Here are five pieces of life coach advice to help you improve mindset, increase happiness and build success. Part 3 of a series of special life coach blog posts to help you thrive.
As a life coach and NLP practitioner, I have learnt many new ways of thinking and ways to change behaviours.
Coaching techniques and neuro-linguistic programming or NLP therapy increase your confidence and motivation and help you reach your goals and get where you want to be in life.
Use these five life coach tips to be your own life coach, change your life and feel happy and successful in the coming months:
1. Practice the Four Toltec Agreements
The Toltecs ruled Central Mexico a thousand years ago and were unified by esoteric spirituality. Their wisdom was passed from generation to generation and then to the civilizations which followed them.
Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz ‘offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.’ I highly recommend this book.
In summary, the Four Agreements are:
Be impeccable with your word
Speak with integrity and only say what you really mean. Do what you say you will do (especially if you say it to yourself!). Don’t speak ill of others – avoid gossip and judgment.
Don’t take anything personally
When a person or a group do something, they do it because it is ‘right’ in their mind, in their internal world. When we take something personally, we make an assumption that that person or group knows what is going in our internal world.
Even if someone insults you, it has nothing to do with you. Their words and actions are formed from their own agreements they have in their own minds, and from the programming they received during their life. It is not what they are saying that is hurting you, it is that you have wounds that are touched by what they said.
This is similar to the NLP Belief of Excellence ‘the map is not the territory’. I’ll use some examples to explain this:
If you and I watch a movie together, I will watch it through my eyes, through my map. My map – how I see things – is based on my own personal experiences, my thought patterns, my upbringing, my culture, my beliefs and my values. You will watch the movie through your eyes, your map; your personal experiences, thought patterns, beliefs etc.
The movie – the territory – remains the same yet each of us experiences it differently because we each layer our own personal map onto it.
It is the same when people debate a subject. The subject – the territory - remains the same, for example the subject/territory is that climate change is accelerating rapidly. But each person in the debate will use their own map to opinionate.
Everyone operates in their own world, everyone has their own map. Knowing and respecting this allows you to not take things personally and not be a victim of unnecessary suffering.
Don’t make assumptions
Ask questions to get clarity on what someone is expressing through their words or actions. Express what you really want rather than assuming someone knows what you want. Practice clear communication to avoid misunderstandings.
Always do your best
In all activities, do the best you can. Whether it be raising children, applying for a job, writing a proposal, listening to a friend, making a cake. It enables the best outcome and minimises guilt later on.
“Your life is the manifestation of your dream: it is an art. And you can change your life anytime you are not enjoying the dream."
2. Collaborate with others
If you feel stuck on something, be open to collaborating with other humans. Two is often better than one for many reasons.
Collaborate with a friend by asking for input on an idea; collaborate with an expert if you don’t like or have time for an action (I use an accountant as I don’t like accounting); collaborate with your partner if something needs doing at home; collaborate with a colleague on a project.
If you want to own an action or project, collaboration doesn’t have to mean a 50/50 share. If you clearly communicate what you require from a collaborator – eg. you just want input or advice - there will be no room for misinterpretation.
3. Nuture valuable relationships (and release those that drain you)
Your time is precious. If you have limited time outside of your work, it is important for you to spend your time with others wisely.
Would you rather have an hour with your partner or go on a coffee date with someone who actually annoys you?
Would you rather spend a Saturday with an old friend or go to the local fete because you feel you should attend?
There are ways to extract yourself from commitments with kindness and honesty. If people get upset, this is their story.
4. Take one action toward to your goal each day
Reaching a goal, however big, is always possible with effort. By breaking tasks down and doing a little each day, you can eliminate the enormity of something.
One of my clients wants to write a novel; she sits down to write three pages a day for her book. Three pages a day over six months is 548 pages.
- If you want to move abroad, could you spend thirty minutes a day researching potential locations?
- If you want to change your job or career, could you go through one online job board a day?
- If you want to lose weight, could you skip the milk and sugar in today’s coffee or tea?
To get you closer to your goal, what action can you take today?
5. Get outside every day and breathe
Our mind, body and soul benefit from breathing fresh air outside. By filling our lungs with natural outdoor air and then exhaling out the toxins and stress, we replenish our body with oxygen and vitality and we can refresh our thinking at the same time. We feel better for the experience.
It could be a walk in the park, along a river, in a field, time spent in the garden, walking to the shops.
Be mindful in this activity; notice what you see, hear, smell and can reach out and touch. Notice how much better you feel after 10 minutes.
(If it is cold and wet outside, I guarantee your mind will create an excuse to stay indoors. You have a choice here; go for the fresh air!)