Karin Laudin

Karin Laudin

Is life a piece of cake or ...

Optimist or not? Which group do you fall into: life is a piece of cake vs life is a sh*t sandwich? Are you one of those people who always look on the bright side or do you hate those who do? Maybe you fall somewhere along the spectrum.

What is optimism and why should you care?

  • It can be defined as being hopeful and confident about the future or emphasizing the good parts of a situation. It can also be considered as being open to see possibilities. It's a willingness to take risks and to look for solutions. It's not donning rose-tinted specs or wishing for things to change
  • Has been linked with better health although of course it's not going to totally prevent adverse health events. Optimistic people manage their health better. Being optimistic may lead to healthier relationships and coping better with stress.
  • Allows you to be creative, it opens you up to new ideas. It allows you to look for the best of all possible worlds. Optimism can help with leadership and optimists are not paralysed by seeking perfection or overanalysing situations.
  • Optimism and resilience are interlinked. Resilience (the ability to bounce back)  allows you to have a more optimistic perspective. On the other hand, having a healthy self-esteem and being optimistic helps with resilience.

What if you weren't born an optimist?

Some people are more naturally optimistic. However it is something that can be learned and put into practice. A psychologist, Seligman, turned around how you can go from feeling helpless to being optimistic. One way of doing this is looking at how you manage adversity. As children we are likely to copy the behaviour and attitudes of our parents. If parents or significant others cope poorly e.g are gloomy and anticipate worst case scenarios this is going to affect us.

Seligman describes a detailed process but in a nutshell:

  • It is about understanding your beliefs and reactions when something untoward occurs.
  • You could pay attention to how you react - one way of doing this might be to keep a journal for a period of time.
  • Review what you thought and did. It would be useful to develop alternative thoughts and beliefs e.g if you think "I always expect the worst" or "things never work out" change this to something more balanced.

Try looking for positive aspects in the present and considering what positive outcomes there may be. Be creative, look for partial solutions, come up with new ideas. Notice what language and behaviour optimistic people use and notice yours. Being happier and healthier is something we all aspire to. So, it can't hurt to be more optimistic.

If you want to discover more about living an optimistic life, email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elastic bands snap if stretched too far

There's so much going on in the world today let alone what's going on in your life. It's tempting to think that maybe it was different, easier for previous generations. Who knows? We live in the world as it is now. It is a complex, uncertain, even unpredictable world. A lot has been written about resilience, the need to respond healthily to adversity, to adapt and find a better way to cope.

There are some things you can do to develop yur resilience but it is also necessary to consider your environment. It's no good being flexible in a toxic situation whether it's work, physical environment or relationships. I like to think of resilience as a muscle - you can build it up gradually so that it is strong and flexible but ... if an excessive load is applied then that muscle gets injured. So there is a lot we can do to build up our muscle of resilience but there is a responsibility for employers to have an environment that is healthy not just in a physical sense but also in a psychological sense.

Some people may have a genetic predisposition to be more resilient. However that doesn't exclude those of us who don't have this genetic advantage. Resilience can be learned and we can develop coping styles. Physical and emotional nurturing in our childhood set us up to be more resilient.

Good habits to build up resilience are:

  • having an attitude of kindness to yourself
  • having an adequate and healthy diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • being physically active
  • having healthy relationships with family/friends/partner
  • being compassionate to self and others
  • developing a more positive frame of mind or being optimistic

My view is that resilience and optimism are interdependent. Although nature predisposes some people to be more optimistic than others, optimism can be practiced and developed. Optimism is not wearing rose-tinted specs or blindly believing it will all work out. It is a belief that problems can be solved, that there are options and there is a way forward.

Optimism and resilience - a willingness to move forward, to find a better way.. So do what you can to build up your muscle.

Coaching focuses on the future

Coaching gives me a glimpse into your world

I love it when you discover things about yourself and when you find that there are more options than you had thought.

I am there to help you explore why things didn't go to plan. I enjoy it when you tell me your successes.

Where is your life leading you?

Imagine yourself one year from now.

What are you doing and how do you feel?

You could have a sense of where you are going with your life and be doing what you love. You could be living your values and loving it.

Find out how you could do this, email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Values can make you happy

There are times when we find ourselves performing work effortlessly and happily. When we are living by our values we are happier. Wouldn't it be great if we knew why we were doing things and got to do the things that matter most to us?

Most of the time we are unaware of our values and sometimes when we don't act according to them we feel unhappy or at odds with the world. We think we know what values are but let's look more closely.

Values are concepts or perhaps even priciples by which we tend to live our lives. Our values are shaped by the world we grow up in. As children the most powerful influence on our values are our parents/caregivers. As children we were influenced by the adults in our lives such as parents, extended family, teachers, neighbours and figures in authority. Values are affected by the religion we are brought up in, by the culture we grow up in, by socio-economic circumstances, by politics.

Many values are shared regardless of where we grow up and how we grow up. This is part of being human. These values may include respect for life, respect for others, respect for the vulnerable; acknowledgement of beauty, of love; search for meaning, whether this is religion, spirituality or self-direction.

Values can change as we move through life. Think back to your childhood. What were your values when you were 6?  Obeying your teacher?  Rebelling against authority? How have these values changed as you moved through adulthood?

As you have grown from a child to an adult, from a student to an employee, from being employed to being an entrepreneur or from employeee to employer your values have likewise changed to a degree. As you have been exposed to a number of influences such as different organisations, countries or cultures your values may have changed. Life experiences affect you and your values as well: becomig a parent, being in a committed relationship, loss, betrayal, death. These experiences make you aware of what's important to you, who or what you want to prioritise in your life.

When you are aware of your values, particularly your top values, you can act accordingly, doing what you believe is right and good. Values, like a magnet, can attract or repel you. Values that you move towards may be success, integrity, honesty, a sense of adventure, financial reward, security. When you are working with these values you have a feeling of energy, enthusiasm and happiness. Values that you move away from may be boredom, lack of control, lack of autonomy. As they say, different folks, different strokes...what appeals to you and how you define and approach it is different to what someone else does.

If you work in an organisation, you are required to uphold their values. Are you able to do this or are you conflicted? When you ignore your values - that deep down uncomfortable feeling- you may drag your feet, half-heartedly do things, perhaps adopt a don't care attitude or feel unhappy and dissatisfied.

Give some thought to what's important to you. What makes your heart sing or brings you tears of joy? What do you admire in others? Conversely what makes your blood boil? What motivates you to change the world around you? Get a better idea of what you want and how you want to live. So often we react, choose without weighing up options and get swept away by circumstances or opportunities that seem attractive.

There are so many choices in our lives. You can make even better choices when you know what your values are.

When you know how to harness the power of your values, you will be strongly motivated to accomplish what you want to do. And working according to your values - as an individual or working alongside others- will make you happy.

Happiness and Meaning

To be happy we need meaning in our life

To have meaning we need to use our strengths to serve something bigger than us.

Discover what your unique strengths are and use these in living with purpose.

(Taken from the work of Martin Seligman, psychologist)

What is Rising Strong

Rising Strong: yesterday I watched an interview of Brene Brown by Oprah Winfrey (find it on YouTube). Brene speaks about all of us looking for a wholehearted life. We react to pain and make stories to explain it to ourselves. This colours how we react to others. Rising strong is a process: recognising our pain, understanding and learning why we react, then changing our view or as Brene says "turn things upside down so you can't go back." I am looking forward to reading her book "Rising Strong" and seeing how I can apply these principles to my life. To get you started, read her "Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted".

Breathe new life into your career

Many working women will be faced with working beyond the traditional retirement age. For some this may be a financial necessity, for others it will be something they desire to do. Many women will have dedicated themselves to their work and have acquired skills and experience. Whether they have reached the top of their profession or not, they will have invested heart and soul into it. Sometimes it may be difficult to disentangle personal self from professional self. They will have acquiesced to the values of the organisation they work for - sometimes there may be common values but sometimes personal values have had to take a back seat. Much of their identity may be subsumed to that of the organisation or profession they work in. They may have given up their dreams, their creativity, their passion, their ideas. There is a certain amount of security in staying with what is known - the boss/manager/company. But they may have reached a point where they think, "I want something new, I want to do something I believe in, I want a job where I can express myself, where I can be creative." This is an opportunity to change their working life.

If you identify with this, creating a new career is the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Consider the skills you have acquired in the course of your working life. Some of these are transferable to other occupations. Evaluate the talents you have; have you been able to express these in your current occupation? How could you express them in your new career? What dreams did you have in your younger years? Don't rule out acquiring new skills to equip you for a different line of work.

Take stock

Before changing direction, take stock of where you are. Consider what you like about your current work and what you would like to do more of. Contrast this with what you don't like and would like to do less of.

Find meaning

What really matters to you? What will get you out of bed in the morning? How will you make a difference? How will you live your values? If you don't know what your values are, reflect on what is important to you. Have you thought what kind of legacy you would like to leave? When we are young the future stretches out endlessly before us - as we approach the later years of our working life, it dawns on us that time is finite. Let this be something that enables you to focus.

Take things forward

Commit to making changes. If you don't know what you would like to do, find out what may appeal to you. Research ideas, talk to friends and colleagues, read books or articles, consider taster courses/free courses. Importantly, do a reality check. How will your finances be affected? Is there any financial outlay to start with? What other assets do you need - equipment/technology/office space? How will this affect others in your life - your partner/family?

In today's world working life is extended. You may feel you are too young to retire but feel jaded in your current working life or wondering how much longer you can continue like this.

Remember it's never too late to make changes to your life. If you are wanting to continue your working life in a way that gives you pleasure and purpose, consider what changes you need to make. It may be helpful to discuss your issues with someone who is objective. Finding a coach would help you to focus on what you want to do.

 

What is coaching worth to you?

These days everyone's budget is stretched. Sometimes we don't mind splashing out, sometimes we resent paying bills. There are times when we treat ourselves to a coffee or a meal out, use a credit card on a new outfit or happily book that holiday.

Probably your health is important to you, so you choose carefully what you eat. You may be willing to choose quality over quantity. You pay for that gym membership because it keeps you fit or you buy your winter running or cycling gear because it's worth it.

Sometimes it's easier to spend on family members: you love getting them something they want or choosing a special gift.

What about when it comes to your future? How much are you willing to spend now to improve your knowledge or skills? Your employer may pay for you to go on courses. What if you want to gain new qualifications or skills - would you be prepared to pay for them yourself?

When you plan that once in a lifetime journey, you invest yourself in it. You dream about it, talk about it, spend time researching, getting quotes, thinking about dates and saving. Others may not understand how much it means to you. "You're paying what?!" "How can you spend that much?" "Why are you spending so much time researching?" "You'll have to get visas and vaccinations you know." Yes, you know - it will cost a lot, you will have to pay for those vaccinations, there may be some discomfort getting there, you have thought about travel risks. But it's your dream and it's worth it.

Time is probably our most precious commodity. Take time to dream about your future, to think about what you want, to explore possibilities. What does your future look like? What preparations do you need to make now? What do you need to stop doing so you can focus on what you want in your future? You may have an idea of what you want, where you are headed or you may not.

Coaching gives you the time and space to focus on what you want. Coaching helps you to map out your future.

Your dreams are priceless. So what's coaching worth to you?

Career coaching - ten reasons

  • You are at a crossroads in your life and/or career
  • You want a change of direction
  • You want a new challenge
  • You want a promotion
  • You're facing redundancy
  • You want to find more meaning and purpose in your career
  • You want better work satisfaction
  • You want to create a work-life blend
  • You're considering retirement/reinvention
  • You want to create opportunity rather than wait for it

 

What's your reason?