Weekly Quote and Growth Mindset Challenge

Weekly Quote for Growth Mindset: “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for…We can discover meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating good work or doing a deed for others; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone in a positive way; and (3) by the attitude we take toward life experiences and unavoidable suffering (learning).” Viktor Frankl

Coaching Challenge: Make your meaning by learning something new everyday and making the effort to do the best you can every moment by challenging yourself to overcome difficulties and learn the lessons provide you in every situation and every difficult interaction in life.

Power of Negative thoughts on attitude and performance

Daily Quote: ” Nothing can stop the [person] with the right mental attitude from achieving [their] goal; nothing on earth can help the [person] with the wrong mental attitude.”  Thomas Jefferson

Change the way you think and you can change your attitude about how you feel and act. Research has shown that every time you think of something, you choose the attitude and feelings that are associated with it. If you have a negative thought you are guaranteed to have a negative feeling associated with that thought. When negativity takes hold our attitude becomes negative and our performance tumbles. So the question is, “How do you feel when you think that thought?” This approach will help you sort out that things happening in the world (a situation or circumstance) are not causing your feelings. The truth is that the negative or positive thoughts you choose not circumstances cause your attitude, feelings and actions.Let’s look at a more concrete example of how to dealing with Pain and Suffering in our life.

Getting Started: Assumptions and principles of self-coaching:

  1. We cannot control the world. So only focus on the things you can control.
  2. Nothing outside of us has the power to make us feel good or bad. It is our choices that determine how we feel and behave.
  3. It is not the circumstances, but our thoughts about the circumstances that create our perceptions and experience.
  4. We are driven and motivated by what we choose to think about.
  5. Emotions are triggers that lead to action.
  6. We can’t permanently change our habits or results without changing
  7. The habit of thinking in negative ways about our self and our abilities sabotages are abilities and strengths to perform at high levels.
  8. We don’t have to learn anything more than changing negative thoughts to more positive “self-talk” to feel better and act more productively.
  9. Being aware and choosing our thoughts are the most important components to feeling better and performing like a champion.
  10. Learn from other people’s experience and points of view. For example check out Coach Bobby Knight’s book on the Power of Negative Thinking–WOW  http://www.bloomberg.com/video/bobby-knight-on-the-power-of-negative-thinking-9xZTNuP3Rw~iMRuOkngOxQ.html

Self-Coaching Challenge: You are what you think

Daily Quote

“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you”. Deepak Chopra, Philosopher 

Self-coaching is a skill that can be learned. It is the basic skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence. When you develop the skill of SC, you actually change the physical structure of the brain, your thinking and action. Dr. Dan Siegel in the book Mindset says: “This observation and revelation is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain which impacts thinking and then behavior. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow and create new connections in the brain throughout our lives, not just in childhood. ” This finding provides a positivity not known in years before these new brain discoveries.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  Seek first the goal of personal development and reaching your full potential then everything else will take care of itself. What do you want to develop over the next 30 days. Make and plan the execute it.  For support read about Dr. Rock, a noted neuro-leadership scientist,  who has put together a practical model called SCARF for enhancing how to use the new research on the brain to improve leadership and workplace climate.

Positivity–How to get it and eliminate negativity

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect. Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.


Want more Success and Impact on Others? Research says: Fake It until you make it

Daily Quote: “Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen.” Marge Piercy, Poet

Reflection: What Piercy is telling us to do is when you’re not sure of what to be just “Fake it until you make it.” In words create your own personal self-fulfilling philosophy. Dr. James Loher a colleague makes this powerful insight about “faking it” “pretending that you’re happy–requires you to smile, be engaged by mimicking positive energy and enthusiasm–not only can this approach earn you some of the benefits of happiness (returned smiles, connecting with others successes as a public speaker or at work and school but can actually make you happier.”  Why does this “fake it till you make it work? How can acting like you are happy make you happy?

Researcher’s On this subject focus primarily on two reasons for this phenomena one internal and one external.

1. Internally, our brains interpret the positive thoughts and physical manifestations of happiness by releasing adrenalin, testosterone  and dopamine ( pleasure drug) levels into the blood stream while decrease cortisol (stress hormone) so that  we actually experience the emotion to a greater extent. and shows through our external appearance to others and says not in words I am confident and happy to be with you.
2. Externally, our manifestations of happiness are typically mirrored by others, creating a cycle of positive emotions of confident appearance and tone of voice, twinkling eyes, smile and relaxed posture other body language signals of the emotions itself.

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Don’t miss this TED video by Dr. Cuddy where she presents very insightful research and findings on how “faking it” can influence power and dominance in relationships.



Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge–Want to go from GOOD to GREAT as a Presenter Communicator: Focus on Your Strengths


Daily Quote:  “One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.  It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

 Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management  


Reflection: I don’t think Dr. Drucker is suggesting that we  should avoid identifying and addressing areas for development, but we tend to make weakness and improvement of problem areas a priority at the expense of ignoring or taking for granted our strengths. We need to remember that on any given day we only have a certain amount of  time and energy. So in focusing on weaknesses or problems as the priority we have little energy or time to emphasize and use our strengths to tackle our duties and responsibilities, and I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling for living a more meaningful and constructive life.

And the more presentation coaching I do, the more convinced I am that people are better served by seeking to build on their strengths than by seeking to overcome their weaknesses.  As a coach, I have been amazed at the over emphasis in presentation coaching of observing and pointing out weaknesses of what I call “technique rather than substance”. For example, the trainer who focuses on negative things like poor eye contact, hands in the pocket, fill speech (eliminating Uhh’s and Um’s), low energy or just overall nervousness impacts presenters in a negative ways.  We know from research that positive feedback at the ratio of  3 positive to 1 negative comments increases motivation and the probability of positive behavioral change.

One of my fundamental assumptions as a presentation coach is that each client has the potential and abilities within to learn how to be “great”.  They just need to observe and concentrate on their strengths, like their great smile, their positive and contagious passion for their message and ability to challenge and engage the audience. To do this it is essential for the training program to use video feedback techniques like “interjective coaching and self-discovery” tools. When training techniques encourage participant’s active involvement in learning it brings out  insights, strong motivation, and resourceful creative ways to build on strengths. From my perspective nothing is wrong or broken, and there is no need to fix the client,; they just need to belief in and practice what they are best at.  The only problem is that presentation training programs have often focused on “fixing” the presenter rather than helping them find and use their strengths. The challenge here is that people often seek coaching precisely because they or their managers believe that something IS “wrong” or “broken” and something needs “fixing.”  It’s essential for the coach and client  to collaborate on identify strengths and develop an alternative perspective that focuses on the client’s strengths, because their capabilities–their belief, their resourcefulness for seeing their strengths-are the qualities that will generate going from “good to great” as public speakers.

Self- Coaching Challenge:  Since I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying strengths and successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling in changing behavior I am offering a FREE NO CHARGE ANALYSIS of your presentation skills. Over the next thirty days,  just send me a u-tube video or home video of your last presentation or of a practice session that you would like feedback on. I will provide a one page presentation evaluation checklist that we will use to observe and identify your speaking strengths and you will be well on your way to becoming a GREAT presenter.

Part II: Overcoming your Demons through 10 Self-Coaching Challenges

Do you see the “Glass half-full ?  Do you focus on the past and bad decisions or broken dreams? These are just two reasons that your demons and primitive brain are winning.  How do you overcome them?

Self- Coaching Challenge:

Think Straight, ACT STRAIGHT.

1. Eat Smart, Exercise and never give up HOPE for a better LIFE–Feel ALIVE.

2. Embrace Stress-It is the Spice of Life

3. Practice Mindfulness by mediating everyday

4. Be grateful for what you have

5. Don’t focus on past mistakes

6. Build a support team and eliminate bad practices and relationships

7. Don’t complain. Either change situation, learn to cope, or react differently.

8. See mistakes as opportunities to learn.

9. Find a passion. Make your hobby your life work–own it: art, tennis poetry etc.

10. Don’t bother comparing yourself to others—this only leads to frustration.

Want to read more on overcoming demons see Part I-  http://wp.me/pnKb1-29t  

Daily Quote: “Stress is like Spice… not always bad for you

“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.” Dr. Donald Tubesing
Stress is a normal part of life.   Believe it or not stress can even be useful when it triggers us to danger. In every day life, living with a constant and elevated stress level can be a persistent problem that interferes with daily activities, such as work, school or sleep. This type of stress can disrupt relationships and enjoyment of life, and over time it can lead to serious health concerns (elevate blood pressure, digestive issues like IBS, depression, confused thinking and other chronic problems. Goal in life isn’t to get rid of it but to find the right balance between good stress and chronic stress which can’t be turned off. Some of the best research has been done by Robert Sapolsky in his book:  Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases and Coping 


Self-coaching on the Job–Do You know how to be more Positive and motivate Team Members?

Daily Quote: “When it’s clear to employees that they’re helping others through their work, their intrinsic motivation rapidly expands.” Peter Drucker 

Reflection: Having a bigger goal and one that is focused on others is a basic way to encourage a team effort. Good managers are always looking to support employees and catch them doing something right. I once had a manager that was always trying to nail others on their laziness and catching them doing something wrong. The result was high turnover and lower productivity which turned into an unfortunate game of “I gotcha”. This type of game was a win-loss for everyone.

As an employee  grows into new skills or responsibilities, positive reinforcement can be particularly powerful for both the manager and team member.  The idea is not used as often as it needs to be. For some managers using this technique is seen as a “soft” or weak way to mange. They have a miss guided notion that managers must be tough on employees or they lose credibility with the workforce. This “tough management” approach gives them power but it is a misguided mental set for trying to increase motivation. Using a more open management style focused on  ‘feel-good techniques,’  are the equivalent of a verbal performance progress report that allows you to direct an employee’s progress by commenting, in an appropriate and credible way, on their efforts, successes and strengths as the team moves toward achieving their goals.

It sounds simple, and yet acknowledgments can be a hard skill for busy and misguided managers philosophy of what managers need to do in order to increase the individuals intrinsic motivation.  Part of that is resistance to soft skills, but part of it is just not knowing how to communicate more effectively with team members.  To give an effective acknowledgment, you must do the following three things:

1. Catch Your Employee Doing Something Right

Okay, be honest!  How often do you see an employee doing something well, and neglect to mention it?  And how often do you see the same employee doing something wrong, and comment immediately?  Most managers would answer “usually” to both those questions.  And that’s not surprising, given that your focus is improving employee performance.  But if you only point out an employee’s mistakes, you’re training him to expect criticism every time you open your mouth.

The key to making positive feedback a cornerstone of your effective management technique is simply to catch your employees doing things right, and then tell them, in specific detail, what you saw!

2. Look for “small-steps” of improvement and areas of progress based on the 3 to 1 rule of positive reinforcement 

As you practice “catching your employee doing things right,” look for specific behaviors that indicate areas of progress or growth.  Most of us improve our performance more with positivity words; positive words of encouragement can be especially powerful when they recognize the specific and small contributions that our team members are doing because it signals to others that working hard to improve performance is in everyone’s best interest.

When an employee stretches his comfort zone, when they responds to constructive feedback, when they take a risk or achieves a milestone, that’s the time for an acknowledgment and rewards.

3. Build a climate of positivity by identifying and rewarding specific desired behavior with positive and matter of fact comments to individuals 

When you do acknowledge progress, be sure to make your comments objective. Seems simple enough, right?  But it’s not.  Most managers give general praise, instead of giving an acknowledgment; and there’s a big difference in the impact of each.

There are several key differences between praise and acknowledgment:

  • Praise is general (“Nice job at today’s presentation team ”); acknowledgment is specific(“I saw you speak up at today’s presentation with a clear and concise solution to the client’s public relations problem. Outlining a detailed plan of action seem to be what they were working for and the result was an please client”.
  • Praise gives you the power to judge (“That was a great report!”);acknowledgment shows a snapshot of what you observed (“This report was much more detailed than your last one”).
  • Praise is often extravagant (“You did an awesome job with the team”);acknowledgment is matter-of-fact (“I noticed that your facilitating style allowed everyone to make their point in the allotted time”).

As you can see, although an acknowledgment is measured and objective, it’s much more personal and specific than praise. Praise could apply to many people; but because of its specific and precise nature, an acknowledgment to an individual can only be about the specific person you’re talking to.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next 24 hours take the Positivity Quiz  and reflect on who and how to increase your positivity ratio with a specific person on your team. At your next team meeting Identify what you would like to see improved and take note of how you provide feedback to your team.  Pay particular attention to whether you provide general feedback to your team or do you specifically acknowledge individual contributions and positive behavior. After identifying your approach pick-out one individual whose motivation seems to falling off and find new ways to recognize their contributions to team goals. This new approach will be seen by all members as a win-win.

Part III: Self Coaching and Career Development: Awareness and Commitment to Personal Change

Daily Quote:  “The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”  Dr. Carl R. Rogers
Reflection: Developing effective interpersonal communication is self-awareness at its finest. It is all about developing a sense self-efficacy (belief) and awareness which entails knowing who you are, what you can do, and where you are now and where you want to go.  In addition to the above, you must have the ability to access and master self-awareness and reflective thinking by choosing to accept relevant feedback and your feelings or emotions surrounding decisions and taking personal action to change. Your success in self-coaching relies on using a “process and structure” that allows you to discover and choose what fits your needs, time and personal change goals and objectives.Self Coaching equates to the “soft skills” used in counseling such as  observation, questioning, listening, reflection, problem solving and choices. Most of these skills are encompassed in the popular Emotional Intelligence category of Self Management. But most importantly self-coaching can impact all important values and priorities of your life, including health, education, career, relationships and spiritual arenas.To get started with  Self Coaching you must make a commitment to personal change and then assess your readiness for coaching. This process takes a time commitment and a decision to risk exploring who you are and what you want to do in life plus examining life priorities and  values.The first question for getting started with self-coaching is why do you want to begin this journey of self exploration and development. The second question is to consider is what behavior or thinking patterns your want to improve upon. In answering these questions you will need to explore where you are now and what is important to you to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. By doing this type of assessment you can start living a more self-directed life of choice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: To see if self-coaching is for you it is important to consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your social contacts or developing a relationship.

Start with translating your self-coaching challenge into concrete actions by answering the following questions:

  • Why is it important for you to achieve this personal change goal?
  • What is it you want to achieve?
  • What actions do you need to take to achieve this goal?
  • What barriers or distractions may keep you from achieving your goal?
  • Who could give you feedback on how you are doing in achieving your goal?
  • How will you know or measure your success in meeting your goal?

By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for reaching your goal and if need be making adjustments required in your thinking and behavior to achieve your desired outcome.

My 30 day goal for personal change is to  _________________________________________________________________________________________

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge: Think Straight and Develop Your Grit

Daily Quote: What you are thinking, what shapes your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all.   Willie Mays


Your toughness and grit is made up of equal parts belief, persistence and deliberative practice and experience. The toughest opponent of all is the negativity and skeptic or sarcastic one inside your head.  Below see the  4 tips for overcoming negativity and build grit into your character and daily actions:

1. Believe it or not, passions grow out of your values. Make early, wise choices to value what (and who) is good, trustworthy, and praiseworthy.

2.Think straight, talk straight and do the straight or right thing to grow your character

3. Find a passion. Pick a hobby, own it: running, photography, juggling, tennis, writing, art and whatever. Get your 10,000 hours of perfect practice in early and change your life.

4.Don’t bother comparing yourself to others—this only leads to heartbreak, anger, and disappointment.

Self-Coaching Challenge: What’s the one thing you would do right now if you had more confidence? What are you going to do to gain more self-confidence?


Self-Coaching: Clear Thinking and Self-Awareness = Effective Communications

Daily Quote: “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” – Carl Jung

Reflection: Clear thinking does not happen automatically, it has to be nurtured by learning to be open-minded and flexible in looking at situations and people. Smart-step thinking is grounded in listening and exploring opinions, challenging long-held assumptions based on questionable beliefs and asking questions. The Self-Coaching Smart-Step conversation is a collaborative and give and take which can help in creating a positive climate for dealing with difficult people. The key ingredient for sealing with difficult people is self-understanding. Ask yourself –what is happening and what button is being pushed that sends your mind and emotions off the track of reasonable and clear thinking? Remember we do not need to take up and confront every argument or annoyance we experience in life. Sometimes ignoring or using silence is the best remedy for conflict. The people who really annoy and anger us are usually very good at pushing our “hot buttons”.


Self-Coaching Challenge:   In your self-coaching journal identify a recent interaction where you had a difficult person to deal with and the interaction did not go very well.

1. What was the situation and who was involved. What were your “hot buttons that were pushed?

2. What assumptions, information and expectations were discussed?

3. Is the “hot button” one that has caused you problems in the past with this person or others?

4. Now that time has passed are you able to pinpoint the reasons for the poor conversation?

5.  Lesson learned—how might you have handle this situation in a more productive or different way?



Mindset for Self-Coaching— 4 Critical Elements for Getting Started.

4 tips on how to see ourselves from other people’s point of view.

Daily Quote:

“We never see ourselves as others see us…”  Eric Hoffer 

” O would some power the gift to give us the ability to see ourselves as others see us. ” Robert Burns, Scot Poet (1759 – 1796)   

Self-Reflection: How do we see ourselves? Effective self-coaching involves seeing ourselves as mixture of our ability to think clearly, see ourselves as others see us and being open to learning and change. Many times in life our mental set about ourselves and how we impact other people can be taken for granted or mis-perceived. Many times in our busy day to day activities we are operating in a vacuum or on automatic pilot and in order to move forward and continue growing we must work on developing open and flexible ways to gather more information. Our ability to develop this open perspective toward ourselves is the foundation for all self-coaching. This open approach to personal change allows us to use self-coaching tools, such as feedback to not only adjust our thinking but to enhance our effectiveness to change habits and behavior.

For example, the art and science of public speaking or presenting are learned, as well as the skills to handle different situations and audiences. When this is recognized you can use deliberative practice tools by yourself or in conjunction with a good coach or teacher to figure out the steps to do something better by using your time and space to practice and learn more constructive ways to reach our full potential as a fully functioning person. With time and good support, every person can discover their own ways to become a more effective and efficient communicator.

1. Reflection

Self-coaching also involves an ongoing process of reflection. We need to view our lives as an ongoing exercise in experiential learning, and we need to obtain the necessary critical distance to be able to observe and reflect upon our experiences, while also fully inhabiting those experiences in the moment. The precise steps we take in this process will look different for each of us, and they will vary over time, but it’s critical to regularly engage ourselves in conversation and to develop the habitual practices that support this reflection.

2. Self-Awareness

An important product of this reflection is increased self-awareness, by which I mean both a heightened in-the-moment perception of how we respond to various situations and a deeper understanding over time of who we are as individuals. Our immediate perception of our physical and emotional responses to situations is often blunted–it’s only in retrospect that we fully understand what we were feeling. Honing this in-the-moment awareness of our responses allows us to expand the range of options available to us and to make choices that will best support our goals in any given situation.

Over time this heightened perception contributes to a deeper understanding of ourselves. We learn more about our tendencies and preferences, and patterns in our behavior (with certain people, in certain settings, at certain moments) begin to reveal themselves. We can then capitalize on these patterns, exploiting those that work to our advantage and challenging (or avoiding) those that work to our disadvantage.

3. Committment to Personal Change

At some level self-coaching is all about change. Changing how we spend our time so we’re more fulfilled, and changing our behavior so we’re more effective. Doing more of what’s working in our lives, and doing less of–or stopping entirely–what’s not helping us reach our desire results.  We may even want to change the direction of our lives in a more comprehensive way, and all large changes result from a series of small smart steps using the Plus1 performance technique.

4.  Clarity of Personal Values and Vision 

Our self-coaching efforts occur within a context defined by our personal values and our vision for ourselves. If self-coaching is a sequence of steps to help us effect positive change in our lives, then our values and our vision are the source of meaning and purpose in our lives, the underlying rationale for the changes we seek to make.

It’s important at the very beginning of self-coaching to identify the critical values that drive our action and to establish a vision of the future. Where you want to be after your self-coaching experience? Values and vision are the underpinning for self-coaching success because they ground us in what is important in our lives and where we we want to go. These values and vision will be rechecked through your self-coaching actives and will be refined by the end of your experience. Although we will be working on many of the elements that roll-up into a vision or provide clarity on your priority values in life through smart-step activities and structured exercises I think having an overall direction and “big picture” for self-coaching  is critical for your success.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next week reflect on these 4 elements for Self-Coaching. Use the scale 1 -not ready to 10 absolutely ready. After your evaluation commit to either finding a coach to get get you started or if you are ready for self-coaching do something to get started, like reading articles or a book on self-coaching.  

Daily Quote and Reflection: The Real Voyage of Self-Coaching–Readiness and Choices

Daily Quote: As Marcel Proust, the early 20th century French essayist, cultural critc and novelist once said:

” The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 

Reflection: I have post many ideas on self-coaching, so much so, that it seems like I am selling an idea that has a lot of resistance for trying it out. In reflecting on this, I have come to the conclusion that whether you choose to try some of the self-coaching ideas out or not you are definitely doing some type of self-coaching every day of your life.  I am just adding a proven “ structure and process” to your random thinking about your daily activities and how you can bring these activities under a more systematic, dynamic and effective method for self-growth and life improvement.  You may be wondering what this is all about and why I think it’s worthwhile for you to make the effort to make some of these scientifically proven practices a regular practice in your daily living. I have found that using proven steps to deal with constant changing circumstances a very important coping mechanism for bringing more satisfaction and happiness into my life. The concept of Self-Coaching and Discovery may seem to much like an academic exercise but let me reassure you these self-directed practices aren’t schoolwork, but reality. Self-Coaching in my opinion is critical lifework. Everything you do to gain more control over what you can control in life makes life’s ups and downs a little less stressful and enjoyable. Every module you complete in the Self-Coaching process can be small-steps to keep you from living your life on automatic pilot and dealing more effectively with evitable problems that pop-up. You will develop more confidence and feel more competent at doing what you decide to do. The sooner you learn these mental skills and habits, the sooner you will be in charge of your life and your future.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Remember that life can be difficult and with more self-awareness and self-direction you are learning to make choices that put you in more conscious control in making choices. What would it mean if you could be more proactive and less reactive or impulsive in living your life?  List three benefits and explain how your life would be more satisfying. 

What do you think? That’s the important thing. I offer my full support for whatever you decide, as long as it is a well though out decision based on moving you toward more pleasure in life and away from pain and confusion. The Self-Coaching process I am recommending is all about you being more aware and deciding the real voyage you want to life.
So I am with you whatever you decide, just be sure that you are making a choice that will help you become the person that you want to be, doing the things you want to do. Then you can’t go wrong, and I am behind you 100% of the way.

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge: Coping with Life Difficulties and Losses

A Self-Coaching “Smart-Step” approach to Coping with anxiety and difficult times

Daily Quote: ” When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”.–Viktor Frankl 

Through out life we will encounter good and bad times. With the rapid pace of living  we all experience change as a way of life. Some of us learn to roll with the punches and find ways to get through our daily ups and downs. Others get “stuck” and have a difficult time functioning at an acceptable level. And still others find themselves anxious or increasingly depressed over a problem, concern, or worry for a long time. So we all react differently to change and try to find individual ways to cope. In my experience with clients, I have found some ways that are more effective than others to cope and push try to relief. Below I will provide two Self-Coaching tools that provide a practical framework and a mental set for dealing with these personal obstacles to live a life of constructive action. I suggest you write them down in your personal journal or on a 3x 5 index card so that when you find yourself on the edge or overwhelmed with worry and  insecure thinking, you read these tips to get you through the difficult situations you find yourself in. If necessary, read them over and over again, mantra like.

1.) I will let life be what it is. I won’t “make stuff up” too upset my balance and positive outlook. Sure there are obstacles and inconveniences but no awfulness and shoulds’ in life. Try using positive self-talk like the following: This too shall pass…it could have been much worst…this is inconvenient and unexpected so consciously  STOP. Take a deep BREATH. SMILE and Move ON. 
Sometimes, when the phone rings and the voice or message at the other end knocks you for a loop, you may feel shock, out of control or overwhelmed with what life has just delivered you. And yet you need to keep going on because sometimes there are no solutions or answers to life’s difficulties. Rather than reading these events as “awful” and “unsolvable”, a more constructive approach to terrible news is to notice and accept how you are feeling, if sad, be sad; if you start to cry just cry; if angry; be angry and then redirect your attention to something more useful. For example, find a tissue to wipe your tears, if you are standing sit-down, go for a long slow walk etc. Redirection physically can be a powerful constructive act.  Just remember this event as just a moment in life–not good or bad, just life.  Mentally reject the inner voice that tells you this is awful and you can’ go on. Don’t fight the fear or focus on it;  just notice it and accept it. Acknowledge these events are real, unwanted and  inconvenient obstacles that just need to be handled the best way you know how. With heighten emotions and unclear thinking about loss and fear driven thinking your insecurity and confusion will rise and you may find yourself slowed downed–but this is event is not the end of life or awful! What feels to be hopeless and overwhelming is only an emotional flooding created by this unexpected circumstance. Keep in mind your tool to STOP. Breath. Smile. Keep Moving and trust yourself to handle this situation.

2. Not every problem has a solution, and sometimes you have to just keep going and accept that maybe or maybe not an answer or understanding will appear. 
In time, some problems can be solved or understood. On the other hand, some problems will never be solved and you need to learn to live with this uncertainty and ambiguity of not knowing. Unfortunately, this is not easy to do, but begins with clear and positive thinking (3-1 rule of positivity) not with doubts, fears and negative thoughts. It is your irrational demand for answers and certainty in dealing with life’s problems and ambiguities that generate irrational thoughts, fretting behavior and other unhealthy symptoms such as nervousness, losing control, anxiety and feeling sick.

As you practice these new mental sets,  it helps to remind yourself of the countless problems and worries that have come and gone in your life. How many problems have you solved? One thousand? Ten thousand? or Hundred thousand? Many times you have faced problems and figured-out, how to survive these difficulties  by re-framing, re-strategizing, or over just letting time take its course. Right? Trust yourself and be more gentle and self compassionate because life difficulties eventually become part of your biography and you move on. Remember you have more fuel in the tank than you think you do.