coaching

Are you smoking "Hopium?"

Image by  Albert Dezetter  from  Pixabay

Image by Albert Dezetter from Pixabay

Been here before. Now I’m breaking the cycle. How about you?

Hopium

1. An addiction to false hopes.

2. The state of wallowing in self-pity combined with the delusion of potential fame/greatness. One in this state will hope for others to pity or save them, yet paradoxically romanticize their own struggle, pitying themselves and never moving on to achieve their dreams.

Watch the video below to learn more…

Do you know anyone who’s stuck in this pattern? What do you wish you could tell them?

Stop Drifting and Start Deciding!

Image by  Free-Photos  from  Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As I was building on the theme of Losing Your Soul at Work, I uncovered one important dynamic that runs through it all - not being intentional.

When I look back at the times in my life where I felt the most unfulfilled, resentful, or taken advantage of, the common thread was that I abdicated my own free will and just went along with what other people thought was best for me. Not good.

Fortunately, that isn’t a constant in my life. But one indicator that I’m starting to drift in that direction is when I neglect setting clear goals. A close cousin is when I don’t update my goals and make adjustments based on changing circumstances.

I invite you to watch the short video below as I dig deeper and get honest with myself.

Do you feel like you’re drifting sometimes? What do you think is the real underlying motive? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments below. Or, contact me to discuss updating your own goals.

What Happens When You Stop Learning?

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’ve found that I can put up with a lot of negative things on my job (salary cuts, bad bosses, failed projects, etc.) as long as one thing is in place… that I’m learning something new.  If I’m gaining knowledge, new skills, wisdom, etc., I tell myself I’m making an investment that will pay off in the future, and that positivity helps carries me along.

But if the learning stops I start dying inside.  Boredom sets in, I start complaining more, and it makes it much harder to tolerate the negative things in life.  It also causes me to wonder what I’m missing out on if I went to work someplace else.

In the following video, I share some thoughts about what happens when you stop learning, and what questions you can ask yourself to get back on track.  (Bonus: Look for the appearance by El Cid at the end)

"Selling" Your Soul in Professional Sales

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(Note: I'm not referring to the state of your soul in eternity, but rather the integrity and health of your conscience and personhood).

When I did some reflection on how I may have compromised my own values (see the last blog entry), one area stood out - selling something professionally that I didn't really believe in.

This short video gives a couple of insights, and how I'm trying to turn that around. 

Maybe you don’t sell products or services, but most of us have to sell ideas or points of view at some time in our lives.

Can you relate? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How To Lose Your Soul at Work (and get it back again)

Important note: in this article the word “soul” refers to one’s personhood, conscience, and sense of self.  However, I’d also be happy to talk with you about your “eternal soul” if you contact me.

Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There’s an 80’s song, Once in a Lifetime, by Talking Heads, that speaks about mid-life disillusionment.  Having gone through this myself, I can relate with the questions the singer asks himself, “Well, how did I get here?” “Am I right?  Am I wrong?”  “What have I done?”

That feeling of “lostness” can be a scary place.  And while the feeling might be triggered by a specific event, the underlying causes can operate unnoticed for years. Seemingly small choices chip away at your soul little by little over time until one day you don’t know who you are anymore.

Take a look and see if you’ve fallen into any of these areas of neglect, and if so take action. It’s never too late to get back on track.

1. You Compromise your values 

Kathy is competitive and likes to pursue excellence, but the lackluster culture at her current company feels like a ball and chain keeping her from personal success.  In the short term she thought she could “power through it,” and help to improve her environment.  But over time her frustrations grew, her performance suffered, and she lost her edge and self-respect.  Why? Her work wasn’t in line with her core values.

Very simply, values are guiding principles that are important to you.  These include moral/ethical boundaries (truthfulness, honesty, respect, fairness, etc.), as well as what you personally think makes for a fulfilling life (physical fitness, constant learning, financial independence, justice, etc.).  The list varies greatly from person to person, but the important thing is that you know what your values are and that you honor them.

If the temptation to compromise your values happened in a huge, obvious way it would be much easier to see and avoid.  But it usually happens in a more insidious way through a series of small micro-choices and neglect.   These accumulate over time resulting in an incongruent life, deep sense of frustration, and lack of self-respect.  In short, you lose who you really are. 

Solution:   Do a values inventory.  Then get together with a trusted friend or a coach to identify places where your life is out of sync with your values.  If you can make changes in your work environment to support your values, that’s great.  If not, you might need to make a career transition.  You deserve better. 

“Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values and in no other way.” Stephen Covey

2. You Don’t update your goals

Jim loved his small but growing company.  He was a valued team member who was making a direct impact to bottom line growth.  But fifteen years and four acquisitions later, he’s working in a hidden division of a huge tech company doing menial work that doesn’t challenge or excite him.  He thought he’d “play it safe” and just go with the flow, but now he’s bored and dreads going to work each day.

Have you found yourself in a place you never wanted to be?  That happens when you’re not intentional with your plans.  Circumstances change over time and if you don’t revisit your goals and make adjustments, you’ll just drift into other people’s expectations for you.

Solution: Schedule appointments with yourself to look at your personal treasure map and your road map, make updates as needed, and then take action.  If you haven’t done this in years, just get started.  You’ll get better the more you do it.  A good coach can act as a sounding board and help keep you accountable to a realistic plan.

“If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

3. You’ve Stopped learning

Shivkumar was a talented, rock star employee.   His projects leveraged the latest technology to save his company millions, and he was rewarded with rapid advancement.  Now he’s in upper management, and he’s fallen out of touch with technology trends.  No one can keep up with all of them, but he’s adopted certain mindsets that have built a defensive “cocoon of denial,” around himself.  Namely: 

  • Entitlement - “I paid my dues - I should be rewarded for my past accomplishments”

  • Pride - “I’ll look stupid if I admit I don’t know this subject matter”

  • Fear - “what if I don’t have what it takes to learn this new skill?” and

  • Laziness - “it’s just too much work to keep up with these changes”

Solution: Shiv is stuck in what’s known as a “fixed mindset.”  If this sounds like you, then develop a “growth mindset” to reignite your learning. My clients consistently rank the book, Mindset, as the #1 resource to get them back on track.  And sometimes you just need wake-up call.  A good coach will have the courage to tell you what others are afraid to say and will hold you accountable to your action plan.

“A man who asks is a fool for five minutes. A man who never asks is a fool for life.”  Chinese Proverb

In what ways are you feeling lost?  Are there other factors operating in your life that aren’t listed here?  Please add your comments below and be part of the discussion. In the meantime, enjoy some retro video.

What most job hunters get wrong

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

When I meet a prospective client who’s considering a career transition, it’s pretty typical for them to ask me to review their resume and help them understand why they didn’t get the last job they interviewed for.

Like most people, they’ve been focusing all their efforts on the execution portion of their job hunt - what I call “the visible part of the iceberg.” Unfortunately, that system isn’t very effective at helping people find a great fit.

The most important part of a job hunt is hidden beneath the surface. And when people put in the effort to first get clarity on who they are and what they want, the chances of them finding a job they’ll love go way up.

I’ve lived this out in my own life, and now I help other people get the clarity they’re looking for as well.

I hope you enjoy this short video. Please share it with some of your friends who dislike their current job or are actively looking for a new one.

My Motivation to Coach

This is my #2 talent in the list of all 34 CliftonStrengths. I love to help people discover their calling, and to help leaders get their people “in the right seat on the bus.”

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What are your top CliftonStrengths? How do they impact what you enjoy doing? How can you focus and maximize that enjoyment?

Find out more at www.wealigncoaching.com

Don't Should on Yourself

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This is a friendly reminder to love yourself.

One key is recognizing the scripts that are running in your subconscious. Identify those voices in the back of your mind that always tell you you’re not good enough, you need to change, or you need to be like someone else before you’re acceptable.

Once you see those for what they are - tyrannical taskmasters - it makes it easier to shut them out. It will take practice, but it’s worth the effort.

You are too valuable to be squashed into something you weren’t designed to be.

Love Who You Already Are

 
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I'm all for self-improvement. I work at it every day, and believe that we should all strive to be the best we can be.

The problem comes when you try to be someone that you're not meant to be. That's a recipe for a life of frustration and disappointment.

Being your best starts with accepting the limitations of your design. Think about it… If you not satisfied with your Real Self - with all your realistic strengths and limitations - in essence you’re saying that your Creator made a mistake. Not good.

If you can adjust that mindset and thank God for how you're made, you’ll release a flood of wisdom and have the proper foundation to move forward with your plans.

Watch this short video for an encouragement.

The Tyranny of Should

 
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“Should”

When I take stock of who I am and see that things are good
A thief comes in to steal my joy, accusing, “But you Should…”

“You Should be more productive.  Your body Should be slim 
That guy right there is so well-liked, you Should be more like him.”

So now there is a rubble heap where my esteem once stood
Knocked down with cruel intention by the wrecking ball of Should

“How dare you be contented.  Your best will never do.  
Try harder still,” his voice demands.  “Become a different you.”

I get back on the hamster wheel determined to improve
But hear him say to my dismay, “the finish line has moved.”

Then in a time of clarity I see I have a choice   
I can choose to tune him out and hear a different voice

I hear, “I am accepted.”  I hear, “I am enough.”  
And where I lack, God’s got my back.  I’m covered by His love

I’ll celebrate my talents working hard at what I do  
I’m doing fine with my design, my limitations, too

I don’t do super-exploits.  Sometimes I wish I could
But I accept me as I am.  I’ve had enough of Should!

Copyright 2019 by Peter Cafarchio