Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Walking around in someone else’s skin

I have two Primary school age children. Last week, we were discussing their school work with their teachers, and it turns out that our 8 year old (that’s her, leaping for joy on the beach at the top of the screen – she is a really exuberant character who experiences life to the full daily) is very good at seeing things from someone else’s point of view.

According to her teacher, if there is a bit of bother in the class, or one of her classmates is behaving badly, our worldly wise little one will stop and wonder what might be going on in the life of that individual that is causing their behaviour, and not just jump straight into an argument or get annoyed. We are heartened and pleased by this, as we are trying to bring them up equipped to see the world from different perspectives.

My favourite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and probably my favourite quote of all time comes from Atticus Finch:

If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

Have I mentioned that I like perspective? Maybe a few times? Really listening to someone (see last week’s entry) often starts when we get into their shoes and to try and understand how they feel, how they see the situation, what their perspective is.

There’s that word again.


Silently listening or listening to silence?

Stop. Listen. What can you hear? Background noise, white noise, traffic, music, work noises, the cat scrabbling around on the floor (oh, that’s just me – she’s only got three legs, so makes an odd noise when she walks). So many noises competing for space in our heads, but how often do we actually stop and listen. Really listen. How often do we stop and take in the silence, so precious in our noise-packed-instant-world. And appreciate it, appreciate the moment before rushing on to the next thing. And how often do we stop and really listen to what someone is saying to us – to what is going on under the surface, to what is being communicated but not said, before we respond, and in so doing make the conversation more about them than us .

10 Things I Like About You

Perspective. One of my favourite words (see previous posts like The Mona Lisa trick and Try something unpredictable). How often is it the case with our nearest and dearest, those who know us best or we are at our most familiar with, that we sometimes get stuck in negative cycles of behaviour or words, particularly when discussing or revisiting something important….I say something, you react negatively, you say something back that puts me on the defensive, I react badly and say something destructive and whooosh, off we go again, round and round and we’re stuck inside a washing machine of negativity, battered, bruised, sometimes managing to surface for air but generally left feeling like we are drowning a wee bit. And like being in a washing machine, it’s hard to get out from the inside, we just keep going round and round. We need a helping hand in the form of some Fresh Perspective. Try my new game called Ten things I Like About You. The rules are very easy – instead of the usual game of ten rounds with negativity, we take turns to list ten things we like about each other, but also ten things we like about ourselves (oooh, that can be a bit tricky too). It seems to stop the normal negative pattern mid-cycle and allow a bit of breathing space to reflect, re-group and re-focus on what is good, likeable, positive, and dare I say, loveable, about each other.   

Celebrating you part 2

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Not only are you unique, you are also beautiful. This is feather detail of a rival peacock to the magnificent white bird I introduced you to a few posts back. Each feather was slightly different, each startling in how blueandgreenandturquoise all at the same time, stunning, shimmering, breathtaking. And of course, beautiful. Like you. Do you see yourself as beautiful? Your Creator does. We are all beautiful in different ways – startling, effervescent, colourful, radiant – what do you see when you see yourself, inside and out? What do you see when you look at those you are most familiar with? The same old face? Or a reflection of us-at-our-best, our most beautiful, knowing that we are loved, knowing that there is no-one else quite like us. Tell someone they are beautiful and see how their face lights up, confirming what you are telling them. Look at yourself and choose to like what you see, knowing you are beautiful in your own unique way. 


To encourage takes courage

This past week has brought several unexpected encouragements from often unexpected quarters or at unexpected times. None of them were sought, they just popped out at me in passing, as if to say – hey, you’re doing OK and I love who you are becoming. Equally, I have had the opportunity to encourage or have affirming conversations with several people, and it is just such fun and so exciting. Often, the opportunity passes me by and I miss it, but crucially on these occasions, I opened my mouth and spoke out words of love, support, affirmation before I chickened out for fear of looking silly or being too unScottish and over-emotional. And that is why encourage has courage at the centre; sometimes we have to overcome our natural inhibitions or fears to tell someone we love them, or that they are beautiful, or that they are persevering with grace and integrity despite the hardship of their circumstance. To listen to someone, hear their heart and then affirm and encourage them for who they are is to give a precious gift – to whom can you give it this week?

Fulfiling a (small) dream

Last week I ticked something off my bucket list. We were on holiday (hence the blogging silence) and as part of the new me, did a couple of longer runs along the most glorious of beaches. This particular beach is one of my most favourite places in the world, a really beautiful part of East Scotland, stunning scenery and lots of weather (well it is Scotland!).

I have always dreamed of being able to run along the beach, and came over all Eric Liddell…..well, the only similarity was the running part, I certainly ain’t going to win any Olympic medals, but hey, it’s good to be inspired. It was a small achievement, not life changing for me let alone anyone else, but it was something I had dreamed of, and have now done, and I am relishing the fulfillment.

We all have dreams, large and small, that are part of our unique design. But oApril 2011 - 8th 057ften life gets in the way or squashes those dreams out of us, and that can diminish who we are.

What is on your dream list? What could you have go at fulfiling this week? Who encourages you in your dreams? 



What are your dreams?

Yesterday I was reminded by the wonderfully enthusiastic Primary 5s at my daughters’ school Easter service to dream big dreams and hold onto them. Some of the children shared their dreams – footballer, cook, artist, even one lad who dreams of being a mathematician. Wow. But that’s the point – that’s his dream, not mine (phew!). Our dreams are as unique as we are. What is your dream? How can you move one step closer to it today?

Take the next step…..

So I now have a running mantra: take-the-next-step, take-the-next-step. This came about whilst attempting to run up a very steep, if short hill, and very much wanting to stop every time I looked at how far away the top of the hill seemed. It seemed to stay just as far away with every step I took, despite my bursting lungs and screaming legs. Hurumpf. On this occasion, looking up to the top of the hill just seemed too difficult, too much of a challenge. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a challenge. But sometimes life’s challenges can seem too big, too high, too steep, too overwhelming, or just plain insurmountable. On those days, there is something to be said for just take-the-next-step, take-the-next-step, take-the-next-step…..

Wanting some inspiration about the next step to take in your life? My self-coaching guide is full of ideas, inspiration and practical action points you can implement now to start making changes and taking those steps. Simply fill in the form (and keep an eye on your spam folder as the reply sometimes ends up in there).

Celebrating you!

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We met this peacock recently – he is resident in the grounds of a wee hotel in Blairgowrie, in central Scotland. There were lots of peacocks in the traditional greens and blues, but this chap was different, beautiful, amazing, a real individual. He was strutting his stuff and showing off, and clearly loving his own magnificence. Now, I am not encouraging showing off or preening yourself like a peacock – that would be intolerable. But, like him, you are a work of art – completely unique. There is no one else alive that is exactly like you, equipped with your mix of gifts, strengths, and temperament. So often we are hard on ourselves and compare ourselves with others unfavourably. But you know what, this week choose some aspect of you that you like, that makes you uniquely you, and celebrate that! Like this peacock, just enjoy being the best of you.

Running stubborness

I have started running. Two wise, precious friends have been saying to me for years that I would love running. I mocked, was stubborn and ignored them. Turns out they were right, I do love running. They know me well, and they know what makes me tick. They know that I love being outside, that I love listening to music, and that I love the feeling of exercising hard. Had I listened to them, I could have been enjoying the freedom and buzz I get out of running all this time. So this week’s thought – where are you being stubborn? Who knows you better than you think, do you listen to them and are you grateful for the blessing they are in your life?