Taking Ownership and Being Intentional (Intention, #8)

Proving you do not need to hire a coach in order to learn about, and apply, intention, here is a blog post from a client’s husband.  What I love about Tim’s description of manifesting his professorship is the way that he became clear on his end goal and then followed up with clear and committed action (see Jen’s blog, http://www.mclarencoaching.com/intention-5/) and did not give up until he got what he wanted (see Joan’s blog, http://www.mclarencoaching.com/however-long-it-takes-intention-4/).  He combines much of what we have discussed already with an added element, perhaps best summed up in a phrase from well before my own childhood – “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  There are many ways to achieve your outcome.  If you are intentional and take ownership for getting it, you will continue to look for more and different ways until you get what you say you want.  That is commitment.  That is intention.  Now, from Tim:

Earlier this year I decided that it was time to declare concrete goals and intentions for my home business. My wife had been meeting with a small group for business coaching for the last year and it continually amazed me to see her accomplishing goals and growing her business. Perhaps even more exciting to observe was her change in mentality about success and the steps to attain it.

I would consider both of us to be fairly driven people…we both have advanced degrees, run our own businesses, and have worked hard to try to accomplish our goals….In fact, up until a year ago, I thought we had a pretty good idea about how to be successful. It wasn’t until she started business coaching and learning about intention that we realized that “trying our hardest” to accomplish goals wouldn’t actually set us up for success at all. In fact, using the word “try” gave us an instant out in case things didn’t happen the way we wanted. “Oh well, I tried my hardest” could be the response to any failed goal. Personally, thinking of success in that way didn’t allow me to see the outcome of a goal I wanted to achieve and certainly didn’t show me the steps I needed to take to get there.

As I began to plan earlier this year what I wanted to accomplish in 2016, my wife showed me some of the techniques she had learned from coaching about intention. She explained the visualization process that Cami taught her and shared the blog post (which I highly recommend listening to, http://www.mclarencoaching.com/guided-visualization-for-2016/) where Cami does a guided visualization of the upcoming year. Doing this visualization laid out an amazingly vivid picture in my mind of the goals I had for myself and for my home business. As soon as I finished, I took 30 minutes to write down what I HAD accomplished in 2016. I say “HAD accomplished” because this was a very important step in setting my intention. Instead of thinking of goals as something I needed to do, I saw my goals after they had already been accomplished. It was much easier then to plan my route to get there. Looking back, I truly believe that this was the turning point for my success in my home business because it allowed me to change the way I was thinking about my goals.

One of the goals that came from my visualization was to accept an offer to teach another college class. I’ve been an adjunct professor at a local community collegeprofessor for a few years and previously had only been teaching one class for the college. I had a temporary second class for only the current semester with plans to give that back to the full-time professor who usually teaches the class. College teaching has been a passion for me for a long time but I had remained fairly stagnant in my job there for a couple of years and didn’t know which direction I should go in order to further that goal. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t previously able to see myself as a full-time college professor. That goal was something I figured “might happen” in the future if certain things fell into place but certainly not something I would do anytime soon. However after seeing myself accept another class in my visualization, I decided that it was time to set a declaration.

I declared that in order to see my visualization come true, I would talk with my department chair to let her know I was interested in another class. After all, if none of my bosses knew that I wanted another class, I had a pretty low chance of getting one. This was a harder task than I thought (I tried to put it off several times) and was made more difficult by the fact that I didn’t get a response to my first email. I tried again about a month later, this time CC’ing the other full-time faculty as well so they would know that I was serious about this request. More time went by and still nothing was sent back. I decided to try something else. I called one of the previous department heads (the one who got me my first class at the college and still a full-time faculty member) to see if he and his wife would be interested in meeting my wife and I for dinner to catch up. Part way through that dinner, as I was deciding how I would bring up the classes into casual conversation, he asked me if I would be interested in taking over the music business class he had been teaching. “Definitely!” I replied.

In the following months after the dinner, I followed up with him and my department to make sure things were still on track and I am pleased to say that as of May 15th, I accepted my second class at the college! And as if this weren’t enough to prove to myself that my intention worked, just this week I found out that the class I had temporarily filled in for last semester is going to be my musicpermanent third class! I’m beyond excited!

This process has completely changed the way I think about success and the role of intention. I’m confident that I would not have taken all of the steps I needed to take to accomplish my goal if I hadn’t decided that I was getting the class beforehand. The confidence that my visualization gave me allowed me to be proactive and creative in accomplishing this goal and I plan to continue to use visualization and intention in other aspects of my business going forward.

Tim Stephenson
Jazz Percussionist and Teacher

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching attorneys and management since early 2008. She wrote a book, published by the American Bar Association, "Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance." She coaches attorneys and managers one-on-one, and provides in-house training designed to improve productivity and bring accountability to the organization.

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