Taken from Chapter 1 of Finding Your Way Back to YOU: A self-help book for women who want to regain their Mojo and realise their dreams!
In this chapter we will begin the first steps of your journey towards finding your way back to YOU, by getting all of the energy and motivation you will need to see you through to reaching what you really want. Plus being able to access that energy and motivation, whenever you need it.
During your journey to YOU, you will learn new ways of managing your behaviour and discover how you can make significant changes to your life. You aren’t going to change your unique personality, and neither should you want to, but the new skills that you will learn in this chapter and subsequent chapters will give you the awareness to manage your traits to become your best and most successful self.
Your commitment to yourself
Throughout your journey to the YOU that you really can be, I will be your coach and by working through this workbook will provide you with the skills needed to fulfil your true potential so you can begin to live your ideal life. The vital difference to achieving your full potential is total commitment from you to yourself, and to your goals. This will make all the difference to your success.
So, it’s important as you begin your journey, that you understand what this commitment is about, that you truly believe in your own potential and are really willing and motivated to seek a new and fulfilling future for yourself.
Your commitment is made up of the following four elements:
4. Willingness to challenge yourself
Let’s look at these four aspects in more detail.
This is the extent to which you believe – deep inside – that you are worthy and deserve the good things that you will bring to your life. Without self-belief you will sabotage and resist these great things. Your self-belief may just be a small flicker at the moment, but the important thing is that you are willing, with my help, to feel that you are worthy enough to turn the gas up and increase it into a strong flame!
This is the most important element of all. Are you sick and frustrated of the direction that your life was going before now? Have you had enough of the insecurities, of feeling second best and overlooked? Have you lost your way? If this describes you and you have had enough of this, and are willing to invest in yourself and do something big about it, then your motivation will be high. Only you know what drives and motivates you personally, so start noticing when you have felt really motivated to do something in the past, and we will work with these positive triggers in future exercises.
This is a vital quality to achieving your success, because when the going gets tough ‘the tough get going’ – and there will be occasions along the way when you will need to give yourself some tough self-talk to get yourself back on track. It will be your self-discipline that keeps you propelled towards your future. It’s easy to be energised and enthusiastic when things are going well, but change always brings a certain amount of discomfort and unfamiliarity. There will be days when you don’t feel like trying, or when you have a setback; it’s these times when you will have to draw on your reserves of courage and determination, so be prepared!
Willingness to challenge yourself
This is about being willing to challenge yourself and everything you know and accept as the status quo in your life. This includes things that you have believed about yourself, and of the world, since childhood.Challenging yourself is necessary to create new ways of thinking and being, and to allow the vast range of new possibilities into your life. If you just stick with what you already know and accept (the familiar) then you will not be open to accept anything new. You will just end up staying where you are – and that’s not what you have come this far for, is it?
You will need to suspend your disbelief and really believe that the things you want are possible. This will require you to be the best that you can possibly be, and to take responsibility for creating the life that you want. You must want to put the work and effort in, and be prepared to take risks along the way.
So, let’s start by looking at your current attitude.
Your attitude – positive or negative?
It’s all too easy to blame others for your lot, but until youdecide to take responsibility for your own situation, then you don’t have the power to change it.
If you don’t take control or responsibility for your life then someone else will, and sometimes it’s just easier for us to allow others to take that control or responsibility, for whatever reason. Unfortunately, this can become the norm in life. We just go with the flow, and agree with the ideas or whims of others, and end up being pretty frustrated or angry with ourselves for not speaking up or making a stand until it’s too late.
You might want to ask yourself ‘why have I not taken control or responsibility for my life and who I am, before now?’ You might already have the answer, and it may be the reason you have started your journey here. Whatever the reason, the past is the past, and you can’t change it, but you can change the future and during your journey you will learn new ways of thinking, and techniques which will make you want to change and challenge your behaviour towards an exciting and vibrant future.
Now, we all know people who always seem to be upbeat and in a good mood, no matter what happens to them, or whatever time of the month it is. People whose ‘glass is half full’. Are you one of those ‘glass half full’ people, or do you tend to be of the ‘glass half empty’ crowd? Do you see the negative in most things, before you consider the positive side, if at all?
Which one are you? The way that you react to situations may be affected by something known as cause and effect.
Are you at currently at cause or effect?
How do you live your life now? At cause, or at effect? It’s important to be aware of this distinction. It is rare for any person to always live her life at cause; far too many of us live a large portion of our lives at effect – responding to the actions, desires, needs or emotional states of others around us.
Being at cause means that you are in control and have choices in creating what you want in life – you take responsibility for what you have achieved or will achieve. You see the world as a place of opportunity and you move towards achieving what you want. If things are not unfolding as you would like, you take action and explore other possibilities. Above all, you know you have choice in what you do and how you react to people and events. Does this sound like the YOU that you really want to be?
If you are at effect you may blame others or circumstances for your bad moods or for what you have not achieved in general. You may feel powerless or depend on others in order to feel good about yourself or about life. “If only my partner / boss / colleagues / parents / children understood me, and helped me achieve my dreams. If only they did what I wanted or what is best for me, then life would be great”. Sound familiar?
If you wait around and hope for things to be different, or for others to provide for you, then you are at effect or a victim of circumstance. And really, how much fun is that? How much fun do you think it is for others to be around you? Believing that someone else is responsible, or making them responsible for your happiness (because that’s easier for you), for your different moods is very limiting. It gives this person some mystical power over you, which can cause you a great deal of anguish, stress and unhappiness.
Being at cause means you have choices in your life – you can choose what is best for you, while ensuring the choice is ecological for those around you. That is, you consider the consequences ofyour actions on others, but do not take responsibility for their emotional well-being. ‘Believing’ you are responsible for the emotional well-being of someone else can place a heavy burden on you (and can cause a great deal of stress as well).
Those who live their lives at effect often see themselves, or live their lives, as victims with no choices whatsoever. The irony is that they do have choice and they have chosen not to choose. Allowing others to control or heavily influence their lives. They have chosen to be responsive to whatever is given to them.
So, if you are currently more at effect, let’s get you motivated to be atcause, and start making those important changes towards YOU. We’ll start by providing you with the mental resources you need to be able to explore positive ways to achieve your goals.
Adopt a Positive Attitude
Whatever personality type you are at the moment, I want you to adopt a positive attitude starting from today. Let’s begin by getting an idea of how motivated you are to make those changes towards a positive and exciting future!
How motivated am I?
Ask yourself – on a scale of 1 to 10, with one as the lowest score, how motivated you are today – to finding the YOU that you really want to be.
Whatever your score, we want it to be at the higher end of the scale and I’ll encourage you to keep measuring it along your journey. Don’t worry if it’s pretty low or middling at the moment, as we are going to practice some techniques to get you motivated towards YOU. Techniques to use whenever you need a boost!
This exercise uses a technique developed by the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) pioneers, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, which will help you to reprogram the way you think.
The mind is very sensitive, and as you feel more confident running through this, and future exercises and scenarios in your imagination, you will feel more and more confident in everyday life.
This is the first of your daily mind workouts, so let’s try it. Read it through a few times in advance, so that you know what to do. It might seem a bit strange at first but stick with it. It works! You can use it any time you need to be more motivated and energised.
The Ring of Motivation and Energy
1. Relax, close your eyes if you need to, and imagine a Ring of Power in front of you on the floor as a circle about 2 feet in diameter. The edges can be any colour you like.
2. Now remember a time when you were totally motivated. Imagine it as a big, bright, focused picture. Remember that feeling, and when you are totally motivated, then step into the ring.
3. As soon as the feeling begins to subside, then step out of the ring.
4. Now remember a time when you when you felt totally powerful. Imagine it as a big, bright, focused picture. Remember that feeling, and when you are totally powerful then step into the ring.
5. As soon as the feeling begins to subside, then step out of the ring.
6. Now remember a time when you really felt that you could have whatever you wanted, a time when you could have it all. Imagine it as a big, bright, focused picture. Remember that feeling, and when you could really have it all then step into the ring.
7. As soon as the feeling begins to subside, step out of the ring.
8. And now remember a time when you really felt really energetic, when you had tons of energy. Imagine it as a big, bright, focused picture. Remember that feeling, and when you could really have it all then step into the ring.
9. As soon as the feeling begins to subside, step out of the ring.
10. Imagine, taking the Ring of Power from the floor and squeezing it smaller. Until it’s small enough to fit on your finger and slip it on.
Whenever you feel you need more energy or you are lacking in motivation, simply concentrate for a few moments, put on your ring, and access your inner motivation and energy stores.
Repeat this simple exercise at least once a day, or listen to the weblink at www.the-change-coach.co.uk every day for a week and you will allow yourself to move further towards the YOU that you want to be.
Now, that you have completed the exercise, on a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you to find the YOU that you want to be? If you are not a lot higher on the scale than before, keep practicing and you will get more motivated and energised the more you do it.
This technique is all about starting to create a picture or a movie of what your future will look like. I will help you to clarify your direction and goals in future chapters as you progress. So for this exercise, just go with your imagination!
Repeat this simple exercise at least once a day, or (as above) listen to the weblink at www.the-change-coach.co.uk every day for a week, and you will allow yourself to move further towards the YOU that you want to be.
Dreaming yourself to the future YOU
1. Take a few moments to relax; close your eyes and breathe deeply.
2. Continue to breathe in through your nose to a count of seven, and breathe out to a count of eleven, pushing all of the air out of your lungs as you breathe out. (If you can’t manage seven/eleven, breathe to as many counts as is comfortable, but ensure you breathe out more than you breathe in).
3. Now, when you breathe in – imagine the air is a beautiful, vibrant colour, and then imagine the same colour much, much more faded as you breathe out. You have breathed in all of the wonderful, life energising air and absorbed all of its goodness and breathed out what’s left.
4. As your muscles relax, it becomes easier and easier to unleash your imagination.
5. Now, imagine another you standing in front of you, having achieved your goal or goals.
6. Take a moment to feel totally elated with the YOU that you set out to be. Look at the way she stands, shoulders back with real, tangible confidence. Notice the way she smiles, beams even, how she walks, how she talks. Look at her hairstyle, the stylish clothes that suit her, just right. Notice how she speaks to others, how she handles problems and how she simply goes for it!
7. Now, step into your confident self. See through her eyes, hear through her ears, and feel how it feels sooo good to live life as YOU.
8. Take a minute to daydream about how your life will be different as you live more and more as YOU.
Now, write down in your downloaded workbook – what you ‘imagined’ as the future YOU, or draw a picture or paste pictures in from a magazine – what do you look like, feel like, where are you, who are you with?
The Future Me
If it makes it more real for you, consider creating a poster sized collage of all of the parts that will make YOU. These can be words and cuttings from magazines that represent your future for you. Whichever way you choose (you are already controlling your choices to YOU!), make them big, bold and colourful, and put them somewhere you will see them regularly. Really go for it!
You have now started to form a real picture of what the real YOU looks, sounds, and feels like when you have achieved everything you set out to do on your journey, and you are totally motivated to achieve that. To maintain your positive attitude, you will need to practice your new ways of thinking and the above techniques every day. They will force you into a much richer, positive state of mind and new ways of thinking
It’s important that you revisit your picture, either on the page above, or by having it prominently displayed somewhere where you will see it regularly. Replay the short ‘YOU’ movie that you imagined in this chapter, regularly. Find ways that keep you motivated towards what makes it real for you, so revisit your thoughts, your drawing, or your picture every day. Remember keep it real and regular!
You may wish to allocate a time and a space each day to just be by yourself… to think back on the day and at what you have achieved.
Our whole dynamic system is one of highs and lows, activity and recovery. Taking time out to look after ourselves makes us better able to function effectively. A ten minute pause allows us to reduce stress hormones and lets our bodies and minds return to equilibrium. You might want to play some relaxing music, light scented candles, or just enjoy the silence.
In the time it takes for you to have some ‘Me’ time, you are able to get back to YOU, and become ready for the next challenge of the day.
Feeling guilty about investing in yourself? In starting your journey or taking time out for ‘Me’ time? Do you describe yourself as selfless in your everyday life? Remember that you are not a martyr and you are truly worth the investment in yourself!
If putting yourself first is a significant change for you, this may help. Think of the safety advice on an airplane – the emergency procedure instructs you to place a mask over your own face before trying to help another person. This should be a metaphor for your own life. If you look after yourself, you will be better able to attend to the needs of others. So, never feel guilty, take regular time out to enjoy the moment. Those little things that delight and make you feel good about yourself can be healing and uplifting when you systematically include them in your daily routine.
‘Me’ time will help you to recharge your batteries, give you time to reflect and think things through and to plan ahead. Mostly it will allow you to relax and clear your thoughts.
Time to look back… but only for a while!
You can lift your spirits by writing down your positive thoughts and opening your mind to exciting possibilities. You’ll feel instantly energised by the first steps to self-discovery you have started to make, and the prospect of great things coming your way.
Write down any changes in your behaviour, feelings or ways of thinking since you have started your journey – nothing is too small or insignificant. Small steps are just fine and they might not be many, but keep adding to the list as they occur to you.
Remember, this is all about reflecting and learning from events and experiences. It’s not about dwelling on the past; it’s about looking back, learning from it and moving forward with new knowledge that you can use it to your advantage in the future.
Reflections / Changes I have noticed already
In your workbook, write down all the reflections and changes you have already noticed.
Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have achieved so far. Give thanks and gratitude for all of the skills, inner resources and the people in your life, and all of the good things that you already have that make you happy. Look out to the future with a positive attitude, to what you will continue to achieve as a confident, happy and fulfilled woman. See what she sees, hear how she speaks, feel what she feels… and smile!
Daily Checklist towards YOU
Tick these off as you achieve and practice them:
Well done! You have already taken the brave and courageous first steps on your personal path. You now have some new skills in your personal resource bank that you can practice in order to motivate and energise yourself to achieve so much more.
You’ve already started to develop a picture, both in your mind and in this book (or even on your wall) of your future, and you’ve begun to take valuable ‘Me’ time to reinforce this image. You are investing time in yourself, without feeling guilty about it and you have started to notice the changes in yourself and ways of thinking that will steadily increase as your journey continues.
Remember, if you think differently, you will feel differently – and what you can achieve is limitless. So, now that you have caught your breath, let’s move on!