How I face Life’s Challenges

My long weekend at the Calvert Trust has really given me a lot to think about.  On a daily basis I face challenges and sometimes when faced with challenges its easy to give up.  But last week at the Calvert Trust I got to try life in a wheelchair and it made me realise that when faced with certain things you simply have no choice but carry on.  If we applied that philosophy to everything we face in life, imagine what we COULD achieve…..

Brett Trafford Photography-8photo copyright www.bretttrafford.com

So what do you do when face with a challenge?

  • Do you give up and go home?
  • Do you tackle it for a little while until it gets really difficult and give up? Or
  • Do you never give in?

I know I could answer yes to all of these at some stages of my life.  So why give up sometimes and not others?  The answer is about how badly you want to succeed and if you want to succeed in everything you do, then you have to make yourself want that success.

I find it helps if I grab my notepad and write a list of everything that achieving  success will bring me.  Depending on what the criteria is, it could be anything from satisfaction of ticking off my to do list right through to earning enough money to take a dream holiday.

Add another column of all the things failure will bring one, and sure enough my first list looks a whole lot better.

I know one thing though, learning to use a wheel chair has really helped me get a better perspective and next time I feel like giving up on something, I’ll think again and question, has life really become that hard?

 

What would make the difference to you facing your challenges?

 

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.

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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)

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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?

 

Why Use A Coach or How Would You Tackle A Brick Wall?

As a coach, I’m often asked why, if my client always has the answer, do they need a coach?  This is where I always use my favourite metaphor:

When a client gets stuck around their particular challenge, and it doesn’t matter if they want to lose weight, gain confidence or change jobs, they get stuck for the same reason.  They encounter a blockage.  That blockage stems from their fight or flight response, their brain won’t allow them to think deeper and solve the issue because the answer may scare them.

A coach, will continue to question beyond the point where a client will naturally stop when challenging themselves.  A coach won’t accept “because I can’t” or “I don’t know” as an answer?

Let me explain:

You’re traveling on your normal daily journey to work.  Someone builds a brick wall across your route.  You have 2 choices, stop or turn back neither choice will get you to where you want to go.  Giving up can be the easiest option.

If I were then to say to you, “what else could you do?” you naturally think a little harder, a little deeper and that can be enough to allow yourself to think of other options, getting a ladder or a sledge hammer.  2 solutions that we didn’t have before.

If you’d like to know more about how coaching could help you resolve your personal challenges, drop Carolyn an email today on caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk.

 

 

How Can I Challenge Myself In 2014?

2013 saw so many challenges, it was a year that saw my business gain more direction and focus and at the same time diversify, adapt and change.  There was a 3 day expedition for charity in the Lake District in May and a second fundraiser performing stand up comedy for Gingerbread.

I’m now looking ahead to 2014, and thinking that my few humble goals are nothing special.  A few carefully constructed action plans and a bit of dedication and motivation will see me through.  What they are lacking is the real challenge, the excitement of 2013.

How do I make my goals exciting?  How do I really challenge myself in 2014?

I’ve thought about this long and hard and concluded that most of the excitement in a goal comes from the challenge.  My goals seem flat and uninteresting because they are task based i.e.

  • I will take on x new team members this year.
  • I will do y task by z date.

These are just stepping stones to enable something bigger.  So I’m going to shake them up a little.  I’m talking more about missions than goals.  My mission should be all encompassing, challenging and exciting.  It should put my business on a new level and the tasks based goals will become obvious.

The mission will take my business to a new level.  And will look more like this:

I will be known as………..

Of course this question still needs to be answered.  It affects my goals, my branding, my business planning and I need to take time out to do this.

What will you be known for in 2014?

If you can’t answer that question, taking some time out for you to think about it can be a useful process and a coach can help facilitate your thinking and provide challenge.  If you want to know more about how a coaching session could help you or your business then CALL CAROLYN TODAY on 07714 216388

P1070982content and photo copyright Carolyn Trafford (2014)

 

 

Its Christmas………

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I sign out for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year Period as I believe its important for us all to take some time out and ensure that our work/life balance is restored.  After all, all those Christmas preparations can be stressful.

I’ll be back, bright and breezy and thinking about goals in the new year, but for now………

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

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