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6 Questions to Pursue Your Purpose this Autumn!

6 Questions to Pursue Your Purpose this Autumn!

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What is it about Autumn that invites us to consider change?

Autumn is a season of transition; the temperature changes and there is a decrease in daylight. Autumn can also be a season of rebirth and renewal, a time to adopt a fresh outlook on your life.

To invite ‘purpose’ into our lives that has meaning and is authentic, it’s necessary to evaluate and understand the ‘here and now’. Great results start with great questions and often the most challenging questions are the ones we ask of ourselves. At Change Grow Succeed we have devised 6 Killer Coaching questions to provoke your thoughts and help you evaluate your purpose this Autumn.

Question 1: Review the year so far, what’s going well for you? What’s not working?

Take stock. Autumn is traditionally associated with harvest so take the time to evaluate and appreciate your achievements in 2019, noting any seeds that have come to fruition. Taking stock is a necessary process to ensure your behaviours and actions are aligned with the goals you have set. Remember, the first stage of any change is to face where we are right now, as we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge.

Question 2: If you saw yourself in 3 years time living the same life, how would that feel?

If this image is not a positive one for you- what needs to change? What do you need to start doing or crucially, what do you need to stop doing? This question helps us to create a vision for what we want for ourselves in the future. Certainly, it assists us in evaluating if we are moving in the right direction.

Question 3: What are you like when you’re at your best? What are you doing?

How often do you engage with the activities that you love doing?  How could you do them more often? I often task clients in transition to “reflect on the last time they had fire in their belly” and invite them to note what they were doing. This process prompts clients to bring conscious awareness into their day to day activities for example; at work- emphasis your strengths- don’t fix weaknesses. It’s far more lucrative and fun to leverage better use of your weapons instead of being in constant repair. Why? We are more productive and yield higher results.

Question 4: What gives your life meaning?

This may sound like an obvious question but bringing conscious awareness to what puts meaning into our life is crucial in determining  our priorities. We are products of a very dynamic environment and it’s important to appreciate that what we needed from life 2, 5, or 10 years ago may have been significantly different to now. For example the arrival of children, a bereavement, or general life experience can all alter our view of the world. Taking time to understand this helps us to gauge whether we are on the right path or not.

Question 5: If you could be a role model to yourself, what would you do?

The whole notion of a role- model gets us thinking about who and what inspires us and crucially, why they inspire us. Being a role- model to ourselves challenges us to evaluate our behaviours and intentionally make some changes. Perhaps we want to change how we respond under stress, it can be helpful to examine our triggers and our patterns of responses. With greater awareness comes choice points and where the mind goes, energy will flow.

Question 6: What’s the best thing that could happen to you next year?

This final question invites us to think about 2020 and introducing visualisation, encourages us to think about something that we want to achieve or complete. Napoleon Hill said that “A goal is a dream with a deadline” so, visualise where you plan to be this time next year. Imagine that it has been a fantastic year for you both personally and professionally. Now, make a note of what you accomplished (visualising 2020) and explore how you might achieve this.

At Change Grow Succeed, these are the 6 killer coaching questions we have identified to help re-wire your thinking and tap into your purpose this Autumn. No longer distracted by the summers’ long evenings we can actually commit to a chosen path and anchor it. Good Luck!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach, Public Speaker and Facillitator. For more information, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com

From Frazzled to Free

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There’s no doubt the summer break is perceived as a time to re-boot and recharge but what to do if you’re exhausted and are facing into the last quarter of the year completely frazzled and drained? Having the mental ability to manage the existing pace, overcome challenges, create a vision and achieve results requires mental energy- is there something we could be doing more of to cultivate this?

Here are my tips to eliminate  the ‘frazzle’ and free yourself to reap the fruits of the months ahead:

  • Go Back to Basics

Self- care is not selfish, it’s necessary to sustain us both mentally and physically. Be mindful of the change in season ahead characterized by a change in routines and pace. Sleep has transformative power. It renews us.  Healthy eating and regular exercise are also essential. Our needs are individual and no ‘one- size fits all’ but do take a personal pit-stop and evaluate if you are getting what you need.

  • Beware the Smart phone

Steven Johnson (popular science author) in his TED talk asks us to think about what the internet is doing to our brains. The constant engagement of social media and our smart phones kills both creativity and contemplation. We can all be very consumerist so creating boundaries around our phone usage can help us feel more conscious and present.  What’s your relationship like with your smart phone? Do you take it on holiday? Consider turning off after work or charging your phone downstairs rather than in the bedroom at night. Perhaps, if you’re attending a meeting or on a night out with friends, leave it in your pocket/ a bag. Earlier this year, I made the conscious decision to remove email from my phone, preferring instead to access email at a time convenient for me. It has proved transformative.

  • Get busy doing nothing

The business ‘epidemic’ is rampant. Yet, given that we are human beings and not human doings- the danger is that by having no time to ‘switch off’ we are actually depriving ourselves of the art of thinking. In fact, the over stimulation of data robs our brain of the opportunity to innovate and reflect.  We fantasize about having ‘down time’ but how are we using the ad hoc pockets that come our way during the day? Smartphones? Facebook? We all whinge about how busy we are but give us the chance to do nothing and we baulk!! Interesting isn’t it? Lawton Urnsey said “Idleness isn’t a luxury but rather a necessity to keep you at your peak… “ The challenge? Let’s Unplug and Be Idle- it really will make us all more effective!

  • Get Creative

Prior to the internet, an unanswered question would be met with pause for thought: can I work it out? Where can I go to find the answers?  Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There are many benefits to ‘getting creative’ one of which is to boost your brain function!  When was the last time you were creative?  Consider challenging yourself to take 20- 30 mins a day to paint, write, bake, garden, take photos or play! What do you do for fun? I’ve taken inspiration from Julia Camerons “The Artists Way” by journaling first thing in the morning. While I did find it challenging to rise a little earlier initially, I am reaping the benefits of having a clear head as I start my day feeling light and free.

  • A Perfect Pause

Creating calm is about being able to identify what is causing stress in our life.  In the world of wellness, the first step is to take notice. Critical to this is pausing to notice how busy your mind is. Do this authentically, find what works for you. I try to incorporate breathing exercises into my working day. Anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes can have an impact.  Sometimes, it can be hard to sit still so I will savour a walk. In fact, research suggests that when we walk we are engaging in a bilateral movement (eg moving our right leg, we stimulate the left side of our brain) which enables us to use all aspects of our thinking abilities. Being in the moment is hugely positive for our mental well being.

  • Forge Meaning in your Goals

September is an opportune time to embrace change. Know that you’re statistically more likely to achieve results if the change has meaning for you. You need to understand your ‘WHY’ . Equally, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your plans for the year and ask yourself if the path you’re taking is still relevant for you. Connect with your vision.

To finish…

The dawn of a new season can often feel like an opportune time to trial and embrace new routines and habits. I read recently, that “what we think, we become”- if that’s the case, this ‘busyness epidemic’ and our forensically focused days are preventing us from taking a leap or doing something differently. Slowing down can be challenging but is key to nourish and replenish yourself both mentally and physically for the months ahead. Remember, a busy mind is an unhappy mind. Aim to cultivate healthier habits – your mind will thank you!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For further information, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com

5 Tips to optimize your coaching session

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5 Tips to optimize your coaching session

Not sure how to prepare for your up and coming coaching session?

While you may be delighted to have ‘made the call’ and taken the leap, now that your first session is looming, perhaps you’re feeling a bit nervous and not sure about what you should ‘say’ or how to prepare. These are common sentiments from new clients.

It’s important to remember that the purpose of the coaching process is to support you, the client, in effecting the positive changes you wish to make in your life. At Change Grow Succeed, we believe that it’s about refocusing passions, values and priorities and invariably, finding clarity. Essentially, coaching is a goal oriented partnership aimed at achieving results.Through the coaching process you will develop an increased awareness about yourself and the options you have to empower you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Hereunder are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your coaching session.

  1. Arrive early. Turn off your phone. This is your time. If this is your first coaching session, have something in mind that you want to work on. What matters most to you at the moment? Ask yourself “what would be the most useful thing for me to leave here with today?”  If you’re in between sessions, review your notes from the last session or any communication you may have had from your coach.

 

  1. Open Up. The coaching process is based upon dialogue. Talk. Be honest. Think out loud. Trust that the relationship you have with your coach is safe and free from judgement. Equally, understand the moments of silence. Your coach may want to provide you with the opportunity to reflect or pause.

 

  1. Creating change takes time. Behind every role we play (employee, mother, father, wife, sister, brother, friend, etc.), there is a person and issues that arise in one sphere are often paralleled in another (do you ever take work home? Or does being worried about the children creep into your day to day?). Again, this is your time so give yourself permission to explore the different roles you play and the impact they have.

 

  1. Stay committed. Ask yourself: “how committed am I to making a change?” Follow- through on any action steps you prioritized with your coach. With a fresh awareness, the ‘real’ coaching can often happen in between sessions. Often, days after your coaching session, there may occur an ‘AHA’ moment as something resonates with you. Committing extra time to new ideas will move you closer and more quickly to your goal or aspiration.

 

  1. Take Responsibility. Just as you have taken the action to meet with a coach. Be accountable for engaging in the session and following through on your action steps. This is the space where the empowerment will come. Relax and enjoy your new way of being! Make that change. Grow. Succeed.

 

 

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For further information, you can reach her at www.changegrowsucceed.com

4 Tips to Inspire your own Innovation!

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Imagine having the brain capacity to have GREAT IDEAS more frequently?

I attended a fantastic workshop recently on the topic ‘Where do great ideas come from’– it was facilitated by the talented Naomi Fein from the ‘Creative Engagers Community’ . It introduced me to the concept that getting an idea is an actual process, a collision of hunches.  It inspired me to reflect on what I should be doing more of/ less of to harvest and encourage my own thoughts and ideas.

Having the mental ability to overcome challenges creatively or simply achieving those results or dreams requires brain power- is there something we could all be doing to cultivate this?

The Dilemma

Steven Johnson (popular science author) in his TED talk asks us to think about what the internet is doing to our brains. The constant engagement of social media and our smart phones kills both creativity and contemplation. The over stimulation of data robs our brain of the opportunity to innovate and reflect. We live in a society of instant gratification enabled by the world wide web. However, it’s the ‘immediacy of the internet’ that more often than not deprives us of the opportunity to pause and consider, all which is critical to fostering  thoughts becoming greater than the sum of their parts!

Did you know that on average, we think 60,000 thoughts per day? And of these, 95% are repeat thoughts from yesterday (the majority of which tend to be negative). Rehashing the past or rehearsing the future only serves to rob us of our mental energy, so what can we do to set the tone to allow our great ideas to take shape? Simon Sinek says that ideas happen when our minds wander, so, here are my 4 tips to reset and invest in our own innovation!

  • Beware the Smart phone

It’s important to manage our boundaries with our cell phones. When you come home from work, switch it off! Sian of Elite Pilates recently shared that she has decided NOT to put email on her new phone, preferring instead to access her email at a time convenient for her. Consider charging your phone downstairs rather than in the bedroom at night or if you’re attending a meeting or on a night out with friends, leave it in the pocket/ the bag. We can all be very consumerist so creating boundaries around our phone usage can help us feel more conscious and present.

  • Negative self- talk

Creating calm is about being able to identify what is causing stress in our life- be it our own negative self- talk or external circumstances & then finding new ways to deal with how you feel. In the world of wellness, the first step is to take notice. Ask yourself, do you have a tendency to focus on what’s not working?

  • Get Creative

Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important that knowledge”. There are many benefits to ‘getting creative’ one of which is to boost your brain function!  When was the last time you were creative?  Consider challenging yourself to take 30 mins a day to paint, write, bake, garden, take photos or play! What do you do for fun?

  • Mindful Moments

Let’s be clear here- mindfulness is not about reaching some ‘zen like’ state but rather being present in a moment without judgement . Being in the moment is hugely positive for our mental well being. Take a personal pit-stop and notice how busy your mind is. Do this authentically, find what works for you.  Find it hard to sit still?  Savour a walk. Connect with your loved ones. Aim to cultivate healthier habits – your mind will thank you!

 

The summer time often lends itself to a slower pace, we are in holiday mode, routines go out the window as we enjoy the longer evenings and the infinite possibilities of what lies ahead. Take the time to renew, let your mind truly wander and let those light bulb moments flow!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life & Business Coach & Master Trainer. She runs a successful practise in Cork called Change Grow Succeed.  For further information, you can contact her directly on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com or visit www.changegrowsucceed.com

5 Tips to build your Confidence

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Has a lack of confidence ever held you back?

Have you ever thought about doing something but deliberated “If only I had the confidence to try…” or “I’d never have the confidence to change that…”

Confidence is not something we are born with. What if we could choose to be confident? Imagine feeling positive, empowered and optimistic all of the time? If having confidence helps us to believe, achieve and succeed in life, developing and strengthening our confidence is of huge benefit t o us all. The good news is that confidence can be learned and strengthened throughout our life. Nurture triumphs in this nurture vs. nature debate.

Where do I start?

Confidence is our belief in our ability to meet the demands placed on us in a particular situation and is developed over time through our experiences and by the people in our environment. Albert Bandura, a Canadian psychologist said that confidence can be learned as long as we are willing to give it a go.

Converting your “I can’t’s into I can!”

At it’s core, having confidence is an active personal investment, so:

  1. Listen to that Supportive Inner Voice

It’s the experience of learning and doing that creates confidence. Chose your supportive inner voice to nudge you on your way! Step out of that comfort zone. Say things like “ Give it a try…” or “What’s the worst that can happen?” Or even “This will help me in the long run…” Encourage and reassure yourself, show compassion.

  1. Praise your effort and not the result!

We show compassion to our children when they miss out on team selection. We say things like “I’m sorry it’s not what you wanted it to but look at what you achieved!” We teach them that once they ‘do their best’ that it’s ok.  However, we, as adults tend to get attached to outcomes or results and often beat ourselves up if we miss out. We need to practise reframing and resilience, choose to take the good and learn from a situation and then,  bounce back.

  1. Contribute/ Participate

Take part in your discussions and groups. Don’t be a passenger! Despite what you may think, your thoughts and opinions are valuable to others. Challenge yourself to offer one idea or suggestion in your next group or meeting. You will feel great afterwards! After all, it’s the experience of participating that will boost your confidence.

  1. Surround yourself with people who care

Your relationships have the capacity to boost. They also have the capacity to keep you stuck. Your commitment to surrounding yourself with supportive people sets you up for growth and success. Our world is filled with virtual ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. Ensure that you have meaningful connections. Take a moment to consider the key people in your life- are they supportive and encouraging? Don’t settle for less that you deserve.

  1. Recharge and Renew

We live in a society that’s driven by goals, deliverables, tasks and activities. Quite often, pushing ourselves when we are exhausted can rob us of our confidence as we are running on empty. It’s also counterproductive. Let’s remember to stop and take time out. There’s nothing like a fresh perspective to have you in tip- top mental shape!

So, make that personal investment. Make that commitment to yourself and watch your confidence grow! “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think…” A.A. Milne

 

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, contact her directly on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com

3 Tips to make 2016 the best year ever!

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I love the beginning of the new year- It brings with it hope and excitement and a great opportunity to introduce the mind and body to some new habits! So, when a local newspaper approached me regarding my tips for 2016, I couldn’t resist the temptation of putting my thoughts on paper to share!

 

Tip #1- Ask Questions of Yourself

Great accomplishments and results begin with great questions. Questions like: “What would I like to do differently this year?” Having identified the changes you need or want to make , take time to determine the relevant actions and GO FOR IT!!

 

Tip #2- Explore Resilience

Life can be tough. There are a lot of daily demands on us, and moreover, we expect so much of ourselves. Having resilience can be a powerful ally in our day to day survival. Resilience and building resilience can mean different things to different people but it usually involves some or all of the following:

  • A shift in outlook (sometimes the way we see the problem is the problem!)
  • Recovery and learning (how we bounce back after a fall)
  • Asking for help (linking in with supports)
  • Adapting to our environment (our ability to go with the flow) and
  • Diet (healthy body = healthy mind!)

What does resilience mean to you?

 

Tip #3- Take Time out for You

The saying goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. So, start 2016 knowing that you are going to gift yourself with some time . Busy schedules can be sabotaging and by saying ‘Yes’ to the chaos, we are saying ‘No’ to the calm and the benefits that downtime can bring. Therefore, aim to take some time for yourself during the week- do something fun, laugh, reconnect with friends, with nature, do some yoga, go for a run, or whatever downtime means to you.

These are my top 3 tips to ensure that 2016 is great.

Make 2016 YOUR Year! Have a great one!

 

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, go to www.changegrowsucceed or contact her directly on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com

Building Resilience

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I have wanted to write a blog on ‘Resilience’ for a few months now. I threw the topic “out there” with friends and colleagues and what became apparent is that this is a subject matter that seems to attract lots of different viewpoints and opinions.

I asked, “WHY do we need resilience?” Again, the response was varied as we all face and experience different stressors in our day to day, but it did come down to one thing: survival.

  • How do we survive our day to day without feeling overwhelmed?
  • How do we survive the chaos that is being a working parent?
  • How do we handle rejection? (this could be the job seeking process or a child who no longer wants your help!)
  • How do we manage tricky relationships (personal or professional) or even some challenging behaviours?
  • How do we deal with bad news?

There is no doubt that reminding ourselves on how we can build resilience will benefit us all.

 

Developing resilience involves 5 key areas:

  1. A mental shift in attitude and outlook. Changing how we think about a challenging task or situation can optimise our resilience- perhaps you’ve come across the saying “it’s not the issue but how we view the issue that can be the problem.” So, instead of sighing “why does this always happen to me”, reframe with “this is not personal, I can move on from this…”

 

  1. Adapting to your environment and being flexible. Consider a bamboo tree- even in the strongest wind, it will bend but not break. It’s deeply rooted but flexible enough to deal with adverse weather conditions. Being able to “go with the flow” while facing life’s challenges is important in building resilience.

 

  1. Sometimes, resilience is all about the recovery– how do we recover when we fall off track? Resilience comes from our ability to learn from “the fall”, restore ourselves and renew. Growth is the core message in recovery. Empower yourself. Ask yourself- what is your healthy way of coping? Make a list and review when needed!

 

  1. Ask for help!! Having awareness around when to ask for help is important in building resilience. “A problem shared is a problem halved”- who is the person that you turn to? Is it a friend? A sibling? A Partner? Maybe it’s your Life Coach or GP?

 

  1. Healthy body = healthy mind. A good diet and exercise will help to build your resilience. Patrick Holfords book “The Feel Good Factor” offers a useful breakdown of food groups and how they can benefit us. Of course exercise feeds both the body and mind, so try to get that blood flowing- there no excuse now that there is a stretch in the evening!

 

The 5 key areas listed above are my tips but I’m sure it’s not definitive, get in touch and let me know what boosting resilience means for you! Let’s share the message and stay strong for ourselves and each other!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Life and Business Coach and Trainer and founder of www.changegrowsucceed.com who resides in Cork. For more information, please contact her on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com