Confidence & focus can ebb & flow in life- how can you get it back?

Confidence & focus can ebb & flow in life- how can you get it back?

Have you noticed that some days you are flying high? As a consequence,  everything you do is ‘on purpose’, feels directed and meaningful?

Then other days you are not quite on it? You get side- tracked by other things and your day runs away with you? Therefore, you feel less directed towards what is meaningful and ‘on purpose’ for you.

 

And sometimes your heart just isn’t in the game.  On those days your mind won’t focus on what is really important to do at that time.

On days like these it feels like you have taken two steps forward only to find you are right back where you started? Isn’t that right?

First of all, let me tell you this is not the case. If you have made strides forwards towards your goals those steps can never be lost or taken back. How you are feeling in this moment may be very different to yesterday or even this morning, but that does not mean you have taken a back step. You feel different is all!  There is learning and growing in managing that shift with skill and compassion.

These shifts in our feelings as a human creature can be seen most clearly in sport. I am a fan of tennis and I marvel how the tide of a match can be so firmly with one player. They cannot put a foot wrong……. and then something switches. Suddenly the ball starts going long or wide, it erodes the player’s confidence and then the other player is in control and dictating the match. You see it in both individual sports and team sports.

Focus and Confidence

So here are some tips for those days or moments when you are ‘off your stroke’ or just not ‘feeling’ it:

1. Remember what to focus on and focus on it. It is easy to get caught up in what is NOT working rather than focusing on your life purpose or your specific goal or target.  Consequently, issues must be addressed and can be in the context of your bigger plan.

2. Stick to the basics. You know what works. Go with what you know to be effective. Very often the simple stuff gets forgotten in the larger plan. If you are new to an arena then learn the basics and keep doing them.

3. It’s not about perfection. It’s about excellence. Be as excellent as you can be today and may be recruit assistance if you feel you need it. Feeling a little low or under par is normal for all of us at times. Consistently striving for excellence means your base line performance rises over time. Perhaps building a team of people around you can off- set these inevitable times.

4. You’re having a bad day? May be look at that? Take a look at why you are feeling what you’re feeling?  You may find learning in that.  As a result, that may be the inspiration for your next step forward.

5. Breath deep and take stock. Reflect and review and see if you have missed something. Did you prepare well enough? Is there something going on at home that you cannot shake? Is there an health issue? Be honest with your self and address with compassion whatever comes up.

6. Always keep learning. One of the sayings from a great martial arts teacher was ‘You are always training for the fight you cannot win yet.’ There is always a situation that is too challenging for you to deal with in an excellent manner. Great! There is more to learn and experience to gather. It will continually make you better at what you are dedicated to.

7. You have come so far. Look back at where you were 6 months ago, a year. If you keep a diary or journal, look back at the hard times of the past or simply reflect on where you were and understand you have grown so much. There is always further to go, more to learn, more potential to uncover and realise.

Over to you

What do you do if you are having a difficult day? How do you shake it off and rally your self? Do you let your self run with the funk or do you carry on regardless? I’d love to hear from you and build a resource of on- line wisdom that allows people to tap in to their true potential.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ .  When you do, you’ll get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

You make choices every moment of every day.  Even by not choosing you are deciding NOT to take action.  All is choice. So, the life you lead right now is a product of your choices.  The question is, are your choices taking you closer or further away from the things that are really important to you?

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.

It does not have to be the huge things that this affects.  Although the answer to this question will influence the quality of your life.  As well as the path you take upon that journey.  Each step along that journey also has a flavour, an ambience and a resonance.  That either aligns with the things that you value in life, or it does not.

When my wife and I got married, we made a purposeful commitment to have a wedding celebration that honoured the things that we felt were important to us: family, children, close friends, fun, good food, elegance, homeliness, beautiful surroundings in nature….. the list goes on.  The day was beautiful.  Along the way to organising the day, we were faced with decisions that were full of often overwhelming choices.  It was challenging.  On the whole we did not allow ourselves to become distracted from what we felt was most important.  At times we made choices that others did not like.  These moments were dealt with in a compassionate way and for the most part people were very understanding.

Clarity makes Choices easier

Being clear about what is of value to you gives you clarity.  Taking a little time out to reflect on what is important may be invaluable to you to make sure you are moving in the right direction.  This can be particularly important when faced with the fast pace of modern business and personal lives.  Living aligned to your values helps to keep you focussed and energised.  It may even give you the confidence and belief that you are heading in the “right” direction.  Even when you are not necessarily totally sure of where you are headed.  The beauty and wonder of life unfolds in its own time.

You build your future here and now.  So make sure you are building a future that is full of the things that are really important to you.  As these things change, you will change your future accordingly.  Being aware of the process keeps you in touch with the shifting sands of your life and its passions, drives and motivations.

Determining your Values

So how do you know what your values are?  One such way is to connect to a “peak” experience.  A moment when things felt perfect and you were in the flow.  I had one such moment at my wedding:  looking out over the small crowd of loved ones who had come to celebrate our special day with us, the venue, the setting, the games, the music and feelings of connection that came with it.  When I make choices in my life I do so in reference to these values.  They inform my choices, creating my present and my future and building a past that I am becoming increasingly proud of.

Your turn…..

I’d love to hear your stories of how value- based choices have enhanced your life.  How have they built great memories and helped to create wonderful futures for you and your loved ones?  It is the unfolding of your potential in its many forms that helps to create a life of meaning and fulfilment.  Live it well.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and informative please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

When your Intuition Speaks

You may often hear that intuitive voice.  That doesn’t mean you are going to act on it.  In my experience, listening to and acting on that intuition can lead to some incredible experiences.  Over time, it builds trust between you and your intuitive mind and that leads to a greater connection and relationship with your self.

Intuition_Blog_PhotoMy wife and I home educated our son for a few years.  We took every opportunity to take him to events in Cambridge that would inspire him and stretch his mind.  There are countless events throughout the year in this university city and one such opportunity are the open days at the Royal Observatory when they let the public look through the telescopes.  After hours of lectures, games and fun activities, night fell and we were given the choice of two telescopes.  We went with the majority and queued to see Saturn- that was definitely what our son wanted to see.

Casting our eyes on Saturn

For 90 minutes we waited.  Every person that walked past us on the way out from looking through the telescope had blank, impassive faces.  People were starting to leave the queue.  Was there nothing to see?  Were we wasting our time? My wife, I and grandparents exchanged concerned glances and wondered whether this was an exercise in futility, but our son was undeterred.  He knew it was going to be amazing.  Even when we could see people looking through the telescope there was no noticeable reaction, just a brief glance and then the long walk back to the exit.

When our turn came, our son mounted the steps and peered down the lens- he was transported!!!!  He had never seen anything so cool.  Excited, he stepped aside so that we could see and he was right- it was really cool!!!!  This white silhouette on a black background was moving slowly across the eye piece.  We were looking at Saturn in real time as we moved in position in relation to this planet millions of miles away.  Everyone was ecstatic.  None of us could stop talking about it in animated tones all the way to the exit and beyond.

We were rewarded for trusting our son’s intuition in spite of the evidence in front of our eyes.  It bonded us as a family and strengthened our son’s trust in himself as well as cemented our love and appreciation for nature and this living universe.  I will always be grateful to our son for making us stay and trusting his intuition when it would have been all too easy to listen to nay- sayers and ignore the urge to trust in the unknown.

Over to you

When have you listened to your intuition?  What spectacular events or funny stories came from trusting that inner voice?  How did it make you feel?  I’d love to hear from you, so please post your experiences on the comments page.  Many thanks for reading and connecting.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “Do one thing every day that scares you”.  In this age of super human heroes in movies, fearless warriors in computer games along with the facade and bravado that people often display in every day life to show that they are fit and strong enough to compete for the greatest successes in their personal and professional lives, the idea of doing something that scares me is overwhelming.  It feels like I have to be this perfect ideal.  That shows no fear and never makes mistakes.  It feels like I have to up the ante each time.

Who can compete with that?  I certainly can’t!

Comfort Zone

The idea of doing things daily that seem to require super human heroism on my part often means that I don’t do anything.  Over time this has a negative impact on my self- worth and self- esteem.  Then someone introduced me to the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone just enough so that it was a challenge.  And importantly, not so much that it felt like over whelm.  I began to use Mrs Roosevelt’s saying in a way that enhanced my life.

Public Speaking- a common speak out of your comfort zone

Let me share, if you will, a personal example with you.  I have always had a strong aversion to public speaking.  What is interesting in that for years I have felt that I should do it.  I have written lectures TED style, courses to be delivered to classes over 6- 12 weeks and video scripts.  I’ve never been able to deliver.

On a recent CPD course it occurred to me that perhaps I was setting my sights too high in the first instance.  Perhaps the talks on video and in front of classes would come.  Even a TED talk.  For now though I felt like I needed to take a small step to prove to myself that it was possible.  So I did.  Although there was a sense of fear and anxiety there was also a sense of feeling alive.  It felt on the edge, challenged and at the same time manageable.  The feeling of success was elation and then what followed was a calmness and serenity that had eluded me for years.

I had avoided the stress of public speaking and other such things that made me feel anxious.  It was always accompanied by this gnawing feeling that I should be doing something more.  Now I had taken that step, mustered the courage.  It felt great to have taken myself to the edge of my comfort zone and survived.  A little melodramatic granted but that is how it felt.

Yin and Yang, pressure and serenity

In Taoism, the Chinese speak of Yin and Yang.  These are the polar opposites of right and left, up and down, masculine and feminine, light and dark.  Taoists and ancient Chinese understood that these concepts work in balance and in cycles.  In fact, there cannot be one without the other.  Just as darkness gives way to light, so challenge and the accompanying pressure to perform give way to a sense of calmness and serenity.  This is exactly what I felt.  It is strange to me to think that in order to feel serene I have to earn it in a way by stepping out of my comfort zone.  It is by this law of nature, as the Taoists would say, that things move forward and grow.  Humans are no different.  We are still subject to this natural and universal law.

“Do something every day that scares you”

Then, the serenity gives way to the gnawing feeling again and I know that I must move on and challenge myself again.  As Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us, this cycle lasts about a day.  It stops us becoming complacent, stagnant and bored and encourages us to be ever vigilant and searching, moving forward and engaged with the act of living and growing, in pursuit of achieving our full potential.

Pass it on

Did you find this article useful and interesting?  If so, why not pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word?  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Habits are entrenched behaviours- we are simply digging holes for ourselves.

Habits are entrenched behaviours- we are simply digging holes for ourselves.

Habits can be tough things to break.  We make New Year’s resolutions and have tossed them away by the middle of January.  We resolve to lose weight or give up smoking.  Then stumble under the insistence of cravings or peer group pressure.  We try the same methods over and over again.  Confident that THIS time we have the resolve, the commitment and the desire.  It was Einstein that said that foolishness is doing the same thing time and again and expecting different results.

So let’s start by dispelling a few myths about habits that might make it easier to understand what is happening and therefore empower you to greater success.

Habits are entrenched behaviours and like any hole it takes time to dig it.  The longer you dig it the deeper and wider it becomes.  Every time you repeat your entrenched behaviour you are working to make the hole a little larger (like our little friend here in the picture).  I have struggled all my life with being over- weight.  It was not until I received a real health scare that I forced myself to look at the reasons behind my over- eating. Boredom was the main culprit.  A habit that had developed from childhood of reaching for food when I was at a loose end.  Mostly during adverts or waiting for something to start like my workout class or a meal!!!!!!

Mind- Framing

Before then I had tried to lose weight, and had framed it around eating less.  My mind- set was one of denying myself, scarcity, negativity and incredibly difficult to sustain.  What worked for me was framing it around better health.  A much more positive mind- set built around empowerment.

I educated myself about the healthy things I could eat, reducing cholesterol, paying attention to levels of saturated fat in food and recognising the craving for food when I had a gap in my day. That was the hardest part, made easier by my commitment to healthy living. I did not want to have the heart attack my elder brother had had and have stents fitted to keep me alive!!!

A Little Self- Compassion

Over time, I have dug myself another hole- new entrenched behaviour based upon positive, healthy living.  Every shovel- full of earth from this new hole goes to fill in the old one, reaffirming every success.  I congratulate myself on feeling lighter, more revitalised and energised, more productive and generally fitter and healthier.  It also allows me to have compassion for myself when I go back to the old habit.  It’s a huge hole that I sometimes fall back into.  This gets me back to my new mind- set quicker and easier, without the baggage and chastisement that used to go with the odd trip up.

Shifting Mind Set

In this world of instant access, we are used to having things now.  Habit breaking does not work that way- it takes time and effort.  A slow gradual process of unlearning the old habit and entrenching a new habit that is better for your health, productivity, career prospects, personal development and progression is the only sure- fire way.  It requires a shift in mind- set and life- style choice.  The feeling of empowerment and success when you achieve your goals is second to none. Good luck and I hope this helps to break the habits that may be barriers on your road to achieving your goals and dreams and fulfilling your true potential.

Over to you

What entrenched behaviour have you overcome?  What habits are you struggling with?  How have you achieved success in breaking habits?  Do you have any tips that would help others overcome habits that limit their potential?  If you do, please post them in the comments section below and help build an on- line resource to empower people to achieve their full potential.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.