If you’ve been reading the blog or listening to the podcast over the Summer, you’ll know that I’ve spent a bit of time talking about the value of self-coaching. The key tenet of the self-coaching principle is that you are already enough. You do not need to try to become someone different or transform into some sort of super-human version of yourself in order to improve your life or the results you are getting. It’s not about changing your character or your circumstances – it’s simply about changing how you think about those things. You already have everything you need to achieve your goals – and those things are your inner resources. If you concentrate on positive thinking with an open mind and BELIEVE that you can have it all, you will become more solution-focused. This is the key to unlocking those inner resources – the secret weapons you have at your disposal which are going to help you succeed.
As we’ve seen in the previous blogs – most of us overestimate the power of external or ‘fixed’ factors when it comes to evaluating our lives and successes. If struggling with balance we blame our long hours work culture; if lacking confidence in specific skills such as public speaking, we cite our inherent personalities. Even when we achieve something, we often think of our success as a fluke or as something that has happened due to some lucky circumstance outside our control.
But this is what happens when you overlook your inner resources. If your focus is always on your external circumstances and the things that are beyond your control, you’ll always feel like a victim or an imposter, that your life is either unfair or a fluke, and that you are either unlucky or lucky. None of these things are true. There are no such things as inherently good or bad fortune and by ascribing your successes and failures to external events and forces, you will miss the opportunity to create a really amazing life for yourself. In the challenging world of working parenthood, this is not what we want! So – if you’re planning, starting or even growing a family – this blog is for you. I want to help you understand the inner resources you have at your disposal, and recognise that these are innate. You don’t have to do anything to acquire them (although you can grow them) but by learning how to tap into them, you will be less fazed by the challenges that being a working parent throws up. When you understand that you can always access these secret weapons, you will know that you can cope, and that you can overcome any challenges that arise. You’ll feel so much more confident and in control, and be that much happier and successful as a result.
So I know you’re desperate to ask the question. What are those inner resources?
Well before I list them for you, know that this is just an introduction – these resources are significant enough to be individual topics in their own right and I will be looking at them individually in future blogs and podcasts. Today’s blog is really to get you thinking about YOUR personal inner resources – what they are and how they’ve served you in the past so that you can be more INTENTIONAL in how you use and apply them going forward. Also know that you WILL have objections when you read the list. If you have been used to thinking about your life and results through a frame of fixed and external circumstances or forces, it may be hard for you to accept that these inner resources have played or could play a part in the future. But bear with me. Notice your objections and look at them dispassionately. Consider how things could be different if you believed in yourself and your power to access these resources. Think of your inner resources as gifts you were given at birth – like the ability to communicate – that you can use, practise and grow over time. Read the list, and really think about how these resources might have helped you in the past, or could help you in situations in the future.
1. Resilience – the capacity to cope with set backs, bounce back from failure and be willing to tolerate discomfort in order to grow.
For example – failing to achieve a desired promotion and deciding to try again – this time building a stronger case.
2. Flexibility – when things don’t go as planned, or the unexpected occurs, the capacity to adapt and respond accordingly in order to achieve a desired goal or positive result.
For example – having a specific plan for how you want your birth experience to be, only to be told that the water birth/ epidural / home birth is not going to be possible. Flexibility means being able to let go of ‘the plan’ and focus on the true goal of having a healthy baby, whichever way that baby decides to come!
3. Commitment – the capacity to keep showing up every day/week or month no matter what; the ability to make a promise (to yourself, or others) and keep it.
For example – in my case, writing a blog every single week no matter what. I made a commitment to do it and have done so for over 2 years now!
4. Planning – the capacity, thanks to your pre-frontal cortex, to perceive the future and take steps today for the purpose of achieving a future result.
For example – knowing you want to have a family in the future and that juggling career and family is a challenge, so taking positive steps to babyproof your career beforehand – i.e. anticipating and preparing for those challenges well ahead of time.
5. Courage – the capacity to overcome fear and step away from comfort and safety to take action when there is no guarantee of success.
For example – taking action any time when you don’t feel confident of your ability or the outcome – such as, in my case, starting a podcast!
6. Creativity – the capacity to produce new ideas or solutions where previous solutions didn’t produce the desired result.
For example – recognising that your goal of going to the gym 3 times a week after work isn’t working, so coming up with an idea to find a running buddy who will run with you in the mornings 3 x a week instead.
7. Habit formation – the capacity to repeat a behaviour regularly until that behaviour becomes automatic and easy.
For example – repeatedly setting your alarm to get up 1 hour earlier than you have to and finding, in a short space of time, that getting up early becomes so instinctive and easy, it is almost impossible to stay in bed!
8. Choice – the power to choose how you experience a situation by changing your thoughts about that situation.
For example – when out of your depth and afraid of failure, the ability to see the situation as an opportunity to learn and see what you can do, rather than a test of competence or an indicator of your own worth.
If you think about these inner strengths in relation to your own life, you will see that you really do have all the resources you need to create the life and career you want. Stop focusing on outside circumstances or forces. Put more energy into tapping into the treasure chest of invaluable resources you already have at your disposal. If you practise using them regularly and cultivate them – you will see your resourcefulness grow – and the results you are looking for will start to happen.
Tune into the podcast for more insight into your inner resources.