Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a Career Break

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a career break! Lots of us think and may be dream about the idea of taking some time out from the daily grind. Here are some quotes on the experience. Plus I’ve included below details of two books to  help you on your way. And now the quotes…

  1.  It is energizing and liberating to turn down a road you have not traveled before. To reach toward what you cannot yet touch brings new passion and strength to your life. Ralph Marston
  2. Disconnect with your work self on a sabbatical, and you’ll reconnect with who you really are.  Corbett Barr
  3. It’s a time to immerse yourself in a different environment, try new things, reassess your priorities, and look at your life from a different perspectiveMarelisa Fabrega
  4. Give yourself the priceless gifts of new experiences, new skills, new knowledge and the confidence of knowing how quickly you can grow. Expand your horizons, again and again, and discover that every limit is there to be transcended.  Ralph Marston
  5. Getting away from it all might be the only way you can really reset or change course. If you continue around the day-to-day, making significant changes is tough. Taking a few months off will give you the space you need to figure things out. Corbett Barr
  6. Taking a sabbatical is the first step towards discovering whether or not I can take the leap of faith and do something fully on my own.  Do anything for a while, and it becomes increasingly harder to cut the cord. Sam Dogen
  7. Of Fortune’s best 100 companies to work for in America, 21 of them have paid-for, formal sabbatical programs. It’s a competitive advantage with regard to recruiting talent. Jaye Smith
  8. Almost everybody got back to some form of better eating and exercise, and they keep that up. And they say, “I didn’t realize what stress I was under. Now I can go back for my next five years with some balance” Rita Foley
  9. My sabbatical didn’t really recharge my batteries as I hoped it would.  Instead, the sabbatical helped realize my preference for freedom over a steady paycheck at this point in my life.  I’ve experienced what life could be like if I worked for myself and I must say that I’m extremely excited about the prospects. Sam Dogen
  10. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than in the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Mark Twain

Books on Taking A Career Break

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind by Dan Clements and Tara Gignac  

“What’s your dream escape? Relaxing on a palm-studded beach? A year off to write your novel? Missionary work with the needy? Exploring ancient ruins or saving the rainforest?

Whether you’re an adventurer, a poet, a volunteer or you just need a break, Escape 101 provides you with a step-by-step system to take as much time as you need from your job, career or business, without losing ground.”

A Gap Year for Grown Ups by Susan Griffith

“A guide for grown ups wanting to take the trip of a lifetime, containing information on specialist schemes and opportunities for professionals and mature travellers. Covers everything from what to pack to paying the mortgage when away, as well as advice from adult gappers who have been there and done it.”

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Coaching Online: Advantages and Disadvantages

Coaching Online: Advantages and Disadvantages

coaching online

Coaching online has advantages but also some disadvantages. I was asked a little while ago about providing coaching online. So, I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Interviewer: How do you communicate with clients online? What are the strengths and limitations of each approach?

Wendy: I use three different ways of communicating with clients on line. So, I use phone/skype, email and instant messaging.

Phone or Skype

The strengths of telephone coaching include convenience and comfort for the client. They are able to receive coaching where they choose.  For most, this will be at home or somewhere else familiar to them. So, they do not have to add travel to a coaching location to the end of a busy working day. Phone can also provide privacy for those who feel shy and exposed sharing intimate feelings.  The disadvantage of the phone is that we have to work without visual clues. Therefore we are not able to see each other’s body language. So, authenticity and trust is important.

Email

The major disadvantage of email is that it is asynchronous. It can take time to get a reply.  With coaching online, both coach and client need to achieve agreement about when replies can be expected. Also, how privacy will be managed. The initial relationship can be much harder to establish. It requires patience from both coach and client.  As well as being able to choose the location and time for talking, there another a major advantage for email. Both the client and the coach have a record they can refer to. Plus you can take time to reflect on what you want to write.

Instant Messaging

Communicating by instant text messages is quick.  Again, the client can choose location they write from. But there can be issues of privacy if other people have access to the same computer or phone.

In my own coaching practice, the phone is my main method of communicating with clients.  I usually combine this with email between sessions. Plus I use a little instant messaging.

Interviewer:  In your opinion, what elements need to be in place in order to create a coaching relationship online? In what ways does this differ from face-to-face coaching?

Trust

Wendy: Coaching online or off requires an agreement between the coach and client about the service to be provided. And, for on line coaching this is a priority. Both coach and client need the right environment in which to work! They need privacy and the opportunity to develop trust. This is in each other as well as in the medium. Confidentiality of information shared is very.  Both need to understand the risks. Plus what coaching on-line cannot provide.

The coach and client are rarely in the same physical space.  Both need to be comfortable. And they need know that they will not interrupted. This can be difficult with a computer on the kitchen table. The coach and client both need to know they cannot be over-looked or over-heard. Plus, they need to be confident in using the machinery. The equipment needs to be reliable with good security cover.

Agreement

With phone coaching, you need to agree not only what time you will ring but also who calls whom and on what number. Before beginning a conversation, a coach needs to move very quickly into active listening.

In using email, there needs to be clear agreement about turnaround times. The client needs to understand that messages can sometimes go astray. Special arrangements need to be made for the coach’s absence. For example, when the coach goes on holiday.

With instant messaging the use of language needs to be particularly careful. The culture from  which the client  communicates may be important – for example when working with young clients. The coach may have to learn a whole new language.

For me the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages massively. I’ve run a successful coaching practice online for several years now.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! Looking for work means you are in a process of change. And all change comes at a cost. Even changes for the better come with loss – something gets left behind. 

Looking for work is tough. Even if you are looking while you are employed you will have doubts and uncertainties and you do need confidence. It is tough at any level and at any stage in your career. But in some ways I think it gets tougher as you move further up the professional or management hierarchy. The reputational risk is higher. You have more to lose even though you usually gain confidence as you rise.

For most of us changing roles has implications for those close to us. For example, you may earn more but perhaps the family have to cope with you travelling a lot more than you did and working longer hours. Some families may feel the extra money doesn’t make up for losing you. But how do you reconcile their wishes with your own professional ambitions and the kind of work you always dreamed of doing?

And then of course life circumstances can change. Suppose someone close to you suddenly becomes much more dependent on you. Say they develop a long-term illness. Yes, you can now pay for their physical needs to be met. But how do you now make time to meet their need for emotional support as well as dealing with work?

Personal/ life coaching can help you explore just the kind of situations I describe above. Those are the kind of things that challenge you to find your own solutions that best enable you to achieve the balance you want.

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! I provide a coaching service to help executives, senior managers and senior professionals to deal with family issues and life’s more difficult events at the same time as handling a busy workload.  If you find yourself getting stuck in your job search or career development, or need just the kind of support I describe, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

When You Make A Mistake

When You Make A Mistake

When you make a mistake – well – we all mistakes! There isn’t a human being alive who doesn’t  – we all do. That is why, when people do work where accuracy is critical, systems are usually put in place to inspect and assure it.

We make mistakes in all parts of our lives, not just at work.

So, when you make a mistake, what do you do next?

When you make a mistake the first big step is to accept you made the mistake. Most of us are very good at coming up with excuses. Underneath we usually know the truth.

Once you have admitted to yourself what happened, you need to make sure that your mistake causes no further damage. Do whatever you can to put things right or at least make sure that what you did doesn’t cause any further harm. That can be difficult when the mistake is to do with wrong choices in a relationship at home or at work. At times like that it often helps to talk to a friend or to a coach like me.

Part of putting things right often means being ready to go on record and admit what you did.

Now, if you made a mistake you can put right quickly with no real damage, perhaps you won’t need to tell anyone. But what about the people you who deserve an apology, or those who need to learn from your mistake? Remember hiding a mistake at work that is later discovered is not the best career move.

When you make a mistake, being ready to say sorry is really important. A sincere apology for an honest mistake makes a huge difference to the injured party and to your own self-esteem.

Usually, the most important part of handling mistakes is understanding why they happen. Mistakes can occur because you are tired, or perhaps you were distracted. Sometimes it is because you don’t really know what you are doing or because a system or a piece of equipment doesn’t work properly.  All those things can usually be understood easily and put right.

Sometimes, we make mistakes because we are unhappy. We might make bad choices at work or in relationships for reasons deep within us to do with our emotions. And some of us just go on making those kinds of mistakes.

If you keep making the same mistakes, it is a good idea to seek help. There lots of counsellors and coaches around who will be happy to work with you. Take action now, your life is too precious to waste it going round in the same circle.

If you need support in a particular situation please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Phone Coaching Works

Phone Coaching Works

I’ve been coaching successfully by phone and Skype for a while now and clients have found it a very positive experience. It always amazes me just how powerful and effective coaching by phone can be.  But lots of people seem to have reservations about trying coaching by phone. So here are some thoughts on why it works well and might well be right for you.

What phone coaching can do for you!

First of all phone coaching delivers all the benefits that coaching by other methods delivers. 
This includes an opportunity to gain; 
•Fresh perspectives on personal and career challenges and opportunities, 
•Improved thinking and decision-making skills, 
•Better interpersonal skills and communication
•Increased confidence at work and in your personal life.

There are some special advantages specific to phone coaching.

These include: 
  • Concentration – it if often much easier to concentrate in complete privacy in an environment of your own choosing!
  • Convenient and Relaxing –  you can be in your own familiar surroundings.  Coaching by phone means I can work with my clients pretty much at any time of the day or night – we can fit coaching flexibly into their lives.  
  • Clients find it easier to be open on the phone– there can be a nice blend anonymity and intimacy and people tend to be more open
  • Time Efficient – there’s no time (or money) spent travelling and coaching can be fitted more easily into a busy schedule
  • International Coaching – it really doesn’t matter where you are in the world, so long as you have agood phone connection and can speak English.

I’m based in the UK but I’ve coached clients from a number of other countries including the US.  But you don’t have to be far away – it is convenient wherever you live. I find it helpful to clients to have both US and UK telephone numbers and of course I’m on Skype.  

If you would like to try our coaching by telephone, please get in touch – I offer a free trial session.

 

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home 
  • Job Search – Mistakes to Avoid in Your Telephone Interview
  • Managing Your Career – Getting On With People At Work!
  • Career Development: Confident Public Speaking – A Technique To Help

 

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Know Yourself!

Know Yourself!

Managing People – Know Yourself!

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

Know yourself

Know yourself – I’ve been writing a lot recently about the personal development mindset.  A key part of the mindset is self-belief.  But before you can believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself; particularly your strengths, your weaknesses and your personality.  This is particularly important if you want to be successful at managing others!

Know yourself if you want to manage others successfully. I have important news for you – there are no perfect managers.  Managers have strengths and all of them have weaknesses too.  You are no different to the rest.  There will be things that you are good at and there will be other things that you might prefer not to talk about, or even to admit to yourself.  And every one of us has our own quirks of personality.  Believe me, you need to understand yours!  If you want to succeed as a manager, you need to be honest and, not least, with yourself.

Being a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect or to know everything.  But, you do need to be good at covering the gaps; that only works if you know where the gaps are.  Then you have options.

When you know yourself you can:

  • Put together a team that includes people who are what you are not and can do what you cannot. Sometimes this can be a challenge – often our first instinct is to recruit people just like us! If you are putting together a team for an important, business critical, task,  you need to have all the bases covered,
  • Outsource/buy in the ability you need, when you need it, for example, HR advice when faced with a large-scale organizational change.
  • Adapt the task so that it uses the skills and experience you have available. This may be negotiable more often than you think.  But without an honest appraisal of your own strengths and the strengths of the team, that would not be possible.

If you would like to understand yourself better then “Personality: What makes you the way you are” by Daniel Nettle comes well recommended.  Also, there are lots of free personality tests on line – HumanMetrics provides one of the more widely used ones.

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  She believes coaching requires compassion, warmth and empathy. Wendy helps people reach their career goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips

Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips

When you are looking for work there are all kinds of factors to take into account. Many we have covered here before. For the majority of us, the main reason we choose to work is so that we can earn money to support ourselves and our families.

These tips will help you get paid the salary you deserve and then help you to look after your money.

  1. What are you worth?

    Work out what your value should be to an employer. Research what other people with your skills and experience are earning and use that information to backup your salary negotiation. The same role can pay differently in different sectors and in different parts of the country so take that into account in making your calculations.

  2.  Learn to negotiate

    You will find lots of tips on negotiating on line. You are in a much more powerful position before you accept a job. Think about the things you have to bargain with and, for example, how scarce your skills are. Use the information you have gathered about what other people are being paid for the same type of work. How far are you prepared to go? Know what will be unacceptable and work out your limits. Be prepared to sit on your hands and wait for a response from your potential employer.

  3. Don’t forget benefits!

    Lots of people do not take into account the real value of benefits when negotiating a salary. If you get stuck on the amount of your salary try negotiating your benefits’ package with your potential employer – it may cost them very little to give you a better benefits’ package but it might make a big difference for you.

  4. Learn to manage your money

    Learn to make the most of what you get paid. If you don’t know about budgeting, then find out and learn to set your self a budget each month. Work hard to stay out of debt and don’t over use those credit cards. Remember loans have to be repaid and there is very little prospect of the economy improving quickly; what is borrowed now might put your future at risk. If you do borrow be careful who you do it from and learn about interest rates. Again use the internet to research money management.

  5. Start saving

    It’s never too early to start saving for the things you might want in the future and even for your retirement. Most large organizations now have to give you access to a pension scheme. Don’t forget that at sometime you might want to buy a house, Saving schemes can be started with quite small amounts.

  6. Think long term

    I’ve mentioned pensions and saving above. But think long term in a broader way. When you are thinking about the salary for a role, don’t just think short term about what you will be paid initially. Think about what the possibilities might be in your chosen field for future earning opportunities. Will your new employer be able to give you access to them. Don’t sacrifice the longer term for a short term win.

    This is just general advice, you should always take advice from a properly qualified financial adviser when planning your financial future.

    Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search Part 6: Phone Interviews, Group Interviews and Assessment Centres
  • Job Search Part 7: How to negotiate your salary and benefits.
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Career Development – Dealing With A Difficult Boss – Part 2 Books To Help

Career Development – Dealing With A Difficult Boss – Part 2 Books To Help

Lots of people seem have problems with bosses – for one reason or another they can’t get on with them. But bosses have a huge impact over large parts of your daily life. And unhappiness and stress at work can leak out to affect the rest of your life.

Bosses are human! If you’re lucky they will be understanding, supportive, encouraging and inspiring. But, being human, they will probably have at least one characteristic that makes them difficult for you in some aspect of your relationship. If you are really unlucky they might be lazy, unmotivated, weak, over-emotional and sarcastic – all at more or less the same time.

But you’re not a powerless victim. When it comes to your boss, then you’re more in control than you think. It’s a case of understanding what makes them tick, why they react as they do, and then approaching situations in the right way to get the best out of your boss.

You can find help. We’ve written here before about “Dealing with a Difficult Boss”. We said that if you want to stay, you are going to have to find a way to work with your cranky boss, you need a strategy and we offered some tips.

But given the interest in that post and, the questions we received, I’ve found a couple of books on Amazon that you might like to read, if you are having problems.

How to manage your Boss” is for a UK audience and “It’s OK to Manage Your Boss” is for readers in the US.

How to Manage your Boss” by Ros Jay

This is the user’s guide to getting the best from your manager. Understand what matters to them and how they like to function, and you can start to build a relationship that is as beneficial as it is rewarding. Developing a good relationship with your boss is vital for a low-stress, high-reward working life and you are in control.

Its Okay to Manage Your Boss: The Step-by-Step Program for Making the Best of Your Most Important Relationship at Work by Bruce Tulgan” provides a program to help you feel in control of your work life again.

And if you would like a coach to support you as you deal with this, please get in touch.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Other posts you might like to read

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals for Change
  • Be Successful -Making A Personal Change – Part 6 Change Your Core Beliefs
  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning To Accept Yourself

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Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the fourth in our new series on Job Search. In the first post at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/, I set out some options for you in terms of where to look for work

In the third post, last week,  http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/19/job-search-part-3what-networking-can-do-for-your-job-search/. I said that networking was the most effective way to look for work and we discussed how to do it well.

Now we are going to consider how to write a winning CV

Last year we published a series of posts on CV writing and you can find the links to them below.  You can find lots of books on CV writing on Amazon and those that come well recommended are at this link

A CV that is going to win you the job is the one that makes the reader want to know more about you. The CV that makes it much more likely that you will be invited to an interview! Good CVs are valuable and a very good investment of your time.

So how do you make yourself stand-out from the crowd?

Any CV that you write is only relevant if it shows how you meet the requirements of the particular role – so be ready to tailor you generic CV for each post. Be specific about skills, experience and personal qualities. Show that you understand their requirements.

These days employers and recruiter receive sacks full of CVs. Make yours short (no more than two sides of A4), easy to read and attractive.

Lay it out clearly with enough space and clear section headings.

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization, so make it look professional.

  • Choose a clear, professional font that is easy to read (e.g. Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
  • Make no typing mistakes – CVs with typos get “binned”. A simple spell check is not enough: ask someone else to proof-read your finished CV
  • Have clear headings (work experience, education etc) so that these can be scanned quickly
  • Order your experience and education into reverse chronological order with the latest first.
  • For recent posts, sum up what you actually achieved and delivered for each post
  • Concentrate on the last 10 years and sum-up earlier experience briefly.

Many recruiters’ job sites search candidates’ CVs for specific keywords. It is important to include those which are likely to apply for the particular job. Create clear statements that demonstrate your skills and what you deliver, using terms that show you as positive and pro-active.

These are positive keywords, you could use to describe your personal attributes

  • Accurate
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Hard-working
  • Innovative
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Responsible
  • Intelligent
  • Experienced

When describing your experience and achievement use pro-active descriptions like:

  • Achieved
  • Formulated
  • Planned
  • Broadened
  • Generated
  • Managed
  • Represented
  • Completed
  • Implemented
  • Shaped
  • Delivered
  • Saved

And, in these hard economic times, if you have saved an organization money or generated new business, flag it up with figures and facts.

Next week we’ll tackle writing that convincing covering letter!

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics 

  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees!

  • Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices

  • Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest by Dawn Rasmussen

  • Identifying transferable skills; a core ingredient of a successful career change

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning To Accept Yourself

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 7 Learning to Accept Yourself

You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below. In the last few posts I’ve asked you to start thinking about emotions. I’ve explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. As well as that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you, then I asked you to set some goals.

In the last post we thought about challenging and beginning to change those core beliefs we all carry. They get in the way when we want to make a personal change that will improve our lives. Now we are going to think about developing self acceptance.

Everyone who has ever lived has had problems.  Having problems doesn’t make you a better or worse human being – nor does it make you different.  In fact it makes you truly a human being – someone who makes mistakes and sometimes suffers misfortune. You are not what you do or what happens to you.  You are you, and one of us, the vast human race.  But it is great that you want to change or improve something about yourself!

If you accept yourself with what you see as flaws, it means you can concentrate on problem solving.  If you can’t accept yourself you can very easily be distracted by shame and the time you spend putting yourself down.

There is a great way of illustrating self acceptance.  It is called the big i/little i diagram ( Lazarus 1977)

If you look closely you will that this Big I (the self) is made up of lots of little Is. The little I’s are all the things about you; “I’m tall”, “I’m short”,” I’m fat”, “I’m thin”, “I’m good at sports”,” I’m hopeless at maths” etc.  Or they might be things that you have done; “I failed my exam”, “I hurt someone I loved”, “I give to charity”, etc.  Anyone of them may be true.  But none of them makes up the whole, wonderful complexity of you, yourself.

Now, if you can’t accept yourself, you might find this idea difficult to accept as well. But think about it.  And think about what I said in the last post about how to test self beliefs.  Think of all the evidence there is that you are complex with many aspects and experiences.  Then think about how you see other people in their complexity.  Now, think about which is the more helpful way to think about your self.

So suppose you see the things that you need to change as little Is, that you can work on.  They are not the whole big I that is going to do the work. Start to recognise yourself as complex and multi dimensional.

You could draw a large I diagram and then start to put into it all the little Is about you.  The good and the bad – make sure you are even-handed.  Now, circle some of those good Is and really concentrate on them.  Then, think about the things you want to change and let that complex, wonderful Big I you, start to make plans.

Remember, self acceptance doesn’t mean you become complacent and stop trying to make changes.  Self acceptance changes how you see the changes you want to make.  It helps to makes those changes manageable and achievable.  It means you do not waste precious time on putting your self down and feeling bad.

Self acceptance doesn’t happen over night it takes work.  It takes a little time every day thinking about the Big I and focusing on your goals to make the change you want. Work on it because the benefits of self acceptance, in terms of happiness, mental health and achievement, are huge.

The next post in this series will about strengthening and re-enforcing your new self-helping outlook.

I know you can learn how to develop self-esteem and to develop self acceptance and I would like to help you.  Email me now to arrange a free half-hour taster coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level while having a life outside work. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more athttp://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – Getting There With WiseWolf, the Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more emailwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Earlier Posts in this series

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

    • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals for Change
    • Be Successful -Making A Personal Change – Part 6 Change Your Core Beliefs