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I am like a fine wine, I get better with age and the best is yet to come!

Archive for the category “Sunshine Coast BC”

The Woman in the Mirror


“Who is the woman in the mirror?”  I sometimes ask that question when I’m standing in front of a mirror and often the answer is “I don’t know”.  Maybe it’s because it’s part of transitioning through stages of my life or I’m in the process of reinventing myself (again) and it could also be that I’ve been focussing inward (looking at my life) for too long rather than outward (living my life).  This happens a lot when I’m in discovery mode rather than living mode.  It’s not a bad thing but it is something to be aware of and adjust when I spend too much time in that space.  There are times and places for both modes when I’m in the process of exploring who I am as a person.  For those of us going through the process of discovering who we are, it’s an important part of the process.

It seems that life is a series of opposites with examples everywhere we look.  There is the yin and yang, the positive and negative, the good and bad, the up and down, the here and there, now and then, back and forth, young and old, hot and cold, day and night, sunrise and sunset, the list goes on and on. It’s important to remember this when you are asking the question, “who am I?” Why is it important? Because we are many things and often we get stuck behind the image of who we think we are and it’s often the source of your limiting belief about yourself. One of my most limiting beliefs, in the past, was “Others won’t like me if they really knew me”.  This belief is quite common as I hear other women talk about being frauds and inauthentic.  The issue is, I have an idea of who I am based on traits, thoughts and actions and other people (from their perspective) do as well.  So who am I?  The answer is: I am the collective sum of all the perspectives including mine!

First of all, let me be very clear, there is nothing wrong here and exploring this topic can be fun and quite insightful!  In my experience, when I’m seeing myself as less than desirable or ugly or unlovable, I am spending too much time listening to my internal voice, the one connected to some limiting belief I haven’t eradicated yet. When I am listening to others I see a completely different woman and it has a huge effect on how I feel! Whose perspective should I trust to be true, mine or theirs?  As I have found out there is no clear answer to this question.  It’s important to understand who you are and you are free to create your own definition BUT (and a big but at that) if your day to day life experience includes struggle, hardship, anger (yours or others toward you) and you no longer want that in your life then it’s important to understand how others see you because, in their perspective, you will find views of you that you may not be aware of.  Your ways of being that are not in alignment with who you think you are.

How can you find out how you appear to others?  Well, just ask and listen to what they have to say.  Listen without judgement, without emotion and without making them wrong for sharing their perspective.  The safer you make this for them the more honest they will be with you.  You do have to accept what they share and understand it’s just a perspective.  Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”?  The main character, George, gets a do-over in his life when he becomes aware of who he is in the eyes of others and so do you if you want your life to be different!

Here are 5 short questions, you can ask the people in your life, that will provide you with some insight as to how you occur in the world.  Before you ask these questions, let them know that their honesty is vital to the exercise and that you are ready to hear their responses.  No matter what their responses are you will not make them wrong for sharing.  They have to feel safe otherwise you will not get what you need from this exercise.  You may not like what you hear and you need to hear it if you want to make adjustments in your life.  When I did this exercise I can honestly say I did hear things I didn’t like,  I acknowledged their courage and I was grateful to the person for sharing.  Their honesty gave me what I needed to see where I was stuck in my life.  Before you finish with each question, ask them “is there anything else?” and continue to ask this question until they say no. This is an effective tool to stimulate more answers (if there are any). Be sure to document their responses, I guarantee you will forget all but a few by the time you are done with this exercise.

Who Am I Interview Questions

  1. From your perspective, what are my strongest character traits?
  2. What character traits do I have that challenge you?
  3. In your experience of me, what am I good at?
  4. How do you think other people see me?
  5. In your experience of me, what do you think I struggle with?

Who to ask?  I recommend that you choose a cross-section of people.  Some who know you well and others who are new in your life and don’t.  Friends and family members will be the safest and typically less forthcoming with ‘honest’ answers as they have the most to lose by telling you the truth.  You have to find a way to help them feel safe for sharing.  People you work with will give you a different perspective than people you live with.  What you are looking for in these interviews are ways of being that you may not be aware and confirmation of what you already know.  The more interviews you do the more insight you will receive.  My last word of advice with this is to have fun with it!  Make it a fun game for both you and the people you interview, it will be more rewarding in the end.

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Time to Take Out the Trash


Look familiar?

photo credit to abundancetapestry.com

Trash talk happens.  When it does, do you listen or put it in it’s place?

Are you aware of your “trash talk?”  Not sure?  I can tell you it comes from that little voice in your head that just said “what is she talking about? and I don’t hear voices in my head!”  Yes, that little voice.  If you have spent anytime listening to that voice chances are you have hear a lot of trash talk.  You are not alone in this experience and it’s an epidemic in our society.  It is safe to say the source of our insecurities, lack of confidence and diminished view of self-worth is fuelled by trash talk and it’s time to take out the trash for good!

There is an imaginary muscle in our thoughts that, when exercised, can toss the trash when you use it, of course, and like any muscle regular exercise is needed.  Staying toned is vital to keeping the trash at a manageable level and in check at all times.  Two things that are important to understand, 1. you will never rid yourself of trash talk completely and 2. you CAN keep it at a minimum so it’s not running your life.

When it comes to any new exercise regime it’s vital to take note of where you are right now and to have a goal in mind that you are reaching for.  What happens between those two points requires consistent practice through focus, commitment and disciplined determination.  I have a quote that I use as a tagline in my emails that says:

“discipline is simply choosing between what I want right now and what I want most”

I read it every time I send an email as a reminder of what I want most in my life.  What quote are you using to remind yourself of what’s important to you?  If you don’t have one, find one that resonates with you and use it!

Now that you are aware of your trash talk, what kind of things are you hearing?  Do you catch yourself agreeing with your little voice?  Are you as horrible as your little voice says?  What we say to ourselves is horrendous and what’s really amazing is we would never allow others to say these things to us so why do we allow ourselves?  Think about it?  If someone told you that you were a loser, you will never amount to anything in your life, you are not good enough or pretty enough or you certainly don’t deserve to be happy.  You would likely give them a full fisted sandwich in the kisser!  So why do we listen to the little voice?

There was a time in our history, billions of years ago that little voice came in handy, it was the voice of reason when human beings roamed the earth in search of food and shelter.  It was every man (woman) for themselves and definitely animal eat animal world out there.  Wait a minute!  It sounds like nothing has changed in a billion years!!!  Our little voice is a vital part of our survival in this world and unfortunately it doesn’t know when to shut up and keep it’s opinions to itself. Kidding aside that little voice has saved your life at some point and for that you can be grateful.  The downside of having our little voice in our heads is when it goes into negative mode and constantly bombards you with thoughts that are hurtful and damaging and this is where you need to take charge.

Most people think that life happens to them, what they don’t realize is that we are capable of creating our lives.  Not only capable but responsible!  What is so magical at this point is when we take responsibility for the creation of our lives we also gain the power to create life anyway that we want.

What do you want?

Do you have any idea of what you truly want in your life?  Most of us say “yes” but stop and think about the question and most of you will be completely blank.  I know because I have gone through this exercise myself and I go through it with my clients. I still haven’t met anyone who could clearly answer the question.  Why not?  Well, it all comes back to that pesky little voice and the trash it’s been sharing with us over the years.  Nasty!

The bottom line is manage the little voice, have it work for you rather than against you and you can have what ever your little heart desires.

Yes, you can have it all

Standing in the Space of Upset


One of the most challenging places to stand as a coach is in the space of upset.  In that moment, when there is a need to take an unpopular position to cause a breakthrough for a client, I run the risk of losing the client because of the stand.  Why, as a coach, would I put myself in that position?  Because I believe that significant growth comes out of our most difficult moments and my job is to cause movement in areas of my client’s lives where historically there has never been movement before.

iStock_000001237210XSmallWhen I’m standing in the space of upset it’s never without pre-thought around “will it make a difference?” and “am I prepared for the consequences of taking a strong stand?”  The answers to those questions are very clear for me before I take that stand.
“Will it make a difference?”  As I mentioned before I do believe we gain significant growth out of adverse situations and there are times when my clients don’t like me for what I have to say.   I have been told that being a coach is not a popularity contest and through my experiences I can say this is true.  I know being the coach they liked would make me feel great and it doesn’t serve my clients needs.  In order to be an effective coach it has to be about the client and I want to make a difference in lives of my clients.  As an effective coach clients get what they came for and comfortably share my services with others.
“Am I prepared for the consequences of taking a strong stand?”  The answer is always YES because I am determined to cause movement in the lives of my clients so they will have results they could only imagine as possible before they started working with me as their coach.  Otherwise why would they hire me?  There are plenty of self-help books, videos, webinars and seminars available with all the same information I share and lots of opportunity to do what needs to be done without my help so why would client’s hire me?  Because I understand what it’s like to stand in their shoes, I know what’s coming and I’m prepared to go to the end of the earth for my clients even if it means making them dislike me in the process.  I am a stand for my clients to finally have movement in areas of their lives where historically no movement has come before.
Thank goodness there is more to being a coach than taking difficult stands and thank goodness clients can count on me for having the skills to take those difficult stands.  I have spent many years watching a variety of coaches and pulled from each one, something of value to add to my skill set.  I believe they have all contributed to making me a better coach for others and for this I am grateful.
Lisa Johnston-Williams
Personal Lifestyle Coach services are provided by LD Williams. Times/dates/fees are arranged as per client’s needs and agreed upon before coaching services begin. LD Williams has been providing advice and coaching services for over 20 yrs to men and women across North America. Her services are non-medical in nature and based on her personal life experiences.

2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What is Step 3?


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Continuing on with the conversation If you were free ~ what would you choose?  here is what works for me and is the next  step in my process of choosing what I want in my life. Step 3 is about discovering who I am, finding clarity in who I choose to be and identifying the words that resonate powerfully with me.  If you haven’t seen steps 1&2 I recommend that you read them first so step 3 will make sense to you.

            Step one                        Step two

 Who am I REALLY?  One thing that was quite clear to me before I worked on this piece, I thought I knew who I was and then I discovered that I had no clue!  I discovered that the people in my world saw me  differently than I saw myself.  I discovered that those people in my life saw me differently from each other as well.  When asked they used words like: a bold and courageous woman, a loving mother, a woman with confidence,  trustworthy, a leader, fun, happy, giving, caring, loving and generous.  No-one used words like sad, lost, unreliable, afraid, not good enough, unhappy, a fraud, lousy mother, terrible friend, and selfish.  The latter were words I used to describe myself so you could imagine my surprise when the people in my world said differently.  How could this be?  First of all I have to admit I did see some of the qualities others saw in me but I didn’t believe them and those words didn’t fit with the ones I identified with so I dismissed them as real.

So when did this all shift for me?  Well it was in 2012, I was sitting in a weekend seminar with 185 strangers listening to the guy at the front of the room.  We were deep into the question “who am I?”  I was getting quite frustrated with the question, we had been asking it for two days and it appeared I was no closer to the answer than when we started two days earlier!  I listened to others in the room grappling with the question just like me and it was apparent that none of us knew who we were.  Then something happened on the third day that I will never forget.  The guy at the front of the room was talking about words and that without words we didn’t exist.  Really?  He went on to say that without language nothing in our world would exist.  Are you kidding me?  Really?  Then he did something that finally made sense to me.  He held up his index finger, pointing it towards the ceiling, I looked up and saw nothing. He asked people in the room to describe what they saw and there were answers like: a hand, finger pointing, the number one, this way up and he said, now describe what you see without using words.  The room was silent.  I got two things out of this exercise. 1. without words we can not describe what we see and 2. every person who offered a description were correct and they all saw something different in the same thing.  This was  the answer to how we can see things differently in each other and why different people see things differently.  It was also the opening I needed to answer the question who am I.  So who am I?  I am my word.

I am my word and I can be any word I choose to be  who am I?

How powerful is that???  I stood up and asked, the guy at the front of the room, “do you mean to say that I can be any word I choose to be?”  The answer was ~ YES!  In that moment I had the most incredible moving experience I have ever felt, it was like my whole world spun on it’s axis and opened up to a brand new world of possibilities.  I could be any word I wanted to be!  Once this settled into my brain it created a whole new way of being that to this day still effective and powerful when I choose it to be.  One of my favourite exercises is to start my day with the sentence “I am the possibility of ______. I fill in the blank with words like “being a bold leader”,  “generosity”, and my favourite, “being a magnet for yes”.  It’s incredible how often I hear the word “yes” when I use that one.  The point is words are very powerful and our world doesn’t exist without them so my advice to you is choose your words wisely and make them work for you not against you.

If you would like notification of the following steps definitely add your name to the list by subscribing to my blog and if you feel so inclined, leave a comment below!  Thank you for being here now and giving life to my words through your eyes.

PTBS logo 500 pixals

ciao for now, 

lisa

 

 

Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose!


“A great maturity opens in the human psyche

when we accept that we can control

our impulses by conditioning our thoughts,

and that we alone are responsible

for our emotions and reactions in life.”

Brendon Burchard ~ The Motivation Manifesto


Accepting Responsibility

 A light bulb moment happened for me early 2013 when I came to the realization that I was 100% responsible for how my life.  Past. Present and Future  Wow!  The impact of that thought sent me into a dizzy spin as I recollected years of upset, suffering, heartaches and disappointments I had experienced.

Accepting responsibility for my way of being during those times of chaos and upset was not an easy task and at the same time was very enlightening for me.  In fact I would say liberating too!  I realized that being responsible for my way of being also meant that I was in a position to choose how I wanted to experience life from that moment on.

I had the pleasure of getting this realization through a funny exercise called “Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose.  I observed the course leader (I was in a self-discovery course) working with a volunteer from the crowd on the subject of choosing vs. decision and it went something like this:

Course Leader: “I want you to choose an ice cream flavour, either vanilla or chocolate and tell me why you chose it”.

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla because I love vanilla”.

Course Leader:  “Got it, and that was a decision you made based on a reason therefore it was not a choice but a decision”.  “Let’s try that again”. “Vanilla or Chocolate, choose”

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla because I don’t like chocolate”

Course Leader: “Got it, and that too was a decision you made based on a reason is not a choice but a decision”. “Let’s try that again.” Vanilla or Chocolate, choose.”

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla.”

Course Leader: “Why did you choose vanilla?”

Volunteer: “Because I just want vanilla!”

The volunteer was getting quite upset with this conversation, in her mind she WAS choosing vanilla but apparently she was making decisions not choices according to the Course Leader.  She was thinking she was never going to get it right. The Course Leader assured her that she was so close to choosing and encouraged her to try again.

Course Leader: “Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose”

Volunteer: “I choose Vanilla.”

Course Leader: “Why did you choose Vanilla?”

The exasperated volunteer said: “Because I choose vanilla!!!”

Course Leader: “Yes!  Now that is a choice!  You chose without having a reason and because of this you made a choice rather than a decision.”

What difference does this make in our lives?  As I understand it, the decisions we make in our lives are based on reason and as we all know reasons change and that change has a way of making us question if the decisions we made were right or wrong.  When it comes to choices they are driven by a commitment to something  that means a lot to us.  For example, the athlete that trains tirelessly for hours, days, months and years does so because they are committed to mastering a skill and achieving a level of excellence important to them.  If it was a decision to exercise they would likely quit after the first experience of body fatigue.  As a choice they push through the difficulties no matter what.

One does not decide to be a performing artist, one chooses to be one.

One does not decide to be a parent, one chooses to be one.

One does not decide to be happy, one chooses to be.

That is the significant difference between choice and decision.  What is the relevancy of this to being responsible for your life experiences?  Choosing to be responsible for your life is a commitment and gives you the opportunity to be the best you, no matter what comes your way.  Deciding to be responsible will have you dropping the ball every time it uncomfortable or hard. Sound familiar?

Can you identify in your life where you have chosen rather than decided?  It’s can be challenging to see the difference between the two and I invite you to join me in this conversation on FaceBook.  I have started a private group page to allow conversations like this to happen within a safe environment.  If you would like to join us please use the contact form below to send me your request.

Imagine what your life would look like if you lived it by choice? Think about it.

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