who are YOU accountable to?

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“Ultimately the only person you are ever accountable to is yourself and in order to do that, you have to be conscious.”

~

Tania M Adams

Continue reading who are YOU accountable to?

allowing

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Have you ever wondered what to do when everything that can be done has been done?

There often comes a time when we are working to change a situation that we have done everything that is reasonably possible and the results aren’t visible yet.  We may feel compelled in that moment to keep doing, even to dig up the seed to make sure it is growing, or to tug on the seedling.

Continue reading allowing

not part of the plan

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Have you ever wondered how it ended up like this?

Do you ever have those days, when you look at your life in bewilderment and can’t quite work out where you took the wrong turn that brought you to a place in your life that you don’t recognise as ever having been part of the plan?  I know I do!

On those days we have a choice, we can wander around in circles trying to figure out what went wrong, taking it personally and punishing ourselves for getting lost, or we can take stock of where we are, determine what needs to happen in order to get back on track with creating the life we promised ourselves, and start moving forward again leaving the past behind. 

What do you choose?

Much love,

letting go

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Have you ever wondered…

…how it is that sometimes when you invite new into our lives it doesn’t seem to manifest?

We cannot draw anything new into our lives until we make space for it by letting go of the old. The “old” may be physical belongings, belief systems, attitudes, emotional wounds or even relationships. The universe abhors a vacuum so once the space is made….it will be filled!

What do you need to let go of today in order to make space for what you really want….?

 Much love,

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seeds of gratitude

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“Gratitude self-propagates; it holds a magical ability to seed itself into more and more reasons to be grateful. Be warned however: the failure to plant the first seeds of gratitude is responsible for a crop of blighted dreams”

~

Tania M Adams

Taken from “Sowing the seeds of Gratitude ” Read the full post here 

are you home when the doorbell rings?

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“Being available to receive is just as important as the commitment to being in action in service of our dreams.”

~

Tania M Adams

Read more on the power of commitment here …. the power of the word

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

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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