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Linda Chaousis Posts

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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Silence is not always golden

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It’s amazing how quickly something exciting and fun can change in an instant.

I went to the airport to pick up my daughter and her husband. I love airports so that is always fun anyway. And picking up my daughter and her husband was even more fun. And as I waited in the security line most of the people ahead of me had Emirates tags which meant they were headed for Dubai. I just loved seeing all those Emirates tags knowing one day I would be back to my beloved Middle East.

So it was all good.

The security conveyer belt had been halted so we kind of got backed up. In front of me was an adorable Indian family with two adorable children who were trying to put their own bags on the conveyer belt and they were kind of crowded around as the family stayed together. I admired them and the adorable daughter who the mother said was in her gold princess gown even though they were about to have a 14 hour flight. She wanted to wear her princess gown. She looked adorable and you could see she loved wearing it.

So it was such a happy and wonderful time.

And then one comment totally changed my inner emotions.

Behind me an older couple said (about me and the family in front of me) ‘People keep pushing in the line and that’s not right.’ And then the lady put her carry on bag behind the family’s baggage so I had no room to put my handbag on the conveyer belt. When I put it there she tried to push her luggage into my handbag.

This made me so angry and it changed my internal thinking for the rest of the time at the airport. There was a small flicker of being pissed off as I excitedly waited to meet my daughter and her husband.

So what was that about? Why did it make me so angry? Why could I just not let it go?

And then I realised something. I think it was a lesson I needed to learn. Others would have just dismissed the comment. But you see, I think God/Universe was teaching me something. And that is that I need to speak up more. State my case. And not just be silent to keep the peace.

Now of course this is not about every little thing that happens.

Most things I do just let go. And most of the time I am actually a genuine encourager of others and love doing it.

But tonight it was a different lesson. It was about all those times I just let people get away with judgements that aren’t correct.

Again, this is not an always thing.

Most times I just let things go, but tonight it was a lesson.

I realised I should have said to them (because it made me so angry and they were actually the ones pushing) ‘We have all been in this line from the beginning and you are the one who pushed in so I could not put my bag on.’

Some of you may think ‘Gee Linda, you are so petty.’ But I think it was God/Universe telling me at times I needed to speak up more and respect what I was doing. It was a stupid scenario in some ways, but for me it was a lesson to me to remember to be more assertive (politely but direct) so people know where I stand in some situations.

What about you? What are some of the lessons you learn in the most simple situations that others don’t even give a second thought to. But you know somehow you are being given a lesson to help you grow more and step more into who you really are.

Be true to yourself. Listen to those nudges. And take on board those lessons. Even if everyone else says ‘Really? You find that frustrating?’ Because for you, it is an opportunity to take one step further to the real you.

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What filter do you use for your world?

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Recently I was at a pot luck dinner. The conversation at the table was great. I got to know those around me a bit more and found their lives so interesting.

We had lots of laughs and it was such a great example of participating in a great local community.

We all saw life through a very positive filter -not stupid positive like ‘oh the house is burning down but it is warm’ kind of positive- but one that focuses first on what is working and what is good.

And what we focus on expands so often if we look first to what is working we find some of the negative stuff just fades and we find more and more to be grateful for.

Good stuff, right?

In the middle of the meal, one person moved to be in our conversation and my oh my, what a black filter he had on life.

He complained about the GFC. How awful it was and how it had been brewing for years to return. And how bad was that going to be!

Oh and those dangerous neighbourhoods in Melbourne where he lived for 8 years were awful. He made sure he did not drive through those areas day or night.

And Adelaide was not much different. Depressed economy and lots of people struggling and the same in Melbourne. Not good places to live.

WHAT? Really?

Now all those facts may be true, but by focussing on them, you could feel the negative energy consume our table.

It’s not that we dismiss the negative things but we first look at what is good, what is working and enjoy all those things first. This is not some hocus pocus. We are energy and surrounded by energy so what our thoughts and emotions regularly go out as is what we attract back to us.

Yes, there are issues.

Yes there are problems.

And yes there are some people in very difficult situations that we need to help if we can.

But using a regular filter of negativity just takes ‘pictures’ of negative stuff and the more we use that negative filter the more we take more of those photos and spread more negative energy to our lives and others. How’s that helping anyone?

If we have a filter that looks at the strengths and the good things first, we find we get more and more pictures of that which keeps things in perspective.

As we have that mindset we are in a much better position to help people who are in tough situations. While also helping ourselves to get out of challenging situations by first seeing all that is good around us and then working on how to move beyond the challenges.

So what filter do you look through your world with?

Do you start with what is good or do you just always see the negative and become a serial complainer?

Either way is contagious so what filter do you want to have on in your life?

 

 

 

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How will you finish the second half of the year?

Are you where you want to be?

How will you cross the finish line in December?

Will you rock out the year with super success? Or will you feel like you just ‘didn’t get to where you wanted to be.’

Will you have moved to the job you really love or getting closer to it-if you aren’t already in it?

Will you find your client numbers growing if you are in business and find they are just the perfect people for you to work with?

Will you feel that sense of ‘yes, I am making great progress and get more and more clarity about what I want’.

Do you end the day with resilience that allows you to manage stress, unfounded criticism and setbacks?

How about your marketing? Will you be a rockstar at sharing your services or making an impact in the organisation you are working in?

Or will you have some doubts about what you wish you had achieved but just did not know how to do it and wonder how others seem to get it so ‘easily’.

5 AREAS TO ACCELERATE PROGRESS
There are 5 areas that I believe are ones to dig into to either continue with the successes above or find out how to generate those successes.

And these are the ones that I have applied so many times and always find they get me back on track.

Your inner game.  How would you rate your confidence, your fears, your ability to set boundaries, your visualising with positive emotions and taking inspired action which is the first step in moving ahead? Which ones are working and which ones could be improved?

 

Your focus. Do you really know who your clients are? Where they work or live, how you best get in touch with them (not everyone is on social media)? Have you set your income goals-not the ones that everyone tells you you should have-but the ones you want? Do you have laser beam focus on what you really want and desire and don’t let yourself get distracted?

 

Resilience. Are you good at setting boundaries and not letting someone undermine you by saying ‘oh you’ve really changed, you used to just give, give, give to me but now you are more firm.’ Do you have balance in your life and do you put your self care first? That is not a selfish thing it is a self-full thing that will mean that you have a full glass to help others and enjoy life yourself. 
                                 

Marketing with authenticity. Some of us hesitate to market ourselves because we don’t want to look pushy or salesy – we’ve all experienced that from others and it is just YUK! But you’ve got to communicate with potential clients because your services may just be the perfect fit to help them heaps! So how do we do it? Build relationships. Build community. Listen first instead of tell, tell, tell.
                                 

 

 Influence with and without authority.Most people I’ve coached, taught and spoke with do not know all of their ‘bases of influence’ that they already own, can work from and can be so effective. And integrity fuelled. This is true on and off line. I have seen so many miss out on great opportunities or great clients because they don’t realise the influence they already own and can demonstrate or how to use it.

 

 

All of those areas are ones that if done well, will lead you to great success in the way that aligns most with your personality.

And these are all the topics we will cover in the Get Noticed for the Right Reasons by the Right People program. We’ve got you covered!

And believe me, I’ve had the same ups and downs that most of you have-and still do at times! That is normal! It is about looking at the downs and then picturing what you DO want and taking one step in that direction so you will be guided further.

I have worked with numerous clients on all of the above who have had doubts, barriers to moving forward and feel like they aren’t reaching their full potential. And by helping them-and myself!!- apply the 5 areas above they have had great success and have really moved forward.

How can you get noticed in a genuine way?

Imagine getting noticed more and moving ahead with progress that is so exciting. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I have developed (and launching today YAY!) The Get Noticed for the Right Reasons in the Right Way by the Right People program.

It is not a dry ‘read the modules and just post in Facebook’.

Everyone will have

-an hour of individual coaching with me
-a group mentoring session
-a review your LinkedIn profile and give you three tips to improve it to get noticed even better globally
-weekly webinars
-loads of tools (all that I use myself)
-a private Facebook group with resources, interactions and more!
-and it will be fun!

It is fully on line so anywhere in the world you can join us! It is a 6 week course starting August 7th.

Want to know more?

Check out the video to find out more about the program and how it may just help you end December with a big happy dance!
Click here

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Want in?

I’m limiting it to 15 people to be sure everyone gets full attention.

If you think this may be just what will help you finish the final six months with more confidence, influence, ability to market, and really ramp up your inner game, click here to read the information page including how to sign up. It’s going to be a great program!

And I’ve done this stuff for years, refining and refining and know it works-I apply it all to me as well!

All the best to all of you for the remaining six months of the year. Smash out those goals to celebrate in December!

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