Investing £8,500 to become a better version of me…
So, last year (August 2016) I got stuck in a bit of rut! All appeared to be good in life, a beautiful partner (now fiancé!), a successful personal training business, a loving, supportive family, and lots of other blessings.
Despite all of these amazing things, deep inside I felt a little lost – as though there was still something missing.
I remember going on holiday to Sorento, in Italy and having deep chats with my Dad about how I was feeling. After much discussion I decided that I wanted to reach out for some private coaching to help me get through this sticky patch.
I was recommend by a family friend to a lifestyle and performance coach called Michael Nicholas. I’ve been working with Mike for the last year and it’s been a life changing experience.
In this post i’d like share with you what i’ve learned – to potentially help those of you looking to enrich your own lives…
#1 Fear is always a projection forward
So many of the things that we worry about aren’t happening right now, and so many of them will NEVER EVER HAPPEN!
I remember when I started LEP Fitness 5 years ago. The first year felt like an uphill battle. I struggled to find clients and went to some dark places in my mind, as I experienced lots of set backs and plenty of rejection. I remember one of my biggest fears was not being able to pay the bills or my rent.
Whenever a set back occurred e.g. I failed to sign up a client at a consultation – my mind would start projecting a movie in my mind: it was an image of me on some street corner, bankrupt and a total embarrassment! Pretty harsh right? My mind got me into some ‘real pickles’ and I would worry all the time about my future.
I now look back and think I could have saved myself lots of unnecessary stress and prevented many sleepless nights, because none of those fears ever happened! It was all just a projection.
#2 Take Personal Responsibility
Life can be tough. One minute your sailing along, everything going well but then….BANG! Sh*t hits the fan and life has totally changed…
- We lose a loved one
- We get made redundant
- We receive a health scare
These situations can be extremely difficult to handle but how we deal with them determines our future destiny. When things happen outside of our control it’s easy to blame the world and other people…
“Why am I always so unlucky!”
“That person always gets what they want!”
“If only my boss gave me a promotion!”
The list goes on…
The easy option is to blame and feel hard done by. The harder option is to look in the mirror and realise that there are many things which are out of our control but how we deal with them matters more.
I love this quote from Dr Victor Frankl…
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”
Regardless of what happens in life you have the choice to choose how you react to any given circumstance.
If you study the most successful people you will see that we all face similar challenges throughout life but what separates those who fail from those who succeed is attitude and the ability to successfully respond to life’s adversity.
#3 Start at the core
Money, fame, popularity, a 6 pack body, a fancy car, designer clothes, a BIG house – may make you temporarily happy but they are usually short lived. You get one thing and then you want something else, and the cycle continues!
Until you start living more in the present moment and start addressing the issues you have at your core you will constantly be looking for external things to make you happy.
#4 Thoughts affect health
When you are negative and stressed your health is affected!
For years i’ve suffered with allergies, allergies to food, allergies to things like cats, hay fever and all sorts of other random things! In the last year since working with Michael i’ve noticed my allergies pretty much diminish. They only come back when i’m tired and stressed!
Working on your mindset is incredibly important, because mind and body go hand-in-hand. The more you build a positive relationship with yourself and learn to nurture your emotions, the better your mind, body and health will be.
#5 Stop, Breathe and Observe
Our mind is active all of the time…
“what am I going to have for breakfast?”
“Im late for work!”
“who’s picking the kids up from school?”
“I look fat today”
“Did I pack my lunch?”
“Did I record Coronation Street?”
“My car needs hovering!”
It just goes on and on! One thought quickly replaces another one. It’s estimated that we have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day!
Most of our thoughts are habitual and the same as yesterdays! The trouble is that when we are constantly reacting to our thoughts we never make room for new ones to enter, and we keep on going around in circles – it’s like Groundhog day!
It’s easy to let our minds dictate our lives and to live in a state of obsessive, compulsive thinking. What we actually need to do is TAKE MORE TIME OUT to just stop and relax.
Michael introduced me to meditation last year, and since doing it nearly everyday it’s greatly enhanced my life. It’s the opportunity to be still, to observe thoughts and step out of the incessant thinking that can rules our lives. I’d recommend using the apps Headspace and Calm as a great introduction into meditating.
#6 Visualise Your Way To Success
Your subconscious mind cant tell the difference between what’s real and whats imagined. Top athletes like Roger Federer, Tiger Woods have all admitted to using visualisation techniques to improve performance.
One of the things that has helped me this past year is spending time visualising how I want the future to be, things relating to health, career, family, personal goals, etc. I close my eyes and imagine that i’ve obtained them and how good it feels to have them in my life. A great book to read on this type of stuff is called ‘Think & Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
#7 Change your subconscious mind and the rest will follow…
It’s estimated that 95% of the mind is made up of the subconscious. This part of the brain is the driving force behind our habits, behaviours and emotions. All of the will power in the world will not help you change your current predicament, unless you change your subconscious mind.
The reason why so many people fail to stick to their diet, or make long lasting habitual changes is that their subconscious mind is hardwired and difficult to override and unless you change this part of the brain you will always revert back to old ways.
#8 You are the BIGGEST Obstacle
The only thing that is stopping you from achieving your goals and leading a better life is the stories that you tell yourself and believe…
“I can’t get fit because I don’t have time!”
“I don’t have enough money”
“Im too fat to wear that dress”
“I’m not smart enough to do something like that”
If we spoke to other people like we sometimes speak to ourselves we would have no friends! So why speak to yourself like that? Whats worse is that if you repeatedly talk to yourself in a negative way you will eventually start to believe those statements. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
#9 Your best ideas arrive when you relax
How many times do you have a problem that needs fixing but no matter how hard you try to solve it…you just cant find the solution? You stop thinking and relax i.e. in the shower or on some hot, sandy beach… then the solution JUMPS OUT!
When we are stressed we constrict and we go into protective mode. Creativity is dumbed down and we can’t see the forrest from the trees.
I’ve learnt that you must factor in time each day to relax and unwind, to break from the incessant thinking and pulling of our daily commitments.
Here are a few ways to relax and encourage creativity:
- take a relaxing magnesium bath before bed
- read a book
- meditate – why meditating for 10 mins per day can dramatically boost health and happiness
- take a warm shower
- go on a long walk through the countryside
#10 We project our own reality into the world
If we have been hurt from previous relationships e.g. let’s say that every partner that we’ve ever been with has cheated – we may project that fear into our everyday relationships…
“you can’t rely on anybody”
“everyone is out for themselves”
“trust no one”
“I wonder how long it will be before they let me down!”
When we have been hurt or betrayed in the past it scars us. It can be easy to project our previous experiences into the future and what happens is that we get more of the same! It’s yet another example of a self- fulfilling prophecy!
You can learn a lot about yourself be observing YOU. Look at how you view the world. Is it positive? or negative? If you are like most it will be a mixture. Look at those things that cause disturbances in your own psyche and learn to re-build and change your outlook for a more positive outcome.
For example, following on from the example about your lover cheating, what you could do to re-wire your brain is…
- Look at all the people who don’t cheat on their lovers
- Look for the good in people you meet
- Learn to love yourself more
- Accept that the past does not equal the future
At first you will get resistance and it will take time to change, but the more you can look for positive references and the more you practice, the quicker you will progress.
#11 Live By Empowering statements
If there’s one statement that has changed my life it’s this…
Pick a statement that empowers you to do good things and make-sure you live by it every single day. The statement above inspires me to grow every single day. How do I grow? By reading, listening, learning, reflecting. I know that If I continue to do these things everyday I will become a better version of me and help other people do the same.
#12 The Elephant and The Rider
Your mind can be broken down into 2 parts…
- The Elephant – the subconscious mind (95%)
- The Rider – your conscious mind (5%)
Just like a real elephant, your subconscious mind is super powerful and can control you (if you let it!). Let’s be honest a human cannot out strengthen a half ton elephant!
Your Rider however is smarter and has the ability to think ‘consciously’. Despite the elephant (subconscious) being super powerful, the rider (consciousness) has the ability to alter the elephants behaviour.
In order to instil any long lasting change what we are looking to do is use the rider to re-train the elephant. If we have a disobedient elephant it will run riot and be hard to control. If however we build a more positive relationship with our elephant we will be far better off.
#13 Take small steps and commit to CANI
“Rome Wasn’t built in a day” and all that jazz!
“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a day but underestimate what they can achieve in a life time” – Tony Robbins
The key to success is being consistent. Taking small steps every single day and committing to CANI – which stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement.
#14 Self-Awareness is the KEY
In order to change a behaviour you first need to become AWARE. For example if you keep gaining weight, you are eating too many calories. Therefore the first step is to acknowledge this is what is happening.
Most people get to this step quickly but the true success comes when you…
DEVELOP SELF AWARENESS – this is where you can objectively look at your behaviours and triggers and see what is happening. You ask thought provoking questions such as…
“what’s causing me to emotionally over eat?”
“what triggers me to binge eat?”
“what is my relationship like with food?”
“How long has this been happening?”
You basically start to delve deeper into your unconscious behaviours so you that you can start to re-wire your brain and habits to lead you to a more positive outcome.
#15 Growth causes pain
Whenever you are looking deep within at something which is disturbing you, you will inevitably experience some discomfort and in many cases…pain.
It can be extremely uncomfortable looking inwards and it can bring up all sorts of baggage. Most people either lack the awareness to look within or are too afraid to go there – in fear of what they might find!
I promise you that this is where the real treasure lies. If you commit to improvement and are willing to look within you will always find the answers. In order to overcome your fears you first have to face them head on.
#16 Be Kind to yourself
“you are doing the best that you can do with the tools you have available”
I genuinely believe that we are all just trying to do our best. If we knew how to make ourselves feel better or how to achieve a more favourable outcome then we would be doing it.
Most of our behaviours have been conditioned into us from a young age and over the years. The older you are the more conditioning you have had.
Be kind to yourself and realise that you are acting with what you know now. You are the way you are for lots of different reasons, because of your parents, friends, school, past experiences, etc, etc.
When you go on a path of rediscovery and look to grow as a person BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
#17 You Can Change Your focus right now
How do you feel when I mention the following…
Children in Africa suffering, the freezing cold weather, knowing that an unexpected bill will land through your door in the next week, traffic jams, a bad back
What about now…
The warm sun, a cold, refreshing glass of water, knowing that you have a roof over your head, a job, a great family, an up and coming vacation
All of the above are happening somewhere in the world, but you can choose what you focus on.
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Focus on what you want, and the things that make you happy.
#18 30 minutes per day goes along way
If you were to invest 30 minutes per day on your own personal self-development…
30 mins x 365 days to self development = 182.5 hrs per year!
The change you would experience in just one year would be enormous! Find time or make time each day to FOCUS ON YOU. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes per day, it could be 5 or 10! Just find ways to get this time in.
#19 If you were on your deathbed…
One of the most powerful questions you can ask…
“If I were on my deathbed right now would I be happy with the way i’ve lead my life?”
2 of the biggest regrets people have…
- didn’t take more risks
- didn’t do more with their life
At times we feel like we will be around forever, it’s easy to think “there’s always tomorrow!” – the reality is that none of us know how long we have left.
If you knew you only had 1 year left to live what would you do differently? What places would you visit? What shows would you watch? Who would you spend your time with?
Although I hope everyone reading this has a lot longer than 1 year to live – you can start to make positive shifts in your life be realising that we have a very limited period of time on planet earth. Use it wisely.
#20 Invest in Yourself
One of the best things you can do is continue to invest in yourself.
A couple of years ago I figured out that I had invest £60,000 on my own personal development. I can honestly say it’s been the best money i’ve ever spent.
One of the things i’ve learned is that in order to improve you have to invest time and money. Whether thats paying for private coaching, or going on courses/seminars, or just buying a book – it doesn’t matter, just make-sure to continue investing in yourself. Your life will improve and it will also help those people around you too.
Here’s a list of all the books Mike recommended and the ones i’ve read since working with him…
- Josh Waitzken – The Art of Learning
- Elkhart Toole – The Power of Now
- The Autobiography of yogi
- Evolve Your Brain – Dr Joe Dispenza
- Breaking the habit of being yourself – Dr Joe Dispenza
- The brains way of healing – Norman Doidge
- Placebo – Dr Joe Dispenza
- The Key to Self Liberation
- Tara Brach – True Refuge
- Money and the law of attraction – esther and jerry hicks
- The Completion Process – Teal Swan
- Shadows of the dawn – Teal Swan
- Tony robbins – Awaken the giant within
- The diving bell and the butterfly
- Out of the Darkness
- Mans Search for Meaning
- Think & Grow Rich
Thanks for reading,