Category Archives: life coaching

Self-care challenge

Thinking abut self-care today. When we want to make changes in our lives we can be harsh to ourselves. Self-compassion will make the changes so much more pleasant!

This is a pile of good ideas from the wonderful Captain Awkward:

‘Let us institute a Three-Month Be Really Nice To Yourself project. Your job, for the next three months..to be really nice to yourself. Some things you can do:

1) Find an alternate audience for your feelings.

If you can get access to a counselor of some sort, do it. Vent to that person! Alternatives: Write it all down in a letter that you don’t send, call a hotline, find an internet community or space to write. Using 750words.com or the “Morning Pages” exercise from The Artist’s Way (3 pages longhand in a notebook that you don’t edit or necessarily even read ever again, first thing in the morning) can be good, as it gives you a daily writing practice. Whatever works for you, get the feelings and worries OUT OF YOUR BRAIN

2) Meet more people.

Be it a hobby, a sport, a game group, a Meetup, a fandom, singing in a chorus, get yourself out there and meet some new people doing fun stuff that interests you and makes you feel good. The best is if you can find some kind of recurring, weekly activity that will let you slowly get to know people over time.

Notice I said “Meet more people”, not “make more friends.” Making new friends = pressure! Pressure on you, pressure on the people to be good friend material. Meeting new people = No pressure! You can say “I met & talked to one new person tonight, SUCCESS!” Let making new friends be a happy surprise, not a goal.

3) Volunteer.

It’s a way to meet people. It’s a way to be useful. It’s a way to have interactions that don’t put yourself at the center and remind yourself that you have something to offer. It is, to be blunt, a way to see yourself as part of a community of your fellow human beings rather than as drowning person clinging to the leaky raft of your only friendship. Chances are there is an organization out there that matches your interests and skills. These puppies aren’t going to pet themselves.

4) Say only nice things about yourself.

It’s really hard to break a habit of comparing yourself to other people and putting yourself down, but it can be done. Don’t say mean things about your body or describe yourself as a collection of flaws. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Don’t read or watch pop culture stuff that shits on women for being single or having bodies. Try to write down or or say one thing you like about yourself every single day. It’s hokey and cheesy, and you may start out like “fucking fucking stupid affirmations stupid this will never fucking work I fucking hate everything” but if you keep doing it you’ll start laughing at the absurdity and you’ll feel tiny bit better. Your friend met someone she meshes with because of dumb fucking luck, not because she’s magically better than you in some way. You’re okay. You’re great, in fact.

5) Practice excellent self-care.

Get enough sleep, eat good food, a flattering haircut (or something else that makes you feel pretty and alive), call your family regularly if they are people who make you feel good, move your body in some way that energizes you, unfuck your habitat, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, maybe stop sleeping with “Shithead,” visit the dentist if it’s been awhile. This is all about finding ways to reward and nurture yourself that you can control. Be the kind of friend to yourself that you need right now. If you need someone to buy you flowers and tell you you are great today, then buy yourself flowers and tell yourself you are great.’

#546: Counter-Intuitive Friendship Fixing Advice: The Be Nice To Yourself Project

1 question to change your 2016

What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in the next year – one word?

Early each year I take time to look back over the previous year and looking ahead. I do the same process with coaching clients. We take some time to celebrate their gains and note the disappointments. Having reviewed we look ahead at the year to come. What do they long to see happen this year?

This is quite a long thorough process that generally takes 45 minutes or so. So, I’ve condensed it. Below is a 5 question version and a 1 question version!

I want to share with you 5 questions to help you make this review too. I recommend that you do this with someone else, a partner, friend or coach. Let them ask the questions and allow you to concentrate on the answers.

5 question version:

  1. As you think back over the last 12 months, where have you strengthened your footing or gained new ground?
  2. As you look back over the past year, where have you failed to advance, or even lost ground?
  3. What’s the deep truth about your life as it is today?  
  4. What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in the next year? One word?
  5. What are the things you must do or be in the next 12 months to move your life forward in the direction of your deepest heart desires?

Often we find as we review our goals that things have just happened, that progress has been made without conscious thought or action.

And if I was to chose just one question it would be no. 4. So here is the 1 question version.

1 question: 

What do you want the “theme” of your life to be in 2016 – one word?

Let me know in the comments below what word you chose.

focus on your strengths

Concentrate on your strengths, not your weaknesses

focus on your strengthsI have been chatting to Red magazine about strengths or positive qualities. And how concentrating on our strengths increases self confidence.

Often schools and job appraisals focus on our weakest areas and where we need to improve, not on our strongest areas. Yet it’s often true that we would need to put in a significant effort to raise a weakness to a mediocre level. Whereas putting in the same effort to an area of strength can raise a strength to an expertise. Continue reading