Let me introduce you to my own personal life coach. What’s a life coach, you ask? A life coach is someone who helps you get your life together, not by telling you what to do, but by guiding you through an individualized process to discover for yourself what you should be doing next in life, business, relationships, or all of the above. In my case my life coach’s name is Anita Lee, but I call her mom. That’s not a term of endearment by the way, just her other title. It’s not easy growing up with a coach. It’s hard to get anything by her, and it’s really hard to slack off and get away with it. But I think I turned out OK, and now I recommend her to everyone I know. Her wisdom has kept me out of a few tough spots along the way. So now I want to share her with you. She was recently telling me about a speech she gave, and I asked if she’d be willing to share a summary of it here. So without further ado, I give you…
“Change is inevitable. Challenge is probable. Choice is yours. Change your life by changing your choices.” -Anita C. Lee
How do you define success in your own life? Are you where you want to be, doing what you feel you are best at doing for this stage of life?
As a life and business success coach, I have the privilege of working with people who want to excel in life. They’re tired of the status quo and living on “auto-pilot,” or they feel stuck in their jobs or life in general, but they don’t know what to do about it. They know it’s time for a change, but they hesitate to make those changes.
Some are afraid of taking a wrong step. They want to be certain before making changes. Perfectionism is paralyzing them. Others are so full of ideas they can’t sort them out and make a choice. I call that “tornado brain.” The ideas spin and spin but decisions aren’t made. And some people feel so doubtful of their own worth that they think they can’t do what they would really like to do—“Who am I to write a book? There are already so many books out there.” “I can’t ask for a promotion. I don’t know enough.”
Young children don’t put these restrictions on life. But somewhere along the line we learn to hold back, to play it safe, to fear failure. Then after years of living a “safe” life, we can find ourselves living on autopilot—just going through the motions. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some things we can learn from little ones to help us find our own authentic success:
- Be Curious—look at everything with “fresh” eyes. Do something new everyday. I love watching little children discover the world—rocks, leaves, a broken piece of concrete on the sidewalk… Everything is new and worth investigating. Adventure is around every corner. The lesson in it: We can look for new experiences or new ways of doing old things. Our creativity is increased and we find answers we couldn’t see otherwise.
- Get excited—celebrate everything! It doesn’t take much for a child to celebrate. When my children were preschoolers, we had a Happy UNbirthday party to cheer us up on a dreary day. We baked a cake and wrapped “gifts” that we found around the house (including a dirty sock from the hamper), and sang “Happy UNbirthday to you” to an unsuspecting dad when he walked into the house after work. The lesson in it: Instead of complaining about what is wrong in the world, look for the possibilities—the good in people, places, and events. When we focus on the good in life, we see more of it.
- Have faith—believe you can do great things. Often, we hesitate to do something new because we’re afraid we’ll fail. When a toddler is learning to walk, he’s so excited and motivated, even though he falls down repeatedly. He has an innate belief that walking is possible. The lesson in it: When learning something new, bounce back up if you don’t catch on the first few times. Perseverance is often the difference between success and failure.
- Get help from others to do what you can’t do. A young child is not afraid to ask for help. He feels no shame in getting help for the things he can’t do. The lesson in it: We were created for community. Sharing and helping—and accepting help—enriches our lives. Are you starting a new hobby or business? Who do you know who is already successful in that skill? Ask that person for help. Be the person who helps others learn a new skill.
Oh, and one more thing to learn from little children— When life is hard and you’re tired, find your softest blankie and take a good long nap!
—-Anita C. Lee is founder and Chief Encouragement Officer at Authentic Success, LLC. She is a professional life coach, speaker, and author of The Authentic You: Becoming The Woman You Were Created To Be.
For more information contact Anita at: Anita@AnitaCLee.com or go to her website at www.AnitaCLee.com.