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Change Your Focus Change Your Life

by Dieter Pauwels May 27, 2010

You’ve probably seen the FedEx logo a gazillion times in your life right? But have you ever noticed the arrow that is embedded in the logo? If you haven’t, take a second look.

Do you see it now? Some people do, and some people still don’t see it. I’m not telling you where the arrow is hidden 'cause that would spoil the fun.

Yes, it's true. What you see in your life depends on what you consciously focus on, in the same way that what you hear depends on what you listen for. When you change the dial on your radio, you'll hear a different tune. Are you dialed in for what you really want in your life?


The law of polarity teaches us that everything we experience in life is never neutral; it is both positive and negative.

When you focus on the positive, you allow yourself to see more because you will focus on possibilities rather than necessities. You will see opportunities that would have otherwise passed you by! Always remember that opportunities are never lost; they're just found by someone else.


The way you see things determines your outlook in life. Your world is a mirror and the reflection you see depends on the person you are. Focus your energy on the positive side of life because it is only there where you can truly make a difference.

To your success!

Life Coaching Principles of Change | Part 2

by Dieter Pauwels May 4, 2010

You Need To Know HOW To Change

You need to have the know-how, or the means to facilitate the change you want. In other words, how do you go about the change you want to create? What is the process? What is your best personal strategy?

Even when you are totally committed to making a change, if you don't know 'how', it will be very difficult to follow through and achieve the result you desire.
 
By understanding the process of change, you can work more effectively with the process, instead of fighting or resisting it. Understanding precedes change!
 
Start with the end result in mind. Imagine for a moment that you already have created the change you want. What would that look like? What would that feel like? What would be different in your life? What would be the consequences of the change you made? Is this what you really want?
 
In order to create the best personal success strategy for you, consider the following necessary components in the process of change: 
 
Resources 

  • Personal qualities:
    What inner resources (skills and/or capabilities) do you already have or need to develop in order to move forward with confidence to achieve your outcome? What other resources are available to you today that you might not have thought about?
     
  • People:
    Who might be a good external resource for you? Do you know anyone who has already achieved a goal similar to yours? Enlist the help of friends, a support group, a mentor, or a professional life coach who can assist you in developing an action plan for the changes you desire.

  • Objects:
    Books you can read, equipment, audio CD's or DVD's with information you need.

  • Time:
    Do you have enough time to dedicate to the achievement of your goal? If not, how can you create more time? What will you have to say 'no' to, in order to make more time for what you really want.


"Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still." 
(Chinese proverb)

Actions 
Action is about moving forward, one step at a time. We all have the urge to move forward in life. It is an urge to become more whole, to find more meaning and balance.

Think about the change or outcome you are committed to, and ask yourself, "What actions can I take today that will move me toward my desired goal?"

If the idea of taking a huge leap forward overwhelms you, you can break it down into smaller steps and more manageable tasks.

The larger the change in direction, the shorter the time it will take to come to new scenery. However, even the slightest change will take you on a different journey, if you persist. Focus and reinforcement are critical as you work toward your goal, because the slightest change in mindset can alter your course dramatically. 
 

Skills 
Perhaps you need to brush up on your skills, or acquire some new skills, such as communication skills.

Habits
What stops most people from making the change they want, are their habitual actions and thoughts. All habits accomplish something of value, otherwise they would not have become habits in the first place. But times change, and you have changed, and your current habits may no longer serve your purpose.
When you change, things will change for you!

Only you know the best strategy for making the changes you want. You are the expert of your life. Ultimately, you are the only one responsible for the decisions you make or don't make. When you don't take control of your life, don't be surprised when someone else does!

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Life Coaching Principles of Change | Part 1

by Dieter Pauwels March 25, 2010

If you're like me, and most other people, there are things in your life that you wish were different and would like to change for the better. Although you may have had the best intentions to manifest a desired change in the past, for some reason you have not been able to successfully achieve the results you want.

Perhaps you have wanted to kick a bad habit. Or you feel you deserve a raise or promotion at work, yet something is preventing you from asking for it. Alternatively, you find yourself in a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. Maybe you have wanted to lose weight, and have tried all the miracle diets, or joined a local health club, but never shed those extra pounds. What prevents us from making the changes we desire?

Whatever the change is that you want to make, as a personal life coach I would like to challenge you to reflect for a moment on the following and important question:

"How much do you really want to change?"

Often, we try to make changes in our lives to live up to the expectations of others, or because others want us to. There is nothing wrong with the intention of trying to change for someone else, but my experience tells me that true long-lasting results must come from within.

Life Coaching Principle #1: YOU have to really WANT to change!

Dare to ask yourself this obvious question! What are the benefits of me not changing?

Sometimes people try to create change in their lives, but are not consciously aware of the positive benefits or side effects that they are getting from their current situation.

For example: Some people who label themselves as depressed, stay depressed, because of the extra emotional attention they are receiving from family and friends. The desire for attention, or the need for significance, becomes a strong enough motivator for them to stay depressed.

Think about the positive benefits of the situation you would like to change. What are some of the emotional / physical positive side effects of your current situation? How important are these benefits to you? How could you maintain the same positive side effect by making the change you desire?

Inner conflict

People often resist the change they think they want, because of an inner conflict between the values they hold. Let me illustrate with another example: Let's assume that you want to get a promotion at work but never asked for it. Now imagine for a moment that you actually did receive the promotion you wanted. What would getting a promotion mean to you? More money? And how important would that be compared to some other values that you hold?
If a promotion means a better paycheck, but it also means more time away from your family, this may create inner conflict which will likely cause you to resist moving forward. What you resist will persist!

Self-limiting beliefs and thoughts

Another reason why people resist change because they hold on to limiting beliefs that prevent them from moving forward and getting the results they really want. Think for a moment about the change you want to make …

How confident are you that reaching your goal or outcome is possible for you? Do you believe that you have what it takes to make that change? In other words, do you believe that you are truly capable of reaching your desired outcome?

Now, again imagine that you already successfully achieved your outcome. How would this new situation affect you and the people around you? And, would that be okay?

By exploring some of the questions above, you may discover some limiting beliefs you hold about yourself or the situation you want to change. It is only when you become consciously aware of the internal barriers - positive side effects, conflicting values, or limiting beliefs - that you will be able to make a full personal commitment to the process of change.

"We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change." (Sarah Ban Breathnach)

Permission To Succeed

by Dieter Pauwels December 9, 2009

As a personal life coach I work with many creative, intelligent, skilled, and passionate people who, despite having clearly defined goals, are not achieving the success of which they are truly capable. It’s not that they fear failure; it’s not that they don’t have the know-how. It’s because they unconsciously find a way to sabotage themselves. They don’t allow themselves to succeed. Unable to give themselves permission to value themselves, they cannot achieve the success they deserve.

One of my life coaching clients, a young and vibrant entrepreneur in his mid-thirties, started coaching with me because he wanted to take his business to the next level. He told me that for the last couple of years his business had remained stagnant and he felt himself procrastinating to make decisions needed to grow his business. I asked him what would stop a smart and creative young man from achieving the success he really wanted. “I don’t know,” he replied. “But sometimes I feel that achieving success means that I’m selfish, and I feel really guilty about that.” When I inquired more about his feeling of guilt, he mentioned that a voice in his head kept telling him that he should just be happy with where he was, that he didn’t need any more than what he had already.

I think we all have such voices talking to us. Like bullies, they try to intimidate us and keep us from achieving the success we want. They tell us that if we want too much for ourselves we’re self-centered or selfish, or that one day others will find out that we’re not that good, or that success is for others but not us. When we listen to these voices, and it’s hard not to, things can get pretty dark inside our heads. In personal coaching we sometimes refer to these little voices that hold us back as our “gremlins.” Recognizing these little creatures for what they are is a first step toward taming them. A playful, yet effective way we can deal with them is to personify our gremlin by giving it a name, some characteristics, and perhaps a personality.

I’ve always had this little voice—this little gremlin—in my head that I call Peter Perfect. He is a smart and witty creature who always tells me that unless I can do something perfectly, I shouldn’t do it. But instead of hoping that one day he would go away, I have come to understand that in recognizing Peter Perfect for what he is, I diminish his power to run my life and hold me back.

In order to succeed in life you must first give yourself permission to succeed. This means you have to develop a positive inner dialogue that is congruent with your true intentions. To determine whether your inner thoughts are supporting or limiting you, you want to ask yourself, “Would I say the same words to a friend, a family member, or colleague who needs my support?”

101 Ways To Reduce Stress in Your Life

by Dieter Pauwels August 9, 2009

101Ways to Reduce Stress This new e-book is intended to create an awareness of stress on physical and mental health and provide you with ready to use tools and strategies to cope more efficiently with the stresses in your life.  To exist in today’s pressure cooker world, and deal with constant change, take the challenge to liberate yourself and manage your personal stress.

Stress affects us all at one point or another, however, once it becomes a regular and uncontrollable part of your life, it should be considered serious. But what if you are “stressed out” and don’t realize it?

As a personal life coach and career consultant, I observe the symptoms often. Signs of increased stress levels can vary from insomnia, depression, anger, aches and pains and high blood pressure. These are only a few ways excess stress affects the body and mind. Alcohol, drug problems, heart attack and stroke, can occur if high stress levels are ignored.

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to learn what self-help techniques are available to get your life back on track.

There are plenty of stress reducing self-help tips, strategies and techniques to choose from in my e-book. They are economical, easy to use and have tremendous potential to reduce the stress in your life. You can read a few tips before you start your day, or keep them at your bedside and implant them in your mind before retiring at night.  Implement the tips, thoughts and life coaching strategies that pertain to your situation when the opportunity arises, or create your own opportunity to reduce the stresses in your life.

Living in a world without any stress at all would be very dull.  Once you understand your own stress patterns and have learned ways to manage them, your health and disposition will improve.

Get your copy at 101 Ways To Reduce Stress

Do I Need a Life Coach?

by Dieter Pauwels July 28, 2009

life coachLife coaching? As if your life needs a coach? 
I would be the first to admit that the term life coach is a pretty loaded term that might even sound a bit spacious and pretentious to some.  Perhaps personal development coaching is a better term for what life coaching or personal coaching is all about.
Increasingly people everywhere are starting to re-evaluate their life's direction and purpose.  People not only want a deeper sense of fulfillment, they also want to feel significant and regain control over their lives.

Most often people seek to work with a personal life coach because they would like to change, achieve or create something in their personal lives or careers. From the outside looking in they might appear to have it all together, yet they feel something is missing. They feel they can do better or achieve more. They come to life coaching because they feel they deserve to invest in themselves, without feeling that there is something wrong with them.

Some life coaching clients want a more rewarding relationship, develop a healthier lifestyle, a more exciting career, while others want more business success or seek a renewed new sense of fulfillment, balance or purpose in their lives. Others seek the guidance from a professional coach to navigate change during turbulent times or when faced with adversity.

Life coaching creates a relationship to support people in managing themselves more effectively and helps them achieve a higher level of personal and career success.  Professional coaching provides the structure, support, feedback, learning and accountability to help people realize their personal potential.

Every coach has his or her own personal style. I use a synthesis of different strategies adopted from current professional coaching models - The Inner Game, G.R.O.W., Co-Active Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Positive Psychology - together with insights from business and philosophy.

My intention and goal as a professional life coach is to

  • provide you with the tools and strategies to create the results you want  
  • challenge and motivate you to take action toward your goals
  • improve your critical thinking ability to enhance your decision making skills
  • provide feedback, support and accountability
  • help your overcome mental barriers and self-limiting beliefs
  • improve your self confidence and authentic sense of self
  • create a compelling vision for your future with clear action steps

The best way to understand the true value and potential benefits of life coaching is to experience it personally. Until you've had the experience of coaching, it will remain a concept in your mind. You can schedule a free 45 minute coaching introduction at www.dieterpauwels.com All life coaching services are available in person or over the phone.

Working with a lifecoach is the most powerful tool when people are committed to personal development and self improvement. Coaching is a means to an end, helping people lead more satisfying and happier lives.

Awaken The Leader Within You

by Dieter Pauwels June 29, 2009

Leadership Life CoachingIn 1937, during the Great Depression, Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” – one of the best books ever written on the subject of personal development and success. Napoleon Hill has inspired millions of people and has been a major influence in the work of today’s biggest motivational speakers and coaches, including Steven Covey and Anthony Robbins.

In his book, Napoleon Hill discusses eleven traits of successful leaders. Not only are these leadership characteristics essential in any professional leadership role, more importantly, they can serve you as great points of reference in your personal life. You are the leader of your own life. You shape your destiny based on the choices and decisions you make each and every day.

Keep this list in mind as you navigate through your own life’s journey. These cornerstone qualities will heighten your awareness and encourage you to assume full responsibility for your life and become the leader you were meant to be.

Life Coaching Questions:

As you read through the list below, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which leadership qualities am I consciously expressing in my daily life?
  • What personal qualities are not in alignment with my current lifestyle?
  • What leadership traits are currently not being expressed in my life? What is preventing me from integrating them into my life? How can I become a better steward of my own life?
  • What am I committed to? What choices will I make?


Here are the eleven leadership traits as discussed by Napoleon Hill.

1. Unwavering courage

2. Self control

3. A keen sense of justice

4. Definiteness of decision

5. Definiteness of plans

6. Doing more than one is paid for

7. A pleasing personality

8. Sympathy and understanding

9. Mastery of detail

10. Willingness to assume full responsibility

11. Cooperation

 

St. Louis career coach,life coach st louis

The Hidden Messages of Negative Emotions

by Dieter Pauwels May 4, 2009

Negative emotions such as fear, stress, anxiety, guilt, or resentment burn your will power and drain your energy more and faster than anything else in your life.

Emotions are labels we put on ourselves to describe a very personal physical experience. They arise from personal judgment, low self-esteem or a lack of trust in your own capabilities. These labels confine you to an imaginary box and inhibit your innate ability to learn, grow and expand.

Seek truth in your body

When you experience anxiety, fear, stress or worry, be aware that these emotional states are logical and intuitive responses to uncertainty. However, prolonged exposure to these negative emotional states can affect your self esteem and erode your self confidence.

Pay attention to your emotions. Allow yourself to feel your stress, anxiety or fear instead of avoiding, rationalizing or judging it. How do you experience stress? How does fear express itself in your body? How does anxiety feel? How does worry move through your body?

Once you acknowledge and become fully present with your emotions, you can start to take control of your own feelings, instead of having them run your life. There is tremendous personal power in facing what feels uncomfortable at first.

In his bestselling book, “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle wrote that “If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won’t lose yourself in the external world, and you won’t lose yourself in your mind.”

We don’t typically consider the possibility that our emotional experience is there to teach us something. When you allow yourself to feel what you’re really feeling and listen to the truth in your body, you will gain remarkable insights into who you are and the emotional needs you have been avoiding or ignoring.

Frequently returning negative emotions give you an opportunity to become more aware of what’s really going on in your life.

Start moving

Energy in motion creates emotion. The energy needed to move forward and fully engage in the process of your life comes from your emotional state. Moving will not only discharge some of your anxious energy but it will change your emotional state. You will feel like you are doing something and moving forward.

Take action

Create a list of 5 things you can do or steps you can take to make your lifestyle congruent with that what you really want and need in your life. Each step will help to further dissolve the negative emotion bit by bit, bringing hope and empowering you to continue to take action toward meeting your challenge.

Change What Really Matters

by Dieter Pauwels April 8, 2009

We live in a world with tremendous possibilities, endless opportunities and more choices than during any other time in history.

With the choices and freedoms we enjoy, come a variety of challenges. The choices we make are not always positive. In fact, some of them can be self-destructive.

Choices bring with them increased responsibilities, challenges and changes. In the face of the myriad of options we have, our challenge is to make decisions that will advance ourselves, our communities, and our world.

Change and challenge often combined leave us in dynamic, fast paced and complex situations that we are not always prepared to deal with. Change, and the challenge of dealing with it, creates anxiety, discomfort and a feeling of uncertainty among many of us.

We simply become overwhelmed in the face of change - with all the other tasks and responsibilities that we have, the challenge to change is sometimes just too much.

When you feel this overwhelmed and burdened you want to reconnect with yourself and others – you want to make sense of what is happening and assimilate it with what you know to be true and certain. You would think that in the digital wonderland we live in, with information technology like the Internet at our fingertips, finding these connections would be fast and easy.

The reality is though, that despite these technologies (or perhaps because of them) we have become increasingly disconnected from ourselves, others, and the world around us.

More and more people are waking up to the fact that we need to get back to what really matters, what really will have an impact on our personal sense of safety, security, and well-being. Increasingly people everywhere are starting to re-evaluate their life's direction.

This re-evaluation is happening at a personal level and at an organizational level as well. Now is the time for companies to start realizing the importance of working with their employees to create great work cultures that stimulate, motivate, and inspire people to be the best they can be. Now is the time for organizations to create cultures people can belong to.

In times of change or any other adversity, whether it is a personal change or a business transition, people in general tend to respond in two different ways: they withdraw for self preservation or they face their fear of change head on.

The interesting thing however, is that both responses are motivated by the same need – the need we all have for a sense of certainty in our lives.

Change, by definition, is uncertain, and our reaction to change reflects a desperate need to gain a bit of control.

Whatever the change you are facing, you can choose to deal with it head-on or head in the sand.


Those who choose the head in the sand approach when faced with adversity are the people who shut down and withdraw themselves. They do this in order to protect themselves. Their feelings of frustration, anger, and anxiety are too much to cope with all at once, so they retreat.

Unfortunately their flight causes them to disconnect not just from themselves and their personal needs, but from others and the world around them as well. This disconnection is a fear reaction and if you run away from fear, you miss the opportunity to learn, to grow and to attract the things you really want in your life.

Fear of change is what prompts self-limiting behaviors and thoughts, rather than seize the opportunity to learn from the challenge and seek new truths about yourself.

A much more productive and positive reaction to changes and challenges is to face the fear head on. Rather than disconnect, this is a time to reconnect – reconnect with the person you really are – at your core.

Re-ignite your passion and meet face your challenges from a place of authenticity, resourcefulness and centeredness. When you are able to see every challenge, every frustration as an opportunity to grow and to contribute, you consciously expand your sense of self. You are able to tap into your inner resources and draw out the very best of yourself and others.

In times of change and adversity, we are all challenged to make choices and to make decisions. You may not be responsible for the circumstances or changes, but you are responsible for the decisions you make within those circumstances.

personal life coachDieter Pauwels is a life career coach, speaker and author based in St. Louis, MO.
He facilitates personal and organizational transformation and works with both individuals and teams to create new possibilities, navigate change and maximize their productivity and personal effectiveness. 

Barriers to Change

by Dieter Pauwels March 24, 2009

Life Coaching | Change ManagementIf you're like me, and most other people, there are things in your life that you wish were different and would like to change for the better. Although you may have had the best intentions to change in the past, for some reason you have not been able to successfully achieve the results you want.

 

Perhaps you have wanted to kick a bad habit. Or you feel you deserve a raise or promotion at work, yet something is preventing you from asking for it. Alternatively, you find yourself in a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. Maybe you have wanted to lose weight, and have tried all the miracle diets, or joined a local health club, but never shed those extra pounds.

 

What could prevent you from making the changes you desire?

 

1. Positive side effects 

Sometimes you may try to create change in your life, but you are not consciously aware of the positive benefits or side effects that you are getting from your current situation.

Some people who label themselves as depressed, stay depressed, because of the extra emotional attention they are receiving from family and friends. The desire for attention, or the need for significance, becomes a strong enough motivator for them to stay depressed.


Think about the positive benefits of the situation you would like to change. What are some of the emotional, mental or physical positive side effects of your current situation? How important are these benefits to you? How could you maintain the same positive side effect by making the change you desire?

 

2. Inner conflict

 

Sometimes you may resist the change you think you want, because of an inner conflict between the values you hold.
 
Values are basically ideals that are important to you in your life. They are usually expressed in abstract terms such as success, respect, freedom, health, love, loyalty, honesty, integrity and so forth.
 
Let's assume that you want to get a promotion at work but never asked for it.
 
Now imagine for a moment that you actually did receive the promotion you wanted. What would getting a promotion mean to you? More money? And how important would that be compared to some other values that you hold? 
 
If a promotion means a better paycheck, but it also means more time away from your family, this may create inner conflict which will likely cause you to resist moving forward. What you resist will persist!

 

3. Self-limiting beliefs and thoughts
 

Another reason why you might resist change is because t you’re holding on to limiting or outdated beliefs that prevent you from moving forward and getting the results you really want.
 
Think about the change you want to make …
 
How confident are you that reaching your goal or outcome is possible for you? Do you believe that you have what it takes to make that change? In other words, do you believe that you are truly capable of getting what you want? Do you believe you are deserving of the change you want?

 

Now, again imagine that you already successfully achieved your outcome. How would this new situation affect you and the people around you? And, would that be okay? 
 
By exploring some of the questions above, you may discover some limiting beliefs you hold about yourself or the situation you want to change. 

 

It is only when you become consciously aware of the internal barriers - positive side effects, conflicting values or limiting beliefs - that you will be able to make a full personal commitment to the process of change.

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