Coaching for Leadership, for Growth, for Success

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE ROADS…

WHEN DRIVING DRIVES YOU MAD…AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RESTORE SOME PEACE ON THE WHEEL

change Ghandi

Since I moved to Brunei Darussalam almost 4 years ago, there is one conversation that I seem to be having with people more often than not. Driving around Brunei can be quite an experience in itself. Ask anyone over here about how they feel when they get into their cars and they will tell you about being anxious, angry, rushed, frustrated about seeing so many people driving recklessly on the roads, children sitting in parents laps, without harnesses or seat belts on, people on phones texting, tailgating, speeding, road rage…the list goes on.

Despite government efforts to improve our road conditions and implement stricter fines, accidents in Brunei continue to raise at an alarming rate, which makes us feel unsafe on the roads. But I am not writting this to give you my opinion as to what I think the government or other people involved should be doing, as I have very little influence over that. My purpose in writitng this, is to help you take ownership of your feelings and responses whilst on the road, which is a big part of the overall driving experience.

So what is it about driving that turns perfectly rational human beings into temporary maniacs?

When it comes to driving in our roads, we show no mercy, it shows a really ugly side of humanity. But why? It could be that because we are hiding behind the wheel, we are anonymous and therefore feel that we can behave or say anything we want. It could be that our ego takes over and we believe that we are far better drivers than others on the road, and make no allowances for those who are perhaps just starting to drive, or make mistakes. I can tell you, I have made mistakes on the road, and who hasn’t?

We allow anger to build inside ourselves, but the way I see it, anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt or die. We need to understand that the person anger hurts the most is ourselves.

So what can we do to remain calm on the road?

Don’t give in, there are always going to be circumstances outside of your control, that you can do nothing about. There are however, some things within your area of influence , such as maintaining a safer distance with the car in front, leaving a few minutes earlier so you don’t feel rushed, not speeding, respecting traffic rules, etc.

Set the intention before getting in the car that you will have an enjoyable drive,  that you will make allowances for people’s mistakes, as they will for yours, and focus on the blue ski and the beautiful greenery, whilst keeping an eye on the road of course! Don’t focus on the traffic jam, or the misbehaviour,  but instead listen to music that you like, or your favourite podcast.

The best way to deal with road rage, is to laugh it off, because you need to understand that the attack is not personal, they don’t know you. So instead of taking the bad behaviour to heart, realise that they must be in a mood because of their own reasons, which has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Pay attention to your breathing, and if you feel that your heart starts to race and you start to feel under pressure, simply take a deep breath, as breathing affects your heart rate. You will immediately feel more calm and relaxed, and most probably won’t feel the need to scream or react to whatever is going on the road.

So next time you are driving, remember these simple strategies:

1. Understand that there are always going to be situations on the roads where mistakes and misconduct will happen. Don’t give in to those situations behind your control, and focus on driving safely.

2. Before getting in the car, set the intention to enjoy your drive to your destination and notice the beauty around you. Play some music or a podcast you enjoy, sit back and enjoy your time.

3. Separate yourself from the road rage behaviour. Don’t take the attack personally. Consider what’s happened to make the person behave in this way. Laugh it off to take the seriousness out of the situation and notice how ridiculous the other person’s anger is. If you laugh you can’t be angry!

4. Breathe. Take a deep breath in if you feel anger or frustration building up, hold it and then release. Notice how much calmer you feel, sit back and enjoy your driving!

If we want to begin seeing some changes on the roads, we must begin by taking accountability for our own responses on the road. As Ghandi said, be the change you want to see in the world. So, you want safer roads, then set an example, let others go in first, smile more and be more accepting of others. Change does not happen overnight, but if we all try to do something about improving the safety in our roads, rather than just wait for someone else to change and improve it for us, then we will make a difference to the way we feel, to the way others feel, and you will be amazed at the results!

Please share these thoughts with anyone you feel may benefit from it.

Your friend and coach,

Isabel

MI PERFECTA POSTURA SOBRE LA CABEZA (SHIRSHASANA)

Headstand

La verdad es que no tenía pensado escribir acerca de mi práctica de yoga en el blog, pero son tantas las lecciones que estoy aprendiendo a través del yoga, de mí misma y de la vida en general, que  pensé que sería una gran idea compartir estas lecciones que estoy aprendiendo en mi camino y mi viaje con el yoga.
Recuerdo cuando hize mi primera clase de yoga, hace apenas un par de meses. Nunca se me olvidará ver a mi profesor de yoga, William, mostrándonos poses que realmente pensé que un ser humano no sería capaz de replicar. Esas posturas eran  una locura! William desafiaba no solo la gravedad, sino las limitaciones de la mente y del cuerpo. En ese momento pensé en salir por la puerta y no volver, o acabar la clase, despedirme con educación, y nunca regresar.

El caso es que yo pensaba que el yoga iba a ser muy fácil para mi, pues me considero una persona que está en buena forma, y practico mucho ejercicio.

Estoy acostumbrada a correr largas distancias con mi podcast puesto, escuchando y aprendiendo acerca de los temas que me apasionan, lo cual es una de mis actividades favoritas. Pense que si podía hacer las dos cosas con facilidad, el yoga no seria problema para mi.
Que equivocada estaba. El yoga requiere una mente calmada, un enfoque en los movimientos generados con energía interna, y la intención y la habilidad de ser capaz de dejar de lado cualquier idea preconcebida que puedas tener acerca de lo que puedes y no puedes hacer. Y eso yo no sabía como hacerlo.

Asi que adopte la práctica del yoga con gran curiosidad. Me encantaba observar a un grupo de personas enfocadas, capaces de hacer movimientos increíbles, sin esfuerzo, y verlos a medida que avanzaban y desarrollaron su práctica. Las prácticas semanales comenzaron a dar sus frutos, y poco a poco comencé a mejorar en algunas posturas, pero aun así, mi mente me seguía diciendo que ciertas posturas, como la de sobre tu cabeza, nunca las podría conseguir hacer. Cuantas veces salí de la clase de yoga sintiéndome frustrada y enfadada conmigo misma, pues no podía lograr hacer esa postura sobre la cabeza. Y sin embargo, otros en clase que no eran tan fuertes, o jóvenes, la llevaban a cabo sin problema, lo que me hacía sentir incluso peor y me desanimaba mucho.

Pero un día me dije a mí misma, en vez de compararme con los demás e intentar hacerlo como ellos lo hacen, ¿qué pasaría si lo intento hacer de una forma única y propia mía? Tenía mucho miedo de hacerme daño en la espalda, así que empecé a practicar con la pared cerca, por si me caía, entonces la pared me atraparía. Luego decidí tomarme un descanso y dejar de practicar esa postura, pues sabía que la distancia es uno de los mejores consejos para aliviar la frustración.

Y con sólo esos dos pasos, todo empezó a cambiar. Comencé a relajar mi mente y simplemente me permití estar en ese momento, y enfrentarme a la pose poquito a poco, con pasos minúsculos, sin ningún tipo de expectativas. De repente, empecé a ser capaz de encontrar la estabilidad que necesitaba, de saber donde generar la energía en mis caderas, de saber poner la posición de la cabeza correcta, y luego levantar las piernas. Y ayer, sin aviso, realicé mi primera postura sobre la cabeza “perfecta”.

Lo que yo pensaba hace un par de meses que era una tarea imposible de lograr, ayer se hizo realidad. Mi compromiso de querer intentarlo y empujar a través de mis miedos, y poner a prueba mis límites mentales y físicos, y darme la oportunidad de practicar de una manera que me convenía, dejando de compararme a los demás y ¡voila! Una postura sobre la cabeza perfecta.
Todavía hay tantas poses de yoga que me parecen tan imposibles de alcanzar, y sin embargo, ahora siento que si sigo trabajando en mi práctica, y sigo creyendo en mí misma, un día seré capaz de realizarlas, al igual que hice con mi postura de cabeza.

Y esta lección me la puedo aplicar a todo en la vida. Lo que he aprendido a través de este ejercicio, es que realmente puedes lograr cualquier cosa que te propongas. No importa que te parezca loco, o imposible de lograr, si te atreves a soñar en grande y comenzar tu viaje para llegar hasta allí, te sorprenderás por tu capacidad de lograr cosas que nunca pensaste que eran posibles.

Te voy a dar un consejo que yo uso para mí misma; si te sientes frustrado o desilusionado de que no eres capaz de hacer o lograr algo en tu vida, cambia las palabras ” no puedo” por ” NO PUEDO…TODAVIA” . El hecho de que no seas capaz de hacer algo en este momento, no quiere decir que no vayas a ser capaz de hacerlo en el futuro. Porque lo más probable es que si  te comprometes a darte una oportunidad, a empezarlo, a pensar en los pequeños pasos que te permitirán comenzar tu camino, entonces llegaras a conseguirlo.

Así que piensa en esas cosas que realmente quieres cambiar o conseguir en tu vida, pero crees que no puedes hacerlas, y comprométete a trabajar en ellas, a tomar acciones que te acerquen mas a ellas. Decide cuáles son esas acciones que merecen la pena conseguir. El éxito está al alcance de todos nosotros, búscalo y lo encontraras!

Namaste!
Isabel

Coach y mentor de liderazgo y “experta” en postura de cabeza!

WANT TO BE A LEADER?

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Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to have very insightful conversations with leaders across all industries in Brunei Darussalam. My purpose in wanting to engage in these conversations was to understand people’s issues and needs when it comes to leading themselves and others, as I feel really passionate about creating material that is relevant and customized to people’s needs; so identifying top critical issues faced by leaders would give me a great platform from which to start creating workshops and seminars that would address those issues.

Among many answers, one of the most common ones was that some managers feel they are unsure as to what leadership is all about, and how to transition into a leadership role. In some cases they have been instructed to take ownership of their roles and “become leaders”, with scarce guidelines and resources as to how to go about it.

I believe that there are so many different resources and information regarding leadership out there, that we have created an expectation that in order to be a leader we need to be exceptionally well educated in the subject, practised incessantly for decades, and have a proven record of having consistently achieved outstanding results…. NO PRESSURE!!

If I was to hold such expectation of today’s leaders, I wouldn’t want to be one, nor would I believe I could ever become one!

Leadership is a lot more basic and fundamental that we make it out to be. If you feel passionate about something, and have a firm belief in people’s capabilities and potential, then you either are or can be a leader.

Without your passion, people won’t be able to find the motivation necessary to achieve any goals, and without trust and belief in your people, they won’t want to operate at their best. Simple!

If you are looking at transitioning from a manager into a leader, start paying a bit more notice to your people, how you treat them, whether you believe in them, whether you are able to clearly communicate your needs and goals, wether you have developed trust and rapport amongst all team members, whether you have a consented set of behaviours by which you all operate at work, or core values, and whether they all understand your vision and are willing to help you reach it.

Of course there is a lot more to leadership than this, and new theories and models are being developed constantly; but sometimes, simple, small steps are the best way to want to start something, to start believing that you can do something, and to initiate change.

Leaders are not born or made, leaders are self made. Anyone can be a leader, you can be a leader. Stop listening to those who think you can’t, and start listening to that inner voice that believes you can. Whenever possible, surround yourself with like-minded people, people who see the goodness in life and the gifts and talents in others, as you will find an immense source of motivation and encouragement to do those things you want.

I will be covering others aspects of leadership in the coming weeks and months, based on the feedback I received. But if you would like me to talk about anything specific regarding leadership or organizational culture in general, then email me here, or leave me a message via Facebook here.

I am also available for one on one Executive and Leadership coaching, group coaching, key note speaking events and customized workshops and seminars. Please contact me for further details and a free no obligation consultation, or click here for a quick snapshot of my profile and services.

Till next time!

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Isabel Valle ACC ACTP

Executive and Leadership Coach, mentor and facilitator

Founder of Global Room

“Coaching for Leadership, for Growth, for Success”

A PERFECT HEADSTAND

THE PERFECT HEADSTAND

Headstand

I hadn’t really planned to talk about yoga in my blog, but through yoga I have been able to learn so much about myself and life in general, I thought it would be a great idea to use my own yoga journey to tell you about some great lessons I am learning along the way.

I remember walking into my first yoga class just a couple of months ago, and watching my yoga teacher, William, show us poses I thought a human being wouldn’t be able to replicate. It was crazy! He was challenging gravity, mind and body limitations, and more! I wasn’t  sure whether I should just walk out the door and quit whilst I was ahead or finish the class and leave politely and never go back again.

I finished the class and realised that even though I assumed yoga would be a breeze because I was in fairly good shape, I really struggled with it. I am used to running long distances with my podcast on, as I love being able to learn and run, multitasking two of my favourite activities.

But yoga requires a quietened mind, a focus on movements generated with internal energy and intention, and the ability to be able to just let go of any preconceived ideas you may have about what you can and cannot do.

I was so curious about yoga and what this group of people were able to do in class, that I kept going back, studying every single one of them as they moved and developed their practise. The weekly practises started to pay off, as I slowly started to improve, but somehow I knew in my mind that certain poses, like headstands, I would never be able to achieve. I would leave the room feeling frustrated with myself and upset that I wasn’t able to do a headstand. I watched others who weren’t as strong, or young, carry out their headstands with confidence, which made me feel even more discouraged about not being able to do it.

And then I thought to myself, instead of comparing myself to others and try to follow their path, how about I come up with my own set of steps? I was so afraid I would fall and hurt my back, so I started practising with the wall close by, so if I fell the wall would catch me. Then I took a break from it all as I knew that distance was one of the best tips for alleviating frustration. Just two steps, but it started to work, I started to relax my mind and just allow myself to be in the moment, working through the pose bit by bit, with no expectations. Suddenly I started to be able  find the right core stability, head position,  then raise my legs, and yesterday, out of nowhere, I performed my first “perfect” headstand.

What I thought a couple of months ago was a task impossible to achieve, yesterday I made it happen. All it took was my commitment to want to work through my fears, to test my limits, to give myself the chance to practise in  a way that suited me, letting go of comparing myself of others, and voila! A perfect headstand…

There are still so many poses in yoga that I feel are so impossible to reach, and yet now I feel if I keep working in my practise, and keep believing in myself, I will one day be able to perform them, just like I did with my headstand.

And this lesson applies to everything in life. You truly can achieve anything you set your mind to. No matter how crazy, or impossible it may seem right now, dare to dream big and start your journey to get you there. You will be amazed by your capacity to achieve things you never thought possible!

Let me give you a tip that I use for myself; if you are feeling frustrated or disillusioned that you are not able to do or achieve something in your life, just start by switching the words “I CAN’T” for “I CAN’T YET”. Just because you are not able to do something right now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do it in the future. Because chances are, that if you are committed to giving it a go, to start it, to think about the small steps that will allow you to get on your way, then you will get there.

So think about your can’t’s, and decide which ones are worth pursuing. Success is within the reach of us all, go and get it!

And for those of you living in Brunei who would like to experience the type of crazy yoga moves I was talking about, William has his own yoga studio located in Kiulap, OM Place. Click here to go to his blog, where you will find his contact details.

Namaste!

Isabel

 

Coach and “yoga headstand” expert!

If you would like to follow me on Facebook for this and more information about coaching and growth, click here.

ON TAKING OWNERSHIP….

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I am passionate about empowering everyday leaders to make a difference at work, at home and in their communities.

In my opinion, anyone can be a leader. You can be a leader.

Leadership starts within, by taking responsibility of oneself. Once you master self-leadership, then others will start to take notice and be inspired by your leadership and want to follow.

In today’s complex world, we are in need of everyday leaders more than ever before. At a time with so many political, economic, social and environmental factors, we are faced with the prospect of living our lives without hope and purpose, which at times leaves us feeling stressed, anxious and unsatisfied.

We can no longer wait for others to take action and create the change needed to solve all the issues we face. Instead, it is time to start taking responsibility for our own actions, for taking ownership of our own issues, and planning to make decisions to improve our own lives by ourselves.

All it takes is the initial commitment to yourself, to wanting to improve your life, to investing some time getting to know yourself and finding out what it is that you have to offer.

So let me ask you, how do you want to live your life?

What are you passionate about?

If you could change anything in your life, what would that be and why?

Don’t delay it anymore, you are worth so much more. You owe it to yourself and those around you to be your best, and to make a difference in this world through your own unique talents and inner wisdom!

Your friend and coach,

Isabel