Archive for the The Coaching Box Category

Creating your Year Plan

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In this week’s #CoachingBox we’re exploring the theme of creating . . . . . I mean our ability to go for what we say we want even when we have doubts and get scared.

I am assuming that you’ve had experiences so far in your life of getting to a crossroads; a time when for whatever reason an opportunity arises that seems like a perfect fit for you.

It maybe something you’ve been thinking about for years, an idea that first seeded itself in response to an incident, circumstance or event but you have up to now put it on the backburner.

New Years traditionally signals the time when we’re encouraged to make new year’s resolutions; promises or commitments to go for something new or desired.  Did you make a new year’s resolution last year?  Did you go for it or has it been a case of ‘being on-hold’.  It’s a bit like making that really urgent phone call and being put on-hold for ages and ages and after a while realising you’re listening to Frank Sinatra or another Golden Oldie track that you really like and instead of the frustration… you relax into the ‘waiting’.  So much so that you almost forget what it is you have called for and to cap it all it’s almost an inconvenient interruption when you finally get to the top of the queue and… the waiting was necessary.

Its very likely that last year you were just not ready and you’re ready ‘now’; more relaxed than you would have been and somehow more prepared, more resilient, more determined and this opportunity has arisen again  now! Did this happen by chance?  I think not.  Somehow what you wanted has stayed with you, popping back into your mind at the most inopportune moments – times when ‘it’ was just not right!

But if we go back just a step to our being on hold phase we realise that things were happening; firstly in relaxed moments, our minds wander, accessing areas of our unconscious that are usually inaccessible in our waking hours.  Perhaps you doodle, perhaps you sing along, perhaps you just allow your mind to wander dream-like through your memory stores picking up… feeling… smelling… re-experiencing… remembering.

What do you now choose to do?

If you would like some assistance in accessing your purpose and passion you might want to check out Oprah’s 4 Step Guide or How to find your Purpose or How to Write a Life Plan. Each activity is simply a guide, ultimately this is the time for you to step up and go for it!

In our next #Coaching Box we will be exploring the next possible step.

Achieving Balance

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In this week’s #CoachingBox we’re exploring the theme of achieving balance.

I make no excuse for defining this as Life Balance as this is what most people speak about.

In my experience, it’s easier than I think to create enough time and space in my life for the things that I hold very dear to me.  It does require that I stop spinning around.

Once I’ve stopped spinning, it’s useful to assess my current situation.  I’d go so far as to suggest that unless I do this I’m going nowhere!

Next, I create my wants list.  This is a list of things I want in my life.  It tends to start off very simply and becomes more detailed as I go along. The most important part is to give it time to develop!

Has what you want and whats important to you changed over the last few years or so?  If so, its time to re-assess whether or not you are in or out of balance.

Are you being the ‘real’ you?  Often we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to be something we think others want us to be.

Are you being responsible?  It may seem a strange question to ask yourself but often we ‘blame’ others or situations rather than actually taking personal responsibility for where we are.

Are you aiming to be great or the greatest?  Choose to do something that you’ve always wanted to do and actually do it.

Remember to check that what you say that you want is a fit with your personal values and that it’s really what you want, and something that you can responsibly achieve and go for it!

If you would like some assistance in understanding how to achieve balance and identifying your personal values, you might want to try a Values Elicitation Exercise!   Thousand Insights has a very detailed description and a useful exercise as does KCCCoaching  and Douglas Wagonner.  Remember it is just a snapshot of where you are now and not a full set of commandments.

In our next #CoachingBox we will be exploring the next possible step.

Inspiring? Me?

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In this week’s #CoachingBox we’re going to explore inspiration.

I think that it is reasonable to assume that this word originates from the Old English and medical term “inspire – to breathe into; to fill with breathe.”   One particular definition resonates with me as being closest to my understanding, “inspiration – a product of your creative thinking and work; the arousal of the mind to special activity or creativity”.

Wow!  How wonderful to think that it’s all our own doing.  That inspiration comes from within us, from our own thoughts and actions.  And I think that this is often where we can come unstuck, because for many of us inspiration is something that eludes us, something that is dependent on the actions of others and how we use the word often suggests that we can only be inspired by others.

We look to others to lead us and to motivate us into action.  We trust and hope that they will somehow be able to ‘make’ our lives better and that they will move us onto bigger and brighter things.  And here is the rub, there is a fine line between trust and hope.

Trust, I think is unconditional, it is not dependent on anything or anyone, it just is.  Whereas hope is conditional on something or someone else and in this mix I suggest there is little room for us to be “aroused to a special activity or creativity”, there is little space for us to have creative thoughts, there is little space for us to inspire ourselves, to take risks and truly trust in ourselves.  When was the last time that you inspired you?

Thomas Edison’s words that “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration” reminds me that inspiration requires time and space to breathe and grow; it can’t be rushed or squeezed into the moments between the many demands on our time.  You are a creative, inspirational being and only you will know when you are inspired and inspiring.

I invite you to take some time out over the next week or two, connecting with your inspiration.   Allow yourself to be filled with your inspiration.  See what unfolds, listen to whatever is spoken and touched within you and whatever happens. . . Trust yourself.

If you would like some assistance in accessing your creativity and inspiration, you might want to try Mind Mapping!

Popularised over the last 40 years by Tony Buzan there are now many MapMapping tools that you can download or use online; try out MindMeister or View Your Mind (VYM) or MindGenius or Buble.us .   To get a taste of how versatile mind mapping can be visit Philippe Boukobza’s blog about Innovation, Visual Thinking and Mind Mapping; in this article he presents a mind map that was created in response to watching a very interesting video on creative thinking.

In our next #CoachingBox we will be exploring the next possible step.

Seven Steps Forwards ~ Six Steps Back

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In this weeks #CoachingBox we will be exploring that elusive concept of “arriving”, that time of celebration,  after all it may have taken you weeks, months or possibly years and you’ve finally arrived!! Or have you?

You may not be where you expected to be, but here is where you are, right now.  So what happened?

Sometimes it becomes evident that there is a bigger purpose to life, that no-one told you about.  It’s the little things that point you in the direction you’re to be heading and often we respond in one way, we resist and say NO!  After all, YOU know what YOU want and YOU ARE steadily moving towards it.  But there is another reality at play!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing at these times.  We do not know everything.  We think that we know all we’re suppose to know for now, but in the scheme of things we do not know much at all.  We think that we are on target living the life we have designed and enjoying it!

There is a saying loosely based on a quote by Pema Chodron that says that “life will continue to send the same lessons until you get it!”

What you don’t know is that life has a plan and that the plan has brought you to now!!  To a time when what is required is for you to learn the lessons kindly sent your way.  To really get that you are only you and all that is required is that you do the best that you can do in this moment, just this moment!!

It might be useful to take time out to reflect on your current situation.  Here are a few questions that you can use to facilitate this process;

  1. Where are you in relation to where you want to be?
  2. What is your sense of where you are going?  Do you hear something?
  3. What qualities and skills  have you yet to develop?  Are these new or old skills?
  4. What lessons are you to learn this time?

Take some time to think about what’s new in your life that really excites you.  What is this telling you about where you are heading or where you are today?   Be Patient.  The answers will arrive as soon as you relax into it!

If you would like to explore your current situation and have an understanding of what direction or higher purpose you are being called to, you may want to visit Roy’s Exercise at Summit Journey Coaching; http://summitjourneycoaching.com/free_exercise.php.  Roy has created a  self-guided audio exercise that you can try out.

In our next #CoachingBox we will be exploring the next possible step.

Envisioning our Future

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Our ability to see or envision our future is a major step in bringing us to where we want to be. It begins with our vision or a vision statement.

Our vision is a way of describing our thoughts about the future we might want to create.

But how do we do this?   Lets jump straight in!

  1. Imagine that 2013 is coming to an end; you are really satisfied with all aspects of your life.  You’ve made all the changes you wanted to make and have achieved everything you set out to do for the year.  What would that look like?
  2. Write a detailed description of your life as you would want it to be at the end of 2013.  (It’s important to write in the present tense, as if it has already happened, and be as specific as possible).
  3. In addition to your written words you could put together a visual representation of your year by drawing, painting or cutting pictures and words out of newspapers or magazines.
  4. Be as creative as you can.  Its your vision, your creation!

Research confirms that the more able you are to envision your future, the more likely you are to succeed.

If you would like to explore your vision in a structured way you may want to visit Nebo’s page http://nebocompany.com/vision-lab  Nebo’s online exercise provides structure and questions for assisting with this process.

In our next Coaching Box we will be exploring the next possible step.

Understanding our values

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  1. Our values create the frame of how we think about others and ourselves. They are the standards against which we measure our feelings and behaviours and the behaviours of others.
  2. If we make our decisions based on our values, we are more likely to follow through on our commitments.
  3. If the decisions that we make are in conflict to our values it is more likely that we will not follow through on our commitments . . .  in short we may procrastinate.
  4. It is important that we aim to ensure that at least two or three of our values have been considered when we make important decisions.
  5. When our values are in conflict with our choices or other people, we can feel stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry or even depressed.
  6. Our values maybe the same year in and year out although it is not uncommon for some of our values to become more important during different phases of our lives.

Where are you . . .

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Personal Reflections

Where are you in relation to where you want to be?
What is your sense of where you are being drawn to? Do you hear something? What qualities have you yet to step into?  What do you see that you did not see before?

Take some time and think about what’s new in your life that really excites you.

What is this telling you about where you are heading or where you are today?

Be Patient. The answer will arrive as soon as you relax into it!

What’s your tune?

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I consider music to be part of our spiritual tool-kit; it uplifts us, moves us into action, providing the background to fuel our ‘wants’, creating our passions, desires and goals.
Experience teaches us to seek out and listen into the soundtracks of our lives and commit to memory those melodies that evoke in us tears, joy, sadness and sheer delight.  For it is through these musical moments that we are able to re-discover the key to our soul, that part of us that will when called move willingly to the music of life and closer to where we are meant to be at that time.