More women in the team, better for the business

The Comfort Principle in Female Entrepreneurship

I’ll share with you at first, some interesting facts about female entrepreneurship in UK. Maybe the gap between male entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs is closing, but it still exists.

UK Female Entrepreneurship: key facts

  • Women account for under a third of those in self-employment, but over half the increase in self-employment since the recession started in 2008. Between 2008 and 2011 women accounted for an unprecedented 80% of the new self-employed. (Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics 2013).
  • There are now almost 1.5 million women self-employed which represents an increase of around 300,000 since before the economic downturn (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013).
  • Women account for 17% of business owners, ie. owners/ managers/ employers (Labour Force Survey 2008, in Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
  • UK Women’s businesses have a higher churn rate (ie. more start-ups and closures). But women are less likely to attribute closure to ‘business failure’ and more likely to cite ‘personal reasons’ – which peak at age 25-34 for women. (Women in Enterprise: A Different Perspective, RBS Group 2013)
  • Men are now twice as likely to be entrepreneurially active as women but in 2001 were two and a half times more likely to be entrepreneurially active, ie. involved in the early stages of a new venture. (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, UK Report 2011)
  • 10% of the female population are thinking about starting up a business (Women in Business: key facts,  Government Equalities Office 2008)

There are of course plenty of factors influencing the entrepreneurship world, but today I wanted to focus on one aspect that matters when we think about women and leadership. What is the cause of the gap between women and men when we speak about leadership?
Among the causes for why women are still not proportionally represented at the top of UK business are what is called: invisible mindsets. These obstacles to gender diversity in the workplace are tough to uproot because they operate at the unconscious level. One unconscious mindset is what in my coaching practice and my workshops, I call the “comfort principle”. 

This principle is based on the idea that we all have the understandable preference of being around people with whom we are comfortable. Often that means people with similar backgrounds, ways of thinking, politics and even gender or skin color.

I am not trying to change this principle, I’m just mentioning it to you to highlight that our preferences are already established by our unconscious mind.
Access to informal and formal networks, and having mentors and sponsors, are key to successful climb to the top. Good work assignments provide opportunities for development, experience and exposure. If leaders and managers are unconscious of the comfort principle, they are likely to think first of people with whom they developed comfortable relationships. People most like those leaders and managers gain an advantage if access, mentoring or getting great assignments depends to a large degree on “comfort”. Those with whom the leader is less comfortable (often women and people of color) may be disadvantaged, perpetuating the current demographics of leadership.
CURE
Conscious awareness of the comfort principle is its cure. If I acknowledge that I am subject to this natural phenomenon, I can make conscious, deliberate choices. I can stop and consider whether it is influencing my decision about mentoring or assigning work. I can think about what skill sets are needed on a project or who needs an opportunity to gain experience or exposure. I can be (or at least try) more inclusive!

What can women and others affected by the comfort principle do?
***Look up for ways to build comfort. We can notice what the leader has in his or her office that reveals hobbies or family. We can find opportunities to get to know him or her outside the work environment.Sharing social time can build comfort!

This week, we will meet up to speak about Women and Leadership. What makes women feel powerful, limitless and resourceful ?

“Power is the ability of not pleasing everybody else before yourself” – ELIZABETH JANEWAY
Our “Light Up Your Feminine Power” seminar is devoted to reconnecting with Your Real Self — helping you to discover, resource and finally celebrate the fire of your unique flavor of feminine power.
Over the evening course, you’ll celebrate the beauty that you and only you possess.
You’ll experience living in and loving the body you have right now.
You’ll find a safe place to honor your feelings and emotions.

Some of the highlights of the night:
– you’ll learn how to understand the light and shadow aspects of your power so you can enhance and harness both
– You’ll discover how to resource the truth and wisdom of your beautiful body – with way less worry and stress and way more joy and pleasure
– How other women can be your allies instead of your rivals, so your gifts are promoted for you
– How to be your own best friend — creating greater intimacy, trust and integrity in all your relationships

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE: LIGHT UP YOUR FEMININE POWER!

Even if you don’t aspire for a leadership role, organisations need women in their teams, in order to be successful.

Why?

1. Hiring women is good for the business
Women’s empowerment is an engine for economic growth in poor countries. This means empowered women can generate a vast amount of wealth that people around the world would be able to spend. There are billions of women and girls with untapped purchasing power. If you want a successful future, then you need to be doing as much as you can to create it—and that means empowering women.

2. The organisations will expand their skills set

You’ll be motivated by the need to think strategically in order to make an impact. Because women think differently, your general business strategy will be more creative, more inclusive and more powerful. Women are gifted with more empathy (or at least they use it more effectively) which makes the business to last longer by creating longer relationships, maybe partnerships with the customers.

3. You will gain valuable insight

As a female business leader sometimes you have to fight to make yourself heard. Women all over the world, no matter what their position in life, are doing the same thing. When women have more power to make decisions, conditions in their communities improve, and their families are healthier and more prosperous. Yet society routinely ignores their knowledge and their ability to solve problems.

From my perspective as someone who works in development, this is what makes investments in women so powerful. When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else. And if you gradually start to take action it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business.

Reading more about confidence and entrepreneurship? Click here: evisioncoaching.co.uk

Don’t forget to join us on 1st of April, “LIGHT UP YOUR FEMININE POWER”  Tickets – Feminine Power

Have a great week!

Laura

Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Positive mindset, Potential, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joyful attempts to find out what makes you happy

P1070597What is happiness? Going back in time, to the Declaration of Independence, we find out that this one refers to inalienable rights, among which are “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness”. Various philosophers have considered happiness to be one of the highest aims of living and a way of assessing the quality of human action.

In my coaching practice, I bump into this concept of happiness every time I ask my clients why do they want to achieve what they want.

“I want to be better, I want to become better, I want my family to love me, I want my work to be recognized, I want to be an wealthy person, I want to be HAPPY…” These words are on the lips of all of them.

What exactly is happiness? What brings us lasting happiness?

Pleasure is one of the core elements of happiness. What makes an experience to be pleasurable? Barbara Fredrickson and Daniel Kahneman have found some surprising answers to this question.

Through different studies about pleasure, the two scientists found out that:

There are three determinants of people’s overall assessments of pleasure.

- the peak moment of pleasure associated with an event (Imagine that joy you feel as You’re eating and ice-cream) predicts how much pleasure you will associate with the event.

- how you feel at the end of the event also predicts your overall reports of pleasure.

If you are planning a backpacking trip through Europe or a first date, make sure that last day is really pleasurable.

- the length of the pleasurable experience is unrelated to the overall reports of pleasure, a bias called “duration neglect”

Whether the neck massage lasts 20 minutes or one hour, whether a first date lasts one hour or ten, seems to have little sway over our experience of pleasure. what matters is that whether the peak moment and ending are good.

! The same principle for negative experiences. Remembered pain is predicted by peak and end discomfort, but not by its duration (Kahneman, 1999)

 Whether we know or not what is happiness, do we really know what makes us happy? Can we reliably predict what will make us happy, and what will bring us despair?

We spend our lives in work on the assumption that the career success will bring lasting joy. We choose graduate schools, careers, vacations, marriage partners based on the sense that one option will bring more happiness than others.

A variety of biases interfere with our attempts to predict the level of our future happiness.

1) Immune neglect – we are resilient in responding to painful setbacks, because of our ‘psychological immune system’ which allows us to rise above the effects of negative experience and trauma. Somehow we find the silver lining, the humour, the potential for growth, insight and positive change in the face of painful setbacks and traumatic experiences. These immune related processes allows to return to satisfying lives in the face of negative experiences.

The problem in predicting happiness is that we fail to consider these processes when estimating the effects of traumatic events like breakups or failures at work. We assume that we will be devastated by them, but in fact we often respond in resilient fashion. As a consequence, we have difficulties predicting our future happiness.

2) Another bias is focalism – we focus too much on the main elements of the significant events, neglecting the fact that the other aspects of our lives will also contribute to our life satisfaction .As we move through life, it is common for us to assume that once one event happens – for example, once we get married, or have children – we will be truly happy. What we forget to consider is that after our wedding, after the arrival of our children, many other events ( for example problems on our job, conflicts with our spouse, or difficulties with our children) will impinge to our happiness.

INVITATION: Live a mindful life, consider all the aspects of your life when assessing your level of happiness. Don’t postpone your happiness and be mindful now, live your dreams and don’t leave them for one day!

Insight:

We all have difficulties predicting whether we will be happy  in the future, as we are more resilient than we think we are and we tend to focus on certain aspects of future events while neglecting other bits that can actually be important in the future.

What I found so far is that most people are happy because they are able to adapt rapidly to life’s circumstances. In wealthy countries, money, age and gender do not seem to affect life satisfaction but relationships with family and friends are important sources of happiness for people throughout the world.

P1070685Easy ways to find out what makes you happy:

1) Think about 5 things you like about yourself

What would be the purpose of being happy if you, firstly, are not happy with yourself. To be happy in the outside world, means to have a happy relationship with ourselves.

2) Finish the sentence: “My dream is…..” Don’t be afraid to write it down. What would you do if no one is watching or reading?

3) Say to yourself, as many times as you can, that “ IS NORMAL TO BE HAPPY”. Think about those times when you thought that happiness isn’t in the cards for you, or that you don’t deserve it, or that you don’t have what it takes to be happy…so many reasons to find blockages against your own happiness. Yes, Happiness is NORMAL! Go and grab itSmile

4) List 50 things that bring joy to your life right now, repeat the exercise as many times as you feel like to. Some of these things are making you feel alive indeed.

5) What is the best thing that happened to you lately? Don’t be afraid to write about a simple thing, you know, simple things make us feel alive.

On 1st of April we meet up to “LIGHT UP YOUR FEMININE POWER” – If you feel that this event is for you, please do register here: Tickets – Feminine Power

Have a great week!

Laura

Development Coach,

Elite Vision Coaching

Explore ~ Connect with Others ~ Share your Discoveries

Posted in Habits, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is FANTASY important in entrepreneurship

Why is FANTASY important in entrepreneurship?

What if we live in a world where everybody can sprinkle magic liquids on the ground, where the start-ups can bear success whenever we want, where all types of instruments against the pain of failure would be sold at a bargain price?

What if we all live in a fantasy world where music can sow a panic of uproarious motivation through the streets, where parrots off all colors recite successful business recipes, or hens’re laying hundreds of golden investments to the sound of a tambourine?

What if trained monkeys can read the minds of the world’s biggest investors, or multiple use machines that can sew on inspired ideas and reduce start-ups anxiety in the same time?

What if we all live in a world where we all would have access to special tools to help other entrepreneurs to forget their past failures, in a world where we would have a poultice to lose time and gain focus?

What if the object of recreation in our fantasy world is NOT the Iphone but the flying carpets?

What if all these mentioned above would be possible? How would you, yes YOU, dear Entrepreneur, would you approach your business?

As entrepreneurs, or even as grownups, we lose a bit the sense of wonder that we had as children.

Even though that a person who wonders is bound to become a poet, philosopher or a monk, and all these three types of people are useless to the society, we can still add wonder and fantasy to our business.

As entrepreneurs, we are trained as machines, skillful machines, robots. Yes, we train ourselves to be useful to the society. The society needs knowledgeable people, that know and use numbers and figures, effectively. The truth is that, as knowledgeable entrepreneurs, we wonder less and less. Because, when we know, how can we wonder?

!Invitation: Set aside space in your mind for wonder

As entrepreneurs, people of numbers, we trained our minds for question marks. When we add wonder, in our approach, we start living with exclamation points.

What does it mean to be living with exclamation points? What does it mean to have fantasy in our business approach?

* when we meet other entrepreneurs, we really CONNECT with them. The connection will not be focused on numbers or figures, it will be focused on their passions, on their ‘human’ side instead. By ‘knowing’ how does their voice sound like, or if they collect butterflies and drawings, we emotionally connect and this will be the fuel for along lasting partnerships.

* The sense of wonder will make us wiser. When you wonder, you step into the world of beauty. That will affect your focus as a startup. As entrepreneurs, our mindsets are permanently challenged by negative factors. Is hard sometimes, to keep our focus up and motivation high. When we wonder, we imagine the best option and that is keeping us ‘alive’ when working, it gives us direction for our business.

* The wonder will bring us to the source of search, the real search. When we wonder, we connect with ourselves. Self-discovery will keep us focused on what is truly important to us,aligned with our core values, that create a fulfilled life not just one of achievements and punctual results.

* It is exciting to step into the adventure of entrepreneurship. When we see entrepreneurship as a process, we strengthen our resilience. We all know that entrepreneurship has ups and downs, having your own business is a ‘real’ roller coaster. It doesn’t have a beginning or and end point, it is a process that requires curiosity, excitement and focus.

* In a fantasy world, there is no past or future. When we live in the moment, as entrepreneurs, the whole world stops, the time stops. That will allow us space to BE, to be inspired, to follow intuition and be inspired.

* By choosing fantasy, we enable the existence of choice in our business. With the power of choice, we can choose the best stories to lift up our moods, to maintain our focus, keep us motivated, or relaxed in an energized day.

* Fantasy gives flexibility in business approach. Probably you learned like me that in entrepreneurship is vital to explore options and to keep on going in different ways until you reach your destination. With flexibility, everything stops being just ‘yes’ or ‘no’, it starts being ‘MAYBE’. Who knows? Maybe success is not as far as you thought before.

* With wonder, we step into a safe world. Safety in the business world is represented by certainty. What if we would know that everything will be alright? ‘Fantasy’ comes from ancient Greek which means ‘to make visible’. With fantasy, everything becomes certain, visible, beyond the dragons of investments or the wizards of private loans. When we think about a startup, we immediately think about the risks of investments, the challenges that can arise on the way. We trained our minds to count the barriers. When we wonder, we keep our hope high, our maintain up our motivation and energy. Wonder doesn’t mean no action, it means loads of action with curiosity and passion. 

Well, my dears readers, fantasy is a mandatory ingredient  in entrepreneurship. Fantasy is not a way of escaping the challenging reality of business plans and action strategies, FANTASY IS JUST A WAY OF UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP. 

Dear reader, as entrepreneur, I invite you today to do something different than last week in work, I invite you to be brave, to be an aspiring artist every time you go for funding or sell your magic products or services. Trust your talent and be curious about the journey!

Have an amazing week!

Laura

Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A bigger negotiating pie?

If we want to admit it or not, we have to negotiate at all times in our lives, in almost every aspect or environment: at work when trying to get funding for a great project that you’ve been working very hard lately, in a business environment when closing a deal, at shopping trying to get a better offer for the products you need, we need to negotiate everywhere. But the question is do you do it right? Do you have sometimes the feeling that someone took advantage of you? Do you seem to have to fight your corner aggressively?  Well the negotiation skills are like any other communication skills, some things that we can learn and develop through practice and commitment.

Picture the following: it’s time to buy a new car, and you’re in the showroom at a local dealer.

You’re interested in a car priced at £9,000, with an initial payment of 20 percent, and the rest as an interest-free loan over three years. You think you can get a better price, but the sales-person isn’t prepared to lower it.

So, how can you get a better overall price for yourself while also making your offer more attractive to the dealer?

You think of another option and say to the sales-person, “I like the car, but I want to change the deal to something that’s more beneficial to both of us. For your price of £9,000, I’d like you to include three years of free servicing. If you do that, I’ll pay you 50 percent of the price up front, and the rest over just two years.”

This is an example of integrative negotiation. The situation has changed from a “win-lose” (a pound you win is a pound they lose, and vice versa) to a “win-win” (a better pounds deal for both parties).

In effect, you move toward a deal that makes the “negotiating pie” bigger, rather than continue to fight over how to cut up the existing “pie.” The car dealer makes a sale with better cash flow, which outweighs the cost of servicing. And you get your car with a lower total cost of ownership because three years of servicing, which you’ll need anyway, will be free.

What is Integrative Negotiation?

An easy way to define integrative negotiation is to compare it with its counterpart, distributive negotiation (what we know mostly that negotiation means). Distributive negotiation is what people traditionally consider negotiation to be: both sides fight over the price of a fixed package of goods or services, and they try to hide their real positions and objectives in order to gain an advantage.

In contrast, integrative negotiation uses more creative thinking. Instead of assuming that someone has to lose, you find ways for everyone to win. Integrative negotiation emphasizes building a good relationship in order to increase the chances of everyone getting what they want, rather than playing games and trying to fool the other side to win at their expense.

When is recommended this type of negotiation?

Well, every time when your relevant “currency” is relationship, anytime when you think that you will deal with this partner again in the future.

In order to perfect this skills for the future, we have some techniques that we recommend you to use when negotiating.

Integrative Negotiation Techniques

There are several ways to go about the “creating” part of a deal, before you move on to the “claiming” phase that involves distributive bargaining. You can use more than one in any specific negotiation.

  • Expand the pie – Add to the package of goods and services, or restructure the payment, so that all parties can achieve their objectives. This happened in our car purchase example.
  • Find new solutions – Restate the problem to invent new options that meet each party’s needs. In terms of car sales, this is what dealers are doing when they offer financing packages as an alternative to full payment up front.
  • Trade favors – Split the primary issue to achieve a “highly preferred solution” on one issue for one party, and another “highly preferred solution” on another issue for the other party. For example, your partner and you need to buy one car, but you each have different selection criteria. You settle on advantageous purchase terms (you really like to get a bargain), with top safety ratings (your partner’s key issue), and you both accept more modest performance and more limited luggage space.
  • Match compensation – One party can compensate the other for accepting the first party’s preferences, according to the perceived value of the inconvenience or disadvantage. Let’s look at our car example. In return for the dealer accepting your request for free servicing (a small cost to the dealer), you compensate the dealer by paying more money up front and improving the dealer’s cash flow.
  • Lower the cost of compliance – Minimize the costs and inconvenience to one party. For example, the dealer could offer to buy your old car to save you the trouble of trying to sell it.
!Tip:Before you make your proposals to the other party, think about how acceptable your proposals are likely to be to them. With good preparation, your proposals are more likely to be well-received, keeping the negotiation process moving forward smoothly.

Integrative negotiation doesn’t always involve money. For example, it can be used for two people in an office who can’t agree on whether to open or close the window. At this level, any decision is likely to leave one of the two people dissatisfied. However, when the people discuss their real interests, they discover that one person wants some fresh air, while the other wants to avoid air blowing directly into the room. The integrative solution is to redefine the problem and find a win-win solution: open a window in the room next door to get fresh air with no draft.

If you decided to brush up your negotiation skills, we would like to offer our support.

This Friday morning, we will explore more the world of negotiations in the workplace. if you’d like to come along, buy your tickets now, just click here: http://evisioncoaching.co.uk/programmes/

We will meet up in City Centre, @City Business Hub, 10 a.m.

Have an amazing week!

Laura

Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching
Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Motivation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your behaviour the result of a Positive Mindset?

 Mindset concept in tag cloudIs your behaviour the result of a positive mindset?

Once we have opened our mouths and words have blurted out, we cannot reverse the process. We know the importance of thinking before speaking and acting. Forgetting to think first can land us in trouble. It is behaviour that directly connects to results, even though thinking may be responsible for generating the behaviour.

I may think up a strategy for persuading my peers to buy into a project, but my behaviour will be judged by the perceptions of the people on the receiving end of my communication. It is not enough just to think we have the best way of influencing others; we must also pay attention to how we may be received by them. If our strategies are not getting us the results we want, we can carry on doing the same or we can do something different. The former is the choice of ignorance and incompetence; the latter requires flexibility and making a conscious decision to do something different.

Behaviour often conforms the rules and norms within an organisation. Even with a conscious effort to think differently, strong behavioural patterns can prevent change from taking place. A team of ten people may resist change simply because it is easier to stay within the limits of well-worn groove.

Successful team leaders are also change agents, with the ability to influence large groups. The larger an organisation becomes, the more fixed patterns of behaviour you will find and the more you will require influencing skills to make a difference.

notesEXERCISE:

Take a few moments to do the following exercise.

Think about your own patterns of behaviour. Take a typical week in your working calendar and recall the meetings and the written communications you engaged in.

1. How much of this was a repetition of something you have done before? How much of it was different to what you had done before?

2. Scrutinise what you did, what you said, and how you said it. How much of it got the results you wanted? How much of it didn’t?

3. If you could go back in time and live that week again, which parts of your behaviour would you change and why? What about your listening skills, your perception?

If some of your behaviour is not getting you what you want, the first step towards changing it is to recognise what you want to change, and then create some alternatives. This may sound simplistic, yet I bet you know lots of people who keep repeating ineffective behaviour, even though the results are clearly not contributing to higher-level goals.

Next article we will speak about the role of feedback in changing behaviour, stay tuned:)

Laura

Posted in Behaviour, Change, Habits, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The heart of a WINNER

As she was sitting on the chair, looking at the blue sky, she remembered the words that her grandmother used to whisper in her ear when she was a child:

“Good seeds come from good plants and bad seeds come from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They remain dormant in the depth of the earth until one of them suddenly decides to wake up. It stretches itself, timidly at first, and then begins to push a charming little sprig inoffensively towards the sun…..[…] if it is a weed, it should be torn out at once, as soon as it is recognised….[…] if you interfere too late, you will never get rid of the baobab. It spread over the entire planet….[…]

‘It is a question of discipline’ ….When you have finished your cleaning in the morning, it is time to attend to the planet’s cleaning with great care”Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery

Than she realized that the same thing happens to her own thinking, her own mind: If she doesn’t take a good care of the good seeds and bad seeds, new ‘baobabs’ (negative results seen as worries, stress, sadness, anger) can grow and get really ingrained in the soil (seen as habits, behaviours).

She put the pen down and she shouted really loud from the top of her longs:

“The process of creation is everywhere whether it is a star system, a designer jeans, a gardener of a simple human being that is taking care of her type of thoughts!!”

Give thought to something you’ve infused with the appropriate feeling….which creates the appropriate behaviour…and here it comes.

All the positive thoughts in the world won’t make any difference, nor being a good person with a generous heart, nor praying, visualizing and meditating ’til dawn, nor even knocking our heads against countless stone walls in our fervent attempts to capture life-long dreams. None of that will create a thing until we launch the magnetic vibration to pull those dreams in through our infallible magic genie called feelings, that electromagnetic authority of which dreams are made.

Dreams are the fuel for a happy life! – Just think about it!

No matter who is trying to emancipate those frightening things we call ‘feelings’ and boil all the fancy techniques down to one simple remedy for creating and abundant and fulfilling life:

“Learn to identify a good feeling from a bad feeling”. – She felt relieved, when she heard the sound of her voice heating the walls of her room. She knows that THIS will make a difference from now on: self-awareness, is “my key to my own happiness”

original_key-to-happiness-necklace

That’s it. Learn to do that and you’ve got the course made. You can create anything your heart desires!!

This is the secret that transforms us into deliberate creators instead of creators by accident. This is the power that changes wishful thinking into actuality, the simple art of being able to identify a good feeling from a bad one.

Don’t worry these kinds of feelings have nothing to do with digging up garbage from your past, or confronting whatever bogeymen might currently residing in your emotional closet. They’re just the garden variety type of feelings we have all day long. But one you learn to keep track of which ones feel good and which ones feel less than good, you’re home free.

This is what fosters good health, closes the big sale, brings spiritual fulfillment and puts comfortable sums in the bank! Just learn to tell a wonderful feeling from an everyday downer one, and watch the magic happen.

Swallowing Glass

Feelings, those things we’re all so terrified of if they happen to be negative, are nothing more than energy that go zipping through our body, set off by our thoughts. The only reason we go to such lengths to avoid them is that some of those negative emotions don’t feel so hot. We don’t like the sensation they give us. So we stuff them way down deep, where frankly, they’re raising holy hell with our magnetic demons.

Let’s all have a look at those ones that we want them to be buried, called “Feel Bad Habit”: can mean anything from flat-lining which is our normal daily state or neither up nor down, just existing, to a little bit down, to rip-roaring rage.

We feel BAD when we think any kind of thought that doesn’t have to do with joy, like guilt, loneliness, anger, resentment, worry, doubt, frustration, stress, concern. Those are all fear-based thoughts that vibrate within us at an extremely low frequency, that is why they don’t feel good. They are totally contrary to our high-frequency natural state.

We feel good when we think thoughts that have to do with joy, like appreciation, delight, pleasure, enthusiasm, awe, gratitude, love, all those warm fuzzies we relish when they happen.

No one can swallow cut up glass and expect to feel good, yet that’s what we do all day with our somber thoughts and feelings. We literally bath ourselves in unconscious negative energy (from our own thoughts as well as everyone’s else)….which is totally contrary to our natural state of joy.

So, it becomes a vicious circle: Both our conscious and unconscious day-to-day feelings, that we think are normal, are sending unnatural negative vibrations throughout our bodies…which make us feel down, or as we don’t have feelings at all.

So, WHO IS THE ONE CREATING THOSE FEELINGS?

The MIND, controls our feelings. You can have mountains of knowledge, skills, qualifications but if your mind is charged with doubt and uncertainty, if you are feeling at a low ebb, or if you are unsure about your ability, you are unlikely to perform well in anything.

Being in a resourceful state of mind helps you to be in a resourceful state of heart, meaning that you will create the ‘right’ fuel to sustain your performance. It will help you to access your knowledge and experience more readily. An unresourceful state of mind will make it much more difficult to tap into your natural ability and will ultimately limit your potential.

“When an athlete prepares for a competition he is creating a ‘winning’ states of mind to help him succeed in his challenge”.

That state of mind is creating the state of feelings that will fuel the body and create the results he imagined at the beginning.

The more you know about your mental patterns, about how you generate your state of mind, the more flexibility you will have to influence your results and get more of what you want.

Getting different (better) results in a new context requires obviously a flexibility to learn, an ability to communicate differently and to change the way we think or behave. This is a higher level of learning than that one applied to learning a technical skill. It requires the ability to adapt and evolve to cope with new situations and relationships, using our natural creativity to foster the resources we have within.

Untitled The real limitation is not technical ability, but the degree of creative thinking we are able to apply to our learning and personal development. There are many ways of putting limits on ability, but they all come down to the degree of access we have to our inner creative resources, including self-motivation, belief, determination, responsibility, energy, perception, focus, flexibility.

These are the resources that, when enabled, empower you to create more of the results and more of the future you want.

Don’t forget to meet us this Tuesday, in our beautiful lounge studio on Malone Road for a great night full of tips and resources that you can use to unlock your potential.

Click here for the details and tickets:

Positivity – A Fuel for a Brilliant Mind

Have an amazing week!

Laura

Development Coach

Posted in Creativity, Events, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What SMALL step can motivate others and yourself to complete tasks

What SMALL STEP can motivate others and yourself to complete tasks

Imagine this:
In one sunny day (very possible in Belfast) you and your friend meet up for a coffee. After you order and pay for your drinks, the waiter hands you a loyalty card and explains to you that every time you buy a cup of coffee they will stamp your card. Once you have collected your ten stamps you can claim a free cup of coffee. You take the card from the waiter and notice that he has already stamped your card twice to get you on your way toward that free cup of coffee.
The progress you have now made toward your free cup of coffee could be framed on one of two ways:
a) 20% of the way toward achieving that free cup of coffee
b) you have 80% remaining.
Which one is more likely to motivate you to complete the task?
It turns out that the answer is not relevant just to a coffee shop owner looking to influence his customers to be more loyal, but to anyone else interested in themselves and others to complete tasks.
(***By the way, you already read 10% of this newsletter***)

Influence researchers Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach thought that an individual’s motivation to complete a task could be improved by making a small change in where they focused their attention.
They found out that, at the beginning of a task, getting individuals to concentrate on the smaller amount of progress they had already made toward a goal would be more motivating than focusing on the larger amount of effort that remained.

One reason for this is because in the early stages of a task, focusing on the smaller number appeals to the human desire to behave as efficiently as possible. An action that moves someone from 20% completion of a task to 40% completion has doubled their progress –  which seems like a very efficient action indeed.

As a result, if you are a manager or supervisor, keen to keep your staff motivated to reach the sales goals or performance targets, in order to maintain the early motivation high is to provide feedback on the staff’s progress: “You’re only one week into the new quarter and you’ve already achieved 15% of your quarterly target!”

If you are just a person trying to save money regularly to buy a new definition TV or a new sunny holiday, you can improve your commitment to your financial plans by focusing on the SMALL but important progress you already made.

If you are keen to motivate yourself to get through that 60 minutes Gym, or a Spinning Class, a focus on the time or distance endured in the early stages before transferring to the time or distance remaining toward the end could help get you through such challenges. Alternatively to add momentum to your personal weight-loss program or smoking abstinence, emphasize the weight you’ve already lost or days without cigarettes in the very early stages before directing attention to weight still needed to be lost or smoke-free days left to reach your desired goal.

When we change the way we think, the way we make sense of the world, requires a lot of commitment and effort to do so and most importantly a lot of time. We cannot change our belief over night!
It is a very beautiful negotiation game that we play inside our heads between our new goals and our old, automatic, very impulsive mind.

SMALL tips for BIG changes:

1) Admit that is a game, so give it curiosity, time and don’t give up

2) Be patient! - it takes time and practice like any other muscle

3) Start with win-win situation – by changing the way we frame our progress and goals, we gain better mental agility, we improve focus, task-motivation and confidence in achieving the results we wanted.

That’s it, you just finished reading 95% of this newsletter.

By now, you remembered how important is to see the ‘glass half full’ of any progress toward any goals you established this year.

CHALLENGE:
You need fuel to achieve your yearly goals. Go quickly and grab a pen and paper, review the objectives you established for this year and count our progress the way show    n above! Well done you:)

This month we are happy to announce an event about negotiation in the workplace. Go and grab your tickets now, click here

I wish you a very productive week, the first month of the year went very well!

Have a happy Day!

Laura

Development Coach

Elite Vision Coaching

Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Confidence, Deadline, Goals, Motivation, Negotiations, Positive mindset | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The snooze button and the way we live our lives

Your Snooze Button is making you feel tired,

Monday morning, new hopes, new energy flowing through our bodies accompanied by the excitement of the thought that ‘someday’ it will be a ‘new me’, a new ‘BETTER’ me. We all have this train of thoughts, especially on Sunday evenings when we plan the week ahead.So, the sun arises, the morning is there and the alarm “Ring, ring, ring!”  And we decide, in a glimpse of an eye, to touch the snooze button, to take that important piece of heavy 5 more minutes on board and feed ourselves with sleep and special powers. We do everything in those 5 minutes: we continue our amazing dream about Star Trek Enterprise, we fly, we surround ourselves with the best movie stars and so manyyyy things we do in those 5 minutes…Sometimes, we get greedy and we take more minutes, just for ourselves, we lie to ourselves with the sanity of a crazy person that we can rush that much that we will still be in time and still get that great breakfast that will fuel our day.

At the end, after all this fallacy, we realize that we really have to wake up, to rush about and get to work. Sometimes the breakfast remains just a good wish, we get dressed very quickly and get to work. Our general attitude is completely changed now, we NEED COFFEE!

So we end up being tired, irritable, and in need of several cups of coffee in order to stay awake, we need to be let alone to get into a creative head space before noon.

Maybe you feel you’re likely experiencing a case of social jet lag, caused by waking up at different times and constantly hitting that snooze button over the course of the week.

INSIGHT
The snooze button makes us feel tired, lack energy and irritable.

Infinity-Time1CHALLENGE
Teach your body not using the alarm clock!


We all have our internal clock, that unconsciously use in order to get things done. Let’s all use it and trust our internal compasses. Ok, is very hard to do this.
A small piece of article from a Psychology magazine, reveals the science behind:

  • “Your body is most efficient when there’s a routine to follow. So if you hit the hay the same time each night and awake the same time each morning, your body locks that behavior in. And that’s where things get sciency…If you follow a diligent sleep routine—waking up the same time every day—your body learns to increase your PER levels in time for your alarm.” 

Beat the clock!

  • Your sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a protein called PER. The protein level rises and falls each day, peaking in the evening and plummeting at night. When PER levels are low, your blood pressure drops, heart rate slows, and thinking becomes foggier. You get sleepy.
  • About an hour before you’re supposed to wake up, PER levels rise (along with your body temperature and blood pressure). To prepare for the stress of waking, your body releases a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol. Gradually, your sleep becomes lighter and lighter.

And that’s why you wake up before your alarm. Your body hates your alarm clock. It’s jarring. It’s stressful. And it ruins all that hard work. It defeats the purpose of gradually waking up. So, to avoid being interrupted, your body does something amazing: It starts increasing PER and stress hormones earlier in the night. Your body gets a head start so the waking process isn’t cut short. It’s so precise that your eyelids open minutes—maybe even seconds—before the alarm goes off.

You snooze, you lose!There’s evidence you can will yourself to wake on time, too. There were made plenty of experiments on volunteers, trying to prove the fact that we have our internal clock.

Incidentally, if you don’t wake before your alarm, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep—or you aren’t sleeping on a consistent schedule. Waking up at different times on weekdays and weekends can quickly throw your clock out of whack. Without any consistency, your body may not know when to get up. So when your alarm starts screaming, you feel dazed and grumpy.

What happens when we snooze

Enter the snooze button. Since your body’s gone through all that work to rise gradually, a quick nap sends your internal clock spinning in the wrong direction. All the hormones that help you fall asleep meddle with the hormones that help you wake up. Your body gets confused. You feel groggier. And with each slap of the snooze, it gets worse. The snooze, it seems, is the worst way to start your day.

Take my challenge and teach your body to wake up the same hour!

The way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. As I wrote in a previous article, I decided to live every moment with happiness (pleasure and purpose) and to be present in everything I do, without any ‘snoozes’
I decided not to put happiness on ‘snooze button’ and to value each moment. I love routines and schedules and is a salvation tool for be to be productive and happy.
A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern. What remains at the end is the way we felt, the memory of our feelings.

I defined in my last article a good day as being a day spent with enough moments of pleasures and enough moments of deep purpose. We have our own formulas for happiness and for good days. In terms of routine, I would say that, in order to be happy we have to live this formula everyday.

~There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are yet to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation, pleasure is more about the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit, purpose requires less and less material and more and more exploration; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? Who would call a day spent with friends a good day? Who would call a good day a day spent on working a project that you love? 
You and only you, can decide to create your own recipe of a ‘good day’. Add your own quantities of pleasure, excitement and purpose to make your life tasty and worth living.~
If you would like to join our next event about creating a great, empowering mindset for this year, click the link below:
POSITIVITY –  the fuel for a brilliant mind 

Have a happy Day!

Laura

Development Coach
Elite Vision Coaching

Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Deadline, Goals, Happinness, Positive mindset, Procrastination | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Designed for Happiness

Designed for happiness and the story of the New Year, 

In that evening John looked at them and said, while taking another deep breath: “Don’t make stuff because you want to make money – it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous – because you never feel famous enough”.  With a deep wise look in his eyes, with his large black hat that looked like a raven with widespread wings and his velvet vest across which the patina of the centuries had skated, took another sip of water and remained in silence for a few moments. His followers looked at him as if they were holding their breaths, waiting to absorb, his next wise teachings, just like the soil greedily absorbs the new water trying to calm its thirst. 
“If you worship money and things….then you will never have enough. never feel you have enough” he added.When I saw this person speaking, a couple of years ago, I felt that impressed, that I felt the Earth moving underneath my feet.

“I have a new focus now, TO BE HAPPY!!!”, I said to myself.

“Simple enough, you’d think….” – I continued in my mind, thinking about all the doubts that will get myself trapped in along the journey.
When I think about happiness, I do, like everybody else, I think about adding more, assuming that I don’t have enough, that I am not enough. Is it true?

What does it really mean to HAVE ENOUGH?

I started this year with these type of thoughts:
“What does it mean to have enough?”,
“How can I emphasize the positive feelings about my current happiness without any projections or future expectations?”
“How can I befriend with my inner life”?

At the beginning of the year, most of us, dress up with the layers of the New Year’s expectations, New ambitions (New Year’s Resolutions if you’d like to call them like that) and easily, very rapidly, put those on our shoulders, add up a big cheeky smile on our faces and drink quickly the potion of the big lie “This Year I’ll be MORE, Have MORE”.

This year, it was different for me, I wasn’t feeling cold, I didn’t need to warm myself up with the excitement of the new achievements. I felt somehow, just like a child who discovered old shoes in the cupboard, I felt like dancing again.

“This Year, I will simply dance, I’ll allow the music to feed me” – I promised to myself.
This time, I will discover the inner music and befriend with it.

My dear reader, I wanted to share with you my thoughts about the new course of my life, because I know that you appreciate having a good life for yourself too.
As a person interested in achievements, is very easy to let yourself drowned by the thought of the future success. It’s easy to postpone happiness.

*Happiness as a bank account without savings or loans*

I never thought about happiness as a bank account before. I recently realised that happiness is just like that.

We put time there, in the account, exactly 1440 minutes a day. Without any exception, we use this time every single day. If it is not used in our favour, then, is lost, LOST forever. There is no way back! There is nobody there to borrow us time, to help us to retrieve those great moments that make our hearts beat and our faces smile like demanded poker players that just won their last game.

But how Do I make these 1440 minutes to REALLY matter?
How do I let go the thoughts of “should” (I should improve myself to be better, I should try to let go the pain, I should let painful things to go away, maybe that way I’ll learn to live in the moment, maybe then, only then I’ll be happy”)?

To answer to the question above, I came up with some solutions for myself:

1 – I accept the life as it is right now and be grateful
Is very easy to project ourselves in the future or to live in the pain, thinking about the past, thinking about what other people think about us, or how others or different events will hurt us. But the truth is that, with these projections, the only thing that we do right, is to use inefficiently our time, which, never comes back. Life is not about deadlines, achievements, results, life is more about music, about enjoying the dance, the fly.
When we dance, we don’t plan the next steps, we feel like a leaf in the wind wore by the hands of the wind in the rhythm of the new song. We don’t plan or guess the notes, we don’t allow the knowledge to burden our fly. Don’t get me wrong, I love knowledge, but to be really fulfilled it means to live the music, not to KNOW the music. Music is what makes us feel fulfilled. achievements, deadlines make us feel filled with punctual pleasure. The pleasure, unfortunately doesn’t last.

2 – Rediscover myself
The art of letting go, the art of unlearning old things and discovering, learning new ones, is within myself not somewhere in the wind. I love the journey to myself, so I will use daily few minutes of those 1440 to cultivate self connection and self-attention.

3 – Being present – a life style
Being present is not something that happens once and then you have achieved it. Being alive to the process of life itself, makes us feel fulfilled and happy.

4 – Life as an equation: HAPPINESS = pleasure + purpose
When we wear the clothes of deadlines, achievements, we feel very cosy with our expectations of the new pleasures. And maybe we have purpose too but the question is: It is really worth it? Every time when we have new goals, we should ask ourselves “What is the price of this goal”? 
A long boring job, or a time spent in misery at work, a dreadful relationship, unsuitable friends, don’t really matter when we count happiness. Remember, that time is lost forever.

Advice
Check within yourself which ingredients you should add in YOUR life, to make this balance work. Is it about pleasure or about purpose that will make your life worthwhile? You are the only person who knows the answer

5 – Worry less and be self-centered than constantly compared with others
For me there are plenty of triggers of worryability. I noticed them and also tried to understand what makes me anxious. In the last studies, the highest rate of anxiety is for people around 40 years old and comes back later on in our 70’s. Also, in the 40’s we all experience the lowest level of life satisfaction. Of course, these numbers are only general, they don’t necessarily apply to everyone of us.

Advice

Meditation, dance and any form of art have the purpose of reducing any sort of anxiety you might feel. I would highly recommend exploring these options.

We are all designed for happiness, is good sometimes to remind ourselves that we ARE ENOUGH.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my thoughts and if you would like to meet, we have a great first meeting next Wednesday, in the Apartment, Belfast, City Centre.
Join us with a click here

Thank you for reading and remember, design your life, don’t let other people to set up your direction!

Laura

Development Coach
Elite Vision Coaching

Keep exploring ~ Make connections ~ Share your discoveries

Posted in Happinness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life as a circle from childhood to childhood and Merry Christmas

 Seven Wishes for Christmas and Super Powers

 “I am in a rush to get things done.

 All I do is rush and run. 

I run and rush till life’s no fun.

                                And oh, all I do is rush and run.” —- 

 Does it look familiar to you? How many of us are looking for gifts this week for the dear ones, getting annoyed about the crowd from the shops, getting angry because of the lack of manners of some people trying to just get things done….trying to tick the boxes of a list, to do the “right thing”…Right now, the time seems to rush in, to go faster and faster, it seems to lose track of the pleasant moments and to make count only those moments when we are in the queue, waiting to cross another thing from our amazing list for Christmas.
And yet, this is what Christmas is about? Is about a list of what we ‘should’ do or about ‘what is right’ to be doing?
Getting older, or let’s say, more mature (I hope is wiser too:) I realized that I lost a bit the Spirit of Christmas. I kept asking myself lately, what made me lose the joy of Christmas. To be honest, in looking for an answer for this question, I realized that I keep on blaming other factors for my own lose of Joy for Christmas: exams over exams, changing the job, getting new projects, deadlines and deadlines, illness of relatives, worries about jobs and the economic status, moving house, moving country, etc.
I realized that there is always a blame to put on somebody else’s shoulders when the only one responsible to bring back the Joy for Christmas, my Joy for Christmas is only ME.
So here am I now, asking myself a totally different question: ‘How can I bring back to myself the Spirit for Christmas”?
To be honest, I didn’t find the total truth yet, but I like exploring this new World of Finding Christmas and this Journey brought to me great memories, special moments of pure happiness and great Joy.
So far, I realized that I love very much sharing, therefore I love telling you what secrets I revealed to myself so far and how do I plan make the new Spirit of Christmas last over the years.
The very first thing that I gave up doing it the last years, was to send wishes in the sky. I love making new wishes, it makes me dream and more important, brings back hope and positive outlooks about the future.
This Christmas I’d like to celebrate with you the joy of wishes, the joy of making new wishes for the future.
I have so far, seven big wishes that I’d like to share with you.
Wish one
LET GO OF TIME – Are you directing your time or your life is directed by time? How much do you need to do today? This question is just a proof of the time slavery. Is not about the things we done everyday, at the end of the day is only about what fills every moment we spend from our lives. What we do makes us feel alive? My new aim is to live my life alive, enjoying every moment, less concerned about results and more focused on the space between moments, on the silence between thoughts, when actually life happens. This Christmas, I’d like to be light, to let go time and to enjoy moments instead of seconds.
Wish two
WANDER where there is no path - There is no time like the present to “get lost”. This attitude is one of the best to bring back the Spirit of Christmas. It involves a lot of expressions: creativity, indulging intuition, pursuing a great relationships with yourself. I’d like to take this path, is now sure that will get me closer to the Real Christmas.
In a place of wander, is no blame, is now concern, is just curiosity, just joy in the process of discovery.
Wish three
Ask yourself what THIS MOMENT MEANSEven though we are creatures of reason and is a great idea to ask ourselves which are the secrets of the universe, this concern can become a burden and can stay in our way in finding meaning in the very present moment. To find the secrets of the universe, is an endless speculation, so my new wish is to find new ways to recognize what am I meant to learn in every second.
Wish four
Friendliness, compassion and delight to cultivate a calm mind -this new wish will help me to cultivate a more open heart, without judgement, to radiate the message of delight of having them in my life.
Wish five
Breath in the NOW
- this new wish is about spending more time in joy, in admiration and meditation. This wish is about letting go the concerns about things, about past or about future.
Wish six
May YOUR HEART SING
– this is a very special wish for me. Is about the wander of life, is about music and joy for being alive. This wish is about celebration of all that is good about my life, is about appreciating my blessings.
Wish seven
 
Perform every act as if it were your lastThis wish is about giving my BEST in everything I do. Is about about taking responsibility about every action we make, to perform it as if the whole life would be changed because of it. Be mindful of who you are in every action you take.

I know that you will have a different journey than me, in finding or maybe, who knows, you already have the Spirit of Christmas within yourself, but i just wanted to share with you my Christmas wishes, that will become my new inner mentors for the future.
I have to make another confession to you: I still look for the Christmas and I know is somewhere out there.
This journey of looking up for the Spirit of Christmas, reminded me a lot of my childhood and somehow, transported me again in my grandmother’s house, with a lot of lights, with a Giant Christmas Tree, with many gifts, with a smell of Cinnamon, oranges, fresh Christmas cakes ( “cozonac” called – with roasted walnuts, cocoa, oranges, he he the recipe some other time)
Merry Christmas 
Christmas has now a new meaning for me: is a spiral of new beginnings, is a circle from childhood to childhood, is a new realm of possibilities, of dreams that can come true.
If you’d like too, to enjoy with me the Spirit of Christmas, I’d like to invite you to step into this new circle of childhood and allow yourself to breath in the new moments of happiness and joy. Is just a matter of wander and curiosity:)

I wish you a GREAT CHRISTMAS, spent with an open heart, joy, wander and amazing tasty cakes and gifts:)
With love,
Laura
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