This week, we're going to talk about how we talk to ourselves and what words we use when we talk to ourselves. I think we all know by now that the words we use matter, and they matter more when you're talking to yourself than you may think. So how are you talking to yourself? Are you encouraging? Are you kind, do you push yourself forward or do you sabotage your efforts before you even get going?
You better be careful about how you talk to yourself. The words you use do matter, whether you're saying them out loud to someone else or you're saying them to yourself. So last week we talked about your brain and how it seeks, pleasure, avoid pain, and does its best to conserve energy.
We have to unleash our brains to figure out new things. We have to tell it to figure things out, or it will just say no. Remember your brain's primary job is to keep you alive. And if you haven't done something before, there is no reason to chance it. But there is because if you don't take a chance to grow and do things and see things and think about things differently, you and your situations will never change. When we give our brains the command to figure things out, it actually will. It will work on it when you don't even realize it, your brain really does want to serve you. So let me ask you, do you come up with your best ideas when you're in the shower or maybe you're mowing your lawn or you're driving at those moments, you're doing something that your brain knows how to do.
It's done it a million times and doesn't really need to concentrate to do it. It's moved everything about these actions into the subconscious. So while you're in the middle of these activities, your brain will throw things out at you that you've given it the green light to think about. And since you're in a state to receive those ideas, because your frontal cortex, the part of your brain, that's focused on the here and now isn't very busy. This week. I gave my Facebook group this very simple example. Let's say you want to figure out what to do for dinner on Friday. You can say to yourself, I don't know what to do for dinner on Friday. At which point your brain will say, well, neither do I. So let's just forget about it. Or you can say, what can we do? That's different and fun for dinner on Friday.
That gives your brain the go ahead to figure it out. And it will come up with ideas. It will look for everything that supports the question and the answer to the question. What fun and exciting thing can we do for dinner on Friday? Here's another example. I give this one to my one on one clients a lot, just because there's a tree outside my office window. So it's kind of an easy example for me. If you say to yourself, I'm going to try to climb that tree. Your brain says, Nope, we are not doing that. And nothing more happens. But if you say, what would I have to do to climb that tree? Then your brain kicks into gear. Well, first you have to get up and go out there and take a look at the branches and see how high up they are. Can you reach a branch to pull yourself up? If not, Hey, do we have a rope around, et cetera, et cetera. You see how that works?
All right. The final example I'm going to give you today is when you're asked a question or you ask yourself a question and your answer is, I don't know. That is not a good answer. Do not ever give yourself or anyone else that answer, because when you do, you're giving your brain permission to quit. So if you want to make progress and grow and do things you've never done, you better figure out how to talk to your brain. So it will serve you. If you find yourself saying, I don't know when, ask a question, ask yourself this. But if I did know, what would the answer be doing? This can change things dramatically for you at that point, your giving your brain a command to answer the question, not to give up, but to answer it.
And the answer is like, they'll come at you and they may not be the right answer for you, but their answers and your brain is going to figure out what the right answer is for you. So when you ask the question, what would I say? If I did know the answer, say something because your brain is gonna throw something out at you, let it keep coming up with ideas, try those ideas. And one of them will actually work.
Give yourself more credit, give your brain more credit, but make your brain serve you in what you really want. Watch how you're talking to yourself. Make sure you're encouraging. Make sure that you're not giving yourself the opportunity to quit or to give up or to not even try. I promise you if you start doing these things, when we come back here, something is going to have clicked for you. And I want you to let me know what that is. Okay?
Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @robintefftcoaching. A lot of tips are there every single day. I want you to grow. I want you to get those goals that you've never, ever been able to reach, but you know you can, you know you want them. Goals aren't something that just come at us for no reason. Find your reason, find your goal and go for it. You can do it. It just may take a little work and a little change in how you're thinking. That's what we're here for. Let's do it.
To reach a goal you haven't achieved yet. You need to think differently, act differently and do things differently. You need to become the person who can achieve their goal. July 20th, I'm launching a one of a kind program that will change your life. It's not for everyone. It's only for you if you're willing to do the work and invest in yourself, the application process begins July 20th, but if you want to be one of the first to get that application and find out all the details, just visit https://inevitableachievement.com. I'm only accepting 10 people. So get your application in early so that you don't miss out.
Your tricky little brain.
It seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and wants to be as efficient as possible.
Its job is to keep you alive....and that's great.
But it's not so great too.
Let's say you want to start an exercise program and you join a gym and plan on going there 3 times a week after work.
Day one comes and you're at work, it's almost time to leave, you think about going to the gym and your brain starts giving you a dozen reasons not to go.
It's been a long day. You should just go home and rest.
You've got things to do tonight. You need to make dinner, buy a birthday present for your nephew, oh, and there's a show on Netflix you've wanted to see -- tonight's a good time to watch that.
So you drive straight home. No workout, no progress.
Does this sound familiar? Why does this happen?
Because when you do something over and over and it becomes routine, your brain has actually formed pathways in your brain that tell you this is what you need to be doing. Routines actually move from the learning part of your brain to the unconscious part of your brain.
Here's an example. When you're a kid and you're learning to tie your shoes, you have to think about every single step. Your brain is forming those pathways every time you tie your shoe. When those pathways are entrenched, you no longer think about tying your shoes, you just do it.
Your brain has moved that action to the subconscious
7 X 5 =
I know you said 35 without even thinking because that's another example of something we learned that's been moved to the subconscious.
So how do you get going to the gym to be a new habit?
You tell yourself the day before that you're going to the gym tomorrow after work. Period. You are going.
Then the next day, you GO. You make sure you go. I don't care if it's for 10 minutes, you go.
Then you do it again, Make the decision ahead of time and then follow through. Before long, your brain will start knowing you're going to the gym.
You will start to see results because you're going to the gym. You'll start feeling good, getting results and LIKE going to the gym. You will look forward to going to the gym.
And now your brain has formed new pathways and you reach your goal.
That is a very simple example of how this works. If you've got a goal you want to reach and haven't been able to reach it, book a Discovery Call with me and we'll uncover the impact reaching your goal has on your life and I'll show you the clear path to changing that goal from Impossible to Inevitable.
Book your call today.
Because what happens if you don't do it now?
Right. You miss out and that tricky little brain of yours wins.
Click it and book it now: https://robintefftcoaching.as.me/?appointmentType=13013536
Your firstborn is graduating from high school this spring. Up to this point, all you’ve been focused on is getting him into the college of his choice…and maybe steering him clear of all thoughts that lead to senioritis. Pretty soon you’ll be preparing for graduation and the huge party you’re throwing and then it will be about getting all the things he’ll need for college and being away for the first time.
Up to this point, he’s counted on you to do all these things with (or God-forbid, FOR) him because that’s what parents do and who they are.
So what becomes of your relationship when your kid leaves home and starts his adult life? You better start thinking about what you want that to look like. It cannot stay the way it is. It just can’t. And that’s a good thing.
Your child will start looking at you like another human being. The conversation you have will be less about giving advice and more about sharing experiences. They’ll be less about asking permission and more about looking for acceptance.
Think about the conversations you have with your friends (that aren’t about your kids…). Think about the conversations you’ve had with your parents over the past 20 years. Is that what you want your relationship to be like with your kids? If not, it’s time to decide what you DO want it to look like.
Boundaries are more things that need attention. Yours and your child’s. Are you welcome to just stop by his dorm room? Maybe not. And you need to respect that boundary. Is he welcome to just come home and do laundry whenever he wants, or would you prefer he let you know when he’s coming? I know they seem small, but these little things are the exact things that can make or break your relationship with your adult children.
Talk about things with your kid before they leave home. LISTEN to the answers you get. The easiest way to avoid ruining a relationship is by deciding things ahead of time and sticking with those decisions.
Your relationship with your adult children can be one of the very best kinds of relationships. Just go in knowing things are going to change. They aren’t kids anymore. And although you’ll always love and worry about them as if they were still kids, the relationship you build from this point on will be one of the most fulfilling relationships you’ll ever have.
Where did all my friends go?
That's a question so many Empty Nesters ask me. This is a tough one for some. A liberating one for others.
So what happened? One day you were with these friends all the time. You were sitting in the bleachers cheering on the high school football team. Or sitting in the audience of the latest high school musical. You were texting every day about what time practice started or what was going on with that testing schedule.
One day, your kids' high school sports/theatrical/academic career ends.
You are no longer in touch with the people who you called friends (aka, the parents of your kids' friends).
We call these friendships, "friends of convenience." You met them and saw them all the time because of your kids. The things you had in common were your kids and your kids' activities.
So now what do you do?
Making friends at your age is EASY. Really. It's not like when YOU were in high school and there was all that drama! Crap, I would never want to go back there and do that again!
Now you have the chance to get out there and meet friends who share your interests, passions, purposes. So get out there and do the things you want/love to do. It doesn't matter what it is... A book club at the library? A spin class at the gym? Volunteering at your church? Finally starting your own business? What is it for you? A whole new world is about to open up to you. And it's a world that you can design. What's your new purpose now that your kids are on their own and starting their adult lives?
Here's your exercise for the week. Get a piece of paper and write down your response.
Pretend it's one year from today. Whatever that date is, I want you to pretend you and I meet on that day.
I ask you, "How was your year?"
You start by saying, "It was the best year of my life!!
Me: "Tell me about it."
You: (on the piece of paper in front of you, right down everything you DID that made this the perfect year. Make sure you're telling me about it as if it was one year from now and you just had the best year of your life).
When you're finished, you will see in front of you GOALS. Things to make happen this year. It's time to get going and create your best year yet!
For more great things like this, join my next online workshop for Empty Nesters. Get all the details at https://gettingunstuckinastickyworld.com/workshops
Next week: Those adults who are still your children....
I've been coaching empty nesters and I'm discovering some fascinating things.
Emotions of moms and dads whose kids are now off in college or married range from joy to grief, from excitement to complete confusion. Identities are not in crisis so much as they are in a shift. This is a transition every parent knows is coming, but very few prepare for.
I had a potential client who told me that they didn't need my coaching because, "I've got my career. My kids moving out isn't going to be a big deal." Then I asked her, "What do dinners looked like. What would weekends be like? How about vacations? Do you have a lot of friends outside of the friends of convenience and the shared experiences of sporting events or other extra curricular activities? Have you considered what you want your relationship with your ADULT children to be like? Do you and your husband do things without the kids now?"
Needless to say, that person is a client now.
If you're not an empty nester yet, I ask you to think about things like that now. This transition can be an exciting one for your kids AND for you. You've got a whole new chapter ....heck, a whole new BOOK to write. Trust me, the best years of your life are not in your rear view mirror back there in your 20s and 30s. Trust me, They absolutely are not.
What do you want to do now? It's time to rediscover your identity and find a new purpose.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be going over some of the top things for you to think about and giving you some action steps to take.
Here's the first one.
Go through the stages of your life...say your childhood, your early school days, high school, college and early adulthood. For each of those stages, identify and write down one of the things that brought you joy. I don't care what it was, as long as you were joyful when you were doing it or being present with it. (It could be making mud pies when you were three!)
What does your list look like? I'm asking because if things once brought you joy, chances are extremely good that those same kind of things always will. Now, I'm not saying you'll still be joyful making mud pies, but that activity could've turned into baking or doing some sort of crafts or working with your hands. These activities just may be something you should consider picking up again!
Your nest is not empty, my friends, you're still there. Make the most of it.
I'll be back next week, with more things to think about!
Here's something a little different for my blog. Please take some time to listen to the interview I did with Racquel Williams on WMGQ, It will give you a little taste of what coaching is all about, how to really achieve goals you set, and I talk a little about how I got into coaching in the first place. Enjoy! And remember to register for my Open Coaching Call on January 3rd.
With the new year fast approaching, let’s talk about something so many people do: Make a New Year’s Resolution…. and forget about it a few weeks later.
I’m going to lose weight…get out of debt…find a new job…de-clutter my house…fix a relationship….slow down…get motivated… The list goes on and on. Our intentions are good, so why don’t we follow through and instead, forget about our resolutions a few weeks after making them?
Because that’s the way our brains work. Our brains make decisions based on what WAS and what IS….NOT on what’s possible. For example: You say you want to lose weight. Your brain says that every time you’re sad, anxious or angry, you eat. Your brain says you’ve never gone to the gym before, you shouldn’t go now (and it will give you a million reasons to never go). See how easily this happens?
Our thoughts are powerful things. We have to learn how to manage them in order to change our results. One of my teachers says an unsupervised mind is like an unsupervised three-year-old. How’s that for a visual? So, we have to start managing them.
Our brains want to solve problems….but they won’t if we shut them down with thoughts like, “I can’t.” Instead, we need to say, “I’m figuring this out.” That gives our brains permission to do just that: figure it out.
There’s also something to be said for your true motivation for wanting to do something. You say you want to lose weight to be healthier. But if your true motivation is to look and feel better about yourself, your brain is going to get confused.
Let’s look at how different the resolution to lose weight looks from the un-managed mind and the focused Managed Mindset.
First the Unmanaged Mind:
Make a resolution to lose weight this year
Eat less and eat healthier foods for 3 weeks
Sign up for gym membership and go to the orientation and go work out at the gym 3 days the first week, 3 days the second week and then the third week, you “don’t feel like” going and tell yourself you’ll go next week.
Next week comes and you go once. You get on the scale and there’s been no change in weight.
You give up telling yourself you tried.
Now the Managed Mind:
Make a resolution that by the end of February you will lose 10 pounds.
Tell yourself that you are going to figure out how to do this because you want to look and feel better by the time spring rolls around.
You figure out why you want to eat the way you do and realize it’s because when you’re bored or uninspired you eat sweets. So you decided that when you’re bored, instead of scrolling through Instagram and eating cookies, you will go for a 10-minute walk (cold outside? GOOD! It’s invigorating!!) and listen to a new podcast you found on a topic you love and is inspiring).
By week two you already feel better because you're not starving yourself or doing anything other than understanding and giving yourself a new way to do things. You get on the scale and have lost 2 pounds!
Now you actually WANT to keep going. You’re going for walks at lunchtime. You’re learning more about something. You’re sharing your experience with a friend. What other things can you do? Once a week, you decide to eat really healthy foods, all day. Fruits for breakfast, a salad with chicken breast for lunch and salmon for dinner.
Week four you’re feeling really good. You DO join a gym. You go a few times and find it FUN and a little challenging. You meet someone at the gym and decide to be workout buddies. You’ve got accountability to yourself and someone else. You’re motivating yourself and someone else.
This spring I will feel and look GREAT! By summer, who knows!
This is easier than you thought….
See the difference?
Now what resolutions do you want to not only make this year, what goals do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve them? If the goal is important to you, go for it and tell your brain to figure it out.
Does all of that seem either too simplistic or too difficult? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit robintefftcoaching.com and request a free mini-session with me.
We can figure it all out together.
You’ve probably heard it before. How everyone has a purpose. We’re all given our own special talents and gifts that we’re supposed to use to fulfill our purpose here on earth. As a Christian, I’ve heard it for a long time. “You are uniquely and wonderfully made…” “God has a plan for YOU that no one else can execute.
But what if you have no idea what that purpose or plan is? What are you supposed to do?
I was in that spot for most of my life. There were times I thought I knew. I have a career I enjoy, so I figured that was it. Until I started wanting more. Something was missing and I knew it. Ever feel that way? So I was in search of my true Purpose…..with a capital “P.” I tried the entrepreneur route. I started a business, made it successful and still, the “it” was missing.
If you’ve read my blog entitled, “When Coaching Became “IT.” you know what happened. If you haven’t read it, in short, this is what happened:
I was driving to work on an early Wednesday morning. I was about 5 miles away from work, on a two-lane windy, hilly road. Over the hill in front of me were two headlights in the other lane. And all of a sudden, there were four. I remember actually blinking my eyes and shaking my head (like you see in cartoons) to try to get my vision right again. It wasn’t my vision that was the problem. Someone chose to pass a van, on a two-lane road, on a hill and a blind curve. He was coming right at me and was right in front of me. I SAW….I’m not even kidding…. I SAW the headlights go
Right. Thru. Me.
There was no time to react. It happened that fast. That pickup truck didn’t hit me. I’m telling you the ONLY explanation is that God intervened. I got chills as I wrote that. God saved me again that day. As I continued my drive, my heart was not pounding, my hands were not shaking. I simply continued on my way. Like I was watching a freaking movie. When I parked at my office a few minutes later, my legs were barely strong enough to hold me up when I got out of the car. The reality that I should have been killed in a horrific car accident but instead, the oncoming pickup truck passed right through me, was too much.
Then a phrase that had come up so many times between me and my pastor and friend, Richard Gay, exploded in my head: “This is not about YOU!”
So that was the moment that everything was sort of revealed to me. Only it still wasn’t completely clear. A few months later, my friend, the one whose words, “It’s not about you” still, and will always, explode in my head died.
For months I was paralyzed. For those of you who have experienced grief, you know what I’m talking about. I couldn’t DO anything but go through the motions of each day and pray the next one would get easier. And then something clicked and all the dots were connected for me. At the risk of being cocky and having God laugh at me, I realized what my purpose was. So I began training to be a Life Coach. I need to help people who cannot move, who are stuck in whatever situation they’re in, get UNStuck.
Someone told me that means I’m a “transitions coach.” And that’s fine. I absolutely love to help people who find themselves in one of the happy or sad transitions of life figure out what’s next for them. But I also like to help people find the cause of there inability to change things in their life….To become more than they are….to take the leap of faith and become who they are supposed to be…to find their PURPOSE.
Now I’m not saying you need someone to show you your purpose. If you’ve known it all along, that’s awesome. I implore you to not ignore it. Do not waste the opportunity of fulfilling your purpose.
If you don’t know what you’re purpose is, please keep your eyes, your ears, your heart, and your mind open. Don’t be afraid to step out if it’s something you never did, or thought about, doing before. Someone once said you can probably find your purpose by answering the question, “What breaks your heart?” Give it a try.
As for me, I am going to continue to look for the people I can help. I pray that God will put me in front of them and they will know He did that…for them.
I had to be jolted by a horrific car crash that wasn’t and by the death of someone I will miss for the rest of my life. I’m pretty sure God tried to get my attention before all of that, and yet, maybe this is part of His perfect timing.
Have you found your purpose? What is it that breaks your heart? Are you doing something about it? I guarantee you will never feel better than you do when you find the thing that was meant to be your purpose, your calling, your life’s legacy.
One of the questions I'm asked most often is, "how do you get started with..." Sometimes that answer is easier than you think.
When one of my clients is looking to start something new, whether they're looking to start their own business or they want to lose weight, or they want to improve their relationships, I tell them to start with just one thing. Take just one step and don't think about what you need to do after that.
I know sometimes one step is all you can muster. I know that sometimes it takes all your strength and all your determination. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it doesn't seem like much, but it is. It really is. How do I know? Because I was stuck once. Heck, I was paralyzed once. I couldn't breathe, let alone take a step toward or away from anything. But then I pushed myself to take just one step. That one step changed everything for me and led to me being certified as a life coach. First steps matter.
What is this step for you? Let's say you've decided you want to start your own business but you don't know what kind of business. Being in this place can be a little overwhelming...but don't let it be so overwhelming that you never start. A first step can be as simple as writing down ALL of the possibilities - from things you know you're capable of to things you've always wanted to do or have been interested in. That's it. That's your first step. The next day, explore all those options. Learn about them, find people who do those things now. Facebook and Google make it easy. Dive into the things that spark a curiosity. Then on the list you created, circle the top thing or maybe 2 or 3 things that still have your interest and have got you thinking about how you can do this.
You see what's happening here? Momentum is starting to build. The more you learn about the possibilities, the more you'll engage. The more you engage, the more ideas you'll get about aspects to explore. Explore them! Feel the excitement and the energy build. Make decisions. Show up. Make progress one step at a time.
It works for everything you know. One step. It leads to the next step and to things you might never have even thought of. If you've got something you want to do, please try it. You won't regret it. And if you need help to do it, ask for it...because "I don't know how" is no excuse.
To get more information about being coached or about finding your purpose, schedule a free consult with me. I've been where you are and I know I can help you see what your next step should be.