Do your scares of the past limit your future?

kintsugiKintsugi is the Japanese art of mending precious pottery with gold. It is said that the bowl has increased value after repair because it has become unique, it has a rich history and the repairer has an affinity to it because they were able to repair it.

You see, just like this bowl, we have toiled through life’s challenges that may cause us to crack or even break. These challenges in life may have scared us both physical and emotionally, but it is how we choose to see these events that can determine out future success. Do you see these events as badges of shame that you are burdened to carry or is it your belief that your history makes you complete, whole, wise, and (just like the bowl) more beautiful.

Both PTSD and being divorced, I once saw as life events that I would not be able to recover from. Now I see these events were opportunities to learn some hard lessons and provide me a distinct advantage in all aspects of my life.

Just like every belief, there is potential that the belief is a lie. Therefore, take a moment to consider what you believe about your past. Do you feel that this belief supports your awesome potential? If not, take an opportunity to change it so that it supports your potential rather than limits it.

Book a free introductory call with me now by clicking this link so that we can begin to find your way ahead.

How to Create New Year’s Resolutions for Success


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What’s your New Year’s resolution? A topic of conversation that will challenge us for at least the ext month. Either at Christmas office parties, around the smoke of a BBQ or over a coffee at our local café, we will discuss our dreams for next year. Health, money, freedom or even companionship; the dreams will be vivid and inspiring. Despite the epic storytelling, only about 50% of us actually set New Year’s Resolution[1]. The reason why so many of us may not set New Year’s Resolutions maybe because we have well-formed habits around creating our future success; however, it is far more likely that only half of us set New Year’s Resolutions because we already know what the outcome will be. Despite the story telling during December and early January, the discussion will end by the time Australia Day has arrived. We stop talking about New Year’s resolutions so as not to highlight to anyone that our dream has been drowned out with the busyness of ‘normal’ life. In fact, only 12% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions will create success[2]. Luckily, you can achieve your New Year’s Resolution and maintain the momentum throughout the year. You can train yourself to identify where you want to be in your life and push through resistance to achieve it. You can form habits that support your success and keep you on track, regardless of the time of year. Oscar Wild said, “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.”

Here is a 5-step strategy to set New Year’s Resolutions that will create the conditions for success in your life:

  1. Dream Big. Utilize all faculties of the mind to create a clear picture of your future. See it, hear it and feel it. Elbert Einstein once said, “What appears on the screen of your mind is a preview of coming attractions.” Now that you have that vision, ask yourself: How will you know that you have achieved this goal? Be specific in terms of what you want to achieve. Setting a vision for the future is just as critical when things are going wrong as they are going right. Oscar Wild once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking to the stars”. Remind yourself of this goal daily and what it will be like once you have achieved it; you might like to make a vision board of what the new future would look like.
  2. Focus on others. People who set goals that are focused on helping others are said to be more ‘intrinsically motivated’. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you want to achieve your goals, help others achieve their goals”. Focus your vision on how your new future will help others.
  3. Know what you’re in for. Often we set goals that aren’t congruent to who we are, or we haven’t fully considered the consequences. For example, additional responsibility at work may come with greater income, but may also have increased stress and require more time at work. You need to fully consider the impact before committing to your goal. Once you’ve committed to the goal and know what you’re up for, prepare for the fight! Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy. It takes discipline and hard work to step outside of your comfort zone; through discipline, determination and persistence you will set the conditions for success.
  4. Action plans. Write the goals down and develop a daily action plan to support your achievements. As William James once said, “Little by little we build our power”. A study undertaken with an MBA program from Harvard in 1979 showed that 10 years after graduation only 3% had goals and an action plan and yet they were earning 10 times that of the remainder of their average peer group[3]. Allocate time each afternoon to plan for the next day. List the top three actions you need to do the next day that will have the most impact and be the most critical to achieving your goals. As Bruce Lee once said, “Simplicity is the key to Brilliance”.
  5. Stay excited. It doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve your goal by the time frame you originally set or to the standard you expected. The key is to maintain an excited, determined and expectant mindset. Those who are continually pushing at the boundaries of their comfort zone should accept that they may not initially succeed. Take courage from Thomas Edison when he explained why he had not invented the light bulb, yet said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it will not work”. Take the time to celebrate every win, regardless of how minor. Every win is an opportunity for us to build our self-confidence and we can learn more about setting conditions for our future success by learning from our past successes.

A New Year creates an opportunity for a new chapter to be created in our lives and the impetus we need to create the conditions for our success. Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. Take this opportunity to create your future and be awesome in everything you do.

Clint Seares is a performance coach at the Manly Yoga Collective where he will be presenting on this subject on 4 December at 1930. Further information is available at www.manlyyogacollective.com.au or www.thewayahead.academy

 

[1] http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/three-keys-to-keeping-your-new-years-resolution-20121231-2c2bm.html

[2] http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/three-keys-to-keeping-your-new-years-resolution-20121231-2c2bm.html

[3] http://www.lifemastering.com/en/harvard_school.html

Let’s think creatively

I recently attended Sally Martin’s Art exhibition and was prompted to write about the importance of thinking creatively. While you might be thinking that creative thinking is not required in your roll, or you just can’t be creative; I would like to suggest that it is both imperative that we all think creatively, and that anyone with a little bit of empathy can do it.

While there are some roles and industries that are more in tune with their creative talents, there are ways for all of us to also think more creatively.

There is an urgent need for Organisations to inspire and encourage people to think creatively. Even small organisation can take quantum leaps forward if they feel they can inspire their people to think creatively.

As the saying goes, there are only three certainties in life: death, taxes and change. Machines are now increasingly undertaking tasks that were traditionally performed by people such as; 3D printing of houses. For some of you, you may be concerned about your future; however, some may be inspired by the possibilities. Change is happening, weather you like it or not. You can either pretend its not happening, get angry about the change or you can master the ability to think creatively. Doing anything but the later would be like trying to hold back the incoming tide with a broom.

Anyone can think creatively, they just have have empathy towards others. Osho coined it beautifully when he said: “To be creative means to be in love with life”.

Here is a simple six-step process that would help you think creatively:

Step 1: Write a list of the services you provide to a client (be it internal or external clients or people in the industry)

Step 2: Set up an interview with your clients and ask them the following questions:

  • From the list above which is the most important to the least important?
  • What aspect of the list frustrates them?
  • How do these tasks/activities effect them?
  • What do you needs in regards to these tasks on the list and how well are they fulfilled?

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ― Ernest Hemingway

 

Step 3: Step into your client’s shoes. Write an endless list of solutions to meet your client’s frustrations, fears, needs and wants. Don’t worry about how practical these ideas are, just get them down on paper (or computer if you prefer).

Step 4: Ask yourself which solution you would have the most benefit? Don’t limit yourself by considering what you think you can do.

 

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath,

 

Step 5: Test and adjust your ideas. Go back to your sources and check that the ideas would be of benefit.

Step 6: Take the best ideas and establish a Goal and an Action plan to develop your ideas. This takes courage! You don’t need to be able to do everything. Identify the bits you can do and outsource the rest. Craft your vision for this new idea and sell it to your boss or other members of your team.

If you applied the six steps listed above, you would have hundreds of opportunities to make changes. Just consider how many opportunities you could uncover if you didn’t limit yourself to your own tasks. Just consider asking anyone about what they do and what frustrates them and you will be stepping into limitless possibilities.

I also realized two enemies to creativity: the enemy within and the enemy you associate with. Henry Buckle coined it beautifully when he said “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Be well aware of the company you keep and associate with other “great minds” who discuss ideas, and won’t criticize you for stepping outside of your comfort zone, questioning your status quo and trying to make a difference. Remember, the opposite of courage is not the lack of courage, its conformity. There is a real risk at this point that we attach self-worth to the acceptance of our idea. As Bene Brown stressed, that if we attach our self-worth to the acceptance of our creativity we become a prisoner of “pleasing, performing and perfecting”. It may be disappointing if your friends and colleagues do not share your vision and your creative idea, but remember, “effort is about what you do, not who you are”.

However, the greatest enemy to our creativity is the enemy within. It is our internal critic and there can be no greater threat. Many creative geniuses have modified their ideas so as not to be perceived as too radical. Being creative requires us to be vulnerable, and for many of us (including myself) this can be hard, but I dispute that it is not impossible. Jim Rohn once said, “Standby the gates to your mind”. We have an ability to think what ever we like, if the thoughts are not supporting your creativity, change it to something that will.

If you can dream, you can create, and your creativity can make a real difference. Take a moment out of your time to try out the six steps to thinking creatively and see what you can come up with. Encourage your team to think creatively, this can lead to empowerment and craft people who are excited about opportunities and making a difference.

 

Four Steps to Managing Stress

I have been working with a client recently on her ability to manage stress more effectively and I thought I’d share some of the key ideas: what is stress, how do I compare and what can be done. The importance of managing stress cannot be under exterminated.

On Average, 1:5 women and 1:8 men will suffer from depression at some stage in their lives (Beyond Blue), and there is increasing evidence that more than 75% of all sicknesses were caused by the body’s response to stress.

So …what is stress? Pre-historic man (or women) preserved all stressors could result in personal harm, which would trigger our flight or fight response. When you are about to run from or kill an animal, the flight and fight response was very useful, it brings about: acceleration of the heart and lung function, production of glucose for energy, and conversion of fatty acids into energy.

However, we often have the same response when managing difficult people at work, getting the kids to school on time or paying off a debt. When you need to be calm and have clarity of thought, your body is preparing to unleash “a can of whoop ass”J.

Sadly enough, stress has been linked to stomach ulcers, migraine or hypertension and the release of cortisone is destructive to the immune system and lowers the bodies’ ability to combat diseases. It is quite clear that this is not very helpful in handling daily pressures.

So…how much stress are you under?

Some may want to look at the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/srrs.htm). While the scale is a decent starting point, it does not account for people who have effective coping strategies or compounding stress in a short period of time. We are all individual; don’t compare yourself to others, as you are not likely to know their full story, and it only serves to increase your level of stress and shame.

So…what can be done? Here are my four strategies to managing stress.

Be selective of who you talk to, and what you watch/listen too. Jim Rohn once said “Stand guard to the door of your mind”. If you need to maintain a view of current affairs, be mindful of the continual negative messages that are portrayed. Negative messages may come from friends and colleges. Jim also coined the phrase, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with”. If your friends are not discussing overcoming challenges and are continually talking about the effect of the problems, then find new friends.

Get fit for life. Being fit for life includes the following:

  1. Quit smoking;
  2. Eating a balanced diet (a low sugar diet);
  3. Getting adequate sleep;
  4. Balanced life (Do the wheel of life exercise);
  5. A balanced life includes a social life outside of work; and
  6. Remembering that “exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant and it’s free”.

For someone who is stressed, it may seem counter-productive to take “time out” to get fit for life; however, you need to invest in yourself.

Rational Emotive Therapy Model (RET). RET was developed by Albert Ellis who simplified people’s responses to an external environment. Let’s take this example, “The lousy weather makes me feel miserable”. What this person is saying is that the actuating event (let’s call this A) causes how you feel (let’s call this C). The link between A and C is our Belief (let’s call this B) and in this scenario we are blaming the weather for our feelings. We have the ability to choose how we perceive an event, if the cause isn’t supporting you, change your perspective of the event. Let’s take the scenario above which could be rephrased to be: “A little bit of rain’s not going to stop me!”

Learn to say “No”.

Accepting more work with timeframes that can’t be achieved does not make you awesome, it makes you a Marta. Know what you can achieve in the time you have, look for opportunities to outsource and delegate, and then be clear with what you can achieve in the time you have.

For those of you how are not coping with your level of stress, I would like to encourage you to take action. There are many resources in our community that can assist you to find your way ahead: See your local GP, Call Life Line or Beyond Blue. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not a signed of weakness.

How effectively we manage stress cannot be underestimated. Try to view the event logically, optimistically and realistically; knowing that we stand in the middle of the stressor (event or person) and we can control our response.

Using the strategies listed above, we can manage stress effectively so as to be more robust, illness free and empowered to win!