The most common phrase I hear. Self doubt.

Do you have moments wondering “What on earth am I doing?” or observing a serious lack of trust in yourself? If there’s one term I’ve heard in abundance lately it’s “I have self-doubt”. Whether I’m networking, working with clients or chatting with friends it seems we all have moments of self-doubt running parallel with a case of the speed wobbles. Many of us become paralysed by it, leaving us running round in circles.

Self-doubt is defined as a lack of confidence in one’s self and ones abilities. So why is it self-doubt is making such an appearance at a time when we have content galore to help grow our confidence, positive mentoring a phone call away and app’s at our fingertips to solve every problem?

And oh the irony. I have been sitting on completing this blog for a good few weeks. Then it hit me. I had doubt around my abilities and experience to write about this topic. I finally had the realisation that much of this inner chit chat had no substance. So I did some research, delved into what I know from hours of coaching and here’s what I learned.

Self-doubt comes in all shapes and sizes. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to get ahead at work. I’m not good at maintaining friendships. I’ll never be able to reach my goal weight. But what it all boils down to the old chestnut, belief and fear of I’m not good enough. You are good enough of course but right at this minute you are very much not buying that story and instead choosing to not back yourself.

person-on-cliff-meditating

Imposter syndrome is a classic phrase closely linked with self-doubt. I feel like I’m completely winging it and one day everyone will find out I’m a fake. Wow, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that cracker! The ultimate in doubting ourselves at work, not trusting or believing in our abilities. Sure, there are folks out there who are totally winging it but for most of us we have the knowledge, experience and practical know how to be in a role. So why put energy into believing we’ll be caught out? Well, my friends it’s been noted that this doubting business also appears to function exceptionally well as a phenomenal excuse card for not stepping up, pushing harder or going further.

Is there a quick fix for self-doubt? Not exactly as it often stems from stories from our past that we’re holding onto. Whether they be real or imagined, if we’re holding onto resentment, guilt, shame for mistakes of the past they will all lead to self-doubt. Often many people fear they will repeat their own past mistakes or from something a parent has done. And as we know the more we focus on this fears the more likely it is to come to fruition.

In order to overcome self-doubt we need to consistently practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion. As well as doing ourselves a big favour – drop the judgement. How harshly we judge others is a direct reflection of how harshly we are judging ourselves. The same goes for those of us with perfectionist tendencies.

According to a special report Loving You in the spring edition of Wellbeing Australia , if you doubt yourself you are settling for less. To move away from this they suggest we put our attention towards self-empowerment. Acknowledge you create your world and own your choices – no need for external approval or apologies required.  We would also want to focus on self-expression – how open are you with your communication style? Do you let have a creative outlet? How authentic is it?

doubtThe way our minds are wired for survival we will always find a bit of self-doubt popping up but how much power will you give it?

It’s your choice.

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What happens in a coaching session?

No one really writes about this. And this is why. The best coaching session is dynamic and malleable because every client has a different perspective, challenge or opportunity to discuss each time. It doesn’t follow a step by step formula like in other professional services. However if you’ve never had a coaching session here’s a basic synopsis for perhaps a first time client.

  • You meet with your coach in a location where you feel comfortable to speak openly and after a brief intro you’ll discuss the specific area of your life where you are challenged at the moment. It’s here you’ll decide with your coach the desired outcome for the session and quite often it’s not the original challenge you thought. Coaching can be done in person but nowadays it’s just as common to speak with your coach on the phone or over Skype. My coach is in New York!
  • You then begin a coaching conversation where the coach listens as you explain the situation. A good coach won’t get involved in the story. Rather they are listening for beliefs, comments, patterns, body language and may stop you mid-story if they feel they already understand enough.Coaching-conversation
  • A trained performance coach will ask smart insight-giving questions. As mentioned in my previous blog on What is coaching, it is not about advice. It’s about asking the questions to get you to think outside of what you are currently able to ‘see’. While a coach will provide a safe, trusting environment they are not your friend so they are able to challenge you in a way in which perhaps family or friends would not.
  • These questions will bring about realisations in terms of your current situation and where you might be holding yourself back. As you are in a trusted space without judgement you are free to express where you are having difficulties.
  • It’s at this time your coach may prompt you to start thinking of opportunities or solutions you hadn’t imagined before. Once you’ve tabled these you can decide on which option is most viable given where you want to get to.
  • Next up is setting a plan. This is not just about setting some SMART goals and setting sail for Tahiti with a mojito in hand.  TahitiYour coach will hold you accountable to what you’ve committed to. And yes, we all get busy and have reasons for not completing our tasks but it’s amazing when you know you have someone to report back to (who you’ve invested to keep you on track) how much more likely you are to complete what you committed to.
  • Finally you’ll finish up with a brief summary of your session and a check in on how you now feel about your situation at hand. Together you will set some targets and there may be some extra reading or work to complete before you met again.

This is a super basic format however every coaching session is different. Coaches have many models and techniques to use so you should never feel like it’s the same old routine every time.

Sometimes it might be quite goal oriented while other times you may explore a behaviour or belief for example a lack of self-confidence or your procrastination habits, then find ways of shifting your mindset to change your outcomes.

Of course to really know what a coaching session is like you need to experience it for yourself. Reach out if you’re interested in finding out more.

 

It’s all about the story.

Controversially, I’m not starting off this year discussing the craft of goal setting or how to be super focused for 2016. Rather I wanted to share some thinking around stories and the important role they play in shaping our reality. If you find yourself asking a rugby sized team for their opinion on a challenge you have or wonder why you keep receiving the same results over and over this may present some enlightening insights into how you can change your story to positively impact your internal and external world.

Personal branding is the latest in a slew of buzz phrases in personal development land. And it’s certainly worth a thought. In marketing we talk about positioning, leverage, engagement and targeting however a large chunk of a product or service’s success is the consistent story which is being told internally and externally. Our personal brand or story is no different.

As we are all very aware our thoughts and actions create our reality. If we’re not happy with the results we’re getting in one area of life, the answer is simple. Change the thoughts and the consequential actions. And as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog the story you are telling your audience is also the story you are telling yourself – only you are the person hearing multiple times over.

story

When we are ‘high on life’ from the potential of a new relationship, exciting career opportunity or weight loss achievement for example our flurry of positive energy is infectious. The majority of folk are drawn to our stories like bees to a honey pot and as Jon Gordon writes in The Energy Bus, those who are not are quickly dismissed as we float or fly between groups spreading gently or loudly our tales of success feeling confident, enthused and full of momentum.

However as we know life isn’t always like that. There are times when we might miss out on a promotion at work, a family member hurts us with unkind words or despite efforts our health goals are just not happening. We tell one colleague, we share it at home, next we tell a concerned family member and with some friends over brunch. Before we know it, we have a team of experts giving their opinion on our situation and we’ve given this story so much energy it’s has its own TV show.  This wasn’t our intention of course. We were simply after some insights.  But now the aftermath results in multiple phone calls to see if we’ve taken the advice, our instinct is clouded with judgement of others and we are becoming the starring role in our increasingly dramatic story.  It feels heavy, confusing and weighs negatively on our minds.

 

When our stories are having a negative impact we have a choice. We can choose a different script. Rather than buying into the story, we can choose not to give it as much energy.  We can decide to confide in the person who knows us best. Ourselves! Check in and query what is this actually about? If a person displays an attribute we don’t like, is this something we don’t like about ourselves? Are we sabotaging results by playing the lead role and what are we getting out of it?  If we want to air our thoughts and bounce ideas, choose only a couple of key people who aren’t going to turn it into an episode of Home & Away whether that’s a trusted friend, mentor or coach. And a final note own your story. Be wary of becoming a dumper, someone who offloads dramas onto others leaving them in the wake of our problems.

Let me be clear. This isn’t about being inauthentic and fabricating picture perfect stories of our worlds. Nor is it about suffering silently when we feel hurt by a situation and need help dealing with it. It is simply suggesting we become conscious of the daily scripts we are running, own them and be prepared to change course when they are no longer useful.

Some questions for you:

  • What is the main story you are running with right now?
  • How much negativity vs positivity is there?
  • Is it going to move you towards the life you want and make 2016 your best year yet?
  • Do you need to understand your story further and consider how it might need to be tweaked in order to move you forward?  laptop

As Rebecca Campbell wrote in Light is The New Black “She left the old story behind her and stepped into a new once upon a time”.

Find your true north.

Last week I asked a client who was pondering their next move What is it you actually want? They were stumped. I think often we can all be guilty of being on auto-pilot,  drifting into careers (and other areas of life for that matter) which we feel like we didn’t choose but know deep down we simply  weren’t in tune with what is really meaningful to us. It’s time to turn off the auto-pilot button people!

Next week I’m fortunate enough to be joining the media crew at the Wanderlust Festival on the Sunshine Coast. Wanderlust.com is a mindful living community created in the U.S. based on yoga, meditation and fun times where their brand ethos is ‘Find your true north’. I love this!

So what’s your true north and are you living and breathing it?

In the book “I could  do anything, if I only I knew what it was” author Barbara Sher points out how many of us end up in careers which have been heavily influenced by our parents without us even realising (sneaky!). Just list all the careers your closest elders wanted you to do when you were 12 and you’ll understand why you were so confused at high school and sought advice from the guidance counsellors dodgy ‘career-picking computer system’.Untitled design (3)

All too often we end up in roles where the work/ life balance is unsustainable, we like the job but not the people/ leadership, we just drifted in there, the actual work is disappointing or we ‘make it’ & then feel unfulfilled . But then it’s ok for a bit. And then it isn’t. And it continues until you crack & go walkabouts or straight into another role which looks different from the outset but is just the same with a different wrapper. And while I’m not suggesting their is a perfect job out there which will be 120% ace everyday I can assure you there are people who’ve found their true north and are thriving.

One of the most simple, yet useful guides to finding a career you love is this:

  1. What are your intrinsic drivers ? List everything you LOVE to do but then ask what is it about them you love.  Go back to childhood & right up to now.
  2. What do people close to you give feedback that you’re good at (I even did a survey of friends to find this out about 10 years ago & still missed the clues so pay attention!)
  3. What are people going to pay you to do.  If this is a new career you want to make sure it’s not just a hobby.

If you’re more a ‘realist’ try describing the worst job you could ever imagine and then flip it on it’s head for the opposites.  Or work with a buddy who asks you What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? tri

A key to finding your true north doesn’t have to start with how you make a living – it might be volunteering, joining a new club, contributing to your community or trialing out new activities which excite you. Just start something!

Want more? Check out Larry Smith in a funny, blunt review on why you’ll never reach the career of your dreams.

 

Spring clean your life.

springAfter what seemed like a pretty harsh winter (am I a woos?)  –  Spring has finally sprung and with that a brilliant reason to refine the ‘stuff’ we have been accumulating, hoarding and growing like a wild crop of kale in our garden.

As we de-clutter, it’s also a good time to think about a good clean out for the mind. Marie Kondo (dubbed the Queen of clean) says “Tidying is just a tool., not the final destination. When your room is clean and uncluttered you have no choice but to examine your inner state“.

Think about what’s in your wardrobe. There are the classics which make you look and feel great. Your favourite leather jacket, your go to shoes for ‘heels and earrings’ nights or for men, your favourite white basic tee which makes you feel awesome. However if you’re honest there a few items you’re ‘waiting to fit’, an old flames t-shirt and a pair of jeans which will definitely come back into fashion (do they really ever?) or a top from your Mum that never really worked for you.  Kondo says you must review your wardrobe and ask does this bring me JOY?  If not, it needs to go.

Our mind is a bit like a wardrobe. It stores useful and not so useful items but how often do we edit the data we’re storing in there? Let’s just look at our beliefs as an example.

A belief is simply a feeling of certainty about something.  For many of us our M.O. (modus operandi) is to operate off the basis of beliefs formed about ourselves when we’re kids and we never re-visit them to review how much reality there is actually behind it.

As you Spring clean your wardrobe,  garage or kitchen this month and put back the items that are going to stay, do this too with your mind. What is useful? What needs to be removed and replaced with something to get you moving in the direction you want?

For your spring edit of your wardrobe: Marie Kondo emphasises learning to let go (works on so many levels). Be honest with the “might need  it down the track” pattern. If the favorite but slightly too tight jeans have served their purpose but no longer bring you joy or are relevant to who you are as a person, let someone else benefit from them.

Try this belief detox: Write down your top ten beliefs about yourself. Which ones are working for you? Great, they stay. The ones that aren’t need to go. Depending on how old that belief is you may need to work with someone externally. However for now,  experiment with remembering where the belief came from. Was it something you overheard as a kid at school? Did a parent or elder tell you directly? Go back to that time and look at the situation as an adult now. How much gravitas have you given one comment? Are you holding onto it like your safety blanket? What are you getting from keeping this belief about yourself (you’re getting something otherwise you wouldn’t be holding onto it). Finally your old belief needs to be replaced with a new one and evidence of it. So if you want to fit your favourite jeans, have a belief you’re worth it and set up systems and habits to make it easy for yourself.

 One final edit – social media. We might not feel like we can get away from it but we can choose  how often we engage with social media and what we see. We seem to feel like watching people who are skinnier, more flexible and have more glamorous lives than us will make us feel more awesome. But if you’re waking up every morning to images or rants which aren’t cool for you – detox away. I am officially unsubscribing to any more breakfast bowls & any impossible yoga poses. Yes, some of it can be inspiring but if it’s not making you feel alive, invigorated and happy with yourself, you have a choice. Follow or unfollow.

The Momentum Series kicks off on Monday 12th of October.  A focus will be around de-cluttering your mind as well as becoming clear on your intentions for 2016.

Time for a 15 min mid-year check in with YOU?

I’m a straight shooter. And I’m not afraid to point out the glaringly obvious. It’s 1 July today. We’re half way through 2015. Around about now you start procrastinating about tax or filling in your automated yet clunky KPI Internal Comms system ‘demonstrating’ what a terrific year you’ve had so far for your manager to rush through to meet internal deadlines.  But here’s something outrageous. How about putting some time aside to actually reflect on your year so far?

Here’s some key questions to kick start your own personal mid-year review.

  1. Source your goals, be they in your head or on paper. How are you tracking? What have been your wins? Where do you need to focus your efforts to keep winning? What has slowed you down & how will you look to solve these challenges?
  2. Your approach. Rather than being attached to a set outcome as you begin each action, consider your strategic approach for each goal especially around who you are being. Do you need to adjust your openness to improve a relationship? Can you find more joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane things?
  3. Your support crew. Who are you going to recruit/ keep on board to assist you to make the rest of 2015 a stellar year? Equally who will you offer support and advice to you – remembering contribution is a key attribute to achieving greater happiness in your life.
  4. Imagine it’s the Christmas party season of 2015. You’re making the rounds. When people ask you how your year was what do you tell them? Make a list with all the areas important to you e.g happiness, health, fitness, love, career, finance, relationships, travel, family, hobbies, home, etc
  5.  What are three actions you will commit to completing this week to get you on your way to achieving your big ticket items and small every day wins?  Email them to a trusted friend who will hold you accountable or feel free to send them my way.

Ideally set aside 1-2 hours to reflect, refocus and refresh your outlook for 2015 but if you can only find 15 minutes just do it! You’re well ahead of the game already by even reading this.

I have a few places left at my women’s workshop The Direction Momentum in Bondi on 12th of July. A great opportunity if you or anyone you know is drifting along or needs some motivation!

mtnsI noted recently how many metaphors and language there is around focus and goal setting with roads and travelling. Journeys, direction,  path, momentum, wheels in mud, road map, stuck at a fork in the road, the road less travelled, crossroads, life intersections the list goes on. So I thought the image I took en route to Mt Hutt , Canterbury, N.Z. on Saturday was apt for today’s blog.

Where’s the road taking you for the rest of 2015?

Less chat. More action. And almost an Aussie.

Have you ever noticed how much time you spend in your head, analysing a decision, procrastinating on a potential direction, dithering over a different choice ? You may have a good old chin wag with yourself or share it forever and a day with anyone who will listen but it still goes on and on with no resolution in sight.

Last night I discovered my Nana’s great grandparents from Donegal, Ireland aged 18/19 made the incredibly brave voyage as so many did, to the Antipodes in 1863. They settled & married in Maitland, NSW (Hunter Valley)  – I like to think this was a voluntary move as opposed to them being of the convict persuasion! After five years, in 1868 they moved to Greymouth, New Zealand. First question – did they hook up on the boat & THEN get married?? Secondly I acknowledge if it wasn’t for their decision I wouldn’t be here today but initially I questioned their choice to move to Greymouth  – WHAT were they thinking? I could be an heiress to a vineyard by now though admittedly supporting the Wallabies would be a travesty.  I sat &  pondered how long it would have taken them to make the decision to leave Australia. Would they have struggled internally for months after already having moved so far to uproot again with their 3 kids (9 more were to be born in NZ!) to an unknown land, with unknown prospects and for that matter had anyone ever ‘penned’ to them about West Coast weather? Then I researched Maitland in the 1860s.  Good lord! Robberies, gang warfare, shootings galore – my call is Bernie said to Mary at dinner one night, “Look, we’ve given this a good swing love, but I don’t fancy becoming a bush ranger, or being shot in the back by one so let’s get out of here.” And in those days I’m guessing Mary went “Good decision Bernie, I’ll start packing”. Decision made.

As we know it’s not just decision making that traps us in our thoughts. We get lost in the stories we’ve made up about ourselves. “That’s just how I am” and “That’s just how it’s always been done”. We use our fears to keep us safe and constantly rationalise doing or not doing something based on evidence from the past. Some of us get so caught up in our mind, ‘busy’ living a life we’ve just ‘fallen into’ haphazardly or one that was expected of us and don’t notice how unhappy we are. While others endlessly wait to have everything ‘just right’ before we try something (god forbid if we ‘get it wrong’) some wait for the universe to deliver an opportunity to them while seated comfortably on their couch.

Humans have had internal chatter scientists believe for over 75,000 years. You’d think by now we’d all  be well practiced at keeping the negative banter at bay & our levels of life satisfaction should be off the charts! But it seems with the overwhelming amount of choice and complexity of our lives today we can be struck with a paralysis of analysis or many a downward spiral when things don’t pan out quite as we’d hoped. It leaves many drifting along almost unconsciously, sitting at the back of the bus with someone else driving (sometimes a 7 year old version of us – not ideal!). Months and even years slip by as we practice some excellent avoidance techniques to not dig a little deeper on where we are at for fear of what challenging actions might need to be faced in order for us to take our life in a direction we actually want.

One way to stop the thought drift is to get clear on your values. I’m betting one of Bernie ‘s was physical safety. One of yours might be connection. Everyone has different values, dependent on upbringing, life experiences and life stage . I’m sure what you wanted to experience every day on a consistent basis was quite different ten years ago compared to what it is today.

Where  it really begins is with you. How do you treat yourself – are you kind and compassionate? Who are you being everyday? What is the story you are telling yourself?  Are you owning the results you are getting in your life? Do you accept yourself completely –  the good and not so good parts?  What really lights you up or drives you crazy? How do you cope when you hit a road block? Bernie and Mary moved to the West Coast, but you might just need to revisit what gives you a little bit of happiness every day.

Hokitika, just down the road from Greymouth in the 1870s. 

I’m running a super fun and informative  half day workshop in Bondi Junction called The Direction Momentum on Sunday, July 12 at 10am. If any of the above rings some bells and you are ready to move forward but need inspiration we’d love you to join us. Numbers strictly limited.

Saying ‘No’ without the guilts

I must admit it is very 2015 to #justsayyes to anything and work out the details later.  In an age of everyday super heroes where we expect ourselves to multi-task families, jobs, friends, never ending personal admin lists and societal demands we often make the decision not to say no to anything for fear of what others might think – quelle horreur if we get labelled selfish or worse still we suffer from the frequently overused acronym FOMO.

This morning at The You Space (one of my group coaching workshops) we talked about the art of saying no. We all agreed that saying yes to the right things was awesome. You meet new people, have unique experiences you mightn’t normally, learn new techniques and boy, do you feel great when you help someone out who really appreciates your time and effort.

And let’s be honest. Some of us quite like saying yes to everything. We feel needed and valuable and sometimes we love the story that we are so busy helping others we don’t have time for ourselves. This story is great except when you’re skipping meals, your health goals,  family time and rushing round at work like a crazy person attempting to squeeze it all in. Can I cheekily suggest if this is you it’s worth considering what you are getting from your ‘I’m so busy’ story. Or perhaps there’s a part of you which likes being ‘worried’ about helping others, preoccupying yourself with their problems so you don’t have to think about your own? It’s quite a nice distraction isn’t it?

As cool and lovely as saying yes is, for those of us looking for balance and prioritising our own needs we need to learn to say no. And with conviction.  If we don’t, we end up draining ourselves of all our energy on tasks we don’t want to do and have nothing left in the tank for things we do want.  Today at The You Space one client revealed by saying yes too often before you know it you are ‘reliable yes mum, sister, mate, school helper, local volunteer team of one’. Not an ideal position to be in unless you want to be known as the Yes Lady/ Lad baking 20 cakes for the school fete or managing 5 junior soccer teams.

Saying No thanks starts with a mindset change. It starts with putting your needs first. Eeek. I know. How dare I say it! But if you take a look at your big picture, how is saying yes to so many activities, appointments, play dates, overtime for a colleague working out for you? You’re going to have to get a little (or a lot more) PRO YOU.41129-1_n

 

You’ll notice when you are able to put your needs first and become focused on your key goals, purpose, values and have conviction about where you are heading saying no will be a heck of a lot easier. Steve Jobs said “Focus is about saying no” Here’s some ideas for how to say no.

  • Say no straight away if you know you’re not going to do it. Don’t procrastinate.
  • If you can’t help out at an event politely decline but send through a helpful tip/ article.
  • I love this option for an email reply “Wow, great opportunity thanks for thinking of including my brains in the mix. I’m fully committed next week but I’d love to hear how it goes”.
  • No explanation required? No. Just means no. You’re already committed elsewhere and you don’t need to justify it to anyone. If detail is required explain you’re already fully booked and it would be letting the others down as well as yourself whom you’ve already fully committed to.

Check  out this four part formula for saying no (If you’ve ever had a review process in the office this may seem remarkably familiar).

  1. Start with a compliment
  2. Give your answer
  3. Say thank you.
  4. Encourage the person.

For the ‘bully’ who keeps asking. Re-iterate how you keep promises to yourself/ family and expect the same of them. We make promises to others so why can’t we keep the ones we make to ourselves?

For the ‘on second thoughts I want to pull the pin’ dilemma – be polite, firm and honest. Admit on reflection you have over-committed without thinking through the consequences, you aren’t able to give 100% and if you have them make suggestions for alternatives. Remember everyone makes hasty decisions now and again. No one is going to hold you to ransom for stepping out of a commitment. We’re only human and unless you’re volunteering for Red Cross you’re not saving lives. There will be someone else where this opportunity is exactly what they needed.

But what about the guilt? Guilt is an interesting one. We are the ones who have decided to feel guilty about not doing something. No one has forced us to feel guilty – no one can make you feel anything you don’t want to feel.  When you see the bigger picture of your overall focus whereby your time and energy is being poured into a greater purpose the guilt won’t ring in your little ears quite so loudly.

So when you next want to say no – just do it ! And if you’re diary is fully stacked with extra commitments which aren’t serving you and you’re feeling massively overwhelmed and under-excited about your calendar I think you know what you need to do next.

The Repeater

Life is speedily passing us by. We’re busy with family, career, friends, saving money, spending money, networking, socialising, renovating and enjoying holidays. We’re often so caught up bouncing from event to event we don’t even notice the consistent feedback we’re getting where a repeated action is not working for us. And even better we usually rationalise it by convincing ourselves ‘Well, that’s how it’s always been’.

Consider this. burgerYou go to Maccas (in an absolute emergency of course!) and order the same combo every time – not ‘lovin’ it’ but it’s what you know. Next time you order it again and are similarly disappointed with the taste.  Frustrated, you complain to your buddies.  When you head back again (potentially with a monster hangover) you order the exact same combo and are surprised it still tastes the same. Yes, you are in a spiral of a repeater combo mistake!

So yes, you guess it … you could  be ordering the very same combo in relationships, career, health – anywhere in life.

Where in life do you find yourself going ohhh wait a minute, I have been here before? The scenery, staging, lighting, people and content may be different but it’s the same combo and deep down you know it! Perhaps you’re an evidence gatherer searching tirelessly to make the right choice? A course-aholic – once you finish the next course then you’ll be ‘ready’? HFordDo you play the victim card a little too often – bad stuff always seems to happen to you? Are you a rescuer –  endlessly needing to save the world?  Do you have to be right all the time and are prepared to bring forth your shiny sword to defend yourself? Are you a ‘grass is always greener’ type never completely fulfilled or do you run at the speed of lightening when confrontation heads your way and have multiple unresolved disputes lingering in your mist? Do you trust people too much or not enough? Or perhaps you rush into decisions impulsively without considering all the consequences?  In The Monk Who Sold Ferrari by Robin Sharma it teaches how you will keep being served the same lesson in life until you learn it. Only then you can move forward on to your next exciting lesson – ole!

How to get out of Repeater Mode. 

Find your calm zone to sit and get real about your patterns. What repeated mistakes are you making? Where is it glaringly obvious but you’re so caught up in everyday life that they whizz by like the Mercedes in the Formula One. When you break down those repeated actions are they in all areas of your life or just some? It might be worth getting a trusted friend/ guide to help you on this (if you’re ready to hear it) as sometimes it’s easier for others to see.

Don’t give yourself grief about your mistakes – you had to experience them fully to really ‘get it’ & it’s where the growth happens. However be man or woman enough to admit you were probably getting something out of your repeater – you may’ve even formed a bit of a story about yourself that went quite nicely with your bag of fries let’s be honest!

Progress is a conscious choice. Commit to breaking up with your repeated pattern that is holding you back from moving forward and growing into an even cooler person. Acknowledge it, learn from it, then choose a different combo. It’s going to be easy to slip back into the old pattern because it feels secure and comfy so you’ll need to be on high alert and practice some solid self-awareness or have a friend/ mentor at the ready to keep you in check.

Reflecting on your repeated mistakes as with your weaknesses is a chance to take control of your life and having more say over how you shape it. If you leave it to chance, hoping the results will change by themselves you are potentially handing your life over to being shaped by accidental and external events.

TWB_260In The Winners Bible by Dr. Kerry Spackman comments that while self analysis is not glamouress task,  it’s where you build a platform for change “allowing you to grow and become an advanced soul, rather than an adult with a child’s personality”.

So get down and dirty with the realness of being a human – you’ll come out better off. As Henry Ford said “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”.

The nifty fifty days left of 2014.

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I’m in the midst of ‘goal-storming’ for next year and typically when I’m setting goals I do them in 90 day increments. Hey I’m in personal development, I’m allowed to be a massive goal nerd! However it’s been a hectic month so things have got a lil out of control. It lead me to do a quick count of how many days were left of 2014 to achieve my existing goals. Fifty. WHAT! Fifty. Cripes.

And let’s be honest. We may as well take out Christmas Eve day to New Years Eve day. It’s a write off –  wading from panic pressie buying to last minute ham purchases, Christmas pudding to nana naps on the couch,  sun lounger to outdoor pub, from chillaxing (or taming your sprogs) at the beach to drawn out brunches. So that’s 42. Holy moly.

You’ve no doubt heard of the SMART goal acronym. It’s been around the traps since the ’80s and there are a few versions. As a quick refresh:

  • S = specific. Make sure it’s super clear. Think what, why, who, where, which.
  • M = measurable. You need to be able to measure your success. How will you know when you’re there?
  • A = achievable. Say you’re 45. You’re probably not going to be an All Black. Ensure your goal is do-able within your current lifestyle/stage.
  • R = realistic. Specifically what will you need to do/ give up/ change to make this happen. Are you up for it?
  • T = time based. Set your time frame. You need a date to work towards or else it will be the never ending goal that just keeps on extending into never never land.

With a couple of trips back to the homeland between now and 31 Dec, a multitude of different work opportunities and many reasons to celebrate realistically I’m now thinking I have about 20 days of productive days/ evenings/ spare minutes up my sleeve. Yikes!

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Another key rule when writing goals is the 3 P’s. Keep them positive – I’ll weigh vs I hope/ I’ll try/ I wish. Use the present tense – I have a new job vs I’ll be in a new job. And finally make it personal. Keep it motivating, visionary & engaging for you e.g.  On the 31st of December I am proudly standing on the completed shiney new deck I built and enjoying it with my mates.

If you, like me have things you set out to do in 2014 and they are achievable by the 31st of December or even ideas you have for 2015 you can get cracking on now so you’re not on the back foot in January then with 50 days to go now’s the time to get focused.

One final piece to think about from old mate Tony Robbins. Actually achieving these goals will not make you eternally happy. It’s who you become from overcoming all the challenges to get there that gives the real fulfillment factor. He asks “What kind of person will you need to become to achieve all that you want?”. Lofty and big for a Wednesday morning but you get my drift.

So what’s on your ‘to do’ list?

Is it to drop some kgs pre party season, spend more 1-1 time being present with the kids, have ‘me time’ once a week, start researching for a new career, download a meditation app and practice daily, start having green smoothies, stop having so many green smoothies, finishing a home renovation that’s been lingering, start a pilates class, visit a nutritionist to get your health back on track, join bikini boot-camp or the local touch team, limit boozing at agency lunches to prevent early onset of gout (you know who you are!), sign up to learn a new language next year, commit to 4 social media weekend detoxes, spring cleaning the wardrobe & donating the excessive Zara/ ASOS purchases to charity or even finally having ‘that’ chat you’ve been putting off with your manager about promotion possibilities. Whatever it is. Just crack on so on the 31st of December you know you gave the last 50 of twenty fourteen a red hot go.

I’m going to experiment with my 50 day plan. I’ve even (nerd alert) produced a template to get me started and keep me on track. If you’re keen to try a 50 day plan too or have a cheeky squizz shoot me your email and I’ll send my nifty fifty template your way.

Remember. What you focus on is what you get. To the exclusion of everything else.

Happy fifty!