How do you judge your progress?

How do you judge your progress?

There’s a misconception with coaching that as soon as you engage a coach your life will start to get better. And luckily for many it does. But unfortunately for many the journey to better is through a long dark tunnel of worse.

Of course if you’re already at rock bottom, get a coach because the only way forward is up.

But what if your pain is internal? What if nobody knows you’re even afraid?

Th clients I work with in coaching are not the weak ones, they’re the strong ones. The ones that have kept everything inside for so long that nobody even knows they feel broken. And their carefully constructed surface self masks a deep unending fear of being found out.

True transformation can’t come when we take what you have and slap a fresh coat of positive paint over it; it comes from truly facing and healing the damage and crud covering our core.

So for many of my clients, happiness is the problem not the progress.

Progress comes when they admit they feel afraid and find the root cause of that fear.

It comes when they admit that they are hurt and sad and let go of the suppressed tears.

It comes when they face the hatred and the anger at the people who stole their innocent years.

It comes when they release the guilt, resentment and regret that they were the ones who let the pain continue.

For me the first sign of progress is when you do something that feels like the opposite. For the brave to be vulnerable, for the sad to express their anger and the angry to cry their tears.

Progress may be falling in love with a new hobby or falling out of love with an old one.

It is not a journey to be entered into lightly because if our outer world is created by our inner world, and it is, then when we transform and heal our inner world chances are everything in our outer world must change.

Change happens in an instant, it’s the fallout of the change that takes time to come to grips with.

It’s learning new skills, practising new behaviour and questioning everything you used to accept as true.

It’s not quitting the job, leaving the relationship, moving to a new place and hoping it will go away. It’s healing the voids that caused you to choose them and then deciding which things are still a match and choosing when and where to stay.

One of the hardest parts about progress, especially for the strong ones, is that so few people will ever know.

This entire journey that could take months or even years may not even be visible to the people in your life. Your greatest breakthrough may have been the day where you said no instead of yes or yes instead of no and nobody even noticed it was different.

But you did. Your coach will.

So honour your Own progress.

Nobody has your trauma or limitations, your beliefs or possibilities.

Don’t look sideways at what “they” are achieving – comparisons will feed the flaws.

Keep focused on who you are becoming, what you need to get there and an occasional glance at how far you’ve come.

And remember – if everything in your old life suddenly doesn’t seem to fit, good.

You’re making progress.

Truth Hurts, Truth Heals

Have you ever held back a moment of honesty with someone because you were afraid it might hurt?

Afraid that the honest truth would hurt them, or they’d hurt you or a relationship would be damaged?

Only to later have the hurt and damage happen anyway?

More people are hurt from lies than from truth.

Not even just the big lies – those are easy to expose. It’s the little ones that are infinitely more dangerous.

The “I’m Fine’s” as someone’s world falls apart so nobody notices until it’s too late.

By the time they’re ready to admit something is not right, by the time other people start to notice, the surface facade is so far from what is really going on that to admit one truth is to open up a can of worms and expose often years and years of half truths and white lies that all seem too much to handle.

What started as just admitting they’re not ok has now become admitting that they’re not ok AND that they’ve been lying to their loved ones all this time about it, long beyond the time where it would’ve been an easy solution, embarrassing perhaps but solveable. To a point where the hole is so deep that there will be many casualties in climbing their way out.

In many cases people hold back their truth to protect the relationship but what relationship is it if you can’t be honest?

The people with the problem hold back the truth for fear of judgment, embarrassment, blame or shame. The people suspecting a problem hold back asking deeper questions for fear of hurting the other and instead find it easier to hope that the surface story is true.

But deep down the rot is festering.

There is a reason so many people say they never saw it coming when a friend commits suicide.

It’s because neither were brave enough to be honest about the signs.

There’s a reason why the suicide rate is so much higher amongst Men.

It’s because “real men don’t talk about their feelings” and the ego on both sides would rather be dead than admit they’re not perfect, they made a mistake, they have a problem they don’t know how to get out of.

Well congratulations Ego. In many cases that is exactly how it turns out.

But there are always signs.

There is always someone who didn’t believe the “I’m fine” but didn’t have the courage to be honest and delve deeper for fear of the resentment. For fear of losing the relationship. For fear of not being loved – the only true fear that exists.

News flash- we ALL fear not being loved. We ALL fear judgement because to be judged would mean to be cast out from the tribe and to be cast out from the tribe would have meant death by Sabre tooth tiger.

Our creature comforts may have evolved but our emotional brains have not.

If you truly love someone you have to trust that creating a safe space without judgement for the truth will be more important for the long run and show them there is a way back.

As the friend who picks up the warning signal, you have to make a call – is it preferable to risk losing a friendship and keeping them alive or keeping a fake friendship and standing at their funeral saying “I wish I’d said something?”

Avoiding the little truths helps no one. They just build up to become the big truths and those are usually way harder to fix.

As the person with the problem – face it. In most cases problems seem so insurmountable in our heads because the thinking that created the problem can’t notice the solution. It’s like not being able to see the wood for the trees!

But it is true when they say “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Not with everyone but when you share the problem with someone who cares about you and your happiness they can help you come up with options to find a way out. That doesn’t mean they have to or even should fix it for you, and it means sometimes copping a dose of “well that was dumb wasn’t it” and taking a hit to the ego.

But it does give you the opportunity to have some help to unravel the Christmas lights as it were.

Regardless of how big we let the problems get, there is still a way out. There are always options, no matter how painful, but the longer we avoid honesty the bigger the problem gets, the longer it takes to heal.

Most people see life either better than it is or worse than it is but very few face life as it is.

Most people live in the past – blaming or resenting what they can’t change, or in the future intending or hoping things will get better, rather than in the present, observing, understanding and changing current behaviour which is the only true power we have.

Intention only matters in the context of behaviour and behaviour only matters in the context of intention. How long should we let people with good intentions get away with bad behaviour? How long should we be blinded by acceptable behaviour as a distraction from bad intentions?

How long will you tolerate someone causing pain to others before you say something?

How long will you tolerate someone causing pain to themselves before you say something?

How long will you tolerate Being in pain before you say something?

Truth Hurts.

But Truth also Heals.

And it might not even be that life or death of a situation yet.

It could just be a relationship you’re unhappy in and don’t know how to let the other know.

It could be a Child you’re trying to protect but tolerating behaviour that is out of control.

Kids are designed to test boundaries, it is how they learn to understand who they are and how to be, but if we’re not honest with what is acceptable and what is not – how will they learn? And what hope do they have as adults? They will continue the behaviour until someone stops tolerating it – don’t let that be a jail warden or their future children or when they can’t hold down any job or relationship and end up all alone.

At what point do you say enough is enough? At what point do you say “I love you but your behaviour is unacceptable” even if it makes them cry? At what point do you say “no, we will not be tolerating this anymore” even if they get angry or hurt?

At what point does the risk of silence finally outweigh the risk of honesty?

When they hurt you? When they hurt themselves? When they hurt others?

What if the truth you could’ve said is something that would’ve prevented hurt later? What if the honest feedback about someone’s behaviour allowed them to change it before it caused serious damage to themselves and others?

What is your honesty threshold?

When you first notice it?

When it’s gone on too long?

Or when it’s really too late because they’re not around to hear the feedback?

The past is done, can’t change it.

But next time you’re presented a choice between protecting egos or honesty, think long and hard about the decision you’re about to make.

At the end of the day you have to live with them resenting your honesty or you regretting your silence. Which one will hurt you more?

Honesty with others starts with honesty with ourselves. Anything less than this will lead to an incongruent and unfulfilled life where we’ll always be afraid of being found out.

It leads to a void we try to fill with addictions and more lies because if we don’t like who we are how can we believe others will?

It is a neverending snowball until we draw the line in the sand and decide that the honest relationship with ourselves and possibility of that with others is worth more than anything else.

There are no Sabre tooth tigers threatening our day to day life anymore. We aren’t limited by location and needing to be accepted by people in our immediate vicinity. We are not a tree, we can move. We can risk false friendships for the sake of real ones.

We can risk saying what needs to be said if it means protecting others in the long run.

We can risk the resentment from others for the possibility that a grain of truth may take root and be the one thing that allows them to change something for the better.

We just have to face the truth. Even when it hurts.

Or not and accept the possibility resenting yourself for your silence.

Your choice.

What is Education?

The Super Computer worked out that the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything was 42,  but along the way it seems to have forgotten the question.

Once upon a time, we knew nothing and questioned everything.

This kept us alive, helped us to grow, helped us evolve our bodies and brains into the “advanced” human species we’ve become today. But have you noticed somewhere along the way we forgot to keep physically evolving?

We finally figured out how to communicate what we’d learned, and then somehow in learning how to teach, we forgot how to learn.


Rules were created to keep us safe and schools were created to teach us what we “knew”, and at the beginning of the evolution of our society structure this was especially important because teaching allowed us to expand our society and learn from our mistakes to keep us even safer.

Except we didn’t.

The more we learned and communicated with our heads, the less we listened and explored with our hearts.

The more educated we became the easier it has been to be mentally lazy.

The more mentally lazy we become the easier it is to be controlled.

The more we are controlled, the longer we stay asleep, the easier it is to fall prey to fear.

Fear is a necessary part of our evolution because it is the instinct that helps us discern good from bad, healthy from unhealthy, safe from unsafe.

If we do not know how to defend ourselves, then it makes sense to be afraid of the dark, but that does not mean the darkness is inherently dangerous or bad.

But what if that fear is being manipulated against us? What if we’ve been trained to believe that what is safe is unsafe, what is bad is good?

We need communication to be able to evolve, to stand on the shoulders of giants rather than reinventing the wheel.

But we need curiosity to keep evolution going.

We must remember And we must question.

We have every bit of information that’s ever been discovered at our fingertips and we can use it to wake us up or to push us back to sleep.

What we learn can make us more afraid or help us to choose more love.

It’s our choice to get educated on what we want, when we want, how we want.

Breadcrumb trails lead us to more of what we love, social networks bring our mutual weirdness together so we experience even more learning, even more safety.

We are in a time where everything and anything is possible for our species and what we do with it is entirely dependent on what we’re willing to ask, accept and embrace.

There was a time where he who controlled the education controlled the power.

But with the library of the world in the palm of our hands, they can no longer burn our books, and We control the power.

This is the next stage of evolution.

If The answer is 42, let the questions begin again now.

Six Core Needs – Why do I do that?

Have you ever wondered why we do what we do?

In coaching and human behaviour we know that while each human being is unique, we also share nervous systems that function in the same way, which means there are finite number of human behaviour patterns that we all have in common – we just put them together in many different ways.

The Six Core Needs is one such pattern that is regarded as one of the most influential in how we live and function as a society and critical to how we achieve happiness and fulfillment or live a life of quiet desperation since all behaviour meets one or all those six needs.

In any given moment, these six core needs are the source of lasting, sustainable happiness and fulfillment. Unfortunately they’re also the source of addictions, violent behaviour and depression.

How can the same six needs give such completely different results?

Let’s take a look. First up, here are the Six Core Human Needs from Anthony Robbins.

  1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure, safety, security
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli, adventure
  3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed, independence
  4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

 

The Six Core Needs are broken into two parts – the top four are needs of the Ego, and the last two are needs of the Spirit. The top 4 are the most compelling and as much a part of our life as gravity – doesn’t make sense and we don’t always like it but I still don’t recommend you test the theory.

You’ll notice that they’re also in sets of two that look contradictory to each other – Certainty and Uncertainty/Variety, Significance and Connection/Love. That’s because with each set there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

Have you ever noticed that when things become to certain, too much routine, too much same-same groundhog day then we’ll find a way to spice things up a bit, “Variety is the spice of life” they say.

And have you ever seen significant people that appear to have it all, fame and fortune, but feel alone and spiral out of control because they cant find real connection and love?

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, our top four needs are being met every day as they have become crucial to our survival, but we all meet and prioritise them differently. As a general rule, we each have a top two “driver” needs and the priority we choose will impact every aspect of our life, and can cause major conflict – especially in our careers and relationships – if we need to  interact with people with a different priority order.

Every need is happening, but which one do YOU prioritise?

Four needs of the Ego
Six Core Human Needs – Four needs of the Ego

On a day to day basis we always have all 4 top needs happening, but there are two in particular that will drive our decisions – one from each set, and within those two there will be one that sits as number 1 priority – the tie breaker Driver need.

To work out your number one Driver, look at each need asking “If you could only have one or the other, which would you choose?” Then take the one you choose and compare it with the next one down.

For example – Certainty or Variety – Certainty. Certainty or Significance – Certainty. Certainty or Connection/Love – Certainty. Number 1 need is Certainty.

Then for number two, do the same with the remaining 3 needs.

Variety or Significance – Significance. Significance or Connection/Love – Connection/Love. Connection/Love or Variety – Connection and Love. Number 2 need is Connection/Love.

Be aware though that the words themselves can impact on people’s choices so make sure you use the descriptions above to get a true representation of your number 1 and 2 driving needs.

When faced with a decision, everyone will decide on the behaviour’s or actions to take based on their driving need, people who are driven by certainty/security will make very different decisions about careers, holidays and investments with a level of risk, to people who are driven by variety/adventure.

This can lead to a lot of challenges for couples trying to plan a holiday if they have different priority drivers…

Sliding Scales

Even within the priority drivers, there is difference. Imagine that each need set is 100%, within each one we each have a sliding scale balance point where we feel the most comfortable – our natural balance.

If someone has Certainty as number one then it could mean that they have anywhere from 51% Certainty to 99% Certainty (49% Variety to 1% Variety)

This changes the behaviour extremes.

  • 60% Certainty – likes going to the same restaurant, prefers a secure job
  • 75% Certainty – has a set daily routine, prefers an autonomous role they are in control of.
  • 90% Certainty – needs to be in control of most aspects of life, often displays OCD behaviour’s, does not respond well to sudden change

Sometimes our sliding scales get out of whack either by our choice or someone else’s, and when they do it creates extra stress that needs to be managed and brought back into alignment. Read about how to handle change here.

Resourceful / Unresourceful

As we meet the top four needs, our behaviour will be either be resourceful or unresourceful – which forms the most dramatic difference between fulfillment or frustration.

Consider the following questions. Is this behaviour:

  • Internal or External Driven?
    • Internal – 100% up to me and reliant on my actions and perspective to succeed
    • External – requires other people or things to go right or be controlled to succeed.
  • Sustainable or Unsustainable
    • If everyone did this same behaviour would the world/business/community be a good sustainable place to be?
  • Ecological
    • Good for me, good for you, good for the greater good?

Resourceful behaviour’s= internal driven, sustainable, ecological.

Unresourceful behaviour’s = external driven, unsustainable, not ecological.

Six Core Human Needs and behaviours from Anthony Robbins - why we do what we do
Six Core Human Needs and Behaviour’s

 

It is important to remember that with all behaviour it is still context dependent so while the behaviours here are generally considered to be resourceful or unresourceful – there will still be certain contexts or extremes that push them to the other side. Eg. Cleaning is a resourceful way to meet your need for certainty, but obsessive compulsive cleaning can lead to an inability to leave the home. Drug taking is an unresourceful way to meet the need for variety but many chronic pain sufferers smoke marijuana to be able to find relief from the pain. Read more here.

Needs of the spirit.

Six Core Human Needs - Two needs of the Spirit
Six Core Human Needs – Two needs of the Spirit

The final two needs are unattainable until the top four are being met in a resourceful way. They’re also the most compelling needs that can pull us forward through more challenges than the top four alone.

Many people say that growth and learning can be achieved at the same time as unresourceful behaviours (enter university…) but there always comes a point where the next level or growth requires a decision to let go of the old behaviour for the new  – like throwing off sandbags from a rising hot air balloon.

The final need is the source of ultimate happiness which is being able to contribute to others in meaningful way. There is a reason that we all rally together in a crisis. As humans we’ve learnt that there is survival not just of the fittest but in our society its how we work together and the community we have around us.

At our core, we have a need to want to help others for no other reason than it just feels good. As Zig Ziglar said – “If I help enough people’s dreams come true, mine get taken care of.”

 

 

With thanks to Anthony Robbins

https://training.tonyrobbins.com/the-6-human-needs-why-we-do-what-we-do/

The Secret to Success

Great success does not happen because you decided to try one day.

It does not happen because you really hoped it would.

It does not happen because you had a burst of enthusiasm and a moment of massive action – then spat the dummy and walked away when the results didn’t show up right away.

Great success comes when you lean in when everyone else is stepping out.

It comes with you keep showing up with the same passion, determination and grit – even when the results haven’t shown up yet.

It’s the sum of small decisions, consistent actions repeated every single day that move you in the direction of your dreams.

Most people need to see evidence of their effort being rewarded before they’ll continue making the effort.

They look to the external and start worrying about what they don’t have instead of staying clear on what they want.

They bring it for a day or two then drop their standards because nobody is looking and nobody else is bringing it so why should they?

 

The only secret to success is to show up longer than the things trying to defeat you.

Successful people know that the darkest moments are simply the test to ensure they’re really ready to handle the incredible rewards that are just about to follow.

The rest is just the scenery.

Choice is Everything

Choice is everything in life.

Choice has the power to turn the good into bad, or the bad into good.

Choice keeps you on a spiral of CANI (Constant and neverending Improvement) or CANDisappointment.

Choice let’s you notice love and truth or fear and doubt.

Choice gives you the ability to create the reality of your nightmares or the world of your dreams?

To see only the grey clouds or the beauty in the rainbow.

To recite what you’ve remembered, or to apply what you have learned to really live your life.

To turn average into good, good into great, great into outstanding.

To complain that you cant, or find a way to prove you can.

To choose to live a great life is your choice – not anybody else’s.

Choice is everything. Choose wisely.