25 Ways to Open Yourself to New Possibilities

life-coach-washington-dcI often look at interesting architecture, like the building pictured, and wonder how the architect came up with such new innovative ideas.

How can we free ourselves up from what’s been done in the past and begin to see what’s possible?

My life coaching clients tell me: sometimes it’s difficult to see what’s possible. They feel stuck in an old way of thinking.

The beautiful thing is, through working together we can often break old habits and cycles. Together, using life coaching tools, exercises and navigated conversations, we can modify our thinking, develop action steps and see new results. When we do so, my clients are able to unlock the life they’ve always dreamed of … sometimes, totally new possibilities they’d never before imagined.

Here’s a quick guide to get you thinking: 25 unexpected ways to open yourself to new possibilities. Read this list and start dreaming about what’s possible!

THINK IT THROUGH

1. Challenge your beliefs about what you can do. What do you tell yourself you can and can’t do? Maybe you are an athlete, leader, or great at relationships.

2. Examine your ideas about how things should work. Shoulda, woulda, coulda! Sometimes my life coaching clients are stuck around how things should be .. rather than building on their strengths to make changes. Focusing on your ability to be effective in the world as it actually is.

3. Look for opportunities. Focus on gratitude. Avoid a victim mentality. Focus instead on your gratitude for the good things you already have, and prepare to receive even more. Read my post on how to start a gratitude journal here.

5. Let go of something that doesn’t serve you. Whether it’s eating up your time or your energy, you never know what you might let in when you let something go.

6. Commit to starting something you always say you’ll do. Make this your time to actually do it.

7. Turn your focus from something don’t want or fear to something you do want. Instead of “I don’t want to always be scrambling to get everything done,” think about how it would feel to have an abundance of time or energy. Instead of worrying about being overweight, focus instead on getting healthy. Prioritize and organize your thoughts to make changes. This allows you to shift from complaining and feeling miserable to taking action and getting closer to those good feelings you want.

8. Identify the blocks that keep you from breaking a bad habit. Anytime you improve your habits, you pave the path for personal excellence. My life coaching post about how to raise your personal standards is a great place to start.

9. Forgive. It’s old news, but it’s true: holding a grudge hurts you more than it hurts the person you’re upset with. Removing that block will open you up where previously you’d shut down.

EMBRACE THE WORLD AROUND YOU

10. Take the long way home … with your eyes open for opportunity. You may find a gym you want to join or an organization where you’d like to volunteer. Even a new French pastry shop you want to check out! (Taking pleasure in the small things in life is allowed and encouraged!)

11. Make an effort to connect with people. Whether it’s in the line at the coffee shop or an extra sincere “thank you” to the person who helps you at the local library, smile and make eye contact, even ask someone how they are. Being even slightly more open can open up your world.

12. Learn a new skill. Start taking piano lessons, karate classes, cooking classes – whatever strikes your fancy. Read about the first time I took a kickboxing class … and what I learned about myself in the process … here.

13. Volunteer. There are so many worthy charities! Soup kitchens, Meals on Wheels, the ASPCA, Martha’s Table … the list in DC where I am based is practically endless. Take a look at places to volunteer in your city. Getting involved takes so little and most people who do it reap far more rewards far beyond their expectations.

DISCOVER NEW PEOPLE

14. Offer to help someone else. Provide a meal or do laundry for a young Mom stuck at home with a new baby. Help someone with mobility limitations with their grocery shopping. Go to a big box store’s layaway counter, tell the person at the counter you want to pay off someone’s layaway, and tell them your budget. Sometimes random acts of kindness are the best way to help yourself, and not just for the warm fuzzy feelings it provides. You never know what you’ll learn through the process.

15. Carpool to work. A friend of mine did this 20 years ago as a single guy. Today he considers the man he carpooled with one of his closest friends, their wives and children are also close friends. There’s no guarantee what could happen, but you’ll at least get the chance to get to know coworkers better. It might even improve your career!

16. Compliment a stranger. For years in DC there was a man in Adams Morgan locally known as “The Compliments Man.” Instead of asking for money, he made his living giving compliments to strangers. What a beautiful thing to do.

17. Do something you enjoy … alone. Go to a museum, read a book in the park, go to a movie or eat out by yourself. Enjoy your own fabulous company!

18. Listen more actively. David Augsburger famously said, “being listened to is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” There are so many ways to be mindfully present in your conversations, and practice active listening when someone else is speaking. Read my previous post on how to revolutionize your conversations with mindful listening. Click here to participate in my mindful listening holiday challenge!

LOVE WHAT YOU DO

19. Show up a half-hour early for work. You’ll get more done, you may impress your boss, and you might open yourself up to opportunities for growth, particularly if your coworkers aren’t around.

20. Hold a meeting outdoors. You might be shocked at the creative ideas that come out of this one!

21. Hold a meeting standing up. A colleague of mine started this practice with her sales team for their morning meetings that were dragging on and beginning to feel like drudgery. This will most likely make your meeting shorter, meaning you’ll be more efficient and create more time to work on something else.

22. Create an unusual business card. Use it to describe what really matters to you about your work. You might feel silly at first, but those I know who put this into practice were shocked at how well-received it was – and how many new conversations it opened up!

23. Attend a or conference that’s big in your industry, or that you don’t typically attend. Or, attend a conference in your target industry – even if you’re not there yet! Collect at least ten business cards, and follow up with emails the next day.

24. Check Meetup.com to connect with like-minded people. There are so many neat things to do! Start your own group or join one that already exists.

25.  GET LIFE COACHING FROM ME, CATHARINE ECTON

washington-dc-life-coach-catharine-ecton

…. that time I tapped into my “Horse Sense.” Click to read about it!

Need an ally in this work? Changing our habits our getting out of a “rut” can be challenging. But I believe that we can change our lives one day at a time. We’re not broken, and we don’t need fixing. We have everything within ourselves to create the life we’ve always dreamed of. With the right tools, powerful questions and the intention to create something great, we can determine where we want to be and get there. We don’t even have to know what “our best life” looks like, just that we want to live it.

Contact me today for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation to explore the possibilities. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my Washington, DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person. I look forward to hearing from you.

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