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Thursday, 10 March 2016

How to get back on track

These pictures might not look much but they represent the difference between being stuck and getting back on track for one client.

I often share on my blog some of the coaching tools I use - whether that's metaphors, language, collage, Frameworks for change, standing in their shoes and so on.

I don't use them just because they're different - I use them because they're effective.

One common reason for their effectiveness is the way in which they bypass the barriers or resistance we have to making the changes we need to make. After all, very simplistically, if we weren't resisting (in one some form or other) we'd already have what we say we want (obviously sometimes coaching is about defining what we want in the first place).

Yesterday I used a very frequent friend of mine - and I'm not sure I even have a name for it - lots of theory behind why it works - but over time it's morphed into the following process.


  1. Identify how satisfied you are with your life on a scale of 0-10.
  2. Identify key areas of your life and write them on post-its (using size of writing, colour of writing, size, shape, colour and position on the flip chart  to differentiate between them). Areas may include: work, health, fitness, finance, home, hobbies, friends, family, relationship, contribution, spirituality and so on.  
  3. You may also, or instead, wish to include post-its for feelings - eg joy, laughter, freedom, openness, safety etc (see this post for a different way of using this process to explore your values, and the impact they may be having on your life at the moment).  
  4. Review the pattern you see in the post-its. How might the current pattern explain why things are, and aren't, happening the way they are? That is - is something blocking you seeing another post it, is one bigger or smaller than others, do colours make any difference - and so on?
  5. What changes might you want to make to the original representation? Don't just do this logically - let you heart get involved, and see if there's changes it would suggest you make. Taking care that you don't discount something that's very meaningful to you (which is easier to type than do in practice, especially if you're trying to do this on you own). 
  6. Make the changes, and notice what you notice. Might further changes be needed? Just keep going till it either looks, feels or sounds just right when you review it. 
  7. How satisfied do you now feel with your life? 
  8. What actions have arisen as you've developed this new representation? When will you take them? (NB the answer may be "none", because the changes have happened unconsciously. In which case I'd invite you to set a date with yourself to review progress in a few days or weeks time once everything has settled. (I recently had a very intensive sports massage session, and it wasn't until 2 weeks later that I realised the tension has finally gone completely. It had slowly done it's magic over the 2 weeks once the massage guy had started the release. )


What action can you take today to bypass the barriers or resistance you have to having the life you want?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring change inside and out, and using nature to do that via Landscaping your life too.

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