Monthly Archives: April 2016

What is your default setting?

This new lifestyle I have embarked upon, so much slower than the racing pace of my former job, has given me space to really examine my own inner workings.

This has always been an area of interest to me. I have self analysed my way through life’s hurdles to this point and also accepted the support of others when I felt it necessary. Some of this has been shared here on this blog in the hope that someone else reading it might find it useful but also for the relief of spilling it onto the page. Writing is my pressure relief valve!

Last week I took a deep dive into my darkest feelings about myself. Feelings the “self help” world would call “limiting beliefs” This week I have felt lighter, extending myself the hand of understanding and gently inching forward beyond those limits.

What has persisted is a sense of restlessness. In an effort to free myself from my inability to settle into any distinct routine I have taken my own advice. I have slowed down, got acquainted with my restless feelings and I have resumed my meditation routine.

What has come from all this self contemplation is an awareness that I am waiting for instructions! I am waiting to for someone to tell me what to do next…..

After 10 years in the fast paced world of Sales where life is governed by call cycles booked 3 months ahead and targets to be measured by every step of the way, I have become very used to working to someone elses instructions. So used to it in fact that without it I have been left completely overwhelmed by the decision of what to do first, what to do next and what to do after that!

This awareness was quickly followed by another….I can give myself permission to do whatever the hell I want!

I am having to do a Factory reset on myself because all of my default settings are out of whack!

I am defaulting back to the routine of a life I no longer belong to – I don’t want to go back to and I am realising how conditioned I was to respond to life in a certain way.

There was essentially nothing wrong with this in the context of the role I was in. I was very successful and achieved results I am proud of however I no longer need to operate from the same defaults. I am in a position to take time to discover new ways of operating, new defaults settings for my working life.

My restlessness and procrastination has had a purpose to it. A deeper understanding of myself and the freedom to redesign my operating system. That’s where the JOY is! Paula Version 5.0!

Life’s greatest opportunity is that we are not limited by our default settings. We can always upgrade our operating system to perform in a more joyful way….

If we are prepared to give ourselves the time and space to discover this. To take a step back, a wider perspective, to appreciate all that we are – the good, the bad and the downright annoying! There is magic in the process I can promise you that!

Are you coming up against parts of yourself that are getting in the way of your success? Feeling stuck or blocked? I can help. email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz to set up a free skype call to see if coaching is right for you.

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Coming back to what works…

I never could have anticipated how unsettling it would feel to be creating a new routine and role for myself this year. The first few weeks after I finished my job were actually really easy to fill. I was tired and much in need of a good long break.

The last 4 weeks have been difficult to say the least! My new job is to set up my coaching business. To decide what I want to offer, create a business name and brand, decide who my customers are and what differentiates me from the competition. All of these things I have done before quite successfully for my previous 2 businesses. However, after 10 years in a corporate role where my job was to support small businesses to grow and increase sales I have had the luxury of being exposed to many different ways of doing this.

I now realise how important this gestation stage of business creation is. I don’t want to rush the process or force it to happen. I have a lot of ideas. I always have had but I am learning to ground them. To pull them down out of my head and into my heart. To really feel which ones are right for me.

One of the key areas I want to coach in is supporting others to create heart centred businesses and here I am having to walk my talk!

It’s not enough to bring something to life that I like and that works. I want to fall in love with my business, so in love with it that I cant help but give it life, nurture it and nourish it.

Part of my restlessness has come from being in a position to create my own routine. Sounds like a good problem to have doesn’t it! I have a choice about when I start work and when I finish. I can choose how many hours are in my work day.

Today I have realised that I was struggling to let go of my 9 to 5 conditioning. Part of me feels guilty to be not working 9 to 5. So guilty in fact that I have felt unable to work or play some days, torn between what I “should” be doing and what I “could” be doing. Working in a traditional 9 to 5 way does not make what you do more valid or important. What is important is that you love what you do whenever you are doing it.

I have also come up against my inner demons. The part of myself that were kept in check by my successful corporate role. I have felt the part of myself that feels unworthy without paid work. I have felt a level of shame surface from old conditioning. I have judged myself and felt fearful for my future. My old self-destructive patterns have resurfaced. I have gotten in my own way.

There has been another level of healing needing to take place for me to step into who I am becoming.

This week I have come back to what works for me when I know that something needs to be healed.

I let go of my resistance and sat with the discomfort of all that needed attention within me.

I picked up my meditation routine which had waned from a daily practice to a hardly ever practice! And slowly I began to understand and slowly healing has been taking place.

I let go of shame, judgement and expectation and loved the parts of me that have felt afraid.

I recognise how much this process is serving me. How my patterns have served me also. Uncovering my own blocks and recognising the inner process that runs alongside creating something new will help me to support others to do the same. For this I am grateful…really grateful

I know that I am on course, my process purposeful. What has emerged from within is a much clearer idea of what I want to do in my coaching business, who I want to serve, what I have to offer and how valuable that is.

I am breathing life into this new business and beginning to feel its beating heart within my own.

I am currently taking new coaching clients if you feel that I can help you please email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz for a free Skype chat

 

Old Dog…New Tricks…

Recently I have been undertaking to learn some new things and to implement that new learning. This has asked me to change some behaviours, to complete new tasks and to perform new roles.

All of these things I have done in the context of new learning many times before. As a small child I learnt to walk and talk, to read and write all by the same process. Taking on new information, moving from one behaviour to the next, crawling to walking, completing reading and writing tasks in ever increasing difficulty. Taking on the role of reader, writer, student and even teacher.

Going through the learning process again, to become a coach, I have had to take a step back, to witness my own experience and to join together dots as to what is occurring at each stage.

Historically I have been a bit of a sponge when it comes to new learning. I have happily added qualifications over the years- embracing what they have added to my working and personal life without much thought.

I have found it harder this time though.

  • I feel a greater need to really embody and understand new concepts.
  • I have felt a greater sense of pressure to put the theory into practice and also a resistance to it.
  • I have experienced a level of fear around completing new tasks and performing new roles.
  • And I have become curious as to why this is the case. To a certain extent the stakes are higher for me this time. I feel a stronger sense of connection to what I am bringing forward. It is more authentic for me. There is less for me to hide behind as a coach. What I bring to the coaching table is ME

 

In order to be able to support others to discover what the truly want I have to live that experience myself. I have to expose myself to the experience of asking for what I want and of trying things out for size. I need to experience success and also know how to respond when I am discouraged.

All of this has transformed my experience of learning to something new. I have an increased sense of curiosity about things that stump and confound me. I am acutely conscious of my giving up point, my attention span, the feeling I get when my brain encounters something new and it can’t close a loop.

This is not just a great experience for me to draw on as a coach; it is also really good for my brain! When we are small children learning new things every day our brains are creating new connections and pathways to assist us to understand new concepts and perform new tasks. The more new experiences we have the more pathways we create and so on and so on. But as an adult our brains tend to rely on the familiar using existing pathways rather than creating new ones. This can actually make new learning and changing behaviours and habits quite a lot harder.

Yesterday in a workshop I was attending the facilitator aptly described the lack of ability to take on or even engage with something new as being like an “undeveloped sub division”. We have nothing to connect it too or with! Attempting to build a house in a sub division that has no roads, water, electricity or other services is not just uncomfortable, it simply doesn’t work. There is nothing to connect up to!

Does that mean as adults we won’t be able to learn new things or change our behaviours? Not at all. The amazing thing about our brains is that they don’t like an unclosed loop or an “undeveloped sub-division” so it will seek to complete it. This is known as the Zeigarnik effect.

According to Wikipedia “the Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted tasks better than completed tasks” Essentially your brain won’t let you forget that you haven’t quite mastered something.

This has encouraged me to continue to take steps into the unknown even though my inner perfectionist wants me to hold back until I have it mastered. The Zeigarnik effect makes a strong case for letting go of fear of not getting it right and just doing. This is how our brains work.

In the doing lies the gold!