Lenses For Our Memories – Rhoads Life Coaching

Our memories can be modified. We remember some things better than they were and some things worse. Our internal lenses, our beliefs, emotions, values, shift our memories just like they shift our external perceptions. We have lenses for our memories.

In reading about memories recently, it had not occurred to me that our memories look different based on what lens we look through. Given that, our memories are flexible and dynamic, just like our perception of the present. Remember the little girl, Riley, in the Pixar Movie “Inside Out”? Toward the end of the movie her base memories change depending on whether she looks at them with Sadness, Joy, or Fear.

It was helpful to have this demonstrated to me this week watching a video on social media. A grocery employee was asked on camera if he had ever seen the run on groceries so bad. He was rolling out the next pallet of toilet paper and his unruffled response, “Y2K was this bad,” jarred the lenses from my memories. I really needed that jolt. Thank you to whoever that was and thank you for keeping us fed and supplied!

So, if our memories work just like our present perception, and our lenses of emotions, values, and beliefs have an impact on how we remember specific things, why do you care? Maybe it is worth developing the skills of observing your lenses and practicing shifting what you see in your memories!

What past events were worse than you remember them? What past events were better than your memory? If we base most of our definition of ourselves on past experiences then our skewed lenses have a BIG impact on how we define our present!

Pay attention to how you view both your present and past! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Lenses For Our Memories - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

Finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Tacking Into The Wind – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Ever feel like you are making no headway? Instead of sailing straight a your target, maybe you need to try tacking into the wind.

Have you ever heard the term? Any idea what it means? For those of us that haven’t had the excitement of sailing, a sailboat cannot navigate directly into the wind. The sails wont work with the wind pushing the opposite direction.

Tacking into the wind

Sailors figured out a solution. By sailing across the wind they could still move forward by shifting the sails (and the boat) back and forth. An interesting aspect of tacking is that the boat is never pointed at its intended target. Maybe you haven’t been on a sailboat to experience this, the switchbacks climbing up and down a steep mountain are a similar solution.

How often do you wear yourself out driving straight toward your goal? How often do you meet stiff resistance in trying to accomplish what you want? What would it look like to try tacking into the wind when facing resistance in your life?

You could start by making smaller steps toward your goal. Are you measuring where you start and how far each step gets you toward your goal? Would you be willing to change your mindset? Your goal does not have to be directly in front of you to head toward it. Being willing to make more steps to achieve your dream might actually make it easier to get there.

What do you need to add this strategy to your approach? There will be days you have a strong tailwind, racing you toward your vision. There will be other days facing nothing but headwinds. It is possible to move forward toward what you want while meeting head-on resistance. – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Tacking Into The Wind - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Defining Yourself By The Past – Rhoads Life Coaching

How do you define yourself? That’s a big question. Take a minute and think about it. I would be wiling to bet you are defining the majority of who you are by the past.

Think about that for a minute. Is there any understanding of who you are that isn’t based on past experiences? My ancestors come from this country. I graduated from this school. I worked for this company. These are the certifications I hold. This is how long I’ve been married. My children are this old. I have had this many bad break ups.

For most of us we define our current state based on our past experiences. This leaves out a critical undefined value of your future self! There is a piece of you that hasn’t happened yet. Your future self has just as much value as your past self. Why do you leave your future value out of the definition of who you are?

From a practical standpoint it makes sense that using past examples to define who we are is more concrete (it’s easier) than using the vague future. We all have some form of a future though. Your future has a reason and purpose. Because it has a purpose, it has value.

My challenge to you is to include some version of that future value in your definition of who you are. You have a role to play in a career. You are needed in relationships. Your community needs you to participate.

Don’t limit your value by defining yourself by the past only! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

defining yourself by the past - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

How Do You Handle A Crisis? – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

How do you handle a crisis? In a recent Los Angeles Times article, epidemiologist Brandon Brown was quoted saying, “Don’t panic unless you are paid to panic.” Do you do that?

We have a tendency to feed our own fears. Panic breeds more panic. Worry creates more worry. So how do you handle yourself in a crisis? Are you the type of person who runs around in little circles screaming? Do you call a friend to convince them to panic too? Do you sit and wring your hands in worry? Or do you keep a level head and work the problem?

Interestingly a lot of different topics are included in how we handle a crisis. Our personality, beliefs, being triggered, and emotions all contribute to our response. In addition, black and white thinking, extreme or exaggerated language, reacting instead of assessing, and being judgmental instead of judging all contribute to our ability to handle a stressful situation.

So how do you appear when we collectively stress? Are you able to observe yourself? If you are able to observe yourself, then are you able adjust? Taking time to learn more about a problem from a trusted source reduces stress. Staying away from exaggerated language helps to more accurately assess a situation. Working the problem instead of the fear creates solutions.

What do you have control over and what do you only have influence over? How can you help yourself? Is it possible to observe yourself and adjust your reaction to prevent panic from making things worse?

In the coming days and weeks, PLEASE wash your hands with soap AND water. – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Handle A Crisis - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Judging or Judgmental? (Assess First!) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Are you judging or judgmental? Do you know the difference? Judging is about assessing a situation. Judgmental is about condemning a person or situation with no ability to change.

Our brains are built to judge. To assess. It is a healthy for our brains to decide, yes or no. By sorting things into piles or good or bad we are able to navigate down the road or avoid a dangerous situation. Or decide where to eat dinner or what movie to see. Judging works to solve a problem. It looks for solutions.

Being judgmental is an emotional reaction. It is the belief that something is not worth the effort. Being judgmental is more about the person being judgmental than the situation being judged.

Our culture finds it almost impossible to separate the two. We believe we are being helpful by being judgmental. In reality we are choosing to bypass a solution by writing off something as not worth the effort.

So are you usually judging or judgmental? How to reducing being judgmental? Step back and observe yourself. Where are you jumping to a conclusion? Where does your reaction condemn rather than assess for solutions? Anything to reduce judgment creates space for other solutions. Work to assess instead of condemn! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Judging or Judgmental - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Giver and Taker (The End of The Gangplank) – Rhoads Life Coaching

There is a healthy balance between being a giver and being a taker in how we relate to others. The extremes of one or the other lead to problems. Do you consider yourself worthy of being both?

If we took a poll of all the people you know and asked them whether you were a giver or taker, what would they say? Some of us hope to be perceived only as a giver. We have a negative perception of someone who is too much of a taker. There is an unhealthy balance of being too selfish. BUT, there is also an unhealthy balance of being too much of a giver! The best answer is for there be be some balance of give AND take. What would your friends, family, and co-workers say?

Take it to an extreme… You and I are running down the gangplank on the Titanic. We race to the bottom and only one seat is left in the last lifeboat! Who gets the seat? Again, an old version of me would have helped you get in the raft. I would have been happy to help you! I would sacrifice myself to give you the chance to live.

What are the consequences of this “self-less” act? The world loses the future value I would add. My family would lose a member. All of my future would would be gone.

My point is not to get into a debate about how to decide who gets in the lifeboat. My point is that each of us has equal value in the world. The healthy response to this extreme situation is there should at least be a very strenuous debate at the bottom of the gangplank about who gets to go forward.

Do you treat yourself with equal value those around you? I know a lot of folks who don’t! Do you treat those around you with equal value to you? Your answer says more about you than it does someone else.

How do you appear in the world? Are you a giver or a taker? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Giver and Taker - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Asking Open-Ended Questions – Rhoads Life Coaching

Developing the ability to ask open-ended questions (a cornerstone to coaching), creates the opportunity for more powerful and meaningful conversations.

Part of the training and certification to become a coach is the development of the ability to ask open-ended questions. The International Coach Federation makes it part of their assessment and certification process.

So why do you care? Only asking close-ended questions limits communicating with coworkers, clients, family, and friends. How do you tell the difference? Close-ended questions only offer binary answers (yes or no). Then lead or have an agenda.

“Did you do your homework?”

“Was the project completed?”

There are appropriate times to ask close-ended, yes or no, questions, but the amount of information is constricted. The question above doesn’t offer the opportunity to volunteer that the project wasn’t completed on time and was over-budget. Or that the homework is complete, but incorrect. Asking a closed-ended questions limits the ability to find more detailed answers.

In contrast, open-ended questions allow the person responding the opportunity to provide information they believe to be important. It also creates the chance to find answers that would not have been addressed.

“How would we know an open-ended question if we saw one?” – Is an open-ended question.

One of my favorites: To the response “I don’t know” is the question, “If you did know the answer, what would it be?”

Just like any other skill, asking open-ended questions can be developed. The more developed the ability, the more powerful the skill. Take some time practicing (it isn’t the easiest thing to learn) and see it makes a difference in how your conversations go. – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Asking Open-Ended Questions - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Observing Our Grief – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Frequently we do not take the time to understand or process our losses. By not observing our grief, we rob ourselves of the chance to articulate how much certain things and people mean to us.

This week has forced many of us to look at our grief. The impact of losing Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other lives on the helicopter crash last Sunday was seen immediately and ubiquitously. I have had multiple conversations about the different impacts it had on a very personal level. We were forced to observe our grief.

This got me thinking. How much loss do we ignore in our daily lives? Do we understand what grief is and how that manifests itself for each of us as individuals? Would we recognize in ourselves? So I have three requests.

First, please take a play from Ellen DeGeneres‘ playbook and call and text your friends and loved ones and tell them you love them. Right now.

Second, take a play from Shaquille O’Neil in his reflection this week of letting go of grudges and resentment he holds against people he doesn’t like. Shaq is correct, life is too short to carry a grudge.

Finally, my request is to learn about what grief is and start to assess where it appears in your life. It could be the end of a career, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship or marriage, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a pet. Even giving up an addiction has some component of grief as we lose something. Figure out what grieving is for you and how observing that grief is to your health and benefit. I am happy to have that conversation or connect you to the right place if need be.- www.rhoadscoaching.com

Observing Our Grief - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Batting Practice & Warm Up – Rhoads Life Coaching

Does the perfectionist part of you believe you should go into any event with out a batting practice?

This came up in a coaching session recently. In feeling anxious about introducing oneself to potential connections, anxiety came up about feeling unprepared. In preparing it was obvious there were higher value connections and the mindset was to start at the top of the list. A lightbulb went off in my head… WAIT! Why start at the top if you aren’t feeling ready?

We teach our athletes, at ALL levels, to warm up before going into a game. Why do we not apply that same mindset to the other areas of our lives? Anyone who has ever worked on a project will tell you it takes some time to get up to full performance. Any athlete will tell you they want to be in top readiness going into a competition. So they warm up!

Where doesn’t this get applied in your life? Do you prepare for a tough conversation with a coworker? Do you practice answering tough interview questions?

Take some time and work the jitters out! Warm up your mind, heart and body before heading into the next encounter. I challenge you to find your own version of “batting practice” for situations that really matter! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Batting Practice - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Prismatic Trees & Internal Lenses – Rhoads Life Coaching

A couple of weeks ago I had the great opportunity to share a collaborative workshop, “Prismatic Trees”, with Pinot’s Palette of West Chester. If you have not yet made it to a painting session with Emily, Alex, and their crew of creative painters, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Prismatic Trees - Group Photo
Prismatic Trees - Having Fun

In our time together we explored the concept of internal lenses and our perception of the world through different images of trees. Combining the painting instructions with self-observation of how we perceive different versions of ourselves, our artists created six different trees representing six different versions of themselves.

The results were AMAZING! The individual diversity, creativity, and perceptions created BEAUTIFUL reflections of each artist. It was exciting to watch as each new tree formed into something different!

Prismatic Trees - Getting To Work

Everyone stretched a bit out of their comfort zones to explore the perceptions of versions of themselves. They painted as roles they were familiar with & roles they may never have thought about before. Our intent was to choose which lenses we look through on a daily basis. Once we can choose a lens, we can begin to choose higher & more powerful forms of ourselves.

AND we had a lot of fun!

Thank you to Pinot’s Palette for creating this collaboration! Thank you to the artist’s for sharing their creativity with us! There were multiple moments during the evening where I was humbled and grateful just to be there and be part of the exploration.

The Prismatic Trees was enough of a success that we are planning other collaborative events with Pinot’s Palette in 2020! Please keep your eyes and ears open for the schedule. Please share with anyone who might be interested. We hope to see you there! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

Prismatic Trees - Rhoads Life Coaching Logo

finding meaning and purpose in daily life