Can you trust the process?

I stole it.

It was a sign dangling by a single pushpin to a bulletin board outside a classroom in college. Even though stealing wasn’t even close to my normal activity, I *knew* that sign was for me.

It portrayed a giant footprint that read, “You know it’s the hand of God when you end up where you did not plan on going.”

Walking those halls in 2000, I wondered how I got there. To that college. In that town. With that athletic scholarship. How did this happen? It was so good.

I remembered that sign again in 2014 when I trudged slowly to the front of the church to speak to family and friends gathered for my dad’s funeral. It was difficult. And it was also good.

It led me to the path of coaching. (more…)

What’s True? How You Frame the World Determines What You See.

What’s True? How You Frame the World Determines What You See.

This was originally posted in 2017, but I’ve told the story twice in the last week and decided to resurrect it for such a time as this.

 

For the last year we’ve been dog owners, and every night, whoever is the last one upstairs puts the dog in his kennel for the night. Every time my daughter puts him to bed, she comes downstairs to her own bed feeling badly.

“Aw…Zip looked so sad,” she laments, “his tail stopped wagging and he looked at me with big sad eyes.”

“How do you know he’s sad, babe? Maybe he’s relieved to be going to bed?”

“No, he’s sad,” she assures me, “I can tell by the way he walks in and lays down and looks at me.”

My daughter and I have very different views of bedtime. I love an evening routine and an early bedtime hour. I get to unwind, embrace the completion of a day well spent, and cozy up to the warmth radiating from my husband next to me.

My daughter doesn’t like to go to bed. She doesn’t like the dark, doesn’t fall asleep quickly, and doesn’t want to sleep alone.

So when we take our dog to his bed each night, I think I’m doing him a favor…and my daughter thinks she’s hurting his feelings.

So what’s going on here?

If someone gave me a comfy, dark and quiet place as respite for the day, I’m happy….so I see our dog as happy. If someone gave my daughter the same, she feels sad…so she sees our dog as sad.

So is the dog sad, or is he happy? What is the truth?

This is what my 8-year-daughter asked me to which I replied, “I guess we’ll have to ask the dog.”

Clearly, it depends on who you ask.

How you and I frame the world – what we believe, value, how we see ourselves and how we think the world works – is what we project onto the world.

We see things as we are.

  • If we hold a belief of brokenness and a need for fixing or saving, the world will start putting forth people or circumstances that appear to need fixed or saved.
  • If there’s an underlying belief that worth is attached to performance, then the world will look full of others who are succeeding exceptionally well.
  • If it’s about injustice, lo and behold the world will spit out offenders before our eyes.

The brain is designed to focus in on whatever it’s looking for, so becoming aware of inner thoughts and perceptions, and focusing on the facts, helps uncover the truth there.

People often recognize and call out things in others and in circumstances that they are ourselves, whether it’s the truth or not.

If projecting our inner state onto our pets happens, think about what we may be projecting onto our children, parents. Onto our students, teachers. Onto our employees, bosses. Onto our neighbors, friends.

When awareness becomes everyday practice we can get out of our own way and…

  1. See things with new eyes
  2. Ask neutral and powerful questions to understand
  3. Get a clearer picture of what’s true

Up for a challenge? For a designated time, pay attention to what you see and talk about. Listen for your filter. What keeps coming up?

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I pointing this out?
  • What about this matters to me?
  • Where am I projecting what I believe instead of being open to what really is?

Awareness has the power to change our wellbeing, and the more well we each become, the more the collective world heals for our children, students, co-workers, and friends.

Reflect: What emotion do you see in the picture of the dog?

Does raising awareness interest you? Consider joining a small professional coaching group, inquire about an ELI assessment, or start an individual coaching relationship.

Rachel is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through International Coaching Federation (ICF) for INspired Leadership at ESSDACK. She helps professionals get out of their own way. Contact her.

What if you could measure leadership and culture? Ask our team how: INspired Leadership Website

Embrace the Suck: Uncertain Times Call for Conscious Leadership








You’ve been there––in the middle of a parenting moment and you hear words come out of your mouth that feel like you’ve hit a goldmine.

“Pain isn’t always bad. Embrace it, bud.”

Where did that come from? you wonder. I don’t know, but it was golden.

I recently struck it rich to realize (again) that pain is inevitable. It’s suffering that’s optional. (more…)

I Hear You––You Just Haven’t Said it Yet








I don’t do podcasts. Or audio books. And rarely videos. Listening to a talking head, without engagement, feels like drinking from a firehose. 

I’ll buy a book and underline, highlight, and dog-ear as a way to interact and get personal with the information, but listening makes me feel too saturated. Stick a fork in me, as they say, I’m done. 

For me, this type of listening doesn’t create space.  (more…)

Harvard vs Yale: Coaching makes a Difference








In 1875, Harvard and Yale played one of the first American rules football games. At that time, Yale hired a coach. Harvard did not. Over the next three decades, Harvard only won four times.

What happened next?

Harvard hired a coach.

Over time, coaching became the way sports works––to the point of assigning the value of a coach at upwards of 6 million dollars today.

If the value of having a coach increases the potential of sports teams, does that value of increasing potential transfer into other fields?
(more…)

Your Fullest Potential is One Sentence Away








At the core of each of us lies a sentence. The sentence is a string of words that gives us freedom, or it’s a string of words that implies a verdict, a “sentence.”

In other words, you can serve a life sentence with your life sentence.

A sentence can permeate your thoughts, language, emotions, and decisions. By overcoming limiting sentences, we give ourselves the keys to walk out of the cells that keep us from our potential.

While coaching over the last five years, some sentences held by clients have surfaced: (more…)