Life is Hard

by Heather Markel

complainWe say life is tough. But it seems like we find difficulty even when things are simpler….

  • Before Alexander Graham Bell, you could only talk to people within shouting distance.  Now, you can speak to virtually anyone, anywhere, any time.  (But we still shout!)
  • Our medicine system has improved tremendously.
  • People used to farm off the earth and now we have supermarkets.
  • There used to be nothing to do but talk and eventually perhaps paint and now we can watch TV and go to the movies.
  • We’ve wiped out boredom with the iPhone.
  • If you were a fashion conscious woman, you had to tie a corset around yourself, and nowadays you can wear anything you like, and if you don’t see it, you can probably create it.
  • We used to barter and now we have cash and credit cards.
  • Traveling used to involve your feet walking one in front of the other and now we have cars and boots and trains and planes.

Life hasn’t gotten more difficult, we have simply maintained our thought process of believing life is tough, no matter what happens.  Rather than focusing on the simplicity we’ve created, we instead find comfort in complaining about the hardships we face.

Cell phones mean we can be reachable any where, any time, so we end up working more.  (Life is tough.)

We notice that planes and trains are always delayed (life is tough) rather than appreciating that we can spend time with dear friends and family no matter where on earth they are.

We find boredom in the fact that we have over 200 channels on cable TV, but nothing interests us.

We blame the creation of credit cards for causing us to spend beyond our means, as if that is the fault of the rectangular piece of plastic.

So, it seems that the issue is not that life is difficult, but, rather, we focus on the difficulties life presents to us as justification to call life a tough thing.  Perhaps, instead, with each advancing technology, new idea, new storm…..we could try to direct our thoughts to how much easier we have it now in many ways, and that, in turn, might allow us to appreciate what we have just a little bit more.

The Miracle Question That Can Change Your Future

By Kristin Davin

Stuck in cement.

That’s how people feel when they are immobilized with indecision, lacking focus and clarity often preventing them from taking steps to making changes. It is here that their frustration lies in feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

Stuck in the past and unable to make changes in the present, leads to difficulty creating a different future – a future more aligned to where they want to be.

Why is this? Often its because we continue to use the same technique or strategy for all of life’s problems – mainly because it worked in the past – despite its current ineffectiveness in the present. Think, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” No wonder people feel stuck. One tool. One strategy. Few options.

What to do? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create a new path but simply ask yourself The Miracle Question.

What is The Miracle Question? Its simple.

If you can visualize it, you can create it.

Suppose tonight while you’re asleep, a miracle happens and when you wake up in the morning the problem(s) you are experiencing have suddenly disappeared. How would you know that a miracle had happened? What would be different? What would you be doing, thinking, or believing differently about yourself that would indicate that a miracle occurred?

The great thing about this question is that it allows you to imagine how your life would be if something miraculous occurred. What would your life look like if a miracle occurred? What exactly do you want for yourself?

Its not just about asking yourself the question but more importantly answering the question that is necessary. An inherent component in Solution Focused Therapy, the Miracle Question springboards you from the present to the future, with less focus on the past. I ask my clients to look into the future and then take this visual picture and work backwards with short and long term goals. This helps people visualize their future, what it could look through the creation of short and long term goals mined with a clear focus and direction.

Regardless of where you are in your life or what you are doing, you can ask yourself the question. I take this approach with my patients, in couples counseling, with marriages on the brink, and as a Divorce Mediator. With myself. I use it because it works.

Its about forward thinking and building momentum to create your ideal future.

So, ask yourself the question. Create your own miracle and embark on a new path to the future.

Be the change you need to be in your life.

Becoming a Winner

In our lives we are often challenged, such as when we are forced to step outside our comfort zone or confront the unexpected. When this happens, we feel anxious and often hear that voice: “I am not good enough,” “I am going to fail,” “What’s the point,” “I am lost,” or, [fill in your own words here]! In our daily lives these stumbling blocks can appear at any moment, they trip us up and cause us to doubt ourselves. These stumbling blocks can include something as basic as what to wear on a date, to your first day at a new job, to pressing family issues.

Now think about a winner: how does that person behave, what does that person’s body language say to us, how can he or she exude such confidence? Do you think that winners were just born lucky or do you think that they learned these skills? When we see winners, we are inspired. Somehow, as if by magic, they reach out and touch our hearts and minds. We want to be like them, and perhaps, we are even a little jealous of them. Because they have something we don’t ……. confidence!

 

Of course, part of a winner’s confidence comes from experience and talents, but, without a strong belief in herself or himself, a winner could not be a winner. Another vital part of a winner’s confidence is self-efficacy, that is: “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments.” (Albert Bandura.) In other words, in order to be confident, you must understand how well you can do something.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bandura

So, how can we bridge the gap between wanting to be confident and being truly confident? It is very basic: you have to think and act like a winner. Here are a few pointers to start your journey:

  • Mindset: believe you have what it takes to achieve your goals and tell yourself you can achieve your goals, and you will.
  • Body Language: be aware of what your body tells those around you, look people in the eye, stand tall and smile. Make sure that the tone and strength of your voice communicates that you are a winner.

Check this out…

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

 

  • Physical Balance: look after your body, make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthfully, and exercise appropriately. Remember to enjoy everything in balance and moderation.
  • Set Intentions: give yourself specific and measurable goals to be accomplished within a set time. Again, remember to make sure those goals are achievable: use your self-efficacy to know what is realistic.
  • Be a Winner: mix with winning people who have achieved the goals to which you aspire. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will work alongside you and share your vision.

Every one of us has concerns that erode our confidence and make it hard to break out of the downward spiral of doubt, concern and isolation. At Connect 2 Coach, our expert coaches provide the knowledge, insight, and support to help you transform into the winner you want to be, without losing sight of your inner self.

 

These pointers are enough to enable you to start planning your journey to gaining the confidence you desire. Now you must take the first step on that journey and join us at C2C hub events. Together we will find your way to success. Building confidence takes practice and perseverance. Working with our expert coaches is the best way to succeed. Now you are truly on the path to becoming more than you already are!

Creating Balance in Your Life

The Balance Beam of life is simply a Pie Chart

“Get in control of your daily experience”

We are our worst enemy when it comes to finding balance in our lives. We make commitments and don’t keep them, make up excuses for why we can’t get to the gym, do what comes easy and simply get lazy about challenging ourselves to reach our highest potential. Your coach will be your highest accountability partner, will help you can set attainable goals and guide you on your path to achieving goals you set together. If you succeed, we as coaches succeed. We all get to feel proud about our new empowered lifestyle just from creating a new set of personal laws you are excited to live by. We call personal laws, The Ten Commandments of YOU! Do you trust your gut and honor it? Do you show up to meetings with optimism, positive energy and a sense of humor? Do you make your body a priority? Do you make promises and keep them…to yourself and others? Do you listen and let others know they are being heard? These are some of the questions once answered show just how out of alignment we are and ultimately flat out on the mat instead of on the beam.

Creating balance in your personal and professional life is a tall order and one of the simplest ways we approach this is to define a pie chart for your week. Just by clearly defining how you are going to spend the two-thirds of your day, week, year, Life, that you are awake and breathing is going to become your mantra. One-third of your pie chart is spent sleeping so let’s take that out of the equation. Sleep is critical in supporting your daily attitude, performance, clarity and energy. No human can thrive on diminishing returns so make that a priority. How you prioritize is your choice and how you live by your choices will help you create balance in your daily life.

You’ve got two-thirds left so what’s it going to be? Family, work, Physical health and exercise, social and recreation which includes dating if you’re single, personal time such as meditation, shopping, or whatever you like to do by yourself, hobbies, Community, spirituality or religion and so on, Let’s not forget building in to our chart; daily travel to and from work, weekly or monthly attention to finances, and quality time with your spouse, if you have one. And drilling down on the time it takes to make breakfast, prepare the kids lunch, cook dinner when you get home and down time. There just isn’t more time than we are given so be realistic about what we can accomplish in any given day so you can start to create some balance that satisfies your priorities.

The old story you’ve been telling yourself of, “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!” has now shifted in to “Balance is my life and time is my asset!

I Have to Take Care of Everyone Else’s Needs

by Heather Markel

Today’s lie of the day is one of those thoughts and actions you may not realize you are exhibiting in your every day life!  Surely, you don’t walk around thinking this to yourself, but many of you (and me, too, on occasion!) are behaving in a way that you are valuing other people’s needs above your own.  Some of you, reading this, are probably thinking, “Of course I put other people’s needs ahead of my own.  If I didn’t, I’d be selfish, and that’s the last thing I want to be in my life!”

Well, as it turns out, much of the time, when you put other people ahead of you, you end up exhausting yourself, saying yes, when you would rather say no, and over-extending yourself.  The result?  You are tired, cranky, and blame everyone else for your state of mind and body.  You think you weren’t selfish, but instead, you were a pain in the ass, and upset everyone, most of all, yourself!  And to think, you could have said no, let everyone else deal with their reaction, and been a happy camper!

Let me give you a fun example of how this sabotaging process impacted me.  About 10 years ago, I used to get my eyebrows waxed at a salon in Manhattan on West 57th Street.  I had an excellent aesthetician, and was very happy with the results.  One day, I showed up for my appointment and was greeted by the salon owner.  She seemed stressed, and upset.  Apparently, her staff had quit, she was overworked, and asked me to bear with her, and to please stay.

Did I once think,

“She should have called to tell me what happened, and given me the option to cancel my appointment.”

or

“She seems really stressed out, I think I should leave.”

No!

Instead, I thought, “Poor salon owner.  I feel so badly that she is stressed and on her own running the show.  That must be awful.  I can’t leave now, she would be so upset if I did.  Even though my gut is churning, I need to stay here so that I don’t insult her.”

!!!???!!!

Do you see how this is the same thing, basically, as saying “I need to take care of her”?  And, yet, she was not even family or a friend, I was paying her for a service!

Guess what happened?  She got a little careless with the wax, and took off about half my eyebrows.  It was the worst brow job I ever had.  I stopped getting my brows done for 10 years.  The hair never grew back….(until this year, happily, when I braved a new brow person who uses tweezers instead of wax!!)

And yet, I paid her for the job.  I never went back, but boy was I cranky, upset, and blaming her for a lousy job for weeks and months afterwards.  This was before Social Media, so I had to verbally tell everyone the story, over and over again, to make sure no one else got their brows massacred! And, of course, all the drama kept me angry and feeling like a victim every time I told the story.

Until we learn to take care of our own needs, and separate them from the impact they have on other people, we end up stuck in a loop that ultimately exhausts everyone.  Sacrificing what we want and need to save someone else from being hurt or angry keeps us from being fully happy, and, ultimately, keeps them from being happy, too, since no one’s needs are being met.

So, as your call to action, practice honoring your own needs and finding your personal version of respectful ways to say no when you mean no.  Allow and honor other people’s reactions to your shift in focus, and learn to separate their judgment from your needs.

How to Choose the Right Coach for You

Both professional and amateur sports teams share a common need for one thing: an exceptional coach who is a true leader. Any team with the right leader who can strategize, can come up with the ideal play for that specific moment, and also brings out the best in each member of the team will be a team of winners. No matter what sport or what level of sport you play; to succeed, you need a coach that brings out the best in you.

Our life can mirror a basketball or football game. You hustle from Point A to Point B, you have goals and you need the right strategies and techniques to reach those goals. But, before you can reach your goals, you have to face the obstacles. Just like sports, in life, you need someone on your team to support, motivate, provide the “perfect play” for you to be able to overcome life’s obstacles, and make sure you “play” your best to help you achieve your life goals.

What is a Coach?

  • A coach helps you to clearly define your life goals.
  • A coach helps you recognize whatever is holding you back from achieving your goals.
  • A coach helps you achieve your goals by providing support, encouragement, suggestions, new ideas, and by keeping you accountable on your path to success.

Choosing the right coach is not easy, however it is of utmost importance. When choosing the right coach for you, there are a number of critical factors to consider.

  • Qualifications

Ask yourself this: Would you hire a lawyer with no formal training in law school, but says they gives excellent advice to their friends? Just because someone calls themself a life coach it does not mean they are certified by an accredited body. Coaching certification is one of the most important things to look for because coaching is not just a hobby; it is a profession. It is a real profession that requires a solid training foundation, a very specific set of skills, and a rigorous code of standards that are only taught in qualified institutions. Although life experiences can and should play a role in coaching; experience and training without studying at an accredited school is just not enough. Coaching certification requires hundreds of hours of classroom instruction and intense live training to ensure that the needs of clients and the requirements of the International Coaching Federation are met. The ICF is the organization that creates and oversees the international standards for professional coaching training, ethics, and practices. The ICF also gives accreditations to coach training schools and institutions, as such it is the globally recognized “Gold Standard” of the coaching profession.

  • Recommendations

An exceptional track record is always a good sign. A capable and effective coach will always have satisfied clients who can give a great endorsement and have had significant shifts in their own lives. Do the work, reach out to a prospective coach’s previous clients and as some searching questions before you make any commitments.

  • Connection

No matter how “right” a particular coach is for their existing clients it doesn’t mean that they will be an ideal fit for you. Before choosing a coach, ask yourself what the issues are with which you need help. If you can be explicit and clear about your goals you will find that it is easier to select a personal coach that understands and can help you with these specific issues. A personal connection with a coach is essential to a good working relationship. The best way to find out if a coach is a good fit for you, speak directly with them, if possible ask for a trial session. Nothing is more important that feeling comfortable enough with your coach that you can trust them with your deepest feelings.

Choosing a coach is never an easy task but, once you have chosen the right coach, you can expect outstanding results. You will be able to rely on your coach and forge a dynamic team that will enable you to; identify your true life’s goals, develop strategies for dealing with the obstacles, reach your goals while improve the quality of your life, personal and professional.

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