September 2011Vol 4, Issue 9
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

 Jan Carley

I was stuck in my car in the steaming heat, on a dusty stretch of road in nowheresville, at a complete standstill, stopped by construction on the detour I had taken to avoid the mile long back-up to the highway ramp that was fully blocked with a flipped semi-trailer. As I sat there and fumed, (and sweated), and watched the clock tick making me later and later for my appointment, I felt my blood pressure rise as a sense of helplessness ensued.  Time went by.


Then I had a sudden epiphany...I'll call it my "traffic jam" epiphany. I realized that although the externals were completely beyond my control (traffic accident blocking road, construction blocking alternate road, sweltering heat, 1.5 hours late for my appointment),  I WAS completely in control of my reaction to the adversity. I was absolutely in control of how I felt about the challenges I was facing. Wow! I felt an instant sense of relief! I had a choice.


I explore that theme in the feature article below - how can you take control when you really have no control?


And if you are keen to take control of your life this fall, open up your possibilities and kick up your personal joy meter, please be sure to join my popular Harmony from the Inside Out Tele-Boot Camp beginning Sept. 15th.  Click here for info. or to register. 


Here's to your fabulous fall!  jan signature




Jan Carley, PCC

Certified Executive Coach  Creative Coaching Group
604 873-1763  e: 

Feature Article: How to take control when you have no control

things out of control

It's never a nice feeling being in a situation or facing adverse circumstances over which we have no control. Many of you have been devastatingly struck this summer by extreme weather disasters or have felt a loss of control with other personal circumstances such as job layoffs, financial downturns, personal health or family illnesses, etc. The feeling of helplessness and stress one gets from being controlled by externals can be extreme.


Most of us generally spend our lives playing the "outer game" and allowing our lives and our moods to be governed and run by events and peoples actions outside of us - the "externals".  The danger of that approach is that we are allowing our joy and happiness and success to be dependent on outside forces over which we have no control.


It is almost impossible not to be affected by what is happening around us. I am not suggesting that we live in some sort of sheltered and unrealistic "positivity bubble" and deny that a problem exists, because simply ignoring an external problem does not make it go away. At best, it reduces it to an even more insidious place in our sub-conscious, leaving us with a vague sense of unease but "nothing we can put our finger on" and the more we try to ignore it, the more it gains energetic force.


We can, however, make a conscious choice to take back control when confronted with external interference by learning how to consciously control our own internal thoughts.  Inspirational author, Louise Hay, said "You are the only thinker in your own mind." We can shift our thought defaults to ones that serve us. We can CHOOSE what we put our mental focus on. That is entirely in our control.


"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." - William James, American psychologist and author, 1842 - 1910 



1/ Acknowledgment

As the Zen Buddhists advise when confronted with external interference, "Turn your head to it, nod in its direction and then turn your head and ignore it". The critical point being that you first need to acknowledge something in order to truly be able to "ignore it" or "let it go".
 Write a list of everything that is currently standing in the way of your peace, joy and happiness.
Consciously give a big "NOD" (acknowledgement) to everything on that list and then incorporate structured "obsessing time" into your day. Set a timer, and then for 30 minutes, you MUST obsess about those things that are really bothering you. Don't allow yourself to stop obsessing until the time is up.  The hitch?  Once the time is up, you cannot allow yourself to obsess about it until your "structured obsessing time" on the following day.


2/ Reality Check

Look at that list carefully. How many of the items on that list are within your control?  

Put the "in my control" list to one side - we will deal with that list in another ezine (or click here for a free chapter download on DO-ABLE GOAL SETTING" from my book, Harmony from the Inside Out).

Now, look at the "completely out of my control" list. Ask yourself what you are feeling when you think at each item on that list - eg/ are you sad, terrified, frustrated? Simply notice the feelings, and jot down the emotions that arise.


3/ Flip your Focus

Where do you place your mental focus?  Is it more often on what you have and what you want in your life, or, is it on what you don't have and don't want?"


Focus your thinking right now to one of the challenges on your "completely out of my control" list. Think about what you don't have, or don't want around as it pertains to that challenge. What happens to you? What happens to the problem? Does it go away?  I doubt it!

When you are focused on what you don't have, or don't want in any situation, you are absolutely stuck in the land of scarcity and consequently have nowhere to go or no way out of it. Feel what happens when you FLIP your focus to the opposite side of the ledger - to the "what you do have", or "what you do want" side. Think about that same "challenge"  and ask yourself what you have, or what you want around that challenge.  How does that shift the way you are feeling?


For example, let's take my coaching client Barb's current work struggle as she deals with incredible downsizing and staff job cuts at her place of employment. Before she flipped her focus, Barb had been stressed out, worrying and focused on the very real possibility that her job might be next on the chopping block. I asked her what was all of that middle of the night worrying doing for her and how was it helping her? Was it helping her "keep" her job? Was it making her "happier"? Well of course, the answer was NO.   She was focused firmly on the "what I don't have and what I don't want" side of the ledger and it was making her miserable. When she flipped her focus, her thinking opened up to what she wanted and there were possibilities. She wants to keep a similar job in the future. She wants to ensure she has enough to pay her mortgage. She wants to set herself up for a financially stable retirement. She could then ask herself ; "Okay then, considering the current job climate, how do I do that?" Barb's shoulders relaxed, her countenance changed. Now she was strategizing for a goal (and she knew how to do that!) instead of being held hostage in a helpless reaction to an external circumstance outside her control.


4/ Feed your Mind

It is critical to create a "positivity bank" that you can draw on when particularly stressed. Incorporate some of the following techniques into your daily life to help build up your own personal bank.

  • Begin the day by creating a positive intention (what will this day be about for you - joy? love? peace? fun? ease?)  Remind yourself of your intention throughout the day.
  • Surround yourself with positive messaging and with reminders of your fabulous-ness. Fill your home, your office, your car with positive messaging - photos of people you love, of things you love doing, with inspirational quotes. 
  • Remove yourself from all negative conversations and/or situations as quickly as possible.  Notice when you are the one who initiates the negative conversation and flip it.
  • End the day with gratitude. Spend the last few moments before sleep writing a list of what you are grateful for, and what of value happened that day (could be as simple as having a good conversation with a friend, or the sun coming out, or getting a smile from the cute Starbucks barista). Those positive thoughts will stay with you and amplify as you sleep.

 5/ Look forward

Put aside at least 10-15 minutes per day for mindful self-care. Slow your thinking mind (the place where all of your fear or negative thoughts exist) by focusing on your breathing and a positive word or picture that you hold in your mind.  Give yourself some space to dream and reconnect to the YOU that you are, and the brilliance that is your life and future.  (read last month's ezine feature article for how to reconnect with that feeling of aligned balance). Smile!  You are in complete control again.    

It's Your Time to Invest in Your Future!


Join Jan's Harmony from the Inside Out TELE-BOOT CAMP

Sept 15 - Oct 6, 2011 


This way to possibilityBoot Camp is the right thing for you if you want to: 

-discover your core purpose and figure out what the heck you are really here on earth to do

-identify your own signature gifts and really learn the benefits of stepping into them 

-eliminate the ways you get derailed

-turn down the dial on your Inner Static

-identify and shred your Limiting Beliefs

-learn the 7 scarcity mindsets and how you can easily shift to abundant thinking

-turn your Inner Critic into a helpful Inner Coach

-gain strategies to get past O.P. (Overwhelm paralysis)

-get your desired outcomes without creating more "busy" work

-create clear and sustainable actions for the future



"It was (and still is) the best investment I've made in myself. I've got better focus on my goals and dreams and how to reach them"- Lynette Pope


"Jan Carley's Boot Camp helped me reassess the important things in my life, view them with a new perspective, and point me toward new goals in my future. Well worth the trip!" - Nancy Bergman



4 weeks of content-rich transformational principles delivered by your coach, Jan Carley, via telephone, web, or skype in a group coaching experience with women just like you from around the world.  You participate in the way that works for you - either LIVE, or on your own with class recordings and materials that are emailed to you.

"I highly recommend!  A great way to get a new perspective on yourself! I was not able to make the live calls but the recordings and action guides are top-notch! " - Betsy Long



Thursday nights  September 15, 22, 29, October 6th  

5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT (check the world clock for time in your area)

Each coaching session lasts 2 hours. Have to miss a class?  No worries!  A full mp3 recording is sent to you immediately following each class for download. Your course recordings are yours to review, or refresh at your leisure forever!





P.S. You're not just taking a tele-course, you're joining an Inner Harmony Revolution!

Lightbulb of the Month

blue lightbulb


"You are today where your thoughts have brought you, you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."

- James Allen, British author 1864-1912

Jan is walking for a Parkinson's cure - Can you help?

MJ Fox for a Parkinson's cure 

I will be joining 14,000 Canadians on Sept. 11 for the annual Parkinson SuperWalk to help raise funds for finding a cure and better treatments for this debilitating disease.  My wonderful mom has had Parkinson's for several years and I have seen first-hand how devastating the progressive symptoms of this disease are.  If you would like to sponsor my walk please click here:  

Many thanks all! 


About Jan Carley

Jan Carley is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. Her com­pany, Creative Coaching Group, specializes in working with highly motivated individuals and high-achieving teams to expand their possibilities, leverage their strengths and focus their energies to achieve a leading edge of excellence. Jan lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and is available for individual and team coaching, workshops, and speaking engagements worldwide. Contact Jan at 604 873-1763  email:



Harmony from the Inside Out Book Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out - Creating and Living your Performance Potential (and a free chapter download) is available for sale on line at  (Kindle format on sale through 


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Quick Links
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If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog or newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up to receive the free 15 page report, 5 Ways to Instantly Focus for Harmony and Success, and receive a free subscription to Jan's monthly coaching e-newsletter, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT.
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