When Zack and Tiffany started counseling with me, they were on the verge of divorce after 16 years of marriage. Neither really wanted to end the marriage, yet both were miserable. Both of them believed that their misery was because of the other person, and both could clearly articulate what the other person was doing wrong. “Tiffany is just so distant and unaffectionate most of the time, and when we are together she is so critical of me. I can’t seem to do anything right in her eyes. I try really hard to please her, but no matter what I do, it’s not good enough.” “I just can’t seem to connect with Zack. He’s a really nice guy but I just can’t feel anything with him. I feel irritated with him a lot and I don’t really know why. He just annoys me. I feel like he’s always wanting something from me and I just don’t like being around him. And he’s so darn nice! What’s wrong with me that I don’t like someone being so nice?” I could see immediately that the underlying problem in this relationship was that both Zack and Tiffany were stuck in various forms of controlling behavior, yet neither of them were consciously trying to control. Zack was a caretaker. He tried to control by being a “nice guy” and doing everything he thought Tiffany wanted, including making dinner every night, doing the laundry, and doing most of the child-care, even though both of them worked. He secretly believed that if he was nice enough, he could have control over Tiffany loving him and being turned on to him. What he didn’t realize is that his niceness was really a “pull” on Tiffany, which is one reason she kept her distance. Underneath, Zack had a big fear of rejection and was trying to have control over Tiffany not rejecting him. Tiffany was trying to control Zack primarily with her criticism. She was critical any time she felt Zack wanting something from her to make him feel safe and loved. She had a secret hope that if she criticized him enough, he would stop pulling on her for affection, sex and attention. Unconsciously, Tiffany had a huge fear of enfulfment, and was trying to protect herself from being engulfed and controlled by Zack. In addition, Tiffany could not experience who Zack was because he was putting himself aside to please her. She could not connect with him until he was authentically himself. Everything Zack did to protect against rejection tapped into Tiffany’s fear of engulfment, while everything Tiffany did to protect against engulfment tapped into Zack’s fear of rejection. The more Zack pulled with niceness, the more Tiffany moved away, and the more Tiffany moved away, the more Zack pulled. What was the way out of this protective circle? Both Zack and Tiffany needed to learn how to take loving care of themselves, rather than attempt to control the other. Zack needed to learn how to not take Tiffany’s behavior as a personal rejection. He needed to see that her withdrawal was coming from her fear of engulfment that he was tapping into, but he was not the cause of her fear. She had this fear way before meeting him. Zack also needed to start to be loving to himself rather than “nice” to Tiffany. He needed to learn to take responsibility for his own feelings of well-being instead of being dependent upon Tiffany for them. In learning to take care of himself, he would naturally stop pulling on Tiffany for his sense of worth and security. Tiffany needed to learn to speak her truth without blaming or judging. Instead of withdrawing and criticizing, she needed to stand up for herself and set loving limits with Zack in order to move beyond her fear of engulfment. She needed to learn to say things like, “Zack, I appreciate the dinner you made, but I feel like you made it with an expectation that I should now love you, rather than because you felt like making dinner. I’d rather that you not make dinner unless you are doing it because you really want to and without an expectation attached. I feel pulled on and it doesn’t feel good.” Zack and Tiffany decided that it was worth learning how to be loving to themselves and then see what happened with their marriage. Fortunately, because both of them were devoted to learning to take full, 100% responsibility for their own feelings and needs, they were able to move out of their protective, controlling circle and into a loving circle. As they learned to take responsibility for themselves, their love for each other gradually returned.
Contrary to a widely held belief that people do not change, I submit to you that people do change and often in dramatic, life-altering ways. I say this with full confidence as I have witnessed it happen time and time again. Creating positive change in your life is totally possible. You can change yourself and thereby your life. When you are fully committed to making changes in your life, it will happen. That commitment, based on a deep desire for growth, is half the journey. Once you have made that choice, one made with total awareness and a honesty of your present reality, you are free to move forward towards a better or even new you. The one constant in this universe is change. Everything that exists is in a state of change. Ask any quantum physicist. As part of the universe, we are part of that cycle of change. The experiences you have today will impact you in such a way that you will awaken tomorrow changed in some way. Once you have hit your forties or fifties, the kid you were in your twenties is pretty much gone and a wiser you is standing. Change is desired on a number of levels. In business we might be looking to be a more effective leader or manager in order to increase productivity. That might entail changing how we deal with people by improving our motivation and communication skills. Change might mean a new career, lifestyle or relationship. It might mean building more confidence and self-esteem or learning how to be less aggressive. Change involves inner work before the outer work can begin. That is always the case. As Albert Einstein said, “ The significant problems we face cannot be solved on the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Steven Covey, in his critically acclaimed book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, stresses the concept of inner work before outer work or change: “The inside-out approach to change means to start first with self; even more fundamental, to start with the most inside part of self - with your paradigms, your character and your motives.” So, if change is to happen and if it is to last, we need to acknowledge that we must take a look at who we are now and who we want to be in the future. We will have to be honest with ourselves and recognize reality as it exists and not as we think it should or could be. We need to develop a high level of awareness and clarity about everything that we do as all too often, our subconscious tends to run the show and not us. Most importantly, we need to take full responsibility for our lives and not place the blame elsewhere. That also involves giving up the need to control things…except of course, yourself. Until you are willing to do this kind of work, change will not occur, at least not enduring change. Where are you feeling dissatisfied? Where are you noticing dissonance in your life? Where are you feeling stuck? Identify the issues. Now, recognize exactly where you are and then consider where you would like to be in the future if everything were running smoothly? If for instance, your sales team is not performing up to budget and you are having a difficult time motivating them towards success, consider what a sales team that is highly motivated and successful would look like. Consider what your role would be in achieving that goal? Who would you be? How would you function? How would you feel? The gap between where you are now and where you want to be is where the work will be done. In Life Coaching we find that your ability to succeed at your job is highly dependent on whether your values and passions are in alignment with your job and it’s requirements. After some serious inquiry, you might discover the things that are called for in motivating your sales team. Say it will consist of more patience, more enthusiasm, more nurturing and more of a team atmosphere. Are these the kind of things that hold value for you? If not, you will be unable to be effective. Do the important inner work of discovering who you are now, what matters to you, what you are passionate about and what you place value on. Are these things showing up for you in your everyday life? If not, there is sure to be dissonance. If being successful in your work is of great value to you then what are you willing to do and not to do in order to be a success? Are you willing to make the necessary changes in how you are being? Are you willing to try something different? Are the things you need to do aligned with your values and passions? What are you willing to say yes to and even more important, what are you willing to say no to? Awareness, as mentioned is of utmost concern when effecting change. When we are living our lives in a state of true awareness wherein we are truly conscious of our actions, we can free ourselves from reactive, self-defeating behavior and realize our personal best. Unfortunately, although we may think that we make conscious decisions, in reality our unconscious mind often impacts our behavior and when it does our actions are not truly under our control. We can learn to recognize the unconscious, that part of our mind that has great power over much of our actions without us even being aware of its existence. In doing so, we can diminish its power over us. As an example, try simply noticing that voice inside your head that gets very chatty whenever you are about to make a decision, especially an important one that could result in change. Is it telling you that you’re nuts to consider what you are thinking of doing? Does it say that you failed once before and will probably do so again? We fail to understand that the voice is out to sabotage us. Just by noticing it you will realize that this inner saboteur is at work. In the act of noticing you begin to empower yourself to make truly conscious decisions that will result in positive and lasting changes in your life. I have mentioned how changing reactive, self-defeating behavior is key to realizing our personal best. What is reactive behavior versus proactive behavior? When you are reacting to life and it’s circumstances you are on the defensive. You are not in control. Life’s circumstances are dictating your behavior and actions versus your being proactive and in control of your actions. There is a good chance that you are being activated unconsciously as well. Example: Your boss gives you what you consider to be a harsh criticism of your latest report. Your adrenaline rushes and a wave of angry indignation rolls over you. In that emotional state, you are unable to actually hear what he or she has to say because you are already defending yourself. Your response to him is defensive and somewhat irrational. You cannot control what he/she had to say but you can control how you handle yourself. Therein lies the key to non-reactive behavior: your ability to handle situations in ways that prove productive versus destructive. Stop and think. Pause. Get your heart rate back to the normal range. Without taking anything personally, was there anything in what he had to say that had merit? Is there some sort of deep learning to be had, either from him or you? Could the perceived harshness perhaps have been amplified by your defensiveness? “ Being proactive means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen.” ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey Life will always be throwing things our way, much of it unpleasant and challenging. That’s life. We cannot control life but we can control how we handle it. If we are really aware and in tune with what is happening, we can learn not to add meaning to reality where there is no additional meaning needed. For example, in the above incident, you may have reacted because you assumed your boss thought you were in the wrong and therefore not up to snuff. But that was just what you thought he meant. What you think he meant and what he said are often two very different entities. Perhaps all he meant was that your work could have been better and he wanted to steer you in the right direction. Often, adding meaning where there is none harkens back to childhood. Your Father was always highly critical and you came to believe that this meant that you were a loser and wouldn’t amount to anything. That is the type of meaning a child creates in response to an unpleasant situation. What really happened is that you had a highly critical father. Period. The most unfortunate part is that this type of reaction to criticism will often be carried into adult hood and anytime criticism is leveled at you, you respond with your childhood reaction: I am a loser. The ability to control reactive behavior and see things for just what they are can make a world of difference in your life. Finally, a word about perspective or attitude. How we view the world or any given situation will dictate our effectiveness and our state of mind. Change your attitude and you not only change the way you see things, you will change your reality. If you approach your work/life as being tough, that perspective will trickle down into everything you do. Try a new perspective on, one that will work in accordance with your goals and desires. “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” William James/US Pragmatist philosopher & psychologist Inner work means that we are laying the foundation for a mindset that allows us to make lasting changes that will create a more meaningful, productive and happy life. Once the inner work is done, the outer changes will compound like bank interest. Your authenticity will shine and people will be drawn to this new you. You will view everything that happens as an opportunity for growth and grow and change you will. The work you do and its subsequent benefits will spread into all areas of your life, not just the ones that you may have originally pinpointed. The vision you held of the will become your reality now.
It is that time of year again. Xmas is just around the corner and then a week later we will be toasting in the New Year. Streets, offices, and coffees shops are already buzzing with all the talk of the resolutions we plan to start on New Year’s Day. However, more often than not, the 1st of the year rolls around and we are still too full of the joys of the season to bother with our resolutions, but we resolve to start our plans in the new week. Unfortunately that date is often not adhered to either for a variety of legitimate or not so legitimate reasons. What do we do? Well most of us almost literally take a club and beat ourselves up for our half-hearted attempts. We manage to pull off a few weeks or months during the year where we take some form of action in trying to reach our goals, but don’t really get anywhere and then all too soon New Year creeps up on us again. It seems that the expectations we set ourselves up for at this time of year perpetuates yearly cycles of self-defeat, loss of self-esteem and entrenched beliefs that we are weak and cannot trust ourselves to make promises and goals and stick to them. I feel that if approached differently we can turn this around and get to see the self-confident and goal-oriented individuals that we are. Why do we need to set ourselves up for failure? We know that more times than not most New Years’ resolutions are not adhered to. Lets face it, just how practical is it to start that diet on the 1st of January when all the delicious leftovers of the season still fills our fridges? Even more ridiculous is the idea of climbing on a treadmill when you are still full of the celebratory champagne of the New Year’s Eve function the night before. I am going to suggest you be bold and step out of the self-defeating mould that we set ourselves up for around this time of year and TAKE ACTION NOW! Whatever it is you want to achieve, there is no time like the present to start making your dreams come true. If you are prepared to wait until after the new Year, maybe you need to rethink your goals and check if it is something you really want or not. What better motivation for the New Year than to already be 2 weeks into your New Year Resolution by the time the 1st January 2006 knocks at your door? You have time now to ask yourself: “Is this really what I want?” Are you that interested in making your dreams become reality? Have you considered what a difference it might make to you if you not longer put off what you can start today? I challenge you not to wait until the morning of the 1st January 2006 to start your list of resolutions. Take up the challenge and start today. Don’t worry about doing whatever you want to do perfectly. Just start it! You can always make changes along the way. The idea is to take action. It is much easier to take action when you don’t expect precision. Then, obstacles will not frighten you. Being flexible is part of the learning process. Expect some hiccups, be prepared for them, and know that action, perfect or not will bring results. Why wait until the New Year knocks at our door? Quote of the week “Action conquers fear.” Peter Nivio Zarlenga Powerful question for the week What New Year’s resolution are you considering that cannot be started tomorrow or the next day?
Most coaches get involved in coaching for one extremely compelling and valuable purpose – because they want to make a positive impact to the lives of others. As a coach, the extent to which you are able to fulfil that objective is contingent upon two factors. Firstly, your skill and effectiveness as a coach; and secondly, on the number of clients you are able to affect through the application of your services. The purpose of this article is to focus on the second factor. In the process of assisting people, it’s also possible for coaches to develop a fruitful lifestyle for themselves along the way. In fact, these objectives are entirely complimentary. Many business people, including coaches, fail to recognise the important ethical role that marketing plays in their business. In doing so they develop a mindset that is self defeating to themselves, their business, and their clients. As a coach, you are in business. How effectively you operate your business is entirely contingent on you. There are enormously successful coaches (in terms of client numbers, income and coaching outcomes), and coaches that are barely able to etch out a living. The difference between these extremes is not their coaching competency, but rather their mindset. You may be an incredibly skilful coach, but unless you have people willing to use your services, your skills are of little to no value. So what mindset does it take to be a successful coach? A successful coaching mindset: - Puts the needs of prospects and clients first; - Actively seeks to assist clients attain their objectives; - Is empathetic to the needs of clients and prospects; - Doesn’t limit the service offered to clients, and - Acts as an ethical adviser. It takes a Marketing Mindset to be a successful coach. We regularly hear of coaches that feel as though marketing is ‘leading’ and ‘unethical.’ They feel as though it’s too ‘salesy’ and don’t feel comfortable with it. For those coaches, we’re going to explain why marketing is both ethically valid and commercially crucial. Ethical Validity There is an enormous (and growing) volume of people in society that would benefit from coaching services. Let’s call these people prospective coaching clients, or prospects. These prospects have specific goals they’d like to achieve, or challenges they’d like to overcome, with a view to leading a better and more fulfilling life. As a coach you have a certain duty of care to assist these people. You can only begin to assist them once they’re utilising your services. Marketing is the link between the prospects desire and your ability to assist them fulfil their desire. Marketing only becomes unethical in the circumstance that you are not able to fulfil your marketing promise to your client. In this instance you’ve misled your client, either knowingly or unknowingly, and have acted unethically. On the premise that prospects will seek a coach to assist them attain their specific goals, it’s the ethical obligation of coaches to help prospects select a coach that will best be able to assist them. To do this coaches should fully, comprehensively and transparently disclose to prospects what services they offer; where their specialties lie; what experience they have; how they’ve assisted people with similar desires in the past; and how using their services will benefit them. Or to state it more simply, to undertake marketing. Commercially Crucial Marketing is commercially crucial because it links prospects that desire a certain outcome with skilled professionals trained to assist them achieve that outcome. It identifies you as someone that may be able to assist prospects with their pre-qualified needs. By seeking out information on coaching services, prospects have already identified for themselves: 1. That there are certain things in their life they’d like to attain or challenges they’d like to overcome. 2. That a coach is a person with the requisite skills and experience to assist them. 3. That they are willing to invest financially in the process. The above is an extremely important point, and one that coaches need to accept. As we explained earlier, coaches generally come from one of two schools of thought with respect to marketing. The first school of thought perceives marketing to be ‘leading’ and ‘salesy.’ They come from the paradigm that by marketing you are proactively influencing someone in their decisions. Or specifically that you may make someone do something they would not otherwise do. We call this train of thought the Influencing Paradigm. The second school of thought accepts that prospects are people that have identified for themselves their need to invoke change. And they’ve identified that a coach will assist them make that change. They recognise that the prospect has made the intellectual link between their needs and how they want those needs to be fulfilled. We call this train of thought the Service Paradigm. The thought processes of these two perspectives are entirely dipolar. One positions the prospect as someone reluctantly influenced into utilising a service, and the other positions the prospect as a proactive individual capable of determining their needs that has actively sought out coaching services. As a coach, it’s critical that you put yourself in the second paradigm of thinking. Only then will you be able to ethically fulfil your objective of assisting your clients. And only then will you be able to fulfil your symbiotic goal of building a successful coaching business. By putting yourself in the Service Paradigm of thought you will recognise that to assist clients meet their objectives, you should: a) Actively promote your services through compelling advertising that clearly describes what you can offer clients. b) Understand that as a coach and a trusted advisor you are often in a better position of knowledge to ascertain your client needs to assist them attain their goals. c) Be empathetic to the needs of your clients and actively offer solutions to them through various products and services. d) Value your client’s intellect and decision making ability. e) Do not pre-empt your client’s wants and hence limit the range and scope of products and services you offer them. f) Always acts as an ethical adviser. Once you embrace the Service Paradigm to marketing, you’ll realise that marketing provides you with a much greater opportunity to fulfil your primary objectives – to assist your clients, and to build a successful coaching business. These objectives become complimentary and you create a truly win-win situation between the desires of your clients and your own desires. In the second part of this article we’ll provide you with further information on how to develop your Marketing Mindset and a Service Paradigm. While an individual would like to improve an aspect or certain aspects of their life so they can achieve a specific goal, or set of goals.
In a previous article we discussed the distinction between an Influencing Paradigm, and a Service Paradigm, to marketing your coaching business. We discussed how marketing your business is both ethically valid and commercially crucial, and how marketing is a critical process in achieving your coaching objective of having a positive impact on the lives of others. To quickly surmise, we explained that people with an Influencing Paradigm mindset perceive marketing to be ‘leading’ and ‘salesy.’ They come from the paradigm that by marketing you are proactively influencing someone in their decisions. Or specifically that you may make someone do something they would not otherwise do. People from the Service Paradigm school of thought accept that prospects are people that have identified for themselves their need to invoke change. And they’ve identified that a coach will assist them make that change. They recognise that the prospect has made the intellectual link between their needs and how they want those needs to be fulfilled. To be a successful coach, or in fact successful in any business, it’s critical that you embrace a Service Paradigm mindset toward your marketing. In this article we’re going to further explore exactly how you can develop a Service Paradigm marketing mindset. Before we can begin to discuss how you can develop your Service Paradigm mindset, let’s look at some of the characteristics. Coaches with a Service Paradigm recognise that to assist clients meet their objectives, they need to: - Recognise that everyone in business is in the business of marketing. Without clients they’ll have no one to deliver their services too and hence no one to assist. - Actively promote their services through compelling advertising that clearly describes what they can offer clients. - Ethically promote their services with vigilance. - Recognise the cycle of life of their prospects and regularly promote their services for as long as prospects allow. - Understand that hey are often in a superior position of knowledge to ascertain what their client needs to assist them attain their goals. - Be empathic to the needs of clients and actively offer solutions to them through various products and services. - Value their client’s intellect and decision making ability. - Not pre-empt their client’s wants and hence limit the range and scope of products and services they offer them. - Always acts as an ethical adviser. As a coach, to outwit your competitors you must create a niche; and to build a successful business you must attain a Service Paradigm marketing mindset. To develop your Service Paradigm marketing mindset: 1. Be determined to succeed. You need to be absolutely determined that you’re going to succeed. If you just want to succeed, but you’re not willing to go the extra mile, you’ll get swept aside by those that are more determined. If you are truly determined, you’ll be confident and this confidence will automatically show in your business and be transparent to prospective clients, peers and the general public. Prospective clients will want to be associated with you, and clients will want to continue their involvement. 2. Persevere. Coaches with a marketing mindset embrace challenges as part of life and part of business. If you perceive challenges as impassable barriers you’ll never develop a marketing mindset. It’s crucial you accept you’re going to confront hurdles as part of business. How you perceive these hurdles, as opportunities or barriers, will drastically influence your level of success. Perseverance is a key ingredient in developing a marketing mindset. 3. Remain positive. Literally nothing destroys a marketing mindset more than a negative attitude. A marketing mindset is a ‘can do’ attitude. Faced with the same challenge, the coach with a positive ‘can do’ marketing mindset will find a way; the coach with a defeatist attitude will submit and fail. 4. Set Goals. As a coach this is something you should know a lot about. Set yourself specific, achievable, stretch goals. 5. Plan a strategy. Establish a specific plan of action to attain your goals. Identify what resources you’ll need and the possible challenges you may confront. 6. Implement your plan. This is the most difficult part. Implementation of your plan. Modify it where required, change your goals as others are attained, modify your plan if flaws are perceived, but always continue implementing. Non-action is the precursor of business failure. If you continue to implement, your business will always sustain forward momentum. If you have momentum, your direction (goals and plans) can always be adjusted. 7. Keep marketing. Your success or failure hinges on your marketing. Always maintain your marketing mindset. Always be focussed on marketing. It’s a common trap to get caught up in the day to day ‘operation’ of your business and put marketing aside. This is a recipe for disaster. How effectively you market will be the most influential determinant on the success (or otherwise) of your business. Marketing is not difficult or confusing, but it does require significant ongoing diligence and attention. The moment you lose focus on marketing your business is the moment your business performance will suffer.
“I can’t seem to discover why I’m on the planet.” “What is my purpose here? I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, but I don’t know how to find out what it is.” “I don’t seem to be passionate about anything.” I’ve heard these complaints over and over from my clients. Discovering our passion and purpose is vital to our joy and well-being. The problem is that many people have lost touch with any sense of their passion and purpose and have no idea how to access this information. The blueprint for this information lies within our core Self, our essence, the true Self that is often buried during our early years. If our true Self was not seen and validated by our parents, teachers, or other caregivers, it is likely to have gone underground. The self many of know as our “self” is generally our wounded self, our ego, the self we created to get love and avoid pain. Our wounded self has within it all of our fears and false beliefs, and does not have access to what is true for us. How, then, do we discover our passion and purpose if the blueprint for this information is long buried? The good news is that while it is buried, it is not lost. Anyone can reclaim this information if you are willing to do the inner work of healing your wounded self. I’ve worked with thousands of clients who, as they practice the Inner Bonding process that I teach (see our FREE course at innerbonding), gradually heal their fears and false, limiting beliefs to the point where their true Self comes peeking out. This is the vital, alive aspect of ourselves, the aspect of us that just wants to joyfully express ourselves in the world. As you allow this aspect to emerge, you will gradually discover what truly brings you joy. In our society, we tend to ignore our special talents and choose our careers according to what will give us a sense of security. Too often, however, what makes us feel safe does not fulfill us spiritually. For example, Roger worked for many years as an attorney, but he never enjoyed it. He made lots of money, yet when he consulted with me he was suffering from anxiety and depression. He had become an attorney because his father had been an attorney and wanted Roger to follow in his footsteps. Roger had gone along with what his father wanted for him because he didn’t know what else he wanted and now, in midlife, he was miserable. He yearned to discover his passion. A few months after starting to practice Inner Bonding, Roger remembered that he had really wanted to be a teacher. He had never seriously considered teaching because he felt he couldn’t make enough money, but now he was willing to make far less money because he was so unhappy with his present work. Roger went back to school and got his teaching credential and is now a high school social studies teacher. The last time I spoke with him he was radiant! He loved working with adolescents, and he felt he was making a real contribution to their lives. For the first time ever, he felt alive and passionate about his life. His wife decided to take up some of the financial slack by doing something she had always wanted to do: design children’s clothing. She started her own mail-order business and is thrilled with it. Their marriage and family life is flourishing because both of them are happy and fulfilled within themselves. Ricki came to see me because she was so unhappy working as a controller of a big import business. Yet she had no idea what else she wanted to do. It took about a year of practicing Inner Bonding before her true Self told her that she wanted to be a nutritionist. Ricki hadn’t wanted to hear her true Self because she didn’t want to go back to school. Finally she was so unhappy that she decided to listen. She is now back in school enjoying discovering her passion. While it may not always be possible to change your work immediately to something you love, if you follow your passion, it will often lead you there. And even when you have to earn money in ways that do not express your soul, you can seek volunteer opportunities and hobbies to express who you are. Often these can lead to the work that you will eventually do. Alfredo worked as a manager of a large supermarket. With his small savings, he decided to start pursuing a hobby that had always fascinated him - restoring old cars. He used all his extra money to buy his first old car and spent many blissful hours restoring it. He was so good at it, he was able to sell his restored cars for a lot of money. Eventually he was able to quit his job at the market and pursue his passion full time. Ultimately he started a project in a prison teaching inmates to restore cars. Alfredo now loves what he does and receives great satisfaction from helping others. Your soul has a deep desire for you to express yourself in ways that brings you joy. It is your job to discover what that is and to bring it about.
What’s the single most important process determining whether or not your coaching business is successful? The correct answer to this question can completely change your coaching business forever. It can change your perception of your business. It can change your focus in your business. It can change how you go about operating your business. And most importantly, it can determine the success or otherwise of your business. We asked dozens of coaches this question and got a broad array of responses. But only 4% of them were even close to the mark! Most coaches answered: quality service; number of clients; pricing; branding; advertising copy. …And whilst all these issues are critical, the single most important process is your marketing methodology. Whilst you must have all the other elements as well, it’s your marketing methodology that ultimately determines the success or otherwise of your business. Let us explain… Nearly all coaches use a marketing methodology that’s a sales-based marketing methodology. This is understandable as most traditional marketing methods teach sales-based marketing methods. We’re all impacted by sales-based marketing at every turn – on TV, newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio – everywhere. And when coaches research marketing methods, they are most likely to learn about traditional sales-based marketing methodologies – print ads (in newspapers, yellow pages, journals, magazines etc), direct telephone calls, radio, flyers, direct mail letters, etc. But there are several extremely powerful forces at play against coaches employing a sales-based marketing methodology… Most coaches invariably feel uncomfortable delivering a ‘sales pitch.’ Coaches generally have better technical skills than marketing skills. They’re therefore uncomfortable talking about themselves and endorsing the quality of their product. This means they don’t close, and comes across to prospects as a general lack of confidence in themselves, and their product and service. Sales marketing is extremely expensive – narrowing your net margin on your service. The more you spend to get a client the less net profit you’ll retain at the end. Generally people are very sceptical and defensive against sales approaches. This exponentially increases the barrier of making a sale. When you employ a sales-based marketing method, most prospects have already closed themselves off to learning about your services due to their natural tendency to put up a defence against sales-based marketing. There is no trust and rapport built through a sales-based marketing approach. For a prospect to buy from you, there needs to be an element of trust. Your prospect needs to trust that you can deliver on your promises and that they’ll gain a positive return on their investment. This level of trust is extremely difficult to build through a sales-based marketing approach. You build no reciprocal obligation on the prospect to investigate your offer or purchase from you. It’s a natural human tendency to reciprocate in kind what’s been given to you. You can not build reciprocal obligation through sales-based marketing. You attract price sensitive shoppers and ‘tyre kickers’ that take up a lot of your time and result in extremely low conversion. It’s difficult to maintain contact with prospects for long enough to build rapport and trust – it generally takes 4 to 6 contacts before a prospect will buy from you. So, we can hear you shouting “If sales-based marketing is not going to be effective, what’s my alternative to get clients?” And the answer is… Education-based Marketing. Education-based marketing is simply the process by which you attract and convert highly-qualified clients by giving them what they want – valuable information and advice that solves their problems - and removing what they don’t want, a sales pitch. Education-based marketing is generally undertaken by delivering Credibility Marketing techniques such as public speaking, information based teleclasses, publications, networking, hotlines, free educational give aways (such as reports, assessments, tools, ecourses), etc. As opposed to sales-based marketing, education-based marketing means… - You give your prospect what they really want – highly valuable information. And you take away what they don’t want – a sales pitch. - You maintain your dignity and feel good about yourself as you never make an effort to sell. - Your brand recognition and respect will skyrocket! Education-based marketing is the ultimate brand builder. By positioning yourself as the ‘expert’ or ‘specialist’ by solving, through your education products, the most pressing issues your niche confronts. You become the only logical choice in your market. - You can establish yourself as a credible authority as prospects depend on you as a reliable source of valuable advice. - You significantly reduce your marketing costs – and can in fact get paid to market yourself. This vastly compounds the net worth of every client you attract – you can actually earn double the net profit with only half the clients! - You don’t have to seek out new prospects – prospects come to you (to have their problems solved). - You can maintain (mutually beneficial) contact with your prospects through the sales process because they don’t feel pressured by a sales pitch and value your information and advice. - You reach prospects early during the first stages of their decision making process. - You attract ‘moderately interested’ prospects that may otherwise be afraid to call you but are not afraid to request your information. - Due to the high level of trust and rapport built early on you’ll be perceived as an adviser, not a salesperson, making added-value sales dramatically easier. - You dramatically increase your referrals from prospects as they feel loyal to you – due to a relationship built on trust and reciprocal obligation and your efforts to help them – even if they don’t hire you! And your referrals will come much earlier in your relationship. - You gain compounded advantage as your information is passed freely between prospects within your niche. - You gain a competitive advantage because not many competitors are using education-based marketing. - You achieve a highly leveraged advantage as you can put forward your marketing even when you are not present. - You save valuable time as you often are delivering your message directly to your most highly qualified target audience. As you can see, education-based marketing is the exact opposite to sales-based marketing, and can make an extraordinary difference to your business, and your enjoyment of ‘doing’ business. So, ask yourself, “How much education-based marketing am I currently doing?” and “How can I develop a marketing plan significantly comprised of education-based marketing methodologies?”
Emotional dependency means getting one’s good feelings from outside oneself. It means needing to get filled from outside rather than from within. Who or what do you believe is responsible for your emotional wellbeing? There are numerous forms of emotional dependency: * Dependence on substances, such as food, drugs, or alcohol, to fill emptiness and take away pain. * Dependency on processes such as spending, gambling, or TV, also to fill emptiness and take away pain. * Dependence on money to define one’s worth and adequacy. * Dependence on getting someone’s love, approval, or attention to feel worthy, adequate, lovable, and safe. * Dependence on sex to fill emptiness and feel adequate. When you do not take responsibility for defining your own adequacy and worth or for creating your own inner sense of safety, you will seek to feel adequate, worthy and safe externally. Whatever you do not give to yourself, you may seek from others or from substances or processes. Emotional dependency is the opposite of taking personal responsibility for one’s emotional wellbeing. Yet many people have no idea that this is their responsibility, nor do they have any idea how to take this responsibility. What does it mean to take emotional responsibility rather than be emotionally dependent? Primarily, it means recognizing that our feelings come from our own thoughts, beliefs and behavior, rather than from others or from circumstances. Once you understand and accept that you create your own feelings, rather than your feelings coming from outside yourself, then you can begin to take emotional responsibility. For example, let’s say someone you care about gets angry at you. If you are emotionally dependent, you may feel rejected and believe that your feelings of rejection are coming from the other’s anger. You might also feel hurt, scared, anxious, inadequate, shamed, angry, blaming, or many other difficult feeling in response to the other’s anger. You might try many ways of getting the other person to not be angry in an effort to feel better. However, if you are emotionally responsible, you will feel and respond entirely differently. The first thing you might do is to tell yourself that another person’s anger has nothing to do with you. Perhaps that person is having a bad day and is taking it out on you. Perhaps that person is feeling hurt or inadequate and is trying to be one-up by putting you one-down. Whatever the reason for the other’s anger, it is about them rather than about you. An emotionally responsible person does not take others’ behavior personally, knowing that we have no control over others’ feelings and behavior, and that we do not cause others to feel and behave the way they do - that others are responsible for their feelings and behavior just as we are for ours. The next thing an emotionally responsible person might do is move into compassion for the angry person, and open to learning about what is going on with the other person. For example, you might say, “I don’t like your anger, but I am willing to understand what is upsetting you. Would you like to talk about it?” If the person refuses to stop being angry, or if you know ahead of time that this person is not going to open up, then as an emotionally responsible person, you would take loving action in your own behalf. For example, you might say, “I’m unwilling to be at the other end of your anger. When you are ready to be open with me, let me know. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a walk (or hang up the phone, or leave the restaurant, or go into the other room, and so on). An emotionally responsible person gets out of range of attack rather than tries to change the other person. Once out of range, the emotionally responsible person goes inside and explores any painful feelings that might have resulted from the attack. For example, perhaps you are feeling lonely as a result of being attacked. An emotionally responsible person embraces the feelings of loneliness with understanding and compassion, holding them just as you would hold a sad child. When you acknowledge and embrace the feelings of loneliness, you allow them to move through you quickly, so you can move back into peace. Rather than being a victim of the other’s behavior, you have taken emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of staying stuck in feeling angry, hurt, blaming, afraid, anxious or inadequate, you have moved yourself back into feeling safe and peaceful. When you realize that your feelings are your responsibility, you can move out of emotional dependency. This will make a huge difference within you and with all of your relationships. Relationships thrive when each person moves out of emotional dependency and into emotional responsibility.
Has anyone heard of Emmeline Pankhurst? Emmeline was born in Manchester, UK in 1858. She was the daughter of very forward thinking parents for their time, Robert and Sophia Goulden. You can read more about Emmeline, often referred to as Emily, by visiting this link, spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/WpankhurstE. htm Briefly, Emmeline was highly instrumental in forming the UK's Suffragette Movement and in doing so she eventually brought about the right for women to vote. Now OK, both our male and female readers could be forgiven for thinking, 'hey hang on a minute, this is an attempt to promote feminist views'. However I can assure you it is not because I am not out to promote any kind of political agenda so please bear with me, especially our male readers. You're not about to come under fire here. The point I am trying to highlight is the sheer belief that Emmeline held deep within herself. This was that she could make change happen in a society that had always shaped and dominated the view that women had a far lesser role to play than their male counterparts and that their worth as a human being was also far less. This was evident by the fact that at that time, women could not enter many professions in particular the medical and law profession. Even by today's standards, in the UK especially, female barristers still have a hard time reaching the Bar Council and as far as I am aware, in all of British history right up to the current date, there is not a single female judge sitting in the House of Lords, Britains highest law court. Can you also believe that it was only in 1991, that the House of Lords finally overturned a legal ruling that had stood for centuries? This was that it was accepted in law that it was legal for a man to rape his wife in marriage. Only in 1991 was this barbaric law finally thrown out and replaced with new legislation that it is indeed now illegal for a husband to assault his wife. Imagine then, back in the early 1900's when the Edwardian society were still feeling embarrassed by their gaudy Victorian parents, the incredible struggle that Emmeline must have endured despite being arrested and thrown in prison many times over because she believed women should have more rights, especially the simple, most precious right of all, the right to vote. So here is the question that springs to mind. What kept Emmeline going? What kept this amazing woman strong in the face of such adversity during a time where society had been trained to view women in an extremely poor light? Where did her incredible strength and durability come from? The simple answer was the belief in her own power. The Power of One. Now, the whole point of writing about this most incredible British woman is to demonstrate to both men and women, that no matter what you face, how much you feel trapped, how much you want change or how much you are facing the disapproval of others, you too have that same power within you. If Emmeline could create such change back then at that point in history, you can do the same today. Emmeline was fortunate because she had parents who were radical and fully in control of what they believed. They owned their own personal right to make the choices and decisions that they felt were right for them and they passed their passionate beliefs and attitudes onto their daughter who as a result turned society up on it's head. Although she was such a free thinking spirit considering the time in which she lived, a period which had just emerged from a stiff, highly reserved Victorian era, ironically Emmeline cast aside her inspired thinking, which had so victoriously set her apart from the restrictions of the then society, when she refused to speak to her daughter Sylvia for the crime of having an illegitimate child. Refusing to have anything to do with Sylvia or her grandson, Emmeline died in 1928. How odd that she had set so many women free, orchestrated a complete change of attitude towards women in society, achieved far improved standards of working and living conditions for women, and brought about their equal right to vote. Yet, she was bound up in a belief that it was wrong to have a child out of wedlock to such an extent that she disowned her own daughter and grandchild. How sad that this gallant, free spirited woman passed from this life on earth without forgiving her own flesh and blood. Even more sad was that she could not see that Sylvia was now a product of a much freer society that Emmeline herself had created. This was clearly a limiting belief that Emmeline held as a boundary to what she found unacceptable and in some ways, it backfired as limiting beliefs so often do mostly because they lead to bad judgements and intolerance. These two points are inextricably linked. Power and acceptance, power and acceptance, power and acceptance. If we say them over and over, they begin to chime harmoniously together. Emmeline Pankhurst was an incredible woman living in a brief space of time where she made the impossible happen because of her own power (what she chose to believe was right for her) and what she chose to accept (what she believed was either unacceptable or acceptable to her on a personal level.) When she chose to adopt the limiting belief that her daughter was wrong to have a child out of wedlock, her choice cost both her and her daughter great pain so having set so many women free, Emmeline actually trapped herself by believing it was right to ignore her daughter and grandchild. We can as individuals draw on many helpful lessons from learning about inspiring people like Emmeline Pankhurst. For example, we can ask ourselves: Do I feel powerful enough to change my life? What is acceptable to me? What do I feel unable to accept that I am currently accepting? What limiting beliefs am I holding onto? One further point about Emmeline that positively shines out a mile, is that she knew who she was and what she was here to do. How many of us know the same about ourselves today? I know from the many clients I see that when I ask them to tell me who they actually are, they look at me with a blank expression and they struggle to answer the question. This tells me that they've become so bogged down in the details of life, that they know their friends better than themselves and that over time, they have become a complete stranger to who they really are. I chose to write about Emily Pankhurst for this particular article because when I was 12 and studying history at school, I'd been dozing through the lesson when my history teacher threw a book in my direction and yelled at me in front of the whole class, 'Listen you stupid girl! Because of Emmeline Pankhurst, you are a free woman today! You could at the very least be grateful'! I wasn't stupid and I wasn't deliberately ignoring the lesson, I was tired from being up at 4.30am to help at home. But my incredibly irate history teacher, rightly or wrongly in the way she approached it, got my attention and I have admired and been inspired ever since by women like Emmeline Pankhurst. I found a lot of my own strength and power in viewing her as my own role model for standing up for my beliefs and achievements today. Whether you're male or female, if you want to bring positive change to your current life or circumstances, the first line of action you need to take is to begin questioning and often change your perception of the way in which you see your own world. This means taking a shrewd and honest view of what you currently believe about yourself, the environment you live in and the role others play in shaping your life. It's all about the questions you ask inwardly and the dialogue you have with yourself then taking a leap of faith in making choices and decisions that are right for you.
When a spouse is assigned an overseas assignment, the partner is faced with many obstacles that are often ignored. Unfortunately at this time not too many companies offer their support to the spouse. According to research done by Val Boyko into 'global solutions for international assignments' at the Families in Global Transition conference in 2004, she found that the partner's biggest challenges are that they feel: * Unrecognized. * Unsupported. * Let down because of inaccurate or irrelevant information. * Isolated. Maybe you or a friend is experiencing life as an expat partner where you thought you would be able to work, but have found out that it was is a near impossibility; or that you have assumed that internet access would be easily available to maintain contact with friends and family only to discover that it takes months to get connected; or you are a newcomer without an expat community around you AND you can't speak the language. This happens all the time to expat spouses. So what is the solution? Tips for the expat spouse 1. Team Work: Try and get everyone to work together to understand and accept your needs as a spouse. Speak to whoever is in charge of the expat assignment, build up a relationship with him or her before you move and become as informed as you can. Encourage them to give you honest and accurate expectations so that you can make the best choices for yourself and for your family. 2. Your role: Find out about the issues that generally face expat spouses. Make yourself aware of the challenges you will meet. Take up the responsibility and to make it your business to know. Do not rely on others to provide you give you what you may need. 3. Support: Make contact with existing expats in the country you are about to move to through groups, message boards, and online forums. Set up a relationship and support system for yourself even before you land at the airport. Begin to explore possibilities before you head out on your new adventure. 4. Education: Educate yourself - there really is so much information on the web. Don't assume that the experience will be similar to your impressions. It often is not! So be curious and pro-active. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Let others know what you need. People want to help and it could be your very lifesaver in a time of need. And finally...you may want consider hiring your own coach to give a speedy start to your overseas success! Quote of the week "Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more successful." Mark Victor Hansen. Powerful question of the week "What would you like to happen now, this week, next year .?" Write it down, be specific and make an action plan to make it happen. Expat lifecoach As an Expat Life Coach, my purpose is to support expatriate assignees, their spouses and families in developing tools that will help make the expat experience work for them. If you are skeptical or curious about how the coaching process works, feel free to take up my offer of a COMPLIMENTARY coaching session. After the session, you can take whatever tools you developed to support yourself along your expat journey. Please email me to set up your FREE session.
Are you about to move abroad? Have you considered how hard it is going to hit your purse? When we consider moving overseas, it is not just about the job and the opportunities. It is also most definitely about how your finances will be affected. It is important to check out information like the Mercer survey. This helps to calculate which cities are the most expensive in the world to live in. These surveys can give you accurate information and can help you compare costs of living. An important aspect you may want to take into account is how your quality of life will be affected when you move. A higher salary does not necessarily mean a better quality of life. It is not guaranteed that you will be better off. When you first arrive in a country you may need to be able to pay for things such as rent, set up costs, deposits, a car and others. It is a good idea to have a good amount of emergency reserves of cash for unexpected costs that might arise. When I made a move from Korea to the USA, I was very thankful that I did have emergency reserves of cash. I needed to buy a car, put a hefty rental deposit down, pay for motel costs for a couple of weeks, deposit cash in order to open a bank account among other things. There are many and often unaccounted for relocation costs that come into play when you move. It is in your best interests to be as prepared as possible. The best way to get information is to do your homework. Go online and look at some sites, especially expatriate sites. A useful tool is to go to the FORUM boards and see what people have said about living in certain countries. You might even want to start your own forum discussion. Expats are very willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Once you have gathered your information, the next step is to do your math. Brainstorm with friends about what factors you need to take into account so that you do not miss anything. Factor in education, housing costs, moving and/or storage costs, transport, clothing, household goods and so on. Moving abroad can have a severe impact on your finances. You need to take this knowledge into account before your move and not afterwards! How prepared are you for your move? The World ' s 10 Most Expensive Cities Source: Mercer Human resource Consulting, 2005 Cost-of-Living Survey 2005 Ranking 1 Tokyo, Japan 2 Osaka, Japan 3 London, United Kingdom 4 Moscow, Russia 5 Seoul, South Korea 6 Geneva, Switzerland 7 Zurich, Switzerland 8 Copenhagen, Denmark 9 Hong Kong, Hong Kong 10 Oslo, Norway 3 things you need to be prepared for when you relocate * No one understands you * No one understands you * No one understands you Tip of the week What is considered enough money when moving? Maybe just a little bit more than you planned on. Quote of the week "Beware of the little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship." Benjamin Franklin.
Emotional intimacy is one of the most wonderful experiences we ever have. Nothing else really comes close to the experience of sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings with another, of being deeply seen and known, of sharing love, passion, laughter, joy, and/or creativity. The experience of intimacy fills our souls and takes away our loneliness. Why, then, would someone be afraid of intimacy? It is not actually the intimacy itself that people fear. If people could be guaranteed that intimacy would continue to be a positive experience, they would have no fear of it. What they fear is the possibility of getting hurt as a result of being intimate with another. Many people have two major fears that may cause them to avoid intimacy: the fear of rejection – of losing the other person, and the fear of engulfment - of being invaded, of being controlled and losing oneself. Because we have all learned to react to conflict with various controlling behaviors – from anger and blame to compliance, withdrawal, and resistance - every relationship presents us with these issues of rejection and engulfment. If one person gets angry, the other may feel rejected or controlled and get angry back, give themselves up, withdraw or resist. If one person shuts down, the other may feel rejected and become judgmental, which may trigger the other’s fears of engulfment, and so on. These protective circles exist in one form or another in every relationship. When the fears of rejection and engulfment become too great, a person may decide that it is just painful to be in a relationship and they avoid intimacy altogether. Yet avoiding relationships leads to loneliness and lack of emotional and spiritual growth. Relationships offer us the most powerful arena for personal growth, if we accept this challenge. So what moves us beyond the fear of intimacy? The fear exists, not because of the experience itself, but because a person doesn’t know how to handle the situations of being rejected or controlled. The secret of moving beyond the fear of intimacy lies in developing a powerful loving adult part of us that learns how to not take rejection personally, and learns to set appropriate limits against engulfment. When we learn how to take personal responsibility for defining our own worth instead of making others’ love and approval responsible for our feelings of worth, we will no longer take rejection personally. This does not mean that we will like rejection – it means we will no longer be afraid of it and have a need to avoid it. When we learn how to speak up for ourselves and not allow others to invade, smother, dominate and control us, we will no longer fear losing ourselves in a relationship. Many people, terrified of losing the other person, will give themselves up in the hope of controlling how the other person feels about them. They believe that if they comply with another’s demands, the other will love them. Yet losing oneself is terrifying, so many people stay out of relationships due to this fear. If they were to learn to define their own worth and stand up for themselves, the fear would disappear. The Inner Bonding process we teach is a process designed to create a powerful inner adult self capable of not taking rejection personally and of setting limits against loss of self. Anyone can learn this six-step process and, with practice, heal fears of intimacy. Through practicing the Inner Bonding process, you learn to value and cherish who you really are and take full responsibility for your own feelings of worth, lovability, safety, security, pain and joy. When you deeply value yourself, you do not take rejection personally and become non-reactive to rejection. When you value yourself, you will not give yourself up to try to control another’s feelings about you. When you value yourself, you are willing to lose another rather than lose yourself. You can start to learn the powerful Inner Bonding process now by downloading our Free Inner Bonding Course. Moving beyond your fears of intimacy will open you to the deep personal and spiritual growth that relationships can provide and the profound fulfillment and joy that loving relationships can offer.
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Who is the Best Coach For Achieving Your Goals? A friend of mine was recently at a Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen workshop. They were promoting their Enlightened Millionaire Program. One of the topics he told me they covered was looking for a personal coach. So let’s think of a few subjects where there could be personal coaches. Basketball Golf Football Talk show Weightlifting Confidence Money Sex Real Estate Investor Now what I found interesting was what my friend said everybody answered for some of the above. They thought the best basketball coach would be Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods for Golf , Joe Montana for football, Weightlifting a lot would like Arnold Schwarzenegger to be their personal trainer, on confidence Anthony Robbins of NLP fame was picked, Money a lot said they would like Donald Trump or Bill Gates, Sex and they would answer Ron Jeremy, Real Estate a lot answered Robert Kiyosaki of the Rich Dad Poor Dad fame. The logic here might seem great. If you wish to be good at a particular skill than find somebody heavily well known as being great at that talent or skill. Sometimes though that is not exactly the case. My friend went on about how he then thought of the Green Bay Packers as they had won two superbowls. The unexpected had happened their beloved coach Vince Lombardi decided that coaching the Green Bay Packers was no longer what he wanted to do. The Green Bay Packers actually tested two coaches and they tried the above after the two other coaches failed. The Packers took up Bart Starr their successful quarterback as their new coach. He is a great quarterback but didn’t do as well as a coach. A lot of people do not realize playing skills and coaching skills are two different mediums. Vince Lombardi was never a great football player but is an incredible coach. If I wanted a Real Estate Investing coach a lot of people would pick Robert Kiyosaki. Well who were his mentors? Where did he learn about houses and real estate? Was he self taught? Or did he learn from somebody else. It turns out Robert Kiyosaki learned a lot from John Burley about Real Estate investing. John Burley also teaches and coaches others and a lot of his students have success. Michael Jordan the famous basketball player has actually also been a coach. Look at the results of him coaching basketball teams. He is one of the most incredible basketball players but his coaching skills are not even close to his playing skills. The Wizards the Washington team he coach have floundered under Jordan's leadership. They were 110-179 after Jordan began calling the shots and had left the team. Not exactly top performance. The Wizards soon gave him the boot as a coach. Now let us take the famous Tiger Woods. He turned heads when he started winning so much at golf. Than one day he decided to fire Butch Harmon. Tiger Woods has not won a major tournament since the 2002 U. S. Open. That was the same year he stopped having Butch Harmon as his coach. “Tiger Woods is not playing well, he is not working on the right things in his golf swing although obviously Tiger thinks he is,” Harmon told a reporter for a media writer at Sky Sports. Woods received a two-over-par 72 in his first round at the U. S. Open. Woods is not the same golfer who won 7-of-11 majors beginning with the 1999 PGA Championship, and he’s quick to admit it. How much credit do you think Butch Harmon deserves here? Some top coaches are saying they see problems in his swing and think that because Tiger doesn’t have Butch around is a big reason for it. So remember when you are looking for a coach. The best thing to look at is the results of the students. Who has the top students? That is who your coach should be.
This article is about how to gain confidence and how to increase self-esteem. I am a person who used to be a very negative thinker, I would always believe that I would fail in whichever task I was attempting to do. I have to say that I did not really like myself and seemed to be constantly down and depressed. I have managed however, to turn my life around and will explain in the article how I managed to do this. I hope you find it enjoyable to read. As I was growing up through childhood into adulthood I felt that I was rather unlucky. I had a speech impediment (a stutter/stammer), a bald patch on my head which was the size of a ten pence piece, I constantly struggled with my weight (I was basically fat) and I am quite short for a male at five foot four. I looked at other people in my community and especially my friends and felt very jealous of them. I would often think and ask myself why I had so many issues to deal with. The problems in life which I had, especially the speech impediment seriously dented my confidence and I became a bit of a loner. I felt uncomfortable mixing in groups and always believed that people were laughing behind my back and talking about me. I had an inner voice which I call my demons. They would be constantly talking to me, advising me to avoid situations and to avoid taking on tasks which they said were beyond me. They made me feel very stupid and worthless. I would listen to these demons and would basically do or not do as the case may be, whatever they told me to. I agreed with them, that I was not good enough or able to take on those certain tasks. I often wondered what life would be like if only I get these horrible gremlins out of my head. I was not happy with where my life was heading or how it had been in the past. I wanted to be successful, confident and free from these demons. At the age of twenty-two I decided to wage a war on these demons, a war I was determined to win. I started to read many books on self-confidence, thinking positive and mind over matter. Progress was not exactly quick and it took me many months to start to make any headway. I needed to basically think more positive, be more assertive, and far more care-free. I learnt that in life all you can do is to try your best. Life is very short and can end at any point, therefore I need to make the most of it and live life to the full and not as a scared rabbit, which is what I had been doing. Stressing or worrying about a situation makes it harder not easier, therefore why do I do it. These are all easy to say and write, however are extremely hard to implement. Implement I must, I thought. During my war, there were many battles with these horrible demons, some of which I certainly lost. I kept on talking to the demons telling them that they may have won the battle but that they will not win the war. I did eventually win my war after quite a long period of time. I now like myself and am pleased to report that I have also overcome the speech impediment. The main lesson that I learnt is to do the opposite of what the demons tell you to. They are the devil and they lie therefore we have to stop listening to them.