Archive: Newsletter

Your Coach Within

Seth Godin talks about how 90% of coaching is really self-coaching.  That’s true whether you have a good coach, a lousy coach, or use self-help, friends and the media as a coach.

All a good coach does is supply, in one place and in a condensed form, what you could manage to get, piece by piece, from your own sources.  What a bad coach does is send you on paths that you eventually discover are heading in the wrong direction, or no direction that’s useful. From a bad coach, you learn a lot about what not to do.

Either way, once you get the nuggets, the rest is up to you: digesting what you’ve learned and then applying it to whatever problem – or challenge – is in front of you.

Eventually, that learning becomes automatic – becomes your own inner voice of wisdom – and serves as the growing bedrock of knowledge and knowhow for increasingly complex problems and challenges.

It’s a great way to learn and grow your coach within!

Building Your Inner Coach – Bret Ledbetter

Quote of the Week

Taking personal accountability is a beautiful thing because it gives us complete control of our destinies.
― Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto

Announcements

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

 

When I shame you, I shame everyone

Hi! I’m sharing this blog I wrote with you because I believe shame is such an important topic. And in case you’re wondering, it’s difficult for me to talk about because I feel shame for having to talk about it.  But by doing so, I’m hoping that others will also begin to talk.

I was at an event a few weeks back. I’d been learning something new, and during the feedback period, the teacher shamed me publicly for failing to “get” something she had reminded me of previously. Her words were to the effect: “I’ve told you about this before and you did it again”.

I did what I always do when I get criticized in this way: I put on a brave face, swallow my pride, and take in what she is saying.  I also stuff down any feelings I might have of not being seen, and of being treated like a 12-year-old. It’s an old story for me – a seeming lack of justice. And I could have easily fallen into that particular self-pity hole.

There are 2 important things I learned from this experience:

Even while feeling the warmth of shame, I noticed that I wasn’t alone in feeling this. Everyone else in the room was feeling it too. The sudden silence and lowering of eyes indicated to me that we were all feeling the impact as shame.

That’s the first point: when I shame you in public, I shame everyone else in the room.
The person who shamed me is nice, good, smart, and caring. She’s someone I like and admire. Her intention wasn’t to shame me, but to give me honest feedback. Her mistake was in the way she delivered it.

I’ve done the same to others. And that’s the second point: I’ve unintentionally shamed another person in front of others, with the same effect – the room goes quiet, eyes turned down.

There are other better ways of delivering a critique. Asking what was going on for the person, providing feedback on how that impacted other participants, followed by a query on what that person believes they can do next time.

Public shaming is rarely justified. It’s painful and leaves people feeling under-empowered.  Far better to learn how to deliver criticism in a way that leaves the other person – and everyone else in the room – energized.

Listening to Shame

 Quote of the Week

We see ourselves as nonconformist, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conservative age.
― Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Human crabbing

This term – human crabbing – comes from an aeronautical term that refers to the need to deliberately aim above your target destination in order to compensate for the force of wind.  If you aimed directly for your target in a high wind, you would actually end up many degrees off.

Human crabbing is about aiming for the best you can possibly imagine in your life, so that what you end up reaching is at the least pretty good.

It isn’t he same thing as expecting things to turn out perfectly: there’s so much about life that can change along the way. The point is that if you don’t aim for the best, then what you will probably end up with will be way below what you desire.

So, aim high. Higher than you even think possible.

Viktor Frankel

Quote of the Week

“When we treat man as he is we make him worse than he is.
When we treat him as if he already was what he potentially could be
We make him what he should be.”
― Goethe

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Shallow and deep

This newsletter is in honor of Joni Mitchell, who I first heard as a young adult, liked and continued to like all through my growing up (still happening). My friend, Stephen Douglass, sent an excerpt from her that I’ve re-posted below. It’s about being deep and being shallow. It’s also about how most of us fall for the fluff because it’s a part of our society, and how much richer life is if we chose to dive deep.

I’ll let her take the mike …

I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line.

But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over.

You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.”

Joni Mitchell

How I remember her ….

Quote of the Week

“We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion year old carbon, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
– Joni Mitchell

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

My Mother My Self

The title is from a book I read years ago. I still recommend it to my clients, because from observing myself and my clients over the years, I’m come to appreciate the inevitability of how we are our mothers and fathers, regardless of whether we want that to happen. I was recently reminded of it in a National Geographic article on Iranian nomads (October, 2018).

Nomadic women have hard lives: they traditionally relocate twice a year, living in tents in harsh climates, caring for their family and their flock, risking everything for their family every day.  It’s traditional in these families that, once their husband dies, they are left bereft, receiving no inheritance for all that commitment.

But things will be different for their daughters. There’s world-wide internet and their daughters see alternatives.  As one daughter said (encouraged by her mother) “Why should I make my life miserable? Like yours.”

I don’t blame her. But that isn’t what struck me as I read it.  What struck me is that I said the same thing, and so did many of my female friends.  And so do many of my female clients.

In any culture, if the woman (or man) is forced into a life they don’t want and that makes them miserable, their daughters (or sons) notice. And this is a powerful motivator behind doing something different with their lives.

Pico Iyer – Where is Home?

 

Quote of the Week

“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself “ 
– Nancy Friday

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Every thought

I get a lot of pleasure out of planning. When I’m planning, I can even visualize what I imagine will happen at a given point. In this way, I can see how everything fits and what the end product will look like.

But, thinking something and doing it isn’t the same thing. What I visualize doesn’t often turn out the way I visualized.

That’s what I usually do when I’m thinking of something I want to happen.  There are also things I anticipate out of fear. Most of the time, I focus on the worst case, to the point that it’s as if it’s a done deal.  This also defines how I function.

Again, what might happen isn’t the same as what actually happens.  Just like my plans, the reality is most times quite different from what I’d imagined.

The way that anticipation and visualization impacts what actually happens is in how we approach the future.  It shapes what we do.

If I think that deep down, I’m worthless or powerless, and that whatever I’m trying to accomplish will end in disaster, then what I do will reflect that: I might not put a lot of effort into what I’m doing. Why put effort into something that’s probably going to fail?

On the other hand, if I believe that I matter, and what I do matters, then I’m a lot more likely to succeed in what I set out to do.

Every thought leads to an action. Let that action take you to the kind of place you want to live in.

Ekhart Tolle – Where do our thoughts come from?

Quote of the Week

“Every word you speak and every thought you think is an affirmation for your future.“ 
– Cheryl Richardson

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Tiny vs Large

I was sitting one recent Sunday morning fretting over something I’ve been involved in, wondering – as I often do – about which possibilities were worth pursuing.  Then, to give my brain a rest, I spent time puzzling over a Suduko game instead.  In Suduko, the objective is to position numbers in such a way that they don’t repeat in any row, column, or square. It really soothes my mind when my mind is worked up. Each to their own!

My strategy when playing this game is to place possibilities in the top corners of individual squares, and certainties for that square in the middle. Inevitably, I would accidentally switch numbers, so that what should have been a 2 beside a 4, for instance, I’d write down as a 4 beside a 2. Then I’d spend time tracing back what I’d done to figure out where that happened.

That particular morning, I did something different. A very small change: I made the possibilities really tiny and the certainties really big. And for once, I didn’t do any accidental switcheroos. So simple a solution, and so powerful a result!

Then I wondered: How could this help me in other ways? You see, I spend much of my time musing over possibilities. In fact, I can get so caught up in them that they are as real as whatever is actual at the time.

What if, instead, I added a degree of separation between possibilities and actualities?
I’m going to try it out, and report back.

What reality?

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Quote of the Week

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.
― Tim Fargo

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Betrayed by Facebook!

Several months ago, after writing a newsletter and blog twice each week for a few years, I suddenly get an influx of Friend requests on Facebook.  At first, I was overjoyed. Then I discovered that these “friends” weren’t the kind of people who I’d expect to like my writing. So, I began the laborious job of unfriending them.  But really, I was taking my time, not thinking it was something that had to be done immediately.

Then one day, I get a request from the Facebook Messenger system asking if I wanted to activate it.  I did, and that’s when I was betrayed by Facebook.  Every time I got onto Facebook after that, I’d get interrupted by “Friends” and non-friends (people I never friended) wanting to talk. It was like having the hiccoughs and not being able to end it.

Then I started getting photos and videos I didn’t want and never asked for. Yes, I can – and did – block these. But by this point I was feeling distinctly harassed.

I tried de-activating Messenger, only to discover that I couldn’t. I messaged Facebook and let them know the situation and how I was feeling, and to please!deactivate Messenger.  No response.

That’s when removing all unknown “friends” became a priority. I did it. En masse.

At last. Peace.

I learnt something from this: don’t be so hasty in assuming that people really want to be friends with me simply because they say so – on Facebook. And always keep in mind that Facebook has its own agenda that isn’t necessarily mine.

OK. So that was Facebook.  But it could have been almost any large corporate business these days.  With Facebook, there’s no real way of contacting them – as with many online businesses. So, I’m left with something that’s broken and that I need to work around rather than simply fix or get rid of.  Oh, I know they’re a big company and they can’t respond to all complaints or concerns. But they need to. Just like I need to. Just like you need to. If you and I want to maintain our connections in a good way.

Being betrayed by big business might not seem as big a deal as being betrayed by a real friend.  But in a way it is. It’s just that we are so used to this from companies these days that we tend to shrug it off with resignation and cynicism.

I think there’s more I can do. I can write about it and see if that makes a difference.
This isn’t about painting Facebook or any other large company into the corner of evil-doing. It’s about expecting good service instead of negligent service.  And I wonder: if we never complain, why would they think anything’s wrong?

How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust

Quote of the Week

“Betrayal leaves us at a fork in the road … we can become stuck in a bad moment forever or we can put it behind us for good. We decide our path. “

– Carmen Harra

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Grit – the key to Future success

Some fortunate people have loving and mature parents, go to great schools, and get initiated into the adult world with the support of amazing mentors.  Some – not all – of those lucky few make a terrific life for themselves and, hopefully, others.

The rest of us aren’t so fortunate. And yet, more of us end up succeeding in spite of the odds against us than anyone would expect.

But predictors of future success provide statistical odds only.  The real predictor is youYourcommitment to your own future, your self-regard, and your ability to see what’s real and possible.

Mostly though, it’s your conviction: your conviction that what you seek is possible for you to achieve, and worth staying with. In the end, it might not turn out the way you imagined, but it will happen.  That kind of stick-with-it-ness is sometimes called resilience, and sometimes called grit.

Angela Duckworth distinguishes resilience from grit (view the video below).  She’s discovered that a key predictor to future success is gritGrit is consistent effort, combined with passion, for a particular goal, that is strong enough to overcome obstacles or challenges that are in the way to the realization of that goal.

In other words, the goal has to be worthy to the person trying to achieve it. And the person trying to achieve it has to feel worthy of achieving that goal

A person with grit is in it for the long-term and knows that to achieve her goal involves a marathon, not a sprint.

So the bottom line is to hang in there, sometimes putting one foot in front of the other, and keep faith in yourself and your abilities.

The Power of Passion and Preservation

My online program begins Oct 8th, but you can still register until October 14th! It’s a program for addressing stress and anxiety with plenty of support …


Click here to register.

 
Quote of the Week

“…there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine….you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people….Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…it’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.
― Angela Duckworth

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Crazy-Making

Imagine this: you’ve leant your best friend your cherished slow cooker; she knows how much you value it. Even so, it eventually comes back broken.  When confronted with the obvious, she either denies anything happened at her end, or swears it was already broken. If she’s really in a bad way, she might deny borrowing it altogether and that she happened to find it at her place.

Sadly, my mother was notorious for doing this. Happily, not my friends. Mom would go one step further: next time she asked to borrow something, and I said no because of what happened the time before, she would deny denying she’d done anything the first time.

It drove me crazy. Especially because I’d be like Charlie Brown with Lucy: I’d fall for it as any insane person would, believing in my heart that this time would be different.

Seth Godin calls this Kettle logic. He suggests that the person using it is really reacting emotionally instead of logically.

I can’t be sure of that, but I do know that it’s useless to try and reason with them.  Instead, what I really need to do is understand why I keep falling for it and do something about that!

You see, it is emotional on my side. And once I can come to terms with what’s going on with me, then I can deal with what’s going on with my friend.

With my Mom, I wanted her to be accountable in a way she couldn’t be. It wasn’t until I understood who she was that I was able to stop putting us both into that particular dance. You see, it wasn’t just her. It was both of us, playing out a familiar song that had, long ago, run its course.

Declaring someone else insane

It’s not your mind that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit …

Are you starting to feel you’re loosing it, that you’re alone in this. And the deeper you dig and the harder you try to get things right, it only makes things worse. Well, you aren’t alone. At least a third of us are with you.

You know you need to do something differently, and you’re on it. But the real problem isn’t what you do and don’t know – you’re pretty good at working through things intellectually.
It isn’t your brain that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit.

In my program Burning the Candle at Both Endswe go on a spiritual journey together, looking at what’s really at the heart of perfectionism and stress in your life, and discovering ways that truly help to turn it around for you.

Registration is now open for October. Register now!

 
Quote of the Week

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” ― Albert Einstein

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.