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Shame: Lose it and Lead!

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After watching this awesome video, many different thoughts popped up, compelling me to write this article and hopefully enhance awareness about our thought process.

For years, I have noticed that many of my clients limit themselves from opportunity and growth due to feelings of Guilt and Shame, two very powerful feelings that can easily take over any motivations of empowerment and confidence.

Although this video is about leadership, there is another very important component of the leader’s successful actions that is not mentioned by the narrator. This component is the ability to shamelessly do what others are not, regardless of popular opinion.

How many times have you had an out-of-the-box idea or wanted to say “yes” to an opportunity, but something in your head told you that others would think you were crazy or that you simply are not built to do things that way? Well my friends, welcome to the feelings of shame and guilt! Like it or not, we live in a very competitive society, so if leadership and setting yourself apart from others is in the horizon for you, the first step must be to remove any feelings of shame or guilt!

First, lets talk about the meanings of both those emotions. Most people don’t realize that guilt is when one feels as though they have violated their own standards, and shame is when one feels they have violated someone else’s standards. Even though they are quite different in their origins, they are both emotions that usually get confused with each other and definitely get in the way of both personal and professional growth. Having said that, in order to feel comfortable with shamelessly taking the next step, whether it be to promote one self, one’s business or one’s cause, the feeling of “shame” must be squashed to create a comfort with being bold and expressively proud of one’s accomplishment. It is clear in this video that the leader, who successfully started a dancing frenzy in a public place, had absolutely no shame in being the only person to confidently strut his stuff in a crowd. So how is that done?

Well, there are quite a few ways that one can change their personal perception on what is “shameful” starting with gaining control of the standards they want to live by. It is much more comforting to live by healthy and productive self-developed standards, rather than by ones that have been created for them by others! When you are feeling shame, start by asking yourself “Whose standard do you feel you are violating, and what specifically is the standard?” Once you quickly realize that you don’t agree with their standard and further more, would prefer to be an example of a higher standard for them, you will no longer be feeling shame. When you feel guilty, what standard of yours do you feel you are violating? Because most likely even a standard that you have set for yourself was originally someone else’s and you decided to take it on as one of your own. How silly is that? It’s time to empower yourself with standards that you create for yourself, that are appropriate right now, to be the driving factor in motivating you to live a life of confidence, boldness and leadership!

The Power of Parenting : A View on Children and Divorce

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By Liz Becker

One of the main reasons I decided to start a coaching practice was primarily to help the children. The interesting part is that I quickly realized that the best way to help the children was actually to help the parents. Even by helping only one of the parents through divorce, the challenge for the child changes dramatically.

The fear of the effects of divorce on children is so apparent that in many cases couples that are in a miserable and dysfunctional marriage stay together thinking that they are protecting the children. Unfortunately, in many cases, the children suffer even more by witnessing the fighting, discomfort, unease and poor example of what a marriage is supposed to be. I am by no means an advocate of divorce, and I do strongly feel that couples should both put forth serious effort at seeking help in an attempt to save a marriage before they call it quits, however, in cases where both parties are not willing to do so, or have tried and simply can not maintain a peaceful and loving household, the option of divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that the children are going to be damaged for life. As a coach and a divorced mother of an 8-year old boy, I can confidently say that if the parents handle the divorce with the children’s best interest at mind, the result can be quite beneficial for all parties involved.

Children’s lives are filled with difficult transitions starting from the first day of kindergarten or daycare. They continue to experience various different challenges such as entering middle school, going off to college and then what I feel to be the most challenging, entering the world of independent adulthood. As parents, we do not have super powers to protect are children from all the difficulties and challenges of life, but we definitely can make it easier for them through our support, guidance and most of all…a positive attitude! This is no different when it comes to divorce.

Many of our children’s beliefs come from what they have seen, heard and felt throughout their childhood. It is a parent’s responsibility to be cognizant that their daily actions both verbal and non-verbal are creating part of their children’s belief system. Ultimately the effects of divorce will be determined in the way the parents handle the divorce. If a parent is going to continuously express both verbally and non-verbally that this is the worst possible thing that could happen, that is exactly the belief the child will develop about divorce.

Picture this, you are with your young child the first day of school and he/she is crying hysterically, holding on to your legs as though his life depends on it and refuses to enter the classroom. Inside, you want to breakdown and start crying, grab your child quickly in your arms and run back home! However, as parents, this is not what we do. We maintain our composure, put a smile on our face, and start explaining all of the positive benefits of this life transition to our children. Yes, some of you may be thinking that there are no positive benefits of divorce, and if that is your belief then that is how your child will see it. Make no mistake, divorce can be hard on all parties involved, financially and emotionally, however there are always benefits and possible positive frames on every challenge in life!

Parents must focus on the opportunities of new beginnings, the possibility of living in peaceful environments, while maintaining the mindset that life is ever changing so the key factor is in how you cope with the change not the change itself. Having said that, ultimately it is not necessarily the actual divorce that creates a negative impact on children, it is how the parents are coping with the divorce.

By: Liz Becker

The Gray Divorcee

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By Liz Becker

Dealing with divorce at any age is never and easy process. There are unique trials and tribulations that one may experience when going through divorce later in life, however. Once of the main challenges is regaining one’s independence. After so many years of having a spouse to depend on for certain duties and responsibilities, autonomy can feel strange at first. This shift from a sense of coupled enmeshment to singled independence can be quite scary, but at the same time truly exhilarating.

Now is the time for you to embrace the benefit of finally being able to learn and do all those things you always wanted to but never had the chance to. The freedom to focus on yourself and the things that make you happy is the key to moving forward. Although you may feel stuck and lost when going through this tough time, making happiness seem out of reach, you must look into yourself and access those inner resources, skills, and abilities you used before to overcome past obstacles and apply it to this new circumstance. Once upon a time you took charge and chose where your life was headed and you were able to lead yourself in the right direction. Take that knowledge and experience to decide what you want and how to get it now.

We all have the power within us to achieve this. What supports success is being proactive; establishing the life you want and taking the steps necessary to make it happen. By creating opportunity rather than setting limitations you will find that nothing is impossible. The key is accepting that it is time for change and that you must do what is necessary to during this transition in order to embrace your new life.

 

Coping with the Holidays

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By Liz Becker

Life after divorce is all about having a fresh start, and making the necessary changes in order to move forward. However, it is not without difficulty. With that said, this challenge presents itself most prevalently during the holidays, the most celebrated season of the year.

One such trial that faces single parents is how to make this new transition easier, and as rewarding as possible, for the children especially when they are missing the presence of the other parent. One way of dealing with this, rather than continuing the same traditions you had from when the family was together, is to embrace new ones instead. Finding a way to make the holidays extra special by doing this is particularly beneficial to the children. Also, inviting other children to come over, along with others that you wouldn’t have invited before, would be highly appreciated by your children.

However, as we know, not all single parents are able to enjoy having their children with them for the holidays, not every holiday at least. If this is the case, it is advised that you surround yourself with family and friends. It is wise to spend time with other single parents in the same situation as well. The main objective is to celebrate the holidays in a way that’s best for you. It may be hard not having your children around, but not all hope is lost. For one, if the holidays are alternated, you know that you will have your children with you next year most definitely. Also, rather than brooding on the fact that the children won’t be with you on Christmas, for example, simply celebrate your own Christmas with them the next time you see them; you can do this for any holiday.

Whether you are with your children, or are spending the holidays alone, the most essential thing you need to know is that you are creating new traditions. This is a new beginning for all of you, and so you must celebrate accordingly.

A Guide By Your Side: How you can benefit from a life coach before, during and after divorce

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By Liz Becker

A Life Coach is someone who has had some kind of training and experience to be able to help you achieve your goals, motivate you, plan out what it is that you actually want, and guide you in getting there. Having one by your side can be of great help when going through life transitions, such as divorce. There are many different coaches out there with different trainings and certifications.  As a Licensed Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner and Certified Life Coach, I utilize various NLP techniques and methodologies to help people either cope with change they are experiencing, or learn how to create change at certain life stages. In my practice, I do specialize in separations, divorce, and parenting, primarily due to my personal experience as well as my passion to help adults and children experience a happy and healthy life throughout the process.

There is an abundance of benefits in hiring a Life Coach, and they vary depending on which stage of divorce you are in. Divorce is a process. There are four stages to this life change; contemplating, making the decision, coming to an agreement, and post- divorce (beginning new life). I am going to break down some of the benefits of a Life Transition Coach by stage.

 

Contemplating

Usually, this is the stage where you are unhappy in your marriage and may or may not have tried a few resources at saving it, but are not seeing the results you are expecting.  In many cases, there is a great lack of communication between the spouses as well as a great divide in wants and needs.  Life coaching is all about creating options.  There are several ways to change perceptions to be able to view a situation from a different angle in hopes of creating opportunity whether it is to save a marriage or start a new life. There are definite ways of improving communication between spouses using various NLP techniques that can be extremely beneficial in helping the couple with their dialogue, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as their perceptions. This assistance will help them greatly for their future whether they decide to stay married or if they decide to separate.

 

Making the Decision

At this stage, one or both of the spouses feel that they have exhausted all resources in trying to make the marriage work or simply do not want to stay in the situation they are in. In many cases, it is only one of the spouses that actually make the decision while the other has to cope with it.  In many circumstances we limit ourselves from opportunity by the way we think, communicate and ultimately by our decisions. We sometimes become hasty in our choices, or on the contrary, we spend so much time analyzing the decision we want to make, that we become immobile and let the choice be made for us. Regardless if you are the decider or the responder, a Life Transition Coach can help guide you in how to take the necessary steps to make the future process of coming to an agreement easier.  Whether you choose to hire an attorney and go to court, embark on the collaborative process, or go to a mediator, a Coach who is experienced in the divorce process, especially one who has experienced divorce him/herself, will be able to assist you in gaining control of your present and future emotional, financial, and legal states.  The way you handle the divorce is the way your children will handle it, so it is imperative to deal with all three areas in a manner which is conducive to a healthy beginning.  At the end of the day, that is what is ultimately going to make an impact on you and your children. It is also going to influence the amount of time it will to take for you to actually overcome the transition and move forward.

 

Coming to an Agreement

No matter which route you decide to take in reference to how you are going
to handle your divorce legally, at this stage you will most likely be at a disagreement with your spouse. There are various emotions and concerns involved in coming to an agreement regarding your divorce settlement that usually delay the process and make it quite costly. Even with parties who decide to go court, approximately 95% of divorce cases settle without a trial.  As with any negotiation, the longer you take to reach a compromise, the more damaging it can be emotionally and financially for both you and your children. A Life Transition Coach, primarily one who practices NLP, can teach you various tools and techniques to help separate pride from the process and be able to minimize conflict resulting in a more efficient and effective way to come to an agreement.  As Viktor E. Frankl said, “when we are no longer able to change the situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  This is a very important belief to have when coping with divorce.  There are so many helpful resources that lie deep within us that can easily to be brought to our awareness and a good Life Coach can be instrumental in teaching you how to access them.

 

Post Divorce – Beginning a New Life

Some will consider this stage to be the hardest while others will be relieved that they are over the past three stages. Nonetheless, this is a very challenging period both for you and your children.  The duration of improvement and ease of transition is completely dependent on you.  Co-parenting situations will arise that will test your strength, patience, confidence, and judgment, which makes it extremely advantageous to be assisted by a Life Transition Coach who is equipped with the right tools to guide you to be a positive role model for your children.  Although most people know what the do’s and don’ts of co-parenting are, they are rarely told how to mentally cope with this new responsibility. Some people are blessed with the automatic ability to respond well to the situation, but most need guidance.  Just like if you are a business owner and are having difficulties with your employees, you would call in a Human Resources specialist to consult with, a Life Coach can do the same.  This is not about holding your hand, because you are ultimately the one that is going to have to make the changes, it’s about learning new ways of doing things.  The reality is if you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten!

 

I am sure you will agree that using the guidance of Life Transition Coach throughout the Divorce process is not only beneficial, but a necessity.  Life is filled with ups and downs, but it is how we handle the downs that help the ups come that much quicker!