Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 9:46 am

Have your beliefs gone beyond their sell-by date?

March 2017A common topic arising in my coaching sessions is around limiting self-beliefs. Most of us have an internal critic or voice which tells us how things should or must be, for instance, ‘I must always be on time’, or ‘I should deliver the perfect presentation’. When explored more deeply, these ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ are rules for living that we have imposed on ourselves, possibly since childhood, and may reflect beliefs and values that are no longer helpful for us.

Once we’ve worked to identify the limiting value or belief, it can be helpful to try to understand how it arose, and what purpose it once served. For example, the belief that ‘in order to succeed I must always put 100% effort in’ may have served a useful purpose in enabling someone to do well academically or survive school, but is not a necessary rule to adhere to in all areas of work, and can lead to constant pressure and high stress levels.

Having established the self-limiting belief and gone some way to understanding the purpose it once served, we can look at ‘de-bunking’ the myth, and finding out what belief or value might be a more helpful replacement. A part of the process is cross-examining the assumption – what evidence is there that says this rule must always apply? What would happen if you didn’t follow this rule? Who do you know who successfully lives by a different set of values?

What I like about this approach is that rather than demonising our old habits of thinking, and therefore attacking ourselves still further, we try to understand what’s behind the belief, before accepting that its purpose has been served, and may no longer be helpful.

Do you have any self-limiting rules that have out-lived their purpose?



Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 at 9:44 am

Light Bulb Moments

A blog for any of you who feel you are working very hard and not getting very far.

 ‘The light bulb did not come about by continuous improvement of the candle’ Oren Harari

Feb 2017

A friend was talking to me recently about her role as a governor in a school.  The staff were working very hard to make changes but things weren’t really moving or improving. All that was happening was that the staff felt completely exhausted and lacked energy and motivation. They were working even harder, filling in more forms, staying later, doing more marking and still things had not changed. Something different had to happen. I mentioned the above quote and she really took a step back, because it was true.

The staff were following the same processes and methods, even doubling their efforts with ever increasing frustration and exhaustion.  Sometimes, what it takes is a complete sideways step and a chance to look at the situation in a new way without bringing along what worked previously.

A little history….

Candles were quite a brilliant invention, they seemed to be developed in several countries at different times, but more than likely dating back to 200 BC and the Qin Dynasty in China. Jump forward around 2000 years and you will find Edison and his contemporaries looking at another source of light. The light bulb, whilst generally credited to Thomas Edison in 1879, was probably conceived as an idea much earlier by Italian Alessandro Volta in 1800. He observed that copper wire glowed when an electrical current was passed through it.  As the ideas developed over the century it is certain these brilliant minds were not looking at candles and how to improve them.

So how is the history of candles and light bulbs relevant for you? Are you wanting to make improvements and changes but still using the same skills and tools?  It often takes more than just ‘let’s do it in another way’. It takes a required leap of faith, a genuine desire to leave behind what doesn’t work anymore and a will to embrace the new.

Coaching is a great way to make shifts and changes and start new habits, change behaviours and thoughts with the support of an objective and trained coach. It can offer you a chance to see things in a whole new light and from a very different perspective that will help move you forward.

Do you need a chance to look at things in a new way? Are the previous tried and tested methods no longer working and tiring you out?

Do get in touch.

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