I moved …

I moved my blog ...Well, I moved only virtually … to a self-hosted website that includes a blog. 🙂
You can find all my articles from this blog at the new address, and I’ll add more weekly.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

Thanks for reading,
Gabriela
GabrielaCasineanu.com

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Posted in Coaching, Uncategorized | Tagged

What coaches are good at …

Coaches are good at helping to identify those beliefs and thoughts that don’t serve you anymore, and replace them with more empowering ones … so you can see the world from a more empowering perspective, with positive effects on your own life.

filter beliefs

Posted in Beliefs, coaches, limiting beliefs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Feeling overwhelmed?

We feel overwhelmed when we think there’s too much on our “plate” to handle, and we stress about it. Most of the time this is just a perception, caused by receiving too much information at once (or in a short time) and/ or having too high expectations from ourselves in that moment.   

overwhelmed.jpg

Posted in Coaching, spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Do you know your strengths?

fist_punch_through_glass_ceiling_strengthsWhile I figured out by myself what I want for a career change back in 2006, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality test taken a year after confirmed my choice. It also introduced me to definitions of Extrovert and Introvert from a perspective I really resonate with. These led me to the book Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type, which helped me better understand my personality type and my career choice.

Since I love personality tests, two years ago I bought the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and got overwhelmed with all those 34 types. The book comes with a one-time code* to access the online test and, triggered by a facebook discussion, I did the test today. 🙂 To my surprise, the website report doesn’t only reveal my most important 5 strengths but also suggests the actions to take accordingly, and what other personality types I could associate with for best results. A real eye opener! Why it took me so long to take this test?!

Do you know your strengths? If yes, how often do you use them and delegate the other tasks? If not, what’s your action to discover them? 🙂

My strengths are Connectedness, Relator, Ideation, Maximizer, Futuristic. What are yours?

Gabriela

*If you’re interested in StrengthsFinder 2.0, buy it new since the access code is for one user only. I heard that if you buy the Kindle version, your code is emailed to you right away so you don’t need to read all the book if you just want to take the test to find your strengths. 🙂

Posted in career, career change, Coaching, extrovert, introvert, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Admiring is …

admiring

Posted in Uncategorized

Tendency to stutter while speaking?

road_block_wall_6370“He has a tendency to stutter while speaking”, she told me skeptically. Since I had coached someone with this before, I was curious to see what a session could do for him.

He did speak with often breaks between words, sometimes repeating sounds or words, not projecting any confidence and lacking energy.

After listening to him talking, I start by sharing: “I’ve noticed that you move of your eyes upward while talking, which make me think that you’re searching often for words or looking for how to put your phrase together. Is this why your phase comes out less fluent, which others might perceive as a tendency to stutter while speaking?”

“You’re right. I’m looking for words because I have a fear of saying something that might disturb the other person, or be perceived as an inappropriate answer in the discussion. That’s why I ponder the each word in my head.”

“Which also leads to speaking more slowly, and someone might perceive it as lack of confidence or being clumsy”, I’ve added. “Let’s see what we can do about this. You seem a smart guy to me, with a lot of potential, but this might block you to get what you want.” Looking for what could help him put that fear aside, I found myself asking something that I don’t usually bring up in a coaching session: “Feel free to not answer this question. Do you believe in God or another form of superior consciousness beyond the human beings?”

“Yes, I believe in God”, he answered.

“Then what do you need to put that fear aside, and trust that God will inspire you to say the right words in that specific situation? Would that lessen your mental pressure?”

“I think it would … I could let it come out naturally, just let it out!

“Let’s test this. I’ll ask you a question, and you answer this way, naturally. Ok?”

I asked him a question, and to my surprise, he answered it beautifully: the phrase was more fluent, well formulated, it came out so naturally, and he projected more energy and confidence than before. Even his body position changed: the back was straight, looking ahead. “What do you think? Did you notice any difference?”

“Yes, it was like I was opening up more, and I even enjoyed answering this way!”

We tried again, and again, and it worked each time. “Now, you’ll need a reminder, something physical that could remind you to just let it out whenever you need to talk! What could be that reminder?”

“I don’t know.”

“What color do you associate with speaking naturally, letting it out?”

“My favorite color, blue.”

“It’s interesting because the water is perceived as blue as well, and with going with the flow. Like you speaking naturally. Now you’ll need to find something blue to carry with you, as a reminder to speak naturally.”

He smiled, “I know what that is.”
————
Do you have any fears that might block your success? Please share your comments below.

Gabriela

Posted in Beliefs, fear, introvert, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Follow your dream …

For those introverts out there feeling frustrated …follow dream

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Challenge or opportunity?

I’ve recently started a new meetup group Introverts from inside-out. up the tree perspective_m I’m not playing the coach role in this group, just organising it, and be myself during the group discussions (unless I do a workshop or presentation). Well, little did I know what I was about to discover! 🙂

Through this meetup, beside being my way of giving back to community, I wanted to connect with other introverts, and get an idea on how I could better enable introverts to live a more fulfilling life. Sounds like a good idea, right?!

With the 2nd monthly meeting, I’ve started to realize how challenging this new adventure is… for me! 🙂 From coming up with new meetup ideas that attract more introverts to such a group … to organizing and facilitating meetings that actually help the participants, and encourage them to come again. From dealing with people having “I know it all” attitude, or thinking they’re doing well (while, in fact, having lots of limiting beliefs & no openness to others’ ideas) … to people feeling menaced when I share my thoughts. 🙂 Well, that makes a good playground for me, to practice more what I preach. 🙂

Yet, the biggest challenge for me is to stick with organizing this meetup for a while, since I’m someone who loves to start new projects, then pass them on to others! Which is not quite a bad idea, but this time I just want to build my “muscle” of keep going … even when I get tired of putting energy and resources in a specific project. Masochism?! 🙂 Not at all! As soon as I get this “muscle” strong enough (according to my scale), I can move on … and choose in future situations if I want to use its strength or not. It’ll become a matter of choice depending on the situation or project, instead of going on autopilot with my default behaviour.

In fact, each of these challenges helps me overcome some internal barriers (if I don’t give up), so these challenges are … opportunities in disguise! 🙂

Do you have a project in mind, and encounter some challenges? Feeling intimidated by them? Why not treat them as opportunities to grow?! How would that feel instead, knowing that you’re tackling new opportunities that’ll take you closer to accomplishing your goal or project?

I’m pretty sure that by raising up to the challenges we encounter, we in fact get closer to what we want to achieve. 🙂

What do you think?

Gabriela

ThoughtsDesigner.com

Posted in Beliefs, challenging, introverts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts at the end of the year…

I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’m not religious!”, said with conviction the guy across the table. He was talking with his colleagues, which happened to sit at the same table where I was having my lunch. “I don’t understand! We can make gifts to people all year round, why should we spend so much money now?!”, added another. Their discussion went on and on, but my mind has already been disconnected, rumbling on its own…
As someone who was raised with the Christmas tradition in the family (carolling, decorating the tree, preparing the food specialties together, giving and receiving gifts…), I enjoy this time of the year more for the great feeling it brings back … not as much as a religious holiday.christmas_2015
Yet, living in a multicultural country as Canada, with people from various cultures and traditions, I became more respectful of others’ opinions. Should I argue my point?! Should I accept theirs?! It really depends on situation, and what I want to bring forth. I’m not stuck in my own opinion, needing to defend it, nor am I willing to convince others just because … I believe in something!
It’s a great feeling to become more aware of the options we have, and choose the one that suits best the moment … for the greater (than just individual) good. Canada is a good environment to learn such lessons!
I wish others have the chance to be in a multicultural environment when no one imposes forcefully his own opinions, and everyone is open to hear and respect the others’ (knowing that being respectful doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance or giving up your own beliefs). Being open to other opinions enriches us all, ending up being more compassionate with fellow humans.

Wishing you Happy Holidays, and a great New Year 2016!
Gabriela
ThoughtsDesigner.com

2016_en

Posted in Beliefs, Christmas spirit, Happy New Year, Inspired Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

10 tips for introverts hiking Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (or other similar experiences)

I survived the inca trail
When I’ve decided to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (instead of taking the train), I didn’t realize the burden I’ll have to carry on by being an introvert. Well, I survived the Inca Trail, as this T-shirt says. 🙂
Being an introvert, my energy gets drained by exposure to a group of extroverts for a longer period of time. We were 16 in the tourists group, 2 guides and other 22 staff members (porters, cooks, etc.). Add to this the hike at high altitude (3-4000 m) with frequent ups and downs (sometimes of 900 m level difference in one day), the less dense oxygen at such altitude and you’ll get a better idea to what we’re exposed to. Our journey on Inca Trail was four days, and the fifth we visited Machu Picchu.
So here are my 10 tips for introverts who would like to embark on such adventure, or anything similar (being with a group of extroverts for an extended period of time):
1. Have a strong reason why you want to go on that hike.
Mine was quite strong! After my trip to Egypt in 2008, the same group went to Machu Picchu the next year. I couldn’t go with them, but the day they reached Machu Picchu I had a strong pull to get into a meditation state. What followed was such an interesting meditation (never experienced before), that triggered my strong desire to visit this place. I chose to hike the Inca Trail to immerse myself in the energy of that place for a longer period of time (instead of just a few hours visiting Machu Picchu), and learn more about that ancient culture of Incas.
2. Let people know that you’re an introvert.
Since introverts don’t usually share information about themselves, the other people might not know that you are one. By not telling them, you open the door to assumptions that might not be in your favour (that you’re weird, have strange habits, don’t want to go along with what most of them do, etc.). It’s nothing wrong to be an introvert, we’re just … different. And people will act differently when we tell them that we are introverts, and how we are affected by being in a group of unknown people, especially if most of them are extroverts.
4. Tell others your reason for being with them at that time.
When we’re invited to talk about ourselves, the evening of the 2nd day, I shared that I’m an introvert, and I chose to walk at the end of the group for two reasons: 1. To be less affected by the energy of the group, and 2. Because I embarked on this adventure as a spiritual journey. Opening up this way made a whole difference in the way I was treated from that point on. The main guide chipped in saying that many people are hiking the Inca Trail as a pilgrimage, some prefer not eating, just drinking water, to arrive more purified to Machu Picchu. I wouldn’t have that information if I wouldn’t open up! And that information alone made a huge difference in my experience during that trip.
5. Stay connected with yourself.
No matter what others are doing and saying, stay connected with yourself, with your own body needs, and act accordingly. If that means walking much slower (like in my case), just do it and don’t worry about others. By doing that, I opened the “door” to others to join me at the end of the line, when they felt it was hard for them too. Same when my body wanted reduced meals, and refused to eat overall (for 1.5 days) – some group member followed my example when they felt the same way. I wouldn’t have been able to continue the hike if I wouldn’t pay attention to my own needs, and have the courage to act accordingly.
6. When seems hard, use your imagination.
I learned this from the Alchemist book, and tested it when I was on a Vision Quest in Sedona desert in 2009. We all need the energy of the four elements to function properly (Water, Earth, Fire, Air). When I felt that’s too hard or I don’t have enough energy to continue, I ask myself what am I missing of the four elements. As soon as I’ve got the answer, I start imagining the missing element. And believe me: it worked! Or even better, try it yourself! 🙂
7. Make an inventory of your strengths before you go.
It’s good to know on what you can rely on in difficult times.
I had my right knee dislocated at ski in 2002, which seemed to do pretty well on this hike. What I didn’t expect though, was to get a pain in my left knee, starting the 2nd day. “How can I continue the rest of the hike (which required steps up and down, 20 to 50 cm height each) with such a pain?”, I asked myself. I remembered a Reiki symbol (learned some time ago, when I’ve got my Reiki level 2 training), and it helped. I used it here and there, when the pain start being overbearing. I managed to finish the hike, and start treating my left knee when I came back home.
8. Stay positive
This is very important, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert! No matter what happens, stay positive! Otherwise, the negative energy will poison you directly, and those around you (with a boomerang effect on you). I remember especially the last day, before getting to Machu Picchu: I was walking slowly, paying attention to each move (to not force my left knee), breathing deeply (to counteract the lack of enough oxygen at such altitude), and … enjoying the butterflies that kept coming to keep me company. 🙂 I wasn’t bothered by the group that was always ahead of me, ending the breaks when I was getting closer to them – so I kept moving, without brakes, to not stay too much behind since I was already having a slower pace. I understood the guide’s reason: they couldn’t wait too long, otherwise their muscles will get cold which makes the hike more difficult. I kept coming back in my mind to why I wanted to do this, to what the guide said (other people were able to resist without eating, just drinking), and that it’s my responsibility to make it a great journey for me. And, it was! 🙂 (I’ll talk about that part in another blog post)
9. If possible, go with a group that has the same or similar reason to be there as yours.
That will make your journey much more enjoyable, since you’ll have someone to share your experience with, who has similar knowledge, values and intentions. And, as an introvert, you can open up even more and exchange positively with such people.
I didn’t pay attention to this when I booked my Inca Trail package with the tour agency, and I ended up with a group of extroverts, who took that journey more for the fun and physical challenge. We had at a marathon runner and a professional athlete in the group. I had a feeling that for many of them, the Machu Picchu site was not so interesting anymore, getting there was enough. For me, Machu Picchu was the cherry on the top … my best experience happened there.
10. One step at a time
Especially when you realize there is a huge gap between you and others, on various levels, taking one step at a time, and finding ways to enjoy the journey (however it is), will certainly lead you to the destination. It did, in my case ! And I take this as a great metaphor for building a business! 🙂

Do you think it was a difficult experience for me?! All the groups members got the T-shirt “I survived the Inca Trail”! 🙂 It was quite a journey, probably different for each of us!me_at_Machu Picchu

I’ll share more about it, on November 20th in a presentation with lots of photos. Machu Picchu is a photogenic place 🙂 , but it also has such a great energy! No wonder why the Incas chose it as a Sacred place!

Do you have other tips for introverts in similar situations?

Gabriela
ThoughtsDesigner.com

Posted in entrepreneur, Happiness, interpersonal communication, Intrapersonal Communication, introvert, introverts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment