Tim O'Rahilly Life Coaching

Posts Tagged ‘Life Coaching’

Mindful Monday: Self-Confidence.

Do you lack confidence? When we are bombarded with negativity it is easy to wallow in it, either temporarily or over  the long term. Our self confidence can influence every area of our lives from work or study, to relationships and personal success. The way that you see yourself has a huge impact on the way others see you. The more confidence you have, the more others will believe in you and the greater your chance of success will be.

It may seem that many of the things affecting your confidence are outside your control. You may feel the need to get advice from someone else to help you out of this low place. A life coach is a good option as an impartial listener who can guide you towards a more self assured and successful future. There is also much that you can do to improve your own confidence levels and Mindfulness is just one of the many options. Some would say that goals oriented coaching is at odds with Mindfulness and it’s focus on the here and now, but I really believe that the two things can work very effectively side by side.

There are many strategies you can try to increase you self confidence. First and foremost, always have clear goals and visualise what it might look, sound and feel like being the new and self confident you. In order to do this of course you need to believe that you can be confident. Identify your limiting beliefs and negative opinions and be prepared to shed them. If you can only see negative outcomes you will simply reinforce you own well developed, poor self image.

Here are my 10 suggestions for action. Any or all of these will help to reinforce a powerful self image which others will perceive as your new found self confidence.

1. BE HAPPY. Personal happiness is essential to good health and well being. Seek out those things that make you happy and make them happen for you. This can be as simple as a stroll in your garden or park, or even a drink of tea from your favourite cup. Optimism too is a powerful tool that leads to persistence and ultimately to success. Think positively and distract yourself from any grumpy moods by visualising happy memories. Mindfulness meditation can be a powerful facilitator in this.

2. LOOK GOOD. Nobody is more aware of your personal appearance than you are yourself. When you don’t look good, your whole posture changes, as does the way you interact with others. Stand up straight, keep your head up and always make eye contact. This will make a positive impression on others and make you feel more alert and assured. Walking faster will also make you look and feel more important. Of course your appearance will also be enhanced by good grooming and good dress sense too.

“Hold your head high. Stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes but morning comes. Keep hope alive.”

– Jesse Jackson

3. NOURISH AND REWARD YOURSELF. Do you usually vegetate in front of the TV at night? Why not turn it off and engage in activities that exercise your brain cells instead. Reading, crosswords, Sudoku etc. can all help. Eat well and healthily. Treat yourself occasionally, even if it is to your favourite calorie-laden chocolates. When you do, buy the very best you can and really enjoy the quality and flavour.

4. PERSONAL TESTIMONIAL. Be your own motivational speaker and develop your own commercial. Ever heard of a business tool called the Elevator Pitch? Write your own pitch highlighting your best attributes and strengths. Recite it to yourself (in front of a mirror?) whenever you need to boost your confidence.

5. BE GRATEFUL. Sometimes when we dwell on what we want, our minds start to create reasons why we can’t have it and then we start to accept our own weaknesses. The best antidote for this is to set aside time to focus on everything we can be grateful for. Recall happy successful times, great relationships and individual skills. We have all made mistakes and will do so again. Do not judge yourself on the mistakes but how you deal with them. Be careful not to dwell in the past but learn from it.

6 COMPLIMENT OTHERS. When we are in a negative mood ourselves it is easy to see others the same way and we can get drawn into gossip, prejudice and insults. This cycle is easily broken by simply learning to give compliments and praise others. You will become well liked and as you seek the best in others, you will also bring out the best in yourself.

“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”

– Old Irish Proverb.

Of course our relationship with others can be our greatest source of happiness and contentment. Try showing your friends how much you care about them through small, meaningful acts of kindness.

7. SPEAK UP. Public speaking is regularly cited as the biggest fear for most people, We fear making fools of ourselves but in any group, others will be feeling the same, so go for it and try to say something in every group situation. You will be recognised by others as a leader and you will become a better public speaker.

Likewise, how often at school or in the office do we head for a seat at the back, hoping not to be noticed? Choose the front row, feel more confident and be more visible to the important people in the room, e.g. the speaker.

8. LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Make a commitment to learning a new skill or some new knowledge and devote an hour a day to do it. Find time when you can focus without distractions from family, TV or mobile phone. Knowledge breeds confidence.

9. EXERCISE. In the same way as personal appearance can lift our spirits, physical fitness can have enormous impact on our self confidence. We are all well aware that being out of shape can make you feel unattractive, insecure and can be a drain on our energies. Working out or exercising can help in two ways. We can feel energised, have more stamina and improve our appearance. Secondly, the actual discipline of a regular workout will create a positive momentum of its own which helps in so many ways.

We should exercise daily for 20 minutes, in order to release feel-good chemicals into the blood stream. It is also important to get regular, good-quality sleep and daily doses of sunshine (or at least daylight), especially during the winter months.

10. MAKE A DIFFERENCE. It is easy to get caught up in our own desire and become self-centred. if we turn our attention outward and look at the contribution we are making to the rest of the world, it can distract us from our own worries. This could be helping in your own local community where there are many opportunities to volunteer or it can be in the wider global community. This contribution will reward you with personal recognition and success.

If you need any help with confidence issues or developing self-esteem, then these are areas where Life Coaching can definitely support you. Drop me a line, and let’s see what we can do for you.

The Value of a Smile

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sharing the joy.

Many labels have been applied to this year’s Summer Olympics, but the one which appeals to me the most has been “The Friendly Games”. Aside from all the phenomenal sporting achievements, it has been wonderful to soak up the genuine feel-good atmosphere of the games. The power source for this has been the widespread use of that universal indicator of happiness and friendship: the smile.

“The smile is the shortest distance between people.”

-Victor Borge

Genuine smiles can warm hearts, spread peace and light up cloudy days. Smiles do so much more than express happiness. A smile transmits clear messages about a person’s approachability, sincerity, trustworthiness, attractiveness and sociability.

Of course not all smiles are genuine, but fake smiles usually only involve the mouth, whereas a true smile, what psychologists call a Duchenne smile, involves the eyes also. For a long time this was considered to be the mark of a real smile but it is now known that even Duchenne smile can be feigned.

A truer marker might be the speed at which a smile develops. The fake smile (‘Botox smile’, ‘Pan Am smile’) can be switched on in an instant. A genuine smile, however, will spread across the face more naturally, appearing to draw in its recipients. Slow onset smiles are seen as more authentic, trustworthy and even more seductive.

If we use our smiles in the work or business context, does that mean that they will always be of the false (non-Duchenne) variety? Of course not. If we truly believe in what we are doing, if we are acting with honesty and integrity, if we genuinely love our interactions with other people in all their variety, then those smiles will be as warm and true as any.

Gold-medal-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

The so-called “Friendly Games” were truly “The Smiling Games,” with athletes, spectators, officials and the amazing volunteers all sporting winning smiles. They pulled together a careworn nation, maybe even a tired world, in celebration of human endeavours and achievements.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.”

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you; Slobber and they put you outdoors.”

– Snoopy

Much has been said about the legacy of these games. There can be no greater legacy than the memory of all those immense smiles and their continued use at every available opportunity.

 

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

A couple days ago I was doing the usual early-morning trawl through my social media feeds. On Facebook, I came upon a posting from my good friend Safaa. He is a young and ever optimistic Iraqi living in Baghdad, and he posted this verse:-

“Dance like no one is watching.

Love like you’ll never be hurt.

Sing like nobody is listening.

And live like it’s heaven on earth.

Let a smile be your style today!”

This verse is often quoted in various forms, but it came to me like a chance meeting with an old friend. I also realised that I did not know its origins. A quick online search revealed that that nobody else does either! Whatever the origin, the message is powerful. Live life for today. Smell the flowers. Soak up the sunshine. Kiss the baby. Do it all with a smile!

We get so absorbed in the search for happiness that we miss the chance to be happy. Contemporary life is filled with challenges for all of us and everyday things bring new sadness, more worry and ever more stress. Let’s just take that as read and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred D.Souza once wrote:-

For a long time. It seems to me that life was about to begin, real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles. Were my life.”

If we choose to view life from this perspective then we see that there is no way to happiness, happiness is itself the way. If we accept this and we must also learn to cherish every moment. Try to share every treasured moment with someone special. Surround yourself with people worth sharing your precious time with.

Remember that in the bank account that is your life, time is unique. You are making steady withdrawals as you go through life, but you cannot make any deposits. Time waits for no man, and your time will not wait for you. So stop procrastinating. Banish ‘until’ from your thinking. Stop waiting….

Until you finish school.

Until you go back to school.

Until you win the lottery.

Until you lose weight.

Until you gain weight.

Until you get a job.

Until you get married.

Until you have kids.

Until you get divorced.

Until the kids start school.

Until the kids start college.

Until the kids graduate.

Until the kids leave home.

Until you retire.

Until you get a new car.

Until you get a new house.

Until tomorrow.

Until the weekend.

Until Monday morning.

Until the end of the month.

Until spring.

Until summer.

Until autumn.

Until winter.

Until after Christmas.

Until the New Year.

Until payday.

Until your song comes on.

Until you have a drink.

Until you are sober.

Until you die.

Until you are born again!

Decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is the journey, not the destination:-

Sing like nobody’s listening.

Live like there is no tomorrow.

Work like you don’t need the money.

Love like you’ll never be hurt.

And dance like no one is watching!