Life Coach Library Archives - Life Coach Library

I Guess That’s Why They Call it the (Winter) Blues…

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

The holidays can be so stressful and hectic, and like it or not, we are typically surrounded by people.  Lots of people.  Family members, friends, colleagues at your office holiday party, crowds of people in the malls, restaurants, and traffic…the list goes on and on.

Then, poof! its over and everything is eerily quiet, or comparatively so.   

For many, this drop in activity and social interaction leaves a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. Couple that with single digit temperatures outside… and oh, those New Years Resolutions that you’ve already forgotten about, again…and. (deep sigh) yep,  the winter blues have crept right in.  

  
Regardless of why the first few weeks after the holidays can be emotionally overwhelming. 

My top 3 go-to’s when getting in a winter funk: Lights, Connection, Action!!

Let there be light! 

It’s common knowledge lack of sunlight during the winter months is connected to feeling down.   The scientific term is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and while some people suffer from it severely, almost everyone agrees the gloom of winter is a downer.    Dress warm and go outdoors if you’re able.   Being cold stinks, but as long as you’re warm, breathing the brisk air can be invigorating.  If you’re a dog owner like me, you know that getting them out sometimes is a pain, but everyone is much happier after.  Have an elderly neighbor with a dog?  Offer to help them.  They’ll appreciate it, and doing something for someone can really lift your spirits.  However, you choose to do it, don’t get too cooped up inside. 

Open your curtains and let the light shine in.    A lot of times, we close them because they do help insulate and keep the heat in.  I get it.  Keeping the heat in is good, but the flip side is that it blocks the light out.   Even if you only open them for an hour a day, let there be light!  You’ll feel better.  

 Feeling blue, try Gratitude for Happiness

It’s almost impossible to feel down when you have a real sense of gratitude.  Take a moment to think of anyone that did something extra special over the holidays and reach out to thank them.   You could call them, send them a card, or an email.  I discourage texting, but if that’s what feels right to you, then by all means, go for it.  Everyone loves to receive thanks and to get outside of yourself and to connect with another person with a grateful heart creates endorphins related to happiness (Psychology Today)

Make a plan

Just get going again.  Think of how focused you were during the holidays.  How ever you celebrate, making plans, meeting deadlines, reaching goals is a big part of the process, and chances are, you did all of that without even being aware of it.  Now is your opportunity to focus on something for yourself.  We all have something we’d like to accomplish and have procrastinated on (until after the holidays?)

Here are a few ideas.

Pick an area of your life you want to work on.   Are you happy with your career?  How’s your love life?   Still eating Christmas candy or just feeling the after-effects and ready to get back into healthy habits?   Thought about starting a business or writing a book or taking up a new hobby?  Pick one (or two), and write down your ultimate goal with it.  Even if it seems lofty now, as long as there is some reality to it, get it on paper.  Then break it down into chunks by what you need to accomplish in (for example) one year or six months. Then what do you need to get done each month to get to the end?  After that, break it into weekly goals to reach your monthly objective.  Lastly, what can you do TODAY to meet your weekly commitment?  

Don’t put massive stress or pressure on yourself.

That’s counterproductive.  The stress will create negative feelings that will ultimately be the demise of the plan. Even people who think they are motivated by pain or panic typically fizz out.  It just doesn’t work, or at least not for long.   If you find yourself feeling angst or stress, try setting SMART GOALS.   These  are smaller, more specific and managable goals allowing you to celebrate even your simplest victory.

Winter can feel like an ending while you’re waiting for the new beginnings that come with spring.  However, it doesn’t have to be.   There are only so many tomorrows, and letting nearly 90 of them pass you by does not serve your highest good.   You deserve so much more out of life.   Let yourself live it to the fullest.  

Ring Ring Your Life is Calling: find your true calling in life

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

Realize it or not, we all experience a sense of passion and purpose at some time in our lives. Think back to when you were a child and had an unfiltered interest in a game or toy.  Maybe you played a musical instrument or lost yourself in arts and crafts.  

Finding a passionate purpose in your adult life is not so different from this.  We resonate with a vision of possibility.  It may start seemingly ordinary, but as we lean into it, the possibilities seem endless, and it takes on a life of its own. The clearer we can see the vision, the more doors to new opportunities appear, and our vision becomes deeply meaningful. 

Living authentically frees you to turn possibility into reality. 

Are you living in line with your authentic self?  Do you do what is meaningful and inspiring to you? Are you achieving the results you want in your life? Do you feel fully alive? How much do you wholeheartedly engage and enjoy each moment, no matter where you are or what you are doing?   How you live one day is how you live your life. The answers to these probing questions define it.

You’ll have more confidence and self-respect; you’ll feel better knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a true and accurate measure; you’ll be more optimistic and be ready to forward, even if you’ve felt stuck in the past.

When you ignite your passion, you procrastinate less and have more drive; your relationships will improve because you being the best version of you. 

Uncover your true passion and purpose

It starts with a vision.

Allow yourself some time to quiet the mind and slow down the chaos of everyday life.  Ask yourself: What do I want? What makes me happy? What am I passionate about? Don’t filter your answers.  The answers you seek exist inside of you if you’re willing to listen.  It can take time, so don’t try and hurry the process.

Pay attention to shifts in your thought process.


You’ll start to notice your mental energy flowing towards unraveling what it is that you truly are meant to be or do.  You’ll be amazed as you begin to attract the elements that resonate with your calling.  It will be as if life is calling you on your own personal telephone, you just need to answer the phone. 

As ideas come to you, imagine that you are already living your ideal life.   Close your eyes and as if you are watching a movie starring yourself, fill in all the details with vibrant color; hear the sounds of success; feel the satisfaction and joy that comes with it.
 

It takes consistent vigilance

To manifest situations that provide the opportunities you desire, you must maintain focus on the end-goal.  Spend time each day doing even the smallest thing that is consistent with someone who already has or is what they desire.   Be selfish with your time and not get distracted, even if only for 15 minutes. Make this time yours without negotiation and be willing to repeat it again and again.

Ask for Help

You will always have to do “it” yourself, but you never have to do it alone.  Find a trusted confidante to run your ideas by.  Try to find someone who will support you without judgment.  That someone should also be living in line with their true passion and purpose.  Inner vision can take time to activate, and it’s essential to know where, how, when, and who to ask for help. 

These suggestions will help you get in touch with your core values and deepest desires.   They will stimulate your imagination to identify what your life’s purpose, vision, and mission are.

Consider that as you discover your passions that life is calling you.  Are you going to answer the phone?   Or are you going to wait for the voice mail (procrastinate)?   Will you respond with a text because you don’t have the “perfect” response? Or will you put a post on social media asking for permission from others to do what you desire most?

When you feel a strong pull that something is your calling, the best thing to do is get busy!   The sooner you start, the quicker you feel better and build momentum.  When you decide to live your purpose and go for what you really want, amazing things start to occur.  

Start today!  A year from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jobs and Careers: Why are so many people content with just earning a salary and working 9-6 their entire adult life?

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Ahh, the American dream: finish high school, continue to get a degree or specialized training, and live out the rest of your life for an organization the provides fringe benefits and opportunities for promotion. 

For some, attending college may be about enrichment and personal fulfillment. Still, for most people, the primary motivation to go to college is the hope of securing gainful employment when finishing.   Statistics validate that the average income of someone who has earned a bachelor’s degree is 80% higher than their peers with a high school diploma or less. 

So, assuming having a decent salary is the big win for investing four years of one’s life and tens of thousands of dollars, it is no surprise that so many are motivated and encouraged, if not pushed, to pursue this pre-mapped route.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this and by no means discredit what a precious resource knowledge can be.  There is nothing wrong with taking the traditional route! But let’s look at this a little closer.  Over 70% of college grads are in debt with a whopping collective total of about $1.5 TRILLION. If you were to place 1.5 trillion one-dollar bills end-to-end, that would stretch for about 210,000 miles, or around the earth about 8.5 times.  It’s no wonder the average age children move out of their parent’s house has crept up to nearly 30! 

With such responsibilities, having a 9-6 job is not only attractive but convenient. A safe and secure job will help pay those pesky student loans, make the monthly payment on dependable transportation, take a vacation occasionally, and maybe even save towards a down payment on a home.  All good stuff and part of livin’ the dream!  

Whose dream?

Maybe dreams are for kids?

Hence, most people prefer to work for someone else all their adult lives. They get periodic promotions, pay into their retirement fund, and live a life that is risk-averse and without complications.  They are content.  Many of them at least.   According to Forbes, 58% of them are.   Which means 42% aren’t.    Over 2/3’s of them are merely surviving.  Miserable at work.  They hate their job; they hate their boss; they just go through the motions to collect a paycheck and get health insurance.  Sound familiar?

Compare this to the life of someone self-employed or an entrepreneur. Venture capitalist and internet entrepreneur. Reid Hoffman, eloquently said ‘An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.’

This accurately describes the life of someone who wants to take a different approach to life. Someone who must live passionately and is driven by some higher purpose.  They are willing to forgo the security of a steady income in exchange for the opportunity for unlimited income.  Despite the extreme discipline and dedication, they will tell you they do not work at all.  Why?  They love what they do!  It makes them feel alive.  

Entrepreneurs take risks, make sacrifices, and endure hardship. The ultimate reward is freedom, a sense of accomplishment, and a flexible lifestyle that is entirely different from the mainstream lifestyle. 

Interestingly,  out of 185 million working-age Americans, 14% or 27 million are entrepreneurs today. They are either starting a new business or already have their own established companies.  This is the highest number of entrepreneurs ever recorded in the US and goes to show how millennials and Generation Z have a different approach to life than their parents. 

Why? Maybe technology has created more opportunities to niche out. Perhaps the allure of work-from-home in your sweats has winningly surpassed the “suit up and show up” mentality of the baby boomers.  Or maybe, just maybe, that despite all the benefits of formal education, we are learning to value the independence and satisfaction of creating our own livelihoods.  No longer are they willing to conform to the corporate culture and jump through the hierarchical hoops to get ahead.   They are living authentic lives.  

We have total respect for any hardworking human being who supports themselves in any ethical fashion, in whatever professional lifestyle they choose.   For those who know that they are cut out to use their God-given talents to do something fantastic on their own, we wish you success as you pursue your passion. 

If you hate your job and are merely enduring the days and weeks, living for a paycheck and a few benefits, you can make a change.  It’s not too late, you are not too old, and there is something better for you.   You owe it to yourself to live in line with your values, interests, and fulfilling work if you’re unsure where to start, with a career coach to find out how!

A NEW YEAR – A NEW BEGINNING

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

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, time to be with your loved ones, and a time for laughter and cheer. But it is also a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not simply a commemorative Christian holiday. It is not simply celebrating with family and friends. It is not simply a time to give gifts and to be a giving person for a few days out of the year. The Christmas holiday can certainly be all these things, but it can be so much more. No matter what your religious beliefs, this time of year can be a time to reflect on our lives. Every year, I am particularly moved by the song “Happy Christmas” by Celine Dion.

So, this is Christmas and what have you done

Another year over, a new one just begun . . . .

Every year when I hear this song, it touches my soul in a very personal way, and it always gets me thinking about my life. What meaningful things have I done over the last year? Certainly, my accomplishments and goal achievements come to mind, but it is actually much more than that. It is about who I’ve become and what I have done for others. Each year it is my goal to become a better person. Health and wellness is something I always need to work on but, equally important, is my goal of becoming the person I want to be. I want to demonstrate my love for my family in many different ways. I want to create beautiful memories for my children and grandchildren that will live on for a lifetime. I want to deepen the relationships I have with my spouse, my family, my friends, and others. I want to step into the shoes of others, so I can see and feel things from their perspective, experience their world, understand and help them work through challenges, and join them as they celebrate their successes. As a life and leadership coach, I want to support my clients to reach their goals, achieve their dreams, and, in the process, become their personal and professional best.

There have been a number of self-improvement efforts I’ve made over the years. One that I would like to share because it has had a very positive impact on my life and may on yours too is learning to be present, to live in the present moment, the here and now. Most of us spend the majority of our time focused on either the past or the future. We have 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts entering our minds every day, and as many as 80% of these thoughts are negative.  While some past thoughts may be pleasant, many aren’t, and those are the ones we tend to focus on. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness are all emotions that can come from focusing on our past. We hold grudges and, as such, compromise our relationships. Thoughts about the future are also a source of negative emotions.  We worry about things that may never happen. Anxiety, tension, stress, and worry come from focusing on too much future. To make matters worse, we play these same negative thought patterns over and over and over again in our minds.  When we do this, we are escaping the present moment that is our life now. We may be eating a delicious meal or spending time with friends, yet our minds are “miles away,” stressing over a problem at work or replaying for the thousandth time an argument we had with our spouse a few days ago.   We don’t fully enjoy the food we’re eating. We don’t really hear what our friends are saying, and we don’t enjoy our time together as much as we could. We’ve lost connection. Our relationships and joy can be seriously compromised. Just think about how much we are missing out on life by not being present. To become present, ask yourself from time to time what you are thinking about, and instantly, you will become present. Note where your mind was. Were you dwelling on something from your past or possibly worried about something in your future?

Have I achieved being the best version of myself? No, I have not, but that is the point. It is something we need to work on continually. As I approach the New Year, I think about how I can become a better person to make more of a difference in the world. Change takes time. The New Year is the perfect opportunity for a new start, a new beginning.

So, I invite you to search your soul to see if you are becoming the person you want to be and making the difference you want to make in this world. As the song goes, what have you done? Another year over, a new one has just begun. When the Christmas holiday returns in December, and we hear the lyrics to “Happy Christmas” again, let’s have something to say about how we’ve been a giving person all year long and how we’ve made a significant difference for others by who we’ve become. The people that mean the most to us, our families, our friends, and others may not remember all our accomplishments, but they will remember who we are, how we’ve treated them, and the impact we’ve made in their lives.

We wish you a year of love, laughter, connection, success, joy, and fulfillment!

While no one can create your happiness but you, reaching our goals can be tough to do alone.  If you’re ready for better results than you’ve achieved in previous years, consider reaching out to a professional life-coach.  You will go further and do it faster than you will on your own!  Life Coach Library makes it convenient and RISK FREE to experience the impact working with a coach can have. 

Submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com/

You’re PROBABLY NOT Going to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

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

It’s nothing personal; research shows that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken and forgotten by February 15th.  Why are resolutions so hard to keep? There are a lot of reasons for this ranging from lack of clarity of goals, unrealistic expectations, or, according to some psychologists, the word itself does not program the brain for commitment and motivation, which are vital for success.

It’s true that at the end of December, most of us reflect on the year behind us and look at the new year as a fresh beginning, a chance to make changes.  The reality is that May 5th, August 30th, or November 19th are equally as good to create a new beginning and make changes.  ANY day you decide to improve something about yourself or your life is a GREAT day to start.  

The real question to ponder is not WHEN is a good time to start?  But WHY haven’t you done it already?  Why haven’t you done what you wanted to?  Why are you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship?  Why did you lose 20 pounds and then just give up?  WHAT has gotten in-between you and achieving your goals?

 The usual culprits are:

  • Absence of clearly defined and realistic goals
  • Unsustainable motivation and commitment
  • Limiting-beliefs that lead to procrastination or sabotage success
  • Making costly mistakes that deplete time and resources
  • Using the SAME thinking to solve a problem that created them 

“Problems cannot be solved by the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”  If any of this sounds like you, you’re not alone.   Hundreds of thousands of people go through the same cyclical process several times a year, every year.    If you’ve been afraid to try or have tried and failed repeatedly, it can be so discouraging, but the worst thing you can do is allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. 

It takes courage, and it takes energy, but you can begin again.  You can change.   You can overcome challenges.  You can break through self-limiting beliefs.  You can become the person you want to be, and you can create the life you want to live.

The difference is:    If you want a different result, you have to do something different.  Something inside you must change before anything outside of you can change. 

Whatever it is you do today, you are creating your future.   If you do nothing today, you are creating your future.  If you  “go for it” today, you are creating your future.   The second you decide to act and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you win.

So, with 2020 right around the corner, what are your goals? 

Here are 6 common areas of life and goals.  These are very general, but we recommend that yours be as specific and detailed as possible.

A picture containing object

Description automatically generated

Career

  • Reduce stress and create life-work balance
  • Plan a better career path or transition 
  • Improve professional skills (presentation, leadership, time-management, etc.)
  • Start or grow a business

Finances

  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Establish a nest egg
  • Save for large purchases
  • Invest
  • Plan retirement

Health and Wellness  

  • Establish daily self-care routines
  • Nutritional goals,
  • Exercise and physical goals
  • Wellness goals (for ex: stress management)
  • Lifestyle changes.

Relationships: family; romantic; social

  • Meeting the love of your life
  • Improving your current relationship with the love of your life
  • Getting along better with your parents or colleagues
  • Communication with your teenage children
  • Broadening your social circle

Personal growth;

  • Build confidence; end procrastination; become proactive
  • Develop a happier attitude; learn to think positively
  • Overcome limiting beliefs; find one’s purpose and passion
  • Break bad habits, create good ones

Spirituality

  1. Deepen commitment to spiritual practices
  2. Broaden your understanding of religious philosophies
  3. Learn to practice The Law of Attraction
  4. Seek answers to questions you ponder or don’t understand
  5. Grow along spiritual lines and principles

Any of these goals are possible.  If any of them (or others) appeal to you, know that YOU CAN.  It may feel like moving a mountain right now, but one step at a time, they can be achieved.

If you decide to “go for it,” it does not matter what you call it, you must commit to change.   You must see it clearly, and you have to believe you can do it.   You must become the person you need to be and develop the discipline and character to make your goal reality.  You must change not to be the person who only wants success and become one who is willing to fight for it. 

One thing you DON” T have to do is go it alone.   No one is coming to do it for you, so you do have to get your a## in gear and get busy.  But you don’t have to fly solo.   DO get support.  DO find someone who can help you clarify your goals.  DO find someone who will hold you accountable and help you remember your why.  DO get an outside perspective that is objective.    Who is that person?   If you don’t have an answer already, we suggest working with a professional coach. 

A coach is skilled in helping you:

  • Clarify your goals and create a robust and actionable plan
  • Identify blocks that have gotten in the way of success in the past & help you overcome them.
  • Help you stay motivated, committed, and hold you accountable.
  • Collaborate with you to form a “think-tank” and come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have had on your own.
  • Save you time and money because you are less likely to make mistakes and get off track.

Life coaching works!  Life Coach Library makes finding a coach you love convenient and RISK-FREE.   When you register and complete a short survey, we’ll match you with up to three coaches who will offer you a complimentary coaching consolation.  From there, you choose the best coach for you and start reaching your goals!  The best part?  Our service is FREE. 

You haven’t lived your best year yet!  Will 2020 be it?

Why Career Coaching is a Must for Developers and Freelancers

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

This article was initially published by JetCake.

The benefits of career coaching have shown to be invaluable in almost every industry.  Forbes, Inc., recently published statistics reporting that over 70% of those who receive coaching see improvements in their work performance, communication skills, relationships, and more often than not, recoup their investment.

Many of the worlds most famous CEOs, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,  have worked with career coaches.   They had the personal insight to know that having object feedback and accountability could be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.  They worked with coaches to develop communication skills, business concepts and clalrify their vision.  While coaching was once considered a luxury service for the elite, mainstream professionals frequently advance their careers and personal goals by working with a coach.    Today, professionals in every industry, including developers and programmers work with coaches to sharpen their resume,  gain feedback on their “blind spots”, advance in supporting skill sets, and clearly define their career trajectory.

Coaching takes many forms, from collaborating with trusted peers, having a mentor, and formally hiring a professional coach to get the most personalized attention and expertise one can.   In today’s uber busy and digital world, most of the coaching takes place right on your smartphone or tablet.

Being a successful freelancer takes so much more than being an excellent developer.   You need a strategy to market yourself and juggle the many tasks of going out on your own.  You might be a fantastic coder, but do you have all the skills needed to stand out?  If you’re ready to be proactive to stay ahead of the competion,  the impact of coaching is  invaluable. Here’s why every developer needs career coaching along the way. 

A Coach will help you develop your soft skills

When it comes to skills that employers seek most, tech and coding skills dominate LinkedIn’s 2019 list of skills sought after by employers’. That’s great news for developers.   Finding work will be relatively easy for you as your skillset is in high demand.   Scarce are developers who cannot get by.  However, do you want to get by, or do you want to be wildly successful?  Do you want to pick up a few gigs here and there, or do you want to thrive and have a constant stream of business?   What’s your vision for tomorrow, next year, and five years from now?    How are you going to make yourself stand out from the crowd?  

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, having the right soft skills are in equal demand to honed professional talent.  This is what separates the good from the great.  Many developers and programmers focus on their hard skills but ignore this area of professional development.     

According to Linkedin, the most in-demand soft skills are collaboration with team members and management, being able to think outside of the box, an eye for detail and accuracy, time management & organizational skills, and being adaptive and responsive. When a recruiter interviews dozens of candidates for one highly sought-after position, guess who stands out?   They one who delivers “all that AND the bag of chips.” In other words, the total package.

Certified Business and Career Coaches are experts at helping clients by preparing them for nuanced, real-world situations that will hone communication skills and develop them to measure up in multiple skill areas.  The jobs are out there and you can gain a competitive advantage in the job market by becoming a seasoned candidate with various skillsets. 

A Coach will save you time and money in developing your career

There’s no shortage of demand for developers which makes it very easy to let yourself rest in a comfort zone.  You might be lucky enough that opportunities seem to find you more than you actively seek them.   If that’s you, kudos, but don’t take it for granted.   Inevitably competition will grow, the “fit” will survive, but only the “fittest” will excel!   A career coach can help freelance developers, and tech professionals connect to more extensive networks, navigate career changes, win proposals on more significant projects, and discern what types of companies are most suited to your talents and preferences.    

A Coach will help you “future-proof” your skillset 

What worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.  The tech industry is continuously growing and changing, and if you want to stay in the race, your skills must too.   Easier said than done when  you’re focused on work projects of the day, so how can you be proactive and sharpen your skills to be ready for tomorrow?

“Coaches can use assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of personality and skillsets. They can also help job seekers understand how a skill can be applied in a different way to a new job,” writes TechRepublic

Business and Career Coaches stay current on what recruiters and industry leaders are looking for and can help you see where your skills might be outdated.  They will help you sharpen your presentation skills for the interview.    Some coaches will also take it a step further and place a developer in a job.

In short, the longevity of your professional status comes down to staying ahead of the curve in both technological and professional skills.    Savvy developers take advantage of coaching to stay in high demand!

Ready to be proactive in your career?  Try coaching RISK-FREE.

If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time To Look Inside

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Can you believe there are only a few weeks left before the New Year is upon us?  Is your life today as you hoped it would be this time last year? Have you kept your New Year’s promises and made the changes you were so enthusiastic about?  Or, are you amongst the many who wanted change, wanted results,  had powerful intentions, but once again, didn’t go the distance and are back at square one?

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein.  The truth is, if you want change, it’s you that needs to change.   No one is saying this is easy; old habits and old beliefs die hard.  The key to powerful, lasting change is having a clear vision and setting compelling goals.

Even though most people understand goal setting on a rational level, a whopping 80% of people never set clearly defined goals.  If that’s not bad enough, of the 20% who do set goals, nearly 70% of them never reach them.  Why not?  There are several possible reasons.   Sometimes there are outside circumstances that they genuinely have no control over. Still, the reality of it is the biggest obstacle to reaching the personal and professional growth we aspire to lives between your ears.  The typical culprits are lack of commitment, inactivity, or perhaps having too many goals. But even if these things are in perfect order, you could still miss the mark.

Here’s why:

  1. You need a change in attitude and to address self-limiting beliefs: Using the same thinking that got you “here” isn’t going to get out.  When you want something new on the outside, you need to create something new on the inside.  Most of our thought process runs in the unconscious, and that’s is where many damaging thoughts camp out.   Think of these limiting beliefs as pesky weeds which, until pulled out from their root, keep coming back and airing their ugly head. Typical examples are believing you’re someone you’re not; you’re not good enough, not smart enough, too young/too old, or some such disempowering label. Until that limiting belief is discovered and replaced with something positive and empowering, you are set up for failure.
  2. You fear failure, or even worse, you fear success: Some people are afraid they will fail, but the fear of success undermines even more people.  If they fail, they anticipate people labeling them a failure or a loser. If they succeed, they think people may be envious and treat them differently, perhaps negatively or that they can’t keep up the pace and will humiliate themselves.  As cliché as it may be, deep down, they might believe they’re unworthy of attaining the goal and, consciously or unconsciously sabotage themselves.   Either way, if you lack faith yourself and your potential, why would you even invest your energy and make the kind of non-negotiable commitment needed for success?   If you can’t give everything you’ve got, what can you expect to get back?
  3. You’re not being true to yourself, and there is a conflict with your core values and/or life purpose. Are you doing what you are passionate about or what you think you should be doing?   Are you trying to please yourself or someone else?   Get clear about your core values and life purpose because they will serve as a compass, pointing out what it means to be true to yourself.  If you are living in conflict with your core values, you create stress, like running against the wind or trying to swim against the current.  It leads to frustration and disenchantment.  When you live “on purpose,” you will be amazed how easily things can fall into place.  You still have to work hard and very hard at that.  However, your motivation will be stronger and last longer because you are doing what you love to do, what you are good at, and accomplishing what is important to you. You are making a difference in the world.   These are the key ingredients to finding success, joy, and fulfillment. 

The most common characteristic amongst successful people is the ability to take 100% responsibility for their lives, including their achievements, the results they produce, the quality of their relationships, their health and well- being, their income, and everything else. They are goal-oriented and take action.  When stuck, they don’t blame people, places or circumstances, they reassess and readjust and keep going.  Even if things do not go as they hoped, they do not feed themselves the lies ‘I am a loser, I am a failure, or I can’t achieve anything.’ They redefine their failure as a success by looking at the reality of the situation, learning from it, and pressing on. 

While no one can create your success but you, you’d don’t have to do it alone.  If you’re ready to go all the way and move past your fears, consider reaching out to a professional coach. Overcoming the limiting beliefs that interfere with success is what life coaches specialize in. 

Reach out and receive a free consultation to experience the impact a coach can have!

Written and submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

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

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Hollywood superstar Denzel Washington recently gave a commencement speech where he famously said 

‘…You have these dreams. Dreams without goals remain dreams and fuel disappointment’

We all love to dream, think about the house we want to buy, that cool car we want to own or that high-paying job we are working towards. Unfortunately, a lot of people are never able to live their dreams and are stuck in an unhappy place.

While some people like to call themselves lazy or even unlucky, the biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is setting goals.

The idea of setting goals is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago Aristotle explained this as final causality.

According to him, the only reason why people do something because they have a basic purpose and a need to achieve it.  

This simple factor drives the world and takes us forward.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke researched this idea and conducted tests that culminated in the ‘Goal-Setting Theory’.

His research work has been celebrated for years, especially in the business world, with corporations following many of his conclusions.

Interestingly though, most of his research has even better applications in our private lives. To get more out of your life and turn your dreams into reality, you will need to:



1. Make specific goals:

Having a big house or making that career move are great goals to have. However, uncertain or ambiguous goals might not take you anywhere. The idea is to be very specific about the goals you have and build upon them.

For example, to say that you want to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year is not a specific goal. Humans are emotional and such vague aspirations do not motivate us.

A better way is to set a goal of e.g. losing 2 lbs every month or cutting out on sugar and carbs. Such specific goals help us to act immediately and work on our dreams.

  • Turning dreams into reality takes effort:

If you want to change your life, make your marriage work, earn more or buy that house, you will have to work hard for it. There are no short-cuts, no lottery tickets to be won and no one is going to help you.

The good thing about setting small, quantitative goals is that it automatically pushes people to work that harder.

For example, if you are looking to buy your dream car, your goal should be earning an extra income. This way you will push yourself to work overtime and get closer to your objective.

  • Goals make us more persistent:

Read How to Get and Stay Motivated

Setbacks are a part of life and usually throws a lot of people off. You might have had a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse.

A bad day at work can be emotionally challenging and a bad marriage can be life-altering.

However, research has shown that the aim of achieving well-articulated goals make us more persistent against setbacks and generally makes us more resilient in life.

  • Goals can change our behavior:

Research has shown that having well-defined goals can gradually alter our behaviour and make us improve ourselves. E.g. if you are trying to lose weight you might have a goal of reducing your calorie or sugar intake. With such small, specific goals, you might not only shed away the pounds but alter your eating habits for the long-term.

How to Develop effective goals

Make sure the goals you set for yourself really make you work towards your dreams. For effective goal-setting make sure:

Your goals are clear – Goals should be SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure your goals are simple, clear and have a certain milestone or deadline. Without setting deadlines your goals will take you nowhere.

Also, complex goals are not easy to implement, thus be practical and realistic about them. You should also be able to keep track of your progress and measure your success.

Challenge yourself – While your goals need to be realistic, that does mean they should be easy. Only by challenging ourselves can we break free from our comfort zones and do something beyond the ordinary.

Commit to it – You need to commit to your goals and set up some kind of a feedback system so you can understand how close you are to your goal. E.g. if you are aiming to lose some pounds, record your weight every week and keep on measuring it. A feedback system helps us to stay committed to what you are doing.

Most people never achieve their dreams because they are never fully committed to it. A lack of quick results demotivates most people. Hence, stay focused and committed!

Have an Action Pan – You need to have a complete action plan to turn your dream into a reality. Your action plan should consist of key milestones you want to achieve and when e.g. you dream of becoming a TV producer, you need to start with small internships, take relevant college courses and work your way up. There should be a complete strategy for whatever you want to achieve in life.

In all this, we should never forget the importance of our present. Currently, you might be a young professional or even a fresh graduate. However, 5 years ago, you dreamed of being where you are right now.

On an unconscious level, you did have a plan and goals in mind and you worked hard for it. We usually don’t enjoy the situations we are in and are always looking for a ‘better’ future. While this is human nature, we need to appreciate our present and where we are in life to fully realize our potential and prepare for tomorrow.

Hence, if you need to change something in your life, make a plan and start following it. If you believe saying sorry to someone right now can save your relationship, do it now! If you believe applying for a new job might help you increase your income, don’t think and do it now!

Having someone to help you set powerful goals and stay focused on them can be the difference between success and failure for many.  Professional life-coaches are trained to help their clients gain clarity on their values and set goals that are in line with their authentic selves.  They help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.   Bring on the new year ready for success and try life-coaching risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us at Life Coach Library.com!

If You Can Learn, You Can Lead

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

One thing that all leaders know is that they are never finished developing their leadership skills.  They are continually looking for ways to grow both professionally and personally.  Evolving in one’s leadership skill set is vital to the success of their organization, team, and themselves. 

Are you that leader who thinks that your subordinates suck? Guess what, if this is you, it might be you who sucks. A good leader believes there are no “bad teams.’   only ‘bad managers’ and they look within to find solutions before pointing the finger to others.

If you are currently in a leadership role, you know this is true.  If you’re not, but aspire to be, you can cultivate skills you already have to become one.   Leadership does not have to be a professional title.   You can be a leader in a marriage, your family, and even social acquaintances.   To be a leader, you only need to be someone who modals ideal behaviors and inspires others to follow. 

Characteristics of the best leaders are the ability to infuse passion, make strong-connections, infectious energy, and commitment to the mission of the organization.   Business mogul  Richard Branson says the ability to inspire is one of the most crucial skills every leader should have.  The greatest leaders encourage you to learn more, become better, dream bigger, and accomplish what seemed almost impossible. 

Lead by example

Expect from your team what you expect from yourself

Never ask your team members to do something that you would never do yourself.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll be resented and viewed as a hypocrite.  You can’t have such high expectations of others if you do not have them for yourself too.  If you’re ok with mediocrity from them, be mediocre.   If you demand excellence, make sure you deliver excellence. 

The only person you can change is yourself.  Be the person you want others to be, and ideally, you will inspire them to change themselves for the better.

When things go amok, stay calm and carry on

Remember, life is unpredictable. Thus, it is possible to run into challenges at any given moment.

It is vital to stay calm and set aside some of your time to think things through when they come up.  It’s not wise to rush and make decisions during the most challenging situations.  You want to keep your team calm, too, as mass hysteria will not solve anything.  Don’t dwell on the problem but focus on the solution.  Communicate clearly with everyone involved and encourage input.  Most issues arise when there is isolation, and the (proverbial) right-hand doesn’t know what the left-hand is doing.  Stay openminded to new ideas and collaboratively come up with a solid strategy to remedy the situation.

Everyone screws up sometimes.  If it’s you, own it!

Don’t be afraid to let your team see the fallible and human side of you.   When you admit you made a mistake and take responsibility for it, they will respect you and be able to come to you for guidance when they are in need.  Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and move on.  You will create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in.   You want your team to be challenged by the tasks that they do, not the environment they do them in. 

Be clear about boundaries

A good leader is the one who has clearly conveyed what is expected and what is not tolerated.    Their primary objective is to gain the respect and devotion of their team but not to be buddies.    As a manager, you need to ensure that all the team members take you seriously.  Make sure you follow your own rules too.   This models strong communication skills to your team and shows them that you are fair and consistent.  

Listen

 Sometimes it’s better to talk less and listen more.  Let yourself be approachable and available for your team to come and speak freely.  When you allow others to share their ideas, you empower them, and incorporating some of them will keep them motivated.   

When you are doing the talking, make sure that you offer praise and gratitude to your team.  It’s easy to say, “good job!” and your sincere appreciation will make them feel incredible.

  Inspire

Frontrunners know they have something great to offer this world.   They are talented at teaching others to access their own greatness to support that mission.  They do so with heartfelt support and guidance and provide the resources necessary for success.  They do not take advantage of their position and dole out rules and demands.   

 Inspiring leadership is the one that starts with passion. Passion leads to purpose. Purpose plus direction leads to accomplishing great things!

It starts with you! 

A leader is not a person who is born overnight. Leadership is a journey that starts with a single step. 

These tips offer general guidance to be a progressive leader.  Put them into practice and continue to take a personal inventory to hone your unique leadership skills.  

If you’re ready to up your game with a professional leadership coach, you can speak with up to 3 risk-free at Life Coach Library when you register and complete a simple survey.   If not you, who?  If not now, when?

Read: Why is Leadership Development Important

 

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows (proverb) 8 Tips for Better Time Management

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

Sometimes life is defined by either time or money.  Sometimes we have plenty of time, but don’t seem to have the money to do what we want.  Others, we have enough money, but simply can’t muster the time.

Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. You cannot buy it or produce more of it, and once time goes by, you can never get it back or makeup “lost-time.” While we have all slacked at some point in our lives, the biggest regret of most isn’t that they were active and made mistakes but did doing nothing and wasted time.

In our professional lives, time is money; In our personal lives, (enjoying) time is happiness. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a senior manager, or just someone trying to build their career, better time management can make the difference between reaching your dreams and being able to enjoy them when you get there.  

Ideally, you want to be productive at work, have a healthy social life, and still be able to spend quality time with your family. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; what differs is how we utilize them. We have come up with the top 8 tips that can help you better manage your time and achieve more in life!

1. Make a to-do list

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the simplest to follow. Prepare a to-do list to better understand what you need to do and when. It can be an hourly, daily, or weekly task list.

The idea is to be very clear of the tasks that need to be completed. As you complete each task, check it off the list and move on to the next. If you’re a procrastinator or just feeling completely overwhelmed, add things that you can complete in the next 10 minutes.  

Start with ones that are quick and easy to complete then progress to the bigger, challenging ones. There is a certain satisfaction you get as you move down the list, and it will keep you more motivated throughout the day.

2. Prioritize your tasks

Remember to prioritize your work. For effective time management, it is better to compartmentalize and complete the more urgent tasks first.  What’s urgent may not always seem essential.  If you have a big report to write, it’s probably more important than responding to an email your boss sent, but I assure you answering your boss is more urgent at that moment.

Know yourself and what keeps you pumped.  Is it better for you to tackle difficult tasks first? Or do you prefer to start with the more manageable tasks and knock them off your list?    Once you’ve decided what the most urgent and important things are, do whatever works best for you.

3. Remove distractions

Multi-tasking is a buzz word from the ’90s that has caused more harm than good.  We’re so technologically advanced that we think we can have a meeting on Skype while writing a report and texting friends to make plans for the weekend – This does not work!  Nothing gets done correctly, and the long-term results can be harsh when it’s time for performance reviews.  

For better time management, you need to concentrate on one task before moving to something else.  You get out of it what you put into it, so give tasks 100% of you, this is even more important if you have a short attention span or suffer from ADHD.

Learn the art of saying “NO”.  If someone asks you to take on extra work, politely decline when possible.  Saying yes to others is often saying no to yourself.    You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and only you know your limits.

It takes confidence to say no, but it will your life easier and help you better manage your life!

Don’t be afraid to close your door; turn your cell phone off; not answer every email in your inbox; and hunker down on an important task.  It’s ok to be selfish with your time, and you must be when you want to be most productive and efficient.  

4. Eat better and exercise

Eating healthy and exercising regularly can have a massive impact on your physical and mental well-being. It can keep you feeling fresher and active, giving you more energy to keep you going throughout the day.

One of the primary reasons many people miss deadlines is because they feel sick, tired, or stressed all day long.   Having chronic caffeine or sugar withdrawals wreaks havoc on one’s concentration and stamina to see tasks through to completion. 

Staying fit and healthy is a great way to combat this and can help you get more out of your day. This is even more important as you get older. For better time management and to stay active, work on a healthy lifestyle.

5. Get some sleep and start your day early

Speaking of healthy lifestyles, never skip on a good night’s sleep.  Many young professionals do not get enough sleep, making them feel tired and irritable throughout the day without realizing that sleep deprivation is the culprit.  This has a direct impact on efficiency, forcing you to be under-productive.

The most successful people in the world start their day early and for a good reason!

Waking up early gives you enough time to start your day casually. You can have a good breakfast, read the news, exercise or answer emails, and avoid that daily race to work.  Science proves that the first 20 minutes of your day have a lasting effect (Entrepreneur).  Use yours wisely, and you will set the tone for the rest of the morning and afternoon.

Be disciplined, get rest, wake with a lot of energy, and crush the day!

6. Take breaks

Don’t try and be a superhero and work non-stop all-day everyday. Taking short 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day helps to revitalize, relax, and keep you calm.  Every 2-3 hours, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the office or building, drink some water, and just let yourself regroup.  

7. Outsource or delegate whenever possible

We all want to believe we are amazing and can do everything ourselves, that we are in complete control. We would rather do things ourselves than ask someone else, possibly because we don’t trust people to do it right and believe we can do it better, or we simply don’t know how to ask for help.  Try and view “problem tasks” as “challenges” and make a game out of them.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Successful people know how to decide what to do themselves and what to delegate responsibility, whenever and wherever possible.  Chances are if it’s making you miserable, someone else is better for the task or can at least help you get through rough spots.   The ability to trust your team is a bit difficult but is essential for improving time management and your lifestyle.

8. Establish routines

With practice, you can discipline yourself to have a routine that makes your day work like a well-oiled machine

When you are consistent about the time you go to sleep, wake up, exercise, get to work, have lunch, and everything else you do routinely during the week, you will have successfully managed your time instead of allowing your tasks to manage you.

Expect hiccups now and then, but working on this type of discipline will go a long way in meeting key milestones and achieving daily goals.

What to Do When Your Boss Is a Jerk

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

A dream job could turn into a nightmare when you have a boss who seems to go out of their way to be a jerk to you. Sometimes, they seem to get some twisted pleasure in making you miserable. Some environments have such a toxic culture; the employees have come to think it’s normal for their bosses to behave this way. Worse still, they believe it’s a rite of passage.

Dreading Monday

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a beautiful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is incredibly depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day or the whole week. You even get the feeling your boss hates being at work almost as much as you do.

My boss is a jerk

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of complaints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in; jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then there’s the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could quickly have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade! 

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected, and demeaned. 

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills, consider these career tips to make it bearable.

 

Take it in Stride and kill them with kindness.

Usually, when people treat others poorly, it stems from deep insecurity and fear they have of their leading potential.  They somehow confuse intimidation with leadership.   Meeting them with anger and resentment only makes things fester and get worse, especially when they have the power to make your life miserable.  According to Sutton, in such a situation, treat them with respect, kindness, and give them genuine compliments.  At the very least, you’ll confuse them, but chances are, you will gradually soften their brashness and create a better space for yourself. 

This move may not work in all instances if your boss is a power-hungry and derives joy in treating people like dirt. In that case, it’s a defensive move—think of them as the miserable person they are, feel sorry for them,  smile, and move on!  Or, in your mind, see them as a comical figure. By doing this, you create an emotional distance.  It’s not worth getting upset or angry at The Joker so just laugh (to yourself)  at their irrational behavior. 

Limit interaction to the minimum needed to do your job.

You tried. Remember, you only have control of how you act and react, not how other people receive you.   Their attitude is not going to change, and there isn’t a thing you can do except take care of yourself.

You have to figure out a way to survive, and we recommend space and distance.  Create as much of it as you can so that their negativity does not pollute your psyche.

Give yourself kudos for not stooping to their level. Be graceful about the situation and act like their hurtful words little spit-balls that a 6-year-old would spew out.  In time, you’ll develop a thick skin, and it won’t affect you as much.

Consult with other colleagues or managers when you need help as the first line of defense.  When there is no way around dealing with them, be polite and respectful but get straight to the point so that your meeting is as brief and professional as possible.   

Take advantage of modern technology.

Here’s another easy way to create space and distance: instead of having face-to-face interactions, try to communicate electronically whenever it is useful and appropriate.   It’s much easier to brush off sarcastic comments when they’re online, and if you get heated, you have time to pull yourself together before engaging in any drama.    

If they send several unpleasant emails—don’t reply to them immediately. Get yourself together, compose a short and polite reply to that email. Try not to get into the vicious cycle where you keep getting angry and offended by everything they say.   

Know the situation and the jerk you’re dealing with.

Take a moment, sit down and do a thorough analysis, ask yourself;

  1. How much power or control do I have over the situation?
  2. How much am I suffering?  How can I look at this differently for my sanity?   

If you have a boss who is insulting you, dumping on you, and being disrespectful, try not to retaliate or fuel their anger.  Sometimes, when you look closely at the situation you find yourself in,  you realize your boss is criticizing you because the job is beyond anyone’s control, or it’s entirely a broken system.  Instead, approach them when they’re calm and express your irritation as polite as you can.

If you believe that won’t work, bypass him and go to their superior or directly to Human Resources to file a complaint.   It may be better to bond together with your coworkers experiencing the same problem, form a coalition, and try expressing how toxic and hostile the workplace has become a group. This way, it would become difficult to push people around or single out one person.

When you document and complain as a collective group, you’re more likely to get the problem sorted out than when you try to do it alone. Don’t rush, get your facts right, get concrete proof, and make sure there’s no dissent among you. Then present your evidence to an impartial person in authority.

Don’t quit in rage

Don’t hesitate to resign if you no longer feel safe at your workplace, or you’re being demeaned and insulted constantly. But don’t make any decisions in rage. Plan a departure so that you can leave the company on the best terms possible, you never know when you may need to use them as a reference, and if you storm out, you’ve burned that bridge.  

Consider your options and make a plan.   If you’re unsure how to come up with a sound strategy, consider working with a career coach.   They are skilled at helping you clarify your goals and putting into action a plan that brings results.   One of the most grueling experiences in life is the job-search, and having the extra support of a professional will help you stay focused and sane through this tedious process.

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a wonderful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is extremely depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day, or the whole week. You even get the feeling, your boss hates being at work just as much as you do.

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of compalints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in, jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then theres the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could easily have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade!

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who  leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected and demeaned.

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills consider these career tips to make it bearable.

The 12-pounds of Christmas

coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

…tis the season to get chubby, fa, la, la, la, …….what?

For many this is the case.  When being festive translates over-eating, over-drinking, and over-spending those extra pounds seem to just show up one morning, and omg, what happened? While we’re there, can somebody please explain to me how eating a 1-pound box of chocolate turns into a 3-pound weight gain?      Just asking for a friend.

There are always options in life.   If you’re like me, not engaging in the holiday indulgences is not one of them though.  Which leaves us two other options:

A: Eat, drink, and be merry until the jeans don’t fit and it’s not so merry anymore  

B: Earn dessert with some extra workout activity.

As busy as life can be, traveling for work, having kids at home, it’s mid-November and too damn cold to go for a walk or run, here are 3 work outs you can do in your own living room or a hotel room.  All you need is the decision and commitment to not give into the 12 pounds of Christmas.  

#1. This ain’t just a booty call!

These exercises not only tighten the tush but they incorporate multiple muscles.  They build lean muscle tissue which torches calories during the workout and has a great afterburn (burning calories even in a resting state).  You can do all three exercises in 15 minutes while watching TV .  If you have hand weights, feel free to use them, but if not don’t sweat it, you’ll sweat plenty without.  For each exercise, do 10-15 repetitions, rest for 30-45 seconds, and then repeat 2 more times, for a total of 30-45 repetitions for each exercise.

#2. Get ready for family and in-laws!

If you’re one of those people who would rather go to the dentist than spend the holidays with your in-laws or even your own family, burpees will not only help keep you trim during the season but is a great way to vent all of the stress and angst that may build up in you.  Before, during, and after.   If you’ve never done burpees before, here’s a link to a quick You Tube video, Burpees for Beginners. These suckers scorch calories strengthen the entire body, and boost endurance Try and do 5 sets of 10 with 45-60 second rest periods in between.

 Forgive the crudeness but I’ve also heard these referred to as barf-ees.   Do about 30 of them and you’ll completely understand why!  Maybe that’s why their associated with…..never mind.  

If you’re super ambitious, alternate sets of burpees with push-ups or planks.

#3. At the core of everything is, well, your core!

Core exercises don’t just flatten your belly, they make you stronger and better at doing most other exercises.  Strong core muscles also improve your balance and stability.  The root of many body pains and injury’s stem from a weakened core.  The plank is the mother of all core exercises.  There are many variations of it, and they’re all super tough.  You read that right, they’re all super tough.   I’m a realist who won’t try and candy-coat it.  They engage over 20 muscles and work more than just your core.  Your arms, legs, shoulders, back and glutes will all get some of the love.   Here’s a couple of variations and the internet is prolific with plank choices and videos.  Try and hold each set for up to 60 seconds, then take a short 30 second break and start again! When you do this work out, shoot for as long as you can up to 30 minutes.  

Try a plank drag. It burns a ton of calories.  You’ll need a smooth floor surface for these.  They are like the stationary plank above but put a towel under your feet.   Try “walking” with your hands while dragging your feet, which should slide.   Depending on the size of the room, one trip back and forth is one round.  Shoot for three rounds to get your heart pumping and rev up your metabolism. 

Side plank: Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.  They should be completely extended. Using your forearm and elbow to hold your body up while remembering to hold your abdominal muscles tight.   Don’t forget to breathe.  Lift your hips up so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Side to side plank:  Start  with a basic plank.  From there, push yourself up, and place one hand at a time on the floor.  Make sure you keep your abdomen held in tight and do not let your back arch.   Try and stay in a straight line and do not let yourself sag in the middle.  Slowly use your hands to walk, (like you did in the plank drag) but allow your opposing leg to bend and use gently use that foot to walk across the floor. 

No one is saying this is easy and if you’re not already in an exercise routine, it may not be particularly fun either.  But hang in there, and it will be both before long.   While there isn’t any instant gratification here, you’re doing it because there is SO MUCH instant gratification everywhere else.   Remember that. 

If you feel like you’d do better with a boost of motivation and accountability, talk to a health & wellness coach.  They’ll not only help you get and stay on track, they’re skilled at helping clients overcome the beliefs that have interfered with or even sabotaged success in the past.  With a coach you will not only meet your goals faster than on your own, you will learn how to make your success permanent!!

 .

Stop Combo Dating!

coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Combo dating: when the first date is so bad it’s also the last date   

What to do and what not to do

Whether you’re looking for Mr./Mrs. RIGHT or Mr./Mrs. RIGHT NOW, nothing can be as much fun yet at the same time nerve-wracking as a first date.   

The internet has profoundly changed the way we meet people and, in many ways, changed the rules of dating.  Whether you’re Tindering, Match.com-ing, or meeting the though your own social networks or by chance, here is some timeless advice to consider when you’re just over combo dating!   All of these are suggestions that may need to be tweaked to fit your lifestyle but keep an open mind, and you’ll understand why the rules became rules, to begin with.  

Time:

Anything after 10:00 is just a booty-call, right?  DO pick a decent hour to meet for a first date. You’re trying to get to know each other, and it makes sense to be both alert and sober when that happens.   It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl and will be home watching TV with the cat that night, late evenings are for down the road.  

DON’T be late!  Fashionably late is unfashionable when it is at the expense of another person’s time and emotion.   It is disrespectful and sends a message that you are either undependable or inconsiderate of others.  Being on time will tell the other person how much you value the interaction and what they can expect from you as a person. 

There are exceptions.  Your car breaks down, your boss makes you stay late to finish a task, there’s an emergency.  Fine, pick up your phone and call and let the other person know and set their expectations of when you can meet or if you have to reschedule. 

Practice the 15-minute rule.  Always text/call if you will be more than 15 minutes late.  If you’re the one waiting, 15-30 minutes MAX is enough time to give someone.  Your time is precious, and you could be doing a lot of things besides sitting around waiting for someone to show up.    

Games

DON’T play them.   You know what I mean, but if not, don’t play games with people’s affections.   DO be honest about what you’re looking for.It is never a good idea to lead someone on. Whether you are looking for a causal relationship or something more serious, it is better to let the other person know.   This doesn’t have to be a discussion on the very first date, but it should be early on. If you’re getting a vibe that the other person is really out of sync with you (you want commitment, they want to play the field), then do bring it up.   It’s ok to simply ask where they are with it.  Trust your instinct to know if they are being honest and upfront with you or playing you.  Your gut reaction is often spot on if you listen to it.

At the end of the date, there is no need to ghost someone or play the waiting game. We are all adults here, so text or call them and let them know if you want to see them again or not. If you wish to decline the offer, do it politely not to hurt their feelings.

Dress

You don’t have to dress to impress but DO try to present yourself well.  It should go without saying (in my experience it is not), but basic hygiene is super important.  If you’re going to a ball game you can wear your jeans and a t-shirt, but please make sure they and you are clean and for the love of God, brush your teeth or carry breath mints! Even if you’re not smooching, bad breath is such a romance killer.  

If you’re going to dinner, it’s ok to ask your date if you should dress up or dress down.   You don’t want to show up in a suit or dress in a pizza place anymore that you want to be wearing flip-flops at the Ritz.  Whatever the venue is, it’s always nice and appreciated when you make an effort and look good. Not only does it make a good impression, but it will also boost your confidence, which in itself is attractive and sexy. 

Use your best judgement

DO be careful about comments on things such as appearance, social issues, politics, religion, and those types of sensitive topics.  These topics are important, and if it’s absolutely critical for you to know these things up front, then have at it. Still, I’m warning you that the potential for things to get intense and go south quick are far greater than the chance anything positive coming out of it.  If you end up going there, DO keep an open mind and you may delightfully see a new perspective.

It’s best NOT to criticize your date, not even playfully, or if you think you’re being funny.  Chances are you’re not.  Commenting on their hair color, or choice of clothes might be a fun tease later on, but when you meet for the first time, it’s better to be well-mannered and make the other person feel comfortable.  Oh, and weight….DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT say anything about the other person’s weight!

Remember, this is a DATE, which is supposed to be light and fun and flirty. 

Affection: OK, everyone has their own standards with how physical first dates should be. Here are a few things to ponder.  You don’t really know each other yet, and sex can cloud thoughts.  When I say sex, I mean everything from holding hands to going all the way. Depending on what you’re ultimately looking for, just know that the level of affection you engage in on the first date sets the tone for the relationship.  Not just physically, but also emotionally.  If I may be candid, I am convinced that as evolved as we are in 2019, this primal instinct carries deep psychological implications and should not be taken lightly. My best advice is to be crystal clear on where your boundaries and stay true to yourself.

Those are the big ones, here are a few more.

DO show interest: You might have had a long day at work, but a date is no time check out or be self-absorbed.   You are not there talk all about yourself for the entire night nor to be the designated listener.  Show some interest in the other person, ask them questions, and get to know them.  People love a meaningful interaction, and the better the communication, the better your date will be. This is the time to get out of your cocoon – ask questions about their work, their family, their life aspirations, and you might be in for a treat. Listen to them and engage in the conversation. 

DON’T drink too much: This goes for both men and women! No one wants to go on a date and end up taking care of a drunk person. Drinking changes people, and if you’re looking to get to know the real person, that doesn’t happen when either of you is polluted.  You’re on a date, not at a frat or sorority party. 

DO give compliments: Do not be shy when it comes to giving compliments but DO make them sincere compliments. If you think she looks fantastic in that black dress, let her know! If you love the way he smells, tell him. Don’t hold back – these subtle flirtatious moments will help to make the night even more special. DO be respectful. Call me old fashioned, but this is just everyday manners.  

DON’T be a big-shot by showing off your education or wealth or any status in a cocky and arrogant way.  You can be confident yet kinds and humble.

Dating can be an enjoyable experience or an excruciating disaster.  The key ingredients for lasting relationships boil down to compatibility and chemistry.  Dating is the process of discovering if those critical components exist. In this technological age, remember the human.  We all seek good company and a loving friend. Be confident, have fun, and go with the flow!

If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while and are unsure how to get back in, or if you’re looking for more out of your relationships, consider working with a Relationship Coach.   They are experienced helping people just like you reach your relationship goals.  Whether your goals are romantic or you want to increase business and social possibilities by learning better communication skills, a coach can help you get there faster than you will on your own.

At Life Coach Library its easy to find a coach.  Just register and fill out a survey.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for, and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is completely FREE.    

Sources:  

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/first-date-tips/

http://www.psychology.com/articles/?p=392

How To Be a Better Communicator: Seven Ways to Help You Express Yourself

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

How to be a better communicator: Seven ways to help you express yourself

The Importance of Communication Skills

1. Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.    

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express.  It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.  

How can you be a proactive listener? 

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally.  It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.   

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak.   What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds. 

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest.  Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them. 

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for.  Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent.  If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.    

2. Build trust by showing empathy 

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy, people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying. 

How to be more empathetic 

First, here’s what you DON’T do.  The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)  

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value).  When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication. 

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language  

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills?  Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal.  Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion.  They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously.  Verbal and non-verbal communication work together.  While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust.     If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock.   If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.  

Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express. It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.

How can you be a proactive listener?

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally. It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak. What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds.

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest. Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them.

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for. Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent. If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.

2. Build trust by showing empathy

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy,

people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying.

How to be more empathetic

First, here’s what you DON’T do. The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value). When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication.

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills? Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion. They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously. Verbal and non-verbal communication work together. While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust. If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock. If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.

You can talk extensively about something, but if your non-verbal cues don’t match what you’re saying, you will not convince your audience to believe in you. Physical gestures should be consistent with the message we are trying to convey.

4. Be clear and concise

To be clear and concise is an essential communication skill. Whether it be written or oral, it’s best to get straight to the point without a lot of flowery and unnecessary words that are just meaningless. What you may think is an introduction to a topic may be thought of as a waste of time in getting to the point if it’s not directly connected to it.

How can you give value in an introduction to a topic?

First, make it informative and drop anything irrelevant. Avoid wordy sentences so that the point is not watered down with unimportant detail. Don’t be repetitive. It’s one thing to assert a position, but repeating the same point, again and again, is just overkill. If your point is not clear, try to illustrate or explain in different ways. An analogy is an excellent tool for this if the analogy is truly relevant. Check for understanding before offering more prolonged and more in-depth explanations. Maintain focus on your topic and make sure not to use too many words when you can say it with just a few.

Whether you’re speaking to a crowd or captivating an audience with your writing, it is best to be clear and concise to keep your audience’s attention.

5. Ask “good” questions

The manner you ask the questions says a lot about your communication skills. You ask questions to get information; to be fully committed and engaged; to understand what the speaker is trying to say; to affirm your interest.

To get good answers, you must ask good questions. As easy as it may seem, asking questions can be a bit tricky. Some pointed questions may be offensive. The tone of your voice and your body language are vital when asking questions in most settings.

  • Keep questions focused on what you really need to know. The questions asked should be based on the topic. Structure the questions based on the information you already have.
  • Discern if your question is best asked as open (an explanation) or closed (yes/no) ended. Is it rhetorical? If it is personal, can it be asked in a way that one can decline to answer comfortably?
  • Know the reason you’re asking. Do you need clarification? Are you looking for a different perspective? Are you looking for help with something?
  • Consider your intent: Are you looking for help? To start a discussion? An argument? What will you do with the information you get?

These awareness’ will help ease the flow of communication so that no one feels like they are being interrogated or put in an embarrassing situation.

6. Improve written communication

Written communication is a communication skill that not all people will take time to master. While some people are naturally gifted at putting their thoughts into written words, others do struggle.

How can you improve your written communication?

After you’ve done your research (if needed), try brainstorming. Brainstorming is nothing more than writing down all thoughts randomly, without any censorship, judgment, or concern for accuracy or cohesiveness. Then, go back and circle the main points you want to get across. From there, put them in some logical sequence. Maybe organize them by time or level of importance. Then construct your writing. If you are writing a letter, find a template online, there are thousands. If it is an essay, start with a basic 5 paragraph format (Introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion). Use a free tool like Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling. Have a fresh set of eyes read your writing before you submit it whomever.

7. Learn to resolve conflict

Agree to disagree:

Agreeing to disagree means accepting other peoples’ opinions even if it is different from what you think. When two people have opposing viewpoints, it doesn’t always have to be that one person is right and the other one is wrong. Part of being emotionally and socially mature is the ability to accept the fact that other people may think differently and have different values. Some people who cannot allow other people’s opinions find themselves threatened that they might be wrong. This negative feeling hinders effective communication. Being open-minded or at least having a higher level of acceptance will allow you to feel comfortable in most situations. As a result, your thinking will stay clear and not clouded by the need to be right. Resolving conflict starts with accepting differences in opinions, views, and sentiments. Instead of getting angry, try to take it constructively as a different perspective you could learn from.

Strong communication skills are essential for success in both your social and professional life. Being adept at discussing and resolving problems, asking for and giving information, and interacting with other people with respect and dignity will pave the road to growth and happiness.

How to Negotiate Salary Or Ask for a Raise

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

Scenario #1: You’ve aced the interview and got offered the position, now it’s time to work out the money, but how?   Sometimes candidates are so eager to accept an opportunity they are afraid to rock the boat and take whatever salary the employer offers.       

Scenario #2: You’ve been crushing it at work and you’re mustering up the courage to ask for more money…but when and how does one go about asking for a pay raise?  How will it go down, especially if they say no?   

Whichever scenario describes where you are right now, you are certainly are not alone.   There are very few people who like talking about salary at all, and this phase of employment is often intimidating.  Some people never ask because they don’t want to be perceived as pushy while others are just too uncomfortable with the process.   

One thing that is worse than confronting the money situation is getting up every day to go to a job where you are believe you are underpaid.  When you add value, you should be compensated appropriately, and it’s up to you to know and ask for. what you deserve.  

In most cases you will not get it unless you ask for it and if you don’t you may be costing yourself thousands!  

If it’s a new job, you must negotiate before accepting the position.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer and remember most the hiring managers expect you to negotiate salary. 

When you’ve been at the company for a while and you become of greater value to them. It may be that you’ve taken on more responsibility, your role has expanded or changed,  or you’ve just become the best at what you do, whichever the case,  it may be time to ask for a raise.  

 So, how does one go about asking for more?  

Be prepared 

In either case, it is essential to prepare well before going into any type of salary negotiation.  

Do some research and know your value 

Your success will depend on the strategies you use to show how you contribute to the company.  A smart way to sell yourself and be convincing of your added value is to focus on the mission of the organization and how you going to help them.  Negotiations tend to go south when candidates become overconfident and focus on what the company should do for them.      

It is critical to know what your minimum and ideal compensation will be.    There are several websites you can easily access current salary trends.  To name a few, try glassdoor.comcareerbliss.com, or indeed.com.   There will always be a range which is based on many factors, such as: geography, education & credentials; experience; and detailed job descriptions.   Spend some time to get the most detailed information possible. These numbers can serve as both your starting and jumping-off points when negotiating.  

If youre a new hire, be ready to emphasize the unique skills and attributes that you bring and be ready to justify how they will benefit the company.    

Negotiation time 

You’ve convinced your manager you are a great asset and they want to you happy.  

New Hire:  

Let the hiring managers make the first offer. Don’t make the mistake of going first.  It is possible you ask for too little and you can’t negotiate when you set the bar.  It is the first offer that establishes a baseline from which you will work from. There’s generally about 10% wiggle room in an opening offer.  

One strategy candidates and managers may use is known as “the flinch”.  This means you listen to the first offer suggested by your employer, repeat it, and then go silent.  In that silence, it is  possible for hiring managers to suggest a higher offer on their own, or “flinch”.    Even if they do not, you cannot lose anything by doing this. 

Take your time before responding.   A moment of pause will help you gather your thoughts and stay focused on your research and talking points.  Speaking too soon can send the message that you’re anxious.    

Begin your counteroffer by emphasizing how you understand your role in the organization and what makes you uniquely qualified for more than their offer. This is where your research and preparation will pay in dividends.  Be confident yet humble.  Not all compensation has to me money.  If the company cannot pay you more, explore what benefits they offer and consider their value. For example, they may not be able to increase your wage, but will allow you to work from home once you’ve established yourself.  Maybe they can offer extra vacation days, or a company paid vehicle.  These perks can be worth thousands.   

Remember, things cannot always go as per your ideal, which is why you have to be clear on what your minimum is.    If you don’t get everything you want, make sure you are not walking away feeling bitter or you will start on the wrong foot and things never get better from there.  It is ok to ask your employer for a 3- or 6-month review and if they are then happy with you, to reconsider a bitter salary.  

If you do decide to accept, show appreciation for the opportunity and your commitment to giving your all to the position.   

Asking for a raise 

When asking for a raise, have both general and specific examples of how you have     contributed to the growth of the company.   Management will want to know about your performance and how you have contributed to making their department run better and the company’s goals a reality. Thus, you need to prepare the right answers to these questions. Be ready to confidently discuss projects you’ve competed successfully and how they contributed to the overall success of the department or company.   

Remember, being on time and doing your job is what you are getting paid to do in the first place.  If you’re looking for more money, don’t focus on the things that are expected of you anyway.    Show them how you work faster and save them time, (and money) or that you’ve helped to increase others productivity or revenue.   

If you need to, make a list of your accomplishments and talking points.  It will make it easier for you when you have this conversation with management.  

All companies have goals and it is safe to assume that somewhere there is a board of directors mainly concerned with the bottom (profit) line.   Thus, it is possible to come out with a raise if you can show how much you have contributed to the company’s growth. 

Do not demand or give ultimatums  

Never make the mistake of approaching the hiring managers with this attitude when asking for a salary increase.  You will invariably lose.  Even if you get more money that day, you will likely taint the relationship with management and end up on the short list should the company have to make changes.  There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you will not be perceived as a team player if you approach your employer with an attitude of entitlement.    

You win when you anticipate the interests of your boss and make them understand what you can do to make the goals of the company a reality. 

Final thoughts:  

 Don’t be surprised if your boss seems to have more trust and respect for you after your negotiations.  You are amongst the 53% who dare to ask for what you are worth.  Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking but having the fortitude to withstand them sends a very positive message about who you are as an employee and what you bring to the organization.    

Learn how a Career Coach can help you boost your career!

Looking at Life Through the Lens of Self-Love

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

At the core of happiness is self-love. It’s that strong sense of security one has both when life is going as planned, and when it’s not, it’s a profound satisfaction in knowing you are a fantastic human being, even though you are not perfect.   

Self-love can best be described as knowing yourself intimately, being well aware of your assets and having taken responsibility for your shortcomings AND having zero interest in hiding your true-self or pretending you are something you are not. For effect, I repeat zero interest in pretending you are something you are not. 

With self-love comes freedom   

  • Freedom from fear of rejection: Will you still experience rejection?  More than likely.  I didn’t say freedom from rejection, I said freedom from the fear of rejection.  You’ll take chances knowing that even if (for example) the girl says no, you don’t get the job; the customer refuses to buy, it is no reflection of you, and you’ve just moved one “no” closer to a “yes.”   Without hesitation, you believe you have value, even if someone else is too blind to see it.   Sure, there will be times that people may judge you or even laugh at you, but you are not afraid of it b because you know you are enough.    
  • Freedom from financial insecurity:  Are you going to be rich?  I don’t know, that’s up to you.   Will you be in constant fear and worry about money?  NO!  You will have enough faith in yourself to trust your instincts; you will learn that you are resilient and resourceful and will find ways to meet your needs.   
  • Freedom from fear of failure:  I’m not guaranteeing you are going to be wildly successful at everything you do.  I’m saying you will embark on new things, take calculated risks and step out of your comfort zone because you are not afraid.   You are resilient; you look at outcomes as learning experiences, not a failure.  Besides, you know that the worst-case scenario seldom comes to pass anyway. 

Will there be bad days, challenges, or storms in life.  PLAN ON IT.  Having self-love is not synonymous with living a life full of rainbows and unicorns.  Things will go awry, and when they do, it stings.   Badly.  Will you feel lousy when it does?  Probably.  You are still human, and grief is a valid, natural, and healthy emotion.   I suggest you do feel it, feel it fully, and then let go of it, so it doesn’t keep you down.  Think of it as an unexpected guest that is allowed to “visit,” but don’t let it “move-in.”      

How do you move on?  Change your perspective.  Instead of looking at the experience as a loss, consider it a gain.  You’ve paid the tuition of life so that you can become stronger and wiser.  It’s an investment that will pave the way for your next venture.  Failure only has the power that you assign to it; decide you are more powerful.    When you empower yourself, it’s easy to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move onward. 

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

Winston S. Churchill 

Read: Redefining Failure for Success   

With self-love comes opportunity. 

Opportunity can be created from the inside. When you love yourself, you have less fear. When you are free of fear, your vision is not clouded with worry over an endless list of “what if’s??”   Your energy is not sapped, trying to make others happy.  Intuitively you will know what the next right thing is, and confusion will evaporate.  You’ll be able to nurture and develop your passions and talents so that you are ready when the opportunity comes; you can see it and see it clearly.   

Read: If Only Life Came with a Tracking System… 

Are these new opportunities? Probably not, they have likely been there all along, but you may have been so clouded with fear and doubt that you missed them. It’s like when the sky is cloudy and gloomy for a while until it gradually opens up and the sun starts beaming down.  Eventually, the clouds disappear, and there’s nothing but brilliant blue sky above you. Everything becomes crystal clear, and one opportunity morphs into many. 

If you’re not there yet, you can be, it’s a CHOICE  Here are 3 simple steps to begin:  

Forgive yourself 

Read: Guilt (and shame) Sap Confidence. 

Guilt is the biggest obstacle to knowing self-love.  It saps confidence and destroys esteem.  No matter where you are, where you’ve been, who you are, what you’ve done, you need to let that $#!T go! Believe that you did the best you could with what you had to work with.  Life isn’t always kind, and sometimes we are presented with challenges that didn’t bring out the best of us.  It’s ok, no one is perfect.  You’re here now, and at this moment, you are perfect; you are enough; you are worthy.  

If you can “right the wrong” do it, it will create positive feelings, and it will shut-down the space that guilt lives in.   Self-love is based on who you are, not what you do.  Self-esteem comes from what we do.  If you want to boost self-esteem, do self-esteem-able things.  Eat well, get some exercise, help someone in need, be kind to others even if they aren’t kind back!  Feeling good about the things you do will progress into feeling good about who you are.  

Choose the people you want in your life.  

Be fair to yourself. I just want to be practical here.  Sometimes we can’t choose who we spend time with but why volunteer to be around negative and toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself.  If they exist in your life, know that they are projecting their own baggage, and it’s NOT ABOUT YOU. 

Celebrate your successes  

Make a list of everything you’ve achieved and that you are good at. Think about your talents, hobbies, every little thing that you have ever been complimented for. Make a list, and read them at your own pleasure. Add to the list often.  Find 5 things positive about yourself for every 1 negative.  Do this for other people too because seeing the best in others affirms seeing it in yourself.  

Believe 

Everything you need to be the person you want to be lives inside of you right now. If you struggle to access it, get help,  I promise the answers you seek are within. We human beings are always moving. We are either moving to or from our dream, but we are never at a standstill.  When you shift into the gear of self-love, you can only move forward. 

At Life Coach Library, we make finding a coach you love convenient and simple.  All you have to do is register and fill out a brief questionnaire.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for, and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is completely FREE.   Visit lifecoachlibrary.com to find out more about the impact of working with a certified coach will have. 

Cherish your health and wellness and become the best you

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

Every one of us wants to be the best at something.   The best employee in the workspace, the best student in class, the smartest or funniest or best looking, just be the best at something.  These ambitions are great but sooner or later, someone comes along and is better, and that’s just life.  

 But what if we just tried to be the best “us”?  Why not try and be the best version of you that you can possibly be?  Why not focus your energy something that will serve you today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life?  Starting today, why not take your health and wellness to the next level? To quote  Michael Beckwith “ Energy flows where attention goes“.   Decide and act and you will begin to manifest becoming the best you.  

Healthy and balanced nutrition gives you that glow 

The word ‘’healthy” is often associated with eating nutritious and unprocessed foods but  too often people believe that means they are sentenced to a life of salads.  Let’s think that through-if you just eat salads not only are you lacking several vital nutrients, how long do you seriously think you can keep that up?  A week? If you’re really driven a month?  Nutritional guidelines determined by the British Nutrition Foundation encourage eating a variety of foods that allow your body to get all the required nutrients.  Even the sweet stuff is ok in moderation.   Not only will your body appreciate the variety, your brain will too.  Restricting yourself causes angst and unconsciously you’ll form negative beliefs and ultimately set yourself up for failure and misery.   

Eating foods that help your body thrive will result in having more energy. You can forget the feeling of being bloated or so lethargic you need to take a nap after eating.  Your skin will start glowing and the excess pounds will fall off without struggle, not to mention the shrinking waistline 😊 These benefits are great but the best part is you will feel better about yourself and that brings a new level of confidence and happiness in life.  

Being active makes you stronger 

Have you ever tried to tally all of the hours you spend scrolling on your phone or sitting at a desk  working on the computer?   Did you know that sitting is the new “smoking”?   Sitting for extended periods of time causes a range of aches and pains, but it also causes mood swings, adds to stress, and literally is as bad your health and wellbeing as smoking cigarettes.   

If you knew you would not fail and you would reach your goals, wouldn’t you want to increase your wellbeing from whatever level you are at now   Kudos to you if you are already active in sports or you hit the gym consistently several times every week.  If you’re not there yet, it’s ok.  Start small.  Even 15 minutes a day will get you on your way to feeling better.   

You can do something from the convenience of your own home by following any one of the thousands You Tube fitness videos.  If that doesn’t work for you try walking during your lunch break at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the back side of the parking lot instead of trying to get a space next to the front door, anything to just get you moving more than you usually do.  You’ll notice you have muscles you didn’t know were there and that they’re getting stronger giving you a boost of confidence and motivation to keep going.  Then one day you realize that you’ve doubled your strength and stamina and you feel like a superhero.   THAT is a deeper sense of satisfaction than being the best at something outside of you.    

You are in control of your life 

Our “to do” lists are often so long we couldn’t do everything on it if there were 25 hours in a day.  From the moment we wake it can feel like life is controlling you and not the other way around, but it shouldn’t be like that. Living reactively is such a drag and not really living at all.  The truth is, you have a choice.   ‘’You have control over three thing in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take” – Jack Canfield.  

Find time for yourself, allow yourself to gain a deeper awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. Celebrate your strengths and view your weaknesses as game-like challenge to get better at. The better you understand yourself, you will realize the reason for every action you take and every reaction you  get.  Only then are you  in control of your life and able to take it to the direction that you truly strive for. 

Your confidence goes up 

Some people are born with natural confidence, many others learn it, while others seem to struggle. Everyone deals with low confidence once in a while but when lacking confidence is chronic, it’s time to look inward.  There are many factors that can affect confidence and health is a big one. Do you ever feel confident once you’re sick and lying in bed with tissues all over? Probably not. Ever notice that splurging on a treat feels brings happiness for a moment but when overdone makes you feel lousy and remorseful? How much better does it feel when you eat well and get some exercise?    

Having a healthy body, mind and social life allows you to feel happy  and automatically your confidence grows because you just feel good.  And that radiates.  People treat happy, healthy, confident people differently than those who don’t take care of themselves as well.  Healthy people are often more respected, have more success in their careers and relationships, and generally happier.  There are so many things in life you have not control over, but living a healthy lifestyle is a choice!   

Being a better you is better for everyone around you 

Relationships are a big part of our lives, be it our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors or even pets (my dog is practically my child).   To a large extent they are what defines our lives.  The key to having healthy, functional and fulfilling relationships is being the healthiest and most functional version of yourself.  Some people refer to this as Emotional Intelligence or EQ.  Learning how to manage our thoughts and feelings and understanding how they affect others is vital to having harmony with those we interact with.  When we learn to accept all of ourselves, we are then able to love others unconditionally.    

Finishing words 

Cherishing yourself allows you to feel stronger, better, have more self control, gain confidence and love others more.   Being the best you isn’t always easy but you are always worth the fight.     

At Life Coach Library, we make finding a coach you love convenient and simple.  All you have to do is register and fill out a brief questionnaire.  We will match you with up to three coaches who are exactly what you are looking for and they will all give you a free consultation. The best part…our service is complete FREE.   Visit lifecoachlibrary.com to find out more about the impact working with a certified coach will have.   

Learn more about achieving health and wellness!

I Hate My Job!

Career & Business, Life Coach Library

I hate my job!  

I’m going nowhere in this job! 

I’m overworked; underpaid; unfulfilled; bored; miserable; etc. etc. 

 If any of these sounds like you, it might be time to consider a career change.  

Certified career coaches suggest having a transition strategy before making any changes. Making this type of change won’t happen overnight and takes a lot of energy. To make sure you put your enthusiasm in the right direction, career coaches offer these tips to help you achieve success.  

Tips for planning a career change 

Have a plan… 

Before you embark on a job transition, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want. Zeroing in on this can be the hardest part, especially if you usually make decisions based on what you believe you should do instead of what you want to do. A great way to start is to get in touch with what you are passionate about. Passion alone is not enough. When making a career choice, you need to know what makes you tick, but then you must evaluate where your talents are. Look for the overlap between what you love doing and where your abilities are.  

Do some research… 

Do your homework to find out what job opportunities align with your passions and talents. A great resource is The Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outreach Handbook. It will provide you with valuable information such as what fields are projected to grow and the current salary trends. Reach out to people who are working in your dream job and find out how they got there. Linked In is a great networking tool to find professionals in your chosen career track. Social networking could open doors that you haven’t even considered yet. At the very least, professionals in your field will be able to offer you valuable insights into breaking into a new career.   

Know your value… 

Everything you have done in your previous and current workplaces has some value to your next employer and maybe what makes you uniquely qualified. You probably already have skills that transfer to many different job descriptions, but you may need some education or training. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, so later you can present yourself in the best light. Find out what you need to get your foot in the door and build your skills.  

If you are unsure about what skills you have to offer or how to present them on your resume, investing in a career coach will pay dividends. They are skilled at homing in on your strengths and stay up to date in keyword trends to get your resume noticed. A coach or any mentor will bring a new perspective to your search and to help structure your plans. Building a network will help keep you focused on your goal when challenges arise and offer feedback that may be beneficial.  

Don’t be afraid to enlist professional guidance… 

Sometimes the notion of a career change can be overwhelming, and we don’t even know where or how to start. Online career coaches specialize in industry research and mastering job search skills. If you’re not getting interviews, have someone look over your resume. If you’re getting interviews but not offers, troubleshoot your interviewing skills with your mentor or career coach. It’s helpful to have someone supportive to vent to at times. Job-searching can be frustrating, and rejection is inevitable. It can be very stressful and discouraging. Having someone outside your social network will support you and give you unbiased advice.  

Be patient, persistent, and realistic… 

Remember, this is a process that takes time, energy, and patience, so you must have sensible expectations. Everyone has strengths and limitations. Everyone encounters challenges and setbacks in this pursuit. Letting the stress of job searching get out of control will only hurt your efforts and possibly affect your health and personal life. You, your family, and your next employer want the best version of you. Don’t let self-care lose priority. Be sure to keep up with decent diet and exercise habits and last but not least, get adequate sleep!  

Your next job may not be “the” job, but if it is a stepping stone to your dream job, consider it a success! Some people start volunteering or create a goal-oriented “side hustle” to get started. Either can be an excellent way to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go, especially when finances are a priority. A change of this magnitude will take a lot of time, energy, commitment, persistence, and guidance. Investing even a full year or two will indeed pay off for decades to come.  

ACT… 

When you areready to take control of your future and embark on the journey to a more profitable and satisfying career path, why not see what a career coach can offer you RISK-FREE?.   Life Coach Library will match you with up to 3 certified coaches who will all offer you a complimentary discovery session. Experience the impact of working with a coach can have today!  

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 

If Only Life Came with a Tracking System…

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

then we’d never end up“losing ourselves”

First of all, losing oneself isn’t always a bad thing.  

Sometimes plans just go awry. We take risks and try new things and it just doesn’t turn out as we hoped. Kudo’s to us for living in line with our passions. Taking risks in life is part of what makes us feel alive. It can be what separates the meek and the confident, the complacent and the ambitious, the safe and the successful. If you’re feeling lost and this is why, you don’t need me to tell you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on, you know that and hopefully are ready to do just that.  

However, if you’re reading this and when you reflect on your life, you’re wondering who you’ve become because it somehow isn’t who you want to be, this is for you.  

What does it mean to have “lost” oneself?  

It happens. We start living on autopilot, going through the motions of life without realizing we’ve abandoned our desire to manifest greatness. Dreams and passions that once inspired us are now washed-up and faded ideas that exist somewhere else. We are no longer driven by inspiration, but by security and comfort.  

We start to feel lost because we have simply “parked” in life. We work just hard enough to not get fired, earn enough to just get by, cherish relationships just enough to not lose them, take care of ourselves just enough to not get sick…. We just survive life but hardly thrive (Les Brown). 

Sometimes we get stuck in the past. Maybe things were wonderful, and we are holding on to the nostalgia; maybe they were horrible and we haven’t worked through the pain, or maybe they are simply familiar and a false sense of security and control exists when the present is so unpredictable. Whatever the reason is, yesterday is gone and if we are not present in the NOW, we are missing out because the world that keeps moving with or without us.  

There are also situations when we show up for the now but are living based on what other people believe is right. We married the person our family would approve of, we entered a career path based purely on financial stability, our hobbies are chosen by what level of social acceptance they have. Most of the time, we don’t even know that the “opinions” running in the background of our choice aren’t even ours until we slow down. When we do, it is an epiphany that the inner voices we are listening to are those of parents, teachers, friends, but not our own. We go through life doing exactly what’s expected of us and eventually, it overwhelms (PsychAlive).  

In short, people become lost in life is because they have disconnected from their hearts and souls. They pay too much attention to their rational minds, and to what everyone else has to say, and they can no longer hear the voices of their hearts, nor can they connect to the wisdom of their souls. 

How to find yourself 

Why life is so much better after you find yourself? 

You wake up one day and you ask yourself, how did I get here? I had plans and dreams and goals, this is not what I wanted. It’s ok, you have to get lost at times, it’s part of the self-discovery process (Psychology Today). The most worthwhile adventure of our lives is discovering who we really are. When we find ourselves on the deepest level it profoundly changes how we experience life.  

12 things that happen when we live authentically:  

1. We gain confidence, self-esteem and a sense of happiness.  

2. We experience a profound sense of inner peace 

3. We trust our judgment and are not afraid to make mistakes 

4. We take on new challenges because they are gratifying  

5. We become whole and realize the true happiness comes from being part of something bigger than oneself.  

6. Loneliness and emptiness disappear 

7. We have the energy for what we want because we aren’t exhausting ourselves pleasing others  

8. We begin to feel optimistic and are ready to move forward, no matter how stuck we were.  

9. Our passions are ignited; we are living on purpose. 

10. We procrastinate less and have more motivation. 

11. We become the best version of ourselves: the best spouse, parent, sibling, co-worker, etc., which automatically improves our relationships.  

12. Because like attracts like and we begin to surround ourselves with the right people who support us.  

How a Life Coach Can Help 

A life coach is one of the best resources for those who feel lost. A coach is trained to help you to manifest what you want in your life, identify what stumbling blocks are holding you back and help you develop useful strategies for self-improvement. 

They will offer you an unbiased and fresh perspective by asking important questions aimed at helping you find your answers. They will collaborate with you to support you through transition, keep you motivated and hold you accountable while providing tools to help you grow and stay true to yourself.  

If you’re ready to experience coaching risk-free, register with Life Coach Library and receive up to 3 complimentary coaching sessions.  

Final thoughts:  

One of the greatest satisfactions we can ever know is to discover who we truly are and live authentically. Too many people go from cradle to grave without experiencing this joy. We confuse self-understanding with self-indulgence, and never really know: Who am I really 

Finding yourself may sound like psychobabble or a being self-absorbed but our understanding of ourselves is the basis of every decision we make in life. It’s a matter of recognizing our personal power and limitations. 

To know and embracing one’s authentic self is to truly find inner peace and happiness.  

Find out if Life Coaching is right for you! Take the quiz in under a minute. https://www.opinionstage.com/szortyka1/is-coaching-right-for-you

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!  

Isn’t it Time to Get Off the Hamster Wheel?

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Have you ever felt like you’re this guy? Running really fast and hard in the game of life but feeling like you’re simply not getting anywhere? Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. I personally have known that feeling and know how bad it sucks. It’s what it feels like when one lives in a continual state of reaction instead of creation. Yes, there are times in life when everything that can go wrong does and all at the same time and is way beyond our control. However, the truth of the matter is that we humans have so much more control over our thoughts, actions, and ultimately outcomes than most people have the stomach to own up to. The good news is, it is much easier to get off the hamster wheel and take control of your life than you may think.

The first step is to consciously decide to act. The second step is to SET GOALS. Even if the first goal you have is to sit down and examine which parts of your life you want to improve so that you can set goals. Do it.

Even the best of us sometimes wake up one day and wonder “How did I get here?”, “This is not where I want to be!” Somewhere along the way, we had dreams and visions, yet we lost focus and got detoured. If that sounds like you, it’s ok, make today the day you turn it around. Let today be the day you set specific, realistic, and achievable goals to have a better tomorrow. Make today the day you write the story of how the next chapter of life will go!

WHY does setting goals matter so much?

We all know it’s easier to act when we have a defined vision. However, besides gaining vision, focus, and clarity, there are many important reasons why you must set goals to be successful.

1. Setting goals helps you become who you need to be to reach them. When you have a clear goal, your motivation boosts and it triggers you to act in line with reaching it. Motivation and goals are akin to the chicken and the egg: it’s hard to decide which comes first but it’s nearly impossible to have one without the other. You will define what is most important to you and then naturally give your attention to what you want. Your thoughts and behaviors shift towards it and you will effortlessly gain momentum. Imagine playing darts with no target. Not only do you have nothing to aim for but why would you even pick up to dart?

2. Goals help end procrastination: It’s much easier to put off what seems irrelevant, intangible, or unattainable. At the root of procrastination is perfectionism, fear, or poorly defined goals (Lieberman, 2019) Using a modal such as SMART Goals will make your goals meaningful, measurable, and achievable! Sometimes to overcome procrastination, you’ll have to set smaller goals. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at the whole distance to the finish line so let it be ok to focus on the first few steps. Have goals for the short term (daily or even hourly if necessary), mid-term (weekly or monthly accomplishments) and long-term (your ultimate success) so that you are actively pursuing your goals in a manageable way. You have the means to measure progress and know you are moving in the right direction.

3. (Smart) Goals help build confidence: When you have enough confidence, you’ll try anything. When you try new things, you build more confidence. This is where having carefully planned goals and a strategy is crucial. If you have a realistic goal and strategy, even if things don’t go as planned, science proves you’ll begin to feel good about yourself (Will Meek, Ph.D.). However, if you just have a lofty dream without a plan, you are likely to run into unforeseen challenges that could potentially deflate your enthusiasm and shatter your confidence. Don’t let the latter be you. It’s a great idea to have a buddy to help you strategize and hold you accountable in cases such as these. The most successful people in the world work with coaches. A life-coach is trained to work with you on this.

4. Goals define your road-map to happiness: Setting and achieving goals are what provide direction and destination in life; give it meaning, purpose, and fire-up your passion; they satisfy an innate need to live-up to our potential and provide a sense of contribution. Instead of simply reacting to life, letting it just happen and responding to it, going through the motions and merely surviving, why not design a life you love, waking up with a sense of purpose, acting deliberately, and thriving?

It all begins with setting goals.

Find out if Life Coaching is right for you! Take the quiz in under a minute. https://www.opinionstage.com/szortyka1/is-coaching-right-for-you

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!

Save Filter
×
Menu
Account