Life has probably thrown you a curve ball or two along the way. You’ve likely had times when you felt unsettled by past events or things to come. That amount of discomfort can lead to inner turmoil, and returning to true happiness means having a plan to refocus your attention and energy
However, it’s possible to separate how you feel about a negative event from your inner calmness and peace. The minute you start letting emotions take constant hold of your soul, life suddenly becomes chaotic.
The key is to learn what it means to find true happiness.
You can experience the joy of true happiness by following these simple guidelines:
- Accept your limitations when you feel the urge to give everything you have to pacify a situation. Some situations may be beyond your ability to resolve.
- Learn to accept what you can and cannot change. It’s okay not to know all the answers!
- Instead of allowing guilt to eat away at you, feel at peace with the fact that you did all you could.
- While there’s always room to push yourself a little harder, avoid the point of burn out.
2. Nobody promised that life would be a bed of roses. As long as you act according to what your conscience dictates, you can be proud of your actions!
- The heaviness that you might carry around with you is unnecessary. Check in and see what needs to be lifted.
- If you’ve accepted the part you played in the outcome of a situation, acknowledge it and move on!
- The more honest you are with others, the easier it is to be frank with yourself.
3. Show kindness. Every interaction with another person includes heart-to-heart connection. Recognizing the connection can help you feel more appreciated and appreciative.
- Use every opportunity to help someone in need. It doesn’t matter what it is that they need. By giving your time or resources, you automatically feel you’ve completed part of life’s mission. That’s true happiness.
4. Appreciate your blessings. At times like these, take a moment to look at what you’ve attained and received. The extent of those blessings might surprise you!
In a nutshell, true happiness comes from being sincerely happy with who you are and what you have. Remember that there are always people who yearn for what you have. That should be enough to tell you that you have a lot! Contentment is the key to true happiness.
Even with a clear communication plan and format in place, your client may push the limits. Setting boundaries is a primary task for your peach of mind and your client’s best coaching experience.
- Clients may keep you on the phone longer than you intended
- They will email you more than is allowed
- They might text you for non-emergencies
- They will send you messages on Facebook, on Twitter, on Voxer, or anywhere else that is convenient for them—regardless of your preferences
Does This Work Both Ways?
Are you tempted to reach out on the weekend to answer a question or schedule a call on a Sunday afternoon because that’s when your client is available. You might think this is good business—after all, you’re building a relationships.
The idea is not the best for you. The situation will lead to burn out because your boundaries are weak. You’ll always feel like you must do more for your clients. Sooner or later, you’ll lose touch with your own health and personal space.
Setting boundaries is the answer for both you and your customers. Establish from the outset exactly what your coaching package includes, and be sure to include when contact takes place.
For example, you might say:
Your coaching package includes one monthly, 50-minute phone call with me and one question by email each working day.
My workdays are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm Eastern, and I’ll answer all calls and emails during that time.
With this format, you are setting boundaries and have included
- What the client gets (one phone call and once daily emails)
- When she gets it (Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm)
You’ll also need to establish exactly how your clients should contact you, and what will happen if they do not follow the procedures. Setting boundaries includes specific email addresses and phone numbers or conference lines exclusively for your client use.
Another step is to create “planned responses” to send out when a client attempts to contact you outside of your established boundaries.. For example, if you receive a Facebook message (and you don’t offer this as a form of contact) you might respond with:
Thank you for reaching out, and I’m happy to help you with this big issue. For better organization of my client files, though, I do ask that you send all your questions to my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A gentle reminder for setting boundaries creates a better coaching relationship for both of you.
To keep phone calls shorter, use a simple kitchen timer. At the start of the call, tell your client, “We have XX minutes today, so I’m going to set a timer for YY minutes to remind us when it’s almost time to end. That will help ensure I can answer all your questions.”
Then set your timer for 5 minutes before the call is to end. When the timer goes off, let your client know you have 5 minutes remaining, and ask if she has any final questions before you hang up. Following this simple system will prevent those endless phone calls that trample all forms of boundaries.
Resist the temptation to allow calls to be booked outside of your working hours, or to respond to questions on the weekend, or to book additional appointments “just this once.”
Doing so will make it appear to your client that your boundaries are flexible, and will invite them to push the limits as well. After all, if you email on the weekend, it must be ok, right?
Exercise: Map Your Work Hours
Exercise: Craft Your Boundary Responses
How will you set the expectation at the start of a call, so it does not run too long?
How will you respond if a client contacts you outside your established system?
What will you tell yourself when you fail to respect your own boundaries?
Entrepreneurship is my journal that several coaches suggested I write, not only for myself, but for them. “The lessons of heart wisdom are for everyone,” they said. So, here goes…. if you like the lessons or find them helpful, please comment and let me know.
When a web site or a relationship fall apart, do you listen to the Pragmatic Voice, or the Challenger Voice
My friends and I felt good and celebrated surviving the emotional, chaotic energies of 2012. Boy, we should have waited until 2013 to celebrate. Because 15 days into the new year, when the web sites disappeared like an earthquake swallowing a home, my heart broke.
The easiest solution was to turn my back on the whole entrepreneurship mess, walk away, and figure out another way to earn a living. And I had to do it quickly. But that was too easy, and I am a neat person and can’t leave a mess behind me. I would always wonder What if?
When the What if? questions start rolling through the mind, they take the form of a personal voice I call The Challenger: “But what if you DID start over? What if you had new ideas for entrepreneurship? How fast could you make it happen with the right support?” The Challenger was trying to inspire me again.
“Not a problem,” said Pragmatic Voice: “When we have new ideas, we will use them, When a tech support person shows up who will work for free, I’ll interview them.” Ah, voice number 2 is so obviously pragmatic, and kind of kills the joy of being creative and entrepreneurial.
“That’s okay,” Pragmatic said, “You can think this second voice of yours is a killjoy. But one day you will thank me because this whole web of creativity you opened never stops flowing, and you focus it well when you do focus it, but …. you now need to listen to my common sense, pragmatism for new entrepreneurship ideas?”
I hate it when I lecture myself, but I accepted all of the inner wisdom voices a long time ago, because if I didn’t, the inner wisdom nags until I pay attention.
If all in my outer world of entrepreneurship is a reflection of my inner world, then I need a safe place, and to feel safe. I don’t like to make important life decisions from a place of fear. Like the Bengal cat who hangs out for a while, I do things on my time, my intuitive time. Like many sensitive people, the internal timing does manifest when the foundations are right. Sometimes, my creative downloads may take a year to manifest.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”e4349″ via=”yes” ]”And what happens when you push a project, creating when the heart and gut are saying don’t, no, not yet.” @parent_coach[/ctt]
Yes, pragmatic voice is right. When I exert my entrepreneurial will into my world, and I am not aligned with the heart feeling about the project, something does go wrong, When I do not listen to the gut level intuition, the organ for assimilating life, walking my talk, something goes wrong. I did that in 2012, thinking my entrepreneurship foundations were solid, running into snags, facing personality issues with my team members, and I stayed the course.
if only you has listened to me, heard me. Like a baby who stops crying when her needs are met, my heart stopped trying to get me to feel out the situation. Instead, I pushed so hard, that my heart energy cracked wide open, vulnerable tears flowed. Surprisingly the tears were of relief. The tears meant that crazy cycle of over-extending self in time, energy and focus was over. 2017 is the year to take one step at a time, insuring that I feel great about each step on the new path of entrepreneurship.
Do you listen to your heart feelings and voice?
When you listen, do you take action or turn away?
Do you hear the Challenger?
Or do you hear the Pragmatist?
© 2017 Dr. Caron Goode, Founder of ACPI.