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

Category Archives: You Are Unique!

Do you know how unique you are? What your special blend of strengths, personality, life experience is? Understanding and celebrating your uniqueness enables you to live a more purpose-full life.

Sometimes it’s good to be bonkers

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Monday was a bit of a bonkers day. Not in the sense of crazy-busyness, but in relation to our behaviour. Well, the behaviour of younger daughter and myself, to be more accurate. (And fair to the other family members). Had elder daughter been with us, our behaviour would have been much more restrained, as elder daughter is at an age when bonkersness is not countenanced – I am An Embarrassment. However, she was out with a friend, so younger daughter and I were free to express our individuality without inhibition. We sat, drinking our free hot chocolate in our favourite blue-and-yellow-Swedish-shop making moustaches out of long wooden coffee stirrers. Experiments were carried out as to whether they made good eyebrows (no), nose-pickers (yes, but gross and a wee bit uncomfortable), or smiles (don’t bend well). In a brief moment alone in the loos, we stuck our open mouths under the industrial-strength hand drier (try it – see how long you can keep still for) and giggled at the blast of air and the contorted facial features. We speed walked round the store talking in funny voices. We did get a few raised eyebrows, the odd smile. We weren’t doing anything wrong, destructive or messy. And there was no point to any of it. And for me, that is the point – it was fun, and I’m still grinning when I think about it. Sometimes it’s the simple things. My two often see me in my mum-role being sensible, organised, and dispensing endless instructions and exhortations to do homework, or music practise, or stop/start whatever, or get ready for school/dinner/shower/bed. Sometimes it’s good to change the record and be a wee bit bonkers.

Who are you at your best?

Imagine something with me – you are your best. What does that look like? Who is that person? What makes that person unique, in terms of abilities, characteristics, personality? Now here is the tricky bit – we don’t always behave or communicate as our best selves. Sometimes, what comes out in terms of what we say and do comes from our least best selves, and out of hurt, criticism, pride, insecurity, jealousy, fear – you name it. We know who we want to be, and what we want to do, but our behaviour seems quite in contrast with this. But like everything in life, we have a choice. Not necessarily a choice about life’s events, but a choice in how we respond. We can choose to speak or behave in a way that reflects us at our best. Before you make a decision, stop and think – in saying this, or behaving in this way, am I becoming more or less like the best version of me that I want to be? This self-examination is at the heart of Ignatian spirituality, as described by Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits. Of course, it is not easy, and there is much more to it. But as a starting point this week, before you speak or react to someone or something, stop and think – who am I becoming as I make this choice?

What motivates you to be you?

What is it that motivates you to be you and behave the way you do? What are your strengths, and what are the downsides of your personality? At a recent study day on the Enneagram, those of us present were encouraged to look at each of the different types within that particular personality indicator, and consider both the strengths and weaknesses of each. But not in a beat-yourself-up sort of way, as is often the case when confronted with the less attractive aspects of our personalities and the subsequent behaviour patterns, but rather we were challenged to consider the downsides as aspects of ourselves that we have to take responsibility for. This is very freeing, as it allows us to see we have a choice in how we respond – when we recognise we are headed for negative behaviour (and there is often a definite, repeated pattern – see 10 things I like about you) we can choose to stop, see what is going on, accept and take resonsibility for what we have the potential to do or say at that moment, but then change it, change our response into something more in keeping with who we are at our best. Of course this is not easy, and takes a growing amount of self-awareness. But keep focussed on the best version of you that you are wanting to become, and celebrate small steps along the way.

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. 

 

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?

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.

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