Strong Foundations: Never Underestimate the Basics

How much time do you waste looking for things and you just can’t seem to find stuff when you need it?

How often do you find yourself losing focus and energy because you keep thinking that you must get around to fixing or changing this or that?

How often do you feel frustrated when all you want to do is make more time for yourself and your family?

Melissa is a business owner who came to me for coaching because she wanted to increase her profits and her client attraction. She expressed her feelings of overwhelm and frustration because she wanted to get more organised inside her business and found herself not being very productive at all – in fact, she felt like she was wasting a lot of her time, energy and money.

One of the first places Melissa started was in cleaning up her environment. This meant clearing all the clutter in her office, home, car etc. I explained to Melissa that ‘anything that is not organised – will always organise her’. She told me that she could relate to this because she felt like all her time was being chewed up with unproductive patterns and she did not want another year to go by without making time to work on her business instead of getting stuck inside the day to day putting out of fires.

At Melissa’s next coaching session she was a new person. Much more relaxed, confident and enthusiastic about her business. She has now found time to do things that she had been putting off for years just by clearing the clutter and making space in her life. Melissa found that by organising her time, she miraculously found more time in her life to choose. A big one for Melissa was to spend more time with her children and has now put systems in place that work for her lifestyle and business style.

Melissa recognised that because she was so used to working and living inside of clutter, she had never experienced the difference before. She is also noticing how much more present she is when at home as she did not realise just how much of her time was caught up with not really be there. She was physically there – but not emotionally because her mind was always on work. Melissa is now living her life fully and loving her new founded lifestyle and business style.

Melissa admitted to me that she was sceptical about the effects of decluttering and most thankful that she took the actions because she had no idea that it would give her all of what she has now gained in her whole life.

If you want success in your life and business, then get started and clear the clutter. Give this gift to yourself; just like Melissa did by spending the time to declutter every area of your life – home, office, car, computer, garage, cupboards etc. and you will be amazed at your results.

Strong Foundations: Never Underestimate the Basics

Ways to get started:

  1. Plan your time to declutter (yes stick it in your diary as an appointment). Make this time a priority and be realistic as it may take a few days or even longer.
  2. Break it down into chunks. Write down your areas to declutter and choose one area at a time. Choose the highest energy and time drains first.
  3. Choose what you are going to do with your clutter. Sell it or have a garage sale. Give it away to a friend or someone in need. Place it in a gift box if it is something you have never used and wrap it for a friend.
  4. Clear out your computer. Use the 3 D Motto – Do it – Delegate it – Dump it. Make sure you do a back up first.
  5. Keep up-to-date. Book in your declutter time ahead each year and place it in your diary.

A Final Thought:

Never underestimate the basics. It is the simple task of decluttering that will support you to achieve what you want in your life and business success.  This is the very thing that will give you more time and more energy to free you up to do the important things that will help you to live your whole life with ease, flow and clarity.

Is The Ego Path Sabotaging your Real Success and Fulfilment?

The path you are taking may be the very path that is stopping you from living the life you say you want to live.

Many clients come to me after achieving much success in life and wonder why they are still not fulfilled. They are trapped in a world of success that is defined by their past or their future. Never fully being a witness to the fullness of their real success.

If you are chasing your vision and goals, thinking that your future will be better when you achieve them, then you may be on the ego path – not your true path of success.

I often get asked this question about the ego path?

“How do I know the difference between my true path and my ego path?”

Before I go further into answering this question, let’s take a look further into what the ego path is and how it may be sabotaging your real success.

The ego path is when you keep focussing on the outside tangible results e.g. how much money you want to make, the type of relationship you want to be in, your ideal career/business, trying to keep up with the Jones’s.

If you focus on the results you want on the outside ‘alone’ without coming from your own heart’s inspiration and taking those inspired actions, then you will go through life running very fast skimming the surface and certainly will not enjoy the journey on the inside. No matter how much you achieve and receive, there will always be a sense of ‘not enough yet’ or ‘not good enough yet’.

The ego path will always keep you disconnected from your true values and you will be living another person’s values in life based on what you think success should look like. Identify what success looks like, feels like and acts like from your values – not others – and certainly not the ego path. 

I often get asked this question about the ego path?

“How do I know the difference between my true path and my ego path?”

Answer:

  • If you keep comparing yourself to others and making yourself feel inadequate – is the ego path.
  • If you are continually in competition with others and not living life on what success looks like to you – is the ego path.
  • If you keep hearing yourself say…”I must do this…” “I have to do that…” “I should be doing this…” – is the ego path.
  • If you continually keep wondering if you are getting ‘it right’ in life – is the ego path.
  • If you notice you keep buying lots of stuff, getting more money, the new relationship and still not happy – is the ego path.

You will know when you are on your true path when:

  • You are in your flow and taking actions that feel good.
  • You see opportunities coming your way naturally.
  • You attract like-minded people.
  • You handle challenges by being the ‘observer’ and learning more about yourself.
  • You trust and follow your intuition and gut feelings even when you cannot see all the steps in front of you.
  • You are focused and living in the moment being fully present to life.
  • Your priority is being of service and building like-minded relationships.
  • You surrender to the flow of life.
  • You give unconditional love and acceptance for yourself and others.

Most people are taking action, thinking they are on the path of success, following other people’s vision and values. Yes, you may achieve a lot along the way, yet at what cost! Your time, energy, money, family, health, business, peace, fulfilment, connection, authenticity, relationships, creativity, inspiration, and much more etc.

At the end of the day, only you know what your truth is! Observe what’s working and what’s not working for you. Get honest about your decision-making by reflecting on whether you are taking action based on your ego path or your values connected path.

If you are ready to authentically connect and engage with your inspirational self, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards authentically connecting and engaging with your inspirational self?

If you know of a leader who is struggling with connecting and engaging with their inspirational self, please share this article.

Seize the Day: The Power of Being Fully Present

How often do you live in the present moment? Or do you notice that you live in the past? Or does the ‘yet to happen’ future fill up your thoughts every moment of the day, while life is passing you by?

When I was first asked this question, I had no idea what the question actually meant. This past, present and future stuff just did not resonate with my consciousness at the time. I was living my life so unconsciously – always in the past or the future, never in the present.

My head was always busy thinking about what I could have or should have done in the past or how I was going to do it all differently in the future. I missed out on a lot of fun and spontaneity in life, though since then I have made up for a lot of lost time, simply by being present.

In the next section, I will share with you how I started practising living in the present moment and got out of living in my head. For the first time in my life, I realised just how much my inner dialogue, based on false beliefs, was running my life. So, learn from your past, take off your rose-coloured ‘future’ glasses – and enjoy the fun and spontaneity of living fully now.

Seize the Day: The Power of Being Fully Present

The Gift of Being Present

Imagine you are in a 747 plane, sitting near the wing. You look outside the aircraft and to your shock; notice that the wings are on fire. The captain’s voice comes over the sound system: “This is your captain speaking. I have an emergency announcement. The wings are on fire and we are going down fast. Please listen very carefully to my instructions for your survival.” What would you do? I know I would take in every single word the captain was about to say.

What if you decided to listen to everyone in your life in exactly the same way? This is what I consciously decided to start practising . . . to listen as though the wings are on fire!

After practising listening as though the wings were on fire with everyone who spoke to me, I experienced the gift of living fully in the present moment. I can honestly tell you that I felt numb to life, until I started being present. My head was constantly filled with loud internal conversations that directed my actions, without my knowing it. The most challenging thing in my life would have to be practising living in the present moment.

Once I did this, however, the gift I received was two-fold. First, I started listening to people without the inner conversation that took me away from really connecting with them. Then I noticed how they were asking about my life and taking a genuine interest in me, because of the connection I now had with them.

It took persistent practice on my part, but over time I received the most precious gift of all: I found that the more I connected with people, the more I connected with myself. When I connected with myself, a free flow of energy occurred and I naturally started attracting the right people and opportunities into my life.

If you are ready to play a bigger and stronger game with a powerful vision, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards creating momentum in playing a bigger and stronger game through the power of presence?

If you know of a leader who has a vision and is struggling with creating momentum because they are not present to their next steps, please share this article.

Powerful Benefits inside of Everyday Visioning

Having your own vision gives you more purpose and meaning to life. A vision will support you in times of doubt, especially when you face challenges and you start to question the who, what, and how you want to live your life, based on what’s most important to you. Having a vision will help you to maintain your focus and achieve your personal and professional ambitions.

When I first started my coaching business and had times of challenges and self-doubt, my own coach would always ask me to read my vision. There were times when I really did not want to do this because of the uncertainty I held on to in that moment.

What I found, however, was that reading my vision brought me back into the present and stopped the frustration and the sense of being overwhelmed. Most of all, it reminded me of what was truly important to me now. That helped me see that the challenge I was dealing with at that time was insignificant in the big scheme of my vision. In that instant, I always found a way of managing the challenge with ease.

Powerful Benefits inside of Everyday Visioning

Did you know that you already visualise every day, as you think about the daily activities that may need to be done? What happens is, you go into ‘automatic action mode’ to get through your day. The thought processes you have every moment of your day are sending messages to your brain, which then activates the body into taking an action.

All your daily actions, like eating breakfast, driving the kids to school, driving to work, reacting to traffic, choosing what to wear, going to the gym or for a walk outdoors, will always have a vision through your mind’s eye first, before you take action.

What is important about this process is that you notice what thoughts you are processing and especially the energy you attach to your thoughts. If you have a negative emotion driving your actions, then that is what you will attract. Guess what! If you have a positive enthusiastic energy behind your daily actions, then you will always attract positive experiences. As you step into your day, start noticing where you are placing your attention and practice visualising your day with enthusiasm. This will give you the confidence to create your vision beyond your everyday activities.

Everyday Visioning Tip

When you go to bed at night and your head relaxes on the pillow, consciously take some deep breaths with your eyes closed. Focus on your breathing as you begin to relax your mind, then visualise your next day the way you would like it to go – being confident at meetings, flowing through your day, asserting yourself with good energy, inspiring your team, working in the zone, communication with your family, remaining calm and relaxed etc. Allow yourself to relax into your visualisation as you fall into a peaceful sleep.

If you are ready to play a bigger and stronger game with a powerful vision, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards playing a bigger and stronger game in business, leadership and life?

If you know of a leader or an emerging leader who is not playing a bigger and stronger game inside their powerful vision, please share this article.

Playing a Bigger and Stronger Game with a Powerful Vision

When reflecting on the many achievements in my professional and personal life, I could not understand why I did not feel happy, fulfilled or good enough, no matter how much I accomplished. I realised I had limited my vision of success to achieving tangible results and was still yearning for more.

As I reflected back on my sporting days, the vision I had was quite limited because it was mainly about achieving recognition through winning fairest and best and being selected for state and national teams.

The most memorable times I have are the natural contributing actions I undertook and the real connection I had with the team and coach such as team members asking if they could join me in extra training sessions. I would coach them to believe in their ability and train them physically in the areas they needed improvement. I also remember how much I enjoyed the team camaraderie – before, during and after training sessions and games.

In other words, I enjoyed the activities along the way in my physical senses, whilst my head was focusing on the bigger picture. I was not fully present in the joy of the real journey and not aware of the things I loved about playing sport. I was disconnected.

This was a real wake-up call especially because I noticed I was living my whole life like this. I then decided to change my vision and goal setting process, ensuring it honoured my heart’s vision and values from the inside out and the outside in.

Playing a Bigger and Stronger Game with a Powerful Vision

Going a little deeper into the area of vision, the most powerful and defining vision question I was asked more than 15 years ago was, “What do you want for yourself and others in the world?” This gave me a profound shift in the way I processed and thought about vision and goal setting. Instantly my vision became so much bigger than me.

I learnt when you know who you are, why you do what you do, and what you want for yourself and others in life, you can then be clearer on your purposeful path in life. You will know exactly what career path to step into, or what business to create fulfilling your heart’s vision and you’re why. You will create connected relationships at work and at home. You will enjoy your work and your relationships knowing it is an extension of who you really are.  http://annettestanton.com.au/vision/

The Heart’s Vision Model

The Heart Vision Model

Create your heart’s vision with realistic goals; devise an action plan consisting of specific daily actions for the whole of your life, and you will witness consistent results.

Your vision is not just about accumulating stuff; getting the next award, improved relationships, new career, or the next leadership role. Your vision is a true expression of your goals, values and actions that give you your mission and purpose in life.

Your goals are a specific breakdown of your vision with your action plan being your specific daily steps to take, knowing you are acting each day on your vision, values and goals. 

I share this because you never know where your journey will take you. Dream it, keep doing the things you love, create momentum by consistently being in action and the opportunities will open up for you. I believe opportunities are everywhere. The key is whether you are consciously a witness to them by being fully present. If you are focusing on what’s not happening or what’s missing in your professional and personal life, then you will be totally unaware of the next opportunity right in front of you.

The World Masters was not on my radar. I did not learn about it until I was holidaying in Canada. I heard about it in Vancouver, through meeting a group of Aussies, and I asked if they knew if touch football was played at the World Masters. They did not know so when I returned to Australia I did some research and discovered the sport was still quite young in other areas of the world. So I let it go.

I then moved to Queensland and joined the local team, which had many Australian players. In 1994, I was asked to be a part of a team being recruited for the World Masters. The rest, as they say, is history. We won gold and became World Masters Champions.

If you are ready to play a bigger and stronger game with a powerful vision, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards playing a bigger and stronger game with your powerful vision?

If you know of a leader or an emerging leader who is not playing a bigger and stronger game inside their powerful vision, please share this article.

What is your Definition of Real Success?

I was having a coaching conversation recently with a group of business leaders who were in the process of defining what Success really looked like to them. One business owner soon realised that Success was not the tangible things that she had been striving for over the many years of being in business – they were all intangible. This surprised her greatly.

It’s interesting and certainly exhausting how you may be chasing something in life that you think will make you happier, more successful or whatever your hopeful reasoning is. You may already have what Success truly is to you without even realising it. You may be moving so fast in the busy pace of your own life that you find yourself skimming over the surface.

Notice how much you may be telling yourself things like; when I have more time I will spend more time with my wife or husband or children, all I want is a little peace of mind, I want to slow down and make time for me. Most people escape from the busy pace of life by going on holidays only to find that when they return, they jump straight back into the same old routine with nothing changing.

Ask yourself:

 “What is true Success to me coming from the inside out?”

State 3 ways of Being (according to your Values) that you are going to commit to from today.

What is your Definition of Real Success

Yes, the outside results will move towards you when you move towards it coming from a state of Being. This is what natural attraction is all about and I can tell you, it is so much easier to live your life coming from this angle instead of pushing, striving, worrying and trying to control things.

Practice letting go and being responsible for taking inspired action in the areas of what is truly important to you and listen to that part of yourself that is telling you to chill out and make time for you. Trust and listen to your intuitive gut feelings and most of all, act on them.


What True Success to Me is…?

  • Success to me is when I am fully present connecting with every person I come into contact with, being in a state of presence.
  • Success to me is when I am naturally expressing my wisdom, strengths, talents and unique gifts through my speaking, coaching, and writing.
  • Success to me is when I am honouring my inner knowing by listening, trusting and taking inspired action in each moment being in a state of grace, flow, and ease.

When I live life according to what true success is to me, life opens up in so many ways that I could never have planned for, even if I tried. The perfect opportunities present themselves, I meet the right people at the right time and I live more in my flow. This is certainly a much easier way to live life instead of trying to force and control everything. I call it ‘Living in the Zone.’

If you want to gain clarity of vision and direction, making sure you live with your definition of real success, contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards living your definition of real success?

If you know of a leader who is not living their true definition of success, please share this article.

 

 

The Vital Link to Inspired Success

Have you gone from goal to goal, achieved success in many areas of your life; and wondering why you are still not happy? What’s missing for you?

Often this is because you are so focused on where you are going in life that you have not stopped to smell the roses along the way. It is important to be grateful for what you do have in your life today, the people who are important to you, the clients you already have, your current financial position, your family, the action steps you are taking, your health, the knowledge you have, all the life experiences you have had, and whatever else you can think of to be grateful for.

Yes, that means the everyday small things that bring you joy and energy in your life, including the small actions you are taking towards realising your vision.

In the past, my life always felt as though it was dangling like a carrot on a string out in front of me to chase; I was always going for the next goal, the next award, the next level and still not happy. Yes, I had heard people talk about ‘being grateful for what I had in my life now’ and ‘reflecting on what I had already achieved’. I always let these suggestions slide off me with an, ‘it’s not enough yet’, attitude.

What I was really saying was ‘I wasn’t enough yet’. This also meant that everything I had achieved in my life was not enough.  I took so much for granted. When I realised that, I decided to make a list of everything I had achieved in my life as far back as I could remember.

The list started really slowly as I reflected on my life. The more I started to write, the more I remembered, from little things like getting up early one morning to watch the sun come up, acknowledging a colleague, helping a family member; to the bigger things like being a national sporting representative, starting my own business, publishing my book and speaking overseas.

As I looked back at the list I had a powerful feeling of accomplishment within myself. This helped diminish the limiting beliefs I had of ‘it’s not enough yet’ and ‘I wasn’t enough’; when in actual fact I was ‘more than enough’ and had ‘more than enough’ in my life.

When you are in a state of ‘it’s not enough yet’, you will continually feel that way – and life will also show up that way.

Did you know that when you live your life with the ‘it’s not enough’ theme constantly being played, you are actually affirming to yourself that ‘you are not enough’?

I learnt this lesson myself when I first hired my master coach. I remember telling my coach that I had to learn more about certain topics before I could move forward in my business.

Sure, education is important, but I actually had a lot of knowledge, which I was not using. My coach gave me two challenges. The first challenge was to write the affirmation ‘I am enough’ and place it in my office so that I could see it every day. I resisted this at first because I truly believed I had to look for more answers outside of myself.

The second challenge was to trust and take the next step I knew I wanted to take, based on the knowledge I already had. You see I was always one of those people who loved to learn by reading books and attending seminars, but did I action what I had learnt? Not to its fullest capacity.

When I started trusting, I realised that I undervalued the amount of knowledge I did have and kept looking outside myself for more knowledge. It became a habit because I loved learning things, but what good was my knowledge if I did not put it into practice?

Due to this new way of thinking, I was able to identify my values-based vision and goals from the inside out – not just going for a vision outside of myself. Life and business transformed and evolved naturally because I stopped chasing after the elusive vision. The truth is, your vision will always naturally expand, although if you continue to live like it is something outside of yourself, then that is where it will stay. The chase will be forever with those feelings of ‘it’s not enough yet’.

Once I realised this, I had to consciously practice catching myself whenever I looked outside for more, to then come back inside to honour my values-based vision.

Are you living your values-based vision? Notice whether you are getting swept along with other people’s vision and values, as this is not sustainable to your inspired success.

Notice in what areas you may be looking outside yourself for more knowledge, information, wisdom, opportunities etc. that you already have. You are already enough in many areas of your life. You only need to bring it to your awareness and then acknowledge yourself and the actions you are already taking.

Coaching Tip

One of the practices that may support you (as it did me) is to write five things you are grateful for each day. So if you feel as though your wheels are spinning and life is moving fast, stop to smell the roses by taking on this daily practice. This can be done even in your thoughts just before you turn the light out at night.

When you are grateful for everything in your life, as it is today, you will feel an immediate expansion of your energy and start to attract more of the good things in life that you truly desire. Why not start a gratitude journal on a daily basis and notice how quickly your life will change?

Best Practice – Supportive Habits

Do you ever feel you don’t have any self-control, that your impulses are driving your behaviour? In other words, are you taking actions in a lot of areas in life, but not in the areas that you say are important to you? Remember that we are all made up of our habits. If you want to change your habits, it takes commitment and a conscious practice until the new behaviour becomes a new habit, which supports you. Did you know that it takes 30 consecutive days to change a habit?

For example, you may have set up a goal of wanting to spend more time with your family, but you keep allowing work to get in the way. In this situation, the natural habit is spending extra time doing work.  The first step in changing this habit is to design a new behaviour (action) that will allow you to spend more time with the family. For example, you might allocate Sundays to doing something special with the family, plus you could agree to turn off the phone so that you can fully enjoy the experience. Make sure you communicate this plan to your family so that they can help keep you accountable to your commitment.

I work with many people who want to also have a life outside of work, yet the recurring pattern I see and hear is that they never seem to get on top of things and before they know it, time goes by and they miss out on a lot of what’s important to them. The most common things I hear people say they want to spend more time on are; exercise to improve their health, fitness and increase energy levels, spend quality time with their wife/husband, time to listen and play with their children, quality time with family and time out for themselves.

Notice how easy it is to spend time doing the unimportant things first. You may be concerned about the paperwork that has built up and think that ‘if I just get on top of this one, then I will make time for me and my family’. What do you notice happens? Do you continually feel like you are never on top of things? If so, take a look at the three simple steps on how you can change habits that do not support you in the next section.

The 3 Steps to Changing Habits

Step 1 – Awareness

The first step to change is becoming aware of your habits and what your triggers are. Most of the time we are so busy ‘doing’ life that we do not take time out to become aware of who is it we are, what is it we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. You will never become aware if you keep on doing whatever you are doing, without becoming consciously aware of your actions. Awareness is the first major step towards change. Once you register your awareness, then you can go to step 2 to accept and release your habits.

Step 2 – Accept and Release

When you become aware of your habits and triggers, it is only then that you can accept and release the habits that do not support you in your life. You accept and release a habit purely by stating that this habit does not support you in your life and you choose to now let it go. It is easy to be attached to a habit because this is the only way you consciously know how to manage your life. The good news is that you taught yourself through habit in the first place and you can choose a new habit at any time. It is normal to feel as though you are stepping into the unknown because that is exactly what takes place in the releasing of habits. This takes us into step 3 of re-creating a new habit to replace the old habit.

Step 3 – Re-Create

This is the fun part, of re-creating your habit. It is important to remember that when changing a habit you must replace it with a new, consciously supportive habit. Consciously choose the new habit you would like to start practising in place of your old habit.

Let’s say your old habit is ‘not listening to people fully’ and you are always ready to speak over them, even before they have finished saying what they wanted to say.

You then may decide for your new habit, that every time someone speaks to you, you will stay totally present, listening to what they have to say – and that you will only answer them after they have stopped speaking. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try it yourself and notice what happens. The next time you are speaking to someone, you will probably jump right into the conversation and repeat your old habit. You then might walk away, noticing that you did it again and didn’t fully listen. The second time you notice, you want to jump in and you catch yourself. Great, this is the power of becoming consciously present to your actions and reactions. The third time you will become fully conscious and choose your new habit at the beginning of the conversation.

To speed up the process of re-creating yourself, take on the practice of visualising yourself living the new habit in its perfect form now. See yourself being the person you want to be and see yourself having the results you want.

Best Practice – Supportive Habits

Coaching Tip

Become aware of your habits and choose new habits that support your energy and focus each day. The list below may give you some ideas on where to start looking.

  • Communication challenges
  • Career you do not like
  • Not clear on your direction
  • Health problems
  • Money challenges
  • Never enough time to do the things you want to do
  • Always feeling under pressure
  • Not always being honest
  • Lack of energy
  • Family problems
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of commitment
  • Being overweight
  • Being argumentative
  • Always worrying about something
  • Giving too much to other people
  • Sense that you have to get ahead
  • Plan to get fit but never do
  • Always wanting to be in control
  • Feelings of being lonely
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Feelings of not being worthy
  • Weak and submissive behaviour
  • Aggressive and dominating behaviour
  • Not allowing other people to support you
  • Not being organised
  • Not doing what you say I’m going to do
  • Others…
Strengthen your Strengths

“Your natural strengths are the gift you have to offer the world.”

Most people do not acknowledge their own strengths, abilities and natural talents. Your strengths are the qualities or skills that you are generally good at, are drawn to and enjoy doing. When you clearly identify and acknowledge your own strengths, you will re-ignite a glow inside of you that will automatically strengthen your strengths.

You will miss out on a lot of life’s exciting opportunities that you know you would love to experience if you do not bring your strengths to the forefront. For example, you could miss out on applying for a new management position, asking someone you admire out for dinner or starting your own business. Your strengths will become weaknesses and lie dormant if you are not conscious of what they are – and especially if you do not utilise them in your life.

This reminds me of one of my clients, Sally, who was naturally very creative. She would paint, draw and design cards in her spare time. I said to her in one of our group coaching sessions that it was easy to see that her natural strength was being creative. Sally said that she could not see how that could be a strength because that was what she had always done in her spare time.

“How could it be strength when that was just how she was?”

I then asked her if she knew anyone else in her group of friends who did the same things in their spare time, to which she answered No. I explained that it is easy to not see our own strengths because they have become a part of who we naturally are. When Sally started to own her strength of creativity she started to share her artwork with others and even began to frame some of her work to hang in her new home.

Many people are busy putting themselves down and focusing on what they are not good at instead of focusing on what they are good at doing. When you focus on your strengths and utilise them to their fullest capacity you will be surprised at what you can do.

Let’s not forget your so-called ‘weaknesses’, as it’s important to be aware of these and to acknowledge them also. I do not consider weaknesses as a weakness. The thing about a weakness that most people do not realise is that it is only a part of you that you have not practised enough for it to become strength.

Notice how your strengths are strengths because you enjoy utilising them and they then come easily to you. Your weaknesses may be areas that you do not enjoy as much, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose not to have them become a strength. If a particular weakness is something that you would like to become strength, all you need to do is to learn and practice it until it becomes a part of your strengths.

Look for Strengths in your Whole Life

I was coaching Julie, who shared with me that when she was writing out her strengths, she noticed that they mainly related to her working career and experiences. This challenged Julie because while work was a major part of her life, she wanted to balance this more and look at strengths in other areas of her life.

So we explored this by looking at the balance wheel. Julie went to the gym regularly, so one of her strengths was looking after her well-being and fitness. Another obvious strength to me was that Julie was very well organised in having a routine that she was committed to maintaining. Another area we looked into was family and friends and the way Julie kept in contact with them on a regular basis even if they lived in another state or country. The strength, in this case, was staying connected with loved ones by keeping in touch over the phone, no matter where she lived in the world.

As Julie started to explore her strengths, I observed a glow in her eyes and a huge, engaging smile on her face. I acknowledged her for having a great smile. This was also a strength Julie had – and she was not even aware of it.

So you see your strengths are not just about your qualifications and work experiences. In fact, you need to have a look at all areas of your life. You may be a great father/mother, or easily connect with people, you may be a person who excels at routine and being organised, or you could be a great ideas person. Dare to expand yourself in becoming aware of your own strengths. Take a look at the list below giving some examples of strengths.

List of Strengths

  • Well organised person
  • Great smile
  • Committed person
  • Connect with people easily
  • Great communication skills
  • Open and honest
  • High standards
  • Great father/mother
  • Healthy and fit
  • Enthusiastic
  • Honest work ethics
  • Positive nature
  • High energised person
  • Loving wife/husband
  • Great systems in life/business/career
  • Put people before results
  • Very creative
  • Love life
  • Acknowledge self and others
  • Visionary
  • Balanced life
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Team player
  • Leader
  • Great manager

Coaching Tip

You have natural strengths, talents and abilities that you use every day. When you own who you are and what you do well, this will give you greater clarity of vision and confidence because you will know exactly why you do what you do.

Make a list of your top 10 strengths. Be really generous with yourself and write whatever comes to mind. Be mindful about where in our life you are expressing your strengths.

I encourage you to give yourself a boost of certainty and confidence by taking on the challenge of making a list of your top 30 strengths and let me know how you go.

By strengthening your strengths with conscious awareness and mindful action, you will gain clarity with natural confidence knowing Who you truly are and Why you do what you do.

There is no competition when you know Who you really are, What unique strengths you have developed and in What way you naturally express your strengths. This way of living will ultimately give you your purposeful Why each day.

Close the Gap to Living your Vision

Closing the gap between where you are now in life and where you want to be can be challenging. I remember feeling frustrated at times about the size of the gap and wanting changes to happen ‘yesterday’! We tend to forget about the importance of developing a foundation for our new and expansive vision to build on. I often had the feeling of either spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast or feeling I was on a roller coaster, one minute up and the next minute down.

I knew logically how important it was for a building to be secure, with a strong foundation below the surface, so the building can withstand the forces of nature. Yet, even though I knew this, I had never experienced what having a solid foundation felt or looked like until I started taking the consistent steps I needed to take. I just kept moving onto the next project, the next vision, the next goal etc.

Then I hit rock bottom…everything changed all of a sudden…

Going through an emotional divorce, my health suffered and my business flat-lined.  Facing the challenge of starting all over again, I began to do the things that were important to me first and giving myself plenty of space for clarity to explore ‘where to from here’. This was different from my usual pattern, to push on regardless – I knew how to do that so well!

Hitting rock bottom or going through a challenging time can be really tough. The last thing you want is to be in this position. I certainly didn’t! But I knew that the old way of doing things was not working for me at this stage in my personal and professional life.

I decided to tune into my heart and not let logic and rationale run my life. This was so foreign and pretty scary at the time, but I persisted and allowed myself to feel this different way of being. In a short period of time, I transformed my personal and professional life for the better, which I would never have achieved if I kept doing it the same old way.

As time went by and I consistently took actions that made my heart sing, I noticed how I started to get out of my head and listen to the guidance of my heart. Yes, I began to become my own best friend and to feel rock solid about which I was and what I wanted in my life, in a way I never had before.

The most miraculous experience for me was the realisation that while I had a strong foundation in my sporting life, I had never truly had a foundation in my personal or professional life. I was so excited because I finally felt I had something to build on, something which would never leave me because I was standing on solid ground.

Wow! What a fantastic experience this now is in my life, as I can manage challenges that come my way with much more flow and ease. No more roller coasters in my life – I know what I prefer! This applies to all areas of life. Develop a foundation, and you will experience a calm inner strength to face the daily challenges because you have something solid to stand on that will not waiver.

Build strong foundations

Building Strong Foundations

I remember when I started my first business as a personal trainer and coach in 1994, how excited I was because I had a vision of helping people bring out their best physically, emotionally and spiritually. I ran my business on sheer passion, based on this compelling vision. As the years went by, the excitement of my passion and vision started to dim – and I felt exhausted.

The turning point for me was when I became aware that while I was very good at helping people with their own personal health, fitness and ways to balance their life, the last thing I focussed on was doing it for myself.

There were two missing links for me. Firstly, I did not do the key things needed for my health, fitness and balance. Secondly, I did not have my business systems set strongly in place as my foundation for the business. Remember the story of the plumber who is very good at fixing everyone else’s leaky taps, but never makes time to fix his own leaky taps at home? Sound familiar to you? It is important to have a foundation in every area of your life for you to have a fulfilling and sustainable life. If you have a leaky tap in one area, it will affect the other areas.

I started to write down where I was spending my time and those areas I wanted to make time for. As I became more aware of where I wasted time and the areas I truly felt inspired, this was how the 5 pillars to life success came about for me to which I live by each day. I needed a simple formula that would support me in expressing my whole self.

The 5 Pillars to Life Success

  • Personal
  • Career/Business
  • Wellness
  • Self-Leadership
  • Financial

Take a look at the 5 pillars in your life and see how your foundation is set up. Are you standing on solid ground or are there areas you would like to focus on building up?

Start building your strong foundations and make sure you close the gap from where you are today to living your vision with clarity. I have created a Free-Flow Zone Assessment that will support you in cleaning up your life and build strong foundations.

Click on the resource link and scroll down to the Free-Flow Zone Assessment and give yourself a score out of 100. Let me know how you go.

Resources

Annette Stanton

“I see a world where leaders are being called to step up and out - to lead from their authentic self with greater connection.

My mission is to activate revolutionary leadership across the globe where leaders are living their highest vision and purposeful mission every day.”

Contact Annette
  • +61 8 9437 4820
  • annette@annettestanton.com