Your Creative Self

In addition to all of the other roles you play, there is a part of you who loves to be creative. How well do you know that version of you? When was the last time they were allowed out to play? You aren’t being fully human until you know your creative self.

I have posted in the past about the different roles we each play as a person (lots of different hats). You are a complex and multi-dimensional person! In addition, I have also talked about being creative and the vital (if not required) role creativity plays in our daily lives.

Today I am asking you to combine those two ideas into a new perspective. Who is your Creative Self? Given all of the things we have been through in the last few years and all of our work stress, family stress, and general daily stress, I am willing to bet that creative role has been stuffed into a corner and hasn’t been able to stretch much lately.

Ironically, part of the solution to navigating through some of the doldrums of life is to develop your own personal creativity! How are YOU creative? There are nearly infinite ways to be creative. Who is the part of you that finds joy and fulfillment in doing those things? How old are they? What clothes do they were? What music do they like? Most importantly, where have they been lately?

My request is simple. Find a way to let that Creative Self out to dabble and play. You get to pick the topic. But don’t spend the next two months sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Shake the cobwebs off and practice being creative! – www.rhoadcoaching.com

your creative self - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Your Internal Grinch

Don’t let your Internal Grinch steal the joy you have during this season!

I’ve posted previously about all the different roles we play in our daily lives. It is one of the foundational pieces of my coaching practice that each of us is a multi-faceted, dynamic being. We are complicated! Given all of that complexity, consider for a minute one piece of who you are includes Dr. Seuss’ Grinch, sitting atop the mountain alone and grumpy.

Part of Dr. Seuss’ genius was his ability to write about our internal world, just as accurately as the external world. How The Grinch Stole Christmas is about our own internal experiences. How do we know? Because if you pay enough attention to yourself you can start to see parts that conflict with your experience of the holidays.

Do you dread holiday parties? Worried the present you got isn’t good enough? Trying to keep up with the neighbor’s light display? Stressed about connecting with family you have been avoiding? Hurried to finish shopping? Ready to humbug the whole month and just stay locked away in your cave? How long is the line? Are you a wrapping paper perfectionist? Do you stress about spending too much money?

All of these (and MANY other variations) are versions of your internal Grinch stealing joy from the season!

If the Grinch has to learn to accept the season for what it is, what parts of you are missing the meaning and purpose you already have for this time of year? Where does your Grinch dress up like Santa and steal the joy of others?

My request is to pay attention to yourself. Watch out for your Internal Grinch. What does your internal world need to include the Grinch?

Regardless of your tradition, beliefs, and faith, may the next few weeks be filled with peace and joy and hope. Happy Holidays! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

False Positives

It might be dangerous to not know something, but it is a far greater risk to know something that isn’t true. Watch out for false positives!

Have you ever heard the quote, “I honestly believe it is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so“? Any guesses as to who said it?

If you are like me, you would have said Mark Twain. That would be a false positive. Something you believed to be true, but wasn’t. As far as we can tell, Twain never said it. Josh Billings may have been the first and is quoted for this version.

False positives are inherently riskier than a wrong answer, simply by the fact that we believe them to be true. Usually believing something that is false will turn up evidence pretty quickly to the contrary. But believing we have the right answer usually means we stop looking for other answers. It creates a sense of completion.

Say you have a pregnancy test that gives a false positive. It says you are pregnant, but you actually aren’t. You might be really excited, or really upset, but the incorrect answer gives you a false impression. You head down the wrong path.

Where does this happen in your daily life? The belief that it doesn’t happen in your daily living is again a false positive. Where do you believe you have something right, that is dead wrong? It might be worth paying attention to yourself and observing where you are supremely confident. What stories are you telling that don’t match reality? What are you losing by holding onto false positives? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

false positives - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Puzzles Instead Of Problems

We struggle with how we see ourselves when trying to fix a problem. Try looking at dilemmas as puzzles to solve instead of problems to fix.

Ever find yourself feeling guilty or embarrassed for having to ask for help in solving a problem? Ever looked down at someone who is in the same situation?

As a culture, we have a tough time separating our identity from the situation we are in. This means we believe we are weak if we have a problem. It also means there is something wrong with us if we can’t solve a particular problem or have to ask for help. This internal perception actually adds to the problem instead of helping.

My request is to try a perception shift. Instead of looking at a conflict, miscommunication, error, mistake, or failed attempt as a problem to solve, try choosing to the see the dilemma as a puzzle to put back together.

What does this do for you and the person on the other side of the conflict? For starters it takes one or both of you out of the seat of blame, shame, guilt or embarrassment of having a problem. It also allows room for collaboration in finding a solution instead of competition. Your perception of the problem itself may change. It may turn out that you actually LIKE puzzles and there is some fun and excitement in solving a tough one.

Where in your life do you only see problems to solve? What is your attitude toward those problems? Is your identity, and belief about who you are, attached to the solution of that problem? Try approaching the problem as a puzzle and see what happens! – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Your Personal Boardroom

We have an idea why corporate boards are created. Have you ever considered that having a personal boardroom of advisors could be a valuable motivator and development tool?

Amanda Scott and Zella King developed the idea of a Personal Boardroom after coaching clients who struggled with the idea of networking. A corporate board is created intentionally. Experts, advisors, and motivators are recruited to guide a business towards its vision and goals. Using this idea, a personal board would work in the same way for an individual.

Who do you turn to for advice? Where are your closest advisors who understand what you are trying to achieve? What do you use as a motivator to keep you moving forward and prevent from losing focus?

It turns out we probably have some version of a personal boardroom, whether we are intentional about it or not. By focusing on the idea as a development tool, however, you have the ability to assess gaps in your board. Where are you missing essential roles? Do you currently have someone sitting on your board who is not helpful? Maybe even destructive? Is it time for a review of your board?

If you develop your own personal boardroom, who will you invite to sit on it? What roles do you need to invite? How will this team motivate and hold you accountable? If fortune 500 businesses benefit from this idea, why can’t you? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Numbing Out the Good

We fall into a trap in the habit of numbing ourselves from the uncomfortable things in life. By closing ourselves off, we inadvertently hurt ourselves by numbing out the good.

Have you ever thought of it that way? We form these habits to shield ourselves from the painful things in life. Anything that we use to disconnect (i.e., drugs, alcohol, food, sex, social media, TV, movies, exercise, video games – starting to get the idea it could be just about anything?), also insulates us from feeling the good things as well.

Sometimes we go so far in our internal world to block out the negative comments that people make, that we are unable to accept (or even recognize) when good comments come along.

How do you know if you are numbing to the point of blocking out the good? If something that used to bring you joy or restore you has become mechanical and a habit, it is likely preventing good things from entering.

You will have to make a decision. Will you choose to keep the bad (and good) things out? Or choose to let all of your emotions be felt in order to feel your positive experiences? The advantage is that you get to choose. Before you keep numbing, though, consider what positive things may be lost by numbing out the good in life. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Feeling Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is having too many emotions at one time. We reach a point where we can’t process so much at once. The trick is to break the flooded sensation down into each piece of emotion and process one at a time.

Have you felt overwhelmed recently? You aren’t alone if you have! There is a lot going on and it is easy to feel overloaded.

We talk about being overwhelmed as an emotion. It is actually a bunch of different emotions all being felt at the same time. As humans we can only handle feeling a few emotions at once. Once we add in more than a few emotions we begin being overwhelmed.

The trick to processing this overload is to observe what mix of many emotions are present and start teasing them apart and process one emotion at a time. If I am feeling angry, sad, scared, and lonely all at once, which is the emotion that needs processed first?

So where are you feeling overwhelmed? What emotions are mixed together? Slow down and look at what emotions are present. Then find a way to work on one emotion at a time before moving on to the next emotion. It will take some practice, but the overwhelmed will go away. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

Overwhelmed - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Feeling Jaded

Would you know if you were feeling jaded? You would be limiting your choices and options if you were!

In a coaching conversation this week a person shared they were feeling jaded. In that one word I knew exactly what they meant! While the word itself is defined as losing enthusiasm for something, the image creates a much more rich explanation.

Unlike losing enthusiasm or apathy, jadedness conjures up images of being turned to stone. A hardness to things. Not just apathy, but a bitterness and distain for something that was previously a valuable connection.

I bet you feel jaded more that you think. Given all of the things are we have experienced individually and collectively in the last few years, there have been lots of opportunities to put up the shields and close off connections.

The dilemma with feeling jaded is not only do we lose connections with things we wanted to be connected to before, we also limit our future choices. By being hardened, we have less flexibility and options before us.

The antidote? Observe your jadedness. Ask, for a different perspective. Soften the edges. Choose a path that has more options and greater compassion for yourself and others. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. Do you know the story? In it Dr. Jekyll is lifted up as a model person by everyone he comes in contact with. Mr. Hyde is a brutal criminal. He is described almost like an animal, with no morals or scruples.

As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Mr. Hyde IS Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll creates a serum to transform himself into Hyde in order to disguise himself when he feels the need to do something unsavory. Stevenson was describing the reality of being human. We are both good and bad. We each have light and we each have a shadow.

While there are many themes in the story, my request is to focus on what happens to Jekyll when he denies that his shadow exists. By disavowing his shadow, the negative parts of who he is become stronger and eventually take over. Jekyll locks himself away to prevent Hyde from escaping.

The lesson is we all have shadow parts to who we are. It is unhealthy to deny and isolate with them. By safely acknowledging our shadows, we can shine a light on them to understand them and prevent them from fermenting and becoming dangerous. Take Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a warning. Don’t deny your shadow!

My request is the take a look at your shadows and figure out why they are there and what they need in order to be accepted as part of being a whole human being. What shadow part of yourself do you deny to the point of it hurting you? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Test Driving A Change

Change happens at the boundary of growth and uncertainty. Sometimes committing to a specific transformation is too big of an obstacle in one step or in a short period of time. One tool for crossing that boundary is test driving a change.

We all want growth at some level. Life would be pretty boring if nothing ever changed. But we also struggle to balance that growth with the risks involved in changing. What will we have to give up? What if it doesn’t work? Maybe I will fail?

When you go to buy a car, it is a common experience to take it for a test drive. To see how it feels and if there is anything obviously wrong with it. A car is a big purchase, so dealerships are willing to let you test drive before making a decision.

Why not apply this same mechanism to growth? Set a small “practice round” for your change. Maybe even one week or two. Then set a time to evaluate how successful the test drive was. This reduces the risk of having to commit fully to an absolute change. If the test drive doesn’t work, you make adjustments and try again.

Where in your life are you uncertain about changing something? Why not try test driving a modification to see if you want to keep it? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com

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finding purpose and meaning in daily life