You Can Figure It Out!

You Can Figure It Out!

I have read Marie Forleo’s book, “Everything Is Figureoutable” twice, once because I loved the title and was intrigued. The second time was more recently, as I prepared for the Book Club meeting I am leading later this month. I am grateful for the main theme of this book that we have the power to figure out any challenges that may arise in our life!

As a Neurocoach, I work with my clients on mastering their mindset. This book is all about the mindset – the key to transformation! Our mindset is responsible for most of our success in life! It’s our core beliefs, thoughts, and emotions that drive our behavior and results. By embracing the core belief that we can figure out anything, we are creating thoughts of empowerment. By approaching our life with a “can do” attitude, we are setting ourselves up for success!

There are key concepts in this book that can elevate you to embrace the mindset of being able to figure out anything:

  1. The Magic of Belief: our beliefs are the main source of “why we do what we do.” By digging deep into your core beliefs and understanding which are serving you and which ones are holding you back is a pivotal exercise in approaching your life with a proactive mindset.
  2. Eliminate Excuses: we all have made excuses as to why we haven’t achieved something! Excuses are a result of our brain doing its job-keep you in safe and familiar territory! Beyond that, we have the ability to examine what our inner voice is saying. Is it saying, “I can’t?” or is it really saying, “I won’t?” Discriminating between these two phrases can add powerful insight as to how excuses may be holding you back.
  3. Dealing with Fear: As Marie states, “Fear is not the enemy. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.” Fear is a natural emotion that dates back to our earliest days as humans. In those early days, fear kept us alive! Recognizing that fear is not our enemy, but a signal of something to pay attention to, to move us forward, inspiring us to act. Action is the anecdote to fear!
  4. Define Your Dream: What is it that you really want? In order to achieve any goal or dream, you need to clarify what that means and commit to it. Maire says, “You wouldn’t have the dream if you didn’t have what it takes to make it happen.” She has five specific steps to follow to make your dream a reality:
    1. List your top one-year dreams: be brutally honest about what you want!
    2. Get real about this dream: narrow down your list based on the ones that make your heart jump! Then get curious about how important this dream is and the degree of difficulty you may face in pursuing it.
    3. Choose One! Choosing a primary dream will require your focus to achieve it!
    4. Make It Specific, Measurable, and Actionable: use simple and clear baby steps to cultivate mental, emotional and behavioral discipline in moving forward.
  5. Determine Your Next Three Steps and Get Started Now: resist your mind telling you that you are not ready yet! 
  6. Start Before You Are Ready: don’t let your mindset talk you out of getting started!
  7. Focus on Progress, Not Perfection: think of five small things you can do now to move a project or goal forward: breaking down your action steps into smaller micro steps can lead to big progress!
  8. Refuse to Be Refused: don’t let the fear of judgment. Think of your goal or dream as something beyond yourself.
  9. The World Needs Your Gift: If you believed that everything is figureoutable, what would you do?

 

I am looking forward to the May Book Club, where we will have an interactive discussion around these key concepts and encourage each other to adopt the mindset of knowing we got this!

Mindful Happiness

Mindful Happiness

The pursuit of happiness has long been the goal of humankind. But, what is happiness?  For us, it could be a feeling of calm and security. For others, it may be a feeling of success on a professional and/or personal front. Happiness is truly subjective! One of the keys to unlocking the path to being happy is to practice mindful happiness.

Mindfulness is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” So how does mindfulness increase our feelings of happiness?

By utilizing the power of awareness of the present moment, we allow ourselves the opportunity to connect with our heart, mind, body, and spirit with crystal clear transparency. When we allow our thoughts to be focused on the “now,” we invite our clarity to serve as a compass, guiding us toward the happiness that may have eluded us in the past.

When practicing mindfulness, we pay close attention to the signals that our bodies are sending us, those pangs of guilt, shame, regret, and learning to bless and release them through allowing those signals to remind us that we are a work in progress. Through the mindfulness practice of breathwork, we empower our bodies to cleanse some of the adverse biological reactions that our bodies and minds have created in reaction to our perception of the lack of happiness. 

Mindfulness is a skill that takes practice! Our bodies and minds have a natural tendency to fight stillness. If you have tried meditation and find your mind racing with that list of “to-dos” or constant distraction, it’s not your fault! Our brains are designed to be the operating system that we rely on both consciously and subconsciously. Taking some small steps in quieting your mind will lead to training your brain to power down temporarily. Here are some steps to try when working on quieting the mind:

  1. Find a space that will allow you solitude and quiet
  2. Start with an intention of a short time period, perhaps 5 minutes. You can always increase this as you increase your skill level!
  3. Pay attention to your breath. Using this awareness as a focus increases the release of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, and increases the “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine: both of which are “happiness hormones.”
  4. Notice your body: find a seated position that is comfortable to you and that will allow you to relax.
  5. Allow your mind to wander. Remember, when your mind is sending you messages, it’s doing its job! Work on recognizing the thought without judgment.

Mindful happiness occurs when we align our mind, body, and spirit with our unique strengths. Happiness is not a destination, but a journey of the authenticity of our truth, a lifelong practice of pursuing a wholeness that is genuine and unique to each of us. Each moment in our life gives us the opportunity to be keenly aware of the path to follow, even if it’s one that you need to create. By following your individual journey through mindfulness, you will own the key to creating a life of fulfillment, which in my view is “happiness.”

3 Advantages of Receiving Feedback

3 Advantages of Receiving Feedback

During my last coaching call, Coach Carol pointed out to me that I was seeking feedback in nearly every area of my life. I was intrigued by this observation. I think it’s in my personality to crave feedback — I love affirmation, and I’ve always been the type of person to want to do things the best way possible. This craving for input has led me to seek my mom’s input on parenting my daughter, to ask my boss if I should tackle a project from a different angle, and question my husband on his honest take on what I serve for dinner.

But not everyone actively seeks the input of others. It can be intimidating (not to mention humbling) to invite the opinion of someone else. Trust me, the discomfort is worth bearing. I’ve learned several specific advantages of receiving feedback along the way.

You learn to not let mistakes define you

The biggest reason people avoid seeking feedback is their fear of failure. Who wants to be vulnerable to exposing mistakes? As we shared in a recent post on professional growth, people with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed, and they view failure as an opportunity to learn and try again. They see possibilities, rather than limitations. Therefore, someone who receives feedback with an open mind is able to move forward instead of staying stuck in their current situation.

You learn new perspectives

Do you want to stay sharp and ensure your work doesn’t become stale? Seek feedback from safe people who will challenge you with unique thought processes. By being open to the ideas of others, you allow yourself to grow as a person and embrace change. You might learn your coworker has a brilliant method for time management, for example. Perhaps your business coach longs to convince you to let go of a problematic client.

Admitting that there is more than one way to approach an issue frees up your mind to see a variety of strategies. A whole new world of possibilities awaits those who are willing to see them!

You set an example for others

A leader who invites feedback from their team will not only grow in their own leadership but also inspire others to adopt a growth mindset. If you desire your team members to be open-minded, you must be willing to display this skill and seek opportunities to strengthen it.

Plus, the more you practice receiving feedback, the better you become at giving it. After all, the tenth step in Brené Brown’s feedback readiness checklist is, “I can model the vulnerability and openness that I expect to see from you.” 

Whether or not you apply the feedback you receive is up to you. Either way, you’re sure to gain from the experience. 

My Experience With Private Coaching: 3 Invaluable Benefits

My Experience With Private Coaching: 3 Invaluable Benefits

I’ve always loved the idea of private coaching, and have even entertained the thought that I might make a good coach myself. But before the spring, I had never experienced an actual coaching call. I consider myself a self-aware person. I have a nice life: I have a job, good health, solid faith, loving family and friends… what could I gain from private coaching? What would someone coach me on? It turns out I had a lot to learn! 

Why I Started Private Coaching

I started private coaching earlier this year after quitting a job I was extremely invested in. It took a lot of courage to quit, and I was proud of myself. I didn’t want to lose this suddenly realized self-empowerment. I wanted to dig deeper, to fully recognize my ability to control my own choices and behavior. I had attended Wholistic Coaching Coalition events for several years and appreciated that each event left me feeling encouraged and motivated, but I had never tried their private coaching service. I knew the best way I could continue moving forward on my journey towards self-growth was to receive expert help.

I began private coaching with Coach Carol, and through our conversations I have received invaluable input. The following are three things I appreciate most about our time together:

Expert observations 

Each of the Wholistic Women coaches offer their own unique expertise, such as positivity, leadership skills, parenting, finance, and more. Carol is trained in CliftonStrengths, an assessment that helps people discover their greatest talents and how to best use them. I shared my assessment results with Carol, and she references my report on our call. For example, she will point out when I’m using my empathy strength on my husband, or when I’m using my developer strength on myself. These insights have not only been empowering, but they’ve also given me a new perspective on my talents. 

Thoughtful questions 

One promise of private coaching is that recipients will be carefully listened to. I never have to wonder if Carol is actually listening to what I’m saying, because she asks thoughtful questions in response. Depending on the topic, her questions are designed to either help her understand me better, or make me dig deeper. I’ll admit, sometimes this aspect of private coaching can be difficult. It isn’t always easy to be vulnerable with someone. However, I’ve developed a trusting relationship with my coach and I feel fully comfortable being my true self with her. (It’s an incredible feeling!)

Action steps 

There’s more to private coaching than just talking — the process also involves taking action! Carol and I work together to create action steps based on what I’m struggling with or hoping to gain. These action steps motivate me to move forward, and I’m always excited to share my results with Carol. I keep a journal to record her questions, observations, and action steps, and I reference it often.

If you are looking for someone to listen, offer new perspectives, and help you grow, give private coaching a try. I highly recommend it! 

3 Ways to Maximize Your Professional Development

3 Ways to Maximize Your Professional Development

When was the last time you did something for yourself? We often think of self-care in terms of at-home activities such as reading a novel, taking a bath, or going for a run. But if the core purpose of self-care is to address our mental, emotional, and physical health, we need to learn how to weave it into our work, too. Enter professional development — the process of improving and increasing your capabilities in the workplace.

By learning new skills and ways of thinking, you are literally changing your brain. (How cool is that?) Consider how learning might bring you more satisfaction at work. Consider how getting outside of your comfort zone might open the door to opportunities you didn’t know existed. The great thing about professional development is there’s no graduation ceremony — you are a life-long learner!

Here are three ways to maximize your professional development, and in turn, take great care of yourself.

Embrace a growth mindset

Have you heard of a “fixed mindset” versus a “growth mindset?” If you believe your qualities are unchangeable and that you can’t change your intelligence over time, you have a fixed mindset. You likely avoid challenges because you’re afraid of failure, you strongly desire people to view you as smart, and you’re devastated by criticism. (Does this sound like you? That’s okay! The good news is, you can change your mindset.)

Those with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed, and they view failure as an opportunity to learn and try again. They see possibilities, rather than limitations.

The hard truth is you won’t get far in your professional development if you approach it with a fixed mindset. Check out the fascinating book “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck to learn more about how to foster a new way of thinking that promises a huge impact on not only your work but your relationships as well.

Invest in business coaching

Imagine being able to take yourself out of the equation and see your work life from an unbiased eye. You simply can’t do that alone — you need the help of someone with zero personal attachments to your work.

A business coach is a valuable asset for anyone wanting to maximize their professional development. He or she will listen to your concerns and help you create a path forward. You’ll receive helpful feedback, actionable steps, and accountability.

Spend more time on your hobbies

Yes, you read that correctly. Playing the guitar, cross-stitching, hiking… the list goes on. Engaging in hobbies has a positive impact on your professional development because satisfaction and enjoyment in your personal life can’t help but spill over into your work life.

For example, imagine spending your weekend pulling weeds out of your yard, dead-heading your roses, and plotting out a vegetable garden. By the end of the night, you’re sweaty and exhausted, but you can see the visible fruit of your labor and you’re excited to get started on your vegetable garden. You wake up Monday morning sore but happy, and you’ve wired a message into your brain that hard work pays off. You’re ready to tackle the big project your boss has entrusted you with.

Are you ready to care for yourself well and maximize your professional development by changing the way you think, being open to feedback, and embracing a hobby you love? You can do this! We’re here to help.

What to Know About Attending a Virtual Retreat

What to Know About Attending a Virtual Retreat

Life looks a bit different these days, doesn’t it? Our calendars, once full of happy hours and networking events, now list Zoom call meeting reminders. Social groups are turning to virtual meet-ups — from business masterminds, book clubs, and trivia teams… even Wholistic Woman Retreats! 

I’ve been attending Wholistic Woman events in-person for the past 3.5 years, but I hesitated to join in when their events went virtual. I wondered how the meeting would translate online. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by my first virtual evening retreat experience, and thought I’d share some key things I noticed along the way: 

  1. You won’t feel out of the loop if you’re new – I think I would be especially hesitant to join in on a virtual retreat if I had never attended a Wholistic Woman event in the past. I assumed the call would start with a few “hellos” and then move right into the materials, but instead the coaches took time to introduce themselves. I was happy to note that the coaches’ warm and friendly nature (a big part of why I enjoy their events) came through despite the lack of in-person connection. Then, one coach shared the mission of the Wholistic Coaching Coalition. Though I’m very familiar with the group, starting out the call this way helped ground the evening in purpose. Then, at the end of the meeting, they briefly discussed their next event — Know Your Money Story with coach Jane Helm. I was relieved to know that if I were to invite a friend, she wouldn’t feel out of the loop as they made everyone feel included and in-the-know no matter how many events they’ve attended.
  2. You’ll receive quality teaching and helpful resources – I attended “Radical Love” with coach Kat Middleton, and was curious if listening to one speaker on Zoom would become tedious after a while. While Kat did teach during the majority of our 90-minute call, she used slides to illustrate her message, requested that attendees use the chat tool to answer questions, and lead everyone in a group activity. She also shared several resources that attendees could look more into on their own, should they want to further their knowledge of self-love. If you want to be able to focus and learn during a virtual meeting, I suggest turning on the “active speaker” setting on Zoom. This will allow you to give your full attention to the speaker. You can easily switch to the “gallery” layout during the portion of the meeting that involves the entire group. Do your part to help the other attendees focus, too! Keep yourself muted (unless told otherwise) and turn your camera off if you need to do anything that could potentially distract the rest of the group.
  3. You’ll have the opportunity to connect in small groups – If you’ve attended an in-person event with Wholistic Women, you know it’s typical to be split into groups or asked to turn to someone next to you in order to discuss the materials presented. My most-pressing question going into the virtual call was, “How will we have quality conversation about what we’re learning?”  Thankfully, Zoom has a feature I wasn’t aware of — separate chat rooms! After being given instructions on what to discuss, the call monitor split up the group and suddenly I went from looking at a grid of 28 people to only two other women. We all turned off our microphones and had a vulnerable conversation about the distorted thought processes we often find ourselves in. Then, we offered one another practical suggestions on how to love ourselves through those thoughts. This relatively short activity was incredibly impactful, and truthfully just as valuable as the in-person conversations I’ve had at previous events. 

Needless to say, it was a great event and I’m glad I attended! While I hope it won’t be too long before we can start meeting in-person again, I hope you’ll join us for our next virtual event, Know Your Money Story. Click here to register for this event, happening on June 24.