Archive for August, 2009

Change the meaning about what happened

Friday, August 28th, 2009

As we all know at some point in our life we start to feel boxed in by our life circumstances. Our choices seem limited by our beliefs around what is possible in our life. And when we are really honest with ourself we know that our beliefs are just beliefs and not truth.

It’s difficult for many of us to accept this truth, but if you accept it, you will have a new sense of freedom.

What is really disturbing is that these beliefs which limit what’s possible in our lives today are based upon the meaning and significance we gave events that happened when we were kids.

The meaning you have given these past events including characterizations about yourself, such as “you’re not lovable…You don’t deserve better,” are running your life today.

Freeing yourself from this past is the first step in experiencing more personal freedom in your life. Look back at your life and realize that every event and experience that has occurred has made you what you are today.

Take a look at some of your past experiences. Can you give this past experience a different meaning? I know you can but even if you can’t what about being open to the possibility that because of this event you are better for it. Sometimes forgiving yourself or someone else is also freeing. Stop hanging on and let it go. Let go of your attachments and your identification with what has happened. Be willing to give it new meaning.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

You never Know what the Future Holds

Friday, August 14th, 2009

In a life coaching session this morning with let’s call him Carl, we discussed Carl’s excessive worry about his life and its inherent challenges. These concerns covered the whole gambit and challenges; relationships, financial and health. From time to time Carl begins to freak out about what he has to do in the next few weeks. And Carl’s concern with money weighs heavily on him.

These concerns have bothered Carl for quite some time. Carl believes like many of those who I work with that when his circumstances change, he won’t worry as much.

I have encouraged Carl to meditate and exercise regularly. However his concerns get in the way of his having a committed program.

Carl is concerned with what might happen in the future which is unknown. We have no way of knowing what might happen. It could be totally different than what we think.

When these circumstances are resolved there will be a new set of circumstances to replace them. That’s the way it alway is. Here’s why I say that.

Carl’s concern is not really about his current set of circumstances but about how he relates to the future which is unknown. It’s always going to be that way. And the future never arrives because it’s always out in the distance.

Carl like many of us needs to change how he relates to the unknown…to uncertainty. I always say make the unknown your friend.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

Accepting the Uncertainty Inherent in Life

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

In a life coaching session with let’s call her Sally, we discussed the way that she perceived herself. When I first began working with her, she was in the process of buying a professional practice. Sally did not think of herself as a confident person. Each day was an emotional struggle for her.

As we continued our work together, Sally became more comfortable with her new practice and the uncertainty that surrounded it.

It’s a fact of life that there will always be uncertainty to some extent. We’re human and have insecurities that have been with us most of our lives.

In the process of self discovery these tendencies diminish.

In our work together, there was a turning point for Sally. We talked about the courage that it took for a 50 year old woman to buy a professional practice. it took a leap of faith by someone who was willing to go for it and had a strong belief in themselves, even with the insecurities.

I asked Sally to start thinking about herself as the type of person who is willing to go for it. As she began to focus on the inner qualities that are necessary to go for it, she began to see herself as a self-confident person and became more comfortable with the uncertainty that the future might hold.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

The 3 Internal Phases of Processing Conflict

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Today I was thinking about conflict and the many emotions associated with it. First there is the disagreement. Your view is not in alignment with the other persons. You don’t like it. Your body tightens and your breathing becomes shallow.

Then there is the venting phase which involves making the other person wrong. You feel hurt and have a need to be vindicated. In your mind you make the other person wrong a thousand times and gather support for your viewpoint. You process it with other people until finally they don’t want to hear it anymore.

And then there is the letting go. You no longer have the need to talk about it. You become quiet and let it go. You become detached from the outcome. And as you become quieter, the conflict goes away.

Today I felt at peace with a current business conflict I was having. As I found the peace within myself, the conflict didn’t bother me any more. And then I ran into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in many years. I no longer was carrying the baggage of the prior conflict. I could be totally in the present and maintained my inner peace and enjoyed the day.

Journey On

Mark

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016

SO I’M NOT PERFECT

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Many years ago I had one of those experiences that you never forget. It shows up in so many areas of my life. I was a trial lawyer for 30 years and have been a musician since I was seven. Most people would say I am comfortable in front of people. But even now, whenever I’m in front of people, there is an inner conversation going on that I do not want to have. It is always a variation of “can I do it” or “will it be good enough.”

This experience occurred when I participated in a weekend workshop sponsored by the Actors Institute which was designed to increase one’s ability to give better presentations. The participants included actors, musicians, comedians, lawyers and politicians.

After a long weekend of exercises designed to “stretch” us we were required to give our presentation. We then critiqued our own and each others performance. Without exception, our critique of our own presentation was much harsher than the groups. The instructor commented that if we had to hire ourselves we would never get a job!

We are so hard on ourselves. The truth is, in the process of trying to be perfect, we often focus on our imperfections and sometimes that is all we see. Because of this fear of being imperfect, we procrastinate and agonize over seemingly easy tasks. My wife Annie reminded me of a story that illustrates this point.

The master lived quite a distance from the stream. Every day his servant, the water bearer, would walk from his master’s house to the stream with two large pots, each hung on opposite ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the walk, while the other pot had a crack in it and arrived only half full.

This went on for a full two years and the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfections and of the fact that it was only able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do.

Finally the cracked pot summoned up enough courage to have its own conversation with the water bearer. It went something like this. ” I am ashamed and I want to apologize to you for I have let you down. Because of my flaws you have had to do twice as much work.” But the water bearer would have nothing of this conversation. “Did you notice the beautiful wild flowers along the path and did you notice that these beautiful flowers were only on your side of the path?” That’s because I have always known of your flaws and I took advantage of them and planted flower seeds on your side of the path and every day you watered them. And these beautiful flowers that you have watered everyday grace the master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws and in our own way we are all cracked pots. With all our imperfections we create a lot of beauty and good in the world. Perhaps what real courage is all about is not letting our fears and imperfections stop us. Instead of procrastinating we confidently take the next step.

Imagine experiencing your imperfections in a different way– as gifts or unique opportunities. Identify an imperfection in your life that gets more attention than it deserves and discover what gift is hidden in that imperfection. From this new vantage point imagine what could be possible? Let me know what you discover.

Journey On

Mark

Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he shares his message that regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in early 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com 415.453.5016


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