decisions

Here's What You Need to Be a LEADER

Want to know the secret sauce of success? Click to learn what personal leadership is and how stepping into it can create the success in life & work that you desire.

More nuggets coming up about personal leadership! I've got a lot to share with you on the topic, and how embracing it can change your life and career!

Bisous x

6 Reasons Why Coaching With Me May Not Be For You

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I’ve had a number of instances recently where the decision at the end of the call from the client is “I’ll think about it”.

Danger zone.

There are numerous apparently sound reasons potential clients say they’ll think about something, for example:

  1. They haven’t heard enough yet of how they will benefit from working with me;

  2. They have 'people pleasing' tendencies and they fear asserting themselves by saying “No”;

  3. They procrastinate:

    • In fear of what might come after they’ve taken a decision - failure, success, change of some description;

    • Because it is uncomfortable for them to consider taking the unusual step of investing in themselves;

    • Because saying they haven’t got the money is a ready excuse that most people accept in this world where a scarcity mindset prevails;

Except for reason number 1, which is entirely up to me to convey clearly, all of the others are the very reasons you SHOULD get coaching. The way you perceive yourself and your habitual behavioural and thought patterns that prevail on a daily basis discreetly prevent you from living and working exactly as you desire, stepping powerfully and confidently into what COULD be for you.

In case you don’t feel you have enough excuses at hand as to why you should NOT work with me, let me give you some more to add to the mix:

1. I challenge you to think and act differently

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

One of my all-time favourite quotes attributed to Einstein. If you want different results in your life and work, you need to approach the challenges and problems differently. That’s what we do together, and that can be scary for some; expansive and enlightening for others;

2. I’ll call you out on your BS

Without even realising it, we put our shields up or create stories to justify our behaviours and inaction. Worse, sometimes we do realise what we’re doing, but we have got away with it for so many years, we’ve been able to manipulate those around us to protect ourselves. It’s all done with good intention and it also keeps us away from what we really desire. Na-ah - not on my watch. I’ll call you out if and when I see you’re trying to fool yourself and others.

3. I won’t sugar-coat things

There are a lot of other coaches that will be 'softly-softly' with you. When I see my client needs compassion, and a safe haven to express their thoughts, emotions and needs, I’m there with the snuggly rug and the hot chocolate. At the same time, you came to me for transformation - to effect changes in your life so you could finally live and work as you desire with unshakeable power and confidence. That doesn’t happen exclusively on hot chocolate.

4. I’ll hold you accountable

You’re a results-driven kinda gal - me too. Listen, I love you, but I don’t intend for this to be a life-long, co-dependent coaching relationship. I’m guiding you to think for yourself - smarter, more creatively, and to take conscious decisions about your life and work. That requires accountability and if you miss appointments or don’t do the work required, I’ll pull you up on it. I’m doing it to serve YOU because my only goal is your transformation.

5. It’ll be uncomfortable at times

How do I know? Many clients who are beginning to see results in coaching hit the 'breakdown' before the 'breakthrough'. It’s ironic - you have to feel worse, before you can feel better. How else do I know? Because I hold the mirror up to myself - the way I think, feel and act every single day to grow, to improve my relationships with myself and others, and my life and work, so I can serve my clients better, too. It is painful at times, and ugly, and vulnerable and sometimes even a little scary. I commit myself to your growth, as I commit to my own, and as I need you to commit to yours.

6. We’ll have FUN as we work together to create your kind of wonderful life and work.

You still with me?

That all being said, where there is darkness there is light; and I love a laugh! There is serious business to be done in working on your transformation, and there is a lot of lightness to be enjoyed, too.

So - if you’re still thinking about it, by all means do; and challenge yourself to dig deeper and question what is driving that statement.

If you’re still sitting on the fence, let's get on a call and we can talk it all through.

PS. This is not a high-pressure sales call - it’s me and you creating the best decision for YOU! If that means we work together, I’d be over the moon! If that means you decide to work with another coach, I’m happy for you. If you decide to do nothing, let’s keep in touch. When you’re ready, you’ll know. Let’s get on a call.

Profanity Alert: "No More Sh**ty Chicken Wraps!"

Sensitive souls - look away now.

This has to be the funniest line of last week when I spent four days in the company of over 120 energetic, ambitious women entrepreneurs in the company of our mentor in Maui, Hawaii.

The line came from stylist to the stars, Sam Saboura, who gave us all guidance about branding and styling for our businesses. His anecdote described his flight from LAX to Maui stuck in a small Delta plane for 6 hours with those dry, lifeless chicken wraps for sustenance.

Sam had a lucid moment during that flight when it hit him that he deserved better than being squashed into a tiny, hard seat in Plus class, "That's it! No more shitty chicken wraps!"

Sam Saboura, Gina Devee of Divine Living Academy

Sam Saboura, Gina Devee of Divine Living Academy

Have you had a moment like that, too? 

That moment when you draw the line in the sand and decide you are not going to spend the rest of your life settling for less than you truly desire or deserve? You're no longer going to accept work you hate, and a life that's unremarkable. You're not going to say "Yes", when really you want to say "No". You're not going to say "No", when really you want to say "Yes!"

I had my own sh**ty chicken wrap moment

In my last corporate position, I had that moment, too. I knew that my life and work was becoming unremarkable and I no longer truly believed in what I was doing or the messages I had to deliver on behalf of senior leadership. I felt I was living out of integrity. I knew I was capable of more and settling for less gave me night sweats.

It was at that point, the wheels were set in motion to change up everything, to create and live my kind of wonderful. I hired a coach, and started to put the blocks in place to become qualified as a coach, leave corporate to establish my own coaching practice, and move countries to settle in Paris. I am no so grateful I am living what I created - my dream and plan were realised.

Have you had that sh**ty chicken wrap moment?

Are you ready to step into something more remarkable than where you are now?

Let's talk to see how I can support you to create and live your kind of wonderful.

"I Don't Know" - What it Really Means

"I don't know"...Harmless enough response to a question, isn't it? Perhaps you use it quite frequently.

This is just a quick post to highlight what I am finding in working with my clients.

I find that the ways the response "I don't know" is most often used is not in the circumstance where somebody truly does not know the answer to the question, but in one of several other situations, such as:

  • Facing Fear: "I feel resistance to thinking about this - it may identify a fear I have that I'm not willing to face;"
  • Time versus Priority: "This is not really a priority for me to think about so let's move on;"
  • Solve My Problems: "This feels like it will take a lot of energy to think about - I want you to do it for me;"
  • Processing: "I need to digest this - it's a big idea and I don't know what to do with it right now."

On rare occasions in my business, it means "I genuinely do not know the answer to that question, but I am going to find out."

Language helps to create our reality - what you say is what you ultimately do and how you show up. "I don't know" can be seen as avoidant behaviour, procrastination, lack of creativity or desire to solve a problem - and in some cases, just plain lazy! I believe that this 'no response' response creates our reality, too - it's the thoughts behind the non-committal and ambiguous words that matter.

Before you answer "I don't know", try digging deeper - if "I don't know" wasn't a phrase, what would your response be?

Get to the real answer behind those words so you can gain greater understanding of the problem and greater self-awareness.

Want to create a different reality? Get on a call and let's see if we're a fit!

Which Zone Are You In?

Photo credit: Denys Nevozhai

Photo credit: Denys Nevozhai

Are you learning or performing?

You’ve gotta love serendipity, the Universe, coincidence - whatever you like to call it.

My client yesterday was troubled about the fact that she felt she was not being decisive and confident as a budding entrepreneur, and to some degree, as an experienced corporate professional. She felt a weakness in her armour - that as a budding entrepreneur in a field of which she has little direct experience (but a fantastic concept), she feels off-centre because her knowledge is not as in-depth as she'd like, nor as she is accustomed.

We thrashed it out together, coming to the realisation that she loves to learn; growth is everything to her. Instead of experiencing a scary ‘not-knowing’ stirred up by apparent gaps in her skills set, she agreed that these were opportunities for growth and learning. She felt more comfortable with the journey of not knowing framed in this way. After all, that is one of the reasons she desires to transition out of corporate to entrepreneurship - to challenge herself and learn more.

We also discussed that in meetings, instead of being hesitant about asking the 'dumb question', it is often the person who knows the least that challenges those who know and assume the most. Those who know less and ask possibly basic questions, ask from a place of purity, untainted by years of experience and knowledge. That’s when innovation occurs and we challenge the status quo.

So where is the serendipity?

Not 30 minutes after my client’s session had ended, I went over to the TED Talks’ site to see what was going on and found this brilliant little talk by Eduardo Briceño, a learner, leader, speaker and writer devoted to enabling a more learning-oriented world. (Love this idea!)

It describes the two zones we operate in - the Learning Zone and the Performance Zone. Mr Briceño says that the problem we have is society at large operates or is expected to operate almost entirely in the Performance Zone. The advantage is knowing when to operate in which one.

I’ll leave you to watch it, but the best line from it in my view - “Staying in the Performance Zone hinders our growth.” I love this idea, and I couldn't agree more!

It’s what coaching is all about - working with you through the Learning Zone so you can operate freely in the Performance Zone.


So, go out and make mistakes while you’re in the Learning Zone - they’re expected. With coaching, we can create “low-stakes islands” so you can island-hop towards your Performance Zone.

Learn more about how coaching can help you through the Learning Zone to Performance Zone

How Your Values Shape Your Life

Wow.

What a way to finish up what has been an extraordinary year - for so many reasons!

You may have been following my daily updates the last week on my Facebook page or direct to your inbox. I've been sharing insights into a couple of high level programs I've completed this year – Gina DeVee's Divine Living Academy and Tony Robbins' Date With Destiny.

The last 6 days at Date With Destiny in particular have been the most intense of my life – physically, emotionally, mentally, and yes - even spiritually.

I have learned over the last week and through 2016 so much about human behaviour, myself, and how I show up in the world. It has been immensely valuable to me personally, but it is just as valuable to you as a client in how I can help you get what you desire in life and business.

One key thing I've learned this week is the power of values – even more valuable than goals.

Values are critical

Values are our guiding principles in life. They are the emotional states that we believe are most important for us to either experience or avoid. If we're taking aim with a rifle, our values are the sight; our goals are the target. Our values influence our behaviour tremendously.

So, for example, if we're filtering everything through values that are externally focused, we'll have a sense of lack of control of our lives. An exercise I did this week showed that my existing values included Security (the emotional state of safety) as the number one. I don't know how this has come to be since I consider myself courageous – a risk-taker, adventurous. Security relies heavily on external factors – relationships, governments, entire economic systems, just for starters. However, I realise now that the emotional state of Security has caused me to play much safer in everything – my business, my personal life; generally, how I 'show up' in the world.

Values are not static

Often we consider our values to be static – they're unwavering, stoic, we're married to them. Just because we have certain values, we do not need to hold tightly onto them as if they are fixed. We can play with them, elevating those that will help us fulfil our purpose in life and goals. This is liberating to learn. It means I have been able to let go of 'stories' and rules that help meet the emotional state of Security. They keep me safe, comfortable...and small. My new top value is Health and Positive Energy for, without those, I cannot achieve anything, nor live how I desire. It is also entirely within my control; and it is so much more positive than meek old Security.

There is so much more to be said about the importance of values – this is just a sneak preview.

So, let me ask you...

  • What are your most important current Towards Values i.e. those values you pursue for a sense of well-being?
  • Will those Towards Values help you to live and work the way you desire?
  • If not, what needs to change?

Want to dive into your values and how you can shape your 2017?

Book a free call and see how you can shape 2017 to be your most successful yet

Are You Stuck in Your Story?

You know what I mean...

When someone asks how things are going, you dive into what's bugging you, how the environment you're working in is killing you, how you really want to get out but you just don't have the time/money right now.

I understand. Mostly, you just want to be heard.

There is a time and a place for that, for sure. It's true - we DO need to be heard, to vent, to get it off our chest, so we can move on, but at some point...

We have to let it go.

By staying stuck in the story, it is impossible to move forward or get creative about how to make changes in our life - business, career, relationships, everything). It stops us from seeing any solutions, and the perfect one that might just be right in front of us.

By staying stuck in our story, we shut down options with our limiting thoughts and beliefs ("I don't have time", "I can't become my own boss - I need the money", "I can't go and do what I really love because I have a good job", "I can't because...[insert own limiting belief here]).

I see it a lot with people in the corporate environment. The ones that come to me aren't happy where they are, and they're searching for a way out, or something to do about it - trying to decide what the next step for them is, and how to implement a plan.

I find that people in this situation are so stuck in their story that they believe there is no way out - or if there is a way out, they can't see it clearly or it is not for "people like them." Instead, they choose not to do anything about it, preferring instead to tolerate their stress and unhappiness, convincing themselves that "work was never meant to be fun" (I beg to differ!) In doing so, they give the control of their future to someone else e.g. the organisation for whom they work (or some other external factor) - and for the most part these days, that future is whether or not their name features on the list for the next round of redundancies.

It takes courage.

It takes courage and a heart-felt belief that we deserve better and we can create a lifestyle of our design. It takes courage to turn fears that stop us from playing small and accepting less than we had imagined for ourselves, into the excitement of a challenge, of playing to our strengths, of stepping out of the ordinary, and into our Zone of Genius.

Coaching works to understand the fears and limiting beliefs keeping us playing small and in the same place, accepting less than we deserve. It works to expand our thinking about options and possibilities so we can create a clear outcome and an actionable plan to fulfill it. It works to have an unbiased, impartial person work with us to create the exit strategy or the next move so we experience courage, excitement and vigour, not fear and anxiety.

Coaching isn't for everyone - a client must be READY to be coached; READY to make changes; READY for action to create a new future for themselves, and take back control.

The first step is to let go of the story.

If you are ready to let go of your story, and create a future of your own design (not 'Theirs'), book a FREE one-hour Discovery call so you can step out into the light and OWN your future.

My 'Wobble' and the 4 Steps to Enlightenment

I've been a bit quiet on the social media front the last week or two as I navigate some personal and professional challenges.

I'm learning so much at the moment about myself, my business and my clients. It requires me keeping an open mind about everything so as not to shut down on possibilities. Things are not always as they seem, nor as they are meant to be, and diamonds are found in the rough. That can lead to some periods of uncertainty, self-doubt, those nasty negative voices creeping in - what I call a wobble.

When events in your life and career are not as you expect them, it requires a cool hand - stepping back, letting go, and looking at the situation from a calm, detached place. For me, it's almost like having an 'out-of-body' experience - to be able to look down at yourself as an independent party to see what's happening and what's needed. Self-coaching like this is not an easy thing to do at all. In fact, the last couple of weeks, I didn't do it all on my own.

1, 2, 3, 4

I reached out to a few of my network of coaches to help me think through the challenges I have so I can calmly and intentionally course-correct - adjust my strategy and plans to fit my overall purpose to help women take control of their lives and careers. With a coach as a thinking partner, I find I am able to look at my challenges in a variety of ways that come together to move me forward. A coach challenges my practices and beliefs, and brings a second set of very different fresh eyes to the situation. A coach brings no agenda - he or she is there only for the client during the time with the coach. Here is how it goes :

  1. Firstly, we look at the situation objectively (What's happening? What's getting in the way? Is there evidence to support this belief / behaviour pattern?) to clearly understand the facts and the obstacles, perceived or actual.
  2. We will often approach it emotionally - digging into beliefs, behaviour and thought patterns to understand their origin, whether they continue to serve , and whether they need to be nixed.
  3. We then approach it creatively (What are the options? What if I did this? What if there were no limits?) to fling open the windows on problem-solving and create solutions. It's amazing how many options you can come up with when you eliminate the limitations from the thinking process.
  4. Finally, we look at the situation intuitively. By 'feeling' into the process, the direction that feels right of the creative options discussed bubbles up and the first steps in the new direction are created. Some call this inspired action.

It doesn't come quickly sometimes, which is why I have stepped back from the computer screen the last couple of weeks. Stepping back, going away to do something that brings joy (a walk or run, a massage, spending time with friends or family) clears the head and stops you 'forcing' a decision by over-thinking it and getting anxious about it.

The decision will come. Have faith in that.

To allow it to come, it's imperative to give it time and space. This is what coaching does - it gives time, space and 100% attention of an independent thinking partner to move the client forward.

And it is timely that my slight wobble came right on the end of the first half of the year. I have been able to review the last 6 months, what has worked, what hasn't, what I need to do more of, what I need to eliminate, and to plan the next 90 days. In my corporate days, we called it an After Action Review.

So - here it is. 1st July has come and gone and we're staring down the barrel of the last 6 months of 2016. With this inspired down-time I have had, I am now clearly focused on making these last 182 days of 2016 count - I am excited, energetic and bursting to make it happen!

How are you going to make the last 182 days of 2016 count?

Who is your independent thinking partner?

Coaching can help you reach your place of enlightenment, excitement and energy.

Book a call with me - make a move towards enlightenment in 2016.

 

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

This question was brought to mind recently when I had dinner with a former boss - a loyal individual who has had enormous influence on my career and personal life. He said one evening - (he is of the ilk "Everyone has a right to my opinion!" Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love him dearly for it!) "You became more successful when you stopped trying so hard."

Wow - he was right. Once I started operating from a place of confidence, not fear, my career began to flow more easily. I stopped trying so hard to impress. I knew I was good at my job - actually, not just good, but a top performer. When I stepped into those shoes, my career blossomed. I spoke calmly, passionately and confidently about my domain to anyone who would listen - C-suite to entry level.

Closely related is the advice that I, personally, would give to my younger self. "Choose your battles." As a young thing, just starting out in the insurance industry, I was driven, ambitious, I wanted to change the world (I do still!), and be a strong woman leader to boot. EVERYTHING in my eyes was up for argument - I battled every point. Instead of stepping back, assessing, reframing, and taking the situation at a different angle, I came at it head-on like a Mack truck! The result? This same individual I call a dear, loyal friend now - my former boss, began the process to fire me!

I recovered of course, with an attitude re-adjustment. I went on to have a long professional association with this individual and a successful corporate career; but it was that jolt I needed - a kind of 'slap in the face' to review my approach to things. Again, it came down to operating from a place of confidence, not fear. 

So, what would you tell your younger self? I'd love to hear in the comments.

(Of course, the question is, would she/he listen?!)

Bon weekend!