Wednesday, 30 September 2009

"I should have done it ages ago"

"Just had the most amazing weekend retreat with Alison. I never imagined that I would find my paddle in a weekend. It has exceeded my expectations. I am so excited that I can’t wait to get home and start.

As a business person applying the model to my work and personal life worked brilliantly and I have come away with a clear plan. It was so constructive, and the walks, talks and sharing the emotion in such a lovely setting with great views made it a weekend I will treasure and should have done ages ago.

Kathleen Findlay
HR Consultant and bereavement councillor"

What should you have done ages ago that could make as much as an impact on your life? My latest newsletter invites us all to shine. So today's call for action is to identify what you've been promising yourself you will do so you can get out there and shine and do it? If you also let me or someone know what it is we can also hold you accountable for taking the action.

I don't want to do it on my own

"I don't want to do it on my own" has been a comment made in many coaching sessions recently. The answer is of course we don't have to. But we often soldier on and think others will either notice and offer help or think they are too busy, wouldn't want to help or provide some other reason for them not helping. Often we just have to ask - they're not mind readers after all.

So what do you need help with today? Who could help? When will you ask them?

And what do I need help with? I'm currently in the final throws of completing my forthcoming ebooklet "Help - I'm up the creek without a paddle - get me out of here". It would help if I could include in the book some statistics on how many people consider themselves up the creek or not. I've put a poll in LinkedIn and would love as many people as possible to respond. Thanks in advance

Thursday, 17 September 2009

What about criteria for success that requires others to not 'like' us?

In order for a personal training session to be effective and meet my health and fitness goals it requires me to be pushed outside my comfort zone. So in order for my personal trainer to do his job well it's likely that there will be times when I tell him I don't like him and certainly don't like what he's asking/telling me to do. He wouldn't be doing his job if he spent the whole session avoiding me having this reaction.

It's the same with my coaching. There are times when words said really hit home. People have different reactions to this and sometimes that might be words directed at me and certainly energy. Energy that isn't always very positive. If I wanted to avoid this happening I'd have to hold back from saying the very words that would help my client achieve their goals and release what's holding them back.

In both instances Gavin and I are not choosing to say what we do because of our ego but out of care for the other. Our intention is to resolve and improve the situation.

Today's call for action is for you to think of those situations where you're holding back for fear of upsetting someone and decide what action to take and take it.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

and sometimes you can do better than your best!

I knew something would come up in my personal training session! I was reminded by Gavin that sometimes what I think is my best and what I am truly able to achieve are not the same. He reminded me of all the times when I surpassed my own self imposed expectations of myself.

mmm one to think about!

I also find targets re time useful too - if I don't know how much longer I need to hold the plank I'll certainly give up loads earlier than if I know I've only got to hold on for another 10 seconds!

"Winning to me means not giving up" Patrick Swayze

I had reason to question what winning or succeeding meant to me this week. I believed I was being asked to see success as other's being satisfied with my performance rather than me having done my best. Having achieved a target in advance of the deadline I was being asked not to up the target for fear of us not achieving the new target and being seen by others to fail. In my eyes having achieved the first target we'd won/succeeded anything else we did was a bonus. So I agree with Patrick's words about not giving up - even if we don't always succeed in the eyes of others.

It reminded me of my trip to Australia a few years ago. I went to see an Aussie rules football game at Melbourne. The first half was fantastic with a lot of movement and a great game to watch. The second half was dire! Why? Because one team started to play to win rather than play good football. They became very defensive, stopped passing the ball and didn't seem to want to try to score just keep the ball away from their opponents. I'm sure playing their best would still have had the same result and made for much better game and they'd have enjoyed it too.

So today's call for action - is to stop worrying about other's opinions, don't give up and do your best. You never know you and they might just be surprised with the result.

Although with personal training coming up I'm a little worried about what I will be required to do to practice rather preach today's call for action? Not 16 sets of stairs pleeesssse. :-)

Friday, 11 September 2009

Time to take your foot off the pedal or push it to the floor?

For the last 6 months it's been one thing after another giving me a reason for not pushing myself aerobically during my regular personal training sessions. Knee and then a twisted ankle etc. Although we have done a lot more weights, stretching and recently more boxing :-).

This week Gavin, my personal trainer, timed me running up and down the stairs for the first time in ages. With 6 months in the abyss I thought I'd have a big job to even get to where I had been a year ago.

Surprise surprise I beat my best time!!!!!!!!!!!

I just stood there and looked at him as the realisation dawned that life is just the same. Sometimes we just need a change of pace, to take the foot off the pedal and to coast a little. When we're ready we can come back even stronger for the rest!

So don't worry if it's time to take your foot off the pedal. Know when the time is right all your current awareness, skills and uniqueness will still be there waiting for you.

Of course for some off us it's now time to rev the engine, push our foot to the floor and see where life takes us. Anyone want a lift?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

You can never be too authentic

I am proud to say I will be representing Scotland in the Professional Speakers Association xfactor :-) in London in November as a result of winning the heat last night. Which I'm very excited about.

Some of the feedback included how uncomfortable some businesses audiences might have been about the level of disclosure in a personal story - ie too much emotion.

Over a celebrationary drink after I realised that by not sharing as much of the story as I could the audience hadn't been as able to identify with it. So many had just felt it was me bearing all with no relevance to them. Had I gone into the story more and shared the impact on my work and life rather than just stay at the emotional level I'd have engaged them completely.

So rather than pull back from sharing with people tell your story deeper so others can really understand how it relates to them.

Monday, 7 September 2009

You, your audience and your message

I've 3 presentations to do this week and I've been working on all of them today.

I'm a business adviser for Young Enterprise at the local school and I've been asked to share presentation tips at a YE masterclass tomorrow. The 2nd presentation is for the Professional Speakers Association X-Factor on Wednesday and is entitled 'when you're up the creek without a paddle'. The 3rd is for a charity Ceilidh we've organised here in Edinburgh on Saturday and is about why we'll be in a sleeping bag for the night in Holyrood Park on 2nd October!

The key message throughout has been about remembering who my audience is and what message I want to convey. When I was practicing for the X-factor I realised, with Amy my coach's input, that I'd forgot about the 3rd factor - me. I'd got caught up in the content and structure of the presentation and had forgotten what makes me light up. If I can't tell the story in a way that connects with my passion it doesn't really matter what message I have nor who my audience is.

So my call for action today is to allow more of you to be seen by others in your communication with them. You never know what will happen!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Make your writing dreams a reality

It seems there are a number of us who have aspirations for writing a book. Not just aspirations but we've even written them or at least 50% complete? There are many reasons why we've not completed them but one recurring reason seems to be "who'd want to read what I've written - it's just a silly dream I have."

Every person who has ever published a book will have gotten over this stage and my call to action today is for us all to get over the excuses and share with the world our unique gifts. Granted not everyone might share in the wonder of the words but just like blogs and newsletters we will be making a difference to someone and that's what counts.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Life on hold?

I often hear people say that they'll be OK when they've released this unhelpful pattern, been on that diet, when they've changed relationship or job or been on this workshop or seen that guru. It's as if there's a gap between where they are and where they want to be and life will be perfect at some point in the future but not now.

I think it's easy for us to use these reasons as excuses to not take the actions we know we want to take in the world. We'll take action once we've reached our ideal. In other words we'll start making a difference in the world in 6 months time. The only problem is that 'in 6 months time' is never now!

We put our life on hold and find pleasant distractions to keep us amused.

My call for action today is to accept your unique skills and realise you are perfect exactly as you are and would continue to be even if you never changed.

From this place of acceptance take personal responsibility for taking action - and yes you may choose to go back to bed and do nothing but you equally might decide to apply for that job. Either way you wont be using those excuses as reasons not to get on with your life.