Centerfield

Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield

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I attended a True Colors staff development session on Monday, and I can’t stop thinking about my results. If you aren’t familiar with True Colors, the program is a (from their website) “model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament…Each of us has a combination of these True Colors that make up our personality spectrum, usually with one of the styles being the most dominant…Identifying your personality and the personalities of others using True Colors provides you with insights into different motivations, actions and communication approaches.True Colors works because it is based on true principles and easy to remember and use – in all kinds of circumstances – from personal relationships to professional success.” Our entire staff did the inventory, we determined our dominant personality colors, and then we partnered up with colleagues that shared our color to create a presentation for the rest of the participants that highlighted the strengths of our particular personality type. I ended up being an Orange – we Orange people tend to have these common traits: energetic, risk-takers, quick-witted, creative and innovative, natural entertainer, high need for mobility, hands-on learner, playful and charming, skilled in crisis management, competitive, likes tangible rewards and positive feedback, freedom and adventure, impulsive and spontaneous, productive in informal environments, and a natural negotiator. I laughed out loud…while I don’t know that I’m particularly charming, most of the rest of this list seemed pretty damn spot on. Read this paragraph from the True Colors book we were given: “If your brightest color is ORANGE, you tend to be action oriented with a strong desire to test the limits. You tend to become restless with routine and repetition. You prefer a hands-on approach to problem solving and desire visible outcomes. You are competitive and bounce back quickly from defeat. You are drawn to adventure and you enjoy being in the spotlight. You thrive in an environment that promotes flexibility and freedom.” Holy. Shit. If that’s not me, than I don’t know what is….crazy. I like things like this because, while I am already well aware what kind of person I am and I know pretty much what I’ve got to work with here, it’s great to have a reminder of the things that make me me, and it reminds me how I appear to others, which is a really interesting thing to consider. While I find most of my qualities to be perfectly normal and amusing, I can easily understand how I might annoy the shit out of some people – without meaning to (most of the time), of course. It was a great training – if you ever have the opportunity, check it out. It’s fun! 🙂

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The presenter at our training is someone that I’ve got to know over the past year or so, and I really admire her and her career. She was a teacher, an administrator, and is now doing staff development presentations and consulting – and she is damn good at her job. Something else that she does is life coaching – which I think is fascinating. I wish that I could afford to hire her to help me get my poop in a group, but…sadly she is way too expensive for the likes of me. However, she and I were talking about the principles behind life coaching and how very common sense that work is – I found this article that kind of supports that idea.

“I want to get out of my dead-end job.”
“I want to make more money.”
“I want to finally open up my heart to love.”
“I want to accept myself for who I am.”

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Any of these sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most of us want to experience some kick-ass changes in our lives in 2016. And here’s the best news: You can make those changes all on your own. As luxurious and awesome as it is to have one-on-one support from a life coach, it’s not always in our budget.

But with a little help from Dan Sullivan—a thought leader in the field of growth and development and coach to some of the most successful CEOs in the world—it’s possible to get clear on what you want and how to get there, without paying up for professional help.


His questions, which appeared in The Success Principles, have helped me and my clients enormously. All you need is an open mind, a notebook, and an hour alone for one amazing coaching session. One thing to keep in mind: Imagine someone you trust is asking you these questions and answer with your whole heart—don’t hold back!

4 Questions for Personal Growth – Life Coaching Questions
1. If we meet three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
Picture yourself at age 27, 31, 49—however old you will be in three years. What vision makes you most satisfied? What will your life look like? Where will you be? What will you be doing this exact date three years from today?

The more specific you can be, the better. The universe responds best to passion, clarity, and intention. Write down every detail—from what your home looks like, to the total in your bank account, to the activities that will fill your day, even where you’ll vacation and with whom (this can include a spouse you are yet to meet and/or children you hope to have).

Remember: Base this on what you want—not on what you think you should want or what other people want for you.

2. What are the biggest dangers that you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
Be honest with yourself. Do you drink too much or watch too much TV—anything that doesn’t let you be focused enough to start a side hustle or make an effort to meet new people? Do you shy away from taking personal development courses or going to meetups that will allow you to make connections and learn important lessons? Do you sabotage yourself with thoughts of “I’m not smart enough/confident enough/ready to leap forward?”

Of all the dangers and distractions in the world, the biggest danger is often our limiting thoughts about our potential.
Of all the dangers and distractions in the world, the biggest danger is often our limiting thoughts about our potential. The vast majority of these seem real but are not in fact true. When we consume all of the same fear-based beliefs over and over again, we live a limited life—a half-life.

3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
Do you have an inspiring story you can share with the world to help other people? Do you live in a city full high-achieving professionals, a few of whom you can perhaps connect with? Do you know someone who just moved to a city or country that could hold opportunities for you? Are you WordPress-savvy (or know someone who is) and can set up a beautiful blog in no time? Are you really good at helping people with interview skills and happen to live near a college campus?

The opportunities are endless when you truly open your eyes and look. Remind yourself of what came up for you in question one and search for the breadcrumbs that surround you right now. I guarantee that they exist.

4. What strengths do you need to reinforce and maximize? What skills and resources do you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
This is the ultimate question as it requires action. Ain’t nothin’ that happens in life without action, my friend. Do you need to develop some online marketing skills? Take a crash course in blogging for beginners? Work on your confidence in networking or dating? Maybe you need to read up on how to ask for a raise, create a business proposal to convert your hobby into a profitable side-gig, or meditate to release anxiety.

The Takeaway

Always remember the vision you have for your future. That’s my most important tool for staying on track. When I was working in a cubicle for a boss, I realized it wasn’t for me, so I started a business in my free time. When I was growing up, the need to experience the world tugged at my heart so strongly that I made a move to Syd

 

Isn’t this great? I really REALLY love the first question – “If we meet three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?” This is a really powerful question for me, as I am a person who struggles to feel happy about the things that I do…and I am not entirely sure why. I think that I had a completely different vision of what I thought my life would be, and I am fighting to get over the disappointment that I feel regarding that issue. When I look at things objectively, I am not doing too badly – I have a good job, a lovely sweet Muppet child, a roof over our head that I like most of the time, a car that works, and food to put in our tummies. These things alone make me more successful than a great portion of the world’s population. However, I had always hoped that I wouldn’t have to struggle quite as much as I do, that I would have day-to-day companionship to share the journey with me, that I would have some degree of financial freedom (which, thanks to my student loans, is one hell of a long way away), that I’d get to travel more, and that life just might not be so damn hard all the time – but it is. However, the fact that I am able to get up every morning, put one foot in front of another and keep on going is a beautiful thing – and I need to remember that more often. As the hip peeps on the Internets would say….#blessed. 😉

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I also love the fourth question that asks about maximizing and reinforcing strengths. I don’t know if I will stay in the Education industry for the rest of my career – at this point in the game, I probably will…but who knows what will happen? I always figure that I am little more than one inappropriate joke away from being tossed out on my ear anyway, so…I need to work on skills for a back up plan. A dear friend of mine is approaching their own retirement this spring (lucky bugger!), and is looking to transition into another career. He has met with a corporate headhunter, and has completed a number of interest inventories and tests to see what kind of work he would be best suited for – I friggin’ LOVE this!! I want to give this a whirl – I would love, at some point, to try working in the real world. I might find that it is a terrible fit for me and walknotrun straight back to the nearest education institution; or I might find that it is the perfect place for me to make a difference and make lives better. You never really know until you try, eh? I doubt that I will be able to retire until I am in my late 60s/early 70s, which is still a LOOOONG way away from now. I would like to figure out some ways to make the next 27-30 years as painless – and productive – as possible. I don’t know how many marketable skills I have, but I need to find out. I think it would behoove me greatly to work on identifying what I have to offer, and figure out how to make the most of those skills. I’m not getting any younger, so….it’s time to do what I can to look forward, and make plans for the rest of my years.

Life can be so frightening – yet exciting, eh? 😉

xxx

 

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