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Coach’s Diary: If Things Aren’t Going Your Way…


Ask yourself this one question if things aren’t going your way…

Just recently, I’ve had what seems like a procession of people walking into my office, complaining that life just isn’t working out the way they want. If you’re in the same predicament, then you’ll be relieved to know that there is one key question you can ask which guarantees to get you out of the mire.

There’s a well-known saying in the world of motivational speakers that, "If you don’t like the results you’re getting, then change what you’re doing." And just in case you’ve haven’t got the point, you might like to consider the following: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – over and over again – hoping for a different outcome.

New Opinion Column:

As part of our long term plans for the site, we have been looking at ways to give coverage to more opinion pieces. With that in mind, starting next week, the Coach's Diary is to be replaced by a new opinion column. Olivia Stefanino will be the first to contribute to the new column. Other writers who'll be airing their views in the next few months will be Paul Kearns and Steve Miller. So watch this space!

If this sounds like your modus operandi, then you might want to stop for a minute and ask yourself what hidden pay-off you’re getting from your behaviours. Three of my client’s experiences demonstrate how damaging hidden pay-offs can be:

  • After he took the trouble to slow down and investigate his subconscious mind, Mike discovered that he wasn’t getting the promotion he craved because he didn’t want it to get in the way of his relationship. As a child, his father had been a workaholic – and his parents had split up because his mother had an affair. The hidden pay-off: I get to keep my partner by not succeeding at work.
  • Rick had been wrongly accused of a joy-riding crime as a teenager and he’d been furious that no one would listen to his pleas of innocence. Stuck on the dole more than 10 years later, it wasn’t until he interrogated his subconscious mind that he was able to get to the bottom of his apathy.
    The hidden pay-off: They didn’t believe me, so I’ll make them pay for it.
  • Dave was terrified at the prospect of making a presentation at a forthcoming industry conference. Convinced that he'd make a fool of himself, he knew that he needed to start to think differently – and fast – if he wasn’t going to end up with egg on his face. After asking his intuitive self to come up with answers, Dave remembered his school teachers humiliating him in front of the class for being a 'show-off'. "Nobody", he’d been told, "likes a show-off".
    The hidden pay-off: Keep a low profile and keep your friends.

Try this for yourself: Choose an area of your life which isn’t going quite the way you planned and ask your intuitive self to reveal the hidden pay off you’re getting from the situation. Keep contemplating the question over a couple of days – and you’ll be amazed at the answers!

* Olivia Stefanino is a leadership development consultant and executive coach, who works with blue chip organisations, SMEs and individuals. Download your free e-booklet “128 ways to harness your personal power” at


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