GET A LIFE: Powered from within

November 23, 2013 11:50 PM

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SIXTY per cent of girls stop doing what they like because of poor self-esteem. This means, how we think of ourselves gets in the way of us achieving our full potential. This is a statistic researched by Dove, Unilever’s beauty care brand.

I fret every time I’m about to go on stage. What would people think of me? I know women who have eating disorders just so they look well in photographs. I have friends who will not swim because they feel fat in a swimsuit.

Anyway, instead of talking about the 60 per cent who struggle, I want to focus on the 40 per cent who possess courage.

Imagine. What if our self-perception was a source of confidence, not anxiety? More importantly, what can you and I do, to inspire people to love themselves unconditionally? How can we play a part in building self-esteem in people, especially our children?

I love my children very much and I encourage them to live in their truth, feel light and free, not to worry, adjust, and not depend on other people’s approval.

You know Jean Claude Van Damme? He’s the Belgian beefcake-martial arts super-fighter starring in movies such as The Expendables 2 and Double Impact. Well Van Damme is 53 and recently made a commercial for Volvo. The clip starts with Van Damme straddling two Volvo trucks seemingly parked closely, side by side. One leg on each vehicle. As the camera pulls back, we see that the trucks are slowly being driven backwards. It’s an open highway. A dusty orange sunset provides the backlight on the horizon.

Stunning precision and control. Now for the climax: The two trucks begin to drive apart — slowly ... until Van Damme is in split position. And he stays this way as they drive (backwards) off into the golden horizon.

(Van) Damme! Resilience. Strength. Power. Precision. Perseverance. Awesome. At 53 — a mature body engineered for performance and perfection. Equipped with a mindset to master the most challenging of feats. Lesson: You can if you believe you can.

Most of us think we’re weaker than we actually are. We judge ourselves more harshly than our true worth. Only 4 per cent of women believe they are beautiful. We are like the little branch that quivers during a storm, doubting our strength. We forget that we are the tree — deeply rooted to withstand life’s upheavals.

Have you ever felt like you’ve hit a brick wall? Ever come to a fork in the road and not have the slightest inkling which way to turn, to whom to turn? Feeling small, confused, alone isn’t all that great, is it?

Many of us are in the habit of beating ourselves up. Our self-talk sounds like this. “I’m a complete idiot. If I were any good, I’d have never got myself in this mess. Why, look at John, he’s sailing through life without a hitch, and I’m stuck in this crappy little box.”

We spiral downwards from frustration to anger, desperation to resignation. “Life sucks. That’s just the way it is for me. So I might as well give up fighting, and prepare for the long walk to eternity.”

You and I have a role to play — to show others we can live our best life, each and every one of us. As soon as we learn to accept, appreciate, and trust ourselves.

That’s why I keep reconnecting and reminding you of what you’re made of, showing you why we make the choices we make, and then enabling you to begin choosing from a more empowering place. I talk about how to build relationships with people while being secure in who we are. Life’s a whole different ballgame when we come from free will and choice.

I also talk about difficult emotions such as rejection, criticism, self-doubt, fear, anger, resentment and unforgiveness, and our relationship to this negativity that shows up as blocks to our goodness and wellbeing.

You and I, we are so powerful. If only we would see. We can think, speak, feel, and act. We can use our gifts in support of others, enabling them to think well of themselves. We know our living is determined not so much by what life brings to us as by the attitude we bring to life, not so much by what happens to us as by the way our mind looks at what happens.

And as we join forces and rise up for ourselves, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, together we will build an unstoppable community.

Value in coaching WHO needs coaching? Why can’t we just go to our parents, friends, or bosses for advice?

OUR elders are a great source for advice. That’s true. Sometimes that’s the last thing we want. We want to figure things out for ourselves in ways that make sense to us, not because somebody told us so, but because doing or not doing something works for us.

A coach doesn’t give advice. (What? Why pay them then?) Coaches are change agents. We’ve learnt skills that enable us to drive and motivate people, we know how to recognise habits and patterns that disable and dis-empower people. And we’re great at asking questions that bring understanding and insight so that clients make informed and conscious decisions.

Why would someone use a coach? A coach is like a mirror. By our questions, we enable you to reflect on your life, for you to see how you could be more resourceful. Noticing from a higher perspective, a lot becomes clearer. Coaching conversations enable deeper experiences, clearer thinking, stronger sense of values and identity, mediation between sparring parties etc. Coaching is great in peeling away clutter and bringing back meaning to what really matters.

Anyone who’s ever felt less than confident, felt they were in concrete boots, anyone at all who wants to improve the quality of their relationships, the quality of their life, uses a coach. Anyone who’s serious about excellence in anything gets a coach. There are swim coaches, tennis and golf coaches. There are speech, health, and financial coaches. It’s all about raising your game.

Be client-centred I CONDUCTED my presentation well. I don’t understand why I didn’t close the sale. The client even said he thought there were good prospects between us.

WELL done with your presentation. So you don’t understand what went wrong. After all, they saw there were good prospects.

What do you think the client wants? How well did you respond to what they want? Perhaps not to what they said they want, but what they really, really want. Do you know what that is?

Reflect: What has the client been saying at meetings? What have they been fixated on for the longest time? What beliefs and principles do they uphold? How well have they spelt out what’s really important to them? Among all that, what do they want to achieve most?

Sometimes we are so eager to demonstrate our capability. We want to give our gifts and help others with what we know that we forget to listen and to ask what is meaningful to the client. Sometimes we make presentations more about us, than about the client. Sometimes what we ought to be doing is listening instead of telling or selling. Selling is all about helping the client make the best decision for themselves, given their desired outcome.

I’d want to keep getting feedback from my clients about what works and what doesn’t. I’d like people to rate me in terms of how I make them feel after they’ve used my service and whether I made the process a valuable experience for them.


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