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A Coaching Question

Write down 6 words you’d use to describe yourself.

Now take a good, hard look at the words you’ve listed.

Is this who you want to be?

The way we see ourselves directly impacts the decisions we make on a daily basis. Sometimes an adjustment in perspective needs to take place before change can occur.

Bonus: I’m taking on two more coaching clients. Get in touch to see if coaching is right for you.

Change starts with awareness

What has worked in the past might not work now.

Start with your thoughts. Follow them. Make a list of your wishes and fears, doubts and insecurities, the things you want, and the conversations you’re having.

And challenge them.

Ask whether the thoughts you’re having are true.

Decide if your conversations are helpful.

Are your doubts and fears based in fact?

Change begins with awareness.

Look with love

We have been taught to search for faults, to find the shortcomings not only in ourselves but in others. This is unfortunate for many reasons.

By focusing on “what’s wrong,” we lose the opportunity to turn towards ourselves and those around us with acceptance and compassion. Reflecting upon innate worth opens doors to love and learning.

Through awareness, we can identify what makes us human. This shared humanity is what is most deserving of kindness and respect. Cultivating gratitude and realistic appreciation of self and others can be challenging — but comes with big payoffs.

For today, begin by regarding yourself with kindness. Write down ten sentences that represent who you are and the gifts you provide to the world. Think about the ways in which your life is enriched by these traits and observe any feelings of gratitude that arise as you complete this exercise.

I am adventurous and enjoy challenges.

I am a creative individual who contributes thoughtfully to my world.

I am a brave leader who has tried initiatives few others have dreamed of.

I am a considerate friend and reach out to those I care about.

I am generous and give mindfully to others.

I am disciplined and complete goals I set out for myself.

I am energetic and sincere.

I am a compassionate person who is willing to consider the worldview of other people.

I am trustworthy and keep my word.

I am loving and passionate, dedicated and accepting.

After writing your sentences, take time to review each statement.

Let me know how it goes @redheadlefthand.

Last year it was 35 acts of kindness. This year: 36 letters.

Getting older isn’t always looked upon favorably, but I’d like to think I’m becoming more confident and more thoughtful each year. On August 6, I turn 36.

Leading up to my birthday, my goal is to write 36 letters. The hope is to share gratitude and inspire generosity and love within my friend circles.

Consideration should be the norm, not the exception, and I believe — now more than ever before — it is our responsibility to make the communities in which we live more tolerant and kind. That’s my birthday wish.

Draft your dream team

As the coach of your life, be sure these players are on your team:

The Mentor – This is a person you respect and admire, someone who’s “been there.” You see their life and think “That’s what I want.” These people remind you to look at the big picture.

An Advisee – Someone you mentor. They are eager to learn from you and respect your work. Your willingness to teach them and spend time with them reaffirms your own knowledge and skills, even reminding you where you’ve come from and lessons you’ve learned along the way.

Your Advocate – No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, you need people who fight for you and honor what you stand for.

Supporting Star – You challenge each other to become the best you can be. You compare notes, support each other, and get competitive when it’s beneficial. This could be a colleague or friend, someone you feel comfortable delegating work to or can trust to help when you unexpectedly head out of town.

A Neutral – This is someone who can provide an outside perspective when needed, a person with no direct investment in your life or work.

The Wildcard – The Wildcard is just that, wild. Someone in an industry completely different than your own, an energy that keeps you on your toes and brings you new ideas and experiences.

The people around you can make the difference between pushing beyond your limits and settling for less. Find those who motivate, inspire, and encourage you to do better.

Modified from this post, March 2013.

Bookmark your dreams

Many years ago, a coach gave me an assignment that changed my life.

Write down 50 – 100 things you’d like to do.

My original list contained almost 90 items, goals ranging from learning to tie a necktie to finishing a marathon. I revisit this list from time to time. It has served as a guidepost for sorting out impulse and helping me decide whether my choices are circumstantial or made with intention.

It’s impossible to forge ahead if you don’t have a direction. (I didn’t always know this.) When you focus your efforts, you’re much more likely to get it done.

Step 1: Make time

Mark your calendar and commit. Set aside one undisturbed hour in a space you feel comfortable.

Step 2: Write

While writing your list, let yourself play and dream. Don’t pause to question. Don’t edit. Just write.

Step 3: Bookmark

Place your list someplace safe so you can return to it and reassess whether these goals are where you’d like to concentrate your energy. It’s never “too late” to dream.

Modified from Dream Chasers, posted December 2012.