Maria Connolly, LPC

Tag: Personal Growth – Professional Growth

Become The Observer of Your Life, Then Lasting Change Will Follow

Like an artist, you can become The Observer in your life, to mindfully acknowledge each “brush stroke” as it transforms your “canvas”, your life.

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

How observant are you? If I asked you to identify the colors in a picture of a forest, no doubt you would say green, brown, and maybe some yellow. But an artist closely inspects each area for color or hue; she also sees the variances of shade (black added to the hue), tone (gray added to the hue) and tint (white added to the hue). Not only that, she detects the differences in intensity and value. Before the painting is done, the artist will have mixed hundreds of different combinations of paint, each one intentionally performing a specific function on the canvas.

Likewise, I encourage you to become The Observer of your own life and mindfully acknowledge each “brush stroke” that is transforming your “canvas”, your life. You get to choose. Or as I often share with my clients a quote from Pema Chödrön, “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” Conditions and circumstances, like the weather, come and go. You get to decide what stays permanently.

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How to Be Fearless — Courageously Meet Challenges Head On

Fear is useful when it alerts us to real danger; yet personal development demands that we be fearless when we’re faced with challenges and new opportunities“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

Public speaking…heights…revealing true feelings…snakes…what do these have in common? They all generate fear in the hearts of many people. Children seem to be fearless, but over time, we collect our own unique set of fears. What you fear and why, will not match up with what I fear. But the good news is we can all learn how to be fearless, in the sense of not letting unreasonable, out-of-control fears keep us small.

What is fear and how can we be fearless?

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10 Principles of Mastery — Become Highly Skilled and In Demand

These 10 Principles of Mastery will help you find your motivation and give you the attitude and emotional skills needed to master a new skill or profession.“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ~ Robert Greene

Now that we have more free time to finally master a skill, where has the motivation gone? Maybe you created a list of things you could do, during this stay-at-home social distancing. However, now that over a month has passed, has your list been neglected? I understand. During stressful times, it’s hard to focus. Our bodies are flooded with stress hormones that make us pull back in, to keep ourselves safe. We feel tired and afraid to start anything new. That’s why I think it’s time to redirect our focus. And the principles of mastery will help us do that.

Firstly, I encourage you to get outside for a walk, dust off your dreams, turn down the noise from the news, and focus on the one thing you really want to master. Take a notebook with you and jot down ideas as they come to you. When you find a spot to sit, create a checklist of all the things about the subject you already know, and then the things you want to know.

A book that has really helped me is Mastery by Robert Greene. After studying the lives of numerous influential figures, he learned that our culture has many myths about genius that need to be debunked, and he distilled the wisdom of the ages, revealing the secret to greatness in his book.

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Become Smarter – 7 Secrets Leaders Use Daily to Increase their Intellect

When you don’t feel smart enough, it’s vital not to get stuck. Here are 7 tips successful leaders use to become smarter every day; they’ll work for you too!You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.” ~ Jennifer Freeman     

In this fast-paced world, it takes tremendous mental agility to keep up. Especially in coaching and therapy professions, we have to stay current on how to help people as they face new challenges, PLUS how to run a business using modern technology. For example, now that we’re totally relying on video conferencing, I’ve noticed that switching to this technology has taken a toll on my being grounded and centered. Sometimes I just don’t feel smart enough. And when that feeling washes over me, this is what I do to become smarter…

My goal is to learn something new every day. My daily practice of mindfulness makes it so much easier to do this, for I’m constantly aware of how I’m being in my surroundings. This increases what I understand and it exercises my brain, so it’s functioning at peak capacity.

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Leaders Are Readers — 4 Reasons Why Reading Promotes Success!

Leaders are readers; their success lies in how they read. They don’t read mindlessly. Learn how to become fully engaged in reading to extract what’s useful.“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ~ Anna Quindlen

Books reveal the full range of human experience like nothing else does. You’d have to live hundreds of years to experience, in person, what you can experience by reading books. Great leaders have long known and used this “secret” to their advantage. Yes, leaders are readers.

Even if you’re not a born reader, you can learn to love to read. It starts with mindfully feeling gratitude for the privilege to read. There was a time that owning a book was impossible. Before the printing press (known as the Dark Ages) people had to depend on public readings. They were truly dark ages intellectually, politically, economically and so forth. Books brought enlightenment.

Now people take books for granted. And that can give those who desire leadership roles an advantage! There’s a world of wisdom just waiting for you within books that many are missing. In fact, with the current world situation, many of us are spending more time at home. This is a great opportunity to keep your mind and heart open by reading.

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Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation