of failure makes me default to “I can’t” before I even try.
  • I thought I was over that, but it keeps resurfacing again and again to gnaw at me.

The good news is…YOU don’t have to stay feeling trapped in life. You CAN free yourself from these negative mindsets and limiting beliefs. And while it does take some effort, it really isn’t that hard. Especially when you realize you already have the skills, you just need to make the connection between your two selves.

What do I mean by saying you need to connect your two selves in order to free yourself from feeling trapped in life?

Along my personal and professional journey, I discovered a book that helped me transform my inner environment to one that is more nurturing, supportive and all in all more conducive to learning and growing. It’s The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. The core message of the book is that in tennis like anywhere else in life we usually play two games, an outer game with our opponent (self 1 – some people describe it as the body, which acts), and an inner game with ourselves (self 2 – some people describe it as the mind, which instructs).

We get into trouble when Self 2 (the mind) tries to tell Self 1 (the body) how to do something the latter already knows how to do. This disconnect spirals into second guessing yourself, trying too hard and feeling like a failure (In my opinion, the only failure is giving up. Nothing else is a failure. It’s simply a life lesson).

For example, when you learn to play tennis, your instructor tells you to “keep the eye on the ball” and your brain instinctively positions your arm and moderates your stroke speed to lob the ball back over the net. Later you forget this advice and start missing, so you think your form is off. To compensate, you swing harder or hold the racket differently, and it just makes it worse. Whereas, if you would go back to keeping your eye on the ball and let the brain do its thing, you’ll be better than ever.

We must quiet Self 1 (the body) and let Self 2 (the mind) do what it knows how to do. The best way to quiet the mind is not to tell it to shut up or force it or criticize it. What works best is learning to focus it. Focus means mindfully paying attention to only the aspects of a situation that are necessary to accomplish the task at hand. This requires that you become an observer of your own behavior.

There are four important steps to connecting your two selves:

Step 1: Observe in a non-judgmental way, simply seeing the situation as it is, rather than judging it to be good or bad. Being judgmental only leads to self-doubt and anxiety.

Step 2: Visualize your desired outcome.

Step 3: Trust yourself.

Step 4: Observe the outcome and results in a non-judgmental way. It’s neither right nor wrong. You did your best at this point and time, and that’s good enough.

Learn to be aware of your feelings and your body’s responses so you can overcome the self-doubt, nervousness, anxiety and lapses of concentration that keep you from performing at your best. Master athletes and business professionals know that they can’t win the outer game if they lose the inner one. They know the value of having someone coach them as they Master the Inner Game. If you’re ready to make the commitment to a richer experience in life, please contact me. I would love to partner with you as you learn to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge.

Develop Leadership Skills in Women Who Want to Make a Difference

Learn five ways to develop leadership skills in women who can make a difference in our quality of life as they learn to apply embodied leadership techniquesToday women in leadership roles are shaping a better world. As nurturing and empowered women, we are becoming a local and global force for good. However, due to the lingering negative perceptions from the gender gap, women often work twice as hard in order to achieve the same recognition as men. That’s why I’m so passionate about this subject! Now, more than ever, it’s vital to develop leadership skills in women – both in ourselves and the next generation of leaders.

Women, particularly business owners, are innovating new pathways and contributing to society in countless ways. They’re more likely to reinvest their profits in education, their family and their community. Since these are differences that fly under the radar, traditional ways of measuring economic development and business performance don’t capture transformational benefits such as these. Yet, don’t you notice a more open and supportive spirit in today’s business world?

You may or may not consider yourself a leader. But you will benefit by strengthening your leadership skills so that you can confidently step into your role as a mentor and role model for younger women.

Here are five ways to develop leadership skills in women that you can use to improve your quality of life and make a difference in the lives of others…

  1. Ongoing education. Beyond a standard education, young women need to be trained in leadership skills such as, public speaking, writing, negotiating, conflict resolution, and networking.

In addition, an embodied leadership education teaches you to be self-aware, self-regulating and self-confident under the high stress demands of your newly acquired position.

  1. Broadened experience. With the world becoming increasingly interdependent and communities become more integrated, exposure to other cultures and ways of thinking is vital. Women must become willing to go beyond what’s comfortable and seek solutions in unfamiliar settings and experiences.

Through awareness, you can develop the ability to see opportunities everywhere. You can then seize these opportunities by creatively solving problems and innovating new paths.

  1. Mentors and role models. Instead of independently going it alone, women seek out supportive mentors and coaches that help them progress through the different stages of career development.

Look at the top 100 powerful women and you’ll find role models who can inspire you to greater things. Learn to embody the kind of people they are through cultivating greater emotional intelligence and admirable characteristics such as generosity, courage, and integrity. If they can do it, so can you.

  1. Shift attitudes. From an early age, girls need to know they’re capable of doing anything they want. And boys need to learn this message, too. Over time, even the most closed society or culture can make this mindset shift.
  1. Build relationships. Rather than competing out of ego, women who embody leadership graciously advance and support the efforts of other women and men. Making an impact on the lives of others allows women to live with purpose. Rather than one person at the helm, women form a network, showcasing the unique talents of each member.

It’s never too late to pursue your heart’s desire. Maybe you don’t want to change the world, but you dream of doing something more fulfilling and meaningful. Please, don’t settle until that dream is realized. I would love to partner with you through this transformation. Contact me and we can work together in person in Ashland, Oregon or via Skype. Your possibilities are endless.

Women in Leadership Who Excel Have High Emotional Intelligence

Women leaders who excel all have high emotional intelligence, enabling them to manage their own emotions and understand and relate to others’ emotions too.While traditional gender biases still put men in leadership roles and women in supportive roles, in today’s economic climate this concept is being turned upside down. Leadership roles throughout a company’s organizational structure – from executive to supervisors to team leaders – are benefiting greatly from the unique style women leaders bring to the table.

To demonstrate that women certainly have the skills needed for leadership positions, a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review ranked women significantly higher than men for 12 of the top 16 competencies in which leaders must excel. This was so, despite the preconceived notion that men would typically perform better.

The leadership qualities they ranked are:

  1. Takes Initiative
  2. Practices Self-development
  3. Displays High Integrity and Honesty
  4. Drives for Results
  5. Develops Others
  6. Inspires and Motivates Others
  7. Builds Relationships
  8. Collaboration and Teamwork
  9. Establishes Stretch Goals
  10. Champions Change
  11. Solves Problems and Analyzes Issues
  12. Communicates Powerfully and Clearly
  13. Connects the Group to the Outside World
  14. Innovates
  15. Technical or Professional Expertise
  16. Develops Strategic Perspective (This is the only one where men outscored women significantly.)

Do you notice that most of these skills are related to emotional intelligence? This means they encompass an ability to 1) identify and manage one’s own emotions, 2) identify and understand someone else’s emotions, and 3) relate well to others personally and professionally even under the most stressful situations. This requires that a person be self-aware, self-regulating and empathetic. These relationship-based skills are ones wherein women certainly excel.

Practicing embodied leadership accelerates the attainment of these qualities. Mindful awareness allows you to really feel and identify your emotions, so you can express them in a constructive way. A leader who embodies these qualities will manage stress and enhance the cooperative spirit of her team. She’s able to keep the lines of communication open as she soothes her own ruffled emotions and those of others. She’s able to “read” what the body language of others is telling her.

Emotional intelligence is twice as valuable as IQ in the business world, since the emotional health of the team directly impacts productivity, motivation, engagement and loyalty. An embodied leader who is emotionally intelligent will be able to:

  • Restore calm out of chaos
  • Express emotions not squelch them
  • Have conversations not confrontations
  • Diffuse tricky situations
  • Negotiate calmly
  • Listen without becoming defensive
  • Benefit from criticism
  • Keep a positive, resilient attitude despite setbacks
  • Inspire respect and loyalty
  • Build trust and rapport
  • Be a self-starter who delights in accomplishment not position.

The best way to learn is by following the example of others. Would you like to read about women who have excelled in their leadership roles? I highly recommend the book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life.

Even though women have these exemplary skills, they often do lack one thing that men, by nature, exude. They lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. Because women are often more concerned about keeping their home life together, or are afraid of being viewed as unfeminine and aggressive, or they’re reluctant to reach out because of discrimination, they aren’t using their skills to the full. If you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone so as to embrace a more fulfilling lifestyle, I would love to partner with you. Contact me and we can work together in Ashland, OR or via Skype.

20 Amazing Benefits of Applying Embodied Leadership Principles to Your Relationships

: Learn why the principles of embodied leadership are a great foundation on which to build you coaching business if you want a fulfilling and meaningful life.Over the course of the last few weeks we’ve been discussing various aspects of embodied leadership for women. It’s not something you do – it’s who you are. The way you speak, the words you choose, your body positioning, all reflect the harmony you feel by being fully present.

People follow leaders because they’re inspired by their presence and way of being, not by how smart they are or what position they hold. When you become an embodied leader who lives the life that you teach, you’ll build trust quickly and inspire others to achieve excellence.

Remember, embodied leadership results from collaboration between body, mind and spirit – the whole YOU. An excellent leader provides a model that embodies the good that others want to achieve in all areas of their own lives. Let’s recap what this means…

Body: To lead others, it’s important to model how to be physically fit. An awareness of what you’re body is telling you and what it’s revealing to others is essential to creating a presence that inspires confidence. When your body is congruent with your mind and spirit, you’ll be able to control the physiological responses to stress and you’ll feel at peace even under the most trying situations.

Mind: To lead others takes mental discipline. Developing emotional intelligence increases your ability to concentrate and focus, observe and release negative self-talk, calm your emotions, see the possibilities as you visualize positive outcomes, and be fully present in and accepting of difficult situations.

Spirit: To lead others, your passion must shine. When you’re firmly grounded in your own spirit, you never need to feel challenged or defensive, but you remain open and accepting. You’re able to hold onto your own values while helping your clients achieve what is most important to them.

When you embody or truly live what you believe, people can see that you’re balanced and centered, and they want that for themselves. This is what creates an authentic connection with others.

What are some other benefits to you and your relationships when you excel at embodied leadership skills? You’ll be able to:

  1. Improve physical, emotional and mental endurance, strength, and agility.
  2. Increase your self-confidence and composure by remaining centered.
  3. Keep your compassion through awareness of others.
  4. Sharpen your concentration, focus and visualization.
  5. Be organized and goal oriented so you achieve your best life ever.
  6. Stand out in your industry as a thought-leader.
  7. Stay committed to your goals in the midst of complexity.
  8. Use body language to clearly communicate your core beliefs with conviction.
  9. Read the intentions, motivations and abilities of the people around you.
  10. Have honest, courageous conversations about the most difficult subjects.
  11. Enhance and support your own mind/body/spirit and that of others.
  12. Resolve conflict as you learn to let situations unfold without resistance.
  13. Build trust as you listen carefully and proactively provide solutions.
  14. Act decisively while maintaining important relationships.
  15. Anticipate and address potential problems rather than reacting to them.
  16. Create opportunities for effective action in emotionally charged environments.
  17. Increase your own accountability and that of others.
  18. Enable people to self-correct by giving well-chosen feedback.
  19. Motivate and influence others to take action.
  20. Fine-tune your awareness as you see what others need and desire.

Coaching is an investment you make in yourself to create the life you truly want. Meaningful results require a commitment. Please contact me to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via Skype, so we can explore our coaching partnership.


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