dear coach by the sea
I’m really unhappy with how my life seems to be right now, both at work and home. I feel as if nothing I do is ever quite good enough and I’m exhausted. I feel really stressed and quite angry about being taken for granted by everyone to be honest. I’ve noticed that all I seem to do is complain when I talk to my friends but it doesn’t change anything or even make me feel better really. What should I do to break out of this rut? Mrs SJ
What an interesting idea from this blogger! The movie of your life? And would it be different for different audiences? And what about the sequel?
Fionnuala and I went to the cinema last night. Without kids! We get to do this about once a decade. The movie was called ‘Adrift’ based on a true story of a couple whose dream of sailing across the Pacific turns to tragedy when their yacht is badly damaged in a storm leaving them thousands of mile from safety with insufficient food and water supplies. I won’t say anymore in case some of you are planning on going to see it yourselves.
There were only 14 people in the cinema (yes I counted them. I do have OCD you know) so we were able to sit back and relax without any distractions. I don’t like people sitting beside me in cinemas. Elbows touching, poor eating habits, annoying laughs and plot giveaways. The list is endless. Thankfully this lot were well behaved so I didn’t have to adopt my school headmaster…
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I’ve found myself having quite a few conversations lately about fear and boundaries. When we feel stuck, it is almost always because we are afraid. Sometimes of making the wrong decision or no decision at all or even the consequences of what feels like a good decision. It is about what has not happened yet but the real fear is about what we think that means about us. It is as if there is a huge wall right in front of us with a big graffitied message that only we can see. Messages about failure or shame or not being enough or safe or loved or accepted. I have no idea what is written on your wall, or you on mine. In fact sometimes we don’t even know ourselves because the idea of even looking at the writing is so frightening that we avoid it until circumstances force us to look.
I often talk about boundaries using a metaphor of putting up a fence or wall around a garden. Perhaps with a gate. A boundary is for you; it is defining your own safe healthy space at any given point in time. And the conditions for other people to come into that garden….or that will make you decide to close the gate. We often think that boundaries are about setting conditions for others’ behaviour, but their real heft is more about getting a clear focus on our own needs and accepting that the only behaviour we control is our own. We choose where the fence sits, how high it is and how the gate works.
It occurred to me yesterday that there are two sides to the fence or wall. The inside facing you is what is written on your own fear wall. The other side of the fence is the bit that others see and how they interpret it. The interesting addition in a coaching conversation is about how you choose to write new messages on your wall, how that might make your boundary lines move and whether your walls are keeping you healthy or trapped.
What is written on your wall about an issue that is bothering you? What do you think is written on the other side of the wall? And how is the current wall helping you?
A post from another site about the challenges of letting go to move forward…
I wasn’t really in the mood to work on the book last night. It had been a long day and I was tired. I forced myself, however, to open my laptop and start editing. The chapter in question was one of the first I had written, some six months ago. I knew it would need a bit of renovation as I feel my writing has improved since I started this journey. The early chapters, I find, require more scrutiny with regards continuity, structure and plot development.
As I read it my heart sank. The words just didn’t flow. The plot was full of holes and as for the quality of the writing? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t one of my finest literary sessions. I began to despair as I read over one particularly clunky segment. How on earth was I going to turn this pigs ear into a silk…
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I have worked for a number of organisations coaching their managers and leaders either individually or as a team. Almost all of them have a wide range of alternative ways to develop and grow the performance of their senior staff. What are the triggers that lead them to consider coaching as an option? And what are the factors that make it the right choice? Read More
The people I coach are smart people, experienced in life and work. Most of them have had more successes than failures in their life. Most of them are not on their uppers or in crisis or feeling lost. So why do they decide to use a coach like me? Read More
Prompted a little by Bishop Currys’s powerful sermon at the recent royal wedding, I thought I’d be brave enough to put ‘love’ and ‘coaching’ in the same sentence! Often as coaches, particularly working in corporate environments, we are nervous about openly using emotional language. It is safer to act as if individual development, and thus the coaching process, are things of the head; steps and processes and structures and solutions. But here’s the thing…I work with a lot of smart, experienced people and if their challenge was simply a missing bit of information or purely a rational analysis, they would ask a friend, look for a you tube tutorial, read a book or make a ‘to do differently’ list and JDI. So, what is the missing bit that brings ‘love’ into the mix? Read More