Design Your Life CoachingDesign Your Life Coaching

August 2010: "Shifting What Doesn't Work For You"
by Patricia Hirsch

If you haven't figured it out by now, to shift, change, or alter a way-of-being will take a bit of mixing up the "way you always" live your life. In others words, shifting to a new way-of-being will take something other than affirmative thinking. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Hanging little stickies on your mirror or refrigerator to remind you to smile… or think good thoughts… or to convince yourself that you are the best… "really, really I am the best."

For example, a way-of-being that you may wish to shift is from complaining about what's not working in your life, which you already know leads to moods of upset, misery, no future and emotions of disgust, anger and frustration, to acknowledging what does work in your life, which allows for a hopeful perspective and a healthy start that you can build on and design a life worth living.

What does it take to 'change your mind' about it? We'll get to how in a minute. Note though, to change your mind about it may cause some messes.

Those friends and family that you commiserate with to keep you in that complaining mode will now not recognize you. You will be unfamiliar to them. Just as you do with them now, they count on YOU to stay right there in the misery… and upset… and the familiar way-of-being of "life sucks." They expect you to stay right there with them. If you don't, again, they won't recognize you.

Now realize this: no one is wrong here. They, too, may have a way-of-being that doesn't work for them. They are just not the ones who are choosing 'right now' to work to shift it. Who knows? Perhaps not until they see you do it and design a life that is fabulous. However, by you shifting your way-of-being, they may fight for you to come back. You may hear

"Yes! We know it's healthier for you to acknowledge what works for you but who are we going to gossip with? Who will we be able to talk with about how miserable we are? Who will we have to listen to all our stories about why our lives are not working? Who will we be able to complain to when someone changes lanes and doesn't use their blinker? Who will we be able to cry with when we are put on hold for 10 minutes? Who will we be able to share with that life is treating us unfairly, and it's unfair how life is treating us ‘unfairly?’ You don't love us anymore! You're acting like a Pollyanna! You just don't understand us! I can't believe you are doing this to us! You don't care anymore! Please, please, let me tell you why my life is not working JUST one more time! Tell us, if not YOU, then WHO?"

Yes, indeed. Who? Will it be you?

If not, read on. It will take changing your mind. When you are ready to complain, you get to change your mind about it and choose to 'not complain.' Now to change your mind about it takes work. Not hard work. Not make yourself wrong because you aren't doing it right work. Not, oh it's just too much work I can't do it… that would just be more complaining, wouldn't it? It takes committed work. We've already determined that hanging an affirmation, which might be fun to read, will just not do it for you. It will take YOU to do it for yourself. As an ontological coach (the study of who we be as human beings), I advise you to begin to notice or observe what happens to you when this way-of-being "shows up" for you. If not 'Life Sucks,' then whatever way-of-being that you are habitually stuck in that no longer works for you. Four simple steps is all it takes to change your mind about it and shift from what doesn't work, to what will.

Number 1: Begin to observe 'that' way-of-being that you are familiar with and yet which is no longer working for you.

a. Just begin to notice when it shows up.
b. Notice what you are thinking or the words that come out of your mouth.
c. Notice the emotion attached to this way-of-being: is it frustration? …anger? Or notice the mood in which you are 'dwelling': is it boredom? …indignance?
d. Notice what your body is doing when it shows up: what's going on with your hands? …are they moving? …are they clenched? How about your shoulders: are they down? Are they forward? Are they back? How about your voice? Is it high? Is it soft? Is it loud? Are you speaking quickly? Slowly?

The key is to begin to catch yourself "in it." To begin to notice that it is happening. Most of the time you do not think and instead you act automatically. It's so automatic that you have to consciously choose to notice, when that way-of-being that no longer works, for you shows up.

NOTE: The last four steps come much later. Until you are aware of who you are being that is causing you to take the actions that you do, there is no possibility of designing a life that you love. Instead, you are changing the actions to get better results, often getting the same thing over and over again. Being a 'human doing,' if you will. From an ontological perspective, it takes observing you in the three domains that give you the coherency of 'being' human: linguistics (what you say and what you listen), emotions (in the moment) and moods (where you dwell) and the easiest to shift is your body.

Number 2: Stop in the middle of it.

Number 3: Stop it before it starts.

Number 4: Aha! The realization that 'it' no longer owns you, you own it.


Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach
Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching


August 2010: "What’s Going On? Get Fiercely Focused"
by Ann Bennett

You might have been in business for sometime or you might be just starting out but if you are still needing to get more clients for your business (and who doesn’t, right now) you have to Get Fiercely Focused. Most of us don’t realize how we interrupt ourselves throughout the day. Where does all the time go? The best way to find out is to look at what you are doing….. Play a game and become very curious, be a detective and look at what you are actually doing. Make a list of how you spend your time. Be brutally honest here…really look at the “Time Bandits’ in your life (non-essentials) and how you can tie them up and put them on hold, for now. Not forever (but just for 6 months or a year), just until you get yourself focused on your marketing and get a consistent flow of clients.

The truth is you need to be marketing 4 hours a day to attract clients and build your business in the next 6 months to a year. Keep in Mind that it is progress not perfection. If you can only focus 1 hour a day or even 30 minutes a day…30 minutes of focused time consistently will produce results, I promise. Start to look and see: TV time, having lunch with friends, talking with your Mom? Laundry during the day? Looking for things because of lack of organization? The biggest one for me is text messages and phone calls from friends. I have a compulsion to simply answer any thing that is rings or chirps. Before I even think about it have answered the phone. It’s like I have this “I have to answer the call” gene imbedded in my psyche. The best thing I have ever done is turn off the phone and stay focused on the task at hand all the way through until completion.

Here are some great ways to use your new found time: Choose your target market, know who your perfect clients are, get really clear about what problem you solve for your clients, and where you can find them easily and inexpensively.

Now that you have made your list of time bandits choose one or two (to tie-up) and stop the leak in your time bucket. Take Action, Now! Don’t forget to acknowledge yourself for the willingness to move forward and above all, Celebrate Yourself!

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

To learn more about Ann Bennett: