What does ‘Empowered’ mean to you?
How does it feel and what does it give you?
There are a number of different dictionary definitions for ‘Empowered’ including,
Having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself.
To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
For me, it’s being #empowered to be at your best, to live your best life.
How will you be empowered to be at your best in 2021?
I’d be delighted to learn more about you, and how I can help you be at your best.
Simply get in touch via email, or phone, and we can arrange time for a discovery session together.
What is the why behind everything that you do?
When we know this in life or design, it is very empowering, and the path is clear.Jack Canfield
When did you last ask yourself ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing?
Steve Jobs, for most of his life, would get out of bed in the morning and ask himself,
‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’
I don’t think I actively asked myself this until I was made redundant and, was actually forced to take time out, and reflect. (I refer to this now as, ‘getting off the hamster wheel of life’!)
What did I want to do, and why?
I loved my job, or so I thought I did, and I gave it my all, always. But something was niggling at me. I used to say, that I felt like I wasn’t ‘adding value’ anymore.
Now I realise, what I was saying was, ‘this is no longer fulfilling me’.
More and more people (particularly in Western society) are falling victim to a feeling of disillusionment that stems from a loss of meaning and purpose in their lives. A lack of purpose can increase the risk of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, resulting in poorer sleep, and worsening health.
In challenging times, a sense of purpose and meaning is key.
German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said,
He who has a why can endure any how.
And, the inspirational Viktor Frankl, who endured unbelievable hardship during the holocaust wrote,
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
The Forbes article, ‘Do You Know Your “Why?” 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose’ reflects on the power of purpose, particularly in the face of challenge and adversity;
‘If you’ve ever faced a significant crisis in your life you’ll have experienced the power of purpose to tap reserves of energy, determination, and courage you likely didn’t know you had. Your mission was clear. Your goal was compelling. Your focus was laser-like. Your potential was tapped. The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass. Diffused light has little use, but when its energy is concentrated—as through a magnifying glass—that same light can set fire to paper. Focus its energy even more, as with a laser beam, and it has the power to cut through steel. Likewise, a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.’
Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.
In trying to find their ‘why’ some have turned to the East, most recently, to the ancient Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’ which means, roughly translated, ‘to live the realization one hopes for’. Iki means “life,” whereas gai means ‘value’ or ‘worth’. Gai comes from the word kai meaning “shell.” This refers back to the Heian period (794 to 1185) when shells were considered valuable.
We can interpret ikigai as finding value in one’s life or discovering one’s purpose.
Exploring the concept of ikigai and the questions that come with it, can help one find a solid purpose and through this, contentment and drive.
The whole concept has been boiled down to four questions:
1) What do you love?
2) What are you good at?
3) What does the world need from you?
4) What can you get paid for?
If you’re retired, you may not have to worry about what you can be paid for, so you can delete that one and focus on the remaining three. The idea is not only to find your purpose but the proper balance between all aspects surrounding it. Another consideration, one’s ikigai doesn’t affect the individual alone. For the Japanese, the concept has a social element. It’s about getting comfortable with your role in your family, job, and society.
Ikigai author Hector Garcia states, ‘that it all snaps into place when you get engrossed in a task and achieve that flow state’. Garcia asks,
‘Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that you forget to drink and eat?’,
‘What type of task was it? Notice those moments when you enter flow, and your Ikigai might be embedded in those moments.’
Author Dan Buettner suggests that you should write three lists; The first is your values, the second things enjoy doing, and the last, things you are good at.
According to Dan, ‘The cross-section of the three lists is your ikigai,’
In week 1 of the MENS SANA – ‘Healthy Mind’ coaching programme that I deliver, we explore goal setting, and ‘Finding your Ikigai’. To learn more, click here, and do get in touch to discuss how we can work together to help you find your ikigai; your purpose, and direction in life.
Coaching is a tool that is used to empower individuals and help them reach their goals; it is a structured conversation between the Coach (me) and the Client (you). During a coaching session your coach will walk by your side to help you to reach your ultimate goal and aspirations. They will listen to you, ask questions, find out what your challenges are and inspire you to reach that end goal.
You will be encouraged to make decisions and take responsibility for these decisions.
What coaching is not
Coaching is not about your coach giving you suggestions or advice. They are not mentoring or counselling you. If you commence a series of coaching sessions and it is deemed that coaching is not the correct support mechanism for you at this moment in time this will be discussed with you directly to find a suitable solution to support your onward journey.
How does coaching work?
Different coaches use different models to structure their sessions. A popular model is the GROW model which is an acronym for the areas explored, Goals, Reality, Options and Way forward. This model keeps you moving forward towards your goal. Your coach will be asking you questions, listening to your responses, challenging you whilst all the time remaining non-judgemental regarding the details and not offering you any advice.
How do I know if coaching is right for me?
Do you feel that currently you aren’t reaching your potential and feeling fulfilled?
Is there a gap of where you are now to where you want to be?
Do you sometimes feel you don’t have the skills, resources or confidence to get something complete?
Do you feel stuck and put off making decisions or fail to stick to those decisions you have made?
Are you ready to entertain new and fresh ideas?
Are you willing to be accountable for what you desire?
If you answer yes to any of these questions then coaching can most definitely support you to be the best that you can be.
What will happen during a typical coaching session?
Coaching is predominantly carried out over the telephone, zoom or face to face. The usual procedure is that the client will contact the coach after arranging a convenient time and date.
The duration, content and process for the coaching session is entirely flexible. We are working together to meet your needs and desired outcomes.
Typically however, you will be guided through a 6 point process:
1. Review the previous session and the actions that you completed
2. Set the goal for that session
3. Consider where you are at the present moment with this goal
4. Consider your options in meeting this goal
5. Agree on some actions
6. Summarise the session before completing the session.
Each session will be for 60 minutes unless a longer session has been agreed. The coach will manage the timing of the session and ensure you gain full value from the session.
Who else will know what has been said?
A coaching session is completely confidential. I agree and comply to the Coaching Code of Conduct which you can also access on my website. Only in extreme circumstances will this confidence be breached. This includes the intent to cause harm to yourself or others or criminal acts.
What does the coach need from me during a session?
To make sure that your time is being well spent with your coach you are expected to come to the session fully prepared and with a goal or aspiration in mind that you would like to work towards.
Preparation is very important for the coaching session so you are encouraged to spend 15 minutes prior to the session taking yourself to an environment where you will not be disturbed, with a drink and feeling refreshed to relax prior to the start of the session. You will also need to ensure that you have a pen and paper to hand and any other items that you may think will be useful such as a diary.
I want to start coaching now. What do I do?
We will focus on talking about you and your aspirations, where you are now and, what you would like to get out of our coaching sessions. We will then agree a time and date for your first coaching session!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by emotions that are not resourceful to you, that are stopping you being at your best, take a moment to name the emotion you are feeling. This changes the brain activation levels, lowering the emotions in the amygdala and raising the prefrontal cortex.
Now that really is a very valuable piece of Emotional Intelligence wisdom for these rapidly changing and challenging times! Daniel Goleman* shared this ‘nugget’ in his recent WBECS webinar – Training the Brain: The Key to Developing EI.
The prefrontal cortex is the brain’s executive centre.
It’s the part that takes in information, understands it and responds. It’s the part of the brain that makes good decisions, strategizes and learns.
The amygdala is the brain’s trigger for emergencies and crises.
In the face of present challenges, more and more executives and leaders are finding they’re in emergency mode, in the amygdala. Also known as fight or flight mode, it captures the prefrontal cortex, fixating attention on what it thinks the emergency is, narrowing the range of choices, which causes us to make bad decisions.
Right now, it’s more important than ever for us to be able to manage our emotional ‘state’, so we can be our most resourceful self, at home and at work (one of the same for many, and that’s one of the challenges!)
According to Daniel Goleman, a recent global study found that the most important skills leaders need today are emotional intelligence, leading teams, developing people, influence, relationship management and leading change.
It’s worth noting that all of these come down to Emotional Intelligence (EI).
Working with a coach can be indispensable for developing EI and raising Self-Awareness; vital to good decision making, knowing what you’re feeling, knowing why you’re feeling it and knowing how it impacts your performance. These can help you control how you choose to respond to people, situations, your own thoughts and emotions.
Vital skills for you to be at your best, to help yourself and those around you, today and into the future.
If you’d like to work on developing your EI or raising your self-awareness or, would value coaching support for you and your team, in adjusting to the new world, I’d love to hear from you email@example.com . I offer Personal Performance and Team Coaching as well as a range of online coaching sessions, to support personal growth, development and wellbeing.
Wishing you health, Caroline @4PositiveGrowth
Thanks to Daniel Goleman for sharing his insights as part of the World Business & Executive Coach Summit 2019 * Daniel Goleman has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize and received the Lifetime Career Award from the American Psychological Association Award. He was named the 2011 and 2013 Top Business Guru by Accenture Institute for Strategic Change for his 1998 article “What Makes a Leader?” is one of the two most requested reprints in the history of Harvard. The Wall Street Journal named him one of the Top 10 Most Influential Business Thinkers.