Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lessons from the Masters Part 3 - Coaching Distinctions

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInThis week I have been watching closely as I continue to make little shifts in my thinking and behaviour - and the results that follow. Last week I taught my students how to create a vision board as part of an extensive goal setting exercise. My vision board is not yet complete, because I want to be sure I am clearly visualizing my goals before I place them on the board. However, I put some key goals on the board around selling a certain number of books per year, and as a means to that end, to gain more exposure via radio, television, and print interviews. That was Thursday. On Friday, I received a call from CTS Television's "On the Line" saying that their Monday guest had to bow out due to an emergency, and could I be their expert guest for Monday's live show. Of course, I said yes. I sent out a quick email to my contact list to let them know that I would be on the show. On my arrival home from taping the live show in Burlington, I opened my email to see a note from CHCH TV in Hamilton asking if I would like to do a guest spot on one of their programs. The producer saw the email I sent out to my e-list, and thought that the topic of stress management would be a good fit for their show! How cool is that? The power of intention coupled with focused action created another opportunity for me to fulfill that goal of booking more interviews to promote my books.

Another cool thing that happened this week, also happened while I was taping "On the Line". I had an epiphany right in the middle of a conversation with a caller and it was this: All stress is FEAR-based. Think about it - we become stressed when we feel afraid that we lack the resources we need to meet the demands of a circumstance or event. Example: If I get stressed over an interview, it is because I am afraid I will sound stupid, or make a mistake, or say something that doesn't make any sense. I am afraid the host won't like me and won't ask me back on the show. If you get stressed over a project at work, it is because you are afraid you won't get it done on time, the boss won't like it, your peers or colleagues won't carry their end and you'll end up doing all the work, and so on. Knowing that our stress is based in fear gives us tremendous freedom because by tackling and subduing the fear, we in effect, subdue our stress. You can read more about Facing Your Fears in one of this blog's back entries, or in my book, Stress Less in 27 Days.

Last distinction I have made since beginning coaching with Lisa Nichols: In our first session she talked about "exposing the lies" - those things we have been told, or we have told ourselves that hold us back, keep us down, and prevent us from being our authentic selves. I was taken back to a time when I was much younger and I had struggled with a LIE put on me by a woman who had offered me a job, and I turned her down for a better opportunity. She told me I was irresponsible, and that I would never make anything of myself because I couldn't stick to a decision. What she said hurt me for a long time, and worse - it haunted me. Then, somewhere around 1995, began to dig deep through the layers of negative self talk, and I realized that I had been believing this lie she had implanted in me. So I wrote a poem about it, and in doing so - released the weight of the lie that had been on me for close to 10 years. Here it is... maybe it will help you to let go of a weight that ties you down.

For the Manager of Rockland Textiles, June 1986
This is for you who told me
I was making a mistake.
You were angry
But not at me.
I did not understand it then
But I do now
Someone must have failed you
Disappointed you miserably
And I, in the wrong place
At the wrong time
Stood silently, tearfully
The lamb before the slaughter
As you whipped me with your words,
Stripped me with your gaze,
Destroyed me with your vote of non-confidence.

Now for the record
Let it be known that you,
You made the mistake,
Not I.
The choice I made was right
For me and for you.
We cannot see
What lies ahead -- we must but
Trust our instincts as they
Lead us toward our destiny.
The mistake was yours
For resisting fate,
For shaking your fist at the
Heavens in defiance
For robbing another human being
Of her self-esteem
For contracting her self-respect.

I am beyond that now.
I understand.
You were angry but not at me.
Someone failed you
Disappointed you miserably
And I, I was there for you
In the right place
At the right time
We cannot see what lies ahead
We must but trust our instincts
(I have followed mine)
As they lead us toward
Our destiny.
(c) 1996, Julie Christiansen