We swim in a culture of comparison. It is so much a part of who we are we don’t even know we are doing it. It is like the air we breath. In order to know where we are in terms of our identity and success, we automatically compare ourselves to those around us. It is how we calibrate.
This comparison is a trap. Either we compare ourselves to those who are less than us in order to feel better. Or we compare ourselves to our idealized version of whatever it is we are trying to measure. Note that I didn’t say, compare ourselves to those better than us. Comparison can be healthy in terms of competition, but rarely do we ever compare ourselves to someone at our own level where it is possible to complete. We compare ourselves to the imagined best. And we end up being “never enough”.
So where do you compare yourself to others? It might be easier to list where you don’t compare. Is it the better job? Or size of house? The marriage/relationship? Their hair? Where they went to school? The team they root for?
The trap in our comparison culture is that it spirals out of control into judgement. ANYTHING you can do to reduce comparison to others is an automatic decrease in stress, envy, jealousy, and conflict. Where is the easiest place for your to start? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
“The true definition of an optimist is someone that is very aware and mindful of all the setbacks and roadblocks and less-than-ideal things that happen in their life. The caveat is that they are just aware that those things are temporary, and they have the ability to overcome them.”
Does that fit your definition of being optimistic? I would argue that most of us see optimism as being positive and up-beat and happy in all situations. That’s not what Dr. Chopra uses in her definition.
Look again at the words she uses. Aware. Mindful. Temporary. Ability. Overcome. It helps me a great deal to be able to see myself as optimistic without pretending that I am happy all the time. Yes, it is important to be joyful and less negative, but it is also possible to be optimistic and still be worried or scared.
We are all facing a lot of different challenges right now. Are you able to see our troubles as temporary? Are you able to see a way through all of this? Can you see yourself overcoming these challenges?
At the end of the day optimism is a choice. What prevents you from choosing to find a way to overcome your troubles? My challenge to you is to choose to find solutions; to see a way through. Take a chance and change your definition of optimism. You have the ability to choose to be optimistic. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
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.
I have written in the past about setting intentions and how creating an intention allows us to choose who we are as beings instead of the limitations of what we do.
How is setting an intention different than setting a goal? Frequently our goals are short term projects that don’t really change who we are or how we engage the world. Creating an intention offers an opportunity for BEING someone different.
Every year I wrestle with whether to set a New Year’s Resolution. I never have much success with them. A few years ago I started setting a yearly intention of who I wanted to be in the coming year. These intentions are not set to be a box to check or a lofty vision, they are set to create room for me to grow as a person.
In the past I have set annual intentions around being more patient, being joyful, reducing negativity, or having more courage.
This year I my intention is to be more hopeful.
How will it go? Check back in a year and find out!
What if creating an intention was more useful to you in the coming year than a resolution or goal? What intention would you create? Who do you want to be in the coming year? What is your intent? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
What if you could give the BEST gift you had ever given?
One of our clients purchased coaching gift certificates for a family member and gave the following testimonial:
“I love giving gifts to my family and friends. I take pride in putting a lot of thought into what I give and trying to give something unique, meaningful or fun. This past year, I gave the gift of Rhoads Life Coaching sessions to a family member who was experiencing many life transitions. It was hands down the best gift I have ever given anyone, and I give really great gifts! The recipient has thanked me many times for giving her something so personal and so needed. She has continued the coaching and says it is the best gift she has ever received! Thank you John for the work you do, the lives you change and for making me a star gift giver! “ M.Q.
Who on your list would love a gift that keeps giving?
In order to begin any change, development, or growth you must first accept where you are. This may seem like a simple statement until you have to make multiple attempts at changing something about yourself.
Ask anyone who has attempted to quit smoking, lose weight, or keep a New Year’s resolution. Our lessons of what works and doesn’t work in regard to change frequently have to be recalibrated after determining that we started from an inaccurate beginning.
Maybe you didn’t know how difficult it would be to grow or develop. Or maybe you didn’t fully understand how hard it would be to let go of something. These, and many others, are observations of not accepting where we are when we start.
Where do you have a blind spot that prevents you from accepting where you are? Or better yet, what are you in denial about that prevents an accurate beginning? Even if I understand that my stress level is too high, if I don’t accept it I will continue down an unhealthy path. Where are you not being honest with yourself? What would it take to accept where you are?
If you cannot accept the reality of where you must begin, you will be starting from a false starting point. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
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! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
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! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
How do you spark creativity? Are you intentional about trying to find sources of inspiration? What tricks do you use to make a creative spark?
Just like any other skill or strength, the ability to generate that creative spark can be developed. Some of the most innovative businesses and people in the world intentionally spur themselves to be creative. They go out of their way to create new ideas.
I recently heard the phrase of using that creative spark as a means of “erasing the blank page”. The image comes to mind of the writer stuck in front of a blank screen or page, searching for inspiration. Stalled out with nothing to say. The idea of putting something, ANYTHING, on the page erases the blank page and allows the words to flow. This could apply to your career, a relationship, eating better, searching for a new job… just about anything.
So how do you do that for yourself? The belief that we are not creative is false. Everyone has some form of creativity. When you get stuck, what do you do? Do you go for a walk? Talk to someone who is creative? Find an inspiring place to sit? Search a completely different topic or industry for ideas? Find ways to intentionally make a spark and keep being creative! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Your Psychological Country is the internal world you live in. Have you ever thought of it that way? I have written previously about each of us standing between our internal and external world, but have you considered that internal world as its own country?
If that is true, do you know what is there? Have you ever explored it? It is as big (or bigger) than the external world!
If you took some time to describe it, what would it look like? Are there vast open spaces? Is it crowded? Does it vary? Are there places it isn’t safe to go by yourself? Who lives there? Are there spots that are abandoned or dilapidated?
The benefit of being able to see your Psychological Country is there is an opportunity to develop it! Are there potholes of negativity that need to be filled in? Where are the impoverished areas of your internal world that need development?
The reality is the more we develop and enhance our internal psychological country, the more effective we are at navigating the external world. What part of your Psychological Country needs to be developed next? – www.rhoadscoaching.com