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Posts Tagged coaching

The Seven Circles – Relationships

Many people go in and out of our lives. Some stay for a while and some are gone in a blink of an eye. Some raise hell and others raise our spirits. Many teach us what we need to learn at the time, whilst others seem to be of little consequence.

Have you ever wondered who fits where? Have you ever struggled with people’s changing attitudes and behaviours? Have you ever hung on to a toxic relationship or friendship for too long? Are your thoughts cluttered with trying to ‘work out’ where others are at, or why they made ‘that’ comment in ‘that’ tone? Have you trusted someone you wish you hadn’t? Are you unsure who is ‘your tribe’? I may have the solution.

Over two decades ago a teacher of mine shared with me The Seven Circles. At the time, I was struggling in a deteriorating marriage and had some toxic friendships to compliment it; and to top it all off, a couple of family members where behaving badly. This exercise changed my perspective and lifted me out of the draining situations, gave me clarity, and allowed me to make better choices with my time and energy. Since then I sit down and fill in my circles every year, or when I feel I am beginning to get drawn into others dramas.

Here is a graphic of the seven circles explaining what each circle represents:

 

You can print The Seven Circles up here, including a blank one for you complete.

I would love to hear your findings, and how The Seven Circles supported you to create more clarity around those you choose to share time and energy with. After all, “We become who we hang around.”

Kirsty 🙂

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A Year of Possibilities

Happy New Year!

Preparing for a new year can often feel daunting, and will be overlooked by many if it seems to hard, only to find regret around Easter that this time wasn’t taken.

So, to help you prepare, I have put together a list of ten points to consider when entering into anything new, especially a new year of possibilities, to support you getting the most out of this year.

The following list will give you the beginnings of creating a strong foundation to leap off. This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings, “prior preparation prevents piss poor performance!” Take time to mull over each one.

  1. What is your carrot? What is the thing, your why, that will keep you moving forward and keep your focus?
  2. Get real about the pitfalls, and the worst-case scenario that can occur. It is likely you will be struggle free this year, yet there is also a chance that stuff will happen, you will be blindsided, and bowled over. When stuff happens, what is the plan? What is the best way to address it? What is going to work to keep everyone on the same team, solution and goal focused?
  3. Create a dialogue around what you say to other friends, family members, your children, and those you talk to about your goals, career and lifestyle. Be supportive and positive in your language and prepare the standard responses. This will help when people begin to share their well–intended, yet negative opinion of your choices.
  4. How are you going to manage your finances this year? Create a realistic and flexible budget, then stick to it.
  5. Identify the possible stressors within your family, the routines that are required, also how the responsibilities will be shared to meet the demands of how you would like this year to look.
  6. Listen to how the other people in your circle of influence are feeling, the hopes, positive feelings, concerns, worries, and motivations. Open the conversation to what ifs, those things that may never happen—what if someone becomes ill, what if you are losing sight of the carrot, what if stress gets the better of you, what if one of you is just over it? There are lots of what ifs, discussing them lightly with no expectation of them ever happening, is a good thing because this can alert you to possible stress triggers later on and you will be more open and prepared to deal with the issues together.
  7. Start now to find all the resources you can that have information on what you would like to achieve. Start by Googling, and the more you read, learn, feel supported, and develop an understanding of the jargon, the easier you will find it is to keep on track.
  8. Set up a plan of communication and connection to others. What will work for you, your friends and your family? It doesn’t have to be every day, but by having a sense of belonging and a supportive network around you will triple your chances of success. Don’t get too busy to check in with your mates and family.
  9. What is going to be your time management system, or flexible plan, or list process that keeps you on track with all you want to do, need to do, and includes rest and relaxation?  Have a rough idea prepared so you will enjoy more fun and relaxation, keep working towards your ‘why’, and reduce overwhelm and stress.
  10. How will you improve, grow and develop this year? Just working and watching TV isn’t going to hit the right note. Could you be studying, reading, personally or professionally developing, starting a side home business, learning a new type of dance, getting fit, getting involved in a sport or volunteer position, or making new friends? You may be limited by hours in the day or home responsibilities, however embarking on something new that fits in with your life will energise you and support new possibilities.

I hope these tips spark a brighter vision for you this year. I wish you a wonderful 2018, and if you would like any support – either questions, or would like a quick phone chat please email me.
Kirsty 🙂

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The Confidence Rollercoaster!

I was talking to a friend and she said, “How can you be so confident all the time?  You are such a ‘go getter’. I wish I had more confidence and self-belief like you.”

This dialogue got me thinking, and this was my response:

My definition of self-belief, or self-esteem, and confidence are: liking and feeling good about me enough to know that I am doing the best I can; and if I am determined enough, and work hard enough, and I trust my abilities, then the right results in the right order will follow. 

My sense of confidence and esteem does change constantly depending on various factors, including my day to day mood, appearance, ability, others opinions or the situation. So, as you can see, it is not something that you begin to act like and then ‘voilà’ all is well!

I have found that regularly checking in on how I am feeling about myself leads to a direct reflection of how I perform and present myself to the world. If I need to adjust my thinking, eating, or doing, I am on it. I make sure that I am consciously making choices on how I want to be, rather than letting the ups and downs of emotions, events and energy levels take control of my decisions, moods and actions.

The main mistake I witness a lot of people make is relying on others expectations and opinions and daily performance statistics to dictate who they are and how good they are.

All things change, you live and learn, you make mistakes and you have wins. We all have ups and downs, good and bad days. This is no reflection on your worth, rather a testimony to you living life.

The best way to overcome the rollercoaster of self-doubt, highs and lows, and judgement of your abilities is to have a strong sense of self-value and self-respect. Take a pause and when you are feeling less confident and a bit shaky, check in with you, adjust and get back to doing the best you can do.

You will then move into a space of making productive choices rather than staying longer than you need to in less than comfortable situation, entertaining draining emotional turmoil, giving too much time to listening to your inner critical voice, or worse, heeding another person’s views, and entertaining self-sabotage behaviours.

Trust yourself, respect yourself, do the best you can in any given moment, and you will find the confidence and self-belief rollercoaster can become fun rather than terrifying.

Until next time, K 🙂

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Book Review: PUG (Philosophical Universal Guidance)

When Exisle Publishing asked me to review PUG I wondered whether it was a children’s book, a book for Pug owners (the dog breed) or, something else.

What I found was it was something else entirely!

The author (apparently, no ordinary Pug) hopes that through sharing his or her thoughts with the reader, they are inspired to be happier, more optimistic and live a more fulfilling life.  Did I find this to be true as I turned the pages and read on?

Yes, I did!  PUG’s message – translated through the wise words and delightful illustrations of Helen James – opens possibilities for the reader to take positive action in 29 encouraging and insightful short teachings.

This colourful book is perfect for a central location in your home, on the lunchroom table at work or a gift for someone who needs a boost. And, the most wonderful realisation is that this book will be enjoyed by all age groups.

If you are looking for a daily or weekly focus, know you could be doing something different or better and don’t know what that is or you want to benefit from the wisdom of one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, this book is certain to inspire and delight.

Buy Book | More Information – RRP $19.99 – Due for release October 2017 so pre-order your copy now.

 

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Life can be hard sometimes…

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Life can be so hard sometimes, can’t it? The day in day out ‘stuff’, like –

  • Meeting all the expectations and demands of others.
  • Trying to look like you are successfully juggling it all.
  • Putting on a happy face when you really just want to say, “no, I’m not okay!”
  • Friends and family letting you down – yet you can’t mention it in case you look insensitive.
  • Pretending your whole family is so happy – like the Brady Bunch.
  • Moments when you think that you need some new goals because life isn’t exciting or purposeful anymore.
  • Life is dishing you up lemons instead of Lamborghini’s.
  • Then to top it all off – you are getting closer to 50 and there are bits that just aren’t doing what they are supposed to!

I am certain this is just not me, actually I know this isn’t just me as most of my friends and clients, at some point, go through all this too.

Is there a special trick to overcoming these moments? Is there a quick fix that works for everyone else? Some would like you to think so, but…

I don’t know about any tricks or quick fixes that actually have a substantial long-term impact – yet I do know that not giving up and being open to other possibilities is a start.

We are now in spring in Australia. It is a time of warming up and getting outside more to enjoy the sunshine, and a time of growth for plants (and people too).

It is the best time to think about and begin to plan new possibilities and watch them grow. It is a time to reflect and put to rest what isn’t working and the things you no longer want to move forward with. It is a time, which I use, to welcome in the energy of nurturing newly planted ideas and doing what it takes for them to grow strong and balanced.

My big announcement this month, after a couple of months of feeling like I had no clear direction, I decided to hit the books again and am going to University – beginning 1st semester next year. I have been offered a place in Bach of Communication. I fell in love with writing last year whilst writing my first book, and I want to get even better at this art. I will be doing this part time so I can work around my business and my family. I am so excited, and feel that inner drive deep in my belly again. I know this is the right thing for me to be doing right now – as yet though I have no idea how I will pull it all off! My nervousness was overcome when my offer came through on the 1st September – 1st day of spring – can’t get a better ‘sign’ than that of being on the right path!

When life is being hard and heavy, I acknowledge it, then get out a piece of paper and begin to write what it is, what I want to be different and what I can do now – even the smallest thing – to begin change. It is amazing what gets written on that paper, just like my decision to study again.

Enjoy the energy and possibilities that spring can bring for you – allow spring to soften the tough bits so that new things can grow.

Kirsty 🙂

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Parents – you can ask for help

IMG_4474Asking for help is not an admission of failure; it is a realisation that you don’t have to do everything on your own.

It took me a long time to be able to ask for help, especially once I became a parent and then a single parent. I had to overcome the fear of rejection – that if someone said no, it was because they didn’t like me. I wouldn’t ask because in my mind others were sure to judge me, and see that I wasn’t good enough. I had an inner belief and rule that said I made my bed, so I had to lie in it.

Primitive cultures knew that it took a team effort for their community to run successfully.   It was the group that took care of the children, and it was everyone’s responsibility to look after each other.

There was a time when societies and communities found there was always someone to help without asking. Everyone had tasks to do each day, and that included whatever children were running around their feet – theirs or not. The world was perceived as safer and children could explore and parents didn’t panic if they had not seen or heard their child in the last two minutes. There was a simplicity and naturalness around raising children, and it was viewed as a job in itself, to stay at home and care for the family.

I believe we have lost the ability to just ask for help or help out. Now we find ourselves in a time where life is very different. Quite often both parents work and they pay for someone to watch their children. Caring for the family is no longer given the time requirements or value it once was, as most people live away from family and close friends. Many parents I have spoken to feel they have to make up parent, which leads to parenting from guilt or fear. Employers may frown upon parents asking to take leave or time out from work to care for a child, which only amplifies the guilt. Most people are so busy and are dealing with their own responsibilities that they have no time left to help out their friends, neighbours or family members.

Over time I found a common thread in many of my clients who were coming to me for parenting support – most parents felt they needed to be seen as they can cope with anything – that they were viewed by others as super Mum/Dad.  The truth was they weren’t coping and didn’t feel super.

I decided it was time to let everyone know it is strength, not weakness, to ask for help, and offer solutions to overcome this limiting way of thinking and parenting. Suggestions are listed below so you can easily ask for help when you need it.

Open Communication – Let every family member have a voice, and their thoughts be heard, in an environment of respect. If you need help at home you can ask your partner and children. A damaging habit I have seen – which is not open communication – is a person expecting their non-verbal queues (such as huffing, banging and under the breath comments) to be interpreted as, SOME HELP NOW WOULD BE GOOD. Remember that no one is in your shoes, with your responsibilities and view of the world – and no one is a mind reader. This is where clear and open communication is vital.

Unconditional Support – Unconditional means there are no conditions on the love and help you give as well as you receive. You don’t have to be good, wealthy, beautiful and perfect to deserve help. Creating a network of support that gives you a sense that you are accepted for who you are will make it easier for you to ask for help guilt free. This works both ways as you can be there for others without any expectations of reward or appreciation as well. Rewards always come to those who give – it may not be where you think it will come from, however it will come back to you.

Do your best – You can only do the best you can in that moment. Knowing that you are doing your best will allow you to ask the right questions – “If this isn’t working what can I do or find out to make it work?” “If I am doing my best why do I still feel like I am going round in circles and what can I do differently?” These sorts of questions take you out of feeling defeated, overwhelmed and comparing yourself to someone else. You can then seek help in the right places.

Stop, think and listen – Stop and take a moment to consider 3 things-

  • Why do I need to ask for help?
  • What do I need the most help with now?
  • Who is the best person to ask?

Check in with yourself first, and take notice of the answers that come to you. Then rate the following areas of your life out of ten. One being completely overwhelmed and ten being on track and comfortable-

  • Children
  • Being organised
  • Partner
  • Family time
  • Time with extended family and friends
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Work
  • You time
  • Learning/education
  • Home duties

What areas have you identified that you are struggling with? What could you ask for help with? What would increase your satisfaction levels each day if something was done for you regularly or occasionally? Most importantly – who is the best person to ask? Help comes in many different forms – from hiring a cleaner, occasional day care or babysitting, help from family members, help from your partner, and even swapping ‘services’ with a trusted colleague or friend.

Go ahead today – identify where you need help and get the right people on board to give you a hand. You will feel so much better and your children will learn a valuable skill, so that when they need help they can ask for it too.

Kirsty 🙂

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3 D’s – Do, Delegate, Dump

I can get very busy distracting myself from the daily grind of daily life pressures and separation from my husband who is FIFO (fly in fly out worker). With no one here to see what I am doing I can get caught up in meaningless tasks that do not contribute to any level of achievement or feelings of satisfaction. I often remind myself that how I am using my time compared to how I could be using my time is completely different.

Facebook is a classic example of time slipping away unchecked – where magically 10 mins turns into 2 hours and during this time the tasks on the to do list did not magically get done. To overcome the distractions I follow the 3 D’s. They are –

Do – The tasks you must do or want to do yourself.
Once you have identified these then –
• Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
• Group ‘like’ tasks together, for example all phone calls, appointments, housework, play time, you time etc.
• Make the best of your prime time – the time when you have the most energy during the day and the least interruptions.

Delegate – Get someone else to do some tasks. I am living a FIFO life, if my husband was home I would ask him to do certain tasks, or they would be his job. He is not here some of the time so I will ask my daughter, her boyfriend and close friends to help. Tasks that can wait till my husband gets home go on his list.

Delegating is helping others as well as yourself. I encourage my family to think as part of a team, and when one team member can’t the others step up. In the beginning I found it hard to ‘let go’ of tasks, for many reasons including the fear of not being noticed as a ‘super, important and busy person’ and the fear of being judged as not coping. I had to look at it another way – I had extra time for other things I wanted to do and I had shared an opportunity for someone to learn something new and they could be appreciated for it.

Dump – If it is of no value get rid of it. Be aware throughout the day of the time ‘eaters’. Decide if what you are doing is taking you closer to your goals. The time ‘eaters’ are the activities that take you off track or are not contributing to feeling happy, healthy and productive. Good examples are –
• social media pages and games,
• those wonderful warm, funny and fuzzy emails that are sent to you,
• too much TV,
• annoying and draining people or worry.

If it is not on the to do list – worry is rarely on a too do list – dump it. If family time or exercise time is lost due to being in front of a screen – turn it off.

Till next time – Kirsty

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Are you in the flow of your success?

What an amazing and fortuitist time to be alive. So many opportunities, so many doors opening and support is at an all time high. Hold on, what is that you say; you are not experiencing this?

I am sorry to hear it if you are not, however would you like to? Would you like to be in your flow of success and happiness? Would you like to be surrounded by the most wonderful synchronicities every day?

This is how my life has become and I am happy to share my top tips with you to get your flow flowing again.

  • Do not entertain resentment, anger, frustration, judgment, or any other negative emotion for more than 3 minutes. This will limit you, your chances of success and what for? Just practise letting it go and remember we all have a plan to fulfill, when you are on track it always feels right, so if you are not feeling it don’t do it. 
  • If you have a hunch, a gut feeling or an inspired idea – action it.
  • Know and expand into your ‘story’. Create your story as grand as you were meant to be, trust, let go, and begin living your perfect life as the person in that ‘story’ would.
  • Take action, take action, take action and repeat. This isn’t fake it until you make it, this is showing that you believe in your dreams and what you really want and are prepared to meet the results half way.
  • Everyday have a positive, profound and powerful statement that you say to yourself that brings a smile to your face and keeps you on track. Fall in love with life and life will love you right back. 
  • Always believe what you need and want will turn up as soon as you truly think, speak and believe it will regularly, consistently and with passion.
  • Don’t let the doubter, the critic, the naysayer and the negative Nancy get in the way.  Don’t for one minute give permission to those thoughts that say you can’t and those thoughts of hate, dislike or judgment of others come up and stop your rewards reaching you, or worse, you are so distracted you don’t see them. When the way is clear it is not up to you to decide how it will happen, it is just up to you to be ready with open arms.

It may sound simple, you may, right now, not think it will work; you may be thinking that I have no idea how hard it is for you. I can say to you, what have you got to loose? Try it and see if it makes a difference. Don’t overcomplicate it, just do it, keep it simple.  Push through 28 days, push through when it seems too hard, and push through when you have a magnificent day.

I wonder if it will work for you? I look forward to hearing about your results.

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Sleep to Improve Productivity – Sleep Awareness Week

There is a good reason why lack of quality sleep affects you so adversely. If you remember surviving through a new born, sleeping next to a snorer, had jet lag or are going through menopause, you will be able to sympathise with anyone who suffers insomnia.

You may find yourself staring at the clock at 2am in the morning, wishing for sleep during stressful times, through noisy neighbours or experiencing times in your life that leave you feeling drained, empty and anxious. As you stare at the clock you know the next day is going to be a tough one to get through as lack of sleep will leave you feeling depleted, flat and exhausted.

Professor David Hillman, Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, says that approx. 25% of Australians complain of difficulty with sleep. He also says that around half (1 in 10 people) have a disorder of sleep that may need medical attention. The remainder suffers from poor sleep habits, including failure to make enough time for sleep in their busy lives.

People who have poor sleeping habits are less productive, less safe when driving and suffer more mood swings. There is also suggestions that people with good sleeping habits live longer and have stronger immune systems.

Sleep Awareness Week starts on 29th September – 5th October. The website www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au has a comprehensive list of information sheets about all aspects of sleep and is a great resource if you face difficulties getting a good nights rest.

Sleep allows your mind and body to recover from the days events, stresses and wear and tear. When we sleep the body goes through 6 processes –

  1. Toxic waste management
  2. Healing/Repair/Immune
  3. Growth
  4. Anti stress and emotional consolidation
  5. Memory consolidation
  6. Learning

The good news is that there are many things you can do to get a better nights sleep. Most importantly make proper rest and recovery time and sleep a priority. Without taking time out to rest, recover and having adequate sleep, judgment, mood, and ability to learn and retain information are weakened. Being able to give yourself permission to rest, giving your body time to relax and recover, and achieving restful sleep begins with listening to when you need time out just to be and honour your feelings. Keeping a consistent sleep and rest routine and creating a home and bedroom environment that promotes relaxation is the beginning of an effective self-care and wellbeing practice and follow some proven tips from the sleep health foundation website above.

Sweet dreams all 🙂

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Having a Great Support Network Will Promote a Longer, Happier & Healthier Life.

Fostering close friendships is crucial to increasing longevity and maintaining your health. By creating a social “safety net,” you can protect yourself from depression, anxiety and physical ailments.

During times of high stress, self-care, friendships and support networks have a tendency to fade into the background, while work and family expectations and obligations take centre stage. This is a mistake and in fact, counterproductive to maintaining your physical, mental and emotional well-being! Recent studies have suggested that

  • 22% of people that have a good support network live longer happier lives
  • the happiest people socialise about seven hours a day,
  • you’re three times more likely to be happy if you are married,
  • each new friend will boost your happiness about 10 percent.

So is there a magic formula to developing those quality relationships personally & professionally that power you forward, that satisfy you, nurture you, allow you to feel safe to express yourself, and get you results?

I don’t know if it is a magic formula, and nothing worthwhile is gained without effort and practise, however with my years of experience in the relationship building industry and after overcoming many personal hurdles I have come up with a method, that I will share with you that will allow you to be on your way to being a more interesting and interested partner, friend, colleague, parent and person. You will be able to gain support, acceptance, approval and co-operation.

I run a very successful business, which thrives because of my belief in me and the service I provide, my ability to communicate my message and build successful business alliances. It wasn’t always like that though. It seems to have been a lifelong search on how to be heard and feel confident enough in my vision and myself to speak up.

My process is a 9 step process that is bundled up in 3 steps – my M.A.G. method©. Not N.A.G, because that is not helpful in excellent relationships, rather MAG for magnificent!

M – Mindfulness & Confidence – Know yourself, your message and your ‘audience’

A – Approach & Attitude – Believe in yourself, your message and your ‘audience’

G – Growth & Follow through – Being Your Best! – Master yourself, your plan and your relationships.

“To Know, To Believe, To Master = Success”

You can find out more about this at any of my workshops or speaking events when I speak on the topic of Relationships.

What is your highest dream for your relationship/s? What could it look like if you were a master of the art of relationships?

The greatest gift in a relationship is the ability to listen with your eyes, ears and heart. People want to tell their ‘story’. There is a marked decrease in today’s society in this area. There is also a marked increase in the breakdown of relationships in our society. When we listen with our ears we hear what is said, when we listen with our eyes we hear what their body gestures are telling us, when we listen with our heart accept the others point of view and how they feel about it. We become interested and interesting. We draw people to us as there is nothing better than someone that allows you to feel valued and important.

Kirsty 🙂

 

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