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)

How I Deal With Negative Emotions

I’ve had a week off and come back to a pile of emails etc, its part of the course being self employed.  Yet one email has caused me frustration and anger – both are negative emotions and both well within my own sphere of control.

So what do you do when frustration hits?

It takes an incredible amount of energy to stay angry.  Energy that I know I would be much better off putting to other things, things that could result in a positive outcome.

I’ve tried to answer the following questions.

  • What do I gain from being angry?
  • What can I do to improve the current situation?
  • What would I gain if I put my energy into doing something else?

When I have the answers to these questions, it become clear where best to direct my energy.

Negative emotions can take up a huge amount of energy, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what coaching could help you achieve instead.

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words and images copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

 

 

 

 

Writers Block – A Thing Of The Past?

Last week I told you about my new challenge which has involved my joining an online writing challenge group.

Its yet again one of those things that I’ve chosen to do that suddenly becomes the catalyst for a number of events.

It’s sparked conversations about writing and publishing.

I’ve completed a number of tasks.

I’ve learned about speed writing and how useful this can be for kick starting those thought processes to overcome writers block.

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The most important thing I’ve learned in this short week, is that starting out with a goal and allocating a small amount of time every day to progress it can work wonders.

What one thing to do you really want to achieve?   How much time each day would it take to make a difference to your goal?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and so would my readers, please take the time to let us know what you’re working towards by adding a comment to this page.

 

 

Words and picture copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)

What Can Nature Teach Us About Personal Survival?

Its March already.  We’re almost in Spring.  So yesterday I was very surprised to spot a rather frozen looking daisy in flower in the field as I went out for my morning dog walk.

My immediate reaction was surprise and then concern that the seasons are out of kilter.  How would this one poor little daisy survive especially if the weather changed again.

DSC_2015-1photo copyright of

Brett Trafford Photography

Yet nature has a way of looking after itself.  What strength and tenacity did this one small flower have to stand up and be counted before its peers.  Maybe it won’t survive, it has already overcome the odds to push through ground that has been changing between frozen and swamp like.  Perhaps this flower has a better chance because its ahead of the game.

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero103482.html#2YKAf1hwuW5jzUwp.99

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero103482.html#2YKAf1hwuW5jzUwp.99

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse than to never have tried to succeed”

– Theodore Roosevelt.

There will always be reasons not to to something, but if we look long and hard at ourselves are they really reasons not to try?

I am frequently approached by people who are scared to start a project because they are scared that they will not succeed.  If you want to increase your chances of success then give me a call today on 07714 216388 to see how I can help you get the success you deserve.

 

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 VI – The Final Countdown

The anticipated big day arrived. All the emotions I have ever felt in my life before came to the fore. I slept surprisingly well the night before however nerves really kicked in on Thursday afternoon. No matter how much I rehearsed complete with a makeshift hairbrush microphone, nothing flowed, bits got forgotten or confused and in front of my mirror it just didn’t seem funny at all.

Time out was in order and I grabbed Ziggy the dog and took myself out for a walk. I’m a big believer that fresh air and exercise is as good for the mind as it is body. Thankfully no one saw me walking around talking to myself as my act slowly came together.

By the time I arrived at the venue my nerves subsided as I immersed myself in practicalities.

I stood tall,  delivered, paced myself and the audience laughed and applauded. I walked off stage a whole foot taller than I walked on it.

So the learning from this is simple:

When something is standing in your way. Check first that it’s not you. Comedy was so far out of my comfort zone that I very nearly didn’t do it. The nerves I felt that afternoon were all “what ifs” that were all unfounded. Had I have listened to those thoughts that were telling me I couldn’t do it then I wouldn’t have made that stretch to my comfort zone that has ultimately led to a huge shift in my confidence.

2013-12-07_1733copyright Brett Trafford Photography

Comfort Zone Leap Part III – Gaining Context When It Doesn’t Go Your Way

Well, I’m about half way through the comedy challenge now and like most things that start well, there’s a point you reach when things are losing momentum or not going as well.  And that’s where I’m at.  Fortunately I’ve still got 2 weeks to get out there and iron out these niggling problems.

There were 2 things this week.  The first was at rehearsals.  Having made good progress last week, I hadn’t needed to tweak my routine that much.  Many of the others had, so really my material was old hat to them.  As a result the laughter wasn’t as rich.

Secondly the day after rehearsals I visited the local comedy club here in Leek and the sudden realisation of how good they were and how amateur I am hit me.  I also experienced how hard the 2 middle acts had to work for their laughs. These are the new comedians on the scene who are still forming their material.

For me this a great metaphor for life.

How many times do we compare ourselves less favorably to others and have unrealistic expectations of ourselves.    So here is this weeks learning point:

  • Be realistic – who should you compare yourself to?  In my case it would be better to compare myself to my peers who are learning comedy with me, and we’re all doing OK, some are better at delivery, others have better material but we’re all improving each week.

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If you apply too much pressure to be something you’re not or to achieve other’s standards, you could set yourself up for failure.  As a coach this is common with my clients, so if you’re giving yourself an unbelievably hard time and need some help taking the pressure off yourself, give me a call on 07714 216388 to see how learning some personal development techniques could help you.

Case Study – Facing Change

Sometimes its useful to share case studies with you. Although data protection prevents me from sharing personal details, I can give you a flavour of the case and an idea of the decisions the client made.

This case study is about Peter, with a comfortable job in middle management, well paid and well thought of for a large organisation.  Peter was comfortable and happy in his role.

His organisation was going through a number of changes and restructuring. Peter had already accepted additional responsibilities and a pay rise he hadn’t really wanted as an alternative to a reduction in responsibilities and pay freeze, when out of the blue it became necessary to relocate too.  Peter was against the change and it had unsettled him. He’d lost focus when I started to work with him and felt forced into a corner.

Peter and I talked about his long term goals and his options.  His goals were focussed around the long term financial security for his family and these conflicted slightly with the immediate need to get home at a reasonable time and spend time with his family.

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copyright Carolyn Trafford

 

We spent some time exploring his options and Peter was able to acknowledge that he had a choice.  That choice was around spending extra time now with his kids or funding their universities fees.  There were two key realisations:

  • Choice.  He could choose to spend quality time with his kids now, at the expense of funding university.
  • Empowerment – His employer wasn’t forcing him to take the relocation, that was exactly in his control.

So he had choice and empowerment – this didn’t change the fact that he had new responsibilities and a commute – it simply allowed him to understand that it was all within his control – not his manager’s.  And once he moved on he was able to think about how he could manage his work’life balance more effectively.

If you are facing difficult choices or change it can help to talk to someone who will help facilitate your thinking.  Reflections Coaching has experience working with people and change, please get in touch if you want to know more about how Reflections can help you or your company. 

Contact Caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk or call on 07714 216388 today

 

 

 

 

 

What Does Success Mean To You?

Watching Murray win Wimbledon certainly made me stop and think about success.  Success can mean so many different things to different people.  Have you stopped and thought about what it means to you?

This week we’ve seen Murray finally win Wimbledon.  Year after year the British have pinned their hopes on him, supporting him, willing him to win.  For many of us we’ll view his success as holding up the cup.

But what does success mean?  Lets face it success is different for everyone and whilst we can use it as a good example we have to relate the stages to our own dreams and ambitions, after all we don’t all hold the ambition to win Wimbledon.

Yes we can all see success in this photo and it is likely that winning Wimbledon was up there in Murray’s top goals list.  But how does he go from starting a tournament to holding up a cup?

Its important to break all goals down and celebrate success along the way. So winning Wimbledon is broken down by winning a numbers of matches, including a quarter, a semi and a final.

Each match requires you to win a number of sets, each set a number of games and each game a number of points.  Surely therefore it’s critical that each point is celebrated and if you follow Wimbledon you will see players like Murray celebrating each one.  It may be a punch in the air, a smile or a wave of a racquet, its still a celebration.

Its simple to apply this to our own dreams.  If realising our dream was just one step we’d have achieved it by now.  So what is your dream?  How can you break it down?  And do you celebrate each step as you get closer to the overall goal?

 

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