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Came across the following quote when studying cognitive behavioral coaching techniques – it’s a powerful reminder that we choose our attitude…and the way we look at a situation, regardless how hopeless it may seem…

Viktor Frankl, an eminent psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz, wrote:

” We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

 

Some thoughts I actually put down for my daughters’ journeys into adulthood 🙂

We always have a choice.

Make sure you always work with others because others, regardless of your feelings towards them, teach you to listen, appreciate, and accept who YOU are, and strive to be.

Be aware of your own potential, skill sets and make sure to sharpen them – then find others with skills that compliment yours…and together you WILL achieve more.

Life is not a journey you travel on alone – make friends, good friends, who will not only compliment you and support you but also tell you when you are wrong…

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Remember that your best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other…

A personal note related to above…Back in 2001, I became a stay-home-dad and had the great fortune for the next 10 years to be part of my kids every day fun laughter, tears, learning and challenges. I experienced first hand that is it NO cliche – it really is the small things in life that matters. It is also not what you do out of need – the volunteering I experienced in schools wasn’t done out of need…it was done out of love. And the reward wasn’t money in your pocket – it was an investment, a deposit in our heart and soul.

Now, looking back at those years and seeing the love and appreciation in the, by now, young women that used to be my kids running around, pulling my hand, urging me to come and play, give them a hand, read and feed them not only food but knowledge and experience, I know it was all worth it. And I know it wasn’t necessarily that they NEEDED me but rather that they got what the LOVE they wanted to grow up, establishing their own personal interests, attitudes and values – a belief system that will follow them through life.

So, remember that your best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other 🙂

Who and what do you see in the mirror?Courage, choices, reflection, plans, interaction, solitude and relaxation – all part of who we are, our values, attitudes and behavior. They are all pieces of the same puzzle – some larger than others, changing with time but always present in one way or the other.

The "Personal Self"

Who am I? What makes me unique? Where am I going in life? Am I comfortable with myself? Solitude is a chance to learn something about yourself. Self-discovery is a process that involves asking and answering the questions above.

Solitude also provides an opportunity for perspective. When you’re caught up in the hassles of day-to-day life, all you can see is what’s directly in front of you – the problem of the moment. If you want to see and appreciate the big picture of what your life’s all about, you have to step back and get a bird’s-eye view – and that’s exactly what solitude allows you to do.

Taking time for yourself is often viewed as selfish and uproductive. Solitude is also uncomortable for many people because they’ve learned to derive their self-esteem from activities initiated by their “other selves” – that is, their efforts to satisfy themselves by satisfying others. But there are important benefits that come from spending time with your “personal self”, that part of you that doesn’t need other people to be happy…:)

Fear is the most destructive element to any undertaking. In most cases, fear can’t be identified by the fearful person. It is not specific, but more of a feeling of emptiness of not knowing where to go or what to do. Fear is having the lack of proper knowledge to make life decisions. Since we are peope of choice, and we live every day, life brings us daily challenges that we choose how to deal with. Self-awareness provides us with the proper knowledge to make informed decisions, leaving us feeling confident rather than scared, secure rather than insecure and lost.

Fear makes us dependant on other people to take care of us, which usually doesn’t work…

When you are accountable for your actions and self-aware you know who you are, what you have to offer, and where you want to go from here…and you have, in the process, eliminated fear from your life. You have replaced fear with adventure, hope, and trust 🙂

On my way over to Sweden I took the time to study some of my passengers prior to embarking on the plane and during the flight itself. The fear of flying takes a lot of different forms – but can you actually spot a nervous person by just observing their physical behavior? Maybe. But if you would ask each one of the passengers what that person is afraid of, you may be surprised to hear that the calmest, “coolest” passenger is the one who is the most afraid…

….and when asking that person what he/she is afraid of, the answer usually is “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”. Fear is a skeptical feeling like in a horror movie. You just think something bad is going to happen, and you sit on the edge of your seat and wait for the unknown.

Change brings unknowns with it. Managing change is the art of breaking down unknowns into predictable and hopeful visions of the future. How far you can go is as far as you can see. When you become blind with fear, you can’t go anywhere. Through self-accountability, we take on self-awareness, and move forward through self-improvement.

So, going back to the fear of flying – and not knowing exactly what the person is afraid of – you need to break down the perceived fear into predictable and hopeful visions of the future – of the next 8 hours on an airplane, controlled by skilled pilots who know very well that by being proactive, turning problems into challenges, and through accountability, self-awareness, and self improvement (continued ed), these challenges are transformed into opportunities (to in a case of an emergency, respond by using all the known predictables of the emergency to conquer any perceived fear of the unknown).

So, how do you overcome the fear of flying, heights, making a lifechanging decision or a career change? You simply won’t allow any “barriers” into your life:). You choose to transform the barriers, the challenges, into opportunities to conquer, resolve and build your new life, fearless of the unknown…

“Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want.” – Brian Tracy

This morning I’m back in New York City again, the city that never sleeps but also the city with a touch of fresh air. Fresh air you say!? Well, today is actually Earth Day and I guess you could argue that the New York city air is far from “fresh”…may be, but although not clean, it certainly feels refreshing and inspirational to be around people with “fresh” ideas, sitting at the classical Caffe Reggio (the home of the “original cappuccino brought to America by Domenico Parisi, the original owner of Caffe Reggio, in 1927) surrounded by students, artists and writers with a feel of being at a street cafe in Montmartre, Paris 🙂

Especially in New York City, and any other big cities (like Paris for example), people are constantly searching…searching for what is right for them. Work, relationship, life…Yes, NYC is a jungle and it’s easy to get lost, easy to lose control and easy to get off track. But it’s also a place of opportunities, opportunities to find your way back onto the road you have chosen to travel on – Your Road Map to Success!

Like Brian Tracy said – the combinations are many, your job is to find the right numbers, the ones that work for you. Help, guidance and support is there to be found – you just need to make an effort looking for it and wanting it.

Enjoy Earth Day today and wherever you may be at this moment remember that we are all part of the Circle of Life. So do the best you can today, and every day, to unlock the combination of your lock finding out what’s important to you , in the right order so that you can have anything you want.

For more information how a Life Coach can help, support and guide you on your Road Map To Success, visit www.CoachLars.com.

In todays WSJ we learn how to communicate when angry – avoid mimicing the bad behavior of shouting and firing back at someone who is doing just that to you.

Instead express yourself in Five Steps;
1. Calm down; take a walk, get some sleep and “cool down’. Ask the other person to talk – say “When is a convenient time?”
2. Acknowledge the difficulty of having this conversation – defuse the other person’s anger and their possibly defensive reaction.
3. Say “I”, not “you”. Don’t say “you did …. wrong”. Say “I felt hurt when you did ….”
4. Find out why. Ask for the other person’s point of view. Really listen to the answer.
5. Say everything. Put it all on the table and talk about how you can change the situation in the future

Good Luck!

The last couple of posts have dealt with choices – a choice how to live your life, with whom, the feelings you choose to have and the thoughts you decide to have about yourself and others. Always keep in mind though that the choices you make affect others, in a positive OR negative way dependent on the attitudes and values of the people around you – spouse, family, friends, co-workers etc. The best possible way of making sure your choices DO NOT send out negative signals is to Let go of the Past…Letting go is the choice to live life in the present – in a positive way – regardless of anything negative that may have occurred in the past.

*Ask yourself to what extent you believe your life now, is affected in any negative way, from things that happened to you in the past? Almost never, Occasionally, or Frequently – and why?

*Ask yourself if you make a determined effort to move forward, and let past negatives go? And what do you do about any negatives that could still be holding you back?

*Ask yourself if you ever see past problems or failures (by the way, you can not fail as long as you decide not to quit trying…) as adequate reasons why you should not succeed now?

*Ask yourself what one negative from your past, if any, you would most like to get past, and move beyond it?

Then find three creative, positive ways to reward yourself – for making the choice to live in the present, and build an incredible future for yourself AND the people around you who may have been innnocent bystanders and targets of your inability of letting go of the past.

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Lars – Transition & Retirement Coach

Certified Retirement Coach

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