Resilience and Grit – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Resilience is the ability to be flexible and endure. Grit is the ability to push through with resolve. They both have levels of development. We need to work on increasing our resilience and grit.

One of the themes of my coaching (and personal philosophy) is that EVERY aspect of your life has levels of growth and development. You weren’t always great at walking. You had to learn higher levels of walking skills.

If that is true (prove me wrong), then resilience and grit are also skills to develop.

How do you understand what resilience is? Where does it show up in your life? Clearly you have had to endure and be flexible to make it this far in life! What is the next higher level for you? Do you need to be more patient? Better self-care? What habits need to be added? Which ones dropped?

What about grit? What is it for you? To be clear, grit is not a lack of compassion or kindness. It is a toughness that comes from deciding to go through with something. You have demonstrated grit before. It is time to do it again in a more determined way!

There is clearly a lot going. There will be more stress and uncertainty going forward. You have been given tools to help you through tough times. Now is the time to use them! How are you going to develop your ability to use your resilience and grit?-

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

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! –

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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. –

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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! –

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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. –

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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! –

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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? –

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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.-

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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! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Being Alone vs Being Lonely – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Are you able to differentiate being alone vs being lonely? The first is a physical state. The second is an emotion. They are not the same. How do you tell them apart in your life?

We say it is possible to be alone in a crowd. What we really mean is being lonely does not require physical isolation. It is also possible to be alone and isolated and not be lonely.

We tend to think of being isolated or feeling lonely as a negative thing. This isn’t always the case. There are times when being alone (solitude) is a very healthy and welcome thing. It helps us to slow down and reflect. We also have times when the sense of loneliness creates a need to search out for connection. That drive toward connection can also be a very positive thing. How would we know we need connection if we didn’t feel lonely?

Why do you care?

The distinction makes a difference. Sometimes we confuse being alone vs. being lonely. If we aren’t able to distinguish between the two in ourselves we may pursue the wrong solution and potentially prevent or delay meeting our own needs.

Are you able to tell the difference between loneliness and isolation in yourself? How are they different for you? Do you believe them both to be unhealthy things? They aren’t! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life