Paula Klein Newsletter
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February 10, 2015
I just began a course on Wellness, as part of my ongoing coaching learning, and I'm excited to share some of my new learning with you over the next months about habits, change, goal setting and wellness. I just finished listening to a great interview with Gabriele Oettingen, a psychology professor at NYU who is a leading expert on mental contrasting processes and self-regulatory strategies that contribute to successful goal achievement. (Check out her new book, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation.) She spoke about the ways we have been taught to focus on visioning our desired future in order to achieve our goals and dreams, as noted most popularly in Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. Yet, she highlights that when we bump into obstacles (and we ALL bump into obstacles) we are often ill prepared to deal with them so our goals and vision goes unfulfilled, or worse, we are more discouraged than before we began. (Yes, it's February and most of us have already abandoned our New Year's resolutions and are just wishing that spring would arrive already!!) More on this later.

I also want to invite (read PLEASE DO!) anyone who considers themselves to be an artist—(writer, photographer, playwright, film maker, visual artist, floral designer, musician, etc.) to fill out this survey. I would really appreciate your input and insight as I develop the first in a series of online, interactive coaching programs, that will assist in leading more fulfilling lives, and overcoming some of the challenges and obstacles we all face that interfere with our thriving.

Featured Article
6 Mindset Shifts You Need for Success

The right mindset is a great trait to adopt. It attracts happiness, health, fulfillment and success. But what is a mindset, really? And how malleable is it?

What's on Your Mind?

A mindset is a person's established set of attitudes and beliefs that are based on their assumptions. These assumptions significantly impact one's reactions to and interpretations of any event, environment or situation. I highlight the words assumptions and beliefs, because they are often not truths.

Whether positive or negative, a person's mindset is often engrained and habitual, and affects most aspects of his or her professional and personal life.

Is Your Mindset Working to Your Advantage or Holding You Back?

• When facing a new challenge, do you react with confidence, knowing that with time, effort and practice you can succeed? Or do you find yourself questioning your abilities, talent and motivation?

• Do you view failure as simply part of the process? Or do you avoid challenges in order to preserve your pride?

• When you encounter setbacks and criticism, do you recalibrate and persevere or give up to save face?

How a person interprets and answers those questions gives insight into what type of mindset he or she has.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck identifies two general mindsets: fixed and growth.

Fixed Mindset
• Talent and intelligence are static
• It's better to avoid big challenges and stick with what you know you can succeed at
• It's okay (even preferable) to quit before failure
• Effort may be pointless as we assume we either have the ability/intelligence or not
• Ignores useful criticism and feedback and may feel defensive
• Views success of others as a potential threat

Growth Mindset
• Talent and intelligence can be developed
• Embraces challenges to promote growth
• Views failure and setbacks as opportunities for learning
• Effort leads to mastery and success
• Uses criticism and feedback to improve
• Finds inspiration and learning from the success of others

It's easy to want to develop a growth mindset, but, if mindset is so deeply engrained, how does a person change it? Here are six ways to begin:

Six Simple Mindset Shifts to Improve Success

• Embrace 'failure' instead of avoiding it. The faster the failure, the quicker the learning. Before starting his auto manufacturing company, Henry Ford failed at his first several businesses. What would the industrial landscape look like had he given up after his first try? Remember, embracing failure also means success can arrive that much sooner.

In his early years, teachers told Thomas Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.

• Think abundance instead of scarcity. When it comes to spending money or time on self-improvement, many people resist. But most people are attracted to those who believe in and value themselves. Instead of thinking of personal growth as an expense, think of it as an investment in your life and future.

• Embrace challenges. People who have a "growth" mindset, realize that challenges are just opportunities in disguise, and they choose to actively seek them out.

• Use setbacks as learning opportunities. No matter how thorough the plan, no matter how well executed the details, obstacles will surface. Besides, who can predict with any real accuracy what setbacks will occur? Instead of wasting energy trying to prevent the unknown, why not just face obstacles when they arise and plan for them?

• Don't take it personally. Sometimes the best opportunities for personal and professional growth come from leveraging direct criticism and negative feedback. How well do you hear the feedback of others?

• Stop re-inventing the wheel. Instead of feeling jealous or resentful of other people for what they have accomplished, look to them to learn how they did it and turn that to your advantage.

Incorporating these strategic shifts in mindset provides opportunities to strengthen determination, improve self-confidence and encourages action, productivity and fulfillment.

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

On the Horizon
Individual Life/Business Coaching:
If you would like to move forward with your goals for 2015, please contact me to see if coaching might assist you reach or surpass those goals.
Words to Ponder
"Becoming is better than being."

"No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment."

"If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don't have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence."

- Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

With a background in education, social work, and psychology, I understand the various ways that people are motivated to change. Throughout my career, I have promoted growth and development, healing, and change. I have worked as an educator and psychotherapist and have provided training, workshops, and professional development programs.

As a Life Coach, I work with professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs who get stuck in the routines and busyness of everyday life. Some have postponed or been derailed from their personal or professional goals, but are motivated to reclaim their lives and live more in accordance with their core values. Others simply value the notion of 'not going it alone' and see the benefits of working with a coach to achieve more than what they could do on their own. I help people envision their future and identify what they most want and need in order to thrive. I help them overcome obstacles so that they can spend their time and energy more intentionally. Through coaching, my clients reach beyond what they thought was even possible and actively create more meaningful personal and/or work lives.

I live in Toronto with my wonderful partner. We have two incredible and talented teenagers.
Paula Klein
Life Coach and Social Worker (MSW)

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