Friday, 7 December 2012

Who we are.

These are times of change, rapid change, and many of us struggle to keep up. We change jobs, careers, partners and transition from being an athlete to having a career, or from having a career to retirement and so on. Through it all the subject of identity eventually has to come up. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?

 For these answers we most often look outwards to what we do in life, what we own and what we've become, according to what others expect of us. Unfortunately this method results in in a superficial and fleeting image of who we are and has no real meaning because it is only a mishmash of interpretations from people who are not you, and who only see you through the muddy waters of their own version of reality.
 The true you begins with your essence, your core, your soul....whatever you want to call it. It's what you are born with and it stays with you all of your life. It leads you to your calling and and it is your purpose in life. It's the energy within you that shows you the path to happiness and joy. If you listen carefully it tells you how to be, and everything else grows from that starting point. It's what you experience of yourself in those moments of solitude and silence when the rest of the world drifts away, you look inwards and you are left with nothing but yourself.
 We are not what we do or what we have. These are things that we use to express our inner "being" to the rest of the world. The more joyous and at ease we are with these expressions then probably the closer we are to sharing our true selves. Discover what makes you happy, what values hold the essence of your personal energy and let that be the guide that serves you as you travel life's many roads. If you can do that then you will surely find satisfaction and beauty in everything you do.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Setting goals

Everyone sets goals in their lives every day and yet few of us consider how we construct that goal in our minds. How we see ourselves completing these goals greatly affects our ability to achieve them. I was shocked recently when one of our Olympic athletes announced on television that her mantra for her Olympic dream was "no net"! Imagine her repeating this over and over again in the days and weeks leading to her event and then on the day of the event finding herself struggling to stay with the leaders in her race. She was a favourite to win and I believe had recently won the world championships in her event but placed off the podium. I don't know what her ultimate goal was but I do know that her "mantra" or how she visualized herself accomplishing her goal was negative and gave her nothing positive to build on. I'm also pretty sure that as other women passed her one by one, her mind could only focus on her mantra of "no net" and created panic and fear until it ultimately took up all her energy and desire to win.
 Personal, professional and athletic goals should always be worded positively and be supported by positive affirmations guided by how you want to "be" and how you see yourself actually performing what needs to be done to achieve your goal. In this athlete's case I might have favoured something like "all the way" or "the medal is mine" or how about "I am strong, I am ready".......well, you get the idea. If her goal was to be her best and finish on the podium at the 2012 Olympics (and not - not finish worse than 3rd in the Olympics - note the difference) then positive self talk, when the going gets tough, will more likely be generated by positive mantras or affirmations decided on before the race that will allow you to be more conscious of yourself and stay focused on your performance.
 I personally like to choose 3 words before each race that represent how I want to "be" on that day, based on the race, my goals and the overall context of the race. They keep me focused inward on how I am being in the moment and therefore stay focused on my performance. In my last race I chose "Courageous, trusting and Now" to overcome my fear of loosing control of my breathing (I have asthma), remember to trust my training and my body (I had a foot injury as well), and remember to live in the moment and enjoy each moment of the race as it unfolded - good or bad. I use the words by repeating "I am courageous, I am trusting, I am now" over and over when I need them. In this race even though I had problems breathing early in the swim and ran with pain every step of the way I finished with a personal best  by 7 minutes over last years time.
 So remember, visualize what you want to achieve, create goals that are positively stated and support them with affirmations that are positive and address how you intend to "be" as you move towards your desired outcome.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Letting go of time.

We tend to live our lives either in the past or in the future. Worrying about what happened or what may happen. We live in our heads talking to ourselves and rationalizing who we are, how we act and who else is to blame for our condition, creating the emotional pain we all suffer from to some degree. Letting go of time and living in the now frees us from our minds and consequently our pain. Who we truly are lies in the magic of what we are doing right now, at any given moment and where our true passions are leading us. If you have to think about something then let it be positive, appreciative and something worth moving towards. Eckhart Tolle once wrote -  "Time isn't precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time - past and future - the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is."  So finding ways of letting go of the past, and not worrying about the future, will free you to experience the present more fully and with a greater sense of joy and appreciation.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Who counts on you?

Athletes know that recovery is everything. Overtraining can bring you down hard with injuries, fatigue and depression. And so it is with life. Stop and consider who in your life is counting on you to be there?Remember to give yourself time to recover from the daily grind. Work out, get a hobby, meditate and communicate. If you're not sure how to do this, ask yourself "who do I know who can help me accomplish these things?" If you're still not sure then call or send me a note. I'd be glad to talk to you about it. Enjoy the week-end and remember to put aside some recovery time for yourself. You deserve it.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

 I've seen it written and heard it said many times that "behind every criticism there is a good intention". This includes our own personal self-criticisms as well. So, if you don't want to be a certain way, then how is it, that you would like to be? When you can answer that, then it's time to shift your focus and energy in that direction and be grateful for the opportunity to discover a new path in the journey of life.
 Being able to reframe a negative feeling or observation into a positive desire or intention is a key concept in coaching. The more we can do this, the more we give ourselves permission to let go of the past and move towards a positive future possibility. Tell me about a time that you changed your perspective from dwelling on a negative past experience or way of being, into a positive vision of the future and a new way of being for yourself.