Delight (have fun!)

Road Trip! The destination for this week is “Delight.” Experience the unbridled joy, silliness and wonder of life. Talk with your inner child and have fun!

Make a list of things that made you laugh as a child. Spend a few hours this week rekindling that spirit.

Play with a toy; the more silly the better.

If you can, spend a few hours with a child and look at the world through their eyes. Make note of the differences between how you typically react to situations and how they respond. Which would serve you better in your life?

Jot down a few ideas for how you can add more fun and joy to your work. Try one out this week.

Let us know in the comments where you’ve gone and what you’ve discovered about yourself.

Are you Giving Up or Getting Smarter?

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We often come to points in our lives when we have to decide whether or not to let go of something. A lot of my coaching clients are worried that they might be giving up without trying hard enough to achieve what they want and they want someone to hold them accountable. What is just as common is helping someone come to a decision as to whether it’s in their best interest to leave something behind and pursue other ventures. Ending a pursuit doesn’t always mean you’re giving up. Sometimes ending something is the right choice and moving on means you’re getting smarter.

So, how do you know the difference?

Use Your Head
Gather as much information as possible. If it’s a financial decision, have all of the relevant numbers in front of you. If you’re thinking of changing careers, look at job listings and labor department statistics. Making an important decision without any factual basis is a gamble at best.

Use Your Heart
Once you’ve looked at the facts, you still need to consider what’s best for you in the long run and how it fits in with your beliefs and values. If the “numbers” point in a direction that makes you feel uneasy or even sick, listen to your inner wisdom.

Use Your Instincts
Sometimes referred to as your sixth sense, you might have a “feeling” about something. It might go against logic and might even make you feel a little uneasy but you’re still drawn in a certain direction. Don’t discount this feeling. Give serious consideration to the option to which your instincts are pointing.

Talk to Others
Bounce your ideas off someone you trust- a family member, colleague or coach. Just make sure that the person being consulted isn’t going to be directly impacted by your decision because they may not be an impartial sounding board.

Finally, just jump.
I’ve talked before about how you can trap yourself into a state of preparation and never move into action. You have to eventually make a decision. Trust your wisdom and know that there are few, if any, decisions that you’ll make in your life that can’t be turned to your advantage.

It’s a new year and you have the chance to make this the best year of your life. What are you waiting for, make your decision!

Image courtesy of mrpuen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Go with the Flow and See Where Life Takes You

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Take control, take action, grab the bull by the horns, take charge of your destiny…. all really common phrases. We’re taught from the time we’re children that we need to constantly be working towards something and striving to build our future. But what if the actions you’re currently taking are actually setting you back? Sometimes it’s helpful to just quit swimming upstream, relax and see where the current of your like takes you.

One coaching client was at odds with herself. She loved her work and her colleagues and clients and was doing a great job, but she felt she should be “climbing the ladder” and “making a name for herself.” She left her position for a better titled job in a new industry. (I’ve written about decisions involving should versus want so you might already know where this is going.)

Several weeks later, she realized she hadn’t made the best choice for herself. She was miserable and sorely missed her prior position. She came to me for coaching and she reached a point where she was ready to put her pride aside and ask for what she really wanted—her old position. She was welcomed back with open arms. Additionally, she was promoted. She had been recognized for her devotion to clients and her ability to be a team player. In fact, they were about to offer her the new position right before she had left. She had really been working towards “making a name for herself” all along but just hadn’t realized it. If she had just “gone with the flow” a bit longer, her original desire to create a better position for herself would have come to fruition without the added trauma.

I’m not saying complete inactivity is the way to go through life but sometimes just sitting back and seeing where life leads you can get you to the same place with much less stress. If you’re happy, comfortable and in a place you want to be, don’t allow the feelings that you “should” be taking more action make you change your course. Your efforts may be working in your favor, they just need some time to be realized.

Photo credit: musubk / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

How to Make Difficult Decisions

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We all have difficult decisions to make. Job offers, schools to attend, who we want to spend our life with; each has consequences both real and perceived that cloud our judgement. When making a difficult decision, look at your feelings behind your choices. Are you about to do something because you should, because you need to or is it something you truly want? Stick with the “want” and you’ll never be wrong.

Let’s say you have the chance to move to a new city. You have some interesting job opportunities, it’s a place you’ve always wanted to live and you even found a house you love. On the other side, you’d be leaving family behind, you’re afraid to start a new job and think you’d lose a lot of money on your current home. What choices do you have? You feel like you need to stay with your family. You feel like you should play the job and house things safe. You really want to give it a shot though. Once you get past the fear (false evidence appearing real) your choice might be obvious.

Your decision may require you to let go of something that’s holding you in place. That letting go can be difficult. Even if what you’re letting go of isn’t good for you, there might still be a sense of loss, failure or incompletion. You need to keep your vision for the future in mind to move forward. There’s also the potential that you let go of something that truly is important to you merely for the sake of change or because keeping it seems more difficult. (Here it becomes I should change but want things to stay the same.) That’s not good either. Making the right choice always comes back to looking at your motivation behind your options.

Sometimes talking through your choices is all that’s required. I recently had a chat with someone torn about a career decision. I just asked a few simple questions and she was able to come to a decision relatively quickly. Her final comment was really typical of the coaching experience, “Thank you for helping me sort out my thoughts instead of pushing me into a certain direction. Looks like the answer was with me all along.” That’s what coaching is all about!

You’re always at choice and you do have the right answer. Just make your choice for the right reason. Do what is going to make you happy while staying true to your core beliefs.

Photo credit: jonathan.broderick / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

What if You Could?

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Coaching is about using well-placed questions to draw out someones own wisdom to help them get from point A to point B. To help them get unstuck. Often, we ask questions that are so broad and undirected that it throws people off. This is actually done on purpose in the hope that it will help someone expand their thinking and consider options or choices that may be right in front of them. Often, putting the thought “out in the universe” can set actions in motion that would have remained untried.

Here’s a little self-coaching exercise you can try for yourself whenever you’re having some self-limiting thoughts. It uses one of the lightest and most powerful coaching questions. Let’s say you’re trying to make a really important decision. Maybe it’s around a relationship, career, or health. Your current thoughts or beliefs might be:

I could never ask that person on a date; they’re too attractive.
I couldn’t get that job; I’m not smart enough.
I can’t lose weight; I don’t have the willpower or the time.

With thoughts like these swirling around in your head it’s no wonder you’re stuck. Just stop and ask yourself “What if I could?

Seriously ponder the question. Maybe even write out the answer to make it more concrete. What tends to happen is we set up a barrier for ourself (the “I can’t”) and then simply stop. We never try to see what’s on the other side. Creating a vision of where we want to go can often become compelling enough to knock that barrier down. Or at least give us some insight on how to climb it or go around.

So, what if you could meet the love of your life. get that job or create the healthy life you deserve? What would that look like?

Photo credit: | spoon | / Foter.com / CC BY