May 13, 2019
Roll the Dice: Taking Chances
Some people firmly believe in 'luck'. They may blow on dice while gambling, carry around a lucky token, search for four leaf clovers and let the belief that they are either lucky (or unlucky) influence their decision to act or not.
Some individuals see opportunities that others miss. How? They have open-minded approaches to life, more positive attitudes and are more resilient when faced with failure.I believe that if you're waiting for luck to discover you, you'll find yourself passively sitting and waiting...and waiting...and waiting...On the other hand, being open to new opportunities means that your approach is active. You have conscious awareness of your surroundings, what opportunities are presenting themselves to you and which ones you can purposefully seek out.
As well, having a positive outlook on life can make a big difference in terms of taking opportunities. In reading and researching the personality characteristics of Optimism and Pessimism it's evident that people with a positive outlook have a broader field of view - they see more of what's going on around them and as such, take in more beneficial information that can help them to seize successful opportunities.
As well as having a positive outlook, try introducing more flexibility into your life - whether that be flexibility in your actions or your mindset. Many of us live with tunnel vision, pursuing one goal at the expense of others. Of course, it's sometimes essential to focus solely on the task at hand. However, on a daily basis, try to open your eyes to what's around you. Keep an open mind...your world is bigger than you think and hidden opportunities abound!
Some say that younger people are more likely to take chances, experience both successes and failures, and use these experiences as a tools for discovery and that when we age we become more rigid and crystallized in our thinking.As I age I find myself trying new things or revisiting old activities with a new an improved perspective. I've found that breaking out of our negative thinking patterns and rule bound lifestyles are exciting changes to make.
If we can conquer our anxiety over taking chances and making changes, we can move forward in our lives, seeking out and grasping opportunities that we'd never imagined.
Moving you forward, WLS
March 4, 2019
Potential - You Have It!
Living the life you desire and achieving your dreams doesn't just happen...you have to make it happen! Ask yourself - "Am I truly making the most of each and every day?"
Live your life with intent and purpose and be excited and hopeful about what is upcoming in your future. You and only you are responsible for taking action and creating the future you want for yourself. Your future is what YOU make of it. The ability to reach your full potential is in your hands and is your responsibility, no one elses. You don't need to wait for anyone to tell you that it's "go time" to take full control and ownership of your life.
Don't focus on what you lack, instead focus on what you have. Quoting Albert Einstein, "Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it is stupid." What are your abilities, unique skills, interests/passions and talents? Be conscious of what you're focusing your energy on. If you are fixated on the negative and on what you do not have or what you believe you are incapable of doing, you will only attract more disappointments into your life. You will create roadblocks for yourself that will hinder forward movement.
Realize your passions - Build on your strengths - Attract what is positive - Be proud and happy with who you are.
You are a unique and talented individual. Grow your potential!!
Moving you forward, WLS
February 25, 2019
Gratitude is a topic that is often discussed during my coaching sessions with clients. I believe that it is hugely important and can have profound effects. Actually taking the time to experience and express thankfulness for everything around you is eye opening. It may be expressed by simply saying thank you more often (in genuine appreciation) or perhaps by engaging in internal practices of gratitude, such as: meditation, journalling, spiritual worship, etc.
Many of my clients practice daily expressions of gratitude in doing a simple exercise - writing down 3 things that they are thankful for. Every day, regardless of how you are feeling. I encourage you to do this every morning to start your day in a positive frame of mind. A good way to end the day is to review this list, or a portion of the list, as a simple reminder of the goodness that surrounds you.
We are faced with so many things that have the potential to make us feel down, disappointed and hard done by. Regardless of your situation, try to make a concerted effort to focus your energy on the abundance that surrounds you and is already present in your life...even if at first thought, it is difficult to see. There are always (always!) reasons to be grateful, commit yourself to seeing them.
You may not be able to fully control your environment or situation, but you can always control your thoughts, reactions, and the decision to see your circumstances in a positive light. It is in your power to take the initiative to make these changes.
Make the decision today to experience gratitude and to show thankfulness internally and externally. Be thankful for those who support you and make your world a better place.
Moving you forward, WLS
February 11, 2019
When I was studying psychology in University, I recall discussing 'positive psychology' (and pioneer Martin Seligman and colleagues). Some psychological schools of thought are largely focused on treating a problem ("disease centric approach") whereas positive psychology is more in line with coaching philosophy, namely that we are in the drivers seat of our lives. We have control over our happiness or unhappiness.
Here are a few thoughts to think on......
1) Focus on what is positive in your life today. Look ahead and plan for the future but don't forget to acknowledge your present accomplishments and to congratulate yourself. Also, remember to express gratitude. You have much to be thankful for....believe it.
2) Capitalize on your strengths and live passionately. A passionate lifestyle is one where your values and interests are reflected in your daily life.
3) Focus on goals that are your own and that matter to you. If they are aligned with your interests, desires and abilities, they will be easier to reach and the process will be much more enjoyable.
4) Make happiness a priority. Write down 5 things that make you happy and try your best to include them in your daily life.
5) Establish and grow meaningful relationships. Be grateful for a supportive network. It is incredibly important and deserving of your gratitude and effort to maintain and nurture.
6) Last but not least, don't overextend yourself. It leads to stress, anxiety and burn out....not conducive to a happy heart nor a healthy life.
During coaching sessions, clients and I often discuss the relationship between life balance and happiness. Be conscious of your stressors. Enlist the support of your social network (family, friends, colleagues) or seek professional assistance to aid you.
Take a step today towards increasing your happiness. It's worth it....you're worth it.
Moving you forward, WLS
January 21, 2019
Resolution Solution (part 2)
In last week's post, we discussed making the conscious decision to be more positive and how that can be achieved in a world where we are bombarded by negativity. Today, I want to turn the focus inward to look at our own internal voices.
The noise isn't always outside, we battle internal demons as well. Our "inner critic" is crafty. It rears its ugly head when we're feeling low, afraid, or lacking in confidence. Unchecked, this can lead to disastrous consequences. This internal monster needs to be managed. We need to be able to acknowledge its appearance and recognize the negative voice in your head. Once you're aware of its presence, take action. Tell it where to go! Even saying "Stop! Enough!" may be sufficient to quiet the noise. Lastly, try moving forward using self-affirmations. These will be different for everyone as they should not feel forced, "canned" or fake. Create ones that work for you. Use them...and believe in them.
Another important point in the discussion of positive vs. negative thinking, is the potentially damaging effects of over generalization. Make an effort not to globalize or overgeneralize your thinking. The world isn't black or white...there's a lot of grey in the mix too. Be conscious of the use of the words "always" and "never" (such as: "I always fail when I try to cook this" or "I'm not going to try this activity because I'll never succeed"). Can you work on those statements to frame them more positively? Constantly overgeneralizing can create a vicious cycle. Negative expectations are fuelled by negative thoughts. Negative thoughts create negative energy, attitudes and behaviours....thus creating a negative outcome....not surprising. So try to change your perspective and look for positives in a situation and experience gratitude, because things could always be worse.
Take a look at your focus. Both good and bad things happen to us over the course of a day/week/year, so to what are you giving the most energy? Is it the 'negative drama'? If so, try to highlight the positive. Look for good in the world and feel optimistic about your future. Look for what made you happy, excited, energized, proud, etc. and talk about these things instead. Just like negativity, positive energy is highly contagious. What you put out into the world you tend to receive, so try passing along a happy bug (which, unlike the flu bug, people will be glad to catch along with you).
Moving you forward, WLS