If you are finding it hard to balance work, life, love and everything else, if you find it hard to bring some order to your world, perhaps this will help.
Recently I’ve been working through some coaching from the incredibly, deeply talented Kali Fraser . I’m incredibly grateful for her words this past month. I’ve been fortunate enough to have not only received coaching from her but also an offer to work alongside her on a joint project to launch “The Coaching Business”.
Together, we are offering a 3-day, intensive course from 26-28 November 2019 designed to help new or budding coaches and consultants start their own business based deeply around their own aligned values. Details in the link. Some of what follows in this article will be included in that 3-day course along with so much more to build and take action on a solid 90-day foundational strategy for your own success. You get access to both myself and Kali as part of the service.
I’ve worked through multiple exercises, some of which are deeply challenging and absolutely exhausting especially when having to battle my very logic-based, analytical inner voice. Luckily, one of the most unique aspects of Kali’s coaching is that she doesn’t give up and can go at your inner voice from different angles until it gives in and gives you the answers you already have.
The process I’ve been through in recent weeks looks like this:
1. NLP Values Elicitation – it sounds like a chat about what’s important to you in your life, but there is a very specific process which is taught at NLP Master Practitioner level. Words denoting your values are jotted down until a list of around 50 values exists. The coach will write that list down so you don’t focus too much on the order of the words yourself. At the end of the “chat”, you are asked to order ALL of them from the most important downwards, 1-50. That’s not easy. Having to decide what is your Number 1 core value based on gut feel… Your Top 8 is selected to use as the foundation for the subsequent coaching sessions.
Remember: If it feels right, it probably is.
2. Write your life story – “free flow” writing anything out that feels relevant to the coaching goals – what went well, what didn’t go so well etc.
3. A “Breakthrough” day: Also known as the day you get broken and realigned. It’s supposed to be hard work. It’s absolutely worth it.
4. A goal-setting session: Working with the coach you write a “cognitive dissonance” statement projected into the future looking back in a way that’s structure to make you feel like you have already succeeded.
Yes, I know that sounds confusing.
Here’s an example, on the day I would write something like
“It’s July 2022. I am sitting atop a mountain alone; I feel vibrant with energy and satisfied that I have achieved my goals from the past year. I have earned £100k every month, my clients are overjoyed with their own results – I am a damned good coach.”
More than that, and extremely specific to ensure it’s fully aligned with your values, desires.
Writing it now as if it’s already happened in the future does some “magical” things in your consciousness which makes you work out what steps you need to take to start making that realised future happen.
Go stick that handwritten statement to a vision board and add other things to that board to help you focus on what you want to achieve for the year ahead.
5. Mind Map out your life – Separately to the vision board, get a large piece of paper (Flipchart pad sized is good) and some coloured pens and get that inner artist working – mind map out each section of your life that’s important to you.
This is then broken down into a sheet for each part with bullet points to start mapping out a fully structured plan on which to take action. A to-do list, in effect.
Feel the Flow
Add that all together and if you are not feeling fully aligned, deeply excited and inspired, something hasn’t worked somewhere and you’ll have to redo it until you do feel what you want to feel to make you take action to achieve your goals.
What came out of the values elicitation for me are these words. They feel absolutely right for me. Consider them fundamental to my personal and therefore business culture if you like:
Exploration (places, minds, learning, experiences, etc)
Balance (in all things)
Money (as in Value)
Respect (inc loyalty)
Again, there is more to this than simply a list of words. You really need to go through it with a coach to understand why.
Balance, Symmetry and Sense
For my own mind map of what’s important in my life, I knew I needed to embed all these values into that map. It seemed daft to not draw it out without a sense of balance in all things within it.
For some reason, I was drawn to the idea of hexagons (they’re easy to align and give a sense of strength, nurturing and community to me) and ended up with this – effectively a honeycomb where each part comes together to form a fully balanced life; where all parts work together to make something wonderfully sweet full of natural goodness.
Money: At the top is Money – Money flows out to savings, to spend on building a home where I can feel a sense of nurturing, security and sanctuary. A place I feel connected to, where I can retreat to every day and feel satisfied, safe, warm and all those base emotions and where I can grow (myself, as well as actual greenery – homegrown herbs even in a small window-box, is very rewarding). It’s green because natural growth.
People: With a nod to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs here, once safety is taken care of, it allows me opportunities to spend time creating and sharing more time with those I want to spend time with: loved ones, friends, family – my fun stuff lives here as well as in my “home” pot and also in pretty much everything, which is why it doesn’t have its own section. It’s coloured blue as blue is connected with a sense of communication.
Next on the list is “Personal achievement”, or self-actualisation, – learning, courses, discussions of ideas with people close to me and within my network, goals I set myself which balance into both my career/business and into my personal life.
The “Positive Unknown” pot I will come back to soon – it’s actually very important.
Career is what you would expect – where am I now and where do I want my career, my work and my business to go? That naturally generates money which flows into the first pot again and thus the cycle of grow starts moving again… Like a flywheel…
The “Positive Unknown”: Whilst mapping out the layout of this, I only had five “pots”. It didn’t look or feel balanced and I felt something was missing. Then it hit me. I like the unknown. Therein lies so much opportunity. People I don’t yet know will come into my life out of the blue to become friends or clients, or teachers. Perhaps people I do currently know will become closer and offer further experiences, opportunities to collaborate, share and learn. Therein lie challenges, experiences, lessons and much excitement. And it balances the honeycomb out perfectly for me.
The concepts of a flywheel and six stages of a “lifecycle” happen to be the basis of much of the Sales coaching I offer.
Everything appears to be connected.
And I feel in full, positive energised flow with all this.
Trust me, Kali is feeling incredibly smug about this success – the smugness comes from a great place too.
Please, if this inspires you and it feels right, use the layout above to consider your own goals.
Remember, though, It’s not necessarily designed to work with everyone.
To be able to use it properly, you will really need to go get coaching yourself with a local and good NLP coach – I deeply recommend Kali for this because of her nature to not give up and also to challenge in a way which is “just enough”.
I can do some of this too as an NLP Practitioner, I basically can’t offer the breakthrough day as that’s only available at Master Practitioner level and above (a goal for myself in 2020!)
Get in touch
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Phone: 07734 386 777