Definition of Terms – Rhoads Life Coaching

We struggle to communicate because we use different definitions for the same words. Until we create a common definition of terms, until we calibrate our communication, we will continue to misunderstand each other.

This calibration boils down to the fundamentals of communication. Words like “good”, “fine”, and “great” end up being throw aways in our culture because I don’t have any idea what you mean when you say, “I’m good”. Based on your definition you may be surviving, where by my definition I would mean you are thriving. We have missed each other in terms of communicating.

Unfortunately this happens to us all the time. Ranking frustration on a scale of zero to ten on a scale (zero being no frustration, ten being enraged), a level of three on my scale has a different description than your level three. Until we create a common definition of terms, it is difficult to understand fully.

So how to calibrate?

It is important to SLOW DOWN when we are having meaningful conversations!

It is vital to ASK when you aren’t sure what someone means.

If you aren’t being heard, it is important to PAUSE and take the time to CLARIFY.

The more SPECIFIC we can be in our descriptions of feelings or thoughts, the easier it is to calibrate. Using “angry” to describe all levels of frustration creates a very broad definition that is difficult to calibrate.

Where is your communication not calibrated with someone else? Where are you being vague? Who do you communicate with regularly where a definition of terms would improve understanding and communication? There are significant benefits for your employees, clients, coworkers, family, and friends if you a hear them more accurately and feel heard yourself? Time to define terms! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Why Do I Coach? – Rhoads Life Coaching

Last week I posted ‘What IS Coaching?” If I were coaching myself, the next natural questions becomes ‘Why Do I Coach?’

Being a coach ends up fulfilling my purpose and creates meaning in nearly everything I do. For those of you who know me, I have a wide range of interests and careers. Coming from a biology background, I geek out about how individuals fit together creating a larger habitat and ecosystem. With my experience in the financial industry, I find value in how people create purpose and meaning for themselves. Through leadership development training and coaching at a non-profit, I found the value of having a story, finding a vision and purpose, and taking a whole-person approach to living and growing.

The reality is, I am trying to walk the talk of what I believe about who we are as human beings. It has become my purpose to help others find that in themselves. It is humbling to watch an individual connect the dots and reach up to a higher level of development and growth!

If you are interested to learn how coaching would work for you; message Rhoads Life Coaching to sign up for a FREE consultation! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

What IS Coaching – Rhoads Life Coaching

So what IS coaching? More importantly, why do you care?

I find it interesting that we investing so much time, energy, and money into coaching athletes. Almost as soon as our children can walk, all the way up to the highest levels of professionals, we trust in coaches to develop athletes in every possible way. Once our athletic careers are over and we settle on a profession, for most of us coaching stops. Why is that? Why would athletics need more focused development that other areas of life?

A coach is someone who helps someone develop themselves (whether a team or individual). Coaching is different from teaching, therapy, consulting and advising and it can be applied to nearly every aspect of life. These other roles usually tell someone what to do or how to do it. A coach is looking for helping the individual develop themselves. If a coach is doing their job well, the individual is finding their own answers. Remember a coach doesn’t go out of the field to play!

So why do you care? Why do you need a coach? If it was valuable to develop your batting, throwing, tackling, foul shots, serves, etc., why is it not valuable to develop your communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, relational intelligence, values, goals, and vision? EVERY aspect of our lives can be developed. Coaching becomes one method of intentionally developing specific pathways.

What aspects of your personal and professional life could benefit from development? How could coaching accelerate your growth? What’s holding you back? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Humility vs. Self-Deprecation – Rhoads Life Coaching

We have a strange relationship with humility. Frequently we do not make a distinction in humility vs. self-deprecation. We want to be affirmed, but don’t want to be boastful. We want others to recognize our value instead proclaiming it. Sometimes we hide our talent or ability and this self-deprecation limits our ability to help others connect with what they want and need.

To be clear, I am not advocating for boastful pride. I do not recommend exaggeration and lies about what you have done or who you are. I am suggesting that for most of us we hold back in some way and sell ourselves short before the world is able to recognize our value.

How does this appear in your life? Do you not give data to your clients or employer describing what you have accomplished in the last year? Have you kept your mouth shut in a meeting or conflict when you have an idea for a potential solution? Do you decide that someone isn’t going to like you before you go into an interview or out on a date?

I would argue that we have each been given a light to shine out into the world. Our talents, our strengths, our values and abilities are needed around us and hiding those lights under a basket prevent the world from receiving your value.

This self-deprecation is not valuable. There is a need to be modest and humble with how we describe ourselves. But if you are limiting the accuracy of our talents and gifts you are not filling your purpose! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

The Need To Struggle (The Value of Resistance) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Do you see the value in the need to struggle? Sometimes I wonder if we lose perspective in our desire for life to go easy and well. The need to struggle is valuable in life!

There seems to be an inherent bias in living that requires struggling to grow and develop. We can’t become stronger and more coordinated if there is no resistance back in what we want to do.

Think about that, there is a benefit in young creatures struggling to stand, walk, and run. There is a benefit in struggling to learn the fundamentals of education, or driving a car. We become better at the gym, or in developing our career, when there is resistance back. We become stronger and more capable!

If this is true, then are you able to change your perception of struggle? Instead of seeing our need to struggle and grow as a liability, it is possible to see it as an asset? Suddenly struggling becomes valuable! Taking one step further, what if the resistance we experience in our struggles with finding a better job, or saving money, or maintaining a relationship are something to be joyful about? How would struggle change for you?

Where do you struggle on a daily basis? What is the value for you in wanting that resistance to be part of living? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Be A Connector – Rhoads Life Coaching

I have posted previously about how we are all connected. Like it or not, we are all connected in some way and there is great value in these connections. My ask today is for you to BE a connector.

Someone near you is looking for some type of connection. Whether they are looking for information, a service, or some object, they need some help. Someone they don’t know has the information they need. You may be the person who has the ability to connect that dot for them! There is a great deal of value for you, those near you, and the community as a whole for that dot being connected. We can move forward as a group once that connection is made.

Frequently I hear from individuals that they do not have anything to offer in helping connect others. Rarely have I ever met someone where this is true. We all have valuable experience, expertise, and connections even if they are not being used at the moment. Someone is looking for the connections you have!

So my request is simple. Focus your attention on where you can be a connector. What groups do you participate in and where are opportunities to connect others? This could be in a job search. It could be in terms of new clients. Maybe solving a mechanical or household problem. Or as simple as what social media group helps in connecting others. The vast majority of people find value in helping others. You have a role to play.

Where are you limiting yourself in the belief that you have something valuable to offer as a connector? What prevents you from helping others connect? Keep your eyes are ears open as you go through your day. Where are there opportunities to be a connector? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

What Makes Up the Pieces of Patience? – Rhoads Life Coaching

What makes patience? There is a lot of benefit to understanding the components of how something is defined and works. It makes it easier to understand and develop. Because patience is a skill it can be built and developed. The building pieces then become important!

So what are the pieces that make up patience? This is a working definition for me, so please feel free to add or make suggestions. The elements of patience for me are:

Pause – When I lose my patience I have neglected to stop and look at what is happening around me. By pausing before I react, I give myself the opportunity to change my reaction. For me the first step in being more patient is pausing before I react.

Choice – By pausing I then get to choose. This choice is powerful! If I can choose which path I follow then I am not being forced (even if I don’t want to go that direction). By choosing patience I have power over my person.

Acceptance – This is a big one. By accepting the situation I am in, I automatically create the ability to choose patience. “This is the current dilemma, I choose to be here, I can accept the terms of following this path.”

Reducing negativity – Any time I can reduce negativity I am creating more choices and more acceptance. Negativity erodes patience. Any reduction in negativity helps.

Endurance – “I am willing to endure this” is a powerful statement. I am willing to be patient with traffic, long lines, to save for the vacation or house. “I am willing to wait” embodies patience. What are you willing to endure? And what do you need to endure a little bit more?

So what are you impatient about? What pieces of patience need to be developed in order to make more patience for yourself? What is the benefit for you if you are able to develop this skill and practice more patience? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Compassion For Your Shadow – Rhoads Life Coaching

We all have a dark, negative aspect to our personality that acts like a shadow. Being able to see it in ourselves automatically creates compassion for the shadow side of others.

Think about that for a minute. Do you agree that we each have really negative parts to who we are? It is really easy to deny that it is there. Just like our real life shadow though, it is impossible to have the light shine on us without creating insecurities, fears, and parts of our personality that are violent, destructive, dangerous and toxic.

Do not hear that I am advocating for letting these shadowing parts out to run around loose! They can hurt others and ourselves!

My point today is that this shadow part of our personality exists, whether we admit it or not. Acknowledging it is there is powerful because it creates the opportunity to have some compassion for ourselves in admitting that we spend a lot of time wrestling with these negative parts.

We all have a dark, negative aspect to our personality that acts like a shadow. Being able to see it in ourselves automatically creates compassion for the shadow side of others.

Where does your shadow come out in your life? What is its backstory? If you can see your shadow, can you see the shadow of others? What will it take to have some compassion for others who are wrestling with their shadows? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Write It Down (Keeping a Log) – Rhoads Life Coaching

It is a very valuable tool to write down the important events of your growth and development. There are demonstrated benefits (some of them clinical) in journaling. Frequently in coaching I hear that it is a difficult practice to start or maintain. We seem to understand it is beneficial, so why don’t we do it?

In addition to reducing stress, helping to de-clutter our minds, and exploring our emotions, writing down helps us to remember what has happened. I find that the farther away I get from a significant event, the less I remember about it. This can happen VERY quickly after an event. When I go back and look at what I have written after a significant piece of growth, I find that it is much easier to remember! If I want to remember the vibrancy of the event, it is best to write it down! It makes it real and difficult to forget!

Journaling also makes it much easier to battle my Inner Critic with remembered data points when the negativity tries to refute hard work I have accomplished previously. There is also something much more personal and permanent in seeing my own words in my own handwriting rather than text in a digital file. It is part of me on the paper!

An underlying message, I sometimes point out to folks who struggle to keep a journal or log, is that by not writing it down you are telling yourself you aren’t worth remembering or worthy of being held in a safe place of value. Think about that for a minute. Sometimes I have trouble writing because I am battling my worthiness. Once I start writing the words flow much easier. The hurdle is my beliefs about myself, not the writing.

So, we know there are valuable, inexpensive benefits to writing about yourself. What prevents you from doing it? There are valuable data points you will need in the future. Write it down, that way you will be able to remember the steps you have made if you ever doubt yourself in the future. Start a journal or a log! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Fractals (Patterns in Chaos) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Fractals are objects in which the same pattern is observed at multiple scales (larger and smaller) inside an object and the system around it. They are a way of describing the patterns of what seem to be random and chaotic things. They occur almost everywhere! We see them in waves on the surface of the ocean, the rivulets flowing into a stream and then a river, and the patterns of leaves on trees in a forest.

It was inspiring this week, in visiting the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, to see all of the fractals of leaves, trees, flowers, and sunlight creating patterns everywhere. Even the light changes in the video reflected the fractals created by the leaves above me! They are literally everywhere we look!

What if your life IS a fractal?

What are the potential impacts of that statement? How would you change your behavior if you lived your life through a fractal lens? I offer the observation that the randomness and chaos might be built into the system on purpose. There is a benefit to the fractals of your life. Suddenly there would be meaningful information in the chaos of your life!

If the complexity of the patterns we see on the ocean, or in the woods, or on the sand on the beach, the ceiling of a cathedral, or the feathers on a bird are mesmerizing, then we have the ability to see the beauty in the chaos of our lives. Suddenly each seemingly random pattern in your life becomes a “stitch in life’s rich tapestry” (Arthur Marshall).

Your life is a fractal. It is meant to be complex and seemingly chaotic. It is part of a larger pattern. Your purpose is to accept and see the beauty of your role in that pattern. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life