In coaching there is a concept we refer to as being fully present. It means a number of things such as paying full and conscious attention to the person you are coaching. It also means quieting internal mental chatter—in other words, getting out of your own head. It can be one of the hardest skills to master. Becoming other focused, another concept we talk about, is even more challenging as we fill our busy lives with email, telephone calls, and endless meetings.
Here are 10 tried and true ways you can practice being in the moment and fully present.
- Turn off your email. Not forever. Just try it for one day.
- Sing. Loudly and off key is perfectly acceptable. I sing in the car at full volume with the windows down!
- Dance. With abandon. My husband and I chair dance. My daughter dances on the soccer field. My sister shimmies and shakes when she cooks. Dance down the hallway to your office. Dance in line at the bank. Music is optional.
- Breathe. Deeply. And again. And again. And again. Suck in air all the way to the bottom of your lungs—and now a little deeper. Let it out slowly.
- Laugh. At your favorite comedian, at a movie, at the silly things little kids do.
- Help someone else. I highly recommend holding doors open or letting someone go in front of you in the grocery store.
- Praise someone. Sincerely.
- Thank someone. Sincerely.
- Call a friend or a family member to say “I love you—and here are 5 reasons why.”
- Look someone in the eyes. Really look. SEE who they are.
- Put your phone down for 15 minutes. Turn it completely off.
Being fully present is a gift you give to others and to yourself. It improves the quality of interactions with others and the overall quality of your life. After all, it’s pretty darned hard to be anything other than in the moment when you’re singing Sweet Caroline at full volume. Now sing with me!
Be sure to finish the song when you get a chance!
About the Author
Patricia Overland is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.