Letting go of what you can’t control

Last week, I looked at the Serenity prayer and focused with an example on some things we can control when stressors come. Today, I want to help by giving tips for the flipside, what about the things we cannot control?

Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

In this prayer, there is an element of faith, of a God . There is an element of change and an element of acceptance. Some things we cannot change, while other things we can. So regarding the things that we cannot change, what are we left to do?

Being able to accept things that we cannot change does involve faith. In faith circles, the term is to “let go” of things, of stress and worry for example. But this idea of “letting go” is a difficult thing to define. Especially for people who do not believe in God, letting go is still not an easy task. The definition means to “giving permission or opportunity.” In the sense of how it is used to “let go” of worry, is really like “letting go” if a girlfriend after a break-up. It is giving permission to be free. So when we talk about accepting things that we cannot change, we are able to let them go from our worrying minds. Our minds can be free of these worries!

One last thing  that is really helpful when those fleeting thoughts do come back to us is the use of relaxation techniques. Many of my clients find this simple muscle relaxation technique to be
extremely effective, especially before going to bed:

Begin by finding a comfortable position sitting, standing, or lying down. First focus on breathing. Breathe in forcefully and deeply, and hold this breath. You should be able to count to 5 or even 6 (in your head) as the oxygen enters and and then again as it exits. Let all the air go out slowly, with
it release all the tension. You should see your chest expand and feel it collapse. After about five deep, long breathes we focus on each individual muscle groups but we want to continue this breathing pattern through-out the exercise.

Start with the muscles on your two feet. Tighten all the muscles of your feet. Count to five while holding this tension. Do a final squeeze! Then relax. Let all the tension go. Feel the muscles in your feet go limp, loose, and relaxed. Your feet are not heavy. Notice how relaxed the muscles feel now. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Enjoy the pleasant feeling of relaxation in your feet.

I have my clients do their feet first then move up the body, all the way to their head/face. We follow the same basic instructions just instead of “feet,” I say “legs” or “arms.” Throughout the exercise, I stop and remind the client to continue to focus again on their breathing. They need to have slow, even, regular breaths.

This is a simple trick but it really does work and focusing on breathing is scientifically proven to lower heart-rate. sometimes I add things to this technique if the client or I am feeling tired of this same technique. A simple addition is to add another relaxed meditation to it. I like to tell the
clients that they are on a cloud and explain how everything is soft, peaceful, solace and comfortable. There are many similar setting and scenarios that can enable relaxation.

If you could only ask one question

If you could only ask one question to some of the most influential leaders or your favorite leaders or authors, what would that question be? This is the inspiration and idea behind Ken Coleman’s book, One Question: Life Changing Answers From Today’s Leading Voices.  One Question, is a “best of” content from Ken’s interviews with influential leaders at Catalyst Conferences. These leaders include John Maxwell, Rick Warren, John Acuff, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Jim Collins and so many more! Instead of merely summarizing entire interviews from these leaders, Ken, focuses in on the some of the best questions he has asked these leaders and their insight from these questions.

I interviewed Ken on the phone, he reported that his goal for this book was to encourage people to ask more questions. He wants to help his readers develop a habit of inquiry. Society today focuses on getting answers. Although, in order to solve problem and succeed in life, it is much better to know how to ask questions and solve problems from those questions. The entrepreneurial mindset is one of curiosity and one that is always learning new things.
Ken declared that One Question, could be a “manual for life coaching.” The book has three main sections: succeeding, surviving and sustaining. Each section is packed with insights from various leaders offering tips on how they dealt with initial success, how they survived failure and difficult times and how they sustained success in the long-run.

The book is a great resource for any life coach, business owner or influencer. It is a great book for anyone who also desires to be an entrepreneur, life coach, or business leader. I highly recommend getting a hold of this book and reading it. The insights alone from these world leaders is well worth the price of the book. What Ken adds about developing a habit of inquiry is also fascinating. From all of 36 leaders, who Ken  featured in this book, one big overall theme rings true, they all asked questions. Ken challenges the reader in the final chapter to never stop asking questions. You can read a lot of reviews and even hear some incredible free content in video, audio and print form on his website for the book!

Review the year with these 4 questions

I had the privilege to interview Ken Coleman author of  the book, One Question: Life Changing Answers From Today’s Leading Voices. The book is a “best of” content from Ken’s interviews with influential leaders of faith at Catalyst Conferences. These leaders include John Maxwell, Rick Warren, John Acuff, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Jim Collins and so many more! Instead of merely summarizing entire interviews from these leaders, Ken, focuses in on the some of the best questions he has asked these leaders and their insight from these questions.
When I interviewed Ken on the phone, I asked him “What are the top questions we need to ask ourselves as we end 2013 and begin 2014?” Ken offered four insightful questions to reflect upon, two that help us review the past and two that help us look to the next year.

For all the major areas of life can to be evaluate with these questions as we review 2013:
1. “What did I do right?” It is important to focus on the positives and the blessings. Think about what are you grateful and thankful for this year. These are the ‘wins’ of 2013.
2. “What did I loose?” Failure can hurt but it also is the best way to learn. So this question is not for being hard and critical on yourself but a way to review what you learned as you move forward.
Moving forward into 2014:
3. “Where do I want to be/go?” This question helps us to realize our vision for the future. It helps us dream.
4. “What do I need to get done in 2014?” It is easy to have a lot of lessons learned and a lot of vision. These things are great, although, often time we naturally create too many goals. So this question is very clear and straight-forward, to help us create realistic goal based on strong clarity of our vision. What is the one or two really big things that need to get done?

Ken is a master of asking questions. Ken Coleman reported that the goal for writing One Question was to encourage people to ask more questions. He wants to help his readers develop a habit of inquiry. Society today focuses on getting answers. Although, in order to solve problem and succeed in life, it is much better to know how to ask questions and solve problems from those questions. The entrepreneurial mindset is one of curiosity and one that is always learning new things. The book is a great resource for any life coach, business owner or Christian leader. It is a great book for anyone who also desires to be an entrepreneur, life coach, or Christian leader. I highly recommend getting a hold of this book and reading it. The insights alone from these world leaders is well worth the price of the book. What Ken adds about developing a habit of inquiry is also fascinating. From all of 36 leaders, who Ken featured in this book, one big overall theme rings true, they all asked questions. Ken challenges the reader in the final chapter to never stop asking questions. You can read a lot of reviews and even hear some incredible free content in video, audio and print form on his website for the book!

New Year, New Goals

The end of the year for me has always been a good time to reflect on the past year and to focus on some goals for the new year. Here is my reflections from 2013 and goals for 2014:

Reflections:
1. God has again blessed me with an amazing opportunity. I remember last year, this time freaking out about getting an internship to finish my degree and to become licensed. I had several interviews and nothing was working out. In 2013, during the summer, a Liberty University connection helped me get an internship that will has been vital in learning how to be a professional counselor, getting the hours I need and just a blessed place to work so far!
2. Starting my own business was an amazing dream come true as well! Talk about being blessed! And going from nothing to 4 clients and a lot of potential. 
3. Financially, it has been tough at times, but God has always provided for me this year!
4. I am thankful for the visions I have seen and the direction I am following! I am really blessed.
Goals for 2014:
1. Before the fall, I will finish Counseling internship, pass the NCE and become a Licensed  Professional Counselor (PC).

2. I would like to complete the Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach credential/training with the ICCA. To accomplish this I simply need to complete one extra course with the ICCA and then apply for the higher credential.

3. I would like to have a rough draft of my book completed within the next year. This is a matter of spending time each week, writing the book.

4. I would like to have at least five paid coach clients before the end of the year.

5. I would like to start paying off student loans.