A personal bill of rights

Our current featured member Grace Gedeon is an experienced and empathetic life coach, complementing her work as a business and executive coach.

Grace writes:

Executive Coach Exchange Grace Gedeon
Grace Gedeon, executive & life coach

In my coaching work, the acknowledgement of your personal and emotional rights is a foundational step in the process of reclaiming the self and building confidence, self esteem and self empowerment.

1. You have the right to ask for what you want. THE RIGHT To ASK for what you WANT. Break that down, you have the right to ask, you have the right to want. I used to feel selfish asking for what I wanted and at times I didn’t even know what I wanted, because I might ask and then some authority figure or more dominating person would say : really- you don’t really want THAT do you? You don’t really want to wear that or be with him. So after a while I stopped asking and I stopped trusting my own judgment about what I thought I wanted. I was baffled and disconnected from my desires. Sound familiar? Why bother asking eh? Well, it might be true that you may not always get what you want just because you asked for it – but that’s not the point, (after all people have a right to say no to you). The point is, that it’s important to know that you have the right to ask for what you want, independent of what the other person’s response is. Do you ask for what you want? Some people ask, even demand, without believing at a core level they have the RIGHT to ask. The degree to which you believe you have the right to ask will affect the answer you get. If you don’t believe you have a right, you may ask in a way that sabotages you. Work on knowing and embracing that right before you ask and your outcome is more likely to be favourable.

2. You have the right to say NO to requests or demands you can’t, or prefer not to, meet.
So you have the right to ask for what you want and you also have the right to say NO to what you don’t want. So how would it be if you couldn’t ask for what you wanted and you couldn’t say No to others? That’d be awful right? You’d be a doormat. Listen to each request that is made of you; listen to demands that are placed upon you- weigh them up, check your motives- when you respond- ask yourself am I responding from a place of “I don’t want to but I should or I will be disapproved of” or are you responding from” I do want to because it’s pleasurable or even if it’s not pleasurable, it’s difficult but serves the greater good AND I want the greater good”.

3. You have the right to be treated with respect. Respect is something we all crave but so many of us have gotten used to being talked down to, criticised, dismissed , argued with, shamed or ignored. We want respect but don’t realise that we have the right to be treated with respect. Employers, parents, teachers, coaches, partners, dominating people have conditioned us to think they have a right to treat us poorly until we earn their respect. On the contrary, being treated with respect is a human right. Perhaps we may need to earn respect for a particular endeavour or skill but we need to do nothing to earn respect for our essence. It’s our right and the right of others to be treated with respect as humans just for being sentient beings and part of the circle of life. There is never justification for abusive behaviour.

4. You have the right to express your thoughts and feelings.
How often were we shamed or cut down for expressing our thoughts or feelings? “Don’t be stupid, that’s silly; what an absurd idea! Don’t cry; don’t you get angry with me; what are you sad for?” It appears to be part of day to day communication to shut down people’s thoughts and feelings as a way of winning an argument. Yet that’s a real block to healthy communication, self esteem and building connections. Everyone has a right to their thoughts and a right to their feelings . Everyone has the right to self expression. Self expression is the birth place of creativity . This is what makes you unique – your thoughts and feelings are rich and valuable, they have a right to be expressed.The only caveat is that you note the impact your words have on others and as a self aware human being, be thoughtful. You don’t need to be shut down or censored you just need to be respectful and authentically communicate your thoughts and feelings.

5. You have the right to be seen and heard. There used to be an expression – children should be seen and not heard. Lots of children in my generation were raised that way. That was all about polite children but what it did to some children was make them feel invisible and insignificant in adult company. Many of those children grew up to continue to believe that they need to remain invisible and cause minimum disturbance and so they negated their own contribution in social settings. Your right to be seen and heard is so important, especially for people who have a deep longing for recognition and don’t know why they’re always overlooked. This right is vital to allow yourself to shine for your unique self and to claim your presence and offer your contribution. This right says YOU MATTER.

6. You have the right to trust yourself. Self trust is so vital to self esteem, yet so many of us second guess ourselves, we have committees of people we seek approval from before we make our decisions. We’re riddled with self doubt. Past mistakes have led us to believe that we can never be trusted. We get told that we have terrible judgment or terrible taste. The truth is that it’s usually our self doubt that ended up making the poor decisions in those situations,but if we had sat still and developed our connection with our intuition and truly listened to ourselves we would have mostly been right, and if we’d made a mistake, we would have learnt from it anyway. We don’t always have to be right. We also have a right to make mistakes. We just need to trust that we can guide ourselves to seek support or wise counsel when necessary or to take action based on our own view, even if everyone else goes against us. We have a right to champion our own cause and learn from our mistakes.

7. You have the right to change your mind. You’re not trapped. You’re not perfect, you’re human. If you go down a path and find out it’s not the right path- you have the right to change your mind. It’s your mind, no one else’s. Your consciousness drives it. As your consciousness evolves, so do your preferences. Weigh up the pros and cons; assess the situation carefully and diligently, then if you change your mind about the situation, find a way to change the situation – if that means selling that house; leaving that relationship; resigning from that job: it doesn’t automatically make you a loser or a quitter. Don’t let fear, shame or disapproval stop you. You have a right to create your best life and this may involve repeated changes of your mind. Please note your impact on others and remember the spiritual truth that the universe does not build your happiness on someone else’s misery. If your truth is that your situation needs changing and you make that change consciously and in good conscience then that change will be for the greater good of all.

Contributor:  Grace Gedeon is an international life coach, business coach and executive coach.  You can find more posts from Grace at www.gracegedeon.com and her radio show at News for the Soul.

Conscious relationships & personal growth

Our current featured member Grace Gedeon is an experienced and empathetic life coach, complementing her work as a business and executive coach. Here are Grace’s thoughts on conscious relationships and personal growth.

Executive Coach Exchange Grace Gedeon
Grace Gedeon

Grace writes:

“There’s a term I love to use called ‘nominative determinism’ which literally means name-driven outcome. Carl Jung put forward the idea that people are drawn to professions that fit their names. I also believe that the names we use to classify things, can be indicators of the essence of those things that we are naming. For example, what does the word relationship tell us about relationships? If we break that word down into two words: relation – ship, we can devise a metaphor that can be useful in guiding us towards a better understanding of relationships.

Let’s take a closer look at this…

A ship is a type of vehicle or vessel that takes people from one place to another across water.

Could a relation-ship be seen as a vessel, designed to take you and your significant other across the vast waters of your subconscious mind towards a new and wonderful destination of growth and transformation? This journey will likely involve travelling, at times, through storm and at times through magical beauty, depending on how you steer the ship and conquer the elements.

Let’s continue with this metaphor a little further.

What’s The Difference Between A Conscious And Unconscious Relationship?

A conscious relationship is one where the ship’s captain is awake, alert, engaged and capable of observing and navigating the deep unfathomable waters/emotions/subconscious terrains with mastery. There is no denial, avoidance, slacking off or ignorance.

An unconscious relationship by contrast, is like the Titanic – it looks amazing but doesn’t make the distance – it sinks. Why? Well, according to one theory, the sinking of the Titanic was attributed to a phenomenon known as thermal inversion that caused the light to refract in unusual ways. This distorted the size and distance of objects and created a false horizon. The mirage between the false horizon and the real one prevented the lookout from seeing the iceberg until it was only a mile away.

Aren’t human relationships much the same in that, to the extent that you disown or reject parts of yourself, you are basically operating your relationship through a series of mirages. You`ve now got your own version of thermal inversion! You can’t see clearly because your world is one of the projections of your subconscious issues onto those you are in relationship with and your own mirage now consists of mechanisms of avoidance, denial and deflection. Everything appears distorted, and before you know it, you hit an iceberg and your relationship is damaged or destroyed and it goes down.

Ways To Avoid Disaster

  • Play it safe. This would mean never venture out so that you avoid stormy waters or iceberg territory. OR
  • Take stock and ensure you understand how to be awake and alert and keep your relationship conscious.

To stay conscious, you must:

  • Engage in self- reflection to ensure that your childhood issues and past hurts do not become destructive projections on to your partner but instead opportunities for healing and connection with them.
  • Chose partners well and leave soul destroying relationships in the most loving way possible.
  • Look at your relationships the way A Course in Miracles describes them: as assignments – part of a vast plan for your enlightenment, the blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love.

What Are Relationships Here To Teach Us?

Our relationships with others mirror the relationship we have with ourselves. Conflict with others mirrors the conflict we have between the persona we show to the world and our shadow self. So, the people who have the most teach us are often the ones who reflect to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge that which we fear and are ashamed of within us.

In a conscious relationship, you and your partner learn how to move towards the goal of wholeness by fostering each other’s psycho-spiritual growth. You accept each other’s humanness and support each other’s growth towards wholeness.

In an unconscious relationship, there is no fostering of mutual growth. You and your partner are seeing mirages because you are unaware and resisting or denying the universal will for your mutual soul growth. You are stuck on the level of projection; your learning is limited.

Unconscious relationships often end over the obvious while being completely oblivious to the deeper lesson that the relationship was designed to help you learn. If you haven’t learnt the lesson intended by that relationship assignment, you won’t evolve to a higher vibrational relationship – perhaps you’ll create a different one but it won’t be a higher one.

I hope this helps you understand the importance of staying conscious and conscientious in the pursuit of a deep and profound relationship that expands your heart and consciousness. There is work involved. These relationships, by their very nature, take you on a journey, they are not the destination, but rather the vessel that you can embark with another, to travel to a place of higher consciousness and expanded love, through the way you relate. What is required of you is that you stay true, not to the pursuit of power within the relationship, but rather to a deep desire for your mutual soul growth.”

Contributor:  Grace Gedeon is an international life coach, business coach and executive coach.  You can find more posts from Grace at www.gracegedeon.com and her radio show at News for the Soul.

Why truly successful leaders need emotional intelligence

In this post Trish Kelly looks at the characteristics of emotional intelligence and tells us how you can improve this important area to become a truly successful leader.

Trish Kelly executive coach
Trish Kelly, executive coach

Most people agree that effective leaders have intellectual drive, knowledge, vision, passion, creativity and good communication skills. These days, it is increasingly being recognised that to be truly successful, leaders must also have emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is essentially the way we recognise, understand, express and manage our emotions and the emotions of others. Leaders with emotional intelligence understand how their emotions and actions affect the teams they work with. What’s more, they are able to use their emotional intelligence to connect with, motivate and empower their teams.

The five key characteristics leaders with emotional intelligence exhibit are:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

Self-Awareness – This is a critical pillar of emotional intelligence. It is our ability to recognise our emotions and the feelings associated with an emotion, the things that trigger those emotions and how we react to them. Self-awareness is the essential building block for self-management of our emotions. This is because, before we can look at how we can manage, control or adapt our emotions, we need to understand what they are and how we respond to them.

Awareness of our emotions can be developed. We can reflect on what our strengths and areas for development are and how we feel and respond in different situations, and we can seek feedback from others.

Self-Management This is our ability to use awareness of our emotions to stay flexible, to positively direct our behavior and to stay in control.

Leaders who manage themselves effectively are trustworthy and adaptable. They stay calm and rational under pressure and maintain a solutions focus when things go wrong. They rarely make rushed or emotional decisions, stereotype people or compromise their values.

We can improve our ability to self-manage by developing skills to remain calm and solutions focussed in challenging situations, by being very clear about the values that are important to us and by knowing the values we will not comprise. We can also continually reflect on situations to understand why we acted in the way that we did, and then use that experience to learn how to better manage similar situations in the future.

Motivation – This is our ability to harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to commit to appropriate actions, to follow through and to deliver results.

Self-motivated leaders are usually optimistic and have high energy which is contagious in the workplace, and they consistently focus on delivering results even in challenging circumstances.

We can recharge our motivation by reminding ourselves what we love about our job and about leading our team, by reflecting on successes, by making sure our goals are relevant and energising, and by adopting a positive mindset in challenging situations.

Empathy – This is our ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from their perspective; in other words, it’s our ability ‘to walk in their shoes’.

Leaders who display empathy are good listeners. They pay attention to body language and are able to read other people’s feelings accurately. They welcome questions and feedback, are both confident and humble, and are able to adapt their communication style to suit the situation.

We can improve our empathy by being aware of our biases and making sure they don’t interfere with our ability to listen, and by keeping an open mind and asking respectful questions to get insights into situations from other people’s perspectives.

Social Skills – This is our ability to build relationships.

Leaders who have good social skills are great communicators, develop open and supportive workplace cultures, foster teamwork and innovation, celebrate successes, embrace change, resolve conflict well and model the values they hold.

We can improve our social skills by reflecting on how well we communicate and connect with our teams, and seeking feedback from others about what works well and what we could improve in our workplace.

It’s never too late to learn! So how would you rate your emotional intelligence and what actions can you take to enhance your emotional intelligence?

Contributor: Our current featured member, Trish Kelly, is an experienced leader, change manager and facilitator with over 30 years’ experience in the public sector, working in very large organisations in both regional and central office roles.

Through her experience as the General Manager Human Resources for 8 years in the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the largest organisation in the southern hemisphere, Trish is well equipped to work with executives, aspiring leaders and others to support and guide them to achieve their goals and to maximise their performance and impact.