Before I gave up smoking, I used to tell myself I had an addictive personality, that is why I can't give up.
Does that sound familiar, in fact I heard it today. It is just an excuse, because we don't believe we can achieve.
The person today is incredibly talented, intelligent, professional and driven, but they are worried they will not succeed when it comes to giving up smoking.
In reality that concept is completely bonkers. Throughout their adult life they have faced far more daunting challenges and succeeded. When faced with changing something we do everyday, we all falter. The prospect of change is terrifying. We need to believe that the change is worth it, and that we can do it.
I like the person today needed to recognise what I had achieved when I wanted it enough. There is no such thing as an addictive personality, anyone can be addicted to something and anyone can stop being addicted. You just have to want to do it enough to succeed.
If you give in and have a sneaky cig or chocolate bar, it is ok, just go back to your reason why and have another go. We often fall off the wagon because our reason to make that change isn't strong enough and our desire to succeed isn't as strong as the enjoyment we derive from smoking or drinking or eating too much. So it is important to have that strong reason and believe you can. If you find yourself getting your excuses in early you need to examine why you want to change.
If this rings a bell get in touch for a free coaching session.
At some point in our lives I suppose we all decide to change something in our life that we think is unhealthy, or limiting us. For me this has been especially acute as I travel through middle age, and parts of your body don’t seem to work as well as they used to.
It doesn’t matter what you want to change, if you want to make it permanent then you will have to prepare yourself. Most of us wander blindly into a change, and suddenly make knee jerk reactions, as a result of something adverse happens to us. For me it would be getting my shorts out for the summer and realising I cannot fasten the button. “Right that’s it, I am going on a diet, I look disgusting!” This is never going to be a good enough reason to lose weight. Once I have gotten over my indignation I would just buy a bigger pair of shorts.
Moving away from a negative lifestyle or situation rarely works for any length of time. Ask yourself how many times have you been on a diet. Many of us do very well at first if we use a sensible diet plan such as those organised established diets such as Weightwatchers or Slimming World. How long do maintain your new weight for? How many of you actually get to your final target weight? When most of us embark on a diet our primary goal is not to be fat, to lose weight. Or if we try to give up smoking we want to stop as it is expensive. In both examples we a moving away from a negative. However the further away from the negative we move, the reason for making the change becomes less, therefore our motivation to maintain and consolidate the wonderful change lessens. Then when something stressful happens in our life, we immediately say “I cannot do this, there is just too much going on in my life, I need a fag, or chips or wine or cake.” Then all that hard work has come to nothing and we end up back at square one.
Instead of moving away from a negative, why don’t you move towards a positive future? For instance when I gave up smoking I asked myself what do I value the most. I was able to answer straight away without any hesitation. I value the time with my children above anything else. I then asked myself in the next 10 -15 years what will I value. That was easy again, it was spending time with my children’s family. I imagined myself playing with my grandchildren in the garden, taking them on adventures, and generally being a fun granddad. I asked myself if I could guarantee that I would be able to do all these things in my sixties if I continued to smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Would I be around to see my grandchildren grow into adults like my mum has? I struggled to answer that question. I then knew exactly what I needed to do, and giving up smoking was easy from then on. I had a compelling reason to give up smoking. More importantly I can use that same reason when continuing to change my lifestyle to a more healthy one.
As I am moving towards my goal my motivation to stay a non-smoking is always high.
Never rush into a change if you want to succeed, take you time and think carefully why you want to make the change.
If you want to discuss this further to help discover your compelling reason or keep you focussed get in touch either by email or messaging via social media.
From time to time I feel dissatisfied with my life. I feel I should be more than I am, that I do not live up to my potential. I should have a higher paid job, I should be living in a big house, driving a fancy car, going on exotic holidays. I should be more decisive at work, be pro-active, ruthless, a go getter. Sound familiar?
These are just some of the markers of success that our culture values, therefore we have a tendency to measure ourselves them, and decide if we are a success or not. Invariably with are not able to live up to all if any of these values. But we are constantly exposed to the idea that people around us are doing better than us. Pre-social media this exposure was limited to people we saw on the telly, the odd self publicist and gossip. Now we are all connected with have all become shameful self publicist, and now it seems even our friends and neighbours have a better life than us. This just adds to our feelings of inadequacy, and dissatisfaction. This clearly is no way to live our lives.
One answer to this problem I suppose would be to disconnect yourself from all forms of social media. But social media has so much going for it. You would not be reading this blog for one if you stopped engaging with all forms of the media. After all Facebook and Twitter are great ways to share with everyone, how much of a nice time you had, or to share a common experience, therefore adding to your feelings of satisfaction.
The answer is not to change the world but to change the way you see the world and how you respond to what you see. The first thing to do is to assess how you see yourself based on your own measure of satisfaction rather than the medias’. I like to measure myself against Martin Seligmann’s conditions that are required for happiness. Martin Seligmann suggested that to be happy the following conditions need to be present in your life. If you are happy then you will feel more optimistic about you future and therefore more likely to succeed and feel satisfied. The conditions are:
Positive Emotion; how many times a day do you laugh and smile?
Engagement; do you take part in activities that you do for the sake of it, something you don’t have to think too much about (reading, sewing, running, singing etc.)?
Relationships; how often do you see or speak to family or friends or both?
Meaning; why do you do what you do? what are your values?
Achievement; this does not have to be academic or vocational achievement, it could be baking bread for the first time, a personal best time swimming or running, anything where you have done your best, and achieved personal excellence (as good as you can do it). How many times have a you achieved this week.
Answer the questions relating to each condition above. What are areas of your life do you need pay attention to your life to be satisfied? Identify them and then plan how to address them. This is how you can be successful, rather than trying to live up to an impossible ideal imagined through our cultural idea of success.
Be happy, be what you want to be, then you will be successful.
If you want to discuss this further, or want some coaching to have a successful happy life, email me.
How often does someone truly listen to what you have to say? We all need to be listened to without having someone else’s opinion imposed on your thoughts.
A coach such as myself will listen to what you have to say on your terms in confidence.
A coach such as myself will help you put you thoughts into order, by reflecting what you say, asking clarifying questions, and simply paying attention to what you say, making you the most important person in the room.
We all have times when or thoughts and ideas come thick and fast and we need someone to be a sounding board to help us put our thoughts into a plan that will result in action.
This is the coaching that I offer, and currently I am offering 5 free coaching sessions if you get in touch with me before 1st August.
If you are not from Hull I can offer face time, watsapp or messenger coaching.
With that in mind I thought I would talk about the day I have had today.
It has been a good day, bordering on a lovely day.
It started in the usual fashion with butterflies and that general feeling of inadequacy. That didn’t last however I was soon distracted by the sound of birdsong and a lovely bright summer morning. The kind of morning that reminds you how wonderful the world is.
I arrived at work and started on writing a training session, something that I started last week. This early stage of writing a training session is my favourite part, this where I start bringing together all the current evidence and combine it with my existing working knowledge. I learn so much during this process about how much I know and don’t know. I always over write at this stage as I get so fascinated with the subject. This kept me engaged for the first hour. Then to stop me getting stuck I went to collect some paperwork from one of the wards.
As a consequence of visiting a ward I ended up doing a coaching session with one of my coachees. Again I was completely engaged in what I was doing. We managed to spend an hour discussing her plans, and she gave me some very useful feedback.
2 hours in and I am buoyant. I then meet a member of staff to sign off evidence for her competences, and then back to writing the teaching session. In the meantime I received an email from a colleague at the university giving me feedback from the students I taught on their last module. I was practically walking on air.
After lunch I must admit I got a little carried away on a particular part of the session and ended up doing a quick literature review. Now I have 15 articles to read through. They may not change the presentation dramatically but they are often good to provide more context when delivering the session, and provides a wider reading list.
When I got home the weather was gorgeous if not a little warm. I decided to go for my mile a day run before I relaxed too much and didn’t want to go. Even though my knees and hips and ankles ached (my legs really object to carrying this fat lad around) it was worth it. I do keep telling myself it will get easier, I have to keep the faith. Anyhow just being out in this glorious weather was worth it the sunlight lit up the trees and the houses giving everything a majestic glow.
Today has been so good, because I have concentrated on the moment and not over thought the past or the future. There is so much around us to embrace and enjoy. I don’t manage it everyday but when I open my eyes to what is happening and live it the moment I feel so much more fulfilled.
Open your eyes to what is around you and start enjoying your journey through life.
As I mentioned in my previous blog when I tasked myself with putting together the soundtrack of my life so far it ended up being over 7 hours long, so I decided to imagine I was putting the music of a C90 tape, therefore restricting what I could include. That has been the best bit, going through all my music to come up with a playlist that at the moment best expresses my memory of that particular time in my life.
During the 90s I was in my 20s, I finished my Nurse Training both General Nursing and Children’s Nursing, met Lisa, bought a house and got married. Music was an important part of my life and at one point for a moment I tried out being in a band, after one gig I left that dream behind.
Our Nightclub of choice in the 90s was Spiders (home of the Pangalactic Gargleblaster), and was where I met Lisa. A lot of the music I have chosen for this mix tape reminds of Spiders. In the early 90s before we bought our first house we lived in an attic flat on Springbank, that used to be the old Silhouette Nightclub, and Radiohead especially reminds me of that time.
When I am coaching people who are not sure what they want to achieve in the future, I ask them to identify what their values, and their truths are to help them shape a future that will give them happiness. For a lot of people including myself this is more difficult than you think. By looking at your taste in music and the arts in general you can start to explore what makes you tick, what you think is important in life and how you think you should conduct your life. As well as raising awareness of your self it is also a great deal of fun putting together a playlist. Being happy and having positive emotions increases your creativity, therefore you are able to see more options that are available to you.
Give it a go it is really satisfying. If you want to discuss your future plans and goals get in touch I would be happy to discuss your options.
I have attached a link to each song so feel free to listen. If you have Apple Music the link to the playlist is at the bottom
I hope you are all having a relaxing Easter doing all the things that make you happy.
I am cooking for the family daydreaming about my future plans, imagining a time when I can coach full-time. I imagine working with all different people helping them realise their dreams, or taking stock of the wonders they already have, and it makes me smile. I get excited and what to achieve my goal more than ever.
Daydreaming is so important when planning the direction of your life, it reminds you why you want something, it keeps that desire alive.
You must however combine it with a robust and clear goal, alongside a strong plan.