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Setting Your Intention to Change Your Life

by Admin March 25, 2011

The power of intention can change your life. Every action, every behavior is grounded in intention, whether or not you are consciously aware of it. As a personal life coach, let me share with you how the power of intention is important to your personal success and how you can take charge of your future with a few simple changes in your thinking.

The Intention Cycle

Your intention determines what you focus on. What you focus on determines how you will experience any given situation. The way you experience things then determines how you feel. Of course, the better you feel about yourself and what is possible, the more confident you will become in yourself and the brighter your future will begin to look. The better you feel, the more compelled you will be to take action. You can think of this as a cycle with the following components: Intention, focus, experience, feeling and action.

Setting Your Intent

Harnessing the power of intention begins with setting your intent. Perhaps you want to have a better job, more money, or a more fulfilling relationship? It all starts with setting your intention. Setting your intent is about directing your focus in the present moment toward a future outcome. It is about making conscious and committed decisions to attract certain experiences and outcomes in your life, even when you aren't sure when or how they will manifest. “Intention” is not so much something you do--it is more about the kind of experiences you attract by consciously focusing on what you want. Once you set your intent, it will affect how you behave, your communication, your mood, and even how you respond to life.

 

Once you have set your intention, your mind will start searching for ways to experience what you want. It will go to work figuring out how it can create these kinds of experiences. For example, if you have an important meeting coming up, sit down and write down your intentions for it. Perhaps it's important to have fun, be productive, connect with others, feel peace, or be helpful. You'll notice your meeting is more likely to manifest how you like when your intent is set on it. Carry these intentions in your mind everywhere you go and be attentive to your surroundings. Look for synchronicity as the right opportunities will suddenly present themselves!

The power of intention can change your life. Your intention determines what you focus on - both positive and negative - and what you focus on determines how you will experience any given situation. Choose your intentions wisely.

The Process of Decision: Learning to Steer Your Life

by Admin September 23, 2010

decide what you want

As a personal life coach , people often describe a similar scenario that creeps up in our modern daily lives.  They feel like they're just going through the motions, like they’re just coping with the events in their lives without feeling fully the experience of being alive. Instead of owning and directing the events of your life, daily circumstances seem to own and direct them. Does that sound familar?

 

This is what I call sleepwalking through your day.  It's when you feel like you have no control, and that other people and the circumstance own your life journey. When we find we are sleepwalking, we often avoid making decisions instead of choosing to stand up and take power back, as if we have already accepted that power is gone, leaving us unable to decide.

The bottom line is that even though you're going through the day, you’re not getting much from the day.  There's no purpose behind this kind of blind forward movement.  Life has no energy. You start to lose self respect and wonder what happened to all the dreams you once had as a kid, if you even bother to wonder any more at all. Yet, we all go through these periods or slumps in our lives. 

It's a natural cycle we all go through, just like in nature we have the ebb and flow of day and night.
There is some merit to the observation that if we never had down times we would not have the capacity to appreciate the ups. 
The problem arises when this continues for a prolonged period of time and becomes a dark cloud that not only hangs over us but represents our experience of life.  It wears on us and breaks us down—no person can sustain this feeling.  We start to feel depressed.  We get easily irritated.  We get down on ourselves and those around us.

But it’s important to develop the life skill of snapping out of this mind frame, and the first step towards gaining that skill is to define what you want out of life. But why is it so important to know what you want?  Isn’t the desire for happiness enough?
Well, if you don’t know what you want, than it becomes tempting for other people to tell you what they want you to do. Why would you want someone else decide for you what you want in your life? What is the cost of living that way?

I would venture that the cost is your individuality, your freedom, you self-confidence.  And even your life.  Life is short, and time is your most valuable resource—the measure of every moment—why would you give this resource away?
Knowing what you want not only empowers you to make decisions but it also helps you to take ownership of your own life. What makes our lives different is based on what we want and the decisions and choices we make because of that.

Because a defined "want" becomes our purpose—a fixed point on the horizon—and our decisions become the tools we use to steer towards that fixed point.  Without decision, without a fixed purpose, we have no direction and we are bound to stray off course.  How can you even have a course if you never take the time to define it?

So why is it sometimes so difficult to make decisions?

The word decision is derived from the Latin verb “de -caedere” which means to cut off. Every time we make a decision, we’re faced with a trade-off. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else, and thus in the process of making decisions we’re sometimes confronted with this feeling of loss. And it makes sense.  Because every time we choose something, we have chosen not to opt for countless other paths in life.  You can only take one course.  You can only move in one direction at a time.  But the right decision-making process can help you to define which course leads to the greater good.

The Process of Defining What you Want

Answering this life coaching question of what you want requires a holistic view of life that identifies the different areas of healthy living—family, relationships, career, health etc.   Life is a system, and as in any other living system, balance is vital.  Every component affects the other components, and in order for the system to function properly they must exist in harmonious balance.
 
First, sit down and define your level of satisfaction in each area, using a scale of 1 to 10. In a perfect world, you would have 10 in each area–but that is not reality. We are never a perfect 10.  Just as the components of Nature’s systems fluctuate and re-balance from time to time, our own components are constantly shuffling.  The most important thing is realizing the need to strive for balance.

Zoom in on each of the different components.  Let’s say your level of satisfaction in your career is currently at a level 3.  Okay, so what would a career level 9 look like for you? How would that be different? How would that affect the other areas in your life?

Take a close look at that gap between level 3 and level 9. What is the difference between your current career situation and your desired career situation? And how does that affect the overall quality and balance in your life.

Once we clarify what that higher level means just in that one area of our life, we can start setting goals.  We have spotted our fixed point on the horizon, and now we can navigate towards it.  Obstacles may lie before us, just as people and resources will help us proceed.  But with a plan of action, we can now make decisions.  And that is the true essence of moving forward.

What is life coaching? How does coaching work?

by Admin August 24, 2010

While coaching has been widely recognized by many people worldwide engaged in personal development as an important and powerful tool for achieving results or navigating life changes, as a profession it is still relatively new.

Perhaps you are wondering how coaching works or how working with a life coach could benefit your current situation.

Maybe you have been searching the web to find a life coach, you have watched some videos on youtube.com or read some life coaching articles, yet you’re not sure how to choose a coach that is right for you.

If you’re ready to discover what coaching is all about, join the conversation every Monday at 7:00 PM Central – 8:00 PM Eastern – 5:00 PM Pacific.

This free life coaching teleconference call will be hosted and facilitated by life coach and business strategist Dieter Pauwels.

Dieter brings more than 20 years of accumulated experience in personal development, sales, marketing and personal coaching.

As a professional coach, he support and leads people to a point where they can make significant changes or breakthroughs in their personal or professional lives. He assists people in achieving consistent results in the most important areas of their lives.

He is a Certified NLP Coach from the NLP and Coaching Institute of California and professional member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

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)

Turning Uncertainty Into Opportunity

by Admin April 6, 2010

On Wednesday April 28, professional life and business coach, author and speaker, Dieter Pauwels will engage an audience at the Focal Point in St. Louis, MO in a special thought provoking and high-impact dialogue on how to navigate through uncertainty toward a new path of personal discovery and growth.

With the right tools, skills and mindset there are ways to navigate the rough waters of uncertainty in your life.

You might be transitioning, re-evaluating or just searching for a new perspective in your personal or professional life. You could be looking for direction in your business or you might be an individual determined to create new possibilities through self discovery and growth.


Embrace the growing pains that come with self discovery and find your balance on the beam of life!

You'll learn ...

  • 7 universal principles that govern the creative process
  • How to plan for the future without knowing what it will be
  • Counter-intuitive strategies to reduce feelings of anxiety, fear and stress
  • Personal life skills to become more resilient in times of change
  • Practical ideas on thriving during uncertain times and circumstances
  • How to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to reshape your life with a deeper sense of fulfillment and joy.

Space is limited - Registration Required
To register online click here

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)

How Career Coaching Can Help New Grads

by Admin March 3, 2010

Career coaching for college grads

This is a guest post contributed by Katheryn Rivas of online universities accredited.

The transition from a college or university setting to the real world can be a jarring one for many graduates. It's not uncommon for young people to suddenly feel plagued with doubts about their professional and personal choices now that those choices will be put to the test in a job market that can seem daunting. But this is when life coaching or career coaching can come in handy. Look at it this way: You've never had more potential than the moment you walked across the stage to get your diploma. Your professional history is free of error, and there's no reason to assume you'll be beaten down by circumstance. Career coaching can help you realize that.

For starters, ask yourself some genuinely probing questions: What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? Don't give the answers you've given throughout school; really consider them. From time to time, I ask myself two questions back to back: What am I pretending not to know, and what am I pretending not to cause? The answers to those questions can be revealing, and a great way to start focusing on the consequences of your actions.

That's what career coaching does: It helps you ask yourself the right questions so that you can begin to maximize your potential and achieve a level of satisfaction you might not have thought was possible. We aren't able to really discover our purpose until we figure out our core values and beliefs, so new college graduates need to do some soul-searching before they can begin to chart a successful course for their professional lives. Here are some of the benefits of career coaching for curious new grads:

Career guidance

Coaching is a wonderful way to focus on your true goals in life and how those goals might manifest themselves in a job. We spend so much of our time at work that it's vital to choose something that satisfies our desires and meets the standards we set for ourselves in terms of long-term goals. Career coaching doesn't just help new grads learn to be satisfied in their jobs; it's a way to redefine the entire approach to satisfaction.

Allowing yourself to succeed

This is a common problem for workers at every level, but it's especially problematic for new graduates because they're the most likely to run into opportunities that seem good but are really dangerously limiting in terms of potential growth. If you're a new graduate, you'll want to tell yourself you don't deserve a certain level of success, or that it's wrong to want it at this point in your career. To which I'd say: If that's the case, when do you think is the right time to want it? You have to allow yourself to succeed if you're ever going to reap the benefits of your education. By realigning your ideas about success and worth through career coaching, you'll be in line to achieve more.

Taking risks

Many new graduates are also uncertain about taking certain chances on their career, and that's another quick path to cheating yourself out of potential successes. Career coaching is a great way to find out what you really want to achieve and what you're willing to risk to get there. The point isn't to be reckless, but there is a value in taking calculated risks that a career coach can help you understand.

I'll say it again: You'll never again have as much potential as you do upon graduating from college, so amplify that potential with wise coaching and forward momentum. You'll look back later and thank yourself for it.

Creating a Personal Masterpiece with Life Coaching

by Admin February 21, 2010

The moment you realize that you are solely responsible for our own life, for every choice and decision you make, you will realize that you can create anything you want. Why not create a masterpiece?

Creating a personal masterpiece means no more blaming others or circumstances, but fully accepting ownership of your life. Yes, you are the only one responsible for your life; your career, your talents, your weaknesses, your relationships, etc.

In order to create a masterpiece, you want to let go of the things that are not authentic. Most importantly the agreements you have made about what you think is possible and believe is true about yourself.

Taking ownership of your own life is ultimately about choosing freedom. Yet we sacrifice our personal freedom and happiness by trying to be good enough for someone else, by trying to please others, by trying to live our lives according to the rules and expectations of others.
We need to become aware about the beliefs we hold about ourselves. Only then can we challenge what we believe is true, and start believing in what we really want. The only way to reach your full potential is by becoming more aware of who we really are and not by becoming someone others want you to become.

Once you take ownership of your own life, once you become fully responsible for your life, ...

  • You will experience freedom to see and hear what is really there, instead of what should be, was, or you imagine will be.
  • You will have the courage to say what you think, instead of what you feel you should. 
  • You will experience the freedom to feel what you really feel, instead of what you think ought to feel.
  • You will begin to ask for what you want, instead of waiting for permission or trying to please others.
  • You will be able to learn to face your fears, take risks, and take chances in life, instead of choosing the safe, familiar and "secure."

Instead of choosing what other people believe you should do, or living your life trying to live up to the expectations of others, you get to focus on choosing what YOU want … and that’s very liberating. Choosing your life is a freedom and tremendous privilege. Don’t take that lightly!

Dieter Pauwels is a personal life coach, career consultant 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.

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?”

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