3 Ways to Expand Your Limits

expand your limit1

I had a physiotherapy appointment last week to review my progress and something very unexpected happened!  An epiphany!!

My physiotherapist and I were chatting about the level of pain I was having and how this was better or worse since I’d been doing my physio exercises.  I was explaining that I’d been doing yoga the night before and I’d started to get uncomfortable pain so I’d pulled back and hadn’t completed some of the yoga activities.  My physiotherapist said, ‘so you stop when you get pain?’ and we carried discussing how I normally handle that.

Then my physiotherapist started to explain that some pain was good, and that I woundn’t damage my body by having some pain.  He also explained that going slightly beyond pain that each time would enable my current physical limit to be expanded.

Well…a light bulb went off in my head!!  I thought YES I am limiting myself because when I feel discomfort/pain or what I judge as ‘too much’, I become fearful I will damage my body – so I stop.  Then I pondered a very important question…where else do I do this in my life?  Where else, when I reach my ‘comfortable’ level of discomfort, do I pull back?

This was an extremely exciting observation for me and since then I’ve been intrigued.  As I result I have been actively practising being with my ‘discomfort’.  How often in our work and personal lives do we pull back, disconnect or avoid if we are out of our comfort zone?  Will this ultimately limit personal and leadership development?

In the case of my physio, this is actually really important because to reach improved resilience and strength my body needs to go beyond its current limits.

So consider these 3 things to question and expand your limits:

  • Discomfort – what makes you uncomfortable and what would it take to move beyond this discomfort?
  • Truth – what are you fearful will happen if you move beyond your current comfort level, what’s worse case scenario?  Is this true, really?
  • Next Step – What is 1 thing you could do to practise stepping beyond your current limit?

Come and explore how to get beyond your current limits in a FREE online preview for The Power of Purpose course with me on Wednesday 27th April 6:30-8pm.  You will be encouraged to explore where your current limits are and how this is affecting your results.

Change your behaviour, change your results…Go on, take a risk!

FREE Online Preview…book here: Book FREE Power of Purpose Preview

Disaster or Discernment?

discernment 1

I realised this week, partly due to the face that I’ve been ill for some of it, that I’m in severe danger of going into overwhelm.  All was going very well, firing on all cylinders and then suddenly I’m ill and off the radar for a few days.  Then all the requests for my time seem to be coming at once.  Straight away my mind starts to go down the…I have to do it all now!…road…

It takes something doesn’t it to stop, notice and say no to staying in this mindset.  And then pops up the old FOMO (fear of missing out), I had that today.  I had booked into an event – and one which may have been great networking for one of the areas than I am passionate about working in.  In my overwhelm I have to go or else I’m never going to get another opportunity – and if I don’t go my mind ultimately has it that I’m going to be a total useless failure.  WoW!

So it sure does take a big part of me to say no to carrying on down that road and trusting that all will be well whatever I choose to do (or not).  This is very common isn’t it?  It can be for me, running from one thing to the next…thinking I can’t miss anything or not get everything done or else something disastrous will happen.  Thing is for me right now, taking care of myself and getting back to 100%…firing on all those cylinders is important.

So here’s a few questions to check-in and check-out those thoughts and assumptions:

  • Priorities – what’s in the mix?  What’s really important and why?  What can wait?
  • Reality – what’s the worst case scenario?  How would you handle it if it happened?
  • Discernment – are all those things really urgent for NOW?  What 3 things can you do next to move one of your priorities forward?  Including the possibility of course correcting deadlines…
  • Support – what support can you ask for, reach out for and put in place to support YOU with all that you are striving for

So next time you your mind is in ‘disaster’ overwhelm, take a moment to check-in with yourself and consider saying no or not now to something so you can say YES to yourself.

Come and explore how to learn life changing tools to release overwhelm, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Tuesday 29th March 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

3 ways to Radically Change Your Results

hope and expect

I’ve been reminded this week at various points how important it is to focus on what IS wanted and what IS working.  This is a challenge eh?  I know this has been challenging for me many, many times.

It can be very easy to get into a complaining cycle, talking and focusing on what isn’t happening, isn’t working or what we don’t like.  Some organisation’s culture are totally based around this behaviour.

Thing is, there’s is a big cost to this and that is your results – and of course the quality of the experience to get there.  That experience more likely will be filled with stress, poor work/life balance and sometimes sleepless nights.

When you spend a large amount of time focusing on the negative, what time are you actually investing in moving forward?  What time are you investing in creating what you do what?  Have you even thought about that?  I was reminded again this week that when we focus on what isn’t happening, there is a danger that there’s actually little clarity about what is wanted – particularly in light of course correcting or changes in context.

How can you create something if you don’t know what it is or how you are going to get there? Different methods work of course for different people, however I do see many clients end up creating the minimum or far less than they are truly capable of.   Just imagine what would be possible if there was more focus on possibility rather than impossibility.

Staying focused in possibility can take a great deal of resilience of course, there may be many setbacks and it sure can be a big challenge to keep the faith and stay on purpose – especially when the road looks very different to expectations.

So 3 ways to shift your focus and your thus your experience:

  • Expectation – what was your expectation? Did this turn into a demand?  Not just the result but your expectation of others and yourself.  Hope is not the same as expectation
  • Switch Focus – focus on what you do want, what is working and what you can put in place to move towards where you want to be. Get aligned with reality and focus on the next step you can make towards your goal
  • Responsibility – what can you take responsibility for in all of it? Are you clearly communicating what you do want?  Is this understood?

Come and explore how to stay focused on your passion, your vision and create the results you really want in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session with me.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

What’s Your Persona?

all the world is a stage

I was reminded this week in various client sessions how easy it is to get into acting with a ‘persona’ – in or out of the workplace.  There it is…our trusty blanket comes out when there is uncertainty in some shape or form.  Some of mine used to be ‘I’ve got it all sorted’ or ‘look confident’ or ‘be smart’.    One of my biggest was being nice, pleasing and accommodating.  Now I do very much want to accommodate if I can, however something used to get lost in my ‘nice, pleasing and accommodating’ and that was ME.

There are of course many different personas, some may be placating or ‘nice’…others may be more aggressive and out there so to speak.  Be strong, confident, be loud, be first, sound like I know what I’m talking about, be tough, be in control, be nice, make them laugh, be the hero…the list is endless.

Thing is, the persona is essentially faking it – presenting a person that looks like you, sounds like you but is not actually the real you.   What’s going to happen if you are the real you?  What would the consequence be?

As Marianne Williamson said, ‘our fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us’

The persona and maintenance of it can lead to the constant picking holes in ourselves and living a fearful existence.  Sometimes even paranoia, the slightest comment from someone sends us into a spiral of self-doubt and fear about what others think of us.

Trouble is, all this ‘persona’ or fakeness usually entails a severe lack of openness and honesty – and this my friends does really not bode well at all if we want to create and maintain connecting and sustainable relationships.  And the persona will certainly not be a sustainable foundation if you are looking to become a high performing leader or organisation.

It sure can be tough, going into work day after day and ‘performing’.  What about all those other people who seemed to have it licked?  They look so at ease!

I have many clients that have said, ‘if I show any weakness everyone will think I’m not good enough at my job. I have to be strong for my staff’.  Well that’s very admirable to care deeply about one’s staff and the effect on the bigger picture, however when we present a persona we encourage others to do the same.   This, I suggest, in the long run does not support you, the organisation or your staff.   More often than not our personas are based on a range of assumptions that may or may not be true.  When we hide our humanity, we hide reality.

I challenge you to stop and consider the following about your persona(s):

  • What persona am I presenting? – most of us know when we are not being real at any given moment
  • What would happen if you are the real you? – there will likely be a list of consequences that your mind has ready for you
  • Is your list of consequences true? – really? How do you know the future?
  • What payoff are you getting from keeping your persona? – are you hiding out from stepping up or sticking your head above the parapet?

Go on, have a go at being real – at least once a day.  See what happens.

Come and explore how to identify and be the REAL you, more of the time in a FREE 1:1 45 minute coaching discovery session with me.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

Fear or Fearlessness?

freedom from fear

Oh my gosh!!!  I’ve had a particularly difficult few weeks working through how to move forward with a certain project that really means a lot to me – and actually is a big contribution to my life purpose.

The challenge has been working in partnership with others who are fundamental to the project’s evolution and delivery.  There has been a lot focus on what’s missing, what people don’t like, what isn’t known, what they think I should be doing and sadly lots of conversation about me rather than with me.

It’s a really tough one isn’t it?  What do we do when our projects go down the road of fear and impossibility?  How can we shift the perspective to be one of possibility, positivity and creativity?

It takes one person to focus on what IS possible, what IS happening, what IS available, what IS wanted…what IS the truth…what IS…what IS…what IS.

So with my project, the truth is I want to create a project where the attitude is that we are FOR each other, we support each with what we don’t know and we pull together to work out a plan that works for all.  I want a team that is enthusiastic, encouraging, open, honest, creative…a team that focuses on possibility rather than fear of what may not work.

For me, this is what is going to create a successful project – the will, the FOR each otherness, the positive energy, the ‘can-do’ approach where we support each other through it all – including the challenges, tough decisions, wins, losses and tears!

And I’m guessing it’s going to challenge for me to stand up for my vision and be in my personal authority about what I do want – whilst keeping open to possibility myself.  Because the truth is there is a lot I don’t know, others may know a better way and they will for sure have lots of ideas that will bring more and more to the ultimate creation and delivery.

So here are some key steps to move from fear to fearless:

  • Share your feedback (your experience) and ask for what you DO want, 100% from the heart
  • Ask yourself how can I model focusing on what IS rather than what ISN’T?
  • Review where you are, is it the ideal time to get into planning or would some team connection/building be beneficial first?
  • Re-group, re-align, re-engage others into your vision of what IS, what you what to create, what the impact on the world will be.

Go for it!!!  You will BE the change you want to see…

Get focused on possibility and what IS on my taster session for the Power of Purpose.  This is a FREE taster event running in Hertfordshire on Wednesday 6th January 4-6pm.

FREE tickets here: FREE Power of Purpose taster – book!

 

 

Being in the mindful NOW

The power of the reactive moment

What is being mindful?  I have had a few conversations this week about the difference between mindfulness and meditation – the latter can often be confused as the only source of becoming mindful.

Meditation sure is a powerful source of practising mindfulness and tuning into yourself, whether that is physically and/or mentally.

I’ve been listening to the philosopher Alan Watts for the last few weeks and something he said had a very powerful effect on me.  ‘there is no past or future there is only NOW’.  I thought Yes! how spot on.  We only ever experience the NOW.  We may remember the past or think about the future, however we still only ever experience the now – the present moment.

This is it folks!  Now!  And now…and now…and now…and now….and now…

This consciousness of the now is vital to enable shifting one’s behaviour over time – and for good.  Most of my clients work with me on this over a 3-12month period.  As we all react in the now and at lightning speed (human reaction time is said to be somewhere between 150-300 milliseconds), it takes practise to develop the necessary awareness.

As a leader being mindful can be a huge asset to transforming results.  For a leader being conscious in the moment can be the difference between creating a powerful conversation full of opportunities or reacting in defence, making assumptions and ultimately putting a wall up which closes off possibilities.

As the holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom’

So here’s a few ways to practise being actively conscious in the moment:

  1. NOTICE – I cannot emphasise this enough! Paying attention to NOTICE what is happening in this very moment.    This could be visual thing, a taste, a smell, something you hear and/or a thought you are currently thinking
  2. Physical sensations – practise noticing the physical sensations in your body. Changes in physical sensations can be caused by many things, including the lightening speed of our thoughts.  See if you can notice when you have a different sensation, particularly any change of energy or emotional state
  3. Thinking and feeling – practise noticing how your thoughts and physical feelings are connected. When you noticed a change in energy, state or emotion – ask yourself…what was happening at the time?  When did it start or change?

So enjoy yourself, enjoy being in the here and now…with you

Changing Leadership Behaviour

change outcomes

I was chatting to someone from a design agency this week and we got into this conversation about behavioural change.  We were discussing how important it is to align executive/senior leadership behaviour with brand core values.  Especially as many companies invest heavily in brand design and development.

I remember at one point he said, well yes it’s hard to ‘get people to change’.  As I said to him ‘getting someone’ to do anything or change is something that rarely works in the long-term.  And it is pretty presumptuous.  Change is a choice, always.

It is so important to ensure that executives and senior teams are actively committed to role modelling brand values.  We copy what we see, right?  However leadership teams behave, that’s what will be played out day-to-day throughout the company culture.

Role modelling isn’t about being perfect or getting something ‘right’.  It’s about a commitment to being conscious of one’s own behaviour and proactively working towards growth (and brand alignment).

The cost of not doing so can be big, particularly with customers.  For example: if one of your core values is integrity, yet the company culture is to not call customers back, not be honest about mistakes or product suitability, not stay in communication when you can’t deliver, not keep your word – the result can be a huge loss of reputation.  Just look what happened to banks with the financial crisis or more recently energy companies.

So how does one change habits, particularly habits and behaviour that may have been around in our lives for 20, 30, 40 + years?

Here are 3 recommendations to start you off:

  1. Willingness – ask do you really want to change your behaviour? It may be a nice idea, aspirational even – but is it something you actual want to do?  Being totally honest with yourself is the crucial first step.  Once you are clear about this you can make a conscious choice to go forward.  Thoughts such as ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’ can indicate a state of obligation not willingness
  2. Definition – what is it that you actually want to change? The important thing is to be extremely specific.  Define your actual step-by-step behaviour in a scenario that is usually challenging for you.  Be honest!  Definitions such as ‘stop procrastinating’ or ‘don’t react aggressively’ are great, however they are too ambiguous for you to be able to pin point when they are happening in the moment
  3. Practise – this is where you get to play! Once you have defined the behaviour you want to change, the game is to practise, practise and practise.  Practise NOTICING when you are doing the behaviour you want to change, this is critical and powerful part.  When you NOTICE, you have the opportunity to make a different choice.  Then keep practising…it may take hours, months, years even and every little bit counts.  Whether you change something or not, the challenge will be to go back in and have another go – one more time.

The wonderful thing about changing behaviour is that you will always have ‘one more time’ – you will always have another opportunity no matter how long it takes.

Now that’s something to be grateful for…

 

If you’d like some insight into your leadership behaviour – or to get clear on what to change and how.  I am offering a limited number of FREE 45min insight sessions during August…

http://behaviourinsight.questionpro.com/

Will the real leader please stand up…

show the world the real you

Are you presenting yourself as YOU or acting out an unconscious script?

I’m wondering today how we can, from potientially a very young age, begin to adopt a ‘persona’.  A way of being and behaving that at the time may have served us very well.

We got out of trouble, survived a traumatic experience or indeed created a way out of something we didn’t like or something we were required to cope with at the time.

There are a few I can think of right now…rebel…victim…martyr…hero…fighter…peacemaker

All the world’s a stage right?

One of mine can be to portray that I have ‘everything sorted’ and it’s true a lot of time I do, however not ALL the time.  Sometimes I’m really not ok, I don’t know what to do, I’m vulnerable, scared, tender even.  For me portraying this persona when it’s not real has meant the cost of deep connection with others, the beauty of collaboration/support and creating BIG results that I want in my life.

When we get into  ‘faking it’, hiding the real deal…for fear of being found out in some way or indeed ever being vulnerable – what’s the cost?

Have a think about what your persona might be.  What is it that you are afraid of others seeing about you?

This week I challenge you to take the mask off, just for day…show and be exactly who you are and how you are.

See what happens…

Leadership – half empty or half full?

Leadership Attitude

What a week! A similar theme started to emerge by Wednesday with my clients this week. This isn’t working, that isn’t working, why can’t people just accept change, why can’t people just try things, this or that shouldn’t have happen. Anything that sounds familiar?

There’s another wonder in me about the all or nothingness of this attitude. And more importantly the limiting nature of complaining and focusing on what isn’t happening or what isn’t working.

Whatever the focus is that becomes our experience right? To me sadly this attitude reeks of defeat, resignation and a certain degree of omnipotence. How do we REALLY know how anything, including people should be?

We can assume for sure, although maybe there’s a danger that we won’t see something different when it does happen or indeed be open to the opportunity of what is. Right here, right now.

Can we really be fully present and making the most of what’s happening in each moment if our focus is on an ideal or ‘there’ being better than ‘here’.

There’s a fab quote I love:

‘There’ is no better than ‘here’ – when our ‘here’ has become better than ‘there’ we will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will look better than ‘here’.

Leadership – half empty or half full?

Leadership Attitude

What a week! A similar theme started to emerge by Wednesday with my clients this week. This isn’t working, that isn’t working, why can’t people just accept change, why can’t people just try things, this or that shouldn’t have happen. Anything that sounds familiar?

There’s another wonder in me about the all or nothingness of this attitude. And more importantly the limiting nature of complaining and focusing on what isn’t happening or what isn’t working.

Whatever the focus is that becomes our experience right? To me sadly this attitude reeks of defeat, resignation and a certain degree of omnipotence. How do we REALLY know how anything, including people should be?

We can assume for sure, although maybe there’s a danger that we won’t see something different when it does happen or indeed be open to the opportunity of what is.  Right here, right now.

Can we really be fully present and making the most of what’s happening in each moment if our focus is on an ideal or ‘there’ being better than ‘here’.

There’s a fab quote I love:

‘There’ is no better than ‘here’ – when our ‘here’ has become better than ‘there’ we will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will look better than ‘here’.