Can You Truly Know What Others Are Thinking?

Someone once said to me, that although you can walk with someone on their journey, you can never truly understand what someone else is thinking or feeling because unless you are them, you are not actually wearing their shoes.

I have taken this quite to heart over the last few years and always carry the thought with me when I am coaching, it’s very easy to think that we know what others are feeling.  However it is only when we create some detachment from our emotions to their situation that we can truly help them by giving them time and space to resolve their own issues.

I have just got back from an amazing weekend of personal development at the Calvert Trust in Cumbria.  The Calvert Trust are set up to support and encourage people with disabilities to tackle outdoor activities.  I tried lots of activities I wouldn’t normally consider such as ghyll scrambling and kayaking, despite being physically able to do them.  Most importantly I spent half a day in a wheel chair.  It was great fun, wheeling around the Calvert Trust after all they are set up for wheel chair users, with lifts wherever you need one and ramps.

Of course, I knew that at any point I could get out of my chair and walk if I couldn’t get where I needed to be and what’s more when I get home to my house with its narrow front door and porch step, or need to nip down the road to the shop that is on a 15% hill, things wouldn’t be quite so easy.

Yes, I believe its given me a greater insight into the difficulties a wheelchair user might experience.  Do I fully understand what it feel like? How could I?

So next time that you have to deal with someone in distress do ask yourself if you fully understand what they’re going through.  The likelihood is that whilst you do have empathy you don’t know for sure.

If you’re facing life’s challenges, coaching can give you the time and space you need to find solutions.  If you want to know if this could help YOU, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what you could achieve.

 Brett Trafford Photography-4copyright brett trafford photography

 

Personal Development – what does it really mean to you?

I take quite a simple definition, its about anything that you want to change in your work, home or personal life.

 It can be about:

 How you react in different situations

  • Controlling your stress levels
  • Your work/life balance
  • Achieving your dreams
  • Work aspirations
  • Dealing with other people
  • How you perform a task

I could go on, although I expect you have the general idea.

 Self development can take as little as 10 minutes a day.  In reality, we forget in our busy lives to set aside this time for ourselves.  We place a low priority on what we do for ourselves compared to helping and supporting other people.

 So if you’re to make just one small change this week, allow yourself just ten minutes a day to think about what you’d like to change in your life and how you’re going to do it.

If you’re not sure where to start with your own personal development, ring Carolyn today on 07714 216388 to book your free consultation.

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words and pictures copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

Do You Take Painkillers For Toothache or Do You Visit The Dentist?

None of us like toothache, but a visit to the dentist will result in a filling or worse still.  The truth is, no matter what we do, the problem tooth isn’t going to mend itself.

So much of what we do today in our personal lives and in business is about glossing over a problem, fixing the symptom and not the cause.

Many of my clients approach me because they are struggling to lose weight, yet it is only when we start to scratch beneath the surface that the reality of the problem becomes apparent.

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Reaching for food can fill a gap, caused by a plethora of realities.  Do we eat because we’ve had a bad day, what caused the bad day?  Have we reached for that snack because we’ve taken something that someone has said badly?

So before you reach for that bar of chocolate or hunk of cheese, ask yourself do you really want or need it?  And if the answer is no, then what is causing the stress that you’re trying to ignore.

I am frequently approached by people who turn to food rather than tackle the underlying problem.  If you see yourself doing this then  give me a call today on 07714 216388 to how we can tackle the cause together

 

 

 

Lets Take Some Time Out

I’ve just had a lovely slightly longer than average weekend.  A really good friend came to stay, a friend who I probably see 3 or 4 times a year.

I’m sharing this with you because, having my friend in the house meant that both myself and my hubby who also runs his own business, switched off our computers, and put down our tablets for 3 whole days.  I don’t know when this last happened other than over Christmas.  Even when we go on holiday we take a tablet each and seek out the wifi.  Its almost as though facebook would fail without us, let alone our businesses.

I don’t know if it’s the fear that if we don’t get back to someone straight away that a business lead will simply go cold, or our absence from social media means that we lose our presence. Either way those thoughts are unfounded.

The weekend is now over and there are no lost clients, just a bigger than average inbox to go through.  We have however had a lovely relaxed weekend that simply wouldn’t have been achieved had our guest not have stayed.  I even managed to try my hand at making crumpets, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

So the moral of this story?  Just once in a while, either with friends or on your own – switch off your social media – its one sure fire way of getting some balance back in your life.

If from time to time you find balancing home and work difficult, using a coach to help you make personal boundaries can make a huge difference. Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 today to make an appointment for your first free consultation – what do you have to lose?

 

What’s Your Survival Plan?

Survival plans? Hmmm.  I’m not talking about what happens if a fire breaks out and you need to exit the building.  I’m talking about those very core things that get you through your week.

Survival planning in an exercise I’ve done with a number of groups.  They’re often the very rewards we give our self.  They can be huge, although sometimes even the littlest of things can help us survive our day.

Your survival plan should apply whether you’re self employed, working or coping with a family.  They’re there to reward you for all the great things you’ve done today or this week.  Here’s some ideas to get you started:

  • Buying yourself a treat when you do the weekly shopping, perhaps a magazine, or chocolate bar.
  • Having a luxury bath once a week, lock the bathroom door, light some candles and use your favorite bath products.
  • Go out for a walk with your partner once a week.
  • Have half an hours me time before bed.
  • Taking a family holiday once a year
  • Having one weekend a month with no work!

 

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Remember though once they’re in your plan they’re there to stick to.  I’m an advocate of sticking to the plan!!

So what’s in your survival plan, would love to hear your ideas, please share them by commenting below.

In this busy world, many of my clients need help making time for themselves.  If you need a little ‘me time‘ back in your life, then give me call today on 07714 216388 to take advantage of your free consultation.

How Do I Make Time For Me?

How many times have you said that?  “I don’t have time to” or  “If only I had more time….”

Modern lifestyles, juggling jobs, businesses, family, friends, is there any time left for me?

The easy answer is “No”.  If we settle for “No” then we’re seriously selling ourselves short and under estimating our abilities to prioritise, juggle, organise….. whatever it takes to find some me time.

It is January and we’ve probably taken on some new goals and resolutions too.  Where do we find that extra time from to run, go the gym, spend more time with our partners, something has to give if we are to be successful.

Try these 3 steps, to making some time:

  1. Make a list, make it big,  Write down everything you need to do regularly or as a one off.  This is the biggest to do list you’ve ever made.  Don’t miss anything.
  2. Now divide it into 3.  Be ruthless in your decisions.  Separate your tasks into  “What really doesn’t matter”, “What could be given to someone else”, “What has to be done by you”
  3. Make it a priority to talk to others that can help you, whether this is your boss, colleagues, partner, children, parents or friends, ask for help.  Ditch the stuff that doesn’t matter.  But make a task of doing it.  By that I mean don’t ignore them, make a conscious decision to remove them from your mind and your physical to do list.  Remind yourself they don’t matter. In fact exterminate them!            What’s left needs to be scheduled, your online calendar, or a diary – either will do – its the physical act of getting the information out of your mind and onto paper that creates the space and time you need to think and get on with the tasks you need to do.

Perhaps you need a bit more help creating a perfect work/life balance for you.  Carolyn regularly coaches business owners and employees alike on achieving a low stress, healthy lifestyle to create more time for what YOU want to do.  Call Carolyn now on 07714 216388 to see how she can help you achieve the life YOU want.

 

Exterminate your to do list!

P1060741copyright Reflectionscoaching

 

 

Reclaim Your Mojo

Autumn has been and gone with Christmas now just around the corner.  Those lovely sunny days have faded into just memories.  Darker mornings can be a struggle.  Sometimes just small events can knock us off balance.  It’s time to get your MOJO back.

Look inside yourself

Take a few moments out to think about what may have thrown your emotions out of kilter.  Is it something that’s happened at work? or home?  Its good at this point to write down your thoughts.  Make a note of the facts e.g. a falling out with someone and also the emotions that go with it.  Having a visual record will help you deal with it.

Spring-clean

And I’m not talking about your house.  But just in the same way that you would clear out your cupboards, and hoover the carpet, you can make the choice to throw away the negative emotions.  Make a deliberate choice to throw out the negative emotions and draw a line under events OR take a positive action to resolve them. 

A great spring-clean leads to a trouble free mind, a sense of achievement and the buzz of a fresh start.

Do something different

Right now is a great time to make a change or do something new.  A trip to the hair dressers for a new style could make a real difference to how you feel.  OR try a new hobby, pick up a book for the first time in 10 yrs or try that new restaurantJust one small change can leave you feeling refreshed.

Do Something For Pure Pleasure

Ever wanted to go fly a kite? Or skip through a wood?  What’s stopping you.  Perhaps the simpler pleasure that you don’t get chance to do, like taking a mid week soak in the bath – allow your mind to be free of your pressures just for 30 minutes will help you get a real focus.

 

My 4 tips will help you restore that smile this autumn.  Keeping emotions and life balanced is important to leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  If you need more help keeping your life in kilter perhaps coaching could help.  Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 now to book your free taster session.

P1070226copyright Carolyn Trafford

Comfort Zone Leap Part V – How To Deal With Nerves

Do you suffer with bouts of nerves?  Does your stomach turn over at the thought of standing up and talking to people? My heart pounds too!

Last week saw the last rehearsal for the comedy night.  I delivered what I felt to be a pretty good performance, well timed, confident and people laughed.  I forgot one joke that’s all. A couple of adjustments based on feedback but I’m now at the stage where there is nothing more I can really do.

The only thing is – every time I think about Thursday, my stomach turns over and my heart starts pounding.  So how do you make sure that these symptoms don’t get in the way of your delivery.

Accept them for what they are – our bodies are designed to react to danger, we have a flight or fight response, so acknowledge that feeling sick and racing heart beats etc are all about the adrenalin rush we get and adrenalin we know is good – right?

Don’t let these feeling get in the way.  There is a simple breathing technique I use to calm the nerves and take my mind off what is happening.

Breathe in to the count of 7

Breathe out for the count of 11.

This works in two ways.  Firstly concentrating on your breathing in this way focuses your mind on something other than what lies ahead of you.  Secondly the longer out breath expells some of the stale air and carbon-dioxide sitting in your lungs, your body will naturally need to take in a fuller breath of clean air and lots of oxygen, critical in aiding your brain to work effectively.

Try it – it really works.

If you’re facing an uncomfortable or stressful situation, coaching provides a supportive environment in which to prepare.  Call Carolyn today on 07714 216388 to see how Reflections Coaching can help you be super-confident.
P1070814copyright Carolyn Trafford

Level 1 – Unconsciously Unskilled

(You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you are blissfully ignorant: You have a complete lack
of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this,
you are unaware of this lack of skill, and your confidence may
therefore far exceed your abilities.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled

(You Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you find that there are skills you need to learn, and
you may be shocked to discover that there are others who are much
more competent than you. As you realize that your ability is limited,
your confidence drops. You go through an uncomfortable period as you
learn these new skills when others are much more competent and
successful than you are.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled

(You Know that You Know)

At this level you acquire the new skills and knowledge. You put your
learning into practice and you gain confidence in carrying out the
tasks or jobs involved. You are aware of your new skills and work on
refining them.

You are still concentrating on the performance of these activities,
but as you get ever-more practice and experience, these become
increasingly automatic.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled

(You Don’t Know that You Know – It Just Seems Easy!)

At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task
without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of
your confidence and ability.

– See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_96.htm#sthash.SrfZRNRe.dpuf

Level 1 – Unconsciously Unskilled

(You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you are blissfully ignorant: You have a complete lack
of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this,
you are unaware of this lack of skill, and your confidence may
therefore far exceed your abilities.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled

(You Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you find that there are skills you need to learn, and
you may be shocked to discover that there are others who are much
more competent than you. As you realize that your ability is limited,
your confidence drops. You go through an uncomfortable period as you
learn these new skills when others are much more competent and
successful than you are.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled

(You Know that You Know)

At this level you acquire the new skills and knowledge. You put your
learning into practice and you gain confidence in carrying out the
tasks or jobs involved. You are aware of your new skills and work on
refining them.

You are still concentrating on the performance of these activities,
but as you get ever-more practice and experience, these become
increasingly automatic.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled

(You Don’t Know that You Know – It Just Seems Easy!)

At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task
without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of
your confidence and ability.

– See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_96.htm#sthash.SrfZRNRe.dpufWant to know more about my comfort zone stretch in learning to do stand up comedy for Gingerbread – catch up on the last few blog posts below:

Comfort Zone Leap Part IV – Am I Consciously Competence?

Am I consciously Competent?  Simple answer? No not yet!    And for those of you who don’t know yet what I’m talking about – let me explain….

In learning we go through 4 stages of competence when learning.

(You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you are blissfully ignorant: You have a complete lack
of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this,
you are unaware of this lack of skill, and your confidence may
therefore far exceed your abilities.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled

(You Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you find that there are skills you need to learn, and
you may be shocked to discover that there are others who are much
more competent than you. As you realize that your ability is limited,
your confidence drops. You go through an uncomfortable period as you
learn these new skills when others are much more competent and
successful than you are.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled

(You Know that You Know)

At this level you acquire the new skills and knowledge. You put your
learning into practice and you gain confidence in carrying out the
tasks or jobs involved. You are aware of your new skills and work on
refining them.

You are still concentrating on the performance of these activities,
but as you get ever-more practice and experience, these become
increasingly automatic.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled

(You Don’t Know that You Know – It Just Seems Easy!)

At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task
without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of
your confidence and ability.

– See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_96.htm#sthash.SrfZRNRe.dpuf

Stage 1 – Unconsciously Incompetent

How can you know what You Don’t Know?

This assumes complete ignorance.  Because you don’t know what there is to know you have no sense of how little you do know or what skills you are lacking.  Therefore it feels OK. 

I was at this stage when I first volunteered for stand up.  I hadn’t considered the range of skills I would need to know and therefore concluded I was OK.

Stage 2 – Consciously Incompetent

You Know that You Don’t Know!

This is the stage at which your lack of knowledge and skills can hit you.  You may find that there are others that know more or are more skilled than you. You become aware of your lack of skills and your confidence may dip as a result.  It can be uncomfortable learning when others appear to be ahead of you.

I quickly hit this stage during weeks 1 and 2.  Other people seemed to be naturally funny and I knew I had to work at this.  The realisation that  I would need microphone skills too came as a shock.

Stage 3 – Consciously Competent

Knowing You Know

This is where you start to learn the new skills, but it can be tricky and takes practice.  You have to think about each stage of a process where in others it seems natural.  Confidence starts to build.

This is where I’m out now.  I have my comedy routine, my practice audience have laughed at it.  I know its funny.  Yet I still have to work on remembering it, framing it correctly, using the right tone and language makes such a difference and if I stop thinking  about it I get it wrong.

Stage 4 – Unconsciously Competent

You Don’t Know that You Know

This is the stage we’re aiming for, the stage where it all becomes 2nd nature, natural.  Confidence is high and we don’t need to think about what we’re doing.  The new skill has become a habit.  We are polished in what we do.

I’m not here yet, I still have 10 days.  I’m practicing regularly perfecting my piece, so that the words flow and are natural.

So the next time you feel a dip in your confidence, do think….  Is it just because you’ve suddenly realised that you don’t know what you need to know – up until that point you were blissfully unaware you were lacking knowledge so felt OK about it.

Remember – you haven’t become stupid overnight – you just didn’t know you needed to know.  Put some simple steps in place and you’ll soon be confident again.

Many of my clients come to me because their confidence has dipped, coaching provides a supportive environment in which to analyse and change.  Call Carolyn today on 07714 216388 to see how Reflections Coaching can help you be super-confident.

Gingerbread Man - Babka

(Photo credit: avlxyz)

Level 1 – Unconsciously Unskilled

(You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you are blissfully ignorant: You have a complete lack
of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this,
you are unaware of this lack of skill, and your confidence may
therefore far exceed your abilities.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled

(You Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you find that there are skills you need to learn, and
you may be shocked to discover that there are others who are much
more competent than you. As you realize that your ability is limited,
your confidence drops. You go through an uncomfortable period as you
learn these new skills when others are much more competent and
successful than you are.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled

(You Know that You Know)

At this level you acquire the new skills and knowledge. You put your
learning into practice and you gain confidence in carrying out the
tasks or jobs involved. You are aware of your new skills and work on
refining them.

You are still concentrating on the performance of these activities,
but as you get ever-more practice and experience, these become
increasingly automatic.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled

(You Don’t Know that You Know – It Just Seems Easy!)

At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task
without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of
your confidence and ability.

– See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_96.htm#sthash.SrfZRNRe.dpuf

Level 1 – Unconsciously Unskilled

(You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you are blissfully ignorant: You have a complete lack
of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this,
you are unaware of this lack of skill, and your confidence may
therefore far exceed your abilities.

Level 2 – Consciously Unskilled

(You Know that You Don’t Know)

At this level you find that there are skills you need to learn, and
you may be shocked to discover that there are others who are much
more competent than you. As you realize that your ability is limited,
your confidence drops. You go through an uncomfortable period as you
learn these new skills when others are much more competent and
successful than you are.

Level 3 – Consciously Skilled

(You Know that You Know)

At this level you acquire the new skills and knowledge. You put your
learning into practice and you gain confidence in carrying out the
tasks or jobs involved. You are aware of your new skills and work on
refining them.

You are still concentrating on the performance of these activities,
but as you get ever-more practice and experience, these become
increasingly automatic.

Level 4 – Unconsciously Skilled

(You Don’t Know that You Know – It Just Seems Easy!)

At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task
without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of
your confidence and ability.

– See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_96.htm#sthash.SrfZRNRe.dpufWant to know more about my comfort zone stretch in learning to do stand up comedy for Gingerbread – catch up on the last few blog posts below:

Perceptional Stress

Is your self perception of time management skills linked to your stress levels?

For SMEs poor time management skills can impact on stress levels causing key staff or business owners to become ineffective.

I took part in a fun little quiz about time management skills and shared it via my facebook page. If you wish to have a go you’ll find a link dated 25th July 2013 here:

https://www.facebook.com/Reflectionscoaching

A conversation with a client gave me some food for thought. Her idea is that being over organised and managed can cause you stress rather than avoiding it. So whilst creating a to do list can be a fantastic means of getting this tasks organised and all in one place, placing too much emphasis on having to achieve everything on that to do list in a short space of time can be the root cause of high stress levels.

I call this perceptional stress because its your perception rather than the reality of the situation that causes the stress.

So this week’s lesson is deliberately short and sweet. When creating your to do list be realistic about what you can achieve in a single day, work out what’s really important and place a realistic timescale for achieving it. Everything else will wait.

What causes you stress and how do you deal with it?

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