Pay Attention

As a Mom, I feel like I’m always saying “pay attention!” With two toddlers who were born into a family that I swear is genetically predisposed to always knock things over, trip, whack our heads/elbows/knees on anything we walk by and just generally prove to the world that we fully comprehend what “klutz” means, “pay attention” is one of my go-to phrases.

I was thinking about this a lot over this past weekend, in particular. In addition to the normal reminders to pay attention as my almost 2-year old tried to step off a stool that was much higher than he realized and my 3-year old marched confidently into a parking lot without looking both ways, there were a few other moments. In fact, a few big things happened and honestly? None of it was a surprise.

I admit that I had a hard time wrapping my head around how such big news could have such little impact on me. Why didn’t I feel more upset? More hurt? More angry? More frustrated? More stressed?

That’s when I realized: it’s because I’m paying attention.

My 3-year old’s tantrums and selective hearing? It’s a developmental leap.

My husband’s grumpy behavior? He’s overtired as he approaches the end of his most recent busy season.

Another issue with the house? That’s just what comes with home ownership.

Gaining greater awareness is more than being aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. It’s about being both self- and world- aware, of watching and paying attention to what’s happening around you. It’s about being aware of what’s happening in yourself and in others. It’s being cognizant of changes.

When you learn how to be aware, you open yourself to getting more information about any situation. With greater information, you create the ability to use that information to make wiser, more intentional decisions. You create the ability to respond instead of react. The same stuff still happens, but now you are different and calmer when it happens.

So when you learn to stop and notice, then choose your response with intention, fewer things can rattle you and, as a result, you improve your responses.

Take Action
We often encourage our clients to start their self-discovery work by learning how to tune in to themselves. Once they’ve achieved this step, we move on to world-awareness, of paying attention to what’s happening around us. Take 10 minutes today to just observe. Observe you: your feelings, thoughts and actions. Observe your world: what is going on around you. Then take a moment to ask yourself, how can you bring your best to the situations, events and people in your world?

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Unhinged – How Do You Act When Things Don’t Go Your Way?

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Get Unused to Being Uncomfortable

I recently had my annual eye appointment. Just the usual, “What’s better – 1 or 2?” And they also checked my eyes after a bout of uncomfortable itching and dryness while wearing my contacts. Not a big deal. But my eye doctor had some profound wisdom for me: get unused to being uncomfortable.

This was a big eye opener (pardon the pun) for me. At some point, you need to realize when something isn’t working and have more than just intention to make a change. You have to actually make the change. Certain levels of discomfort means something can’t stay the way it is.

How often have you heard “get out of your comfort zone” and “accept that change will be uncomfortable at the start”? I know we encourage our clients to feel a little uncomfortable as we coach them in various life or workplace situations they are facing, encouraging them to reach to the best parts of themselves. And because they sometimes have never had a conversation about or reflected on their abilities and potential, the entire conversation feels a bit uncomfortable. But there is great learning in this exact moment, and it’s what you do to move past that feeling of discomfort that matters.

My eye appointment made me realize there’s a lot in life we put up with, for whatever reason. Some things you just have to deal with, but most things, you don’t. Consider these scenarios:

  • Your job pays the bills and there’s opportunity for growth, but your boss is very hard to work for.
  • Your kids are in the middle of some tough years (read: toddler, tweens, teens…) and you want to run away from time-to-time.
  • Your sibling shows up unannounced at your house and stays for days.
  • Your spouse goes out with their friends from work every night and doesn’t get home until long after the kids are in bed.
  • Your best friend teases you about the way you look on a regular basis.

Which scenarios speak to you as the times when you just need to power through? When are the scenarios uncomfortable enough or worthy of pushing for change?

Take Action
When you find yourself in a situation when you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself: is this discomfort encouraging growth or a productive change for me/my life? Or, is this discomfort something that shouldn’t be happening? Become self-aware to know the difference and be intentional in making a change when it’s needed.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Managing Your Self-Talk

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2018 is around the corner. What Will You Do To Make Your Year Amazing?

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

What do you want to achieve in 2018? What new things will the New Year bring?

The greatest benefit to being a coach is that I’ve learned to ask questions that help create work and life clarity for myself and for others. So as a new year approaches, consider asking yourself these questions to define your goals and make the most out of the New Year.

  1. What am I good at and passionate about?
  2. What places in work and life need what I do and like best?
  3. Presume it is at the end of 2018 and you are reflecting back, thinking how amazing 2018 was. What happened during the year to make you think this?
  4. If you could have just one thing come true for you in 2018, what would it be? What is your first step to working toward achieve it?
  5. What would it take for you to focus more intentionally on living and working at your potential?

Notice that the questions have two purposes. The first is to get you to stop, notice and consider what you want. The second is to get you thinking of how you might start to achieve it. Most of us don’t take the time or make the effort to clearly define a meaningful goal or direction, so our lives roll on, year to year, without us making the progress on what we want or effectively tapping into our potential.

So, as a new year approaches, get good at making time to ask yourself the meaningful questions – the ones that give you direction, inspiration and energy – to define what you want and give you the courage to go get it.

Over the next few months, I’ll share techniques and information I use with my coaching clients, including guidance that helps them define what they want and how to make progress on achieving it. This information will help you grow into the best version of yourself in the New Year.

Whether you’re looking for a change in work or life, my approach to coaching provides you with unique insights to help you make wise work and life choices to start your year off right.

So think about what you want in the New Year and what you need to do to make it happen. Check back here for guidance and insights to help you visualize what you want and develop a plan to achieve it.

New Year, New You. It is up to you to make it happen.

 

Consider reading Setting A Course for A Successful 2018

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