Friday, July 22, 2016

visualization techniques,life coaching tips,emotional intelligence coachingA colleague recently asked me a question to reveal my core message.  She read my articles on life coaching tips but was looking for a message that was crystal clear.  

You’re on the beach.  You see the tsunami coming in.  You realize you only have five minutes left.  What is it that you want to tell the world?  

She used visualization techniques to get the answer.  I used my imagination to create a sense of urgency and discovered what is most important to me. 

“You don’t have to do it the way everyone else does or the way that’s acceptable to your friends and neighbors, or the way that makes your parents happy.  It’s your life and no matter how old you are, it’s partially over.  Do it the way that seems right to you.  Do it the way that makes you happy.”  

“Sure, people will judge you for it, but that doesn't have to be important to you.  Besides, doing it the way society says you should offers no protection from the judgment of others.  They will continue to judge you.  You don’t need protection from the judgment of others; you need protection from the judgment of your self.  Have compassion for yourself and follow your heart.”

Speaking with her, I realized what my message to the world is.  It's at the core of the life coaching tips I write about.  I’ve recently writen about acknowledging death as a way of deepening your experience in the present moment.

Using visualization techniques like this, help you connect with a future reality.  If you were to learn an invaluable life lesson, right before you die, and then given a second chance, how would it change your life? 
The same visualization techniques you find in sport psychology articles can be applied to your own life.  If emotional intelligence coaching could bring you to this realization, what would you tell the world? 

A friend once told me the story of his God Daughter and why she was so important to him.  Her father was a professional working in the Twin Towers on 9/11.  His office was above the entry point of the first jet plane.   He accurately assessed his situation as terminal and made a sober decision regarding how he would spend the remaining five minutes of his life.

He called his wife.  The event, however, was immediately broadcast on national television which caused an overload in all communication networks.  Realizing this was the last thing he could do for his family, he left them a voice mail.  In it, he expressed his love for them and wished them happiness and love in the future.  

As tragic as this is, many of us will never be blessed with the opportunity to reflect on our lives and communicate what is most important to the one’s we love.  For many of us, it will be sudden;  a car crash, a heart attack a patch of ice on a ski slope.  You might not be blessed with 5 minutes to tell those you care about how much you love them at the end of the line. 
Wouldn’t it have been remarkable if he were somehow saved at that moment and continued living?  How would his life have changed?  How would his relationships have improved?  How would his love have deepened?

If you're moved by this story, it’s time to play the game. Of all the life coaching tips that have helped improve your life, this may be the most valuable.  Try the visualization techniques yourself, right now.   You’re at the top of a burning sky scraper and you have three to five minutes left.  What matters most to you in this moment? What is it that you want to do? Is it more important than what's on your agenda for today?

Clients have used visualization techniques like these during emotional intelligence coaching to change their lives.

Many who read this will actually go and do the things they believe are most important, as if their life were soon to be over.   Others will go on living as if, there's always tomorrow.  Choosing today's agenda over what is most important to you, assumes you'll live another day.  If you played the game and you practiced the visualization techniques, this is your second chance.  

To begin making the kind of changes you need to realize your true potential, contact Pat McGuinness at Sky High Coaching, LLC or call (603) 545-2774.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Steph Davis on Enduring Vs. Resiliance

If you've had tough times, you can relate to the ideas of enduring versus resilience. As a fan of Steph Davis, the famous free soloing rock climber and BASE jumper from Moab, Utah, I was recently impressed by the things she had to say in a lecture about her life.  Her words of wisdom were about hard ship, survival and resiliency.  “I’ve been a full time climber for 20 years and I know how to endure.  In the mountains, when it’s cold and wet and you’re hungry and dehydrated and exhausted and it’s dark and it’s storming.  You turn your emotions off and you keep going, because you have no other options.  No-one is going to get you off the mountain but you.”

Just as in mountains, your accomplishments, joy, pain and suffering are part of life.  When you loose someone you love, when you’re let go from a job or when there’s conflict in your life, it takes it’s toll on your emotions and tests your resolve. 

Recovering from hardship takes time and the ability to endure.  It also takes resiliency.  What’s the difference?  As Steph explains,  “enduring is really about being numb.  It’s about choking off all possible emotions and getting the job done, instead of, falling apart and giving up.”

When we’re stressed out, we often refer to our state as, “survival mode.”  This is much like Steph’s notion of enduring.  Going through the motions because we need to survive but not really feeling anything. 

Enduring and surviving are crucial.  There are many accounts of those who survive ordeals in the mountains because the climber continued to problem solve and kept trying.  There are also, many accounts of those who perished because they gave up or stopped trying too soon.

In life, that can mean continuing to go to work, pay the bills and do the chores even though your heart isn’t in it.  If you don't do those things, your life will fall apart. While essential, this is not really living.   Steph explained how hard it was to emotionally recover from the incident where her husband died while the couple was BASE jumping together.  After enduring for several months, she came to a point where she needed to take the next step in her recovery.

Standing at the top of a cliff in Moab Utah, Steph contemplated her first flight since the accident.  She decided to take it all in, the sadness and pain, the freedom, joy and exhilaration.  When she jumped, it was all there.  After the flight Steph explains, “I began to see the difference between enduring and resilience.”

Resilience doesn’t erase the pain, rather, it embraces the pain as well as the joy and exhilaration.   There are moments where, we realize that our experiences shape us, but they don’t define who we are.  Life is full of risk and uncertainty but the real risk, she explains, “is in making our life small.”  Embracing the risk with all that comes with it, is what leads to resiliency. 

Resiliency allows you to step back into your life.  While survival mode is often necessary for a period of time, it can be easy to remain there, not living life fully.   Resiliency, is a choice.  It comes from the way we think about things and our perspective about who we are and how we fit into our world. 

What ordeals have you experienced? Are you still in survival mode? Have you discovered the difference between enduring and resilience? How has “not really living” impacted your life? What was or is the next step for you? What do you suggest to others? 

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