Positivity: seeing the bright side of life

smile

Somehow, whatever happens, I always keep on seeing the bright sight of life. Two dear friends told me, shortly after another, that they experience me as a very optimistic person. ‘How do you do that?’ they asked me. ‘How do you remain optimistic when I tell you that I don’t see a way out here. I feel horrible, my life is falling apart and I can’t see this leading to a better and more positive situation. I’m hopeless.’

When friends reach out to me and share their grief and disappointment in life and most of all in themselves, I start to say things like ‘also this will pass and you will get out of this situation as a stronger and more loving person, you are a beautiful human being whose always prepared to help or assist in some way, you are worth it, it’s by taking small steps that you will reach the point where you want to be, everything takes time and you will get there for sure, look at all the things you’ve done up until now’. So yeah, it comes out like that: naturally and without thinking. I’m totally and utterly convinced that every situation will turn out for the better.

So how do I stay optimistic? It’s because of my aunt. I have a lot to thank her for. She is one of the strongest people I know and she invested a lot of time and energy in us, children; her own children and her cousins. She showed me how it could be done. Listened to me, talked to me. She let us experience the fun stuff in life in stead of only studying and working. She is the one who taught me to be resilient in any kind of situation. ‘Keep on doing what you like,’ she told me.

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Coaching: working on a positive attitude

My experience with coachees is that most people do have some kind of idea about what they want in life, but they don’t know how to get there.

1. Finetuning personal goals
During the first session we talk about these ideas on work, love relationship and other wishes regarding their personal development. Like I said, most people have some kind of idea about what they want in life, but when they find themselves talking to a coach they actually finetune what they want. For example: I want a job which will match my studies, knowledge and job experience. We can finetune this goal into: I want a job in which I can mainly work with people away from the desk. I am a real people person. We can then add this to the previous goal and we get a much clearer idea of where we should head to.

2.  Identity coaching: who are you? 
After having set out the personal goals of the coaching traject we really start talking about how you can get there. To get there you need yourself! What do I mean by this? You need to know what your skills are, what you are capable of doing, what your strong and weak points are and how you can put your skills out there to get what you want. Most of the time I come in (into your life) as a coach to broaden and deepen your view on yourself as a person and on life. There are different coaching ways to get out there what you’re good at.

3. Changing mood: get positive and focused
Further down the road: there is no need to talk any further about what you want in life if you’re mentally not ready to think about those stuff. So first of all, I will get you through your world of limiting beliefs. When thinking back on a session I believe the most important thing in which I succeeded during this session was changing the mood of the coachee. At start the coachee was really sad; eyes were hanging, radiation a bit greyish and tone-of-voice was empty. After around 15 minutes I started provoking. From that moment onwards the coachee’s mood became more and more positive; laughing, stronger non-verbal communication, more strength in tone-of-voice and even joking around.

And when you feel in the mood again we get back on the tracks you have chosen to be.

Give away genuine smiles

On a beautiful spring day in the Hague I was with my daughter in the tram. Three guys stepped into the tram. I noticed they we’re from abroad. Didn’t speak Dutch. Two guys passed and the third appeared. In some magical way, from that moment on, I entered in another dimension. A dimension in which everyone was cheerful, authentic and there was this heartfelt connection between all of us. The magic came from the third guy.

When he saw Amé his face opened; he lifted his eyebrows, his eyes started glittering, his cheeks came up to his ears and there was this big smile curling up his lips. Stunned. I was stunned. In a split second my attention was drawn to where we should get off. It was the stop after the three guys got in. When I pulled the buggy towards the door I thought of asking this third guy for help. Three pair of eyes were already geared towards the door. All of them ready to help out. I asked the third guy.

After letting go of the buggy he looked Amé straight in the eyes: again this open, gentle and smiling face. He waved at her. It was clear that Amé, a baby of almost eight months, had this effect on him. He wasn’t giving away these smiles to every person he passed in the tram. Though I believe this way of connecting to babies would also work with adults. The world would be a far better place to live in when people could make the same connection he did.

8 Happy Boosters

Happy feet

1.Comforting yourself with the thought that this will also pass. Today I found myself in a devestating melancholical mood. Hey, what do you know? Even though I work as a lifecoach, I am also human! I went this morning to the gym to exercise a bit, but it didn’t give me the normal booster like it does normally. So I had to give space to this feeling of sadness. I know that this isn’t a fun way to start the ‘8 Happy Boosters’, but it is a good example that these feelings eventually will pass. What should you do to bring yourself out of this state of mind? Well, first of all, allow yourself to feel this way and then move on with little steps. In my case I was moaning a bit and then I got dressed, stepped on my bike and started my to-do list.

2.Give yourself space to choose again and again. When you find yourself in a situation that you are experiencing a dilemma between what you want to do and what you have to do. Allow yourself to choose for the thing you want to do. In a world where we expect so much of ourselvels it feels like a real gift when you allow yourself to choose again and again. There is always a new situation. There is always a choice. Give yourself the freedom of being able to choose for the things that make you happy.

3.Disconnect yourself from anything close to technology; phone, internet, tv etc! Studies show that extroverts and introverts alike get a mood boost from connecting with other people. The flipside of being involved all the time is that it makes you tired. Acknowledge the fact that you want some piece and quiteness once in a while and pick up a book, go dancing or bake a nice cake!

4.Communicate how you feel. As I told you before, I felt bad today. Once I had done some of my to-do list I thought ‘aaaahhh, it would feel so good to tell someone about how I really feel. People always think that as a lifecoach you are never to feel unstable or undecisive. Well, to be honest, as a human being like you I also go through this fases once in a while and then I need someone else to give me some positive impulses. Today my sister gave me several positive impulses. She immediately sent a link to a interesting website and motivated me by sharing a picture of a delicious cake.

5.Dress yourself nicely. Research shows that how we act depends on how we feel, but it also works the otherway around. In fact, we often feel because of the way we act. As improbable as this sounds, it really works. When you notice that you are not really in the mood to do things, don not stay in your pyjamas all day, but dress yourself nicely, create new combinations and be prepared for another day of work, party or other celebration.

6. Take time to buy presents. In Holland the month December is full of giving and receiving presents, because of Sint Nicolaas and off course Christmas. When you also have birthdays coming up this and next month then you definitely need someone who buys all the presents, but with this Happy Booster I would like to tip you on taking time to buy presents, because the receiver will feel how much time you have spent on the present. Giving a present is actually showing your beloved ones how well you know them and the smile that appears on their faces with the first glimpse on the present is priceless.

7. Talk to someone you haven’t spoken for a long time. Some friendships go and some friendships stay. Tomorrow I will have dinner with someone who I consider a dear friend of mine, but due to certain situations we didn’t have contact for a while. I believe that situations pass and the feelings of friendship stay. If we will be close friends in the future time will tell, but I know that I will enjoy my time with her tomorrow.

8. Your lucky number! Eight is actually my lucky number!! What is yours? Since 8 is the lucky number of the whole nation of China I can proudly say that I have a lot of back -up. The more people think positively about something the more it will bring you. The Happy Booster tip I would like to give you is to focus on positive things in your life. This will indeed make you happyyyyy immediately. Think of the things for which you are grateful of and focus on these great experiences, people and so on!

With these 8 Happy Boosters, I hope I inspired you to do what you want and make yourself and others happy by just being YOU!!