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What’s the Importance of Passion in Your Life?

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.’
– Georg Hegel, German philosopher 

Some people make success look so easy!  Is it just a matter of luck?    In rare cases maybe it is,  but the truth of it is, very few people become successful without passion.  The guy with 6-pack abs is more likely to be hitting the gym 5 times a week he is genetically blessed, eating cookies while laying horizontal on the sofa.  The wealthy business owner probably spent years working hard and making sacrifices and is not an overnight miracle.  It looks easy when all you see is the result but not the process.  Great accomplishments take passion, and passion alone is not enough.  It takes passion AND strategy.  One without the other is futile.     

Passion doesn’t only help you reach success either.  Having a cultivated passion boosts happiness.  We’re not talking about taking passion to the level of obsession, but people who have what’s known as “harmonious passion” to experience more positive emotions and be more satisfied in their lives  (Jarrett).  

“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” ~Nancy Coey 

In some ways, passion is like talent.  Everyone has at least one.  Everyone.  However, not everyone has the bravery or the opportunity to embrace them. Sometimes, we get stuck in survival mode.   We simply do what is needed to survive; we choose practicality and safety over passion and fulfillment 

We stay in a job we can’t stand but the money is adequate, and it would take too much time and energy (possibly money) to do something we enjoy.    

We are in a relationship that has become mundane; maybe we’ve become friends but no longer passionate lovers.   We convince ourselves that it’s normal.  

Don’t get me wrong, it is necessary to have a steady income but when your only motivation (i.e. paycheck) is rewarded once every two weeks, how do you feel the other 79.75 hours?  If you once were madly in love but it has become routine and boring, are you convinced the passion cannot be revived so you don’t try?   

To quote one of my favorite speakers,  Les Brown,  “we’ve lost our drive, we got comfortable and parked the car.”  We work just hard enough to not get fired, we show up to our partners just enough to not lose them, we simply get in a comfort zone because we have lost our drive.  We have lost our passion. Maybe we forgot our passion or never even knew it because we were trying to fit into what others wanted and expected of us.  Those who have hunger are happier than those who do not.  Why? They have a sense of purpose and working towards a purpose gives meaning to life.  Human beings are not designed to live complacently, they are designed to conquer challenges 

 Here are a couple of  2 minute “uncover your passion” activities:  

  1. Imagine you just won a small lottery.  Enough money to afford you the opportunity to follow your dreams but not enough to check out for life.    What would you do for work? Who would you be with?  What would you do for fun? Where would you go?  Why are you not doing those things right now?  Peer pressure?   Comfort zone?  Fear?   When we  fear the worst, we give ourselves permission not to try.  When we expect better, we have vision.   
  2. In your mind, imagine have passed and write your eulogy.   I know this sounds morbid but think about how it will read if you change nothing in your life and you live for another 30 years.  Are you satisfied?   Do you have regrets?  Most people regret the things the didn’t do more than anything they did even if the results were unexpected.  Hopefully in 10 years you’ll still be around, but the question is where will you be, and do you want to be there?  

Learn more ways to Ignite Passion and Find True Happiness

When we get stuck in a comfort zone, we are walking around life half asleep, oblivious to what we could be experiencing.   We buy into the belief that it won’t get better and we settle.  Usually some form of extreme pain or panic is what it takes for us to wake up and become true to ourselves.  We suddenly have nothing to lose so we lose whatever fear holds us back and begin to experience life for the first time.  It’s akin to living in black and white until something happens and suddenly everything is in full technicolor.  No one knows how long they’re on this earth for but the we don’t have to wait for dire straits to live authentically.  You can decide right now, that you want to live and work passionately and make your life worthwhile. 

Knowing your passion and deciding to live true to yourself is awesome but it is only half of the process.  Maybe you’ve tried to fulfill your passions in the past, but it didn’t work out.   You’re not alone.   Most people set out to pursue their dreams, but they don’t have a plan.  They simply start and readjust as they go along.  Kudos to them for starting and that isn’t a bad strategy if it works.   However, if it doesn’t then something needs to change.  You need a plan. 

You’ve identified what matters most in your life and you’ve envisioned what it means to live an extraordinary life.  Starting with the end in mind, how do you get there? Where are you this time next year?  In 5 years?  10? 30?   

What habits do you need to cultivate to be the person who lives this extraordinary life? What action can you take right now to close the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be?  

Results will not come overnight but being proactive will bring gradual progress and naturally increase your energy and enthusiasm.  When stop reacting and conforming to the world around you and begin to live proactively and creatively, the fruits of success are yours to be had.   You will become the person others look at and wonder how it was so easy and why you are so lucky!  

Life coaches are professionals trained in helping their clients find and live their passions.  They will help you discover what you are authentically passionate about and help you make a plan that carries you from where you are now to where you want to be. Coaches hold their clients accountable to the actions they commit to and uncover what truly motivates them so that they stay the course! If you are ready to work with a coach and live your dreams, let Life Coach Library  find a life coach for you.  Simply register and fill out a survey, we do the rest, and it’s FREE!  

Live with Passion 

Time, Money, Your Love-life AND Opportunity: That’s what lacking confidence is costing you!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Relationships & Family

As both coach and client, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. I am eternally grateful to be “sandwiched” somewhere in the middle of what I perceive as some of the most accomplished and the most aspiring people on this planet. I am always fascinated by the exchange of ideas and perspectives that are shared. I have come to believe we are all both teacher and student, giver and receiver and ultimately here together on one journey committed to, and on some level, obligated to, carry each other along the way.  

I have witnessed success in people’s lives that are beyond my wildest dreams.  

Unfortunately, I have also witnessed what, at best, are living in mediocrity. Why do intelligent, hardworking, and competent people seem to underperform or just accept less? I have researched this and tried to analyze it deeply. I have discussed this with some of the most successful people I know at length. There is only one answer that comes up consistently. At the core of every theory is one common denominator: lack of confidence.  

When we think of people who struggle with self-assurance, many blatant images come to mind but seldom do we consider the subtle and insidious costs and consequences.  

What are the costs of lacking confidence?  

  1. Lacking confidence is costing you thousands of dollars:  

Studies show that blue-collar workers who test higher in self-confidence scales earn an average of $7,000 more than their lower-scoring peers. That same study reveals that professionals earn an average of $28,000 more (Neil Burton, M.D.).  

When managers seek to promote, often the person who exudes fearlessness will be chosen over someone who may be more capable but lacks esteem. People with confidence are often perceived as more skilled, even when they are not. They’re not afraid to ask questions or even make mistakes; they are seen as the “go-getters”. Unfortunately, bosses, clients, and customers make negative assumptions about people who exhibit behaviors of low self-confidence, believing they are incompetent or apathetic. That stinks, but it’s a reality of life.  

Less secure people are often timid about asking for raises or promotions. I have yet to meet a career or business coach who doesn’t swear that self-doubting clients stay stuck in comfort zones significantly longer than their confident peers. They have a greater need to feel safe, even if that safety is costing them endless opportunities, including living their passion. To step out of one’s comfort zone for necessary growth translates risk and possible rejection. Maybe they’re secretly waiting to be recognized and approached but, in most cases, it is those who are big and bold and speak up for higher positions and salaries are who receive them (Ashley Staht).  

2. Your most precious resource is time. Lack of confidence is stealing it from you: 

 Think perfectionism is a virtue? Not always true! In many cases, perfectionist doesn’t believe anything is ever good enough, including themselves. They will spend hours longer on projects trying to perfect every detail, simply because anything less than perfect is sub-par. While attention to detail is important and held in high regard, for them, this approach is very inefficient and leads to more frustration than satisfaction. Studies show that the delta between the work produced by competent people vs. that of the perfectionist is marginal and typically not valued as high as the extra resources utilized. Perfection simply does not exist. On top of wasting valuable time, the perfectionist will lose-out on joy because they are never truly satisfied with what they’ve accomplished.  

On the other side of the coin is the procrastinator. Not all procrastination is linked to self-confidence issues, sometimes it’s simply a matter of motivation. However, for those who are self-doubters, there is a vicious cycle of putting things off and then feeling bad about it. This, of course, leaves one even less motivated to do anything, therefore, putting the next thing off even longer, and then naturally they end up feeling even worse…and so on. Fear and worry are the culprits. There are hundreds of possible fears, but the fear of rejection, failure, or even success are the biggies. Worry is linked to the fears behind the fears, such as the approval of others or appearances.  

3. How can you get the guy/girl if you shy away?  

Low confidence will dramatically affect your love life. It will dramatically impact all of your relationships. According to relationship coaches, this is why:  

  • They second-guess their choices in friends/partners/bosses. Even worse, they are often skeptical of those who choose them. 
  •  They are constantly trying to analyze what the other person is thinking. They are in constant need of reassurance, which can be an energy suck for the other person.  
  • They often sabotage good relationships or stay in bad ones too long.  
  •  They often lose themselves in the relationship because they can’t set healthy boundaries.  
  • Also, because they are trying to win approval from others, they try to morph into being someone they aren’t. This is dishonest and unsustainable so there is seldom a happy ending.  
  • People who lack confidence usually a) take responsibility/fault for everything or b) take responsibility/fault for nothing. Neither are good.  

4Opportunities that you never even knew existed will be lost:  

Having confidence allows us to see opportunities that we would not usually see. Because confident people are generally more positive, they recognize potential that others would readily dismiss. Someone lacking confidence will view the situation as a problem, while the confident person sees it as an opportunity to succeed.  

Have you ever heard a motivational speaker that did not mention the power of the mind and positive thinking? Almost all agree that positive thinking creates more positive activity. Conversely, negative thinking creates more negative activity. Is there any question which one is which?  

What has it cost you? 

In short, if you see yourself in any of these scenarios or if you lack confidence it is costing you the happiness of leading the fulfilled life that you rightly deserve to live! What is the price tag of that?  

Are you ready to move on?  

How to be more confident now  

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way! You cannot change your past but you can take control of your future. You have a choice to take action and overcome any obstacle that gets in the way.  

At the core of the matter are limiting beliefs. These are the negative thoughts that we form, subconsciously that undermine our success. They result in self-doubt and questioning our judgment. They prevent us from taking strategic risks, setting ambitious goals, and acting boldly on them.  

Luckily, by being aware of what your limiting beliefs are, you can change them into positive and empowering ones. When you change your thinking, you change your story. Once you do that, you see everything through a new filter and the world becomes a different place. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to be honest with yourself, you can gain the esteem you desire.  

It takes courage. It takes persistence. But you can do it if you are willing to decide that your life is worth it.  

Feel like you need a life coach to help you overcome your limiting beliefs? Find a life coach today and open your life up to endless possibilities!  

How to get unstuck and move forward

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel overwhelmed, confused, depressed, in a funk, or just plain “stuck” – it happens to the best of us! It can be hard to get “unstuck” on our own, especially if it is our best thinking and acting that got us into a funk to begin with.

Why do we get stuck sometimes?

The reason we get stuck is because this is real life and not a fairytale where some conflict is overcome and everyone lives happily ever after. Real life doesn’t always go according to plan.   We can’t give people a copy of a script and expect them to follow their lines and act the way we want them to. No matter how hard we work, we don’t always have control over the outcomes.   At the end of the day, life is not always fair.

There are so many reasons we get stuck. Here are 6:

  • We simply cannot accept the outcomes of a situation and move on.
  • We believe we should be something or someone we are not.
  • We’ve compromised our values and settled for less.
  • We’re creatures of habit, we get into a comfort zone and are afraid or unwilling to step out of it.
  • We feel guilty or shameful about being stuck so we beat ourselves up.   Negativity only reinforces whatever is not working and keeps us stuck.
  • We repeat a pattern over and over again, thinking “this time” the results will be different, but they never are. In fact, many times they get worse.

Advice to help you get out of a rut today!

Regardless of why we are stuck, what matters most is “how does one get unstuck and move forward with their life?”   Deciding to take some action is the first step to getting out of a rut.

  • Let Go!: When we resist accepting things for what they are vs. what we want it to be, we suffer. It is healthy to experience our emotions, even sadness and disappointment, but getting trapped by them is destructive. Holding on to anger, grief, or guilt is living in the past and robs us of the ability to experience joy in the now. Acceptance is often the key to peacefulness.
  • Think small: Looking at the whole situation can be really overwhelming and cause analysis paralysis (overthinking something so much you cannot make a move).   Even the smallest step moving in the right direction will get you closer to your goal than waiting for the perfect execution. Start with small manageable changes and they will gradually become bigger, more impactful ones.
  • Get an attitude adjustment: Instead of looking at situations as problems, think of them as challenges and make solving them a game.   No matter how bad things seem, there is always something worse and much to be grateful for; instead of feeling like you have to do something, tell yourself you get to and see how much better it feels. This works for everything.   Try and focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong; this will give you an energy boost to move forward.
  • Don’t go it alone:   Chances are your best thinking is in part why you are in a funk.   No shame or judgement; we all do the best we can with what we have to work with.   The problem is, we all have “blind spots” too and having a support system that is both objective and honest will shed a new perspective on things in the most helpful way.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and act: Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”. If you want a different result, do something different! Sometimes just doing something is different.   Don’t worry if it’s not your ultimate best plan, as long as it is in line with your final goal. Even the best ideas and plans mean nothing if not followed up with action.

Remember, you are not alone! We all get stuck from time to time. The longer we stay stuck the harder it may seem to breakthrough. However, the change you wish for is possible as long as you are willing to make it happen.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Master Motivation in 6 Simple Steps

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

The most outstanding characteristic of successful people is the ability to set goals and take action to achieve them. Everyone can do both. Where many fall short is not in setting goals but taking the disciplined and sustained action needed for success.

Why??? Could it be people often go about tapping into the kind of deep motivation that will fuel the process from start to finish completely wrong? They muster up enthusiasm, will-power and determination and intensely focus on the “outside” stuff that must be controlled to produce desired outcomes.

While this may work for some people all the time, and all people some of the time, most people cannot sustain this and go the distance, and they repeatedly come up short. It’s like swimming upstream or running against the wind. So much energy is exerted yet eventually their enthusiasm peters-out and they are simply tired. What’s worse – not only is goal not met, but feelings of failure creep in to wreak havoc and leave them even less motivated than before.

Here are 6 strategies to boost motivation and jump start success today!

1. Create a crystal-clear vision: You must know what you really, really, really want and why you want it, or you cannot achieve it. First, think of a goal and imagine you already have it. Take a few moments to really let yourself experience what it will be like when you get there. Try to involve all 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell). When you have a crystal-clear vision of what you want, you can begin to lean into that goal as if it has already been achieved and act the part.

For example: You want change careers and become a teacher.

  • See yourself walking through crowded hallways to a classroom; visualize how your classroom will be set up;
  • Hear the chatter of students quieting down as the bell rings. Hear yourself ask a probing question and engaging students in discussion.
  • Feel the dust of dry erase marker on the whiteboard; the stack of papers you are collecting for review. Feel the sense of satisfaction you have when you see progress.
  • Smell the fresh make-up and mix of perfumes from blossoming high school girls or the construction paper and glue for elementary students’ activities.
  • Taste the coffee you’ll sip in your classroom while planning (I do not recommend imagining the awful cafeteria lunches that hopefully you’ll never have to eat 😊)

2. Know why you want it. Go at least 3 deep in asking yourself why. The answers can be extrinsic (money, schedule) or intrinsic (pride, satisfaction):

  • Why do you want to teach? There’s a shortage of teachers and I like helping people.
  • Why do you like helping others? I’m good at finding what makes people tick and it feels good to help them.
  • What feels good about it? Deep connection with others it what makes me feel alive.

When you uncover your reason behind your reason, you are uncovering gold! Within the deeper reason is what your true motivation and passion are and identify a true purpose.

Ever notice how most people perform better under pressure? It’s because deadlines (or whatever is causing that pressure) give them a sense of purpose. That’s why people go on diets before big events, clean their house best before company arrives, save more money when they have something specific they want to buy. Acting deliberate and with a sense of purpose will keep you fired up, especially when the unexpected comes up.

3. Write your own eulogy: Yes, you read that correctly. As morbid as that sounds, many a great motivational speaker and writer suggest doing this. I have done it myself and must agree. None of us are here forever and beginning with the end in mind will help you to truly define what who you want to be and what you want to do.

Imagine those last few minutes where you are looking back on your life like you are watching a movie about yourself. What kind of person were you? What did you accomplish? What did you not accomplish that you wish you did? What is the one thing you will be most remembered for?

Using this insight, work backward. Make a plan that you can start today that will, over time, get your life aligned with to how you want the story to read. What is the smallest first step (see #4) you can take right now? What get’s in the way of you taking it? Are you afraid?

Everyone has some fear. You’re not human if you don’t. but fear shouldn’t run your life. Instead, run to what you fear, it’s never as bad as you imagine and on the other side of that fear is what you really want. Just the act of doing something you’re afraid of is empowering and creates confidence which is where success lives.

General George S. Patton is often quoted in saying “Fear kills more often than death!” You only die once, but fear kills you every time you give in to it!

4. Do one thing daily that is out of your comfort zone. If you want to lose 20 pounds but feel stuck, don’t lie to yourself in thinking if you can’t stick to the perfect diet and exercise routine, it’s not worth trying! Pass on one snack that you usually have or do just 5 minutes more exercise than your daily average.

Focusing on everything needed to reach the end goal is often overwhelming and leads to greater procrastination. Even the smallest step is a step and doing something small today will get you much closer to goal than thinking about big steps for weeks, months, or years without action. Give yourself credit for even the small victories, as feeling successful will create more energy and motivation to do more things that lead to success.

Don’t be a perfectionist. To some, perfectionism seems virtuous, but it can be self-sabotaging in so many ways. Perfectionists are almost never satisfied and

usually rob themselves of feeling joy with their accomplishments. Don’t let this be you.

Lastly, how you act is who you become. Doing one thing daily that is in line with your goal is how you become the person you want to be and achieve your goals.

5. Never be the smartest or most ambitious person you know. Surround yourself with winners:

People who are optimistic and positive thinkers are not only the most pleasant to be around, they are typically more creative, inspiring, and successful. When you’re looking for ideas and influences to keep you moving forward, you must draw on something bigger than yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas through other people who have what you want to achieve. Even if you don’t use their ideas, they may inspire your own creative genius. Have a friend or mentor or a life-coach who will help you come up with winning strategies and keep you honest and accountable. You must do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re surrounded by pessimists and cynics, you’re in a toxic environment and nothing extraordinary comes from toxicity. If you can’t lose them completely, keep a strong network of positive thinkers to help you stay on track.

6. Live in the NOW. It’s the only place real happiness can exist.

Yesterday is gone. Realistically, your memories of it are probably either full of guilt or nostalgia.

Tomorrow isn’t here. If you’re living in tomorrow, you’re either worrying about things you can’t control, or you could be confusing hope with discontent.

If you’re not happy NOW, you won’t be “when…” Hoping for something better means something is missing now and truth is when happiness depends on something outside of NOW, it only lasts for 20 minutes and then you’ll focus on the next think you need to be happy.

If you’re not happy now, try a gratitude list. No matter what life is handing you, if you’re sitting upright and reading this you likely have something to be grateful for. Read: Gratitude for Happiness.

Final thoughts:

These are just a handful of ways you can take control of your inner voice and get the motivation juices flowing. There are countless others, the key is finding what works for you. Wanting to achieve a goal is fruitless if youre not willing to make a change that includes action.

These strategies are ones I’ve learned over 30 years of passionately pursuing personal growth. In that time, I have read dozens of self-help books that have inspired core-level changes in my thinking. It’s not possible to credit every book and author that may have influenced this post but I’d like to shout out big thanks to Dr. Joe Vitali, Steve Covey, Steve Chandler, Tom Hoobyar, Susan Sanders and Tom Dotz, whose written works truly are the motivation behind this post.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

6 Times You Should Hire a Life Coach

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

When is the best time to hire a Life Coach?

Studies on the effectiveness of life-coaching show that 99% of people who work with a coach have a positive experience. According to a survey conducted by The International Coaching Federation’s nearly that same number find it effective and report they will work with a coach again in the future.

So when do people hire a life coach?

We have found that every great coach has a great coach. Here are the times great coaches will work with their coaches and we suggest you do too:

1. You’re inspired but unsure “I’m gonna make this happen but HOW do I make it happen?

You have a dream, a vision, and/or a goal. You’ve either tried and didn’t get there; started with excitement and enthusiasm, only to peter-out halfway through; or you simply do not know where to start. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, find the love of your life, make a total career switch, or build the business of your dreams, a great coach can help you overcome obstacles, strategize next steps, keep you accountable and motivated, and support you while you create your dream. They also can see your “blind-spot” and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

2. You wake up one day feeling blah and realize “Nothing is happening”

You’re simply stuck. Things aren’t bad but they aren’t great either. Nothing is really exciting you and you’re just out of ideas. A coach can help you uncover why you’re stuck, form a collaborative think-tank with you, and reenergize your plans to start moving forward. They will help you reignite passion for life and find your purpose, causing a whole new perspective will cause a total paradigm shift.

3. You’re overwhelmed and wonder “What the heck is happening?”

Sometimes in life things are beyond our control and nothing seems go right or make sense. There are always things we cannot control but the one piece we can control is ourselves. Sometimes the root is our own belief systems, others it is because we have changed while than others haven’t, or have we just changed differently OR beliefs that worked in the past no longer serve us anymore. Having a skilled and objective coach can help to quickly identify any beliefs that are running in the background and raise your conscious awareness and making moving forward virtually effortless.

4. You’re so excited “Something wonderful happened

Yay for YOU! You started a new business, got promoted, married or had a baby, suddenly you don’t recognize your life anymore because life as you knew it no longer exists. Change, even when it is fantastic, can throw us off center. So many unexpected things come with change, even good ones. Your coach can help you navigate this new beginning and support you in transition.

5. You’re in a good place but “Now what happens?

Maybe you’ve just overcome a major obstacle and are out of the weeds so to speak. Now what? Overcoming a crisis can be exhausting and leave us feeling empty and off center. When things go from crisis-mode to maintenance, its not always easy to shift gears back into production. Fortunately for you, you are closer than you think! A great coach will help you figure out when your next steps can be. They will help you create that amazing life you’ve been dreaming about and support you through exciting elements that may a little scary but in the most wonderful way

6. You’re not feeling up to par “Something Terrible happened

Life is not always kind. Loved ones pass away, relationships end in heart-break, healthy people succumb to illness, jobs are lost…. It can just really stink sometimes. I am so sorry if this is you. Having a strong support system is so important when life takes a turn. It’s not always easy to turn to friends in these

situations and having someone who allows it to be “all about you” by offering you their undivided attention and compassion allows you to process in a confidential and safe place. There are no shortcuts through the grieving process, but a good coach can help you find the path back to living happily and lighten the sadness and despair.

Ultimately, you are embarking on a life-changing experience if you are open-minded and willing to try new things. A coach will improve your self-awareness, help you stay focused, and access your greatest talents while keeping you motivated to go the distance. You might be able to do this on your own if you are super-disciplined and ambitious, but you can do it so much quicker with motivation and accountability behind you.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Why Online Coaching is Your Best Option

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family, Uncategorized

Congrats! You’ve decided to take the plunge and be proactive in reaching your goals of getting into the best shape of your life, sparking up some passion in your love-life, or improving your work-life balance. Now, you’re just wondering if online coaching is the right choice…. For most people it is! And, here’s why.

1. You’re probably already uber busy!

One of the best parts of working with a coach is saving time in reaching your goals. What gain is working with a coach if you spend the most limited resource any of us have, time, trying to find the right coach and getting to and from coaching sessions? Between the commute, a full-time job, family, squeezing in a happy-hour with friends, the gym…where is the time to find a coach you love and travel to and from appointments? The flexibility offered by online coaching leaves you much more time to actually do what you love and put your energy towards reaching your goal. Coaching happens anywhere you take your cell phone or tablet.

This is only the start of why online coaching is the obvious solution.

2. It is simple to find the perfect coach

Finding the right coach is a matter of finding the right chemistry and that means you may have to talk to a few. We recommend three. Think of some of the professionals and services you use in your life: doctors; lawyers; mechanics; hair stylists; home services; etc. Wouldn’t it be awesome if three of each would give you a free sample of their service before you made any commitment? Most of the time, just getting an appointment takes several phone calls and possibly weeks to schedule. Being confined to local professionals is not ideal when the best candidate happens to live in a different state. With Life Coach Library, up to three coaches who can meet your specific needs will offer you a complimentary coaching session, and then you get to decide who you want to succeed with, all from the comfort of your home, car, or hotel room.

But wait, there’s still more……………

3. You can be completely anonymous

Anytime you do something to empower yourself you should be confident and proud. However, a lot of people still prefer to keep working with a coach confidential. Many people find it easier to open-up over the telephone vs. face to face, especially when they know their coach has no connection to any of their local associations and that everything they say is strictly confidential.

Our preliminary questionnaire gives you a chance to share in detail what you are looking to achieve. Based on your criteria, only the coaches who can serve you will contact you. Knowing you’ve got the right professional on the phone creates a safe environment to relax and talk about your deepest desires.

4. You become more empowered and independent.

Probably one of the biggest reasons why online life coaching is better than in person is the fact that you don’t get dependent on your coach and your coach remains completely objective. Coaching in person can create a slight dependency where they seem responsible for your successes and it can be difficult to detach when it’s time. An online coach will work with you to develop a strategic action plan, but you alone take those steps. You are never alone though as you do have access to your coach whenever you need a boost. Simply text or email him/her to keep you on track or share your mini victories along the way.

5. It’s Simply More Affordable

Online coaching limits the overhead costs for coaches, passing the savings on to you as reflected in reasonable coaching fees. The last thing you need to be worrying about is another massive bill being added to the pile. Online coaching is almost always more practical live coaching.

How to find an online coach?

As the coaching industry has grown in popularity, online coaching has become the preferred medium for coaching. In fact, online everything has become a way of life. Life Coach Library was designed by coaches who have been clients and have the best interest of both in mind. Potential clients have a convenient and risk-free way to experience the impact a coach can make. Coaches can utilize a platform that does extensive marketing for them so that they can spend more time doing what they love and do best ~ help people reach their goals! Just like a recruiter brings amazing employees to great companies, Life Coach Library connects goal-oriented clients to certified coaches. Sure, you can find a job on your own, and companies can scout out talent for their openings, but having someone who completely understands the needs of both cuts out the frustration and saves everyone time and money in the end.

That is why online coaching is the best option!

If you’re still not sure if coaching is for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Written by Wendy Cope, Positive Change Coach & Founder, Life Coach Library

How to Form Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

One of the keys to reaching a new goal is to have habits in place that support that goal. If your current habits are counter-productive, you’ll need to change them or face the reality of not reaching your goals.

How do success habits help you reach your goals?

Suppose you have the goal of running a marathon: if you don’t already have the habit of running regularly, your chances of you reaching is very low. Running regularly gets you closer to attaining your goal in several ways, including getting you in great physical shape and strengthening your endurance.

Developing supportive habits can be easier than you think and far more powerful than you can imagine!

Identify the Habits You Need

Before you create new, positive habits, you’ll want to figure out which habits will help you attain your goals. For every goal, there are habits that can pretty much guarantee your success. Reflect on your goals and what actions you can take to help bring them about.

Here are some habits that people who always reach their goals have:

1. Look for daily habits. Habits you practice each day are much easier to put into place and keep than those that are less frequent.

2. Keep it simple. The more complex the task, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you really do need to implement a complex habit, start with a simpler version and then add more complexity later. Set some SMART goals to develop new habits in your routine.

3. Be specific. It’s not enough to just specify what you’re going to do; include the how, when, and where as well. Time is always critical when creating a new habit. Be sure to specify a precise period of time in which you wish to implement the new actions.

  • So “I’m going to exercise 1 hour per day” is inadequate. “I’m going to swim from 6-7 am, Monday through Friday at the YMCA” is more like it. This has enough detail to be quite clear about what you want to accomplish and includes the how, when and where.

Prepare for Interference

There are usually obstacles to creating new habits and behavioral patterns. Try to figure out these possibilities ahead of time so you can eliminate them as soon as possible.

How to achieve personal success

For example, if you’ve decided that you’re going to eat a healthy breakfast every day, get rid of all the breakfast junk food in your pantry and freezer. That junk food is an obstacle to successfully implementing your habit. The obstacle might be time interference. Maybe your partner, child or family members do not usually leave you alone for 20-40 minutes every night so you can meditate, write, read, or whatever it is you want to do towards your goal. Simply let them know ahead of time that you need be undisturbed during this time.

Look for More Supporting Habits

When you determine supporting habits that will help you reach your goal, consider going even deeper into the details to find habits that will help you accomplish your other new habits.

For example, if one of your new habits is to make it to the gym every morning by 6:30 am, you can develop several supporting habits to help you establish this habit, such as:

  • Get out of bed by 5:45 am.
  • In order to get up at 5:45 am each day, you might need an additional habit of always being in bed by 10:30 pm.
  • Another supporting habit might be to pack your gym bag the night before.

These supporting habits are extremely importance to your success. Spend some time thinking about additional habits you can develop to support your efforts.

Just as counter-productive habits can keep you from success, supportive habits can aid to your victory. So, consider the habits that will best support your goals, put them into action on a daily basis, and enjoy your new success!

If you’ve tried to reach your goals on your own in the past and fallen short, or if you’re ready to start and want to save time in reaching success, try working with a life coach. A coach will help you stay motivated, hold you accountable, and strategize ways to overcome interference so you can stay on track. Life Coach Library makes finding a coach simple. Simply register and we will match you with up to three certified coaches. It’s free and each coach will offer you a complimentary coaching consultation so that you may conveniently find the right match.

Clifford Aning

empowercoaching.us

clifford@empowercoaching.us

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation for Wellness

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery

If you’re anything like I was, the word meditation brings up images of yogi’s sitting in lotus position chanting “ommm”~incense burning in the background, all in a quest to enlightenment.

For me, that misconception got in the way of sincerely engaging in what has become the single most positive and life-changing habit I practice. Got in the way for years and not until I discovered meditation on You Tube did I change my stance.

What are the benefits of meditation?

For thousands of years people have meditated to gain peace of mind, clarity and focus. Today, some begin on a doctor’s recommendation, others to find relief from painful thoughts or feelings, while others simply want to find greater self-understanding. Regular meditation has proven to have profound benefits mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Just to name a few:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Decreased depression and anxiety
  • Restful sleep
  • Improved self-image and increased positive thinking
  • Longer attention span/concentration
  • Pain management

Why is meditation so powerfully effective?

Have you ever been overwhelmed and confused for a while until you just stopped to take time and think? And when you slowed down to really process you were able to see clearly, and simple solutions became obvious? Well, meditation is kinda like that ~ on steroids.

I’m not a guru or a neuroscientist, but based on my research here is a practical explanation:

When we are awake, our brains are busy. Like 40-60 thoughts per minute, busy. Only about 10% of those thoughts are conscious, while the other 90% are running in either the sub-conscious or the pre-conscious. Think of the pre-conscious as the “waiting room” between the other two. For most of us, a whopping 80% of those unconscious thoughts are negative (Psychology Today, 2012).

So, while we are having 40-60 thoughts per minute, our brainwaves are pretty rapid. These are called alpha or beta-waves. They correlate to active learning, thinking and processing information. I think of this an impenetrable and frenzied barrier that clouds any inner wisdom we may possess.

Photo by Davinder Ojaita

In meditation, the brain slows down to theta and delta waves, which is related to relaxation and heightened awareness. In short, it slows down the frenzy enough to open the door to the sub-conscious, leading to deeper self-awareness and visualization, a.k.a. inner wisdom.

In this relaxed state, we are able to uncover buried negative, fear-based, & limiting beliefs and then begin the process of weeding them out and replacing them with new, positive, and empowering ones.

Not quite feeling your inner guru? No worries!

In truth there are an infinite number of ways to meditate and none of them are wrong. The common thread amongst all meditative practice is the cultivation of awareness and expanded consciousness.

Learn to Practice Meditation

Here is a very simple process to help you get started in your practice:

Before beginning any meditation, I always set an intention. This is not a necessity to meditate, but it is what I do.

An intention is a positive thought that I hope to make a part of my unconscious schema. For example, years ago, doing deep inner-child work, I needed to release shame. I didn’t know I carried shame unconsciously because I never actively thought “I wasn’t good enough”. However, running in the background were core-beliefs that my worth was measured and valued by what I accomplished and how I looked.

So I wanted to be rid of shame, but telling myself “I don’t want to feel shame anymore” wasn’t going to cut it. It’s the right idea, but it is stated negatively. Stating a negative intention is sorta like getting into a taxi and telling the driver you don’t want to go to the train station, expecting him to know that means you want to go to the airport. Doesn’t work. Stated positively, I began to use the mantra “I AM ENOUGH” (right now).

To begin:

  • · Turn your cellphone OFF! Yes OFF, you can do it 😊 (IF you use your device for music/guided meditation, you may put it on Do Not Disturb)
  • Sit or lie comfortably. Not sure about you, but for me sitting on the floor with my legs crossed is not so comfortable after a few minutes. I prefer to lay down. Some highly recommend “grounding” by sitting or having your feet on the floor and opening your palms upward to increase “energy” flow. If you are comfortable with this, great. If not, don’t fret, it’s ok not to. The energy knows where to go and doing something that makes you feel awkward defeats the purpose of the whole experience.
  • Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Take 2–3 slow and deep breaths. In your mind, try counting to 5 as you inhale, pause for a count of 3, and slowly exhale counting back to 5.
  • Breathe normal. As you begin to relax, your breath will automatically slow down (your breath and your brain are in tandem so as one begins to slow, the other will naturally follow).
  • When your thoughts begin to scatter, (trust me they will) simply accept it. Don’t judge the fact that you are having thoughts or engage in them (this will only create angst) Just try to “notice” them like a cloud passing by in the sky and then and bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • As you breathe, notice your body from the inside. Bring attention to your feet, then to your legs, then your torso, and so on… Being aware of your body puts your awareness into the present moment.
  • Do this for about 5 minutes each day and gradually increase time.

When I began to meditate, I did the Chopra Centers 21-day Meditation Challenge, which I found on You Tube, along with thousands of guided meditations and meditation music tracks. I love, love, love using them. I find the best ones use binaural beats and do require headphones, so make sure you have a pair comfortable enough that you can forget you are wearing them. Binaural beats mean the sound in each side is traveling at a different speed. The impact of this is that when the brain processes them, it responds in slower waves that are best for expanded awareness.

Be patient, it takes 14–30 days for the unconscious to absorb new information and accept it as automatic. Meditating regularly will make happiness, gratitude, clarity, focus, and inner-peace your new normal.

By Wendy J. Cope, Positive Change Coach

References:

https://www.livescience.com/

https://faithhopeandpsychology.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/80-of-thoughts-are-negative-95-are-repetitive/

About Me:

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery I felt really “stuck” and needed to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.

I felt inspired to become a Positive-Change Coach and later to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients. Hence, I created Life Coach Library. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their businesses is what Life Coach Library is all about. If you simply register and fill out a short questionnaire you will receive up to 3 coaching sessions on us!

Education:

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master. I completed my coach certification at Coach Training Alliance, and I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning.

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Self-Talk! Lose the negative and bring in the positive!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

It’s true we all experience negativity in our lives. One day you’re in a great mood until you talk to that one friend or family member that always manages to bring you down. They may have been well intentioned, but they were just so negative it was an energy-suck. You may have even been that person a time or two, possibly thinking you were being helpful or cautious.

The average human has about 48 thoughts per minute. Only 6-8 of them are conscious and the other 40 or so are running in the background, in our subconscious. That means that almost 80% of your reaction to the world is literally on auto-pilot.

What’s even more alarming is that psychologists say on average 70% of unconscious thoughts are negative or limiting. YIKES! If you’ve ever wondered why you’re just not that happy or feeling stuck, read on….

Here are a few of the most common automatic negative thoughts (ANTS):

1. All or nothing thinking: Everything is black or white. Think of the words always and never. “I always mess things up “ “I never get what I want”. “I never do anything right”, “Nothing is ever good enough” “It’ll never work out”

2. Catastrophic thinking: Fixating on the worst-case scenario. “If I fail, I’ll never recover, and life will be ruined.”

3. Emotional Reasoning and/or Mind Reading: You are so sure of an outcome you actually create it. “I know she won’t go out with so I won’t even talk to her” or “I know he’s mad at me so I just ignored him”.

4. Should-ing on oneself: Feeling guilty or trying to live up to others values. “I should lose weight” “I should have studied more”. While seemingly harmless, should-ing on oneself is based in guilt or shame and keeps us stuck in a cycle of fear. It is not the same as “I want to lose weight” or “Now I’m going to study more seriously”.

5. Labeling: I’m “lazy, stupid, a terrible cook, cheap”.

6. Blaming others: Chronically being the victim; “I would have been ok if you didn’t…” “I am trying but everyone else is…” “This place is just so…”

These are just some of the biggies, but there are countless more. Any inner-talk that is telling you why you can’t do something is a limiting belief or ANT. Not ALL negative thoughts are bad. Some of them keep us safe. The key is to understand which ones are working for you and which ones are not.

The good news is, that once you understand your limiting beliefs, you don’t have to allow this negativity to rule your life! We all have a choice to either run on auto-pilot or consciously choose to boost positive thinking. The question is, do you have a true desire and willingness to look inside to improve yourself?

Have you noticed how much more energizing it is to be around positive people than negative? Negative people leave you feeling tired and depleted. Positive thinking not only feels better emotionally, it creates endorphins in the brain that make you feel better physically and open you up for bigger possibilities and creativity. Building confidence and self-esteem.

You can turn the negative thoughts that no longer serve you into positive ones that do! And, changing the way you think will change your life! Here is a practical approach to practice:

1. Awareness is the stepping stone: You can’t change anything until you know what it is you want to change. Practice thought awareness. One way to start is to pay attention to your body’s cues. How do you breathe when you have certain thoughts? What thoughts make you feel anxious? Laugh? If you want something badly, and the first thoughts you have feel depressing or give you a feeling of angst PAY ATTENTION. They are likely limiting beliefs and probably distorted lies! Listen to the “inner-voice” that is telling you why something isn’t possible. Try and figure out who is telling you that your idea isn’t good. Is it you? A friend or family member? Maybe a teacher or boss?

Try journaling. Writing down your thoughts without judgement is a great way to go deeper into them. Often when we uncover one thought we become aware of two or three more that are running behind it. Try this until you feel sure you have gotten to the “core” of the belief. This may be going back years in your life. Our childhood experiences dramatically shape our world view. What served us as children may not necessarily work for us as adults.

2. Is it really true? Does it always (or never) happen this way? Really? If it was true in the past, is it really still relevant? Who or what situations have defied this lie?

3. Consciously choose a better thought. You do have a choice. Decide on a moment-to-moment basis that you are going to stay aligned with happy and cheerful thoughts. This works better when you state them positively. Don’t tell yourself what you’re not going to do (for example: “I will not overeat”). Even if the intention is positive,

it is still a “negative” thought. State this in a positive manner, like “I only eat until I am satisfied”. Believe it or not, thinking positively will create pleasure hormones in your brain which will make you feel happier.

4. Fill up with positive, motivational and inspirational messages and people. There are a bunch of ways to do this: daily affirmations; videos; pod casts; blogs; my personal favorite is guided meditations. Focus on positive thoughts and your mind will begin to recognize and eject the negative ones easily. Surround yourself with positive people and you will naturally become more upbeat.

5. Make a conscious effort to notice how much better positive feels. There is a real domino effect that is going to take place either way. If you stay negative, you will continue to feel more and more negative. When you begin to think positively, you will create more positive situations in your life which will leave you feeling and thinking more positive again.

6. With practice, most people begin to have awareness of the underlying core issues that drive limiting beliefs. It is common to realize our negative and limiting thoughts are rooted in something deeper than the surface. Don’t be afraid of it, it is only a thought. If it feels overwhelming or you just want to connect with someone who is highly charged and positive, life-coaches are trained and experienced at helping people uncover the root causes of limiting beliefs and overcoming them.

7. If you can, minimize negative or toxic relationships – None of us need people in our lives who chronically make us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes we can step away from them, but other times we can’t. Do your best to detach both physically and emotionally whenever possible. If you can’t remove yourself from negativity you still don’t have to let it drag you down. Try to focus on something that brings you joy.

8. Be true to yourself. We can’t make everyone happy all the time and sometimes we just have to say no. It can be hard, but it is better to say no than to lose yourself and end up resentful.

These are just a few practical suggestions that can help you lose the negative self-talk and replace it with positive thoughts. It is time to say good-bye to limiting beliefs and say hello to empowering thoughts that will enable you to feel truly happy and achieve your dreams! If you have a personal favorite strategy you’d like please share it below or email me directly at wcope@lifecoachlibrary.com.

By Wendy J. Cope – Recovery & Positive-Change Coach

About the author:

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery I felt really “stuck” and needed to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.

I felt inspired to become a Positive-Change Coach and later to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients. Hence, I created Life Coach Library. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their businesses is what Life Coach Library is all about.

Education:

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master. I completed my coach certification at Coach Training Alliance and I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning .

Powerful Tips for Making Hard Decisions

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It’s when one is so afraid of making the wrong choice that they overthink and overcomplicate something. They get stuck in limbo while the issue at hand seems to grow bigger and bigger. Some get stuck for hours, others for days or weeks!

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Below are some tips to make the process much quicker and far less mind boggling. Not every strategy will work for every situation but choose the ones that apply to you and see how much easier it is to get off the fence.

Give yourself time to think it through and get clear about what you really want

For small but important decisions, give yourself about 30 minutes to de-stress, and think through several options. For more epic decisions, it’s better to give yourself hours or even days to weight out the repercussions of your choices, and then the repercussions of them.

Research proves that stress can often destroy the ability to make great decisions. Being under pressure can kick in the fight or flight response and no one makes their best choices when they feel desperate. There isn’t enough time to think about the unintended consequences that should be factored in when making a choice.

Spend time thinking about what you really want, and why. A great strategy is to ask oneself what they want, and the what do you want as a result of that. There is no limit to how deep you can take this. Finding what is called the meta- outcome will reveal your deeper values and make coming to a decision easier. Sometimes there’s a much easier way to get to the ultimate desired outcome.

Think through your options. Are there other ways of reaching your goal?

Sometimes we do what we’ve always done simply because we’ve always done it that way. Deep down we know there is a better way, but we just don’t know what it is. When we slow down, we can see alternatives and compromises that we couldn’t in the heat of the moment. While doing something is better than doing nothing about 90% of the time, there are times when it is better to not take action at all. Consider what the outcomes will be if you do nothing at all.

Are you doing what you really WANT or what are you simply SUPPOSED TO?

Once you identify what you really want, listen to your inner “voice” and make sure you are doing what’s best for you! Sometimes we unconsciously try to please others, such as a boss, parent, or spouse, that we do something purely out of obligation. While well intentioned, making decisions based on someone else’s values is generally does not serve us.

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake

There is no such thing as a mistake if you learn from it. The fear of making a mistake can be crippling. Learning to appreciate mistakes will give you inspiration to try step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

  • Ask yourself” what is the worst-case scenario?”. Is anything ever really catastrophic? Who do you know who made mistakes before achieving success? What mistakes have you not only recovered from but thrived after?
  • Don’t attach to outcomes. Whatever you decide to do, have a playful attitude towards it. Have a sense of humor. There is an element of risk in anything we do to pursue success. Look to see how stumbling blocks spark change and growth.

Talk it through and if needed, ask for perspective

Sometimes we just need to talk-it-out with someone who is detached and will allow us the space to explore. Simply hearing ourselves “think out loud” often reveals the answers we seek. At the end of the day, the decision is yours but there are times when feedback is helpful. Just remember to be true to yourself and your values.

Wendy Cope
Recovery and Personal-Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net

Gratitude for Happiness

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

If you woke up tomorrow, with only what you were thankful for today, what would you have left?

Every November, we kick-off the holiday season with the theme of gratitude. But why wait until November? Common sense tells us that expressions of gratitude can lift the spirit. Research shows that the benefits of gratitude don’t stop there. Here are some of the scientifically proven benefits.

  • Better relationships: More than good manners, it helps to build connections which lead to friendships and other relationships. People who are often thanked by their partners feel more appreciated and thus more positive toward each other.
  • Improved physical health: Experience fewer aches and pains. People who are gracious typically display more willingness/ability to exercise, eat healthfully, and take care of their health.
  • Enhanced mental strength: It can reduce stress; help overcome trauma; reduce aggression; and increase empathy and other prosocial behaviors. A healthy dose of gratitude can overcome toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, guilt, or stress.
  • Elevate one’s self-esteem: A strong sense of self-esteem is essential to optimum performance. When feeling thankful, the amount of effort comparing oneself to others is reduced and leaves greater appreciation for what one has or does.

Students from Harvard Medical School conducted a study with 3 groups. One group wrote about things they were grateful for, a second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected without emphasis on them being positive or negative. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Gratitude is not only a feeling but to many it is an action. For some, the source of that goodness lies within something outside and larger than themselves— whether it is other people, nature, or a higher power. It is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new or thinking they “will be happy when……. (something happens) “When you focus on and appreciate what you have instead of what you lack, your mental and emotional states grow stronger.

There are so many ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, but below are my top 10 favorites:

  1. Make a list of 50 things that you’d like to have BUT at least 25 of them must be things you WANT and ALREADY HAVE.
  2. Do something nice for someone without out telling anyone.
  3. Abe Lincoln says, “you’re as happy as you make your mind up to be”. I agree. Make a conscious decision to find things you are grateful for throughout the day.
  4. Smile randomly at strangers. You’ll be surprised at how nice it makes you feel, and it will likely make them feel just as good.
  5. Make a deliberate and sincere effort to tell others what they are doing right, and double down if they do something above and beyond what is expected.
  6. Practice forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes and holding on to resentment is “like drinking poison and expecting them to die from it”. By forgiving, we free ourselves of negative feelings and make room for appreciation and delight.
  7. Thank someone mentally (if you cannot in person). This act creates positive feelings and expands our emotional state.
  8. Appreciate nature and the divinity of life. Stop and wonder how a sunset or a rainbow is so perfectly colorful and beautiful. Hold a baby and embrace its innocence and perfection.
  9. Meditate. There are countless proven benefits of meditation. Setting the intention of feeling grateful will open your consciousness to see the many blessings in your life.
  10. Give thanks in prayer. This does not have to be a religious practice. You can give thanks to any source you are comfortable with, nature, light, or a religious deity.

Wendy Cope

Recovery and Personal-Growth Coach

www.healthytothecore.net

Articles referenced: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7- scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude

REDEFINING FAILURE FOR CAREER SUCCESS

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Unhappy and unfulfilled in your present career and really want to pursue something completely different, but you don’t? You want to go for that promotion but find yourself stopping short of applying for it? You really want to be in a serious relationship but find yourself backing away to avoid commitment? Maybe you are thinking about being involved in a community volunteer organization but never take the first step to inquire. When your heart yearns for something new but you stop yourself short of going after it, do you ever ask yourself why?

Fear of failure is often the culprit. Fear can paralyze us from moving forward on what really matters to us. These unspoken fears may be influencing our decisions and behaviors (Berger, W 2018). Fear of failure is one of the biggest reasons people hold themselves back from pursuing opportunities. We have an endless stream of thoughts, judgments and self-criticism which stop us dead in our tracks. Voices in our heads shout: “people will think less of me, they will label me a failure, I will feel vulnerable, exposed, naked, and I can’t handle it.” You try to silence your inner critic but you can’t. I can relate. I am no stranger to fear of failure.

Very early in my healthcare career, I was invited to present a workshop for women, a very high profile opportunity. This was no ordinary workshop. It was for the new women’s pavilion, an important business unit for the health system I worked for. While my heart said, “hell, yes, you are going to do this, what a wonderful opportunity for you, you should be excited and grateful!” My mind said something very different, “are you kidding? You haven’t done workshops before, and this one is very high profile. What if you fail? Are you really willing to risk your good reputation to do this?” If I accepted this invitation, I would be stepping outside my comfort zone. It was scary and I was afraid of failing.

After talking with a psychologist friend of mine, she convinced me the workshop was something I needed to do despite my fear . . . feel the fear and do it anyway. Reluctantly, I accepted the invitation but my method for working through my fear was to strive for perfection. I became obsessed with making this workshop perfect. I took an entire year to put this one workshop together because I was so afraid it wouldn’t be good enough. You’ve heard the phrase: perfect is the enemy of good? Obviously, it was somewhat foreign to me at the time. But then, my dear friend told me something I will never forget. She said: “if only one person walks away from this workshop learning something new, something that could possibly change the direction of her life, it will all be worth it. Knowing the gifts you have to share, your presentation will be powerful. You may never know who or how many received your gifts of wisdom, but rest assured, there will be at least one, probably more and you may have changed a life forever.”

Since that time, I don’t let fear hold me hostage anymore. It still tries to air its ugly head from time to time but I now know where it is coming from and how to better deal with it. For example, when I transitioned from healthcare executive to life and leadership coach and started my own business about two years ago, I experienced some fear, fear of building a successful business and fear that my weekly blog posts on social media wouldn’t be good enough. Initially, I started obsessing again aiming for perfection. Remembering that perfect is the enemy of good and stepping outside my comfort zone brings opportunity, I got past my fear. I will not let fear hold me back from sharing my gifts especially knowing it can make a difference in other people’s lives.

In her book, “Daring Greatly,” author Brene Brown writes about how allowing yourself to be vulnerable, exposing your heart to risk and stepping into the void of ‘I don’t know if this will work’ is truly one of the most courageous things we as humans can do. (Kitto, M (2016). It takes courage to step outside our comfort zone but this is where possibility and opportunity lives. It is where we can find our dreams and aspirations.

Moving from where we are to where we want to be on our life journey, we have to confront our fears. I would like to offer my thoughts and strategies for overcoming the fear that is paralyzing us.

First, recognize that fear is self-created. We frighten ourselves by fantasizing negative outcomes to anything we might pursue. We may be ruminating over past experiences that did not go well or worrying about a future that may never happen. You may have heard of the acronym, “F-E-A-R: Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.” Rather than living in the present moment, our minds take us to the past or to the perceived future where we then formulate what our outcome will be. It feels real and scary but it is related to our thoughts. Science tells us that approximately 80% of the 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts we have daily are negative. It’s important
to focus on the present moment because, if you think about it, the present moment is all we really have. The past is history and the future is unknown. We fear things that may never happen.

Redefine Failure. A good place to start is to define “failure.” We get to define what failure is and what we want to label as a failure. This failure we are all so afraid of is actually a choice. We get to make the choice. Whatever we are pursuing in life, whether it is business, a new career, relationships, or whatever, there will be times when things do not work out as planned. Failure is just feedback showing us what’s not working so we can find out what will work. Learning from our mistakes is invaluable in life. Anyone who has achieved great things, anyone who has changed the world has, at some point, made a choice to embrace and redefine failure rather than let it hold them back.

Ask yourself, “what’s worth doing EVEN IF I fail? Maybe my new business has a very slow start as defined by modern standards. Is it a failure then? What if I am making a difference for others, helping improve lives? I may need to course correct some things in my business (failure redefined as feedback) but there is already value in the services I’m providing.

Create a “fear list.” In her article, “How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure,” author Susan Peppercorn suggests creating a checklist of what you are afraid to do and what you fear will happen if you do it. Write down the benefits of the attempted effort and also the cost of doing nothing. Walking away from an opportunity may be far more harmful than stepping outside your comfort zone to pursue it.

Another strategy to consider is to restate your list of what you are afraid of. For example, if you are afraid of leaving a job you hate, you could restate it as, “I want to leave this job I hate to pursue my dream, and I scare myself by imagining I would go bankrupt and lose my house.” You can see how YOU are the one creating the fear here. (Canfield, J 2015) Once again, you are focused on a future outcome that may never happen.

Focus on the positive energy of the desired outcome. Author, Warren Berger, in his article, “What Are You So Afraid of?” suggests focusing on the desired outcome and the energy surrounding that rather than the actual thing that is inducing the fear. That outcome may be a personal benefit or involve having a positive impact on others. (Berger, W. 2018). In my previous example, despite an initial slow start to my business, I knew I was making a profound difference with the individuals I coach and those who read my weekly blogs.

Recall when you triumphed in the face of fear. Try to recall a time when you were successful at a new endeavor despite your fear of failure. Perhaps you are going for an exciting job promotion but nervous about the interview. Think about all the times you “aced” an interview, despite your fears, and were thrilled to get the job. What did you do, how did you prepare, what feedback did you get? Focus on what you did well.

Hire a professional coach. Despite all your efforts, there may be times when you just can’t get past your fears. You may have a limiting belief that you are unaware of. You feel that you are not enough: not smart enough, not good enough, too old, too young, whatever. Because of your fear, you remain stuck, and are reluctant to pursue almost anything new. A professional coach can help you discover what you cannot see for yourself. She can support you through your fears, keep you focused and help you confront your unconscious behaviors and old patterns. A coach helps you move forward with your life, helps you discover the possibilities, address obstacles and overcome barriers to achieving success.

Don’t give up on your dreams and aspirations. Don’t let fear paralyze you from moving forward with your life. Consider trying one of the strategies I’ve outlined above to move beyond your self-created fears. In the event you still cannot get past your fears, consider reaching out to a professional coach.

Want to move beyond what is holding you back from your success in your career and life? Book a call with me where I offer a one hour confidential and complimentary Discovery/Mini-Coaching session so you can experience what coaching can provide for you. http://www.robbiekcarlson.com/coaching/

References:
Berger, W. (2018). “What Are You So Afraid Of?”
Kitto, M. (2016). “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
Peppercorn, S (2018) “How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure?”
Canfield, J (2015) “The Success Principles”

What’s at Stake?

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Intuitively, many of us know the changes (or at least some of them), that we must make in order to get to where we want to be. Yet despite this, we still struggle to make those changes. We get caught up in the other matters of our lives. we lose sight of our goals, dreams, and aspirations. we get caught up in the machinations of our daily lives and inevitably stop pursuing them entirely.

So what gives? For starters, we need to make an obvious observation. Change can be uncomfortable. It usually is, particularly if it is a transformative change (Changing a habit for example). YET THESE ARE ALWAYS THE BEST CHANGES TO MAKE and still, we don’t make them.

Let’s make this real for you.

Let’s get in touch with YOUR reality:

What’s at Stake for you? If you don’t make this change, if you don’t take action, What’s at Stake for you? Let’s take into consideration both extrinsic and intrinsic consequences of not making that change.

Extrinsic: Is it a life half-lived? A horrible career or vocation? Is it a broken friendship/relationship or marriage? Is it poor physical or mental health? A potentially bad financial situation? A once in a lifetime opportunity missed out on?

Intrinsic: How do I feel about this now? How am I going to feel about this later? What Value does this have for me?

Hypothetically Speaking, if you were to continue down this path on Auto Pilot, changing absolutely nothing, what would your life look like:

  • Next Year
  • Three Years From Now
  • Five Years From Now

Are you happy with this? Are you being true to the God-given talents and gifts that were bestowed to you?

Before I became a Life Coach, I was a personal trainer for over 7 years. Exercise, particularly martial arts, changed my life profoundly. However, I never quite got to the level that I really wanted to be with my body. I kept trying to “work harder.” At one point I had a routine where I would workout at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week doing high intensity interval training combined with Kung-Fu AND Kickboxing. I was exhausted on those days. My body would feel destroyed. I was overtraining, Working way too hard. Trying to lose weight I would “eat less” but “more often”, and then I would have “cheat meals” on the weekend. I never got to my ideal weight or had the body I wanted to. Yet I was exhausted. I kept depriving myself so much that on the weekend I would PIG OUT and ruin all that hard work from the entire week. I stayed in that cycle for about 3 years, always trying the same thing. I had more up and downs than I can count.

During this time, I was also trying to grow my coaching practice. The beautiful thing about coaching is that it requires ongoing personal growth. I decided to prioritize growing my coaching practice, so I had to put aside doing 2-3 hours of exercise every day for a while. But I knew that something had to change, otherwise I would just keep gaining weight or at best, stay the same. I changed my nutrition. I updated my system. I tried the Ketogenic Diet. In one month, I lost almost 20 pounds and I was working out half the amount of time, all while eating foods that I loved but was scared to eat: Bacon, Cheese, sour cream, etc. (in a varied plan with eggs, greens, and other lean meats and fish like chicken and salmon). Later, I transitioned to a cyclical version of this lifestyle (5 days on/two days off) and I have kept the weight off. More than just that: I don’t have high and low energy spikes anymore. I have more energy every moment of every day, I don’t get tired in the afternoon, and I never feel that starving feeling if I didn’t eat for a couple hours.

Here’s some great information on this Lifestyle: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101

This is the part that really will rock your world!

I invite you to take the time to slow down and just think, write it down, journal it, whatever it takes to make it real. Ask yourself just this one question: If I don’t make this change, what is truly at stake?

…But wait Mauro!!! I already made this change and I am still not where I want to be.

Know this: If you have made the change, if you have been pursuing this path that you have set out for yourself, expect that there will be ups and downs. You may experience periods of tremendous growth and then suddenly, a hit a plateau, maybe even a sudden drop. There may be yet another rise and then another drop. That’s part of the journey. That’s what makes it exciting because it is in some ways the unknown. The unknown can be scary, or it can be thrilling. The best part of all of this is YOU get to choose what label you place on that. You get to choose whether it is fear or excitement. Every day brings forth a new opportunity for growth and change.

So here are some more powerful questions to ask yourself:

  • What systems and practices can you implement that will take you to the next level in your plan?
  • What do you need to do?
  • Who do you need to be?
  • Where can you find support and from whom?
  • Is the change you need to make deeper than this? Do you need to change so that you can change?

as defined by Merriam Webster, change in perhaps its purest and simplest sense is “to make different in some particular way.” The change you may need to make may or may not even have any physical manifestation in the onset but inevitably, it always will at some point.

“Being Defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” -Marilyn vos Savant Blessings, Mauro Schiavo

Helpful Resources:

An Evening with Robert Kegan and Immunity to Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFYnVmGu9ZI

How to Overcome Procrastination | Brian Tracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPcLkAqS_GE&t=123s

“Drive” by Daniel Pink “Time Warrior” by Steven Chandler

Bio:

Mauro Schiavo is a Certified Life and Career/Vocation Coach, and founder of Mauro’s Max Lifestyle He seeks to bring people’s wildest dreams into reality. As a child he was obese and often felt like an outcast. In his teenage years he made a bold decision to change his life. he trained for 9 years and obtained his black belt in Kung-Fu and Kickboxing. After graduating from Florida International University with his bachelors in Sports and Fitness Studies he became a personal trainer and started his own mobile personal training business. throughout this time, he was coached, not just in martial arts, but in every area of his life. This led to an insight much later during his own certification course in coaching from Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching. This changed his life immensely and he decided to bring that change to the rest of the world.

By Mauro Schiavo https://www.maurosmaxlifestyle.com/

Get “unstuck” with Association and Disassociation

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Written by Wendy Cope, Personal-Growth & Recovery Coach, www.healthytothecore.net

Have you ever noticed when a friend comes to you for advice about a situation it is so easy to offer great ideas and solutions to them, yet, when confronted with our own it is much harder to see clearly and come up with practical answers? The reason is we are generally observers for our friends and when we observe, we can think more rationally. We are disassociated with our friends’ challenges. In our own situations we often become our situations. We feel everything, and we get stuck. We are associated with our own dilemmas.

Disassociation:

When we disassociate with something, we are more detached. We have the ability to observe. It’s like watching ourselves on t.v. or from afar. We only see and hear what is going on. We experience feelings about the situation, but not like the characters we are observing who are feeling the powerful sensations.

Be mindful that disassociation has nothing to do with the mental health diagnosis of “dissociative disorder”. Dissociative disorder is characterized by:

* The splitting off from consciousness, as in amnesia or mental blocking.

* Not remembering or connecting to a feeling as a coping or defense mechanism.

Disassociation in this article means to observe a situation to gain a different perspective and decrease the intensity of negative feelings associated with it, both mentally and physically.

Association:

Association is when we relive an experience. We are in it and see everything around us from that perspective. We feel the feelings in what seems like real time. We have other sensory experiences. What we see, hear, smell, even taste, as if it were happening right now. Association is when we are being the active participant.

Try it….

Think of a time you were very happy, like a graduation. What pictures do you see? Are you watching yourself walking across the stage to get your diploma or are you walking across the stage to get it? Whichever one you answered, try to see it from the alternative perspective. Which one feels more intense? Is it happier? Does it feel different physically? Which feeling would you rather have? If you are like most people, association feels much happier. It is usually more sensory, and physically triggers endorphins that add to the emotional experience.

Now think of something that was disappointing, maybe not getting a job you really wanted. What picture do you see now? Are you watching yourself open the mail and reading some type of notice or are you standing there with the reject notice in front of you? Whichever you answered, try it from the other perspective. Which seems less intense? Is there a difference in how you experience it physically? If you are like most people, disassociation takes the sting out of rejection and makes it easier to look at it logically.

When is it best to be Associated or Disassociated?

Unfortunately, research has found that many people disassociate with happy memories and associate with unpleasant ones. That is backwards!!! When we are thinking of something pleasant, we will view it more positively when we are associated in it. It will create positive thoughts which will make us feel happier. When we feel happier, we physically become healthier. Our heart beat settles and our blood pressure calms. If we take a moment to slow down and experience other sensations, (sounds, smells, sights…) it will enhance the feeling even deeper. This can be a powerful tool when trying to get motivated.

Dissociating from unpleasant memories or experiences decreases the emotional pain, depression, and anxiety that often accompany them. When we become an observer (vs. participant) we can see things from an objective viewpoint, and release emotion attached to an event. In my experience, this release has a positive impact both emotionally and physically as well. I have combined this with other techniques to decrease the intensity such as “dimming the lights” and “lowering the volume” (heck, hit the mute button) and “making the screen smaller and fade out”. These tools are powerful because they decrease or eliminate the sensory connections, which is what the unconscious is more likely to hold on to.

It’s never wise to get stuck in one mode or the other. Pain is not comfortable, but it can be part of an important learning and growth experience. When person gets stuck in disassociated mode, they analyze everything rationally but will not experience a range of emotion and are not better off. They should learn how to associate into their feelings, at least some of the time. When someone is so associated with their pain, they relive it over and over, even if unconsciously, and it becomes problematic. It can increase anxiety, depression, and lead to self-destructive behaviors. They would then benefit from learning how to disassociate from painful experiences.

Brown, S.. Psychology Today. Retrieved fromhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pathological-relationships/201211/dissociation-isnt-life-skill

Hall, L. M. . NLP Mentor. Retrieved from https://nlp-mentor.com/association-dissociation/

Author unknown, World Trans. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldtrans.org/TP/TP1/TP1-119.HTML

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