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Life Coaching

Value in Focus: Commitment

Commitment ‘the quality of being dedicated to an activity’

People often set themselves goals based on things they feel they ‘should’ do, for example losing weight, giving up smoking, or not consuming alcohol for a month.

There are many reasons why these kinds of goals are doomed to failure, and there are two in particular for you to consider. Firstly, they’re all set in the negative. Our brains work best when focused on a positive statement – on doing something, rather than not doing it. So restate goals in the positive for more success.

Secondly, when we feel we ‘should’ do something, we’re basing that feeling on external pressures rather than internal motivation. As a result, we’re far less driven to make it happen and are less committed to the goal.

An alternative approach is to choose a value that is important to you and make it your goal to enhance that value in your life. For example, if you choose the value of Wellbeing, think of an action each day that would enhance your wellbeing and resolve to do that. You will be feeling better in no time, without the guilt and pressure of unsuccessful ‘should’ type goals.

Think about ways to show commitment to achieving your goal: perhaps a daily diary note, a daily reminder on your phone, a non-food based reward for doing the activity every day for a week.

 Values are our natural motivators and so if we are focused on enhancing a value we will be more committed to making it happen.

To find out more about values click to download a Free Values Guide

Value in Focus: Wellbeing

waterlilyAfter a week off and a gorgeous spa weekend away, this week’s value in focus has to be Wellbeing.

Definition of Wellbeing:
‘It is understood as a state of health, happiness and/or prosperity,
with which one is satisfied.’

I have seen an increase in this value’s popularity in the top 10 core values held by my clients.  This is unsurprising, in view of the growth in the Wellbeing Industry in recent years.  People are attracted to the word that describes what is important to them, however interestingly it means very different things to different people.

For some, it is about feeling a sense of balance between work and home life, for some it is more about how they feel about themselves or how good they feel on the inside, a sense of inner peace perhaps.  For others, it is more about whether they are eating well, getting enough exercise and maintaining their ideal weight and body shape.  It can also be linked to levels of energy and vitality.  These things, of course, are all inter-connected.

This value is more in our control than some others.  In my last blog post, I focused on Love.  For that value to be truly honoured, it involves others loving us, as well as us loving others and ourselves.  Whereas, Wellbeing is more about how we feel about ourselves and in ourselves, which is much more within our own control and much less about our interaction with others.

Our circumstances may affect our Wellbeing but ultimately, it is the choices we make that can really enhance or detract from honouring this value in our lives.

The word ‘satisfied’ in the definition is key here too.  Everything is relative and it depends on our expectations.  What would give satisfaction to one person may not to the next.  So this is a very personal and individual value.

The sun has just come out and Spring is on the way, that alone enhances my own sense of Wellbeing.  Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, think about what Wellbeing means to you and reflect on choices within your control to enhance that value in your life.

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Wishing you well.

Lindsay

Value in Focus: Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches, of course, the value in focus this week has to be Love.  If we strip away all the hearts and flowers and romantic candlelit dinners and look deep into our core for the value that is so important to so many of us at a base level, it will be that of love.

Love is defined as ‘to feel deep affection for’.

As human beings we have a basic need to connect to others, to feel and express love for others and to feel loved in return.  This love may be shared with parents, family members, partners, children or friends.  We need to be able to express our love and receive that expression of love from others for us to feel happiness.  That’s where the hearts, flowers and candles come in, as a simple way of expressing our affection.

To believe, that someone loves you, is rarely enough.  It is not something to be taken for granted. We all need signs, evidence if you like, that we are loved.  It doesn’t have to be grand gestures, often it’s the small things that really matter.  Those moments of thoughtfulness and kindness that show you really care.

Expressing our love for others needs to be a constant part of our lives, a good habit.  Rather than just a ‘love you’ at the end of a phone call, an ‘I love you’, at a moment when you’re really feeling that love, is so much more meaningful.

For this value to be truly honoured, we also need to love ourselves, forgive ourselves for our mistakes, be comfortable in our skin and accept ourselves for who we really are.

If we cannot love ourselves, then we do not believe others can love us and we are not able to show love to others; this damaging cycle leads to extreme unhappiness, low self esteem, even depression.

The greatest gift you can give to any child is to show them that they are loved.  Do this and you will watch them grow in confidence and self assurance every day.  They will understand and learn how to love themselves and will develop into loving and lovable adults.

So as we focus on this wonderful value this week, reflect on how we can start some good habits of expressing the love we feel for others in our lives and encourage them to do the same.  Take time to show love for yourself too, in whatever way makes you happy.  Let this be every day and not just on Valentine’s Day.

With love to you all

Lindsay

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Value In Focus: Fairness

This blog post is the first in a series of posts I will be writing on Values.  I use values as the foundation of my coaching practice as I have found that using values significantly enhances the effectiveness of both coaching and NLP techniques by getting better results faster.

Understanding your values is an amazing moment of clarity and self-awareness.  Living your life in line with your values makes you feel happier and more fulfilled every day.  That is why I am committed to increasing the awareness of values and the importance they have in our lives.

This week’s value in focus is Fairness.

Definitions of Fairness are: the state, condition or quality of being fair; free from bias or injustice; the perceived appropriateness of something; evenhandedness.

It is something that we expect to be present in the world around us and in the behaviour of people around us and so mostly we do not even notice it.  It is only when fairness is missing, that we sit up and take notice.  It is only then that negative emotion is generated in us.  For example, you might feel disappointment at a minor unfair situation e.g. someone getting a better gift or reward than you, whereas the emotion you might feel at a major injustice e.g. a child being mal-treated, is more likely to be that of outrage or anger.

Fairness is an interesting value.  It is rarely the first thing on our mind when we think about what is important to us, however when it is taken away, suddenly its importance is brought into focus.

The level of importance the value of fairness holds for us and the resonance of the word to us will vary, depending on our experiences.  It will be meaningful to a degree, so ask yourself if fairness was missing in my life, how bad would it be? How angry do you get when you see someone being unfair?

If you are a law enforcer, e.g. a police officer, a lawyer, or perhaps a human rights campaigner then I would expect the values of Fairness or Justice to feature highly in your personal core ‘top ten’ set of values.  For the rest of us Fairness usually is quite important but rarely makes it to the top of the list.

Reflect on the importance of this value to you.  Is it honoured in your life?  Are you fair to others, are they fair to you and are you fair to yourself?

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Values: at the Heart of a Happier World

I have been developing the use of values in my life coaching and career coaching practice for over 8 years now.  Sometimes I feel like a lone voice, calling out about the importance of understanding your values and living your life in line with your values, to achieve happiness and fulfilment.

No longer… last night I attended an event called ‘Values: at the Heart of a Happier World’ and was so encouraged to hear about the values work being developed by the Barrett Values Centre and the UK Values Alliance.  They have surveyed national values in countries all over the world with astonishing results.  They work with companies to understand staff and corporate values to begin a dialogue for change.

It was so exciting to share my passion about values and their importance, with over a hundred other people and pledge my support to join the Alliance and build on the growing wave of awareness about values.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy” Dalai Lama

One key point made was that change must come from within.  We cannot afford to wait for governments to change or influence the national values.  We all have responsibility for our own happiness and so this starts by understanding our own core values and making changes in the way we live our own lives.  If everyone did just that, we would all feel happier and be living in a happier world.

This might sound simple and it is.  There is a free values identification exercise on my website

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

complete this to understand your own values and if you want to know more about how to make changes, submit your results to me through the website.  Share this with your friends and family, after all, what we want for them too is happiness.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year

Lindsay

Life and Career Success

‘A vision without a task is just a dream;
a task without a vision is drudgery;
with a vision and a task, the world is yours’

Whether it is life or career success we seek, after an amazing summer of London based Olympics and Paralympics, we must all surely see the importance of both the vision and the task.  So many athletes with their sights set on medals, putting in hours and hours of relentless training to achieve their vision.  Aiming for that moment when they will be standing on that podium, seeing the crowds cheering, hearing their national anthem playing and feeling the weight of that precious medal around their necks.

Each and every one of them is a shining example to us all of just what is possible in terms of both life and career success.  So how do we take inspiration from their achievements?

Start with the vision; decide what it is you really want, get a clear picture in your mind and use all your senses to enhance the scene:

  •  see what is around you, the people, the objects
  •  hear the noises and voices
  •  feel what it really feels like
  •  smell the smells around you
  •  taste the taste of sweet success

Once you have that clear vision, work back from it on a timeline, for example if you plan to achieve your vision in 3 years, think about what needs to be in place in 2 years, then in 1 year, then in 6 months, then in 3 months then what do you need to be doing differently today to make this happen.

You then have the start of your plan to achieve your vision.

Draw on your values for motivation, for example if you have strong values of achievement, recognition, support, making a difference, success, or contribution etc. these will all help to fuel your enthusiasm and carry you through the difficult times. For more information on values have a look at the free values exercise on my website www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Next you will need to schedule the tasks required, to support your plan, into your diary.  It can help to have a coach, like myself, a mentor or a good friend to help, by holding you accountable for completing those tasks.  Share your vision with friends and family to get the support you need.

Now you are all set to get started, so… on your marks, get set, go!

I wish you every success.

Lindsay

lindsay@careercoachlondon.com
www.careercoachlondon.com

 

Life Coaching Tips for Boundaries and Saying No


Clear boundaries help us to thrive

Some of us feel we were to born to please others and so often say yes when we really want to say no.  This can lead us to do things we don’t want to do, become overloaded with work or run out of time to do what we really want to do.

This lack of clear boundaries can contribute to feeling stressed, frustrated and even angry because we’ve given in again or our good nature has been taken advantage of and we are not focusing on what is important to us, just what is important to someone else.

To change this pattern of behaviour:

 Step 1: we need to draw on our value of honesty and start by being honest with ourselves.  Decide what is ok and what is not ok, trusting our ‘gut instinct’ to recognise when we really do not want to do something.       

Step 2: we need to start being honest with others, tell them kindly that we would like to help, but cannot agree to their request, at least not within the timescales they are asking. Say what would be ok or when we could help or agree to their request, but only within the boundaries that are really acceptable to us.

By following these two simple steps, we will quickly find that we become happier, less stressed and so healthier.  If we are honest with ourselves, we can then be honest with others and they will respect us more for it.

Changing behaviours takes practice, so give it a go and see how you get on, then reflect back on your progress and notice any times when you could have made a better decision. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up for it, just make sure that when that kind of situation happens again you are ready for it and make a better choice being honest with yourself and those around you.

If you have followed these steps, I would love to know how you got on, so do add a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes

Lindsay

Life Coaching NLP to enjoy life

Autumn treesIf you wished you enjoyed life more each day then read on for a useful Life Coaching NLP technique.

With the busy, stressed lives we lead, we can sometimes find ourselves ‘going through the motions’ of enjoying ourselves, without actually feeling it.  How many times have you been out with friends, been to family parties, or even been on holiday but when you look back afterwards, can you really say you enjoyed yourself or even remember what happened without looking at the photos!

We can have very full social lives but not actually have fun, if we haven’t learnt to ‘be present’, by that I mean, live in the moment.  If we are always checking our phones, worrying about how soon we can leave or thinking about what we going to do afterwards, then we are not being present and are unlikely to be really enjoying ourselves.

To help ‘be present’, use all your senses to be in the moment:

– really look at what you can see around you,
– focus on really listening to what you can hear,
– notice how you are feeling at that moment,
– touch the things around you, maybe the hand next to yours,
– allow good smells and tastes to linger a while and soak them up.

For example: a simple walk in the park can be really improved if you take time to focus on the moment.  Look at the colours and patterns of the leaves, trees and grass around you, listen to the birds and the wind, smell and taste the air, touch a flower or a tree, focus on how you feel right now.

Using all your senses helps to relish and really live in the moment, to enjoy that time much more; it also helps you to remember it more vividly.

So if you want to enjoy life more, practice this technique until it becomes a good habit and part of the way you live your life.

Enjoy!

Lindsay

Coping with Change

Change aheadThey say ‘there is one thing in life that is constant and that is change’ which can make it feel daunting, however if we view change as just the transition from one set of circumstances to another, it makes it more manageable.

 This week I shall be talking about coping with change at the Wellbeing Group I run in Winchmore Hill, for details go to www.careercoachlondon.com/wellbeing-group.html 
Here are a few tips that we will be covering, which I hope you will find helpful.

 Recognise the impact of the change: it can affect people in different ways, for some its negative thoughts, worries and concerns; others feel it emotionally in negative feelings, anxiety and panic or with tears. In more severe cases the impact can take its toll physically, for example affecting our weight or giving us skin, breathing or digestives conditions.

 Grounding techniques help to regain a sense of stability, such as thinking of all the good things in your life and in the world that are not affected by this change; or thinking of other times when you have coped well with a change and remember how you did it to give you confidence to do it again; or think ‘happy thoughts’ and remember good times that comfort you.

 Face the fear by working out what it is you are afraid of and breaking the change down into small steps, plan forward but focus one day at a time to make it more manageable and give you a sense of control; reframe the change into something more positive by taking a different perspective; know and reassure yourself that the transition period of change will end and a new ‘normality’ will settle you again.

 Emotional support is essential; talk to supportive friends and family who will encourage you through the change; a hug, a smile and a cup of tea can go a long way to improving how you feel.  Understanding which of your values are affected negatively by the change is also extremely helpful and drawing on other values will help to motivate you to take action to improve things.  For more information on values and to learn more about your own, see the free values exercise on my website www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

 Relax and energise yourself by using breathing exercises, meditation or yoga; get active in whatever way you enjoy, e.g. go for a walk, a run, a swim, to the gym, dance, sing.  Even cleaning the house or washing the car can be good exercise and give you a sense of normality.  Keeping yourself relaxed and energised will help to ensure the stress of the change does not affect your health and will keep you strong to handle the challenge.

 I hope this is helpful and I look forward to hearing your views.

Lindsay

Introduction to Values

Values: That 'lightbulb moment' of self-awarenessMany times through my years in coaching, it has struck me how important values are; identifying ones own values can be a true ‘lightbulb moment’ of self awareness for most people.

Values are the things that are important to us, the core of who we are, the foundation of our lives, our reason for being, what makes us tick and indeed what makes us angry or upset if not honoured. 

When I ask people what is important to them, often the responses are things like family, health or money, however these are not values.  If we look a little deeper into ourselves and ask: what do these things give us? what do we get from them that is important to us? only then do we get closer to finding our core values e.g. from family we might get a sense of love, support or kindness. From having good health, we might get a sense of wellbeing or vitality.  Money might give us security, choice or freedom.

We will find different values in different aspects of our lives, for example in terms of career we might value responsibility, recognition and sense of achievement, whereas in our home life, we might have values of stability, happiness and love.  In our relationships with friends, we might value trust, honesty and loyalty.  In interests or hobbies, things like fun, growth and contribution might be important to us. There may also be some cross-over, so values like fairness and respect may be important to us in all aspects of our lives and in all our relationships.

All these things may be important to us to a degree, the key is to find out which of them are our core values, the ‘top ten’ values that are individual and crucial to us that must be honoured in our lives for us to be happy and feel fulfilled. 

When I have undertaken values exploration exercises with clients, they often say, ‘yes that’s me on a page!’ when they see the list of their top ten values, which represent their uniqueness and the core of who they are and what matters most to them.  That new self-awareness and understanding allows them to focus and move forward in a positive way.

Once we understand our own true individual set of values, then we have a foundation that we can build on to construct a life that will bring us happiness and fulfilment.

If you would like to learn more about your own values go to www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html and complete the free values exercise to experience the power of values for yourself.

Lindsay