Thursday, April 16, 2015

Do One Small Thing Differently

What is coaching?

Coaching is a conversation between a client and a coach (life coach, executive coach, health coach, etc)  that leads to goal-setting and solution-focused outcomes that when implemented, actually requires the client's brain to create new neural pathways to support new patterns of thinking and behaving.  Coaching commands the brain to think in new ways in order to create those neural pathways that ultimately have a positive effect on how the brain works. If you aren't sure about this, just google 'neuroplasticity'... there's tons of research on the science of brain change. By creating goals and visualizing a possible outcome that you'd like to experience, the coach can help you disaggregate clutter and information, deconstruct and clarify the larger vision of what you'd like to experience into smaller, manageable steps.  Expecting your life to change just because you want it to, may cause you to feel defeated, setting you up to repeat old patterns of failure or disappointment, a road you've been down many times before.  Expecting life to change without an action plan, without a vision for the future, is an exercise in self sabotage that keeps you mired in the muck.

If you are feeling stuck and want to experience life in a new way, you have to be willing to make a commitment to change the way you do things even if it brings you discomfort in the beginning, even if your ego feels challenged. If you want adventure, but you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that may be, forget about ever experiencing excitement. If you want to be a leader, but are afraid to give voice to your ideas, those ideas are going to die with you, having never been heard. If you want to live a healthier life, start by standing at your computer, rather than sitting.  Do one small thing differently to build new neural pathways, which will give rise to more new behaviors and new thinking.

Have you read the children's book, Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff?  I have a tendency to want a sweet with my tea when I sit down to my computer to work. Knowing that I am like that mouse whose cookie triggers the wanting of other triggers (the cookie leads to a glass of milk, which leads to needing a straw which leads to a napkin, which leads to a mirror, which ultimately leads him back to another cookie), I decided to change one small thing in the sequence of events that leads me to the sweet.  Instead of sitting, I stand at my computer which changes my course. Amazing.

New behaviors lead to new thinking which leads to new behaviors which leads to more new thinking. This push and pull, pull and push moves you forward, one step at a time, increasing confidence, skill and awareness as you go. Slowly, or quickly, depending on how much commitment and drive you bring to coaching, change takes place.  Whether you want to change your relationship with money, authority, your health, with the people you care about- manage- or work for, or your relationship with yourself, consider collaborating with a coach to help you with those goals. Expand your world by confronting a limiting belief or, what the heck, experiment with optimism. Find courage and compassion beyond shame and anger. Live happier.... it's possible.

Ellen from Elleon Coaching

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Just Like An Onion...

Just like an onion, there are many layers to our personal history, personalities, experiences, thoughts and feelings that accumulate over the years and comprise who we areIf I asked you to introduce yourself to me, you probably would tell me your name, where you work, where you went to school and maybe your favorite color.  Unless I asked you specifically about your core beliefs and values, you might not think to describe yourself in those terms and yet, your belief system is where and how your life gets played out. Interestingly, we aren't even aware of this core framework we live within. Your core is much like the root of an onion. For better or for worse, the root is what holds all the layers together.

Examples of personal beliefs and values might include your views on the importance of self, others, others over self, self over others, sacrifice, gratitude, honesty, integrity, education, family life, accountability, responsibility, the roles of men and women and the personal impact you see yourself having in those areas. Core beliefs manifest themselves in the language you use, where you decide to live, who you choose to marry, the friends you keep, the career decisions you make, how you treat your neighbor and the value you place on your own worth. Negative beliefs can chip away at one’s feelings of self esteem, level of accomplishment, and can contribute to one’s general dissatisfaction with the life they have created. 

 So when it comes time to make decisions about your future, specifically your career choice or career transition, would you look at your areas of improvement or would you look at your strengths for clues as to what might make you happy?  Those of us who hear whispers of negative thinking may pay lots of attention to those areas in need of improvement which should be our cue to look at our strengths. If you grew up in a home where parents or guardians were overly critical, you learn to hold yourself to standards that are not achievable.  The opposite may be true as well.  Those of us who grew up in homes where we were not encouraged, we might have learned to expect very little from ourselves. Happiness in both of these situations seems like something only other people have unless you understand that happiness isn't something 'out there'. Happiness, feelings of purpose and satisfaction requires us to examine those core beliefs we have, that either helps us to grow or keeps us stuck. 

As a Life Coach, I would ask you to tell me about those core beliefs and about the alignment between your beliefs/values and your skills, traits and dreams. When there is a strong alignment between what you like to do, what you are good at, how you see yourself in the world, and who you are at your core, we have a powerful starting place for the self discovery process and goal setting necessary for a collaborative coaching relationship.  

Contact me at Elleon Coaching for a free consultation at the links below: or