In my latest video, I compare life coaching to personal training. While life coaching can still seem a bit abstract to some people, personal training is more familiar and concrete. Like personal trainers, life coaches offer three major services:
Fun behind the scenes fact: At the beginning of the video when you hear a popping noise and see me reach down, I am shooing away my cat who was trying to scratch on the chair...a prelude to jumping into my lap...which happened a few times before as I attempted to complete my video.
I belong to an e-mail list for the Positive Psychology Program. In a nutshell, they send out positive psychology resources to be used by practitioners (psychologists, coaches, counselors, etc.). Today I received an e-mail titled "what's the reason for this ‘meaning crisis’ we find ourselves in?" This brief e-mail simply discussed why people have trouble finding meaning in our current culture. Technology, the constant bombardment of our senses, and the focus on outward success markers are just a few of the reasons we might struggle to find meaning.
One quote struck me: "Real meaning comes from connecting deeply to something outside yourself, with other people, while exercising your personal strengths, growing and challenging yourself in the service of a goal that needs you to be stronger than you currently are." --Seph Fontane Pennock
Do you have this in your life? Do you have real meaning? What does yours come from? If not, can you think of what it might take? What is "something outside yourself" that might light that fire within you? Answer in comments.
Over the last few weeks, I've learned some lessons about fixed vs growth mindset and the power of coaching from my dog. Check out the following video:
This quote was in my facebook feed a couple weeks ago. Of course, it made me think of coaching. I'm also currently taking a class called "Change your Questions, Change your Results" and it is fascinating. I will be discussing that more in future posts, but it ties in nicely with this quote. How difficult is it to change our thinking, though?
About a week later, this cartoon popped up. It took me right back to the quote because it's a good illustration of the danger of certain patterns of thinking. One of the biggest benefits of coaching is unlocking your brain so that you can see an issue from a different perspective and therefore begin to change habits of thinking that don't serve you or the situation. Can you think of a time that your thinking got in your way? I can help you recognize patterns of thought that hinder your progress toward a goal. Once you recognize negative self-talk and thought patterns, you can begin to change your mindset and move toward a more ideal version of yourself.
This short animated film is a touching portrayal of getting a change in perspective. Can you think of a time when you made a judgment about a person but then got some insight into her life that made you realize your original impression was wrong? I certainly have. It is human nature to judge based on limited information; this is how we make sense of the world and notice patterns around us. However, as we grow and mature, we can hopefully learn to consider the complexities of people's lives and personalities and therefore, judge less.
In addition to being more openminded about people we encounter in our daily lives, I have found that practicing "active non-judgment" (a term I just made up-haha) can help me stay calm and avoid negativity as I go about my day. For example, when I get cut off in traffic, my snap judgment might be "What a jerk!" This reaction makes me tense and frustrated. Sometimes, I honk or shake a fist or yell NSFW words that only I can hear. While the physical manifestation of that emotion might feel justified, it usually only leaves me more agitated. And if the rude driver then reacts by flipping me off, I get even more angry, with no logical outlet for that anger. Can anyone relate?
If so, I encourage you to try this. When a stranger cuts you off in traffic or treats you rudely in line at the grocery store, try to create a story for that person that sparks empathy. For example, maybe the person who cut you off is trying to get to the hospital to witness the birth of his first child. Maybe unforeseen circumstances made him late for an interview that just might be the job opportunity of a lifetime. Perhaps the rude woman in line just learned that her sister has cancer and is going through the day in a fog of worry. When I take the time to create a story for a rude stranger, I end up extrapolating on that story and those musings are much more pleasant than thinking of all the insults I would've hurled at that crazy driver if he had just had his window rolled down to hear it.
Ultimately, negative thoughts about others don't affect anyone more than the person thinking them. Your time, your energy, and your mind space are precious. Try not to use them up on negative emotions.