I always tell my coaching clients that the real work is the internal work. If we spend time looking inwards, acquiring the right mind-set, then the rest will follow. I coach a lot of people who have low self-esteem and who tend to compensate by holding on to physical things, frameworks or achievements. But that will never create true fulfilment. The real work is to strengthen our self-belief and to challenge our perceptions until we feel a warm glow of self-love inside.
In a similar vein I often come across individuals who experience a high degree of conflict with people around them. There is always something wrong with their boss, their clients or team members. But instead of wanting to swap projects or organisations, the solution is to look inwards and review our attitudes and behaviours. If we acquire the belief that everyone has something valuable to contribute to every situation, then we will take a greater interest in others and give them more space. The result is better relationships in all areas of life. It is by looking at how we can think and act differently that we can create the greatest transformation in our personal and professional life.
I’m self-employed and at the back of my mind there is often a little fear that perhaps I won’t be as busy this year as I’ve been in the past. But I’ve always been fine, and each year has in fact been more rewarding than the last. I need to get my mind-set right and take my own medicine! As I go into 2018 I don’t want to be steered by this fear and I don’t want to numb it by setting lots of external goals to make my ego feel better. Instead, I will look inwards and concentrate on acquiring the right mind-set. I will appreciate each moment and the opportunities that it brings. When I find myself in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation I will try to take a step back and objectively evaluate it. From that vantage point it will be easier to consciously decide how I want to respond.
What kind of mind-set do you need to acquire in 2018 to become more fulfilled? And in which ways do you need to refine your behaviour? Perhaps you can find inspiration in the three P’s below: Purpose, Presence and Pause. They form the basis of my own goals for 2018.
PURPOSE – In order to attract the right things into your life, you need to start each day feeling connected with yourself and your purpose. With the right mind-set, every day can become a great day. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, but you need some kind of morning ritual that connects you with the essence of who you are and what you want to bring to the day. Some people meditate whilst others go for a brisk walk. Personally I like to start the day with a few yoga exercises that wake up my body and my mind. In 2018 I will become even more mindful during my yoga practice and be reminded of my purpose, which is to use my talent to contribute to the world around me.
PRESENCE – One of the biggest gifts you can give someone is your time and your attention. But it’s also one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself because it has the potential to transform all of your relationships. When you are fully present with another person, listening to them and trying to walk in their shoes, they will feel that you understand them. I’m convinced that there will be far fewer conflicts and misunderstandings in our personal and professional life if we take the time to listen to and understand each other. In 2018 I aim to be more present in my interactions. I will fully listen to and engage people who I cross and make them feel understood.
PAUSE – On your project or in your private life you may at times snap at someone or disengage because of a challenging situation that triggers you. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, irritated or upset in the New Year, press your pause button and just breathe. Let the emotion wash over you without acting on it. These strong emotions can distort your sense of judgement and make you do and say things that don’t serve you. Instead, step outside of the situation for a couple of minutes and evaluate what is going on. What are your beliefs about the stressful events and why is it affecting you? When you’re able to you see the situation clearly you will be much better able to choose how to respond. This is something we can all get better at – including myself.
I hope you’ll have a wonderful 2018 full of purpose, presence and mindful pauses.
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