Blind to Our Strengths

“We are not just blind to our weaknesses, we are also blind to our strengths.”

-Adam Grant

I have been working with clients on defining and owning strengths for almost 20 years and I can tell you that almost all of my clients are initially blind and often dismissive of their strengths. On the path of self-discovery and growth, we often notice our weaknesses and focus on where we fall short. We tend to ignore our strengths; the qualities that define us, shape our actions and contribute most to our success remain hidden in plain sight. 

Why are we blind to our strengths?

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Activate Your Network

Individuals who are looking for a new job or professional path frequently make the error of reaching out to their network too soon. Prior to making the first contact with your network, it is important to have a vision that is clear or at least a vague idea of what you are looking for. Once you are clear on your goals, your network will help you get there. 

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Seeking Growth through Career Transitions

Almost 50% of people in the workforce today are actively seeking a career change. This is a staggering number and represents our collective values to strive for more money, meaning and flexibility in our work. I believe that people seeking career transitions are also seeking personal growth. Transitioning to a new role, organization, industry or profession can be a powerful catalyst for personal and professional growth. Here are a few areas of potential growth through career transitions: 

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Do you want to take a risk?

Having a social safety network can help

Taking risks increases activity through our neural pathways and allows us to see from a different perspective while experiencing a new environment, sensation, and way of being in the world. This exposure can serve as a rich source of inspiration for creative thinking and future planning.

To take risks, it helps to have a safety net; knowing that we have people to rely on gives us the resilience to get out there. Interestingly, studies show that risk taking is positively correlated to prosocial behavior. So as we try new activities, behaviors, and environments, we become more other-focused and act more to benefit others. Conversely, as we hold ourselves back from activities and actions, we become less social and less apt to help others/seek help from others. It is a loop which leads further into loneliness.

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Success on your terms

One of the topics that I often touch upon with coaching clients is what success looks like. For many that I coach, success is deeply personal and meaningfully aligns with their values and strengths. Their pathway to success is not a linear journey; it is filled with peaks, troughs and detours which teach you something new about yourself and your path, helping you refine your definition of success. 

Achieving this kind of success often requires walking away from a seemingly safe path to wander in the dark for a while. It requires being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. It will probably include some “failure.” It requires getting to know yourself to be able to define your terms. This self-knowledge is the foundation upon which your unique definition of success is built.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself:

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How to Own Your Ask

Have you ever asked for something and heard nothing back?  Are you getting tired of asking and hearing nothing but crickets?  It may be because you are not really asking for what you need. On balance, people like to help one another. Helping someone else actually boosts your own happiness. So, if all this helping is good for us, why do we sometimes not receive what we are asking for?

When you are asking and not receiving a response, take a look at the question you asked.  Are you calling out an action?  Are you giving a deadline?  Is your voice authentic?

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Protect Your Creative Brain Space

7 tips to enhance Creativity!

Protecting your creative time is essential for personal growth and overall well-being. Several studies have shown that creative hobbies, such as art, writing and music, can reduce and even prevent stress. Often, when you are engaged in a creative endeavor, you are able to enter a flow state. This happens when you’re completely focused on a task, to the point where you think less about things that are worrying you. Being this absorbed can be rewarding and enjoyable – your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you toward similar behavior.

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Ready for your Next Chapter?

Transitions mark the turning points of our life chapters and shape the course of our lives. Whether we are changing careers, moving to a new city, enrolling in a course of study, beginning or ending a relationship, or simply navigating the ebb and flow of life, transitions are opportunities for growth and self-discovery and allow us to craft the next chapter of our lives with confidence and purpose. As a coach, recognizing the potential for growth during these times can be the foundation for assisting others in their journey.

In this Next Chapter Coaching Package, we will reflect on past chapters to uncover valuable insights and discuss practical strategies to embrace change and uncertainty with grace. Together, we will uncover the keys to fostering resilience, building a supportive network, and setting a clear path towards our desired next chapter!

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Suffering from end of summer blues?

As the summer holiday season comes to a close, many of us look towards our return to work with mixed feelings. September can evoke feelings of sadness or nostalgia as longer days and relaxed schedules move toward more structure and mountains of emails instead of trails.

One huge bonus to having a great break is to pay attention to how you feel returning to your work and daily routine. Staying curious is one of the best ways to monitor your growth and understand what changes need to be made to create the best environment possible to thrive. 

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Micro acts of self care for summer ease

Self care is not limited to spa days and vacations, self care happens everyday by simply doing small things to meet our basic and most essential needs: drinking enough water, eating nourishing food, and allowing our brains to recharge through sleep, breaks, rest, play and connection. It helps to think about self care in micro moments or micro acts; the behaviors of self care. Many of us have already mastered a few micro acts of self care like keeping water near your workspace, taking short breaks throughout the day, getting outside and exercising. What are the small and simple things that fill your soul? 

Micro moments are little moments of calm that help to combat the daily stresses of life. They also allow us to reconnect with ourselves. Try to incorporate more of these small moments into your everyday experience, start with a few small micro acts.

Here are some to try out this summer when you may have a bit more spaciousness in your schedule:

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Invest in Yourself

After years of paying for a variety of sports, arts and music lessons for my daughter, last year I decided to pay for some surf lessons for myself.  It’s not often that I invest in something non-work related and I did feel a tinge of guilt. However, I can tell you that my investment in learning to surf has paid off many times over. 

Research shows that those who spend time learning each week are more likely to feel that their lives have purpose and meaning, which in turn increases their overall happiness and wellbeing.

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Taking the Hit as a Gift

The Hit

A few months ago, a client came to me who had been unexpectedly laid off.  It was a huge blow for her and she felt a bit of her identity had vanished. I helped her to ground back into who she was and the impacts that she had made over the years in her career.  As the news started to sink in, she eventually found herself strangely happy and relieved.  I helped her to see the layoff as gift.  The abrupt change had presented an opportunity for her to find a more positive environment where her skills and expertise aligned; where she could feel challenged and grow.

My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness taking the hit as a gift.  At various times in life we all receive hits.  They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments.  Some are more forceful than others.  When we receive the hit and label it as bad or negative we lose the opportunity to grow.  If we receive the hit and look at it as a gift, we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us.  We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is, an opportunity.

Here are two ways that you can take your next “hit” as a gift:

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