Hello and welcome to blog and Workbook of Episode 3, so this Episode is actually, in part, a sample of the Therapeutic Coaching process that I journey through with clients.
So many women come to Coaching because they have a dream for their life that also involves their working (outside the home) life and of course I can help with that but actually, that’s NOT EVER where we start and this Episode explores why….
The/My process is unashamedly soul-centered but at the same time deeply rooted in the neuroscience of facilitating change and supporting the woman to access her own innate intelligence by witnessing her story and simply, for many women, asking different questions to help her access different information, awakening different parts of her brain (cue: come out of your Amygdala and step into your Pre-Frontal Cortex).
Make no mistake, this ‘thing’ of changing lifetime and deeply rooted habits, thoughts and perceptions is an INSIDE FIRST, OUTSIDE SECOND JOB which is why any Coaching modality that goes straight to S.M.A.R.T GOALS (more on this later) is probably not going to have the desired or long lasting results because. Most people KNOW WHAT TO DO…..but we stumble in the initiation or consistent execution of said action and eventually revert back to the habit they were trying to kick. SMART goals presuppose that KNOWING what to do is enough when in reality we all know that’s simply not true. Here’s an example….let’s think back to a NY Resolution that’s been on your list for some years that you start in early January only to ‘backslide’ to the old habit a few weeks later. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE!!!…..let’s just take a moment to tap into the associated feelings of that THING………pause, it will most likely lead us to a FEELING IN OUR BODIES….our gut, our chest, our throats….linked to a specific emotion…..WHAT IS THAT?
If you’re just noticing that now and it’s a new sensation to you….let me introduce you to YOUR INFINITE POT OF GOLD….because when we are brave enough to simply STAY AND WITNESS that emotion journeying and mutating through our bodies with a childlike curiosity and allow our tender underbellies to be vulnerable, we’ll eventually come to an UNHELPFUL CORE BELIEF THAT WE HAVE ABOUT OURSELVES usually established early on in our life that literally springs to life to ‘keep us safe’ when ‘danger’ is sensed. Unfortunately, and as Dr.Gabor Mate, the creator of Compassionate Inquiry(R) says, it now becomes your ‘dumb friend’ because in most cases, whatever you’re afraid of isn’t real or at least, isn’t a REAL THREAT NOW and now your once protective ‘friend’ is now holding you back from from living your life of your design. Time to root that sucker out of course with the upmost compassion and care and respect for the fact that is was once protective and useful but now is really knee-capping you. THIS is Compassionate Inquiry® in action!
So back to S.M.A.R.T GOALS, and I’m not really ‘hating’ on them because I do use the principle EVENTUALLY….S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound and one might then add on E for Evaluated and R for Reviewed to create S.M.A.R.T.E.R. And it’s a meat and potatoes standard coaching strategy used since the 80’s. It’s generally accepted that the S.M.A.R.T acronym was coined in 1981 by George T. Doran, a Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company who published a paper titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”. In Doran’s paper, he went on to summarize…..” Let me suggest therefore, that when it comes to writing effective objectives, corporate officers, managers, and supervisors just have to think of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. Ideally speaking, each corporate, department and section objective should be: (S.M.A.R.T). I think the word CORPORATE is the key word here because I don’t know about you but how does that description land for your woman-essence and what YOU want to do, feel and be in the world? Hmmm, it doesn’t do much for me either and that’s because women and their stories are not binary management topics, women are beautifully and uniquely complexed, multi-dimensional and sometimes messy beings. Moreover, women don’t build businesses and achieve stuff in a vacuum devoid of children, Pets, partners, familial obligations and so when we start to talk to women about ‘showing up as their very best and majestic selves in the world’…..errrr…..we need to do this grounded in reality…..children still need to be taken to school, roots still need to be touched up,packed lunches still need to be made, and random stains on the living room carpet, still need to be Vanished.
And full disclosure…..there was a time when my approach to life and business was way less based on the POWER OF MY FEMININE ENERGY….and of course, there’s a long old story about the insidiousness of Patriarchal Bias in kind of everything that I won’t get going on here but instead, I’ll focus on how we, as women harness what we were created with but very rarely utilize. And it’s way more potent, reliable and sustainable than ‘work-rate’ and ‘masculine hustle’ and ‘crushing it’! And how at Midlife, there is a POTENT SURGE IN THIS ENERGY mostly created by not giving a sh*t anyone and deciding to live life on your own terms.
Previously when I started my business coaching, I’d start with people’s INTRINSIC OR CORE VALUES but then move on way too quickly to THE CLIENT AVATAR and product creation etc., Now that stuff is important but what I’ve learned and learned the hard way is that YOU BUILD A BUSINESS TO SUIT YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR CORE VALUES AT THE HEART OF IT and reverse engineer from there! And the first step of doing this is that YOU GET REALLY, REALLY QUIET. And allot this CORNERSTONE of your life the time and respect it very much deserves. Business planning = life planning! We spend more of our awake hours at work or thinking about work than we do anything else…..so it’s a huge part of our lives….why the lack of dedication to planning and focus to ENSURE that work is DEEPLY working for us??
Incidentally at the time of writing this blog, the Planet is still deep in Pandemic…..our collective nervous systems have endured a level of punishment and turbulence never before witnessed and our resilience buckets are beyond depleted, our souls are frayed and battle weary. Ourselves and everyone around us, including our family and those we work with have been changed FOREVER! So as we begin our exit into this ‘new world’, we have to appreciate that how we return work needs to allow space for healing our wounds, rebuilding our resilience and working as if we’ve actually learned something from the tragedy that we’ve just experienced.
So on to the workshop part of this….there is a PDF Workbook for this task below but if can’t access it…..all you really need is a pen and paper and some quiet. Are you ready??
But first we’re going to go through a short ‘grounding’ exercises and I’m going to show you literally the FIRST STEP FOR DOING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE if we want to do it well, and this is …..’GOING INSIDE AND SENSING YOUR ‘SELF’.
So how do we start this process of understanding who we are and what we REALLY WANT?…..WE START WITH….
- What Are Your Core Values? What’s REALLY IMPORTANT to you? When do you feel in love with life, when do you come alive, when are you most grounded?
- What is YOUR AUDACIOUS VISION FOR YOUR LIFE?
- HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO ‘FEEL’?
- Whats currently on your plate?
- What’s currently on your plate THAT NEEDS REMOVING/DELEGATING?
- What’s your Dream Day look like? Where are your ‘cup filling’ moments?
- Design Your Dream Week
Now, you might think that getting the answers to those 7 questions out of yourself is a big enough job but actually after you’ve answered the above questions, it’s NOW THAT THE REAL WORK STARTS, because it’s about checking that the answers to those questions, deeply tap into YOUR INTRINSIC/CORE VALUES and not those of your family or partner or social conditioning. It’s about checking that those answers aren’t rooted in fear or have been provided by your ‘dumb friend’!!! The ‘dumb friend’ (our ‘protector’ and usually younger self) who developed usually via a traumatic experience in order to protect us by alerting us to danger in order to trigger a protection mechanism can still be very much alive and is sometimes relentless in informing us that we’re going to get trolled if we shine too brightly on social media or that our frenemies will think: “who does she think she is?” if we share our truth, our work and what we’re passionate in the world. The “dumb friend” will also sometimes and unhelpfully, play a show reel of 100 ways your project could go wrong in our heads at 3am in the morning! So tackling the handywork and the power of the “dumb friend” who’s been resident in your head for 3 decades or more becomes THE BIG JOB and for that, I’ll unleash a kitbag of strategies that are the perfect fit for YOU! We will get you ‘unravelled’
Right, now the “dumb friend” has been powered down and I’ve shown you super quick ways to get out of fight and flight and regulate your nervous system for yourself….. we’re ready for the EARTH MOVERS because it’s now time to dig a massive ‘house shaped hole’, and start pouring the concrete to make the foundation of your brand new house. The house that will be home to this LIFE/BUSINESS OF YOUR OWN DESIGN!
Houses take months and sometimes years to build but we all know, the better the plan/architect and project manager have prepared, the better the results. Midlife Transition Coaching® and Therapeutic Coaching is ALL ABOUT, unearthing your AUDACIOUS ideas, getting rid of all the crud and dirt that’s obscuring the beauty of your dreams, drawing and refining the map of this new terrain that is actually the next half of your time on this planet and keeping you on-track until you DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO! Oh and now we might just start doing some start planning some SMART goals?…..
So do you get why Core Values and Core Beliefs, even if way more ‘work’ than SMART GOALS will reaper deeper rewards way into your future? We break eggs to make an omelette! See you next time!
Inspired to begin your Midlife Re-Design? Think my Midlife Transition Coaching® could be for you?
Find out more and book your EXPLORATORY CONSULTATION HERE or drop me a line!
Doran, G. T. (1981). “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”, Management Review, Vol. 70, Issue 11, pp. 35-36.
Brene Brown’s List of Core Values: https://blog.colinbreck.com/understanding-our-core-values-an-exercise-for-individuals-and-teams/