Coaching? Like a Sports Team?

It can be quite confusing trying to explain to someone that my new career is coaching, and no not for a sports team, but coaching people in their everyday lives.

Coaching is on the newer side of things when it comes to helping professions, but is a truly great approach that has changed many lives including my own.

Similar to coaching as we hear of it often, my job is to challenge, to support and to be my client’s biggest fan.

As a coach, I see potential even at my client’s lowest points. I am here to be a voice of reason, a safe zone and a push in the right direction.

The difference in coaching and other forms of help is that the number one focus is moving forward in action toward your goals and a better life. Where are you now? Where do you want to be and how committed are you to getting there?

I’m here as your coach to combat your excuses and really fight for the life you want I’m here to help you brainstorm, self reflect and see new perspectives.

It’s about transformation as a whole. It’s about you making the decision that you’re ready for the next step. You’re ready to change. You’re ready to live.

Another difference between coaching and forms of therapy or counseling is that coaching is for people who are ready to take their already decent life and explode it to the next level. So many of us have been engrained with the idea that it’s just fine to live an okay life. That it’s okay to settle into the comfortable.

But, what I’m here to do is open a door to a life you’ve dreamed of. I’m here to show you that it’s really not that far out of your reach. I’m here to partner with you on your journey of success.

I’ll leave you tonight with one of my favorite quotes

There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Keep Dreaming!

Clare

*check out the original post on my website http://www.novustecoaching.com*

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Judgment

An idea came up in a class I was taking that really began to shift my perspective on judgment.

When we judge others, we are really judging ourselves.

It didn’t totally make sense at first. I thought, well no, I’m making a decision on how I feel about what some one else is doing, and therefore I’m making a judgment about them. So, what does that have to do with me?

Then I looked deeper into the root of the thought-the initial judgment. What was it about this person that made me feel inadequate? Boom. It was almost directly connected to the judgment.

So, for example: Some one walks down the street looking great in a dress and heels. The first thing that pops into my head might be, “Who gets that dressed up on a Monday, ugh what a weirdo”. Then I sit back and reflect on the judgment and realize that the thought was triggered from something deeper- A feeling that my own outer looks were inferior.

This is just one example, but if you really take the time to pause after you make a gut reaction judgment, I bet most of the time you will be able to see what about that judgment relates to how you are judging yourself.

Judgment surfaces from you and really has nothing to do with the other person. There’s something about yourself that you’re not 100% satisfied with so, in order to take the heat off of yourself, your mind pushes that judgment onto some one else.

We are our hardest critics. If we are able to release the judgment we hold on ourselves, we can create a more positive view on the world around us.

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Leave the Gym Resolutioners Alone

Here’s to all of you who decided to hit the gym January 1st. I hope you stick to it 🙂 And for all of those who have been at the gym since last year, cut the newbies a break.

Sass & Balderdash

We’ve all seen them. There could be one next to you right now on the treadmill holding on for dear life and hiking up a level 15 incline. You may have spotted one inquisitively eying a BOSU ball, wondering what manner of cruel and unusual punishment a semi-circle could possibly deliver. They’re the Resolutioners who have taken your gym by storm this January to get started on their weight loss and fitness goals, and they haven’t received the warmest of welcomes.

I used to be a Resolutioner. In fact, I can say with confidence that “losing weight” or “eating better” was probably my staple resolution from the year 2003 through 2011. When it comes to my New Year’s resolutions, it was probably only surpassed in frequency by “This year I’m going to have a boyfriend,” or “This year I’m committing to not being so quiet and weird.”

I never stuck to it. I’d show up to the…

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Perspective: Opportunity vs. Excuse

Here we are a couple weeks into the new year, and to continue with tradition, I reflected on 2014 and what my goals were moving into 2015. I started out the year passionate, excited. I had a great 2014. I’m pumped! I’m energized!

Despite all of that energy and excitement around my new goals I found myself struggling to meet some of them. After last week of half-way meeting my goals, I took a step back to really understand where the plan was falling through. And then it hit me “opportunity vs. excuse”. Sure this new year is filled with opportunities, but it’s also filled with a list of excuses not to pursue them.

Life is all about perspective. And, when it comes to meeting goals or making changes the perspective we take will make or break us.

Take, for example, my goal to do yoga in the mornings before the gym. I started out strong. Monday: wake up, crawl to the living room, get it done. It was great! I felt refreshed. “Why don’t I do this every morning?” I thought.

And then,

Tuesday rolls around. Tuesday would be a “rest day” for the gym, I decided. And there it was. The excuse. If I’m not going to the gym, then how can I do yoga before the gym… I guess I just won’t do yoga, because I simply can’t do yoga without going to the gym since that was the whole plan. Right? … cue snoring.

How did I feel about it later? Not great really, because it set a trend to not do yoga for the rest of the week. And, I ended yet another week disappointed that I hadn’t met the goal I set for myself.

So how do I break the cycle? This week, I’m going to focus my energy on the opportunity a challenge can bring, and the feeling I will have at the end of the week after meeting my goal. All it takes is a simple shift in perspective. Rather than waking up in the morning and thinking of every excuse in the book not to get up, I will use yoga as an opportunity to start my day in a positive light.

Sometimes a change in perspective can be made simply by taking a step back and asking “What would happen if I didn’t make an excuse today?” Recognizing that it’s easy to make an excuse, but remembering how its feels later that night or the next day when we’ve let ourselves down.

The more we take advantage of seizing the opportunities the easier it will become to reach our goals than to not reach them.

We’ll crave the energy we get from that work out, or finishing that project, or completing that business plan. We’ll crave the win and we’ll crave the success. We’ll know the ease  an excuse brings is not worth losing the satisfaction opportunity can bring.

Being Grateful

I woke up this morning after a long weekend off of work for the holidays. Shivering as a ran out of bed to the hot shower. It was the first really cold morning we’d had this winter. Like a cold gust of wind, the negativity whooshed in, cluttering my head with thoughts of “I’m cold” “This sucks” “I don’t want to go to work” “Ugh…”. After about 30 minutes of moping around I heard myself say “Wow! Quit your bitchin’! Didn’t you just start a new year with goals of a more positive life?!”

I stopped right there and looked around my (rather small) but cozy apartment realizing I’d just wasted part of my morning complaining about the very few crappy- and by crappy, I mean really not so crappy- things involved in my day, rather than being extremely grateful for the millions of other amazing things existing all around me. And I began to think “Look how cute my dogs are” “I’m so happy I wake up with my wife each morning” “Thank goodness I remembered to buy coffee”. In poured the positive thoughts.

I physically felt my perspective change, my body shift, my mood boost.

It can be so easy to fall into a downward spiral of negativity because, hey, it’s true, there will always be something “better” that could be happening or someone out there that has “more” than you. But, there are many many more who have less. By simply focusing on gratitude for what we have right now and where we are presently, we will be able to feel the pure joy and beauty of the now.

If you find yourself in a funk, just start listing the things you are grateful for. Before bed, in the shower, while you’re on hold for the 5th time that day and all you really want to do is throw your phone across the room. Write them down or just let them float in your head. Whatever works best for you to help shift your spirit into a positive state. Your best you shines when you are passionate and grateful in the present moment.

Happy living!

What if you fly?

Poem

Poem by Erin Hansen

I came across this amazing poem, and have not been able to get it out of my head since. In just a few short words, the writer is able to combat every excuse I have that is ruled by fear.

Fear is what lies behind every opportunity we let slip by, every chance we didn’t take. The fear of failure- the fear of falling is what we let decide our fate. But, what if we didn’t look at it with the negative twist of fear. What if instead of asking “What if I fall” we ask “What if I fly”? How amazing could that be? What if we decide not to play it safe.

In my short 25 years of life, I’ve been straddling the line of fear and flying. I have this value of financial security- a need to ensure all my bases are covered, and I never have to worry. The voice in my head that says “don’t”, “should” and “can’t. And then I have another value. One that involves independence and freedom. This value is the one that makes my heart flutter and gives my stomach butterflies just when I write about it. It’s the one that excites me and brings life to my eyes.

When I let go of my fears, I left all that I knew behind to travel and live in Australia. I fell in love. I went skydiving. When I asked “What if I fly?”. I let myself take out a ridiculously high interest loan to start my life coach training. I made a life I am passionate about. When I set my fears aside, I feel that freedom- that joy life has to offer.

The next time you are faced with an opportunity, I challenge you to ask yourself not “What if I fall, oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

Fag.

Hard word to even look at isn’t it?

My wife, Jen, and I were in Westminster, MD yesterday for my grandmother’s 75th birthday party. We had driven my mom there to help her set up early for the party. Jen dropped my mom and I off at the door and then went to park the car. She came back looking frazzled and teary eyed. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I got called a fag on the way in” she said. My heart broke. I was speechless.

I know we are very lucky to live in the times that we do especially living in Maryland. We rarely run into such direct situations of hatred like this, but the ignorance still amazes me. To hear the words come out of her mouth and see the hurt in her eyes- it’s sickening and saddening that people feel a need to spread such hatred.

I wish I had been there at that moment to look this man in the eyes. As he walked into the mall with his family, I want to know what ran through his mind to think it was okay to look at another human and pass such judgment. To make a comment that carries to much hate to a perfect stranger. Fag. Just typing this word makes me sick.

Think back to a time when someone else made you feel low. Made you feel worthless. Remember that feeling when you just wanted to dig a hole and hide from the world. Keep that feeling close to your heart the next time you look at someone else with such judgment. We all know what it feels like to be judged- to be hated, so why on earth would we want to make someone else feel this way.

Every person has a story.

This person who passed by my wife in a mall parking lot and called her a fag has a story. My hope for that man is that he looks at his spouse or child and thinks what it would feel like if they were harassed in public. If someone hurt them the way he hurt my wife. I hope he thinks of how violated and hurt he would feel. Denied this simple right of safety and peace of mind. I hope he looks himself in the mirror and feels ashamed. I also want him to know that my wife is a beautiful woman with a kind and loving heart. She’s smart and hard working and deserves nothing but the utmost respect that he denied her. I hope he learns that all people, at the very very least, deserve to be respected. And when he begins to think of violating that basic right, he thinks of his family and how he would feel if they were violated the way he violated my wife.

Fag. How disgusting- full of hate.

And for everyone else, I hope that when you have the chance to make someone smile or help someone in need you to take that opportunity because the world can always use more love. Remember your loved ones and how you would want them to be treated, and share that kindness. When you see someone different or “weird” on the streets, at the very least, smile.

Share love. You can change someone’s life.

Inspire

inspire

A few mornings ago, I was scrolling through Pinterest, when something caught my eye. An image with such a simple quote stopped me in my tracks. The first part read “I want to inspire people”.

The past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching trying to figure out in what direction my coaching practice was calling me. In trying to figure this out, the same question popped up in my head again and again “What is my purpose?” This image answered that for me. My purpose is to inspire people. I want to be that encouraging support that inspires people to live and grow.

The second part of the image read “I want someone to look at me and say ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up.’”

I very recently realized that I was called to working with people working through major transitions in their life- most specifically, people in recovery of alcohol addiction. Through personal experience, I’ve witnessed not only how hard living with an addict can be, but also how difficult moving through the recovery process is. I’ve witnessed how challenging it can be it is for the addict to realize they don’t know themselves and even more so they don’t know how to create a new life with their family that has moved through such trying times. I believe through the coaching process, it’s possible for me to be their inspiration to see this experience in a positive light and move forward to new and better things.

Since stumbling along this image, I have used it whenever I’m feeling a little stuck or overwhelmed with the coaching process. Remembering my purpose and the people I want to help inspires me to move forward. It is such a powerful experience being able to be an inspiration for someone else, and I’m extremely excited to continue on this journey. Many people think the hardest step of sobriety is that initial choice not to drink, but to me, the most difficult part is in that first year realizing the new challenges there are to face and that you now have to face them without your most trusted crutch. I want to be there as a reminder that you don’t have to face them alone.

A Power in Choice

I think what many of overlook sometimes is our power to choose. The idea that we are capable of literally choosing what we do or what to do. We frame it in the words of “I have to” or “I should” but in reality we are choosing to. Sure we may choose to because with out choosing to we wouldn’t survive, but we so often give up the idea that we are choosing to do everything we do in our lives. By giving up this power of choice we leave ourselves to believe we are no long in control of our lives. Our lives become full of “have to” and “need to”.

Imagine a life full of “I choose to” or simply “I am”. What would that look like? How different could our lives be if we remembered that we have a choice? And if we don’t like our options, we can choose to change them. It’s freeing! To look at life and say “Life, I choose you”. How empowering.

To me, a life full of choice creates a life full of passion.

You may say, “My car just broke down, I can’t be happy.” Can’t you? Is someone forcing you to be angry? To cry? It’s all in the perspective you take. Think- I feel frustration or I feel anger. Instead of I am angry. There is something so different in the statements I am and I feel. When you are angry, there is no choice. The anger is with you and therefor you must be angry. But if you feel anger than you can feel it arise in you, and then choose what you do with it. You can absolutely choose to kick, scream and wave your hands in the air if that’s what you choose to do. But you can also choose to let the ager arise, take a deep breath and then decide if you’re going to call AAA or your mother first.

We must remember to turn our emotions off of autopilot and turn on our self awareness. Our happiness lies within our choices. We have that power.

What Do I Bring to the Table of Life?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of life. Why are we here? And more specifically, why am I here? What is my purpose? What do i bring to the table? As I was walking my dogs this morning, it hit me. Throughout my life, I have had this innate ability to see through people. Almost straight to their souls. I gravitated to the kids without friends in school. I was curios about strangers on the street. It was as if I was literally being pulled towards those that needed me- that needed a inkling of hope.

As I’ve gotten older, this passion for people has not gone away. It’s grown. When I see people, I see more than their outer being. I have this strong natural sense of empathy and a need to unveil the hidden potential in people. My hope is that though my work as a coach, I will be able to reach all of those people that need a little extra support in becoming who they aspire to be.