Positivity in Action – NLP

So trying to continue my blog a day while I’m on leave I’ve been thinking about what I could say today. I’m not sure I can pull out 500 words on sitting in my PJ’s reading a medieval crime story (Chris Nickson – Crooked Spire if you want a good read) so I thought I’d write a little bit about trying some NLP/Life coaching on one of my customers.

This girl has been unemployed since around April and while she sees it as a very long time compared to several of my customers it’s not long at all. She’s been through a period of homelessness and depression and is now struggling to find work. She unfortunately cannot go back to her old profession in call centres as companies that use these are now insisting on credit checks for everyone, even in jobs that have little or nothing to do with finances. It’s an easy way to sift out applicants when often several hundred people are applying for a handful of jobs but it’s not fair on those who are penalised for small mistakes during the recession and are probably more qualified to do the job than those with good credit.

But I digress. She has looked at switching to an admin role but needs experience. For the job centre (who I work for) to gain work experience you have to be under 25 (she’s 28) and recent attempts at gaining some voluntary work in a charity has so far taken 3 months with lots of promises but no start date. So you can see why she’s lost all motivation. She has been at the point where she saw herself as unemployable. As she has lost motivation of getting a job as her goal we’ve had to think of a new plan so I thought I’d try some of the ideas I’d picked up on my introduction to NLP course.

Chatting about her friends she mentioned another thing getting her down. In around 18 months her group start turning 30 and are wanting a big trip to Las Vegas to celebrate. Without a job she would not be able to go and she was feeling alientated again by not being able to join in the fun planning. So we’ve changed the goal to holidays.

Think of a goal, something that you really want to achieve? Las Vegas

Ok so how are you going to find a way to go?

You could see the cogs whirring in her brain and her verbal musings went something like this:-

“I need to get a job but I can’t go back to my old job and I’ve no experience in admin so that’s out BUT I did used to work in a bar so I could try that again and I’ve done waitressing so I could look at that again and I like to chat to people and bar work is a little like retail so I can try that which means I can look at coffee shops and stuff like that”

I barely had to ask any further questions. We did also talk about visualisation boards and for her to maybe get a board and put on the things she really wants which included this trip and learning to drive.

This is only last week so she is still unemployed but one nice thing i discovered was looking at her online file she had been into the office and a note had been placed saying how positive & motivated she sounded and she had even secured a couple of interviews

For my employers she needs to get a job but for myself and this girl just switching to a different goal should very shortly result in the same outcome. Sometimes all it takes is a little out of the box thinking and a switch in focus. I love this idea of NLP and changing your way of thinking and it’s a course of training I want to explore. If it results in putting more smiles on faces like this girl then it can only be a good thing

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Productive day & learning to say no (again)

I’m now on annual leave from work. I toyed with the idea of a blog a day while I’m at home but if I’m honest I fully expect several of the days to read: Got up, ate, read a book, went back to bed. I feel like I’ve done so much running around after others lately I’m so tried I just want to have some lazy days.

Today didn’t work out that way. A small lie in and then two hours spent helping my son write out a preliminary business plan. He hopes to consolidate his degree and become a photopgrapher. He’s good at it and it suits his quiet nature. He’s not cut out for the cut throat world of corporate businesses. We completed the whole thing, he has lots of ideas about what he wants and how he wants to do it. But he has had such knock backs with issues graduating and being let down by his university he is letting this ruin his confidence, The negatives were all over an essay never his photography but the effect was devastating and I’m still trying to find ways to bring back the confident child I once had.

I also managed to finally find some more bravery for myself and submit a short story for a new online magazine. Fingers crossed they like it or I may have to unfollow them on twitter 🙂

Some boring bits then – food shopping, spot of cleaning, you know how it goes. I’ve actually been spring cleaning the cupboards lately. I have a huge issue with saying no – something I really need to work on – and as a result have a house full of junk I don;t need. I found several African cooking pots asa result of mother cleaning out HER cupboards, I’m not a cook so why I said yes I’ve no idea. Plus loads of baking equipment, As much as I like cake I admit to laziness and would rather just buy it. So I now have a big pile of cooking and baking pots for gumtree and a car boot sale.

But not being able to say no almost got me in bother at work too. A late day phone call from my boss who is leaving for pastures new to tell me that there would be an advert for her positon on a temporary basis and did I think I would apply? I was sat on the bus going home at the time and panic agreed to it. Why?? I don’t want the job. I’m working on two self employment ideas of my own, about to re-start my part time degree, hoping to have a stall at some craft fairs leading up to Xmas, why would I want to add to my stress levels by managing a team of 12? But this is what I do. I think sometimes I’m scared of letting people down. I often felt that way during my childhood and the worst of my depressive years and even though it isn’t as bad now it still soemtimes happens and that’s why I think I automatically say yes without thinking it through. Too busy trying to please others before myself.

I managed to speak to my boss the next day and decline applying for her job. Now I need to learn to ask for time before making decisions. Maybe the next time my mother turns up with several boxes of her junk!

Sweet dreams are made of this

I’ve been having a few dreams lately. Normally I never remember what I dream but every so often when I’ve been having a thoughtful time in my life I’ll remember. Mostly because when it happens the dreams are usually quite bonkers full of strange imagery. The ones over the last two weeks have all involved small rodent animals – I’ve had mice running around my childhood home (a recurring one is that oen), then we had possibly the craziest one yet; a psychotic hedgehog ma pet budgie (which I don’t have in real life) and finally one involving guinea pigs.

As there seemed to be an animal theme I decided to look up the meanings and see if it can fit into anything that is going on in life. To see mice in a dream suggest dwelling too much on trivial things and insignificant matters. Well I am a depressive, gemini drama queen – dwelling on the trivial is what I do 🙂  For the first time in ages though I can’t think of anything other than the usual (mpney, jobs etc) that I’ve given much negative thought to.

Hedgehogs- To see a hedgehog in your dream suggests that you are being overly sensitive. You are taking everything too personally. Alternatively, it refers to losing your soul.  So as I’m behaving and not being senstitve to trivial matters then I must be worried about losing my soul. Which is probably true. Told you I was a drama queen! I love my job but hate the company I work for (the government!) and the more time I spend working with the homeless people & those with other barriers the angrier I seem to become with the way people are treated. My mum suggested I become some kind of campaigner but there is no way to do that and still keep my job. Then there is the decision to make as to whether I do want to stay anyway. My original plan was to pass my Open Uni degree and look at life coaching. The question i now have is can I do that now and bring forward my plans by three years. It’s a tough decision. I know the answer but have to look at the realistic aspects of it all.

And lastly the guinea pigs – To see a guinea pig in your dream represents your need to be more responsible and attentive. Alternatively, it suggests that through experimentation and taking risks, you learn how and how not to do something.  You learn from your mistakes.  Okay so experimenting & taking risks. That’s been happening. I’ve accidentally on purpose committed myself to several short story competitions by talking to the competition runners on Twitter. It’s spurred me on to actually have a go. I answered an advert for book reviewers and now have several books to read & write about. I’ve shared this blog with my new co-students on my next course. I try and be a bit braver every day. I suppose the idea of leaving an employer and setting up on your own is one of the biggest risks you can take.

So watch this space, whatever I decide I’ll share and maybe people will also share their advice on self employment and taking risks