the power of possibility

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“All we have is the now and the possibility of creating a new future”

~

Tania M Adams

On the note of creating the future, what if you could stop time whenever you wanted?  Check out this post a discover how you can stop time running away from you and truly make your life count!  what if you could stop time whenever you wanted?

shifting into results

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Have you ever wondered, how you would know that you have shifted?

It may happen that we may feel stuck in spite of doing a lot of work on ourselves.  We may be using positive affirmations, reading self-help books, enlisting the help of a coach or therapist and not be sure if it is doing any good.

Look out for evidence of the results.  The conditions in our lives are a reflection of what is going on inside us.  When you start seeing new results you can be sure that you have re-programmed yourself, you have done the work, and created a shift!

The results are incorruptible!

What are your results telling you about what is going on inside…….?

Much love,

 

If you are not seeing the results you want and you are struggling to make changes by working alone, check out our coaching programs designed to take you from where you are to where you deserve to be.  Click here for more info

writer’s block

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One thing I do not suffer from is writer’s block.  I have the very opposite of writer’s block; my problem is that there are so many things that interest me, so many thoughts that fly around my head and I want to write about all of them! I find it difficult to choose a theme and direct all of my writing towards that. I look at successful blogs and many write about a singular topic. I read advice columns on how to market yourself or your product and they all say the same thing; choose! Choose one and then perfect it. I try that approach and for a while it works, until I have maximised my knowledge and interest in it and then can no longer offer valuable comment because I am on to the next thing that has sparked my interest.

It’s not that I don’t understand the principle; I just can’t come to terms with it for me.  So I have fought it, “Why does it have to be like that?” I have wailed, “Why can’t I write what I want to write in the way I want to write and be successful at the same time?”

Then, in a flash of “why didn’t I think of that before” inspiration, I decided to do just that with this blog.  I decided that I would follow my method, (after all, I am the big proponent for Crazy Always Wins!) and see what happens. I will write about exactly what interests me and what inspires me, as it happens!

What that means is that you might find unrelated topics on this blog. You might find some stuff that doesn’t interest you and some stuff that does.  You will find a bunch of stuff that interests me and you will find that whatever I have written about is stuff that I have experienced, researched or taught myself and that captured my imagination completely. Generally I am interested in human interactions, leadership, personality, coaching, personal development and relationships.  However, if you are looking for something specific and can’t see it immediately in the blog topics or categories, plug a key word into the search tool at the top of the page; you might just find what you are looking for!

If you don’t find what you are looking for, do leave a comment below and I will point you in the right direction. And do feel free to browse around, there’s lots to read!

the narcissistic leader: asset or liability?

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I have coached many executives including CEOs, CFOs and COOs. Leaders on that level frequently share a common set of personality traits; they are visionary in nature, not afraid to take risks and have the ability to push through what would seem to be unassailable challenges. Yet, within this group of leaders there are some in whom those personality traits are over developed and tend towards narcissism.

Narcissism is a psychological definition which refers to the personality qualities of exaggerated self-importance, over sensitivity to criticism, the need for constant admiration and a profound lack of empathy for others. Narcissistic behaviours include; taking credit for others’ successes, requiring obedience, dominating or intimidating others, blaming others for their mistakes, sudden rages and an insatiable need for admiration. These behaviours cause great damage to interpersonal relationships and negatively impact the culture of an organisation. Despite the damage they cause many narcissistic leaders achieve great successes in their organisations, something Michael Maccoby explores in his Harvard Business Review article;  Narcissistic Leaders: The Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons.

A true narcissist would be unlikely to engage a coach and if they do they typically cut the engagement short as they soon feel that they know more than the coach does. The exception to this is when coaching is known to be reserved for superior employees/leaders in an organisation. Even then, coaching is a tough space for them and they will endure it only as long as it adds to their perceived status.

Despite this I have coached leaders with very strong narcissistic traits. Since coaching is not in the business of diagnosing or fixing, I work with these clients just as I would with any other. I believe however, that my knowledge and understanding of narcissistic personalities assists the client to achieve the highest possible results. Coaching work focusses on balancing the powerful and beneficial aspects of the personality with the need to keep relationships intact and corporate culture healthy.

For an in-depth look at the phenomenon of narcissistic leadership grab a copy of  Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work By Paul Babiak, Robert D. Hare.

Click on the image to view or purchase the book.

who is the fairest of them all?

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© 2012 T M Adams

Our outer world is merely a reflection of our inner world.  What we experience on the outside is a mirror image of what is happening inside ourselves.  If we are experiencing love from others, it is a reflection of the love we feel for ourselves.  If we are experiencing an absence of love it is similarly a reflection of our lack of loving ourselves.  Whether we are experiencing abundance or scarcity in any sphere, it is a reflection of what we hold inside ourselves. 

If your outer experience is repeatedly unpleasant for you, a powerful way to create a change is to find where you are doing that same thing to yourself.  If your experience is lack; where do you constantly deny yourself unnecessarily? If your experience is deceit; where do you often lie to yourself?  If your experience is betrayal; where are you betraying yourself?

Once you see it, you have the power to change it inside YOU.  You will know you have shifted when your outer world reflects a new picture back to you!

Much Love,

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PS: if you are serious about changing the reflection you see and you are struggling to do it alone check out my crAzy™ life, a life coaching program created for men and women who recognise that they are under-achieving, earning too little, lacking direction or life purpose, experiencing high levels of stress/anxiety in any area of their lives and who are ready to make a change. Click here to read more!

sowing the seeds of gratitude

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It is easier to complain, than to look for the good.  It is easier to blame than to step up.  It is easier to walk away and leave it to someone else.  So easy, that it becomes a habit; an automatic behaviour we engage in without even knowing it’s happening. After all, often we are affected and it’s not our fault, so why shouldn’t we complain?  Is it really the easier path to take?  Few are aware of the true cost to the individual, a family, a town or even a society if these habits become entrenched.

I have learned the importance of developing a habit of gratitude, most especially in times when it looks as though there is nothing to be grateful for.  I have seen that although we may not always be able to change the circumstances, we are always able to change how we perceive them.  To be able to experience gratitude for even the toughest of situations automatically shifts us into a space of joy and anticipation of the endless possibilities that life has to offer.

The circumstances may not change, but the quality of our life changes irreversibly in the instant that we experience the gratitude.  To experience life through a filter of gratitude sets an energy in motion that brings into our lives the qualities of resilience, joy and wonder at the endless wonderful possibilities available for the choosing.  More amazingly, gratitude self-propagates; it holds a magical ability to seed itself into more and more reasons to be grateful. It sets the circumstances free to change for the better.

Be warned however: the failure to plant the first seeds of gratitude is responsible for a crop of blighted dreams.  Instead of improving, the circumstances you are unhappy about simply continue and worsen.

So, the next time you are tempted to write a letter or pick up the telephone to complain about something, STOP!  I invite you to pause for a moment and ask the question, “What about this can I be grateful for and how could I express that gratitude instead?”

Choosing the path of gratitude may seem crAzy™ in the heat of the moment, but in the long run it is by far the easier, more scenic and most effective path to creating the future you desire!

I invite you to share a comment on what crazy™ thing you are grateful for today…

For more on the power of gratitude and how to get into the habit of gratitude as a daily practice you can read Louise L Hay’s book “Gratitude: A Way of Life”. Click on the image to view or order the book.

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Blackouts are Powerful: How to maximize creativity during power outages

Helen

What if power outages were powerful? What if ‘load shedding’ (as it’s known in South Africa) was actually GOOD for us and our businesses? This week’s featured writer, Helen Averbuch certainly thinks it might be the case!

Read her compelling article “Blackouts are Powerful: How to maximise creativity during power outages” and discover how creativity thrives when it is unplugged from the noise of the world.

What I love about Helen is her direct, no-nonsense and practical approach to life.  There is little that gets Helen down and in her world, there is a positive solution for everything. This flavour comes through strongly in her writing. Helen is definitely one of us; a crAzy™ and as you know crAzy™ always wins!

To read this excellent article “Blackouts are Powerful: How to maximize creativity during power outages” click here: Blackouts are Powerful

i don’t believe in mistakes, do you?

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 “There are no mistakes and dwelling on the past, on what may or may not have happened, disables our ability to write the, as yet unwritten, future”

~

Tania M Adams

Read more about my theory of ‘no mistakes’ here… there are no mistakes, ever

role-playing

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Over the course of my life I have inhabited many positions but one role.  The role that I refer to is less related to the jobs I have done (which are many and varied) but rather the role I have held in relation to others.  For the entirety of my life, even my formative years, I have been the leader, the boss, the change driver, the one at the helm.  How that played out practically has depended on the stage I was in life, but the role stayed consistent.

For example, I taught my mother and father how to be parents. That may sound grandiose, nonetheless it’s true.  You see, I was the first-born, so I taught my grandparents their new job too.   Later, I led my brother and sister through life, carving a path, beating back the bush for them to march through. I naturally assumed leadership in the classroom, earning for myself a reputation from a young age of being the one to challenge a teacher whose views didn’t make sense to me.  At the age of 7 I was known in my catholic school, in our catholic country for questioning the catholic teachings that we were expected to simply accept. At the same age, I explained to the class the cycle of evaporation, much to the surprise of the teacher who had put the question to the class not expecting any of us to know the answer.  In high school I was chosen as a prefect after just 18 months at a new school, in a new country.

After getting my degrees, since standing in front of the classroom came naturally to me I took up lecturing first and second year students at my alma mater, as well as at two other independent colleges simultaneously.  I left academia and owing to a confluence of events, found myself in the motor industry, not practicing law as I had intended.  Stuck there, I decided I would rise to the top position in a dealership and did, against some steep odds.  At this time I was also a single mom; the head of our little 2 person home which included 2 staff members (our live-in nanny and her husband), 2 dogs and 2 cats.

If you are feeling exhausted by now, so was I!  I decided to step off that rat race and open a practice as an Executive Coach. (I can hear you rolling your eyes at this point…. Yes, there I am right back in front forging on.)  If that were not enough, I grew tired of city living and moved our small family and my business to a little sea-side town to start a new life.

Some would say I could be forgiven since I come from a line of extremely strong women; women who were community leaders, political activists, leaders in their families and religious communities and women who had degrees back when women didn’t hold qualifications.  However, in relation to others, the fact remains, I have been out there in front since I was born.  For me, being part of a team meant leading the team.  Until recently.

Almost 2 years ago I entered a relationship with a man who has allowed a completely different side of me to emerge; an aspect of me that I didn’t know existed. My role is changing; I am discovering (and embracing) the supporter in me. Before you jump to my defence or assume that I have, in some overly-exaggerated, hand-to-my-forehead-style faint given away all of my power to a man, allow me to set some context.

The change in my role has not been a dramatic about-turn, rather a metamorphosis, a gradual becoming. As our relationship has grown, our roles have evolved to complement one another’s strengths and compensate for each other’s non-strengths.

Moreover, one of the things my man loves about me, nay cherishes about me, is my strength, the fact that at any point I can march out ahead and take on the world if I need to.  Giving away all of my power to him would completely undermine our relationship, it would erode the very foundation upon which our relationship is built; that each of us is a strong and powerful individual in our own right.

Lastly, my man’s role in life too is changing.  He is learning to be a supported leader. For most of his life too he has been the pioneer, out there leading from the front, forging the way for his parents, his younger brother and his children. There is a degree of false comfort that comes with this kind of leadership. It comes in the lie that whispers “I will only have myself to blame”.  To welcome support and embrace it, is to surrender to the risk that another person could let one down, not easy if one has already experienced being let down.

Has it been comfortable? No, at times it has been deeply uncomfortable, as any metamorphosis must be. Personal growth necessarily involves the relinquishment of the old self in order to accommodate the acquisition of a new self. Letting go of the familiar is never easy or comfortable, and the new self takes some time to settle and become familiar.  The supporter role requires a deep level of trust in the guy up front.  Once the mission has started one has to surrender to the process and trust that together any obstacles or challenges will be overcome by the combined influence of two who work synchronistically. Not only do I have to surrender to this, but he does too; from inside the team I could potentially be a destructive force as much as a supportive force.

Do I feel disempowered?  Hell no! As a couple, we choose our life destinations together; neither his will nor mine carries more weight. It is in the execution of the plan that our roles become evident. What I am learning is that I am as powerful and valuable in this role as I am in a pioneering role. To lead alone from the front can be lonely and exhausting.  Progress is slower and often happens in fits and starts because the pioneer must stop to rest before moving on again. The presence of a complementary force inside the team means the pioneer can regroup without losing all momentum. Without me carrying out my role to the fullest, our family would not reach its destination.

What I am seeing is that pioneer leadership and supporter leadership are two sides of the same thing.  One cannot operate without the other and neither one is less than the other.  Both carry the same power to enhance or diminish the success of the team’s endeavour.  Both require absolute trust in another person’s integrity and honour. The roles must surrender to the context that each is acting in the best interests of the whole so that mistakes can be forgiven and resolved. Both require an acknowledgement of the huge value the other has and both roles must be able to give and receive support. In order to truly call ourselves leaders we must be fluent in both types of leadership.

For now, I am learning to master the supporter role as my love is learning to master the role of supported leader. In our life together our roles will change over and over because at the heart of it is a singular unit, two people operating as one, where pioneer and supporter loose meaning as we constantly move to complement each other in the creation of our chosen legacy in life.

However, there is still one place where I am up front; in our kayak.  You might see us out on the river paddling in sync while my lover expertly steers the craft from the back so we arrive at the destination we have chosen together. Look out for us and wave….

If you are interested in more resources on leadership check out some of the posts here: leadership

The Search For Happiness

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Tania M Adams:

Quite unintentionally I stumbled upon this simple but beautifully worded post which I found to be most apt following the events of the past week. Thank you SuziCate for the reminder to focus on MY secret to happiness.

Originally posted on The Water Witch's Daughter:

“Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap.” — William Bennett

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Happiness isn’t sitting in a gift wrapped box waiting to be opened. It isn’t a link on a chain of events that one gets to after marking other things off the list. It isn’t the destination of a storybook life or the reward of a successful career.

Happiness can’t be caught as it flies by on the tail of the wind. It is a way of life. Choosing to be happy is a decision you, me, or anyone, can make. Happiness stems from the positive attitude in any given situation.

The happiest people have times of sadness and anger.  It’s…

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Sticks and Stones

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Tania M Adams:

Dr Marie Hartwell-Walker defines verbal abuse as follows; “Verbal abuse takes on many forms: from loud rants to quiet comments; from obvious put-downs to not-so-obvious remarks that undermine the partner. What all the methods have in common is the need to control, to be superior, to avoid taking personal responsibility and to mask or deny failures.”

According to website the loveisrespect.org, there are many behaviours that can be considered verbal abuse including non-physical behaviours such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking. Further behaviours that qualify as emotional or verbal abuse, range from name-calling and belittling to yelling, causing embarrassment, blaming others for their abusive behaviour, spreading rumours and threatening to have one’s children taken away.

These tactics inflict enormous damage on adults and have devastating effects on children. The site, The Invisible Scar places verbal abuse squarely in the category of child abuse and expands on the verbal abuse tactics used on children.

As this post below so clearly states, verbal abusers hide in plain sight in the form of spouses, partners, parents, teachers, employers, colleagues and even friends. If you recognise yourself in any of the links or definitions here, know that YOU are not the problem and you can get help.

Sticks and stones may break bones but words crush the soul.

Originally posted on Dylaninportalfred's Blog:

One of the comments I received in response to a post was from my cousin Tennille. In her comment she very rightly stated: “It’s funny how we are taught that nursery rhyme “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me.” It couldn’t be further from the truth. Words do harm and they do effect.

I think that she is absolutely right; we have been lied to as children. Words can be terribly destructive, and often words are used as weapons against people. The most glaring way we see it in our society is in the racist comments that still abounb in our culture. Twenty years into democracy and many God fearing citizens still feel little shame to drop racist comments without even being aware of what they have just said. It is the calculated attack mechanism that so many people who carry hurts…

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an open appeal to my step-daughter’s mom

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Thank you for popping in to read my post. Unfortunately, the post you came to read has been taken down following a threat of legal action by the attorney of one of the people mentioned in the post.

The post was not meant as an attack but as an empassioned appeal to have an alternative story told about a difficult step-family incident. While I believe the post was justified and defensible, a second costly legal battle would not serve the cause of the wonderful little girl to whom this post made reference.

In the days following the original posting, the support received for the sentiment of the post was overwhelming and unexpected. Throwing a spotlight onto the situation in such a public way seemed to give people a platform to share their stories.  The comments and feedback received revealed that this dynamic exists in too many families and it has to stop, for the sake of all children. Not only that but we must talk about it, a lot, and all the time. Our children must be given a voice.

The sad part about removing the post is that it was not just plea on behalf of one little girl, but on behalf of all children in a similar position.

I may have had to take down this post but that doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about topics that are important to me; families, step-families and parenting so while you are here, feel free take a look around at some of my other posts and resources or better yet, hit the follow button to stay connected.

Much love,

Tania written

The Pinata

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Tania M Adams:

We get so caught up in the daily grind that we often lose ourselves. We forget who we used to be and the things that made us feel alive. In a world where so much emphasis is placed on the intellect and less on creativity, we risk losing altogether, that part of ourselves that carries the essence of what we are here to do on this planet, what we came to create; our personal legacy for the world. This post captures beautifully a reunion with creativity and the impact it will have on the future.

Originally posted on Dylaninportalfred's Blog:

We are four more sleeps away from my daughters seventh birthday. There is much excitement brewing and it feels as if we have been in countdown mode since the day after Christmas. Whilst shopping for some party decorations today I saw a pinata and recalled a request for one at the party. So I grabbed it and then looks at the price. Wow, a cardboard box covered in colorful paper cost that much! I put it straight back and decided that I would make one myself. Which on the one hand is a good idea in principle but on the other hand, this is me we talking about. I was going to make a dolls house last year, then for Christmas, then for the upcoming birthday, and now for sometime somewhere in the future. However I was not prepared to spend that amount of money on a pinata.

So this…

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what if you could stop time whenever you wanted?

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One of the biggest conundrums of life is that it is simultaneously so short and so long.  As children life stretches out before us interminably.  School terms go on and on.  As adults there are times the distance from a Monday to Friday seems insurmountable, unless there is an urgent deadline to be met, in which case time flies!  Simultaneously, weekends and holidays slip by in the blink of an eye.  We give birth to a child and stare down the next 18 years of active parenting as though it were a never-ending highway across Siberia.  Suddenly that baby is an adult, a parent themselves and we wonder how that happened so fast.

This is the trick that our minds play on us.  The passing of time and how we experience it is relative.  It changes depending on the context, on our age and on the direction from which we view the passing of time. The consequence of this is that we often believe (or con ourselves) that there is enough time for everything.  Well there is, and there isn’t.

For those who have mastered the art of living consciously, mindfully and intentionally there is.  For those people who understand that the legacy we leave is built in little repetitive steps without us noticing we are doing it, there will be enough time.  For those people life is neither to fast or too slow. It is intentional, full and nourishing, like a good meal where each distinct flavour leaves a memory on the tongue and pallet and satisfies the whole body, not just the hunger pangs.

If you want to live a life like this, where time is neither too fast nor too slow.  A life in which you create a legacy of your choice, consciously, passionately and happily every day then check out my course on how to do just that using a simple 4 step technique.

Hundreds of people have already changed their lives using the technique that you will learn here!

https://www.udemy.com/make-your-life-count-4-steps-to-creating-a-life-legacy/?couponCode=stoptime

I have taught this method to hundreds of clients in face-to-face coaching and by taking this course YOU have an opportunity to learn it too. Not only that but you will have life-time access to all of the lectures and be kept up to date with new materials as they are added.

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE

The course will be available for the special introductory price of $75 for subscribers to the blog only. BUY NOW to gain access to the full course at a discounted price and receive all future course upgrades or additions FOR FREE.

Satisfaction or your money back!

If you are in any way dissatisfied with this course, there is a no strings attached 30-day refund policy. This is my personal commitment to you and stands as my endorsement of this work.

No Obligations Free Preview

To make absolutely sure this course is right for you click this link for a no obligations free preview of the course : Have No Regrets, Embrace Purpose by Building a Life Legacy

Have you been feeling stuck and directionless?

Do you want to make a mark on the world?

Do you catch yourself wondering what you are here for, what this life is all about?

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Do you crave the freedom of living according to your heart’s desires?

This course will change you, inspire you and get you jumping out of bed in the mornings full of LIFE!

Click  here now to preview the course for free!

https://www.udemy.com/make-your-life-count-4-steps-to-creating-a-life-legacy/?couponCode=stoptime

want freedom and power? embrace these 3 things

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Today you will be given an insight into the three most valuable pieces of learning that my clients take away from their coaching journey. By embracing these my clients acquire the power and freedom to live their lives, their way!

  • Before you can make it about anyone else you have to make it about yourself.
  • The voices in your head are real; talk to them.
  • You are changing the world; do it consciously.

Before you can make it about anyone else you have to make it about yourself.

The standard pre-flight safety briefing cautions passengers, in the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, to place their own oxygen mask on before assisting children and other passengers. Selfish though it may sound, the reason for this is obvious; without your own oxygen mask you will become incapacitated and not only incapable of assisting anyone, but needing assistance yourself! The same is true in life; to be truly effective in the world we must take care of ourselves first. The impulse to people please, to stretch ourselves too thinly, to overwork or put ourselves last is a tough one to manage. If you are not investing in yourself, if you are not saying no when you need to, you will find your resources depleted, leaving you not only unable to give your best in service of others but possibly even burnt out and needing help from others. It is not a selfish indulgence to make it about you first, it is a requirement.

The voices in your head are real; talk to them.

To be precise, question them. The voices sound very authoritative when they are triggered, but the truth is their vehemence is rooted in their insecurity. The voices fight hard to keep their residence in your head by resisting any alternative views (as anyone who has spent hours reciting affirmations will have discovered). In a head-to-head contest, the pre-existing belief will always win. The only way to trump the existing voice is to interrogate it. A habit of asking ourselves questions like “Is that the absolute truth?”, “What if I am capable?” or “What if it is possible?” disables the argumentative cycle in our heads and allows us to breakthrough to the place where conscious thought, insights and internal shifts happen. The voices are real and they don’t know as much as you think they do, go ahead, ask them!

You are changing the world; do it consciously.

Your presence on the planet changes everything. Take for example the parable of the man who comes across a snail on a gravel path. Immediately, he is faced with a choice; the repercussions of which will echo into perpetuity. What should he do? He could place the snail safely on the grass verge, an act of kindness to the snail which would render him accountable for any future snails that will issue from this one (and the future frustrated gardeners). Alternatively, he could leave the snail to die, whereupon he renders himself accountable for the snail’s demise and the termination of its genetic line. Whatever this man chooses, the world will be irrevocably changed.

So it is in life; every choice you make changes the world. The possibilities that this opens up are wild! Simply put you have the power, through your consistent choice of certain attitudes, values and habits to leave the world a little better or a little worse than you found it. Consider how the choices you make every day have already changed the world. If you could change anything about the world what would it be? Now that you have seen your power, use it wisely and keep changing the world, consciously!

If you are ready to access the power to begin living your life, your way or simply want to explore these wisdoms for yourself in a coaching journey check out our customised coaching programs.

Much love,

Tania written

stop what you are doing!

"Stop it!" "Stop what?" "You're doing it! I said stop!" "I'm not doing anything! What am I doing?" "You're changing the world!" "No I'm not! Me? Impossible! How can I be changing the world?" "By being in it...." "You are crAzy™!" "Yes I am!"
“Stop it!”
“Stop what?”
“You’re doing it! I said stop!”
“I’m not doing anything! What am I doing?”
“You’re changing the world!”
“No I’m not! Me? Impossible! How can I be changing the world?”
“By being in it….”
“You are crAzy™!”
“Yes I am!”

Do you believe that you change the world?  Can you begin to think of even one way in which this could be true? Each of us changes the world in large and small ways, usually without even being aware of it.  How exciting would it be if you were conscious about the impact you have on the world and worked consistently throughout your life to leave a strong legacy?

Read more  about on how each of us changes the world and leaves a legacy just by being on the planet in my post entitled the legAcy™ process.

what is a life coach?

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I am a life coach.

When I tell people that, I am usually met with puzzled looks and some mumbling about psychologists and fixing people’s problems. Although I explain what it means, I am often left with the sense that the listener didn’t quite get it. So I wonder what does it mean to say “I am a coach”? Who and what are life coaches?

The life coaching industry is unregulated, meaning that it is possible for anyone to practice as life coach; a scenario that makes choosing a coach a confusing task. There is no requirement for a coach to have a specific coaching qualification, or indeed any qualification at all.  The coaching profession encompasses a range of individuals who, on one end of the spectrum, have no qualifications but consider themselves to be great leaders, teachers or mentors, and on the other end, highly qualified people who have years of experience in their career as well as a formal accredited coaching qualification, and any variation in between. Whether or not the coaching industry should be more regulated is an ongoing debate for which there are multiple arguments on both sides. That is not the subject of today’s post. I believe a more important question to be asking is what makes a person a coach? By posing that question I am forced to look at myself and ask; what makes me a coach?

When I decided to become a coach, it was important to me that I obtained a qualification in the field. I already held a Bachelor of Commerce and a postgraduate law degree from two top universities but I felt sure that the art of coaching was a discipline in which I needed to be trained to practice as coach. I found a reputable coaching academy whose qualification is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and qualified with Professional Coach Diploma. The question is, does my diploma make me a coach in the same way that a medical degree would make me a doctor?

At the time of obtaining my coaching diploma, I had 14 years career experience and 32 hours of coaching experience. In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell makes reference to 10000 hours as being the benchmark for expertise in a field. I was certainly no coaching expert by that standard, but my career experience provided me with business acumen, knowledge, strategic ability, insight and leadership skills. If coach’s role is never to tell a coachee what to do but to guide them to find the solutions within themselves, what good is my experience if I can’t just fix it for the client?

Without my 10000 hours of career experience, I would not have been able to confidently and credibly coach the senior executives and powerful individuals that I have worked with over the years. My knowledge and experience gives me the ability to connect with a client, to be present to what their world is like and what it feels like to be them in the role they fulfil. Without that the kind of insight the coaching process can feel detached, academic and removed from the real world in which our clients function. So, is it that simple, does a qualification plus 10 or more years of career experience make a coach?

There is more to being a coach than experience and qualifications. To be a coach is no more a job than being a person is a job.  Therein is the key distinction; qualifications and experience make it possible work as a coach, they do not make a coach. The question our potential clients should really be asking is “who is a coach”?

What makes a coach is the ability to see possibilities beyond what the client can see and put the client in the position of seeing that possibility as a reality themselves. A coach simultaneously witnesses the highest potential of the client and the anxious doubtful self in the client and builds a bridge between the two, enabling the client to walk across, keep the troll in its place and reach the higher destination. A coach maintains an absolute, unwavering belief in the client’s abilities, even if the client falters. A coach is a champion for the client’s higher self; with their deep understanding of humanity they see the value in all aspects of the client, without judging, while at the same time calling forth only their highest qualities. A coach is disruptive; they have a fundamental inability to accept that how it is now is how it has to be forever. A coach challenges the status quo in favour of greatness. A coach paints the picture of you as you know you can be and walks with you as you bring it to life, all the while holding the painting up to remind you what you set out to create. Simply, a coach is an expansive, insightful, disruptive, compassionate and steadfast partner to those who choose to commit to their own greatness. This is WHO a coach is.

There is a maxim “leaders are born not made”. I’m not sure I believe that in all cases, but the meaning behind it is true of coaches too. Leadership and coaching are a being, not a doing. We can train people to do coaching; being a coach is not the same thing.

I AM a life coach.

Who or what is a coach? I’d love to hear your thoughts….

Much love,

Tania written

where do I register for a B. Parenting?

wpid-degree.jpg

I trained as a lawyer, worked as an accountant, held roles in senior management, ran businesses and lectured at a university. Six years ago, I became an executive and life coach. All the positions I’ve held carried responsibility. My competence (or incompetence) in the role had the potential to impact many people’s lives, finances and well-being. I have been a leader of people and a leader of businesses. People have counted on me to know what I was doing and to do it well.

In an attempt to minimise the risks associated with failing in these positions, industries deem it necessary that qualifications are obtained. The more onerous the position the more important it is to have a specialised qualification. I have the necessary qualifications to enable me to do those jobs. Whilst a qualification of itself does not guarantee that a person will be good at their chosen profession it does provide a foundation, a basic benchmark that ensures a minimum standard for the quality of execution in the role.

I am also a mom. Recently, I added a new role to my portfolio; step-mom. My service record as a mom spans a little more than 15 years. It is the longest I have held a job for. Now that I have become part of a blended family, my active engagement with the mom role will likely be extended by a further 9 years beyond the time that I thought it would. Of course we all know that the magic age of 18 doesn’t suddenly signal the end of the job.  Accepting the parent job is equivalent to accepting a tenured position; it is a life-time position and it is unlikely that you could be fired even if you wanted to be!  Moreover, in my job as mom, I carry enormous responsibility.  I have the potential to positively or negatively impact not only the lives of the 3 junior humans in my direct care, but the lives of all future humans who they will bring into the world for generations to come.

Yet, for the job that I have held the longest, the position that carries more responsibility than all of the roles I’ve held put together, the job in which my successes and failures will echo into perpetuity, I have no qualifications.

Studies tell us that the vast majority of humans on this planet will have at least one child. In a paper published by the American Association of University Professors it is stated that 87% of women and 81% of men reproduce. Similar percentages are reported by the US Department of Health & Human Services. In their study it was determined that some 84% of males and 86% of females will have had a biological child by the age of 45. These studies do not of course give an indication of the percentage of people who will actually raise a child, whether it is a biological child, adopted, fostered or a child of the extended family. Thus, in the roughly 15% of the global population who will not give birth to a child are people who will nonetheless parent someone’s child, effectively reducing the percentage of people who will never be a parent to below 10%.

Contrast this statistic with predictions of employment globally. Current unemployment rates globally are in the region of 13% and in some countries as high at 35%. As a global norm, people are more likely to parent a child than to have a job. Despite this, we continue to educate children to be able to work and fail to educate them to be effective parents.

The economic cost of poor parenting is incalculable. I’m not referring only to the failure to provide basic care for children. I’m referring to the cost of the emotional and psychological damage that parents can inflict on the children through ignorance of the needs of a child.

As humans we exist in a relational world. The skills that a child will need to have to contribute to society as an adult extend far beyond the ability to read and write. Technical skills are only of partial value. In the absence of self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, openness, the ability to trust, empathy and self-regulation, even the most highly educated adult is unlikely to reach their full potential. A recent article on Forbes.com states the following “Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge.” These qualities and attributes are nurtured by good parenting and where they have not been learned in the childhood years, it is left up to the adult to invest in therapy or personal growth programs, a costly and time-consuming exercise.

Given the enormous impact that parenting has on the future success of a human and their ability to contribute economically, the skills required to raise another human being should be taught along with reading, writing and counting from the first day of school.

Can you imagine a university giving a tenured professorship to a completely unqualified individual and expecting them to pass on knowledge to new students?  That is effectively what the human race does when it comes to the job called parenting…

To preview or purchase Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers click on the image below.

Much love,
Tania written

there are no mistakes, ever

wpid-no-mistakes.jpgthere are no mistakes, none, not ever, really there aren’t, I promise!

I have been asked what I mean when I say “no mistakes”. Frequently I have people agree and say, “yes, there is a bigger plan, we just don’t see it” or “yes, there is always a purpose even if we can’t see it now”, and truly, that’s not what I mean at all.

For starters, I am a big believer in free will; you create your life, your way. One decision, one action produces a consequence that you either want or don’t want, so you make another choice and get another outcome and the process continues.  It is that simple.  There is no pre-written destiny.

But let’s pretend there is. Let’s pretend that it was all planned out before we got here, then of course, whatever is happening is part of the plan.  Precisely because there is a pre-destined plan, there can be no mistakes!  Thus, even for people who believe in destiny or a greater plan; no mistakes!

So if I am such a big believer in free will, how can I say there are no mistakes? Precisely because there is no pre-destined plan, there can be no mistakes.  HuH?

Okay, let’s look at it. What is a mistake?  It’s an error, something that went wrong.   If there is a wrong, there must be a right, right?  Who decides what is right is if there is no pre-defined standard or plan against which to judge it?

In simple terms a mistake is a value judgement based upon how things should have been. In the absence of a pre-defined destiny and in the presence of Life which creates itself moment to moment, there is no standard to suggest how things should have been.  Thus, no mistakes! Just life playing itself out as we go along.

So if you believe in destiny or the great plan and if you don’t, the truth is that there are no mistakes. Everything is the way it is and the way it is, is just that, the isness.  No mistakes!

Much Love,

Tania
Tania M Adams

when would you hire a coach?

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