Generation NEXT — Why I want to coach Millennials

I chose to change tracks in life, shifting towards personal growth and development as a career, when I went through the infamous “quarter life crisis” — a time in your 20′s wrought with anxiety, uncertainty about the future and feeling like your life just isn’t where you  hoped it would have been.

Couple that feeling with being laid-off at the height of the recession and you’ve got one potent cocktail for a financial AND existential crisis.

But in my confusion, I created Undercurrent — this little notion that if you follow your interests, devote time to personal growth and share the best of yourself with others, you can make a powerful shift out of a rut and begin to create a life you’re really proud of.

What got me through that rough time was the conviction that I was capable of helping my peers better understand themselves and facilitate the personal and civic growth of my community.

I believe so much in the power, integrity and passion of my age-group, known as the Millennials.  Born between 1980 – 2000, we witnessed the changing of world order, experienced our parents devotion to making sure we had the very best, and discovered that the world, its people and issues are global. We understand logically and emotionally that change IS very possible and necessary, but that we’ve got to take personal responsibility to make it happen. And we need to get real serious, real fast. 

I want to help those who I know have incredible potential feel good about themselves. I’m a civic leader with soul and blending the two is my cause because I believe healthy individuals in their minds, bodies & spirits create healthy societies.

Optimistic? Sure.  Naive? Probably. I’m also a very pragmatic woman who knows what it takes to make real, sustainable change in life. I want to encourage, educate and unleash the power of my peers as we take on challenges and opportunities that were never taught to us in class.

What makes the quarter life crisis so fascinating is its opportunity for change. It’s a metamorphosis — you shed the old, habitual self who knew what was expected of them.  Becoming and loving WHO you are isn’t easy, but it’s what we’re all after.

This is why I want to help my incredible peers take this leap into trusting who they really are. I know it’s possible because I see it everyday in the emerging leaders, personal transformation and new opportunities experienced by those who refuse to follow a predetermined track of what’s expected of them.

Creating your life’s vision

What is the vision you have for yourself, your work & life? Where are you on that path now?

Lofty question, but there are great benefits to crafting a vision for some area of your life. Visioning is the realm of the imagination and creative — it’s where great ideas and inspiration originally stem from. Leading a life of vision is tied with a person’s sense of purpose and passion.

So many of us have amazing pictures of what we want our lives to be — but how come so few take the steps necessary to have those ideas become reality?

Self-doubt is the poison of our vision. It drains you of energy, self-esteem and distorts all the very achievable goals in life. Challenges become impassable mountains.  I know — I’ve let self-doubt ravage great goals and accomplishments I set out to do.

Undercurrent was a vision I had a few years ago and one that rocked me so much to my core, that I couldn’t ignore it. I had to do something about it — I wouldn’t be fully myself if I didn’t go after whatever this idea was. I debated a long time against become a coach out of fear that no one would find it valuable and that I’d fail at it.

Then a shift happened — I realized that whatever belief I fed, that one got stronger. I could continue to feed the self-doubt and let my dreams actually be impossible — or I could feed the vision, the creative part in me that knows whatever I put my heart and soul into does transpire.

So I fed the vision of being a  coach, an author on personal development, of creating my business, and leading a community of people who where inspired, creative and driven to understand themselves and share their gifts with others.

So, how do you construct your vision? Ask yourself these:

1. What do I believe my purpose/role/passion in life is?
2. What steps do I need to take to be more in-line with that vision?
3. What’s stopping me from taking that step?
4. If I was exactly where I wanted to be, how would that feel?
5. What am I feeding more: my self-doubt or my self-esteem?

I’ve a few documents I created to help people flush out their vision ideas. I created one of them about a 1.5 years ago, where my main goals were find a stable job that I was happy at while I attend coach training and built my practice slowly. Having that vision laid out before me kept me accountable — it was all I really needed to focus on.

I’m a visual learner and like to write things out, see it in the big-scale and conceptualize an idea before I take action. Here is a mind-map I made when I was brainstorming Undercurrent’s grand-vision:

Having a vision isn't just imagination -- it's persistence and developing the architecture to your life that will support your values and purpose.

A vision is ultimately what you want your life to be — it’s all your loves, strengths, ambitions, success & pleasures  rolled into one, awesome picture. Just thinking about it makes you smile and feel fulfilled : )

Take care,

Rachel

Article series on social media & coaching

Great news! I want to share my newest partnership with New England Coaching, where I’ll be writing a series of articles on the integration of social media in a coaching practice. Even if you’re not starting a practice of your own, my articles will include some great tips on how best to use social media for your own needs.

Check out the article “The Language of Social Media” here!

Please read and share. Stay tuned, friends :)

Best,

Rachel

Article series on social media & coaching

Great news! I want to share my newest partnership with New England Coaching, where I’ll be writing a series of articles on the integration of social media in a coaching practice. Even if you’re not starting a practice of your own, my articles will include some great tips on how best to use social media for your own needs.

Check out the article “The Language of Social Media” here!

Please read and share. Stay tuned, friends :)

Best,

Rachel

The power of networking

Networking is like learning to ride a bike; it’s awkward at first, you’re wobbly and uncomfortable and not really sure how you’re going to master it. Then, somewhere after fall number 6,7,8 — you hit your stride and your world is never the same again. You can breeze through the neighborhood, take in the sights and sounds and go to places before unknown. Networking is a lot like this because it pushes your comfort zones and forces you to share what’s important to you and listen to what others are up to, and see how together, you two might create a new relationship. Most importantly, networking is PRACTICE and PATIENCE.

I often hear that people are unsure how to get started with networking, because let’s be honest – it’s really intimidating! But time and time again, leaders of business, the movers and shakers of our society and those who get their ideas’ out of their heads and into the world all come back to one tried and true practice: become a master of networking.

Why is networking important? Because it’s all about how well you can sell yourself and your ideas, and how you can connect the dots to support others’ shared goals and interests. If you’re going into a networking event purely with self-centered reasons, well, you’ll come home with just about as many business cards as you came with. Networking depends upon how well you can connect with others and light a spark of interest in their mind that says “Hm…this person has some good ideas, I’d like to talk more.” That’s all your goal is at these events: to keep the conversation going.

There are tons of sites that can give you the mechanics behind networking, but I care more about the attitude and beliefs you may be carrying around with you. We set up blocks that hinder us from ever reaching our potentials, and here are some common myths that stop people from connecting with others and letting their ideas come alive.

Myth #1: To network well, I have to already have my business up & running. If this were the case, then networking events would be empty and filled with sales people who have only their agenda in mind. Most networkers are in the process of building their ideas into something tangible and are seeking the counsel and support of like-minded people. In my experience, the best relationships I’ve created from networking events were people  just getting started, and like myself, wanted to make some entrepreneurial friends and business connections along the way. These are social events, not booths at a convention.

Myth #2: I can’t go to one of these because I’m just no good at networking. Ahem — where you born good at addition? Born good at playing  Super Mario Brothers for the first time? What’s underlying this statement is a belief that you’re just not worthy enough to have your ideas heard. When I began talking about Undercurrent to people, I was terrified because the chorus of  ”people aren’t going to understand wtf  you’re talking about…” kept going round and round. And guess what? Some people didn’t get it. And guess what? LOTS did. The more I talked about my ideas, the more people supported and responded positively to them. A circle of confidence is soon generated and it enhances ourselves, our ideas and our ability to articulate our awesomeness — so don’t let that very overcome-able fear hold you back. Start small with close friends and family, then the next time you’re striking up a random conversation, share what you’re interested in and the positive encouragement will astound you.

Myth #3: Networking is a waste of time — everyone knows that success is all about who you know. Again, there’s an underlying belief here that is telling you it’s pointless to try and also, that there’s a limited number of success out there in the world but it’s not for you. How do you think will-be successful people met each-other in the first place? What are you defining as “successful?” If this believe sounds familiar to you, I encourage you to reevaluate whose definition of success you’re living by. Understanding this could be the difference between creating a life YOU want or a life OTHERS want.

Networking serves two functions: it helps you get clear and confident about your ideas and helps you develop relationships with others who can assist you along the way. A good leader doesn’t live in a vacuum; they rely upon others input, experiences and ideas to better inform what action they can take. Networking is all about practicing the art of self-confidence and teaches us that other’s ideas aren’t threats or competition, but opportunities to find support and advice on how to make our own ideas reality.

Ready to start networking? Find a group here and get practicing!

Take care,

Rachel