What To Do With Habits that Refuse to Die

 

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

Shortly after his 90th birthday, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Six weeks later, he passed away.

 

Knowing that our father was dying, I resolved that I wouldn’t argue with my brother about anything relating to our dad’s care and burial. We had argued over so many details when our mother died that I was determined we would do it “right” this time. I felt confident – after all, I coach people in how to handle difficult, stress-filled situations.

 

I was going to coach Peter and myself through this ordeal. . .

Ah, but I’d forgotten that old habits die hard!

 

Within an hour of my landing back in New Jersey, Peter and I were pressing each other’s buttons with ease. That is, until we looked each other in the eye and said “no – not this time.”

 

More than anything, we wanted to work together so as to be together for our father in his last days.

 

When Peter and I were growing up, our father always told us to “keep your eye on the ball, kid.”

 

Given that Peter and I never played sports, his advice made little sense! Eventually, we figured out he was quoting some famous sports person (still don’t know who) and what he was trying to say was that if you stay focused on what you want, you can have it.

 

Sitting by our father’s side in the nursing home, Peter and I kept our “eye” on the ball, supporting our father and each other in all ways caring.

 

While old habits may never die, this time they did not take hold as in times past. What happened?  Peter & I were able to laugh at our own selves and at each other.

 

“You know you’re being controlling, don’t you?” 

“No, I’m not!” 

“Then, what do you call it?” 

Pause.

“Controlling!”

 

We didn’t allow old rituals to stranglehold us. We quickly (okay, “somewhat” quickly) caught ourselves when we fell into old patterns and moved on to a more honest, more engaging place.

Old habits may die hard or they may never die.

 

The real issue, though, is this – we can change our relationship with old habits of talking and relating.

 

Awareness + desire = change

Well, actually, awareness + desire + skill + practice = change.

 

Here are some questions to help you become more aware of the rituals that trip you up at work and in your personal life:

 

  • What is a recurring situation in which you respond in familiar, knee-jerk fashion?
  • What triggers are being pressed?
  • If the old ways of responding are not working for you, why do you persist in using those ways?
  • What would you like to see happen differently?
  • What would you have to do for that “different” to happen?
  • What’s holding you back from doing that “different”?
  • What can you start doing to make it easier for you to do what you want to do?

 

Remember

Old habits have only as much power and control as we give them!

 

Do you want to learn how to confidently break the old habits that keep tripping you up –

so as to develop and nurture successful professional relationships?

 

To explore how business skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115

The 10 Things All Trustworthy, Trust-Generating Pros Do

 

You can’t be everything to everyone,

but you can be something great for someone. 

Arielle Jackson

 

 

Although I only play miniature golf I had the privilege to speak at the Titleist Performance World Golf Summit. I spoke on how coaches, trainers and teachers can create trust between themselves and their clients.

 

I explained that no matter what your field trust springs up when your client believes that you “see” and understand them.

 

In my talk I highlighted the basic communication skills that go into creating trust: listening, managing emotions, understanding your biases and using well-chosen words.

 

Since that talk, I’ve recognized a marked difference between those who are able to create a trusting relationship and those who seem robotic. Yes, clearly there’s a difference in communication skills BUT there’s also that “something else.”

 

I’m now convinced that the “something else” hovers around whether the coach, teacher, healer (substitute “manager” or “leader”) trusts their own individual self – trusts not just their professional skill set, but trusts their own person and their ability to enter into a relationship with others.

 

In order to establish trust with your client you need to trust your own self.

 

What does it mean to trust your own self?

 

While it’s about being “confident”, it’s about more than confidence. When you trust your self certain observable things happen – or at least, you’re willing to let happen.

 

Trusting yourself means that you –

 

  1. Believe what you’re doing is worthwhile and you’re committed to the job. Golf legend Scott Foley said it best: “I’m here to touch the individual lives of the people that I work with. I was raised on the idea that when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night the goal is to leave the world in a better place than you found it.” 
  2. Readily and willingly make yourself vulnerable and are not easily embarrassed.
  3. Experience empathy for what your client is feeling, thinking.
  4. Respect failure and mistakes and so are patient because you know the process demands it.
  5. Convey knowledge and competency with a non-arrogant alertness so that a potential problem is addressed with, “here’s how we’ll handle it.”
  6. Telegraph joy in what you’re doing through a palpable sense of liveliness, exchange and laughter.
  7. Focus on the client and are not self-absorbed because the on-going dynamic of the relationship is paramount.
  8. Understand the inherent power of story – realizing that a command of facts alone doesn’t generate trust.
  9. Go about your business rooted in the belief that the ultimate goal is to hear a client say, “I hadn’t thought of that before.” It’s all about discovery.
  10. Are grateful – for the skill, the client, the opportunity. Everything rests on this.  Seriously, have you ever met an ingrate you trusted?  How can there be trust without gratitude?

 

I think these ten traits flow from being able to answer the most basic and simple of questions: “Who do I want to be?”

 

Answer that question and you will inevitably come to trust yourself – and so create a trusting relationship with your clients.

 

A recent client of mine told me that he wants to be known for five characteristics: Intriguing / interesting / powerful / knowledgeable / humble.

 

He believes that he is these words and also that he can become “more” of these words.

 

I’ve been working with him only a short while but I can see how those words mark him and why his business practice is getting noticed.

 

The truest of truths is that people will most trust you when you trust yourself. 

 

Why?  Because the more you trust yourself, the more you’ll –

  • trust your client
  • trust the process of the relationship
  • help the client trust him / her self

 

Trust is a circular experience.

 

A client or colleague trusts you when they believe you “see” them.

You can only see them when you see and trust yourself.

The more you trust yourself, the more you can help your client trust his or her own self. 

Help a client trust their own self and they will come to believe that they can “do it” – whatever skill that “it” might be.

 

Ultimately, the circle of trust begins with you.

There’s no magic to any of this, though when trust happens, it can be magical.

 

 

Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?

 

To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115

What Name Do You Call Yourself?

 

To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth, which constitutes self-respect,

is potentially to have everything.

Joan Didion

 

 

I don’t know my paternal grandfather’s first name. His birth certificate says, “John”, but his baptismal certificate says, “James” while his death certificate says, “Joseph.”

 

He was thirty-three when he died and my father, his son, was just seven. Oddly, my father never could recall his father’s name and nor could my grandmother, even though she’d been married to the man!

 

The “JP” of my name stands for “Joseph Patrick.”

 

I’m named after my father, but my mother hated both names. My dad insisted, though, that I be named after him. However, he never called me “JP.”

 

He called me “Bobby.” Lambs were painted on my crib and because a lamb goes “bah-bah,” he called me “BaBa” when I was growing up. In high school, he slurred it into “Bobby.”

I come from a family that doesn’t have strong loyalty to names!

 

Yet, there is power to a name.

 

Recently, Roxanne, a new client, came to me distraught – she’s been out of work for several years and feels hopeless.

 

She said, “I don’t know any more who I am.  I’ve lost my dream and I don’t know how to get it back.”

 

I asked her to tell me who she had been before she lost her job.

 

Agitated, she said that she couldn’t remember.

 

And then, she poignantly muttered, “I don’t know if I really ever had a sense of ‘me’.”  She went on to say, “I’m a loser.”

 

I’m coaching Ron, another client, in public speaking. He’s intelligent, accomplished, respected and valued as a professional resource by his peers.

 

He downplays that reality by maintaining, “I am a fraud.”

 

When he speaks, he talks fast because he doesn’t think he’s worthy of people’s attention.  He’s afraid that people will see him for the imposter that he believes he is.

 

I think it’s easy for a person to lose sight of who they are – of who they once wanted to be – and of who they could become.

 

The TV private eye Remington Steele famously claimed, “I am who I believe myself to be.”

 

Whether you’re a fictional character or a real person, I think that belief influences just about everything in a person’s life!

 

Roxanne believes she’s a “loser” and Ron thinks he’s a “fraud.”

 

I know, though, that she’s not a loser and he’s not a fraud.

Yet, they insist on labeling themselves with names that don’t accurately reflect the reality of who they are.

 

Motivational guru Brian Tracy urges people to,

“Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true.”

 

What name do you give yourself?

Who do you believe yourself to be?

Is it a belief that gives you life or that sabotages your life?

 

Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?

To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,

contact me at:

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115

 

This One Precious Day!

 

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware,

joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

Henry Miller

 

I recently came across this reflection snippet from Danielle LaPorte.

I don’t know the context from which this comes, but it has grabbed my imagination and challenged me to ask myself,

what am I doing in this moment and will it eventually benefit someone?

I don’t know the context from which this comes, but it has grabbed my imagination and challenged me to ask myself, “what am I doing in this moment and will it eventually benefit someone?”

 

Read this and see if you’re similarly challenged. . .

 

Right Now:

  • Someone you haven’t met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.
  • Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.
  • Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.
  • Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. They just can’t see it from where they’re at.
  • Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche—this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.
  • Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable.
  • Someone is curing the incurable.

 

What are YOU doing Right Now?!

 

Do you want to be more in the moment right now

so as to develop and nurture successful professional relationships?

To explore how business skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence – and joy

please contact me

  JP@thebusinessofconfidence.com

818-415-8115