There are many coaches you could be talking to and many blogs you could be reading. So why spend your time here, on my website, instead of out there, where hypey content, distraction and funny cat gifs beckon?
There are 3 good reasons to be here. My Transformational Coaching stands for 3 things, above all else. These are 3 core principles that, in my personal development journey so far, have helped me help clients get to the next level in their life.
This post is about those 3 things.
Watch the video at the top of the post to get the main content. Below is a summary of the points, for reference and for those who prefer reading over watching.
Wanna Change? Take Responsibility!
I believe that if you want to change your life you need to take responsibility for your emotional state.
Your emotional state will be the determinant of whether you get what you want or you don't.
This is because if you want to change your life, you need to:
- Have clarity about your destination and be able to set goals.
- Make a plan that is realistic and feasible.
- Take consistent action and have the resilience and drive necessary to overcome the inevitable challenges that will come your way.
None of the above is possible if you are in an unresourceful state.
You can change how you feel
Although all feelings are to be embraced and expressed and not avoided or repressed, it is not a good idea to indulge in negative states for long periods of time.
A lot of people behave as if they have no power over the way they feel. This results in them becoming victims to their own changing moods.
The truth however is that you can choose whether to feed a particular state or another and there are strategies you can implement to do so.
What is a resourceful state?
A Resourceful State refers to any emotional state that produces positive and helpful emotions that allow you to access your internal resources so you can influence situations in order to get the outcome you desire.
An unresourceful state on the other hand robs you of your energy, deflates you and makes you feel helpless. If you ask yourself disempowering questions such as: why me? what's wrong with me? "why can't I get this right?" you are effectively creating an unresourceful state of mind that is toxic to your system.
3 Keys to Changing your Emotional State
How you use your body influences how you feel.
What you focus on becomes your reality.
LANGUAGE / MEANING
The Language you use creates your version of the world.
The Meaning you give to events changes your experience.
1st Key to Transformation: Change your Physiology
In order to thrive in life we need to be able to change our physiology at will. As humans we are wired for survival. This means that we are always on the lookout for possible dangers. Our brains have not had time to catch up with the evolution of our societies over time so we still behave as if we lived in the jungle surrounded by dangerous predators.
If you're looking for problems you are sure to find them and if you cannot find them you will create them. If you don't counteract this tendency you will end up in a more or less constant state of fight or flight. This is in itself problematic because when we are in fight or flight mode we are flooded with stress hormones and our capacity for rational thinking is diminished. As a result we end up being less effective in the world.
So, first of all we need to know how to calm ourselves when we are triggered into fight or flight (which is an unresourceful state unless there is a real danger). This can be done with meditative or hypnotic practices or through aerobic exercise.
On the other hand we also need to cultivate positive helpful states and this is best done using movement, exercise, and embodiment practices.
Try this simple experiment:
Imagine how your body would move if you were really happy right now. Maybe you just won the lottery, or you've just landed your dream job.
Now move your body in that way. Use your voice to express that happiness. Do this for a minute and then notice how differently you feel.
2nd Key to Transformation: Change your Focus
What are you focussing on? If the mind were a theatre enveloped in darkness except for one spotlight, what would that spotlight be pointing to? That is your reality. Even though reality is actually bigger, whatever your attention is fixed on, becomes your reality.
Are you focusing on what you want or what you don't? If you are focussed on what you don't want, you are still going to get it, because your subconscious mind is a goal-striving mechanism and it will do everything in its power to get you to the destination you have set for yourself.
The subconscious is always listening to the words you use. If you are saying to yourself "I don't want to get fat' or I don't want to sing out of tune" you are conjuring up images that suggest the very thing you don't want. This is because whereas being fat is something tangible the word 'not' is not an object or an experience you can imagine in itself so it is left out of the picture!
Therefore it's really important to focus on results, the outcome, the destination that you want to travel to and ask yourself why you want it. What is the deeper reason you want this? Keep on digging deeper and you will discover the fuel to your fire. This is what will give you motivation when the going gets tough.
Focus is also the foundation of your beliefs. What is the story you are repeating to yourself over and over again? Is it a disempowering or an empowering story? Beliefs are just thoughts you have fed, repeated and focussed on so much that you have become certain they are true. But they might not be!
Often after particularly intense or painful experiences and we form beliefs about ourselves that are not accurate. If we repeat them to ourselves long enough they will become a belief. This is what conditioning is all about. We unconsciously program ourselves to repeat similar negative experiences that reinforce the original beliefs until they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
The good news is that what you believe in is a choice. You can adopt or drop a belief. But remember: what you choose to believe is going to shape your life! You can choose to erase a toxic, unhelpful old story full of rationalisations and excuses for why you should stay stuck and replace it with a story in which you are empowered!
You can do this with incantations (which are basically affirmations on steroids) or with hypnotic recordings that help you change your automatic inner dialogue. What you want is to recondition yourself using intensity of emotion coupled with repetition and embodiment. I can teach you this easily.
Strive to fail many times. The only failure is when you stop trying.
The 3rd Key to Transformation: Change your Meaning
In order to feel good about yourself and your life you need to change the meaning you give to events. Language shapes the way you experience the world. When you use disempowering language create a version of the world in which you have no power. That not only does not feel good but it makes you less effective in changing what you don't like and creating what you do.
If for example you say to yourself "I cannot do such and such" or "I always screw up!" or "I am incompetent" you might as well lock yourself inside a cage and throw away the key. If you tell yourself you cannot do something you won't try and therefore you won't do it. This in turn makes it impossible for you to build the skills necessary for you to be able to carry out the same task in the future which reinforces the belief that you cannot and never will.
We often believe that we are the way we are because of what has happened to us. However, the exact same event could happen to two people with opposite results. It is not what happens to us that matters. It is how we frame events how we describe them and the meaning we give them that influences how we respond to them.
For example, you and your friend could both have an accident that results in a broken leg. However, you describe it as an absolute disaster, whereas your friend sees it as an inconvenience that he chooses to reframe as an opportunity to laze about watching netflix series for a month. Neither you nor your friend can change the fact that you have broken your leg but who do you think is going to feel better about it in the long run?
At this stage you may say: well what about trauma, or abuse? Of course nobody wants to be abused and trauma is never a good thing. However, you could choose to see it as something belonging to the past; something that has taught you a lot about human suffering and that ultimately has made you a stronger more resilient human being.
It is not what happens to us that matters. It is how we frame events, how we describe them and the meaning we give to them that influences how we respond to them and as a result, how we feel about them.
What does taking responsibility mean?
Taking responsibility does not mean blaming yourself. It does not mean that you think how you feel is your "fault" and you should be more positive. What it really means is the ability to choose your response. You can stay unconscious and unaware and respond to events on automatic pilot.
You can take the path of least resistance and simply allow your previous conditioning to predict how you will respond in the future. I call this going through DOOR "A". This is the familiar, easy way, but you know where it ends! It is the door to a road that leads you nowhere!
On the other hand you could choose to respond consciously. You could decide to take charge of your life by re-conditioning yourself to transform your experience. You could choose "DOOR B". This is the door to a road that leads you to where you want to be.
Your partner is late for a date. You hate it when people don't show up in time for appointments. Even more so your partner. You feel upset, disappointed, frustrated, pissed off.
DOOR A: your familiar response
Although you are upset at first you say nothing. You don't want to ruin your time together so you pretend it doesn't bother you. Only, it does.
The resentment comes out through small irritable remarks you throw at them throughout the evening and after a few hours you end up having an argument over an unrelated matter.
DOOR B: your conscious response
Although you are scared of bringing it up you decide to be courageous and communicate with your partner.
You say: I am feeling nervous about bringing this up because I don't want to have an argument. However, I am really upset when you arrive late for our dates, because I need to feel wanted. Would you be willing to give me a call when you think you'll be late next time?
Your partner apologises, hopefully explains their behaviour and vows to do better next time.
The choice is yours - which door will it be?
Of course the outcome of events is never guaranteed, because you can only control your response and not other people's. In this case, your best chance of influencing the outcome is to respond the way you would like the other to if the roles were reversed and offer them an example to emulate. You cannot take responsibility for their reaction but you can for yours.
-No one can save you. Save Yourself!-
I could tell you a few stories about how I learned - and continue to learn - to apply these principles to myself. One is about when I managed to overcome performance anxiety as a singer-songwriter. Another is about when I moved country and started a new business from scratch. Another was when I overcame depression in my twenties. I'll tell you about the latter.
Like many people I resisted the idea of taking responsibility for my state for a long time. Especially in my youth I just wished for someone to come into my life, say some magic words, tell me what to do and fix me. I felt sorry for myself and didn't feel like doing much else because I felt powerless to change.
These feelings are normal when you are depressed. However, no drugs or people are going to save you. Of course drugs can help in some cases, but alone they won't solve the problem. Only you can decide to stop listening to your inner negative voice and take the sort of actions that give you positive results. Only you can save yourself. And it sucks, because when you are not at your best, especially if you have listened to the negative thoughts for a long time, you don't believe you can change and the last thing you want to do is take action.
But you must "force" yourself. You must decide you are worth it. If you want to feel better you need to take charge and make yourself do what does not feel entirely natural. In the end for me it was a matter of making a decision and choose a different response to my situation. If I kept doing the same things I would get the same results. So I decided to say: enough. I don't want this anymore and I am going to do whatever it takes to move forward.
So if you are ready to take responsibility for where you are and for bridging the gap to where you would like to be please do get in touch. Book a discovery call so we can discover how I can help you progress towards the destination you want to set for yourself.