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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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Suck the marrow out of every moment

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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.

As I sat in traffic, I pulled out my smartphone to take a photo.

No, I’ll wait til I get home and take the shot with my Canon DSLR to get the most amazing shot of this palette of colour filling the sky. I couldn’t wait. I put the phone back on the seat.

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.

From now on, I will certainly make the most of the tools and opportunities I have at the moment-just like my smartphone-making the most of them until I have access to the ‘bigger and better’ things – like my Canon.

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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Arguing on behalf of your weaknesses

You’re invited to do something a bit beyond your comfort zone. Run a workshop. Speak at a networking event. Apply for a promotional role. Write a guest post on a blog. Play the piano at your nieces’s graduation. Or whatever it is that both terrifies and excites you at the same time.

What’s your first response to the invitation?

Has it ever been something like this? ‘Are you joking? Me? I’d never be good enough for that. I’d totally blow it and be an embarrasment to all of us.’

And then have you ever continued arguing on behalf of your weaknesses with a monologue of all the reasons why you’d be such a bad choice for the task?

You may not have confidence in your ability to do whatever has been suggested, but the person who proposed it, obviously saw some potential in you. Argue on behalf of your weaknesses long enough and others will see you only through your weaknesses and not the strengths that led them to extend the invitation in the first place.

People who regularly respond with attention-seeking false humility,  victim-mode  or ‘fishing for compliments’ critiques of themselves often find opportunities diminishing. They send out draining energy that screams ‘make me feel good about myself, tell me I’m good, I need to be propped up.’ They become known for being high maintenance, loaded with baggage and time wasters. Few people will stick around to be their baggage handlers!

Alternatively, responding with phrases like: ‘It sounds great. Been dying for that opportunity. I haven’t had a lot of experience in that area so my confidence is a bit shaky. What do you think I’d be able to bring to the job/gig/role etc.?’  express enthusiasm, interest and a confident, honest concern about your abilities. A vibe that says ‘I’d like to discuss this and see if there are ways I can fill the gaps-and I’ll take responsibility for them.’

The next time you’re approached about doing something beyond your comfort zone that terrifies and excites you at the same time- consider the following before letting those seeds of doubt take root:

  • Think first about the unique strengths and skills you can bring to the situation.
  • Ask yourself if part of your lack of confidence comes from fear of failure.
  • If you do ‘fail’ what is the worst that can happen? (hint: usually never as bad as we fear)
  • Honestly asses your perceived ability gaps. Are they critical to the success of the role?
  • Are you being too much of a perfectionist or are your concerns legitimate?

It’s not easy to find that elusive balance between humility, confidence and an honest assessment of your abilities. It takes practice and a bit of trial and error. Once you’ve mastered the art of doing this in a way that is true to you and your personality, you’ll find it comes naturally.

‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ Neale Donald Walsh

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Waiting for the invitation that will never come?

adorable-15949_640You’re in a meeting. You know for the sake of your profile and reputation, you should make a contribution – you know, actually say something.

Problem is, no one stops long enough for you to get a word in. You may be like me, a cut to the chase person. Frustration grows as people keep repeating the same point -some probably just to hear their own voices. You continue in your silence vowing not to add to the time-wasting digression.

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4 words to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

iStock_000007759982XSmallIt’s mid February already! How are your new year’s resolutions (or whatever you call them) going? For many of us this is the time of year when motivation starts to fade. Sometimes we just slip back in to old ways. We interpret setbacks as failures rather than opportunities for continuous improvement.

What happened to the fire that burned in our belly as the calendar ticked over to January 1st?

If this sounds familiar, consider this: think of what you’ve focussed on. Is it what you are giving up? What you are depriving yourself of? What you are sacrificing? Or is it the anticipation of the feeling of achieving your goal?

Psychologists tell us when we focus on what we leave behind with little thought of what we are moving to, it is easy to be overwhelmed by a feeling of deprivation.

We give ourselves inner motivation to keep going if we imagine how it will feel when progress toward our goal opens new doors, ushers in improved health, higher self-esteem, an improved reputation or whatever it is we are aiming for.

As temptation knocks on your door-or leans on your doorbell!- beckoning you to give up or give in, before you answer the door and invite temptation in, ask yourself will this serve me?

It may be the temptation to skip exercise or eat food that will set your progress back, or say ‘yes’ to people and commitments that you know are energy drainers you are not called to accommodate. Whatever it is, instead of ‘shoulding’ all over yourself, ask does this serve me? and you’ve changed the decision from a deprivation or guilt inducing decision to a decision and choice of self care.

And remember a little indulgence here and there is good for the soul! Enjoy it and then get back to those new habits that serve you.

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What if money was no object?

Okay, so you’ve decided to end a season and know what you need to walk away from. Time to plan what will be part of the new season. The video What if money was no object? asks some important questions about the perpetual treadmill many of us stay on when we’d really rather be doing something else. Or at the very least, would like to have time to do that ‘something else’ in our outside of work time.

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