I have been reflecting on how often during my day I self-coach in order to get through my day with a sense of accomplishment rather than just feeling stressed.  I also self-coach when life presents me with the unexpected and the uninvited – events which I have not planned or prepared for.  This is frequently to do with meeting someone else’s needs, or meeting a deadline, which is often self-imposed.

When I find myself in this kind of situation my initial reaction, in the past, has been to panic. I then tell myself that it can’t be done or that there is not enough time.  Thankfully I have, however, learnt and continue to refine the use of a simple strategy which always helps me to put things into perspective and which I want to share with you in this newsletter.

Step 1
Step back – Instead of just being immersed in my thoughts about the situation (thus not being able to see the wood for the trees) I step back in my mind and begin to look at the situation more objectively; almost as though it were someone else’s problem and I was problem solving with them.  I am then able to see it as a problem to be solved rather than something to get uptight about.  Once I step back I begin to breathe more easily and begin to see more clearly what can be done.

Step 2
Identify my options – there are usually several possible options and it is always helpful to take time to explore these rather than racing ahead with the first idea that comes to mind.  By identifying options I realise that the task is doable and that I have choices.

Step 3
Make use of my favourite NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) guiding principles  –
My favourite at the moment goes something like ‘I have all the resources that I need to get this done’.  In this situation the resources are generally internal rather than external and refer to such attributes as self belief, problem solving skills, confidence, knowledge, experience.  In the moment, I frequently forget that I have these resources at my finger tips.  However, when I step back I am usually able to call them up and put them to use to help me to get the job done without stress and even with some enjoyment.

My other favourite NLP guiding principle is ‘The map is not the territory’.  In other words the way in which I am choosing to view the situation is not the only way to view it.  What to me might be an enormous challenge to someone else it is a great opportunity.  What is the map that they are using to be able to see the situation in this way?

Step 4
Seek out and use more empowering beliefs – Instead of dredging up old, limiting beliefs such as ‘I’m not able to’, ‘it’s not possible’, ‘it can’t be done’, I choose to seek out more empowering beliefs that help me to deal with the task at hand.  Such beliefs are – ‘I am resourceful’, ‘I have the knowledge, skills and attitude to deal with this’, ‘this too will pass’ and so on.

By the time that I have gone through this mental process (which only takes a few minutes) I feel ready to tackle the problem with a lightness of heart instead of that heavy, weighed down, I can’t cope feeling.  Which would you prefer to have?

I started drafting this newsletter in North Yorkshire where we were taking a few days break to explore an area of the UK, which I certainly didn’t know, and to be able to enjoy a few days in the countryside.  It has been a dream of mine in recent years to get out and explore more of the UK than I have in the past (instead of always flying off in search of sun) and so this was, hopefully, the first of many such trips.

It is interesting for me to reflect on how this is another of my own goals coming to pass and how important it is for all of us to have dreams for our lives (even when and perhaps especially when times are tough) as this is part of the process of creating for ourselves the lives that we want.  Can I dare to dream? I hear some of you ask.  Can you dare not to?  Without dreams we are merely in the here and now.  Nothing wrong with that at all but it is our dreams that often take us to the next phase of our life – ‘What do I really want?’, ‘What would I be really doing if I could?’ are good questions to ask to get the dream juices going!  Why not give dreaming a try?  You might find yourself in North Yorkshire or its equivalent!

We can then turn our dreams into a vision for our life. From there we start creating a few goals and begin to take action which will move us towards achieving our goals.  This is, in essence, the coaching process.

Are you interested in turning your dreams into reality?  Why not think seriously about working with a coach.  If you would like to explore this further, then contact me to find out more.  You can even treat yourself to a free 30 minute coaching session with me, in which you can experience the power of coaching.  Maybe you can achieve some of those dreams in 2013 after all.

Post your views by tweeting me on@celestinekeise


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