How To make the right decisions

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Sometimes in life we are presented with dilemmas.

This is not the same as options, which I prefer to have plenty of when making a decision. This is more about the times when we have a couple of choices, neither being the perfect scenario.

But whether it’s choices or dilemmas my first question is in my 10/10/10 rule and that is:

What do each of these options give me in 10 days, 10 months, 10 years? It will help you to decide whether a long term view is a better one or whether this is about a quick win or even a life changing decision.

Then please take time to ask yourself some good questions to get the ball rolling and try to look at things from all angles.

Each perspective requires a different ‘Thinking Hat’ and relevant questions to ask yourself at the beginning, middle and end.

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the all the information available.

What is happening now that could be better?

What do you want more of, less of?

What do you really want? What is your overall strategy for this part of your life?

What can you learn from the past about this?

  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion.

If you can stop the chatter in your head long enough to feel the vibes in your gut, you will find intuition is hardly ever wrong. What is yours telling you about this and are you listening? Also try to think how other people, with a vested interest, will react.

  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the riskier angles of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively.

Why might it not work? This is important because it allows you to eliminate, alter , or prepare contingency plans for weaknesses.

Where could this be sabotaged and by whom or what?

  • Yellow Hat:
    The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it.

What will doing this give you and why do you want it?

  • Green Hat:
    The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem.

What else can you do? What is the opposite of what you are doing and what other ideas can you get from that?

  • Blue Hat:
    The Blue Hat stands for control and constant review. It’s about taking a helicopter view of the situation.

What is happening and do you need anyone else or to do anything else? Do you need any other contingency plans?

 

 

When you discover the right answers follow up with bold action trusting that you have everything within you to make it happen.

Are You Someones 12th Man

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My book uses football as an analogy for personal development. With the World Cup looming, which sets my heart racing just thinking about it, I thought I’d share a chapter with you.

This is taken from chapter 8 of my book – The Beautiful Inner Game

If you are a Norwich or Ipswich fan, you will remember quite vividly and with a smile, the time Delia Smith made an emotional plea to the crowd at Norwich city’s home ground, when the team were performing badly (I do remember those days most fondly!).

She cried out ‘Where Are You?’ to what is known in football as the 12th man – the fans, knowing the importance of cheering the team and creating an atmosphere of encouragement.

Over the 25 years I’ve been attending the matches at Portman Road, I’ve witnessed the impact of having the crowd in fine voice and also of seeing the confidence of players drop right in front of my eyes, when the home fans become agitated or reprehensive. There are many who say that the footballers are paid more than enough to be able to sweep all that aside, but they’re human and having negative comments or jeers thrown at you whilst you’re trying to concentrate, is not exactly helpful.  And yet, they’re expected to take it and play their best football, which they often do in spite of criticism – not because of it.

So what has this got to do with you? Well let me ask you this. Who gains from your successes, and how do you connect with the wider world?

Social media with sites like twitter, facebook, blogging etc mean we have a much bigger audience than ever before and the wider our contribution to society, the more responsibility we have to act with integrity, warmth, compassion and understanding. This doesn’t mean we have to be a saint 24/7 – just that we need to acknowledge what we do has an affect on other people, as well as ourselves.

All of us need to listen to feedback without getting defensive and I am well aware of the many ways in which people (including myself) show subtle signs of defensiveness, rather than gratitude for a constructive insight. Do you do any of the following?

  • Wanting the last word?
  • Justifying everything and so waffle on endlessly about the ‘why’?
  • Blaming or attacking, as best form of defence?
  • Agreeing, just to shut someone up?
  • Not listening and even walking away?
  • Sulking and holding a grudge?
  • Denying altogether?
  • Purposely pretending you don’t understand what the problem is?

If you are really brave, you could ask the people you love to give you some honest, caring feedback on how you could make the changes you need, to reach your full potential, and then listen without saying a single word. Try it and see!

When we finally accept that happiness and peace comes from something within, rather than searching outside of ourselves, the more we can become other people’s 12th man.

The truly confident and grateful will spend time being compassionate and boosting other’s self esteem, whilst those, that have yet to finish this journey, will be too busy searching in the wrong place and blaming everything else, to ever be a Champion of Champions.

Take a look at my testimonial page

to find out how I can help you to be truly, permanently confident.

Put A Spring In Your Step!

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Easter is one of the most special public holidays of the year and my personal favourite.

As the mornings and evenings grow lighter and as the last of the winter frosts disappear, there is a great feeling of a new beginning.

I love noticing as I walk around my neighbourhood, that so many gardens are starting to look fresh and beautiful. People are taking the time to smile and have a chat. It truly is a great time of the year with so much to look forward to over the coming months.

This is also a great time of year to look back at those New Year resolutions, to review progress and to take any corrective action needed. It is the time to clear away the clutter in our homes and in our heads to make way for exciting challenges.

As a confidence coach I realise that the seasons can affect our attitudes and our self esteem.

Now that our surroundings are bursting with the promise of the warmth of summer, this is an ideal time to decide that you too will put right anything that you feel needs correcting in your own life.

This needn’t be an arduous task, as many of my clients will tell you. Several small changes can make a huge difference to your life.

 

So let me ask you a few questions:

 

What have you done over the last year that has been really useful?

What has not been so useful?

What should you do less of? More of? Start doing?

What is it that you do so well, that doing more of it will make the biggest difference?

What would you truly love to create in your life?

 

Take some time to really think about the answers to these questions and write down any new goals as well as review the ones you have already set.

 

Happy seed sowing!

 

And from me a really Great, Happy Easter!Image

If time were money, how would you manage yours? – Part 1

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Time is far more precious than money. There are a finite number of days that you will spend on this earth, while money is something you can usually get more of.

If you are 35 years old with a life expectancy of 75… you have already spent 12,775 days on Earth and have 480 months left to fulfill your life destiny. If you plan to retire at the age of 50 you have 180 months to make enough money to retire (a million pounds doesn’t put a dent in retirement nowadays…) and in those months 1,440 days are weekends… so you have 3600 workdays to make it all happen. What are you waiting for… time to stop confusing being busy with being successful!

The fact is that many business owners – like yourself – actually manage their money as though it is more precious than their time. They started the business to choose their own hours, spend more time with their family, and be their own boss. But, somewhere along the way the only goals that mattered became the financial ones. Or, the only item worth measuring and managing was money.

Your time will never be managed for you – you have to make a decision to choose to spend your time wisely. To take ownership of your own schedule, and use the power you have to change what isn’t working. I’ll show you several tools to get you started, but first let’s take a look at what your time is worth first, to attach time to money.

If everytime you do something (that is really a distraction), you might want to think of how much it’s costing your business!

Here’s a really simple exercise to determine what your time is worth based on your annual income and the number of working hours in a year.

Target annual income A. £
Working days in a year B. 235
Working hours in a day C. 7.5
Working hours in a year D. 1,645
A / D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH E.

It’s also unrealistic to assume that each of the 1,645 hours in a year is a productive one. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. That’s a lot of room for improvement!

Now, this calculation doesn’t factor in overtime hours, taxes, or expenses. If you work as a consultant for an hourly rate, it doesn’t factor in the cost for you to provide your services. The point is, this is your hourly worth in the best-case scenario.

When you start thinking about time management, the goal is to get more done in less time, and thus increase your hourly worth (among other benefits, of course!). It’s also a way for you to start proritising your actions when you consider the hourly rate it is costing the business.

Going on FB for an hour might not seem so attractive if you think of the monetary value as well as what is not getting done!

Part 2 – some tools for self management

 

12 Indicators to raise your Confidence

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I have been a confidence coach for over 9 years now and in that time there have been some common themes and solutions to aid my clients self esteem, self belief and emotional intelligence.

I thought I would share some of the ways in which people who felt affected by confidence have overcome them by working on these areas. This is not a comprehensive list but consists of the main ingredients that can be worked on.

1) Self awareness – For me this is crucial as a starting point. Only you will really know the truth about how you feel inside, what situations you are confident in and what areas need improving. Only you will know if an event has caused a temporary crash in your overall well being or if this is something that has been building up for some time.  by understanding what your best skills and capabilities are and where or with whom you are at your best, you can transfer it into other areas of your life. Acceptance that you will not be perfect is key.

2) Direction – Having written goals that use all our senses, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic is a must for me. what will we see hear and feel when your goals are reached. How do these goals help you get to where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years etc. I have yearly goals which i break down into my action plan.

3) Values – I have written regularly on this and the importance of understanding how your values shape your behaviour. Take a look at my previous posts on my wordpress blog account confidencenac. Being authentic and having integrity is a vital ingredient to self esteem.

4) Motivation – Confident people take some risks to enable them to do the things they love. Motivation will come easily when we feel passionate about something – effortless but full of energy – but to get to that point some changes may be needed beforehand. Your ‘Why’ for your goals must be big enough and should include small incremental steps. Make the change look small by chunking it into smaller parts, take the first step and procrastination will be a thing of the past!

5) A Positive can-do attitude – Use visualisation and affirmations (in the current tense) to feed your sub conscious with some good food. eg ‘I am a confident person who is decisive and focused’. Use positive self talk, not just to yourself, but to others too.

6) Gratitude – See what you do have every day, never lose sight of the things that mean the most and look at what has been achieved before asking the question ‘what still needs to be done?’. Be grateful enough so that helping others is a pleasure, not a duty.

7) A sense of Purpose – My theme in life is to give confidence to people, empower them and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives. I am here to give love and support to my clients, my community as well as my family and friends. Love is all that matters but we must love ourselves first. What’s your theme?

8) Ongoing personal development – Never believe you have learnt everything or have reached your full potential. You are a genius in your own right but have you given your gift to the world yet?. Whatever profession, there is more to learn and we can just keep getting better. Invest in yourself – often.

9) Boldness – Life is not meant to be easy but the easier you try to make it, by avoiding things, the harder it becomes. Tackle things head on – conversations, people, actions etc and life becomes so much more colourful and confidence-enhancing.

10) Health and wellbeing – Eat good food, drink water, breathe deeply, have mindfulness, listen to others, communicate your own feelings, respect your body, exercise if it’s your bag, walk with nature, have joie de vivre and, of course, good wine (sorry that’s my little pleasure!). Use your intuition, listen to it carefully and then understand what it is telling you.

11) Optimism – the most successful people have this in abundance. It doesn’t mean unrealistic but it does mean a ‘knowing’ that whatever challenge manifests itself, it can be dealt with and could even become a blessing. I love the question ‘What’s great about this problem?’ The only time there is failure is when time has run out, otherwise it really is just feedback.

12) Mindfulness – Savour every moment by using all your senses eg hear the music, the words, see the sky, the smiles, feel the emotions.  There is a difference between listening and hearing, looking and seeing. Plan for your future but enjoy the present.

How do you rate on the above? If any areas need improving and you know it will enhance your life, then invest in a coach.  And start with writing down some of the things you know you should already be doing – your goals and your action points.

Or call me to make this year – 2014 – your very best yet! – 01473 682760