“Have you got around to it yet? Or are you still putting it off?”

Today, I weeded the garden.  Not a big deal you might say but I’d been putting it off and putting it off.

I didn’t want to do it and the weeds were growing bigger and bigger and the problem got bigger and bigger in my mind too.

Each time I left the house or came home, I would see the weeds taking over the front garden and when I looked out of the kitchen window I would see them strangling the flowers in the back garden and I would get annoyed with myself that I had not tackled the job.  I would say things like “I really should pull those weeds out” or “I must do that weeding soon”.  And yet saying these things were not motivating me to do the job!

3 tips to doing those jobs you don’t want to do.

  • Focus on the outcome. I was thinking about the problem; the job of weeding and I was putting pressure on myself to do the work by saying “I should” or “I must”.  When you change your thinking to being outcome focussed, then the job is not so difficult.  I focussed on how it would be when I was able to look out of the kitchen window and see the flowers flourishing and how it would be to notice the plants when I came home rather than the weeds.  When you think about the outcome, there is more motivation to get the work done.
  • How can you make it easier? It was a lovely sunny day so it would be far more enjoyable spending the time in the garden today rather than another day when it is cold or wet.  So I decided that it would be worth getting some Vitamin D and play some music while I was doing the job.  Both of those things made it a more enjoyable task.
  • Who can help or keep you company? If you can find somebody to do the work with and keep you company; that makes the job easier too.  I suggested to my hubby that we could get it done twice as quickly together and then we could go and do what we wanted.

In the end, it really didn’t take very long.  It was actually the thought of doing it that was worse.  Once you take the first step, it’s not so bad.

What are you not doing?  What are you putting off? Use these 3 tips to focus your mind on getting those things done that you haven’t got around to doing yet!

 

Do you want to find out how to take control of your life and take responsibility for what you really want!

If you would like to understand more about how NLP can help, sign up to my website or come along to one of my events.  Like riding a bike, you can learn how to do it by reading a book, you can listen to a webinar but the real power of NLP is in experiencing it for yourself.

So come and give it a go and Discover the Power of You!

 

Tracy Ward

Tracy Ward; Your Catalyst for Change

www.tracywardcoaching.co.uk/events

 

“Golf – A game of mindset; just like life”

Whilst watching the Ryder Cup over the weekend, I thought “Wow, golf is a game of mindset” and I thought about how it is a metaphor for life in general.

With most sports you don’t have time to think, it is about reacting in the moment. It may be that the ball is moving or your opponent is moving and so this impacts on how you play the game. In golf, your opponent’s successes or failures may influence your choice of shot in a match play situation but you always have plenty of time to focus on what shot to play and how to play it. This is one of the reasons golf is a very difficult game to play because you need to handle the pressure, your emotions and manage your mindset.

I learned to play golf 30 years ago and the first time I played on a proper course with other people, my first tee shot was a real shocker; it landed on the 18th green and people were putting on it! That would not have been so bad except there were lots of players waiting to follow us and there were a number of “tuts” from those around me. My confidence was completely knocked and since that time, I would be very nervous on the first tee and whenever I did a bad shot I would imagine “tuts” from others and I would question whether I was good enough to be on the golf course.

This would then spiral into other negative emotions where I would start to curse, maybe swear, maybe even throw my clubs around and then I would get very angry with myself and my bad behaviour. It almost became a ritual. It seemed that I would have to go through that negative process before I could start to accept that it was just a game and a bit of fun and then I seemed to play better.

So how can you manage your mindset and your emotions on the golf course?

Here are 3 tips to manage your mindset on the golf course which are just as valuable in eveyday life

1)     Reduce the tension. If you are carrying tension in your body, particularly the top half, it is very difficult to connect with the ball in the correct place and at the right angle. So focus on taking a deep breath before you step up to take your shot and shrug your shoulders and then push them down and purposefully relaxing any tension in the shoulders.  Such simple actions with a huge impact and notice how much cleaner you strike the ball.

2)     Focus on the target; fairways and greens. So often I hear my golfing colleagues say, “I always go in that bunker on this hole” or “I can never get it over the water”.  You may think “I keep slicing it”. When you comment on the hazards, it draws attention to them so they are in your mind and your unconscious will focus on going in the bunker or the water (the same for your slice). So keep your attention on the fairways and greens and visualise the flight of the ball and where you want to pitch the ball. Your unconscious will aim to deliver that through the correct physical swing.

3)     Concentrate on the present. Once you have a done a poor shot (and we all will!) it is important to change the attention to what you can control at that moment. Firstly, your emotions by controlling your breathing and walking tall to keep a feeling of confidence. Then, you can focus on what you can do with your next shot. I always have a few sayings to myself such as “This looks like a good skills test” as that helps me to focus on what I have to do.

So when your game is a bit awry ask yourself “What can I do about that?” The more you are able to let go of the mistakes you have made, forget the impact that may have on your score and focus purely on the present the stronger your game will be.

The person who can maintain their thoughts in the present throughout the 18 holes or the competition is the one who is likely to rise above the rest.

And it is the same approach to take for life in general.

If you want to know more about managing your mindset, please contact me

Tracy Ward

Your Catalyst for Change

 

 

Changing your habits and behaviour – make it easier by asking yourself these 3 questions

 

by Tracy Ward, Your Catalyst for Change

What would you like to change?

We all have things in life that we would like to change whether it is what we eat, our fitness regime or the way we shout at the kids when they press that button.  Yes, you know the button I’m referring to!

Change is such a simple word and yet sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do!  When a habit is ingrained or one that you have followed for a long time, it can be very difficult to change that behaviour.

Think about when you get dressed which sock you put on first or which leg you put in your pants first and then try and do the other leg.  It seems so alien doesn’t it?  That’s because it’s a strategy that you have been employing for a long, long time.  When it comes to other behaviours it can be even more difficult.

All of our behaviours serve an important purpose.  You may not understand what they are and they may be outmoded but there is always some form of benefit to us; a deeper emotional benefit.  To be able to change behaviour, it is not enough to logically say “I must go to the gym” or “I’m going to stop eating cake” or “No more shouting at the kids” we need to find the emotional trigger to support you to change and ensure that the original purpose is still met.

 

Before you embark on any change ask yourself these 3 questions to aid success:-

  1. Why do you want to change? Ask yourself what is the reason or purpose to change.  You may think that it is obvious to want to be more healthy (the logical reason) and then we miss the real emotional attachment for change.  So think about how you will be when you have made this change – what will you see, what will you hear and what will you feel?  How will you know that you have made the change successfully? What will others say to you?
  2. What does the current behaviour do for you? Ask yourself what do you enjoy about your current behaviour that you won’t be able to do? How could this current behaviour be of benefit to you or others around you? What are you not doing that you don’t want to do and would have to do if you changed your behaviour?
  3. How can I make the change easier? Ask yourself what one step can I take towards this change? What small steps can I take on the right path rather than a complete overhaul? Who can keep me accountable?  Or even better, who can keep me company?

Once you have answered these questions carefully and honestly and once you embark on the journey of change, it is important to remember the 3 P’s:-

Patience – We are a culture requiring instant gratification and so if we cannot change immediately we may give up.  Remember change will only happen at the pace that is right for you.  So be gentle on yourself and have compassion if there are a few slip ups on the way.

Persistence – If the change is worth doing, it is worth persisting.  It can feel uncomfortable and when it feels like that, focus a little more on those feelings and you will be amazed what you can learn about yourself which will actually help you on your change journey.

Perseverance – It is natural for there to be setbacks and in those times notice the progress you are making rather than focus on the setback and consider your personal change as being about continuous improvement and moving cloer to your goal every day.

So what do you want to change? What have you tried to change or have put off because it seems too difficult?

Remember, changing behaviours can be easy.  There is no magic wand but with the right purpose and motivation you can put change in motion and once you start and you notice the benefits and reap the rewards, it becomes easier and easier!

Tracy Ward, Your Catalyst for Change

 

www.tracywardcoaching.co.uk

Are you a winner or a loser? This is how you can lose in style.

Over many years, I have played a lot of competitive sport and I was always very keen to win.  I know most sports people want to win but for me winning was of utmost importance because I thought it made be a better person and I was definitely a sore loser.

We all know sore losers don’t we?  We have all seen or hear of those people that throw their equipment around, curse and swear or even end up in a punch up with the opposition.  You cannot play your best sport when you are so wound up that you cannot control your emotions.  And how does that behaviour help them?  The result can be fines, points deducted or being sent off and yet none of that helps the cause of winning the game and you can earn the name of the bad guy and then the referee or umpire will keep an even closer eye on you and be waiting for you to slip up.

And then there are those that after the game will explain all the reasons why they lost.  Often it can be the referee’s fault but how about “the ball was too bouncy”, “the frogs croaking kept us up last night” or “my pants were too tight” (Yes these are all excuses that have been used for losing!)  And when I hear such excuses I would think that they are a sore loser and to just accept that they were better than you on the day.

So be honest, are you ever like that?  And are you aware what other may be saying about you or worst still thinking about you and not telling you to your face?

 

Yesterday, I played in the Suffolk Golf Club knockout championship completion called the Cranworth.  The Bramford Golf Centre Chix with Stix had made it to the semi-final and we were hoping to beat Ipswich Golf Club into the final. It was a tough day playing 36 holes in the wind and rain at Felixstowe.  My expectation was that Ipswich would be very determined to win and would be extremely pedantic on rulings and have an air of being better than our team who were new to this competition and really any competition.

How wrong I was!  Although the 9 matches were all very close, the games that I was involved in were played in a wonderful spirit of fairness, enjoyment and admiration of good golf.

We didn’t win and all credit to Ipswich; they took their chances at the right times with at least 3 matches going down to the last hole and if they had gone our way the result would have been different.  Although our team lost and were obviously very disappointed, I can reflect on the amazing run we have had to get so far in our first year and I accept that maybe:-

  • They were better on the day
  • Their experience helped them at the time that really mattered
  • They found that extra little bit, that second wind when everyone was feeling tired (and battered by the wind and rain)

It reminds me of the Swiss tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka who had a tattoo on his arm.  It is a quote from the Irish poet Samuel Beckett.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

As the Swiss number 2 tennis player behind Roger Federer for so long and knowing that there is only one winner in each tournament , he needed to accept that there would be many losses, that there would be disappointment and there would be heartache.  He also knew it was important to maintain a positive outlook on his life and tennis and that the meaning of the quote does not change know matter how well you do.

 

In our golf match I didn’t see any equipment being thrown or any punch ups.  There may have been some curses under the breath by both sides but I have not heard of any lame excuses after the event for losing.

I think that the Chix with Stix were magnanimous in defeat and we all recognise that Ipswich pipped us on the day.  I hope that the Ipswich Ladies will remember our spirit of fair play, our sense of fun and our recognition and admiration of good golf. We have all learned from the amazing experience.

I know I will remember the thrill of the competitive matches and the friendly atmosphere when a place in the final was at stake.  I will also remember that because of my own personal development I was able to put aside the utmost importance of winning and to maintain my composure under pressure to sink those knee-trembling putts when it really counted.

 

Are you controlling your emotions in your sport or your daily life? Or are your emotions controlling you?  Are you ready now to control your emotions and find out how you can be more composed under pressure? Or are you ready now to change your mind-set to “try again and fail better”?

If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, find out how I can help you and contact me

Tracy Ward, Your Catalyst for Change.

Discover NLP and Model Excellence

Do you look at others and wish you could be like them? Are there skills that you would like to improve? Do want to perform better at work, at home or in your hobbies?  Or do you just want to be the best version of you? If you do, keep reading to find out what NLP can do for YOU!

It was only a few years ago that I was introduced to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and it was one of those freak mistakes that took me on the first small steps of my NLP journey.  I hit the wrong button on my laptop and then realised that I had booked onto a free NLP Foundation weekend.  It was a freak mistake and the best mistake I had ever made.

I had not heard of NLP and certainly did not understand what it meant. “Neuro Linguistic Programming” – I understood all of the words individually but did not understand the overall concept.  I wanted a definition that I could grasp and be able to articulate to others.

Perhaps it is the fact that there is not one specific definition. Perhaps it is because the tools can be used in so many different situations or contexts.  Perhaps it is because it can have such amazing and varied impacts. In fact, it is probably a combination of these things that has meant I have found it very difficult to explain the meaning of NLP in simple terms that everyone can appreciate.  This is the challenge for this series of articles.

I consider NLP under 3 categories each of which will be published separately:

  • Understanding our brain’s language
  • Communicating effectively and building relationships
  • Modelling excellence

 

Modelling Excellence

This final article explains what is in my view, the real power of NLP – modelling excellence.

John Grinder and Richard Bandler, the founders of NLP, took what people did well and explored their attitude and behaviour and turned into a process.  They also created two of the most important NLP language models by modelling other therapists, Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir.

The whole idea of modelling is not new to us; we do it unconsciously a lot of the time.  As children, we learn a lot by modelling others, our parents, siblings, friends, teachers and sometimes we model the good things and sometimes the not so good things!

Imagine, a friend or colleague and a specific quality or skill they have that you admire.  Imagine if you could understand what they do when they demonstrate that quality or how they are able to master this skill.  If you could model that and repeat it wouldn’t you want to be able to do that?

Imagine all of your friends and colleagues consider each of them and their specific qualities or skills that you admire.  If you could model each of those elements and repeat all of them, imagine how much more you could achieve.

And then imagine if you could learn from the best in the world or somebody who was performing at a state of excellence, such as an Olympian, and think how much better you could be if you were to model yourself on that person.

And then consider the opportunities for your team or business if it were to model the excellent strategies of the best sales people, customer service staff or negotiators.

Modelling excellence involves;

  • Step 1 – identify the element of excellence you want model or replicate; the difference that makes the difference
  • Step 2 – understand how the model “does it”; their thought processes, their beliefs and strategies and code in sensory terms
  • Step 3 – follow the code and reprogram or reorganise your filing cabinet to embed that behavioural excellence
  • Step 4 – repeat

 How can this help me?

  • You can learn how to do what you already do well, even better
  • You can achieve success in whatever you want
  • You can discover how to be the best version of you

So why not challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone into a world of new possibilities.

Come and discover the power of NLP and find out how to take control of your life and take responsibility for what you really want!

 

If you would like to understand more, sign up to my website or come along to one of my events.  Like riding a bike, you can learn how to do it by reading a book, you can listen to a webinar but the real power of NLP is in experiencing it for yourself.

So come and give it a go and Discover the Power of You!

Tracy Ward

Tracy Ward; Your Catalyst for Change

www.tracywardcoaching.co.uk/events

Discover NLP and Communicate Effectively


Do you find certain people difficult to build relationship with? Do you struggle to deal with conflict? Do you want to win friends and influence people? Or do you just want to be the best version of you? If you do, keep reading to find out what NLP can do for YOU!

It was only a few years ago that I was introduced to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and it was one of those freak mistakes that took me on the first small steps of my NLP journey. I hit the wrong button on my laptop and then realised that I had booked onto a free NLP Foundation weekend. It was a freak mistake and the best mistake I had ever made.

I had not heard of NLP and certainly did not understand what it meant. “Neuro Linguistic Programming” – I understood all of the words individually but did not understand the overall concept. I wanted a definition that I could grasp and be able to articulate to others.
Perhaps it is the fact that there is not one specific definition. Perhaps it is because the tools can be used in so many different situations or contexts. Perhaps it is because it can have such amazing and varied impacts. In fact, it is probably a combination of these things that has meant I have found it very difficult to explain the meaning of NLP in simple terms that everyone can appreciate. This is the challenge for this series of articles.

I consider NLP under 3 categories each of which will I am publishing separately:
1) Understanding our brain’s language
2) Communicating effectively and building relationships
3) Modelling excellence

Communicating Effectively and Building Relationships
In the last article “Discover NLP and Learn to Speak Brain” I explained how we all have our own individual filing cabinet within our brain that has been wired based on our personal experiences. Once you understand how the brain is wired, it becomes easier to understand that other people’s brains are wired differently. So, if we follow some of the basic principles or beliefs of NLP it becomes easier to build relationships which are important to us.
Such principles of NLP include:
1. Having respect for the other person’s map of the world
2. People are doing the best they can with the resources they have available
3. The effectiveness of your communication is in the response you get

We all build our beliefs based on our personal experiences which create our own “map of the world” or our own viewpoint and belief system. If you are to put aside the beliefs that you hold and follow the NLP principle of having respect for the person’s map of the world, you will notice that your ability to communicate and engage with others improves because you are listening to understand their point of view rather than listening to reply.

Recognising that people are doing the best they can with the resources they have available, will open your mind to respond in a different manner to the one programmed by your own beliefs. Maybe that person who cut you up at the roundabout this morning, was truly lost, already late for an appointment, feeling anxious and really did not see you. Perhaps, your colleague at work was preoccupied with how to deal with a difficult client and did not hear you speak to him. When you follow this principle, it means you are thinking about the other person rather than yourself and you consider a different perspective.

As explained, we build our own personal meaning about experiences or events and these also create a bias in the words we use; this results in our expressions impacting people in a different way to that intended. While your intention may be clear to you, it is the other person’s interpretation and response that reflects your effectiveness. By taking complete responsibility for your communication and believing that “the effectiveness of your communication is in the response you get” then you will find a way to ensure that the other person understands your meaning and notice then how your relationships improve.

Learning about NLP also develops additional skills enabling you to read other people’s programming through their language and also through their non-verbal communication including physiology and tone. This can then help you to build rapport and develop quality relationships based on trust.

How can this help me?

  • You will understand the impact of your communication on others and learn tools to influence others.
  • You will learn how to build rapport and long term relationships with different people even those you currently find difficult to get on with.
  • You will discover how to manage conflict to achieve win-win results to the mutual benefit of both parties.Do you have relationships that could be improved? Negative relationships can be draining as you dwell on what was said and perhaps worry about the next episode. How would it be if you could communicate better and build productive relationships? Relationships and connections affect our lives immensely; positive and supportive relationships make us feel happy, healthy and satisfied.

If you would like to understand more, sign up to my website or come along to one of my events. Like riding a bike, you can learn how to do it by reading a book, you can listen to a webinar but the real power of NLP is in experiencing it for yourself.
So come and give it a go and Discover the Power of You!

Tracy Ward
Tracy Ward; Your Catalyst for Change
www.tracywardcoaching.co.uk/events

Discover NLP and learn to speak Brain

Do you suffer from stress or anxiety? Or do you feel overwhelmed or lack confidence? Or do you just want to be the best version of you? If you do, keep reading to find out what NLP can do for YOU!

It was only a few years ago that I was introduced to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and it was one of those freak mistakes that took me on the first small steps of my NLP journey.  I hit the wrong button on my laptop and then realised that I had booked onto a free NLP Foundation weekend.  It was a freak mistake and the best mistake I had ever made.

I had not heard of NLP and certainly did not understand what it meant. “Neuro Linguistic Programming” – I understood all of the words individually but did not understand the overall concept.  I wanted a definition that I could grasp and be able to articulate to others.

Perhaps it is the fact that there is not one specific definition. Perhaps it is because the tools can be used in so many different situations or contexts.  Perhaps it is because it can have such amazing and varied impacts. In fact, it is probably a combination of these things that has meant I have found it very difficult to explain the meaning of NLP in simple terms that everyone can appreciate.  This is the challenge for this series of articles.

I consider NLP under 3 categories each of which will be published separately:

  • Understanding our brain’s language
  • Communicating effectively and building relationships
  • Modelling excellence

Understanding Our Brain’s Language

I like to think of the brain like a filing system (retro style) and we all have our own individual filing cabinet within our brain.  Based on events in our life we take data in through our senses and from these we organise our thoughts, feelings and emotions and we form our beliefs and values and create our own personal meaning.  Depending on how we store this information in our internal filing cabinet we follow strategies and we will respond or react to events or circumstances in a specific way.   This is how we develop habits or behaviours and even though they may not serve us constructively, we continue to follow the same path because we have wired ourselves that way within our programming.

 

To make a change, we need to speak in our brain’s language. Let me give you an example…It always makes me laugh when you hear typical Brits abroad.  They may ask for something in English and if the local does not understand they say it again in English but in a louder voice and will continue until they are shouting. The volume of the voice is not the problem; the problem is that the local does not understand the language.

In such a situation, you will need to find another way to communicate either by sign language or ideally by speaking in a language that they understand. Similarly, NLP teaches you how to communicate in the language your brain understands.

 

How can this help me?

  • NLP can help to build confidence – so if you are anxious or nervous for example when speaking to an audience, NLP tools and techniques can provide you with the confidence to speak.
  • When you are unsure or procrastinating on making a change in your life, NLP tools can help you find the right way forward for you.
  • NLP can help you free your mind from your personal internal dialogue to achieve excellent performance whether in life, sport or business.

NLP is a user manual for your brain.  Like a user manual for your car, once you understand how the car works, you can fix it when it is not working and also service it regularly to keep it purring sweetly.  So NLP can help us to rewire the programming so that the response and behaviour that we exhibit can serve us better.  These changes can work simply and effectively to switch behaviours like a train branching on a new track when the points are switched.

NLP is a methodology, a toolbox of techniques and a whole lot more.  I believe that NLP is an attitude which when embraced enables personal change and development in whichever way you want.

If you would like to understand more, sign up to my website or come along to one of my events.  Like riding a bike, you can learn how to do it by reading a book, you can listen to a webinar but the real power of NLP is in experiencing it for yourself.

So come and give it a go and Discover the Power of You!

 

Tracy Ward

Tracy Ward; Your Catalyst for Change