Self-awareness: why is it important?

I liken becoming self-aware with waking up.

Most people live their life in habitual mode.  They do what they do the way they do it because they’ve always done that thing in that way.  They think what they think because they’ve always thought that way, without wondering why.  They hold the opinions they do because that’s what their opinions have always been.  They might not even be theirs in the first place!

That’s my definition of living life like a hamster on a wheel.

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What does it mean to be professional?

I’m struck by how many interpretations there are about what it means to be professional.

Some people say it’s looking the part and behaving in a more formal manner.

A few years ago, while I was engaged as a Lecturer to young HR professionals at the Westminster Business School, I developed a workshop I called ‘How to Deal with Challenging Emotions in Negative

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Feel the fear and do it anyway – are you sure?

The term ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ has entered our language and our consciousness, and most of us believe that, to grow, we need to feel the fear and do it anyway.  But do we really?

The answer is, you won’t be surprised to hear, it depends.

I like another saying that goes ‘life begins at the edge of your comfort zone’.  I often tell my clients that the fear will never go away until they do the very thing they fear.  So that supports the message ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

But life is more complex and doing this is not always the right thing.

In the last few years I made two life-changing decisions.  One was to

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Setbacks: catastrophes or opportunities?

When things go wrong most people’s reaction is frustration and disappointment.  That’s understandable. However, setbacks, disappointments and failures have a useful role to play in our personal growth and development.

I had an exploratory meeting with a client once and I asked him, “what do you do when you have a setback?” He replied, “I panic.” I then followed this with “And what do you do after you finish panicking?” and he said “I continue to panic.”

It turned out that he had been hugely successful when he was employed. Every project he started

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What does it mean to be creative?

When you think about creative people, who do you think about?  A painter, a writer, a musician?  All of them, yes, and more from the world of art.

But being creative is so much more.  Being creative can be a way of life – if we only let ourselves.

As a business person, I use my creativity to find better, easier or different ways of doing what I do.  And, for a business person, being creative is a way of looking at their business with fresh eyes every day.  What new opportunities could be created? 

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How to Stand Tall in The World

The one thing most of my clients have in common is a yearning to feel good about themselves, to feel confident and to like themselves.

Lack of genuine self confidence permeates every aspect of our life. In the professional context it can determine having a thriving business or one that is struggling or having positive and rewarding work relationships and realistic expectations of learning and career progression.

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Self-Awareness: How to Wake Up

One of the main advantages of being coached is that I’m now quicker to notice when I’m doing something that doesn’t work for me.

Two weeks ago life hit me with a huge challenge. It felt like a punch in the stomach. My instant knee-jerk reaction was to think the worst and I was plunged into a dark pit of fear and despair.

I stayed there for a whole day. Then I though, “Wait a minute. I’ve been here before – actually I’ve been here more than once and somehow I overcame the challenge. I know there’s nothing to worry about. I trust myself enough to know that I can handle it.”

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Self-Empowerment

What does it look like when you’re self-empowered?

You empower yourself when you stop blaming others for whatever it is you don’t like about your life.

When you’re self-empowered you stop believing you’re a victim of others and life’s circumstances. Most importantly, you stop expecting others to change and then feeling resentful when they don’t.

When you’re self empowered you ask for what you need and want while, at the same time, you know it’s OK for you not to get what you asked for. However, you can also decide how to react and respond when you don’t get what you want. You see options when before you thought you had none.

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Trust and Betrayal

I have just come out of a challenging period where I found out that three people I trusted have betrayed me.

Each case was very different:

One was a solicitor whose appalling service caused me a lot of suffering and I felt compelled to hold him to account. The other was someone I believed to be a friend and the third one was someone I had worked with and came to care for.

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