Last year a new client described what she wanted as the outcome of the coaching programme she was starting with me. She described a picture of an ‘amazing woman’ (as she referred to her) who obviously had it all together. This ‘amazing woman’ was calm and clear about her decisions and choices, she was happy and contented, she celebrated her wins rather than focussing on the negatives. She believed in herself and didn’t need validation from anyone else.
‘Woah’, I thought. Does this ‘amazing woman’ really exist? Or is she an amalgamation of bits and pieces of lots of women – all amazing in their own way – that my client had created? Because it’s easy isn’t it, when we are feeling ‘less than’ about ourselves, to imagine that other people have it all sorted? We don’t necessarily see their uncertainties and doubts, hiding under the surface. Or the moments of worry and anxiety, when alone in private.
Anyway, we agreed to keep this image of the ‘amazing woman’ in mind as she set the intentions for our work together. She recognised that she was making other people happy at her own expense. She realised she needed to change the status quo and that this would be scary. She vowed to be brave, to be kinder to herself and be open to the process.
I cannot describe the change in this client’s attitude to life and the huge decisions and changes she has made! She is now very much in the driving seat and has reset the sat nav. Not only is this benefitting her enormously, the ripple effect with her family and her colleagues at work is huge. I feel so proud of her.
So how did she do it? Lots of small steps, some of which I’ll share here. I hope they help inspire you to reset if you know you need to change direction and start to drive your life forward.
Whose rules are running your life? Who is walking all over you and taking you for granted? When we are always jumping to somebody else’s tune we aren’t in control.
Start to get clear on what your priorities are and how you can make sure they happen. How can you conserve your energy to focus on the things important to you, rather than constantly sacrificing time and energy for other people’s priorities?
Start small or you might experience a big backlash from people! Devise and practice a standard phrase to use when someone asks for your help and it’s something you’d rather not do. This creates a bit of thinking time if saying NO outright feels just too hard.
Once you realise that you are responsible for caring for yourself, it’s a big shift. When you notice that you’ve been putting yourself last, making excuses like lack of time, you realise that you just don’t value yourself enough. But if you do have the urge to make a change and move forwards then you’ll need to be in optimal condition – physically, emotionally and mentally. Once you learn to understand your needs, things you know will make you feel better, commit to doing them regularly. They may only take a few moments here and there, but when practised consistently they make a big difference.
Get Out of Your Head!
Our thoughts dictate us and define us if we let them. We tend to believe our thoughts as the absolute truth when that’s not always the case. But it’s our thoughts that spark our emotional response and it’s this emotion that’s often really uncomfortable. In turn, this drives the way we respond.
In a coaching session, we can work on reframing thoughts and finding a different perspective. This can be really freeing for some clients – they had never considered alternatives before, so they had become so entrenched in a certain (often negative) way of thinking.
It’s also important to learn to deal with the ‘mindset gremlins’ as I call them. You know that inner voice that’s always very critical and downright nasty, don’t you? We all have it from time to time – some of us more often than others – and it can really cripple us and stop us from doing the things that move us forwards, stepping up to new opportunities and taking big decisions. Learning to manage this Inner Critic is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.
My client put these and lots of other steps into practice and has seen an enormous benefit. Although she is still working on the mindset issues, Inner Critic in particular, she is now far more decisive, she has a renewed purpose and is commencing training for a complete change of direction in her work. She feels more settled in herself and in her beliefs. She has stopped catastrophising about small things, and she accepts that while change is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be scary.
So know that it is possible to reset, and change course just like adjusting your sat nav. But also know that if you are on a path that you need to follow, there are ways to ensure that you are in control. Make sure that you are in the driver’s seat by adopting some of these ideas.
If you think you’re ready to jump into coaching one-to-one then you can book a call and see if I’m the coach for you.
If not, I have a group coaching programme called More Like Myself which will help you to reset your life and get back into the driving seat. It’s a beta course at the moment so you’ll help me to develop the programme for its full launch and in return, you’ll get this at a GREAT introductory price with a heap of useful bonuses.