Archives for March 2015

Do You Suffer from ‘If-only-itis?’

Do you ever ask yourself 'If only I'd..."At any dinner table, at any barbecue in Australia, or in any bar conversation, have you ever heard these words come out of your mouth? – “If only I’d…”

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, pretty much most of us have uttered these words in frustration at some point. We’ve all had that business idea we were going to start, that bargain property we should have bought, that person we ought to have spoken to; the list of ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’s’ is endless.

Equally, we may have the other list: the idea we shouldn’t have followed through with, the car we should never have bought, the moron we wish we had never dated. Our list of perceived ‘failures’ may equal or even exceed our list of perceived ‘successes’.

I use the word ‘perceived’ because it’s my belief that we are in a world of constant change, both external and internal. That which you perceive as a disaster today may just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you! You may be fired from a great job today – ‘a disaster’, only to be offered a better one tomorrow. Suddenly the firing was no longer a ‘disaster’ but a life-changing opportunity. It’s all in how we choose to look at it and how new information and ideas can change our perception.

This may make sense to you intellectually, but then you might say to me, “Well, what about my Father passing away or my wife leaving me?” When you are emotionally distraught, it’s pretty hard to swallow the concept that this may yet turn out to be a good thing in terms of your personal growth as a human being. I understand completely and I’m not in any way belittling or demeaning the grief or pain that someone may be going through. I’ve been through enough myself to ‘get’ that.

What I am saying though is that we always have choices.

I didn’t choose for my wife to leave me, though in the end it was a relief for both of us. I didn’t choose for my father to die, though in the end I felt it was a relief that his suffering from illness was ended. I was devastated for a while and that’s normal. There is a time and a place for processing your stages of shock, denial, hurt, anger and eventual acceptance. That’s all part of being human. The key point there is that some things are beyond our control, like our mortality and that of our loved ones. That’s when and why we have to dig deep inside ourselves and remind us of who we are and of the incredible potential that each one of us has.

Each one of us is a miracle – just by the very fact of our existence. I’m not addressing religion here, just the nature of life itself. We all have an opportunity to choose, perhaps not everything that happens ‘TO’ us, but definitely ‘HOW WE RESPOND’ to what happens to us. Funerals, though they are about grief and loss, have evolved to remind us of the joy we can give each other – they have transformed into a celebration of the life of a human being and the way in which they touched the lives around them. That is a source of great comfort that helps ease the pain of loss.

We alone can choose how to respond

We alone can choose how to respond

We can either allow ourselves to be crushed by external events or we can choose to respond internally and bounce back, set a new course, learn from our experiences and create change.

There are enough examples all around us of people who have seemingly lost everything that they cared about, yet they bounced back. Why?

Perhaps it’s because they accepted that what happened, happened and instead of being stuck with the affliction or disease of ‘If-only-itis’, they chose their own response. They chose change. They chose life.

Nelson Mandela chose to forgive his captors after ‘losing’ 26 years of his life in prison with his crusade to transform a nation. Gandhi chose to fight occupation and perceived injustice with passive protest to transform a nation. Muhammad Ali gave up a world championship title, won in a ‘controlled’ violent sport, to oppose conscription to fight a bloody war against people with whom he had no personal conflict. With that decision he gave up everything he had fought for to stand for something greater – for his core values of peace and harmony in the world.

You CAN create your own ripple of change

You CAN create your own ripple of change

Your battles may be less dramatic or may seem way less significant to the universe. You may justify maintaining your status quo by saying that those people were exceptional. Yet, they were just people. Had they stayed ‘stuck’ and muttered ‘If only…’ we would probably not have noticed them. You may not believe it now, but you may be Just like them and your personal choices just might have a ripple effect beyond anything you have yet imagined.

If you know someone who is suffering from that dreaded curse of wallowing in ‘If-only-itis’, maybe you can help. Perhaps you can give them a call, possibly invite them somewhere that might encourage them, or simply be kind in whatever way you can.

If you are stuck, whether in your business or in your life, feel free to contact me for a chat, using the website form or by calling (08) 9328 2203.

There are always strategies you can develop and choices you can make. The world is changing constantly, with you or without you. Every setback, every challenge, every disaster, is at the same moment an opportunity to change, to cope and grow stronger, to evolve as a human being, perhaps to change other lives. You might not see that right now if you are stuck, looking at ‘If only…’

Change the thinking, change the words you say to yourself and ask yourself different questions. “Why, how and in what way could this ‘if only’ lead to something useful? How could this event turn out to help me grow and move forwards?” Remember that a choice to do nothing is still a choice.

Mother Nature does not allow a vacuum to occur. When one ‘thing’ is taken away, ‘something else’ will take its place. What the ‘something else’ is however, is up to you. You can repeat an old pattern that was familiar and comfortable, but kept you stuck, or you can shed that skin and grow a new and better version of ‘YOU’.

“Live life now”- Jeff Muir recommends Perth Self-Help Author Tony Inman

Conflict Resolution Expert, Jeff Muir recommends Perth-based self-help author, Tony Inman and has taken on board Tony’s advice to “Live life now!”
If you’d like to find out more about how you can design your life on your terms, contact Tony via this website or call (08) 9328 2203 for a chat.

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

Jobs or Opportunities

The nature of work in today’s society has changed, probably forever. A human resources recruitment manager commented at a seminar that I attended a year or two ago that “Any job that you have in Perth these days is only as secure as a month’s notice.”

Now of course you can argue that there are exceptions. I’ve heard it said by many that it’s extremely difficult to be fired from a government job, short of committing murder, but even government departments have cutbacks and redundancies.

The point that this person was making is that the days of working somewhere your whole life and being presented with the gold watch to commemorate a lifetime of service, are over. Instead, we are judged far less on the basis of longevity in the role, but rather on results and on our career development initiatives.

My own sister recently had the experience of doing a government job on a short term contract. Towards the end of the contract she had to apply for the job she was already doing, believing she had a good chance of staying on as she had been commended by superiors for doing a good job. Someone from outside the organisation got the job, someone not only younger, but who had also gained extra qualifications. So even though they knew that my sister was already doing a good job, the interviewing committee were willing to replace her with someone who was an unknown quantity. To add insult to injury, my sister than had to train the incumbent to replace her. It wasn’t the girl’s fault, she said, so she did her best to train the lady as well as she could before leaving.

So how does this impact on our attitude towards the nature of employment as a concept?

Vocational training has improved

Vocational training has improved

One of the things that has impressed me is the improved nature of vocational training. It has become less about passing or failing, or what grade you got. Rather it has become about gaining competency and keeping ‘at it’ until you do. I’m generalising here, but it seems it has also become expected by employers that employees will actively seek to improve themselves and to gain new skills and knowledge so as to continue to remain more employable and to become a more valuable asset.

The most ironic twist is that whereas it used to be highly regarded and imply traits such as loyalty and reliability to stay at the same company throughout your career, it is now regarded by many employers and their recruitment managers as instead revealing traits like being unadventurous, unambitious, unwilling to learn new skills and knowledge or even risk-averse.

Therefore you could conclude that if you want to develop a career for yourself, YOU have to take responsibility for that development. You can no longer wait for the right boss to notice your good work and offer you a promotion. You have to be willing to make changes and to take risks. You have to learn how to market yourself as an asset to a potential employer.

Furthermore, if you have that extra bit of courage and are willing to take a leap of faith, there are even more opportunities than ever before to start or buy your own business. The risks of failure may be higher, but so are the rewards if you succeed. Here’s a thought though…

The risks of not doing something to promote yourself or to take charge of your own destiny are far greater.

'Knowledge is power' - but only if used!

‘Knowledge is power’ – but only if used!

Unless you seek new skills, knowledge and experience you will become the one they replace. Unless you build a resume to include a variety of positions and different experiences you may become obsolete.

If however, you look for ways of monetising your skills and knowledge, more than ever before, thanks to the improvements in communication and remote access via the internet, you can actually take that plunge and work for yourself, on your terms. The only thing stopping you, is YOU.

I’m a firm believer that every setback creates an even greater opportunity. Granted, sometimes that may not be immediately apparent, such as when you’ve just had your confidence knocked by being made redundant or told that your contract will not be renewed. With the benefit of hindsight however, or with the input of a business coach or life coach, that opportunity may soon become apparent.

As a Perth-based business coach myself, I have personally helped people who have been made redundant to start their own business and rise like a phoenix from the ashes, determined to prove their old boss wrong. As a life coach I’ve also helped people reassess their skills, knowledge and more importantly, their values. That can sometimes lead to a change in direction that is more in alignment with their sources of inspiration.

In the past some people would say, “I can’t risk that – what if it doesn’t work? How will I pay the bills?”

In today’s world of perhaps ‘four weeks’ notice’, is that question as relevant as it used to be?

Is this change in concepts a bad thing? I would answer, “No, it’s just a different thing”.

Do your best in every job or business - make every day a 'Win-Win'

Do your best in every job or business – make every day a ‘Win-Win’

Am I encouraging disloyalty? No, not at all. I’m saying that if you do a job for someone, do it as well as you possibly can. Be as good an employee as you possibly can – in fact, go the extra mile, do more than you are paid for (not to be confused with becoming a martyr!). I’m saying be professional and do your very best. Notch up some achievements in the role that are a win-win for you and your employer. One day you may need a reference. Who knows, you might even buy the company! While you are there, become an asset and learn new skills and knowledge. Read more and go on vocational courses.

If instead you take the leap of faith and start off in business, first do your homework. Ideally speak with a business coach, either call me or another coach that you know or who is recommended to you, but definitely seek advice and set it up properly from the start. That will increase your chances of success dramatically. Ideally, make sure you have some money saved as a fall back, in case your business takes a while to get going. If you can ease into it with a part-time job while you build it up, so much the better. It is always better to have more than one source of income in this brave new world.

A job may or may not be there waiting for you but opportunity is all around you. The questions are, “Are you noticing the opportunities and are you willing to take action towards achieving them?”

My closing thought to leave you to ponder today is, “How would you like your life to be and which job or business would best help you transform that vision into a reality?”

*****

I’m Tony Inman, a business and lifestyle coach and author who specialises in helping business owners and executives to be more successful and to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. If you’d like a chat about your situation, feel free to contact me via my website or by leaving me a message on (08) 9328 2203.