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Coaching Modalities

The Middle Way: Your Secret to Success

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Balance and the middle way

The Middle Way is about balance but is not as simple as adjusting weights until they are equal and then you are done. This is because the weights themselves are not constant, so, you need to pay attention to how they shift in quality.

In other words, it is less like linear pendulum oscillation, and more like a spinning disc. Fine adjustments allow you to more completely meet your needs and priorities by optimizing where you concentrate your time.

Needs and the Middle Way

Your fundamental needs do not change that much. What changes as you move beyond childhood, is the extent to which they are your personal responsibility. We often do not pay them much attention until one is neglected and we feel its absence. As long as a certain level of safe shelter, available resource,  community, accomplishment, and inner evolution is occurring, all is well.

However, it is easy to see what happens if our environmental temperature becomes hazardous. Or, perhaps if we experience a restriction of food or water. What is less obvious is the physiological reaction to solitude and isolation. Or even to stagnation in achievement.

Our needs relate to the environment with which we surround ourselves. They depend on career choices, family commitments, financial pressures, and health issues. And, these may need overhauling from time to time. Consequently, it is up to you to find the sweet spot where you experience harmony by choosing what is required and eliminating what is not.

Applying the Middle Way means bringing attention to 1) Where you do and don’t need to go. 2) How you do and don’t need to feel. And, as well, 3) What you do and don’t need to think.

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Using a Wish List to Connect to Your Deepest Desires

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What is your wish list

Generating a wish list or dreams list is one way to connect to your possibilities and inner desires. The list itself can take whatever form you prefer. It can simply be a list, or it could be organized by themes, or in the form of a chart.

Taking time to generate a wish list – and it should take some time – gives you a reference point, a place to check-in when you lack resolve or inspiration. Allow your list to grow with you. Don’t be afraid to remove items that are no longer a good fit, such as possessions, or skills, or activities that were a priority for previous ways of thinking. Take note of any areas where you don’t have inspiration; here you can ask what might support you in identifying what you would like to create.
It is your opportunity to brainstorm and write down everything that comes to mind that you have ever wanted to do in any domain. In fact, you can use the different areas of your life for inspiration. For example:

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Motivate Yourself: Key#5 Never Give Up

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Never give up

The last key in this series is to never give up. Once you know exactly what you want, and begin to take action on it, applying a positive framework, and moving forward even when you are scared, you must persist even when you experience setbacks. Here are some practices that will carry you through when you encounter obstacles or make mistakes.

1) Hold Yourself in High Esteem

Perceive yourself as extraordinary. Know what you are really good at, your strengths, gifts, and talents, and deeply appreciate them. Believe in the unique contribution that you are making and pledge to honor this even when it feels like no-one else is.

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Motivate Yourself: Key#4 Stay Optimistic

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Stay Optimistic

The first three keys to self-motivation of envisioning your future, taking action steps towards it, and addressing the fears that hold you back, can all be more easily maintained by the fourth key: a commitment to being positive. Making a pledge to stay optimistic by focussing on opportunities and possibilities aids in affirming and encouraging the progress you are making. It is a form of self-advocacy that you have control over. Whenever possible, adjust your thinking to propel you forward, and sustain your enthusiasm and high energy. You can do this with the following techniques:

1) I am Happy Because …

Find reasons to be optimistic and committed. Make sure your goals and the steps to reach them are defined positively so that they pull you onward. Think about all the things that you are grateful for, especially those that contribute directly to the goals you are focused on. As you complete each step, take time to acknowledge it to build your confidence that you can do all that needs to be done. Pay attention to and be thankful for everything in your vision that you implement and achieve.

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Motivate Yourself: Key#3 Check your Fears at the Gate

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Confront your fears

Even when employing the first two keys for motivating yourself, of detailing your vision and beginning to take action to realize it, you may occasionally feel frightened: especially when reaching your goals requires stretching yourself and encountering new territory. This is when the third key becomes critical. Don’t buy any excuses or limitations you impose on yourself. If you or others are hard on you, objectively think of these criticisms as positive feedback for your sustained growth. Do not internalize them allowing a false barrier to occur that will hold you back. The following habits will allow you to respond to, own, and address your fears.

1) Alternative Perspectives

Oftentimes, overcoming our fears leads to our greatest strengths. So, it is useful to reflect on what the opportunity or inspired action could be in the circumstances that are causing us anxiety. Think about the ways that you are conceptualizing the issue. In each case, examine them for truth and other possible ways of thinking about the experience. Are you anticipating or inflating problems? What would be a more useful, positive, and purposeful way to think about it? How can you make change work for you and direct yourself? Another way to address your fears is by taking a moment to own your anxieties and find the benefit or upside is a great way to keep on track. Identifying the value in what you are doing, even when you don’t want to do it, provides additional reasons to engage. It supports your decision to be great. Developing this type of honest contemplation also brings rewards of self-encouragement and self-compassion.

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