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Bid farewell to your comfort zone

How moving outside of your comfort zone can take your life to the next level!

Ahh the comfort zone, so named because it’s the mental equivalent of being wrapped on the sofa smothered by a duvet. Well ok, Lifehacker actually defines it as “the behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and risk.” But either way, it’s all about the cosy sense of familiarity, security and certainty. There’s nothing scary in the comfort zone!

Sure, the comfort zone does indeed have its benefits. Us humans are creatures of comfort, it’s our natural neutral state. There’s little stress in the comfort zone, there’s consistency and you’ve probably reached a consistency in your performance, or maybe even in your emotions? But be honest with yourself, isn’t also a little bit boring? When did you do something exciting in your comfort zone? When did you last do something that makes you proud?

Melinda Beck for The Wall Street Journal has successfully argued that a little anxiety, can actually be the magic ingredient in our growth. Stepping outside of our comfort zones is our way of challenging ourselves and reaching new heights. Without risk, how can we prove that we can rise to the occasion of attempting something we might not be any good at!

Think back to when you were a child (the time in your life when you did nearly all of your growing), think about how many risks you took. No stream was too wide to leap, no colour-combo was too wacky! It’s only as we grow older that we learn to fear failure.

Beyond growth, leaving the comfort zone can also help our creativity flourish. Trying something new gives you a blank canvas of exploration and experimentation, that would simply be impossible in the confines of the comfort zone! By its very nature, creativity is inherently risky. When we show our creativity, we feel vulnerable and terrified of possible rejection. But the rewards that can be reaped from creative achievement will more than make up for it. Plus, the more you do It, the easier it becomes, until one day, taking risks, well…becomes part of your comfort zone!

By taking calculated risks and continually challenging ourselves, we’re effectively self-improving, it’s easy to cultivate openness, imagination and a higher intellectual curiosity! It allows you to become more astute and will also help with making spot-on decisions. All of a sudden, a situation which would have once made you extremely uncomfortable, becomes the perfect arena to allow you to look around, observe, absorb and interpret everything you see. Your decision making abilities will improve tenfold!

When you escape your comfort zone, you are effectively vanquishing your mental barriers, it’s a huge personal achievement. Whilst we can’t always promise the results will be equally fantastic, the sense of pride you will feel will make taking away that cosy duvet, indescribably delightful!

Setting a goal is halfway to achieving it!

We all know that the most successful people are goal-orientated. But it’s not just about having an idea of what you want, it’s committing to setting them that counts!

It seems simple doesn’t it? The idea that setting goals goes hand in hand with achieving goals. Some of you might even wonder how it’s possible to achieve a goal you haven’t set. But the reality is, when we think about what we want- whether it’s earning a pay rise or losing ten pounds, more often than not, it’s the end result we think of. We picture ourselves with more money or feeling more confident in a swimsuit, but that’s not really a goal it’s a wish. Without mapping out our goals and a plausible way to achieve them, our greatest desires and ambitions become nothing more than daydreams. The problem with daydreams is, they vanish into thin air! Daydreams can also hinder your progress. You can become focussed on the comforting and pleasant thoughts of your end result, rather than focussing on the hard tasks and obstacles you need to overcome.

Here are my suggestions on how to take your goals out of your head and into reality!

  1. Quite literally make them physical, don’t allow them to just be ideas at the back of your mind. There are a few different ways to do this, but the easiest way is to simply write them down. Dr Gail Matthews, who has spent a career dedicated to understanding people’s ambitions, has shown that you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal that you note down. Her favourite tactic (and mine too) however, is to draw them. You don’t have to be an artist, but a visual representation helps you think more clearly and identify those details which may otherwise be missing from the picture in your head. Dr Matthews’ study shows that those who draw their goal are an incredible 80% more likely to stick to them.
  2. Once you have a clear visualisation of your goal and what it will take to achieve it, it’ll be much easier to break it down into chunks. Once you have more manageable and achievable steps, you’ll see regular action that moves you closer to your goal. Nothing is more motivating than celebrating progress!
  3. Tell somebody about your goal! It’s amazing how much of a difference being accountable to somebody else, makes to motivation. Once you talk about your goal with somebody else, it really is a ‘set’ and ‘real’ thing. Besides, it’s always lovely to have someone on hand as your own personal cheerleader!

 

All of these processes should foster motivation and focus, as well as providing you with a strong sense of vision and purpose! The perfect recipe for success.

Why Invest in yourself?

We live in a funny old world. We’ll think nothing of spending a few hours a week watching a boxset on Netflix or of spending £8 on avo on toast a couple of times a week. But when it comes to investing money and time on ourselves- all of a sudden we get hesitant.

It doesn’t make sense, surely investing in yourself is the best return on investment you could ever possibly have? It’s especially important for those who seek to help overs, you need to give to yourself before you can give to others! Our individual gifts and talents will best serve others, once we’ve invested in them! Correspondingly, investing in yourself is a powerful signifier of self-love. If you show that you are willing to invest in yourself, others will be far more likely to want to invest in you. It sends a powerful message to the world. It shows exactly how you deserve to be treated.

Secondly, it sends a very important message to your own sub-conscience. When you enrich yourself, you can feel yourself grow and will feel better about yourself. It contributes to your happiness. It’ll help you become more focussed, as well as boosting your confidence. Both confidence and focus are essential in helping you achieve those personal goals.

Perhaps you have a bucket list full of things you want to do, think of the joy that would come with accomplishments. So putting some time and effort into getting those things done would really pay off. Whether those goals are improving your singing voice or learning a new language. Or perhaps you want to consult with a life coach like me on how to lose weight or get a promotion. You’ll feel better within yourself when you put time and energy towards completing those things. The big payoff to all that effort will be when you look back on your life and realize that you put positive steps in making those things happen.

It’ll also do incredible things for your career and/or business. As previously touched upon, as your skills grow, so does you value to those around you-particularly your employer. This translates into you becoming a more valuable asset and will hopefully result in an increase in job titles and compensation. If you are entrepreneur, the asset of your personal talent is transferable. By investing in yourself, you are also investing in your business. Whilst you may be making an initial output of money and time, you’ll end up driving your efficiency and perhaps even make a cost reduction!

So there you have it, yourself really is your best asset. You are an investment that simply can’t fail to give back a return. So go on book in with a life coach today, and forgo a couple of avo on toast breakfasts!

Walking Coaching – What and Why?

When people picture a life coaching session, more often than not, they picture two people sat in a room with a similar set up to a therapist’s office. But that vision couldn’t be further from the truth. My best coaching practice is done on the go! I’d go as far to say that walking and coaching are the perfect duo, they complement each other beautifully. Life coaching isn’t about dwelling on the past, it’s about moving forward to where you want to be- what better way to mirror what you want to achieve than physically striding forward!

Walking has a two-fold impact on the body, it relaxes you and re-energises you in equal measure- two physical states which are perfect for reflection and coaching. It increases blood circulation and gets your body pumping, helping oxygen and glucose to reach your brain. Essentially as you are exercising your body, you’re also exercising your mind- helping sharpen your thinking and enhance your mental clarity. The release of endorphins (your body’s happy chemical) will lead to insight and creativity through relaxation.

Similarly, in a world where we spend most of our time sat behind computer desks, it’s easy to forget the incredible power of nature and the outdoors. Nature is where we come from and it’s where we are most at ease. Walking outdoors heightens your perception of your environment and encourages your body to use all of its senses. As a fellow fan of life coaching whilst walking Dr Furnish once said: “It enables you to slow your pace down and ground yourself, which has a calming effect on your body and mind. This calming effect helps with problem solving and creative thinking.” In fact, walking actually slows down our brain waves, allowing us to unconsciously streamline our thoughts! Clever, huh?

More simply, nature is an inspiration. When we’re in green space we give ourselves to nature and its unpredictability. It is deceptively simple and extraordinarily resilient. There is no better place to reflect on your own resilience and creativity. Happiness can be found in nature that we forgot we had so taking the time to immerse ourselves in it for an hour can be enjoyable, insightful and empowering.

 

It’s also perfect for those of you who are over-worked and over-stressed, if you schedule in an on the go coaching session, you’re able to combine mental movement with the basic human need for physical exercise!

Text Coaching

A more relaxed but still super effective kind of coaching

In the age of the iPhone a lot of people now prefer to communicate by text that over the telephone or sometimes even face to face.

Ofcom found that we sent 102 billion text messages in the UK alone in 2011 and a further 48 billion WhatsApp messages and those figure are only increasing.

Recently I have trialled text coaching with a few clients and we have developed great action plans that have them working towards their goals. The goals have been varied from finding a purpose, to weight loss to relationship problems.

The medium of text allows the coach the time to think of the perfect question, and the coachee the opportunity to ‘say’ things they might struggle to out loud.  It also means the coachee is in their own environment and does not need to travel or talk to anyone about where they’re going. It also means the coach can support anyone around the world. The other evening I was supporting a client all the way in Dubai from my cosy sofa in Essex, England!

Of course it is vital that as a coach you explain that you will be asking tricky questions and that as a coachee they should be as honest as they can even if their answer is I don’t know or can you rephrase that.

A great benefit to clients is also that text coaching is a cost effective option. As there is no room rental or travel for the coach, I am able to pass that saving back.

If you’d like to give text coaching a go, pop me an email at Georgina@essexlifecoach.com and let’s see how we can work together.

Find your focus with a Life Chart

Filling in the life chart (link at the bottom) will help you to see the areas where you could have a great impact  on your happiness as well as how to make your life more balanced!

This worksheet will only take you about 1o minutes to complete, but will show you where to focus for the next couple of months.

I would love to hear how you get on!

If you need help completing it or would like to have a chat about your results, or to work on setting some great goals, please just pop me an email to Georgina@essexlifecoach.com

 

 

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What is Life Coaching?

cuddling bunnies and dancing in the rain?

Hear the term life coaching and often people conjure up thoughts of someone spouting motivational quotes and high fiving you for breathing…. it’s not that

The simplest definition I’ve come up with is supporting someone to reach their goals by exploring the reality and options available to establish a clear, achievable plan.

A coach will ask you thought provoking questions to help you identify how you can achieve your goals in small steps. They will also make you accountable and will follow up with you.
Overall your coach is the translator for your tangled inner thoughts as well as the person who will help you keep on track. A good coach will give you a safe space and the time to spend on yourself, which is invaluable.

As a coach I’m excited to help people achieve their happy!