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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Dear Faithful Readers: There comes a time in every life when it’s time to move on and do something new. For me, that time is now. Well, to be completely transparent, that time was a few weeks ago, but I’ve been polishing the new “space” to better serve you, so haven’t felt ready to make the announcement until now.

I have officially moved to a new web site, and hope you will join me there! I am unable to transfer all of you faithful followers, so if you’re still interested in staying in touch — and I hope you are — you’ll have to do the work.

Here’s how: Click this link!

Truly, it’s that simple!

You’ll find the full blog archive there, so if you have a favorite, you’ll still be able to find it. You’ll also find enhanced information on what I’m able to offer and how I can best serve you.

And, most important, there’s a quick opt-in form that you can fill out (name and email only) for a free self-discovery tool and the option of staying in touch. I won’t be blogging as often; in fact, if you want to keep up with my thoughts, insights, teachings, and other content, I recommend opting-in, as I plan to share my best stuff with my inner circle moving forward.

Please note, if you do opt-in, you may also opt-out at any time. I will never spam you, nor will I ever share your information with anyone else. I’m committed to developing a value-added relationship with you, and I believe that can happen only if you grant permission to our relationship.

Thank you for your time, energy, and attention these past couple of years. I appreciate you more than you know.

Again, it’s as simple as clicking this link!

I look forward to connecting with you there. In the meantime, have an intentional day.

Positively!

Laura

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How long will it take?

That’s the point in the conversation when it becomes painfully obvious, to me, at least, that the person in front of me truly isn’t ready to initiate change in her/his life. That’s the point when I realize the person in front of me is looking for the quick fix, the easy out — you know, the path that won’t take him/her out of her comfort zone. Because while this person recognizes something isn’t working in his/her life, and is aware of the lack of congruence — even if he/she cannot articulate it as such — she/he is not uncomfortable enough, yet, to make a change.

One of my mentors shared a story with me a few years ago, when we were talking about pursuing dreams. He said he often stops by the Rosetta Stone kiosk in an airport he frequently flies thru, and considers purchasing a module. But, then he finds himself tempted to ask the salesperson how long it will take to learn the language, and mid-way through that thought, he knows he’s not passionate enough about it to give it what it would require to succeed. He thinks of it as negotiating terms and pursuing dreams doesn’t work that way.

It’s a similar principle with prospective clients who understand something isn’t working in their life, their organization, within their team, and they know they need to do something different. If I believe I have value to add and a potential solution, I offer it, and then we have what I think of as the (no disrespect intended in any way, shape, or form) “come to Jesus” moment: What are you willing to do differently to initiate and see this change through?

What are you willing to do differently to initiate and see this change through?

And when the person asks, “How long will it take?” I know the conversation is done and all that’s left is the pleasantries (well, to be fair, I’m typically direct about what will happen if they don’t take action)  as I prepare to leave the meeting.

Here’s the deal: Whatever shape your life, team, organization is in, you didn’t just arrive there this morning; you developed the habits and behaviors and embedded the thinking that have all conspired to get you to where you are today over the course of many (MANY!) years. Unlearning those habits, challenging those beliefs, and changing one’s thinking will not happen overnight (even if I do have my magic wand with me!). It takes time; sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on the level of discomfort, desire to change, willingness to challenge thinking and beliefs, willingness to rock the boat, even.

Whether I say it will take six months, twelve months, or longer, consider this: That time will pass either way, whether you do the work or not; it’s inevitable. The choice is yours: Will you step out of your comfort zone, take the action, and work through the process? Or will you simply be another six months or a year older, and still living in the same proverbial place?

What will you decide?

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As one of my mentors says, “you can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.” Isn’t that so true?

When we are on the outside looking in, it’s so much easier to see things in others that they can’t see themselves…like recognizing someone’s potential, or fears.

As a coach, this is particularly frustrating, as I’ve been stuck in that place…that place where I didn’t recognize my potential, the self-limiting beliefs I was allowing to hold me back, the fears I didn’t acknowledge that also held me back. Fortunately, I found the mentors and coaches I needed to help me through. They held the mirror up for me to see myself with greater clarity. They asked me the hard questions, which caused me to dig deeper into my thinking and realize there were a lot more options in my life than I thought. I have been, and continue to be, blessed by them. I am also very blessed to be doing that work myself.

But I have to recognize my limitations. I can’t do for someone what he/she won’t do for him or herself. Twice in the past year, I’ve had “near misses” with coaching clients. They sought me out because they were stuck and wanted to become unstuck. They knew me from previous connections and reached out because they believed I could help. I believed it, too, after we talked about what each was going through. Both committed to the coaching process, and I sent them the information they needed prior to getting started. I asked each of them this question: What will you allow to stop you embarking on this self-discovery journey? Both of them, boldly I might say, said “nothing!” And yet, both backed out prior to our first session.

What will you allow to stop you?

I ask that question because I know what it’s like to be in that place and while it’s exhilarating to think you are moving forward to proactively make a change, to take charge of your life, it’s also frightening (remember the mirror? We don’t always want to see who we truly are…). I want them to think it through and recognize they have the power to take the step, the same as they have the power to continue to hold themselves back.

To date, while I keep in touch with both of them, and continue to offer them whatever thoughts, information, insights I have that may be of value to them…they remain distant. I wonder how they feel, what they think, what their lives are like with the knowledge that they have chosen to stay in that place, chosen to remain stuck, when they have the power to initiate something different. Time is passing.

At some level, my heart aches for them; they were close to change, close to knowing themselves more deeply, close to taking charge of their future, close to reclaiming their power. Now, they are a little more aware and still in that place. I am learning to accept that I cannot do it for them. I cannot accompany them on a journey they aren’t ready to take.

I hope they come back; I want to discover who they are in their more powerful, radiant, knowing selves.

 

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I can’t participate in that training. My company won’t pay for it. 

Have you ever said that? I know I have, back before I realized my personal development is 100% MY responsibility. Now I know that the money, time, and energy I invest in developing me is the BEST investment I’ll ever make in my life…and the dividends are beyond amazing!

I was foolish enough to limit my learning, and by extension my potential, based on what my employer was willing to pay for. Looking back, I feel so silly. You see, I’ve learned that if you want to reach your potential, your development is your responsibility, no one else’s. And if you choose to leave it up to someone else, be prepared to live the life they design for you. When I was in that mode — leaving my development up to someone else — I ended up in some places that held no interest for me and were so far from my strength zones it wasn’t even funny!

I spent two full days in Excel training because my boss at the time, an engineer masquerading as an HR person, used Excel for everything and thought I should be an expert at it, as well. It didn’t matter that my official area of expertise, at the time, was corporate communication, and unofficially, people development! I still have the “keyboard short-cuts cheat sheet” the trainer provided, but none of it makes much sense to me.

Many years earlier in my career, I spent three months plodding my way through a web development/programming course because a different manager thought I should be responsible for all aspects of our organization’s web site — content (which made sense, based on my position), design, and the technical operations. Never mind that we had a fully-staffed design group and a web developer on staff. It was a life-sucking three months.

At both of those times in my career, my level of awareness about my potential and my responsibility for my growth obviously wasn’t very high. I didn’t realize I had choices about what I learned and how I applied it. I didn’t realize it was ok for me to spend  money on my own development (beyond all the books I bought and devoured on a regular basis). Today, I can guarantee you, I wouldn’t be wasting a moment of my life’s energy on such folly; not only do I know my passion, purpose, and calling with great clarity, I also understand my growth is my responsibility — I get to drive this bus and I am on a journey!

This self-imposed constraint was brought to my awareness last week when I sat next to a delightful young woman on my return flight from a speaking engagement in Phoenix. A recruiter for an engineering firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC, she was studying for her SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) Professional in HR accreditation exam on the plane, which opened the door to a great conversation. 

As it turned out, she was taking the exam of her own accord; her employer wasn’t even aware she was studying for it. She planned to use her success with the exam to begin a conversation about her future with the organization and the opportunity to branch into other areas of HR beyond talent acquisition. She was confident that by investing in herself and taking the initiative to study for and earn her PHR would send the message that she has a lot more potential and drive than they might recognize.

My question to you is this: Whose responsibility is your development? 

In the past 2.5 years, I have invested enough cash to have purchased a new Volvo XC60, and countless hours in learning, with coaches, mentors, and others in like-minded, growth-oriented communities and programs. I can honestly say that the person I was at the beginning of 2012 very nearly no longer exists in comparison with the person who is typing this blog. My life is extremely different, fuller, more satisfying, with great promise to continue getting better each day.

I don’t say this to impress you, but to impress upon you how important it is to take responsibility for your development, financially as well as regards time and energy. It will open doors for you that you probably can’t even imagine today. It will change your life in amazing ways.

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Yes, it’s true: I stink. The smell of sweat on my body is ripe today, and I am reveling in it!

I know, it sounds gross, but those of you who know how it feels to push oneself past the limits of what we thought we were physically capable of will understand what I mean.

I have been doing DDP Yoga pretty consistently (at least 3x weekly) since last July, which has challenged me on many levels. And, I can see and feel the difference it’s made for me, so far. But I reached a point where I needed help to get to the next level, so I’ve been going to a local Pilates class and the instructor is pushing me into new positions and repetitive motions I didn’t think I was capable of.

While I am certainly not old, my coming to consistent exercise has happened much later in life than it does for many. I’m thankful I’ve finally gotten to it. It’s teaching me so many things about myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are a few of those lessons:

We are creative, resourceful, and whole beings. This is one of the basic foundations of the coaching profession. Each of us has everything we need to be successful in whatever we endeavor to do (assuming we are gifted in those areas). We simply don’t reach deep enough to discover what we are truly capable of.

As a “whole” being, meaning Body, Mind, and Spirit, I understand now what difference it makes to take care of our physical being. I cannot do the things I am called to do if I do not have the energy or stamina to physically do the actual work. My brain works better when my body is fit. I sleep better — recharging my body and resetting my brain — when I exercise. I am significantly more confident in what I have to offer and how I deliver it when I feel good in my own skin.


10300679_10154121452395174_7750278747470352175_nI am strong. 
I’ve always been strong emotionally and intellectually. Now, I am becoming strong physically. I recently had the opportunity to do a brutal, butt-kicking work-out with the Igniting Souls Community, and I kept up fairly well. I was even able to do the rope pull by myself one time. Think of the kind of rope you’d see on a tug boat for attaching to other things, attached to a weighted sled, which you pull to you (laying flat on your back, hand-over-hand above your head for about 50 feet), then push the sled back to its starting point. (These are a couple of my Igniting Souls cohorts — pushing the sled back)

Persistence pays.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who has accomplished anything, because any accomplishment with any significance comes only to those who persist. Nothing worth having comes easily or freely. There is always a bump (or three or twelve) in the road, there is always a cost (often twice as much as you anticipated), and things often take much longer than we think they should (the Law of Gender — incubation period for any kind of seed — is at play here, and there are some things we cannot know how long will take to grow). Success comes to those who have a definite purpose, plans for acquiring the object of their desire, and are willing to do the work every day to get to where they dream of being, even when it looks and feels as if they are not making progress.

I didn’t gain an extra 20 pounds or acquire a few extra inches on my body overnight and no matter what I do today, I will not be 20 pounds lighter or a few inches smaller tomorrow…but if I keep at what I’m doing, I will be over time. In fact, I am down about 10 pounds and enough in inches that I’ve dropped two sizes in clothing.

Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. This is why I pay for it; “it” being coaches, mentors, and a self-proclaimed Pilates Diva! I pay for time, energy, attention, encouragement, and wisdom from people who have traveled these paths before and are getting the kinds of results I desire. No one else will do this for me; I must invest in myself and add value to myself before anyone else would even consider it.

So my challenge to you today is this: How are you investing in you?

What is the “it” that you should be paying for?

When will you take that next step, the first one that will move you that much closer to your dream, and invest in your future?

Share your answers in the comments box below; I truly want to hear from you.

In the meantime, have an intentional day; I’m off to the shower!

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It’s funny how things pop up, isn’t it? Some people call it coincidence, but I’m not one of them. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe all things happen for a reason, whether we are privileged to peer behind the curtain and discover the reason or not, and a lot of energy is involved.

So, as I’m thinking about this a great deal lately, you might imagine the smile on my face when one of my mentors, Chet Scott’s latest blog post popped into my inbox. Here’s the link. 

I must be channeling Chet. To say that he’s often in my thoughts is an understatement. Chet has what I refer to as “clear vision.” He’s one of those people truly gifted at stepping outside what’s going on and cutting thru all the crap (Chet would simply say “shit”) to what’s really happening. I appreciate that about him, as well as in others when I see it demonstrated. Perhaps because I do it, as well (based on feedback from numerous sources over the years, not my own wishful thinking).

Everything in the universe is made of energy which continuously moves into and out of form; it cannot be created or destroyed…really, simply channeled. It flows between objects and people and between people and people.

So, other people’s energy affects how you navigate in the world. It truly does matter with whom you spend your time. This is why it’s so critical, especially when you are trying to effect change in your life, that you surround yourself with a like-minded community. Seth Godin would call it a tribe…those people who share your values, are on a similar path, passionate about some common idea or thing, and who lift you up, encourage, and support you, who complement you where you are weak.

Take inventory of those around you today. Determine if some of the people in your life have passed their “use by” date, and make the necessary changes you need to make in whom you surround yourself with. Your very future depends on it.

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Over the course of my life, I’ve not been known as the most diplomatic person, so perhaps you’ll forgive my choice of words.

This blog was posted today from a “builder” I have been following, and whom I respect immensely. In this post, Chet Scott points out that high performers self-identify and emerge from the pack. As a manager or leader, you don’t have to search for them…they will demonstrate who they are in a number of ways, and as a manager/leader, you get what you deserve. Here are a few things to watch for:

High performers seek feedback. They want to know how they are doing and will ask for feedback from people they respect, frequently. If you don’t respond with honest, candid feedback — both positive and constructive — they will know you’re feeding them a line, and over time their respect for you will deteriorate.

High performers seek challenge. They are not satisfied with, nor willing to accept, mediocrity. These are the people who will ask for more responsibility, look for projects and opportunities to continually learn, grow, and stretch themselves. They are hungry and if you don’t feed them, they will find someone who will.

High performers seek other high performers. They don’t want to be the smartest people in the room; they actively seek out people who are ahead of them in whatever it is they seek to learn or achieve, so they can learn from those who have gone before them.

High performers don’t get hung up in the HOW. These folks are internally driven, motivated to achieve. They are inspired by WHY, and if you can connect them to the Why of what needs to be done, they will find the way — the How — to make it happen, and they will attract those resources to them.

The question now is: What kind of a team do you deserve? As Chet says, do you need to kick your own a_ _, and demonstrate what you’re capable of, so you can attract high performers? If not, you will attract who you are and they will perform at, or lower than, your level.

So do the hard work, scrutinize who you are and what you have to offer before you evaluate the performance of your team. If you seek change in your team or organization, you need to start with you.

If you don’t have a “builder” or coach to help you through this process, I strongly encourage you to find one. Speaking from experience, you won’t get there on your own.

___________________

If you’re curious about my self-identified lack of diplomacy, here’s a little insight…

Over the course of my life, I’ve not been known as the most diplomatic person. You may find this ironic, considering my chosen career — Corporate Communication — for the past 20+ years, but it’s true. In fact, I went through a Harrison Assessment a number of years ago, and my “diplomacy” score was very low, which was brought to my attention by the VP of Marketing, with whom I worked frequently. He considered it a potential disaster waiting to happen, given my job.

Here’s how I explained it to him. The Harrison Assessment offers statements like “I enjoy diplomacy in my work.” As you go through the assessment, you note whether the statement is like you or not like you. As a professional communicator, word choice is extremely important; words matter, so choose them carefully. I think of “enjoy” in terms of pleasure, satisfaction, etc…So, while I understand and appreciate the need for diplomacy, and am perfectly capable of discerning when I need to practice it, I don’t “enjoy” it.

That’s it…

 

 

 

 

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