Some of my best friends are illusions They ve been sustaining me for years SHEILA BALLANTYNE in Java

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Some of my best friends are illusions They ve been sustaining me for years SHEILA BALLANTYNE
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Most people see themselves in terms dictated or de ned by their parents and/or society Only by falling in love with where you are can you move on to being who you are We have to see ourselves as we are, and not how we re viewed by society or our parents That s obvious, you say Then why are so many of us struggling Because we don t even realize we ve forgotten who we are This is the power of conditioning that I discuss in 3 Abundance is real and scarcity is an illusion What makes something real As a child, I loved the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, which chronicles the adventures of a stuffed bunny and his boy companion As an adult, I ve come to love this story for totally different reasons Now I see it as a powerful metaphor for abundant transformation the story of a stuffed bunny transformed into a real esh-and-blood rabbit by loving himself and allowing himself to be loved
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What is real asked the Rabbit one day when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender before Nana came in to tidy the room Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle
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Real isn t how you are made, said the Skin Horse It s something that happens to you Does it hurt asked the Rabbit Sometimes, said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful When you are real, you don t mind being hurt
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What I didn t know at the age of ve was that the Skin Horse was a terri c coach Terri c coaches (and consultants, trainers, and managers) inspire greatness in others by reconnecting their coachees to who they are to those unique qualities that make them real The Skin Horse, for example, helped the rabbit identify the misconceptions about being real and learn to love being exactly who he was It s the same for a business coach: You help your coachee identify and correct these misconceptions (illusions) and learn to Live into Greatness by rst loving who and where he is The Skin Horse reminded the rabbit of his greatness the fact that by being loved and loving ourselves we are real The rabbit became real because he believed he was real THE PARADOX OF BELIEVING
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If you think you can do a thing or think you can t do a thing, you re right HENRY FORD
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If your coachee believes herself to be less than, not enough, weak, or awed, then she is going to be all of these things in her actions and results Does this mean she is really weak or awed No She was born great But her inability to see her greatness, to be who she is will cause her to be someone or something else This is a life of scarcity, but it is the life she lives because it is aligned with what she believes If, though, she believes she is already great and accepts that she is free, she will indeed Live into that Greatness This is the paradox of believing Who we are is great, and who we think we are is how we will show up; but if we are living in scarcity we will never be who we really are Let that sink in for a moment When I was a kid, my dad used to say to me, Who do you think you are This wasn t a contemplative, thought-provoking attempt to help me de ne myself This was a condescending kind of question The question always got the same result: cutting me off at the knees and shutting me up 22
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A New Way of Being I questioned who I was, alright, but not in an abundant way I questioned who I thought I was I stopped listening to myself and listened more to others What they believed shaped what I believed I learned early that what other people think of you is more important than what you think of yourself At least, that s what I thought Now I know that abundance is greatness It s so easy for us to get confused by the combination of the words abundance and greatness Does this mean that everyone who Lives into his or her Greatness will be famous and wealthy Of course not! These are just external measures True abundance may never be completely seen by another, yet it will always be felt by the person who is abundant Abundance is, as I said, the ability to live into your capacity and in alignment with who you are Freedom is being free of the illusions that keep us living in scarcity This reminds me of the time I spent as a VISTA volunteer (Volunteers in Service to America) Fresh out of college, my assignment was to create a grant-writing process for an agency for the homeless in Massachusetts Although I d never written a grant, I was an idealistic college grad who believed she would change the world Interestingly enough, I didn t change the world so much as the world changed me through an unexpected chain of events Living on a meager $40 a week with room and board above the agency s family shelter, I discovered that to change the world I had to learn about myself while really engaging with my day-to-day relationships My best teacher wasn t a counselor or mentor, but one of the residents of the family shelter where I provided direct services She had been violently assaulted while in nursing school, and was eventually slipping into mental illness; she had been abandoned by her family and was homeless In her 50s she found her way to the shelter, where we became fast friends Quickly, I came to realize how my friend saw the world differently She noticed and admired the little gifts in life the joy of a long awaited spring day, petting a visiting dog, hearing a long-forgotten favorite song on the radio Without either of us knowing it, she schooled me on what s important, helping me to adjust the lens through which I saw the world She was like a visit to the eye doctor, looking through that machine that determines your prescription (a Phoroptor Refracting Instrument) Which one is better, A or B I soon discovered that every gift I ever gave her quietly and unceremoniously found its way to someone who needed it more than she She loved the joy of giving to others more than having for herself 23
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COACHING INTO GREATNESS Years later, I helped her move into an assisted living facility Her greatest joys are caring for the cats and birds living there We talk regularly, and I often visit, bringing one of my pets along Every month like clockwork, she sends me exactly $2 for treats for my dogs She has nothing, but she has everything Her abundance isn t in material possessions or money (she lives on a meager monthly disability check) But she is a constant example of living a simple and abundant life She knows exactly who she is and what brings her happiness So frequently, I ll visit her and be struggling with something in my life and she reminds me of what s most important That brings me back to where we started Abundance is about focusing on what you have and what you can do, not on what you don t have and what you think you can t do I walk my dogs in the park everyday Earl, a 10-year-old basset hound, usually chooses to graze in the weeds, picking out the most succulent blades of grass like a true gourmet On the other hand, Newton, a terrier-mix, bolts out into the eld as soon as I take her off the leash I love to watch her lope around like a miniature gazelle, completely free, loving life Have you ever noticed how happy animals are A lot of people would say that s because they don t know better Maybe that s the point Their heads aren t gummed up with thoughts of what they could be And so they just are THE OPPORTUNITY COST OF SCARCITY The purpose of the Coaching into Greatness process is to help you and the people you coach realize that who you are is everything It s the only thing that really matters because everything hinges on your ability to be yourself, and to do that, you must become intimately aware of the barriers you create along the way You ll notice that I sometimes refer to the process as the Coaching into Greatness process, and sometimes as the Living into Greatness process Which is it Both, actually My goal is for everyone who reads this book to live into his or her greatness Then, everyone will be a much better position to coach others to live into their greatness Whether you re a professional coach, a manager, or an executive, this process applies equally to you and to those with whom you work To fully comprehend the impact of scarcity mentality on our lives, it is important to be familiar with the concept of Opportunity Cost In business, the opportunity cost is the cost of passing up another choice 24
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A New Way of Being when making a decision For example, if an asset such as capital is used for one purpose, the opportunity cost is the value of another purpose the asset could have been used for The problem with scarcity thinking is that we don t even see the other possible choices, thereby missing the opportunity to make these choices In the context of this book, I de ne Opportunity Cost as the tangible and intangible costs to the individual or business when operating through a scarcity mentality They simply miss or avoid many opportunities For example, Steve dreamed of moving his business out of his basement and into a rented of ce space To do this, he needed to generate more revenue, which meant taking on more clients But as a solo-preneur he was already at his breaking point with the volume of work Steve wanted to bring on an assistant to share the workload and manage his time more effectively, but he wouldn t even consider this option as long as his of ce was in his basement He assumed that he couldn t keep his home life private from the new assistant while working at home The Opportunity Cost of this assumption kept him struggling to keep up with his workload, like a hamster on a wheel Exhausted and frustrated, he soon lost clients Too deep into the situation, he couldn t see the power his black-andwhite thinking had over the future of his business and the quality of his life When we show up in scarcity, there is always an Opportunity Cost There is a direct correlation between the amount of scarcity in a person s life and the degree of Opportunity Cost he or she experiences, known or unknown In fact, it is the unknown Opportunity Cost that is the most insidious quality of scarcity It keeps us playing small even when we think we re doing just ne How does a person know when she s in scarcity or abundance How do you translate the feeling of unhappiness, of being stuck, or of thinking you re not good enough into an Opportunity Cost Picture a teetertotter On one end of the teeter-totter we have scarcity; on the other end we have abundance (see Figure 11) The Opportunity Cost can be measured by identifying the Tipping Point of any given situation The Tipping Point is the moment when thinking a certain way keeps us from doing what we can do The Tipping Point is a foundational concept for this book and the Coaching into Greatness process None of the patterns I ll share with you that make up a scarcity mentality are good or bad in and of themselves It is when they keep us stuck that 25
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