As I write these words, I struggle to stay present. My mind wants to remind me of everything I have coming up, things that I should be thinking about, planning, and worrying over.
Yet, as I focus on the future it interferes with right now, with this very moment. In fact, I realize that thinking about the future while living in the present is not even possible.
I cannot live in two places at the same time!
The future distracts me, it leads me down a path where there is precious little under my control. While living in the future, I hear words such as “What if… I should… I need to.” There is very little positive or productive thinking in these words. The future is out of my control.
However, when I am in the present, really in the moment, things get done. Articles get written, art is created, goals are met, creative business ideas are achieved, and real life is experienced.
In the present, I am committed to my true, authentic self. In the future I connect with my fearful self, the one who anticipates, who becomes cautious and who ultimately lives in fear.
There are other times, however, when I let myself live in the past. I remember what I should have done, the choices that might have been better, the creative things I could have gone for. I begin to move from presence to the past, from this very moment that is under my control, to looking back on how I might have lived differently.
Even though I cannot in any way change or control my past, I allow myself to feel guilt and shame. I have plenty of material to feel regret, so instead of gaining wisdom from my past and becoming stronger as a result in the moment, I beat myself up, as if there was something I could do about it today.
As many of you are aware, in addition to my practice of Psychotherapy, I am engaged in the practice of Life and Performance Coaching for High Achievers. I am often asked to explain in what ways Coaching differs from Psychotherapy. I thought I would share my thoughts briefly in this post.
Differences between Psychotherapy and Life Coaching
Psychotherapy has been traditionally based on the premise that:
~ The client has been emotionally damaged by some past event(s), and needs to experience “healing” from the pain or trauma.
~ The concern is with the past and the present.
~ The focus is about excavating and neutralizing negatives.
Life and Performance Coaching rests on the premise that:
~ The client possesses unrecognized resources available to develop strategies that lead their goals and dreams to fulfillment.
~ It is about liberating positives. It is about putting the client in touch with his or her own amazing wisdom and creativity.
~ The focus is on the present and the future.
~ It is for those ready for their NEXT level of achievement, who are ready to lean into their edge and experience growth they never believed was possible.
As one coach has said,
“Life coaching is about designing a future,
not about getting over the past.”
In my work over many years, I have discovered that not everyone who might want life coaching is suitable for it. I provide the person who is seriously interested in Coaching with an initial, deep 90 minute coaching conversation that helps us to decide if he or she is ready for this kind of growth-work.
Because this initial conversation is as important to me as it is to the potential client seeking coaching, I do not charge for this time together. I must believe that I can help move them forward and enjoy working with the person or else we will not be a good fit.
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will tell you, I came to live out LOUD.” ~ Émile Zola
My daughter recently brought home her University yearbook and on the cover, embossed in wild, bright colors, were the words, ‘Live Loud.’
I loved it! She was being encouraged to not just have a life, but to live it LOUD – emphatically, boldly, not concealed or quiet but overtly and with undeniable purpose and passion.
Stress, anxiety and the challenges we face on a daily basis leave us in need of skills to slow down and stay in the present.
Current research continues to discover the overwhelming, and measurable, benefits of meditation. In a recent Creativity Workshop I attended, I was introduced to this short video presented by Brian Johnson, who shares an easy way to understand and apply this powerful practice.
What if what you believe (the thoughts that guide your daily journey in life) are lies? What if they are distorted versions about yourself?
“Don’t Stop Believing. Hold on to that Feeling”
The lyrics of the popular song by Journey unfortunately provide the listener with some pretty bad advice – depending on what you are believing!
In fact, if your personal belief system is based on negative thoughts about yourself, then I suggest that you most certainly do not want to “hold on to that feeling.”
If I grow up believing that I have little worth or value, this thought will continue to guide me later in life through a lack of self-confidence. If I do not believe that I am capable of great things in my business or creative life, then I will more than likely sabotage any chance of success in those areas.
A negative set of beliefs can lead to:
– Self-doubt (“Who do I think I am”)
– Feelings of Inadequacy (“I’m just not enough to produce work that matters”)
– Powerlessness (“I’ll never achieve what I want”)
– Shame (“I’m not worth it”)
– Feeling like a fraud (“I’m going to be found out and rejected”)
Do you feel that your life is moving at a faster and faster rate? Do you feel out of balance and at the mercy of stress?
While stress is not an option, how you deal with and bounce back from it is.
A commitment to balance, which includes self-renewal, is crucial in order to be outrageously successful in all areas of your life. Prioritizing self-renewal allows for you to become physically and mentally refreshed while having the energy to stay focused on your vision and goals.
“If the snooze button on your alarm is getting as worn out as you are, wake up.
You may be burning out.” ~Patti Bond
Preventing Burnout Through Self-Renewal:
1) Slow it Down!
Our culture gives very little help with slowing down our life. In fact, it seems as if everyday we are encouraged to do things quicker or are offered ways to speed things along. Fast food, faster internet, shorter deadlines, shopping from home in order to get things as soon as possible are not much help with slowing down our lives.
Ask Yourself: Am I feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Do I need to slow down and take some purposeful time alone or in personal refreshment and renewal?
“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” ~ Pablo Picasso
Keys to slowing down and discovering time alone:
– Look for small moments of quiet time to slow down (before your family awakens, short walks where you enjoy the air, smells and sunshine around you)
– Find ‘quiet places’ for silence and solitude (turn off the music, TV, and email and spend time in silence, alone with your thoughts and your self)
– Minimize your words (Speak less and ‘listen’ more when alone, meditate/listen to the inner voice of God, listen to and become aware of that part of yourself that you have been ignoring through all of the ‘noise’ and your busyness)