October 2016

My procrastination behaviour gets in the way when trying to write this Inspiration. I keep postponing it and find all kinds of other, more urgent things to do. The fact that we now have a puppy who needs almost constant supervision – if I do not want my interior to be completely destroyed that is – does not really help in getting me behind my computer and be creative.

And procrastination is exactly what I want to talk about. Not that I suffer from it greatly, at least not from the kind that is related to concrete projects. I am a woman who meets deadlines and respects agreements.

However, I do meet a lot of people in my coaching practice – and also beyond – who bring it up or in whom I notice it myself. I find it fascinating and the researcher in me wants to know more – so I set out to do so (I do not suffer from procrastination, remember). During my search I found this marvellous TED-talk from Tim Urban who describes himself as a ‘Master Procrastinator’. The talk is hilarious, and highly recommended. What stuck in my mind is what he says at the end: we all suffer from the same symptoms when it comes to the great project of our life, even if – like me – you have a lot of will power and know how to handle deadlines.

Most of us cherish this big dream or ideal, be it on a personal or professional level, for which we do not even take the first step. Because admit it, there are so many more urgent or pleasant things to do that require our immediate attention. And before you realise, your life has moved on and that dream or those plans have come to nothing.

It is important to take a first step, and then another, and another… and before you know it, you have covered a great distance. Coaching can help you on your way. Not only to stay on course, but also to focus on where you really want to go with your life.

Do not procrastinate and contact me right away for a free test session!

This will not come as a surprise: our new border collie pup Django has inspired me, and greatly so.

Earlier today, an autumn Sunday afternoon, we drove to a dog playground in a nearby forest. Since our little rascal cannot stand the restrictions of a leash yet, we wanted to let him run freely and safely somewhere, and give him the chance to meet fellow dogs.

We had only just entered through the gate when a big boxer appeared with his master. I felt immediately apprehensive for our puppy, as this boxer was at least three times his size. But the little rascal stood his ground and when the boxer started sniffing him, Django showed his teeth and yapped at the big dog who immediately backed off.

Some time later this scenario was repeated with three gorgeous hounds who came bouncing towards Django. Again, he wouldn’t allow to be sniffed. For the third encounter in the forest the contrast was even bigger, with an enormous Great Dane, who weighed 10 times more than Django – it was like David meeting Goliath (I regret not taking a picture). But again the same reaction – this time the giant Dane looked positively flabbergasted by such an amount of puppy spirit.

I do have to confess that our pup probably does not display this kind of behaviour because he is dominant, but rather because he is scared or timid, according to a dog whisperer.

I cannot help but see the similarities with us humans. We are social creatures and often define ourselves in relation to others. We also make comparisons. Do we feel elevated, at the same level or – as you often see – inferior? The word ‘feel’ is also important here, because it is something that plays in our mind and thoughts. In certain situations we feel smaller and inferior to others.

Our emotional self image is often determined by assumptions we have about others and about ourselves in relation to those others. An inferiority feeling in itself can trigger yet other reactions and behaviours (like with our pup): talking back, raising our voice to hide our insecurity, becoming timid or arrogant, making a joke…

All these reactions feed the assumptions of our talking partners. Assumptions are not only lethal to relations, but also to yourself and your self image. We are often not conscious enough of our qualities, talents and strengths. We all have our own special and unique mix, which makes each one of us interesting and beautiful. Because we are who we are, we no longer stop and realise this. We usually do not ‘see’ and appreciate ourselves.

This is an important element during the coaching sessions: making a person conscious of who they are and what qualities they have. As a coach you hold up a mirror to the beauty and power that you see. I see people truly grow and find the power to start living their lives differently and enter into relation with others, fully confident that they are fine as they are, which in turn makes them curious to find out who the others are.