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Linda Chaousis Posts

Are you playing small when you should be stepping out?

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What do you really desire?

What makes you feel good?

Fulfilled?

So in alignment with your skills and things you love?

Even if you work in an organisation or have a business that is not fully what you love, what are some of the things about it you do like?

As an evidence based coach, speaker, podcaster, Uni lecturer and writer, I never dismissed what made me feel fulfilled, fun and enjoyable-and always pursued those. All of those things I do are things I LOVE and that light me up. And of course there are always challenges even in those situations. But there is a deeper sense of I so enjoy doing this that I will work out how to resolve the difficult situation and will not focus on it-and some of the difficult situations are stressful and exhausting. I just push through.

So what is it you love to do?

How can you at least get some of that into your life?

Even if it is just an hour a week. You’ll find that by doing that it brings a different perspective to many other things in your life, even those that at the moment aren’t ideal, but for the time being have to be there.

Make the most of every minute there. Be present. Appreciate everything about it. And be grateful.

You don’t have to do what you love every hour of every day.

Or even every day!

Just get a bit of it into your life and you will see how much it positively impacts the rest of your life.

Small steps-big outcomes

Once I saw a woman who was a single mother of 2 or 3 children interviewed on TV. She had a passion to write poetry. But working full time while also managing the family on her own left her with the view that there was no time for poetry. Her coach asked her if she could just find one hour a week to write. She said yes, she probably could. She found that hour and what happened was the fulfilment of that hour led to her finding more hours and soon she was reading her poetry at the local library with lots of great feedback.

Go for it!

And you’ll probably find some big surprises of people who support you, help you and give you further ideas! Enjoy!

Some other relevant blog posts you might find interesting:

When do you walk away?

Suck the marrow out of every moment

What if money was no object?

 

 

 

 

 

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The power of doing what lights you up

What lights you up? What makes you come alive?

In many ways that is the starting point to finding your purpose. Living your passion.

I see so many people going through life with a glazed over expression just hoping to get through the day.

A day that feels like Ground Hog day.

Same old same old.

Go home, wake up and do it again.

What makes it different?

Finding out what lights you up.

You might be doing the same thing day in and day out but if it is what makes you come alive (or at least some of the activities you do fit that criteria) then the glazed over expression turns to animation and anticipation.

I created this 3 minute video on The power of doing what lights you up.

You’ll hear a lot more from me on this topic as I focus on this to help people get off the treadmill.

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, let’s make every day a centre stage performance instead of being a stage hand in your own life.

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What??? Think about what you don’t want?

Using what you don’t want to get clarity

There are a number of paradoxes in the Law of Attraction. One of them is how you use your thoughts about what you don’t want. So many of us get off track with clarity, real clarity about what we want and what we believe our true purpose is.

Click on the image to watch the video.

And remember what to do with your ‘don’t want’ thoughts the rest of the time!

It is surprising how most of us have thoughts of ‘don’t want’ or at least ‘negative things’ just play in our head like they were on shuffle and we really had no control over when it hit our playlist. But our thoughts have momentum. So if we are aware of a negative thought, or doubt, discouragement, resentment, anger, fear we can stop the momentum by turning our thoughts to what we do want and unplugging from the negative thought. 

It is fully up to you?

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Look at what we have right now

Last week an uneventful drive home morphed into an outside art gallery as I approached the roundabout ten minutes away from my house.

The sky was ablaze with the most glorious rainbow. Full colour, thick lines and the whole arch in view.

It was one of the best rainbows I’d ever seen.

Five minutes had passed and traffic had not moved an inch.  Out of  boredom more than design, I took a quick smartphone shot of the rainbow through my windscreen right before we started to move. Since the smartphone photo (above) captured it fairly well, I could not wait to get home to see what my DSLR would do with this spendid masterpiece of nature.

As I approached my street, the rainbow that so captured my attention had been replaced with dark clouds and pouring rain.

If I had not snapped that smartphone photo and waited for the perfect shot from the professional camera, I would have totally missed capturing the moment.

How often do we do that in life?

  • Not be fully in the present.
  • Not make the very most of what is in front of us.
  • Not make the most of what we have to work with at the moment-even though we know bigger and better things will be at our disposal soon.
  • Not take note of a person around us who could use a smile or an encouraging word to make their day.

I’ve heard mindfulness experts explain how they tell people to stop and be aware of everything in a room, bus, street or wherever they are. Notice the smells. Pay attention to the colours, the textures, the conversations. Be fully present in everything you do, say and listen to.

Seize the moment and make the most of it. Aim for the best but always do the very best with what you have at the moment.

What has your experience been?

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Respectful curiosity

 

 

Anger, conflict and misunderstandings are part of life-especially in organisations. If you replace accusations and angry tones with respectful curiosity, you may be surprised at the results.

Ever have someone do something that led you to think: ‘what were you thinking?

I think most of us have been there at one time or another.  Maybe you find yourself rolling your eyes every time they speak at a team meeting because you are sure they are trying to undermine you with their comments. Nothing ever changes, so you just keep pushing the anger and frustration down deeper.

Prolonging these reactions can lead to patterns that are not helpful for office productivity or team harmony.

A few years ago, after listening to a number of similar scenarios from friends, colleagues and clients- and experiencing them myself-I set out to find a healthy way of dealing with these situations.

I realised that if we are curious about something, it takes us from a place of judgement and moves us to a place of genuine enquiry. I created the term respectful curiosity.

If ask what is curious, your mind and brain are focused on information gathering rather than emotion fueled judgement. The respectful part of it is a reminder not to pry into personal areas or ask questions that are not relevant to the situation at hand. With curiosity, our tone of voice is one of interest, and our questions are not accusing. The result? The other person is less likely to be defensive and the conversation is more likely to be constructive and actually could build your relationship with that person.

What opportunities do you have to apply respectful curiosity?

Share your successes with us!

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Do what you love

Have you outgrown something that you keep hanging on to?

Sometimes we just do it out of habit.

Other times we feel like we must keep persevering. In our heart of hearts we no longer have the desire to be part of it.

It seems safer to just stay in the comfort zone. Rather than have the courage to leave something behind – move to new territory. Spare the potential conflict.  Just stay in ‘vanilla land’ well beyond the use by date. And we all know that is the kiss of death or at least mediocrity.

I’m not suggesting that the minute you find something or someone frustrating or stressful that you move on. But you know when it is time.

If you find consistently something is no longer working. A product or service you have been offering seems to no longer the right thing.  And you’ve lost your passion for it. Or a group you are part of is no longer serving you. Or a negative person who takes takes takes and rarely encourages or supports you. Look at those things and do things differently.

A process on the path that usually is preparing you for the next step.  When you let go, this creates space. And suddenly other more aligned people. Groups and opportunities come your way.

Some will be ones that will tell you not to do it. Just keep going along the regular path. Often those people are just jealous of the fact you have the guts to move forward.

I’ve gone through many changes. Have had to let go of some things and some people, to be open to new opportunities. That crossed my path that at first seemed odd, now seem so well aligned. What about you?

Be brave. Be yourself. And take all of you out into the world!

 

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Ever regret not listening to your gut?

 

Ever regret not listening to your gut?

You have a passing thought of an idea or action you could take.

Or you hear yourself say, ‘Someone should create a product or service that fills this gap.’ And then wonder if you could be that someone.

And there you stand at the crossroad.

One voice says ‘Give it a go, you’ll never know unless you try.’

And then the other voice interrupts the first voice with:

Are you kidding?

You really need to think that through.

Get more training.

It’s gotta be perfect before you’d release it to the world.

It could take months or years to get it right.

Well, in recent times, I’ve recognized that second voice as my subconscious trying to keep me safe by playing small and sticking to what I’ve always done or known to be a sure thing.

And it feeds nicely into three bad habits of mine:

All or nothing thinking-it’s got to be fully planned and perfect before I put it out there. Make one mistake and scrap the whole thing and start over. Similar to eating one chocolate chip cookie and then finishing the whole pack because I felt I blew my eating plan by that one cookie so I may as well write off the rest of the day. Flawed logic and self sabotage rolled into one!

Fear-oh this has so many faces. What if I fail? What will people think? Will people disapprove? Live a vanilla life and you dodge those fears and are destined to mediocrity. Seize the moment and you’ll find most fears were unfounded and the fears that weren’t are well outstripped by the passion and excitement of taking the next step. The naysayers will drop off and create room for new raving fans.

Overthinking– this is a combination of the other two. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong. Or thinking about every finite detail that would have to be worked out before you proceed. Both mindsets are a fast track to doing nothing. Sometimes followed by that painful regret of watching someone else who had the courage to act on the very idea you had enjoy great success and support as they followed it through.

Don’t fall into my three mindset traps!

Put yourself out there.

Ask for help.

Be open to a change of direction and be glad you got out there on the court to play the game-even if you are ‘coached’ to change your game plan.

And be prepared for some pleasant surprises!

 

 

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Slow down

 

Why would you slow down?

Yeah, I know a lot of people are telling us to buy this.

Purchase that to make our business better.

Get this half price to be sure 2018 is a great start.

And it goes on and on.

Yes, of course there are many things that sound good, but I think for many of us, it is time for us to STOP and slow down!

Now I’m not talking about slowing down and doing nothing. Not at all.

I am saying stop long enough to think about what you really want to do and think about how you possibly already have the way to start.

And how many of you like me have done things that people have asked me to do even though it was not part of what my key focus area was. And in many cases, it just took me off the path that I knew was the one that I was supposed to be on.

So when I am saying slow down, I’m thinking of shutting down all the white noise and listen to what I really want to do. And know that that is what I’ve been called to do and I need to keep on that path and say ‘no’ to people who want me to do other things for them, but they aren’t the focus that I know I need to stay on.

This year, I did do some of the things that were my focus but there were many other things that caused me to go off my path. And it meant that so many of my things got watered down and really did not get started well.

This year, I have resigned from one of my 9 year contracts. I knew it was the right time. And I have already said ‘no’ to some things that people said ‘Oh Linda, shall we consider partnering with xxx?’ And my answer is ‘no’.

And what happened? Already I’ve got a few young people to mentor (the millenials are the key group that I will still be part of), getting a film crew that is already a possibility, writing my next book and working on my wellness advocate business which I have found so many to be wellbeing.

I’m going to write more about slowing down. But this is just a start.

I hear more and more people talking about slowing down. De-cluttering. And making sure that life is not just on the internet but that there are many great times to catch up with people for fun, for dreams and for making sure we are doing what we know is our plan and not letting others take us off the path.

And yes, slowing down does not mean that you have to skimp on things or not get things you love. But it is about making sure what you do get is what you know is fun for you, fully enjoying it and not just getting it because it means more material things for you that people admire.

What will you do differently in 2018 to be sure that you are on the path you know is the one that has been given to you.

 

 

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Honoring my mother

For many of us, our Moms are not here any longer. My mother passed away 19 years ago and I still miss her and am so grateful for all that she taught me, let me do and fully support all I did.

I wrote this message to give at her celebration of life in 1998. I was not able to be there but someone did read it at the service.

I want to write it here as a continued thank you and honor of my Mom who had many challenges but never complained and was always so positive even in the midst of a terrible long term illness.

And I send my very best wishes to others of you who no longer have your Mom with you.

Dear Mom

At last you are at peace. You suffered greatly, but never complained. You seemed to accept and rise to whatever came your way. Not just in the horrible illness you endure but in many situations throughout your life.

As a mother, you made the ultimate sacrifice: you freely encouraged my sister and I to pursue the paths that we felt were right for us even though it meant that you had no children or granchildren living near you and an oldest daughter half way around the world.

You always told us what mattered most to you was that we were happy. No guilt, no pressure, no criticism. Just ongoing acceptance and support of whatever we chose, even if it would not have been your first choice for us. Even in the thick of your long term serious illness (which later made you not able to talk clearly) and widowhood, phone calls from you would always focus on how our family was doing. Never a complaint about your declining health, loneliness and isolation-we actually had to push pretty hard to get you to talk about it at all! That type of selfless love is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child. Especially when it is given in a time of need as great as the one you were going through.

So many things I did with my daughters while they were growing up are because of what you taught me through word and example in my ‘growing up years’. Table manners, aversion to gossip, looking for the good in others and thousands of other things remind me of childhood lessons you taught me for which I am grateful.

Significant and trivial memories have flooded my mind over the past week. The silly things like calling you from various parts of the world asking if you thought a roast that was a week old was still good or how should I cook it? Or more serious things like supporting me as a 12 year old having an idea of inventing a board game by helping me write the letter to Parker Brothers about it it, never once suggesting it was unrealistic. The strong message that and other situations gave me was: you can do anything you want to if you believe in yourself and put some effort into it.

What a difference that has made in my life

I cherish the fact that you came to Australia for the birth of my two daughters and I will never forget the sacrifice and courage that it took for you to fly to Australia from the US alone and coming to see us a few years later in spite of your ill health and bad days. All of those memories are precious to me and inspire me to live a life worthy of my daughters being willing (as you did) to move well out of my comfort zone to support them if necessary.

Of course some of my most treasured memories will always be in July (1998) spending the last few weeks of your life with you when I went back to the US. In the midst of being stripped of all but your ability to move, you still were able to crack a smile at my silly antics and teasing.

You participated in life with every ounce of energy and capability you had, right up til the end. You left this earth in triumph. Life tried to rob you of everything but you held strongly to the two things it could not take unless you surrendered them: dignity and faith.

Your dignity came not from your physical being, but from your attitude and response to life. A fact that I observed as a child, a teen, as a young adult, and a middle aged woman.

Petty people, caustic relatives, a daughter moving half way around the world, the worst curse of ill health you could imagine and widowhood were never able to reduce you to bitterness, retaliation or self pity. You rose above all of them year after year with grace and dignity; not ever surrendering to their relentless pursuit of tearing you down. Even when you could not speak, write, or eat normally, the message that your life and attitude communicated was louder than any words could have.

Your body gave up, but your spirit, positive determination and faith to go on were as strong as ever right to the end.

Mom I will miss you so much. Word can not express my gratitude for the tapestry of treasured memories, lessons, challenges and inspirations that will be reflected in my life because of you.

All my love

Linda

On March 27, 2015 (the day of Mom’s birthday) I held a book launch at our house for the book I just published. I know she would have loved the book.

Mom  I think of you at least 3 or 4 times a week still 19 years later and still miss you and am so grateful for your wisdom and positive spirit.

 

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What? Work harder doesn’t always lead to success?

Working harder does not necessarily lead to your success.

Now don’t get me wrong. We need to put in high quality work and sometimes that does mean long hours, hard work and pushing through even when fatigued.

But what I’ve found when I’ve coached many entrepreneurs, managers in organisations, staff wanting to get ahead and even volunteers- is that they often work harder and harder and wonder why others-who often are not as skilled as they are-get the opportunity. Or the promotion. Or the chance to attend or speak at a conference.

And why is that?

Often because those who get ahead are on LinkedIn. They take time to keep their profiles and a positive work history up to date. And when they change focus they adapt the profile to what currently lines up with who they want to connect with. Or clients or collaborations they would like to attract.

In today’s world we must take time to first, get on-line and secondly pay attention to our on-line profile, posts, comments and community building.

I even go as far to say it doesn’t matter if you are just a local florist. A local graphic artist. A senior manager or employee in any size public or private organisation. Or an entrepreneur who works out of a brick and mortar building or mainly on line. You must have an up to date presence on-line.

Why?

Because you never know how a global presence may present itself.

I have lost count of the number of people who have been approached on LinkedIn to be interviewed for a role in a country they always wanted to move to. Or approached for a perfect job in their own city. Or given an opportunity to speak at a conference. Or write an article. Or moving to a country or interstate that they’ve noticed a local graphic artist on LinkedIn whose profile is a great match with what they want and contact them to do business with them.

It is obviously just one spoke in the wheel of getting noticed but I am amazed at the number of people who either don’t keep their profiles up to date, or only have 2 connections and a work history that starts at 3 years ago. This can be more damaging than just staying off the platform.

So where do you begin?

  • Check your profile and be sure it is up to date and written in the tone that attracts the right people.
  • Review your work history and if you are moving into a new direction, think about aspects of your former work history that may have some aspect of skills or tasks that are now what you want to do full time.
  • Join relevant groups in LinkedIn that have people you want to connect with more. Make contributions in the group which demonstrate your knowledge and in some cases thought leadership.
  • Write supportive comments to people aligned with your direction.
  • Write occasional articles to post on LinkedIn to again give people some valuable information that will help them.
  • If you aren’t on LinkedIn start writing a brief profile summary and work history and think about others you want to connect with and invite them to connect.

And most importantly be authentic and true to yourself in what you write in your history, your profile and your comments.

Sound like a lot of pressure? This actually can be done fairly quickly and present yourself in a way that makes you shine authentically. Adaire Palmer and I are running a workshop in Adelaide on Saturday January 22nd to give you tips and strategies for Facebook and LinkedIn that will have you leave with easy tools to either get started or uplevel how you can get noticed even better on these platforms.

Want more info? Click on the It’s Our Time Workshop link.

As I often say to clients and students I teach in grad school you’ve got to Get noticed for the right reasons in the right way by the right people. You don’t want to be invisible. And you don’t want to be pushy. You want to build a community and let people know what you have to offer. We need you and your work!

If you want your LinkedIn profile reviewed, updated and edited or written, email me at linda@lindachaousis.com  As a writer and coach I help people get noticed in an authentic way and I have a special offer for Jan and Feb.

And here’s to everyone’s success in 2017!

Linda Chaousis

Author | Mentor | Educator | Wellness Advocate

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