Have you ever noticed how some of the simplest questions can actually provide some of the most transformative answers? Here’s one of our favourite questions which we use with great results: “Suppose tonight, while you slept, a miracle occurred. When you awake tomorrow, what would be some of the things you would notice that would tell you life had suddenly gotten better?”
Helping clients to imagine that the miracle has already happened has powerful implications about the clients’ need to do something different. As their reflections begin flowing, they frequently describe improvements in detailed, behavioural terms – and they recognize their own involvement in implementing solutions!
We like to follow up with other questions such as: ” What would be the first thing you would do?”; “What would you have to do so that it would happen more often?”; “What else would you be doing differently?”.
What are some of the questions you could use to jump-start positive changes in your life and work?
The American psychologist James Hillman first proposed the “acorn theory” in his book entitled “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling”. He suggested that every individual already holds their potential inside themselves from birth, just as the acorn already holds the pattern for an oak tree. Each individual’s unique energy becomes actualized through their choices and actions in life once they answer their life calling, much like an acorn turns into an oak tree and matures when it finally blossoms. Without denying the existence of both nature and nurture in human development, let’s look at our own individual achievements, character, and aspirations and ask ourselves: “How am I responding to my inner acorn?”
….. to today!
There is absolutely nothing more threatening to your future potential than spending your present time dwelling on the past. Whatever has happened is now over. Victory or defeat, once the bells struck midnight, the day was done, gone for ever! Every morning you are reborn and who you are each single day is defined by what you do that single day & that single day only. You are not your past. You are only your present & your present actions determine your future.
So, pondering today’s potential, let’s take strength from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Working with a client today I realized yet again that, as women, our self-worth is something that is often underestimated, not by other people but – even worse – by ourselves!
Hiring a professional coach can be the fast track way of getting to the root of this issue, rediscover your true worth and claim back your power. For those of you however who, for some reason, are not in a position to do this here are some great self-coaching questions to ponder:
- When (at what specific situations) do you feel really great?
- What are you good at? What makes you a special person?
- What compliments do you receive from others?
- How will your life be different when you develop higher self-esteem? What will it feel like?
- In which areas would you like to develop self-esteem the most?
- How will you do that? Which skills do you need? Who can help you?
- What is it that you will be able to do/be/have when you have higher self-esteem?
- What is your specific goal in raising your self-esteem? How will you measure it and know for sure when you have reached it?
- What action steps can you take to claim that self-worth which is so rightfully yours?
- Who else will benefit by your stepping into confidence and claiming it for yourself?
Imagine that someone asked you today: “What is your purpose, what is your vision and what are your goals?” Would you be able to answer those questions? For many people, more time is spent planning what to eat for dinner than planning for life. But without a vision, we continue to live the life we have always known; and if our vision isn’t anchored in our purpose then we can easily get lost.
Think of a pyramid of building blocks. At the bottom are our goals which support our vision that is driven by a higher purpose. Simply put, the vision represents what we want to create with our life. The goal represents the various aspects of how we are doing it, and the purpose answers the question “why?”.
So try taking the time today to clarify your own answers to these questions: “What really matters to me? What’s my purpose? What’s the vision? What would I create with my life a year from now if it’s grounded and driven by my purpose and then what steps might I take?”
The Coach Approach is to say “YES” to life: “yes” to all of it!
Don’t you just love that?
Say “yes” right now, this very second.
Shout it out “Yes, yes, yes, and again yes!”
How does that feel? Energized?
Now try this, “No.” “No, no, no, and again no!”
Feel any difference? If you’re like me, “Yes!” has a lightness, a zesty energy and “No!” has a heaviness, shutting down of energy.
Open up to ALL of life. The ups, the downs, the opportunities to let your soul shine.
Embrace it – shout out “Yes!”
Last month at this point in time many of us were putting the finishing touches on our lists for the New Year, focusing upon goal-setting and trying to implement one step at a time. Now by the middle of February, many people are feeling overwhelmed and fatigued, unable to move ahead on their game plans.
So how about shifting perspective and start making “to be” lists before making “to do” lists? Each morning before beginning your daily activities, you can create your to be list and write down what you wish to express throughout the day. You could choose to be organized and efficient, spontaneous, compassionate, daring, reflective … the sky is the limit, and you hold the power to choose whatever is most appropriate for you in your own context.
After you have committed this to paper, next write down on another list what you wish to do as this person. Not only will this practice help you reconnect with your deeper values, but it will also produce positive emotions and renewed energy.
Going towards our highest ideals is key to maintaining motivation and enjoyment along the path in the journey of self-improvement!
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THE ULTIMATE SELF-MASTERY BOOK: How To Figure Out WHAT You Want, GET It, and KEEP It!
An introduction to self-coaching based on the insights
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demystifies elements of both the art and the science of professional
coaching in an accessible manner.
Using a four-quadrant model, the book
provides hands-on tools for creating Inspiration, Implementation,
Integration and Celebration. Topics such as goal-setting, working with
objections, using values as a compass, asking powerful questions, utilizing
the power of language to motivate and keeping alive the sense of new
possibilities are all covered in the book.
The book is intended as a user-friendly manual which can be used
both as an introduction to coaching concepts and practices AND as a handbook
for those wishing to explore these issues more deeply. It includes practical
exercises applicable to many contexts, pictures, diagrams, charts, quotes
and web links for a comprehensive overview of the subject.
He took up running at the age of 89, after loosing his wife & son, to give himself a new focus on life – at the age of 89!
When asked that enticing question about the secret of a long and healthy life he gave 5 pieces of advice:
Mr Singh said: “The secret to a long and healthy life is to be stress-free. Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.”
What would your answer be to your needs for a long and healthy life?