Coaching is easy. We ask questions that seem really easy to answer and confound the askee (is that a word) because they have never thought about the question before.

So let me challenge you.

What is most important to you right now? I call it WIMI. Let’s WIMI where you are right now.

We don’t care if you have a list from your boss of what they need, I want to know what you want and need.

Some of the quick answers I get are:

  • Time off
  • More money
  • Better sleep
  • Less fat on my body
  • Slowing down the world a bit
  • Kids that do well in school
  • My health

All great answers and some probably true. But, is better sleep really what is most important to you…right now? I guess it would be if you could sleep. Just close your eyes and drift off to a sweet restful place. When the alarm goes off you feel rested, alert and ready for your challenging day.

Well let’s look at better sleep. Here is what does not support deep restful sleep:

  • Spending the last moments of your day on your phone
  • Ruminating and thinking about what went wrong with the day (most people I’ve spoken with don’t end their day with positive thoughts)
  • Eating that sugary snack at 10:00pm
  • Watching horror flicks and then turning off the lights
  • Really saying and believing our prayers
  • Concocting a list of what we need to do the next day – all we did not get done and SHOULD have gotten done today
  • Thinking about how Joe or Sally treated you badly and what you are going to do to get back at them
  • Adding up all the money you don’t have

Wow, now even I am depressed.

The final moments before you close your eyes and even with them closed, could easily be positive and think about:

  • How that nice person let you into the correct traffic lane
  • How cute your partner looked in their new coat
  • The fact that the dishes were clean
  • You got to wear your favorite shirt to all the Screen Time meetings
  • You sent a thank you note or a very nice text telling someone how important they are or how well they did
  • Remembering the surfing you did at age 19 and how exhilarated you felt
  • Offering your prayers and asking for guidance
  • Petting your puppy or kitty and really feeling their soft fur
  • You might even go so far as to say something nice to yourself, like “I love you”

“Natalie, the world is so negative, I rarely get to the positive in my thoughts”…and there you go.

My office is surrounded with quotes from historical figures who are smart and inspiring. When I look up from my screen, there are quotes and sayings and encourage me and help me take a deep damn breath and get out of my way.

The people I coach are smart, industrious, caring, contributing members of society and can be kind and compassionate too.

But they need to be reminded or dragged back to the place where they can believe this about themselves.

We humans are pretty needy. We need love, food, peace, money, shelter. When we imagine that those needs are not being met…at all…then we make up stories about who did this to us and how stupid we are for not having the these needs met.

When people offer us what we need, many times we declare it is not enough. When we practice this “not enough” continually, no contribution to us will be enough…ever.

Yesterday, I was so fortunate to be able to visit my backyard between coaching calls. It was perfect weather. The Elm tree was dropping leaves and the sounds of the leaves dropping were like a fall song. I put my feet up and slunk down in my lawn chair and just sat and breathed in the perfect setting provided for me and all I had to do was show up.

Did I and do I have 1,000 other things to do? Yes.

I did the time in my back yard for me.

My neighbor saw me, flagged me down and volunteered his time to me for a big project I am working on. I did not ask, he just showed up. I pondered those moments the rest of the evening and realized how very lucky I am – I was sitting doing nothing; asking for nothing; demanding nothing; missing nothing and attracted such a wonderful gift to my project.

Breathe. Be still. Be aware of where you are and how you are. Take care of you. Be nice to you. Let the leaves fall on you without the thought of having to rake them up.

Being with you is the closest and longest relationship you will ever have. So, how is it going?

To Our Success,

P.S. Most of my calls this summer in asking me to coach people have been from leaders who have subordinates that are not meeting the demands of the position. I can help you and I can help them. Creating clarity around what is most important for high performance and success, creates a safety structure where you can easily get to what is not working. Email me. Leading people and helping them do their best sometimes would benefit from an expert holding your hands while the structure of “success” is constructed.

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