family

Why Personal Advice from Friends and Family Is Often Biased

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Advice

As a Relationship and Life Coach, guiding others is a job I find incredibly fulfilling and I’m always eager to support my clients. I coach passionately and as a result, what I do has sewn itself into my identity and has become a part of who I am. As this becomes more evident, I’ve noticed more people within my personal network are coming to me for advice, albeit their intention or not.

It’s difficult for me to ‘switch off’ from what I call “Coaching Mode”. I’m often like a child who has discovered something new about themselves and I’m eager to share it with everyone I run into. Therefore it can get difficult leaving “The Coach” behind, when connecting/reconnecting with people within my personal network.

Think about the number of times friends and family have come to you seeking your advice or opinion. Now, for instance, think about the number of times you’ve had to lie or bend the truth in order to protect their feelings.

Before stumbling onto this path, I never had an issue with saying and doing the appropriate thing in order to protect the people I care for from getting hurt. However, what I’ve learnt about myself and other people through my work and professional experiences, the appropriate thing to say and do, isn’t necessarily the right thing to say and do. It’s a fine line that I’ve become weary of in recent years, as I continue to connect with people in my personal network both past and present.

As a coach, I’m hired to give my honest and professional opinion. I’ve been hired for a specific reason and to achieve results, complete, and sometimes brutal honesty is required at all times. As a neutral party, my only concern is the well-being of my client and his/her actual responsibilities. However, in my personal network, whereby I’m emotionally tethered, maintaining neutrality is very difficult. In some circumstances where I’m asked for advice, support, guidance or even just an opinion, I find myself facing the following dilemmas:

Do I, a. Compromise my work and what I know and do well, just to keep those nearby happy and content? Or, b. Advise with complete integrity and run the risk of stirring up conflict within my personal network?

I’ve learnt that the answer to either question often depends on how I’m regarded among those close to me. For instance, to my parents, as their youngest child, I’m still very much the “baby” in their eyes. Fortunately my clients don’t see me that way, otherwise I’d make a terrible coach, however this entire adjustment has made me aware of two prominent biases that arise when advising friends and family. Biases we should all be aware of when seeking or giving advice.

Bias #1: Personal Gain.

Most of us probably won’t admit it, but we run the risk of advising friends and family based on personal gain. Or, to avoid the perception of personal gain and potential blame and conflict, we also run the risk of sharing biased advice.

It’s often difficult to offer an unbiased perspective when we’re personally involved. For example, think about the people in your life today and how convenient it would be for you, if they changed certain aspects of their lives? Changes although convenient for you, could result it disastrous consequences for them.

Personal gain is something to be very aware of with advice you offer or receive, as there are a number of ‘sub-biases’ that can lead to erroneous advice. Biases such as: personal insecurity, strength of relationship, trust and access to multiple connections within the same personal network, are to name a few.

Bias #2: Nondisclosure.

Full disclosure is important when seeking or offering advice. It’s important for the advisor to develop a complete awareness of the problem or dilemma and it’s the responsibility of those being advised, to make the advisor fully aware. Therefore, complete honesty and openness is required in order to understand and to be fully understood.

If you feel restricted or reluctant in any way, then already you’re adding layers of bias to advice. For example, think about asking your parents about relationship advice, but leaving out all the intimate details of your desires, because it feels too inappropriate or awkward to discuss. Again many of the ‘sub-biases’ that arise with personal gain are also relevant here too, especially when sharing advice among an established peer group.

In conclusion, to avoid, or at least limit bias when exchanging advice with friends and family, both parties must learn how to emotionally detach in order to establish mutual understanding. However, keep in mind that you also run the risk of jeopardising the personal connection too, because once something is shared, it cannot be taken back, and you have to rely on and preserve trust in order to maintain the relationship.

Therefore in summary, establish authentic trust before seeking or giving advice and be aware of these prominent biases.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Relationships: The Importance of Unveiling Your Past

Separated Yin Yang

Your life up until this point; the identity you live with today, is a collection of your experiences, everything you have learned and traits that you may have inherited. Part of being in a relationship is sharing your life with another, therefore it’s important to share your past with your partner.

For one, knowing that you’ve truly bared all is extremely liberating. Knowing that you have nothing to hide makes for an uncomplicated relationship that’s not only built on trust, but built on honesty too.

These two values are crucial, if you desire the components that make up a powerful partnership that carries on throughout the rest of your life.

Furthermore, knowing that there’s nothing left to uncover, allows you to be easily understood.

When I coach couples, I ask very tough questions in order to expose an honesty that someone perhaps lives with, but has not yet shared. I ask difficult questions because it indicates how well a couple communicate and how well people actually understand each other.

When you share your past with your significant other, you’re sharing information that is essential towards keeping your relationship alive. First of all, your partner won’t be spending their lifetime trying to figure you out, that alone can cause complications and insecurities.

Your past reveals your motivations and it reveals your emotional triggers, so just think about how this information can elevate bliss and happiness within your relationship. Teach your partner about the person you are, educate them on your past so that together you can have a mindful future.

The beautiful thing about letting your past out, is that you let it go. If there is a part of you that you haven’t shared with your significant other, then already you’ve begun to diminish core values. And if there are problems at the very core, the effect is felt at the surface (i.e. you’ll find yourself disagreeing and placing significance over smaller, less important issues, more frequently).

Revealing your past also allows you to remain present.

People always argue that if you reveal too much you leave nothing left to uncover, that there’s an excitement to the mystery. I agree, and that’s great at the very beginning of a relationship…a lot of the excitement when starting something new, comes from discovering new things. However, as you begin to understand each other and connect, excitement generates from exploring life as you move your relationship forward. From the mystery of exploring each other’s potential and embarking on parallel journeys towards self-actualization.

You may fear judgment and loss as a result of the information you share, but the whole point of sharing your life with someone, is that you have someone that accepts your identity completely and vice versa.

Society put’s on a lot of pressure and expects you to live up to certain ideologies: to get married at a certain age, start a family, fill a home with memories and beautiful things that elevate their image of perfection and bliss. This motivation is corrosive to your identity and this pressure may force you down avenues you’re not ready for.

A relationship is about the elevation of spirit; to experience nirvana and to engage you in fulfilling your purpose. You won’t get that until you give yourself completely. All the other things that you progress into (i.e. the home, the family etc.) merely become extensions of a growing relationship, not the definition of one.

Lastly and most importantly, sharing your past allows you to communicate confidently. It lessens the impact of misinterpretation and allows you to remain honest and maintain trust.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Learn to Align Responsibilities with your Dream

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uznTHSEgx4U[/embed]

Appreciate what you have and use what you are grateful for as ammunition, for productive activity towards your goals.

Ever since I’ve started my own path in life, I've learned to take time out to be with the people I need to be with, to remind myself why I do what I do. I've also learned to take breaks and travel to places that remind me of where I soon want to be. I've learned to reflect on time, to understand what challenges I have overcome which strengthen my will to continue on with my pursuits.

There’s this misconception people have when it comes to chasing dreams. It's suggested that you have to put your everyday life aside and develop some sort of tunnel vision of where your headed, blurring everything else in your path.

A belief that there are a lot of sacrifices we have to make, to make things happen. I now know that this is not entirely true, because the life you wish to pursue must echo within the life you live today. It is possible to turn moments that feel restrictive, into a major part of your journey. I have my responsibilities as do we all, and I learned to align these responsibilities with my work and make them worthwhile.

How?

Well for example, if you have a full-time job that pays the bills, use it to your advantage. Speak and engage in conversation with people/new people at work and take advantage of this learning opportunity. An opportunity to showcase and test your skill and talent, not just skills required for the job, rather the ones you have that motivate and inspire others by simply being you; a skill you’re going to need if you want success.

If you have children, break the everyday routine. I suggested to a friend that when it comes to waking up his family in the morning, he should inject high energy into the home. I suggested fun music in order to start everyone’s day motivated and full of excitement, turn a moment into a memory with purpose.

You can still pursue your dreams and make the life you’re currently living feel worthwhile. Take these moments that feel like a break from progression into a purpose for progression.

Your life today is full moments that positively impact your goals, it’s time you started making the most of them before you miss the opportunity to do so.

Inspiration for this post: Janet Jackson - Got til it's gone

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Succeed with Confidence - Share Your Personal Life with Your Personal Life.

The day life really changed for me was the day I decided to expose my soul to the people around me.

I finally let out those ideas that I had kept quiet, knowing that keeping them to myself only held back my dreams. When I shared my work publicly, I was able to pursue my ideas confidently and I was ready to take on the perceived judgment and ridicule that once held me back.

It was that day everyone understood who I was and what I stood for.

The day I uttered the words "F*** it" and just poured my heart into my passions, was the day my identity was freed and life became exciting again and I let those passions lead the direction of my life.

I finally decided to accomplish the things I really wanted for my life.

Mindset

I've dreamed big since I was a kid and the day I made my life a priority and shared my identity with those around me, was the day I began pulling that dream into the realm of reality.

Something insanely good happens when you decide to let those dreams out. All of a sudden I knew what I wanted, I was able to understand others much clearer, I became much more instinctive and learned to make quicker decisions for myself.

I was able grow and learn again. Just like it used to be when I was a kid, I was becoming naturally drawn to things that piqued my interest, learn something new and actually understand it.

My dating life even progressed from quantity over to quality, I became content being single and I learned to know what I expect from a relationship (Click here and you can read all about it).

Most importantly, It highlighted the people in my life who really supported me. I began getting the encouragement to pursue my passion, it was support I thought hadn't existed.

I became so dedicated to my writing that negative influence's faded away. I've noticed how people give me constructed advice now and think twice about sharing empty opinions, they know that I'm sticking by myself, thus prepared for anything thrown my way.

I promise you, you'll release yourself from living a life you're not fulfilled by, on the day you decide to share your personal life with your personal life, that day you'll become free to confidently pursue the life you crave and succeed at it.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

3 Things You Need from the People Around You

Winning

Surrounding yourself with the right energy is not just about surrounding yourself with people that share the same ideas, interests and 'identity' as you do. After figuring out my passions, I proceeded to be around people that know life is worth living passionately with self-belief, rather than meeting someone else's expectation and suppressing ones dreams for a senseless need to fit in.

From music, sports, taste in girls and experiences in life, most things about me and my best mate are very different. Although our interests may differ, we meet on common ground when it comes to our attitude towards life. The energy from knowing exactly what we want transfers directly into nurturing our own goals.

Surround yourself with people that embrace their own ideas and aren't afraid to live by their own identity. Notice how these types of people encourage you to be at your best and in turn watch how the energy gets transferred into action:

1. Competition - as were both hungry for success, the subtleties of competition push one another to achieve more with our work. If I hear him typing, I have to type faster, if he knows I'm sending out another post, he works on securing another website to work on. Our sights are completely unrelated but the pursuit of achievement and success causes us to healthily compete. Pushing one another closer to achieving each goal.

2. Motivation - Procrastination is everyone's flaw, but having people around you that share the same thirst for life, even though what they desire from it is completely irrelevant to your cause, knowing another person is on their game makes you want to be on yours. So if I know he's at the local Library working on a project and I'm on my arse watching Netflix, I'm motivated to unplug the TV and plug into success.

3.  Evaluation - I work with my earphones on, so we're hardly communicating when working, but at the end of what seems as a marathon of work, we discuss what we have worked on. The sharing of new ideas and brainstorming unexplored avenues sets the course for innovation and fresh input towards our own work. It freshens the mind with new perspective.

The same happens when I speak to my sister, she's a successful business woman, our life goals are completely different but it's that energy that comes with ambition and knowing what we want from life is how we build each other up.

Today, I reiterate this message to you again: Surrounding yourself with the right energy is like having your goals and successes floating around you in reach, reminding you regularly of where you’re headed.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why The Path To Success Can Be Lonely

Post by VanCityLifeCoach.com

Walk Alone

Working towards your own aspirations in life can be very lonely. Despite having my family and friends around me, I sometimes can't help but feel like I’m living life all by myself, because I'm working towards my own aspirations that others don’t understand or connect with.

At first I couldn't understand why, because even when I was in a committed relationship, at times, I'd still feel very much on my own - because my partners level of ambition differed from mine. It would often lead me to question the entire purpose of pursuing my dreams and I’d start to doubt the path that I was on, because surely success isn’t meant to feel like this.

When you first begin to embark on your own journey in life, you shed the cocoon of familiarity and explore life with your true identity. As you begin to navigate your own life in your own direction, you place yourself in a vulnerable position. You feel this vulnerability very quickly, and you notice how far you drift from the safety and comforts of everything you were once used to.

For example, you knew exactly where to turn for guidance and support - but on your own path, you’re relying on your own instinct and judgment to guide you. As you venture on and the more you succeed, you begin feeling your isolation. You’ve had to learn everything all over again and you become more and more self-reliant and self-content. And because you pursued your passion, nobody is able to hold your hand and walk you through it.

As you achieve one goal after another, you recognise a formula that works for you and often enough, you’re the only one that recognises this and understands it. So tenacity and determination set in which overwhelm your emotions. Then when you have a moment to spare, after a long day of pursuing your dream, your emotions have a chance to surface and you may begin to feel homesick. You’ll feel like giving up because nobody else gets it.

These feelings of loneliness can cause you to turn back to a familiar way of life, albeit unfulfilling. When success makes you feel alone, you must first remind yourself of why you embarked on your journey. Trigger motivation and a positive mindset by remembering why you ventured onto this path and why you found/seek fulfillment within it.

Secondly, you should evaluate your life and determine how far you want to continue carrying this feeling of loneliness. Personally, I’m finding more fulfillment in pursuing my passions than being in a relationship. I don’t feel very alone because at this moment my success is still new and growing; I haven’t achieved a level of success I’m satisfied with.

I've discovered that it’s all about balance, you must first establish a minimum level of success you’re comfortable living with, and make it a priority to reach this minimum requirement.  And when you've met this success, balance your identity by investing in other areas of your life that you have perhaps neglected.

Nurture these neglected areas of your life until they too are bought up to the same minimum-level of fulfillment. Once you have achieved this, continue to raise your minimum. Keep adding to your success, but also continue to build upon your relationships too. I reiterate, it’s about maintaining balance.

I promise you, the moment you give up on yourself during this momentary lapse in character, the novelty of familiarity will soon wear off, and rather than feeling alone, you'll feel empty. The lonely side of success is definitely something you should try to prepare for because it can knock you off your path. It can cause you to feel like a failure, despite whatever success you’ve built.

Remember to take time out to reflect and realize that although you may feel alone now, you're not far from being within the company of your dreams. However, success is very much like an addictive drug, when you get a small taste you’re hooked. Therefore it is important to understand exactly what level of success you’d be satisfied with, because when you get there, you must nurture the other areas of your life.

I have a clear level of success in mind and when I achieve it, I know it'll be time to unite other aspects of my identity; specifically the part that does yearn for companionship. Should I fail to do so, my success would've been achieved in vain as life wouldn't feel successful in its entirety.

It is possible to have everything you've ever wanted in life, but to do so you must set definitive levels of fulfillment. This does not mean that your success is capped or restricted in any way, it simply encourages you to make the most out of every opportunity in life, so that feelings of loneliness become far and fewer.

VanCity

Finding Motivation within Your Roots

Roots. My roots are important to me. It’s my foundation; they shaped the person I was, the person I am and the person I will be. That doesn't just mean my personality or character; it includes my motivations and aspirations too. What we will go on to achieve and what we already have achieved, stem from roots we have.

I speak to many people on a daily basis and when discussions progress to learning about peoples “journey” or “story” it’s amazing how often we overlook what was inherited. If you've read my other posts, you’ll notice a common theme around looking ahead and moving forward towards your goals - making notes on the importance of evaluation and reflection and most importantly; knowing your identity - roots play a big part in that, whether we’re embracing them or running away from them.

There are many factors that determine your roots; lessons are passed down from generation to generation which have often determined levels of success. Some traditions are upheld, some traditions get lost in translation and some traditions crumble as time progresses. Understanding the motivation behind traditions can help you understand why they exist. Not only can you discover things about yourself, your upbringing, or the lack of in some cases, delving into your past and understanding your history/cultural history can unlock answers in your past and present which may have streamed the course for your future. I for one have discovered this myself, learning about certain aspects of my roots allowed me to understand the passion for life I have today. One of the most imperative outcomes from looking into my roots was identifying the examples that were set. Whether good or bad, examples taught me about what I wanted for my life so I could avoid the things I don’t want and attain things I do.

I have very successful friends who have had very fortunate childhoods and have come up from picture perfect roots. I have very successful friends who have shared some very unfortunate stories about their past and where they came up from. Which is when I understood this concept more; there are powerful motivations that we can extract from knowing where we come from and what we inherit. We all grew up very privileged because we all have roots. Some were privileged to have wealth and fortune, some were privileged to have witnessed hard work and determination and some were privileged to have gone through a lot of pain and suffering which harnessed the motivation for them to become phenomenal people today. This is why I like roots, and learning about other peoples. We are all very different people yet can all achieve the same successes and share common goals - it takes a little understanding of where you've come from, to identify who you are and develop who you want to be.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Dare to dream – A message inspired by a 13-year-olds ambition.

Always in search of inspiration, I had overlooked the bright spark we had sitting right at home. We always encourage the younger generation in our family to visualise their dreams, take action towards achieving them and to dream big.

My sister had asked her children to work on their Vision boards and within the hour, my 13-year-old niece had finished the project (see below) and presented insightful results. Now the first thing we all noticed was her typo, she was so motivated and excited about the project, she had overlooked her spelling error. When her mother mentioned it, she candidly responded “I’m unique, I’ll spell it however I want!” as she defended her work.

tanya vision Tanya's vision board, focused around the Joel Brown quote “see the invisible, believe the incredible, achieve the impossible”.

After seeing this and hearing about her response, I had never been more in awe of the brilliant-ness that is this young teen. She, (now unknowingly, my honorary ambassador of the lions life) had made us as adults realise the importance of what we say and do around young people and the effect we have on young minds. The outcome of her board allowed us to also understand her as a person, the steps we can take to help her “achive” those dreams and how to guide her in ways she can help herself. I’m actually glad she didn’t fix her typo, A vision board is made to represent dreams and goals, the typo not only adds a splash of her personality, but it will act as a constant reminder that there are things she will need to improve upon.

Seeing this really emphasises the importance of knowing what you want out of life, it definitely made me re-evaluate a few things. It starts with a vision and where you see yourself. If a 13-year-old, with all the peer pressures and changes going on around her, can and wants to take ownership of her life by having the guts to dream, what’s our excuse as adults?

The secondary tone to this, is one for parents, older siblings or generally anyone who has susceptible minds/young minds around them. Be very careful of the energy and message you send out. Remember negativity breeds negativity, set a positive example – it’s important.

To Tanya,

Congratulations! You’ve managed to do what millions of grown-ups are afraid of and dared to dream. Now that you’ve set the destination, I know you’ll work hard on building the path to get there.

 Live it, Love it,

T

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach