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Painting by Vytas

OR:
Top Ten Pitfalls of Staying in Your
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And Just-Plain-Miserable Job

Are you getting comfortable in your misery? Are you repeating the same career strategies and expecting different results? If you’re working in today’s marketplace and currently not satisfied with your position and don’t know where to turn … this free teleclass is a gift!

In less than one hour you will receive five fun, easy, and effortless action steps to take control of your career today!

In this 50 minute teleclass learn:
1. How the new economy is working in your favor.
2. Why it’s all about TALENT – and everyone has it.
Do you know yours? Are you using all of your talents?
(probably not or you wouldn’t have shot past the headline)
3. The secrets of career success your colleagues aren’t telling you.
4. How to effectively position yourself in the marketplace.
5. To use the 80/20 rule to increase your marketability.

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Come join us for a FREE interactive teleclass to learn five principles from Feroce Career Coaching that will jumpstart your professional success. Meet Feroce’s Certified Assessments’ Coach, Merrilee Olson-Axtell and Feroce’s Intuitive Career Coach, Wanda Ropa who will show you how easy it is to step off the rollercoaster of the marketplace and get back into the driver’s seat!

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**Class size limited to the first 20 participants.**

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

4 pm (Pacific)****

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But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.
— Two Tramps in Mudtime by Robert Frost

4 pm (Pacific)****
5 pm (Mountain)
6 pm (Central)
7 pm (Eastern)

Meet your career coaches conducting this class:

Feroce’s Certified Assessments’ Coach, Merrilee Olson-Axtell
Feroce’s Intuitive Career Coach, Wanda Ropa

Ready to join us to jumpstart 2007?

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by Coach Bradley

“This year, I resolve to make more time for myself in my schedule.” Sound familiar? Every year we make New Year’s resolutions with the idea that we will turn ourselves into better people if we just make a resolution. If we could only become more fit because we buy a membership to a gym, we would all look like Venuses or Adonises. But it’s not that easy. Achieving our goals is a round the clock, day in day out, month to month and year to year effort.

How many times do you see advertisements telling you that you can have what you want whether it’s a new lifestyle, more friends or nicer hair if you just buy something? So how do you make resolutions that stick and actually effect real change?

The New Year just happens to be a time when most of us pause and reflect. We may become aware that something is missing from our lives or that those resolutions made last year have somehow slipped by the wayside in our busy lives. The best way to make a resolution that you are going to stick with is to consider:

  1. How motivated am I to change?
  2. Is my resolution in line with my long term goals?
  3. Have I framed my resolution in a positive way?
  4. Can I take practical steps that are reasonable and do-able
  5. Can I make myself accountable to achieve results?

Becoming aware that something needs to change in your life is the first step to growth, being motivated to change is another  thing all together.

Let’s take my example: I want to make more time for myself instead of giving it away. I am motivated by my resolution because having more time for myself will make a big difference in my enjoyment of life. I will have time to read books, see friends, take a course or just do what I feel like in the moment. Imagine that! I’m definitely motivated!

My long term goals are to be financially independent, successful, happy, secure and having time to enjoy life. Making time for myself is in line with my long term goals and actually makes the last one more achievable. My resolution makes me feel as if I am getting closer to aligning my goals with my life. This is something I want!

I framed my resolution in a positive way. My goal is a positive one. It is something I am willing to work toward because it has a good outcome for me and I will feel positive about achieving change. Feeling positive about my resolution helps me to fulfill it.

Starting today I will take steps to find more time for myself. I resolve to leave one evening unplanned each week to do what ever I feel like doing and as I tend to work through lunch I will schedule a one hour break for lunch at least once a week. Notice I am taking small steps toward my goal? I am doing what I feel I can manage. If I take too radical a change I may doom my efforts, winding up with too much time on my hands and leaving other parts of my life neglected. I can manage small changes in behavior and when I feel ready, I will take on more.

Making myself accountable is one of the biggest challenges of making resolutions stick and it is one of the reasons why we all backslide on them. I will rely on my coach to help me with this one. Each week I will check in with her to give her a progress report. When I first started working with her, she gave me a life wheel to complete. Filling the chart in, I noticed that I had been neglecting my personal life, so this became a focus of our work. Little by little I have been reclaiming more of my time for my own use while I work toward my other goals.

There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions at this time of the year because this is as good a time any to make positive changes that enhance your life. Follow the simple steps and if you are not already working with a coach, find one. A coach will help you identify your strengths and work with them to help you define the steps you must take to reach your goals.

I have coaches as clients and as a coach I have a coach. A coach will keep you on track all year long so next year you won’t be mumbling the same old resolutions from last year.

Happy New Year!
And may all your resolutions stick!

Coach Bradley

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The 14-Day Challenge

For the next 14 days, take the Prescription for Happiness:

I challenge you to focus on doing things that really, really make you happy. Increase “your personal” time!  Take a vacation from your problems.  For the moment, put them in storage.  You won’t have to pay for storage fees.  This is all free.  Just imagine that you are putting them all in a box, sealing the box, and depositing them into a public storage facility.  That was easy!

In the movie, “What About Bob,”  Richard Dreyfuss tells his patient, Bill Murray, to take a vacation from his problems while he goes on his own family vacation.  What ensues is a hilarious comedy, one that will make even the most stoic burst into laughter.   In the book, “A Whole New Mind, ” Dan Pink reports about the phenomenon of laughter clinics started by Dr. Kataria, a visionary physician from Mumbai, India, the spiritual heartland of the world.  “Now, usually the mere hint that I need to pick up my inner child from the day care of my subconscious makes me roll my eyes and hide my wallet.  But the science mostly backs up Kataria’s claims about laughter’s virtues.” 

Reasons to Laugh

“Children laugh over 300 times a day whereas adults laugh only 15 times. This is because children laugh unconditionally while adults do so only if there is a cause.” 

Reason #1:

Clinical research studies by Dr. Lee Berk of the Center for Neuroimmunology at the Loma Linda School of Medicine validate that laughter decreases stress and boosts your immunity. 

Reason #2:

Researchers are starting to find that laughter has analgesic properties:  humor and laughter reduce or eliminate pain.

Reason #3:

Aerobic Benefits:  There is documented evidence that laughter is ten times more effective in increasing your heart rate and oxygenating your internal organs.  Laugh researcher William Fry discovered that it took only 1 minute of hearty laughter to duplicate the aerobic exercise benefits of rowing for 10 minutes at home.

Reason #4:

Feel and look younger:  When you laugh you are toning the muscles of your face, nourishing your facial skin by increasing its blood supply, and helping your face glow. 

So are you ready to take the Happiness Challenge?  For the next 14 days, pick one new thing that truly makes you happy and do it every day.  Be creative.

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • eating chocolate with raspberries
  • going out to lunch
  • walking the dog
  • walking the cat? – you may be happy but your cat won’t be.
  • walking the lizard? – same phenomena.

Click here for help in taking the happiness challenge.

Ready to join me and play?

Your Creativity Coach, Wanda.

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Are you experiencing a recurrent theme of starting, then stopping, and then starting, only to stop in your tracks once again.  Are you frustrated and feel that you will never make any changes?  So many of my clients start coaching when they feel stuck.  All their previous efforts haven’t worked.  Many books tout the importance of affirmations and a positive mind set to move forward.  Yet, for whatever reason, every time you want to make a change, you don’t get very far. 

Many of us believe we should follow Nike’s slogan and Just do it.  We blindly accept that if we are motivated and set our minds to change, we should be able to make massive sweeping changes without difficulty.  So, why do we keep getting stuck?

Why Your Mind Keeps You Stuck

How many times have you heard:  the mind is your worst enemy?  The reason is that we evolved to handle all kinds of strife.  However, when was the last time you faced the danger of a dinosaur or a saber-toothed tiger in your driveway or crossing the street? 

According to Dr. Robert Maurer, Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA School of Medicine and author of “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: the Kaizen Way,” change is frightening. This fear of change is rooted in the brain’s physiology, and when fear takes hold, it can prevent creativity, change, and success.” The amygdala located within our midbrain triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response when faced with danger. This instinctive process slows down our rational and creative thinking patterns. When we’re in ‘fight or flight’ mode, logical reasoning goes out the window. What are we left with? Our fear. This fear triggers anger, which ensues in attack posturing or escapism. How do we find the secret trap door to get out of this place and stop the discomfort?

However, what is even more common in our society is what I call the “freeze.” When we want to make even the slightest change or improvement in our life, the amygdala is triggered, or our natural alarm system is activated stopping us right in our tracks. We become immobilized and nothing gets done, no self-improvement.

Maurer suggests an alternative. The kaizen way is outmaneuvering this natural pattern. Instead of making sweeping massive changes that will overtax and engage the amygdala, he recommends small baby steps. Tiny minute actions guarantee success. For example, he suggests removing and organizing one paper clip off a disorganized, cluttered desk to start this process and whiz right past the amygdala. Soon, by repeating these baby steps, your brain slowly starts reformatting its hard drive and you will start seeing change at a comfortable pace.

So what does this all mean? All of us have built mental structures that frame how we perceive the world and ourselves. In order to change, we need to break down these structures and reformat our hard drives (our minds). This would be very difficult unless we had support and adopted the kaizen way.

Are you stuck?  

In a recurrent pattern of starting then stopping?

Would you like to stop the merry-go-round of frustration?

Click here for immediate help to learn creative approaches.

Ready to join me and play?

Your Creativity Coach, Wanda.

The Quicksand of Your Mind

Are you in struggle?
Your mind a puddle?
Are you stuck?
What luck?
In the
quicksand of your mind?

Are you out of flow
And problems just grow?
What to do, to solve this riddle?
Stuck in the middle
In the
quicksand of your mind.

There’s only one way
Out of this unwanted stay.
Resolve to clearly see
And not live by some false decree
In the
quicksand of your mind.

Wanda Ropa

Copyright ©2005 Wanda Ropa

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Intuition:  Do you proudly display your intuition like a zebra that wears his stripes?  Or do you hide it from yourself, friends and colleagues? 

In his book, “The End of Faith:  Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason,” Sam Harris acknowledges “that the term ‘intuition’ has always carried the scent of impropriety in philosophical and scientific discourse.”  He refers to “colloquialisms like, ‘woman’s intuition’ (meaning ‘psychic’)” as direct opposites to “reason” depicting a picture of irrationality. 

To start this Intuition series, we first need to define this powerful tool.  According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “intuition is the act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition; a perceptive insight.” 

But Does It Pay To Trust Your Gut?

…”designers and usability researchers can start to quickly evaluate designs with their gut, once they have seen enough usability tests. Watching test after test builds up a body of experience that can result in pattern matching of interface and behavior.”

“Blink is a compelling book that persuasively lays out Gladwell’s thesis that human beings do not require a great deal of data or time to make important and valid life and business decisions.”  Citing references from cutting edge research in neuroscience and psychology, he illustrates how anyone can learn to “thin-slice” or automate their unconscious ability to assimilate, process, and react to information in the snap of a second.  

According to Seth Godin, the best processes leverage your intuition and give it room to thrive.

At one time or another, each of you have experienced this gut feeling, this gnawing, or feeling of uneasiness that comes over you when you know something is wrong or you know it won’t work.  Sometimes, you just ‘know’ even if you don’t have any rational explanation why you know.

The secret is to trust this process.  Stay tuned to learn more about the secrets of intuition. 

Click here for immediate help to trust your decisions and learn creative approaches.

Ready to join me and play?

Your Creativity Coach, Wanda.

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Coach Bradley

Our days are just not long enough and when many of us are working upwards of sixty hours a week, good time management skills can make the difference between feeling successful or feeling like a failure, between feeling satisfaction or disappointment. Despite having access to a vast range of time management assistance some of us remain unable to use our time well.

In working with clients the first thing I do is look for the obvious. So when Mary came to me asking for help with time management problems, I asked to see her agenda. Although Mary is a bright, highly motivated and self directed woman she has been unable to finish her dissertation and complete a certification she has spent several years working on and thousands of dollars of her money.

The thing that stood out about her agenda was that she had put all the things she claimed she wanted to do at the bottom in tiny print, not as agenda items, but floating off in a space by themselves. Tasks she is performing for others is up at the top of her agenda in large, bold letters. The obvious thing to me about her agenda is that she unconsciously sidelines herself. Because her work is not high on her list, on some level she doesn’t consider it to be important.

Mary is a very confident woman with high self esteem, but she shows a lot of resistance to getting her dissertation done. To get her back onto her own agenda, I had her write “Me First” at the top of the page in large letters. It’s not enough just to write the words, my client had to come around to the idea that her time was valuable and take responsibility for it. This didn’t happen over night.

The second obvious thing I noticed about my client’s time management habits was that she was doing a gazillion things. At first I thought she must be successful and extremely well organized to get so much done until it struck me that she was using this busyness to avoid doing her own stuff. Pretty creative eh?

Mary admitted to me that a lot of what she does all day is a distraction from doing the work she really wants to do; she even distracts herself from her distractions. She also has a bad habit of starting things she is unable or not interested in finishing—which led us to something even juicier but I don’t want to get off topic. The point is that she began to realize how much energy she puts into avoiding her own work—energy that she could put to better use elsewhere.

I asked Mary if she could put herself first. Move those tiny agenda items up to the top and write them in large letters. To make some space for her to get her work done, I asked her to prioritize the other work and if possible chop out the work she identified as busy work. She was able to drop several projects when she realized that they were distractions from what she really wants to do.

Mary is working against her resistance which is hard work. For homework, I asked her to be aware of how she distracts herself. Every minute taken to fold socks or rearrange the files takes valuable minutes and energy from the most productive part of her day. Since then, she now makes a point of seeing each part of her day through without seeking distractions, well almost.

Because the task of completing her thesis seemed overwhelming, I asked her to break it down into smaller pieces that can be managed in a few hours. Mary still distracts herself but she is aware of it and much more focused on her goals.

There can be many reasons why you are not at the top of your agenda. In most cases coaching can help you become the number one person in your life. A good coach will help you identify the patterns in your life that no longer work for you so you can achieve your goals and lead a happier and more productive life.

Coach Bradley is a Gestalt trained coach based in Toronto.

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