Jan 22, 2017 9:06 AM
Making the right career choice is the pathway to personal success and happiness. Whilst other factors of course come into play and are equally important such as good health, being in the right job and working environment is a major contributor to our personal happiness and quality of life. As adults we spend nearly half our waking hours at work so if we are in a job that is unfulfilling, or the working environment isn’t a positive experience then that will surely impact on how we feel about ourselves and our lives generally. Can you truly say each morning that you are looking forward to the working day ahead or are you following a path of least resistance? Given the amount of time we spend working don’t you think that work should be a positive experience and not one that drains us physically and emotionally?
For the majority of people, work is driven by a need for money but often the pursuit of wealth dictates what we do for a living and steers us in a direction that is set in stone as a pathway that we are destined to follow.
For some of us already established in a career, fear of change prevents us from changing jobs, or making the move to do something different. For others, it can be lack of knowledge or set-backs when trying for a new job that reinforce feelings of inadequacy or belief in our own abilities to get to the interview let alone the job itself.
Applying for a job starts with identifying the right opportunities, and then ensuring that your application gets noticed whether this is in CV format or an application form. How do you make your application stand out from the rest? Then the short-listing starts. What do you need to do to continue to shine at the interview stage? With first impressions being made in the first 5 minutes of meeting someone, getting things right during the interview is crucial.
These days’ working for a charity is highly competitive and has become a much sought after career that attracts thousands of job hunters every day. Many people like the idea of doing something more ‘meaningful’ and where their work matters but make common mistakes and assumptions when applying for jobs whilst trying to make their way into this sector.
In our new series of ‘Career Progression Seminars’ we start with getting a job in the Charity Sector to help those individuals understand what it takes to get your application noticed, how to excel at interviews, and crucially, how to play to your strengths and get the job you really want. This unique one day seminar gives a realistic and practical insight into working for a charity, what career paths are available and what skills can be transferred, or for those just entering into the job market straight from education, how you can strengthen your CV for maximum impact. The day includes information on how charities operate, what roles are available, where to find jobs, and crucially, practical exercises that will help you when applying for jobs and preparing for the interview. This workshop will look at real CVs and application answers, it will show you how to do the background research you need to give your application the edge; and underpinning this day is my insider knowledge and 25 years’ experience of working in charities, recruiting and interviewing staff combined with an understanding of what charities need and what they are looking for to leave YOU better equipped to get the job of your dreams.
Further Career Progression Seminars will follow in other popular sectors. So come on! If your job is not satisfying you and you really want to take control and get the job of your dreams, invest in yourself and register now. This workshop is limited to a maximum of 16 places to ensure that we provide a tailored, bespoke approach to give you the best possible service. Register now and Join us in Oxford on 31st March 2017!
Jul 25, 2016 1:14 PM
'If you continue to do what you've always done. You will keep getting what you've always got' Zig Ziglar
If you've just graduated this summer firstly congratulations! What an amazing achievement and what a great opportunity for you to get the life you really want. You're in a unique position to take stock of what you want from life, decide where you want to be, and what you need to get there.
It amazes me how many people fail to invest in themselves even though our life and our future is the most precious commodity we have. For those of us who are parents we see our children as the most precious of things but without investment in ourselves, our children will repeat our mistakes, take on our self-limiting beliefs and may not reach their true potential. An investment in ourselves is an investment that will add value and improve not only our lives but those of our family and those most precious to us.
If you are a newly qualified Graduate, you may not yet know what you want to do, and why should you? Some individuals may have a clear idea or goal of what they want from life but most often, they are the minority, the majority struggle to be clear in their thinking, they question their decisions and procrastinate for a number of different reasons. Thus begins a cycle of self-limiting thoughts and behaviours that prevent you from reaching our true potential and achieving the life we really want.
Get ahead of the game. Coaching can help you discover who you are, what you’re good at, where you want to be in your life, and how to get there. It will give you the confidence, self-belief and life skills that will differentiate you from the rest and give you a head start in life.
A few tips for success
- Everyone has the power to change things in an instant.
- All the resources we need to achieve what we want are within us.
- For changes to be of any value, they have to be lasting and consistent.
- Raise your standards
- Change your limiting beliefs
- Change your strategy
- Remember almost everything we do is to change the way we feel.
- Most often we do not look at ourselves as the solution to our challenges.
- We turn to short-term fixes that are often outside our control and use them as an excuse if we fail.
Can you truly say that you wake up each day in a positive frame of mind, that you take time to reflect and appreciate the good things? How often do you use lack of time as an excuse to not do something? This is not about just time management, it’s about making decisions that will lead you towards your goal. Life coaching helps you to be confident in your decisions and look beyond short term gratification. Often people allow their decisions to be dictated by their environment/circumstances instead by their own values.
1. Life coaching helps with decisions about WHAT to focus on.
2. It helps with understanding what things mean to you and HOW IMPORTANT they are to you.
3. You learn what decisions you need to make and how to do it to create the RESULT you want.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE TO GOAL SETTING ON THE RESOURCES PAGE
If you’re interested in taking up our ‘Young Directional Coaching’ Programme, call us for a FREE trial session Tel: 07898 951 009
Jul 10, 2016 2:05 PM
‘Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try’ – unknown
Have you tried to diet on more than one occasion and given up? Have you joined a gym and either given up or not going enough to make it count? Have you tried different ways to lose weight but it keeps creeping back? And so a cycle of struggle continues for weeks, months, years, much to our frustration, so that it gnaws away at our self-esteem and the way we feel about ourselves. Often despite our best intentions many of us find that keeping to our goals is a never ending struggle.
The key to changing this and to ensure success is to understand that losing weight, getting fit, reducing our alcohol in-take, or any other intention to change is not the change itself but the way the change will make us feel. We do things to make us feel good! Sometimes we are reduced to short-term fixes, a bit of retail therapy perhaps? Getting our hair styled? Going on holiday? But more often than not these are just temporary sticking plasters that make us feel better, but as we continue to have a lack of self-belief, low self-esteem or poor self-image the chances of changing our behaviour and achieving our goals are severely limited.
Fresh Start is a unique programme of motivational life coaching, personal fitness training and nutritional mentoring. This combination of life coaching and fitness training is a powerful process that moves you away from self-limiting thoughts and behaviours, instilling a sense of self-belief, optimism and capacity to change. Fitness training takes you to a new level. You learn the best way to exercise and get the results you want. No more running for 30 minutes on a treadmill and still finding that you don’t tone up or lose weight! Personal training that is focused and results orientated tones up muscle, loses the fat that you’ve never been able to shift and expert nutritional mentoring ensures that your eating habits change for the better whilst still eating and enjoying real food! A win, win result!
Life coaching looks forward and helps you move away from self-limiting thoughts and low aspirations. It is this focused approach that changes your thinking as you invest in your future with lasting benefits. If you compare how much an annual gym membership costs with our Fresh Start programme you’ll see that the added value and benefits far outweigh endless trips to the gym and constant dieting as you gain a new lease of life and make the Fresh Start you deserve!
Interested in knowing more? Contact Cheryl@oxfordlifecoaching.org for a FREE assessment and consultation.
Jun 19, 2016 2:53 PM
'Nothing is impossible! The word itself says I'm possible' (Audrey Hepburn)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always believed that age should not define who we are. If you asked me to tell you the ages of my closest friends, I could not tell you for sure. I would most probably reflect on different people and give you a rough age but that’s about it. Of course I celebrate their birthdays but the age of my friends or anybody new who I meet is not important or relevant as far as I’m concerned.
For many people age becomes a self-limiting process that prevents us from achieving what we want because of the value and preconceptions some individuals put upon age. This might be an 18 year old who feels they are too young to achieve something they really want, or a 60 year old who feels they are too old to do certain things.
The beliefs we hold are usually about who we are, what our values are, and how we view other people and the world in general. Some deep beliefs stem from childhood, relationships and a variety of experiences that inform our view and thoughts about people and life today. Why are they so powerful and convincing to us? Because for a belief to have some credibility they must be backed up by references or experience to support this even if they are not always true. Most often we don’t consciously make a decision to have a particular belief and sometimes beliefs about ourselves that lower our self-esteem and self-confidence come from misinterpreting behaviours, motivation or understanding of a particular event or experience.
However this doesn’t mean that we can’t change how we think. If you are the kind of person who defines yourself and others by age then think again. If we are mindful of the beliefs we are creating, it is possible to make sure that beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world in general are positive and empowering. If they are not, then change them. As soon as we question our interpretation of events that has led to a particular belief or thought which has dominated our thinking for years, it is possible to accept that they may not be true and so begins a process of replacing original beliefs with new ways to think to help support us in the direction we want to take.
So if you are the kind of person that has had the thought of ‘I’m too old’ or ‘I’m not old enough’ and you’ve put those dreams that you’ve cherished to the back of your mind, here are 10 tips to help you reconsider..
- We are where we are! We can start from today and change our thinking immediately.
- Whatever experiences we have had in the past does not have to reflect our future.
- Age doesn’t define who you are unless you allow it to.
- Use experience to learn and grow – feed forward rather than feedback.
- Everything happens for a reason and sometimes things don’t happen when we want them to because
we are not ready to we receive them.
- Be realistic in setting goals and the time it takes to achieve them.
- Health is wealth! Without good emotional and physical health any goal or dream is meaningless
so invest in good health!
- Be responsible for your thoughts and actions and don’t blame external causes.
- True gratitude and appreciation of the smallest things helps put things into perspective.
- Believe in yourself and know who you are so that age does not stop you from doing the things you want.
For further information or a free consultation visit us at www.oxfordlifecoaching.org
(c) Cheryl Hooper Oxford Life Coaching
Jun 10, 2016 2:39 PM
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream” – Mark Twain
Why is it that so often we fail to properly invest in our life when it is the most precious commodity we have? Many of us take for granted our health and perhaps try to make some effort to maintain well-being but do we on the whole properly invest in ourselves so that we are able to be truly content in all aspects of our lives? Are we achieving our goals big and small, or are we cruising along convincing ourselves that things are OK whilst we continue to feel frustrated or stuck? Many of us continually strive for improvement whether it’s our diet, relationships, career or need for financial security but sometimes our lack confidence or self-belief prevents us from achieving our goals and reaching our true potential. If we can’t figure out why we behave and think in certain ways we lose heart and don’t have sufficient conviction to keep going.
Life coaching is something that intrigues people because they are not certain what it involves and sometimes confuse it with therapy or counselling.
Why should it intrigue people so much? Sports professionals are coached in sports and exercise to achieve optimum fitness. If you want to excel in a particular subject at school or college you might be coached by a professional to help you improve or to get you through an exam. In the same way, a Life Coach is a trained professional who coaches individuals who want to improve or excel in some or all aspects of their life.
Life coaching is about moving forward in your life and helping to achieve your goals and dreams. It is about rediscovering who you are, understanding your values and belief systems and how these were formed and the impact these have on your every-day life. We look forward not backward and help you to identify what YOU really want out of life, we help you define your goals, put strategies in place to help achieve them and provide support, motivation and focus to help you get there.
Like any form of change, it’s a path that is not always easy and the key to success is taking responsibility for yourself. But the process is fun, stimulating and exciting. After each session you move forward with increased confidence, self-belief and motivation. Self-limiting thoughts and behaviour fall into the background and when you do find yourself having self-limiting thoughts, you don’t blindly follow them but have greater awareness and confidence to follow the path to get you where you want to be.
Life coaching is an investment in yourself which has lasting results and consequences. As life coaches we don’t profess to have all the answers nor do we wave a magic wand and make everything perfect. There are no secrets or short-cuts to a better YOU but there is a better way to get there!
For a free consultation and informal discussion please contact us at:
(c) oxford life coaching
May 23, 2016 1:32 PM
'In order to carry out a positive action we must develop here a positive vision' (Dalai Lama)
When we want to make changes to our lives, adopting a positive mental attitude is a key strategy that we can adopt to change our behaviour and meet our individual goals. We may consider ourselves as being positive people but how often are we truly aware that our behaviour and even gestures subconsciously reflect our thinking? Hunching shoulders, crossing arms or not keeping eye contact are all signs that we may not have a complete positive mental attitude.
Sometimes we might inadvertently think or speak negatively about something because we are not mindful of the language we use and the effects this can have on our thoughts. e.g. 'I had better not have that toast' can make us feel guilty and that it is wrong if we want to lose weight. Why might we want to lose weight? Because we are fat - but why do we want to lose weight? Because we are fat we might say again. So why do we want to lose weight we might ask ourselves again? Because we are fat and it makes us feel unhappy, or sad, or ugly we answer. Ultimately, losing weight is only a means to an end. What we really want is to feel better about ourselves. By reminding ourselves that we are trying to lose weight through negative messaging in the way we speak or think just reinforces self-limiting beliefs about ourselves.
Rather than saying 'I'd better not have that toast' we can replace our thoughts and words by saying 'I'm having a healthy breakfast today' We don't need to remind ourselves why we are not doing certain things but we would benefit from reminding ourselves why we are doing certain things i.e. I'm a healthy person.
If we constantly have negativity in our lives through thoughts and other communication we could find ourselves not having sufficient self-belief to achieve our goals. By being mindful of our thoughts and words, we can bring more positivity to our lives and this will filter across to our behaviour and attitude in everything we do.
Six characteristics of a solid mental attitude are reflected in Ken Ward's paper 'Mind Changing Techniques to Keep the Change'. These simple strategies are a good foundation for having a positive mental attitude and help to achieve our goals successfully whatever they might be.
1) Know what you want.
We need to be clear in our goals and what we want to achieve. If we are unclear about exactly what we want then we won't know when we find it. The key is being able to define our goals and being mindful of opportunities that may present themselves and lead us to our goal. Sometimes our minds can be closed to triggers, opportunities or people that can help us to achieve our goals. If we know what we want we can look and be more aware of things that might draw us nearer.
2) Let everyone know what you want.
If we tell others what we want to achieve, the goal becomes a reality and not something that sits in our head like a dream. By communicating what we want to others it reinforces and strengthens our mindset as well as drawing information, people and links to help us.
3) Persist, but not for long.
It's important to be realistic in our expectations and to allow time for things to develop as well as accepting that set-backs will occur. This is not about failure but is more about learning and growing from our experiences.
4) Be a life-long learner
Always remember that our journey to personal development and happiness is on-going.
5) Trust your intuition
Some people are not finely tuned to their own internal senses. They don't recognise internal mechanisms and feelings or signs that alert us as to how we should act. The more we pay attention to these 'feelings' the better we become at seizing opportunities or deciding on a different path. Emotional intelligence is within everybody in varying degrees but it is possible to learn this by listening to internal messages that will help guide us.
6) Believe you will succeed!
High achievers and successful people have a common belief that they will succeed. This success is not something that happens overnight or a short space of time for the majority of people. It comes with hard work, perseverence and a fundamental belief that success will come eventually. This may present itself with small successes to begin with which we may not recognise so it is important to pay attention to these successes and acknowledge them when they occur.
(c) Cheryl Hooper Oxford Life Coaching
Apr 9, 2016 3:09 PM
'What you do today can improve all your tomorrows' *
Kicking procrastination in the butt!
Inspite our intentions to do certain things, whether it's exercise, eating healthily, or taking a change of direction in our lives, we often find ourselves making excuses, putting things off for another day, or perhaps beginning to make plans and then not completing what we set out to do.
There are a number of causes as to why we procrastinate over different tasks. However, one of the most common reasons is because the intended task is too difficult or alternatively, doesn't merit sufficient importance to warrant completion even though we convince ourselves that it is!
It's possible that we put ourselves under undue stress as constant deferral results in a shrinking timescale and deadline that can result in anxiety and guilt because of the constant reminder that the task has not been completed and the timescale is getting longer. If the task or goal is beyond our perceived ability so that we set our goals too high, we end up adding stress to our lives. On the other hand, if our intentions are not sufficiently challenging, we give up because we don't see the results we hope for.
To help achieve our goals it is important that when we set ourselves a task it is sufficiently challenging but within the limits of our capability and lifestyle. Procrastination can take place on several levels, by continually putting things off, having constant distractions, or making excuses, blocks our ability to change. Often the reason for this is because we do not take complete responsibility for our actions and blame other circumstances, people or situations instead. When we take responsibility for our own life, we move from a process of being reactive, to being more in control and becoming proactive.
Self-doubt and lack of self-belief can hinder progress and block our ability to be successful and achieve our goals. We can tackle this quickly and more easily by a) taking responsibility for our actions and decisions; b) being realistic in what we can do to make changes by taking small steps; c) not beating ourselves up about making mistakes or moments of weakness; d) not comparing your progress against others.
Go on! What are you waiting for?
(c) Cheryl Hooper Oxford Life Coaching
* Ralph Marston