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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 03:47

The Art of Mindfully Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving yourself is an extremely valuable tool on your journey to being the best version of yourself. This goes hand in hand with personal accountability for your portion of responsibility in whatever situation you’re dealing with. True healing takes admitting at least your part in whatever is happening while also recognizing the other person’s part, and remembering that none of us are perfect. As a mindful leader, it is part of your duty to pay attention and be aware of each side of the story as much as you can. Sometimes it takes a little time and inner work to get there, but with practice, you can get there almost instantaneously if you focus. Let’s explore how forgiving yourself will ultimately make you a much stronger, wiser, and more patient and understanding individual.

 

One of the first things to realize is that many of us tend to beat up on ourselves about what we’ve done wrong for much longer than is necessary, which creates an inner environment that opens you up to people taking advantage of you because they know they can do whatever they want, but you’ll take the blame and responsibility for it... because that’s just the good-hearted type of person that you are. Having said that, this gives you all the more reason to develop a healthy and appropriate length of time to process your portion of responsibility rather than moving into martyr mode.

 

Your inner critic can be very noisy and – quite frankly – a nuisance until you practice mindfulness and self-awareness and recognize that this is all just part of being human. None of us are perfect, and keeping this in mind allows you to forgive yourself as well as others much more quickly. Love yourself despite your mistakes, and keep them in perspective by taking a bird’s eye view of the whole situation rather than just the piece of it that you feel is your fault. Remember that the best thing you can do for yourself is learn from the experience and move on. Dwelling in guilt, shame, and fear is actually unhealthy and detrimental to your effectiveness as a person, the message you have to share, as well as eating away at your sense of self-worth, so why make life more difficult for yourself through this kind of subconscious self-programming?

 

On that note, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to help you forgive yourself and move on to solutions and lessons learned, that way you have the tools to handle things in a more constructive way later, as well as being unlikely to make the same mistake again.

 

Elements of Self-Forgiveness to Keep in Mind

 

·         In order to make the most of your self-forgiveness, it’s a good idea to begin from a place of calm and peace, preferably where you remember that you are (and deserve to be – we all do) loved unconditionally. Whether this unconditional love comes from yourself, your spirit or inner being, or an individual that is close to you, tap into that feeling of being loved unconditionally. This is the foundation.

 

·         Next, remember your strength and positive attributes or traits. Are you patient? Understanding? Wise? Practical? This could be anything that you love about yourself and can remember demonstrating at some point or another in a life situation. These are things you know to be true and can be confident in, which in turn will make it easier to admit fault that is actually yours, forgive yourself, and move on.

 

·         Remember to look at the situation in context and take full responsibility for whatever it is that you need to forgive yourself for. If it was a simple mistake involving your skills, then there’s no need to beat yourself up over it. Simply learn from the mistake, correct it if you can, and do better next time. If it was a moral conflict, make sure that you feel appropriate guilt and shame, but no more. Nursing these feelings can open you up to all kinds of problems later on, so don’t prolong the healing process unnecessarily.

 

·         Pay close attention to the parts of your experience that are especially painful, as this is where deeper healing takes place. Look at what happened and feel the pain and guilt, but imagine yourself shining a loving light onto it and realizing that, without doing this, you are much more likely to get stuck in the negative cycle of beating yourself up over it.

 

·         Take responsibility for your part in things and acknowledge the aspects of the situation that you aren’t responsible for. Then consider what you’ve done already to try to rectify the situation, and do anything else that you feel you must in order to mend fences. If you’ve already done everything in your power, then the rest is outside of your control and there’s no point in dwelling on it more. At that point, it’s senseless and does more harm than good. If there’s more that you can do, then do it – not only for the other person involved, but also for yourself. Knowing you’ve done everything you could will help you to learn from the experience and move on.

 

·         That brings me to the idea of learning everything you can from the situation and then releasing it. Letting go of trying to control the outcome of the situation will allow you to move on and do better the next time you’re faced with a similar situation.

 

Be honest with yourself and do what you can, but don’t allow your inner critic or self-deprecating thoughts to lull you into a false sense of over-responsibility. No one human being is required to carry the weight of the world, but if you continuously don’t forgive yourself, then it may very well feel like you have the world on your shoulders. This feeling can become crippling over time; the more weight you add with every misstep or mistake, the heavier your burden will be. This infringes very much on your ability to help others, and as a mindful leader, this will likely have a ripple effect on every area of your life.

 

I hope that these ideas help you to reach a place of forgiving yourself much more quickly. One of the most important aspects is to feel the feelings you feel, acknowledge them, and then let them go so that you can move on to do much better in your life as a whole. This is part of the work that allows you to be better than you were the day, week, or even month before, and oftentimes, steps and layers are required in order to fully reach this peace. You can only work your way from one step to the next; there’s no jumping up the entire staircase to reach the top without learning the lessons you learn along the way. Abraham-Hicks refers to this as being ready to be ready to be ready... because you can’t get there from where you are without taking the steps necessary, and life tends to lead us to exactly the steps we need for growth and inner peace... usually with absolutely perfect timing (whether we can see it in the thick of it or not).

 

Thank you so much for joining us today on the Mindful Leader Blog! I hope you’re having a wonderful week, and please come back next week for another article about forgiveness.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

The brutal truth of the matter is that we won’t be fully honed or skilled in these practices, especially getting comfortable with uncertainty, until we’ve experienced a period of uncertainty that essentially gave us no choice but to get comfortable. Things being up in the air basically force us to let go of control and hang on to faith instead. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, then it might help you to read on about things you can do to help yourself feel less like you’re being dragged through the mud by life and more like you’re being “pulled” to your calling by life. On the outside, the circumstances and situations could be exactly the same... but one person might handle it with a nonchalant attitude while someone else might handle it with a reactionary mindset. Let’s take a closer look at a mindset of being comfortable in times of uncertainty.

 

There are some common sayings we can turn to in times like these, some of which may not always make sense until you’ve had an experience where it clicks. However, they are very valid sayings and can be used to give you comfort in uncertain times. By practicing the following mindset shifts, you make your emotional wellbeing the primary focus as you work through whatever circumstances or challenges you’re faced with.

 

1.      “When one door closes, another one opens.”
This is advice to keep your eyes out for opportunities and remain open to seeing them despite your challenges. In order to be on the same wavelength or frequency as your solutions, though, you must have a mindset focused and directed toward more positive aspects than negative. If you are staying focused on the problem and thinking about it, giving it your mental and emotional energy, then the solutions may not find you because they are on an entirely different vibrational frequency. It isn’t that they aren’t there; it’s that you aren’t in the right mindset to see them. If you need help getting out of a funk, try meditation, yoga, or going for a walk.

2.      “Let go and let God.”
Essentially, this saying means to let go of your need for control. When you try to control everything around you, chances are that you feel like you have no control within yourself, of your emotions specifically. This essentially means you try to control your environment and external people and circumstances in order to attempt to control your own emotions. This is akin to building a house on a faulty foundation – if you really want to get somewhere, you will let go of the control tactics and begin replacing them with mindfulness practices so that you can heal yourself and quit worrying about everything “out there.”

3.      “Have the serenity to know the difference.”
This line from the Serenity Prayer is important to remember during challenging times, especially if whatever is happening is very emotional for you. Being serene – peaceful, calm, tranquil – can also be achieved through daily meditation practice. When you are able to maintain a somewhat objective point of view despite emotional volatility in a situation, you are better able to recognize what is yours and what isn’t. Is this really your responsibility? Is this really something that’s your problem? Or is it better to step back and let it go? Remember... you can always come back to it later when tempers and other emotions have cooled.

4.      Don’t worry about a thing.
Worrying is like projecting your fears into the future... and if you’re any good at manifesting anything, which we all are (whether we know it or not), there’s a good chance that these worries and fears being projected into your future may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Have you ever met someone who believed that they were cursed in some way, shape, or form? And every time, without fail, that thing they thought was cursing them would show up. Now, what’s the deal... are they actually cursed? Or are they so worried about what’s coming that they make it happen one way or another? This is why it’s better to keep your mind clear rather than running on autopilot (aka auto-manifesting). If you’re not thinking about anything, then chances are that you aren’t projecting worries and fears into the future or being nostalgic or regretful about the past. If you catch yourself thinking worrisome thoughts, direct your attention somewhere else. The more you do this, the less you’ll worry.

5.      Be discerning about what you give your attention and energy to.
If you have something that is a priority which you should be focused on, such as a project, work, or some other activity, then choose that as much as possible. If you have children, creative passion projects, a fun hobby, or anything similar to focus on that helps you stay in tune with your inspiration, then set aside time for that and make it a priority because it is imperative to replenish your energies and get into that inspired zone from time to time. If you don’t do this enough or haven’t found anything like this to focus on, then your chances of falling into addictive behavior increase, so find something organic that makes you feel naturally passionate and make that your new addiction, so to speak.

 

I hope that this month’s blog articles have helped you to become better at being uncomfortable and not knowing what’s next. Uncertainty is a part of life, and if you don’t know how to handle it in a healthy manner from your own perspective, which will be different from anyone else’s, then I highly recommend you start learning and getting to know yourself better. You are much stronger than you think, and you can handle more and come out a much better person than you think, so changing the way you think of yourself is a good first step. It basically boils down to confidence. Are you confident in your ability to figure things out? If not, then you might run into trouble. Let’s prevent that from happening, shall we?

 

Thanks so much for joining us and reading about resilience this month! I invite you to come back in November for a new topic on Mindful Leadership.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

How much control do you think you have over your life? During any given day, do you have control over much of anything, really? Well, maybe a little. However, the real question is (and be honest with yourself here): Do you feel like you need to be in control of everything around you all the time? The difference between being in control of your own mind and being in control of your environment is night and day. Let’s pinpoint some of the key things involved in healthy control over your mind versus unhealthy control over the environment.

 

The one extremely obvious point to note is that one version of control turns your focus inward, while the other version of control turns your focus outward. Why does this matter?

 

Have you ever tried to control the ocean? That would be impossible for one person to do. And you know as well as I do that barking orders or yelling at the ocean wouldn’t change a thing. It would simply continue on its course, ebbing and flowing in its natural rhythm.

 

However, you can go within and make the decision to go with the flow of the water. This allows for collaboration and harmony rather than control and force.

 

We could learn a lot from the ocean. Actually, we could learn a lot from water in general.

 

Becoming Like Water

 

Water, though flexible, is powerful, steady, and persistent as it carves out its own path. It is confident (have you ever seen water hesitate?), reliable, and typically stays put unless it gets too hot, in which case it evaporates and eventually falls back to the earth. No matter how you look at it, though, water is always present in the now because it has no mind to think thoughts of worry about the future or regret about the past.

 

1. The present is everything.

When you focus your attention in the present moment, you begin to notice details and spaces that you may not have noticed before. Time may even stretch out for you. This is because you have found a state of being completely focused and present and your thoughts aren’t a part of this focus.

 

Should you notice your thoughts wandering, just bring your focus back to your breath. The breath is vital to us, not only for staying alive, but also for connecting with our inner selves and balancing us out.

 

2. Breathing is powerful.

Think about it. With each breath you take, millions of tiny cells carry oxygen to every part of your body to keep it functioning properly. If any part of your body loses oxygen, your body will begin to shut down. If your brain loses oxygen for too long, it dies and can no longer function.

 

Breathing is life. If you’d like to do some mindfulness breathing, breathe in through your nose, hold for four, then out through your mouth, hold for four. You can count out four seconds, and then as your lungs become stronger and grow in capacity, you may begin to increase your count.

 

3. Life is liquid.

Just like water is liquid life, life is fluid like water. You may be able to see the big things coming and prepare for them, kind of like large rocks, waterfalls, or a boulder in a river, but you can’t always see all of the little obstacles hidden beneath the surface, nor can you foretell what other unforeseen things may interfere with the flow of the river.

 

You must remain flexible. If you aren’t able to go with the flow and work with it, your entire life experience will feel like an uphill battle of “making” things happen. If you choose instead to consider multiple options for multiple potential circumstances or outcomes, you will already have a higher chance of success because you’re addressing the problem creatively. Master this and you will be able to handle anything life throws at you!

 

4. Maybe the world does revolve around you… just a little.

By that, of course, I mean YOUR world. This is true for every person on the planet; think of yourself as a smaller universe within a larger one, within a larger one, within a larger one. Each level is within another level, all the way on up to the entire expanding universe and all the way down to the tiniest atom.

 

Knowing this, you can approach people you lead in a way that takes their perspective (“the world revolves around me”) into consideration while also helping the whole. Your own perspective will broaden the more you understand this, so try to look at everything from as many angles as possible.

 

5. Nobody else is really any of your business.

When you spend the majority of your time worrying about what someone else is doing, saying, or thinking, you hand away your power over yourself on a silver platter. If someone else is constantly worried about what you’re doing, saying, or thinking, they have given you power over them and it isn’t always pretty for either person.

 

Instead, focus on what you’re doing and staying in the moment while you’re doing it so that you can milk it for everything it has to teach you and show you by studying the details. This is how to remain mindful while you’re working on anything, whether you naturally enjoy it or not.

 

Thanks so much for reading! I certainly hope that this article helps you become a more mindful leader than before.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Build Resiliency for a Better Life


As the New Year hits, most of us turn to recapping the year behind us, then setting goals for the year to come. Goals are fantastic as they help us set a direction. If you don't know where you are trying to go, how do you ever know if you get there?

When I think about resiliency as a goal, I think of being resilient as building a better foundation, so that we are more able to adapt, flex, and grow through the things life brings our way. Being resilient means demonstrating our ability to effectively and easily navigate our lives.

We have all heard the motto; "It is not what happens to us, but how we respond that matters." I am forever working to increase both my own and my children's level of resiliency. I want us to be prepared for those times when we may be knocked around, or even down. I want us to get back up, dust ourselves off, and have a reserve of energy to make what we want happen.

If you wish to take a look at your level of resiliency (or how well you bounce back), try taking a look at some of these aspects of your life.

  • How healthy are the key relationships in your life?
  • Are you able to nurture a positive view of yourself?
  • Do you accept change as part of living?
  • Do you see crisis as an insurmountable problem (perhaps it is part of our journey)?
  • Do you know your goals and continue to move towards them by taking decisive action?

Try to slow your pace a little. Stop, look, and listen, so that you understand what is really happening vs. what story you have built around the situation. The story is not tangible but will drive our emotions and therefore our actions. Be deliberate in the things you focus on.

Resiliency is a great goal. With a little focus, you can build it and be a better person for having it.

All the best!

Find out more about Jenna here.

 


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Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:42

Are You Good Enough?

Good Enough 9.3.13

As a coach who works with high level executives I am continually connected to this feeling of not being good enough.  It doesn’t matter my corporate background, level of training, years of experience, or level of success, sometimes I can’t shake this deep down feeling of not being good enough.  Now this isn’t just a “Dear Ann” moment…it is actually a really big challenge that most people can recognize.

Through the hundreds of executives I have worked with over the years I have seen this belief come forward time and time again.  Some say that not feeling good enough comes from our youth and the influence our parents and support system kindly passed down to us.  Others say it is a belief based on certain past actions or experience that change the way we see ourselves in this world.  I think it’s a combination of both influential people and experiences.

The beliefs we have about ourselves, and others, are a direct link to how we behave in our career, relationships, as a parent, as a friend, and colleague.  Beliefs are the undercurrent that drives our behavior.  Whether we are aware of it or not, we spend so much of our energy trying to reinforce the feeling that we know so well (i.e. I’m not good enough) and we play out those feelings in the behavior we portray. 

Take a snapshot of where you are right now:

  • Do you need to control things?
  • Are you angry or frustrated a lot of the time?
  • Do you feel like everything is out of your hands? 
  • Do you feel like you need someone or some thing to be happy?

 Take a moment and ask yourself:

  • What do I believe about myself?
  • What kind of person have I been?
  • How do I present that belief to the world?
  • What do I need to let go of that may not be serving me?

When we can question ourselves with a purely curious nature, without judgement or fear, we can truly see what is happening behind the scenes of our lives.  We can start to piece together actions we may or may not have taken in our past.  We can see with more clarity why we are in the life situation we are in and why we may not be moving forward. We begin to own these things.

This may be an uncomfortable place to sit for you. For most individuals it is.  However, you cannot change what you are not willing to open up your awareness to. 

If you really want to create different outcomes in your life, you need to look at yourself and what role you play in this.  It is really easy to play the circumstantial victim, but you are cutting yourself off at the knees and playing small when you do this.  You are too good to play small!

Take a good look at yourself and your beliefs. Go forward with courage and determination to give the world the best of you. I know you are good enough!

To your continued success!



© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
“Ac·count·abil·i·ty “
Webster’s Definition: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. 

Many leaders approach “accountability” wrong!

For instance:

  • Many leaders see “accountability” as just a tool to make sure their workers are producing at the level they want them to produce.
  • Many leaders use a number of exercises to bring this about: Dashboards, Accountability charts or graphs, even “accountability meetings.”
  • Many leaders miss the fundamental and transformational point – high performance organizations (and individuals) don’t just talk accountability, they walk it…constantly!

Now, for those who get it right:

  • A few enlightened servant leaders understand accountability is not a tool, it is part of the foundation…part of the value system that everything is built upon. And it starts with them.
  • A few enlightened servant leaders focus first on holding the image in the mirror accountable before anyone else.
  • A few enlightened servant leaders understand leadership is an inside out process.  They get the fact that others will not practice healthy accountability unless they demonstrate how it is done. 

Make sure your inner world and outer world are in alignment. Hold yourself to a higher standard than those whom you serve. They will get caught in your updraft. 

Once you accomplish this, you will differentiate yourself by being one of the few who actually practice accountability, not just one of the many who preach it!



©2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
Friday, 22 February 2013 20:45

Human Capital and Coaching

It is reported that recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent is widely recognized as the most critical challenge that organizations face.

Organizations are social systems.  All business is people business.  If an organization is having a cash flow problem, it’s not just a financial problem, it’s a leadership problem.  All organizational problems come down to people within the organization.

Most organizations still run under Pareto’s 80/20 principle where 20% of the work force does 80% of the work. This is endemic in almost every position, in every organization, and across all industries.  What does this mean?  The performance bell curve stills ends up being 10% top performers, 15% B performers, 50% C performers and 25% D performers.  This results in an almost uniform 33% human capital efficiency.

This factor in business creates the single biggest opportunity for increased growth and profit.  Your biggest asset is walking through your door every day and it’s not your customer.  Human Capital is the most important and most expensive asset of any organization.

Isn’t it time for you to invest in your biggest asset?

As a leader of your organization, is your energy spent enabling or disabling your workforce?  Many managers are unaware of their influence on the success of their employees.  Why?  Perhaps they never slow down enough to ask the tough questions of themselves to become aware of their contribution.  It’s time to own our actions, own our behaviours, and own our level of influence.   

What choices will you make to raise the capacity in your human capital?

How do you contribute to the level of success your organization is having?

Slow down and ask yourself the tough questions...and if you can’t, hire a coach that will.

To your continued success!

 

Jenna Forster

Director of Operations and Training

Executive Coaching University

© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

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Friday, 27 January 2012 23:39

ICF Certification!

ICF Certification!
BIG NEWS TODAY!

 

We just received word that our flagship Executive Coaching Training Program (CMEC) was approved by the International Coach Federation! We can now award 15 CCEUs (credit hours) toward coaching certifications with the ICF. This is a wonderful compliment to our SHRM certifications.




This is such a beautiful reflection on our entire team. Congratulations to all of you!

Many thanks to all of you for your support over the years. We are so blessed…

You can find details here:

http://www.executivecoachinguniversity.com/

Warmly,

Drayton

Founder and CEO

www.RescueInstitute.org

www.ExecutiveCoachingUniversity.com

Friday, 18 January 2013 21:46

Coaching in the Workplace

All of your employees are happy and productive, right?  Thought so…

According to Gallop (and other leading survey firms) here is the reality:

  1. 75% of people wished they had a different job.
  2. 51% of “A” workers are actively looking for a different job.
  3. Worker productivity is only at 33%.
  4. Lack of engagement costs U.S. businesses over $385 BILLION a year!
  5. 80% of people NEVER use their greatest gifts at work.

What do you think of these smelling salts?!

Coaching can address all of these issues…in fact; it may well be the ONLY thing that can cure these workplace “ills.”

If you don’t have a coaching strategy in your organization, I can guarantee you one thing—these statistics will not go down…

Coaching is the “cure.” Isn’t it time you used coaching to focus on your most important asset…your people?

 

A. Drayton Boylston

Founder and CEO

Executive Coaching University



© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 00:00

Do You Lead or Manage?


Are Leading or just Managing?

  • More than two million workers say their bosses are so overworked they don’t really have time to manage their staff properly.
  • 75% of people wished they had another job.
  • 80% of people never use their greatest gifts at work.


Pretty sad facts.  

Guess what? They more than likely apply to your organization too.

And...

If you manage people, you own this!

What’s happening within our workforce to make these statistics a reality? 

In the United States employee engagement only averages 30%. That's it.  

Why?

It comes down to poor leadership. 

We have spent so much energy creating “good managers” that we have become disengaged with what it means to be a good leader.

Managing comes from a need to produce an outcome, which of course, is important. However, when we can move to a place of leading those around us the organizational momentum transforms.  More than anything employees want to make a contribution. Once they feel that they are, they stay...and they stay engaged. Which boosts your bottom line.

  • Leading is about developing the soft skills that are required to inspire and motivate people.
    • Managing is about possessing the technical skills required in order to get a job done.

    If you have the management skills without the leadership skills your career will plateau at some point. That is a fact.

    The soft skills that good leaders possess are going to be in high demand as the battle for top talent continues to increase. Are you ready?

     

    Click here to find out more about Jenna.


    Want to learn how to become a better leader? Click here for details.

    Coaching In The Workplace - Training for Executives, Managers, and HR Professionals



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