Life Coaching: 10 Core Benefits That Really Exist

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

Life Coaching

Life Coaching is a unique relationship straddling the line between the worlds of the professional and the personal that can help you produce extraordinary results in your personal life and career or business.

Life coaching is not therapy or counseling. It’s about looking at your future, unlocking your full potential and achieving positive results in your life. And if you’re still thinking about whether you should hire a life coach to help you, here are some of the greatest benefits of life coaching that should change your mind.

  1. Gain Clarity of Purpose

Sometimes we know exactly where it is that we want to go with our lives. Sometimes, we know that we’re not happy but don’t know why.

With life coaching, you will gain the clarity of your purpose in this life. It’s hard to obtain anything worthwhile if you are unable to determine and understand your purpose. However, if you can clearly define the reasons of why you do what you do, then you will have a better approach to life with an enthusiastic spirit and a clear vision.

  1. Self-Confidence Boost

We all have opinions and thoughts about our own abilities, constantly arguing inside our minds.. This is usually known as “self-talk”. And often, this self-talk questions our abilities and limits our beliefs, stopping us from moving forward.

However, life coaches are great at boosting your self-confidence. Even though there are some people in our life who help boost our confidence, when you have that someone in your corner constantly cheering you on, it is so much easier to be more confident in yourself. Usually, it’s that little push we need to reach our goal.

  1. Accountability

Checking in with a life coach is like having a friend whose only purpose is to push you to succeed and hit whichever goals you have set. Sometimes it’s hard to find people who can really hold us accountable while motivating and cheering us throughout the entire process.

However, with a life coach, either personally or digitally over instant messaging and Skype, we can get things done, knowing that someone is ensuring we take consistent actions.

  1. Productivity Kick

Working with a life coach can naturally increase your productivity. You will feel more inclined to do the work since you have the guidance of a pro to help move you closer to your dreams and goals. Life coaches help light up fundamental principles in order to help you achieve more in the same amount of time.

  1. Improvement in Communication Skills

By talking to your life coach, you become better at expressing yourself thus enhancing your communication skills. When you are required to share your motivations, thoughts, and emotions, through executive coaching on a regular basis, you eventually get better at telling precisely what is on your mind and improving your ability to articulate yourself as time passes.

  1. Forms a Laser-Focused Career Approach

A life coach can help you focus your career approach by understanding just what you need and want, why you want or need it and what steps are required for you to reach that mark in your career. This is not easy to do by yourself and it usually needs the experience and perspective of someone who has been through the same thing that will direct you along the journey.

  1. Better at Time Managing

Life coaches can help you improve your time management skills. This is probably the best skill you can develop in order to reach your goals. As a matter of fact, the better we learn to manage your time, the more likely you are to achieve greater things.

  1. Offers First-Hand Knowledge

Life coaches operating at the highest levels in life, sports and business, usually come along with broader and greater experiential knowledge. In sports, the most effective coaches are usually former superstars in their own rights, but it is pretty much the same thing in business and in life.

Coaches with vast knowledge and experience can help you navigate through difficult times since they, too, might have experienced the same thing in the past.

  1. Alleviate Distractions

Wasting time is the number one destructive thing that move us away from reaching our goals. We usually get sucked into bad habits or even spend some time doing things that will not help us move towards our dreams and goals.

However, life coaches can help us avoid these distractions using a variety of methods and strategies that are super effective.

  1. Embracing a New Lifestyle

We usually seek the aid of a life coach when we want to change. Maybe you are getting tired of the old patterns, either in work or your personal life, and are looking to embrace a new and better lifestyle, one that can help you drive and fulfill your wants and needs instead of being a burden and suffocating you.

About the Author

Charles Goodwin is the writer of this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business and motivation related topics. Apart he loves to read motivational books and blogs at his free time

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The Art of Clear Thinking | Positive vs. Negative Thoughts

Listen to episode 367 of the Inspirational Living podcast: The Art of Clear Thinking. Edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. You can now support our podcast by purchasing our new official podcast t-shirt. Check out the new design by visiting LivingHour.org/clothing. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone.

You have heard me say in the past that you are what you think. But what DO you think? How orderly are your thought processes? How straight is your thinking? And how clean are your thoughts? There are certain mental cobwebs that clutter up the thinking of almost everyone, even the most brilliant minds. Negative feelings, emotions, passions — habits, beliefs and prejudices. Our thoughts become entangled in these webs.

Sometimes we have undesirable habits and we want to correct them. And there are times when we are strongly tempted to do wrong. Then, like an insect caught in a spider’s web, we struggle to get free. Our conscious will is in conflict with our imagination and the will of our subconscious mind. The more we struggle, the more we become entrapped.

However, we can avoid mental cobwebs. We can clear them. And we can sweep them away as they begin to develop. We can free ourselves when once enmeshed. And we can remain free by thinking accurately with a positive mental attitude.

Accurate thinking is a critical success principle. To think accurately we must use reason. The science of reasoning or accurate thinking is called logic. One can learn it from books written specifically on this subject, such as: The Art of Clear Thinking, by Rudolf Flesch; Your Most Enchanted Listener by Wendell Johnson; Introduction to Logic by Irving Copi; and The Art of Straight Thinking by Edwin Leavitt Clarke.

These books can be of immense practical help. But we don’t act from reason alone. And action based on common sense is the result of more than just reason. It depends upon habits of thought and action, intuitions, experiences, and other influences such as tendencies and environment.

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The True Meaning of Self-Care and Why You Should Embrace It

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

self-care

Go through your social media feed for a few minutes and you’ll probably find at least one person documenting his or her idea of self-care, whether it’s lounging in the infinity pool of a five-star hotel or drinking homemade tea with a good book in hand. Self-care isn’t just limited to these Instagrammable activities, and it shouldn’t be groundbreaking either. In fact, the idea of people indulging in forms of care can be traced way back to the ancient world. The legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra, for example, was said to have enjoyed baths of milk and honey, and the tradition of drinking rose water for its health and beautifying effects can be traced to ancient Persia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome.

You don’t have to be a ruler of the ancient world to enjoy self-care. Also, just because millennials are championing this trendy movement doesn’t mean it is only for the younger generation. Self-care is more than just a hashtag or an excuse to splurge on a seven-day Bahamas vacation. Here are four good reasons why the self-care trend is something that should seriously be included in your lifestyle.

Increase Productivity

As mentioned earlier, self-care isn’t about expensive vacations; it’s the idea of giving yourself time to rest and recuperate. Of course, a long weekend getaway can do wonders to help you recharge, but doing simple activities such as taking short power naps during lunch break or enjoying a long hot bath after a hectic day is just as rejuvenating. It may sound counterproductive, but taking time to care for yourself can actually help you get more work done.

Research has consistently shown that breaks can improve cognitive abilities, creativity, comprehension, and decision-making. All this translates to better productivity for you. On the other hand, when you skip breaks and don’t allow yourself to unwind, you are more prone to work burnout; and before long, you might find yourself inefficient and resentful of your job. Furthermore, overworking and stress can make you more vulnerable to a multitude of health problems, like anxiety, heart disease, insomnia, and diabetes.

Better Mental and Physical Health

Personal health is one of the most important areas you should focus your self-care efforts on. This includes investing in food and activities that will promote both mental and physical health. Without good health, you would not be able to work hard, be a reliable friend, and enjoy your life. Take time to do an inventory of your current lifestyle. Are you eating healthy? Are you sleeping enough every night? And are you getting enough exercise? Do you have chronic health issues that need to be addressed?

Be completely honest about your current way of life and map out the steps that can be taken to improve it. This can include simple tweaks like making time in your schedule for doing home workouts or increasing the grocery budget so you can shop for healthier whole food products instead of cheap yet unhealthy processed food. You can also make room for more significant revamps like investing in technology that can help monitor your pulse if you have a heart condition or finding a counselor if you have mental health concerns that you need help with.

Boosts Self-Esteem

 Your self-esteem has a significant impact on your overall quality of life. Studies have shown that people who have poor self-image are prone to addiction and substance abuse. People who have low self-confidence also have problems building strong and lasting relationships with others, and they may find it difficult to handle stress. Positive self-care habits can go a long way in helping reshape the negative self-image you have. For example, you can engage in productive hobbies that can help you overcome self-defeating thought patterns. Involving yourself in a sport or enrolling in weekly classes to learn a new skill can help you feel connected with others and overcome social anxiety issues and fear. These activities should not just be limited to rest and relaxation but also opportunities that can push you out of your comfort zone.

Self-care can also come in the form of getting therapy and counseling, especially if there are more deep-seated issues you want to deal with. More importantly, self-care is about reminding yourself that you truly love yourself, warts and all. Pat yourself on the back and don’t be afraid to say, “I got you!”

Face Life’s Challenges

Many people make the mistake of assuming self-care is all about feeling good and chasing after mindless self-indulgence. In reality, this habit is about empowering yourself so you can deal with hard things head-on. These challenging things can include quitting unhealthy habits. Ultimately, self-care is about improving your quality of life, but you would not be able to maintain joyfulness, peace of mind, and lasting self-confidence if you do not give up any existing unhealthy and toxic habits. A nicotine test kit should help give you an idea of how much toxins are in your body, and you can take the next step by cutting down on your cigarette consumption daily until you can totally kick the habit.

Keep in mind that substance addiction is a serious mental health issue, and you may experience very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you decide to quit. It is perfectly okay to seek professional help if you think you cannot manage it on your own. There are also numerous support groups that can give you the compassion and practical tips you need for breaking bad habits. Always be patient with yourself. The decision to turn your life around for the better is never easy, but it will be the best decision you make—not just for you, but for the people you care about.

 Self-care is about being kind to yourself. Remember that not all battles are won in a day. Some of them require weeks, months, and even years of persistent hard work, and you won’t be able to keep at it if you do not take proper care of yourself.

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Optimizing Sleep

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

optimizing sleep

How much attention have you given to the area of your life that comprises about a third of your total time on this planet? Although you may not be conscious during that time, your sleep is nonetheless an area of self-improvement worth taking seriously. It is arguably the most important component of your day for improving stress, mental health, and productivity.  Let’s talk about optimizing sleep for your own well-being.

The importance of sleep

One study involving surgeons found that sleep-deprivation increased task completion time by 14% and caused 20% more errors when compared to well-rested individuals. Cutting back on sleep can have a pernicious negative feedback loop whereby the mind becomes less efficient as it gets tired, causing working hours to extend and thereby leaving less time for the mind to rest up.

Our society seems to place very little value on sleep, and individuals constantly brag about their ability to go long periods without it (often deeming sleep as a sign of laziness). But in fact, sleep ought to be seen as a key aspect of self-care and productivity.

Sleep Research

As new research comes out shedding light on the crucial biological processes carried out during sleep, it has become clear that we should be paying much more attention to the amount and quality of our time on the pillow. Lack of sleep harms our memory, immune systems, hormone levels (include testosterone), and virtually every other aspect of health and lifestyle that we care about. In the interest of time, many people are cutting out the most powerful healing force of nature. Ironically, sleeping less also shortens your lifespan, actually reducing your overall time on this planet.

Quality of sleep

Not only do we seem to be sleeping less, but also the quality of our sleep seems to be eroding. The problem is that we’re sleeping very differently than our ancestors did. With the advent of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, blue LEDs and city noise, we have lopped off about 20% of the sleep that is required. A large portion of our society walks around as constant zombies, existing with sub-optimal cognitive functioning as a result of poor sleep management.

The prescription for lack of sleep quantity and quality entails good sleep hygiene. It’s like brushing your teeth, but 10 times more important.

Optimizing Sleep

A good night’s sleep can make all the difference between optimal and abysmal mental health and productivity. Here are some healthy habits that can have you feeling refreshed each morning:

–       Light: Your body bases its sleep rhythm largely upon your exposure to light. Try making your room as dark as possible by implementing blackout curtains. Also, avoiding electronics before bed is essential because screens will suppress melatonin production (a chemical produced in your brain that signals your body that it’s time to begin the sleep process).

  • Drugs: Avoid tobacco and alcohol, which suppress REM sleep.
  • Routine: Establish a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Your room temperature ought to remain around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) and taking a hot shower before bed will help your body get into a good rhythm. A change in body temperature helps signal to your internal system that it’s time to sleep. This makes sense evolutionarily since the environment would’ve naturally grown cooler as the sun went down.
  • Shutting Down: Try journaling your thoughts before bed, reading fiction (thought to help the narrating mind get into dream-mode more quickly), and meditating.

Sleep is your personal gift to your mind and body. By using these habits and optimizing sleep habits, you’ll feel much more ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Your mind-body system will repay the favor with more vitality and acuity!

About the Author

Liam McClintock studied Psychology at Yale and became certified as a YTT Meditation Teacher. He now runs a meditation training company, FitMind, in Colorado.

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How to Conquer the Ugly Urge to Punish

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

punishing

I used to enjoy punishing people.

Because when I was feeling bad, I wanted the person who made me feel that way to suffer also. I always told my children that the mean kid was really just sad and wanted to make others feel sad too and, well, I guess it is the same for adults. When faced with a situation that didn’t go the way I wanted, I would feel it right in my core. All of those rotten emotions like disappointment and anger and disgust. My way to make it feel better? Punishment.

A while back, I wanted to punish someone I like very, very much. The director of my daughter’s theater program. The director did not choose my daughter for the role she really wanted in an upcoming show. When I got the news I was disappointed. “My daughter worked so hard and was so perfect for the role.” And I was angry. “I can’t believe my daughter is just going to be a dancer in the ensemble while the kid who got it gets everything because she is a favorite.” And I was disgusted. “Ugh. Why are we wasting our time with all of these late night rehearsals for this?”   With all of these sour emotions rolling around in me, I wanted to punish the director and make her feel as awful as I was feeling.

The urge to punish is the reaction we have when we feel that we have been wronged. For me, I wanted to punish when I believed that my feelings have not been taken into account. When I felt like I was not important.

In my theater situation, I felt that my daughter and I were not important to the director. That she was not thinking about our feelings. I have also had moments where I am feeling unimportant to a friend I have reached out to who was too busy to respond to me. Or to my husband who left the kitchen a mess. Or to the receptionist at the doctor’s office who could not fit me in when I had a minor emergency. My reaction was always, “You are not considering my feelings”, and voila, punishment.

As the old saying goes, “the punishment fits the crime”. We punish by making the person who wronged us feel like we feel. When the crime of being made to feel unimportant happened to me, I punished my attacker by letting them know they were not important to me. I did this by withholding my love and approval. By withholding my daughter from the theater production.

Fast forward 3 hours and I did not pull my daughter from the show. At this point in my journey, I was already aware that punishment is not only unkind but unhealthy to my psyche.

You may ask why I needed to go further? If I could stop myself from acting on my desire to punish, wasn’t that good enough? Well, no. While I was able to stop myself from using that nasty tactic, it was still my gut reaction and therefore required further investigation. Because of something that can be explained by a tool called the emotional guidance scale. The emotional guidance scale orders a number of the most common emotions and the higher on the scale the emotion, like joy, the happier you are. The lower on the scale the emotion, like rage, the unhappier you are. (I have oversimplified a bit, so please investigate further!)

In my daily life, I am fairly high on the emotional guidance scale and I feel happy and peaceful and live a fulfilling, productive life. But when the urge to punish happened, I plummeted all the way down to “revenge”, which is in the lower 25%! And then, if I actually punished the person who I feel wronged me, I quickly spiraled down to the second lowest emotion of “guilt” as I regretted my actions. Then I sometimes moved to the very bottom emotion of “fear” as I begin to worry how I had affected our relationship. My emotional well-being, my friends, is the reason I was on this journey to eliminate the desire to punish.

And lucky for me (and you!) I discovered a way to release my urge to punish.

My discovery was faith.

Faith that whatever happens to me, is exactly perfect for my growth as a soul and as a human. And if what happened is exactly perfect for me, then I am not being wronged, my feelings are being taken into account, and I am important.

Remember that scenario with theater director? Well, it happened again. Obviously, I was being tested.  And this time I passed.

Let me share my strategy with you.

At the moment where I feel like my feelings are not being taken into account, I stop and sit with how I feel. I don’t allow myself to think about how I have been wronged or who is to blame. It is sort of like a meditation. I focus on my breath and my emotions and the part of my body where I am feeling the pain. But when my mind starts getting involved, I dismiss it kindly and focus back on my being.

In the past, I would have camped out with my evil thoughts about my daughter not getting the role she wanted. I would have tried to explain it to myself, “She was too tall” or “They wanted a tap dancer.” I would have begun predicting the future, “This was probably her only shot.” or “She will always be pegged as just a dancer.” I would have even tried to convince myself it wasn’t so bad, “I assume there is something better waiting for her.” But I no longer indulge in the activity of thinking. I only observe my thoughts and let them go until the pain in my core has left.

When I am calmer, I remind myself that I am grateful for this lesson that is helping me to release the urge to punish. Like it or not, that is why this situation is happening. It is happening so that you can learn to release your negative behavior.

Then I get to work. Not punishing. Not worrying about why it happened. Not focusing on how to change the situation. I work on myself. I work on understanding why the situation triggered a negative emotion in me and I work to remove that trigger. I work on healing myself. I work on learning the lesson I have been given.

Now in all situations, with the theater director or anyone else,  I am able to have faith that the person who I wanted to punish is actually providing me with exactly what the Universe determined I need to become the greatest, grandest version of myself. And instead of wanting to punish, I feel gratitude. Gratitude that I am being given exactly what I need.

From punishment to gratitude. All it takes is a little faith.

About the Author

Elyse Hudacsko served as guidance counselor to more than 500 young adults in her role as a Staffing and Development Manager at a Global Fortune 500 consulting firm for more than a dozen years.   She then turned her focus to homeschooling her two teenage daughters in things such as determination, kindness, observation, and vulnerability. And now Elyse is sharing her expertise in guidance and education as an author, coach, and speaker.

Elyse’s love of helping others find their true path springs from her personal experience of having followed everyone else’s suggestions to an Engineering degree at Cornell University, a job as a computer programmer, a NYC penthouse apartment.  And a life that did not light her up.

After years of studying and reflection she discovered her authentic self and her own unique path.  And this process she wishes to share with others.

www.boundlessguidance.com

https://www.instagram.com/boundless.illumination/

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Why Self-Confidence is Important for Personality Development

The Self Improvement Blog | Self Esteem | Self Confidence

self-confidence

One of the distinct characteristics of successful people is self-confidence. I dare you to check through the biography of any successful person in any field of endeavor and you will certainly be faced with the story of self-confidence. Success in anything is never easy because life is full of hurdles and challenges and you will need to be confident in yourself, in your abilities and in your vision to be able to scale through the challenges and hurdles life brings your way. In a world with over 7 billion inhabitants, you will need a healthy dose of self-confidence to be yourself; otherwise, you will find yourself appropriating behaviors and attitudes of others. There are only two options in this life—to be yourself or be someone else! Of course, I assume the better option of the two must be clear to you by now. Click here to know more about self-confidence and personality development. Here are some of the reasons why self-confidence is so important;

Self Confidence Plays a Primary Role to Success

Success in any human activity entails success in dealing with people. This is because as human beings, we relate with fellow human beings just as animals relate with fellow animals. Self-confidence is, therefore, a core determinant of success because it helps to bring out the very best in a person. You are able to perform optimally in anything be in academics, sports or business/career to the tune of the confidence you have in yourself. Others may doubt your ability or capacity to perform but as long as you believe in yourself, you are on the path to success.

Helps to achieve your Targeted Goal

Every human being has a goal or aim they are aiming to achieve. Although the efforts they are willing to put into achieving the goal may vary at each point in time, we all have a goal we are aiming at. Goals make life worthwhile, meaningful and purposeful. It is imperative that we set goals that are high and difficult to achieve because it will bring out the best in us and keep us motivated to invest our best efforts in whatever we do.   

Self-confidence makes you attractive

Self-confidence is the ultimate aid to attraction. Let’s face it; we all rely on the acceptance and validation of others in some way. Whatever career, profession or activity you are engaged in; there is a huge chance that you will have to relate with people at some point. People must like you for anything you do to be profitable. Self-confidence makes you an original and appreciated by others.

Self Confidence Helps You to Make the Right Decisions

Many times we get so afraid of what people would think about us that we end up abandoning what we want to do in other to please others. Self-confidence helps you prioritize yourself and helps you dare to be different. Conformity is an enemy of personal development. The world needs you to be you because you are at your best when you are yourself. Self-confidence helps to open up your mind and makes you less afraid to follow your intuition.

Self Confidence Makes You Productive

Productivity is a function of self-belief. If you believe you can do it, then you can do it. One reason why productivity is automatically increased due to self-confidence is that self-confidence is a motivator! It keeps us motivated and happy in performing a task. When we are happy, our interest is boosted and when the interest in something is boosted, the increase in productivity is an automatic and inevitable reward.

Helps You to Interact Socially

As human beings, we all thrive on social interaction! Based on our emotional nature as human beings, we tend to be so intimidated by others around us based on their looks, achievement or socioeconomic status that we develop an inferiority complex when they are around us and this usually have a negative impact on our social life. Confidence in the self makes us bold to approach anyone and have interaction without feeling intimidated by them due to whatever we feel they have achieved or attained.

Don’t Give Up Attitude

Lack of confidence is apparent in our approach and disposition to things around us. Success is more difficult when we are not confident in what we are doing and as a result, we might throw up an attitude just to mask our insecurities. Self-confidence, therefore, makes us more mature and responsible in the way we act and approach things. Even where interest in an activity is not high, self-confidence makes us open to learning and thereby building our life skills.

Click here to learn more about the connection between self-confidence and personality development.

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Forget the Past | Go Forward Boldly | Motivation

Listen to episode 366 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Forget the Past | Go forward Boldly. Edited and adapted from Go Forward by J.R. Miller.

Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. If you’re a regular listener of this podcast, you’ve heard me talk about Blinkist, the knowledge-boosting app that takes the best key takeaways from thousands of books and condenses them down to 15 minutes of reading or listening time. That’s a big deal if you don’t have enough time to read all the books on your “must-read” list. With its audio feature, Blinkist makes it easy to finish 4 books a day while you areon the go.

Over 8 million people are now taking advantage of Blinkist’s massive and growing library, which includes books on self-development, business, history, and healthy-living.

Two books that you can find on Blinkist that I would personally recommend are How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, and 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

And, right now, for a limited time, Blinkist has a special offer for our listeners. Go to Blinkist.com/living to start a free 7 day trial.

Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Go Forward by J.R. Miller, published in 1909.

We are constantly being told to remember, and urgently counselled not to forget. “It is perilous to forget the sins of the past,” people say. But there is a sense also in which our only hope is in forgetting. We never can get on to higher things if we insist on clinging to our past and carrying it with us. We can make progress only by forgetting. We can go forward only by leaving behind what is past.

For instance, we must forget our mistakes. And there are many of them. We think of them in our serious moods, at the close of a year, when we are forced to review our past, or when some deep personal experience sets our life before us in retrospection. We sigh, “ Oh, if I had not made that foolish decision; if I had not let that wrong person into my life; if I had not gone into that wretched business; if I had not blundered so in managing my affairs; if I had not taken that bad advice; how much better my life would have been!”

Some people stew regretfully over last year’s mistakes the entire following year. They do little but fret over their errors all the months which they ought to make bright with better things, nobler achievements, loftier attainments. But what good comes of it? Worry undoes no folly, corrects no mistakes, brings back nothing we have lost. A year of fretting sets us no farther forward.

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