Coach Yourself up

Relying on other people to cause your enjoyment in life is a real bummer. I mean they have their life to live just like you and their whole existence isn’t always built on your happiness. So, taking back responsibility for your enjoyment at work and home is a big and important step.

The first key to it is emotional control.

Emotional control means that when anger, frustration, stress, overwhelm, tiredness, fear, etc etc comes up, you know it’s all about you, your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs and your ideas and nothing to do with the person who might be on the other end of the stick. In simple language, (yes, that’s my call sign) – don’t blame the dog if it bites you.

My mission is to give you all the skills you’ll ever need to coach yourself Up. That’s not always to the top of your field. Coach yourself up means get on top of your experience of life and enjoy it. You only have one life, there’s no panacea for painless living. All there is a way to live that means you are responsible for enjoying or not enjoying your work and home life.

Lets run through it.

Do you wake up inspired? If not, the day can only get worse

Do you look for the good news, the bad news or both? If not both you’re setting yourself up for a crash.

Do you think that others have a better life than you? If yes, then you’ve given your power away.

Do you close the day hoping you did better today than yesterday? if yes, emotion is going to be a roller coaster and potentially end up depressing you or even stopping you from loving.

So, that’s nature. When you go into nature all the urban rhetoric and Facebook “be happy” signals drop out and you suddenly don’t care. This happens automatically with age. Check this graph out


But why wait till you are in a rocking chair to learn about peace of mind. I mean really, just going for a walk in the bush or on the beach you forget your worries and start not “Giving a shit.”

So, the science is there. The experience is there. All we need to do is to translate the experience of being in nature or being very old into urban living. That’s what we need to do to take the power back and make everyday an enjoyable day regardless of circumstances.

To begin with, making today an enjoyable day is 100% dependent on the closure of yesterday. If you can put your head on the pillow and make God laugh, you’ve nailed it. They say, to make God laugh just show her your plan for tomorrow. So, lets begin there. Lets make tomorrow a day worthy of a person whose time and energy is valuable and come up with a schedule that reflects high self worth rather than low. Of course, that’s not chipped in stone but it is an ambition to fill the day with the gifts of your talents.

One lady said to me “on my day off I just do therapeutic things” and I had to ask her “what’s needing therapy?” and she’d been in therapy 3 years ago for a heartbreak and was still operating in that habit. We shifted her day off to a productive day doing what she loved with a time schedule and agendas and valuing what she could give. The first thing she noticed from this was that her arguments with her partner, which were common on the day or the day after her so called “therapeutic days” evaporated completely. Simply she wasn’t operating at the bottom end of her self worth scale.

Now we have sorted out the daily schedule, the next is to create a strong sense of purpose for your life: All eyes are turned to the future. This is what visionaries know. All eyes are turned to the future. How far ahead we are willing to look depends on how much pain a person is facing right now. Big pain, (emotional or physical) we draw our focus into the moment. No pain, enjoyment we open up our focus to include the future. This is the key because enjoying the day, was the first step I recommended above. Once that’s in your hands, living a strong sense of purpose for the future becomes a real option.

Great self-coaching means that you detect trouble before it becomes trouble. You have a radar for the early warning signs and act to cause change before it’s needed. This is phase three. Radar for red flags.

When I was running my engineering firm I had enough red flags in the air to make people think that I was a communist. I had red flags at every corner of my life. Stress, worry, sleeplessness, cholesterol, grumpy, lost concentration, spending hours at work, booz, long lunches and self depreciating stuff. But no, Mr Ego didn’t listen and surprise surprise … I ran into burnout in so many areas of life. That’s not what you want to do. Do what I say, not what I did. Respond to the red flags within hours of recognising them. List them and ask your partner to be the lookout. Ask your friends to be the lookout. You need people stationed on the surrounding hills to warn you when you’ve started to make excuses.I like to say that on track is Balanced, Centred and Calm and off track is unbalanced, uncensored and nervous.

Turning Up

Say you’re climbing a mountain with me in Nepal and we are on a narrow trail, say, 1 meter wide and there’s a 2000meter drop on one side and a cliff face on the other. The trail isn’t made of concrete, it’s lose stones and some tree trunks. Where are you looking? Are you thinking about dinner? Are you thinking about breakfast? Are you thinking about your weekend, or the last meeting or lunch? No way. You’re thinking where am I going to put my foot in 2 nano seconds from now. That’s turning up.

Now, if you can turn up in life, it’s because you have your day planned in an enjoyable way, you’ve taken responsibility to think like you’re on holiday in nature or very very old, you’ve got a purpose and a rough idea about where you’re going in the future. With all that engaged you can turn up and be right here in the moment with a big heart and a generous soul. Those are the requisites to turning up and that’s why self-coaching works so well: micro adjustments instead of great big clunky pain driven emotional melodramas.

Mentoring and Life Coaching

You can’t solve a problem at the level of the cause but you can maintain a trajectory that’s set and clear. The purpose of occasional weekly mentor sessions is to test your trajectory, your vision.

Your commitment to your vision, inspiration and purpose must waver. That’s how it grows. So, the purpose of a weekly session is to grow your vision, and bring you back in line with your sense of purpose.

Each week stuff happens and with a good mentor (I’m implying that’s me) that material makes great food for growth. A coaching session is a processing session, a questioning session, it needs to ask “are you lining up your action, your thinking and your outcomes, and if not, which of them needs to change sooner than later? Early intervention is the core benefit of weekly mentor sessions. On a longer term basis occasional extended mentoring sessions (once each three months) are essential to revisit your Vision set and bring it up to date. Remember, no vision is set in stone. It needs to be reactivated each three months.

So lets go through a few ideas on How to Coach Yourself Up a Notch: (small pieces from the 30 Day Back on Track Programme)

  1. How to Enjoy Your Life. Get up at 5.00am. Go thank your lucky stars that you actually woke up today. Count your blessings that you have what you have. Do some exercise, hug a tree, connect to nature, open yourself up to the beauty of life. Then go to work and you are already fulfilled. Nothing can be added, nor taken away.
  2. How to Enjoy Your Work. Don’t ask your work to fulfil you. It can’t – that’s a myth. Your work is what you do to make a buck, become wealthy enough. So simply enjoy your work. Don’t ask you work to change so you enjoy it, change your thinking and enjoy whatever is happening. Find meaning in everything you do, but don’t blame the company or the work for anything down. It’s 100% up to you.
  3. How to Enjoy Your Home. The purpose of a relationship is Support and Challenge. Now if you are a workabum, and you go to work and get fried, stressed, angry, bitter and twisted, you’ll start to sing the work life balance song… “Oh, woe is me, I want to be free, I want to go home and live peacefully” That’s domestic abuse because it turns the carpet in your home into egg shells. Everyone walking around trying not to trigger your temper. So, fake that home that it is going to cause your kids to become introverted at home. Nothing affects the child more than the un-lived life of the parent, and if you’re trying to turn your home into the “poor me, I’ve worked so hard, can’t I have a moments peace?” you’ll ricochet trouble into the family. Don’t be a workabum.
  4. How to deal with Someone You Don’t Like. The safest place on earth is a closed heart with a mighty judgement. “I don’t like that person.” What we don’t realise is that when we wrap ourselves in that bubble to protect our lovely little emotional self righteousness, we also wrap all the poo and wee that is in the bubble around us. Those bubbles are toxic. Instead, of isolation, try inclusion. Embrace the part of others you don’t like by finding that quality in you. If you really want to go deep simply reflect on which part of your parents this person you don’t like reminds you of. It’s really beautifully primal. What we judge in our parents, we breed, attract or become. (good and bad).
  5. How to I become a visionary? Well that’s easy. You are born a visionary. The only thing stopping you from living that magical part of yourself as a leader and parent is pain. As we’ve mentioned there are two types of pain: emotional and physical. Physical pain and emotional pain have the same benefit, they draw you into this moment in time. If you are not being present, not turning up in your life, living in your head or in the past or future, you will have a pain which is simply nature’s kind way of helping you arrive in this moment. But to be a visionary, you don’t want pain to become the driving force of your presence. You want to become present in this moment in time by choice. You choose to turn up, right now, without pain. The more present you become the wider your mind opens to the past and future. That’s the part that I can’t write about but you can experience. Just try sitting still for a moment, being right in the now, right here and use your peripheral vision, let your eyes see as far right and left as possible while you look straight ahead. This is the physical act of presence. Now, consider how that might work in your virtual reality, your mind. What we are achieving is to become present, right now, with the future. Those who have done the 30 Day Back on Track Challenge know this process well.
  6. How to deal with emotional pain? The short answer is “as soon as it happens” – do not carry emotional pain for more than a few minutes. There are many process, but ultimately all of those process lead to one destination: becoming thankful that it happened. In Yoga classes I teach students how to let emotional pain travel through their body, do its work, and then leave. Most yoga students are body aware and can do this. To those who don’t do much yoga I suggest mapping the pain on a form, in columns and do their checks and balances. There are many process’, but most important, if you end up in therapy, and the pain is not gone in two or three sessions, change therapists. It only takes a few weeks of wallowing in emotional pain for body chemistry to accommodate the feelings and then you’re in it for the very, very long haul. No need for that (unless of course the individual didn’t get much nurturing as a child and wants to make up for it in therapy as an adult).