Imagine how life would be different if every time something happened you believed that the world was conspiring for you not against you? This is how the most successful people become as successful as they are. They are not derailed by what others might consider to be a setback or failure, they look for the silver lining and always find one.
Quite often when something unexpected happens that we feel somehow does not sit with our intended view of the world and how things should be, then we question why people are not on our side, why things never work out for us. We focus on the downside.
Clement W Stone, Jack Canfield’s mentor, was described as an “inverse paranoid.” Instead of believing that the world was plotting against him he believed that it was plotting for him. He is also quoted to have said, “When life hands you a lemon, squeeze it and make lemonade.”
In every situation that we might be inclined to think of as a sign that the world is not on our side there is always an upside. Sometimes this does not become apparent until much later.
I remember crying as I boarded a plane at Heathrow Airport in 2004. I was leaving behind my home, family, friends and partner and to this day I have not been back. My marriage was over, which by the way, I never speak of as being a failed marriage, and I was boarding the plane to join my family in Australia. That day was one of the most painful days of my life. There was a massive silver lining, though, one that I could not see it on that day or for some time to come.
Getting on the plane that day brought me to Australia, a country I am now proud to call home. It is a vast beautiful country with amazing opportunities, climate and people and it is here that I met my husband and soulmate, and I am now living my dream of writing my first book. I have spent years in an area that I love, personal and professional development and I am extremely happy.
I have been made redundant at times when I needed to move on and have found better opportunities and furthered my career. I now do have a belief system that says that when I choose to walk away from one opportunity another one better is around the corner and it has never let me down.
I have turned down job offers, only to be offered a bigger and better one a few weeks later. I have never doubted that when I have made a move from one area to another that it would not be for the better and it is that belief that keeps me moving towards bigger and better things.
- Ask yourself the question next time that you feel that the world is conspiring against you. What opportunities are there in this?
- Have the belief system that when something does not turn out the way that you had wanted or anticipated that something better is just around the corner.
- Ask yourself, what is this preparing for me that is going to be even better than this?
There is always a silver lining, sometimes we need to look a bit deeper to find it.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Henry Ford.
We are all very familiar with this very famous quote and it is so true, but how can you create self-confidence and belief if it just isn’t there?
I have always been a very confident person and people have said that they admire my self-confidence. There are just some things that I have certainty around, like my skills and knowledge, my ability to be successful in my career choices, the faith that I have in my relationships, the loyalty of life-long friends.
Self confidence is not a characteristic that we are born with. It is something that we can develop, it is an attitude and a choice, not a trait.
Even those of us that have a good level of self-confidence find ourselves faltering at times. We all have those moments of self doubt, moments of uncertainty when things are not clear, when we enter into unchartered territory or push ourselves, or find ourselves, by no choice of our own, outside of our comfort zone.
I am currently completing a Life Visioning Quest with Michael Beckwith. It is amazing. He talks about the Dark Night of the Soul, what I describe in my workshops as brain chaos. It is the place between where we are really comfortable and certain and the place where we want to be. It is a fundamental part of the change process and our brain’s response to change.
We have taken that leap of faith and gotten into deep water and we have two choices. We can either keep swimming until we reach the new shore or turn back around and go back to where we came from, either way it is uncomfortable whilst we are in the deep water, so why not just push forward and reach a new place instead of going back and forth and exhausting yourself with all the effort?
We really do not know how near we are until we reach the shore, but that is where we will find new opportunities and something different from what we are experiencing right now.
It is through our greatest fears and being courageous that we find our greatest rewards, but we do have to do the work to get there. We have all experienced the feeling of achieving something that we thought previously was outside of our reach and how it feels after when we attempt something similar. We have changed the set point in our brain. Once we realise something is possible we will continue to attempt other things and build up our confidence. It is the same way that we learned to walk and talk, practice really does make perfect.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Take that leap of faith, you don’t know until you try and you have already failed if you don’t try.
Change your seat point. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone until you reach your destination, one step at a time.
Ask yourself this question. Who said I can’t do this? If it is someone else, go out and prove them wrong. If it was you, then prove yourself wrong. It is only a mindset and a mindset can be changed.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. ” ~ Napoleon Hill.
We now know that the brain responds to what is going on around us with what it expects to happen next, based on past experiences. This is known as expectancy theory, so we have to expect the result that we are seeking, not one that is based on past results.
That’s a bit tricky if we have had a lot of experiences that have got similar results as we have been conditioned by these past experiences. However, as we know the definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect a different outcome.
We have all now heard of the Placebo Effect, whereby when we expect a certain outcome it comes about, showing that the power of belief alone impacts significantly on the outcome. There has been so much research in this field such as the group who were expecting to undergo knee surgery. One half of group had the procedure, whilst the other half did not. Two years later both groups reported improvement in pain and relief, yet only one half of the group actually underwent the procedure.
We have all heard about patients being told that they had terminal illnesses and turning it around as they refused the accept the diagnosis and even people who have been misdiagnosed that started to feel the expected symptoms and started to deteriorate. So how can we turn this to our advantage?
Decide what you want the outcome to be, not what you would normally expect. Now use the power of preframing, where you assume a different, better outcome. Really expect a different outcome, visualise it, play it through in your mind over and over until it feels real. We also now know that the brain has difficulty distinguishing between “reality”, imagination and dreaming, so try it out for size until you make it a new reality and effectively “rewire your brain” for success.
This can be a difficult one, especially when so many people seem to have a strong opinion on what we should be doing and what we should want.
As we grow older we become less and less clear as more social pressure is piled on top of us. We lose our way with more and more rules and conditions put in front of us. It’s not nice to want more, you should be happy with your lot, there are a lot of people worse off than you…
As we get more and more confused, the harder it gets. Imagine walking into the supermarket and not remembering why you went there, you know you need something for dinner, so you buy what comes into your line of vision and return home. When you get home you realise why you went there and didn’t get what you wanted. Next time you write down exactly what you want and take the list with you and come back with what you want. Simple strategy, yet we don’t apply it when it comes to the supermarket of life. We settle for whatever is on special, in our line of vision of what someone else wants. What’s that about?
How many times have you been asked what you want and your reply is, “I don’t mind,” then you are not happy with the outcome. That should be the second definition of insanity, right behind doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. If you don’t mind, then you shouldn’t be surprised if life is not exactly as you would like it to be. You have to make some decisions, define how you want your life to be and then make a decision, stop sitting on the fence.
If you really don’t mind, then you shouldn’t mind the outcome. This is not going with the flow. This is letting the current take you wherever it is going and then being annoyed when you end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
If you want your life to be even better than it is right now, then you need to mind. You need to have an opinion, you need to spend time working out exactly what you do want in all areas and then work out a path as to how to get there.
I know that I used to say that I don’t really know what I want, but that is not really true. The truth is that what I want doesn’t necessarily align with other peoples’ ideas of what I should want and there is also the fact that what I really want is outside of my comfort zone, so I will need to extend myself more to get it, so let’s be honest with ourselves and start to work out exactly what it is that we want and then decide what we are prepared to change to get it.
Reflect on what on what you want – take time to think about what your ideal life would look like.
Create a vision board – so that you can refocus on your real desires rather than what is in front of you. Put it somewhere where you can see it every day.
Make decisions about your future – don’t let others decide what you want or sway you from you want.
Be clear – when you find yourself saying “I don’t mind”, is that the truth or are you allowing yourself to be caught up in the current of life, being lazy or afraid of getting out of your comfort zone? How much do you want this?
The bottom line is that unless you decide, you will keep getting more of what you have right now, whether you like it or not.
What is the WHY behind everything you do? Without purpose as the compass to guide you, your goals and action plans may not ultimately fulfill you. You don’t want to get to the top of the ladder only to find out you had the ladder leaning against the wrong wall. Jack Canfield.
I have read this book so many times, but that final sentence gets me every time.
Have you ever found yourself committed to something that you never wanted to start in the first place and getting deeper and deeper in, until you can’t see your original dream?
I had a reading through a meditation just a few weeks ago and it hit the nail right on the head. “You are straining at work and lost your original focus.” BANG! Right between the eyes! Couldn’t have said it better myself and so I now find myself working my way back to my dreams. I have drifted off course for some time now and the longer you leave it the further off track you become.
I started a PhD because I was told that I would be a great candidate. That is NOT a good reason for starting such as huge commitment. I soon realised that I was living someone else’s idea of what my life should look like, not what I truly wanted, but then comes the BIG $6m question. What did I want? What is my purpose?
This is a difficult question for a lot of us as most of the time we are struggling to make ends meet, meet our obligations and commitments, get through the day without harming anyone! Yet there is much more to life than this and we all feel and know this deep down and hence why, when we are in this place, we feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or unfulfilled or all of the above. We are off track and the more off track we get, the more of those emotions stir up inside us. When we get to this place it becomes even harder now to work our way out as our brain is so confused and not able to focus, so around and around we go!
Relax. When we are in a relaxed state inspiration can come through and we are more able to be creative, imaginative and think outside of the box. Spend time in mindfulness practice such as walking and enjoying nature, not thinking about issues, concerns or what you are having for dinner! Appreciate being in nature and enjoying the sounds, smells and sights all around you. Marvel and be grateful for breathing fresh air, the blue sky, having the freedom to walk in nature.
Meditate regularly or just be more present. This means stilling the mind and thinking about nothing, allowing whatever is happening to unfold. The science behind meditation shows that when we can practice for even just 10 minutes a day there are tremendous benefits to our health.
Then if you need to find your purpose, think about what lights you up, really lights you up! That is a really strong indicator of where your passion lies. When we are living our life ON PURPOSE then we are in flow and everything is magic. Of course we can’t live like this all of the time as life is meant to be ebb and flow, but once you have found your purpose and focus most of your energy in the pursuit of that passion and purpose when the tide does ebb you are much more able to deal with it and work through it, instead of becoming stuck.
Write a personal mission statement. Mine has been for a long time now, and is on my LinkedIn profile, “To be the very best that I can be and help others to achieve the same.” As I read this the intent is right but the passion is not there. Use words that you find inspiring. I love passion, inspiration and grace. Incorporate these words into your personal mission statement so that you have your biggest WHY possible. When we are inspired and aligned to this statement then we are more likely to align with its intent.
My rewrite: To live a life of passion and purpose, to elevate myself to the highest version of myself and inspire others to do the same.
Now that has more impact for me and that is what we are wanting. Your personal mission statement must light you up, inspire you and excite you!
There is nothing more perfect than a day spent on purpose, pursuing your dreams and goals and aligning in every way with that purpose.
Take one step every day that takes you nearer to your purpose. Rome was not built in a day. If you aspire to write an international best selling novel, like me, then start with one blog at a time.
Change your mindset. You are not stuck in your present circumstances, you are transitioning to a different place, one that aligns more with your purpose. When we tell ourselves that we are stuck, we are, so tell yourself a new story, one that takes you in the right direction.
Do not put your ladder up against the wrong wall!
How much responsibility do you take for your daily interactions and outcomes?
This is a really incredibly powerful success principle, as it is so easy to take the low road, or the easy way out.
We apportion blame to something outside of us, outside of our control; another person or event for anything that we don’t like or doesn’t show up the way we wanted it to.
She/he didn’t do what he said he was going to do, so ……
The weather was too bad, so …..
It wasn’t my fault, there was nothing I could do about it.
It would have been OK if x hadn’t happened.
I inherited this mess.
And so it goes on. Do any of these sound familiar?
It is easier to blame than to take responsibility as when we blame we are the injured party or we do not have to take any action to change anything or do anything.
Sadhguru in his book, Inner Engineering, reminds us of the original meaning of the word, responsibility, which is our ABILITY TO RESPOND. When we put the blame on a situation or another person, we are basically giving away our ability to respond. We are at cause not effect, which means we are helpless, powerless and have no control of the situation and play no part in how it plays out or the outcome.
This is in fact madness as by the very fact of us being there, we are involved whether we chose to take no action or some action that didn’t turn out as we wanted, we still were party to the event and therefore part of the event and outcome.
Next time you find yourself saying any of the above or squarely putting 100% responsibility outside of yourself then ask yourself, what part did I play?
For example, if you have an argument with a fellow worker or partner and you feel they were being unfair and it was all their fault, take another look. What part did you play? You might reply, “I didn’t say anything” or “I didn’t do anything, it was all them.” Maybe the very fact that you said and did nothing was part of the issue. Maybe you were acting defensive, and this triggered something in the other person, maybe they were having a bad day, maybe you were tired and stressed and misread the situation.
Where two people are in an interaction, they must both play a part otherwise one wasn’t there at all. Maybe that is the issue that you are not present, or you don’t feel that you are being heard or seen, in which case is that 100% fact or could you be misinterpreting the situation? Maybe you don’t feel that anything you could say or do could impact on the outcome, but how can you be sure? Complacency and doing nothing is still an action. It’s a choice you made. You didn’t like the outcome, but you didn’t try anything to affect the outcome.
If you are angry with someone else, ask yourself what part of me is angry with me? Am I justified in being so angry? Did I have any part in this? Could I have taken different actions and got better outcomes?
If you are looking for why things aren’t as you would like them to be and you are looking outside of yourself for the answer or something or someone to blame, then you are looking in all the wrong places. Start to look at YOU for why it isn’t how you want it to be and then see the magic happen. Of course, this means that you will have to face some things that you have been denying for some time so this isn’t going to be easy and it also means that you are going to have to change your response mechanism so that you automatically look inside yourself first before you point the finger outside.
You are the creator of your destiny, don’t give away your ability to craft and mould that exactly as you would like it to be.
Take 100% responsibility for your own life and see how your success in life changes.
When we start a new project or try to change something in our life we can sometimes get disheartened or give up before we reach the end. We look for signs that we are reaching our goals and if we don’t receive them we might be inclined to give up too soon.
We all know how it feels to get positive feedback, it keeps us motivated. When we get on the scales and we have lost a kg we feel fantastic and it gives us the feedback that we crave to continue with our efforts. The opposite is also is true. When we get on the scales and we’ve put on a kg then we feel deflated and lack the enthusiasm to continue with our efforts and inner chatter might be something like this.
“What’s the point, who am I kidding I’m never going to be able to do this.”
Earlier in the year we discovered that the sub-frame to our outdoor patio was rotting and we had to pull up the deck to see the extent of the damage. It was really soul destroying to see our lovely deck in piles of wooden blanks and the rot underneath. On the bright side we now had the opportunity to replace it with composite boards which would mean that my husband would not be re-sealing it and sanding it every few years. So we set about seeking a replacement for the deck. It was an expensive exercise, but we had no choice and at least we could replace it with something that would last longer and need less maintenance. The planks had also started to cup due to bad construction and the wood rot.
For months we have had a building site in the back garden with decking pulled up, taken out to the tip, sand everywhere and a great big gaping hole where my beautiful patio once was. This went on for some time as the base was prepared for its new boards.
Just a few days ago our new patio was laid and we set about putting all the outdoor furniture back in its place. I had cleaned all the cushion covers and netting that went around the bali hut, so I put all these back and that night as we were in the spa looking out at our beautiful new patio I remember thinking how quickly it had all come together in the end after months of construction and mess. The result was definitely worth the effort and the wait.
We need to see the end in sight, but some goals are just too big to see the finish line and some are really unclear however if it is something that you really want then it is worth putting in the effort and being prepared to be patient for signs of success and one thing for sure is that you won’t see any if you give up too soon.
You wouldn’t plant a seed in the garden and go out the next day and pull it out if it hadn’t already sprouted, so patience really is a virtue when it comes to long term goals. Focus on the end result and how it will look and feel when you have accomplished your goal and if you do get setbacks on the way let them ride past you as you focus on your end result even if you can’t see the finish line. You can imagine it and give your reward centre a sense of what is to come. The brain really can’t distinguish between what is happening in its physical world and the imagination so enjoy your end results right NOW and turn on the neurotransmitter dopamine to give you that bit of reward and feel good that you need to keep going.
Good luck with your new projects and goals and remember if it is really important to you to keep going until you get some signs that you are on the right track.
Spring is in the air and it’s time for new beginnings.
What is it about Spring that makes us feel more motivated to do things?
Maybe it’s waking up to the daylight streaming through the window or the growth of new plants and flowers blossoming and the promise of some warm days and balmy nights.
It’s the time for Spring cleaning and clearing out the old and creating space for the new. I spent an afternoon this weekend clearing out my walk in wardrobe, which wasn’t much of a walk in as a push your way in wardrobe. As I had the urge to do it I decided to act straight away as cleaning is not an urge that I get very often. Don’t get me wrong I love the look and feel of a beautiful clean home once it’s done, but I have to say I put off sometimes pulling up my sleeves and getting into it.
So I removed all the clothes and piled them on the bed, there were clothes everywhere and I have to admit when I looked at the pile in front of me I felt like breaking for a cuppa tea, but pushed on through as I was determined to put my money where my mouth was.
I decided that I needed a strategy as usually this would be my approach:
I would look at each item of clothing and decide a) it had symbolic meaning (ie) I wore it on our first date b) I will eventually fit back into it, once I shed a few more pounds c) it will come in handy when…. and push it back in the wardrobe. Needless to say it would be a pointless exercise. I also have a problem I realised some time ago with endings and letting things go sometimes. I am very symbolic in that inanimate objects can hold value for me and I also like to keep things for “just in case” and of course just in case never comes, so hence push through wardrobe! OK so you get the picture, maybe your closet looks a bit similar or a kitchen cupboard, pantry or work area.
Here’s the thing when you go to look for something you can’t find it and it really is true that an untidy space creates for an untidy mind. So this was my strategy and it worked a treat.
All the clothes I wear regularly and love went back into the wardrobe first and I organised them in outfits, belts and jackets with dresses for work, casual etc.
Then I went back to the pile and threw all the clothes that I hadn’t worn and didn’t really feel very good in into a pile for Sammy’s. If I had to convince myself that I didn’t want them anymore I tried them on and if I didn’t like what I saw it went into the Sammy’s pile and I made myself not look back. Have you ever found yourself going back through the pile again trying to convince yourself that you will wear it someday? The thing to do at this time and what I did was think about the amount of times I have said this to myself and yet still not worn it. Do NOT look back. Actually as an NLP practitioner I know that you are now looking back, so I will rephrase that – LOOK the other way!
Now to the pile of not sures.
Take a few similar items compare them and anything you have put back in the wardrobe. Ask yourself if you were going to pick any of these which one would you choose and you will point to the one in the wardrobe as this is the top that you always prefer. You feel good in it and you receive compliments when you wear it and the one you are holding up now looks like a sack on you and even if you lose a few kilos it will still look like a sack. Be brave and put what you have not automatically picked into the Sammy’s pile.
This is how I went all for a few hours and by the end of it I had four bags of clothes to go to Good Sammy’s and still my wardrobe looked full, but I could now find things and I had found a few things that I had forgotten I had.
The Universe loves a void as it wants to fill it with something new. It can’t do this if we have our space crammed with a lot of stuff that we don’t really want. That’s not to say that we should just go out and fill the space with a whole load of new clothes that we won’t wear, but wait until we see something we really need and love.
Creating space is also good for our wellbeing. Things are more organised, we do not get stressed or waste time looking for things that we know we have but can’t find.
Out with the old, in with the new. It’s a great saying. When we hold onto something for dear life as we are afraid of letting go, we are not allowing better things in.
As I got to Good Sammy’s with mum to drop off the bags I was tempted to have a quick riffle through just in case, but caught myself, dropped the bags quickly and walked away.
I felt lighter and I love being able to walk into my walk in wardrobe. It feels so much bigger and the thought of someone getting some use and pleasure out of what I no longer need feels really good.
Spring is the perfect time for Spring cleaning both physically and mentally and it works both ways. When we clear a cluttered space in our physical world not only does it create physical space, but it creates mental space and you know that when you sigh that sigh of satisfaction with a little bit of relief. It feels good to clear out the clutter.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Dr Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP.
Neuro-linguistic Programming or NLP can be used to assist people to release the negative impact of childhood trauma or memories that are still creating patterns in the present. We come into the world with an innocence that changes as we experience the world around us and the connections and meaning we give to those events. Something that happened to you as a small child may still have a massive impact on your life today, in fact, you many even feel that it is holding you back from your true potential as your past has such a strong hold on you. You just want to let this go once and for all and go on with your life and enjoy the present.
NLP can be used to go back to past events and bring away a different meaning than the one created at that time. It assists to reframe the situation. It can recreate the memory as a new memory. Each time we remember a memory, the very process of recalling the memory changes that memory, so using this fact we can change that memory for the better. Have you ever experienced a situation when you are recounting past memories with a friend or family member and their recollection is totally different from your own? We all have different filters and frames through which we see the world and each one is different, so every rendition of the same event will be slightly different or completely different.
We focus on what we don’t want, more than what we do. We remember the bad things more than we remember the good things, so we can go back and look for evidence of the good things that were also going on at that time and refocus our energy in these areas rather than on the negative.
From these past events and meanings and connections that we have made in the brain we will re-run these patterns over and over and experience these same feelings throughout our adult life and unbeknown to us each occurrence has added to the same feelings until they accumulate to a breaking point. The event that creates the breaking point may not even be that big but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Road rage is a good example of this. Do you really think that the driver of the car is angry about the road conditions or how you, or someone else, is driving or is it part of a bigger issue that that person has carried anger inside them for a long time, which could have started back in childhood and has grown until it has developed to a rage and then one day explodes?
These patterns will continue to repeat until they are interrupted and are replaced with new patterns or behaviours. This is where NLP comes in. NLP techniques give quick results and can be reinforced with life coaching techniques to assist you to identify issues and find new thinking patterns and behaviours that work for you to get you more of what you want in life, not more of what you don’t want.
Are you ready to break the cycle? Do you know someone else who is? If so share this post or take action and see how your life can be transformed with NLP and life coaching.
First Published in LinkedIn : 28 July 2016