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LOVE – Nothing But LOVE

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
love

If ever there was a time when we could all use a little more LOVE, it is probably right now>>> by Shiva Jayaraman, Spiritual Coach

‘LOVE’ fascinates me whenever I hear it but at the same time makes me feel that whoever is using it do not really understand the profoundness of it. And, these days ‘Love’ is used to express oneself for all and sundry thereby making me wonder “is Love really worth it?

Well, it is not the mistake of ‘Love’ but the mistake of those who claim it often when it is not really worth to be called so and thereby taking the sheen out of Love!!

When I looked at the meaning of ‘Love’, among other meanings, the one that stood out was “an intense feeling of deep affection.” And, I searched further for the meaning of “feeling” and “affection”.

For ‘Affection’ I picked the meaning “a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.”  When I further explored the meaning of ‘Fondness’ or ‘Liking’ or ‘Love’ or ‘Affection’ what I could make out was that all of them revolves around the word “Feeling”.

So, what is “Feeling?”

Well, when I searched again I got a lot of sentences filled with circular-reference words but there was not a single word to describe it other than the word “Feel” itself!!

It is a fact that “Feel” cannot be expressed in words because it can only be felt!!

In the context of ‘Love’ it is needless to mention that the word ‘feeling’ is used to describe those experiences which gives us or makes us feel ‘happy’, makes us ‘light’ or ‘lively’ etcetera.

Love, Affection, Fondness etcetera are felt by each of us however it is impossible to equate each other’s feeling even if the object of feeling is the same. In other words, the intensity of our ‘Love’ can never be equated as ‘mine is more than yours’ or ‘same as yours’ or ‘lesser than yours’ as it is an abstract thing, which can only be experienced by oneself and the other person can only understand that experience if only he had also had a similar experience with respect to the subject object.

The ‘object’ can be either a physical thing or a living being or a living thing or just an abstract feeling.

The strength of a feeling one has for an object defines the strength of ‘Love’ one has for that object.

If one tend to use the word ‘Love’ to every object or most of the object one has a feeling for, then that ‘Love’ is not actually a ‘Love’ but only a misnomer as that person really do not understand what ‘Love’ means or he has never encountered ‘Love’.

Then, to what feeling can we ascribe ‘Love’?

We can ascribe ‘Love’ to only those feelings which are special, to those which cannot be easily compared, to those which either we recall often or which prods us often and makes us feel ‘happy’….

love

Story of Kannagi and Kovalan of Silapathigaram

(Given below is only part of an incident from Silapathigaram, a Tamil Language Classic Literature)

In my part of the country there lived a man by the name Kovalan who was born to a rich merchant. He got married to a modest woman by the name Kannagi born to another rich merchant living in the same town. They started a happy married life which was cut very short as Kovalan fell in ‘Love’ with Madhavi, a dancer by profession (in those days dancing was invariably practiced by prostitutes) and he ends up forsaking Kannagi for her.

Madhavi’s mother used this as an opportunity to extract all his wealth over a period of time by asking Kannagi to part with in the name of Kovalan. And, Kannagi obliged and gave her whenever asked for thinking that her husband had asked for it, until there was nothing to give.

Once he was reduced to penury his Lover’s mother asked her to ditch him for a new wealthy client. Though Madhavi was reluctant her mother made it obvious to him that he is not wanted in their midst. Now this hits him hard and he realized his blunder of deserting his wife and understood the deceit of his lover and her mother and returned to his wife. 

Now, left with nothing and not willing to go back to his parents, Kovalan along with his wife decided to leave to the capital of a ‘Pandian’ Kingdom called Madurai. On reaching the outskirts of Madurai, they settled down and started to plan their future.

Meanwhile, missing the ‘Love’ of Kovalan, his lover Madhavi came to know of the deceit played by her mother on Kovalan to usurp his wealth. She gave up her profession and along with her few months old daughter Manimegalai, born of Kovalan, took refuge in a Buddhist monastery and embraced nun-hood.

Kannagi to help her husband start a business gave one of her golden anklet to him to raise money. Kovalan approached a goldsmith to sell the anklet but was deceived by that goldsmith. It so happened that his anklet was a lookalike of the queen’s anklet which the goldsmith had stolen from the palace and there was a look out for the thief. The goldsmith saw an opportunity to frame him for the crime he had committed and immediately informs the royal guards.

Kovalan was charged for stealing the queen’s anklet and was produced in the king’s court. The Queen and the King on seeing the anklet mistook it for theirs and the king immediately ordered beheading of Kovalan then and there.

The death of Kovalan reached Kannagi like thunder bolt and she felt devastated. She at once rushed to the King’s court and found the lifeless beheaded body of her beloved husband. She immediately took out her other anklet which was in her possession and broke it open which resulted in spilling of rubies stubbed inside the anklet. On seeing the rubies the Queen at once realized her mistake as her anklets were stubbed with pearls.

The Queen accepted her mistake upon which the King at once gave up his life for being the cause of death of an innocent and also for letting down the family pride and reputation as ‘upholder of justice’ which his forefathers had guarded for many generations. Seeing her husband giving up his life the Queen too at once gives up her life!! (Their death is not like suicide but instantaneous, the king instantly dies for bringing disrepute to his Kingdom and to the Throne by his miscarriage of justice while the queen instantly dies on seeing the death of her beloved husband)

Now you have read this story. There are three pairs of lovers (1) Kovalan & Kannagi (2) Kovalan & Madhavi & (3) King & his Queen. Who really loved and whose love is Superior?

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What are the Problems a Life-coach Can Help Solve?

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Recovery, Relationships & Family
what problems can a life coach help solve

Coaches are not therapists, but what are the problems a life-coach can help solve?  

Who do you call when you have a broken pipe at home? Where do you go when you need a haircut? What if you were looking for legal advice? Would you ask a friend? A neighbor? Your spouse? Only if they happened to be a plumber, hairdresser, or lawyer, right? So why not enlist professional help to reach your life goals? It’s not always best to rely on families or friends to support us in achieving our dreams and goals, so where are we supposed to turn?

While hiring a coach may not seem like the obvious answer in ordinary life situations, here is a list of the problems a life coach can help solve.

There are areas in your life that you struggle with things like confidence, motivation, or procrastination.  

These concerns keep some of the most talented people from reaching their potential.  

However, you don’t have anything you need to “heal,” so seeing a therapist is not the right approach. This is one of the most frequent problems a life coach can help solve. Certified life-coaches are very forward-thinking and solutions-oriented.   

Personal life-coaches help their clients overcome limiting beliefs that interfere with making progress and set powerful goals to move forward. Undoubtedly, your coach actively works to boost your esteem, motivation, and commitment until you are ready to do it on your own.

Think about it: if you have to answer to a coach every week, wouldn’t you be less likely to put things off?   As a result, you feel more confident, which gives a natural boost to your motivation. 

 Read:  Lacking Confidence is Costing You: Time, Money, and Your Love Life

You know what the problem is, but you can’t figure out the solution.

Sometimes the most rewarding problem a life coach can help solve is making it easier for YOU to identify the solution.

problems a life-coach can help solve

Have you ever thought to yourself why success looks so easy for some people?  Surely, they are just lucky, right? NO, they aren’t!  They have struggles and challenges, just like everyone else!  On the other hand, what is different is they don’t fixate on what the problem is.  Instead, they direct their focus to what the solution is.  

Granted, sometimes it is hard to “see the trees for the forest,” and that is precisely where a coach can help you.  However, they aren’t going just to give you answers. In contrast, they will skillfully ask questions that get you to dig deep within yourself.    You have the inner wisdom to make the best decisions for you, and a coach will help you discover it! 

You don’t want to leave your comfort zone because you’re afraid of failure

Equally as commonplace is the fear of failure. In fact, it is the number-one obstacle people face when contemplating change.  For instance, coaches help clients work past the shame associated with perceived failures.  Meanwhile, they help to shift your perspective and view challenges positively instead of fearfully.  With these in mind, they help you break broad goals into small and achievable ones.  In the end, regardless of the outcome, you will go further than you would have on your own.

Read: 4 Fears that Cost You Money

You hate your job,  HUGE problem!   

problems a life coach can help solve

You live for Fridays, and by Sunday evening, you are starting to feel bummed.   On top of that, you wake up on Mondays feeling grouchy and imagine every possible scenario that might excuse you.  By the same token, you’ve thought about going back to school to learn something for a more rewarding career but have no idea where to start.  Who would you ask for help?  This is one of the most frequent problems a life-coach can help solve.

A career coach will help you identify career paths that are in line with your passion and strengths.  Also, they will help you craft a resume that will get seen; prepare for the interview, and negotiate salary once hired.  

In short, life goes by too fast to spend 1/3 of it in misery. Don’t let that be you.

Read: 10 Benefits of Career Coaching

A life-coach can help solve problems like breaking bad habits and developing good ones

All of us have tried to break bad habits and start new ones at some point in our lives.   Sometimes we have permanent success while others success was fleeting.  Health and wellness life coaches help clients break through the barriers that have kept them from achieving permanent and lasting results.   For example, these are some habits clients break and/or form with their coaches:    

  • Stop eating junk food
  • Start eating healthy
  • Quit smoking
  • Establish a solid work-out schedule
  • Become more organized
  • Practice better time-management
  • Incorporate meditation into a daily routine
  • Learn to be more positive and optimistic

and many more….

In order to achieve great results, a coach will help you identify your triggers and develop healthier responses to them. 

There are relationship problems a life coach can help solve too

Without a doubt, relationships are one of the most challenging parts of human existence. 

Maybe you are single but not loving it. 

 a life coach can help solve

Alternatively, you may be committed but looking to reignite the passion in your existing relationship.

Sometimes your relationships are stellar, but you want to up your game in navigating professional relationships more effectively.

These are precisely the things a relationship coach can help! 

Final thoughts

A life-coach can help solve many problems. Hiring a life coach may not be your default answer for any of the above, but if you stop to think about it, it makes total sense to seek the same personalized support to reach your life goals as you would to fix a broken pipe or have your teeth cleaned.  Becoming happy, resilient, and living with passion and purpose are only some of the gains you can expect from working with a certified coach.

Read: 6 Times You Should Hire a Life-coach

Read: If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time to Look Inside

6 Times You Should Hire a Life Coach

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
hire a life coach

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, nearly that same number finds it effective and reports 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 really excites you, and you’re just out of ideas. A personal life coach can help you uncover why you’re stuck, form a collaborative think-tank with you, and re energize your plans to start moving forward. They will help you reignite a 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 to 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 others haven’t, or have we just changed differently OR beliefs that worked in the past no longer serve us anymore. This is a great time to hire a life coach. Having a skilled and objective coach can help quickly identify any beliefs running in the background and raise your conscious awareness and make 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 life coach can help you navigate this new beginning and support you in transition.

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

You just overcame 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, it’s not always easy to shift gears back into production. Fortunately for you, you are closer than you think! Hire a life coach, and they 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 be a little scary but in the most wonderful way

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

Ultimately, any time you want to take your life to the next level is a great time to hire a life coach. The most successful people 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 can possibly do this on your own if you are super-disciplined and ambitious. However, you can do it so much quicker with motivation and accountability behind you.

Life is not always kind. Loved ones pass away, relationships end in heartbreak, healthy people succumb to illness, and jobs are lost. It can just really stink sometimes. I am so sorry if this is you.
Having a healthy support system is so important when life takes a turn. It’s not always easy to turn to friends in these situations. A coach allows it to be “all about you” by offering you their undivided attention, and compassion will enable 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.

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

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Editors note: This post was originally published in July, 2019. It has been completely revised and refreshed.

Life Lessons Learned during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Relationships & Family
life lessons during Covid-19

It is hard to wrap our heads around how quickly life has changed in the last three months, but for sure, there are several life lessons we have learned during the pandemic.  For many,  there is a renewed appreciation for timeless values.

Simple things that we took for granted, like going to our favorite restaurant, hanging out with dear friends, bargain hunting at the mall, or listening to audiobooks during our morning commute to work now seem like a faded memory. The world has never been so uncertain.  Yet,  despite such hard times, people are coming together to support one another.  How can that be anything but a good thing?

Life before Covid-19 

Before the onset of 2020, a difficult life lesson consisted of figuring out more ways to suit up and show up for the rat race and trying to cram everything in from a quick morning workout,  putting in a 50-hour workweek, carting the kids around from club to club, running errands, doing the house chores, maintaining some semblance of family life and maybe, just maybe even social life.  It’s exhausting to think about it, never mind live it.  

life lessons covid 19

On top of that, we’ve become so addicted to technology. From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, we fixate on our mobile screens, scanning emails, checking-in on social media, and utilizing seven different apps to function in daily life.  Yesterday’s life lesson was all about knowing how to keep up with the latest platforms and stay relevant.

In the odd event families did sit together at the dinner table, hardly anyone spoke. Everyone would be busy on their phones, browsing on their social media, texting friends, or coworkers, or playing games with total strangers.  Technology keeps us connected but at the same time, replaced face to face authentic human interaction.   

If you’re under the age of thirty, this is just normal.   For those who are older, this is akin to living out an 80’s science fiction become a reality.

…and here comes the “new normal”

And then BOOM! Then came this thing called the novel coronavirus.  It isn’t like the annual cold & flu that goes around the office.  It’s affecting every city in every state in virtually every country.  We are confronted with a fatal virus that has spread all over the world.

In 20 years we will all look back at 2020 as the year that a “new normal” was born.  We don’t even know what that new normal is quite yet.  However, it will be the science fiction movie that became a reality for millennials.

Like a bad dream, governments across the globe ordered mandatory lockdowns.   Businesses closed or at best had to recalibrate and offer curbside or online services.  The economic projections are not optimistic, and the true impact is still unknown.   Suddenly, we are all confronted with feelings of angst, fear, anger, frustration, isolation, and even the most introverted are left craving social interaction. 

The irony of life is that it often takes a tragedy to bring people together.

Fighting coronavirus feels like fighting a war: That may bring us closer together.

What Life-Lessons did the Covid-19 pandemic teach us?

It seemed like the world stopped spinning, and everything was moving in slow motion. All of a sudden we found ourselves doing things that we forgot existed. 

Families are spending more time together, having home-cooked meals instead of grab-and-go processed foods.  Many are enjoying the art of cooking together instead of viewing it as a chore. 

They are playing games together,  doing puzzles, watching television with one another.    Laughter and joy replace the stress and tensions left over from the grind. 

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Children spend more time being nurtured by their parents and less with caregivers who are not as bonded.  Married couples, which hardly found time for one another before,  suddenly felt closer.

life lessons during Covid-19

We’ve upped our technology skills in a way that adds to family values instead of taking away from them.   Grandma’s and grandpa’s who never heard of SKYPE or Zoom before are connecting with their loved ones face to face, a step up from over the phone. 

Despite the shutdown, many people haven’t skipped a beat in their professional lives thanks to that same technology.  

How are people spending their free time?  They’re using it to better themselves, learning new things via online courses, YouTube, or old-fashioned books.  Others have revisited old hobbies they were too busy for, like drawing or painting.  Others cultivated new ones, like taking online yoga classes.  These aren’t new life lessons brought about by the pandemic, but old traditional ones revisited.

What is the Importance of Passion in Your Life?

life lessons during covid-19

Within a matter of weeks, the practice of human connection from a novel cliché to a heartfelt personal value. Millions across the globe began to reach out to distant family members that they’ve had spats or just lost touch.  Others called old friends that they’ve just been too busy to make time for, picking up the conversation on the same sentence they left off at 10 years ago.  They’re going out of their way to help their neighbors, those same neighbors they’ve only waved to in passing over the last 6 months.  

Suddenly, a sense of gratitude for some of the little things in life has been inspired.  Heck, when before 2020 were you ever grateful just to have toilet paper?    How often did you stop and think about how precious your health is?   We’re all getting enough rest and have come to appreciate the benefit of a nice nap.

In a world obsessed with images, vanity has taken the backseat as we’ve all learned to accept some pretty funky do-it-yourself haircuts.

Earth got a much-deserved break from us too. As the world closed down, it was only a matter of days before we had real evidence of environmental restoration.  Grid-lock traffic came to a screeching halt, and we all watched viral videos of wildlife reclaiming what they believe to be theirs.   The air we breathe is cleaner, and studies say it is possible to continue this trend. 

Call me sentimental, but it seems like re-learning these treasured life-lessons based in good old-fashioned and traditional values like helping one another, appreciating family, making personal sacrifices for the greater good, and uniting has taken on a new life of their own. 

life lessons during covid-19

Final thoughts

As scary and as devastating as the virus is, there is a silver lining. You may have to adjust your vision to see it and it is likely a wake-up call to get us all to rethink the meaning of life and to reprioritize what truly matters.

Few can disagree that compassion, generosity, and goodwill have helped everyone get through these tough times.   And,  when the dust settles, many of us will remember this time, when life was simple easy, with fondness.

What is Real Intimacy To You?

Life Coach Library, Relationships & Family
what is real intimacy

Tips on developing and maintaining real intimacy

By Sophie Fuzi, Holistic Life Coach

In a world that tries to dictate to us what it means to have true-love and healthy relationship, many still wonder what is real intimacy? What is your definition of a healthy relationship and real intimacy?  In my interpretation of it is one where both members enjoy themselves to be in it.  Although the world tries to tell us what a healthy relationship should look like, as I see it, how it looks should be entirely up to the participants. If they are both happy with their own ‘rules’ and they don’t harm other people, they should be able to choose what they want without judgment.

But even so, some general guidelines are worth following. Here are a few of them:

Intimacy requires self-awareness, and knowing the cycles of your emotions!

what is real intimacy

To begin, it is essential to recognize and understand your emotional reactions so that you can look at situations more rationally by considering your habits and the way you interact.  For example, if you know that you tend to be oversensitive at times, it will help you to diffuse what may seem like criticism instead of constructive feedback.  Therefore, knowing who you are will help you keep a realistic perspective on things. 

Regardless of if you feel like you are on top of a mountain or are sinking to the bottom of the ocean when you are aware of your personal interpretations of what is happening, you are immediately able to gain clarity and see things realistically. In other words,  if there are problems in a relationship and (for example) you are feeling victorious because you just got a pay raise, you have the maturity to know that this beautiful feeling does not make everything else ok.  Similarly, if you are annoyed with your dog for chewing on your $1000 iPhone, you do not project that anger on to your partner because you are in a bad mood.  The point is, harmonious connections involve having the maturity to understand one’s feelings while maintaining firm boundaries in how they affect their interactions. 

Deep intimacy comes when you have a desire to understand your partner and help them feel good about themselves

healthy relationships

Like everything, there are as many definitions of love as there are people feeling it.  What I have observed to be one of the best characteristics of intimate love is when someone has an innate drive to see their partner happy, they sincerely want to understand how they think, feel, and they know exactly what they like or not.  That person knows their partner so well; they can predict how they will react to a situation and can anticipate exactly how to best support them.  Furthermore, they know just what to say to help them to reconnect with their heart and feel appreciated and cherished by the other person.

Although this may seem obvious to some, it requires being selfless at times and paying close attention to your partner.   However, it can be the most magical and powerful element that defines your partnership.  Ultimately, it is the purest way to express that you care for who they truly are.

Healthy intimacy requires open communication

Sure, it’s easy to say, but it’s not always so easy to do. In any relationship, there is always some fear of vulnerability and sharing our deepest feelings and thoughts. Let alone if they create some conflict, it’s even more challenging as we try to convey our emotions in a healthy way without hurting the other person.  On the other hand, not having open communication means things are avoided, held in, and ultimately create tension or passive-aggressive behaviors.

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Stay close by seeing things from your partner’s eyes

Train yourself to be open about what you think and how you feel with your partner! The best way is to look at things from a different approach:

If you feel like you’re being criticized, pause to try and see things from their point of view.  In a healthy relationship, two people appreciate and respect each other, and they have a secure connection, right? However, that doesn’t mean there will not be differences or difficulties between the two of you. When disagreements come up, take a moment to empathize with what your partner is feeling.  Take ownership of your habits that create conflict and understand the discomfort they cause the other person.   Know what parts of you are willing and able to compromise on and not.   You probably need to meet each other in the middle. In other words, it’s not about rights or wrongs; it is about making things work between the 2 of you!

Get in touch with your fears so that they don’t run your thoughts

Let’s be honest; everyone has fears.   The most common fears are of abandonment, rejection, being hurt, or being humiliated.  When these fears lurk in our head, they can make us say and do things that are hurtful to ourselves or our partners.   They are at the root of dishonesty, manipulation, and other dysfunctional behaviors.   Therefore, knowing what your fears are and learning self love is vital in having a healthy and intimate relationship.   It gives you a chance to make conscious decisions based on facts instead of fears. 

Being intimate does not make anyone a mind reader

what is real intimacy

How often do you expect your partner just to know what is going on with you without telling him/her?  Life can be hectic, and it’s easy to take some of the most important things, such as our loved ones, for granted. When we get so wrapped up in ourselves and stop communication clearly, we risk a lot of misinterpretation and misunderstanding.  

Sometimes we are too afraid to be honest and end up communicating in some wishy-washy way.  Other times, we have kept things in for too long, and it becomes hard to express how we feel.  Either way, the consequences are not good.  In the short term, it might seem more comfortable. However, in the long run, it eats away at the precious bonds that keep you together.   The best practice is to be honest and open from the start and never stop, Then, you can only strengthen the intimate connections you have with loved ones. 

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Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, the happiest and healthiest relationships are characterized, at least in part, by a deep sense of intimacy.   Whether you decide to marry or stay single; co-habitat or live separately; you alone get to define what it means to love, be happy, and what is a healthy relationship for you!   Respect and enjoy each other in the ways that are best for both of you!

About Sophie Fuzi, Holistic Life Coach

You are the creator of your world!

Relationship Coaching

Relationship coaches have experience in various relationship dynamics, from romantic to family relations, friendships, and professional interactions. This type of life-coaching balances the art and science of co-actively working with individuals, couples, partnerships and teams toward mutually defined goals.  If you’d like to live your next-level life and meet your relationship goals with a coach, you can try it risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us.

Life Lessons Learned During Covid-19

About Sophie Fuzi, Holistic Life Coach

From Hungary, ‘Be Real! Life Coaching’ has been her dream her whole life. She has always been interested in learning how people make sense of the world and form their adult perspectives. She believes the key to true happiness lies in fully accepting oneself exactly as they are. 

Being Single on Valentines Isn’t A Bad Thing!

Health & Wellness, Relationships & Family
you are not alone

The retail world would have you think that if you’re not spending a sentimental and romantic February 14th with a special someone that you are missing out.  Every website has Valentine’s advertisements practically every TV and radio station talks about it or fills the airwaves with jewelry, chocolate, card, and other commercials designed to pull on your heartstrings.   There’s dozens of Romcoms, novels, and memes on the internet, depicting single people as depressed, introverted loners who will cry themselves to sleep on February 14th.

Please don’t fall for it.    

There is something powerful about being free and independent, and there is no need to go on a date just for the heck of it. Don’t stress out; there are plenty of reasons to celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day.

  • No Valentine’s day anxiety

Ladies can be relieved that they don’t have to change clothes 15 times, worry about the extra weight that came with Christmas festivities, or spend an hour trying to get every strand of hair and speck of makeup perfect.

Guys don’t have to sweat getting the right gift and card.  You know, this one’s too serious, that one’s not serious enough, a card that seems funny to you and your guy friends could royally piss her off, but you aren’t sure….

Restaurants are all booked solid, and if you didn’t make a reservation in January, there’s likely either an hours-long wait, or it’ll feel like New Years because you’re eating dinner at midnight bringing in February 15th

Chill-ax!  You can stay home in your sweats and binge-watch Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, (again). 

  • You will save money

The average person spends close to $200 on Valentine’s day with men spending as high as $399. A beautiful gift, fancy dinners, French wine, and flowers don’t come cheap. But don’t worry, you can have a good night’s sleep knowing you’ll be saving a lot of money.   Buy yourself something you’ve really wanted and be your own Valentine.

  • No disappointments

The morning after, you will be one of the few people who will not be disappointed. While the night might not have been special, it was also not a let-down or, in some cases, an absolute disaster! You spent the whole day, exactly the way you wanted to, and that’s what matters.

  • Better to be single than with the wrong person

Some people are single just because they like being alone.  Others have had some rough relationships and have come to the decision that being alone is better than wasting your life with someone you aren’t totally feeling,  Being with the wrong person is like being in a trap because you don’t even have the option to find the right one.   Anyone who has ever been stuck in bad relationships knows and appreciates having space and opportunity to find someone special.

  • The Potential of finding the right partner

Every new turn in life is an opportunity to start all over again. If you are single, but would like to find someone, there is plenty of opportunities to connect with other singles.  Take your time and find someone with who you can connect and have a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

        You might not be single until next Valentine’s day – savor this moment!

If finding or keeping healthy, loving, and fulfilling relationships in your life is a priority and you think you’d benefit from honed relationship guidance, talk to a relationship coach and see how they can help you get to the next level. 

Crush Self-Doubt and Unleash a Super-Confident You a workbook designed to breakthrough limiting beliefs and get you moving forward to being the best you! 

Reignite Some Passion in Your Love Life!

Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
choose love

Forget your New Year’s resolution (chances are you have already).   How about merely deciding and committing to set and reach your goals?  With cupid flying around why not set some relationship goals?

2020 is well underway, and at best, a few of you are on track to reach your resolutions.   Some of you are re-negotiating your plan of action, but a large percentage of you are having trouble remembering what that resolution even was. 

Whatever your goal is or was, chances are you’re “why” comes down to LOVE.  Whether it is self-love, love for your significant other, or you would just love to find someone to love, Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and it seems to be all anyone is talking about.

Human beings are designed to be social creatures, yet navigating healthy human relationships remains one of the most complex and challenging tasks in life (Leon F. Seltlzer, PhD).  

Why are healthy relationships so important?

We all need healthy and loving relationships to function properly in life. Poor connections can bring us down and have an impact on our career, social life, and even our health.

More than that, if you are serious about your partner, if you love them and if you want to spend the rest of your life with them, maybe your most important goal for this year should be to work on building a healthy relationship with them.  It’s easy to get complacent in any area of life, and relationships certainly are no exception. 

Ignite romantic passion in your life!  It will take some planning and effort; it is so worth it in the end.  

Go on Fun Date Nights: 

You NEED to have confirmed date nights with your partner. Remember when you first started dating?  The excitement of getting ready and the anticipation of seeing each other was exhilarating.  It’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of daily living and forget just to play together.   Dinner and movies are great, but I’m willing to bet if you’ve been on enough of these dates that there is no excitement or novelty left in them.  Are you the romantic type?  Trade the restaurant for a tour of a vineyard or winery.  Many offer samples that will help get your romantic juices flowing 😊 If weather permits, go on a picnic.  If it doesn’t, pack a picnic anyway and have one indoors.   Finger foods that you can feed each other and creatively make and clean messes with are great for this.  

For the more adventurous type: Go to an amusement park or try simulated skydiving.  If you’re really adventurous, do the real thing!   

Take a walk down memory lane together, remembering the things about each other you were first attracted to.   Try a couples’ massages or take turns giving to each other.    Whatever you do, just make sure to do something both of you enjoy!  It can even be something as simple as cooking a nice meal together or going to the mall for an evening. Whatever works best for both of you!

Change up your sex life!

Remember the hot, steamy times you spent with one another when you first met? You couldn’t get enough of each other.  It seemed like things would never get boring – but then you get too familiar, life gets busy, and next thing you know, you’re scheduling it on your calendar, hoping your calendars are in sync. And then it is as predictable as a multiple-choice quiz with a, b, or c as the only possibilities. Don’t be that couple. Good sex is the best way to maintain a connection with your partner.

The best way to reignite the fire is to focus on your partner and ensure you can meet all their desires. When is the last time you opened up to one another to talk about what you’d like to want to experience?   Keep an open mind.   Dozens of legitimate websites can offer creative ideas and do a much better job of it than I can here.  I urge you to keep an open mind, not to be judgmental, and explore each other’s desires and fantasies. The goal is to explore and connect with your partner again.

Thank one another:

Gratitude increases happiness and improves relationships (Read: Gratitude for Happiness). All relationships come to a stage where we get comfortable with one another – possibly too comfortable. The little things we did for each other in the beginning get taken for granted, and we either stop doing them altogether or come to accept it as part of the relationship.

Start thanking your partner. Maybe they did something grand like take you on holiday, or simple like preparing a nice meal. Perhaps they let you choose the movie or they were just patient and listened to you rant about a crappy day at work.   Thank them for both the things that they do and being the person that they are.  Never take the relationship for granted.  Saying thank you for something simple shows is sometimes more meaningful than the bigger and more obvious things.   

Start appreciating the little things you will immediately see a positive reaction!

Never stop trying to be a better you:

Work on eliminating one bad habit. We all have pet peeves and so does your partner! 

No one is perfect, and we all have bad habits that someone else finds annoying. If you have been in a long-term relationship, you will find a lot of things downright irritating in the other person!

The problem is, we take our partners for granted and don’t even think about working on ending some of our bad habits they don’t like. The mantra ‘they should accept us for who we are’ has gone too far nowadays. There’s a difference between changing something about yourself because you want them to love you and doing it because you love them.   When you love someone, you want to put some work into this relationship.

Do you drive her nuts by leaving the toilet seat up?   Make a conscious effort to put it down.  Put a post-it note on the wall if it helps.

Do you drive him nuts by talking his ear off as soon as he gets home?   Please take a few breaths and let him relax in whatever way he likes to most.

Some habits can be changed easily, others not so fast.  For the tougher ones, even small steps that show respect for your partners’ wishes will send a strong message.

They will notice the effort you put in, and you will love the compliments!

Imagine if you can completely transform your relationship and have something money alone can never buy? A New Year’s goal of having a healthy relationship might be challenging, but it will be the most rewarding as well.

What is Real Intimacy to You?

Ready to take all of your relationships to the next level and improve your professional, romantic, and social life?   Try working with a relationship coachLife Coach Library makes it convenient and risk- free to experience life-coaching!   

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

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
new years resolutions

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?  Are you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship?  Did you lose 20 pounds and then just give up?  WHAT has gotten in-between you and achieving your goals? And, what will be different in this New Year’s resolution?

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 made New Year’s resolutions year after year and failed repeatedly, it can be so discouraging, but the worst thing you can do is allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. 

Nothing changes until something changes

It takes courage, and it takes energy, but you have the chance to begin again.  You can change and overcome challenges.  You have the power to break through self-limiting beliefs.  Nothing can stop you from becoming the person you want to be and creating the life you want to live accept for you.

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.  You can make New Year’s resolutions all you want, but until something is different, you will keep getting the same results.

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.

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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, be it New Year’s resolution or just a commitment to change.   

You must:
  • see it clearly and believe you can do it.
  • become the person you need to be to achieve it.
  • develop the dicipline and character to make your goal reality
  • don’t be the person who wants success, be the person 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?

If You Can Learn, You Can Lead

Career & Business, Relationships & Family
what problems can a life coach help solve

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.

collaborate in leadership

  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

 

Stop Combo Dating!

Relationships & Family
first date last date

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

Career & Business, Relationships & Family

 Seven ways to help you express yourself and be a better communicator

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.

Lacking Confidence =Time, Money, Your Love-life AND Opportunity

Personal Growth, Relationships & Family
cost of lack of confidence

That’s what lacking confidence is costing you!

As both coach and client, I am blessed with the opportunity to work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. As a result, 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. On top of that, 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.  

In short, 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.).  

Managers will typically promote, the person who exudes fearlessness over someone who may be more capable but lacks esteem. The perception of confident people is that they are more skilled, even when they are not. They’re not afraid to ask questions or even make mistakes; managers see them 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. It is the “fears behind the fears,” such as the approval of others or appearances that create worry.  

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,  people who lack confidence will:

  • Second-guess their choices in friends/partners/bosses. Even worse, they are often skeptical of those who choose them. 
  •  Constantly try to analyze what the other person is thinking
  • Are in constant need of reassurance, which can be an energy suck for the other person.  
  • Often sabotage good relationships or stay in bad ones too long.  
  •  Frequently lose themselves in the relationship because they can’t set healthy boundaries.  
  • 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.  

4. You will lose opportunities that you never even knew existed   

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. Boosting confidence won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to be honest with yourself, you can gain the esteem you desire.  

Improving your self-image requires change, and change takes courage. It also takes persistence. But you can do it if you are willing to decide that your life is worth it.  

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

How to get unstuck and move forward

Personal Growth, 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!

How a Life Coach Helped Me Get “Unstuck” (and why I became one myself)

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth, Recovery, Relationships & Family
how I got unstuck with a life coach

Anyone can get stuck in life.

This is my personal story of getting “unstuck” so that I could take my life from “good” to “great”.

I was a rebellious teenager. Very rebellious. To say my childhood was not idyllic is understated, but seriously, who’s really was? No long or dramatic stories here, but by the age of 20, I couldn’t stand myself or my life and ended up in a recovery group for alcoholism and drug addiction. Trust me when I say I didn’t get there a minute too soon. Getting sober saved my life: physically; mentally; emotionally; and spiritually.

To paint a picture:

I was 20, working in a bar (underage with fake identification) , my best “friend” was a 45 year old junkie with a criminal record as long as my arm. I weighed 205 pounds, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and couldn’t make a sentence without using “F — -“as the noun, verb, AND adjective. Lovely right? (not).

That was over 30 years ago.

I have been a personal-growth zealot ever since. The first several years were rough. I had much soul searching to do. The only thing I had to change was everything. Pain motived me to become feverous about turning a troubled life into a sane and purposeful one. I worked (several) 12-step programs. I went to therapy for years. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I helped others. I prayed. I meditated. I did yoga. I ate veggies…I did whatever I could grasp. Life got so much better. Unbelievably better in every way.

The new picture:

I lost over 40lbs, quit smoking, and upgraded my circle of friends, I could even get through a whole day without dropping an F-bomb (most days 😉). I am the first and only female in my family to get a 4 year college degree (and then go beyond), I’ve traveled much of the world, married the man of my dreams, (better still, the man of my dreams married me) and in my early 40’s, had practically checked off every box on my bucket list!! (I do have a new one though 😊) All gifts of grace.

That list is mostly “outside” stuff that came as a result of the “inside” work I had done. I had worked hard to gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect; I had healed old wounds from the past; I had successfully turned around what could have been a total disaster of a life.

Life was good. But something was missing….

Part of the problem was that life was good. I didn’t want “good”. I wanted “great”. I had come too far to settle and rest at good, but I had no idea how to move forward and I had no I idea why I couldn’t figure it out.

I went back to therapy because that was in my comfort zone. I had been doing it off and on for years. I have nothing but respect for the mental health profession but creature of habit that I am, I went even when it just wasn’t working anymore because it was what I knew, and it was safe.

Why wasn’t it working? Because I wasn’t trying to heal anymore; I was done being pissed at my parents and not a stone from childhood left unturned; I was in touch with my feelings. I just wasn’t getting much out of it anymore. I had done so much therapy that there were times I felt like I was coaching the therapist and they should give me the co-pay. Seriously.

Therapy was good when I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t even get my head above water. However, I felt like I’ve been floating for years and I wanted to learn how to swim. Intuitively I knew how, I just needed someone to (gently) push me off the float.

I had a lot of practice going bad to good, but I simply sucked at going from good to great. Damn it! I had to try something different because I didn’t want to just “exist”, and I was determined to breakthrough this invisible barrier and thrive.

Fortunately, I found a way out.

Life Coaching picks up where therapy leaves off…

I had considered working with a life-coach years prior but to be completely honest, I could not justify spending money on something that in my mind, may not work. Therapy wasn’t exactly working anymore, but insurance paid for it. Now, let’s be clear, I would easily drop a few hundred bucks on a shopping spree for things that I didn’t really need but would bring me about 48 seconds of glee. I did have a problem investing in myself. Ironically, that thought process itself was part of the problem.

So, I was skeptical and even cynical, but I convinced myself was if it didn’t help, the worst case was I got a few less massages or ridiculous shopping sprees. That is what it took for me to take the first steps and what has become one of the most positive and life-changing experiences I have ever had. I consulted with two coaches and I found one I intuitively knew was the right one for me.

I learned at the core of my “stuck-ness” was old faulty and limiting beliefs. Ones that I had no clue I even had. So deeply embedded in my thinking they weren’t even conscious. Until, with my coach, I slowed down. Way down. None of these ran in my “conscious” but like peeling layers off an onion, when we explored what was behind the conscious thinking, there were some pretty damning beliefs about myself and the world running behind the scenes.

I’ll share a few of them with you here:

Old Beliefs about my self-worth:

I’m a good wife/daughter/sister/friend when I DO things for people.

I need to excel at something simply to measure up. If I was the same, I was less than, if I was better, I was ok. I never believed (really believed) like I was good enough at anything.

Confident people are so cocky and arrogant. Having true self-confidence will mean I am conceited.

Old Beliefs about money:

People who are rich are selfish and greedy. Translation: If I have a lot of money, it will mean I’m selfish and greedy.

Spiritually and money cannot exist together.

Spending money on my well-being was a waste because there was no instant or tangible return. (cliché as it is, the old “I’m not worth it” belief)

Old Beliefs about taking risks to fulfill my dreams:

What I dreamed of was not rational but lofty and whimsical, therefore childish.

I don’t have a Ph.D. so no one will take me seriously.

It’s better to have the security of a job that I’m barely content with than be vulnerable to try what I truly am passionate about. * * (even in a situation where I do have a safety-net to catch me if I fall).

These are just a few, the list was much, much longer and deeper than this.

Coaching offered a practical, solutions-oriented approach to overcoming them. Were there moments that related back to my past? Yes. Where there new self-awareness’s that brought on painful moments? Yup.

The difference was that I quickly learned how to weed-out these thoughts without dwelling in them or their roots all over again. There was just old programming that needed to shift but it did not involve reliving it. Simply observing experiences with adult eyes and deciding the message was either never true, or true once but no longer serves.

In 12 weeks, the change was profound. Like, 5 years of therapy profound. It was almost like being lost in the forest, wandering in circles for hours but not realizing, a quarter mile in the right direction will take you straight to a road.

Worth every cent. Exponentially worth every cent.

Finally, really happy and really unstuck. Finally living my dreams. Life just keeps getting better every day. It’s not all rainbows and roses but I have found a true sense of wholeness and happiness. I know what I am truly passionate about and have a deep sense of purpose.

Instead of reacting to the world doing what I believe it expects of me, I consciously and deliberately create the life I want; doing what is true to me and as a result I feel energized. I feel enthused. I feel grateful and I truly look forward to whatever adventure or challenge life has for me.

I continue to use those same strategies in my daily life and to help others to find what works for them.

Sadly, I think many people live their whole lives, cradle to grave, never knowing their true calling and purpose. Afraid or simply “content”. Content is good but when you know great exists and you can create it, why settle?

If any of this resonates with you and you think you’d like to work with a life-coach to reach any of your goals, it’s simple to find one here at Life Coach Library. By registering and filling out a short questionnaire you will be matched with up to 3 coaches and then can see for yourself how amazing working with a coach is. Give it a try, it’s risk-free.

If you’re still sure if coaching is for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Author | WENDY COPE, Personal Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net

About:

My story is told above. The profound transformation I experienced triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walks of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about.

Education: I completed my coaching certification at Coach Training Alliance. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning.

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