Monday, December 29, 2008

Conflict--How We Start It and How We Can Stop It.

Do you sometimes think conflict is following you around just waiting to foul up your day? We seem to travel in and out of these "zones" coming to believe that we just move in and camp out there. So what is creating so much conflict in people's lives? Discontent, anger, jealousy, resentments, betrayal, disappointments etc. One could suggest that the turmoil people experience on the inside, no matter what the reason, causes conflict on the outside. When this happens, we do not need another person to help take our day off track as we have already done that ourself. Some people feel threatened in different ways causing fear and pent up rage which needs to be vented in a healthy fashion. You can take most all of these reasons for creating inner turmoil and title them all with "not enoughness". This is the major cause of conflict. Just understanding that the fear of not being good enough, having enough, doing enough is going to cause all of these emotions to swell up inside you. Dr. Becky Bailey will tell you that one way to get out of "not enoughness" is to shift your attitude to focus on the answers. LOOK at what needs to be done and create an attitude of gratitude. That is being thankful and appreciative for what you have already. Find the "goodness" in people and not look for all their faults, as if there is a reward for doing so. With some folks that is like picking low hanging fruit. Life is not about getting what you want, it is about wanting what you have. If that isn't to your liking, then get proactive with change. Develop an intentional attitude of finding what is working for you. Remember-you find what you look for in life and you become what you repeatedly do. People will never be able to get into conflict with you without your permission. With a definite and deliberate shift in your thinking, this can be a changing day in your life. Want it so much that nothing will stand in your way till you get it. I wish you all Godspeed in the very serenity you choose to make part of your daily life.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Follow Up on Boundaries

Boundaries are as necessary to our body as fuel is to any engine. So many people say they are living their lives when indeed they are just existing in their life. Whenever we do not feel the worth of our own selves, demonstrated by not being able to say what we want, or do what we want, it is as if we have given control of our lives over to just about anybody else on the planet.

To feel muzzled, gagged, tied up in a knot by someone else's standards or demands, is not living a full functioning life. We, as individuals, must realize this is no dress rehearsal, as we turn each page of our daily life. We are responsible for what we do and who we are becoming. Setting boundaries is one of the primary tools and the fuel we need for designing the life we really want to live.Two of the main reasons we set boundaries are to first protect ourselves and/or anyone else we are in charge of (physically, verbally, spiritually, socially and psychologically).

Secondly, when we state what we want, what we expect, what we will and will not tolerate, we stay out of the other person's head, as to how and what they are going think of us. We will be free to state our wants, needs expectations and tolerations. Our life must belong to us or we turn over the helm of our ship to just about anybody who will take it. We deserve better than that and a Coach will help you define your boundaries and show you how to implement them immediately.
As your Coach, I care about you and how you can free yourself from the chaos of these age old, self imposed restrictions and bondages. IMMEDIATELY--when you realize that someone is crossing the line, especially verbally, say to yourself in your head first, "I will not take your guilt".
Now that you are warmed up, let those words roll right off your lips. It is very empowering. If unable, then just say it to yourself mentally until you can express it. Picture a hula hoop and 50 feet of garden hose in a circle. Those represent your boundaries. Without any verbal responses to people, they can get real close to you. Hence the hula hoop. Not much room to move around in. However when you begin to address these remarks and verbal attacks, letting others know what you will tolerate and won't tolerate will put them on notice that change is coming about and it is all "about" you.
NOW you step out of the hula hoop and step into the 50 feet of garden hose. Much more room to operate in as people will only get as close to you that you let them. Give this a run around the block a couple of times and see if you have success with it. I am not saying this is easy to do nor that you have to. I am saying that it is necessary for your own survival and quality of life. I am also saying that as long as you allow these situations to continue, you can expect more of the same.
So-unless and until you decide what you want in your life, just expect the same old stuff to continue. EVERYONE is allowed to establish boundaries between ourselves(what we accept from our self and what we won't), others and situations. When it becomes difficult and you loose your way, then it is time to call the Coach.
I wish you Godspeed with this as we were not done with the topic and just with this short bit of information I am just about out of ink!!!!! I hope this will help. Thanks again for your time!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grief--How Do We Handle It?

People in grief wonder if they will ever be or feel okay again. Not only do you face overwhelming emotions of loss, you can get to feeling discouraged or even ashamed when you think your grief doesn't just "disappear" right away. Grief is as individual and personal as your own set of fingerprints. Loss is loss and grief is grief. Whatever your situation is, it belongs to you and how you go through it. It will be determined by what previous encounters you may or may not have experienced before. Each loss is different because with people, you will have a different relationship with them. Some you are more emotionally connected with than others. Because we may not have as deep as a connection with someone will never devalue them it is just that you have built an entirely different bond together. So what do we do with this grief? First acknowledge that you have the grief to deal with. We know we will be experiencing feelings and memories of this person and that is a compliment to them. Some people try to rush through or sidestep this process and in many cases it just resurfaces at a later time when you least expect it. There is a phrase, " Grief bottled up just simply reappears". Next we need to honor our feelings and respect the emotions we are having. Some people think that expressing emotions makes you weak somehow. Actually it does just the opposite. When you allow your whole psyche system to experience these range of emotions it does help to complete you as a human being. I would hate to walk around planet earth and not feel the beauty or the sadness that comes across my path. There is much to be said about "stuffing" our emotions as if there were a reward as to how well we did it. It creates a completely different set of problems, emotionally, psychologically and physiologically with stress and our internal organs. Develop a language of grief, sadness, joy, happinessc etc. Learn a range of emotions to honor your your own self so when you have to go through an encounter like this you will do it appropriately and on a timely basis, dealing with it now instead of later when it may not be as convenient. To bury these feelings and not give them a voice is like the phrase, "Silence is no token that no secret grief is there, but sorrow that is never spoken is the heaviest load to bear". Learn to bend--you will not break. This is a gift you give to yourself so as to be able to share yourself with others. When you honor your feelings is when you get on the road to healing. By allowing all this grieving, gives you hope as you head toward healing. It is a process that most of us were never taught however it can be your path back to a place of peace, building a stronger and more empathetic you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Teens and Depression

With the ever pressing demands on teens nowadays, there has been a rise in teenage depression. No matter what the cause, there has to be an assemblance of adults with accurate information to share with them, to help them cope with all the pressures life will bring them. There are going to be a vast number of teens peers who will want to pick on and criticize folks who usually do not have the ability to fight back. I do not mean physically either. Kids pick on ones and bully the kids who they think they can just push around verbally and emotionally without any resistance. If you are a teen who has this problem OR know someone who does, there are certain skills which can be learned, to be able to put these people in their place and let them move on to go bother someone else. It is a very sick and twisted way of thinking. First, to think about doing this to other more unfortunate youths and then consciously go out and aggravate someone as though it was a sport, is downright, sick, mean, bullish and cowardly. We all need to help our peers and not sit by and watch because if that were a sibling of yours I guarantee the humor would go out of it really fast. IF you may know someone who is now going through this, we can provide a phone link which would be totally confidential by dialing *67 first to block the number which you are calling from. That would free you up to speak with me, as I have worked a confidential hotline for 20 years and have dealt with as many different sensitive situations you can think of. I have lost many people in my life to suicide--two teens especially and I do not want to loose one more person. In the darkest of moments there are ways we can find to cope with whatever is going on and we can identify resources if you like to contact. ALL your choice every step of the way. I do not want to know who you are. Make up a first name to refer to you and we can talk. I just want to know that you would trust a voice on the other end of a phone line who says he cares and you would be willing to talk WITH, not that you will be talked at or down to, so we can find the very solutions that are being clouded at the moment. Here is my personal cell# to call if you need to reach out and hear a calming voice, to work through whatever may be complicating your life. No strings attached. Sounds like a good deal to me. 239-253-6600. I will await your call and please know someone cares about what you are going through. I wish you Godspeed and if you get my voicemail just say "this is Jim or Linda and need to talk, I will call you back in 5 minutes". That will let me know you are in a desparate situation and will be ready for your call. Know my heart rides with you!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Verbal and Emotional Abuse

There are times when we may not fully understand how subtle the effects of verbal and emotional abuse are having on our life. I recently came across nine of the most significant effects of these two forms of abuse. The Center For Relationship Abuse Awareness Organization puts these out as their campaign for consciousness which we must educate ourself about. These creep into our life and our psyche when we begin to loose sight of who and what we are about. Before we start listening to anyone's instructions of how we must conduct our very self, take careful notice if any of these are currently present in your life. If you can relate, even remotely as to how someone who may be instrumental in "guiding" you, let these be warning bells, to put you on notice, to stop these in their tracks. Here are the nine effects of verbal/emotional abuse:

Distrust of one's own spontaneity
Loss of self confidence
Growing self doubt
Uncertainity of self
Loss of enthusiasm
Fear of being crazy
Having reluctance to come to any conclusions
Has a strong desire to escape or run away.
A constant, nagging concern that something is wrong with you.

Let these be the light to help guide you along your way of becoming the person you were meant to be. Positively impact your tomorrow and take a careful look at your right now. Let's begin today to create a different history, as we begin to walk out of that and into the light of a new beginning. Be the change you want to see happen in the world.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How To Become A Leader

When observing a leader who is in charge of others, generally they display qualities of effectiveness. One great discernable quality you will recognize is “poise”. Leaders who exhibit poise display many role modeling characteristics, which they have truly mastered. We all develop these traits over time, through attrition and in “bite size pieces”. Learning to “calm” the negative opposites of being poised--rudeness, discontent, being critical and unapproachable, anger, uneasiness etc., is absolutely key in becoming a poised and competent leader. We calm ourselves first before we can calm others. Marie Curie once said, “We cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals.”
If you are a leader or would like to become one, can you list 6 reasons why anyone would want to follow you? Do you look for what you want in others instead of what you don’t want? Are you a good motivator and builder of self worth, self confidence and self esteem in people? Does your message say “I am responsible”? Do you have an attitude of gratitude or “something else”? Let us be more concerned with leading others to be “on their way” instead of “in their way.”
Setting a positve, healthy, functional example of being a leader, definitely comes with experience. You will consistently have people's support, even though you will make mistakes along the way. If the very people you lead, know and understand you have their back, they will allow you the space for you to grow into, especially when they realize it also becomes better for them in the end. To sum this subject up, here are 5 soul searching questions to ask yourself, to help you develop this poise and effectiveness we are referring to:
1. Can you take a reprimand without blowing up?
2. Can you take a turndown without becoming discouraged?
3.Can you laugh with others when the joke is on you?
4.Can you keep your spirits up when things go wrong?
5.Can you keep cool in emergencies?
Master these five and you will become one of the most effective, rolemoldeling, accomplished and productive leaders who will lead with confidence!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How Men Apologize and Women Give Forgiveness

With this being our last part of our Mars/Venus discussion, we will look at the way an apology and forgiveness needs to be done.
Men have this classic ability to offer up explanations when an apology is due. Sometimes this explanation will be embellished somewhat, to establish credibility with his woman. Interesting enough, the thought is, the better the explanation, the increased chance it will be believed and accepted. Wrong!! When men have an apology between men, one apologizes to the other, he accepts it-done deal, the conversation is over. When a man needs to give an apology to a woman, after the I'm sorry, the conversation has just begun. Women need to express their feelings about what the man did and make sure he knows why she is upset and understands it. A woman's ability to forgive will begin when she hears the description of what happpened. It is called a "Nadjective". This is referred to as a "negative adjective". If a man was rude, insensitive, offensive, he says, "I was rude, insensitive and/or offensive". Nadjectives!! She hears that "he gets it". Now she can move to doing the forgiving because he has the chance to respond to how she felt about this and how it affected her. Men-here's the key. Bring the "I"m sorry" right away. You owe it-she's due it--pony up. Next-listen to her response and hear her share the feelings which were created. This is not supposed to feel good so grin and bear it to learn the lesson. When she is done, then respond with the appropriate "nadjective". If you do not focus on your mistake, she will until you do. Your choice. Here's the distinction between saying I'm sorry and asking for forgiveness. When you say you are sorry, that means you didn't know what you were doing and someone got hurt in the process. Asking for forgiveness says that I knew what I was doing and I am ready to step up and take responsibility for what I did. The more a man apologizes and is forgiven, the more considerate he becomes. Strangely enough, by doing all of this, there is an incredible power we will have to bring more happiness into our life and isn't that what we all deserve?
I know this got quite long however I believe you will agree this is an important subject for us all to take notice of. Thank you John Gray for all your expertise/research about Mars and Venus and most of all, thank you all for your time!
Happy Trails!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mars Mistakenly Communicating To Venus

When guys are not aware of their words or actions-they send large negative messages to women. When initially getting to know a woman, men can go on and on "ad nauseum" about either them self or about their life theories. Woman prefer men to be attracted to them for who they are AND to demonstrate an obvious interest in her. Men-understand that because you may have a lot of knowledge and experience about things, places, accomplishments etc, that doesn't really impress her or create an attraction between she and you. This will be an immediate turn off. Women need to share who they are with you expecting a similar dialogue from you to her. She is looking to gain a sense of who and what you are about, while showing her your ability to demonstrate how you relate to her. Being in conversation with a woman, when she displays any negative feelings about someone or a situation, she is not to be judged as"hard to please" nor does she need input on what to do to advise her on a solution. Men are into fixing things and dilemmas however women think out loud to just share themselves. We need to share equally with one another all sides of us because that is what forms the bond of a relationship. Men-take the focus off what you want or desire and you will learn "about" and "see" her in a different light. Never cease to extend compliments to a woman. A continuous flow of them, not matter what length of time you have been together, will always transmit your love, appreciation and interest in her. This helps to fuel the attraction she will have toward you. Never become complacent thinking your relationship can be sustained by and live off the interest of your initial physical/(?)emotional investment. If you believe you have won her over and you can just coast along, assuming she knows that you care, you are in for a very rude awakening. Not a good plan. Always be aware of what she is interested in while displaying your interest in her. That will heighten the attraction you will both have for one another, while strengthening and growing the relationship together. Be well and happy relating!!!!!!!

*****The last part of this series will show how apologies are made on Mars and Venus.*******

Mars and Venus Continuing On

Because Mars and Venus are are so different, as John Gray continues to instruct us, their communication styles also have marked differences. For instance: If a woman may complain about her life, immediately the man feels the need to offer her a solution. (As if she isn't able to figure it out on her own.) However, that is what men do is fix things. When she says,"I just don't have time or enough help to get things done at work." Once again, men will tell her to slow down, don't try to do so much and get some people to help. To men, that makes sense-to women that is so far off base. Instead, say to her, "you are such a hard worker and always give your best. Can I give you a hug?" Now, you may tell her that she worries too much and works way too hard. "Let's just forget it and just go out". No-she will not and is unable to just forget it. Right now, men just need to listen to all that is being said, give an offer to help or ask if there is anything you can do? A woman needs to be heard and once that is done and she has processed her feelings, she will feel much better. Just refrain from fixing any problem. Offering up some explanation for why things are will most likely be met with silence or resistance. Just stay neutral, validate what and how it must be affecting her without doing any fixing. Ask if there is something you can do to help her. This is rather confusing, however with a little bit of work, we men can learn the rhythm of communicating on Venus.Next time, John Gray will show us what men are thinking and saying. Until then.....................

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Relationships on Mars and Venus

For the next few blogs, let's take a close look at the way Mars and Venus view one another. In John Gray's book ,"Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus", he makes some very salient points about how supremely different men and women are and how their listening and thinking styles are so unique. Through his introspection of this topic, he provides a way of discussing the subject without "stepping on each other's toes" as he states this. Here is a sad truth. The more a man likes a woman, the more he will avoid getting involved because he might get hurt. With intimacy, the distinction is that a woman moves up and down while men move back and forth. Women's increased intimacy makes them feel more vulnerable and as a result, her feelings will tend to rise and fall like waves. Men are like rubber bands with intimacy. Their intimate involvement creates the need to pull away, knowing he can return even experiencing more and deeper love. Unfortunately his woman takes it personally, thinking this is about her. Not so! To give him his "space", understanding that absence makes the heart grow fonder is key to this process. It is difficult yet needed. Men will stretch out so far and then will come springing back. Ironically each time this happens he will love her more. Sound crazy? Welcome to the world of "testosterone". And us men say that understanding the language and actions of women is so difficult. Thankfully over time this will diminish, however it does and will remain to some degree. To help guard against this, men need to "get ready" to be intimate. The earlier the experience of intimacy the more extreme his pull back. Women believe more intimacy is better when this pull back happens and that can sabotage this connection for good if not careful. This situation would require a lot of balance and patience, as you navigate through this process. Strive to create the chemistry experience on four levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. This is demonstrating an expression of love in all four areas.
On the next continuing blog we will explore the distinction of what he/she says vs what he/she hears.
Note: If there is a subject you would wish to have information on, please email me as a comment about this blog and I will be happy to include it. Till next time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How To Have Better Insight

One of the recurring themes you see throughout my coaching and web site is the phrase "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Dr. Wayne Dyer has said that over and over and has become a program for me for many years now. Some of what I wanted to share on this blog are short phrases I have come across which you can think of on a regular basis when needed. Some are on my site and new ones come up quite often. Here are some I am usually thinking of:
Unforgiveness is a form of self abuse. Being unwilling to forgive is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. An apology only stops the bleeding, it never really heals the wound. Mediocrity always attacks excellence. Life is about letting-not getting. We are participants in life, not anticipants. Trying is failing with honor. Be on your way not in your way. Life is about scattering not just gathering. The more I understand myself the more effective I can be with others. Life is not meant to be a struggle. Energy flows where attention goes. What you allow--you teach!! Last but certainly not least, I came up with an acronym for L.I.F.E C.O.A.C.H.--- Living Is For Everyone --- Changing Our Attitudes Creates Happiness :). Anyone who knows me, more than understands how I love acronyms and pictures to think in!! I hope there is something in this lineup you can take with you, which will help you in your life.
Godspeed to you along your life's journey.

Monday, April 21, 2008

How To Become a Better Listener

How many times are you in the company of a person who just can't wait for you to stop talking because they have something more important to say than you? You may find it very interesting to know that that in the world of communicating, only 7% is accomplished by the spoken word. With that said the other two components are facial gestures--55% and other body language 37%. Listening is without a doubt the most essential part of the communication process. Many people claim to be good listeners and the way we convince others of this is to be reflective of the phrase," People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care". Let that resonate with others when being in their company. There are a lot of right fighters in this world. No matter what, they have to have the last word in every exchange or show you how you are wrong. Somehow, that is the way they have been taught to engage others. They can choose to be right or they can be happy, it is clearly their choice. There is a higher level of functioning and to just be "in the moment" with another person, sharing all of who you are and what you are about, is key to long lasting relationships. There is an acronym I tripped over a long time ago which makes incredible amount of sense regarding how to listen. The word is L.A.D.D.E.R. If you and I stood in front of one another, leaning in, foreheads touching, hands on top of one anothers shoulders; we could look as if we were forming the shape of a ladder. Here is what the acronym stands for, in regards to being attentive with each other. L--look at the other person. Let them know you are there for them. A--ask questions. This way you are engaging them to fully understand what they are saying. D--Do not change the subject. You are being trusted with a very pertinent part of this person's life and constantly changing the subject will change your relationship. D--Do not interrupt. They have a train of thought to share with you and please let them finish it. E--Empathy. Bring empathy to this moment in support of what all is being talked about. R--Respond verbally or non verbally. Your very response, which ever way you choose in the moment will validate their position, themself as an individual and strenthen your connection with one another. Listening will always communicate your understanding, trust, support and emphasis you place, on how much you regard the other person. The openness and accceptance you have to teach in the moment, will help them do the very same thing, as they begin to pay it forward with others. Wouldn't you love to be the author of teaching that lesson?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coaching Verses Counseling

Whenever asked the question, "isn't coaching just like counseling"?, my reply will generally be about the distinction between the two. I have come to realize that in back of the question is sometimes a need for clarification because many times a person has been through the counseling/therapy process and is looking for something diffferent. As other coaches have remarked to me, that if a new client is in need of counseling we make that recommendation as well. Some people are in the place to need to understand why and how their life got to be where it is. Problems from the past have a way of staying in step with present and future lives. Thank God for the training counselors have to assist their clients in traveling back through time to identify issues which have created the very conflict people are in. No one needs to have the responsibility of carrying around burdens from the past with them. Coaches however, work in the future in a time we have yet to live. We help create success plans for tomorrow and redefine what new decisions or goals can be developed for having a fuller, richer, happier, healthier and balanced life. We also develop a very confidential bond with our clients because we want them to discover what new methods of living are going to be the most effective and rewarding for them. We begin immediately to give our clients control over their lives. We are able to present many ways of seeing a situation through a different lens for success. Never do we take the position of telling a client "what" to do as opposed to showing them many ways of "how" they can choose differently to achieve their goal oriented results. The sole purpose of coaching is to focus on the needs of the client. This is a "Personal Improvement Process."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Children and Discipline

There seems to be such a disconnect these days as to what is the correct way to discipline children. So much concern is placed on their self esteem that we don't injure their sensitive feelings while many households are being held hostage by youngsters. It is my belief that a lot of parents are extremely hesitant to appropriately discipline their kids. Then the question is obviously asked, "what is the correct way?" Let's look at this. First off, when children start running the household, we now have the tail wagging the dog. Why can't we take away a expensive DVD player, or a flat screen television, a computer, x box etc. many people ask? They do not become permanent fixtures in a child's room. These are earned and retained by regularly displaying good, healthy manners, polite attitude and proper communicating of the English language, without any demeaning, sarcastic or cutting words. If their behavior or manners are indicative of disrespectful slang, innuendos or gestures, things need to come flying out of that room and not taken back until there is a significant shift in their attitude. If they are only left with a mattress to sleep on and the floor to hold their clothes, then so be it. This is what they have earned for themselves. We have a generation of young men who have already learned the negative skill of control and manipulation. We do not need to teach the next group of kids coming up the same thing. I am quite sure that some people reading this are already in disagreement with what I am saying and that is perfectly okay. I will just ask you that what you are doing presently, if it isn't working well, would you be open to something new and different? Here is a rule of thumb to go by: with any discipline it needs to be respectful, related and reasonable. If you follow that guideline, then it will teach the child to do this in a loving, teaching, caring and supportive way. Too many times we as adults will make a child the brunt end of being punished. Remember: discipline comes from the word "disciple", which means to teach. Punishment only looks around to "blame" someone which is generally the child. Self esteem bottoms out, self worth plummets, self confidence flies right out the window and they walk away feeling like, "not enough". It does not take too many instances for them to get that message of "not enoughness". Children do not question the wrong doings of adults, they suffer them. Please keep that in mind. If we all could become an ambassador for children's appropriate rights, then we will fully understand how we are raising respectful adults, not children.

Learning To Communicate With Tact and Skills

As a result of developing your skill set and widening your range of techniques and communication tools, there will be a new realization of what your life will be about and who you will become. Here is just a short laundry list to review of how elevating your current knowledge base will benefit you. As a result of these new mindsets you will learn: A simple four step method for handling conflict; how to become a better supervisor, manager, team leader, parent, spouse, mate; how to eliminate being a direct target for rude and difficult people; how to have the proper response instead of a negative emotional reaction; how to stop being a people pleaser and take good care of yourself; how to stop being manipulated anymore; how to effectively deflect criticism; how to handle the "right fighters" in your life; how to spot a "V.E.R.B."(A person who generally is playing the Victim role--always displaying a sense of Entitlement--looking to be Rescued by others----then Blaming others and life for their misfortune and deeds gone wrong.) how to set appropriate boundaries and stick to them; how to develop better listening skills; finally-- last but certainly not least, how to bring out the best in yourself and others.
Start choosing today to positively respond to others by communicating with a very different yet healthier dialogue. The saying comes to mind," The more I understand myself, the more effectively I can work with others".

Monday, March 24, 2008

Personal Values

More and more as I network with people, the discussion of personal values continues to intrigue me. I will preface my comments here with the fact that I was not always able to identify mine. This is the very reason why I connect with others about this topic. One thing to know in regards to claiming your values is that self confidence is tied directly to this issue. Once defined, you will grow leaps and bounds in restructuring your life. Each one of us has our own personal power that we either personally diminish or will relinquish to others, figuring they might know better what is right for us. Get clear, crystal clear on what you value most: loyalty, kindness, wisdom, charm, empathy, honesty etc. just to name a few. Once becoming definite about what you stand for, admire and seek, your peace of mind, sense of purpose and fullfillment will pave the way for success and happiness. You become a self actualizing person who is totally responsible for choices made. Webster's defines value as "a thing or quality of intrinisic worth". Let's become genuinely focused on your values so you will come to realize the self worth you are very deserving of.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Questions For Change

Preceeding any coaching relationship, there are always some questions which either directly are asked of my clients or they show up in conversation. These are ones that I firmly believe will help both of us drill down to the core of truth to be dealt with:
  • What are your three distinct personal values?
  • What three areas of self-development would you like to improve?
  • What can you stop doing today which is keeping you from getting what you want?
  • If people hold negative perceptions of you, are they generally true? If not, how are they wrong?
  • What do you want to be happy and what are you willing to do to get it?
  • What will it feel like to get what you want to be happy?

In looking to redefine our lives in one way or another, we need to hold a mirror up for a time to look at the very obvious. After a period of time of doing this, with work, then we exchange the mirror for a window to go and experience our growth realized. These questions aren't the end all however, we all need a starting point and this can serve as a new and different beginning.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Managing Stressful Situations

In our very busy and hectic live style today, we sometimes fail to remember to take good care of ourselves. Because we handled all of these stress events yesterday, last month, last year is no recipe for a healthy, happy quality filled life. Just as soon as our system goes on overload, then all these events PLUS our ineffective ways of coping will come home to roost. By NOT managing stress well and just pushing it to the side, way down, becoming verbally combative and aggressive, we just delay the inevitable attack on our whole body wellness system. We choose these options because we believe they worked yesterday and will work today. WRONG! The following are passages from Dr. James Wilson's book, "Adrenal Fatigue". The very onset for this condition has many components which affect us, including but not limited to, physically, emotionally, psychologically and congentitally. Without the proper strategies for dealing with such things as : powerlessness, perfectionism, constant participation in no win situations, internal emotional stress, negative attitudes & beliefs, marital stress, death of a loved one, financial worries etc.; these are just a snapshot of the many factors which can trigger adrenal fatigue. Remember-all stresses are cumulative and additive in nature. Translation: Whether you recognize them or not, as many as you may have, the intensity and frequency of them, plus the length of time they are present, all combine to form your total stress load.
Being a coach, it is my belief we all need to be very aware and identify the triggers which set us off and be totally honest with ourselves first, before we can begin requesting of others of what all we need. Because over 80% of Americans suffer from some form of adrenal fatigue like Dr. Wilson says, that is a staggering statistic yet testimony to what our new focus of wellness has to be. There is no one size fits all for handling stress yet just acknowledging it is there will help tremendously. Let's be willing to become proactive of developing a game plan for better combined health, as this will be the first step on your road to recovery.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Manipulation and Control

When you talk about self esteem killers and covert forms of psychological abuse, these two topics have got to be as toxic as they come. Please let me preface my comments and say that if you are experiencing one or both of these, please seek out the appropriate form of help for yourself. That is most important. The lasting effects on someones mind, body and heart are so devastating that you can be very deeply or partially invested in a relationship without even knowing it. A manipulators objective is to get other's to do what they want with little or no regard being shown. No honesty, respect, sensitivity or concern for the way these destructive and manipulative behaviors will impact the lives of others. This negativity produces anxiety, guilt, blame, criticism, low self esteem and low self worth. A constant daily barrage of attacks like these are responsible for symbolically crushing the gentle spirits of others. In a family where the abuse is learned, children can only live and reflect these terrible teachings. A-B-C- AWARENESS BREEDS CONSCIOUSNESS! If manipulation is alive, active and unwell in your life, please take the necessary steps to navigate your way out of this devastating and demoralizing situation. NEVER- take anyone's guilt. Become the Victor while moving through being a victim. Learning the skills and techniques of positive responses to negative people is a very effective tool to be used against these very cruel and insidious attacks.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Children: They ARE Our Future

When I think of all the special training, practical experiences, wisdom and umpty ump degrees we need to compete in the business world, I ask why isn't it the same for having children? So many times when talking to parents do I hear how much conflict the family is in and the turmoil they are having with their children. With us being the models for children to follow, there seems to be a disconnect about what and how the children are receiving our messages. In many ways we are seeing reflected back to us our spoken/unspoken words and attitudes. We, as adults, hold up a mirror for them to see their choices made and behaviors chosen. In every instance we need to take the opportunity to teach, not criticize. Many times it is like picking low hanging fruit in the moment. There are some strategies I believe which can begin to shift our thinking to a higher level of consciousness:

Never disapprove of who a child is, disapprove of what they do.
Seek first to understand so you can be clearly understood.
Never punish, that is counterproductive--use healthy discipline
which teaches new ways of thinking. REMEMBER: Positive
discipline looks for solutions, punishment looks for blame.
Always be looking for ways to give praise--children respond so well to it.
Instruct them as to "what" you want, not what you "don't" want.
Know how children develop.
Adults must maintain self control: The biggest reason for low self
esteem in children is lack of self control in adults.
Build healthy relationships with your children.

I know there are no absolutes for how to positively impact each child, however, the more we learn about proper child development the more fun we can have along the way. I hope these
strategies will be helpful and remember to give yourself an "adult time out" to get centered, as you are doing without a doubt one of the hardest, most difficult, thankless jobs out there.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Ten Things I Want For You Are

As a Coach, I have a very committed sense of dedication to my clients. I realize there are certain parts of our development which are key to living a happy, balanced, quality filled life. What I would like to share with you are the very requests I have had with former clients and what I would ask of new clients. As people begin to grow into the person they either want or need to be, I am of the strong belief these will serve as either a springboard or cornerstones for your life.

1. Know and understand what your core beliefs are.
2. Tell yourself "First" the absolute unvarnished truth.
3. Start living your authentic life.
4. Have healthy self messages of "I".
5. Develop a high level sense of self worth.
6. Become a role model for others to follow.
7. Get in touch with your feelings.
8. Set very definitive and non-moveable boundaries.
9. Be a great listener while you communicate effectively.
10. Either restore, have, or keep your integrity while you role model that for others.

If your life is out of sync in any of these areas, this would serve as a mirror to hold up, to become a reflection of work needing to accomplish.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Relationships: How is yours?

Relationships can be sticky situations, right? What are your abilities for understanding, communicating, listening and being considerate of the other person? Too many times our judgements, attitudes and behaviors get right in the middle of people who profess to care about one another. Sometimes we need to take our own "time out" and realize the importance of asking ourselves the tough and difficult questions about where your relationship stands. Do you perceive the other person in a negative light? Do you compromise your wants, wishes and needs to "keep the peace"? How adept are you in "negotiating" in all areas of your life? Or, do you have "bargaining" strategies to get what you want? Having to tolerate people, situations and life isn't the best decision as it eventually becomes a train wreck of major proportion. Dr. Phil put it very succinctly when he says, "If the cost of being "half" a couple means you have to give up "all" of who you are, then isn't the price you are paying way too much?

So many times our own actions, reactions, words and gestures will create the very hardships our relationships will experience. We come to blame the other person who is "reacting" to things we have just said or done. If your message being sent has an air of manipulation, control, judgements or disdain, just to name a few, then you have the makings of an all out and out battle.

Dr. Graydon Goss, Md says, "There are three major areas we call triggers which have strong tendencies to start so many of the conflicts between people, and they are:"
Accusations: These are well intentional statements or questions that are meant to express hurt, but instead imply blame. Hurts are inevitable and as much as we try to avoid them we just don't. These accusations are expressions of anger instead of hurt. "You never pay any attention to me", instead of "I'm feeling lonely." "Why can't you ever be on time?", instead of "I am feeling impatient and have been worried." We all have the tendency to make it about somebody else instead of an expression of self.
INVALIDATIONS: This is when we imply someone's feelings are wrong, misguided, inappropriate etc. "You shouldn't feel that way." These are and can be very subtle however, they really hurt. Feelings are very real, believe it or not. Anger generally precedes hurt and that goes to the bone. Be careful. Acknowledge others feelings and offer to help if you can.
PHONY FACTS: These are opinions and (mis) perceptions expressed as though they are fact."
"I was born in PA." That is a fact. "Your Mother treats you like a child." That is an opinion. These will always invite disagreements, rebuttal or defensiveness. People will usally feel attacked this way. Is this what you want to create in your life?

All three of these triggers are well intentioned but ineffective attempts to communicate. Accusations--hurtful substitutes for expressions of feelings.
Invalidations--hurtful substitutes for expressions concern.
Phony facts--hurtful substitutes for expressions of information.

Let's learn more effective ways to communicate.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Goals For Positive Living

A common recurring theme I have experienced through Coaching, has been about maintaining a healthy, positive attitude. When I am asked, "how do I do that", or "what can I do to be more positive", believe it or not there are ways to strategize accomplishing this. When I hear the operative words, "how and what", it tells me that my client is ready to move forward and do the work.

By recognizing and accepting the personal responsibility of developing ourselves to our fullest potential, we will restore balance to all of our lives, starting with us. It is the sense of self respect we bring to all of our relationships, because the very relationship we have with ourself will be the same one we will have with others.
Here is a list of methods we can choose from today to begin to bring about a positive air to our living.
  • Be kind! Be kind! And Be kind!
  • Be an example to others.
  • Be sensitive and exercise better judgement.
  • Be a non-participant of gossip.
  • Be mindful of "your business" only.
  • Become approachable.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Always get more information before making decisions.
  • Let's not attempt to read the minds of others. Stay out of their heads.
  • Earn each others trust and respect.
  • Avoid sarcasm AND criticism.
  • Acknowledge people doing the right thing.
  • Take a sincere interest in others.
  • Look where you can give sincere compliments to others daily.

Every journey begins with the first step, as we all have heard through our lives. Developing a positive attitude of gratitude will keep us from developing "Psychoschlorosis", as Zig Ziglar would say. What is it? Hardening of the attitudes. Yes--it is a manufactured word, however our hearts and minds do not know anything different than what we teach it. Realize what you have to be grateful for and YES-this all has to do with positive thinking. Will positive thinking let me do anything? Absolutely not. BUT-it will let me do everything better then negative thinking will. Remember the 10 two letter words of success: "If it is to be, it is up to me".

Have a Great Day!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

How Happy Are You?

As relayed to me from a coaching client this past year, this comes to us from a Oprah show on determining the amount of happiness we all are experiencing. It is a short five question excerise which you will score your answers, to determine where you are on the "Happiness" continuumm. The questions are very generic, however your answers will be very specific. Here we go:

Your grading key will be from 1-7. One being "not much in agreement" with seven being "very much in agreement." Be careful to focus only on what you are reading and refrain from going to the answer scale. We want this to be an absolute, unvarnished reflection of your truth about yourself. Let's proceed........

1. In most ways, my life is close to ideal.

2. The conditions of my life are excellent.

3. I am satisfied with my life.

4. So far, I have gotten the important things in life.

5. If I could live my life over again, I would change almost nothing.


Let's see how you did. 31-35--Extremely Satisfied

15 and Below-----Dissatisfied

In Between-------So very much work to be done

What I found interesting, the happiest person on the show panel of guests was the funeral home owner of 35 years. The person scoring the lowest was the one looking to "be" the happiest. We all need to look at the very energy we are using each day. Let's determine if we are creating positive or negative attributes to our life and people around us. When I reflect back to clients who have worked beyond their life situations and have evolved, it helped me to look at the word C.O.A.C.H. and give it an acronym: " Changing Our Attitudes Creates Happiness". Take time to reflect on you, while giving "you" what you need. Be a great day.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Do you have them and Why are They Important?

Boundaries are as necessary to our body as fuel is to any engine. So many people say they are living their lives when indeed they are just existing in their life. Whenever we do not feel the worth of our own selves, demonstrated by not being able to say what we want, or do what we want, it is as if we have given control of our lives over to just about anybody else on the planet.

To feel muzzled, gagged, tied up in a knot by someone else’s standards or demands is not living a full functioning life. We, as individuals, must realize this is no dress rehearsal, as we turn each page of our daily life. We are responsible for what we do and who we are becoming. Setting boundaries is one of the primary tools and the fuel we need for designing the life we really want to live.

Two of the main reasons we set boundaries are to first protect ourselves and/or anyone else we are in charge of (physically, verbally, spiritually, socially and psychologically). Secondly, when we state what we want, what we expect, what we will and will not tolerate, we stay out of the other person’s head, as to how and what they are going think of us. We will be free to state our wants, needs expectations and tolerations.

Our life must belong to us or we turn over the helm of our ship to just about anybody who will take it. We deserve better than that and a Coach will help you define your boundaries and show you how to implement them immediately.

As your Coach, I care about you and how you can free yourself from the chaos of these age old, self imposed restrictions and bondages. Please feel free to contact me so we can begin to set the necessary boundaries you need to have in creating your authentic life.


“This is The Way To Live Your Life”

Learn the combination of techniques and tools for unlocking the way to live a balanced, calm, quality filled and authentic life. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired of the way people speak to you and treat you? Do you say to yourself “I deserve to be treated better than this but don’t know how to ask for it without creating more anxiety and conflict?”

We are all products of our upbringing and there comes a time for us to “rise above our raisin’.” What we were given through the role modeling of our adult authority figures, might have come up short, as to what we truly need to live a balanced life. When people emotionally cut us off at our knees, we have real feelings about that. We essentially give them permission to do this by our inability to defend ourselves. However, our reactions usually place us in conflict with the other person or persons.

By working with someone who supports you 100%, a Coach will assist and challenge you to learn each technique needed for individual growth. To learn assertiveness is to effectively know how to negotiate, positively influence and truly listen to others so as to know what and how to respond. By sharing who you are, what you are about and what you need the most, a Life Coach will hear you and will help guide you through the maze of change.

Let’s bring you exactly what you need to become the authentic person you are destined to be. As you begin to evaluate what assertiveness information or any other self development area you recognize the need for improvement in, please feel free to contact me and together we can discover how this can work for you. You owe it to yourself to be as happy and content in this life, regardless how others want to upset your very self. Let’s reclaim your power and have it be working for you.


Communication for each one of us is so vitally important to the degree of wellness we will all enjoy in life. How and what we say to ourselves first, determines the relationships we create with others. Have you ever heard, “People will treat you the way you see yourself”? Well, that is absolutely right on point.

If we walk around daily with self deprecating thoughts and phrases, just as sure as these words are in print, your subconscious will be taught to remind you of your negative points. The conversations you will engage others in will either contribute to the quality of your life or it will continue to contaminate every aspect of your day to day existence.

How does that become a gift to you, your family, children, mate, business associates or anyone else? Practicing radical, positive self talk affirmations will begin to diffuse these volatile, negative, “think/stink bombs.” All of this begins as a life process to immerse yourself in and a coach will
strategically help guide you all the way through. A Coach will always “have your back” and will be your biggest cheerleader of support.

If you are interested in designing a life full of healthy, interactive communication techniques, then I would very much like to hear from you. Let’s discuss together how we can jointly develop a wellness plan and system of success for your communication needs. Remember—“A powerful communicator empowers others and encourages others to express themselves”.