Updated: Mar 11, 2020

This is the first post in a series about living an "Anderful Life." My thoughts are developing, and your input is welcome. I look forward to others shaping my thinking through their comments here and on social media. My life and ideas are works in progress. It only makes sense that my notions of what it means to live an Anderful life would be too. As you read this blog series, I encourage you to think about what it means for you to live a Lopezful, O'haraful, or Williamsful life.

Anderful Life: An origin story When the name of my coaching business came to mind, I was riffing on the way my family of origin, the Andersons, often refer to ourselves. We're the AnderFam, a name coined by an honorary family member, Steph. Over time, AnderFam has morphed into AnderSibs and AnderGreats (great grandkids). Unsurprisingly, I was staying with an AnderSis when the name Anderful popped into my head. (It was better than "Coaching-R-Us" and "No, Really, I'm a Coach," which, you'll appreciate, were never under consideration.) In short, the name is a grateful and lighthearted nod to my family, particularly my parents, who modeled much of what it means to me to live an Anderful life.

Six Kinds of Full-ness In thinking about what it might mean for you to live fully as yourself, I collected a variety of adjectives that end with the "ful" suffix. I ruled some of them out right away as descriptors of a life I invite others to live. Let's skip the vengeful, fistful, and basketful descriptors! Instead, I invite us to consider the following:

  • A Meaningful and Purposeful Life

  • A Faithful and Soulful Life

  • A Truthful and Peaceful Life

  • A Thankful, Grateful, and Graceful Life

  • A Playful, Joyful, and Beautiful Life

  • A Fruitful, Hopeful, and Plentiful Life

In the weeks to come, I'll spend time describing each of these in more depth. Here's a preview of my thinking.

A Meaningful and Purposeful Life. We seek lives that matter, with connections to others and a sense of direction. We're invested in work, service, and people for the greater good of those in our circles and those we will never meet personally.

A Faithful and Soulful Life. We honor the human need to attend to our inner lives and make sense of ultimate realities. Moreover, we choose to live in ways that are consistent with what we believe in our deepest parts, and in response to our beliefs about ultimate realities.

A Truthful and Peaceful Life. Cultivating lives that are committed to learning and remaining curious is a key aspect of personal well-being and human flourishing. Being open to the truth about ourselves, and being at peace with it, can be very difficult work, but is essential to personal growth.

A Thankful, Grateful, and Graceful Life. Expressing appreciation for others and noticing what we have can open us to new ways of moving into our lives and increase our resilience in the face of hardship. When we look at life through grateful hearts, we cultivate an ability to offer grace to others and ourselves.

A Playful, Joyful, and Beautiful Life. Sometimes, hidden in the corner of our lives, we find opportunities to play and laugh, experience joy, and savor beauty in the midst of difficulty. Other times, life overflows with such goodness. In whatever form we find them, playfulness, joy, and beauty feed us and sustain us through the mundane and the difficult parts of life.

A Fruitful, Hopeful, and Plentiful Life. When we see that our efforts to live meaningful, purposeful, faithful lives is having an impact on others, we come full circle: our growth feeds those around us, which in turn allows us to flourish even more. Together, they inspire and fuel hope for change. In a world where we are encouraged to jockey for position, power, and financial abundance, it can be helpful to recognize the variety of ways in which we already have plenty--and from a place of plenty, we are free to give.

I'm excited to hear your thoughts on my thoughts throughout this series. I hope that these posts give you a sense of who I am as a person and coach, and also invite you to reflect on the ways your life can and does reflect the "fullnesses" that matter to you.

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How do you picture self-confidence?

  • Is it like a strong mountain, or a duck swimming with serenity in the lake next to it?

  • Maybe it's like a dam, strong enough to hold back the waters of external pressure and control what gets through?

  • Perhaps confidence is more subtle, like having the ability to grow in hard environments.

What stands out to me today, is that self-confidence is an inner strength that grows out of my beliefs about myself. When I believe I have the skills to accomplish a task, I am more confident about jumping in. When I believe I'm worthy of love, I accept the love offered to me by others, and I enter into social situations more readily (if you know me, you know that my enjoyment of others quickly compensates for waning confidence). When I have self-confidence, I stand up taller. I make better eye contact. I smile more. I speak my mind. I might even take a risk or two (ahem, like starting a life coaching business). I used to think that being affirmed by others was essential to developing self-confidence. I was sure that because my wife believes in me, I would find it easier to believe in myself. I'm learning that while it feels really great to be affirmed by others, it isn't enough to make up for deficits in my self-confidence. That is something I need to cultivate inside myself by identifying my core beliefs, discarding those that are untrue, and replacing them with ones that will sustain me on a consistent basis. This kind of work is important to me as a person, a mom, and as a coach. In my own life, cultivating a strong sense of my own value and capacity enables me to embrace new opportunities. As a mom, I want my kids to know their inherent worth and understand their unique place in the world. As a coach, I want clients to move forward with confidence into the own lives, dreams and ambitions. I can encourage clients all I want (and I do), but ultimately, real change comes when clients identify their core beliefs, and then consider whether those beliefs are true and helpful. When negative or limiting beliefs can be replaced by truthful, positive, and empowering beliefs, all sorts of change is possible!

It is a joy to do this work personally and professionally. If you think your own beliefs about yourself may be keeping you from pursuing your dreams, drop me a message through my website or my Facebook page.

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I took this picture in NE Minneapolis this summer. The scene jumped out at me for its warmth and welcome. I genuinely wanted to be sitting on that porch talking with a friend, but I had good enough impulse control to stop myself! As I look back on it now, the picture represents four aspects of coaching that are important to me.

First, I love the warmth of this scene.

This image reminds me it is important to welcome clients into a warm space. This might seem odd since I meet via Zoom (a video conferencing tool) with people. What control do I have about environment in that setting? There are a lot of things I can do. For example, I can keep my physical and mental space is uncluttered. This helps me focus my attention on the client (and keeps them from being distracted too). I also adjust the camera angle, lighting, and sound quality to support a strong connection. Further, I am as intentional about making eye contact, by looking at the camera, as I would be in a face-to-face conversation. Together, these choices help me create a context that is warm and engaging.

Second, I'm drawn to both the spaciousness and the safety of the scene.

This image reminds me that the core task of coaching is holding a safe space for people to be who they are, where they are in life. Clients get to bring the issue they want to address to a session. Clients can count on a judgment-free zone to talk about areas in which they may feel stuck, ways they want to grow, or changes they want to make. I don't outline the top five areas they need to work on and insist we forge ahead on my agenda. No no NO! I hold space for the client to be who they are, where they are on their own journeys toward greater integration and wholeness. Holding safe space, is essential to effective coaching! It's one of the great honors of this work.

Third, I'm drawn to the reflection in the window.

As clients and I work together, there are times when it can be helpful for me to reflect back to them what I'm hearing and seeing. Even by video, I can pick up on a person's body language, tone of voice, and word choices. Reflecting these back to a client can help them see things in a new way, and free them up to make changes that support their values and dreams. It's not unusual for me to be able to suggest a metaphor that might capture what I'm hearing. In all these ways, I hope to graciously reflect back to a client what I'm hearing and seeing. Fourth, let's consider what can't be seen in the picture!

This picture was taken from the driver's seat in my car. Just out of view of the porch and these chairs is a well-trafficked road. In my mind, this illustrates something that's implicit in coaching--a willingness to take an action. Coaching is more than just talking to someone. In most sessions, the client will make a choice to do something. Maybe they'll commit to noticing their inner dialog for a week. Maybe they'll choose to take a risk and address a task they've been afraid of and avoiding for a while. Maybe they'll take the next steps toward reengaging an old hobby. In each case, there's a next step (small or large) that gets taken. I love this sense of motion that comes in coaching. Interested in meeting with a coach? A free, 40-minute session is available for you to experience coaching for yourself! Use the Contact tab in the upper right corner or email me at to arrange a time. (Appointments are available Monday nights, Tuesday -Thursday days and nights, Friday during the day, and Saturday morning. Let's find a time that works for you.

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