Avoiding Being the Bad Guy – Rhoads Life Coaching

How much energy do you spend on a daily basis avoiding being the bad guy? In a conflict is it more important to be seen as being on the right side of an argument instead of resolving the conflict? Our unwillingness to accept the negative aspects of who we are set us up to for failure.

If you step back and look at the overall arc of the stories we love the most (what is yours?), our heroes and heroines wrestle with the negative aspects of their personality. We identify with the character that is able to work through the unsavory shadow in their personality to find a resolution to their story. But do you act that way in your life? Most of us go WAY out of our way to avoid that shadowy part of ourselves that is willing to blow up a situation in order to skip working hard to resolve it. By avoiding looking in the mirror at that unsavory character we miss important clues into how we got into the situation to begin with. That bad guy actually holds the clues we need to resolve our conflicts. Dorothy has to face the Wicked Witch in order to move forward. Luke Skywalker has to meet Darth Vader to save his own world. Frodo has to look into his own hear and the heart of Sauron to choose something different.

So how often do you position yourself to avoid your own internal bad guy? What are the consequences? What would happen if you had a conversation with that negative character and asked for their help? Instead of avoiding being the bad guy, ask that part of yourself why it is acting that way. It has clues to help you solve your dilemma! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Self-Compassion – Rhoads Life Coaching

How would you define self-compassion for yourself? What would it include? What does is not include? We frequently have more compassion for others than we do for ourselves. Self-compassion, however, is the source of compassion for others.

So what IS self-compassion? Would you know it if you see it? Do you allow yourself to recover from making mistakes? Do you not compare yourself to others? Do you give yourself positive affirmations about how you feel, look, treat others? Are you willing to forgive yourself the way you forgive others? Do you hold yourself to a higher standard than those around you? Do you believe you are doing your best on a daily basis?

My bet is that most of us have less compassion for ourselves than we do for others. A test for this is to think of a dilemma or struggle you have been in recently. Take a minute and observe the conversations you have had with yourself about this situation. Now think of someone you care deeply about (a child works best) and sit them in your spot. Would you say the same things to them? If the answer is no, you likely have more compassion for this person than for yourself. Again, if they were sitting in your seat, would you allow tell them to have more compassion for themselves in treating themselves that way? There is a subtle message embedded in that difference between how we treat others and ourselves. By not having as much self-compassion for ourselves as we do others, we send a message that we aren’t worth as much as others. This is FALSE! Again, would you let your child treat themselves that way?

So where to begin on building more self-compassion? First, is always observing yourself. What does that critical voice say to you? Do you fight back? How often do you beat yourself up for something? Second, is to imagine putting that loved one in your place and saying the same things. You wouldn’t do it, would you? Finally, it is treating yourself as an equal to others. Affirming the things that go well in your life is a essential.  Where do you need more compassion in your life for yourself? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Assuming Goodwill – Rhoads Life Coaching

How do you engage the world? The attitude you choose determines how the world responds to you. Assuming Goodwill towards others goes a long way towards changing the world around you.

So what is Goodwill? Well, Ill-will would be wish wishing harm on others. Goodwill becomes having a positive and affirming attitude towards the people you meet. Assuming Goodwill would be CHOOSING a positive and affirming attitude with each situation you encounter- before it happens!

Do you do that?

When the phone rings at work, what is the thought that goes through your head right before you answer? Or when your supervisor schedules an unanticipated team meeting, what is the story you tell yourself? Is the person who just cut you off in traffic really trying to kill you?  Is the person checking out your groceries at the super market lesser of a person than you? Pick your favorite stereotype – “Millennials are so…”, “Pittsburgh fans are so…”, “The government is out to…” – The stereotype we choose for each group dictates our initial response.

It is important to note that whether you are using Ill-will or assuming Goodwill – you are making a choice each time. The data to support this is the person next to you is frequently choosing something different in the same situation (Ask a Pittsburgh fan). If it is true that you are choosing, then that means you have the ability to choose something different. To be clear, I am not talking about trust. It is possible to assume goodwill with someone you don’t trust (what would THAT look like?).

What does choosing Goodwill look like for you? With whom are you not assuming Goodwill?  How would you appear different in the world if you chose Goodwill once or twice more each day? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Essence and Personality – Rhoads Life Coaching

There are two main pieces of being human – our essence and our personality. Almost everything about how we think and act can be sorted into these two categories. Both are intricately woven together to create the person you are. In my coaching practice I have found it useful to describe the relationship between essence and personality as if the two were a peach pit and the fruit of a the peach. Your essence is who you really are at the core. Depending on what you believe about how the universe works, there are higher and lower levels of who you are as a being and this essence is part of those higher levels. The essence has a job of being passed onto the next level.

The fruit of the peach is your personality. It grows and wraps itself around the essence. It’s growth and development is vital to the survival of the pit. The fruit’s job is to nourish the pit. The rub in all of this, however, is that the fruit has to come to some level of understanding that it’s role includes aging, weathering, and letting go. In order for the essence to have room to grow, the personality has to eventually step back.

The relationship between your essence and personality ends up being your relationship with yourself. Ironically, this relationship with yourself is the filter through with your engage the rest of the world around you. Whole religions and philosophies have been developed around describing this relationship. Based on what you believe, developing this relationship with yourself may be your purpose in life.

So what parts of you are your personality? What parts are your essence? How can you tell them apart? Are you developing your essence? What would that look like for you? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

What Do You Believe? – Rhoads Life Coaching

What do you believe? I mean this is the broadest terms possible. Have you thought about it recently? What do you believe about how the world works? Are people inherently good or bad? Should we always be afraid? Is it safe to get your hopes up? Does the universe have a higher power that cares about you as an individual? Is there existence beyond this plain of living? Does the Golden Rule apply or is just for suckers?

Why does this matter (another belief system question!)?

I’ve talked about internal lenses before, but it turns out that your belief system is the biggest lens you have. It puts a tone or tinge or EVERYTHING you think and do and feel. It is almost impossible to remove. Thankfully our belief system works just like our bodies and minds – it can be developed! It is possible to have a grade school level belief system (what does that look like?). It is also possible to develop a graduate level philosophy about how the world works (what does THAT look like?)

But back to the “why does this matter?” question – It is important to be aware of your beliefs and it is critical to try and develop them. If you don’t, the world will decide for you. If you let the world dictate what you say and think and do you will default to the lowest common denominator and every aspect of your life will be impacted. The secret in all of this is that our belief system ends up being the mortar that holds the rest of our lives together. We cannot function without it. So it is important to develop your beliefs beyond their current state, just like you would going to the gym or learning a new skill.

So, how do you develop your beliefs? First, you have to observe and understand what they are. Where do they come from? Did you inherit them or pick them up off the street? Do they truly reflect who you are? Did you accept them without testing them? The next step is to test drive what you believe. This means learning about other belief systems to see how they are different. Why do you disagree with someone else’s beliefs? Does your disagreement match your own belief system? Finally, in order to grow you have to try something different. You will not develop by keeping things the same. This is the same as going to the gym. Any routine gets stale after a while.

Take some time and observe yourself. Where did you learn to act and think the way you do? What do your thoughts and actions say about how you believe the world works? Is that what you want? It is important to continue to develop your belief system as EVERYTHING you think feel and do is filtered though it! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

 

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Setting Intentions – Rhoads Life Coaching

Frequently we set a vision or goal without setting intentions. Our intention is who we ARE as we complete a task. Have you ever thought about who you want to be as you proceed forward? It is a subtly that has a significant impact on the outcome.

So what does an intention look like? If I have a conflict with a co-worker or friend my goal can be to resolve the conflict, but the intention I take can vary dramatically. Choosing avoidance creates a different result than entering a conversation assuming good will. Choosing to be open minded creates opportunities that choosing to blame doesn’t. Who you ARE in addressing the conflict can have a wide range of options!

By not setting intentions we default to attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate our lives staying the same. If I don’t set my daily intention to choosing gratitude or joy, I may default to seeing the world through a negative lens. The world didn’t change, my intention did!

Intentions can be set for any scale of task or timeline. I can set an intention before I answer a phone call from my supervisor, or I can choose an intention as my New Year’s Resolution to infuse into the whole year. Where can you begin? As with most of the rest of life, it helps to practice! Where in your life can you begin to test setting your intention before you start something? Fixing dinner? Sending a text message? Working out or during a yoga class? A conversation with someone you care about? Try in out and see what changes!

Setting intentions creates purpose in being open to growth and development.  It has a great influence on the outcome of how well we engage the world. What is your intention? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

 

 

On a side note, this is the end of a year my first year of blog posts! A few years ago I could have never imagined being brave enough to do this.

Thank you to all of you who have followed along! Please keep sharing my videos and posts with those who might be interested in their own growth and development! It is with a deep sense of gratitude and excitement that I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

You Are Not Perfect Just the Way You Are – Rhoads Life Coaching

Earlier this week Chris Pratt was given the Generation Award at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards ceremony. In his usual fashion he managed to be deeply philosophical, pragmatic, and goofy in less than four minutes. He is a master at making us think, laugh, and be weirdly uncomfortable all at the same time. What caught my attention in his list of nine steps to living was number nine – “You are not perfect just the way you are.” He argues that you are not finished developing and therefore are not perfect. I completely agree with him.

We insulate ourselves from the need to continue to grow by lying to each other and ourselves when we state we are perfect just the way we are. If it were true we would not need to go to school, we would not struggle with relationships, we would not write books or blogs or create art or plays, we would not blame and shame each other and ourselves. At the root of Chris’ statement is a deeply spiritual and philosophical truth – your purpose is to develop and grow.

We are build as self-aware, self-developing creatures. Most of the major world religions and most of the our secular systems are built to help us reach for a higher potential. There is something inherent in being human about wanting to develop ourselves and each other. We are hard-wired for lifting ourselves up to a higher level. We are designed to keep growing and adapting!

If Chris Pratt is correct (and I believe he is), you are not perfect just the way you are. Your purpose is to continue to develop yourself. You are selling yourself short if you aren’t finding ways to grow in all areas of your life. What are you going to develop next? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

 

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

How Do You Play? – Rhoads Life Coaching

Play is an important part of being human (regardless of your age). Taking time to get lost in something you enjoy is critical to finding meaning and purpose in our lives. As a culture (and especially as adults) we are terrible at playing. We tend to get so focused on the list of things we want to accomplish and check off the list that we forget to refuel ourselves. Even when we create space to re-create or vacate, we fill our recreation and vacations with endless tasks that are more ‘doing’ than ‘being’.

There are lots of components to what play is, but to critical parts are:

The ability to lose track of time while playing.

And being sad when it has to end.

Have you ever observed a small child on the playground? They get lost in the experience. They could be there for hours without stopping. And how often is that child upset when it is time to go? They were having fun! They were lost in play!

So what about you as an adult? That need still exists. How do you refuel yourself with something play-full? If you are ‘getting things done’ and being productive, you aren’t playing. But the possibilities of being creative and having fun without direction are nearly infinite. By not taking time to play we are making all of the work we do more valuable than who we really are. What is the point of all of the hard work if enjoying life does not become a priority? So where are there opportunities to introduce more play into your life?

Do you know what play is for you? It is worth exploring and creating! – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Foreboding Joy – Rhoads Life Coaching

Brene’ Brown’s Power of Vulnerability. Her research into wholeheartedness aligns closely with my coaching practice and how I try to live my life. THIS time through the phrase foreboding joy caught my attention. We have all experienced as sense of foreboding. Waiting for the test result to come back. Heading into the meeting for your annual review. Remembering the keys were in the car when you closed the door. Combining foreboding with joy, however creates a dissonance. We WANT to be joyful, right? But how often do we forego joyfulness for the next thing to worry about?  When we are wary of being happy or excited we are practicing foreboding joy. This apprehension trades away the joyful moments of our lives. How do you know if you have foreboding joy? Have you ever brushed away the momentary success of your favorite team believing they still have time to lose? How about waiting to celebrate an event until ALL of the future work is done? Or the situation is completely perfect for celebrating? Have you ever wished things could have been ‘just a little bit better’ even though you accomplished what you set out to do? All of these are examples of foreboding joy. It is pervasive in our culture and lives. We do it ALL the time. It sneaks in an steals opportunities to be joyful in the moment. The antidote is to practice gratitude and joyfulness in each moment. When something good happens, celebrate it. Look for opportunities to be grateful. Don’t trade celebrating for a future time. Even it being joyful is a small, quick event, take the time to acknowledge that joy! Where in your life are you fearful of being joyful? – www.rhoadscoaching.com Foreboding Joy - Rhoads Life Coaching LogoFinding meaning and purpose in daily life ]]>

Foreboding Joy – Rhoads Life Coaching

I have a practice of once every year or so revising Brene’ Brown’s Power of Vulnerability. Her research into wholeheartedness aligns closely with my coaching practice and how I try to live my life. THIS time through the phrase foreboding joy caught my attention.

We have all experienced as sense of foreboding. Waiting for the test result to come back. Heading into the meeting for your annual review. Remembering the keys were in the car when you closed the door. Combining foreboding with joy, however creates a dissonance. We WANT to be joyful, right? But how often do we forego joyfulness for the next thing to worry about?  When we are wary of being happy or excited we are practicing foreboding joy. This apprehension trades away the joyful moments of our lives.

How do you know if you have foreboding joy? Have you ever brushed away the momentary success of your favorite team believing they still have time to lose? How about waiting to celebrate an event until ALL of the future work is done? Or the situation is completely perfect for celebrating? Have you ever wished things could have been ‘just a little bit better’ even though you accomplished what you set out to do? All of these are examples of foreboding joy. It is pervasive in our culture and lives. We do it ALL the time. It sneaks in an steals opportunities to be joyful in the moment.

The antidote is to practice gratitude and joyfulness in each moment. When something good happens, celebrate it. Look for opportunities to be grateful. Don’t trade celebrating for a future time. Even it being joyful is a small, quick event, take the time to acknowledge that joy!

Where in your life are you fearful of being joyful? – www.rhoadscoaching.com

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