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Life Coaching


The Power of Belief

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of beliefs. In life-coaching circles the story is told of a man,  a 61 year old farm worker in Australia, who entered the Melbourne to Sydney marathon – and beat some of the world’s best athletes by a day and a half!!!!!  When they looked at why he had won, it ultimately boiled down to the fact that he didn’t know that stopping for sleep was allowed!

Another ‘belief example’ that is often cited is that of Roger Bannister who broke the 4 minute mile barrier. Until then no one believed it was possible to run a mile in under four minutes. Within a year of him breaking the 4 minute barrier, dozens of others also did it because they now believed it was possible.

Taking Positive Action

From now on we are going to be talking about positive things we can DO to change our thinking and our behaviour.  

Stand in front of your mirror and ask yourself what sort of person you’d really like to become. Then go away, sit down on your own for a few minutes and write down a list of the sort of characteristics you’d like to have in the days to come and (and here’s the challenging bit) what job, activity or whatever, would you really like to be doing in say five years time -  or maybe two year’s time?  What little private dream have you had that kept on falling under your negative thoughts?  
Concrete Steps

We have been bringing the challenge that if you feel bad about yourself, you perhaps start to think why that may be and get ready to make some changes – you don’t have to live with it! There’s a lot here, so maybe make each bit one separate reading:

STEP ONE: Here are some key and helpful beliefs:
It’s never too late to change
Merely because you’ve tried to change in the past and failed, simply means you hadn’t found the right approach to change.
Change doesn’t have to be in one big bite; it often works better in small gradual steps.
If you want to change, you need to identify what you want to become.

STEP TWO: Thinking what you want to become – some guide thoughts
Don’t over-reach in your thoughts – a brain surgeon may be one step too far!
Recognise what you are good at now, on which to build for the future.
Quietly think back over your life and note the times when you wanted to go for something but were thwarted – they may give clues to your inner dreams.
See if there is a dream that deep down you’ve always had but never dared to confess – it is quite likely to have been built on your innate abilities.
Start with simple ‘personal characteristic’ ambitions

STEP THREE: Identify some simple ‘personal characteristic’ ambitions
Think about someone you like – not the same as admire – this is someone who you enjoy being with.
Write a list of the things you like about them, e.g. they have a sense of humour, they are kind and considerate, they are patient, or whatever.
Take just two of those things and think about them.
Look at yourself and identify ‘how much’ of those two things you have yourself – you probably have some of those things; it is therefore, merely a matter of building on those things.
Imagine yourself as a new person at some time in the future in whom these two characteristics exist in large measure. How do you FEEL about being that person? What does it FEEL like to have those characteristics? Go on, really think into the future and FEEL what it will be like to be like that.
You have now identified an ambition, two in fact!

STEP FOUR: Initial Steps towards those two ambitions
Write them down on a piece of card and put it somewhere that you can see it each day but which isn’t obvious to everyone else,  e.g. on a mirror in our bedroom.
The first time you look in the mirror each day declare our loud: “I am on the way to becoming this person who is...” (and state the two things). FEEL what it is going to feel when you’ve cracked it.
Don’t be put off when you are not like those two things. Use each failure as a learning exercise. Ask yourself, “What did I do wrong here?  How could I have got it right? How will I avoid missing the target next time the opportunity arises?”
Don’t stop making a daily declaration of ambition. Remember what we said last week: Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, is supposed to have been asked if he got discouraged when his first 700 trials failed to work. He replied: “I haven't failed, I've discovered 700 ways how not to do it.”
Determine to achieve your ambitions – they are achievable.


Checking Real Causes of Inactivity

Consider again some of the negatives we have lurking in the background. We find ourselves saying, “I can’t do that because...” or “I can’t become that because...” and then we focus on the negatives which come in the form of: “Suppose I get it wrong and fail?” or “It will cost money to do what I want to do!” or “I’ve tried before but I’m just no good.”  What I want to suggest is that perhaps your problem ISN’T what you think it is. YOU think it is one of those things we’ve just listed. It may simply be because you are not clear in your mind what you’d like to be or be doing.

The way I normally do this is as follows: “Right, just for the moment, let’s put aside whatever the negative that it is that you think stops you. Suppose it is money: then let’s pretend a friendly millionaire passes by and offers to pay for whatever training, equipment or whatever else you think you’ll need. In other words pretend just for a moment that money isn’t an issue at all. Right now, if we could wave a magic wand over your circumstances – be honest about your capabilities and your skills (probably the things you enjoy doing) – what would you like to be doing? Remember push away the negatives. Let’s pretend you have a fairly godmother who can grant you whatever you want. Seriously (no silly ideas), what would you really like to be and do?

It may be you need to go away and sit in a quiet corner with a notebook and make a list of what you’d like to be doing.  Now here’s the canny part: very often when people do this they realise that money or whatever the other hindrance had been, actually wasn’t a problem because there are ways to reach your new list of goals and your past negatives won’t stop them happening.

As you think it through, very often people see it like a corridor ahead of them that they had feared to venture down, and as you start to catch a sense of what could be, it’s like you take some steps of belief down that corridor and as you do, you find doors opening to you that you hadn’t thought about before which make you realise there are ways around the things you had previously thought were hindrances. But you’ve got to start the process first.

So go for it: push away the negatives for the moment and think about what you’d like to become and then do with the person that is you. Go and find a note book and that quiet corner and see what comes to mind – and don’t let those negatives come crowding back in. They can get dealt with later. First of all, you want a clear vision of what you’d like to be and what you’d like to do. Go for it.