Posts

Being stuck does not mean you have to remain stuck

What do you do when you feel stuck? You name it!!!

Petra came to me feeling in limbo. She felt no motivation to do anything. No inspiration came to her to move forward. She felt isolated, stuck, mistrustful and withdrawn from the world. She was also unsociable.

When we agreed to work together, Petra’s energy and vitality were at a real low. There was a heaviness around and within her. She said she felt tight and constricted. I mentioned that this heaviness and constriction reflected how she was behaving. Naming something can be a powerful tool in life coaching to highlight to a client what might not be so obvious to them. They live with it day after day and it can become invisible to them. This touched her deeply and she resolved and committed to getting out that first week for some gentle exercise and perhaps some social interaction. I invited her to notice how things changed for her and what felt possible from this new perspective. We left this external exploration for a short while to see how it evolved.

The Client is Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole

As an alternative focus, we looked at her inner world. By doing visualisations we tapped into inner wisdom and knowing, that directed Petra towards some deep insight and support. Over the next few weeks, Petra regularly did these visualisations, building a picture of inner strength, peace and presence. This taps into one of the corner stones of Co-active coaching which is that the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. The answers come from within, as long as the client is in resonance with their power, confidence and inner wisdom. This empowers the client to think and act from a place of “I know the answers” even when they feel lost and confused. It just takes a shift in mindset.

Authentic Confidence

What also came up was a victim mindset. A voice that was derisive of the values Petra was beginning to tap into. Unworthiness and playing small were big themes that had played out throughout Petra’s life. Most especially in her relationship with her parents and partner. She committed to creating a new story that she could repeat to herself. It would allow her to build a better future- something to begin to trust and believe in. She also resolved to understand her victim mindset and apply her new- found values to her own inner journey of forgiveness and understanding.

This was the turning point- the beginning of something child- like, spontaneous, creative and joyful. Putting on a brave face and appearing confident had been a hallmark of Petra’s behaviour in the past. This was accompanied by a sense of being a fraud. Now things felt very different. She said there was an authentic confidence that erupted spontaneously that she was no longer willing to censor.

Life builds from Resonance

Ideas for her life came spontaneously too. Holidays she had only dreamed of, retirement plans abroad and learning new languages. A refreshed vitality to life was beginning to blossom. And all from aligning and resonating with the fulfilment, purpose and meaning Petra was beginning to discover for her life.

What do you do when you feel stuck? You name it!

People can come to coaching in a deep, dark place. Yet, this first step of reaching out for support is so important and powerful. We did not need to dig around in Petra’s past to find the answers. It is a common question from prospective clients to ask, “What is the difference between coaching and counselling?” Put simply, counselling looks to the past to unearth the answers. Coaching looks to the present to see how the client feels here and now and then builds resonance with an empowering vision from which the client can build their future. Rather than look into her past only, Petra asked her present self all the questions and the answers pointed her to what she needed to move forward. Her willingness to go deep and stick with it was a testament to her commitment and resolve.

Forward the action, deepen the learning

She recognises that the journey continues to unfold. She has tools now she can take forward to tackle the challenges of the future and she will learn more as she continues the coaching journey.

From whatever point in your life you are, coaching can support you in building alignment and resonance with your vision of how you would like your life to be. It takes action and often some challenging steps to build that future. Petra is a testament to that hard work and commitment towards a new and empowering future. With every action step comes learning and deepening understanding. In time the client transforms into the person who IS living the dream they imagined for themselves.

Over to You

Are you willing to look at what makes a truly fulfilling life for you? Do you want to live with meaning and purpose? Would you like someone to be with you as you tackle the challenging emotions that ultimately lead to growth and transformation? Do you want to connect to your inner greatness and have that be an active, creative and nurturing part of your life? If you are wondering whether coaching can help you create more of the life you want to be living, why not get in touch?

Pass it on

If you know anyone who is contemplating a life coaching journey please send them the link to this blog and give them the opportunity to learn about co-active life coaching and how it can benefit.  Alternatively, if you know someone who is stuck in their life and would be willing to take this beautiful, transformational journey, please send them the link too- it might be the inspiration they need to take that first step.  Thank you.

Celebrating Failure

Do you view brushes with failure as negative? When you fail, do you respond with self- ridicule and judgement? If you get things wrong does your inner saboteur use it as ammunition to keep you limited, safe and inside your comfort zone?

The Weight of Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life. Making mistakes offers valuable lessons on the road to success and excellence. Your learning and experience from failure is ultimately determined by your mindset around failure. How do you hold failure? Is it weighty, full of high risk and dire consequences? Or do you hold it lightly, with curiosity and an opportunity to learn, experience, understand and adapt?

This point was brought home to me recently when I visited a local museum. There was a display, showing how locks work and how boats on rivers and canals navigate ascents and descents. I was trying to work out how the various buttons and handles worked the display so the model boat could move from one end of the display to the other. Every wrong button I pressed or handle I moved was met by a correction from the volunteer. Even though I said I wanted to work it out myself and use my mistakes as stepping stones to deeper understanding, the volunteer desperately tried to save me from error.

What was interesting was I felt the empowerment to learn from exploration drain away with every comment from the volunteer. I know it was meant kindly and to be supportive. Yet my experience was the opposite. It undermined my confidence.

Perspective of Failure

I think this volunteer’s perspective is a common relationship we have with failure. As if it is bad. As if we are wrong to get it wrong. If we chastised our children for falling when they were learning to walk, we would all still be crawling. Yet, every time little Johnnie falls over we encourage and champion him, in the belief he can do it. When little Suzie takes a tumble we enthusiastically suggest she try again, knowing full well she will succeed in time.

There seems to come a time when that unconditional support evaporates, encouragement gives way to ridicule and cheerleading is replaced by judgement. Very quickly we develop a perception of failure that is self- defeating. It justifies our unworthiness, lack of ability and missing resourcefulness.  Please remember:

You are able, worthy and resourceful.

Often, we need encouragement to tap into those qualities. Failure is one of those spaces in human experience in which we can be educated to view it as a sign of defeat or a chance for opportunity.

Celebrating Failure

What if we could celebrate failure? Rather than see our lack of knowledge or understanding as a condemnation and a road block to our learning. Perhaps we can develop a more empowering mindset? What if failure was met with an eagerness to delve deeper, create new solutions, explore different perspectives, investigate other paths?

What learning becomes available when you fail? The results tell you everything. 2017 saw me launch Mindful Movement workshops. They were met by my captive audience with enthusiasm and deep learning. I expected 2018 to continue that way. In reality, engagement has been poor so far. Why? After consulting enough people with experience, it has become clear marketing is the main issue. As a result, I have been on marketing workshops. Some improvement but still not great. The next step has been audience focus. Better results again. Now it is language. What words am I using in my marketing literature? Each step gets me closer. Every failure points to the next solution.

On a personal note I have been challenged with communication with my son. I have always reached out to him but he has never initiated contact. At 20 years old I was hoping for a more balanced relationship. I tried a few things- silence, texts, phone calls- none of it worked. I was seeing the endless failures as a sign there was no road through and it was upsetting to contemplate that I would have no two- way relationship with him. Instead, I had it out with him face to face, kindly, openly, respectfully. He responded beautifully to his great credit. It’s early days and so far, we are enjoying a much more balanced and open communication.

Failure as a Positive Force

I have a tendency to view failure as an end of the road. Perhaps you do the same?  It is no such thing unless you choose to put the road blocks there. It is hard sometimes to find the way through, the next step, another option. Creativity, openness, receptivity to advice and suggestions from others and a desire to find your way through are essential I believe. It is a challenge in itself to maintain these mindsets when you hold failure as a negative force. Held as a positive force, it acts as inspiration for creativity, receptivity and desire.

Failure is an inevitable part of the life coaching process.  Each session is an open space for exploration, taking risks and deep learning.  And sometimes when action steps are not achieved, the next coaching session is ripe ground for getting curious about what the obstacles to taking action were.  Is it something about realistic expectations?  Does the client have a relationship with that action that limits them?  Are they holding a disempowering perspective?  At no point is their judgement.  There is only the opportunity for more learning and growth.  Seeing failure as the route to success I think is a healthy view point. That you succeed is a wonderful by- product. Failure is the fertile ground of learning, growth and understanding.

We are all Roses on The Wheel of Life

As a wonderful teacher told me years ago, the rose grows strong and beautiful when you put lots of manure and water on it. Failure and the expansion out of your comfort zone that comes with failure held in a positive light is the manure you flourish in. All the manure and water can do is bring forth what is already there. Failure can entice you to dig deeper into yourself in any given area of your life. In fact, it is the manure your whole life flourishes in: health, business/ career, relationships, finances, education, contribution and any other segments of your Wheel of Life.

As a result, let’s celebrate failure- the barometer that points to your need to learn, expand, grow and ultimately flourish.

Over to You

Do you see failure as a positive or a negative? How do you hold failure? Is it a learning tool or a road block? How does seeing failure as a positive change outcomes for you? Where is the learning in your failure? Failure is such a common part of our lives if we wish to grow and move our lives forward. The alternative is stagnation and overwhelming fear to try. How can celebrating failure change that mind set for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts, experience and realisations. Please share them in the comments box below, on social media or e- mail me at david@potentialitycoaching.co.uk. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pass it on

If you know someone who is struggling with failure, why not send them the link to this blog or share and retweet the posts? It could be just what they need to see failure as something to celebrate.

Freedom to Choose

Do you find your self limited by old ways of thinking? Are you frustrated by getting the same results time and again?  Do you hold on to old ways of thinking that do not work? Would you challenge an old perspective?  Do you notice your self blaming others for the undesired results you get?

Do you come at challenges from the same direction? Can you change how you look at things so that you see them with fresh eyes and have different outcomes? Do you get bored with your career, relationships and perhaps even your self? Are you fed up with walking the same path?

Perhaps you need to challenge your thinking? May be what you bring to the table is contributing to the frustration? What if you were to look at the situation from another perspective? What if you could see a situation like a child, without boundaries, limitations or blinkered thinking?

Ritual Action

Without boundaries there is no need for limited perspectives, just the freedom to move and think as you choose

Without boundaries there is no need for limited perspectives, just the freedom to move and think as you choose

I came across this gate without fencing on either side of it in an open field while walking in Cambridgeshire.  It looked so strange in its place that I had to take a picture ( the wonders of modern technology).

Clearly at some point it had marked an access across a boundary. Now that boundary had gone and the gate was obsolete. I walked through it as a homage to old ways of thinking and ideas.

That ritual got me thinking about our entrenched ways of looking at life in general and at specific situations in particular. If we could break down the boundaries we wouldn’t then be forced to enter a situation from a given viewpoint.  Without boundaries there would be no need for a limited perspective, just the freedom to move and think as you choose.

Altering perspective

Let me share two examples in my life. I have a relationship with my bank that until recently has driven me mad with frustration. Every interaction I had with them from withdrawing money at ATMs, to speaking with staff or even internet banking left me agitated as I struggled with PINs, passwords and seemingly endless bureaucracy. One day I had the thought “Perhaps it’s me?”  When I complained about the bank to others, no one else seemed to have a problem.

I vowed to enter into interactions with the bank from then on with a new perspective and low and behold I have not had a frustration with them since. The boundaries I had created forced me to walk into any interaction with the bank through a certain gate- let’s call it “The Frustration Gate”. Once I dissolved away the boundaries there was no need to walk through “The Frustration Gate” any more.  I was free to interact with the bank openly and without feeling disempowered.

My second example goes much further back. My memories of childhood had overwhelmingly been very sad. I looked back at childhood with a dark veil over it and I imagined myself a victim and totally without power. Challenging that mind set has been liberating, allowing me to see that a few terrible situations had coloured my vision of my entire childhood. A sad yet avoidable truth. It has taken work which is on- going and now I see my childhood memories with so much more colour. Perhaps some boundaries are gone? Perhaps there are more gates now to the boundaries that remain? Who knows. What I do know is something is shifting, bringing joy and light into my life that wasn’t there before. That can only be a good thing.

Transformation and Freedom

So if you find your self endlessly meeting frustration and disappointment in life, perhaps there is more you can do than you realise? What can you do to challenge your old thinking? Can you create “gates” that bring new perspectives? What can you do to remove boundaries? Have a brainstorming session and see if there could be other ways to look at the situation? Talk with friends and colleagues about the way you see things?

As a life coach I see people’s lives transformed just by viewing old scenarios from another perspective, giving clients power, choice and the freedom to create the life they truly want for themselves.  When I teach I witness students’ horizons broaden with every new perspective they create for themselves.  As a leader I observe people stepping beyond the limited boundaries of their old perceptions and explore new territory that brings new challenges, growth and self- appreciation.

Over to you

I’d love to hear about your experiences of overcoming old ways of thinking and how that has empowered you towards choice and freedom. Please share your frustrations and successes so that we can build a resource on this website that people can come to for education, inspiration and find the ways to live their lives from their fullest 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.

Answering questions from a different perspective- 4 steps to Body Wisdom

Finding a different perspective can open up a whole new view

Finding a different perspective can open up a whole new view

There is an Einstein quote that I love: “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it”. I find it incredibly instructional, because it reminds me of the limitation of one mind set that can be given new light, insight and understanding by viewing it differently. It also reminds me that whenever there is a block in my life, I know that there is at least one way past it somehow if only I take the time to look, explore and discover.

Body Wisdom

Sometimes the process of getting to that new vision can be really challenging as it may ask us to question previously tightly held beliefs that may be long engrained and even foundational to our current life style and way of being.

As a martial arts instructor as well as a life coach I am constantly reminded of the intuitive knowledge of the body. I call this ‘Body Wisdom’.  In martial arts as well as dance, particularly contemporary dance, manifests in movement.  Particularly the spontaneous movement within unstructured forms and personal expression.

To people outside these worlds this may appear strange, yet to those of us sharing this wonderful experience, it is as if the body is speaking to us, through us in freedom, joy and celebration.

We experience this wisdom all the time, in our health, spatial awareness, balance and homeostasis- the body’s dynamic equilibrium of minerals, electrolytes and hydration.

Body Wisdom as a new Perspective

As a life coach people often come to me feeling stuck, challenged and unsure as to which direction to turn and get locked into the story of their journey. This is the conscious mind recounting facts explaining how it got into this situation in the first place. Very quickly what I do is ask clients to access the intuitive, creative and freer part of their minds.  Almost instantly the blocks begin to dissolve away. New action ensues from this new mind set.  Then the conscious mind is given new insight and knowledge which leads to new solutions.

I have a friend who pitches business solutions to companies, in particular industries in which he has no industry track record. To begin with these companies are a little bemused as to why he would bother. Very quickly he poses solutions to their problems that they have never thought of simply because he is not restricted to that particular industry’s mindset and can offer thinking out of the box so to speak.

One source of alternative thinking in life coaching is Body Wisdom. The awareness of the body, it’s feelings, emotions, tensions and pains. I use this a lot with myself as well.  I understand that my body is speaking to me all the time.  Recently, my awareness of tension in the core of my body led me to understand that I have fear around trust.  I am now able to address this in many areas of my life.  Therefore I’m improving my relationships with others both privately and in business as well as with my self.

I use this with clients too, accessing insights that are hidden to the logical, conscious mind normally. It brings freedom, the choice to make a decision consciously rather than be motivated by unconscious drivers. Slowly over time we return fully to our self.  Becoming progressively more present, more available and more powerful in the moment.

Four steps to Body Wisdom

1. Take some time and space to sit quietly and bring your awareness to your body. Deep breathing and progressively relaxing the body helps with this>  It has the additional benefit of calming the mind as body and mind are connected.

2. Become aware of tension in the body. This can really only happen when you are still and aware of the body. It could be shoulders, neck, stomach, back, your jaw, even the breath itself. Wherever there is tension, there is energy held, locked in and not free to flow.

3. Pick a spot. Breathe into this tension. Penetrate deep with your awareness and your breath. When the energy starts to shift this is when the insights come- in words, feelings and often in pictures. Perhaps it is an object or place, what temperature, what textures, sounds and movements are there? This is the body speaking its language. This is Body Wisdom.  Work with the imagery, let the process unfold and discover the wisdom that lies within.

4. If you feel inclined to do so keep notes of your revelations and insights. Most importantly you are setting your self free from the tension that holds you back from being most fully your self. This is an on- going process, constantly unfolding, releasing you from old ways and paving the way for the new.

Body Wisdom is just one way in which you can gain a different perspective on engrained ideas. The key to opening the door to any situation in which you feel stuck or limited is to look at it from new perspectives. Suddenly new information is available to you and new avenues present themselves. If you want to remain stuck in the old view look no further.  If you want freedom, sometimes the body can reveal perspectives to you that not only give new insight.  They can also heal. Such is the power of the body when you give it a chance!

Over to you

As ever, I would love to hear from you.  How do you find the process of accessing Body Wisdom?  What revelations have you had?  How have you overcome the parts you have found challenging?  Please share your thoughts and insights.  You never know you may provide a perspective for  someone else that may help set them free.

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.

Different Perspectives

Sometimes seeing a situation from a different perspective can be really freeing

Sometimes seeing a situation from a different perspective can be really freeing

Learning comes from many sources.  It is the key to finding new perspectives to situations.  This in turn leads to self -growth.

Recently I was preparing for a presentation and getting increasingly stressed and anxious about the event.  The effect on my body felt like an inward and downward spiral, compounding the effects.  Then I remembered a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal.  She speaks about viewing stress differently.   How the stress response is actually preparing your body to perform better.  It’s reaching out for help and support, so that you can be the best you can be.  Instantly I felt the sensation of overwhelm fall away.  There was still stress, the pressure of performing.  Now it was without the overwhelming feeling of this inward and downward spiral.  I felt freer to prepare and perform.

Is it the “Situation” or the “Problem”?

Sometimes seeing a situation from different perspectives can be really freeing.  The facts have not changed, your view of them has.  I am often reminded that there is learning everywhere, if only I am receptive to it.  Very often, there will be a situation in my life and I will see it as a problem.  I may even focus on the symptoms and think they are the problem.  With each step, I am getting further away from the core of the learning that is available.  The word “situation” is neutral, less emotional and easier to handle.  “Problem” begins to apportion blame.  Focusing on “symptom” simply creates a smoke screen of denial and confusion.

What is the learning?

There are reasons I have arrived at this situation, qualities that I bring that have led to this outcome.  I may love the situation I am in and the outcomes- that is great.  I have mastered the creation of that particular situation- there is no learning here, just the experience of the connections I have created.  Immersing myself in this is important, for it powers this moment and builds the energy of my life.

If I do not like the situation or think it could be better, what can I do to improve it?  How can I view it differently to see more of the benefits?  What can I learn about myself, others and what it takes to build events in my life?  Blame and smoke screens, “problem” and “symptom”, separate me from myself and the moment, leaving me to feel diminished and disempowered.

Practice seeing a different view

May I suggest an alternative?  Pick a situation.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  Play around at viewing it from different stand- points.  How might other people there see it?  What would people who were not there say about it?  What new skills could you learn that might make for a better outcome?

There is no blame here, simply learning.  By looking at it this way you are connecting with yourself and the learning available in that moment, being honest and establishing your next possible area of growth and development.  This way of thinking means you are taking responsibility for your life and the outcomes of your actions.  It is a self empowering process that keeps you real and watchful.

People feel this honouring of responsibility.  They may not agree, but they will recognise your authenticity.  This will show in a myriad of subtle ways, building bridges of connection between you and your family, friends and colleagues.

Taking your place in the world starts from within.

Your turn………

I’d love to hear from you.  Please share your stories of life’s situations and how you turned them into opportunities for growth and learning in the comments section at the bottom of the page.  Many thanks for reading the blog and contributing to making this an empowering, supportive and learning environment.

And 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.